Observations of Life

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What if life flowed along with tranquility, like a beautiful arrangement of music, or a rippling stream of water, or an eagle in flight?  We can all make that happen.

Life is the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual.  To exist is to continue to be, to have life or the function of vitality.

When your mentality disappears, and there is no vitality as you function in life, what does this mean?  I think of those with dementia.  They are disappearing mentally, they do not function with vitality in their existence.  Does life cease if you cannot be that total productive, normal functioning human being?  After all Life is – The period of birth to death.

I noticed when I was a caregiver that people acted as if those with dementia did not exist.  How sad!  The person with dementia was still alive, still in their body, and still functioning to an extent.  Yet, people acted as if they were afraid of this person with dementia.  They actually acted as if they were afraid to treat them as a human being. After all dementia means you cease to exist.  Right?

I knew as a caregiver that my loved one was still there.  My brother does not know me anymore, but I know how much he still means to me.  I know I love this person who is afflicted with dementia.  I watched my loved one suffer when others ignored him.  Those with dementia can not express themselves as society expects.  Those with dementia do not understand why others shun them.  How does it feel to stand on the edge of a group of people and never be included in the conversation?  I know how I would feel, I would feel shunned and left out.  I saw my loved one with dementia: cry, suffer, become more disoriented and confused.  I saw the sorrow.  I saw their existence as a human being discarded by other people who chose to classify them as an unessential, non-existent human being.  A human being that was dispensable, and unimportant as a person.

Some feel the person with dementia is void of essence.  Essence being the most significant element, quality, or aspect of a human being.

I tried to help my brother, tried to fill the void in his life.  Caregivers try to physically and mentally help those in their care.  I tried to protect my loved one from those that turned their backs and acted as if he was not present.

You see, those with dementia dislike their caregivers, become angry with their caregivers, do the opposite of what the caregiver ask of them.  Why?  A caregiver has to assume the role of a parent who is helping a child.  Remember how your children act when you try to direct them.  A caregiver is doing what they think is best, but to those with dementia you are simply trying to rule their lives.  They think they are quite capable of ruling their own lives, after all, they always made their own decisions.  A caregiver tries to be their friend, but they do not want you ordering them around and they stop talking to you and avoid you.  They actually begin to hate their caregiver.

Those who come in contact with a person with dementia need to step up and treat them as if they were normal human beings.  This eliminates the stress in the person with dementia and also in the caregiver. The concept of how you treat someone with dementia also holds true of how to treat any person with mental or physical disabilities. Society has the habit of ignoring or scorning anyone who they consider inferior or different.

Help those who need help, help those caregivers who feel overwhelmed.  I have shed many tears watching how others dealt with my brother.  I have learned many life lessons from my experience with dementia.  I have never shunned or turned from a person with any disability, my Mother instilled that asset in me.  Mom would always tell me, I was not better than any other person on this earth.  I know that I am not better, we are all equal.

There are a lot of cruel, uncaring people in society.  I also know there are large numbers of good caring people on this earth.  I know many of my fellow bloggers truly care and would help in any way they could.  I thank all of you, who step up to the plate, and help others when you see someone who needs help.  God bless you.

Earth’s Abundant Beauty

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It amazes me that the bloom of any plant can be beautiful.  Whether it’s a tree, a vine, or a weed.  The bloom above is from a blackberry vine.  It was not until I bought a new camera, with a macro lens, that I began to really see the beauty God created.

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This is simply a weed in my yard, I do not know its name, but I thought it was quite pretty.

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In an earlier post, I talked of the Red Tip Hedge in my yard.  These small flowers make up each bloom of the hedge.  Below you will see what the Red Tip Hedge looks like when it is in total bloom.  It is a beautiful sight on which to feast your eyes.

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Most of you should be able to recognize this as the strawberry bloom.  From this one picture you can see we are going to have many strawberries in our patch this year.  Soon we will have to put netting over these berries or the birds will have a feast.

The following pictures are just weeds in the yard, but I still see the beauty of their blooms.

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Song – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Bobby McFerrin went to the top of the music charts in September 1988 when he released his a capella song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  Bobby was born in Manhattan, New York in 1950 and at the moment he is 65 years old. He is pictured below.

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The title for this song was taken from a famous quote by Meher Baba.  Baba was a spiritual master in India and lived from 1894-1969.  Baba often said to his religious followers, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Following are the lyrics to the song Bobby McFerrin released and sang in September 1988, when he was 38 years old.  If you go to you tube and listen to his song, it will inspire you to become Happy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note.  Don’t worry, be happy.

In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry, you make it double.  Don’t worry, be happy.

Ain’t got no place to lay your head.  Somebody came and took your bed.  Don’t worry, be happy.

The land-lord say your rent is late.  He may have to litigate.  Don’t worry, be happy.  Look at me I’m happy.

Let me give you my phone number.  When you worry call me, I will make you happy. Don’t worry, be happy.

Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style.  Ain’t got no girl to make you smile.  Don’t worry, be happy.

Cause when you worry your face will frown and that will bring everybody down.  So don’t worry, be happy.  Don’t worry, be happy now.

Don’t worry, Don’t worry, don’t do it, be happy.  Let the smile on your face.  Don’t bring everybody down like this.

Don’t worry, it soon will pass, whatever it is.  Don’t worry, be happy.  I’m not worried.  I’m happy.

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The picture above is Meher Baba, spiritual leader of India.  His entire adult life was spent encouraging his followers to lead happy, productive lives.  As Meher Baba said so often Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Birds of Arkansas

IMG_2762This is my favorite bird – the Fly-catcher.  His antics as he flies through the air, trying to catch insects, is very entertaining.  He is very beneficial in lowering the insect populations around your yard.

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The Wren is second in my favorite category.  This Wren worked this truck cab over. He tried to figure out how he could get inside to nest. The truck did not work, so he began building a nest on the top of my husband’s air compressor, which my husband ended.

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Third on my list, is the Bluebird.  This is the male Bluebird guarding his home as the female is inside sitting on her eggs. We are blessed to have 5 pair of bluebirds nesting.

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My fourth favorite bird is the Robin, each Spring a hundred or so of these birds stop by my yard on their flight South.  There are usually two or three pairs that nest here.

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My fifth favorite is the Titmouse. This little bird loves bird feeders and is so cute.

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The Purple Finch is my sixth pick.  Groups of these birds pass through off and on.  I have never had a pair nest near my yard.  You see them a lot if you have bird feeders.

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Seventh on my list of likes is the Scissor-tailed Fly-catcher. I saw 7 or 8 of these birds last week fighting with each other in the air.  Before I could get my camera, they were gone.  I have no idea where they nest.

There are a lot of the birds that visit my yard that I do not like.  They do a lot of damage to fruit trees, berries, and gardens.

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The Blue Jay and Mocking Bird (Arkansas’s State Bird) are both a total nuisance.

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The Red Cardinal is also a very bad bird to ruin your fruit. All three of these birds are very abundant in Arkansas.  I have often seen 30 Cardinals at a time in my yard.

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The Red Winged Blackbird is a noisy, messy bird that roosts in trees in Arkansas by the 1,000s.  If you are one of the unfortunate people who have a roosting site near your, I feel sorry for you.  At dusk and dawn the noises they make coming and leaving their roost is unbearable.  The black bird on the left is a Grackle, we are not bothered by them much, they run the smaller birds away.  The Grackle is quite a bit smaller than a Crow. I dislike the sapsucker and Woodpecker, they try hard to kill my Apple trees, drilling holes.

Occasionally we even get a visit from an old Roadrunner that seems quite misplaced, but has survived in this area for years.  Makes me think of the Western U.S. that I love.

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Elusive Happiness

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I have found numerous people in my life, who seemed to have a wonderful life, yet they were extremely unhappy.  Why?

I sit and think about those who do not think they have a fulfilling life.  Why do they think that way?  I assume they think they lack some elusive element in their life.  Why again? Mankind is always seeking a deeper meaning to their existence.

Those that are unhappy have thoughts and emotions whirling through their minds constantly.  Psychiatrists would say – It is impossible for human beings to be totally content.  Why I ask?  Perhaps it is negative thinking, feelings of hopelessness, or unhappiness.

Normal life seems to encompass a wide spectrum from joy and contentment to sadness and turmoil.  I suppose that is just human nature.

