Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm utterly disgusted by something I heard last week.

Jim took mom's desk out of her house without asking, Bernie noticed it was missing.  Bernie told mom it was missing and was very upset that Jim would take it without asking.  When mom asked him about it, he said that Josh took the dresser.  And guess what?  She believes Jim.

Jim also left a note stating that the new Ablify that the doctor put mom on to work with her Paroextine - that it would cause her a stroke and it was for biopolar people!  I spoke with the nurse and she asked who she keeps getting this information from.  I told her my uneducated, unemployed, drugged up brother!  She said she would talk to mom.

Last week mom had a 3 hour appointment with the folks from the council of aging, they are looking over her assets to see if she would qualify for Medicaid.  Since her assets are over $2,000 - they suggested putting her excessive into prepaid burial.  I don't agree. 

I'm so sad...I'm sad that it feels like I'm alone where the care of my mother is concerned.  I keep hearing folks will help, will do this - will do that.  But I don't see anything.
I need to focus on what I'm doing and fracking forget what everyone else is not doing..but how can I do that?

I am so tired..I just want to sleep for a week!

Like wake me up when this is over.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Walking Pneumonia

I found out last week I have walking pneumonia after being sick prior to that for 2 weeks.  At least, I know what is wrong with me.  Seen doctor again today and he said I should start to feel better in 2 weeks.

Just didn't want you all to think I fell off the face of the earth or abanonded this site.

Thanks and good health to all
Love, Marissa

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Being Positive is what helps me the most.....

When you grow up around negavity as a child -- it seems normal.  The critical comments - you get used too.
Well, then you venture out and interact with the world and realize that is not the only way to live

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - DO NOT BUY FROM WEB SITE! is a scam website!  I purchased (or so I thought) two magazines and never received them.  I googled deltamagazines and found out the website is a scam site.  You think you are purchasing magazines but you are not - you are being scammed out of your money!
Here is a link to how I discovered the scam

Hope I save everybody the heart ache and most of all your money!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Working with Dad this summer

Garven is working with his Dad this summer.  Since Daren owns his own business - he is able to watch our son and we are able to save on the huge cost of daycare.  It's so nice NOT worrying about Garven during the day, just knowing he's with Daren is a relief. 

They enjoy all the things that boys enjoy...
  • Playing pranks on each other
  • Hanging signs on the back of each other's vehicles
  • You know all that boy stuff (LOL)
Side Note:  I'm still figuring out this blogging stuff.  When I started this blog it was intended to be my therapy in caring for my mom.  But since, I realize I need balance - or more accurately more positive things to focus on - Lord knows I'm so blessed.  Sometimes when I re-read a post I think that reader(s) will think I'm uncaring but I can't worry about that now right ;)
Have blessed day,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guess Who is Promoted to 5th Grade and Earned All A's!

Dear Garven,
You are the kindest boy I know and I love how you care about EVERYONE!  Please don't lose that - it is a great character quality to possess.

Congratulations on getting all A's on your final report card - so extremely proud I'm bursting with JOY!
I love you and would go to the moon and back for you.  Love, Mom

Teacher notes from the year:
January:  I am very glad to have him in my classroom. He is a hard worker and picks up and applies concepts quickly.  Keep it up! 
Garven received a 99% = A on his A.A. assignment for this marking period!
Garven is great to have and class and continues to work hard. Keep it up.
Garven has been an absolute joy to have in class this year! He is a very hard worker and is the most respectful student a teacher could ask for.Reading - A


Writing - A-
Math - A
Science - A
Social Studies - A

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

James Kissane - Can't Keep My Mouth Shut Anymore About Him

For years this man has been like a leech embedded in my soul and recently I've learned to pull that leech out and stomp on it.

For years he has manipulated my mother and it baffles me how she cannot see it.
He has stolen so many things/items from her over the years - I could literally write a book.  As long as I can remember he has been a thief...stealing collectables, laundry soap, guns, you name it - he has it.

I was really ticked off to hear that he has struck again....he stole 2 bottles of laundry soap from moms.  First he says that he didn't take it - must be someone else!  Or he will say Brooke is using

She's playing you for fool....why Mary Lou?

I just realized how deficient I am in many ways. We learn from our parents, the people responsible/entrusted for shaping the person you become. They shape how you feel about yourself, how you react to any given situation.

I do feel though that seeing that the way I was raised was a means-to-an-end. What do I mean by that? My parents were deficient, void, and immature – they too did not have emotionally responsible parents. Family emotions really go on cycles, passed down to the next generation.

Mom in particular was never ‘present’ as I was growing up – she found ways to numb herself and be oblivious to the most important job she had. Being a mom. Not being ‘present’ is cowardly to me and almost unforgivable.

She never had the tools to fight for herself, to care for us or even emphasize with anyone, let alone a child.

She was always very unapproachable and would be the last person to confide in. She was very critical and often would betray your trust, sharing it with other members; almost laughing at your pain. She’d use it against you, betray you in a heart beat. It was almost like she would thrive off your pain.

She’s the most negative person I’ve ever encountered in my life. She thrives on negativity.

I’ve always tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but sometimes when you have to become the parent, when you are a child, it can be very demoralizing. You tell yourself it’s OK that your mom was never ‘present’ that you are capable of taking care of yourself and tell yourself it’s not your responsibility to fix it.

Currently, it’s difficult to walk in her house/world on a daily basis, it’s depressing, demeaning – it’s like walking into a web of lies.

She lies to cover lies.
She limits herself.

It feels horrible to tell this truth but yet freeing.

But I do realize I cannot keep enabling this behavior.

It’s hard growing up listening to her talk horrible about your siblings, but you realize that this again is her web of lies – she wants us to be miserable and lonely – just like she is.

If I can see how she is, I’m guessing the rest of the family knows how she is too. They have to see and know she is lying to them, don’t they?

For years, the two people she’s talked the most horrible about is Dad and Bernie. She tries to manipulate how a person feels about others. Does she think I’m stupid? Doesn’t she know that I know she’s lying to me, does she even care?

She’s always been down right dirty when it comes to Becky. I’ve always wondered how a parent could treat/talk about their child like that.

I’ve had to tell mom recently that I do not want to hear her talk about siblings bad. I will not accept it as a topic anymore!

She always plays the victim when you call her on anything. She lies to cover the lies. She always blames someone else. Oh My Gosh --- I just realized it sounds like Jim. I guess he learned from the best.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Morel Hunting We Shall Go

Going morel hunting this weekend - will post pictures of our adventure!  We are going with my niece Krista, her husband Allen and their daughter Karlee.

Even if I don't find a single one, I am so thankful for the time with my family!  I love the outdoors especially the hills where we hunt.  You need a four wheel drive to get around this area and I love driving it!

Can't wait to share!
**Update:  We had bad weather but managed to pick approx. 4lbs between all of us!  It snowed, it sleeted, it rained--Michigan's tricky weather in May.

Post Removed

I removed yesterday's post - it felt too much like listing things I do versus others (well essentially it was) and it didn't feel appropriate.  So I removed the post!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our Path Forward: Ray Manhart - We will miss you dearly!
Our Path Forward: Ray Manhart - We will miss you dearly!

Ray Manhart - We will miss you dearly!

We found out on Sunday that our childhood friend, Ray Manhart died today on Friday.  Ray had lung cancer and was going through chemo/radiation.  He was doing well in spite of losing his 20 year old son last year to suicide.  Last year we went to his son's funeral - that was hard - losing your only child to suicide is a hard pill to swallow.  He never recovered and gave up the fight after that.
I lost it at the funeral when I saw his wife, Tina....Tina has always been someone I cared about and loved visiting with.  (We live too far apart and don't see each other as often as I'd like). 
Today, I'm still struggling - with the saddness, the loss and thinking somehow we could of done something more, been there more or something...I should know too well that kind of head game is awful to play and living in the what-ifs is not somewhere to go.
Ray - I hope you are in no more pain and are in the arms of God and Jesus and that you are with little Ray.
We love you and will miss you dearly.
1964-2010 Raymond Manhart, Standish, MI

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I was challenged to my core yesterday

Mom called me at work (she had been to dentist the day before)  - she asked me to call my brother and ask him to go to her house and give her her insulin shots!!!  She said she was so sore from dentist she couldn't move, couldn't get out of bed.

I went there around 11:30 and she was in bed.  I took her blood sugar level, gave her a bananna to eat while I gave her 2 insulin shots while she laid in bed.  Meal on Wheels arrived.  I put in fridge and got her some jello and pudding to eat, brought that into her bedside table.  I filled her needles for the next two days, filled her medicine wheel, and picked up dirty clothes (she had diarrea last night and didn't make it to bathroom). 
I'm almost crying at this point...I just switched jobs and that is stressing me out and now I'm spending my lunch hour waiting on a completely capable person.  She asks me to rub her feet.  I'm put my head down and pray for strength.  I'm not a touchy, feeley person - I have a hard time with physical contact.  (due to childhood abuse).  I dig in and find it in me - I rub her feet.
I go back to work and focus on WORK.

In Ephesians 4:26, Paul warns, "In your anger, do not sin" which means that while God created us with the capacity for anger, the key to dealing with anger is learning to express it correctly.

Be focused.
Psalm 37:8 "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evil."

Be understanding.

James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen."   I guess that is why we have two ears and one mouth!!

Be kind.
Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Be ready.
1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert."   This tells me I have to have a plan and make sure I have balance in my life, so I can control my responses.

Proverbs 22:24 is very clear, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man; do not associate with one easily angered."   Great Advice!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gold found in MI

My husband's gold find last summer.

I love Teapots

Look at this beauty - the bottom is stamp Athens Gibson, made in England and W872 is handwritten.  I just love all teapots!

Polish Agates from U.P. MI

Just a sampling of the agates we found last summer in the U.P.  We brought these agates home from the UP and my husband polished them.

2009 Upper Pennisula Agates

This is a beauty!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

She has risen above, it's been a journey

Her brain protects her from the dark, disgusting secret.  She was only four years old when it started and it remained hidden inside.

She grows, she blossoms, she endures.....

Simmering below the surface, it sneers, it waits to attack.

It was a leech embedded deep in me, sucking the life from me.  A horrible sickness, a blackness hissing - waiting....

It's there - but I choose to stifle it.  I choose to live, to be ever present - to forgive NOT to forget.

She made it - you can too.

Cooking - Chili and Chicken Soup

My husband and I spent Saturday cooking! 

He cooked a pot of Chili, I cooked a huge pot of Chicken Noodle Soup (and used Ree's recipe, aka Pioneer Woman).  We froze the chili and chicken noodle soup and now will have some ready-to-grab dinners!  We do this from time to time and it saves us money and is good at the same time!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me - My Inspiration Today

Mom's Doctor Visit

The doctor visited mom Wednesday and confirmed she should not be driving.  He said if he found out she was driving he would call the motor vehicle department and report her.

I addressed the sleeping pills I found in her room in a Tylenol bottle.  Doctor said I have to remove all medicine from house that is not on her list.  I think brother number 4 is feeding her pills.  Why he would do that is beyond my comprehension.  She is on 22 prescription medicines now and if he is feeding her pills, they could interact with what she is taking now and ultimately harm her or worse kill her.  So why?  He is pathetic and does not care I believe. 

I'm frustrated, I'm stressed, I'm sad.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some of my favorites

Top left: Coyote - picture taken from camera trap in our back yard.
Top right: Morel picked in Michigan
Middle left: Hummingbird moth feeding on my butterfly bush in back yard.
Middle right: Garven and Max - in Upper Peninsula
Bottom left: Buck picture taken from camera trap in our back yard.
Bottom right: Max

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Father - R.I.P. Dad

My father, my hero growing up and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and miss him dearly.

He was just 17 years old when he married my 18 year old mother.  I can't even imagine getting married that young.....they went on to have/raise 7 children.  (I'm the youngest.  The oldest is a girl then five boys and then me).

I was sixteen years old.  It was Easter in 1987 and the whole family was together - which is rare for our family - some siblings live out of state.  It was a great time and I missed my sister and brothers.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I was awakened by screams.  Mom is screaming for me to call 9-1-1!  For a split second, I think someone has broken into our house and then I realize it's Dad, something is wrong with Dad.

I get out of bed, run to the phone and dial 9-1-1 - the 9-1-1 operator answered and I told her I needed an ambulance.  She told me that my mom had just called and help was on the way.  Then I hear my mom screaming for me to help her, I tell the 9-1-1 operator that mom is calling for me, she tells me to set the phone down not to hang up.  I run into their bedroom and she yells "Help me move him!".  I stare at my Dad's lifeless body, his eyes and mouth are partially open.  She yells again "Help me move him!" 

I heard her the first time but couldn't move - the second time I respond by grabbing his legs as she grabs his shoulders.  As I get him to the side of the bed, I underestimate how heavy he would be and he slips out of my hands and on to the floor.  I quickly grab his legs again and drag him to the living room.  As soon as my hands come off his legs, the fire department is in the house and I get out of the way.

I go to my room, they have moved Dad to the kitchen and begin trying to resucitate him.  I feel like I'm in a dream.  I don't cry.  I don't do anything but listen to the men working on my father.  I see them take Dad past my room on a stretcher.  I hear a loud wheeze and and an EMS yells "turn that off".  I later find out that they had punctured one of Dad's lungs as they tried to bring him back.

I'm at the hospital in a white, cold room.  My sister, my brothers and my mom are there.  Dad is in the center of the room on a stretcher with only a sheet on.  A priest gives him his last rites.  I turn to face the wall and begin banging my head on the wall.  I feel hands on me, I push them off and move away from them.  I hear my mom, kiss your Dad goodbye.  I can't - he's dead - I can't.

After the funeral, I remember her words.....I'm about 5 years old and she (Mom) tells me to go and tell Dad to quit smoking and drinking so he'll be here to walk me down the isle. 

I got married in 1994 and my oldest brother walked me down the isle.

Dad - I love you and think about you every day.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup peanut butter – can use creamy or with peanuts
½ cup pretzels – finely chopped
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Blend peanut butter and chopped pretzels. Freeze for about 15 minutes. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Freeze for about an hour (I froze mine overnight).

Melt chocolate chips in microwave. I set timer for 1minute and then stirred. Continue microwaving, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Roll peanut balls into melted chocolate, place on waxed paper on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate sets.

Very rich treat – sure to cure any sweet tooth.
Marissa 2/9/10

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lunch with Mom

I stopped over today and was pleasantly surprised...she was not in bed, she was sitting at the table.  Immediately though, she started telling me to locate things for her -- though I'm not sure why she can't locate the items why she would wait for me to locate them..... 
Anyhow, I set up the humidifer in her room.  Done, Check!
I also set up her new CD player in her room.  Done, Check!
I filled her medicine wheel.  Done, Check!
I left her house today and actually made it back to work on time - Yeah for me!

She called me shortly after I sat in my chair, and asked if I could call her at 3:00 so she could get up and test her sugar! 

I am kind of mad about that - I mean come on I'm at work and she wants to call at 3pm to wake her up from her nap!  I would be appalled to ask my son that.  I always think about those things.  I always think to myself that I will take care of my health - it's my responsibility - not my son's and I will never ask him to wait on me when I'm capable!

Friday, February 5, 2010

"When do I Test my Blood Sugar?"

I'm at work and the phone rings, I see mom's number...I take a deep breath and answer.  "Umm yeah, when do I test my blood sugar?" she asks. 

Trying to control myself (she has asked me this everyday for the past three weeks!!!)....I take a deep breath and say two hours after you ate mom.  "Well I got done about 12:40", she says.  Well Mom, then you would test at 2:40 that is two hours after 12:40.

[praying for strength to control myself and to treat her kindly when she asks me the same question over and over]

Strep Throat

My baby (he's 10 years old) has strep throat!  I have not seen him this sick in a long time!  At least he is on antibiotic and should be feeling well by tonight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time Test Beauty Tips - Poem by Sam Levenson

It helps to have support from your husband and his willingness to listen to me daily as I vent about my visits with mom and also by reading.  I wish mom could of lived her life this way.  I love this poem by Sam Levenson.  It was one of Audry Hepburn's favorite poems! 

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone... People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed. Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

- Sam Levenson

Umm Hello - She was in Bed again!

Left work to go to mom's today -- I was not going today as Atsirk was going...I decided to go because I knew mom was getting a Ecko today at home and didn't want Atsirk to have to deal with mom alone. Atsirk is my niece and without her to talk to and join this journey -- I'd go absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!

Mom was in bed today, when her meal arrived (via Meal-on-Wheels) Atsirk went into her room and let her know it had arrived...she continued sleeping. Her shower lady pulled in the driveway and once she knew she was here, she got right up!

As mom was entering the bathroom, she asked me if I knew were her "joint medicine" was. I'd been waiting for that question. I manage mom's medicine and was not aware of any joint medicine but recall seeing some bottles in her room. Come to find out she ordered the medicine off the TV! I read the warnings - Do not take if you have asthma, do not take if you are on prescription medicine...well mom is on about 28 prescription medicines and has asthma. I told her that and she said she got this from the doctor. Lie! She lied to my face! I manage her bills and saw a transaction on her Visa bill for this same joint medicine!

I want to beat my head on the wall......taking care of her is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I think God must think highly of me for him to give me such a hefty burden. I keep telling myself this because right about now it feels like I'm being punished.....

She's in Bed [ahem....again!]

I stopped by mom's yesterday and she is still in bed - it's my lunch hour so it's 11:30am.  She didn't hear me walk in (the alarm didn't sound - chain of bells she strings on the door). 

I mumbled to myself as I enter, wondering what orders she will yell from her bed.  I try to be quiet and move to the kitchen and as I pass her room, she is still sleeping.  I enter the kitchen and look in the refrigerator and begin filling her insulin needles.

Her medicine wheel sounds....she doesn't stir.  I grab her medicine from the wheel and put it on the table for her.  I wake her up and tell her the Meals on Wheels man just pulled into the driveway.  I met the driver on the porch and take her meal.  By this time, mom has moved from the bed to the table.  I place her meal down, get her silverware, cup of milk, butter and her insulin.

She tells me her nose is stuffy, I called her doctor and ask what she can take. (Mom's diabetic)  Afrin, they say.  I tell her I will go to the store and get it - she yells her grocery list as I stand down the hallway with my hand on the door knob.  Darnit, I almost escaped!

I come back and tell her I have to go back to work, that if I don't leave now -- I'll be late.....15 minutes later I interrupt her and say "Mom, I'm really late, I have to go".

Driving like a madwoman, I make it back to work--really really late -- still reeling from my visit.