My Mom and Nair® Face Cream

November is National Family Caregivers Month. A time to give thanks to all those folks who are taking care of a loved one who is struggling with heath issues that cause serious impairments.

My mom was my dad’s caregiver for several years. My dad lost his eye sight to Macular Degeneration and he lost his memory to Alzheimer’s. She gave 150% of herself in taking care of my dad which caused her own health to begin to fail miserably.  The time came to make the very difficult decision to place my dad in a nursing home. The stress she experienced from her caregiver role was irreversible.

The kind of stress she experienced was not good. She often became dehydrated which would land her in the hospital. She lost all of her hair from stress which caused people to ask me if she was going through chemotherapy. She lost an incredible amount of weight and she wasn’t a very big person to begin with. And, her memory also started to plummet. I became my mom’s caregiver. One of the most uncomfortable hats I have ever worn.   

My mom eventually ended up in the same nursing home as my dad. She was showing signs of dementia as she was becoming dangerously forgetful. I have some crazy memories of the time my mom and dad were in the nursing home at the same time. Some memories are humorous and some not so much.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are so puzzling. One day my mom would be just fine, and I would question my decision of placing her in the nursing home. Then the next day, she would be so off that she was unpleasant to visit. Several times the social worker at the nursing home said to me, “Wendy, stop trying to rationalize with an irrational person.” Hard to do when it’s your mom and you just long for her to be okay.  

I would take my mom on a weekly visit to her favorite pharmacy. There she liked to shop for items such as toothpaste, cough drops, lipstick, and gum. I remember it was a good day for her on this one particular visit. She seemed alert and jovial.

She saw a small tube of Nair® Face Cream. All you women reading will understand this. As we get older, we start to grow whiskers. Not cool. So she wanted this cream to help her get rid of her unwanted facial hair. I totally agreed with her so I let her buy it. Keep in mind, she was having an alert day.

The next morning, I received a phone call from the nursing home. They were not happy with me and could not understand why in the world I would let my mom buy Nair® Face Cream. I told them because she asked if she could and she knew why she wanted it so I said yes.

Well, regardless of her alert day, her evening was not. She spread the Nair® Face Cream all over her face because she thought it was moisturizer. The nurses at the nursing home said her whole face was red and slightly ‘burned’ from this. I am sure you can imagine how badly I felt. I hung up and sobbed. Not from the scolding, as they had every right to chew me out, but from the unintentional hurt I caused my mom.

I was thankful when I went to visit her that day. Yes, her face was red, however, she was as happy as could be. We had coffee together, sang songs together, laughed together, and visited my dad together. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are just so puzzling.

Thank you, caregivers. Thank you for your endless love, your sacrifices, your patience, your commitment. I pray for you. I pray you find calm in the chaos that surrounds you. I pray you find peace in the decisions you must make. I pray you realize it is okay to ask for help! I pray you find the courage to know when you are no longer able to care for your loved one! I pray you take care of YOU! I love you and I honor you today and every day!

Stay Calm & Thank a Caregiver!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

It’s Gonna Be Okay

Photo credit: https://slideplayer.com/slide/7367403/

Yesterday in my Classroom Management course, teacher candidates were discussing the Three Dimensions of Discipline found in the book Discipline with Dignity: New Challenges, New Solutions by Curwin, Mendler, and Mendler (2008). The first dimension, The Prevention Dimension, has 7 key points. One key point mentions how to handle conflict with students.

Together, we brainstormed how they see themselves handling conflict with their future elementary students. They tapped into all the information gleaned from this course and gave excellent examples. It was a proud moment for me. 😊 Then, the discussion landed us on a chat about the teacher’s lounge. You can about imagine where that conversation took us. Yikes…

I mentioned to them I believe THEY are experiencing conflict in their lives right now. This turned the focus of the discussion onto them, so I asked these teacher candidates how THEY are handling their life conflicts. How are they dealing with their stresses?

One stressor they are coping with this semester is worrying about getting their field experience hours completed. COVID is playing havoc on their field experiences with schools closing down for weeks at a time.

“What are we going to do if we can’t complete our hours?” they question with sincere concern in their voices.

