Friday, April 25, 2014

My Mom has been diagnosed as having Severe Dementia

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses.                                 
Misty Hollow Carving was launched in October 2008
Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012.
“Crop Circles’ Web Site” where all my images are available.
                    
My sister Pat, Mom, and me, Murray Lincoln on the Millennium Trail in Peterborough

My Mom has been diagnosed as having Severe Dementia
I don’t know when I first really felt the change that is taking place in my life.  Was it when I was in the garage and sorting through the boxes…?  Or was it when I made the decision to join the Alzheimer’s Support Group?  Or maybe it was when the Geriatrician said the words “severe dementia”…?

The box sorting happened as I needed more space in the garage. I had to open my Mom’s old boxes that were packed in Regina and then shipped to Peterborough 7 years ago.  They have been sitting quietly in the back left corner gathering dust.  In the boxes were all the things from my Mom’s apartment that she had to move out of… and far too many things to put in her smaller room in our house.

As I looked through the boxes I was almost overwhelmed with feelings that usually come at the funeral…Grief.  The things reminded me of a time long ago when my Mom was vibrant, engaged and cheerful.  She was lady fully in charge of her own affairs and very creative in so many ways.  She was taking a writing course at the University and also a very advanced pottery class as part of the Pottery Guild that she belonged to.  Mom was in her 70s then and approaching the 80s in the next few years.  But my Mom isn’t like that anymore.  My vibrant Mom died a few years back… and the one that she has become moves very slow, cannot remember many things as well as demonstrating her anger mixed with deep sorrow – at the least little thing coming her way.

I mentioned that it might have happened when I joined the Alzheimer’s Support Group.  In this group there are other men and some women that meet every two weeks to share where they are at. By talking about how they are doing – and how their spouse is doing… there are new reference points for the listeners. People like me – listen and trying to figure out what stage I am at as a care giver… let alone what stage my Mom is at in the deep progression toward more frustrating times.  I realized at that moment of entry that we have huge problem that is only getting far worse – day by day.  As the other men described how their wives sit with their heads down and eyes staring straight ahead… not knowing who their husband is… I realize that I am heading into these unknown waters of my life where I will be looking after my Mom who will become just a shell of the person she once was.

When the Geriatrician said the words “severe dementia” I was rocked a bit at that moment. I had suspicions that we were having some problems but never guessed at the word “severe”. I knew that for the past 7 years of her living with us there had been many frustrating moments for me (and for my Mom) when ordinary things that should be very easy to cope with happened… and she would lash out like a viper. I would counter with disgust and walked away. 

I have spent a lot of time in my workshop escaping my strange Mom, the Mom I do not understand now.

I had left home at around 19 years of age with some small escapes a number of times before that. I only really knew my Mom for maybe 19 years. I couldn’t wait to leave what I thought were things that I didn’t want in my life. 
Then 7 years ago we move my Mom from Regina, Saskatchewan to Peterborough, Ontario… 1700 miles away from what was normal for her.  The Mom that I moved east was not the one that I knew 52 years earlier.  She was already showing deep signs of dementia.  I had credited the “evidence” we saw as her feeling of loss having moved from her home province of 86 years.  I thought at times she had a hard time adjusting to the new routine of living with two other people. I thought a lot of things…

It has taken me 7 years of long and horrible battles inside of me to come to the realization that my Mom has dementia that has changed her life and mine.  And nothing I try to do about it will make any difference. Dementia cannot be fixed.

The kind of dementia she has exactly is vague at this point. It could be vascular dementia of maybe one of the other four that are now known. And just in case one of these five is not the correct one.. the Geriatrician said it could be a mixture of different kinds.

Opening the head up to just take a look to see what it might be is not an option. Mom isn’t quite like a car where I can open the hood and look at the motor.

But I can take a look at me and how I am doing.  Together with my wife, as we look after my Mom’s state of affairs for that day or this time… we certainly need to check our attitudes often.

It would be so easy to say, “Mom… have you just got more stupid each day or what!?  What is the matter with you anyway?  You know better than that – come on… try harder this time…!!!”

It would be so easy… so stupid to say that now.

