Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lavender, Peace and Calm, and Joy

I had no idea that peace and calm could be packaged and sold, ditto joy, but as you can plainly see, there it is.

John's sister JP visited yesterday bringing gifts and we are all intrigued. She said that the lavender would help with sleep and boy is she right! JP put a bit on Nan's wrists then Nan promptly left for her room where she napped for two and a half hours. I tried it last night and can report that I enjoyed a peaceful sleep as well. Hope that John also benefited from the gentle aroma. Can't wait to try the other fragrances. What a thoughtful gift from a sweet gal who also reads my blog. Thank you, JP!

Wishing you all lavender dreams, peace and calm, and joy can't hurt either. Now go create a terrific Saturday...

Friday, June 18, 2010


Do you have spiderwort growing in your garden? It's a wonderful little flower tending more toward blue than purple. It's a perennial, which in my book is an added bonus.

The Death Spray that I spoke of earlier found at LL's is not working quite as well as I'd hoped. The rhubarb leaves are still being eaten overnight. Oh, and do be careful when using any such spray. I accidentally inhaled some yesterday and it wasn't pleasant. Yup, those stupid product warnings are made for folks like me. < insert wry, very wry, grin >

The strawberry shortcake was delish. We were able to talk my mother into staying for supper. I thought that since this making a meal of strawberry shortcake is an old family tradition and all... Mother told me that my grandmother came up with it; my grandmother told me that her grandmother came up with it. Well, as stated, it goes away back and I have no idea to whom proper credit goes. I do think everyone should try it!

Edited to Add: *More information* from Leslie on how far back this eating of strawberry shortcake for supper goes. It is not original with my family. John's family didn't do it, though he's not opposed. This leads me to wonder if your family does. Oh, we make meals of corn on the cob as well in late August and early September. And I'd be mighty tempted with fresh tomatoes, too, but never have.

This next bit is only for regular readers and the curious. Nan is now enrolled with the hospice program. It sounds as if it will be just the support that she needs. It has no time limit; it is covered by her insurance; it does provide respite care twice a week for two hours at a time; a doctor is on staff and he can make house calls; there's a nurse on duty 24/7 if a question comes up at any hour. Best of all, if caring for Nan becomes too much for either of us, she can go to the Hospice House, which is a wonderful facility. My sister looked into it last fall when we thought my mother might need it. One of the first things the Hospice nurse said was that a lot of the medications that my grandmother is taking will be removed. They're no longer of any benefit to her. Also, if she doesn't want to eat, she doesn't have to eat. These things will be her choice. This will represent a major shift so it'll be interesting to see how it all goes.

Time for a bit of levity...

I was able to pop in to visit with the grands a few nights ago. Only the youngest and my son were home at first, but the eldest and his mom came in after a while. I asked my returning grand if he'd been visiting.

His response, "No! I just forgot to stay home."

Love kid logic and must remember that line!

Have a wonderful Friday...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Strawberries and a Sweetheart

Sent John off for a few things from the store and he took the scenic route past the farmstand and picked up strawberries. That means just one thing—strawberry shortcake for supper. That's right. Our strawberry season is short and swift so we devote an entire meal to the delicious strawberry. Course John could enjoy strawberry shortcake any day; somehow Nan and I will just have to endure. ;>

In further John news, he continues his work on the trellises.

Does he not look happy?

Don't look now, Hon, but I see more painting in your future.

He thinks that I'm kidding!
And a very happy Thursday to you...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Not All About Alzheimer's Pt.2

Hmmm, not sure about that header. I've been waiting so patiently for the Bolero lilies to bloom, too...

Though I said that my blog wouldn't be all about the trouble of this day, I just wanted to document. The social worker thinks there may be help, but it won't come in the form of daycare as Nan is beyond that at this point. The SW feels that what we have is a "failure to thrive" and that Hospice Care should be called in. Taking a deep breath even as I type this.

It's not that I feel that there is any tragedy in living to be 100. There is not. I guess that the term failure to thrive sounds bad and as if it may be a finger pointing at the quality of the care my grandmother has received while with me. Both my mother and the social worker say that isn't so. It's my insecurity, my problem.

