Tag Archives: Family

Dementia: I Hate You Part 4

IMG_0877Mom and I this Christmas!

In my last Dementia post I looked at some of the medical info on the disease(Picks Disease) my mother has so now I will go back to our personal journey.

The other day I received the publishers clearing house (You Could Be A Winner) envelope in the mail and this annoying piece of mail got me thinking about a “Mom event” that had everything to do with her dementia.

My mom called me one evening all excited about something. She would not tell me what it was other than she was about to make me very happy. I was to meet her for breakfast the next day to go with her to a meeting so when I get to the breakfast place and proceed to get some information from her. She is grinning from ear to ear as she tells me she “WON” publishers clearing house. I of corse am very excited for her and for my little family because she now wants to give us lots of money too. After some more talking I find out she found out she had won from a phone call in which she was instructed to send money for the “taxes” on the winnings, oh and that she had already met one of these gentlemen who had called her at a ATM to give them some money. She was just unbelievably excited to have me with her when she gave them the rest of the money! I was floored! Scared! and incredibly angry. I just knew that this was not true!

While she was telling more and more of this scary tale I looked into how the publishers clearing house presented winnings and if they ever charged anyone money for the taxes. I even called and talked to them while we were having breakfast. My mom was so mad at me for not believing her and for thinking she was being taken advantage of but, By now I knew she was being lied to and that she had no idea what was happening to her, I asked her if I could call these people for myself and ask them a few questions. She did not want me making the call so she dialed their number while we sat in her car in the restaurants parking lot. They started telling her to not listen to me and that she needed to leave me behind when she came to meet them. I took the phone from her and they actually argued with me and told me some complete lies about how this was a legitimate prize that my mother had won and that I was so awful for messing this up for my mother. I tried to get them to meet us at the police station or the lawyers office to show me that it is a real prize. It was almost comical how it played out. They of course refused to meet us anywhere but at their (hotel office). I left them thinking that we would be there within the hour after we picked up the money. I NEVER intended to go anywhere near these people. I called my husband for the 10th time during this whole mess and he suggested playing along and getting my mother to the bank to ask them some questions and hopefully get a police officer to join us at the bank if necessary.

We went to the bank because mom intended to get more money to give them and I intended to have someone talk some sense into her. The bank manager came out and talked to us and finally got through to my mother by explaining how this con works and that these people pray on older people who have just lost a loved one. I got her into her car and pointed to home saying that we would do more research and then make a decision. She is one stubborn woman! She was so mad at me because I had somehow ruined everything for her, like because I got involved it became a crime and not because she was gullible and an easy mark for these men.

Once we got home I called the police in my moms town and one of the state troopers came to the house to take our report. It was not until then that my mom started to understand that she had been conned and that she had put herself into a very dangerous situation. What is really funny is that the guy called my mom again while the trooper was with us and proceeded to argue with the trooper for some time even threatening the trooper saying that he was going to lodge a complaint against him. The trooper and I were taking turns on the phone basically telling these guys off and laughing at their stupidity!

I ended up having to block their number on all of my mom’s phones so they could not call her again and then proceeded to spend the night with her to make sure no one showed up at her door. Thank goodness I carry a gun at all times. I was scared that night and don’t think I slept at all. To think that my mom drove into town the night before and met one of these criminals and gave them about 600.00 dollars and would have given them much much more.

Early stages of dementia does more than steal a persons memory, it steals their commonsense. They no longer have the ability to see the dark scary dangerous forrest for the pretty trees. I had never been so scared and concerned for her safety before in my life. My mother who would never go anywhere strange or different without a friend or family had now started to make risky decisions. I now know poor reasoning skills are just one of the many early symptoms of dementia….

 

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Our Yearly Christmas Ornament Tradition!

Traditions are what keep families together, grounded, and in the end create the warm fuzzy memories that we carry into our adult lives. I will be writing a more elaborate post on family traditions for Christmas eve but I thought I would share this one family tradition that we have created together. Every year we get an ornament that has our names and the year written on it. Many of these ornaments have come from our yearly trip to the Yankee Candle store in MA. Its not an elaborate tradition but its fun to see them on the tree every year and Hannah holds them up as she is putting them on the tree especially mentioning the one that we got in NY city that both her name and mine are a little smudge but of course daddy’s is perfect! Its not the expense or fan fare that makes something important or memorable, its the heart of it, the family building part of it that will make its meaning last longer than Joel and I will be around to continue it!

