Families, please take care of your elderly

Through the years I’ve witnessed so much of our elderly being neglected, abused or just plain ignored by their loved ones. I know there are two sides to every story and some elderly family members are just plain cranky and difficult to get along with!

Example!!

No two women could be more unalike than these two. The one on the left is my ex-mother-in-law who is a saintly, sweet, soft spoken woman. The one on the right is my mother. The woman who gave birth to me. She is the difficult, cranky one I referred to earlier. She is very difficult to please. And that is putting it nicely. She looks cheerful and pleasant though, doesn’t she? And she can be! She just chooses not to be! Key word: “Chooses”

Suffice it to say, they are both elderly and loved by their family and friends, but I digress…

For those of you that are following my blog, you know that I’ve just returned from an anniversary celebration in the DFW area. You also know that I am the FT caregiver for my almost 93 yr. old mother-in-law. We are pictured below:

[caption id="attachment_509" align="alignnone" width="169"]Granny & Linda Granny & Linda

My current mother-in-law aka “Granny” is also a saintly, soft spoken, gentle woman. She wouldn’t harm a flea even when she was able bodied. Every 30 days we are entitled to 5 days of respite. During that time she is transported by ambulance to the local Hospice House for alternate care since we will be away. Although we very much look forward to the break from taking care of her, we hate leaving her in the care of “strangers”. It’s just not the same!! She never returns in the condition she was when she left. Please understand the Hospice place where she goes is one of the best in our area and on a day by day basis we are very pleased with the services that they provide. We love the nurse that comes to visit Granny once a week to check her vitals etc; We also love her Aide that comes 3 times a week to bathe Granny. We get a visit from a social worker once per month and a nurse practictioner each month. They are all very kind and competent individuals.

You also need to understand that as a team (Hospice and her family) we are not trying to prolong her life. She is terminal and there is no hope of her improving. We are just trying to keep her as comfortable as possible for whatever days the Lord decides she has left. BUT REALLY???? She came home with ugly purple bruises on both arms, hands, and feet!! I don’t believe for one second she was abused. But, I do believe at least one person that was caring for her was too rough handling her. She also came home with a very croupy, ragged cough!! We have repeatedly warned them against leaving Granny near any kind of draft. Thirdly, she came home with a UTI which wasn’t discovered until day 5 (the day she came home) and an anti-biotic had to be prescribed! What’s up with that?

I remember when I was in college writing a paper in English class about nursing homes etc; and the care that the elderly receive. I know that nursing homes probably get a bad rap in most cases, but I know for certain that the elderly do not get the kind of care from an institution that they will get from loving family members. It’s a HUGE sacrifice, I know. And now that I’m getting to retirement age I worry with who will care for me in my declining years. How many of you have ever heard an older family member say, “I don’t want to be a burden”? Only to hear, “you aren’t a burden”. Tell them another lie! It is a burden. Anyone that says it’s not a burden to care for an aging family member regardless of the condition they are in, is lying!! It’s tough. It takes a toll on you. Emotionally, psychologically, physically, mentally – you name it.

You know how they used to vote and put in your high school year book – “most likely to…”??? Well, it would have said above mine “least likely to lovingly care for an elderly person” – and yet that is exactly what I am doing and have been rewarded in so many ways that cannot be measured. And yet, if we hadn’t been out of options for Granny, we too, would have continued to allow someone else to care for her. I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that.

Approx. every 30 days we will continue to take advantage of the respite that Hospice allows us, but know in our hearts that she will not get the love or care that she gets right here at home.

This is an experiment….

Create your Own Pasta

Create your Own Pasta

My Crazy Quilt Pillow

My Crazy Quilt Pillow

Drama Free Zone

Drama Free Zone

I have sworn for several months now, that I would get a sign similar to this to post outside my house. DONE! I found it this past weekend while out antiquing. It now hangs outside my door.

The second pic is a pillow I purchased that I will use as a pattern for some other pillows I want to create.

