Sunday Was the Best

This article tells how quickly with dementia that moods can and do change. Notice how one situation was quieted when one dear friend stepped up with a simple solution. The panic really has to become quieted also because otherwise there would be a scene.

Last Sunday began the same as all my visits to see Bill or pick him up for Sunday meeting. We got ready for meeting and got there early enough to visit with everyone. He was a little angst-ridden to begin with, but as soon as our dear friends saw him, they went and said hello to him. There is one little boy about 2 1/2 years that always runs up to him yelling, “Bill, Bill” and throwing his little arms up in the air to signal Bill to pick him up.  Oh what a delight it is to see both of their eyes light up.

That is how our Sunday began. After the meeting we went with our outstanding friends to grab a bite to eat, then said that we would see them later that afternoon at the farewell party being given for a couple leaving for a different language congregation about 20 miles from here. That may sound silly since they are only going 20 miles, but it is a great gap in the time we will be able to spend with them. This congregation is being set up so the Tsurkeese (probably spelled badly) can learn about Jehovah in their own language.

It was once said best when the JW’s began to print literature and form new congregations on reservations in the southwest. A young Indian said something that touches my heart as much as it touches the Indians. Her comment was that before, reading the information in English was okay because they learned from that information they read; but now reading it in their own language touches their hearts because now they understand the meaning behind the words when they read it in their own language. So when people are learning something new to them, it always means so much more to see the words in their native tongue. This way, not only does it go into their minds, it goes into their hearts they get the full meaning of the words. I had never thought of it that way. I guess that I too expected that everyone spoke English and never gave it a thought of how they understood it or if they got the real meaning behind the words.

So it is with the new congregations that this couple is going to help get started and work to make it grow. We then bid our lunch mates goodbye until then. Bill and I were tired from the morning activities and settled down to watch some videos. We took turns napping in our recliners and we both felt happy and satisfied.

When we got to the gathering we put down our dish with the others and I set up my camera to take pictures of the occasion. Bill came over to me just about in a panic because he did not know what to do with this card that someone, he didn’t remember who,  gave to him and he didn’t know what he was supposed to do with it. I suggested that he could just put it on a table and if it was meant to be passed around, someone will pick it up.

That tiresome anxiety quickly grew as Bill began to get that familiar look of dread and confusion in his eyes. He didn’t know who he was supposed to give it to and couldn’t remember who gave it to him. This becomes a life and death feeling to the person with dementia. I calmly made the same suggestion and other similar ones to him while he kept repeating himself and I saw that he was about to lose control in a panic.

My own breathing quickened and my temples started to pound in high blood pressure frenzy. Tears commenced to well up when a friend stepped closer to us and gave him a suggestion that instantly put him back at ease in this good sized crowd. Sometimes a friend or a simple but different solution to the problem can cause his composure to return instantly. No one knows why, it just can and does happen. An embarrassing scene was cut short of happening when that dear friend stepped up and suggested that he put it in his back pocket so everyone could see that he still had it and the person who gave it to him could just take it back. A hug for my friend and a whispered “Thank you” said it all to her.

When we left the party we went straight home. He’s allowed one night a month to be gone overnight. This was his July overnighter. We watched a little TV and went to bed. I took my blood pressure and it was a little high, but nothing even close for reason to worry.

We had planned to watch some Netflix and maybe go for a walk the next day. It felt good to sleep in on Monday. I took my blood pressure and it was a bit high but no problem. I took my meds and gave Bill his and we went to the donut shop for coffee and what else? Donuts. (I do realize that donut is not spelled right, but that is the way this shop spells it) This was enjoyable and after running a couple of errands, we made it back home.

Bill just can’t get his mind to understand why he has to be there. He understands why when I tell him so, but he can’t retain it. I had to check my blood pressure throughout the day, and it was a little higher each time despite the medication so I just took an anti-anxiety pill and took it an hour later. This was getting bit serious now. It was reading 175/110. I told Bill I needed to take him back early because I thought I had better stop by the ER in Joplin to make sure that my blood pressure goes down. When I went back home I took it one more time it was 195/122. I drove straight to the hospital. Once they got the medicine into me it started to go down. Three hours later they sent me home but not before the doctor said I had acute bronchitis. With prescriptions in hand I headed home letting Bill know they discharged me. Everything is fine again.

I took him out again on Friday and we just spent the day together. I kept an eye on my BP because it felt as if it was getting out of control again. I took him back around 3 PM but didn’t decide to go to the hospital until my BP was stroke inducing high. Fool that I am, I drove myself to the hospital again. I couldn’t find anyone to take me. I was put through the same tests and sent home once my BP was in the normal range. I need to take those anti-anxiety pills when he is with me, and maybe on a more regular schedule.

I still say that last Sunday was the best time we’ve had in a while. A day of friends and friendship; it proved to be a day saver when one noticed what was going on and had the courage to come forward and make a small suggestion.

Posted in - blog post | Leave a comment

A letter to my stepson

My dear Stepson,

From the first day you came to live with us when you were eight years old, and the cutest little boy I had ever seen. You looked like your father, walked like him, talked like him. You followed after him all the time. Your brother had come to live with us at the same time. I’ll have to admit, we had some issues settling in and thinking of us as a family. I’m not sure that either you or your brother ever did.

I know you remember the house we lived in when your dad and I were married. Remembering one instance still brings tears to my eyes, and that is when your brother got up on the roof to help your father repair some shingles. I was standing there when you asked if you could help too. Your father said “No you can’t, just your brother can.” I saw the tears welling up in your eyes as you looked at me with disappointment on your face. Do you remember what I said? I do.

I said, “That’s okay, I need you to help me shop, you are so good at finding coupons for me. I just can’t shop without you. You’re my little shopping  buddy.” So off we went. You were, content while we were shopping. You helped me a lot. You and I cooked together, you helped me with dishes, and sometimes you helped with cleaning. You helped me almost all the time.

That was just one instance and it may not even mean much to you. You do not have to be someone’s mother to see your stepson is hurting and try to sooth that big scrape. You do not have to be someone’s mother to feel your step child’s pain, see hurt in their eyes, and be there when he needs you.

I was the one who was there when you were in trouble, and it was me that talked to your teacher when he cursed. You don’t have to be a mother to watch your plays, and go on field trips with your class. Do you remember who cooked for the family, changed the sheets, cleaned the house, tucked you in and kissed you good night? Son, did you hate me back then?

I’ve stuck with your dad through each stage of dementia. With each skill he lost I’ve been here to cry for him. When a thought was lost because he couldn’t get the words out. I cried for him.  Every time he would get mad at himself who was there to calm him? I’ve been here all along. You haven’t seen him slip at all. You just come here and think he is fine because he is having a good day. You have not been here for anything he has been through.

Do you realize that if I had not called, you would not even know you father has dementia? I say that because you never call him. I’ve called you. Why? Because I think you should know about your dad even if you don’t think of him often. Yes, you visited us three or four times, but you wouldn’t spend time alone with your father. It was you who was telling me to get him involved to keep his mind active. I didn’t see you trying to do a thing for him.

When I told you he was coming in and out of Alzheimer’s now. You immediately wanted to move us to Phoenix. You must have thought that he was able to be moved without falling further into Alzheimer’s. Your father is 72 he needs to be in a nursing home, but I am still caring for him. I take care of his every need. I dress him, I bathe him, I comb his hair, I shave him, I brush his teeth; and I help him eat when he can’t. He doesn’t like it when he can’t see me, in fact, he panics.This goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year.

Then just the other day I had to call you again because you don’t call your father. You would not even know that your dad was slipping in and out of Alzheimer’s. When I explained that your father and I talked about moving to Phoenix and neither one of us thought this was a good idea. He was worried about starting over again too.

When I told you about us not wanting to move down there, I knew you thought that I talked him out of it. You don’t really know your dad at all. I could hear it in your voice. I’ve heard that tone before. However, that Sunday your father could hardly talk. His head was on the arm of the chair, and random words ran together with no formed thought. Suddenly he snapped out of it when he was saying bye to his granddaughter. He joked with her, changed in an instant. I rejoice when he snaps out of it. That means I’ll have him with me one more day.

Saying good-bye to your father only and not just once, but several times. You made your feelings very clear when you did that. You’re not very subtle, you are very plain to read. You believe that I have not taken care of your dad very well. Let’s look at that. From the time he was in the nursing home to the day I texted you that he was slipping in and out of Alzheimer’s, how often did you even call to see how he was? I can recall the exact number of times. It is 0. Now when he is slipping away from me so fast that I will soon lose him, you think you can just move us down there and take care of him yourself. No, neither one of us wants to start over. Your dad and I have been married 29 years come the 23rd of July, and I want to have  your father with me as long as I can.

I am your step mother and once you love a child you don’t just stop because he is a step child. I have no idea when you started to hate me, perhaps it was the day you screamed at me about the nursing home. Oh, it doesn’t matter. My feelings are; I was thrust into that position and I became a mother to you. Never will I ever claim to be your mother and I never did. I did mother you for 8 years. Think about these things, because lately you have burdened me with your hatred on top of the burden of caring for your father. It is what it is. I just have no more to say. I’m worn out.

Your loving stepmom

 

 

Posted in Blogs | Leave a comment

Zing

Zing

The word today is “zing.” Take away the obvious synonyms which are repetitive of the synonyms of “zing” and these are “vitality”, “energy”, “vigor”, “verve”, “animation”, “vivacity”, and “vivaciousness” which is just another form of the word “vivacity”. Take these away and let’s see what is left of the synonyms of zing after the repetitive synonyms of zing have been eliminated. First; let’s salvage some of the synonyms of zing which are not repeated and they are “dynamism” which we will talk about later. (Remember we took away the repetitive synonyms that just repeat the same words to describe the word ZING) and “punch” is the other non-repetitive synonym. With that out of the way, let’s take one of the repetitive synonyms which I eliminated but now I’m going to give the repetitive synonym “vitality” back to this lesson which also has its’ own repetitive synonyms and these are “liveliness”, “energy”, “vivacity”, “vigor”, “animation”, and “verve”. Along with the repetitive synonyms of “vitality” the non-repetitive synonyms include but are not limited to “strength”, “life”, “get-up-and-go”, “buoyance”, “joie de vivre”, (which by the way means “joy of living”. It’s French) The word “dynamism” is not repetitive as a synonym of zing, but I repeated it just to give the meaning of it and that is “vigorously active, forceful, and energizing quality”, especially as the hallmark of somebody’s personality or approach to a task. “Punch” is a non-repetitive synonym of zing and I believe that it is self-explanatory. Now, to continue with the synonyms of “zing”; another repetitive synonym is the synonym “vivacity”. If you’ll try and remember that “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” I crossed off entirely since “vivaciousness” is a repetitive synonym of the word “zing” and is also repetitive because “vivaciousness”, if you’ll remember, is only another form of the word “vivacity”. But since you mentioned it, its’ repetitive synonyms are “liveliness”, “animation”, “verve”, “energy”, “vivaciousness”, and “vitality”. Did anyone get the meaning of “verve”? The unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” which I shouldn’t even have in here since “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” are just different tenses of the same word and the unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” are: “high-spiritedness”, “exuberance”, “cheerfulness”, “live”, “chirpiness”, and “sparkle”. I just love the words, “exuberance” and “chirpiness” don’t you? Hang in there we are almost done with this lesson. Now, that only leaves one non-repetitive synonym of “zing” and that is the word “dynamism” and this only has 3 synonyms repeated under it. Those words are, “vitality”, “vigor” and “energy”. The ones that are not repeated synonyms I especially love and those synonyms are “zip”, “drive”, and “enthusiasm” and get this; to round it all off the last synonym is “ZING”.
Aside | Posted on by | 1 Comment

The New Horror

We both cried and our friends were trying not to cry as I told him how it was taking parts of me away too. If you’ve been following any part of this story, you know the things that it’s doing to me. He insisted he didn’t want us to be broken up. It was difficult for him to grasp that we were still married, we will always be married. I kept re-assuring him it isn’t anything he did, and he can’t help needing the kind of help he needs. I reminded him again and again that it is this horrible monster of a disease that is eating away his brain and it is never going to get any better. I had to keep reminding him that I love him, I would always love him and he is forever my husband and I his wife. The difficult part is that they cannot grasp the idea that we are not getting divorced.

The dementia victim is not capable of understanding that he did nothing wrong and he can do nothing to make things normal and return home. So we both cry a lot and hug each other because re-assurance is the only thing that can help them feel a little more secure. So we both showered there together which is allowed for married people.

This reminded me that this was exactly as it was at home. I had to help him shower, I had to rinse him, dry him off. I had to dress him so he had everything on the correct way. I had to tie his tie and make sure his hair was combed. This was exactly like he was home with me. I see that I need to back away from that type of thing. I’m also going to shorten my visits with him because the longer I am with him, the higher the anxiety level goes.

Bill and I are both going to have to let go a little and not spend so much time together for now. He needs to get used to the fact that he lives there now and won’t be coming home to live here again. I must get used to not having him at home. This is definitely a bittersweet window that has opened.

Another thing to expect when a dementia patient is put into the nursing home is that they will look at you through the tears and their eyes will plead with you not to desert them. It rips your heart in two and all you can do is turn and leave and on the other side of the door silently sob with a guilt you don’t deserve to feel…

Right now the only things I can do is to try to make him a little more comfortable by bringing a few trinkets from home to make his surroundings a little more familiar to him and help him to accept that this is now home. Continue reading

Posted in - blog post, Alzheimer's, challenges, changes, Dementia, diseases, ugly monsters, expectations, eyes plead, love, not convinced, plead | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fork

Funny Fork in the Road, Surreal Landscape

 

When my step dad came into the picture I was about 11 years old. There were five of us kids. Four girls and one boy. My older sister was eight  years older than I was and she had just left home the year before when she turned 18. She joined the W.A.C.S to get out and away from home.

Jack asked us if he could marry our mom which I was very impressed with and the four of us said yes even though my brother didn’t fall in love with him like the rest of us did. He came from money, but drank it all in his early years. He was broke and just out of jail when he met my mom. They met at an AA meeting and he fell in love with her.

We weren’t sure what to call him after they married 2 months later. Our new step father thought that it would be appropriate to call him daddy-Jack since our biological father was still alive and had visiting rights. It wasn’t long before I dropped the Jack and just called him daddy. Not long after that my sisters did the same, but my brother just always called him Jack. Ronny only approved of them marrying after he observed how well he treated mom and how happy she was now.

Ronny was older and remembers the fights, Continue reading

Posted in - blog post, Blogs, changes, expectations, love, tears | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Twinkle

Twinkle

Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, it seems as if it has been a year since I have added anything new to my blog, in fact, I have added nothing at all to the words that meander down the road to insignificance. At the thought of those words, you can tell that I’m feeling a little melancholy today as I have the past days. Otherwise, had I not been in this state of mind, I might put on a smile as I forge onward to begin again on my blog.

I used to see a twinkle in his eye

And I knew that his smile was nigh.

My expectations left me high

Just waiting for that twinkle in his eye.

 

Yesterday I knew this was to be true

And now I’m not sure what to do

That smile has lingered like the dew

Oh for the eyes to twinkle a new.

 

Now his eyes just always look blank

My eyes saw nothing and my heart sank.

I looked around and I began to feel dank

But I wanted to be back into the rank

 

Of that beautiful and precious smile in his eyes

It’s called a twinkle and follows his guise

I’ve been waiting oh please give me that surprise

First a twinkle and then that smile I idolize.

 

My heart is broken but still I wait

Because I know it is there, I am his mate

For a while now it is usually late

But it’s there, just look, it’s beautiful, and I don’t have to wait.

Posted in - blog post, challenges, changes, Dailey Prompts, Dementia, love | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

How Could I Show the Depth of My Love?

Depth

It’s funny in a facetious way how my profundity of love for my husband would be tested in such a way such as it is at this time. While I was growing up, there was no real love in our Copy of Copy of mom and dadfamily. If it wasn’t for my step-father who I have always felt was my real father I would not have a speck of love within me. He put us, his family first. He never cared what time we called or what he was doing at that time; his secretary was given instructions to put his family through to him even if he was in a meeting. That’s how he thought of us; we were his family.

Since he married my mom when I was eleven years old, it was almost too late for real ron ann col 56family love to shine through and actually recognize it as being something special or even important. My real father had no love for us kids, and a future series on growing up with no love will bear out that fact. So I virtually grew up within a family of only jealousy and indifference of each other. We felt little, if any, love for each other as kids the same way our mother showed little love if any to us.

I had always known the words in the bible that said, “God is love.” I couldn’t grasp that idea and it was a mystery to me. It was something I knew nothing about at all. I just knew  those words were true because they were in the bible and I have always believed what the bible said even if I didn’t understand it. In response to these words that always bothered me since I was a child, I wanted to know what love was and where I could go to find it. When I grew up I went looking for love; so please forgive me for the following cliché.

Yes, as the song goes, “I was looking for love in all the wrong places.” I went through that scene not knowing exactly what I was looking for but it definitely wasn’t there in bars. I couldn’t find it among the drugs of the hippies and their love and peace slogans. Then I thought I might find love out on the road while I was driving a truck. I quickly Copy of twins 8 mosfound out that they were all married, and were cheating on their wives and I was the other woman. Nope, that wasn’t it either. I wanted to get married again, and I wanted to know what love was. I wanted someone to be able to demonstrate it to me so I could learn how to love..

After I learned about the true meaning of the words in the bible, I began to look at the family units around me. I could see that they deeply loved and trusted one another but I couldn’t fathom the depth of how much they cared for each other. I was truly baffled at the idea of people within one family caring for each member. This was new, and I wanted that, but I neither knew how to feel love, nor did I know what it was. So how was I to find love? And how would I know when I found it?

When I became one of JW’s, I knew someone in my congregation who had a cousin that was single. She told me that he had a kind heart and would never hurt anyone. She said that kids just adored him. At a convention in Denver, she pointed him out to me. Since he was toting three kids with him, I looked at him and then at them, and said, “THREE KIDS!” I don’t think so. That was the end of that until about 3.5 years later. I was looking for a husband that would love me and I could learn to love him by being shown how to love. Again, she showed me Bill. She said that this was the only man she knew of that wanted to get married. This time he didn’t have the three kids with him. She said that they go back to their mom for the school year.

So okay, I wanted to meet him. He was at first interested in my sister, but she was not interested in getting married. He accepted that answer, and to make a long story short, my friend in the congregation had me over to their house for dinner to meet Bill. We saw each other for a year, and we became good friends. At the end of that year, we decided to get married. Neither of us was in love with the other at the time. Two of his boys were with him for the summer and I babysat them while he worked. When we got married their mother decided that he should have the kids for the school year too. My heart sank, His boys were not well behaved and I had my hands full now. The youngest was 8, and the middle child was 11. Then the older boy who was 15 came to live with us. One of my daughters’ lived with me when we got married and the other came to live with us when she turned 15.

In the firsCopy of wedding our 7 23 88t couple of years of our marriage, I did learn what love was. Love was sticking together as one flesh. Taking care of each other in a way that is kind and merciful and treating the kids with dignity and training them in a loving way, not out of anger. I won’t say that this was easy to learn. I learned to love Bill long before I learned to love one of  his children. He showed me what loving another person was and the importance of it. Life wasn’t easy in those first few years, but I did feel Bill’s love toward me all the time. Love is knowing that you are married for life and you both are always there for each other. That is something you can depend upon.

wed prtyAlthough it took a while, I did fall in love. The older kids came and went, and we had the younger two for 8 years.  JR was the youngest at 8 years, and Jason was 11. We had him for 7 years and he went back to live with his mother.

Through the 28 years that we have been married, our love did grow and deepen. I now know of what love consists. Now that same love that has a seriousness and complexity behind and inside of us is being put to the test. Now, the gravity of my love for him will show if I have the same depth of love for him that he has shown for me all these years. I will now find out if I have mastered the traits of love so as to show him the same depth of love that he deserves.

Since he has had to go to the nursing home because of his dementia, I am having trouble holding it together, and do need anti-anxiety pills to get through each day. I’m buried under a pile of paperwork, and on top of the paperwork is a ton of decisions that I need to make. I haven’t been able to visit him much this week, and I think that is the best for him. When I take him out for a while, he believes that he is coming home which is no longer possible, but he is incapable of understanding that fact. It breaks my heart to hear him telling me he can come home because he thinks that if he just gets a job, we can be together again.

My love has to be strong to leave him there. If I were to bring him home again, he would not understand why he has to go back again. At times he thinks I don’t want him home anymore. The truth of the matter is that I would become emotionally unstable very quickly and would not be able to take care of either one of us. So I have to be strong. I do know that his tears begin as I walk out the door and mine begin as the door closes behind me..

