Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bay day!

Yesterday found friends Jeff and Bobbi touring the Chesapeake on Namaste along with Skipper John and First Mate Me! Since Namaste is a hybrid sail/motor boat, the plan was to motor over past Tilghman Island to Harrison's for some delicious crabs, which we did, although we did have two detours along the way that we need not mention in print. Suffice it to say that one detour was my fault and the other was our wayward Skipper's...

Quote from the day "Hey, aren't we back at the bridge?!"

Anyway, the crabs were a bit small but still very sweet and delicious. Bobbi and I definitely got our fill.

We headed back but, alas, there was no wind so we motored to the middle of the bay where the fun started. Swimming! Jeff, being the weenie that he is, refused to join in but Bobbi, John and I acted like idiots out there. John sort of lost his trunks which brought much laughter to the peanut gallery. After a quick change, we were on our way again. So ended another fabulous day of laughter, sun, crabs, and much fun on the Chesapeake!

Jeff enjoying the "crow's nest"

We were the envy of all when they saw the Skipper

Bobbi close up and beautiful

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let summer begin!

Today found John and I jetskiing across the bay from Harrington Harbor North over to a bar by Ron's marina - Thursday's. A few cocktails later, we zoomed off to Harrington Harbor South where there wasn't a spot to dock the ski (what is up with that?!). So, we just headed back to friendly Skipper's Pier which is right across from John's marina. One cocktail later and we had a little nap on Namaste before I had to head home.

All in all, a delightful way to start the summer on the Chesapeake!

Tomorrow will find Bobbi, Jeff, John and me heading out on Namaste to Harrison's Restaurant for a crab feast lunch. These are the good old days!

Mom's doing fine. I came home and experimented with a salt-less pasta salad (no, really, it was pretty good) and some turkey cutlets basted with olive oil, onion and herb salt-free seasoning and some pepper. They were really good. So, I stocked up the fridge so that there's stuff in here for the caregiver to give Mom tomorrow. Mom's been a little piggy here lately with eating at least 8 or 9 times a day. But, that's ok - gives me something to do (LOL)....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Who thought I'd need to call on the tooth fairy???

Ok, this is a weird thing...
I came home 2 days ago from running errands. Mom grinned at me and WTF??? She was missing a bottom tooth! WHAT? How the heck did that happen?? She didn't know and neither did I. I thought maybe I was just seeing things but, upon closer inspection, nope, that tooth was history. Now, this was a new one.

So, I called the dentist, and we went in yesterday. Turns out that my mom has silver fillings (note to readers: get any silver fillings replaced with newer fillings - the new fillings actually bond to the teeth where silver doesn't). Anyway, the silver fillings that mom has are older, and they didn't prevent additional decay from the original cavity. So, her tooth actually broke off. There was no pain, no bleeding, no nothing and, if she hadn't smiled at me, I'd still be in la-la land - too bad that was a "good" day...

But, well, I'm not in Kansas anymore so off to the dentist we tottled (one of us tottled, the other rolled). The dentist, Dr. Chan (he's fabulous!) put her on antibiotics until Tuesday when he has to pull the root out, otherwise, it will decay further and cause a lot more problems. She loved him though as he and I have long ago decided on palliative care (treat the issue not the disease) and pulling the tooth will be painless. The other option was a root canal which makes no sense at all for a 94 year old. 

Now, an additional problem is that 4 other teeth are similarly affected. So, we're working on more comprehensive dental care over here (brushing twice a day with a flouride toothpaste) and altering her diet yet again - no hard items. You'd be surprised how hard it is to brush someone else's teeth - go ahead, I dare you, try it.

So,  I'll cut up into bite size pieces anything that could cause problems. Sadly, this means that there's going to be a very limited supply of corn on the cob this summer (probably 1/2 ear once a month). I suppose I could just cut the corn off the cob, which I will do most of the time, but she so enjoys eating a good ear of corn that I can't take that joy away from her. The same with T-bones from steaks. She won't get them nearly as often but what is life without a little risk? And, she's aware of the risk as am I. We're both willing to take it for corn and steaks.