The experiment was to try and post more than one picture since I’ve been having some difficulty doing so. My friend, Sheri told me how – my goal was to write then post, then write some more, then post. But, it appears as though the pics both posted right after each other?? I won’t know til I take another look at the finished post, but let me post one more pic after this paragraph and we will see where it goes. Sorry, if this is annoying, but I’m trying to figure this out. I’ve been on here almost a year and know where little about WordPress. I’m a visual learner. Hmmmm let’s see….

The last pic is of the pasta I had at Macaroni Grill Saturday.

Looks like all my pics are clumped together – any ideas on how to get them to space among my blog?

A trip down Memory Lane…

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We spent another day Saturday in the DFW area browsing at antiques and searching for Gillette double edge safety razors to add to my husband’s collection. I’m so glad he’s taken an interest in such things – because I love traveling down memory lane this way. I don’t have to spend alot of money (and rarely do), but I sure enjoy looking at all the cool stuff and remember owning many of the things I see.

We are home now, but Saturday was a FULL DAY! I think we managed to go to 7 or 8 different shops, two or three were “antique malls” which meant we both got quite a bit of walking in. We broke up our day by enjoying lunch at the Macaroni Grill I behaved myself by choosing a salad and the “create your own pasta”. I had whole wheat linguini with an olive oil and garlic “sauce”. I added spinach, tomatoes and bell peppers to it. It was enjoyable and Macaroni Grill was a nice change of pace since our home town of Longview only has Olive Garden.

We were pretty well pooped by suppertime and ended up back in our motel room napping. Unfortunately, we both woke up an hour later hungry! We had heard that the “Twisted Root” had great burgers and since we hadn’t had a burger since we’d left home it sounded like just the right ticket! We traveled to Roanoke to check out They live up to their reputation! Guy Fieri was right! It’s always been my dream to take a road trip and try a bunch of roadside restaurants like he does on Diners, Drive Inns and Dives – so this was a sample of what it would be like. The line was long but it was worth the wait! I had a delicious burger and sweet potato chips at 8 pm Saturday night! ugh! I would post a pic (if I knew how to post another pic into this blog) but I’ve not quite figured out how to post multiple pics yet without losing what I’ve already typed. Feel free to send me instructions for the next time.

Sunday morning we packed up and made the 2 1/2 hour trip home so we could attend evening church services lastnight. Glad we did! Today is our actual anniversay so stay tuned for more in the coming days…cause we aren’t quite done celebrating. We are fixin to enjoy our last day of “freedom” LOL since Granny will arrive home by ambulance at 5 pm tonight. God love her. Then, Thursday my grandchildren will be back at Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s house until school begins in the fall. Once school starts, I will only have the two year old, Kash to care for. Lord, give me strength! 🙂

Celebrating 15 years…

A cold day in E. Texas

A cold day in E. Texas

Jerry and I are soul-mates and fixin to celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss. July 29th will be our 15th Anniversay. The day we said our “I do’s” was pretty uneventful. That may sound cold or unfeeling. It’s not meant to. It’s just that we decided to spend the money we were going to spend on a wedding on a down payment on our house instead. We went to the Court House. After one night in a local motel we picked up the moving van and began combining his household and mine into one.

Now, 15 years later we are still in that same 5 bedroom house. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s home. I was 47 and Jerry was 45 almost 46 when we married. Although we have suffered some challenges and struggles in the 15 yrs we’ve been together our love for each other has never faltered. We blended not only two households of furniture, but 7 grown children to the mix. A couple of them have lived with us for a short period of time and we have always tried to be that “soft place to fall” when they have been faced with difficulties.

Jerry has 4 grown children from two former wives and I have 3 grown children from two former husbands. It is definately not an Ozzie and Harriet world anymore, is it?

So, long story short – our 15 yr. celebration is pretty uneventful also. We’ve never had alot of money. We’ve always managed to get by but cruises or trips abroad (although they would be nice), were not part of our planning. Since we are the full-time caregivers for Jerry’s almost 93 yr. old bedfast mother, we can’t go to far from home even if we could afford to. So, I was excited to know that we were just getting out of town!! We drove 2 1/2 hours to Fort Worth, Texas yesterday to meet my youngest daughter and her husband for dinner. Cattleman’s Steakhouse near the stockyards in Fort Worth was awesome! This was our second anniversary visit to Cattleman’s and both times it was well worth the trip. We made a reservation at the Hampton Inn and Suites for 3 nights and spent today at four Antique Malls. Jerry likes to collect Gillette double edge saftey razors. Unfortunately, the Antique Malls in Fort Worth are pretty proud of their items. They were asking way too much for most of what we found! I am mostly a browser and really enjoy looking at Vintage items, especially quilts, pyrex, brass beds etc; I walked away with two decorative pillows and a piece of calligraphy for my wall. Tomorrow we will go in another direction from our motel and do the same again. We may check out a movie tomorrow night.

