Friday, December 31, 2010

End of 2010

In a few hours it will be 2011.

Remember to write that on my checks!!!

Brie sent me my "horror-scope" I am supposed to make much money starting May1.
I can handle that.

Of course I would love nothing better that a great year for all of us.

Peace in all regions.

Young B. to become healthy.

Continue life with Bijou, my best buddy.

Happy New Year to all my pals who have been listening to my ramblings.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How many more sleeps till it is 2011?

I keep telling myself that 2011 is going to be grand.
OK. Keep doing that , Jeannot.
So I am getting into the spirit of better days ahead.
Better than what I was a week ago.
Christmas celebration were to complicated for us and I started it all.
Scrooge was to blame.
So we are passed it.
Let 2011 ring with clear bells and promising adventures to come.
and No I did not have a drink besides coffee this morning.

This cat has more than nine commercial lives so I am hoping to'
start with a small space and sell "stuff" in Brevard.
The necklaces were a hit in California and the Hospice was
delighted with their check.
New models are getting on the way.....
Valentine Day is not far away so I am gathering hearts.......

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing day 2010

So glad and relieved all the hoopla is over with.
No wondering who will be pleased.
Who will talk and who will not talk.
Drama's left and right.
So exhausted from it all.
All because I wanted a quiet Christmas.

So on to the new.
I am looking forward to a new year.
I can't be anything but better than last year.
It has to be so much better.

So lets look ahead with anticipation that I can work
in the garden in 2011 and that I can walk without pain.
That I can make my jewelry and people do like it.
That I can outfox the IRS who now wants all sellers on eBay
to file if you sell more than 200 items in one year.
Gosh I can sell 200 postcards in one month (for instance)
How many people sell items for 99 cents? A lot of them.
More paperwork for the IRS and more $$$$from us , for what???
a war here and there?

OK OK just got a lecture from son.
He is right, we must start paying somewhere.
When I had a shop and sold on eBay I listed everything and
did pay taxes on the income I got from eBay sales.
HOWEVER...if I will sell again on eBay it is solely my personal
Son said it is the law that we pay on anything we sell.
I don't understand that very well....
oh well..not the only think in life I do not understand.....

PS Kahleb can't get into Charlotte airport until Tuesday
too much snow everywhere.

Sabra has 1 day delay too much snow in Paris
Poor kid she so deserves a nice trip with her daughter.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas day 2010

I started out by getting another email from a dying friend.
What do you write to someone who has numbered days and is in pain.
You can't use the usual cliche and say "get better".
He can't get better.
You can tell him to try and stay without pain and get the help
he needs from Hospice.
I can't tell him that he will go here or there, he does not have
a spirituality sense nor a religion.
He has lived a full life.
Perhaps too full to keep organs working.
Who knows.
So I wrote something lame and said that I hoped he would see Bob.

Better days we can remember when we sat on his veranda in Maui
he had a store mannequin on his deck and she had faded.
He asked Bob to repaint her face and nipples.
Between a few brandy glasses Bob had the courage to sit on his knees
and paint nipples. It was a sight.
It would be fun if these two met again who knows what he would be
asked to paint next.

Inside the Maui house is a fabulous collection of paintings by Bob.
We traded with my friend , traded a large ball of Gouda cheese,
some other foods when they had been to Holland and we lived in Spain.
At last we traded a bunch of paintings for a VW bus with illegal Belgian
license plates. We were young and crazy.

We brought the bus back to the USA and it cost us a bundle to have it changed to our specs but we made hundreds of trips still with that worn out VW.

I hope you can rest in peace very soon, Hawaian bon vivant.

Friday, December 24, 2010

what I wrote end 2008

lessons coping with Alzheimer

Monday, December 29, 2008
Retirement day with excitement
I don’t know how to make an entrance but I sure know how to exit.
Yesterday, Dec 28th, last day at work.
I am retiring....again.
I was mixed with emotions , love the job, no energy, need to care for
the man at home.

Went down the hall to get my paperwork and my throat decided to
close. I mean “closed” for further operations.
I turned around in panic saw my manager and motioned that
I was chocking. Not chocking on food, mind you, just no air, period,no air.
Mgr tried the heimlich but no results, a client started to bang on my back, no results.
I thought I could feel my head burn and figured I was beat red and
someone said : She is turning blue. Get the medics.
I had the presence of mind to think that here I was in the middle of
the store and I was going to die on my retirement day.
No fair, I thought, but I was not even alarmed at that.

Then a very slight peep came out from the throat and I started in
earnest to try and cough and cough. I knew that if I could cough then
some air was coming in and I would be fine.
In a flash I remembered having this about 8 years ago and
the medics came with oxigen and took me to the hospital.
Same feeling.
This time the medics did not come that fast and I was able to do
some breathing and very slowly could talk again.
I have no idea who was all there but a small group had gathered
around me and a chair had been put under me.
I felt I would faint but I never did.
When the help came ,I explained to them what had happened and
was told that one of their own had this. It is a spasm in the throat
and shuts out all the air.
I refused the hospital trip as I know that is a good $500 I did not
Daughter was on the way to get me and was rather non-chalant
when every one in the store was agitated. Her reply was:
she is OK now and I did not see her blue!

I had not finished my work. The deposits were not done.
I felt horrible but mgr told me to just relax and go home.
That is not my style. I should leave on my last day with
work undone?
I went to lunch came back and finished what I had started.

They knew at work that I had been dependable for 3 1/2 years I was not going to change it now. But it sure worked up a lot
of applause. I just know how to make an exit.

what I wrote end of 2009:

enf of 2009
Going to check what I wrote a year ago but I do not think that I was figuring on having my worst year yet.
In a way I truly had a lot of help via the VA. Bob is in day care. That should have sufficed to send me singing like a bird and have time to myself.

Somehow, somewhere, I became more and more tired and had less compassion (afraid to say) less patience, less money,
ans was faced with the downhill of the AD disease.
Bob became more violent, a big surprise to me, this was a very gentle man. More distance between him and the family.
I became "she" or the woman and Bobby became more and more hated.

The scenes of anger, frustration became more frequent on all sides. I think he is just as tired of this new mind which does not remember what happened 2 seconds ago.
Imagine for one second if my old and dearest friend would suddenly see a film with him in a rage. How would he feel? He would be devastated. He would be so sorry that he handled us that way, but he does not know.

The cliche , of course, is always "it is not him, it is the disease". Hard for me to put this all together at times.
I also can't understand the word "closure" Guess I need a shrink.

The thyroid is not helping, that plays a big part with being tired and sometimes just exhausted.

I am hoping for a better understanding of it all in 2010.
We are going in the 13th year. I should be used to it by
now/. We never get used to it- is the answer.

Christmas eve 2010

Every Christmas we wondered if dad would still be here.
Last year he had problems with the crowd but sat in his
chair and looked confused.
I think we no longer said "will he be here next year".

He is gone.
Last year we did not expect that I would break my ankle and that he would land in a nursing home.....

I miss him so much.
I canceled all celebrations because I can't be false and sit and be merry when
the tears are always right there at the door waiting to fall unto the cheeks.
Hate it.
I do not want to be a drama queen.
I do not want to spoil it for others and yet I did.
I feel I need quiet and lots of sleep.

Wherever you are, Mr Christmas nut , come and ``tell me it will be ok.

I love you and miss you.
This is a horrible evening,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I am hibernating, the derriere is bigger and the nights longer

I got up at noon.
Noon? I said to myself.
So what?
Who cares?
What difference does it make?

Had a nice visit with daughter Rhonda last night.
Perhaps we can get peace in the K clan again.
Let the holidays pass...let the madness go away.

I saw the young shiny faces at my grandson's concert beaming as they sang:
Joy to the world....
I pondered over these words and thought what nations are enjoying "JOY" what nations are having Peace? How many are fighting because of religious beliefs?
How many are dying for their belief.
Soldiers, innocent children, suicide bombers, old people, young people...
it does not end.

Of course I know I am being told that I am in a depression because I lost a dear one. OK , I will go along with that but then I also seem to feel for others at a
different level ...always , always there are people who at the end of the year take stock of how many are missing at the table. How many no longer answer a telephone call. We all have to go sometime but war of any kind is disgusting to me.

I know a couple of people with sons in Afghanistan.
One is a waitress and we we enter the restaurant I am afraid to see her face with tears. She worries, a lot. Another Mom has her son over there for the 4th time.
She wonders how many times he can dodge a bullet, an explosion.

Life goes on and who is the winner?
Is there ever a winner?
Should there be a winner?

