Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good Lovin and Culinary Residuals

Feeling the love

and a bonus of culinary residuals

There can be momentary setbacks as a patient during hospital stays. It was only during week#5 when I noticed what was missing for my husband in his hospital room. Those two nice sized bulletin boards were perfect for hanging up all his goodies arriving in the mail.

During a few periods of feeling unwell, recovering from a tough assigned respiratory workup, or sudden lonesome seconds, it would have been nice for him to actually be able to look upward to glimpse a happy viewing of items posted on those bulletin boards, that is if he had an accompanying roll of tape, perhaps a few pushpins would have sufficed to solve the small issue, but he didn't have neither.

Can you just feel the love?

Instead, he opted to create a "memory drawer" in the hospital assigned top dresser drawer, a place where he's been able to stash all of his photos, cards, drawings, notes and gifts from the children/grandchildren and family/friends from afar. Yes, these things mean much to him.

And, one other issue is at hand. If only we knew before now also, so advanced into his in-patient stay, that the hospital's personal website patient email service was never working and all those special emails he was sent aren't able to be recovered. Darn.

Our children are really feeling my husband's absence week to week, and as he rose to the alarm clock early Monday morning this week at 5am. in order to travel back to the hospital to begin week#6, I am hoping and fervently praying the medical professionals in charge of his care won't decide to keep him another week or two, rather that they will discharge him at the end of this week instead, if they feel he is ready to leave with his newly scheduled routine he must keep up at home for optimal lung function during the course of his continuing degenerative lung disease.

Each week I can easily observe how eager everyone becomes when dad arrives home on Friday afternoon.

I can tell all four children/teens are coming to grips with what is happening in our lives, the way the girls hang onto him when he walks through the door, and when the boys offer not only warm hugs but choose to shake their father's hand also. I can see the way the girls tend to seek him out all weekend wherever he is, or when he's in the kitchen during his moments of cooking up his array of meals, those planned as the direct result and influence of the
FOOD channel network.

I can tell how happy my husband is to be in his home, the home we bought together just three months ago, the one he has hardly even been able to live in! Yes, it's true, we need to be reunited as a family and begin to settle into something akin to a
"normal" life again, whatever that might be.

Our family is on a journey....

It's not all been a downer, so sorry if I come across as describing our recent weeks as such, for I know he is living in the very best surroundings during the week with the best possible medical care we could hope for during this stage of the game. We did move to this home for him to acquire even better medical care, and whoosh, has it ever happened so very quickly! That tidbit of remembrance detailing alone lifts up our hearts and allows for smiles to cross our faces every time we remember the reasons for life as it is at present.

Our personal chef working in the
kitchen on the weekends.

A real bonus to the past six weeks has been my husband's exposure to the FOOD channel network on the hospital television in his room or the main lobby, a channel option he's grown to really love catching during his daytime or evening breaks on his busy hospital rehabilitation schedule. He has always loved to cook, well, mostly BBQ outdoors for the most part, though he has entered my kitchen at times too. He tends to be extravagant when that occurs (read; lots of dishes the kids say), but not so much lately. Oh sure, he's still particular about his food presentation, but I have to brag on him for a moment, if you wouldn't mind me going ahead and doing so.....grin.

For those that were worried when he
wore my apron, he really does have his
own you know...laugh

Over the past few weekends, he's been involved in our kitchen and has been very good at incorporating his "conserving energy" tips from his respiratory bootcamp education sessions into his hours spent there.

Since I know he might want to cook up something, I usually ensure the food grocery shopping is complete before he comes home for the weekend. I move aside at the slightest nudge (what wife wouldn't? ha ha) and allow him to take over the food preparations whenever he wants to. He will often turn the tables on me by making me relax and go put up my feet somewhere so I generally remain out of his working space. giggle

You can't see it here but this was served
over chicken breast. To die for! Yum!

He really blew us all away this past weekend when he came through the door and announced he had groceries awaiting assistance to cart into the house, resulting in everyone dashing out to grab the bags of food and his hospital luggage with dirty laundry resting inside.

Six full bags of groceries came into the kitchen and rested on my countertops.
Six! I looked at him puzzled. He looked at me and gave that crooked grin he so often offers, especially when he's up to some sort of mischief. With both hands in the air, he announced he had his meals planned and will be conserving his energies and working on his culinary skills during the next two days. He promised me he would anyway, and kept his word all but one time when he looked completely exhausted to the point of not having enough energy to even consume his lovely and enticing dish before him. Poor guy. Not a fun moment to admit he had run out of steam just then.

A sprinkle of cinnamon on cooked apples and
another way to present soft eggs to the family.

The children and I snickered because when I came home with the grocery haul from Costco last Friday, I thought it would be funny if we bought all these food items and then their dad has meals that would require something other than what I had purchased. The children were around my hubby and me when he had announced his weekend agenda, and we all about burst out laughing remembering my comments before hand.

As I sit here today and after the fact, he did indeed present his new found culinary skills in ways unimaginable. From his crustini offerings, his paprika or cinnamon sprinkling, his fresh grated ginger and other fresh herb additions - oh my YES, and oh my YUMMY - did we ever eat well!

A medley of sweet potatoes mixed with bacon tidbits
and onions...this could be a meal on its own.
Notice the decor on top?

A super, wonderful omelet!

He seems to have one very loyal cooking buddy weekend to weekend, one who spends all of her time glued to his hip, partaking in her own culinary cooking moments with him. Together they catch up on the week past, and chat almost the entire time, just reveling in being with one another, while cooking up a feast for the family.

Kitchen buddies

She happily obliges whenever assigned tasks are delegated to her, and is quite efficient as kitchen helper at his side while in the production of a family meal making session. I know she will always remember this special time with her daddy, for they really do spend quality moments together, just the two of them often. Don't get me wrong. The others can say the same and are extremely helpful too, usually floating in and out to see if there's something they can do while others are sometimes smart by ducking out before assigned a task isn't an option, like taking the garbage out, sweeping the floor, scrubbing the stove and the like.

His cooking buddy helps chop, and works
side by side with him every weekend.

Our family Lenten tradition; Pie on Sundays

These weekends have truly been delightful folks, simply delightful. Sorry folks, but I really just had to brag on him...he's my guy and I'm so impressed with his bonus culinary skills from watching the FOOD channel network. (grin)