This blog was dedicated in 2009 to my family and our journey with our Dad who died August, 2013 from Alzheimer's. He had lived in a nursing home the last four and a half years of his life, and I wrote about our family's experience with Dad and this horrendous disease.

My Dad loved the Lord and going to the beach. We shared many wonderful childhood memories with Dad on the beach...

When I think of my Father now, I always imagine him wearing a pair of rolled up Khaki pants and a white tee shirt, running along the beach.

Now I write about our family and the memories we share as we move forward without Dad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Subtle Changes....

I see the subtle changes
Words spoken in slower tones
At times confused and faltering
words and names seemingly unknowns

Changes in your rituals
The details you always use to keep
Seem to belong to another
You're sinking into the deep...

You use to be so easy to live with
Only impatient waiting for traffic and lines
Now, irritation is your daily mood
And I'm the only one seeing the signs.

© dkb

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Sign of Remembrance….

This morning Mom sent each of us an email.  She and my brother S_______ (who is living with Mom now) were remembering today would have been Dad's 94th birthday.  S______ usually gets the morning newspaper for Mom before he leaves for work.  This morning, as Mom stood on the porch, waiting for S_____ to hand her the paper, they noticed the flag was at half staff.

Mom and my brother thought it was a sign of remembrance…(as if we needed one).  S_______pulled the flag down, fixed it, raised it to the top, and tied it off.  He took a few steps back and saluted the flag.

I cried when I read the email.  I cried because I am so proud of my family and we still enjoy our memories and love for Dad, Mom, one another.  It may not be as easy to get together as often as it once was when we all lived under one roof; because we are now grown, have our own families and live further away from one another…but whenever we do get together, we pick up where we left off and always reminisce, laugh and enjoy one an other's company.

We all have a life time of memories together and are so very Blessed to have one another.  We learned about life from our parents and the interactions of one another growing up in a large family.  Mom and Dad had seven children and one son died very shortly after his birth.  Grant was born after me.  We still remember and celebrate him because he was part of us…

Each of us brings something so special and unique to our family…little seeds from Mom and Dad grown inside each of us to become who we have become.

I can't imagine or relate, but I hear stories from friends about the trouble within their families where so and so doesn't speak or come to family events if so and so will be there….or haven't spoken to a family member in so many years.  I have heard about friends who have lost members of their family in tragic, untimely deaths… Honestly, when I hear such stories, I always say a silent prayer, thanking God for the family we have.

Today, we will celebrate and remember Dad.  He was loving, eccentric, wise, mysterious, inventive, fun, a philosopher, a teacher, a man who loved the feel and smell of good soil and could grow anything anywhere…He told the best imaginary stories and tales of his childhood.  He would welcome any stray pet into our family and would connect with not only all the animals but talked to the plants as well.

We all have memories and stories…I know I have mine and it makes me smile to think about it and see my Dad's smile in my mind's eye.

On my last visit to California Mom and I were talking and she told me she hoped I would find another purpose since I was no longer Dad's Patient Advocate.  I became emotional after she said it, because I knew in my heart it was a labor of love to me and I miss having such a strong sense of purpose…but I will find another, I have no doubt.

So Happy 94th Birthday Dad!  We love you and miss you... knowing your Spirit is everywhere now, but will always be close in our hearts.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Look Who is 3 Months Old!!!

Can you believe it?  My new grand daughter is 3 months old.  She is a happy little giggle monster and our precious little princess.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

9 Months Since Dad's Death…Soaring With Eagles…Updates on my life and Grand kids...

I've really had my Father on my mind so much these past couple of weeks.  I've been waiting and wanting him to come to me in my sleep.  I have had one night where I saw him in my dreams, he was there, but not connecting with me.

Knowing my Dad, the way I do, and knowing after death the soul no longer experiences time; more than likely Dad is exploring.  He was a very curious fellow, loving adventure and exploration.  Not having the confines of Alzheimer's, I know he is soaring with eagles.

I will be patient.  I know he will come….maybe at the year anniversary of his death….maybe my birthday next month…

Meanwhile I will be thinking of him this Memorial weekend, for all he did for our country and for all he was to our family.

Two weeks ago I returned from California helping my daughter after the c-section birth of her second child, her first daughter.  I'd like to share a picture of my precious, first grand daughter, Jordynn.

 4-28-14 10 days old with proud Grandma

 4-28-14 Remember my grand son Jacob?  Here he is with his little sister and I on the day I returned to Nevada.  I had the best time staying with them for two weeks.  Words cannot express how difficult it was for me to leave.  Jacob is now three and a half years old.  He is the sweetest and best big brother to his sister.  I am so very proud of him.

5-17-14 Sleeping beauty….my most recent photo of my grand daughter sent from my daughter.  She is thriving and healthy.  God Bless and protect their family.

