Trip to Florida, Part IV: The Miami Book Festival

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read Part I.)

After packing and saying our goodbyes to Jean and Vicki, Gilda and I drove south towards Alligator Alley. I was excited to be driving across Florida and to get a view of the everglades. My father, a civil engineer for the Army, had worked throughout South Florida on various projects before I was born. The names of towns were familiar to me because I had grown up listening to him talk about them.

Alligator Alley: on the side of the road.

While I felt as if I were home and had hopes of catching a glimpse of an alligator, Gilda’s husband Stu had warned her not to get out of the car because he’d been warned there were large snakes in the area. Gilda wasn’t sure what to do when I pulled over and asked her to take a photo of me by the water. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trip to Florida, Part III: An Honorary AlzAuthor

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read Part I.)

Gilda joined me in Naples on Thursday night. I had shared with Jean and Vicki how much I loved Gilda, that she was wise and funny, a delight to be with and a wonderful writer. They welcomed her at the condo and into the fold. I had also shared with Jean and Vicki how Gilda often talked about AlzAuthors in her writing classes.

Gilda had firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s. Several female members of her extended family have developed dementia. Gilda was also one of the few friends who had visited my mother during the last stage of her life. Jean named Gilda an “honorary” AlzAuthor.

Jean, Vicki and I toasting. Gilda took the photo.

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Trip to Florida, Part I: An Inner Pull

(This is a 4-part series. Click here to read Part II.)

Just settling down after a whirlwind of activity … so much going on in November, much of it swirling around the eye of the 10th anniversary of my mother’s passing. I suppose it should be no surprise that my poetry collection, The Beach Poems, was released in November, since it was a group of poems that came to me slowly after my mother’s death. The beach itself returned to me, a place I had almost forgotten; it surged back into my life carrying with it memories of my mother and deep pools of reflection.

The beach surged back into my life, bringing with it memories of my mother.

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August Sky: Preparing for the Eclipse

Three days before the eclipse and the sky is on fire. Not in the west, like it normally is when the sun is going down, but in the east. What does it mean?

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Alzheimer’s Support, Part II: A Window Into Caregiving

Spending time with my sweet mom while I was yearning to have a child.

As someone who has lived through a parent’s Alzheimer’s, I have deep appreciation for AlzAuthors and the compassion of its authors. I traveled a lonely path, caring for my mother whose memory began slipping when I was in my early 30s and trying to become a mother myself. Mom’s slow dance with Alzheimer’s lasted for 14 years.

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Hay Delivery!

Hay is a welcome sight this year. I’ve been more attuned than usual to the weather since we’ve been suffering from a drought all summer. The hay truck arrived this afternoon with 60 bales of a rich orchard grass mix. And more bales are on the way…. It was a tight squeeze. But the truck made it into the barn with several inches to spare.

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The hay was unloaded into our loft. I was thankful for the strong men who did this hard work. One stood in the bed of the truck and tossed bales up to the loft while the other stacked them.
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Each bale weighs about 75 pounds, so it’s not easy work.

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When your pasture looks like this…hay becomes even more beautiful. It’s been weeks since we’ve had an appreciable amount of rain. Normally our pastures are green and lush.

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The hay is neatly stacked. A full loft is a wonderful sight…especially when winter is ahead.

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Sydney shows off our lovely hay! It’s been pouring rain since I started this blog post. Maybe the key to breaking the drought is getting a hay delivery. 🙂 Whatever it takes!


Saying Goodbye to Smokey…for now

We’ve enjoyed having Smokey at the barn so much! Pound for pound, he has the biggest personality of all the horses. And he loves his mares! Last night when the horses heard that Smokey was leaving today, they all gathered together over the fence for a horse huddle. They were either coming up with an escape plan or saying goodbye.

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Smokey and April enjoyed eating their hay together one last time. Smokey was happy to have a break from his muzzle.

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Sydney cleaned up Smokey in preparation for his trip home.

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Smokey gives a big yawn….

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We’re all going to miss Smokey. Even Sunny was looking sad that her friend was leaving.

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Sydney combed out Smokey’s tail and started braiding.

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Waa la — a fish tail! Wait…I thought Smokey was a pony.

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My friend Lynn brought her big truck over to help us move Smokey. We hooked it up to my dusty trailer and pumped up the tires. We loaded Smokey, and he looked so small in the trailer. In fact, on the ride over to his old home, he turned himself around and ended up on the other side of the trailer. When we unloaded Smokey, we didn’t even have to lower the butt bar. He just walked right under it.

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Smokey recognized his old home right away. We are so grateful to MeLanie for letting us use him!

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Smokey let out a long whinny to say hello to his old friends, then happily started eating hay.

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Bye, Smokey! We love you!! Hope to see you next spring!