I better go back to bed this is getting to me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


will the sleeping and the crying stop?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday and what fun next? Sleeping

I can't believe it.
I went to bed after the Madrigal, about 10.30
I woke up the next morning at 12.30 PM, lets say it was afternoon.
By the time I did a few things I was having breakfast at 3.30
and my day was shot.
I keep hearing my Mother's voice that if you sleep then you need it.
why do I need this much sleep????

Frustrated, I am.
that is a lot of time lost.

The Good Friday

Yesterday I had a great lunch with friends L and C and after that Sabrina picked me up to go to the Madrigal put on by the Brevard High School.
I took a nap before we left (just to remind myself here how much I sleep)
the Madrigal was a hoot. First of all since I know fabrics and hunted the best for 13 years while making the Father Christmas dolls ,I was surprised at the quality of the costumes. The best brocades , velvets and laces, and the kids walked gently in them so I doubt many repairs are needed after the show. I loved it. The designer is a retired costume maker from Disneyland. She knows her stuff.
The meal prepared by a retired chef who went to the Cordon Bleu school in Paris.
Brevard is lucky to have talented retirees and they are willing to work some more.

The singing was great, the chorus once again in top shape. Several soloist showed their best voices and we were impressed.
The end of the meal with pudding, of course.
The Jester inviting 6 fathers in the audience.'
Frank was one of them. A game insued and the jester told the guys what to say and what gestures to do.....I am a gentleman and went to Paris and bought blah blah blah...with every purchase came a gesture. It was silly funny to see grown man waving arms and pending knees on commands while yelling "Cuckoo, Cuckoo".
Frank was in full swing and did us honor.....
The audience was in stitches and we all went home with a smile on our face.
I was glad I saw it and glad that I had a great laugh, in fact the best I had in a very , very, long time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tomorrow Madrigal

Never been to one of them there parties.
Presented in a church by the High School students.
Zack is in it.
I hear it is a hoot.
I can use "hoot".
It will only rain tomorrow so we are OK then.
Also as I write the black ice is melting and it will be
a ok by
Could not get onto the steps this morning
do not want another fall.

Surprise, Christmas gift I did not ask for but will enjoy a lot

I said NO Christmas gifts, we are all very tight with money this year.
All agreed.
Then Bobby shows up with a new TV for my bedroom-NOT a Christmas present
Then shows up a year of The New Yorker.
Love that magazine.....
I was reading till 1 30 last night , in bed......
the articles are all so varied but so well written.
So I read about a Russian millionaire in jail being mistreated went on to some mock Santa Claus stories....onto Some statues of one artist, still alive, who are being stolen in several different houses across the USA and in London. Statues are heavy and sitting next to very collectable stuff but the thief takes only one item.Artist has a stalker for her works.....then I fell asleep
but I like the New Yorker lay out , got the idea at Lee's house, wanted to steal all her back issues but she thinks I am honorable so I did n't.
Sabrina heard me and ordered for my non christmas present.
Love those kids.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 days before Christmas

I am in a tizzy.
I want to forget Christmas and New Year.
I just want it to go away.
Are Jewish people so used to the decorations, songs, bombardments of gift giving, churches with different Gods and still same Jesus born, are they
wondering when it will be Dec 26th and the "white Sales" will start at Macy's?

I know I am so fed up with all my shows being replaced with White Christmas songs
and not being able to walk my dog on that same icy white drive way in fear of
breaking another ankle.

I am missing old Bob like crazy.
He was the Christmas glue to all the stuff being hung while I
loved creating a menu.
This year I am numb, I hurt, I ache, I am physically not doing well.
My children are having problems.
When mother ain't know the rest.
No one wants mother to hurt but no one has the aspirin for morning.
Every one has their own pain in the loss and everyone deals with it in
a different manner. That is how it should be.

I have no answers right now to anything.
Overwhelmed by "things" I should sort, clean, put together.

I would prefer to be alone as no one likes a whiner and that is what I am
right now. If I did not have psoriasis to content with I would probably
start drinking alcohol. My flare up is so huge right now my whole scalp is red
with the psoriasis, the whole friggin scalp.
Not to mention that I have now a red back too covers most of my back.
So wine is out, tomatoes out, but I am still doing my potato route so what the

If you read this and want good cheer go to the next blogger they probably have 100 photos of the new baby...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Repeat: My Best Christmas EVER, has been p8ublished several times

Christmas Eve 1944
Gent, Belgium

I am 12, mother is 34. She is recovering from a major surgery and a husband who has left her for another woman just a few months ago.

We are finally liberated , we in the north welcomed the allies in September.
In the Southern part, in the gorgeous mountains, hills and forest another battle is in full swing. It becomes to be known as the Battle of the Bulge.
Our gorgeous Ardennes are being mutilated. Worse hundreds of lives if not thousands on all sides of this horrific war are falling in the fresh wet snow.

Mom and I are not aware of this battle, we hear very little of what is going on outside our newly freed Provinces.
We are alone in our very cold house, windows broken covered with lumber,
water rats moved in what used to be our bedrooms.
The roof is shattered in many places from the bombing and air raids.
The wood/coal stove only produces so much heat as we huddle around it
covered in blankets.

Mother is lonely; she is sad, alone for this Christmas for the first time since
her marriages of 16 years. She is still feeling ill. War had not made her
skinny, she is a full fleshed Flemish woman like you see in Rubens renditions.
She lived on potatoes and onion gravy; we are yet to see some meat coming
in our tables but for the grace of the few Americans who are helping us.

So this brave lady who was together with her little family in grave danger all
through the war is now struggling with a new reality. She had been the radio
communicator with the Brits in her bedroom. She was fluent in the language,
thanks to a good education and was my father’s right hand in the underground fight
of what we called “the white brigade”.
She had welcomed the soldiers who parachuted in the night and gave them
clothing and food for the next stop. She had sent her only child to school when
she was wondering if a new air raid would come today, eliminating the factory
and the village. She never knew what the day would bring.

That first Christmas eve when all around us was changed and yet nothing
had changed at all. We were still seeing planes come and go over our heads and
we still saw the air battles, we did not know for sure how far the Germans were and would
they return? In our hearts however we felt that all was going to be fine.
We had hope for the first time in what seemed eternity.
With this in mind Mother decided we should spent Christmas Eve at her sister’s house in town. That was 9 km away (almost 6 miles).
The excitement got a hold of both of us and with enormous energy and good cheer we left the old stove to warm up the rats and started our journey along the
cold waters of the Canal of Terneuzen.

We had walked this foot path for years, I think we knew where there would be a dip in the dirt and mud under the fresh snow, we knew where a large stone would stick out and how to avoid falling in that narrow strip next to the canal.
Next to it was the bicycle path but that worse in need of filling the larger holes.
Even in the dark night we knew our way.
I can still see the cold fog over the water, piercing cold in our bones.
My shoes too tight. I was always growing too fast and my feet were the
first to show the signs.

We started to sing , she could sing , I could barely keep a tune.
But we sang with our vocal chords in full orchestra mode and in the silence
we go from “the Yankees are coming” to “Belle nuit de Noel” and “Petit Papa Noel “.

Along the canal there was only industry, we lived in a lonely little house about 100 yards from an electrical plant. Most plants at this point where not working, almost all had been bombed. The silence along the water was eerie, as the little bit of snow would fall intermittently. Now and then an army truck would drive by on the road and soldiers would yell “Merry Christmas”, some had other messages too.
First time we both heard F word, mother honestly had never heard that one at the
convent where she had studied. She was very puzzled, what did it all mean?
Very few Belgians had cars at that point, perhaps a few doctors.
Only army was on the road, day in and day out.
We were used to that but these camouflaged tanks were a much loved sight.

By the time we reached the blown up bridge of Meulestede we crossed the canal on a makeshift bridge and started to walk between the streets lined with houses.
Here and there one could see lights and the cozy interior of people celebrating.
Mother stopped and told me to look and listen with my heart at the sights and sounds.
“You know Jeannot , she whispered, this is what is called “freedom”.
You see we are finally allowed on the street at night, we are finally allowed to have lights coming out from the houses, that means this is our first Christmas
in many years of total freedom. “
“Freedom means we can now just walk to Tante while watching the stars and
singing, we can peak in the windows and see people with bright lights shining on their faces. Jeannot, never forget this moment”.

I did n’t, I can still see it, I can still smell it, I can feel it in my heart.

Mother was disappointed that we could not get to a midnight mass on our way
but all the churches were still closed. Perhaps no one had wanted to come out
or perhaps the new army had told them to cool it for awhile, I do not know but we passed several churches and no service.

I started to slow down and she found a way of making me go a little faster.
Where she saw light in the houses she rang the doorbell and started to run away.
I had no choice but to run after her and hide around the next corner.
That way we got to my Tante in a jiffy.

I can see the gate at my Tantes house and lights turning on for the
night visitors. No phone to tell them we were coming but the welcome
was heartwarming.

