03.21.18 Madisyn and Kallie’s birthdays, massive cooking, doctors and funeral home

Wednesday, March 21, 2018  – This is one of those blog posts that is mostly to help me remember events now and in the future.  You can skip it if you want but it does include some interesting stuff!!  I accidentally published this blog yesterday evening.  Sorry about that if you saw it and it went away.
I saw this video on facebook this morning, I had to add this before publishing this blog post.  It looks so awesome but I’d never do it, how about you??
Our precious Madisyn’s 9th birthday party was earlier this month.  You’ll see her unicorn theme in every photo!     Madisyn’s amazingly delicious Unicorn cake was made by a good friend of ours, Beckie Pistorious.  Beckie can be contacted at Cakes by Beckie, at Carter’s Supermarket in Livingston, LA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/decothecake/   Here is the back of the cake, wow!
Friday of last week included two doctor visits and a funeral home visit.  I know, wow!!  We started with my family physician, Dr. Valdes.  We were there to get my A1C taken after a month of higher dose of one medicine and cutting sugar/carbs out of my diet.  Last visit it was 9.2, this visit it was 8.1.  Getting much closer to he goal of 7!!!  He increased the soliqua injection dosage to 20.  I’m very encouraged by making as much progress as I have in one month.  I also lost 3 pounds!  I left several painted rocks there!!
Next visit was with my current neurologist.   I don’t behave in a way my Southern mama would approve of when I am meeting with that doctor.  She just sets me off, and I come away from there frustrated and very upset.  I wish I could describe it to ya’ll why this happens every time but I can’t.  The bottom line is that she just doesn’t seem to be as informed about dementia as I need her to be.  One day I will be able to get my thoughts together and document what it actually is that upsets me so much.   She increased the dosage of the brain medicine, Galantamine, to 24 mg. twice a day which I did like.  I don’t know how much good it is doing but it is not making me lightheaded so I’ll take it.  She has ordered a PET Scan for me to better define what is going on in my brain. That did make me happy because I haven’t had one of those yet and it’s suppose to be a very helpful tool in determining the type of dementia.  I don’t have a date for that but once she agreed to do that, I was able to control myself until we left.  I left several painted rocks there also.
When we left there we went to Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home to meet with Ben Jett about making funeral arrangements for both of us ahead of time.  If you haven’t done this yet I recommend doing it.  It will help your loved ones so much to know what you want.  Ben is a really nice young guy and I’d recommend going to that funeral home to meet with him.  He’s at the funeral home on US 190 and Baptist Road.   Roy and I were able to make these important decisions without the stress of having a death just occurring.  There was some information they wanted that we couldn’t come up with right away so we’ve done some digging in our records at home and are sending those to them this week.  I am now working on putting together a slide show of photos from Roy’s life (mine is already done) and other things related to a funeral.  I’m very happy we have the funeral planning done and documented.  Now to start paying for it.  Wow, that’s the rough part!  Didn’t seem like this was the appropriate place to leave painted rocks!!
Then Saturday was major cooking day in our home. Two pans of cabbage rolls, one pan of cabbage casserole, a giant pot of vegetable beef soup (filled 4 gallon freezer bags) carrot raisin salad. Fresh mashed potatoes (Donna Methvien, Roy made these!!!) with something else I don’t remember. All were made using the ingredients we caught at the St.Patrick’s Day parade in Metairie last Saturday.  That meant a ton of peeling and cutting carrots, potatoes, celery, soup meat. It felt like 10 tons but Roy was a big help peeling the carrots and potatoes.  I did all the chopping.
The photo below are of some of the fresh ingredients in the pot when the vegetable beef soup cooking started.  Everything was fresh except for a can of green beans and a can of corn.
I have to admit that my cabbage rolls don’t look like regular all neat and orderly cabbage rolls.  They do however taste really good!  The cabbage casserole include Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter.  We may not eat cabbage for a long long time until we get over eating it daily!   I made an extra pan of cabbage rolls and cabbage casserole, because my daughter in law Misty said she loves them.  Hope she is enjoying it them this week! By the time we went to bed Saturday evening we didn’t know what was was up or down!!  I truly don’t know how Roy’s mom cooked big meals like she always did.  I slept so soundly from exhaustion, I thought I was coming out of a coma when waking up on Sunday morning and getting ready to go to church.
We went to Chip and Misty’s home after church Sunday to celebrate Kallie (our teenage granddaughter’s) birthday Sunday.  She’s 17 now!!! It was wonderful spending time with this precious young lady.
Kallie’s amazing cake was made by “A Tammy Cake” which Tammy describes as white almond cake filled with berry compote and fresh strawberries, chocolate buttercream icing, ganache and chocolate covered strawberries on top.  Tammy can be contacted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/atammycake/
Kallie, Grannie and Madisyn
Roy has suddenly become quite busy with computer work and flooring work.  What we thought was going to be a quiet non eventful week, this week, has blown up with fun and other frivolities!  Roy is doing this work so that he can purchase a drone he has wanted for some time! The one he wants is a DJI Mavic Pro.  He currently has a toy drone which doesn’t do nearly the cool things the real one can.
I said in our last post that I’d share about Chip and I going on Madisyn’s school class had a field trip to Liuzza Land yesterday (Monday). I have some other important things to do, like reading in the hammock and down by the pond (!!!!!) on this beautifully cool and sunny day, so I’ll share about that next time!
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

03.20.18 Communicating in Alzheimer’s World, by Bob DeMarco, AlzheimersReadingRoom.com and other things

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – I’ve written about how while Mama lived with us, the last few months we’d live in her bizarre little world.  She was not the mama I grew up with, nor the mama I’d known during my adult life.  Some times “my mama” would come out, but most of the time her world and ours varied widely from each other.  She’d talk about people long dead that were coming to visit or she wanted me to check on. We’d answer just like saying something that made sense and went along with what she thought was reality.  She thought we were the “couple who lives upstairs” and cooked for her (often it was food not fit for a dog, she’d say!!)  This article from Bob DeMarco, founder of AlzheimersReadingRoom.com explains that same concept, he just calls it Alzheimer’s World.  I’d call it Dementia World or the bizarre little world of the patient.
I am pleased to say I don’t have a bizzare little world I live in yet!!!
We celebrated Kallie (our teenage granddaughter’s) birthday Sunday.  She’s 17 now!!!
Roy has suddenly become quite busy with computer work and flooring work.  What we thought was going to be a quiet non eventful week, this week, has blown up with fun and other frivolities!  Roy is doing this work for a specific reason which we’ll share soon!
Madisyn’s school class had a field trip to Liuzza Land yesterday (Monday).  I went with Chip and her class and LOVED IT!!!  More on that in our next blog post.

Communicating in Alzheimer’s World , by Bob DeMarco, AlzheimersReadingRoom.com, July 31, 2017

You want to decrease both your stress as caregiver, and the stress of the person living with Alzheimer’s disease.

You want to reduce stress. You want to change the dynamic.

You want to change for the better — you want and need to change the way things are.

After repeatedly correcting my mother, telling her she just ate, and watching her get frustrated or angry, I finally realized something had to change and that something was me.

You might be wondering why I just repeated myself. Why? Because I believe it is necessary to get focused on what you want to accomplish, if you ever expect to accomplish.

It must become a deep and strong desire within you.

A goal.

For example, my mother, Dotty, continually tells me she is hungry. She does this repeatedly, just minutes after she has finished eating lunch or dinner. When a person says something that doesn’t make sense the natural tendency is to correct them. In this case, I would remind my mother over and over that she wasn’t hungry because she just ate.

Ever done that or something similar with a person who is deeply forgetful – raise your hand?

We do this because we have a problem accepting that a person living with Alzheimer’s does not remember. In the case of my mother, she does not remember that she just ate. She can’t remember she just ate, so she says she is hungry.

After the thousandth or so time of correcting my mother, telling her firmly she just ate, and watching her get frustrated or angry, I finally realized something had to change — this something was me.

I had to change.

I want to interject here that my mother even after years continued to tell me she was hungry right after eating. She frequently told me after breakfast and lunch that she hadn’t had a thing to eat all day. She told people on the telephone at night — I haven’t had a thing to eat all day. She — honestly — believed that what she is saying is true.

Why is it so hard to understand that a person living with Alzheimer’s forgets? A person living with dementia is deeply forgetful.

Why is it so hard to understand and accept they can no longer store the memory of what was just said, or what was just asked? They cannot store the answer to the question you just answered in memory, so they just keep on asking the same question over and over.

Like you and me, the deeply forgetful ask questions. The questions come from a different part of the brain then the part that is sick.

My guess is that you experience the frustration of hearing your loved one repeating words that you believe to be untrue over and over. You see and experience the same crazy behaviors over and over.

What you believe to be true, and what the person living with Alzheimer’s believes to be true are often diametrically opposed. The exact opposite.

Here is the one thing you need to understand.

Your view of reality and your loved one’s view of reality might be very different. This occurs because their brain is sick and they can’t remember simple things that are easy for you to remember.

Ask yourself, what are you doing and how are you reacting when someone living with Alzheimer’s says something you know to be incorrect or untrue?

What are you feeling when this happens? Are you constantly correcting them?

If you are constantly correcting a person living with dementia are you also experiencing enormous feelings of frustration and stress?

When you correct them do you you start to feel angry, stressed, and/or disconcerted?

Sooner or later you must make a decision.

Do I want to continue doing this? Do I want to continue feeling terrible? Or, is there an alternative?

This isn’t easy to do, but it is necessary — you need to start accepting that when a person who is deeply forgetful says something they believe to be true it is in fact a reality for them. It is their reality.

When they continually repeat themselves they do it because they can’t remember. There is no sinister plot here. Brain sick, Brain not functioning properly.

Don’t be afraid or reluctant to step into this new and very different world.

In Alzheimer’s World, reality takes on a different shape.

Reality in Alzheimer’s World is a reflection of what the person living with Alzheimer’s thinks and believes. It is this reality that you must focus on, not the way YOU think things are, or should be.


I feel confident when I say this — you won’t be able to convince a person who is deeply forgetful that they are wrong, and you won’t be able to convince them that your reality is the true reality. They can’t remember like you or me, so they really cannot comprehend your point of view.

When you do this you are asking the person who is deeply forgetful to come back into your world. They cannot do this.

Think about what I am saying here.

I am asking you to develop a frame of reference, a new and different behavior that is one hundred percent diametrically opposed to the way you think and act — the way you think and acted for your entire life.

This isn’t easy. It could be one of the hardest things you ever try to accomplish.

Even though I was well aware of what I needed to accomplish, trying as hard as I could, it still took years to get there — to get into and comfortable with Alzheimer’s World.

Once I made it into Alzheimer’s World I reaped rewards that are hard to describe.

When you make it to Alzheimer’s World you begin the process of redefining reality. Instead of trying to brow beat your loved one back into your reality, you start to interact with them based on their view of reality.

For example. When my mother said, I am hungry, I’m starving — I said OK, we will eat in a little while. Instead of telling her — you just ate, you can’t be hungry.

If my mother asks how long before we eat, I don’t say in two hours — I say, soon. The soon in this sentence means when it is time to eat. When it is time to eat. I resist the temptation to say, we just ate.

Instead of an argument, my mother now reacts positively to this response.

Over time, my mother started saying something she never said before, instead of saying I’m hungry, I am starving, she sometimes says — Bobby, what did I eat today?

When I answer by recounting our meals, she still makes a funny face, the face of disbelief, but she doesn’t get angry or upset, and neither do I.

When I answer my mother I am in Alzheimer’s World. I’m calm, and my voice is calm, I am not showing her that I am exasperated by these questions. Why? Because I am not. This is how you learn to communicate in Alzheimer’s World.

When I recount to her what she has eaten I have to be very careful. Careful to tell her with a smile on my face, and in a low calm voice. Not like a lecture. If she gets that bewildered look on her face — confusion — that is OK because I can then change the topic.

On the other hand, if I allow my mother to get angry and disconcerted then she will start going into the black hole of Alzheimer’s World.

When my mother goes into the black hole, I can feel the Alzheimer’s trying to drag me into the black hole. If this happens, I am the one that ends up with a sore heart or stomach ache.

By listening to her lament — I am hungry, I’m starving — and by responding to her reality rather than correcting her — the communication between my mother and me has improved. The amount of anger, stress and angst is greatly reduced. On both sides.

This new form of communication leads to the reduction of stress, anger, and angst. It seems to have a cumulative effect. Less stress build up across a series of situations, leads to less anger and nutty behavior from my mother.

Less conflict, fewer explosions. More happiness.

Better care giving result.

 The goal in all communications with a person living with Alzheimer’s disease should be to connect with the patient in a positive, constructive, effective way.
So instead of telling my mother — you just ate. I accept her reality that she is hungry and respond in a positive proactive way.

03.16.18 Wacky Wonderful Friday


The Unkind Person in Your Life, By Nylse Esahc

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Hurt happens. It happens to all of us, often when we do not anticipate it. It happens in families, it happens in friendships, it happens with co-workers, and we even hurt ourselves. The most confusing kind of hurt, though, is the hurt that happens for seemingly no reason.

Maybe for you it’s the customer service person who’s supposed to be helping you out but keeps making everything more difficult with their attitude. This scenario rubs you the wrong way every time. You assume that kindness is a part of their job description without considering why they may be behaving rudely in the moment.

Or maybe you’re dealing with an acquaintance who is constantly inconsiderate to your kind gestures. They disregard your feelings when you express them and say that you are “sensitive” without trying to hear you out. You do not understand their lack of effort to change, especially since you’ve vulnerably expressed your concerns. As we interact with people in relationships we expect them to be as invested as we are in the relationship without considering that they might not value the relationship in the same sense that we do.

03.18.18 Acceptance, by Cheryl Stevenson

ACCEPTANCE, By Cheryl Stevenson Sept. 2011

When I don’t recognize you, yet you know me, please be patient & understanding.

I can’t control what I remember or what I forget.

When I have trouble finding a word while I’m talking to you, please don’t make me feel bad about it.

I’m trying so hard to remember the word & the stress & embarrassment can increase my symptoms.

When I get lost, please help me find my way.

I don’t ever want to get lost, but sometimes it just happens.

If I try to explain to you some of the symptoms that I deal with, please don’t say that you know what it’s like, when you really don’t.

When I just want someone to talk to, please be there for support.

If I forget something that you’ve told me, just gently remind me.

Please don’t make me feel bad about something that I have no control over.

When I have trouble doing something on my own, please just help guide me through it.

Please don’t do something for me that I am still able to do with some help or guidance.

Please love me in spite of my faults, because no one is perfect.

If I’m in a fog, please be there to help make me feel safe.

Please learn to live in my world, rather than expect me to live in yours.

If your expectations of me are too high, I may fail.

Please try to accept me for who I am, & not for who I used to be.

©Cheryl Stevenson


03.15.18 Treasured Photos – Paw Paw with Madisyn in her spot

Thursday, March 15, 2018 – Ever since Madisyn was a tiny little baby she’s had a special spot under her Paw Paw Roy’s right and left arm.  Whether they are eating ice cream (a mandatory ritual in our home), visiting, sleeping or watching the Braves on TV, she’s always had her spot.  Here are some photos of this specialness between Madisyn and her Paw Paw Roy. As she’s gotten older  that spot under his arm hasn’t been big enough so they just sit side by side.  I love the special spot in his heart that he has for our granddaughter.



Now Roy has Madisyn on one side and Kallie on the other side!

Here’s hoping for many many more moments for Roy with his grandchildren!  Our other son does not want his family’s photos shared, but we love them too!

Ya’ll come back, now ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

03.13.18 St. Patrick’s Parade in Metairie, Louisiana

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 – Two years ago we brought our motor home to Metairie, Louisiana (where Roy was raised) to watch the St. Patrick’s Parade.  We had such a good time we decided to go back this year.  Roy and I left Amite Saturday morning headed to Metairie.  We parked our motor home at what use to be a funeral home on the corner of Metairie Road and Ridgelake.  We enjoyed a beautiful after noon there painting rocks and visiting with others who brought their vehicles to get a good spot for the parade the next day.

Chip’s family and one of Madisyn’s friends arrived in the evening and spent the night with us in our motor home. A few days ago when we planned to go to the parade the rain chance Sunday was very low.  Before the parade start time it started raining  Madisyn and her friend took my basket of St. Patrick’s Day rocks and hid them all over for me!


And then the rain started and it poured and poured for a while.  Everyone ran for cover and when it was over the parade started rolling by us.

The sun came out and we all had a great day! Roy and I alone caught two big black trash bags of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, lemons, apples, bananas, a ton of beads and toys, moon pies, bags of chips, bouncy balls plus a couple of cardboard boxes of all that.


After the parade Madisyn went through her goodies and we found out she got a Build A Bear.  They really threw some unique things this year but I think a Build A Bear was quite unusual!

Once all the floats were past we were able to see what a mess the street and sidewalks were.  Beads, cups, bags, vegetables and fruit.  This is someone’s property across the street from where we were that had lemons, oranges, potatoes and more all around the yard.

This is a look at the area from before the cleanup started.  We were so amazed at this process that I had to share it!

The clean up crew of dozens of men with blowers and a couple dozen trucks, bulldozers and street sprayers made quick work of sanitizing the street and sidewalks.

By the time we left Metairie on Monday the whole property and street were spotless.  Years and years of cleaning up after parades and big events has got street cleanup down to a science!

We went from the city near where Roy was raised, back to our country road leading to home.  Three days away was a nice little trip but being back home was even better!

Now hold on for this.  What you are about to see is two views of all the things we caught.  This is not typical of any parade other than the St. Patrick’s parade.  The little bags on the right side of the pic are around 200 bags of tiny carrots.  The little carrots all been blanched and frozen.  Some of the cabbage was cooked and we made cabbage rolls.  Roy grated some of the giant carrots, chopped apples and made carrot, raisin, apple salad.  We feasted on that for dinner.  We are going to make a big pot of vegetable beef soup, a big mess of potato salad, some lemonade and whatever else we can think of!!!  The toys we caught will go to Chad’s children and the beads are going to be made into some sort of crafts by Madisyn and I.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

03.11.18 Adios to my job at RVillage, Marty McGill’s song, Mary Sue Wilkins on using Music and a repost from Rick Phelps


Saturday, March 11, 2018 – I’ve been forgetting to let ya’ll know that I don’t work for RVillage at all any more.  They no longer need me doing the project I was working on.  I think it’s been over 4 years since I started working for them.  I want to say thank you to Deborah Thompson, Aaron Thompson, Hillary Murray, Cameron Mills, Jessie Nordon for being wonderful co workers and managers. Of course I can’t forget the RVillage founder, Curtis Coleman.  Curtis took a chance on hiring this old lady for a job I was able to do wherever we were in our travels.   I thank him for that!  If you’ve  been following our Dora blog the last four years you may remember me showing the number of RVillage members growing.  It is now at 91, 205 which is way way more than when we started with around 1,000 members.

This is a link to when I was first allowed to share RVillage with others in January 2014.  I worked for them for a few months before this.  I wish all the members and staff a very blessed future.  https://rosalynandroy.com/2014/01/13/rvillage-com/

I’ve read about the frustration dementia caregivers experience. My husband Roy is wonderful with me, please pray that he can handle what’s coming in the future.  I don’t want to take anything from the toll their loving care giving takes on them.  This below says something I, as someone with dementia, need to put out there.  I don’t know from day to day how my brain will be behaving.  Symptoms are sporadic and present themselves in different ways all the time.  It is extremely frustrating to live like this.  When all this started I don’t think it really clicked with me that I had dementia.  I still functioned very well, until I didn’t.  Even now I have great days when nothing confuses me and everything goes well with me.  Then it will hit and I am an incapable, bumbling idiot who falls, can’t think, can’t remember, and gets angry if I am not understood.  Being in any social setting exhausts me.  I try to keep my brain kicking and try to have coherent conversations with people and that is exhausting. Dementia is so much more than just having memory problems.  So so much more, and it is frustrating for both the caregiver and the patient.

A song written by Marty McGill after losing his mother to Dementia.


By Rick Phelps, Alzheimer patient and founder of Memory People.

Dementia affects emotions.

Dementia produce misunderstandings.

Dementia affects recognition of loved ones.

Dementia causes paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

Dementia causes caregiver overload.

Dementia causes anger.

And…it is a memory impairment.

If your loved one is having anger issues what to do? There are several things to try. Give them space. Don’t invade there personal space. This causes them to be more agitated. No one likes their personal space invaded. Having dementia and invading ones personal space just intensifies an already hectic situation.

Don’t argue with them. Give them some time. If your loved one for example refuses to brush their teeth, don’t be persistent. Try again tomorrow. Same way with anything. Don’t make them do anything. This just causes more chaos to an already chaotic situation.

This doesn’t mean they have the run of the house or things that go on. But don’t pressure a dementia patient into doing anything. It simply will not work.

Use distraction. Some can be calmed down by music, but some don’t want any part of music. Every patient is different. To think music is a cure all for dementia patients is something someone came up with, and that someone didn’t have dementia.

Change the subject, change the environment, for example if they are in the bathroom and refuse to bathe, calmly suggest you both go do something else. Watch some tv, do whatever it is that you think will calm them.

Approach with one person. Don’t have two or three people trying to give them a shower for example. This too can trigger anxiety, and aggression. Again, demanding a dementia patient do anything is fruitless and simply will not work.

Try to determine the cause of their anger. This can be a shot in the dark most times. They could simply be angry because they are. There doesn’t have to be a reason.

Just having dementia, a brain disease can cause anger. In some cases their doctor may want to either change their medication or increase the dosage.

The thing with anger in a dementia patient is that this too will likely get worse. It’s not that they are getting more angry about things, it’s about the disease progressing.

Above all, make sure they and others around them are safe. Safe from themselves and safe from doing something that could endanger others.

© Rick Phelps 2018

Mary Sue Wilkinson will teach you five powerful reasons to use music in dementia care. Mary Sue is the Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and the author of “Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care,” which includes a contribution from Teepa Snow. Learn more.

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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

03.07.18 Is Satan Stealing Our Families? by Brie Gowen

Brie Gowen writes a blog called Savor the Essence of Life at briegowen.com.  I ran across one of her blog posts from July 30, 2017 titled “Is Satan Stealing Our Families? ” Here it is!

This past year I read a book with my daughter called Little House in the Big Woods. You may be familiar with it. It’s the first book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it began the popular Little House on the Prairie series. I don’t recall reading it before, and as I read it to my five year old, I think I enjoyed it even more than she did. Something about the way the family lived, it intrigued me. I love my internet tremendously, but the simplicity and closeness this family shared sounded really wonderful to me. The idea of working together for each other drew me into their little world. Many times as I read the pages aloud I yearned for such a time as the ones described.

I look around today and I wonder if we wouldn’t be better taking a step back in time where we could focus more on important matters, and less on trivial ones. I see the things around me that cause so much unneeded stress, and I truly believe that the principalities and powers of darkness wish to destroy what God has created. God favors families. He favors love, time together, and focus on cultivating those relationships. What I see today is in direct opposition of that, yet those things have developed slowly over time, so much so that we don’t even notice them deteriorating the fabric of family.

Our pre-teens and teenagers are so absorbed in their Snapchat and Instagram that they can’t even come up for air. Not that we notice. We’re buried in our Facebook newsfeed or hottest new game app.

The normalcy of public school education with its ever increasing curriculum demands are swallowed like good medicine. The school year gets longer, testing increases, and hours of homework creep into the family time. So children that already spend 8-9 hours away from home are spending their evening hours doing more projects, reports, and extra credit assignments.

Mom and dad are too exhausted to help much. They’re tired because they’re putting in more hours. Dual working parents are the majority. And while the cost of living has definitely increased over time, I wonder how much of our “necessities” are truly that? We work more to be able to buy more, yet we hardly have time to enjoy all our purchases. We save all year long for a week long vacation that leaves us exhausted and in need of a day off from our off days.

A lot of our hard-earned money is spent on activities. So. Many. Activities. We spend more time driving to activities, purchasing gear, costumes, and accessories for our activities, or working on our off days to raise funds for our activities. Activities where we watch other people teach, coach, and mentor our children. Is this the time together we’re craving? Makes you think.

Time together doesn’t cost a dime

If you had to sit down and add up how much quality time you spend alone with your spouse, what would it be? What about your children? And not time doing and going. Just time. Is it less time than you spend on your weekly commute to work?

It makes you wonder if divorce is more prominent today because it’s become socially more acceptable, or could it be because we’re spending less time enjoying the company of our spouse? Would children get in less trouble if they had a present parent/parents available to guide them? They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’m wondering if we’ve taken that too far. Now we just want the village to take care of them. And then when our children fall down and fail we can have teachers, coaches, and the church to blame for their demise.

This is hard stuff to think about. It’s taking everything we’ve called normal over the past few decades or more and realizing that it’s actually destroying the family unit. Our kids are playing ball 3-5 times a week until 10pm, and the parents are working 60 hours a week to keep designer duds on the kiddos lest they get bullied for wearing WalMart brand clothing. Everyone has a TV in their room, a cell phone in their pocket, and a brand new car in the drive-way yet none of that will go to Heaven with us. We’re working very hard providing material possessions for our children, when in all reality we should be on our knees with them leading them to a closer walk with Jesus. Eternal life is what we should want for our kids, not the best education money can buy. And while I’m all for giving them a bright future, I don’t want to give them the world if it forfeits their soul. When my grown children look back on life I want them to have memories of time well spent rather than spending all the time. I gotta work on this! I don’t have it all figured out either, but I’d like to think my eyes are open enough to see that Satan wishes to destroy us.

Satan wants us tired, worn thin, and stressed. He wants us in debt up to our eyeballs, and our health failing because we can’t sleep enough, eat right, or handle our stress effectively. He wants husbands and wives fighting over finances, disrespectful teens who learned how to treat their parents based off Nickelodeon sitcoms, and thousands of young children sexually abused by the adults we’re so quick to place our trust in. He wants us busy, but not productive. He wants our plates full, but our tank empty. He wants us looking to society for what’s best for our families, not God’s word as a lamp to our feet. He wants the family unit ripped apart, and many times I look around and see us letting him. We’re not even trying to take a stand.

I’d like to believe that it’s not too late. We can still fight to save our families. Perhaps it all comes down to stepping out in wisdom, courage, and truth for our family. In a world that’s so busy Keeping Up With the Kardashians, maybe it’s time to be a Little House on the Prairie. What do you think?

*Of note, this isn’t meant to offend anyone. It’s just meant to trigger thinking about it. I’m certainly a work in progress.

Brie can be reached at

I realize our generation of parents was part of the beginning of this out of control world of family life. At the time we thought it was the thing to do as parents today probably feel as well.  It’s not. I can look back and see where we could have done a lot of things differently and we should have.  I hope this blog post today triggers thinking about it as Brie said at the end of the blog post.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



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03.06.18 – Roy’s eye appointment with Dr. Creed

Dr. John Curtis Creed, Retina Specialist

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – Roy and I went to Baton Rouge today to see the Retina Specialist, Dr. John Curtis Creed.  He, like Dr. Grenier, was very thorough and spent a lot of time with us.

We learned several things. They are all contributing to Roy’s vision not being what it should be.

Roy’s macular degeneration is not a bad case.  It is dry macular generation and not the awful wet macular degeneration. He will begin taking Prevegen ARed2 vitamins to help the macular degeneration not proceed like it would without that.  Since our original family eye doctor is a general eye doctor it was not something he should have caught and it didn’t affect the cataract surgery.  Dr. Grenier is also a general eye doctor but it seems he goes way above and beyond in his diagnosing and patient care.

Roy also has asteroid hyalosis which are cholesterol globs that float around in his vision.  Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative eye condition marked by a buildup of calcium and lipids, or fats, in the fluid between your eye’s retina and lens, called the vitreous humor.  There isn’t any treatment for that, it will continue to affect his vision.

He has “multifocal lens after image” which is something some people have after having a multifocal lens is inserted.  It contributes to the unwanted poor vision.

Roy requested the lens that would fix his astigmatism but that’s not what he got. He also asked the original doctor if his astigmatism was gone and he was told yes. Dr. Creed said no it’s not.

He probably shouldn’t have had the cataract surgery on the right eye at all.  He will not be having the left cataract removed nor will he have the lens polishing.  Both are things Dr. Creed said for him not to have.

The option of switching out the current lens for the correct lens is only going to be considered as a last resort.  The danger of doing a second surgery of this type could cause very unwanted side affects.  So unless all else fails, he’ll keep the lens he has.

Roy’s records from his original doctor had not made it to Dr. Grenier/Creed by the time of this appointment.

The plan for Roy is two fold. One is we are going to stop talking and thinking about this.  It keeps Roy upset and focusing all the time on his eyesight not being what he wants it to be which isn’t giving it a chance to heal naturally.  Dr. Creed said that his vision could still improve further over time on its own.

Dr. Christopher Grenier, Ophthalmology and Optometry

Second is to order some cheap glasses online (they gave us two websites to check out) to see if that will help correct his vision to where it is clearer and more of what he wants.   Dr. Creed and his wonderful nurse said that how Roy’s vision responds to the glasses will help them see where to go from here.

I’d recommend Dr. Grenier highly to anyone looking for a general eye doctor.  It’s a 90 minute drive for us from Amite to his office but he’s worth the drive.  Dr. Creed is also very worth the drive. Both of those doctors have assistants with them during the entire visit taking notes of what the doctor is saying he sees.  Both have been with their doctors around 20 years and it certainly is obvious in their communication. They are both in the same office at Ochsner in BR.

We appreciate everyone’s concern and ask for your continued prayers.  We go back to Dr. Creed in six weeks to see where everything stands. We’ll let you know how things are then!

We are going to take our first trip since coming home in October.  Just three days but it’s a trip!  Tomorrow we’ll travel to Metairie, Louisiana in our motor home and get set up for watching the Metairie St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Road.  We did this two years ago and had lots of fun visiting with family and friends.  For those not from Louisiana this is a parade where beads and cups are thrown but there are also cabbage, carrots, potatoes and lots of other food thrown!! We’ll come back on Monday.  This is us, minus Kallie, from two years ago!

I have been busy painting St. Patrick’s Day green rocks to hide and give out at the parade!





Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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