Archive from August, 2013
Aug 30, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Winter’s Coming

The grandpas are starting to talk about winter.  Last week Dad said, “What do we do when it turns cold?”  It is as if they are anticipating something they dread.  When we told dad we would turn on the heat, that wasn’t the answer he was looking for.  We never figured out what he wanted to know.  Papaw has always hated winter.  It is confusing to me since they do not shovel the snow or drive on the bad roads.  I believe they feel winter coming on even though it is in the high 90’s.

Our Doctor told us that more elderly people die in the fall than any other time of the year.  He said they do not believe they can make it through another winter.  The Papaws are already worried about fall.  It is a long way off yet.

Aug 28, 2013 - Recipes    No Comments

Little Miss Muffet

When I was a little girl, I learned the following nursery rhyme:

Little Miss Muffet


Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
The only real lesson I thought I was supposed to learn when I heard this poem was to be afraid of spiders.  I wasn’t afraid so it seemed like a fairy tale.  As I got older, I asked what it meant to eat curds and whey.  My dad told me that was cottage cheese.  Recently, the grandpas have been talking about their mothers making cottage cheese by hanging it on the clothes line.  They couldn’t really tell me much more and mom said her mother never did that so I decided to do some research.  (Mom grew up in the city so she did not have an abundance of “raw” milk.)
Curds & Whey
The grandpas didn’t have refrigeration so when they milked the cows, the “raw” milk was put in crocks in the kitchen.  The crocks were rotated daily.  The milk was used for lots of things:  drinking, making butter, using the separated cream and on and on.  The curdled milk was then hung on the clothes line and the ” whey” would drip to the ground and the curds were the cottage cheese.   (Dad to this day will not eat cottage cheese.  Never have learned why.)
In my research I learned that many farm wives saved the whey and used it to ferment pickles, sour kraut, even made lemonade with it.  The whey is a natural probiotic that actually helped keep people healthy.  Today, it is illegal to purchase “raw” milk unless you own your own cow or a share of a cow.  With the loss of “raw” milk through pasteurization,  yogurt was made popular that contained the probiotics.  Though yogurt was discovered due to the lack of refrigeration.  Today yogurt is hung inside to make cream cheese  or cottage cheese when hung outside and allowed to curdle.
So we decided to give it a go and it really works.  The cream cheese is so creamy!  Though the grandpas say it needs salt so I will salt it.  For cooking it is probably good the way it is.  I save the “whey” so my next experiment will be pickles.  The grandparents are excited to begin the next experiment.  Stay tuned to find out about our pickles.
Aug 26, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Poem – Cranky Old Man

I recently found this poem and the information included here.  This is exactly why we want are parents here with us instead of in a nursing home.  I admit we get anxious and try to move to fast through our day but we know their days are long and hard to fill after living such full lives.  I often think of the scripture, “Be still”.  I try to be still with them even if they don’t have anything to say.  They still reside in their bodies.  Here is the poem I found:


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!

Aug 21, 2013 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Welcome To Holland

After our son was born, we found this writing.  It has always been a favorite of ours.  We saw the beauty in it as we raised our son with Downs Syndrome and now we see it again with the Grandpas.  The Grandpas don’t have a disability but they are like children.  Our lives have been forever changed by our decision to keep them at our house but it is not a bad decision.  It is all in how we look at life.  We choose Holland.  We choose Joy.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.


Aug 19, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments




Papaw Fishing


Papaw loves to fish, probably more than anything else.  He used to sit on our dock and fish several times a week last summer.  This summer, he says he doesn’t fish anymore.  I think he just doesn’t have the energy but we know he still loves to fish.  So my husband and a friend took him fishing to a catch and release lake.  He would rather catch and release anyway.  So one morning we surprised him with his trip.  He had a great time.  They fished all day!!!  I know Papaw was exhausted at the end of the day but it was that kind of exhaustion that is so relaxing.  The end of a perfect day.  That night, Papaw told my husband thanks.  Not just thank you.  He said thanks for a perfect day.  I guess Papaw does still fish.  I don’t think we could ever take the fisherman out of this man.