My cousins came out of bed to hug us and I could crawl in bed next to them
tell them about my adventure of the night. No rats here, no damage to their house, they were blessed. I was in heaven close to giggling bodies and it is Christmas.

I do not remember one present given that Christmas, I doubt that we had any
at all but I am still feeling the joy of that night.
The songs come back to me. Belle Nuit.....Petit enfant Jesus.....
Au clair de la lune mon ami Pierot. ................................

Merry Christmas Mom, Tante, wherever you are.
Goeden nacht, zalige nacht.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2000-2010 in the world

Not in the right order but remember:
Bush versus Gore
Papal transition
U S Invasion of Iraq
Bush: Mission accomplished
Florida Hurricanes
Hurricane Katrina
London Bombings
Beltway sniper
Mudslides in the Philippines
Obama runs for President
Obama wins
Global financial crisis
Sarah Palin
Hillary Clinton runs for President
Lance Armstrong wins 7th tour de France
Sept 11
disaster in Darfur
Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme
Illegal immigration debate
Home Land Security
Died: The Concorde
MIR space station
The Oldsmobile
Anheuser Busch
Lehman Brothers
started : The tea party

born: Wikipedia
The Euro
You tube
G-20 summits
worth watching : China invested 1.6 billion dollars in Africa in 2000
China has invested 17 billion in Africa by 2009

wow: The defense budget in 2001 was 316 Billion
(13 billion to Afghanistan)
The defense budget in 2010 is 693 billion
(102 billion to Afghanistan and 61 billion to Iraq)

What was said : Bill gates in 2004: "Tw
o years from now , spam will be solved!"

OK enough information for my file.
No I am not that smart, nor a journalist.
I stole all that from TIME magazine.


A decade has gone by and what happened during the 10 long years.
For sure this past decade was the hardest of my life.
The diagnosis had been delivered but I was still living with hope that perhaps it was a mistake so decided to be in Canada when the clock struck "2000".
We were on a tour way up north, a train ride tour in snow country and a celebration for New Year eve in Canada. We did not buy into the horror stories of the change into the new century. We were going to have a ball.
Bob got lost in the motel, then he took twice the wrong suitcase and started a fight about it with the owner. We stopped at an aviation museum and the enormous hangars frightened him. He ran outside.
In the train I saw a couple and he was clearly out of it, I saw her go with him to the small rest room and I thought "is this an Alzheimer patient?" and what is she doing on the train with him. Clearly she came for her own enjoyment and some extra work. I pondered over that during the whole vacation, would I go on a trip with Bob in that condition?
2003 We went back to our old favorite place, Spain. We went with friend Allen.
I had reinforcement and Bob was still alert to know where we were going and what we would do on the trip.So I thought. He got lost in the men's room in the airport. two exits were there and I did not count on that. I sent a man inside to find Bob, he was gone.
We found him in the other corridor.
Small stuff but scary.
By 2007 we entered a worse stage, a meaner one, and extremely demanding on my vigil and patience. Son moved in when he lost his wife but that upset old Bob.
He did not want another man in the house. He did not know his own son anymore.
It tore at the heart strings of my son. Yelling at each other was an often unwanted scene. Old Bob hid everything in sight and accused us of stealing.
The last year in that decade I fell and broke my ankle forcing him into a nursing home and me in rehab. He was there 6 months to the day and left us for good.
It was a very unhappy decade.

Friday, December 10, 2010

OK so The Canadians are sending us more cold weather

Supposed to be very cold this week end and into next week.
Showers or snow expected too.
I am getting the vapors thinking of the heating bill.
I am no longer walking my dog on the street.
If I fall again I am a very cold duck.
I keep him in the yard now and he is going on strike.

Doing great the last week, I am actually excited I do not have to do
anything for the holidays. No stress.
Why did I not think of that last year when Bob was still with us and
I just wanted to do it for him, I think he did not know what it all
was about and he hated all the family here on Christmas eve.
In fact I think it was all for us to have him here and to be able to
hug him and fuss over him. It was all for us, not for him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Direct TV box is burned out...............

that is for Bob's TV, so there is an unhappy camper in our house.
He falls asleep (badly) with the TV on.
I offered with a grand gesture that he can come into my room and watch
my NEW TV.
He does not like Grey's Anatomy. Shucks.
I do not like some of his shows....
age difference would you say?
Yeah try like 40 years.............
technically he is taking care of a grandmother.

c'est la vie

Even a could be King gets in hot water sometimes......

One has to wonder why Prince Charles and wife, what's her name? Camila? go out dressed to the nines when there has been notice posted of a demonstration by students. Why go out? Their car was hit by a can of paint and a window cracked.
Both looked shocked and frightened. I am guessing that is not the norm of their trips into the city.

Stay Home guys, there is trouble out there at night.
Old folks are better off staying inside.
There is always the telly or card playing with dear old Mum.

People have different reactions to one of my blogs....

A few days ago I posted a blog about aging.
It was just me making fun of myself.
I thought it was funny.
Reactions were from the young: This was so sad......
From my peers: this is not everyone's experience, my face is hardly wrinkled at all.....
From the middle of the road : Wow , you made me laugh all day when I thought of it.

Relax people, if you have a chance to become old, lucky for you-I think, but most of all changes will happen that is a given, try and laugh about it if you can.

I am perfectly fine with who I am.
Do I have a choice about the wrinkles? No.
Do I have a choice that I can't get up on my old knees? No. I do not want new ones at this point.
Can I stop the clock in any way? No.
I am lucky that I remember so much and that I can still do my bookkeeping and use my eyes and my hands. I am very lucky I can walk today without side effects from my fall. I am lucky that I lived longer then Bob, he would not have been able to
be a widower, he was not that strong.
So it is not all bad, not all sad.

Like they say it is not for sissies.

could not help myself , stole this one from Facebook:

was in forbidden relationship with Aladdin. Snow White lived alone with
7 male dwafts. Pinnochio was a liar. Robin Hood was a thief. Tarzan
walked without clothes on. A stranger kissed sleeping beauty and she
...married him. Cinderella lied and sneaked out at night to attend a party.
These are the stories our parents raised us with, and then they
complain our generation is messed up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

on AGING .............the good and the bad.............

My opinion only so do not get excited.
I am 78 3/4 and next year will be my last 7... then I am thinking that no way, just no way will I get an 8....we shall see.
Reason I am fighting this is because I just KNOW that I am somewhere between 40 and 50. No way that I am 3 decades older.
My brain is almost always on target so why should it lie to me now.
But then there is the mirror.
That mirror of mine (in the bathroom) is especially gentle because it is a soft light. Why then does it punish me with this stranger looking at me.
An old stranger on top of it.
This stranger often has hairs on her chin, the likes of when I was horrified in my teens to see them on my Bonma's chin. I figured then that this would never happen to me because Bonma also was addicted to snuff and that made her nostrils very wide.
So I was safe, I would not use snuff and I would have a tiny nose and no hair on the chin.
Think again smart ass. The nose is not tiny and I need it sometimes to use the breathing junk for asthma, the hairs are multiplying every day, soon I will be having a beard. Come to think of it this morning my hair was all over the place and I laughed at the image, I looked like Mark Twain, so help me I did.
So I should work on a moustache.
The good thing about hair is that I no longer have to shave my legs. That is great for I always would be bleeding and I hated the smell of Nair.
I once had tons of hair on top of the head, even 4 years ago I had very long hair and tons of it. It is falling and falling and soon I will check out Dolly Parton's closet for a wig.
Maybe the mixed up thyroid is doing me in or maybe stress.
What is there to stress about when you are retired and only have MOI to think about?
Oh! I can name a few hundred items on my stress list.
I was born stressed out, I came out looked at my parents and said "this is not where I am supposed to be" Original stress 1.
Don't ask me about pubic hair, the tummy is too big and I can't see anything anymore down south.
So talking about tummies...well, between that and my wounded knees I can't get up anymore from a flat on the ground position....I tried that again last week when I fell walking the pooch. A very small man helped me up. He may have to see his chiropractor now. I now I do, my back feels like an iron gate when I move and it smarts and complaints about needing oil.
The worst part for me is not hearing anymore.
YET, believe me when I say that sometimes that is a very good thing.
Like when relatives are arguing at the table and I have no idea what they are saying...I was told that was a good thing.
Best of all is that I have "ears" for listening to TV and that is heavenly.
Hearing aids are just that "an aid" never replace what you had.
No matter what you pay for the gadget you have to adjust them according to the environment. Still no perfection.
I would give you my first born and maybe even the other two if they made something that brings back the hearing from when I was 20. Any takers???
Did not think so.
I heard a joke last week. Old lady said she can do 3 things all at once.
She can sneeze, pee in her pants and pass gas all at the same time.
Everyone laughed out loud. I was silent.
June Allyson had the answer:"Depend" and when you are deaf and pass gas you do not hear it and figure that no one in the room heard you either. It is a
good feeling to know you are still "protected" .
So what to do at THAT age? You do what you want to do. Never mind the other world.
I flirt with young waiters, they smile and are quiet about telling me that I look like their grandmother, I smear my face with everything that says "wrinkle be gone" then my dog wants to lick it off, or I slid out of bed.
I still want to make my bucket list but what to put on it is a ?????
does a bucket list have to be realistic? or can you just ask for anything?
Like I want to sing like a soprano. (I can't carry a tune)
Like I want to roller blade (with iron in my ankles = do I want more on the other ankle?)
I'd like to travel to China but it takes a falling dollar.
Like can I get rid of the psoriasis without deadly meds?

