The Flying Fork

 

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 stepfather 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, the screaming, the pushing and shoving that went on between my father and mother. I was only six when they separated and remember some fighting, but he remembered a lot more. The house was now quiet with the only fighting that went on was between us kids which were quite normal.

Since my daddy had money when he was a kid, he was raised with impeccable manners. We on the other hand, were very inept and crude in ours. His manners followed Emily Post, and ours was sort of fashioned after the three stooges. He was not too impressed the way we reached in front of everyone to get what we wanted. He just watched us for a while and didn’t say anything.

One day came along that he could no longer stand it. He could no longer bite his tongue even though he wanted to give us time to adjust.to him being a part of our family. He talked about what was polite and not polite and started with the things that bothered him the most. I guess that chewing with our mouth open and talking with food in our mouths was the first thing he tackled. The correction came by way of verbal reminders. It didn’t take long to get these bad habits almost all under control when I got a big surprise one day.

I reached for the pot roast which was sitting in front of my sister who was sitting next to me at the dinner table. When I reached for the dish, I got stabbed with a fork. Well, that was a strange thing to do and it shocked me, and don’t even mention the pain on the back of my hand. I pulled my hand back and glared at daddy-Jack. I couldn’t help but wonder why he just did that. The twins started to laugh.

I just glared at him. He finally asked me if I knew why he did that. I said “NO” with tears in my eyes. He said that Emily Post, the leading authority on manners, says that reaching in front of someone is very bad manners. I asked “How else can I get it without picking the dish up myself?” He then said these foreign words to me that I will never forget. He said, “You ask someone to pass the ‘whatever it is you want'” “From now on if anybody forgets to do that, the fork will be on the move again.”

The only thing I could think to say as I rubbed the back of my hand, with tears still in my eyes was,” Okay Jack, next time I will ask someone to pass me the ‘whatever.'” I never got stuck in the back of my hand again, and soon after started calling him daddy once again.

He was a wonderful father to us and thought of us as his own children. We were his family and we came first. He always told his secretary that if one of his family members’ calls and wants to talk to him he told her to always put the call through to him even if he was in a meeting. I remember many times coming home from school and if he was there, we’d always go into his study and talk. I couldn’t talk to my mother, but I could always talk to my daddy and tell him anything because he understood, he didn’t judge me, and he just listened.

I was forever worrying that the man I thought of as my father would die not knowing how much I really loved him. On his dying bed, he called me to come close he wanted to talk to me. When I leaned over, he begged me not to ever forget him. I started to cry and told him I was always afraid he would die without knowing how much I loved him. We both cried and laughed at the same time as I told him that of course I wouldn’t forget him as long as I was alive. That was the last time I saw him, he died the next day before I could get back to the hospital.

I now think fondly of the fork that stabbed the back of my hand. I cried for weeks when daddy died and the flying fork will forever remain a memory.

 

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Retirement ends

End of retirement phase

 

Therefore, another phase of our lives ends after retirement. We had to sell our beautiful four-bedroom home on five acres. One reason was the medical bills that stacked up leading us to bankruptcy which put an end to our good credit we had at the time. Alzheimer’s had resided with my mother for 15 years by now. Dementia had been diagnosed in my husband Bill’s life. No more trips, no more dropping everything and going somewhere. Yes, the carefree phase of our lives had slammed the door quickly.

We had entered a new phase. It was one of high medical debt, and maxed out credit cards. There was no end in sight to this new phase either, especially after I fell and broke my shoulder. Necessity left me with five surgeries in the first year alone. My mother had to be moved to a nursing center and I still needed to be with my mom often. My mom needed me in these last of her days, even if she didn’t recognize me. I had to be sure that she still was taken care of properly. I had to take her laundry home and wash it because her clothes disappeared when they went to the laundry there. Dementia in the first stage was waiting at home for me.

It does sound like I’m whining, but I’m not. My mom died a few years ago. My husband’s dementia is in the second stages, but I don’t mind. Our bills are under control and we now live in a one-bedroom apartment. I wouldn’t say that life is good, but for me it is. I still have my husband home with me. I rejoice each day that we are able to communicate and be understood by each other. That is a joy in my life.

In the early years of our marriage, he had to care for me. He did it so lovingly and never complained. He was there for each medical emergency, and each surgery. Now it is my privilege to care for him. I hope that I can do that with the same love and gentleness that he has done for me all these years. So now begins the final phase of our lives and I will still thank our heavenly father for the Kingdom we pray for, the Kingdom that will rule over the entire earth, (Rev 21:4) and tells of no more death or tears.

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Have you ever?

Have you ever awakened from one nightmare only to fall asleep and be caught up in another? 

 

We use such a small portion of our brains and that little bit we use is so complex we haven’t the time to wonder why.  All we can deal with is each situation as we encounter them. I’m not going to tell you that every dream means something, or if you dream of certain things, those things are going to come true. That is just not logical.

My nightmare; no, challenge is a better word, was the decision to take Bill home or put him elsewhere. There were no tears, just conversation and I did most of the talking. I saw things that went on and was not happy about them. In fact, they were detrimental to Bill’s own health.

Noise is not something that either of us can tolerate. Mealtimes were not pleasant there was so much noise in the dining room I cringed myself. Things such as an exasperated aid talking very loudly to let someone know what they are supposed to do. Swallow, put your head down a little, and to the poor woman who kept saying, “I don’t know what to do,” repeatedly she yelled that she was to eat. Others tried to get away from their tables so as each of their own private nightmares. It wasn’t like this when my mom was there. Mealtimes were quiet, and the staff loved the residents.

Bill’s own nightmares along with others were driving him to the point of planning to get out of there somehow even if he didn’t know where he would go for quiet refuge. I finally saw the light when I sat with him during lunchtime. Directly after lunch, I made an appointment with the doctor and told Bill I wanted him to come home. If the Doctor said that it was ok then it would be OK.

Well, the first thing that he said when I wanted him to come home was that he did NOT think that would be a good idea at all. Bill was not in the room at this time. After 15 minutes of trying to persuade him that it might be OK, he gave in and said OK, but this was a trial only. If I got back near the edge, Bill would have to go back to a nursing home.

Happiness filled both of us as he came home and settled into his old routine again. Well, not quite. I sometimes have to shave him, dress him, and take care of his dentures, but I don’t mind those things at all.

Therefore, Bill and I awoke from that nightmare. He has been home for about three weeks now and challenges have been appearing. As I reached for the stronger anti-anxiety pills, I put them back down and looked at Bill. He was so happy to be home that I decided to try to work through this. He was starting to want me to do the PCH mailings for him again. This was a big stress factor before.

The PCH was not just a pain in the neck for absolutely nothing, but he wanted me to drop everything right now and do them and then drive him to the post office where he would go in line and hand it to the postmaster.  As I stated earlier, it was a very big stress, but instead of taking pills, I told him this was one of the major stress factors. This drives me to the edge. I began to cry when I tried to tell him how much stress this caused me. We both shed tears and we cried together, then laughed, then cried once more. In the end, Bill said that he wasn’t aware of that fact and now that he knows that, he will throw them away. We’ll see how long he remembers. One stress put aside for now.

Then yesterday, I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to hang on me. That was another stress factor. I asked him to leave me alone and not be hugging and kissing me constantly. He understood and did not hang on me all day. Another stress handled without pills. I know that these are not permanent solutions, but it is a start. Maybe I can wake up from one nightmare, and keep waking myself up each time the same nightmare raises its ugly head.

My mother used to tell me that if I had a nightmare just turn over and I would have a good dream.  That will last for a while, but dementia slows down for no one. There will come a time that I will have to put him back into a similar environment, but not today, not today.

When the time does come which will be not too far into the future we will find some other solution that will work. When that stops working, we will move on again. In the meantime, we are happy.

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Feelings

This is another story of about the feelings of the one taking care of a person weighed down with dementia. This is a two person journey from beginning to end. What I’ve seen in Bill is the sadness of losing each skill, each thought, each piece of him to oblivion. I’m not really morose, or a negative person, but this is a sad condition of the mind.

I’ve been with Alzheimer’s people and Dementia so much these past 20 years or so that I forget what really is happening to the person. When you are with a person with such a condition, perhaps every day, you don’t see the gradual change. Others do see the gradual decline.

To those who take care of these ones, it is that all the suddenness of this decline that comes in one swoop. Again, you look at your loved one and realize this seems like he has suddenly gone downhill again. To me it feels as if it has been sudden that his thoughts and speech won’t come together, if at all. I remember the thoughts of his heart wanting to come out, but they were stuck. The thoughts were there, the memories are there, but the words are not.

Each word and thought that can’t get out is like a knife digging into me and every word that comes out wrong is as painful as that knife in me.

He struggles to get the thoughts out and it hurts me to the point of my heart breaking in two. As he tries to form the words or remember his thought, the look of desire in his eyes I know that he has something important to say to me. The unwillingness of his mouth to form the words that have already gone into oblivion and as the thought itself enter the doors of extinction, we look at each other helplessly.

I can only hug him and tell him that I love him. I tell him he can’t help it, that the dementia is doing this to him. Then nothingness fills the void of silence once again.

That was only one small thing that we have to work with. Bill has to remember that his son has not had to deal with older people and never with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is a shock for him to see his dad like this, and he doesn’t see it as bad as it really is. Thankfully there is no one else on Bill’s side of the family that we have to hold their hand and deal with this too.

When you look at this, it comes down to the importance of the relationship that Bill and I have built over the years that is getting us through this. My sister said it all when she said that when you get old, all you have is your family to take care of you.

As for me? I’m just plugging along like everyone else is and taking it one day at a time.

Here I thought that this was going to be another story of my feelings of taking care of my husband, but it turned into something else and that is okay too.

There also was a sparkle, and I loved it. That’s for another story,

 

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What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimers? Does it matter? How would you react to the stages of either?

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia? Does it even matter? Could it affect one of your loved ones or could it happen to you?

A few specialists say there are no distinctions and they utilize both Alzheimer’s and Dementia equally. Some specialist’s find there are a couple of contrasts, yet say they all end up in the phase of Alzheimer’s so it doesn’t make a difference what it is called. In the two articles in Lifescript, and ALZ.org there are varying opinions.

Alzheimer’s sickness is the most widely recognized reason for extreme mental deterioration (dementia) in the elderly. It has been evaluated that 30% to half of individuals more than 85 years of age experience the ill effects of this condition.

Alzheimer’s starts with unobtrusive indications, for example, loss of memory, for names and late occasions. It advances from making the same inquiries again and again to trouble learning new facts. In this stage, they forget to pay the bills, and lose the worth of a dollar by spending money recklessly. Further stages are a few eccentric behaviors some depression in varying degrees, they lose the concept of time; there is no recognition of that fact.  These steps are not always in this order and usually take years to just go through these stages mentioned. Through the span of the illness, the individual step by step loses the capacity to complete the exercises of regular daily existence. They have an inability to recognize their friends and even their seldom seen children are attributes of modestly extreme Alzheimer’s. In time, for all intents and purposes every single mental capacity comes up short.

See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/wellbeing/non-alzheimers_dementia . See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/wellbeing/a-z/elective treatments  http://www.lifescript.com/wellbeing/a-z/elective treatments. This data is from lifescript.com

Dementia-Symptoms: The very first thing Difficulty recollecting late discussions, names or occasions are regularly an early clinical indication; unresponsiveness and gloom are likewise frequently early manifestations. Later indications incorporate inhibited correspondence, misguided thinking, bewilderment, disarray, conduct changes and trouble talking, swallowing and walking.

Modified rules for diagnosing Alzheimer’s were distributed in 2011 prescribing that Alzheimer’s be viewed as a gradually dynamic cerebrum sickness that starts a long time before indications rise.

Mind changes: Hallmark variations from the norm are stores of the protein piece beta-amyloid (plaques) and bent strands of the protein tau (tangles) and additionally confirmation of nerve cell harm and passing in the cerebrum.

Take in more about Alzheimer’s http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp  Alzheimer’s infection. Above is the utilization of the two utilized conversely? This data is taken from Alz.org

Alzheimer’s may seem dramatic at times to those who are the caretakers, it can be and I’ve dealt with that too. Each time there was a turn in my mom, it was a sad thing. She may have lost her friends names. It was embarrassing for her and she began to stay home more. This was after I placed her in a nice assisted living facility only a few miles from me so I could visit her every day and spend a few hours with her each day.

In dementia the distinctions are much more difficult, they are significantly heart wrenching. Dementia has a face that flies up repeatedly; it’s ugly, destructive and rears its head with more destruction than the last time. This malady ransacks your friends and family who are unfortunate victims of this vicious and destructive dementia. It steals their fundamental abilities one skill at a time. Understanding of words and communication disappear silently. Ability to follow instructions becomes impossible. They don’t recognize a common object even if they look at them and hold them in their hands there is no recognition. Dementia steals their lives and in the end, Alzheimer’s takes it.

The saddest day I had with my mother was the point at which she inquired as to whether she would forget me as well. I couldn’t remain there and mislead her. With tears in my eyes, I disclosed to her that she will, however I will feel it more than her since she won’t recollect me yet I’ll recall her.

The saddest typical day for a man with dementia, I can just figure. Each time Bill slips, it’s been more devastating than the last. From all out wood appearances it seems he struggles with all of life in general. He lives in a world that is upside down and this continues to be anything but comfortable; additionally this experience is something that he can’t control. Much the same as the specialists over, a few people accept there are no contrasts between the two conditions. If you would like to know the answer to that question, continue reading this series of “The face of dementia.” Whatever they lose, the caretaker will need to figure out how to manage it. Each time the appalling creature demonstrates its face; you have been innovative and figure out how to coexist with it.

So decide for yourself whether Dementia and Alzheimer’s words are interchangeable. Listen to my observations during my mother’s Alzheimer’s and my husband’s Dementia.

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Face of dementia

The face of dementia

 

This is my husband in 1988. He is2002 capable; able to fix anything. He could take a car apart, and put it together again. If you needed a transmission fixed, he was your man. He knew how to build things, and fix anything.

The year was 1988 when we married. Bill was an architectural draftsman until 1993 when he got laid off. due to what they said was a lack of work. He found another job as a draftsman. In less than two years, he got laid off again. Everything was going to auto cad but, Bill had no interest in learning the computer.

We owned a home in Lochuie, CO and in 1996; he built a beautiful 14×25 addition by himself with a storm basement. He did this one just for me. He built an 8’ bay window from floor to ceiling. We used to sit in the rocking chairs in the bay area and talk the afternoon away. It was beautiful to me and something I will always treasure.

We moved to Missouri in the year 2000 and about 2007 strange things began to happen. Bill would do something backwards, or crooked and insisted it was straight. He would be a little slower figuring out how to put something together. I just blamed it on age and us slowing down.

The first time I definitely knew that something was wrong was when a part for the     Ford 8N tractor came in and Bill went out to the garage to fix it after work. He had been gone for a long time. I strolled out to the garage to see how it was coming along.

When I got out there, he told me that this wasn’t the right part. I looked at the part, and the diagram that shows the way it was supposed to be put on. It was obviously the correct part, but he couldn’t understand how it fit.

This did concern me and when I showed him the diagram, he insisted he was putting it on the right way. When I tried to show him how the part was go on in relationship to the diagram, he only got annoyed at me and insisted that he was doing it right, it just didn’t fit.

This concerned me so much because there were very few parts on this model tractor that he should have easily seen how it went on. I then called a friend of ours to come and see if it was the right part. He came over and it just went right on the way it was supposed to fit.

As time went on, things got worse. He began accusing a friend of stealing from him. I knew that we had no friends that would ever steal from us and how could he think that way? He never used to lose things. His memory used to be good too. He knew how to build things, and if something didn’t fit, he would be able to find something to make it work.

He began doing other strange things as though he now had no conscience. I’m not saying that he became a liar. What I am saying is that something was wrong. I saw it, but I didn’t know what it was so I swept it away. I made a doctor’s appointment to try to figure out what was wrong. The doctor diagnosed him with dementia. I was not enlightened on this subject. I knew what Alzheimer’s was because my mom had it for the last 14 years and I was the one caring for her ndementiaeeds. This was something new. This was Dementia. He’s lost a lot of things. He lost his cognition, mechanical skills, and morel

He no longer can do any drafting. He forgot how to build. He’s unable to read many words, and it’s too dangerous for him to drive a car. His reflexes are slow and he can’t make decisions. No longer is he able to get keys in the locks, and never let him stay by himself for long unless I am at a neighbor where he knows how to find me.

It’s difficult for him to think of words, which makes conversation difficult, and his thoughts were not complete. He feels as if he is stupid, and thinks his friends find him that way too. He used to build additions on homes, repaired all the things that went wrong in a house; but that was yesterday. Yesterday he could plant a garden with large luscious tomatoes, and extra-large cantaloupes that dripped when they were cut open and very sweet to the taste.

Now this is the man with Dementia. Today he is the shell of the man from yesterday. His eyes no longer sparkle, he no longer laughs. He rarely speaks. His hands remain idle because he no longer remembers how to do things with them.

Te face of demntia

Loneliness at all stages.

This is the Ugly and Destructive Face of dementia. The lines in the forehead tell me he worries, but he doesn’t remember why. The hollow cheeks remind me his appetite is waning and he is losing weight. His mouth is drooping down in a permanent frown. He can’t remember the words to speak. This is the face of dementia. It’s ugly because this is an ugly, silent monster. Alzheimer’s robs your loved ones of their memory and only toward the end their bodies start to break down and in the end they forget how to swallow so they don’t want to eat.

dads faceDementia robs your loved one of life itself. He doesn’t know what a hammer is for. He doesn’t know where or what the microwave is. He walks into walls, and large objects. He can’t think of what he wants to say. It’s difficult to sit there and look at that face of dementia wanting and trying so hard to say something and can’t think of the words, and when they do, they can’t get them out. Don’t try to finish their sentence for them because then they lose their whole train of thought. There is not anything else to say. This is the ugly face of dementia.

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Sunday Was the Best

 

This article tells how quickly moods can and do change with dementia. 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 Surcease (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.

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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”.
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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

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.

 

 

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