Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I said it, I said it! This year will be a great year.
It is already full of changes for me.
Two more days and vacation.
Just in time as the computer at work is going bananas
and I have to do a lot of magic tricks to balance.
So I am leaving in the nick of time.

30 days of resting!!!!!!!
30 days of reading !!!!
30 days of teaching Toto what sand is.
30 Days to see Bob enjoy the ducks and wildlife (I hope)
Oh Boy , Oh BOy!

then more blessings................
my best friends from Belgium are coming this summer.
Got a phone call and plans are on the way!!!!
My cup runneth over!

I am counting like the little kids and saying:
Two more sleeps and we are on the waY!

Monday, January 7, 2008


Besides going nuts over our vacation is a few days I also run around with a big smile on my face.

What was so funny today?

Bob is sitting in a corner by the window with a book on Spanish verbs
he is trying to read spanish verbs!
SO what do I do?
I say how proud I am of him to learn Spanish again.
He said that he needs to do that.

Bob, we are going to Florida , honey! Not Spain, well then again he might be able to use his spanish verbs in Florida too.



Someone sent a review of her situation with Alzheimer and here are a few of the lines:

"You would almost think that it would help to be dealing with it on a couple
of fronts. You would think that the Alzheimer's seminars that I attended
because of my mother would have made me more aware of the cause of some of
the changes in my mother-in-law. There's a sort of kinship with my family
and my husband's family. We can compare war stories. And when I have to
beg off from one side because of the other side, they do all understand. We
all do manage to share a sense of humor - passing it around when sometimes
one of us loses our own. Mostly there's a lot of begging "Just shoot me if
I get like this" and gathering promises to "save yourself" if it happens.
Otherwise, it's amazing how little overlap there is.

I thought at first that I was living that old saying about being so busy
fighting off alligators that you forget that the real objective is to drain
the swamp. But in this case, the swamp can't be drained. We just have to
fight the alligators until the dam bursts and the swamp drains on its own.
Some times I feel cruel and cold to wish for that deadly heart attack or
that final bout with pneumonia but most of the time I realize that I would
have put my dogs to sleep long before this and called it mercy.

What I feel like most days is that I'm in a sort of Fun House. I have to
get out somehow and sometimes I can make it a little way through the maze
before the next thing jumps out at me or I hit a dead end and have to
backtrack. Fortunately, I'm not in there alone. And I keep reminding
myself that with all four parents now in their eighties and all with serious
health problems of one kind or another, this can't last forever. ......................"

She covered it very honestly .......I am at a loss many times to control
my own emotions of love and despair , guilt, depression .
You put all this in one bag, shake it and what comes out is an upset stomach, headaches,vertigo,a pain here and a pain there, it all eats you up inside.

My hairdresser said one of her clients went this week and left a husband with
Alzheimer. I understand how that works.
But I take my commitment very seriously and feel that I have to be here to take care of Bob, not the kids. So what am I going to do about it?
Well, I make deals with God , now if He is so inclined to listen to me then we are in good shape.
Humor, people, humor, without it you die.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Gifts from the 3 Kings

OK so if I remember right this is the day that they feast in Spain as the 3 Kings day.
The 3 Kings who went to the manger , brought gifts.
So it was with me today.
But it was a queen and a king. They brought me a huge package with goodies for our trip, you name it and it was in there, special jam, different cheeses, crackers , soups, fizzy stuff , divine smelling candle, canned stuff , packaged stuff and truffles, yum yum!!!!!

This queen and her king have been friends of ours for decades and it is always a pleasure to see them. We also had a very nice lunch.
The trouble with me is that I am starving for conversations. With no one to talk to at home besides the dog (he always agrees with me) I become a raving talking machine when I am having someone in my corner for 5 minutes.
A client in the store told me that her sister calls every day for 2 hours much to the chagrin of her husband who can't get a word to his wife.
She said : You know Jeannot, she takes care of our mom who has Alzheimer so she is
so hungry to talk to a grown up.
It struck me that she said "grown up" because at some point we start to think of the person who is afflicted that they are like children.

Bob can get very excited about a cloud or the way a bird flies to our feeder.
In some cases he makes me see a different world and one that I am too busy to notice.
The child in him, the artist in him is telling me "Look there is something else in the world besides you rushing here and there". I can only hope that he will see that for a long time to come and not go into total darkness.

One day at a time old girl, one day at a time!
Today was 3 Kings and they came to visit me.

Thank you old royal friends, thank you

Friday, January 4, 2008


Worked till noon and Sabrina came to get me at work with Bob.
Bob sat at the front of the store and told Sabrina how he could
walk home from there. He had it all correct.

HOWEVER on Jan 1 2007 he tried to come to the store, took a wrong turn,
and walked 6 miles into a closed youth camp.
It was a miracle that he found the street again into town , this is a huge camp, no one was there in the office because it being New Year Day.
A lady stopped for him along the road and gave him a ride back.
He did not remember where he lived, he did not have his ID necklace on.
He sat in the car and noticed a shopping bag from Steinmart and then he knew.
He said: My wife works there.
The lady dropped him off at the store and he decided to go sit on a bench in front
of the market next to us.
They called the police and said a confused old man was sitting there and did not
know where to go.
By then we had all the cops looking for him plus every one I knew driving around
the town.
He had been gone 5 hours and walked 6 miles!

Well, that was a year ago and I sure hope he never tries this again.
Your heart just sinks when you think of what could have happened.
An angel helped him out in many ways.

The rest of the afternoon was scheduled with a visit to an old friend who is 91.
I cant imagine being 91.
I do not have the money to live to 91. Yikes, that is another 16 years!
Bob sat quietly during our visit. He did not remember the lady but he remembered his paintings on the wall. Oddly enough he also had done a cat under a Christmas tree but not his usual tight style, he had done it rather loosely and he did not remember that work at all. The others he remembered.

An artist with a soul for nothing else but his art, from the time he was little.
His mother told me that he would come home with a bouquet of wild flowers and would be so proud. His older brothers would laugh at him and called him a sissy but he stuck to his
guns. While they were fixing cars , he went to the ballet with friends and listened to classical music. His father was a country music fan and he built his own shed in the back of the house so he could listen to the country stuff and not be annoyed with Bob and his Mozart.

Bob fell in love during high school with opera. His favorite was Carmen.
When we met he said only 2 women could pry him away from me and that was the opera singer Rise Stevens and Jane Froman who sang for ww2 soldiers in her hay day.
Lucky for me they were 2 old broads by then and they never did show up at our door.

The artist soul knows his own work but does not remember Carmen from Aida.
He listens to the music, still does not cotton to the Beatles nor my favorite Elvis.
The artist still lives in the brain cells , so is the kind gentleman.
Even when he tells me that I should go home and not stay the night , he is a gentleman.
He tells me he does not want strange women in the house.
My son said:"Mom, he still has all his values intact even with Alzheimer".

It is not always so with that disease. A third cousin had a doll for a husband, he was the nicest man and adored his wife. In the late stages of A. He became quite violent. SHe had to put him in a home where he was strapped in bed till the end of his life. He had become this violent.
He was either on drugs to calm him or strapped. It was horrible for her too.
Not only that he now spoke in German when he never had even learned the language and he also swore in German.

They say if you meet a person with Alzheimer then you have met one person with it.
Every one reacts differently. There are no set patterns. Not everyone becomes violent, not everyone last 20 years, not everyone dies from the same body malfunctions.
There are similarities , of course, but you never know what the patient will do one day from the other. There can be surprises every day.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

record cold in NC

While it is cold I am thinking "Florida".
So, I am hoping to be in a warmed up Florida a week or so from now.
In November I started to think about the many nice months Bob and I spent
in Destin. We used to be snowbirds in January , resting up after our many Christmas shows.
It was heavenly. We rented a small apartment right on the beach in an old building.
Walked out of our door unto the sand.

One year a big storm came and I forget what name they gave it.
It Just covered the ground floor and all apartments with sand.
There was no way that the sand could be removed so they just let the
apartments be buried.
We had the next level but it sure was weird to sit on top of the other one filled with sand.
The year after that they built expensive condo's on the place and that was the end
for us at that location.

So I sat dreaming by the computer about the great months we had enjoyed over the many years. Destin is quiet in January and the beach is just there for a few old souls who walk about and tell you "hello" as they go by.
Love it, just loved it.

I started a search to see what the price range was now. We had not been there in 8 or 9 year.
The figures hit me right between the eye. A price range not in my budget, to say the least.
Worse they do not want dogs, nowhere !!!!

I fell upon a site where owners rent their own place and not go by agencies.
I put in a request which stated:
Elderly couple, 6 lbs Maltese , well trained, desire a very small place in Destin for one month at an affordable price. Must be near a grocery store, a 7-11 will do.

I closed the window of the computer and told myself to forget it all.
To be sure by evening the thought had flown away and the next new concerns had replaced the dreamery. The phone rang. A lady told me she had a condo on a lake in Sandestin and she would let us bring our dog. She dropped her price considerably because that month was empty and
she just as soon have some money rather than nothing.

She gave me the number to check it out on line and I told her I would be back with her asap.
I think my heart was pumping a lot faster as I searched for the site.
The condo looked great and I could afford the price. Most of all we could bring Toto.

