Jun 27 2016 9:15 pm
Staff File Photo by Amanda King
Aiken author’s new book rooted in Native American folklore
Diann Shaddox, an Aiken author and founder offor Essential For her first book, Aiken author Diann Shaddox raised awareness of a condition that she lives with – essential tremor.
For her latest book, she pulled from another aspect of her life – her Native American heritage.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner “Spirits of Sacred Mountain” is the latest book by Diann Shaddox.
“Spirits of Sacred Mountain” was released in May.
“Cody Tanner looks like a normal 11-year-old, except he can blur/disappear, use his mind to move objects, and stop time. Normal if you’re a spirit of the mountain,” says the book’s summary.
Tanner, like Shaddox, is a Native American. The author is a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
“That’s probably what triggered a lot of this because I was reading up on the tribe, Wyandotte,” Shaddox said.
The story of “Spirits” is rooted in Native American folklore and is written so that readers as young as elementary school-aged students can enjoy it, according to Shaddox.
“I’ve already gotten people wanting a second one,” Shaddox said.
“Spirits ” is dedicated to Shaddox’s husband, to the Wyandotte Nation and to the late Chief Leaford Bearskin.
Before he passed, Bearskin asked Shaddox to write a story about the Native American culture. He was also a childhood friend of her mother.
Shaddox’s first book, “A Faded Cottage,” was released in 2013. Her two other books are “Whispering Fog” and “Miranda.”
All proceeds benefit the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, an Aiken-based organization that Shaddox started.
Her upcoming book signings are as follows:
• July 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.: Aiken County Historical Museum, 433 Newberry St. S.W.; part of the museum’s Sweet Tea Series; will have refreshments of wine and cheese
• July 12 from 3 to 6 p.m.: Ridgecrest Coffee Bar in the Village of Woodside, 108 Coach Light Way
“Spirits of Sacred Mountain” is $5.99 as an ebook, $17.99 as a paperback and $27.99 as a hardback and can be purchased through major online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
“We think this is going to be the most popular book she’s written,” said Randy Miles, executive director of the Diann Shaddox Foundation.
Shaddox has plans to make “Spirits” the first of a series.
For more information, visit www.diannshaddox.com or www.diann shaddoxfoundation.org.
G'morning everyone! Had a great day & lots of fun yesterday in Savannah, GA visiting with my friend & Editor Marsha Tolleson Langston Rhodes and her husband Allen. We are working on my next novel, Spirits of Sacred Mountain. Spirits of Sacred Mountain is a tale as ancient as time, about a young Native American Indian boy’s life spinning out of control and a magical mountain with deep hidden secrets.
The sun was out, which was wonderful in itself, the food was delicious. We had grouper & crab with peppers & puff pastry, at the Savannah's River House Seafood Chelsea, our waiter was very sweet and we met Gladys who prepared our lunch. Thank you to the manager who was kind enough to give us a table in a private room by the window to look out to the Savannah River.
Can't wait to see Marsha again soon.
Check out my books, A Faded Cottage, Whispering Fog, & Miranda.
The old Frampton Plantation in Yemassee, SC has a fountain/wishing well and when I visit I can’t resist to throw a coin into it. While I’m there, if a child visits I always give them a coin to toss into the water. I love to see a smile and expression full of hope and anticipation grow on their faces as they make a wish.
The tradition of the wishing well has its beginnings in European folk history. Of course in years past underground streams were important sources of clear, fresh water. The early Celts and Germanic people considered springs or streams to have healing and rejuvenating properties, guarded by spirits who may or may not be friendly.
The tradition of dropping coins in ponds and fountains began when people placed the coins as gifts for the deity to show appreciation.
According to belief, any wish spoken over the source of water would come true. A person could make a wish or ask for a blessing from the spirit(s) of the well. People threw silver or copper coins into the well or stream as thanks to the spirits, for good luck or for helpful magic.
Tossing a coin into a wishing well has added benefits. Copper and silver are biocides, meaning that they neutralize harmful bacteria in the water, including those that cause the "rotten-egg" or sulfur smell. Silver and copper metal in coins helps keep the water sweet.
Some people believe that the guardians or dwellers of the well would grant them their wish if they paid a price. After uttering the wish, one would generally drop a coin in the well. That wish would then be granted by the guardian or dweller, based upon how the coin would land at the bottom of the well. If the coin landed heads up, the guardian of the well would grant the wish, but the wish of a tails up coin would be ignored. It was thus potentially lucky to throw coins in the well, but it depended on how they landed.
No matter what age we all love to stop and throw a coin into a wishing well. Whether it is only superstition or maybe a real folklore, I will continue to make my wish. However, now I will have to take a few minutes to watch which way the coin lands.
May all your wishes come true.
My dear Emily Grace, don’t shed any tears for me. The tragedies of my life have been indescribable. I have had tears of joy and tears of sorrow; the loss of my family, husband, and child, but the love I’ve known will hold in my heart and never fade. Always remember, one single rose means…I love you.” With all my love forever, Miranda
I wrote Miranda in 2008 when I lived in Leander, TX. It was the second novel that I had written. The story of Miranda began one late night and was finished a few weeks later. I've wondered how each of my stories evolves in my head, but late at night, just as a movie on TV, my stories flow.
I believe Miranda evolved after I had visited a train station that had an old, black train engine sitting on a lonely set of tracks, undisturbed, but full of memories. I was able to climb aboard the train engine and stand quite on its metal steps thinking about all the people who had traveled on that old train, their stories of happiness and sorrow.
A few weeks later, I began writing about a young girl from a wealthy family who lived in the late 1800's, one who was fascinated with trains and dreamed of traveling across the United States. It is interesting, my characters always name themselves. It is as if they are alive and telling me their stories.
As the story progressed, I began to think of James Garner always playing a gambler and had to add the character Nicholas Vaughn Ellsworth, a well-known gambler, and a legend in the West. I’ve always love San Francisco and couldn’t resist having Miranda travel on the Trans Centennial Railroad to San Francisco.
Miranda falls in love with Nicholas Vaughn Ellsworth, knowing it’s scandalous to want a life with him. He gives her one pink rose, which means love, and her special locket with their picture, believing her life is perfect. Miranda’s life story continued with each twist and turn of her happiness and sadness just as all of lives. This isn’t just a story about her life; it is a story about how she handles her life. How she fights to continue and never gives up no matter what tragedies fate throws at her.
Miranda’s story will bring tears of happiness and of sorrow to your eyes and I hope it will leave you with a sense of knowing that God has a purpose for you. Please join me on my adventure of writing. www.diannshaddox.com
Keep your faithfulness for life no matter what tragedies life sends swirling at you.
Don’t lose your joy for life, for when you grow old, you may still exist, but you will have ceased to live.
Life must not be envisioned through others’ eyes, It must be envisioned through your own.
I too treasure meeting travelers on my journeys. You, my child, have been an encouragement for an old man in troubled times. Your traveling companion,
S L Clemens, Mark Twain
When I was growing up in a small town of Arkansas, I spent many cool summer evenings racing around the yard carrying a fruit jar in my hands. If you have to ask why, then you have missed out on a tradition of catching lightning bugs or called by many fireflies. The world turns into an enchanted evening as if tiny stars had fallen from the sky twinkling in the darken night.
The fireflies seem magical and even though there is a scientific answer (a chemical reaction occurs to make their spectacular light) I’d rather believe they are small fairies living in their own glittering world.
Happy Father’s Day
I was very fortunate to have a kind, gentle man, my granddad, Creath, in my life for 10 years, a man who built buildings, courthouses, dams, and bridges all around the south.
He had patience with a little girl who liked to talk and had way too much energy. He gave me the best gift you can give a child, time.