Wedding present from my Grandmother Claire Lavallee

2008 – Wedding present from my Grandmother Claire Lavallee

 

2009 We didn't even get this one written on.... Novices

2009 – We didn’t even get this one written on…. Novices

2010 - Our tradition not set yet.... Just our last name.

2010 – Our tradition not set yet…. Just our last name.

2011 - Here we go.... first of many with our names.

2011 – Here we go…. first of many with our names.

2012 - Three frogs.

2012 – Three frogs.

2013 - I love this one!

2013 – I love this one!

2014 - Our trip to NY was in Dec. of 2014 so we bought this one to remember the trip... This is the one with smudged names.

2014 – Our trip to NY was in Dec. of 2014 so we bought this one to remember the trip… This is the one with smudged names.

2015 - We got this one because we can't wait to have our own beehives! lol

2015 – We got this one because we can’t wait to have our own beehives! lol

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What is God teaching me this week? – Marriage….

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I am starting this series as way for me to talk about how God is impacting my life at this moment. It might be through Bible Study, a christian magazine article, Facebook post, a Christian meme, or a book I’m reading. Or it may be a conversation I’ve had with someone, whatever that something is it has mad me think about life and God. It will be something I need to share because I think others can benefit from it and maybe grow in their own walk.

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I’m currently reading a book called Whats it like to be married to me? by Linda Dillow. The title sounded kind of scary to me because I know me and it can’t be easy putting up with me in general. I think we humans are a pretty selfish group of people. We tend to look at how hard it is to be married to our husbands or wives without really thinking about it as this author proposes. What about us? How are we to be married to? Does my husband think YAY I’m going home to the perfect woman who I want to spend all my time with? I doubt it! I bet a lot of time he is just as happy to go to work as they/he are/is to come home to us/me.

In the third chapter she talks about a question that was posed to many men… She asks what is the one thing you would like to have in a wife? OK this does not seem so bad… what are they going to say “a good cook” “sex” hmmmm, a majority of the men said they want a wife who have a positive attitude toward life. They want to be married to someone who does not complain a great deal, someone who encourages them in life and is just plain pleasant to be around. I don’t think that is me! I know I can be a negative person about the everyday stuff at times. Not all the time but I know I was pretty convicted by the answer those men gave.

I know that when I am in a positive frame of mind my husband is also. If Im in a good mood my family has a much better chance of having a good day. I know this is very true on Sundays when we are always together from 8ish till about 3ish. If I’m complaining about everything from Hannah wearing the wrong clothing to how much I wish I could have slept in on this one Sunday, we are set to have a negative feeling day. If however I get up and complement what Hannah’s wearing and let the noisy goofing around happen without comment the day is much more positive. The old adage is unfortunately true; “If momma ain’t happy then ain’t nobody happy”. My husband hates that saying but we both know its true. Joel is very low key most of the time so even if he is in a bad mood everything goes smooth for the most part.

So whats a girl to do? This girl is going to make an effort to change her attitude. I have started praying about my complaint spirit and how I need his help to become the wife that Joel needs me to be.

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Photo Dump – Dec. 17th 2015 Edition

So I want to start doing a monthly phone photo dump to show what really goes on in my life… lol Not much this past month, other than some birthdays and some Jamicures going on around here. I do see I need to include people in my pictures and not just the dogs! They are the only ones who don’t complain when I take pictures!

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Gizmo Waiting for me to go to bed!

Molly asking if it time for bed.

Molly asking if it time for bed.

Mom's 66th Birthday

Mom’s 66th Birthday

Mom's Birthday Dinner... A little KFC makes her happy!

Mom’s Birthday Dinner… A little KFC makes her happy!

Lets have turkey for dinner!

Lets have turkey for dinner!

One of my birthday presents

One of my birthday presents

Prepping for a new project

Prepping for a new project

My new photography project! Could not do this with out Joel's help!

My new photography project! Could not do this with out Joel’s help!

My Jamberry Manicure

My Jamberry Manicure

Another beautiful Jamberry Manicure

Another beautiful Jamberry Manicure

AND one more Jamberry manicure!

AND one more Jamberry manicure!

