Stage 5 Dementia

As some of you know, since at least the Spring and Summer of 2018 my sister and I have been trying to manage from near and afar our Mom’s progressing Dementia. Sister and I both agreed then, since then, and especially last Aug. to the present that Mom’s cognitive capacities have noticeably declined, apparently significantly into Stage 5… and approaching Stage 6, if she isn’t already there.

What are the stages of Dementia? It seems the general consensus is as follows:

Stage 1: No Cognitive Decline/Normal Behavior

Parents in this stage show no obvious signs (yet) and appear to function daily with no issues.

Stage 2: Very Mild Decline/Forgetfulness

During this stage of dementia, your parent might innocently forget things such as names of others, of places, and events. Things are more frequently misplaced around the house, familiar objects such as keys and phones. But, not to the point where you can’t tell normal age-related memory loss from serious memory deterioration. These symptoms are not noticeable to other people.

Stage 3: Mild Decline

At this stage family members begin to notice subtle changes and signs that “something is off and not right.” Parents in this stage tend to be more regularly forgetful than ever. Your parent might begin missing several doctor’s appointments or social meetings. These tend to happen more frequently. They also have difficulty finding the right words to say if you’re talking to them. If dementia patients still work or do home chores, you’ll notice a decrease in work performance and they usually find it hard to focus or concentrate. This stage can manifest from 2 years and can last up to 7 years.

Stage 4: Moderate Decline

In this stage of dementia, the signs and symptoms become visible to everyone. A parent suffering from this stage struggles to count their money right or manage their finances like how to pay bills. This stage happened acutely to my mother this past June thru August. Not fun at all. Also, your mom may have a hard time recalling what she had for breakfast, any recent or other past events. Dementia may prevent a patient at this stage from traveling alone to new places. Otherwise, they will easily get lost. This is now real for sister and I and has sadly happened to me with her this past October. Completing tasks is also a struggle as they cannot focus their attention.

Now for my Mom’s Stage(s)…

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

People affected in this later stage may need more help in their daily living activities like taking a bath or using the toilet or dressing appropriately. Mom isn’t at this full stage for the moment, only about half or more of the symptoms/behavior are present. But parents in Stage 5 forget facts about themselves, such as their address or phone number, possibly even their own name (not Mom). They are also unable to know what time or date it is and cannot tell where they are—definitely where Mom is at now. But, they can still recognize close family and friends or recall childhood memories. This stage lasts around 1.5 years. Mom then, would be nearing the end of these 18-months.

Stage 6: Severe Decline (Late Dementia)

During these later stages, parents suffering from this illness need frequent-to-constant supervision at home. Mom is essentially at the start of this stage. Your parent might need help with day-to-day living activities like washing, eating, or dressing up. It’s also worthy to note that dementia patients may now suffer from incontinence at this stage—fortunately right now, Mom does not. They frequently forget the names of family members, recent and major events in the past. She is not to this point.

Your parent may start to lose language already, trying to find the right words to say. Mom struggles with this every day now. Also, people under this stage suffer from personality and emotional changes, delusions, compulsions, and anxiety. Mom has a few of these manifestations. They may become violent and aggressive which can be upsetting and difficult to cope up with if you are caring for them—fortunately Mom is not at all acting out. Although they might be very confused, they can still recognize the people closest to them like family, friends, or relatives. This stage can last for about 2.5 years.

This is the stage my sister and I dread most…

Stage 7: Very Severe Decline (Late Dementia)

At this final stage, many parents need 24/7 care and support from professional caregivers to help them in their daily living conditions. This scares the ba-JEBUS out of me, if I’m honest. I don’t completely trust strangers with my Mom in this stage.

Seniors living in nursing homes may already experience severe loss of motor skills like walking, and caregivers are the ones feeding them. A parent in this late stage cannot clearly speak anymore or words become unintelligible. So hand or body gestures may be their only way of communicating or none at all. More often than not, many patients die before they even reach this final stage due to other health complications or conditions. This stage can last from 1.5 to 2.5 years. This MUST be the most devastating stage for children to witness and endure. I am not the least bit interested in coping through this phase… so I’m preparing now.

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“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexorable imperative.”

