Forever Ago February

I wrote this post almost two months ago but with all that was going on, I just haven’t gotten around to posting it until now.  Thank you all for your love and support during this difficult time!

February was a busy month for us, of course there’s Valentines day, my birthday and our 5th year of wedded bliss, so I decided we needed to try something out of our comfort zone.  We tried a day of culture and culinary first. First we went to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and saw the exhibition, The Titans of the Ice Age. While we were there we also got a guided tour of the Campbell House.

waiting for the tour to start

It was informative and interesting enough, if you like that sort of thing.

Mitch and I having some fun on our cultural date

The start of the tour

Now that we’ve been officially cultured, we checked that off the list and went onto our culinary first. I made us reservations at a restaurant on the South Hill called Casper Fry, and luckily it was restaurant week so we got a appetizer, entree and desert for a set price.

The water was delicious

The lighting and layout was warm and inviting, it had a good ambiance.

I got a squash risotto

We watch cooking shows and neither of us had ever eaten risotto and this was a perfect opportunity to finally try some.  It tasted good, except they topped it with a pickled mushroom!  I had to look at the picture an hour later to remind my stomach that I’d eaten.  But hey, that’s the world of fancy food right, small portions at high costs. We did it, we changed things up and tried something new.  Probably wouldn’t do it again, but glad we did it, none the less. Next year I might schedule our date on the other side of the spectrum and do some dollar store crafting and go eat at the Golden Corral!

Mitch got me a fiberoptic light for my Birthday, I love it and so does Zoey

A girlfriend brought me flowers!

and Stacey got me a delicious birthday dinner. Waiting for the restaurant to open we decided to make the most of our time and cruised around the mall in style!

all smiles before the race started

kisses of bliss

The cold weather has kept us in, but hasn’t kept us down.  I’m not giving up on my bread making and finally tried it again.

Hello bread maker, I’m sorry it’s been so long

Looking like it might come together

Best one yet…but I can do better. I’ll try again in another year or so

Mitch learned to sew… thank you youtube!

The most delicious artichoke and spinach dip made by my sweetie and almost all of it eaten by me!

 

Seriously, that dip is AMAZING! If i could, I’d dip into that picture right now and have me a bite!

 

 

 

What It Is

What’s the opposite of dog days of summer….

Cat-naps of the cold winter days?  Freezing days of Jack Frost?  Brrrrr, that’s what I would call it, just down right, brrrrrr.

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parking slots in front of the house made of snow piles

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During one of my nighttime wake up calls I was greeted by the most beautiful freezing rain. 2/9/17

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Finding a way to make chores fun, my love got a torch to melt snow

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to let go of my expectations of how I think things should be. I now try to accept life for what it is in that moment, not what I wanted it to be.  Case in point, Zoey…

What? me?

What? me?

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She is so cute and cuddly

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But she has tore up our blinds

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stary blinds, created by zoey

Thankfully they are older blinds and we’d talked about replacing them down the road.  We still try to keep her off places and things where she doesn’t belong.

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These both somewhat work, but not like I’d hoped

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She didn’t like the sticky of the tape, but that didn’t stop her

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Soon enough she started jumping straight over the tape onto the counter

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That’s right, no shame in my game!

We got her a tree house thinking that would be all she needed

We got her a tree house (thank you Chewy.com!) thinking that would be all she needed

along with more toys

along with more toys

But she's a kitten, and she loves her life and her Charlie

But she’s a kitten, and she loves her life and her Charlie

and Charlie is just trying to nap away his winter

and Charlie’s just trying to nap away his winter

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life will always have a little bad that comes along with all the good. That’s what makes living so flavorful!

Speaking of FLAVOR…. I made my first ever frittata. What a fun word, frittata, frittata, frittata.  I just love the pioneer woman, she’s where I got the how to make it and then I just used what we had in the fridge.

