don’t touch that hat!

my mom made me clean my room when I visited, which i have been avoiding for 10+ years. first of all, apparently i am a hoarder. anyway, among all the crap, i found this gem that i wrote when i was 7.

DON’T TOUCH THAT HAT!

Once upon a time there was a hat it was suppose to dance and play with people but it was broken one day and it would have a special button to push but when you pushed it it would not dance or play. And if you pushed the botton something very very bad would happen to you like you mite turn into a snail. And a girl named Tracey found the hat and asked her family if they new whose it was but they didn’t know who it belonged to. So her mom didn’t tell any one that she saw a button. And she prested it and turned into a giant peanbutter sandwich!

And Tracey saw her mother and she was wondering why her mother was a big giant peanut butter sandwich. And her mother told her about the box and the button that she pushed. And Tracey’s father saw her mother and asked what happended to her and she told him like she told Tracey. And Tracey’s dad pushed the button and he turned into a rabbit! And it happened the same way as her mother turned into a peanut butter sandwich. And Tracey’s parents couldn’t go to work and. And another day Tracey pressed the button and she turned into a turtle! And it was horible! And Tracey walked very very slow.

But one day the wizard that owned the hat was looking for it and one of Tracey’s brothers was walking with the wizard. And they both were going to Tracey’s house. And the wizard was going to wave his wand so they would be there but his want didn’t work Tracey’s brother turned very small you could hardly see him because he was so so small. And Tracey’s father was good at fixing things so when wizard got there, he told about the hat and hot it was sick. And he was going to wave his wand and make it better but before he did Tracey’s dad found a batery and fixed it and they all were normal again. And had a party.

The End

in memory of mr. fubini

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mr. fubini passed away on tuesday 5/12/2015 at about 9:30 am HST.

that week he was shedding a lot, so I had been trying to groom him everyday and try to make sure he was still eating and pooping normally. on Monday night though, he didn’t want to eat. I picked him up to try to groom him, but he started freaking out, like he was scared for his life. he jumped out of my arms and broke one of his nails. I never saw him like that, it was very scary. I tried to jiggle his stomach for a while and gave him some infant’s anti-gas medicine. the last time he wasn’t eating that had helped and he was eating again the next day.

the next morning though, he still didn’t want to eat, so I called his vet’s office to take him in. his normal vet wasn’t working though, so I took him to another clinic, the one kiwi had gone to when he started having seizures.

I brought him and fontina in their carrier. they took us to a room pretty quickly. they asked about what was going on with him, and then they took him out of the carrier. all of a sudden he started freaking out again, like the night before. he was so scared and trying to get away from the vet, but they had him in a towel. he was struggling like crazy, and then suddenly he stopped. “oh no, he’s crashing, we’re taking him to the back.”

a few minutes later the vet came back, carrying his lifeless body still in the towel. “I’m sorry…”

the vet said he probably got so scared he had a heart attack. but the way he was acting probably was related to something else going on, some underlying sickness maybe. he had been losing weight recently as well as muscle mass in his back legs for the past year or two.

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mr. fubini and his bun-wife fontina were my first house rabbits. I fostered some other house rabbits before, but they were the first house rabbits I had the privilege of calling my own bunnies. we adopted them in august 2011 from the bunny bunch in Montclair, CA.

mr. fubini always was a more scared rabbit. when he was first getting used to living with us, he would start thumping his feet every time he heard Cameron’s slippers shuffle past his room. sometimes I didn’t hear anything, but all of a sudden he would get scared and run into his box or tunnel if he thought he heard something.

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it took him a little while to adjust to his new life. I never knew a rabbit like him either, so I had to learn what was comfortable for him and how to get to know him better. I found out he hated to be picked up, but he loved being pet. he loved having his head rubbed, his neck scratched, and his back massaged. he would sit there for as long as you were willing to give him pets and relax his head right into the ground. if you tried to leave, he would lift his head up, and be like, “why are you stopping??”

sometimes he was kind of a grumpy rabbit. anytime I had to groom him or cut his nails, he would not be happy about it, and then sulk for at least 15 minutes. he would refuse any treats for that time, and turn his butt towards you to make sure you knew he was not happy. the rest of the time though, he was a very nice rabbit.

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mr. fubini was also kiwi’s first rabbit friend. most other rabbits didn’t seem to like kiwi, but fubini never was mean to him. he accepted him from the first time he met him, and kiwi really loved him. kiwi was always looking for fubini to sit next to him, even if he had to be in an uncomfortable position. kiwi was just happy to be with his buddy fubini. fubini helped groom kiwi too, especially when kiwi had a hard time grooming himself towards the end of his life.

fubini was the middle-rabbit, often sitting between fontina and kiwi because fontina didn’t like kiwi too much. kiwi helped fubini and fontina come out of their shells more. they didn’t like to come out of their room much before, but kiwi ran out to the living room every morning, and they started following him out.

fubini loved eating hay, kale, lettuce, and joint supplements. he did not like to try new things. when he first got prescribed the joint supplements, he licked it and turned away. I had to chop it into little pieces and mix it with his pellets to get him to eat it. by the end, it was his favorite thing to eat, and he would come out to the living room if I forgot to give it to him. even getting him to eat certain fruits was difficult because he didn’t want to try new things. silly rabbit.

fubini also loved to sleep in his beds. he loved to sleep under our bed too, a nice dark safe place. his favorite toy was the wicker balls. I called those “rabbit crack,” because he could eat up one of those things with fontina in less then 10 minutes.

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fubini really loved fontina. he loved to sit by her everyday. he loved having her groom him. he always would run over to sit by her, and stick his head under her head so she could groom him. he hardly returned the favor, but fontina didn’t mind. she always lovingly groomed him all the time. she wasn’t as scared as him, and gave him a lot of comfort.

when fubini passed, I was so worried about fontina. how heartbreaking to lose her hus-bun of so many years. the first few days she looked for him all over the house. I didn’t know what to do. I heard that letting a rabbit spend some time with their dead mate can help them reach closure, but I messed up and didn’t make arrangements for that.

thankfully, fontina has been eating normally and seems to be doing okay. I’ve been trying to make sure to spend more time with her and make sure she isn’t lonely. we’ve been doing clicker training everyday as a fun activity and as exercise, because fontina is kind of overweight actually. I’m not sure if she’d want a new friend; we’ll see how it goes. for now, we’ll just take it day by day, and treasure our time with fontina.

cooking with Alzheimer’s – chicken

every time we get a new resident, the family fills out some forms that help us get to know them better. it asks about what types of assistance they require, important people in their life, what movies or music they are fond of, what kind of things cause them stress, their eating preferences, what age they think they are, and other things like that. all the staff are supposed to read it to help us in our interactions with the new resident. the food preferences page is most useful for the kitchen staff, although sometimes people’s preferences can change from what they used to be.

sometimes I don’t have time to read those information packets right away though, so then I just go by the diet order we receive for the resident (regular, chopped, fine chopped, puree, plus any food allergies).

one day a new resident named Lisa arrived. she was wheelchair-bound and a bit flustered by her new surroundings, which often happens on a resident’s first day in a new place. her diet orders were chopped with no known food allergies. at lunch she only ate a little bit.

dinner came around, and it was chicken marsala, so I made Lisa a plate of chopped chicken, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. Lisa was still a bit on edge, so one of the nurses was sitting with her and trying to help her eat her dinner. I finished up serving all the dinner plates, and went to wash some dishes while everyone ate.

suddenly, I heard someone yelling and crying from the dining room. I went to take a look. it was Lisa! she was terribly upset and bawling at the dinner table. one of the nurses came over and told me, “Wing! you made Lisa cry! she hasn’t eaten chicken since she was a little girl, because she saw her father slaughter a chicken and never wanted to eat it again!”

I felt pretty terrible. I hadn’t had a chance to read Lisa’s information packet yet, so I had no idea that chicken could be traumatic for her! anyway, I found some non-chicken food for her to eat and eventually she calmed down. after that, there was a running joke in the kitchen about how I made residents cry!

later on we found out, she was actually okay eating chicken as long as you didn’t tell her it was chicken. just like we had another lady who insisted she didn’t eat fish, but she ate it up if you didn’t tell her it was fish.

disclaimer: names and other details have been changed in these stories.

cooking with Alzheimer’s – friendship

we had one resident named Emma who used to be a nurse, and she loved to talk all the time. when she first came, she was still speaking English, and she loved to talk and often narrated what was going on around her, like, “Okay, now I will sit down and enjoy my breakfast. Here’s my fork, I’m going to eat now.”

originally she was from somewhere in Europe though, so as her Alzheimer’s progressed, she stopped speaking English and only spoke in her native language. she still was always talking though, just we couldn’t understand what she was saying. her husband visited almost everyday, and he could understand her. often he would just hold her hand and listen to her.

one day I saw her sitting with another of our residents, Annie, a very nice lady originally from Japan. it was the first time I had seen the two of them sit together. Annie also had progressed from speaking mostly English to more of her native Japanese, but she still could understand some English.

Emma was talking a mile a minute in her native language, and Annie was sitting directly across from her, holding one of Emma’s hand between her hands, one hand on the bottom and one hand on top. And as Emma talked, Annie was nodding and looking into Emma’s eyes with understanding. Annie didn’t understand the words Emma was saying, but maybe that’s not what was important. Annie understood that Emma could use someone to listen to her, a friend who could give her some comfort and happiness. So she was there for Emma, holding her hand warmly and lovingly, giving Emma her undivided attention. It was a really tender and sweet moment, a wonderful moment of unexpected friendship between these two women.

sometimes words aren’t heard or understood, but often people with Alzheimer’s can still feel your heart or your intentions. they really live in the moment I think, because that’s their only choice as the disease progresses. sometimes you approach one of them, and they might be a bit confused about the situation or what to do, but if you give them a nice big smile, they see it, and they feel it, and they give you a nice big smile right back. and then you see their smile, and feel it, and it brightens your day too.

disclaimer: names and other details have been changed in these stories.

cooking with Alzheimer’s – maple syrup

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usually twice a week the residents have oatmeal, toast, and some fresh fruits for breakfast. I often put in some cinnamon and raisins in the oatmeal and top it with a spoonful of brown sugar.

anyway, one morning I was prepping things in the kitchen when I heard a knock at the door. it was Lily, one of our residents. she got around in a wheelchair, but she was quite frail, so it must have taken quite some effort for her to wheel herself over to the kitchen.

I quickly went over to the door to see what she needed. her voice was very soft though, so I had to lean over and ask her to repeat herself. “I hate maple syrup!” she whispered.

in my mind, I was thinking, dang, she must really detest that stuff! I explained, “Oh actually that’s brown sugar.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, it just melted a bit so it looks like that.”

“Okay then. Thank you.”

A nurse came by to help her back to her seat, and she enjoyed the rest of her breakfast.

Lily was a very intelligent lady and a great cook too. her daughter visited almost every week, and often told us about the great things her mom used to cook. one time she saw me making dinner rolls, and fondly remembered how her mom made fresh bread for their family every week.

whenever I remember this story, it makes me smile. it’s funny! sometimes as our residents deteriorate, you might not be sure how much they are still aware of, but a lot of times they still have strong opinions about the foods they like and dislike. we try our best to make them happy.

disclaimer: names and other details have been changed in these stories.