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Family, Love

Two Weddings in the Marin Family in a Year

A year ago today, our son, Keith, married his long time love, Frances Sorenson, (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY) and in less than a month Vanessa will marry Scott 25272248616_d612bc329f_nGarret.  John and I thrilled they each found their soulmate and, as parents, we hope their relationship will be a happy as ours.

The Crutcher family has been blessed with long, successful marriages; my parents, Rita and Jim Crutcher, had 54 years together and my grandparents (Crutcher), Clyde and Christina, shared 61 years.

I like the quote by Marry Forsell:  Weddings to me are wondrous because they are so filled with tomorrows.

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11903936_10155992754180154_900534240098219880_nHave a good day!  Therese   I am!

Photo credit: Neda Andel ~SLooK4U Blog via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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Kindness

An Act of Kindness At The Olympics

 

I had to post the act of kindness I witnessed the other night at the Olympics between two women runners, Abbey D’Agostino, an American and Nikki Hamblin, an Australian, who collided during a 5000 meter run. Since this occurred at The Olympic Games, the world’s biggest sporting spectacle, and because the tweet has gone viral, it has given me hope that kindness can be embraced by folks around the world.

The definition of the word “kindness” is simple:  “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”; a simple act that sends a message from one heart to another, an act of love, an unspoken “I care” statement.

I commend Abbey and Nikki, and as far as I’m concerned they both won gold in the category of “humanity” because the two of 15910043680_5b040e7726_cthem managed to finish the race due to a combined act of kindness.mother-teresa

As Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love”.

Article on Abbey and Nikki:

https://www.romper.com/p/who-are-abbey-dagostino-nikki-hamblin-their-act-of-kindness-is-going-viral-16535

Have a good day!  Therese

Photo courtesy of SI Olympics   https://twitter.com/si_olympics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Photo credit: MarcieLew via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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Helping Others

The Many Challenges of Huntington’s Disease

There is a man I’ve been communicating with on Facebook who was diagnosed with HD in 2005.  He has a very bad back and suffers everyday.  He saw a surgeon who believes he can fix it, but this man, of course, is conflicted. He wrote, “I just need someone that understands my life to tell me if I should have surgery on it or not because of my life span and pros and cons of the surgery with HD the doctor here don’t understand what is going on with me!!! I need someone with sound minds to give their opinion.”

My first suggestion was to locate a HD social worker, through a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence that is close to him. He went on to tell me he is 5 hours away from the center and cannot get there.  So, then I suggested setting up a telephone conference call, if they would do that for him, and together they could work through the pro’s and con’s of the surgery.   http://hdsa.org/about-hdsa/social-workers/   http://hdsa.org/about-hdsa/

I write this because I’m sure there are many HD families out there challenged with similar situations.a group of people with hands joined I’ve often wondered, if Lora, Marcia and Cindy received a diagnosis of cancer, would they have wanted to treat it and prolong their life?  These are tough decisions and I feel for this man because he doesn’t seem to have a support system, other than online.

Have a good day!   Therese

Photo credit: Key Foster via Source / CC BY  & Photo credit: EU Social via Source / CC BY-NC-SA

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On Writing

Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing?


On May 1, 2016, my manuscript, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, had been developmentally edited, line and copy edited and then proofread. It was now ready to be published and boy was I ready!  After much contemplation, I decided to investigate traditional publishing, create a book proposal and a query letter.

In mid May, I began researching publishers of memoirs that were similar to mine, small presses, and literary agents who were accepting queries for memoirs because agents know editors.  After I had developed a good list, I visited websites, followed the submission guidelines to the “t” and began sending out query letters with a book proposal or whatever they asked for and/or filled out a submission form.  As I read the submission requirements on the many websites of literary agents, I was a bit depressed because response times varied from 8 7658225516_00cf277f83_cweeks to 5-6 months.  Now, I worked as a professional and was very busy, working 50+ hours a week, and a response time of that nature is just not acceptable. Even when I knew a conversation was going to be hard, like a rejection letter, I still called people back in a timely manner.  So, what’s with these literary agents? Boo hoo, they receive many submissions, thousands they say, but don’t some of those submissions pay their salary?

So, the other day I came across a couple of articles that have helped me make up my mind that I will give the traditional publishing route about a year before I cave in and self publish:  Harold Underdown http://www.underdown.org/self-publish.htm and Jane Friedman  https://janefriedman.com/should-you-self-publish-traditional/.  “My advice is that you do not consider self-publishing until you have spent at least a few years working on your writing, making submissions, and learning about the business of publishing. That won’t be wasted time, because even if you don’t get published, if you do decide to self-publish later you will be much better equipped to do so successfully.”

So, folks, believe me when I say, “It takes years to write and publish a book, at least, for a first time author.”

P.S. Thanks for letting me vent.  I must remember to enjoy the journey!

Have a good day!  Therese

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Kindness

You Never Know When You Make A Difference in Someone’s Life

Every Tuesday for the past several years, I have worked (voluntered) at a medical clinic in Auburn for the homeless which is also open to locals who are low income and do not have dental, chiropractic, eye, mental health, or counseling coverage.  The only criteria to receive services is that they live in the greater Auburn area.  And we believe them when they say they have no coverage.

Last Tuesday, a gal, about 30 years old, walked in and since I check people in and give them paperwork to fill out I usually hear dalailama378036about their dilemma. I listen as patiently as I can, with a line forming behind them, because I believe they deserve to be heard.  This particular gal stated she was in rehab at X facility and had run out of her antidepressants and needed a refill.  She went on to tell me she was an alcoholic and how she really needed them to stay sober.  As she finished her story, I smiled and said to her, “I’m so sorry for your struggle.”  She handed me her paperwork, and I thanked her and said, “You know, you look really good today.”  She teared up and said, “Thank you for saying that; you don’t know what that means to me.”  Her reaction and reply reinforced what I believe; a positive, kind word or act can make someone’s day.

Have a good day!  Therese

 

 

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Family

The Talented Mr. John Marin

When I met John back in 1975, we were both putting ourselves through college so we worked part time.  Retail afforded us the right hours for our school schedule, but when summer arrived, John returned to Northern California to paint houses or work construction. Over time, I came to know John as a man who could see past the disarray of a room, house, yard, etc. and transform it into something beautiful. When we were purchasing our first home in 1982, and it truly was a dump, I remember walking through the house with our realtor, while John, in his excitement, described how he would design each room. I trusted his vision and when we sold it in 1990, it looked like a new house inside and out.

John is finishing up on two bathroom remodels in our house in Auburn. Over the past six weeks, I’ve watched him craft his design, cut tile, replace pipes, grout, seal and paint.  Once again, his design is awesome, and our bathrooms are similar to bathrooms you see on Flip or Flop, a HGTV show that remodels and flips homes.  http://www.hgtv.com/shows/flip-or-flop

 

I’m sharing the work in progress and the almost finished project.IMG_4707IMG_1089IMG_1091IMG_4745IMG_4743IMG_4746

 

Have a good day!   Therese

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Grief

A Criminal Trial

I have been participating in a criminal trial for the past three weeks; the first week dedicated to choosing the jury.  Now that it is over, I HK_Central_Statue_Square_Legislative_Council_Building_n_Themis_swant to reflect on my experience.

The jury was charged with determining if the defendant, Mr. Minchak, was sane or insane at the time he brutally murdered a woman in Roseville, California ten years ago.  The defendant had a mental illness, schizophrenia. You might wonder why it has taken so long to get to this point, as I did. The man was deemed incompetent to stand trial for many years, then last year he was evaluated by a mental health professional and deemed competent. He was tried and found guilty of murder in 2015. He then pleaded insanity.

So another trial was scheduled to determine his mental status at the time of the murder.  I have to say it was very interesting and I learned much about a person with this diagnosis. We heard from expert forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, Roseville police officers, the victims husband, the defendants mother, brother and many others.  To say the least, it was an emotional experience, watching the video from the gas station, as the defendant stabbed the victim nine times and stole her money and casually tried to pump his gas. It’s the most horrific thing I have ever seen.   http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?pid=17303502

The jury deliberated only for about three hours, and we all agreed the prosecutor proved he was sane at the time.  When the judge read the verdict, the husband dropped his head and cried and the daughter cried out loud. As the jury stood and walked back into the jury room, most of us were crying. I believe justice has been served and I pray the Texiera family can find some closure knowing Tammy has been vindicated.

Have a good day!  Therese

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Tim Evanson via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Helping Others

13681066_1472828209410012_6236990295311634951_nFor the past three weeks, I have been participating as a jury member on a criminal trial here in Auburn at the Old Courthouse.  http://www.placer.courts.ca.gov/locations/location-Historic.html  It’s a very interesting, sad story that I can’t share at the moment because we are not to discuss with anyone until after the trial. This experience has taught me much about our judicial system and the resources required to present both sides of the story to the jury for a fair trial.

Through the years, I have been summoned to jury duty but was always dismissed, and, of course, I was happy since I was working full-time.  When I received the summons notice in June, I thought, well, maybe it was my time to serve.  It took a week for the defense and the prosecution to agree on 15 jurors; 3 alternates.

Tomorrow, we will hearing closing arguments and then we will deliberate after the judge gives us instruction.

http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/U.S._Legal_System_English07.pdf/$file/U.S._Legal_System_English07.pdf

Have a good day!  Therese

 

 

Resources

The Huntington’s Study Group

hsgBanners_350x175-08The Huntington Study Group (HSG) is a proven world leader in facilitating high-quality clinical research trials and studies in Huntington disease (HD). Here is a great website for current information on HD.           http://huntingtonstudygroup.org/about/

HSGroups have the first and largest HD clinical research network of over 400 active and compassionate investigators, coordinators, scientists and HD experts at over 100 HSG Credentialed Research Sites http://huntingtonstudygroup.org/find-an-hsg-research-site/hsg-credentialed-research-sites/  across the globe dedicated to seeking treatments that make a difference and improving the quality of life and outcomes for families affected by HD. In addition to this vast clinical network we collaborate with industry, government and foundation sponsors, CROs and HD advocacy and community partners.

Care Education Videos are also on this site.   http://huntingtonstudygroup.org/care-education-videos/

Have a good day!   Therese

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Caregiving, Hospice

Hospice Care and Huntington’s Disease

The 2nd organization close to my heart is the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)         http://www.nhpco.org/ . Of course, the Huntington’s Disease Society of America is #1.    http://hdsa.org

Since I was a healthcare professional for 20 years, 10 years in hospice care, I want to speak about the service hospice can provide to a family reeling from the anticipatory loss of a loved one. The majority of Americans say they would prefer to be cared for and die at home and yet only 38% of us receive hospice care.  Supporting a persons wish to die at home is one of the greatest gifts a family17131086854_9560cb9d03_z can give to their loved one.  Hospice is an interdisciplinary team approach that supports the family and the patient.  Hospice strives to keep the patient free of pain, have the highest quality to his/her life, teaches the caregivers how to  to care for a bedbound, terminally ill person, offers counseling to the patient and/or the family members, bestows a chaplain if requested and respite for a few hours a week.

Medicare    https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-a/what-part-a-covers.html

AND

Medi-Cal  (California State Funded for low income)   http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/default.aspx

AND most private insurances have a hospice benefit so there is usually no out of pocket costs to families. Most hospice programs are non-for-profit, but there are some for profit hospice programs.  Just be aware, there may be costs associated with a for profit hospice.

My two sister-in-laws, Marcia and Cindy Marin, were both under the care of hospice, at different times; the hospice organization I was employed by. My best word of advice to anyone caring for a loved one with HD, and they’ve been struggling for many years and your family feels he/she is declining, is to call a hospice program near you, and ask to have him/her evaluated for hospice care.  You can never be admitted to hospice too early.  Hospice can be a huge support to the caregivers.

To locate a hospice program near you in California please see:  http://cahospicefoundation.com/   or   http://www.nahc.org/haa/

Have a good day!   Therese