We had an interesting lunch today. We wanted to try something different, so we checked out a Lebanese restaurant we had heard about. It was good. It was called Hedary’s. We both had Kebobs. Jerry had beef, and I had lamb. Their hummus and pita bread was out of this world! Baklava for dessert. Yum!

Neither Jerry nor I were ever married for 20 years…(he just missed his 20th with his ex by a few months) and so we hope “God willing and the creek don’t rise” to continue putting a few dollars away for an Alaskan Cruise in 2018. I pray our health holds out and the Lord calls Granny home by then. 🙂

Regardless of what happens, I’m confident that it is going to continue to get easier and not more challenging (

Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen

Hebrews 11:1

)- because we’ve both grown and matured and no what matters and what doesn’t.

P.S. The picture was taken last winter. It’s the most recent pic I have of Jerry and I together. Stay tuned for more on our trip to Ft. Worth.

This summer’s re-do project…DIY

After

After

My DIY project this month was to re-do my hubby’s home office. It is a very simple, but good size room that had three large desks and one small one. I eliminated my large desk and so now there are three main areas. His computer area, his desk, file cabinet, paperwork area, and lastly the small white desk for the color photo printer.

I tried something new – so I hope the pics show up. We went from white to a mocha brown color. It so much warmer and cozier and although hubby did not want to tear the computer etc; all apart to clean and paint, he was pleased with the final result. Behr paint – the best, in my opinion!

Gallery

I just don’t understand! Warning: Controversial subject

Let me first say that this is hindsight talking. It has taken many years of soul searching, God seeking and therapy to reach this place but that being said:

I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU CHOOSE TO REMAIN STUCK!! I remember back in the late eighties or early nineties saying that to the Christian counselor I had sought help from. He asked me “how does that make you feel?” I replied, “I feel stuck!” His next question to me was “what do you need to do to feel unstuck?” And then, rather than giving me the answer he let me work it out in my own way and in my own time. He was an EXCELLENT COUNSELOR and I will be forever grateful for the many sessions that I had with him. He really helped me!

Why do you continue to blame your past for why you are the way you are? Why do you continue to blame others for your faults? Why do you continue to hold a grudge about your upbringing? WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO REMAIN STUCK IN YOUR SUFFERING? Why are you still mad?

Now, if you are offended by my questions, you might have to do some serious introspection and soul-searching yourself. There are many of you that I have come in contact with thru my years of recovery and I wanted so badly to show you the error of your ways. It’s like a new convert wanting to tell everyone about Jesus after they get born again! HA! 🙂 Unfortunately, most of it falls on deaf ears. That’s why I’ve resorted to not saying anything and just praying for you. I love you. I hurt for you. And I do know a better way. I’ve not “arrived”. I still struggle. My previous blog post will attest to that fact. But Matthew 5:43-48 speaks to how we are to behave towards those that dislike us etc; It says:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I hear you saying, “but you don’t know how bad it is. You don’t know the atrocities I’ve suffered. I was absused, molested, left alone, not fed, neglected. I can’t imagine how a loving God would allow such a thing to happen”! Well, I don’t have all the answers and this will seem unsympathetic – but IT DOESN’T MATTER! God sees your pain. And He wants you to turn it over to Him. Hanging on to it is harboring unforgiveness. Some folks CHOOSE TO wear the hurts of their past like a badge of honor. It allows them to never really achieve all that they desire to achieve in life. As long as they can blame someone else for things they don’t have to take responsibility for what happens or doesn’t happen. Is that you?

