Busy Work to Keep Calm

I made small bits of four watercolors the other day. I am going to use these in my journal of a drawing a day for October. The drawings come with a haiku if I can fit it in.

Here is the first one. Still feeling a bit of the sadness this past couple of weeks and having those blues so handy, I wrote a fitting haiku.

Blue has colored the

tears flowing into seas of

uncontrolled sadness.

Tomorrow I will use the greens in a haiku drawing about the herb seasoning salt Lee helped me make today.

You start with loads of peeled garlic….Lee’s job.

And add a goodly amount of coarse salt.

All of this must be chopped by hand….a chopper would pulverize it too much.

When it is hard to find a piece of garlic in the mix you add the herbs. In this case we gathered whatever we still had after a very dry past few months. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, basil, sage….no stems.

Then chop the herbs into the garlic salt mix in small manageable amounts at a time. You have to do this until your hands ache and there are no distinguishable  herb leaves.

Spread out on a sheet and place on the porch away from critters for several days until it is completely dry.

It is worth the achy hands to have the house filled with the smell of garlic and herbs. We are hoping to bottle some up for Christmas gifts. It is the perfect herb collection to cook with. Sometimes I will just use rosemary and other times just sage, but this year was not the best for anything but rosemary that loves the dry conditions.

This kept Lee busy for about an hour or two. That was a good thing. Here are some ideas for those dealing with a partner who has dementia.

  1. Keep a sense of humor and say something funny to break a sad mood even if it makes no sense at all.
  2. Keep to a routine. There are days we go to lunch. We only take walks in the early morning. We go to the grocery store and feed store after the grocery shopping is done and before we head home.
  3. Take advantage of the calming effects of alcohol….in moderation. A half beer with lunch. Some wine before dinner or a very short glass of Southern Comfort for him while I have a good glass of single malt.
  4. This is your life now. This is his life now. Take deep breaths and remember that maybe someday you can go back to doing the things you miss terribly right now.
  5. If you burst into tears don’t worry he will forget you did a few minutes later……and so will¬† you.
  6. All the jobs he used to do are now your responsibility. If you can’t do them, get help.
  7. Don’t count on friends showing up to do these things. They won’t. Pay someone.
  8. I can lift 50 lb bags of seed and pour them into his feed cans. When I can’t, I will buy seed in smaller bags or take buckets to the back of the car, slash a bag and transfer it all a bucket at a time.
  9. Remember to start his vehicle every few days to avoid having to hook it to a charger.
  10. Don’t ask what you can do for him….just do something because he can’t tell you when words don’t come.
  11. Fix meals that are easy for him to eat. Use a large plate regardless of what goes on it because he is going to want to cut all of it up into small pieces.
  12. Remember to say something funny, make up a story….don’t lose patience anymore than you have to….it only makes you both feel bad.

So that is it…..well a start anyway.

Til later.