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.

Reflections of Me: Be Careful What You Wish For

All that buildup, all that anxious waiting. Well, Tiny came home. It was awful. All she did was cry, day and night. Sounds of wailing, sobbing, crying all day long. I thought the noise would never stop. Tiny was tired, I was tired, and my Mom was tired, but there was no break. At least I could escape going to school, but I still heard the crying in my head. I couldn’t concentrate, I was exhausted.

I helped with the cooking and the cleaning. Seems I never did anything right. Terrible times, none of us could cope. And my parents started fighting and that made it even worse for me.

As Tiny got older, crawling around the house, she smelled everything. Food, people, floors, doors, windows, the crib, everything. Still older, one day she climbed out of her crib. She went into the bathroom, got Crest toothpaste, baby powder, and Comet cleanser. Yes, the washed her crib, my mother’s mahogany furniture, the windows, the floors. It took weeks to get it all cleaned up .I can still see vividly that mess.

Then we found her in the little pantry, somehow she had scraped open the wall and  ate what was inside. Mom called the doctor and he said her body was craving lime? Yuck. By the time she was three or four, when Mom washed the sheets and took them outside to dry, Mom got a phone call and had to go inside. I was sent out to watch her, but she had already washed the sheets through the ashes from our basement stove. How could she have dragged those heavy sheets by herself?  By the time she was five she was into all my things. She followed me everywhere, and still she smelled everything!

To be so happy to have a baby sister, to feeling guilty, to feeling invisible, to being exhausted all the time. Always babysitting, cooking, cleaning. No time for friends, for homework. By this time who cared, not me.

Scared, lonely, upset and crying myself, headaches, I couldn’t cope either.

So when I was sixteen, I confronted my mother. “Mom either I have a nervous breakdown, or I quit school. Your choice.”

I had wanted an education, I wanted to go to college. I wanted to learn. I looked into my mother’s sad eyes, and she shook her head, “I guess you have to quit school.

Summing up my teen years:

Broken dreams, yanked out of my life due to circumstances beyond my control. Whereas once I was encouraged to dream, I was suddenly thrown head first into life.

Come back and read my next chapter of life: Sweet Sixteen, Not For Me

Reflections of Me: Baltimore, MD 1942

No matter how much we cried, it didn’t change anything. We still were living far away from family. My new life and my new school treated me with intolerance, indifference, and I felt more alone than ever before.

The kids at school laughed at me. I wore long cotton stockings, and they wore anklets. I couldn’t understand their accent, and they made fun of mine. The Principal of the school saw me walking down the hall one day, and under her breath, but loud enough for me to hear, she said, “New York Jew.” I’ll never forget the look of disgust on her face. My mother always told me, “Fight your own battles,” and the other thing she always said was, “Silence is golden, don’t come complaining to me.”

A few months later, I thought a miracle happened. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and my mother said, “How would you like to have a brother or sister?”

I almost fell off my chair I was so excited. I really literally fell off the chair onto the floor.

Two months later, my mother fell up the stairs on her stomach. She lost part of the afterbirth, but I had no idea what that meant. The doctor said she had to stay in bed until she gave birth. I was allowed to see her for ten minutes a day. The only person I had to talk to was the doctor who came every day, and was nice enough to ask me, “How are you today Helene? How was school?”  My father still worked nights and I was alone and invisible.

My grandmother came from New York to help after the first of the year. I got my period that January; I was eleven and a half. I thought I was dying because I bled for twenty-one days. I was prepared, I knew what to do, but after almost three weeks, alone with my thoughts, I wondered what was going to happen to me.

On February second, the man from the downstairs butcher store came upstairs and said, “I’m taking your mother and grandmother to the hospital. It’ time for the baby to come.”

Grandma left me strict and explicit instructions.

Tune in next time to find out what I had to do and what happened.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Eighties Old? I’m Not Old

At 81 I’m learning new things, or trying to. Ipad, Iphone, IMindMap, Scrivener plus doing some ebooks. I hope. I was even thinking of doing some of my Memoir stories here on my blog, called Reflections Of Me. What do you think? Too ambitious?

I’ve also started a new writing group in my senior community. We have met 4 times. I’m loving it. Giving out  handouts about characters, show don’t tell, layering, and soon we will start on scenes. We also talk about questions for Memoirs.

I’m trying the book club and the computer club, jury is still out because I have so much to do. And I have to see my great grandchildren. often! My oldest lives less than one half mile from us, in fact she and her mother are coming for dinner tonight. Her Mom is making dinner. Tomorrow, we are seeing the other two great grandchildren. Fun…

Book: I recommend Defending Jacob.

