New Series on Elder Care & Caregivers

In December 2016 my mom had an ischemic stroke that left her paralyzed on her right dominant side and unable to speak or eat food by mouth. She was 82 yrs old when this happened, was completely self-sufficient and independent, and took care of others (family members, etc.) until her stroke.  This event has been life changing for not only her but for all of our family.  Since then we all have worked together to make sure she is not only superbly cared for but that she has as much quality to her life as we can give.  I resigned from my career as a Dental Hygienist to become her full-time caregiver.  We stayed in SC until August 2017 when I was able to bring her home with me to TN.  We are still under construction at our home and will be for a while trying to get modifications done to help in her daily care and functionality of our home.  My siblings have been so supportive and even though we all live in different areas, we all chip in to take care of some aspect of my moms affairs.

This event has been eye-opening to me in that I have re-evaluated what is truly important and what is trivial.  We have had to face many hurdles in this journey and I will be going over these hurdles and options in the hopes that the knowledge will help others who care for their loved ones or to help in the planning stages.  As I said, this process has been eye-opening.  I have learned that the best and most effective method for anything in life is planning for the unexpected and expecting anything.

I will be starting a Caregiver Series on the blog to share information and planning tips that I have learned along the way.  It has taken a long time (longer than is necessary) to search out these tips and steps. I have stumbled many times and have had to search out resources and individuals who know how to get from point A to B.  So, I would like to share those with y’all.  This process could help anyone and is not limited to only those who have suffered debilitating illness.  This information can help everyone who believe its important to plan for a seamless future of care for themselves or loved ones.  Who will care for you, and what steps and hoops will they have to take and jump through?  The best course is to plan this out so that you are prepared.

I will begin this series this month (November 2017) and create a post once a month.  I’m not going to pin down a certain date because I don’t want to restrict myself or give a deadline to information that I feel is so important.  I like to have all my information correct before I try to relate that to others.  As I create these topics and plan, I will be able to better let you know post subjects and dates.  As caregiver is a new position for me (just since April 14th, 2017 full-time) I will be learning along with all of you on some of the information I research and share.  This is always thrilling for me because I value education so fiercely.  As a Dental Hygienist I loved continuing education, learning from my co-workers and patients.

The biggest education in this endeavor has been learning from my mom, through her expressions and actions, what she feels are good techniques in her daily care.  We have, together, created our own balance which I feel is essential in any relationship.  I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned and continue to learn.  As I have come to realize through experience of interviewing and working with other caregivers, there is unfortunately no hard and fast rules on this profession.  Generally, you are shown (I use the term loosely) how to use any equipment you will be working with and you are left to your own devices.  I have even found this to be true with Companies I have hired and they sent “qualified” caregivers.  Most did not know how to properly take care of someone who could not take care of themselves.  Most wanted to sit and play on their phones and just exist like a fly on the wall taking up space and getting $20/hr.  I also had to train them on how I wanted mom taken care of when I couldn’t be there, due to doctor appointments or grocery shopping, etc. and this was not even my profession but theirs.  I was appalled to learn that the applicants word that they know what to do was what most companies went by when hiring…WHAT????  See why I believe this is an important topic?

Anyway, so I will be working on what to cover first.  Anyone going through something similar with advice or questions or topics you would specifically like to see, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  Like I always told my patients, if I don’t know the answer I will find out the answer so we’ll both know :^)

I pray this series will help in some way for anyone going through these struggles too.

Until next time…xoxo Dawn.

A Hallmark Halloween

As I watch The Good Witch: Spellbound on the Hallmark Channel, I am reminded that Fall is here and Halloween fastly approaching (next week, eek!).  Our leaves have been less than impressive this year by falling green and dying on the ground instead of creating the normal Fall Splendor that I have become accustomed to for upper Tennessee. I cannot blame the weather because I have enjoyed the warmer temps as well.  Still due to the unseasonable actions of Mother Nature I have been slow getting into the swing of Fall.  Enter The Hallmark Channel!

My fave channel to watch for the Holidays used to be ABC Family until their evolution into Freeform and the constant Twilight series on replay.  So while surfing the TV line-up for family friendly programming earlier this year I came across The Hallmark Channel and some of the most enjoyable programming that I have enjoyed in a long while.  I am a very upbeat person and having had gone through some pretty tough struggles this past year (more on that later), I have found that I needed a feel good booster and found it on this channel!!!!! YAY!!!!  My husband, a non-believer in all things Hallmark, calls it the estrogen channel.  However, I have found him tuning in to some of the programming with me and laughing along! Proof that there is something for everyone.  Even my teenager and his girlfriend watch with me.

