I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

30 January 2010

The Puzzle: If You Can't See Me, Do I Exist?

My father would often say to me, "Susie, the only one that you know really exists is yourself.  How do you know anyone else exists, especially once we leave the room.  If you can't see me, do I exist?"

I can remember attempting to answer my Dad's question, "Of course you exist.  I know you exist, that's how." 

"Really?  How can you be sure?  How do you know that I'm not just a figment of your imagination?  How can you be certain that once everyone is gone, they're still there?"  My dad would continue, asking questions that would make me reconsider my definitive answer to his question.

For 30+ years I've pondered this idea that my dad seeded in my young mind, searching for the answer to this simple question, I found the answer to a bigger question, "Who Am I?"

Did my dad know that he was giving me a Zen KONE which would trigger thoughts and ideas that would span my lifetime?  Thoughts that would eventually lead me to find my I AM presence. 

I Exist!

The only person that I can ever count on is myself.  It's the same for everyone, we can only depend on ourselves in our pursuit of peace, happiness and love.  Yes, when we are together as a group, it's powerful and we can create an energy of peace, happiness and love that we can all bath ourselves in.  Together in unity we are able to move mountains and make changes that normally would be deemed impossible. 


Family unity... family is a unit of individual souls that chose to take life together.  I believe we pick our families before we even get to Earth.  We chose them because these are the special people that are in our lives to help our spirits grow and move closer to re-uniting with the ONE, God.  I believe our families provide opportunities to help us to expand our hearts and grow.

I believe there's a piece of God in every human on this planet and our soul's mission is to travel through time, live and figure out how to reunite with all the other sparks of God who have already made it back to the big huge ball of Love... God.

If we can't see God, how do we know God exists? 

I know God exists because I exist, I have God inside of me.  You have God inside of you.  I'm not refering to Scary God in the fear sense, like most Christian religions will lead us to believe, but GOD, a happy and loving God.  A God that wants to give us true bliss and happiness.

Once I realized that God is within me, the fear of God that was instilled in me since attending Catholic School as a child, was lifted.  God is not to be feared, we are to be afraid of ourselves.


We all are God in my belief system, each of us creators of our own lives and happiness.  I know God exists because I exist.  I create my happiness.  I create my sadness.  I chose how I will perceive other God's that I interact with all day long, but the most important component of happiness is not putting other God's before me. 

Now, I ask you this question, "If you can't see me, do I exist?"

28 January 2010

Dead Ed is Our New Tenant

My mom had a fairly good day today.  She's declining, I can see it.  I had her get on her Wii Fit today and she couldn't do the measurement and balance parts of the Wii Fit.  Not too long ago, she was so much more with it.  It bummed me out in a big way to see her decline.  My heart sank.  She couldn't do what she could.
Use it or lose it!

It was only 49 days since she got on her Wii Fit.  She's lost 11 pounds in 49 days.  She's in the normal range.  Her Mini-Wii-Mii did a jump for joy with a little fan fare. My mom was so pleased with herself.  She stood a little taller and did a little wiggle.  It was the cutest little dance. 

She is excited to weigh 131 lbs.  She does look fabulous these days.  All of my old cloths are too big for her now.  She is in a size medium... she is EXCITED to be in a medium.  I'm happy for my mom. 

Being her ideal weight has been her deep desire for decades; one of the must do items before she dies.  It will be great for her to reach this goal before it's time for her to take the magic limo out of this insane planet.

She could only exercise for 5 minutes today.  That's OK.  5 minutes is better than no minutes.  Tomorrow, we'll do 5 more minutes.

Tonight, she talked about my brother Ed A LOT!  He has been with her all day. 

Tonight, he was sleeping in bed next to her.  She told me that Ed has been helping people... but he's troubled.  I tried to have her tell me what was troubling Ed but, she just couldn't form the words.

Ed was sitting in the big leather recliner in her room.  "See his toes... over there, see them?' She exclaimed to me, hoping that I'd validate her vision. 

"I don't see Ed's toes."  I said, obviously not thinking. 

"Really?  Look!  Right there... Eddie's got his toes sticking out. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!... SUSIE, DON'T YOU SEE THEM.  IT'S SO FUNNY!"

Knowing that the best thing was to just go along with the hallucination I said, "Oh ya... Hey Ed!  You have funny toes.  They're making Ma laugh.  It's time for bed.  You have got to stop joking around.  Why don't you go downstairs and keep Brian company."

My mom was trying to say something to me, finding her words was impossible, she looked off into some unknown place, looking for the words to help me to understand what she was thinking.  Nothing came to her... "never mind."  She said with dismay.

I asked open ended questions, trying to trigger a memory.  She then said, "Ed, he lives here you know.  He went downstairs.  He lives downstairs in this house.  He's always here.  I love having Ed here."

Ed, my dear dead brother, living in my house... fucking excellent! 

I told my mom, "Here, take these 4 helleborus pellets.... Ed... I'm wicked sorry dude but I am giving Ma the pellets so that she can settle down and sleep.  I want you to come downstairs with me.... Oh?  You willl.  Awesome!"  Talking into the air, mustering up all the acting skills I could in order to be believable to my mom.

"Ma I'm heating up dinner for Brian, I'll be right back." I said to her without skipping a beat.

She said, "Oh, bring Ed with you, I know he'll like to sit with Brian.  Ed is hungry.  Will you feed Ed too?"

"Oh Ma, you know...., Ed doesn't eat human food, he eats Angel food now that helps him to fly."  I said to her with my most convincing voice.

My mom's face softened as she had an "aha!" moment... "good night Susie." she said to me. 

"Good night Ma, Sleep with God."

Where are you going?

My mom has really stepped up her roaming at night.  She is usually fully dressed by the time I hear her squeaking the floor above our bed.

The night before last, she was up at 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and again at 5:30am.  The last time, at 5:30am she was dressed, coat on, shoes on her feet, an extra pair of shoes in her hand and her purse clenched in the other hand.  I get to the top of the stairs and she says, "Where were you?"

Still half asleep, I look at my mom and say, "Where are you going?!  It's 5:30 in the morning.  It's still dark outside.  Come on, you need to go back to your room, everyone is still sleeping."

Sleep deprevation.  I understand why it's used as a torture technique.  There is nothing worse than being woken every half hour through out an evening.  Several days of this in a row... God, it's maddening and cuts the line of reason from my brain.

Yesterday sucked.  Mostly because I was extremely tired and a bit peeved that my mom walked around the house with her coat on all day, clutching her purse, waiting to go somewhere... but not with me.  Yesterday she told me that she "hated the sight of me" and that I was keeping her prisoner.  I wouldn't let her leave the house and walk the streets with no destination.

She is mad.  This latest decline started almost 2 weeks ago when she got sick in Costco.  Sick through her back door, which is where I draw the line with Care Giving.  For years I told my mom that once incontinence happened, I wouldn't be able to continue caring for her. 

Our worst nightmare happened. 

It caused a horrible reaction in my mom.  She became more demented and began to not like me.  Reminding myself that it wasn't my real mom talking became more difficult.  I'm far from an angel, I told her that I am looking for nursing homes to put her in.  This made things way worse... yesterday she told me that she hates me.

I've been through these rough stretches before with my mom.  When I'm going through the episode with her I feel like I'll never get out of the place we are in, defeat begins to take root.  I want to cry and most of the time, I do. 

When I cry these days, it's serious crying which seems to snap my mom into "mom mode."  She becomes clear.  She becomes my mom from when I was a little girl, the woman who always had my back and comforted me when my family would tease me.  Every day my dad would say, "Six O'Clock, time for Susie to cry."  I'd start crying, everyone would laugh hysterically.  My mom, she would wrap me in her angel arms and tell them to stop, to leave me alone.

I wonder if I care so deeply for her now in her old age, when she's like a helpless child, because she protected me from my family's fun on my account.

Gradually my mom calmed down yesterday.  We talked.  I cried.  She became my mom for a short time.  Bach's Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic remedy for relaxation, helped.  We both took 4 drops under our tongues.  My mom finally took her coat off around 2:00 yesterday afternoon.  At 2:30 I asked her if she wanted to go to Trader Joe's with me to pick up a few things. 

We talked on the drive.  I explained to her that she has 2 options.  Option one which I feel is the best option, is for her to go to the "Senior Club" during the day and sleep at home in the evenings.  I will prepare all of her meals and take her to all of her doctors appointments.  The second option is that she goes to live in "the place that I don't want to say" - she knew it meant a nursing home.  My mom she said, "I like the first option."

Wondering why during her final stage of life she is on the move and looking for home, leads me to believe that any change in her routine will cause unrest and her abandoment issues from childhood to come front and center.  

Part of the problem these days is that I have a job.  I have not started it yet.  I need my mom to go to Adult Day Care, there's no way I can work with her home.  She's afraid that I'm going to leave her in the nursing home, a fear that makes her nuts.

My mom doesn't like Blaire House, ever since the nightmare bus ride home.  She won't go, not without a fight.  She's uncertain, she's got deep rooted abandonment issues that are exascerbated by any change in her routine.  However, she still remembers this one phrase, "Susie, I'm still your mother!"  She seems to only remember this phrase at the most opportune time for her; it always stops me in my tracks.

Last night she didn't recognize my husband as she came out of our sitting room, she looked around the house and said to my husband, 'You have a nice place here, I like the atmosphere."  She was looking at our house as though she had been seeing it for the first time.

I tucked my mom in at 8pm and again at 9.  She was in a happy mood.  I gave her Reiki and Hypnosis suggestions.

1 am... squeak, squeak, squeak

My mom was up, fully dressed and standing in the kitchen.  She saw me and said, "What time is it?"  I told her that it was 1am and it was time for her to sleep.  We walked back to her room and I helped her to put her nightgown back on. 

When I woke this morning, my mom was still sleeping.  I checked to make sure that she was still breathing, she was so I know that she didn't pass last night.

I walked into our sitting room and noticed my mom's coat, purse and a pair of her jeans with a clean pair of depends wrapped in the pants sitting on the chair and table.  I wonder where she thinks she's going all the time? 

My question that I ask a lot these days, "Ma, where are you going?"

27 January 2010

Auggie's Lesson to Little Josie: Think First, Then Speak

Growing up, my mom always told me stories about what she could remember about her family.  I always asked her questions, mostly because I wanted to know my entire family.  I got to know the Polish side very well, but not the Italian side, my mom's side of the family.

One of the stories my mom told me was the one about her oldest brother, Auggie.  She loved Auggie, he was 7 years her senior.  My mom worshiped the ground that Auggie walked, she adored him. 

Auggie, like so many young men in the 1940's, enlisted into the U.S. Military to serve our country.  Patriotism was running rampant across America; still high on the success of World War I, many boys couldn't wait to get to war themselves. 

World War II... Wooo Hooo! 

When Auggie had a furlow to come home, he talked to my mom about all sorts of things, mostly the places that he had visited.  He seemed so much wiser to young Jo.  Auggie had been gone to far away lands that my mom only learned about in school. 

During this visit, Auggie said to my mom, "Josie, always think before you speak.  You can never take your words back.  Words cut like a knife.  Think first, then speak."

God bless my little mother, she tried to teach this lesson to me over and over again.  All through out my life she reminded me of her brother Auggie and the last words he spoke to her before he went off to war and stepped on a landmine. 

I didn't learn the lesson then... have I now? 

My tongue can be devilishly sharp.  When I don't think before I speak, when I just let whatever is on my mind fly out of my mouth, it hurts.  Not only does it hurt me but the person that is getting the tongue lashing from me.  It's not right, it's so wrong that just thinking of the people who I've lashed out in my past... man, what an asshole.  I'm so sorry.

I'm VERY SORRY to all the people I've offended in my lifetime.

These words are probably too late for some people.  Like my Uncle Auggie taught my mom and what my mom attempted to teach me, words can not be taken back.  Once the horse is out of the barn, it's out of the barn. 

The secret is to keep the lips shut, think first and then speak.

I never met my Uncle Auggie, obviously... he died when my mom was 14.  My Grandmother didn't want him to go to war.  She hid his uniform.  My mom saw where her mom hid his uniform. 

It was time for Auggie to leave to go back and fly off to France to fight.  He couldn't find his uniform.  He was crying and begging his mom to give him his uniform.  She ignored him.  Probably like my mom does to me these days. 

My mom felt so badly that she went and got Auggie his uniform.  She didn't want to see him cry.  She wanted to see her brother happy.  She gave him his uniform.

Auggie was so happy to see his uniform.  He would have gotten into a lot of trouble without it, that's what he told my mom.  He was so grateful to his little sister Jo.  My Gram didn't care, she was trying to keep him alive by hidding his uniform; she had a premonition.

Often, for reasons that make total sense to us at the time we find ourselves using logic in order to convince ourselves that certain things are OK just because it backs up something that we believe to be true.  Just as I have been working on my personal problem of not thinking before I speak, sometimes I find myself making some logical connection in my brain that makes me feel that spewing is justified.  I spewed today... it felt justified, at the time.

I cried.  I cried.  I cried. 

Today I remembered Uncle Auggie's lesson to my mom, the lesson she really tried to teach me for the last 50 years.  Finally... today... I believe I learned the lesson.  Today, my mom, my little Josie, smiled with a sense of accomplishment painted all over her face.  Why?  She was able to achieve a great feat, help Susie to learn Auggie's Lesson to Little Josie; Think first, then speak.

26 January 2010

What I discovered with the extra time with Ma...

It's no secret, my mom sees a Naturopath Doctor along with an army of traditionally trained Medical Doctors.

Over the course of this last year my mom started to have serious mental decline; an onset that appeared to be like a runnaway locamotive.

It was scary for my mother and for me.  Looking back, I was scared because I wanted my mother, not a crazed old lady who didnt know me.  I was in denial over my mom's mental illness, I didn't want to believe that my mother, the mother that raised me to be who I am today, had left us.  It happened suddenly, that's what happens with Lewy Bodies Dementia, it comes on with no warning, changing your life forever.  I cried a lot.  I worried about my siblings not having a chance to have closure with our mother.

Regrets.... I wanted to help my siblings avoid the pain of "I shoulda' done..."

The worry for my siblings caused me to work over time on finding a "cure" for our mom's mental problems that were brought on by the Lewy Bodies in her brain.  I was on a mission to give her more time on this Earth, allowing more time for my family to spend time with Jo before she was gone completely.

Did I do the right thing? 

I don't know if I did the right thing by working toward extending my mom's life when she's clearly lost her mind.  Her quality of life sucks.  Yes, her life is better than it would be if she were in a nursing home, eating the institutional food and taking the pharmaceutical drugs.  Today, she is with her family, we love her and she feels it every day; I believe I did the right thing for my mom.

What I discovered with the extra time with Ma...

I discovered a solution to my own potential health issues by observing my mom.  My mom's system is super sensitive to everything.  Earning a glimpse into the ill effects of certain foods, I became a better cook and began experimenting with flavors.  Herbs and spices are now part of my food orchestra, each flavor like a musical note that sooths the soul.

My mom is still crazy, some days more than others, but she has taught me that food is medicine.  Certain foods don't agree with her Lewy Bodies, they bring on hallucinations.  I do my best to avoid the foods that cause my mom problems. 

The results? 

My mom doesn't hallucinate as much and we are all losing unhealthy fat.  At one time my mother weighed over 225 pounds and she is only 5 feet tall.  Today, she's 133 pounds, doesn't have sleep apnea issues, her diabetes appears to be cured and her blood pressure is near normal with the help of a little Lisinopril every day.

The story is the same for me.  I was obese.  Unhealthy.  Unhappy.  Sleep apnea.  All issues that were leading me to the road that my mom travelled just 30 years before me.  Today, my sleep apnea is improving, I rarely snore and stop breathing.  I can bend over and touch the floor when I do my morning Yoga exercises.  I feel better not having the fat around my face and belly.  I love the results.

I owe my improved health to my mom's dementia.  Her dementia scared me straight.  It's because of her that I went and found a health solution that worked for us.  It seems to work for all of us here in my household.  Food is art, it's medicine and it's pleasure all wrapped up in one.  I learned that exercise is important and I am important. 

What did I discovered with the extra time with Ma?  I discovered that I have a life, a precious life to live and the only way that I can enjoy my mom's gift of life to me is to take care of myself.  Eat right, exercise, rest and enjoy living.

25 January 2010

Seared Sea Scallops with Tomato in Lemon Butter Sauce

1 cup of chicken broth (organic, low sodium)

1 shallot chopped fine

1 tsp. Fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh flat parsley chopped

2 tablespoons butter

16 Sea Scallops (4 per person)

16 large cherry tomatoes cut ¾ through, make 2 cuts to form an X. Separate the tomatoes so that they resemble a flower (use your imagination.)

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil

1 Tablespoon butter

Heat the oven to 300 F

Sear Scallops

In a large pan, put the Grapeseed oil and heat on high. Add the butter and turn the gas down to medium high. Add the Scallops (that have been dried with a paper towel) and sear on both sides. About 3 minutes each side.

Place the scallops in an oven proof dish and place in the oven while you prepare the lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce

In a sauce pan, add the shallots and chicken broth. Cook on high so that the liquid evaporates to ½. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure the butter is ice cold. Add the lemon juice and parsley.

Put 4 tomato flowers on a dish and place a Scallop on each tomato. Put a Tablespoon of the lemon sauce on each Scallop tomato flower.

Garnish with Grated Asiago Cheese.

24 January 2010

How to Get Started on Attacking Clutter

Clutter.  Piles of papers and mail that you brought in and dropped on the first flat surface... contribute to clutter.  Clutter is contributing to your lack of creativity, the feeling of being stuck. 

All summer, I prefer to be out in the yard, gardening.  The inside work doesn't get done, not like in winter when I begin to live in the clutter and can't understand why all of a sudden I feel bad.  Often I would blame it on the winter doldrums until I began to take notice of my environment. 

My entire life I have battled clutter.  Fighting the tide of all the shit that just wants to pile up and screw up my peaceful energy.  Like an alcoholic, the first thing one who is afflicted with clutter must do is realize that there's a problem. 

Years ago I realized I had a problem with stuff, having too much stuff, not wanting to throw stuff away just in case I needed it.  Clutter caused me to have "lack" thoughts.  I became a horder which didn't help me one bit.  I believed that if I didn't keep all this stuff, I would need it.  I didn't believe that I would have what I needed when I needed it (how I think today and I'm happier.)

Worried that I would never have enough, I kept everything.  Stagnant energy enveloped my life and my life sucked.  I was obese.  I was unhappy.  I felt ugly and unworthy of all the great things in this world.  I was alone, even though I wanted to have someone in my life, I didn't find the right guy for me until years later when I realized that clutter was screwing up my happiness.

What I had learned from this period of my life is that my happiness was being suffocated from the stagnant energy from all of the stuff that I was acquiring.   The stuff was not in any order.  When I needed an item that I knew I had, I couldn't find it so I would go out and buy another one, only to find one day that I had 7 of the same item.  

Clutter was making me insane, I needed to get control of my life... I needed to control my stuff instead of my stuff controling me!

I've read a lot about how to be organized, how to attack clutter and the underlying theme was to stay on top of it.  Once you get the big cleaning job done, the secret is to keep it this way.  A little attention every day as is all that is required. 

Observing myself, I notice that it's easy to fall out of the habit of spending 5 to 10 minutes a day picking things up.  Especially as a care giver, it's even easier to fall out of the habit of picking up every day because one never knows when the next hallucination or emergency will come along.  It does seem that these visual absurdities always come around just as I'm cleaning things up.  I have to stop to help my mom calm down and then I find myself having a difficult time returning to the unfinished task because something else takes my attention.  Before I know it, I've got clutter magnets all over the house, prepared to suck the happy energy out of our home.

Take out your camera and shoot your home!

I've found that if I look at everything in small pieces, snapshots, it makes keeping things clean easier.  If a room feels uncomfortable when I walk into it, I look to see what clutter is creating that sort of energy in the room.  A trick I use is to use my digital camera and take pictures of the troubling room, small areas at a time.  It's like looking at the room with fresh eyes.  I can see the "noise" in pictures, the clutter that is disturbing my life of happiness.

Breaking the clean up into small pieces is like making it into a project that has a beginning and an end.  Part of the problem with cleaning one's home is the approach we take.  Many of us believe that we have to do it all in one day.  I know that's how I was thinking for a long time and found myself in a viscious cycle of clutter and clean. 

People like to have a beginning and an ending.  It gives us a feeling that we accomplished something, which always makes me feel good.  It brings out the happy vibe, my personal goal in this lifetime, to be genuinely happy.  Every little bit of the nectar of happiness counts and adds up, just like when we were kids and we saved out coins.  It added up and allowed us to buy something super.

Save up happiness points, it is like saving pennies in a piggy bank.  Every time we complete something, it gives us a little bit of inner bliss that we add to the bliss bank within our souls.  The place where all the good vibes are stored and add up so that the rainy day blues are kept at bay.

Create an Organization Plan.

Step one:  Take pictures of your living areas

Step two:  Pick one room.  Determine how much time you have to spend on cleaning.  If you have a short time available to you, break the room up into sections.  Use the picture to help you to see which area would be the best place for you to start. 

Step Three:  Start.  Put on music if you must, but get moving.  Once you start moving you will build up momentum and realize the cleaning job wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.  There's a Universal Law of Nature that something in motion remains in motion. 

Step Four:  Move.  Move your body and clean.  Start at the top and work toward the bottom.  Dry clean first and then if necessary finish up with wet cleaning. 

Step Five (or it could be step four): If you have a huge disorganized mess, sort your stuff.  Make piles and put all like things in one pile.  Next, sort each pile and determine if you really need it or if it can be thrown away or donated to good will.

Step Six:  Once you have your sort piles of stuff, measure the piles and determine how many clear plastic containers that you'll need. 

A helpful tip is to buy the containers AFTER you have cleaned and sorted your things.  Buying the containers after, helps you to keep the project under control.  Bringing in containers too soon, too many or too few, not the right size... all of these annoyances will take the focus off your original task of  decluttering.  You will just add to the clutter if you bring the containers in too soon.

Step Seven:  Label each plastic container.  Put in a manifest of all the items that you placed in the box.  Using clear plastic containers allows you to write on a piece of paper and place it on the inside so that you can read on the outside of the box, what's inside. 

Another twist to this idea is what I had started to do with my own stuff that I use when I do home staging.  I took pictures of all of the items that I placed in the box and taped the pictures to the inside of the clear plastic container, facing outward so that I can quickly see what is inside the box.

Step Eight:  When you get your mail, stand over the recycle bin and make a decision on junk mail.  I get a bunch of catalogues.   Before the catalogue even lands on a flat surface, I look at it quickly and if nothing catches my attention, it lands in the recycle bin.  I have less paper clutter when I address the stuff immediately.

Creating a plan to attack the clutter will be time well invested in your future happiness quotient.  Breaking the task of decluttering into small projects will make the task less daunting.  Especially if you have a gargantuan mess.

I remember my cousin Josie, when we were together at my Uncle Al's house, she would always talk about dishes that she had to do at home, or laundry, or whatever.  One day my dad said to her, "Josie, you know that every time you talk about doing those chores, you are doing them in your mind, over and over and over again.  If you just do the task, then you are free to think of other things that are more enjoyable than the drudgery of housework."

Often when I find myself thinking of cleaning a cluttered area that needs attention, I hear my dad's voice in my head, telling me exactly what he told his cousin Josie 30 + years ago, just do it now and free your mind to think of more enjoyable thoughts which will create a happier tomorrow for you.

And that's how to get started on attacking clutter.

22 January 2010

The Negative Effects of Clutter

The majority of people that I know have clutter issues.  We try like hell to keep things neat and orderly but for some reason as soon as a spot is clean, it's like an invitation for some "stuff" to join the beginnings of a clutter party.

It all starts with one little item.  It could be as small as a paperclip or a piece of paper.  All it takes is one person to put something down and it becomes an invitation for more stuff.  It's almost as though having the item on the counter, even the small piece of paper, is like putting out a calling card for more stuff to join it.

I've wondered about this phenomenon for years.

I am one of 5 kids and we lived in a small house.  It was almost impossible to keep the house clean because as soon as something was cleaned, someone would come home and put whatever they had in their hands on the cleaned surface.  The invitation for more clutter, just waiting for the next person to come along and neatly place their item in a neat pile on top of the thing already on the flat surface.

Let the Clutter Begin!

When I lived alone, I swore there were gremlins that came in and put stuff down on areas that I had just cleaned, but soon realized I was the gremlin.  I was creating the mess.

It was easier to take control of clutter when I was alone.  Living with a house full of people, even just one other person, makes it difficult to keep clutter under control.  Everyone has their own clutter thoughts that manifests into our environment.  The more people in your household, the greater the clutter issue.


I like to analyze everything in life, especially stuff like clutter.  What's the underlying cause of clutter?  We are the clutter bugs, we are the ones who can keep it under control or not.

Do you ever find yourself able to keep the clutter under control and then at other times, you feel like taking out the big industrial trash bags and filling them with every item in your house?  Holding the thought that if you don't have stuff you can't have clutter!

Unfortunately, I find that clutter comes from how I am thinking.  When I am scattered, tired and lack focus, I have clutter issues because my thoughts are cluttered.  On the outside, the cluttered thinking begins to manifest into piles of papers.  Dishes, as hard as we try, always end up in the sink. 

Dishes in the sink are a great way to take the pulse on your thinking.  It allows you to see this theory of clutter attracting more clutter.  Put one spoon in a cleaned sink.  Even if you live with yourself and no one else, you will find yourself putting another dirty item in the sink next to it.  It seems to be human nature, but really it's a way to see how you are thinking.

For me, I was having 'a dishes in the sink battle' for weeks.  I'd clean all the dishes, load and start the dishwasher and walk away.  I'd come back with more dishes or glasses in the sink!  It got to the point where it happened so much that I started to think about the negative effects of clutter. 

How can I stop it?

Looking within my own mind, I realized that my thoughts are cluttered.  I was fighting a battle that I wasn't going to win until I got to the root of my problem, me.  I control everything about my life, even the clutter. 

We control clutter through our thoughts.

I asked myself, "Sue, how are you thinking?  What thoughts are you holding? Are these thoughts helping you to move closer to the life of your dreams?" 

My thoughts are the things that cause problems for me, as they do everyone else.   What we think today, fills our tomorrow. 

I like to use an analogy about closets to explain the negative effects of clutter.  Our closets hold the key to our mental state of being.  If our closets are jam packed with stuff, there's no room to hold anything new.  Same with thoughts.  If we keep our minds focused on thoughts that clutter, we will never have room for any new ideas, new thoughts that will bring us closer to creating or maintaining the life we chose for ourselves.

First Step:  Identify your cluttered thinking. 

Ask yourself, what thoughts do I keep having over and over again?  For me it was a messy dinning room.  I never finished the clean up from Christmas.  I had decorations on the table, waiting to be put away.  I thought about this mess and cleaning it for weeks.  It brought me down.  It made me feel icky and I didn't know why.  I found myself staying out of the room.  If I could shut the door, I would. 

Yesterday, as crappy as I was feeling, I knew I needed to muster up the strength and get that room cleaned.  I did.  I knew it would make me feel better.

What happened is I couldn't stop cleaning.  It was as though my motor was primed and I was moving.  I was a woman on a mission, to get the dirt and errase the clutter.

I organized my mom's closet.  She has a tendency to put dirty cloths in with clean cloths.  She mixes socks and underwear, shirts and pants.  No wonder she thinks her hallucinations are stealing all of her things! 

I've noticed that the cluttered closet made my mom nasty.  So much so that yesterday, she turned into one of my sisters, the sister who isn't speaking to me.  Instead of reacting, oh how I could have... I decided to clean the clutter in her closet and her room.  I thought I'd give this Universal Law a whirl... clean the clutter and my mom will be more herself than my angry sister.

Her room, I gave it a huge cleaning, even the carpets were cleaned.  It brightened the room and made it feel lighter.  The energy was calm.  Peace was once again in my mom's room.  The angry wrinkles in her forehead softened.  She was more agreeable and pleasant. 

I don't know if her change in behavior was because the clutter was removed from her living space or if she just likes Susie the Night Nurse better than the Sue that cares for her during the day.

The negative effects of clutter go deep.  Clutter works in stealth mode.  We don't recognize it because it happens gradually.  We begin to feel ourselves feeling restless and wondering why we feel so crappy.  If you find yourself aggitated and not sure why, look around your work space... your living space.  Is it cluttered?  If it is, maybe get out some of those industrial strength trash bags and go to town on the clutter and erase the negative effects of clutter in your life.

You will feel liberated.  Once your environment is decluttered, your thinking will be less cluttered.  Thoughts will flow more easily.  You won't keep thinking of the same task over and over again, cluttering your thoughts.

Just do it and see.  You have everything to gain from erasing the negative effects of clutter in every aspect of your life. 

20 January 2010

The Black Lady: Jo's New Nurse

“Shhhhh...” My mom whisphered to me, with wild eyes as though she was really seeing someone.

"The black lady, she is over there, she sat in the chair over there and I think she's mad." My mom continued with conviction in what she was seeing. “Do you see her?”

I said, "Ma, hmmm, I don’t see her… what are you talking about? Why would she be mad? Is it the Haitian Nurse?"  Inquisitively I asked.

My mom said, "I think so."

I replied, "Ohhhhhh, then don't worry, she's upset about her family losing everything in Haiti because of the Earthquake in her homeland, you've been seeing a lot of it on TV. You'd be mad too, wouldn't you?  She's a lovely nurse. You are fortunate to have a Haitian nurse; they are some of the best care givers on the planet and have so much to teach us.  I try to be like a Haitian nurse, they are the best nurses, even better than me.  Relax, she's new and really likes you. Give her a chance, relax Ma, give her a chance ... ok?"

"Ok Susie. Her shift must be over, she's gone now. Good night. I love you." My mom said nonchalant.

"Good night Ma. I love you too. Tomorrow if you feel better we'll go to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things." I replied with the hope of giving her happy dreams to carry her through to sunrise.

Why Worrying Is Silly

We all worry at one time or another for different reasons, but primarily everything that we worry about leads to self preservation.  Even worrying about your kids is a form of self-preservation. The reason people have kids is because they want to reproduce their likeness into the world.

Creating children is a way for people to carry on.  Often I wonder if it's hard coded into our DNA, the need to pro-create and bring mini-xyz's into the world.  Is it a love affair with self that is the underlying reason that people have kids on purpose?

Kids are great.  I love being around them, they are funny little humans.  My point to this post isn't bashing people for having kids, it's my way of describing how worrying about your kids is a form of self preservation. 

Worry of any kind is silly. 

Worrying is silly, the latest lesson that I'm learning from knowing my mother my entire life.  Her greatest fear was "The Crazy Gene."  She worried constantly that she would get it or worse, one of her off spring would come down with it. 

Was my mom sealing her fate to having the Crazy Gene because she worried about it so much?

Worry brings a bad thought into reality.  Something causes us to be paranoid and have crazy thoughts, but the crazy thoughts that don't go away are soon fed with strong emotion and eventually manifest. 

Observing my mother my entire life, learning from her, both good and bad habits, I feel extremely fortunate to watch her live through her final scenes of life.  I see her fears as well as her deepest desires manifesting. 

Unfortunately, she worried so much about the crazy gene, it happened to her.  The only way her fear would manifest with any of her kids is if she got any of us to believe in her fear, that we were susceptible to the crazy gene.

My mom worried that she would pass on the crazy gene to her kids.  What a silly thing to worry about... everything is silly to expend worry energy toward.  Worry seems to make bad stuff appear so what's the point, how is this helping me to achieve my goal of happiness? 

Starting today, I'm done with worrying.

When we worry, we are creating a thought, a negative thought.  We fill it with strong emotion.  The more we worry about the event or thing that hasn't happened yet, the more power we are feeding the thought.  The more power the thought has, the strong emotions and beliefs, make the object of the worry, happen.

Worrying about a test is an everyday example that we can all understand.  I can remember worrying about a Calculus test, the entire time I was trying to study, I was worrying.  I failed the test, even though I sat with my books open for hours on end.  The problem was my mind and how I thought about the test.  If I had only focus on doing well, I am convinced that I would have been a much better student in calculus.

Throughout my own life I've worried about my parents dying in their sleep.  I have been checking on my mom, making sure that she's still breathing for as long as I can remember.  She hasn't died in her sleep yet but I believe that I've worried about this for almost 50 years so it's got to be her fate.  Only time will tell.

In the past, I've worried about doing a good job at work.  I would work hours upon hours to hone my skills, so that I would be the best in my field or work.  I often did well when I was confident in myself, where I believed in my personal power to achieve whatever it is that I set out to do.  But, it always took me awhile to get to this point of being the best.  Why?  Because I was so darn worried about what everyone else thought of me instead of what I thought of myself.

Even when I achieved my goal, was I really the best?  Of course.  If I believe something is true, it's true.  There's no changing anyone's mind once they believe something to be true.  Take the Massachusetts Special Election, perfect example where people believed the propaganda that is fed to us, 24 hours a day on TV.  A TV with special interests to get our money and take our power.  

This morning my husband and I were discussing the election disaster and why it happened.  We got on the subject of the TV and how it controls how people think.  If the TV tells us something, we will believe it.  It's called the power of suggestion. 

Minds are suggestible. 

We want patterns and things to be easy.  We have a way of making things logical by finding clues that line up with our beliefs, even if the clues are false, it doesn't matter.  We learn from watching each other.  We want group approval, it's how we are as humans, we are social creatures that need each other.

My husband summed up what is happening perfectly when he said, "George Orwell, in "1984" had it backward.  The TV isn't watching us, we are watching the TV taking all of it's commands and believing that it's the truth."

So, in defense of my fellow residents of Massachusetts, we didn't have a chance in hell to save the Democratic Senate Seat that was formerly held by Senator Kennedy, in my opinion, Senator Kennedy was the last real Democrat. 

The reason I claim that we didn't have a chance to know the truth is because I have observed the bullshit that is fed to people on TV.  We are constantly told what to do, how to think, how to dress, what religion is the best, what junk food is "healthy" and which political candidate we should favor.

The preparation for the next hoax on the American people has begun.  The news models have begun to tell us the outcome for the mid-term elections.  The so called smart people have started to give us "predictions."  Of course they are predictions for the future, they are seeding the thoughts in their subjects brains now.  When humans are told something enough, we will believe it. 

Fear helps folks control other folks. 

Nuns used to control my grade school classes with fear.  Parents control children with fear.  The government controls us with fear, hell what do you think that stupid terror alert color coding system was all about?  To keep us thinking about fearful things like terrorist attacks.  It is easier to control people who are fearful.

Are you going to sit and worry about what the fear mongers want us to worry about next or are you going to shut them off and find the facts so that real change can take place.  We all want the same things in life, why do we need to be so divided? 

Worrying is silly, it creates the exact situations we want to avoid

A good way to get started on changing your course from a road of worry to one of optimism, is to focus on the outcome.  What do you want for YOU.  If we all focus on ourselves individually, control only ourselves, the worry will go away and we'll live in a happy world that each of us has created for ourselves.

Worrying is silly because it just makes your life suck.

19 January 2010

The Little Girl and the Gumball

On Sunday, after our family adventure to Costco, I got home and realized that I had no food in the fridge.  The following day, (yesterday) we were expecting snow. I didn't want to go out shopping in a snow storm so I mustered up some strength and went to the local market for the bare essentials that I needed to get through to today.

Walking across the parking lot I thought about the gumball machine inside the doors.  I decided to get myself one of these gumballs, it was going to be my special poison for the hellish day that I had with my mom.  It wasn't my mom's fault, she got sick, it can happen to even sane people.  My mind was able to spin logic out of why I should buy myself a gumball.  I wanted it and I was going to have it.
With my 25 cents in hand, I notice a little girl sitting on the floor in front of the row of machines.  She was studying each big glass filled dispenser, pondering which to buy.  Finally, she made a selection.  Good taste I thought to myself, she's picking the same thing that I am choosing. 

Bloink! Bloink! Bloink!...

Her little fingers were too slow for the fast moving gumball.  It shot out of the machine like a bullet and onto the floor.  She was bummed but picked it up and began rubbing it on her cloths as she looked at the gumball and over toward her mom.  I could sense that she was reasoning in her mind the five second rule, if it wasn't on the ground more than 5 seconds the devil didn't get his nasty germs on it.

I was behind her and had 2 quarters in my pocket.  I told her to throw that dirty one away, she could get sick and buy a new one.  She quickly took my quarter and spun a new gumball out of the machine... a green one.  She ran away fast, putting both gumballs in her pocket. 

I laughed as I put my quarter in the same machine, ready with a trained hand to catch the tiny ball of sugar, an old standby treat for me. 

Only this time, the gumball lost it's charm.  It wasn't a treat.  It tasted the same as always but I didn't enjoy it as in the past, when my thoughts about health and food were different. 

Watching the little girls purple gumball roll away was symbolic of change.  There are things in life that we just love and work our entire lives to achieve or acquire.  Often when we get what we think we wanted, it's not as great as the chase to attain the desired object.  The other day I was reminded of this valuable life lesson because of the little girl and the gumball.

18 January 2010

When Thoughts Become Reality

I haven't given much thought lately toward the mind and how the mind brings on our experiences based on the thoughts that we have ... until yesterday.

My mom hasn't been feeling very well the last couple of days.  I don't know if she picked something up at Day Care or some other public place.  I do know that she's been more confused and demented.  I've noticed more confusion occurs when she isn't feeling well. 

Yesterday, thinking my mom was well enough to go out and she really wanted to go out shopping with our little family, we all loaded up in the car and drove to Costco.  First, we stopped for a lovely lunch and then we went on to our shopping destination.

My mom began to feel sick as soon as we got inside Costco.  I had her sit at the front of the store while I ran around and picked up the items that I needed to buy in bulk, paper towels, dish soap and toilet paper.  I had a list so it was easy, mostly because I had the list memorized.

My husband and mother-in-law both headed to areas of the store where they like to browse.  Me on the other hand, I was frantic after my husband walked off into the sea of TV's and I was left alone with my sick mom. 

4 people, all given an opportunity to have a similar shopping trip but circumstances for each created totally different experiences.

My mother in law and husband were having a great time strolling alone through the store, looking at stuff and digesting lunch.  A pleasant Sunday afternoon, both were enjoying themselves, both completely oblivious to my mom getting sick in the store and my cleaning it up.

I will spare details, they don't add to the theme of this post.  However, I will say my biggest fear manifested itself yesterday.  My fear originated as a thought that I first had when my mom came to live with me 12 years ago. 

Yesterday, it manifested itself.

What I learned through all of this is to be very careful what thoughts I hold, especially those thoughts that I find myself obsessively thinking and worrying about the outcome.  I know from experience that focusing on the end result will bring that result.

Looking back over the last 12 years, I saw myself living through the nightmare which I created in my mind.  For over a decade, I had pictured in my minds eye, with such strong emotion and belief that the thought materialized yesterday.  My poor mom.

Be careful how you think, thoughts are real, just waiting for strong emotion and passion to birth the idea.

Today I shift my focus toward peaceful thoughts.  When a worry or an upset comes my way, it's up to me to chose how I react.  The reaction is a catalyst to creating thoughts, both good and bad.  More and more I understand that no one can make me do anything, shit happens because I made it happen through my fear. 

Now I really understand when thoughts become reality and how I hold the key to my own personal happiness through the power of my mind.  It just takes one thought to either make a great day or bring you to your knees. 

What are you going to think about today?  How are you going to react?  Will you hold a grudge?  Will you chose love?  Your future happiness depends on what you do today to bring peace into your life.

17 January 2010

Seeing Through the Demented Mind

Dementia is a phenomenon to me, a dis-ease of the brain.  Living with someone who has dementia, day in and day out, 24 hours by 7 days per week; I've been privledged to have a glimpse into the demented mind.

The fright is the most striking part of dementia episodes, with the patient often scared 'shitless' (for lack of a better term.)   This morning, my mom was up sleepwalking at 3am.  She was horrified because the lady was waving to her to come with her.  The lady was in the window, that's what my mom kept telling me.  She was horrified.  Shaking, as she stood at the top of the stairs with me.  I hugged her and assured her that she was having a dream.  Once back in bed, she settled down pretty quickly and was fast asleep.

5am, she was up again, frightened for the vision of a little boy.  "The little boy!" She exclaimed.  "He is crying for his mom, we have to help him.  Please Susie.  Help the little boy, he's crying for his mother." She continued, with hollow eyes.  Once more I assured her that I will find the little boy and help him. 

I gave her a thyroid supplement and had her go back to her bed.  She was afraid for the little boy, she still heard him crying.  I promised her that I will find him and everything will be OK.  I'll help him find his mother.  She believed me and settled down, once more falling asleep as though she never woke.  I put on music from my mom's era, softly playing in the background, she is still sleeping soundly.

There's something about the lady and the little boy.  I wonder what in her daily life is transforming into hallucinations that are waking her?

Sometimes, I can almost feel my mom's confusion to the point where I understand what's happening to her.  When I have these awakened moments, where I can see through my mom's demented mind, I attempt to find words to express and explain what I feel.

What I experience is hollow and empty, like a bad dream where crazy things happen.  Things that have no logic or reason, nightmarish events that stick around when woken.  For my mom, what I'm observing is her nightmares are coming alive, she's awake but asleep.  She walks between both worlds when she's in a demented state of being.  Not sure if the ground is before her or a big hole, she walks with calculated steps, cautious not to fall.

Are the visions of the lady coming for her preparing her for the day she doesn't wake up one day?

Death and dying, it's as miraculous as life and living because it completes the great circle of our existence on this tiny planet called Earth.

16 January 2010

The Devil Addresses Pat Robertson...Personally....Sort of | Inconsequential Logic

The Devil Addresses Pat Robertson...Personally....Sort of Inconsequential Logic

The Bus Ride

Yesterday was a great day off from Caregiving for my husband and me.  Both of us having the day off, I had my mom go to Day Care and I made massage appointments for both my husband and me.

I found a great massage therapist.  I've been experiencing numbness in my arms, mostly my left arm.  The pain comes from my back, where our angel wings sprout when we get them.  Maybe my angel self has been working overtime?  Actually,  I believe the muscle knots are caused from the way I sit at my computer and write.  I've definitely got to figure out a better way to work come Tuesday when I start my paying job.

Knowing that I start work on Tuesday, I thought I'd give it a try where the bus drives my mom home from Day Care.  I told her that she'd be on the first bus. 

Big mistake. 

She didn't get on the bus until almost 4pm!  The first bus leaves at 3pm and it was full of the regulars.  My mom just started to go to this place during the day so she doesn't get first dibs on a ride time.  I wonder if it's like one of those waiting lists where you have to wait for someone to die in order to take their place?

I was expecting my mom to show up at home about 3:15, 3:30 the latest.  It was about 3:45PM and I found myself turning into my mother!  I was pacing, looking out the window, cracked the door open so that I could sit on the sofa and watch the driveway.  No Bus.  No Ma.  I called the place, no answer... voice mail.  What the Fuck!?

My husband was home so I told him that I was going out looking for her.  I hopped in the car and drove first to Blaire House, watching for the van. No Van.  I got to the place, the door was open so I went in.  I saw our day nurse sitting watching TV.  I asked her, "Where is my mother?"  I was frantic, like a mother looking for her little defenseless child.

The nurse, holding back a laugh, told me that my mom got on the bus about 15 minutes prior to my arrival.  She assured me that she is on her way home.   The nurse told me that my mom kept going to the door looking for me.  She told the nurse, "I know my daughter is coming, she's never late."  The nurse told her that she was taking the bus home and needed to wait a little longer.  This did not settle well with my mom.  She waited.  She was gracious to the nurse, but in her mind she was preparing to let me have a piece of it when she saw me.

I got home in 10 minutes and waited.

The van didn't pull into the driveway until after 5pm!  The driver got lost.  My mother was on a bus with as she describes, a Russian lady who only swore in Russian (not sure how she knew she was swearing in Russian, my mom only speaks English) and another woman who was horrified of the foreign lady. 

In the driveway, when she got off the bus, she came over to me and hugged me.  "Oh thank God!  I thought I was going to die.  It was scary.  I never thought I'd see you again.  The foreign lady, I think she was Russian.  She started to swear.  She tried to steal my beautiful red hat.  We were driving and driving.  I think we went by our old house, the other lady on the bus, she didn't want me to leave her there alone with the swearing lady... can I have some ice cream?  I've been a good girl."  All of this said in a flow of consciousness, without skipping a beat.  The ice cream request made us laugh so how could I say no?

My mom carried on about the bus ride for a couple of hours.  She was totally confused and had no idea that she was home.  She thought she was going back to the house in Groveland that we sold in 2008 when we moved in with my new husband. 

In her bedroom she has a lot of the furniture from our old house.  I gave her 2 cognifactors with 4 helleborus niger 30c pellets to put under her tongue to dissolve.  Within 30 minutes, she was beginning to realize that she was in her home and was in her room with her old familiar furniture.

After dinner I gave her some ice cream with a few drops of Fenugreek to make sure the sugar didn't raise her blood glucose.  My mom smiled as I gave her the ice cream and said, "Here's some ice cream for being a good girl."  She said, "Awww, just like my Ma, she used to say, "Florencia, you taka josie to da sto ana buya hera somea icea creama... she'sa beena a gooda girla."  Followed by a burst of laughter from my little mom, elated to have a dish of blackberry ice cream, just like her momma used to get for her.

My mom was exhausted from the day and barely made it to 8pm.  She did have a good day at the Day Care, it's fun for her there because she's making friends.  The nurse is very nice, she's good with my mom.  She'll go every day next week, Tuesday through Friday.  I'll drop her off and pick her up.  I promised her that she won't have to take another bus ride and every day that she goes to Blaire House, she can have some ice cream.

15 January 2010

Mommy Day Care

This morning when I took my mom to her Adult Day Care, I experienced what I imagine all mother's experience when their kids go off to school for the first time.  A bit of apprehension loaded with excitment.  I loved the feeling of turning out of the parking lot and driving away with just me in the truck...


I did my mom's hair for her this morning.  She was always a stickler for having well kept hair; losing it was really horrible for her mentally and emotionally.  Finding her a fiber powder to sprinkle on her head atleast stops the bald shine we often see on folks who are bald.  She loves this bald fix, it works for her.  Today, she told me that I did an exceptional job, she smiled and checked herself out in the mirror for a good time before leaving for the day.

Coat on, hat resting on her hair, we went for our 5 mile drive to the nursing home where she is spending the day and will spend everyday while I work.

I am excited.  Did I tell you that?

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about writing ones obituary and creating a new movie script for the life you want to have.

I follow my own advice

I wrote a new movie script for my next phase of life.  I lived with the goal in mind, not thinking how I was going to get there.  Life happened around me and like dominos, everything lined up perfectly.  Everything that we want in life or have, including children, begins with a thought. 

Thoughts are real, they create our future happiness or sadness.

My new movie included having a computer job, working from home, no travel and my mom going to an Adult Day Care during the day.  In my script, I cook all meals fresh from scratch with no preservatives, real health food.  Recipes that my family enjoys, flow freely from my mind.  My mom's health is stable and she likes going to her new "club" ...  

This is all that I can tell you from my movie script, it's the stuff that is manifesting into reality.  I want my readers to know that this exercise REALLY works.  Give it a shot, you have everything to gain. 

The power of our mind holds the key to our ultimate happiness in everything, where forgiveness is easy and love rules.

I love Mommy Day Care!!!

My Mom is Sleepwalking Again

I'm noticing ever time there's a change in my mom's daily routine, her sleep pattern is the first thing to change.  Night becomes day and day becomes night.  Sleepwalking becomes a regular nightly occurance. 

Last night, I tucked my mom in and she had a nightgown on, when I saw her come to the kitchen this morning, she was fully dressed.    I asked her when she got dressed.  She told me that she didn't know, she woke up dressed, she had just woken up.  I never heard her get up, she must not have gone in to the kitchen where I can hear a squeak in the floor.

There is no way I can have her home during the day, she requires too much attention and I'd never get my work done.  She falls asleep from boredom and wakes up screaming about someone or thinking that someone is knocking on the door.  Unfortunately, my mom doesn't understand why she has to go somewhere during the day, she believes in her mind that she's OK to stay alone while I work downstairs.

No, no Ma, you must go to Blaire House.  She pouts.  She hates the idea.  Too bad.

Her reaction to this change is similar to when I took her car away and made her stop driving.  She was angry.... REALLY mad at me for taking her driving privledge away.  She attempted to tell me "Well Susie, I'm still your mother!" and I'd reply, "Great, you still can't drive, you can't see well, you'll kill someone and then we'll all be screwed."

For almost a year, my mother was mad at me about her not driving and she was a major pain in the ass.  If I was a rotten kid like she often told me, she would have found herself in a room next to her brother in a not so great nursing home a long time ago. 

