Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Internet

Little did I know in 1996 that I would become an internet addictive.
I was beginning to think that it was time to close my store.
Competition at that time was fearce, 14 other antique dealers within a mile radius.
Some went to the family as soon as they read the obituaries and asked to handle their estate sales.
It was doggie dog and I did not fit anymore.
I knew I would have to work but where?
I had a shop full of stock, 27 years in one place, you can't help but have goodies and
I was at a cross road.
To quote Yogi (was it?) when you get to a cross road take it! (or something like that).
I did not even see one road let alone two.

My son had a WebTV , very popular at the time. Not expensive and it was a new tool for a new generation. I did not think that I would EVER get into THAT.
One evening I was invited over for a demonstration of his new toy.
Young Bob showed me the infant Ebay.
WOW, you mean you can just put something up for sale on here and people in Kansas
will buy it? Yup! Get with it Mom. Start by listing Beanie Babies.
You do not need photos and you can do it all from a WebTV.

Next was where to get Beanie Babies, I had asked to be able to buy them when I was at
the Atlanta Mart and they refused me, they had to come and check out my store first.
They were showing right across from the German Steiff.
Their rep told me :"this is a fad but we will still be around when they are gone!"
So....no beanies in my shop.

I started to stand in line at 4 am in stores who had announced they would have a load when they opened. Husband and I filled our baskets with the allotted ones and went on to the next stop.
I sold hundreds of Beanies with often a great profit and I was HOOKED on Ebay.

The rest is history , I have 5900 feedback with 100 % positive.
I am damn proud of that.

So that was one phase of the internet.
Soon I started to blog about Alzheimer and was even paid by one company for my blogs.
I started to write to different people and thanks to the contacts I did discover a
whole new world.

Thanks to writers in WOWOW I got a nudge on where to apply for a pension with the VA
something the social worker had not told me.
That changed our income and is a great help for us.
Then I got medication at the VA too.

I became email friends with people that I will probably never meet.
I have a new friend in Chicago, a very bright, my age (young) , published writer.
She is always in a good mood and always brings me UP. She writes me
every day and how much I do learn from her attitude and her many travels.
I am now interested (like her) in Antartica. Wish I could take a trip there too.

I have emails from people who have it so much worse than I ever did.
Makes you take notice. One friend has polio,is blind, and now faces breast cancer.
How can one still write funny notes with all that?

I find the right kind of Japanese snails which clean my water feature without chemicals.
I found worm droppings (you read it right) terrific for my garden without chemicals.
I google every question which comes into my mind and what I still learn every day
is just such a blessing.

Old Bob's old buddies write me emails about when they were young.
How great to have their memories shared from a time I did not know him.

I am on my 4th computer. Worn them all out.
Worn out 2 cameras.
My latest is a jewel.
When I sell on eBay I use a LOT of photos so it is not unusual on a given week
to have used 500 pictures or more.

My only regret about this internet business is that it came too late to get my mother involved with it. She passed on before I knew about it. She was very smart and she would have
written me every day. She would never have bought on eBay. She was from the school that she had to feel it and see it in person.

Now I am sold on the computer but I stop there.
The gadgets my children have I can';t handle and do not need.
Ipod, MP3 or 4 or 5, Portable DVD , blue tooth, Blackberry or is it Blueberry?
None of this for me anymore.
I stop somewhere and it is with this baby who helped me write this bunch of
stuff which no one cares to hear anyway.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This is my water feature, and on the foreground the new plant I just HAD to have.
It is hardy so it will be around for awhile.

My first bloom too on the water lily, from now on I will have at least one flower every day.
Love the sound of the water and this is a small feature but I look at it every day at least a dozen times.
Great spot for meditation too.
Designed by Frank Fisher , he is a genius with natural looking water features. I am so lucky I have had this for the last 5 or 6 years.


Memorial day for me is not about a B B Q , it is the beginning of summer and when I blink it will be Labor Day. So I hope in between that time I get to enjoy a lot of garden time.

Most of all I have some gorgeous roses in bloom and I will bring them to the old cemetery just up the street from me.

The WW1 soldiers did receive a special plot there, about a dozen or so graves surrounded by a rock wall and a flag in the middle. I believe this is all courtesy of some Army group like the American Legion. I will bring my roses there and salute all of them. They liberated my parents and grandparents in Belgium.

Then I go and hunt for the graves that I know are WW2 heroes, they did not get special plots. And since I live in the South I must add that this is the "white" cemetery, the "black" cemetery is across the street, Do not know if it is still so.

I have an enormous loyalty to the soldiers who came over to foreign lands and liberated us.
What enormous courage. What bravery.
When I meet people they ask me where I am from and when I say "Belgium" the old timers immediately tell me "I was in Liege in 1945" , " I was there and there"
I always hug them and thank them. Without them where would I have been today?
They deserve my loyalty. I owe them my very life. My freedom.


I was waiting for months for my big event. The garden show of the year on Main Street.
I knew what I would wear and what necklace was going to be my show piece.
I love jewelry and they become more a part of who I am than my clothing.
So I look like a gypsy , I am one in my heart. Give me a suitcase and tell me I am
going someplace and I am in heaven. I do not even have to know where I am going.

Anyway, the long waited morning came and I knew what I needed, one more spot
in myEnglish garden needed a touch.

It was humid and a promise of some showers. So I needed a cart for the plants, a large umbrella for two, a camera, and a check book!!!
Bob was going to be my escort, I wanted him to be out a bit, not that he cares.
I shaved him, trimmed the hair out of his nose, put on his best Dior top (he used to be
a label freak and loved it when it said :"Dior".) He was all set for the walk, I was not so
excited anymore. I had my gorgeous necklace on, American Native carved bone, but the thought of dragging all this stuff behind me and keeping a hand in mine at all times, well....
it suddenly lost a lot of energy.
I was so lucky Sabrina called and came to get us......bless you my child.......and later brought us home.
I did not find what I needed in the show and only saw half of it as my feet truly started to hurt again and I did forget to take my Aleve. Oh! the joy of creaking bones!!!!!
I did find a trumpet kind of plant for the water garden, it is gorgeous, it cost a fortune but I already visited it twice this morning (in the rain).

Sabrina and Frank were set up with their water features and had a big attraction, they need it, these are hard times. There was competition in that too and then you also had the do-it-yourself people who think they can copy it. These water features of Frank are not tubs to fill with water they are amazing creations , they look so natural, you think you walked into the woods and
transported this into your yard.
here are some photos:


I am wondering why my dreams are always so negative.
My middle child reminds me :"you are a negative person, Mom"
I am in shock, MOI, negative?

I think about it with care, I thought I was at least middle of the road.
When I was a child every one around me used to say:
"Jeannot is so serious!"
They did not say "negative", serious is a better word.
I had reasons to be serious. There was the matter of fear, and then there was more fear
throw in your parents fighting all the time and it being WW2.
I was an only child, no one to play with and learn how to laugh with.
I did not even learn to mix and play at school.
Only when I was 17 and had a maniac boyfriend did I discover I could
actually have a belly laugh. I was hooked on that feeling. I hung on to him
for that reason, he made me laugh.
Later on I married a very funny man so I figured I had it made, unfortunately
he started sharing more laughter with others.

So why is everything so serious in my dreams?

My father's long time live in girl friend was in her 80's when she asked me:
" Jeannot, I always dream that I am young and I am dancing and I am
beautiful! Why is that?"
I figured that was about all she knew, a non educated lady who had owned a
bar for decades, lots of dancing, lots of drinking, lots of money.
Beautiful was a big stretch of the word, but she thought she was sexy and
She had pleasant dreams in her 80's ...oh...but the horror she must have felt
when she woke up. Old face , old legs and no dancing.

