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.

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.

 

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

Reflections of Me: High School

Visions of me in high school brings back such unhappy memories. My sister, who still smelled everything, got into all my things. I had started a diary, and wanted to write a story, but she was always pulling out my things, clothes, papers,  and  kept looking at them.. My writing career was over before it ever began. I was painfully shy, and didn’t want anyone to laugh at me or what I had written.

My mother, confident, beautiful, outgoing was everything I was not. I felt pathetically insecure, that nothing I did ever turned out right.

At this time the fighting between my parents  was at it’s worst. My sister, we now knew, was smelling everything because she couldn’t see! We were so close, we never realized how bad it was until she started school. Her glasses were like coke bottles.

But, for me, the real tragedy was that I retreated more and more into my shell. It became evident in school that I was daydreaming, not paying attention, and my grades were failing. I burst out crying in the classroom more than once, for no reason. No teacher, guidance counselor, friend tried to help. I kept it all bottled up inside until it came pouring out.

I did the best I could, but I knew in my heart I had to get away from my home situation. I admit I  took the coward’s way out.

I confronted my Mom one day and asked her, “Do you want me to have a nervous breakdown, or will you allow me to quit school.?”

Sadly, her eyes overflowing, she said, “Yes, I give you permission to quit school.”

I left the eleventh grade and got myself a full time job.

By this time, we both knew college was out for me. Something I had looked forward to all my life.

Keep love and kisses in your life and

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

Until next time: My First Job

 

Refections of Me: Moving

I vividly remember that day in 1941. I was ten years old, and my mother told me we were moving.

“Moving, moving where? Why?”

“Because Daddy got a job atthe  Glenn L. Martin plant in Baltimore, Maryland. We have to move.”

I saw the tears trickling down my mother’s cheeks, and my world turned upside down. She held open her arms, and we cried together.

The truly traumatic part was leaving my four grandparents, and all my aunts and uncles and cousins. We’d be alone in a strange city, just the three of us.

The next day at school I was humiliated when my fourth grade teacher asked me to go up to the map and show everyone where Baltimore was. I stood there frozen, my knees knocking, and my fingers dripping water on the floor. I was ready to cry when Mrs. Maher rescued me. I sat down and I shut down.

That was only the beginning of the miserable school experiences that were in my future. My childhood was hit by a land mine, and I remained buried under the rubble.

Only now do I realize how much my mother was hurting and all the sacrifices she went through to keep us together as a family. I was much to young to reach out to her, but I hope wherever she is, she knows I understand that she did what she had to do.

More Reflections of Me later

 

Writing Prompts:

1. I remember: thinking, doing, going, wondering, the joy, the anger, the hopelessness, the magic, the wonder, the irony.

2. The brilliant autumn trees were stripped bare and bleak like her heart

3. She stored the heat from his kiss in her heart.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Jump Write In: Reflections of Me

I’m going to jump write into into Reflections of Me: my Memoir stories.

July 4, 1931 I was  born. My mother told me two things that I will never forget.

1. I went in with a bang, and I came out the same way.

2. My father didn’t have a job and we were evicted from our apartment.

My first 10 tens were filled with love, parents, four grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles and a few cousins.

When I was little, I asked my Grandpa, “How old are you?” When he told me how old he was I said, “Oh Grandpa, you are so old, you should have died a long time ago.” They never let me forget that one.

We had a three room apartment, and I slept on a sofabed in our living room. My mother worked, and it as my job to wake her. That was hard, she never wanted to get up, and I had to leave for school, hoping she had gotten out of bed, or else I was  in trouble.

I learned to read at an early age, and I read everything I could get my hands on. The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and when I was ten and we moved, I cried at leaving all my books, and my big loving family.

My favorite toys were jacks and jumping rope, and playing with my cousin who was a year older than me. Living in Brooklyn, New York, my cousin lived in a six floor apartment building. Our favorite thing to do when it rained, was ride the elevator up and down, and run through all the halls.Till the super chased us out.

I was Goody Two Shoes, and I never took a dare. But one day, it happened. I climbed a telephone pole and then froze, I couldn’t move, couldn’t get down. I was more scared of my mother than the fire department. My mother scared me into coming down, and then whacked me for being so stupid to do such a thing.

Next installment: Moving to Baltimore, Maryland. Traumatic.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

I have been wanting to write my Memoirs: Reflection Of Me for years. Maybe if I wrote it here on my blog, I would finally do it. One post at a time.

So, should I or shouldn’t I? Would you read it? I’m interested in opinions.

I believe everyone has a story to tell.

Time to get my stories together, and get started.

Maybe Friday or Saturday, I will write one blog on Reflections Of Me, and see what reactions I get.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Have a grateful day.

Write something, anything.