The Truth Was Known

Four years ago at this time, I was not sleeping
I was tired and weeping
My brother in pain
Nothing to gain
Unless you were God.
Tired of fighting but not willing to give up
Multiple System Atrophy was winning
Take me! Take me! I thought
As I sat there watching him breathe
But God knew.
His heart and mine touched each other
He couldn’t speak but we both knew
His time here as my brother was ending
He didn’t cry, so I did it for him
And God knew.
In five days you will leave me
You will find peace and I shall be torn
You will stand tall and walk
I will be planning your funeral
God has his plan.
I make sure you understand I love you
On the 24th, I will release purple balloons
I will celebrate your release from the pain
But dear brother, my void still exists
God knows my pain.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd
If you would like to let a purple balloon off on March 24th, in honor of my brother’s release from Multiple System Atrophy, please share a photo of you doing so. Thank-you

Save our Youth

What makes people do bad things? I just read where a babysitter bit a three year old. For heaven’s sake! She was the babysitter? How in the world do parents find the right person to care for their children? It doesn’t do any good to get references, people can lie.


Word of mouth is a good way to find a good babysitter in my opinion. Someone who has already tried and have been satisfied with the care. What about the things going on in our communities?

Priests who are pedophiles. Gym teachers, coaches. Why can’t we trust our leaders?

(Pedophilia, or paedophilia, is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.)

It seems these two-legged creatures hide behind their jobs, looking and abusing our youth.


Do you believe that the more we take God out of office, the more damage is done to our people and youth? Let me know your thoughts on this question.


Something has to be done. We are hoping our youth will help care for us when we grow old. Do you want someone caring for you when you are helpless when their mind has been torn and damaged from their childhood?

What can we as citizens do to change things? Please share your thoughts with me.


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S’mores Cheesecake

S’mores Cheesecake

yield: 12


cook time: 60 MINUTES

Mouthwatering and perfect, this S’mores Cheesecake recipe is made with marshmallow cream and homemade chocolate ganache. Make the cheesecake ahead of time and top it when you’re ready to enjoy!



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18 full size crackers)
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large eggs


  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, for garnish
  • 1 Hershey chocolate candy bar, for garnish


  1. Prepare 9inch springform pan by spraying the inside with non stick baking spray. Set aside. Fill broiler pan with About 1-2 inches of water and place in BOTTOM of oven, on lowest rack. Preheat oven (with broiler pan of water) to 350°F.
  2. To make crust, blend graham crackers in food processor until fine. Pour in melted butter and sugar, pulse several times until combined. Press crust into bottom of a 9inch springform pan. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan with inch of boiling water, place a double boiler, metal bowl or glass bowl to heat heavy cream. Once warm, add white chocolate chips and remove from heat. Whisk until chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool (about 15 minutes).
  4. For the filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, sour cream and vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.
  5. Slowly add cooled white chocolate mixture. Finally, add eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into prepared crust and place cheesecake pan into the middle of the oven. Fill broiler pan with About 1-2 inches of water and place in BOTTOM of oven, on lowest rack.
  6. Bake 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Turn off oven and let sit undisturbed for about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in refrigerator about 6-8 hours (or overnight). **see notes
  7. Top cheesecake with marshmallow cream, spreading gently to about 1/2 inch from the edges.
  8. For the ganache, add chocolate morsels and heavy whipping cream to glass bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, remove and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour over the marshmallow, and spread evenly, covering ALL the marshmallow to the edges. Top with mini marshmallows and pieces of candy bar, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
To make perfect slices of cheesecake, you can make steps 1-6 in advance an freeze the cheesecake. Slice while frozen. Thaw in refrigerator and continue with step 7.



The word for today is Patience

Do you have different levels of patience for different people? Maybe you have more patience with a close friend, or family. What about your level of patience while being put on hold over the phone?

Mine is certainly stretched when waiting for a representative to come on the phone to talk to me, especially if it has to do with the government. I have all the patience in the world if I am going to my doctor for test results. Go ahead, slow that line down. Let those other patients go before me.

I have middle of the road patience for little kids. They are so innocent but I am getting older. Running, yelling, screaming sets me on edge. I don’t have patience for television characters who don’t see the box directly. They are playing the dumb part; I get it, but I would rather snap the TV screen and make them disappear.

I don’t have patience when it comes to finding cures for cancers and other illnesses. I want the cure today, right now.  For God’s sake, I see a new prescription strength medicine on the boob tube at least every two weeks. If we can have new medications every few weeks, can we not then find a cure to those that take lives? Sorry, but I am not going to be the guinea pig for your new product. I could end up with a swollen throat, chest pains, itching, headaches or worse yet, death. What’s wrong with the good old medicines that really work? You know, Vicks on the chest, tea and honey, a shot of whiskey, a towel over the head and leaning over a steamy sink of  hot water?  I realize we want fixed, but sometimes it just can’t be done, because we are waiting for more donations for cures. We need answers, not instant fixes that cause so many side-effects. How do you think we got that Super bug in the hospitals and other medical places? Because we want to put something in our mouth right a way for a quick fix, when most times these generalized illnesses just have to run their course. Let’s stick some of that doctor’s office money into a donation and find more cures. Let’s cure the cancers and rare illnesses. Let’s leave the smaller stuff to fighting itself inside us and our old-fashioned smarts.



Daily Prompt/ One Word Prompt

The word for today is; Incubate

  1. (of a bird) sit on (eggs) in order to keep them warm and bring them to hatching

Can I exchange a bird and an egg for a person and a life? I consider what I did, in a way, incubating.

My mother passed away quite suddenly. She was a God-fearing, loving and kind woman. She helped open a Women’s shelter here in Warsaw. She and my dad used their own funds and bought an old camper. They gutted it and installed everything needed to make funnel cakes. They traveled to the small-town fairs and sold these goodies and donated all the funds, including the monies to purchase ingredients, to the Beaman Home. She helped people and never let on she was helping them.

She never smoked. I heard her swear once and it was only the word, shit. At the age of sixty-two, she had a sudden Anneurysm.

None of us could help her. She passed away.

I also took care of my dad who had Multiple Myeloma and Leukemia with a little bit of Parkinson’s mixed in.

His illness lasted about one year and then he passed. I did all I could, but God wanted him worse.

Then there was my brother. A mentally challenged man who had one heart attack and then Multiple System Atrophy hit him big.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA), also known as Shy–Drager syndrome, is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremors, slow movement, muscle rigidity, and postural instability (collectively known as parkinsonism) due to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, and ataxia.

(It is kind of creepy and a little scary for me to read back that definition of MSA. I too, have a neurological disease. My doctor can’t decide if I have my brother’s illness or not. He says in time he will be able to tell. My diagnosis is; Parkinsonism/Dystonia/Ataxia. You can probably understand my fear.)

When my brother had this terrible illness and on top of all the other stuff he had went through, I decided to incubate any time we had left, which ended up being seven years, the general amount of life time on this particular illness.

I paid close attention, more than my dad I think, to every feeling, need and want he wanted. I spoiled him rotten. I made sure he had the best doctors we could find and afford. I fed him healthy foods. I told him many times how important he was to me and how much I loved having him for a brother.

I was drained and tired and physically in not the best shape when he passed; but I wouldn’t trade a moment. I have beautiful memories of his and my time together. I shed tears still, but not as often. He will be gone from my vision four years, March 24th, 2018. I feel like I incubated and watched over his days and nights until he was ready to be born into God’s hands.

March is Awareness month, and I am still  praying for a cure. Purple is the color that represents Multiple System Atrophy. The guy on the scooter with the big smile? My brother. The banner at the bottom is where you can call if you are in crisis.




Ever Wonder Who I Am Looks Like?

Here I am. I am the writer and photographer behind this blog. I live in Warsaw, Indiana. I have three grown children and I think, 11 grandchildren. I was a caregiver and traveled throughout Indiana for many years and then became a private caregiver for elderly and Hospice patients.

Now I have Parkinsonism/Dystonia/Ataxia. I live in a retired community building and spend my time painting, or being the photographer for the social events here. Yesterday, I was nominated for Secretary for the next year. In April I will learn whether I was voted in or not. I really don’t mind if I lose or win; I was thought of.

I am pretty quiet, but at times I can be a real chatterbox. I love to take my scooter or car and go to the lake and take photos. I love campfires, seeing the smiles on my family’s faces and making memories.

I am an Advocate for a rare illness called; Multiple System Atrophy. I have a Facebook page called Multiple System Atrophy through a caregiver’s eyes, where families, patients and caregivers can view postings that hopefully bring a smile. You may chat with me about questions you have about this rare illness.

I have published two books and am writing a third. The first book is called Dahlia. It is an uplifting story about never giving up. The second book is a general based book on Multiple System Atrophy. These two books can be purchased through Amazon or Kindle. The third book I am writing is in no holding back the truth about Multiple System Atrophy. Many readers let me know they wanted to know more. I had held back because it is such a horrifying disease; but in this third book, I will be spilling my guts. I think the name of it will be, A Hell of a Disease. We shall see if that sticks.Al_his_life_and_MSA_Cover_for_Kindle

Well, that about does it. If you have questions about who I am, talk to me.


Vegan Carrot Soup

Vegan Carrot Soup

Vegan Carrot Soup

  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

“Delicious carrot soup with a hint of curry!”


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 5 new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook stirring often until onion is translucent. Add carrots and potatoes, and cook for just a few minutes to allow the carrots to sweat out some of their juices.
  2. Pour the vegetable broth into the pot, and season with ginger, curry powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until carrots are tender.
  3. Puree soup in small batches using a food processor or blender, or if you have an immersion blender, it can be done in the soup pot. Reheat soup if necessary, and serve.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

yield: SERVES 4

prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 25 MINUTES

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken has a cheesy garlic sauce with cherry tomatoes and fresh spinach! Serve over pasta for a restaurant quality meal in under 30 minutes!


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • pasta, for serving


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions while making chicken.
  2. In a large ziploc bag, add chicken. Pound until desired thickness, about 1/4 inch or less.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Cook for about 3-5 minutes, each side, until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. To the skillet, add chicken broth, heavy cream, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whisk over medium high heat until thick and bubbly (this takes a couple minutes). Add in spinach and tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes until spinach has wilted down. Return chicken to skillet and serve over pasta. ENJOY!




Daily Prompt/ One Word Prompt

The word for today is; Wrinkle


There’s a wrinkle in his face. It presses firmly around his eyes, brows and lips. Why would an elderly gentleman have this many markings on his face? Hardship? Stress? I am a photographer. I spend a lot of time in public places looking for the perfect shot on my camera. This gives me many opportunities to look into faces and eyes of people.


Children laughing, running with no cares in the world. Trusting other children and their parents. There are no worries. It gives me a chance to look back on my own childhood and remember those wonderful times of riding my bike, playing with my dolls and eating without counting carbs and calories.popsicle-book-ice-pop-joy


There is a lot of work that goes into planning events here in my apartment building. We have over eighty apartments with lots of personalities. Week after week, I notice faces that always have a smile on their face, a good word to say. There are also faces here and walking on the streets that seem blank or so sad. I wonder what has happened in their life to bring this feature on.

There is so much poverty in our world, so much loneliness. At our age, some choose to live in this retirement community, others are faced with no other place to go. A deep longing to be on a different path is their deep desire. Realizing there most likely will not be that lucky day where life can be much different; causes a deep sadness that sometimes can not be healed.

On the streets more often I ponder on the wrinkles and sad eyes may be caused from a loss of employment, a feeling of having nothing much to fill their day or perhaps they have lost their soul mate and wish more than ever to reach heaven’s doors.heaven-clipart_csp11605916

We, of course, gain wrinkles through our aging process and I know plenty who don’t enjoy growing older. It is a tale-tale sign that we are living our last years. I know I have felt that many times myself, as I can no longer care for other people. I have turned to my photography and writing to still have that hope of making someone feel better about their day.

So, the next time you recognize those deep wrinkles or sad eyes or a frown, say a quick hello. Who knows, that may be the only response they receive that day.