Another stressor they are dealing with is they are in their methods year, which can be quite intense with several assignments from each methods class…sometimes all due on the same day. They have lessons plans to write and lessons to teach and research papers to write and presentations to give and articles to critique and edTPA commentary to review. They begin to doubt their abilities.

Dog pile on top of all that, the majority of my teacher candidates work an outside job to help pay tuition. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for any of us.

So…back to my question directed at my teacher candidates. How are they handling all this personal conflict? The number one answer from all of them in this class was…

They vent! They vent to each other (and sometimes to their mom).

They talk it out and when they realize they aren’t alone and know others are going through the same thing, it surprisingly helps them calm down. They have become family. I told them it was okay to vent.

One of the teacher candidates shared with the class she cries a lot. I told her it was okay to cry. And then I said to them: “It is going to be okay.” This same teacher candidate who said she has been crying a lot, asked if she could get that recorded for proof. I smiled and told her of course she could. She pulled out her phone, and I said it again only this time with a little more power…

IT’S GONNA BE OKAY! (Maybe I made it on Tik Tok??). 😉

Tasha Layton’s song came into my thoughts after I spoke those words out loud, so I started to sing these lyrics to my teacher candidates…

It’s gonna be okay

It’s gonna be okay

You’re gonna be okay!  

You got this, teacher candidates. 💪💪 Air hugs for all of you! 🤗 It’s gonna be okay. 🤎💛

Stay Calm & Go Ahead & Vent & Cry!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Now He Sings with the Angels

Forty years ago today. That seems like forever ago! And, yet, some days it seems like just yesterday.  

It has been 40 years since my brother, Randy, died as the result of a car accident on November 7, 1980. I was 21 and he was 23. He was two weeks away from his 24th birthday. The picture above was the last picture taken of him.

I received the call from my dad at about 3 o’clock in the morning. I remember the L O N G drive back home to my parent’s house, which was five hours away. The whole way home I convinced myself it was a horrible mistake!  It was someone else who had been driving his car! My brother was going to be just fine.

I’m so thankful for many memories of Randy. These memories of my brother bring such joy to my heart! I’d like to share just a few… 

I remember when we were young in 1966 and walking home from the Orpheum Theater downtown Pipestone. As we walked by the old courthouse on Hiawatha Avenue in the early darkness of evening, a man popped out of the bushes, and this stranger started to chase us. Randy grabbed my hand and took off running like a deer that had been spooked. I felt like I was flying behind him.  He never let go of my hand. 

My brother protected me.

In October 1979, Randy was driving me back to Marshall, MN because it was an ice storm and he wanted to keep me safe.  When we got to the Holland hill, there was a car on the other side of the road having troubles getting up the hill because of the ice. Randy pulled his car over to the side and got out to go help ‘push’ the car up the hill.  He didn’t hesitate once to get behind that struggling vehicle. I thought if he could do it so could I, so on went my mittens, and I hopped out to go help him. Eventually, all of us pushing that car up that icy hill experienced victory.

My brother was always willing to serve others.    

Another memory I have is of Randy driving us to Minneapolis to visit my dad’s side of the family in 1974. It was just him and me in his gold Chevy, windows down, hair blowing, music blasting, and my 14-year old self was feeling pretty groovy at the time. The song Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) was blaring from his cassette tape.  When this verse

Take good care

Of my business

When I’m away

Every day

boomed through the speakers, I glanced over at him and caught him looking at me while singing at the top of his lungs and grinning from ear to ear because he changed the lyrics to

Take good care

Of my sister

When I’m away

Every day

…almost as if he knew I’d need taking care of later in life.  

My brother loved me. 

Randy was an excellent singer and guitar player. That is the one thing I miss the most about him…his musical talent. I honestly believe if he were still alive today he would be a well-known country singer; even though he loved rock and roll (shh…don’t tell him I said that). 😉

Or, maybe, just maybe he would be a Christian singer. Do you know who Zach Williams is? The guy who sings Chain Breaker and There Was Jesus? Click on the links to give him a listen.

That is who my brother sounded like when he sang (kinda looked like him too). My brother would have made a fabulous Christian singer. 

Now…he sings with the angels in heaven. 

Losing a loved one is painful. A bible verse that brought some comfort to me after losing my brother was Isaiah 57:1. I know in my heart the Lord rescued Randy from something evil in this world, and for that I am thankful!

If you are struggling with grief right now, I pray you find a bible verse(s), possibly a book or two, and someone (God would be the perfect some One) who is a good listener to help you find healing. A book that may bring you comfort is No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending by Esther Fleece (2017). Esther wrote this book to “give you permission to grieve, to ask questions, to hurt—and to do so without apology” (p. 18). “All of us need lament. All of us long to be rescued from pain” (p. 19). My friend and colleague, Kandy Noles-Stevens, wrote a book called The Redbird Sings the Song of Hope which is a beautiful tender expression of what grieving people wish others knew. I highly recommend both books.

May I ask you a huge favor? Please love your siblings! If you are estranged with any, please find reconciliation and forgiveness in your hearts! Please love your family. Our days are numbered and we never know how long we will have our family around. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.

In joyful memory of my only sibling, Randy Lane Wussow, the lucky guy who got to give Jesus a real hug 40 years ago today. I can only imagine what that was like.

Love you, Bro!!! Keep strumming. Keep singing. I know I will see you again someday! Until then, I am thankful for my fond memories of you.

Stay Calm & Love Your Siblings!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Fleece, E. (2017). No more faking fine: Ending the pretending. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

Noles-Stevens, K. (2016). Redbird sings the song of hope. Westbow Press.

SMSU Mustangs Come Together – Homecoming 2020

SMSU Homecoming 2020 was modified this year due to COVID, however, it was still a great time.

Each year a door/office decorating contest is held and this year was no different. Colleague and friend, Dr. LeAnne Syring and I get a little competitive during this contest. Okay…confession. We get A LOT competitive. 😜 Even though we have put much effort into our past door decorating contests, we seem to fall just short of winning…until this year!! Wahoo!!

The Homecoming theme for 2020 was Mustangs Come Together — 6 Feet Apart. So, together, Dr. LeAnne and I brainstormed to come up with our door decorating plan. I love the Beatles and their song Come Together kept playing in my mind. From this tune, our theme of Come Together, Mustangs…6 Shoes Apart was born.

LeAnne had the idea of taking our picture and cutting it out to make it look like we were riding a mustang horse. We found the picture of the SMSU horse in front of our university (created by artist John Sterner) so we used that mustang. The School of Education professors who were on campus a few days before the door would be judged, complied with our crazy wishes to let us take their pictures.

We had great helpers, wouldn’t you agree, Dr. LeAnne? Mariah S. and Amanda M. helped cut out horses and stencils and music notes. Thanks, ladies. We couldn’t have done it without you.

LeAnne also had the idea of rewriting the lyrics to the Beatles 60’s hit Come Together. I gave it a try and came up blank. LeAnne gave it a try and came up with a fabulous tune that was the epitome of SMSU spirit. Dr. LeAnne, Dr. Sonya, our office admin, Jen S. and myself sang the song to a karaoke tune. Give it a listen… 🐴🤎💛😀

🎵 Come Together, Mustangs, 6 Shoes Apart 🎵

We finished our door and song just in time for judging.  You could say we were a tad bit excited when we received the first place trophy. 😍🐴🎉

Saturday was the SMSU Homecoming Parade. The SMSU Education MN Aspiring Educators (EMAE) happily participates in the parade each year. Even though we weren’t able to throw candy to the children, we all had a great time! Kudos to all our EMAE officers for showing up and walking the 1.5 miles of parade route. Y’all are rock stars! 🌟

Thank you to all those SMSU peeps who plan the SMSU Homecoming festivities. We enjoyed all that was offered and look forward to next year’s theme. Just know…Dr. LeAnne and I will be back competing for two wins in a row! 💪💪😉

Stay Calm & Come Together, Mustangs!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

“Love Has a Name” Book Talk

Love Has a Name by Adam Weber

I am an educator.

An effective educator has many traits, and one of them is learning their students’ names as soon as possible.