Now approaching the 80's faster than I care to admit, now I dream about
tragedy. Every dream I tell people that Bob has Alzheimer. My first words
to them. I see young men trying to seduce me and I tell them :I am married
and my husband has Alzheimer, now go away. Does that mean I am about to
become a "cougar" ? Heaven forbid!!!!OK, George Clooney will do.

I dream about my X cheating on me and I dream about trying to sell antiques
in a bad economy. How odd since I closed my store in 2001. I am still

I wish I was dancing and I wish I thought at least in my dreams that I was
gorgeous. I would promise myself not to look in the mirror in the morning.

Monday, May 18, 2009


A few of the people who are following this and are in the same boat, had written me
about their husband and or wife washing dishes all night long.
One of you wrote about getting him all plastic dishes so he would not break anything
and yet you would hear him "working" in the kitchen and know he had not left the house.

I figured that would not happen to Bob because he sleeps like a log.
for the last 2 night he is up and dressed between 3 and 4 o clock.

Actually I had a dream to go check the kitchen and the stove.
I woke up and RAN into the kitchen and there he stood right by the
stove pan in hand.

NOW the stove I purchased about 2 years ago and he has NEVER turned it on.
He said from day one that it was complicated and would not use it.
He has n't.
I do have the children safety buttons for it and had not used them for awhile
in an false thought that I would not need them.
Think again.

So we are at a new dawn. I do not hear and he is always very quiet getting dressed anyway , we have a night light and that is enough for him. So a new house police is in order.

This afternoon I had to go to the drugstore, about 5 blocks from our home.
Bobby has a bad infection (tooth) and I picked up some ibuprofen
old Bob insisted on going with me. I wished that he did n't for it would make
the walk so much longer, he walks very slowly.
I was shocked to see that he remembered nothing.
Not even our street.
Not our home until he was right at the driveway.
He did not know the church he went to, he kept looking at it but when I asked
what this was he said "I do not know".
He is going down hill very fast now.

When the bus brought him home he didnot know the house and did not\
want to come in. He wanted back on the bus.
aFter awhile he warmed up to me and came in.
That was a first too.

One thing I have learned in the last months is rule number one:
Never argue. It took me forever to get that.
Control freak, I am so I wanted always to explain things to him and
that no longer works.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the latest in graduation fashion

and please know that a lot did go bare feet on the podium:


not sure if I was praying here

Was I ever proud

Nick graduation

Grandson Nick graduating from UNC-A
We did not know and neither did he that he was being called to the podium to receive the
humanitarian award for community service. A silver plaque engraved and a 500 dollar check.
We sat nailed to our seat as we did not know and it was not on the program.
Proud grandma, I am, Nick on his way to Virginia Tec to med school.
Here some photos :

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More complaining

So yes, I am in a mood all of a sudden.
Remembering a meeting I had the other day at day care.
A young nurse is always getting into my hair.

For instance talking about Bob's frequent trips to the bathroom.
Immediately the nurse said we need to see a urologist.
The poor girl goes by the book, she probably finished school
yesterday, but what she did not read is the book on Alzheimer.
It was a shock to her to hear that indeed he did not HAVE to go
to the bathroom, he FORGOT he was there a minute ago.
And NO, he was not able to pee every time.

Oh the morons in this world.
Have you noticed that I am in a bad mood?

Bob 's flower

Bob came home from daycare and gave me this flower.
Then turned around and decided to give it to Bobby.

What am I supposed to do with this?
Think about it.

Should I be jumping up and down because he made a flower? He the artist who has paintings in museums. Should I jump for joy knowing that he could not even have finished this flower and he does not even remember how it got in his hands.

You would if your baby was in pre school and did this.
When a person is almost 83, that bouquet only reminds us where we can end up.

Mind you, the day care people do try to keep them busy but I am not amused
by this presentation.

I took the photo and after that it ended in the garbage.
So I did not take my pills today and my thyroid is going south.
How many reminders do I need in my house to know that mu husband
is gone and a stranger moved into his body.

Luncheons I love

I had lunch yesterday with my writer friends.
Celia Miles has written several books and is preparing one
on clothing. She and another well known writer had asked
several people to write something about "clothing".

