Bringing a coloring book is my favorite way to visit my husband in assisted living. He doesn’t color too much in the books anymore but he sits and looks through them and seems to like that I’m coloring. There are upon occasion others who will come around interested as we sit at the dining room table so I will tear pages out and hand out colors and encourage them to join in. Pretty good and relaxing way to wile away assisted living visits, otherwise I just don’t know what to do. I see other spouses come visit and they just sit and hold hands. I either color or if it’s a nice day I suggest we walk on the sidewalk out back. He always says yes to that.
Today though the visit was strange. I was there at the table and he sat for a little while looking through the color book and then he got up to go watch television. Usually he wants to stay right with me.
The workers there asked if I’d help with the Christmas decorations, painting Christmas trees for each resident on construction paper which I of course enjoyed doing. When I left, the nurses were hanging greenery and lights. They decorate for each season, successfully creating a homey feel. My husband was engrossed in Gunsmoke, so I gladly slipped out.
a Thank You to Morning Star Memory Care in Fredericksburg, Texas
Before I go on an oatmeal ode, let me first say…
Visiting my Husband at his Memory Care
goes better with Coloring Books…
I think part of my ability to go off sweets is that I am not under the continual distress of being a constant caregiver. The memory care, Morning Star Memory Care, is now my husband’s caregiver. I visit him as often as I can. Today I took along some markers and an adult Christmas coloring book I found at the dollar store. We three, me, my husband, and our sixteen year old daughter, sat and colored and then read the book. It was a shortened story of Ebenezer Scrooge. After we colored a little while we had fun doing the voice drama. He just loved it. We invited a new resident who was wandering around looking for her husband, to join us in the coloring. She talked to us like she knew us and then asked if we all wanted to walk around outside with her. So we enjoyed the beautiful Fall Fredericksburg day in the lovely back yard of the memory care. Peaceful that whole place is, inside and out. I highly suggest anyone who is going to visit a person in a nursing home or assisted living to bring some kind of thing to look at together. If they can’t color, then pictures and a story are nice to share.
So thanks to Morning Star Memory Care!
A sweet place … isn’t that a cheap yet sweet segue into my …
It’s true, Sweets are Addictive, and I’m an Addict!
Now, on to how I’m doing giving up sweets. Have you heard that it has been discovered that the link in the brain to sweets – and therefore a sweet addiction – is the same place in the brain as an addiction to cocaine. I can believe that. I went to bed last night with heart palpitations. I believe it was my body reacting possibly to the few days thus far of not eating anything sweet! If there was a place to go “dry out” from sweets, I’d go there. I can picture it by a white sandy beach…. AHHH!
WHY DOES OATMEAL HELP?
Oatmeal with nuts and fruit and cinnamon fills me up for breakfast and it is naturally sweet. It’s full of protein and “sticks to the ribs” well. I think it evens out my blood sugar… but I’m no expert, just a practicing artist.
An important part of my giving up sweets is eating my morning bowl of oats. I get the Quaker Oats original oatmeal, not steel cut, not quick cooking. The oats cook in the microwave in 4 minutes anyhow. I put that in and then put the coffee on so they are done about the same time. And, I don’t add any sugar or sugar substitutes, of course.
Snacking today: Same as yesterday, I ate a handful of salty nuts and prunes. It was helpful to keep from eating the sweets. I don’t think I mentioned before but I left the bowl of trick o treater candy by the front door right where it was on the fateful night of my “before binge” as an experiment. So far I haven’t wanted it.
Important note to reader:
(My Ode to Oats is below, but let me preface it by saying: CHOCOLATE CAKE… THE ULTIMATE, HANDS DOWN, SWEET THING I LOVE WHEN I’M NOT RAVENOUS FOR SWEETS. WHEN MY SWEET TOOTH IS CHILLED OUT AND I’M WANTING, NOT CRAVING, I GO FOR GOOD CHOCOLATE CAKE.)
What happened to me in previous occasions I have given up sweets is if I ever end up wanting something it would not be junky candy which is why having a bowl of it still isn’t at all causing me trouble but if I ever do want something it would be higher up like a slice of perfect homemade chocolate cake, not store bought, not box, not even Texas sheet cake, but the kind made by the lady who brought it to Baptist church potluck when I was eight years old, moist, with fudge icing with just the right amount of chew. It was The Lord’s Work she did, that delicious cake maker lady. In April after my 210 days are up, I am going to try to recreate that cake in my kitchen. By that time I will probably only desire a tiny slice. Right now because I have lost the ravenous crazy, I can wait ’til April. Hopefully…
So, I know you’ve been waiting for it… so here’s my Ode. I wanted to do the ode because that way I can talk to an inanimate object that I really like and people won’t think I’m nuts. I think. Oh, and when I make that chocolate cake in April I will write an ode to it. That, I will put on my calendar so so as to not forget.
ODE on Oats
By your natural tendency,
And spiked by added raisins,
You soothe me in the morning
You’re exactly what I’m cravin’
When’d it start, this love of oats,
Not omelets, burritos or cinnamon rolls,
‘Twas what my mom cooked on a cold winter morn
When we’d all whine, “Not again!”
Now how’d it happen, a little older,
Eating breakfast much more sober,
You humbly greet me at my table
Cinnamon topped, fully able
Your gentle steam and quiet content
Your pleasing ways are solid, endure
And I’ve learned not love another
Your pleasure, sweet and somehow pure
Slow but sure,
You stay all morn
All the way to lunch or after
Keeping me from eating sweets
~ Julie Robinson
Want to join me on this quest, want to cheer me on my way, like me, leave comments, tell me what you have to say! If you aren’t a sweet junkie, what sweet do you enjoy in that more rational way? If you are but want to give up the junk, then join me! I’m only day 4 and not eating sweets til after Easter. Already I feel more clear headed, and got a better spring in my step.
Ushering in “No Sweets November” and, ok, just one more tiny little poem.
Between projects is a difficult place to be. I only have the hope of the future projects – but not one yet underway. It makes me feel a little artistically heart fluttery nervous. Why is that?
So to solve this problem, I get to thinking, what is is that I treasure the most? So, I thought that first a bit of personal inventory might help:
During the month of October,
I placed my husband in long term memory care after he wandered out dangerously for the last time in the middle of the night climbing out of his window and walking a mile! And I’m strangely torn without him here, unused to not taking care of him all the time. It is expensive. I have faith that God will provide the needed resources to keep him there.
Also I finished the first quarter homeschooling my daughter 11th grade. She does lessons by video and I oversee and ask her to teach me what she has learned. It works well that way since relating something just learned helps greatly with interest and retention. Hey and it’s good for me too as I think I’ve forgotten all that. Actually I think at her age I was doing nothing but concentrating on some boyfriend. I paint and write while she does school. As I blog away here she’s doing violin class and I will add… a lot less squeaky than when she first began at the beginning of the school year.
I wrote a poem each day for the past 31 days. That was exhilarating. Really. I did not know that doing it would be like running a race each time. Yay for getting across the poetry finish line.
But back to answer my original question what should I do now that poetry month is over
1. I am in planning – brainstorming – looking at photo references – for a brand new oil painting project to show in my art club’s copying the master’s challenge but first I’m finishing the painting below. I’m not very happy with it right now which is lending a little to my art troubles but I wrote a poem about it so I am including it.
2. I’m sugar free (but just as sweet) and will blog about my upcoming 7 mos of eating no sweets. And yes I can eat fruit
3 Art projects with memory care. I am excited they asked me would I bring in some projects to do with the folks at my husband’s memory care facility. I am considering bringing some tempura paints and brushes and some cheap Walmart canvases. So I will be sharing about my Art memory care experiences.
4 Poetry Monday’s: I am thinking I ought to write poetry on a schedule of one day per week so I can keep poetry challenged.
Below is my current painting propped for picture in the window. Interesting how the lavender sky outside is all matchy matchy with my painting.
Oh! A lavender sky
Where below the cattle gather,
Heads low, munching,
Not at all watching
Any kind of weather.
Sweet Report: Day 1 of 210 (is that 7 months?) I haven’t actually started this day yet! But, I am full of optimism, I’ve gathered all the faith I got like the cattle under the lavender sky, and unless the sky rains snicker bars, I’m ok. Check back each day for my Sweet Report. Think I can do it?
Summing up this post, goodbye October and ushering in important thing: FAITH! I went back up into the post and italicized every place I talked about it. That is the treasure I seek for November. Faith