Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2nd Annual Visit to Key West for Bobbi's 50th

Here's a video that John put together about our latest trip. Just in time for our next trip next week!

"Island Time"

Ah, my zip lining article is finally live

I wrote about zip lining in an article on Squidoo but couldn't get it published as I screwed up one of the video links. Anyway, here it is in all its (non-) glory...

Zip lining in WV with Lori and John

Please leave me comments at the bottom of the article. I love to hear from my "fans" - ha ha.

Here's a few other articles that could use some readership. Seems like the most important articles I write, about caregiving, get hardly any love from anyone but me:

Hot off the press: The importance of routine in an elder person's life
Senior citizen crafts
Senior citizen gift ideas

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When I am old...

So, I'm here at just Day 2 alone with Mom. The person I thought would be a fabulous caregiver (ok, I did meet her in a parking lot but she does have a gorgeous 7 week old bulldog...how bad could she be?)...Anyway, the person I thought would be a fabulous caregiver didn't show up today and, ostensibly, won't on Sunday when I have her scheduled either. So, I'm on my own. Yep, sitting here on my own.

"Here" at the moment is the back deck. I rarely am not in the same room with Mom (that can cause disastrous results if I'm not there when she calls), so, if she's in the living room, I'm in the living room, if she's in the kitchen, then - you get the idea. Anyway, I opened the window so that I will hear her if she calls or rings those dastardly bells I put on her walker. What was I smoking again?

So, I have a lot of time to reflect. And, that's exactly what I do. I came up with this - ah - poem; yeah, that's the ticket. It's a p-o-e-m. Maybe a - ah - musing is better. Yeah, that's the ticket. It's a mus-ing...

I don't believe I need to tell you who it is dedicated to...

When I am old..

When I am old, I promise NOT to:

1. Continue to insist I don't need a hearing aid when countless number of people all of as sudden are telling me I do. I promise to listen to them - well, the best I can.

2. Pick up my feet! The swish, swish of aging feet sliding across wooden floors can make a grown woman's bones grind.

3. Argue when shower time comes. It's in everyone's best interest to smell good when we're older. Trust me on this.

4. Sneak the dogs food when my daughter (well, ha, this won't happen!) specifically told her that the dogs were getting too heavy.

5. Reach for a mug that's just t-h-a-t much out of reach.

6. Leave my tissues hanging from chair corners, under pillows, inside clothing, or, on a very rare occasion, draped on top of the clean (?) kitchen counter.

7. Let fly with bodily noises that, as children, we were taught to contain. I know, I know - there's more air out than in but let's be reasonable.

When I am old, I promise to...

1. Reread this blog post, edit it with an apology, and then, within a reasonable time, delete it.

2. Do whatever the hell I want, and to hell with anyone who doesn't agree. I'll be deaf! What do I care?

3. Learn to do a 2-step so I can shuffle all the time.

4. Burp and fart when I damned well want to - and, well, sometimes when I just plain old don't expect to. I promise to affect an air of 'Who did that?' while simultaneously pointing to the littlest dog in the room.

3. Try to be as easy to care for as my darling Mother is for me. I couldn't be any luckier or any happier to have a tissue-hangin', burpin', fartin', smelly-ish (Monday-Wednesday), feet shufflin', spillin', deaf old woman in my daily life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Community Bridge in Frederick, MD

Last week, Mom, Carina, Patricia and I wandered up to see the Community Bridge in Frederick, MD. This bridge is just amazing - I think I wrote about it earlier in this blog. Regardless, every time we visit, Mom and I see something new. And, looking at the beautiful painted bridge through the eyes of Carina and Patricia, neither of whom had seen it, was a lot of fun.

The Community Bridge is actually a plain old cement bridge that has been painted to look like cobblestone. Within the cobblestones are scenes that the community of Frederick suggested. The scenes are all things that mean "community" to people - things like old farms, a rabbi blowing a shofar, wedding rings, dolphins. About everything one can imagine. There are even some pictures painted in the style of trompe de oliel. Amazing. If you're ever near Washington, DC, it's a must see.

Here's Patricia checking out the trompe d'oliel up close and personal. It's really amazing that this is a 2D picture. So well done. Even the shadows are spot on. The ivy is painted also and, in the ivy are small hidden animals, such as butterflies and birds. I never saw those before but spotted them this time.

Just totally amazing to me. Consider that this is all painted. No wonder it took the artist 5 years to complete the Community Bridge.

The pretty girls are real, the statue is still 2D in tromp d'oliel style. I sort of wish I looked like any of them! They're all so beautiful. Mom and I truly enjoyed the time we got to spend with them last week. And, I have a new friend in Brazil now. Patricia: Todo bem?

Here's a funny story; when I met Patricia, I was informed that her name was not pronounced like we Americans pronounce Patricia - it was Pa-Tree-See-Ah. The accent on the 2nd syllable threw me and I struggled all day to try to remember how to pronounce it. It was the next day that I heard Carina call her "Patchy." "Patchy?" I said. Her name is "Patchy?!" THAT I could pronounce. Turns out her nickname is Patchy so she was Patchy from thereon out. Whatever I called her, she was as darling as Carina. And as beautiful. Say it with me and say it proud - we hate them...

More about the community bridge later. It's late and visitors are gone for the night. Mom and I and 5 dogs are about to call it a night.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This article needs a little love, please...

I've had this dessert shooter lens in the top tier in Squidoo for 3 months and would sure like to reap the benefits of another month - around $37! I'd appreciate any visits and a few comments - that should tip it back into the top tier tomorrow. Anyone? Come on now, be supportive:

Dessert shooters

And, as a bonus, here's a few more cute pics I found on my camera card:

 John and Mom at happy hour the other day. Mom was an eating fool this day and topped off a LOT of food with a bourbon and coke. Atta girl!
2 gorgeous Brazilian girls - this is Carina and Patricia (Patchy) who was visiting. Patchy was here from Hawaii on her way to Brazil. It was a pleasure to have her around a few days and John and I can't wait to travel to Brazil to be reunited. A trip is in the plans!


John surprised me yesterday with a date date of ziplining in Harper's Ferry! There's a new place there that's part agility course (had to cross a rope bridge which was scary and exhilarating at the same time), and ziplined across 7 different stations, the longest of which was around 1/4 mile. I had to be pushed off of the platform by one of the guides everytime - I now know what a baby bird leaving a nest feels like. I loved the ziplining but, for the life of me, I just couldn't rationalize stepping off a perfectly good platform 200 feet up in the air!

We were in a group of 7 - the other 5 people were together and then John and me but, by the end of the day, we were pretty united. It was 3.5 hours of pure fun! I can't wait to do ziplining in Puerto Rico on our next cruise. We even saw a beautiful bald eagle up close and personal as he flew about us, about 50 feet up. I missed the shot though as I was confused by my new camera. Figures. Here's a few pics and videos though:

As you can see, it was an amazing time. 

Anne and Eric from North Carolina were visiting for the weekend and we had a grand time getting reacquainted. Crabs on Friday night were stupendous - everyone had a great time. The house is quiet now as they've just left - so sorry they couldn't stay around a bit longer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Christmas Squidoo lenses

Picture has nothing to do with this blog post - I just thought it was sweet of Sharyn and her dog Wilber-beast.

I bowed under the pressure to make some serious sales so have departed from writing my normal elderly people, pets, or dessert shooter articles. I'm onto Christmas stuff now. So, the below are my newest Squidoo lenses on Christmas decorations. I was going to do one on Channukah decorations, but, very very sadly, they are few and very far between on Amazon.com.

Fresh Christmas Wreaths - Sharyn and I used to put together very beautiful wreaths and table decorations made from any items we could find on our walk. These are fun to make.

Snowman Christmas Decorations - Snowmen make me smile.

Snowflake Christmas Decorations - Snowflakes on noses and...something, something, something as the song goes...

And, just so I'm not a total sell out, here's a few of my more quality lenses:

When death looms; the signs and symptoms of the last moments on earth - I wrote this while Mom was in the hospital and we'd been told she wasn't doing well. As I sat up at nights in her room watching over here, I was frightened by what I might see. I needn't have been - this article is a result of the research I did that night. I'm no longer frightened and neither is she.

Things I wish I had known before becoming a caregiver - boy, there's some stuff I wish I'd been told!

Senior citizen gift ideas - there's some good ideas here if you've got a senior in your life.

Resources for caregivers of the elderly - there's a few good ideas here or links to places to get support

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A foray into the unknown.

There's 2 unknowns at work here, one good, one bad. We'll start with the bad first.

I had a world of education last night about how to deal with constipation in the elderly and, let me tell ya, it's not as easy as it might seem. 10, count 'em TEN, trips to the bathroom in 3 hours about had me seeing red. I pulled everything I could possibly pull out of my hat of tricks - things I knew to relieve constipation. Let's see, there was warm prune juice, hot tea, a heating pad, drinking hot water, nothing. There was walking, Pepsid tablets, and Sennecot. Nothing. 2 calls to the hospice nurse assured me that I had touched on everything possible and time would tell. Mom was feeling better by the time I put her to bed last night but she's gonna blow today....

My second foray into the unknown is my continued work at Zazzle.com. I have a lot of products planned and have just been focusing on my Santa is real...he just doesn't like you stuff. Hopefully, I'll have some Christmas sales. Squidoo is coming along and I'm getting sales on my articles a few times a week which is nice. Sure doesn't touch the income from the now non-existant eHow though. I sure miss those months of raking in a lot of free dough. Ah well, all good things must come to an end, or so they tell me.

Here's my new products on Zazzle.com - here's my first greeting card by BitterBroads - needs work on the back but still looking for just the right logo:

How about a nice apron?

Or a cup?

Friday, September 9, 2011

My first try at Zazzle.com

Ok, here goes. Zazzle.com is a place where anyone can create items for sale. I've created my first BitterBroads product ever - a Christmas ornament of all things. Please go click on it to see the punch line on the back and then BUY IT!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My online ramblings

I've been busy trying to find my new online writing "home" since eHow deleted their writers compensation program. I was getting quite used to the extra money coming in every month and was saddened to find that the program was stopped. I wasn't saddened though to find them buying my entire library for a tidy sum. But, with the loss of the income, I was off to find other places to share my writings and, hopefully, make some money.

I did manage to get a start on my own website - DessertShooters.com - where I plan on expanding my recipes for these delicious mini desserts served in small glasses. Please come visit and bookmark my site; I'm going to update at least once a month with the "Recipe of the Month." September's recipe is Labor Day Labor of Love.

I've also been concentrating quite a bit on Squidoo.com
and am seeing a bit of results. Here's a review of my earnings since I started writing there;

April 2011 - .06 - yes, that's 6 cents
May 2011 - $24.49 - a nice increase and seeing some promise
June 2011 - $64.65 - not too shabby.

Squidoo pays 2 months in arrears so I haven't seen the pay for July yet but it should best June. So, it appears that my income is climbing. Like eHow, Squidoo is residual pay so, hopefully, these articles will continue to earn every month (until they close their program!).

I currently have 62 lenses (that's what Squidoo calls articles), most of which focus either on caregiving, dessert shooters or pets.

Here's a link to my profile and all of my articles on Squidoo. And, here's a few of my newer articles:

A houseboat rental. John and I took a nice mini-vacation a few months ago.
The value of friends. This article was written when I was in the hospital with mom last month.
Anatomy of a caregiver - what makes me tick
Choosing hospice - is it the right choice?
Alarm clocks for all ages
Dog costumes for Halloween

Please come read, and share my articles. Also, I appreciate comments on the articles (anyone can comment) as that raises the rank and allow for, hopefully, more bucks! I'll post more links tomorrow. Don't want Google to think I'm spamming!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Catching up again!

Well, I've been in the house with Mom for 3 days over the Labor Day holiday so you'd think I'd have written a bit more. I've been "busy" just being! Mom was starting to catch a cold yesterday so I gave her some cold meds and Doris (a caregiver) made a chinese mixture of ginger, green onions and brown sugar. Sounds horrible (and it is) but it does seem to have done the trick of clearing up the cold. Just glad it doesn't appear worse. One bad cold when you're almost 95 can be disastrous. Today was back to more normal terms - she's holding breakfast #2 there in her hand...

It's been raining for 2 solid days now and there's nothing more Mom and I like than rainy days. I bundled her up this afternoon and took her onto the balcony for an hour - change of scenery, you know. Well, it is a change from the easy chair in the living room. The dogs are going a bit nuts and seem to be worrying the cat who worries them right back. I'm hoping I can keep peace in the household as I'm not sure who would come out on top in the melee, the dogs or the cat. I have a suspicion that it would be the cat...

John went off on the boat on Friday and was expected to be back up Sunday but, sometimes, when you're sailing, you just can't get there from here, and "here" at the moment is Solomon's Island. He holed up there last night, waiting out the storm which evidently is waiting out John. There he sits still tonight as the wind was gale force blowing with gusts up to 25. Waaay too stiff to pilot Namaste safely back to his home port, Harrington Harbor North. His plan is to head out tomorrow, if the seas allow. If not, I'll go run down and pick him up so he can work this week and then return him there next weekend to hopefully bring her home.

Mike was in town last month so Sharyn, Mike, Mom and I headed down to Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring to take in the beautiful gardens and the butterfly exhibit. Mom, Jeff and I had gone to visit the butterfly exhibit back in 2007, right after Dad died. Surprisingly, Mom remembered most of that trip. We had a great day - both times. And, those of you who know Sharyn well probably won't be surprised to know that she was stung by only 1 of 2 poisonous catepillars in Maryland when she inquisitively turned over a leaf that she should have left alone. Her finger was horribly swollen and ugly for a while - actually, it throbbed for a few hours. Bourbon later helped, so she said.

Ok, enough catching up. Better feed the brood, including Gert who is eating me out of house and home. Her appetite is definitely something that is not decreasing with age. She keeps me hopping making her favorite foods - yesterday's was a simmering pot of fresh chicken soup.