Since I am always writing my memoirs had a story tucked away which I needed to rewrite. I hate to rewrite with a passion. I hate to edit. I just want to sit down write what is coming into my head and basta no more. It is down on paper so forget it already. That is my style.

Unfortunately I live with a critic, son is a very good writer and started to tell me what I had to change and add. I was not a happy camper.
So when I wrote the short story for the third time, I said : Basta!No more.

To my surprise Celia told me during lunch that I am IN.
Book comes out about October. Fifty or more stories. SHould be interesting.
Mine goes back to 1942. War time in Belgium.
That is all I will say about it now.

I sat in shock, picking on my fish and chips and I asked my only editor if I could truly say that I was published.
She answered : Absolutely.

Of course several of my war stories have been published over the years but this is not a magazine or news paper it is a book!
So what if I will cover only a page or two. I am on my way.

It does not take much for me to get excited. Young Bob has a new interest in my garden and helped me transplant some hostas and I was in heaven.
It is the little things that count. (Is that good English? I am in Bubba country and often catch myself talking funny)

Besides the good news L and C always let me talk and I am a talker.
So by the end of the luncheon I am thinking what I all forgot to ask them.
They are good sports and very quiet lovely people so they let me empty
the brain and pay for my lunch on top of it.
Is that friendship or what? We have know L since 1971.
Good friends are hard to come by, I am lucky.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day 2009

What a great day we had.
Weather was great and I did not have to cook.
Rhonda unfortunately could not come as she had kidney stone problems.
That is enough to wipe out anyone.
However she bought us tickets for Tom Jones at the Biltmore in July, front seats too.! WOW!

Sabrina and Zack came and brought lunch and dessert so we could just sit outside in the gazebo and enjoy. Young Bob was in good fun form and made the afternoon just fly away.

Check out the photos: Zack is 13 and 6 feet tall. Wrestles in school and track. He will be going to high school. He is also in advanced math. Plays the saxophone.
Sabrina is the dizzy blond, my middle child.
We call her "dependant" no other name could be better for her.

Old dad did not know why all the fuss today, in the olden days he would have joked and told me that I was not his mother so he was glad he did not have to buy anything. He reminded the kids!!!!

The outdoor gazebo which is truly a fancy tent is great, we had down pouring rain this week and it did not get wet in there.
It was lovely to sit out there and see the new flowers I put in.
I can't resist a flower and Friday, Sabrina and I went to a lovely nursery and I lost track of time and my check book. Hoping these perennials will come back next year, I lost a lot this winter. Trying to get a corner in the garden which looks like my grandfathers, he had tons of lupines, they grow nicely in Belgium.
In N C it is another story, wild in some states too. I have been struggling for years to keep them going here.

A great week we had and hope the same for you and we will continue in that spirit next week.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Super clear day

What a gorgeous day. Yesterday the Tornado warnings, a lot of trees down and some
mud slides. We were spared. Now a clear blue sky and 70 degrees.

Planting time, I still need to fill some holes, need more color in the yard.

Bob and I got our bonus from Obama. It all helps.

Sabrina checked into eventual VA help for a rest home for Bob and was told that there is no room at the inn for the Vets UNLESS they are career soldiers.

I had been told that before but we had so much information which did not pan out so Sabrina wanted to hear for herself, of course, by then I had regained some sort of "normal" and decided I could not let him go anyway.

Otherwise I had great news on how to fix up the house but do not want to get into it as I do not want to jinx it.

Found a new way to get Bob up and happy, I put on his underpants and added a big flower to is and pretended it was a hat. He thought it very funny so he got up smiling, put on the pants -sans flower- ate his breakfast and got on the bus without one negative word.
Think I can do that again tomorrow, he probably will not remember that it is a deja vue.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For better or worse

Yesterday I lost my marbles. They had been rattling in my brain all day. By night fall I decided perhaps I should start thinking about getting Bob into the VA nursing care.
Then I talked to Sabrina and she said we would start with a call to the social worker.

