Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love, Mother

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Love, Mother
Okay, so up until yesterday we were still working on completing Chrissy's gifts to her children and grandchildren. I had addressed the envelopes, written out the checks - her gift of $25.00, and laid out eight Christmas cards. Each family has one check, even the adult grand-kids are included. Chrissy's task was to sign each card. She talked for days about what she should write - most would say "love mother" and a couple would say "love mama". I finally began encouraging her to get started - just write a few out at a time. Yesterday morning, to help her along, I wrote on her notepad "Love mother" as an example and as a reminder, "Chrissy, sign these cards today." Know that she usually doesn't respond well with words that lean toward a suggestion, much less something that sounds like a directive - a clear "no" is almost always her response. I have been working for over a year learning how to communicate with her in this Alzheimer's state - much by using touch, facial expressions, and laughter, but more on that later. Chrissy uses a notepad to write reminders for herself, such as "call Judy at 12" or "I took my pills." I know her writing and know that most generally, it is not legible. And, her writing is kinda all over the place and pressured, not positioned or in a straight line. Signing eight cards is not something I can even imagine her doing in one day. So, I just question who the little bird was that helped her out? Not asking around though, just thankful.So, you might wonder why I even give this thought. More and more in my mind I hear Bob from saying let her do as much as she can for herself because once something is forgotten, it can't be relearned. And I know that writing your name is memory from a different part of the brain. I hear the neurologist's words from her last appointment saying there has been a noticeable decline and that Chrissy had scored in late moderate or early severe stage. And that likely in three years, she will not know her children, this according to the neurologist's experience, research, and all. Alzheimer's is an insidious disease. I really thought for the most part she was doing well.Whatever, today I choose to linger in this complicated mental state of optimisim and denial. I really just don't want to lose anymore of my mother.
Posted by Judy at 9:00 AM


ladyd said...
Understand...some the hardest lessons for me to learn as my mother has progressed through the various stages of dementia, have been to accept the changes that go with. The sooner I accept, the sooner I adapt to each change, the less stressed we will all be, the less grief we will all endure at my denial. The optimisim, is gone, hope for reversal of the stages is gone. Her end is too near, but how near is that, appears to be her decision as she is in the last stages of it all.
December 23, 2009 1:37 PM

Oh Dear said...
You have a precious mother and I know she feels the same about you. Love you.
December 23, 2009 10:44

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We have snow, about 6-8 inches and Chrissy is on the phone letting people know! Thursday, before the snowfall, she was focused on the one present under her tree, from her daughter-in-law. Last year she just had to know what her present was, so the gift was opened and then rewrapped; looks like with the snow she now has a new focus. Most days, Chrissy always looks forward to what the mailman might bring and more so with the season as she loves opening Christmas cards. It’s interesting to me that she remembers friends from thirty years or more. She recalled a time when she and two friends were making cream candy and as it was being pulled outside, the dog snatched it away! Chrissy said she just laughed at her friends because they were so mad! Yesterday she received a card that played music and just laughed as she opened and shut it several times. I love love love hearing her laugh!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Slow Learner

While there are many instances where it’s clear that I am indeed a slow learner, the latest with Chrissy only confirms such. Last week after I had gotten home and settled in Chrissy called, frantically saying her freezer had broken and the ice cream was melting. My sweet man volunteered to go over and check things out. He returned a while later with three cartons of ice cream - of all the food in her freezer, the ice cream was her only concern! Seems that the freezer door had not been fully closed and I then remembered several times lately that I had found the door partly open. Chrissy will open the door and not close it completely, if course thinking she has, much like when speaking, she will not complete sentences or even say the entire word and then insist that it's me who can't hear! The next morning when going there before work, I was greeted with “where’s my ice cream?” I told her I had forgotten to bring it; she seemed okay and continued talking about something else. Early the next morning, before I’m even up moving around, she calls to remind me not to forget her ice cream! So now, before going home, I will definitely check to make sure the freezer door is completely closed.
Such is life with my mother!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Too funny!

