Covering all with
purity in silence,
softening the day
with wonder and glow,
who but a god
would think of snow?
Making of the cold
a blanket of love,
covering and forgiving imperfections below,
who but a God
would think of snow?
If there isn’t a god
I ‘d make one up quick,
before you can blink,
before you can say no.
Who but a God
would think of snow?
A very fine gentleman I know showed up over time with dementia. His mother, aunt, grandmother, two of three sisters, and a brother have had mental illness near the ends of their lives.
It begins slowly, then progresses in fits and starts. Big strokes and TIAs can be the beginning or the middle of the disease, or not occur at all. Dementia does not follow any pattern except that it doesn't get better. It has one direction. Non-functioning of the mind. The mind becomes like Swiss cheese...not holes but dysfunctions here and there. Putting shoes on the wrong feet. Loud noises and TV mix up brains. Boredom can set in, too! Then a person might follow a caregiver around or try to be a manager of all events around them. Fear can set in big time. Calming words and music help.
Driving may be the first privilege to be taken away. Honor Health has a slick driver test which can eliminate family feuds about the issue. Aphasia often comes with dementia...the inability to voice thoughts and understand what people are saying. Calendar issues, inability to draw a clock, not remembering words, spelling mistakes, inability to balance a checkbook, and tunnel vision are clues. Spatial concepts are lost and people feel unsafe and slow down. The ability to type and write leave. A person may continue to garden, do dishes, cook (but with close oversight), and care for pets.
Stairs, step stools and ladders, curbs, escalators, and elevators become dangers because of balance issues. Dressing is a puzzle. A person might not know where they are at times. Toileting issues arise suddenly. Afternoon sundowner's syndrome can set in. This is when a person with dementia becomes uncomfortable in their own skin. Anxiety sets in and drives the person almost mad at about 4 p.m. It continues until bedtime. Appropriate drugs can help, but then balance can become a problem and falling is an issue. Keeping the body strong and moving is important. It will not, however, cure dementia's progress. Dementia affects every area of a person's life.
No one knows what dementia is and why it progresses steadily. It is not Alzheimer's. It is not buildup of any chemical that we know in the brain. We do know that it is tragic and a challenge to manage a person's life for them when they no longer can carry out life's complex survival tasks. So, bully for caregivers who take on these responsibilities and bring joy and order to people with this affliction. Caregivers are golden and my thanks go out to them. It is not a job to handle alone. Heroes are called for!
~ Frosty Kroening
April and May, 2015, mark a century of peace efforts by the women of the world. According to http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/hague/intro.htm the International Congress of Women for Permanent Peace brought together women from all over the world to "promote peace through personal diplomacy." (Personal diplomacy meant negotiation rather than the use of weapons.) The first such Congress was in April-May of 1915, the time of World War I. It was popular to call the organizing women names such as "sensationalists" and "Peacettes." But, their message was heard loudly and clearly. Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, and Alice Hamilton were delegates to the Congress.
The back-story of the peace movement is demilitarism, setting down weapons and stepping up meetings between combatants. Recent female Pulitzer Peace Prize winners have fostered the formation of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). They speak eloquently about their personal successes in bringing about peaceful solutions to violent struggles. We don't hear much about these women. Hopefully, we women can bravely spread the word and put forth our own ideas about how to solve problems peacefully and end bloodshed.
~ Submitted by Frosty Kroening
I wanted to create.
When I thought of creating a work of art for my patio,
I began to sketch and plan and gather supplies.
As I fleshed out the idea, I felt what was being called forth
was a Guardian Spirit of my garden.
I wanted a vision of beauty and color and passion,
something to delight my soul every time I stepped outside,
a connection with the Divine Feminine.
And so I began one afternoon with music playing amid the paints.
First a midnight blue splashed on my board,
as the moon’s glow silhouetted my dancing Devas.
The hues of the rainbow light began to move thru different sirens
as the sisters danced.
The power of the images began to pour thru me,
drawing out emotions and power long left dormant.
Ancient images raced thru my head
as the drums of Beltane rumbled thru my hand and brush.
The women began to dance and weave to forgotten powerful rhythms.
A sisterhood arose unadorned and joyful.
As they moved I found I was reclaiming myself,
splashed onto this palette of color.
I felt myself expanding, growing,
and becoming more of my true self.
And so now every time I step into my yard,
I am blessed with my sisterhood and the power of me.
~ Submitted by B. Daily
unity of payson
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