I’m Here Again: How Do You Do It All

Hello everyone. I’m curious to find out how you all do everything?

How do you post on your blog, write your book, answer all your emails, spend time with family, do your errands and shopping, take care of your house and be the wonderful wife our husband’s want? Read more writing books because we want to read them and keep learning?

Whew that is exhausting.

Guess my eighty four years is showing, although my age never bothers me.

I am writing a book, something I have never attempted before and this time I promised myself that I would finish it. Still a very rough first draft, but it’s moving along just fine for now.

All is well in my house. I’m still driving, my husband has become my co-pilot and I like that he is there to help.

So people, tell me, how do you do it all?
Keep love and kisses in your life.

Here I Am Again

It’s time I showed my face again. New ideas running through my head about writing and about life. I’m living every day as if it were my last. When I’m feeling good that is. Life is all about attitude. And I keep my attitude working hard to stay in the right place. All with a smile.

I am writing again, and this time, loving what I’m doing. I’m reading and rereading books on writing, and doing an actual story. I might need some help brainstorming in the near future, so stay tuned.

Howard is doing fine. Still going to the Neurologist about the new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. She calls him weird. He is not impaired, and he does better on those tests every time he goes there. She wants his brain, but he told her she had to wait until he died. I love his sense of humor.

This time around Howard is reading my writing. He never did that before. I have to say he is quite enthralled with it. I suppose he never knew I had a little bit of talent in writing. Neither did I, which is why I never showed him any of it.

Life is good, at 84, a little bit limited. We can’t do the things we used to do. Now I am the driver, and we get out to doctors, errands, and our kids. We are so fortunate to have so much family close to us. My almost six year old geat granddaughter lives a half mile away. We see her at least 3-5 times a week. And daughters and granddaughters come for dinner too, so four nights a week we are busy.

Living in a 55 plus small community also has it’s perks. I started a writing club here and we have been doing this for the fourth year. I play Mah Jongg when we can get a game, and Meditation when it is being done in our center. That is enough for me. I also do a little bit of knitting when I have the time.
But, right now is writing time.

See you all soon. Remember Alzheimer’s isn’t contagious. Adopt a caregiver in your neighborhood, and let that person know you care and want to be able to listen. Do it by email, phone, text, just be there for that person. ISt is the gift that keeps on giving and costs nothing.
Love and Kisses to all.

Happy 2014

Wishing friends and family a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Have any of you made resolutions?
Not me, not anymore. I always used to and then realized I did the same ones every year. So this year I decided to do something different.
I would do three things every day, and check them off as I did them.

What are those three things?
1. write
2. meditate
3. walk

Looks pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well, I aim to do just that, keep it simple and keep doing it every day.
I might check in here and let you know how I’m doing.

What are you doing? Have you made a special commitment? Would you mind sharing?

I love my time by myself, I love my time with Howard and my family, especially the Inner Circle.
My husband Howard is doing great, considering his diagnosis, again, of Alzheimer’s Disease. Can you image that, twice in twenty years.

One day at a time, that’s our motto, with as little stress as possible.
Do you know what else I did this New Year? I have cut down the number of things I’ve been doing. Hopefully, that will help me attain my three thing goal for everyday.

At our age, the doctor appointments are atrocious, but again, one day at a time.
I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, keep love and kisses in your life, and remember no one can take away your memories.

A Blind Date In Baltimore, MD

A BLIND DATE:
My version of the story is he rang the bell, I opened the door, he came in, I introduced my mother to him and we went out. He was cute, he said he thought we were rich because my Mom was in the kitchen writing checks. He apologized for not having his own car, he had been in an automobile accident and was using a loaner.

He took me to Maria’s restaurant in Little Italy. We, at least, I felt very comfortable in his presence, and we ate and drank wine, and we talked for hours. I liked this good looking guy and hoped he would call me again. I was a little surprised that he did not try to kiss me good night, or rather I mean morning. I think it was close to three a.m. So what, I didn’t have to get up until six.

Howard’s mother told me her version. She said he came home and she asked him if he had a good time. He said I was a nice girl, but I talked too much. Then, she said, the next morning he was on the telephone talking to me.

He asked me out for a date, but I had already made other plans. (Before I went out with him) He asked me to break them, but I told him, I’d never do that to him, so why should I do it to anyone else. However, I had a lousy time, and couldn’t wait to go out with Howard again.