What now? Find someone to take us and bring us back. Yikes!!!!!!
How will Bob react when he so hates to go to a different place.
What will I do?
Answers came quickly. Sabrina offered to take us and come and get us.
She has a 4 day window off days. Rhonda offered too so we had no excuses on getting there.
We do have the best kids, we truly do.
I quickly dismissed the thought that Bob would be a problem.
I figure I am a big girl I can handle it.
I am getting a cel phone and alarms for the door handles so I can hear should he want to go out.
There is a restaurant within 100 yards and a mini grocery store.
The beach, I am told, is a 5 minute walk but no longer allows dogs.
From the back porch we can see the lake at our feet so to speak and hundreds of ducks (I am told) .Bob loves to watch our bird feeders so I am hoping he will love this.

It is a gated community so that helps too.
BUT at this point I am surely going into this with trepedation.
The bottom line is that I do not feel well and I do think I need a very long great rest.
My psoriasis has probably doubles.
I love my work but I worry constantly on how I will get home and get to work, now that it is winter. Even so my angels at work do the arrangements for me, I still feel I need to worry.
eBay takes up a lot of my time and I like that work too but I get carried away and have a mean conscience which tells me to do more, more, more.
I only rest when it comes 8 PM and I crawl in bed to watch TV and fall asleep 30 minutes later.

I want to read books, I want to just sit and do nothing.
Can I do this at home? NO NO and NO
There is always something pressing, something to do NOW.

So this is it, we are going to be snowbirds again, just like old times but without a car.
We can still walk on the beach hand in hand and look for shells.
We can still go and have a meal in the restaurant if we wish too.
We can still be ok together
Toto will learn what sand is even if he cant go on the beach, he will learn there are other smells in Florida and it will be an adventure for him too.
The cat may be missed but he will find her upon our return.

So my prayers are for 30 days of pure joy.
Books which do not require major thoughts and do not make me cry.
I will miss my scrabble computer partner but can do some other puzzles.
The beach air has been a healer for me since childhood and the colors of the
water around the Panhandle are just fabulous.

So I am getting excited about this adventure.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cold cold cold

It is colder than a witches tit , my friend used to say. And so it is in N C today.
It is 10 degrees on the front lawn.
We had a dusting of snow but even the birds are not coming to the feeder as yet.
Things are flying around and I was afraid to be hit with a flying object when I
walked the dog.
Bob keeps looking at the thermometer but he is not comprehending.
He has 3 sweaters on , that is ok as long as he is warm.
Last night he was wondering about a lot and very confused.
I was on the computer writing letters as I could not sleep and he came into
the office wondering who I was and who was the woman in his bed.
I went with him to the bedroom and showed him that I had gone and I would be back soon.
He did not like the explanation.
Told him to sleep but he kept walking around.
I gave up typing and went to bed next to him.
He was not so sure who I was.
The winds scare him, he keeps looking out of the window.
He is cautious like a dog before a storm , just sitting looking at the movement of the trees.

This is a day for a good soup so I started one and this is also good for Bob
I mix the veggies in the soup so he does not have to chew.
He is having a lot of problems chewing since his teeth have gone bad.
Cant get him to a dentist.

I am on some sort of high, do not know where it comes from but have been since
before New Years. First of all I feel in my guts that this will be a good year.
Second I seem to have a bit more energy this week.
Third I am keeping better order in the house since I have my Roomba and
I am getting ready for a vacation.
More about that later.
Could it be that I feel better because I am now on 20 Lexapro instead of 10?
Also knowing my friend Lee is coming back.
That is good news.

Last year I had a big shinding at the house for Xmas and I told the kids this is the last year that dad knows us all and we must make merry.
I was wrong, Bob knows us of and on. Namenda helps , I think.
He did not react much to Christmas and was confused yesterday when I took the live tree
down. I put it out on the sidewalk, he went back and put it in the yard.
Told him it is live but CUT. I think he wants to plant it.
Rhonda had put up the tree which I did not want and it turned out that was avery nice tree and I was acting like a brat.
After the tree was down, Bob worried again to know who's house we were in.
For the 100th time I tell him:
It is our house honey, it is ours, yours and mine and then he always answers:
Oh, that make me feel so much better.

I have put little signs all over the house telling him that this is his house.
But that also means when he does not know me that he tells me that I can go home now.

Well, lets go check on the soup.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!
Am I glad that 2007 is over and done with.
I knew last Jan 1st that it would be a bad one.
I just KNEW.
It was in many ways.
We also lost an inlaw/friend who had an enormous battle with cancer.
I have to know that she is in a better place.
Bob digressed but not as fast as I thought he would, so that was a plus.
Son had to move to Texas, that was the worst for me.

So 2008 is here and I have to work the first day of January but that is OK too
because to me it is just another tuesday and I am off tomorrow.
I have a better feeling about 2008 , I think it will be a better year.

My best friend who had moved away to Mass. is returning to NC and I
am just giddy about that. We had weekly lunches and we kibbitzed about our children and our lives. We have known each other since 1956 !!!!
I am so happy that she will return to us.

With that said I better get dressed , Steinmart is waiting for me to take care of their money.
Happy New Year