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first I cooked up some onion, mushroom, asparagus and canadian bacon in my cast iron skillet

gratted some pepperjack cheese, used 8 eggs added a little milk and sprinkled parmesean and tomatoes on half...just in case it tasted different

gratted some pepperjack cheese, used 8 eggs added a little milk, salt and pepper and sprinkled parmesean and tomatoes on half…just in case it tasted different

Then I got so excited to eat it I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone

Put it in the oven for a bit, and then I got so excited to have some I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone

 

I hope you have something you’re too excited about and forget to take a picture until halfway through too!

 

Frittata, frittata, frittata

 

 

 

Coconut oil and Turmeric for Dementia

I would like to first catch you up on the progression of my dad’s dementia. When I first heard the word dementia I thought, ok, so they forget things and forget how things work, the end.  There is so much more involved with them forgetting.  No, really, SOO much more!  We used to just be able to verbally direct my dad to the bathroom and from there it was all good.  Our first realization that it was no longer “all good” was a couple months ago.  I’d gone into the bathroom, thinking nothing of nothing and then I reached for the toilet paper…. it was soaked with pee. Yep, he thought that was the toilet and from then on we’ve  had to keep on eye on him constantly, and It’s progressively gotten worse.

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Just wait till I wake up, I’ll keep you on your toes… or maybe pee on them!

The second time it happened was when we returned home from camping at Noisy Creek. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner and when I hopped into the front seat I hear this splattering sound, like something liquid was being poured into metal behind my seat in Harvey the RV. Yep, there was dad, peeing in the empty metal dog dish, splattering all over, unaware of anything. Thankfully most of it ended up in the dish. Since then, it’s been peeville, pee patrol and for pee’s sake.  Thankfully he still knows when he has to go, but no place is safe. He’s lifted the seat cushion of his chair (thinking it’s the toilet lid) and pee’d all over it before I could run in to redirect him. He’s went in the trash, in the middle of the floor, in front of the sink and a few times he’s almost went on his end table and tv tray. Thankfully we don’t have carpet anywhere!  There’s no point in ever getting bothered about it, it’s just part of the disease. Since no place is safe we have everything covered in his room, so his place is pee proofed, (at least it wont soak into anything again) and when he comes over to the house we make sure he’s not left alone for a second, cuz that’s all it takes!

You're not the only one pooped pops, would you nap for us to?

You’re not the only one pooped pops, would you nap for us to0?

Mitch even got extra camera’s set up around Pops place to really keep an eye on him. They have motion sensor’s on them so they beep when they sense movement. We’ve gotten trained like pavlov’s dog to respond when we hear that bleep, bleep, bleep. It’s 20 steps to make it into his place, and 9 times out of 10 we can redirect him to the bathroom in time, thankfully!

Yep, he's reloading

Yep, he’s reloading

The newest thing is him spitting on the floor, where ever he is, what ever it is.. snot, flem, his pills, water, and anything in his mouth at the time, it will be on the floor right in front of him or on his plate. He’ll even take a drink of his coffee, swish it around in his mouth and spit it out, just cuz. That is this disease! Recently we’ve noticed that he will hold liquid in his mouth and not swallow for quite a while (we think he forgets he even has it in his mouth).  It’s called dysphagia, and unfortunately this also comes with the territory.

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wait papa, don’t spit it out!

From what I’ve learned they will even forget how to swallow, how to chew, how to speak. It’s not ok, I can’t just watch this happen, we’ve got to try everything we can. We tried a couple different kinds of medications on him. One to slow the progression, it was awful. He could barely walk, vomiting, sleeping half the day and a zombie the other half of the day.  We stopped giving it to him after the first night. Another drug was to help him relax, not get so aggitated and to sleep through the night.  Talk about sleep, they said to give him half a pill, so we did that first night and he fell asleep with a fork in his hand and cake on his plate, then he was still up half the night, bouncing off the walls.  We thought maybe it was just too strong so we gave him 1/4 of a pill and that seemed to slightly help him but still he was having such difficulty walking and focusing and sleeping.  During this time he stopped laughing at things, he wasn’t even able to finish the words of songs that he knew. These signs seems to say that soon we would need to start feeding him.  After talking with his doctor about my concerns and hopes to get him off that medicine he said I could stop giving them to him immediatiely.  There was a difference in his disposition as soon as it was out of his system. Drugs were doing more harm than good, so I opted to see what is out there in the world that is natural.  I was shocked to find out about the great success people are having with natural products and I was honestly quite annoyed that it’s not common knowledge that these things really can help. I wish I’d known sooner!

