Happier Times Ahead

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For those of you who do not know what this is, it is the seed pod of the castor bean.  The castor bean plant has tropical type leaves and grows 7 to 8 feet tall.  Quite a beautiful plant. Do not be deceived by its beauty, the bean is very poisonous.

When I first started my blog in January of this year, I thought I would just be writing about dementia.  After two years of caring for my brother with dementia I felt I had a lot to tell and perhaps I could help another caregiver.  Most caregivers are in the midst of chaos, and so involved in the dementia process, they just blog to vent their frustrations.  I have given advice to some overwhelmed caregivers who blog.  I can only hope that advice helped them in some way.

Alas, after numerous posts on dementia I seemed to get more depressed with each post. I seemed to be reliving my stress, fatigue, sorrow, and several other emotions during my caregiver journey.  So, I began to post happier posts for my own peace of mind.

I am still dealing with problems even after placing my brother in a nursing home.  The responsibility is still mine to make decisions for the life of another human being.  I love my brother dearly and I miss him so much.  I never wanted to direct my brother’s life.  Who does.

So, I am off to posts on traveling, country living, gardening, cooking, animals, enjoying life, or maybe even telling old jokes:  “Why do ducks have web feet?  To stomp out forest fires. Why do elephants have big feet?  To stomp out burning ducks!” Ha

I cannot be upset or unhappy anymore, because I have a life to live and my brother’s life is disappearing. Dementia is the saddest thing I have dealt with in my entire life.  I lost my mother to dementia, and I am losing all three of my siblings to this dreaded disease. So, let’s all pray that a cure will soon be found.

Goosenecks of the San Juan River

Near the little town of Mexican Hat, Utah (populations 88) in the Southeastern corner of Utah you will find, “The Goosenecks,” on the San Juan River.  Its been quite awhile since I took this picture with a very cheap camera, taking 2 pictures and taping them together. By land across these goosenecks it is one mile.  If you follow The Goosenecks on the river it is four miles.  This area of Utah is flat and desert like and usually not an area that tourists visit.  But, it is worth driving through the area just to see The Goosenecks.

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Utah is a fabulous state with unusual scenery.  Zion National Park in the Southwestern corner is well worth the trip.  The orange color of the sandstone rock is gorgeous.

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Northern Utah around Provo, and Salt Lake City is  beautiful mountainous country. Be sure to visit the, “Great Salt Lake,” if you visit Northern Utah.

I lived near the Great Salt Lake years ago and have visited the entire state.  There is some wonderful, very rugged country in Utah.  It is a spectacular State to visit.

White Humming Bird

I captured these pictures of a white humming bird in my yard in Arkansas in the summer of 1993.  This is the only time in my life I have seen a white humming bird.  The pictures are inferior, but I hope you can at least say you saw a white bird!

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The following close up picture I got off the internet to show you what they look like.

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An Experiment by the Washington Post – Music

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A friend of mine recently sent me this story in an email. I thought it was well worth sharing.

Perception in Washington, D.C., at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time approximately 2,000 people went through the station most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes: a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:  The violinist received his first dollar.  A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:  A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:  A 3 year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:  The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.  About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.  After l hour:  He finished playing and silence took over.  No one noticed and no one applauded.  There was no recognition at all.  No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.  Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.  Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people priorities.  This experiment raised several questions: In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?  If so, do we stop to appreciate it?  Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:  If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . . How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?  Enjoy life NOW . . . it has an expiration date.

Nonsense Leads to Existentialism

I was sitting the other day watching the news on television.  After 20 minutes the words, stupid and nonsense popped into my head.  We call our t.v. sets in America, “Boob Tubes.”  Very appropriate name for a device I have often thought of throwing out into the middle of the yard!

I took the word, “Nonsense,” as I have often done before and opened the dictionary for the definition.  I follow through on words using a definition word from the word I begin with. This is a habit of mine.  I cannot decide if I am trying to extend my vocabulary or I am just weird.  Bear with me on this one, it is unusual.  If I lose you in the middle of this post that is fine, I totally understand.

NONSENSE:  Words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas, things of no importance or value,  meaningless, an idea that is absurd or contrary to good sense.  TRIFLES, ABSURD conduct, language or action.

TRIFLES:  Talk nonsense.  Something of little value, substance, or importance.

ABSURD:  Stupid, ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, lacking order or value.  The state or condition in which human beings exist in an irrational and meaningless universe and in which human life has no ultimate meaning.  EXISTENTIALISM.

EXISTENTIALISM:  (There have been numerous books, spanning centuries, written on this subject.  Existentialism was quite prevalent in the U.S. in 1941.)  A chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines, but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad.

Quite a world man has created for himself.  I did not know the word existentialism existed until I opened my dictionary.  I think we all need to clean up our act and be nicer, more kind, and discern between right and wrong, good and bad. I think God created a world, much better than anything man thinks he can create. ♥

So you see, Existentialism, of man seems to lead right back to Nonsense.

Quotes On This & That

There are a lot of quotes in this world.  Most of those that are recorded and remembered are spoken by famous people.  Here are a few quotes on different subjects.

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Quotes about Women:

Leo Tolstoy:  When I have one foot in the grave, I will tell the whole truth about women.  I shall tell it, jump into my coffin, pull the lid over me and say, “Do what you like now.”

Oscar  Wilde:  One should never trust a woman who tells her real age.  If she tells that, she’ll tell anything.

images (2)   Mel Gibson:  I love women.  They’re the best thing ever created.  If they want to be like men and come down to our level, that’s fine.

Albert Einstein:  When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.  That’s relativity.

Quotes about Men:

Jeanne-Marie Roland:  The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs.

Oscar Wilde:  Women love us for our defects.  If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellect.

Quotes about Politics:

Will Rogers:  The trouble with political jokes is that often they get elected

Herbert Hoover:  Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt.

Miscellaneous Quotes:

Steven Right:  If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet,  what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?

Elayne Boosler: I have six locks on my door all in a row.  When I go out, I only lock every other one.  I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.

David Letterman:  USA Today has come out with a new survey:  Apparently 3 out of 4 people make up 75 percent of the population.

Quotes about Life:

Bob Monkhouse:  Personally, I don’t think there’s intelligent life on other planets.  Why should other planets be any different from this one?

J. Krishnamurti:  You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it.  That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

We Are All Identical In Value

 

downloadI have never been a person who cared what others thought of me.  I have tried to be a good person and help others my entire life.  Each of us travel through life and encounter those who feel they are better than others.  This type of person assumes an air of superiority and importance.  This type of person does not impress me at all!  My mother use to say, “God must love us common people, he made enough of us.”

If you believe in God you know the Bible tells us God does not lie.  So, when God’s word tells me we are all created equal . . . I feel, “We are all identical in value!”  I have encounter people in my life who try to degrade or dismiss others and try to make them feel valueless.  Do not let those type of people evaluate your worth, estimate your own worth. God does not esteem one soul more valuable than another.

Take time to sit alone sometime and weigh your assets.  Are you kind?  Do you love others?  Do you help others?  Do you have compassion?  Do you try to alleviate the pain and suffering of others?  Well, that tells me you are a fantastic, worth while human being.

When superior minded individuals try to destroy your confidence, just consider the source. I feel those high and mighty folks do not realize how unhappy, jealous, inferior they are as human beings.  God did not put us on this earth to degrade and belittle those around us. God put us here to love and help one another.

It does not matter to God what the outward appearance of a man looks like.  God judges the inward appearance of the heart and soul of a man.  I have always believed this is the way we should all regard our fellow-man.

My philosophy in life comes from a verse of a religious song: “As I travel thru life with its trouble and strife I’ve a glorious hope to give cheer on the way.”

There is an old phrase they used back in the 1800’s: “La-di-da.”  This phrase was used to highlight and ridicule snobbish forms of behavior or speech.  It means – stuck-up, hoity-toity, snooty, snobbish.  In her 1859 novel, “Three Times Dead,” Mary Elizabeth Braddon wrote that phrase, “Lardy Dardy” and used it in her book (quote):  “You’re not much good, my friend, says I, with your lardy dardy ways, and your cold blooded words.”  Good description Mary Elizabeth Braddon!

Walking Into The Fog

My mind was engaged in thoughts of my brother J.R. the other day.  I was thinking how disoriented dementia had caused J.R. to become in the past 3 years.  I tried to figure out which word would best describe dementia.  The word that finally popped into my mind was FOG.

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J.R. was a fantastic preacher for 43 years.  He went on missionary journeys into Africa, India, and Mexico just to mention a few.  He preached throughout the U.S. for years. The hardest part of watching J.R. walk into the fog of his dementia journey was watching his knowledge of God’s word disappear.  The loss of his understanding of the scriptures caused extreme sadness in my soul.  Dementia is such a waste of a person’s mind.  When we first brought J.R. to live with us he could participate in Bible class.  As time went by I tried to help J.R. find scriptures we were studying.  J.R. would get distracted and simply turn pages in his Bible.  Soon J.R. could not tell the Bible from the songbook.  Sadness overwhelmed me as I watched dementia destroy the brain of someone I loved.

J.R. loved singing church songs.  He often filled in as the song leader at church.  In a span of 4 months he could not understand how to return to the top of a page to begin verse 2 of a song.  I would take my finger and point to verse 2 for him.  J.R. could not comprehend what I was trying to do.  He would begin to turn pages in the songbook trying to find the 2nd verse.

J.R. was also a very good locksmith for 30 years.  He lost all of his skills as a locksmith. He did manage to disassemble door knobs at the nursing home, without tools(?).  I never knew how he managed that feat.

Dementia destroys sections of the brain over a period of time.  There is no rhyme or reason to let anyone know which section of the brain disappears first.  From years of dealing with my mother, brother, and a friend with dementia I describe it as, “Walking Into The Fog.”  The farther they walk into the fog, the more they become lost to you and themselves.

Try as we might we cannot defeat dementia.  Dementia has become an epidemic through out the entire world.  I often think pesticides, food additives, chemicals, dyes, and many other things we should not ingest are causing dementia.

Dementia causes a totally confusing, frustrating, jumbled, perplexing life for the person who has dementia.

Dementia causes depression, distress, unhappiness, regret, guilt, sadness, stress and grief for the caregiver.

God bless those with dementia and those that care for them.

Bouncing Back

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Life can be just drifting along and all is right with the world.  Then in an instant your world falls apart and everything comes crashing down.  My world did that over two years ago.  I began to care for my brother with dementia and my husband almost died during the same period of time.  The grief and stress were overwhelming for me.  I tried my best to be strong and handle everything.  When I was alone at night it almost became more than I could deal with after a long day at the hospital.

We are growing this large stand of cane in our yard.  When the snow and ice hit this cane it slowly sinks until it lies on the ground.  You can see that from the picture above.  You think, to yourself, this cane will break, it will never recover, it can’t possibly stand tall again. Then the sun appears, the ice and snow begin to melt.  The cane slowly bounces back, to it’s 30+ foot height, even after everything Mother Nature threw its way.

When the snow and ice appeared this week and I watched this cane sink to earth, I thought of life with its ups and downs.

When trials and tribulations weigh us down as the snow did this cane, we have choices. We can choose to slink off, lay in bed, or just give up on life.  Another choice is to, pick yourself up, stand tall and deal with what life throws your way.  We all know depression can weigh us down.  Defeat can get the better of us.  It takes time and a strong will to overcome tragedy in our lives.  With the help of God, family, and friends we can begin to bounce back from tragedy and grief.