FAMILY

FAMILY
I fight for a cure for me & our amazing children❤️

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Baby Love💗

It's been a while since I blogged and I'm happy today is a good day to do it! It is a beautiful day here so I won't spend too much time inside today. 

The past few weeks have been all about the babies👶💖 We have created a good system so that I can help Kristen twice a week.  On Tuesday she comes to our house with them and we turn our living room into a daycare! My dear friends Sylvia and Debbie come over and help too! We have two swings that we found on NextDoor and boy do they come in handy. I love holding the babies but it's also nice to have a safe place for them. Yesterday my buddy Elaine came over too and that was really nice. She also gave us a playpen that we can use when the babies get older. Thank you Lanie 💕

The following day I normally go over to Kristens house and help her with them there. That's two full days of baby time and I LOVE IT! Don't get me wrong, I am exhausted at the end of these days and I look forward to a good nights sleep too, but I definitely wouldn't change it. I just wish she lived closer but that's not going to happen, so I won't dwell on it. 

My bestie Monica came to town just to help out with the babies too! Ryan was out of town so the three of us were in charge. It was SO wonderful to have her all week and she's an amazing chef and filled our plates with yummy food. I was sad to see her go but she has lots of friends and I know we will see her again when it works for her schedule. We've been friend's since the kids were 5 years old! 

Today I'm going to the chiropractor -- holding them and walking up and down the stairs definitely affects my back and my right knee. But it's worth it and I'm not going to stop our routine! They are so darn cute and even when they're crying and fussy I'm ok with it!

The rest of my time has been spent raising money for our Alzheimer's Walk! So far we've raised over $26,000💰 I've been auctioning off some of the scarfs I've knitted and that really helped us this year. Our walk is just a month away and I'm looking forward to walking with all of our friends and family. Afterwards we will host lunch at a local pizza place. We've been doing this since 2016 when I got my diagnosis and started walking and raising money to find a cure!

I was able to spend some time with my oldest grandson Ryan too. We went to lunch and to a movie and it had been a while since I'd seen him so it was special. He's getting so tall! He also recently won a big tournament in Florida too.

Another fun thing Bob and I did was go to a concert with our besties - Tim, Elaine, Monika and Louis! I was a little nervous because I thought it might be too loud for me. We were at Shoreline and Keith Urban was playing. I love him and I love his music so I decided to tough it out. The good news is that the music was perfect! I didn't need the earplugs and I knew a lot of his songs so I was in heaven. I'm so thankful I said yes to this wonderful event! We spent the night with them too and enjoyed a lovely time in their patio before we went home. Thank you Tim & Elaine for your hospitality😘

I got to see my brother Bobby and Carol too this month. They were on their way home from a visit with family and stopped at our house. I was hoping they would stay for dinner but that didn't work out. I sure do wish they lived closer. We need to figure out how to spend more time together.

I had some lunch dates too - Jane come over to watch tennis with me and that was really fun. We've known each other for many years - back in the High School days. Our friend Karen met up with Bob and I too for a wonderful meal in Walnut Creek. She also helped me with one of the paint by number kits that I was working on. My neurologist suggested that I mix things up and not do the same thing every day so I stopped painting. Karen took over and she just finished it! Thank you KYZ! I can't wait to frame it. I'm hoping someone will make a nice big donation and help us raise some more money for our ALZ walk Oct 29th!

So that's what's been happening with me! I still struggle with headaches, exhaustion and ringing in my ears. Thats been going on for a long time so I try not to let it bother me. I still need to rest/nap and thankfully I can do that while listening to my audible books or meditation music. I just finished a great book if you like non fiction - Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. GREAT story about rock and roll and the music industry. I also listened to Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McALllister but I didn't like it that much. Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis was good but sad/uncomfortable at times. At the moment I'm reading Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. Give it a try! It's pretty interesting!


Rusty is still my constant companion, and I can't imagine life without him. He really is a dog in disguise😇 I sure hope he outlives me because I will not do well when he goes to heaven....

I hope you're all doing well. Sending love and hugs and blessings your way💜💜



Monday, August 8, 2022

The Joy of Family 💕

BLOG #119! It's been quite a while since I blogged. My last blog was extremely difficult. Thankfully my dear friend Debbie came over and helped out! I'm hoping and praying that this one will be easier to navigate. It's been almost two months since my last blog so i will try to update you on all my activities❤ 

I am still listening to books and sometimes I can paint at the same time! This month I've read/listened to six books and I am enjoying most of them. One of my favorites was 'The Maid' by Nita Prose. My Intel buddy JeanAnn recommended it. I've had some lunch dates too but they aren't as frequent than they used to be. I think the summer months and kids home for school have something to do with that. I did have lunch with Rebecca at True Food Kitchen and that was wonderful! Oh, and Debbie and I had lunch too which was a real treat. 

I had to say goodbye to my Intel buddy Melaine 😶 JeanAnn and I had lunch with her and a few days later she left for a new adventure in Colorado. We cried a little but hopefully we can stay in touch via FaceTime/Zoom or by texting. I'm happy for her and maybe someday I will visit her! 

Last month! Bob took me to my annual visit at my Neurologists office. Dr. Sachdeva has been my doctor since my diagnosis in 2016. She was very happy that I was doing well. I told her all about my routine and my mediation, bible plans, yoga, walking etc. The only thing she recommended was to mix things up! Change my routine - walk in the morning vs the afternoon. She doesn't want me to paint every day so I will figure out what my new routine will be soon! 

So, the best thing that happened this month was my youngest daughter delivered two beautiful babies! No photos are allowed but I can tell you those twins are absolutely perfect👶👶 A boy and a girl!!! I can't tell you how much joy that brought to our family. It also gives me hope and even more purpose to keep fighting and raising money to find a cure to END ALZHEIMER'S!!! My goal is to be able to spend time with them and to make many memories with them!

I was able to be in the hospital when they were born and didn't want to put them down. I am filled with hope and joy and I'm so happy I'm able to help them once a week. Changing diapers and feeding them makes me so happy! Celly loves them too and tries to kiss them when they're getting changed!


I've also started my WALK2ENDALZ fundraising and have raised over $10,000 and our team BUNI's BUDDIES has raised over $17,000! Many thanks to all of you who have already donated. Every penny counts and I am so thankful for your support.

The other exciting event took place in San Diego last week. I was part of a panel speaking at the Alzheimer's Assoc International Conference! There were four of us on stage talking about ALZ and how Lego's helped one woman communicate with Lego bricks! I shared my journey of living with ALZ and also spoke about the importance of using the Lego's to share my frustration with one of my primary care doctors. For that Lego set I turned all the Lego people upside down - signifying that my doctor had his head in the sand! This was the doctor that told me "You don't look like you have Alzheimer's!" 

                                                                                                                                    

We were there for 3 days and unfortunately, I had horrific nightmares the morning we were flying home. It stuck with me all day and I was so shaken that when I came home, I stayed in bed all day trying to erase the fear. I mentioned it to my colleague, and she mentioned that sometimes Aricept causes nightmares! When I mentioned it to Bob he said I had frequent nightmares! WOW - I guess I either forgot that or just didn't know it was happening that often.

The next day I was fine and Wednesday afternoon I was with my grandchildren and loved every minute with them. 

So that's what's been going on with me😇 I had a fun lunch date with Rebecca & Julia at Blackhawk Grill. It was really fun and we got to feed the ducks too. 


I read a weird book - 'Things We Do In The Dark' - I definitely do not recommend it! I did LOVE "The Maid" by Nita Prose. JeanAnn recommended it to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it!


Rusty has been a good boy too and he likes to lay with me in the afternoon when I'm resting! Bob has been busy but we've been able to have lunch dates and make a point to go to church on Sundays and then have a nice meal. I spent a ton of time watching Wimbledon too and just LOVE that tournament! 

So I guess that's my latest update! I will try to attach some photos to this but I'm not sure I know how to do that anymore. UGH! I need an assistant to help me with technology now 😆😆

Many thanks to all of you - I can't tell you how much you lift me up and keep me smiling💜💓💜 


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Mini Vacation & my birthday month🎂

Hello and happy weekend to all of you💜 I'm going to start this by saying I've definitely slowed down but have been able to make the most of it and will continue to fight this crazy disease. I haven't blogged in over two months. Not because I didn't have anything to say but mainly because it takes a lot of time and a lot of brain power to write these days.

So that being said, this blog is dedicated to LOUIS BURNS! Last Saturday several of us went to a celebration of life for our Intel buddy Earl Whetstone. He was well a special man well liked and sometimes feared.

I was honored to be able to attend the event at Birks - one of the restaurants near RNB where we all worked. The first person I saw when I walked in was Louis. He gave me a big hug and talked about how my blogs have been helping him and others. I mentioned that they are hard for me to write, take a ton of time and afterwards I'm exhausted. He encouraged me to KEEP GOING! They are important to him and if Louis wants to hear my story I'm sure there are many others that do too. So that's what I'm doing today. It might take me several hours to get this done but I'm going to keep this trend for as long as I can. Thanks for the encouragement Louis😍

So onward to what I've been up to. I'm definitely staying connected and reaching out to friends and family almost every day. I've had several lunch dates, walk dates and plenty of phone calls that help me stay connected. I started another adult Paint By Number kit and enjoying that again. I have read a ton of books but I also am enjoying my naps!

My birthday was April 15th and we hadn't celebrated with friends and family since COVID. So this year Bob made sure it was a special event! We had a fabulous meal at Postino in Lafayette and I think there were over 30 people in attendance. I was in heaven and it was so nice to see everyone.  Not everyone knew each other so I asked everyone to let folks know who they were and how long had they know me!

It was a good way to get the conversations starting! Two of my high school best friends were there too - they actually surprised me! They RSVP'd NO but secretly talked to Bob and let him know they were coming. Of course when I saw them walk in I couldn't stop crying. Crying is my thing now BTW - Lots of emotions that are so close to the surface. I'm doing my best to embrace the emotions and not stress about it. My brother and sister in law were there too and I'm always thankful to have time with them. My moto is FAMILY FIRST.

So before my lovely birthday dinner I was living the life of luxury with one of my best buddies Monica! She flew out from New Jersey and we went on a road trip to see our other buddy Monika. She and her husband Louis live among the beautiful redwood trees!

Afterwards we stayed at one of my favorite hotels - The Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. Monica hadn't been there before and she was in love with the ocean and the cool sea air! Before we took off for our trip to Half Moon Bay we had breakfast with my nephew - Braden! He and his wife live in Santa Cruz and I'm so glad we could spend some quality time with them. I just love him to pieces💗

Monica & Pam at the lighthouse

Much needed sweatshirt on the coast










So onward we went up the coast and took a lot of pictures and enjoyed the lighthouses. Oh - and the sea otters too! The accommodations at the Ritz Carlton were lovely and Monica treated me to a very special birthday dinner. We were in the 'fine dining' area and the chef did a fabulous job.

Sunset's at Half Moon Bay

Pre Birthday celebration



AMAZING lamp chopsSo that's all the good stuff that happened over the past few months. Thanks to Melaine, JeanAnn, Jane, Joy, Rebecca, Carol, Debbie, Buck & Karen and anyone else I forgot. All of these men & ladies took time out of their busy days to spend time with me. Special shout out to Rusty for being by my side and for Bobs love & support❤ For Kristen and Ryan and Celly too! And Much love to all of you too! Your friendahip means the world to me.  

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Happy Spring 😊

Well, it's been quite a while since I sat down to write another blog! It's hard to believe that we are in the month of April! I've been busy and thankfully COVID is calming down. BTW this is blog #117! I've been sharing my story and my journey living with Alzheimer's for 7 years! Whew -- so much has happened over those years and thankfully I'm still able to write, read, knit, drive, cook, make reservations and share my journey - with the hopes of helping others dealing with this disease.

Most of my days have been pretty good! I enjoy listening to my books, meditating, my bible plans and listening to the 'Pray As You Go' app. I also really enjoy knitting and connecting with my friends and family. The weather is warm now so I'm able to sit outside and hang out with all the birds! 

My cognition is ok, actually pretty good. I do struggle with short term memory and have found that I need to write down important details. A few days ago Bob mentioned some events he was going to. I made the mistake of not writing it down! Most days I keep my journal with me and when I get on the phone with my friends & Family I make sure to take notes on what we talked about. It's not that annoying but I'm sure it's not fun for my family and friends.

I am staying active and enjoying my Yoga classes and my walks around the Iron Horse Trail. I still enjoy my audible books too. I just finished the Sea of Freedom by Sarah Lark. I also really enjoyed Anatomy by Dana Schwarz and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm so thankful for the Audio version of these books. I don't think my cognition works well when I'm reading so I just don't bother with it.

I had a lovely time connecting with one of my hero's - Eric Dishman last month! All of my Intel buddies will know who he is. When Eric got sick many years ago he shared his journey and wrote about his struggles. He is the one that inspired me to be brave and share my story in order try to help others too! That's why I started blogging after I got my diagnosis. I'm so glad he's doing well and hope to connect with him again soon.

In February we lost our dear friend Michael Chernow😭 I was able to fly out with my friends Monika & Louis so we could attend his funeral. Michael's wife is Monica and we've been friends for over 30 years. I told Bob I needed to be there and he helped me get my flights. It was rough but I'm so glad I was there to surround Monica and her kids with love and hugs. 

On a happy note I was able to attend the East Bay Women's Conference in San Ramon. Bob was very involved in this and I was so happy that Brittany came with me. She was my caregiver for the day! The speakers were phenomenal and I'm so glad I was able to attend. I even got dressed up and put makeup on! 


I've recently been speaking at a few events over Zoom. I did a FaceBook Live event with Claire Day and earlier that day I spoke to the staff at Genentech! It was so fun to share my story, my journey of living with AD. I'm really hoping that I can do some IN PERSON events soon! I do think that COVID is slowing down so lets hope and pray we can hug each other again💓

Kristen had a birthday this month and it was nice to go to a restaurant! Her bestie Candi and I took her to dinner and a Peruvian restaurant! YUM - it was delicious. The downside was that it was SUPER LOUD!! I thankfully had ear plugs with me. I'm sure I've mentioned how sensitive I am to loud noises now. And I ALWAYS have ringing in my ears so adding loud noises really messes me up!

A few weeks ago my high school buddy Jane came over. She ordered food for us, picked it up and we ate at the dining room table! It was so much fun. Normally we meet at restaurants but eating at home was really fun. I'm so thankful for her - I know she's still working full time but she still makes time for me. 

Bob's son Phil was in town last week! I hadn't seen him since COVID and it was so wonderful to hang out. We sat outside at one of our favorite spots - CRUMBS. These little moments mean the world to me. 


A week prior I had a WONDERFUL visit with Matt Gunsul and his family. Matt used to work for me at Intel and he promised when he was in town he would make time for me. He was on Spring Break with his wife and kids and we had a wonderful time at breakfast. Thank you Matt & May💜 Oh- and since I paid for lunch he donated to my Alzheimer's Walk! That's the kind of guy Matt is.

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Celly and my time with Ryan & Kristen! Celly is always the center of attention and is the sweetest dog EVER. I just love spending time with them and thoroughly enjoy wrestling with my grand doggy🐕

I also had a lunch date with Rebecca in late March! And a few days later she got married!! She also adopted a new doggy! Her name is Maisy and I can't wait to meet her. After our lunch date we went to a pet store so of course I had to buy Maisy a toy. I bought her a SLOTH!!! And guess what, she LOVES it. Thank you Rebecca for sending the pictures of Maisy playing with her Sloth!


Every day is a gift and I am so thankful for all my friends and family who look out for me! A few days ago Debbie and I connected and talked and talked. Friends are EVERTHING! It wasn't anything special - we just grabbed two chairs, ordered some coffee and talked about anything and everything! That's what I like - no agenda, no drama, just lots of fun and love and support. 

So that's what's been going on with me. YES I have constant headaches, YES I have constant ringing in my ears. But the good news is I am fully functional and other than the short term memory stuff I'm doing pretty darn good!!! 

Many thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and support🙏 And I look forward to seeing all of my Intel buddies on April 23rd at PEDRO'S!!! I cannot wait to see you and give you a BIG HUG🤗.



Sunday, January 23, 2022

Its 2022! YIKES😲

Well hello to 2022! I'm still not used to saying that. Every time I journal, I struggle with the date. I know we're in January but I can't keep the days straight. I guess that's OK - I use my calendar to keep notes and I'm aware of what I have scheduled. Most of the time I use my phone AND my calendar just to be safe! I do still struggle horribly with short term memory but when I can't remember what I was doing I sit down and wait until the memory comes back! I try VERY hard not to beat myself up for all the mistakes and confusion that I have. I know for a fact that the meditation and breathing and bible plans that I read everyday help with this. And they defiantly help with my mood and my spirt.

Bob and I celebrated our Anniversary and really enjoyed our dinner at Blackhawk Grill and a movie on Dec 12th. We watched West Side Story! I definitely recommend it, especially if you like musicals. I had some wonderful lunch dates again last month too, Carole came over and we had lunch at our house! That was really a nice treat. Our friends Tim & Elaine had a delayed turkey dinner and it was awesome! It was so nice to be with them and to meet some of her family and friends. 


The following week I had lunch with one of my high school buddies, Jane! We had a fabulous meal at Bridges and then went for a long walk on the Iron Horse Trail. The following day my bestie Linda and her hubby Doug came over to hang out! They were in town visiting their daughter and all the grandkids. I was so happy they made the time to meet with me too! 

The same day Karen drove down from Folsom and we had a lovely lunch at Blackhawk Grill. I hadn't seen her since COVID and it was nice to reconnect 😊Debbie came over too the following day. This is not normal - I don't always have so many appointments or lunch dates but for some reason near the holidays my calendar was full!!


The big drama of last month was a little cat bite from my caregiver kitty RUSTY! We were resting in bed and watching TV and I was petting him and he decided he wanted to bite me! I'm not sure if he was over stimulated or what.....ANYWAY, Bob and I went to the movies - no idea what we saw...after the show my hand was swollen so we went straight to the Emergency Room! This was not the first time I've been bitten by a cat. When I was working at ARF in Walnut Creek one of the cats - his name was Petal, bit me. It was many years ago but I remember that the following day ARF called and said I had to go straight to the hospital. Apparently cats mouths and cat bites can cause infection. SO - we go to the ER and he gives me a shot, wraps up my hand and gives me a two week prescription. By this time it was even more swollen but thankfully not too painful. A few days later my hand was so swollen I couldn't bend it or use it. Thankfully the medicine kicked in and all is good now! I do have a nice puncture wound but its all better now. 

So - aside from that I had a great month! I listened to a great book - 'My Name Is Anton' by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I also started reading 'Keep Sharp' by Sanjay Gupta! It's filled with data and is all about the brain and Alzheimer's. There are excellent suggestions regarding exercise, memory activities and diet. 

I was able to spend the weekend with Kristen and that was really fun. Celly is such a good boy and we had fun walking with him and watching a lot of TV. Ryan was out of town and we had the house to ourselves!

I'm still painting and for Christmas I got a new canvas from Phil & Elizabeth! It's going to be so pretty. Lots of pink flowers and fluffy sky.

So that's my update! Lots of down time. I'm still resting most afternoons and that's when I listen to my books.  I'm still doing my yoga and walks, and some days are better than others. I have constant headaches and constant ringing in my ears. It's annoying but it's been going on for a while so I try not to let it bring me down.

Bob's been home most nights and we've really enjoyed having more time together. Yesterday we watched the Packer/ 49er game! Stressful for sure. He's a Packer fan and I'm a 9er fan - LOL! We don't get too dramatic about it thankfully....I'm glad Jonny is doing well and it's nice to have my husband at home.

The highlight this month was attending one of my best friends daughters wedding in Austin, TX! Monica and I have been friends for almost 30 years! Her beautiful daughter Annie got married to the love of her life. We've been to some elegant and beautiful weddings but this one was amazing! We had so much fun and our friends Monika and Louis were with us too. We danced, we drank, we took pictures...it was awesome. Austin is such a cute town and the hotel we stayed in was awesome too! I'm so happy for Annie and Alex and I can't wait to visit them in New Jersey when things calm down. 



So I guess that's my update! I look forward to my Alzheimer's support groups every week and I am thankful for all the support, phone calls, texts and in person visits! Please keep them coming 😍 Let's hope 2022 is going to be a great year!

Sending love, hugs and prayers to all of you. You lift me up and keep me going💓


 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Happy Holidays 2021 🎄

Happy Holidays to you🎅 It's been quite a while since I posted a blog. I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the holiday season!

I've been following my therapists advice and doing what makes me happy most days. My cognition has been pretty good and I'm definitely staying active and involved with the Alzheimer's Assoc and with all my friends and family. I try to start my day with meditation, prayer and a nice strong espresso. Lately I've been following up with some non-caffeinated passion & mint tea! It's such a lovely change and the warmth is calming to my stomach!

I really enjoy our weekly support groups - it's nice to understand how some of my peers are dealing with their diagnosis. Its fascinating to me how each of us have different symptoms and difficulties. We are still doing it over ZOOM but hopefully we will be back in the office in 2022.

My last blog was in October, just a few days before our annual #Walk2EndAlz in San Ramon. This year we were able to walk with our friends and family. Last year with COVID we didn't have an official walk event and walked around our neighborhood instead with our immediate family. 

Having the walk again - like it used to be was so wonderful. We had perfect weather and a great turnout. I was the top fundraiser (thanks to all of you!) and so I started the walk and held my blue flower high in the sky! It's always an emotional day and this year we hosted lunch afterwards. I want to thank all of you and all of my Intel buddies for helping me raise almost $48,000💸 Ten thousand more than we raised last year!! With your donations, support and the scientists working hard to find a cure, I know that some day we will #ENDALZ!

I had some fun with my girlfriends and having lunch and hanging out is one of my favorite new pastimes! I'm staying busy at home and knitting, painting and staying in shape with yoga and walking. There's nothing better than being with people I enjoy and who know how important connection is. Thank you all for taking the time to dine with me. Shout out to Vicki, Melaine, Jane, Alice and JeanAnn💓 And anyone else I forgot!

Bob and I have been going to the movies too! I really enjoyed 'King Richard". Even if you're not a tennis fan it's worth the cost of the ticket. I definitely recommend it! We also watched 'House of Gucci' and it was a little too dark for me - Lady Gaga did a fabulous job though.

A few weeks ago Bob and I were able to attend church in person for the first time! I can't tell you how good it felt to be in the church, versus watching on Zoom. Our pastor, and dear friend Steve was preaching and we got to talk with him afterwards. I miss him and I miss church. With Bob's schedule it doesn't always work for us to go in person but I hope and pray that going forward we can attend again very soon🙏

I've done a few speaking events over the past month or so. I worked with Maria Shrivers team - WAM - and participated in one of thier events - virtually of course! Last week I also spoke on a Podcast with the support of the National Alzheimer's Association. It was really fun and I enjoyed meeting everyone virtually who's working on research and helping us find a cure to ENDALZ!!

We did lose a dear family member in early November😥 My Aunt Nancy passed away peacefully at her care facility in Fresno. She was the wife of my mothers brother - Uncle Jack Geary. It's always sad to say goodbye but she had a wonderful life and I will never forget all of the events and fun we had at their house. As I get older I realize that time is precious and I'm doing my best of make the most of it!

Weekends at Kristen are always fun and spending time with their doggy Celly is one of my favorite things to do! He's so fun and cute and loving. We had a good weekend and I helped get things organized and watched some quality TV with Kristen. Ryan was out of town so we got to take over the remote and watch all the fun stuff -- The Voice -- Dirty Dancing and a few others that I don't remember.

I was interviewed by the Mercury News in November about a potential blood test for Alzheimer's. I talked with them about my diagnosis and how difficult it was for me to get my primary physician to refer me to a neurologist. He said that I didn't look like I had Alzheimer's! I am always happy to share my story and my journey of getting the diagnosis and how I'm living with Alzheimer's now. I'm thankful for these opportunities and I will continue to use my voice as long as I can.

So I guess that's all that's going on with me! Rusty continues to keep me smiling and keeping me company when I'm home alone. He's a big fan of The Voice, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order and Heartland😊 He also enjoys Christmas music and likes it when I sing along. This year I decorated with a few items -  no tree but the house is festive and that makes me smile🎄

Speaking of Rusty his birthday was just a few days ago! He's 9 years old now and still going strong. He's my comfort kitty and I honestly can't imagine life without him. 

Bob and I will be celebrating our Anniversary tomorrow and later in the week we are having dinner with his staff at the Walnut Creek Chamber. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone. He's been working hard and traveling back and forth to Chico so it will be nice to have him home for a few weeks!

I'm sending love and blessings to all of you. Your support, phone calls, donations, lunch dates lift me up and keep me smiling! I hope to keep going at this pace for awhile. I'm not sure what happened, or why it happened but I'm in a really good place now and I'm praying that it stays this way for awhile!

Happy Holidays to all of you -- I so appreciate all your love and support💖





Thursday, October 21, 2021

LIVING WELL - FEELING WELL😍


Greetings from cloudy Danville CA. We need rain and we were expecting rain today but so far we've just gotten sprinkles. I mention the weather because this is a good day for me to blog!🙏

It's been a few weeks since I've shared my journey with you so I will do my best to capture all the fun I've had! I've spent most of the days listening to my books, walking, meditating, hanging out with friends & family and doing my yoga. I've also found a new love of painting! 

Amazon has adult Paint by Number kits. The first one turned out great and I can't wait to see it after it's matted and framed. The kit cost me $10, the framing cost $200! 🤣 The second one I bought dropped me to my knees. It's very difficult and so intricate & tedious. Some days I can only work on it for an hour. It's looking lovely so far but it sure causes exhaustion and sometimes headaches. I will keep going and can't wait to see the final product. This one will go to Kristen. She picked out the painting and I can't wait to see it in their home.

I'm able to drive now so getting out and about is joyful. Bobs still going back and forth to Chico to care for Jonny and a week ago my bestie and ex-neighbor Sylvia came over to visit when he was gone. We had SO much fun! We watched The Voice and re-watched some Grey's Anatomy! We are both HUGE Grey's fans and don't mind watch the episodes, even if we've seen them 10 times. I'm sure Ellen Pompeo has millions of followers who do the same thing....I know I'm not the only one!

Kristen and I attended a three week 'Connected Horse' workshop in Pleasanton last month too. Being with the horses was amazing and I truly did connect with them. I'm not a rider and I had no idea what to expect but very quickly I fell in love with the horses. We aren't allowed to ride them, this is more of a spiritual experience and a way to be fully present. After each session with the horses the staff asked us to say one word that expressed how the session went. Words like strength, love, peaceful, calm were expressed by all of us. The caregivers learned a lot too and it was beautiful to see the smiles and joy of washing a horse, grooming him/her and leading them around. I would definitely do it again when the next session opens up.

I've been reading a lot too, mostly listening while I'm painting or walking. I just finished AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummins. It's part of Oprah's Book Club and I definitely recommend it. I also finished THIS TENDER LAND by William Kent Krueger. The non fiction I read this month was THE EYE of the ELEPHANT by Mark Owens. Let me know if you want more info on these books. And please send me your favorites too! Reading/Listening on Audible really helps my brain work and maybe that's why my cognition has been great these past few months💜

This year for our WALK2ENDALZ we started fundraising early so we could raise as much money as possible to find a cure. My Intel buddy Terry Raymond has always been a huge and generous contributor but this year he wanted to do something special. We are both fans of Mike Yastrzemski so Terry decided that every time Yaz hit a home run he would donate $100 to #ENDALZ! 

Bob hopped on the band wagon too and decided to match Terry's donations. Guess how many home runs Yaz hit??? 25! He hit 25 home runs this year! The only Giant who hit more was Brandon Belt - he hit 29. I'm not good at math anymore but Terry - the amazing generous buddy that he is - donated $2500 to our WALK2ENDALZ!! When the news got out that Terry was a fan of Yaz and was helping us find a cure, our local chapter of the Alzheimer's Assoc invited me, my husband and Terry to their event at Oracle Park. 

Prior to that one of the Alz Assoc staff and one of our dear friends Ondine had asked us if we were going to the game. We talked about the fundraiser and I told her about Terry's donations and how awesome it would be to meet Yaz and tell him how much we appreciated him. I really wanted to meet him and get a photo. They don't really do stuff like that anymore and nothing else was said and that was OK. Bob and I were going to the game regardless. 

When we arrived at the ball park Bob bought me a YAZ jersey and I was all set for the game with all of our friends. We were strolling down towards the field talking and the next thing I knew we were watching the players warming up. A few minutes later guess who walked over to talk with us....MIKE YASTRZEMSKI!!! I was so overwhelmed and I actually started crying. We talked and hugged and took photos and he signed my hat!!! It was SO fun and I was so thankful for our local chapter for their support. Living with Alzheimer's totally STINKS but it's times like this that bring me so much joy🙏

So if that wasn't enough excitement a few weeks later Bob & I attended a black tie fund raising event - PART THE CLOUD. It was at a private residence in Woodside. A gorgeous venue surrounded by beautiful redwood trees. 100% of all the funds raised through PART THE CLOUD support the Alzheimer's Assoc International Research Program. That night over $2 million was raised! It was our first formal event since COVID. It felt so good to be surrounded by friends and collogues from the Alzheimer's Assoc National Office. I'm so very thankful for this event and give all the thanks to Karen Stevenson who gifted us her tickets! We love your Karen💜

So as you can see I'm doing pretty well! Feeling good, cognition is good, sprits are high, but my stamina is up and down. I do rest most afternoons and try to close my eyes and regroup so I can enjoy dinner with Bob. Connection with friends and family keep me going!

Rusty continues to be by my side every single day. He's definitely the best caregiver kitty I've ever had. Our connection with family and friends is strong and our WALK2ENDALZ is this Saturday!! I'm very excited to see my friends and family in person and to treat them to lunch afterwards. So far I've raised $20,960 and our team, BUNI'S BUDDIES has raised $37,939!!! I'm super happy and so thankful for everyone's support to help us find a cure. 

That's my update for this month - I will keep blogging as long as I can and I hope you are enjoying this crazy journey of mine. Some days good, some days bad, but I always end the day with a smile on my face.

Sending love and blessings to you and your family. I'm here if you want to talk! 💓💜💓