Friday, November 19, 2010 | 11/19/2010 | I’m a thief of mind and spirit

MUST READ. This short read brings Alzheimer's to VIVIDLY to life. "I am Alzheimer's." | 11/19/2010 | I’m a thief of mind and spirit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For this I am Thankful!

Here we are 9 days away from Thanksgiving again. This is my favorite holiday! For me Thanks giving is a time for family and lot of food. I love to have my whole family over to eat at my house. I Cook a huge bird and all the trimmings. Some of my favorite food is usually served at Thanksgiving dinner, like Turkey, squash and rolls with tons of butter. I love the cool weather and the changing leaves. I like to burn a log in the fireplace and enjoy the day.
Besides all the food I like to stop and take inventory so to speak of all the things in my life that I am thankful for.  For me the holiday is low stress and gives me time to reflect on the things I am thankful for. Once I get all the usual suspects out of the way like my family, friends or my pets, my job blah blah blah, I have to really think about the things I am thankful for. I think that is because I tend to take things for granted. Yes I am thankful for my husband and my three kids and all the great friends I have but it goes deeper than that. This all came me this morning. I was thinking that I am thankful for cows. Yup cows. Without cows I would not have milk in my coffee, or cream cheese in the danish and cheese in my sandwich at lunch and Yogurt. I can be thankful for cows right?  Ok, I'm also thankful for shoes! Not just those really cute ones with the tall heals. Shoes, the ones I slip on to keep my feet warm and dry. I could go on.
All this made me laugh but then I was thinking, I could get by with out cheese, sort of. I could go with out shoes, it would be ugly but I could.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Alzheimer's SUCKS! My focus is on the Memory Walk this week!

My focus this week will be on the Memory Walk. It ways heavy on my mind because it is all I can do to fight this disease. Raising donations, walking, telling everyone I see about the walk and finding a cure. It is all I can do. Every day I hear a story about someone effected by Alzheimer's. A mother a aunt a Grandfather. The numbers of effected people is staggering! The longer we live the higher the number of patients will be, and more families will have to endure this awful disease. Watching their loved one slowly fade away. 

I lost my Grandfather to Alzheimer's, now I get to watch my mother fade away. It takes years and is painful to watch!

If you are reading this, you can help! Go to the Alzheimer's web site Find a walk in your area or maybe you have a friend walking. Or you can go to my site and donate there


click to donate

If that wont work for you. Start talking about it. The next step is getting the word out. Educating people about this disease. I have heard everything from people thinking it was from aluminum cans to fast foods. I want people to realize that Alzheimer's doesn't stop at taking away your memory, or making you forget where you put your car keys. It takes away your life and a small piece of you loved ones with it! 
It is still not known exactly why some people get it but they are close to pin pointing the cause! This is what I am hoping for in the future. A blood test and then treatment then a cure!

I checked my email and my memory walk web page this morning. I got goose bumps from the generosity from family and friends. I feel I have a good momentum going and I hope I can keep it up for next years also, and the years to come! Go educate yourself and help in any way you can!

 Alzheimer's Sucks!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Will somebody please tell me when I became my parents?

Will somebody please tell me when this happened! It seems I am turning out like my parents or Grandparents. I'm not saying I'm a mirror image, just bits and pieces. I'm not sure when this happened.

(Left to right back, my Mother and Father, my 2 Uncles, my Aunt in front my Grandmother Great-Grandmother and my Grandfather.)

I remember when I was young thinking I never want to be like my parents. My dad a former US Marine and a very "Anal retentive" person spending his days off labeling the outlines on the peg board where the shovel hangs in the garage.

(random photo found on Microsoft Word)

I remember I didn't understand why it mattered. So many things he did just didn't matter to me, my mom or my brothers. Everything had to be "Just so". From the way the towels in the bathroom were hung, the way his boxers were folded to the way we put away our toys and bikes. I didn't want to be like that. He passed away last year after battling Leukemia.

My Mom was the less anal retentive half of this pair. She's currently in a care home suffering with Alzheimer's

She collected sewing and craft supplies always finding storage spots for them. She was clean and neat and as long as it got put away she was happy. She was less bothered by water spots on the mirrors and unmade beds than my dad. This got criticism from my dad's mother. She would tell me that my mom didn't clean the house to my dad's liking and she didn't do laundry well enough. Being a child/ pre-teen I didn't care about any of it.

I never considered my Grandmother a great house keeper, but she could cook up a storm and she was proud that she could mend holes my Grandfathers socks. (WTH?) My Grandfather worked hard to support his family. He was up early and in bed late. When not at work he was farming or working on the house.

My Mothers parents were different. My Grandma was fun and let everything roll off her back. Back then that didn't mean much to me, but I now realize how important it was for her to survive. She had Polio at 6 years, lost a brother to a childhood disease and her mother when she was young. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 years old and passed away at 54. She never lost her ability to love. She loved her family all her pets and loved life! My Grandfather also had a rough childhood. Became a police officer and worked hard to support a young family He broke his back falling off a second story roof chasing a bad guy. After healing he had to retire from the force but wanted to work. He learned TV repair. When I was born I was his first grandchild and he would take me with him on repair calls. (I was a toddler). He adored me. One of the things that bugged the "you know what" out of me growing up. I wouldn't answer him when he called my name, so he would call me Alice. That would tick me off. Thinking about that just now made me smile. He loved to tell awful jokes. He would tell jokes to strangers at the store. Back then I was annoyed! Just now, it made me smile! He loved to laugh. "Did you know you were born part animal?" He would ask, "You had a Dear face and a Bear butt". I would be so embarrassed. (I just giggled at that one) He would spend his evenings with many of his pets on his lap and watching television. Sometimes he would have 3 or 4 television sets going at one time. He was "repairing" them.

Grandpa, we called him "GP" goofing around with the Christmas wrap. He lost his long battle with Alzheimer's last year.

Now that I am all grown up I have become my own person! HA! What I realize is that I am all these people. I see bits and pieces of my father when I put away my canned food. All the labels have to face out and soup doesn't get stacked on top of tomatoes, or when I put away my socks. First arranging them in the drawer by type like sport, dress and then by color. I see my mom in my love for cats, coffee and collecting craft supplies. Sometimes I hear her voice when I'm speaking. I learned the importance of working hard and being proud of who you are from my Fathers parents. I love to cook and still crochet some like my Grandmother taught me. I still won't darn socks! I love my family and being close to my children. This is something I remember growing up with my mother's parents. I love to laugh even if the joke is on me. I also learned that life is short! Live each day like it's your last.

I guess being like your parents isn't a bad thing! This is who I am and it's not so bad. How I wish they were all around today to see what I have become. They would be proud!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Maria Shriver's March on Alzheimer's - October 24, 2010 - Long Beach, CA

Join us for the Memory Walk for a cure for Alheimer's! It's easy for you and so important for your children!
Finding a cure or at least a blood test for early diagnoses is very important to me! My mother was stricken with Alzheimer's in her early 60s. She now lives in a care home. She wears diapers, and doesn't know me or remember the last 20 years of her life. As time goes by she is loosing her speech and slowly waisting away. This is a cruel horrible way to die! For family members it is so painful and so costly!! To date it affects 5.3 million people world wide. The numbers grow every year as we live longer and find cures and treatments for other ailments. Check out the Alzheimer's web page for info on the disease and find the date for the Memory Walk in your area. Lets do this for our children!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Holy Guacamole!

This morning began with a pancake breakfast at my mother’s Alzheimer’s care home. (see previous post) This alone on top of menopause symptoms was full day for me.  Later that same day we went to a adult birthday party. Let me set this up for you. I am what most people would call a white English speaking American. (Irish / German immigrant), whatever that means. My son is dating a Mexican girl named Cindy. Her father speaks great English her Mother is learning. The party was for the mother.

The birthday girl

 My excitement of this day was the food. I knew there was going to be some authentic lip smacking food and alcohol! When we arrived we were offered beer or margaritas. I had a margarita, and hubby had a cerveza. Then the food prep begins. I asked if I could help. The method of my madness was to observe. I was handed a bag of avocados and a spoon. Guacamole, by a white girl at a Mexican party? Are you sure?  Then I looked outside and hubby was helping to light the bar b q. We all giggled. It was strange being the minority for once. The three of us were the only "non-Mexican" guests there.

Hubby, me, and Cindy shaking the camera.

The food turned out great and I ate too much. The guests were enjoying every last bite of what my son and I called the “white girl guacamole”.  We joked that an Anchor man and camera crew were going to expose the secret at the end of the party. We ate and laughed and hubby drank. I mean he took shots of tequila. I had a few shots with an hour or two in between. Him, not so much. He and others got pretty drunk. It was all fun, and no issues. That was until I got him home. I tried to get him to drink some water. It was too late for water. To say the least I was cleaning the bathroom at 10:00 at night.  He woke up Sunday morning to get ready for a plane ride from California to Montana still drunk he says.  

Hubby and Cindys brother partaking.

I think the party is what I needed to get my mind off “things”. This last week has been really difficult for me dealing with menopause. I’m not sleeping, my stomach is bothering me, and I am grumpy! Really grumpy! So I little R& R was good for me. 

The birthday girl and me after our shots.

So hubby is off to Montana for a few days and I hate being alone. SO wish me luck this week. 

Saturday started with Alzheimer's and pancakes then ended with Tequila!

I had no idea what my Saturday had in store for me. I had it all planned out. I was attending a pancake breakfast at my Mothers Alzheimer's home benefit for Alzheimer's in the AM. Then I would take a little bike ride with hubby and the afternoon attend a adult birthday party at my sons girl friends parents house. Sounds interesting huh? It was!
When I woke up I was feeling “out of sorts”. I had a rough night sleep and my head was pounding already. Just some of the wonderful menopause symptoms I have lately. I left my house that morning for the pancake breakfast with a 5 lb chocolate bar my company donated for a raffle and hubby in tow. On arrival I was happy to see a big turnout for the breakfast. A few weeks back I was brain storming with the assistant director. I suggested asking the cooking school around the corner for chefs to volunteer. She asked the school and several inspiring chefs volunteered to help on the grills. The local Starbucks donated coffee, IHOP donated pancake batter, and Raley’s Foods donated berries. I wish I remembered to take pictures of the spread.

 We found a table and I went looking for my mom. Unless you know someone with this disease you may not know what it is like to walk through the halls of such a care home. Interesting to say the least! Alzheimer’s affects its patients differently. So here I am walking through the halls looking for my mom who at this stage of her life has become a marathon runner or something. Her attention span is that of a toddler, and she doesn’t sit in one place long. So I ask her nurses and they all remember seeing her at opposite ends of the building. I find her sitting in the common area. So I have her walk with me outside to sit with us. Her nurses gave her a shower and her hair was still slightly wet. Too bad because there were some clouds and it was breezy so she got cold but couldn't communicate it and it made her cry. I asked her not to cry, and that I would get her a blanket. Just then for a split second she recognized me. I could see it in her face. Then the tears started for both of us. She usually mumbles but just then she kept saying she was sorry it wasn't her fault. I felt so sad. I had a nurse get her a blanket but she wanted to go inside. I went to stand in the food line with my husband and let him hold me while a cried.
 I later went looking for my mom and some nurses directed me to another patient’s room where she was quietly sitting watching an infomercial. Yuck. I asked her if she want to come outside and eat but I couldn’t get her attention. So I brought her breakfast to her and her nurse fed her. I did get her to laugh and smile then I said my goodbyes and left. As least I made her smile.
The visit with my mom got me shook up. I was already out of it when I woke up. When I got home I knew I needed to do something to get my mind off the visit. It was too breezy to ride bikes hubby said so we went to the Home Depot to buy a plant for the birthday party later and to the pet store. We found a nice plant and bought frozen shrimp and cat treats. A successful shopping trip. I brought the plant inside to clean up but I forgot to bring the frozen shrimp in until 2 hours later. The stress of the day got the best of me and I wasn’t thinking straight. It makes me so mad. Then my head pounds harder.  I still had a birthday party to attend.
(next post, Holy Guacamole!) 

Friday, August 20, 2010

God helps those who help themselves, and other inspirational quotes.

Those of you readers who know me know that I am not a person to throw the name God around. My religion is personal to me and I am the last person to tell you  who you should believe in.  In my blog today the name"God" can be whatever you interpret is as. Its just that simple.
Those of you who know me also know I hit a few bumps in the road of life. There has most the time been someone with "Words of Wisdom" during these times. Sometimes useful others a bunch of crap.  My Mom was full of wise quotes to fit the moment. One the my most remembered quotes my mother would say was, "God helps those who help themselves". I use to think "how biblical". NOT! Turns out that one of the most inspirational quotes in my life isn't from the Bible at all. I did some research. OK I Goggled it. It turns out that Benjamin Franklin quoted in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757. During my researching (Google-ling) I read that he and this quote were not well liked by the religious group. So this is all I will say on Ben.

Back to my disappointment. After all it is usually about me. My Mom would tell me "God helps those who helps themselves" while I was wining about  homework, chores even getting my rain boots on. But as a child I had the fear of God and it worked. Now as a adult I still mutter that quote only because I use it out of contexts so to speak. I don't think God will peel your lifeless fat a$$ off the couch while watching Oprah and get you a job. If you give it your best you will get the help you need from whatever powers that be.
This leads me to another of my life altering quotes. I don't know if someone famous said this next quote. I guess I could have Goggled it. A middle age hippie mother at one of my kids school said something to me. It changed my life. I didn't know it at the time. In fact it pissed me off. Here I was pouring my heart out to her. My life was crap! I was getting a divorce, I had 3 small children, my job was going to end soon and this woman told me "You are in charge of your own destiny". It took me a few days for it to soak in. After all I am sure I had several other gatherings to share my pitiful life with others before I realized that no one was going to change my life. CRAP! I had to do it myself. Back to God helping me. God was not going to pull my sniveling un-showered butt out of bed and change the fact that I couldn't pay rent and I was too depressed to cook a real meal. I was in control of that part. Crap! So what now?  
As soon as I took control of things in my life that I could one step at a time the remainder of my problems worked themselves out. So to speak. 
This was several years ago, but these quotes seem to apply to me daily. If you don't like the way your life is going,  your job sucks. Stop and think how can YOU change it?  "You are in control of your destiny" and "God helps those who help themselves". 
Now for my favorite saying that I say to kids when they have a problem they think they can't solve. "Baby steps". You may not be able to tackle the whole problem Plan your attack using baby steps. 
When all else fails, and life is dumping a load of lemons on your front porch. Grab the vodka and make lemon drops!

