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MIL Ru'Mae Hot Lips

Dear Diary,

Whoa. I am TOTALLY getting chills right now. My MIL Ru who supposedly has “dementia” just pulled out something completely random and pffff.. ACCURATE— out of her..and I use this term loosely.. MEMORY. I am.. for all intensive purposes completely GOB smacked. You have to know.. This is a lady who looks in a mirror at the hairdresser and yells, QUICK! Find OUT who does HER hair before she LEAVES. Truly, one never knows what events will warrant UNDERSTANDING let alone memory sticking power and WHICH will be unceremoniously flushed away into the dark abyss. Much like SOMEONES pants upon discovering that they were a slightly BIGGER size then a certain SOMEONE usually wears. No names.

I’m hanging with Ru up on ROAM (dementia floor) in the dining room, trying to recall the name of that “new girl” who JUST moved in (June 05). What does it rhyme with? Yeah ME. Way to exhibit your brilliance in dealing with a dementia patient. Well..I think it might rhyme with Jo. Ok. Let’s see.. R-O? Ummm. Flo? Shmo? Nah. Hey! Ho! How’s it going Ho? She’s obviously NOT responding to Ho. John came roaring around the corner in his souped up wheel chair with flags hanging off the oxygen tank holders for that BAD BOY effect.. almost taking out Ho..had it not been for Ru..who remembered at the last minute and screamed.. “WATCH OUT Judy.”

YOU know I had SUCH a fun time at that place the other day.

Everybody at our table stopped shoveling in their Cream of Chicken soup..long enough to take in this excitement and try to remember if THEY also could have had a really FUN time at THAT place. After three seconds had elapsed..I guess they just gave up because everyone just kept on going with all that nasty slurping and sloshing. Except for Selma— whose curiosity was ever so slightly piqued. Where did you go dear? Were we there with you? Ru looks at me to help her out and realizes that I have problems of my own.

My mouth is all numb with this stream of drool trickling slightly out of the left side of my mouth due to the dental work (hole drilling) that had been recently inflicted upon me. Do you want my napkin to clean yourself up a bit? I look around and see all these elderly gawking at me. Oh come ON. It’s not as if YOU don’t do this on a regular basis WALTER. Give me a freakin BREAK.

You have a little..(pointing to my neck) Right there. No. Not quite. It’s right th.. no down a bit.

Care to say it a little LOUDER Ru? This was SUPPOSED to be my SAFE HAVEN where I could come and recoup and NOT be judged for slobbering and looking all.. Duhhhhh I can’t feel my face. WOW. Are THESE my LIPS? (patting self’s nose).

You know it’s kind of VULGAR watching you over there. Who did you say you WERE again? I don’t think I have the stomach for this. Hissssssss.

OH PLEEEZE MARION. I didn’t say a word when you were on that drug to make you less ENTHUSIASTIC. You kept falling asleep with your face in the Mashed Potatoes Garlica. R-e-m-e-m-b-e-r?

I went with my DIL to Neiman Marcus last week and we saw SHOES.



Why yes. Yes we did. Do you REMEMBER what we did there Ru?

BUZZZZZ. When speaking with an individual(s) with dementia conventional wisdom dictates the stupidity of asking.. DO you remember? Of COURSE they don’t remember. If a memory HAPPENS along from time to time..well, then we celebrate it. We don’t need to go digging around giving POP QUIZZES. Unless.. you happen to be like me and can’t HELP but test the theory that granny really doesn’t HAVE dementia she’s just using it as an excuse to eat multiple lunches, hit on as many good looking FELLAS as she likes and suck every morsel of attention out of her DIL as she can— before her dirty little secret is unearthed.

So..tell us. What kind of shoes were you looking at?

They were dark.

Goooood. And…?

They were really HIGH heels.


They were BLACK with jewels.

EEEECK. Incredible.

I’m hugging the breath out of poor Selma. The sheer joy that my MIL has REMEMERED something—anything.. has rendered me..

FOOL. Would you mind getting your SALIVA off my..FACE?

Selma is unimpressed.

What were their names. Do you see their NAMES? Concentrate.


Oh. So. Close.


Yeah. That’s what I said didn’t I?

I look around to share my moment with my dear friends. I realize then.. that my FRIENDS have left to dryer ground. All but our home boy John..Who was very eager to share with granny and I the details of HIS YEARS of dental work. Funny thing. It was VERY hard to concentrate on what he was saying when I was becoming hypnotized by his dentures flipping around inside his mouth. This. I would sooner forget.

My Sandwich Generation.. as tempting as it is to check up on your seniors “retention” every so often. Resist. There will be hills and valleys in their cognitive abilities and even more shocking.. Personalities. Let me tell YOU. THAT.. could have YOU swinging left and right very easily. Resist at all costs.. basing your moods on THEIR bumpy terrain. There are the good months..and (sigh) the pathetic ones. The trick will be.. skill when maneuvering those BUMPS. Hang in there and rely on YOUR all weather, all terrain.. FOUR wheel drive, to absorb the shocks.



Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 9:06 pm.


All. DONE.