On warm summer days, we would take long, slow walks around our yard. He would stop under the apple tree and pick an apple, wipe it off and using his pocketknife he would peel it. Then, we would continue our walk and he would hand me slices of the apple. He allowed me to talk about anything that I wanted.
He was a strong willed man, known around town that his word was his bond. But he was also a caring man, a man who would take time to watch animals and birds play, teaching me to slow down and enjoy life.
I miss Granddad and those days we spent together, but I will always cherish the memories.
Happy Father's Day!
Today is Mother's Day, a day of remembering your mom or someone that made a difference in your life. I was very lucky since I had a mother who gave me life and a grandmother who taught me about life.
Mother's Day is a time to think about your love ones, the ones who are still with you and the ones that are in heaven. When I was a child my granddad would sit outside on our front porch and talk to the cardinals. The magnificent birds in the coats of red would fly down onto limbs in the old oak tree, only a few feet from him, and stay for the longest time. Yes, he would have a conversation with them and they would sing their beautiful songs. He would tell me to be quiet and listen. I did as he asked and sat quietly, which was difficult for me then & now, and listen. I have learned over the years that a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has died. When I think back to those days so long ago sitting with my granddad on our front porch remembering the cardinal singing in the old oaks I have to believe that this folklore must be true.
So when you see a beautiful red bird, I believe it means a loved one is visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear. Then take the time to remember your family & friends that aren't with you anymore.
I had two cardinals singing outside of my office this morning. I sat and listened quietly to the calming music from Mother Nature.
Cardinals and the Number 12
The number 12 is considered a lucky number by many Native Americans. The number 12 also is associated with the cardinal. Cardinals are seen during all 12 months of the year. A cardinal's eggs will hatch in 12 days. Native American lore holds that if you have encountered a cardinal, expect good luck to follow, possibly in 12 hours, 12 days, or at noon or midnight.
Happy Mother's day!
I wish for you this Easter Sunday that your home will be filled with love, family, and happiness. This picture is worn, but it is full of treasured memories. I was four years old. Have a wonderful Easter!
February 2 is Groundhog Day, a weather lore that has its origins in ancient Europe, but Groundhog Day has a different meaning for me. I think of Woody each Groundhog day.
Well, you ask who is Woody?
Woody isn’t as famous as Punxsutawney Phil, or Birmingham Bill or Shubenacadie Sam, but he was just as important to a small group of people in VA.
When we lived in Burke, VA, many years ago, we had a groundhog who we named Woody that burrowed under our carport. At first we would catch a glimpse of a furry brown, round creature in the back yard scampering around and wondered what it was. That little groundhog became brave and eventually would sit at the end of the carport and stare at us just as we would stare at him. We did some research and learned he was a woodchuck, so he became known as Woody. We also learned that Woody loved lettuce. Even though Woody was supposed to be hibernating, he would pop out of his burrow to get his snack of salad that we would leave for him throughout the winter. The only sound Woody made was a low bark and we all knew to stay our distance, since he was a wild animal.
All the kids in the neighborhood would stop by to get a glimpse at Woody and Woody didn’t seem to mind the stares. I believe he enjoy his fame. On February 2 that one year we had our own Groundhog Day celebration, but it really didn’t count since Woody would emerge from his burrow every day for his snack, and he was in the shade, however we did have fun watching and waiting for him to appear.
The tradition of Groundhog Day began in Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA. The first documented American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, dated February 4, 1841, of Morgantown, PA storekeeper James Morris.
The tradition of Groundhog Day says if a groundhog comes out of its hole on February 2 and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.
Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal like the groundhog as a means of predicating weather. After the German settlers came to PA, they continued the tradition, which is now known as Groundhog Day.
In Scotland there was a poem:
If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.
If Candle mas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.
I wish everyone a Happy Groundhog Day.
My Time in the Civil War or The War of Northern Aggression signing books and talking about Essential Tremor
This past weekend I spent Saturday, January 24th and Sunday January 25th at the Frampton Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina as a guest of the South Carolina Lowcountry Tourism Commission. I was there to raise money for the Diann Shaddox Foundation.
The "Frampton House" property was part of an original King's Grant to the Frampton family in the 1700s. In 1865, General Sherman's troops burned the plantation house and all the farm buildings that stood on this site. In 1868, John Frampton rebuilt the present charming Lowcountry farmhouse and continued to work the land, which is now the home of the SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission.
Saturday morning began rainy and windy with the ground saturated from the storms the night before. I arrived around 9:00 that wet morning to find beige A frame canvas tents dotting the grounds of the old plantation where Union and Confederate soldiers had spent the night. 19th-century cannons made by Lt. Colonel Vernon Terry were placed in front of the old plantation home.
As the morning moved on the rain clouds seemed to be racing across the sky as the warmth of the South Carolina sun began to shine down upon the Plantation. For me though, since my tremors go wild in cold and I couldn't seem to have enough layers of clothes on I sat quivering from Essential Tremor and the cold. The plantation home became busy with soldiers and visitors scurrying and preparing for the Battle of Pocotaligo to take place later that day.
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans: Charles Jones Colcock Camp 2100 and the 144th New York State Volunteers, whose ancestors fought at the 1864 Battle of Honey Hill In Ridgeland, SC were present to represent Union and Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Pocotaligo reenactment.
In the quietness of the afternoon The Battle of Pocotaligo began with the firing of the cannons echoing across the valley shaking and rattling the old plantation home. The original Battle of Pocotaligo was fought on May 29, 1862 near Yemassee, SC. The Unions objective was to sever the Charleston and Savannah Railroad to isolate Charleston. During that battle, the Union lost 2 & 9 wounded, and the Confederates lost 2 & 6 wounded. The second Battle of Pocotaligo was on October 22, 1862 and once more, the objective was to sever the railroad. In both battles, the Confederate soldiers were able to keep the Union soldiers from the railroad.
Sunday was a picture perfect day that started out cool but warmed into the high 50’s. Each day I was able to meet and talk with so many people to explain about the Diann Shaddox Foundation’s mission to bring awareness for Essential Tremor, the largest movement disorder. I was able to meet Ann, James, Pat, Claudia, Brittany, Bob Rogers, Lt. Colonial Vernon Terry, and so many others.
Not only did I get to enlighten so many about Essential Tremor, I also learned so much about history. I was very pleased that so many young people were there and interested in talking to historians. To witness how people lived sleeping in tents and their entertainment, (not the computer or cell phones) listening to guitar playing and singing at night by a campfire, and reading books or telling stories by the light of oil lamps was wonderful. It was a couple of fascinating days.
To learn more about the reenactments go to: Sons of Confederate Veterans: Charles Jones Colcock Camp 2100 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sons-of-Confederate-Veterans-Charles-Jones-Colcock-Camp-2100/462176950559213?fref=photo & 144th New York State Volunteers,
Diann Shaddox author will be at the re-enactment Battle of Pocotaligo Civil War hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans:
Saturday January 24, 2015:
Diann Shaddox Author to raise funds for Diann Shaddox Foundation will be at the 2015 re-enactment Battle of Pocotaligo Civil War hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans: Charles Jones Colcock Camp 2100 and the SC Lowcountry Tourism Commission at Frampton Plantation in Point South!
Please stop by, visit and get your signed copy of “A Faded Cottage” a SC love story about an artist with Essential Tremor & “Whispering Fog” a time travel.
The event is hosted by the Charles Jones Colcock Camp #2100 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Ridgeland, SC. Frampton Plantation is part of the Lowcountry Tourism Commission.
For information go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SC-Lowcountry-Tourism-Commission/147593725273609?fref=ts
Growing up my grandmother had a huge pink camellia bush/tree in her front yard just like this one in the picture. The camellia would be covered in the most beautiful pink blooms at the end of December/first of January. It was the most beautiful site in the dead of winter.
