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An artistic hike around Crécy-la-Chapelle

Friday, April 18, 2014

I decided to make the most of the last gorgeous day of the week! Yesterday I took the day off to go on a hike in an area I didn’t know at all, East of Paris, around Crécy-la-Chapelle.



Painters love Crécy-la-Chapelle and the area around it. Impressionists and pre-impressionists alike spent time here, such as Camille Corot whose house I passed by.



This is a painting he did while living in Crécy (then called Crécy-en-Brie).



Crécy is like a little ‘Venice’: water is everywhere, and you access some houses by crossing their individual little bridges on the canals.







It is a medieval little town, with some very old buildings…



… and a beautiful collegiate church.



I wanted to take time to visit Crécy properly at the end of my hike, but things didn’t go as planned… More on that later!





I don’t think you’ll find this hike very different… At the end of the day, it is still the Paris area – and I sometimes worry that you’ll get bored of always seeing the same kind of paths and flowers!!!…





Although I never do!



The architecture in the little villages I crossed was a bit different though, but I was glad to see that there were many wisterias again.




And lilacs too.



There used to be many vineyards in the area, but after the phylloxera epidemic (in the last part of the 19th century) they were replaced with orchards.



I had a couple of fun encounters. First with a fox who was enjoying the sunshine it seemed (you’ll have to believe me it was a fox, I realize it takes some imagination to see him!!!).



And then with some cows and calves who just made me laugh, they were so cute!





I had my lunch after that, in the warm sunshine, looking at the wheat fields (and the canola up the hill), with some trees on the other side. Life is good.





But the last part of my hike was my favorite! I followed the Grand Morin river for part of it…











… and then I had to climb the most crazy steep path EVER! I wondered whether I was still hiking or plain climbing at times. My guide book, who usually says very little about the paths, had said it was extremely steep and slippery when wet. Well, it was dry and extremely slippery! Thank goodness there were some rocks that helped me secure my feet. Phew I was so relieved when I saw the canola fields appear after the last turn!



One last look at the path, from the top…



… and now let’s cross the canola fields and enjoy their gorgeous smell!



And the view on Crécy-la-Chapelle in the distance!



After crossing the river one last time, I was back in the little medieval town.



I had planned to take about 30 minutes at the end of my hike to walk around the town, enjoying being a tourist. But as I said things didn’t go according to plan!



I went into a shop. It looked lovely and sold all kinds of creative things like purses, cushions, ceramics, etc. And as I went in (remember I was in this town for the first time ever!), the shop owner called me by my full name! Yet I didn’t have a clue who she was.





It turned out she was a friend of a friend and I had last seen her about 18 years ago, many miles away from Crécy-la-Chapelle! We talked about people we used to know back then, sharing some news (so I didn't have any time left afterwards and needed to hurry back for my evening appointment)… it was very bizarre. I was so amazed I didn’t really look properly at all she was selling (I copied these pictures from her Facebook page, I didn't even think about taking any there!), but I’ll have to go back: it looks like a perfect place for birthday and Christmas gifts!

So there will probably be more hikes in that area in my future, and more opportunities to visit Crécy properly!



Thank you so much for reading (oh dear this is a llllllllong blog!!!).
Happy Easter dear Sparkfriends!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 4/23/2014 11:28PM

    CLASIRE this one was first class photography. How beautiful . Sorry I found it a little late but hopefully you will see my comment. EXCELLENT, it really moved me it was so lovely. HUGS DEAR FRIEND Pat in Maine. emoticon

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OCEANWIDE 4/23/2014 8:28PM

    I love all your pictures, I don't think it could ever get boring, flowers are never really the same are they ?
I really need to add the Paris area to my list of places to visit, there seem to be such lovely places !

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MOONGLOWSNANA 4/23/2014 7:20PM

  Just lovely Claire. Lilacs and wisteria in bloom and sunshine shining on the magnificent village houses and fields of cows and canola, Just lovely! Please keep taking us along! emoticon

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KAREN91 4/23/2014 2:13AM

    Claire, your hikes are never boring. Your hikes are beautiful just like you. I'm so glad you share your hikes with us. You must be in great shape to make such a steep hike up that one hill. Is your back doing better? I hope it is feeling better. emoticon

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LOVEBONNIELOVE 4/22/2014 11:39PM

    Thank you. That was lovely.

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RENATA144 4/22/2014 11:21PM

  You & your photos are so emoticon !!! emoticon I Love all of you beautiful photos !!! I can see how an artist would be inspired to paint these beautiful tableaux ! Well done Claire emoticon emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 4/22/2014 6:21AM

    emoticon

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LOVINGKATE 4/21/2014 6:01PM

  I NEVER get tired of your blogs. They are so beautiful. I enjoy learning about all you see on your hikes. Thanks so much for sharing and please don't stop.
HAPPY EASTER TO YOU. emoticon emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 4/21/2014 4:43PM

    The river is beautiful. What a lovely hike. Well, maybe except the climb lol. Glad all went ok. Good exercise anyway. The lady has a good memory. 18 yrs. is a long time.
I'm so glad you walked between the Canola fields. The flowers are so pretty. Thank you for putting a smile on my face!

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SHESMITH1 4/21/2014 1:46PM

    I will NEVER tire of your blogs! Maybe one day I'll stop being so envious of your hiking opportunities, but I'll never grow tired of reading of them.
How exciting that you saw a fox! And even more exciting that you ventured into the shop of an old acquaintance!
Please keep posting - it is always a treat to go on virtual hikes with you.
Have a wonderful week~

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GRACEGREEN13 4/21/2014 1:03PM

    I will never get tired of your blogs. I eagerly look forward to the next.
My daughter and I will be in France next month and I pay close attention to the beautiful areas of your hikes and hope to find some of the same. Thank you for sharing another one of your beautiful hikes, Claire. emoticon How amazing you randomly entered the shop of your friend of a friend. It is a small world indeed!

Comment edited on: 4/21/2014 1:05:02 PM

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SHOAPIE 4/21/2014 12:32PM

    I never get tired of your hikes. I wish we had something like it in my area of the USA. Love seeing the old architecture. emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 4/21/2014 12:06AM

    As always, a VERY enjoyable blog. LOVED the pictures!
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BLUEJEAN99 4/21/2014 12:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LENIASTY 4/20/2014 8:05AM

    Great pictures, never get bored with any of it, great hike...Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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TINAJANE76 4/20/2014 4:59AM

    Wow, I can definitely see why artists love it there. Thanks for the breath of fresh air and Happy Easter, Claire!

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ALIHIKES 4/20/2014 2:12AM

    What a beautiful hike! I love the old building, the water, the flowers. The landscape is so lush and green. I see the inspirations for painter such as Corot! So delightful to catch a glimpse of the fox. Thank you Claire for sharing your inspiring hike!

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WRITERWANNAB 4/20/2014 1:41AM

    Enjoyable blog, as always! emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 4/20/2014 1:00AM

    Lovely pictures emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 4/19/2014 11:03PM

  emoticon for sharing your adventures. Have a Blessed Easter... emoticon

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 4/19/2014 9:51PM

    emoticon It is so beautiful there.

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JUDYAMK 4/19/2014 9:34PM

    I love this little village with the water ways and little bridge's to cross over. You are so blessed to live in Paris. I shall never tire of your photos nor your journey blogs I so look forward to them. Have a Blessed and Happy Easter!!
Judy

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MAYBER 4/19/2014 8:04PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful area
Awesome Beautiful Wonderful and every other adjective
One day at a time God Bless Peace Prayers Love
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STEVIEBEE569 4/19/2014 6:44PM

    Gorgeous

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BONIFIANT 4/19/2014 6:19PM

    Beautiful, Claire, and never boring. Thank you.

Have a Blessed Easter.

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JSEATTLE 4/19/2014 5:24PM

  Really, another beautiful, fun hike! I love being surprised by your long-lost friend from the past. FUN!!

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FAITHGIRL91 4/19/2014 5:11PM

    Beautiful Claire! I loved all the photos, and enjoyed the pictures of the animals! emoticon

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TRUCKER72 4/19/2014 5:01PM

    Absolutely breathtaking...the little bridges are awe-inspiring....thank you so much. emoticon

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NEWTINK 4/19/2014 4:14PM

    I never bore of your flowers they are so beautiful ... and this place in particular seemed very enchanting to me emoticon

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WOOFERCOALBOY 4/19/2014 4:10PM

    Chere Claire, your posts are __never__ too long, and we'll __never__ tire of reading them or seeing your pictures. I only hope you don't tire of writing them or taking the pictures.

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JAMER123 4/19/2014 4:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I enjoyed your hike with you today! Thank you for introducing me to a new area.

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NONNAOF2 4/19/2014 3:34PM

  Your walks are always so wonderful, the pictures just draw me into them, as though I was walking with you. How nice to be able to be able to explore such a wonderful and special environment. I would love to live in the area! :-)

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MRSRIGS1 4/19/2014 3:26PM

    What a beautiful walk! Thank you for sharing!

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DIANNEMT 4/19/2014 2:15PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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PEGGY11 4/19/2014 12:26PM

    Don't stop your blogs. Just love the pictures. It makes me look a little closer to what is around me as I walk. Happy Easter.

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CORNERKICK 4/19/2014 12:21PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEMT 4/19/2014 11:47AM

    Thank you Claire! I loved the pictures!

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MIMIDOT 4/19/2014 11:45AM

    Please don't ever stop blogging about your hikes. I so enjoy going on them with you. You always make them so interesting. Thanks.

Happy Easter!

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CICELY360 4/19/2014 11:03AM

  beautiful pictures

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JIBBIE49 4/19/2014 11:01AM

    Great to see your blog in the Spark Mail.

