Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ten Ways to Unhinge Your Sanity

I'm working on the assumption that I'm sane...or relatively so. That may be an erroneous assumption these days.

  1. Diligently attempt to unscrew and put fresh batteries in a disposable flashlight.
    Who knew they even made disposable flashlights anymore? Besides, shouldn't a disposable be clearly labeled? Wouldn't that make sense?  
  2. Try to put a slip cover on a chair without reading the directions.
    OK, this should be a simple thing, right? I've sewn slipcovers and put them on with nary a hitch. This one, the first that I've bought, is absolutely not intuitive. I had to finally read the instructions and look for the center front and center back labels...after three days of frustration. On a different note, I do like this slipcover. It just says country to me. That's what I wanted and that's what I got. Boo's take on it is a bit different. He eyes the chair suspiciously every time he's in the living room and is hesitant to sit in it. Boo, it seems, isn't a big fan of floral chairs. Oh well...
  3. Learn to play a video game rated for 4+ years old on our tablet.
    Am I smarter than a fourth grader? Not even close! Evidently four year olds have a leg up on me as well. This was supposed to be an easy way to relax. Instead, it's just one more way technology is defeating me...and the city I've been trying to save from alien invaders. I'd open peace negotiations, but the aliens are too busy bombing my poor city.
  4. Try to reason with a displaced Cajun who is convinced that the bayou is flooding.
    To begin with, North Carolina doesn't have the first bayou. We wouldn't know what they are or what to do with them. Creeks, streams, rivers...those we have in abundance, but no bayous. With all the rain we've had lately, Boo firmly believes we're in Louisiana and the levy isn't holding. I gave up trying to reason with him this evening. I just asked what he thought we should do. He thought he should go to bed. That's where he and Boudreaux are. No life jackets. No boats.
  5. Try to teach my almost 81 year old Mother to use a simple Nook.
    It's really easy. I can even do it. Not Mom. Not reliably anyway. Her fingernails are too long. She can't remember how to turn it on. She thinks it needs to find more books for her. And why can't it feel more like a book? Her nails were professionally manicured today. (Her hands shake too much for me to shape her nails.) I wrote out step by step instructions on the use of her Nook. I've downloaded additional books for her. Her Nook will feel like a Nook, however. That I can't fix. I know where I inherited my technologically challenged genes!
  6. Update Mom's phone list for her notebook.
    This is still a theoretical notebook. I haven't exactly finished it for her yet. Just updating her phone list was an ordeal. First we had to discuss everyone on said list. I now know who is in a nursing home and who should be, who is retiring and what they planning to do once they retire, who's children are doing what for them and why and whose names are on her list and have to remain there even though she can't remember who they are anymore. I had a headache when I was done. Mom does have an updated phone list now, for what it's worth.
  7. Explain why Boudreaux can't eat Spam.
    I'm not sure why I even tried. I doubt the cat would even sniff Spam, much less try to eat it. It's too salty for Boudreaux. It's made of things that we can't even pronounce. And just why do we have Spam in the first place? We don't eat it...too salty, unpronounceable ingredients, etc. Did the wicked witch of Spam pay us a visit when I wasn't paying attention?
  8. Try to schedule all the doctor's appointments Mom and Boo have in a neighboring city on the same day.
    You know, I figured we'd do it all at once. Tiring, but once it's done, it's done for several months. That was my theory. Well, Mom and Boo's neurologist has decided to give up her private practice and work in the hospital. She won't be seeing private patients. Was it something I said??? We liked her. Now, it seems that the closest neurologist that is accepting new patients is in Charlotte. I can't wait for that trip. We'll all need an evaluation...which Boo and Mom will probably pass with flying colors and I'll fail miserably. I'm scared to call the cardiologists. Mom and Boo go to different practices. What if they both close their offices?
  9. Convince a very fashion conscious woman that she must exchange her lovely sandals for shoes that offer more support and stability.
    This is a daily battle. Mom is absolutely convinced that I'll see the wisdom of allowing her to wear the beautiful sandals that she's bought to go with her wonderful, colorful summer outfits. They are beautiful. They do look lovely together. They just don't support her feet enough. Mom is less steady now than she was just a few months ago. In sandals, her feet slip and slide...which in turn, makes her slip and slide...which dramatically increases her risk of falling. I have also learned that Boo simply cannot be around when I'm explaining Mom's shoe situation to her in the morning...for his sake. Boo suggested that grandmothers should wear grandmother shoes. He made it out of the den with his skin intact...barely.
  10. Try to make an all ice cream diet healthy.
    Really, I'm not even trying this one. Mom just wants ice cream for desert after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Actually, she'd rather have ice cream than a meal. I finally told her we could have smoothies once a day with fruits and veggies instead of a meal. If looks could kill, I'd be dead. That isn't ice cream. No indeed. Instead, I make whole grain muffins or French toast or crepes with fresh fruit for one meal. Sometimes that works without complaint. Not often, but sometimes.

Sanity? Well, not in our family. I think we've taken off the hinges and I'm pretty sure we've lost the screws.  Join the fun at Top Ten Tuesday where you'll find useful top ten lists every week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chats on a Farmhouse Porch #9

Wendell, thank you for your kind offer of your "pool" for our chat this week.  However, with all the rain, thunder and lightening we've had this past week and a half, I'm a little leery of being too close to water.  I'll bring carrots though!

1.  Is there a friend or relative who's been on your mind a lot lately?

Yes, quite a few actually.  In fact, I've talked to several of them lately too.  Comparing notes.  Commiserating.  Working toward solutions.  Decompressing.