Cold doggies after a bad mean person gave them a bath! lol

Cold doggies after a bad mean person gave them a bath! lol

Visiting mom.

Visiting mom.

Canning cranberries... Such a pretty color.

Canning cranberries… Such a pretty color.

So… Whats on your phone, post your favorite phone photo in the comments!

 

 

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What the heck is a prepper food?

(Prepper) the term sounds funny like a cartoon character or something but it’s not. I guess my husband Joel and I are becoming mini preppers! We have the property in the woods to head to (once we build our house) we have a garden, we have a pantry filled with self-canned foods and store bought foods, we have some water purification preps, we have the ability to protect ourselves, and we have the “prepper foods”. My husband bought some last year and we have bought some more little by little.

Here is the definition of Prepper:

noun

chiefly North American

A person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies:there’s no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminentwhether you’re a doomsday prepper or simply like to be prepared, emergency foods should be kept on hand

Prepper food is food to have on hand in case of emergency when the stores will not be a viable option. The food is more shelf stable than most foods you buy at the store it is said to last about 20-25 years if stored correctly, and will more than likely have less calories per serving than we are used to because it is meant to help us survive a bad situation but not meant to help us thrive. Most of the food is freeze dried or dehydrated so it is easy to transport and usually just requires some warm water to make it meal ready.
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Closeup of Travelers Stew

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Sample of some of our foods

I have never tried any of these meals as of yet but that will change tonight. We will be cooking at least on of these meals for dinner so the three of us can see what we could be in for. We are letting our 13 year old choose our meal tonight so she can feel more connected to the whole prepper thing! Also we want her buy in because she is so picky about food that if she chooses it maybe she will have to like it! My only fear about the prepper foods is that they are not very high in protein, this is ok for lunch and dinner but the breakfast they provide are strictly carb, carbs, carbs. I can’t eat a carb filled breakfast in regular life without falling apart. (I am diabetic) If I eat carbs for breakfast I feel weak and sweaty in just a couple hours, its really awful. I have been know to have to leave church services to find a place to lay down while my husband finds me something to eat. I have been talking to the hubby about the need to supplement our stores with protein bars and such but the problem is that they do not last long. I wonder if I press and seal them if they would last a lot longer? More research to do!

Soooo wish us luck as we dive into our first trial run of eating or “prepper” foods. I just hope it doesn’t suck! loll

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Canning Cranberry Sauce

I love Cranberry sauce… I am the only one in my house who loves is but thats ok… I will eat it all!

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Yummy Yummy Cranberry Sauce

I do A LOT of canning (for a beginner) This is my first year canning but it won’t be my last for sure. My husband who won’t eat half of what I canned was still really proud of our canning stockpile! He even took pictures and showed his friends, he even took pickles to the office for friends. I have over 400 cans of produce, meat, and beans canned and have plans to can more this winter!

There are many reasons to preserve your own food and here are a few of my reasons. We built 9 4×10 raised bed gardens this Spring so I better not waste anything. I know whats in my food, its organic, non GMO and does not create extra waste by throwing away/recycling them. We save money in the long run, yes it cost us much money to get started with canning between jar buying and pressure cooker buying and everything else we did lay out a bit of money. In the long run everything except the seals are reusable! I have just loved learning how to do it and its not that hard!

AND Cranberries. I bought some bags to make sauce for Thanksgiving and then we changed plans and did not have dinner in our home. SOOO because I was not going to throw them away and I will eat Cranberry sauce anytime of the year the canning equipment came out to play. I looked up a few different recipes and they all seemed the same.

It comes down to the following recipe:

Per 12oz Bag of Cranberries you will need

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

zest of 1/2 orange

1/4tsp of vanilla

Makes 2 pints or 4 –  1/2pints

Thats it! Boil the water and sugar for 5 minutes add cranberries cook at a low boil for 15 minutes stirring occasionally until all the berries burst. Add the vanilla and orange zest stir and then pour into prepared jars. wipe rim of jars and put the prepared seals on and screw on lids. Place in water canner and boil with cover on for 10 minutes. Place on rack or towel until cool and then move to storage.

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First collect all of your canning equipment.

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Pretty Cranberries!

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I used 4 bags of Cranberries

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Zesting oranges is a tedious task! lol

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Zested 2 oranges for this recipe.

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Cranberries are all popped so I added the zest and vanilla.

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Prepared jars all ready to be filled! 

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Filled and cleaned jars.

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Lids heated and ready for use.

 

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Jars ready for the canner and then ready to be enjoyed for many meals to come!

 

Happy Canning everyone!

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Novembers Thankfulness Posts – Did not quite make it in November!

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1st – Thankful that on Sundays I have an incredible church family to worship and serve with!
2nd – Thankful for having the best husband ever. He is sweet and perfect for me! He believes in me and loves me for who I am.
3rd – Thankful that even at 13 my step daughter asked if we could have a pajama day so we could watch movies together all day! Spending the day hanging out together laughing at movies we’ve seen a million times before! Joel was happy to go to work today for sure!

4th – I am thankful that I grew up in a family that loved me… My family was the picture of disfunction and craziness but my family made sure I knew I was loved. My mom always made sure that no matter who was mad at each other that I knew that love was underneath all of the stupidity. My family was and is just a little nutty!

5th – I am thankful for the ability to try something new, or at least something I have not tried in a while. I tried doing a family/slice of life blog that got thrown to the side due to the busyness of life. I will be starting a new blog soon…. Next week I hope, that will show the life of a Christian family who are getting ready to start a new life on a homestead/farm in Maine…

God gives us the ability do do so many things in our lives… He gives us talents that we are born with and H e gives us the ability to build and develop skills. I hope to do something wonderful with this blog and showcase all of the skills that we are learning in order to start our new Maine adventure. I hope to inspire others through our successes and failures to step out to do something new. We all need to find our God given passions and boldly run with them.

6th – I will choose to mention that I am very thankful that God has gifted me with ability and skills to do so many things. I love to craft and God has given me some talent in that area. I love to garden and God defiantly gifted me in that area this year. I love to read and have always excelled in that area in school and have read hundreds upon hundreds of books in my lifetime. I guess what I am saying is that I am never bored whether I am with other people or on my own. I never need to be entertained, This has made the last three years that I have not been working very pleasant most of the time. And for the record we do not have cable TV either…LOL We do have Amazon prime but the selection is a bit poor.Happiness is being content with what God has given you and making lemonade out of any lemons that come your way

7th – Friends… I am spending a weekend with two good friends, Michele and Shauna. We are doing some Scrapbookin for sure! I love our weekends together! We have not done a whole weekend together in a while! I know some snacks will be eaten and maybe our nails may get Jamberried. Who knows…. Maybe a glass of wine will be drunk. We are relaxing together with out the hubbies and with out the kids. Michele has been a great friend for years, we started a coffee house at church together, did singles ministry events together and then she was my maid of honor in my wedding 7+ years ago. Shauna has been a friend that I made through Michele and scrapbooking. We don’t hang out or spend any time on the phone but she has become a true friend that I know will always be around if I need her! Whats better that that. We all need friends to just decompress with and that just what we are doing.

8th – I am thankful to have the time to leave my family and spend that time with friends. I don’t leave my family very often and it feels strange when I do, but its good for all of us to have a little time away. I’m away this weekend and Joel will be away next weekend hunting so its really odd that we will be separated two weekends in a row! We usually spend all our time together, especially on the weekend. Whatever will I do! LOL I think I will live in my PJs next weekend!

9th – I am very thankful fro a warm comfortable home where my husband and daughter were waiting to go to at the end of a fun weekend with the girls.

10th – I am thankful for my husband who was born 40 years ago today. He is truly my better half and the best friend I could ever want.

11th – I am thankful that I don’t give up or give in when something is important to me!

14th – I am thankful for the unity of the world when tragedy strikes. I am thankful that our prayers are being heard and answered by God in Paris. People are being comforted and loved in their time of need. Thank you Lord for holding your people safely in the palm of your hand tonight!

15th – I am thankful my husband will be home tomorrow night!

16th – I am thankful for my car or “The orange Tic Tac” as the family calls it. I have a car that works, gets me anywhere I want or need to go. I love that it is not just a car! It stands out, it has personality!

17th – I am thankful for our Soon to be new home in Maine. I could not have even imagined that we would have the ability to build a farm for us to live and thrive on. The state of Maine is so beautiful and we are so lucky to be moving someplace near my family. Our dreams are going to come true with my best friend by my side.

