From my desk: 10/05/2021

I picked my dad up from Memory Care, where he lives now, to bring him to the surgeon that saw him a few months ago as his hernia is hurting. Poor guy was only worried that the doctors might forget to put him to sleep before cutting him open. It has got to be hard to not know, without the memory to hold on to, whether people are going to be as careful with you as they can. Anyhow, the doctor will do the procedure laparoscopically and recovery shouldn’t be too difficult. The good news is he won’t have to go to a nursing home, recovery will be at his own place.

After the doctors we met David at First Watch. This place is great with all of its recipes being all-natural. The food is fantastic as are the drinks. After we finished David drove home and I started driving back to Memory Care. My father, who has always had a problem with swallowing, began coughing and choking on phlegm. Back to the hospital, the ER this time. After checking for pneumonia and any blockage he was sent home with a fairly good bill of health, thank God.

So we stopped for dinner at Dunkin’ Donuts. He loves his sweets, and had bavarian cream, chocolate covered donuts for dinner. He was so happy! By the time we left he was ready for bed so we headed to his facility. I tucked him in and all was well…

On another note, we were supposed to close on a new home this coming Friday…but the owner passed away. He was in his late 90’s and in a nursing home. Unfortunately for us we may have to wait for the home to go through probate. David and I will have to decide how long we are willing to wait and if we should begin looking for another place again. Just my luck!

I have been busy building Christmas miniatures! I have two made, which I will put up in my shop on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/StineWriting?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Peace to you all!
Have a great day!

From my desk: 09/11/21

To all those who we lost on 9/11…a moment of silence, a silent prayer for peace.

I may have found my dream home!!! We have the inspection Tuesday!

The season for miniatures is coming and I will be working my butt off to make sure I have some inventory ready for the holidays. Remember to check out my store on Etsy.com – StineWriting: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StineWriting?ref=seller-platform-mcnav
I am also starting to list my handcrafted jewelry. Mostly earrings now, but all made by me!

Writing, writing, writing…my other passion! Please comment if you have a challenge that I haven’t participated in yet, or at all, so I can check it out! I love them. I also have my challenge on Tuesdays: Simply 6 Minutes. It doesn’t have to be done on a Tuesday, I love input all week long!

Peace to you all!

From My Desk: 08/13/21

This may be the longest I’ve been away. I have been working on placing my dad in an appropriate situation!

A week and a half ago my dad went to the emergency room. It was a hernia. They admitted him but it took a few days for them to say they would NOT do surgery. Luckily, the night in the ER, the ER doc had “put back” the hernia so my father was not in much pain after that. Anyhow, I have been considering a memory care unit or something safe for my father as his care needs are increasing and I am not really equipped. So finally he was sent to a nursing home for a few days. This was not going to be suitable as he really needs to be up and about and active, not lying in a hospital bed all day long. I was lucky to find the Grand Villa of St. Petersburg.

The Grand Villa of St. Petersburg is an Assisted Living Community with a Memory care unit. The place is clean and beautiful. On the memory care floor, all of the residents are taken every day of the week onto what they call the recreation floor. Here they can do anything from nap to watch tv to participate in crafts and other entertainment. There are so many things going on all day. My father will really benefit from a place like this as he was always so social!

Check out some photos here: https://www.grandvillastpete.com/senior-living/fl/st-petersburg/photos

Now that David and I have moved him in and he is stable I will be back to my writing. I hope I get back into the groove quickly! I’m sure with all of friends here and all the encouragement I always get, it will be easy!

David and I have also decided we will get married on September 18th! Woo Hoo! Details to come….

Thank you for continuing to follow me and to participate in my writing and in my Tuesday challenge. I look forward to reading everyone’s work which I have missed so much!

Peace to you all!

Elsa is coming…(From my desk: 7/5/21)

My first tropical storm being in Florida.
I have to fly home Friday to pack up my house.
I close next week.
So many feelings about the whole thing.

Since losing my husband in 2018 and my son in 2019 I have wanted to move. I hate being in my house with all those memories. I also don’t want to ever leave my house because I won’t be able to remember everything like I can when I walk around the yard or the house. I want to move to start my new life with David but I don’t want to leave the house that we have been fixing up so nicely. Isn’t that how it goes though? You get your house to how you really want it and then you sell it. I want to move because I hate the cold and I hate the winter. I also hate the thought of having no snow and not seeing leaves change colors.

Oh, I could go on and on and I am sure that if you have ever sold a home you know exactly what I am going through. Excitement, fear, sadness, happiness….all smashed up into one big lump that I can’t swallow!

Elsa will show me what she has in store for us by tomorrow. I pray people stay safe. After seeing the building collapse in Miami and seeing the ambulances coming and going all the time around here, I really pray no one else gets hurt.

If you are in Elsa’s path come back to share your experience. I’m sure it will be different for every single person in all the different locations she is affecting.

Peace!

Tomorrow is my daughter’s 23rd birthday! OMG! She is like a real adult!!! Lol.

From my desk: 06/24/21

So, I’m trying to deal with this whole Alzheimer’s thing from all of the things that people tell me and of what I read. I am learning a few things.

  1. As my therapist told me there are signs of Alzheimer’s and the deterioration on the brain and then there are behaviors related to personality. (I am totally paraphrasing just in case he reads this!). So let me give you an example:
    • When my father asks me four or five times in the course of a few hours what the word magenta (with a hard “g” in his case) means…that is Alzheimer’s. When my father says that someone on television with a lot of tattoos is gross…that is personality. Mind you, I have a whole ton of tattoos but that doesn’t seem to matter in the gross factor, unless he is blocking it out completely, or just doesn’t want to tell me he thinks I am gross. I do not agree with everyone’s tattoo designs and where they get them on their bodies but that is not my body and to each his own. My theory is “If I don’t really like it, then I don’t have to get one like it. It is my body”. I know there are many people who can debate on the tattoo issue and I don’t really want to go there. To each his own. If you don’t like to look at it, turn the other way.
    • When my father asks me what that sound is when it is thundering outside…that is Alzheimer’s. When my father wants to do a project and blatantly will NOT follow one of my directions….that is personality. I bought him these puzzle type houses since he always sees me make miniatures and wanted to do something like it. I knew the project would be hard for him but I thought I shouldn’t say he can’t do it, until he can’t. Anyhow, I tell him to start with the first picture. “Do you see the pieces that you need?” Yes. “Get all of those pieces then we can put them together. But you have to do this step first or else it won’t work” Okay. ….5 minutes or so later…. The paper I had put in front of him was now flipped upside down and to a different page and he had all different pieces taken out. I asked him what he was trying to do. He said that he was going to start with piece number one and make it one piece at a time by finding piece number two and so on. I flipped the paper back over and said “This is not that sort of puzzle. See here, it says you need #1 and #17.” I have #1 he says but there are four dots on the picture and only two dots on the piece. “Dad, find the pieces and we will figure that out next. Look you need to find #17″. …Maybe three minutes later…”Did you find #17?” No, I have #1 though. “Dad, just find #17”. Maybe you can just do this tomorrow, he tells me. At this point I want to throw the whole thing in the trash and say f*%# it! Anyhow, some of that is Alzheimers but the fact that he will NOT look for piece #17 is behavior and his personality.
    • I put together this three page paper that has a bulleted list of things about my dad. There is the “Things to know” section, “Things he likes to eat”, “Things he doesn’t like to eat”, “What I expect from the caregiver”, etc. I did this because of a recommendation since I don’t necessarily have a permanent caregiver as of yet and I am exhausted of talking about my father and trying to remember all the crap I have to tell them. So, Tuesday we had Brianna. Sweet girl, maybe 26 years old. Fake eyelashes, smelled good, super cute. She comes in and my father is in the bathroom. I tell her that I have written up stuff about him and if she would like to read it now while he is in the bathroom that would work well. She reads it and tells me that she likes all the information I have given, it is all very useful. Later that day my father sees the paper. What is this with my name on it? he asks. I tell him that I wrote up stuff about him for the caregivers, blah,blah, blah. He is totally confused and wants to know what I mean by “caregiver”. I tell him….that is the Alzheimer’s. This morning I hear him get up and shuffle out to the family room. He has taken the folder with my list and is now reading it in his chair…that is NOT Alzheimer’s that is him being curious. He asks me what Alzheimer’s is and I tell him it is the reason he cannot remember things. “What!? I can remember things!” Okay, I say. What was my mom’s name? “Um, who was your mom?” Bingo….you have Alzheimer’s. I take the folder and tell him to leave it on the table for Maria who will be coming. I put it on the table and go to the restroom. I get out and he has the folder again and wants to know what Alzheimer’s is….that is personality. I was only in the bathroom maybe three minutes. He does what he wants to do and doesn’t listen to anything else.
    • When my father is watching television and I tell him I am going to do some work and he asks me a few minutes later what I am doing…that is Alzheimer’s. When he calls me from his chair, over and over, saying “You-who!” “Where are you?” but won’t get his butt out of the chair to come look…that is his personality. He is capable of walking and will do so if he wants something like a piece of candy or a squirt of whipped cream. He somehow can’t do it and instead keeps screaming for me asking me where I am? No way…sorry…come find me. We are in a tiny, and I mean tiny, two bedroom condo that has less room than most people have in their homes. You may think I am being callus but wtf?
    • When my father is sitting and coloring and asks me “What does tan mean?”….that is Alzheimer’s. When he is sitting watching television and despite the fact that I am busy tells me he needs a drink of water…that is personality. I have always known and maybe it is diminished capacity that I have let some of it slide, but he expects women to jump and cater to him. Call it being a male chauvinistic thing or “old fashioned”. I call it “leave me the hell alone for a minute and go get a drink of water! I am not a maid!”
    • When I am in the kitchen cooking dinner and he asks me what I am doing in there, despite being only feet away and smelling the cooking….that is Alzheimer’s. When he calls me two, three, four times to ask me “what was that noise you just made?” or “Where are you?”…that is his personality. He won’t get up or turn his head, instead he wants me to keep running out of the kitchen to answer his questions which could be answered if he just looked over his shoulder.

Okay, maybe I just needed to vent. We have good days and we have bad days. Today was good until it wasn’t.

I was in my bedroom looking something up on the computer. My father is at the dining table, just outside my door, painting. He shouts “Hurry, get me a rag or something!” I run out and he is holding a napkin from the stack of napkins about two inches from his arm.

I have been putting together these wooden puzzles for my father to paint. I bought them at Harbor Freight and they are that balsam wood that has been laser cut. Yes, they are tricky even though they say an eight year old can do them, so I put them together and he paints them. So I put together a shark. I drew a picture of the shark on a paper and labeled each part what color he “should” paint since he won’t do it without my telling him. I tell him paint the shark gray and the water blue. I point out that the water is the stand. I come back and the whole thing is gray, shark and stand. Then I put together a lion. This time I print out a colored “clip-art” picture of a lion for him to see the colors. It is sort of a preschool type lion, orange body, brown mane. That one he got. Third times the charm? No! I put together an owl. Again printed the clip-art. Then I even put all of the colors he would need in little cups in front of him. Light brown for the belly feathers, dark brown for the other feathers, white for around the eyes, because he said they were white, not brown, and orange for the beak. Guess what? Yup, all dark brown, every last speck of it. I put together a peacock and it is really nice. I will not give him that one because I will be pissed if he paints it all one color!

Okay, enough ranting. I admit, I may be wrong on some of my “this is Alzheimer’s, this is personality” stuff but if you spent a day here you’d probably see it like I do. New adult daycare next week… Thank God!

And if he asks me one more question tonight I am going to lose my shit and end up in the psychiatric ER!

Have a good night! Peace

From my desk: 05/09/2021

It is a bittersweet day today. I am proud to say that I raised two beautiful children but I am heartbroken that one left this world before me. My beautiful daughter is doing so well and I am so proud of her. I miss my son so very much it hurts more than I could ever explain.

I lost my mom when I was 23. It seems so long ago. I remember thinking that my life was left with a big gaping hole in it. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I hope you are still watching over me.

I put my house on the market and got an offer the first day. I am so happy that it happened quickly but also so scared to make such a big move. I have done so many updates and fixed things so nicely, why move? But, isn’t that what happens? I am sure that whoever moves in will feel the love within the walls. When the house sells I will get to be back full-time with David but also farther away from my daughter. No decisions are one sidedly easy. But with Lindsay succeeding at her work and being so young and a strong person, she will do fine whether I am a town over or many states away.

I have been inconsistently active on my blog. There is so much that has to get done in a day and I honestly feel like I am on the go 24-7. If you are feeling bored let me know what you do to have the down-time! Lol. I appreciate every person who continues to read my work and “chat” with me. I suppose there will come a day where I can start structuring my time again. My father is so needy that it is often hard to sit and write when he is continually asking me questions or in need of something. He will be 89 next month. Holy cow!

If you continue to participate in Simply 6-Minutes on Tuesdays then Thank you! If you don’t participate yet, check it out on Tuesday. It is fun and relaxing and puts such a smile on my face. Spread the word…It’s all for the fun of it.

Does anyone remember when “Baked Lays” first came out and they were wreaking havoc on peoples’ stomachs? Supposedly whatever they put in their food that makes it fat free also leads to a laxative effect. I learned not too long ago and was reminded the other day that “sugar free” candy also has the same effect on the bowel track. So…if you are feeling irregular try the sugar free hard candies they sell at the Dollar Tree.

That is enough rambling for everyone for one day.
Peace to you all!
Have a very Happy Monday!

©2021 CBialczak

From my desk: 03/25/2021

I have not had my usual presence on WordPress, as I am accustomed to and happy with. I have so much going on that my head spins constantly and I am trying to hold on for dear life so I don’t fall off this ride called life!

Back in February my stepmother passed away. It was quite sudden. I didn’t realize that the day she passed was the day my life would change, once again! I could go through all of my tragedies but I won’t. If you are curious, check out my About page. Anyhow, I am now the full-time caregiver for my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I knew this day would come but I didn’t think it would come so fast.

My fiance, David, and daughter live 1200 miles away from me. My daughter is doing phenomenally well in her career. She is working for Momentum Solar and is a natural when it comes to sales. My fiance is working his job, taking care of my house and my dog and my guinea pigs. I am busy too! But it is more of a mentally busy thing than physical.

Yes, you read that last paragraph correctly…David proposed and I said yes! We don’t have a date set yet but I am hoping my father will be well enough to walk me down the aisle for the second time.

There is a lot that I miss, now that my life is so….different. Besides missing David and Lindsay, there is so much more….
I miss my dog. I miss making my miniatures at my work station at my house. I miss my comfy bed. I miss my medical marijuana. I miss my alone time. I miss writing every day. I miss blogging all the time. I miss chatting with people and reading about people’s experiences. I miss taking pictures of birds. I miss all the things that were so familiar!
But I am lucky to have as much as I do. I am lucky that my father thinks I am so wonderful! I am lucky I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I am lucky to log on to my blog and see that people are still reading my posts and following me and enjoying my writing.

Life is so strange. I sometimes wonder, “when will life be normal?”, but what is normal? Maybe this life, with all of its chaos is normal! I just wonder if there is ever a time in life where you can just sit back and really just enjoy the world around you without feeling like your head is going to spin right off your neck!

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for participating in my Simply 6 Minutes Writing each week. Thanks for following me. My blogging world is such a comfortable world!

If you haven’t already seen it, I have a Go Fund Me page for a scholarship I would like to present to the school my son graduated high school from right before he passed away. I want his name to be called out each spring as his school presents two scholarships to students who excel in math. That was his passion. If you could share the page that would be great. It is a large sum of money, so that the scholarship can be sustained for years and years. The more people who see it, the better my chances of reaching my goal will be. If everyone who saw it donated even $5, I would reach and possibly exceed the goal I have set. All money will go to the school for scholarships under my son’s name. If it isn’t enough, then perhaps it will only be a few years of scholarships. If it exceeds what is needed to start a scholarship then perhaps it can be offered to more students that attend his former high school. Thank you ahead of time for sharing the link!

https://gofund.me/3aa1542f

From my desk: 01/21/21

Hello WordPress! I miss my blog, my interactions, my writing. I am in Florida caring for my father and stepmother. Stepmother has not been well. She finished a chemo treatment last week that has left her so very sick. We took her to the hospital today because she was vomiting, dehydrated, and her blood count has been so low. She is there for fluids and a transfusion. My father is so unhappy as he doesn’t remember all the details and is so accustomed to her being with him. For anyone who prays, please say a prayer she gets better.

I miss my daughter and my David! I miss Brody and my guinea pigs. I DON”T miss the cold northern weather! Florida has been “chilly”, only in the 60’s mostly. Better than the 20’s!

I started tutoring. The young man I am tutoring is very kind and nice. You can tell he loves his family. The planning is taking a lot of my time as I haven’t been in the classroom in almost two years and even then I was in high school and my new student is in 6th grade. The one super-wonderful part of this is I have reconnected with an old friend who is an Occupational Therapist, who I worked with many years ago, but will be working with again.

I hope to get back more to my writing. I miss the challenges and the interactions. I miss reading all the other great work of my fellow bloggers. Feel free to tag me in a post if you think it is something I would really enjoy. I feel like I am missing so much!

Thanks for following and for reading. I miss this blogging family but should be back “full-time” soon.

©2021 CBialczak

From my desk: 01/03/2021

Happy New Year!

This is the first memo from my desk for the new year and I am so happy it is finally 2021. 2020 wasn’t very good but I feel fortunate to still have a roof over my head and all my things. Yes, COVID sucks but I am ready to stop thinking about it and put COVID and Trump down a black hole of forget-tion. I don’t think that’s a word but that was the first word that popped into my head. Lol.

I am so happy to start the year blogging again. I enjoy the friends I have made with blogging and look forward to seeing their updates and celebrations, writings, and other contributions. Some day when COVID is done and people are out travelling I would love for people from other countries to come here for a visit. Yes, you can stay if I have the room! I also look forward to a little travelling. David and I are hoping to get away on a little romantic vacation in April. We will see.

Vacation won’t be until April because as of tomorrow I have a new job. I am going to be a tutor for a home-bound student from one of the local school districts. My old boss is now the Special Ed director in a town not too far from here and he heard from a mutual friend that I would be willing to do some part-time teaching. I am really looking forward to it but I am very nervous. The tutoring will be via Zoom so I don’t really know what I will be doing. Luckily, it is only about ten hours a week so I will still have time for blogging, making miniatures, and reading. I also want to do more writing.

Goodreads has a challenge where you set how many books you want to read this year. There is an old schoolmate of mine on there that pledges to read 60! You go girl! I put down 26. I don’t spend a lot of time reading and would like to increase that. There are so many good books out there. Another blogger actually has offered to let me read his books for free! I will read them and then post my reviews. I am super excited for that! His name is Martin and you can check out his blog here: https://martinjoneswriter.com/2020/12/18/the-rainbow-by-d-h-lawrence-early-twentieth-century-pride/

I presume I will be giving updates every now and again as usual. Keep me posted with all your updates and I do hope to spend time on as many blogs as possible.

Peace to you all in the new year!

From my desk 12/10/2020

Sitting here in Tampa International Airport heading back up north. Short visit to my dad and stepmom. It was a bit chilly here…

Heading home a few days early…Sold Welcome Home Miniature and when the customer received it it was in a ton of pieces! 😥 Will have to rebuild!
Cried in the nail salon when I saw the message! I was getting a Florida pedicure. All my work destroyed. Life must go on, as they say.

Sold out of most of my miniatures so this weekend and next week I may be sort of absent from blogging as I have to build…Of course, can’t not come here…this is now a natural part of my day.

Have a wonderful weekend WP family!

Christine

This photo is dedicated to Jez Braithwaite for introducing this awesome tool to me! https://jezbraithwaite.blog/