Remember to breathe and never give up… someone’s always willing to help their fellow humans


never give up what you love to do

Trying to remember to stop and just breathe can be a challenge. Believing all things happen for a reason can be hard at times. So can Keep Hope Alive, but I will never give up. Life is too short. You never know that it could be the last time you will talk to someone, hear their voice or hug their neck. Life happens.

We are told” this is the way it is” and “God has a plan” and “it’s life”. All true but it still doesn’t make it any easier.

Not being able to handle things the way you want them to be or having a curve ball thrown your way just when you thought the game was done can cause chaos in the soul. How you react and handle yourself speaks volumes of the person you are deep inside.

be perfectly human

You may see yourself as being able to hand you anything, but believe me, there are things in this world that can take you to your knees. It can knock the “I can handle anything” right out of your vocabulary because newsflash… WE ARE ALL HUMAN. WE HAVE FLAWS. WE ARE NOT INVINCIBLE. No matter how hard we strive and wish to be.

What I can handle someone else may be unable to and what someone else can handle I may can only deal with some of it or I have a complete come apart on my hands. It isn’t a case of someone being better than someone else, it means we are all human and each and every experience is different for each and every one of us.

I’ve have quite a few different jobs in my life and my hands down favorite is taking care of others.

charlie b being ther for someone

Whether it’s helping out around the house, driving and running errands, being with someone who has memory issues or taking care of someone who is terminal and handling the ugly ins and outs of that, I love to take care of others.

I am not the only one of my kind. However, there are levels to what I can and can’t do. Just like many others in my field, there are some that can help give someone a shower and some that can’t. I happen to be one that can. It becomes very personal when you are helping someone do something very basic that most of us take for granted. Most people never even think about it as it isn’t exactly everyday conversation for them. I completely understand and get that.

That is why I do what I do. I’m not in it for the money, but people think that because I have “office manager” in my title and I do marketing I’m making the “big bucks”. So far from the reality but I love finding the fit between clients and caregiver. It can be challenging but I love helping people make the human connection. I believe in where I work and promote it, as in marketing. I also fill in on cases, hard ones, when people call out and I need to be making sure everyone is being cared for but I know this person NEEDS our help and I can do it so I do.

This weekend I have been on call. My phone didn’t ring at all after 4:30 PM Friday afternoon. It started ringing Saturday morning at 9:12 and hasn’t stopped. I will be making sure folks are taken care of today. It’s what I do. Sometimes it gets overwhelming. I feel on the edge of panic. What if someone is left alone that I’m responsible for? I really don’t have control of other people and I can only count on maybe 1/3 of those people to be truly “available” when they say they will be. Heck just getting them to answer their phones can be challenging some days!

caring is being htere whenu want to be somewhere lese

My boss and I joked that when I’m on call things always happened. Multiple calls (right after we put an ad in the papers for help – who calls on a Saturday at 7 in the freaking morning or at 9 at night for a job?!), people calling out, clients needing care, caregivers having to leave due to sickness/family emergency in mid-shift, clients going to hospital – yeah it’s going to happen on my watch!   

So I am going forth this day with a prayer for hope, peace and calm. I hope I handle this day with a boatload of fabulousness and maybe even a bit of grace for this graceless chick.

hope keeps you going

As always, my motto is KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!

*Also, I have 42 WordPress followers, 42 is the answer to everything in the universe per The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which means Life is Fabulous Things are Happen’ Train!*

 42

Know when to fold ’em


I have this “flaw” that sometimes gets me into to trouble. When I meet people I tend to trust them and give them the benefit of life if things are awkward or something. This especially true for people who are friends of friends or people I meet again after not seeing for many years.

I do have a BS meter that goes off if someone is straight up not “right” and I can feel if something is “off” with 95% of those people. Sometimes one or two may slip through, but for the most part I am a trusting person.

Many years ago, many, many come to think of it, I learned to play poker. I was always decent at the game and enjoyed the fun of playing with friends. I have never been a serious gambler because I can’t afford it!

gamblin

About 12 years ago, a group of my peeps and I started having a game night once a week at the “Booty” family house, because, frankly, most of us hated going out to clubs and where a bunch of drunk, sweaty folks were and we would rather be closer to home. Plus a few couples had kids and we wanted to all get together and it was easy and fun. After about a month we started playing . Texas Hold ‘Em mostly and I loved it! I loved playing and hollering, “Gamblin’!” when I made a “big bet”. We were all pretty broke but the pot size could get up to $50 or even $100 from a .50 buy in, so if I was gamblin’ why not make it fun?! Plus, all the guys all read up on Poker and strategies and statistics. Us girls understood the rules. Yes we had to have a little “cheat sheet” that told us if having all the same suit with five cards in a row was better or worse than 2 jacks and 3 aces, but that was only for a few months. We never read the books we just played by “feeling”. Sure we lost some but you can bet I won more than I lost because I didn’t have much to lose! If I lost out I could sit on the sidelines and still chat with my friends.

not perfect

I am not into playing head games or mind games. I don’t have time for them nor the patience. I am pretty straight up. I don’t lie or cheat. I am a big believer in karma. I may not always give away my hand, but I share what I can with those I am close to.

I will cover for a friend in a heartbeat. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will go the extra mile for them. I do not “share” their life or things they tell me in confidence with others. That is a part of what makes these relationships so special. It is the trust and understanding of who we are as human beings and how we gel. I don’t get into putting down friends with others who don’t like each other. It’s just not me. In fact, I have had some people leave due to the fact I choose to remain friends with others. Relationships I still have to this day and don’t miss those who left for jealousy or misunderstandings because they were too petty to realize that true friendships are a beautifully, rare thing and you don’t just toss it away because someone else doesn’t like it. This isn’t grade school and we aren’t choosing sides.

i love my crazy friends

Some of my best humans on the planet I don’t hear from on any kind of “regular” basis. I can think of 3 right now that I haven’t spoken to in many months, yet if they called or I called, we would pick up conversation where we left off. I am thankful to social media in that respect because we can at least see parts of each other’s lives. I have other friends that we haven’t seen each other in years yet we still talk, text or email randomly. If something happens, we find a way to be there for each other.

I am often perplexed and shocked at some people who act as if this is some sort of weird animal mating ritual instead of how I am as a human in my relationships.

You know how you meet people and you just feel they are good people? They may be struggling and you talk and find things in common, help each other out. Then out of left field they just leave you hanging with your mouth open because in all that you talked about you didn’t seem them acting like that.

This is a recent experience of a girl I met. She had transplanted here, was looking for work and putting her life back together. I could see the good in her. We talked a good bit and I helped find her work. She waited to start due to the changes in her life and I respected that. When she said she could help out I believed her. When she didn’t show to cover the one shift I really needed her for I was floored. The text and calls later in the day and days following were just pathetic. I went back looking for signs I missed in texts and emails. I found them in the inconsistencies I chose to look over as “she wasn’t thinking” or “maybe she meant this” instead of the blatant disrespect of myself and others.

Every once and a while it happens with others too, but not so much. I’ve learned when to fold my hand and sit back and chat and when to gamble.

I still choose to gamble in this game of life and end up with the pure joy and blessings to have some amazing relationships in my life. People I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can count on. I mean jeez, I have to be able to trust my own gut instincts! If I have to fold, I can only hope we get the chance to sit off to the side and talk before walking out the door.  It doesn’t leave me jaded, it just makes me double check those new players who come into the maos.

friends

I’m thinking it’s time for another hand… keep hope alive!

 

Fabulous Friday and still going


happy friday forget the bad.png

Even though I have to work this weekend, I am so thankful it’s Friday! Celebrate!

It hopefully won’t be as active as this past week and I can maybe not go as much  because this fabulously graceless chick is a wee bit tired.

wk wkend batmans

Sometimes you are expecting things to be hectic and maotic. You expect Murphy to show up and life to change your plans.

What you may not be expecting is so much of it all in a 4 day period! You aren’t expecting the extras, though you should as you know how this game of life works. You definitely didn’t need that little memo about more things to do and people flat out disrespecting others and the cruelty of some.

We made it to Friday! That my friends is why Keep Hope Alive is my mantra. Because even in the storms I will find a silver lining. The phone calls I got to make and talk to those near and dear. The time with the boy, even when he’s having a moment and it’s unpleasant, the full on love and hugs he freely gives. Time with new people and being able to see things from a different perspective. Those moments that can make you stop and have to catch your breath and then plan on how you get through it.

The fact that we woke up this morning and are facing the day. The miracle of something as “simple” as that.

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous Friday!

have a beautiful friday

Keep Hope Alive!

Twisty Thursday


Happy Thursday! It’s closer to Friday but kind of like Tuesday close to Friday where Thursday is close to Sunday. Welcome to my mind!

It’s been one of those haven’t had a lot of sleep weeks with tons of projects to accomplish, twists and turny kind of weeks. The kind of week where things are getting done but there is also a lot that isn’t getting done, therefore, I’m freaking out a tab bit. Yeah, that doesn’t make me sound crazy at all. Nope!

In fact, this is one of those posts I wrote whilst laying snuggled up with the boy. He has fallen asleep and his warm little body is pressed against mine. When he sleeps he looks so much younger. He’s getting so big but he still loves to cuddle with his mama. He told me the other day that sometimes at school he can’t give me a hug and kiss at school ‘cause some of the school kids said it wasn’t cool. I asked him why it should matter what they thought. He thought about it for a minute and grinned and said it didn’t. They didn’t know our happy! He said he felt bad that they didn’t want to hug and kiss their moms. I tried to explain to him that sometimes when kids get bigger, they don’t always want their moms and dads around. He informed me that other kids may feel that way he would always hug and kiss me and love me for always no matter what.

So in light of that revelation, I leave you with happiness in my heart and hope for a fabulous Thursday no matter what!

Keep Hope Alive My Fabulously Graceless Friends!

 

 

Hump Day Hope


Smack dab in the middle of the work week… it’s Wednesday!

If you are reading this then you made it! Keep Hope Alive!

So many folks have had a hard week, already and I hope it gets better. Some have had a fabulous week and I hope it stays that way.

Here in my world we are just trying to get through the week.

I hope you all can find a bit of happiness and hope to sustain you to the weekend.

For now, here is some hope for you. Never forget it is always there, even when you think it isn’t possible, hope always finds a way.

hope voice maybe when no

 

 

I woke up alive and realized I needed to live the moments


I rolled out of bed groaning and stumbled to the bathroom to start the getting ready process. Shortly after, I cheerily woke up the boy from his angelic looking sleep and watched him stumble his way to the bathroom and then get himself dressed.

I was putting on the last of my war paint when the text came through that one of our good caregivers was out sick and I needed to fill the shift. I doubled my speed for getting out of the house, changed into scrubs and we left for the day.

My clients were way across town, out in the country. I somewhat know their routine and knew they would be getting hungry and breakfast is part of their routine.

I arrived only a few minutes later than their normal caregiver, “T”, but they remembered me and were happy to have someone there to “assist” them for the day. Mr. K met me at the door with a smile and Miss P was still in the bed. One glance around told me that they had been pretty much alone all weekend, as “T” and I worked together to help make them a schedule and keep things consistent for them. We have a system for them to follow and have shared it with their children. Their family is involved in their care but they have lives and families to raise too, so we are there to help mom and dad.

It isn’t that mom and dad, or P & K, are all that up in years, they are both 70 with her just having a birthday. Their bodies are healthy for the most part and they love to talk, laugh and enjoy life. They no longer go as much as they use to because they are both in different stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. They are like thousands of others in the Boomer generation that are still “young at heart” and in need of care due to a terminal diagnosis.

Miss P has middle stage Alzheimer’s and needs help bathing, getting dressed and can no longer cook or clean. She talks some, more in the afternoons, but she is so sweet and a joy to be around. She has no problem with me bathing her and “helping” her get pretty for her husband. As long as she knows where he is, and I gently remind her if she gets anxious, she is fine.

Mr. K has early stage dementia. He “runs” the household and “helps” Miss P. She is his world and he talks of “his beautiful pearl” and “young blushing bride” as though it is now. You can see the love they share. He knows her memory is “bad” and that she needs help. He knows he “forgets” things but he has reminders and that is why I am there to help them.

We do our best to communicate anything that goes on to each other so that their weekdays flow consistently, or at least a semblance of it.

To watch her struggle to remember how to remove her clothes and thank me over and over again for being so “nice” to “help” her get bathed and dressed for the day, it breaks my heart. I think back to earlier that morning, was it really just that morning? When I got the text I would be covering for T and my day with them.

To see people so vulnerable in so many ways because by nature they are kind and trusting, but now we add in the memory loss factor and I worry for them. My problems and irritations seem to shrink in light of what they face on a daily basis. Not that I don’t have my own issues and hardships, but that I can get so irritated over something so small at times, or that I got so caught up in something I missed something beautiful. It makes me rethink what I see as important.

I think of how my mind works and how I ponder which thing was more important and then I will jump to another topic. I also will multitask and continue on with the flow of my day. I just know what needs to be done and I do it. I may miss things, but I know it’s on the list for tomorrow even if there is no actual written list. Then I stop. Their lives are no longer like that. They can’t remember things as clearly or even at all in some instances.

That afternoon I drove straight from their home through craptastic traffic to get the boy. I knew we had things to do, I still had to work and there were chores to finish, but I scooped him up and hugged and kissed him immediately. I savored the little boy sweat smell and the way he holds me so tight. I want those memories to always be there. I don’t ever want to lose that part of me. If I forget everything else, I want to remember he chose me to be his mommy.

I woke up alive but after going through the day I realized how alive I needed to be and I am thankful that I was reminded just when I needed it.

Keep Hope Alive and have a fabulous day!

Generations X & A: Parenting from the broken hips & other fun science stuff


b in lights

I often read parenting articles and parenting blogs. Let’s face it, we live in a world where technology is literally at our fingertips. I learn so much and it leads me to research other interests and ideas. It teaches me things and helps me understand different perspectives as well as learn new things that are important to my growth as a human being and as a parent.

regardless of generation still a person

I have also learned which category I, along with the boy, have been labeled/categorized into. It’s quite entertaining interesting to say the least. Parts of it I can see as true and parts I just have to laugh depending on who’s spewing the data of said labels.

cow (2)

The other day we went to the local science center. It is always an adventure and my boyfriend was thankfully there to help me hobble make it through the experience without falling out! Can we say food court and I had to use threats of leaving on the boy so mommy could get some carbs so she didn’t pass out! Along with the awesomeness that he carried my bag that I insist on taking and it’s got enough in there in case some catastrophe happens. I’m weird like that. We also used the elevators instead of climbing flights of stars. Small moves Ellie. The place is just plain fun where we enjoy ourselves and I am a big kid too. I also wanted to put things in their proper places in the Itty Bitty city but yeah, I refrained for the most part.

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There is so much to take in and absorb. Even as an adult you would be hard-pressed to not find something you found “cool” in there! I did see one dude napping but that was on the 3rd floor and honestly he did have a comfy spot to sit in and I admit I was jealous of the spot as I was tired but still having fun and by the time you get there I’m sure we’d walked a few miles!

I also enjoy people watching, when I’m not trying out the experiments and checking out the exhibits.

There are multi-generational families that visit and all of us are there because we have a child in our care and we’re tired of being home and TVs and personal technology. Yes it’s a science center but it’s hands on and yes, technology is used, but it still makes it interactive for everyone. (I’m talking about you, my sciatica, acting all mean cause I needed the exercise!*sorry!)

cow (1)

This is where I realized there was also some sort of weird “grouping” of people, if you will, who handled their charges differently. I know this also can go into another area of people who just don’t pay attention to their darling ‘lil rugrats, helicopter parenting, etc but that’s a whole plethora of other topics!

gen x dates

I am referring to the categories/labels placed on those of us born in different “eras”. It seems to have started with the Baby Boomers (those born 1945-1964), followed by Generation X (those born 1963-1980), Generation Y (those born 1981-1994) and of course, Generation Z (those born 1995-2009). Now we have moved on to Generation A (those born 2010 – 2025). Just refer to here for the breakdown! http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/talkin-bout-my-label-20110720-1ho7s.htmlI am of the Generation X and the boy is Generation A. I have friends with kids in Generations Y, Z and A…. I get so lost trying to figure it all out! It’s like my family tree with extra twist and turns!

gen a

Confused yet? I sure as hell was! I really had no idea! I just knew there were people of all backgrounds, races and ages and we were all, at some point during the fun, family outing day, having some kind of “moment” with our kids. The fun was watching it happen too!  

battle

It was obvious with the parenting styles and ways folks interacted with the kids. Heck, I was even in battle with someone else’s kids for a bit there when the boy and I were playing with the foam block and pegs… pegs make for good swords and the blocks can be used as shields or projectiles. That one got a bit dicey and I had to pull out the mommy, “Ain’t nobody got time to get injured here, be a bit more careful.” Never did see those kids’ moms but they apparently thought I was cool. It seems I always end up helping parent someone else’s kid and for the most part, I’m okay with it. Especially in small situations like that where I can bail when my kid bolts to the next area that strikes his fancy! I know they can’t leave without an adult so it’s all good! I just wonder which Generation adult they were with!

I leave you with the magic of my boy’s Jedi mind, he hands down relaxed his mind to “beat” 2 adults in the move the ball with your mind game. He even switched sides to make sure he really was that cool! He closed his eyes and meditated to get that ball there! Have to admit I was pretty impressed on that one! It also showed your brainwaves…way cool exhibit and a fabulous way to get him thinking deeper!

mindgames

Have fabulous day and Keep Hope Alive!

 

 

Sunday love and compassion


Sunday

gm happy sunday

The day of rest

Day of love and one of the best

Spend with loved ones or spend it alone

Go out adventuring or just stay at home

Find the joys in the little things

Eat, dance, laugh and sing

Never forget it’s not all about you

Be compassionate and kind in the things that you do

Never forget the ones no longer here

Those we love whom we miss so deeply and keep their memories dear

The ones who left before their time

Forever in our hearts and always on our mind

So keep your loved ones close in heart even if they are far

Before you find yourself missing them and looking among the stars

This hope I have for all of you to have a happy day

Keep hope alive and be kind to all for that’s the best of ways

do in love sunday

 

Snowmagedden and the flakes


Much like the rest of the country, the snow fell yesterday in Alabama. I am sure in some parts it’s still snowing on and off.

canceled til snow gone

It was somewhat surprising in that it came sooner than projected, but the temperature yesterday morning was 51where I reside in central Alabama. It dropped about 11 degrees in 3 hours and folks lost their minds. I had pulled up school closings on my phone when I got up around 6 AM to keep a look at. Around 11 the schools were posting they were closing at 1. I was planning on working but Mother Nature and Murphy had other plans for me and many other folks.

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Most of the morning was just misty and rainy. The temps were dropping but nothing to be concerned with. Yet I saw people driving erratically and the stores were packed. Around here, other than a bit of icy patches, there isn’t anything to worry about. I wonder if all those folks ate all their food yet. I am so amused that people feel the need to go buy extras for the “storm” that is going to last, at most, 2 days before we are back to a bit warmer weather.

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Some areas actually had reason to be concerned and get home. However the area where I live was, as projected, spotty as to even getting mere dusting. Some areas got an inch or so while others got barely dusted. My neighborhood got about an inch and since it was wet, icy spots. The boy got to play in the snow on the porch. He was hoping to wake to snow to play in today but I’m afraid he will be sadly disappointed as it is just going to be ice and slush in our area. And really freaking cold! But by Monday we should be back in the 50’s again. Gotta love Alabama weather! I may get to wear flip flops next weekend!

I hope wherever you are that you are safe, warm and happy. If you got snow, I hope you get to enjoy the beauty of it without the ick.

Always remember to keep hope alive! The boy is trying in hopes of getting lots of snow to play in. Preferably on a school day!

Have a fabulous day!

 

 

The potential for Snowmagedden in Alabama and the maos of it all


A snowflake threatens to fall in Alabama and the markets runs out of milk and bread. Seriously. After moving around the country and living in a state where snow and ice were “just another part of winter”, I get why people here lose their mind when the word snow is mentioned.

snow we re gonna dieee

2 years ago, parts of Alabama were hit by a crippling snow storm as was parts of Georgia. People were stranded in their car from 2 hours up to nearly 24 hours. My family was scattered around the city and only my brother made it home that night 6 hours after he left his office usually a 20 minute ride. My parents got a room at the hospital and my then-pregnant sister-in-law spent the night at the school. I can’t even imagine.

A large part of the problem is the state is not prepared for a winter storm of that magnitude. Not only are they not prepared for a storm of that magnitude, but they don’t have the equipment to treat the roads nor the human power. Another part is no one is God, so predicting the weather can be tricky.

Being a weather geek, I have been closely watching the weather and according to all sites, we are due for a bit of bad weather here. Although, in my local area, there is only maybe an estimated inch of snow that we will have and it should all be gone by Saturday. Probably. However, models and projections say it could impact the state on a larger scale if certain weather patterns collide. This would bring Alabama Snowpocalypse 2016 to central Alabama. We will be screwed. Hence the run on bread, milk and water. Personally, I already had milk as the kid drinks gallons of it, but picked up more bottled water, we go through it anyway, and a few bottles of wine. I will stop again today to deal with the mob because we are out of freaking broccoli and pomegranate juice. Don’t judge I am weird about my juice and the kid is weird about his vegetables! I also need to pickup icecream which is also weird but I was planning to do it before I learned of the complete maos that will be tomorrow due to the potential snow storm. Blessed sweet Pete I just love it when folks lose their minds over what-ifs! They obviously weren’t paying attention to ground temperatures before and models and projections for after said event either or they wouldn’t buy up all the groceries some of us just need but they bought for the next month… they can always use the excess for Super Bowl parties I guess!

southerns snow shut down

I am hoping to take the boy to the science center tomorrow, however the worst is supposed to hit tonight and early in the morning. I had to let him know that we may not be able to go but he was comforted with the fact we will play in the snow if we can’t go out. He still remembers living in Tennessee and getting iced in where we lived. He’s only bummed because it won’t happen on a school day but if we get snow, it will be fun no matter what day it is. Ah the flexibility of the young! Finding the joy in the small things that make some adults flip out and often over-react!

do you wann build a snowman

Honestly my biggest concern is if we do get snow and ice, the people that rely on others to come in and care for them may not have anyone that can get to them or that would be willing to stay with them. I thought about making sure they were somewhere safe. I considered finding chains for the Blue Bunny, my Jeep, but she isn’t in the best shape and that Murphy dude and his laws seem to race to change my plans… probably not the best plan but my heart is there! I’m sure I will be knee deep in making sure folks are taken care of once I get into the office.

help others live

Like I said, we aren’t prepared for snow and ice. People here don’t drive well in bad weather. *ahem* I have had people call out when it is raining hard and I can only imagine what the phones will be like this afternoon and tomorrow. Y’all send up a prayer I am not on call this weekend ‘cause I am not sure I could take the stress!

For those of y’all really getting pounded by Winter Storm Jonas (I just learned they named winter storms and I am a geek so there’s my info for today kids) my thoughts and prayers that you get through safe and warm! For those facing it, brace yourselves, stock up on necessities and booze (if you like or whatever gets you though!) and ride it out with those you love. Pay attention to your local news stations and for the love of Pete don’t go out in the madness unless you have to!

Enjoy that nature is saying, “Just stop and slow down”. And don’t forget to check on friends and neighbors, especially those who may live alone, are elderly, frail or just need to know that someone cares!

Keep hope alive for a fabulous Friday!

Lady Maos

scary part of snow storm