MIL Ru'Mae caught sneaking around

Dear Diary,

Believe it or not.. my MIL Ru (dementia) and I are kind of in a weird place in our heads right now. Yeah. I know. So WHAT else is new? But not THAT kind of weird place. I have totally run out of creative and stimulating distractions to create (enjoy) together and we’re DYING of boredom. How on earth could DULL happen to US? Pffff. As far as I see it.. when you live up on a dementia floor, one day can become just like the next..REALLY easily. It has a way of sneaking up on you.. smothering you—(much like Walter’s halitosis issue) unless someone recognizes that you’re falling into a rut of shuffling around in your UGGS complaining about your botched pedicure and the robbery of your disposable pedi-thongs.. for days. All for lack of anything better to do. wore them ONCE granny. The whole idea behind disposable thongs is that you THROW them away once the tootsies are DRY. If you keep waving them in front of Marion’s face and taunting her with, “Don’t be Jonesing on my sandals sweetie. *wagging finger* They’re one of a kind and you’ll NEVAH find them at NORDSTROM.. so good luck with THAT.” You’re asking for trouble. I. Promise.

When all else fails Ru and I take ourselves downstairs for our own Assisted Living version of.. What NOT to Wear MEETS Ten Years Younger. With..and you KNEW this was coming— a slight twist. How is the show played? Before we can critique and therefore ASSIST (with our ever so helpful comments) our eager victims unsuspecting contestants, we have to GUESS a little about their past background.. going purely by our instinct. Who were they BEFORE they were standing outside of the Ladies RESTROOM screaming at their girlfriend “I don’t CARE that you have Claustrophobia. I MUST have the big stall.”

These benches are the best. Really. Because where else could you sit at Happy Daze Assisted Living and have such a fab view of all the residents milling around? We can check out the lobby area without craning our necks to assess our contestants.. which could lead to one of us losing our balance and toppling over on the tarmac in the middle of our show. Why look. Here comes our first.. subject. I look over at Ruth waiting for her honest appraisal. Granny is the “nice” judge.. always delicate and diplomatic. I’ll let HER go first. heh heh heh.

So what do you think of HER? I’m holding my gargantuan handbag up to my face and pointing..ever so discreetly from behind it. Ruth’s all like..WHAAAAT DID YOU SAY? Which LADY HAS the UGLY SEERSUCKER PANT? OH THAT ONE???? (waving to get lady’s attention) STOP that.. this INSTANT. Pfffff. I SO hate when she does that.

See the woman emerging victorious.. pumping her arms up and down, coming out of the POWDER ROOM? Look how all proud of herself she is for psyching out the competition. Can’t you SEE her? Look. NOW. She’s walking right towards us. Cue the music. Ladies and gentleman.. we have Ru’s DIL singing the appropriate song for the moment because this garbage elevator music they’re playing in the background is not cutting it. We’re pleased to bring you–
Right Said Fred and I’m Too Sexy…

Da tad a da tad a..I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt. So sexy it hurts … Cuz I’m a model dad a dad da daaaa and..

“You KNOW she’s had some SERIOUS work done don’t you?”

My MIL has such a nose for sniffing out any medical enhancements at a glance. It’s a gift.. really. A. GIFT.

“There’s no way those boobs are hers. If I had to guess..she had her work done in (pause to recall) late 1970’s..po-s-s-s-ibly early 80’s. See that nose? That’s Los Angeles.. SCREAMING 1968.”

So tell us can you ascertain such remarkable information?

“It’s all in the pinch at the end and the ski slope middle.”

The nose pinched? Or the BOOBS?

Ruth is looking at me like.. DUH girlfriend.. have you NO. CLUE?

“I would say she must have been in.. perhaps the entertainment field in her youth.”

Pole dancer kind of entertainment?

Ruth has turned her attention to our second contestant. LOOK. HERE comes a comely looking woman (squinting and doing the once over). Why I think she couldn’t be a day over EIGHTY. Eighty-five.. Max. Nice thick hair. Lovely chest. Skin is fantastic. Could be Botox…

Excuse me? What’s your name dear?


Nice legs Frank.

Game over. Thanks to all for participating in our show.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 9:19 pm.

1 comment


Up! Up! Push the "TWO" Ru!

Dear Diary,

I know better. I. KNOW. BETTER. Now I’m gonna write it a hundred times so I never pull that stunt again. I will NOT allow Ru to push the elevator button. I will not.. Oh suck it. I’m not really sure why I got the sudden surge of brilliance to allow my MIL Ru (dementia) to demonstrate how still incredibly FUNCTIONING she is. Who was THAT for? I am fully aware that THIS same woman who says, “it’s only a button”.. is the same MIL who needs to be coached through grooming in a pathetic attempt to derail her plans of applying strawberry hand soap.. liberally over throat and neck region (to prevent wrinkles). Then there’s the dousing of her NEEKED person with—SCOPE.. for that invigorating tingly fresh feeling only that awesome brand of body splash can provide.

Once my MIL sets her mind to something, pretty much she’ll follow through.. when you LEAST expect it. Come ON staff at Happy Daze Assisted Living. Aren’t you ONE BIT s-u-s-p-e-c-t after late morning Happy Hands class (with those strenuous finger thrusts) granny sneaks off telling you.. SHE has to go “freshen up” cuz she’s all sweaty and gross? Then she comes TRAIPSING back in the room smelling like Crème De Menthe with pink goo caked into her eyebrows. Oh and now we have something NEW. Is that LIP GLOSS what I THINK it is? Why yes. Yes it is. Which one of you LEFT the A + D rash ointment packs out? Huh? do you have ANY business even CONTEMPLATING being responsible for the transport of others?

