Monday, September 26, 2011

heater or fans?

Last week I wondered about getting the heater going, instead I put on another sweater the pat few days the fans have been going!!!!
That kind of mish mash weather makes your whole psyche upside down.
It does me for sure.
Besides that the allergies are in full bloom together with the gorgeous yellow
bushes sitting next to the gorgeous purple asters down the street.
Yellow= I forgot their name , it will come to me about midnight tonight.

Trying to duplicate my window boxes to Belgium, they use Erica's all the time there and they are lovely in the middle of winter. Can't find them here in stores, nowhere.( My mother had a small box by the opening of a balcony on her apartment. Every winter she had it full of erica's and it was so pleasant to look at the purple buds showing up amidst the snow.)
Back to the store:
They look at me like they hear it thunder in Berlin.
Say what? (OK that was a Belgian expression not appropriate for NC, maybe?)
Anyway they say : Erica???
I say heather and then "one know it all" said:" we only sell them in the spring."
Go get another job. It is a winter plant too, dummy.

Saw "Ironman" yesterday ,to my surprise I liked it.
Then the beginning of Desperate Housewives which I think was sort of predictable and not so hot. It is their last season. Hope they find work after that series.

Think it is House tonight the new beginning.

Friday, September 23, 2011

the walk with dogs

I walk Bijou up the hill to the ancient cemetery.
There are 2 huge lawns there waiting for occupants.
There Bijou likes to roam and squat.
So this morning on a misty grey day I just roam around the lawns letting Bijou
smell every leaf and grass blade. Then it came to me that a recent film I saw on
Darwin showed how he walked on his estate between the trees and flora and always looked for life under his feet. Thousands of specimens he collected every where.
So I started to think how very shallow my walks had been.
What was I thinking while I watched the white furry one bury his nose in this other world? Did I think about the ants I had squooshed and killed just now.
Did I notice that a small moth fled to safety just before my big foot went down?
Did I pay attention to anything at all?
My mind was trying to decide what I could accomplish today, should I do the floor first? Should I do the package I promised? Should I walk to the post? Should I make pasta again for dinner tonight. How many minutes was I out here, 20 minutes counts for 1 point in WW. These ridiculously mondane things are all I can muster.
How much we have learned from scientist like Darwin because they did not bother with this simple life and searched for more answers.(They had wives to cook for them)
They are still out there, they are still looking for cures, they are still looking for the unknown today so it can be common knowledge tomorrow.
Oh! Wait! (she says in excitement , look over there something yellow!
I run towards a plot of yellow mushrooms, they are "my thing", I tell myself I should learn moe about them. I have lots of photos of them and tomorrow I will take the camera. Further there are some huge ones and they look like misformed potatoes, they are ugly! Are they all poisonous? How many people died before they figured out which ones were poison???? Did the Lords send out their slaves to test them?
Did the Kings watch the jester have a bite before he would?
I do not feel so bad after all, the walk has made me think about mushrooms and I am ready to fix the portobello tonight.
Maybe these mushrooms could become medication, maybe they are already being used for that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yahoo most clicked on "items" of news

I am fascinated with what America checks on when they have a computer full of info and still go for ....celebrities...
Yesterday the main attraction was Travolta having his Mercedes stolen as he was shopping for a Jaguar......Poor guy that was in the top ten news worthy items to check out......

Today I saw something a bit more interesting
first on the list is space junk:
Space junk to fall - but don't panic says NASA
That could give one an Excedrin headache

Last on the list of ten today:Criss Angel
do not know what this person did and I am not going to check either.....

it is raining a lot and the dogs smell like wet dogs.....
we need the rain.......
love all of you

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nothing new worth mentioning

Tuesday= shopping day

Managed to find 2 NEW sweaters at Goodwill , I love plush sweaters and there they were waiting for me, plus Christmas paper at $1.00 a roll , can't beat that.

Sabrina installed the new light in the office, the other one was too dim for the work I will be doing here in winter time. We picked out a 5 light one and it is a great difference as I can see what I am writing.

