Friday, August 30, 2019

Hurricane Prep - Travel Prep - Exercise Video and Large Print

Hi,

There is a storm heading our way... or not.


Dorian, currently a tropical storm gaining momentum in the Atlantic, may head this way, may not.

My heart goes out to all those caregivers trying to figure out where to go, whether to go or stick it out.  In The Journey Continues I wrote about our trip to escape hurricane Irma.  We were lucky, we had the means and ability to get away. 

Some of the friends in my dementia caregiver support group had a heck of a time during Irma.  One took her loved one to a special needs shelter.  Can you image what it is like to hunker down in a storm (and its aftermath) when you have someone you love with dementia?

They are confused sometimes even in their own home and taking them into a huge space with cots set up row after row, no place to sit comfortably, nothing to occupy them.

It was a nightmare for my friend and her husband.  Then the special needs shelter got over crowded and under-supplied.  There was not enough beds, food and toilets.

So as I watch the storm out in the Atlantic and check in with the National Hurricane Center for updates, I worry about my house and all those who are having to deal with this when they are not well.

Trippin'

I have found a house sitter!  I am so glad, since I am going against all the social media etiquette by announcing that I am leaving on  a trip.  The evil bandits all know I am going, so now there will be someone here in my place.

She and her friend are Canadian and are looking forward to spending time in Florida this fall. I found her by placing an blurb on one of the Travel Club sites I belong to.  Good folks.  

As the storm approaches I have to hold myself back from leaving early.  I have a meeting to attend, a cap that is being put on my tooth, and some houses that I watch over that I should check on after the storm.

Exercises

Robin Siegerman, the voice actress that is right now working on creating an Audiobook of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George,  was reading through the exercises that I listed in the book.  She suggested I do a video demonstrating the exercises.  So I did!

These exercises we were taught and we did regularly during our trip and beyond.  I think they really helped George be able to hike and remain mobile.

So here is the video.  Can you follow along?  Let me know if you do the exercises. 



I already have plans for another one going into the mechanics of getting out of a chair.  Important stuff for a caregiver and really all of us to know as we age.  KEEP MOVING!

Here is the link to the mobility exercises video above.  Feel free to share on your social media or send to a friend that you think would benefit from doing the exercises.  http://bit.ly/AlzMobilityExercises


Large Print now available!

The large print version of Alzheimer's Trippin' with George - Diagnosis to Discovery in 10,000 Miles is now up on Amazon.  I mad it 16 pt print vs the 12 pt in the original version.

It takes a will to convert a regular print to a bigger text.  At least for my book with all the pictures and all the pages.  I had to remove some of the pictures, but I kept quite a few.


Book Description

I am trying to spruce up the blurb on Amazon that describes Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.  The blurb has to catch someone as they are scrolling and checking out the book.  It has to grab them and pull them to the next sentence and the next sentence.

I paid for someone to write a blurb and it just didn't feel like me.  It also didn't reflect the fun I wanted the reader to have while reading the book.  So I am trying to re-write by using quotes from reviewers.

Besides getting the wording right and the grammar, I need to get the HTML right.  Because when I put it up on Amazon it shows up as one big blob, no spaces between lines, no bold.  Even when I take an HTML file and copy and paste it.  I am frustrated with that part too.  It's a part of this learning curve.   I guess I am taking the corner too fast and landing on my side (thinking trike riding).

If you are a marketer and writer, please, PLEASE look this over and let me know what I can do to make it better, more gripping, to pull in those readers that will enjoy the book.  A free copy of the Audio book to you if your changes help improve the number of sales to clicks ratio.

This is what I have on the large print:

****************

If you think life is over after an Alzheimer's diagnosis, then you should read this book. "Susan made learning about the struggles one has caring for their loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoyable." Susan's inspiring and conversational journal will draw you in. "Easier read than I expected." Travel along with this couple as they go exploring and riding their three-wheeled recumbent trikes on various U.S. bike trails. There are lots of fun photos!  You will be pulled into their story of traveling across the country and the day-by-day experience of watching George's decline. Start the journey today!  Get it now!  You will learn what she learns, including: dementia symptoms; mobility and balance exercises; and remaining respectful and positive. "It's an inspirational journey, despite the losses, and I was uplifted by reading it." Susan is saving you a seat on their journey and giving you the next best thing to an eye-witness experience. That’s why this road trip USA book is packed with photos that will take you from diagnosis to discovery in 10,000 miles. Do You Know Someone Who Could Use Some Inspiration? We all have a loved one who is a caregiver, who is trying to cope with the diagnosis and who is looking for a ray of hope. Surprise him/her with a copy of Alzheimer’s Trippin’ With George today. Susan and George's story will put a smile on his/her face and make the burden a tiny bit lighter. Click “Buy Now” To Join Our Adventure Today!
*****************
I need help with the HTML  to get line gaps and carriage returns in there!

Here is another version:

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If you think life is over after an Alzheimer's diagnosis….


then you should read this book.


From riding their three-wheeled recumbent tricycles on trails, to hiking up mountain sides, to laughing and singing through the great plains, George and Susan keep experiencing life’s joys.


Travel along on their three-month road trip as Susan shares their moments of awe and diagnosis adjustments. 
 
Buy it now.



“Susan shares their story of traveling across the country and the day-by-day experience of watching George's decline. It's an inspirational journey, despite the losses, and I was uplifted by reading it!"

 Join in their courageous journey with many twist and turns. 

You will be riveted to your seat as two people attempt to be live with joy will navigating the challenges of travel and Alzheimer’s.

“I loved the way the author tells the story of her journey with George with empathy and humor, with an easy to read style that makes the pages fly by. What a wonderful approach to Alzheimer's Disease!”

Start your trip today.  Get it now!




“I enjoyed vicariously tagging along with Susan and George on their quite lengthy road trip adventure. Despite his medical and behavioral challenges, they were able to keep on exploring, biking, and hiking more than most people would even without such impediments.”

“I tell my friends, don’t start reading it until you have all your chores done, because once you start you won’t want to put it down.”

Climb on board!  Buy it now.
  

****************** 
Which one do you prefer?   Let me know by commenting below.  THANK YOU!


Roof Leaks 

 The roofer finally came a fixed the roof.  One of the roof tiles was cracked and the board under it was damaged.  All fixed now.  

I learned then to use pure bleach (not watered down) and a paint roller on the ceiling to remove the stain that was caused by the leak.  The stain was not completely removed, but it was much lighter.  Then I painted with Kilz and then I painted the whole lanai white.

I had been purging and downsizing and realized I had been over zealous.  I didn't keep any junk clothes for painting because I thought I would never do that again.  That is why it is hard to dispose of stuff, you never know when you might need it.  Life is changing all the time.  I am not a horder, just a single woman in a big house with a full closet. 

Anyway, after the roof was fixed it rained pretty good one day so I went around looking for more leaks.  Especially in the storage area where I see spots from former leaks and I wanted to see if any were wet.  DANG.  I think one was damp.  

House maintenance is never ending.


Room Mates

 I have a lot of purging to do if I am going to share my house with others.  I have a closet of stuff I am going to sell once I return from my trips this fall.  And I have a kitchen that needs to have room for another person's dry-goods.

I have talked with two women who responded to my ad on Seniorhomeshares.com.  One is already renting a room and sharing a home, but her roommate's life has changed (got a lover) and it makes sharing the home less comfortable.  The other woman is newly divorced and she wants to move to Florida so she is looking to rent a year before she moves.  

Both of them are going to come stay a couple nights to check the area, the house, and me out sometime in late October.

Housing Options

I was so decided when I put that ad in Seniorhomeshares.com.  I am not normally so comfortable with my decisions.  But I was set, I had a plan, I liked the plan well enough.  A little scared of the change, but that is normal for any change.

Then my roof leaked and then this storm started approaching and I thought, "Wouldn't it be easier if I rented?"

