Saturday, August 22, 2015

Keeper - Blog Tour


        I am pleased to be hosting my friend, Elizabeth Altenbach, for the release of her new book Keeper - view here.    To help celebrate, I'm giving away a little prize on my FB page. Come over!


     Now without further ado, here's Elizabeth:

    Hey y’all! This is the sixth post of my blog tour journey, which started here:Link

    Today I’m talking about Pride and Prejudice.

    “But wait,” you say, “this is a Keeper blog tour.”'

   Well, I mentioned the movie a couple times in the book, so I thought I’d tell y’all a little bit about what it means to me. Here are a couple excerpts from Keeper:


My mother kisses my forehead and asks if I need anything; I tell her no, thank you, but ten minutes later, my father comes up carrying the television that hasn't been hooked up in the living room yet.

“Dad, you really didn't have to,” I say.

“I wanted to. And you aren't going to want to climb up and down the stairs very often with that ankle and your head, so I thought this would make it a little less boring for you in here.” He sets it on my dresser and kneels by the wall to plug it in.

Twenty minutes later, the remote is on my nightstand, the family DVD collection is in a big plastic container by my dresser, and I have a convertor box and antenna hooked up, as well as a surround-sound speaker by my bed. All in my room. I've never had a television in my bedroom before, let alone one with a built-in DVD player, hooked up to a convertor box to receive a TV signal, with a sound bar right below the screen that projects excellent, crystal-clear audio through every inch of my bedroom.

I sound like an infomercial, don't I?

But I don't feel like taking advantage of any of these new additions to my bedroom's technological offerings, though I did let my dad put on a movie for me. Pride and Prejudice, from 2005 – mainly because it's familiar, the scenery is pretty, and the music is relaxing, and that's what I need right now. I saw it a hundred times with Livvy, and she liked it for the same reasons – scenery, music, and familiarity. It's one of those films that never gets old.

    And the second excerpt:

At last, after walking slowly for ten minutes, taking a break to sit on a U-shaped hanging vine and rest, and then trudging on for five more minutes, I come to where the trees abruptly stop and our property ends. There is a rusty chicken-wire fence separating me from the sheer drop beyond. I see fields and forestlands stretching out below for miles, and mountains on the other side of the valley. I didn't know I had this breathtaking a view right in my own backyard. A breeze blows, and I lift my chin, closing my eyes, and imagine I'm Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, in that beautiful scene where she stands on the edge of a cliff at dawn and the piano music that plays makes you feel like you can fly.

When I finally tear my eyes away from the view of the valley and turn around, I can't see the house at all. This is a lovely place to just . . . be. Where no one can see, and no one can judge you for laughing, crying, or punching a tree.

* *

    Pride and Prejudice 2005 is a film that I loved from the first time I saw it. I used to watch it to help me get to sleep on rough nights. It’s a beautiful film, with amazing scenery, gorgeous music, and of course, one of my favorite parts, the English accents. That’s why I chose to mention it (twice) in Keeper.

    And that’s all! Hope you liked the excerpts. 

    The next post will be on Faith Blum’s blog. See you there!

~Elizabeth Altenbach 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thoughts Of A Nurse Aid - Please, Come

Original picture credit

Words from a Nurse Aid, working with the elderly in Long Term Care:

       I know can be hard to come visit. I know there are days that you are grieving, after a fashion - you can no longer take care of this person you loved, and you have decided to turn the care over to us... and sometimes, you're struggling...

       I see it sometimes in your eyes. I hear it sometimes in your tone of voice, when you're tired. I watch you when you visit, and I read your face as I walk you to the door. You came to see a loved one - and that isn't easy every time. Some days I smile at your faithfulness, coming so regularly. Some days I wonder why it's been so long since you've come... Through over a year of knowing so many families - I watch you all and wonder...

       I know... They aren't exactly the same person you remember. They don't have all the capabilities they used to. They need a lot more help than in the past. They are getting older. It's odd for you to see those changes, and know how to react all the time.

        Perhaps you come to visit often - I applaud you for that - especially those of you who deal with difficulty. Maybe they cry when you leave - maybe they accuse you of abandoning them here - maybe they can't communicate well anymore... maybe... maybe they don't even remember who you are, or acknowledge you at all... But you come anyways.

      You come and you love them. You talk to them, and give them hugs, and give them news about friends and other family. You bring them little things, and cart the children in to say hi. You tell them about your day, and ask them how they've been. You feed them if they need help. You sit by their bedside, and hold their hand. You treat them like family.

      Thank you. Thank you for still coming - even those of you who are only semi regular.

       To those of you who don't come much... Please...

       They need you - they still need you...

    You are their family. You are the ones who know what they like best. You are the ones who remember their history. You are the ones they spent years with. You are the anchor to their past. You are the ones they love. Even when they can't express it - they still need you. You are their family.

    I will try my best to love your family when you aren't here. When they cry - I will give them a hug and make sure they know it will be okay. When they feel lonely - I will talk to them. If they get lost in the past, I will ask them questions, and let them tell me about things they used to love to do. When they make a mess - I will clean it for the thousandth time. When they are being unsafe, I will do my very best to keep them safe. When they don't want to eat dinner, or take a shower, or wear clean clothes, I will ask, re-ask, and try to give them the care they need. I will bear up under occasional bad attitudes, swear words, and the occasional hit headed my way. I will rejoice at their home-made crafts, good days, and little happinesses. I will have nonsense conversations where I don't know what they are talking about, but still I talk and listen. I will tease, sing, laugh, and smile to break up the monotony. I will notice little things about them, so if they aren't acting right, my Nurse will hear about it. I will be your family member's care giver in ways you can't be, and act as an echo of the love you are.

      Most of us - we are here because we sincerely care about the elderly. We are here to serve... I know it's hard for you some days - but think of it this way - we're on the same team. We are both here to take care of this person you love - physically and emotionally. Please understand that I have other residents to care for - but I do care. I do know the needs of your person. I will try my very best to give them the attention they need. I'm not perfect - I make mistakes - I'm very busy - but I'm trying. I will do my very best by you, and by them.

     At the end of the day, know this - you are still a very important part of your family member's life, and I respect your place in it. Please come and show them you care. They need you and I'm here to help.

~Ophelia - Marie