Monday, April 28, 2008

Busy Days Ahead

I got a pleasant surpise in the mail today -- Michael Feinstein sent me three CD's. When we were together last week we were talking about his CD's and he told me he was going to send me some. And, they came today. I didn't really expect them -- but now they will be downloaded on to my IPOD for my upcoming trips.

We are getting ready for the trip to California. I'm looking forward to it. We probably won't be out there for awhile since Alan and Jennifer will be moving to the East Coast. I'll miss an occasional visit out there.

I'm also trying to gear up for the Public Policy Forum in Washington DC the Alzheimer's Association is having the next week. I'll be home for two days and then off to Washington. It will be a very busy time for me and I hope I can keep up. I'm going in a few days early as the Association has interviews set up for me with the Associated Press, AARP, and the BBC. Alan is coming with me on this trip to help me maneuver my way around. It will be fun to have some quiet --if you can call it that -- time with him. At least we will be together on Mother's Day and that means a lot to me. During the conference he and I will be going with members of our State Alzheimer's office to lobby on Capitol Hill for more funding for Alzheimer's research. We have meetings set up with Congressmen Price, Lewis, Westmoreland and Deal as well as Senators Isakson and Chambliss. A very busy agenda as you can see. During the Washington trip we will also have our last meeting of the Early Stage Advisory Group that I have been associated with the past year. It has been a rewarding experience and I have gotten to meet some great people who also serve on that committee.

Our state Alzheimer's Association has a new Executive Director that I met last week. I'm anxious to get to work with her as well. A lot still needs to be done!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Magical Evening

As you can see by the photos, I got to meet Michael Feinstein last night. The fund raiser was great and the development director in Macon, Karen Kinsler, did a great job putting it together. I spoke a few minutes before Michael came out and met with him briefly after the show. He is doing alot to help raise awareness for Alzheimer's and to help raise money. It was a great evening.

Today has been a hard day for me because the day was pretty long yesterday and I'm very tired. Things are"hazy" for me at best at times today. I did get to take a little nap before I had a meeting this afternoon for the Memory Walk, but putting this post together has been difficult. I'm glad I have the weekend to rest up.
We'll be off to California next week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Michael Feinstein

Tonight there is a fund raiser in Macon for the Alzheimer's Association featuring pianist, singer Michael Feinstein. He has always been a favorite of mine. In my previous job as theatre director in Athens, he was always on my "short list" of entertainers I wanted to have come perform. Well, it never happened. But tonight, I will get a chance to hear him perform live and also get to meet him briefly. I've been asked to say a few words before the concert and I'm looking forward to the evening.

The weather is beautiful here this week and I've been enjoying being outside. The pollen count is pretty high -- but it is worth it. We played golf yesterday and I played better than Ihave played for a long time, but I was well rested before hitting the course so I think that helped.

More when we return from Macon.

Monday, April 21, 2008


One thing that seems to be real universal with everyone that I know that has Alzheimer's is the lack of being able to deal with math. I can't make change anymore. I just usually give the clerks a twenty and they give me change back. Today I was in Borders bookstore and my bill came to $27.45. I handed the lady $17.00 in cash. She tried to explain to me that I was short -- I understood what she was saying but I couldn't wrap my mind around it in order to give her more money. I just stood there not believing I couldn't figure it out. Needless to say, I got frustrated and took the money back and gave her a credit card. I always joke that "God made credit cards" for those with Alzheimer's that can't handle money. It makes you feel so stupid that you can't figure something as simple as that -- and I didn't want to tell the lady why I couldn't make the change in the first place! How frustrating.

The book I did buy at Borders is called "The Story of Forgetting" about a family dealing with Early On Set Alzheimer's with several members of their family. If anyone has read it yet, please let me know what you think. I've read some good reviews on it.

Speaking of money........$7.99 for a watermelon at the grocery store? I don't think so! Talk about sticker shock! If gas prices weren't bad enough!

And, the last thing about money -- I have to have yet another crown -- another $1,000 to my dentist! What fun. My husband said with all the crowns I've had lately that that was my trip to Australia --- considering that is probably never going to happen anyway -- I guess he is right.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sounds of Silence

This week my husband and I have been volunteering for a golf tournament. My husband has been working more than I have because it is just too much for me. I had forgotten how much better it is for me when there is no one in the house with me......silence is golden. After I retired, my husband was still working and I had about two years here at home by myself. The television was never on, the radio was never on and my peaceful day was bliss. After he retired that all changed -- I had to suddenly become use to the noise of the television, someone else in my space, and the constant need to be "on" -- since I had someone else around who was expecting me to communicate. If you knew me before I had Alzheimer's you would have agreed with me that being in a quiet still environment would not have been what I wanted, I would have gone crazy in no time flat. But the distractions that just one person has on me is tremendous. This week while he has been gone most of the day have been so much better for me.....I haven't been as tired as I usually am and have just felt better. There's nothing I can do about the situation since my husband is retired -- I know he isn't going to get another job! We have tried "quiet rooms" and that works to some extent, but it's not perfect. My husband likes to do things together so when he plays golf he wants me to go with him. Sometimes, I just find myself having to say no because I need that quiet time. It sounds awful selfish I know, and I feel bad about it.

I have one more day to myself and I'm going to enjoy the sounds of silence.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Watching the Masters tournament yesterday was exciting. As much as I enjoy Tiger Woods, it is nice to see someone else get that Green Jacket. The Masters tournament is so special. I have been fortunate to go to the tourney (practice rounds) twice and the course so magnificent it literally can take your breath away. The first time I saw it I just gasped. I think I did that when I saw Pebble Beach in California as well. I might not be able to play real well, but I can appreciate the courses.

My husband and I are volunteering this week at a Nationwide PGA event. We have done this for the last couple of years. However, I have had to cut my hours back every year because it is a little much for me but I can help a day or two. It's nice being outside anyway!

To Kristi -- the college student that is working on a research paper -- I tried to email you but it came back as undeliverable. You can reach me at

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Week In Review

This has been a weird week for me. I've been unusually depressed about a lot of thins -- and of course--those are things that are out of my control. I know I shouldn't worry about them because there is nothing I can do, but I do. And, more so now than before. I try to rationalize it instead of feeling trapped by these things, but I can't. It's harder for me to process my feelings and that is frustrating in itself. Several specific things came up this week that really made me sad and helpless --that I couldn't do something to make it right. But, I can't and know one can. Life is like that sometimes.

I've also been extremely tired. I haven't been sleeping well and I think it might have all caught up with me. Therefore, I too, am not thinking as straight as I should be.

My husband and I are doing an interview tomorrow with a UGA student who is doing a project on demintia. Her grandfather passed away with Alzheimer's and she is a media student at UGA. She has a magazine article to write and she also needs to do a video project. So she and her "crew" will be here tomorrow to do that and then it is rest for the weekend.

We are volunteering to work at a golf tournament that is in town next week. It will be our third year in doing this. This year, I can't do as much as I used to. It is too much for me but a couple of days I can handle. I feel bad not working every day, but I learned my lesson last year that I have to be better to myself and pace myself.

In three weeks we make the trek to California for Alan's graduation. I'm looking forward to seeing he and Jennifer since it has been Christmas since we saw them last.

It's taken me forever to write this as I have had to back and look at the grammar over and over. I'm sure I have missed a few things, but hopefully you can read it. More after I have some rest.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Town Hall Meeting

Yesterday was the Town Hall meeting in Atlanta. Almost 100 people drove through some pretty rough rain and weather to get to the meeting. We were very pleased with the turnout and the results. I was so pleased that so many people spoke up and shared their stories. The Association did a great job in getting prepared and facilitating the meeting. I was especially moved by the people who find themselves still waiting for social security and for the system to catch up with them. It is so sad that this is the way it is, when it doesn't have to be. Many were forced from their jobs and the stories become all too familiar.

Thanks to those who came up to me and said they have been following this blog. I never know who is going to read this and to those that do I say thank you. Many times I don't know what I'm going to write when I sit down at the keyboard. I find people do wade through some of the nonsense that I publish here -- and I appreciate their patience with me as I struggle to write sometimes.

But yesterday was extremely exhausting for me. I realized about mid way through the session that I didn't have as much "reserve" as I thought I did so it was hard to keep going. I was able to catch a catnap on the way home from Athens which helped a little. But then, I tried to watch NCAA basketball last night and kept falling asleep. Every time I would wake up I would catch the score watch a little more and then fall asleep again. Hopefully, I can stay awake for the women's games tonight.

Friday, April 04, 2008

It's cold and rainy here today. Two days ago it was in the low 80's. Yesterday the high was in the upper 40's. Sunday it is suppose to be 70. Go figure. The pollen is out in full force and everyone in town is sniffling or sneezing whether they have allergies or not.

Tomorrow is the Town Hall Meeting in Atlanta for Early Memory Loss. I hope the turnout is good. There seems to be a good number pre-registered. I'm glad the chapter is doing this as they have not done a lot in the past for the early stage folks. We'll see how well this goes over.

I've been trying to take it easy this week. I'm trying to better pace myself, but that really takes a lot of discipline on my part and that isn't always easy for me to do. But if I don't I get so exhausted that I'm not very good for a few days so I need to be better.

More on Sunday.