Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Back to the Warm Stuff!

July 29, 2014

I know we don’t have very hot weather compared to a lot of places – I spent a lot of time living in the Eastern half of the country so I know hot and humid.  I don’t do that well with hot weather and when I found central air conditioning, I knew I had found the solution to being comfortable at home.  Then it was only going out somewhere that was very uncomfortable.  Plus I never knew how cold the air conditioning would be in shops, restaurants or hotels.  it would be cold inside the grocery sore and coming outside to the heat and humidity was as if I had been hit by a wet gauze curtain.

As a result, I am so happy to be back here in Seattle, not only the weather but also a large body of salt water and proper mountains.  Yes, I am probably a wuss, but I like to be comfortable. Our idea of hot weather is different.  We were close to 90 yesterday and will no doubt be about that again today – glad to have a day to myself at home with the windows open and the furnace fan circulating air from one floor to another.  It definitely makes sleeping at night more comfortable.   We have lovely breezes but for some reason they die down after dark – just when we need the cool air.  That’s why I am glad I checked out the fan so we could have the breeze whether Mother Nature sent it or not.

I went to visit Mom yesterday morning – she was very feisty and grumpy.  She didn’t want anyone to touch her – even me.  So I said “Not even your daughter Elizabeth’?  She wasn’t sure who I was, so I gave chocolate and cookies which she enjoyed and read for a bit.  I asked if she would like a back rub, but that wasn’t accepted.  I was surprised to find I wasn’t really upset because it isn’t the first time.  I suspect as time goes on she will know me less and less.  I find I have to put the chocolate or cookie in her hand – Didi says someone has to be with her at mealtime to redirect her when she gets distracted.  I know she will slowly forget how to do the things she can do right now.

Fern – who is 102 – was at the table and she seems to enjoy hearing the book even when I put Mom to sleep.  I’m glad I can do something to entertain her, it is so hard for her because she thinks no one ever comes to visit.  Her son and his family do come, but it is in the evening after work.  Didi now has an opening because Monique left – she was a bit in another world but when she got on the bus and made it all the way to SeaTac, that was a big problem.  As far as I know Monique went to hospital but not sure what happened after that.

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I have most of the blueberry bushes covered

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The two branches that need tying up

The blueberries are ripening and the birds are having a field day.  There is a huge Stellard Blue Jay eating his fill.  On the way home yesterday, I stopped at Joann’s for nylon net.  I bought 2 3 yard pieces and sewed them together – unfortunately the blueberries extend farther than I thought.  So I need to make another trip for more and also some clips to hold it together.  They will get under the net anyway, but it will be a little harder.

Eddie picked some ripe ones last night and they were wonderful  He also found a ripe fig on the tree, so we split it – out of this world!  The apples are starting fall on the ground, probably time to check out the pears to see if any are ready to pick.  I didn’t realize pears are picked unripe and then they are left to ripen.  If they stay on the tree, they may rot.  The red ones are doing well, don’t think we have many on the other pear tree.

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How about those pears!

Visiting With Mom

March 9, 2014

I have been visiting Mom rather than visiting with her – I just noticed the difference this week.  I have had trouble dealing with not understanding what she says and curbing my urge to ask what she means or to repeat it.  My close friend Char told me recently she had visited her Mom and didn’t understand a word she said.  So she asked her Mom “Does that make sense to you?”  Her Mom’s answer was “No”.  I thought I would try it with Mom, though Mom’s answer was “Yes, it makes sense”.  Mom is operating under a different form.  What is interesting is that although the words are gibberish to me, Mom says it in a very conversational way – she knows what she is saying, I am the one who doesn’t understand.

GetAttachment.aspxMom with Candy at her book signing.  She is very proud of Candy.

Two things she definitely understands are chocolate and cookies.  I bring some with me every time I visit and she is delighted to have them.  I have learned not to ask her if she enjoyed the chocolate or cookies after she has eaten them because she doesn’t remember she ate them.  I have been nervous about what to say to Mom, but I am finding it a bit easier now because I realize I don’t have to know exactly what she is saying.

I have been reading Candy’s new book to Mom recently, first time I have read it as well.  I know Judy has told me Mom takes in things she hears and I am noticing that reading this book.  Friday she made several comments as I read and  at one point talked for a bit – not sure what she said,  just asked “Is that so?’ and Mom agreed.  So it wasn’t necessary to know what she said, just to acknowledge and validate it.  I can sometimes tell when she  thinks something isn’t a good thing, mostly my her tone and sometimes a “shouldn’t or no that’s not good” comes across.

Last Tuesday I took my iPad to play some of the songs she likes – except it once again gave me fits.  Some days it works well and other days it looks so different and I am not quite sure what to do.  I have begun to make a playlist for her so I will have the songs she likes, though I haven’t done too well with Bing Crosby so far.  What will play on my desktop isn’t always available on the iPad.  Now I have to figure out how to start the playlist.

It’s an interesting process and I think I am more comfortable now – there are times when I feel at a loss, but  I am doing my best.  I haven’t told her about Barrie dying, don’t think it will really register and there isn’t anything she can do about it.  I also haven’t said anything about our next door neighbor, he is having difficulty and two of the sons are there right now.  We had gone to bed Wednesday night and I heard this thrum and flash of lights – the fire truck was there and I saw a fireman in their kitchen.  Shortly after an ambulance came in, so I figured it was bad enough to take him to the hospital.  He was back home the next morning bit they may have to have someone there for a while.  I’m sure Mom would be worried if she knew.

I will admit I still have days when I don’t want to go visit Mom, so I make sure I have somewhere to go and do something entirely different after the visit.  Plus, I don’t want Mom to feel she has been abandoned.  When I come and she is very sleepy or having a nap because she had a bad night, I am almost glad we won’t have a visit.  I think she is more aware of things than I realize, but I couldn’t say in what way.  I think she still knows who I am at times, I am better at not taking it personally because it is part of dementia.  Some of what is happening has to do with getting older, some from dementia – I am so grateful to Judy for helping me understand what’s happening with the things I don’t quite understand.

It has been quite a learning experience for me and for Mom – I may never know how it is for her, but as a daughter and a woman, I have learned a lot over the past 2 or 3 years.   I have learned about myself, my Mom and dementia – strangely, there have been gifts in it I am still understanding.

I also wonder who will be there for me if I am in this position.


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