Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gardening Adventures and Successes, Here’s to 2018!

This year I managed to have the time to start getting the garden ready for planting and then plant in March!  I have aimed at that time for years and finally was able to do this.  I started with getting rid of the dirt that I had purchased and put into the 5′ x 20′ garden box in 2017.  Beware when ordering dirt that you know exactly and have proof of what you are ordering is the same as what you get.

Also, be careful not to accept a company based upon the name!  I have seen these kinds of things over and over in business where people that are trying to sell their products by claiming they have a special trustworthiness like “Christian lawn services” or such like.  Absolutely its nice to know if your business relation has a reputation for doing the right thing and not cheating you, but going by their name is not the way you know that.  Like I said, I have seen this through business over the years in many facets of the business I am in.  Was blind sided this time because not only were they calling the company “Integrity” but they were in my own neighborhood and stated on flyers they were military.  Double whammy on the representations and of course I bought into it.  Softy for military.

So, I had asked for the same kind of dirt I had in the box (there was 1/3 left in the box) and to be sure to purchase from a certain landscape company that has this organic mulched composted soil.  It was literally 10 minutes from the house, but I do not have the where-with-all to get this type of job done and must hire someone.

Low and behold, I saw the trailer when it was sitting out front as I returned from work and saw a huge clod of clay on it.  Looked at the dirt in the backyard in the box and could not really tell but seemed lighter to me.  I had paid them.  Need I say more.

So, not knowing for sure it was bad soil, I planted and watered.  My garden barely did anything.  It had a sandy appearance on top.  It seemed as if it was clay and sand and perhaps some other darker soil, but it was not the composition I needed.

I had the same GOOD soil for 10 years and had worked and shaken the plants until the dirt was down about 8 inches.  So, I needed more dirt or the thin layer left would start to turn into grass and weeds!

This year I had a new landscape company that made no representations at all, I just saw them working in the neighborhood and liked their work.  After using them for about a year I could see how trustworthy they were.  They actually told me to go out to the organic landscape site and pick out exactly what I wanted so there would be no doubt.  I did that and went ahead and paid for it while I was there at contractor rates (which were great!).  So, I paid a pretty penny for getting this done again, but it was right this time.  Lesson learned!

Now, I have a beautiful box of organic soil with just the right mixture, light and full of compost and mulch, some sand, some lava sand, but not enough to weigh down the garden and make it hard to work.  It was almost like potting soil.  Back in business!

Then we had a very cold Spring!  So I had planted with warmth in mind and a lot of my “warm” season plants turned white on the leaves.  These were cucumbers.

I planted two types:  pickling and smooth.  Also, planted leeks, carrots, beets, radishes, salad greens and pepper plants.  I learned that you need to start Bell Peppers inside before transplanting them in the box when weather is truly warm.  Done.  I also learned that its best for us hobby gardeners to plant onions inside until more mature and then transplant.  I am using moss containers that will disappear when planted into the garden after this window seat period of seedlings.

Also, I was delighted to find some vines called “Morning Glory” that are very pretty and hearty to plant inside and in no time those came up and are now climbing up to the blinds!  They are very cute!  I will be transplanting them soon to take up some open spots along the fence and provide beauty and more privacy at the same time.  It will also draw more butterflies and bees!  The colors are violet, blue and pink mixed with some white.

End of summer of 2017 I planted 6 new bushes in the back.  They started out just about a foot high.  Now the roses are about 3 1/2′ high bordering the back of the house in 3 colors.  So majestic looking!  Also added 2 desert bushes called “Sage” that have the most eye popping horizon colored flowers late in the summer.  Need almost no water.  Last but not least, one more tree which will be a deep purple colored Crape Murtle.  All but one of these were purchased at Walmart at end of season.  Great value! (I know, that’s what they say on all their private label goods, but its TRUE).

Back to my current gardening.  The last new plants I will attempt to grow are watermelon, cantelope and lemons!

All in all this has been an interesting and challenging new Spring season!  Glad to get things back in order.  I will report next time of the growth and production and show a few photos.  Happy gardening folks!  Its that time of year again!

Good luck with your landscape help!

Getting Old, Infirm and Feeble—Plan

Many of you may have wondered what happened to me over 2014. The answer is, my mother. In late 2013 my 86 year old mother fell and broke her hip. She has had a form of alzheimers for many years and I have taken care of her in her home for the last 10 years or so prior to this fall. I had been concerned that we might have reached the end of her being able to stay at home, and that day, November 21, 2013, it came home to roost.

Finding her in that condition laying on the floor early one morning, cold, soiled and in pain, with no memory of what happened was an emotional time but dare not let it show.  Adrenaline ensued and I acted quickly but calmly beginning with checking her and cleaning her and calling for an ambulence.  I did not want her embarrassed in the condition I found her.  She was okay but had obviously broken her hip.