My Mom will cry easily now… sometime for no obvious reason. She will sometimes say… “I always do it wrong. I always make mistakes…” But as time has gone on… she now doesn’t say that as much anymore.  She is failing day by day. She used to say she was “I am so sorry for what I did… please forgive me.”  Now she does something… waits until we help her and then moves to the next thing she needs to do. The words “so sorry” have stopped.
No there is nothing to feel sorry about. But when she was a self sufficient person all those years that was close to perfect … making a fool of the way that you eat… use the toilet… or fail to do the ordinary things that everyone takes for granted… you feel a deep sorrow and are very sorry.

I have a whole new sense of what will happen next.  My Mom has dementia problems and I need help.

Oh yes… I have tried to answer the question that some many of the professionals have asked… “Have you thought of placing your Mom in a senior’s care home?” 

Yes I have considered it. BUT… having her there and not knowing if the staff give a “rat’s ass” about the old lady that won’t eat… just kind of goes against my grain.  Having her sit in her faeces until the lunch time is over… coffee break/smoke break is over… kind of stirs me inside.  I know that I can’t do better than some… but I can care more than some of the others.

My Dad was about ten months away from his own death in the fall of 1986.  I was driving in his car across Canada. Mom was sleeping in the back seat.  He looked at me and told of his great concern of what would happen to Mom after he died.  I tried to console him by saying very clearly, “It’s okay Dad, I will look after Mom when you are gone.”

I have a lump in my throat again today thinking of that… the same one that I had in the garage with the boxes… the same one when I joined the support group… and the same one when the Geriatrician said the words “severe dementia”.

My Mom has dementia… and I am a care giver.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

For your inspection
Digital Image from Misty Hollow

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today http://www.murraylincoln.com/ and http://mistyhollow-digitalimages.blogspot.ca/

Friday, April 18, 2014

Change is good… but not when it comes to Easter

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses.                                 
Misty Hollow Carving was launched in October 2008
Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012.
“Crop Circles’ Web Site” where all my images are available.                    

Change is good… but not when it comes to Easter
In our Christian tradition I can remember what Easter was and is for our family.  It was a time to pause and reconsider what had happened so long ago – what God did for us.  What did happen?

Well the story is well known in certain circles, but maybe not so much in other circles.

The church circles kind of remember it as three day period when we should remember the Death of Jesus on a Cross – and then the Resurrection of Jesus from the Grave three days later.

We call the Friday – Good Friday – when Jesus was Crucified on a Cross.  His false and very jealous accusers were religious people that were God Fearing – without a doubt. The men that actually hung him on the Cross were foreigners – Roman Soldiers living in the land of the Jews and carrying out the orders of jealous and hate-filled religious nuts.

Why “Good” Friday?  Well in our Christian belief we see Jesus as the Lamb of God that takes our Sins away the day he died.

Confusing?  Yah I guess it is at times – for some people.  Confusing in that what we see today is kind of way off the mark that was once the central part of it all – Jesus.

Lamb of God?  Yep more religious wording to help you along the righteous way…  The Lamb of God reference went back to the times when the Jews (also called Hebrews) sacrificed a Lamb for their sins.  The very religious and very jealous guys that were behind the Crucifixion of Jesus all killed baby lambs for their sins.  And many today still do that same sacrifice.   BUT they couldn’t get it straight that God perhaps could also take sins away in another way – even though God organized and showed them what to do with a Lamb (and other animals) at a much earlier time.

Sheesh – as I read what I just wrote I realize that this could be confusing to none Christian readers of this Blog.  Sorry. Christians are good at creating just the right amount of crazy stuff to befuddle the best.

NOW… pause and get it straight… Easter is way more than odd religious rights and practices by people in Churches or wherever.

Easter is about Bunnies that Bring Easter Eggs.  It is about little yellow Chicks that hop into out hands and tell us it is Springtime.  It is about Chocolate and sweet treats – about families and food – about getting the weekend off even though we have no idea of why.  It is about another pause in our lives between Christmas Holidays and our Summer Holidays.

When I was a boy it was about new clothes and the women wearing hats.  It was about not fighting with your brother because it wasn’t good on that weekend – so you waited until Monday to fight again.
Easter has changed in my mind.

The photo I offer here and above (I am not sure who took it – sorry – a Facebook thing) tells it all for me. 

“A Cat in a Hat” that is not impressed with – silly customs that are weird and uncomfortable.

But Easter for me is a time that I think about God, about Jesus, about Jews and Hebrews, and Romans (Italians)… and think about a lot more and how it affects my life.

