Thursday, 15 September 2011

There Was An Old Lady....

All day today I've been thinking of the poem called "There Was An Old Lady".  (This has nothing to do with my work and has everything to do with my home.)  The poem starts innocently enough:

"There was an old lady who swallowed a fly,
I don't know why she swallowed a fly,
I guess she'll die."

Soon, for the old lady, one thing leads to another, and swallowing the fly leads to swallowing a spider, which leads to swallowing a bird....and on and on it goes, until the old lady swallows a host of things:

"There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat...
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog...
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse -
She's dead, of course."
That old lady got carried away!

Today, I am that lady.  I got carried away. 

I tried to write a poem, stealing the poetic form from the old lady, but, hey, this is how the first stanza would have gone.  I got stuck immediately.

"There was a young lady who planted a zucchini,
I don't know WHY she planted a zucchini,
I guess she'll  _____?????????_____________"

Verse 2:

There was a young lady who had an apple tree,
I don't know WHY she had an apple tree.

She planted the apple tree to use the zucchini,
She planted the zucchini to feed the boys,
She had the boys to "_______????????_______".
I don't know WHY - she'll probably cry.


Today's task was simply to bake a birthday cake for Dean.  But here, in picture format, is the way the day went down:

1.  Since I am going to do some baking, I should use some of those apples to make applesauce so that I can substitute applesauce for oil, seeing that I'm adding lots of moisture with other ingredients.  Full pot of Applesauce complete - the world is my oyster!  I'm saving money!

2.  Before I get busy with Dean's birthday cake, I've been staring at all of those zucchini and dreaming about a chocolate zucchini cake.  If I make that today, we can eat it tonight with supper and for snack and the boys might eat some, too!!  Chocolate Zucchini Cake done.

3.  Better not forget to get that birthday cake on the go for Mr. Dean.  *Mystery Birthday Cake* done!

4.  You know, there's lots of zucchini left and so many apples to deal with.  How about I make an apple zucchini cake and take it to work on Monday!  That would be fun!  Better Google "apples", "zucchini" and "cake" and see if there is any such thing.  Yup!  Okay, here we go!  Apple Zucchini Cake turned out nice!

5.  Hey, I got a great idea!  Why don't I bake through this 5 gallon pail of apples today?!!!!!!  That is a great challenge!!!!  What else can I make?  Muffins!  Hmm, I wonder if there is such a thing as apple zucchini muffins?  Google search time again.  Yup!  Recipe says it will make 12, seems it made more....  I'll freeze them and take them to work for my coffee break.  22 Apple Zucchini Muffins ready to freeze.

6.  Wow, 5 gallons is a lot of apples.  What else could I make?  That's lots more baking that I need to do... but I have to do it, it's such a good idea.  Hey, I could make a Deep Dish Apple Pie, seeing that I still have one more pie crust left to use up in the fridge.  Bonus, the recipe calls for 10 CUPS of apples!  That should put a dent in the pail of apples.

7.  Leftover scraps of pie crust!  Cinnamon/sugar crusts coming right up!  Darn, wish I could add apples and zucchini to this...

8.  Okay, as a "nod" to my dear brother-in-law, Marc, I wonder if there is such a thing as Apple Scones?  Time for another Google search.  Wow!  Sure enough!  Mixed and ready, wish that would have made a bigger batch....wish I would have doubled the batch.  Only took 2 small apples.  I still have a ways to go with this pail of apples....  Don't think I'll even try adding zucchini to this.  Wow, Andrew has already eaten almost a quarter of the batch. 

9.  Okay, this is IT.  One last recipe.  Do you think there might be a recipe for apple zucchini loaf?  Last Google search.  I'm wiped.  Getting closer to the bottom of the apple pail...  Apple and Zucchini Loaf coming right up.  I'm getting dizzy.  I think I'm a bit nauseous.  I think I have a bit of a headache.  I think I missed lunch...

I went from this......

To this......

I have made an executive decision, that, in spite of the fact that there are a handful of apples left at the bottom of the pail, I REACHED MY GOAL of baking through a 5 gallon pail of apples in a day!

Tomorrow - APPLE JUICE!!!!!!!!


Want one of those recipes?  Ask me tomorrow.  I'm too tired to post one today, thanks.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Quiet Moments In The Night

The hallway is dark and the place is quiet.  The wakeful moments of existence, looking different for each body here, have come to a quiet close and peaceful sleep pervades the atmosphere.  I quietly attend to the people, one by one, trying to remind myself that the brisk pace of the day shift is not welcome here in the night.  Night time is for rest, for the body, for the soul, for the spirit.  Much courage is required from these old souls to live.  They need their rest.  They need some peace.

The last gentle soul's eyes lit up when she saw me.  We have grown a loving friendship.  She tells me how good it is to see me and how glad she is that I've come back home.  Then she giggles and smiles, realizing that it is not my home that brings us together, but it is her home.  I am, though, for the moment, family to her.  I smile at the little slip up that she's spoken, knowing that someone who loves her, whether family by blood or by bond, will bring comfort to her as the night stretches before her.  And I do love her.

As I tend to the next soul in the next room, I am aware that I've woken her from her rest.  Oh that these medicines that heal and comfort and relieve pain could be given at another time, but the night may become unendurably uncomfortable if that were done.  It seems that being in peaceful rest must be more important.

I stand in the hallway, making my marks in the book, accounting for each step of care that I've taken.  I hear a gentle voice that causes me to stop all my markings and listen.

The room across the hall contains a quiet spirited gentleman who asks for little.  He has spent his life alone.  His days are now spent in his wheelchair, sitting in front of a cd player that plays old country tunes for most of the day.  His smiles are golden, his gratitude always present no matter how small the service.

It is this humble man that is causing me to stop and listen.  I strain to hear clearly, and stand outside his door long enough to hear....

..."thou wilt find a solace there".....

He's been singing to himself, lying in his bed, in the dark.  I heard his voice, gruff, quiet, not missing neither word nor note.

It's like he wanted to sing a blessing over his spirit this night.

Or perhaps he wanted to remind himself that he has a friend in Jesus.

Perhaps he was reminiscing in his spirit, remembering songs, promises, lessons of faith from long ago.

Perhaps these faith things were, even, still ARE the things that bring him peace as he settles to sleep at night.

I am an intruder tonight in his private moment of worship.  But the sound of his gruff voice, as he laid there and sang without fear or hesitation, has stuck with me all through my awake moments today.  I think perhaps I was invited to participate.  I think perhaps I was asked to hear, not only with my ears, but with my soul.  To listen to the assurance he sang with his mortal weakness and eternal strength.

Peace to you tonight.  Peace to him.  Peace to me.  Peace to us all.