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JERICHO1991 4/19/2014 10:39AM

    Beautiful pictures. I never tire of hearing about, and seeing glimpses of, your hikes.

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LCRUMLEY81 4/19/2014 10:18AM

  lovely

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PATRICIAANN46 4/19/2014 10:18AM

  Hi Claire........
Boring and Your blogs do NOT belong in the same sentence. Your photos are always breath-taking and your subjects VERY interesting.
What a compliment that this woman recognized you after such a long time........now you will have at least two reasons to return to her shop.
I hope that you have a Blessed Easter. emoticon

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PATRICIA-CR 4/19/2014 10:13AM

    Totally emoticon I wish I were there. How finely lovely!! emoticon

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DELLMEL 4/19/2014 10:10AM

  BEAUTIFUL

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NEPTUNE1939 4/19/2014 10:04AM

    emoticon

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CAPECODLIGHT 4/19/2014 9:35AM

    Thank you for a lovely hike, and bravo for that steep climb! I could tell it was a fox - he looked like a beauty. We have a pair living close by, and I have seen the male out and about at dawn in the winter - such a gorgeous animal. How fun to run into someone in an unexpected place. I love chance meeting.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.

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SHERYLP461 4/19/2014 9:12AM

    I am never bored with your blogs, you are taking us through places we can only dream about visiting thank you so much.
this area is especially beautiful and how wonderful to run into an old friend.

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WATERDIAMONDS 4/19/2014 8:16AM

    I will never get tired of the same kinds of pictures. They are all so breath-taking.

Thank you again for sharing France with us.


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SCRAPBECCA 4/19/2014 8:11AM

    so lovely!

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A great hike with SARAWALKS

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meeting Sparkfriends is one of the joys of Sparkpeople! Especially when you meet Sparkfriends you have been in touch with for quite a while, across the Ocean, and especially (in my opinion) when you go hiking together!



Yesterday was a perfect day for meeting a Sparkfriend – a perfect day for a hike! It was sunny but about 18C (65F), which meant that even in the sun for 4 and a half hours, we weren’t melting!





Spring was everywhere, and the birds were singing like crazy. I ‘played safe’ and took Sara (SARAWALKS) to an area I know well, North-West of Paris, near Magny-en-Vexin. But I had never been on that particular hike, so we discovered it together (and got lost together too when, chatting chatting chatting… we missed the path and walked for about 20 minutes in the wrong direction, haha!).



It didn’t matter. We found our path again and happily went on!





When we left the woods, we discovered Genainville, nestled at the bottom of the hills, below the canola fields.





It really was a pretty little village, and we enjoyed crossing it, looking at the old walls, doors, gardens...









following a stream…





… smelling the flowers (hello Sara!)…





Ahhhhh these wisterias near ‘rue du Chat Noir’ (Black Cat street) were gorgeous!!!





Then we were in the countryside again…





I hadn’t expected to see any wild orchids but we found lots (all ‘orchis purpurea’), all in a small area, in the woods… They were just starting to bloom. What a treat!



My guidebook had made a big thing of the Gallo-Roman ruins we were going to see on the way. Hmmmm… I am sure they were extraordinary, but we couldn’t see much of them behind the high fence! So we could only imagine the 4,000 seat-amphitheater, the baths and other impressive discoveries! Sigh.



As we left the Gallo-Roman site, having seen some sheep on the way (I think they were used as lawnmower!)…



… I could tell Sara is much braver than I am! We passed this little house covered with graffiti, and she went right in to see what there was in there.



By then, we had almost reached the middle of our hike and it was time to eat our sandwiches! We found a nice spot in the woods!



I never stop during my hikes. I think that is a mistake. If I stopped half way like we did, I could walk much further. I’ll try and do that next time because I would really like to start walking further. We walked for about 11-12 miles in total, which is more than I have been hiking lately (and my feet and muscles are OK today).



Afterwards, we walked through the open fields for a while, mostly canola and wheat fields… enjoying both the smell and the bright colors.



Shortly after we passed Maudétour-en-Vexin’s cemetery…



… we saw some curious mushrooms (?) in the grass. Do you have any idea what these are? [EDIT: Many thanks CRYSTALE8 who wrote to tell me these are field/common horsetail (equisetum arvense). Thanks to LIZALOT, who had answered a previous question on one of my blogs I was able to recognize horsetail later in the season (it looks completely different!), so now horsetail has no secret for me!!!]



We crossed a road at the entrance of the village, turned right, and we were in the fields again…



I don’t usually enjoy straight paths like these crossing the fields. When I walk by myself, I like the discovery aspect, wondering what lays ahead. A straight path doesn’t leave that much to imagination! But, walking with Sara, I couldn’t get bored as I listened to the fascinating story of her French Huguenots ancestors (we are talking 16th century here!).



The last part of the hike was through the Bois de la Moinerie (Monastery’s woods)…



… where we finally saw some bluebells! I had been wondering where they were hiding as all the woods in my area are covered with them.





After we crossed this little hamlet, we were back in Villarceaux where I had parked the car…



But it wasn’t the end of our day! We first stopped in Magny-en-Vexin for a drink in the heart of the village (forgot to take a picture!), and then had dinner in my favorite restaurant, around the corner from where I live. Let me just show you Sara’s starter: fried camembert with honey. (I had a parmesan and foie gras salad.)



Ah yes, this was just the starters. :) A good thing we had just had a long hike and were quite hungry. Still, we couldn't make desserts, it was just too much!

Thank you for reading... As you can see, I had a beautiful Saturday! I hope you enjoyed sharing it with Sara and I! Enjoy your Sunday!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OCEANWIDE 4/23/2014 8:24PM

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures ! How lovely it must have been to meet up with one of your sparkfriends ! emoticon

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KAREN91 4/23/2014 2:03AM

    Beautiful hike, wow you go on really long hikes! Thanks for the goodie and your concern. I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I still love your blogs and friendship but its hard to get messages sent sometimes. I've been down and trying to get back to where I was. emoticon

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GRACEGREEN13 4/21/2014 4:33PM

    As always, your photos and talk of your hike are just gorgeous. How fun to spend the day meeting a Spark friend! Sara looks like a fun companion, it is good you enjoyed such a nice day. emoticon

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NARNIA9334 4/19/2014 10:00AM

    Thanks for sharing it looks absolutely lovely!

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OPALMOON 4/18/2014 8:49AM

    Hello Claire,
What a wonderful day and how special it would have been to share it with Sara! The photos are just lovely, as usual.
Hugs, Nattacia

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SNOOPYLINKOS 4/18/2014 7:52AM

    Bored? Never! There's always a new, beautiful angle, on everything. Peace and good faith to you and yours on this Easter weekend. emoticon

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 4/18/2014 1:34AM

    Something special about Spring

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JERICHO1991 4/17/2014 9:32PM

    Looks like a perfect day. Thanks for sharing the pics.

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FITMAY 4/17/2014 7:32PM

    emoticon I am so glad you had such a lovely hike with Sara! She looks so smiley in the pictures! So pleasant... emoticon
My heart aches a little because I had to postpone my trip... I so want to meet you personally... But hey! Life keeps moving and I know that I will meet you at the right time... Love ya' friend! emoticon
May

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JERSEYGIRL24 4/16/2014 10:09PM

    Beautiful pictures, and I love your background

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RENATA144 4/16/2014 9:19PM

  Bon jour Claire & Sarah ! Thank yu for sharing your gorgeous path with us !!! You photos are so beautiful !!! You even showed the beauty of weeds ! You are Amazing.
Bon chance ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TAMMYR1967 4/16/2014 6:45PM

    What a nice thing to share. I am glad you both had such a lovely time and I really love the pictures

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HAKAPES 4/16/2014 3:26PM

    Hi Claire, I just realized I haven't popped in to your blog for a while. I love so much your adventures! So refreshing to see your pictures. When do you come next to Budapest?
I have some really good restaurant and spa recommendations for you!

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KONRAD695 4/16/2014 1:03PM

    Once again another wonderful blog. Thank you for the beautiful "stroll" through the country side. emoticon

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J2740LOU 4/15/2014 8:01PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful walk. I enjoyed joining you. emoticon

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HYATTI1 4/15/2014 6:20PM

    Looks like it would be a beautiful walk...can I come along.

Joanna

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MILLIE5522 4/15/2014 6:00PM

    Thank you so much for the lovely pictures! I so love your hikes. They are the highlight of my SP experience! emoticon

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LAINYC 4/15/2014 1:34PM

    emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 4/15/2014 6:26AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 4/15/2014 3:14AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CORNERKICK 4/15/2014 2:11AM

  Great pics

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WRITERWANNAB 4/15/2014 2:02AM

    Oh, how wonderful to get to spend a day with a Spark friend! The photos are gorgeous, as always. It sounds like a lovely day. emoticon

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BANNERMAN 4/15/2014 1:57AM

  Thanks for sharing the beautiful story as well as the great pictures.

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BANNERMAN 4/15/2014 1:57AM

  Thanks for sharing the beautiful story as well as the great pictures.

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NONNAGINA02 4/15/2014 1:49AM

  I am always excited to see a new post from you in my emails. You are so talented and live in such a beautiful country. Thank you!

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SUGAR0814 4/15/2014 12:37AM

    emoticon hike!! Glad you could experience it with a Sparkfriend! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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WENDYANNE61 4/14/2014 11:53PM

    Such beautiful pictures and a lovely read - thank you so much, Claire! emoticon Happy Easter!

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CLAYARTIST 4/14/2014 11:23PM

  emoticon for sharing

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DARLENEK04 4/14/2014 11:03PM

  Beautiful pictures and enjoyed the trip thru the countryside...
Hope your Mom is well....