After that, neither of us went out with anyone else. Maybe it was love at first sight. At least we thought we were in love. The first date was September. We were engaged in December. And married in June.

We started our life with love and kisses and it’s still that way today, 61 years later.

World Alzheimer’s Day

It only takes a moment to remember those who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a terrible waste of mind and body.
And while you are doing that, please take a moment to remember caregivers, who give their all to their loved ones.
Please, next time you talk to a caregiver, ask them how they feel. Too often the caregiver gets lost in the shuffle of finding out how the patient is. Not enough attention is given to those selfless beings who give up their whole world for days, weeks, months and years.

Adopt A Caregiver: Find someone in your community who is a caregiver. Become her/his friend. Email, ask how they are doing. And when they say fine, because they don’t want to talk about it, remind them you are their friend. Get them to open up, to vent. Do not judge, not until you stand in their shoes.
Please Adopt A Caregiver, I know there is one in your neighborhood. Give the gift of friendship, it lasts forever and costs nothing.

Hopefully, one day soon, there will be a cure, but until then, remember that Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious.

Keep love and kisses in your life.
If you don’t know what a caregiver is going through, check out my book, Behind The Mask

My World, Your World

Is my world so different that your world on this Thursday, August 22, 2013?

So, if you read my other post you know that my husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for the second time in twenty years. Are there any other people you know who have gone through this? What do they have to say about it? I don’t even know what I should say about it, except that the diagnosis, or course, was wrong the first time.

The numbness is wearing off, and the feeling is returning to my mind and my body. I am meditating for my mind, but boy does my body hurt, as Fibromyalgia is alive and well. Momentum is building up; what’s next?

I’m very blessed and very lucky that I have a great support system all around me. My family lives close and remains close to us, and have already started to feel very protective towards us.

My writing group here at our senior center is going well. Although there only about 210 apartments, we have a core group of 7 who come every week. We keep it interesting and fun at the same time.

Everyone is asking me if I’m going to start another book about Howard and Alzheimer’s Disease. I might, although it’s a little early to have too much to write at this time. Although the Neurologist has already started talking about doing a study. I, for one, have so many questions about that. Have any of us gone through a study, and how did you feel about it at the beginning, and then at the end? Would love to hear from you about it.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

 

An Old Post That Is Still Meaningful

 

Today is August 20, and this appeared on my blog several years ago.

The most important things in my life are my family and friends; my passion for writing, reading and knitting; and my self respect.

My book, Behind the Mask, shows the complete range of emotions a new caregiver goes through each day.

Alzheimer’s disease is not contagious, yet the caregivers are usually left alone without the support of friends and neighbors, even family. This disease can last for many years, leaving the caregiver worn out and alone.

Adopt A Caregiver is my unique way of giving back. All you have to do is check your neighborhood, your social clubs, church, synagogue, your doctor’s office, the Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s message boards, and the Mayo Clinic message boards.

Just send an email or phone the person who needs a friend, listen and come back often to let him/her know you care and are thinking of them. Just being there to listen is a huge help.

Adopt a Caregiver. Give something back: Contribute to the well being of people who are so busy caring for others.

The above was on my blog a few years ago.

Now I’m faced with my husband’s new diagnosis, early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease,

We are taking it one day at a time, making memories each day and being grateful of the time we have together and with our family. They are our greatest supporters.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

8-18-30 Hubby’s Birthday

We all wished Howard a happy 83rd. Birthday today, and will do it again tonight at dinner. Love that now he is a year older than I am.

Little different today, am going to share one of my Flash Fiction Stories and some First Lines Prompts

 

I AM A BOOK

 

     I am a novel sitting in a crowded bookshelf filled with books of every color, size and description. I am never lonely, but I wish someone would pick me up and read me.

     The last time someone picked me up they wrote in my margins, and used a pencil to underline my words. Is what they read that important? And another time they folded the tops of my pages down and I felt so fat I was afraid I’d topple over.

     I can’t tell if all the other books are in the same shape I’m in. Maybe if someone pulled me down I could look around and see.

     But what if no one wants to read me? Will I be plucked off the shelf and thrown away like old garbage?

     I must be important though, after all someone wrote in my pages and folded down corners must mean I’ve said something important, something to remember.