What is Happiness?  Good fortune and prosperity.  A state of well-being and contentment.  A pleasurable or satisfying experience.  Enthusiasm, joy, good atmosphere, fellowship, and gladness.

What is Unhappiness?  Misfortune.  Lack of cheerfulness or gladness.  Without pleasure or hope.  Being downcast, depressed, regretful, wretched, or sad.

This tells me a fulfilling life is right there at my fingertips.  I am the one that can make my life fulfilling.  Or, I am the one that can fret and stew, be regretful, sad, and unhappy. Most of us never see all the blessings we have in our lives.  We miss the joy that is right in front of our eyes.  I have never been an unhappy person.  I chose to live my life with joy and at full speed.  Often unhappy people try to drag others down into the hole they dig for themselves. You will not catch me in that pit of despair, I refuse to venture there.  I hope each of us will look at all the wonderful things in our lives and appreciate life to the fullest. Have a happy, good day fellow bloggers.:)

Clematis

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This purple clematis begins blooming in late April and blooms for several months.  I planted this vine 8 years ago and it’s beauty amazes me each year.

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I  planted this Orchid with Red Bars clematis (below) at the same time, but each year it seems to produce less blooms and is not as hardy as the purple clematis.  Yet, I have to admit it has a spectacular flower when it is in bloom.

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Fun in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Just got back from a few days of enjoyment in Hot Springs, with my daughter.  Hot Springs, Arkansas has a population of about 36,000 people, and is a tourist attraction for people from all over the world.  Of course it is famous for its Bath Houses, where you bask in warm water from the numerous springs in the area.  This post is for my blogger friend Mandy Moran, who is a great poet and a very nice person.

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This is the Buckstaff Bath house on the main street in town, there are several bath houses on the street and they call it – “Bath House Row.”  I love the blue awnings on this building.

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Hot Springs is nestled in a hilly, wooded area of Arkansas near Lake Ouachita.  It is a tremendously beautiful area of Arkansas.  I would love to live in the area, but it is very prone to tornado activity, more so than the area of Arkansas where I live.

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Hot Springs has many old Victorian mansions throughout the town with their big rounded front porches. Many of these mansions are 100-200 years old.  The hand carved woodwork in these homes is some of the finest in the world.

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This is the big Arlington Hotel in the center of town.  There are some wonderful architectural features in this hotel that are well worth a venture inside to take pictures.

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Another of the older homes in Hot Springs.  Most of these homes have full basements. They often used the basements as storm cellars when a tornado warning was issued for their area of the state.

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There are many nice creeks and streams in the hills around Hot Springs. RV camp areas are nestled in the hills, around the city,for those that prefer to commune with nature.

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If you journey out into the hills around Hot Springs, you can see some wonderful views. The dogwood trees and wild flowers were in bloom in April, all through the woods. Curved roads, with a canopy of trees engulfing them made traveling the roads into the countryside well worth the adventure.

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You can see the sun shining through the trees, the dogwood trees in bloom throughout the woods.  We stopped many times to take pictures, listen to the quiet, and watch the animals as they went about their day.  So peaceful and relaxing, an enjoyable mini-vacation.

Author Rudyard Kipling

I was recently reading poems and short stories from an old book published in 1886.  The language of that era was a prosaic style of writing. The book was “Departmental Ditties,” published in 1886, featuring short stories and poems by Rudyard Kipling who came to American from England.  Kipling lived from 1865-1936.  The following poetic story I am sharing with you is called, “The Betrothed.”  Rudyard Kipling was a young bachelor when he wrote this story of his love, Maggie.  I found the story quite funny, and enjoyable. Perhaps you will enjoy this colorful writing of Kipling.

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– – – -THE BETROTHED- – – –

“You must choose between me and your cigar.”  Breach of Promise Case, circa 1885

OPEN the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,  For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas–we fought o’er a good cheroot,  And I know she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box–let me consider a space;  In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie’s face.