Time healed her angst for driving, although she still talks about buying a blue Ford Taurus, her favorite car; one is parked on someone's lawn near our home, it hasn't moved in almost 2 years, she believes she will buy it as soon as the for sale sign is placed in the window.  I go along with her dream of owning the blue Ford Taurus, it makes her feel happy thinking that she can drive.  She still has a valid drivers license, we just don't let her use it.

Today my mom is going to Blaire House.  Yay!!!  My husband has the day off and we have massages scheduled.  I'll have the Blaire House drop my mom off at home.

I'm hoping that having them take her home will ease her anxiety of being left at the place for good.  It will make it easier for me, I won't have to stop working for an hour or more just so that I can retrieve my mom and bring her home.

One day at a time, that's all we can do with this horrible disease that my mom has in her brain.  She's getting worse, no doubt.  I'm just not sure if it's because her routine is changing or if there's something physically changing in her brain because of the upset to her regular daily routine?  Maybe it's a bit of both?

In any event, I'm excited to start working again.  I miss reading programs and solving computer problems.  My mind is ready for a challenge that isn't a matter of life or death.  Bring on the bits and bytes, this brain needs some exercise!

14 January 2010

Creating Memories... Just In Case

Caring for my mother who is demented has taught me a valuable lesson.  Make happy memories today because if we ever become demented we will want to remember the happy memories.    Happy memories make a demented individual more peaceful, well that's what I've been observing.

Unfortunately my mother wasn't very social during her life, she sucked at networking.  She never learned social skills because of her screwed up childhood.  It wasn't her fault.  Her dad died when she was 6 and her mother went nuts after her brother was killed in the War.  Her older sister was diagnosed as schizophrenic when she was only 16.  I can't imagine being institutionalized at 16.

My mother did really well considering her beginnings were so difficult.  I am still amazed that my mother had never spoken to her mother because my Grandmother only spoke Italian and my mother only knew English.  Makes you wonder if we even need to speak to our children or parents... is there a secret connection that doesn't need words?

My mom's memories are of her children.  She sees children running around the house a lot.  My dead brother sits and watches TV with her every day.  There's some lady that looks through the window at her.  This lady is new.  My mom told me that the lady wants her to go with her somewhere, that she wants my mom to join their club. 

I'm not sure what this means.  Is she seeing dead people, spirits or angels?  Are they getting her ready for passing?  Who knows? 

I do remember that 3 months before my brother Ed died he saw little children coming to his screened door, looking in at him.  He told me that they were transparent and when he'd go to the door, he'd see their ghosts running down the deck toward the stairs.  The children were playful.  Ed saw the kids a lot.  It always made me nervous because Ed's health wasn't good.  Ed drowned 3 months later in a white water rafting accident. 

So, we make memories through out our lives, some good and some not so good.  The bad memories seem to haunt my mother and the good memories become happy visits for her from beyond the grave.  I suppose I won't be able to prove this theory of mine for a few more decades, when it's my turn to have my end of life parade of spirits come to me.

Just in case, I'm creating happy memories now so that no one scares the crap out of me!

13 January 2010

Swiss Chard and Vegetables with Warm Brazil Nut Dressing


1 bunch of Organic Swiss Chard chopped into bite sized pieces

6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

12 cherry tomatoes cut in half

1/2 cup diced pepper (I used yellow today)

1/4 cup chopped Brazil Nuts

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Feta Cheese and Pine Nuts for garnish.

In a large sauce pan, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  When it is hot, add the chopped brazil nuts.  Let them sizzle and turn a little brown.  Add the garlic and let it cook about 2 minutes.  Do not let it burn.  Add the peppers and tomatoes.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add the Swiss Chard and toss so that everything mixes together.  Cook until the Swiss Chard shrinks and gets soft but not mushy, about 6 -8 minutes.

Put mixture into a dish.  Add feta cheese and pine nuts.

A New Beginning . . . I Got a Job!

Last week a former colleague called and asked me if I could do some consulting work from home.  After thinking about it for a fraction of a second I said, "YES!"

I was to start with a 4 week consulting engagement that would start on the 8th.  Yesterday he asked me if I could start on Monday.

My mom is set up with a Day Care for $56 a day and I have a job.  A glorious job where I can use my mind to think of things other than chasing away my mom's hallucinations.  I'm excited.  I will be able to earn money again.  It's been way too long. 

My mom on the other hand, she's not so excited.  She knows that I need to work, but she doesn't want to go to the Blaire House anymore.  She thinks she can stay home while I work from home.  We used to have this arrangement when we lived in my house, the house I bought for the 2 of us to live in, long before I met my husband.  At that time my mom could handle the remote control for the TV to change channels and select shows from the channel guide. 

Now, she struggles with the remote, she requires assistance.  She falls asleep during the day and wakes up screaming sometimes, looking for me frantically, worried that I left her or I'm in trouble.  I do hope that I can help her to understand that the Day Care is a great alternative to going to a nursing home as a permanent resident.

Today my mother thinks that I'm going to put her in a nursing home.  She's pouting and getting herself worked up, creating a false reality based on her fear.  We've been on this road before, time will help.

Talking to her doesn't do much good, not with a demented mind.  Her logic is irrational.  Yes means no and no means yes in her world.  We are treading on new ground, but we have to because I GOT A JOB!

I haven't worked in almost 2 years, well not a regular job where I get paid.  I have worked but a different kind of work, care giving.  Now, I get to do caregiving and a job with the help of Adult Day Health.  The only troulbe that could rear it's head is my mom not wanting to go.  She can be a collossal bitch. 

Today I told her that she has no choice, she's going, she has to go somewhere during the day because I need to work.  She tried to tell me that it was "too expensive."  I told her that it was not very expensive when one hour of my working a real job will pay for one day; this is worth it. 

I don't know if I scared her by continuing on, but I told her the other alternative is she goes to live in a place like the place her brother is living.  I don't know if she heard anything that I had said after the nursing home comment, but I continued and told her that I prefer to have her sleep here because it allows me to prepare food for her which is an important part of her healthcare plan.

Time will ease her mind when she sees that she comes home here every day.  The first day I took her to Blaire House she thought I was leaving her off for good.  I showed up a few minutes late which didn't ease her fear, but none the less, she came home with me.

Friday she'll go to Blaire House for the day.  Hubby took the day off and we're going for massages.  On Friday, my husband and I will celebrate my new job, it's a new beginning, a beginning that I've been waiting a long time to arrive.  I got a job!

12 January 2010

My Mom's New Routine

Every morning it's the same.  My mom gets up about 5am to use the bathroom.  Sometimes she walks back to bed and other times I find her in the kitchen wondering how she got there.  Thank God for our squeaky floors.

This morning she woke me so I gave her 1 Thyroid System Support supplement and then she went back to sleep for almost 3 hours.

If she sleeps through to morning, she will have the thyroid supplement on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes.

When she wakes up she has the following:

1 Folate B12

2 Cognifactors
  CogniFactors 60 vcaps

This item is not available for shipment to Canada.

Serving Size: 2 caps

N-Acetyl-l-Carnitine 500 mg

Phosphatidylserine 100 mg

Nattokinase (nattozymes) 100 mg

Bacopa Monniera Leaf PE 20% 100 mg

DMAE 100 mg

Ginkgo Biloba PE 24/6 40 mg

Vinpocetine 10 mg

Alpha R Lipoic Acid 5 mg

Huperzine A 1% 50 mcg

Suggested use: Take 2 caps 1-3 per day or as directed by a healthcare professional.
1 Tablespoon of Phosphytydl Choline in yogurt, cottage cheese or a blueberry smoothie
Phosphatidyl Choline Powder 300 gms

Serving size: 1 tablespoon (10 grams)

Amount per serving:

Calories: 70

Soy Lecithin 10,000 mg

Phosphatidyl choline 4,000 mg

DFH Phosphatidyl Choline blends well in water beverages or shakes.
Ashwagandha Extract 1 oz Ashwagandha/Withania somnifera Extract

In a shot glass, 1/2 full of cold water, I put 8 drops of Ashwagandha, she drinks this.
1 COQ10
2 Cardio HNT
Supplement Facts

Terminalia Arjuna PE (1%) 500 mg

Tribulus terrestris (40%) 300 mg

Cordyceps sinensis 400 mg

Rauwolfia serpentina 100 mg

Inula racemosa extract (2%) 200 mg

Coleus forskohlii (10%) 100 mg
1 81 mg aspirin

1 Tablespoon of Berry Juice

...............................  LUNCH .................................

6 Seacure
Amount Per Serving:

Calories 10.5

Total fat 0.15 g

Cholesterol 9 mg

Sodium 20 mg

Protein 2 g

Vitamin A 157 IU

Calcium 57 mg

Phosphorus 63 mg

Omega-3 32 mg


White fish, Rosemary extract, gelatin capsules

2 Cognifactors
1 Tablespoon of Phosphatydl Choline in yogurt, cottage cheese or in a fruit drink

Lunch is balanced.  I use a lot of dark greens, herbs and spices.  I make us a lot of salads with interesting ingredients like apples, raisins and pine nuts.

For an afternoon snack and if she's having issues with moving her bowels, I give her a tablespoon of peanut butter on a celery stick.  This definitely does the trick.

---------------------- Dinner  -----------------------

6 Seacure
2 Cognifactor

lean meat with vegetables, more vegetables than meat.

Sometimes she'll have a little ice cream with 5 drops of Fenugreek for desert or dark chocolate treats that I make for her, like chocolate covered banana slices.

---------------  Bedtime -------------------

8 drops of Ashwagandha in her blue shot glass
1 3 mg melatonin
1 10mg Lisinopril (pharmaceutical for high blood pressure)
1 Vitamin D3


10 January 2010

Naturopathic Medicine Begins On Your Dinner Table

My mom has been living with me for nearly 12 years.  During that time, I've seen my mom go from being on a crap load of pharmaceutical medications to just one. 

In our early years of being roommates, each time that my mom would go to the traditional doctor, they'd give her another new pill to try.  A pill given to mask the side effects of the pill that was prescribed in a previous appointment.  It was a viscious cycle.  I watched my mom become sicker.  It sucked.

I don't see the logic.  Why do people take the pharma drugs if they are going to just make them get more sick and need more drugs? 

To me, it seems that the only ones gaining here are the pharmaceutical drug companies, not us, not the regular people who they see as potential revenue for their companies.  Why do people insist on paying for the extravagant lives of the few 1% at the top?  Why do we think it's OK?  Who convinced us that we must buy all the packaged and processed foods which make us take Pharmaceutical medications? 

Who is responsible... what is responsible for all of us being so sick? 

In my opinion, it is really our responsibility first to make sure that we are doing the right things for our bodies, they are our bodies, we only get issued one per lifetime. 

Doctors, traditional and alternative both need the patient (that would be each individual) to take some responsibility for their own health.  Food, nutritious food is the body's fuel.  No one can force us to eat that Twinkie or that scrumptious smelling bagle, it's up to each of us individually to make the choice for ourselves.  It's the same with drugs, no one can force us to take the drugs, we choose, it's ultimately our responsibility and decision.  People, all of us need to take responsibility for ourselves and stop trying to pin our illnesses on someone else. 

If you eat the crap food, the processed shit, you will need the pharmaceutical medications.  In this sense, pharma meds serve a very good purpose in keeping the majority of the population alive.  Most people have no idea that the food that they are eating is what is keeping them diabetic. 

I have witnessed first hand the power of food and natural medicine.

Through my mom, I've learned that synthetic drugs are really bad for the human body.  My mom's system is super sensitive.  She can only eat pure food.  Nothing pre-packaged, NOTHING at all.   It may sound daunting at first but it's really not hard to make your own food.  I do make everything from scratch, fresh ingredients and it makes a difference in my families health.  My mom is less demented and we are all losing weight.  We are all looking younger as each day passes.  It's exciting.

Food is medicine.  Food is our first line of defense against disease.  We all need to take responsibility for ourselves.  If you have dementia, you better hope someone gives a shit about you and takes on the responsibilty of your proper nutrition... it will keep you from being in a nursing home.  If you haven't visited one lately, visit one, it will scare the shit out of you.  Once there, picture yourself being one of the people screaming out to you to take them with you.  It sucks.  NO wonder no one visits Seniors in nursing homes. 

I HATE NURSING HOMES I am doing everything in my power to help my mom so that she can continue to live her with me.  The natural supplements, as long as she takes them every day, she does awesome.  The natural supplements help to keep her in the present where we all exist together. 

My mom, the lady who was a hard core diabetic, now has a normal A1C of 5.4.  She eats chocolate and ice cream.  I believe gluten is the big trouble maker for most people, especially if you have a big belly.  This was the trouble for my mother and me.  We have been gluten free for about six months.  I feel fabulous.  My mom is lighter than she's been in decades, lots of decades.  One of her dreams has come true, she can fit into all of my cloths.  I've given her reign over my closet because everything is too big for me now because I'm shrinking. 

Shrinking is cool.

My entire life I have considered myself a big person.  I have fought the battle of the buldge my entire life, holding an image of myself which made me believe I was fat even when I was average sized.  I have ALWAYS had a big belly.   Now I know it was because I am gluten intolerant.

Gluten causes inflamation in a lot of people.  It brings on all sorts of ailments, appearing to be serious illnesses. It makes me wonder if the mass producers of the grains are in cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies, working to keep everyone sick so that they need to be on the Pharmaceutical Subscription Plan. 

If you want to eat the store bought stuff, the processed foods that are advertised as being easy and "convenient", then the pharmaceutical companies serve a great purpose for you.  The pharma drugs are the synthetic drugs that work hand in hand with the packaged "foods", the fake food. 

Fake Drugs for Fake Food, makes sense.  

Empty processed food leaves you malnourished and hungry.  You eat more.  You get fatter and fatter until you hate looking at pictures of yourself.  You find that you are the picture taker; keeps you out of the pictures.  Bummer, you are robbing your kids and grandchildren of memories.  Priceless pictures to remember you by when you are pushing up daisies.

I know this to be true because I have millions of pictures to prove my theory, a truth for me.  Is it true for you?

How do you help yourself get out of your health rut?  How do you get off the current health grid and on to a healthier life, free from the pharmaceutical prescriptions subscription plan?

See a Naturopath Doctor as soon as you can!

For the last 100 plust years Naturopathic Medicine has been debunked as not working.  This claim came from the new pharmaceutical companies.  Wooo Hooo Capitolism! 

We are never told about Naturopaths who work with Medical Doctors to help us to heal our bodies naturally.  It's not advertised.  Naturopaths are trained to understand how natural remedies work with the human body to help it heal.  Naturopathic Doctors believe in gentle healing, slow and gradual.  The idea isn't to stay on the medicine forever; you're only on it as long as you need it.  Brilliant.  We don't have to go broke... it's a big time answer to the rising healthcare cost crisis in this country.  

How do you find a Naturopath?

My big question was where do I find a Naturopath?  I searched and found the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.  You enter your zip code and a list will appear and from there you can select.

A Naturopath will help you to navigate your health, helping you to restore the balance in your body. 

Food is our first line of defense.  Eat natural foods.  Grow a garden.  Make food preparation a fun ritual.  Involve your family.  If you need to learn how to cook all over again, there are MD's writing books and have websites to help us.  Dr. John La Pluma has a fabulous website where you gives video instructions.  His website is easy to navigate and you will find lots of recipes to get your started.

I am writing recipes.  I've learned how to cook all over again.  I've made my food preparation my sacred time.  The chopping and dicing, the sizzling and the aroma of the spices and herbs contribute to an aura of peace in the house.  Our food is made with love and ingredients which are healing to the mind, body and spirit.

Natural Medicine works.  It works better than the pharmaceutical drugs that are made with synthetics.  Synthetics that poison the body and cause inflammation, inflammation that makes us sick and need more drugs.  Natural remedies have few negative side effects. 

Food is Medicine.  Pay attention to what you eat and before you know it you will begin to look and feel younger than you've felt in decades. 

Find a Naturopath Doctor.  We have one that we see here in Massachusetts that is fabulous.  Dr. Barton at the Winchester Natural Health, has helped my mom a lot.  He has helped her to get off almost all pharmaceutical drugs and onto natural remedies with little to no side effects. 

An important note, every body is different which is why a ND is needed, they are trained to know how the natural remedies work with the body. 

It's possible to get control of your health and get off the pharma grid.  It all begins with you taking responsibility for your health and making the committment to yourself.