     My cover is still shiny and my color is good. I must stay healthy so I can remain on this wonderful bookshelf with all my cousins, the mysteries, the biographies, the romances, the self help books, the computer books, the best sellers and the children’s books.

     I hope there is always room for me and for what I have to say.

     Come on somebody.

     Pick me up.

First Lines: Writing Prompts:

1. After the war, I came home  stuck in two different worlds.

2. The conference was over and I couldn’t wait to get out of the office.

3. The man in the elevator with her was wearing something that made her sneeze.

4. Her outfit no longer contained her twenty extra pounds.

5. The turmoil inside her was sharp and shattering.

6. She was swept away along with the explosive debris.

7. The squalid surroundings reminded her of her chilling childhood.

8. The child loved the funny gizmo.

9. She was hearing conflicted stories.

10. He swept the debris from the car careful not to destroy evidence.

That’s all for today.

Remember to keep love and kisses in your life.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease AGAIN

Can you believe this one? My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease 20 years ago. Obviously whatever was going on with him then never got much worse. But we had to keep it a secret because he was still working. As the years went by, and it was obvious it wasn’t A.D. the doctors would not take him off the A. D. medication. So from 1993 to 2000 he suffered from terrible stomach pain, that came and went for years.

Transfer to today, August 16th, 2013. We learned two days ago, by a second opinion, that this time he did have early, mild Alzheimer’s Disease. Even the Neurologist smiled and said, “Funky case, never saw anything like this one before.”

Anyone out there with this same experience?

The last time I kept everything inside, and published my journal from those years, Behind The Mask…..I thought it was so good to rip off that Mask.

Now that I can talk about it, I haven’t shed a tear, just feel overwhelmed. We even went out and bought cemetary plots……how’s that for jumping the gun?

It’s hard enough to hear this once, but to get slammed in the stomach twice..I think you get the picture.

Right now life is crazy. Making plans, doing things in fast motion, trying to slow down, but doing more than ever. At 82 I find myself doing an online writing course, which I am loving, but it takes up a lot of time.

Thank goodness for a close and loving family, almost all of whom live within a 30 minute car ride, some are very close, like a half mile and one mile… We are blessed and thankful for that. We do have a built in support group.

Every day I try to find things to be grateful for, and to find a little bit of beauty in my life. I meditate also, which helps and I read and read, and read. My escape from the reality of the world.

Next time I’ll talk about my writing, my writing group, and some books that I highly recommend.

Keep love and kisses in your life. And remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that keeps on giving, without costing you anything.

 

My Writing Group

Either my life story, Reflections of Me, is  boring or too depressing, no one is reading it, so I will discontinue it for awhile.

In the meantime, I have started a writing group here in my new senior community. We have a great bunch of writers, all writing something different. They are anxious to learn and to share. And I am loving it. I give out a few too many handouts, but I told them to either save them for future reference, or they can throw them away.

Last week we had a guest speaker and talked about personality. Good for themselves and for their characters.

This week,( we meet on Mondays), I am going to ask them if they would like to start a fun project. I call it Bits and Pieces. Inside this incredible notebook we will include things like: lists, quotes, characters (and I do mean characters, did you ever meet someone who was a gossip, someone who talks funny, and I don’t mean accent, or a character that is colorful,  someone that Damon Runyon would have written about.  Also include, expressions, closets, homes, cars, snippets of conversation.

I like lists of words. I use them for vivid verbs, and for scenes. By that I mean that I write something like Ocean and I list all the words that describe ocean, or a doctor’s office, or mall, or bar, or any scene that will be upcoming in my blog, my story, or a future story. It’s great fun and gets your thinking cap on.

Also include pieces of journal entries or Memoir questions. Brainstorm parts of a scene,  or use a mind map. Highlight journal entries that you can use later for a short story, or just something you want to remember.

Clustering is also a great tool for words and scenes.

Use colored markers or pens, have fun with doing this. Use newspapers, exciting lines from books, magazine, anything that excites you and sparks your imagination.

This is fun, informative, useful and challenging to the writer. To us. I will see how my group feels about d0ing this on Monday. Come back and I will talk about it.

I’m in the process of doing and ebook called First Lines.

I’ll leave you with three new ones and use them to start your story. Never stare at a blank page again.

1. My parents told me that I no longer exist.

2. One last look at him and her blood pressure skyrocketed.

3. The phone rang, but no one was there.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Until next time Helene