Tuesday, September 30, 1997

I have slightly updated the Caregiver Resources and Alzheimer's Research pages tonight--only slightly, though, as usual, because I've wandered off exploring sites or my browser has frozen again. I also added a link to a great directory of graphics sites on my HTML Help page.

We had a good, though short, weekend trip to Asheville, NC to see the Biltmore. I had never seen it, though my husband had years ago when it was much less expensive, but he said a lot more had been opened up and there was so much to see that it was worth it. I got in a lot of walking, and I think I am ready for the Memory Walk on Saturday.

I have worked 10 1/2 hrs. each day for the past two days, so I haven't got much done on my web site. I'm about to fall asleep now. But I will try to get some updating done tomorrow, as I will not be working, and I will try to get caught up on my email and answering guestbook entries--to those of you who have written lately, I'm sorry about getting behind on that. I will work on it all whenever my husband will give me a turn on the computer.

Thursday, September 25, 1997

Over the past few nights I have updated a few pages: I've added a few books to the Children's Book Bibliography and have added a few news links to the Grief Resources page. One of those links is a memorial to William M. Schutte, the father of Kim Holbrook, Executive Director of the North Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer's Associaton here in Huntsville. Kim's father had Alzheimer's, and he passed away about a month ago. I will try to add this link on my Other Personal Homepages page soon as well.

Tonight I have added a page in memory of my cataloging professor in library school at Florida State, Dr. Doris H. Clack. I have recently found the letter from Dr. Clack that she emailed me in 1994 concerning the decison I had to make about whether to leave school and come home to take care of my mother. Dr. Clack died in 1995, not long before my mother was placed in a nursing home.

I have so much I need to add/update on my site, but I'm taking a little break. Today is my 42nd birthday and it's also my 1st anniversary, and my husband and I are taking off for a quick trip to the North Carolina mountains. I'm just taking one day off work, and when I return, it will be to a full-time job and a part-time one, too, instead of just two part-time ones. My position at the library network has been made full-time. I will work two nights a week at the community college as well. I know, that means less time to work on my pages, but got to have the money, and I'm blessed to have two jobs that I really love.

Saturday, September 20, 1997

Finally, last night, I added a new Photograph Album page, with some pictures from the years in between--after the earlier ones and before my mother's illness. With this addition, I also created a Photo Album index page. One picture of my parents is such a good one, I also gave it a page of it's own. Funny, I always thought it was strange for my mother to put duplicate pictures in our family photoalbums. But I find myself doing the same thing on this web site.

I had the most wonderful day today. Though I have felt all along that I needed to be involved locally with the Alzheimer's Association, I haven't been, and I am not sure I could have been until now. The last time I went to an Alzheimer's support group meeting back home, right after putting my mother in the nursing home, I cried throughout the meeting. I didn't feel that I could go through that again just after my mother's death. But I am better now--so much better--and I am jumping in again. I'm not sure I can attend the support group meetings because of my work, but I did attend the Caregiver's Conference today, sponsored by the Huntsville Alzheimer's Day Care and the North Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. I enjoyed it so much. I took twelve pages of notes (The girl next to me saw I ran out of paper and was using the back of computer print-outs, so she passed me more paper!), and I have a tote bag full of brochures. I will try to work on the notes soon and add some of them on a page here, and maybe some of the other information, too.

So much I want to share you with you--so much more I want to add to my page. But I'm tired. And it's my husband's turn on the computer.

Thursday, September 17, 1997

I've been working on a Site Index the last few nights, and maybe this will help you find your way around better. As this site grows bigger and I move outside links off the main page to other pages within the site, I worry that it will be harder for you to find them. Maybe the Site Index will help, though I know it's not like having them right there on the front of my page. There are some I've just moved last week and am now thinking about moving back. I miss the Alzheimer's Mailing List Archives being linked from my main page, and I have a feeling others may. I wonder, too, if it will be as easy now for new people to find the Alzheimer's Mailing List and how to subscribe to it, since I've now moved it to my Listservs, Newsgroups, and Forums page. Perhaps I should move them back. I mean, there are some links I really need to get people to fast when they begin caregiving. The Alzheimer's List, it's Archives, the Alzheimer's Association, CANDID and it's Carer's Chat. I do have access to the Chat from my main page, because Dr. Harvey at CANDID had asked me and several others with pages to link directly to the chat. I see now what a wonderful idea that was, because several weeks ago when the CANDID site was down, the Chat went on from the sites of personal homepages where it was linked!

Let me know what you think. Do want me to put direct links to the above sites back on my main page? Tell me what else you like and don't like about my site, too. What parts of it are hard to find or hard to use? Do you like music that comes on automatically, or would you rather it be turned off and just made a clickable choice? Email me at bparris@HiWAAY.net to tell me what you think.

I want to make my site the best it can be. I enter it in competitions like the Site Fights because I want to share it with others who would never see it otherwise and who need to learn more about this disease. While I'm in these competitons, I learn how to make my site better, as well as making some new friends. But different people have different ideas about what a good web site is. Most of all, I want it to be helpful and easy to use for you, the caregivers, my heroes. Some of you are just beginning this journey with your loved one, and you need all the information and support you can get, now. Others have been doing it a while, but you still need all the information you can get your hands on, and you need encouragement when you are getting tired and discouraged. Others of you have been at it for years and are near the end of the journey with your loved one. But you all are heroes, and you will never regret the sacrifices you have made. I want to help you, at whatever stage you are, so let me know how I can make this website better for YOU!

By the way, you've all got stories too, just as I have had. I encourage you to share your stories, and a good way is doing a home page. There's a little help in getting started on my page of HTML Help. I will try to update that page, soon, because there is so much more now that I can add. There are sites linked there where you can sign up for a free home page and get started now. Let me know if you need any help.

Brenda Brenda

Saturday, September 13, 1997

I've moved the listservs off the main page and began a page of Online Support Listservs, Newsgroups, and Forums I hesitated to do this for a long time because I wanted the Alzheimer list right out front so everyone could see it and subscribe. But hopefully just one level inside the site won't make too much difference, and it can still be found pretty easily. I did the same thing with the external links to Poetry, Art, and Stories giving them their own page. In doing this, I moved a few internal links back to the main page, thinking that my pages: Books for Children and Teenagers, Biographies and Personal Stories, and Periodicals from the Bibliography section all could belong in the Alzheimer's in Art an Literature category. Now I have completed my project of moving practically all external links off the main page and on to pages within the site. Next project is an index to the site, or perhaps a table of contents and indexes.

I received a brochure about a Caregiving Conference, "The Gift of Caregiving" that is going to be here in Huntsville on Sept. 20, and I added a page about that. There are lots of exciting things coming up--that and the Alzheimer's Associaton Memory Walk. I am looking forward very much to both of these events.

Wednesday, September 10, 1997

I'm still trying to get this little site of mine organized. A few months ago someone reviewed my site and told me that I had too many external links on the main page. I started moving them to other pages within my site, but then when we started getting into chats, I felt I needed to let everyone know about all of them on my main page, and I ended up adding more external links there. Now the number of chats seems to be growing, and I've decided to give them their own page, creating my Online Support Chats page. I will do the same with mailing lists, newsgroups, and forums at some point, maybe soon. I hesitate to take some things off the main page, fearing that it will make them harder to get to. But I am planning to create an index page that I think will help.

Today I received the September 1997 issue of Caregiving, and inside is an article "Remembering My Mother...Online". Thanks so much to Denise Brown, the editor, and to Bob Hoffman, who asked me to write an article for his Online Caregiver's column in Caregiving. I am so happy to be sharing my mother's story in this way and to tell how I've found support on the internet that has helped me in my grief.

Tuesday, September 9, 1997

I have heard from Carrie Nelson and updated the link to her Motherloss Online Support Group on my Grief Resources page. Carrie's page and the others I have linked there have been such a comfort to me in the past year and a half. For months, I shed many tears as I read and shared at sites like Carrie's, on the adult-parents mailing list from Grief Net, and on the newsgroup alt.support.grief. Sharing with these online support groups, including Carrie's site, and doing memorials at sites like Virtual Memorials helped so much, as did working on my homepage, which I had just begun at that time. I highly recommend all these sites and support groups, and I recommend memorial webpages as a way of dealing with grief. All of this, and other sites I have linked on my pages, including the have got me through it.

It's been one of those weeks when I couldn't seem to get much updating done: browser problems (freezing up continuously), email problems with messages lost or that bounced back or that (because of my browser's email) I've sent messages with HTML code that I didn't realize (really embarrasing when posting on a mailing list where all posts are archived), a thunderstorm tonight, and not feeling so well. I'm not doing so well in the Site Fights, either. I came out on top last week, but this week, competing at a higher level, I'm not doing well at all. But as I said before, it isn't important that I win, but that more people become more aware of Alzheimer's Disease. Thank you so much to you who have voted for me. Those of you who still want to vote can do so here.

Friday, September 5, 1997

Tonight I have added a page about the Memory Walk in Huntsville that I will be walking in on Oct. 4. I have wanted to do this so much but have feared that the connective tissue disease I have might stop me. But I'm going to do it! Three miles isn't much, and I probably walked almost that much a couple of weeks ago when I was in Augusta, Georgia for a conference. I was sore for a few days, but that's ok, and I really feel better after some exercise anyway. I really want to do this walk so much--in memory of my mother.

I hope that a lot of you will be walking in Alzheimer's Association Memory Walks all over the country. You can Search at the Alzheimer's Association's web site to find out when your local chapter is having a Memory Walk. They also have a wonderful image map for locating your local chapter.

I've done something else at my site that has been needed for a long time. I have added anchors that will take your from books listed in the Bibliography and Filmography pages directly to the review for those books on the Book Reviews page. That should be more helpful than the way it was previously, where you had to scroll up and down the page to find the review.

Now I just need more time to do more book reviews, and to search for more links to add to my pages. I really could work on this page full-time, but I've got to earn a living, too. I do love my jobs, though--both of them--very much (see my Just a Bit about me or Library Links pages). My husband says I spend too much time on the computer--all day at work and then several hours at night, too. Can't help it--I'm hooked. :)

Thursday, September 4, 1997

Today I heard from the director of Alzheimer Netherlands, and tonight I have added a link to that site on my Alzheimer's Organizations Worldwide page. My apologies for not having this site linked already. Anyone who knows of a link I need to add on any of my pages, let me know. Sometimes I find myself lacking in time for searching for new ones for all my pages.

The past several nights I have still been fixing broken links and errors on my pages, as well as joining in some of the Site Fights' spirit. Thanks so much to all of you who have voted for me at the Site Fights. So far this week I am leading at the Cherubs Gate 1. If some of you aren't familar with the Fights, take a look at their pages, and my Sight Fights Spirit page to see what it's all about. There are a lot of great people with web pages of all kinds, and the Site Fights gives us a chance to get to know each other and to share our pages, and to share the friendly spirit of the Site fights.

I added my adopted angel on my main page last night. You can follow her to my Candles and Causes page where you will find out what you can do about child abuse, as well as a lot of other worthwhile causes and some people who need to be kept in your thoughts and prayers.

Got to get off this computer and get some rest tonight. I've been up till midnight every night this week, and I'm really tired with that on top of the two trips last week. But whenever I'm tired, I think of all of you who are caregivers, and I know what you are going through. My tiredness seems small compared to what you must be feeling, and I find myself wanting to do more and more to help you who are still going through the year(s) that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Sunday, August 31, 1997

I'm back from Mobile and trying to get my page ready for the Site Fights and and to make it easier to use for all of you. I am looking closer at my pages, trying to find all the errors and broken links. I've also updated Alzheimer's in the News and corrected the address for the Alzheimer's Page at Washington University in St. Louis and the Alzheimer Archives on several of my pages, as their URL has changed slightly and is now: http://www.adrc.wustl.edu/alzheimer/ By the way, if any of you caregivers haven't subscribed, I highly recommend the Alzheimer list or Alzheimer-Digest as a wonderful online support group. Also, be sure to visit the Chat sponsored by CANDID in England , where you will often find others from the Alzheimer list. The scheduled time is 9-12 p.m. EDT on Mondays, but you can probably find someone there most weeknights around that time.

I have temporarily embeded the music on several of my pages. I normally keep it a clickable choice on most of my pages because it isn't so irritating for those in libraries and others without music capabilities. But I turned it on pretty often back in the Spring around my mother's birthday, the anniversary of her death, and Mother's day. Holiday weekends are a good time to turn it on, I hope. I have a hard time keeping up with the changes in the browsers and how to use midi music, and I use Microsoft Internet Explorer, so if you aren't hearing the music in Netscape, please let me know. Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Wednesday, August 27, 1997

I'm back from the conference, and don't have much time for working on my page because I'm taking off again tomorrow (to visit my father-in-law who is in a nursing home in Mobile), but I did want to add a new link on my Alzheimer's Organizations Worldwide page. I received an email from Alzheimer-Europe and have added a link to their excellent new web site. I haven't had a chance to visit all of their site yet, but I can tell it seems to be packed with lots of good information.

My page enters the voting ring at Gate 1 at the Site Fights on Monday. This is something I really hesitated to do and thought about for a long time. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate for a page like mine. But the more I thought about it, the more I began thinking of it as a small way of fighting Alzheimer's Disease. It doesn't matter so much whether this site wins or not, but by being it the Site Fights, it will be seen by more people--more who don't know as much about Alzheimer's and need to be more aware of it, and perhaps even some caregivers might find out about my site in this way, and I could share my mother's story and Alzheimer's information with them. I welcome any opportunity to share this with others. Thank you so much for your support in this.

Sunday, August 24, 1997

I've just heard from Kate of Kate's Place, and I've updated the URL for the links to her site on my main page and on the Other Personal Homepages page. Her site is beautiful, and I'm always hearing good things about it. It was even featured in Modern Maturity several months ago.

I'm running off for a few days now for a conference I have to go to for work, so if you write me and don't hear from me that's why. I may get a little behind in my email, but I will get caught up eventually. Take care, everyone.

Saturday, August 23, 1997

My page has been lacking some in organization. One person recommended several months ago that I add links to all other pages at the bottom of each page so that it would be easier to find one's way around my site. I have been doing this gradually, and tonight I've almost finished--adding these links on most all of of my pages, except the ones within my journal.

I've also checked the links on the Caregivers Resources page, removing or correcting the ones that no longer worked and updating the page with a few new links.

There's so many of my pages that need updating. When I began this site a little over a year ago, there wasn't so much to keep up with, but now there is so much on the internet that it's hard to keep up with the new sites and those that are constantly changing (including changing their URLs sometimes). If you find links at my site that don't work, let me know so I can fix them. I'm also open to any suggestions about how to make my site better and more helpful.

Thursday, August 21, 1997

In a recent review, the area where my page was found lacking was in not having a section for the details of updates to the page. I had been thinking about doing this for a while, knowing a few more details about updates might be helpful in addition to the brief "What's New" on the main page (which appears as a scrolling Marquee in MSIE but not in Netscape). So tonight I add my Updates page.

Also tonight I have updated the Bibliography for Children and Teenagers, for Caregivers, and the Biographies and Personal Stories.

I heard from Marci, of The Elderly Place, today. I was glad to hear that she now has her degree in social work with a certificate in gerontology. I updated the entry for her page on Other Personal Homepages.

I have recently become a member of The Caregivers Ring , started by Susan of Alzwell. I am very excited about this way of bringing together many caregiving sites in a way that they are easy to find. I think this is a wonderful idea that Susan had.

There is so much more I will tell you about later--new opportunities for sharing my page, for telling my mother's story and getting Alzheimer's information out to more people. I am so glad to be a part of all that is happening on the Internet to share this kind of information and support to people who need it so much. I've come to realize increasingly over the past few months--This is my mother's gift to me.

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