Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Books - Two Books

Ms. American Pie; Buttery Good Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House by Beth M. Howard
Ms. Howard wrote a memoir about recovering from grief by making and sharing pies. Since that time she moved into the American Gothic House and began selling pies on weekends, writing about it on her blog, and managing to become quite famous through it all. This is her second book, full of pie recipes and her own essays. I received it in the mail, sat down and started reading and finished the entire book in an afternoon. I love it! Her essays are refreshing and clever, and the range of recipes is fabulous! I have never seen so many pie recipes assembled in one place: the usual like apple, peach, berry and then the unusual such as butterscotch, pumpkin goat cheese, macadamia nut, quiche and even chicken pot pie, which I have always wanted to try from scratch. There are also mini pies, pies in a jar, hand pies, and cobblers and crisps. A person could be kept busy for a LONG time, making all these delicious pies. I think I've died and gone to heaven!

Singing in the Rain: Weathering the Storm of Dementia with Humor, Love, and Patience by Vicky Ruppert and Ann Henderberg

Two women who met in an Alzheimer's care-givers' support group wrote this book which is a compilation of their shared e-mails and journal entries during several years of caring for their ailing husbands. This is an eye-opening and touching look into the world of dementia, the caregiver's role, including the fears, frustrations, and love they feel as they watch their life partner decline and ultimately die.

At the end of the book they have compiled much information on how to prepare your home, safety tips, tips to help endure the chaotic lifestyle, where to find help in the community, tips for helping your loved one through a hospital or ER visit, etc. Very helpful ideas.

I especially felt touched while thinking of my dad who had Alzheimer's, but was spared the worst of the disease when he died before the real decline hit. Recently my mother told me of a few things that were starting to show, such as bursts of criticisms he made of her which he would not have done in his healthy state. I'm glad that's the worst she had to endure. I also have a cherished uncle who has dementia. I am hoping to share this book with my aunt and/or cousins.

I'm glad these authors have shared what they learned through their ordeals. It will help ease the burden for others who need the reassurance while in the caregiving role.

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