It seems that many of us are currently caretakers to our parents, spouses or handicapped children.  This is definitely not a complaint for any of us.  It is life changing and challenging.  It's also an unscripted area for us.  My grandmothers cared for my grandfathers.  My aunts cared for my uncles.  Somehow, it just wasn't something that was discussed.  Now, we have questions about how to "do it all."  From the outside looking in, it appears that they accomplished so much with so few resources and with no more time than we have.  Why can't we do the same?  Or are we expecting too much from ourselves? 

What we have managed is an impromptu support group.  OK, a very loose, very casual support group.  We don't have answers.  We don't have perfect solutions.  We don't even know the right questions sometimes.  We do know how to talk.  And we certainly know how to pray for each other.  We do know how to find some workable solutions.  And we know what has definitely not worked for us...or what has worked temporarily. 

And we're reconnecting.

2.  Do you sunburn?

Is the Pope Catholic?  I've always sunburned with the greatest of ease!  It's one of my best summer tricks. 

I'm a firm believer in sun block, hats, long pants (capris at least) and long sleeves.  I used to envy my friends who tanned.  Not anymore.  I'm at peace with my uber white skin.  Besides, my Mom is dealing with frequent skin cancers and that puts a whole new spin on tanning.

3.  If you were visiting my farm for a week (or week-end) would you want to cook with me, pick veggies or pull weeds with the farm crew or just feed Wendell carrots until he outgrew his horse suit?

Well, Patrice, could I do all four?  A week on a farm...what a wonderful break!  Yeah, I know that it wouldn't be a break break.  It would be different and so much fun getting to know you better...and maybe some of the wonderful chat ladies.  Maybe we could have a work party.  Is there anything in particular you need to have done that you've been avoiding?  Perhaps we could do it together!

4.  Do you like to tell jokes or hear them?

I'd far rather hear them.  Joke telling is not one of my talents.

5.  Do you wear sunglasses often?

I never wear sunglasses and don't even own any.  My glasses become darker in the sun.  Years ago when I wore contacts, I did wear sunglasses.  I guess I could get some prescription sunglasses.  I just haven't.

Join Patrice for more chats at Everyday Ruralty.  Hope your head aches have vanished this week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch # 8

Yep, I'm late!  Recently that seems to be the story of my life.  Schedules notwithstanding, life seems to throw plenty of curve balls lately that just don't fit into any schedule.
Here goes...

1.  When it comes to vegetables, which do you use more often---canned, frozen or fresh?

Fresh is my first choice, especially if it's homegrown.  Frozen is my back up, except for green beans.  Green beans must be fresh or canned...for some reason I just can't cook frozen green beans.  They taste awful.  I just don't have time for a real garden this year.  I'm growing basil, parsley, lots of rosemary, chocolate mint and peppermint.  I've got two tomato seedlings that are struggling and a pepper seedling that may survive.  Between Boo and Mom, there is no gardening time.

2.  Do you sew?

YES!!!  I love to sew.  However, like gardening, sewing is definitely on the back burner right now.  I have a chair that needs to be slip covered.  I'd enjoy doing it, but when???  After Boo's second stroke, I sewed several "manly" hospital gowns that covered a bit more than the average gown covered.  I also made gown type tops and scrub bottoms for him.  They offered a little more dignity and made him feel more comfortable.  The tops worked well with IVs, heart monitoring equipment, etc.  I really should make another batch for Boo and a batch for Mom. 

3.  Do you have a common fear?

Snakes and spiders!!!  I'm trying to learn to identify harmful snakes and spiders and leave the rest alone...if they leave me alone, that is.  There's a green snake in the back yard that I've seen and that's slithered across my foot and a black snake that roams in our backyard and our neighbor's yard.  I'm told it eats rats.  That's long as it keeps it's distance, I'll certainly keep mine.  Ummm...the neighborhood knows when I've seen a snake.  My screams have brought neighbors to my rescue that I didn't know.  Now that's an interesting way to meet new people.

4.  Is there anything you recommend for cutting the grocery bill?

Like Patrice, gardening and preserving the harvest is the best way I've found.   I've been using coupons for the few name brand items that we use and stocking up when I can buy items on sale and use coupons.  That amounts to only a small savings.  We seldom use name brands.   Another thing that I've found helpful is to cut out packaged and prepared foods.  I bake cakes, breads and deserts from scratch.  I bake potato chips and crackers, muffins and granola.  That's probably not a great help, but that's what I do.

5.  Tell me about something that made you happy over the past week?

Well, let's see...Monday morning Mom fell.  That didn't make me happy, of course.  I realized I was going to be about twenty minutes later than usual checking on Mom that morning because I'd just put muffins in the oven.  I called her and when I didn't get an answer, pulled the muffins out of the oven, turned the oven off, yelled to Boo that I was running to Mom's house and RAN.  By the time I'd unlocked two doors, disarmed the security system and run like a crazy woman to Mom's back hall, I was shaking and imaging the worst.  Mom was fine.  She'd fallen in the bathroom and was unable to get up with a broken arm.  She was wearing the panic button that should have alerted the security company.  It didn't work.  However, Mom was fine.  (I'd imagined her injured or dead.  Any other outcome was wonderful!) 

I called Boo to let him know.  His response:  "I know.  I prayed and I knew she was OK.  Can we have those muffins now?"  That made me happy as well.  Boo generally doesn't handle emergencies well at all.  He came through this one with flying colors!  Muffins were out however.  I did make a western omelet and sliced cantaloupe.  Boo and Mom were content.

I'd be happier if nothing that exciting happens the rest of the week!

Join Patrice at Everyday Ruralty for more chats.