Happy Easter everyone – and please try to remember why.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

For your inspection
Digital Image from Misty Hollow

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today http://www.murraylincoln.com/ and http://mistyhollow-digitalimages.blogspot.ca/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Carved Pendants for a Necklace

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses.                                 
Misty Hollow Carving was launched in October 2008
Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012.
“Crop Circles’ Web Site” where all my images are available.                    

Carved Pendants for a Necklace
I have been experimenting with my “Small Carving”. These Carved Hearts are an example of this kind of Miniature Carving.
The Heart is carved from a 3/8 inch think piece of Pine.  Then the inner heart is done in a relief style about 3/16 inch deep.  The background is burned with a Pyrography Pen giving colour and texture to the piece.  Finally I add a stain and a wax polished finish.
Below - are the samples for your enjoyment and inspiration.
~ Murray Lincoln ~

For your inspection
Digital Image from Misty Hollow

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today http://www.murraylincoln.com/ and http://mistyhollow-digitalimages.blogspot.ca/















Thursday, April 10, 2014

Carving a Leaf from Wood - My "How to..."

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses.                                 
Misty Hollow Carvingwas launched in October 2008
Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012.
“Crop Circles’ Web Site” where all my images are available.                                 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
So the question of the day was, "So, how do you carve a Leaf? How do you get it so thin? Is it pressed when it is wet?" Sorry - not A question, but rather three. 

The answer is I start with a piece of wood that is thick enough to capture the way the leaf has naturally curved - when it dries out. I draw the shape of the leaf on to a piece of plastic from my recycling bin ( a piece of old transparency works very well too) This new pattern is then placed on the piece of wood. With the help of my scroll saw I cut the leaf out. Then using the original leaf I begin to carve the top surface of the leaf... rough out first then with smaller cuts that are closer together with each cut. The finished surface still has the chisel marks on it.

NEXT - I turn the carved leaf over. I then match the bottom with the top by more and more chisel cuts... using my fingers as the caliper to judge the thickness I want.

As I approach the final thickness I will stop soon enough to allow the sanding of the surface until it is perfectly smooth. By adding "Duct Tape" to the back of sand paper it will keep the sand paper from tearing and also make it soft like cloth getting into the twists and turns of carving.

By holding the completed leaf up to the light source such as a desk lamp you will be able to see light coming through the wood - if it is thin enough. You will also know it is thin enough if you feel the sand paper pressure coming through the wood piece... but if that happens it may be too late - or a new design.

It you try this method - please send me a photo of your carving.


~ Murray Lincoln ~








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Northumberland CFDC presentation – “Breaking through Sales Barriers” - by Murray Lincoln