Lowes we found some viola's the little ones supposedly will survive winter IF the winter is mild....we shall see..I only bought 5 for my boxes....hope to find some
erica's soon like in Belgium boxes, they do well in winter. I should check eBay.

Brie is suffering with hot spells and acts like a lady in menopause.
You know like a pregnant one without the kid to show for.
She is still my rock as she stood sweating and hanging lamps.

I am now running around in sweaters , we AGAIN went from the heat to cold overnight.
low 70's and overcast but little rain.

Wonder when I will cut down the hostas and hoard them in a corner since now I
have so many in pots.

Been busy with beads. Shop very quiet this month we are hoping for a good leaf season and that would bring in the tourists.

Zack will be 16 soon and how can that be????
He was a baby just yesterday!!!
He is going to school trip by train to DC. Did it last year too.
More kids signed up this year and is that not the best education they can get.
So many options in DC to visit and learn from. There is also the new
Martin Luther King statue.
Glad he can go.

A gentleman wrote me that he purchased Bob's paintings in Florida, decades ago, he read my blog and was sorry to hear of his ending with A. He said how much he loves looking at his painting in his dining room.
Bob leaves a lot of legacy with his work. People still looking at his paintings and just loving them. He would be smiling if he read the compliments.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

sunday sept 18 2011

OK so I do listen to Amanpour on Sunday morning and there is this fellow who I am hoping does not know much but declared that Perry will probably be the nominee.
I do not have enough money to leave the country but by golly I do not cherish that thought at all.
Texas is one state to govern, all of the USA is quite another matter.
Did he not want to separate Texas from us all????

Trivia: all of the above. .....

Real trivia: son's girlfriend, Shannon, brought me a cinnamon kitchen smells heavenly. I did not think these brooms would give off so much scent. Love it.

Real, real trivia: Sabrina went on all these huge going to the sky machines at the State fair. She is now brave since she did the swinging in the trees adventure.
Good for her. We can't live in fear all our lives....she says as she.....fears...and fears...

No trivia: sailors had a very bad night when a big storm came and they were anchored, it seems when that happens you better check your anchors OFTEN.
In their case they could have landed on the rocks along the shore.

Life is exciting at sea, when you have a sailor's stomach to go with it.

Back at beading, must catch up, Christmas shopping will be here before you know it.

Went to Steinmart, Amy on vacation now and leaves October 1st for Indiana.
Kathy manager from then on.
Susan not happy that she is not second in command but did not make an effort to sign up for that either.
Friday morning there is a party for Amy and they invited me.
Staff there is now at minimum.
Isabel still there.
I received a welcome from every one there.
They still love me, how about that?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

spitting nails

Pat Robertson said it is ok for people to divorce if someone has Alzheimer.

Spitting nails

everything is c0ming up roses

yup, everything is going so smoothly it is scary, I have to turn around the feeling that the other shoe will drop. Last many months have been surprises which were not pleasant.
It was with some trepidation that I went to the place where they make pancakes out of your breasts and then tell you everything will be .......
I had a good report, everything clear.
As my Dr ordered I am just checking off all the possibilities of the cancer having
gone other places.
So far all is good.
Next the dreaded colonoscopy.
Everything in the household is working smoothly.
Bought 2 new fixtures for hall and office.
The one in the office is way to dim and winter is coming = dark at 4 o clock.
Sabrina is my electrician, she comes next week to put them in.
This girl should have been a boy, when she enters Lowes she beams and smiles like a Cheshire cat. She loves tools. Loves paints. Loves mirrors. Loves gadgets of any kind. I think she needs a gift card in Lowes instead of Steinmart.
She was always more of a tom boy when she grew up and was in adoration of het "Princess" sister, but it was not in her genes to be a "princess".

Monday, September 12, 2011

Again W W

I am so used to these initials and for you skinny gals it is weight watchers.
I can't remember how many times I have joined that outfit.
Right now I have lost quite a bit since the surgery but I want more so I joined again on line.
Does that mean no banana splits with Brie on Tuesdays?
My bones are brittle and do not need to carry more weight.
So we shall see....shall we?

