-Randy K. Milholland
Here's to a new year!
How perfect would this be for New Years Eve?
Then again, maybe not... Last year's adorable Website Want turned out disastrously disappointing!
What was on the site and what came in the mail were two completely different things - one sexy & cute, the other was trashy & uncomfortable. It wasn't glittery, it wasn't even sequiny ... it was made up of big plastic pieces which maybe shined a little at certain angles. Ugh.
I didn't even wear it like I was planning to for New Year's Eve because it was so awful. I ended up wearing a shirt I had forever ... We went to a house party last year with mostly strangers to me (boyfriend's friends), so it's not like they had seen the shirt before anyway.
Hope you all are enjoying the holiday!
Going through the motions of a loved one being sick enough to need a caregiver is not easy on anyone, let alone the caregiver. The stress can so easily be overlooked, can overshadow good things going on or morph into some big, ugly, green giant. These aren't easy on anyone involved in general.
I had so much more I wanted to say, but I just can't tonight. I'm not even home caregiving and yet I'm completely burnt out. Ugh. I'm sorry everyone. Maybe I'll add more later.
He gained 5 lbs thanks to my sister's new habit of feeding him almost every hour. Unlike other FTD patients who gain weight, my dad has been losing it - drastically! This happened a couple years ago too, it was actually one of the reasons we really pressed to get a diagnosis. He's down to 175 lb now (he was 170) and bloodwork, body scans, a scope, etc. have not given us any answers. Feeding him every hour (and pretty good size meals too - like Shell will make him a loaded sandwich and soup) is the only thing helping, but it's expensive! I can only imagine the food bill ... who'd think you could LITERALLY be eaten out of house and home?!
Also, the study that my dad has been a part of for the last 3 1/2 years is no longer going to see him anymore. Through this program, my dad had pretty frequent visits to a neuro/FTD specialist at the University of Penn every 3 - 6 months. They did testing during Also, once a month a med student was out asking my dad questions for the study. I remember some of the testing they did with him while I was there was something like a photo with some birds in a tree and on the ground and they'd ask my dad how many birds were in the tree to see if he answered that correctly or just answered how many birds he could see in general. They'd also ask him say the word to identify things in a photo. They were also always available for questions, suggestions on increasing/decreasing meds or helping us identify FTD symptoms.
I guess my dad has now progressed to the point that he is no longer assisting in the study. He doesn't really answer questions much anymore and when he does, you're not even sure if it's the right answer to the question you asked. At his appointment the other day, my mom said when my dad was asked what day it was, he answered something like April 1998 (not sure on the exact month, but yea - 1998!). The doctor also said that it is very obvious and very quick that my dad becomes anxious over answering questions now. What a shame...
I'm not sure what this means for my dad's future care. I was under the impression that the med students coming out once a month, the meds, the appointments at the U of P, the MRIs and such were all extended to us and my dad for free because of this study. If that's the case, I'm not sure what my dad's current insurance covers and that's concerning...
All the same, I did not want to miss out on caregiving.com's Holiday Blog Party! I had such a wonderful time participating last year and became involved with so many wonderful people, like Denise and GJ.
I did stop home today - mostly to take care of the cats. I did see my dad, but he was pretty much focused on either food (Michelle was in the kitchen) or sitting in his room. Sometimes when no one is there, I'll make my dad stand around in the room with me while I take care of the cats and I'll talk to him. That didn't happen today though.
Brief post, but the day is almost done, so goodnight, goodnight! :)
Doesn't it just sound delicious?! I haven't had the chance to make it yet to give you a review, but I can confidently say that very soon I'll be buying the ingredients to test out this yummy sounding dish
I saw this quote today though and hope that some day soon the ladies of my family all feel like this "I must be a real farmer now since I found myself capable of such a practical decision to make myself an independent woman. This is my farm, and I am home…..and I am happy."
Ok, granted, everything's not from scratch, but it was still an excellent recipe that I could also make without soy since one of our little guests has an allergy to that.
This came out really well and I got a lot of compliments on it, so I'd definitely suggest trying it.
Notes if you're making this:
- I did NOT thaw the frozen spinach
- I mixed A LOT - there's no real instruction to do this, but I did. I mixed the spice pack up in the casserole dish with the rice & mushrooms, I mixed the water/spinach combination in the pan while it was cooking and I mixed them all together in the dish before I put it in the oven & then again when I checked on it halfway through
- I added the cream cheese then the water mixture to the casserole dish with the plan of softening the cream cheese so it'd be easier to mix everything together before putting it in the oven - I did not add the "prepared mustard" noted in the steps to make this dish. It was not listed in the ingredients section, so I didn't have it when I went to make it, so I didn't add it.
I'm not sure how it would come out since I've yet to have the chance of using this recipe again, but I think next time I'm going to use more mushrooms and more spinach since those are some of my favorite things.
It was delicious last year, although not as good as Gretch's pumpkin hummus, but still. I'm sure it'll be great again. Just need to locate some crackers/bread without soy in them for the little man that's visiting. Cannot wait to see my CT babies (and c & d too)!! :)
Wouldn't that be awesome?!
Want, want, want :)
I tried to keep it light, I tried to be optimistic. I focused on the wonderful party we had recently and not all the other stuff that's had me down. These ladies are so sweet, they seem so together and so, I don't know, determined to make it all work. That's really inspiring. I was so excited to make an attempt at being a part of that...
It is hard to believe it has only been three years since Champ joined our crew at the farm.
Champ came into Tabby's Place while I was still working there from a local business, Champion Tires. The business was already caring for several ferals and when two more were abandoned there, it was just too many, so they brought the two, one boy and one girl, over to Tabby's Place for us to intake. The boy, however, tested positive for FIV and the room their for FIV babies was already full (one cat too full, actually). Norman, my FIV+ feral, had recently lost his best friend, Buddy, and I thought maybe the FIV status and no room at Tabby's Place was a sign I should take this semi-feral boy to be Norman's new friend. With the permission of my mom, that's exactly what I did and I named the rough looking white cat with gray spots "Champion".
This winter, I thought we were going to lose Champ. He was really snotty and although he was never a stunning cat, he seemed extra rough looking - not cleaning himself, gross nose, etc. However, I got him on some antibiotics and he really turned around. Since then, I'd be steadily pulling his mattes out. He'd talk sometimes in protest, but that was rare. He really was such a good boy...
Recently, Champ had been spending time in the leaves keeping cool with Norm, wandering the property, eating a lot and following Weenie around (she didn't appreciate his "puppy" love and would often smack him). I will say that having Weenie out during the day gave me some really good nights recently. I'd go out to find her and in order: Diamond, Champ and then Norman would show up. I'd give them all an extra handful of food and some pets if they wanted them. I loved this nights (aside from the moments of worrying where Weenie was until she'd show up to go in).
Champ got slow his last week or so. I thought his mouth was bothering him and I was really unsure of what to do. I couldn't decide if I should put him through the stress of taking him to the vet or just letting him be. He was so happy with Norm. I didn't want to upset him, stress him and maybe make things worse.
I found Champ's body under the pines on the hill down to the lake. Although I hate the thought of him passing without me assisting him by mercifully putting him to sleep, I like to think Norm was with Champ to the very end and he didn't pass alone.
Here's a collection of photos of Champ...