Many years a pure white snow would fall blanketing the camellia making it look like a beautiful handcrafted lace tablecloth.
I miss seeing that camellia, but I will always have my southern dreams.
Happy memories & winter to all.
This awesome Japonica is the most popular camellia in America. The dense upright plant is covered in masses of the dazzling perfect camellia blooms from late fall to early spring. A superb camellia for the garden!
Today, January 14th, is my father’s birthday, a man I never met.
A strange thing to be able to say you never met you own father. It was fall day that Sunday, November 20th when my father, a pilot, alone flew a stunt plane up into the blue sky for a few of his friends, as they, including my mother and brother stood watching. The plane's motor stalled and dove back to the ground. That one day changed many lives, including my own. Almost a month later I was born. I learned about my father from stories told from friends and family, that he
was a very kind, generous man. This is the beginning chapter in my book of life, a chapter with only memories that have come from others, not my own, a chapter molding me into the person I have become. Happy birthday to my daddy, William.
Diann Shaddox is a Native American Indian and a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma. She’s an author, book-lover, and she has Essential Tremor.
Diann was born on December 18th in a small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas, the youngest and only daughter of William and Mary Ann Shaddox. But, fate had stepped in and William, a crop-duster, at the age of 25, died in a plane crash on November 20th, the month before she was born, therefore, Diann was never able to meet her father. Three years later, Mary Ann, her mother, died leaving Diann to live with her grandparents. At the age of 10, Diann’s Granddad died of a stroke, leaving her Mamow alone to see to her.
When Diann was in her early twenties life changed for her, her hands began to shake when she would do tedious work. No one, not even doctors, could figure out what was happening to her and they, the doctors, believed she was nervous, and just needed to calm down.
One day, standing at the post office window in Louisville, Kentucky changed her world. A simple form containing her name and address, she wasn’t able to fill out. That one day she had to find her answers. A neurologist finally made the discovery that Diann had Essential Tremors.
Not letting anything deter her, she continued life with the determination she had learned from her grandmother. Diann was unrelenting to do tedious work like counted cross-stitch on linen, and playing the piano even with trembling hands. It was as if her mind would relax letting her hands work without thinking. She learned how to hide her hands out in public, how to grip her drinking glass with both hands, and how to use her body for cover as much as possible.
Things seemed to be working for years, but on her birthday, December 18th, 2010 her hands were shaking uncontrollably. 2010 had been a year when many people began to question and stared at her wondering why she was nervous or thinking maybe, she was just weird. Being out in public was difficult, the stares were tough, and once more, the simple feat of filling out forms was devastating to her. Even being in a doctor's office was difficult as they questioned why she was so nervous, giving her stares.
That night of December 18th Diann sat in her office at home, anger grew watching her hands quiver, and for once in her life feeling sorry for herself. The question of why, a question without an answer played in her mind. Being a writer the words began to flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born. A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had deserted him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. The story of Quaid Witherspoon, the novel 'A Faded Cottage', became an incredible love story, one about strength of mind to fight fate and never accept what life throws at you.
Through this process of bringing A Faded Cottage to life, Diann has learned so very much. Finding ET awareness groups on the web and Facebook, talking, listening to everyone’s stories so similar to hers, has brought calmness to her life. We have to tell others about ET, so they aren’t sitting alone wondering why this is happening to them.
Even though the stares will forever be, she won’t give up. Now, Diann is determined the word will spread about ET and she is going to help make it happen.
Thank you everyone for a wonderful 2014. Had so much fun meeting and making new friends at book signings and fundraisers for Diann Shaddox Foundation and I can’t wait until 2015.
~May the New Year fill your home with family and friends, your heart with love, and your life with laughter~
Merry Christmas Eve
I have a little Santa Claus and every Christmas Eve
he watches over my house.
And during the night, he doesn’t make a sound; he’s quiet as a mouse.
Little Santa as he is called isn’t very tall and actually, he is very small.
Little Santa began his watch so long ago, sitting in a window with his round body all aglow.
My little Santa Claus is very special to me,
And he is a memory I will always treasure from all my Christmas Eves.
I wish for you a wonderful memory from your Christmases of the past,
And I hope your memories of Christmas will grow and forever last.
So from Little Santa and me, I wish for you a very Merry Christmas Eve.
Today, Thanksgiving is a day of memories.
Every Thanksgiving I would travel home to a small green (that’s another story) concrete stucco home in Nashville, AR and visit with my grandmother, who I called Mamow, (another story). My Mamow died in 1994.
This warm and inviting home was filled with memories of a young girl growing up in a small town where all the neighbors knew your name and welcomed you into their homes.
Each Thanksgiving we would arrive and my Mamow would have that little green home flowing with delicious smells of ham, chicken & dressing (she loved to cook with a hen, not a turkey) pumpkin & pecan pies, her special Patty's cake and fresh baked cornbread.
First my Mamow and I would take a tour around the home and yard just to talk, no matter what the weather was outside. The tour included her flower and vegetable gardens and she would tell me what was new in her life. I would immediately feel like I was a young girl, safe, loved, and no worries. Those visits home were more wonderful than any expensive vacation that I could have dreamed about.
I now have even more memories to add. They are memories of my son Rick who died May 20, 2014. He loved to go to Mamow’s. When he was sixteen and broke his leg, wearing a full leg cast, he was determined we were still going to Nashville, AR. He spent time sitting on the front porch with Mamow listening to her tell her stories about her life. Her life was a simple life full of many tragedies, but also full of love. She lost her right hand in a factory accident, but that never stopped her. She cooked, learned to write with her left hand, worked a garden, made quilts, and even made my clothes.
Family, friends, and neighbors would stop by for a visit and more stories would flow. I wished I’d listened a little more carefully to those stories. You see, time moves on faster than you might think and our lives seem to swish by like watching out the window of a train that is zooming down the track.
This Thanksgiving please take time to give your family and friends the gift of listening. You never know what tomorrow will bring and memories are worth more than any gift you can buy.
I wish for everyone a safe, happy, and peaceful Thanksgiving.
Many years ago 500 feet changed my life.
November 20 began as a peaceful Sunday in the small town of Hope, Arkansas.
My father William was a crop duster and loved to fly. This cool fall day a group of men had a meeting out in a field near the Hope, AR airport. One of the men was interested in a new red biplane.
The group of men, my mother, (who was eight months pregnant with me), & my brother stood out in the field watching as my father volunteered to test the plane. All was going well until the plane rose into the sky into an inverted roll that brought the beautiful plane to the ground.
I have been told that if my father had had an extra 500 feet the maneuver would have worked, but because of the low-ceiling that day he misjudged the distance.
That November day change many lives including mine. At the age of twenty-five my father died that Sunday and I was born a month later on December 18th in the small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas. Therefore, I was never able to meet my father.
Stories told to me through the years is the only way I know about my father, a kind and generous man who died way too young.
Life has a way of interrupting our secure and safe lives, but how we adjust is what matters. My father wouldn't have wanted his family and friends to have stopped living just because he was gone. He lived his life with gusto wanting to be a pilot from an early age.
Now many years later on quiet Sunday afternoons when I hear a small plane flying over my house I remember the story my grandmother used to tell. My father would fly over her house and dip his wings to say hello and that everything was all right. I believe my father is still flying in the calm blue skies and dipping his wings to say everything is fine.
My story of why began many years ago.
You see, when I was in my early twenties life changed for me, my left hand began to shake when I would do tedious work. No one, not even doctors, could figure out what was happening and they, the doctors, believed I was nervous, and just needed to calm down and that, I have to say, made me furious.