 

 

 

Save

Posted in - blog post, Dailey Prompts, Dementia, love, prompts | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Life is a Saga

Saga

Life is a Saga

Birth is a constant and death is a constant. These two constants happen in every one’s life. As soon as birth takes place that constant has begun. Now it becomes intermittent and irregular. When that part ends, then the other constant is in place, death.

Intermittent and irregular things happen to all of us between the constants of birth and death and that is called life. There have been many things that have happened to all of us. Many of them were good, and those are the memories that should be the only things in the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, there were also the many tragedies that happen in all of our lives and people think they should just forget them; as it were, out of sight out of mind.

Wouldn’t that be nice if they were wrapped in neat little packages of good and bad? If that were the case then life would be good. The intermittent cycles of life would be in neat and self-contained packs.  Life isn’t like that though. The bad things in life are not ever wrapped in neat little packages. Unfortunately, the bad always contaminates the good and the owner spends a lifetime trying to clean up the contamination.

That is what makes everyone’s life a saga. Each of us could write a story about our own lives. They would all be different, very interesting, and no two stories would be the same. At the same time, that other constant is the end of the line for everyone, and isn’t that the end of everyone’s story?

Posted in - blog post, Blogs, changes, Dailey Prompts, love, tears | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is There an Art to Gift Giving?

Is there an art to gift giving

 

My thoughts on gift giving are not very impressive. Many of today’s kids are thankless and no matter what you give to them they are going to return anyway. My first question is; What kind of gift is it going to take for them to treasure instead of return it? You’ve probably already asked yourself this question. What are their likes and dislikes? They are not going to be satisfied with something ordinary. If it is ordinary, they can exchange it and buy something for themselves. How about something they have asked you to get for them? Where is the real pleasure in giving something that someone asked you to    buy? That sounds routine; as if they’re asking you to pick up a loaf of bread on your way home. Where’s the surprise?


 
Do you honestly want to buy them something they really don’t need or want another of the same thing? Give cash? You do that every week anyway, what would make that special? Besides, if you give them cash again what are they going to want to do? They are going to want to go right out with their friends and spend it, leaving you alone and feeling used and empty.

 
I was thinking of these things when it was getting near our granddaughter’s graduation from high school. I was at a loss as to what to get her. I thought maybe a book or a piece of jewelry.  No, that is not good enough nor is it personal. I had to give her something special because she graduated high school against some tough odds. So I decided that I needed to think about this for a while, and I deliberated on this for weeks before I decided what I would give her.

 

 

Her grandpa and I began to remember the good times she spent with us and all the fun things we did together. She just ate it up when we would tell her stories of her mom, or when she herself was growing up and she was thoroughly in the moment herself. Laughing about those things together sure would be fun especially now that she was at the age when she would be getting out on her own soon. Her Grandpa and I always wanted to give her something and do things with her that her parents never did. We spent much of our time with her as often as her parents would let her, and they were very generous about that.  Here I had thought that a book would not be a good enough gift for her, but what if I wrote the book myself? There were two things I knew for sure; she hadn’t read it yet, and she could not return the book. 

 


 
We had a lot of pictures since she spent so much time with us while she was little. There it was … a book of memories and surprises. The memories were obviously while she was growing up along with stories about the people she knew.  The surprises would be family history included in this book. After all, we were important to and she told us that a lot. Yes, that’s what we would give her, a book about her growing up. I was sure that no one else would be giving her this type of gift.

 

I got to work on this right away. First I had to find a way to go about writing a book, and how would I get it into a book with real pages. Then there was the question of how could I design this book. Would it be the way I wanted? Or would it be a design I’d have to fit the book into? In other words, how much of this book would I really be designing? I did some research on the internet and found that there were several companies that did this for you. You could design the book yourself and then have them publish it. I looked at several websites and what they had to offer in the way of design, the amount of pages I could have in this book and the quality of the material itself. I chose one company and started to write my book. The freedom of arrangement was not bad, but I did have to use their predefined themes. I spent hour upon hour working on this book. I carefully arranged all the pictures, and wrote tons of memories, and put in stories of relatives on my side of the family that she had known.

                                                                                                                                                                                             I kept on writing and put a little family history in there too. I put the order in to have it printed and I waited excitedly to get the book and inspect it. When it finally came, I was so disappointed. The pages were thin, the type was very small, and the binder was already loose. I checked their website again, and saw that they refunded your money if you weren’t satisfied. I was not happy at all with the job. I returned it for a refund. So, the hunt began again. I found another company whose ad sounded as familiar as the company I just rejected. They were a little more expensive than the last, but I would give it a try anyway.

 



 

 

So I started all over again. Mixbook did allow complete freedom to design the book exactly the way a person wanted it. If I wanted to add 20 or more pages over the limit I could do that too. It was a little more expensive, but I wanted this as our granddaughter’s graduation gift and by golly I was going to write this book the way I wanted. Control of design was completely my decision all the way from the book cover, background design, size and placement of photos, words, and stickers is given to the writer of the book.

 

I have had several people pick up this coffee table book and begin to read it. One of my friends picked up the book and didn’t put it back down until she had read every page. She thought this was the best gift idea ever. She thought she will do that for both her boys.


 
Even if your photos aren’t the best, you can always edit them. The instructions are on the editing pages which I will soon have in the blog. I know there is only one lesson so far that is on this site, but I am working on some edits that are amazing. You can fix your photos, or put them in as is. The photos I really had to work on were the ones from the early 1800’s. Most of those were faded black and whites with chunks gone from the photos and scratches all over. Check out my editing pages.

Check out what I did with PicMonkey There is a free trial going on now. Check it out.pic monkey

As soon as I got started I knew this was going to be fun. I really put my heart and soul into the project. I didn’t put anything in the book that might embarrass her in front of her friends. I wanted her to love this book and be proud to show it to anyone. As I began to write, I found that I hadn’t put nearly enough memories in the first book and this book turned out to be almost twice the size of the first one. So many memories we had. Her grandpa and I put our heads together for this project.

 
We reminded her of the trip to Colorado Springs and the hotel we stayed at when she was only about five or six years old. There was a pool, but you had to go outside and over to the next building. We thought that would be fun so we did just that. It was cold and windy going over.


We got into the pool and got wet first and then climbed up the steps to the top of the slide. We went down with her for the first couple of times. Then she said that she wanted to go down the slide and into the water by herself so one went up the ladder, and the other at the end of the slide to catch her. I put her in the chute and she gave herself a little push. When she got to the other end, she was turned around and came out backwards. We were laughing so hard we could hardly talk.

 

Well, that kept happening and I told her she shouldn’t do that because she might hit her head. She was laughing and saying that she wasn’t doing that, the water just was turning her around backwards by itself. When we went back to the hotel it was almost dark, and the wind was biting us until we got inside the other building. We ordered pizza. She promptly ate four pieces of pizza and fell sound asleep.

 

Another one was about her GG. Her GG was her great-grandmother on my side. We used to go visit her in the assisted living home she was in. One of the residents would come play the piano in the large living room on her way to the dining room. When Jess began to dance to the music, all the other residents would sit down and watch her instead of going in to lunch. Jess ate it up and danced her little heart out for them. Then when the resident at the piano was done playing, all the residents in the room applauded her, she truly did love that she entertained them.

 

Many times we had dinner with her GG and I told her stories of the interactions she had with her. By the time the book was written, I had quite a few pages and thought that it would be better if I just wrote a separate book of family history and present it to her in a couple of years.

 

This is how the book came out. I was very pleased with this book. The pictures were bright and clear, the words were big enough, and the stickers were right where I put them, the binder was strong, and the pages were heavy enough so they wouldn’t easily rip. I was very happy with the book and was sure that Jess would be too. I got it off in the mail and just waited impatiently for the book to arrive.

 


 

The book is designed by the writer. The tools are fantastic. Take a look at the butterfly in the second picture down. It looks as if it is floating above the page. This is all done within the program. Notice that each page has a

different background color and that is because the design lies in the hand of the writer. The blue arrow at the bottom of the middle section was within the program, the frame around Branson Vacation 2008 – within the program. The quality of paper and binding are fantastic. I was so impressed with this book that I wrote the “Surprises” book the same way. (Family history)

 


 

 

I knew almost the minute she got it because she called us and excitedly told us about the book. She raved and went on and on about the book. She loved it and said that it was the best gift she has ever gotten in her life. I was relieved. I knew she would like it, but her reactions to it were totally unexpected. It made us feel good about the book and I knew for sure that I was going to do the family history book.


 

Even though this book was more expensive than the other one that was made very cheaply I guess the old adage is true. “You get what you pay for.”
Once I got started on the new one,  (family history book) I knew that this book would take a lot longer for her to read since I had so much information already, but I also knew that this book and the story of one of the most important families in this book of history contained another history mystery. She would have to go to the library to look this one up. I also knew that after she read the book “The Elephant Voyage,” she would have more questions than before. Isn’t that the way things are?


The book is about the “Sarah W Hunt” and Captain Minor who left thirteen men to die when he abandoned them when they did not return to the ship after being put in two boats to go ashore to hunt for seals. This story is one I know that she will read. All of the six men that were rescued later, were in bad shape and one of them was my great grandmother’s twin brother. The story is intriguing, and especially since all six of these men got put on a ship bound for San Francisco, CA from Sydney, Australia. They could not be traced after that.  We have done a lot of research and nothing has turned up for all that work. There were pictures of history in our family from the early 1800’s.

 

Anyway, I looked up information on His Majesty’s Service ships and what went on when they were stationed patrolling the African slave routes near Africa. When a slave ship was captured, the crew received a reward for that from the government. There were many things that were interesting pertaining to our family, and I’m sure that all families have similar experiences as to the position and duties of their ancestors. We had a relative that was on one of those ships and served in H.M.S. for a number of years.

 

These are just a few ideas of things that can be written about. I will almost guarantee that the receiver of such a gift of this caliber gift will not already have one. Remember, they cannot return it either. Imagine how special this type of gift will become to the receiver.  There are family vacations, a graduation from high school, marriage, albums for families and all the kids growing up. There are many things that can be written for a unique gift giving experience. 

 

Give it some thought. Think about how it could work out for you. It’s so much better than looking at the family album, or old home videos.

 

 

UA-39148054-1

 

Posted in - blog post, art, challenges | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Back From Near Insanity – Still Frail

Frail

I took a break and went to Denver for a visit with my sister and brother-in-law right after Bill went into the nursing home. I thought that this might strengthen me as I was unable to cope with things at home. Bill is in the nursing home and yet I was seeing him too much. It isn’t that I wanted to have him home again. I felt for him,  but all he does is make us both feel badly. He isn’t capable of understanding that he can’t live at home ever again.

I stayed with my sister and her husband. I always enjoy staying with them. When I got there, I felt pretty good. I was refreshed and didn’t feel as if I was going to cry. After two days I visited the town we used to live in to visit some friends. It was fun visiting with them and I went by the old house we had put on our acre of land twenty-five years ago.

I went to visit and see what our old house looked like now. The inside had changed quite a bit since we lived there. The owner happened to be out in the yard, and when I told him we put this house on the land and I’d like to take some pictures to show my husband. He said he didn’t mind at all and he  showed me what had been done to the outside of the house and then he asked me to come in and meet his wife and they would show me what they did with the inside. I do have to admit that I began to tear up because Bill built the addition on that house. I love the inside of the addition. They have made plenty of changes inside the house. One of the best things they did was take the master bath and make the space bigger.

After I left I began to feel fragile once again. We went back to my friend’s house and we talked. I cried a lot as we spoke of the man who Bill used to be. I wanted to go back to my sister’s house so that I would be able to escape my fragile state of mind once again.

I stayed with my sister for another two days and decided that I had rested enough, I wasn’t as frail emotionally like I had been. I didn’t stay on my computer until 4 or 5 AM. This was the only time I had to myself, because he went to bed before me. I tried to give his meds to him earlier than I normally did so he would get tired and sleep so I could work on the computer. I realized that I didn’t need to do that any longer.

Now I felt that I was ready to go home. My emotions felt in check and I didn’t feel frail emotionally. I’m ready to go home and face this dementia once again. Unfortunately, I found I was still in a frail emotional state when I got home.

This is like mourning your loved one twice. Once as you lose them, and then when they die, you mourn them all over again. No wonder I feel frail when I’m home.

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments