Thursday, February 27, 2014

Old Lost Photo's Found - Alzheimers Disease

My computer is in being repaired this week. I seem to have bit of a virus .
So today I will be repeating an old post that is dear to my heart.
If you have someone in your life that has Alzheimer's I hope this can help you deal with the trials and tribulations.
But might I add there are some lovely moments too.
It is all how you deal with it. 

I also wanted to thank all the people that commented on this post.  I was so touched by all the stories and it made me feel like I was not alone.
You all touched my heart! 
They were all beautiful stories.

These are lost photos of my mother.

She was a Raven Haired Beauty.
Look how she sits with her ankles crossed.

Well let me say they have put me in quite a tizzy!
It reminds me of what a beautiful vibrant women she was.

I know she would not like this photo of her. Especially because it was showing too much skin.

I love this picture it shows the era. I would say it was early '50s

She was such a lady. All the women wanted to be her.
So did I.

Excuse me while I lament over my beautiful mother.

This will not be my usual blog post today. I am sorry I am just hoping this will help someone who’s loved one has Alzheimer disease.

The other day my Dad pulls out a box of slides that we had never seen before. Heidi and I started looking under one of these lights that dentist use. (That only my Dad would have, that will be a story for another day). And there were all these beautiful pictures of my mother. I believe they are right after my Dad and Mom got married. I would say they are from around 1950 to 1952. It was like winning the lottery for us.

Heidi quickly got them put on disks because we wanted to see them.

When I saw them I cried. And I have not stopped crying since. I remember her beauty. Not that I forgot. But memories started flooding by like I remember she use to wear a French Twist in her hair. She was so glamorous. I remember when she had it cut off. She stepped out of the car and I started crying and shouting “That’s not my mommy” and ran into the house. She of coarse started to laugh.

There are also so many regrets that came flooding by. That I could not contain myself. I had to have a talk with my Dad and discuss all those regrets. He eased my mind. I forgot how my father could do that for me like he use to in the old days. He can be very gruff but he also has a very soft side to him. We cried together.

I remember her cute little pert nose. I remember in the nursing home saying to my father. How she still looked so pretty with her cute little nose.

She suffered in her last months but we as a family were all there for her because we all adored her. She was the center of our family. She is what kept us all together.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that robbed her of her words. I believe she knew us all in the end but she just could not verbalize it. We where her voice.

If you have a family member that is suffering from this disease get help. We went to classes to learn the do's and don’ts of how to speak to a person with Alzheimer’s.
Here are some things we learned.  I hope they help.

* Come to the someone with Alzheimer’s peacefully – Do not startle them. Prepare your heart and spirit. Be present.

* Talking isn’t the only way to communicate. My mother use to hit my father’s knuckles in a funny little love way. Or she would do this funny little popping noise with her mouth.

* Always introduce yourself; never ask “Do you remember me?”

* People watch, gossip with them, do anything that interest them. Even after my mother couldn’t remember who I was she liked to people watch. We’d sit side by side and I would comment on someone’s strange hair or how big my butt was – I would say anything that I could bring a smile to her face. That is one thing I could do was make my mother laugh.

* Smile for god sake!! Don’t go into see them and acting all serious. Or another thing don’t start yelling at them!!! Most of them can hear you….

* Don’t try to make them remember you or someone else. It frightens them because they can't remember.  The important thing is that you remember them.

* Still go and see them. I have heard people say "Why should I go and see them, They do not know who I am?"  Because like I said before...You know them.  You don't want to have any regrets.

* Use short sentences. If you have to ask them questions make sure they are yes or no questions.

* Never talk about them in front of them. They know what you are saying. All you are doing is scaring them.

* Whatever happens - Don’t take it personally. Remember their brains are going flooky!

* Read to them or tell them a story.

* If they are interested watch TV with them. I remember watching Peter, Paul and Mary special on PBS. Also the Laurence Welk show. She liked to hear music. She loved that. She loved to go to the sing alongs. She never sang but she would give me the knuckle and look at me with that smile and I knew she loved it. Music is one of the last things that Alzheimer patients can enjoy.

* Look past the lack of expression, continue to talk to the person you’ve always known that is still in there.

* It is OK to start to grieve even if they are still alive. I know I started early grieving for my mother. I lost her a long time before she finally left this earth. It is a very slow goodbye.

* Be happy for those moments of clarity. There will be moments when they all of a sudden speak your name in a clear sentence. The last words I heard my mother say to me were “I love you” I was coming in to visit and I just leaned down and kissed her and I said “I love my mommy” And she kissed me back and said those words right back to me. (In a very perky way, freaked me out a little) Can’t get much better than that….She died a week  later...

I hope this will help someone who’s loved one has Alzheimer’s.

I also show you these photo's because I wanted to show you how a disease can rob a person of all there senses.    She was educated women , She was a Artist, Personel Directer for a Department Store, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother.  And my Mother.  NO ONE IS IMMUNED TO IT.

This is my art this week. 

This is a very important fight for me.  Both my Grandmothers had Alzheimers. One started when she was 55 she died when she was 68. The other when she was 80 and she died when she was 89.  My mother started in her 60's and died when she was 72. My Aunt started in her early 60's and died just last year at 76.  It is a long journey.

Please give donation's to the Alzheimer's Association. Tell them Heather Foust sent you! 

Lots of love to everyone this week.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Camptown Races

Embrace Change

Below are some Altered Old Book Journal Pages.
I did this week.
Full Circle Class. 
Misty Mawn
Love her! If you ever have a chance take a class.
She is always inspiring!

Also you know I have to tell some kind of story.
So this is my story for this week.
On Friday Nights we always go to our Neighborhood Tavern.
We see neighbors and old friends. 
Always have a good time.
We have a lot of colorful friends that we sit with and have dinner and talk about anything from Politics,Religion, Kids, Family, Etc.
Well sometimes these conversations get a bit heated. Not everyone thinks the same way. Its just how life is. We respect one another for the different opinions.
 Well anyway our friend Bob said that in his family every time that something gets heated or they come to an in pass they start singing "Camptown Race". After you are done you can't be mad anymore. It's not possible.
So that is what we did. Every time the conversation got heated we started singing.....
Camptown Ladies sing this song!
Do da Do da!
Camptown Race five mile long!
Do da Do da!
 Goin to run all Night!
Goin to run all Day!!

I know it is soooo silly!

It was one of the best nights!!! I am not kidding it works.
You just can't be upset after singing that song!!
So remember if things get heated sing Camptown Races!
We did a lot of singing.
Song is in my head!!
It's something about the "Do Da's"

I know you all think I am crazy... but it works!!

Also I just wanted to let you know I was just contacted by Somerset Studio and Somerset Studio Gallery.
I will be featured in the May 2014 Somerset Studio again for my Owls. And then in June I will be in the Somerset Studio Gallery with my Ballerina!
I am so trilled and grateful beyond belief!!!
I am having a dream come true kinda life this year!!!


Have a wonderful week and don't forget to sing!!!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blossoming Bud

 And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom
~Anais Nin~

I started showing my work in my 40's.  Kind of late for an artist. That is how insecure I was.  But I knew I had to let it out.  People would say to me why didn't you tell us that you were an artist?? I can't tell you why I was so afraid.  Insecurities really got to me when I was younger. I never felt good enough.  But you know when you get older (at least I did) I didn't care. I had to do what I had to do. Time was ticking and I knew if I didn't let the world into my secret I would have withered away with a nothingness life.

I would never bloom. 

I needed to bloom.

I yearned to bloom.

So I let out my passion. 

Life changed for me!

I want to tell you what really helped me was this online community.
I would just show enough and then see if there was a reaction.
The more reaction I got the more confidence I got.
The Internet is a wonderful thing if you use it.
It changed my life. I don't know if I would have shown my work if I didn't have it to hide behind.

I am a very shy person. ((I know people that know me want to laugh at that. Because I do tend to appear like I am very confident and secure. What I can do is make people laugh. Always been a thing I could do. I started with my parents. I was the youngest. I think I learned at an early age to get some attention you got to make them laugh!)) Anyway sorry about that I went off the subject.  I am a very shy person. Funny thing is I was in acting when I was in high school.  But now I can not stand up in front of people and speak because I would faint.  No kidding! When I went back to school later.  I almost fainted in front of a classroom of people when the teacher called me up in front of the class and said " Heather you come up and show the class how to do it, She knew I could do it but as soon as I looked and all 30 of those other students where looking at me I CHOKED!! I blubbered some kind of nonsense. And my teacher looked at me scratching  her head, like what was that??? 

Anyway what I am trying to say is if you are shy the Internet is the perfect place to start showing your work.

 I would not have blossomed into what I am today. Which is pretty Damn Good!!

So show your stuff!!!!
Let it goooooo.
Show the world what you got!!
The majority of people are really kind.
And if you run into some mean people, Forget about it. They have there own issues that have nothing to do with you!!

Just do it.

Don't be the bud.



Listening to this right now!!
Loving the entire album 
Jamestown Revival 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nuture your friends

Nurture your Friends

What is a Friend?
Someone who accepts you for who you are. They REALLY know you and they still want to be with you!
Someone that is with you in times of need when they would rather be somewhere else.
They are with you through happiness and sorrow.

They are husbands, I believe you should marry your friend(and lover) If you don't marry a friend you have nothing when the euphoria goes away. Believe me that New Love stuff will die. People spend there whole life chasing that feeling. It never stays. After that is over that is when the REAL LOVE happens. The good stuff, the friendship, respect, acceptance.

Also Sister Friends. I am so lucky to have 2 of those. We have managed to stay close all these years. It makes me sad to see other people say they don't speak to there siblings. I couldn't imagine my life without them. Don't get me wrong we have our issues but we always get over it. We accept each other for our imperfect selves.

I believe in making new friends and keeping the old. (One is silver and the other gold, Do you remember that song from Girl Scouts? Anyway, I got off track!)

But I also believe in letting go of friends.  Not because you don't still love that person but because they are going in a different direction then yourself. It's OK to let go. 
I have had many friends come and go.
I have a friend that I have had since I was 15.  We were very close. We both had our babies together. Remember the last post I had about the village, Well she was part of that village. We let go of each other at one point.  She started her journey as a 2nd time mother and I started making a career.  We both were into two different things.  We drifted. Not too far that we were out of reach but not the everyday kind of thing we had before. We are back into the swing of things now. I love her and this post came about because of listening to her the other day on the phone.  Just listening. Not fixing it.(like I tend to do, I always want to fix it)  She needed someone to listen.  I know she would be there if I needed someone to listen. 

Anyway, I hope everyone doesn't mind my ramblings.
I will leave you with this quote and a song.

In every one's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flames by an encounter with another human being. We should be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

~Albert Schweitzer~