Friday, August 2, 2019

THE ART OF MOM


A quick post to show you my latest acquisition.
A good friend of my Mom's passed me a little money 
under the table and told me to buy something
as a tribute to my Mom.
I thought about a plant or tree but that didn't seem quite right.
Mom was not a big flower person and if I planted a tree
but moved away in a few years it would be lost to me. 

On a whim, last month while browsing etsy
I decided to get a whimsical piece of art to honor her.

I sent them this photo and told them to scrap the bib
and make the meal a big bowl of ice cream
(her favorite food in the world).

When I opened it last week
I wasn't sure I liked it.
I bought a frame, hung it and
lived with it for a couple of days.

I think I like it and glad I did it.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

LET THERE BE CAKE


Yes, it's that time of year again. 
 The annual
 Davidson Family
Cake Bake Off.


This year my sister in law, Pat picked the cake, a deep south
tradition, The Lane Cake.

Lane Cake was new to me so I went to Google.
When I read it was mentioned in Harper Lee's
"To Kill A Mockingbird",
well, that's all I needed to be
 ALL IN.

"To Kill A Mockingbird" is one of my
favorite books and defiantly my favorite movie.

"Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded 
with shiny it made me tight"
Scout Finch.

There are many versions the
 Alabama State Cake,
I went with a traditional version.
When I printed off my recipe and found it was
four pages long,
I knew I was in trouble.
My recipe states this cake gets better the longer
it's stored in the frig, hence the shiny.
I used bourbon.

Day one was about baking the cakes.
Mine called for three layers.
It is a sponge cake and called for eight egg whites.

Day two made the filling.  
Eight egg yokes, sugar, raisins, nuts, flavoring, coconut,
and of course the spirits,
only a half cup.

Quite tasty, but even with just half a cup...
pretty strong.

Now into the refrigerator to do its thing
for at least two days and up to two weeks.
After that the frosting.


Day four...I couldn't wait any longer.
Today I made the boiled frosting, something
I've never done before.

I've also never used a candy thermometer
in fact I had to borrow this one from Susan.
This cake has been fun to make, I've had to step up 
and learn some new skills.
I'm not so sure about this boiled frosting...not sure how it 
should look or what the correct thickness is but
it is what it is.



And here she is!

The Lane Cake
You can find this recipe here
Father's Day is this Sunday and that's when I'll cut this beauty.
I'll let you know what everyone thinks.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

SAYING GOODBYE

 Deloris Irene Davidson
June 12, 1929-May 6, 2019

Today she would have been 90
but her little body said no, 
89 is a very good number.

We had a very simple ceremony
at Valhalla Memory Garden.
The plan was to have only a grave site, 
but the weather wasn't agreeable
and so we held it in the chapel.

 The last two weeks were the roughest
with visits in and out of the emergency and hospital.
Finally when pneumonia set in...
she had had enough.

Over the last month Dad, Cooper and I 
have been trying to figure out what our new
routine will be now that Mom
is not at the center of it.




 Mom left behind some notes of her wishes.
Who she wanted to get certain personal items 
that she cherished.  She had a collection of
 crystal candy dishes she wanted people to have.
She wanted her best friend Wanda to have her
jewelry box and most of the contents.


My Mom loved clothes and she loved buying them.
When I first move here three years ago she had them
in three large closets.  I got rid of many of them then to 
make room for my own and for just peace of mind.
Over the last year she only wore pajamas unless she was
going to the doctors, but still she had tons.
I ended up giving Goodwill about twelve or so bags full.


My next task will be figuring out what to do
with her bedroom.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM
I LOVE YOU


Friday, May 3, 2019

ENDGAME





March and April have been tough months for Mom.
Several bad days and a couple of very bad days
came at the beginning of March. I thought she was doing better, then she had a fall trying to get out of bed on her own.  She started getting weaker and needed more help with things she could usually help with...getting out of bed, transferring from her chair to the toilet, etc.  Then I notice her left leg was beginning to swell up.




I couldn't just run her in to the doctor because she was now unable to go up and down our few steps to the car.  I ordered a portable ramp from the Wal-Mart online store and when it came we got her in a few days later.  Doctor Edwards sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound and Mom had developed a blood clot. He prescribed a blood thinner and sent us home.  This was on the fifth of April.



Four days later 911 had to be called because she was so out of it.  She was admitted to the hospital for a UTI and observation for two days. Came home with a 10 day supply of antibiotics and some home health help. The antibiotics gave her diarrhea from day one and continues to this day.



When the antibiotics ended ten days later, Mom took another fall the Saturday before Easter, this one giving her a head injury.  I thought it best to call 911 again because of the blood thinners.
Treated with one stitch and released.



While recovering from the UTI and under home health care she started developing a rash on her bad leg. It started concerning the nurse and on the twenty third, that's three days later from the last emergency visit, back we go at the urging of home health.  This time I was able to drive her because her strength had improved.
Diagnosis, a deep skin bacteria infection called Cellulitis and more antibiotics prescribed...the diarrhea continues.



Next day, she seemed better, following day not so good and then the next day was very bad.  She was having a hard time breathing so I called home health.  When the nurse arrived she called 911,  she thought Mom had aspirated and it sounded like it could be pneumonia.  She was on the money.  The hospital kept Mom for four nights all the time her improvement going up and then down.



Now she is in a skilled care facility and we have began talks of hospice. The antibiotics she is receiving are not helping and she is struggling to breath.  Comfort care drugs have been started and she will officially be in hospice around May tenth.

You probably didn't care to read all this but it helps to write it down.
 Lots of anxiety and stress are swirling around me right now,
 I just want her to have some peace.
We're in the endgame now. 



Sunday, April 7, 2019

A SIMPLE CELEBRATION

 Yesterday we celebrated Dad's 93rd birthday.
It was a very low key affair...
a good meal and spending time together.


Dad spent much of the day on a project.
Our front door got stuck and had to come down
for a repair.

Dad is happiest when he has something 
to tinker with or repair, so I was happy when the 
job presented itself.

It takes him a bit longer to figure out and complete a task,
but he always gets the job done.

It took Dad, my visiting sis Susan, and myself to get the
door back on its hinges. We worked together as a team and made it happen.  Sue was not only up for Dad's birthday
but to help me get Mom to the doctors. She's had a bad month
and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to manage her
on my own.  She can't walk or go up and down stairs right now
so I purchased a portable ramp from Walmart which made the job so much easier.

My main concern was some swelling in one of her legs
and knew I needed to get her in asap, not to mention she has
become harder and harder to get up and down in the bed
and on the toilet.
 Turns out she has blood clots in her leg. 


 Doctor Edwards decided to treat 
Mom at home with medication
 instead of putting her in the hospital.
The nurse made it very clear if Mom
 couldn't or wouldn't 
take her pills she would have to be admitted.

The weather couldn't have been lovelier yesterday
for Dad's birthday, in fact our first hummingbird of the season
made it's appearance to said hi.

Well that's the news for now
thanks for stopping by.




Thursday, March 7, 2019

SAYING GOODBYE

Saying goodbye to a good friend.

Sweet Daisy
A much loved pet.
3-6-2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

MY THREE YEAR ANNIVERSITY

 This week marks my three year anniversary
of moving to Fayetteville and in with my parents 
to be their caregiver.

In anticipation of my fourth year, I decided to 
tackle a few decorating projects.

The first one was and is risky,
but I did it anyway.
I've always liked this chair but not the color.
I did some reading and found that 
chalk paint works on fabric,
I plunged in.

The first coat went on pretty easy.

It took four coats before I was satisfied.
I also put two coats of wax on, which made it 
much more soft.

I don't know if I would have been so quick if this
chair got lots of use, in fact it's really just an accent chair.
Sandy, our helper is probably the only person that
sits in it regularly.  Time will tell if it will hold up,
down the line it can easily be recovered.

Second project this little chest.
A big problem for my sensibilities here is that
there is just too much brown wood.
Wood floors, wood doors, wood walls, wood furniture.
I chalk painted the drawers of the chest only and
it works well against the paneling.

Next I took on our little kitchen table and chairs.
The chairs were a bit harder, they didn't seem to want to
cover as well.  After four coats I had had enough...
it'll do.

The table legs were much easier, I added a little
water to the paint which helped lots.

By the way, I had never chalk painted before and
the fact that chalk paint tends to be a little pricey
has kept me from trying my luck.  When I found this
Waverly paint in the craft section at Wal-mart
I thought, why not. They have it in two sizes, 8 oz. at $6 
and 16oz. at $10.  The smaller size was enough paint for
each of my projects with some left over in each bottle.

I'm not quite finished yet, my table legs still need
to be waxed and the chairs buffed but I am
already happy that I went for it.
As I look around the house, I'm thinking...
what's next.