Studies have shown that you’ve got to be your own advocate,

do the research and seek the truth,

especially if it’s something that nature already provides!

Pops getting some vitiman D

Pops getting some vitiman D

One really good thing from all of this is that he has totally forgotten that he smokes.  On occasion he’ll ask where his lighter is and then forget that’s what he was looking for and rarely does he mention cigarettes.  When he does want a smoke we give him the electronic one, he’ll take one puff and be done or he ends up playing with it for 20 minutes taking it apart and putting it back together just to hand it back to us completely disinterested.

Going nuts for coconut oil….

Seriously, I think that coconut oil and turmeric is helping my dad and his dementia!

Anyone and everyone, please hear me when I say…………………….

COCONUT OIL AND TUMERIC MAY HELP SOME PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA!

do some googling, watch video’s and read all about the best kind and what people are doing for their loved ones. I’m not giving any medical advice, I’m just a daughter trying to bring back her father. That being said, it’s only been a couple weeks, but for everyone who knows anyone that is affected by this awefulness of dementia what’s the harm in learning more about it and giving it a try?

I’ll list a few of the changes we’ve (including caregivers) noticed:

he’s laughing again at things on TV.

he stopped saying he doesn’t care (as that’s been his latest saying for the last couple weeks).

he’ll still ask what’s happening, and ask the good Lord to help him, but it’s not for hours on end.

He calls the dogs by their names again.

He has an interest in things again, so much so he put some almonds in the sink and clogged up the drain.  This may seem trivial but before that he had no interest in anything!

He has been more alert than he’s been in months!!

He sleeps better at night.

He’s even joking around like he used to.

When I start a song now, he’ll finish the line!  I’ll sing ” Tie a yellow ribbon” and he’ll say “round the old oak tree” or I’ll say, “A bushel and a peck” and he’ll say, “and a hug around the neck”.  I just can’t express the joy it brings me to have him doing this again.

Intially I bought everything in pill form, thinking it would be the best and the easiest to monitor his intake.  After reading and learning more, I am now using the real deal of each.

We are using  Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut oil right now, but love Island Fresh Superior Organic Coconut Oil from Amazon and already went through one container and ran out.  It doesn’t have a strong smell and is a great price for the value!

 

virgin cold pressed, not refined, deodorized or bleached. (make sure you read those labels, found a couple brands that looked like they were exactly the same, until I came across one little word that means lots,… refined) I give him

Coconut oil -two tablespoons in the morning and plan to work him up to two at night.

Turmeric-1 teaspoon in the morning

They say not to heat the oil in the microwave as it removes nutrients, thankfully it melts easily so I just put it in a little glass then dunk the glass in some hot water, it melts within a couple minutes.

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melting the coconut oil and turmeric in a little glass sitting inside a cup of hot water

The other morning for the first time I gave it to dad to drink, along with the teaspoon of Tumeric.

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Doesn’t that look delicious!

Initially I tried to put it in his oatmeal, he ate it the first day, the next day he hardly ate any.  I put it in his coffee, he drank less than half a cup. Finally I decided the best way to make sure he gets all the goodness is just give it to him straight.  I thought he would be grossed out by the taste, so I took a video of his first time drinking it.  When I asked him what he thought, I meant the taste of the mixture but he thought I meant did he think it was working already, so cute.

Two days after having him drink it straight, it went straight through him…. literally! Always best to ease them up to 4 tbsp. and mix with food…. or it might just hit the fan, (or the chair) if you know what I mean. My bad, I was overly excited to get it started in his system! Sorry poops, I mean Pops!