She's doing quite well with this new development though. Last night, I was putting her to bed and tucked her in with my usual "Good night, Sweetheart" when she looked up at me and beamed that smile and said "I'm toothless Gertie!" Don't rush things, Sweetheart...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Momma and her coffee

So, my alarm cat alerted me at 5:30 am that my rolling thunder was underway. She was already sitting on the chair lift when I rounded the corner. She knew I wasn't going to be pleased about her being up at this early hour in the morning so she beamed a beautiful smile at me which, of course, cracked me up. The woman knows how to play me.

We came downstairs and, well, I'll give you an idea of my morning routine (and this is all done without my own cup of coffee yet).

1. Let out 5 dogs
2. Feed the cat
3. Scoop the litterbox
4. Clean up Mom's bedroom. Make the bed for nap #1. Turn off oxygen.
5. Get Mom downstairs and into the kitchen. Settle her in for coffee.
6. Make her a cup of coffee. Put toast in toaster. Give her appetite enhancer.
7. "Release the hounds" into the house for breakfast. They're all so cute - they go skidding around the corners in their zeal to get into the kitchen. Always makes Mom and me laugh.
8. Set out 5 dog bowls with food. Get Hops his 3 pills and pray he takes them with his food so I don't have to treat all 5 dogs to fresh cheese.
9. Get Mom's toast - add jelly (to the edges, please...).
10. Pick up dog bowls
11. Make my own cup of coffee.
12. Let dogs back out.
13. Sit down and talk to Mom for a bit.
14. Take Mom back upstairs and tuck her into bed. Whew!

I've gotten the above routine down to about 15 minutes.

Now, as I was getting Mom up from her coffee this morning, she looks at me and says "That was worth every penny." I said "But, you didn't pay anything." She looks me in the eye and says "That's why it was worth every penny."'

Laughter is wonderful medicine,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ah, boating days again

Spent last Sunday down on Ron's new little runabout boat on the bay. He took us to a beautiful spot where John and I will probably stay overnight on Namaste if I can get away this summer. It's a very quiet cove that's really tucked back. Only 3 feet deep, Namaste can easily make it back there but a lot of other boats wouldn't be as lucky. I'm already seeing towing the dinghy which we just got with it's electric motor and setting up the crab lines. Eating fresh crabs sound like the perfect way to spend an evening on the boat.

Mom's doing fine these days. The extra water and continued quest to keep her plugged into the oxygen makes a different. And, since the house is not AIR CONDITIONED, the air is much cleaner and clearer feeling. I'm totally in love with these air conditioning units. What a huge difference they're already making. Wish I'd done this years before but, alas, I'll enjoy them until I sell the place - still a few years off probably.

Memorial weekend should find me back on the bay for at least a day if I can get someone to fill in for me with Mom. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend and, even if I'm home, that's not too bad as the pool is open and tantalizingly gorgeous these days. I've got a nice float and I know how to use it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dinner is served....

....And delivered!  Ron and Linda came by last night with a roast that she made in the crockpot. It was almost too good and made without salt so it can be done (I'm just not too good at it yet..). The roast had sweet potatoes with it - what an interesting (and delicious) idea. Such a nice gift - I felt like I had the night off.

We sat outside and chatted for a while and enjoyed the backyard which is quite glorious these days. We've gotten a lot of rain and the flowers are just spilling over their pots on the deck.

The mansion is getting air conditioning and, at this moment, the kitchen is done. Each room will have its own control which is very cool (pun intended) so I no longer have to air condition or heat 5 bedrooms. And, I just can't wait to get rid of each and every window unit. Anyone need a few? I have two new ones that I, quite thankfully, will have no use for after Saturday.