The Hallmark Channel also has a talk show titled Home & Family.  This is Hallmarks version of the Today Show with yummy recipes, crafts, and interviews with musicians and actors, heroes, health gurus, beauty snipits,  pet adoptee of the day through Hallmarks Pet Project (their goal is to rid the nations shelters of animals and find forever homes for these potential pets…awwweeee!!!!!), etc.  And if you have missed an episode during the week they have a replay of the weeks episodes following the most recent.

I wanted to share some of my favorite Hallmark shows as well as some Fall shopping finds I have found lately…Happy Fall Y’all!!!!!

Hallmark Shows to watch:

1. The Good Witch

2. When Calls The Heart

3. Chesapeake Shores

4. Home & Family

5. Last Man Standing (my favorite!!!!)

6. The Middle

Also in the twilight hours are past family favs such as I Love LucyGolden GirlsCheersFrasier, and Home Improvement.

Hallmarks Countdown to Christmas has started for those of you who need more Holiday Cheer so don’t miss those movies!!!!

Favorite Fall Finds:

DIY Terrarium Table

Maple Rosemary Popcorn & Harvest Love Cocktail

  1. Apple Cider Donuts  2. Anti-Aging Hand Treatment  3. Kate Spade Embellished iPhone 8 Plus Folio in Red Carpet  4. Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lip Shine in Rose Ravissant  5. Halogen Plaid Miniskirt  6. Vince Camuto Maita Pointy Toe Flat  7.Jeffery Campbell Ravis Faux Fur Mule  8. Cathys Concepts Monogram Plaid Throw  9. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette  10. Diorific Vernis Nail Liner  11.  Madewell Stichmix Pullover  12. Wild & Wolf Tumbling Blocks Game

As you can see my tastes are varied :^) I could of course go on all day but instead find me on Instagram and Pinterest and let me know what some of your favs are!  Until then…

Blog Update


Normaly I’m the type of person who likes schedules.  I like rules and black and white with no grey in my work life, mostly.  Cupcakes are always allowed!  But I’ve been treating Roots Before Branches Blog like a job.  I started my blog one month ago as a creative outlet for myself.  Lately, I have become a stats watcher and this creative outlet has become another job.  I love sharing my life experiences with any who want to see, but this weekend I made a decision to not be ruled by schedules on my time away from work as a Dental Hygienist.  At work our days are held to such rigorous scheduling that I can’t pass that structure along to my play time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as a Dental Hygienist, and love the people I work with.  I believe that even when I no longer see patients (hopefully not til I’m at least 80!) that I will still be an educator in Dental Care.  However, as Dental Professionals we are held to a high level of care and devotion to our patients.  And as such we try to live our daily work days on schedule…most times effected by emergencies, patients themselves, or taking the much needed time to educate so that our patients have clear understanding of what is going on for their particular needs and conditions.  All of this takes precious time and we jump through hoops to remain on schedule for our next patient to receive that same high level of care and attention.  This can be exhaustive in effort and deed on a daily basis, but love it all the same!  I work two days per week and though it may not sound like a lot of time out of my schedule, I am a full time mother, wife, and animal tamer (4 dogs, 1 cat and a Sugar Glider) and have a two story house in need of my immediate attention to detail.  My point is this, I have been so worried about who’s following me on Twitter, Instagram, my blog, Bloglovin, and Facebook and getting content out there on a 3 post schedule that the rest of my world has been neglected.  And, I feel as though what started out as fun, has become one more chore to my list.  So, I’m taking a step back.  I am going to post once a week by Saturday of each week.  It will be on Dental concerns, what’s happening in my life now, and a mixture of trips, fashion finds (bargins), etc.  This is what I wanted this blog to be about.  If no one follows, I’m not going to worry because in the end this is about me.  I thank everyone in advance for following or keeping up with what’s happening, and as always, I welcome comments unless they are mean or cruel.  I think life is full of enough crap already.

By the way, I’m standing with both of my boys in my featured image.  They grow up soooo quickly.   This was taken in 2014, at Panama City Beach our last night there (hubby had already left for home for a fishing tournament).  Hopefully, we’ll get to return to PCB soon!  Had a blast!

Until next time, y’all have a day full of Blessings!!!!


Aveda For Summer


Skin and Hair Care in any month for me involves Aveda but especially summer.  I have used Aveda products for about 15 years and I continue to be impressed by this company.  I currently use several of their products on a regular basis, one mentioned in this post.

These are my Go To’s for the summer:



Let me know what your Summer Favorites are in the comments section on this post.  I love to use products that are tried and true!  Until next time in the sun…