Monday, June 29, 2009


The word courage in French seems to have more of a punch (to me) than
the English word.

My mother used it often.
Time and time again she would tell me :"Courage, Jeannot, courage"
She would remind me that we courage she survived.

During this past year when everything seemed to go downhill for me
(mentally) I often checked into my boots for more courage and I ran out.

I read Anais's words the other day:
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage"

I pondered that for a long , long time, found it to be true. Oh , so very true,
so I looked again into my boots and found that indeed I have a new supply.
I can't continue to let my life shrink , I need to expand while still here.
I hear my mother again : "Courage, have courage".

Less knowledge of mechanics

This past week was a big change in the knowledge on how to operate more
mechanical stuff which we take for granted.
Zippers are already a thing of the past, that was months ago.
Now he can't open a can of soda anymore.
Now he can't close his belt without a great struggle.
(I think I need to invest in elastic band pants)
The velcro on his shoes does not seem to work anymore either.
Oddly he was trying to make a bow out of the strips .
Like he would have with shoe strings.
Towel rack yanked off the wall as the towel did not want to stay put.
He did not remember how to hang it on both sides.

He cuts branches from every plant and replants it in pots
in the ground, drapes them around young Bob's car,

gives water to my silk arrangements in the house.

continue to poison the dogs with daily milk sessions
so we have emergency dog runnings.

checks every one in the street's garbage bins and often brings
the bin to our house.

besides that everything is normal
or is it?

Great week ahead

Grandson, Oscar is coming to spend some time with us this week.
I am looking forward to it , I know there will be some laughter and noises in this very quiet house.
The negative will be old dad. Yesterday when my other grandson came for just a few minutes, then he started in on him right away.
He just does not like children anymore.
We are in for it with battles but we know what is coming so we can
just learn to ignore.
Hard on the children but they too have to learn that Grandpa is sick.
He is not the one they used to know.

Friday, June 26, 2009



Old Age, I decided, is a gift
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother/father!), but I don't agonize over those things for long..

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less
gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 3 AM and sleep until noon ?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's, 60's & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. THEY TOO, WILL GET OLD, ONE DAY !

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken... How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become . I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be... And I shall eat dessert every single day. ( If I feel like it).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


it had been working up for that, I am sure, I did not see it coming, yesterday was just another day like all others. Bob came home at 4 from day care.
Somehow he decided he could not hang up his tower in the bathroom so he hung onto the bar till it broke away from the wall.
Somehow this was what broke the camels back on my patience for the day and I started a low soft crying jag, it took up steam and within a short time I was howling like a wounded dog. Son held me and did not say a word.
I do not know how long that all took and what was it all about.
I knew somehow I was reaching a deadline of some sort, more like a dead end.
I felt that I wanted to go for a long walk and never come back.
I was too tired to walk, to exhausted.
When my daughter called she knew I was in trouble and shortly she
came and got daddy in her car for the night and day at her house.
I think this is a first in 11 years.(we are going into our 12th year).
This morning I found out that I still think he is here and that I still do
my routines the way I usually do, checked the bedroom over and over again then figure it out " he is not here".
I am thinking that my life is totally wrapped around his needs.
I am on an automatic rolling walkway and I can't get off anymore.
Sure the 4 hours a day help with day care but I am left with 138 that he is mine. That is a full time job with little left for what truly interests me.
When I am finished with "bare minimum" housekeeping then I am tired and fall asleep, sometimes at my computer.
If he catches me sleeping he wakes me up for he thinks I am not supposed to be in that situation.
I am an the end of my rope.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Why is that giving the old gent a sponge bath is like bathing the cat?

He was always so neat about his person and now he hated water and soap???

What is his mind telling him?

Worn out I am when I do that job and hate it!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I am in a mood. I am trying, trying hard to come out of it.Usually Sunday mornings I watch the politicos, Biden is on this morning and I have yet to turn on the TV.

I would prefer to have a cooking show now and I start something new in the kitchen and eat and eat.
It is only 9 am, Jeannot, give it a break.