I've been doing a lot of writing over at Squidoo and its starting to pay off as I made 5 sales so the cash is starting to flow. Since eHow discontinued the writer's program, I've been wandering around looking for new writing sites and Squidoo seems to be the cream of the crop at the moment. It's also a lot of fun to use and I get to be more creative than on other sites. I finally got one of my Squidoo lenses in the top tier which means it's ranked in the top 2000 articles. If I manage to keep it there a month, I'll get between $20 and $30. I'd appreciate any backlinks anyone can give me to this article:

Dessert shooters - the new mini dessert craze

Please pass it on.

Gotta go. I hear my own personal "rolling thunder" moving around upstairs (that's mom's walker!).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

However, in this most recent episode, I'm not sure who's the apple and who's the tree....

I figured out a way to sort of trick Mom into drinking more water. When I give her her pills in the morning, I just sort of "forget" one so she'll have to drink water with one group of pills, and then she'll have to have more water with the 'forgotten' pill. It's an extra sip of water and, let me tell you, that extra sip can make the difference between a confused Gertie and my regular old Mom.
 A bit of background to this story too. Mom has at least 2 breakfasts in the morning - one is around 7 and consists of a full cup of coffee (which just delights her every day) and a piece of toast. I then tuck her back in bed for a nap before breakfast #2 - a waffle, oatmeal or something like that. I used to give her another half cup of coffee with breakfast #2 but the extra coffee upsets her stomach sometimes so I dropped that out of the routine - she was not pleased (Readers: don't worry - Carina always sneaks her a half cup in the afternoon so she's not missing anything!). And, as an aside, here's a great Squidoo lens my friend Peggy did on a half cup of coffee: click HERE...

Ok, on to my story...

I thought I was pretty sly by figuring out a way to sneak in the extra sip of water until...

I tried the ploy this morning. When I handed her the 'forgotten' pill and the water glass, she definitely stared me down. I really thought she wouldn't have figured out what I was doing but, shoot, I was wrong. And that was evident after she took her extra pill with a bit of water, she looked at me - quietly pondering this situation. Just looked at me. Staring me down. I'm staring back. She then says:

I thought I'd take that extra pill with a bit of coffee....

Shoot. I'd been caught. And, here's the video to prove it...You'll note that she got her extra cup of coffee...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresh as an old daisy

Yesterday was shower day. I'm always amazed at how gorgeous Mom's hair is - it's as snowy white as can be. Me? I'm gray....Yep, she's done that to me...

The lilacs are from the garden; they're great the first day I bring them in the house as the fragrance is like nothing else (until the roses come in!). But, they shed those little pieces all over the place - what a mess. Sadly, I don't have an animal in sight who will eat them off the floor....

Low salt diet is coming along well. John found some english muffins that are only 40 mg a half. Made her a chicken sandwich on one for lunch which was declared 'bland' so sprinkled it with fresh basil and some Mrs. Dash for chicken. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. I also mixed up another pot of chicken soup with rosemary and thyme for seasoning. I will add just a bit of chicken bouillon to that though so it will be low sodium still but, really, chicken soup can't be 'no sodium.' I usually make a chicken soup so good that even the chicken gets well but, alas, those days are over. I'll just have to get more creative.

I've got some cooking planned for this coming week. Am going to make shrimp scampi over noodles which she really likes. It freezes very well. I'm also going to try a chicken pot pie which is one of Mom's favorites but has over 1400 mg sodium per serving in the prepackaged ones. Can't do that! So, I'm off to try some experiments this coming week. I'll keep you readers posted as to what works and what doesn't (I'm hoping the former out weighs the latter but am really not sure).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Water, water, everywhere...

That sweet woman in the picture with the glass of water is not the woman who lived here yesterday....

I had quite the battle with Mom yesterday over drinking water - she didn't wanna. The cardiologist specifically told her that she had to have at least 64 oz of water by 2 pm. Water is very very necessary for everyone but no one more than a senior citizen who borders confusion - dehydration = confusion. And, I've seen the correlation 1st person. Here's an article I wrote about the top five reasons of confusion in the elderly - I think I'm going to expand it into a larger article for Squidoo today as it's pretty important.

So, Mom does remember the conversation with the cardiologist, but hates to heed the advice. And, the fallout from not heeding the advice is a very confused mother the next day.

One way that I've figured out that I can get her to do things is to have her think it's all about me and, well, let's be honest, that is what it's all about! So, I tend to twist things a bit. My latest ploy is to tell her that my doctor said I had high blood pressure from lack of sleep and stress. She hasn't wandered at night since (knock wood someone!). And, she's been much nicer as of late...until yesterday.

So, I had Lori over to stay with Mom so I could do some errands and meet up with Bobbi. I was leaving at 1 and coming back at 7 - a huge treat on a Sunday. Mom was remiss in drinking water up until 1 even though I was reminding her (with more fervor each time) until finally I told her that I was calling in at 2 and if that cup wasn't gone, I was going to come home and I wasn't coming home happy. She angrily picked up the cup and started gulping away - hey, I don't really care what the ploy is as long as she drinks.

I called at 2 and my angel had downed even more water. When I walked in at 7, she was holding up an empty cup for me to see - perfect. And, we're both reaping the rewards today as she's back to "normal" - whatever that is.

John left for Boston and, of course, another tree came down, this time, right on the old chicken coop. So, my handyman Ben is about to come to the rescue.

My new temperpedic bed (king size!) is being delivered today. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a king size bed - particularly when there are dogs involved in the sleeping arrangement. I bought a beautiful headboard which is not too large as my room isn't all that big. Back in 1857, people must have been littler! Anyway, I can't wait for it to be delivered. My existing queen sleigh bed will be moved into the guest room and my bedroom will once again don a king. Wahoo!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My quest to cook a low salt diet...

So, after our brief stint to the ER last week where Mom was diagnosed with CHF (heart failure - don't panic; almost every elderly person has heart failure. It only means that her heart is working harder to keep her body going). Anyway, we did a follow up appointment at the Cardiologist a few days later and I was told to limit her sodium to 1800mg a day. Now, I can cook my butt off but cooking without salt? WTH? I never was heavy with the salt shaker but now I had to put the thing away!

So, after a few late night on the internet (what a great invention), I was armed with a grocery list. Exactly 1.45 hours later, I had gathered the supplies needed to make a few starter meals. I, however, was exhausted from reading every label I picked up and deciphering sodium content and hidden salts. But, I felt that I at least had a start so was not feeling quite as overwhelmed.

Here's a few articles I've posted online about my new challenge:
Cooking a low sodium diet for the elderly
Reduce sodium in the diet with the use of herbs

So, as you can probably see, I'm getting quite an education in the low sodium field! And, let me tell ya - it was a bit confusing at first!

Dinner last night was a delicious Country Chicken recipe that John found on the Mayo clinic website. They have some of the best low sodium recipes around. John hated it but Mom and I both thought it was pretty good - remember though, Mom and I never really ate that much salt whereas John sleeps with a shaker under his pillow (no, not really ).

John's off to Boston for the whole next week but I have Carina back and Lori is available to fill in as needed. So, I'm covered which is a good thing as that last stint of 14 days alone was pretty draining. I plan on doing a lot of cooking, vacuum seal and freezing meals for Mom.

I've also noticed a direct correlation between Mom's periodic confusion and the lack of water intake. So, I've been on her about drinking water. I think she's finally seen the error of her ways too and is easily doing as I suggest. The easiest way I've found to measure her water is to put it out in a jug in the morning. The cardiologist told her that she had to have 8 full glasses by 2 pm so that's our goal. I think the next move will be an alarm clock in the livingroom set for every hour where she has to drink half a glass. I'm sort of hoping we don't have to go there as I think Carina and I can stay on her.

