Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Never Too Old

Don't you just love birthday parties? We might not like the idea of adding a year to our ages, but most of us like birthday parties. Cake, ice cream and possibly champagne? Party favors, balloons and old friends
One of my duties involves making arrangements for events and parties. Often the adult children and grandchildren, of our elderly residents, want to schedule a birthday party for their relatives.
Super!
Occasionally relatives will want to schedule a surprise party for a relative.
Not so super!
No, I tell them. Grandma, who is turning 90, will not want a surprise party. She will want to know about the party in advance, so she can have her hair and nails done. She'll want to have a new dress for the occasion, or at least a new pair of sneakers!
Grandpa will feel the same way. He loves routine and wants to know in advance exactly what is going to happen. Don't mess with his routine or his nap schedule..
What's more, dear relatives, older folks hate surprises. A surprise can cause anxiety and might possibly cause a heart attack, or worse. Please, rethink that Surprise Party idea. It is not a good one.
Party on, everyone.


Dear Lord. We thank you for our many years on this earth. We glorify your name. Thank you for being our constant.

Mantra

My new mantra involves my legs, my arms, my brain and actually, my whole person.
Because, I do a lot of walking from apartment to apartment, all day long, I fear that I might possible wear myself out, one of these days.
Therefore, in order to save wear and tear on my body, I have vowed to "work smart".
So, after I clock in each morning, I say to myself, "work smart", as I pick up my keys, my appointment books and walk to my desk in one fell swoop. When I leave for the day, I try to remember to take my keys, my books, and my other stuff with me (making one trip), as I head to clock out.
If I need to step outside, I repeat my mantra, "work smart", and take my keys, my fob and my walkie talkie with me, before I head to the door.
My changed "manta life" has been going on for about three weeks now, and I cannot tell whether it is making a difference in my physical well-being or not.
However, repeating my mantra has kept me focused. I am forgetting fewer things and I believe I am saving some unnecessary steps.
I plan to be around a long, long time.

Dear God. I try to do your will. Keep me healthy. I need your help, dear Lord. I can't do life with out you.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cordial

It is 2017. It is the age of cell phones, cordless razors, cordless vacuums, cordless mouses, cordless toothbrushes, etc., etc. So why then, are we still allowing ourselves to become tangled up in electric cords?
In the last three months, I have been in countless hospital and rehab rooms. In every one of those rooms, there have been TV remotes, phones, and nursing call buttons. Every one of those items have had big long thick cords. And, those cords have caused a myriad of problems.
Why do patients need all of those cords? My remote at home doesn't need a cord! Are hospitals afraid patients will swipe their ugly remotes and take them home? I think not.
Almost everyone has a cell phone these days. Let the patients use their own cell phones to make calls.
And call buttons should be built into the beds.
Hospitals listen up. Get rid of those cords.
Moving the bed up and down, gets all those cords tangled in the bed's mechanism. The cords get tangled in the wheels of wheelchairs and walkers. Nurses carts get tangled in the cords when vitals are taken. I don't even want to think of the number of falls those cords have probably caused.
Just get rid of them, STAT.

Dear God, We get frustrated at times. Help us to calm down and act reasonably, even when we think that those around us are not. Give us patience, dear Lord, and peace.



Friday, March 17, 2017

What's in store?

Retail is changing in this country. We do not shop and buy the way we did 10 years ago, 20 years ago or 60 years ago.
In the past we had to buy locally. If you couldn't find it "downtown", or in the Sears and Roebuck Catalog, you didn't need it, and you just did without.
Just a few years ago, we all went to the local mall to shop for necessities and to browse. I remember walking around and going into dozens of shops, just looking. Now, most of those malls, that were so popular, are boarded up or have already been torn down.
Well, times have certainly changed. If I want to purchase an item, I don't immediately hop in my car and drive to a store. The first place I check is "on line." It's so easy and I can do it from my home. I just log on and type "jacket" or "blue sweater" or "bedspread" or anything. Dozens of places pop up, and I can shop until I find what I want.
Then, a few more clicks and I have purchased the item and I will shortly know when it will be shipped to me. Often the shipping cost is zero, and returning unwanted items is equally as easy.
Retail stores are closing every day, while the shipping business is booming. Both young people and old folks are shopping on line. During the holidays, the US Postal Service even subcontracted for UPS and FedEx.
You can't buck the trend. Just click away and shop till you drop.

