Saturday, February 27, 2016

Celebrate Family and Friends

We have had a busy weekend here at Meadow Lane. I am a firm believer in having something to look forward to, then enjoying the memory after. My sweet Sister/Cousin celebrated her birthday Friday, so Mom and I enjoyed her visit that afternoon. We drank iced tea and had some peach berry cobbler and some gifts. Mom had bought her gifts in the Fall before her stroke, so it was fun to wrap those and see Mom sparkle that she had picked those out herself. She is on task for the next holiday as she sometimes listens to QVC through the night.

A gift of buzzing bees and sunshine from my Sister/Cousin on HER birthday!

Friday night I fixed some shrimp for two friends, and we just hung out. One friend's delicious salad she brought was just the perfect accompaniment  to my Hawaiian and popcorn shrimp, baked potato, and broccoli cheese dish. They visited with Mom when she was awake, but she had earlier been through a physical therapy session that made her groggy. We always have so much fun.

I have finished decorating for Easter and Spring all through the house. I thought so, anyway, but I noticed the gingerbread wreath today still hanging around at party number three.  Oops!

Nothing to do but tuck St. Pat in with Easter this year!

Today was a Cousin's Day with the daughters of my Dad's two sisters. One is my Sister/Cousin, and one of the others also had a February birthday. Everyone brought delicious food and sweet, sweet gifts! We enjoy getting together so much. Such shared sweetness of common memory cannot be found in any other relationship. Sharing the same beloved grandparents is magical. We found ourselves recreating the traditional foods always prepared for our childhood Christmas. My Aunt Elizabeth's delicious hot rolls, indescribably buttery and sweet--- My Aunt Opal's Katie Salad, a fluffy concoction of pineapple, pecans, marshmallows maraschino and mystery all tucked in to a shiny green holly pattern ceramic bowl--- And my mother's baked beans, legendary and a meal in themselves. Ma's turkey and noodles and her green beans, cooked low and slow for flavor... After we all chimed in with a dish, there was that tiniest moment of silence, then smiles. I am thinking we were tasting the joy of that Christmas tradition... shared, memorized in the heart, and treasured.

We snacked on my cousin's lovely cucumber sandwiches in pretty circles of marbled whole wheat and soft white bread. And oh, don't forget the beautiful crystal plate she brought to serve them on, her husband's grandmother's! Harry and David cheese ball and yummy chips, crackers and sun chips from another, and my third cousin created fabulous root beer floats with little, royal icing sugar bees...

I gave them each a mud pie silver spoon and mini candle.

Tomorrow I am getting lunch for my son and a friend. Mom is finally getting a little food. Her newest love:

Still doing our best.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

just hanging out... Watching Hallmark movies...

We are into our third week here at home, and things are going well. Mom seems better all the time. Improvements in what she gets to eat have really made her happier. She also daily says she likes to be home.
I love it, too, that she's home and able to see all of us in our own habitat.
I'm probably on-call more than I have been in a while, but something about the alternating hectic-busy, then quiet pace.... and the gifts of the heart we are giving each other make this a truly wonderful experience.
Mama has her days and nights mixed up. And for the first time in decades I have mine totally "normal." This morning at 1:30 a.m. she called for me to come in, only to request something, preferably Diet Coke, to help her wake up. I advised her to not do that and to get back to sleep.
Have a perfectly lovely week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Looking out my window

Whimsy and Hugs!

I love setting the table and waiting for someone to come enjoy it with me. My version of "If you build it, they will come." Yesterday I fluctuated between using these and my blue snowflake dishes...  Spring won out! Scarlet Posie it is... And today a dear friend came with salads and a huge sack of lovely lotions, lip balms, a sweet red fluffy throw, and Kath Kidston things.

Mom used to tell me she would often find me standing at our big window. When she asked what I was looking for, I always said I was waiting for the wind to blow somebody in. Well, the "clever wind" (as Vianne calls it in Chocolat) has been blowing in quite a few! Love that.
Busy days with nurses and therapists. I crashed and burned tonight. ha ha! Enjoy the week!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Thirteen Bites!

Mom had exactly thirteen bites of applesauce and cherry pie filling this morning. And a lovely bath, hair washed, lotion... and she then slept and slept and slept... And then at bedtime, she is not sleepy... I turned on TV for her, but I will have to turn it down... I don't want to keep her awake.

Check out this cool craft cabinet. I was able to stash two packed boxes of goodies...Journaling and planner supplies for my Erin Condren planner.

Somehow I have managed to start a new hobby of art journaling and planner fun. Also I was given a neat gift of a painting margin Bible...

have a good good week!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Home is best

Mom is loving her new location! She is doing just fine. I have lots of help, and I have learned a lot about Home Health care organizations. We have an awesome speech and swallow therapist who makes the whole process worthwhile. But the organization we chose? Oh, honey.

When this kind of new journey the words of Yoda come to mind: "Do or do not. There is no try." Well said, Master Yoda!!!