My MIL had very little problem convincing me to cave.. due in part to her fab acting ability. Now can you DO “present with a touch of functioning” Ruth? Yeah. That’s it. Good. Now I want you to gaze lovingly at me with those crinkly sweet (devil) eyes and that Cheshire cat grin (with all those REAL teeth) and say in really STRONG and assertive intonations..

Haven’t I lived here LONG enough and watched you do it a million times? I used to do this. Other people let me. Oh. COME. ON. Pleeeze. Just this once..

A half a dozen assorted eyes were upon us..looking a tiny bit worried as they ALSO waited for the elevator to arrive. Sure. Be that way. All smug in YOUR ability to FUNCTION— while my MIL has asked for a little privilege which YOU guys take TOTALLY for granted every single day. Hey. Where’s everyone going?  I look over to see the little group of..maybe 13 or 14 UNASSISTED’S cramming into an empty elevator fast. Pushing and shoving each other and then screaming SHUT IT! SHUT IT! Oh. Way to be MEAN you old BITTYS. Pflug. Because heaven forbid you get stuck out HERE with me and yours truly. Maybe having to make an extra stop or two. It’s not like you have ANYTHING better to do. What? Gonna miss watching the toilet bowl overflow with STUFF that nevah should’ve been thrown in there in the first place.. dude with the “LOST” dentures? You KNOW who you are..Laverne.

If you’ve fallen for it’ll just be stupid all over again statistics show. Whatever. It was a chance I had to take. Ruth needs to feel that she still has SOME abilities remaining. If it’s button pusher she needs to be..then I’m all in support of that. The two of us looked at each other readying ourselves for the impossible.. to figure out in which direction we would be traveling. So granny? You have only TWO choices. Up or down. So push up. We’re going UP Ruth. Don’t be all pushing the down button (trying hard to control impulse to brush hand aside). There’s NO down.

Then why do they HAVE a down button? To screw me up?

Yeah. That’s PRECISELY it. When they INSTALLED the elevator they thought to can we make a dementia patient really MORE confused then she already is? EUREKA! We’ll make her THINK there’s a down..when really hahaha there’s clearly NO DOWN. live on the second floor.. so THAT would indicate to ME.. YOU would have to push the..?

UP? NO. DOWN. NO. WAIT. I KNOW THIS ONE..(tick tick.) UP?

Amazing choice.
Yeah! Floor "TWO" Not so fast.

Ruth is beaming with pride over this clearly CORRECT answer. Hah! We’ll get there yet. But wait. There’s a question?


Just a little information for you newbie’s to the world of dementia— instant gratification is built in with the gig. Section 32a of: EVERYTHING you always wanted to know about Dementia- but totally spaced out on and forgot to ask. You PUSH the want the prize. Immediately. That means anytime there’s waiting involved you had better be prepared to entertain. DO I have anything in my teeth?

“Well. Let me see. What is it I’m looking for? What’s that brown? (Sniffing) Did you get into my CHOCOLATE?

(Mouth wide open) I uh oh. Ooh ewe ee any-eng ELLE in air?


I said do you see anything else.. Oh. Look our ride is here. This is the tricky part and I could sooo make my life a ton easier by sticking her finger on the correct button and doing the deed. But. I. Don’t. That is precisely what I love about me. My absolute never-ending stupidity. K Ru.. What button should we push? I say we try TWO. How do I know you should push two? Well.. because THAT’S where all the cool people live and YOU clearly are one of them so go ahead..just push it. I dare you. No. I DOUBLE dare you.

Granny begins to move her (well manicured with O.P.I blush) finger towards the panel of brightly lit numbers. Find the “2”.. No. That’s the “3”..find the T-W-O. Granny looks up at me with determination burning in her eyes. I can do this. Yeah. We know. She moves her finger right by the “2” button and starts pushing at the plastic boarder surrounding the button. It’s not working. Realllllll cloooossssse mama.. And there you go..

So whom do we know up on EIGHT?

We were on our way UP and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. The doors open on “8” and this one girl Helen.. with the hairpiece worn backwards that bears a striking resemblance to..ummm… road kill, was there to greet us. Well. Didn’t I see you both DOWNNNNN STAIRS..thirty minutes ago? We’re going DOWN Helen. You and Pepe Le Pew are welcome to join us? “I’ll.. catch the NEXT ONE.” Have it YOUR way.

I am pleased to say we did eventually arrive at our destination and it was worth the wait. Ru was just so dang pleased with herself guys. Words cannot describe. Well, they can– Envision when you first got the training wheels off your bike. How busting your buttons were YOU? See? Very worth the time spent. My MIL was bragging to the whole dementia floor on how she drove us up here. Puh-leeze..nobody else’s DIL lets them drive. Har.

My Sandwich Generation, wherever your seniors are in the aging (functioning) process.. the ability TO perform tasks unassisted– is imperative for their feeling of (faux) independence and self worth. If they have even the remotest chance to be able to accomplish the task themselves..OMG let them. Who cares if YOU could do it faster or better? DON’T. Stand back and take a chill pill. As long as health and safety are not at stake.. let THEM push the buttons.

Going DOWN?

Not a chance.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 6:45 pm.