Before school even started, I knew most of my students’ names. I wrote them on the name tags for their desks, on the name tags for their lockers, on the name tags for their mailboxes, on the squirrels for the bulletin board that said “We are NUTS about School.” 😊🐿

My goal was to know all 30 of my students’ names by the end of the first day (yes, I had 30 third graders my first year of teaching). For the most part, I succeeded.

When I was an elementary principal, I would go to the lunch room every day and say the names of the students who were sitting in their grade levels at their assigned lunch table. The students enjoyed this because they liked testing me. This took a lot longer than one day to learn all the names of the students, but I would generally succeed.

Now as a college professor, I still know it is vital to learn the names of all my students. I find it more difficult when I only see my students once or twice a week. I give it my best effort and yet still make mistakes (sorry Rebecca for calling you Rachel 😏).

Names…they are so important.

Did you know that God knows YOUR name? Isaiah 43:1 tells us it is true “…I have redeemed you; I have called you by name…”

Did you know that God loves you? Jeremiah 31:1 says it perfectly “…I have loved you with an everlasting love…”

I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in these verses. God knows my name and He loves me. My name…Wendy…is important to Him. Your name, ______, is important to him. Wow! Let that sink in for a bit.   

In the book Love Has a Name, author Adam Weber, founder and lead pastor of Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, shares stories about people who have loved him and who he has learned to love.

Pastor Adam begins by retelling the story of Zacchaeus. Remember him? 🎵 Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he.🎵 Jesus knew his name, and loved Zacchaeus before He even met him.

The first name story in this book to resonate with me was about Brett. Brett is one who taught Pastor Weber that love heals through unlikely people. Brett’s story gave me such joy because I am a professor at SMSU and he graduated from there (which I discovered because I read ALL footnotes in the back of the book while I was reading the book. It’s a must. You will be happy you did). We are Mustangs for Life, right Brett? 🐴

Chapter 10 is titled Becky|Love Washes Feet which if you remember, Jesus washed the feet of all His disciples…even the one who betrayed him. And the most amazing thing about that is Jesus knew this disciple would betray him. That takes some serious love to do that.

When I thought about washing feet, Sara came to my mind. She is the one who gives me my pedicure. She pampers me by washing and massaging my feet then painting my toes. All I can say is THANK YOU, Sara!!! Not sure I could do that for others. Could any of you? Pastor Weber will give suggestions on how you CAN do this for others. Read the book.

The stories of those names Pastor Weber has learned to love were astounding. Tony, Mark, Captain, F-Man (yup, that F stands for what you are thinking it stands for), A.C. Kidd (read this story to find out what those initials stand for), and Jillian, the Angel Wings lady (thank you for the beautiful artwork). All are remarkable stories. 

The story that hit my heart the most in this section was the story about Mark. Mark…the know it all. Mark…the one who thinks he’s right about everything. Mark…the one who starts false rumors about us. Mark…the two-faced brat. Mark…the one who makes us angry and frustrated and confused. And, as Pastor Adam says in his book, Mark…the one who we want to body slam!

What do we do about all those people in our lives named “Mark?” (Nothing personal if your name is Mark). Well, Pastor Weber has some great thoughts on this issue. Sorry…my lips are zipped. You will have to read the book if you want to know what his great thoughts are. 🤐

I do have to give away one part though. In Chapter 20, Pastor Adam shares about the mural that was created in the alley by his house. Jillian is an artist who painted angel wings on this backdrop. This beautiful artwork made the news and now people come from near and far to take their picture by the wings.

Because I live within 50 minutes of Sioux Falls, SD, I decided to take my daughter and her family on an angel wing hunt last week, and guess what? We found some. What a treasure. The pictures speak for themselves. Thank you, Jillian. 👼

Each story in this book is beautiful. And so is yours! And so is mine! We need to tell our stories. Who knows who we may help. Love has a name and it is all of ours. YOU, me, ALL of us. Jesus loves us and knows our name. That is a real treasure. So is this book. I highly recommend you read Love Has a Name by Adam Weber.

Angel Wing Hunt

Stay Calm & Share YOUR Story!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Procrastination Doesn’t Stop the Seasons of Change

P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Procrastination can be defined as the action or delaying or postponing something. Often times, procrastination carries a negative connotation. We’re told not to procrastinate many times in life – especially when we are considering homework. We often “put off” what we don’t want to do. However, procrastination can actually be a gift. It can allow us the time we need to process whatever it is our mind is working on in the background. 

Procrastination is real – and as we experience the change of seasons and return to school (however that may look for each of us this fall), we face opportunities for procrastination all around us. Now, I simply love the change of season from summer to fall as we turn to “sweater weather” and new school supplies. I could argue my love for each season, but that would delay my intent – and no more procrastinating here! 

I have been procrastinating. My mind has been working on this blog in the background for the past month. My eldest son, who turned 18 and graduated this past May, is now “off to college” right here in my backyard (across town) and across campus from my office. I have written this blog over and over in many different ways in my mind since he moved into the dorms a month ago. I wasn’t ready to write it with all that was going on and the busyness of another new academic year commencing. In truth, I just plain wasn’t ready to write it – so I didn’t type it. It was going to make it too real. I was enjoying the idea that my son “had gone off to camp” and nothing had really changed. It’s not like he moved across the state or country, right? So why couldn’t I write it? I was trying to avoid the seasons of change – as much as I do love autumn, I wasn’t ready for “sweater weather.” Moving him in to his dorm was not hard – just hot outside (and inside with no air conditioning). What made it hard – walking by his bedroom at home to see it “empty” without him AND his bed was made.


You see – I have preached the importance of bed-making for years. I am avid bed-maker. It is one thing to be accomplished at the start of the day – and crawling into a “made” bed at the end of a long day is heavenly. I have been making my bed since I was 10 years old – or at least that was the moment I remember thinking, “I like this and will do this always.” I am apparently the only one of my siblings to have this thought. 😉 Fast-forward… I have harped on my sons to make their beds for years… and slowly started to get tired of the fight or maybe just realized it is not a fight that needs to be fought or as important as I once had thought. I do continue to send them small messages from time to time to remind them of the importance of bed-making, which they politely ignore. This is just one of the many delicate hints that I have shared with my boys –

Going back to see that empty bedroom with the bed made, caused me to pause and realize I was parenting an adult child now. He had grown up and learned many valuable lessons – some from me and some from others. Maybe I had “done okay” with parenting… or maybe not? I think that is the struggle and what makes this so hard. Parenting may not end, but it definitely changes, and we have moved to a new season of parenting. Like moving from the freedom of summer to the routine of fall, I have moved from parenting my child to mentoring my child in a whole new, unknown way. Did I do a good enough job in the last season? Will I do an okay job in the next season? Only time will tell. This makes me sad and reminiscent – and makes me happy and hopeful at the same time. 

Sappy stuff aside and funny part of the story now… it turns out that his Dad/my husband made my son’s bed – and not my son after all. So as seasons change, somethings don’t. Cheers to a great semester and year, son! May you make your bed and not procrastinate. Always remember that I’m here for you whether you do or don’t make your bed. 🙂

Sharing just for good measure… may this habit will catch on with someone somewhere eventually.


May everyone have a great academic year full of challenges to be accomplished and beds to be made!

Sharing in case you are procrastinating right now…

Well, it’s been a month into the making (writing and rewriting)… so I had better “just send it” because it doesn’t stop the seasons of change from happening.

Stay Calm & Embrace the Seasons of Change! 
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm to  you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Let the Children Go to the Bathroom

A curly blonde-haired, green-eyed first grader raised her hand with her pointing finger sticking straight up high in the air obeying the rule to indicate #1 or #2. The teacher gave her a glance and shook her head NO. With tears stinging in the little girl’s eyes, she grimaced, she shifted in her seat, and she just couldn’t hold on any longer.

Overflowing the wooden chair seat, the urine dripped onto the floor leaving an obvious puddle for the whole class to see. Total humiliation.

That little girl was me. And that incident was over 50 years ago.  

I remember that “accident” like it was yesterday. In my memory, I see myself sitting quietly in my cute blue polka-dotted dress with lacy bobby socks and white tennis shoes in the second desk of the row that was closest to the room closet; row one on the west side of the classroom which was directly across the hall from the bathrooms.

A fifth grade boy asked to use the bathroom right before getting on the bus at the end of the day. He was told no. Bus rides aren’t short. He didn’t make it. Everyone knew because of the smell on the bus. Rightfully so, the parents of this boy were extremely upset and paid a visit to the principal.

A third grade girl sat in her desk during a test all while squirming frantically and crossing her legs trying her hardest to ‘hold it.’ She didn’t succeed. The expectation was students were not allowed to ask permission to go to the bathroom during a test and because she was a rule follower, she didn’t ask. Public embarrassment.

A second grade boy asked to use the bathroom and was told no. He lost control but thankfully his jeans soaked it up. He also had on a long t-shirt which covered his saturated blue jeans so none of his classmates knew what had happened. Whew!

A first grade girl asked to use the bathroom and was told no – she was to wait until after the spelling test and go before recess. She didn’t make it out to recess. The new teacher graciously asked her if the plant had spilled on her – as that sometimes happens. Oh dear. My first grade self knew better, but the teacher who didn’t let her go to the bathroom helped her recover in front of her peers.

A preschooler asked to use the bathroom while lining up from recess. He was told no. This little boy was fortunate as he told his mommy “I squeezed my cheeks together and I tried to hold it in.” He was fortunate and didn’t have an accident in front of all his peers, which could have led to teasing and bullying.

Schools are the only place I know that don’t allow a person to use the bathroom when needed. I was an elementary teacher. I get it. We don’t want our students to miss any of our important teaching.

When I first began teaching third graders, I had cute wooden spoons with cute little faces painted on them. These were my ‘Bathroom Passes.’ If a student needed to use the bathroom, and that spoon was hanging up, they could grab the spoon and take it with them into the bathroom then return it when finished.

Yeah, that didn’t go so well. The spoons were left in the bathrooms most times and when you think about it, the spoons were probably full of germs. Yuck!

My second year of teaching third graders, I had an epiphany. A family requested that if their son asked to use the bathroom, to please let him go. I am so grateful to that family because it changed my approach to using the bathroom. And it was only my second year. From that year on, if a child asked me permission to use the bathroom, I would simply ask, “Can it wait? If not, go now. Only you know!”

I understand we teachers like to have our students present during instruction. However, we ALL know there are times when needing a restroom is immediate! So, please…trust your students, and let the children go to the bathroom.

Please share in the comments below any successful bathroom classroom management technique(s) you have used in your classroom.

Stay Calm & Let Them GO!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

(Pics linked to resources).

Let’s Fight Against Alzheimer’s and Dementia Together

Me, my mom, and my daughter, June 6, 2014 ❤

On June 6, 2014, my mom was able to show off her beautiful smile during a three-generation wedding ring photo shoot because her only granddaughter was getting married in August.

On June 8, 2014, my mom forgot to use her walker which caused her to fall and fracture her pelvic bone in three different places.

On June 11, 2014, my mom died.

On June 16, 2014, we buried my mom on her 77th birthday (and yes, we celebrated her life with one last birthday party because she always loved a good party. Pizza and (root) beer were served in her honor 🍕🥤).

My mom had dementia (my dad had Alzheimer’s). Dementia is a thief. It robs its victims of memory. It causes them to forget to use their walker. 😟 Such a cruel disease.

BUT…there is hope!

Let’s join together and fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s! Awakening from Alzheimer’s is a 12-day series of interviews with doctors who specialize in the brain. Fourteen doctors over 12 days reveal how they are winning the war against Alzheimer’s in this groundbreaking series. These doctors share their expertise on how to prevent or miraculously turn around cognitive decline.

This is FABULOUS news.

My hubby and I signed up for this series of interviews and we enjoyed all of them. Each doctor interview is between 30 – 65 minutes long. There were many eyebrow raising moments while watching. We learned Alzheimer’s is called “diabetes of the brain or Type 3 Diabetes.”  😳 We also learned that the only sure way to know if a person truly had Alzheimer’s is through an autopsy after death.  😳

All of these interviews were worth our time!!! Some episodes were better than others, however, each offered incredible information on how to combat against this nasty disease. My favorite interview was Day 10 with Dr. David Katz. Below is the blurb sent with this episode:

Day 10: Feet, Forks, and Fingers: Lifestyle as Medicine in the War on Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. David Katz  

Episode 10 is live and you do not want to miss it.

In his interview, Dr. Katz is going to help you understand…

  • The characteristics of long-lived, healthy populations.
  • How big food companies want you to be addicted to their products.
  • Why preventing coronary disease could help you prevent Alzheimer’s.

Be sure to catch this episode with Dr. Katz before we take it down for good. (email from info@awakeningfromalzheimers.com)

One key thing to know is the interviews are free. The links to the interviews will come to your email and you have 24 hours to watch each episode. Another main thing to know, is once these interviews are done, you will continue to get emails from Awakening from Alzheimer’s. Yes, they have products they want to sell to you. If you do not want to clog up your inbox with these emails, just click on their ‘unsubscribe’ button. Easy as that.

Below, we share our few takeaways from this series, however, we hope you watch it for yourself. Especially if you worry about the possibility of suffering as your loved ones might have. A few common denominators from all interviews…

🏥 Dementia/Alzheimer’s is considered Type 3 diabetes. 

🏥 Decrease consumption of sugars and simple carbs (my hubby’s reaction to this…”NO, they are taking away all the good stuff” 😃).

🏥 Decrease inflammation. 

🏥 Increase gut health (our gut is our 2nd brain).  

🏥 Increase exercise (especially aerobic…anyone want to go for a fast-paced walk with me? 🙋). 

🏥 Increase sleep to at least 7.5 hours each night (I was excited to watch this one as I have difficulty sleeping!).

🏥 Increase intake of healthy supplements such as fish oil, vitamin D, B-vitamins, vitamin E, and more. 

🏥 Increase intake of healthy fats such as avocado, wild caught salmon, coconut oil, Omega-3’s.   

It’s all about wellness and making smart life choices. Won’t you please join me in the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s? My mom (and dad) would be grateful.

Three-generation wedding rings ❤

Stay Calm & Let’s Fight Alzheimer’s Together!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone

We welcome our colleague and friend, Dr. LeAnne Syring, as our guest blogger this week. Dr. LeAnne Syring is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her passion lies with teaching aspiring educators to see each child as unique, special, and valued. She also enjoys sewing, reading, crafting, and bundling up in a blanket with a hot Chai Tea Latte in the winters of Minnesota.

Dr. LeAnne Syring….mask making champion!

Over the course of the last few months I have been in quarantine, like most of us have. In-person contact became restricted. I have taught classes, conversed with colleagues, students, and prospective students via Zoom. Realization of the impact the absence of this in-person contact was holding over me did not hit until I went on campus for a project. A group of us had been making masks at home to be able to give to all of our incoming freshman. We have picked up fabric pieces cut out by colleagues, taken them to our respective homes, and assembled them. Our group was contacted by our Minnesota CBS affiliate television station to do a story on the project (Click on the picture above to view the story).

This invitation brought us onto campus to join up as a group for the first time. We went to the campus costume shop, donned our masks, and practiced social distancing. I could not believe the energy that saturated my entire body from merely being with this group of people, in person, sewing and working together. We were no longer working in isolation we were truly a group of people working together toward the same goal. We were talking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Until that moment I had not realized what that personal contact meant to me and my energy level.

This experience has reminded me of how much we may have taken for granted prior to this pandemic. The ability to converse with our colleagues face-to-face. The ability to go out for lunch with friends. The joy that comes from those interactions. As Joni Mitchell sang in the 70’s, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”

A few years ago, my church’s pastor retired. He and his wife had been there for quite a few years and were absolutely the richest example of light and joy, kindness and generosity. While packing for the move they invited me over to look through their vast personal library for any book I would like to read. The afternoon that I spent with them was relaxing, calm, and irreplaceable. I asked myself, “why had I not spent more time with them?”

As a person who goes to analogies to explain things, I went to the analogy of a beautiful living room. We may painstakingly take the time to select the flooring, the wall color and all of the furnishings, but then never sit in the room. We save it. We look at it, but do not use it. It is treasured, but never utilized. The pastor and his wife were like a beautiful living room – they were always there, I knew that I could go and ‘look’ at them anytime I wanted, but I did not utilize them as I could have. The love and knowledge they could have and were willing to share, are now gone. I lost the opportunity.

The pandemic has shown me that it is time to use the beautiful living room, take out the ‘good dishes,’ talk to the people in your life that are there for you to learn from, and make the time to enjoy what you have been given.

Wear your mask, wash your hands, do your part and pray that COVID will soon be gone.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

~Joni Mitchell

Stay Calm & Take Out Your Good Dishes!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Be Strong and Courageous!

“I command you – be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Joshua…a noble example of complete trust, unwavering belief, and obedient faith in God! When God spoke, Joshua listened and obeyed. Joshua was the appointed leader to take over for Moses after Moses died. What a difficult position to fill because in all honesty, who would ever want to fill the shoes…er sandals of Moses? But…fill them he did!

The first nine verses of Joshua are powerfully encouraging. In those first few verses, Joshua is told to be strong and courageous three times. Look at the intense progression of this command…

“Be strong and courageous…” ~Joshua 1:6a (NLT)

“Be strong and very courageous.” ~Joshua 1:7 (Emphasis mine).

I command you – be strong and courageous!” ~Joshua 1:9a (Emphasis mine).

Notice the exclamation mark after the last command? I am not sure what you are thinking, but I am thinking God was S.E.R.I.O.U.S. He meant what He said! Yes indeed, I would listen too.

Another treasure buried within those first nine verses is God’s promise to be there for Joshua. Not just once, but three times Joshua is reassured that God’s got his back…

“For I will be with you as I was with Moses…” Joshua 1:5b

“I will not fail you or abandon you.” ~Joshua 1:5c

“For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9c

The number three caught my attention. Did you know, next to seven, three is the most commonly used number in Scripture (Johnston, 1990). Interesting! And, speaking of three and being courageous, Joshua needed his army. He couldn’t do it alone. Ecclesiastes 4:12b (NLT) advises us to not stand alone. Two is good, but “three are even better for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Emphasis mine.). Thank goodness Joshua had several triple-braided cords of soldiers.

God kept his promise and stayed with Joshua. The LORD gave Joshua clear instructions of what to do to conquer and gain victory over Jericho. Joshua 6:15-16 (NLT) is the story most of us remember and are still able to sing…

“On the seventh day the Israelites marched around the city seven times. The seventh time around, the priests sounded the long blast on their horns” and the walls came tumbling down.

Joshua conquered and found victory because he was strong and courageous  

During the past few months, our Good Samaritan Society has been under attack by COVID-19. The number of positive cases among the residents and staff has been steadily rising. So has the number of deaths. 😥 Fear and defeat seems to be lurking behind the eyes of so many people.

Some residents are lonely. Some are isolated in the COVID wing. Some don’t understand why family isn’t coming to see them. There are chairs kept outside some resident’s room so family can visit through the window. Breaks my heart!

It was time to put God’s words from Joshua into action. Time to be strong and courageous. Time to know God is with us and in control. Time to believe there will be victory over COVID so that family members can once again visit their loved ones who are at Good Sam.

An SOS call went out to people to gather together to march around Good Sam seven times all while praying for healing and protection over all residents and employees there. Praying for COVID-19 to fall!!!

Even though it was a short notice, the word got around and 21 believers showed up to march (amazing…that is three sevens). God showed up too! We were led in prayer before we began, praise music filled the air during the walk, people inside Good Sam waved at us through the windows, and one pastor actually had a ram’s horn that he blew each time we lapped around Good Sam.

It was powerful. It was inspirational. It was heartwarming. I am believing this action WILL make a difference. I anticipate good things to happen out at Good Sam. I am confident there will be victory over COVID-19!

So…let’s get going!  Let’s be strong and courageous in our communities all the while knowing God will be with us! He’s got our backs through ALL of this craziness. Believe it.

Stay Calm & Be Strong and Courageous!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Johnston, R. D. (1990). Numbers in the bible: God’s design in biblical numerology. Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.