Lighten up Mondays

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hope-1220980_1280Jokes about our relationships with others can be funny, dirty, and totally relatable. Here are jokes that are all but one of those characteristics.

A weeping woman bursts into her hypnotherapist’s office and declares, “Doctor, I have been faithful to my husband for 15 years, but yesterday 
I broke that trust and had an affair! The guilt is killing me. I just want to forget that it ever happened!”

The hypnotherapist shakes his head. “Not again …”

*****

I think the expression “It’s a small world” is really a euphemism for “I keep running into people I can’t stand.”

*****

My wife says I’m unsophisticated and uncultured, so to prove her wrong, guess where I’m taking her. Hint: It starts with “B” and rhymes with “wallet.”

*****

During a conference, I was pleasantly surprised to be seated next to a very handsome man. We flirted casually through dinner, then grew restless as the dignitaries gave speeches. During one particularly long-winded lecture, my new friend drew a # sign on a cocktail napkin. Elated, I wrote down my phone number.

Looking startled for a moment, he drew another # sign, this time adding an X to the upper-left-hand corner.

*****

After waiting two hours for her date, Sarah concluded she’d been stood up. So she changed into pajamas, made some popcorn, and flopped down in front of the TV. Then the doorbell rang—it was her date. He took one look at Sarah and gasped. “You’re still not ready?”

Kindness Fridays

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Caring gumby figuresThis is my 800th post since I started my blog. Who knew my blog would last this long and I’d have so much to say?!!!

I rarely get a professional pedicure but when I know my toes are going to be exposed to the general public, I make an appointment and get my gnarly toenails decorated with a lively color.

I did that at the InSpa in my town of Redmond, Washington just prior to my husband’s and my recent trip to Arizona. As luck would have it, the same person who spruced up my toes for our October 2016 Hawaii trip was the woman assigned to me today.

I know many women who get a pedicure use that time as “me-time”  to escape from their harried lives. They read, or perhaps get caught up with their correspondence/texts, and some simply close their eyes and enjoy being pampered. I can’t do any of those activities because I don’t like the feeling of having someone “service” me. It’s like the person is a servant at my feet (and let me tell you I have gawd-awful looking feet), and it’s as if I’m someone who is above her, of a higher station in life, and that’s not the way I feel. So I talk; I engage the person in conversation.

The first time Jacklin had given me a pedicure, I learned about the size of her family, what she likes to do in her spare time, etc. Well this time Jacklin and I got to talking and she had an accent I couldn’t place so instead of just blurting out, “Where are you from?” I told her that I liked her accent. A minute later I said, “May I ask the original country of your birth?”

“I am from Iran.” Now, that was a surprise. I have no idea what Iranian women look like but that wasn’t the first country that popped into my head. She has lived in the United States for thirteen years and is now a citizen of the United States. “It must have been so difficult when you first moved here, I mean, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn.” She concurred whole-heartedly, indicating that the language and the transitioning to a completely different country was extremely difficult.

I asked, “What brought you to the United States? What was your reason for coming here?”

“My religion. My husband and I are Bahai and if you’re not a Muslim in Iran, you can not fully practice your religion.”

Wow. Her husband and three children moved to America to be able to freely practice their religion. She added, “There is freedom here. We are free to worship as we please.”

Forty-five minutes later, my pedicure completed, I said, “Thank you for sharing your story.” She replied, “Thank you for caring about my story.”

My interaction with this kind woman reminded me of how important it is to acknowledge each person we encounter; to be interested enough to want to know the person, not just interact with them.

It was the most gratifying pedicure I have ever received.

 

Deathbed promises and how to fulfill them

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Painting by artist, Mary Riesche
Painting by artist, Mary Riesche

Here’s another article from the past that draws lots of attention. Bringing it into the present today.

First of all – take a deep breath and shed the mantle of guilt you’re wearing.  Now let’s address your dilemma.

When your father was on his deathbed you made a promise to take care of your mother in her old age.  Now she is at the point of not being able to care for herself and you realize that you’re absolutely not cut out for – nor are you capable of – taking her under your roof to provide the care that she needs.  What’s a dutiful son or daughter to do?

I’m not advocating that you break your promise to your father but I am suggesting that you consider redefining what that promise looks like.  You promised your father that you would take care of your mother and that’s exactly what you’re going to do.  Taking care of your mother is not solely defined as moving her into your home and taking care of all her basic needs until she dies.  Very few people have the ability or the means to provide 24-hour care in their home.  You made that promise with the best intentions and you can still honor your promise without dishonoring your father.  Keep in mind that loving your mother doesn’t guarantee your success as her caregiver.  Even adult children with a fabulous relationship with their parent struggle greatly in their efforts.  And if your relationship with your mother is tenuous at best, try picturing the scenario of you as caregiver and her as recipient of that care.  What effect will that have on her, you, and the remainder of your household?

Let’s clarify how best to care for your mother.

Why can’t caring for your mother mean that you’re honest enough to admit that you’re not the best caregiving option?  Do your best to find the care alternative that will provide her an optimal quality of life, e.g. adult daycare, errand and housekeeping services, assisted living.  Do the research and consult the experts to confidently fulfill your promise to your father by securing the best care solution for your mother.  If that solution involves selecting an assisted living facility, there are many resources available to you that can make this move a successful one for everyone involved.  As her son or daughter you will be able to lovingly help her transition into a residential location with like-minded older adults where she can receive the care that will fulfill the promise you made to your father.

Now imagine the NEW normal that your mother and your family can experience.

