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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Party For Mom and Off To Work We Go

I got up early this morning so I could put all the Halloween treats in the car and decorate Mom’s walker for her Halloween party at day care. All the clients were supposed to wear costumes. Mom went as a witch.

I fastened a witch’s broom to the leg of the walker, hung a “Witch Way” sign on the front of the walker, and attached a little black cauldron to the side of the walker.

Mom got up and we dressed her in black pants and a black sweatshirt. I put a longhaired black wig on her and pulled her witch’s hat over the hair. She looked so cute.

We carried in the basket filled with the Halloween trick or treat bags and I also took a bag of woodcrafts I’d made, scarecrows and pumpkins, for them to give to the clients as they saw fit.

Once home, Two Feather and I loaded the plow onto the wagon to take it down Mom’s house and scrape the driveway. It took about six passes before all the ruts were filled in and the driveway was smooth again. We cleaned out the storm drains again, too. That will need done again once all the trees lose their leaves.

The path through the woods was getting ruts from the rain over the summer too. Since we had the plow on the Mule, we thought we’d try knocking out the high spots in the path. We started at Mom’s yard with that project. After all the summer rains, the small four-inch rut became a twelve-inch ditch. That’s the thing with hills though; water runs down and once a ditch starts, it gets bigger and deeper.

Here's the before and after pictures.

Several passes over the center hump knocked the dirt into the ditch and smoothed it out some. We’ll still have to get gravel or stones and fill in the rest to make it level again.

Since that worked out so well, we decided to try scraping the rest of the path through the woods too. That took a bit more work because the ditches were deeper and there were plenty more of them.

We made it all the way back up to my house with the plow on the Mule. This picture was taken just behind our shed at the beginning of the path. You can see the huge rock protruding from the dirt on the left side. Just below that rock is hole about a foot deep.

A half dozen passes back and forth on this path straightened it out fairly smooth. We were going to make one more pass down the entire path, but that will have to wait. Two Feather pressed the button on the dashboard of the Mule to raise the plow and it clunked to the ground. He thought the wench hook slipped off the plow but when he walked to the front and looked down he saw the cable had snapped. I guess I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow; going to the hardware store to get a new wench hook. We’re just happy it snapped when it did. The majority of the work was done and the plow was just a few feet from the shed in our yard. All he had to do was pull the wagon over to the Mule to load the plow and put it back in the garage.

Two Feather decided that just because he couldn’t plow and scrape anymore didn’t mean he had to stop working. We rode back down Mom’s to split and haul more of the oak we had taken down last month. These trees were nearly three feet in diameter so I was no help moving the cut pieces to try to get them near the wood splitter. Since he couldn’t move them, he spent the next two hours splitting the huge chunks of oak with a wedge and maul. After he had them quartered, then we were able to move them to the splitter to split them in firewood size pieces.

There is still a lot of wood to move and split, but I’m sure he’ll get it all done before the bad weather starts moving in.

Even though we were working all day, we had a wonderful time. It felt good to be out in the fresh air and Two Feather and I love working together. If our life circumstances were the way they used to be, we would have continued to work until dark. Then we would have showered, I would have made dinner, and we would have sat and watched TV for the evening until bedtime. But since I'm taking care of Mom, we quit around 3:00 and went back to our house to relax for about an hour before I had to leave. Besides missing each other, we miss our lifestyle. It's difficult trying to get everything done when our day together ends at 4:00. We both wonder if when we are together in the same house again how long it will take us to get used to each other and whether we'll ever get into our own routine again.

Mom was in a great mood when I picked her up today. She said everyone loved her witch costume and she had a great time at her Halloween party but she was tired. We were talking while we ate dinner and she fell asleep mid-sentence. I walked her into the bedroom and dressed her for bed.

Tonight I’m going to watch TV for a little while, but I don’t think I’ll last long. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until around 3:00 AM. Between the fresh air today, working on the driveway and path all day, and watching Two split wood, I’m beat. Goodnight all.

Oh yes, Happy Halloween everyone!

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Blogger ~Betsy said...

Wow - such a busy day! I agree, you have to get those ruts filled in before the ice and snow pack. Once it's here, it's here.

When Two Feather gets done there, how about you send him my way! There is lots to do here! LOL

11/01/2007 9:13 AM  
Blogger Lori1955 said...

Oh gosh, I could never work like you two do. I'm tired just reading about it.
I just smiled from ear to ear, looking at the picture of your mom. She's adorable.

11/01/2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger nancy said...

i agree, i'm tired just reading your post. i loved your mom's costume. i remember last year russ dressed up like brett favre (quarterback for the green bay packers)

11/01/2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Oh Betsy, I'm not looking forward to the ice and snow. Not at all! Two Feather laughed when he saw your post. He saw Terry's on another post saying something similar. He said, you all should be careful what you wish for. LOL

11/05/2007 5:22 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Thanks Lori. I think she's adorable, too! I'm glad the picture made you smile. How's the hospice program going?

11/05/2007 5:23 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Brett's one of my favorite quarterbacks (besides the Steeler Big Ben that is). I'll bet Russ looked cute. One of the clients at the day care was dressed up like a baseball player...not sure what team it was. LOL

11/05/2007 5:24 PM