Category Archives: honoring your parents

Review of Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443 I just finished reading my friend Joan Edward’s excellent book on elder care. Joan lovingly cared for her mother for many years and the book reads as if it is a friend telling you how to get through this difficult time of helping our parents in their last days.

I consider myself in the “sandwich generation” at this time of my life. I need to help my parents more and more, yet I am also needed to babysit for my grandson and his soon to be born little brother. Joan’s book is an excellent guide to help us.

She really did her homework in researching all that is needed in caring for the elderly. There are over 170 footnotes in the book. After telling us about her care-giving experience, she helps the reader to explore whether they can indeed be the one to care for their loved one by asking many pertinent questions.

Step by step, Joan covers every needed base, including chapters on gathering important papers, making a “care-giver tool kit,” dealing with insurance, types of assisted living facilities, how to deal with your elder’s doctors and what to ask if they have to undergo a procedure of some type. She gives advice even on how to work with the billing department when a medical procedure’s cost is sky high.

One piece of great advice I found on page 88. When you have taken your elder out on the road for more than 2 hours you should provide them with water and a snack before trying to get them out of the car upon your return home. That is something perhaps I would have forgotten during the stress of a road trip with Mom.

Joan has done the hard part: pulling together all the needed information someone would need when taking on the difficult job of care-giving. Included in the back are checklists so one can evaluate what specific needs their elder has, and what they are still able to do for themselves. Also are charts to list where important information is located, a 12 week walking log, and a chart to keep track of bills that need paid, among others. She gives great advice on conflict resolution, and most importantly she tells her readers that they must take care of themselves first in order to be able to care for their loved one.

As a non-fiction writer myself, I can really appreciate the time and effort Joan took to provide such a thorough guide for care-givers. Providing her list of references for each footnote itself is a treasure trove of information.You will also find plenty of websites listed throughout for enhanced learning.

I am happy that I have this book on hand. It is available both in hardback and paperback.  I know it will truly be like having a friend to help me as I care for my Mom and Dad. I am sure that Joan’s warmth and caring reflected through Joan’s Elder Care Guide will help many others also.

Publishing information:

People can email Joan at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interview with Joan Y. Edwards, Author of Joan’s Elder Care Guide Published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_DSCN7704thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443

 

I am so happy for my friend Joan Y. Edwards. Not only did she help me in my own road to publication, but her first traditionally published book has just hit the market. I cannot wait to read it myself, and will be putting a review out just as soon as I can.

But today I want to interview Joan, and share some of her good tips on writing and her path to publication of Joan’s Elder Care Guide. Joan is the kind of person who always makes you feel encouraged, so I hope this interview will inspire you, whether you are a writer, a caregiver, a nurse, or just happened to stumble upon my blog.

 

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I taught elementary school for 35 years. I love seeing the light bulb light up when children learn new things.

2)      What led you to write Joan’s Elder Care Guide?

While taking care of Mother, I learned that I needed to leave detailed plans for her care. When I left detailed plans with Mother’s schedule and telling what she could and couldn’t do, certified nursing assistants from home health care agencies told me that they wished other people would leave the schedule and plans, too. That’s when I thought, “Perhaps I should write a book to share what worked for me in an effort to help others caring for their elders.”

3)  How long did it take you to write this book from first idea to finished product?

It took me two years to write this book. I started writing the book in October 2008. I completed the manuscript and proposal in 2010. I submitted it to several publishers.

 I signed a contract with 4RV Publishing on April 9, 2011. 4RV Publishing sent the manuscript to the printer, Ingram’s Lightning Source on April 15, 2016. Five years and one week from the date I signed the contract.

The editing process took from August, 2013 until April 15, 2016…two and a half years. I had two different editors. The editing process was a very humbling experience.

 I appreciate 4RV Publishing’s staff for believing in me and helping me make Joan’s Elder Care Guide a reality.

4)  What was your most difficult thing to tackle writing the book?

It was difficult to put things in strict categories. Things seemed to overlap.

 

5)  What part did you enjoy writing the most?

I enjoyed discovering different ways for caregivers to meet their needs and those of their elders. It made me feel helpful to share things that worked for me. It was fun researching other ideas that might make things easier for caregivers and elders.

 

6)  Do you have any advice for those who want to traditionally publish their first book? Keep on submitting to publishers that you respect who publish the genre you’ve written. Study the craft of writing. Believe in yourself and your writing. Never Give Up.

(My Note: That is clever that you say Never Give Up as that is the title of one of your blogs!)

7)  As a middle aged grandmother who has two elderly parents herself, I ask what would you say would be the topmost priority in being a successful caregiver?

To be a successful caregiver, take care of your needs. Plan time away from care-giving duties. Use family and friends or pay a professional so you can take time away. It’s vitally important.

 

8) What is your happiest memory from your care-giving experience with your mother?

