Monday, September 30, 2019

Back to Planning

I think (knock on wood) that we have gotten Mom's home care in some sort of a rhythm. I know there will be times things go awry, but for the moment we have everything worked out.  I am not having to be there as many hours each day as I was having to be there, so yea!. We have also gotten better at predicting when her confusion will be at its worst, and physically she is improving almost daily.

She is not happy because her doctor wants her to use the walker permanently. She is able to walk unassisted most of the time (emphasis on most) but she still gets dizzy and off balance every day. She has decided once she can walk alone she will be able to move out of that place we put her in. Yes, she is still in her own home but continues to believe we are tricking her with a duplicate dwelling. Now though, she believes we built an identical house across the creek from her house so the back yard would look the same. My beloved sister and I are so clever, and obviously have unlimited discretionary cash on hand to pull off the ruse.

Anyhow, now I am going to try and start some sort of limited menu planning. TheHub and I have agreed we really don't care what we eat, so the meals will mostly be something I can throw together in a hurry while remaining keto. This is my plan right now, in no particular order, but is subject to change based on the day and any unplanned craziness.

1. BLT's (thanks to chaffle wonderbread*)
2. Greek Food Festival
3. Spaghetti sauce over pasta or zoodles, tossed salad
4. Shepherd's pie (cauli mash topping) ,coleslaw
5. Steak, baked potato (or not) , asparagus, tossed salad
6. Slaw dog, cauli tots
7. Taco salad with or without tortilla chips

I guess I will see at the end of next week how this works out. Right now we have tentative plans to go to the lake for the weekend, of course based on how Mom is doing. Although I have a fully operational kitchen there, I prefer to spend my time there doing things other than cooking. I am pretty sure taco salad will be one of the meals there, and possibly spaghetti since I can have it all made ahead of time and just warm it once we get there.

So onward and upward to the week and October! I think our high today is only 93.

*Recipe will appear another day

Monday, September 23, 2019

It's Fall Y'all

Today is the first day of fall. You know all about that glorious feeling when the air is crisp and the sky is an amazing blue?  When leaves start to turn brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows and swirl in the breeze?  When warm soups and chilis are the go to meals? When pumpkin spice is the flavor of the season and brings warm fuzzies to everyone?  When women pull out their sweaters, boots, and thicker socks? When everyone walks a little faster and enjoys life a little more.

Yes, it is fall here_______and the high is 92 and the lawn needs mowing!  Happy first day of fall y'all. As for me? I am taking off my shorts and flip flops, putting on my suit and going swimming!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Something Different for the Day

The days with Mom and filling in the gaps her care givers are getting harder and harder and finally reached a breaking point for me. I understand her brain is scrambled and it is not the "real" Mom speaking, but Friday I had all I could take and declared I was not going to be back for the weekend. 2 days last week Mom's caregivers were no shows which means I had to go and stay with her during their shifts. It should not be a huge problem but I had to cancel 2 appointments (one I had made about 2 months ago so I am now about 2 more months out for that one.)   I probably would have been Ok with all of it if Mom had not started beating me up for being a betrayer. She is still convinced her house is a facility my sister and I built to trick her. (Because we all know most daughters have that kind of disposal money laying around just to trick their Mom.) If she would just stop at my betrayal I might be Ok too, but she amped it up and now I am going to Hell and God is going to get me for lying to her and holding her prisoner. As soon as her care giver was there I left.

Friday night was the worst. I got home about the time TheHub came home from work.  He suggested we go out to eat, but I was not dressed for dining so we went to The Pig, bought a couple of bottles of wine, then went to The Red Pearl for some take out.  We shared an entree and a couple of glasses of wine, and were both sound asleep by 10:30. (I needed the sleep)

Saturday morning I woke early and had 2 cups of coffee. I had made arrangements with the weekend caregiver to be there earlier so I did not have to fill the gap.  It was nothing short of therapeutic to be able to sit on the porch, drink coffee and not have to worry about Mom.

After a little light house straightening Son2, DIL2 and Shelby, the dog, came over. Son2 and TheHub went to the ball game (Roll Tide Roll) while DIL2 and I stayed here to watch the game and for her to do some necessary work related paper work. After the game we planned to go to a Turkish festival  but she fell into a deep sleep on the couch. (Her job has become draining lately and she really needed to nap.)

Because the game was so early, TheHub and Son2 were home by mid afternoon. Son2 and Dil2 had a few things they wanted to do so TheHub and I went to the festival. It was a beautiful (hot) day with dancing, music, and of course food. Because we are old smart we chose a to-go food option. Yeah, that's right. Delicious food+ a/c = a fabulous dining experience!  We came home, ate and watched the Georgia Notre Dame football game. We are one exciting couple!