Maggie is pretty to look at–Maggie’s a loving lass,  But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There’s peace in a Laranaga, there’s calm in a Henry Clay;  But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away–

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown–  But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o’ the talk o’ the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty–grey and dour and old–  With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,  And Love’s torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar–

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket–  With never a new one to light tho’ it’s charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box–let me consider a while.  Here is a mild Manilla–there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion–bondage bought with a ring,  Or a harem of dusky beauties fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent–comforters true and tried,  And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,  Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,  With only a Suttee’s passion–to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me.  When they are spent and dead,  Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,  When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,  So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent ’em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,  And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between,  The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o’ Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,  But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light  Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,  But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o’-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?  Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box–let me consider anew–  Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;  And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba–I hold to my first-sworn vows.  If Maggie will have no rival, I’ll have no Maggie for Spouse!

Weeds or Beautiful Plants?

I take pictures of just about everything anymore.  I think that the dandelion, which is considered a weed, is quite pretty.  You can eat any part of the dandelion, roots, leaves, flowers and it is good for you.  Dandelion is supposed to help dizziness and I acquired dandelion pills from the health food store and take them.   There are so many things God put on this earth to help us, yet we think they are nothing but bothersome weeds.

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When you place this on your computer, as your background picture, you can see delicate details of this dandelion bloom that you otherwise would miss.  Gorgeous

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The seed pod is not good to eat, of course, but it is beautiful.  This one was growing in a large area of clover.  The green clover made the white umbrellas attached to the seeds that much more noticeable.  It is interesting to watch the seeds float through the air on their white parachutes.

The following plant is not a weed, but the buds, and old seed pods are beautiful.  This is the seed pod of the climbing Clematis vine.  These hang on the vine into Spring, when the vine begins to bud.

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The dark green buds of this Clematis vine are quite pretty against the lighter green in the background.

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These brown balls are the seed pods of the Sweet Gum tree.  These balls fall from the tree during the Winter and Spring when leaves begin to appear.  You do not want to step on these brown seed pods if you are barefoot, because they are very hard and very sharp.

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These seed pods and the tree are not a weed, but these pods litter the ground and each tree has an over abundance of seed pods. Some people take these pods, color them, and hang them on the Christmas tree for ornaments, they actually look quite pretty.

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You can tell from this one small limb on this tree how many seed pods cover this tree. The Sweet Gum is a very large tree that can grow 60 feet or taller.

ONE OF THOSE DAYS

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Have you ever had one of those days that starts out wrong and you do not feel well in the first place.  Well, today is one of those days for me.  I seldom let life get me down, but today is the day to grit my teeth and growl!  Ha  Glad I can laugh a little.

My dizziness is driving me insane this month, do not know why we have to endure so much misery in our lives.  Oh well!  I am sure some of you could tell me about the bad day you are having and I would realize my day is going well.

Forgot to do my State Assessment in January.  Cannot renew license tags on your car unless they know everything you own in the State of Arkansas, for tax purposes.  So, I called and straightened that out.  Cannot believe I missed the assessment date, that’s not like me.  After all, I was a secretary for years.

My check book did not balance, my brother’s checkbook was wrong.  Had to call the nursing home to make sure they got the check for his social security that I send each month.  Could not get through on the phone, was using the wrong area code.  Finally my brain kicked in to drive.

To top it off, I had to file papers and the stapler ran out of staples and I had to get up and go to another room to get staples.  Then a staple shot across the room and I thought, I will have to crawl around on the floor and find that or some barefoot person will step on it.  At that point I put my head down on the table on my folder arms and said, I give up.  Today is not the day to deal with any type of secretarial duties!  It was only 10:00 a.m.

Think my problems began yesterday when my sister-in-law in Reno told me all her problems.  She could die any moment from heart complications.  Her husband, my youngest brother James, has early stage dementia.  Then my sister-in-laws, sister in North Carolina, sent numerous text messages about the loss of her job and needing a new prosthesis for a leg she lost years ago.  Wore my phone out texting for hours.  Hate to text.  Got a headache.

If you are having a worse day, tell me and I assure you, I will give you much sympathy. I should not be letting this day get me down so much.  After all, I have had a lot of days, these last 3 years, that were much worse than this day.

I will apologize to all my fellow bloggers, you see, I seldom tell anyone my problems, but today I feel I need to let it all out and Screammmmmm!   Sorry, Ha

Think I will go back to bed and get up on the right side of the bed.  Have a good day.