Saturday, April 30, 2011

Depression Cooking

While trying to avoid the royal wedding coverage yesterday, I found the most delightful channel on youtube.  There are quite a few video done called "Clara's Kitchen - Depression Cooking." They're done by a grandson wanting to remember how to cook the food his grandmom made for him, so he taped her cooking them. She's between 93-95 years old while he taped them.

There were a few I think I'd like to try. I'd heard of the peas and egg before and always wondered how the eggs were added.  Doh.  They're just cracked and added.  I may try it someday when I'm really craving peas. That will have to be when Max isn't around. At least he doesn't shudder anymore if he actually eats a green pea.

You can see Clara here:

Mowing and Royal Wedding - Argh

Dad slept until 10:30 a.m. He got up and went into the den; he didn't have his teeth in or his hearing aids in, and had one pant leg shoved up to his knee.  He puttered about 10 minutes, came back out and said he thought he'd just go back to bed. Well. I checked on him in his bedroom about 10 minutes after that, and he was sitting on his bad buckling his belt. Nope, didn't go back to bed.

I'm checking into something. On another blog of elderly people, the author said the elderly will choose the last choice you offer them. Since Dad's schedule is fluxing so much, I don't know whether to give him breakfast or lunch. So I offer him a sandwich or bacon and eggs. Out of 2 days, he's chosen the last thing I offer him.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blowing Levees

Damn.  They're talking about blowing the levees above Cairo. This will murder the farmers' ability to make a living this year.  Apparently it didn't help in the "Great Flood of 1937" the last time they did it.  What on earth is different today to make them, the US Army Corp of Engineers, think it will work today??? It's not like the USACE has a great rep. Um, Katrina and levees anyone?

Drugs, Mowing and Rain

Okay, Dad slept until 10:30 a.m. this morning. That's not frequent at all. Since I was up at 8:35 a.m., it was a nice break. He did nap a bit in the afternoon.  Howsoever, we've had two rounds over the mowing today.

I actually got out on the mower this afternoon and was able to get the sides, front, back and part of field mowed. On the first round, Joe actually admitted that I was an "excellent" job. Wow. From Joe? On the other hand, he wanted to get on the mower and do a run of the property. That was round 1 and a definite No.  Didn't go over too well.

Market Bag

Yay! I finally had a chance to try out the market bags I made from the pattern Cherizac sent me.  They work wonderfully despite my bad knitting. I'm not much of a knitter. These are the most open things I've ever knit, and keeping up with the stitches from the K2 tog, YO and vice versa (knit 2 together, yarn over) drove me absolutely nuts. I dropped stitches right and left.

The second was easier to make than the first.  The darned first one ended up with jut one handle the first time around.  I've got a third one on the needles, and I'm still having trouble keeping the right amount of stitches on the needles.  For the life of me, I can't figure out where I keep dropping stitches.

Still and all, like I've said, they're done, they hold stuff, they're holding together, and they don't look too bad. They're washable and very usable. I can pile a bunch of them in one, and they won't fall off the shelf when I open the closet door. So I'm a happy camper.

The one on the left is holding two large bunches of bananas. The one on the right is holding a box of ice cream bars, a huge bag of crisped rice cereal and something I've forgotten what it was.

Making Sense, Being Drugged and Behavior Modification

Joe is getting to a point where you can get the gist of what he's saying, but he's making less and less sense. In the rounds about the lawn mower, he calls it "that thing, " "the car out there," or "that thing I ride." He points and gestures towards it, but cannot come up with lawn mower.

Another example, he came to me this morning with his sleeping sweatshirt in hand.
He asked me, "Do y'all ever wash anything around here?"
I replied, "Yes."
He held the sweatshirt up and said, "Well, here's something that's been this way for, oh, 3-4 years."
I told him, "Put it in the dirty clothes basket."
He replied, "Okay."

I think this is the first time in over a year that he's actually thought to have something washed. I've given up on trying to keep him in clean clothes. If you tell him his clothes are dirty, he's says they're not. You have to sneak into his closet after he's asleep to get them out. Everything he has is stained with food because he drops his food on his lap. A lot. He doesn't use a napkin anymore. He picks his food up with his fingers, and I think he only wipes his fingers on his pants.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Round 1 of today's lawn mower fight at 10:00 a.m. The yard is full of water; the ground is mud, and he's insisting the yard needs mowing.