In the meantime I am having one heck of a headache and I even drank my diet coke.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

when do you know it is Alzheimer?

A Facebook friend said I had not written much about the very beginning.
Here it goes :
Bob was very smart, remembered everything in the art world ,names of painters (disliked the modern ones) and all the patterns of early American pressed glass not to mention librettos of his favorite operas.
The man had a great mind, taught me so very much.

We had gone on a trip to Gent in my native Belgium and visited with friends and family when 2 days before our return my friend E had a stroke while we had lunch together. By 5 a m she had left us and I had to work with a confused husband to arrange her funeral. Bob sat in a corner pretty much useless and speechless.
When we left we were just numb. Once home I was sending him out to pay the electric bill and get a few groceries. He returned irate and yelling that the electric company had moved and they would only take gas payments where he went.
He had an argument with the manager as she insisted they had always been in that
office and he knew better.

I calmed him down and we did the rest of the errands together. I figured that since we left with such a heavy load on our shoulders that he just could not handle it.
He never did "dying" very well. He did not paint for 2 years when his mother and sister passed. He just moped. Finally I told him to paint or I would leave so he started to paint again. It did take 2 years !

I remembered the bill incident as one by one he did strange things.
More often I said: I told you so and he would respond "NO YOU DID NOT"
One morning he was not sure if he needed sugar in his coffee. He always took sugar.
That knocked me for a loop.
Visited the family doctor and told him of my suspicions. He told Bob a story and asked him to repeat it , he did it very well. Dr. said: Your imagination or your fear, Jeannot, nothing wrong with him.
I told the kids of every little thing I had written down and I thought to be
suspicious. The kids shook their head. "No way Mom he is so alert, look at his painting". So I looked with my expert eye of having him painting on front of me for decades. I did not see a change. Then one day he asked me :"what colors do I use for the background? I forgot?"
I dragged him to the neurologist. He did some basic tests like "draw me a face of a clock at 3.00 o clock, he did. Told him a story and he repeated it leaving some stuff out. Then another few simple tests and finally the doctor said:
"Mrs. K. I am thinking that you are right. He is in the beginning stages of dementia/ Alzheimer. I can do a test but it costs 1500 and medicare does not pay for it." I told him I did not need the test, I knew.
Still it took a long while before anyone believed me. Most daily stuff he did without a hitch and now and then would throw me a curve that would always shock me.
I so wanted to be wrong. I so told myself daily that I over reacted.
My kids had to be right. Our friends did not see anything wrong with him.
What was wrong with me???
Second visit to neurologist and he said that he was pretty sure now and perhaps we could start him on Aricept. This was in the 1990's and Aricept was I believe the only medicine then. Bob could not handle it, his stomach ached from it.
Besides that he was a Christian Scientist, he had lived his whole life since his grandmother in Science. He was not going to give in with easy for any medication and only went to the doctor to humor me.
He kept laughing while showing me the Mary Baker booklet on his beliefs.
It had not interfered in our marriage before, I went to doctors, the kids did but he was totally devoted, read the Bible and the M Baker book lesson every day.
He had prostate cancer and at my insistence gave in to treatment till it was gone.
This was another struggle to daily try and get him to take the Aricept.
I started to buy books on the disease, Read everything on line and found out that
in Germany they had a drug which had worked very well on the slow decline of the disease. It turned out that it was just approved in the USA I think it was called Namenda.
The cost then for his pills was 600 a month. I did not know if it would help
but in retrospect it did go down slowly, too slowly at the end when he was unaware of anything anymore but by then we had stopped the medication.
Slowly very slowly the children started to believe that something was wrong.
I started to get some support. We went to a group meeting , I did not know what to expect. I asked if I could sit in with him instead of the caregivers.
He was the least affected at that time of all the others. He was beaming as they were singing 1940's songs and telling army stories. he knew it all and was like a peacock. "See I did well in there, I do not have anything wrong with me"
I looked around in the room and a few just sat there facing the floor, some told out of context stories and I had to run to the bathroom to just cry my eyes out.
These poor people, these poor souls, was Bob going to be like that?
Perhaps he would be spared and would only forget a few things.
Outside with the caregivers I was scolded that I let him drive (I do not drive)
I told them he was still in early stages and they all answered "baloney".
Take him off the road.
Next month I sat in on the caregiving group, in the other room they were singing and laughing...we were almost all near tears. Men and women in this group all taking care of someone. The stories shared that day where of stories in late stages and I felt like I was going to throw up.
The female doctor who gave us instructions on how not to let them choke on their food, how to keep up with the norm of things, have eyes checked ( was she kidding me?) - (Bob took off his glasses one day and said these things are no good and that was that)
In his last 6 months when he was in a nursing home a dentist wanted to take out what was left of rotting teeth and give him false teeth. OH PLease the nerve!!!
BTW a friend of mine was billed from the nursing home by a shrink who charged for 2 visits a week to her husband who was comatose. She fought it and won, of course so do be aware!!!

I did not go back to the meetings, all I heard there were horror stories and I was not ready for that.
If I remember right he drove another 3 years and taking away his license was the worst for him as he did not understand that he did no longer belong on the road, that he missed red lights and that it was time.

A friend of his from CA and I decided we'd do one more trip to Torremolinos Spain. We would watch him in stages and different hours if need be.
Our tour guide found him once in the street and brought him back.
Friend A. forgot to watch him.
We had a good time in spite of it all except in airports where they have
2 exits in one restroom and he had gone out the wrong way.
Then our plane seats had been changed and he was separated from me.
When it was time to leave he went for the front and the pilots, that brought on some commotion. It was his last flight.

Early on I was active in preparations, labeled the cabinets with titles :"glasses" "plates" " your shorts" etc...he would laugh but he never really used them
when it was time to use them he forgot much of spelling.
I installed cheap little cameras in drive way to see if he left the grounds and
run after him. One day he got away and walked 6 miles. He had walked into a
youth camp along the highway and it was a miracle he turned around and out the right way as the camp was closed and was a huge place with lakes etc....
He was skinny by then but he could walk like an athlete , he had always walked.

I do not believe there is a set rule on how to detect this or predict it unless the new tests are reliable. A friend of mine only knew her husband was ill when he
put his hand on a hot stove burner and had a badly burned hand. He did not understand why. She had him checked and he was well on his way to D/A
I worked and lived 24/7 with Bob for decades, I knew him too well and I knew
I think from the very tiny first beginnings. It is hard to accept, you do not want that in your life and his/her life.

If a person lives alone a lot of people would not notice much until one day he/she drives 2 states away and wonder why they are there. Happened to a friend of ours.

My best friend one day said : "I knew it when he did not remember Gustaf Klimt"
That did not bother me in the least, I knew the man, he had no respect for modern art at all and would not bother to look at it or remember their names.
If he did not remember Caravaggio then we would have a problem.
You have to know the person in details, if you will, to detect the first stages of D/A. That is my humble opinion.

Today, of course, as I said before, there is a test but how accurate is it?
For years I read that only if they do an autopsy do they know what kind of disease took the patient. This too may have changed.

Bob left us a year ago. It took 13 years from our golden years.
The last 6 months he was in a rest home as I had broken my ankle in 3 places and could not watch him. That part was very difficult for me. Yet in retrospect he had a good time there, he walked the halls and shook hands with everyone and kissed the old ladies hands. He brought joy to some people during the last months of his life.
Here alone at home with me and my son, not knowing who we were he would have been miserable. At least that is what I an trying to tell myself.

FB Friend K. Hope that will help you on your journey, may it just be a false alarm.

9 11 2011

Ten years have gone by.
Where were we? Of course, we never forget that day.
How could we?
An attack on American soil in the middle of New York/
How can we ever forget anything like that?
It is the kind of stuff writers of science fiction keeps them busy but not
reality like this.