18th- I am thankful that Hannah has a great school to attend. We have stayed in Newington just for Hannah to be able to continue on in this school system. She is getting a good education and also getting the opportunity to study music and STEM.

19th- I asked Hannah what made our house feel like a home to all of us. She said it was the couch because we gather there to hang out together and talk and watch movies. SO I am thankful for our couch.

20th- I am thankful for my camera… My husband gave me a really nice camera two years ago and I think I am pretty good at taking pictures. I hope that I can someday make money using my photographic talents but we will see.

21st- I love that when Hannah is home we always sit at the table for dinner. We try to keep the habit of family mealtime and make sure we pray and thank God for his provision.

22nd- I am thankful that God has given my church a Pastor who truly loves people. He is such a blessing to us all and I hope that we are a blessing to him more than we are a problem. I know ministering to people is never easy, we all have our own life experiences and preconceived notions that we come through the church doors with.

23rd- Simple pleasures… My husband and I are more than happy when we can just make plain old Blue box macaroni and cheese for dinner. We need nothing more than that junk food yumminess. We are simple junk food junkies at heart.

24th- My Bible… I am about 65% through reading the Bible this year. I know that doing a Bible reading plan does not get you deeply into the Bible but it does allow you to have the airplane view of things. How people who have never read the Bible can bash it is beyond me. It has so much good stuff in-between the covers that can feed your spirit as well as correct your Christian walk.

25th- My Puppies… I love my two little doggies! I am an animal person for sure and Molly and Gizmo are such sweat lovable smelly, dirty little fur balls. My husband does not get the loving animals thing but I just tell him that that just shows he has no heart… lol Joel has a huge heart and would never want anything to suffer buuuuut he does not want them in his house!

26th- Thanksgiving Day… I am thankful that Hannah and I got to continue my tradition of watching the Macy’s day parade. I love having traditions and sharing them with Joel and Hannah. Sometimes they don’t agree with what I want as a tradition but they usually play along.

27th- The family tradition that we decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving night and the next day. I love the transition from muted fall colors to the bright twinkling colors of Christmas.

28th- I am thankful once again that my husband take interest in what interests me. I just wish I did as well for him. He makes sure I have what I need and is always ready to help if I need him.

29th- Fuzzy socks or pants… Love them soooo much. I just bought a new pair and just can’t wait to put them on at night.

30th-  I am thankful for Jesus and the fact that we are now in the season to celebrate His birth. I love putting out my two manger scenes and just enjoy looking at them right up to New Years day.

 

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Baking Bread – White Sandwich Bread – It was a good day for some YUM!

I have tried to bake bread a few times and have had minimal success. Ive made some tasty sour dough once and have made some awful sour dough recently. I made some Amish white bread recently that was really good but just a little sweat for my families taste. So I tend to let my family choose what type of bread they want for their daily sandwich and that is that. Well that was until now! I have found my good for everything, yummy bread. My family loved it both as a dinner bread and a sandwich bread. I have made it a few times now and it is very easy to make and does not take a lifetime of kneading.

I found the recipe on Pinterest through another blog. http://scratchthiswithsandy.com (I’m not sure the best way to credit another blog!) The recipe looked good and it was touted as being less sweet than other white sandwich breads, so I thought this would be a perfect recipe to try.

MY VERSION OF JULIA CHILDS WHITE BREAD (scratchthiswithsandy.com)
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Author: Scratch This With Sandy
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 loaves
INGREDIENTS
  • 2½ cups warm water 110-120 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 7 cups bread flour (All Purpose works as well)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup softened butter
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add sugar to bowl then water and sprinkle with yeast. Let set 5-10 minutes or until nice and foamy
  2. add 3 cups of flour and mix with whisk
  3. Add the salt
  4. Add the softened butter and mix with whisk
  5. Change out to a dough hook and add remaining flour… Mix until the bowl is getting swiped clean.
  6. if its not cleaning the sides add a little bit more flour until it does
  7. Plop onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two
  8. Place in a greased bowl and flip so both sides are covered
  9. Cover with greased saran wrap and let rise till double in size (about an hour) You can also use a damp warm towel to cover if you don’t have saran wrap
  10. Grease two 9×5 bread pans and pre heat your oven to 375 degrees
  11. After it rises punch the dough down
  12. Plop it on to the counter and slice in half. Flatten out to a rectangle shape
  13. “Jelly Roll” it up gently pinching the ends and seam together
  14. Place in your greased bread pans
  15. Cover with greased saran wrap… I reused my original piece!
  16. Let rise about 30-60 minutes
  17. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden.
  18. I blessed my tops with some butter… optional
  19. Let set for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack

I can’t post my pictures because they have run away from home! I can’t find them anywhere! grrrr.