Your mother lives nearby in an assisted living residence.  She has companions with whom she enjoys spending time.  She receives three wholesome meals a day and when she, or you, feel like seeing each other, you’re just a short drive away!  The time she spends at your house will be as a pampered visitor – not an inpatient (or impatient) relative.  It’s probably difficult right now for you to see this as a viable option, but I think in time, you’ll find that everyone, including your father, will be pleased with the outcome.

Here are some links to get you started on your quest: www.alz.org; www.caregiver.com; www.ltcombudsman.org

I covet your input.  What success, or challenges in achieving success, can you share with us?  I look forward to hearing from you.

Lighten up Mondays

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hope-1220980_1280Okay y’all, we’re two weeks into the new year. As I mentioned in my first Monday of the year post, some of you might have resolved to exercise more and eat less. Whether or not you’ve stuck with that resolution, I’m sure you’ll find some humor in today’s post.

  • Today I bought a cupcake without sprinkles. Don’t tell me diets aren’t hard.
  • I have a condition that prevents me from dieting; it’s called being hungry.
  • Desperation is shaving before you step on the scale in the morning.
  • David said, “Don’t forget, you are what you eat” to which Susan responded, “Well then I need to eat a skinny person.”
  • I thought I was losing weight but it turned out my sweatpants had come untied.
  • I tried to avoid things that make me fat: scales, mirrors, photographs …
  • Gloria joined an online weight loss forum and was greeted with this first message, “Welcome to the Weight Loss Forum. To lose one pound, double-click your mouse six million times.
  • A great way to lose weight is to eat naked and stand in front of a mirror.
  • I’m not hungry but I am bored. Oops.
  • You are not fat, you have fat. You have fingernails, but you’re not a fingernail.
  • If you had to choose between losing weight or eating chocolate, would you like dark, white, or milk chocolate?
  • And for those of us who are accustomed to things happening quickly in this fast-paced world, there’s this, “Two days into my diet, and I’m still not skinny. This is bullshit.”

Kindness Fridays

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Caring gumby figuresKindness towards others doesn’t have to be grandiose. I mean, painting a next door neighbor’s two-story house is a very kind thing to do but many of us don’t have the capabilities to pull off that type of kindness.

Even the smallest gift of kindness can mean the world to people.

Last Friday I did my weekly grocery shopping at my primary grocery store. The weather has been extremely cold in the Pacific Northwest with snow and ice sticking around an inordinate length of time. Even though many businesses have made efforts to make their parking lots and sidewalks safe to walk on, some ice still remains as I discovered when walking from my car to the store entrance. I didn’t fall – thank the Universe – but the parking lot lane was a tad slippery.

Fast forward to me walking back to my car with a cart full of groceries, knowing that even if I made it safely to my car, I would still need to walk the cart to the nearest cart barn and then walk back to my car. I unloaded my groceries into my Toyota and a gentleman shopper walked up to me and said, “I’ll put that cart away for you.”

“Thanks so much, now I don’t have to risk life and limb walking it to the cart corral.”

He made my day, and all he had to do was walk a shopping cart 30 feet away.

Do Not Ask Me To Remember

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Distraught manI’m reblogging this article I wrote in April of 2013 because it comes up in my blog stats as being extremely popular to many of you out there. I can only conclude that it’s popularity remains high because there are so many caregivers in the world who are tangled up in a daily life that centers around those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. I hope many more will be encouraged – and pleasingly challenged – by what I have to say in this post.

Walk in Their Shoes… Just for a Minute.  The attached article contains encouraging advice that caregivers worldwide need to read, and re-read, from time to time.

Those of us who have been caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia know very well the frustrations felt when we come to the realization that we’re not sufficiently equipped to handle that which this disease presents us.  We’re walking in caregiver shoes, fully incapable of walking in those of the person with dementia.  If we could, we would shriek at what we see and experience.

So we get frustrated – understandably so.  We raise our voices in anger – and feel guilty immediately thereafter.  We complain to others about the one we’re taking care of – because we crave to be heard and understood by someone!

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...
PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do not ask me to remember is a loaded statement and one which should give us pause.  We know the person with dementia is not able to remember the previous five seconds, so why do we ask them to remember where and when they were born?  Why do we think that repeating an answer LOUDLY AND WITH EMPHASIS will help the loved one remember this tenth time you’ve answered their same question?  Why do we think they will understand our logical explanations about circumstances when their ability to understand anything requiring organization of thought is a function forsaken long ago by the brain that they’ve been stuck with?

Because we’re human – and we want order out of chaos, and we want the one for whom we are providing care to finally “get it.”  And we want them to understand that this ain’t no cake walk for me so why aren’t you appreciating all that I do for you?

Because they don’t remember.

Lighten up Mondays

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hope-1220980_1280Some of you are in sunshine, some in rain, some in snow. There’s a variety of possibilities out there but since it’s snowy and freezing where I live, I feel inspired to provide some winter humor for your Monday enjoyment.

My summer body wasn’t ready but my winter body is good to go.

A grandfather in snowbound Chicago handed a snow shovel to his grandson and said, “Sorry, son, there’s no app for that.”

Spring needs to stand up to winter and kick it in the snowballs.

A freshly built snowman was concerned as this was his first gig. He could only hope that the garish hat and scarf would distract from the fact that he was nude.

Winter is the three month break from a woman and her razor.

I’m tired of winter. I want to fast-forward to bitching about how hot it is.

Sign discovered stuck in two feet of snow in a neighbor’s front yard: Unassembled snowman for sale, cheap!

What do you call an old snowman? Water.

Children will relate to this one: the number of layers worn by children during the winter is dependent upon how cold their mother is feeling.

Dear Winter, I’m breaking up with you. I think it’s time I start seeing other seasons. Summer is a lot hotter than you are.