Schmoopie's Blog (64)

Words of My Mother: Part 13- Escape

The past two days have been torturous for my mother. 89 years old,controlled by Alzheimer's, battling pneumonia and in congestive heart failure, she waged war on everyone and everything around her as she was taken from the Alzheimer's facility where she lived for the past several years and was admitted to the hospital yesterday. My sisters and technology enabled me to be in the loop today while they were there physically and I was at work. Texts, and emails, and phone calls kept me abreast…


Added by Schmoopie on May 24, 2013 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 12: Fire & Ice

On this Mother's Day I'd like to think of the mother I used to have B.A.- Before Alzheimer's. The poet, the jewelry maker, the crafter, the gardener, the reader, the music lover. None of those things exist in her any longer.

But I am left with her words.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I miss you even though you are still here.

Another beautiful poem written by my mother, Betty, B.A.…


Added by Schmoopie on May 12, 2013 at 12:45pm — 4 Comments

Psychedelic Saturday #14: Eric Burdon

 Eric Burdon turns 72 years old today--doesn't seem possible. From The Animals to his time with War to his solo career he continues to perform to adoring fans. I was lucky enough to see him in concert at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival a few years ago. While he is still vocally strong, it's really his charisma on stage that is worth the price of admission. Here are a few photos from that day.…


Added by Schmoopie on May 11, 2013 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Words of my Mother Part 10: Visit

 Something a little different in this series as I attempt a bit of prose myself.Disneyland and Mom Visit July 2011 058
This is the hand that held the pen
 that wrote the words
that filled the pages
that engaged the reader
that soothed my memories of a mother that once was.
 Disneyland and Mom Visit July 2011 059
These are the flowers that caught her eye
that wrapped themselves
into a brain loop
that continued for an…

Added by Schmoopie on April 24, 2013 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 9: Words

Mom has been living in an Alzheimer's care facility for the past three years. My sisters and I juggled her care for nearly a decade prior to making the difficult decision that her growing needs were outweighing our best-intentioned capabilities. I'm watching her slow and steady decline as this gut-wrenching disease continues to consume more and more of who she is. I struggle making the 75+ minute drive to visit her…


Added by Schmoopie on April 22, 2013 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Words of my Mother Part 8: On Death and Dying

As a child, I had a persistent gnawing fear in my brain about death. During most of my childhood my father was in a wheelchair due to a rare bone disease that would eventually strain all his bodily systems and cause them to fail one at a time. I watched him struggle through bones that broke like toothpicks in the course of simple daily living, a jaw replacement that had him filleted open like a fish, wounds that would not heal in his legs and required daily painful packings, then both legs…


Added by Schmoopie on April 21, 2013 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 7:Of Convents and Folk Music

I was raised in the Catholic church and attended a private Catholic school from 1st- 8th grades. Since we lived one block from the school, the church, and the adjacent convent, much of my childhood was spent in one of those three places.





My mother was very devout and took her religion seriously. She used to read her bible regularly and participate in seminars and retreats at San Damiano Retreat, a beautiful 55 acre wooded…


Added by Schmoopie on April 20, 2013 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Words of my Mother Part 6: Darkness

Mom's writings of years ago before Alzheimer's reared its ugly head reveal many things which were never spoken in our home. My father suffered from an extremely rare condition which left him wheelchair bound from the time I was about 6 years old, and often in pain. Through it all he continued to run his own business, but his dark days were more often than not taken out on those at home. I think my mother was of an era where wives held their tongue and divorce was a rarity  And my…


Added by Schmoopie on April 19, 2013 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 5: Tapestry

Before her life was infiltrated by dementia and Alzheimer's, Mom enjoyed creating things in many different mediums. She practiced the art of making Lost Wax jewelry.

"In this process, a wax mold is used to create a piece of jewelry. This wax mold, called a pattern, is first weighed so the amount of metal required to fill the mold (gold, silver, etc.) can be determined. Then the mold is attached to a base, and a flask is slipped over the base. Once the…


Added by Schmoopie on April 18, 2013 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 4: Hummingbird


 My mother has always been a nature lover. A tomboy as a girl,  she was more interested in the natural world than the societal world. As a mother, she revelled in camping and fishing and exposed her four daughters to those experiences. Despite our different lives, Mom's shared appreciation for nature is one thing that my sisters and I all have in common.

My childhood home sits on several acres surrounded by oak trees and a small stream at the…


Added by Schmoopie on April 17, 2013 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Words of my Mother Part 3: In which Music Enters My Life

Part 3

Recently I found myself re-reading some of my mother's writing done in the days before Alzheimer's took over. Today's entry in Words of My Mother reminds me of our shared love of music.

Mom grew up in the days of big band and she and my dad danced many nights away in their courtship days. Big band music was a constant presence in our home and every New Year's Eve my father would blast Sing,Sing,Sing by Benny Goodman on the stereo with the volume cranked up to 10 and the…


Added by Schmoopie on April 16, 2013 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Words of my Mother- Part 2

No commentary on my mom's writing today.

Just her words.



In that silent room

thru that open door

beyond, the wind

and the warm sun;

I watched your face



Added by Schmoopie on April 16, 2013 at 7:00am — 3 Comments

Words of my Mother-Part 1

My 86 year old mother has notebooks filled with her writing which came pouring out of her late in life. One Christmas she typed and photocopied all she had written and put them into spiral bound books for each of her four daughters.  Some of her writing is brief, some is pages long, and most is deeply religious. I think her Catholicism got her through some very trying times in her life.

As my mother slips deeper and deeper into the unrelenting claws of…


Added by Schmoopie on April 15, 2013 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

Words of my Mother: Part 11 : Ocean

This is the first time I've added to my series: Words of my Mother at the Our Salon site. 

The first 10 posts are on that other site.

Mom is deep in the grips of Alzheimer's in her 89th year.

Most visits consist of a wary look in her eyes as I come in, unrecognized to her confused brain. On a…


Added by Schmoopie on April 14, 2013 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

Psychedelic Saturday #13: Re-entry

I've been away for so long do I even remember how to do this?

Here goes.

Psychedelic Saturday # 13.


A number often associated with bad luck. Even Johnny Cash asked hard rockers Danzig to write him a song about it.…


Added by Schmoopie on April 6, 2013 at 12:30pm — 10 Comments

A Beatles Christmas

 I'm a person who loves decorating our home for Christmas. Not a popular pasttime from the posts I've read here recently on OS. But I love the lights, the collections of ornaments gathered over the years, the sparkle, the shine, the stories and emotions I have connected to each and every ornament. I have several trees each with a different theme that I set up each holiday season. But a few years back it suddenly dawned on me to create a Beatles Christmas tree since they are…


Added by Schmoopie on December 9, 2012 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

Psychedelic Saturday #12- The Lizard King, Jim Morrison & John Lennon


Jim Morrison would have turned 69 years old on December 8, 2012.

An unfortunate member of the 27 Club, he passed way too soon.



Added by Schmoopie on December 8, 2012 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

The Opposite of Bah Humbug

What's the Opposite of Bah Humbug?

I've mentioned it before, but Vince Guaraldi was a cousin on my father's side of the family. Please enjoy his composition and playing while you read. RIP, Vince...…

Added by Schmoopie on December 2, 2012 at 7:30pm — 19 Comments

Psychedelic Saturday #8- Grateful Dead

Welcome to Psychedelic Saturday!

A weekly post dedicated to all things psychedelic. Post your reflections on psychedelic  happenings via your stories, photos, art, or poetry.

For the past 34 years I've been married to a Dead Head. That's him above with the clown when we attended the Summer of Love 40th anniversary concert in Golden Gate Park in San…


Added by Schmoopie on November 24, 2012 at 8:52am — 9 Comments

Psychedelic Saturday #11- Kashmir- Led Zeppelin

Welcome to Psychedelic Saturday. A chance for you to join in and share your psychedelic stories, photos, music, poetry, and art. 

Led Zeppelin Then

Led Zeppelin Now…


Added by Schmoopie on November 24, 2012 at 8:39am — 6 Comments


Where To Now?

Posted by Robert B. James on May 25, 2019 at 2:19pm 1 Comment

Thanks, Lorianne

Posted by nerd cred on May 25, 2019 at 12:13pm 2 Comments

Twenty-Three Minutes

Posted by J.P. Hart on May 25, 2019 at 3:57am 3 Comments

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