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Driven to DRINK

Beer GirlThere is an activity that is very commonly practiced in most Assisted Living facilities; much like Happy Daze Assisted where my Mother-in-law Ruth lives. Up on the ROAM floor (Dementia Care) it is called Reminiscence Hour. Not nearly as fun as—Say, HAPPY HOUR or Red Hat Day. But the residents get into it and that’s all that really matters. I might have to drop a suggestion in the comments box on the way out. Passing some kind of Prune Mojito to get the party started and loosen tongues might not be a half bad idea.

To sit in on one of these sessions is to gain deep insightful knowledge into how life was lived way back One hundred years ago, according to some. When these folks went to school they had to want it badly. Greta traipsed 26.2 miles to get her education (that was EACH way). According to the big ‘G’, it was an up-hill climb the whole way to get to her little RED School house. There was slight variation on theme as Jo’s schoolhouse was Yellow and she only walked 18 miles each way. Henry’s was Tan (10 miles) and Lucy pulled white stucco out of her memory bank.. weighing in with the winner–30 miles EACH WAY. That’s practically Iron Man material. I wonder if she biked and swam too? Oh yeah this get’s e-v-e-n better.

Show of hands please if you only had TWO meals a day like Virginia and Shirley? I’m checking out the hand count. What’s this? Why is Ruth’s hand up? Ruth? Why are you sticking up your hand? YOU had three meals a day. I KNOW you did. I give her a quizzical look and she shoots an “Oh for Pete’s sake, don’t say a word” glare, right back. Leaning over she whispers, “Look, I don’t want these other people to feel bad. They walked ALL that way to school and only got fed TWO meals.” Fair enough. But wait! She’s going to embellish. “For our first meal, we might have some Raisin Bran..”

Umm..Ruth. I don’t think they had Raisin Bran when you were a girl “ninety-five” years ago. (Just a little 411 to the first time readers..Ruth is 82).

“Then we’d have a glass of Orange Juice and a Starbucks muffin..”

I’m just going to NOT touch this one.

Ruth is always mindful of not making anyone feel bad..EXCEPT when she:

1.    Gets new clothes. Then she puts on a fashion show with a walk that is slightly “reminiscent” of divine Miss J Alexander on Americans Next Top Model.
2.    Has her hair and nails done. Please see above #1.
3.    Gets a new Boyfriend

The second part of Reminiscence Hour is where it might be helpful for SOME to have Alcohol make an appearance. The perky activities gal Daphne is leading this session and begins to steer the discussion onto oncoming traffic. “Tell me about your boy friends?” CRIPES! NO! NO! We mustn’t go there Daphne. MUST. NOT. GO. THERE. Too late.

RUTH: Well the first boyfriend I had was..



TEN Min. later..



FIFTEEN Min. later..


E-e-e-e  n  o  u g  h !!!

RUTH: ..and now I have Gart, he is such a wonderful fellow. He just can’t keep his eyes off of me. We are in the early stages of dating, but who knows where this will lead..?

Yeah. Who knows where THIS will lead. Never mind that “Gart” is married. The others were too. When you have DEMENTIA there has GOT to be an upside. Anyway, Gart claims his wife Hedda is cheating on him. She lives down-stairs in un-assisted living. So I’m told. Gart says she can’t be trusted. I believe him. Those wild 88yr old Cougars.

Girlfriends of My Sandwich Generation, I am not a drinker at all. The best I do is a double pack of Mint-Lime Martini gum. But, there may will be times when we feel that it’s “three drink” lunch day. Before hitting the bottle may I suggest hitting the gym. As far as calories go.. it makes far more sense. Plus, the elliptical trainer works wonders with all that pent up emotion. Seriously, I could stay on that thing for hours. What? “No elliptical” you say? Go take a walk. A long one. Just stay away from on coming Beer Trucks!

Bottoms UP!


Posted 14 years, 12 months ago at 9:39 pm.


Games People Play

Games People Play

Dear Diary,

Never being one to enjoy much success in the gaming arena; I can very much relate to Ruth’s immense displeasure in partaking in the “word-search” extravaganza over at Happy Daze Assisted Living (Roam Division for the Dementia-ly inclined) the other day. It would be one thing if Ruth was doing MARIOKART Wii.. which by the way she is fabulous at playing. You should see her race that baby. Why she’s so skilled that she can drive one handed all while looking over her shoulder to trash talk Harriet for making her lose concentration and looking out the Dining Hall window to see if anyone is gaining on her. It’s a well-known fact that pretty much ANYONE can drive a car.. but it takes special skills and reasoning abilities to do a word search activity sheet.

I look down at Ruth’s classroom work to see– beautifully drawn CIRCLES, meticulously framing each and every letter on the word-search paper.

RUTH (frustrated): I don’t know what the point of THIS is. They’re having us draw circles around these words (points to letters A and B). See, I drew a circle around the “A” and the “B” to spell Ab. And here’s an “o” and a “k” to make o.k.. So now what am I supposed to do? Draw another circle around both of them?

ME (sensing a rapidly approaching melt-down): Yeah. Sure. You go right ahead and do that. Good, you win. Are we done? Lets. Go. Walk.

Not so fast. Today we are hitting a high on the Tizzy-o-meter. What’s on the docket next? Game of CONCENTRATION to push us OVER the edge?

RUTH: Why do I have to draw circles on this paper? Seems kind of dumb to me. Does it seem dumb to you?

This is where my job get’s kind of hairy. Do I:

A.  Answer that it seems dumb to me. Because, between you and I— Yeah, I think it’s horribly naive giving a group of Alzheimer’s patient’s a word search sheet when 85% of them can’t even find their ROOMS on a good day. I can’t tell you how many times I do the victory dance when Ruth can find her N-A-M-E on her room door.
B.  Do I tell her no? It’s not dumb at all. Word search is a great game—drawing circles around letters strengthens fine motor skills and is good for her eye muscle flexibility. Many Doctors in fact recommend word search on a regular basis for this very reason.

I am scaring myself right now at the ease in which that last option came flowing from my lips. Today, the best option is “C” as in let’s SEE if we can get out of here without causing a sCene.

I am a big fan of “room hunt”. It’s one of those games that almost every one residing on The Roam floor knows how to play. Very seldom does anyone feel left out or inferior for not understanding the objective of the game. When I was little, we used to play this Barbie Mystery Date game..OMG. How I adored it! A player would open a “door” on the game board and VOILA! Some good-looking mystery dude appears. That’s kind of how it is around here. I can’t stress enough how we L-O-V-E the element of surprise. It’s really crazy fun when we walk into Ruth’s room to use the bathroom and find Harry has been warming the seat up for her. Good times THOSE. Little Red Riding hood was young enough to withstand the shock of Mr. Wolf in Granny’s bed. Kills ME every time. Ruth just screams!

My Sandwich Generation diners— there are activities that are appropriate for our seniors with medium stage memory issues: Painting, drawing (Pencils are good. Crayons are undignified), Connect Four (granny whipped kids at this one) tic-tac-toe (another great one for Granny to play with the grandchildren) and soothing, small, piano recitals by grandchildren who practice more than sporadically but show talent…

Scrabble, 3,000 piece puzzles, and MONOPOLY should be avoided at all costs. Hide and go seek? No!

Simon Says? Wii Wii!

Put your hand on your head. Simon says put your hand on your head.


Posted 14 years, 12 months ago at 10:08 pm.


VAGUE Beauty: Spring 09

Ruth at Spa Day

Posted 15 years ago at 10:20 pm.

1 comment


Marnie and RuthDear Diary,

I believe in consistency. Ruth, if you’re going to have Alzheimer’s than by GOLLY have it. I’m going to need to ask you to play by the rules. Don’t go pulling out anecdotes from last WEEK and replay them for me detail by minute detail. What’s with the exact account of dialogue by a woman you’ve only met once? Is it appropriate that not only do you remember HER name, but what her hair was doing (spazzed out) in the back of her head? Must you recount with perfection that her paisley print blouse was gapping in front because “she was too big across the bust” and you could see her brassiere? Come on woman. That’s blatantly showing off and nobody likes a show-off. There’s a name for what you have. A medical term to define what you experience..selective memory.

The problem with ASMA or Asymptomatic Selective Memory Affliction is that an innocent eldercare provider such as myself never knows when it will strike and with what kind of force. Take for instance the time we went into a very nice and very highly acclaimed Indian restaurant around the block from Ruth’s homestead Happy daze Assisted Living. I knew we were taking a big gamble going in at the height of business shmooze lunch hour, around 1:00 pm. Yet, I felt confident about scoring a table without much lag time, because I had with me my lucky charmer mother-in-law by my side.

ME to Ruth: I’m going to need you to hunker down a bit. Round your shoulders and shrink down. Maybe two inches.

RUTH: Like you do?

ME: Yeah. Thanks Ruth. Like I do. Can you do it?

RUTH: Well, I can sure try. It’s not going to be easy.

Yes, I understand it’s not going to be easy to play the role of an 82 yr old granny with Alzheimer’s but just for TODAY could you humor me? I prepped Ruth on my strategy for gaining entrance without reservations.

ME: I forgot to make reservations.

RUTH: Well you should have told me. I would have reminded you.
How are we going to get in here now?

ME: Just don’t say anything.

RUTH: What if I explained to the fellow that you forgot? He looks like a nice young man.

On top of Ruth’s ASMA she also suffers from AHBAD or Alzheimer’s Halted By Adorable Dudes. I really don’t need this right now.

Up we feebly walk; Ruth working her hunched look and me giving it my all with my “pained and defeated” face with just a pinch of minor discomfort thrown in for good measure. Please don’t try this at home ladies. This is a developed talent that takes years to perfect and if you do it wrong you will only appear to have a major constipation issue and that will get you nothing.

Past the long line of Saville Row suites and Chanel two pieces (some Prada Spring transition wear) to the Maitre d’ stand. All eyes are on us and expectations by audience are sky high. Better make this good Adrienne. I proceeded to explain to “good looking” young man that my dear mother-in-law (I point to Ruth) has issues. On cue mom flashes a doozy of a smile— all eyes bright and gleaming. Chin tilted upward, head thrown back..Cripes!

I kind of nudge her with my shoulder but she is OBLIVIOUS to anything other than “nice young mans” dazzling azure colored eyes. Task at hand. Task at hand!

Thus I begin my monologue du jour. Delivered to what I think is near perfection. “Ruth has Alzheimer’s and she gets fatigued quickly if she has to sit in a room with a lot of stimulus. Guess what? He’s not listening to me. He’s carrying on a side conversation with Ruth. They are chatting away and I hear little fragments like.. “ Oh my mother’s your age.” “You were born in 1927? So was my mother.” “Oh you knew Shirley Smetzer? We lived next door to her.” “ How’s her cousin Ralph? He’s still married to Thelma!” “Do you know how her kids are? Yes, that’s what I thought when I saw her last.”

This is N O T going well.

Finally Maitre d’ Dude looks over at me like I’m a pathological liar and says, “What a great MEMORY your mother-in-law has. I wish I were as sharp as she is.” Feh. We’ll just go sit over in the corner and wait.

Listen up MY SANDWICH GENERATION givers of care. This is not an unusual phenomenon. Alzheimer’s or no Alzheimer’s, pretty much you can bet your COSTCO card on the fact that when you visit the Doctors office with your senior family member this ASMA is going to kick right in. Be prepared as the advocate with written notes of signs and symptoms that you have noticed in a specific time period. If ASMA is in full gear, please don’t start to question your own SANITY hence leaving the doctors office all poor(er) and empty handed. If the Doc is on his or her game, he or she knows that as family and caregiver, you have a much broader perspective of mom or dad’s frailties over time than he or she does in a fifteen minute performance. I promise a good show.



Posted 15 years ago at 9:07 pm.



Marnie working-outDear Diary,

You know how, SO many of us girls say that when “we’re old”, there is no way that we will NOT have our faces buried nose deep in some magnificent ice cream delight.. smothered in a blanket of hot fudge with nuts plentifully spewed hither thither cascading down around the base. Gad! Even talking about it creates heart palpitations.

We figure that when we reach the appropriate cut off age for cellulite deposition to create psychological trauma..for most of us that would be around eighty, then we’re gonna lay to rest any memories of our two-piece thong or tankini (if you have a more modest bent) and dig into a piece of well-deserved heaven.

Got some bad news. Even at eighty and shockingly NINETY we’ll be feeling that old and familiar societal pressure to be thin. One would think that at this age the craziness would subside..but, I’m here to tell you NOT A CHANCE. To be perfectly blunt, if your hotness rating slips even an inch (before you do), some other Granny who’s been waiting in the wings will swoop in and steal away the most coveted prize of all. The COVER of VAGUE (the new VOGUE) magazine.

You think it’s hard to watch what you eat? Tracking those blasted calories getting you down? Ha! When you live at Happy Daze Assisted Living-dementia care (ROAM floor) it becomes near impossible. Today, (MIL) Mother-in-law Ruth was complaining about feeling “a little thick around the middle” and for emphasis began snapping her already “stretched to the max” elasticized waist band (with nary a inch of give) out and back in an alarming fashion. Seeing potential for bodily harm with snapage looming; I sit her down on the bed and begin a series of questions to determine what it is exactly that is derailing her best-intentioned dieting plans and preventing her from wearing her “skinny pants”.
This was not going to be easy. I’ll bet that if I asked any of MY SANDWICH GENERATION girlfriends to do the same, we would suffer some serious temporary dementia of our own. Funny how that works, “forgetting” the Venti Caramel latte (400 calories) paired with the pumpkin loaf (330 calories) we scarffed this morning after the (I’m a martyr) LUNA Bar. I grab a pen from inside the Kleenex box where I usually find them (don’t ask me why) and begin to scribble on the back of the Valentines Day Card:

Ruth. Calories In.

Breakfast: Two eggs, bacon (didn’t eat because doesn’t like), pancakes, fruit and green tea.

So far so good. A little heavy in the carbs. But nothing crazy..yet.

Breakfast 2: Uh oh. A bowl of Fiber One, some kind of muffin (not clear if berry or cinnamon), potatoes (only ate a scoop because feeling slightly full) and a few shots of PRUNE JUICE to wash it all d-o-w-n. UMMMMMM!

Morning snack: Green tea (good choice Ruth but might as well be a milk shake at this point) and banana..oh, and a lovely girl brought in some doughnuts. Feh! That was me..

Bringing our grand AM calorie count total to a whooping 3,500 total calories “IN”. This is not looking as good as I had hoped it would be, but I’m thinking that the calories expended by bodily ACTION may help us out here.

Ruth. Calories Out.

Walked with “me” around the block..
Good. Keep going.
Did seated exercise stretching class for half an hour.
Could you be forgetting anything?
Drip. Drip. Drip. I’m sweating.

This is why we watch our weight. Because when we get moved into some Facility like Happy Daze or Killjoy Assisted Living motto: if it’s not done— we’ll do it to you where Granny Marnie is stationed we will be faced with huge temptation. We may be lured into the ultra-false belief that because we are eighty or..ninety we can blow out all caution to the wind (there I go with my PRUNE juice flatulence humor). We’ll want to chow down with all that pent up Skinny Bee-otch energy and enjoy and celebrate that we made it to 80. WRONGO. Healthy choices ladies because- our “hotness” factor DEPENDS on it.



Posted 15 years ago at 10:57 pm.



Tweeting?Dear Diary,

First they take over Facebook and NOW they’re taking over twitter. I walk in on Grandma Marnie this morning doing the unthinkable..tweeting. Yes, that’s right. There she was all hunched over her little portable mini-computer pecking away. For fear of breaking her rapt attention I tiptoed quietly around to get a better glimpse of what it was that was sooo important that Granny felt the need to share it with all of humanity.

RT @RumpRoast If it’s been in refrig. for six months taste it first then toss.

ACKKK! No. Say it isn’t so. BAD Dream. Bad fah-kak-ta dream, this is. I can’t resist, so I keep scrolling down..

@Badeye Use that cream on your pie face swelling. It was made for your hemorrhoids.

Stop. Right. Here. I really don’t have a huge problem with Marnie being a part of today’s hip culture..(I said hip culture, not hip FRACTURE) what I have a problem with is her need to share misguided advice to others under the auspice of Granny know- it- all. Holy cow! Did she not just advise a woman (at least I think it was a woman) to taste rump roast that has been sitting for six MONTHS before serving it? What if RumpRoast lady actually LISTENS to Granny? Granny could K-I-L-L RumpRoast Lady. Ugh. I can’t live with that knowledge.

If THAT’s not bad enough, Badeye will shortly be smearing on judiciously PREPARATION H.. over her “pie” face. On the bright side— I did hear that Hemorrhoid cream can take down under eye swelling. Marnie wasn’t hugely off base on that one.

Grandma shifts a bit in her electric scooter and finally peers over her “hipster”(Donna Karan) spectacles and properly acknowledges me.

MARNIE: Hi dear. Why are you staring at me like that? You’ll catch flies in your mouth if you just let it hang open. Is that a new top? Your arms must be let me get you a sweater to cover up. You look thinner TODAY (huge emphasis on today).

ME: (Very subtly casting eyes in the direction of mini computer screen) Marnie? What is that?
Are you on TWITTER?

Marnie: I don’t know what the doctor has me on dear (wrinkling forehead with hugely exaggerated motion). I very well could be and not even know it.

ME: (Moving slowly in the direction of computer) Noooo. What you’re typing? What’s THAT? (Said a wee bit accusingly.)

Marnie then begins to take me step by step through her..TO DO list. Yes. MY. BAD.
Translating in a very succinct manner, Marnie goes fragment by fragment explaining with rich detail what the H-E-..heck she was talking about. For instance..lets take RumpRoast Lady.

Marnie found an old Rump Roast in the back of the refrigerator and called the Meat Department over at her neighborhood Market. Seems that they told her to dump the beef. She looks at me like I’ve lost my mind when I inquire if she was going to taste it first before dumping. Honey..never would I do such a thing. I hope YOU know better. Do you? I remind her that it was HER written instructions that say to “taste”. Oh well. She says. I must have forgotten the “don’t”, but I KNOW what I mean. Fine. Now let’s see you wiggle your way out of swollen Pie Face.

Turns out I’m not the only one with punctuation issues. Must be hereditary. Marnie forgot to add a period after “pie” and before “face swelling”. A simple enough error.. yet changes everything.

Marnie makes a fab pie. She even whipped fresh cream to put on top. Delicious. Plus, the swelling has really gone down from under my eyes.

MY SANDWICH GENERATION. We are a resourceful lot. We share so much information with each other through all kinds of social networks..they help us to feel connected and supported. Remember to do your homework and NOT copy off of your neighbor. Each and every one of you has a very unique situation in your hands mouth; use the networking to support your quest for knowledge in Sandwich preparedness but always create your own recipe to follow.
Enjoy the meal.

Bon Appetit!


Posted 15 years ago at 11:36 pm.


VAGUE Beauty: Be Unforgettable

Vague Issue 2

Posted 15 years ago at 5:44 am.


Mind Bobble-ing


Bobble Heads

Dear Diary,

Timing my entry into Grandma Marnie’s residence at Killjoy Assisted Living is one part science and one part luck. All in all, it’s just a very big crapshoot. I seem to have a knack for being in the right place at the wrong time when it comes to Marnie taking care of her daily morning business and me getting caught in the aftermath without my HAZMAT suite for protection. Hey. This is just a very small (lethal) price to pay for bringing great joy and richness to my dear, sweet granny. What do I expect the after effect to be after slamming back prune juice chasers and Fiber One?

I will never go in for the knock until I feel there has been ample time for previously mentioned “task accomplishment”.. calculated by (this is where the “science” part comes in) slumbering rouse-ment time subtracted by basic grooming minutes i.e. teeth brush, face wash, hair piece attachment and multiplied by dressing plus breakfast prep to give me..greater than> 10:00 am and lesser than< 10:00 pm. Killjoy Assisted Living (motto:If old age doesn’t do it..we will) had given granny a note asking her to please be up for the nurses visit at 5:30am. Um..I thought the very. same. thing. Seems a little early to be entertaining. What does Marnie do? She sets the alarm clock for 4:00am so she gets through her well choreographed routine without issue and can be presentable at the meet and greet with the “doctor” at Killjoy. Tick. Tick. Tick. 5:00am. TICK. TICK. TICK 6:00am. T-I-C-K! BOOM!

Incredibly ticked off at this point Marnie calls down to the front desk.

MARNIE: Hello, this is Marnie, I’m in room..(yelling at husband George 97yr. in back round) GE-O-R-GE! What room are we in?

GEORGE (yelling back): 415! Geez-us Marnie! Can’t you remember what the heck room your in?

MARNIE: Oh be quiet George. I’ve been up since 3:00am.(slight exaggeration) How should I know?

GEORGE: Well, so have I.


MARNIE: George just go back to bed.

GEORGE: For Cripes sake Marnie I’m up now..I can’t go back to bed.


I came in just in the nick of time.. as often is the case. Marnie is sitting at the kitchen table all done up and dressed in high collar, special occasion nightie, sipping a cup of…ga!

I love when Marnie recounts a story because always there are little dramatic details creatively inserted to give the tale even more punch.. as if any of Marnie’s stories need more punch. She tells me that the letter she was handed by the staff had a slight typo and instead of saying the “doctors” (lab tech. it turns out) visit will be at 5:30p.m it said a.m. In order to not be seen in low plunging neckline nightie, Grandma had to get up at 4:00am to ready herself. Already this story has holes but why piddle on her parade. “Marnie?” I ask. “Did you and George ever consider that 5:30 AM is just a wee bit early for a visit?” Marnie answers that they had never really given it a second thought. Not being the type to rock the boat, she just went along with it. Turns out after doing some of my own research, that the letter actually stated 7:00am– not 5:00am. Killjoy will stop at nothing to get the job done.

Marnie and George have a big night tonight so naps for all. It’s baseball theme night at Killjoy and Marnie has asked if I would tie some BOBBLE HEADS around her neck with a scarf. Creative. Yet. I think not. I suggested to Marnie that we tape JJ Putz and Ichiro on to her electric scooter handle bars instead because they weigh, like what? Ten pounds each. Talk about pain in the neck.

MY SANDWICH GENERATION peeps, creativity is paramount for eldercare success. Just go with it. Doesn’t matter what you have walked into on any given day, just surrender to the process and make it work. This is really a great way for you also to get your creativity juices flowing. Just make sure you stay away from the prune.

Keep your head on straight!


Posted 15 years ago at 10:23 am.

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You can DEPENDS on me

DependsDear Diary,

I know this is a bit of a delicate subject but I’m just going to undress the issue head on. For the record– this is the second time in less than a month that grandma has forsaken the usual under-garb that our culture mandates unacceptable to forgo (look at poor Lindsay, Paris or Britney..not too closely). Instead she has chosen to thumb her nose at society by do I put this? Going COMMANDO. My own feeling on this hot new trend is..I’m just not going there. But whatever floats your boat. With Ruth, the drowning potential in HER boat is huge. Especially after downing a 16oz Mango-Banana Extravaganza from Jamba Juice, which will push those flood gates WIDE OPEN.

Is this sudden minimalist behavior a brazen act of defiance? Naah..Ruth, for as long as I have known her has always kowtowed to our societal highbrows; every aspect of her dress has always been impeccable and in the highest taste (no Cosmo Girl hootch-wear EVER). I may be reading too much into this. Probably it was a slight slip in the “daily functioning” chip that caused this glitch and even though we’re signed up for “dressing assistance” at Happy Daze Assisted Living at the a la carte rate of.. n e v e r m i n d. Things still have a way of falling through the cracks (holes).

Standing in the dressing room of Macy’s with an exposed Ruth puts BOTH of us in an awkward position. My task was supposed to be a simple one..find some nice spring pants that will sit on Ruth’s waist and not on her hips (that look is so old school Juicy). Feh. No try-on’s for our Lady Godiva today. For a brief moment I panic. Over it. I remembered that I had a spare pair of Depends in my handbag.. somewhere. Why did I have disposable underwear in my hand bag you ask? This was the SECOND time Ruth went Au natural, remember?

There’s a first time for everything where Alzheimer’s is concerned. The first time mom escaped from the Dementia Floor with Blanche. The first big cuss-off between Marion, Granny (fully embracing her inner beeyotch) and Harriet. The first “you have no pants” doozy in the doctors office.

Because I needed to collect a little..specimen from Ruth and I had no intention of sitting with her coaching for an hour to get it, I had the brilliant foresight to take her to Starbucks and pump her full of a Venti sized Peppermint Mocha before she had to pee in the hat (don’t ask, I’ ll go there later). She gave it a try, but we were experiencing some performance anxiety so no go. It was then that I noticed..a bare… As I was saying, I didn’t feel like playing Russian roulette with Granny and her bladder, so I asked the nurse to find a pair of disposables to put on while we were waiting for some “action”. Game ON. Nothing in the entire doctors office. Fine, I get creative. Do you have any Maxi pads? No. Do you have any cotton balls? NO. “What the hells bells kind of doctors office is this?” I say gesticulating like a mad woman. You know what the male PA brings me? An examining table, paper cover…oh, about five feet of it. SUUURE! THHHING! I’m supposed to shove this in her pants?

It’s through these “firsts” of life that we take vows . I vowed to never let happen again.

Mothers of MY SANDWICH GENERATION you know how it is. Out comes the keys, shower-cap, hairbrush, cosmetic bag, spare socks, mittens, manicure scissors (see the sweater cutting incident*), tweezers, mini-scope, Kleenex (four pack), plastic emergency barf bag and a tic tac container (with three tics left). Then I take out MY stuff..wallet, camera, Motrin. Score! “Look Grandma! Look what I found?” I shake out the plastic foundation piece, freeing pounds of loose change from the leg holes with a flip of the wrist.

I’m not a betting woman, but I would put five hundred on the fact that before I take her out again..I’m peering down her pants..just to be on the safe side.

Be prepared.
* See past blog: Stuck for Good

Posted 15 years ago at 4:52 am.

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Wake up Call

The Granny Hot-LinesDear Diary,

I have decided to teach Ruth how to text message. I see no reason why not. There are some that will tell you no way because:

1. She didn’t ever do well in typing and won’t put out more than three words in under forty minutes.

2. Her dementia issue may stand in the way. By the time she gets her three words typed.. she will have FORGOTTEN her point.

3. The keys are small and even with her fab fine motor skills (it’s all those finger circles and thrusts*) she may have a problem finding the correct letter on the keypad.

I still feel like it’s time well spent to teach her; I am getting copious amounts of grey hairs from the phone calls at odd hours for trivial reasons. I’m fast asleep (listening to Steven snoring) and the PHONE does it’s “frantic ring” at 1:00am. OMG! OMG! Never has a device wielded such power over man (woman) kind and created huge drama.. Drat this innocuous little device! It sure can manifest the full range of physiological responses (which will eventually get taken out on our spouse later.) That being said..what would we do without it? Sick. Sorry, that was just a W-R-O-N-G thought to put into the air.
This is why, I’m starting to think it’s time to have Granny text when she’s up in the middle of the night.

Gi! Wit er u dooing? Im bourd. Warz mi car? Doo u havit:}

Maybe I won’t get her a razor. The i-phone might be easier for her; she’ll just need to stay away from the twitter button.

It’s not only the middle of the night calls which are a tad nerve-racking. The late afternoon calls can be equally traumatic.

ME: Hello? (maybe more like “What’s the matter?” since I do have caller I.D.)

HAPPY DAZE ASSISTED LIVING: Adrienne? We have Ruth..

These are the words that begin the nausea response..that sweating, churning, puke-ie feeling. “We have Ruth..” And what?

I’ll take B. for $100 Frank..You have Ruth and..???? She decided to catch some rays and you caught her flashing the workmen from her window? Spit it O-U-T. FAST.

Sometimes it’s just nothing.

Turns out Ruth just forgot if she was supposed to use the orange-red MAC lipstick I bought her or if I was returning it? Should she use the SEPHORA no.21 691A instead? I can actually hear granny all befuddled and out of sorts in the background muttering..I thought we decided that the red had too much blue in it..ask her, would you?

I know all you gals of MY SANDWICH GENERATION can relate. First we have our cell ring (bark, chirp) during the school day asking us to come and fetch our virus infested child from the sick bay. Now, we get the call from the nurse at Alzheimer’s Senior High telling us mom is constipated and “oh..she’s out of cranberry tablets”. At 6:30am. Feh! Sometimes we get both at the SAME time. What do you do if you have to choose between mother-in-laws doctors appointment (where we had been waiting for over an hour) or your kid who has just called to say he’s tired and wants to go home? I’ll tell you what I did. Rock. Paper. Scissors. I feel it’s the fairest way.
“Granny” won and I told tired boy to put his head down on the desk and rest his eyes, I’ll see him in an hour.

Back to the texting..I’ll let you know how I do with the instruction. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll teach the whole group of residents how to text and make ALL of your lives a little bit less frightening.

c u laytr,
*Please see archives for Bikini Ready.

Posted 15 years ago at 6:52 am.