Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Tag Archives: activities

What else?

I have been working on some projects, lest you think that while I was not writing my blog I have been sitting around doing nothing.  Well, I suppose for some of the time I have been sitting around but doing nothing is not part of my agenda.

Keeping mom and dad occupied is a tough job to say the least.  Boredom comes quickly for dad – mom is a little easier to placate.  But the toughest part is trying to make sure they have things to do.  Sue is pretty good at this – she manages to keep them doing things.  On the other hand I have a difficult time – I get tired fairly easy so after an hour or two of activities I am ready for a nap.  Only thing is that I can’t nap during the day…

Surviving cancer surgery was the easy part.  Surviving chemo and radiation was a little tougher.  It’s the everyday left over residual’s from the surgery et al that slows me down.  I am so envious of anyone who has travelled the cancer path (any variety of the disease) and has pretty well gotten their life back to “normal”.  I don’t even know what normal is anymore.  The biggest problems I have arrive from eating and I know I do have to eat but in all honesty it is more of a pain than not eating.  When the food does go down it sits in what is left of my stomach like a stone.  And then, when it decides to move on, it does LOL.  Usually with no warning.  And it doesn’t matter what it is.  Today it works, tomorrow it doesn’t.  Junk food has become my friend once again – by junk food I mean tostidos and salsa.  For this week, at least it is working.  What used to work – well, its a crap shoot LOL.  This is grapefruit season and since dad can only have 1 a week due to his meds I decided to treat us this week.  Well, big mistake.  I used to be able to eat one a day.  Half on Monday morning and I am still paying for it!!!! Oh well. Guess there are worse things than not being able to eat…

Anyhow, my new project has been sending “care packages” to Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan.  I am not sure why I feel so strongly about this, but I do.  Everytime another Repatriation happens in Trenton I get more and more angry.  Canadian Troops are PeaceKeepers.  We, as a country, are not at war with anyone and yet …

One night I was surfing the net and found a website called Chosen Soldier.  In a nutshell Chosen Soldier provides names of Canadian troops who would like to receive something from home – it doesn’t have to be anything major and reading the list of things that they have come up with was both funny and sad at the same time.  We take so many things for granted at home, having no clue what it is like to go without some of the creature comforts we have become so used to having.  Simple things really, lip balm, toilet paper, KD (Kraft Dinner for those who are not KD affectionados), potato chips – like I said simple things.

So I got a name from Chosen Soldier and started to put together a box to send.  Thanks to the Military (and for once I can understand their reasoning), a package has to conform to a certain size.  The size is about the same as a case of beer which empty looks fairly large, but start to fill it and it does fill up fast.

In my usual insane manner I over bought items for the box. ( I know, I know, those of you who know me, know that I was doomed to over buy from the get-go LOL). To make a long story short, I dropped off two boxes today at the base in Trenton for shipping and will continue to drop boxes off as much as I can.  The military also says that I can send a letter to “any soldier” but to send a package I need to have a name and rank.  So, I added a letter in each box telling my “Chosen Soldier” to pass along my email addy to anyone who wants a package and I will comply.  If I disappear for a while again, you will know that I disregarded the Dept of National Defence’s list of contraband (LMAO).

What I fail to understand is why a lot of these items are not provided to our soldiers by the military.  How tough would it be to hand out Easy Mac or a bag of candy every once in a while.  Nonetheless I shall continue my little endevour until I am no longer able or until the last Canadian Soldier comes home.  I have heard via the media that Canada is due to have it’s troops out by 2011.  Ya right, I will believe that when I see it!!!!! I am hopeful that once the packages get there I will have some more names to keep me busy. If you would like to contribute to my cause – go get a Tim Horton’s gift card and address it to :

Any Canadian Soldier

OP ATHENA

PO Box 5058 Stn Forces

Belleville ON K8N 5W6

There is a Tim’s at the base in Kandahar and it accepts Tim’s cards in Canadian dollars.  Buy a soldier a coffee and a muffin/donut.  It’s the least we can do.  You can mail the letter postage free too – Canada Post is allowing letter to be sent for free for the duration of the “war”.  For once, CP is actually showing a human side.  This has to be a first.  Or you can email me and when the names start coming in you can send your own package.  However, unless you live close to a base and can drop it off – it can get expensive.  CP has stopped the free package mailing…(of course anything from CP  for any length of time is not going to happen).  See – too good to be true LOLOLOLOL.

