Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow , Snow, Snow

I just about had it with the white stuff, pretty as it might be.
Dogs have cabin fever, I have cabin fever, old dad can't go to day care, shortage of milk is beginning to show ( he drinks 4 gal. a week!!!!) ,in 2 days I run out of my meds, the gas company is smiling big time, the hermit crabs are wrapped in thick towels (read the tanks are), city has yet to come and even try to scrape a bit on our street.
What bugs me the most? No busses and no day care till?????
Got the picture?

Internet joy

During WW2 my grandma often visited and made a special type of dessert, she called it "kneukels". Little round flour balls cooked in water. I loved them, my mom sort of curled up her nose at them.
Many decades later when I asked Mom about a recipe she would say that she never made them. Asked my Belgian peers, and they never heard of it.
My grams had been for many years in a different part of Belgium so she had picked up some local cuisine. The people from Gent never heard of kneukels and I just could not let it go.
Playing a bit on computer I decided to about my search.
First that came up was the complete recipe for Kneukels, someone had posted it in 2006.
How much magic can we find on I think it is just great, some 70 years ago I fell in love with kneukels and now I can try them again and see if I still like them. Probably not as much as grandma did not make them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

About being judgmental.

The older I get the more I have to correct some of my thinking. I guess it is never too late.
I have been (at times) judgemental about things which I now find out may have been a wrong perception on my part.

Take the case of rest homes. I have walked in some and down the hall I would get a whiff of urine smell which would stop my appetite for a few days. I would think this a very bad sign for a neglecting place.

I had to change that call. Since husband has problems during the night (only that so far) I will wake up around 5 in the am and sniff. Then I really wake up and know that he had a major leakage problem -regardless of the strongest Depends-
can't wait till he wakes up and I strip the bed , turn on the fan, spray the Lysoll and go wash the beddings.
Soon the odor is gone but ...think of it...if you have room after room with people who have that problem 24/7. It must be quite a job to try and stay on top of it. Perhaps I should not be so upset with the caregivers in that place. Perhaps a closer look is needed.

For decades I loathed tattoos. I was told as a kid in Europe that it was for sailors and merchant marines. Fine. Let them have it , a girls name from every port or simply "Mother" when they even would forget her birthday.
Then I started to think this was for Hell's Angels on big bikes. Perhaps even a Wrestler or two. OK so I can deal with that. They are not in my immediate family so I do not have to look at them.
Then one Christmas eve my son showed me his tattoo. Surprise Mom! He and a buddy had done a video of the whole procedure. What fun Mom, it was for class work.
Sure it was!!!!!! I was very upset to say the least.
As time went on and I became a tad more tolerant , in my life came a creature who was almost covered with tattoos.
She had a lovely face , she was very bright with all sorts of diploma's , she did not ride a big bike nor did she wrestle.
She helped people who could not help themselves. She ran group homes with love and care. WOW.
In time I let go of all my thoughts about tattoos, one way or another. Got addicted to show L A Ink and wondered why they had so "scared" me. Had to drop that judgmental attitude !

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A shave, come to my barber shop

This is actually funny.
You guys know by now that I tell it like it is.
Scenario last night:
Husband needs a shave, this 5 o clock shadow business now so popular in Hollywood does not do a thing for him.
On Brad and George it is heavenly on my old Bob it is
"hobo like".
As soon as he sees the electric shaver he runs to the bedroom: No No No.
I say: Yes Yes Yes
the fist are forming and I stay at a safe distance but I KNOW that I have to do this.
I catch him without getting hit and push him onto the bed.
If we were youngsters you would now wait for the rest of the story but we are "late seniors" whatever that means. So cool it, this is not a porno site.
I push him down into the mattress and he screams that I am killing him, he does remember about killings (1 good point for the day) I push the face to the side and shave cheek to the right and then reverse it all. Can't touch the moustache nor chin but at least 2 shiny cheeks.
I just would like a video of this, it must look like some film noir a French director would plot.
AT last I got something done till the next time and a new technique.
He got up walked into the kitchen turned around and kissed me. He already forgot that I straddled him onto the bed for
a closer shave. Welcome to my world.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21 2010

