Relaxing in Nature

My husband and I decided to take a day before Thanksgiving and go enjoy the off season at the lake again.  It was a cold day, but absolutely great and not another soul around to break the silence.


My husband said he was taking in this great view and enjoying the cup of coffee he was holding.


We were near the dam and I took this picture of the sun reflecting on the water.


As we walked back to the truck, I threw up my arms up and said, “Wow, what a beautiful sunny day, listen to that peace and quiet.”

I envy those who have homes around the lake and see this beautiful view every day.  Especially during the off season when the lake is so calm and peaceful.



We drove over by the boat marina and snapped a picture of some of the boats in their slips.


I think everyone should take a day or two during these busy holidays, just to go enjoy life and destress.


Erasing Stress

I sit and think about the stress in my life.  Then I realize how hectic, fast paced, and stressful life is in 2015.  Our grandparents sat, out in the yard, under a shade tree for hours socializing with family and friends.  They were much smarter than present generations.


I took this picture of a stream with its continuous moving procession of water.  I should have sat on a log or rock and watched this stream for a while.  If I had spent 10 minutes in that beautiful environment I know it would have calmed my soul.  We can learn a lesson from nature if we sit quietly, give vigilant attention and observe God’s world.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . picture by – . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . When the frisky, busy squirrel in nature becomes exhausted, he stretches out and basks in the sunshine.  If you sit on the porch, and watch your dog or cat sleeping in the sunshine or shade, it relaxes you.  The animals (other than man) take time to rest several times a day.

Webster’s Dictionary defines stress as: A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

My husband and I were in the midst of a road rage incident several months ago. A very stressful, frightening experience.  This man rammed our truck from behind at a red light. When my husband got out to confront him, he wanted to fight with my husband in the intersection.  My husband got back in our truck to avoid violence.  The man followed us right to the police station, got out and followed my husband inside.  This man had just left court where he was charged with drug possession and use.  He was simply taking his frustration out on others.

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The solution is to end the violence, anger, and all other spiteful acts that are prevalent in our society.  Everyone needs to find that quiet place to be alone and relax for a few minutes once or twice a day.  If we find that private, relaxing place we can cast off nervous tension and anxiety.  I try to do these things to erase stress.  If I relieve the stress perhaps I can be more tolerant of others, more caring and understanding.  Love and concern for our fellowman is the only way to gain happiness, peace, and joy in life.

Giving Dignity Back To Those With Dementia


These are a couple of blossoms, from my peach tree, which I photographed yesterday. My brother J.R. loved to walk around my yard and smell the flowers.

Once again I have read the book “Dementia Beyond Drugs,” by Dr. G. Allen Power.  I mentioned Dr. Power in my blog post “Dementia – A Different Approach,” January 19, 2015.  Dr. Power’s concept of little or no drugs is wonderful.

When I cared for my brother J.R., for two years in my home, I chose not to give him any antipsychotic or any other type of drug. I wanted J.R. to be able to function at his best during the time I cared for him.  I admit J.R. was hard to handle and he wandered a lot. When I placed J.R. in a nursing home nine months ago they immediately drugged him into a comatose state.  I talked to them many times about these drugs, but all they did was constantly change doses and drugs according to J.R.’s behavior.  They took J.R.’s dignity away him and gave him an almost non-existent life with these drugs.

When you cannot care for your loved one anymore you have no choice, but to place them somewhere.  I fought a hard, costly battle to obtain Medicaid for J.R.  Finally prayers were answered and we obtained long-term-care funding.  My daughter and I searched long and diligently for the right nursing home in which to place J.R.

I will not infringe on Dr. Power’s copyright by quoting what I have read in his fantastic book.  I will interpret my views, of what I have read, in my own words.

When residents with dementia were placed in situations with children and pets – beautiful friendships and happiness occurred. Why, you wonder, because children and dogs are not judgmental.  The dementia patients had increased meaning in their lives in this type of interaction.

Nursing homes are not viewing those with dementia as productive human beings.  The nursing homes are disrespecting, dehumanizing, and disconnecting dementia patients from what life they have left on this earth.  I do not think nursing homes are doing this deliberately, but because they wish to control their patients.

I know from experience that elderly and dementia people are lonely, helpless, and bored. I have dealt with my mother, who had dementia, until her death and am now dealing with my 3 siblings who are in different stages of dementia.  Those in nursing homes need to be able to live their latter days of life with happiness and dignity.  They are no less important than the rest of the human race on this earth, especially in God’s eyes.

Medications are not important to dementia patients.  Drugs are important to caregivers and nursing homes.  What is important to a dementia patient?  Love and caring.

Dementia patients need a different type of interaction than normal people.  We need to talk to and handle them in a slower, calmer manner; make visiting with them more meaningful; they need a restful, calm, quiet life; give them the dignity you would give any person you interact with; genuinely smile, laugh, touch them softly, make connections; they need a quiet home in which to live, because they do not understand chaos.  Those with dementia function as a child, their life is going backward as opposed to a small child’s life.  I remember my brother J.R. telling me months ago, he liked his nice, big, new home, but it sure was noisy.  He is right, it sure is noisy!

God bless all caregiver out there.  I know just how hard it is to keep your sanity through the stressful process of care giving.  There is still stress and decision-making once you place your loved one in a nursing home.  If you are like me, you never wanted the responsibility of ruling another person’s life.

Things People Say About Life


This pond is the view from the North window of my house.  Often I watch the ducks, cranes, and geese land on this pond and enjoy themselves for a while. I spend a lot of my life outdoors, totally enjoying everything nature has to offer.

I ran across a few quotes on what some famous people think about life.  My Mother use to say you get out of life what you put into life.  Mom also told me quite often that Life was Boot Camp for Heaven.  Life does get rough at times, like boot camp.

“The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” Clarence Darrow, lawyer and author 1857-1938   (Thought this was funny.)

“May you live all the days of your life.”  Jonathan Swift, satire writer (England) 1667-1745  I think what he meant by this is that often we are just existing, letting time get away from us, and not enjoying the days we live on this earth.

“No man is a failure who is enjoying life.” William Feather, publisher & author 1889-1981

“As soon as a man acquires fairly good sense (in life), it is said that he is an old fogy.”  Ed Howe, journalist 1803-1937

“To make headway (in life), improve your head.”  B.C. Forbes, journalist-Forbes Magazine & author 1880-1954

When you’re sitting there bored, something I often hear from people, get up and do something about the boredom.  Live life to the fullest, fast and furiously, even if occasionally you have to slow down for the speed bumps.

Each Day Is A Blessing


Each day that I get up and can take a picture of a sunrise like this one, I call that a blessing. The first thing I do each morning is thank God for giving me another day on this earth, I thank God for his blessings and  for His precious Son Jesus.

God created a beautiful planet for us to live on and enjoy.  It is amazing: if you look at a leaf from a tree and see the designs on that leaf; if you look at the rain water flowing in a ditch and see the ripples of the water; if you watch the antics of squirrels chasing each other in circles around a tree trunk or watch them jumping from tree to tree; watch the honeybees fly from flower to flower with their legs covered in pollen.  The things that God created are endless and beautiful.

I live out in the country and I am often running around in the yard at dawn in my pajamas, when others are still in bed, looking at this glorious world.  Go outside, walk around your yard or neighborhood, and really take those intricate eyes God gave you and look at all the magnificent things God created.  Your eyes can capture things that no camera lens can capture.

I see people who sit in their houses, they never venture out to discover the world.  If I had to live totally indoors I would never enjoy my life.  Mother Nature as everyone calls the outdoors, is waiting for you to venture out and explore her wonders.  Hup 2, 3, 4, get up and march right out there and enjoy.  Sorry, that is from my time in the Air Force.  Hup, Hup, left, right, left.

America In The 1800s

Following is part of a speech Abraham Lincoln made (16th president of the United States):  ” You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.  You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich.  You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

When I was in high school I loved history.  My favorite character in History was Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln moved to Illinois when he was 21 years old in 1830.  He was elected to the U.S. house as an Illinois Representative in 1846.

The first two years my husband and I were married we lived in Illinois.  I was in hog heaven.  I was near the small historic village Lincoln lived in, not far from the home he lived in after he married his wife Mary.  I visited all of the historic sites where Lincoln had lived.  I stepped back into time where the man I had read so much about lived.

What brought all this to mind for me was finding this old Pioneer Cookbook an elderly lady gave me when I was living in Illinois.  It contained quotes, recipes, old health remedies, how to be a good wife, a good child, a gentleman, and an upstanding citizen.  How to make stove polish, glue, even how to restore furniture and tan animal hides.  I read a lot of this information this morning and I thought – “Wow, we have come such a long way in this world, but I wonder if we are happier or better off than those who lived in the 1800s.  My thoughts, no we are not doing better, we are doing worse.  You see, people in the 1800s had morals, love, concern for others, happiness, love for God, and all the attributes we need in our lives today.

Here is the description of  Gentlemen from this book: A gentleman is a man who is clean inside and outside; who neither looks up to the rich nor down on the poor; who can love without squealing and win without bragging; who is considerate to women, children and old people; who is too brave to lie, too generous to cheat, and too sensible to loaf; who takes his share of the world’s goods and lets other people take theirs.  (I say, a gentleman is a man of morals, honesty, integrity, and compassion).

I will leave you with this small article from this cookbook about Laughter: Truly there is nothing sweeter or pleasanter to the ear than the merry laugh of a happy, joyous girl, and nothing dissipates gloom and sadness quicker, and drives dull care away like a good, hearty laugh.  We do not laugh enough; nature should teach us this lesson, it is true; the earth needs the showers, but if it did not catch and hold the sunshine, too, where would be the brightness and beauty it lavishes upon us.  1891

We need to venture back to the age of our ancestors and reestablish the habits of goodness and love in our lives.  What I see in this world today is unconcern and hatred. We are the only ones who can change this world in 2015, so let’s all begin to make planet earth a better place to live.  Smile Gentlemen and Ladies!

Soaring Like An Eagle


Every time I look at a full moon I think of Bobby Darin and his song, “Fly Me To The Moon.” The first verse of the song goes like this: “Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars. Let me see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars.”

images (15)Bobby Darin

When troubles bring you down on planet earth do you ever wish you could soar off into Earth’s atmosphere and leave all your cares behind?  I have.

My Mother often told me she envied the birds that could soar above the ground on currents of the wind.  She called it thoughts of, “Being as free as a bird.”  The thought of going where you wanted to venture, doing anything you wished to do, leaving all the stress of this world behind.

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I picture my Mother, who died in 2002 with dementia, as an Eagle soaring above the landscape in the desert Southwest.  She loved the West, the freedom to venture into the desert and be in total solitude, communing with nature.  I have seen the Eagles soaring above the Mesas and into the Canyons of the Arizona desert.  As I watched these majestic, beautiful, and powerful birds, peace would enter my soul.  I knew exactly why my Mother wished to soar like an Eagle!

Happier Times Ahead


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.