I only have two pictures and here they are

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Fresh from the oven with a nice coating of butter!

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Ready to be devoured with some Amish creamed honey!

OH it was so good!

As you can see the loaves come out beautiful and once you brush them with salted butter you just have to each a huge piece with even more butter or honey! If you have store bread snobs in your house this is a good bread to make for them for sure.

This was going to be my first cooking demo post but I have no demo pictures to post. So much frustration! LOL I love to cook when I am cooking for people who appreciate it and this recipe was appreciated! I am going to have to make sure I post right after taking the pictures to be sure they won’t walk away from now on!

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Dementia: I hate You! Part 2

Dementia: I Hate You (part 2)

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I hope this story can help others who are going through this!

I also hope my telling the story helps me as we all have doubts about if your doing the right thing or not!

Going to see the doctor was very peaceful. My mom loves her Doctor and I found her to be wonderful as well. My only complaint about the wonderful Doctor Barry is that she gets all up in your personal space. This is from dealing with older people on very stressful topics for years, no doubt. Mom however thrived being that close to her and felt very comfortable with her. She held her hand and looked right into Mom’s eyes the whole time they were talking.

Dr. Barry then asked some questions and also did a test with mom called the “Mini Mental” test. This test was eye opening to watch. The doctor asked mom questions that anyone would know easily and then had her do a copy a picture type of an activity. It was interesting that my mom could not come up with the names of simple objects but would try to cover with humor and laughter. The Doctor held up a blue paperclip and asked mom what it was but mom could not come up with the name so she called it a blue thingy ma bobby and mimed what it did. Mom did pretty well on the test but I guess, but missed enough to go on to the next level of testing.

Around this time because of all of my mothers needs I lost my job. My boss made it sound like a reorganization but I know it was because I needed too much flexibility and had only been working for him for a few months. Not long enough for him to care about my troubles one way or another. Oh well I needed to be available to mom anyway… She was our priority.

We were given an appointment with the doctors at our local hospital. The second level of testing was just a more extensive version of the Mini Mental test. The only real difference was that it included some balance and dexterity testing. She had no balance at all, but I don’t think she ever did. I think I have seen drunk people do better walking a straight line than she did. So after Dr. Barry looked over the new reports we were then given an appointment at L&M in New London.

In the time between doctors appointment I talked mom and my husband into doing a little house shopping and started searching for the perfect new home for all of us. Now most people would have had their mom move in with them or moved in with her but neither of those options would have worked. She refused to live with us because she would not be able to have her own space and because our house was not up to her standards. We could not move in with her because my husband would not be able to move that far away from his daughter’s mother so that they could continue to share custody of Hannah. SOOOO we needed to find a house that my mom approved of and that was close enough to Hannah’s mother. Fun Fun! It’s hard to remember to add in that my husband and I had to decide that we would leave/sell/rent our house and change our daughter’s school and everything else in between. We had lived in our home together for 5 years and he had lived in it for 5 years before that, so it was a bit of a painful decision that he made with out a backwards glance. (An angel he is!)

On the night before we were supposed to go house hunting at about 9:00pm my mother drove up to our house totally unexpected. She wasn’y supposed to be at our home until 9:00am the next morning. Mom thought she was on time for our house hunting fun. Hmmm… Its pitch dark out side and she was thinking it was morning. She had fallen asleep for a nap and woke up thinking she had slept all night. She got ready to come over thinking it was morning and drove to our house in the dark with out going hmmmm… something is amiss here! It was then we knew we needed to expedite things. Trying to explain things to her in a non-embarrassing way was difficult but we got her settled in to sleep on the couch and went to bed ourselves even though it was a little early for us. We did not sleep well but stayed up talking about the situation and listening for anything out of place in the house. Vigilance turned into a new way of life for us.