A couple days after returning home I threw out my back and spent a week in bed with back spasms and back pain.  I have not been doing any painting or blogging…

My other grand sons are all doing well too.  The almost 12 year old is in an Archery tournament this weekend and did very well.  His brother the 10 year old just did a trumpet solo in band and their little brother, who is now 14 months is climbing and running everywhere…keeping the entire family on their toes…he loves playing with his Labradors and helping his Daddy in the yard…

I am very, very, very Blessed.  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone….

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Updates and What's Been Happening Around Here...

So much has been going on….I just had my sister come visit for a week and we had so much fun painting in our Art Journals, buying supplies at the many art/craft stores with our coupons, yard sailing and searching for bargains in the thrift stores.  It was SO GOOD having that one on one time with her.  I miss my family so much…and she is my only sister.  We have four brothers.

Another huge event, is my youngest daughter is having my first grand daughter mid April.  I will be going to stay with her for a couple, three weeks after she delivers.  She only has almost four months of maternity leave, so I will be taking Izzy my dog, and moving in with them in California to help out with the baby until she is old enough to be placed in Day Care.  I'll probably stay with them through December.

I am praying a reliable, child loving person will come into our lives and help my daughter and son in law feel comfortable in hiring a "stranger" who might become a trusted and extended member of their family…

I am also praying Izzy adjusts to an entirely different environment, people and their two Labradors.  Typically, Izzy has a "Napoleon Complex" barking and carrying on toward larger dogs.  I am hoping her preference to be around me helps her adjust and adapt.  I'd hate to leave her home with my husband, because I am STILL trying to walk off the extra weight she gained from my last three week trip to California in January. According to our Vet, Izzy needs to lose 8 pounds…yikes!

My youngest grandson's first birthday is the end of this month and we will board her while we are gone…so no doubt she will lose a few pounds over the weekend…at least I hope she does.

While I am in California, caring for my grand daughter, my husband will come out monthly for a week or two and stay with us and then return home to hold down the home front.

I am hoping, when my husband comes out, we can check out various properties and see if I can persuade him to move back to California.  I miss my two daughters, my four grand sons and now, soon,  new grand daughter.  I want to be more available for my Mom and I miss my family and friends.

I have been watching the news coverage daily.  My heart aches for all the families, loved one's and friends of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  I cannot imagine the roller coaster of hope and horror those people are all going through these past two weeks.  I am praying for a miracle….and hopefully, the plane is found.

Last but not least, I am still holding firm with my weight loss and am still deliberating and indecisive about whether to use this blog as my new art blog, or to create a new one.  My painting is more frequent then it was last year, but still no where close to daily, or even weekly….which disappoints me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Retirement Has It's Challenges...

How does one stay organized after Retirement?  I really wanna know!

I admit, I have been very undisciplined and disorganized for some time now.  Last year's frequent, monthly or bi-monthly trips to California really took a toll on pretty much everything in our lives....especially our household, yard work, de-cluttering, production and keeping in touch with friends.

Before that, I had strained my right forearm/elbow and then twisted my ankle, so long periods at the computer came to a quick halt.  I could not stay on the computer as long as I had in the past.  My ankle was so sore I had to elevate it and ice it and despite trying to balance my laptop upon my lap, I was not successful...

Since the beginning of the year I decided to dive into my painting and see if I can make some extra money.  I have going back and forth between my writing (blogging) and my art and my writing has always been the priority, until my girls started having so many kids...

I went from three grand sons to four and now my youngest daughter is having my first grand daughter this April, which will make my fifth grand child!  My husband has six grand kids, so together, we will have ELEVEN!  He has six grown children and I have my two daughters, so again, together, we have EIGHT kids.

I would LOVE to move back to California...but I would have to drag my husband kicking and screaming.  Each trip, he is a non-stop complainer with the traffic getting from one home to the next.  I am grateful it is only a three and a half hour drive; and I am also grateful for Face Time and Skype to visit with the kids when we are here in Nevada...but it is not how I envisioned my life to be with our close family...

I have also promised myself this year to lose weight and I am happy to report I have lost ten pounds.  I am also volunteering one day a week at St. Jude's Thrift Store and joined the Women's Auxiliary.  Getting myself back on a schedule is the key...but it has been so very challenging.  Much more so than I figured.

My Mom's back has really been bothering her and I am very concerned.  I have been doing my best to convince her to come stay with us for awhile, but she insists she has too much to do.

She makes counted cross stitch Christmas stockings for all the great grand kids and her poor arthritic hands are moving as fast as she can to keep up.  Not only my two girls had children, but my brother's daughter and son in Ohio are each having one too.  If she did consent to come stay with us, I would have to bring her big magnifying mirror and all her cross stitch stuff too!

I have so many projects on my list and it seems the list keeps growing rather than getting shorter.

My long range goal is to find a way to incorporate my art, my blogging, my yard work, housework, and visits to California to see our children and grand children and still have time to have a life and spend time with my neighbors and friends.  It's not easy...

Is there anybody else out there having the same challenges?  Anyone have any suggestions?