Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, it's New Year's Eve and the house is filled with joyful noise and laughter.  My son's friends are here for an all-night party (I'll be lucky to be up until midnight; after that they're on their own!).  It's so wonderful to have young people around!  They are so full of life.  Also, it was getting a little too quiet around here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve, whether a quiet one or a noisy one!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

I just heard from my sister, Erica! She's doing so well; I'm so proud of her. I wish I had a more recent picture of her to post, but here's a picture of her on her wedding day in 1997:

She's a beautiful person, inside and out. We tend to lose track of one another, I'm not sure why. Growing up, we were kind of separate, since she's I think 13 years younger than I am, also she's really my half sister. She grew up with our Mom, and I grew up with my Dad. Anyway, it was a wonderful Christmas surprise to hear from her. She also says she might be able to help me organize a Parkinson's Walk or other event in her area; she has connections. Wouldn't that be great?

I'm so happy and filled with joy and love today. I hope the same is true for everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A poem for modern cooks

I was baking cookies today, and I thought of this poem. It is dedicated to Btrflynana's husband, Al, who is a wonderful cook. It doesn't REALLY apply to him, though, because I think he could make a great meal with 2 stones and stick if he had to. Anway, here goes:


The Modern Kitchen

Cuisinart and Kitchenaid,
Without them food would not get made.
Electric juicer, garlic press,
A dishwasher to clean the mess.

Blender, toaster, crock pot, too
(without that there would be no stew).
Panini maker, bread machine,
The microwave works like a dream.

George Foreman grill, convection oven,
All this fancy stuff I'm lovin'.
Now I can make a meal with ease,
Gourmet cooking is a breeze.

I'm telling you, the modern kitchen
Keeps any picky chef from bitchin'!
"The future's here" I gladly shout!
What's that you say? THE POWER'S OUT?!!




Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!

Christmas is coming!! Somehow it does that every year. We just got home after our Ukulele Club Christmas party. Every Ukulele club meeting always leaves me glowing with joy, but this one was particularly great. You haven't lived until you've been part of a 200+ ukulele orchestra playing "White Christmas" as loud as you possibly can!

Unfortunately, I seem to have a cold, and you PWPs know what that means. That's right; I can hardly move. It's taken me 3 times as long as it should to type this post. Oh well, that seems to be the scourge of the season. Could be worse, right?

I am SOOOOO excited about Christmas this year for so many reasons. I really can't go into it right now, but for the first time in my life I feel that I'm starting to understand what the Christians mean when they talk about the miracle of Christ's birth and Christ's sacrifice. The idea of God making him/her/it self totally HUMAN and subject to all the bad things that humans deal out to one another amazes me. That God loves us enough to do that.... well, it's an astounding thought. I'm not saying that I'm going to go in for Christianity or any other organized religion, I'm just saying that the idea of Jesus' sacrifice awes me. It's that idea that's important.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A reprint of "The Little Girl Who Ran", and THANKS, Judy!!

My friend Judy sent me a lovely gift; she took one of her beautiful photographs, and one of my poems and combined them, then framed the result and sent it to me. I actually cried when I saw it. Some people know just the perfect thing to say or do, and Judy is one of those people. Anyway, I thought I'd reprint the poem here:

The Little Girl Who Ran

I was once the little girl who ran,
I could not walk, I could not stand
To plod along as grownups do,
I thought they crawled, they thought I flew.
“Why walk?”, I thought, “when you can run,
and leap and dance and have some fun?”

Now I wish I had the chance,
To once more gallop, run and dance,
It seems disease has closed that door,
And I can’t run much anymore,

But in my mind, I’m still the same,
And though my legs are weak and lame,
Inside, I run without care or plan,
I’m still the little girl who ran.

-Marian Bumala

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another T-shirt site of mine

I have opened another online store to sell Parkinson's T-shirts. This one is at spreadshirt.com, and it's called Parkieshop. I'm posting a link under "Parkinson's Links" on the right. The thing about the t-shirt designs on this site is that they are a little cheaper, generally, and I have a new shirt that is for men as well as women. The shirt just says "Will Work For Dopamine" an it comes in a few different colors for men and women. I'll work on getting more colors eventually.

As with the Parkie Princess store at Cafepress.com, all the profits will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parkie Princess Party

I haven't blogged about the Parkinson's Princess Party that I went to in November, largely because I felt bad that it wasn't as much fun for Karen as it was for me. I went as her guest, and she was not feeling well at all (in fact, she had been to the emergency room just a couple of days earlier). Also, there were no MSA patients there, which was disappointing for her. Well, we had fun anyway! Picture about 20 middle-aged ladies (maybe 40 to 65 years old) sitting around a conference table wearing pink tiaras and feather boas and talking a mile a minute! What fascinating people we met there. I had met 2 or 3 of them before, since the party was at the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, and that's fairly local for me. We were all so different, yet shared so much in common. We were all young onset patients, all fairly active (some VERY active indeed) and all interested in finding ways to help conquer Parkinson's and all neurological disorders. There were women there who ran marathons, or climbed 10,000 foot peaks, or skiied, or played tennis. There was one woman there who had just gone through DBS surgery after I think 15 years of living with PD. The whole thing was very uplifting and energizing and FUN!

I had made a T-shirt for the occasion. It was a long sleeved black shirt with the words "Parkie Princess" on it and a picture of a crown that looked like it was shaking, all done in rhinestones. I got so many compliments on it, that I decided to design a non-rhinestone version and sell it on the internet. The link to my "Parkie Princess" site is on the right under "Parkinson's Links". All profits from the sale of anything on that site will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research. I'm very excited about this! I sure hope that I can raise some funds this way. In any event, it's fun to do, though!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Shadow Companion

As I walk this path, a shadow follows me.
She is the footstep I hear behind me,
the twig that snaps in the woods.
I turn around; no one is there.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her;
an old woman, bent, shuffling, trembling,
her claw-like hands hanging stiff at her sides.
She disappears as I look at her,
but when I turn around to continue on my way,
I hear her follow.

What do you want? I scream at her,
Leave me alone! No reply. Just the slow shuffle, shuffle
of her feet as she follows me.

I see her more and more clearly;
whatever I do and wherever I go she is there,
Hovering around the edges of my vision.
Painfully hobbling along or leaning on her cane,
watching me with expressionless hunger.

Now I think I know what she wants.
If I let her, she will become me.
She is trying to possess me.
Maybe I can't keep her away forever,
But there is one thing I can do:
I can keep her out of my mirror
as long as possible.
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About Me

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.