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses.                                 
Misty Hollow Carvingwas launched in October 2008
Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012.
“Crop Circles’ Web Site” where all my images are available.                                 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Murray Lincoln’s approach to the Northumberland CFDC presentation – “Breaking through Sales Barriers”
So you are thinking of starting a business?  Hmmm?  What could I do to help you launch and then start to grow the business?  These thoughts rolled around in me as I set out on a journey to make Misty Hollow Carving go from a dream to a reality and then a genuine business that needs constant care.
I thought maybe outlining some of the simple steps that I have taken over these past 6 years may be a help to you.
Misty Hollow Carving was launched in November 2008.  Unemployment arrived for me in June 2008 after 35 years of working – 10 months before my 65th Birthday.
Misty Hollow’s potential customer base was thought to be about 1000 in November 2008.  This however dwindled quickly when the EI removed me from the direct contact with the 1000.  A year later the reality was that 1000 had shrunk to 200 as their worlds and mine separated with little contact.
Today Misty Hollow is alive and so am I.
A legitimate question was asked of me by the folk at Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).  I was asked to answer this at a presentation to small business owners.  Question “No one likes to be ‘manipulated’ or given a sales job. How can I confidently approach prospective clients when I know they would rather be left alone?”
·         Catch Fire, be excited about what you have; keep excited about what you do. Everyone is drawn to a Fire… few people stop to look at a pile of ashes.  (If you can’t catch the Fire, hire someone who can.)
·         Sales are like fishing – sometimes the fish are hungry and other times they are not.  When fishing you need to realize that a change in the weather (low to high pressure, high to low pressure) fish will not bite.  In fact it could take 3 days for fish to adjust to the weather change.  Recession and certain times of the year are my best examples of a change in the business weather map.  It is not “Recession” everywhere.
·         Knowing what my customer is personally going through is my advantage – Listen to them – Know them.
·         Two Fortune Cookies that I received after a recent meal…1.) You can make it happen. 2.) Everyone is in love with you.
Personal:
Beginning with the suggestions by “good people” around me (including other Wood Carvers), I was told that “You can’t do that.” “It will never work.”  “I can’t see anyone ever buying an old piece of carved wood.”  “I could never sell something like that.”  “Good LUCK!”
I started by carving faces for Teddy Bears.  After doing a brain surgery, a double eye-ectomy and a nose-ectomy – I place his old eyes in the new face.  As a cartoonist and artist faces of all kinds appeared and Teddy Bears sold like hot cakes. People who would normally only shop at trade shows, were astounded by this new idea.  They even started buying for themselves and their family members – even after the Recession hit.
My income in the first four months was higher than it was than it was when I was working full time with a guaranteed salary.
The Teddy Bear market slowed. I bought an old mahogany door frame from Habitat for Humanity for $5.00. I started carving Love Spoons (Celtic Love Spoons) for Wedding Presents, Anniversary Presents and special gifts.  One side of the Door Frame turned into about $1300.
People still attend weddings and buy the couple gifts.  Buying a hand carved Love Spoon is less than buying a blender or toaster – and better!
The second question…
2.  How do I approach/respond to clients when they are unresponsive or not interested or are satisfied with their current supplier?
·         When fishing, the kind of bait matters.  If the bait is not the right kind – you need to change it.  A Northern Pike will bite just about anything if it moves just a little. Trout are skittish and only bite what they want… not what the fisherman thinks they should bite.  Change the Bait. A different product for this customer may be better than what you are trying to sell.  Know the Bait and how to handle it.
·         The spot that you fish in is important.  If they are not responding – not biting here… pull the anchor move the Boat.  A different place and a new school of fish will yield results.
·         Get a bigger bait.  Sometimes we are stuck doing what we always have done.  Doing the same thing that has not yielded a result over again will in all likelihood, yield the same results.  In one fishing spot I was using what I thought was a good sized bait, but there were only small bites.  A scuba diver surfaced out in front of me and asked me what kind of bait I was using.  I showed him and he laughed.  “That is not big enough...” he said, “Under me the fish are four to five feet long!” then he swam away.  I changed the bait and caught a whopper.
·         At times I may need to “chum the water” – do something that will bring the fish to where I am.  I know one fisherman that puts canned corn near the place where he wants to catch the Trout. Right or wrong – it worked.
·         Another Fortune Cookie …1.) Your unique talents help you achieve many goals
Personal:
The Teddy Bear market was growing slowly. The Celtic Spoon market was also steady… but the wedding season was over. I needed something new.
While sitting in the theatre with my Grandkids, watching the last Harry Potter movie, it was just fun. Towards the end of the Movie, Harry and Voldemort had just had it out… Harry won.  With the win Harry now had the Elder Wand in his hand – the most powerful Wand of all.  Harry and his friend were on the long bridge and after some conversation Harry broke the Wand in half and threw it over the side.  I turned to my Grandson beside me and said, “I am going to carve a Wand!”  He giggled and within two days I had carved the Elder Wand.  Within two weeks I had carved all he Wands.
Bingo!  The market fell in my lap so to speak.  Families with 10 to 14 year old kids will coming running to see their son or daughter alive and well at my Show Table. The 10 to 14 didn’t want to come along that day – but the Wand chose the person again.  Young Adults with lots of disposable income, ages 20 something to 40 something buy Wands.  And funny as it seems – the other end of the market is 60 to 65 year old Grandmothers that went to the show or borrowed their grandchild’s books and got hooked. Three distinct markets were now mine. 
I tell folk you can buy one of these Wands for $1045 at Universal Studios (made of plastic) or one from Misty Hollow at a mere $45.
Question Number 3….
3.  How do I sell when I’m just starting out and have no sample, evidence or track record? (This translates into lack of confidence.)
·         Start fishing with what you have… a desire to catch fish and your present equipment – perhaps an old pole, a simple line and some bait is about all you need.
·         Get into the boat and push off from the shore – get out where the fish are.
·         When you are ready try something new.  The day the old man introduced me to a “worm blower”, I could not believe it.  He was using a cattle syringe for injections. Inserting it into the worm and filling the worm with air… made it buoyant, floating just a little above the bottom where the big fish were.  I changed to something I never heard of before – and did I catch Pickerel – WOW!
·         A fish doesn’t know if you have a B.A., M.A. or a PhD.  They only know that what you present is attractive or not.  Get your line in the water and fish.
·         I am on Fire when I realize that there is just nothing like Fishing!
·         Still more Fortune Cookies …1.) Use your abilities at this time to stay focused on your goal. You will succeed. 2.) You will find a golden egg this week.