Rhonda is ....., she has a birthday today!!!!
I am to cook the usual Flemish dinner for her
I can hardly keep my eyes open, this is going to be fun.
We mayhave to run t Burger King.
Old Bob kept me up.
He also was home for 5 days.
He had a drippy nose, I think allergies.
He does not remember how to use a tissue.
This morning did not want to go to the bus and day care....
guess what ? I pushed him in the bus!!!!
Bye Bye have a good time at day care, sing along or sleep all day. Not my problm for these hours.
Back to cooking, I will post pictures of this "party?"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

History in photos

Facebook was having old photo week so that got me started.
First photo I am 19 and my haute couture seamstresses (2 aunts) made me a gown in baby blue taffeta and tulle.
I am a new bride of 6 months and we have a gala ball to go too.

jump to the 1980's and I am back in school.
Loved auctioneering BUT did not know that you needed god lungs to work 3 hours at a time. I could not hack it !!!
I could help out but not be the major auctioneer.
I was devastated.

2007 back at work this time as auditor in Steinmart
I make employee of the year . voted by my co-workers and I am in 7th heaven. This was my best job ever.
I had to retire Jan 1 2009 and take over the tasks at home.

Last photo, together with 74 other W N C writers I am published in a book "Clothe Lines" edited and put together by Celia Miles who has quite a few books under her belt.

Life is good I will be 78 in a few months and there is still life ticking inside the old grey haired roof!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dear Diary,

Remember when life was simple and you wrote : Dear Diary, everyone hates me, my mother is mean to me....blah blah blah." or something in the genre of "he smiled at me, does it mean he loves me?"

How simple was it all, or was it?

I once wrote a note that I missed my father (he had left us) and I got an enormous slap in the face from my Mother.
She was not supposed to find my note. We were too poor to have a diary book to write in but if I found paper, I would write on it. No matter that the butcher just brought a cheap sausage in it. No matter the fat or blood I would write notes.
I did not know that I was venting my feelings.

So here we are 7 decades later and I am still venting.

Dear blog,
the last 3 days were not easy.
No respite with day care.
I am worn out.
Last night he did not want to sleep in our bed, he wanted the people out of the living room, he did not like what I fixed for food, he continuously gave milk and people food to the dogs and I threw away more precious fresh food - read I am a ww2 products cant stand to throw away- . The 701.00 bill from a bad stomach on my dog is still laying heavy on my stomach.

So when he started to yap about this and that I should have (hate the" should" word ) been quiet but I was tired from him following me, being cold (it is 12 F outside-heater is very old-only gives out so much) so I yapped back and since we are now both deaf, it does get on people's nerves.

No not the imaginary people in the living room but the nerves of my son were also on the edge and he yelled at me to STOP. I said :"I am venting" and he answered :"Go vent on the phone to my sisters, I do not want to hear it".

First reaction was that I now was also angry at son. Then I thought about it in the calm of the night and figured that he has a point too. He no longer sees the father he loved so much and the father has been telling him every day to GET OUT! My responding to ridiculous Alzheimer talk is just ludicrous and I know it .

So I sit down the next morning (now) and write in my diary.......dear diary..................

Sunday, January 3, 2010

books and more books

It seems that every other month another book shows up on how to live with Alzheimer's patients.
Om WowOwow this week there is a new one.
If I remember well it is written by a Mrs Fox.
Her suggestions albeit brief in that site is something all of us caregivers can write after 2 years experience.
Nothing new that I saw here.
I was not impressed but then in all honesty I did not read the whole book.
So many of them is just repetition and more repetition.
OK how much can you write about it?
They say if you know a person with Alzheimer/dementia then you know just one person. Fact is that a lot act out differently and yet there are always some similarities in the different stages.
This lady writes to tell us that holding hands in the nursing homes means that somehow the ill one will know and will be happy to have that experience.
Well, what about having them under foot 24/7 , feeding, changing diapers, washing when possible. Would that help too?
Holding hands, we often do in bed, he often reaches for my hand and we fall asleep that way. When in fact and truth be told I am still angry for what he did an hour ago. I try and gt over it and hold his hand because he wants it.

I think that it is important to read what you can about the legalities when the disease is diagnosed, get your papers in order, check out if there will be a possibility down the road for a rest home, get your financial house in order.
There are some books out there showing you step by step and that is extremely important.