You can visit Chosen Soldier and see what they are all about at http://trevlac.biz/Chosen_Soldier.htm

It really is a great story and a worthwhile cause – at least in my opinion.  I cannot imagine being so far away from my family and friends trying to help people which dodging bullets and trying to avoid IED’s.  Call me crazy but…

That’s about it for tonight. I am tired and it is time to shut down the puter and get some rest.  Tomorrow dad has group at 10:00 and |I have a ton of stuff to do before the weekend.

Take care.

nancy

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Minneapolis here I come!

I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of days.  I am off to Minneapolis to my cousin Kate’s and her new husband Al’s wedding reception.  (and also to check out the Mall of America). LOL

However, before finishing packing today the reservations for Lake George in October were made.  Mom, dad, Aunt Betty and I will be travelling to Lake George the first weekend in October.  This is the same time of year that I was there last year and it was beautiful. The weather was great and the trees were all out in colour so it was the perfect time to go.  Autumn being my favourite season: warm days, cool nights – I am sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. And it will be time – mom and dad haven”t been away for a couple of years and it will be a nice way to end the summer.  That weekend is the weekend before Thanksgiving so there will be some pre-Columbus Day sales going on too.  Gee, you would think that I was a shopaholic or something LOL.

So if you are dropping by and notice nothing new here, my trip is why.  I will be taking lots of pics in Minneapolis – both scenic and family.  I haven’t seen this side of the family in a long time – too long.  It will be fun to catch up.

While I am away, Craig and Sue will be running bowling on Thursday afternoon…I am sorry I am going to miss that – it is always a good source of laughter.  I am sure that I will hear some stories when I get home.

 

Have a great weekend everyone – be safe.

Nancy

Sidebar – Too funny to skip!

Tonight I was going to write about Day 4 and the girl in the fishnet stockings but I am going to delay that post for a day.  Something hilarious happened today and since we can all use a laugh once in a while I am going to tell the story.

I haven’t written about BINGO and Bowling lately  because there really hasn’t been anything earth shattering  funny to talk about but that changed today.

We went bowling today – The Senior Bowling Brigade, Sue, Craig and I.  We haven’t been for a while and it was time to get out and do something, and the bowling alley is air conditioned. A good place to spend an afternoon on a muggy, overcast, rainy day.

Everything was going great – we had 2 teams.  Ivy, Grace and Mom were one team.  Craig, Dad and I were the second team.  Sue didn’t feel like bowling so she was our  cheerleader today!

Our first game went by uneventfully.  However, in the second game on one of Ivy’s turns to bowl, she gets up, throws the ball and knocks over two pins.  We tell her she has another turn.  She turns around and starts walking toward the pins.  At that exact moment in time I was about to hurl the ball in my lane and I had to stop.  Ivy was on her way down the lane to knock over the pins LOL.  I started to laugh, turned around and looked at Sue who was also starting to laugh hysterically.  That got me going too – I could barely bowl.  She managed to get Ivy back and to pick up another ball but it was too late.  I was laughing, Craig was laughing and Sue had tears rolling down her face.

But that wasn’t the kicker…

When you walk into the bowling alley you have to take off your shoes.  There is a long carpet runner at the front door where everyone leaves their shoes.  We were not the only ones in the alley today – there was a group of 5 other women who had come in just after us.  We were leavingathe bowling alley and mom was complaining that her shoes weren’t fitting properly.  I told her that I would fix them when we sat down for a coffee next door.  We get our coffees and are sitting at the table – mom cannot get her shoes on.  Well she has one on, but the right foot refuses to go into the show.  We are all telling her that it is because she has sweat socks on in the middle of summer and she should be wearing lighter socks.  Finally out of exasperation more than aanything I tell her to take the shoes off and put mine on.  I will wear hers home.  We switch shoes and I notice there are some pretty snazzy insoles in the shoes but as fast as I noticed it the thought was gone.

After coffee we went home, mom wearing my shoes and I hers.  As I am getting out of the car I look down and realize that these are not mom’s shoes. They do look similar to moms but they are not hers!!!  No wonder they didn’t fit her.  I put my own shoes on and went rushing back to the bowling alley.  As soon as I walked in the owner Gary says, Oh you got my message…Nope I hadn’t been home yet but I knew what he was calling about.   LOL.  Suffice to say that the remainder of my afternoon was spent tracking down the rightful owner of said shoes and delivering them to her door. 

Later tonight at dinner Craig told me that he was glad he had been with us today because if he had not been and I had told him the story about the afternoon it still would have been funny but not nearly as much as seeing it for himself.  The minute that we started talking about it both of us were in stitches.

