I've made it! I graduated a week ago! Though I didn't get to go to my graduation (had to work and couldn't afford the trip), I received a letter and school pen yesterday from the dean of the Florida State School of Library and Information Studies, and my diploma, dated Dec. 12, will be on it's way to me soon! I have taken my last twelve hours this year at the University of Alabama to transfer back to FSU (I had left there needing twelve more hours in 1994 when I came home to be my mother's caregiver).
I will be moving to a new town over the next couple of weeks, and the first week of January, I will begin working at Cataloging Librarian at Troy State University. It's a faculty-level, tenure-track position--I've finally arrived!
Thank you so much to Marsha (aka Tay) of Alzheimer's Outreach for the tribute she did for me at her site, and to others of you who have sent me cyber cards and notes of congratulations.
Now for the updates: I've finally added a couple more pages on the Other Personal Homepages page--those of Penny Klein and Edyth Ann (aka Bubblehead). I know there are others I need to add, and I'll try to add them as soon as possible.
Here's my Christmas Page for You!. Happy Holidays!
The exam is over, the project has been turned in, and now I'm back to updating this site and trying to catch up on email and guestbook entries. Thank you so much for being patient with me. I've just now noticed I forgot to date my last update. :(
Also at the end of November, I presented the Remembering to Care Award to Carla for her page. She's got a great page about Her Dad, who has Alzheimer's, and a unique page on Helping Kids Deal with Dementia. Thanks and congratulations to Carla for a wonderful page!
Tonight I've been doing some much-needed housekeeping at my site. With school and work this year, I've fallen terribly behind not only in adding links and information about Alzheimer's, but also in creating a good-looking site. My home-made blue rose backgrounds are so amateurish and kind of messy, so I'm moving them off to Another Site in case anyone else wants to try them for a while. I'm working on a few new ones here for my site, but beware, I'm not satisfied with them yet, so I may be switching every few days. I'm also working on the Alzheimer's Contributed Poetry section with some new backgrounds--not mine (these poems deserve much better than mine; unfortunately I used some not very well done one of mine for over a year on these pages, and I apologize to the contributing poets for this). I just haven't had time till now to surf around and see what's available. But I'm going to try to do much better in the coming months.
Though I'll use backgrounds from real web artists in the Contributed Poetry section, I'm still going to try to make my own for the other pages. No more blue embossed roses, but more natural colors, maybe some from pictures of the homeplace where I was my mother's caregiver. I had thought all along I needed a scanner to make good backgrounds, and I haven't been able to afford one yet, but I do have pictures already scanned (some by Kinkos, some by a niece), and I can work with those and see what will happen. I do love working with graphics. It seems to calm me when I am nervous. And I've had quite a bit to be nervous about lately: an exam, a final project, I graduate seven days from now (even though my transcript can't be sent from the Univ. of Alabama to Florida State until Dec. 26), I've got to wrap everything up on my present two jobs, then move, and I'm due to begin my new job Jan. 1 (if they get my transcript from Florida State by then), and between now and then there's Christmas, and where's the money coming from to buy gifts?
Enough said about that. It never ends. Always seems like the worst stress at the moment (especially when caregiving), and then time changes situations, but there's still stress.
Goodnight all! Happy Holidays!
Just a quick note to let you know I have the Memory Walk pictures uploaded. I walked with the North Alabama Chapterof the Alzheimer's Association on October 3. Warning: I looked horrible in these pictures--not at all like my Glamour Shots and earlier pictures, but I might as well let you know what I really look like now. See if you can figure out who the unidentified man in the pictures is.
It's almost Thanksgiving, then there will be Christmas, and then I move to another new town and another new job--this time to stay, hopefully. I will be beginning my new job at the week of Jan. 1. My boss on my present job put up the Vacancy Announcement today, so if you're a cataloger (a librarian or library paraprofessional who catalogs) and you might want to check it out--they've raised the salary quite a bit from what I make. I've loved my job at LMN very much, and I wouldn't leave, but just can't turn down the opportunity to be Cataloging Librarian at Troy State University
But first I have to pass one more test, and to complete and turn in a project, and get my transcript sent from the University of Alabama to Florida State (where I'll graduate) and then to Troy State. And I have to complete a cataloging manual revision at work and train catalogers at a new member library. And there's the holidays...
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I've just heard from Carmel Sheridan that the Elder Books site has moved, so I have updated the links to that site on my Caregiver's Resources and Book Reviews pages and on several pages in the Bibliographies section. At the Elder Books site, you can find some great books offered at their Alzheimer's Bookshelf, and information about a great Workshop: Activities in Action. Carmel Sheridan is the author of Failure-Free Activities for the Alzheimer's Patient and Reminiscence: Uncovering A Lifetime of Memories.
I finally got a chance to get my pictures from the Memory Walk developed and will try to have a few of them somewhere on my site soon. School and work still don't give me a chance to do much updating on my site, but I'm trying to do a little all along. Things will change in a couple of months, and I should have more time.
Now that I've told my bosses on both jobs, I'll tell you too. I have been offered and have accepted a position at Troy State University, and I will be moving Jan. 1. This site will be moving within a month or two afterwards, when I've had time to take off all the counters (furnished by my local ISP), to change my email address on the pages, and to maybe do a little more organizing with a subdirectory structure, and to spruce it up a little. Netscape seems to have problems with my main page as it is now (I have MSIE so I don't know about these problems till later when someone tells me they can't get to something from my page or it isn't working right), so I'm experimenting with a new version of the front page. Try it out, and let me know whether you like it better.
Time to go to bed--two jobs to work tomorrow and homework to do before Wednesday.
There are several updates: (1) new poems by Dorothy Womack added in Contributed Poetry: I'm Me and Watching. I've also added some more attractive backgrounds for each of the poems in this section. (2) my new poem: Mama's Quilts added in Reflections. (3) The October Remembering to Care Award winner is Alzheimer's Outreach by Marsha Pennington-- what a wonderful site this is, one that keeps amazing me, and which now offers the poetry of Jerry Ham and the writings of Steven Stoker. Congratulations and a big thank you to Marsha!
And now back to studying. I'm so tired, but it's not much longer till it will be over. I've had a cold for almost two weeks (after having one just five weeks ago), and I'm really worn out, but things will change in a couple of months. Happy Halloween!
I had my first test in my UNIX class on Wednesday, and I think I did ok. I really need to do better than ok, though, because there are only two tests and my project the whole semester. With just those, I should be able to keep up with updating my page and answering email and guestbook entries, but UNIX doesn't come naturally to me, and I have to do lots of studying and trying out things.
I have updated Alzheimer's in the News, and I'm going through my email, apologizing as I answer messages from up to a month ago, including a lot of birthday wishes that were sent to me on Sept. 25. Though I work tomorrow, hopefully I'll get caught up with all the email tomorrow night and can do a little more updating before I get back to studying again.
So tired...about to fall asleep now...Goodnight all!
What a wonderful Memory Walk we had today! It was cloudy and cooler than it's been lately, and there was a nice breeze blowing. Though it was threatening rain, it was nicer than if the sun had been so hot. About half-way through the walk, it did rain a little, and it felt refreshing as it was beginnng to heat up some.
My husband surprised me today. He's not into walking, and though he went with me, I thought he was just walking up to the starting line with me. He actually kept on going--He walked in the Memory Walk, too! He was the only one in a white shirt and dress pants and shoes. I'm glad at least that he didn't wear a tie! I made a picture of him walking, and he made some of me, and I think we got some good shots of the crowd there, too. If they turn out ok, I'll share them with you all.
The North Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association had a goal of raising $35,000 this year. They went way past that--over $48,000! It was amazing how teams and individuals alike had raised so much money. The top ten individuals were really inspiring: number 10 raising over $300, and no. 1 raisied over $1000! With some people giving generously in the last couple of days, I did pretty good myself with $200.
My husband's birthday is today, mine was a week ago, and our anniversary was on my birthday, so we've both been eating a bit too much lately, and the walk was good for us, and we had a great time. I'll try to share pictures and a little more news later in the week.
My husband says that "sorry" is my favorite word and that I overuse it in "I'm sorry." So, I won't say it again, but you know I mean it. It's another busy semester. If I'm not busy with school work, I'm working extra, going on a trip to train catalogers at a member library or going to help with a barcoding project at a library that has just joined our network. It's enjoyable, though, seeing some of the prettiest little towns all over north Alabama and spending a day with some very nice people. But--tired--you wouldn't believe how tired I've been lately (had a bad cold one of my busiest weeks, too)-- I take that back, yes you would--as caregivers you know exactly how it feels to be tired-- so tired you don't know how you can go on longer. But you keep on for that person you love.
I will think of all of you and those people you love, and my mother and others who have died with Alzheimers, as I am walking in the Memory Walk in Huntsville, Alabama this Saturday. I haven't done as well this year as last year with raising money (almost $100 so far--raised $205 last year), but I still have a few days to go.
Now for the updates: September's "Remembering to Care Award" goes to Elaine Hartman for her Eldercare Site. Elaine is her mother's caregiver, and at her site she shares helpful hints on everything from bedsores and pill-taking to coping with confusion and agitation. There's humor and inspiration as well, and a message board and links to chats, and a page full of sites Elaine has chosen as Solid Gold sites for caregivers. Elaine has received numerous awards, including NetGuide's Best of the Web, and her site has been featured in Modern Maturity. Thanks so much to Elaine for sharing with other caregivers.
Other than giving the award, I've updated just a little on these pages: Alzheimer's Association Chapters and Alzheimer's in the News. And with school, there's yet another project, yet another web page; this time it's Cataloging A to Z. In case you're wondering, I'm a cataloger, that is a librarian (or almost librarian, depending on the value you put on a former degree of mine) who catalogs. As of the end of December, if all goes well, there will be no doubt about whether I am a librarian as I will have a M.L.I.S. (Master of Library and Information Studies) that is accredited by the American Library Association.
Enough of shop-talk! Just want you to know that though I'm creating more pages here and there and am involved in research and projects in the field I have chosen as a profession, A Year to Remember will always be so important to me, and I will continue to update it whenever I get a chance. Hopefully when I'm through with this degree, the updating will be much more frequent.
I'm sorry I've been so terrible at keeping my site updated. As you may have guessed, I'm back in school again. Almost three weeks ago I started my last class of grad school (that is if all goes well in it and all of my 12 credit hrs. from the Univ. of Alabama will transfer ok to FSU), and I'm scheduled to graduate in December. With this, and all the work required in the classes, and working both my jobs (45 hrs. total--actually working many more hours than that off the clock on my full-time job lately with new libraries joining the network and so much database clean-up to do), and this semester my class is out of town again (6 hrs. round-trip commute)--well, you get the picture. I'm so sorry I've fallen so far behind again on email, too.
I haven't managed to much updating but have tried to continue giving the Remembering to Care Award each month. At the end of August, I gave this award to Kate's Place, a wonderful caregiving site by Kate Murphy, who's caregiver role recently ended when her dad passed away. Kate spent over 16 years as caregiver to both her parents, and her site is full of helpful hints and inspirational thoughts. Kate's Place has been highly reviewed, and was even featured in Modern Maturity. It's a wonderful site, and Kate is so deserving of this award.
Other than giving the award, there's been hardly any updating at this site, as I'm sure you can tell (and again I apologize). I know that I'm missing so much I should be adding. If there's a link you think I should add, please let me know, because I really haven't had the time to search for new sites and I'm sorry (and ashamed) to admit I haven't been reading the Alzheimer's list as closely as I should be. Thanks so much to Karen Menges for reminding me to add the link to The Ribbon, which I have added on my Caregivers Resources, Chats, and Listservs & Newsgroups pages. The Ribbon is a wonderful support group/web page featuring a mailing list, a chat, and a lot of helpful information gathered on the web site. It began as an AOL chat group for caregivers and has grown and expanded into a wonderful web site. One other link I've added (and I apologize to the the the webmaster who sent me an email months ago--it's been lost among a hundred or so messages in my inbox) is the very helpful website of the Kingshill Research Centre which I have added on both my Caregivers Resources and Research pages.
And as I type this, my husband has asked me several times, "Are you doing your homework?", and I haven't been, but it's so late I'll fall asleep before I get much done anyway. I have to work tomorrow (Saturday) to make up for my Wednesday off for class. Just a few more months, and this class will be over, and I'll get back to work on this site and will be better at responding to my email. Who knows, I might even download ICQ again (which I lost in all the hard drive crashes/reformatting earlier this year) and chat again, maybe even make it back to the CANDID Chat again if I can get my browser to cooperate. Just a few more months...
Oh, I almost forgot, I have updated my local Memory Walk page and my page for my local Alzheimer's chapter. No matter how busy it gets, I'm taking off for the Memory Walk again this year. I'm collecting money from my sponsors now and hope I can raise more than last year (I came in 10th place in the top ten individuals--raising $205 last year). I encourage you to get involved, wherever you are--for more information see the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk page and their Local Chapters Directory to find out when the walk will be in your area. Then "Walk with Me", or sponsor someone who is walking, wherever you are!
I was away last week, Wednesday through Friday, at a conference for work in Savannah, Georgia. It was really nice, though there is so much to see in Savannah, and we didn't have much free time for seeing it. My supervisor and I did make a quick trip to Tybee Island one morning and saw the Lighthouse. (My boss is into lighthouses, and she bought a great tee-shirt there, with a dozen or more lighthouses pictured on it). We also went on a Riverboat Cruise. It was so nice, but there just wasn't enough time for everything (wanted to tour the historical section downtown). I think going back would be a nice anniversary trip, don't you? You can drop a hint to my husband if you like. :)
Now the updates: I've updated the Bibliography and Filmography. As I have updated it, I have tried to add ISBNs, because I know they may be helpful to you if you want to order the books from a bookstore. Also, for the Children's Books, I have added annotations for most of them, and I have tried to do this for the Filmography as well.
I know I need to go over all my site, checking links and updating, and hopefully I will get this done before I'm back in school a couple of weeks from now. As my site gets bigger, keeping up with the links gets more difficult. And as the resources on the internet keep exploding, I see that my goal of collecting everything about Alzheimer's is impossible, especially since I work full-time and am a grad student again.
One criticism of my site by reviewers has been the lack of annotations or summaries for the web sites I've linked. I won't get to that for a while, but maybe after graduation in December, I can do that. And I still need to add a lot of old family pictures I've been promising for a long time. (Speaking of family pictures, I've been dabbling in Genealogy lately, too.)
Someday I'll get it all done.
Today I have heard the sad news that Bob Hoffmann's wife, Shirley, passed away yesterday. Just a couple of months ago, I gave the Remembering to Care Award to him for his Hoffmann Family Homepage, where he has been sharing Shirley's story and a lot of information with us all. I know this is a rough time for Bob and several others who have lost loved ones recently. I feel so sad for them tonight, and at times like this, I have to write something, and tonight I have written One by One.
At a time like this, nothing else seems worth mentioning. I have been cleaning up my site, fixing bad HTML code, and have created a few new pages, but I'll tell about that later. Just want to keep Bob, his family, and other who have lost loved ones in my thoughts tonight, and I know you do, too. Maybe you could send them a sympathy card from one of the sites linked on my Send Someone a Greeting page, or just send a note to let them know you are keeping them in your thoughts and prayers.
I'm sorry I've been slow at updating, but I've been working on a few improvements in the design of the site as well. One thing I learned in my class this summer was that a web site should have as much as possible at the top, so that one can just click away without having to scroll down the page. So I've added a left border on the main page, and on it I've added the links to pages within this site. I hope this works better for you all. I know it's a change that is long overdue, but kind of hard for me to make.
The winner of the Remembering to Care Award for July is Marilyn Sheaffer for her Alzheimer's Disease in Our Family. Marilyn's mother had Alzheimer's, and she died just a couple of months ago in May. I know it's a hard time for Marilyn right now, but I wanted to recognize all that she has done in sharing her mother with us during her last few years. Her site also has links to a lot of very Alzheimer's Information.
I know I haven't done so well with getting updates done. I'm still tired from my summer class. I have about three more weeks before my fall classes begin, and I'm going to try really hard to get my site updated and some badly needed improvements made. But now, I'm about to fall asleep. Goodnight everyone.