Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

The Little House in the Country

City HallI was thrilled when I first moved from my lifelong hometown, with a population of 5,360 – according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau – to Atlanta, with well more than 900 times that.

City scape view

At the time, I needed to be absorbed into the city’s anonymity, to feel the pulse of cultural diversity. Several years later, I downsized the city but upgraded my lifestyle.

House in the suburbs

We moved from a small two-bedroom apartment on a fourth-floor walk-up into a three-bedroom house with a two-car garage. About one-fifth the size of Atlanta, this city was still fourteen times larger than where I returned to report for HANC duties. As a HANC I am my mother’s Housekeeper, Activities director, Nutritionist and Caregiver.

Chef

Much of what I’ve done has been typical for a homemaker or a HANC. Cooking, cleaning, stimulating conversation; memory work; driving to appointments, refilling prescriptions, answering the telephone and coordinating with family and friends who want to visit; these are all things that for more than a decade, I have resolutely eschewed.

Why am I now thinking of sewing myself an apron?

World Book encyclopedias

I have fought to be atypical in all my endeavors. I never thought I was superior, yet I felt somehow different from others. One sister has called me the family dictionary for ages. A friend told me my knowledge is encyclopedic. A co-worker nicknamed me the breathing style guide. An employer thought I had moved to South Carolina from Chicago or Manhattan, because of my demeanor and lack of strong southern dialect. No wonder I sought to escape my small town.

            Yet, here I am.

Award

Thomas Wolfe wrote,

You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

    Yet, here I am.

I left my little house in the country for one of the largest cities in the U.S.A.

NAMPA AWARD   The whole enchilada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filtered by my environment, I’ve lived my dreams of writing and editing.I am pleased that I seem to have achieved some level of glory and fame. I have no desire to escape time or memory. In fact, my mother’s fading memory is one of the things I hope to help her preserve. As Alzheimer’s begins to scar the surface of her recollections, I went back home, to my family, but not to my childhood.

place setting

I miss the culinary delights that are typically found in large cities, the hidden spots frequented on rare and special occasions. I do miss my friends, the bonds forged while working on our individual novels and short stories or as we groused about deadlines or unmet expectations. I miss my infrequent lunch and after-hours buddies.

Photo outing

I will have to find new photography field trippers and cultural outlets. Now, instead of one or two grandmothers, I am surrounded by them within my own family and it feels different. Good, but different.

house in the woods

I did not return to the Little House in the Country  as a child, seeking anything but peace of mind. For myself, primarily, as I ached every time I had to leave my mother, knowing her health declined daily. For my mother, secondarily, because in order for me to have peace of mind, I needed to provide her with a level of care and companionship that might ultimately improve her condition somewhat.

children in summer

I did not consider that I would provide peace of mind to my large family, but I have. Each one has conveyed in his or her own way how grateful they are to know that our mother is no longer alone.

I tend to act quickly to situations. I try to be prepared enough that I don’t overreact, but at times, I don’t work out all the scenarios. I had not considered how my transition to HANC-dom would impact others in the family. I just knew I had no option but to go home.

House in the country

My parents built The Little House in the Country and we moved into it when I was in the sixth grade. I was over-dramatic when I thought I would never see my best friends again. I thought I hated the new house and who could blame me?

two missing

I have four brothers and three sisters. The house had four tiny bedrooms. Now, it has two! The day we moved in, the house was “dried-in,” which means it had a sub-floor, four exterior walls, a roof and studs for interior walls. The electricity had been turned on and the plumbing was installed. There were no walls or doors inside the house. We had no privacy so my mother stapled sheets to the studs around the bathroom. Little by little, cardboard walls were also then stapled to the other rooms. As time and money allowed, sheet-rock was installed.

Worden parents

My mother told me she had moved frequently once she married my father and when they moved into the newly-built, but unfinished house, she told him,

“This is the last time I am moving. If you want to live somewhere else, you will have to do it without me. I am not leaving this house until I am dead.”

