Licking My Wounds
Well, I met Alat the bus and as I was pushing him up the ramp, I told him I had a…
Well, I met Al at the bus and as I was pushing him up the ramp, I told him I had a big surprise for him. He didn’t say anything.
I got him inside and pushed him up to the waiting cars. He said,”Wow, are these for me?” I said yes and I know I was dancing like little pigs and I was smiling from ear to ear. He looked at them but didn’t touch any. I talked to him about them but he said nothing. I asked him if I could take his picture holding one and he said yes. I placed one in his hand and snapped the two photos above.
That was it, it was over, all done with , dance gone. I guess I am in denial. I expected the old Al. I want to pretend somewhere deep in my mind that he really isn’t that sick. He is just a little sick.
I thought I was adjusted, but I guess not. Al liked the cars, I am sure of it, but me, I crumbled inside because he wasn’t dancing that pig dance with me. There were no big grins or laughter, no spark in his eye. I asked him three times before I got that smile you see, and as soon as the snap was done, the smile left.
I pushed him to the new clock and he looked at it. He asked a couple of questions and then it was gone too.
I wanted to sit down and cry. I want my old Al back. I want to hear the chatter and the laughter again. I pushed him up to the table and he waited for his supper. I gave him Kiwi for the first time. He hesitated but he did eat it. I think he could take it or leave it. I had a pork chop and he is refusing meats unless they are mushy. He also doesn’t want me to puree them either. He says they look funny.
So he had a hot dog cut up with ketchup, mashed potatoes, cut-up tomatoes, and hominy. He ate the hominy, tomatoes and kiwi because he could use his fingers. He ate two bites of mashed potatoes but since he had to use silver ware, he gave up because he was too weak to use the utensils.
I was reading the Hospice book today on signs of someone in their last six months. I hated it so much that I recognized a few of Al in the symptoms. Al used to drink a lot, but anymore he drinks less than half of what I pour. His appetite is definitely down, which the book said thirst and appetite decline as the body does. It also said not to force them or to shame them if they don’t eat well.
After supper I asked him, “Do you want to go back over to the couch and play with your cars?”
“No, I want to brush my teeth and go to bed.”
Well that was that. Somehow I have got to get my mind in the right setting because I am sitting here licking my wounds expecting more but receiving less.
I guess I will look at the positive in this. He is here with me at home. He ate and drank some. He did the smile for the camera. He waved at me when he saw me from the bus when they were letting him down on the lift.
Finally, Sunday has arrived. I woke up early. Put the coffee maker to work. I glanced outside and I saw a peek of sunshine coming through the clouds. I am impressed. The outdoor thermometer says it is 20 degrees. Awesome! It is double digits.
I love Sundays. A day to spend with others in the assembly room. A day to sing and speak. No silence for today. I can wipe that off the calendar for today. I see that we are going to have ice and rain this afternoon. I am going to go pick up Al and let him pick out a place to eat. I am sure we will be back and I will be home before the ice comes and strands people inside their homes.
I say hi to mom and dad, and my grandparents and cousins as this is the day of the week that I would normally be visiting with them after church. If I listen very hard I can hear mom telling me she loves me. Is that her or is that my desire to speak to her again?
I would inhale deeply as I walked into Grandma’s house. The smell of fried chicken would just make my mouth water. As I glanced around her tiny kitchen I would see home-made biscuits sitting on top of the stove to help keep them warm.
In the big cast iron skillet there would be gravy simmering. She would use the left-over drippings and bits of meat and stir flour and milk and oh the memories of that poured over some nice home-made mashed potatoes. I know, we don’t eat gravy today. It is bad for your health. I don’t even make it anymore. But you have to admit it was really delicious wasn’t it?
Grandma would never let it go to waste. After everyone was done eating she would be found lingering at the table dipping pieces of biscuits or bread in the gravy until it was gone. It can’t be that bad for you. She is 96 this year.
There would be frozen corn and canned green beans from the garden and sliced tomatoes that were guaranteed to cover a hamburger. For desserts there was at least two pies. Usually an apple and cherry or we sometimes received peach or black raspberry.
After everything was tidied up we would sit and chat for what seemed hours. We never ran out of things to say. All of us women and the little kids would stay inside and the men folk would go out to the barn or walk the land.
By the time supper rolled around no one was really hungry so piecing was the meal. Make your own supper. I am sure Mom enjoyed this as she didn’t have to cook. If you started cooking at the age of 21 and cooked until you reached the age of 65 you would be cooking for 528 months and 27,456 weeks of your life. What is the answer if you go ahead and figure out how many more times it is if you break it down into seven days a week and three times a day. Anyone have the answer? It is no wonder women all over the world love to be waited on by once in a while by having others cook for them.
Wow, those were the days! Today I have not done the math but how many of us eat out more than we eat at home? Busy schedules of taking kids to activities. Working and then adding over time on top of that. I can’t even begin to think about all the reasons we eat out instead of eating at home. Do you think this has anything to do with the huge weight gains over the years?
Well I have talked so much about those home cooked meals I am not getting hungry. I think I will go make myself a couple of eggs and one slice of whole wheat toast and start on my second cup of coffee. I will talk to you later on. Have a good morning!
Last night I wrote a little story
About my supper how it was gory
I put it in the fridge that night
I knew I would eat and not waste this delight
I got up this morning and made my drink
Coffee with cream , they definitely link
I got in the fridge to get the milk
There sat the crap that I had built
The smell was overpowering me
I put my head between my knees
I got the milk and shut the door
I didn’t want to smell that anymore
When lunch time came and it was time
I got out the bowl but it seemed a crime
I ran the water and dumped the bowl
Down the little garbage hole
Instead I got out the spinach leaves
Cut up tomatoes and some cheese
Added some dressing and spices too
This was my new lunch and I bid ado
My grandma used to say
That vegetables get in the way
I didn’t know what she meant
I looked at her and off I went
Now all grown up and eating right
I cooked some cabbage for tonight
I added some beef for flavor
I wanted my mouth to really savor
Mushrooms and tomatoes and spices too
Put it in the crock-pot and went to do
Some visiting an auction and Al during this day
Bought a big crock and saw Al in a bad way
I knew that I had supper cooking on low
I wanted to eat out but was low on dough
I walked into my house and I thought what is that
It smelled like someone had killed a cat
The stench I inhaled made me pretty sure
That I think I am going to vomit and hurl
I used a clothespin and plugged my nose
As I knew the cooking had a ways to go
When the cooking was done I went to look
I carefully lifted the lid and took
The ladle and stirred it very well
The aroma was not setting off any memory bells
I thought what the heck I will give it a try
I poured some in a pot and closed my eyes
Ok, I did it, I ate and then took a smoke
I felt my tummy rumbling as it began to bloat
I now know what my grandma was referring too
The little toot toots that make you say pew
The day stars early, me in my robe
Washing the chicken and wiping my nose
The kettle is on, calling out the chicks name
I throw it in the pot, turn and wipe my nose again.
I throw some flour into a bowl
And add the yeast and warm water
Stirring and mixing til my fingers become numb
Hurry and cover it, because my hair has come undone.
I wipe my hair out of my face, and wash my fingers too
I grab a loaf of bread and start tearing it apart
Getting closer to making the dressing this year
Getting tired already, better grab me a beer.
Now get the eggs and put them in water
Let them boil until they are hard
Using my knife to cut them in half
One flipped on the floor and all I could do is sit back and laugh.
Making a chocolate dessert can be made ahead
I place pudding in a bowl and start adding the milk
I turn on the mixer and start out on low
I’m mixing it fine, then the telephone blows.
I race to go answer it, forgetting one thing
I didn’t turn the mixer off, now it has a mind of its own
I come back to the kitchen to see what I did
The pudding has exploded all over the lids.
I can do this, pour the green beans in a pan
Stir some mushroom soup in and add onions on top
I open the oven door to place this pan in
A mouse races out causing my mouth to sin.
Is this what Thanksgiving is all about
Fighting early morning and a nose full of snot
All this because I want turkey and more
Now here I stand a mess, while people are entering my door.
This is a recipe that my Grandma made up until she could no longer sit or stand to cook. As she got older, her love for cooking never ended, and so she would get an old wooden stool and sit in her kitchen cooking.
Today, she is 96, and although, she has remained firmly planted to the old ways of cooking, where you used lard, instead of canola oils, and she ate gravy every day and fried every meat, instead of baking, she is a very healthy woman still.
Here is her recipe, that I use still, in fact, I made it yesterday, a big pot, and shared it with Al and my son and his family, and there is one small bowl left, so this tells me I still got the knack!
Home Made Potato Soup With Rivals
Peel potatoes and cut up bite size. Cook until almost complete. While potatoes are cooking, break two to four eggs, depending on how much soup you want, using a whisk, beat them up, add salt and pepper for taste, then mix enough flour to make a pizza dough firmness. With fingers take pieces of dough and roll off of your fingers, allowing smaller pieces to fall in
With the holidays coming up, this brings stress to me this year as it won’t be easy to get out to buy gifts or groceries, but the house will be pretty near darn perfect in cleanliness, since I have been home so much, I am an almost perfect maid!
Along with this, I thought I would mention a little bit about the wonderful holidays I have memories of. Let’s go back in time to when I was a young kid. We would all go to grandma’s house, and at that time, it meant all the families on that side of the family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, brother’s and sisters. There were no excuses as to why someone could not come, it was just a known fact to be there.
Stores were not open, not even gas stations, the world became quiet for one day. The lady of each house would take along at least two side items and so this added to the already wonderful smells when you walked into grandma’s front door. Mmmm, I can still smell the aromas.
All of us kids would go outside and play tag, and run and play. There were no video games or television on. We used our imaginations to have fun. We rode our own bikes our parents brought, or there were always spares to ride.
When mom would open the front door, and yell for us all to come in, we would wash our hands and find our assigned seats at the kids table, and the adults would sit at the grown up table, then some adult would stand up and say a prayer of thanks for our great meal.
Grandma would always make her famous chicken and dressing. She also made fried chicken, and home-made yeast rolls with apricot preserves and lots of melted butter. Along with this she always had peach, and apple ,mincemeat and pumpkin pies, and if we were really good kids, we could have that advance to pie with ice cream on top. There was always a big ham that our uncle would bring and he would slice it and give us each a nice, thick piece, and of course all of us kids fought over the drum sticks and wish bones of the biggest turkey we had ever seen.
There was corn and green bean casserole, and the famous seven layer salad, pickled eggs, lots of sliced cheeses and crackers. A humongous bowl of mashed potatoes with a few lumps in them, and lots of slithering gravy to pour on top, and a big pan of sweet potatoes with lots of brown sugar and marshmallows on it. There were also sliced carrots and bread and butter pickles, red beets, green and black olives, which I always managed to keep going back and snatching another green one.
These were the days, the best of times. Now, today, I have to email my own kids, tell them the date and time of the Thanksgiving meal. Ask them to bring one side dish, and wonder who will and not will show up. Every business in the world seems to be open, so work schedules get in the way, plans with friends by grandchildren are sometimes made, causing some to come, eat and run. I wish I could keep the tradition alive of what was expected and happened so many years ago, but thank goodness I have my memories.
This was my grandma’s favorite recipe for her chicken and dressing, and I still use it today, and now you can try it!
Cook up a whole chicken, cool and de-bone. Put small pieces of chicken in a big bowl, and to this add four to five eggs, and stir. Then cut up small bits of celery stalks, and add some bits of onion, according to your taste. Next, add one loaf of bread, whole wheat or white, that has been tore up into bite size pieces then salt, pepper, and celery salt, and stir. Next add one can of cream of celery soup and one can of cream of mushroom soup and stir. After all this is nicely stirred together, start adding the chicken broth until you have a nice bowl of bread that holds it shape. Pop into a 350 degree oven for thirty-five to forty minutes.
This was a recipe for a big family of 20 plus. You can down size the ingredients to make it the size you need for your family. This is a simple recipe that is moist and makes you want to go back for more. Easy to make as you can cook up your chicken the day before and store it in the refrigerator. There are so many varieties of dressings out on everyone’s table at this holiday, but I always return to the super good recipe of grandmas.
Thank-you grandma for giving me some of the best memories of my life. Grandma is still alive and kicking and no longer bakes those huge, soft, home-made sugar cookies, and no more pies and big chocolate cakes, and no more dressings. In January, she will be 97 years old and she is now taken care of by a very nice nursing home. She was a hard worker, in her day, a farmer’s wife, killing and cutting her own chickens, butchering their own beef, and eating out of her own garden. We could always count on getting good food at any time of the day or evenings by just visiting grandma. I love you grandma.
I am usually so strong, so I can hardly believe I feel so weak and tired. It is only 7:30pm, and I have hours to go before I can go to bed, since Al stays awake so long from his tremors. I sometimes think that it is also partly a habit by now, that his eyes do not want to close until 3:30am. So I will be safe and say it is a mixture of the two.
It was a busy, busy day. No, I didn’t have to clean in the house. I did find the minutes to do a load of Al’s laundry since we changed beds out this morning, and I have just now folded them.
Thanks to so many prayers, my head no longer hurts, and my shoulders do not feel too much pain, but my eyes are so droopy. Is this due to stress or the day of visitors, or maybe just both.
I want to apologize for not responding to too many blog comments or read too many today. Every time I sit down to the PC, my eyes get weary and fuzzy from lack of sleep.
I read two blogs that spoke of me and Al, so I reblogged them so you could read them also. The one was the visit from the blogger friend, who came here to meet Al and me yesterday, and the other is a very nice man who talked about me being so strong.
Guilt sort of came over me after reading his remarks, as today, I don’t feel the strength at all. I feel like I have worked in the fields of a slave owner. I am going to lay down on the couch out here where Al is also lying on the opposite end of the wrap-a-round, and I hope Al forgives me, because I know I will be out. I should not do that, but I am hoping, that since I am a light sleeper, I will hear him moving, or trying to get up.
Everyone showed up today, the nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and the bed company, along with a nice surprise of my granddaughter and daughter-in-law. I tried very hard to turn my head when I had to yawn. LOL
I had made a batch of potato soup today during the breaks of visitors. I had made a white sauce and had cubed potatoes, bacon, fresh sliced carrots and many spices. It was waiting for us for supper. Al said he wasn’t very hungry, and I begged him to eat a little, which he finally did.
I hate to see him lose weight, as he has already lost 53 pounds, so I told him a big thank-you for eating a small bowl of it. I feel so bad for him. He has asked many questions today, which I expected. He was told to put his canes into retirement, and another walker was sent out, so now he has two. One for bare floors and one for carpets. This is really confusing to him, but I just kept saying all day, everyone cares about you so much, we all just want to make sure we do our best to not let you fall. I think I must have said it at least 20 times.
When supper was over, I cleaned up the mess, and placed the left-overs in the refrigerator, and pushed the magic button on the dish washer. Thank-you Ms dishwasher, for not making me stand here tonight.
The tears are fifty per cent gone now and the house is quiet except for the dishwasher and Jeopardy, so I am getting off of here. I am so sorry to all, but I can not stay awake any longer.
A lot of my blogger friends live in the country, or have gardens or farm. When I came across this little love letter I just had to share with you. I thought it was so cute, and I bet my bottom dollar, some of you will enjoy it also!
It is called
A Farmer’s Love Letter
My dearest Sweet Potato,
You are the apple to my eye with your radish hair and your turnip nose. My heart beets for you. My love for you is as strong as onions. Do you carrot all for me? If we cantaloupe, lettuce marry and we will be a happy pear.
Wasn’t that just so adorable????