Writing Prompts:

1. The little girl sat on the floor reading, she even turned the pages as she had this whole conversation with herself.

2. The boat drifted through a deadly storm.

3. She crept down the steps to hear the voices

So, what do you think? Should I start writing my Memoir: Reflections of Me on this site? Would love to get some opinions.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Lists

My lists keep growing. I have to unpack my winter clothes, probably throw out the things I can’t fit into anymore. I have to store my summer things. Where? Have to get used to apartment living.

The vest I was knitting. It’s too hard. It was marked easy, and it’s not. So, I guess, I will have to sit in the knitting store as I knit it. Or have someone else finish it for me. Too expensive, I think. I’d rather be knitting for the new baby coming in five weeks!!!! Can’t wait. I already have my eyes on a baby sweater..

Lists of things to do, things I want to do. Lists of things to write about, memoir stories, short stories. Lists of cleaning out clutter. How does it accumulate so fast. We’ve only been in California since May!

Guess I’m just a pack rat. Lists of things I shouldn’t do anymore.

Hey, I’m human. Thank God.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Catching Up

I’m catching up. Shopping to day; Costco, Borders, and Whole Foods. Tomorrow the lawyer, next week doctor appointments.

But, today I found some new websites and they are wonderful. I forgot to write down the names, but come back tomorrow and I will name them.

I’m feeling pretty good, getting things done, papers filed. Now it’s back to writing. I started a book several years ago, and I put it away, thinking I wasn’t ready to write it yet. One of the reasons I stopped, my heroine is too angry. So I think I will have to let the readers know why she is so angry, and then I can start the story. It means giving the reader a lot of information about the heroine at the very beginning, but I think it might be necessary. Otherwise, she won’t be likable.

I am so blessed to be back with my family. My grateful list just grows and grows and grows. As long as we keep our health, we will be fine.

Happiness is in the moment. This moment. The fact that I’m sitting here blogging makes me happy.

Write your memories, keep them close to your heart. Let your families know who you are, who you really are on the inside. Include your self in writing your Memoir.

Give something back. Do a kindness every day. Tell someone something nice. Pick up the phone and call an old friend. Skip the jokes, and write something on the email.

Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene Moore sent you. Don’t know how a new caregiver feels, read my book, Behind The Mask.

Keep love and kisses in you life. Helene

www.adoptacaregiver.org is now up and running

One Thing Leads To Another

It’s always amazing to me to see how one thing leads to another. It could be in writing Memoirs. One memory triggers another and another and before you know it you have written several stories.

In my case, it was my own book, Behind The Mask that led to Adopt A Caregiver. Call it Bershert (meant to be) or call it one thing leading to another. After my book came out, I realized that I wanted to help support caregivers. They need the help as much as the patient does. But, who is going to be there for them?

How many times does someone call and ask, “How is the patient?”

How many times do the ask how the caregiver is doing?

There are more and more caregivers all the time and they could use some friendship and support. I call it giving back.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene Moore sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Too Busy

Is there such a thing as being too busy, having too much to do all of a sudden. All of a sudden it catches up with you. And today I was a klutz. I fell over my own two shoes. No, I’m fine, didn’t get hurt, but I am a little sore.

I have to work on my Memoir Workshop papers, I have several long distance phone calls to make tomorrow morning, and then off to the Knitting Club here at Anthem, so I can knit and relax. I hope.

Saturday my daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit if the weather holds up and doesn’t rain or snow in the mountains on the way here from California.

So, to all you caregivers out there, I salute you. I don’t know how you do it day after day. I hope someone adopts you and tells you that I sent them to you. I hope you are able to write, vent, become a friend and that your day will be just a little brighter tomorrow. I wish you joy, peace, and love.

Adopt A Caregiver does work. I have the comments to prove that. Please send me yours.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Me

It’s in the 90’s here in Las Vegas, but my body is telling me that winter is here. That’s what Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue feels like. Everything hurts! Parts of my body are already feeling the cold, inside.

Hard to concentrate, hard to write, but attitude is so important, I keep telling myself, tomorrow is another day. I’m going to the knitting club and relax for awhile, then do some errands, and come home to rest.

After my rest, I will read the rest of the old emails I wrote to my dear friend in North Carolina during the time my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. We have kept in touch these many years. Those letters still brought tears to my eyes, both for her and for myself.I remind myself, how lucky we are and how blessed.

I will Adopt A Caregiver whenever I have time, and I hope you all will too. The caregivers need our support. We need to support caregivers.

Remember one by one, by word of mouth we can all spread the word. The seed is now planted and we can watch it spread.

My secret journal, now the book, Behind The Mask will explain how a new caregiver feels. Understand, stand in their shoes, and then go out and Adopt A Caregiver.

For those of you starting a memoir, it’s easy to just start it as a letter. Dear —, or Dear Self, try it, it works.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene