Signs……….

•October 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

You remember that movie, right? The one with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix? About the aliens, where his kids put aluminium foil on their heads to ward them off?  Well, I have SIGNS, but not those kinds.  These are subtle little signs that I am seeing everyday in my Mom.  I try to let her do as much for herself as possible, it helps her to stay as independent as she can, and makes her feel better.  I know that for people with Alzheimer’s, being treated (or made to feel) like a baby irritates them, and my mother has always been so independent.  She can still do her meds-but I double-check them, she mails her bills, and stuff. But I asked her about a particular piece of mail I was expecting, and she brought me something from 2006.   Today we took Penny to the dog park (and had a WONDERFUL time!), and on the way home Mom said she wanted to stop and get ice cream. So I parked in the parking lot at our local Publix, and let her go in to get her ice cream. Well, 45 minutes later she still wasn’t out. I was beginning to wander if the store had eaten her, or she’d found an escape route in the back and made a run for it!!  So I left the puppy in the car and went in. There she was on aisle 3 (I believe), between the pasta and the canned vegetables with a cart FULL of food!  All things she would eat, and she had a good assortment, so I let her have her things, we got her bread and hit the checkout.  She spent more than normal, but she was “stocking up” as people from that generation have a tendency to do.  She has extra $$ since she lives with me now and doesn’t go to Ross all the time :-). So I didn’t stress her out over somethings in her cart that she might have done differently, because really, it wasn’t that important. Not important enough to question her and give her a reason to get aggravated.   She loves to feed my birds-and a couple of weeks ago she went to refill the window feeder, and when I turned around she had taken it completely apart and lost the screws.  I told her it wasn’t important, we could get new ones.  But, later I found her crying because she didn’t understand why she couldn’t do it right.  She had done it before.  It broke my heart and made me realize that somethings are not important.  I might just go buy a bag full of those screws and be prepared.  I told her not to worry-I forget how to do things all the time. And it was just a silly old bird feeder anyway. These are the types of signs I am seeing.  It is truly breaking my heart that some cruel, uncaring, brutal and heartless disease is stealing her from me!  I feel helpless, cause I like to fix things.  I pray everyday for her clarity of mind, but I know it will slowly be taken from her.   Her brother came to get her Sunday and take her to see her sister, it was a nice break for her and I. And it did her good to be with her siblings. They were all together except for her one brother in FL, and he is in poor health.  I am glad she had the chance to do that. If you know someone, or have a friend who is a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient-offer to give them a break, it really helps to stay fresh and deal with the changes that are taking place.

I am praising God for my Mom, and getting to spend this time with her, and I am also still praying for a dear friend whose mother recently passed away.  She suffered for a short while, but I know God in His mercy and grace saved her from a much longer suffering,, and my friend is at peace with that.

Blog Log, not to be confused with a Pecan Log……..,

•October 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

……cause those are WAY yummy too!!!

No, I wanted to share today some of my favorite Blogs.  What is a Blog?

To put it as simply as possible a blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way (oh yeah, by the way-you are reading a BLOG right now! Cute, huh?), let’s get back to the sharing. And also the story of how I became a BLOG addict.  I know-it’s a sad, sad thing.  The library misses me, People magazine is still trying to woo me back, and I ain’t giving in, and going back to reading pages made from paper and filled with senseless words, unless of course there is a #5 in the Twilight series!  The only words on paper I am reading these days are the Bible (my all-time favorite!), my two textbooks for school (oh and the new, shiny medical dictionary I got!),  my Beth Moore study and a book called The 36 Hour Day.  Ok, so I haven’t really given up READING, but I’ve slimmed down my list. I no longer feel the need to waste money actually BUYING books to read.  There is plenty of good reading online.

My initiation into the Blog world was a site called Caringbridge.  Caringbridge is a wonderful way for families to updates friends and relatives on the condition of loved ones-whether they are ill, deployed, etc. We had one for my Dad when he was ill, and my Mom when she had her open heart surgery. That way you don’t have to field a million calls a day when you’re tired and trying to spend valuable time with a sick loved one, or work.  Caring Bridge is a free site-and anyone can make one.  Then I found out about Blogs in general.  There are Blogs about everything-just Goggle it-I promise.  I’ve listed some of my favorites below-with an asterisk beside the ones that are not appropriate for kids.  Maybe it’s the “nosey” in me, I don’t know. But it’s neat to see what others are going through, have been through, and see what wisdom they can offer you if you find yourself in the same situation.

I used to have a Blogroll here on my Blog-and might redo it-but for now here they are~

http://thepioneerwoman.com/-a city girl gone country in the biggest way-she’s a Rancher’s wife, cook, photographer and just a down to earth girl.

http://coalcreekfarm.com/-another Rancher’s Farmer’s wife-seeing a trend here? She has a VERY funny video (well-ALOT of funny videos) about how to move a swarm of bees!

http://mymoderncountryhome.blogspot.com/-cool chick, hmmmmmmmm…. I wonder-does she really drive her tractor in pearls??

http://freeanissa.com/-she’s funny-and has the cutest darn kids!  She recently moved from the Tampa area to Hotlanta-and I used to read her Blog about her youngest, Peyton, but she’s NOT SICK ANYMORE!! Yipppeee!!

http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/-this woman has incredible faith! And although our spiritual views differ somewhat-her faith is awe inspiring, and she would not have survived her ordeal if it weren’t for her faith in our AMAZING God!

http://blog.cjanerun.com/-and this is the sister of the one above-what she did for her sister was a true testament to LOVE.

http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/-I never knew anyone did this. It made me want to jump on a plane to Africa the minute I started reading about Katie and her journey.

http://sublimebakery.blogspot.com/-they don’t update a ton, but when they do it sure is YUMMY!

http://twobarkingdogs.wordpress.com/-funny girls, and she loves her dogs!

**http://shaunaglenn.blogspot.com-this girl is so funny she’s made me almost wet my pants before, and she does use some objectionable language at times-but she is also pretty hilarious. So “No Kids Allowed” on this one.

**http://barefootfoodie.com/-yet another one with some foul language sometimes-but OMGOSH! She just writes what some of us want to say sometimes! So “No Kids Allowed” on this one either.

And this one I found just today-http://girlsguidetohomelessness.com/-you will be amazed at this young woman’s strength!

Okay-that’s it for now-and that should keep you busy!

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  I don’t much planned, because you know there are actually people who laud their “busy-ness” to me on a regular basis. They must think that because I am unemployed (not by choice), I sit at home at eat bonbons all day. NOT……  There’s this taking-care-of-mom thing that I do (and just for the record-so no one thinks I am complaining-I LOVE IT!), school 3 days a week, 5 dogs, cooking, church, paying bills, balancing our ever shrinking income-and stretching it as far as it will go, studying, taking tests, oh, and a husband who is about to undergo a MAJOR right knee replacement REVISION! Yep-that’s right-the doctor is having to revise it.  You’re sure to hear more about that when it happens at the end of the month.  Oh yeah-and mix into all of that-trying to be a great wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.  But I’m not busy or anything!

Enjoy life~

Rhonda

Party Animals

•October 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ok-so Lady (our 12 year old cocker/golden mix PetSmart special) heard me talking about my trip to the beach.  She got all “Woo-I’m gonna study for my exam and then have a couple shots and show Mom I can hang with the best of them. I LOVE the beach, maybe she’ll take me along.  We can leave these other humans and canines to fend for themselves.”

What? Oh, dogs don’t talk?? Or think like that? Well-you’ve never met Lady……..this is how I found her late last night…..

I guess she had too  much!

I guess she had too much!

Well, I’ve got news for her; She’s not going to the beach, she’s grounded for drinking in the presence of a minor………

Penny was there and saw the whole debacle!

Penny was there and saw the whole debacle!

Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in the making of these pictures 🙂

On the road again, just can’t wait…you know that one?

•October 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yep-I’m about to head out folks.  Where to you ask?  THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!  THE BEACH, THE BEACH, THE BEACH!! Can’t tell I’m happy about it?  Let me say it louder THE BEACHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! It’s only for 3 days, and yes, we are driving there and back (they say it’s 6 hrs and 29 minutes, but my driver has assured me she can make it in less time!), and the forecast isn’t the greatest, but who cares? They’re having the Shrimp Festival while we are there-and I can eat shrimp in the sunshine or rain!  No matter to me and my tummy!  This trip came about because my best friend suggested it. She knew that just like her-I needed a break.  She runs kids to music, Nashville, baseball, football, chorus, etc-you get my drift? And she needed a break. I am going to school, helping my family look after my Mom (and she’s very well behaved-but it was a stressful summer!), dealing with family stresses, and a husband soon to have very major surgery-so I needed a break too.  Luckily our dear Pharmacist friend’s in-laws have a condo that is available-and it is on THEBEACH!!!!!!    So we are kidnapping her tomorrow when she gets off work, putting her in the back seat to rest after 12 hours on her feet dispensing who knows what all kinds of drugs, and we are doing the driving, to where-oh,  THEBEACH!!!  I guess you figured out by now where we are going, and that I am just a tad bit excited.

Of course there’s a bunch of things that have to happen before I can leave for even 3 days.  I have to wash (cause I am not wearing dirty clothes, and the last time I checked we weren’t going to a nudist colony-THANK GOD!),  go to one more class tomorrow, pay bills, and pack up all my school stuff so I can study and take one online test while I’m away.  Yeah, I know-that last one sucks!  But the test won’t be available til Friday morning-so I can go shelling and then come back to the condo and take the test. I know-rough huh?

Don’t worry or fret though, I’ll be back before you know it-and I’m bound to blog while I’m away-especially since I know there will be plenty of good photos to be had, and I will want to share them!  So hang tight-and keep your eyes out!

Rhonda~

God’s beauty in nature…..

•October 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

nothing profound today-except to say that God loves me even when I fail and let Him down. His grace is AMAZING!  Here are some examples of His handiwork around my house……

flower for blog1I received this plant as a “Get Well” gift 4 years ago in the hospital. At first I kept it inside, yet it never grew or bloomed.  Now it stays outside from March to November and always has lots of huge, beautiful blooms on it.  Right now it has about 5, and it has grown huge!

I fill this up every morning, and they empty it out fast!

I fill this up every morning, and they empty it out fast!

And this little baby below just walked around and found a spot to lie down…even with Peet barking his head off!

So new it still has the spots!

So new it still has the spots!

Enjoy and have a blessed week!

Rhonda~

Anyone need a maid???

•September 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t really think this needs an explanation, in light of the upcoming holiday celebrated by putting cute costumes on anything that will stand still. Ok, I admit it-she didn’t stand still-but she got real still when I put this on her. Cute, no?

Penny-ready and waiting for the Halloween festivities to begin!

Penny-ready and waiting for the Halloween festivities to begin!

Words Can’t Describe……….

•September 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

When I say words can’t describe, I meant it; they really, really don’t.    Words can’t tell you what it’s like to hold your dying brother, knowing that the words he is speaking to you are probably the last words recognizing you for who you are-his sister.  Words can’t describe what it’s like to sign papers admitting your dying father to Hospice, alone, with only the hospice counselor there to comfort and help you through it.   There are no words for a friend who is having to make tough decisions about a parent, sister, brother, spouse or child, whether they are having to decide about long term care, hospice care or life saving decisions.  Sometimes people just quit calling, because they don’t have the words. What they might not realize though, is that there are 3 or 4 words that can help most of the time.  A simple call or card to say “I love you” or “I’m praying for you” can carry someone faced with these decisions a long way.

It’s tough being a caregiver, and let me tell you I’ve done it, and I am still doing it. But the truth is that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I pray constantly for God to guide my heart and mind in the decisions that I make for my loved ones.  I know that I have a huge support system, and they also are storming the gates of Heaven for God to provide the wisdom I am seeking.  Everyday is different, but some days are better, and some are worse.  I know as my mother’s AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) progresses, there will be more worse than better. That’s all the more reason I have to squeeze what I can out of the better ones.  Whether it’s breakfast with her friends, taking her to her hairdresser (the same one for 15 years) to have her hair done, or lunch with her BFF; we will make the most of those things.  Sometimes it could be a simple trip to the grocery store, but even that is special.  I have a wonderful group of family and friends (both longtime and church family)-that I know I can count on to help me, pray for me or just listen to me.  I have friends going through the same things-and God allows us to hold each other up.  If you know of someone who is a caregiver for a friend or relative-please offer them support.  It could be something s simple as making a meal, dropping off bread and milk, sitting for an hour or two to give them some respite care; any little thing to you becomes a big thing to them, and will not go unnoticed.  But the worst thing you can do at all-is to stop calling………that is the loneliest thing of all.

Today was a better day-we sang at church, laughed at lunch and rejoiced at new life to come soon in the form of a baby-I will cherish today.