I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Life as we now know it

Thanksgiving, 2010

Three months ago, I wished time would stand still. Amazingly, it seems as if it has. My ill husband is better to some degree. He is stronger and I sent the hospital bed back. We get out once or twice a week. I am able to leave him unattended for a few hours. We have enjoyed visits from our sons and grandchildren.

This morning I was pondering how our relationship has changed after 51 years. When you're first married you are preoccupied with each other, then life and children interfere. You are too busy making a living and just living to be so dedicated. Now as my husband's caregiver, I am totally devoted to him once again. If the situation wasn't so serious, it would be funny. He always wanted my undivided attention. I am sure I will be grateful that we've had this time together. Both of us have been through some of the stages of grief, for me, I have gained acceptance and I think he has too. It is still depressing to think about a future without him, but I will survive and after grieving, I will enjoy my life once again.

I've always been a person to explore opportunities. Never say no, you only go around once, has been my motto. John has supported me in all my crazy endeavors. If I decided to do something, I would get a plan together, and John would be my best helper. It is impossible to change my mind when I've made a decision.

Two weeks ago I painted and redecorated my bathroom. Well, I'm home all day taking care of John, so why not do something useful? Granted that being a sick person's caretaker is time consuming and difficult. I also cut mats and framed some pictures for my girlfriend. My life has changed since I am no longer working full time outside our home, now I'm working double time at home. But I'm not complaining. Everyday together is a blessing. I am blessed by still having my husband and having wonderful friends and family who give me support during this time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I wish I could make time stand still

Last week, my husband and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary. It was bittersweet and sad for me. It will be our last anniversary. My husband has terminal cancer. He was diagnosed in July with a rare cancer. It is aggressive and untreatable. He has been on hospice care for about a month. Right now he seems to be rallying. He has no pain and although weak, is getting around a bit with a walker. My days are filled with caring for his every need. I am busy taking care of him, our house, our yard, our pets. One day soon I know the house will be empty of his comforting presence. It is hard to believe he is dying, he's not wasting away and looks pretty good.

Until, I sat down to write this, I never asked why did this happen? Some things are not explainable and it is what it is. This is where the rubber meets the road. You know what stuff you're made of. A lot of people would have put him in a nursing home or group home. I chose to care for him myself. My friends have been wonderful at giving me support, visiting, encouraging me to take care of myself. I know they are true friends. Our sons have been here to visit, our oldest son a couple of times to help me with his dad's care.
I know I'll miss him when he's gone. I've loved him since I was 19 and we've had a good life together. We raised 3 wonderful sons and have 7 grandchildren. I wish I could make time stand still and keep him with me. But soon it will be time to say goodbye. I will treasure this time we are able to spend together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine Flu

I sent this to some of my email list and got a big response. I decided this is really important information. Take the time to read all of it.

There's some additional information that I hadn't heard before - may be

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial
etc.. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose
hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know who
might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good luck, Mr. President

This is a most amazing day, in my lifetime, I never thought we would have an African-American president. Although I grew up in the north, I was aware of prejudice. No person was immune to it. In the 1940's when I was in grade school, there was such bigotry. I was derided for being Jewish. That was a moment that I have never forgotten. I was just 12 years old. My sister brought her classmate home for lunch, the little girl was black and poor. She didn't have enough to eat. Even though we too were poor, our parents had a small corner grocery store and we had enough to eat and to share. My sister got a lot of grief for doing this.

In my memory I cannot remember a comment being made by our parents about a person's race or creed. Why would anyone feel intolerance against someone for something about which they had no choice? What a gift my parents they gave us, not to implant small-mindedness and bias in our developing minds.

I have been a supporter of our new president since I first saw him on Oprah's show a couple of years ago. He was such a personable, intelligent young man. He was down to earth, unlike other politicians who were so impressed by their own celebrity. This was a man who didn't exude entitlement. He spoke with such
sincerity, he reached me as a human being. He made sense. He did not brag about his accomplishments. I admired Senator Obama for being a community organizer. It was those skills which helped him develop his campaign strategies. Millions of ordinary people like me contributed to his campaign. I haven't been so excited about a candidate since John F. Kennedy, the first president I voted for.I was a precinct committee representative to the Clark County Democratic Convention. With my friends, I was able to cast my vote for our future president. I was enthralled to hear him speak live in Las Vegas where thousands waited in the rain. I registered voters and knocked on doors. Never have I been so invested in a presidential candidate. Today, I feel so much joy. I wish President Obama godspeed and good luck Please inspire us as I know you can.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Expanding Horizons

We hosted a family from Denmark last week. The daughter of the family is an exchange student staying with my cousin in San Diego. Eva visited with us for Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed her company. When she told us that her family was coming to visit and they wanted to spend a few days here, it was only natural to invite them to stay with us.

Near us is a National Recreation Area called Red Rock. It is a favorite place to take vistors since it is so different from the usual perception people have of Las Vegas. W
e piled into our minivan on New Year's Day and off we went. There are spectacular views and an easy 13 mile drive. Usually the visitors center is open, but it wasn't on New Year's Day. That was disappointing. There is a great display of the flora and fauna of the area. A newly renovated display of the geology of the area makes Red Rock all the more interesting.

We even found the remnants of last weeks snow. Not that they don't have plenty of snow in Denmark. Along the drive is the highest observation point and a favorite rock for taking pictures. There is always another willing tourist to wield your camera for a group shot. I'll bet thousands of pictures have been taken at that particular spot.

We really enjoyed talking with our guests, it was fun to learn about life in Denmark. Over the years our guests often offer a thank you gift. Our Danes were no exception. They brought these lovely angels designed by Georg Jensen all the way from Denmark. Every time I look at the angels, I will remember our visit with warm thoughts, knowing we have friends in another part of the world.