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Caring for Parents and Kids

The Accidental Gardener


It is very unfortunate that some medications combined with an illness can cause our caree to become delusional and lose track of time. This morning, my mom, Grace, thought she was up and gardening and hurt her knee. She laughed at me when I told her that she has arthritis. I had to go along with it and I told her the yard looked nice. I think my husband got angry because he spent all  morning mowing ... Read More »

Caregiving, Communion and Computers


I am thankful that Denise has this site for us to share our stories, share resources and support each other. I think my real world support system sometimes has ulterior motives. Free food and computer repair to be exact. On Sundays, my mom’s deacon friends from her Baptist church bring her communion. They also bring her CDs of the church service. At first it was one kind older gentleman who I have known since I ... Read More »

Goodbyes, Hello, and Love


The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last — Moira Rogers I read the above quote this week and thought it a perfectly fitting expression. Several members of our caregiving family are dealing with the saying of goodbye and I know from past experience, this isn’t easy. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.  My only encouragement is to be ... Read More »

Post-Holiday Relief Syndrome: We Survived!


This past holiday season my mom and I were recipients of gifts that made us both  stare into space in wonder. What kind of wonder? Well, it wasn’t wonderful. I know people mean well. You’re saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Right? Wrong! If my mom has really bad arthritis and dementia where is she going to wear  sparkly scarves and low cut sweaters? Back in the day mom was a fashionista. She was more ... Read More »

Dementia, Drumsticks and Dressing


Dealing with Dementia During the Holidays As a caregiver to a mom with dementia for the past 15 years, I have found ways to make it easier on my husband, myself and Mom during the holidays. Here are a few of my suggestions for family caregivers and their carees with Alzheimer’s and other dementias during this season. I hope at least one of these will make your lives  bit easier. First, try to have family ... Read More »

Carrying Elephants

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Hi! Long time… I’ve been carrying elephants lately… It’s been so, so difficult back here, in not so sunny Portugal… Me, Mum, Dad, Kids, Boyfriend… Sometimes it all seems to happen at the same time. We’ve been living on a roller coaster, lately: - I haven’t had time to take care of my own health (the breast lumps and the whatever in my uterus; I have a mammography to do at the end of this month); - ... Read More »

Caregiving Psychic Powers and Grief. Halloween at Shady Pines.


I haven’t been on the site in a while.Things have been busy at my house also known as “Shady Pines dementia care and misfit dog rescue.” Our new slogan is, “We leave the light on for you to prevent sun-downing and pet separation anxiety.” Some life events zapped my energy as well as my blogging time. Surprisingly my mom who I have cared for since I was 30 hasn’t been the problem.The death of a ... Read More »

Am I Becoming a Vulcan?


As a caregiver to a mom with vascular dementia I have come to the realization that, over the years, I have become sort of numb and unexcitable during an emergency. I wonder if that’s a bad thing. It seemed to work for Spock. I hadn’t thought about it really until mom’s last ER visit. The EMT asked me if I was a nurse. I asked him why and he said because I told him all ... Read More »

Do I Smell Egg Rolls?


Sometimes as a caregiver–especially to carees with dementia–you HAVE To, I say Have TO, get out and enjoy some time away even if it’s for an hour. Your caree can really drive you to the brink of insanity at times. I thought once I was away from my mom who has dementia the caregiving would stop until I got back home. That is not true. On many occasions I have checked my back for a ... Read More »

Taking Care of Myself


Hi! Long time no see. I’ve been on a sort of “Stay Vacation.” The truth is I often have them (Stay Vacations). During such times, I rarely write to others, speak as little as possible, and go out as much as possible. I take time to plan, to write my writing, to listen to music, be where I like to be (even if only for 10 minutes each time), to think (about almost anything), and ... Read More »

23rd Weddng Anniversary and Medieval Knights: My Staycation

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As family caregivers our finances and time are limited. This summer however I refused to let that stop me and I vowed to do at least one thing this summer I had never done before. Maybe you can to. Some of you know I am a book cover artist on the side. I create mostly fantasy, romance and historical fiction, i.e. Philippa Gregory type stuff. So I love anything 15th to 18th century. So I ... Read More »

Does Your Dog Read Your Blog? My Dog Ate My Housework

You shall not sweep!

I know that I always tell other caregivers to take breaks during the day. I don’t always follow my own advice. My husband, kids and some neighbors tell me to get out more, I don’t always have to be doing something for Mom, the kids or the house. I feel like I do. Apparently my American Pit Bull Terrier, Rusty, agrees with my family and friends. He has come up with preventative measures to keep ... Read More »

Better Tomorrows….


Each night at the conclusion of my day, I always pray for better tomorrows. I know that I am at the wheel of my emotions and actions. Nevertheless, I continuously pray for…. Better Tomorrows! The grass just isn’t always green, but I am grateful that I am here. I am grateful for the people that are in my life, yes even though they drive me nuts. lol! Where would I be? What would my life ... Read More »

Mom’s Shopping Trips, Just Because….


My mom is very keen on when her monthly check comes in. I get excited anticipating her excitement. My husband and I have always done our best to do outings with her and to make sure she has money in her wallet, just because. My family can’t seem to understand why we continue to give her money for her wallet because “she never really goes anywhere.” Just because…. She gets excited and happy just knowing ... Read More »

Thank You Faith Hill :-)


“I can feel the magic floating in the air Being with you gets me that way I watch the sunlight dance across your face and I’ve Never been this swept away” Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last blog, but have no fear my family! I read almost all emails, blogs, posts daily! Today was an alright day in our household. After getting the morning routine completed I got my parents off to ... Read More »

Doubt and Shame


I’ve been blogging alot since yesterday. It’s the need to share, I guess. And most certainly the doubt, triggering the shame… Do I feel ashamed? Dad started up, yesterday. It was a bad night. He spoke all night long. Every time I started to fall asleep, he started talking. Mum got so nervous that see couldn’t stop coughing. At 5 a.m., I was making some herbal tea for them. They both continued all through the ... Read More »

Mum’s Appointment

Doctor's Appointment

As I posted earlier, today was sort of “All Doctor’s Day”. Dad had a consultation in the morning. Long drive, lots of people, a stroll (in his wheel chair) along the river, with a stop for a cup of coffee – too much – so he’s a bit agitated tonight. Wants to go to bed, five minutes later wants to get up, five minutes later wants to go to bed, wants a yarn of wool ... Read More »

Things That Need to be Said


Through life we skim many souls: some echo on our own, others we reject, and still others we ignore. Those which echo on our soul are those which leave a solid mark – either positive or negatively. And they arise under the most varied identities: they are those which we most need, those which most touch our existence, those which appear and stay for… Time. It doesn’t matter if it is we who search for ... Read More »

Who Stands By You When it Hits the Fan? (Literally)


Here in Northern California it has been really hot. Unfortunately some days my mom, Grace, closes her vents if the air is on. She is always cold and wears layers of clothes that we have to peel off her at least four times a day. I try to explain to her that she will have a heat stroke  if she wears multiple  jackets and sweaters but she continues to dress like a Eskimo. At times ... Read More »



My hanai (calabash) sister and I have a special place, Oblivia. It’s our “calgon” haven in our most challenging moments/days. Lately, I’ve been emotionally taking myself to Oblivia. We’ve had a very busy past couple of weeks with Father’s Day and preparing for my great-nephews 1st birthday party, which was this past Saturday. Through it all, my responsibilities were still…. MY responsibilities. The were a few individuals who genuinely understood the position that I placed myself in. ... Read More »

Caregiving Bloopers: George Michael and Graceldoor Return to the 80′s


We  live in a two-story house. Things that are upstairs should stay upstairs. One reason is it is too heavy to bring downstairs or if I put it downstairs it will get lost. Our downstairs is the Bermuda triangle for missing socks, earrings, abandoned neighborhood pets and dementia patients. (More on that later and also keep reading you’ll see why there is a picture of Wham over there.) My husband who is not superstitious or ... Read More »

Easy Breezy Summertime


I’m experiencing a unique time in my life. For the first time in over six years, there is no immediate, pressing, red-letter emergency brewing. I haven’t been to the Emergency Room in months. No one is in the hospital. No rushed trips home, only a few urgent phone calls. It’s been weird. Mind you, I remain as busy as ever. Mom is still a dementia patient residing full time in an Alzheimer’s facility. Mom readily ... Read More »