Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

glass flowers

Excuse me while I get lost in this Chihuly masterpiece which I photographed in Las Vegas at the Bellagio.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Living With Alzheimer’s Part 3

This is the third post regarding our situation, Living with Alzheimer’s.  My MIL was diagnosed 6 years ago and during that time, she has lived with us for 4 years.  Let me tell you, it is no easy task.  My common sense tells me that she cannot be responsible for her actions, but I ask myself, “Why didn’t we get one that was nice?”  I am embarrassed that I even wrote that. 

My recent findings on the Internet lead me to an article about the disease that, like anything, there are certain stages in the progression of such disease.  A statement that affected me the most was this “Alzheimer’s can be described as the death of the mind before the body…”.  This statement in it self is devastating to read, yet imagine living 24/7 watching a loved one.  Though Alzheimer’s is considered a fatal disease, the usual cause of death is normally another illness, which develops as a complication in a body already weakened by Alzheimer’s.

Check out the link  7 Stages of Alzheimer's.  I’ve determined that my MIL is planted firmly in the 6th stage of this vial disease.

Stage 6:

Severe cognitive decline
(Moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)

Memory difficulties continue to worsen, significant personality changes may emerge and affected individuals need extensive help with customary daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:

  • Lose most awareness of recent experiences and events as well as of their surroundings

  • Recollect their personal history imperfectly, although they generally recall their own name

  • Occasionally forget the name of their spouse or primary caregiver but generally can distinguish familiar from unfamiliar faces

  • Need help getting dressed properly; without supervision, may make such errors as putting pajamas over daytime clothes or shoes on wrong feet

  • Experience disruption of their normal sleep/waking cycle

  • Need help with handling details of toileting (flushing toilet, wiping and disposing of tissue properly)

  • Have increasing episodes of urinary or fecal incontinence

  • Experience significant personality changes and behavioral symptoms, including suspiciousness and delusions (for example, believing that their caregiver is an impostor); hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there); or compulsive, repetitive behaviors such as hand-wringing or tissue shredding

  • Tend to wander and become lost

We live each day with the pending decision to place her back in a nursing home.  It is a difficult one.  One that cannot be made without feeling some amount of guilt.  OK, a huge amount of guilt.  If my husband and I have learned anything through this experience it is that we never want to be a burden to our children. 

Caretakers have no advocate to help them deal with Alzheimer’s family members.  Most of our friends do not understand when they ask us to come over for a drink or watch a movie that we can never leave our home.  Three and a half hours a week of respite care is not enough to attain any sort of mental health. 

Who cares for the caretakers? 

Who relieves our stress? 

Who watches out for us?

Thanks for listening, my friends.  Thanks for listening.

 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday

Good morning, Saturday, how are you today?  I always love your entrance to the weekend.  From college football to enjoying time to myself, you are a good friend.  You allow me to work on my craft projects, catch up with my blogging friends and may even find some time to hit the treadmill today.

IMG_0618 I look forward to sitting on the bench in this photo and reveling in God’s beautiful work of art.

Happy Saturday, my friends!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Summer, I Loved You So...

Good bye, Summer.
It's been a lovely season.
You provided us with so much sunshine and warmth.
But now get the hell out of the way because
I want some cool autumn evenings to enjoy
the porch and dine alfresco by twinkling candlelight.
My Internet connection has been very temperamental these days.
Me thinks all of the rain has somehow soaked the wires somewhere
in the earth and messing with every one's feed.
Thank goodness my ATT tech is coming today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This photo was taken by Peter Jackson of Shropshire, England garden.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Talk About Rain

If things weren't crazy enough, I am babysitting for another toddler, Katherine, who is 19 months. Her day care was closed because of the flooding. When asked if I would care for her for a few days, of course, I said yes.
Katherine is the daughter of my daughter's co-worker. She's a very bright, talkative little doll who gives Jack a run for his money. Both are down for naps now and I am cherishing the time.
The flooding here is terrible. Many people needed to be rescued from their homes or cars. The Chattahoochee river is 15 feet above normal. Other rivers have swelled and hundreds of people didn't sleep in their own beds last night. The Red Cross jumped on the scene and offered assistance to thousands of people.
Sorry I haven't been posting very much, but with all of the rain, our Internet connection has been very unstable. I'll be back full force in a couple of days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lots of Nothing

It's rained so very much these past 10 days that the ground is soaked and the rivers are budging. Trees are falling due to the over saturated ground.
The rain is interfering with Internet connections. Our provider has an abnormally long wait for support. If there is any satisfaction, I know we are not alone.
Perhaps it is the rain that is causing my MIL's temperament to go completely off the walls. Now that she's feeling better after her hospital stay, her overall attitude is less than downright nasty. Deep down, I know it's not her but the disease, but honestly, she is more than 2 people can handle.
This post may be short and not at all sweet, I write fast as I race the Internet!
Tomorrow will be another day. God willing!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ahhh Chooo!

I have been so careful.

Washing my hands 50 times a day.

Coughing into my arm.

Using Clorex wipes like they are tissues.





But I still smother this baby with kisses...
Little people are germ incubators!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday One Day Late

Yesterday, I had to honor my sister's 50th!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's My Sister's Birthday Today

Born in 1959 on the 16th of September in Oak Lawn, Illinois,
my sister, Gerianne,
celebrates her 50th birthday.

Geri is the most wonderful sister any woman could ask for.
She is kind, gentle, funny, most loving, intelligent and caring.
To celebrate her birthday today,
I created 50 individual birthday cards, each one unique,
just like my sister.
Happy Birthday, Baby Sister!!!
I love you so much!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Football – Family - Friends

Sunday was a great day filled with family, friends, good food and fabulous football.  My daughter made turkey chili.  My friend made Poor Man’s Caviar.  My favorite red pepper relish from Harry and David’s over cream cheese adorned the table.  My contribution was Onion Bacon Cheddar Biscuits  from Pioneer Woman.  There were two kinds of brownies. 

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Biscuits before they dove into the warm, cozy oven.  Cheddar and Bacon and Onions…Oh my!

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Warm from the oven and real butter waiting to be slipped into the middle of the biscuits. 

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Harry and David’s roasted red pepper relish over cream cheese with just a hint of heat in the relish and the cooling smoothness of the cream cheese.

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Poor Man’s Caviar…be still my heart~  Pinto beans, black beans, cilantro, white corn, chopped red pepper and a sauce that marries the whole thing together so well that you will definitely go off of your diet!

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Turkey Chili to die for made in my mother’s very own blue soup pot!

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These are one of the brownies made by Miss Marion.  Each brownie was an outside brownie made in her very special brownie pan.  They are topped off with Dutch Hagelslag-Melk.  Don’t tell, but I had a half of one.  Shhhh…

What can I say but Yummm!  Pot lucks are always so successful.  Somehow, it all just fits together without any planning.  I wonder how that happens… 

The Atlanta Falcons won against Miami Dolphins which surprised everyone as they were the underdogs.  This is one example where the home field advantage definitely works to the home teams advantage!

And, just in case you were interested, our Bulldogs won, barely, on Saturday night.  At this point, we’ll take a win anyway we can get it. 

It was a grand weekend!

 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Working Hard!

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Update: 

22 pounds less

4 inches off my waist

6 inches off my bust

4 inches off my hips

and by the way…this outfit hung in my closet for several years!

Under Repair Today

For some reason only known to Windows Live and my blog, I have not been able to upload my posts.

Will try to fix this...as soon as humanly possible...or perhaps as soon as artificial intelligence is concerned!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chihuly’s Masterpieces

In 2004, Dale Chihuly brought his magnificent masterpieces of colorful glass to the Atlantic Botanical Society for what was a truly amazing exhibit.  First recognizing his work while in Atlantis resort in the Bahamas', I quickly took it upon myself to get my hands on more material about this gifted artist.

What really blows my socks off is the fact that I took these photos with my very first digital camera, a Panasonic 1.5 Megapixel camera.  The camera was the size of a breadbox!  If this camera was one thing, it was very sturdy.  Just ask my husband as I dropped this camera on the concrete several times in hopes to get a new camera quite by accident!

