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    I just wanted to let the group know that Bandit loves the NY apartment and surrounding area, and actually seemed to enjoy the ride up and back from the Heartland. So that is a big load off my mind. He seemed to think everything was interesting and fun, other than the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. I was walking him down near where the Clearwater is docked for the winter, so I picked him up and was trying to get him to look at it, or at least sniff the tie-up lines or something...but no. The garbage receptacles and the lunch bags of fishermen were far more interesting. I guess my dog is not a boat dog. lol

    The new furniture came, so I have a sofa, a table, two chairs, and a bed. I've got one picture hung up, and the kitchen pretty well set up except for a microwave and a potato masher. Of course we have the all-important dog toys, and play our incessant dog games that never really stop--just get suspended for a while. Fortunately there is nothing under the apartment except a laundry room, so Bandit and I run all over the place to his heart's content (and I'm ready to scream) playing tug-fetch-chase-keepaway etc. The new stuff is contemporary, so the apartment has more of a modern, sleek look than the Heartland house, which is more traditional. My plan is to, very gradually, add things to the apartment to make sure it has a warmth and charm along with the contemporary vibe. I just ordered an inspirational sign from Amazon for the apartment that says "Imagine Dream Believe." Those are my watchwords, and I'm going to put the sign above the kitchen door where you will see it as you walk in. (In the Heartland, my sign says, "Happily Ever After." Again, an important phrase for me...I just love having it on the wall.

    Candidly, I have to proceed really slowly because I can't afford to do a whole lot at once. Probably just as well...I think it will look better by evolving with time rather than glomming everything in there at once. Thrift stores here I come!

    Getting back to the group on a couple books I've used/am using: I spent 12 weeks working through Julia Cameron's It's Never Too Late to Begin Again...Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. (Sorry for the lack of italics or underlining.) Reviews say that it borrows a lot from her earlier The Artist's Way, but as I had never read that book, I didn't care. The book had you doing quite a bit of writing--three pages of stream-of-consciousness every morning, and a partial memoir every week, until you had reviewed your whole life. She calls for solo walking, and for what she calls "Artist's Dates" to encourage getting back to just having fun and figuring out what you really like to do. It isn't just a book for struggling writers or painters--it's meant to help anyone starting out on a second part of their life to figure out who they are, what they want, and get some idea of how to get going in the right direction. I found it very helpful, and gave it a fair shake, although I couldn't do the "Artist's Dates" part of it--just too tied up with family responsibilities and the puppy. Didn't have time to go to museums or concerts or just go out and do fun things for myself...although I suppose the move back to NY was the "Artist Date" to end all Artist's Dates. She was a little "new age" and "airy-fairy" at times, but for the most part the book spoke to me, and I'd recommend taking a look at least. I don't think a library book would work other than to see if you want to do the 12 weeks--I think you'd almost have to buy the book to get the good out of it. Amazon has it.

    The other book that I'm working on, very, very slowly, is The Artist's Rule...a Twelve Week Journey, by Christine Valters Painter. It is about "nurturing your soul with monastic wisdom." I am doing one chapter a month instead of one chapter a week, as she suggests some people may want to do. It is just too profound for me to really get my head around, but I like it and do want to go through it. One of the reviewers on the back cover says, "By melding monastic practices of embodied spirituality with fresh invitations for creating art, Painter shows how to make creative life out of your whole life." So wow. You have to meditate a lot, and so far, we are supposed to do some drawing or painting to illustrate the thoughts that we're meditating on. It's hard to find the time for this stuff, but it is very good. Deep, but good.

    So I'm going to be busy cooking and baby-sitting, and having the four of them stay with me for a few days, until my daughter and the kids move away, around Dec. 19. I'll stay in the Heartland through Christmas, but weather permitting will head for NY the week between Christmas and New Year's, and just stay up there at least through the winter. I'll be playing it by ear--honestly don't know how much time I want to spend in each place--it will be a whole new ball game!
    SO great to hear all that is going on with you Elizabeth. Your apartment and life sound wonderful. I can tell dear Bandit is a great buddy.

    I have The Artist's Way - have had the book for years (never opened it) and based on your note will get going with it. I will also get Painter's book. It feels like the timing is perfect for me to do this work. Thank you!!

    I mentioned this before and will again - wonderful++ you are back with us!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2016
    Elizabeth, It all sounds good. Maybe you have some doodads in your Heartland house that could add warmth and charm to the NY apartment.
    Yes, Myrtle, that is what I am going to do. But at the moment, I don't have any bookcases, end tables, dressers, nightstands, or a coffee table to put my doodads on! What is surprising, in all honesty, is how little "stuff" you really need. I literally went up there with an air mattress and a folding Coleman camp chair, some bedding, a towel, and my teakettle and a few dishes, and was perfectly comfortable until the new furniture was delivered.
    Hello, all, I have been reading through all the threads but am not sure I have much to contribute these days--I just feel that my whole life is getting to be "off-topic" in terms of the Alzheimers Spouse website. That is probably a good thing...I am no longer so defined by the nightmare downward spiral of the Alzheimers years. But boy, is it ever a trek to recover, find your new self, and move on. So, some rumination:

    I think a lot about the diversity among the people on this forum--not ethnic diversity--but the diversity in attitudes and emotions when spouses are still living, whether at home or in a facility, and when spouses have died. There are interesting viewpoints on Widows/Widowers and my first thought is that, no matter how well-prepared you are, once that spouse dies, you are in uncharted territory...and the name of the game is survival....survival of your self, your essence...if that makes any sense. Alzheimers does try to kill us, as well as killing our spouses. Maybe not "kill" literally, but it does suck away our souls like those DeathEaters in Harry Potter. I think those who post on W/W before their spouses have actually died will find that it is going to be different than they expected...hard to explain or quantify, but I do believe that. So we all need each others support, before, during, and after. As many of us have found out, nobody "gets" us and helps us the way we here on this forum understand and help each other. It is very unique and special...certainly saved my life, as I've said a time or two. (or a hundred) : D

    In terms of making real friends, finding authentic activities to do, or putting ourselves "out there", I think that it's easier said than done because we're fighting fatigue, depression, maybe our own physical problems, and in many cases that feeling of lethargy, apathy, just not caring enough...or just not having enough time, etc. Whether we're still dragged down by caregiving, or whether we're dragged down by all the miseries of having the spouse deceased, it is hard to perk up, snap out of it, and jauntily just get back out there into the social scene. Personally, and this is just my opinion, I think that's OK. I think it just takes the time it takes, and if it takes a while, or forever...hey, so what. For me, I've found some socialization among the neighbor women in the Heartland, and with old friends when I go to NY. My dog takes a lot of time and energy, and is turning out to be--at 13 months old--a dear little comrade. So I guess one recommendation I have is that an animal companion can help a lot. But in trying to figure this out, in this new, post-Alzheimers world, I think it is best not to try too hard, not to push too much...take your time, do what seems right for you...and I think the path forward will start to appear out of the mist.

    Once in a while I see a post where somebody is pushing a little too hard on another person to get their act together...but I don't think it can be forced.

    My most pressing personal issues probably don't belong on this forum at all--trying to unlatch from inappropriate family exploitation so I can hold on to my wallet and move forward with my own life, instead of being more or less a family servant and human ATM machine. I never would have got myself into this pickle though, if I had not been struggling so much with the Alzheimers issues--and we did get DH taken care of at home, by the family, as he that part was good. But I've got the NY apartment now, and am trying every day to find some little snippets of time to figure out what I want to do creatively. After all those years of nursing and caregiving, I want to see if I can be something other than the person who takes care of everybody else. A little (or a lot of) writing, a little drawing , a little needlework, a little music--just dabbling--but it is important to me, and has a lot to do with me figuring out who I am and where I'm going with it. (I love to hear stories of people who started late but built great successful lives--like Grandma Moses with her painting.)

    DH is always with me, and always around me, and I can truthfully report to the group that my memories of our life together bring me only happiness now. It is a joyful thing to me that we had the life together that we did. And no, Al Z. Heimer did not win. Larry and I won. So there.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2016 edited
    Quite frankly, elizabeth*, I think that the issues of hanging onto our wallets and avoiding exploitation by family members DO belong on this forum. Being treated as a family servant or a human ATM machine not only constrains our possibilities and consumes our energies; it demoralizes us. It threatens our survival far more than lack of a social life does. It should be discussed more, not less.

    P.S. I don't think you are alone in having experienced these and similar issues. I think I read that some people have even been threatened or sued by overbearing family members.
    Hello to everyone from the great state of New York! Bandit and I had a good trip--seven hours total, including stops--so very quick. This is the only day this week that the roads were clear all the way up, so here we are!
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2016
    Good to hear that you and Bandit have both arrived safely, Elizabeth.
    It has been a long (and difficult) time coming so enjoy every moment.
    Good luck and be happy!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2016
    I thought of you today, Elizabeth, and hoped you would arrive safely. I'm glad you have this chance to try out life in New York again.
    SO glad Elizabeth you and Bandit had a good trip. Thank you sincerely for letting us tag along with you in your journey of life.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    Anorexia and the elephant

    There are two realities you live in when you're a person; not one.

    There is the reality of space-time which are the things that happen and don't happen in what most people call the real world. Those are things that happen without reference to us. It rained or it didn't. A fire engine went by with the siren on or it didn't. A tree limb came down across the street or it didn't. Your lottery ticket number came up or it didn't. Someone you love got a fatal illness or they didn't. No one can control those kinds of things.

    People seldom experience reality directly. Instead we live in our perception of them. One person is disappointed the fire engine's siren wasn't on because they love that and the next person is grateful because it's too loud for their hearing aid. One person is glad to see the rain falling on their garden and the next feels their day has been spoilt by it.

    It works this way. We have five ways we connect to that world. That's the only information the brain gets: what it sees, feels, smells, tastes, and hears. Our brain also remembers and our brain also assimilates and prioritizes. Our soul might be seen as the awareness that this is us and that we are actually here, but it's a partnership of whatever that spirit is and the physical body in which we live. That's what our brain which is a physical thing in the real world does. It manages our real house if you will.

    The soul doesn't run the body. We spend zero time regulating thousands of things in our bodies simultaneously. Instead what we see as ourselves is involved with running things almost exclusively as the decider of the interpretation of meaning. That sounds like we make decisions in some orderly fashion but the truth is more like mud wrestling.

    We spend hours telling ourselves (our body) that we need to keep going (while our brain sends us red light warning signals that we're overstretched) and that we need to find a road (while our brain pumps out the real grief and depression that exists AND is backed up for years with dreadfully serious issues to resolve in the overflowing unresolved files).

    That's not the whole story. There are more sets of things you have to include. One important one is the set of things given to you by nature (your genes) and another important one is the set of conditions your body is in (your chemistry).

    Many diseases are either genetic or chemical. Humanity is understanding that more and more clearly which is why humanity is moving to kindness with mental illness for example. What humanity is still terrible at is understanding that chemistry and genetics has the same profound affect all the time even when only boring things are happening.

    The final component I'm going to use today is experience. That feels like something the soul owns but that's not the truth. The truth is that is data stored in the physical brain which can't be accessed without including the state the brain is in.

    What is the brain state of an active caregiver? Overloaded. Backed up. Under seige. Actively shutting down important parts that have become dysfunctional. Like thinking about your future or what's going to happen to you or accessing whole channels of feelings. Got to keep going.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016 edited

    How does all this help?

    First we have to come to some understanding of how we work in the real world so that we have a better chance of getting somewhere in changing how we work.

    I've talked about acknowledging our power demonstrated by our caregiving. Willing serious sacrifice for principle. That was a complete waste of time.

    So I'll use an extreme. I know two fine looking young ladies (daughters of friends) who grew up in front of me and were anorexic. They couldn't see that they were normal looking. In my opinion both were pretty and both were attractive and both were thin. What my friends went through to try and get enough nourishment in them was pitiful. Both lasted for years.

    Tortured souls see things in distorted ways. Experience can push anyone into seeing things in distorted ways easily - but only if a feedback loop occurs. The person sees the distortion as reality and reinforces it so that the anorexic cannot see the body you see and doesn't.

    The truth is that the real things that happen in space-time intrude on what reality is the rest of the time. The second reality is the one you perceive and it is that reality that rules the roost the vast majority of the time spent here.

    The truth is also that most of what we see as reality if flexible and completely changeable. It's not a lie that some people find Christ suddenly and change fundamentally. It's true that most people with anorexia can come out of it and do. The two young ladies I refered to did. They 'realized' a different reality from the one they had previously reinforced and began instead to reinforce that they were quite normal in their weight. I talked to both of them about it and they both said it was all a nightmare struggle and that edges of it are still there. That's what that truth always sounds like because that's what it IS like.

    Change when it is chosen always has one particular aspect included in it. The soul tells the brain "I believe this now" and once the brain becomes convinced the idea is serious, it begins to work with the new belief. The only thing different to the brain is that now this idea is what is being reinforced. That begins a new journey to somewhere else. Always.

    I'll tell you a great place to start. Start becoming a good friend with your body weight or body shape. Talk to yourself about the fact that it's actually a pleasure lugging the thing around or maybe that should be getting a free ride while your body does all the work. Even if you like your body already, it doesn't mean life won't be better if you become more friendly with you being here.

    Imagine yourself turning on the thing chasing you and seeing it cower and run away. Imagine turning on the fear and staring it down. If you do that often enough you will discover nothing is there anymore.

    All those things aren't in the reality of space-time. All those things are in the other reality. The one interpreted by the soul and the brain in the reality that is uniquely yours. So similar in so many specifics and completely unique in the world you yourself create.

    What is it our loved ones lost? They lost access to their working brain. They lost access to the ineffable joy of having one to be ourselves with. Without that physical bond to 'reality', they were pushed towards just existing.

    The elephant in the room is that we are all anorexic in our own various ways. In that room insurmountable objects can be disintegrated in a snap of the fingers. Or they can be places we never go. We make the same choices as anyone where those choices define - not our lives - but how we experience our lives.

    Every athelete and musician and parent and worker knows this from sound experience. Obstacles are there to be overcome if we choose that. The subject matter in that is utterly irrelevant. Choose and dedicate and you change your experience of reality.

    And what is the pervasive experience when we start out on a new choice? We fall down a lot. If we're serious we keep coming, if we're not we didn't go there.

    Start learning to be a true friend with your body ideas. You're in it together. Becoming more accepting to that idea is a great way to learn this is your reality. Stand in front of the elephant the anorexic sees and see how tiny you are. You gotta believe though. You gotta decide to believe.

    Now what life experience could we imagine that might prove to the doubting that we have already proven we are capable of much more than just what I have talked about here?

