Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's for Supper

Dad now has my choice of the following main dishes: Shepherd's Pie, Bolognese Meat Sauce and Pasta, Different Twist Pork Stew, Tuna Casserole, and Chicken Pot Pie. In addition he has Chocolate Buttermilk Brownies and Frozen Fruit Cups for dessert.

All are low or no sugar and low sodium, too. They are soft and easy to eat with a spoon. The individual portions are easily prepared, too. I asked her to prepare these so that each main dish had meat, vegetables, and starch.

They are not pureed as Dad still can chew some. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for him, so this makes it easier.

Tuesday evening I served the Tuna Casserole and a Frozen Fruit Cup. Both are quite tasty. The Frozen Fruit Cup is about the consistency of pudding. Both are kind of white in color. I think that's good for Dad although not very appetizing to me. Dad enjoyed both of these dishes. I don't really know how much he actually tastes now. But some things he does not like and will not eat. He cannot eat hard cookies any longer so I experimented with various soft cookies. He prefers the Fig Newtons and Strawberry Newtons for reasons I cannot ascertain. Maybe he does not like chocolate so much because he definitely did not like the soft chocolate chip. And that's a good thing because I found myself a little too enamored with them.

He is beginning to have more trouble feeding himself. He now holds his spoon very awkwardly and has a terrible time getting the contents actually delivered to his mouth. And I notice his hand trembles a lot now when holding the spoon. About two years ago he lost the ability to feed himself for about a week. It was similarly a problem with the hand-eye coordination. He just could not make his hand work. I was surprised and very upset when it happened. But his frustration and grief certainly overwhelmed mine. Then suddenly he began feeding himself again. This time it seems the deterioration is slower but steadier.

One kind of funny thing we go through is in positioning the tray and plate. I want it closer to him so as to more limit the mess. He wants it farther away. I don't know why he wants it so far away. Maybe because I want it closer.

There are 3 places we normally sit to eat. One is the little breakfast nook off the kitchen. This is my favorite place. We look out the north window and can watch the traffic at the corner. Dad yet sits in his usual place which is directly opposite the window. This has been his place now for 43 years. My place was directly across from him with my back to the window. My mother's place was to dad's right and that's where I now sit. It is the best place for accessing the kitchen and dishes and so on. When my brother comes he sits in his old place to dad's left. That was also my son's place when he lived here and that's where he still sits. It is funny how we take up our old places.

We also eat in his bedroom. I have an old card table there. It is Samsonite and I remember vividly when by mother got it. I think it was with Green Stamps. I bet not too many people younger than me remember Green Stamps. So if he can't go down to the breakfast nook then I try to get him to the little card table. And if he can't do that then I use the over bed table. He will sit up on the side of his bed though.

In the breakfast nook it is still the same round table and the same wooden chairs. I have to kind of pick up dad's chair and scoot it forward for him now. Before January 1st he was able to scoot himself. I remember doing this for mom, too.

Breakfast and lunch are always the same. Dad has long enjoyed cold cereal for breakfast. He liked to "mix" his cereals. He remarked about it several times after I returned and I always thought it was kind of funny because he seemed to think he was doing something rather exotic. And I suppose it was given his upbringing. So I mix Cheerios and Rice Chex for him. Then I add fresh banana, fresh strawberries, low sugar yogurt, and soy milk. He drinks low sugar juice. Lunch is a really small turkey sandwich, applesauce, Strawberry Newtons, and juice. Our "coffee break" is low sugar hot chocolate and a Strawberry Newton.

I use low sugar Cranberry-Grape juice. Dad just will not drink water so the Cranberry juice, applesauce, and hot chocolate have to suffice. I use soy milk because it will last almost forever. Otherwise I have to throw out stuff and I hate that.

I caught up all my laundry on Tuesday and got my groceries put up and managed all my other stuff. I showered and dressed up but didn't quite manage to shave.

Wednesdays are days when no one is scheduled and I'm very grateful.


~Betsy said...

Ha! I remember Green Stamps! I used to help my mom put them in the books. I don't remember some of the things we got with the stamps, but I certainly remember licking them all!

I find it intriguing the way we all return to our dinner places. Even as an adult when I would go to my mom and dad's for a meal, I would sit in my old place. Thanks for posting this - I hadn't remembered that for a very long time.

flintysooner said...

S and H Green Stamps (Sperry and Hutchison I think). Then there was Gunn Brothers and maybe another. Green Stamps made your fingers green.

What's funny on "places" is that I was in "my room" for about 3 years before I married and left. My brother moved into it and stayed for about 12 years. But everyone continued to call it my room. I always laughed at that.

Lori1955 said...

Had to laugh about the white food. I had a friend who used to always tease me that all the food I liked was white. Also we use the Lactaid milk, it too lasts forever.
I know what you mean about the slow steady decline. We seem to be in that mode too now. It is very different because I am so used to Helen going down hill in a leap instead of this slow roll.

rilera said...

I love the idea of a personal chef. The meals sound great! And I do remember Green Stamps too.

nancy said...

i DO remember S&H green stamps. i had to laugh as i remember my mom got a card table from them as well. not too long ago my sister and i were cleaning some things from my mom and we found a whole box of green stamps in a wooden cigar box. remember those?

as for the food, it sounds like you have some delicious options for your dad. i can almost smell the aroma rising up out of the oven!!