Thursday, July 27, 2006

Caregiving: many hats

     Anthropologists are always trying to figure out how one tribe somehow began to use something associated with another distant tribe. How did they transfer the information over such an apparently insurmountable distance? 

     AOL journals will certainly baffle the anthropologists of tomorrow. Reading A Day In My Life about caregiving in Oklahoma I was inspired by an entry and modified and applied the irrigation tip to my yard in Pennsylvania.

    While Patti tooled around the yard in her scooter, I finished digging a 25’ long trench from drain spout to a young Weeping Willow tree, attached a flexible pipe to spout, then ran and buried the length of the pipe to the roots of the tree. Now a quarter of all rain run off from our roof feeds directly to the roots of the Weeping Willow. The resulting growth has been phenomenal!

     Lawn and garden care is one of the many hats juggled by home caregivers. It like everything has to adapt as your available time changes. Simplify replaces the “Beautiful Home & Garden” themed approach.

     Some aspects can have dual benefits. Mowing the lawn for example I find perfect caregiving exercise. The handle on the mower is the same height as the attendant bars on the back of Patti’s wheel chair. I also consciously wait to mow in the worst of heat and humidity, when possible. With close to a quarter acre of lawn, the endurance conditioning from pushing the lawn mower helps make pushing Patti’s wheelchair an easier task no matter what the distance, slope, or conditions.

     Frankly it’s also relaxation therapy. Enveloped in the roar of the engine and the focus of repetitive symmetrical patterns it is private time to think.

     The scent of a freshly mowed lawn inspires the grill chef in me. Dinner was Black-Tip Shark steaks barbequed in a Caribbean Jerk sauce with shrimp stir fry. (I have a stir fry Wok designed for use on a grill.) Patti devoured her dinner, handing me her empty plate half way through my meal wanting more. <grin> Ahh! How did I forget about that “waiter hat”? <grin>


  1. .....I can't believe you were able to do this engineering feat without at least one cat to help! LOL   The food sounds wonderful compared to our simple country fare.
    And your cooking is so much better than institutional food no matter how good the place is.   Peace....

  2. Hmmm I like the ingenuity, the Willow will be pleased.  In awe at the 25ft digging, that's a long way. Lol at Patti, she's every chefs wish, it must have tasted great. Rache

  3. But did you have any cats to help with your irrigation project?? Dinner sounds delicious. I always enjoyed mowing; such a sense of accomplishment to look at a freshly mown lawn. Of course I also liked to shovel snow. Now I live somewhere with no grass and no snow. How did that happen?

    (when you have a moment, come over to Koda's journal)


  4. FOOTNOTE re: cats In the Oklahoma entry that inspired me, cats were playing in the irrigation trench <grin>. Our cat took a more supervisory role, enjoying a nap in the pile of sod resulting from my digging.

  5. Hello!
    I've read your journal a few times now--and didn't want to be just a lurker anymore--so I thought I'd stop and say Hello!

    I was waiting until I had something insightful or profound to say--but ummm--that could be a long wait.

    take care,

  6. I enjoy mowing as well. Not for the strength training, but as a general workout. DO be very careful with the heat and humidity though. Your words are very eloquent and thought provoking, I would hate to seem them go silent due to heat illness.


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