Went to the grocery store and got groceries. Saw the storm-damaged buildings in Bardwell.  Pity they were so badly damaged they had to be razed. The church across the street fared better with a loss of just the roof, not the whole building.

Round 2 of today's lawn mower fight at 3:00 p.m.

Thunder and grey skies rolling in again.  Round 3 of today's lawn mower fight at 5:00 p.m.

At 10:20 p.m. Joe was up looking for his cat. He went into the den, picked the cat up, took it back to his bedroom.  In a minute, the cat came scooting back through the living room to get to his normal sleeping space in the den.  Dad is so determined that the cat sleep with him, but most of the time, the cat does not want to.

I talked to Mom tonight about putting Dad in a home. He's becoming so belligerent that taking care of him is becoming an issue.  I was surprised that she didn't totally freak out over this.  She just said he's losing his mind.

I can take care of Mom. I can take care of Dad. I'm reaching the point that I think that I can't take of Mom and Dad and 7 acres of land.

I can sell off some of the land. The neighbors definitely want it. Our land L's behind the neighbor's land. I don't blame them for wanting it. If I do, however,  I have to do it on Power of Attorney, and we have to pretend to Dad that nothing has changed. Can they hang with that until Dad's no longer an issue?  Doesn't that sound cold? But it's what it is.

The neighbor has told me that they can bring a tractor in and get the back acreage mowed. That's a heaven send. Frankly, though, I don't see an end to this issue over the mowing. Joe is not of sound enough mind to realize when mowing is impossible. The rain of the last week has turned the land into a freaking bog. He cannot realize nor accept this. He's so aggressive over it. I can deal with this, but I need some breaks in taking care of them. In the 4 days of the sitter taking care of him, is it right or fair to ask the sitter to try to deal with this? Is it even safe?

So it appears that I'm coming to a cross road of decision. We'll probably push it until Joe is totally uncontrollable. I'm going to make an appointment to talk with the local doc about some kind of medication to calm Joe down. It's not an ideal solution on the one hand; on the other it may be totally ideal.

Mowers, Weather and Can't Talk Well Anymore

Not surprisingly, I awoke groggy and with a headache this morning. With Dad so restless last night, it was nearly 3:00 a.m. before I allowed myself to go to sleep. He's up and fine like nothing went on last night. He's sitting out in the den with his coat and hat on watching TV. It's 68° F here today. I love it. He's freezing.

We had another round of lawn mower argument. Of all things, he received a piece of junk mail with a car key in it. It had a black plastic top. Of course, that meant it was a lawn mower key.  Since I'm hiding the mower key from him, this junk car key was manna from heaven. I tried to tell him it was a car key. That got nowhere. I tried to tell him he might break the key place in the mower. That got nowhere. I tried to pick it up and walk out of the room with it. That got a scream of "Don't you dare throw that away!!!!" Ooookay.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mowing, The Never Ending Saga

Tippy toeing around the mowing issue here.  I got on the mower a few days ago to get myself back in the hang of things. Flitter, I haven't ridden a lawn mower in 20 years. Watching me at the beginning would have been a hoot. It took about an hour to get the hang of it back. I got part of the back mowed and the worst of the front.

It's still awfully wet, with more storms predicted, but there were a few areas that really needed taking care of. Glad to have gotten those done. I'll be able to wait out the next few days of wet, hopefully, before becoming desperate to get back to it.  As long as I can put it off, I figure I can distract Joe from it.

As soon as I got off of it this afternoon, he wanted on it.  I said no and ran into house to the bathroom. I delayed and delayed and finally snuck out the front door and sat on the porch for a bit. He finally went back in the house. Whew. I took a bit of time to peel potatoes, etc., for supper, and wanted me to move my car out of the garage and put the mower in there. Sorry. Ain't gonna happen. Didn't say that, just thought it. Later I snuck around the back of the house to the garage and put more gas in it and moved it back to the workshop.

Wednesday Dad tried to talk to me about it. It had to do with the day before when Uncle came over to check it out after the last time Dad ran it into the ground and to coach me on using it. We talked to each other and not to Dad. From Dad's meanderings, I got that that upset him. But what came out of his mouth was that he thought we said his lawn mower wasn't any good.

On Saturday, Dad got on a tear about mowing. We had a round over it in the morning. I told him he's simply too frail to operate it, and we can't afford to keep fixing it. Of course this is pure junk. I didn't let the conversation last long. No use in it. In the afternoon I got outside and got the front mowed.