I intended to document the festival with photos but it just did not happen. Instead I took one measly picture of a woman making bread on a griddle. I had actually been standing there watching her for a bit before I took it, so I am sharing the only documentation of my visit to the event. For the next few weekends our city is one festival after another
Sept 27 The Complete Works of Willian Shakespeare_Abridged (not a festival but we want to see it)
September 28 Fiesta Birmingham
September 28 Homestead Hollow
October 3-5 Greek Festival (The best of the best!)
October 6 Cahaba River Fry Down (catfish cook off)
October 12  Brazilian Day Festival
October 20 Breakin' Bread
November 2 Russian Food Festival

Looks like we might be busy for a bit.

And now I leave you with my single picture of our day Saturday.  Because I do not know this woman or have permission to use her picture I edited it to just be the actual bread on the griddle. She was really cute but was super serious, concentrating on her task. Probably because there were tons of people there waiting to get food!

Hope you all had a really nice weekend!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Spending This Week

Monday:       7.00  Sneaky Pete's Hot Dogs
                      4. 00 2 Wendy's Frosty's

Tuesday:       14.00 CVS (32 dollars of real merchandise using bonus dollars)
                      33.00 The Pig

Wednesday:   39.00 Sprouts Market (Stock up sale on boneless skinless chicken thighs)

Thursday.:     4.00 Bojangles

Friday:            .00 (Hooray for no spend days)

Saturday:       40.00 The Pig (Stock up sale on bacon, coffee)

Sunday:         31.00 AMC cinema (My birthday celebration, plus TheHub always get a large popcorn                        and a drink)
                      35.00 Bonefish Grill (Continuation of birthday celebration*)

So we spent 207 bucks, on food, drugstore necessities, and my birthday. I did not need to go to Krystal or Bojangles, but I go to Mom's early each morning and stay with her for  about 3 hours where there is a gap in her home care. I leave when her daytime help gets there and I am hungry by then.  (And have not gotten back on the keto wagon yet). One day a scrambler breakfast was screaming at me (Krystal), and who can say no to a Chicken and pimento cheese biscuit? (Bojangles)

The hot dogs, you might ask? TheHub called from work asking what was for dinner. When I told him we were having tuna salad sandwiches, he declared he was stopping at Sneaky Pete's for hotdogs instead.  Much later we decided to run out and get and ice cream cone, but our favorite joint  closed 10 minutes before we got there. Instead we swung by Wendy's and picked up a frosty. (I think I might start saying we are going to eat tuna sandwiches more often)

I will always stock up on groceries we use on a regular basis.
Sprouts had boneless, skinless chicken thighs for 1.77 per pound. I cook them all the time so I bought 3 packs of them and freeze them in packages of 2 thighs each. It is perfect for our dinners
The Pig had bacon @ 4.99 for 1 1/2 pounds. It is a super deal for here and a brand I really do like. It was limited to 4 packs, but I got free eggs with each pack as part of the deal. Coffee was bogo. I drink 3 cups of coffee every morning and TheHub drinks one. We make our own refillable KCups, so we use a pound of coffee relatively quickly. They also limited the coffee to 4 bags per person, so I bought 3 for the freezer and one to use immediately. Additionally they were having a big promotion and put a free loaf of white bread in the bags at checkout.

* We no longer give each other gifts for our birthdays. Instead we opt for an experience. Normally we would have gone to the movie on Tuesday (the cheap ticket night) but I have found 24 hour care for Mom really means I fill in whenever a caregiver is a no show or late. There have been several nights I have had to run down and take care of her for a while (or overnight) and we knew Angel was going to be with her all day Sunday (which was my actual birthday) so we went then.

I would say we will do better this week, but it is just Monday and we have already been out to eat. Mom's day sitter was sick and I had to stay with her all day. I wish I had known before I got to her house early and I would have taken food to cook for both Mom's dinner and our own. Instead I got there butt early to relieve Angel, dressed for the day for 2 appointments I had for later in the morning (yeah, I had to cancel those) and stayed until her evening shift arrived. Mom is a serious fall risk now but can no longer be trusted (dementia) to stay seated or in bed while I run to the store or back to my house to pick something up. My sister picked up a dinner for Mom on her way home from work, which left TheHub and me with nothing cooked or even planned. We opted to run to a little meat and 3 joint to get a veggie plate. And another 20 is now down the drain fueling the local economy.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And Life Goes On

I woke this morning and of course the memories of 9/11 returned as fresh as the day they were made. It was such a sad day in our history, but fortunately for me I had a list of chores, and obligations that kept me hopping until about 3 pm.  It left me little time to dwell on the sad memories.

And now I have a delightful memory for the latter part of the day. I am very fortunate to have lovely neighbors who live 2 houses from me. They have not one, but 2 sets of adorable twin girls who I see randomly, mostly when they are outside playing. Earlier in the summer I had invited them down to swim, and had mentioned to their Mama  that they were welcome to swim regularly as long as a parent was with them.

In the course of talking with her yesterday, she asked if they could come this afternoon after school. There is nothing more delightful than the sounds of children playing and having a good time on an afternoon when I might have stayed indoors and stayed glued to the TV as stations aired replays of the attacks.

Thankful for the wonderful afternoon and the music that comes to us in the form of splashes and giggles.

p.s. How cool is it that the older girls also gave me a  a book recommendation? They know I love to read and wanted me to read a book they had both just read. Starting it tonight so I can talk with them about it the next time I see them. I have great neighbors!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Just For Fun

There are stereotypes about the South, some are over exaggerated and some are spot on. This is the story of one of those truths. Watch and learn!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

30 Days Has September

I am a little late to the 30 things in 30 days for the month of September, so I am going to start it today and will have to double up on a couple of things.
My list is going to be much easier than some of yours because I am dealing with Mom on a daily basis and it is not getting any easier. So here goes! Luck to all of us!

1.  Defrost and clean freezer
2.  Remove every thing from auxiliary fridge and clean thoroughly
3.  Clean corner cabinets in dining room (lower)
4.  Clean corner cabinets in dining room (upper)
5.  Quick shine floors in foyer
6.  Quick shine floor in living room
7.  Quick shine floor in dining room
8.  Recover throw pillow (den)
9.  Make curtains for Pip's room
10. Hang curtains in extra bedroom
11. Paint occasional chair (MBR)
12. Recover chair seat (MBR)
13. Clean kitchen pantry
14. Clean and rearrange long term food storage cabinet
15. Change over planters with some fall plants
16. Gussie up the upper patio
17. Get rid of at least 30 items
18. Change screened porch decor to a fall appropriate look
19. Begin the seasonal clothing change over
20. Change over MBR bedding to fall/ winter look
21. Change living room decor to fall look
22. Create fall look for front of house
23. Trim hedges
24. Wash MBR curtains
25. Quick shine powder room floor
26. Touch up paint
27. Touch up any furniture dings or scratches
28. Clean dining room, living room, and foyer windows
29. Clean kitchen and den windows
30. Clean drawers, shelves and cabinets in breakfast room buffet

Monday, September 2, 2019

Thoughts on Food and August

August was a complete bust for me, both with meal planning and also my list of things I hope to accomplish monthly. Mom fell 4 different times and in the course of 48 hours we went from having daytime help to 12 hour care to round the clock caregivers at her home. Even though we have 24 hour care, we have spent hours daily with her as well as taking her to various doctors. I am pretty sure she is at the end of her life, but she is not giving in at all and is still capable of making my beloved sister and I feel tremendous guilt for whatever sleights she imagines. In addition she wants to be consulted about every single decision, which we do but she promptly forgets, then becomes angry at us for not consulting her. It is a vicious and wearing cycle.

She still believes we have created a duplicate of her home, including managing to replicate several items (sculptures and original art work) which are one of a kind. We have also managed to find a lot with a creek exactly like the one in her back yard as well as moving her neighbors houses close to her "imposter" home.

She told me she knows it is not her house because her father told her it was not her real home. I did tell her Papa would never tell her that because it would be a lie and he would never lie to her. (The fact that he died in 1975 does not seem to factor into her belief about what he told her about the house.)

After being at her house most days for 7 or 8 hours, (broken hours at various times throughout the morning, day and night) I am not worried about meal planning. We are eating whatever I can grab and make in one pan, or some take out. I am declaring it good enough. Plus chocolate, lots of chocolate and an occasional hot Krispy Kreme. (I have got to get back on Keto tomorrow, yeah tomorrow sounds good!)

Hopefully I can establish some sort of normalcy (even if it is a new normal) for September and at least read a bit. Right now I am reading a book and have read the same 2 pages about 30 times. If you are at Mom's that is about all you can read between tending to her needs, so I read them then reread them over and over. Appropriately the book I am reading is titled Hell.

Have a fun Labor Day if it is at all possible!