Personal:
One day a fellow entrepreneur told me that she couldn’t get any more “Fairy Doors” from her supplier.  She asked me if I had ever carved a Fairy Door.  The answer was, “No, but let me look into it.”
I studied the Fairy Market and was blown away by what is happening in this area of the Market place world-wide.  Fairies are a big deal and going be even bigger very soon.
Working with another business as a special artist of a weekend, I brought my Fairy products that I had developed. Through that one meeting and a connection made, it appears that we will be having our areas fist Fairy Happening on the edge of the Ganaraska Forrest this next summer. As well there will be a Peterborough, Buckhorn and Bobcaygeon Fairy Happenings and installations.
Today by using numerous Internet contacts, i.e. Web Pages, Blogs, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Linked In, On-Line Discussion Groups, Shows and Personal Appearances – plus whatever Social Media is available… contacts are perhaps at 800,000+ worldwide in Misty Hollow’s 6th year.  One of my Blogs averages 250 to 500 visits per day – average a month at 6,000 to 10,000 (Pagesviews all time history 272,952 March 3, 2014) – feeding out to a Facebook presence, Linked In and the Web Pages.
Sales are seasonal and steady.  Development of new products takes place in down times/slow times.
Misty Hollow Carving (and many other aspects) is a work in progress that is growing. Not making Million$ yet but in comparison to other Wood Carving businesses it is ahead – way ahead. The Chinese friends of mine in China have made contact and suggested that they could help me with “product production” to increase my sales.  At the present time I am teaching another man to carve the products that Misty Hollow is known for – with the intent that he will have has own wood carving business in the next months.
Finally… I carved six, new love spoons.  Took a photo and placed it on my Misty Hollow Facebook page with a mere, 130 followers.  I went over to my Personal Facebook page and mentioned it there with the 1200 followers.  Next I wrote a story about the six new spoons on my Blog and posted 20 photos.  I clicked on my Pinterest button and did the “Pin It” thing.  Finally I checked my email before leaving the machine.
An email was waiting for me. I had sold a Love Spoon that was paid for through Pay Pal by a lady living in New York. It was shipped the next day to Ottawa, where it then flew to Australia with the groom for his wedding.
I am burning up – FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
~ Murray Lincoln ~

For your inspection
Digital Image from Misty Hollow

To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today http://www.murraylincoln.com/ and http://mistyhollow-digitalimages.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Celtic Love Spoons from Misty Hollow -carved over the long winter


Celtic Love Spoons from Misty Hollow -carved over the long winter
With the long winter and lots of time inside I have completed more Carvings for Misty Hollow Carving. In this Blog Post I would like to show you my selection of Celtic Love Spoons that are ready to go.

It is the Springtime, meaning more Weddings to attend and more gifts to buy for the couple. Why not consider a Celtic Love Spoon that has been hand carved in Misty Hollow?

This selection that you see has been added to by myself and assisted by my friend Ian, who just started carving in January 2014.  Ian has become proficient and improved greatly from his initial slices into the wood.  Soon he is hoping to set up his own woodcarving business.  Acting at this stage as a Student/Apprentice of Misty Hollow, he has quickly caught on.

If you would like to order a Celtic Love Spoon, please feel free to "Right Click" on the photo, save as... a file to your computer then email me at mistyhollowcarving@gmail.com or murray.lincoln@gmail.com.


~ Murray Lincoln ~

For your inspection
Digital Image from Misty Hollow
To help me promote my Web Site please copy this URL address and email to someone today http://www.murraylincoln.com/ and http://mistyhollow-digitalimages.blogspot.ca/