Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 06/19/17: Mom's Strong Morning, Taking Mom Outside, Dinner and Mom's Ice Cream

1. Mom's condition today was nothing like yesterday. It was almost the opposite. I arrived at Kindred around 8:30. Mom was in bed. Mom's occupational therapist popped in and helped her get dressed and cleaned up. Mom participated in the meeting Christy has scheduled with some of the Kindred staff -- a care conference -- so that newcomers Zoe and I could meet different staff and we could discuss Mom's current situation.

I came away from the meeting with a stronger understanding of why the therapy staff wants Mom to eat in the dining room, not in the room where she lives. I decided I will do my best to accompany Mom to lunch and dinner, sit with her, and visit with her tablemates, Peny, Betty, and Christy (a Kindred resident -- not my sister!). I am also going to take helpings of food to Mom from home more regularly. It's hard to tell if Mom has lost her appetite or if she doesn't like the food at Kindred. She doesn't eat much at the table. I chopped up fresh strawberries for her at lunch and I have other ideas of food to take over that she might enjoy.

2. After the care conference, Zoe, Christy, Mom, and I went out into the garden area and sat in a shaded area and enjoyed the fresh air, admired the trees and vivid flowers growing all about, and yakked. Before the care conference, a CNA had told Mom that she would give Mom a shower some time after 11, so I wheeled Mom back to her room and Misty arrived and took Mom away. Mom and I then ate lunch.

3. That was a pretty full morning and, after lunch, Mom returned to her room and lay down.  I returned to Mom's house and took a short nap. Christy worked at the library until 7:00 p.m. and I volunteered to cook dinner.

I decided to make ground beef hash. It was easy: I chopped up three small Russet potatoes and a yam along with a yellow onion, seasoned them with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper and fried them along with a pound of ground chuck until the potatoes were tender and meat no longer pink. I covered it, returned to Kindred to sit with Mom at dinner and wheeled her back outside where Peny's dog Joey was prancing around. We visited with Peny, had fun watching Joey, and explored the grounds at Kindred a little more extensively until I needed to return home to finish cooking dinner.

I warmed the potatoes, onion, and meat back up and then made three indentations in the hash. I cracked an egg into each depression and let the eggs cook until the whites began to lose their translucence. I put the skillet in the oven and let the eggs bake until the whites firmed up and the yolk was cooked up right. I pulled the skillet out of the oven, put a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA in my pocket with a bottle opener,  and walked through the gate between Mom's and Christy's yards to the table Christy and Everett had set, plopped down the skillet and we dug in. I didn't get chopped! Christy and Everett liked the hash.  (By the way, I didn't follow the recipe in every detail, but the recipe that guided me is here.)

I chopped up more strawberries for Mom and Christy and I bought her a plain sundae at McDonald's. Mom loves soft ice cream. I put the ice cream and strawberries together in a bowl and Mom devoured her sweet treat. Watching her eat the ice cream and strawberries so ravenously made me think that Mom might eat more if she enjoys the food more, so I'll see what I can do about fixing things she likes and taking them over.

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