So, as you can see, all is well.

Also, to Joni and Mark (who just received a new kidney last night): Mom and I are thinking of you guys. Love you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another good day

When one is a caregiver for the elderly (or is the elderly!) having a good day is about everything good in the world. Yesterday was one of those days when Mom was again more like my Mom instead of my patient.

We actually got dressed fairly early (for her) and headed out the door around 10:30 am. Off to the Chinese Market where she loves browsing all of the unfamiliar vegetables. Sushi for me and we were off to Home Depot until it dawned on me that her portable oxygen didn't seem to be working. So, since we'd been out for just 40 minutes, we came home so I could check it out. Which I did. Note to self: turn on the portable oxygen...dumb, dumb, dumb. At least there was no harm done...

Anyway, we sat outside for a bit and worked on our tans - she's browning up quite nicely. Sophia came over and I threw hot dogs on the grill while Sophia set about making some delicious vegetables. So, all was well. An uneventful evening which is also fairly delightful these days.

Wrote another article on Seekyt. It's about the Furminator - the ultimate dog de-shedding tool.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day, 2011

Well, Mother's Day was surprisingly nice as Mom was really 'on' all day. Brother Mike was in town from Arizona for the festivities so we piled in the car and headed over to Ron and Linda's house with lox and bagels in tow as John picked up the goodies at our favorite spot, Royal Bakery here in Germantown. If you're in the area, you really can't find a better bagel. Very close to New York style bagels and particularly delicious when they first come out of the oven at 7 am. The apple fritters are also quite delicious. Regardless, John went home to WV to be with his Mom and Dad for Mother's Day and a Birthday, respectively.

Sharyn sent over a beautiful bouquet of flowers which arrived at 7 o'dark 30 in the morning. Guess the florist needed to get a jump on the day. Linda gave Mom a pretty set of sheets and some tulips. Sadly, I haven't even had a chance to get out and get a card since my caregivers are both still out but she knows I love her so that will have to do. If you ask me, everyday around here is Mother's Day! After all, every meal is 'catered.'

Anyway, Mom had a very good day yesterday which culminated in fresh rockfish for dinner - thanks John! I'm not usually a fan of rock but Mike and I drizzled the fish with butter, sprinkled with Old Bay and tossed on the grill - literally as the grill basket opened up and I heard Mike yelp for help! We managed to get most of the fish back in the basket and grilled to perfection - except for the small piece that hit the deck and Mike ate (yuck - I told him I wouldn't eat ANYTHING off my deck but he swore it was the best piece. To each his own...). Fresh broccoli and bread dressing completed our feast. We sat outside a bit longer and finished off the tequila Mike brought up (there's not that much in those bottles any more!).

Today is a good day for Mom too. I took her out to the Chinese grocery where she just loves seeing all the weird vegetables and cooking implements. We only stayed out an hour or so as I wasn't certain her portable oxygen was working.

Mom's been clearer in her mind since I've been pushing water and fluids (and, yes, giving in a bit on an extra cup of coffee here and there). And, since our recent ER stint, she's agreed to keep the oxygen on almost all the time now - actually, she didn't have much of a choice in the matter. Anyway, she's good right now - snoring away in her chair with Matee and Gizmo on her lap.

Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

eHow one of the writing sites where I used to earn quite a bit of money monthly has closed their program. I sold them all of my articles for a pretty tidy sum which I'm handing over to Thomas, my extraordinary financial planner. I've got enough for a very very nice cruise out of the buyout but would love to get enough to rent a narrow boat in England one day.

So, here's the new site and a few articles where I'm writing now:
How to get help paying utility bills
How to make a dessert shooter everyone will love

I also am developing a series of articles on Squidoo which just might turn into an eBook one day about being a caregiver for the elderly. Here's my profile - just click THIS LINK.

Ok, enough for now. I have some yardwork to do like weeding Dad's garden which is coming along really pretty this year. We're about to put in a working fountain for the birds. Gotta clean the pool too - been lazy lately. Hope all had a great Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Something's fishy around here

Here's Mom telling a tale on poor Dad - I had to post it on youtube as it wouldn't load directly to the blog so click HERE to go to the movie. We still laugh (at his expense) around here

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Well, the night started out ok...AKA - I done blowed up my momma...

Let me preface this post with "everything is fine." Now, onto the tale...

Andi, Howie, and Bobbi came over Thursday night for some Gert time and to share steaks on the grill. We had a delightful evening with Mom being a bit more alert than normal, telling some fun stories, and generally being very entertaining.

Sat in the dining room for a few hours eating dinner and having coffee and dessert. All was fine.  Dinner was da bomb and there wasn't even a lick of homemade potatoes au gratin for any of the 5 dogs surrounding us. Wine flowed followed by more laughter (wonder if that has anything to do with the wine flowing?....I've digressed..)

Anyway...John took an early leave and went to bed around 8 or so as he had an early morning (little did we know then how early a morning he had...).

Everyone left and that's when the trouble started. Dum da dum dum...that's the best I can do at ominous sound effects...

I'll let you guess what she was talking about
After I got Mom upstairs, she was having a really hard time breathing and didn't look too good. I knew it wasn't dinner as I didn't look too bad (chalk that thought up to wine too). So, I woke up John and had him saddle up the dogs and throw them outside and called for an ambulance. Off we went to the hospital for a visit to the ER.

Turns out that Mom was without her oxygen for longer than she should be (remember, Mom and I made a deal when she had to go on O2 as she was distraught at the thought of having to wear it all the time. So, I made a deal with the Devil (aka Mom): She was to wear the oxygen in bed and when sitting in her chair which is 99% of her day - I even oked this with the doctor. We're going for quality of life over here. But, I did let her off her 'leash' when she was in the kitchen or dining room - no longer!).

It'll be a secret why Bobbi is wearing my shirt
Anyway, after our evening of merriment, her feet were swollen with fluid, she had a little fluid in her lungs (no pneumonia, thankfully) but was alert - well, as alert as a 94 year old can be in the ER at 2:30 am. Ron, Linda, John and I kept a watchful eye until she was released at 3:30 am.

So, a dose of lasix later, peeing on the hour, and she was back in her own bed with me in the dog room watching for the night.

She's fine now but lesson learned and heeded. She now uses her O2 even in the kitchen or outside. I've gotten pretty good at switching tanks and have them positioned around the house so the oxygen is always available and pretty easy to get to. It's like anything - it's difficult in the beginning to get used to this new phase in life and then it becomes old hat. Sort of like giving Rita her multitude of eye drops or cleaning Matee's ears daily and dosing her with meds. It's just what we do...

The next day. I only took the O2 off for the picture!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Elderly End Game

We had a bad night here last night. Mom didn't drink enough water yesterday and slept too much so mental confusion ran rampant last night.

She got up the first time at 3 am, I gently put her back to bed and told her not to get up until it was light out.

She got up again at 4 am. I not so gently put her back to bed and told her not to get up until it was light out.

She got up again at 5 am - I yelled at her not to get up until it was light out.

I gave up at 6. I was angry, I yelled that I needed my sleep I yelled that I couldn't do this any longer. I'm tired, exhausted really. The emotional and physical toll of caregiving is immense. Unless you've done it, it's difficult to understand the enormity of caring for someone who needs care full time. And, since I chose not to have children, I'm treading in new territory anyway.

When my friend Jeff took care of his father after a stroke (for 12 years...), I had no idea how difficult his path was. He never told me. He never complained. He'd go home from work for lunch to check on his dad and call in every once in a while that he wouldn't be coming back as there was a 'problem.' I never asked and remember thinking, how hard can it be? Really?! I thought he wanted the rest of the day off. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I'd go over to Jeff's house once in a while to visit his Dad but, had I known, I would have been there more. Had I known, I would have cooked more meals, delivered more cookies, sat with them more often. I'm sorry Jeff.