Okay, - I just couldn't help but post Ms. Chrissy's latest comment. Seems like I am always mentioning the walker or I am bringing it out from its assigned place in mother's dining room corner. Yesterday after church I stopped to pick her up and take her next door to our house for the afternoon. In driving her back to her home and after finally getting her inside the front door, where she just stops moving, as gently as I can muster, I told her all three of her doctors have explained the importance of and told her to use the walker. Still standing firmly in the doorway and with a most perplexed expression, Chrissy looked at me and said, "why - Judy Denise, I don't have three doctors!" And then, she just stood there and started laughing! Can you guess what she focused on for the remainder of the evening?

So the thought does cross my mind that after six full years with Chrissy's Alzheimer's, having advanced degrees, most weeks researching dementia, numerous interactions with other caregivers, consultations with professionals, and $$ spent on therapy, why would I continue to try and rationalize with my mother??! Who knows why at times I continue to try and make sense of things.

I do know that this intrinsic and powerful relationship with her, such a gentle woman who journeys daily without the love of her life, without cognitive or physical stability, is indeed a priority in my life. And while there are times of aggravation and frustration, there are also days when I am grateful to live next door and honored to be her daughter and caregiver.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birthday Card

A couple weeks ago Chrissy wanted a funny birthday card to send my sister in KY. I brought in four cards and she chose the one she liked best. I agreed to address the envelope and mail it once she had written a note or signed the card. Chrissy most always includes a check for birthdays and visits. Long story short, the card ended up missing and for days, off and on, we looked everywhere we could think off. Finally we pulled out the other cards and she decided on the next best card but was "too tired" to sign her name or write anything down. The following day my sister called to thank mother for her birthday money! Chrissy had forgotten that she had given the card to her youngest daughter to mail!

Looking for things in and around that house occurs so frequently that it is unbelievably comfortable. Either Chrissy has misplaced the item, someone while cleaning has put it up somewhere, company is in and rearranges to help out, and of course there is always my contribution to this dance. We know to start opening drawers, cabinets, and closets and we just find all kinds of new things!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Neurologist apt.

Chrissy's annual neurologist appointment is Wednesday. Friday evening she was going on and on about why it is she has to go. After a while of being quite my little mother ask me if I would help her study for those questions the doctor always asks! I told her absolutely.
Today while we were eating lunch Chrissy said the tree in her yard was much prettier than any of ours. She wanted her picture taken with the beautiful tree. She's holding a little pumpkin that sits on her front porch.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where is the trash can??

A few days ago Chrissy told me that my sweet man took her bathroom trash can, seriously! Now, he does get her trash from the garage and takes it to the dump whenever he takes ours. I can't even imagine him going through the hallway into her bedroom to get to the bathroom trash - not happening, besides that's my job! Anyway I really thought we would find her container but after a few days of it missing I ventured to Wal-Mart and picked her up a new one, same color and almost the same size. Later the trash can was found outside on the deck by her flowers. As I was thinking about that I remembered one morning when I found the bird-feeder in the back bathroom. Chrissy most likely just got them mixed up - she loves to be busy and I can just see her moving along as she thinks she's helping out!

I'll provide a little more information on the bird-feeder task. Each evening Chrissy says "take in the bird-feeder" or will ask if I remembered to take it in. Then each morning it is put the bird-feeder back out as it hangs on a post off the deck. This daily ritual began last summer when one evening we saw a large raccoon sitting on the deck rail as he feasted on the bird food. I tried to run it off with a broom but that critter just looked at me and kept eating! I soon heeded Chrissy's advice that we should leave it alone and go back inside. Of all things for her to remember and fixate on. She knows that I don't particularly care for the bird-feeder task so in an effort to help me she frequently sets it outside the back door before I get there in the mornings. Just for clarification, that does not help.

I told her I was going to write about the missing trash can and wanted to take her picture holding it to post on the blog. Her reply, "no, let's leave it where it's at - it might get lost again!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cooking Together

Chrissy has spent most of her life preparing food and while her desire to cook is still with her, she is unable to remember ingredients or follow the process on her own. We seem to have settled into a rhythm of cooking together, something we really never have been able to manage. So, much of this past weekend Chrissy spent at my house and we baked and cooked!

