#weekendcoffeeshare – 06/17/2017

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Good morning, everyone! It’s so busy around here, I’ve just put out some pastries here on the table and the coffee machine is by the door. There is also hot water for tea. Please help yourself! I’m so glad to see everyone this morning!

I guess the big news this weekend is that it’s Father’s Day. I hope that those of you who are fathers are having an awesome weekend with your children.

I suspect I’m not the only one who feels like this, but Father’s Day is a little difficult for me. My dad has been gone for a long time – over 33 years. He passed away when he was younger than I am now – too young. Of course, I remember everything about him and our relationship. I was much closer to my dad than to my mom. He was usually jolly and he taught me so many things. My dad was from Sweden and emigrated to the U.S. Not long after he emigrated, he joined the Navy because World War II was just starting. He was in the Navy and the war until the end.

He was injured. His ship was almost sunk in the Pacific theatre. He watched the carnage on the beaches of Normandy. When he finally came home to my mother, he was shell-shocked and a changed man. Gradually, he became somewhat like himself again. He never ever talked about the war except a little to my mom who told me about it. It took them a long time to have me, but they finally did. My dad was the best father a girl could have.

I miss him every day – still. As I get older, I think I miss him more. I hope you’ll excuse my nostalgia this weekend. Father’s Day is one of those tough times.

I think I got my writing “gene” from my dad. He was a beautiful writer in his spare time, as was his father. My grandfather wrote in Swedish. Both wrote personal essays and what these days we call op-eds. Writing has come naturally to me since I started writing as a child. Did anyone in your families write?

One of the other things going on with me is that we are having our house appraised. The appraised is on Wednesday. Sometimes, appraisers just look at the outside of your house, but we have requested that he come inside as well. This means a whole lot of work getting the house ready. I will be doing a lot of that over the next few days!

Mid-June is a lovely time here in Kentucky. The flowers are just starting to bloom and show their colors. We have a lot of bright blue skies and sun. It is one of our best months. June and September are my favorite months in Kentucky.

I’m finally over bronchitis, which I still had the last time I wrote a #weekendcoffeeshare. It lasted six weeks! I probably kept the drug companies in business. I hope all of you are well!

That’s it from here this weekend. I have to get to work! I’d love to hear what’s going on with each and every one of you!

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#weekendcoffeeshare – 05/27/2017

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Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad you’ve decided to come for my #weekendcoffeeshare today. It has been such a rainy, stormy week that I was afraid some of you wouldn’t be able to make it. There is even a forecast of storms today! Jenn is with us today and we have some goodies for you.

I found the most wonderful cinnamon buns in a bakery in Lexington, so I brought them home just for this #weekendcoffeeshare. Please help yourself and I’d love to know how you like them. As for coffee, I have a wonderful breakfast mix in addition to a more robust mix. I also have half caff and decaf. There is cream, sugar, and even some of that evil sweetener we aren’t supposed to have! As for tea, I have a wonderful hot cinnamon green tea, along with the hot cinnamon black tea, and a tea from Paris I hope you enjoy. I have a special surprise – an oolong tea that I don’t usually have, but it is from India and is awfully good. Enjoy and come to my writing studio whenever you want.

Just take a seat anywhere here in the studio. I’ll have to warn you that I have a one-track mind today. For several weeks, I have done very little except work on my novel. I have gotten a lot of words written, but I’ve read as much about novel writing as I’ve written. There is one thing I know for sure. It is hard! If you haven’t been schooled on the intricacies of writing a novel, school yourselves! I’ve been reading about structuring the plot, writing characterizations, and even things like what makes a good villain and writing good settings for the story.

I’ve found out that it isn’t as simple as writing your story down on the computer screen or on a piece of paper. You have to write about the feelings of the characters and know how to convey those feelings to your reading audience. You have to make your characters likeable so your readers will keep on reading. If you have a villain, you have to make that villian unlikeable.

You have to develop subplots that pull the reader away from the plot, but then take them back in. Everything must tie in together, which is quite a feat.

Can you tell that my novel is all that has been on my mind? I have been blogging less because of it, but that is going to change. I’ve found out that blogging a little gives my mind a rest from the intensity of writing the novel.

As many of you know, we have a teeny little home in Florida. I just wrote a blog post about an event that is happening near where we live there, although I turned it into fiction. It is for a flash fiction challenge.

I try to catch some news every day. I always want to hear the science and environmental news. It seems that the U.S. political news is overwhelming everything. Then, of course, there was the terrible terrorist attack in Manchester, England last week. The terrorists have to sink to killing little girls. It’s so disgusting I can hardly watch the coverage.

I hope all of you are doing well personally and that your writing is going well. I read the stuff of writers on WordPress all the time. It astounds me at how the quality of the writing is so high! Thank you for coming to my #weekendcoffeeshare! May the muse be with you!

#weekendcoffeeshare – 01/08/2017

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“Hello, Jenn! Come in quickly! It’s so terribly cold!” Jenn is joining me today for our #weekendcoffeeshare. It’s only 6F degrees this morning and I can hardly believe anyone at all will get out and trek to my house for coffee and tea!

“My car doors were almost frozen shut,” Jenn said, “but I was able to get them open. I don’t think this kind of cold is supposed to last very long.”

Where Jenn and I live, in the Ohio Valley in Kentucky, this kind of cold in winter is not particularly common. We usually have some of it but not a lot.

Jenn and I went about the business of preparing a limited coffee bar as we didn’t expect many people this morning. We set up a couple of kinds of coffee and tea, including a wonderful Indian Chai tea I had happened to find, hot chocolate, and some fine apple cider I had heating on the stove. I was gratified that some people did come by and just hoped they weren’t frostbitten. We all convened in my writing studio with our hot beverages. Most seemed interested in the hot cider this cold morning.

One person spoke up about her heat going off during the night. She is staying elsewhere until the HVAC people show up and is terribly worried about her pipes freezing, with good reason. Another person said his car wouldn’t start and caught a ride with someone else. All the problems associated with bitterly cold weather. Some of the reasons I have such a fervent desire to move to a warmer climate. I truly dread leaving my friends and what little family I have left here, but the benefits of moving are starting to outweigh the costs for me.

I’m going to have at least two realtors take a look at my house and give me their opinion on a selling price as that will determine whether I can move or not. I hope I have time to accomplish that reasonably soon. I will also look at homes in my desired destination as, of course, real estate prices there play another role. If I can move, it will be almost 1000 miles away, so it is a big move and I have to be sure. It’s a move I feel I need to make if I can get it to financially make sense. Given the political situation in the U.S., things are changing, including interest rates, so many factors have to be considered. My house was renovated last year. That is another consideration. Lots to think about!

On top of the cold weather, we had a big snow yesterday and, on the mountain where I live, we got more snow than in the valley below. Several inches. I detest snow and cold which means for four months or so each year, I’m miserable. Not a good thing, particularly at this time in my life. I guess the good news is that I get a lot of writing done! Writers need experiences, however, and I would certainly have the opportunity for more experiences if I moved. I hope there are many novels to write in my future.

I hope all of you have recovered from your holiday celebrations and that you really enjoyed the holidays with your families and friends! Now I hope you’re getting back to the business of being normal without too much adjustment.

That’s about it for today’s #weekendcoffeeshare. I have to get busy here as I have lots to do. I appreciate your stopping by. See you next week!

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare – 12/31/2016

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Good morning and Happy New Year! Please come in and share a hot beverage with me this last day of 2016! I have a full bar for you today. Coffee – expresso, cappuccino, regular blend, decaf. Tea – everything from black tea like English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Russian, Sencha Green, and a white tea. I also have hot chocolate. I can make lattes for you. I even have some liquor that we can spike our drinks with this morning. After all, it’s New Year’s Eve and a celebration. So, anyone who wants it, feel free! I will leave it up to you. There are some treats for you to eat. Hot cinnamon rolls, hot cross buns, and two kinds of scones. Help yourselves!

When you get everything you want, please join me in my writing studio and we’ll talk.

As you get settled, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed our #weekendcoffeeshare time in 2016. I’ve loved talking with you and reading your contributions! One of my goals for 2017 is to make more comments on all of your contributions. I do read them and enjoy them greatly. I think #weekendcoffeeshare is a great idea that helps us all. Thanks, Diana! Thanks to everyone who has read my writings and ramblings in 2016!

I only started blogging in April of this year. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing! I have learned so much and I have learned much of it from all of my fellow bloggers. Thank you! I’ve found that blogging is a great way to hone your writing skills. But, blogging for the sake of blogging is valuable in itself. We put ourselves out there every time we publish a blog post. We learn a lot about what works with our writing and what doesn’t. We learn what topics we like to write about and what we don’t. We have the opportunity to decide if we like to write fiction or non-fiction. Maybe, most importantly, we have a platform for opinion pieces. We get to say what we want to say about anything. Perhaps, sometimes, we even make an impact. I have developed a deep respect for bloggers who work at their craft and I have a great respect for WordPress for giving us a platform.

Writers need tools and I’ve talked to you about some that I use. I promised I would report back to you about an external keyboard I have tried for my iPad. It’s called the Querkywriter. It’s expensive, but I thought it might be worth it. WRONG. I bought it and I hate it! Somehow, it just doesn’t work with my hands. It might work for some of you, but the way I position my hands and with my typing speed, I tend to hit keys unintentionally. I don’t do this with my iPad or laptop, so I have to think it is the configuration of the keys. I am sending the Querkywriter back. I’m back on the hunt for a better external keyboard. Any ideas appreciated!

Do any of you have any particular New Year’s resolutions? With regard to writing, some of mine are to get better at reading and commenting on everyone’s posts in #weekendcoffeeshare and other challenges in which I participate. Another resolution is to reorganize my blog. I have way too many categories. I have to cut them down and reassign articles to the appropriate category. A huge job, but it will make finding articles easier for my readers. I’m participating in JotItJanuary and that means I’m committed to writing a blog post per day. I blog a lot anyway, but that is a big commitment. I participate in so many challenges that I can hardly keep up. I think that they all improve my writing. I do want to find some that require long form writing. If you know of any, please let me know. As you know, I’m writing a novel which is a psychological thriller. It’s going well but novel-writing is a huge job with a big time commitment. I find myself writing half the night most of the time.

Another New Year’s resolution is to read more. We all know writer’s need to read and I find myself writing so much that I’m neglecting reading. I particularly need to read in the genre in which I’m writing – the psychological thriller. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. What are you reading?

Writers also need new experiences since we know at least some of our writing comes from our experiences. I’m going to travel some in 2017 with this in mind. I hope to have new experiences in my travels and take great pictures I can use.

I also hope to work most of 2017, both selling my writing and as a consultant in my field in which I was trained.

On a personal note, I hope to sell my house in 2017 as we want to move to a warmer climate. I’ve always liked the four seasons we have in Kentucky, but the cold is starting to bother me. So, I hope we will sell my house in 2017 and move although we aren’t quite sure where yet. Somewhere in Florida, I think. Last, but certainly not least, I have a very important and special responsibility to take care of here at home. I am a dog lover. My little dog, Betsy, is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The breed tends to have many genetic health issues which so many purebred dogs do now. Betsy is just barely four years old and my constant companion. Two days ago, completely unexpected, Betsy had a Grand Mal seizure. I rushed her to the vet, but he could not find the source of the problem. I’m worried about Betsy and am very watchful. I’ve never blogged about Betsy and I should do that! She’s quite a little girl who will travel with me.

Happy New Year to you all and thanks to Diana! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Challenges

 

#weekendcoffeeshare 12/24/2016

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Good morning, Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah, to all of you! Please come right in and join me for our Christmas Eve special #weekendcoffeeshare. I have several types of coffee for you. I have just about every type of tea as I am a tea aficionado. Blackberry and other herbals. Russian and other bold teas. Lighter green teas. Even white tea which is a treat to try. My favorite Hot Cinnamon Black Tea. I also have, as a holiday treat, scones and muffins. So load up your plates and let’s talk!

The Holiday Season is here. It isn’t especially my time of year but so many people love it. I’ve been around some friends this year who really get into Christmas and it’s almost been a new experience. I haven’t celebrated Christmas in a big way in a lot of years. Watching my friends prepare for their holiday has been amazing and overwhelming. I don’t see how they do it! Those days are gone for me but I have enjoyed watching them.

Since we’re all writers, I want to report on some writer stuff. I got my Brother laser printer hooked up this week. It is WiFi-enabled and it was terribly easy to hook up. It is handling two different computer with ease – an iPad and a Windows laptop. I’m impressed. I’d forgotten how easy a laser printer is since I have used an inkjet for many years. Here’s the good part. This laser printer was no more expensive than an inkjet. I can remember when they cost $700. Check out Amazon if you need a printer. You will be pleasantly surprised.

I probably would not have thought of a laser printer had it not been for another writer who recommended it. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Chuck Wendig. He is a well-known horror writer in the U.K. and increasingly in the U.S. I love his website and reading his writings. He is amazingly talented and gives great tips to other writers. He also hosts the occasional challenge which are indeed challenging. I would recommend signing up to receive his blog. One caveat: It is at least R-rated so if bad language offends you, don’t do it. Trust me, the information you will gain as a writer is more than worth it. His site is terribleminds.com. You don’t have to write in his genre to take advantage of the information he passes on.

Speaking of gear for writers, my new keyboard for my iPad arrives today. I will report next time on it. Take a look. You can find it at querky.com.

So that takes care of Christmas presents for writers!

I’ve had a productive writing week and hope all of you have too. I am making good progress on my novel which has morphed from a romance novel into a psychological thriller. If that sounds weird to you, believe me, it was weird to me too. Now that I have let the story flow naturally and become what it was meant to be, the writing is easy. I have some free time over the next couple of weeks and I am shooting for maybe 20,000 more words.

I’m taking a trip! Soon, my husband and I are taking our RV and going to Florida to escape Kentucky’s cold weather. I’m just about over having four seasons and am ready for one season – a warm one! We’re spending several weeks there and I was lucky enough to find a house sitter. We will be in my favorite area of Florida most of the time, the Gulf Coast along the peninsula but will spend a week or more along the panhandle as well. I hope to get lots of good pictures and have many experiences that I will share with all of you.

I will blog the entire time I’m gone and I also have a consulting project I will probablly have to work on. But only for a few hours each day.

That wraps it up for this Christmas Eve edition of #weekendcoffeeshare for me. I would love to hear your plans for the holidays! Leave a note for me and tell us about them in the comments! Next time we talk, it will be New Year’s Eve, the dawn of 2017. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Christmas #Florida

Thanks to Diana and Parttimemonsterblog.com

#weekendcoffeeshare 12/17/2016

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“Hello, Jenn! It’s great to see you for the #weekendcoffeeshare this week! How have you been?” I ask as Jenn comes through my side door.

“Good,” Jenn replies. “But the weather has been too cold for me. Looks like you have the hot beverages ready for everyone!”

“I think I do, Jenn,” I said. “I decided to serve just regular stuff today. A breakfast blend coffee, English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast Tea, and Hot Chocolate. I will also make lattes for anyone who wants one. I hope everyone enjoys it. Here they come now.”

After everyone got settled in the writing studio, the first topic was the strange weather we’ve been having. If we were having coffee, I would tell everyone about the weather here where I live. After a very warm early and mid fall, it suddenly turned bitterly cold with Artic air dropping down into the Ohio Valley and resulting in very cold temperatures until today. Today, it is 60 degrees! We’re supposed to go back into the deep freeze after today.

If we were having coffee, I would tell everyone about how much I’ve been writing during the last week. I’ve been participating in some writing challenges that I thought would challenge my writing skills. In my opinion, that is the reason to participate in writing challenges and prompts. They help you kick your writing up a notch because you really have to think and research along with the writing. You can also get some feedback from other writers participating in the same prompt or challenge which is invaluable. It seems to have been busy this past week, here on WordPress, with prompts and some new challenges. Has anyone else noticed that? Also, what do you think of the look of the new WordPress Reader?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, even though I am working on a novel, I find great value in continuing to blog. You make great contacts, improve your writing skills, and get an opportunity to read other writers’ works. I have, in fact, done more blogging this week than writing on the novel. That has to change in the week to come. Is anyone else working on a novel? What has been your experience?

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you are finished with your Christmas shopping? I am not and only have one more gift to buy but it is an important one. I have thought the trend toward online shopping might cut down on the traffic in the city around the malls and shopping centers. I was wrong! Have you noticed any improvement in the traffic where you live?

Last week, I talked a little about a fellow blogger’s list of gifts for writers (Chuck Wendig). I am buying at least two products he recommends. I received my Brother Laser Printer this week but I have not yet had time to hook it up and use it. I’ll keep you advised how well it performs, particularly the WiFi. I will let you know.

I am about to buy another product Chuck recommends. I use an iPad a lot for my writing. Not exclusively. I work on a laptop when writing my novel but for blogging and other things I use a BIG iPad. As we all know, an iPad’s keyboard is not very useful if you are going to type much! Right now, I use a cheap external keyboard with my iPad, but it has to be charged often and it is pretty flimsy. Chuck recommends what looks to be an awesome external keyboard for the iPad. You can see it if you go to this site for an awesome external keyboard. Folks, this thing is on sale until 12/20. I am BUYING IT. I’ve decided to order it today. Yes, it is way expensive. I think it will make me way more productive. I will report back!

Now a personal note. I hope all of you are having a happy holiday season. I don’t do much for Christmas except I do enjoy buying gifts for friends. Christmas is a hard holiday for me for a myriad of personal reasons. The next #weekendcoffeeshare will be on Christmas Eve and we’ll talk about all things Christmas and other holidays associated with this time of year. Keep on shopping and writing and I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #chuckwendig #WordPress

*This post in response to parttimemonsterblog.com

Thanks, Diana!

 

#weekendcoffeeshare 11/12/2016

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Please! Come on in to my writing studio and join me for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate! It’s cold this morning – in the 30s. It has finally gotten cold here in the Ohio Valley. I think most of us here are welcoming a bit of normal weather for this time of year. I always welcome some cold in this age of global warming. It kills the bugs that would plague us in the spring. We will have a hard freeze tonight, I suspect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have my normal selections of coffee and tea to offer you, including chicory coffee and green teas. I also have, as something new for you, matcha green tea which I received as a gift this week. I would love to share it with you. Are you familiar with matcha? Matcha is a specially grown tea. It is grown in the shade for just three weeks and then ground into a fine powder. It is sort of a Zen thing as it supposedly calms the mind. But, the interesting thing about matcha is that it has unparalleled health benefits. One cute is equal to 10 cups of regular green tea. It is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Check it out! Please let me make you a cup!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an interesting and disturbing week in the United States because of our Presidential election. It was a contentious election and campaign. Many people are very happy with the outcome. My hope is that they knew exactly what they were voting for in terms of policy. Almost as many people were very disturbed at the outcome of the election. Those of us who are fearful of what could happen have to keep an eye of things and organize into groups that can lobby for our positions, such as women’s rights. I think we all realize that the international community thinks the U.S. has lost its collective mind and I’m not sure they are wrong. I find myself in a wait and see mode. I will try to keep all of you up-to-date here and with my blog postings, though I won’t post about politics very often.

If you are wondering about Americans leaving the country and relocating, I would say that many feel like I do – they will take a wait and see attitude. No one wants to abandon America. It depends on how untenable things become…..if they do. If we see any signs of the rise of Fascism at all, we will leave the country in droves, I am confident. Not all of us necessarily to Canada. There are other countries that would be attractive. Younger people would stay and fight but older people…..it would be hard for us to do that.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Veteran’s Day was also this week. So many Americans had family members who fought in one war or another, from World War I through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and all the Iraqi/Afghanistan conflicts. I think Veterans’ Day meant something to all of us.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I find myself thinking about Eastern Kentucky today. They voted, almost exclusively, for a man who has threatened to take away services they depend on, such as Medicaid. He also promised to bring back coal mining, a promise that there is no way he can keep because that industry is dying.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve spent the week writing. I’ve written many posts for this blog but I have also spent time working on my novel. For those of you also working on a novel, I have found an excellent novel writing program. If you are going to write a novel of around 80,000 words or so, the file on Microsoft Word just gets too big and difficult. It becomes too unwieldy to move scenes around. There is a program for those using a Windows-based computer called yWriter that helps you keep everything in order. For Apple computer users, the best novel writing program is Scrivner. You can download both off the Internet. I’m currently learning how to use yWriter. If you are using yWriter, get in touch and we will figure it out together!

To all the American writers. Regarding the Trump administration. Remember that we can write…..and write and write and write. There is power in the pen if we see this administration going off the rails.

I hope all of you have had a good week! Back to writing. Please come for coffee/tea/hot chocolate next week! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #coalmining #EasternKentucky #realDonaldTrump

*This blog post is sponsored by parttimemonsterblog.com

Thanks, Diana!

#weekendcoffeeshare 8/20/2016

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As I waited for my friend, Jenn, to come by to have coffee this Saturday morning, I thought about the concept of disappointment. That’s been on my mind this week as I have friends suffering fairly significant disappointments right now. At least they are significant disappointments to them and seem to be to me. There she is!

“Jenn!” I said, “I’m on the back deck.” She was just getting out of her car. “Do I need to bring the coffee and tea back to the deck?” Jenn asked. “No,” I said. “It’s right here waiting on us.” Jenn made herself comfortable at the table and we made small talk for awhile. Then she asked me what was wrong. She, being a good friend, could tell something was on my mind.

I confided in Jenn that I had friends who had suffered disappointments recently and I  was struggling to figure out how to help them deal with their issues. Jenn gave me some helpful advice. She said that when she had suffered disappointments about people in her life, she had done a lot of thinking about her expectations of those people. Sometimes, she had found that her expectations were out of line with reality — with what was really possible. She had tried to shift her expectations regarding those people and it had helped lessen her disappointment in them.

Jenn also told me that it helps her to make herself get up, stop dwelling on the disappointment she has suffered, and do something positive – something she enjoys. She said she tries to something she enjoys every day. The disappointment is always in the back of her mind and doesn’t go away, but she feels better.

The thing about disappointment, in this blogger’s opinion, is that it is such a complex emotion. It involves sadness, anger, bitterness, and hurt. Sometimes, the person who disappointed you may not even be aware that they did so you’re in this alone. One of the first steps in putting disappointment away is to let it out. If you can’t express it to the object of your disappointment, express it to a good friend or family member. That will help you gain some perspective on the situation. How important is your disappointment in your day-to-day life?

Now comes the hard part. Are you going to live your life driven by what happens to you or are you going to live life on your own terms, in a positive manner driven by what you think and your core value system?  If you have a strong core value system, it will help you deal with disappointment.

Last is another hard part. You can’t control what other people do. There is really only one choice. You have to practice acceptance. You may be disappointed and hurt. Of course, this blogger knows how that feels. But, eventually, as you work through these stages of something similar to grief, you should try to move toward acceptance. If you can eventually accept that you have been disappointed and move forward, you will avoid bitterness and resentment that can negatively affect your life.

After Jenn and I discussed these points concerning disappointed, we wrapped up our #weekendcoffeeshare. We had a good talk as usual. #amwriting #writing #blogging #weekendcoffeeshare

*#weekendcoffeeshare is brought to you by Parttimemonster

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: 6/4/2016

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“She is still the epitome of class,” Jenn said as she walked into my kitchen for our #weekendcoffeeshare. I had no idea who she was speaking of so I waited. “Mae,” she stated. I searched my memory and quickly remembered who she meant. I had just known one Mae in my life who fit that description. I asked if she had seen her this week. I thought Mae was quite sick. She was at least 20 years older than us. “Yes,”she said. “I saw her briefly. She was with her son.”

As we sat down to share our coffee, my mind drifted to an earlier place and time. Mae is a distant relative. A relative by marriage. She was a cousin of a dear departed uncle and I was uneasy for any news of her. I had always admired her.

Jenn commented that Mae seemed reasonably well considering her age and infirmities. She had known her and they had a nice chat about events in the present. They also reminisced a bit about the past. Jenn said that Mae seemed happy, though limited in how much she can get around.

“She seemed sensible at first,” Jenn said. “So much like the Mae we knew and loved. Her son warned me that her mind was not as good as it used to be but when we started to talk and she knew who I was, I doubted him.”

“Then she dropped the bomb.”

My ears perked up at that statement. Knowing Mae as I did, I knew she was a soft-spoken, Southern lady. I couldn’t imagine her dropping any bomb. I hadn’t seen Mae in a long time, but she was always a gracious lady who tried to make everyone as comfortable as possible. Mae drops a bomb? She would never do anything shocking or controversial. I was sure Jenn was overreacting.

She looked at me as she said, “Mae said she had murdered a child she had by a man who was not her husband.”

Mae is the face of dementia. This is what the victims and loved ones of people with dementia live with every day. Flashes of the person they had known and loved. Then shocking statements and behavior they were convinced their loved ones could never have thought of or perpetrated. Mae had not murdered anyone. Her son told Jenn that she lived in a fantasy world more every day. Her fantasies didn’t seem to bother her. They surely bothered everyone else.

Mae’s son quietly told Jenn that environmental factors, such as television, seemed to set off her fantasies. She would take scenes from television shows and think she was one of the characters except it would be real to her. She would even imagine that she was physically inside the TV. It had become so bad that they had to leave it turned off most of the time.

Mae had to have someone with her all the time. She had been a wonderful cook during her life and she would go into the kitchen, turn on the stove, and put something inappropriate on a plate, like paper. They had to put out more than one kitchen fire due to this. Mae could not be left alone for any length of time.

Dementia is a living nightmare for those suffering from it. We also have to remember the caregivers. For those caring for loved ones with severe dementia, they literally watch their family members disappear. Not only is caring for a loved one with dementia emotionally demanding, it is physically draining since they require constant care. At some point in the illness, families need help either in the form of outside caregivers or institutional involvement.

Jenn and I finished our morning coffee and continued chatting about Mae for a few minutes. It was worrying to both of us to think of her and her family and what they were facing. As Jenn left to go on with her day, I thanked her for filling me in, but I’ve thought of little else but the beautiful, classy Mae I once knew and the terrible illness called dementia. #amwriting #writing #blogging #bloggersrequired #dementia

*weekendcoffeeshare is sponsored by Parttime Monster