Last evening was horrible with old Bob. He was in a mood and nothing I made for him suited him.
Now if he eats a strawberries he takes out what he thinks is bad ,like a tiny seed.
I forgot the first rule last night : NEVER ARGUE
Result: I made myself miserable, when will I ever learn.

Gorgeous day today. Slight breeze, it is about 74 and lovely.
I have so much to be content about.
I am blind to it today and I am on the pity pot.
Not a pretty picture.
So I will go and water the garden, listen to the cardinals and see if I can pull myself together and let go of the anger.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday and all is well

Had a fantastic day and I am not sure why but I will take it.
I am having so much fun learning to handle the new computer and
the new camera.
Then I got a very nice long email from a friend who wrote about my husband when they were both in college.
It was very touching.
I managed to clean up quite a bit and enjoy the weather.
Then old Bob came home in a bad mood but I did not let it get to me,
that is the good part.
I may be in for a difficult night but will try and stay in my mode.

Sabrina is out camping and the first thing on the news tonight was a
drowning at the lake where they camp. Finally they said it was an 18 year old. That does not make it any better for that family involved but I did
relax my stomach a bit when I knew it was not my gang involved.
Selfish, I know.Sorry. I can't handle the slightest upset anymore, I am
totally spent when it comes to accept bad news.

Good news in sport. The only thing I do watch is the Stanley Cup play offs and NC or Pittsburg I was rooting for.
Miracle, Pittsburg won. Detroit will be angry tonight while they will swing and sway in the PA streets.
I say Miracle but this is a young team with the next Gretzky among them, a kid named Crosby, he has talent! He also got hurt but did come back on the ice.

Here's hoping for a nice week end, a quiet one.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One of my gorgeous red roses, the most delicate perfume. took the photo before a storm, now she is washed out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 8 1926

The date had great meaning to my husband , he loved to be teased about his age and he always said he was 18.
But this year he is 83 and he did not know it.
Did not have one clue about a birthday, about the date, about his age.
Sibblings called but he did not know them and did not know why
he was on the phone.

It was a sad day.
I had a hard time getting over it.
But such is the truth of it.
We all knew the day would come.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today the day care called, said husband was not behaving his normal self.Agitated, she said. OK, there are days like that, said I.
Well, said she, we like him to be calmer.

Perhaps I could check his batteries when he gets home and unplug a few so he is not running on full throttle.?
WhaT do they expect in a day care full of people who have for the most part brain problem. ?????

For me it was a great day. Excellent in fact.
I did receive a new computer (gift from son) mine was becoming so slow , at times it took me 8 minutes to get my email. Let alone posting photos somewhere. This is also Vista. I think I am going to like this, now I have to learn on how to work his keyboard. A bit different.

Old Bob did not want to come out of the bus. He asked the bus driver to take him back, when he got in he sort of figured out saomething and sat down for his special shake and a sweet bun. Kicked the dog a bit and started to feel at home.

The night had not been so good.
I am almost asleep in my seat, I should have slept this afternoon but instead played Mah Jong on the new computer games. Bad girl.
I am paying for it now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MINI COG test for Alzheimer's dementia

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Mini-Cog Test for Alzheimer's and Dementia

The Mini-Cog is a simple three minute test that is useful in detecting mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or an early stage of Alzheimer's. The research study, included below, showed that the test has a high degree of accuracy (83 percent).

Please note:

  • If you decide to try this test and,
  • you find the results of the test suspicious
  • Please don't jump to any conclusion until
  • You consult with your personal care physician
  • And, schedule a test with a memory specialist.
The Mini-Cog is a simple diagnostic test that can be carried out by an individual. It can be used if you are concerned about mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer's. However, if the results are suspicious, the test should be replicated by a physician or doctor specialist.

There are three parts to the test.

First, name three objects and then ask the person being tested to repeat them back to you (for example, chair, house, apple). If the person cannot repeat the three objects after a few tries (cannot learn them), please consult a physician immediately. If the person can complete this task move on to the following.

Second, ask the person to draw a clock. The clock should include the shape and the numbers on the clock. Pretty much like a simple clock you see on a wall.

Third, ask the person to repeat the words/objects from the first part of the test.