I enjoyed taking Mother to her favorite restaurant to meet up with her friends. She was used to going every day. I didn’t do that but I made it a priority to take her as many times as I could. I especially enjoyed the times that Mother, my husband, and I spent with my daughters and their families at the beach.

9) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Sometimes you may not know the right questions to ask. When you have questions, keep asking until you get an answer.

 

10) How can people obtain your book and/or contact you?

Information is given below on purchase information, the story of the artist’s cover and Joan’s other works and blogs.

Thank you Joan, for being a guest today on my blog and allowing me the privilege of interviewing you today and best wishes with the sales of Joan’s Elder Care Guide.

 History of the Cover, designed by Aidana WillowRaven and her review

http://aidana.willowravenblog.com/2016/04/joans-elder-care-guide-cover-art-and.html

Review: Author appreciates all reviews.

 

Official Video Trailer for Joan’s Elder Care Guide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMauKAqqQ4


 Joan’s Elder Care Guide: 

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW

Prices are subject to change by the vendors.

People can email me at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

Joan Y. Edwards is an author, illustrator, and retired teacher in North Carolina. Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive is published by 4RV Publishing. She wrote and illustrated picture book, Flip Flap Floodle, and self-published it with BookSurge in 2004. She is currently working on illustrations for her chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey.

Her Never Give Up blog, http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com has over 340,000 views and 350 subscribers. She encourages writers, illustrators, and others to never to give up. Her website, http://www.joanyedwards.com has a multitude of Gospel-based devotionals, puzzles, and skits.

Joan is a member of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her article, “Find Your Creative Edge,” appeared in the July-August 2011 SCBWI Bulletin.

Edwards thrives on spending time with her family and friends. She presents interactive writing and motivational talks and workshops for children and adults for schools, writing groups, and conferences. She reads humorous and self-help books. For inspiration and self-acceptance, she heeds the wise teachings of Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, Maxwell Maltz, and Tony Robbins.

Facebook Page Joan Y. Edwards, Author https://www.facebook.com/Joan-Y-Edwards-Author-111310278911077/

Twitter @joanyedwards

 

 

 

 

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Review of Under the Same Sky by Joseph Kim

 

I read this sad story after reading its review in World Magazine. A young man keeps on walking one day, a celebration day in North Korea, a day when the guards are not paying close attention. He walks so far that to go any further will lead him into China. His remaining family has been torn apart by the famine in North Korea, so he has no motivation to stay. But when he gets to China, the people who live in “rich homes” slam the door in his face. He only finds help after he listens to the advice to go to a building that has a cross on the top.

Joseph Kim is a strong survivor of an almost unbelievable tale. Little things that we take for granted here: namely food and freedom, are in high demand in the repressive regime that he defected from. Don’t read this book if you don’t want to know what the poor people of this world face daily while we live as kings and queens here in America, by comparison.

The subtitle is: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America and on the front cover is a bowl with only few grains of rice outside it. Most of the book involves Joseph’s upbringing in North Korea. He started off with a secure family and ended up a filthy migrant (called Kkotjebi) who stole in order to survive. We all know that it is wrong to steal, but maybe we would do the same thing if we were in his shoes? It is something I don’t really like to think about. The saddest part of the story for me is when he talks about his sister, Bong Sook. I hope he finds her and that she can come to America one day.

When Kim left North Korea, he was in culture shock. By the time he came to America, even more was he astonished at the comparison between our two countries. He suffered a time of depression after leaving everything he knew for a strange land where he lives alone, but has since recovered. Joseph Kim is a bright and hard working young man and a college student in New York City.

This book is not a happy read, but it gives a dose of reality into what it was like to grow up during the time of famine in North Korea. I hope  God uses Joseph Kim’s story to enlighten others as to the plight of those who live in the “Hermit Kingdom,” where lack is suffered daily and to be a Christian is to be a criminal worthy of death.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, copyright 2015

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Review of Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson

I don’t know how I stumbled across this book, but it looked interesting so I checked it out of the library. It really made me think.

When our oldest was a teen, we sent him off on a bus to a Worldview Academy week in Miami, Ohio. I didn’t know too much about the camp, but thought it would help him in getting through the rough adolescent years. After reading this book, I have come to appreciate more what they try to do there and at other ministries for teens to help them shape their worldview, before it is destroyed by what they learn in the halls of academia. A Christiann worldview was something I did not receive as a teenager myself, and after reading this book, I realized I learned the hard way.

For example, one day I sat crying in despair in the Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh. My faith was belittled and mocked by a liberal anthropology professor who  taught us we all came from apes. Thankfully it did not  destroy my faith. Another instance was when confronted with the abortion issue in nursing school. I never really considered it murder until I was sent to observe one firsthand in my s0phomore year.

