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.

Time Flies

It’s been such a long time since I have written. So let’s see what has been happening. First of all, I’m good. I attribute a lot of that to my Meditating every day. When I don’t do it, I miss it.

Also keeping up better with everyday paper work, except for my blog. What does that say about me? I wonder?

My writing group is still going great. We did free writing today, and it went so well, we are going to do it every day for the month of April. Will be very interesting to see what pops up.

Howard is doing so well that he failed participating in the new drug trial for Alzheimer’s Disease for mild to moderate dementia.. He failed because he is
‘too highly functional’ isn’t that wonderful news. It was for us. Especially since I wasn’t so happy with some of the possible side effects.

I also participate in computer classes, Meditation classes and Mah Jongg. At almost 83, that is enough.

For those of you who have Sjogren’s Disease, please note that you must take care of your dry eyes. My eye doctor informed me today that when my eyelid closes on my left eye, it is scratching my cornea. I really didn’t want to hear that. I have to go back in a month. In the meantime I need to use my Bio Tears 4 times a day (4 pills) and use my Restasis every day. Plus eye drops. Often! Any of you have any more ideas for me? Feel free to comment. Would love to hear from you.

Keep love and kisses in your life.
Remember that Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious!

Writing and Reading Today

Today is my writing meeting here at the Senior Community where I live. I am the facilitator, I give the homework, and guess what, I didn’t do my homework for today. So now I have to do last week’s homework and this week’s homework. I already started on next week’s homework..and I will be prepared. While in class, we wrote what I call a Shimmering Image story. (I didn’t make up the name Shimmering Image, someone else did) It’s part of a memoir piece that stands out vividly in our minds. Mine was about getting my foot operated on, and my son, who was six at that time, brought me home a gift. He had wrapped it in newspaper, and gave it to me while I sat in the living room, on a kind of lazy boy chair. He was so proud, but when I opened it, it comtained a smelly dead fish! I thanked him, and told him to go up and do his homework. As soon as he went up the stairs, I got my crutches and threw the foul smelling fish in the garbage disposal. Whew, what a smwll. I hoped it wouldn’t perfume the whole house. Now that was a shimmering image, how could I ever forget that day.

As for reading, we hav started a book club. Different in that we all would be reading our own choice of books, and bringing in a detailed synopsis to read to the group. We meet once a month, and our first meeting will be the 25th of February. Should be an interesting meeting. I was going to do the book I read a long time ago, Mitigated Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, because I thought the book had much we could discuss. Instead, I just started reading In MY Hands, the story of Irena Gut, the lady who saved all those Jews in Poland. We have all heard about how she did that in stories of her and in movies, but this book starts at her very young age of fourteen. I am mesmerized by her ability to think and act the hero, without a thought to her own safety. She is my hero, and I would hope in a case of emergancy that I could react with the same king of courage. I salute her.

On a quite different tack, my four year old great granddaughter, was going to take a bath. She always dresses and undresses herself, this is one kids who doesn’t want any help, she can do it herself. Well, she couldn’t get her shirt off, so she said, “F…k it, I’m frustrated.” My granddaughter burst out laughing until she was crying and asked, “Why did you say that?” And her answer, so simple, “Well, when Daddy gets frustrated, that’s what he says. In fact he said it four times yesterday while he was trying to fix the lights on the kitchen ceiling.” Out of the mouths of babes, they see all and hear all.
I can’t top that.

The rest of my week is easy, Meditation, Mah Jongg and the knitting instructor. My sweater I’m knitting is in big trouble, and I need to hear what my knitting lady tells me. I have the back finished, the sleeves finished, and the front up to the armholes. The problem is I had to buy more yarn online, and although they said it was the same dye lot, it isn’t. And it shows. Could you send me some luck? I probably will ahve to scrap this whole sweater. Bummer.

Hope you all have a nice week planned. Talk to you soon.
Remember to keep love and kisses in your life.

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

Love And Kisses

A sixty-one year love affair, still going strong, maybe stronger than ever. We met on a blind date. Recently I told Howard I didn’t want to go out on that blind date, but my Mom insisted, in fact she pushed me out the door. He was flabbergasted, said he never heard that one in all these years.

I’m so thankful I went out with him. He arrived in a rental car, having had an accident that day with his own car. He was fortunate that his uncle owned a Ford agency and loaned him a car.

He took me to little Italy to a restaurant named Maria’s. They took us downstairs and seated us at a nice table for four, so we had plenty of room. Howard ordered a bottle of red wine (still my favorite) and we had a delicious dinner, lots of garlic bread, pasta and music as we were surrounded by the 3 men walking around the tables playing wonderful Italian music. I was delighted, not only that but I thought Howard was wonderful and a very special guy. He listened as I talked and I think I talked the whole night. I arrived home around 3 a.m. and went right to bed, I had to be up by 6 to go to work.

The next day my Mom asked if I had a good time, and I told her I did, and hopefully, Howard would call again. By the second date we both knew…we met in September, became engaged after Christmas, and married in June, 1952.

Later, I heard that his Mom asked him if he had a good time, that first date, and he told him Mom, she is a nice girl, but she talks too much. The next day she said, she heard him on the phone, and he said he was talking to me.

We never get tired of talking to each other and to this day we enjoy each other and our conversations. We did it all with Love and Kisses.

I get a love not every morning with my coffee.

I once said, on National T.V. that we were two halves of a whole, while each retaining our own identity.
Try it, it works, as does love and kisses.
Keep love and kisses in your life.

Happy New Year

9/4/13  A very Happy and Healthy New year to all my Jewish friends. It is a wonderful holiday full of tradition and family, and of course food.

I gave my writing group a writing assignment this week: Write about the meaning of your life. Just a stream of consciousness, could be an outline of your life, yesterday, today or tomorrow, your legacy, one moment in time, any age and so on. Just let those words flow. Do this for one time, or several times during the week. Next week, we will do it again for one day, and so on until the end of the month. At which time, we will all reread what we have written during the month, and either discuss it or not, and possibly continue this till the end of the year.. Should be an interesting project. I suggest you try it out yourself. Consider leaving a comment about how it’s working out. I will update the outcome at the beginning of next month and let you know how we made out with this assignment.

If I have learned anything this year, it’s take one beautiful day at a time, even one hour at a time. Life is short, and you never know when it’s the end, so enjoy every minute. Keep people around you that you are comfortable with, who lift you up, and not put you down. Get those negative people away from you.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my writing this year. I finally feel like a writer. My writing group here at Coventry Court is wonderful and we have great times learning together. Also, I took an online writing course, Story Cartel, which boosted me up and taught me so many thing. In fact it was so much to learn that I might have to take this course again. I highly recommend it.

Another thing that is helping me personally and in my writing  is Meditation. I try to do it everyday. Just about every time I do this practice, I find my muse (writing) is hovering about giving me insight into something I’m trying to write. Or, I just fall asleep  and that is okay too.

I’m trying to follow a healthier lifestyle. Eating better, trying to walk a little bit and not spending all my time trying to catch up. I know me, and I will never catch up, it’s who I am. I say I am slowing down, and then I buy 3 books in a row, or download several books to review. I am just me.

I’m determined to start a new book about me and how Alzheimer’s Disease is affecting my husband. This time the book will be more of a tribute to him.

Last time Behind The Mask was all about me and my feelings because it had to be kept a secret, that was twenty years ago when he got his first diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. That was really hard. And of course, it never happened. This time, it’s a fact, but we understand and we are ready to do whatever is necessary. I will learn when I have to, to live in his reality.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

A Right Brain Journey: Keeping Everything Inside

The last time my husband was diagnosed 20 years ago with Alzheimer’s Disease, I went to  a writing conference. Not knowing where I belonged I joined a Right Brain Group. I think I thought I’d find myself and what I wanted to write, but this is what came out of me that day:

It began with a journey into a quiet room, and out to the beach. Completely relaxed, warm, safe, opened up to colors, outside in the sand, opened up places , kept inside to make room for opening up to people, ideas, creativity, to write experiences about. To get rid of the part of me that thought Silence Was Golden to the point of closing off myself, my feelings. Started because I thought I had no choice about it, but it stayed to become almost like a sickness. My thoughts and feelings didn’t matter so I didn’t share them. It came out in my writing. Short spare sentences with no flavor, color, description; just bare bones. Emotion locked inside me.

Has this ever happened to you?

How did you handle it?

Did it change part of your life?

It changed my life until I was much older. By that time I realized that other people, bullies who pushed me around, they  had power over me, and I enabled  them. How stupid I felt, how locked up inside.

Was I damaged beyond repair?

What changed?

I put aside those negative people and they are no longer in my life. They have no power over me anymore.  I learned that Silence Isn’t Golden, like my mother told me when I was a child.

My husband’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease a couple of months ago got me thinking. Time is of the essence, I need to make wonderful memories  every day of our life together. I know it’s not going to be easy. But this time, I will let those locked up feelings inside me come out. I am grateful for every day of my life, and I will take good care of my husband during this life changing illness.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

 

 

Adopt A Caregiver

I always talk about Adopt A Caregiver. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I wish that everyone would do it. At least try it.

It’s so simple, I am sure all of you know someone in your own community that is a caregiver. Doesn’t matter what kind of care-giving the person does. Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, anything.

All you have to do is email this person, tell them you are trying to understand what they are going through. Since you cannot stand in their shoes, perhaps you can get that person to talk to you, to vent, to help you ‘see’ what they see. Just listen, do not  judge just be there as a friend, an understanding friend.

Twenty years ago when I was a caregiver, I wrote something that I never put into my book, Behind The Mask. I though it was too harsh. It went something like this:

Where were you when I needed  you? When I was crying my eyes out alone and scared. You all called and asked how my husband was doing, no one asked me how I was doing.

I’d like to think all that has changed, that people are more tuned in, and are more aware of the needs of caregivers.

Now that my husband is diagnosed again, it starts all over again for me.

I’d like to think we are better prepared this time around.
The one thing I do remember, and know to be true. I will have to live in his reality, when the time comes.

Please go out and Adopt A Caregiver.  Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.