If the person is unable to repeat any of the words, they might be categorized as mildly cognitively impaired or suffering from dementia. The key word so far--might.

If the person can repeat all three words the person is not "probably suffering from dementia".

If the person cannot draw the clock or if it looks abnormal they would fall into the category of "probably" suffering from mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

You should note that many people that cannot past this test might be suffering from some other illness. This is why it is necessary to consult your doctor and a memory specialist.

The person you are testing could be suffering from depression, hypothyroidism, or any number of illnesses that can present as Alzheimer's or dementia. This is why it is necessary to get a complete battery of tests performed by a medical professional prior to any "official" diagnosis.

The article below describes the Mini-Cog (MC), with a Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) and the results of the research study. Please read this carefully.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


We're coming into the final stretch, and we expect that in the next week or so we will start seeing actual legislative proposals for health care reform.

After a brief recess for Memorial Day, Congress is returning this/next week for what will be a grueling month of legislative activity. As we must keep the pressure on them, AFA is participating in another Congressional Call-In Day on Thursday, June 4.

On Thursday, June 4 beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern, please call toll-free to (866) 281-7219. The system will ask you to say your state name and then transfer you to one of your Senators. When you get through, tell your Senator that inclusion of long-term services and supports in health reform is a must for individuals facing dementia, their caregivers and families.

We hope you will forward this email to others. Please note: phone lines are open only on Thursday June 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Monday, June 1, 2009


My understanding that Trusera had to close up shop.
Expensive to run these elaborate sites. Too bad it was a great place, especially for sharing
problems with autistic children.

I am currently checking out comments on Alzheimer via :

Hope you may find some answers too.

Trying on hats, our friends Willy and Nicole ,Sabrina and Mom

Photos from Asheville

The grand lady herself :


so, yes we have visitors from Ghent, arrived Friday.
My week end was Topsy turvy.
I had to leave hubby with son while I did a bit of run around.
Not a good combination.
At this point they do not like each other very much.
Good old dad does not know this person and is often mean to him.

ANYWAY.....I had 2 days out. (not overnight)
and it was really nice to be with "normal" adults, baby boomers!
They still have spunk and make jokes, throw bits of water on each other from the fountains,
try on hats in stores , mess up their tops with huge ice cream cones and laugh when the
chunks of chocolate chips hang on the nose.
I miss laughter.
My house is very somber.

Visiting the Biltmore castle for the umpteenth time while my feet hurt was
not a good plan for me and I did not want to spoil it for the others.
Rhonda suggested (very gently) to put me in a wheelchair, followed with:
Yes, I know you will not give in to THAT.
I surprised the crowd and said "YES" .If they wanted me along then OK
put me in a wheelchair and I will enjoy it all from a different point of view.

We followed it all up with a grab a bite at an Irish Pub in Asheville, a live
band was there to entertain us. Our friends tried the local beer and said it was
good. (Hard to get approvals from Belgians on their beer).

I had been gone from 9 to 9 but by 6PM I started to worry, worry, worry.
Thinking all sorts of stuff MIGHT be happening at home.
I just can't let go of my responsibility for this man.
I wish I could for a few hours but even when he is in day care and the
phone rings, my first thought is thatit must be the day care with bad news.
It never is.


yES, that is the title.
National Geographic wanted to know where the most historically authentic towns were.
They picked the whole world intheir survey.
No 1 was Wachau and the Melk Abby in Austria
number 2 was the Rideau Canal Corridor in Ontario Canada and
number the city of Ghent (Gent-Gand) in Belgium.
Town where I was born and my whole ancestry as far as we can go was from that town.

Now you chocolate seeking tourist all have been to Bruges, the Venice of the North,
well the National Geographic decided that the city was an open air Museum.
The city of Ghent is vibrant, young and alive with modern ideas mixing in between the
many Cathedrals, Castles, Opera houses and so forth.
The town does not survive solely on tourism, the 600 years history will view a very hard working population through the ages. Industry around the town but the centrum is intact as it has been for centuries.

I am delighted to be a "Gentenaar" in my very bones even so my passport tells the world
I am an American and have been for more than 50 years.