Thursday, November 29, 2007

Goodbye convenience foods?

I realized yesterday (after stepmom pointed it out) that frozen chicken breasts are very high in sodium due to being injected in a broth/salt solution. This does not work for either my dad or my stepmom. They will need to eat fresh chicken, not packaged frozen chicken breasts. It is a little overwhelming for stepmom because she is not so steady on her feet anymore.

Tonight I went to the grocery and saw that fresh chicken breasts were approximately $2.00 per breast - a package of 5 averaged between $9 and $10, depending on weight.

I elected to purchase two whole chickens for total of about $7.00. I get 4 breasts (small though they be) as well as 4 legs and thighs for another meal or two, plus two whole carcasses for soup and broth making.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Health Foods and diet

I've been learning a lot about dietary guidelines for elderly people in the last week. My stepmom is on a renal (pre-dialysis) diabetic diet, and dad will have to follow a Coumadin-sensitive diabetic diet.

I have always thought that fresh fruits and vegetables were healthy for everyone, but evidently that's not always true.

The list of fruits and vegetables and other foods they have in common that they are both allowed to eat is short.

He needs whole-grains, she needs refined flours. She can't have tomatoes, he can't have lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnips, spinach, etc. (going to make it hard to make a salad)

At least they can both eat green beans.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I've been away from the blog world for a little while.

A few weeks ago my father started having a lot of back pain and required a lot of extra help, so I didn't have much time to get on the computer and check my email or even update my blogs.

I thought a few hours a week was a lot of time, little did I know. Monday my sister called 911 because my dad wouldn't let my stepmom call, but in my sister's judgement, he needed to go.
Turns out she was right. The paramedics said he almost died in the ambulance. He was transferred from our local hospital to Columbus. We've been at the hospital all week. He had blockages in 3 of his arteries, one 99% blocked. His lungs were filled with fluid. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The doctors inserted three stents, and did another test to see if he needed a defibrillator. It turns out he doesn't need it. (whew!) Yesterday they moved him out of intensive care and into the regular hospital, so I'm stealing a few minutes to get my laptop out of the car and hook up to the hospital's wireless internet connection.

My stepmom is 83 and this has been pretty hard on her. She's diabetic, she didn't want to eat at first at all and we had to coax her to take care of herself. She can't walk more than a few feet at a time, so we've had to have at least two additional family members at the hospital at all times to manage her and her wheelchair and still communicate with the nursing and medical staff - stepmom is also hard of hearing so we have to repeat and explain everything to her. I don't know how smaller families handle a situation like this. I know at times I've been stretched to the breaking point, and I've got support from sisters and brother.

It's all been a blur. Tomorrow morning it will be a week but it feels like we've been here much longer than that. I was planning to have Tuesday and Wednesday off anyway due to the holiday, so I only missed 1/2 day of work, although I'll be off Monday and Tuesday at least until he is released and settled in at home. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital cafeteria. We all figured we have a lot to be thankful for. The hospital has been just great at providing help for the family members as well as excellent care for my dad.

So, if anyone was expecting something from me or looking for me, that's where I've been. I have 390 emails I just downloaded and haven't had a chance to look at yet, please be patient with me, I will get to them eventually.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Killing frosts

We've had a few killing frosts this week, all the impatiens in the flower bed are dead, and the lettuce in the garden is ruined, although the beets are still alive. Today I will be taking up the last of the mulch blanket out of the garden and putting it away in the garage. I have a few tulip bulbs to plant, have to get them in the ground before it freezes.

There are several stables around here that have signs "Free Horse Manure" - I'd love to get a load of it to put in my compost pile, but don't have a way to haul it except to put it in a big garbage can and load in the back of my Aztek. hmmmmm......

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