Out in the yard, he came up to me so I had to stop mowing. He wanted to know where I was keeping the key. I told him how very sorry I was that this was happening, that I knew it was upsetting, that we weren't keeping him from mowing just to be mean but to keep him from getting hurt. That seemed to actually be heard and understood. He just turned around and walked off picking up sticks. So I had to mow another section of the yard to avoid him being in the danger zone of thrown objects.

Then I had to make a beeline to the workshop because it started raining.  By the time I got the mower put up, the workshop closed up and back to the house, it was hailing.  Damn it came on quick. Well, it's a good thing I got the majority of the yard mowed because it's thunderstormed off and on since then with predictions for the same through Thursday.

Bardwell had roofs ripped off buildings, and the front of a building on US 51 came off Saturday. That might have happened when we had the hail in Arlington. There are flood warnings out. The west end of Arlington is on notice to evacuate. Paducah is readying to put the floodgates up. The river is expected to crest at the same levels of the flood of 1937. Cairo is expected to crest at record levels also.

Not surprisingly, the basement is leaking. Sigh.

When Your Dad Tries to Deck You

The stormy weather continuing to move through our area may be affecting my Dad.  He told me six times today about the lightning and thunder at 5:00 a.m. this morning.  It was the worst he'd ever seen in his life. The sky was red, and it lasted forever.

It's stormed off and on all day.  The County Emergency Phone System was activated this afternoon to warn of flooding.  This is the first time in my  50-plus years I've been in a place where there is an activation of a county emergency system by phone. I can't fault it.

After going to bed by 8:00 p.m., at 11:05 p.m. Dad was up wandering wanting something to eat. I offered him a strawberry cake. He told me he'd thrown a million of them away.  He took a chocolate cake and a glass of milk back to his bedroom.  This is a first in the year and a half I've been here.

At 1:15 a.m. I heard Dad up and just sat back to monitor what was going on. At 1:20 a.m. he walked through the living room, where I sleep, and into the den carrying an adult diaper, a "Depends." Originally we forced him into wearing these because he couldn't control his bowel movements.  Lately, in the last few weeks, I've wondered if he's losing control of his urinary function, too.  I waited to see what was happening, and after a few minutes of nothing, went into the den at the same time that a light went on.

I asked Dad what was going on. Of course, he didn't have his hearing aids in, so he couldn't hear me. Like that makes any difference anyway. I realized he was trying to throw the "Depends" away. The problem with that was that 1. he was trying to get to the big trash receptacle in the garage, 2. he couldn't figure out how to open the door to the garage, 3.  it's garbage-pickup day and the trash can was at the end of the driveway, and 4. he can't realize he could have tossed it in the wastebasket in the bathroom.

I said, "No, you can't." That resulted in him raising both arms with fists to hit me telling me I couldn't tell him what he couldn't do. I just looked at him. Then I walked over to the TV tray he'd put the "Depends" on, picked it up, held it up over my head and carried it back into the kitchen to the trash.

I had no clue what he was going to do. I came back into the living room and sat down on the couch. He defused, crossed the living room with me on the couch and went back to his bedroom.

So I managed to get through this episode. It begs the question of how bad will it get, and when do you reach the point you can't handle it?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Meat Industry

Okay, so I'm not to the point of not buying meat in the store - yet. But I'm getting pretty close. I don't buy hamburger from a store that doesn't grind it inhouse anymore.

I'm not at all inclined toward being a vegetarian, I'm an omnivore. But I am inclined to want to get grass-fed local meat. I have a source in Memphis. I've located the addresses of a few places around Paducah but haven't contacted them yet. It's looming large.

These are the reasons...

If I have to eat less meat, so be it. We're already trying to do that. Won't hurt us at all.

Meanderings and Friggin' Flashlights

I'm back at Joe and Lola's after 2 days at home. Heaven.  The sitter remarked that she thinks Joe is getting more forgetful.  She related that one night when he was going to bed, he went into the den and put his coat on. She asked him what he was doing, and he replied he was going to bed. Hello. She tried to tell him he didn't need his coat to go to bed, but nothing got through. He tottered into his bedroom, went back out to the den and took the coat off and finally went to bed.

After that, yes, Joe's meanderings for going to bed are getting worse. At 8:30 the night I got back, he started wandering the house. I went into the kitchen while he was brushing his teeth (amazing), and found the orange juice, the punch, and a grape soda from the refrigerator sitting on the kitchen table.  I put them back in the fridge.

I turned off all the lights in the den. He wandered some more, went back into the den, turned the lights on, did something, left the room leaving the lights on. At 9:15 he was in the kitchen in the fridge getting a soda out. He's always wanted water for bed. Don't know what's up with this. I gave him some punch which he carried back to his room. I went back out to the den. The table light was on along with the garage light and the garage door unlocked. Turned off lights and locked door.

I looked in Dad's bedroom. He's now sleeping with a lamp on. He has 3 styrofoam cups lined up with water in them along with his glass of punch.

Wednesday, the first full day of me being back, Joe spent the whole day messing with the meal schedule. Thursday went no better. Joe slept until 10:00 a.m., which is most unusual for him. All the previous schedules are now out the window. There's no telling when he's up, when he's in the room, when he wants a meal, nothing. Just let the toddler run free, keep it from killing itself, and feed it if it settles down.

Bad storms were in the offing for Tuesday night. I did due diligence and got medicines, purses, phones, etc., down in the basement just in case. Had to gather candles cause flashlights have again gone awol.  There used to be many kerosene lamps here, but they, too, have gone awol.  Fortunately, we didn't have to flee to the basement.

Tonight, Wednesday, at 1:00 a.m. Mom came into the living room to tell me that the bulb had broken off in her flashlight. First, there's no need for her to use a flashlight when there are other lights on in the house.  Second, she's not supposed to walk to the bathroom at night as she has a potty not more than 3 feet from her bed.  Third, no bulb had broken; the batteries were dead.  But can I find an alternative flashlight?  Hell no.

Excuse my French, but what the hell are they doing with the friggin' flashlights? How are they disappearing before my eyes? I've bought, what, five? in the last 3 months? In the vernacular, Mother was like, well, Gayle, there's no need to get upset, and I'm like, No? I've bought five flashlights in 3 months and I can't give you one to replace yours unless I give you my one which I've kept hidden?

There is nothing upbeat or uplifting to write about in caring for elderly parents in the average run of a day. The very few things that may be funny or joyful are so overweighed by the dismal, the irritating, the hopeless, the fatigue, the anxiety, that they simply get left behind and overshadowed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Visits, Context Disability, and Shakes

My Mom's sister Jeanne came to visit Mom Wednesday, along with her daughter, Jill.  That was nice. Mom had a lovely visit. Jill and I went shopping for a couple of hours to get out of the house. Dad played nice.

After they left, Dad said, "Who were those two big girls who were just here?" I told him his sister-in-law and niece. He just stood there. I couldn't tell if it clicked even then. Then he turned around and walked off.

I think maybe I haven't blogged a lot this week because it's been a tough week. Dad has argued about anything and everything. The trying part of that isn't the arguing, it's the inability to communicate. This may be exacerbated by age, but frankly it was there when he first started going deaf.

Thirty years ago he was angry with everyone else because he couldn't hear them. Now he's less frequently angry. From the beginning he has been totally incapable of using context to give him clues about what he's missing. An example - if it's

Shooting the Lawn Mower II

Uncle comes over the next day, puts the battery on a charger and gets everything taken care of. He, darn it, starts the mower and puts Dad on it to mow the front yard. Sigh. Okay. Uncle leaves, and I try to keep an eye on Dad. Take a moment to go to the laundry room. Stop hearing mower.  Damn.

Sure enough, Dad took the blasted thing back down in the field again, and got it stuck in the same exact spot as yesterday. I couldn't get it started again and figured battery was dead again.  On way back to house, I tell Dad he can't mow the back field anymore.  I don't think it sank in a bit.

Dad was so exhausted he took a nap.  I was so irritated I decided to leave the mower where it was until the next day.  Outta sight - outta mind.  Late in the day, though, the neighbor kindly offered to bring it back up because we had rain and storms predicted. He got it into the workshop on the sly.  Thank you, thank you!

I fully expect to have many arguments with Dad over this. So be it. We can't keep on like this.

Shooting the Lawn Mower I

This is a copy of a post I sent to an email list. It's easier to repost this than do a new blog post.

Subject:  I'd Like to Shoot the Lawn Mower

but we really need it.

My Dad has 7 acres that he's kept mowed for nearly 4 decades. He's 90 now. He's determined he can still mow. He's so weak he can't engage the brake enough to start the mower without running the battery down now.

We just got it fixed to the tune of a tune-up, a new wheel because Dad runs over anything and everything, a blade sharpening, and a visit to the doctor’s office for Uncle who was helping sharpen said blade and ripped a 1x2 inch flap of skin off his upper arm when the wrench slipped. Ewww.

I went to the bathroom to get the first aid supplies.  Dad had been in there. Between the odor of  the bathroom and the sight of Uncle's skin, I threw up in the sink. Uncle valiantly said he'd go to the doctor's office and wisely fled.

Uncle mowed the back yard this morning. While my cousin was visiting, Dad snuck out and started mowing the "back 5." No one noticed he wasn't in the den, bad us. Tonight about 7 he comes tottering into the kitchen telling me the mower's broke.

Sigh. I tromp down to the fence line. No key. Tromp back up to house. Argue with Dad over keys on table not being lawn mower key. Convince him to check his pockets. Doh! Mower key in pants pocket. Tromp back to fence line and mower. Dead battery. Now I have to get help to get the mower up to the house to put it on a charger.

Three weeks ago, we repaired his golf cart to the tune of over $300 because he put kerosene in the gas tank. I didn't even think he could lift the full kerosene can, much less realize he didn't know a red gas can from a blue kerosene can anymore.

I've made an executive decision. No more access to mower or cart even on our property. Keys hidden at all times. Realizing that even if old, you can't cut people off from everything important in their lives, I'd tried to let him do what he could. His limited income can't afford it anymore.

Now laying odds on whether:
He shoots me.
I shoot him.


A few nights ago around 8:30 p.m. I saw Dad standing outside on the patio overlooking the basement stairs, even though I already locked up outside. He can't seem to go in a straight line to bed lately. He was on his way; then he got sidetracked to outside. Who knows. He sat down and stayed there a while and came in.

The last two days Dad has gotten up and not known where his hearing aids are. He's seemingly not even thinking of putting them in in the morning. If he is, they are lost to him, and then he forgets about them. Yesterday when he lost them, I found them in his pajama pocket. When I told him "in your pajamas," he asked me again. I said, "In your pajamas." His reply was "And you can just go to hell now that I've you pajamas." Huh?  It dawned on me he didn't know where his pajamas were. I told him his bedroom, but by that time he had turned around and was walking away.

Mom got up by herself today about 12:30 p.m.  That was nice after her wanting to sleep forever the past two days.  It meant getting her first meal ready at the same time as Dad's lunch, which was a bit hectic. She gets cereal the first meal. He demands meat. We got it all settled out smoothly.

This afternoon about 4:00 p.m., Mom was sitting in her chair as usual, and she looked at me and said, "Gayle, where's the bathroom?"  All I have to do is wave in the general direction and say, "over that way," and she's okay.

Dad came and told us a rambling tale about the neighbor next door cleaning up his yard. What he meant was mowing, but he couldn't come up with the word.  He then went outside and sat on the patio for a while. When he came back in, he wanted food. There's never good food in the house.  I had just given both of them a snack.

What he wanted was an ice cream bar, which I got for him. He had already gotten himself a canned coke. In the time it took me to go downstairs to the freezer and get another ice cream bar and get back upstairs and give it to him, he still had not been able to open the soda can.  He asked me to do it for him.

I've been slack about blogging this week. I'll do that in another post.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Issues and After Midnight Hairdos

Thursday was a pretty quiet day. It took Dad until 10:30 p.m. to go to bed tonight. Oh, and he took four glasses to bed with him tonight. At midnight I was in the kitchen finishing washing the dishes and making puddings, when Mom came wandering into the kitchen. She wanted to make sure she wasn't alone in the house.  I got her to bed.

The food issue with my father is coming to a head in my mind. I've been so frustrated I have been nearing the point of meltdown over it. Now I'm reaching the point where I don't care.  He won't eat foods he's eaten all his life. He only eats certain things, yet he's getting tired of them. Tonight he made a comment about there being no good food in the house.

When they throw comments at you like that, you just want to scream. Really sarcastic and/or vulgar things want to fly out of my mouth. I have to step back, breathe deeply and think BRAIN DAMAGE. I'm going to disconnect from this issue and not care.  I will do the best I can, and that's all I can do.