Shuck it (notice I cleaned it up) forget the bucket list.
Get back to the grocery list and ignore the scale , the mirror, and the pains.


Ihad posted 5 necklaces on Facebook and told them that they will go to Hospice next Tuesday. A promise I made myself because Hospice was there for us.
An old friend from WOWOWOW saw them and offered me a check for Hospice if I would send them all to her. I accepted her generous offer and will make others for Hospice. I was thrilled. I can't afford to give such a check to Hospice but I could make the necklaces. It gives me a thrill that someone wanted them.
Good day, good uplifting thoughts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Save this blog it is fun reading:

Well worth reading every day :

Happy Chanukah by Adam Sandler :

The Chanukah Song
Written By: Adam Sandler

Put on your yarmulke
Here comes Chanukah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukah
Chanukah is the festival of lights
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights
When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree
Here's a list of people who are Jewish just like you and me
David Lee Roth lights the menorah
So do Kirk Douglas, James Caan and the late Dina Shore-ah
Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli
Bowser from Sha Na Na and Arthur Fonzarelli
Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too
Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew
You don't need 'Deck the Halls' or 'Jingle Bell Rock'
'Cause you can spin a dreidel with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock --
both Jewish!
Put on your yarmulke
It's time for Chanukah
The owner of the Seattle Supersonicahs
Celebrates Chanukah
O.J. Simpson,......NOT A JEW!
But guess who is? Hall of famer Rod Carew -- he converted.
We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish -- not too shabby!
Some people think that Ebeneezer Scrooge is,
well he's not, but guess who is
All Three Stooges!
So many Jews are in showbiz
Tom Cruise isn't, but I heard his agent is
Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Chanukah
I hope I get a harmonicah
On this lovely, lovely Chanukah
So drink your gin and tonicah
And smoke your MARIJUANICA
if you really, really wannakah
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Chanukah

so Facebook said it was

cartoon week
you put a picture up of your childhood cartoon character.
Mine is probably not known in this country: Becassine
here she is:

pet peeve for today

Son is giving me a TV for my bedroom.
One of these flat jobs.
Said that my TV is too old and complained about my pixels.
Heavens to betsy,.
The pixels served me fine to watch silly shows of women spending too much money and having 4 nannies like Kelsey Grammer's ex.
Now I will have it all in "flat".
Problem is that he told me and it was to be 2 day delivery, we are now at day 6 and it will be here on Monday making it an 8 day delivery.
Why am I so antsy to have a new TV when a week ago I never gave that a thought?
World of instant gratification and I fell for it.
Amazon keep your promises!!!!!!

Sleeping beauty waiting for what? Energy

OK forget the beauty part but what gives with my body/
After walking the dog at 7 I returned for a short nap (I told myself) but woke up at 11
by 2 PM I was exhausted from doing nothing but a few emails and searches.
I woke up at 5, fixed dinner and wondered where my day had gone.
I am so po'd at myself.
Yes, it is dark and gloomy outside, yes there must be a reason why I can sleep so much.
They tell me that my body must need it but baloney I have work to do, floors to clean, bills to pay and check book to balance, make necklaces and paint the winter windows frames.
Lucky I am not doing the christmas thing.
I wou ld have to decorate too.
Old Bob did all the decorating in this house I was always a scrooge (since childhood) it seemed everything
horrible came with the holidays and I just always wanted it to be Jan 2.
Nothing changed that.
Husband was always the leader in our Christmas activities.
After working on making Father Christmas dolls all year and working shows till December I had enough of seeing red shiny balls. Bob never had enough of them. He would have left the tree up till Easter.
I think one year that happened.
So I am taking my vitamins and the thyroid meds but where does the sleeping come from.
Tired of myself. I think I am lazy now, I did not use to be and my mother is turning in her grave.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Up date

OK so I have not been here for awhile.
There is a reason.
I just did not feel like it and was bummed out.
Thanksgiving was at my house, all kids came.
We had a great meal even if I am the cook, I must say one of my better ones.
Then a discussion started between 2 people and it became quite heated and personal.
I only heard half of it , if that, but it was very unpleasant.
I was not sure that someone was not going to get hurt.
Sides were taken by some and if I had heard everything I think I would
have stopped it and asked everyone to leave.
Next day I felt so hurt and alone I just did not crawl much out of bed.
I then decided the best for me to do is give up the dinners with all here
I am ready to do that anyway.
I am not in a Christmas mood whatsoever, do not want a tree up or any of that jazz,
son does not care either.
Brie will have Christmas eve at her house and it will be very low key.
We are all hurting financially so for sure it is not about presents.
YET I am spoiled by son who is getting me a new TV for my bedroom, one of these flat screens things.
I have a very old TV in the bedroom and he thinks it is time for a change.
I had not noticed that my pixels were not up to par.
The week end arrived and I was trying very hard to get the pain out and of my chest,
Rhonda had free tickets for Dollywood and had a week end open so the two of us went
to Pidgeon Forge and into Dolly's play ground.
It was cold.
So we did shows.
One was mediocre another one was quite nice, we were entertained and I forgot the
fiasco of the week.
We had our share of hot chocolates and found a fabulous buffet restaurant which had everything
and within our budget.
We had a great time, forgot a lot about old tapes and decided to do this sort of thing more often.
Meanwhile I had my fill of the Biltmore castle.
Rhonda had  an employee party there and it was packed and absolutely grand.
Peter's toy was an expensive game. The Cecils showed their appreciation for their workers, it was nice, again our fill of hot chocolate.
Last Night Zack's school chorus entertained us at Biltmore and I was thrilled to see him dressed in black suit and tie and red streaked hair. He loves to sing with the group. I was amazed on how very good they were.
Then we went the Fishers, Rhonda Pete and I to a steak house which had the best ribs.
So I am feeling much better about everything.
I am learning to avoid pain but sometimes we can't quite get it.
Going around with a few people and seeing some life outside of my casa does help.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

waking up is hard to do

I just can't seem to wake up this morning it took me a good half hour before I could truly wake up.
Kept looking for Bob.
In my dream he had packed the car full of our stuff and we were to go somewhere but not sure where.
The car was overloaded and I told him we had to go over the mountains and would get stuck, he said NO NO NO.
We were at Elvire  and Leonard again, they keep coming in my dreams and so is the ocean .
It was so real I woke and kept looking for old Bob.

white squirrels

Brevard NC has the distinction of housing hundreds of all white squirrels.
Goes back to when a circus was in town...I think they said....
We 12 miles away have one that pops up now and then in our street.\
Bijou ignores squirrels but when he saw Mr White this morning he
was barking the poor thing way up the tree.
Bijou knew this one was different and as far as the Maltese in him is concerned he should be the only white one on his street.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gorgeous weather for November

Sky is blue and the temps are rising. The night was bitter cold but now we are going towards a gorgeous warm fall Sunday.
I liked it when in my childhood Sunday was a day for doing nothing.
Going to church for me and then relaxing.
Mother and Father if he was not working would sit outside in one of our "comfortable" kitchen chairs and just enjoy the Belgian sun , (if she came out) ,. Father might tinker a bit in his shed but all was quiet except for the radio (pre-war) when Belcanto was on.
It was a day to wear the Sunday dress, Believe me when I say that often I had 2 dresses , a week one and a Sunday one.

So today it is Sunday and it is a day with a lot to do on my list. I will not wear a Sunday dress, no longer go to a church. and try my best not to nap.
Next 2 days are social days both with "to do's" at the Biltmore. Zack singing there tomorrow and then Tuesday a special party for castle employees.
Wednesday eve I cook for 8 people, tons of French fries and Belgian stew. (By special request of all 8)
I have a vegan in there and have to think of him and son does not eat beef so chicken for him.
It will be fun, I think someone is bringing dessert and fruit salad.
I have my hands full cutting about 15 lbs of french fries.
I will stay out of trouble the next 3 days and probably sleep all day on Thanksgiving day.
For now a cup of coffee to is decaf..........will not wake me up totally........

