As lack of mobility and the associated incapacity of old age increase in our daily lives, we become more and more acutely aware of that which we may can do today, but surely may not be able to do tomorrow.
I have for the most part over the years enjoyed cooking but for part of this past year have had to hire caretakers to come in and relieve me of most of my cooking duties. Of course as you may well guess, they don’t do it the way you do it so things don’t normally go so well. Especially if you are as picky about food as I am. Currently I have relieved all those supposedly cooking caregivers and have taken my cooking duties back over as best I could.
Yesterday evening was one of those times when I made up my mind I was going to cook myself a pot of dumplings. Now nobody made dumplings like “mama” but over the years I think I came pretty close to developing her style and technique. Given the standing up involved and the time involved it is now these days a fairly difficult meal for me to attempt to cook. But not knowing if it would be my last time or not, I had to have one more pot of “mamas” dumplings.
As it were, they turned out really well as hopefully reflected by the photo below. I’ve lost a little weight so that pot of dumplings may go a long way in resolving that little weight issue.
Anyway, if that indeed turns out to be my last fling in the kitchen with my favorite dumpling dish, well so be it. At least it was a good experience for the most part and satisfied that old anguished saying, “If only I could have done or had this or that just one more time…”
Unlike a great many bloggers, I seldom post anything about food but I recently added a new entre to my dinner menu. Have always liked blackened fish so I got a hankering for some Cajun Blackened Catfish here recently so I gave it a try.
I have a natural gas grill so I took my cast iron skillet out and placed it on the grill and let it heat up for about 10 minutes. I seasoned my catfish with Evermore Cajun seasoning, melted some butter and poured it over the catfish.
I then took it out to the grill and placed it in the hot cast iron skillet cooking from 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Photo of fish below fresh right off the grill.
Well I have got to tell you, it was quite yummy. Perhaps not a dish for everyone but it was right up this southern boy’s old southern man’s ally.
And I should note that usually cooking blackened fish generates a lot of smoke because your cooking at such a high temperature. That’s why if your able, cooking outside on a grill eliminates that smoke and smell from your house…. 🙂
As one gets older and begins to have suspicions that some measure of senility may slowly be creeping into their minds, perhaps in some way that is a blessing and allows them to express themselves in ways not familiar to others around them. As we all know its not unusual for such individuals to express to us concerns we may not quite relate too. Due to recent events in my life I have developed this deadly fear regarding the death of my refrigerator verses my own death.
Although it is quite common in our culture today to litter our refrigerator’s doors with a potpourri of items from pictures of the grand-kids, cartoons, advertisements, coupons to various “To Do” lists, from time to time it becomes incumbent upon us to attach something of some significance or importance to us on our refrigerator doors. I admittedly had a few magnetic ads on my refrigerator’s freezer door but fell sadly short of the quantity I would need to keep pace with the norm found in most homes. Such was the case for me a few months back.
At that time it had become necessary for me to enlist the care of a part-time caregiver who was mainly involved in house cleaning duties and some measure of cooking. In the early stages of this care-giving endeavor I was informed that since my “Living Will” stipulated that I should not be resuscitated due to a cardiac arrest event that I would need to post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form in my home visible to the public and particularly to any EMT personnel who might be called to the house should it be necessary for the caregiver to do so in an emergency situation.
Immediately I thought what could be any more appropriate that posting my “Do Not Resuscitate” order on the door of my refrigerator. Who could miss seeing that I wondered? And so it came to past….
A few days later as I passed by the frig and glanced over at the DNR form it all of a sudden occurred to me that perhaps this might cause some confusion in an emergency situation. The “Do Not Resuscitate” seems at this point actually quite apropos for both the frig and me. My concern over this issue arose from a blog post, “Taking It To the Limit One Day At A Time“, which I recalled having written in June of 2014 about my old, reliable refrigerator that I had owned for so long and the fact that it was over 25 years old.
Now of course it is completely silly and outrageous of me to think anyone would think the posted DNR form on the refrigerator door was for anything or anyone but me since I am the only “living” thing in the house. Nevertheless what if I wake up in a hospital one day and they inform me that my refrigerator has been buried. What if one day I come into the kitchen to find my refrigerator no longer running, I faint from the shock, and the EMT crew takes me to the hospital and the refrigerator to the morgue without trying to resuscitate it. In that referenced blog post I basically talked about the age of my dear old reliable refrigerator and surely wondered just how much longer the frig would be with me. So this scenario is not completely out of the range of possibility.
For now, the only solution I can come up with to alleviate my fears is to tape the DNR form to “my” back and remove it from the refrigerator door. My family of course thinks I am being quite silly over the entire thing but they are simply not aware of the true insight you get as you make efforts to master your consuming senility…. 🙂
Just a little observation of note from this past summer….
It came to my attention as I gazed around from my patio one morning this past summer that one of my neighbors must have planted their yearly tomato garden on the roof of their house. Needless to say this seemed extremely odd to me. But my initial observation concluded that it could not have been anything else. You can make your own judgement from the photos just below….
Then not long after I noticed a large apparent weed growing from my next door neighbors gutter. There were actually three or four of them along a stretch of gutter some thirty-feet long or so. These growing freaks of nature were not as alien to me as the previously noted tomato patch I discussed. They were simply the result of a gutter full of foreign material such as leaves, dirt, and acorns which had compacted themselves into the perfect medium to grow plants as reflected in the photo below….
While making these observations of my neighbors homes and perhaps some measure of neglect on their part in home landscaping I could not but gloat over my decision some years back to have the “Leaf Guard” gutter system installed on my home. A bit pricey but one of the best home investments I ever made.
Now before I give the impression that I am completely taken with myself, might I note that I did not have the “Leaf Guard” system installed on my patio roof since it did not lend itself to such a system. So the patio roof system was subject to the same invasion of foreign materials compatible for plant growth as any other open gutter.
So after due ridicule of my neighbors and their rooftop gardens I decided to step out into the backyard and look at my immaculate patio gutters just for one last ego boost regarding the subject. Expecting of course to see the results of a well-cared for gutter I was greeted by one of those green aliens of my own growing right in the center of my gutter….
It goes without saying that my pride had taken a huge hit, not to mention that over the next few days I would be working as time permitted to clean my own gutter out. Pretty much over the embarrassment now, I am proud to say I am no longer a card-carrying member of the local neighborhood roof gardening club. I ultimately of course concluded that these roof growing freaks of nature were simply the results of neglect on the part of my neighbors and unfortunately myself for not cleaning off their roofs nor cleaning out their gutters in a timely manner, thus avoiding the ridicule and embarrassment associated with such neglect. 🙁
The two words ‘limb’ and ‘fishing’ when combined in the same sentence have usually brought out the worse in fishermen. The reason why? Well, it usually infers that in the act of casting or reeling in your bait you got hung up on an underwater limb, often resulting in the loss of a fish and/or your bait.
Well, at my house the dreaded curse of being hung up on a limb has taken on a completely different complexion. It has now become a quite functional process of removing unwanted limbs that have fallen off my trees and onto my roof.
At my age climbing up on the roof to remove unwanted debris such as limbs which most often fall during bad, stormy weather is no longer possible for safety reasons. But out of the unfortunate aging state has brought forth a new challenge and sport… roof limb fishing!
For those of you who may not be familiar with the sport, I have put together a visual instructional video that should provided you some insight into this new sport.
In closing I should note that I have never had a tree fall on the house so I’m not speaking from experience but I am assuming that it will take a very good deep-sea reel and some high poundage line to get the tree off the roof. Good luck otherwise in your limb fishing endeavors… 🙂
Although I have not been actively blogging over the past few months, I have been actively pursuing what must surely be just routine for most elders and that is doing my best to make it from one day to the next. Over the last couple of months due to some issues with my legs and of course the always present COPD I was determined that I just needed to get me one of those motorized wheel chairs to help assist my mobility around the house and my life would be back to some measure of order.
My doctor assured me that as long as I could take a step every five minutes or so and maintain an upright position I would have to fight Medicare tooth and nail to get one through them so I just avoided that headache completely and went out and bought one myself. Got what I thought was a really nice one at not too bad of a price and I was ready too rock and roll. But mostly as it turns out it was more like “bump and bang” than “rock and roll”. She’s a beauty though….
The poor doors and door facings, not to mention the molding, have basically met their demise due to my expertise and controlling a motorized wheel chair… at least in my house. Below are a few photos of the subject demise (click on photo to enlarge)….
Those photos were taken several weeks ago so quite honestly they only reflect a minimal amount of the damage done at present. But I am fortunate enough to have save a can of the original paint and now have the wood-filler, spatula, and sandpaper required to return them to so measure of their original condition. Oh yes, and I also have some of the felt color sticks for the paneling. 🙂
And just by chance if you’re wondering whether the wheelchair is too wide to fit through certain doorways in my house… well the unfortunate response is no, it will fit through them all just fine depending of course on the skill of the driver. 🙁
Well it would seem that this morning I again found issues with my blog where it was not operating properly or perhaps I should say as expected. I found that I had gotten several comments through the “Contact Form” which was installed on my “Contact Me Page”, yet I was never notified via my associated email of their existence. So consequently I have deleted the so-called Contact Form and have instead entered one of my email addresses which should take care of the issue.
I apologize to those who have previously used the old contact form and received no response.
And to add to my blog misery, I have found that several of my old blog post have had comments posted to them and I was again not notified through my email that they had been posted. I do have an alternate way of monitoring for such things so I will try to do a better job of being aware of incoming comments until the email function I mention decides to start working properly.
Also I have had the “Subscribe” function choices not appearing on the comment page but those choices have been turned back on for those who might be inclined to use those communication tools for this blog.
Sorry about having to delete the “Likes” from my previous post. Mike Goad had left a “like” but at some point a troll or spammer, whatever you want to call them also left a “like” and not the kind of like graphic you like to see on your computer. Since there is apparently no way to delete individual “likes” I had to remove my entire “like” entry for that post.
Well I have been blogging almost six hours a day now for several days but it hasn’t been because I was writing new posts. I’ve actually been reinstating my old posts from a data base I had archived that goes back all the way to when I started officially maintaining a blog in 2006.
And a blogger might ask why in the world would I take the time to go back and reinstate all those old posts? Any experienced blogger knows almost no one ever intentionally goes into a bloggers archive listing and reads any of those old posts. Well at best, let’s just say it’s a rare occurrence when it does happen.
I suppose as bloggers go I have been a fairly shameful one, having started and stopped my blogging numerous times over the past eleven years, not to mention several blog name changes along the way to boot.
Sadly, I lost a lot of regular commenters along the way also. Can’t blame them a bit and I have to say many of them I truly miss. But as they say, that’s all water under the bridge at this point.
In essence it would seem I have come full circle if such things could be calculated or construed in such ways. From my very first blog post to this one, which by the way, is not to be presumed as my last, it would seem the journey consisted mostly as a biographical reflection of a life gone by.
And although there may still be a few other reflections of the past peppered in the mix, I think you’ll find the majority to come will be with the challenges and changes with living out ones final days….