Monday, October 31, 2011

tip #11 simple graces

My friend Lois, who's mother was recovering from surgery, said a friend came over and changed her mother's sheets so she had fresh linens to sleep in. I thought I'd post a list of things that I've seen be  simple graces that can have a lot of meaning for a person dealing with illness.

--fill the gas tank
--clean the fridge
--take out the trash
--bring over supper AND a sandwich for lunch
--write a card but keep it simple--even reading a long note can take too much effort
--bring over beverages. Medications can do a number on your taste buds. I like to head over to our neighborhood bodega and select a variety of Mexican sodas to bring. Sometimes you get weary of the 7-up and ginger ale and find the tamarind or pineapple soda is just right.
--JUST sit
--shovel the snow/rake the leaves/mow the lawn
--offer to make some insurance company calls 
--if you are visiting on the phone, offer to read the paper or a book--allows for companionship while limiting the amount of talking the sick person needs to do to keep up his/her end of the conversation.
--take the caregiver for a walk

AND, our family has benefited in our bereavement time from these supports:

--two extended family members brought campers and parked them on my parents' driveway to give us extra bedrooms and space.
--on our block here in Chicago it is a tradition for the neighbors to help the family prepare for the funeral; they come and take shirts and suits to the cleaners, shine shoes, do store runs for clothing items, wash the car. Anne Mette took Paul shopping for a suit and arrange tailoring. Sharon Johnson made sure Andy and Seth were ready with their clothes.

Please add more ideas in comments.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

nine of the dozen Scholten klein meisjes

Here are nine of the dozen Scholten klein meisjes.
Aunt Beanie, Aunt Henny, Lynn
Rachel, Beth, Gretchen, Janna, Helen, Lorelei, Mary Ann, Elaine
not pictured:
Kirsten, Yvonne, Nancy
(Note that Mary Ann did not get the memo on the regulation haircut.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

tip #10 roast a turkey

This hint was given to me by my mother-in-law, Lucille. Before I met her, I thought you only made turkey for holidays.
She taught me that when life is overwhelmingly busy, roast a turkey. Don't bother with the stuffing or traditional sides.
The turkey will yield a week's worth of meals and keep everyone in the house fed.
This one went into the oven at eight o'clock this morning.