I forgot to mention that last night about 1:00 a.m. I heard Dad get up and go into the big bathroom.  He stayed and stayed so I walked back that way to check. First he was standing over the sink. Okay.  Five minutes later I checked again.  He was sitting on the stool brushing his hair. Okay.  Five minutes later he finally went back to bed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Japanese Earthquake 2

While doing a bit of surfing today, I came across a website with wonderful photographs of Tokyo. It's a blog of a photographer living there, and his photos are stunning.

It was so much fun again seeing the little narrow streets, the restaurant curtains, the vendors, the extremely small places of business. Then there is the color, the cartoon characters, the trains. I so wish America would have trains like these in our cities.

A link on that website went to a site of a stunning map of the earthquakes.

Japanese Earthquake Map

It's a time-lapse map showing each of 922, so far, quakes since March 11, 2011. It pinpoints the site, depth and radius of effect.

Forgetting, Lost Teeth Again and Men Peeing

The sitter had said that Dad sometimes doesn't know who his wife is. I didn't know that. At lunchtime Tuesday he came tottering through the living room taking his plate back to the kitchen. Mom was sitting in her chair eating. Dad said, "That white-haired woman is eating the same thing she ate last year."

As I was cooking breakfast, Dad decided to go out and start the mower. Just before starting the eggs, I heard the beep beep beep of the mower. For a doddering old man, he can be slicker than snot at times. So I stopped breakfast prep and went out back to the workshop. He was determined to not hear me that day, too; I ended up just having to take the key out of the mower. He knows the tire is flat, but he thinks there's nothing wrong with running the mower.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pudding Recipe - Easy

This is my mother's recipe for pudding; it's the one she always used for traditional banana pudding with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas.  It's also the one she used to make my father's favorite chocolate pie topped with meringue. You can add other things to it if you want - say, a mashed banana to make a smooth banana pudding. I've not used other fruits so cannot help with suitable ones nor amounts.

1/2 cup sugar (original calls for 3/4 cup)
3 tblsp flour
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 good pat of butter

For chocolate add 1/4 cup cocoa.

Put the sugar and flour in a medium saucepan (and cocoa if making chocolate), and stir this to blend well. Get all the lumps out.  Add the two cups milk and stir well.  Heat this slowly over medium heat, stirring frequently.  While milk is heating, whisk the three egg yolks until they're creamy.

When the milk is just past warm, temper the eggs with it. Add the tempered eggs back to the pan. To temper the eggs, slowly add hot milk bit by bit stirring to keep from cooking the eggs. Any amount from 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk will do it.

Continue heating and stirring until the mixture thickens. Add butter and stir in. At this time you can put into individual pudding dishes, make traditional banana pudding, put in one container, or pour into a pie shell.

Here is a pic of the mixture coating a spoon at the point where I take it off the heat.

Tires and Avalanches

The morning was pretty slow as it's grey and raining. Uncle Charles came over for a visit. He wanted to check on the tire to the mower and discovered it had four bad leaks in it. Sigh, time for a new wheel. I am so hoping Dad will quit trying to operate the machinery. We can't afford to repair the damage he's doing to everything.

Uncle said last Friday when he was visiting he finally just got up and left because Dad couldn't carry on a conversation with him anymore.  I knew he didn't with me, but thought he could with Uncle. Apparently Dad's passed the point of being able to converse with anyone. I'd noticed that in the car, his comments are fewer and more quiet lately. He's getting to where he's almost mumbling to himself whenever he talks.

Eek - I'm Yellow

We're back to rain and grey again. We had a few lovely days of sun which I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, I enjoyed them so much I just sat enjoying them and didn't do some the things I wanted to while I could. Max bought himself a toy - a new camera.  He learned an important thing on the first pics he took - check the filters and make sure you have the right one. I forget the name, but the first pics he took had a filter that made everything, including me, yellow. At least my shirt, which is yellow, looks okay.

It's time now to plant some basil and lettuce. I've everything I need except the doing. My tomatoes have sprouted and are doing well. This year I finally managed to get some Mortgage Lifter seeds and have 4 little plants busily growing. I've heard such good things about that tomato, but recently I saw a comment that it's mealy. Rats. If it is, that'll knock it right out of my garden. Along with the Mortgage Lifter, I'm trying Italian Heritage, Reisentraub (a commercial plant), Brandywine, and Tommy Toe. I'm looking for a cherry tomato with a thin skin and can't remember what kind the Tommy Toe has. I remember them from my youth but nothing about their skin.

I made some mayonnaise with the range-free eggs. It tastes great. It looks, however, like mustard mayo. I had to laugh. The yolks on those eggs are so thick and dark they don't turn out cream-colored mayo. Heh, at least this pic goes along with the yellow one of me above.  Here's a pic of the eggs and the jar of mayo.

Three Cups, Wasps and That Woman

This morning at 7:45 a.m., I awoke to voices. Mom was sitting in her chair in here in the living room, and she was asking Dad what on earth he was doing up that early. "Huh?" I thought, "What are you doing up this early?" 

Fortunately, Dad wondered the same thing and asked her. Well, seems she couldn't sleep and just got up. She tried to talk him into going back to bed, but he wouldn't. She went on back to hers as an example. That didn't work either. I just moaned and claimed my last hour of sleep.

When I took breakfast in for Dad, he was sitting in his chair without his teeth. He was playing deafer than normal, so I gave up talking to him and figured he'd go get them. Of course those scrambled eggs would be cold as stone by the time he got back, but, hey ho. When I checked back in a couple of minutes, he was still toothless and cutting his toast with his knife (which is a whole 'nother story.) So I went to get his teeth for him.

Just as I finished drying the teeth, Dad came in for them. I handed them to him but he put them back down on the counter and stood there looking around. When Dad is being deafer than normal, you just have to stand there and watch to see what happens. Finally he leaned over the toilet and spat a mouthful of scrambled eggs in it. He can swallow 7 pills at a time but not a bite of scrambled eggs. It left me shaking my head. So I left him to putting his teeth in.

Five minutes later, he'd still not returned, and I found him in the kitchen with 3 styrofoam cups in hand, wavering between going to the fridge or the sink. I told him he needed to go finish his breakfast, muttering in my mind, "Turn the damn hearing aids on." He kept going for the fridge door. So I motioned for him to follow me, led him to the door of the den, and showed him his breakfast with his glass of orange juice. When I took the styrofoam cups, he told me to put them in the kitchen because he needed them during the day for "people and things."

I wonder what on earth is stuck in his head for him to continually need three cups. I wonder if it is some weird thing that just is or if it's, say, what he did for our family of three. Maybe one day he'll be lucid enough to answer me when I ask him why three.

In the afternoon, in the kitchen, a large wasp got into the window.  Note to self, try to figure out where wasps are coming from. I waled away at it with the fly swatter and only kept knocking it into crevices. Dad came in and saw it; he turned to me and said, "We've a paralyzing situation here." All I could do was stand there in wonder at the turn his brain had taken. He knew we needed to stop the wasp. To stop the wasp, we needed to make it immobile. That meant paralyzing it.

Later in the evening we went to the sitter's house to gather eggs. She's on vacation, and we've volunteered to get the eggs. I love birds, so had a great time. Back off bitch your pecking ain't gonna scare me. Ow!!!  Dad seemed to like passing time this way.

A different brain turn was more daunting tonight.  I spent most of the night in the kitchen - why does fruit salad take so dang much time to make! Dad came in to say good night, and went on to Mom to finish up.  I heard him telling Mom about "that woman in the kitchen."

How long will it be before he never knows I'm his daughter?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Things are going smoothly here. I've been back with my parents for a couple of days now. I rushed like a mad woman in Memphis trying to get things done for my own household and self  - that was in between being a zombie trying to recuperate. Mostly I got things done for myself and a few bits for my parents; my own household rather stayed abandoned.

Since I've been back in Kentucky, my tomato plants have sprouted quite nicely. My dad has been rather quiet and my mother as usual. Tonight my dad stayed up until 10:30 p.m. watching the college basketball game. That's a record late night for him. He said Ky. lost by 1 point. I haven't checked, so don't know if that's right or not.

My mom and I have been caught up in watching the Decorah Eagles, This is a web cam on a nest of eagles in Decorah, Idaho.  At present there is one fledgling hatched and two eggs still unhatched.  I've been keeping my laptop on all the time so Mom can watch it when I'm elsewhere.

Live TV : Ustream

I'm stunned because 1. I showed it to Dad, and he shuffed it off, but he's traditionally been the one to be enthralled by this sort of stuff, and 2. because Mom has been totally taken in by it, and it's topped watching The Classic Movie Channel for her.

Today we watched one of the parents feeding the little fledgling.  They've a rabbit on the side of the nest, and the parent ripped into the rabbit and turned around and fed the little baby bits of the rabbit. Yep, it's gory, but that's nature.