So began our journey that has lasted through this day. Staying awake for 37 hours straight through wintry, snowy, icy weather, sleeping on the floor of a cold hospital room so my mother would not be scared and I could help her through the night. Running back and forth bringing things, food as well as clothing. Keeping her calm and making sure the care was adequate.  All in all I could not have been happier with the medical staff at Harris Hospital downtown Fort Worth. There were RN’s at her side 2 and 3 at a time throughout the entire ordeal.  She was in for surgery the first evening admitted to the hospital. Up on her feet in a day and half. Doctors orders for rehabilitation and long term care.

Scarey words “long term care” otherwise mostly known as a nursing home. All the plans we had made to have her stay in her new home 2 miles from me until she died had faded. She was no longer safe there. This is my mother. The one that listens to me day and night and has been my constant friend. This is my mother. We will get through this together.

Each day runs into each night and days and nights start blending together where I do not know what day it is any longer.

Searching for a place for mother to go to rehab and nursing care was daunting. I took the advice of a surgical nurse and went to visit one place I had not heard about. When I got there I was amazed. Looked like the Hilton Hotel for older folks. bright colors, beautiful decorations, large carpeted hallways, music playing, nicely dressed staff walking about, a private salon that was “free” to patients, 9 doctors available for care on staff, large rooms with showers in them, a beautiful dining room with steam cleaned kitchen and very nice staff. So, after speaking with the sales rep I decided this would be a fantastic place for her if our pocket books would afford it.  Surprisingly it was not too expensive.  On we go. She was delighted. I took an overnight blow up bed to stay beside her there the first night and make sure she was comfortable and the staff could learn how to work with her, post hip surgery patient.

She did well. I did pretty well also. So days would turn into weeks and weeks into months and I would find myself daily going to see her and check on her. First few weeks were okay. After that, a constant struggle to keep her clean, fed, given water and not neglected. We made as many friends as we could. But, the negligence grew and before I knew it what was only a 2 month stay felt like a year. Two major incidents dislocating her hip and ending up in the hospital emergency room with her praying God would take her to stop the pain. First time, 7 hours in the ER giving her 9 rounds of pain meds. Finally, 3 doctors came in and stood on the bed, literally with nurses around her and they had put her out so she would not feel the pain as they pulled the prosthetic hip back into its joint.

This happened twice.

The 2nd time was the ending of that nursing home. She had 2 E-coli bladder infections and the last one made her so delirious she fell again at 4:00 a.m. and dislocated that hip again. I was called and they did not know what happened, she was just in her bed. The first time was trying to get off the potty with help and it dislocated.
Finding out at the ER room that she was supposed to have had a tall potty, strong flat seat on her wheel chair, never cross her legs, never sit in a low place and try to get up and perhaps a few others. The nursing home was not doing any of these things.

There were many meetings with the “executives” of the facility, Dean of nurses, Administrator, LVN’s, RN’s, and anyone who would listen. They would seem sympathetic and for a few days things would be better, then back to the same. No real response was ever made.

So, advised by my mother’s elder attorney to always go several times a day to visit and monitor and help and I did that. I was on top of any meds they wanted to administer, any therapy she was supposed to have, all cleanliness issues, bath issues, food issues, sickness issues. The E-coli bladder infection was caused by leaving her in soiled underpants. This happened more than once. I would see the symptoms of bladder infection, the odor, her mood change, lack of energy and lack of appetite and they would ignore me. Refuse to give her a urine test, lie about giving her a test and start her on meds before I knew about it.

My experience has been that it is absolutely nothing to be lied to by a worker in a nursing home. It is all about the money and lack of genuine care.  In our area of Texas, nursing homes take in approximately 5000 per month per person, for one half a room and little to no care, at least in our area of Texas (DFW).  The turnover rate is a disaster.  I would just get the certified nurse assistants trained on how to handle mother and they would leave.

So, after two months of an unending story of negligence, even with my presence, there every single day and doing as much as I could physically do and hold a job at the same time, she was losing the battle.

The night I was called at 4:00 a.m. I drove to the nursing care center and told them she had to go to Harris downtown and met them there. This time she was being treated a lot better at this downtown hospital. The first dislocation she was at a local new satellite hospital near the home. This time she was attended to immediately with pain meds and attention and got the dislocation fixed and many tests made on her immediately.

A four day ordeal with her on a drip to get rid of the E-coli and then they fitted her for a body brace. Because she had 2 dislocations, the only way her body could heal is with a body brace. . . .for 3 months!

Three months is a long time in the life of anyone, but especially an elderly woman with not much memory left.

I was with her more than ever now. We had a meeting with the hospital RN case manager and found a better place for her to go to. I went to the place and checked it out and was pleased with what I saw, heard and did not smell. It was 15 minutes from my work and home. This seemed like a good fit and off she went.

Better, but still requiring my attention every single day and night. I am there perhaps 2 to 3 times per day and especially at meal times to make sure she is clean and eating. Simple things like offering a drink of water to make sure she is hydrated—never.

Another good looking place, some better practices and a lot of good things about it, but still have to stand over them every day.

The bad things are daytime help. You have 1 person called CNA (certified nurse assistant) who is assigned to 15 people for the day from 6:00 to 2:00 p.m. Then 1 person from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. then 1 person from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. The best staff is at night at this place. I was there one night when she was ill and saw them going with a cart room to room changing people’s underpants and making sure they were clean and dry. They do that well. They also clean down all the wheel chairs, sanitizing them. The nurses on staff periodically checking on the patients to see if allright. I am pleased with that. They had a great SPA with one person designated for each shift to bathe the patients. Very nicely done, warm environment with hot towels and lotion, dress them and wheel them back to each of their rooms. The food is also good.

I have only heard of 1 CNA or other personnel getting fired in this entire year–it was extreme negligence.  Then, there was the incident with the CNA.  There was one that had forced my mother to put on pajamas and my mother fought with her and the next day I found bruises all up and down her arms, bloody looking.  I had already put her to bed and given the nurse instructions to be gentle with her because her hip was hurting.  I let her sleep in her clothing–she was clean.  She did not want to be moved.  Then, next morning I found her with bruising all up and down her arms.  I investigated it and found who did it and she admitted she forced my mother to put on pajamas but accused my mother of hitting herself.  That simply is not true.  My mother does not hit herself.  But that person was not fired–even though they filed an abuse report with the State of Texas agency that oversees these homes.  I received a letter in the mail that it was dismissed.  They never called me and asked me what I found.  I was the main witness along with the nurses that saw her condition and heard the CNA admit.  I called the State agency and asked about it and they stated that it was not unusual that the CNA was not fired, they allow them to rehabilitate.

So, what do I do each day? Visit in the morning before work, sometime around lunch before, during or after. Come back at dinner time and get her to bathroom and dining hall and make sure she eats, get her ready for bed, brush teeth, give water, change clothing, see to it the bed linens are clean, set out clothing for next day and take home her dirty laundry. Wash each night and bring back clean in the morning. Why? because if I didn’t, she is likely (and has) missed meals, not enough water, no one brushes teeth, would make her wait until very late to get help. She has to go to bed at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. each night. Wants to go to bed as soon as she is finished eating.

I am relating this to you because I never dreamed this would or could happen. Everyone I talk to says the same thing. Every nursing home I ever hear about does the same thing. When I ask the attorney about changing it to home care I was advised the same kind of things happen at home.   If you are thinking about doing it yourself?  Its too much on one person. She needs 24 hour care.  So, at least I know one thing, she is likely to eat breakfast and be dressed by the time I get to work. She is “likely” to eat lunch, but may not if I do not come by and see to it she goes and eats. She is not likely to get dinner unless I go by there myself and do it all, a-z.

I am not alone with these problems, but dare to say there are but a few–8 to 10 families out of 120 at this nursing center that do what that attorney said you MUST do and come by and see to their care every single day. Most of them do not come at all. There are some that come on special occasions. So the ones that are there suffering through the same episodes day after day lean on each other to keep alerted about their loved ones when they are not there.

Meetings about the level of care happen once per month between those on the “family council” which are basically the 8 to 10 that are there every day,  but nothing seems to change. Example, an ice and water machine out of service for a month now. All the patients love ice water at their bedside. No one brings it to them. They have to get it themselves or a friend or family member gets it for them.  So, their answer to that is having ice chests where patients can grab a scoop with their hands, get the ice and dump the scoop back into the ice.   Then fill up with water from a sink.  Not sanitary I told them, but still happening.  So I have been bringing my mother ice and water from my home each day.  Simple thing, water. No one seems to care.

So, I am seeing to it that she is getting food, water, cleanliness all day long, bathroom visits, some exercise, do not want her laying in the bed all day when she is able to be up. Basically, the family must be a “watch dog” and nurse assistant for the duration of the stay in order to insure the family member’s well being, safety and health. If you are one of the lucky ones and do not have to work when your loved one is needing you, you “could” try this at home, but let me tell you its not advised. Its too much on one person and if you are like me, there just is no back up. I am the only one that can or will care for my mother.

I have mentioned only a few items here. Its unbelievable to me that this industry is so lacking, no genuine apologies, and the worst thing—when you are in the middle of this there are no more choices. I have heard families that have moved their loved ones 6 and 8 times trying to get better care. Does not exist in the normal realm.

Before this all happened, I was looking.  I did found one nursing center that was good.  It was called Christian Care Center. It was very good and had a good reputation. I missed out on it because I did not know they had a wait list, 2 years long.  It has lots of Christian volunteers to help in many ways so patients get what they need. The atmosphere is good, food is good and people are well cared for.  This is an exception and is rare.

So, this is the best I can do for now and finally deciding that has taken some time. I have explored every possible option. Its now been a full year at the new place. Same things, but still better than before.

This time in my life and my mother’s is surely the most difficult. But every day when I see her smiling at me and telling me how glad she is to see me, I just forget about all the trouble for a while and enjoy just being with my mother. I have made many friends at the home both the patients and their families. I have learned to love many different kinds of people there and try to bring light to those that have no one to visit them or look over them.

I wanted to write about this in order to bring this very important subject to the surface. What are we doing for our elderly? How are these nursing facilities getting by with mistreatment and neglect over and over and rake in huge dollars at the same time?

I am urging those that are reading this to start researching early and try to make a difference so that you and those you love may have a comfortable and trustworthy experience should you live a long life and need nursing care. We never know what will happen, but its a good thing to plan, investigate, get knowledgeable, and perhaps volunteer.

Thanks for reading this short story about a very difficult, long enduring subject. Be smart. Be prepared. Be aware and try to make a difference in your town. Make your plans and help others live better lives in their old age. God Bless.

Grandma and Amazing Grace

When you think you know what God has in store for you, think again.  Last August 23, 2017 to be exact, my mother at 90 was hospitalized with the worst possible bacteria that can kill young people.  It was described to me as “swamp bacteria”.  It literally is formed from standing water.  As I said before (October of 2017) it was a horrible ordeal and once again I thought she would not make it.  Well, not only has she made it, she has improved to the point that she is now in weekly therapy to gain her ability to stand and maybe walk again!  She is smiling daily.  She has a great appetite.  Still working on getting fluids down her, but if you offer her Vitamin Water or a Green drink, she’s in!  Working with dementia and alzheimers patients is constant learning experience.  You see change of habits, change of eating choices and drinking choices.  Change of likes and dislikes.  It is a continuum.

One blessing that came from that August of 2017 hospital visit, is she no more has bladder infections! Amazing.  No matter whether she is drinking a little or a lot, no infection.  It is now closing in on 8 months since that ordeal with the major bacteria.  From what I can put together with conversations and examples and what I have read, these bladder infections must have come from a bacteria colony living in her that was coming up all the time because it could never be quite killed off!  The drugs and length of time she was taking them to kill off the major bacteria of 2017 must have swept her bladder and urinary tract clean and now she is running smoothly! But don’t underestimate a person’s stamina and constitution.  She is strong.

So, one less thing to worry about.  Now it is a daily task to  make sure drinking enough fluids.  She does not like water any longer, but sometimes will drink it.

Counting my blessings!  Still have my mom!  The  kids still have their grandmother and she is happy as she can be!  She is more talkative than before.  Seems to follow better.  Has her favorite shows she watches each day.

I am passing this along as a health topic because it is a major health topic.  We are all getting older and will all face similar things in our old age.  Maybe not dementia, maybe not alzheimers, but the physical ailments will certainly arrive.  To her credit, my mother has never been on any form of drug as a daily regimen.  She did not hardly go to the doctor in all of her life.  Taking anti-biotics was a ‘have to’ thing, temporarily.  She has tackled everything, even blood pressure, with a naturepathic eye.  The nursing home she is in right now has been tolerant of her taking her herbs and vitamins.  She gets home-made food most every day from me.  I am always packing! (homemade food that is) in my bag for her! Stay tuned! 91st birthday coming up in 2 1/2 months!

Grandma Where Have You Been?

Late in 2013 my mother took a fall one morning and broke her hip.  That would lead to a cold hospital stay in downtown Fort Worth, sleet, snow and ice.  I remember staying in my mother’s room overnight each night as she needed monitoring.  The only place to sleep was directly on the cold concrete linoleum floor right next to a window where the cold from the winter storm pounded on the pane.  That week I stayed awake for a total of 38 hours straight  My mother was confused and helpless.  We were lucky to get a very good orthopedic surgeon that same evening to operate on my 86 year old mother and provide her with a prosthetic hip.

We knew that one day this would happen and happen it did.  She was no longer able to stay at home.  Doctor said she would have to be in 24 hour care.  That meant nursing home.  Woe is me.  We did not know what we were about to embark upon.

So I journeyed in the daytime looking for that perfect place.  She would be transferred only after about a 5 day stay.  Looked at one as close as I could find that was recommended by one of the nurses on the hospital hall.  For this story, I will call it “The Scarisson.”  That is because it was a nightmare.  Looked like the Hilton inside and out.  Beautiful hallways, courtyard, special beauty shop, hotel luxury looking dining room.  But then, shortly you would find out that there were 15 patients to 1 caregiver.  You would be met by different people all the time.  They rushed to get the job done and left everything in a mess.

I was told by the elder attorney I had hired years before to be at the nursing center every single day and different times of the day and check on her and make sure things are going right.  It was much harder than I ever suspected.

At this first place, we were there only 2 months.  In that time, my mother had fallen and dislocated her hip twice!  Once in middle of the day.  Another time at 4 a.m in the morning.  The last time I had been begging for them to provide my mother with a UTI test (urinary tract infection) as she was getting sicker and sicker and I was so concerned.  It was another cold wintry night when I was awakened by a call from this home to tell me she was on her way to the hospital, that she had fallen.  I stated to them “this is the end of the Scarrison”.  It was found she had e-coli bladder infection, was out of her head and tried to get up on her own and fell at 4:00 a.m.  She dislocated her hip for the 2nd time and it was super painful.

There were things I liked about this place.  It had some nice amenities.  But the rooms were small and only enough space to fit two twin sized beds.  Elbow to Elbow with another resident.  I do not even recall who that was right now.  She may have still been in the private room, but I doubt it.  I just remembered begging for this test and being in tears at their front desk late one night —- the night I was called at 4:00 a.m.  Mom got through it like a trooper.  It was another time I did not expect her to make it.  She did.

So, now, where do we go?  another nurse recommended one that we will call “Unspeakable Health Care”.  This one too looked very nice, had the same accommodations and we were assigned a roommate.  Aside from the roommate hogging the best side of the room and all the space there was in the shared bathroom, it was okay.  My mom was not talking much anyway.  The food was better here.  The same confusion was there with caregivers  rushing in and rushing out.  She was left in many peculiar situations.  Alone a lot of the day.  I was there taking her to her dining room twice per day.  Also, I washed all of her clothing.  Did not want to go looking for it.  There was no time for that.  Nor did I want to have to keep shopping for her new clothing.

The original roommate moved next door when one of the residents passed away and was able to keep that room to herself for sometime.  Then my mother got a special roommate, Stella, who was 94 years of age and in good shape mentally and could get around well.  Still only about 6 inches between mom’s bed and her roommate.  Not much floor space at all.  Just enough to run the wheel chair in and out, get to bed and get out of bed.  Thankfully, this place had lots of space and interesting things to see in its hallways and a wonderful courtyard.  But, there again, 1 caregiver to 15.  Not much care.  Had a shower girl who did all the showers M-F and she was very good.  I  felt safe with my mother there getting her shower.  Again, was there every single day twice per day, even if it was only for 30 minutes, but most of the time it was more.

We enjoyed our new friend Stella and delighted meeting her family and friends that came through.  She was popular.  All was pretty good in this place, although there was a time or two she fell and plenty of times with urinary tract infections.  You will learn that no one tries to see that your parent eats or drinks water.  You are lucky if they get to them to take to the potty every 3 hours.  At that time, my mother could wear pull ups and was almost continent.  Still, there were many times she would have quite a mess to clean up and then would get sick.

But all in all, I liked it there.  After a while they changed administrators.  The new one was a single older male that smoked as I recall.  Most of the nurses and aids all smoked.  This is a common thread in this industry.  But when the new admin came into town, things began to go down hill.  Eventually I would have to take my mother out of there at night in 35 degree weather home after calling a lawyer and getting advise.  They were using the residents that had urinary tract infections to label them ‘infectious’ and then move them to an isolation ward.  My mother has dementia which is a type of Ahlziemers disease.  She had doctors orders she could not be isolated or catheterized.  She would pull the catheter out and it would make her dementia much worse.  It is known you can never change things on an ahlziemers’ patient.  They need the same surroundings with familiar pictures and things all the time to keep them settled and secure.  Take them out of their environment and stick them in a room with blank walls, new people and no familiar things and they would get much worse.  So, one night I was literally ambushed by this admin and his ADN (assistant director of nursing).  They were going to put my mother in isolation and put her on a catheter because they said she was infectious!  A complete lie.  They had already taken steps to take her 94-year-old roommate out of her room late that night packing her up in her gown and wet hair!  Needless to say Stella was upset.  But Stella did not know any better nor her daughter.  They thought they ‘had’ to do what  they were told.

Well, after I called the attorney, I packed my mother up and put her in my SUV along with her wheel chair and took her back to her own home.  It was hard.  I had no idea what I would do in the morning.  She slept with me on one of the trundle twin beds.  She was stiff and hard to move her.  Afraid because not sure what was going on.

The  next morning I managed to get her cleaned up and dressed and I remembered I had put her name on a list at another nursing home that I had personal recommendations.  These recommendations were from church friends.  It was good.  I called and they had room.  I took her right over there.  She has been there now for almost 3 years!  Not without incidents, but nothing like what we had suffered before.

At least this one will listen to you when you have a complaint and abusive people are fired.  I put a camera up in my mother’s room last October 2016.  Since that time her care has been much better because I can monitor it from my phone anywhere I am.

I still go over there every day, but now she has a single room, nice shuttered window with live plants, her own 5 gallon water drinking machine, food bar, private bath and the color green is all around her (her favorite).  So much better, but still a daily struggle to keep good help, watch for bruises and abusive people, watch her food intake and her water intake and keep her clean.