Anyway, I finally got Mom her coffee at 6 and went into the living room with my own cup to stew about this path I'd chosen to trod. Still angry; pissed off and tired, tears of exhaustion and frustration flowed. I logged into Squidoo to check my (non-) earning articles and found some beautiful comments on my article about resources for the elderly. They cheered me a bit so I wandered on; reviewing other Squidoo articles, looking for help with caregiving - looking to connect with someone else who had walked this walk before.

I finally wandered upon an article that changed my morning and my life.

It's called "The Circle of Life...The Elderly End Game and is written by Hanging_In (at this point, I don't know the author's real name but I've emailed her privately and believe we'll be good friends).

It starts with this:

This is my diary about how my Dad's Elderly End Game impacted my life. This is the way I can share my anguish and fear while being tender and caring. This is RAW and REAL for me. If you have been here and have suggestions, be kind. Help me to learn how to do this with grace.

I highly recommend this reading for anyone who is or is contemplating being a caregiver or loves an elderly person or loves someone facing a grave illness.

I read this beautifully constructed article and it changed my life. I went into the kitchen, hugged and kissed Mom and apologized for being angry with her this morning. She beamed a smile at me and said "Don't worry about that, honey." That's my Mom. Always my Mom. Always forgiving and, sometimes thankfully, forgetful....

And, as to the anger - after all, it's not my Mom I'm angry with - it's this aging process. It's the fact the she's changing into someone I don't always know. It's the fact that she's disappearing a bit from my life while she sits right in front of me. It's the fact that there's nothing more I can do to change this fact except to hold her more tightly to me in a hug, to kiss her more often, to stroke her beautiful white hair while she's here with me. To prepare the meals she most loves, to try and keep her entertained, to sometimes let my mind wander along with her's. To give her an extra cup of coffee...

It's the fact that I love her so deeply and want her to be happy. I know that she's as safe as can be and as happy as can be living here with me. I reassure her almost daily that she's not going anywhere I'm not and that I will keep her in our home until I feel that it's no longer safe and, if the day comes when she has to go somewhere else, I will do my best to go with her. I reassure her that she will never be alone. 

But, in the end, I'm angry at the The Elderly End Game. 

I just put her back to bed after breakfast #1. I will gladly await her arising from her nap for breakast #2 and will willingly make cream of wheat (which I hate making...), toast and will even give her another cup of coffee. After all, it's really the little joys in life that make all the difference, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring days!

Ah! It's been just delightful over here in the gardens of the Mansion this year. The picture to the left is the memorial garden I started years ago for Dad and Steph. Most of the plants at this point are perennials which is quite nice as they appear on their own in the early days of spring. I've slowly been adding spots of color and have added double-begonias and impatients at this point.

I'm about to drag this old Manison into the 1960s - I'm putting in air conditioning this week! Yes, you read that right! No more window units - my dream is coming true. AND, the nicest part of all is that each and every room will have its own control so Mom's room can be much warmer than ours. Cannot wait; I have so missed AC each and every summer that I've been here.

The pool is opening today with the addition of a new pump. We've been working in the garden area over there too and will be sinking some bamboo (in pots so it doesn't go everywhere) for screening.

And, finally, John and I prepared the vegetable garden just last weekend. It's looking spectacular and will look even better with some big fat tomato plants in there. Hoping to get Mom out today to do a bit of shopping. Carina has done flitted off to Brazil again so Gert and I are on our own during the days. Bobbi and John keep us both well entertained most evenings so that's good.

John, Mom and I sat on the balcony last night and enjoyed the beautiful summery night. I'll post pictures later - I think I got some great ones.

More to come - stay tuned!