I'm not sure what this will all mean yet. The ball begins to roll tomorrow as the assessment team arrives. Oh boy. As I thought, Nan had a very hard struggle with this discussion. I found her weeping later in the day and through her gasps she told me how afraid she is. I just hugged her and told her that she was safe and secure and that there'd never be a time when she was abandoned. Not ever.

A huge thank you to all who commented on yesterday's post. You gave me such sound suggestions and I pondered all day on what you said. And I've ordered books, too!

Thanks as well for responding to the comments on/comments off question. Today, I'm closing comments as you've invested so much already. Gentle hugs all the way around.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Not All About Alzheimer's—Is that Selfish?

 37-40Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." (Matthew 22:37-39, The Message)

There's a fine line between thinking about challenges in the best possible light and denial. At least, I 've always found that to be true. I've been living in some denial of late and find myself now making difficult decisions. My denial has been that "I can do this." Worse yet it has been "I can do this alone."

In an attempt to get some help with my grandmother, Home Health was called in. It's been a regular nightmare. No offense to home health for when truly needed, it's a blessing. When it's not, it's an interruption and an irritation. Come to find out, what I really needed was respite care. Big difference.

And what Nan really needs is a caregiver who is not strung out by her needs/wants/demands, sleep deprivation, and providing constant 24/7 care.

A social worker has been called in to share the resources available. I've only been able to find one resource, which turns out to be a day care center for elders. Oh, Nan is so not going to like this, but it is going to be necessary for me. That's the rub. This is going to be a selfish move on my part to give me a break. I need a break. I, I, I, need a break.

It's too easy, as a Believer, to feel that one must do and do and do and wear oneself completely out on the altar of give, give, give. Yes, some of you have even warned me. I remember.

That's why when I read this quote by E.B. White, it resonated. I have no idea where Mr. White's faith stood, but I do rather agree, well all except for that first bit there about the "most interesting."

Self is the most interesting thing in the world—if not carried to extremes
—and life would be far less gallant and exciting if men were not
continually absorbed with watching what they're doing with their own
hands and marvelling at the stew which is simmering in their own heads.
I hate people who are not interested in themselves.

At first glance, that sounds mighty selfish, but let's think about it. Do you know anyone who is interesting who is disinterested in him/herself? I don't. I don't think it's healthy. And isn't it fascinating to read from the Word that we can only love others when we love ourselves?

Just want to add here that this is not going to become a blog about Alzheimer's or caregiving just as it wasn't one about cancer or mental illness or the other concerns my family faces. Rather, it remains about my simple journey through this life and what interests me. Thank you for joining me for the first time or the seven hundredth. What a privilege to have you visit.

(I've been exploring some sites that focus on Alzheimer's and wish to provide the links of those that have been especially meaningful to me. It will grow with time, I'm certain.) a wealth of information
Memory Bridge ditto
Memory Bridge Video 9 makes me cry
Moving Forward with Alzheimer's a wonderful blog!

Oh, one last thing that perhaps you can help me with. Does it bug you when a blogger turns off comments? Go ahead, let me know. I can take it. :D

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Around the Sewing Room~Mosaic Monday

Not a lot of sun for taking lovely posy pictures and not a lot of excitement in the house hence these photos taken in my sewing/craft room. Believe me, I could not share what the room looks like in one shot for you'd run screaming from my blog. Little vignettes work best just now, but return later in the week when I hope to show my cleaned and more efficient space. :D Let's see if that motivates me...

Once again, comments are closed so that you may visit all the wonderful mosaics featured at Mary's Little Red House. Have a fun day!

Stained Glass


People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We are like windows
Stained with colors of the rainbow
Set in a darkened room
Till the Bridegroom comes to shine through
Then the colors fall around our feet
Over those we meet
Covering all the gray that we see
Rainbow colors of assorted hues
Come exchange your blues...

My colors grow so dim
When I start to fall away from Him
But up comes the strongest wind
That He sends to blow me
Back into his arms again.

~ Keith Green

Have always enjoyed the syncopation of this song and its joy-filled message. (And, yes, I still miss Keith Green.)

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. ~Proverbs 15:13

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. ~Lady Blessington (love her name!)