Momma’s Day

Mom loves to have her head rubbed. When she used to go to beauty shops, she picked them based on how long the person shampooed her hair.

Alia, at a great place around the corner , not only gives fabulous shampoos, but she also begins treatment with a neck rub. Mom loved it, though she wouldn’t let Alia cut more than a 1/4 inch off her long gray hair!

Mom does seem more settled these days. She remembers for about 15 minutes, which means when she has an event that brings her joy, it is only in the moment. Experts say even that helps Alzheimer’s patients as the “sense” of joy helps keep their emotions balanced. I try not to be hurt when she forgets that I’ve spent the day with her. As long as she seems relatively stable and content, my own stress levels are lower.

Speaking of stress levels– somehow I’ve developed bouts of diverticulitis, in spite of all my good eating habits. I am hoping this doesn’t lead to surgery, but I haven’t managed to keep them from occurring. I am practicing deep breathing and belly massage to see if that helps.

I still haven’t figured out how to eat low fiber foods for the Div but eat high fiber foods to maintain good digestion! Seems impossible, right?

Once this all clears, I’m back to the FODMAP plan, which showed great promise before this all started.

For today, I am remembering meeting my sweet pal Heidi over the weekend, while I was also attending a funeral for my Dad’s brother. Seeing Heidi brought back such fun memories of when we worked together in Fredericksburg.

We picked up like we’d never been apart all those years. That’s friendship.

 

Rumi’s Words Always Resonate

“But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.” ~ Rumi

Traveling the Danube recently allowed me to put problems with Mom, world events, and stress behind me. What a gift to spend time in places like Prague, Vienna, and Regensburg with good friends.

 

One thing I’m learning about living with a mom with Alzheimer’s is I can’t let it consume me. I can’t control it. And if I don’t live my own life, too, I won’t be of help to her.

Three things I’m going to do more often that I learned on the trip:

  • stop at a local coffee shop and drink espresso mid-morning
  • wear clothes that make me happy
  • laugh with friends

I also realized I can’t eat anything I want. Whoa, is it easy to get off track while traveling. Pastry, wine, bread, bourbon, wine, strudel… you get the idea. A little goes a long way for me, and I need to protect my gut.

But what a lovely adventure. I will carry it with me for a long time.

Teal, in all its magical shades

I am about to head out for another relaxing week on Turks and Caicos. Our stay involves lots of reading, walking, eating, and sleeping. But mostly, I stare at the water.

There’s something about the shades of turquoise that calms me and helps me breathe differently. I do recognize how lucky I am to be able to travel here once a year. I gather my art supplies and books and spend the week putting myself back together.

My IG feed will turn teal this week. But I’ll be back soon with lots of new ideas for prints.

 

 

Retreating…

Once I year (I can say that now because I’ve done this twice), I attend a camp in Asheville, NC. It’s called Life is a Verb, directed by author/speaker Patti Digh.

We make art, write, connect with friends, share quiet moments by the pond, and laugh at the raucous talent show. It’s an amazing experience, and I come away inspired to create and share my work.

So, for now, I am holding on to what is good. I am not going to let world events (and specifically our frustrating US political situation) get me down.