Marnie with goof ball great-grandsons dancing in backround

Dear Diary,

Who would EVER think that by just doing some completely random act such as showing up to granny Marnie’s place at NIGHT rather than my typical morning hour visit.. I could have hypothetically been in a position to save her life..HAD her life ACTUALLY needed to be saved. Phew..HEAVY stuff. Why me Gawd? While I pause to ponder that point..I’ll just tell you it was absolutely FRIGHTENING..those blood curdling screams and agonizing groans emanating from the inside of Marnies place over at..KillJoy Senior Living: if it’s not already done..we’ll DO IT to you. Seriously..I was so freaked out. I didn’t know what to do. I just STOOD there..frozen. Unable to move except to finish the last of my Grande Mocha Frappuccino.. cuz if I didn’t— it would get all melty and I’d just end up dumping it after the rescue. Then Marnie would get majorly ticked because I wasted the money and didn’t drink the whole thing. Could defiantly do without THAT lecture tonight.

My ear was pressed against the door as I tried desperately to figure out what the muffled voice was saying. The shouting would become loud one minute..then nothing the next.  I could hear poor Marnie yell to the thug, “Run..just take IT and run. You are such a loser.” That’s RIGHT. You heard me…OUCH! That hurts. EEE GADS.. NOT the KICK? UGHHHH. How could you dooooo THATTTTT?”

Cripes ALL MIGHTY..get your lousy “butter fingers” (her words) OFF. MY. GRANNY. I can’t stand it any longer and I began to frantically look around the hallway for a “gentleman” to send in. After all..I’m a mother. It wouldn’t be RIGHT to go into a potentially VIOLENT situation when it’s really a MANS job. Plus.. I don’t do well under pressure. Total performance anxiety.

Hey! Milt. What’s happenin? Milt.. Marnie’s next-door neighbor is eager to have someone acknowledge his existence..especially a YOUNG lady (Shut-up) such as myself. Hey! Milt.. my little MANTHER friend. Got any cute young hotties lined up for dinner and a movie night? Turns out Milt’s hooked up with Bertha in room 429. HE says she’s 80 years old..I think she closer to 70. Way to do the HALF-YOUR-AGE-PLUS-SEVEN Milty. Enjoy DISTURBIA. It’s a classic. Milt? Could you go and knock on Marnie’s door. I’m kinda scared there’s something going on in there and you’re so STRONG and well equipped. With that walker and all. Yup. In he’ll charge..overpowering the felon and lifting (dragging) Marnie to safety. SCARY. Never mind.

MARNIE! Open the door (tap tap tap.. with pinkie finger) M-A-R-N-I-E let me in? It’s the POLICE. I brought back up. Well. Guess she’s busy. I’ll come back tomorrow.

“WHO’S there?”

Marnie. It’s me. Can you let me in? Then she puts on this really sweet act so I have NO doubt that there’s someone inside waving a pistol under her nose so that she fakes nice and I leave. Go on old lady. Say something old lady-ish so that dumb granddaughter of know the pretty and SKINNY one I see in this picture..quits harassing us and leaves so I can do what I CAME here to do. Steal that PRICELESS Lazy Susan you got for winning the Bridge Extravaganza of 1972. I won’t fall for it. No sir.

Oh honey. I didn’t hear you. I’m right in the middle of some.. OH NO. Run. Run. AAACCCCKKKKK! You open this door RIGHT now Marnie.

Then I hear Marnies electric scooter make it’s way towards the door. Urrrrrrkk. Vrrrroooom. Urrrrrrrkkkkk. KBUSHHHH (hitting the side of the wall). plink. (plaster falling on the floor). Urrrrrkkk. SCCRRRREECH (arriving at destination). The door’s flung open to reveal.. my Marnie. The tears rolling down her cheeks; her nose with Kleenex shoved up one nostril mumbling to no one in particular (as per usual).. SUCH AN UPSET. SUCH an absolute upset. I am really QUITE concerned as you can imagine. What..with not knowing WHAT the heck’s going on in the joint and Marnie all hysterical.. laughing and crying screaming down the hall..WE WON THE GAME! (moving head back and forth to the rhythm of her chant) We-ee wo-on the ga-me. We wooon the ga-me. We ru-le the wor-ld. In yo FACE mother!

I push past Marnie and head straight for the scene of the potential crime. It was a PIGSTY. There was an opened box of SEE’S Chocolates with ONE caramel cluster missing and the brown paper liner lying on the table. Many (2) cans of prune nectar with straws still in them and a GO HUSKIES shirt and matching hat “thrown” (gulp).. over the CHAIR of all places. What did you do with my REAL grandma? You FAKE. Honey? Did you watch the game? OMG. In my whole LIFE.. do you think I have ever seen such an exciting game? I don’t know Marnie..have you? Feh.

“Scootergirl” and her football. What IS it about some “tight end” running around on the grass in those skimpy spandex Capri’s with their cankles exposed that Marnie finds so darn appealing…OHHHHH. Marnie—whose THAT? Easy girl. Marnie is quickness incarnate with her amazing recall on anything “player” related.

I think if I remember correctly..that’s JOE NAMETH.

Ohhhh. The Noxzema guy.