            She has “made do” with whatever she could and has improved The Little House in the Country as much as she has been able.

flowers

Now, it’s my turn. The city girl has come home to her roots and I rejoice when I find grubs or red wrigglers in my compost bin! A recent trip to buy a simple piece of hardware turned into a field trip for me, when I started setting potted plants and hanging baskets into the shopping cart. My urban-bred husband shook his head and waited.

outdoor flowers

I spent hours arranging and repotting dahlias and mums near the mailbox and I fretted over which soil to use for the rosemary and pepper.

rural house

I traded in my small country home for an equally small apartment in a thriving metropolis that was later traded for a spacious home in the suburbs and I pursued my career as city editor. Returning to my roots, I have swapped all I held dear for what is most precious to me. With that, came The Little House in the Country.

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Oops! My Domesticity is Showing.

domestiic oops

My what is showing?

When I left my hometown, I had a purpose. I had a plan. When I returned, nearly fifteen years later, my purpose had changed and my plan? Well, life has not gone according to my plan. Fortunately, I’m not the kind of person who needs to follow a formula precisely.

chocolate cake

Looks better than it tastes

Ask those poor people who were unfortunate enough to taste my salty chocolate cakes. Yes, I said cakes, with a plural emphasis, because I don’t always immediately learn from my mistakes.

daek chocolate bar

Nothing but the best!

When we were dating, I baked my husband a three-layer chocolate cake for his birthday. I had used the recipe on the back of the cocoa box so many times, I had it memorized and could practically prepare it blindfolded. I’d read that the addition of salt enhances the flavor of chocolate, so in addition to the typically delicious cake, I sprinkled in a few extra spoonfuls of salt to the icing. I added and stirred and tasted and added and stirred and repeated the process until I was certain I had the perfect enhancement. I was at a need-to-impress-him state in my life, so after forming the peaks on the frosting in a way that would make Martha Stuart want to arm wrestle Betty Crocker for my secret, I packed the cake carefully and drove 325 miles to his Florida home.

Central Florida Ocean

Not the sort of place you’d store your cake.

The cake smelled delicious and when I removed the cover, everyone in the house actually made an “ohh” or “mmm” sound. Big slices, unfortunately, were left on their plates after the first bite. My husband said it tasted like I had dumped it in the ocean.

pound cake recipe

Some recipes are more detailed than others.

 I waited many years before attempting to bake another cake, but this time, I followed a recipe precisely.

 

chocolate cake caramel icing

Never underestimate the power of following instructions.

The chocolate cake with caramelized sugar glaze was a hit, so with my confidence restored, I attempted another chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but did not try to enhance it with the addition of salt, yet this cake tasted worse than the first! Even I didn’t like it. I knew I’d lost my edge in the kitchen, but it didn’t matter.

desk edge

Editing happens here

I was a career woman, an editor, writer and photographer. I spent my weekdays in an office, working with an award-winning publisher and my weekends on outings with accomplished photographers or in my home office editing the works of novelists, memoirists, essayists, short story writers and poets. I didn’t need to bake and I didn’t need to cook. I didn’t even need to clean much.

what's for dinner

Nothing elaborate

My husband was content with quickly cooked meals from kits and the freezer. We lived our lives in such a way that I didn’t have to spend much time doing housework or yard work. We were living our plans and dreaming our dreams.

Mary is happy

Back in the carefree career days

I thought I was happy.

Scooter Pooting

Independently dependent

Then, we visited my mother and realized that although she could continue to live alone, her health would surely suffer and decline. We knew we couldn’t wait for someone else to step forward and help out more than they were. Each member of the family was doing his and her best to work around unique work situations and life schedules and no one was in a position to step into the role of full-time Housekeeper, Activities director, Nutritionist and Companion (HANC).

It was time for me to fill that role.

bicycle

How hard can it be?

I wondered if being a homemaker would be like riding a bike. Would it come back to me?

cookbooks in order

What’s for dinner?

In another life that my current husband has never known, I took extreme pride in my home. I used a cookbook and canning jars and slow cookers.

place setting

Presentation is half the battle

 I set the table and I knew “what’s for dinner” if anyone asked. I focused on my family and not my career in those days, but I wasn’t happy.

unpacking

Unpacking is as difficult as moving.

For several months, I have focused on the transition from full-time editor to full-time HANC. In between editing assignments, I have unpacked and worked to de-clutter and organize my mother’s small home.

hairdresser

Granny’s getting her style updated.

  It seemed that if I wasn’t driving to appointments with her hairdresser, we were driving to a doctor or to pick up prescriptions. I’ve accepted that I will be responsible for ensuring she takes her many daily medications properly.

herbs

Traditional Chinese raw herbs

Her many trips to see many specialists and doctors grates my own personal preference to more natural healing, which does not include pharmaceuticals.

oreos and milk

Yummy, but not nutritious.

 I  grimaced at her predilection for cookies and ice cream.

wine glass of juice

You don’t have to drink wine to toast to your health.

I rejoiced silently when she requested fresh juice and my recent triumph came when she requested a second helping of chili after telling me she didn’t really like chili, “until tonight.” Oh, yes! I followed a recipe and did not add any extra salt.

manuscript

Pages from my novel.

I’m still writing. I went on a photo outing in mid-October. I still write for some of my established clients.

vacuum

Vacuum cleaner in the Carl and Lillian Sandburg home in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

Oddly, I’m content to assist my mother, vacuum, make beds and find interesting meals to cook for my family.

paint

Awaking my sleeping artist

Is it possible that my domestic contentment will play a role in my artistic creativity at some point?

scarecrow in garden

Garden at Cannemara, Carl Sandburg’s home in NC.

 Perhaps my muse has been hiding in the garden, all along. I still have plans and dreams and yet, I find an amusing peacefulness when someone compliments a simple bowl of chili.

 

Two Weeks as a HANC

When we visit our parents as adults, we want to believe everything is under control, as it was when we were children.

     We may see or smell things we’d rather not, but to keep the fantasy alive, we tend to ignore them.Gransmomma and siblings

   Usually, we make a point to clean something or do some yard maintenance on our visits, but mostly we visit, because our parents want to spend TIME with us, not watch us work.Clock in town square 

     Once we are back home again, we can pat ourselves on our backs for whatever we did. We might tut-tut to our spouses or siblings and think about what must be done “one day,” but we don’t want to believe our parents are anything less than super-humans. We want to remember them as strong and independent, virile and always capable.

Matt's guns

 Those of us with large families hope someone else will inevitably step up and take charge.

      For me, living more than 300 miles away, I had no option but to allow my sisters and brothers who lived closer to do just that. Each did what could be done  around schedules and personal requirements. Each filled a special role.

     My role was to visit as often as my job allowed and do what I could during the few days I was “home.”

     Over the years, our mother’s physical capabilities have declined and her memory lapses have worried us more and more. We have talked one-on-one with each other, but never as a collective family about her increasing need for more companionship, better nutrition, help with housework or more diversions to help her focus mentally.

variety of produce

     Once, my sister’s husband was driving Momma’s car, with Momma on the front passenger’s seat when Momma became startled by what she thought was an oncoming car.

      Momma decided for herself that she would no longer drive.

      She didn’t suffer the indignation of having her driver’s license taken from her, but she told me she misses not being able to trust herself behind the wheel of a car. She still loves to “take a drive,” and told me after her recent trip for bloodwork, “This is fun. I don’t care if it is just to the doctor’s office and back. I like to get out of the house.”

Oak tree lined dirt road

      Now, that we are living here, I can take her for a drive any day of the week. We don’t even need a destination.

 I hope to do more of this kind of driving once we are unpacked…at least, maybe after I have finished cleaning the kitchen. Goals are good.

redundant swiffer

     I try to clean, organize and unpack a little each day and I hope we aren’t confounding her, though sometimes, I think we must. There have been some incidents that make me know we need to be here and I am tempted to take over, but she loves her independence and I must remember she handled all her daily-living activities long before we moved in. She is proud to load or empty the dishwasher, but I do all the meal preparation – sometimes with her nearby. She still is able to do laundry, and I am pleased to allow her that chore. Today, she patched a pair of my shorts that had ripped. I would have probably worn them, ripped and all, until I could no longer do so. She enjoys doing needlework and I may end up in patches, but each one is lovingly stitched.

 quilted

     She is headstrong, but reasonable.

    Some changes make her wonder, “Why, after all these years, do I need to do that?”

As long as we explain what we are doing and why we must do it a certain way, she accepts the changes with grace. She just needs to know why.

 

     For many years, she has lived in a house with almost no insulation in the walls or attic, which makes her air conditioner work harder than it needs to. It also makes the house extremely hot during the summer. She’s on blood-thinning medication, which means she is relatively comfortable in a house that is warmer than 80 degrees. What she doesn’t seem to understand is that at 84 degrees or even 90, as it was one day, her thinking is impaired. She was very grouchy during the hottest days. She didn’t want us to purchase a window air conditioner, but when I told her we needed to, so I could cook and clean, she accepted it. We paid for it, but she’s not always certain she didn’t buy it.

    

     We can’t easily open most of the windows to allow a cross breeze and the roof has no venting for the heat. I noticed her mood improved when we were able to cool the house to anything below 78. She has started wearing a knitted shawl in the early mornings so I can do my household chores in more comfort. We compromised without even discussing the problem.

      At times, she smiles when I do something my father used to do or that she once did, but can no longer do. Nostalgia can be good.

     She has been writing her memories in a variety of notebooks and they are random. She knows there is no “book order” to them, but I hope to share them, soon.

Journal pages blank

     She retells stories, not remembering that she may have told the same story, almost verbatim, a day ago – an hour ago – five minutes ago. We do our best to listen and react as if it is new. Sometimes, she stops herself or asks us to stop her if she is repeating.

     Sometimes, she simply forgets things. “I never” and “I know I didn’t” precede many declarations. Whenever I remind her, respectfully and gently, in detail, she usually says, “Oh, yes. Thank you for reminding me.” It must pain her to know that her memory is slipping away from her. She often says, “I pray all my children can live long lives, but I do hope you can be healthy and not like me.”

      The worst for me is when she and my husband each want my attention at the same time and neither knows the other is also speaking to me. Some days, I just want to cry. Some days, I do.

 mom and son

 

     This is but one day in our new life adventure. There are many challenges and many rewards. When I moved out of this town nearly 15 years ago, my mother managed a hotel and was one of the most amazing people I knew, physically, emotionally, intellectually and there were few women whom I felt compared to her. I still feel that way about her.

I wanted to live an adventurous life in a city and for three years, I did just that. Then, we moved to a smaller city and my life became that of a suburbanite career woman. I immersed myself in my job and was content to visit my family whenever I could, but I also contented myself to vacation in more exotic venues as often as money permitted.

       Now, I have returned home to a more bucolic life and it’s good.

 

torch

     As I listened to a whippoorwill while standing between two tiki torches that kept the mosquitoes at bay  I thought about today’s achievements in addition to my editing and writing. It is good. It is very good, indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to be a Master HANC

Leu Gardens brick walk   Almost anyone can be a caregiver, but t-o be a Master Housekeeper, Activities Director, Nutritionist and Companion requires more than organization, dedication and patience. It requires unconditional love, keen observation, tolerance, strong listening skills and superb grounding routines.

     Families often hire caregivers and nurse/companions for loved ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease dementia or other memory loss issues. While some of these employees demonstrate an extra depth of compassion or caring, when their shifts end, they gather their magazines, novels or laptops and go home. The Master HANC does not go home, because home is where the job takes place.

 Support groups can help with many aspects of caregiving, but the calling to be a Master HANC is an extraordinary opportunity to put personal goals and dreams on hold for a higher purpose. Everyone’s situation will be different, but here are some steps to lead you toward your goal.

  1. Notice a need to step up; don’t wait for someone else to offer.  Regardless of the size of your family, only one person can be the first HANC. It’s not likely you will have to compete for the position.
  1. Accept the fact that you will make personal sacrifices and you will make them often. Your family life will never be the same, your job and your habits will need to change. Even if you are accustomed to working remotely, while you are adjusting to your new lifestyle, your job could suffer. Be prepared to handle the changes and go with the flow. Consider contingency plans for the things you normally take for granted.
  1. Never question your choice to be a HANC. You may fluctuate between the joy of knowing you are the best person to provide care and assistance to your loved one and wondering what happened to your reasoning powers the day you chose to become a HANC. Don’t doubt yourself. No one else will. You have embarked on a noble journey. Enjoy it.
  1. Expect unsolicited advice. Family, friends, even strangers will offer advice on how they think you should be a HANC. It won’t matter that few of them have done what you are doing, they will be happy to offer their opinions about medications, menus and activities they think you should become involved in.
  1. Keep building your networks. Expand your social and personal networks and stay in contact. You never know when someone has the answer to one of your problems or concerns. It’s possible you can simply ask for help and receive it, if you have a strong network.

path at leu gardens

  1. Embrace the life-changing event as an adventure. Whether you have made the choice to become a HANC on your own or with another person such as a spouse, partner, sibling or child; it can be a grand adventure. Never look upon it as a chore or something you “have to do,” but see it as a major opportunity in your lifetime.
  1. Recognize challenges as learning opportunities. When the person for whom you are providing care balks at changes, seek to understand the reason behind the protest. Are you attempting to make too many changes, too quickly? Are you making decisions without his or her input? Slow down and discuss the concern. You might hear an entertaining story and learn some family lore at the same time.
  1. Remember your place.  Never forget that you are most likely junior to the person requiring a HANC. If you are a child, grandchild, niece or nephew be certain to remain respectful at all times. The adage: a daughter’s a daughter all of her life, but a son is a son until he takes a wife has many implications. Even though caregiving roles may have reversed, the need for mutual respect remains.
  1. Know that some days will present more challenges than others. Fictional characters, such as Mary Poppins, might wake each day singing and smiling, but most people have mood swings and some have days that change from moody to worse or from dramatic to traumatic. Everyone has different ways to respond and cope. Be sure you are ready to accept the differences in each day.
  • Take a step back and breathe during challenging days.Don’t react to negative behavior with more negative actions or words. When challenged by circumstances or harsh words, take a moment to take a deep breath and if you can, separate yourself from the situation, if only long enough to get a drink of water. Often, just walking away is enough to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.

path with bench at leu gardens

  1. Learn something new. Every day offers a chance for learning something. Find a new recipe; discover another way to the doctor’s office or drugstore. See if you can create a new ritual or routine for daily tasks. Read something different or listen to music you didn’t think you’d care for, but never force your loved one to listen to music that might be offensive or simply foreign to older ears.
  1. Explore familiar territory together. Take a walk or drive through the same places you typically pass, but this time, notice something different. Look for a certain kind of car or dog and see how many you can count on your exploration. Notice the clouds in the sky. Do you see any similar patterns? Go to your childhood neighborhood, if possible or take a trip down memory lane by going through old photos together. Discuss the different styles of architecture or landscaping you see.
  1. Share stories. You may find yourself repeating some stories or listening to others more often, but sharing family stories can be fun and educational for both of you. Have fun with your new position. Note if the stories remain the same each time or if there are subtle changes.
  1. Make being a HANC a fun experience.  Especially if you are responsible for caring for a person with memory issues, find a way to make your job more fun. Have tea parties, color, sing or dance together – even if the other person can’t dance. Crank up the music and see what happens. Be prepared for the magic.
  1. Keep a journal. Record the funny anecdotes and jokes. Keep a record of the things you do together and don’t forget to record your dreams and goals for the future.

tree at sidewalk at Leu Gardens

  1. Blog your experiences. If you aren’t comfortable blogging, find a forum for caregivers and join the conversation. Your experiences might help someone else and you are sure to find help you need.
  1. Vlog. If you have a smart phone, you can make a video blog. Record your memories. Remember the good days and recall fond memories from your past. You don’t need special editing software or Hollywood lighting to make a precious family keepsake. Every generation has something special to share. Ask questions and make each video just a few minutes long, about one subject.
  1. Read books aloud. If you can both read to each other, it will be even more special, but reading books or magazine articles aloud will help strengthen your bond and will give you both something to focus on other than the reason you have chosen to become a HANC.


19.Limit discussions about medications or illnrose path at Leu gardensesses.

Don’t discuss someone’s medical condition with others, even with other family members, unless the person with the condition grants permission or begins the conversation. Be ready to change to another topic quickly.

Trust that you have a future life, after this journey is concluded. Life will go on and so will you. Don’t abandon your dreams and goals, but accept that they may be on hold for some time.