Bob was still able to drive and understand we were out to have a good time at
Harrah's in Cherokee, 100 miles from home.
We had spent the day before gambling our allotted money.
I had watched him closely to make sure he was not to confused in this
milieu but he stuck to one machine, looked up now and then to see me
then continued.
We had a good time but he no longer could play the poker machine, he forgot how to.
Not sure how much he figured out on the slot machine but he did play for
quite awhile.
After we stuffed ourselves on their fabulous bar, all you can eat, we went to our usual motel. It was a 1950's model, very clean but very retro looking and not
expensive, we always stayed with these people.
Woke up in the morning ready to go to Mac Donalds for breakfast and head on home.
Turned on "Good Morning America", I remember sitting on the side of the bed
and looking at the TV when ,I think it was Charlie, he said:"We just heard that there was an explosion or something happening by the Towers...we will keep you posted and you saw the concern on their faces.
I was struggling getting into my socks as I kept looking at the screen, I remember thinking that this was probably something small to get us excited about.
Calls started to come in and someone said he had been in the army and he was sure it was some sort of missile that hit the tower. He had heard the noise of a missile. More concern! Quickly we had a view of the tower and black smoke, then the notion that a small plane had crashed in there. As I sat staring on the TV with the host of GMA in total shock , I saw the second plane coming at the right for a second was lost in sight and then an explosion.
My heart must have pumped at full speed.
I was petrified.
I said to Bob: "Honey , this is war, we are having a war and we must go home to the kids" he was a bit confused but followed my orders.
Outside I called my best friend Lee and told her the news in case she had not watched TV, she had not, she had kids in NY.
I called our kids and said that we were on our way.
They asked me questions, Mom was does this mean. I said it means WAR.
My childhood fears had returned. After ww2 I just always feared another war.
It took decades to get over it.
It was right back.
We went to Mc Donalds to eat breakfast before we'd go and I saw people in line like nothing had happened, here and there someone would say something about
a problem in N Y but no one was agitated as I was. I think they had not heard all of it yet and did not react yet.
A lady came in and yelled out : A plane landed in the Pentagon.
Say what? another plane????
We jumped into the car breakfast in hand and headed home between the gorgeous mountains of The Blue Ridge and part of the Smokeys.
All the way I kept calling the kids but lost contact.
I told Bob that for sure this was a declaration of war from somewhere...
I said: first thing we do is plant a vegetable garden, we will need this, we will
have shortages. I tried to remember what I could plant this late...
rutabaga , beets, Brussels sprouts, spinach ???
Bob agreed with it all. He no longer was getting excited about such things but he
was somewhat agitated. Too much commotion.
Once home and in contact with the kids and watching TV till all hours in the night I started to calm down with my war idea.
As things developed and became clear the shock became greater because of the loss of lives.
All our N Y friends had survived and were in state of numbness ,one had a gorgeous just renovated shop a few blocks from there and ultimately lost his business.
Will I ever forget that day? Not possible.

What followed was another catastrophe with thousands of more lives lost on both sides, the "enemy" and our men and woman in a war far away and not needed (in my opinion) a war in Iraq.
Followed by...Afghanistan......
I do not have to plant beets in September but I am sure that in these warn thorn places a mother is wondering what to put on the plate of her children....
"War" an ugly word.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

started my morning with ...........

choking on a Belgian Spekulaas, a Belgian cookie. Could not breathe in or out.
Son came to the rescue with the H maneuver but it took forever (so it seemed) to get wind in these old popes. Did I see my whole life flash before me knowing this was it?
No, not I, I thought "I am going to die choking on a Belgian cookie, that is so not cool" As Bob worked one me over and over again, Bijou, barked and barked.
He got the rest of the cookie.

other interest today one of our Father Christmas dolls is up for sale on eBay.
They call it a St Nicholas, how gauche. It is a Father Christmas, you dummy!
There are 1600 of them out there so it is bound to happen.

Sky is still grey but I do not think we will have rain today, sun promised for week end, I am enjoying the cool it.

I got up at 7 with his majesty, Bijou, crawled back into bed and woke at 11...
what is the rush for nothing......
With so much beauty sleep I should go back 20 years but it is not happening.....
I have orders for necklaces I need to pick it up....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the 7th September and rain continues

I think it is part of that storm Katia but we do need the rain in this area.
Yesterday I did nothing but take naps, I was exhausted from the vacation.
But today I feel terrific and happy that I had that change in scenery.
It all worked out very well.
Zack is my bodyguard and he takes his job seriously.
We are already planning on trips together, ha ha.
We get along so well.
Brie is so happy that she conquered another fear and can now dive into the waves.
She is taking on a lot of old fears and growing while she wins them.
Bijou is still hanging on to my every move, guess he missed me.
He does not let go of Mama.
Everyone is doing fine so that is the best news.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor day gone

So we had the beach, the hotel was lovely, the room spacious for all of us with kitchenette and extra Murphy bed.
The Young ones did their thing and I did mine.
I now know that I am having to watch the vertigo and the back.
The ride in was brutal at the end as we started late and I had been running about before our departure.
We went past Florence and had a good night rest before we hit North Myrtle.
The only problam wwas check in at 4 pm, we got in at 3
but the kids went and did their thing on the beach while I read in the lobby.
Frank went fishing every day but did not catch, on the Pier the sharks circled and ate the fish before the fishermen had a chance...that is his story anyway....
Brie and Zack were water rats, Brie overcame some more of her fears and just loved it in the waves. I did go into the "river" in a tube and it was relaxing to say the least, the back can't get hurt that way

It was a lovely week end and I would do it again after I save some money and the kids have a long week end.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Anniversary one

it's a year.
I miss you so much.
At Myrtle this past week end.
I remembered how we walked the beach in Destin for many years
how lucky we had that.
Me and my budget.
We had a budget from one wednesday to the other
and one Tuesday night you wanted donuts.
I said No more money in my budget.
Tomorrow morning we will run to Dunkin.
You pouted and I did not give in.
The vacations were nice but we did not have extra money so I
took this seriously.
You never did understand money.
You understood flowers of all kinds, trees, clouds....oh how you loved clouds even when you no longer knew their name you pointed to them
One day an airplane flew near the clouds and you acted shocked, you asked me what that was. I said :"an airplane, honey, you have been in them many times".
You smiled and said :"really?"
It seemed to please you but you went right back to looking at the clouds.
Today as we drove home I pretended you were in the truck.
I can't hear the conversations around me so I am having head talks with you.
I always win too.
You do not talk back.
I so wanted to see another blue butterfly, none showed up, we stopped at a rest area and some bikers had a picnic near us. The girl bend down and in the small of her back she had a gorgeous blue tattoo of a butterfly.
I was happy.
That biker chick had no idea that she gave me a signal from you.
I miss you I love you and always will.
Hope that you are in a better place. Hope you are healed and happy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

the other side of September

What is it we are supposed to say?

White Rabbit, White Rabbit and all will be fine!

September it is!


Been reading a lot of European mail lately and the confusion set in
as they write 1/9/11 and my slower brain has to justify it all.

I am going to have a slow week end.
I am going to relax more.
I have 3 books on the Kindle, lets see what I do with it.
I have replenished the stock for shoppe, will be a busy week end for them.

I am trying to redirect my mind and forget that the 5th is one year when
Bob left us. The whole week the scene of me saying goodbye kept flashing in front of me. I still have a lot of problems with remembering him when he was well and
functioning. I can't imagine that he went shopping, in the car, alone, to get what was on my list. Did he ever do that? I question myself. No visual in the memory bank of that.

When I walk Bijou I look for his image at the end of my street, to the day that I broke my ankle and he had to go to a rest home, he stood there, I could count on him to stand there and look for me. If he turned around the other way he became confused and walked towards 5th Avenue. If he kept focused on me coming down the
hill then he was ok till we were close and Bijou thought he just found his friend.

Why is it so hard to remember the good times. To remember him healthy.
I want to forget the last 13 years, should I forget???
Can I ever stop the pain?