A Mewsical Party A word art display advises me to Laugh More and Stress Less. This Tuck postcard featuring amorphized cats makes me laugh. Stress exacerbates Parkinson’s. Anything I can do to minimize or eliminate …
Browse, Bid, Buy Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~~Margaret Mead How about adding an interesting and worthy event …
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~~ William Arthur Ward In keeping with my annual Thanksgiving month tradition started in 2010, my ABCs …
My collection of “cat stuff” includes new and vintage valentines. This die cut valentine is from the 1960s. It folds and stands up. The back shows Gladys gave the valentine to Mary Ellen. It may have been given at a school valentine party. Remember those!
This week I passed out valentines to health care workers when I had a doctor’s appointment. I gave my doctor a recycled valentine from the 1930s; a classmate had given it to my uncle over 90 years ago. Another day I gave valentines to employees at my residence. Reactions ranged from “this is the only valentine I will get” to “I want to show this to my wife.” Some people were shocked. Others were intrigued with a recycled card. Conversations turned to memories of their school parties. I had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Home is behind the world ahead and there are many paths to tread through shadow to the edge of night until the stars are all alight. J R.R. Tolkien
Welcome to Parkinson’s My Way
I have been a teacher and writer for over four decades. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, my work and literary world became one with the Parkinson’s world. Isak Dinesen believed “all sorrows can be borne if you tell a story about them”, and I have found that to be true. Writing has always been my “go-to tool” for facing adversity.
Parkinson’s My Way is how I journey one day to the next with a chronic, progressive degenerative illness by keeping my interests alive. Days are rarely alike. A variety of interests that still define who I am include antiques, travel, baking, animals, nature, reading, photography, family farm, education and DAR.
Along the way, I discovered a fascinating gift of this perplexing neurological disorder. Studies find some people with Parkinson’s begin a new creative pursuit such as painting, sculpting or writing. For me it is poetry. This website will share “creativity in motion” by showcasing people with Parkinson’s artistic work, as well as mine.
Before PD, my personal mission was “to make a heartfelt difference” and that is unchanged. Through my sharing in Parkinson’s My Way, the intent is to educate, to inspire, and to give hope. Some posts will deal with Parkinson’s head on. Other times I will bake a cake or recommend a good book!
If just one of you benefits from my thoughts, experiences, recipes, poetry or photography, I will consider this mission a success. Perhaps you have Parkinson’s disease or are a caregiver. Maybe a friend of yours was just diagnosed with PD. Whatever the reason that you are visiting, I welcome you and your comments.
A word art display advises me to Laugh More and Stress Less. This Tuck postcard featuring amorphized cats makes me laugh. Stress exacerbates Parkinson’s. Anything I can do to minimize or eliminate stress helps me live my best life now.
Raphael Tuck & Sons used to be the world’s largest postcard publisher. The card company offered a unique history of life in the late 19th and early 20th century. A series of six cards made up A Mewsical Party. The oilette was produced in Bavaria in 1911 and 1912. It was first published by T.S.N. Dresden in 1852.
During World War II, company headquarters were destroyed including greeting cards, postcards, records and originals. TuckDB Postcards is a non-profit attempting to recreate the lost records.
2017 Fundraiser SCC Athletic Department Left brother Larry, me, Coach Knight, brother Steve
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls sing.” ~~Marcel Proust
My ABCs of Gratitude for 2023
In keeping with my tradition, here is my gratitude list for 2023. I enjoy the challenge of working with ABCs. But you could use the word Thanksgiving or the initials of your name. Some years I notice a theme. This year nineteen of twenty-six blessings are people ranging from family, friends, relatives, doctors, colleagues, and feline friends. The list reminds me how important my interactions and relationships are.
