Thursday, October 28, 2010

No feeling up to par

my head is not clearing up and I am so much in a fog that I left the cartridge for the cameraq on my desk on the way to the court house and donation of Bob's painting.
In the evening I felt just terrible, I kept thinking I had done something wrong, could not pin point it but felt I hade hurt someones feelings.
I hate that.
I am probably more in the fog than I know.

Outside court house ,painting in right hands, I look up and from the sky out of nowhere, no bushes around it, comes this big monarch butterfly , the girls freak out , I am beginning to think this is normal.Old Bob was happy with our decision.

On the painting while we presented it was a ladybug which is a sign for Rhonda. She was inside paying a ticket for her forgetting to get a tag renewed, she came out triumphed case dismissed! No fine!

October 28 1956

On that date I gave birth to twin boys, still born, full term , came the day they were due.
Blame was put on the Xrays taken 3 days before.
Shortly after that John Hopkins came to the conclusion that Xrays during pregnancy could
be dangerous,.
I never forget their birthday.
They would be 54 today.
Angels somewhere perhaps today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

storms outside, much needed rain but still warm in

Been a fairly good day, I would even say a good day.
Started baking zuchini banana breads.
While all my "stuff" is still on the table will do a pound cake.
 can freeze them for saturday for Halloween party.
If I am in the kitchen and smell the baking it opens up the heart and....
the mouth for tasting.
Tasting does not mean half a loaf Jeannot!
With whipped butter mixed with honey.
Oh the calories...oh the earthly pleasures of food.
BUT did sleep my 3 hours the afternoon, can't seem to be without them.

What is on tonight?
W3 did not see the end of Hells Kitchen because they had baseball on.....
will we ever catch it again?
Damn baseball.

Bobby has now some electronic tuner for the guitar , neat gadget but he was hardly off.
Hope he continues in that interest.
Tomorrow special day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Gorgeous outside.
In a better mood still do not feel like working but I have a pile of wash to do and
kitchen floor to wash.
Hoping for a great week.
This week we give the painting to the new court house, generations will be able to see his talent.
Then on Friday I get a tooth pulled and next day a party at Sabrina's.
I get to sleep over so that will be fun too.
Wanted to also see Bob at home as he loves Halloween and he has a knight suit to give candy to the kids.
He said he will be fine alone, I should not worry so much.
I make stuff up to worry. So he will invite a friend....and I may stay home aftr all.....
A drug dealer has moved in across the street and while I walked Bijou I saw him coming again and
I quickly went home, a car stopped right where he was and he negotiated via a dropped window and off went the car.
Bob tells me not to worry, seeing a cop will make him run for his life and we have enough phones in the house if something weird goes on. He probably is just establishing a route.
Life is interesting these days.
This quiet street no longer is so quiet. Having said that I count 10 dogs in 5 houses around us and if one gives a signal all 10 answer. A few of them are mean. Ours bark but I think if someone would touch me the Corgy would bite for sure.
OK OK back to the wash and the floor.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mood , mood, mood,

Better if no one comes near me.
I am acting like a 16 year old with PMS, her boy friend left her best friend, and she just found a pimple on her nose.
You get the picture, it is fountain time and I did buy enough Kleenex yesterday, so I am all set.
Do not visit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

falling leaves.........................

Leaves are making carpets on the road, quilts on the lawn and it is time to gather.
So what are my thoughts?
How weird that I can't quite remember when Bob would be gathering the fallen colors with so much glee in his heart, he loved the color mix and he would do such a magnificent job.