When to give up driving is probably the hardest nut to crack.
Everyone is going to hold on to the driving, no matter how you slice it, you will have a battle on your hands.
From past experience I would say to get rid of the car if you can. I did not do that and it costs us a lot of grief even after 7 or so years. Gave the car to my son and my husband still checks the doors every day.

Understand that from this moment on:"Nothing will ever be the same for you and the afflicted".
I was told that by a man with experience and I hated it when he told me.
These words still ring in my ears and no greater truth was ever said to me.

Some people prefer to say that it is dementia not Alzheimer like that is a better price to win. Folks , you are just trying too hard , last we saw a specialist it was too expensive to do the final test and Medicare did not cover it but the good doctor told me that in any case they really do not know until they can do an autopsy. By then you do not care what it was, you have enough scares from caregiving.

Check out your books at the library and buy the one that helped you so you can go back to it time and time again or just take it all one day at the time....or one hour at the 16 hours my husband will be on the bus to daycare...that I am doing one hour at the time.

Now what?

Used to be the white sale came into wanting our dollars in January. Then the accountants are suddenly awake and telling us what to do with receipts , checks and balances because the tax man is a coming!

Now there are sales all the time, Turbo Tax will start their ads and people who are able to gt a refund will scramble to get it asap and help the ailing minusses from Christmas spending.

The heating bills are not creeping up but jumping higher and higher as this is already a bad winter for most of the country.

I always had this notion that when Chistmas was over with then spring was not very far. I fooled myself for years with that fantasy. This morning it was 12 F when Bijou wanted out , I did not have a thought about spring. I just watched where I was walking amidst the ice spots still here from a 2 week old storm. Falling is not on my schedule. At our age it can mean BIG trouble. I surely do not need more trouble in the health department.

Lung man said that I have a smidgeon of asthma.
I do not believe him at sir...not I.
BUT walking in the cold wind I found it very hard to breathe
and started to wonder.
I am not going to give in to that doctor.

Tomorrow there is relief, day care open again.
I will be delighted when I put Bob on the bus.
Delighted, I may make a dance.
He has been a pest, to say it gently and I am waiting to go into the bedroom to see if I have to strip it all down this morning. I am hoping for a NO.

The constant milk drinking and always a fresh glass gets on my nerves. I can't believe that he is that thirsty all the time. It looks like boredom to me, something to do.
The fact that the dishes tripple when he is home can't be changed. I try and try to tell him that he can use the same glass , that he just finished drinking 2 minutes ago but nothing is entering the brain and he repeats the whole scenario, fresh glass fresh milk. In 15 minutes he will repeat it. He used to love water, no more.

I should try and list some of my treasures on eBay, have not worked eBay in months and months. I too have over spent for the holidays but most of all Bijou getting ill and the old furnace in need of big help was my downfall.

OK so I shall go and look in the bedroom to see what is waiting for me.
Good day to every one.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

what will it bring?
looked up last year
it was my last day at work.
That is to say outside the house work.

I am thinking that I work enough in this house.
I have become part Chinese with the large amounts of laundry -read: bed changes-daily-
I eat out one meal a week when we go grocery shopping, Mina , or Rhonda and I.
All the other meals prepared at home and I have become
an expert at both "mushy food" - no teeth Bob- and
whatever pleases picky eater son. I am starting to cook for me. Hard to do, I am always cooking for an army.

Across the street a party is in full swing.
New Year day party. Young folks, baby on the way.
I look at all the cars parked and I have to smile, inside and outside.
I am happy with my memories of "been there , done that, wear the T shirt".
Happy now to have a T shirt that tells me it is OK to be whatever I want to be and do whatever I want to do.
Of course also taking in consideration that I am a care giver.
There are some curves in the road and sometimes mountains to climb but I am very lucky as I am in good health.
All things considered.
Lost a lot of hair this year, a lot, thyroid meds and problems with it are no help. Wig shop? I may need it.
Back on WW and managed 15 lbs less so far.
I can walk up the hill without panting, that is a plus.

Have a nice roof over my head and the heater is helping me by continuing to work so....who can complain?
Most of all I have 3 kids who are near and dear, not many people can say that. Not many for sure.
We all love each other too. My help from them is enormous.

I am thinking that 2010 may be just fine.

Happy day to all!!!!