LENS Therapy

Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) therapy seems to have done wonders for my husband’s anger issues.  Last Wednesday, he had his third treatment. He has his treatments a week apart. His first treatment took about a minute, sixty seconds. After which, he went home and went to bed, completely drained. The second treatment was a…

And more stress

It turns out that my husband’s illness is killing me. My cholesterol is through the roof and my doctor says that it’s not my diet that’s causing it, but stress. Stress. And as I look back on my life, I realize that I’ve been stressed for a decade now. My mother’s illness and death, handling…

Stress

It turns out that my husband’s illness is killing me. My cholesterol is through the roof and my doctor says that it’s not my diet that’s causing it, but stress. Stress. And as I look back on my life, I realize that I’ve been stressed for a decade now. My mother’s illness and death, handling…

Where dreams go to die

You’ll see them on the road the long lines of dreams Not just cloudy and white But the dust of all colors plodding along, their chins in their chests Uninterested in seeing the last bit of trail As yet unexpired, but because the end is so near They sulk like workers on Sunday evening resigned to their…

The gifts

My therapist, as she prepares to depart and go live the life I had envisioned for myself—to travel the world ceaselessly until she drops dead while teaching English as a second language—tells me to consider the gifts of my husband’s disease. It’s like a bucket of cold water. It has a wet, stinging, eerie feeling…

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert, @ 2015; Audiobook read by the author, I’ll just cut to the chase. I loved this book. I can think of four people I want to buy it for, and I want to re-listen to is as soon as possible. Yes, it was that good. That said. I’m totally freaked out,and I’m sitting…

Brain plants

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20874701 “More than sixteen plant species, including Ginseng, Celastrus paniculatus, Centella asiatica, Curcuma longa, Ginkgo biloba, Huperzia serrata, Lycoris radiate, Galanthus nivalis, Magnolia officinalis, Polygala tenuifolia, Salvia lavandulaefolia, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Coptis chinensis, Crocus sativus, Evodia rutaecarpa, Sanguisorba officinalis, Veratrum grandiflorum and Picrorhiza kurvoa, are discussed as potential sources of active extracts. “ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575183/ “recent work…

Are people doing the best they can?

This question from Brene Brown’s recently book Rising Strong, seems so pertinent to the last post’s discussion of anger. In general, she asks, are people doing the best they can? Well, are they? Do I think they are? Are they doing the best they can with the tools they have? Were my husband’s neurologists doing…

Anger

In my review of Nonviolent Communication, I also neglected to cover anger. And since anger is a big part of my life right now, it’s worth it to me to dig into it. Rosenberg encourages us to express our anger fully. I would suggest that hitting, blaming, hurting others—whether physically or emotionally—are all superficial expressions…

Empathy

I reviewed Nonviolent Communication and didn’t touch on empathy. What is empathy? “Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing….Empathy with others occurs only when we have successfully shed all preconceived ideas and judgments about them….Instead of offering empathy, we tend to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or…

Nonviolent Communication

By Marshall B. Rosenberg What allows us to remain compassionate even under the most trying of circumstances? This is the question that Marshall Rosenberg seeks to answer in Nonviolent Communication. To answer this question, he examines the crucial role that language and and our use of words play in our thinking and communication. Rosenberg points…

Notes from Memoir Class

Interesting writing is universal and personal at the same time. When reading, pay attention to what is gained and what is lost. The character’s job in a memoir is to reveal the narrator to the reader. The narrator: where are we going and who’s going to take me there? Have four major characters at most.

Today I came home early…

Today I came home early He’s here, but he doesn’t come downstairs That’s usual these days He doesn’t call down to me either Also usual The dog’s leash is hanging on the door knob, so I know he’s in the house Then I see the dog—she’s crashed out on the floor I never know what to expect…

Mixed-Up Magical Thinking

I slept on the floor last night. My husband had been crying late into the early morning and then finally had drifted off into a drugged sleep. Every few minutes he would shake violently but not wake. It put me on edge so I decided to head downstairs. I pulled out a mat that we…

Summer Regrouping

My blog has gone way off course. I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore. I have this nagging feeling I should get back to the book reviewing and yet my life seems too crowded with other things I have to attend to. I want to say a sincere thank you to my regular followers….

Comment on the Treason of the Artist

The Treason of the Artist was probably one of my best posts. The neurons were firing that day. And it’s funny. You can sound pretty darn good talking about something you don’t agree with. I don’t think artists commit treason. The reason artists focus on the bad, painful stuff is because artists are either trying…

A friend in need…

When I was a kid, my grandmother filled my head with all these sayings: A friend in need, is a friend in deed. A rolling stone gathers no moss. The early bird gets the worm. Blood is thicker than water. Birds of a feather flock together. Early to bed and early to rise makes a…

Getting to know parts of myself

Word Wabbit has entered therapy. I found someone who specializes in caregiver therapy and dementia. She doesn’t accept insurance, so my wallet is taking a beating. Insights from our first meeting. I need to find a caregiving agency close by. They typically take insurance and will take care of my husband and household chores at…

The Caregiver’s Dilemma

I’ve been struggling with this for years it seems, when my husband stopped working back in 2005, stopped trying, stopped being motivated. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t. This was hard for me to understand. I’ve always been so ambitious, so driven. The years passed. I kept trying to encourage him. Maybe you could do this….

Caregiver burnout – and not even started

A friend talked to me a few years ago about his mid life crisis. He was pushing himself too hard at work and everything eventually fell apart, except work, as he is still tremendously successful. But his marriage fell apart and he had never had children and there he was facing 40, already a world…

In the end

It will come down to this We were the best of friends You were there for me I was there for you Little things like amnesia won’t matter The others weed themselves out like that They weren’t there They didn’t stick it out But you, my friend you followed me around you did your part…

Natural Dementia Remedies (per the interweb)

So here’s what I’ve got so far: From what I’m watching and reading, there are several types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the type that most people think of first. For some types of dementia, there is a build up of a certain kind of protein in the brain that gums up the works with…

When you look into his eyes

And he no longer sees you But he needs you to make him breakfast When you look into his eyes and he isn’t the only one Who doesn’t remember how it used to be When you look for his eyes and they are downcast and filled with tears and then hate because you forgot to…

Dovlatov Fans

I just found an interesting site devoted to Dovlatov: http://www.sergeidovlatov.com/video.html   Enjoy.

The only trouble with writing a travel blog for $5K per month

  Is that I’m not traveling!!!!! I just read an article about how easy it was to blog and make money. They said that although there are so many blogs out there, hardly any bloggers were using their blogs to make money. They concluded that the competition really isn’t that fierce. Then they went on with…

How to Write a White Paper

Purdue Owl’s YouTube Advice: Purdue says that white papers are written to inform about new trends and research. They provide background for decisions. They address the question of how these new trends are changing the nature of a particular industry and suggest actions to take so that the people or industries concerned don’t fall behind….

A tribute to zombie food

In a rare occurrence of whimsy at work, it was condoned for a short time that if we wanted to connect in a meaningful way to people, we would make comparisons to zombies. Needless to say, this didn’t catch on or last very long, but the idea sticks with me today as I think about…

Winter Is Coming

Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. By Garry Kasparov With the crazy state of the world today, I just haven’t felt like reading fiction. Craving news of Russia, as per usual, I gravitated toward this book, Winter Is Coming, by the famous Russian chess champion, Garry Kasparov. After…

1984

By George Orwell I first read 1984 back in 1983 because my mother wanted me to read the book before the year named actually occurred. Since then, it’s remained one of my favorite books. Not only is Orwell a master when it comes to crafting prose and plot, he is also an intellectual master, a…

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing By Marie Kondo Tantor Media, Inc. @2015 The Konmari method is an organizational and decluttering method devised by Marie Kondo. Marie’s central claim is that “tidying can transform your life.” And I believe it! “When you put your house in order,” she says, “you put your affairs and your…

Alphabet Short

“Abra-ca-dabra!” “Bossy, isn’t she?” “Casually causing trouble.” “Do you think he’ll notice?” “Eventually, they all figure it out.” “Fortunately, we’ll be long gone.” “God forbid, we would stay this time.” “Hell! Do you mean to say you want to stay?” “I’d like to see what happens.” “Jeez.” “Keep quiet. I think he’s coming to.” “Larry,…

Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers By David Perlmutter, MD with Kristin Loberg Little, Brown and Company New York, Boston, London @ 2013 If the assertions that Dr. Perlmutter makes in this book are true, then we have all been deceived—and at a very dangerous level. Grain Brain turns the…

Stop the Clutter From Stealing Your Life

By Mike Nelson Read by David Elias @2006 3 hours, 30 minutes This year I moved from an 1800-square-foot house with a large shop into a 545-square-foot house with two small sheds. This required the wrapping, packing, hauling, storing, moving, re-storing, unpacking, unwrapping, and shelving of all of my worldly possessions. In the process, I sold…

Pareidolia

Thanks to Steven Novella and The Great Courses, I have recently learned a new word: pareidolia. Pareidolia is a tendency (a very human tendency) to see a pattern in random noise. One example of this is seeing faces in random shapes like clouds. In Dr. Steven Novella’s lecture series, “Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide…

Who v. Whom

This is one of the elements of English grammar that has always thrown me. I usually say “Who” regardless, because I think constructions like “To whom have you been speaking” sound ridiculous. But now my Oxford Seminar course has given me a great test, so at least I’ll know if I’m incorrect, and then I…

Yes, you can end a sentence with a preposition!

I’m taking the Oxford Seminar TEFL course, and yesterday I learned about the proper use of prepositions. Some grammar sticklers have cat fits when you end a sentence with a preposition, but I’ve noticed that there are just times when the language becomes stilted and archaic not to do so. Enter the phrasal verb. This…

Afternoon photos

My husband, still brain injured, is going through photos from our trip this summer. He is picking out all the unflattering ones of me, of which, sadly, there are a plenty. He loves these photos, with me my face squinched up in pain, sunburned, eyes in slits, grimacing, cold. He sits and laughs at them…

If I was going to start a movement…

Well, there are tons of things I’d like to set right, but today, tonight, it’s the whole of Western medicine. If everyone who reads this could consider their last doctor’s experience and then if they felt as wronged as I do, simply write one letter stating what happened and how/why you feel ripped off, and make…

At the Heart of Personal Narrative

These lines were given to me (us) by a grad school professor. I don’t have any attribution to go with them. All I can say is I didn’t write them. They do such a good job of explaining what’s going on when people write memoirs that I’m recording them here. In nonfiction, the writer has…

Short stories I read in grad school

Having recently moved from an 1800-square-foot house to a 545-square-foot-house, I am still desperately trying to clear my clutter. The key to not going crazy in a small space is to get rid of EVERYTHING you don’t need. I once read somewhere that if you don’t use it in a certain amount of time and…

The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins 232 pages @ 2015 Riverhead Books, A member of the Penguin Group, New York   A New York Times bestseller and published in 2015, The Girl on the Train is more recent and popular than the books I usually read. But rather than read from the pile of books I already have, I…

Slaughterhouse Five

Or The Children’s Crusade A Duty-Dance With Death By Kurt Vonnegut 275 pages Dial Press Trade Paperback @ 1969 I’ve said it before: I like Vonnegut. But, he gets a bit too vulgar for my tastes. I suppose it could be argued that war is vulgar, so a book about war must be vulgar. I…

Female authors reading list

I recently read an article lamenting the absence of female authors on reading lists. The woman who wrote the article cited two lists by prominent men of our day (I won’t say who), but these men had not included any women authors on their suggested reading lists. That prompted me to think about my own…

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada 

An amazing find. I wish I had time to hike all of these trails! Calico Hills: Icebox Canyon:  Tips: Go early in the morning in summer. The park gates open at 6 am. The entrance fee per vehicle is $7. Take water. A camel pack is good. Take additional water in your vehicle, such as…