How to Sneak Exercise into a Parkinson’s Day

 

What seems impossible today will one day become your warm up.

I got delayed in a post office line recently. The customer ahead of me was mailing a package to Italy with address issues. Within seconds, I knew the transaction was going to be time-consuming. But I needed to stay to mail an eBay order. As the minutes ticked by, frustrated customers dropped out of line. Others were on their phones or muttering to themselves. I was exercising!

My Light Bulb Moment

My “light bulb moment” as I waited for my turn was a result of what I do while brushing my teeth. I stand on one leg and alternate to the other as I brush. My electric tooth brush stutters after two minutes. I can anticipate when I near the one minute mark and switch legs. Or reach for the goal of standing on one leg for two minutes. (Which by the way I can do without support!) The vanity provides stability if I ever need to lean on it. Single leg balance exercise has improved my posture and increased my leg strength.

So as I was frozen in the post office line, I thought, why not stand on one leg? I have a bar along the waiting line where customers place packages. If necessary, I can lean against it and stay safe. The seventeen minutes before my service turn passed calmly. I returned home feeling clever!

Exercise is Parkinson’s Medication

I understand the importance of exercise. In fact exercise is a medication for Parkinson’s. Evidence-based research shows exercise can slow the progression of the disease. But I do not always get enough exercise.  Doing single leg balance routines is a sneaky way to work exercise into my daily activities. By doing so,  I am also multi-tasking which is good exercise for the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Exercising while waiting can be coupled with a variety of daily activities. Since it is  fun and a change of pace, I am more apt to do it. I have balanced on single leg in a cashier line when I have a cart for support. It works in the kitchen when I have counter support while I am waiting for tea to brew. Brushing my hair, hugging Joe…..you get the picture! Just be creative and you will discover opportunities in your daily life.

A shopping cart provides support if I wobble.

Easy-Peasy. Let’s go for 2 1/2 minutes!

If you are new to this type of exercise, I recommend you consult a physical therapist. Go slowly and be safe. Always have a chair or counter or some form of support that you can lean on or touch with a finger if needed. I recommend viewing this excellent less than one minute video on how to do the single leg balance.

Most people do not notice what I am doing. But when someone asks, I simply say, ”This is one way I maintain balance, improve posture and keep from falling.”

Question to Ponder:  How do you motivate yourself to exercise?  I would love to hear your tips in the comment section.

Blessings!
Linda

 

Welcome to Parkinson’s My Way

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.

Blessings!

Linda

Sue Edge Finds Happy Place is Creativity

I don’t have a choice that I have Parkinson’s, but I do have a choice what I do with it. I want to go forward to my Happy Place. ~Sue Edge

 

Multi-Talented Sue Edge…Artist, Poet, Producer, Entrepreneur

Sue was diagnosed with PD in 2010 and was forced to retire for medical reasons in 2015. She had worked the previous thirty-seven years as a teacher in Western Australia including Halls Creek, Central Desert, Pinjarra, Carcoola and Mandurah. Sue spent the first six months after retirement feeling lost, but trying to find a purpose. Her first creative efforts were fairy houses and wind and sun catchers. However, Parkinson’s affected her fine motor skills, and she found the small detail work impossible to execute. So Sue’s search for her Happy Place resumed.

Color Her World

Although she had never been able to draw or paint, she loved color. Inspired by her childhood nickname Big Bird and Lucky Legs, she began painting birds. She discovered that her quirky emus with their big personalities made people smile and made her happy.

Smile and Be Happy

Poetry in the Wee Hours

Besides painting, Sue was especially prolific for four months in 2017 when she wrote poetry in the middle of the night. She found that she had to get up and write the poem down before going back to sleep. To Sue’s amazement, she is better able express on paper what is in her head since having PD. She is now in the process of editing her collection and hopes to self-publish by the end of this year. Sue wrote the following poem in January 2017 which appears on her blog.

Awake Again!

Awake again at stupid o’clock
Wishing that I had a huge, sharp rock
To fling at that Parkinson’s annoying head
So I could sleep peacefully once more in my bed.
Wishing that I could be free once more,
To do things without them being a chore.
To be free from this ever present pain
And be able to do everything normally again.
To not be scared of freezing at inappropriate times
And be going back to work Instead of making up rhymes.
But wait…..what’s this I hear?
That ‘think positive’ bug is in my ear
Telling me to look for the good
And not go moping all over the neighbourhood.
So I’ll haul myself out of bed
And go pedal on my exercise bike instead.
Singing along with The Beatles, a bit out of key
But showing the world it’s good to be me!

PD is a family affair in the Edge household. Her children Josh and Tash are supportive. Sue has also written a children’s book based on her two granddaughters’ viewpoints. Her grandson wanted to be involved as well. So he named her book Our BobbleHead Nanna. She also hopes this book will be published. In the meantime, her younger granddaughter is helping her to make it into a video for an upcoming Parkinson’s convention.

Parkinson’s Philosophy

Sue’s philosophy is “PD does not change the fact I have a life. It changes the way I do things. Dream, believe, adapt and achieve. Adaptation is key.” For example, when she struggled with the repetitive motion of putting dots on the bird paintings, she adapted. When she played music with a distinctive beat, she successfully painted the dots.

Painting to the Beat

If her hand does not want to hold a paint brush when she is ready to do a background, she simply puts the paint on her hand and paints. Michael J. Fox would agree that Sue has found “a way through it.”  “You can be creative with PD,” Sue acknowledges. “There are days when I am painting that I am at peace. I can go longer between off periods. Painting takes me to my Happy Place and sometimes I feel normal and without symptoms.”

Exhibition Leads to New Venture

Sue’s artwork has appeared at two exhibitions held at the Niche, the headquarters of Parkinson’s Western Australia. She sold fifty-eight pieces and donated 20% of the sales to the PD Nurses Programme. Her goodwill caught the attention of an organizer of an art competition, and she was asked to enter.

Emus–Part of Sue’s exhibit at the Niche

Paintings Become Wearable Art

After winning $100 voucher to a framing shop, she discovered they made coasters from photos. Sue purchased coasters featuring her favorite paintings to give as gifts. But people wanted to buy them! One resource led to another and since coasters, she has designed leggings, yoga pants and tote bags. Her best sellers are coasters, scarves and shopping bags. She covers her costs, donates some proceeds to the PD Walk in the Park fundraiser for PD WA and then buys new stock with profits.

One of Her Favorite Emu Paintings is a Best Seller

The Art of Production and the Power of Goals

Influenced by her education career, Sue wanted to produce the rave review Kinetics play at Fishtrap Theatre in the Mandurah Performing  Arts Centre to raise PD awareness. Kinetics, written by actress  Sue Wylie of the United Kingdom, is based on her true story of coming to terms with her unexpected diagnosis of Parkinson’s at the age of 50 and her friendship with Lukas, a teenage boy struggling with his diagnosis of ADHD and who is into Parkour.

Sue’s friends helped build the set, and the leading lady was an ex-colleague. Grants flowed in from several organizations. Rehearsal started in February of 2019, with the opening in May. Ninety-nine people attended the first night, surpassing the projected thirty to forty! The reaction was fantastic with a total of 264 patrons attending the remaining four productions. Once again Sue  proves it is possible to live with purpose while battling Parkinson’s.

The Unsteady Hand

Her latest project is working with Mo Onstad’s “The Unsteady Hand” model based in Colorado Springs. She offered the first creative workshop in Australia on August 1 for people with PD based on “re-imagining Parkinson’s and promoting improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s through communal creative engage.”

Workshop modeled after The Unsteady Hand

It is unimaginable what the multi-talented Sue Edge will do next! What a pleasure interviewing her on Parkinson’s My Way.

Keeping in Touch

To learn more about Sue and her creations, go to

Facebook
Video
Art on Merchandise
You can also email Sue at noosemum@gmail.com

Question: Do you have a hobby or activity where you lose all sense of time when engaged in it? You are calm and peaceful and for a time you forget all about Parkinson’s. Please comment.

Blessings!
Linda

Aware in Care Parkinson’s Hospital Kit

I need my Parkinson’s medications ON TIME, EVERY TIME

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are admitted to the hospital 50% more than their peers. Three out of four hospital patients with PD do not receive their medication on time. Therefore, they have a one in four chance of complications because of medication errors. The Parkinson’s Foundation launched the Aware in Care campaign in 2011 to help people with PD get the best care possible during a hospital stay.

I attended a Parkinson’s Foundation educational event in May and saw the Aware in Care Kit. One kit per PD patient is complimentary. My kit arrived recently. I hope I never need to use the kit. However, by being proactive and preparing the contents in the kit, my odds of getting the right care at the right time are increased.

Preparing Aware in Care Kit

Kit Contents

Medication Form:  List all your prescriptions and over-the counter medications for PD as well as any other medical conditions. Make five copies of the medication form and place the original and copies in the kit. Update the form whenever medication changes.

Medical Alert Card: Fill in the back of the card and place in wallet. This card includes important information for healthcare professionals including a list of medications that are not safe for PD patients.

Fact Sheet for Nurses: Place the fact sheet tablet in kit.

Precautions for Duopa or Deep Brain Stimulation: If you have a DBS device or use Duopa therapy, place the information card in kit.

Emergency Contacts:  Make a list of names, phone numbers, emails and addresses of your neurologist, movement disorder specialist, primary care physician, care partner and close family members. Place a copy in kit. Update as changes occur.

Health Care Proxy:  Work with an attorney to create a Health Care Proxy that complies with your state guidelines. This document identifies who is authorized to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to express yourself. Place a copy in kit.

Parkinson’s Medications: Keep an extra supply of all your current medications in their original bottles with your name and dosage on each label. A 48-hour supply is recommended. Place in kit. This step gives you peace of mind that you have everything you need if you have a medical emergency and have to grab the bag and go.

Parkinson’s ID Bracelet:  A stainless steel, hypoallergenic and waterproof  bracelet is in kit for you to wear. It alerts medical professionals  that you have PD and includes a Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline number.

After your kit is assembled, show the contents to your care partner as well as where kit is stored.

How to Get Kit

For more information or to order your complimentary kit, click here.

Blessings!
Linda

 

Country Living Blessings

The inspiration for this poem is my beloved family homestead in Missouri.  I can see,  hear, and smell these sensory delights as I walk the land. I just returned from vacationing there for three weeks. Oh, the healing power of nature!

Country Living Blessings

Swaying amber wheat,
Expansive spaces,
Fresh cut red clover—
Balm for my soul.

Tasseled corn maze,
Queen Anne’s lace,
Rolling green pasture—
Soothing silence.

Meandering creek path,
Purple lilac tree perfume,
Sweet pea tendrils—
Peaceful nature.

Frolicking ginger kitty,
Colorful pegged clothes,
Night creatures’ serenade—
Joyous pleasures.

Bobwhite bobwhite,
Cicada songs,
Whip-poor-will calls—
Spiritual symphony.

Twinkling fireflies,
Illuminating moon beams,
Majestic maple trees—
My Maker’s handiwork.

 

Photo and Poem By Linda A. Mohr 

Country Living Blessings first appeared in Spirit, Peace and Joy, an anthology of poems published by Pen Women in 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ Church High Table

All Dressed Up….and Somewhere to Go

Entrance from Quad and Christ Church Cathedral

How exciting to attend High Table after the first day of class! The small select group for Monday night gathered with some of our tutors and staff at a sherry reception prior to dinner. Fascinating students included an Amsterdam couple who have participated eight years. A Texas grandmother brought her 16-year-old granddaughter to Exeter College for two weeks of pre-law while she took two courses at Christ Church. As the rest of the people entered the Great Hall, they followed tradition and stood until the High Table guests sat at their nameplate.

After we were seated, the director of studies David Beard who started The Oxford Experience twenty-seven years ago delivered the grace in Latin. Here is translation: “In the neediness of our human condition, which invites your compassion, almighty God and heavenly Father, we give you reverent thanks for the food which, in your kindness, you have lavished on us for the sustenance of our bodies; and we also beg that we may use it without greed or excess and with enjoyment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

High Table is just what the words imply. The table sits on a platform or dais above the main floor. It is at the top of the Great Hall furthest from the screen passage. During the Middle Ages, the lord of the castle could indeed “look down” on his household. His servants or subjects had designated seating in vertical rows of perpendicular tables according to status. Nobility and high ranking guests sat at High Table. They were served first and had the best quality food and drink. In 2017 at Christ Church, everyone in the hall enjoyed the same delectable food with turkey saltimbocca as the main course. Harry Potter or the Hogwarts teachers were not there! However, the Harry Potter films built a replica of the Great Hall in their London studio.

High Table on Dais at Christ Church

Many members of Christ Church were there in spirit. Ninety-two portraits grace the four walls of the Great Hall. Henry VIII oversees all as he is positioned on the High Table end of room in the middle. He founded Christ Church in 1546 as a dual foundation of college and cathedral. Cardinal Wolsey established Cardinal College in 1525 and his foundation is the original of Christ Church. His portrait is hung to the right of Henry VIII. Queen Elizabeth who united Christ Church and Westminster in 1561 is to the left of Henry VIII. The bust of the Queen Elizabeth II is below Henry VIII. I sat facing these formidable characters and felt their presence.

Other famous scholars of the college include Thomas Locke philosopher, John Wesley theologian, William Gladstone statesman and Lewis Carroll writer. Thirteen prime ministers studied at Christ Church.

William Murray, over door, Student 1723, First Earl of Mansfield

For me, the evening was steeped in great history, tradition, friendship and conversation. As shadows flirted with the exquisite stained glass windows, the ambiance of the Great Hall changed. A new reflection here, a new reflection there! That is what education is all about. Members of Christ Church have sat at High Table in centuries past conversing and debating the challenging issues of the era. I know 2017 is no different. Later in the year a second female portrait will keep company with Queen Elizabeth in the Great Hall that being Professor Pallot who joined the college in 1979.

Evening End Revelation

As I left High Table and meandered through the hall prolonging the magical evening, I followed a row of portraits. In my mind’s eye one caused me to pause. I saw the sixteen-year-old pre-law student all grown up, and she was gazing at me with a faint smile. I returned her smile, but I was beaming!

Blessings!
Linda

 

My Lineal Descent to American Revolutionary War Patriot

Today’s  4th of July post is dedicated to Nathaniel Thurber, my great-great-great-great grandfather. In 1998, I learned that I was a descendant of a patriot who served as a soldier during the Revolutionary War and helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America. Nathaniel Thurber, son of Daniel Thurber, Sr., and Lois Peck Thurber, was born on April 13, 1761, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Thurber family history dates back to the 1600s  to a small parish called Stanton, County of Lincolnshire in England, 129 miles from London. As Thurber families left England, they settled in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Nathaniel enlisted in 1776 and served as a private in the Revolutionary War until 1779 in Massachusetts as well as at the Burning of Bristol, Rhode Island. He married Polly Shores in 1792. They had six children including son James who served in the War of 1812.

DAR Headquarters, Washington, DC

With my interest in historical preservation, patriotism and education, the Daughters of the American Revolution was a perfect fit for me. So I embarked on an extended journey to prove lineal descent through such documents as birth, death and marriage certificates, church records, census reports and obituaries.

My Lineal Descent

Nathaniel Thurber, my patriot and great-great-great-great grandfather, 1761-1842
James Thurber, my great-great-great grandfather, 1791-1877
William Thurber, my great-great grandfather, 1827-1866
Laura Thurber Roasa, my great-grandmother, 1865-1944
Gladys Roasa Barr, my grandmother. 1891-1964
Rosemary Barr Mohr, my mother, 1918-2009
Linda Mohr (Me), 1950

My Application is Approved

A longtime dream of mine came true as I was officially welcomed into the National Society  Daughters of the American Revolution at the Seminole Chapter meeting in West Palm Beach on October 11, 2008.

The DAR insignia pin is a beautiful gold wheel. I wear it over my heart with tremendous pride for what those who have gone before me have done. I love the meaning behind each part:

THE HUB: Each loyal Daughter’s heart
EACH SPOKE: A thought of those from whom we part
THE TIE: A noble life well rounded out
EACH STAR: A deed of kindness as we go about
EACH FLAXEN THREAD: A cord of love to bind us closer day by day
THE DISTAFF: A rod of love to guide us all the way

10-Year Membership Honor

I celebrated my 10-year membership in 2018 and proudly added this pin to my DAR ribbon of pins.

My contribution to DAR Seminole includes:

Chapter Chairmanships:  Women’s Issues 2010-2012 & 2012-2014, Bylaws 2014-2016, DAR School 2018-2020

Chapter Service:  Librarian 2012-2014, Vice Regent 2014-2016, Librarian Appointed 2017-18, Chapter Director 2018-2020

Other:  Meeting Reservations 2009-2010, Benefit Registration 2013-2019, Women’s Issues Essay Contest State Winner in Career Category–Encore, 2014, Doing Life with Parkinson’s 2015, Wrote and Read Tea Time with Grandma Poem for Seminole Tea 2018, DAR School Project Second Place State Winner 2018, 10-Year Member 2018

President General Van Buren’s Call to Challenge: Think Big

On June 30, 2019, Denise Doring VanBuren was installed as President General at the National Society  Daughters of the American Revolution’s Continental Congress. In her Rise and Shine for America themed speech, she challenged Daughters to dream big dreams, think big, achieve great things, don’t settle for mediocrity, and look for meaningful service opportunities. We can’t shuffle along satisfied with the status quo if we are to achieve our Society’s full potential she emphasized.

As I considered  President General VanBuren’s message, I am blessed to live in America where I have the freedom to contribute in a manner that reflects who I am. I will always be grateful to my great-great-great-great grandfather Nathaniel Thurber who played a part in securing my freedom.

For more information about DAR contact me or visit DAR website, 

Blessings!
Linda

 

The Oxford Experience Begins

Christ Church Campus

As the Chinese proverb goes, a journey of a thousand steps starts with a single step. Sometimes, a journey starts at the train station as my trip to Oxford did. London Paddington was a bustling station and Sundays were no exception. Travelers stood in mass staring up at time table boards that eventually indicated a platform number from one to fourteen. An inbound train might only be in the station minutes before departure. So a stampede followed the instant the platform was known. I dashed off to platform 1 and a kind man offered to lift my suitcase onto train. Oh, the perks of being a senior! Or maybe he recognized my Parkinson’s masked face!

Tom Gate Christ Church

I like to ride trains and have done so on other trips using a BritRail pass. It is an easy and efficient way to travel. Sixty-three minutes later I arrived in Oxford and taxied to Christ Church, one of thirty-eight constituent colleges in the University of Oxford system. I was about to embark on The Oxford Experience where I would be a student for six days. The impressive point of entry is known as Tom Gate. After being greeted and given a welcome packet, a scout (member of domestic staff) escorted me to the Meadows building. My private suite was on first floor which is second floor by American standards. The view looked out over a meadow, and I thought I was in the country. The exquisite blue sky was a beautiful backdrop for my photo shoot of architecture.

Later in the day following a short orientation meeting and wine reception, we had our first meal in the Great Hall of Christ Church. As I entered the hall, I was mesmerized. I commented later to a dinner companion, that if The Oxford Experience had ended at that moment, it would have been worth it. I am still at loss for the right words to describe my feelings. Being in a room where Henry the VIII and countless other historic figures have dined, was a pinch me I’m not dreaming moment!

Great Hall Christ Church Founded 1546

A little background on great halls….They can be found in palaces, castles and large manor homes in the Middle Ages and in country homes in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Colleges at Durham, Cambridge, St. Andrews and Oxford also have great halls for dining. In the Middle Ages, the hall was a living space where the household of family and servants ate and slept together. The hall was typically a long rectangle room, roofed in timber and entered at a screen end with a high table at opposite end.

Great Hall Christ Church

After dinner, we were escorted to our classroom by our tutor Nick Doggett (which is what the professor is called) for a short get acquainted meeting. The aerial photo at top of this post gives you an idea of the massive space Christ Church covers. We were hopeful we would find our way the next morning for the official start of class. The eclectic class of twelve students included three married couples from California. The rest of us gals represented New York, Ohio, Florida, California again, Germany and New Zealand. Many of us have had (or still have) education careers. Two are architects, and I suspect they will add an interesting perspective to the Country Homes course. Class dismissed!

Blessings!
Linda

 

My Traveling Companion, Parkinson’s

The Chesterfield Mayfair

As my British Airways flight touched down at 6:30 a.m. at London Heathrow, I said to anyone awake, “I’m home.” I have always experienced this feeling in my favorite city in the world. As the taxi cab driver made his way to The Chesterfield Mayfair with me delighting over all the familiar sights and sounds, my happy soul acknowledged again, “I am really home!”

My Serenity Retreat

In a few days I will head to Oxford for the primary focus of this 2017 jaunt. But I simply could not bypass the opportunity to return to London for the eleventh blessed time.  I go where I want to go and do what I want to do (most of the time). But Parkinson’s is always with me. So my travel philosophy is keep it light, keep it simple and keep it handy. I will stay at The Chesterfield Mayfair for several reasons. It’s located in one of most beautiful areas, is within walking distance of Gray’s Antiques and is authentic British. I also have a history with The Chesterfield Palm Beach as that is where I held my book signing party in 2007 for Tatianna-Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend.

I luckily arrived without jet lag and spent Friday morning having a wonderful English breakfast in the hotel, exploring the area on foot and getting access to my room around noon. My little cozy bedroom was a joy. Later I headed to Gray’s Antiques where multiple dealers have their wares. I’ve joked that my car automatically stops for garage sales, thrift stores and antique shops in the states. When I am in London, the vintage markets call to me and off I go on foot.

Buttons and Brooches

I found some sweet little Scottie dog buttons for one of my eBay customers, and I added a brooch to my personal collection. Love brooches with faces! I’ve always appreciated how the “hustle and bustle” in London is offset by peaceful parks and wide open spaces like my favorite St. James Park. This trip I sat in a park at Berkeley Square a few minutes from the  hotel. According to Anna Quindlen, “London opens to you like a novel itself…. It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, door, passsage, door. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.”

I would not be in London and not go to Portobello Market on Saturday. It is billed as the largest street market in the world. My feet agree! The eclectic one mile market includes antiques, vintage stuff, collectibles, food, clothing, flea market items and more. As my cabbie dropped me off at 9 a.m., my heart is racing and I can’t wait to begin the hunt. What will I find today?

Treasure Hunting Begins At Notting Hill

I walked miles and ate at a little Italian café where one cook prepared all the food just a few feet from patrons. So entertaining! I bought lots of buttons for resale from a lovely British couple. They have had a button booth for 21 years at Portobello. They take a bus and train every Saturday morning for an hour to get to their shop. They have attended National Button Conventions in America—yes, there are such meetings!

We spent more time talking about Parkinson’s than buttons. He had seen me pass by the booth earlier as I was checking out the area and thought I had PD just like his wife. Of course, he was right. Although many people are surprised to find out I have Parkinson’s, some see clues. Perhaps it is the way I hold my arm or walk slower or have a stern look.

Little Art Pictures

I arrived back at The Chesterfield after an exhilarating market day, welcomed an impressive room service dinner, repacked my suitcase cubes and prepared for my next adventure.

Blessings!
Linda

 

Lazy Summer Permission Granted

Reflective Walk on Country Lane to Family House

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy.
To do nothing and have it count for something.
To lie in the grass and count the stars.
To sit on a branch and study the clouds.
~Regina Brett

To Do Nothing

Eighty-eight degrees at 7 a.m. in North Palm Beach! But summer does not officially start until June 21! Who are we kidding! Summer is here. When I taught full-time, summer began the minute my grades were submitted. Now it starts when my volunteer work is finished. My last Daughters of the American Revolution meeting was the first of May, and the last American Association of University Women’s dinner club was the end of May.  A common question at these finales was “What are you going to do this summer?” Sometimes, the answer for me is to almost do nothing!

I recall one year our graduation speaker challenged graduates to think about the hyphen between when they were born and when they are no longer on this earth and to use that time wisely. I believe wise use of time is important for all of us. However, the tendency for a person with Parkinson’s is to do things slower. You get discouraged when half-started projects pile up. Then guilt sets in. However, you need to be good to yourself which may include giving a pass or permission to slow down. Doing almost nothing for a while may prime you to tackle the important responsibilities later. However, remember exercise is Parkinson’s medication. So I will continue my walking, Tai Chi, stretching and medical or therapy appointments.

 I Love Summertime

What I love about summer is the flexibility and more white space on my calendar. The Florida pace slows down, and traffic is less congested. I no longer have to wait for a table in a restaurant. Attendance at Tai Chi and PD support group drops, and individualized attention is possible. I enjoy having time to recharge, replenish, revitalize—whether it’s at my tropical home in South Florida or at the family farm in Missouri. For the first few days of June, I rested and did fun stuff like staying in my pajamas all day. I puttered around the house and yard and redesigned a tabletop display. It took me awhile to unwind. After reflecting on the first five months 2019, I realized they were jammed with activities, responsibilities and experiences:

Why I Need to Recharge

Self-Care:  Road trip to University of Florida’s Movement Disorder Center to meet with physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist, Lunch n Learn PD support group meetings, Parkinson’s Foundation community education event, Tai Chi classes, trigger point massages, daily walking, daily stretching, diagnostic tests, chiropractor, neurologist, cardiologist,  podiatrist, urogynecologist  and dentist appointments

Family:  Sister-in-law in hospital, followed by my brother, 90-year-old aunt passed away with Alzheimer’s

Pets: Took Grace, Chauncey and Maggie Mae  for vaccinations, changed diet, got water fountain

Social: Hosted 69th birthday party, hosted dinner club, attended three dinner clubs, several lunches with girlfriends, re-connected with a couple of old friends, spring training baseball game

Professional:  Researched, wrote and posted twenty-seven Parkinson’s My Way blogs, interviewed two artists, designed business card, wrote free report for email blog subscription, attended annual library book sale and three rummage sales for eBay inventory finds, wrote an acrostic poem for a contest, taught online strategic management course, evaluated twenty-eight students’ prior learning assessment portfolios

DAR:  Prepared monthly newsletter reports, presented oral monthly meeting reports as chairman of DAR school committee, checked in attendees and dressed as flapper at annual fundraiser, contributed donations to fundraiser, served as meeting greeter and did a show and tell introduction of myself, served as executive board director and advised regent, received 10-year membership award, received DAR school committee project award for second place out of 106 Florida chapters

House:  Tented and fumigated for termites and beetles

My Lazy Hazy Days of Summer

My summer will go with the flow, and I will do what feels right. This moment it is curling up on the couch with Grace, Chauncey or Maggie Mae and taking a short nap in the middle of a typical tropical rain. Now who can argue with that?

What do you like most about summer? How will you spend your summer?

Blessings!
Linda

 

 

Royal Poinciana’s Inspirational Beauty

 

He who plants a tree plants a hope. ~Lucy Larcom

The first time I viewed this magnificent tree in bloom I was in awe. The year was 1977, and I had relocated to Palm Beach County. Forty-two years later, my reaction is the same. The royal poinciana tree, also known as the flame or flamboyant tree, has orange/red petals and a yellow and white center. It can grow forty to fifty feet in height, and often the umbrella shaped crown is greater in width than the tree’s height.

Although I do not have a royal poinciana on my property, I enjoy several views within a couple minutes of my house. My daily walk in the neighborhood is punctuated by the dazzling flowering beauty during May and June. How’s that for spring time in Florida?

Blessings!
Linda

Photo Credit:  Linda A. Mohr