Chihuly

Chihuly1

 

Chihuly2

 

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Next year, I may just have to become a Chihuly groupie and see his work once again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Thousand Heroes

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”

Bob Dillon

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Absent from the skyline…

but never forgotten.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Feeling Melancholy

Here’s how today is shaking out.  There is this one photo from 7 years ago that I am desperately trying to find in my collection of photos.  It is not on my hard drive, that I know.    In checking my disks, which at least I labeled, I still cannot find it.  Meaning, it is either a figment of my imagination or this disk is off with Dusty, The Saw, from Handy Manny toolbox. 

As I reviewed the photos from the past 7 years, I have relived some special family moments and those fun and crazy times.  But most of all, I have this overwhelming feeling of sadness of a time that will never be replayed.  There’s nothing else I can to in this respect, but look forward to all of the todays and tomorrows yet to be.

For today, I will just gaze from the top of the mountain on Maui and hope to find some peace.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Philippe Is Missing!

Over the last two weeks, I have turned the toy boxes upside down.  Searched behind furniture.  Moved the sofa.  Checked the drawers of the end tables.  Between the cushions of the sofa, check.  Turned the recliners upside down.  Behind the fireplace screen, nope.  Checked all drawers and cabinets that are eye level to Jack.  Nothing.

And then, I started all over again.  Checked and rechecked until my knees were sore.  Philippe was gone!

handy manny  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these tools above, let me introduce you to Handy Manny, a Disney Channel cartoon for little ones.  Manny is bi-lingual and owns a fix it shop.  He lives in Sheetrock Hills and has lots of friends. 

Let me introduce you to the tools.  First on the left, is Philippe, Rusty, Tap, Squeeze, Turner, Dusty and Stretch.  Philippe was missing for several weeks now.  Yet this morning, Jack opened his toy box and pulled out Philippe!  I kid you not!  How did I miss this….

Hmmm…I wonder if his mother discretely placed Philippe into the toy box this morning. 

Update:  now Dusty the saw is missing.  This drives me completely and utterly INSANE!!!!!!! 

Monday, September 7, 2009

One Smiling Face

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…brings so much happiness into our lives…

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Fall Obsession

It’s Friday.  And this makes me happy.  Why, you may ask?  Well, on Saturday, college football begins!! 

This household plus my children are all Georgia Bulldog fans!  Neither attended Georgia, but does it count if they have partied there?? 

In several different SEC polls, Georgia ranks anywhere between 13th and 15th.  Considering our star quarterback, Matthew Stanford, was number one in the NFL draft (he went to Detroit) and the excellent Knowshon Moreno Georgia’s running back, went number 12 in the draft to Denver, I think this ranking is acceptable. 

The secret factor in regards to Georgia’s success, is their famous coach, Mark Richt.  Since coaching Georgia for eight seasons, his record is 82-22.  Secret weapon?  I think so.

Don’t call.  Don’t text.  Don’t tweet tomorrow.  I’ll be wearing my red and black for my boys.  Georgia vs. Oklahoma

georgia

Go Dawgs!

photo from www.georgiadogs.com 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Capturing Memories

As of late, I’ve been a little lax in the photography department.  I promised myself that I will break out the camera and snap away tomorrow because I recognized that time passes too fast.  For without photos to freeze that moment in time, that memory may be gone forever.  How often do we look at a photo from 10, 20 or even 30 years ago and say to yourself, “I remember that day as if it was yesterday.”

IMG_3472 On this perfect day, my BIL stopped at this lovely park his parents took him to when he was just  a boy.  How special I thought that he wanted to share it with his family.  For this day will forever be frozen in my memory, thanks to my need to travel with camera in hand.

 

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As evidence in this photo, I love people shots.  Over the years, I’ve taken my share of landscapes as evident in my Disney photos from years past.  If I have 1,000 shots of the EPCOT geodesic dome is probably a conservative number.  Recently, thanks to Jack, I want my photos to be up close and personal.  Subjects framed with little outside distraction.  Yes, I love to capture the faces.  This photo speaks volumes.  Skinny butt sister and her husband! 

Happy September, Friends!