Thursday, May 26, 2016

Color of Kindness

What color is kindness? Since I'm in the kindness challenge I decided to stitch Honest Kind and Good. The model is done in black on white

Last year during our Super Duper Challenge I started this project on a lovely 36ct Smoky White linen with Antique Black silk.

And I'm not impressed with the result at all! I would like to change colors just have no idea what to choose... It's all about kindness... What do you think? What color is kindness?

So long my friends,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kindness challenge - week one

Last week (my first week in the challenge) my focus was on being kind and mindful to myself. To my surprise it went very well. Not even once I was angry with myself. Every morning I spent a few minutes meditating and stretching my muscles. I paid attention to feeding my body with enjoyment and taking care of it. I went for a short road trip. I even stitch some! Look, I have finished Santa #4 and #5, right now I'm working on Santa #6.


And this is the whole project with four Santas done.

It looks like I will work on Santa's 12 days of Christmas for some time (until it is done!) and then I think I will go back to another lovely project that I started during Super Duper Crazy Challenge 2015
called Honest, kind and good. It will fit well with my kindness challenge.

So long my friends,

Monday, May 16, 2016

Revolution of Kindness!

Time goes so fast... it is a first time I did not finish the A to Z challenge but the life goes on and brings new challenges. Today I was reading Deborah blog - it was all about kindness. I was impressed by the way she is treating herself and even a little jealous. Then I thought of me... Somehow, somewhere, I do not know when or how, I have lost the importance of loving myself, be kind to myself. I guess her post was there for me for a reason. I decided to follow her steps and join Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life in a seven week Kindness Challenge. Each week Niki will be offering a prompt and inviting people to work with that focus and then post about it at the end of the week.  Now is the right time for more kindness to the world, I hope you will join us too.

So long my friends,

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Q for Questioning (A to Z Challenge)

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
I do not know who said that but I do have an issue with that questioning. I'm so tired of it and for some reason I can't find answers to many questions. Am I really doing the right thing? What would happen if I wouldn't interfere with my MIL life? Well, I know the answer to this one. By now she would be locked up in nursing home just like her mother was. She would be sitting on the wheelchair with her head hanging down, over medicated in the LaLa Land. Who knows, maybe by now she would lay peacefully by her late husband. I know I have extended her life and gave her more joy. But... what about me? I had to give up my dream, I had to close my business, my daily life is all around her and she isn't even my mother, she is the mother of my partner. I had a growing, profitable business, I was well respected in a professional world and now I'm broke trying to make sense from my life. You see, Theresa's mother also had Alzheimer's and not Theresa nor her brother quit their jobs to take care of her. Theresa's mom end up in the nursing home and she lived there for about ten years.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Fine, I get it. I must have a 'bad' day...

So long my friends,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A to Z Challenge: N-O-P

Oops, I am a little behind but I'm still in the challenge. To catch up today I will do all three letters. Let's start with N for Neurofibrillary tangles.

These tangles, are due to  a protein (beta-amyloid) that becomes abnormal inside the neurons rather than outside.

You see, neurons have a system of specialized filaments called microtubules that transport nutrients, organelles, and other essential materials from the cell body to the tip of the axon. These microtubules are somewhat like a pair of rails on a railroad, and the protein that acts as the ties that hold these rails together and keep them parallel is called the tau protein.

In people with Alzheimer’s, the tau protein molecules disaggregate into filaments that form tangles. Thus the “rails” lose their “ties” and can no longer stay straight and properly transport the materials essential to the neuron’s survival.

The nerve endings at the very tip of the axon are the first to degenerate as a result of this lack of sustenance. As a result, communication with the following neurons in the circuit is reduced and, once the entire neuron has degenerated, cut off completely.

If you would like to know more about brain's anatomy here is the link to the  'Brain Tour'. The tour explains how the brain works and how Alzheimer's disease affects it.

O for Obesity and links between body weight and dementia risk in those over 40.

Lately there is so much in the news about harmful effect of obesity, I was pleasantly surprised to find this article:  Does midlife obesity protect against dementia? (I love comments posted below article)

This article was published a year ago and contradicts research by Dr Rachel Whitmer published on April 29, 2005.

I want to believe that fat is good for the brain. What do you think? Please tell, I want to know.

P for Plaques
Those darn proteins not only killing neurons from inside but also from outside by building up between nerve cells. That build up is called plaques.

In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated during our sleep. In Alzheimer's disease, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaque.

Many researchers believe that accumulations of proteins are generally only the final manifestations of diseases with earlier causes, and that amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are no exception to this rule. Some researchers even directly question the harmfulness of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, arguing that they may in fact represent a defensive response by the brain to harmful processes that precede them, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and dysfunctions in the cellular cycle. Some studies have shown that this protein plays a protective role against microbes.

So, go figure... all is clear as mud. There is a lot of study and research yet to be done...

So long my friends,

Friday, April 15, 2016

M for Me (A to Z Challenge)

Today I will share with you why I decided to help Theresa. After all she was living in Ontario we were in the Yukon 3,000 miles apart. In Ontario she has two of her children: a daughter who lives just about 35 minutes away and a son who lives couple hours away. Both of them highly educated, financially very well off - I was sure that their mother was happy and properly cared for. I was very surprised when she called and ask us to come and live with her. After a while those phone calls became more frequent and I realized that she wasn't joking, she was very serious.

I wasn't ready to move across Canada, I just started my firm and my dream was coming true. I spent five years taking accounting courses and I loved the north. I was happy.

Topaz (my doggie) was getting old and I decided to get a puppy. I had an idea of Topaz teaching new puppy good manners and I thought it would be fun to have two big white girls. I called the breeder and a little white fur ball was ready by the end of April. Of course the puppy was in Ontario and, since there wasn't a direct flight possible, it was easier for me to jump on the plane and personally pick her up than to ship the little critter. And there was another benefit to my trip - I could visit Theresa!

And this is how it all started... I found her extremely lonely, somewhat lost, with many little things not being done. My heart was breaking. When we were in trouble she was there for us, now she was in a big trouble and I did not see anyone there for her. She needed someone every day on a regular bases. I came back home with a puppy and a story for Freddy (my other half and Theresa's oldest son). Both of us were kept in a dark about her circumstances. We knew she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's but we did not know that her younger son pressured her to change her will. And, oh my! There were so many things we did not know... We were in shock. 

In August Theresa fell in the garage and that was the turning point. Freddy flew to Ontario and stayed with her for a couple weeks. Things turned very ugly between her and her other two children (the ones in Ontario) and I made an executive decision: "Honey, bring Mom home. She can stay with us until things cool off".  The rest of this story is for a very, very long post or maybe even a book but I can tell you this - two and half years passed and we still are living together.

So long my friends,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L for Loneliness (A to Z challenge)

Did you know that lonely individuals may be twice as likely to develop the type of dementia linked to Alzheimer's disease in late life as those who are not lonely? Social isolation, or having few interactions with others, is associated with an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Loneliness is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, not an early sign of the disease. I wish that the mechanism that does link dementia and loneliness was more clear. After all humans are very social creatures and we need healthy interactions with others to maintain our health.

Here is a link to '5 ways to beat loneliness'.

So long my friends,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K for Keeping routine (A to Z Challenge)

Daily routines are sacred for most people. For individuals with dementia, sticking to a routine is not only sacred, but a necessity. Change is difficult for those with Alzheimer's disease and keeping routine can relive a lot of tension. I like to plan my day too. During my 30 Day Minimalism Challenge I leaved a whole day unplanned - it was terrible!

Our daily routines can make a huge difference to how healthy, happy and productive we are. I'm in the process of adjusting my own routine in the hopes of getting more done and wasting less time in-between tasks or activities. So I started searching for routines of successful entrepreneurs and I really like the one of Benjamin Franklin. He starts his day with a question "What good shall I do this day?" and in the evening he asks himself  "What good have I done today?" I absolutely love this and I'm borrowing these two questions for my daily routine.

So long my friends,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J for Joy (A to Z Challenge)

Believe or not there is a joy in caring for person with Alzheimer's. I don't know if there is anything that could sound more confounding than finding pleasure in Alzheimer's. People with dementia have good and bad days. I'm very lucky because Theresa most of the time has good days and only sometimes 'bad' moments. She knows that she has the disease, her mother was affected by the same. She fully understand what future holds for her and she is a fighter. Together we are doing a lot of brain exercises and is a real joy to see her accomplishing things. She memorized her new address, new telephone number, she remembers names of our new neighbours. It's a fun to go out with her - this lady knows how to enjoy life, believe me. I know that Alzheimer's is progressive and not reversible but I hope she stays the way she is for a long time.

So long my friends,