I have a hard time playing back that scenario.
But what sticks to the brain is the view of the last 3 autumns.
Sabrina would come big leaf blower in hand, gadget over her ears and goggles.
One would think she was a deep sea diver.
The noise would start and dust, leaves, sticks and papers would fly into a big heap along the road.Ready it was for Monday's pick up by the city.
From the first click on her large machine Bob would be at the window.
He would murmur some words and go out. He'd start waving his arms in anger, what are you doing,my yard, my leaves.
Sabrina would try and ignore and continue her pile.
Old Bob would run out there and pick up arm loads and bring them back in the yard.
I would watch from the kitchen window and swear under mybreath.
I could not see humor in it.
I just was so damn angry.
Why could he not leave well enough alone.
I had a helper, I needed help.
Where was my great artist , best friend, who would enjoy this chore and
come in with a smile when done.
Somehow this year what I remember most is the anger we both had.
He for someone stealing his leaves and me for not being able to forgive him for being sick.
I am hoping that in 2011 I will only remember the fun Bob.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A few days before Bob passed on a blue butterfly came and sat on my left shoulder, I was shocked, this had never happened to me before. It sat there for quite awhile then flew  around my head close to my face.
I got frightened, I thought that Bob had passed on , came into the house to phone and check, no everything was still the same. I forgot about it.
Next day , go to the garbage bin, blue butterfly appears and flies around my head. Say what?
This is beginning to be strange.
Daughter comes to trim the hedge and I start to clean up a garden corner, blue butterfly is surrounding me with circling my head about 6 or so inches from my head, Rhonda is my witness and she is beginning to laugh, she tells me that this is beginning to be boring as the butterfly is not leaving. Many minutes and I become dizzy from the flutters around my head. I laugh and cry.
Then I remember that there is a card with a large blue butterfly next to his bed.
We all joke about it.
Bob passes on and sure enough I have more visits from the blue butterfly.
So it gets cold at night and frosty. I figure we will not see a blue butterfly for awhile.
We go to Pisgah Forest to bring his ashes to the river , Frank picks a fabulous spot.
Frank fishes here almost every day (in that Forest) I think he knows every good spot.
He picked this one out of 5, he tells me.
Stepping out of his giant truck I look down a steep drop of several feet till I notice the running creek.
No problems. 3 hefty guys hold my arms and show me where to step, I almost feel like I have wings going down. So I am talking to old Bob and I am saying in my bossy tone (even in my head I can be bossy)
"OK Bob you better send me a butterfly, I know there was frost but , I need a butterfly to know you are here."

We bring, one by one, the ashes and deliver them to the clear waters of the creek which eventually will flow into the large French Broad River, Rhonda brings what Bob liked the most: vanilla ice cream, white chocolate morsels. It all blends into a white cloud ripples down a small waterfall into the next pond and on to more waterfalls between giant rocks. Sabrina has flowers, they follow the parade.

Frank surprises us and has his childhood Bible and reads from Isiah.
I am in a total fog, this is not real the whole scene is not real.
It is gorgeous here, wild flowers are everywhere especially purple asters,
the sun peaks with a bright smile in between the still yellow leaves on the trees,
you can't hear traffic, you can't hear anything but the rushing of the water.
Zack made a Mad Hatter hat and I love it, I wear it as I just said we are here to
celebrate a man's life. He is leaving us but look what he gave us in beauty.
Zack grandchildren will talk about the paintings they inherit, So will Jim's (he drove from Chapel Hill )
we will all look at his work and remember the gentle talented painter.
Mitch remembered a joke when he approached Bob and said: Sorry I missed your birthday party yesterday and Bob quickly answered : Don't worry about it you were not invited"
Mitch cracked up, that was Bob. He had an answer for everything but mostly he had that kind face and laughter. In the nursing home they told us that the smile did it all, he smiled at every body.
So the Mad hatter hat in place on my head I search to steal a plant in the National Forest (against the law) I have it roots and all, no idea what kind it is but it will grow for me.
Frank gets a rock for me. Frank loved dad a lot.
The girls are doing fine, Rhonda has a crying spell but I am calm, she will be fine.
Sabrina takes photos and we decide it is time to leave Grandpa once and for all so we start the
climb back to the truck and I stop in shock and awe a tattered blue butterfly is coming my way, the small group knows my story and freezes in their tracks . Frank rushes to take a photo as it sits on a fern,
later it goes to an aster we are all laughing now with nervous energy.....what does it all mean....
I know in my heart that old Bob heard the orders from his mate and managed to find one
butterfly at the very end of his/hers energy, wings in dire straights yet it did find our party.
Thank you, Bob. Thank you.

When I find out how to bring the photo from Sabrina's site to here I will post it.
If you see a blue butterfly send it my way.......

Thursday, October 14, 2010

kiss the chef? I don't think so

Weird week end it was and weirder week so far.
Of course I took up cleaning some closets, things which belonged to Bob had to be sorted out.
Most went to Hospice shop but he hid so much I had to be very thorough in checking pockets and such.
Slowly I am thinking about items which are no longer to be found.
Then man across the street told me Bob gave him a small painting.....
Bob did like to give things...s I am also searching for a lovely bracelet given to him by our friend L.
One of a kind made for him.
Frustrating .......................

Then I needed new blankets, wondered where I had stored the winter ones, then  remembered.
Bob had started to look for scissors and when he found one he cut up our best winter blankets.
A little corner here then a strip there and I have not a clue what he was going to do with this.
I remember how angry he was when I took away the scissors and told him that he ruined the blankets. He had no idea and looked at me with hatred in the eyes.  I am sure I did too.

The fact that we are bringing his ashes t the forest on Sunday is also on my mind.
Very much so.
It will not be easy and sort of unreal unimaginable .