Yeah. I could grow to like this game. Granny’s face lights up as she goes down the list.. and I’m so glad to have discovered another activity I have in common with her. My Sandwich Generation..find something to do with your senior that you BOTH enjoy. Then you’ll have all those fab NEW memories of laughter and joy to cherish forever. Suck up every last second of these precious times..or— just SUCK UP. That works too. GO DAWGS!



Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 6:06 pm.



Ruth wants a TATT

There comes a time when I just have to put my foot DOWN. My MIL Ruth (dementia) is BEGGING me to get her a totally fab tattoo JUST LIKE the one she saw on “a guy at my place”. First I question the authenticity of this claim.. due to the small fact, that Ruth lives at Happy Daze Assisted Living. On the dementia floor. To the best of my knowledge (and I could be wrong cuz I haven’t inspected the nether regions of any dudes)  Walter, Gart, Roger and Irv are NOT sporting ANYTHING that even comes close to a  BRIGHTLY COLORED UNICORN WITH FAIRY DUST GUSHING FROM HIS REAR and the words FRANKIE. ALWAYS IN MY HEART wrapped around a rather BUXOM looking redheads..well, her boobage. Too much MTV granny.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 4:49 pm.



Dear Diary,

Today my MIL Ruth (dementia) and I took a little field trip to the petting zoo that just recently opened. Even though it’s ALL the way ACROSS town (the street) from Happy Daze Assisted Living.. we decided that today would be the perfect day. The best time to visit I figured is in the morning. You know.. because all the OTHER kids are all at work and ensconced in productivity meetings and such. We’ll have the WHOLE place to ourselves. Very have a nice and settled environment so granny can have meaningful interaction with the livestock.

Because I am so remarkably attuned to the needs of the elderly with cognitive impairment..I knew that the PROFOUND tactile experience she would have there.. would stimulate all kinds of thoughts. Neurons firing in a brain be quite honest— has seen better day’s years. I had to first prepare Ru for the unusual sights and smells she would encounter as we entered the zoo for the very first time. I wouldn’t want her to get massively freaked out by the conditions placed on those poor helpless soles.

Just as I thought. The minute we walked in Ruth started sniffing around. Smell can be a real memory enhancer. YOU KNOW WHAT it smells like in here? (sniff sniff) I can’t QUITE put my finger on it..but if I had to guess..(long pause) Kind of citrus notes. Nice lemony base. Yesssss. What is it RUTH..? PLEDGE. Yup. That’s the one.

Our first stop was the Leopard area. I gotta tell you.. To see these felines up CLOSE is to d-e-e-p-l-y experience Mother Nature’s most divine work. Yes Ruth. Nice kitty. Then Ruth turns to me and says with this HURKIN big smile on her face, “Can I have them? Huh? Huh? Can I?” Ruth you know what happened the LAST time you asked me to buy you a pair. You just kicked them into the back of the closet and left them there with just your old KEDS to keep them company. You never walked them or ANYTHING. You stop this tantrum right now. We begin to move along to the next point of interest and I am SO regretting bringing her. Then SILENCE. Ruth’s gleefully pointing at the most incredible creation EVAH. Across the way we see..
Pretty Kitty

the Reptile House. First we walked shuffled fast, then the next thing we know we’re hauling our booty’s at lightening speed (pfff) till we could just make out the most spectacular sight ever seen by womankind.. THE RED ONES.

How is it that they expect the SO last season snakes and the fresh Patent Leathers.. of such HIGH quality and workmanship, to co exist peacefully? Yet. They do. Ruth LOVED the cool smooth feel of the patent’s body. All SORTS of questions came to mind (surprise) “Where would I wear these?” and “Do they come in Navy? Does Selma have the same pair?” When she turned the shoe over and announced the price as a STEAL at $15.00..I had to scratch the old head. OK. That does not say $ says $1,500.00 Granny.  Hate to pee on your parade. But. yeah. I could TOTALLY see you wearing these to your Happy Hands Class. You know..with that cute pleather pant and chocolate sweater with the poly DICKIE. OH GET REAL. Then as a last MIL tried that “thing” that THEY ALL DO when they don’t get what they want. (Stomp stomp) Allllllll the girls HAVE them. Do you want MEEEEE to be the only one that doesn’t? How could you DO this to me.” Ga. Grow up now..or I’m taking you home.

They say we shouldn’t cuddle the animals because it’s a tease and the poor things might think they’re getting SPRUNG from their cages and let me tell you.. THEY most definitely ARE. NOT. We were VERY careful not to GIVE anyone that impression..including that cute ZOOKEEPER who offered all kinds of facts about the particular species we were REALLY REALLY fond of. The VALENTINO.
Ruth had the best time and was so appreciative of our outing. She can’t WAIT until we visit all of our little friends again. What did I get out of.. the big adventure at the zoo? I got the BIGGEST hug..I do think I have EVER gotten. Hey. Ummm.. I’m over HERE.
Ru giving me a hug.

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 5:01 pm.


The Next Marilyn Monroe

That's why I use SCOPE.

Dear Diary,

It is very obvious that my MIL Ruth (dementia) has just what it takes to be in commercials. For as long as she can remember (pfff) people have told her that she should be A MODEL! OR A MOVIE STAR! Whew dear, I can be really really BIG — what do you think of THAT? Maybe I’d even entertain the idea of being ONE OF those girls with all that hair. I’d look STUNNING in that adorable pantsuite. I’d get to help out people and make them smile.. very good-looking fella’s on there too.. Yes granny. I’m sure that has great appeal. HOWEVAH.. Did we talk about that? Because I have NO idea what it is you’re thinking in that head of yours (and there would be no surprise—THERE).

