Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lets Party

Hello friends

First I need to welcome new follower John Grey. Nice to have you join us.

I'm joining Mum over at Simply Living in her virtual party today. Hope the rain stops soon.

I've brought a couple of guests that I found hanging around near the Blackpool Tower. Between you and me I think they missed the "Strictly Come Dancing " bus back to London last week.  Dame Shirley says she will provide the entertainment whilst Darcy said she would lead the dancing, Hope she's not got her score paddles with her.

I've brought a Victoria Sandwich with fresh cream, a few flaked almonds and blueberries. Will go nice with a nice cup of tea or even some Muscat wine.

 My lolly tree has been very popular in the past so I've made another. These are great especially if there are children or teens at a party. We went to a wedding in the summer and they had a sweet trolley with all kinds of sweets.
It's very easy to make this tree. I painted a clay pot with acrylic paint. I stuffed the inside with a piece of polystyrene. Next I uses a piece of thin rigid plastic tubing and pushed it into the polystyrene. Make sure it's standing straight. For the ball on top I used a brown oasis. I tried the green but it didn't work so good. Next I pushed in the lolly sticks. You can add many more if you like so that the oasis is hidden. To cover the polystyrene in the bottom of the pot I used candy covered sweets pierced with a cocktail stick and pushed them in. This also gives a bit more stability to the pot as it can be a bit top heavy.

I've borrowed a bouncy castle from my brother. The children can play during the day and use up all their energy and then whilst they're asleep under the table their parents can play on it in the evening. Oooooh so much fun to watch especially if too many cocktails have been consumed.

And as it's nearly Christmas I've borrowed L's white Santa hat. Oh my look at those rosy cheeks, looks like I've been on the pop already. Too early yet but maybe later.

 Hope everyone else is having fun. I'll pop by later. See you soon


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Armchair Shopping

Hello friends

I've not talked about my mum, on here much, because the the help I give both mum and dad is a daily thing like doing the washing and making dinner etc. and it dominates a lot of my time and thoughts as well as my my own family. However I've changed my mind because some of my followers have a direct connection with dementia or knows someone with dementia and as my mum is in the late stages of this dreadful disease I thought maybe some of our experiences might help others. There are many different types of dementia but I suspect that my mum's is Lewis Bodies which is linked to Parkinson's Disease but can only be fully diagnosed after an autopsy following death.

My mum has lost a lot of weight over this past year which is normal for dementia suffers but quite worrying for the carers. My mum has also lost the power of speech and is unable to communicate her feelings, wants or needs  so we don't know if or when she's hungry or full or just dislikes her food. Recently she's stopped chewing her food so all food has to be either very soft and mashed or puréed. When she pushes the plate/dish away is it because she is full or just doesn't like it? We don't know so we (me or dad) wait and try again and sometimes it works and she will take more food. Mum manages to feed herself her breakfast but we have to do lunch and tea between us.
Mum's Dr recently prescribed Complan as a food supplement as well as her meals in the hope that she'll gain a little bit of weight or a least gain some extra nutrients. She appears to be enjoying them.

Dad has had to learn to cook and made some lovely meals for them both. Now he makes a big pan of stew, mostly for mum, with lots of home grown veggies, mince (pork, turkey, lamb or beef) potatoes, sometimes lentils or beans and other bits and pieces. He then whizzes it in the blender.

After searching the internet for hint and tips we learnt some new tricks that might help mum with her food intake and nutrition. Adding milk powder to mash, soups and stews, puddings like yoghurt and custard, semolina and anything else it can be mixed with.

Sometimes it looks like mum has a problems with her swallowing reflex because she holds food in her mouth. Another tip we found on the internet was to alternated, every so often, hot food with cold. The cold could be a drink of fresh orange from the fridge or maybe a spoonful of ice cream/yoghurt/cold custard/puréed fruit. Apparently the difference between the hot (not too hot it burns of course) and cold stimulates the swallow reflex. It's also said that people with dementia develop a sweet tooth, my mum has, so there are suggestions of sweetening meals a little (sweet shepherds pie, yuk!) but if it gets them to take it. This is one we've not tried yet but not ruled out.

What's all this got to do with armchair shopping?
Well it's all down to the weight that mum's lost that most of her clothes are just way too big for her now. For many years mum has had catalogues and they're still arriving so dad has been looking through them and asked if I would help choose some stuff. I went round early on Friday morning before mum went to day care and had a look at some things and tried to involve her in choosing colours. I know the styles she likes so it was just a matter of choosing the colours. I told mum what I was doing and that I was spending dads money (she would have liked that) and I got her to choose the colour  she liked by taking her hand and guiding it. She chose 3 jumpers 2 cardigans and a skirt before her lift came. Friday was a good day and I'm pleased I was able to involve her in her shopping. With dad's agreement we chose some more items that are needed.  When the new clothes arrive dad said that he'll put the old ones in a suitcase just in case she does put some weight on although I don't think she will.

Dad still want's to keep mum at home and I will continue to help.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

100 Twiddles

Hello friends

At the craft club I go to, on a Thursday morning, a challenge was set, by the leader, to make 100 twiddle muffs by Christmas. Well, I'm really, really, really pleased to announce that we've made it, yeah! and this Thursday we gave the last ones away.  I have to say a huge thank you to the ladies and gent plus friends of the Thursday and the ladies of the Tuesday club for all their knitting of the cuffs we couldn't have done it without them. There are still some cuffs in the making that will be decorated and passed on.
I feel so proud at completing this very worthwhile challenge and that we have helped to make lots of dementia/alzhimer suffers a little calmer and comfortable. Unfortunately it's only the tip of a very large iceberg,
There's suppose to be something going into the local paper about our challenge.

Whilst I've been involved with the twiddle muffs a local craft shop owner, who has a couple of knitters making their own, got in touch with me and ask if I would be their ambassador for the twiddle muffs. She was at a loss as where to distribute them so after discussing it I agreed. All it involves is collecting the finished muffs every so often and then finding new homes for them. In my small part of the world there are many nursing homes with dementia patients so I'm sure we can find new homes for them.
I need a break now to do other things but will start again after Christmas and make a few more.

Now I need to go and rest my eyes I had the first, out of a course of three injections in my left eye again.

Hope to see you all again soon.


Busy May

The weather has been glourious this month, almost wall to wall sunshine. Some say it will last all summer. We'll have to wait and see. ...