There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook 27 January 2014

 
Outside my window...the sun is up and forecasters are calling for a high in the 50's!  Doug and I have already been talking about possible outdoors activities for the day.  I have to laugh at the way these southerners complain about the cold and wonder at us in our eagerness to spend all the time we can out in this glorious sunshine.  Spend a few years in the north my friends!
 
I am thinking...about lists.  Lists of things to make, lists of things I want to accomplish in myself and things that I want to learn.  The bright sunshine always makes me optimistic for the future.
 
I am thankful for...the day that we spent yesterday.  We toured two museums in Greenville, had lunch out and then came home and watched two episodes from Father Barron's Catholicism.  After the rosary and some snuggling it was time for bed and the end of a nearly perfect day.
 
From the kitchen...there will be some chicken enchiladas in the crock pot for Doug and mom and some grilled salmon for me.
 
I am wearing...my pj's still.  It is mom's bath day so there is really no sense getting ready for the day until after that chore is over.
 
I am going...to be staying home all day today.  I have a mountain of sewing to do and a new ruler coming in the mail to help me accomplish that.
 
I am reading...The Scarlet Letter. 
 
I am hoping...to get a little pink confection made up and shipped by the middle of next week.  A dear friend gave birth Saturday to a little baby girl which calls for some sweet baby sewing.
 
I am hearing...the furnace taking the chill off the house, mom scraping the last of the applesauce out of her bowl, and Doug listening to some video on youtube.
 
Around the house...there are some necessary chores calling out to be done that I am doing a good job about ignoring.
 
One of my favorite things...creating beautiful dresses for new little lives!
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...going out one of these days to get my hair cut and colored!!! Sorry family members who say they like it grey, I don't.  I was thinking a nice vibrant shade of purple. What do you think Kim Kraeger?
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
My wonderful, loving, patient husband enjoying one of the displays at a museum that we visited yesterday.  The inmate didn't have a good time but I daresay that there is little that we could have done that would have changed that. Yesterday was all about pleasing the man.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook 24 January 2014

 
Outside my window...the sun is shining and the sky is a deep blue color.  It is on days like this one that my spirit is lifted and everything is totally possible.
 
I am thinking...that the Lord sends us sunny days in order to convince us of the virtue of hope.
 
I am thankful for...my Mama whose heart is big enough to embrace me from a long distance. 
 
From the kitchen...mom and Doug are going to enjoy quiche for their dinner tonight.  Tomorrow I plan on putting a nice piece of pork into the crock pot and turning it into some good barbeque!!!
 
I am wearing...jeans and an orange tee shirt.
 
I am going...to spend this evening with my beloved husband. 
 
I am reading...The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne.  I thought I would revisit an old friend.
 
I am hoping...that tomorrow's weather is as nice as today.  I have to run into Greenville and it is always nicer and easier when the sun is shining.
 
I am hearing...the cooking network on TV, the clunking sound of the wooden puzzle pieces as mom puts her puzzle together, and the whir of the fan when the furnace comes on.
 
Around the house...it is warm and cozy.  Doug and I are making a home out of this place and it feels good.
 
One of my favorite things...completing a project and knowing that the recipient will really like what I created.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...since the week is about over there is not a lot of time for plans.  Tomorrow I have to take my laptop into Greenville to the Geek Squad to have the WebRoot software put on it.  When I am done there I will go back to St. Mary's and go to confession and to mass.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Looking at this picture of the water going over the falls brings back a perfect day spent outdoors.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook 13 January 2014

 
Outside my window...it is chilly outside but the sun is already shining brightly and it promises to be another glorious day. 
 
I am thinking...about the long list of things to do today.  After taking Friday off, having an abysmally gloomy day on Saturday and not doing any work on Sunday I am woefully behind.
 
I am thankful for...this man who plans special days like the one we had yesterday.  It was just the medicine needed to cure the rain and gloom of the day before.
 
From the kitchen...I am contemplating something utterly delicious with the two chicken breasts that I took out of the freezer.
 
I am wearing...long john shirt and flannel pants. 
 
I am going...to stay home for most of the day.  The only thing pending today is to take mom to the dr. for blood work but that is an in and out type of visit.
 
I am reading...A 40 Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics
 
I am hoping...to finish a whole pile of things today so that I can make a run to the post office and ship packages tomorrow.
 
I am hearing...the humidifier running in the living room (boy will I be glad when that doesn't have to be going all the time), the blue jays calling outside the kitchen windows, and Doug and mom finishing up their breakfast.
 
Around the house,,,I am beginning to sense an air of welcome and comfort.  On the days when my mother is most cognizant that feeling totally disappears but this morning she is somewhat subdued and so the house is relaxed and comforting.
 
One of my favorite things...the sound of rushing water.  Yesterday's trip to Falls Park in Greenville was a satisfying taste of nature and time in the outdoors.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...finish and ship Kaycie's birthday shirt, the dress and burps that I am making, hat and books for MK and Christopher, books for my friend Mary, and a couple of surprises for my soon to be daughters in law.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Mom and Doug as we set off on the path around Falls Park.  The sun shone brightly and the temperature got up near 60.  It was a perfect day to enjoy the outdoors.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas and taking care

When you are caring for a person suffering from dementia (after a certain point I don't know how much they suffer but I do know that the care giver begins to suffer more!), the day to day tasks begin to make you some what introspective (if you have the time).
As we began to approach the Christmas season my husband and I entered into a strange sense of deja vu. Though it is a futile exercise to try and figure out or predict which mental powers a person with dementia retains or has lost it is extremely interesting to observe them in action.  While preparing for the upcoming Christmas celebration we naturally assumed that my mother would retain some knowledge, understanding, something to do with the season and its meaning since she was born and raised a practicing Catholic.  WRONG! When quizzed about what Christmas was my mother had no reply. When the nativity scene was pointed out to her he only reaction was a comment about how pretty it was.
 
Enter the deja vu!!!!!!  All we could do was harken back to when our children were young and didn't know yet what Christmas was all about.  Each evening before the recitation of the rosary we began what had once ben a very familiar routine sitting before he nativity and telling the story of the birth of Jesus.  There are those who would call this a humbling experience, humbling it may be, but heartbreaking is more the way to describe it.  While my children slowly learned and understood what they were being taught, to my mother everything was new each night.  At each retelling my children would remember more and more and would be able to fill in the blanks themselves, the same cannot nor will ever be the same for my mother.  Each evening's telling of the Christmas story was a new experience for her.  Asking questions of her, no matter how leading they were, became an exercise in futility.  Then one evening something occurred to me, this exercise had nothing to do with my mother, I could quit or not it would all be the same to her.  The person to whom it mattered, Jesus Christ, desperately wanted me to continue.
 
 
 
Christmas for my mother was confusing and troubling.  She couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  Why the lights, garlands, tree, and the music?  What were all the packages about?  Having to open presents was almost enough to send her over the edge. (she is so OCD that the thought of ripping the paper nearly paralyzed her).  Is this the face of a woman who is full of the Christmas spirit?  Her greatest angst that day was the fact that I made her wear a skirt instead of pants. (Touche' dear mothe!)
 
Dementia is a strange master. Now that the season is over and all the lights, garland, and ornament have been taken down and put away mom is much improved.  She is less tense and confused on a daily basis.  She looks around the house as if to say, "What is going on around here?"  She has always been a creature of routine, order, and habit and that is the one predictable thing about this disease, it makes these traits more intense.  So we are back to order, routine, and habit, at least until the next celebration comes along!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook Wednesday 8 January 2014

Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly and it has warmed up into the 40's finally!  I know you people in the north have had much colder temperatures but somehow know I am living in the south makes temperatures in the teens an affront.
 
I am thinking...about changes and being forced to change.  I used to complain about changes, even fight change but now, after living with a woman who is suffering from dementia I am coming to terms with the place that change plays in our lives.  I think that change, to a degree, plays a role in keeping the brain sharp. 
 
I am thankful...for the power that the Lord has given to me to notice things, analyze them, and come to conclusions about what I should do in my life.
 
From the kitchen...there are two loaves of bread cooling on the counter and two GF pizza crusts waiting to be topped with a whole lot of goodness.  Thank you Sharon for that wonderful cookbook!!! I am loving all the GF goodies that it contains.
 
I am wearing...a big baggy shirt and sweat pants.  Today is a day to stay home and get a lot of things done. 
 
I am going...to stay home for the next couple of days (I hope). I have all the embroidery done on the burps that I am making and the dresses and panties done as well. Now all that is left is the fasteners on the dresses and the trimming on the burps.
 
I am reading...the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson.  I have been feeling the need for some poetry lately.
 
 I am hoping...to finish this sewing job and ship it by the weekend so that I can get going on Ryan and Kathleen's wedding present and on their album quilt for their reception.
 
I am hearing...the ice machine doing its job in the kitchen, the furnace keeping the house warm, and The Hunger Games audio book playing on the stereo.
 
Around the house...everything is warm, bright and sunny.  I love the fact that this house is situated so that the sun pours in the windows for most of the day.  I have my sewing area set up in the living room in front of the two biggest windows in the house.
 
One of my favorite things...these days when I know that I have been doing what God has sent me here for.
 
A few plans for the rest of the week...finish my sewing, pick up the car when it is done at the mechanics, keep up with Mom's physical therapy, keep loving my family and stay close to my God.
 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
 
Mom getting her first manicure.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

For all of my GF friends...

 
My very dear sister-in-law, Sharon, gave me this book for Christmas and let me say that it is a real keeper!
After being invited to my brother's house to enjoy a pizza dinner and being treated to a GF crust that was made from a recipe in this book I knew that Sharon had found a the answer to gluten free eating.
 
Imagine my surprise when, on Christmas morning, I opened my package and not only was this book in there but also a number of the flours that figure in many of the recipes!  I felt like I had found a treasure.
 
Today I finally got a chance to do some baking and my first attempt was the recipe for English Muffins.  Being the most versatile type of bread product I thought they might be a good place to start.
 
My oven runs a bit on the warm side so they did come out a little darker than I would have liked but I gave one a try and I have to say they are more than acceptable.

The recipe as it is written makes 24 muffins so I cut it in half since I only had 12 muffin rings. They are not only chewy but they even have nooks and crannies when you split them.

I highly recommend buying this book if gluten free eating is in your lifestyle.  Another resource that Sharon introduced me to is nuts.com.  On this website I was able to find all of the flours that were listed in the book and at lower prices than were available locally.  Happy baking everyone.