Grandpa:”I need “three” prunes!”
Jill:”You’ve been leaving one in the dish every day for the last week. I’m only giving you two.”
Grandpa:”I “NEED” three prunes!
Jill:”Only if you’re going to eat them. I don’t want to have to go to the store any sooner then I have to. I run a tight ship! You were in the Army…I mean Navy…I mean Air Force – don’t “mess” with the mess hall! If you want three prunes, you’d better eat them!”
Grandpa couldn’t find his roll of “Forever” stamps, but Bob said he knew where they were.
Anna also offered to help. “I’ll help you get them after dinner, Grandpa.” she said.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Grandpa said marveling at everyone’s willingness to help.
“I’m spoiled!” he added.
It’s fun to spoil Grandpa!
“I love my bedroom,” Grandpa said.
While he was in the nursing home, he prayed that he would have a room someday all by himself where he could write. And he asked for a room with a view, too. His bedroom has windows on three sides facing north, east, and south. So, technically this move is all a result of Grandpa’s prayers – not to mention mine. Sometimes we have to wait a long time for our prayers to be answered, but God is faithful – and always right on time!
Because Grandpa has Parkinson’s, and limited mobility, he cannot transfer from a wheelchair, walker or bed without help. When he needs to use the washroom, take a shower, take a nap, get up from a nap or get anything beyond his reach, we have to help him. For all intensive purposes, we are Grandpa’s legs (and sometimes his hands).
When he struggles to stand up, it takes him a few seconds to find his center of gravity. If he’s having a “bad day” (bad day meaning lack of strength), helping him up can be like trying to lift a 50-pound bag of sugar off the table with your pinkie. Because Parkinson’s medicines wear off after a few hours, they have to be taken three times a day. Still, by 5:00 p.m., it seems like Grandpa has accumulated enough dopamine to fire-off a small rocket and he fairly bounces up to his walker from a sitting position. Afternoons are a good time for him to work out on his exercise equipment or take a few laps around the house with his walker.
Since being liberated from the nursing home, the ratio of personal care has risen in Grandpa’s favor from 6 to 1 (the six in our family to Grandpa’s one). How true the saying “many hands make light the work!” In nursing homes, the industry norm 15 to 1 (15 residents to one CNA!). Wow, I can’t fathom being in charge of 15 seniors at one time. Is it really possible to call that care?
Talk about adapting. It isn’t the nursing home staff who does the adapting. Once you walk (or are pushed) through those doors, you must adapt to the nursing home’s policies and the way their staff does things – like it or not.
Yes, since Grandpa came home, he is definitely upwardly mobile.
Yesterday we picked 60 pounds of cucumbers from Robert’s Cucumber Haus. We’re going to make Bread and Butter Pickles, so I had him pick up the necessary ingredients form the store: ground turmeric, ground ginger, canning salt, vinegar and yellow onions. I already had mustard seed and whole peppercorns (from last year’s batch), and sugar. Of course we have plenty of cucumbers. Yes, it’s time to get out the Ball jars, lids, and canning equipment. Why is it always 90 degrees out when you want to can?
It‘s been an incredible year for growing vegetables. I’ve never seen the garden look so lush. We’ve had hothouse temperatures and just the right amount of rain – enough to make the garden look like one of those sci-fi movies with 40 foot tall plants (I exaggerate a wee bit). Actually, the sunflowers are the tallest I’ve ever seen them – I’m guessing they’re about eight feet (tomorrow we must measure them). We’ve harvested some grape tomatoes, but we’re still waiting for those big and juicy “home grown tomatoes.”
Lest I paint too idyllic a picture, we’ve had our share of pests, too. Today Anna and I took duck tape, turned sticky side out, and dabbed up a multi-generational family of squash bugs sipping the life out of one of our zucchini plants. I really haven’t been paying attention and I’m afraid we’ve lost most of our acorn squash. For some reason you don’t see squash bugs until it’s almost too late. As you lift a leaf to see if a plant is infected, they stealthily move to the underside or hide under the stalks close to the ground.
We’ve been staying away from toxic bug killers this year, hence the duct tape method. I did read that imitation vanilla repels them, but I don’t have any. We’ll go on patrol again tomorrow and see if we can spot any more and apply a little friendly pressure as we escort them off the premises. I might draw a squash bug for you, but only if I’m inclined. They make me so mad; I hardly feel a desire to record their likeness for posterity.