    Nevermind said the carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    Thanks Wolf. This is just what I am trying to do after.making so many mistakes over Christmas. I need a new way to perceive reality. That elephant keeps getting in the way when I look in the mirror. But after.reading this I got the elephant to move, ever so slightly, to the side and can see myself. I am not going to beat myself up for the mistakes I made over Christmas. I am going to get up after.those falls and brush myself off and try another tack. Since I am calmer, DH picks up on that and is happier.
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016 edited
    Thank you, dear Wolf. Your knowledge is hard-won and true. I find it, and will find it, very helpful. It means a great deal to me to read it today, as my lungs are infected from what started out as a sinus infection 3-4 weeks ago. A high dose of an antibiotic and 10 days of help from my youngest son Jim is helping. He is a welder who lives in Nelson, B.C. and is leaving early tomorrow to go back to work.
    OMG, Mary. I hope the antibiotics are doing their job. Do you actually have pneumonia?
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    Hello Mary, I have missed your input of late so thought that you may have been unwell. I wish you a quick return to good health.
    You are one of our "treasures" here so take care. xx
    Thanks again Wolf, for your wise words.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou*
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    Get well soon, Mary.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    Mary, I'm so sorry that the sinus infection turned into pneumonia. Glad you are on the mend. Take care . . . We need you here!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2016
    I wondered where you went Mary. Get well.
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2017
    Thanks, everyone. You warm my heart. Making slow, steady progress. Dr. didn't say pneumonia, but that the infection is in the small air sacs, both lungs. My understanding is that the small air sacs lead off the bronchus.
    Yikes, sounds dreadful. I see you came over to the Lodge, Mary. I'm heading there now for a little afternoon visiting on this sunny New Year's Day.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2017
    I've been trying new things. For example I'm writing about trying new things without actually trying them. I've never done that before and I'm finding it saves a lot of time. Do I really want to find out how I am at skeet shooting? Or horseback riding? Or whether finger painting really is a soothing experience? I don't.

    I don't need to discover who I am any more. I had that force fed down my gullet and it's not goose liver pate that comes out. I was tortured, abused, abandoned, enslaved, and did forced labor for over a decade. They didn't even need fences or guards because I volunteered for that. Well, some people think that 12 years of that shouldn't mess you up. Don't hire those people. Send them back to the kiddie pool. Warn them not to run because if anything happens to them they go whirling off into outer space and that's not good.

    I've been wondering what the litmus test for recovery is. A litmus test is a strip of paper you use to test acidity levels with. If the paper turns pink you have too sunny a disposition and if it coughs and sticks it's tongue out at you, it doesn't like you. What if you could stick a strip of paper in and it's color could tell you objectively if you were indeed back to the normal ass you generally make of yourself or if you are still moving away from potentially debilitating life experiences.

    Take Stockholm. I've never been to Stockholm. I've been to Stockholm Syndrome. When you spend ten years of your life focusing on a single meaning that drains almost everything you are to keep focusing on it and then that meaning vanishes with them - that is the closest thing to kicking a dead horse in real life I can think of.

    Instead I think of my BIL who had someone fraud him and never worked again. Or my best friend who made a mistake in business and never recovered emotionally. Or my friend who's husband died five years ago and says she wants to move on but thinks about nothing else. Or my sister who deep down is horrified that her husband is going to retire and then he will be there permanently for the rest of her life.

    It doesn't have to be a mountain of things so real everybody in the paragraph above runs away screaming. It doesn't have to involve death. It can be any kind of great loss we suffer or even think we suffer that sends our little go kart spinning off into the hay stacks and makes us (metaphorically) pull our pants down and waddle around wondering why people think it's us.

    I can't tell whether it's humbling or egotistical to understand that whatever I think of my own courage or determination or will, none of those things mean squat in this because I know dozens of people who have gone spinning off into space and they're from all walks of life and their stories are all different. Smart, emotional, clean living, exercise, looks, religion, community service, hobbies - nothing lines up into a pattern except the conclusion that there is no pattern. There is a limit to each person's idea of coping and there is a fragility to the human being that is nearly impossible to identify before the event(s).

    It was completely logical that I did nothing, expected nothing, and treated myself like a frail little bird. It was a simple plan. Make coffee, sleep, pay bills, feed us, and tha...tha... that's all folks! While I had the time, I developed a split personality. My big pow-wow's are like the Alice In Wonderland tea parties anyway. One voice is always doing movie lines "morning dickhead" (don't get mad at me, get mad at Grumpy Old Men). "All righty then!" "Time of your life eh kid?" "And it's a beautiful day." Or it quotes books "It's a far better thing I do today..." This doesn't ever end so I'll just stop there.

    So many things go on in here all the time it's not easy to spot a newly split personality. For example there is cautious man of reason. He speaks up when I'm about to cut onions while parts of me are globally warming or running a country's politics or wondering whether Barry Manilow really didn't come out earlier because he didn't want to disappoint his fans or because he didn't want to impede himself from all that lovely money - and my cautious man of reason voice says "You've got a knife in your hand. Watch what you're doing" I even listen sometimes.

    "And then he said THAT!" I used to shout sometimes. "And THEY did THIS!" I would find myself saying to the empty house, shampooing my hair in the shower while the cats sat on the steps talking quietly about maybe getting a new owner. When I did the product testing seeing how the teflon frying pan did head to head against the Steel Queen sink, they were no where to be seen. "Hey! How about some help with this!" I would yell making a mental note not to do these kinds of tests with food in the frying pan already.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2017

    I was talking about the team building meeting and how difficult that is to have when you're running a circus from a deep pit blindfolded without a hint of instructions. Life should come with instructions. The fact that it doesn't puts paid to the idea that anything important is expected of us. If you are the creator genius, I have some ideas for you like telling someone what you think you're doing. One of the key points in getting things done is telling someone something needs to get done. One of my favourite jokes:

    The scientist dies of old age and finds himself at the pearly gates and happens to arrive when God is there. He can't restrain himself and runs up asking how God could have let humans ruin the earth like that. "I need the plastic", God answers.

    Anyway. Team building meetings. They don't happen. I could see getting really upset about that or I could look at it that it saves me the time of cancelling them. A lot of that time I've noticed the facts don't matter and it's actually how you look at things. Take my life. In fact if anyone sees my life please call 1-800-WHO-KNEW. I had not previously been told that your life could just get up and leave. I would have bought insurance.

    "You should get out there", I still get told. If I was any further out there I might start to worry and that's not good for my anxiety. Or maybe it is. It all depends on how you look at things. Which is a strange way to run something called reality, it has to be said.

    That brings me to the man in the lawn chair. That's the know-it-all voice inside that has good answers but doesn't give a flying. He would never attend the meeting he would never have and barely gets involved in 'our' life. Until I get too worked up and shrill and then, maybe, he will speak up. I have no idea what he gets paid or how to fire him, I just know he's saved my life literally. "Get up. We're not doing this." he said when I was on my knees wailing that I wanted out. So I got up. That was a split in personality right there. The guy who went down on his knees overcome was the old me clinging to the old me, the guy that got up was the new me who knew I was doing this instead.

    That's the same gonzo who said "it's a spiritual journey". No one probably remembers that. That's a trick answer because it's always right. Being alive is a spiritual journey. That one took me a while. I did ask about this whole thing about staying sane in an insane situation where I can't tell what's going on because I'm playing all the parts. "Don't get bitter" he said.

    Well, I've worked at this. I've done more 'work' trying to let grief happen while not being too overcome, and sad but not too sad, and angry but not too angry, and depressed but not too depressed where I couldn't tell how depressed I was skewered on anxiety in an alien world while grieving. If you've ever watched the Ed Sullivan show with the spinning plates you know what I'm talking about (a reference that only has a chance here).
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2017 edited

    A Journey Somewhere Else I called it. Except they take your luggage on the train and immediately throw it off the other side because you don't go anywhere. More specifically it doesn't matter where you are which isn't as relevant as we might think in a world where almost no one knows what they're doing. In a world where no one knows what will happen next only happy people believe they know what they're doing.

    How do you get there? Beats me. I'm just trying to survive; I don't write this stuff. Or maybe I do. In the end it all depends on how you looked at it. I can't really tell if that's true. I believe it is more true than it is not. In the end, I've tried but I could never get past the naked emporer and the obvious jokes. Life is ineffably rich and beautiful but it also comes with it's own satire. 'Give me presents and I might help you conquer those guys over there I also made but don't like as much as you'. Uh huh. 'Slay your oldest for me. Nevermind. I'm just kidding. Look, I'm a little insecure.' Uh huh.

    I once worked for a brilliant man. He had three impressive degrees, spoke eleven languages, and had a photographic memory. Except he often got lost driving and had to be reminded at times what the thing had actually said. Nothing is ever enough and if we have enough we didn't have it for long enough. We're like squirrels who keep putting more nuts in the nest because more is better right? Until it caves in and then it's the nest that wasn't strong enough - never that he had a sufficent amount already.

    "You're going to die from doing that", the old man said with a shaking handful of lottery tickets in his hand. "When?" I asked picking up my cigarettes. It's not funny. I'm going to die. I knew that when I was five. Nothing is ever sufficient. It comes with the set.

    It made me write a joke. One of my friends phones another friend and tells them that Wolf has passed away. "Oh that's too bad", they say shocked, "But then he did smoke."

    "I know", says the other, "But he was eaten by a shark."

    Ce la vie.


    Don't lose hope they say but I lost hope and got here anyway. Don't resist grief they say but I treated grief badly and got here anyway. Get help they say but I made everything up and got here anyway. You have to get out there they say but I sat in a chair for two years and got here anyway. I know the reason. I want to.

    Last August 5 would have been Dianne's birthday. She was born on the same exact day as my friend who has phoned me consistently all the way through this. I phoned him that morning and sang happy birthday to him. It seemed like a good way to bring all those things together. An hour later my friend who lost her husband five years ago phoned saying how hard and sad this day must be. Not so much.

    "Go sell crazy someplace else" my voice inside says in perfect Jack Nicholson from As Good As It Gets. I just told her we have to get over these things. I don't need to hurt people who are down, but the circus must go on. Until it doesn't. Ce la vie.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017 edited
    May 20 2017

    I'm watching fireworks going off over in the valley. It's Queen Victoria day up here on monday and the fireworks displays around here are impressive for a city of 400,000. Last year I shut off my lights and watched. Most people don't care about that queen or any other queen - it's May two four which relates to what beer drinkers call a case up here. Twenty four bottles of beer in the box.

    This is the weekend Ontario goes north to open the cottages. The traffic this weekend heading north is always jammed up. We used to be part of that for about ten years going camping and then for years heading up to the boat.

    Camping was a rigorous team effort. All the food bought and all the stuff packed on thursday night. Then get home, put out food for the cats, pack the car with the tent, the air mattresses, the sleeping bags, the coleman stove, lantern, and on and on while DIanne packed the cooler with the ice we made for days already and, bang, into the car for three to five hours hoping we didn't get into a real traffic jam. Then I put the tent up and blew up the air mattresses (a little less than fully), and then while Dianne made the bed, I would get some wood and chop it. Get the fire going, put out the lawn chairs, make a tea on the coleman and with a little luck we'd be sitting in front of the fire by the time it was truly dark. We might go for a walk through the many campfires to the water and look at the milky way and the bright stars that filled the sky. When we got back we might put some more wood on the coals and open some wine, or we might have brought back some lake water and put it out and just go into the tent to bed. I remember laying there listening to the sounds of all the campsites around us. People talking and laughing or calling to the kids to settle down in there (in their tent).

    We loved swimming and there are 250,000 lakes in Ontario to do that in. We often rented cottages on holidays or for the weekend and between that and camping and sailing and friends who had cottages - we got endless swims in. That's the last real moment I had with enough of her left. A few miles from here in the country, there is a spring fed lake with a little beach and even though she was bobbing around like a little kid that day and following anyone that passed nearby, I held her in my arms chest deep in the water and looked around before we went home that late summer day in 2010 because I knew.

    I hope that on monday there is a big fireworks display. If there is, I won't be thinking of any queen watching it. I'll be thinking about how things turn out and quietly, underneath, I will be celebrating that through all the battles and hardships and tragedies that took her life - I have protected our truths and kept them alive.

    I hate my situation which is way up from hating my life which is way up from being too beat up and exhausted to think about anything which is way up from wanting to die. She paid the heaviest price; and I can do this. I'll find my way. I'm no hero. I run around, throw up, and make a lot of noise; but, it's me that leaves the field intact - not them. When grief came to move in I slammed the door in it's face saying "F*ck you. I gave." That's the one such story I documented on this site.

    This story is just one of those ships that pass in the night. Like they never existed at all. Which doesn't matter at all. It's just part of what happened or didn't.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    Hey Wolf, what on earth are you writing that you are editing it out like that? Can't we see? Remember, this is the no-judgement zone--the criticism stops here! We all know you write weird stuff, so no worries. : D

    Bandit and I are enjoying the park and our long walks in the Heartland. I emailed Mim, but she didn't answer, so I've dug up an old phone number and I'm going to try that. (Hope I'm not being a pain.) Am having fun re-connecting with some of the neighbors, and of course have seen some of the family members, and DD's new house, which is in a far better area than this. All you see driving into her town are big mansions. I'm not really comfortable over there in The Land of the Gentrified--I'm more the type for quaint, funky, imperfect, ratty charm. Can't really do Easter per se, as the grandchildren will be in transit between ex s-i-l's house an hour East of here, and DD's house an hour to the West--but I will be the Easter food provider, so will have the Easter meal prepared for when s-i-l drops off the grands-- he and they will eat here and hang around--and then DD can have dinner if she wants to when she comes later to pick up the kids. And I'll send everyone home with huge packages of leftovers. Boy, do I hate this--it's like Family Feud all the time--with me right in the middle--geographically and socially. Anyway, I am majorly looking forward to getting back to NY--am changing banks, doing a million address changes, getting the documentations together for car re-registration, etc., etc. I will be a NY resident again, but will keep my little house in the Heartland. ( I checked into what it would do to my NY taxes--not a problem, the accountant says.) This probably sounds rotten, but I'd like to come down here and relax with the dog and my Heartland friends, and just not let my family know that I'm here. Mwa-ha-ha! (Evil cackling laugh.)

    Seriously, I'm keeping the Heartland house for another couple of years, and then I'll make some more decisions. I want to do the rounds of the state parks down here, and they've turned an iron ore boat (i.e. lake freighter) into a museum that sounds interesting...and there are some places in Virginia (where my grand dad was born) and West Virginia (where other grand dad was born) that I want to see--it's easier to do from here than from NY.

    Anyway, how does all this relate to Alzheimers? It really doesn't...very much...and maybe that's the point. After all those miserable years, it's so nice to see Al Z. Heimer in my rear view, becoming smaller and smaller in the distance as I go ahead full speed. So long, Mr. Heimer! Hope you croak--boy, do I hate you! Mwah-ha-ha!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    Wolf, I hope you are OK. I don't ever remember you deleting posts before.

    elizabeth, I hope your homeowners' insurance company does not give you a hard time about your not living in your house. As far as the question, "How does all this related to Alzheimer's? It really doesn't. . .," I agree, even from my limited vantage point. It has only been a month and a half since my husband died, but I feel that the living conditions are like night and day. The stress I was carrying before is just melting away. I know that it is very different for others, but for my grief over the loss of my husband does not compare to the stress I was laboring under during his last years.

    As an example, just look at what Onewife is dealing with: her husband's falling, his treatment in the ER, the hospital's attempt to deny him Medicare benefits, the issue of whether he should be in an ALF or a NH, the availability of a bed in each, etc. It is no wonder that so many Alzheimer's spouses suffer negative health consequences.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    Yes Wolf, I echo Mrytle and hope that you are ok. It was most concerning to to see all those edits!
    Come back soon, I for one love your "words" and find a great deal in all your writings. Take care Wolf.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
    Myrtle, that is so true about the stress levels dropping after. To my mind, that made it easier to deal with the grief.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2017
    Thank you for being concerned about me. Those placeholders weren't edited. I typed in the word edited but you can see nothing was edited. I want them consecutive from the prior post because I want to update several times in the coming years specifically on what I said in that post. That may be more useful to anyone that reads this thread. I read the entire Widow's thread looking for clues. I should have titled this Off Topic - Finding Life After, but I didn't.

    I have deleted posts in the past when they caused issues. Cassie, thank you. I'm glad you find things in my posts and that you like reading them. I wonder if you can do something for me? Would you check and see which way your sink drains. Not a flush toilet, a sink. Does it drain counter clockwise?
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2017
    Are you trying to do my head in Wolf????? The water seems to go straight down the drain but if I had to choose a direction I would say clockwise!!!
    Myrtle, I expect my insurance company to stop carrying me for Homeowners, and refer me to another company that covers vacation homes and such--houses that are not occupied. That is what happened with the old NY house when we moved out and it was unoccupied for a number of months. A vacant house is a greater risk that the insurance company might have to pay out.

    I have heard from Mim--we email each other privately sometimes.

    Are we all checking which way our sinks drain? It's hard to tell, because they seem to go straight down...but if it matters, mine seems to be going clockwise, but at the very end, it reverses and goes counter-clockwise.

    Thinking a lot about the group this morning. Lots of thoughts and prayers going out to Mim, Charlotte, and Lindylou. Rough times with lots of worry and stress, to be sure.

    And regarding Namenda--just a big waste of time, in my opinion.
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017
    There's a controversial theory that water drains in a counter clock fashion in the Southern hemisphere. Since Cassie lives in Australia, maybe she could check it out for us. There is a google link for this if you're interested.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017
    It's the Coriolis Effect. Asking that question made me finally get off my duff and go to the physics.

    The answer is that the Coriolis Effect from the earth spinning is real which I knew, but it works on a larger planetary scale and not in small containers like sinks and toilets. The way a sink drains is influenced by a number of effects but not which hemisphere you're in.

    It does however work on larger things like hurricanes and typhoons which always spin counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and always spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017
    Thanks, Wolf. I didn't know that. Do we get hurricanes and typhoons in the Northern Hemisphere? When does a high wind become a hurricane? Now, as soon as I typed that, I realized they do get hurricanes in the States. We have power lines come down in Vancouver with some high winds, but I've never heard them classified as hurricanes. What say you?
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017
    Interesting. I guess this Coriolis Effect explains why we get nor'easters coming off the North Atlantic.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2017 edited
    That's right. Since wind direction is stated in the direction it comes from - not to - the north eastern part of the counter clockwise moving air mass is moving south west to the new england coast. We don't get many hurricanes in Canada although we had hurricane Hazel in the 1950's. A storm becomes a hurricane when it exceeds 74mph/119kph in wind speed. The word cyclone, typhoon, and hurricane describe the same kind of storm in different parts of the planet.

    The longest 'hurricane' on record has been tracked since the 1600's. It's on Jupiter and it's called the red spot. Storms on Jupiter can come up and flow away in hours with wind speeds in the 300 mph plus range, but the red spot has been tracked for over 300 years now. Look at high res photos of Jupiter and notice the patterns. Jupiter is divided into bands some of which move in alternating directions I believe. It's all quite beautiful. Art for it's own sake.

    edit - if you're going to look up the red spot, look up pictures of the crab nebula. Nebulae are the dust clouds of exploded stars. The thing about the crab nebula is that the explosion of that star (a super nova) is recorded well in history and is marked well in history and so the crab nebula that's growing out from that exact spot is the first super nova we're tracking right from the start. The Crab Nebula is also quite beautiful.
    • CommentAuthorMim
    • CommentTimeApr 15th 2017
    Elizabeth, you're really funny (the evil laughing thing)...made me chuckle. And I need chuckles right now!!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017 edited
    Just when I thought I could not survive psychologically, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, came up with a proposal that distracted me from my woes. She wants another referendum on "Brexit." (P.S. After reading more, I see it's not a referendum on Brexit; it's an early parliamentary election.) Although I don't know anyone there and have no special affinity for the place, Brexit captured my attention when they had the initial vote to leave the EU. I don't understand exactly why she is doing this, although I guess it has something to do with parliament's not jumping feet-first into the deal.

    So what does this have to do with "Journeys Somewhere Else"? As can be seen from my posts on other threads, negative thoughts are a big problem for me. Since I cannot seem to release my emotions by normal means - crying, throwing things, shopping - I start thinking about scary things. One way to counteract this is to crowd out these negative thoughts with other thoughts. I have often done that by focusing on our national news but that's obviously out of the question these days. However, the topic of Brexit is far enough away so I don't feel threatened by it. And there are so many issues to learn about. Isn't Theresa May worried that the vote will come out the wrong way for the Brexiters? Will London lose its status as the financial center (a/k/a "centre") of Europe? Will Scotland (whose leader's last name is "Sturgeon") hold another vote on independence? Will the border be re-established between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic? How will this affect Cornwall and Doc Martin? So much interesting information that I can use to crowd out the negative thoughts. Anyhow, thank you, Theresa May!
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
    Mary I was always told in the Atlantic they are hurricanes, in the Pacific Typhoons. That is how it was explained to me. But I am noticing on the weather channel they are starting to call them hurricanes even in the Pacific. So maybe as time goes, the east coasters will win out!! The Columbus Day Storm in 1962 was called a Typhoon and it had hurricane force winds.
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
    And cyclones elsewhere. Since it is language not surprising that one terms takes over another.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
    Brexit, I believe, is an earlier example of the populism that is expanding. One of the mains irritants is specifically the number of Polish people that have moved there taking jobs nobody else wants but who's presence focuses the mind on a target wonderfully. Add a very weak Prime Minster in Cameron and a fanatical 'leaver' in Nigel Farage who whipped up half truths like that the money sent to the EU should be used for the National Health Service and you have the close yes vote to go down the rabbit hole.

    The EU will not and can not make this easy for the UK because it needs to demonstrate how tough it is for anyone else to leave. Britain did something retarded. It gains far more from access and London's financial status and the sweet deal it already had in it's (previous) relationship with the EU. It has no ready access to other markets all of whom are much farther away. It gives up it's outsized voice in EU future decisions. It guarantees that future EU financial needs will not be centered in London. It still needs workers like the Poles. It guarantees the EU is a German dominated union.

    It does give Britain the right to fuller self determination in it's now isolated and declining future. Without Scotland, who sense their moment has returned and this time I believe they will vote to leave the UK and rejoin the EU. I doubt Northern Ireland will follow suit. Doc Martin I believe will carry on. Stiff upper lip and all that.

    I believe it will take five years for the changes to come about and I believe it will take years more for the truth to become clear. When you are an island close to a large group you belong to and in this global economy you decide to strike out on your own, be sure your island is close to another large group you can belong to. Or that you have some skill or product no one else can provide. If you don't have one of those, you are going to get smaller over time than you were.

    No foreigners to do the work nobody else wants to do though, so...
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2017
    Wolf, I think I made a mistake about this. I thought it was another referendum on Brexit but it's not. It's an early parliamentary election. I guess May thinks the Conservatives can win a big majority in Parliament and will be better able to negotiate a deal with the EU. Also, the financial sector is hoping to load up Parliament with more moderate conservatives so they can negotiate a "soft exit" that gives more concessions to the EU, rather than the "hard exit" favored by hard-line Conservatives.

    Oh well. Enough grief therapy! Back to work.
    It turns out that my homeowners insurance will continue to cover the Heartland house and the NY rental. I guess just not being here all the time doesn't mean the house is "vacant." (This is my information snippet for the day, since I don't have much to offer on Brexit, typhoons, or the Coriolis effect.)

    Some of you might have difficulties determining in which order to eat your Easter eggs. I have devised a brilliant solution to this dilemma, which has brought me a good deal of peace and fulfillment this Easter season. Now then...first of all, color your eggs in the six basic colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. (No marbling or neon, nothing fancy.) You will notice that these shades correspond closely to the spectrum of visible light from our sun--the rainbow, if you will. Remember the acronym we all learned in school--Roy G. Biv. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Very close to the Easter egg basic colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. So if you eat your Easter eggs in this order--Sunday red, Monday orange, Tuesday yellow, will be in tune with the universe and find that this is very calming and good for you.

    (And you won't care which way the water goes down your drain. Ha-ha.)
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2017
    Elizabeth a little something I learned about house insurance. We have a cabin and if you don't have someone check on it every few days your insurance could be void. But if you turn off the water it does not have to be checked. Every policy is a bit different but apparently this is fairly standard.
    This is really off topic. I will taking the Rocky Mountaineer Train on a 10 day trip through the Canadian Rockies from June 23rd to July 3rd. I am wondering if anyone has any idea of what temperatures to plan for. My sister and I go from Vancouver to Whistler to Quesnel to Jasper to Kamloops and back to Vancouver and then to Seattle. Should I have more long sleeves and sweaters or more short sleeves and capris length pants? Mary75, any input? I will add my email to my account if you would rather email me directly.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou*
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2017
    I envy you your trip.

    Definitely count on using layers. And have one heavy coat or jacket. I was once camping in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in June and our tents got buried in a foot of snow while we were sleeping.

    Have a great time.