Then I went to bed , tucked in Bob put up the lounge chair against the bed so he would not fall out. Crawled next to him while watching TV that I did not even comprehend and then he took
my hand (like he always does) and I lost it.

The marbles got back into place in my confused crazy head. I said out loud:
I can't let you go. I just can't let you go.
I made a promise - again- not to let him go to a care unit.
Perhaps, I told myself, if and when he is bedridden and I can't handle to pick him up
and all that, perhaps then................now........no way.

What was I thinking?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Are we May 4th already.

The months seem to melt into one another pretty soon it will be Memorial day and then
you sneeze and it is Labor day and winter is coming to check on you with the long cold
days. Yuk Yuk,
When we lived in the Santa Cruz mountains I thought it was total paradise.
We only had rain in January or February and the rest of the year it was in the seventies.
No humidity.
Yesterday you could cut the humidity with a knife, I can handle the heat but the humidity is not for me, great for my flowers.
May is also memory month.
May 10 1940 Belgium was at war. The day is etched into my brain. May 12 1907 my father was born, he had to steal food for his siblings during was 1914-1918.

May 18 2008 we lost a great human being, she had already done more good in her short 32 years than most of us do in a life time. I miss her a lot.
During the month of May Bob used to tease us about his upcoming birthday, he constantly said he was 18. Now he would not give you a thought if we celebrated or not.
June 8th he will be 83.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I had been waiting for a Louis Malle movie from Netflix, seen it many times before.
Movie is about his youth in France and so much of it I lived in that same environment.
I think it is a master piece.

Then the film came and suddenly I knew I could not watch it again.
Here I waited all week for it and it is right in front of me, to put it into the
player was impossible.

Has this old girl gone totally romantic? gone bananas? afraid of facing the past one more time?
I just do not know "me" anymore.

Emotions run high and low almost every day. What happened to the woman who could
handle all the familly's woes and cries.? Where am I?

Where will I find me again?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 1 traditions

In Belgium on May first one gives mini bouquets of lily of the valley to friends and family as a token of good luck.
Venders stand on street corners with the mini bouquets and wish you well.

So I always have lily of the valley flower beds in the shade.
I also have pink ones.

After I found out I got slammed in my debit card account I did not feel so lucky.

Walked downtown to the bank to sign an affidavit and they promised me the money and
will returned. When? They have no idea.
It did not matter my garden to be full of lily's it was not a great day.
On top of that I figured out that I had not walked downtown for a long while and
I was totally out of shape and exhausted.

I better start stepping up with the walks I promised I would do.

So on to May 2nd and lets try this again, I will fetch me a bouquet under the shade of the spruce tree.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Last night Bob came to bed with his baseball cap on so I asked him to
take off the hat.
He immediately started to take of his top.
One does not realize item by item, word by word , that is vanishing every
He had no idea what a hat was but a few days ago he had said the word.
So we do have to make sure when we make a declaration of a whole sentence
that most of it is lost.
One does not know for sure what the comprehension is about ANYTHING, what worked yesterday does not work today.

Scam on my debit card

Not a happy camper today.
I was so content that I had 2 lunches out this week.
First we celebrated Sabrina's 49th birthday on the Biltmore estate.
Had a nice lunch at the Bistro.
Late afternoon we stopped for an icecream at TGIF , the place was empty.
But that day someone used my debit card to charge 375.00 for an ad in
Seattle newspaper.
So now I have that hassle to get this back in my account.
I felt so safe with my debit card and I do check it almost every day.
Now 2 days later I made that discovery.

It sucks to have to live and check and check everything.
Read all the fine print or you get screwed.
I just would like to go back to money in the teajar , no credit card and the milkman bringing me butter, cheese and whatever right at my door.
Having said that I would not be able to have so much information and fun on the internet now would I?

My mother in law who passed at 86 told me over and over again that she was ready to go not because of ill health but the world became too confusing to her. I thought it odd, that was 20 years ago , now I am beginning to think like her.