House hunting was a real nightmare because nothing was good enough and she couldn’t remember going to look at the houses not to mention if she liked one or another! Her friends were making it worse because I was moving her out of town, they made her upset time and time again by talking to her about it. They also called me to ask why it had to happen so soon and why we could not just live with her and a million other things. I know I had it easy in the sense that I did not have siblings to argue with but I really wanted to hang her friends by the toes a time or four. I must say that I truly love and respect both of my mom’s best friends. I used to call them my second mom’s and hopefully treated them with respect for the most part during this difficult time.

I have no idea what the specialist doctor’s name was but he was fantastic. We were lucky to get him for sure. He usually did not see out patients at all so our Doctor pulled a few strings to get us into see him. Mom was chatty the whole time we were waiting for the doctor but, I could tell she was feeling a little out of sorts this morning. I am not sure she really knew why we were going to see this doctor. All I know is what he had to say at the end off the testing changed everything.

This doctor asked question after question for almost three hours. He was trying to tire her out to see if her memory got worse as time went on. I don’t know that it did get worse during the testing. He asked the same questions at different intervals and she would answer them wrong more often than not. She knew who I was most of the time but she never knew where we were or why we were there. She always tried to cover and make light of what she was forgetting. She would say things like “Why would I care to know” or “everyone forgets that” or “wow I knew that a minute ago” or “oh it’s on the tip of my tongue. It was also interesting on how much she would look to me to fill in for her. I guess this has been our game for a while and before that it was what my Step-dad did. She would start to answer and then turn half toward me hoping I would jump in and save her. It was painful to not be able to jump in during the testing. My job was to let her try to answer and be there to clarify if she was right or wrong. Talk about feeling like a traitor. I had to point out every time she was wrong and I know that just made her memory worse through all of the embarrassment and frustration she was feeling.

By the end of the testing the doctor somehow had his diagnosis. He said that without a doubt my mother has Picks Disease. Which is one of the most awful types of dementia. Mom listened as he spoke but I am not sure what she understood. I did unfortunately understand and was just a little more than totally devastated. I won’t go into the features of Picks disease this time but stop here for now.

Except to say that this doctor help me by telling mom she could no longer drive and that she needed to be living with someone sooner than later. More on this in part 3.

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Friday Favorites (November 20th edition)

Whoo-Hoo its Friday! For most this is the best day of the week… At least when the clock hits 5:00 or so! Its now time to wind down, enjoy the family and catch up with your life.

My Friday favorites for this week are

1) The turkey I have cooking in the oven right now! It smells sooooo good! I covered it with bacon so it smells better than ever. Now some would ask why I am cooking a 21lb turkey on the Friday before Thanksgiving and that would be because we are going out to eat on Thanksgiving. I will be eating squash ravioli instead of turkey so we won’t have the much loved left overs.

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2) Visiting family… I don’t have a picture but we will be visiting my husbands grandfather who just had surgery. He is 86 and has dementia. He was and is a joy to us. He is half deaf, confused and not feeling very well but we love him and try to see him as often as we can. Its just hard to get to the other side of the state as often as we think we should.

3) Spending my Birthday with Joel and Hannah. Joel/Hubby brought home Chinese food and presents for me and we just chilled out and watched The Librarians. Very fun show that we don’t mind our 13 year old watching. I have come to understand that a birthday is better spent quietly with those you love most than out partying with people who really don’t care who you are.

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4) So excited to get my new Cookbook from Hannah for my birthday, (it is what I asked for.) I just love the Pioneer Woman Ree Drumond, I read her blogs, sometimes watch her show and now have all of her cookbooks.  Her new Cookbook “The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime” looks awesome. Now to pick out my favorite recipe!

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5) Thanksgiving… I love everything about Thanksgiving except the cleaning up. We watch a parade, eat snacks and then a big lunch, and then we decorate for Christmas. We of course have cookies, eggnog and Christmas carols playing. Thanksgiving is just all about being thankful for who we have in our lives and thanking God for all of our blessings. Its nicer than the commercialism that is Christmas even though I do love the Christian meaning behind Christmas. Its just been turned into a time of gimme. So much stress. This year we will be eating out with Joel’s fathers side of the family and it should be a nice dinner at a nice restaurant with no muss or fuss.

I can’t wait to dig into the squash ravioli with brown butter sauce…. Sooooo Yummy.

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