Dear Lord. Change is inevitable. We cannot make things stay the same, and to try to do so, is foolish.
Help us to embrace change and to enjoy it. God, help us to choose our battles and to focus on the important stuff.
Bless our families and keep those that we love, safe and healthy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mid-Century Modern

Imagine my surprise, when I recently came across a magazine article about a young couple, living in Austin, Texas, who had turned their "21st Century" two-story home, into a Mid-Century Modern Classic. And, and this was what was so hard for me to wrap my mind around...........they did it willingly.
What? How wonderfully odd. I can marvel at such an story, because I have spent the last 40 years living in a 1950's rambling ranch style home, a true Mid Century Marvel. The outside is adorned in glass blocks and skinny brick....everything is on one level.  I live in a cliche'.
When we moved here, there were plastic tiles in the bathrooms, shag carpeting and yellow appliances in the galley kitchen. The windows had big old ugly Venetian Blinds and the Formica kitchen counter top was avocado green. Red flocked (bet you haven't heard that word in 25 years) wallpaper covered the dining room walls. I couldn't wait to update the place.
Several years ago, I visited a museum, near here, that featured an "all electric home" from the 1950's. It was all done up for the holidays, complete with an aluminum Christmas Tree. And, except for the tree, I felt as if I had walked into my own home!
So, back to these young folks. They had furnished their home with turquoise plastic chairs, avocado accents and chrome. The stately columns that had graced the front of their newly built home had been replaced with straight iron rods. Their open concept home was then divided into smaller, individual rooms and carpet was laid on the wood floors.
I finished the article in dumbfounded amazement. Who knew? Perhaps, I can repaint my stainless appliances a nice yellow shade for a more "up to date" look.

Great God. You must think we are all pretty silly. We are never satisfied. Remind us of the important things in life. Show us how to be gentle and kind with one another.
We are truly blessed.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Good Advice

A couple of my favorite movies are "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle". I try to watch them, every time they are on TV. The late Nora Ephron was involved in the production of both. So, I just ran across a great quote from Ms Ephron. It's terrific. I think there is great wisdom here.

"I was just with someone complaining about his mother. He’s 70 and his mother is dead. I sat there thinking, This is unbelievable. He was complaining about things she did to him when he was a kid. There are also a lot of divorced people who, five years later, are still walking around angry when they should be grateful. They love being victims. You get to a certain point in life where if you were younger, you’d say, ‘Think about getting a shrink.’ Then you get older and want to say, ‘Pull up your socks. Get over it.’ ” —Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

So, let's start today. Just STOP IT. Quit complaining, whining and belly aching. Nothing is going to get better because you are talking about it. Life and the world changes one person at a time. Change your attitude. Live your life to the fullest. Move on.

Dear God. Slap some sense into us. We are blessed. We should be more grateful. Show us how to use our blessings, to be the best that we can be.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nansense and her sister.

My much older sister and I share an rare talent.The two of us can sing a short song about most any subject you can mention. And, if we can't think of a song, about a particular subject, we can probably recite a "piece" of poetry, instead.
This skill amazes people, daily. As the years pass, I realize this crazy skill set is very unusual. I wish that I were standing in front of you, right now, so that you could test my ability.
However, talented as we are, I have always assumed that this talent of ours was completely useless. I mean, I have never made a cent from this skill, and I don't believe that my sister has either. It's just something we do. If knowing nonsense songs and poems had been a money-maker, we would both be multi-jillionairs!  There is simply no market for what we do.
Well today, I had an A-Ha Moment. Right after giving a spontaneous rendition of "Alice, Where are you going?", at a complete stranger's request, I realized my "talent" had countless worth. People are entertained and amused by such wacky talent. The woman who had requested the song, was thrilled. I could read her mind...."What kind of a kook would actually know the words to such a bizarre song?"
Every January, I always sing my "Kansas songs" medley for anyone who will listen. My sister probably does the same thing. Although, when she sings them in Southern California, it must seem odder than when I do it, in Missouri.
Just a couple of days ago, I recited A.A. Milne's "London Street", to a bedazzled and puzzled Londoner. I believe she said the experience was "rather quaint".
Yes, we sisters are a talented duo. We are priceless. You should hear us perform.