Alison and Eleanor…West Palm Beach friends come to visit
Brain Surgery…right and left electrodes powered up
Chand…movement disorder specialist
Donna…best sister ever
eBay customers… love to hear about their collections
Fur Babies…5 of 6 siblings celebrated 13th birthday
Groh…my 91-year-old aunt and cousins visit
Hobby…new pastime designing tablescapes
Interview…Tatianna interview republished by T.J. Banks
Knight…saddened legendary Coach Knight is gone, but blessed I met him in 2017
Larry…best brother who taught me devotion and unselfish love
Michelle…dear friend and Northwood University virtual colleague
Neck Dystonia…good-by, thank you DBS
Orange cat…a blessing, I loved you to the moon and back
Personal Assistant…Laurie extraordinary helper
Quiet…17th floor home only has one other tenant
Rose…angel earth kitty who is brave and resilient
Steve…other best brother and the best cat dad ever
Tuttle…person who hired me at Northwood University
University…retired from Northwood with 35 years of service
Vienna Boys Choir…Attend concert at St. Louis Cathedral
Writing… winning 1st for nonfiction entry–Rose and Her Six Kittens
One of my favorite hobbies is photographing my cats Chauncey, Grace, and Maggie Mae. I also like to go on photo shoots with their siblings when I visit my brother in the country. The tuxedo cat Boots understands when I say “let’s go on a photo shoot.” He prances, climbs, struts, and sits. He loves to pose and hold a gaze. He is so easy to photograph. I created this card last year from a photo taken in 2018. My brother named him Boots as a kitten and later nicknamed him “Movie Star” after he won an award. I call him Bootsie and simply adore him.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~~Margaret Mead
How about adding an interesting and worthy event to your weekend by visiting a virtual auction that supports historic preservation, education and patriotism! Seminole Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (of which I am a proud member) is trying a new way to conduct our annual traditional benefit. We are determined that a pandemic is not going to stop our support to our charitable projects.
The auction is open to everyone through Monday, March 22, 8 PM EDT. You do not have to be a NSDAR member or pay to join the auction. Let your family and friends know. From Swarovski earrings to fitness equipment, butterfly gardening, handwoven shawl and ice cream basket, you will find a wide array of unique selections for all ages. If you are not in the West Palm Beach area, we will ship to you. If you are being out bid, you will be notified and have the opportunity to raise your bid. That has happened to me several times already. I admit it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush and I bid again!
My favorite photo of my father and me goes way back to 1953. He was thirty-five and I was three-years- old. He was dressed in his favorite attire as baseball was his life’s passion. Later I understood hitting a baseball was his God given talent. This sport made its way into my heart. When I remember my father, baseball is always part of the memory bank.
I am a part of all that I have touched and that has touched me. ~Thomas Wolfe
My most precious memory of my grandma, Charlotta Estella Seyb Mohr, is spending countless hours by her side at an impressive round oak pedestal table with animal claw feet. I adored her and enjoyed spending time at her home in rural Missouri. That was real easy to do since she lived about a mile where I grew up.
Family life centered on the heartbeat of the house. What she taught me remains part of my being. I close my eyes, and the table turns into a flower shop on Decoration Day (a day dating back to 1868). We tour her beautiful gardens and pick fragrant spring flowers such as peonies, poppies, irises, snowballs and bleeding hearts. Grandma prays nature will hold the rain for the weekend to preserve these fragile flowers. We make a list of loved ones whose graves we will visit and adorn. Then we arrange the flowers in vases and buckets.
Always Honor Your Loved Ones
“Always honor your loved ones,” she says. I learn that red poppies symbolize remembrance of those who have fallen in war. Grandma’s faith sustained her after losing her mother at age two and her younger brother in World War I at age twenty-two. I choose pink peonies to memorialize my great-grandmother Charlotta. Red poppies blaze on my great-uncle Rupert’s grave.
The Why Behind Red Poppies
When I was older, I learned more about the significance of the red poppy. In 1918, Moina Michael bought a bouquet of poppies and handed them out to businessmen at the New York YMCA because of the poignant effect the poem In Flanders Fields had on her. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen Americans in World War I. She led a campaign that designated the poppy as the official flower of The American Legion in 1923.
The American Legion Auxiliary is recognized as the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Thousands of crepe paper poppies made by disabled and hospitalized veterans are given out for donations to benefit disabled veterans.
Photo by Bob Fehringer, USTRANSCOM/PA
Video Reading of In Flanders Fields
In 2015, Legion Magazine and Leonard Cohen released a powerful video reading of In Flanders Fields on YouTube to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poem by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Cohen’s voice is accompanied by stirring imagery from the First World War and helps me to understand what my two heroic great-uncles experienced.
In Memory of My Great-Uncle Rupert Seyb
PVT. RUPERT C. SEYB
My great-uncle, Rupert Carl Seyb, enlisted in Sanborn, South Dakota, on June 5, 1917. He served as a private in Company F, 350th Infantry. 88th Division with American Expeditionary Forces. He was sent to Camp Funston, Kansas and Fort Dodge, Iowa for a short time. He sailed from Long Island, New York to France in July, 1918. He died due to valvular heart disease and influenza in Naix, France, on February 23, 1919, at twenty-six years, two months, sixteen days. He is buried at Saint Paul Cemetery near Kahoka, Missouri.
Honoring his place of death, Naix, France
Rupert Seyb Memorial Card
In sunny France
there came a chance
To test his soul in blood:
He didn’t stop–but o’er the top
He went–and he made good.
And that is why we dare not cry
As his brave soul passes on;
His name’s enrolled on Fame’s
Our glorious valiant son.
Rupert C. Seyb Grave Stone
In Memory of My Great-Uncle Carl Roasa
PVT, CARL A. ROASA
My great-uncle, Carl A. Roasa, was inducted into the Army/Marine unit on July 5, 1917, in Kansas City, Missouri. He served overseas from May 20, 1918, until January 17, 1919, where he died in France of pneumonia at twenty-two years, ten months, eight days. His parents, Albert and Laura Roasa, bought land, planted trees and started Granger Cemetery for the burial of Carl Albert. He was the youngest of six children including five boys and one girl. I read in Carl’s war records that his mother was notified of his death. Although I never met my great-grandmother, I can picture her receiving this devastating news of her beloved son, and my heart breaks.
Carl A. Roasa’s Grave Stone
Carl’s memorial card included this beautiful James Whitcomb Riley poem:
I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead—He is just away!
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
Mild and gentle, as he was brave
When the sweetest love of his life he gave.
Think of him as the same I say:
He is not dead—He is just away.
A Soldiers’ Memorial was established near the Scotland County Courthouse in Memphis, Missouri, in 1923, led by the Betsy Ross Club. Other organizations joined forces including Home Guards, Order of the Eastern Star, and Mothers of Soldiers. The names of the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice from the area were chiseled on the memorial pillars. The honor roll of twenty-five soldiers included Carl A. Roasa. The engraving reads “In memoriam to the boys from Scotland County 1914 ~ World War ~ 1918, they gave their all for liberty and democracy.”
On this Memorial Day weekend, I pause to reflect on what my two great-uncles’ service and their ultimate sacrifice mean to my life, and I am deeply grateful.
In my mind’s eye today, grandma is watching me arrange pink peonies.
I grew up in the 1950s when doctors made house calls. My mother rang up an operator from a wooden telephone on the kitchen wall and was connected to Doc Gray. Although we lived four miles from town, she took care of us day or night. I remember Doc Gray sitting on the edge of my bed and watching over me when I had the mumps, measles, chicken pox and flu. Her black bag and pink liquid medicine intrigued me as she was never without either one. Although I was sick and often was given that icky pink stuff, I liked Doc Gray to come to the house.
2020 Virtual Call
Seventy years later, a telephone still connects me to a doctor. But a few things have changed. A phone is now smart, and a house call is virtual. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded telemedicine coverage due to COVID-19. During a six-week period in April and May, I had three telemedicine appointments using digital technology. From the safety and convenience of my home, my healthcare providers observed my condition, assessed medication changes, conducted a neurological exam and transmitted a prescription.
13 Tips for a Successful Telemedicine Appointment
1. Get specific instructions on how the appointment will be conducted? Will it be FaceTime, a Zoom meeting or some other app? Is it best to use your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer?
2. Download any necessary apps and test in advance. If you encounter difficulties, contact your healthcare provider for additional help. Practice again. For example, if your provider is going to use Zoom, you could do a practice meeting with a family member.
3. Plan in advance where to set devices for clear images. Take into consideration lighting and glare. Is anyone else going to be in the room? How does seating area look? Do you need to remove clutter?
4. If you have journal notes that you want the provider to review in advance, arrange the transfer with office personnel.
5. Prepare just as you would for an office consultation. What are two or three questions that you need to ask? Review notes from last visit. What has changed? What follow-up questions can you expect your provider to ask you?
6. Be aware if you need any prescriptions refilled. Request 90-day prescriptions. Have the name of the pharmacy, phone number and drug bottle handy.
7. Record your weight, blood pressure and temperature prior to appointment if these procedures would commonly be done in office. If you do not have a blood pressure cuff, you will find a wide selection online. Your provider may also want to watch you take blood pressure, sitting and standing. Keep cuff nearby.
8. Inform other household members to avoid interruptions. Arrange to have someone on standby to operate the camera if your provider conducts an examination.
9. Charge electronic devices and check connections prior to appointment.
10. Situate ten minutes prior to start of appointment. Have pen, paper, notes and water handy. Quiet the area by turning off background noise. Move curious pets and/or children to another room. Power up any needed devices. Do 1-minute deep breathing calming meditation.
11. Be clear at end of appointment what happens next? Will staff call you to schedule follow-up appointment? How is payment handled? When will prescriptions be transmitted?
12. Be patient. It is not unusual for there to be technical challenges. Both your healthcare provider and you are learning together.
13. Treat the telemedicine appointment as the real deal. Be willing to give it a try even though this tool has not been readily available to you prior to COVID-19. You may discover this time-saving, hassle-free alternative is right for you.
Mother, mom, ma, mamma, mommie, or mum…..I called my mother “mother” as did my sister. My brothers called her “mom”. When I was a little girl, I called her “mommie”.
This beautiful mother quote found at Cracker Barrel resonates with me.. “Mother…she not only gives us life, she teaches our souls to sing”.
The passage reminds me of another quote I found on our annual mother-daughter summer jaunt. After visiting the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, in 2006, we stopped at Country Junction Restaurant. The perfect sentiment to honor my mother, our trip and our precious time together was embroidered on small pieces of red and tan gingham and displayed in a rustic frame:
“All that I am or hope to be I owe to my mother”—Abe Lincoln
A Mother’s Perspective
Then we have a mother’s perspective in the following powerful quotes: “Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of love.”—Maureen Hawkins
“When you were small and just a touch away, I covered you with blankets against the cold night air. But now that you are tall and out of reach, I fold my hands and cover you with prayer.”—Dona Maddux Cooper.
My Mother’s Day Ritual
This is my 11th Mother’s Day without her. She passed away on July 1, 2009, less than four weeks after the above family photo. Precious memories of my dear mother sustain me today along with a prayer and poem ritual. With folded hands, I send her a prayer: “Thank you for teaching my soul to sing. May God keep you always in His loving embrace.”
Lilacs were her favorite spring flower. We had purple and white lilac bushes at the farm house. By a heavenly miracle, a sprig or two of white lilacs burst into bloom seventy years later my brother reports!
by Mildred M. North
Again the lilac blossoms sway
Above the windowsill,
And every white or purple spray
Exotic perfume spills.
Again the orchard rows are sweet
With drifts of blossom snow,
And every breath of fragrance fleet
Brings thoughts of long ago.
So clear, so precious, memory sees
The old home, Mother dear,
And lilac blooms and apple trees–
The joys of yesteryear.
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PD In The Know
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is now the world’s fastest growing brain disorder, moving ahead of Alzheimer’s. More than 10 million men and women live with Parkinson’s world-wide. An estimated 60,000 new cases pf PD are reported annually in the United States. Over the past 25 years, the number of people with Parkinson’s has more than doubled. At this rate, the number will double again in the coming generation. The number of Americans with PD has increased by 35% in the last 10 years alone. One in 15 will get Parkinson’s. Men are one and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with PD than women. Most people with PD are older than 65.
Is a creative pursuit a healing part of your PD life? Are you an artist, poet, writer, sculptor, photographer, or quilter? Do you make jewelry or furniture? Do you write music?
Would you like to be considered for an interview and have your work showcased here? If so, please contact me.
Quote of the Week
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
Inspirational Danny Kaye Quote
Tatianna– by Linda A. Mohr
Linking creative women since 1897
Poem: Country Living Blessings
Poem: The Power Strugggle
Poem: Morning Visitor
Poem: Morning Visitor
Book: Tatianna…Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend
Essay: The Cat’s Mastery of the Present Moment
Parkinson's My Way.
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