Friday, September 21, 2012

Dad update

I went to see Dad on Tuesday this week... or was it Monday? Who knows, all I know is that one day in the last seven, I went to see Dad when Mom had gone that morning to "witness" his rehab and learn what we can do to help.  How we position, etc.  So, mom had been there all morning and I went in the afternoon to sit, chat and catch up.  I had kid stuff in the afternoon, so I was a bit later than dinner, so I missed most of that, he was finished with the turkey from his turkey salad - and all the goodies that were in the salad were gone along with the fruit and juices and the nurses commented he would be considered 100% with all that he did eat.  Yay Dad!!

That being said, we chatted about this and that and I got to meet Dr. Speigle, and I say "meet" very loosely as he breezed in with a "hi" and went to talk with Dad.  He asked him to move his foot, to which the answer was "I can't"... he encouraged Dad to TRY to move his foot and noted that Dad has "tone" in his leg when he's instructing it to move, however, just not enough strength in it to lift it off the sheets... so there you go - connections are coming back, slowly, but coming back.

Fast forward to today, I went a bit early as I had Angela out for her Dr's appointment - go down until you see the update on her height!   She's going to outgrow her sister for sure because she has a few more years of growing to go yet!!  Go Angela Go!!

Anyway, I got done with Angela later than I thought due to an 11am visit with the Dr and I'm thinking he was the only one in the clinic still... but we were seen before noon, but then had to sit in the waiting area at the pharmacy to pick up some meds before heading out.  Nothing serious, just "maintenance stuff"  Anyway, we then went to lunch - sorry, you get drug out to the Dr's you get a good lunch to boot.  So we went to Dai Itchi's for lunch - yum, I hadn't been there in a long while!
Back home, looked at the clock and through "I have a few minutes to lay down"  (35 to be exact), but the phone rang, it was Mom asking some questions and asking if I was coming out today.  Well of course, M/W/F are my days...along with Saturday afternoons.  Anyway - I decided to head on up so I could catch some of the rehab and see what Dad was up to.

Well, he has a good amount of "tone" in his left leg.  You can see his knee flexing, so I'm sure in time, he'll have full use again, it's just a matter of making him use it, walk, walk, walk... He still favors his left arm and forgets to bring it forward when walking on the bar... but I'm sure that will come too as the whole left side is improved 100% from the original stroke.  He'll still need an AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic - brace for his ankle)... you know I knew what it was from all the preemie boards, but NEVER looked up why it was called and AFO until now...some 14 years later.  How funny is that?  Anyway, he'll be fit with his own to keep control of his ankle. 

In addition to that and a few other "aids" he'll get, He and mom have made the decision after talking with the physical therapist to keep him in a few more days.  He was to go home next Tuesday the 24th - instead, he'll come home on the 28th or the 29th.  Because when he goes home his therapy will drop from 5+ days a week to 3x a week, they feel that these extra days will really give him a big boost in his recovery.  Who are we to argue?  Well, we could... and we could come up with exercises to work when he gets home to push him and get him working the muscles he needs to work.  I'm still surprised that when you ask the PT folks what practical daily things can we encourage him to DO that would exercises these same areas not one can look you in the eye and say " putting things on the left side of his chair on the floor to encourage reaching down there"  When it was obvious from his movements that would move the same sets of muscles.  Sigh.  They don't think in practicalities... they think in terms of their gym and what they have there to work him on - not what is around a house.  Weirdness.

So, folks if you want a future business, there it is... teach people practical ways to exercises after injury in their own home that will help them with recovery better.  such as, when rolling over on the bed, roll over from one side to the other so you can do sit ups to both sides of your body - sleep on xx side of the bed to encourage sitting up and pulling with the non-dominant muscle to help build it.  Drink with only your left hand for a 1/2 day to encourage hand/eye coordination.  Go to the grocery store and be the "high shelf" reach-er to encourage over head movements.  Practice doing this with left hand going cross body, grabbing a can at shoulder height and placing it nicely in the cart.  Silly things that would be the same as sliding a silly ring from one side of an arch to the other... come on folks, these people are going back to the real world, give'm something to work with!  And how about a partial car IN the rehab building that would allow a person to PRACTICE getting into a car with lots of helping hands...where it padded for the "ah crap" moment when you THINK you have your head low enough...   Maybe I'm just dreaming... and I'm sure in more affluent neighborhoods/cities, there are such things.  Just not in this town.  Sigh.

OK, I'm off my soap box. 

Suffice to say that Dad is making major improvements daily.  I see in in how he's got more confidence to stand up and readjust his seat in the wheel chair, I see it in just sitting period - he doesn't slouch nearly as bad. That's not to say he doesn't still "lean" to once side or the other.. but it's really not as BAD as it was in the beginning.

Next up - Carpet and waking in a walker on carpet.
Oh, and he's on a full walker too - so he's got enough stregth in his left hand te encourage them to use the full walker rather than the hemi walker - that says a lot too.

Homecoming Dance

Liz decided to go to the homecomeing dance and had a themed dress with one of her friends.  Her friend had on a leppard skin dress

Ohhh, lala!

BAD mom! School photo and other random animals (ha!)

The start of the school year came and went and I NEVER posted pictures of the first day of school - BAD mom!  Then, well, life took over... so here it is, my catch up post with LOTS that has happened (and been on the camera) since 1 August (pool pictures were a DIFFERENT camera, thus the snafu on this one!)
Liz is a SENIOR this year
Angela is EIGHTH grade!
On a side note this is the hawk that has been scaring all the squirrels and OTHER birds away from my nice mornings of bird watching.  There was actually two in the trees, this one flew over the house, the other headed to the back of the property to those trees
Oh, yeah, he was watching me CLOSE as I came off the porch and took his picture... guess he's been shot at a time or two?
A different day, or this would be suicidal bunny.  I spotted him late one evening hunkering down in the back of the yard... I LOVE the zoom on my camera because even from that far away, this one was skittish... wonder why?  ha!
 It finally did stick it's head up a bit more... but not for long - then zoom, zip, he was gone!


Height check Angela

Official reading is 5 foot 3 and 5/8th inches! Going to outgrow her sister. Official height will be here for Elizabeth on Monday. It's doctor visit week at the Ashwood house!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

100 Items to Disappear First

Right up my ally as a “Closet Prepper” at heart however, I’m sorely lacking in 99% of these things!


1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers (hum, I have two drinking ones, but have thought about a whole pool solar pool filter too so that there will be a source of water at least while there is rain…)
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.  (we don’t have anything BUT these – I know I’m unusual, but no electric can opener in my house)
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item) (I don’t even know what this is!)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels (Check – for a short while, but we have a lot of “rags” around my house too – as well as old sheets (kids play sheets) and beach towels galore!)
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST) 
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies 

40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food) 

41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators (lots of this in the kids school supplies area – even wooden pencils as they refuse to use them!)
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.) 
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times) 
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape (who doesn’t have this around the house?)
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid) (wonder why they want liquid?)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soup base
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens


From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
    near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
   quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to
   do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
    heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of
    the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
    enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
    valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
    guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll
    have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many
    people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
    toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
    lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Visiting hours

Hanging out with dad. Mom was in talking to the case manager and I had opted to save the chair for her. I couldn't figure out how to lower the bed so got comfy to chat while dad finished up dinner :)

Eating much better and getting stronger by the day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday update

I went up to see dad after his physical therapy yesterday. He had PT from 1-2.

We rolled on our to the garden area and shared a table with another nice man.

Dad really got some good Occupational Therapy from it because I made him deal all but one or two of his hands.

Shuffling us out and even dealing does present some good challenges for him on how to grab just one card. He was turning them on their side to see if it was just one and I kept accusing him of looking at my cards :) ha!

It was good memory and concentration work for him too working with numbers. I told him I would be nice as this was his first game back and wouldn't steal his points ;) all in all good "workout" for his brain but after an hour of physical therapy it tuckered him out. He caught my nibs point (didn't steal it) but missed only a few counts. So good practice in thinking skills.

Oh and he still skunked me so he's still sharp as a tack and chooses better card combos than me!