February 12, 2021
Today was the final day of the annual Caregivers' conference put on by Coping with Dementia.
This morning I was part of a panel of three authors talking about keeping a journal. We had all been caregivers for someone with dementia, we had all kept journals in some form. Vicki Veasey started out keeping her journal in calendar form. This helped her keep track of her parents' symptoms, appointments, happenings. By keeping track on a calendar she was able to see that her father experienced symptoms around the time of the full moon. That realization helped her be prepared to deal with those symptoms. That's interesting!
The other panelist was Linda Burhans that does a regular radio show dedicated to caregivers.
Journal Writing 101
I write on paper and I write online.
You don't need to commit to every day. I don't do commitment.
With a journal it can be private for just your eyes.
You don't need to write full sentences.
You can do just one of the following...
name three emotions
name a few of today's memories
make a note or observation.
write down things you are grateful for right now.
rant and rave
just record an event
put the pen down on the paper and see what happens
go with what moves the pen without judgement
observe what is happening around you right now, ie: sights, sounds, feelings against your skin, where you are sitting
If you hate to write you can record your thoughts into your phone or a recorder.
Your recording options are wide open. Just start, the rewards will come over time.
February 19, 2021
Linda Burhans has invited me to be on her radio show for Caregivers on February 20th at noon ET. Here is the link for the live show on Youtube.
And my other fellow panelist, Vicki invited me to be a guest in her newsletter to Caregivers. She hasn't set a date yet.
There was an article in our local paper about the conference. I will give you the link, but you only have a few chances to view an article from the paper before you have to pay.
I also had a Letter to the Editor printed in the Chronicle about the impeachment trial of the former President.
All this attention has sparked the drive and joy that I had set as my intention for writing Book III. And I am happy to say it is working. I am making a little bit of progress. More than before I set my intention, "I intend to have drive and joy carrying me on my journey through writing and publishing book three."
I have been riding each week with the bike group and on our rides south I visit the goats, which are now mostly sheep. I think there is only one goat left, though many of the baby sheep look goat-like.
Jean has discovered the joy of the baby lambs and goes with me sometimes to feed the babies. Some of the pictures below are those she took.
This male sheep just sniffed the the bottom of a female. I guess he was investigating if she was in heat. We got a few chuckles out of the face he made.
Yesterday there were nine Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed in my front garden. On Facebook I call myself the Proud Monarch Momma.
Speaking of nature, we are living through some natural history. A huge winter storm is covering most of the country. There is snow and freezing in parts of Texas that never see snow. There are major power outages and places without water. The New York Times explained that the Artic weather normally held in place by the Gulf Stream is now occasionally being released due to changes in the Gulf Stream due to changes in the climate.
We in Florida are having a few cold days and some really warm days, but nothing real unusual.
Planning and Dreaming
In my last letter to you I mentioned that I would be camping in February. The first trip I had planned was in mid-February. It was canceled. My friend, Maria, fell and hurt her shoulder, so she canceled. Since she was the only one I knew of that was going to be there that was single and since the campground wasn't that far from home, I just canceled. I am glad I did. The weather turned cold on those days.
I have another camping trip coming up at the end of the month. I am going to St. Augustine, FL to camp with Debra. Frankie is going to share her camper with her! What fun! Frankie is a load of fun and she makes me laugh. Frankie and Debra together is a recipe for a great time.
Though Debra's new dog arrived just yesterday and she is so cute, that I got a feeling Debra won't be able to tear herself away. Whatever happens, I am going. After St. Augustine I am not coming directly home. I have two other campgrounds I will be visiting.
Hart Springs is up near the Nature Coast Trail and the Suwannee River about two hours NW of Inverness. And then I got down to Hillsborough River State Park to meet up with about 32 other RV women. I see from the pictures that most of them do not wear masks during COVID and do not distance. If that is the case, I will be spending most of my time with a few that can respect the safety precautions.
The plans for this summer's big camping trip are taking shape. Marie is supposed to accompany me on my way North, but her plans might change due to her injured shoulder. We don't know yet. I will still take the same route and enjoy the journey.
When George was ill with Dementia, a friend wanted to make sure I met her friend Joan. Joan is single and likes to travel on the cheap. She likes to camp, hike, kayak and bike. Since we first met we have become friends, I visited her last year on my trip north, me in my campsite and her driving out to dine at the other end of the picnic table to stay COVID safe.
Anyway, she loaned me a book about the Allegheny Passage Trail that goes from Pittsburg to DC. She wants to do it with me, but only if I haul my gear and camp along the way. Which is the best way to do it. But that means buying yet another tent and some equipment and fixing up my two-wheel bike for the trip. The surface of the trail is rough, I would be miserable on my trike. I am thinking on it.
When Joan stopped by to pick up the book we sat on my front porch chatting and petting Josie (my house-mate's dog). Joan mentioned how she would like to get back to Alaska someday. I said, "Ooooo, I have that dream."
She said, "Let's go!"
We said we would plan on going in the summer of 2022, me in my Weeroll, Joan camping in her car.
This is exciting!!!
So many of my friends are getting their appointments for the vaccine. I still do not have an appointment, though I keep checking the websites. My friend Cindy gave me a phone number to call that is automated. They are to call me back with an appointment. I called two days ago. I am so glad that people are getting the vaccine. It gives me hope that we can start gathering safely in groups again, I can find a few pods of friends where I can get hugs and dine with. I am soooo looking forward to that!
One of my Wisconsin bike friends died recently after contracting COVID. He was part of our couples group that would go to different trails each month and spend a weekend. We had so many laughs and rides together.