Yes, I was a young mother and things were busy in my life, but I wasn't nervous, my left hand just shook and I couldn’t make it stop.
One day, standing at a Post Office window in Louisville, Kentucky changed my world. Up until that
point, I had handled the shakes and the stares, but... A simple form containing my name and address, that I was supposed to fill out, changed my life. I stood there, and not only my left hand was shaking but my right hand was waving in the air, with a line of people and the post office clerk staring at me in a confused and not so polite stare making my tremors go wild. Tears grew in my eyes and I tried to wipe them before they rolled down my face with my fluttering hand. I grabbed my package turned and ran out of the Post Office. I had tried to ignore my tremors and hadn't noticed or maybe just hadn't paid attention that my right hand had begun to tremor. I know it's difficult for many people to understand why it is so terrifying not to be able to write. Not only the humiliation, embarrassment, but feeling so inept, clumsy, a bumbling idiot.
I had to find answers. I worked diligently going to doctors and still had the same result, I was nervous. I knew I had to do something so I called and made an appointment with a neurologist. I told the nurse that my family doctor had sent me, which wasn't true because he didn't think anything was wrong with me.
My neurologist Dr. Holmes told me that I had Essential Tremors. This may sound weird, but I do have to say it was a huge relief just to know that I wasn't crazy and there was something wrong with me. He prescribed Inderal, a Beta blocker. I stayed on Inderal for years until my blood pressure kept dropping way too low and I had to stop the medicine. So, now, I'm off of all medicine and I just let my hands shake. In the last year, not only my hands tremor, but my head, voice, and I've noticed my legs and body will tremor when I get overly tired or stressed.
I’m lucky that my ET didn't progress as fast as so many people around the world has done. For years I thought I was all alone, the only person with ET. I hadn't heard of anyone else with my disorder, so I tried to hide my hands and not tell anyone. You see anyone with ET learns quickly to grip their hands together to keep them from tremoring. Of course, that doesn't make it easy to eat, drink, or do things out in public.
In 2010, my hands for some reason began to tremor worse and I'd had some confrontations with people about my hands shaking. If you know me, then you understand that I don’t sit back when someone says smart remarks to me; I have to say something back. Well, the kicker was, my worst confrontation was at my doctor’s office that I’d been going to for years. I assumed all the office staff understood what ET was. I was wrong. That will be another story for another time.
Months went by and for the first time in my life, the frustration grew just as my hands tremoring. I was so tired of trying to do tedious things that took twice as long. Simple things became difficult, like when I was recently at someone’s home and was offered a cappuccino, which I love, I had to decline the offer. I couldn't have held the small cup and would have splashed it everywhere. I began to pay attention to what I ordered in restaurants, since food on my fork or spoon could fly off before making it to my mouth and I never go to a buffet. Little things get to me, things we all take for granted, doing makeup, putting on jewelry, and even writing grocery notes that no one can read have become problematic. The stares make my hands tremor worse.
On December 18, 2010, which was my birthday, I went to my cubby office. I sat down at the computer to work on one of my books I was finishing, but my hands were tremoring uncontrollably. That night, I’d had enough; my frustration of my hands fluttering like bird’s wings over the keyboard was too much. I sat in my dark office and began to type. The first word appeared on the screen, Happy birthday dumb ass, and Quad Witherspoon, an artist that develops ET believing his life is over since he can’t paint his masterpieces anymore, became alive right in front of me. “A Faded Cottage”a novel I hadn't planned to write, was born that December night. “A Faded Cottage” was published in 2013 and it has become a vehicle to share to the world about living with ET.
Time moved on and I found out, by searching the internet, I wasn't alone and over 10 million Americans and millions worldwide have been diagnosed with Essential Tremor. I began to ask people; do you know what Essential Tremor is? My answer 99% of the time has been no. How can this be? I wanted more answers.
Over the last year, I've become an activist and adamant to bring awareness to the world about living with ET. I decided to show my tremoring hands and not try to hide them anymore, even though it is very difficult at times.