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sample Chohua and MOP

I had two necklaces half done sitting on my bench for weeks, got to them today. this is a small sample of what I will be doing, I am also working a lot with pearls (my favorites)


I use a lot of natural stones
this is Lapis Laz. Chrysicolla and glass milliori beads

The long fall

Gorgeous weather again, it did freeze during the night but it will be about 60 in a few hours.

My dreams are so much about my past life.
I am most of the time in Belgium (even so I have been here more than 5 decades) I am always looking for the lace and stuff to sell. Last night I saw this gorgeous baby gown with intricate lace but some of the rosettes were in shreds, the dealer was someone I used to deal with, a shrewd lady. I could not afford the gown nor able to fix it, I was sad  about it.

I used to have some prophetic dreams  but no more it is just the past haunting me.

An old lady in Belgium (part of the family) well...she was my father's mistress so call it like it is. Well, she asked me why she was always young in her dreams and she was always dancing.
She owned a club/bar for decades so she did her share of dancing........must have been horrible to wake up to the old body . At least I dream about pretty laces and buying and selling......

Amazing how one can picture such details of something you have never seen in real life.
I am still seeing the baby dress and I have been awake for hours now.

In a fog for Christmas , I do not have one present for anyone.
It will be slim pickings this year too.
Kids keep saying they are not buying anything but they always lie about it.
I like to spoil the kids but my budget is no longer there for such largesses.

I will try and do some beading today but it is 10 51 in the am and I am yawning........I hate this, I truly hate this.....I do not have that much time left to sleep all day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good day , starting to get ready to make jewelry again

My favorite blogger:

Excited for friend Lee who will be in London next week, checked the weather there....what do you expect? it is cold England, same as Belgium wet, cold, nasty.
Here it was cold last night, freezing in fact but 60 today.
Slept again this afternoon so what t he hell, I will do what my body tells me.
Now I will try beading and not drink the Beaujolais today , fresh from the fields......never mind you have to read Toad to understand.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New colors approved

Indeed I did get an email and the new colors are approved by friend Lee so we shall not change again, well, not today anyway!!!!!!!!!

All is better this week......

We will take what we can get.

The head works on its own time table.
Best news : no water in sub basement.

new colors

Approved????My friend Lee, could not read the other color.
I am expecting an email with comments.
But then again maybe not she is going to London for a week.
Courtesy of her daughter in 5 star hotel.
Go girl!!!Go!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New colors

Perhaps that will help my mood.
New background.

Found out there is a way to find how and where people are reading this.
In the Ukraine?
In Italy???
One wonders ....hackers for something.............

How safe are we on blogs?????????????????

No news

Should one post when one is in a bad mood?
Better not.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice day part two

Armistice day, November 11,

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries.
Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour", refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[1]
The red poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.

I am posting this in memory of my grandparents who lived in Belgium.
Henry Van Melle , was an orchestra conductor in the army. He ended up in a German camp leaving my grandmother alone with 6 children. My father was 7 when the war started and quickly learned how to steal food for himself and his little brother. Ernest Droesbeke, my mom's father worked in a sugar plant as manager, he managed to trade sugar for whatever they needed until they had to evacuate. My Mom was 4 when the war started. 
Our King at that time was Albert 1 , he and the Queen were with the troops fighting at the Yzer , they did not flee
to safe Swizerland , they were with the troops.

I took a tour not so many years ago in  fields in France still riddled with mines, signs every where telling you not to go on the grasses. The trenches showed us how close the 2 armies were to each other. One could feel death.
in Ypres Belgium a large monument with the names of the British soldiers who fell in the battles there.
Every day of the year (except during WW2) you can hear taps at that monument at 8 PM.
We sat in a cafe around the square having some goodies when we noticed busses arriving. I asked the waiter why. He answered with a smile. "These busses are from England, they come every day with young and old, all races and genders, they bring the poppy wreaths and honor soldiers they never knew. " That scene gave us chills , then we walked with the silent Brits and saw the poppies blooming in profusion around the monument. 
The cafe's were ready with the Belgian beer and loved to see the crowd come in after they had done their duty. What dedication!!!!! Armistice was about WW1 how very unfortunate that now we in the USA also add WW2, Korea, Vietnam,and how many more still in active positions. How many more lives must we loose? 
With every scene I see on TV in Afghanistan, in Iraq , and others I can only think of the children, I am 78 and I can't forget WW2, I shake when a fire truck goes by with a siren blaring, I save things , I hoard food afraid to run out, a plane comes over too low and I have been known to throw myself on top of children to protect them.  The war memories do not leave you, how many children are affected now?????How many soldiers on both sides left orphans and weeping mothers.
Oh am I on my soap box? No apologies. Lets remember the ones we lost so we may have freedom.
Lets just think for a doggone minute what the word "freedom" really means.  


Armistice day

The first chapter of In Flanders Fields and Other Poems (a 1919 collection of poems by John McCrae) gives the text of the poem as follows:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

weather forecast for my head : continued fog

Ha Ha.
Now my keyboard refuses to write certain letters unless i bang on them and the caps are not working so this is no fun writing on.

a friend gave me hell for the last blog, she thinks i have all the answers already and it is bs.
another friend loved my sincerity.


i started the blog in 2007 because i was sure i was going insane, writing had always been my outlet so i started this as a journal but soon it got found and i managed to get a job from it for a few months, later some of the days were reprinted on other sites. hoping , i am, that it helped some people.

i am doing the very best i know how at this very day, i try and accomplish something instead of creeping back into bed and sleeping. will i get better, i sure in the h...hope so. this is all fresh, and unknown territory for me. my parents left more than a decade ago and that was a long distance mourning, also expected as they were aging. i still talk to my mother almost every day, the good thing is that she cant answer me anymore or she probably would be judgemental, she always was. i talk t o old bob and tell him that the boiler messed up again, that frank tried to fix the roof and that i miss him. he no longer cares in fact he has not cared for many years.

so this too will pass  i am happy because the yard has been cleaned up and the boiler has again a new part .........young bob tries to explain to me why there is still fog in the head ...the girls invite me for some activities in the next few weeks.

i wait for a new keyboard to come which bob ordered at amazon as a present so in the mean time i struggle with this old one , like its writer the keyboard is in a fog

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reconstruction of self

No, I am not going the Botox way nor the plastic surgery knife.
I am in a process of figuring out who I am.
No longer a wife.
No longer a caregiver.
No longer an auditor.
No longer a shop keeper,
No longer a doll maker.
No longer young, yet I think I am.
No longer able to plan on long trips.
No longer a snowbird in Florida come this January.
the list goes on who am I?
Here is where the reconstruction starts.
OK I am single it sounds better to me than widow.
I take care of my dog.
I cook a bit for my son but I am not his caregiver, au contraire, he is starting to be mine.
I was asked to go back to my old job at Steinmart and I refused, I am too tired.
I try to remember and cream my wrinkles hoping they would not count on it either.
I will try and find short trips I can afford.. Nothing is the same in Belgium anymore
the last years aged everyone, cousin Etienne in nursing home with Alzheimer and strokes.
My childhood friend celebrated 80 and her husband is 86 m not an age to run around shopping like we used to and try every tearoom in town.
Alice is now 86 , I bet she still would love a drink in a cafe but she can't get on the tram , her knees
do not bend that well anymore.
Friend in Mass. is going to be 81 this month, oh God I think it is today I better email her.
Where do I fit in?
Where do I belong in this reconstruction?
Where can I help without being able to hear     ????
I used to be the chef supreme to my husband, he thought I was the best.
Son is very picky, very. How many dishes can I make without vegetables, without gravy?
I am heavy on the gravy, I am a Belgian, we like gravies.
Every day that we had potatoes left from our garden during the war my mom would make
this fabulous cooked potato with onion gravy. It was divine.
Where am I going? How much time left? How much money left?
Worse of all : how much energy left?
I will ponder more of this between my ups and downs.

I have always thought if there is a problem find a solution and start working at it.
No time to waste, do it.
Now I just fill the hours with what I want to do this minute and a lot of it is sleeping.
Kids say normal mourning cycle.
I hate acting like a victim , I am a big girl, I need to find my big girl pants and get with it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Friday October 29

Minus one tooth , one way back there in a hole all by itself no connection on the top row of teeth and hurting so it came out.
The new dentist is a peach.
He did a swell job.
Sabrina insisted I stay at her house till we saw that it would heal without problems.
A few hours later I was eating bean soup, no pain.
All went very well.

Brie wanted me to stay for her Halloween party.
I wanted away from people.
I thought "I will tell her in the morning that I want to go home"
Morning came and little miss perfection was in a tizzy.
She had this to do and that 6to do and son wanted to be driven here then there,
there was a festival in town and she had to make a giant pot of chilly.
Did I dare ask her to take me home 35 minutes away (one way)????
Of course not.
I decided to grin and bare it.
I had the eternal dress up dress I purchased in 1972 in Tangiers.
Usually all gold embroidery type dress. I remember it was about 7 bucks.
We did ask 25.00 for a watercolor at the time.

I dressed up with a crown Brie had and became the stepmother witch of
Snow White.
I was mostly concerned about not hearing people but in the end I had a good time.
Someone would just come and sit by me and talk lous enough.
I went to bed happy that I had stayed and seen (again) Sabrina's friends.
Rhonda came late as she had worked.
She dressed like a movie star.
She had the original 1920's hat on which she had saved from a 1993 estate sale we had.
Wow! She did not let me see the name of the designer, it might have landed on eBay.
Photos to follow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No feeling up to par

my head is not clearing up and I am so much in a fog that I left the cartridge for the cameraq on my desk on the way to the court house and donation of Bob's painting.
In the evening I felt just terrible, I kept thinking I had done something wrong, could not pin point it but felt I hade hurt someones feelings.
I hate that.
I am probably more in the fog than I know.

Outside court house ,painting in right hands, I look up and from the sky out of nowhere, no bushes around it, comes this big monarch butterfly , the girls freak out , I am beginning to think this is normal.Old Bob was happy with our decision.

On the painting while we presented it was a ladybug which is a sign for Rhonda. She was inside paying a ticket for her forgetting to get a tag renewed, she came out triumphed case dismissed! No fine!

October 28 1956

On that date I gave birth to twin boys, still born, full term , came the day they were due.
Blame was put on the Xrays taken 3 days before.
Shortly after that John Hopkins came to the conclusion that Xrays during pregnancy could
be dangerous,.
I never forget their birthday.
They would be 54 today.
Angels somewhere perhaps today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

storms outside, much needed rain but still warm in

Been a fairly good day, I would even say a good day.
Started baking zuchini banana breads.
While all my "stuff" is still on the table will do a pound cake.
 can freeze them for saturday for Halloween party.
If I am in the kitchen and smell the baking it opens up the heart and....
the mouth for tasting.
Tasting does not mean half a loaf Jeannot!
With whipped butter mixed with honey.
Oh the calories...oh the earthly pleasures of food.
BUT did sleep my 3 hours the afternoon, can't seem to be without them.

What is on tonight?
W3 did not see the end of Hells Kitchen because they had baseball on.....
will we ever catch it again?
Damn baseball.

Bobby has now some electronic tuner for the guitar , neat gadget but he was hardly off.
Hope he continues in that interest.
Tomorrow special day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Gorgeous outside.
In a better mood still do not feel like working but I have a pile of wash to do and
kitchen floor to wash.
Hoping for a great week.
This week we give the painting to the new court house, generations will be able to see his talent.
Then on Friday I get a tooth pulled and next day a party at Sabrina's.
I get to sleep over so that will be fun too.
Wanted to also see Bob at home as he loves Halloween and he has a knight suit to give candy to the kids.
He said he will be fine alone, I should not worry so much.
I make stuff up to worry. So he will invite a friend....and I may stay home aftr all.....
A drug dealer has moved in across the street and while I walked Bijou I saw him coming again and
I quickly went home, a car stopped right where he was and he negotiated via a dropped window and off went the car.
Bob tells me not to worry, seeing a cop will make him run for his life and we have enough phones in the house if something weird goes on. He probably is just establishing a route.
Life is interesting these days.
This quiet street no longer is so quiet. Having said that I count 10 dogs in 5 houses around us and if one gives a signal all 10 answer. A few of them are mean. Ours bark but I think if someone would touch me the Corgy would bite for sure.
OK OK back to the wash and the floor.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mood , mood, mood,

Better if no one comes near me.
I am acting like a 16 year old with PMS, her boy friend left her best friend, and she just found a pimple on her nose.
You get the picture, it is fountain time and I did buy enough Kleenex yesterday, so I am all set.
Do not visit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

falling leaves.........................

Leaves are making carpets on the road, quilts on the lawn and it is time to gather.
So what are my thoughts?
How weird that I can't quite remember when Bob would be gathering the fallen colors with so much glee in his heart, he loved the color mix and he would do such a magnificent job.

I have a hard time playing back that scenario.
But what sticks to the brain is the view of the last 3 autumns.
Sabrina would come big leaf blower in hand, gadget over her ears and goggles.
One would think she was a deep sea diver.
The noise would start and dust, leaves, sticks and papers would fly into a big heap along the road.Ready it was for Monday's pick up by the city.
From the first click on her large machine Bob would be at the window.
He would murmur some words and go out. He'd start waving his arms in anger, what are you doing,my yard, my leaves.
Sabrina would try and ignore and continue her pile.
Old Bob would run out there and pick up arm loads and bring them back in the yard.
I would watch from the kitchen window and swear under mybreath.
I could not see humor in it.
I just was so damn angry.
Why could he not leave well enough alone.
I had a helper, I needed help.
Where was my great artist , best friend, who would enjoy this chore and
come in with a smile when done.
Somehow this year what I remember most is the anger we both had.
He for someone stealing his leaves and me for not being able to forgive him for being sick.
I am hoping that in 2011 I will only remember the fun Bob.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A few days before Bob passed on a blue butterfly came and sat on my left shoulder, I was shocked, this had never happened to me before. It sat there for quite awhile then flew  around my head close to my face.
I got frightened, I thought that Bob had passed on , came into the house to phone and check, no everything was still the same. I forgot about it.
Next day , go to the garbage bin, blue butterfly appears and flies around my head. Say what?
This is beginning to be strange.
Daughter comes to trim the hedge and I start to clean up a garden corner, blue butterfly is surrounding me with circling my head about 6 or so inches from my head, Rhonda is my witness and she is beginning to laugh, she tells me that this is beginning to be boring as the butterfly is not leaving. Many minutes and I become dizzy from the flutters around my head. I laugh and cry.
Then I remember that there is a card with a large blue butterfly next to his bed.
We all joke about it.
Bob passes on and sure enough I have more visits from the blue butterfly.
So it gets cold at night and frosty. I figure we will not see a blue butterfly for awhile.
We go to Pisgah Forest to bring his ashes to the river , Frank picks a fabulous spot.
Frank fishes here almost every day (in that Forest) I think he knows every good spot.
He picked this one out of 5, he tells me.
Stepping out of his giant truck I look down a steep drop of several feet till I notice the running creek.
No problems. 3 hefty guys hold my arms and show me where to step, I almost feel like I have wings going down. So I am talking to old Bob and I am saying in my bossy tone (even in my head I can be bossy)
"OK Bob you better send me a butterfly, I know there was frost but , I need a butterfly to know you are here."

We bring, one by one, the ashes and deliver them to the clear waters of the creek which eventually will flow into the large French Broad River, Rhonda brings what Bob liked the most: vanilla ice cream, white chocolate morsels. It all blends into a white cloud ripples down a small waterfall into the next pond and on to more waterfalls between giant rocks. Sabrina has flowers, they follow the parade.

Frank surprises us and has his childhood Bible and reads from Isiah.
I am in a total fog, this is not real the whole scene is not real.
It is gorgeous here, wild flowers are everywhere especially purple asters,
the sun peaks with a bright smile in between the still yellow leaves on the trees,
you can't hear traffic, you can't hear anything but the rushing of the water.
Zack made a Mad Hatter hat and I love it, I wear it as I just said we are here to
celebrate a man's life. He is leaving us but look what he gave us in beauty.
Zack grandchildren will talk about the paintings they inherit, So will Jim's (he drove from Chapel Hill )
we will all look at his work and remember the gentle talented painter.
Mitch remembered a joke when he approached Bob and said: Sorry I missed your birthday party yesterday and Bob quickly answered : Don't worry about it you were not invited"
Mitch cracked up, that was Bob. He had an answer for everything but mostly he had that kind face and laughter. In the nursing home they told us that the smile did it all, he smiled at every body.
So the Mad hatter hat in place on my head I search to steal a plant in the National Forest (against the law) I have it roots and all, no idea what kind it is but it will grow for me.
Frank gets a rock for me. Frank loved dad a lot.
The girls are doing fine, Rhonda has a crying spell but I am calm, she will be fine.
Sabrina takes photos and we decide it is time to leave Grandpa once and for all so we start the
climb back to the truck and I stop in shock and awe a tattered blue butterfly is coming my way, the small group knows my story and freezes in their tracks . Frank rushes to take a photo as it sits on a fern,
later it goes to an aster we are all laughing now with nervous energy.....what does it all mean....
I know in my heart that old Bob heard the orders from his mate and managed to find one
butterfly at the very end of his/hers energy, wings in dire straights yet it did find our party.
Thank you, Bob. Thank you.

When I find out how to bring the photo from Sabrina's site to here I will post it.
If you see a blue butterfly send it my way.......

Thursday, October 14, 2010

kiss the chef? I don't think so

Weird week end it was and weirder week so far.
Of course I took up cleaning some closets, things which belonged to Bob had to be sorted out.
Most went to Hospice shop but he hid so much I had to be very thorough in checking pockets and such.
Slowly I am thinking about items which are no longer to be found.
Then man across the street told me Bob gave him a small painting.....
Bob did like to give things...s I am also searching for a lovely bracelet given to him by our friend L.
One of a kind made for him.
Frustrating .......................

Then I needed new blankets, wondered where I had stored the winter ones, then  remembered.
Bob had started to look for scissors and when he found one he cut up our best winter blankets.
A little corner here then a strip there and I have not a clue what he was going to do with this.
I remember how angry he was when I took away the scissors and told him that he ruined the blankets. He had no idea and looked at me with hatred in the eyes.  I am sure I did too.

The fact that we are bringing his ashes t the forest on Sunday is also on my mind.
Very much so.
It will not be easy and sort of unreal unimaginable .

I am feeling like I am on steroids or something, I sort of want to leave my skin behind and crawl out. Now that makes a lot of sense does it not? Wow, where is a shrink when I need one.

Books are written about mourning and perhaps I should read one,
BUT I need a manual on how to do a re-entry in "regular" life.
I am lost after all these years with one focus in mind.

I invited dear friends of ours who stood by me and deserve a nice luncheon in my house.
They have taken me out for lunch for years now and I could not reciprocate because Bob did not like changes in the house nor visitors.
I am supposed to be a fairly decent cook....that is..I was.
I have been thinking about this lunch day and night for days now.
What does one serve for lunch? What do they like?
I have not made coffee for 6 in decades, how many spoons to a cup? Forgotten.
Finally I bought some very nice cheeses and wil hopefully remember on how to bake a nice bread to go with it.
 You would think the queen of England is coming, these are very old friends, we go back almost 40 years.They would not give a damn if I gave them dry bread and water. Why am I so petrified of company in the house? I used to cook for 20 or 25 people and be so excited about it, cooked 2 or 3 days on a big meal .
Where did I go? Where is the woman from the old days?
Did caregiving so rob me of the normal lifestyle. Dr House on TV tells us that Normal is Overrated.
Guess so.
I ll be back on Tuesday to let you know how this luncheon ended.
Coffee may be so strong to put hair on your chest.
There is so much cheese that we may all need prunes with it to make life better, you get my drift.

And then there is the party.
Yup, I am invited t Sabrina's Halloween party.
Always tons of food but bring your own booze if you want to do that too.
I am excited about that but...but...hearing is such a big problem .....with tons of noise it is not any better....they will ask me if I like the new paint job in my office and I will answer somthing like :Yes, I am going home tomorrow afternoon, I miss my dog......just saying...a party is something to think about too.

When if ever will I be in the same shoes I wore before Alzheimer entered our door? When will I fit into society again? When will I cook with great joy again? When will I stop the crying and looking for Bob and memories in every walk I take. Why is it so hard to become "self" when "self" was almost destroyed and completely lost for years.
Like I took on the job one hour at a time with Bob for all these years I have to learn to be my own caregiver now and be kind to myself and learn to laugh and joke again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

some details on the paintings shown in response t Joy

Joy, Bob sort of invented things so he would be able to have a work with the trompe l'eil effect (fool the eye), he loved to do that.

The demi tasse was done very early in our marriage, I had embroidered the piece in the background and he loved the colors, then he put in the cup and added the bottle of bromo seltzer and said that was for the headaches I gave him. He was joking.
The clock took 5 months, sold twice, the last owner willed it back to him.
The large stein was a wedding present to us and it took him 3 years to finish, he would only work from the "alive" flower so it took 3 seasons of tulips before he was done with it. Soon we will have a one man show in memory of him, possibly at the Blue Ridge school. I will send you an invitation.

more memories from Robert G. Kensinger :

The artist and some of his work:

     Robert George Kensinger was born an artist.  While his brothers would try and teach him on how to repair cars he was more interested in getting wild flowers for his mother so he could draw them.

     He served in the Army during WW2 , came home to get his schooling under the GI Bill.  Hartnell college in Salinas, California was his first formal art education under the guidance of the well known watercolorist Leon Amyx.  After graduation he went on to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.  Chouinard was the premiere art school on the west coast at that time with teachers such as Edith Head and many of the top animators from Disney.  He finished with his schooling and moved to San Francisco to start his fine arts career.  He had several one man shows during that time until he moved back to Santa Cruz in 1968.

     In 1969 he married Jeannot and adopted her two daughters. Then he moved the whole family to the Costa del Sol in Spain. It was during the five years in Europe that he won two very prestigious awards in Belgium.  He received the title of “Commandeur” and won the Vermeil medal and the Medal from the City of Brussels.  This was a contest from all artists living in Europe.  “Les Arts en Europe” was a show under the umbrella of the late Queen Marie Jose who left endowments for the arts and music.  Bob won these honors two years in a row, in 1973 and 1974. At that time he was the only American to have won these. 

     He and the family returned to the USA, moving to Hendersonville in 1975.  Bob acquired an agent in Florida with much of his work being sold in that state.  His wife opened up Heritage Square Antiques which also served partly as a gallery for his art.  Unfortunately Robert was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease in the late 90's and did not paint for the last 13 years of his life.  He passed on September 5th, 2010 and we all lost a great artist.  A painting of his trompe l’oeil artistry will soon be donated to the new court house for many generations to admire and be inspired by.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I had tons of emails and response on my entry since WOW printed it.
I am in shock.
I "think" I can write some extend.
Never learned the English language from a person, I taught myself.
Just writing the word "taught" makes me giggle, for years I wrote "thought" then one day
saw it used correctly.
I think if you speak and write Dutch and French then English comes easy.
Have you  ever had battles with the French verbs????????
Anyway since childhood I have been writing.
Only child, lonely child, often verbally and physical abuse IF I did not do something "perfect"
mother wanted perfection from me.
Gosh i t is hard to write this. She was a good mother but had her own demons and 2 wars in her life to deal with. I just wish she would have learned to encourage me rather than to belittle me.
 am starting to ramble.
I would write notes t myself on the butcher's paper where once was a porc chop.
Paper was a luxury especially during the war.
We had erzats paper with pieces of wood still in like splinters in a white sheet reminding us
that all is not well with the world.
I wrote about everything that had happened to me that day and try and hide it.
When you have 4 rooms in a house and only a hand full of drawers where do you hide things?
I did not have a room of my own.
I hid things in the bushes outside or in the rabbit shed. It was dark in there and rats would come to get the babies so Mom was afraid to go in there (I was too) but I had my places under the rabbit shit trays.
If I was found out then I got in trouble.
Writing to one friend when I came to the USA was a constant, she had kept my letters for decades and when my daughter did question my first marriage my friend showed her the letters.
She told her : read for yourself what your mother had to deal with.
In the last 3 years I had an email friend who listened to me every day and every morning there would be a letter to booster me up. She kept me going. Writing kept me going.
That is not to say that it was all peaches and cream.
There was a day that she wrote something like : put a pillow over his head....
Not that I had not thought about it myself more than once.
Most of all I had several ideas in my head about killing both of us, and what stopped me was
very silly, husband's studio was and still is a mess. I did not want to leave that for the kids.
Then one day I thought of burning the house down with us in it but did not have a great plan.
The dog was in the way, could not kill him.
Strange thoughts, you say, for a loving wife.
Judge not until you have walked in my flip flops.
There are days with total exhaustion, total loss of a "normal" mind.
You search for the extremes just to get relief.

Yesterday I was able to write to 2 people in the middle of their caregiving years. I was able to tell them honestly what hell they can expect and what good days will do to them.
I am an open book.
The pages may be dirty from spilled guts but life as a caregiver to a dementia patient is anything but pretty.

A friend of mine said that his mother was so funny and how he loved "visiting" her at his sisters house, it was a hoot he told me. I wanted to strangle him.
You go for a few hours and giggle with Mom and think this is just great?
Did you change her diaper by chance? Did you feed her? Did you watch her all the time to see if
she would harm herself by turning on a stove?
I don't think so.