H.G. Wells

After much research, reading, and consulting with professionals and children with the same parental disease, I’ve learned that Mom shows most of the signs of “Mixed dementia” coupled with Vascular and Lewy-Body dementia. The hardest things I’ve struggled with these last 4-months living with Mom as her full-time caregiver are:

  • Patience — this is by far the hardest adjustment I’ve had to make with Mom. She used to be quite sharp, witty, usually on her toes, if you will, expressing herself well, even vividly when she felt the need to. Now it seems it is the opposite. I must remind her several times a day what’s going on, who that person is (their name) outside walking the Senior Community complex for exercise—something I really struggle motivating her to do as well.
  • Misplaced or Lost Items — this is a daily mystery and scavenger hunt. In trying to start routines, always having needed daily house items in the exact same place every single day, this turns out to be one of the most frustrating exercises we go through. Some days it is maddening and I feel as if I’m about to lose my mind… and patience. Ugh. And perhaps the HARDEST of these now:
  • The Right Words and Phrasing for Her — I am having to drastically change my communication style (in the normal younger world) to what Mom requires. I have always been direct, candid, very honest, unusually concise with my thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc., because my last 30-35 years in relationships—particularly with women, family, many friends of both genders—has painfully and in folly taught me how astoundingly critical good-to-excellent communication is and not a hit-n-miss ordeal. On the contrary, it is vital in avoiding undue harm, confusion, and further exacerbated problems from poor/short and vague communication. Some of you in our WordPress circle know or can imagine how incredibly challenging this is for me. HAH!

I have had to overhaul these personal habits, formed over some three decades, into another personality I am quite alien to and doing it like a bumbling idiot. Yes, more frustration, but it is internalized frustration! I cannot ever intentionally, in stubbornness make my Mom’s final years a frequent battle where I am her combatant. I’d never be able to live with myself if that happened. Hence, my own personal issues, lifestyles, social desires, and mid-term/long-term plans MUST be shelved indefinitely, as Mom’s condition worsens to a point when I have no choice but to adapt again… or perish, as H.G. Wells appropriately puts it.

Below are ten important tips to talking (and not talking) with your parent suffering from progressive dementia. I’ve managed to find these pointers from Wingate Healthcare, a Senior Health and Residence provider specializing in geriatric diseases and assistance. I’m happy I did. They drive home how little I knew about living with severe dementia. I’m humbled and have much work ahead.

Living with and learning intimately Mom’s new intensive needs these last four months, I’ve come to a stark realization of just how much I must change and remove, reform, and greatly refine my care for her. If this wasn’t a serious challenge already, at the moment I will not be getting any significant assistance with her. With our Texas courts reopened this past September after an entire year of COVID-19 shutdowns, my sister’s late 2019 felony drug-possession hearing was finally finished by the Kerr County judge. The timing is not ideal in the least. He has made her 3-year probation hectic with multiple regular “societal paybacks,” random urine tests, and P.O. visits biweekly she must by law fulfill or else return to prison. Sister is also a Halfway House Mother with 7-8 ladies (outpatients) in residence arriving from inpatient A&D rehabs. This encouraged the judge to reduce her probation down to three years instead of five. Therefore, despite her sincere Springtime hope earlier this year to help take care of Mom, at least part-time with me if not more, now it is made impossible. She can barely come to see Mom and help more than twice a week for only 2-3 hours or less.

It all once again, falls completely to me. These various events have been overwhelming. I am being forced to overhaul adapt to these new life-altering care lessons for Mom’s Stage 5 Dementia. Eye-opening is probably an understatement. Soon to be 59-yrs old, several of these ten tips for me have been very challenging habits to tweak or stop all together.

How to Talk to Your Parent with Severe Dementia

  1. Don’t ask your loved one with dementia, ‘Remember when…? This can be a frustrating and painful experience when you ask your loved one and he or she struggles to jog his or her memory. It’s better to lead the conversation with “I remember when…” instead. Wouldn’t it be great if he or she can search their memory calmly without feeling embarrassed? Don’t force it if the person starts to get confused. Just change the topic if they feel agitated.
  2. Don’t say ‘I’ve just told you that’ or ‘You’ve asked me that already Saying these phrases only reminds the person of their condition. Don’t think that words aren’t hurting them inside. Besides, there’s no sense passing your frustration over repetitive answers or questions to somebody with dementia. Try to be polite or respectful and patient when you talk to your loved one who has dementia. It’s crucial that they feel understood and listened to.
  3. Don’t remind your mom or dad of the death of someone or a pet. If your parent says they just talked to Aunt Jane, whom you know died some 15 years ago, don’t convince them this wasn’t possible. Go with it, just don’t argue anymore. It’s advisable to avoid disagreeing with trivial things. Why? Because you may remind them to relive the grief or pain of losing someone again.

    When your parent asks for somebody who passed away, it’s better to come up with another reason behind their absence. Remember, always be sensitive enough to gently remind them depending on their condition. It’s so much better to address the emotion behind this, maybe the person is feeling worried and needs to feel reassured. You can say, ‘Tell me about your sister Jane’ is a good alternative response. Don’t disagree or agree, just let it be. This reduces distress and also treats the person with respect by acknowledging their beliefs and feelings.
  4. Don’t tell them ‘You’re wrong’ or ‘That’s not right’. We can’t stress this enough but you should not disagree or argue with a person suffering from dementia. Admiral Nurse Emily Oliver of Dementia UK’s consultant, explains that this technique is called ‘validation therapy‘. It helps people talk to persons with dementia with more empathy and understanding by emphasizing emotions instead of facts. It’s important to remember that what they are feeling, experiencing, or saying is validated – even if it’s not the reality.
  5. Don’t use long and complex sentences. It’s best to use short and simple sentences as much as possible. Long and complicated ones can be hard for them to understand. It confuses them even more. Their cognitive abilities slow down and it’s difficult for them to process several ideas all at once. Moreover, avoid speaking fast and in loud environments, it’s good to wait until you have the person’s full attention before you start conversing with them.
  6. Don’t ask ‘What did you do this morning or ‘How was your day? Don’t pepper open-ended questions like this to people with dementia . It can be stressful for them if they can’t seem to find the answer. So it’s best to avoid asking them. Questions that are answerable by yes or no or with more defined options are way better. Instead of asking ‘what would you like to have for breakfast’, you could suggest, ‘Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?’. Try asking ‘Do you want to wear this white dress or this blue one? You’ll be amazed at how easy they’ll be able to answer compared to hanging questions.
  7. Don’t call them ‘dear, honey, love’ or anything other than their name. Dementia patients are still human and they are emotional beings, though sometimes trapped in a vegetative state or seem to be robots. Calling them by their own name keeps their dignity intact. It shows that you respect them despite their condition and it helps in their concentration and memory as well. So skip using words like ‘love’, ‘honey’ and ‘dear’ that patronizes people living with dementia. Don’t talk to them using ‘elderspeak’ which can cause seniors to feel uncomfortable, infantilized, and pitied. These words may sound condescending rather than a term for endearment.
  8. Don’t ask your parent, ‘Do you recognize me? While it can be frustrating when your parent with dementia doesn’t recognize you…just imagine how stressful it is for them. When you ask the person that question, it can make them feel guilty if they can’t remember, or offended if they do. You may want to avoid sudden bursts of emotions that might get them upset over something they forgot. It may help if you try to say your name and hug them instead. It’s also worth taking note to make sure you have eye-to-eye contact whenever you talk to your parent, as this establishes sincerity and trust.
  9. Practice “Listening,” a long time if necessary! Let your loved one express his or her thoughts and feelings, don’t interrupt them at the spur of the moment or while they talk. Just let them take their time and listen to them intently. Find out the emotions behind his or her agitation. Dig deeper into why he or she is upset, and do calm them by redirecting their attention to other things. But don’t force it, take a break and then try again after a good 10-15 minutes to take their mind off of the previous subject matter.

    Listen more than you talk. A good idea in almost any situation and particularly useful when with your parents. How will you know what is bothering them (and making them stubborn) if you don’t listen, no matter how trivial the conversation? They may be trying to tell you something without telling you. Sometimes you’ll have to read between the lines.”—Trick and Tips For Dealing with Stubbornness In Seniors, Assisted Senior Living.
  10. Smile often at people and parents with dementia.The smile! Without a single spoken word, smiling speaks volumes. Our facial expressions convey emotions and feelings that transcend language. Regardless of where you’re from or what language you speak, a smile is universally understood.”—Elaine C. Pereira, MA OTR/L CDP CDC – author, speaker, certified dementia practitioner, and caregiver.

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Not all ten tips are easy to implement in a night, are they? During these last two years and more so last 4-months, I’ve learned I am by no means alone with this sort of parental dynamic. In fact, the U.S. has one of the largest geriatric populations in the world by comparison. The support networks are available. One is right here in Kerrville. I am utilizing them for sure. I must in order to maintain a stable demeanor and sanity. Hahaha. 😉

I hope some of this post, information, tips, encouragement, do’s and don’ts, may help others out there to cope as best as family members can with this/these diseases: Dementia and Alzheimer’s. That’s my hope anyway, not just to vent or whine. Let me know if you can relate, or might be in a similar situation with your parent(s). Maybe we could swap ideas and tips, yes?

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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More Thanks, Despite It All

Today me and my family have much to be grateful for in spite of so many recent events in our lives and country. Hence, on this day we enjoy the company of loved ones, laughing together, remembering all the good shared, missing those who in leaving this life took a part of our hearts with them. Together in gratitude we listen to music (two songs) befitting our mood and fortunes.

And…

Happy Thanksgiving to you all with warmest wishes from the Miller-Strange family.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

Turnips & Tranquility

Where has time gone? What in the world am I doing now halfway through my life? Why am I still busting my ass HARD and yet feel I am no better off than I was when I was 25, 35, or 45-years old?

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A dear friend called me the other week to ask how I was getting along. They had not heard from me in a long while—I am no longer on any popular social-media, namely Facebook, and for very good reasons. Remarkably and a bit perplexed by my unknown lostness, I found the concern odd. On the contrary, I am very much present, alive and stuck-in the typical hubbub of American life. Go go GO! Never stop! Never sleep! Make wheel-barrows of money in 28-hours a day! That’s the expected spirit here!

Yet, not being on Facebook, Instagram, Qzone, or Twitter apparently puts me off the grid somehow, or out of touch from civilization somewhere on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean ala Tom Hanks in Cast Away! Should I scream “WILSON!!!? Would 20-year olds even know that reference? Last I checked, my cell phone works perfectly. Live talks on the phone are still around, used, aren’t they? We do still speak face-to-face, correct? In proper English, not strictly acronyms in 30-character texts, yes?

Nevertheless, there was a good reason why my good friend called. The truth is I have indeed been swamped and overwhelmed not just since last Fall 2019, October to be exact, but particularly the entire month of February this year.

I am just trying to squeeze as much money out of everyone else FASTER than they can squeeze more money out of me.
Me, Professor Taboo from “How To Survive in a Cannibalistic Hyper-Capitalist Economy of America.” ®2020.

That was my final description of what my last two years have become after briefly explaining to my friend why I seemed to be lost somewhere out there. We both had a good laugh about my seemingly new, yet unintended mantra. This is no easy bloody race and it never ever ends, especially if one was not born into privilege or great wealth.

One debacle out of several I have found myself in these last 4-6 weeks was trying to speak with an actual LIVE human being both at my cell phone provider (Verizon) and with my bank regarding a second round of recent fraudulent debit/credit card charges in Atlanta, GA, Silverton, Idaho, San Francisco and Berkley, CA. Not only am I a continental traveler, but I seemingly fly in my supersonic Lear-jet from coast to coast and in between. I WISH! That’s the funny part. What is not at all funny is that it is quite difficult to begin speaking right away to an English-speaking human being. My first 5-mins with Verizon, as I satirically remember it:

“Welcome to Verizon Wireless Customer pleasuring. Are you calling about phone # (my cell #). Push 1 if this is correct. Push 2 if this is incorrect. Push 3 if somewhat correct. Push 4 if a little incorrect. Push 5 if you like ham sandwiches. Push 6 if you like green eggs with ham. Push 6½ if you enjoy Dr. Seuss. Push 7 if this menu gives you pleasure. Push 13 if it does not pleasure you. Push 8 if you want to hear all options again slower. Push 9 or 0 if you honestly think [laughing in background proceeds] you’ll get a human being to talk to.

[I make my selection]

“I’m sorry, I did not understand your input.” Then everything robotically returns to the beginning and repeats. I am in an eternal, computerized loop somewhere in Never-never Land.

Most likely this year will be dotted with several family funerals of very close aunts and uncles to Mom and sister. I am now at an age where many of my elderly aunts and uncles—perhaps even one or two of the oldest cousins—when numerous funerals could occur this year and next. One funeral has already taken place last month, a 91 or 92-year old uncle. Another is likely within the next 2-4 months, maybe? That generation and my mother’s and father’s generations typically had large families of five, seven, or in my Mom’s case eleven siblings.

In other personal events I am having to once again search for and find more feasible housing. Whether most Americans are thriving and succeeding in their pursuits of happiness, health, occupational and financial stability and mobility depends mostly on who you speak with… at length. It is a heated controversy right now and for very good reason! Why? Saturation of false and/or misleading information, facts, statistics, and contextual causes and effects. Take a close look at this graphic on affordable Texas housing from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Notice the $40,185 wage figure:

TX Housing Needs 2019

For more extensive details and data on “affordable” housing in Texas, a contradiction in terms I assure you, click here.

Most low-income (non-caucasian?) households in Texas barely make $28k to $38k per year ($14–$18/hr median) combined as couples and they’re lucky if they are afforded decent-to-good healthcare coverage from Texas employers trying everything within their power to avoid hiring full-time, 40-hr/week employees. With part-time employees (<30 hrs/week) health benefits do not have to be provided. In fact, in Texas there are no laws forcing employers to ever offer any health insurance to employees. Most do, however, only if you work 40-60+ hour work weeks; the higher the wages/salary, the more hours they demand expect from you. These are the extreme benefits and perks for businesses and business owners based in Texas, an At-Will labor-law state. This is one big reason why the Red-state of Texas has now become the 2nd fastest growing state in the nation the last 20-25 years. Cheap uneducated labor. It passed Florida last year I believe. Nevertheless, after three rate-hikes in 3-years and as a single man, I can no longer afford paying $1,360/month for my current housing and keep up with the cost-of-living.

On other news topics, I believe I have some 7 or 8 unfinished, Pulitzer Prize winning blog-post drafts each on different topics waiting their completion. Those have been on the dust-bin shelf since August of 2019. I’m lucky I almost finished this post. Several more go back further, one back to 2015 when a then divorcing friend said she’d Guest-post it for me about not divorcing when kids less than 18-years are involved. Hah, she’s now already remarried and never thinks about me anymore. Kind of funny really, how “traditional” marriage does that to people—their social-life shrinks to zilch, nada, near empty when it comes to the single opposite sex. Hmmm, imagine that.

On more news, last week and last Monday I had to spend an excessive amount of time on the phone with our county voter registration office as to why my new “permanent” registered card hadn’t arrived after 5-weeks of reapplying. Apparently my very “official temporary” card was invalid this year. I didn’t realize it had gotten so complicated. No wonder Texas has one of the poorest voter turnout rates some 20-years running! Hell, I’m an educated white man and it has become very challenging for me!

These last 6-weeks I’ve had to deal with my bank twice in less than 6-months on credit/debit card fraudulent charges. Wait a minute! When I started drafting this post last week I already mentioned this didn’t I? However, it does still continue so I too will continue it. HAH!

Keeping my personal and financial information private and protected these days is quickly becoming near impossible in this day and age of super hi-tech. Ah, but as a result, that births and stimulates another derivative industry that is profitable, doesn’t it? More and more businesses or corporations manipulate require all of it to do “better business” with you or provide a VIP service, even if you know it will only be a one-time transaction. Plus, more and more billing tasks or business dealings, contracts, etc, are for the most part entirely online. Gone are the days where you do your business in person, face-to-face. How sad. We are gradually losing our organic, communal-social contact and interactions with each other when facial expressions, hand and body movement, voice tones and inflections were important, critical in some cases, but are now unnecessary impossible on computer or cellphone screens. Am I the only one noticing these swift changes and higher risks? 🤔

I am going to skip over my health and hypertension concerns and developments over the last 10-12 years. Pretend like I never mentioned it. Besides, it would add 500-800 more whiny words to this post. Hahaha. All of you can thank me later for my kindness. (grin and wink)

Hey, I am not irritable! Well, not yet psychotic. No one has dialed 9-1-1 on me for the police. 🤣 On a positive note, I am totally digging Netflix’s Moving Art series by Louie Schwartzberg. Seen any of it? The photography and filming is unreal, vivid, and astonishingly beautiful and soothing! Or as I state in my title:  Tranquility. Check it out if you enjoy spectacular views and relaxing or cultural music on location. Here’s a teaser for season 3:

Well, I’m done. Time is over, gone. I’ve run out of it again. Reality in this great state and nation beckons for my loyal, patriotic servitude in this socioeconomic system for some, but not all. It could be much worse, right? 🤪 I could be fleeing for my life from gangs and drug cartels in Central America! But I’m a 7th-generation Texan-American! Those types are already here! I don’t have to relocate to appreciate what I was born into! Wooohooo! My turnips are shriveling up! 🥳 🇺🇸

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March 9, 2020 Addition — This is a provocative article and streaming series looking into the unethical, exploiting, unscrupulous practices of real estate moguls and firms across the U.S. by The Daily Beast and the Netflix series Dirty Money, season 2 airing Wednesday, March 11th.

The second season of Netflix’s docuseries examines a number of shady financial schemes—including that of “Slumlord Millionaire” (and Trump son-in-law) Jared Kushner. […]

The overarching portrait painted by “Slumlord Millionaire” is of unrepentant real-estate scumbagggery. And somehow, it gets worse! Now ensconced in the White House, Kushner has exploited his undeserved political role to obtain lucrative financial deals for his family, which in turn has made him a figure easily exploited by foreign powers eager to gain leverage over the president. It’s a lose-lose scenario for everyone except Kushner and his cronies. The efforts of Housing Rights Initiative founder Aaron Carr and New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres have sought to end some of Kushner’s more shady tricks, such as renting units in buildings for which he doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy. Yet the man continues to live the untouchable life thanks to his stature and sway, including over dim-bulb tenants that lament their Kushner-created nightmares and yet confess that they voted for Trump because “he takes care of business.”
by Nick Schager, Netflix Takes Aim at Jared Kushner: ‘A Tier-One Predator’ — Preying on the Poor, The Daily Beast, accessed March 9, 2020

Reception and critical reviews have been highly praised for the series so far. These practices, rent-seeking techniques in business sectors, including housing markets, have also been pointed out in highly acclaimed and awarded research and published books Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer and Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University Nancy MacLean.

There are a number of other in-depth documentaries on the subject of public policies and governing, state and federal legislators and executive administrations becoming puppets to multi-million dollar corporations and their Washington D.C. lobbyists. One example is the award-winning investigative documentary Inequality for All by Jacob Kornbluth. What has happened and is happening behind the scenes of private business-sectors mixing with and influencing state/U.S. policies and governing are NOT illusions, conspiracy theories, or Victim’s Complex. They are real and factual.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Renewing My Good, My Joy

Following this weekend’s multiple mass shootings across our nation and what will surely be more in the coming days, or weeks, months, or years as things stand and have stood, our country will be buried alive in body-bags, drown in all the blood and endless tears from families and close friends… I desperately had to find relief. I paused to re-balance. I had to detox and find buoyancy in my music, reminding me that there are still many decent, stable, joyful, helpful, patient, compassionate, understanding, empathetic, peace-making people who do live, love, laugh, and gladly learn… then DO those things I list making this world a safer better place.

To that end, here are my three selected life-renewing songs (out of many) that have returned to me a warm smile and a bigger heart. I’ve also included a previous happy slideshow from a previous blog-post: Amour et Coeurs Jumeaux. Let me know if you like my songs. If you feel the need or urge, share one of your favorite happy feel good songs down in the comments. I think we could all use some.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

Status Update

Several of you might be curious as to my delay in posting the 4th part and conclusion to Black Underworld Inc. I am glad to say Part IV is over three-quarters finished along with much of the conclusion. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on who you are 😉 and your preferred tastes of blog-subjects, I have been beset by several simultaneous life, family, and other related significant occurrences and their ripple-effects. Obviously, these have made several inevitable interruptions and postponement to the finish of this 5-part series and any other blog-posts of late I had intended to tackle, compose, and publish. This is the quick explanation.

Thank you all for your patience, inquiries, concerns, etc. I do foresee a respite of these events and their consequences in the near future. But I can not say with any precision when it might be—as Robert Frost candidly puts it, In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. And I am not a psychic or fortune-teller. There could very well be more unexpected curve-balls and shenanigans that the infamous Murphy and his law firm of sinister pranksters have in store for me. I hope not.

There are some gremlins too that I know could arrive at my doorstep, through unlocked windows or hatches, tunnels, ventilation pipes, or by phone… IF particular events and circumstances beyond my control went left, right, up, or down and at a particular time. Inopportune times too! Hah! I’d imagine this is exactly what an insurance underwriter wrestles with and considers daily:  damage control and minimization of risk/exposure. Can’t you just hear him punching his adding machine and the clah-clicks tallying totals as the paper-roll moves across the floor?

Bah! So that’s the polite short of it.

I am still here. Until that day or evening of some respite, please do check your new blog notifications for the Professor. I shall return as soon as all my escaped circus animals are located, returned, and settled back to normal… whatever is considered “normal.” 😛

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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