Gracious God. We are blessed. Give us the courage and fortitude to do your work. Help us to love all of your children, and to spread joy and happiness where we can.



Monday, February 27, 2017

What???

Surprise me.
I love surprises.....surprise visits, surprise gifts, surprise announcements, surprise weather. Surprise, in my opinion, keeps us on our toes and makes life interesting. Surprise can be challenging, but, life can be pretty dull, without a surprise or two.
Not everyone feels the same way, however. I do realize that many people do not like being surprised, in any way shape or form. Routine is what some folks want. Routine loving people do not want to be challenged with change and surprises. Change can be very frightening for certain people. When we become distressed by change and surprises, it can cause a lot of stress.
Every day, at my workplace, I encounter both kinds of folks. Surprise happens to everyone and some of us can cope with it, while others cannot.

Which type of person are you?

Good and all powerful God; Our only constant in life is Your steadfast love. No matter what happens to us, you are always there. Strengthen our Faith. Calm our uneasiness.
We praise Your Holy Name.







Saturday, February 25, 2017

Short

I am SHORT in stature. I have always wanted to be taller. Maybe just a couple of inches. Maybe tall enough to eliminate my ever present and ever needed foot stool. Maybe tall enough to have made it to the second row of a group photo.
Sometimes, I am SHORT with people. Being calmer, quieter and more understanding, should be my goal. I am too impatient. Remembering that the first one to finish life, isn't necessarily the winner, should be upmost on my mind..
Life is short. We all have family members and friends that have left us too soon. There were so many things we could have said and done, and now the opportunity is gone. We must remember that we have not been promised a tomorrow. Say those important things, now. Today.
Sometimes, we feel we get the SHORT end of the stick. Life just isn't fair. When we're down and feeling really put upon, it always helps to count our blessings. Everyone has something to be happy about...something for which we should be thankful.
The word SHORT is longer than the word LONG.  Life is always a surprise.

Dear Lord. We are your blessed children. Short or tall, we have your undivided attention.  Give us patience and courage.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ouch!

Here is a rhetorical question for you. Why are we so critical?
So many folks want to voice their opinions about each and every thing. For some reason or other, these extremely vocal folks think that their opinions matter.  They think that the rest of us care what they think and say.
News alert!
We don't.
Why can't we keep our opinions to ourselves and realize that our critical words are hurtful?
I am making a vow right here......."I will attempt to curb any criticism that I may be tempted to level, on any unsuspecting victim."
Please, hold me to it.


Dear Lord. We should be sorry if the words we say hurt other people. We know that we are too critical. It is so easy to see the faults in others and to ignore our own. Forgive us.
Lord, help us to be kind to one another and to measure our words.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

$11.06

I try to eat healthy. I really do. I watch my fat and sugar intake. I eat as many green and yellow vegetables as I possibly can. And, I don't eat as many starches and desserts as I would like to. I have never been called "slender", but, I can still get through an average door frame.
However......
Sometimes, a girl just has to have a greasy burger and fries. Once in a while isn't all that bad. Right?
Well, last night I stopped by a local burger joint. I was by myself and feeling pretty guilty for not going home and eating left overs, which I usually do. Anyway, I waltzed right in and ordered the single combo.....burger, fries and a soda. Since that's the only thing on the menu besides doubling, tripling and quadrupling the burger size, my decisions were minimal.
I love this joint. Wood tables and mismatched chairs, plastic advertising on the wall, greasy food, and oldies tunes played on a video screen (jukeboxes aren't being made anymore, I guess). The place reminds me of life 50 years ago, in the town where I spent my formative years. When I go there, I always visualize the burger places of my youth. I think fondly about The White Grill, The Ottoway, Griff's and Ned's.
When my food was served, I had just heard the original "My Girl", and "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?" was just starting to play. I was fifteen again!
Another customer, at the counter, placed her order and I heard the clerk say, "That will be 1106".  Oh my, 1106 was the most famous and the greasiest burger joint in Pittsburg, Kansas. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Life is pretty special and full of great little pleasures......even if you have a tummy ache for the rest of the evening.