I grew up on a steady stream of progressive propaganda and didn’t even realize it. It was reflected by the movies I watched, the music I listened to and affected my whole outlook on life. Without faith, I would have concluded that life was meaningless and absurd, as expounded by Nietzsche in his  writings.

In this book, author Kevin Swanson sets about educating parents and high school children how our culture has come to be where it is today, by the slow and steady erosion of Judaeo-Christian values which started in earnest in the 1850s. Even before then, the damage started by  thinkers like Thomas Aquinas, who separated the “sacred” from the “secular.” Humanists such as Rene Descartes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau laid the foundation for the big changes which exploded in the twentieth century.

Also discussed are Marx, Dewey, Darwin, Sartre, Mark Twain, Steinbeck and Hemingway, among others. Their literature formed the basis of my high school English reading. Sadly, most  came from Christian backgrounds but somehow lost their way. Not only they were lost, but they helped many others to follow their example. On page 126, Swanson states that Charles Darwin, upon entering Cambridge University, wrote that he “did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word of the Bible.”  By the end of his life and completing his writings, he declared that the Bible is “no more to be trusted than… the beliefs of a barbarian.” What happened?

Mr. Swanson contends that the trail of destruction the apostates left us has destroyed Western society. He calls for a new generation to rise up and reclaim our heritage. I am not sure that is still possible at this point. For the end times were predicted to be (as they are now)  in the Bible:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power… II Timothy 3:1-5

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how our society’s values have undergone such enormous change in the last couple of generations. For parents, read it to be forewarned against what your children are taught in the public schools. And if homeschooling, don’t make the mistake of thinking your children will be able to discern the difference of humanistic writings from what they are taught in church. Get yourself prepared by reading this book.

Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West was published in 2013 by Generations with Vision. Citations and a selected bibliography are included. The author is a homeschooling father who is also a pastor and the host of a daily radio show called Generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Review of Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

I found out about this wonderful book through a Kindle offer but ended up checking it out of my local library. I like to read memoirs and this one did not disappoint.

I have great respect for the author, Kimberly Rae Miller, as she told the poignant tale of growing up with two parents who had a compulsive hoarding problem. It was not just a case of a cluttered house, but filth and shame as she tried to keep others from knowing her secret. The thing about it is that her love for her parents shines the whole way through the book. Miller adhered to a Biblical principle, “honor thy father and mother,” and her outcome was blessed because she did so.

Kim grew up in the New York City area as an only child. Her mother was Jewish and her Dad was Catholic. Trauma in his own childhood with alcoholic parents led her Dad into an insatiable need to hang onto all kinds of papers. He loved to gather information as well and constantly listened to NPR. Though the papers were mostly not going to be used or needed, nevertheless he felt a compunction to hang onto them, along with all kinds of other junk. Her mother did not have a happy childhood either, and ended up cut off by her mother, who always favored her sister. In spite of her anger over her husband’s hoarding, Kim’s Mom comforted her pain by ordering lots and lots of things online. It grew to the point that her mother only had just a tiny space for where she slept on her mattress each night.

Kim told of how they got burned out of one house and ended up moving from one apartment to another as she grew up, running from chaos and filth. She made some great friends in school in spite of it. These friends helped and did not abandon her when her “secret” got out. In spite of the mess and confusion, Kim was a go-getter and pushed herself to make it to prestigious Emerson College in New England. After her freshman year, she lost her financial aid package through a technicality and became desperate. During Kim’s own lowest point, her Mom sacrificed in helping her find a way to continue there.

Once she left her parents’ home, Kim was overcome by the horror of what she had gone through as a child. But she never abandoned her parents. Instead, she came time and time again to help them clean out, and try to make a fresh start. Each time she did it drained her, but she pushed through it anyway. Her mother suffered severe health problems and nearly died, but Kim let her mother know that she must keep on fighting to get well because she needed her. Her mother needed a clean place to come home to recuperate. Kim realized her parents needed help, and in compassion she shelved her pride and secret to even more people in asking help from them to clean her parents home.

The hoarding lifestyle she was surrounded by gave Miller an almost obsessive need to keep her own home neat and tidy. Part of her own therapy was writing down her story, and it was one which her parents fully supported. When her Dad read the manuscript, he tearfully apologized for all she suffered growing up in utter chaos. The best part of this memoir is that she still loves and supports her parents. At the end, they made tremendous strides in cleaning up their act. Kim found happiness also, but I won’t say more on that.

It was like a breath of fresh air to find someone who was not willing to jump on the wagon to blame someone else for their problems, to find someone who actually was grateful for their parents even if her parents were not perfect people. I commend the author for her bravery in telling this story in a way that could make the reader feel good about honoring and respecting their parents. I really enjoyed this book and maybe now you will also. You can find out more about Kimberly Rae Miller at her blog: http://thekimchallenge.com/

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