I am feeling like I am on steroids or something, I sort of want to leave my skin behind and crawl out. Now that makes a lot of sense does it not? Wow, where is a shrink when I need one.

Books are written about mourning and perhaps I should read one,
BUT I need a manual on how to do a re-entry in "regular" life.
I am lost after all these years with one focus in mind.

I invited dear friends of ours who stood by me and deserve a nice luncheon in my house.
They have taken me out for lunch for years now and I could not reciprocate because Bob did not like changes in the house nor visitors.
I am supposed to be a fairly decent cook....that is..I was.
I have been thinking about this lunch day and night for days now.
What does one serve for lunch? What do they like?
I have not made coffee for 6 in decades, how many spoons to a cup? Forgotten.
Finally I bought some very nice cheeses and wil hopefully remember on how to bake a nice bread to go with it.
 You would think the queen of England is coming, these are very old friends, we go back almost 40 years.They would not give a damn if I gave them dry bread and water. Why am I so petrified of company in the house? I used to cook for 20 or 25 people and be so excited about it, cooked 2 or 3 days on a big meal .
Where did I go? Where is the woman from the old days?
Did caregiving so rob me of the normal lifestyle. Dr House on TV tells us that Normal is Overrated.
Guess so.
I ll be back on Tuesday to let you know how this luncheon ended.
Coffee may be so strong to put hair on your chest.
There is so much cheese that we may all need prunes with it to make life better, you get my drift.

And then there is the party.
Yup, I am invited t Sabrina's Halloween party.
Always tons of food but bring your own booze if you want to do that too.
I am excited about that but...but...hearing is such a big problem .....with tons of noise it is not any better....they will ask me if I like the new paint job in my office and I will answer somthing like :Yes, I am going home tomorrow afternoon, I miss my dog......just saying...a party is something to think about too.

When if ever will I be in the same shoes I wore before Alzheimer entered our door? When will I fit into society again? When will I cook with great joy again? When will I stop the crying and looking for Bob and memories in every walk I take. Why is it so hard to become "self" when "self" was almost destroyed and completely lost for years.
Like I took on the job one hour at a time with Bob for all these years I have to learn to be my own caregiver now and be kind to myself and learn to laugh and joke again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

some details on the paintings shown in response t Joy

Joy, Bob sort of invented things so he would be able to have a work with the trompe l'eil effect (fool the eye), he loved to do that.

The demi tasse was done very early in our marriage, I had embroidered the piece in the background and he loved the colors, then he put in the cup and added the bottle of bromo seltzer and said that was for the headaches I gave him. He was joking.
The clock took 5 months, sold twice, the last owner willed it back to him.
The large stein was a wedding present to us and it took him 3 years to finish, he would only work from the "alive" flower so it took 3 seasons of tulips before he was done with it. Soon we will have a one man show in memory of him, possibly at the Blue Ridge school. I will send you an invitation.

more memories from Robert G. Kensinger :

The artist and some of his work:

     Robert George Kensinger was born an artist.  While his brothers would try and teach him on how to repair cars he was more interested in getting wild flowers for his mother so he could draw them.

     He served in the Army during WW2 , came home to get his schooling under the GI Bill.  Hartnell college in Salinas, California was his first formal art education under the guidance of the well known watercolorist Leon Amyx.  After graduation he went on to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.  Chouinard was the premiere art school on the west coast at that time with teachers such as Edith Head and many of the top animators from Disney.  He finished with his schooling and moved to San Francisco to start his fine arts career.  He had several one man shows during that time until he moved back to Santa Cruz in 1968.

     In 1969 he married Jeannot and adopted her two daughters. Then he moved the whole family to the Costa del Sol in Spain. It was during the five years in Europe that he won two very prestigious awards in Belgium.  He received the title of “Commandeur” and won the Vermeil medal and the Medal from the City of Brussels.  This was a contest from all artists living in Europe.  “Les Arts en Europe” was a show under the umbrella of the late Queen Marie Jose who left endowments for the arts and music.  Bob won these honors two years in a row, in 1973 and 1974. At that time he was the only American to have won these. 

     He and the family returned to the USA, moving to Hendersonville in 1975.  Bob acquired an agent in Florida with much of his work being sold in that state.  His wife opened up Heritage Square Antiques which also served partly as a gallery for his art.  Unfortunately Robert was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease in the late 90's and did not paint for the last 13 years of his life.  He passed on September 5th, 2010 and we all lost a great artist.  A painting of his trompe l’oeil artistry will soon be donated to the new court house for many generations to admire and be inspired by.