I had recently stumbled on a new website,, and found a microwave apple crisp recipe that I thought might be good to create with my mom. Sure enough, Chrissy sat at the table,peeled and cut up all the apples and stirred the mixture as I measured and poured. After baking, we added French Vanilla ice cream and at 11:00 AM we decided that recipe was a keeper. Next we began working on a crock pot chicken and vegetable soup I had printed out earlier from Rachel Olsen with Proverbs 31 Ministries, With this recipe I just opened ingredients and sat them out for Chrissy to dump in the crock pot. I even was comfortable letting her add seasonings as I knew much of their flavor would be lost by adding them so early. The soup turned out well and is also a keeper! The following day while looking at the October issue of Southern Living we found a recipe for caramelized apples. So, I brought up more apples from downstairs and again, Chrissy peeled and stirred. With this dish, everyone agreed our own recipe was better; we use butter, much more brown sugar, and cinnamon. That afternoon we made a chicken and rice casserole, a recipe I have used for years and know by memory. While Ms. Chrissy poured and stirred, she asked several times if I was sure about the recipe, the ingredient or the amount, as I didn't have anything to follow. That evening when I prepared Chrissy's plate of casserole, she grinned and said she had already tasted it and it was no good! She continued laughing and said I had done something wrong and there was no use of trying to fix it! She then requested vienna sausages, seriously!
Chrissy is such a hoot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time Away

Oh my, it has been over a month since my last post! We have been on vacation with friends and returned fully rested. While away, Chrissy took a fall one morning as she was coming in the back door from the deck, ending up with soreness and a bruised and scraped elbow. When the lady who stays with her arrived, Chrissy told her that she was dizzy but didn't say a word about falling. That afternoon I received a call from the lady that mother was missing me and wanted to know when I was coming back. While I am so thankful nothing was broke as it could have been so much worse, I just hate it that she was alone when hurt.

Moving along, while my sister from KY was in visiting mother, her precious daughter came over and the three of them played rummy! Of course Chrissy loves all her grandchildren but this granddaughter brings out the laughter whenever she and Chrissy are together. I hear that Chrissy plays really well and that she won more times than not! While allowances were made whenever a card was laid down and Chrissy would change her mind, both my sister and niece agree that she plays rummy really well and it's just amazing!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chrissy's Company

Chrissy loves having company drop by, which is good because these past few weeks she's had four or so visits. A dear lady from her Sunday School class stopped in one morning with two peaches and the current issue of Journey magazine. This woman is so faithful to visit my mother. Another day, while at the office I called home and asked her what she was doing; to which she replied, "I'm talking with this man and his wife." While she couldn't get their names out, eventually she was able to say "Ed's friends."

Over the weekend I was at the grocery and thought I'd call her. This time I was told that she couldn't talk with me as she was talking with this man who does the same kind of work as her grandson - in law enforcement - and then she hung up the phone! That made me stop the cart in mid isle and I immediately called back - she said "he has his kids with him" and then hung up again - I kid you not, no hello or goodbye - only a few words, then click. I headed out the door wondering who I might call to check on her as my sweet man was golfing in S.C. I was almost to my car when Chrissy called and started chattering that the man had left and that his children were selling something for school; she had contributed $2.00 to each child, - way out of character as Ms. Chrissy is usually as tight as the bark on a tree. We continued to talk with me stating very clearly that she not hang up until I said goodbye (doesn't always work as we've stated such before!). Back inside, I returned to the cart - still in mid isle where I had left it and continued with the list though much less focused. Once home, we were able to place the mystery man's idenity as mother remembered his parents lived in our neighborhood. She seemed a bit flustered, probably because of my anxiety and all the questions! She repeated several times that I should know she wouldn't just let anyone inside! As I was unpacking her groceries my sweet Chrissy commented that I sure didn't get her very much!

Last year, she would go out and about with me and would be fine. She even looked forward to weekend trips to Tuesday Morning. This year it is so different in that she wants to stay home, most all of the time, so I keep tabs on her with the phone and that usually works okay. I know the day is coming when there will be a new plan.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on Blood Tests

I heard from her doctor this morning and learned that Ms. Chrissy's blood work is almost better than mine! Her B12 level is three times higher than mine - go figure! You all know that her main food group is sugar. Seriously there is something sweet with every meal and often dessert is her meal. I had the doctor's office fax the results - I am just floored!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Health Concerns

My little mother's health has declined these past few weeks. She seems to have no energy at all; she seems exhausted with even the slightest task. Friday we went to her family doctor to have blood work, including a B12 level. I really must get her established with a geriatric physician. I guess it's also time for the annual neurologist appointment.

The other day Chrissy was talking about my sister who mother believes to be very forgetful - and then she made reference to something I had forgotten. She paused and said, "and I'm the one taking medicine!"

Today she spent a few hours with me at my house. I lured her over with green beans to string! Once inside, she wandered over to the kitchen table and found a plastic bag with seven tomatoes. She counted out three, laid them aside and said "that leaves you four and me three - okay?" I just love it!

Evenings continue to be most difficult for her. The past few weeks while watching TV, she will lay her head over on her chair while rocking and just stare off. This is unusual for her as she always watches her favorite shows at night. Her convesation is even more repetitive.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pizza and Ice Cream

Some days Chrissy will keep our dog, Sam, for company. One recent rainy day I had a phone message from Chrissy that Sam didn't like the rain storm - that was it, just one sentence, no hello or goodbye. Within an hour another one sentence message - Sam was shaking. A little later there was another message that said, "Judy I'm spending the night with you." I called my sweet man and he went to stay with Chrissy until I arrived home from work. The above photo was taken that evening. We ordered pizza and had ice cream and strawberries for dessert. I am so blessed that Chrissy most often is easy, flexible and precious - and to have a sweet man who loves my mother. I hear struggles from other caregivers that their loved one requires constant care and that the disease is more progressed, making care so difficult. My heart aches for those who have little support and greater family stress.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Recipe

A few weeks ago I found a new adult version recipe for macaroni and cheese that I wanted to try. I knew I would have extended time with Chrissie over the Memorial Day holiday and thought she and I might cook together. I looked forward to the complicated recipe knowing that mother usually enjoys “helping out.” Chrissie had the task of stirring the roux – around 15 minutes. When I added dry mustard, cayenne, and garlic to the roux mixture she calmly asked that I reread the recipe. While stirring she stated several times “everyone likes the macaroni and cheese you always fix.” Later when blending three cheeses with the roux mixture she commented “I don’t know why you want to make it different.” When mixing the topping she continued with “you don’t change something that’s already good.” During dinner she kept looking at my husband and when he commented that the macaroni sure was different, Chrissie immediately and boldly said “I told her but she didn’t listen to me…she never listened when she was growing up either!”

Another note:

While reading on The New Old Age site I came across a blog written by Paula Span that included comments from Dr. Ronald C. Petersen, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic who chairs the medical and scientific advisory board of the Alzheimer’s Association. He stated, “As their families know, Alzheimer’s sufferers may experience days of comparative lucidity alternating with days of bewilderment. Cognitive ability may even vary throughout the day; a person might be relatively sharp in the morning and by evening be quite confused.” I have never read or heard this stated so clearly before and am trying to research Dr. Petersen’s entire article. I know Chrissie has good and bad days and she does have the uncanny ability to “pull it together” whenever company comes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Favorite Things

I thought this might be fun for Ms. Chrissy; the questions are from a favorite site, . Interestingly, she answered most immediately and more that a few really surprised me!

