Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just Sit Down and Write a Book...A Writer's Tale

A special birthday wish to a wonderful writer with a heart of gold...from francy

Click for Kitty's  interview with Morgan Bailey

Kitty Kirwin, is a writer. Yes, she has written books, blogs and articles...but what makes her a writer is that she --- WRITES!

Everyday, Kitty is writing, editing, correcting, outlining, talking over ideas, re-structuring her chapters and sharing her information with her writer's group. All that energy and love to bring a good read to her dedicated readers.

A few years ago, a group of women got together to support each other with the independent publishing of their work. The group is called @WritersThatChat. There has been those that have come and gone with the group...but Kitty was an original and she has stayed on just like a trooper. This group of writers gathers in chat each Saturday and brings up ideas for their writing and the problems to jump over, in their lives. It has been so refreshing to have the support of others that share the love of writing. We all get together and keep the goals of writing and publishing in the front of our brains. Especially, when life gets so busy that writing often sounds like a fancy vacation from our real life.

Back to Kitty. She is a girl that enjoys reading and that is always the key to the soft spot of any good writer. Her favorite is to be terrified as she she now writes in that same format. Her many books have done very well and she is always working on another one. Consistent attention to details and gathering odd and interesting ideas to shock and awe her readers - is always on the forefront of her day

Kitty is now in the end run of putting out her new novel in the next couple of weeks. She has been having it edited and has Natalie Silva designing the cover. It is not just sit down and write in this day and age. You have to have special software, save the book in a special format. Get the book read and edited by multiple writers to find all the errors and get it in perfect shape. There is the choice of how to go about publishing the book...deciding which online book retailer should you use and the tasks go on and on. Then there is getting your work out you need to schedule interviews and promotional parties as well as ideas to give the book a great send off.

A girl can not work alone. Kitty has her adorable corgi, Princess Gwenie at her side, at all times. Little Gwenie is always helping her mom with the house chores so Kitty can keep writing. You can always find the low-down on the Kirwin household from Gwenie--- on their shared Facebook page.

When you are an Independent publisher/writer, you do it all. All of the things a publishing company would do for you as a featured have to do for yourself. You have to learn book by book...gathering ideas to make your work a higher quality and sales ever-stronger. It takes hours and hours each day to do all the research and projects to meet your roll out date. Since I have had the pleasure of knowing and working along side Kitty, in the @WritersThatChat group...I have been consistently impressed with her dedication to her craft.

Tomorrow, is Kitty's birthday. I have been thinking about that all day...and what I know is that she is not planning a party, baking a cake or buying herself a fancy gift. She is behind her computer, going over details for her soon to be released new book. I admire that in her and I wanted to share the behind the scenes of a writer with you. It is so easy to go to Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and click and get an eBook downloaded in seconds. You forget how much time, energy and love has gone into that book. From its creative spark to its cover design...the writer takes a daily grind of writing, editing, publishing and selling- selling - selling.

Please do me a favor and go to Kitty's Amazon Page and order one of her books. Enjoy the story and remember the lady behind the book...has created it with so much love to give you a few hours of escape into her world of the strange, spooky and unusual.

As Kitty's friend and fellow member of @WritersThatChat....I can not even list the many support ideas, editing and friendship gifts that Kitty has given to me in the last few years. I so appreciate her work as a writer...but even more so...I appreciate the friendship and support she gives to me. She helps me to keep writing when my life is in such a fuss over my care-giving for my husband. She is always there for me. I think keeping grounded and giving back to others; is what makes a writer understand real life, loyalty and then express those thoughts in their creative work.

Do follow Kitty and her wonderful little corgi, PrincessGwenie, on Facebook and keep updated with the roll out date for her new novel. If you're smart - you will enjoy her twitter account with updates on her writing life on a daily basis @KittyCorgi

Happiest of Birthdays, Kitty...may your new the hottest seller of them all !

Click for  my mom's blog page, too! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Memories of The Masters

Dad upside down with joy!

Golf was not a sport I would have chosen, but my father was smitten. Every weekend, Saturday or Sunday…he got up early and went out the door to a public course - to swing his frustrations away.
Dad was a quiet person. He designed furniture all of his life. Dad’s high level of creativity took over his mind, by the end of the week, he needed a release. His home was filled with mom and four daughters so there was no place for a man to rest.  He learned that his best bet was going out the door and onto the golf course for peace. I learned; if I wanted to be close to him, I would have to follow him to his retreat.
I would get myself up early, get dressed and be ready to walk with him on the course. I would be his caddy and he would let me a take a swing every now and then.  Dad came alive on the course. The fresh air, the walk and the quiet of the greens transformed him to a calmed and happy man. He would do a little jig with a good drive, sing a little song after a good putt and any time a special par was hit…he would even do a back flip. It always made me feel special to be with him, hiking up and down the greens, stomping out the divots, handing over clubs and cleaning balls. But I was a dancer at heart.  The older I got, the more time I spent in the studio.
Daddy passed with cancer when I was a teen, so my days on the golf course were over. Yet, I never lost the love of watching golf on TV. Dad and I would always talk about the different players and watch the different tournaments with keen interest.
In my 26th year I struggled through cancer myself. The treatments left me without hair and without strength and so it was quite a surprise to receive a call from a dear couple that I had known for years. They were very ‘well to do’, they had supported my ballet career for many years and were concerned about my health.  But this call came in the middle of the day, asking me how I was feeling. “Fine” I said, it was usual come back to the constant questions over my health.
“Well then, that is good news,” the gentleman said. “Because we have a seat free in the plane and we are going to take a quick trip to the Masters, final round in Georgia, tomorrow. Are you up for it?”
“Yes.” I said.  I was then given the information to be ready late that night at a local airport for the departure. .
I should not have said, Yes…I was to be careful about being around people with germs at the time. But something inside of me just pushed me to take a plunge. I wanted to get out of my ‘I’m sick pajamas’ and into a pretty sundress for an adventure. I remember I left the house almost the minute after I hung up the phone and bought a new wig.  It had longer blonde hair and would help me feel less exposed to stares-  than the one I had been wearing.  I added a pair of summer shoes, that would be comfortable walking on the course and kept myself from worry with a smoothie from a health store.
I was nervous as I drove, in the wee hours of morning, towards the airport. Pulling my car into the private parking area and asking for directions to the plane was unnerving. I wondered if I should just drive back home. Something kept me going. Kept me steady on my task as I walked through a large hanger and there in front of a beautiful Lear Jet, stood my friends with their party of four.  I was ushered onboard and cuddled into the most comfortable seat I had ever sat in…in my life. The plane took off and before I knew it we were airborne and flying fast towards Georgia. The plane had a stunning interior. There was a Purser to settle me in with cookies and tea. There was the smell of leather and the company was upbeat and kind. I soon found a special ladies’ room with Joy perfume set out for our casual use. Towels hung with initials and the mirror with lights to freshen up my make-up. I had been on small planes before, but never on a private jet. It was so exciting, full of luxury and comfort.
The flight was not just smooth - it went by like a bullet. We were down on the ground and into a wonderful limousine in a flash. I was given tickets to two different areas to watch the course. One was in the shade, the other, in the sun. It would be my decision where to go and I told them I would wander for a while and get a feeling of the beautiful Augusta course.
It is silly trying to explain the smell in the air, at the Masters. There are so many people mingling around and times of quiet and times of joy or disappointment. The air is filled with fresh grass and blooming azaleas that are so lush and wonderful.  I had left Seattle in a spring rain and I was now standing with the sun on my face. I just walked and poked my head in to tents with food, tents with drinks, tents with venders and tents with friends watching TV. I walked and walked and then found the famed country club. It was so lovely. I stood back a while and watched the members come and go from the club and how they talked to the doorman. I did not have a ticket to enter the club. It was a place for members and guests only.  So I just watched the way they moved and talked and what was being said.
I was tired. I could tell myself that my fight with cancer was going well--but we all know that the fight takes so much out of you, even if you’re young. I wanted to sit down, and just relax. I wanted to be inside that clubhouse. So, I put on a smile and joined a group of people approaching the clubhouse stairs and up I went. I smiled at the doorman and he opened the door and in I went! My heart almost fluttered out of my dress!
Inside the view was even better. Large arrangements of flowers and blooms, people cheering and woodwork that looked like it had been there forever. I wandered around and went from one “Men’s Only” sign to another until I found a ladies powder room. I relaxed and freshened up and back out to the bar area. Once there I was offered a drink and told to use his member number on my other drinks.
I spent the day talking to members. They were wonderful people from all over the south and the US. I listened to jokes, watched the large TV’s that had been sit up around the room and just enjoyed myself. Lunch was wonderful…a lovely shrimp salad and warm rolls. I drank sweet tea and ate bon bons in pastel colors. Then when the final round was coming down the course, I moved up close to the big window that over looked the 18th hole and watched as Floyd wrapped up the Masters with a flare.
When the players began to come into the clubhouse and others were getting ready for the awards ceremony;  I slipped back out the door and rejoined my party of friends. They were shocked that I had entered the hallowed halls and got a big laugh about my day of being pampered.
The trip back was just as fast and lovely…we arrived early on Monday morning and I drove back home as the sun was rising. I have always held that weekend as a magical time in my life. I thought of it as a gift from my dad, during a hard time….his worry of my health must have pushed the event into my life. The couple that had been so kind to invite me, would never understand the connection I made to my father...but the kindness they gave to me that weekend would be remembered in my heart forever. 
I think of it each year as I watch the Masters on the TV. I think of my dad, the wonderful plane trip, the luxury of the clubhouse, the kindness of so many strangers and my luck at even being near that event and winning my battle over cancer.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Brother was a Hobo

My brother was a Hobo when Mom and Dad first met him. It was over at Grandma Toots' house and he had been walking around the neighborhood for a few days. Daddy pulled up in his lemon colored caddie and Mac took notice. I don't know if it was the color of the car or the smell of the leather...but Mac sat across the street and watched Daddy putting some oil in the car's engine.
   Mother was there to care for Grandma Toot;s that was before she came here to live for a while. Mom decided right away there was something wrong-- a pretty small dog was not suppose to be wandering. She watched Mac come closer and closer to the car to watch Daddy. So, mom took a few treats and went down to the driveway.
   She looked Mac in the eye and asked him if he was lost. He just stared at her. She told him it was time to come in and get some food and water. She put down the treats like a trail and he followed her in the house munching all the way.
  Grandma Toots lived up a very high hill from the railroad tracks and when Mac got in Grandma's house he started to tell mother all bout his trips around the country on the train. He was a Hobo and he would stay with mommy and be a good inside dog, but he was a Hobo and at any time he would have to get out his stick with the red bandanna attached to it and move on.
   I wasn't born yet, but mommy knew how to care for a lost doggie. She did a search of the Humane Society, the papers and walked him around Grandma Toots' neighborhood with no luck. She thought for sure a family would be missing him and did a poster...but after two weeks she decided he would have to stay with her.
   He was wild...part Westie and part Schnauzer meant his terrier genes were boiling. He dug up her lawn and chewed her flowers, he chewed Daddy's slippers and Mom's fancy purse. He went potty on furniture and barked way to loud at the front door.
   Thank goodness my Mommy knows how to tame Hobo's. Slowly he learned to have an inside voice and not to destroy things. He learned to to fetch a ball and play with his toys. He learned how to walk on a lead without pulling too hard and he learned how to sit nice and quiet to take treats.
   By the time Mommy adopted me; Mac was very new man. His Hobo days were long behind him...but he still showed me his backpack and bandanna stick in the closet. Mac taught me about Hobo stew and how to chase away anything bad from our yard. Mac taught me about how to sit in just the right spot in the sunshine to get warm but not to hot. He also shared how to drop a treat and lose it so mom gave him another treat and then he would find the first one...brilliant.
   Mac and I spent everyday in front of the window by the front door just checking out the other dudes in the neighborhood. Every once in a while Mac would escape the back yard...and he would run like the wind...but Daddy would just get in the old yellow caddie and drive down the street and Mac would come running to go for a ride. He was a cool guy and even though he thought PINK was the color of dirt...he loved me and kept care of me. He was always my big brother...he lived with mom for 15 years and she thought he was about 2 when he had arrived.
   Mac has been sick for quite some time he took his Hobo stick and bandanna from the closet and went over the Rainbow Bridge. He wasn't sad; he said he missed the guys that he used to ride the rails with and he was going to join them on the road again.
   I am still sitting by the front window watching for Mac to return...I think I could see the red bandanna from far off..but I have seen nothing yet. Mommy and Daddy are sad but Mac knows his way around. He will get tired of traveling and come back one day...ready for a ride in Daddy's yellow caddie. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sourdough Summer and Stress Reliever

Auntie Bess and how to make her sourdough starter by francy Dickinson

Auntie Bess - Alaska Sourdough Starter

   Auntie Bess was just twenty in 1910 when she decided to leave her Washington State home and travel to Alaska. She was recovering from a personal loss and she wanted adventure. Well she picked the right place to have adventures; Alaska was still a wild and crazy place in those days. When she hit Anchorage, there were no jobs for a “lady” in the small town. So, she signed up to be the cook in a big logging camp!

   From a life of ruffles and privilege, she snapped her fingers and starting wearing pants and flannel shirts. She traveled 2 days by boat and horseback to the logging camp. She was the only cook for dozens of hard working lumberjacks and that meant learning how to use Sourdough. It was a flavor that they liked and it would lighten up biscuits, flapjacks, cobblers and the daily staple of bread. Suddenly she had to be an expert in how to keep men’s tummies full and tempers mild.

   Her stories of her time in the bounty and beauty of Alaska are the stuff that I have filled my mystery book series with the last couple of years. It was fifty years later that I came into my great aunt’s life and she started to share her recipes from “the old days” with me. Sourdough is something that is easy to do and a no brainer.  No matter how busy I am, I often need to break away to just do something trivial. So lately, I remembered sourdough and I started up a batch. Now each weekend I get it “cooking-up” with bubbles and add it to another delight.

   The sourdough starter takes a week to make. You stir it up and the bubbles and smells will bring Alaska or San Francisco memories into your mind. It’s smell is sour/sweet and it’s taste is rib sticking good. I don’t think a lot of people know about sourdough any more. Or maybe they just buy the bread and forget the flavor can come from your own home cooking. It only takes a bit of your time to make the starter and then you can enjoy it’s bounty for the rest of the summer.  Camping, boating or just the porch off your kitchen…the smells and rich tastes will be a treat.

   Sourdough does not have to be just bread. Bread takes a few hours to make and you have to want to learn that process. But you can still enjoy it in small ways in your normal baking…by just adding a dollop of sourdough. It will transform the normal biscuit into heaven for you and your family. You can drop it in biscuits, pancakes or waffles. You can use your recipes from scratch or put it into an easy baking mix (like Bisquick). Simply add a bit of sourdough and give it a few minutes to “cook” -- before you use it as you always do. The results are a wonderful aroma and yummy flavor.

   I will give you the tips to an easy sourdough starter…so you can try it. As you read this take note; I have a very high stress - busy life, I do this type of project to relax my mind and reconnect with my wonderful memories of love and family through food. Even if you are new to baking or cooking…think about trying this process as something to do just for yourself…for fun. No one is grading you…it will add a kick to your usual weekend breakfast. It will take your mind back to our great grandmothers and aunties and how they lived their lives baking the staples of life, every day. We will be doing it for a fun but they did it for necessity.

   You will need something to keep the sourdough in and I use a Tupperware measuring bowl with lid. You can see it in the above picture. Look around, this can be a fun tag sale hunt. You can find a Tupperware or glass container with pouring spout and lid out there or use a smaller crock. You do not want to use anything with metal; it will impair the sourdough starter. So even when you stir it; use a plastic or wooden spoon.

   Once you have your container you need to boil up some potato water. Take three regular potatoes- peel and cut them into cubes. Then put them in about 1quart of water with about 1tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes like you would when making mashed potatoes…but you are going to use the water, not the potatoes. Once the potatoes are done and falling apart…strain them off and keep the liquid. Do not be worried if some potato bits are still in the water…that’s ok they will be “eaten” by the starter.

   Now, in a large mixing bowl add in 1 ¾  cups of all-purpose flour (Yes some use whole wheat or rye flour, but we use regular flour) Follow that with 2 Tbsp of sugar, ½ Tbsp salt and the potato water. Stir using wooden (or plastic) spoon. Do not over stir just get it incorporated, the starter will eat the flour. The starter should look like thick pancake batter, if you have to add more flour do it slowly. Then pour the it into your “starter pot” to ferment.

   Remember it takes 7 days for it to “cook” just sitting out on your counter. You can cover the top with a paper towel or cheese cloth. It has to breathe with the yeast in the air, but you do not want fruit flies enjoying your work so keep it covered lightly. Every day for a week you are going to stir it and let it bubble. It will start to smell sour soon and it’s fun to watch it work. After three days add ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water and stir and let it just bubble on for another few days. By the 7th day you have a very sour smelling starter ready for you to use…so on this day…do something odd. Stir and incorporate the liquid and solids and then pour out ½ the starter. Now add in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water and a tsp. of sugar and let it stand once again over night. That is called refreshing the pot. The next morning it will have big bubbles in it and smell so good…now-- it is ready to use.

   Using your favorite recipe or a baking mix (like Bisquick) measure out the dry ingredients and stir the sourdough and measure out  ¼ cup of the starter and then add the liquids. Add the liquids slowly; you might need to use less since the sourdough has softened up the dough. Let the dough stand for about 10 minutes for the sourdough to start to work on the batter. It will have small bubbles in it and it’s ready to use. Now you go ahead and make your biscuits, pancakes or waffles like you have done before. But when you bake or fry them up…they will have a heavenly aroma and wonderful flavor. (If you want a stronger flavor use ½ cup of starter)

Sourdough bread fresh from the oven for Georgie
   Every time you take starter out of the “starter pot” add in equal flour and water with a pinch of sugar back to the pot to replenish the fermentation. You can put it away in the refrigerator until you want to use it again.  Get the starter pot out the night before you use it…or early in the morning and let it come to room temp. Remember when it comes out of the refrigerator you need to pour out a bit and re-stoke the pot with equal parts flour and water and let it sit for a couple hours or overnight to bubble up. (Caution you do not want to cover the starter pot and not let it slightly air…closed tight it will build up and explode with starter all over your counter or fridge)

   It is easier than you think and a big surprise for your family. The smell of sourdough pancakes will get your family up earlier on the weekends. I know you can do it. Auntie Bess was a young woman with no cooking history when she arrived in that lumber camp. She looked at over 100 hungry faces and knew that she would have to “just get to it” and she did- a true Pioneer woman. I think there is still a pioneer inside of you, too. Just get to it. 

Happy Sourdough Summer…francy
  *Francy Dickinson, is the author of The Crescent Island Mystery Series – coming, Summer 2011
  *Member of BookPubMeetUp, a support group for writers- if you’re interested in joining us send a tweet to @MysteryCozy

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Missy's Birthday Tea Pawty

"My birthday last year was great but lonely...only Hello Kitty came"
   OH boy, mother is going to bake up goodies for my birthday Tea Party and you are invited! I just love parties and I really love tea Dollie always joins me, too. This year, I want a fun party and you are invited. I really want to share my birthday celebration with all the anipals that have birthdays in May...and...this is important --> all the adopted anipals that don't have a known birthday date.
    Please ask them to adopt my birthday time and come and join me in a birthday celebration each year. I already have a few adopted pups and cool cats that are sharing my birthday. This way...we all have our special day together...for fun.
   This is going to be a party that we all join in together...and drink tea, eat treats...and maybe have a few bacon beers (served in tea cups) just to celebration the day. PAWTY...PAWTY...PAWTY
   Have you joined an anipal pawty before? Well its a see you just go to and click on the PARTY BUTTON then you click on the HASHTAG #MayTpawty and then add your own @name and you will then be inside the pawty with us all. You will see two is your tweets and the mentions that just belong to you. The other is the pawty and all the anipals that have joined it. It is so much fun. You have to have the security on your twitter account off (some anipals protect their tweets) this is turned off so you can SEE and have fun at the party...after you turn it back on again if you want extra safe tweets. this date
May 6th, Friday
4-7PM eastern time US...
That means the UK and the Westcoast can all pawty too!
To RSVPjust click this

The tweet invite site will put your name on the list for the makes it more fun to know who is coming...
OK now you have the how to's---the party ---the day ---the time---the RSVP page
All you have to do is be there with us..please come...lets blow the socks off and just enjoy being friends together!

You can bring your dollie to the Tea Pawty but your mother has to stay in the Green Room with all the other mothers...we will have a wine bar and chocolate to keep them busy...but the pawty is just for us anipals...

I am so excited...Oh, by the way...if you want to give gifts...just do me a favor and donate to your fav charity in honor of anipals that need their own forever homes and wonderful twitter friends.

   Please spread the word- I want all anipals to have a birthday time that is fun and special just for them. If you know an adopted pet...bring them along and honor them for their special day each year.

Thanks for all you do for me....I am so the way...the #Pink Pups (my bestest friends) will be pouring tea and @SnowyWestie will do the security...the pawty will be safe and sound for us all. Missy
PS: I hope to be surrounded by gentleman callers ;O
"Pinkies Up"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine Surprise from francy

It’s a strange road you lead when you are a full time caregiver / spouse. The days seems to fill with things that have nothing to do with you…but are so important that you find there is little time left at the end of the day…to be you. That was how it was going after the holidays. It was time for George to start his treks to his various doctor appointments. Getting the appointments getting George ready for and to the appointments and then the regular daily chores seems to blur the months together.

I found that it was Valentine’s Day. I had planned a lunch out with my sister and her husband so George would feel the change in the daily routine. Before I got up…George had left the bedroom early and gone to the kitchen to prepare his tea and bagel. His routine for breakfast has been set for quite some time. I have been pleased that he wakes each morning to remember the routine. But as the months go by the routine has been changed from a breakfast and tea for us both…down to a toaster bagel and tea just for him. I’m fine with that, the doctor has advised he keep doing small chores and the easy breakfast keeps his mind ticking away. Sometimes he leaves the tea on a forgotten counter, or the bagel in the toaster, but it’s the thought process that counts.

So I was happy when he returned with tea in hand and warm bagel wrapped in a paper towel and said; “Happy Valentines Day, Francy.” It was a pleasant surprise that he had remembered the day without my coaching him. I wasn’t feeling well. A small allergy had blown into a sinus infection with swollen itchy eyes…so I was nursing myself and feeling totally off the beam. But the tone of George’s voice brought me back to the blessing that I still have him by my side and he still remembers my name and the extra special day.

Oh, the years that have gone before were so different. George was quite smitten with Valentine’s Day. He would always bring me a sweet piece of jewelry; some years expensive and other years modest…but a remembrance that I still cherish to this day. He would have a fancy card, flowers and usually a dinner out. Sometimes we would go to a special Valentine function or dance and he would dress to the nine’s in his tux or dinner jacket. I remember all those years; I have to remember them because he has forgotten them. So, I often remind him of one of our sweet adventures when he is in a sour mood. And I remind myself when I join him in a particularly difficult day.

I got up that morning and wrapped myself in my robe and grumbled to myself as I scuffed my way down the hall to the kitchen. Thinking of making my own tea and taking a bevy of pills and eye drops to get myself well again. As I rounded the corner and entered the room…there was a large piece of paper propped up on the counter by our fish tank. At first I couldn’t really focus on what it was because my eyes were so swollen and so I had to move closer to view it.

There in front of me was a handmade Valentine card from a man that does not have an ounce of art talent in his body. I cried of course; cried tears that really had more meaning then just the card he had made, the tears were for how even when our life has changed so much…there is still love.

George had asked me to take him out to get a card that week. But my eyes were so bad I did not want to drive. I had told myself to remember to ask Cheryl to help him do a card for me on the computer, but that had also gotten forgotten in the midst of the daily routines. So when George got up that morning he was without a card and decided to take the matter into his own hands. He went up to my office and found some art paper and came down to the kitchen and found an ad flyer on the table with gifts for Valentines on it. He carefully cut out the jewelry from the ad and glued it to the paper and made his own card. I suppose when you read this you think it was a sweet thing to do. But you would not understand the many steps all of this took…it took him a couple of hours to do the project. While I was sleeping he was busy cutting away and pasting. He had to put all the thoughts together, remember the tasks, find the objects to cut, glue, and paste and then put a theme of a card together. It was by far the most complicated task that he had done in months. There were not tears of sadness and loss…for once, there were tears of joy for his creative self that was trying so hard to come to the top of his brain.

I have said it before but I feel my mother put it in words that I shall always relate to; as she aged into her 100th year she said she was becoming so upset with her daily regression. She shared with me; “Remember how a young baby starts to learn things and every day the mother is filled with pride and joy at a new ability the child has added? First it’s the baby’s eyes begin to follow movement, then they turn over, then they hold up their head and start to sit. Then the crawling and walking and talking come and you can barely keep up with the changes. Each new step is a mother’s rejoice. Well I am doing just the opposite. Each day I seem to lose ability. Little by little I can feel my body go backwards, getting weaker and weaker.” That is how it is now with George’s brain, day by day little pieces of his brain retreat and he becomes less of who is was as a person all his life. But this time; he was able to reach down and become something more. It was a joy on a day that like all other days except for its name of St Valentine’s Day. I think somewhere mother is rejoicing in George’s day of creative power…and certainly St Valentine is giving us a wink.

There will be a Valentine’s Day that I will be without George and when that day comes I am not going to remember all the fancy presents, flowers and dances he used to take me to…nope. I am going to remember this card of love that he worked so hard to piece together step by step…so he could reveal his love for me. How lucky am I?

George reading while I work in my office with little Mac on his lap

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cards to Give Me francy

I got so many sweet cards this holiday...and each one meant something to me. I adore cards and I have a special guest bath that gets all my favorites highlighted and placed on the wall.
The fun one this year was from @PrincessGwenie. It was a pop-up of dancers and is so cleaver. Then there are the photo cards of dogs and cats that are so cute you want to lick them off the page. I love Santa's but the old fashioned snow scenes are wonder full too. Every time a card arrived during the holidays I put it up on the calendar on our wall in the kitchen for all of us to enjoy. George looked over them and kept forgeting who was who and where they were from. He must of touched and read each one dozens of times during December.
My little guest bath has cards from years and years. Old fashioned cards that came from my mother and sister that have now passed. Oh there is also a card from a gal pal that I adored and she is now gone, too. But to me, each time I look at the card I remember the person and time of receiving it.
I guess my heart is way over done with this memory stuff...but some times when things are so busy, so stressed and so so sad with my Georgie's care...I like to retreat back to times of pure love. Times when the cards came from special gifts picked out just for me and signed with big script and hugs.
Did you know they are going to stop teaching script cursive in school? Can you imagine? Well not that mine was every anything special. But my parents had wonderful hand writing and a dear friend of my mothers...we called her Aunt Harriet had a script that was worthy of a Queen.
I save things like I can see the handwriting over and over again. My sister that passed used to write me notes and I have them tucked here and there to read when I need a hug of love. Its hard to believe that a card can bring so much love to someone, but it can.
For my birthday on the 1st of January...George wanted to buy a card for me. He had had a hard holiday and I knew he was not up for a trip to a busy store so I set up my computer on a print program. I have one that will do cards and simple things. I crossed my fingers and left him in front of my big screen and hoped for the best. So, on my birthday I opened up his card. He did such a wonderful job. He picked a light pink rose and sweet saying for the inside. Then he took a piece of my Hello Kitty stationary and wrote a little note and tucked that on the inside. Since George is sliding down with his Alzheimer's I do not think this project will ever be to me, his card was like a ray of love. I put it on my little table and I just glance at it and feel his caring surround me.
When my days are filled with sad things...I can escape into that little bathroom and be surrounded by cards filled with loving thoughts and signed by people who care about me. It just reminds me; that I am loved and it gives me a boost to go back out to my life of care giving and start again with a fuller heart.