Recently I was called to come to my mother’s nursing home early one morning.  They said she was not talking, not moving and may need to go to the hospital.  I told them to call the hospital we have always used but they would not do it until I got there.  Upon arrival I could quickly see my mom looked as if she was dying.  She was laying on her bed turned to her side and staring, not speaking.  She could say some things but not much and I just knew she was dying.  I called my husband and he came up there while I cried waiting for the ambulance.  I packed up things she would need and followed closely to the hospital 30 to 40 minutes away.  She would get the best of care there as always.

Well it was busy as usual in the ER at Harris downtown Forth Worth, Texas, and by now they should know my mother and I as we have been here at least 20 times over the past 3 years or more.  I have lost count.  Unfortunately, most of those times were for urinary tract infections.  I found out early that after age 75 they say you cannot feel it if you get a urinary tract infection and as you get older it is a common thing.  It affects mood and state of mind and easy to spot from that with her.  So here we were again, but this time was the worst I have ever seen and I have seen some bad ones with her.  I really was not sure what I was going to hear.  She was almost like in a coma.  Eyes glazed.  She wanted to sleep all the time.  She was babbling when trying to talk.  We were taken care of pretty quickly.  They did a ‘in and out’ on her and found right away she had a sever urinary tract infection.  This one was from a bacteria she has never had before.  It was called pseudomodus.  I was told it was super bad, and it was.  She was hurting, she had no energy and wanted to sleep all the time.  I could only get her to stay awake long enough to eat.  She had to be spoon fed. This was all new.  She usually was quite apt at feeding herself and choosing if she wanted to eat the food or not.  Not so much now.  I was there to feed her lunch and dinner most of the time and also sometimes the breakfast.

So, they had her stay overnight in the ER because there were no rooms available.  We love this hospital and know how extremely competent they are and well-managed that it why it was not bad to wait.  I went home to get some sleep and they moved her sometime between midnight and in the morning.  I came back to find her in a room in an area called “palliative care”.  I learned that the name was for the patients that were not on hospice, but getting prepared to be.  This floor looked like a cross between a hospice center, chapel and funeral home.  I noticed that they did not have nurses stations ever so many rooms, but instead were only a few located at the nurses desk at the end of the hall.  I did not like that.  When I needed them it was hard to get them.

They said it had nothing to do with her status, but that was what was available.  Okay.  We can live with it.  Well, Mom was not crazy about their food and so I made the, traditional by now, trip down to the cafeteria and picked out some foods she liked.  It was about 2000 steps for me there and back.  Whew! nothing more draining than being at the hospital.  You have all the physical things you need to do and at the same time your emotions are in toll.

So, I would clean her up and feed her like she was a baby.  She had no ability to do that now.  She was on a drip for this onerous bacteria for 6 days.  She went straight to sleep after taking her last bite of food each time.

Now we are down to very soft foods to get her to eat.  So, I would stay there a while and then leave and do some errands and try to get some work done and then return for the next meal.  I would get home every night around 8:00, 8:30 and sometimes later.

My commercial customers for my fiberglass fencing business were calling and I was getting out quotes to them as I was sitting in the hospital room wondering if mom was going to make it.  Always on edge.

So, still weak, unable to stand and sleeping and slurring her speech, the doctor came in that was on call for her at the hospital and said she is not longer testing for that bacteria and he was going to dismiss her.  I was very surprised he was doing that.  she was very weak and hardly ever awake, but he did dismiss her.  Back to this nursing home and I was sure to tell them that this ominous bacteria which is usually transferred by hands, comes to you because of improper cleaning and changing.  She was left in too many urinated briefs for too long.   Some 8 to 9 weeks later I would learn from my mother’s own internist that the bacteria was what you would find in standing water, like swamp water.

Well, this whole ordeal this time would take her down one more large notch.   Now she would not be able to stand to get into her wheelchair, not be able to go to the potty or wash her hands in the sink, would be very tired a lot of the time, would slur her speech from time to time and her memory would get much worse.  Surprisingly, her appetite would not.   She was eating well.  There was a loss of weight, appreciably and she is small.   So, I was sitting in the doctor’s office with her and he was talking about her status and what to expect.  She fell asleep and did not hear a word he said. He listened to her heart and she was fine.  Now I am told she is quite normal for this stage of her life and disease.  She would now lose more weight and her blood pressure would normalize.  It had skyrocketed with this illness.  She must have really been hurting, but with her mental condition, could not express it.

He said she would lose her appetite and not want to eat.  Don’t put her on a tube. I  told him I would not.  This is the last stage of her ahlzeimers.   No one knows how long this stage will be, but she is changing probably 20 percent every week or so.  It hurts to turn over or move at all.  It hurts to change her clothing.  It disturbs her immensely to try to get near her face and get her dentures to clean them and brush her teeth.  Its gotten almost impossible to take out her dentures.  As soon as you get close to her with your finger she starts screaming.

So I am forced to let her go except for brushing her teeth for several days before forcing her to let me take out her teeth.  Just have to trick her.  She knows she is doing  this and feels bad about it but will tell you she cannot help it.  She has a nervous condition and her eyes are getting worse about perceiving things closer than they really are.