Blessings,
Darle
neK

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WALNUTT1961 4/14/2014 10:59PM

    Lovely, thank you for sharing!

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DIANNEMT 4/14/2014 10:08PM

    Such a lovely hike--and sharing with a Spark friend is even better!

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SUPERDAD55 4/14/2014 10:06PM

    emoticon
Thanks for sharing your hike with us, we enjoyed the lovely views. Glad you had some company today. Keep hiking, we look forward to your sharing them.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
From your spark friends.
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INFOBABE 4/14/2014 9:03PM

    Stumbled upon your page enjoyed reading about your hike. Keep up the good work!

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BARBANNA 4/14/2014 7:37PM

    Thanks for sharing. It was fun to go on a trip without leaving my home! emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIA-CR 4/14/2014 7:31PM

    What a lovely journey! Love the photos emoticon

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KNEEMAKER 4/14/2014 7:31PM

  emoticon

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KRICKET4 4/14/2014 6:28PM

    Hmm, Rue du Chat Noir ... is that bad luck?
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Beautiful pictures, Claire.

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SUSIEMT 4/14/2014 5:51PM

    I enjoyed our hike! Thank you for sharing! Wonderful pictures!

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SUPERSYLPH 4/14/2014 5:14PM

    I'm glad you were able to enjoy your hike with a friend this time!

Comment edited on: 4/14/2014 5:15:03 PM

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MRSRIGS1 4/14/2014 3:35PM

    Wow! Amazing! Beautiful as always - thank you!

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NEWTINK 4/14/2014 3:28PM

    So wonderful ... I am happy that you got to share it with a special friend.

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PATRICIAANN46 4/14/2014 3:13PM

  Hi Claire.........
How wonderful to be able to share your hike with a fellow Sparker. As usual, the scenery is beautiful, but my all-time favorite and one that I would love framed and hanging on a wall where I could see it easily is the first one of the village of Genainville. On second thought, I would like the second photo of the village to hang right next to it. You are a beautiful photographer. The light and shading is wonderful!
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KHALIA2 4/14/2014 3:09PM

  Thanks for the nature walk! I enjoyed every minute.

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CLAIREINPARIS 4/14/2014 3:00PM

    SUNNYARIZONA: Actually, it wasn't hot at all, it was a cool, sunny day, which was why I said it was so perfect for a hike. I just hate hiking in hot weather, and very luckily the Paris area only gets a bit hot (nothing unbearable like Arizona!) a couple of weeks a year, if that!

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JLPEASE 4/14/2014 2:53PM

    What beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing them with us!
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SUNNYARIZONA 4/14/2014 2:46PM

    I LOVE a good hike!!!! This one was good, and thanks for all the COOL pictures. 65 degrees and you were HOT????? Come to Arizona, I will show you hiking and sweltering! emoticon

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MADAMES 4/14/2014 2:12PM

    What a perfectly wonderful day! So glad you two had such a nice time!
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FISHGUT3 4/14/2014 2:01PM

    great pictures

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JUSGETTENBY42 4/14/2014 1:58PM

    emoticon

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SPARKBJOK 4/14/2014 1:38PM

    Beautiful!

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A hike for wild flowers’ lovers

Sunday, April 06, 2014


Hello dear Sparkfriends!

Hikes are unforgettable in the Paris area in April… there are so many flowers!







I had kept this hike for this time of the year, hoping I would see wild orchids. It was a bit too early and they weren’t out yet, but it doesn’t matter, it was such a beautiful hike anyway! I might come back next year in May to look for wild orchids.



As I was walking happily on these unknown paths (which felt so familiar still as I know this area West of Beauvais well), I was thinking that it only happened once or twice for me to be a bit disappointed by a hike. I am so lucky!





The canola fields in full bloom added to the pleasure of the hike as they smell so beautiful!





They were even more gorgeous when the sun appeared between the clouds… they looked like they were glowing!



For the first part of my hike, I crossed some villages, sometimes walking through high grass. I am so glad when this happens that I have my boots and long trousers! That way I am not too worried to walk on a snake.



Then I climbed up the steep path leading to Mount St Helen (Mont Sainte-Hélène). The view from the top was a reward, everything was so green and new!



On the other side of Mont Sainte-Hélène, I walked on many countryside paths, sometimes stopping by to say hello to some distant cows…









… or snails (doesn’t it look huge next to my foot?!)…



Then it was time for the highlight of my hike… the top of Mont Sainte-Hélène…



Part of it was covered with woods, of course full of flowers!



… some violas/violets, but especially lots of wild anemones and bluebells… Honestly, my pictures don’t do it justice, it was breathtaking!!!









The rest of Mont Sainte-Hélène was much drier, with limestone soil (this is where orchids are usually found).





There was a moving tomb (but with a modern monument) of Brother Jean Sacy, a hermit who was killed in 1700 “by 4 bandits”. Isn’t it nice that his tomb was kept until today? I hope it will stay here for many more centuries.



One last look on the countryside below…



… and my knees started telling me they weren’t happy as the path down was quite steep by my standards (remember I never hike in the mountains, there are none near Paris!).





So I was quite happy when Saint-Pierre-es-Champs was in view again and the path was more or less flat…







I hope you enjoyed sharing my hike! I felt guilty I was going hiking rather than visiting my Mom at the nursing home (I went yesterday, but I know how visits are important for her, who lives in the present). But all my stress and worries seem to have disappeared tonight, so I am really glad… My hikes make me stronger, I shouldn’t forget that!

Have a beautiful week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RENATA144 4/16/2014 9:21PM

  Tres bel !!! emoticon

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DJSHIP46 4/13/2014 1:19PM

    SPACTACULAR!!! I would love to see your beautiful country someday myself, in the meantime... Thank you SO much for sharing!!!

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SAMMIESMOM13 4/13/2014 10:27AM

    Another wonderful hike with you. Thank you. I love your photos, they are so magical and bring a lovely spot in the world to others all over the globe to enjoy. Thank you.

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FALLNTENN 4/13/2014 6:53AM

    Thank you for sharing your hike with us. The pictures are beautiful.

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KAIAHCOMP 4/12/2014 3:23PM

    I just soak up your pictures and comments. How great that you share them with us! I'm impressed that you hike up mountains, etc! You must be very fit! Good for you! I wonder if your Mom likes to look at your pictures. Everything is so beautiful. emoticon

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KAREN91 4/11/2014 8:28PM

    Beautiful flowers, Thank you for taking us along. The flowers in Iowa are just starting to come up, no blooms yet.

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TREYONE 4/11/2014 7:09PM

  Thank you for sharing such amazing photos!!!!

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SENSORYFOODIE 4/10/2014 5:20PM

    What beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing the countryside around Paris with us.

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MILLEDGE2 4/10/2014 7:13AM

    Love going hiking with you (in my mind), as always! And loved that you posted a pic with your Spark Activity Tracker on your shoe. Mine arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm excited to see if it prods me to do just a little more every day!

Hope all is well with your mom and have a great day!

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WRITERWANNAB 4/9/2014 8:26PM

    Beautiful photos! I am always amazed at how many types of flowers grow here in the desert & I enjoy them so much. emoticon

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ALIHIKES 4/9/2014 2:35PM

    What a beautiful hike! I love the flowers, and the lush green grasses. Claire, walking is important for you to stay healthy, calm, and capable of helping your mom (and father) in this difficult situation. emoticon

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MAWMAW101 4/9/2014 11:01AM

    Thank you so much for sharing. emoticon

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MILPAM3 4/8/2014 8:05PM

  Doesn't God have a wonderful imagination!

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QTEALADY20031 4/8/2014 1:45PM

    Claire, what a beautiful hike! The wild flowers are so gorgeous! The only flowers I tend to see are those planted by the neighbors in the area! I am so glad that I was able to join you on your hike. Claire, you need to remember that you are stronger when you hike and you will be available to your mother if you take care of yourself and stay balanced! Thank you again for sharing your day! emoticon June

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FITMAY 4/8/2014 11:11AM

    You are so right dear Claire! your hikes make you stronger, you shouldn’t forget that!

What a lovely Spring view... and I loved seeing your little tracker too... Can you believe that Luke (my big dog) ate mine?... emoticon Juan Carlos is still using his and loves it... He also was so kind and replace my SP tracker with a new one... but it's a fitbit... it also sincs to SparkPeople so it works fine for me...

Anyways, keep walking sweet friend!
Love ya',
May

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HAPPYMENOW58 4/8/2014 11:10AM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing...

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LOPEYP 4/8/2014 7:00AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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CARRIELYN56 4/8/2014 6:19AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 4/8/2014 1:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CORNERKICK 4/8/2014 12:29AM

  emoticon

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JAMER123 4/7/2014 11:13PM

    Such beautiful scenery! Thank you for sharing your pictures. I feel like we have been on a guided tour! The wild flowers are in full bloom here and there are fields of Blue Bonnets, Indian Paints, etc! Spring is a beautiful time of year no matter where you are.
emoticon emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 4/7/2014 11:10PM

    Awesome photos!

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CLAYARTIST 4/7/2014 10:26PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 4/7/2014 10:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Remember you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your mom. This is spiritial as well as physical, your hikes feed your soul and up lift you so you can take care of you mother needs. Don't feel sorry for taking the time for yourself, you deserve and need it too.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 4/7/2014 10:04PM

    How lovely! Thanks for sharing!

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SHOAPIE 4/7/2014 9:40PM

    emoticon

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DARLENEK04 4/7/2014 9:19PM

  The hikes are beneficial in renewing your spirit Claire, so I would say
they are somewhat medicinal and therefore to be continued. You see
so much beauty and are able to capture it, some hundreds of years old,
and share with the rest of us who will never see those things in person.

In turn, you may go see your mom and be in refreshed state of mind and
more able to deal with less stress.

The flowers were all lovely(til you mentioned snakes)LOL......do you have
many different kinds there?? and how many are poisonous???

Blessings,
D
arlene

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PATRICIAANN46 4/7/2014 9:16PM

  Hi Claire...........
YOUR Spring is so very far ahead of OUR Spring. My tulips are just beginning to peak out of the soil. We had such a wicked Winter that I am sure they are afraid to come out. Your photos look like Mid to Late May here in Wisconsin. They are beautiful and I could almost feel a warm breeze.

I am sure that you need these walks to calm you and restore your energy. Please don't feel guilty. You will be physically and mentally better when next you visit your Mom.

Thank You once again for sharing your beauty with us.
emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 4/7/2014 9:01PM

    Simply beautiful!

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NEWTINK 4/7/2014 6:17PM

    Simply Gorgeous !!!

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LOVINGKATE 4/7/2014 5:49PM

  Thanks so much for sharing another one of your beautiful walks with us. You are so deserving of these walks. Caregiving is difficult on you physically as well as mentally. Don't feel guilty. You will be that much stronger when you do see your beautiful Mom. These times are difficult but so worth all the time and effort you put into the visits with your Mom. We can never get that time back with our loved ones. I miss my father so much but the time we spent together while taking care of him, I will never forget. Take care and my heart and prayers go out to you and to your Mom. Have a great week. emoticon emoticon

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MILLIE5522 4/7/2014 4:57PM

    Thank you so much for reminding us all how beautiful Spring is.....somehow one's troubles seem to dissolve when walking among bluebells. Wishing you and your mother good health and strength. xxxxxx emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 4/7/2014 2:29PM

    emoticon

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JIBBIE49 4/7/2014 1:14PM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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NONNAOF2 4/7/2014 12:58PM

  Claire, what a wonderful hike that you brought us on! How beautiful springtime is in where you live, the flowers are just beautiful. I'm so happy that you took some time for yourself, you need to so you can replenish your energy, especially for when you see your lovely mother again. :-)

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JSEATTLE 4/7/2014 12:31PM

  Thank you so much for another breath of fresh air. The flowers and countryside are picture-perfect! You so deserved this day and thank you for sharing.

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FALLENSHORT2013 4/7/2014 12:27PM

    What a beautiful place you live in! I live in the mountains and it's a different kind of beautiful---I should take pictures like you do---unfortunately, our valley snow only just melted and it should be in the 70s (degrees F) tomorrow, but it's still too wet!

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LIVELYGIRL2 4/7/2014 12:17PM

  You have such super places to hike and walk. That alone should make you want to go. It is theraputic to get ones batteries recharged to face the rest of ones life. I guess if you go too frequently, it would be hard to see it in perspective. Once when a friend was in the hospital, we would take 1-3 days off, so we could cope with it better. Hugs and blessings to you Claire. You are a devoted loving daughter. emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEMT 4/7/2014 12:10PM

    Thank you for the hike Claire! I have never seen such a huge snail! Wow you grow them big in Paris!

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WILDASTER 4/7/2014 11:54AM

    Dear Claire,
I loved this hike, the flowers, the landscapes, and the snail! Bella has never seen a snail, lots of shells but not a living one. She and I looked at that quite a while, and the monument was very interesting too. He looks very much like my dad in some respects.

I can't believe how green and lovely everything is, so many colors of green too. The path through the trees and over the hills are magical. Thank you for sharing this with us.

annette

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LINDAKAY228 4/7/2014 11:48AM

    The hike is so beautiful and I love the wildflowers! Take it from someone who has also done the caregiving and helped a lot of others that you need to take care of yourself too in order to give the best to your mom. If you use all your available free time to see her there will be nothing left to give her. You visited her the day before and you needed to revitalize yourself too. Balance is the key. But remember to take care of yourself so you have more to give her and others when you see them.

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NASFKAB 4/7/2014 11:32AM

  beautiful as alwas thanks

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LIZALOT 4/7/2014 11:26AM

    Beautiful flowers! How I love bluebells and cowslips (les coucous). I'm glad it felt so good, and you will feel that much stronger for the next time you visit your mum. It's important to care for the carers too.

hugs

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MICKEYH 4/7/2014 11:25AM

    beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 4/7/2014 10:32AM

    emoticon scenery. emoticon

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TRYINGHARD54 4/7/2014 10:13AM

    beautiful walk :-)

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SCRAPBECCA 4/7/2014 9:57AM

    lovely!

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PWILLOW1 4/7/2014 9:48AM

    COOL PICTURES. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT HIKE

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JERICHO1991 4/7/2014 9:47AM

    Your hike will allow you to give your mom more of you when you do visit her. That's great you're seeking balance.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 4/7/2014 9:27AM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!!! emoticon

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A castle, and woods covered with wild anemones - my routine walk

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

Life being a bit crazy at the moment, I have decided about 10 days ago to get into ‘High Stress gear’: as it is difficult to fit a hike at weekends (I will go back to my hikes though, don’t worry!), I am going on daily walks in the neighborhood instead. It could make me sad or sorry for myself… but it doesn’t because I am happy with my neighborhood!



You see what I mean? emoticon
This beauty (built between 1538 and 1550) is 5 minutes away from my office and 10 minutes away from home. Usually I walk there on Mondays with my friend Sabrina (have been for years… we used to run there!), but at the moment it is 5-6 times a week. And I can say it is keeping me sane!



The woods are gorgeous all year long, but at the moment, they are just magical, covered with wild anemones, and with the bluebells just starting!











There are plenty of other flowers too (lots of violas), and throughout spring and summer time many more will be appearing and disappearing in turn. I look forward to the wild asparagus and garlic for my salads!





As the castle is built on top of the hill, some of the paths are very steep and make for a great workout.











After one hour walking in the woods at lunch time I go back to the office a bit sweaty but full of energy and with a very sunny morale. This is the last view on the castle before I go back to my car:



Then these days, when I arrive back at the office, the view on the garden below is equally enchanting (this is actually the view from the library)…



… really, I cannot complain!

Several of you have asked me how things have evolved for my Mom since my last blog.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5653763

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU so much for all your support! It was overwhelming. You are wonderful!

I was also touched by the fact that several of you knew exactly what we were going through because you went through the same, and that is very sad. Thank you for sharing your own experience with me.

Well, the situation at the nursing home got extremely worse last week (they were FURIOUS I had made an official complaint with the authorities), and last Friday I met with the director and his team. All the trainings I have been following for my job throughout the years in Communications (‘Non-violent Communications’ in particular!) came very handy. Actually, I treated it all like a business meeting... I stayed calm, even when the director kept looking at his emails or going back to saying how furious he was (I was glad the rest of the team behaved in a more professional way)! But I demanded for my Mom to be treated like a human being from NOW on, with a clear plan of action and a meeting in one month’s time to assess it all. It looks like it worked. My Mom had her first shower in 5 months (!) and is now taken to the bathroom several times a day, or when she needs to go. It sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? Well, it took us 5 months to get this, and filing an official complaint.

So, thanks again for your support, and I hope I can only report positive, encouraging changes from now on! The enquiry into the nursing home following my complaint is of course continuing (hence the director's anger!), but that isn't the side that I am the most interested in. I just want my Mom to be as well as she can possibly be, despite this dreadful Alzheimer's.

Let's end with a view of my dear woods, as they always bring a smile on my face and I hope they bring one on yours too... :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMMIESMOM13 4/13/2014 10:17AM

    Claire, good for you, fighting for your mom. And altho you may never see the other "rewards" by filing that complaint you are fighting for others who have no one to fight for them. Hopefully this will make that home take care of everyone there much better. So sad that they (or anyone) would treat human beings (or any living thing) in such a way.
For some reason I became "unsubscribed" again. don't know why that keeps happening. I decided it had been so long, surely you had blogged. Yup, I had missed a number of them.
I am now taking care of my dad (mom has alheimers and is also in a home as I mentioned in my comment on your blog about your mom). So I am nearly a full time "nurse" these days. He is not good, with COPD and other issues. Your walks bring me such joy. I do so wish I could join you on them. Thank you.

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KAREN91 4/11/2014 8:20PM

    Claire, I'm so glad you have continued to fight for better care for your Mom. I loved the pictures from your walk. Spring has finally come to Iowa. Last Tuesday I went on a long walk with my friend Jean. It was a bright spot in my week. I continue to miss my mom very much but I'm trying to jump back into life. I went back to work today. Your blogs are also a bright spot in my life. You are a very dear spark friend. emoticon

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DJSHIP46 4/8/2014 11:22AM

    Glorious!!! I always love the flowers and I'm sure it we uplifting for you... As a caretaker, it is VERY important that you take care of yourself and that includes food for the soul... so no guilt... emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 4/6/2014 11:00PM

    I look forward to your blogs daily, Keep up the great work and I LOVE the pictures. Remember to keep fighting for your mom, she will be proud of you and so will you. The squeaking door gets the attention it deserves. emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OCEANWIDE 4/6/2014 4:58PM

    Such wonderful pictures,this forest could come straight out of a fairytale !
I'm glad to hear that the situation with your mother is getting better, she deserves to be well treated and I'm sure it must take so much weight off your shoulder to know that they are at the very least meeting her basic needs !
Couldn't find a moment throughout the week to leave a comment but I wanted to thank you again for your kind words, it always brightens my day when I see one of your comments on my posts !
emoticon

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TRAILBLAZER6 4/6/2014 4:29PM

    emoticon emoticon On behalf of many of us who don't yet have the blooming of spring in their area, thank you, thank you for sharing such wonderful hikes!

What a treat!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 4/6/2014 1:12PM

    What a lovely walk

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RENATA144 4/5/2014 10:40PM

  I Love how your beautiful photos transport us to this lovely dreamland !

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MARYJEANSL 4/5/2014 9:43PM

  I love the woods too - much more than beaches. Thank you for the photos.

And, I am glad your mother is being treated better. I worry about this happening to my mother if (when) we have to put her in a nursing home. So sad that people aren't treated decently just because it's the right thing to do.

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LOLAJO54 4/5/2014 8:52PM

    Just beautiful

I would love to walk there too .. wouldn't run because I would not want to miss a thing

enjoy emoticon

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MAINEALI 4/5/2014 4:59PM

    You are a very lucky person to have such a beautiful place to walk. I love the early spring flowers. Take good care of yourself and your family!

emoticon

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CHANGINGHORSES 4/5/2014 5:50AM

    That looks like a great lunch time walk! Very beautiful. You are very lucky to have such a great place to go that is so close. I have a great place to go also but no real lunch hour. I do take advantage though after work. Spring is here!

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WRITERWANNAB 4/5/2014 1:22AM

    I'm glad things are better for your mom & that you have a beautiful neighborhood to walk in. Thanks once again for sharing. emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 4/4/2014 11:50PM

    emoticon beautiful pictures, very nice walk.
So sorry about your Mom, sounds like a nasty place.

Mary

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RENATA144 4/4/2014 11:28PM

  Bon Jour Claire ! I can almost smell the beautiful fragrances ! emoticon
You are emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 4/4/2014 11:01PM

  emoticon

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ALIHIKES 4/4/2014 5:03PM

    Claire thank you for sharing the beautiful photos from your walk. It is wonderful that such a peaceful and lovely place is so close. I know that contact with nature's beauty really helps when one is facing stressful situations.

I am glad that you complaint resulted in better care for your mom. You should not have had to take such steps to get the care your mom deserves. The director should be angry with the neglect from his own staff. He should NOT be angry with you. At least now he will know he has to ensure better care for your mom!

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MOMMY445 4/4/2014 3:03PM

    such beautiful pictures! thanks for sharing,Claire and glad to hear that you got the help your mom needs.

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DR1939 4/4/2014 12:04PM

    Way to go with getting help for your mom. Sounds like you handled it just right. Unfortunately, it is likely this kind of care is not being extended to others in the home.

How fortunate you are to have such a lovely place to walk on a regular basis. That hour must seem like heaven to you. Nature has such a soothing effect on me and coupled with a walk it can bring me peace.

Thank you for sharing.

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EFFIEANNIE 4/4/2014 9:24AM

    Glad your Mom is getting better care. That is the way it should be. So sorry that we have to report them to make the good care happen. Everyone is trying to operate with less staff and it is hard to provide the best care when you have not enough staff.

Your castle is beautiful. I would like to walk there also.

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AJB121299 4/4/2014 8:09AM

    nice

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MUSOLF6 4/4/2014 6:13AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PIGGYWAY 4/4/2014 5:19AM

  emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 4/4/2014 1:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BONIFIANT 4/3/2014 11:24PM

    I have been thinking a lot about your Mom since your last reference to her. Congratulations on your successful meeting and for your ability to control the situation with calm. I can only hope that your intervention improves the lot for other residents as well. Our precious elders deserve respect whether they are able to be aware of it or not.

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ROCKYCPA 4/3/2014 11:11PM

    Thanks for sharing your hike and the update on your mother. I am glad you confronted the facility and got them to change their ways. Good for you!

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LIVELYGIRL2 4/3/2014 10:37PM

  I always like your walks. I have thought of you several times since you sent me the e-mail. I am GLAD things have somewhat improved.

I can't blieve it was that long since a shower. That should only be reserved for bedridden people and they give them sponge bathes, or they are very large and need a devise to move them. Not all facilities have one.

Do you have socail workers there?

I hope the other employees acted more concerned, than the supervisor who was nervous about trouble.

If you look online, you might see there are various support groups, imformation, and things family members can do to communicate to their loved ones better, and I would guess.. also deal with such care problems.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 4/3/2014 9:45PM

    What a lovely walk, the pictures are wonderful.

So glad to hear they are finally taking care of your Mom as they should have been all along.
I am sure the director would have filed a complaint if his Mother was ill treated.
Good for you for making sure she gets the care she deserves.

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TERMITEMOM 4/3/2014 9:43PM

    Quel beau château! Belle promenade...
Je suis vraiment contente pour vous que les choses se soient arrangées pour votre mère. Vous avez eu bien raison de rester ferme et d'insister pour qu'on la traite comme un être humain. C'est une belle victoire. Je pense à vous.

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MRSRIGS1 4/3/2014 9:06PM

    Thank you for your lovely pictures! I am so sorry your mother is being treated so inhumane. Good for you for standing up to these people. They should learn to be compassionate in the field of caring for others. One day, they'll be needing help and it will all come back tenfold.

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JUNEAU2010 4/3/2014 8:08PM

    I love your walk! What serenity that must provide, especially now!

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 4/3/2014 8:05PM

    emoticon for sharing your hike.

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JSEATTLE 4/3/2014 8:03PM

  I am so glad you are seeing results with your Mom's care. I am the squeaky wheel advocate for my 94-yr old aunt and although my complaints are minor in comparison to yours, they need to be voiced and addressed. Thank you for sharing your walks from your doorsteps! How lucky you are to have this available to you, how lucky we all are in our own way!

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TREYONE 4/3/2014 8:02PM

  You are so fortunate to have such a beautiful place to walk! I am so proud of you for standing up against the "SYSTEM" for your mother!!!! Good for you!!!! I hope some day some of the people who run these places so inhumanly wake up and realize that one day they may be on the receiving end of the caregiving. Is this how they want to be treated????

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DARLENEK04 4/3/2014 6:09PM

  Claire,
Good for you for handling the situation professionally even if the director did not.

I am glad you have a place to go that brings you peace.....it is so beautiful in your
neighborhood, makes me wish I lived there...

DarleneK

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DIANNEMT 4/3/2014 5:08PM

    Lovely place to walk and I am so proud that you stood up for your mom.

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SCRAPBECCA 4/3/2014 4:58PM

    Lovely!

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PHOENIX1949 4/3/2014 4:43PM

    What a LOVELY walk.

The anger is misdirected towards you. There is an old saying that when you point at someone you have three fingers pointing back at your self. You forced attention to a situation he is in charge of was more than justified.

Take care.

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NEWTINK 4/3/2014 4:36PM

    Just remember people only get upset when they know they have been doing wrong, other wise he would have calmly showed you the proof that your mom was being taken care of. I think you are doing a great thing for her and keep fighting you are all she has.

The pictures are beautiful as always ... You even live in a beautiful place so lucky you are !!!!

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PATRICIAANN46 4/3/2014 4:34PM

  Hi Claire.........
You are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful area. The castle is gorgeous and the wood trails and flowers so tranquil. I can see how that would be a respite to your day.

I have been praying daily for your Mom. I couldn't believe that she hadn't had a shower in 5 months. That is CRIMINAL. That director has NO right to feel furious and you have every right to. I can't believe that HE would stand for his OWN mother being treated this way. Good for YOU for bringing him to task!!!

I will continue to pray for your Mom and for your family. You should be proud because things should change for the positive for everyone.
emoticon

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NONNAOF2 4/3/2014 3:15PM

  Your area of the world always looks so magical, thank for the beautiful photographs. I'm so glad that you finally got some results after your complaints and a meeting. Your mother is so lucky to have you as her advocate. It saddens me to think of those who have no one to offer a voice for them, human dignity is a right not to be taken away. God bless you and your family!.

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TRUCKER72 4/3/2014 1:40PM

    Don't ever stop standing up for your mother. No matter what (or who) happens. emoticon I love the picture with the bench in it alot. emoticon

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MIMIDOT 4/3/2014 12:55PM

    Beautiful blog. Glad you got things straightened out for your Mom. She deserves the very best care. Hugs!

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JUSGETTENBY42 4/3/2014 11:57AM

    emoticon

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JERICHO1991 4/3/2014 11:40AM

    Thanks for the beautiful pics, and sharing the encouraging news concerning your mom. Been there. Took care of my mom in my house her last five years as dementia took its toll on her.

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NEPTUNE1939 4/3/2014 11:29AM

    emoticon

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NAN041 4/3/2014 11:26AM

    Claire,
Spring has definitely arrived there.
We are starting to see some green..
Always so enjoyable to see your blogs.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, Nan

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/3/2014 10:58AM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful walk. It has inspired me to walk at lunchtime at least once a week. I work only three days and use the workplace exercise room the other two days.
I am glad to hear about your mother's shower, how very much better she must be feeling! Good for you for sticking to your guns with the director and his inappropriate behavior , you sound like a formidable communicator!
Claire I am sure that there will be people working at the care home who will be truly grateful to you for insisting on better care for their charges, even if the atmosphere is such that they cannot say...
Kia kaha, which is Maori for stay strong or staunch.
Fifi

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SHERYLP461 4/3/2014 10:35AM

    What a beautiful place you have to unwind at work. I used to walk during my lunch hour too, but paved road full of offices. Not nice.
Wishing you well with your mother, hope conditions improve.

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SHOAPIE 4/3/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Alzheimer – fighting for my Mom... and rare moments of joy...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I don’t often post a really personal blog, I mean more personal than my hikes and travels! I wondered about sharing about this side of my life again. It is very sad, but it is a huge part of my life, and, I know, part of the life of several of you who read this. This dreadful disease, Alzheimer.