A guy from my former dementia support group moved with his wife to a senior apartment complex in Beverly Hills, FL.  Not far from here, but further from the trail.  He sent me the brochures.  $750/month for two bedroom 2 bath!  And NO maintenance!   I am doing the math and maybe I will go get a tour.

Love my neighborhood, though.  I am so close to the trail and to downtown Inverness.  And I go to yoga three times a week right at the club house with friends!  Life is good here.  

But as I age (and I consider myself relatively young in the getting-old stage of life) dealing with maintenance issues is more bothersome.


Back to Trippin'


My friend Bill shared with me a website where I can plan my trip with stops along the way.  

RVtripwizard.com

I am loving it!  Thank you, Bill!   

I can search for museums or gyms or anything and make a stop along the way.  

I have decided not to post to my blog until after I leave a campsite.  That way the boogie man doesn't know where I am. Not that I am scared of that, but it is good to be smart about this social media and blogging stuff.  

I will tell you that I am so excited to be meeting up with some other tricycle riders in Ohio.  What a community we bicyclists/tricyclists have!

That's it for now, as they say on The Moth Podcast - "Make it a story worthy week."

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trips Coming, Thoughts on Personal Impact, Audio Book

Exciting times!  So much to learn, to decide, to experience!

Ok, now what do I start talking about first? 

Do I start off talking about what I have been thinking about?   

If I believe the science telling us that climate change is happening and that human activity is a big contributing factor, what am I doing and what CAN I be doing (or not doing) to reduce my impact.  And then, I remember something I heard... "No snowflake feels responsible for the avalanche."

Do I start off telling you about the "Trippin'" that is coming up? 

North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Everglades, Florida Keys, Arizona... too much?

Or do I start off telling you about what is happening with the books?

Audio, large print, book launch events...


Ok, ok, ok, stop twisting my arm!  

I will talk about the progress of the books first.

If this isn't of interest to you, skim down.  You won't want to miss the Trippin' we are going on this fall! (I promise to take you with me virtually.) 


Audio Update


I am SOOOO thrilled with how the Audio book is coming for Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.  What a wonderful job, voice actress Robin Siegerman is doing.

Here is the advertising sample she did up. 

Listen and let me know what you think in the comments here or on my Youtube channel.  And feel free to SHARE on your Facebook page (please) or send the link to a friend.  Let's spread the fun.



Robin says she is going to have to re-do some of it because I chose a part of the book for the sample where I said, "shit."  Robin says the Audio sample can't have cuss words in it.  She wanted to just say "GAAAHHH" instead.  I don't know, I told her to say, "Blast it" or "Dang, Dang, Dang".   But now that I write this it sounds so...

What do you think?  Maybe "GAAHHHH" is more frustrated and the others sound dorky?

The date for release of the Audio book isn't set, but it will be sometime in October.  Just in time for Christmas shopping season! 

Large Print

As I write this I am having the cover designer re-do the cover for both Alzheimer's Trippin' with George and The Journey Continues for the LARGE PRINT versions!   So many caregivers prefer the larger print, so this should help them.  And if they can't see at all, the Audio is coming soon!


Events

 The launch date for The Journey Continues is set!

The Kindle/ebook will launch on December 4th, 2019.

Yes, I am having another party or two or three to celebrate.  Watch for more information coming in the next few months.  Click the Join tab if you want to receive an email when I post updates.

I am also holding a celebration on December 6th in Tampa, Florida at Citrus Park Cyclery.  So if you will be in Tampa at that time, mark your calendar for 11:00. 


Sales and the Blurb Re-write

I have been down.  Each day I check the sales of the book, I tweek my ads, and still the sales were going down, down, down.   So I decided to hire a fiverr gig to have them re-write the blurb I have on Amazon.

It was kind of over the top.  It didn't feel like me.  But I put it up there anyway, still no results in sales.  So I took their blurb and altered it quite a bit and included YOUR words.  The words of the fans who have left such wonderful reviews.

The newest blurb for The Journey Continues is:


"Beautiful, moving, heart wrenching. A challenging situation to be in is an understatement. This was a unique perspective." Amazon Reader


“Susan made learning about the struggles one has caring for their loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoyable. Her sincerity and dedication to love her husband right to the end was inspiring. I came to admire her: sense of humor; deep compassion; humble gratitude for friends and helpers, and tenacious spirit. Easier read than I expected." Amazon Reader


Whether you went Trippin’ with Susan and George on their U.S.A. road trip in Alzheimer’s Trippin’ with George, or you are just joining them now. You will smile, laugh, and sometimes cry with them as they continue living full lives and having new adventures. Journey along with them as they dance, ride recumbent tricycles, battle with a bully, and escape a hurricane.


“Informative, inspirational, funny, sad - I highly recommend this book. … Buy it - for yourself, for others, a perfect gift for any occasion, or no occasion at all!” Larry Varney, co-editor Bentrider Online


Click Buy Now!


“Sue continues to experience George's journey into dementia along with all the messy details. She is one heck of a woman who continued this journey with a lot of love pushing her on.” Ron Freidl


You will find yourself cheering over the victories and finding joy in the midst of change.


You will discover how to stay positive, where to find helpful resources, how to deal with incontinence, and how family, friends and community can make a BIG difference in the quality of life for a caregiver and those living with dementia.


Join the Journey today, Get it now!

I am starting to see some increase in sales  (one a day, but hey!)  I am on cloud nine!

ENOUGH ABOUT THE BOOKS ALREADY!!!

"What else is going on?" you ask.

Well so nice of you to ask.

I have been THINKING.

Resource Appreciation


I heard a program about the great acceleration in the melting of the two-mile thick ice sheet in Greenland.  I am just one person.  A tiny speck in the scheme of things.

I really want to live my values.  I just feel that I am using up too many of the planets resources.  I am just one person now.

I have a big van that gets about 27 mpg.
I live in a 1900 sq ft house... not a mansion, but not a tiny house for sure.
I have too much stuff just for one person. 

I was encouraged to get bigger house so that if George went into nursing care, our life savings would have to go toward his care but I could hang onto some of the money and the house.  So the lawyer said buy more house.   I like my house, especially the location.  It is close to downtown and groceries and the gym.

But it seems silly for just me to have 2 1/2 bathrooms to maintain, and 3 bedrooms to dust.

So I have listed a bedroom on Seniorhomeshares.  I also added a listing to roommates.com, though I am not as impressed with that website/program.  I am envisioning a Golden Girls situation.  Me and two other women sharing a home, and when I go Trippin' someone will be here all the time to watch over the place.

AND I could use the income for house maintenance and to stretch my savings further/longer.   I like the idea, especially with the right people.  So if you know of a non-smoking, morning person, who might enjoy sharing a house with a quiet friendly professional woman, have them get in touch with me.  It could even be just for the winter season.

Speaking of house maintenance.

My roof has a leak over the lanai.  I started calling roofers two months ago, I swear.  At that time the spots on the ceiling were small and few.  Then we had so much rain, the roofers could not get caught up and get out here.  FINALLY today a roofer came out.  The small spots are now a huge blob and the plywood under the tiles needs to be replaced.

At least I didn't have to put out buckets... yet.  Hopefully they will get to the repairs this week. 




SO -- Speaking about reducing my CO2 emissions....

TRIPPIN'!

Trip one - Departing September 5th


Since I didn't get to fly with my trike to see my sister in July, I am driving to see my sister in September.

Driving... Florida to Wisconsin ... probably over 3600 miles round trip.  Especially since I am adding on miles by going over to Ashville, North Carolina area first to visit friends, Regis and Cindy.  They are work-camping at a historical site in the woods.

Driving ... in my van.

I plan on camping and staying with folks along the way.  To reduce my impact, I am bringing my own folding mattress and sheets for when I stay at peoples homes.  It is such a waste for me to spend one night and they have to do laundry to get the sheets ready for the next guest.  So even though I am driving my big van... I am saving on laundry.  Ha ha, my own little unequal exchange to relieve my guilt.  I know it is silly, but I REALLY want to visit my sister.

I have also been trying to avoid using my car here at home.  I ride to the gym and the grocery store and to social events if they are close enough.

Last time I tried to camp I bought a tent before the event and I donated it away after the event.  It took forever to put it up.  I have tried camping in my van... the thing is, my stuff takes room.

I have this big ol' honking recumbent tricycle.   My Catrike Expedition doesn't fold.


And hey, part of my trip is to stop in Ohio and ride with some of the Ohio trikers on the Little Miami trail and other trails around Xenia, Ohio.  So I gotta take my trike.

Anyway.  I figured out a way to store my trike and stuff out of the rain.  Either I can sleep in the van on my folding mattress or I can use my Tent-Cot.

When George and I rode around Wisconsin we hauled our Tent-Cots behind our trikes on our flat-bed Burley trailers.  I loved the high-and-dry Tent-Cots and slept well.

The last two times I used the Tent-Cot I was miserable.  It was cold, my back hurt, and I was worried about George getting up in the night and wandering away.

So last night I put up the Tent-cot in my living room and I slept in it.  I slept well, I think.  Though I am unusually tired today.


I could take both the folding bed and the tent cot... but that's kind of too much stuff, right?




And if I am going to camp I need a place to put my stuff if I sleep in the van.  And a place to sit and hang-out if it rains.

So I bought a canopy and side tent.  I erected the canopy in my living room this morning.



I was proud, I got the canopy back in the box.  Not the side tent, though.

Trip Two

I have the reservations.  I may make it.  I may not.

I don't want to rush my Wisconsin visit and I don't want to drive LOOONG miserable days.  I want to keep the time in the car sensible each day.

Where do I have the reservations?

The Everglades and the Keys.

There is a group of recumbent riders that live on the Van Fleet Trail.  Every once in a while I see them at events.  I joined their Facebook group and chat with them sometimes.  When they announced they were going to do a MOON LIGHT RIDE on the Shark Valley Trail in the Everglades, I jumped at the opportunity and made my reservations at the campground they are going to.

They arrive at the campground October 11th.

THEN I learn that the Sisters on the Fly has a group going to Key Largo to swim with the fish on the reef.  They will be counting fish and turtles and snorkeling.

 When I was trying to figure out who I would be without George, I bought myself some snorkel equipment.   I have not used it in the ocean yet.  Just a swimming pool and the Rainbow River.   This is an event that it OUTSIDE my comfort zone just a tad.  A good place for me to start stretching myself and my experiences.  So I signed up.  The camp sites were all taken, but I keep checking back and now I have a campsite for two nights.  The event, I think, covers four nights.

Now to find my snorkel and mask.

Trip Three


I guess I went bonkers when I got back from riding to St. Pete to put my tricycle on a plane and fly to Wisconsin because I planned three trips for this fall!

As you may recall, if you followed that trip on this blog or Facebook, my trike was denied access to the flight on Allegiant Airline.   I stayed a day or two in the St. Pete area then biked home.  I got back from that trip and started planning to try again to fly my trike.

In November I am flying SouthWest Airline.  This time I will drive my van to the airport so I can store my trike in it if they refuse to let my trike in baggage. 

I am flying to Pheonix, AZ to visit my brother.  If you read the first book, Larry was the guy that met us out at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  I have not seen him since last Summer when he and his wife Peg invited me to Seattle to share a house they were renting.  He will be celebrating a birthday while I am in Arizona.


 I will be writing here to you as much as I can while traveling.  If you want to go Trippin' with me on this blog, you can be notified by email each time I post something.  Just click the "Join" tab up above and fill in the form.  I promise not to sell or share your information.

I often post every day when I am traveling.

Are your READY???  Only a few more weeks!

Exercise Video

I have been asked to demonstrate the balance and mobility exercises that I explained in Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.

So I am going to TRY to make a good video of them so any of us can use them if we want to keep mobile.  When it is complete I will put it on Youtube.  Subscribe to my youtube channel

Thanks for taking this journey with me.






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