Enough ramble for today.
I am going to have a great day, I am going to walk the dogs until their little legs fall off.
Oh well, Bijou likes to walk in my arms.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In case you could not find it:


Miss Evans emailed me and asked permission to print a piece from my blog.
When I saw her name in my incoming mail I was trembling.
So I am impressed by people of her stature....

I sent her 2 photos telling our story very well from the day we got married to near the end.
I then let it rest.

I did not think much about it anymore and let it go. My new motto: if you can't do anything about it then let it go. I am trying to do that, not easy, I make up things to worry about.

This morning I get an email from a Facebook pal and she tells me how she loved the article in WOWOW.
Say what?

So I rush to the site , do not know where to look, I put in my name and there it is, not my LAST blog but it was so odd to read my words in that site.
I cried, I was overwhelmed but now at 10 am people are responding. People I have met there since day one.
Someone wrote that she saved my story I had sent her years ago. OMG.

I think that old Bob is watching and smiling.
Thank you WOW , THANK YOU

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The last reality check,

So Sabrina reminds me, like I need reminding.
"Mom, we need to pick up daddy's ashes today".
"are you up to that, Mom?"
Of course I am, of course. No small wildflower am I, I am a very strong purple orchid.
I stand tall and do not require much attention (Oh yeah?). Well, not so much lately.
I am telling myself every day that I am STRONG.
Dressed in purple today to do what is asked by the Alzheimer Association on their day.

Sabrina goes into the funeral parlor and I am listening to Sinatra on her new radio
gadget. Boy, does she like gadgets, seems this is a new radio for which you pay.
What will be next, she already has worn out some of these blackberries or is it
a blueberry. Who can keep up with this? Who has the knowledge for this?
Who has the money for this.
While Sinatra is singing I am trying to distract myself with all these questions.
Oh there is Nancy now. She never did have the pipes ...Frank kept them for himself.....
Oh...shoot...there is Sabrina holding a green bag with gold letters on it:
Shuller funeral home".
Do they expect me to go shopping with that bag? Scare everyone at the check out.
Opening of the car door, Sinatra keeps on going after all she paid for him this time...
I try and concentrate on his lyrics but Sabrina  will have none of it.
"You want Daddy in the back seat?"She asks.
"No, honey, on my lap".
Reality....I no longer hear the golden voice and I no longer know what to think.
I am holding a very heavy box situated in a useable shopping bag.
Grandson, Mr. Green, would like that.
So I am trying to figure out what I should feel right now.
I caress the one whispering in my ear."It is I, honey, it is I"
I do not find any connection to the green bag and the man I kissed goodbye about 16 days ago.
So this has to be a trick. A horrible trick and I am not going to see him again.
Someone has snatched him away forever.
He promised me he would never leave me except for Rise Stevens, she is dead too.
He probably is asking her to sing to him right now.
Thoughts scramble in my head, I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be normal again.
Sabrina's voice shouts over Sinatra :
"Mom, can we have lunch now?"
"Lunch? Oh yes I need food"
My third or fourth "best friend" is food.
Have the derriere to prove it.
We drive to the restaurant and I suddenly start taking charge again.
Turn to Sabrina and in all earnest ask her:
"Brie , can we leave daddy in this hot car? Do we leave the ac running?"
My gorgeous daughter looks me in the eyes, first with a wondering look and slowly her eyes start to shine and twinkle like they did when she was little and found something very funny.
She burst out laughing like she is never going to be able to stop.
I am in a dream state. What is so funny?
In a mega second I find the answer. I said what?????
So I start to laugh and here we are Brie, Mom, Sinatra and ashes of my loved one in a very cool A/c car and we can't stop laughing and crying all at the same time.

Ashes , ashes, we all fall down from laughter
of course we know that in the game they were referring to the black plague.
We just are not yet used to have daddy in the form of ashes.
He lives in our heart, that is where he is. That is where he belongs.
Good night, Bob, wherever you are.
Watch over me because I am too much in the fog still and I do not want to trip and fall again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two weeks do make a difference.

I am somewhat like the phoenix coming out of the ashes.
clearing the mind of unpleasant clutter.

 cleaning the cupboards
cleaning out what was not used in years.
Hospice here we come.

Getting my office/workroom in order for the jewelry making.
Must start next week in all seriousness.

How do I rebound so fast?
I have it figured out.
At the beginning of Bob's disease I was in denial yet I knew we were in trouble.
I tried to ignore all he forgot.
Slowly he became my obssession.
I got up and first thought was Alzheimer, went to bed and last thought: He has Alzheimer.
Slowly, ever so slowly he left us as his mental state became reduced to first
sentences which made no sense, then fewer words , and the mostly silence unless he
became angry then he could spout out stuff I never heard him say in 40 years.
Like the clock ticking loudly you notice things, this  is different today and that was different
from last week.
The man vanishes, memories fail him , anxiety becomes his companion.
I have good days and bad days.
People tell me at least once a day:
"Remember it is not your husband anymore, it is the disease."
I want to punch the speaker in the face. I want to be violent , I want to scream.
Instead I go inside my head and try for the hundred time what this really means.
"It is not your husband" well wtf explain that one to me.
He is there in front of me , in the flesh.
"It is the disease" oh that is a great excuse for bad behavior.
I can ponder that statement all day but I can't wrap my head around it.
Just words. I miss my husband, bring him back, all just words from
people who do not live with him. Words, words.

For 13 years I miss him more and more every day.
He leaves me one thought at a time.
He wants to be hugged and then the next day pushes me away.
I miss him.
There are days when he looks at me with a question mark in his eyes.
"Who are you?"
I miss him.
There are days that he hits me because I want to wash him.
He was the forever gentle man. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought
about hitting me.
I miss him, the old one.
13 years of saying goodbye, that is a lot of goodbyes.

Then comes March and I break my ankle.
I can't take care of him anymore.
I want to, "they" the new powers at hand tell me that I
need to recuperate, I need to take care of myself.
Shock City! Take care of me. How do I do that?
I have not given much thought about me but to put food in
my body and watch him 24/7 and walk the dog.
That is my life.
Wake up and feel if he is ok and if he is in bed with me.
That is my life.
Changing and washing the bedding daily that is my life.
Cooking sometimes 3 different things so he will eat
that is my life. I then eat what he does not want.
I hate waste.
Looking in the mirror , fix my hair, wear lipstick?
are you kidding me?
I can't stand to look at that old woman who has aged
20 years in the last ten.
I can't bare to look at her eyes, they are always so damn sad.
When I look into her eyes then I feel the pain even more
and cry like a bubbling idiot.

So after my rehab I come home and he is no longer there.
The bed feels very strange, after 42 years to sleep alone in a queen size bed
is like being lost at sea. Where is he? I touch the sheets and he is nowhere.
I picture him on the low small bed at the center and I cry.
I want him home.
Well, they tell me, you want that struggle again with his sanitary
habits? With his running out evry five minutes.
You can hardly walk and you want that?
So I start getting used to the fact that I have a lot less laundry
a lot less cooking to be done.
A lot more sleep.
I heal , my leg is improving every day.
Oh I miss him so much.
I do not even want to eat at the table anymore
I have gotten used to eating by my computer.
The computer is my friend.
emails cheer me up.
We are with you they say, we love you.

After six months to the date
my best friend leaves the nursing home in a bag.
He no longr needs nurses, no longer needs me
the kids, or his sibblings.

I am a widow.
I just hate that name, hate it.
It sounds Victorian to me, similar to a spinster.
A widow. It will take getting used to.

We are now 2 weeks later.
I feel differently and it is hard to explain.
In some ways I feel free.
Nothing to worry about anymore for Bob. Not going to
the nursing home. Checking for bed sores, checking his
clothing ordering hair cuts, little bit of this and a little
bit of that. Make sure to always have bananas for him.
All this is slowly vanishing from my mind.
No, not to do list anymore.

The leg is getting better every day, less swelling.
The psoriasis is rampant, sign of stress but I am so
I start to make plans.
I start to order beads, wires, mini tools, and I dream
of making jewelry again like we did in 1970.
I am rusty.
New stuff I never heard off is now available.
What we did with out fingers now a little machine can do.
I have a work bench so not to have the table cluttered
with beads and they may show up in the meatballs.
Son , Bob, helps me.

I need to get the yard ready for winter,
plan for the birds, find time to plant tulips which I
did not do the last 2 years.

I am feeling good when I wake up.
I look at my companion, my Maltese Bijou, and I
smile at his big black eyes begging me to take
him out.

It is fall, the chestnuts are dropping as the squirrels
are chewing the stems off. I gather what is left
while Bijou barks at everything. He is now my protector.
A butterfly comes to say hello.
I talk to old Bob wherever he is and I
thank him for the great married life he gave me.
He has to know that I will love him not until death us do part
but this kind of love I have is forever.