  • 21. Realize that you are making a tremendous difference in the life of your loved one. You are a Master HANC and most families have only one. Knowing that you have saved your loved one from life in a strange home or facility should be reward enough, but more importantly, you and only you, have the opportunity to spend quality end-of-life time with someone you love who loves you, too.
  • 22. Don’t take personally, the days when you wonder where the love went. There will be days you wonder what happened. The love will return. Be patient.
  • 23. Don’t see yourself as a victim and don’t become a false martyr because you are the unsung hero in this scenario. Some will not understand the sacrifices you are making. They aren’t the ones moving away from friends and jobs or making career adjustments. The sacrifices are part of the process, but if you dwell on what you must give up, you won’t be able to enjoy all you will receive.
  1. Find new hobbies. You may no longer be in a position to take leisurely walks, spend weekends away or engage in some of the recreational activities you once participated in, but this could open your time and mind to other opportunities.
  1. Take care of yourself. Remember that a caregiver can not give care while fatigued or ill. Stay healthy and mentally balanced.  path THROUGH LEU GARDENS
  1. Don’t underestimate the power of sunshine and fresh air. If the one you are caring for becomes chilled, sometimes a stroll or ride outdoors in the sunshine will warm better than a blanket. The vitamin D and bright light will help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and most bad moods. The exercise will help keep you in balance.
  1. Respect the healing power of touch. Even those who shy away from warm and fuzzy or touchy/feely will usually respond to non-invasive hugs, hand touches or the application of lotion on aging skin. Never force someone to accept your touches, however. If you are caring for someone who is tactile resistant, you will have to start much more slowly.
  1. Seek touches if you need them. If you find you are missing your former companions, don’t be afraid to search for new friends in your new surroundings. Join a support or hobby group. See where it leads.
  1. Stay connected. Your new job as HANC may make you feel isolated both geographically and socially. Stay in touch via email, social networks, hand-written letters, phone calls or personal visits.
  1. Get away. It is imperative that you take time away from the job. Set up time off as part of your regime. Find a sibling, friend or hire temporary respite if necessary so you can take a weekend as often as possible. Take your spouse or a good friend and go do something fun.     path to gazebo at Leu gardens
  1. Treasure your personal space.  Respect the personal space of your loved one, too. Everyone needs space from time to time. Take yours without crowding anyone else and don’t forget to come back, soon.
  2. Rest. When you are tired, take a break or take a nap. You never know when you may need to go without pause for some reason. Rest while you can and be sure to always rest when you are tired. You can’t help anyone if you are exhausted.
  1. Stay sharp. Engage in lateral thinking or brain exercises. Tongue twisters can be fun and crossword puzzles or other word games challenge thinking.
  1. Exercise. Take walks, ride bikes, work in the garden or do whatever feels right so you can keep limber and stay active.
  1. Stretch. Stretching keeps you from stiffening up and is good if you can get your loved one to join you.
  1. Meditate.

statue hug at leu gardens

If you don’t already know how to meditate, you can learn . Even if you don’t wish to meditate, it’s a good practice to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Meditation helps lower blood pressure and stress.

  1. Remember breakfast.  While you are focused on your loved one’s nutritional needs, don’t forget your own. Make a weekly or monthly menu to eliminate the stress of planning. Once you have a menu worked out, it will help with food shopping and some meals can be prepared in advance, frozen to save for days that may not go so smoothly.
  1. Remain positive. Associate with people who uplift you and support you. Read motivational literature and avoid depressing television and people.
  1. Take it easy on yourself.  Know that you can only do your best and your best is good enough. You aren’t being graded or evaluated on your performance by anyone but you. No matter how you do, it’s better than doing nothing. You are at the head of your class before you start. Don’t be hard on yourself when things don’t go as expected or when plans don’t fulfill according to your strategy.   walkway at leu gardens
  1. Expect the job to be difficult.  This will be one of the hardest things you will have to do. Some days will be rewarding, others will be exciting and some will be adventurous. Most will be complicated and filled with inflexibilities. Personalities and family drama could consume your life. Don’t let them.
  1. Walk barefoot.  Take a walk outdoors on the grass or dirt in your bare feet. It will help keep you grounded in a very real sense. Being grounded will help you stay strong, energized and positive.
  1. Take care. While you are cooking, cleaning and planning activities, remember that one of the most valuable aspects of being a Master HANC is being a Companion. Take care of your loved one and take care of yourself. Enjoy each other’s company and nurture your relationship. Enjoy it and take care of it.

Leu Gardens pink flower

All of these photos were taken at Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida and are the property of

Mary Brotherton. For more information or to purchase one, contact marybrotherton@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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