Dr. Phil would ask you, “how’s that working for you?” Resentment is grudge holding. And it’s a sin! I can’t be saved if I stay mad at you, or vice versa. I love you. Do you hear me? I don’t care what your socio-economic status is; your heritage is or anything else for that matter. But, I admit – I do lose patience and have a harder time loving you when you CHOOSE TO continue to wallow in it! Get over it!! Life is too short!! I tend to look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. No, it wasn’t always that way…but there is too much life to be living to continue to feel sorry for yourself.

I like what the Life Connection in my Recovery Devotional bible says about getting past it.
It says,

Ultimately, what happens inside of us is more important than what goes on outside. Yes, we are accountable for both our behavior and our attitudes, and at times we need to “fake it in order to make it,” but true, lasting change in our behavior patterns needs to happen from the inside out. Even if we do good things such as give to the needy, pray regularly, fast, or stop drinking, we will not grow much emotionally or spiritually unless our actions stem from our inner being–the part of us that has submitted to God.

So, forgive me if I seem preachy sometimes, or seem like I know it all. I don’t! But, I do know that “letting go and letting God” has gotten me to where I am today. I’ve been around that block more than once.

To “Let Go” Takes Love:

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it is
the realization I can’t control another.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow
learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which
means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to change or blame
another, it is to make the most of myself.
To “let go” is to not care FOR, but to care ABOUT.
To “let go” is not to FIX, but to be SUPPORTIVE.
To “let go” is not to JUDGE, but to allow another
to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To “let go” is not to be protective, it is to
permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search
out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take
each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow
and to live for the future.
To “let go” is to FEAR less and to LOVE more.

I have tried to live by this creed for many years. Some days are easier than others. Unfortunately, I am carnal – and still wear a coat of flesh. And I still have many friends and family that I still want to rescue from their despair. The way I see it – rescuing is enabling. They will remain STUCK by their own behaviors and attitudes but I can also facilitate them remaining STUCK if I don’t follow the Lord’s leading. Right now, the Lord is prompting me to remain SILENT and pray and fast.

If anyone knows the author of the above creed, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

TO BE CONTINUED…

BE YE ANGRY,

AND SIN NOT; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Ephesians 4:26 It is not a sin to be angry, but the expression of that anger can become sin.

I received some upsetting news lastnight. I admit – I was angry! I was perplexed and didn’t know what to do with the news. My first human instinct was to lash out. I wanted to rage, rant, vent – call it what you may. And in earlier days BC (before Christ), I would have. It would have been WAR! But, then I did what every spirit filled, spirit led Christian SHOULD DO. I took it to the Lord in prayer. My flesh still wanted to argue with God. My flesh still wanted to lash out. My flesh still wanted to get even. But where would it get me? Things would just get worse, wouldn’t they? Surely, they wouldn’t improve! I wanted to “right fight” (as Dr. Phil often says). But, as I continued in prayer I feel like God reminded me of one of my favorite quotes and tag line on this blog:

“Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it”. And so, I’ve chosen NOT to react to it, AT ALL.

Another version says it this way: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4: 26-31

I’m sad at the news I received. But, I’m no longer angry. I hurt also. But, the Lord doesn’t fail. He will fight my battle for me! “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 I often pray for those that don’t like me. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44 I always try to walk in forgiveness towards those that have hurt me. Hurting people hurt others. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”. Ephesians 4:32

So, I went to bed lastnight and slept peacefully. I didn’t obsess about the situation because I had prayed. God answered. Today, as I continue in his word…he continues to answer. I’m thankful for a God who knows me. He’s numbered every hair on my head! I will have more to say on this subject in a week. Stay tuned.

Jackson Dane or Ella Harper

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Unfortunately, I’ve been MIA for awhile. Don’t confuse that with “inactive” because although I have been missing in action I have definately not been inactive or idle during this time.
July 2nd was the beginning of my official “staycation”. The grandkids that I care for are spending the entire month of July with their dad and other grandparents and so I only have Granny to tend to this month. That has allowed me to spend more time on some hobbies I enjoy.