Dear Lord. You act in mysterious ways. We are not meant to understand You. We know that you love us and that you will be with us, always. Help us to keep Faith.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Returning to Normal

My husband fell and broke his leg, two weeks ago. It was a fairly serious break, as far as leg breaks go. For all of you  readers who don't remember your 8th grade anatomy lessons, there are 3 major bones in a human leg. Two smaller ones from the ankle to the knee and a larger one from knee to the torso.
Being the over achiever that he is, he, of course, broke the big bone.
Recovery will be long and difficult, but the prognosis is good. We have been promised that life will return to normal.
I have been eagerly awaiting a return to NORMAL.
But, today a wise woman shared with me the definition of NORMAL. The real normal, she said, was a setting on a washing machine!
She's right. What is normal? If it means going back to the way things were, before his fall, then I'm afraid I am going to be disappointed. Things just aren't going to be the same. Our life may be a whole lot better, or maybe a little worse. But, our life won't be the same. Things will be different.
We're going to experience a NEW normal. That's okay.
And, we are blessed.

We thank you for our blessings. Life is good. We are traveling a long road, full of smooth spots and rough passages.
We have your assurance that you are always with us on our journey.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Huh?

In these days of Twitter, tweets, texts and emails, we seem to be living in a world of perfect communication. But, beware. The written word, because it does not give us the nuances and emotion of the spoken word, can be terribly misleading.
We truly cannot write what we really mean.
For example, often, in our haste to comment, we press that convenient "Like" button upon reading a comment. Well, in the case of a tragic incident, we really don't mean that we "like" the comment, we mean that we appreciate being informed of the matter and we care. We really don't mean that we "like" that your spouse or parent passed away, or that you have just been in a car accident!
A terse response to a question, might be perceived as blase' and unfeeling, rather than the intended short and sweet. We often forget or don't take the time to write "please and thank you" in our notes to one another. We opt for short and it comes across as impolite and rude.
Sarcasm, because it is often delivered with a wink or a smile, cannot easily be conveyed in written communication.
Our favorite responses, such as "there you go" or "just saying", have no specific meaning, but because we pepper our oral language with such phrases and leave them out of our written messages, we don't write like we talk.
It's very easy to be misunderstood.

Dear God, we mean to do the right things. We strive to say the right thing, too. Help us to do your will and guide our words and minds. We are blessed in so many ways. Show us how to use our gifts and graces to glorify Your Name.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fair to middling.

A new year. A new number, 2017.  It seems like only day before yesterday it was 2016.
Our lives are filled with numbers. Why do we find them so important?
Early in my life, I remember being very concerned about my age. I was always 6,7,8, or 9 and a half. The half was always added, immediately after my birthday.  I always wanted to be just another year older. I wanted desperately to add another number. Well, that desire ended a long time ago.
Then, being a really cool teenager and running with the "in" group, we all frequented 1106 (the address of the local grease burger joint). We listened to the top 10 hits, and we wanted our high school sports teams to all be number one. Oh, and my boyfriend was number 51, on the football squad.
As adults there have been W-2s and 1040s to fill out. And, 401 Ks, etc. etc.
Then, as seniors we watch our weight, our blood sugar numbers and we count calories. I know people who are obsessed with taking their blood pressure. They chart every number, every day.
Number, numbers at every stage of our lives.
On tombstones there are two sets of numbers......our birth date and the day of our death. In reality, the dates really have little significance.  It is,of course, what you do between those two numbers, that gives your life meaning. How you have influenced others and what kind of legacy you leave at your demise.
Between the numbers. Concentrate on what's between them.

Dear God. Help me to be a better person this year.