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midlife

It is that time of year again.  Almost daily, I receive an invitation or update in my inbox about upcoming blogging conferences.  Since I started blogging three years ago, I’ve attended my share of blog events, from small gatherings with only a handful of attendees to huge conferences with thousands of bloggers from far-flung locations. […]

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Post image for If You Could See Inside My Head. On Second Thought, That’s Not a Good Idea

A friend called me last night.  The conversation went something like this: Her: “Ummm. I read your post about your mom.  About how you pray she will die soon, even though you don’t believe in god.” Me: “Yeah. That seemed to strike a nerve.  I had a lot of feedback.” Her: “I also read your […]

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It’s worse than we thought.  Without a cure or an effective way of slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our nation will face staggering consequences, according to a widely-circulated study published recently by the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging. The study tracked 10,802 seniors, aged 65 or older, from 1993 to 2011.  Every three years […]

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The Mummy Update

by Nancy Wurtzel on March 12, 2013

Friends and followers have been asking me for the latest news about my 92-year-old mother, whom we affectionately call Mummy. Mummy has shown signs of dementia for about five years and is in beginnings of severe Alzheimer’s disease. After moving into assisted living last fall, Mummy’s symptoms worsened significantly and she continues in a downward […]

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Today is bad day.  It’s snowing and I can’t get out of my driveway.  My neighbor, who usually empties my driveway of snow, is in Mexico. He took his snow blower with him.  This makes me very sad. What makes me even more sad is that I have to complete my tax planner today.  Thursday, […]

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Post image for The Academy Awards and The Movie Decider

A version of this post ran last year, but I think old Mr. Parsons deserves another Oscar bow.  Do you ever feel as though you are moving backward instead of forward?  With all the hoopla leading up to the Oscars telecast this Sunday, backward is exactly what I’m feeling. Let me explain. When I was […]

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Alzheimer’s disease is the pits.  Yet, even in the midst of all the pain, frustration and anger, there is sometimes the funny. Oh sure, the humor isn’t the hilarious, laugh-out-loud kind, but it certainly can make you smile or relieve the mundane that is so much of a caregiver’s world. It’s okay to find the […]

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Dementia doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t give a rats ass who you are, what you have accomplished in life or how much money you have accumulated. You could be a homemaker, a file clerk, a dentist, a teacher or even a former President of the United States.  Dementia could still find you.  In fact, if you […]

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California Dreamin’

by Nancy Wurtzel on July 16, 2012

I am in California, land of the ubiquitous toilet seat protectors.  I’ve been away for almost nine months and it’s good to be back, even though I won’t be staying.  California certainly isn’t perfect but there is much that I miss about my adopted home of 30 plus years. Topping the list, of course, has to […]

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News from Little House on the Prairie: Nature is noisy. Yesterday was my day to sleep in.  But just as the sun was coming up over the Minnesota horizon, I  was awakened by a cacophony of noise. I’d left the window open the night before, since it was extremely hot and muggy after a big […]

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Divorce brings up all sorts of emotions, and sometimes people find themselves acting  a little crazy.  Those who have ended marriages have their own personal divorce story — some are sad, some are scary and some are just plain funny. My somewhat twisted divorce tale starts when I had been separated for about a year. […]

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When I was a kid we rarely went to the doctor.  Something had to be broken or one of us knocked unconscious — for a prolonged period — before my mother would toss the afflicted party into the back seat of the car and speed off to the only clinic in town. That’s right, there was one medical […]

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The Birds Return

by Nancy Wurtzel on April 12, 2012

They are back.  Returning one-by-one, in small groups and in huge formations that cover the sky.  They fly, squawk, chirp, sing, soar, float on lakes, make family nests, occasionally fight and poop everywhere. They are the Minnesota birds.  And, the ducks.  And, the geese.  And, the loons.  They are everywhere. Yesterday, I came upon two […]

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Post image for What Makes Me Angry? Dementia.

I first noticed signs of my mother’s dementia symptoms during a trip home to Minnesota about four years ago.  I remember feeling panicked.  You see, my dad had Alzheimer’s disease and needed full-time care for years.  That long, awful journey took a terrible toll on him as well as my mom, who was his primary […]

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Life in my small Minnesota town is markedly different than living in sprawling Los Angeles.  I’ve taken to keeping a journal handy so I can write down some of my experiences that I find amusing, irritating or sometimes just plain startling. Sadly, I’m probably the only one here who thinks these happenings are unusual — […]

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As I watched Mimi Alford make the media rounds, I couldn’t help think about yet another women who was infatuated with our 35th president. She told me about it in the fall of 1981.  We were sitting in a cozy, upscale Italian restaurant in Westwood.  At the next table an effervescent Michelle Phillips dined with […]

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Small town living.  I was terribly worried two months ago when I relocated back to my rural Minnesota hometown.  How would I ever cope with small-town living after calling the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles home for so many years? What about the snow, the epic cold weather and the dearth of natural sunshine — […]

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We all have our little list.  The list of words we don’t like to write, read, speak or even think about.  This Vocabulario Viernes (Vocabulary Friday) post is about that little list. Actually, my list of icky words is fairly long and coincidentally it starts with icky.  Icky.  It’s one of those words that just […]

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Like everyone, sometimes I get discouraged and I question life.  How am I contributing?  What happened to my big dreams? Will I ever find a love-partner? What can I do to add more excitement and meaning to my life?  On a particularly low day, I might even think: Is this all there is? But then […]

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Since I’m making the long trip home again — this time by car — I thought it would be appropriate for me to share a post from a trip I made to visit my Mom last spring.  This was first published March 10, 2011. Think of me as I wind my way through Utah and […]

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She’s officially launched. The girl who writes, laughs, reads, feels deeply and longs for adventure. The girl who has never been away from home for more than three weeks, yet chose a large urban college far, far away from her suburban roots. The bright and talented girl who can drive me to distraction and then […]

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Three nights ago, I scared myself.  Bad.  I was watching TV and working on my laptop when I must have hit a button command by mistake. When I next looked down at my computer screen I saw an older, pale, blondish woman with a surprised look on her face.  She stared straight at me. Her […]

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Over the years my daughter has given me an array of wonderful Mother’s Day gifts.  When she was little, they were all handmade items like sweet cards and pictures, decorated wooden boxes and hand-strung jewelry.  I’ve kept them all.  They are treasures beyond value and each one brings a smile and a cherished memory. My […]

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When I was in my 20s I was great at multitasking, or at least that’s what I thought.  I could drive my dark-gray, stick-shift Mazda down the heavily traveled 710 freeway from Long Beach to my job in downtown LA while drinking coffee, listening to my favorite morning drive show and styling my hair.  I’d […]

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