Eularee Smith
Writer & Educator

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Who takes care of the caregiver?

After a hard day of running around doing errands, chauffering, housekeeping and laundry, I was grateful for a wonderful dinner made especially for me. As a caregiver, I spend most of my day anticipating and solving random issues that crop up during the day. With my mother in law moving to a retirement community in the next week, my usual duties have expanded. Add to this the constant reminder that she disagrees vehemently with the decision and her attempts at thwarting the inevitable and you might have an understanding of my decision to run away.

I can't go far because despite her declaration that "no one gives a damn" about her, I remain on watch. I run far enough that the noise is a little less and the one person who cares for me, is me. I brought a few books to read, my computer and ipad, my favorite foods and a bottle of wine. I cook outstanding meals with fresh foods, drink my favorite chai tea and munch on snacks as I revel in the solitude. This morning I actually slept until 9 am and made a second cup of coffee.

As caregivers, we often find it challenging to carve out a few minutes to renew our own tired spirits. We are too busy keeping our ducks in a row, smiles on our faces and a cheerful spirit. At the end of the day, we hope for little more than the comfort of our bed and are grateful for a good night's sleep. After a few trips to the doctor of late, he suggested a little caregiving for the caregiver.

So I ran away to take care of myself. To my delight there are two major league games on, the weather is a perfect mix of sunny but brisk weather with just enough leaves under my feet for the snap, crackle, pop feel of Fall. In this short twenty four hours, I intend to take a long walk, read a book, watch a full nine innings of MLB and eat delicious meals made with fresh vegetables from my garden. I may take a nap after the ball game and before pouring myself a glass of wine that will compliment the menu for this evening.

More importantly than taking this much needed respite, I will thank myself for taking care of me. I will remind myself that I do not do this selfishly, but in a desperate attempt to maintain my sanity and be the best caregiver I can possibly be. Thank you, Eularee. I know this is not easy but I do appreciate this small gesture of kindness.

Have you thanked yourself lately? What are some simple ways you give yourself a pat on the back when you need it? Have you ever felt like you needed to run away? Where did you go? A welcoming hot bath or going off the grid for a few hours? Sharing these precious moments are in everybody's best interests for staying healthy, wealthy and wise!

Recipe to spice up a sagging spirit!   

Fresh tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves or spinach leaves


red chili flakes


heavy cream or half and half


your favorite pasta

While the pasta is cooking, slice two cloves of garlic (or as much as you like), chop the tomatoes and wash and dry the basil or spinach leaves.

With EVO in shallow frying pan, saute garlic and red chili flakes. Add tomatoes and cook slowly until they are soft. Add vodka (about 3 - 4 T or as needed) to make a thin sauce. Simmer as it reduces and thickens. Slowly add cream or half and half for a creamy sauce. Simmer again until sauce thickens. Add fresh basil leaves (or spinach) until wilted. Stir gently.

Pour over drained pasta. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and serve. Good with a sweeter white wine like a Gewürztraminer, Reisling or Semillon, although I like Pinot Noir.


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