I had to get the word out there about ET and to make this happen I started my own foundation, the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, a Non-Profit public organization 501 c(3) to bring awareness .
We have to get the word out there to make this happen. I can’t do this alone and I do have others joining DSF, but I need your help. Please give and support all you can, any size donation no matter how small whatever you can to make this happen. www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
This was me, back in 2000, when I lived in Bonita Springs, FL, a tired and happy grandmother.
As you can see I had my hands full. I was holding my first grandchildren that happened to be two months apart. My little brown hair, dark brown eyed little boy and my blonde and blue eyed little girl.
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Well Halloween has flown by, like a witch on a broom, and here in South Carolina we even had our first snowfall, November 1, 2014, (the earliest on record) beating many of you up north.
Now it’s time to put away the orange lights, jack o lanterns, and
bring out the turkeys. Yes, I said turkeys. Not live turkeys, I know I'm in the south, but we have other kinds of turkeys than the ones we eat at Thanksgiving.
I have one turkey, special to me because it was made by a dear friend of mine Kathy Shirron. Kathy died many years ago of cancer. She fought hard for years, first with breast cancer then brain cancer, but she had a will to live. She didn't sit around and think about her life, and she lived life to the fullest.
She learned to play golf, and I have to say she was a better golfer than I was. She had patience, maybe because she was a retired schoolteacher.
We had so many wonderful days playing golf, and many times we just had as much fun driving the golf cart along the cart paths and gossiping about all the homes lining the golf course.
Kathy was a wonderful seamstress and one Thanksgiving she gave me my special Ted the Turkey. Ole Ted’s neck is loose from all the kids hugging him over the years, but he’s still ready each year to welcome Thanksgiving.
What is your favorite thing to bring out to make your Thanksgiving holiday special?
I love meeting new people.
A few years ago I was able to spend some time with Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart, Tonea who is perhaps best known for her recurring role in In the Heat of the Night, A Time to Kill, Walker Texas Ranger, Memphis Beat, Matlock, Mississippi Damned and many more TV & movies.
She was very gracious and willing to discuss her amazing work that she's accomplished over the years.
Diann Shaddox author will be at Follypalooza Cancer Benefit in the memory of her son Rick who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014 on October 18, 2014
I will be at Follypalooza Cancer Benefit at Folly Beach, SC in the memory of my son Rick, who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014.
I will be signing copies of “A Faded Cottage” a SC love story & “Whispering Fog” a time travel romance, at the Follypalooza Cancer Benefit & Street Festival on Saturday, Oct. 18 on Center Street Folly Beach, SC.
This is a fundraising/Book signing to also benefit the Diann Shaddox Foundation, but I will be there in memory of my son, Rick, who died of brain cancer May 20, 2014. Rick also had Essential Tremor.
If you’re in the area please stop by and visit, I’d love to talk with you.
I'm the little kitten on the right that's singing very loud. (Candy, Susan, & Diann)
This photo was taken when I was five years and in kindergarten and played one of the Three Little Kittens. My grandmother, who only had one hand, made my costume and it was a medium brown color and I loved it. I even had special gloves for kitten hands.
I wish I knew where that costume went. My grandmother never threw anything away, but when she died, I didn't have the willpower or the heart to go through all the things she'd saved, now I wish I had.
Thought you might some nostalgia to see how many can remember this.
This is amazing!!!
I can't believe that I'm in Wikipedia
under Notable people ;
Growing up in Nashville, Arkansas.
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Hi I'm Diann welcome and join me on my adventure. I'm the author of "A Faded Cottage" & "Whispering Fog" and Founder of Diann Shaddox Foundation. I'm a member of the Wyandotte Nation & I have Essential Tremor (ET). I love to travel, cook, which leads to eating and I love wines. Chardonnay is my favorite unless I'm eating steak then I'll take a glass of Cabernet.
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