I’m beginning to think that unless mom is in her own space, or spends a fairly quiet evening with us, she is no longer capable of expressing a positive reaction to, well, anything. Today’s line up included:
- The eggs that were made to her specifications only had two pieces of mushroom in them.
- After the ride, when I asked if she had had fun, she said the saddle didn’t fit her, and therefore she was in pain after the first few minutes the of the 3+ hour ride. She also complained that we walked the horses 97.5% of the time. The wranglers kept us at a walk because it was obvious going faster was difficult and uncomfortable for mom.
- After lunch we went for a walk, and ‘it’s never been this hot at the ranch before.’
- We went to watch two of the guys practice lassoing an imitation steer attached to an ATV. One of the guys is practicing for a competition. Mom was relentless in her criticism of this activity. The ‘steer’ was too small. It didn’t move like a real steer, being driven around by an ATV. The horns on the ‘steer’ are spring loaded so the person throwing the rope can simply yank their line back. The horns come together and the lasso pops off. But, evidently, this doesn’t teach the horse anything about what to expect when in the ring with a real steer. She finally left, seemingly in annoyance.
- She can’t possibly finish all that was served at dinner.
- Desert was indifferent. She said this after the man next to her exclaimed how wonderful it was, and he asked her what she thought. Not only was in ‘indifferent’, she verbally picked the desert apart, pointing out its short comings and then said, “In the 50’s we had things like ice cream. This is whipped cream.” Desert was a lemon almond tart on a pool of caramel. Made from scratch, in house. Social filter fail.
- There hasn’t been a campfire.
Our ride was enjoyable (at least for me). We both shot skeet again. I was pulled into a competition and scored a 7/25. When expressing dismay, I was told again, I killed it. Evidently what I did yesterday, 15/25, was all the easy stuff. A newbie shooting anything over a 3 is amazing. Mom enjoyed shooting too and hit 4/10 (from one position). For 80, she did Really well! We spent some time reading on the porch before dinner.
Mom insisted we head to dinner before the bell rang. Upon approaching the main building I asked her if she wanted to wait before going into dinner, hoping to avoid a repeat of last night. She said she was hungry, and so in we went. Upon discovering we were the first two people there, she backed up and said we’d wait. We went into the ‘great room’ and read for a bit. She fussed 3 times that no one else was coming, and how/why was this? I had no answer that would calm her. As soon as people started coming in, we joined the line and she seemed OK. Her drive to get to the next thing trips over her need to be part of the social construct of the place.
Since our arrival, mom has asked me 7 times what day we’re staying through, or when we’re leaving. She is also asking, repeatedly, what day of the week it is. I have a feeling this is due to her medications. When glancing at her daily pill boxes Sunday evening, and it was only a glance, I think she’s a day short.
One thing that’s very difficult is that mom is not self-directed any longer. I can happily entertain myself all day. I find us not embracing our down time fully because if I do so, she’ll feel abandoned. Were I to work on lyric sheets, or read up on LLC formation, she wouldn’t have a whole lot to do. She thumbs through New Yorkers, but I’m starting to wonder if she’s actually reading them after sitting with her on the porch. It would be easier if there was TV here.
I had a small epiphany yesterday. It was so obvious I wonder how I could have missed it for so long. This is Dementia 101. When we eat out with mom, she always says, “What’s taking so long.” in regards to our orders. The waiter might have left us 8 minutes prior when she starts with this. She doesn’t remember how long ago we placed our orders.