My mother has been suffering with Alzheimer for a couple of years now. But her state deteriorated extremely quickly and badly into dementia last summer (when the photo above was taken), and my father said he couldn’t take care of her anymore.

We found a nursing home for her nearby, and she entered there early September. One week later, as I was visiting her at dinner time, I couldn’t wake her up. She was in overdose (they gave her extremely strong medication so that she would be quiet). She spent 6 weeks in hospital after that. I refused to send her back to the nursing home (my father didn’t want ‘yet more change’ for her and wanted to send her back there… no.way.). So we found another nursing home, which was highly recommended to us (equally very expensive I should add… if my mother hadn’t taken a special insurance about 15 years ago, which pays a big part of it, we could never have afforded it!).


(Illustration by Cap Pannell)

Let’s try and be positive: this place is not nearly as bad as the previous nursing home. But there are lots of things there which are still abuses – like refusing to take her to the bathroom, even though we are there and asking for it (imagine what happens when we aren’t there). My father has been complaining about it and asking for help for her every single day since she entered there at the end of October. With no results other than to be seen as someone ‘being difficult’.



Me? I have been visiting as often as I could, agreeing with my boss that I would do less trips so that I could be with her more ‘until she was settled’. I have been kissing her, holding her hand, stroking her cheek, trying to comfort her, taking her to the bathroom too… and also crying all the tears in my eyes, sometimes in front of her when I couldn’t help it (she cries a lot, and panicks too... she is most of the time extremely worried and sad...), sometimes in front of the staff when I couldn’t believe how horrifying it all was…



I have been trying to smile a lot, with her, with the staff. There are a few I really like, who are kind to her. With the others I have played a ‘happy’ role, for my mother’s sake. I know their job isn’t easy, and that they haven’t chosen to take care of old people: they just do what they can to earn a living. I wish they would do another job, and so do they probably, sadly.



It is about time I tell you about my hero, someone who has been a huge inspiration for me ever since I discovered her blog, ‘The Upside to Dementia?’
upsidetodementia.blogspot.fr/
Her name is Kristen. She is a young Californian actress and writes about her father’s Alzheimer. It is funny, it is sad, it is inspiring… She has been fighting so much for her Dad, talking about Alzheimer with politicians, etc. I can never thank Kristen enough for helping me understand and see Alzheimer differently. There ARE funny times, there are times with great joy (my mother was never the caring type, and now she keeps telling me she loves me… isn’t that beautiful?). And thanks to Kristen, I have learned to cherish those times.

I cried when a few weeks ago, Kristen’s Dad died. They had both become part of my life so much.



This is a picture of my mother last Wednesday, on her 81st birthday in the garden of the nursing home (by the way, without Kristen’s inspiration I would never have thought of taking pictures of the ‘good times’ with my mom!). I had taken the afternoon off, and brought her a piece of brownie from a special ‘patisserie’ and some apple juice (I discovered she now loves apple juice for some reason!). It was the most precious afternoon. She was calm, happy, cuddly… We spoke more than we had since last Summer.



The previous day had been different, when my father and I rang for help for 40 minutes without any result (I had never asked for help, only my father, now I could see all he said was true!). I was suffering with my sciatica that day and couldn’t help my mother in the bathroom. As for my father, he has Parkinson and is 81 too… He went to see the director, and only then did we get someone to help!

At that moment, I decided to ACT. No more overwhelming sadness, I would look for help to try and have my mother treated differently. The following day, I filed an official complaint with an office dedicated to it in my area. I was in shock such an office existed, in a sense (it was recommended to me by my local Alzheimer association representative). I know there are no perfect nursing homes, but I want her to be treated like a human being. I don’t think it is too much to ask. I will fight because my mother is fighting every day this dreadful disease.

OK, this is a heavy blog. I am sorry for this! I hope it isn’t just me venting about it all but that you can find some inspiration too (if only from Kristen’s blog!) if you are in a similar situation.

I want to end with something a bit positive. Yesterday afternoon, when I visited my mother, I thought I had landed in ‘nursing home paradise’! Everybody was helpful, they even came twice to check she was OK during the 2 hours and a half I was there… Unheard of! I didn’t realize they would be informed about my complaint so soon. It could also be that on Wednesday, I spoke to the management because a nurse had changed her dressing in front of me… without cleaning the wound! Maybe they realized then that they had gone a bit too far… I don’t know. Let’s just hope this is the beginning of a change! In any case, no more paralyzing tears, I am in warrior mode!

And now, please excuse me, it is time for my Saturday hike! :) I might just walk and walk today, with no picture... We'll see.

Thank you for reading! Thank you for being the best Sparkfriends I could hope for! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 4/18/2014 9:25AM

    Dear Claire,
i apologise for only just reading this blog - I seem to not be getting notifications, so I have requested them again and hopefully I will get them again. i will do my best to read as many as possible...still have a lot of health and other issues going on here...but I digress.

Please feel free to blog about anything you need to at any time; Sparkers are all about supporting each other! Thank you for sharing all this so honestly with us.

I also feel for what you and your mother and father are going through. My grandmother had dementia for many years before her passing, though once in a nursing home, her care was very good, so we were very blessed in that respect. You absolutely did the right thing speaking up for your mother, and are a wonderful daughter for everything you are doing for her. All your reactions and emotions along the way are completely normal too; at times it can be so overwhelming. I admire you for having such a positive approach - good for you, Claire!

I love the photos of your mother too - she is beautiful. i think it is important for you to have them as a reminder of the good times. It is not an easy experience for anyone touched by this disease, and it seems that each person's life with Alzheimer's is as individual as they are. However, I hope you will have many more special times with your mother like her birthday to treasure, and it's wonderful that you are sharing more closeness than before.

I will keep you and your mother and father in my prayers.

Sending warm wishes and big hugs your way, Nattacia

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 4/16/2014 8:09AM

    It is so difficult, and yet you are trying to remember the 'happy'... I will say a prayer for you, for your Mom, AND for your Dad.

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SARAWALKS 4/13/2014 1:46PM

    Claire, even after we talked, I had no idea...I hadn't read these details. Oooooooh I feel for you all so much. Keep fighting. Bon courage! Your mother's wonderful smile, in the midst of all she is going through, is quite amazing and beautiful. What a blessing that you can be with each other even if you have to fight this battle at the same time. Maybe it will end up being a blessing for others too...
Be good to yourself and keep hiking! xoxoxo Sara

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KAKEPO 4/7/2014 8:38AM

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. I hope that you will continue to gain strength in others who are dealing with this.

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RENATA144 4/4/2014 11:30PM

  Bon jour Clare ! I have an idea of what you're going through as my hubby seems to have it too. I am getting stronger to help him. emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 4/4/2014 9:43AM

    You are brave; your mother is beautiful; life is filled with anguish.

Be strong....if you can. And forgive yourself if you cannot be strong.

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COOKWITHME65 4/1/2014 10:42PM

    Oh Claire such a wonderful post. A difficult one to write I am sure but such a powerful message delivered. Alzheimer's is such a terrible disease. It effects not only the patient but all the loved ones watching the slow progress. It is a difficult decision to place your family member in the care of others. Things can look so lovely during a tour and on paper but behind the scenes it can be much different. I worked many years in a long term care facility as a Rehab Director and each day /shift can be different dependent on staff and current patient's level of care. There are many caregivers that chose to work in that environment such as I whom love the geriatric population but you are correct that some are just there for a pay check and sadly a small one most likely. Your post sent up some red flags as I was reading it but you and your Dad did the correct things by contacting the Director and then taking the next step by filing a complaint outside of the facility. Good for you Claire!!!!! The only think that I would recommend is to see if your Mom could be placed on a bowel and bladder program. It is a timed schedule where she is brought to the rest room(and documented) so she will not soil herself. Eventually if she is not tolieted on a regular schedule her bladder muscles will weaken etc... and they switch to using an adult diaper which can lead to skin issues etc..... Plus the schedule to the toilet insures a little extra walking a day, even if it is a short distance with assistance.

Good bless you and your Mom Claire. I know this must be a very difficult time for you and your family. I love that you are enjoying your visits with her and taking pictures and your Mom now is able to tell you how she truly feels with out any inhibitions. How wonderful.

emoticon ~ Kristan



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GRACEGREEN13 3/30/2014 1:07AM

    Dear Claire,
I am so touched by your poignant post. I cannot offer much more than has already been said here.
I lost a dear uncle to alzheimers. It is heartbreaking but you are right. We must choose to embrace the good times, not just the bad.
You are such an extraordinary person and loving daughter. Please know my happy thoughts and warm hugs are with you always, especially in these trying times.


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DAUNTLESSDONNA 3/29/2014 10:08PM

    What a wonderful person and daughter you are. I hope that filing a complaint will keep helping and inspire others to stick up for their parent's and spouse's rights. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

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CRYSALLIS1 3/29/2014 9:14PM

    Beautiful pictures of your Mother. Sounds like you & your father are doing everything you possibly can. I pray you will see continued improvement in the nursing home. emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 3/28/2014 9:26PM

    Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with the Nursing Home. As a nurse myself, I have seen the neglect from some of the staff and am also appalled as to some of the staff I have worked with in the past. This is why I am a Warrior for my Wounded Warriors, I fight for those who did fight for our country but can not fight for themselves now. Where I work now is truely rewarding, I look forward to coming to work every day to care for them. Unfortunately we live in a world where the "squeaky wheel" gets the attention. So from a nurse I say, "Keep Squeaking" you have to fight for your mother.
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GRACEOMALLEY 3/28/2014 5:14PM

    Bonjour, mon ami!
This was such a lovely but sad blog. Lovely because you obviously love your parents and you are so good about making sure things are done properly. You take time with them and look for the good moments whenever they come and you give the gift of yourself. That is a very valuable comodity.

Your mother is a lovely woman - you take after her a great deal in your apearance. Bless you for being so good about taking care of her and standing up for her. I know it isn't easy when your parent becomes the child and you become the adult. I've been through that myself and it is difficult and heartrending. Know that you are loved and that what yu are doing is the right and humane thing to do.
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LINDERVEE 3/26/2014 10:58AM

    Prayers of strength and peace to you and your family.

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CHERIRIDDELL 3/25/2014 10:42PM

    My heart goes out to you.What a difficult situation.I hope your Mother continues to get improved care after your complaint.I will remember you both in my prayers.

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MOMMY445 3/25/2014 8:06PM

    i agree. thank you for being so open. have a wonderful day.

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2BHEALTHY46 3/25/2014 5:14PM

    Hugs to you, your Mom and your family!

fran

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 3/25/2014 3:00PM

  Sorry to hear about your mother's situation. It is hard to see someone you love suffer and then see them miss treated. I hope the home will make changes.

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MTN_KITTEN 3/25/2014 12:44PM

    Hubby's mom past away not quite a year ago after we lived through her dementia. Hubby had a "discussion" with the home mom was in and it was amazing how things improved.

Please remember some of the staff do work there because they want to and they do care. There were many, many staff members that sang songs to mom, brushed her hair, and read to her.

Soak up the good times.

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WALNUTT1961 3/25/2014 12:16PM

    Bless your heart. Thank you for sharing. You are a loving daughter. Hugs and prayers.

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BETRHO48 3/25/2014 11:44AM

    EVERY patient needs a family or friend advocate in hospital, nursing home or hospice. How awesome that you chose to SPEAK UP for your loved mother.

As a member of the health profession, I am sad to write that there is abuse in healthcare facilities and among services these days. Fortunately, the majority of healthcare institutions are not abusive or neglectful, but it does go on in some places and situations. I personally fail to understand why some providers don't understand that families are watching them.

In the US there are ways to report abuse or neglect concerns. Take time to find out how or where to report your concerns. Start at the facility level. Often, the best place to start is with the manager of the unit or department. Most facilities have a risk management representative or department to whom you can express your concerns. All facilities have a person or department that oversees infection prevention and control practices if your concern is related to preventing infection. If you get no response from the facility, concerns can also be reported to state health departments (They hold facilities' licenses.). Ultimately, concerns can be reported to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (aka JCAHO).

The JCAHO has a SPEAK UP campaign for just such concerns you describe. Please take time to go to its website to learn more.

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NGCHILD 3/25/2014 9:43AM

    So many kind comments for you Claire. Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

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AZMOMXTWO 3/25/2014 7:54AM

  good for you for standing up for her


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MUSOLF6 3/25/2014 6:21AM

    I can understand your pain, I am a Hospice Nurse , who works mostly in Nursing Home and takes care of Patients in Nursing Homes. there is no excuse for the poor care your Mom got. I pray that it is changing for the better. emoticon

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DIANEDOESSMILES 3/25/2014 1:30AM

    HI Claire,,, this is what I have decided:

When I need a nursing home (for my health is NOT well, and I DO NOT want my Grands to take care of me, as some have offered, its NOT fair to them !).

I am going to rob a bank. Nursing homes are HORRIBLE ! U get treated so BADLY at times,, esp if you have "behavioral" problems,, which as you said, can be as SIMPLE as needing the bathroom,, and often I DO AT ONCE OR ELSE !

So this way,, I will have FREE medical care,,,, I will HOT SHOWERS DAILY or a sponge bath,, ISNTEAD Of of only 2 a WEEK, and someone will WATCH OVER ME,, so if I go to fall,, they WILL HELP ME AT ONCE, ad NOT watch "it happen",,, I'll get my special foods, am on an MAOI, and also gluten free,,, and it'll arrive HOT !! WOOHOOO !!!! I'll have 24 /7 WATCH OVER ME !! it will NOT FAIL as a nursig home can and often does. I WILL NOT Develop bed sores,, for they DO LOOK AFTER U in FEAR of what the state would do to the guards, jails.

See JAIL IS MUCH BETTER THAN A NURSING HOME !! Do you THINK I am kidding?

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WRITERWANNAB 3/25/2014 1:20AM

    Alzheimer's is one of the hardest things for a family to deal with. The person with it lives in a world of confusion & sometimes fear. It completely drains their loved ones, both physically & emotionally. My heart goes out to all of you. emoticon

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ESMEX452 3/25/2014 12:26AM

    I work as a CNA (certified nurse assistant) at a nursing home and understand how difficult it is to see a loved one going through such a terrible time. I am sorry that you and your family have had to struggle so much to get proper care.

Please know that not all people who work at nursing homes are in it just because they need a job (though I have worked with MANY who are). In my case I like working as a CNA because I get to help people, it helps me value the little things in life that we often take for granted. Like the ability to walk, to feed ourselves, to tell someone how we are feeling etc. I have seen all stages of these diseases and no matter what stage they are in it is difficult for everyone involved.

That is why I learn to value the time spent with my residents because in a way they become my extended family. throughout my day I am in a constant cycle of what ifs? what if this resident was my grandparent, my parent, a family member, how would I want others to treat them etc. That said I know that I am an advocate for their rights, but sometimes even my opinion and observations get overlooked by the "higher ups" that is why it is important that you personally go to the head of the facility and voice your concerns. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope the situation gets better. emoticon







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DEEEBEE 3/24/2014 9:21PM

    We were so fortunate to find the nursing home for my mom that we did. She told us many times how much she liked it, how kind everyone was to her. There was lots of love and caring shown. Mom did not have Alzheimers. She was pretty sharp. She suffered from incapacitating medical issues. I don't want everyone to think there is only one kind of nursing home. By the way, we actually paid less per day than most other homes. Thanks for writing, Claire.

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GADGETCC 3/24/2014 9:13PM

    I am praying for you and your family. Your mother is very blessed to have you.



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HEALTHYME98 3/24/2014 8:56PM

    God bless you and your father and mother.

Nursing homes that do not take proper care of their patients ARE UNACCEPTABLE. I know they are usually understaffed, which should NOT be happening. The very sad thing is more and more people will be joining these communities because we can't afford to pay for at home care. More change must be made to insure the proper care of our loved ones.

I cried reading your blog because I am reminded of my Nannie. She had dementia/Alzheimers. She had had a stroke and was placed in a nursing home at that point. She couldn't walk, but she would forget she couldn't walk. My mother had to go for an "act of congress" just to get a lap buddy to secure her so she wouldn't try to walk. Unfortunately, one night some nurse forget to secure her lap buddy and she fell. I don't know how long she laid there on that hard floor with a broken hip. She went to the hospital and she died. (I won't even mention the infiltrated iv that was swollen up a painful place on her arm and she was crying. No one had changed it! I was NOT pleasant when I spoke to the nurses.)

Nannie passed the following days as she was having her linens changed and bathed her. The sweet nurse she had that day said Nannie was talking and LAUGHING when they rolled her over she passed immediately. So, she went home to heaven laughing. I am thankful for that.

Know that I am praying for you because I know this isn't easy AT ALL!

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KAREN91 3/24/2014 7:31PM

    Claire, I love the poem you included in this blog. Your mother is lovely. thanks for sharing your pictures of her with us. I like some of the staff at the nursing home but I agree some need to find some other job. Mom doesn't walk as well as she did and she doesn't eat very much. I don't know whether its her cancer or whether the staff needs to encourage her to walk and eat. I try to be there every day but my visits are short due to other responsibilities I also have noticed a up side to dementia my mom is also sweeter and more affectionate then she was when she normal. One day I asked her if she knew me and she said she would always know me then she said I was her baby. My kids thought that was very funny because they cant imagine their mom as a baby. She always kisses me and tells me she loves me. You will never regret the time you spend with your mom. I know I plan to enjoy every moment I can with mine. I admire your work to get better care for your mom. I'm reading a book for ideas for my visits with mom. Its called Creating Moments of Joy for the person with Alzheimers or dementia by Jolene Brackey I don't know if you have heard of it? You and your mom are in my prayers. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/24/2014 7:39:29 PM

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KASSANDRA55 3/24/2014 5:01PM

    I do not think there is a facility that is good enough for our parents in the country. My mother was in the "best" facility in the area and still got sub adequate care. I lived pretty far away and had not car but went when I could, but my sister lived right there near the place and it ended up that she went every single day for several hours. If she was late, she often found that mom had not had dinner (her answer to everything they asked her was no, so they just let her say no to dinner and never bothered to try to coax her. They often forgot to put her to bed (not reminding her it was bedtime, and basically not bothering with checking.

There was a lot more that they failed to do, but that is more depressing facts.

The way we survived was to keep a sense of humor and be patient with her. If we laughed she laughed too. For a few months she thought she "owned the hotel" and complained that everyone she 'hired' was an idiot!, once she sort of swatted a friend on the butt as she walked by and everyone in the dining room was appalled. Then a lady said, well, she is Italian (she wasn't) and everyone got happy again and kept saying oh she's Italian and laughing. There were other times like that. Those moments got us through the bad days.

It is very hard, but when she is gone you will be so grateful for the time you spend with her no matter how it goes. What we remember most are those funny things, one day she asked who I was and I told her" your daughter" She started laughing til she almost cried and said oh get out of here, you are an OLD LADY! That is my favorite memory from those days. She passed 5 years ago, and I am sure she is in a much better place and is probably laughing over things she said now.

God bless you and your family and your mother especially...be kind to each other and to yourselves!


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KNEEMAKER 3/24/2014 2:47PM

  Be very much on the look out for bruises etc on your mom. After a complaint is filed, a bad staff normally gets worse when you are not around but lovey dovey when you are there. I hate to inform you of this but I know you care deeply for your mom as most peope do or did. I know for a fact that this type of thing occurs in many nursing homes. Please be aware of possible retailation for your complaint against the staff. They very much stick together in most cases. Your mom could be a target for very excessive abuse. Your blog was touching and I wish my mom was still in the world for me to care for. We lost her when she was only 59. Show your mom your true love while you can for someday you will only have the cherished memories. emoticon

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100LBLIGHTER 3/24/2014 2:45PM

    My Mother suffers from Alzheimer Disease....she is the fifth in her family to have this disease. She had a period of being afraid and angry but she is settled into her new home and is more calm now.

I understand the changes in my Mother's personality. My Mom likes her nails done now and she decided pail pink was not for her....she wanted bright red. She likes her hair styled and we have a Dear Friend that does that for her now. She liked my ring so for Mother's Day I bought her a ring which she wears everyday. Mom had jewelry that stayed in a box...she never wore. Mom likes to sing and if you sing with her she will sing every word. She does not talk much....but she used to talk on the phone a lot when she was well....so if you give her a phone she will try to talk.

These times now delight me....such simple things send me to joy. It is truly a shame that when Mom was well and healthy we did not marvel and delight and the things she did then. I love for her to sing hymns with me on Sunday. I love how she strokes my hand when we are just sitting and being together. I love how is wants to share her snacks with me so I always bring me a snack when I visit her at supper time. I love that she is still alive and still loves me although I am not sure she knows my name. She does know I am her daughter.

Hats off to you for fighting for her....Mom or the other patients do not get the care they deserve. A four ounce water glass at morning and afternoon snack time plus an cup of coffee with meals is not enough water for adults and dehydration UTI is common. I am 1,100 miles away from Mom and so the time I spend is limited to twice or once a year visits. I would love for the family to take a more active part in making sure she has all needs met....but I think there is fear that they will ask her to find another place.

My heart goes out to you and your Mother and Father.....I pray for you to have the strength to fight for the rights of these, most times, helpless and voiceless people......who in most cases gave everything they could to make a home and good life, for their family and for the ones they loved. ...and worked hard all their lives. They deserve better. Love, Gracie

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AEO_SUNSHINE 3/24/2014 2:41PM

    Ditto - for all the comments here. Value the 'special' moments.

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PEAPLUM 3/24/2014 2:21PM

  You're a hero in my eyes. I'm so glad you care so much for your mom that you see her, care about her, and make sure she is being taken care of. emoticon
Your mother is so beautiful. Try to share your favorite memories of her of when she was younger and also her accomplishments with the workers. So often the residents become "its" in the caregivers' minds and it makes their jobs so hard. This will help the caregivers to connect with her emotionally. The workers often don't know the stories until they see the obituaries.

I'm a care giver for a woman who is still in her home and who has Alzheimer's. I love her and wish I had known her when she was younger. But it is an honor to work with her and her family. Her family's stories make a huge difference. It shows my client and myself how much they treasure her and that she is not forgotten. Families really do make the difference, whether the patient is in a care-facility or still in their home. emoticon You're wonderful! and so is your mom! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/24/2014 3:23:15 PM

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FITMAY 3/24/2014 2:11PM

    Thank you for sharing such important part of your life with us! I cried reading your blog... I know how hard this is on you Claire and in my heart I am so confident you are taking the best decisions related to your mom's care and your own well being. I know it's difficult to balance it all, but you can do it... You have done it for a long time. Please remember that I love you much and that I pray for you and your mom daily... emoticon emoticon emoticon

May

PS. How not to love such beautiful pictures! Your mom looked so radiant on her birthday! I love it!

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SLLYONS51 3/24/2014 1:58PM

  Claire You did the best thing by complaining to the higher ups. The nursing home will now pay "special" attention to your Mom. It should not take complaints for the right care to be given but sadly it sometimes does. Thank-you for being a wonderful advocate for your Mom. She needs one. emoticon

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2WHEELER 3/24/2014 1:19PM

    Claire, I am so sorry for you and your family. It is so difficult to watch helplessly as a loved one succumbs to Alzheimers. What a dreadful disease. My father passed away from Alzheimers just as they were beginning to recognize it as a specific disease and not generic dementia. How I wish that I had had today's knowledge; I think we all would have handled it a bit better. We did not understand his bouts of anger (in my entire life, I had never seen my father speak or strike out in anger).

As devastating as it is to the person who has it, it is just as devastating to the caregivers. As you continue to be an advocate for your mother, remember to take care of yourself. Your mother is blessed to have you at her side fighting for decent care and some dignity. I pray for your continued strength and compassion.



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MARTYLYNN1 3/24/2014 12:41PM

    I know what it is like to have a popular blog and be overwhelmed with responses so I will try to keep this short. My father had Alzheimer's so I know what a cruel disease it is. I robs you of your loved one a little at a time. I am sorry you had to deal with problems like that with the nursing homes but good for you for taking a stand! We lived in a rural area and were blessed with a very caring home for my parents. There was the odd employee who was not so caring but they were the exception and didn't seem to last long. Your mother is lucky. I saw too many elderly who were just left at the home and seldom had a family member to check on them. Hang in there, this journey will not be an easy one for you with both your parents ailing but you will never regret care you are giving them as they go through this phase of their lives.
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Martha

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PEAJAY26 3/24/2014 11:55AM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Just because some of us are not currently in your position, we can anticipate that we too may someday be caring for a loved one with this nasty disease that robs our loved ones of so much.
May your mom continue to receive improved care by those who are charged with those duties.

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C3JORDAN 3/24/2014 11:35AM

    You may want to watch this YouTube video on coconut oil an Alzheimer's.

http://www.yout
ube.com/watch?v=feyydeMFWy4

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4_MY_GIRLZ_N_ME 3/24/2014 11:07AM

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. I appreciate the honesty and candidness. I'm sure that it will be very helpful to many. Prayers are with you and your parents.

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PURRGURL 3/24/2014 10:11AM

    You and your parents are in my thoughts and prayers, Claire. emoticon If not for the tough times, how else could we truly appreciate the good times?

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 3/24/2014 10:10AM

    Thank you for sharing....

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50PLUSBABY 3/24/2014 10:00AM

  emoticon it is not easy taking care of an ailing parent, been there done that. Keep the faith and fight for her rights.

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RACEWELLWON 3/24/2014 9:44AM

    emoticon You are a lovely daughter and I admire your strength . Karen

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GOANNA2 3/24/2014 8:29AM

    My heart goes out to you. I am helping my friend look
after her 91 year old mother who also has Alzheimer's.
This lady Jean is like a mother to me. She was sick and
we couldn't get her in to see her doctor so we called a
service, and they come to the house and bulk bill. The
doctor called an ambulance as he was sure Jean was
dehydrated.
As well as dehydration, we were told that she has a mass on
her liver and ovaries. Not good, poor dear.
The new surroundings and her condition made her violent
and she almost strangled a male nurse in the night. She refused
to eat and threw the meds at the nurses. After a week, they
called my friend to come and take her even though she was still
not well. The hospital had a guardian nurse sitting at the entrance
of the hospital and we were told we didn't have to sign for release.
In the 9 days in hospital, Jean lost 5 kgs and when my friend took
her to her place, had no idea where she was. 9 days later and she is
more confused and when I go over she asks me to come and live with
me as she is convinced my friend is treating her badly.

So sad and I can totally relate to how older people with Alzheimers
are treated. The hospital has shoved her out and the Government
agency won't assess her until she is 'calm'. In the meantime, when
my friend goes shopping, she can't get subsidies and has to pay
$15 an hour, $5 for a nurse to come and assist with showering.
Normally all this is very low cost. I hope the nursing home that
your mother is in will start to treat her in a more humane way.
This is such a terrible disease. I pray for courage for you and
your dad and for your mother to have some peace.
Lots of hug to you emoticon emoticon Claire.














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LECATES 3/24/2014 6:37AM

    Good for you! You did the right thing! And hopefully the care and attention will continue---if not, complain again. It is such a sad illness and so hard on the family---to have good days to treasure are a real blessing. Hugs!

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RASPBERRY56 3/24/2014 4:45AM

    I am so sorry to read of your mom's situation........I lost my MIL a few years ago due to this........Alzheimer's is a horrible condition - if only more were being done to rid the world of this life-altering disease.........if only we, as a society, STOPPED this imbalanced and inappropriate YOUTH obsession and spent more resources and time on truly ensuring that our precious seniors be able to life a full, rich and dignified life until the very end, then this world would truly be a decent place to life!

I wish you and your family the very best on this difficult journey......

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PEGLEGN64 3/24/2014 2:39AM

    My Heart goes out to you Claire and your mother. I am going thru the same with my dad right now. For the past year he kept misplacing things and forgetting where he put things. He tears up alot also. I know he is frustrated with what is happening to him. He is healthy otherwise. I read all the comments here and so many of us are left to take care of our parents and their needs. It is a big burden trying to think what and where is best for them. And with the best of care.
That poem says it all. My dad even told me he doesn't want to be a failure. I told him no way he is. He worked 50 years for a company as a tile setter till he was 75. He is 84 now. I said your just starting to run down a little is all.
I see alot of us Sparkers have a little more on our plate (besides food) to deal with.
I love your Blog and pictures. Also the Poem. Huggs to both of You.

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