Come on..YOU know. What was that show I used to love? Um. OK Ruth I’ll play along because I have NOTHING else to do and certainly NOWHERE else to go. Oh! Oh! The Price is Right? Wheel of Fortune? Wait. That Deal or No Deal? Ruth’s looking at me like the village idiot..which is so NOT fair because how am I supposed to know what she watches sitting on that couch of hers over at Happy Daze Assisted Living. Pathetic. They watch shows that put all kinds of THOUGHTS into the resident’s heads.  Yes. I do agree.. putting thoughts IN from time to time is not a bad thing. But, pleeeeze. When you put on MTV’s My Sweet Sixteen and Ruth’s exposed to all that glamour and excessive spending..I’m going to be the one to have to spoil the dream when she says, “Call P. Diddy and book him for my 90th”. Sorry Ruth..THAT’S so NOT going to happen and no..MADONNA will be on that VERY. Same cruise. Yes, I’m sure you had no clue Carnival cruises WENT to the Sahara. BUT. Now you DO.

What does it start with? “Well..Something having to do with Mc..Mc..”

“Donalds?” E-GADS..Ronald McDonald? You want to be a freakin clown?

Because I also love Greys Anatomy, I can defiantly understand my MIL’S attraction to the hot.. pantsuits. Problem is I’m not sure they’re looking for a “mature” eighty-two year old dementia floor resident woman to play a medical student at this time. Although..heh heh heh might make for a great future episode.

DON’T YOU think it might work “A”? You know because (feigning modesty) MY figure has always been divine and I have charisma leaking out of every pore. You know what I’m saying? Yup Ru. Darn tootin I do. CHARISMA leaks..
and SO. MUCH. MORE. Which brings us to the lost opportunity of landing the DEPENDS spot.

You know what’s really a shame? When you run the lines over and over with your DIL prior to your big “Go See”. Then just when it’s YOUR turn. WHAM! You have to go to the bathroom..and you’re NOT wearing the PRODUCT. How many times do I have to remind you.. you must use the PRODUCT so you can FEEL the character. H-e-l-l-o-o-o?..I’m a teacher of the Method Acting approach. In it’s PURITY. Nothing watered down. I’m all about the practice by which actors draw upon their own emotions and memories in their portrayals. Give me..having to pee BADLY granny. Come on. Dance. That’s right. No. No. No. Do it like THIS. Now is THAT how Marilyn Monroe would do incontinence? Meh. How did Strasberg find the patience?

Lucky for us.. the director let Ru have a shot when she returned. He probably felt sorry for her and her pathetic DIL who kept dancing in place with her knees held together so that her MIL would REMEMBER to add the element of action to her stationary and somewhat dull utterance of the words:

“When I’m on the go. With no place to go. I can depends on..” CUT. Try it again please.

“For the girl who will it in DEPENDS.” CUT. Thank you.

What really matters here is..Ruth thinks it was HER brows they were talking about when they exclaimed, “your look screams..CONFUSED. Thank you. NEXXXXT.”—So, we’re going with that. I did get a lot of heat about the “brow thing” LATER though. After all.. I’m the one who PLUCKS her brows. What came over ME to make her look so drat CONFUSED? Yeah. My bad.

Today we’re here to try out for a SCOPE commercial. Slam dunk I say.

Next. What’s your name sweetheart?

“Ummmm. Ruth.”

OK Ruth. You ready?

“For what?”

To say your lines.. please begin.


Next please.

So we had an off day. It happens in this eldercare business doesn’t it MY SANDWICH GENERATION darlings? People confuse their lines. Misunderstandings take place with bit players. Lines are flubbed. What really matters is that we NEVER take NO for an answer. We have tenacity like no other generation that has come before us and layed down between bread. The fact that you’re involved and loving your senior is precious. Let no one pee on your parade. Hold your head high and take the action that will bring the most joy to your loved ones life. Life is your stage and oh how the drama is only just beginning. Bravo for your performance in THEIR III ACT!



Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 6:08 pm.


Gossip Girls

My fav gossip girls. Granny Marnie and MIL Ru

Dear Diary,

You know what’s just so COMPLETELY bizarre? No matter how old a person is they are still able to be total GOSSIPS. One would think that when your 82 years old and sitting in your recliner over at Happy Daze Assisted Living you’d have more pressing things to examine— than the “problematic” skin eruptions on your DIL’s facial regions and potential reasons for her sudden out break of “Echinacea” on her cheeks. Easily diagnosable you say.. given the red splotchiness and cuz you heard all about it on TV (after Christy Brinkleys infomercial) and it’s easy to “identify”.. with your old and TOTALY bitty sweet friends.

I’m so NOT going to mention any names to protect the innocent..but you know who you are: Jo, Marion, Doris, Faye, Blanche, Marie. Oh and LEST we forget— RUTH (my MIL). Who, may I add..despite her slight (pffft..choke) cognitive FUNCTIONING impairments (dementia)..has not lost her great talent for spreading absolute falsehoods throughout her inner circle (unintentionally on purpose she claims). Why should I care? Only BECAUSE I have to be exposed to the trash talk pretty much..DAILY. Oh pleeze. I am beyond paranoid at this point.. in case THAT’S what you’re thinking. In all fairness I have EVERY. RIGHT. TO. BE.  You try innocently walking into the dining hall and having all the “mukety muck” of dementia STARING at you because of a little PMS. I came in the middle of, “poor thing..maybe nobody TAUGHT her to exfoliate”. NO doubt THERE.. whom Marion was talking about,

“..and then I heard..I forget WHERE.. she was even thinking that FOUNDATION might make her pore problem less v-i-s-i-b-l-e. Heh heh (all the girls sniggering in agreement). As. If.”

Nice. Usually what I do if I walk in on this “group cluck” is shed some light on the topic and diffuse the potential for real damage to be done. I prefer to do this in a very non-threatening manner being that these are delicate seniors I’m dealing with and not HIGH SCHOOL mean girls.. who’s only THRILL in life is to get me to burst into tears and hide in the bathroom.

“It’s PMS p-e-o-p-l-e. Back off. (sniff sniff) Why don’t you pick on one of your own for a.. (voice breaking) a.. (sob) cha-aaaa-ange?”

Marion looks up at me completely blank..pretending that she has no clue who I am. Ha. Nice try Marion.

“Hey. Come back here. Do we know you?”

RUTH: Everybody. THIS is my DIL. (peering into my..face) What’s the matter with you?

ME: (cool and composed) Why would you THINK.. there is ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME? oops. Who were you just talking about?

This is how I know I am the target of gossip. Ruth starts to get fidgety in her seat and pulls out the “I think I have to go find my room because I LEFT something there” routine. Marion announces she’s getting picked up in “FIFTEEN” by her mother and Blanche..the most CREATIVE of the bunch, feigns illness..commenting that she may have a touch of the Spanish flu.

“We were talking about..”(thinking..then giving up.) “You know what’s funny? I can’t remember what we were talking about.”

Sure granny. That’s a-l-w-a-y-s the excuse. I know you were talking about ME and just for the record I think I look pretty drat good. Why don’t you talk about someone who really has problems? Like.. WALTER. OMG. I could think of a MILLION points of interest with him. Feh. You’ll be preoccupied from here until next freakin’ YEAR on discussing the length of his NOSE hair alone.

Uh oh. speak of the devil..

“Hi Walt. I chirp, trying NOT to look at the Rapunzel length mane growing luxuriously from his nostrils.”

JO: Walter. Ruth’s DIL was just discussing you.

Hey you! Smirking girl in the floral print smock and knee-highs. This funny to you? Huh? And.. YOU Jojo. Don’t be asking me to pluck those CHIN hairs of yours. The MOTHER PLUCKER has been wounded deeply by your tude.

JO: I don’t see anything wrong with his nose hair do you Blanche?

WALT: What about my nose hair.

This is the problem with gossip. Hurtful. Yup. Hurtful and wrong.

The best action a person can take in this situation is to announce,

“Phew. Look at the time. (Everyone looking in numerous directions for a clock that..does not exist.) Ruth needs to take her walk. Gotta run.” Just as I left the room I overheard Blanche, Jo, Marion and all the rest chatter amongst themselves..

“She’s just adorable Ruth.”
“You’re so lucky.”
“Where did you find her?”
“Who was that?”

I most certainly was NOT going to wait around for the answers— when tomorrow is ANOTHER day.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 9:03 pm.



Ruth on a shoppers high

Dear Diary,

I walked into Happy Daze Assisted Living.. and right up to the dementia floor, (otherwise known as University of ROAM, home of the COUGARS) with my usual, non-existent fanfare. Hmmm—that’s not completely accurate. I was fortunate enough today to have Faye and the rest of her hoods yell, “Hey girlie. Don’t just stand there like a dummy. Come in and entertain us.” Why thank you Faye, Irma, Doris. What a fab invitation. You make me feel soooo loved. What would you have me do today? Hey. I know. (Pulling out cell phone) Let’s listen to ring tones.. I cannot tell you HOW much the residents enjoy this. The biggest thrill is when they hear the one that sounds like a siren. Yeah. I’ll bet THAT one sounds familiar. Oooohhhh. Ahhhhhhhh.

Just as I pressed “dog barking” and everyone was all, “Where’s the doggie? Come here boy..” I saw my MIL Ruth (dementia) walk around the corner. Uh Oh. I thought I saw “the look” on her face. “The look”..Characterized by a dazed and confused (more than normal) look in the eyes, pursed lips and some.. wringing of the hands.

“I’m totally out of hand cream. I just used the last of it. Make a note.”

Naturally, when she saw me..her eyes lit up. See? THIS is MORE like it. now I’m going to get my warm welcome after all. Meh.

“Here.” (taking my hand sweetly in hers) “Have some of this crème..I put too much on.”


“Thanks granny.” I say. While I try subtly to wipe the ½ cup of hand lotion onto my designer (GAP) jeans. “Wouldn’t want my skin to get dried out and prune.. (looking around the room). Never mind.”

“I need a little help at my place (bedroom) for a minute..and I can’t seem to find anyone that works here. Oh. Wait a minute..”

I watched as Ruth walks up to one of her gal pals Rosie and bends down to whisper something into little frail Rosie’s ear. Apparently it wasn’t the response Ruth was hoping for because she marched right back over to where I was standing and with arms folded in front of her chest and mumbles:

“I KNOW she works here. I’ve seen her in my room, cleaning under my bed.”

Pffff. Yup.

ME: I’m thinking she probably doesn’t.

RUTH: I’m telling you she DOES..she cleans the rooms.

ME: So explain to me how she PUSHES a vacuum cleaner while holding herself up with her..WALKER?

It turns out granny had a little trouble with her toilet getting plugged up by random..PANTS being flushed by mistake on purpose down it. She claims to not have ANY idea how they got there. I on the OTHER hand suspect that she caught a glimpse of the inside tag with the size printed on it.

That explains “our” pant shortage. She says the cleaning girl did it.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 10:25 pm.

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I’m TOO Sexy for my SHIRT..

Shopping for school clothes

Dear Diary,

Even now..I’m scolding myself for letting my guard down and opening my big mouth to utter the unspeakable, into the ears (seldom functioning) of my MIL Ruth (dementia). There we were. Happily shopping our way through rounder’s of polyester, beige, elasticized waisted pants over at “SAKS” (J.C Penny). Just chewing the fat.. One minute we were all laughing and exhibiting gaiety, “Did you see Thelma’s HAIR yesterday? Heh heh heh. Looks like she borrowed Harry’s piece.. again.” Then..the very next thing I remember.. is watching in horror as the words come spilling from my mouth in one verbal puke. I was distracted. Not thinking clearly. They just flew OUT..

“Where are the FOURTEEN’S?”

“AAAACCCCK. What did you say?” Came the startled cries from my MIL.

“Who wears a FOURTEEN? I think you’re wayyyyy off. I’ve never worn a fourteen in my life.”

What do I do? OMG. She heard that? pfleh. Naaaaaah.

I looked at her and I could see her dementia increasing by the second. Her head started spinning and her eyes began to bug out of the sockets. People.. I had a SITUATION on my hands and I knew a quick recovery was my only hope.

“Nooooo. Didn’t I tell YOU? (Slapping forehead to indicate idiocy). You’re STILL a size 4. It’s just that they cut pants 10 sizes SMALLER then they 1945.”

Ah HA. This makes PERFECT sense.

“Phew. Because you SCARED me there darling (small relieved, titter) hee hee hee. I knew there could be NO. WAY. You’ve always been the big one in the family.”

Oh sure.. come after ME why don’t ya? Feel better?

From time to time..I got this kind of TSUNAMI of inspiration—that caries me away to the land of all possibilities. Where I then proceed to do very rash and pathetically stupid things like.. taking my MIL back to school shopping. It was somewhat selfishly motivated but I was really getting tired of her hair looking like Don Kings twin sister. WE have a reputation to uphold over at Happy Daze Assisted Living.  Fact. Ruth has been voted for 3 years and counting, “The girl most likely to land a DEPENDS commercial” or at the very least.. a spot for Life Alert.. “Help! Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Gawddd how we’ve practiced those lines.

Ruth’s known far and wide.. on ROAM (dementia floor, Rooms 112-358) for her amazing (and I might add..photogenic) previously high cheekbones, knock out figure, and amazing wardrobe. People bow (trip) in her presence she is so spectacular in appearance. But..sadly, there is always ANOTHER waiting to swipe her title (and date) away if negligence ensues. Hey. This is the REAL world. If you don’t keep up with the personal maintenance..some other girl like Doris will slide right in and better you with her new blue highlighted asymmetrical hair cut, denim leggings and a stylish boyfriend blazer (YOUR boyfriends) over her flannel pajama top. I can’t let that happen. Now can I?

Once the shopping was done it was time to focus on the fro. In we marched..arm in arm to see our dear friend Tessa. I gave up on the male hairdressers because it was becoming virtually impossible to have Ruth look straight ahead while in the chair.

“Ruth darling. I’m going to need you to look up for me I can cut the back straight.”

RUTH (big goofy grin spreading across face)  Ohhhhh. You’re S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T?(thinking to herself and nibbling on lower lip) Hmmmmm..

ME (whispering): Stop looking at his butt and look UP will ya? You can do that on your OWN time.

Nope. Didn’t work well AT.ALL. Now we use Tessa and I’m giving directions so that we can achieve the perfect look that screams, “I may have Alzheimer’s..but I still have SOMETHIN’ going on.” Not sure w-h-a-t…but..somethin’.

“Can you take it up an inch or two in the back? Then maybe layer it..”

RUTH: Like THAT. Can you do it like that? (Pointing to a 25 year old Kim Kardashian look alike.) I think we look alike.. don’t you?

Exactly. Could be sisters.

My Sandwich Generation’s amazing how our seniors see themselves. Not as they ARE..but how they WERE. What you don’t want to do is shock them. Never tell your senior their true age or weight (pant size, shirt size.. bra size) This could bring on a massive coronary, which is hardly ever worth it. Aim ten to twenty years younger and five to ten sizes less and adjust according to the reaction. The most important lesson for us..the eldercare sandwiched masses, is at the end of the day—how our family member FEELS they look is so much more important than how they actually look. What a pile.. Keep them looking nice on the outside.. to match how they feel on the inside. You’re the one who has to see..REALITY.

Lookin’ good.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 7 months ago at 10:15 pm.