Hodgepodge Sunday

A neighbor’s cheery pot of flowers.

Some Sundays my topic’s focus is much like my dear hubby’s beef stew—or chicken soup. Today is one of those Sundays.

But what does that mean? First of all, his chicken soup is fabulous—always. However, this blog may not reach his soup standard, but I’ll do my best. 😉 Besides the staple of chicken, his soup can and will contain a variety of different ingredients depending on his mood, the time of year, the state of wilting veggies in our fridge.

The same pattern holds true for his beef stew. Beef predominates. But sometimes several different cuts of beef comprise the protein, especially if we have tidbits of steak or roast left from an earlier meal. In that case, we could refer to those meaty leftovers as gallimaufry. That fun word means leftovers which in the stew would be those beef cuts.

We’ll today’s post isn’t about leftovers so much as a mélange of assorted bits and pieces, a farrago of sorts—of newsy tidbits enhancing today’s main theme. (I was having fun this morning finding synonyms)


A butterfly bush–if you plant it , they will come.

I suspect all of you know the term. You’ve likely filled the role willingly or not for someone you care about.

However, for most of us the term caregiving might incorporate a mélange of duties done by one or several people who may have a broad range of necessary skills to care adequately for someone requiring help. This aid might range from minimal, such as–let’s say–driving someone whose dwindling eyesight means he or she no longer has a driver’s license to someone who needs assistance in all areas of life in order to stay alive.

I’ve been in caregiving situations which encompassed all these elements. I’ve friends who started out as caregivers to a spouse or family member who required just a bit of help at first. Through the months or years that help increased in what must be done and how often. As the needs increase, the caregiver expends more physical and emotional energy, sometimes to the point they might be near burn-out or become ill themselves.

Caregivers need care themselves. Too often, the ones they care for haven’t the capacity, the patience, or the ability to see beyond their needs to extend a “thank you” or an “I appreciate what you do for me” statement. Illness and severe disability can rip interpersonal skills and relationships to tatters scattered around the emotional environment in which they exist.

In the best of times caregiving is not easy. Often it is not fun. Always it is demanding and requires an acceptance of responsibility few who take it on realize when they accept the caregiving challenge. The longer the caregiving lasts the more likely the caregiver becomes aware of how much life has changed. The more they need to take care of themselves.

Thank goodness for neighbors who have flowers

I know this from experience. Thus I try to reach out to others I know are caregivers to offer encouragement. Listen to their worries, their woes, their frustrations. Often their days are a hodgepodge of highs and lows, anger and stress, tenderness and love. Some days, months, maybe years, one of these emotions or feelings predominates. If the feeling is negative, life gets tough. Then tougher. Almost too difficult to keep going.

But the wonderful trait most caregivers have is they do keep going. Like energizer bunnies. They realize perhaps that they may be the one cared for at some future time. They hope their generosity of spirit will be reciprocated with a good caregiver. Maybe they store up memories of what made them feel good and bad as caregivers so they won’t repeat that if such time comes for them.

In the meantime, if you are in a caregiving position now, I salute you. I hold you in my thoughts. I send a wish that you will always find the strength to carry on. Because some days that’s not easy.

If you aren’t a caregiver, but know others who are, reach out to them. Listen to them. Or maybe just tell them “You’re doing a great job.”

As I said, I’m a caregiver—have been for 18 years—but these past few years life has gotten much more difficult for many reasons. But this week my spirit lifted when my nephew and his son and daughter called me. They were on their boat and sailing past our place. They wanted to let me/us know they were thinking of us and wanted us to see them wave. We did.

Just a little thing really. But it meant a lot.

This morning’s sunrise 5:15. The heat and humidity are building

Oh, and today my first Sunday Morning With column ran in our local paper. I’ve already had an appreciative email about it. 🙂

And Thursday, I hit the PUBLISH button for Better Than Dessert to go to print.

Last evening hubby and I joined a few friends for dinner at a favorite restaurant. Great food, great time, a break in the routine.

All of these last items help us keep up the good fight.

I’m pumped and ready for the week, are you?

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16 Comments on “Hodgepodge Sunday”

  1. Casey, you are an amazing and generous woman and if I ever need care giving, I would pray I have someone even half as wonderful as you. I can’t imagine how hard you work. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to get regular life stuff done and writing and your accomplishments amaze and inspire me.

    And I just love your sunrise pictures! Always so beautiful.

  2. Stacey,

    So glad you love the sunrises. I was a bit disappointed with this morning’s but decided it reflected the humidity and heat so I put it in.

    I’m not much amazing and I hope that if I, heaven forbid, need a caregiver, I won’t be grumpy or nasty.

    Hope to see you at the GGBA meeting in August.

  3. Deb Maher Says:

    How I wish I could wave at you from the Lake or, even better. share another pleasant conversation over a cup of tea in front of your lovely lakeside view. Mega-Congratulations on hitting Publish! Take care of yourself, my friend.

  4. Casey, I send you a virtual hug … or as it goes in “texting” xoxo …hugs and kisses. You are an amazing and generous soul …

    I love the word “hodepodge” and loved this post more 🙂 Blessings to you and your family and Oh, yeah … kudos on pushign the button to print !!

  5. Deb,

    I’d love another visit and tea with you. It’s been too long with too much going on. Hope you are doing well. I think of you every day and send positive thoughts winging your direction. Hopefully, this dreadful heat doesn’t shrivel them up before they reach you.

    So glad you’re using Pinterest to keep your creativity bubblingl

    Thanks for stopping in.

  6. Florence,

    I love the word hodgepodge also and enjoyed looking for synonyms for it. I am glad you loved this post. If hesitated writing on this subject which is why I tried to inject just a bit of humor. All hugs are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing another Sunday moment with me.

  7. Anne Parent Says:

    I am sending lots of love your way. Hope you feel it. This column reminded me of being a caregiver, mothering my children. Thank you for the reminder of what family is all about.

  8. Edie Ramer Says:

    Congratulations on your new book. I honor you for all those you do. I’m sending hugs your way.

    This coming week my sister and bil will be visiting. That means I have to clean! I did the worst today: the fridge. I’ll have to tame my office, too. It’s a mess. I’ll probably end up putting everything in piles, so it looks neater, but really isn’t.

  9. Virginia McCullough Says:

    Thanks for talking about caregivers and their need for care. Those things are not said enough. Sounds like you and Jim had a nice evening out with friends, and that’s always renewing. Congratulations on hitting that print button.

  10. Anne,

    Yes, mothers mother their children and even when they become adults. Often these same women end up mothering their parents. Don’t know if that happened to you, but it did for us and I know many others who are doing that. It is a very sad situation. All the reason, we should recognize the strains of caregiving in others and give them pats on the back when they least deserve it.

    And you’re right, family is about caregiving in the good times and bad.

    Thanks for taking time in your busy schedule to cyber visit.

  11. Edie,

    I hope your visit goes well and those piles get neatened enough that you don’t have disasters. However, with your quirky sense of humor, I suspect you’d use the results in some humorous manner.

    Have a good week. And take good care of your pets during this horrid heat.

  12. Virginia,

    As one of those I was thinking about when I wrote this blog, I send you hugs and hurrahs for keeping up at your end. However, remember to take care of yourself also.

    Can’t wait to see you at the GGBA meeting.

  13. carol gianforte Says:

    you inspire others…as YOU keep going. But funny how it can take just a little to help someone keep on –like a wave from a nephew. You are amazing with your writing , photography, as well.

  14. Carol,

    So good to hear from you! We’ve had your AZ heat this summer. Yes, it’s always those little things that mean a lot just like the song said. I’m not so much amazing as driven. 🙂

  15. Casey, happy to send you the Liebster Award for all the great books, posts and photography … or just because you are you!! See my post, Sunday, July 22nd.

  16. Wow, this paragraph is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these
    kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.

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