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.

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.

Update for 2014

In case you haven’t heard my husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for the second time in twenty years. So far he is fine, and we take it one day at a time. At 82 and 83 we are fortunate to have each other. We are blessed with family around us and four great grandchildren, ages 4,3,2,and 1.
As you know that can keep us busy, and we love it, even though we tire easily.

I am still learning how to write, and still have my writing group in the Senior Community where we live. I also am a part of the book club, Meditation, and Maj Jongg groups. That keep my mind active and busy. Better than three doctor appointments in one week, which is also something that happens once in a while.

Howard is starting a new drug trial for Alzheimer’s Disease on March 11th. According to our instructions we will have to be there that day for seven hours. Will keep you updated on how that works out. I’m hoping if I bring my Ipad, I will have some time to read and or write. Or maybe not, the people at the drug trial might have other things in mind for both of us. Does anyone have an opinion on drug trials?

Our book club will work a little differently, since we will be reading our own choices of books, and then bringing in a significant synopsis of said book. We are meeting once a month, which gives everyone plenty of time to read the book of their choice. The reason we did this is because we are a diverse group with different ideas of which book to read. I also think this works since we won’t have to go to the library and have them order the amount of books we need, and then to go back to the library and bring back the books. It also introduces us to new books that we probably would never think of reading. Do you think this is a good idea?

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Right Brain Workshop Guided Imagery

This is from a Right Brain Imagery workshop done the first time my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
6/29/95
Oh my darling, on this journey we were together and together we will be. My journey took me to the beach, the water, so warm and soothing to my soul. I tried to keep walking out into the water, but you pulled me back, needing me, wanting me, loving me. Exhausted I lay in the hammock, gently rocking back and forth as the golden healing light entered my body, and you entered with it. Your essence became the healing light, touching, soothing, loving, kissing. Most of the light left my body, but you stayed. Thank you for that.

I flew, still lying on my back watching the clouds and when the rainbow appeared, I wrapped it around me like a cocoon. Both of us together wrapped in safety, warmth and love.

Coming back home, back to the island and the water, I opened the door to my writing room. All my books and kissing couples were there, along with a brand new teddy bear you bought me, sitting on my chair, waiting to give me a hug, waiting to help me get started writing. The computer was smiling, it missed me.
I looked around for my muse and I saw four people come inside.

A child name Innocence
A teenager name Enthusiasm
A women name Experience
An old woman name Wisdom

They all said they would help me brainstorm when ever I needed.
I know, my darling, my writing takes time away from you, but it’s also the rest of our beautiful life. This is our legacy to leave of Love and Kisses

I love you, forever and always.

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.

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.

Journey Back to Writing

I am taking a journey back to writing. Once you stop, it’s hard to start again. But, this time I have a goal; to finish
a book, and to work on my Memoirs. I am hoping to start a writing group within the community I live, so that we all can work on our goals together.

Another goal is to do an e book, or several. One is a book of 500 prompts. No more facing a blank page, each prompt sets up an idea or image to dive right in and start a story..

Some examples of First Lines are:
1. Did someone knock you out, or did your brains just fall out by themselves?
2. The pain is relentless and screaming for mercy.
3. The river flows as endlessly as my words.
4. Sure, I have choices, but no one gave me permission.
5.Questions opened scabs.

Just examples of using First Lines in your writing.

We have moved again, closer still to family. Love the new apartment, and the new senior community. Looking forward to things to come.

Three great grandchildren, and one on the way. I am so grateful. We should all find something to be grateful for every day.

As I said in my book, Behind The Mask, keep love and kisses in your life.
.

Projects

I have been working on several projects. Clearing out clutter from my office. Again. This time, however, I separated all my writing and put them into notebooks. The Memoirs are now separate from my short stories, which are separate from my ramblings.

I have this bad habit of writing something, putting it away, and not rereading or editing it and most times putting it into the wrong folders.

Now I am attempting to straighten all that out.

What will I do with them? I don’t know. But this year, I am dedicated to working on my writing. Who knows, maybe there is another book coming.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

What To Do With Journals

I have struggled with the answer to that question for years. For years I argued yes, keep them forever. And when I moved, I moved 15 years and many boxes of journals with me.

Why? For remembrance? For my kids and grandkids to spend hours, or years to read them all, or just take the time  to throw them  away.

At almost 79, I have decided I have the right to keep the writing or throw it all out. In my case, I decided it was time to get rid of them. I spent hours and hours tearing all those pages up. Was it worth it, I think so. They would only have to do that after I was gone anyway, so I saved them the trouble.

Instead I decided it was time to write my memoirs. I have started them two or three times already, but never got to get any of it done. Oh yes, there are half pages written, or notes on subjects I want to write about, little stories of my life that are worth sharing, so I have to start over and just write it. Now is the time.

I have led a life There are stories worth telling. Better than reading some old journals that might have pages that would hurt someone’s feelings, or that are just so boring with the everyday mundane events of my life on that day.

My life wasn’t boring and that is what I hope writing my memoirs will bring to life. I might even share one or two of my stories with all of you.

In the meantime, Happy and Healthy New Year.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene