Tomatoes and Salvia

We have had a week of ups and downs.  Mom’s blood pressure spiked to 194/106 Saturday morning.   Usually she is sitting on the side of the bed when I go into her room to get her up for the day.   She was hanging onto the sheets like she was afraid she would fall out of the boat.   Dizziness kept her from sitting up.  Nausea rolled as I tried to lift her up.  After her dose of blood pressure medicine, Emetrol and Tylenol, she felt a little better, but opted to stay in bed until mid-afternoon.  After her medication, her blood pressure leveled out at 144/74.  The dizziness continued throughout the rest of the day.

On Sunday, she was sitting on the side of the bed smiling when I went in check on her.  It had been a sleepless night for me, checking on her several times throughout the night, watching her covers move up and down as she breathed.  Her blood pressure has been down since Saturday, thank goodness.

She has some skin breakdown that we are struggling to conquer.  Moving from lift chair to couch to wheelchair to lawn chair with cushion on the porch isn’t enough to disperse the pressure.  So, I bought a do-nut cushion which she sits on, but she doesn’t like it.  I am applying a thick layer of  Calmoseptine four times a day on the area of breakdown.  This is the second day in the battle.  The areas appear to be drier.

Caregiving is not for the faint of heart.  I want the very best for Mom.  I want to fix her, make her better.  Sometimes, I have to let go and sometimes, it is full steam ahead.  It is a fine line we walk.

Mom and I had a pleasing drive to Cleveland, Georgia on Tuesday to say good-bye to my sister and her husband who went back to Florida on Wednesday.  It has been a treat to have them close-by.  We stopped at the new Honor (roadside) Stand at LoganBerry Heritage Farm and purchased two bags of flavorful heirloom tomatoes, $5/bag, $10 into the locked box.  You can find out more about the farm at   The tomatoes make a finger licking, chin dripping, leave you wanting more BLT(bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich.    Last night, Dave and I added applewood bacon from Whole Foods, tomato bread and whole grain bread (1/2 sandwich of each) from Country Bake Shop in Cleveland, Georgia and Kraft Mayo.  Incredible.  I also made salsa with heirloom tomatoes, Vidalia onions, cilantro, 1/2 jalapeno pepper and a good squeeze of lime juice and about a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Scooped into Tostitos multi-grain chips, it was pretty and satisfying.

Mom has enjoyed watching ruby-throated hummingbirds buzz the back deck.  They seem to be attracted to the Lady in Red Salvia.  It is an annual that produces red flowers until frost.  I break off the flower stalks when the blooms drop off and the little cups that are left turn brown.  They are full of seeds.  I put them in a plastic bag and scatter them into the pots in early spring.  Very easy gardening.

The purple flower on the deck is from a Ruella plant that is behind the Salvia.  Their blossoms bloom and drop each day.  Mother Nature gives us moments of reprieve from the mundane, difficult experiences of living.  The potential birth of something new comes as the flowers fade.


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