I am there now minimum of 2 hours on average per visit.  I do everything there is to do for her during that time and get the room clean and in order, smelling good and fresh clothes layed out for the next day, water on her table, disinfect surfaces, wash hands and face and put on lotion before I go.

I can watch her on my phone but now they are actually getting someone to help her with eating her lunch and that takes a huge load off of me.  I usually get there early afternoon and leave around 7:00 p.m. if the night is going well.

There are other families that take care of their loved ones as well and it’s really tough to do.  Seeing them going down, dying slowly, is such an emotional drain.  But knowing that they smile and are happy when you are there is uplifting and gives you a continued sense of purpose.  I have actually drawn closer to my mother in these failing years.  Would not have it any other way.

I have learned so much taking care of her in this environment that I will be passing on the information and will be doing something to improve what I have seen throughout the three nursing homes she has been in thus far.  Right now its just keeping my energy level up and pacing myself as I have a job and work every day also.  There is lots of balancing to do, but someday it will be over and I will rest easy knowing I did everything I could possibly do to make her feel safe, secure and well cared for in her frail condition, but most of all loved.

The attention alone would make her want to live and her days much more meaningful.  I sincerely hate it when I see the majority of the residents in nursing homes left there to suffer and fend for themselves.  No advocates for them.  This system needs a complete overhaul, but for now must work within it the best possible way we can and that means sacrifice daily.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT PLANTS ARE DOING THE MATH? READ AN ARTICLE FROM APOLOGETICS PRESS

The following article has been reproduced by permission from Apologetics Press.  The article in its entirety is copied here verbatim and the website and other info is included.  I would like to thank Apologetics Press for making a vast amount of information concerning God, Creation and the Existence of God as it is found in the Bible and through science available for those seeking to learn about their world and their God.

As follows:

Plants that Do Math Add Evidence for God

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

 

One of the first steps to becoming a good student in school is to learn the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Students spend hours trying to master the basics of arithmetic. But it seems that students in grade school are not the only math masters. A new study indicates that plants may be exceptional at math as well. Allison Smith and Martin Howard of the John Innes Center in Norwich suggest that plants perform basic arithmetic in order to preserve the correct amount of starch during the night (Ledford, 2013). Heidi Ledford, writing for Nature News, explained that scientists once thought plants broke down starch at night time at a fairly constant rate. Experimental results, however, have shown that plants can vary their rate of starch consumption based on the number of hours of darkness they experience. Regardless of how many hours plants sit in darkness, they can regulate their starch use so that virtually no starch remains when the light returns (2013).

While this is the first study to suggest that plants do arithmetic, researchers indicate that this process could explain other biological systems, such as animal hybernation and long migrations in which food supplies need to be regulated to ensure survival. More research will be needed to verify Smith’s and Howard’s conclusions, but Howard states: “We are dealing with a fundamental biological process in cells that’s doing a sophisticated arithmetic calculation” (Ledford, 2013).

The implications of these findings that pertain to the existence of God are obvious. If plants really are doing arithmetic, that means they have been programmed by some type of intelligence. This intelligence must understand arithmetic, and be able to write into plants a code by which the plants can use arithmetic to their advantage. The atheistic, materialistic explanation for the origin of the Universe cannot adequately account either for the laws of math or for plants that can use those laws to survive. When the Creator designed plants, He saw that they were very good (Genesis 1:12). The concept of an intelligent Designer is the only one that adds up.

REFERENCES

Ledford, Heidi (2013), “Plants Perform Molecular Maths,” Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/plants-perform-molecular-maths-1.13251.

 


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Bunny and Garden Part Ways for Now

It was Spring in Texas again.  I know I said I would have her back in my garden again this summer, but I had second thoughts.  I remembered  she had taken advantage of my young tender leaves as they were spouting up and some of my garden never got a chance.   I missed the okra from the year before.   I also missed the great carrot crop I had the year before.   The odd thing is that the bunny does not dig up the carrots!  She merely eats the carrot tops—young ones are mostly desired.

Where I have loved seeing Mrs. Bunny all the time in the yard, nesting, resting and enjoying the peace and solitude with no predators after her.  Amazed that she stayed out there through the harsh winter we had.  Occasionally saw her mate, Mr. Bunny who was quite large.  About 3 times her size.  This year I was determined to let my carrot tops grow and not have to put everything on hold while the baby rabbits grew to a certain age and hopped out.  Last year really the only food that stayed good and kept giving were my cucumbers.  She was not interested in them.  So, this year started early getting it weeded, fertilized and ready for planting.  Next I employed my husband with his gracious heart to help me seal off the back yard.  Looks like bunnies can get in small places easily and will dig and hunt for a way if they want in.

So, we decided to  put chicken wire all around the bottom of one side where it was open too much at the bottom.  Then we decided that a composite fiberglass edging was great to hammer in all the way around the yard to prevent them  trying to dig under and prevent the view of the yard.

It worked.  The garden has now been growing nicely.  Mrs. Bunny took up residence in my front yard and happily eats the organically grown grass.  She hops over the neighbor’s lawn also and enjoys a meal there on occasion.  One day she found another way to get in the back yard but could not remember how she got in and ran all the way around the yard looking for her hole.  I felt kind of sorry for her.  I opened up the gate and there she went.

Then it rained.  The ground was soft and she actually dug out an area under the chicken wire and came in.  Just sat there like “hey, this is my yard” when I found her.  She did not make a move.  Layed on the grass and looked at me.  Finally I got close and asked her to show me where she got in.  She must have known what I meant, she went right to it.  Then I just placed a few sticks in the ground there and she has not been able to get back in again.

I loved getting to know her, sharing the yard and making great bunny memories, but its time for a real garden this year.  I”ll bring her some of the carrots like I did last year.  She only has to eat them in the front yard this time.  She has her own covered porch and secret home under the bushes.  I’d say she’ll do fine.   All is well in bunny land.

Natures Sunshine Herbs

Basalmic Vinegar Dressing at its Easiest, Tastiest, Healthiest

I wanted to pass along another discovery of “how to do it yourself” in the kitchen.  One of my pet peeves is some of the “all natural” dressings available on the shelf at the grocery  contain undetermined amounts of soybean oil.   Soybean oil is a favorite cheap oil t(that really is not conducive to good health), of most of our commercial food providers out there.

Soy causes an estrogen producing action in our bodies that can, if over-done, cause cancer or accelerate cancer if you already have it.  So, doctors will take patients off soy products when it is determined they have cancer.  But the best thing is not to over-do on estrogen producing or essence type foods or chemicals.  There are normal amounts of estrogen that occur naturally in all of us.  Smaller amounts in men as their dominant hormone is testosterone, but present in both sexes.  The conversation about estrogens in foods can go on and on.  Suffice it to say there are plenty in commercially grown meats, fed to chickens and cows in their feed to make them grow very very fast and fatter!  Also, estrogens in pesticides, gasoline vapors and much more.  So, as if we didn’t have enough to avoid in this toxic world to keep from accelerating our chances of getting cancer, this one is a biggy.

Thus, I really  like it when I can come up with something that helps to save us from estrogen overload.  Here is one.

Balsamic vinegar dressing can be easily made by taking your old  empty bottle of Balsamic dressing, rinse it out, and pour into it 1/3 each of balsamic vinegar, 1/3 water, 1/3 grapeseed oil.  I say grapeseed oil because of its many medicinal qualities as well as fat burning capability.  Grapeseed oil is at the top of my list for fat burning assistance.  So, put these 3 ingredients in the bottle, add about 1/2 teaspoon of powdered or granulated garlic, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of sea salt, 1/4 tsp or so of cayenne pepper, and about 1 tsp of onion powder.

The cayenne pepper is also a fat burning agent.  I don’t have to tell you how good garlic is for you.  Balsamic vinegar I am sure has some good qualities to it, but I have not studied it so I cannot say what they are.  But, this mixture makes a tasty combination and shakes up well and stays together while you are pouring it on your veges or meats.

Of course, you can change this up to suit your tastes, but the magic is in the fact that using the grapeseed oil, you get a super quality dressing that is helping you stay with your diet and you don’t get any soybean oil!!  Like magic it shakes together nicely and surprises you how well it stays mixed even after you set it down.

You see on the commercial bottles of basalmic vinegar dressing, they will not tell you how much of anything there is.  It could well be that there is only a trace of a good oil in there and the majority is soy.  This provides the seller a better profit margin, but provides you with a bigger waisteline margin!  as well as the known dangers of overdoing it with any estrogen causing food.

So, there you  have it!  an inexpensive, healthy way to  make a great dressing that helps you in so many ways.  Feel good next time you “don’t” go shopping to buy another bottle for $3.50 to $4.00 each of a commercial grade dressing that is way below par for you and your health!  How easy is that?  I keep the old bottle from the store because it is labeled already “Basalmic Vinegar Dressing”.  Usually those bottles are glass.

Working on a good vegan mayo next.  That is a super fat burner like you cannot believe!  If you are a mind to, purchase the Vegenaise Mayo at Whole Foods or Central Market, HEB.  Its pricey.  Around $6.00 to $8.00 per quart!  That is why I say “if you are a mind to”.  I know someone that has  lost about 80 pounds  using this on his sandwiches and sides as an addition to the low carb diet.  Remember low carb diet is a non-gluten diet, no sugar but just now and then and picky about what type.   So, my goal is to duplicate that Mayo best I can and see if it still works.  It is eggless.  He says doesn’t matter which variety of Vegenaise he tries, it works.   If you are older than 30, there may be other factors you have to deal with regarding weight loss, but if your main issue is carbs and gluten – this is for you!

God Bless All My Readers and here is hoping you have a blessed day!