Yesterday I made a quiche and set the table for Valentine company who did not come... I hadn't invited anyone. Just an experiment. Today I have a couple friends on the way. I think they are bringing a pizza, which is good because I had lunch today and yesterday and supper last night off that quiche!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mom's Story

My mother told me a funny story today. She has turned into quite a comedian since her stroke.
She is wanting to eat and drink, but they won't let her until she passes the swallow test. I'm not supposed to get the thickener until she is approved by the swallow therapist. The struggle is real. We can't let her aspirate. This is what she thinks of all the time. Her throat is so dry. She is on a feeding tube, but she misses regular food.
So today she asked if she could tell me a story she'd heard "Somewhere."
I said yes. So Mom began to talk:
Once upon a time there was a house in Missouri in the country. One day some people knocked on the door and walked in. They were so surprised to find an old, old lady asleep in a hospital bed right in the middle of the front room. "What happened to you?" They asked.
The old, old lady said, "Well, I had a stroke." Then she started to cough. And she coughed and she coughed and she coughed.
Everybody said, "Are you all right?"
"Yes. I just need a drink of water."
Her daughter said, "I'm sorry. You can't have water until we get some thickener."
Then the old lady kept on coughing, and she coughed and coughed.
"Are you all right?" The people asked.
"Yes. I just need a little sip of Diet Coke, and  I'll be fine."
Her daughter said, "I'm sorry. You can't have any Diet Coke until we get some thickener."
Mom looked at me and asked if I wanted to hear the rest, and I did.
She continued:
Well, it has two endings. One is this:
The old old lady kept coughing, and nobody would give her water, and nobody would give her Diet Coke, so her head just flew of her body and hit the wall. The end.
I asked about ending number two.
Mom finished :
One of the women who visited took over. She was so nice. She said, "I don't give a darn what the committee said about the thickener." So she gave the old woman a sip of Diet Coke, and she was fine. The coughing stopped. The end.
I added Mom where she heard that story....
Mama looked at me so funny and said, "Well, Silly, I just made it up." She paused a minute and added.  "You are in that story."


Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Queen is In!!!

When this flag is flying, all of England knows the Queen is home. We are happy to say that our flag is flying today as of 11:30 this morning!

No empty chair

There is a very good chance Mom comes home today. Bed is here. Supplies are here, although they are not unpacked. Last night I crashed and burned. I guess my sleep factor meter was running on empty.

Do you have traditionally assigned seats around your table? We certainly have all my life. I sit on the south, and that has long, actually forever been my spot... 60 years. Growing up I recall a brainy idea I had to switch up seats (mainly so I could sit in my dad's spot I think.) The chair on the east, Daddy's, had a clear vantage of the road, the sidewalk, the sunset... Mom took her month there. But then my dad uncharacteristically balked. He was tired of that game. So I didn't get my month in the catbird seat. While I was pretty disappointed at the time, I hadn't thought of it in years. I love and embrace my "spot" now and really wouldn't want to change.

Recently I invited some of my son's friends to come here after hospital visitation to play cards at our table. I was doing some things in another room and overheard my son talking about the places at the table.

He was over on the east side, not at his usual place, sitting where Mom usually has sat since my dad passed away. The young men listened with a silent, respectful, sober friendship and attention I've come to appreciate in the world of "boys."

My son announced rather officially in a super quiet, yet important tone. "This chair belonged to my grandfather all his life. I remember the next time we sat at this table that my granny moved in here immediately.  And then it was her chair for ten years. And now it's mine." By that time I'd entered the kitchen. "With your permission, Mama," he smiled.

I just then realized that although Mom is coming home, it will be impossible to get her to that spot, no matter what her improvement. Instead of a painful hole at our table, there is simply a change. We all know that nothing stays the same. "The old order changeth, yielding place to new." (Sir Alfred, Lord Tennyson in The Passing of Arthur)  Change is such a part of life. It's so much better to plan and enact these important transitions of our own invention than to lie --- belly up---- waiting for change to "do us in."

Pretty philosophical here before coffee, aren't I? Have a good one. Evidently those boxes did not unpack themselves. Better motivate in to do it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New furniture tomorrow!

Gotcha! It is not a delivery of new furniture, but it will be something very different for the living room. Very special and probably costly--- except I believe Medicare will be getting this for us. Mom's hospital bed and all the supplies come tomorrow.

She is coming home very soon. Tonight I am moving furniture (my son already did the heavy stuff) and steaming the floors. Mom will love it, I am sure! She had good news today from her swallow study. Oh, how I love her speech therapist. Her nurses have been wonderful, and the doctor is a lifelong friend.

I am hoping for the best....

Spring cleaning is happening on Meadow Lane... just a bit early.  But someone very special is coming....

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, February 1, 2016

First of February

It doesn't seem like a month has gone from this unbelievable year. I don't really have an update, and as I have said before, it would be wrong today from yesterday. Friday night Mom was awesome, her old self at times, but Saturday and Sunday were more cautious, more sleepy.

I do not know what to think about anything actually. I feel kind of isolated and cliff dwelling, chilled and not too confident, especially for me. I do rather feel as if I have been walking with the wolves, both in my imaginations and truly. Coyotes and wolves regularly howl all night around my house. It is a lonesome, yet exciting sound, the chills of my childhood rippling down my back. I long ago in another lifetime had a little dog who barked all night... unless he heard the coyotes and wolves. Then... no sir. His little yap was zipped dead silent. Right now I feel just like that little dog.

I have a lot to do today. I have supplies coming from all parts of the internet to help me get ready to bring Mom home. I doubt what I really need is available on Amazon.

This is appropriately Leap Year, The unseasonable springlike weather may screech to a bitterly cold halt this week. Perhaps Mom will be here by the weekend. Have you ever heard of someone coming home by ambulance? Doesn't that seem a bit downside up? Yeah, welcome to my brain, shaken, not stirred. My true nature is to look at everything as a challenge and to jump in and believe we can swim. My true nature IS to call the wolves myself. And I cannot shake the idea that they are on the way . I feel good about this decision. Scared in an excited, positive way. My very wise son sent me a text in the dark hours after Mom's stroke that reminded me that all of life is a test, and if we fail, we learn. And if we fail completely and do not make it through after all our struggling and never giving up, ....... we deserve the rest. Looks like I am not the only one in this family who walks with the wolves.