Now, you may think we are cruel to be laughing at something that is clearly no fault of Ivy’s nor Mom’s.  However, I have to say that when you live with and are a caregiver to anyone with any form of dementia you tend to see things in a different light and in this case we are dealing with Alzhiemer’s Disease.  Mom, Dad and Ivy have all been diagnosed with the disease and sometimes you just have to laugh.  In my case if I didn’t I would spend too much time crying and to be honest – life is too short for that.  So, yes, we do tend to turn some “events” into more than they probably should be but, at the same time, it helps keep us sane in an otherwise insane situation.  We are not laughing at the person per se, we are laughing at the situation. 

My mother does some pretty strange things that I find to be very amusing.  For instance, although she has a closet full of beautiful clothes she prefers to wear my fathers clothing.  The t-shirts are not too bad however, when she is determined to wear his pants some funny things usually occur.  Like, them falling down in the grocery store!!!!  Yes, I know, not funny at the time but relating the story later to Sue had us both in tears. 

Sometimes laughter truly is the best medicine!!!

 I attend seminars conducted by the Alzhiemers Society on coping with and living with people who have dementia.  Through these seminars I have not only met some really awesome people but I have also  learned how to try and cope on a day to day basis with all the “quirks” of my loved ones.  And somedays it is not easy, but I have learned one very important thing.  If no one is getting hurt then it is not a big deal. And I try my damnedest to remember that.  I don’t always score an “A” on that front but I do try and that is the main thing.

Sorry if you were counting on reading about the girl with fishnets (LOL Steve) but I thought we all needed a break from my vacation!

This is the Bowling Brigade:

The bowling brigade:  Ivy, Grace, Ron(dad) and Carol(mom)

The bowling brigade: Ivy, Grace, Ron(dad) and Carol(mom)

Later,

N

Under the “B”

Thursday afternoon is BINGO time for the Seniors.  Sue came up with the plan to give us something to do.

At 1:00 pm I take mom and dad over to Sue’s to join Ivy and Grace in a lively couple of games of BINGO.  Sue and I take turns being the caller while the other ensures that no one misses any numbers that are called.  We also take turns hitting the local dollar stores, buying up little trinkets and the like to hand out as prizes.  To date mom and dad have managed to amass quite a little collection of bobble head birds, little animal knick knacks and some cute voltive cande holders.  I know, I know, it’s just more stuff, but they all seem to enjoy winning it, so what the heck – no one is getting hurt and it’s all in fun. 

We start the afternoon with coffee, tea and treats.  Grace is a wonderful baker and today we had awesome Lemon Squares.  Sometimes she makes cookies that are just like my Gramma used to make.  Ginger Snaps, Oatmeal Coconut, Chocolate Chip and to-die-for shortbread, which she doesn’t just bake at Christmas.  Other times, Sue and Ivy will bake a cake in the morning and we will have that.  I am the “lazy” one – I stop at the bakery.  (not really lazy, just time challenged for the most part).

Then it is time to play BINGO.  It is actually quite fun because you never know what is going to come out of it.  Today, not paying attention, mom stuck her hand into her coffee mug thinking it was the little dish with her Bingo markers in it. 

Ivy’s sense of humour comes through when she continually asks to trade numbers that are called with someone who has said number and she doesn’t.  She also likes to munch on the chocolate covered almonds Sue sets out, but, Ivy doesn’t like the almonds only the chocolate covering, so sometimes instead of a Bingo marker on her card there is a naked almond sitting in its place. 

Mom can get a little indignant when her numbers are not called.  She also has a problem hearing somethings and many times she will say, “I thought you said “D” ” when under the B or G are called.  It would be too difficult to try and get her to understand that (a) there is no D in BINGO and (b) the numbers are static to the letters . 

We usually play 5 – 6 games. The first couple are single lines, the next two games, 2 lines are needed to win and the last game is always a full card game.  Dad likes to play 2 cards at a time.  Today he called BINGO during the 2 line game…Ummm Dad – the two lines have to be on the same card!!!!

Grace and Dad are usually fairly quiet, checking their numbers as we go along.  However, all 4 of them can get quite verbal when their numbers are not being called LOL.

Getting out and doing activities seems to be helping my frustration levels immensely.  I still get frustrated with both of them but when we are out and doing something it is much easier to just go with the flow.  They are having fun, not losing things and most of all the interaction with others keeps them from becoming bored and restless. 

And there is a big bonus to doing activities. People who are afflicted with Alzheimers lose their ability to remember things, especially short term memory.  Their brains become confused, words get lost, thoughts unfinished.  Mom and Ivy are the ones that have been diagnosed for the longest.  Mom, Ivy and dad have major problems with short term memory loss and things are gone from their minds almost immediately.  However, something pretty amazing happened this morning.

