Lost


Sometimes I write to show you something and sometimes I write for my own healing. Today is the latter reason; for my own healing.

I used to be so bubbly. I was always ready to go somewhere and laugh tons and enjoy the day. I don’t know what has happened to me.

If I am in a crowd of people; I want to be home sooner than later. I used to sit and listen to people talk and tell their stories but anymore I have learned these stories cause some pain because of plain, old gossip.

I used to jump up and eat and get dressed and put the make-up on; not anymore. I do feel awesome when I first wake up. I feel little pain. I give my thanks to God for this day. I would rather now take my time and I discovered this past few months, that not long after I am awake; I could go back to sleep if time allowed.

I don’t cry. I haven’t cried since my brother passed almost five years ago. I think between losing him and my dad; I just cried all my tears until they are permanently dried up.

I volunteer each week. I love it but I find myself almost wishing I didn’t have to get up and go. Once I am on my way; I am good to go.

People get on my nerves so much anymore and that used to never happen. I was always a people person.

I have a few excuses as to why this change has happened. Winter? It’s always a long winter  here in Northern Indiana. Shorter days of light? Maybe. The place I live in? Perhaps. I was told by the manager at the time I applied that this building was really hopping.

All sorts of activities to attend, friendly people. This has not proved to be the case as now living here for two years, what I mainly see is a variety of people. Senior Citizens live here. Disabled adults live here. Mentally challenged people live here.

This leads to a variety of things to see on a daily basis. In fact, I just saw a post taped to an escape door on my floor. “If we see such and such, please don’t let  him in.” This  happens so much here.

There are illegal activities here almost daily. Maybe this is another reason I  hibernate in my room. I posted this topic before and had a reference made back to  me that this is happening everywhere. If it truly is then this is a sad state of world we live in.

Maybe I am just plain living in the fifties. I shouldn’t be of course. I was born in the fifties. Maybe I should take that back and say sixties. I would just love to live in an area that is safe, an area that doesn’t reach below freezing for most of the winter.

I think about moving farther down in Indiana and then I instantly think of my kids. Nope, can’t do it. I tried it different times in earlier years and always came back home. I am telling you though; this weather, this cold and frigid weather hurts my body and mind and spirit.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me anymore. I just know, that I don’t have that bright spirit. I could sleep and hibernate for days upon in and yet I don’t like this at all.

Well, I don’t know if you can relate. I don’t even know if I helped heal myself. I just know I need a change. Lord help me figure this out.

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January is Gone


t’s been a rough month
Words spearing my brain
I’m actually glad this month’s over
Now dreaming of rain and Spring.
 
Spring is all about new
New hope and answered prayers
I know God listens to my words
Because he is everywhere.
 
On the other side of the coin
Sadness can fill my eyes
It’s so close to my brother’s passing
When I was forced to say my goodbyes.
 
From this day forward
Alvin will occupy my mind
Still seems like only yesterday
He and I had so much time.
 
Our days are filled with goodness
Our nights can be like hell
I just have to remember to be thankful
While God teaches me to sit a spell.
 
It’s hard to not be guessing
What tomorrow may or may not bring
Will we still be like this morning?
Can time really change everything?
 
My faith is what I carry
In a bucket wrapped in my heart
I have to remember to refill it
Until this earth I depart.
 
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
 
Dedicated to life and my brother, Alvin Miller.

The Long Month of January


Hello my friends. Well the holidays are over. No more stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving. The change purse is dry from Christmas and now we here in the northern part of Indiana wait.

 

What are we waiting for? Well, some are waiting for the usual snow we have plenty of by now; but it  hasn’t arrived. I’m sorry, but for me, less is more. Now that I am older, snow is my enemy unless I’m sitting inside and watching the flakes fall.

 

There are lots of comments being made. No snow in December or January is a promise of over-load in February and March. I don’t know the future. I will have to deal with what is given me; but for now; I am fine.

 

January is the longest month of the year for me. It always has been. Maybe it is because it is long and boring. No real holidays in it. The back to the normal groove thing returns and the days tick down until a lot of people get their tax refunds. At this point of the government shutdown, who knows when those tax returns will happen.

 

I saw a post on my Facebook a bit ago which stated,”Count the Mondays.” I got it immediately. I suppose if you live in the southern part of the country,  you may not understand but up here, if you can count the Mondays in the long month of January, it will promise to get you closer to Spring.

 

February is a time when I will be thinking more of Spring. The farmer commercials will be posting on the television. This is a good sign that Spring is coming. I will be starting to watch for the Robins to reappear. When they arrive, it means that there will not be so much snow that they won’t be able to find food and shelter and Spring is near.

 

Animals say a lot about your weather. Have you ever watched the squirrels gather nuts for winter? On bad winters, you will still see the squirrels in early December, storing nuts. The Catapillars, the ones who crawl so slow and have beautiful colors, these creatures turn a dark black if our winter here in Indiana is going to be a vicious one.

 

As for me, I have been fighting something for four days now. I don’t have a temperature or aches and pains, but instead, I am nauseated anytime I eat. This circle includes a trip to the Ladies room no matter how little or much food I put into my mouth. I have lost four pounds in four days. I am glad I am experiencing this during our winter months.

 

I don’t get out much in the winter time. It’s too cold. Aged skin cracks and burns. Eyes sting, and the thoughts of playing in the snow are exchanged for will my walker get through the snow and ice. Here where I live, that is doubtful. There is not sufficient cleaning in the parking lot so there are many grooves of ice. I just don’t want to fall down at this point in my life. I do go out if it isn’t too cold or snowing and go to my volunteer job. I try to go twice a week during the winter and I will go at least three times per week or more in the warmer weather.

 

I didn’t go to church today. This matter of my stomach is just a little too much to deal with during a church service. I do have one thing to look forward to in the month of January, 2019. My daughter is coming for a visit. It’s been quite a while since I have seen her and am looking forward to a visit.

 

Another thing I am looking forward to is; my insurance is covering the expenses for me to have Life Alert for my falls. It will bring me comfort knowing I am now not alone here in the apartment, or too far away from a pull light, or definitely when I am taking a shower. It will be worn on my wrist and if I fall it triggers the alarm company. If I don’t answer the second chime, this tells the company that I am not alert. I believe from what the company said, is that I will receive my wrist band and plug in box in five to ten days.

I know this is not a big deal to most but for someone as unsteady as me and who lives alone; this can be a real life savor.

What about you? How do you get through the long month of January?

 

My Holidays


Talk about Who am I. Wow, this is something I didn’t even have time to think about over the holidays. Busy, busy, busy. This was my schedule for days prior to Christmas.

As most of you know; I have Parkinson’s and Ataxia. This disease makes you so tired. So you can imagine how many times I visited my bed for naps on a daily pattern. It seems that now that Christmas is over; there is the clean-up of the house too. I switched my televisions from bedroom to living room. I have some things on one TV that I don’t have on the other, and when it comes to movie times, I would rather be laying down, not sitting on a couch.

I put all my Christmas items away including the tree. I kept up some of my lights and of course I still have three smaller trees that stay lit and up all year round. I moved the furniture and pulled the stomach muscles. Ouch, did that hurt for the next twenty-four hours. Each project I finished made me more tired; but I was determined to have a new look. I moved all my paintings and pictures to different rooms. I had a friend clean my carpets. I feel like I have a new apartment and it feels good; but whew, I am so tired. After this post; I am taking a nice, long nap.

I don’t volunteer tomorrow or Tuesday, so  hoping for more catching up on my sleep. I can’t tell you which is worse. The weeble-wobble I do at all times now or the extra need for sleep. I guess I am just thankful it isn’t worse and we know life can be much worse than we have it now.

I went to my son’s for Christmas. It was very nice. I just love watching my grandchildren opening their gifts. Hearing their excitement in their voices, the laughter and yes, even their running around the house. I went over the night before and watched the annual Christmas cookie baking. That was a real treat.

My daughter will be up sometime in January. I took the tree down so it won’t look like Christmas but hopefully our visit will be even better without the clutter.

Tonight, I am going to try out this new recipe I found. I posted it on my other site I have for recipes. It is a Sloppy Joe Casserole. Looks pretty easy and now-a-days; I like easy.

Here where I live, we had our annual Christmas party. It was nice. I don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve. I don’t drink so no need to go out and party. It’s also hard for me to stay awake so late and besides; I have seen that ball drop for so many years, it’s not special to me anymore.  Perhaps I will go down to the community room and see if anyone is down there. It would be good to share some chat and laughs.

What did you do over Christmas? Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

 

 

A couple of photos of my family Christmas.

 

Here are two of the paintings I did for two of my children.


Hello my friends. It has been a while since I have written to you and for this; I apologize. I started a volunteer job. I work two to three days per week and I feel really good about it. I am doing something to help someone else. The issue comes after I work. I’m exhausted. It isn’t that I work to hard, it is that my Ataxia can’t take it so I sleep a lot of the next day.

I have been making wreaths for Christmas. I donated one to the place where I work. I have sold some and others I have hanging in my home. The wreath below is the one I finished this evening.

 

wreath

I have been more into Christmas this year. I have put a tree up for the first time in five years. My brother will have been gone in March; five years. I feel like I can really enjoy the lights. I have a white tree with blue lights. It brings a peace within me.

I am working on getting simple yet good recipes around for Christmas baking. I don’t  have freezer space and will have to make so much of this the week of Christmas. I have to have it simple because Ataxia wears me out so quick.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I did. I spent it with one of my sons and his family and my nephew and his family were there also. We enjoyed the day and I was very thankful to have their home to share the day in.

Anything you want to tell me about? Something new to share? I’m listening.

 

 

My Christmas Tree


THIS CHRISTMAS

This is the first year
After four years
From when my brother passed
That I am feeling up for a Christmas blast.

I wondered if the feelings would ever return
Or were they permanently burned
But I feel joy bursting from my heart
i feel like I can really start being a part.

The tree is up, the lights are lit
I think of my brother and a tear did drip
I told him hello and how I miss him so much
I asked him what he thought of my Christmas touch.

I felt a peace fall over me
As I looked at my Christmas tree
I knew he was smiling from up above
I really could feel his Christmas love.

I know it’s early to put my tree up
Cuz there are those who say, hey what’s up!
But Ataxia can rule my day, really get in my way
And today I was good so I did what I should.

I decorated my tree, I thought of mom, dad and me
I remembered Christmases past and what this year could be
I told myself I’ve got a great family
And we will share among this year’s Christmas tree.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Nov 11/18

 

christmas tree

The Thinking of an Ataxian Gal


Getting that time of year
When multi-tasking is in gear
But I’m getting past that stage
When my brain doesn’t want to engage.

Seems so overwhelming to me this time
Dancing thoughts are all in my mind
Writing mental lists for me to do
Isn’t working like it’s supposed to.

Thinking Thanksgiving recipes
Thoughts of beautiful Christmas trees
Making messes in my little home
Listening to Christmas on my phone.

I hate thinking it so early this year
Put the holidays on rest for another year
Let’s just sit and drink coffee and watch it snow
Let the holidays come and watch them go.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
11/10/2018

 

Ataxia

A Night Out With Family


Yesterday, I was not planning on doing much of anything. Where I live, the main headquarters paid a visit to inspect each apartment. I am always a neat and tidy person but when I know that the head haunchos will be looking at what I live in; I tend to be a little more picky. The inspection was done and now I can relax.

 

The rest of the day was up for grabs. It was later in the afternoon that my son called. He invited me to ride along with him and his family to Fort Wayne. They had a stop to make and he said we would be dining out.

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/

 

 

I eagerly accepted as I love spending time with my family and grandchildren. The forty minute drive went quick as we chatted over the past week and all that had happened. The talk of the Holidays came up and we were discussing the whats and ifs to come.

 

My family took me to Longhorn Restaurant. I had never eaten there before. Here is the link to where I dined at.

https://www.longhornsteakhouse.com/locations/in/fort-wayne/ft-wayne/5544

The photo below is what I ordered but I had a baked potato and broccoli as my vegetable.  There was so much I brought the extra home and ate it for my breakfast.

 

steak

It was a nice gift when I learned he had paid my bill.  I thanked him so much for that. After we left; we went to Hobby Land where I found on sale a table type LED light. I had been looking for one to place on the table that I work on for my paintings and crafts. It was almost half-price, so that was a big plus for someone on a limited income.

 

After we left that store I pointed out a store that I like to visit when I get to Fort Wayne. It is called Ollies. It is similar to a Big Lots; but much nicer, in my opinion. I bought some shampoo and conditioner and some craft items I needed. My family seemed to like it also as they bought some goodies too.

Here is the link, if you have never heard of this store.

https://www.ollies.us/home.html

 

Before I knew it, we were home. I again thanked them for inviting me and paying for my dinner bill. We hugged each other and I know in my heart; I will see them again very soon.

Tonight, here where I live is the building’s monthly, Saturday night supper. There are four floors here and each month a floor is in charge of the supper. This month, it is our floor. I fixed a big pan of home-made macaroni and cheese.

 

My kids always loved my mac and cheese. I make it with three different types of cheese, a white sauce and this time I added chunks of fried ham. Of course I had to taste test it and it turned out perfect. Cheesy and stringy with lots of flavor.

 

We are also allowed to dress up for Halloween if we wish. I do wish this so will go in my mild costume. With my Ataxia, I could not afford to be over dramatic, for fear of falls. Those photos will follow in my next post.

 

Well, you all enjoy your Saturday. Our forecast for today in Warsaw, Indiana is; sunny and a high of 52. Fall is definitely here. My header for my blog is a tree I photoed yesterday. Notice the beautiful trees and how they are beginning to change their colors.

Talk to you all later my friends.

God’s Got This


It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Many doctor appointments. Doctors of specialty trying to fix my unsteady gait problem. No one has been able to help; though I do appreciate the efforts.

 

Many times Neurological problems can not be helped. Doctors can not fix the brain while we are still living in most cases. I have had my eyes and prescription changed and I got new glasses and frames too.

 

Next week I go to my Primary care doctor for lab work to see how my sugar levels have been and how I am doing on my insulin. I am still struggling to keep my sugars down so I have to wonder what will happen next. I, myself, believe with the fight I have to keep steady sugars, that perhaps after thirty-eight years of being a Diabetic; my pancreas is failing. Time will tell if my thoughts are on the right path or not. In November; I go back to my second Neurologist for a re-evaluation.

 

I have had personal issues along with doctor visits. I have been so sad that I can’t make everything in my life correct. I was having a wonderful luncheon with a good friend of mine Wednesday.

 

I just love spending time with this gal. She is relaxed, a good Christian, and we can talk about anything. I had been telling her about what has been happening in my life lately and she said something that turned my thinking a 360.

 

She said, “Maybe you are being tested by God to see if your faith will hold strong during these times of struggles.”

 

Bingo! I knew as soon as she said it; that she was right. I suddenly relaxed and I thanked God for allowing this friend in my life that day. I am still having my issues; but I have a whole new outlook. I am giving my problems to God and letting him deal with it.

 

Back to my living. I am living with a smile and hope , knowing God’s got this!

daisy

What Would you Do?


How do you react and what do you do when you run into someone who used to be considered your best friend? What about a relative that you were close to and then when life changes your circumstances; the relative changes their personality towards you? Has this ever happened to you?

 

It has to me. I have never been so  hurt, emotionally, as when my father passed a way and my family turned their backs on me. It wasn’t something that I did to change their views. It was my father’s choices in his will. You know the words, I leave this to this person and that to that person.

 

I don’t know what my dad was thinking because I have not been close to dying yet and therefore I could not begin to read his mind in those final months. He knew though and he knew the feelings he was carrying.

 

Choices he had picked in previous years suddenly seemed to take a different direction; the closer to death’s door he became. He obviously had discussed us kids to different family members when his life was full of living.

 

I also don’t believe that people who are close to dying and want to make their final decisions go a different route, exactly discuss such personal issues with others. I believe this is exactly what happened in my father’s case. He changed his mind.

My father passed away, December 1st, 2017.101_0626

It took a year and a half to settle everything and from that date on; life changed. It has never gone back. There is no family to talk to anymore.

 

I’m not whining so don’t feel sorry for me. I didn’t make those choices. Others made their own decisions to stay a way from me. It hurts when I think about it so I don’t try to think about it too often. A tear appears as I write this today; but I will get through it. I always do.

 

My point is; the way we treat people. I have been talking about this on my own Facebook page for a couple of days, so this is the end of the topic. The thinking I want you to take away from this is; is it worth it? Is it really worth it to turn your back on an old friend or a family member?

 

I bet you think I will say it’s right or wrong. I can’t say that because I don’t know how I would feel if suddenly someone from my past wanted to talk to me today. I guess my first thought would be; What do they want?

 

I guess I would be suspicious, let a little hopeful for a re-uniting? I don’t know. For me, for these past several years, silence is better. Less hurt, less tears, less remembering, less pain.

 

So, what would you do if you ran into that old friend or that relative you haven’t spoken to for years?