Piecing, falling, tidying

Patchwork. The stalwart metaphor for bringing disparate pieces together. This is Deb Lacativa cloth and one of my felt houses. I hand-pieced the house’s surround this time instead of what I usually do, which is to plunk the house onto a surface and stitch it down. This made the parts more coherent, but it was awkward to do.

More to figure out.

There’s always more to figure out. This week: a meeting with my sister’s team. In spite of strenuous suggestions from me, no weekend help materialized. K and I went up yesterday. Tidied. Tended. Tried to help N into her new bed (failed). Paid a guy in the building to bring up her Sunday Times (yeah!)

But she was alone today. Not answering the phone.

There are seven reasons my sister might not answer the phone:

1. She’s on the phone, 2. She’s dropped it and can’t pick it up, 3. She’s neglected to put it back on its base and drained the battery, 4. She’s asleep, 5. She’s busy in kitchen or bathroom, 6. She’s fallen and can’t get up, 7. She’s dead.

For years, her failure to answer the phone has produced annoyance laced with mild panic. Voice mail or messaging problematic, for some reason. Once after two days (during a much busier era when I couldn’t just dash up there), I called the police.

This morning after four attempts over two hours, I was really worried. Debating whether to head up there and when.

And then, I got word.

It was #6. She’d fallen and couldn’t get up. Lifeline called 911. Ambulance guys arrived (again). Helped her up. Helped her back into her chair.


Remarkably enough, her sense of humor is intact. She tripped on a cat bowl and managed to, as she put it, “get Kibble up my ass.”

Somehow, the Times ended up on her bed during the tumult of rescue (yeah!)

With all this happening, no wonder I like the control that tidying up offers. This weekend, I tackled socks. Though I originally resisted Kondo’s advice on sock storage, I went with it and guess what? Folding IS better than rolling. I offer you a before and after.

26 thoughts on “Piecing, falling, tidying

  1. Nanette

    I think I’d like to hang out with your sister, ‘ kibble up my ass’ sounds like something I’d say, except we Aussies say ‘arse’..

  2. Sue Batterham

    I assume your sister is back at her home? She didn’t stay long in respite care? It must be so hard for you knowing she could fall any time. About the socks, will they stay that way? I bet mine wouldn’t!

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hospice care is provided in the home. The institutional version of this would be a nursing home. Not knowing how she’s faring is hard.

  3. Joanne

    I did this folding thing with socks, underwear, napkins, dishtowels–anything that I could fold and fit upright in a drawer. sister needs Alexa (?) so she can shout–call my f*****ing sister.

  4. Deborah Lacativa

    I never mate socks. I let them wander all over and have at it. Socks are like wire hangars. They’ll reproduce if you let them.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I had to throw out about eight pairs to get there, but I love it too! Wearing a pair today that I literally had not laid eyes on in a year.

  5. Michelle Slater

    ((((sigh)))) No wonder she retains her sense of humor. In care-giver terminology, she would be referred to as ‘a train wreck’ (only among themselves-never public, but I happen to encounter many at my Zendo where they train)…anyhow, she has your incredible vigilance and support, which suffices to allow her the security that affords her the luxury of laughter. May the universe of things conspire to reward you.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Michelle. What is wrong with your buildings? It seems like you’re losing power or heat every other minute? I hope you get some rest today!

      1. Anonymous

        Age, but mostly the terrible rehabs done on 3/4 of the apartments when they vacated. Shoddy, without consideration of the original lay out and the more substantial original construction meant to last. Pipes re routed, walls moved and real wood plank floors discarded, hollowed out with insulation removed to make a few inches more room, leaving sheets of faux flooring that acts like a drum, then cheap wall board and phony trim. Gone the good, the vintage wood trims, French doors and solid fitting joins. Greed. When the new LL arrived in 96 they slowly but surely got apartments from base rents of 3-400.00 up into the current market rate of 4 to 5000.00, consequently, 3 or 4 to a space commenced, all changing roommates frequently and mostly taking one or two years occupancy. Almost transient, definitely younger, less caring and LOUDER.

  6. RainSluice

    The humor woven into all, and the perseverance of sisterhood is inspiring. The words of others here are so “on”, “with” and “for” you already, my eyes well up and all I can do is just tell you that.

  7. Anonymous

    Ohhhh your list of possibilities takes me back to when my mother in law would not answer her phone. Unfortunately often it was because she had fallen. I love that your sister has not lost her sense of humor .. and that you are not alone as you continue on this journey.
    Love your sock drawer and still have not gotten around to watching this program that more and more people are taking about.
    For me it is always the combination of fabric you use making your houses that makes me always love what I see.
    Hoping you have a good week ..

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hello. Thanks for this comment. Not every likes the Kondo method but I can vouch for it being life changing, as the title to her book says!

  8. Nancy

    I always “fold”, as in my mind, rolling stretches them out. True? No matter. This post brings up memories I’d forget if I could. Glad there has been some humor around 🙂 Hang in there.

    1. Anonymous

      PS You have interesting socks! I had one escape in the new shared laundry area…lost, then found…what was it doing in between, and with whom? Ugh.

      1. deemallon Post author

        One of life’s great mysteries: how frequently socks go rogue. How do they do it? Disappearing between dryer and washer loads with a frequency that defies logic!


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