Sue got to Ivy’s house at her usual time and the first thing Ivy asked her was if they were going Bowling today.  This may seem like a small thing, but in the world of Dementia, this was awesome.  It was the first time that Ivy had recalled something from the day before ON HER OWN!!!!!

Now, none of us are naive enough to think that there is some miraculous turnaround happening to Ivy.  Rather, it would seem that for whatever reason Ivy’s brain retained the Bowling activity, recalled it a day later and actually let Ivy articulate the words.  In the grand scheme of things, this may never occur again but for today at least there was a short glimmer of recognition for Ivy and it was a good thing.

We are going to continue BINGO on Thursday afternoons as it is a fun time for all.  We are also going to add Bowling to our activity list, however that won’t be weekly, more like every 2 or 3 weeks.  Next week, we are going to try a Craft afternoon – I picked up canvas’s, paints and brushes at the Buck Store and we are going to see who the next Piccasso or Da Vinci will be.  If it is mom or dad I know the artistic gene was not passed on to me – at best my stick people drawings would send a normally sane person running to the nearest “loonie bin” to have me commited.  Rorshak has nothing on me!!!!!!!

Hope your day was as fun as ours.

Nancy

Bowling for Seniors.

Today Sue and I decided to take the Seniors in our lives bowling.  First of all, there are not alot of outdoor activities that we can partake of due to the crappy weather and secondly it was something to do and get the old folks up and moving for an hour or so.

Mom, dad and I met Sue, Ivy and Grace at the bowling alley at 1:00.  They were already pumped and primed to get moving.  It took a couple of minutes to “shoe up” and then the frivolity started.

All 4 of them (the Sr’s) were a little shaky at first.  Mom had a hard time grasping that she got 3 balls to throw on most given turns.   She kept throwing the ball to the left.  At one point she ended up on her keester – ok, ok, I did make sure she was alright before I almost fell over laughing.  I couldn’t help it – she looked really cute doing the almost splits.  I shouldn’t laugh I know because she didn’t do it on purpose – but it was pure entertainment.  (anyone who wants to tell me how horrible I am needs to spend a day around here – you either laugh or cry and I chose to laugh this time).  Her knees have been really bad lately and she wasn’t for playing a second game.

Dad, once he got the hang of it did really well.  His first game he bowled 108.  Hell, thats better than I do on Thursday night in my league!.  He got a couple of srtikes and was as proud as a peacok. LOL.  He played a second game, but didn’t do as well – personally I think after his victorious first game he just got too cocky and was trying to hard. (Not really by the second game his shoulders and back were sore. I could tell by the way he walked.) But the trooper he is, he still went out and throw a couple of strikes.

Ivy was the lead off and the first couple of frames were almost intimidating for her. Once she started to hit pins though, it was hard to keep the smile off her face. She also has a hard time with the 3-ball concept.  After her first ball she would start to head back to her seat.  Sue would remind her that she had 2 more balls.  Ivy would then take a ball in each hand – oh,oh – no Ivy, one at a time.  Late in the second game Grace remarked that it was probably due to Sue using the word “Two”.  Sue reworded it to “One more ball Ivy” and she didn’t pick up two at a time after that.

Grace did ok too – she would get a little upset with herself for the gutterballs, but she managed a comeback in Game 2. She did better than game 1 – I think  Game one was more of a practise run for all concerned.

Grace is Sue’s next door neighbour and of the 4 at 81 years of age she is the only one not showing any signs whatsoever of slowing down. Her mind is as sharp as a tack.  I love her dry wit and sense of humour.  Sometimes she can be a little crotchity – but hey at 81 I think you have earned the right to have those “moments”.

And for the record – Sue and I are the youngsters in the Gang. Dad is 77, mom 75, Ivy 80 and Grace 81.  I am the baby at 48; Sue is…well I’m not going to tell you but safe to say she is a tad older than me but lots younger than mom LOL.

Sue and I played the second game with Dad, Ivy and Grace.  It was a blast.  We decided that we (Sue and I) would not “try” so that the Sr.’s would think they were whipping our butts…It worked for me, my score sucked…oh ya, I was trying LOLOLOLOL.  I am just bad at the game.  But I love going out and playing on Thursday nights.

Tonight will be a definate A535 and painkiller night in this house, I can tell you that LOL. 

All in all a good day for all of us.

Tomorrow is BINGO!!!  I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow. LOL

Hope your day has been as fun as ours.

Nancy