As of now, I put the turmeric in the pancake batter, and melt the coconut oil in with his syrup and that has been the best process so far. And in the evening, I plan to put it in a yummy little shake for him (after his body gets used to the 2 tbsp).

You're doing what to my breakfast?

You’re doing what to my breakfast?

He is by no means cured, but his disposition is better, his quality of life is better and that’s what really matters at this point.

Watch the video of him, these clips are from the middle of May 2016  through to the middle of July 2016.

Our Neck Of The Woods

Although we’ve lived in Medical Lake for many years, we’re surprised we haven’t been to more places and done more things that are so close to home.

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Klinks

We decided that we would try Klinks, out on Williams Lake. It’s only about a 40 minute drive from our house.

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Initially we just wanted to rent kayaks and see what kind we liked best, but decided to try out the restaurant since we’d be there.

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The view from inside the restaurant, the kayaks they have for rent are on the right side of the picture.

It was only coincidence that it was on Mother’s day and they were having a brunch.  If you ever do decide to go, it’s best to make reservations since it is a small establishment.

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The restaurant Klinks is hidden within the trees

When we got there it was really windy, thought maybe it would die down after breakfast but that didn’t happen, so we took a peek at the kayaks they had and said, nah, lets just get the ones we want.

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Some of the yummy pastries they had available to eat

The cream puffs were divine, strawberries and raspberries super fresh and the wait staff were attentive and kind.

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We were overall quite happy with our meals, except we each had a little portion of egg whites that weren’t cooked well enough, for us that will ruin even the greatest meal.

I was beyond adventurous in my breakfast choice, I had a shrimp and asparagus omelet, if you can see I was so excited to dig in I got a picture after I'd eaten half.

I was beyond adventurous in my breakfast choice, especially since I am not a breakfast girl, at all. I had a shrimp and asparagus omelet, if you can see I was so excited to dig in I got a picture after I’d eaten half. Loved the taste.

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

On our way back home we decided to go through Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, we’d always talked about checking out, just hadn’t made time to do it before, but when in the vicinity, it must be divinity! Oh I don’t know, just trying to make a rhyme, please don’t give me a hard time.

Finally made a turn to go see Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

It was beautiful, no one around, wild flowers blooming everywhere and the weather was ideal!

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Pops on the other hand was a “I want a smoke” Nut that day.  Every 5 minutes while we were driving he wanted us to pull over so he could have another cigarette, we would tell him he just had one, and he wouldn’t believe us and start threatening to light up in the car.

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Needless to say, the calm enjoyable experience became overwrought with Pops endless craving to smoke, after less than 45 minutes we high-tailed it out of there with hopes of going back another time when he isn’t dying to smoke every other mile.

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Sometimes you just have to grin and barn it!

He did end the day with a grand finale of, “This is what I think of your rules” when he lit up in the back of the car only miles from home, just because he wanted a smoke now and wasn’t about to wait another minute. I turned around and there he was, smoking away. Frustrated, I said, “Dad are you kidding me! You couldn’t wait just one minute?” We pull over, I finally get him to throw it down and I grind it into the ground until there’s nothing left. There was just no reasoning with him, but then again how can you when dementia is in the picture?  Seconds later the event has already been forgotten by dad, knowing there’s no reason to remain bothered, we do our best to join him in forgetting all about it.  Since this all happened a couple months ago, as you know things have drastically changed in the smoking department, thankfully.

Lefevre St. Bakery

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The outside of the remodeled building that used to be Chan’s Chinese restaurant.

I can’t express how excited the town of Medical Lake is about the new bakery in town!

 

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An adorable ambiance with a super cute guy in the picture

Deliciously divine and cute as can be!

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Fresh baked huge pastries

 

 

Kayaking Medical Lake

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Our first kayak outing, we brought pops and we had a little picnic afterwards. Thankfully he doesn’t wander off…..yet.

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What a wonderfully serene experience it was!

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There’s even a cup holder for iced coffee!            Livin the dream

 

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Pops stayed and held down the park bench while we took our maiden voyage

 

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I’ll never take this life for granted! I’m especially grateful to have this wonderful man as my traveling companion.