In addition to getting back into walking in the morning, the first week of July I spent alot of time sewing/quilting. It was nice to not have to clean up my mess each evening because “little hands” wouldn’t be arriving in the morning to get into stuff!! 🙂 And of course, every summer I have at least one DIY project planned while the kids are gone. Last summer it was sanding and refinishing my kitchen cabinets. This summer it was re-doing our home office. So, Monday I prepped and taped. Tuesday I painted the walls and ceiling. Wednesday I painted all the trim and baseboard. Lastnight and today we’ve been working on putting it all back together. Pictures posted soon.

But, the best news of all – yesterday my baby step-son came by to show us ultra sound pictures of his new baby!! They just recieved news that they will be new, first time parents in February! They had a difficult, etopic pregnancy last year and so we were exercising caution until the doctor made it official and yesterday it became official! We and the happy parents are so excited!! Although a healthy baby is the priority we are in agreement that we would like a boy. If they have a boy he will have the same initials as his daddy, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather – J D for Jackson Dane. If a girl, she will be named Ella Harper (daddy’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name).

I guess my Maw Maw t-shirt will have to go back to the seamtress for an additional monogram! Yippee!!

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22 Things Happy People Do Differently

22 Things Happy People Do Differently.

Sick Day – “sick” food…

I took a sick day – today. Unfortunately, my sick day doesn’t look like anyone else’s because my “job” is right here at home taking care of my 92 yr. old bedfast MIL. My sweet hubby is the sound technician at our church of over 400 members and so Sunday is his big “work” day with two services and choir practices. Yesterday he napped off and on all day with a nasty summer cold and this morning, yours truly woke up with it! I had a volunteer coming this morning so I could go to church, but upon awakening realized I needed to call the volunteer.

So, around 7:30 after getting Granny awake and fed, I took some medicine and went back to bed. Hubby said I was snoring soundly when he left for church before 9. I awoke feeling light headed but a tad better at 10 so I began prepping some material for the next two quilts I will be making. “Prepping” means to sew all the raw edges together in a continuous loop before placing in the washing machine (so all the loose threads from washing don’t tangle), then cutting all the raw edges away, all the salvages away and pressing and starching fabric. With new fabric this is all done before beginning to cut your quilt pieces out.

Hubby had already agreed to eat sandwiches for lunch since I wasn’t feeling much like cooking. I had planned to make chicken stew for lunch but instead we ate the agreed upon sandwiches and at Noon I threw the stew together for us to eat in the evening. Myself for supper and for hubby when he returned from evening service. Hubby and I ate our sandwiches around 12:30 and all the ingredients for the stew were in the crock pot. With all the fabric I was prepping washed and dried, I cooked and fed Granny her lunch. Then, I laid back down around 1:30 for a nap, while hubby watched his favorite Brit Coms that he’d recorded from previous night.

Hubby woke me up before leaving at 4 for Choir practice so we could check and turn Granny. I then began trimming, starching and ironing about 20 yards of fabric. My goal was to have Granny fed supper and have fabric all prepped before I sat down to watch Design Star on HGTV and eat a little stew. Goal accomplished! I’ve kept the cold medicine going every four hours and am although a little hoarse, I am feeling better than I did when I got up this morning.

So here’s my Chicken Stew recipe – great sick food…especially when battling a cold!!

Chicken Stew Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
3 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 – 12 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 clove garlic
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of water
1 T. chicken base or = buillion cubes
1 t. cayenne pepper

I began by throwing 3 frozen chicken thighs in the crock pot. Don’t need to thaw. Add the diced onion on top. Peel and dice the potatoes and place on top of that. Pour the frozen vegetables on top. Add 1 whole clove of garlic, all the seasonings (Paula Deen’s house seasoning is salt/pepper/garlic combined), 1 can of water and chicken base. I combine the other can of water with the soup on top of stove and blend real good. Pour it over the top of everything. Sprinkle cayenne last. Put lid on crock pot and little simmer on low for 6-8 hours, stirring every couple hours. As chicken thighs cook, they will break up. Not too spicy hot, but you can leave cayenne off, if you prefer.

You could also use chicken breasts, if you prefer. Thighs was all I had in the house.

Looking forward to having a better day tomorrow, but feel like I’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished for a sick day. It’s off to bed now as I will be greeted by a rambunctious 21 mo. old at 7:30 in the morning!

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