Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Patti Picture With, Gasp, Max and Me

Patti sent a picture she had her Mom take of all us during her last visit, and it included Max and me. Boy, do I need a haircut.

Upon being Overwhelmed

Sometimes as I sit here and view the house and land I wonder if there will come a time when I do not feel overwhelmed just looking at it. There is so much to be done here that I suffer defeat in spirit that kills my desire to just jump in and start doing it.

Well, with that said, let's do an update on Lola. She's doing the same. It would be fascinating to be able to track the neural pathways that govern actions. Momma is still throwing things, and sometimes as I walk past and pick up the comb, the pudding cup, the stryofoam drinking glass, I ask her if she had fun throwing them. She looks at me like I'm absolutely crazy and adamantly declares that "I didn't do that."

There's another development with the incontinence that I hadn't expected. I know that she has a dropped bladder which I figured had caused the inability to hold her water. As far as pooping in her pants, I thought that must be because she's simply lost the ability to realize she's doing it. Now, however, she's lost the ability to control the sphincter muscle.

Lately every night has become a nasty battle to get her into clean underwear because about the time I get her stood up and start taking the underwear off, she starts pooping. She doesn't even realize she's doing it. After being caught by surprise the first couple of times, I've now assembled a mass of things to have on hand before I start the nightly change - something to catch it, something for her to sit down on in between steps, more stuff to clean with, etc.

She used to go every couple of days, and it was usually in the middle of the day. I used to think that was bad. This is even worse. Keeping her clean is becoming harder, and I'm using Desitin at a frightful rate. I have to say, I could do without this nightly chore. I guess my nose is becoming a bit inured to it, but still in all, trying to keep the room pleasant for sleeping is getting harder.

Sometimes it's the little things that break your heart. Today I brought her a bowl of soup and crackers for a meal. She looked up at me and said, "I don't think I know how to eat this."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lola Update 11-07-12

Lola 11-06-12
Mother is doing the same in her new diminished level. She is still throwing everything on the floor - her teeth, her comb, her pudding cups, the Hershey Kisses' wrappers, her drinking glass (with a screw-on top), etc. At least once a day she can't remember how to put her bottom denture back in after I glue it for a meal. When I come with all the stuff required to clean her up due to the incontinence, she asks me what I'm doing. When I say it's time to change her underwear, she asks what that means.

She can barely get up now. A month ago, I was scared of this, but she got better; at least she got better enough to stand up while I changed and cleaned her. Now she can barely stand up, and once up can barely stay up long enough to get the underwear off.

Sigh.  I'm scared it really is time to get a hospital bed and retire her to it. I've discovered I can't move her enough - roll her, etc., to do what's necessary in the chair. I thought I could, but I can't. Egads, that means finding a place to store her bed while the hospital bed is here. It also means coordinating getting one here and set up.

I think I need someone to come and teach how to do this stuff. Max found the Ky. state website about Ky. Health Care. He said the contact for help in Carlisle County was at the Senior Citizens Center in Bardwell. I plan to go over there and see what help I can get. The Ky. website said respite care for caregivers is available and other help, but not all services are offered in all places. Figures. I sure hope I'm wrong, but I fear all Carlisle County will offer will be meals-on-wheels, in-center med checks, food pick-up, and stuff like that.

She wallows her hair into a bird's nest. When I hand her the comb, she knows to comb. However, she gets the front and that's it. The back of her doesn't exist in her mind anymore.

She will still laugh and grin if I manage to say something that hits her funny bone. When she realizes I'm taking a picture, she always wants to smile for the camera.

That's it for the Lola Update.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Old Military Friends

Patti and Mike
This past Saturday one of my roommates from basic training and tech training in the USAF in 1977 came by for a visit. Patti came to visit! Sadly, the reason for her visit was a funeral she had to attend in Arkansas. Happily for me, it brought her south, and we got to visit. She came down with her husband, Mike, and her parents.

Since my mother's demise and her living in her chair in the living room, there was no place for the visit in the house. So we all met at the local diner for a meal and a few hours worth of visit. It was wonderful to see her and Mike again.

Surprisingly, a few months ago, another old friend from the military got in touch after 30 years of absence. Unfortunately, his email went into my junk folder for some reason, and I didn't see it for a month. I answered it, but he's never replied. Oh, well,  he always did like to play games. Seems nothing much has changed.

Another acquaintance from Japan is a lampworker, and since her retirement from the military has developed a huge following and quite a name for herself. Another old friend from tech school lives in Minnesota, and I hear from him on Facebook.

There are others that I have never heard from since that time. I frequently think of some of them and wish I new where they are and how they're doing - Victor, Dove, Cali, Debby, Beth. It's funny how at the time you think you'll stay in touch, but you never do.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to Cure and Dry Beef - Yankee Prepper

Here is a video on drying and curing beef that I want to save. It's from Yankee Prepper on

The basics are:
Trim as much fat as possible off meat.
Mix 1:1 ratio of baking soda and salt - start with 2 cups each - in a tub big enough to work in.
Rub into meat repeatedly for about 20 minutes.
Let meat sit overnight in tub in refrigerator.
The next day, rub in more mix if needed.
Tie meat up with kitchen string - roll it, shape it, make it tight.
Hang it over a pan indoors in a warm, dry place and leave for a month.
When the meat is very firm - like a pepperoni stick - when you press it, it's done.
Cut the string off.
Scrape and scrub, with a brush, as much mix off as possible.
Slice thinly.
Vacuum seal in bag or jar and store.
Will keep for 2 years.