 Whats on Oprah?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Finding inspiration for this probie blogger

I spent my Saturday morning alone surfing the internet. I decided to check out blogs to try to get some inspiration for my blog. I found blogs with recipes, women blogging about their cats, and tons of blogs written by moms. What I found in most these blogs is most the authors blog about what is real in their lives. They don't seem like they are trying to be something they are not. I realized that when I write I'm self-conscious because of my lack of skills and that I am afraid no one would be interested. The blogs I read today mostly didn't seem to care as much as they wanted to get point across. Some were raw and at times un-inhibited. Others were timid and even ask if they were giving to much info.
After reading blogs for hours I decided that I want to be a better blogger and that I need to let my hair down and blog about what interest me. In the future I wont worry about who reads my blog and what they think. I am sure this will help me with my "writers" block.
So in the future here in my little corner of the blog-sphere expect, more about my cats, Hello Kitty, what I cook, Hot flashes, and lots about what gets on my nerves.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Who needs #FF when you have, BIG CUP COFFEE DAY!

I have a tradition I started when I became a Facebook addict. I don't work on Fridays and I love coffee. So on Friday mornings I find the largest coffee mug I have. I log onto Facebook and update my status which usually reads like this. "Good morning Facebook, I have the largest mug of coffee I can find and I am not working, so what day is it kids? Its BIG CUP COFFEE FRIDAY!".

Funny thing about this is that some of my friends comment Thursday eve whether or not it will be Big cup coffee Friday. I don't post this in my statues if I work on Fridays.
I also like to post something on Wednesdays about it being "Hump Day". *giggle*

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

When life keep waking you up, and other Menopausal gripes.

This past year has been crazy for me. It feels like the older I get the faster life speeds by me. So many things are happening in my life right now. I find myself looking back to my past regretting not doing things differently. I'm not sure if it is maturity or menopause. (More on this later). My children are grown and working on their lives. None of them have children yet. This is good for them but difficult for me. I am excited at the thought of being a Grandma. My mother was a awesome grandmother to my children in every way! I say was, because she has been stricken with one of the worse diseases to hit the older generation Alzheimer's. She is in a care home now and doesn't know her family or the grandchildren she loved so much. She wear diapers and laughs a lot. Her father also had Alzheimer's and pasted away recently. I am afraid this disease is hereditary and I wont be able to spend time with grandchildren or worse I will have enough time with them and then be stricken with the disease only to bring heart break to them. I know too well the heart ache of having someone in this condition. You loose your memories, you independence your dignity. This is one of the many thoughts I have bombarding my brain daily as I drive around working. After awhile I get depressed. This is the Menopause again. I said I would say more on this.
In recent months I have what I call "waves" of symptoms. Depressions, migraines, stomach ailments, appetite changes, hot flashes and loss of sleep. To me it feels like PMS on steroids. These symptoms have been coming on every few weeks and last for about a week. More intense as the months go by. This last month was the worse. My husband asked me to call my Dr. (haven't yet). I felt like a blob. When asked a question I couldn't come up with a answer. I was unable to make decisions. I couldn't even decide what to eat or what to wear, and everything made me cry. The depression slowly faded although I feel it trying to rear its ugly head now and then. (more on the failed Chicken and Alfredo dinner).
I mentioned the thoughts bombarding my brain. I drive for a living. Sometime a hundred miles a day. Not your big time truck driver miles, but enough to pick at your sanity. When you alone with your thoughts anything is fair game. I tend to take on stresses form people around me. I want to help them or fix their life. I usually find the best fix is money. I have been kind of low on that lately. Besides my part time sales job, I also have my Real Estate Agent License. I love selling real estate but have been unable to in this bad economy. Don't get me started on the economy. I blame corporate America and greed for most of our problems. Yet I currently work for a big corporation as does my husband and I shop at Walmart to save money. This is a whole new subject. More on this later. See what I mean about my sanity?