This time last year, during my monthly visit with you I brought some Super Bowl cookies from the bakery. You happily munched on the football-shaped cookies, but kept asking, “Now, what’s this for?”
Tomorrow is another Super Bowl Sunday. No, Mom, your great-grandson is not playing in the Super Bowl. Gannon is only 8, but he’s our favorite football player anyway. If we want to whistle and yell, “Yea, Irish 85!” it’s okay.
February is the shortest month, but it’s packed with special dates. Today, Feb. 3rd, is not just Super Bowl XLVII, it’s also the birthday of Sesame Street’s Elmo. Feb. 3rd, 1959 is known as The Day The Music Died, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson all died in a plane crash.
As a reminder, Mom, here are some February birthdays of people you admired: Charles Lindbergh on the 4th, Rosa Parks on the 5th, and Charles Dickens and Laura Ingalls Wilder on the 7th. And to kickoff long celebrations, February 10th ushers in the Chinese New Year—the Year of the Snake.
Our blog post last week, “Helping the Healing,” received numerous well wishes, funny and serious comments, and helpful suggestions from our readers and other bloggers. February is the International Friendship Month, and on your behalf I thank all these friends for their responses.
To return the favor, I’m including some information and websites that might make life easier for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, their caregivers and families, and for parents and grandparents with infants, children, and pets (yes, pets!) who have trouble sleeping.
First, Diane MacKinnon is a medical doctor, writer and life coach who has generously allowed this site to list a free download, “Pitfalls Caregivers Fall Into and How To Climb Back Out.” This is superb, and I highly recommend it! http://www.dianemackinnon.com/downloads/index.html
Next, these two CDs are carefully chosen and created lullabies set to the sounds of heartbeats. For fussy or frightened children, for confused dementia or Alzheimer’s victims or tired caregivers, the lullaby music played in the background is a big help.
For canines–puppies adjusting to new families or for older dogs or those needing soothing music–the canine CD is excellent.
And for something yummy: at my Thursday meeting with friends, we stumbled on an unusual, delicious mid-day drink that caregivers might enjoy after a difficult day.
It’s hot tea, Spiced Chai Latte with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Just enough spice to warm, inspire and reward you! So good.
Finally, not to take sides on the Super Bowl…aw, forget it, I am taking sides. First, I’m married to a third generation Colorado native, so my first choice would have been the Broncos. But my second is the Ravens, for two solid, non-football reasons: First, as an English major, how could I not be impressed by Baltimore’s connection to Edgar Allan Poe: “…quoth the raven, nevermore…” Come on, how often does football have a literary connection? Second, in this year’s Super Bowl we have two brothers coaching…different teams. Jim Harbaugh is the coach for the 49ers, and his younger brother John Harbaugh is the coach for the Ravens. Speaking as a second child, a must-try-harder kid, I have to cheer for John.