"Hey Jude"

Wednesday, February 18, 1998

School is going along fine, though I'm very tired. Tonight I have decided to go ahead and share with you the project I'm working on for one of my classes. You can watch my progress as I work on it, and maybe it will provide a little respite for you. The new page is the beginning of my project on American Poetry for my Humanities Reference class. There will be at least twenty websites linked there, with annotations I will write, along with an annotated bibliography of reference books, journals, and other books, plus a book review of at least one of those books.

In my other class, Library Administration and Management, one of my colleagues and I did as an in-class project today a plan with goals and objective for a public library outreach to shut-in seniors, with large-print books, audiocassettes, and videos, and even a plan for providing reading services for those who could no-longer see or who could no longer read for some other reason (like Alzheimer's). This imaginary plan of ours could be something wonderful for public libraries to do, and so I would like to share it. We called this project "Reading is Ageless". One library in Florida where I worked once did have large-print books taken out on it's bookmobile to seniors and had a collection for some nursing homes. I don't know of any that has provided reading services for seniors, though. I can see this, and possibly even going to nursing homes to do a story-telling hour, being such a valuable service.

I will get back to updating the real content of this web site as soon as I can. And I promise to write to each of you who have sent me email or signed my guestbook. I work 10 1/2 hrs. on two jobs tomorrow, but when I get home tomorrow night, I will try my best to catch up on my email.

I'm tired now and my poor husband has fallen asleep on the sofa, so I guess we'd both better get some rest. I know all of you caregivers are tired, too, and I think of you tonight, and I wish you a peaceful night.

Tuesday, February 3, 1998

Yeah! I'm finally back online at home. Staying online, though, looks a bit doubtful. Windows still isn't coming up right. It comes up in DOS with a abort/retry/fail prompt first, and then hitting either "a" or "f" brings it up. I don't have all my programs back yet, including ICQ, and I'm sure those of you with whom I've chatted are wondering what happened to me. I'm still here, but with school, it may be a while before I get back into chatting. Yes, I'm in school-- tomorrow is my sixth week of going to classes one day a week. (Oh dear, that means I have only ten weeks left in the semester for getting all those big projects/papers/ presentations done!)

One of the projects I'm doing is for a Humanities Reference class, and I'm doing it on American Poetry. A big part of it is finding the best poetry websites I can find, and writing annotations. I think that I will begin another respite page with links to the sites I find for this project. I think sites about literature, poetry, and art could be very good respite for you who are caregivers, along with the personal homepages that are already there in Some Internet Respite.

When my hard drive crashed, some email was lost. Someone had written me about adding their poem to my Contributed Poetry section. That was sometime around the time my father-in-law died, or during the holidays. Then the message was lost before I had a chance to see the poem or even reply. So please, whoever you were, write to me again!

If you've written to me and I haven't responded, please write again. Pretty often when I try to answer an email or a guestbook entry, my reply bounces back to me. I always feel bad about that but don't know what to do about it--so please, if you don't hear from me after a week or two, write again.

I've finally updated Alzheimer's in the News. This page really needs to be kept current, and I'm going to try to do this, even while I'm in school.

There's sleet in the forecast for tomorrow, and snow flurries later in the week. It rained all day today, and I drove in it to a pretty little town in the mountains an hour away, to train some catalogers at one of our member libraries. There's another trip tomorrow. I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. for a three hour trip to Tuscaloosa for my classes. So I guess I'd better get some sleep before then. Goodnight everyone. I'm thinking of you all tonight, remembering the times with my mother, and thinking of all of you who are still on that journey with someone you love.

Saturday, January 3, 1998

Nope, still not online at home. We have a new hard drive but my husband is still working on configuring it. I can't do anything during the week, but I have come back to work today to try to update a little and to catch up on email. I have added both a browse topic and a keyword search from Growth House to my Search page. They have added my site to their database this week.

If you have signed my guesbook and haven't heard from me, please try again or email me at bparris@hiwaay.net. I have tried to respond to several entries in my guestbook, only to have the email bouce back. Also, if you need to send me attachments, I won't be able to receive them in email until our hard drive problem is solved. We're a bit behind the times at work. I don't have a PC (though I am using someone else's today while they aren't here), and everything is text-only on my terminal. I can connect through telnet to read my mail in Pine, but I can get any attachments you might send.

Someone who left a message in my guestbook (and my response bounced back to me) asked me how long it took me to feel like going back to school again. The answer is, not until now. I couldn't have for the first year after my mother's death. I've been trying to get back in for several months now, and though I won't believe it till I'm sitting in class, apparently I'm in and will be taking two classes starting next Wednesday. Ready or not I have to go back now, because I have only a year to take the remaining twelve hours and to transfer them back to FSU so I can graduate.

It won't be easy, because I work two jobs (45 hrs. total) here in Decatur and will be commuting six hours-round trip once a week to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I'm afraid that also means I won't have much time for working on my page. I had wanted to get so much done before then, and then we had this problem with the hard drive, but perhaps it was better to have my internet withdrawal before starting back to school. I will try to update when I can, however, and since classes are every day in the summer and I can't do that because of my work, I will be off school in the summer and will try to get caught up on my page then.

If getting caught up is possible. I mean, in the few weeks I've been offline, can you imagine all I've missed--new sites popping up, maybe a new one by you, a caregiver or someone in grief. Knowing I won't be online much, you'll have to keep me informed of such sites. Just email me at bparris@hiwaay.net. And it may take me a while, but I'll update when I can.

Again, may you all have a wonderful new year!

Saturday, December 27, 1997

We still aren't able to get online from home, so I came in to work to try to update my page (and I'm freezing here as there is no heat--heating/air is being worked on). I have done a little more updating on the bibliography, and I've added a review of the book, Finding the Words, by Harriet Hodgson, which I read as we were travelling over the past few weeks. It is an excellent book on communicating with Alzheimer's patients, and the author also relates a lot of her own personal experiences with her mother who has Alzheimer's. You will find it, and a few other books I've reviewed, on my page of Book Reviews.

It's getting colder and colder in here, and my throat is starting to feel a bit sore, so I guess I'd better go home. Yes, it does get cold here in Alabama in the winter, contrary to popular opinion in other parts of the country, and it even snows sometimes. It hasn't yet here in Decatur, though it has been forcast often for several weeks now, but it did a little just 25 miles away in Huntsville. And when we were driving back after visiting my father-in-law in Mobile a couple of weeks ago, we drove through snow just south of Birmingham. It was forcast here last night, and I think there might be a chance today--another reason I'd better get myself home, I guess. I'm sorry for being late on answering email and guestbook entries, and if any of you I've chatted with are wondering what's happened to me, hopefully I'll be back online from home one of these days soon.

I hope you all had a good Christmas, as I did with my family on Thursday. Best wishes for a happy, safe, and peaceful New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 1997

I am so sorry I haven't updated my pages in so long and that I can't even upload what I am updating now. Our hard drive crashed just over a week ago, and we haven't been able to get online since then. I don't know how long it's going to take to get our computer working again--maybe a week or two. Anyway, I have updated and will upload as soon as I can, most of the pages in the Bibliographies and Filmographies section, including adding a page of Books on Loss and Grieving.

One week ago, my father-in-law died. He was 93 and in a nursing home in Mobile. He didn't have Alzheimer's, but had prostate cancer for several years. Richard and I had just been down to see him the previous weekend, and we are so glad for that. We went back down Thursday, and his funeral was Saturday. I want to do a memorial page for him and to use a great poem Richard's sister had written about their father a few months ago. He was a wonderful man with a beautiful smile and a great sense of humor. All the ladies at the nursing home wanted to dance with him when there were dances held at the nursing home. When we visited, he always "boogied" down the hall with his walker on the way to the dining room. At the wake service on Friday evening, the Sisters at the Sacred Heart Nursing Home sang "Lord of the Dance" (The Shaker hymn, not the movie), and through my tears, I could almost see him dancing to the music.

To keep my mind off not being able to get online, I have baked cookies and made candy this year for the first time since my mother died. For the first time in the almost two years we have know each other, I have baked my "famous" Cobblestones, Oatmeal Icebox, and Farmer's Wife Pecan Cookies for my husband, Richard. Today I have worn myself out, and neither of us have any desire to eat a cookie or a piece of candy. :)

Richard and I and all of the cookies and candy will be going on a quick trip to be wkith my sister and brother and their families tomorrow. Both my nieces (who live in Memphis, TN and Jacksonville, FL) will be home for Christmas at the same time-- something that is kind of rare. Usually one makes it home at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas, and then both might be there together at some other time during the year. My nieces (ten and twelve years younger than me) are like little sisters to me, and my mother and I took care of them while my sister worked. My mother loved them so much, and even on our last Christmas together two years ago, she hugged them, and she had tears in her eyes ad they gave her presents.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 7, 1997

I have added a new poem in Contributed Poetry. William Smiley wrote to me several months ago about a report he was doing for school. He not only wrote a report, but he wrote this poem: "Alzheimer's Tiptoed in and Carried You Away". All of this hits close to home for William, too, as his grandmother had Alzheimer's.

I hope you will bear with me as I decorate my page for Christmas and get a little sentimental at this time of the year. I've added A Christmas Wish for You and Christmas through Our Lives. In the latter, which is part of the Reflections section, I've introducted some more old family pictures which I hope to soon add also to the Photo Album.

I've also cut down the size of a lot of the existing pictures and plan to do more of that so that these pages will load faster. I've almost got all of the backgrounds changed to the ones I've created myself. I liked the others, but these are my creations, and more what I want for my pages. Most all of them have a rose on them. My mother loved roses, and as you've seen in some of the pictures, she touched them when we walked by them. My time with my mother was like roses--very beautiful, very Precious Times. As time goes on I think less about the bad times and more about the very good times we had.

So bear with me, and at least by the beginning of the new year I will try to update my links to news and information about Alzheimer's.

Best wishes for Happy Holidays to you all!

Monday, November 24, 1997

Finally I'm back online. The computer problems have been so bad it's been impossible to do much of anything. As much as we loved MSIE before 3.2 and earlier, we have had so many problems with 4.0 and have decided to switch to Netscape, at least for a while. This has revealed a lot of problems with my web site that I wasn't aware of. MSIE is very forgiving of errors, but Netscape sees them all. I have had some pretty horrible mistakes in my pages that I didn't realize were there. There still are some, but hopefully I've gotten the worst ones fixed. I have a lot of inconsistancies I need to take care of, and I'm also trying to simplify my page a bit--like cutting down the size of the pictures (like those on the Activities and Atmosphere page) to make them faster-loading. I'm sorry for not updating any real content for so long, but hopefully I will again, soon.

I'm feeling kind of blue lately--it's getting that time of the year. I sure miss my mother during the holidays. If my webpage doesn't say anything else, I hope one thing comes through loud and clear--Cherish your loved one while you have him or her. Sure, you're losing that person to Alzheimer's. He's not like he once was. She may not know you anymore. But you still have that person. Love him. Cherish her. Hold on to the good times. Make good memories that will last long after that person is gone.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Saturday, November 1, 1997

The computer problems are growing worse. I think I've had at least six fatal exception errors today, some of them even when I have been working offline. I have done most of my updating offline recently and then connecting just to upload.

I have added my article which was in Caregiving Newsletter's September issue. Thanks so much to Bob Hoffman for asking me if I would like to write this article, and to Denise Brown, the editor of Caregiving Newsletter for publishing it.

I have also added a new poem, Paradise in Reflections. I have also been accepted into The Poetry Circle for my poems at this website.

My homepage is no longer in the Site Fights as of midnight tonight. It is time. It has been there over two months. It did well the first week, and most weeks since it came in second place in the Cherubs Right Wing, but this week it is in last place. It was a good experience and I learned a lot from it, and maybe some people who found my page there learned something about Alzheimer's Disease. Thanks so much to all of you who voted for me.

November is Alzheimer's Awareness month. I have a poem and prayer from the local Alzheimer's Association and my support group back home that I will try to add as soon as I can.

I've had more guestbook problems, but it wasn't LPage's fault this time-- it was mine. I was about to download my guestbook to archive the entries, and I accidently hit the "delete" button--deleting 118 entries for Sept.-Oct. Luckily, I had been saving some of these all along just in case, but I found that I could not save the HTML--so there are no links and no graphics that were added there, and somehow I still lost about 40 entries. If you have signed my guestbook and I haven't responded, please sign again or email me so I can respond.

There probably won't be much updating done this week. We will be packing and getting ready to move next weekend to an apartment nearer where I work in Decatur (The Library Network moved from Huntsville to Decatur during the summer). But I will be back as soon as we can get the computer unpacked and set up again!

Hope you all had a happy Halloween! Not long till Thanksgiving now! And then Christmas!

Sunday, October 26, 1997

I didn't know if I was going to get to update this site at all this week. Our computer problems have seemed to grow each day. The browser freezes constantly and we have to get offline and reboot most every time. This week we have also been getting fatal errors almost constantly, even when not online. Somehow I have managed to work offline tonight and have crossed my fingers as I have connected and uploaded my updated pages.

This week I have joined the Hospice Care Ring, and I have also added the page of the nurse who started it. Pam's Place on the Web is a site I have visited many times and have been so impressed with. She works in a hospice, and she has links to caregiver resources as a part of her Hospice Page. Her page has been one of the top award-winning pages on the internet, and if you visit, I you'll see why. I have added a link to her site on my Other Personal Homepages page.

I've also changed a lot of the backgrounds--to my rose borders or tiled backgrounds. I'm not so great at this yet, but it's something I've done myself. Hopefully I'll get better at it with time.

More to come soon, if the computer doesn't completely crash. I still have those brochures to add and new pages I'm working on of general health links, and still more pictures for the photo album--including some really young ones of my mother. There's an adorable one of her as a little girl holding a doll. May take some time, but I will get it added eventually.

Friday, October 17, 1997

I've finally done it!--I have added the notes for the Caregiver's Conference that I attended on September 20. Somehow I cut down my eleven pages of notes to one not too long page of HTML. And wow!--what a wonderful conference it was! Between 8:30 and 3:15 that day, there were four great speakers and so much practical information. I wish so much that I had attended a conference like this when I was taking care of my mother. It's too late now for that, but it's not too late to pass this information on to those of you who are still caregivers. I've added all my notes tonight, but I still have brochures and handouts from that conference, and hopefully I can add some of that soon.

As I add new pages to my site and update old ones, I am making the site more "me" by adding backgrounds I have made. I love the ones I have used that others have created, but some of them aren't really me, and now that I've learned more about what I can do with Paint Shop pro, I'm going to do my own background and to try to bring the site together more with some kind of central theme grapically. What I'm thinking now is the rose-- whether embossed in different colors and shades or otherwise--the rose because of the pictures of my mother touching a rose--and because like a rose, my time with my mother was precious--like my poem says... Precious Times

Sunday, October 12, 1997

I have updates the Grief Resources and Seniors Sites and Aging pages. There is still much more to add, to them and to all my pages. It is amazing how much information there is on the internet and how fast it has multiplied since a little over a year ago when I began this site.

I have also added a Send a Greeting page. I thought you might find this helpful when you want to send an online greeting card to a friend or to a fellow caregiver you've met in a chat or on the Alzheimer's or CANDID mailing lists.

I've been playing with Paint Shop Pro and trying to create some backgrounds for our website where I work at LMN (and hopefully that site will take on a new look soon), and I'm trying some for my page as well--like the one on the Send a Greeting page, and this one--my first attempt at a border background.

More caregiver information to come soon...

Saturday, October 5, 1997

I have added a new section of Caregiver Information and Survival Aids, including the Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer's, the Caregiver's Bill of Rights, Alzheimer's Safe Return, and Giving up the Car Keys. Thanks so much to Kim Holbrook, Executive Director of the North Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for sharing these with me.

We had a wonderful Memory Walk in Huntsville today. It was a beautiful sunny day, and it was a painless and pleasant walk for me. I raised $205 and came in tenth in the top ten for individuals raising the most money (I will have to try harder for more next year!). I will get a newspaper tomorrow morning so that I can give you the details on just how many participated and how much was raised. Several were walking in memory of family they had lost recently--more details on that too, as I'm sure it will be covered in the newspaper tomorrow, and I will share it with you then.

Thursday, October 2, 1997

Tonight I have updated the Personal Homepages page. I have created a separate section there for Memorials to people with Alzheimer's who have died. I have added there the memorial to William Schutte, father of Kim Holbrook, the Executive Director of the North Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. It is a beautifully done memorial, with wonderful pictures of her father shown in slide-show style.

I have also added a link to Jacqueline Black's Alzheimer's Page and updated to the new URL to Mary Barfoot's Page

I've just counted the links, and there are thirty there now, on the page of Personal Homepages. I think this is wonderful! How that list has grown in the past year!

And now my husband tells me I have exceeded my "five minutes longer" that I said I would stay up a half hour ago. :) Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 1, 1997

I have updated (slightly) several pages: Grief Resources, Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, Forums, Chats, Alzheimer's in the News, and Alzheimer's Organizations Worldwide. Most of these may have only one or two new links that I found as I was searching for links for one of the other pages.

I got almost caught up on responding to guestbook entries, but not with the email. I will do that tomorrow--I promise. Have a good night, everyone.

Site Index | Updates for Aug-Sept 1997 | Home Page

My Mother's Story | My Journal | My Poetry
Special Times/Special People | Photograph Album
Reflections: Looking Back Now

Caregiver Resources | Alzheimer's Research Links
Alzheimer's in the News
Other Personal Homepages | Alzheimer's Association Chapters
Alzheimer's Organizations Worldwide
Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, and Forums | Chats
Alzheimer's Poetry | Bibliography & Filmography | Book Reviews
Resources on Other Dementias & Disease | Seniors Sites & Aging Resources
Search Engines | Grief Resources and Memorial Sites

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Music | Respite | Links about Other Diseases | Candles and Causes
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