20 Of My Favorite Things

1. Color- light blue
2. Dessert- cheesecake
3. Smell- lilac
4. Flower- red geraniums
5. Animal- Sam and Sasha (miniature schnauzers - mine and Wilma's)
6. Month- I like all of them
7. Beverage- Ale-8's (soft drink produced in Winchester, KY.)
8. Pair of shoes- tennis shoes
9. Snack- cheetos
10. Song- many pretty songs
11. Book- my Bible
12. Fruit- peaches
13. Hairstyle- the same one
14. Piece of clothing- jeans and pink blouse
15. Store to clothes shop- Belks
16. Season- spring
17. Hobby- use to be working in flowers
18. Thing to collect- never collected anything
19. Movie- Driving Miss Daisy
20. Restaurant- Kelsey’s

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Alzheimer's series - HBO - May10

The Alzheimer's Project begins Sunday, May 10th on HBO.

Sunday 5/10 9 p.m. The Memory Loss Tapes
Monday 5/11 7:30.Grandpa do you know who I am?
Monday 5/11 8:00 & Tuesday 5/12 8:00 (2 parts) Momentum in Science
Tuesday 5/12 7:00 Caregivers

This series is also produced on DVD so if you don't subscribe to HBO you can contact your local library and request they order the DVD series.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Absent Look

The "absent" look now seems to be with Ms. Chrissy more frequent and for longer periods. A couple weekends ago it lasted from Friday evening through Sunday, the longest ever. During the episode she is very quiet and slow to respond. This latest spell left her struggling for words more so than usual.

On a different note, my little mother loves to help out. I hosted bookclub the other evening and Chrissy rinsed and sliced strawberries, which was most helpful. Spring has also ushered in her desire to redecorate. Chrissy has changed living room rugs and had furniture moved from downstairs to upstairs. This evening she's talking about freezing strawberries! Another day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Plans

Previous post, From Parent to Friend - hhmm, maybe in my dreams; just to let you know that hasn't happened so far.

My latest venture was asking Chrissy who she would like to visit with or do some act of kindness for. Almost immediately she named a person. requesting her friend come visit and they have cheesecake and coffee. That day was a bit stressful though Ms. Chrissy really did manage the conversation and visit well. Of all things, she pulled out a white linen table cloth to use on the kitchen table! Several times I went out of the room and she called me back in. I'm sticking with that idea and do plan to arrange such again, maybe monthly.

Chrissy has a red patent leather bag she uses to pack overnight items in when she spends the night with me. Thursday evening when I returned from work I noticed the red bag packed sitting by the door! Yes, she was spending the night, nothing wrong she says, just spending the night with us. My sweet husband is so kind to watch Driving Miss Daisy, one of her favorite movies. Plans were Friday morning a trip to Target, lunch at IHOP, a couple hours for her to rest, and that afternoon - a visit with her friend.

Lesson learned: too much activity in one day for Chrissy and for me, way too many consecutive hours.

On Saturday I was out of town for five hours or so (husband nearby and sister-in-law stopped in) - when I returned Ms. Chrissy had a list of "things" she needed done! One of which was filling up the bird feeder. Even though I repeatedly said filling the bird feeder is a task for someone else, she continued to focus on me doing so. Now, that metal contraption, designed to keep out squirrels is heavy, rough on my hands, must line up perfectly - essentially, I just don't like fooling with it. Note my frustration with "repeatedly and continued to" - that's right Judy, behavior consistent with Alzheimer's! Why I didn't just fill the #%$@ bird feeder the first time - I'll never know.

Lesson learned: composed a weekly to-do list for Chrissy's companion that includes filling up the bird feeder! I later spoke with Home Helpers to make sure there was not an added charge for light housekeeping tasks - there's not! Then I called our sweet lady to get her input and she was most receptive to helping out.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


My mother's friendship is one of the relationships I have missed most since Alzheimer's intrusion. So many "bridges" have blown up in her little brain so I never know when or if she will make sense. Actually, much of the time she does well following short conversations; other times, I get a "who - what- when - I don't know what you're talking about?" That loss, our friendship as it once was continues to sadden me. For me, an overwhelming sense of responsibility in being a caregiver left little emotional space for our friendship; there's always something to do or something needed to make sure things are right and safe. Right or wrong, that's just the way it's mostly been. It has taken a couple years for me to truly internalized the fact that caring for my mother is not my total responsibility. She has other children and we have found someone who works as a companion three hours three to four days a week.

