Sunday, November 7, 2010


My father is only 69 , but he has multiple medical problems and worst of all he has dementia. Dementia, such a cruel disease. Reality slowly slips away and his world becomes smaller and smaller. He has been hospitalized multiple times over the last several years and I realize his health is frail. My mother is older than my father but in better health.
So I was unprepared when I got the call from my mother's neighbor that she was having chest pain and they were taking her to the hospital via rescue. I just never expected it. I think it was probably partially protective since I try not to think about what would happen with my father if she was not there. But, now I had to think about it. I drove several hours that night to get to my parent's house so my dad would not be left alone. It really is not even that- he cannot be left alone. When I drove up he had every light on in the house and he was walking outside waiting for me. He looked so lost and frail that it was all I could do to not break down crying when I saw him. He told me he was out there because he was waiting to see the headlights on my car. The first thing he wanted to know was where my mother was as he could not remember where she was.
My mother was moved to a larger hospital because her local hospital could not perform the tests she needed. At 6:30am the next morning my father  began asking me when we were going to see her and what they were doing with her. I told him the same answer about  20 times, just like I do with TT when she asks me the same question over and over again. He lets his cat in and out about 30 times a day. He lets her out the front door and then lets her in the back door ten minutes later. If she doesn't come in then he is out there looking for her. He forgets what to do with his pills in the middle of taking them. He cannot change the channel on the tv with a remote control. He cannot remember how to turn the shower on. This is a small glimpse of what my mother lives with every day.
My mother was in the hospital for 3 days and honestly it felt like I was there for a week with him. The same questions over and over, the frustration that he has that he cannot remember. Unprepared for my mom's illness and unprepared for the reality of living with dementia. Both of them left me in tears.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples

There are so many things I love about fall and apples are definately one of them. We did not make it to pick them this year( maybe we can sneak it in this weekend if there are any left). Luckily though, we have a great orchard near us which sells them already picked. These are utility apples so they are not the most beautiful, but since I was making apple sauce they are perfect.

I always have great ambitions to can or preserve many items for the winter and spring but I usually run short on time. This year I have managed to make blueberry and strawberry jam, pickles(really yummy ones that I am rationing to last the winter), cranberry sauce, salsa and now apple sauce. Bigguy loves homemade apple sauce, especially when it has that beautiful pink hue when you use Mcintosh apples.

I know we will really enjoy each jar of applesauce and it makes me feel good to have my family eat food that I make and that we know where it comes from and the people who grow it.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Bigguy and I have decided to take pictures of mushrooms and then try to identify them. I have always been  interested in them as I think they are very cool to look at and they seem to pop up out of no where.
We were in New Hampshire camping recently and we found many to photograph. This picture at the top of the post is actually one that we found on the side of the road on the edge of a large field. It was large, about 8 inches across the top and it was surrounded by about 50 other large mushrooms- it was very neat. We were not the only ones to get out and look at them and photograph them.

I have no idea what kind it is. Right now we are better at the picture taking then the identifying but we will get there. We plan to make a book of them. Bigguy is 10 already- where does time go- so it is nice to work with him on something like this.

All of the pictures below are from our trip camping.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms