Bedlam Farm Blog Journal by Jon Katz

23 May

Begonia In A Blue Vase

by Jon Katz

Begonias are my flower of the week, bright, rich, filled with character and detail.

I love their blue vase as well. This is the season of color and light, we plan to spend our weekend getting our gardens ready for summer, maybe driving to a book store to get some large print books for the Mansion residents and some Mexican food. We’ll be with each other for three sweet days.

23 May

Red, His Spirits Lifted

by Jon Katz

I brought Red to the Bishop Maginn school yesterday, and it lifted his spirits. He loves doing this therapy work, he was surrounded by students who gathered on the floor to hug and pat him.

This seems to life  him  up, and he had more energy and focus today than in recent days. He wanted to go out to the pasture, and I am touched by his determination to give the sheep the eye even though he can’t see them clearly.

Red has a great heart, he will, I think work right up to the end. And I will add Bishop Maginn to my long list of places I dare not go without Red.

23 May

Thank You, Mansion Aides. And The Army Of Good

by Jon Katz

I brought a box of Round House Cafe cookies over to the Mansion this morning – the aides love cookies, and Lisa Carrino, who made the cookies, put a “Thank You” on them, which I thought was both thoughtful and beautiful. Thanks Lisa, that was the perfect message.

Lisa, the co-owner of the Cafe, always asks people who the cookies she bakes are for, so she can make them thoughtfully and individually. Lisa is an artist, she studied at the Rhode Island School Of Design.

I can’t tell you – some of you many know –  how much of a lift a simple thing like cookies can be.

Working at the Mansion is hard work requiring patience, dedication and a particular kind of commitment. Once a week I sponsor a pizza lunch or dinner for the different shifts.

That is a small thing, but that makes a difference too.

More and more I think of the aides in my work, and the need to appreciate and support them. They do amazing work every day for little money and under sometimes very difficult conditions.

They are always there, always patient, always helpful.

I thank them, and I was inspired to also thank the Army Of Good for the support you have given me and the Eh K Pru and the Sakler Moo and the Mansion residents and Bishop Maginn school and choir.

And thanks for also supporting a gifted young artist, Paw Lway Shee of Bishop Maginn, she sold her third painting today, for $50.

We are learning how to do it, small acts of great kindness, for me, this is a faith and loving obligation. I can’t imagine life without it.

I wish I could send all of you a box of these beautiful cookies, but I do thank you from the bottom of my heart.You have touched more people in more ways than you can know.

(P.S. The new Bishop Maginn Choir has 14 out of the 15 music stands they need for their choir. Only one left, $35. The Mansion needs to replenish some of its art supplies, thanks to you, their arts program is booming. They have a modest new wish list.

23 May

Popcorn Machine, New Mansion Wish List

by Jon Katz

There are 13 new and inexpensive items on the Mansion Amazon Wish List.

At a staffer’s suggestion, I bought a circus style popcorn popping machine for the Mansion. Many of the residents love popcorn, a relatively healthy, sugar less and low-calorie snack.

They can use it for ceremonies, gatherings, singing sessions, Karaoke and other gatherings. The popcorn smell alone will be worth it. Thanks for your support in getting it.

This is important, it brings back warm memories – we all remember these carnival popping machines – and gives the Mansion an air of festivity and some excitement. The residents were very happy to see it.

The Army Of Good has supported a wide  range of new and old activities for the residents, their arts program is one of the most active I have ever seen, thanks to Julie Harlin, the Mansion Activities Director.

The Mansion is asking for additional support for its arts and gardening program

Today, the Mansion put up a new Amazon Mansion Wish List, 13 items ranging in price from $6 to $41. The focus is on arts, crafts (paper flowers, Paint), activities and some herbal tea.

Take a look if you wish. And thank you.

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