Well, I'm ready to rethink this "caregiver and parental" mode! Personally, those words alone have negative connotations - demanding, rushed, sacrifice, limited free time, and such. I do realize this is a bit negative and selfish, so those of you who email please be kind or just skip the comment on this one!

Yes, I'm thinking a different mindset - one of honor and support, one who is at her side as she ages and assisting her as she journeys this last stage of life, one who is calm. And, one that okay with donuts for breakfast, cake for lunch, and ice cream for dinner. I kid you not, Chrissy loves loves loves sweets. She is eight-three with moderate cognitive impairment, why not have chocolate three meals a day? Okay maybe the chocolate is an exaggeration, often it is lemon or cream cheese filling. And baths wear her out, so it's not going to be that important she have one so frequently. Yes, I'm already thinking of B12 deficiency, UTI's and increased cognitive impairment. So we will see how it goes.

A recent post by Dale Russakoff,, talks about receiving the advice of "just don't hurry" and how those words helped him identify with his mother's pace and view of life. I would really like to get there. So, in one effort to pursue a new frame of thought I began researching and found The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care Interestingly, I already possessed some of their perspectives and exercise many listed suggestions. Who knew!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Circle of Life

Photo by

This morning I walked into the living room and Chrissy was on the sofa reading her Bible. Growing up, more times than not, I recall her sitting on the end of the sofa with the end table lamp on, holding her Bible up close and reading. What a beautiful memory! I have been thinking lately about end of life struggles and the stage of life she is in due to this insidious disease, Alzheimers. It seems I often find myself parenting her, things like remembering to be nurturing with touch and voice tone, wondering if something is safe or not, making sure there is daily food prepared, and taking her out weekly for a ride and such. Now, let me be clear, there are times I drop the ball or fail miserably; however, it's my heart's desire to help care for her lovingly and without resentment.

I listen to my mother's childhood stories and she talks about her mother being too sick to care for the younger children. Responsibility landed on my mother at around eight or nine years old. Her education ended with the third grade in order to help take care of the family. My Aunt Maxine remembers mother cooking for the family when she was nine years old. She thinks of my mother as her mother. My aunt recalls a barn on the property with a tire swing; at nap time my mother would take her sister out to the barn and swing her to sleep and then carry her inside to bed. At eight or nine they recall mother washing the family laundry in a tub using a washboard. I never hear Chrissy complain about her childhood - and she tells some of the funniest stories. As I think of my mother's difficult childhood, I wonder who nurtured and encouraged her? At times she is much like a child these days. As exhausting and frustrating as caregiving can be, it truly is an honor to now parent my mother.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sense of Humor

A few weeks back Becky came in for the weekend and brought Chrissy a chocolate apple wrapped in red foil. One evening while watching Andy she decided she would eat her apple. About halfway through it (truly) she stated, " I think I will tell Becky there was a worm in this apple!" She just laughed at the thought of pulling that joke on Becky! Last night, of all things for her to remember, she decided to call Becky and tell her about the worm being in her apple. I love hearing Chrissy laugh and so thankful that she continues to have her sense of humor.

Yesterday we ventured to the Kitchen Store in Asheville only to learn it had relocated. I got turned around several times before heading in the right direction. Chrissy kept telling me to find a phone booth and call someone! I really don't understand how I can navigate Greenville fine but get so turned around in Asheville. We decided to shop at Marshalls in Arden and then eat at Cracker Barrel. When her beef stew arrived it was served in a bread bowl which she found so interesting - the inside bread was scooped out and came with a bread lid! After she ate it all she promptly put the bread lid on top of her bowl and smiled. I love, love, love these moments.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stressful Week

Chrissy has seemed more hyperfocused in the last week or so; meaning, the conversation goes on and on and over and over. I think it began with the snow. Last Tuesday evening I opened her front door to show her the covered yard – with child-like excitement she made two or three calls talking about the snow. While most of the snow had melted the following day; it was still frigid out.
She couldn’t understand that I would be going in to work – with the snow and all, surely no one would come to the office. I probably had five phone calls from her that day.

Next came John’s boat leaving the garage – her continued thoughts and speech focused on those insurance people, what business it was of theirs and how they knew the boat was in her garage.

One morning she had on a dirty blouse and had not brushed her hair, for her this is a bit unusual. I brushed her hair and got her to change blouses. She informed me this was her house! She wasn’t mad, she often has difficulty finding words consistent with the situation.

The week before she received a check for $82.00 and wanted it “out of the house” meaning in the bank. The following day I was unable to stop at the bank and nothing would suit her until I brought her check back inside (it was in the car). She knew that Amy would deposit it when she came over on Wednesday. Amy was unable to come on Wednesday so mother gave me another chance to put it in her account. I’m most usually really busy at work so I didn’t get to the bank that day either. In the evening she needed it out of the car and brought it inside. This weird dance went on for about four days, each morning she would give me her check and then insist she keep it at night. I finally made it to her bank, phoned to let her know and she replied “praise the Lord!”

Yesterday morning as I was about to unlock the storm door Chrissy opened it and immediately began with “see that crack” – the bottom of the door allows for a very small strip of light to come through. That conversation continued until I left for work. I thought it would end however I talked with Ed thirty minutes or so later and he was over there - Chrissy had called him to come look at her door. That evening coming home I called Ed and learned he was at mothers’; again she had called him to come over to check out the door!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturdays' Venture

Get out of my way!

Straight to the cookware -

Maybe something for Brie...

How much is this?

Last Saturday we ventured to the new super Wal-Mart in Arden and then to lunch at Carrabbas. It was a good day being out an about.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Internal Architecture

Frustrated with my efforts in trying to get Chrissy to stay with one of you while we are away, an interesting article by David Solie came across my way that seemed to make sense. It talked about our reasons in moving a parent from their home - such as being helpful, safety reasons, convenience and such. Solie refers to “internal architecture” and that emotionally, our parent has “secret scaffolding” that supports her and it’s all tied to being home. Our mother’s house is her world – exactly how she wants it, familiar and a strong element of safety and control; to be in a new space creates psychological discomfort. Yes, even for only a few days. Solie believes that when we ask an older person to leave their home it’s like asking them to give up the equivalent of water or oxygen. Staying in her home is the last area of control – important, as she seems to be in a place where her ability to control is limited and precarious. Her health is fragile, her husband is gone, most of her brothers and sisters have passed, friends and neighbors that she was once close with are gone – her home is an anchor of sorts.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Chicken Recipe

A couple of days ago I had thawed out a package of organic chicken breasts and had not gotten around to preparing them so I took them to mother's asking her to cook them as Barbara would be there in the afternoon. That evening when I came home Ed was there with her and mother wanted to send him a chicken breast home. Well, those chicken breasts were flat as a flitter and hard as a brick! She had pounded the chicken breasts flat, not thin, and fried to a crisp! Ed's expression was priceless.

Christmas Presents

According to mother, John talked with her about not spending a lot of money this Christmas; specifically, about buying a lot of presents. So, she decided she would just give out a few (7) checks - that's what she would do and kept repeating her plan the rest of the evening. The following day Sheila brought her a Christmas present and mother was going on and on that she had not planned to give Sheila a gift - just money, and now didn't know what to do. She then decided she'd open the present and see if she liked it - if she liked it she would then give a gift in return. Watching her try to gently open that present was a hoot - holding it way up close and carefully trying to slide her finger under the tape! While, she managed two sides, the paper was beginning to tear so I opened the back and showed her the present. She stated, "oh that's so pretty - now I'll get her something." The package was rewrapped though not as neatly as before.

Morning News

The other morning I walked inside to find mother sitting on the sofa watching the news rather than the Waltons, so I then realized I'd forgotten to change TV stations to the morning channel when I'd left the night before. I asked her what was going on and she replied, "all they talk about is Barak O'bummer!"