Finally, I’ve finished converting Dad’s letters home from WWII into a text file, and today I sent it off to my very patient publisher, W.H. Wax Publishing, LLC. The next step is adding the images, so we’re making good progress.
MY MOTHER’S KEEPER: ONE FAMILY’S JOURNEY THROUGH DEMENTIA
My Mother’s Keeper: One Family’s Journey through Dementia is a memoir that follows the last three years of my mother’s life. I kept a journal throughout the experience and afterward, I realized that it was a story worth sharing.
Most people, at some point in their lives, confront issues with aging parents. Whether the problems are medical, financial, logistical, or emotional—or some combination—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
When my journey through parental dementia began, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. I should have sought information about Alzheimer’s disease earlier. At first, I didn’t even recognize it as an illness. Once I found myself up to my neck in a nightmare, I had no time for research. I spent every waking moment coping, reacting, and scrambling. I was simply too exhausted to do more than try to put out each fire as it flared.
Later, once the crisis subsided, I found several books, articles, and websites that contained helpful information about dementia, its associated behaviors, and care suggestions for patients. What I didn’t find were stories of how families coped with it. By sharing my experience, I aim to help fill that gap. This book tells my family’s story of rapidly accelerating personality changes, aggression, violence, fear, mistakes, hopelessness, helplessness, and eventual closure. I hope it will help readers who find themselves embarking on a similar journey understand that they are not alone.
(Note to bookstores and libraries: This title can also be ordered through Ingram Spark, ISBN 978-1-7370206-0-8)
COMING SOON IN 2024
The things one finds at the bottom of a desk drawer! I sent this greeting card to my grandmother in 1967. She saved it and sent it back to me the next year. For a decade and a half, this poor, battered card bounced between our homes. Mom and Dad got in on the act as it followed me through junior and senior high school, college, and various moves throughout the West. The post office last delivered it to me when I lived in the North Idaho woods. The tradition stopped when my grandmother passed away, but I never threw away the card.
This handsome young man is my favorite veteran, my late father, George David Geib, who served as a pilot for the US Army Air Force during World War II. The picture shows his sister, Marie, pinning his wings after he graduated from training in June 1944.
Once again, we’ve set our clocks back an hour, and I’m breathing a sigh of relief to finally have my mornings back. I love the early hours on the patio with my steaming coffee cup, listening to nature’s awakening and watching the sun rise over the mountains. It’s been hard for me the last month or so, waking up in the dark and having to get busy with my day before having an opportunity to enjoy this wonderful quiet time for pause and reflection.
For Halloween: A quick, not-too-scary tale.
Come and enjoy the fun as Count Dracula co-hosts an evening of ghost stories, haunting music, and tricky treats at the Peacock Performing Arts Center in Hayesville, North Carolina. I'll be there to share an award-winning creepy tale, featuring a few of my firefighter fiends, er, I mean friends! Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. #halloween #frightnight #stagefright #peacockperformingartscenter
It seems like it’s been a long, hot summer. At last, a cold front is moving in, after days with temperatures in the 80s reached nearly a week into October. Forecasters expect nighttime temps this weekend to dip into the thirties. I’m more than ready.
After a short downtime, my new website is up and running. As a token of my appreciation for your patience, here’s a little story—a memory of an experience that took place just over half a century ago. I still have the carving.
William Ashworth is my new favorite author. I’ve been reading my way through a large collection of books that have been sitting on my shelf for years, waiting for me to retire and get to them. I just finished reading Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains, published in 2006. Nonfiction is my preferred genre, but sometimes it can be dry. Not this one. Never have I seen writing so captivating and informative. Ashworth intersperses high plains history with user-friendly hydrology and geology information. He has attained a mastery of the English language that I can only dream of achieving.
The Foxfire series has long been a favorite of mine. A college folklore course introduced me to the magazine and books, which focus on rural Appalachian culture. Both the story itself and the rural traditions it spotlighted intrigued me. The Foxfire.org website gives this history:
Well, darn it! I missed National Bad Poetry Day, August 18. I’ve never heard of it before, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe it was established in my honor!Poetry, like other great weapons, can be used for good or evil, depending on who employs it. Whether a sonnet, haiku, free verse, or limerick, good poetry can be a pleasure to read. There’s not really any excuse for bad poetry, except that it’s kinda fun to write.The limerick is my favorite because it grants me a license to be silly.
In the Lakota language, pow-wows are called wacipi (wah-CHEE-pee), which means “they dance.” The wacipi is a traditional Native American celebration of life; a time when people gather to dance, sing, celebrate, and renew friendships. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, more properly known as Sicangu Lakota Oyate, or Burnt Thigh People, are descendants of the Tetonwan Division of the Seven Council Fires.
Finally. I was beginning to wonder what happened to them. Every year since we moved to North Carolina, noisy cicada serenades begin around Memorial Day and last until at least Labor Day. Except for this year. I’ve missed them. I like their sound and at night it soothes me to slumberland through my open window. However, my husband, Barry, hates it and closes the window so he can sleep.
One day last month, I donned an old tee shirt, well-worn jeans, and dirty sneakers and headed into town to get a haircut. No matter how tight the cape, I always end up itching from snippets of hair that weasel their way down my collar. I intended the day’s outfit to be essentially disposable, and I planned to shower as soon as I got home.
A mid-June headline on the front page of our local newspaper stopped me in my tracks. It said, “Woman found dead in her home: She was believed to have died in October; no foul play suspected.”
When I published my first book a year and a half ago, I created a new Facebook author page. I’m not very experienced at marketing so, as of last week, it only had a handful of ‘Likes’ and 89 followers. FB says I need 100 followers if I want to access my page stats. So, over the weekend I put out a plea on my personal Facebook page and asked my friends (and their friends) to help. As of this morning, the page has 120 ‘Likes’ and 161 followers. As a little token of my gratitude, and to cool things off on a warm summer day, I’m sharing one of my wintertime short stories. Enjoy!
In 1991, not long after I landed in north central Nebraska, I immersed myself in the rural life and culture of the Niobrara River Valley and the Nebraska Sandhills. The beauty of the place astonished me, and its story captivated me. For the following three decades, I watched from a ringside seat as a real-life drama unfolded, encompassing the past, present, and future of the Niobrara River and the folks who care about it.
As an author, I find the practice of banning books both reprehensible and insulting. I take little comfort in the statement that banning efforts have historically backfired on the perpetrators, or at least failed. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Banned Books Week, I’m sharing an article from the BBC that describes it quite well: BBC.COM