Buy A Vowel

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If there’s one thing you learn fairly quickly when living with people of a certain age it’s that you should never interrupt their ‘programs.’ That’s right. We all have shows that we like to watch. Sometimes (given our busy schedules), we’ve even been known to binge watch on the weekends.

So here’s something important you need to know: NEVER EVER try to speak with your elders in the middle of a game show or during their soaps. Seriously. Even if you smell smoke. Or you get called about a family emergency and have to leave immediately.

In their defense, and I can’t believe I’m even saying this, they already feel like they’ve lost so much. So many things we all take for granted – our health, our sight, our ability to come and go as we please – may one day be taken from us, too, leaving behind a shell of the life we once knew with very little to fill up all those empty hours.

So, if you really must have their full attention and you have no other recourse, tell ’em: “Buy A Vowel,” quickly turn off the tv and run like hell!

*BTW… does anyone know the answer to this puzzle???

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Grumpy Old Men

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There have been several movies made about grumpy old men… including Grumpy Old Men AND, years later, Grumpier Old Men. Perhaps that’s because there’s no limit to how much material is out there on the subject.

I know one such character… my Dad. I love him to pieces but he could easily have given Walter Matthau a run for his money. And not just in those movies, either. Matthau played a lot of curmudgeonly characters throughout his career – from Oscar Madison to Coach Buttermaker – and one was merely grumpier than the other.

What do we do for these aging men who have little to no patience and even less remorse? We love them, we forgive their crankiness, we try our best to make them laugh and then we leave them to their own devices!

HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY, DAD!

All That Jazz

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Giving credit where credit is due, the song, “Hello Muddah Hello Fadduh” was written by Allan Sherman in 1963. But it’s hardly original. That is to say, the lyrics are but the popular song, itself, was a parody of a classical piece written by Amilcare Ponchielli titled, “Dance of the Hours.”

In this Grammy Award winning novelty song, based on a letter of complaint sent to his parents by Sherman’s son while attending summer camp, the son describes unpleasant and even dangerous situations (in his humble opinion). The song (letter) ends with the rain stopping, the fun activities starting and the son stating, “kindly disregard this letter.”

We’ve all experienced good and bad times and none of us are exempt from exaggeration. So, when reading my posts, I hope you will take some of it with a grain of salt, learn valuable lessons from those personal experiences I’ve tried to share and remember, always, to love your life… And all that jazz!

Fine, How’re you?

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(Author Unknown)

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
Memory is failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is – for you and me, who’re growing old.
It’s better to say, “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we’re in.

I’m fine, how are you?*

*All of the products shown above really work. I know. I use them all the time 😦

Beat The Bank

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I really hate the fact that the older I get, the more tired I am and the less sleep I seem to be getting. I’m now one of the millions of Americans that relies on sleeping pills for a decent night’s sleep. So, on those occasions that I find myself exercising my right to a good night’s rest, the last thing I expect is to be woken up from a deep sleep before dawn.

To be clear, there was no fire, no medical emergency and no reason whatsoever that my slumber should have been disturbed. But it was. And the reason… Dad wanted to get to the bank to deposit a check. At 5:42 AM.

Now, I don’t know where you live but I’m pretty sure your local bank does not open at 5:42 in the morning. And we’re not talking about the ATM machine either. My Dad only deals with real live tellers who sit behind their windows inside the bank.

I tried to convince him that I would not be up and showered and dressed anywhere near that early but he insisted on being ready… just in case. 

So he waited, patiently, just so he could beat the bank!

An Uphill Descent

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We’ve all heard the expression: ‘one step forward, two steps back.’ It seems like every time I come up with an idea to make my Dad’s life better it just makes my life more difficult.

Case in point… I got him some books on tape to listen to (he likes comedians but only dead or nearly dead ones; no women and the routines should be rated R). So now I have to be around to put in the tape, turn it on, turn it off when it’s done – meaning I have to plan to be around for approximately an hour. But that’s okay. 

And even though his macular degeneration makes it cruelly difficult for him to see the tv, I do tape the programs he likes to ‘watch’ (he’s, oftentimes, sleeping through them when they’re regularly on). However, then I must stick around for slightly less than an hour to fast forward through all the commercials.

So, in my attempt to keep him happy and to fill his days with some small amount of joy and laughter, I partake in what I lovingly call, an uphill descent!

See My Keys?

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How many of us, on a daily basis, have lost (oh, okay, misplaced) our keys? It’s by no means the end of the world as we know it. It’s just a case of senior moment-itis. Or is it…?

And it’s not just our keys anymore either. We lose our phones and our wallets, too. But it doesn’t end there. We carry around so much weight (women particularly) because of all the stuff we insist on taking with us in our handbags – just to leave the house:

  • Multiple forms of ID
  • Breath mints
  • Lipstick
  • Feminine products 
  • Pen and paper (if you’re my Mom and you don’t have a smart phone)
  • Coupons (if you’re my Mom and you can’t resist a sale)
  • Tissues (if you’re my Mom and you can find multiple uses for them)

Don’t even get me started on the room-to-room surveillance mission. I tell myself each and every time that I needn’t write stuff down because I’m just going to the next room… Then, as I look around (helplessly trying to find a clue as to what I came into that room for), I start taking a mental picture of my surroundings:

  • Will something familiar tip me off?
  • Will an object just magically appear in front of my eyes?
  • Maybe if I retrace my steps it’ll all suddenly become crystal clear? 

I could go on and on and on but I need to go out and run some errands… See my keys?!

Labor Day Lament

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As I was swimming my daily laps in the pool this morning, I was thinking ahead to all the things I planned on doing over this holiday weekend. My first thought was of attending as many street/town/county fairs as humanly possible. I just love those – especially, as a crafter myself, enjoying seeing all the amazing crafts people create.

My second thought was about all the sales there would be in stores. I have no intention of putting myself in the middle of all that craziness – both the traffic and the people who truly believe they will be getting some kind of bargain. But, also, there’s the fact that having all those people working on the holiday kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating the holiday, doesn’t it?

So there’s the real dilemma. To work or not to work. If you need the income or don’t care one way or another then it’s your choice to work. If you feel more strongly about not working, then that is your choice as well. Either way, stores will voluntarily open or close, people will barbecue or shop or just relax and enjoy the last remnants of summer with friends and family.

For my parents, it’ll be just another day following just another weekend. They will most likely keep to their daily routine and maybe, just maybe, think back to their younger, carefree days or to their years of hard work and, hopefully, feel a sense of accomplishment for lives well lived!

The Name Game

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Ever notice how the more time you spend with people, the more you start to think like them? We all have those moments when we can’t remember what we were going to say or do. Some call them senior moments and some (more colorfully) call them brain farts. But we all have them at one time or another – some more frequently than others and some who flat out deny their very existence.

Living with my parents is sometimes like living in prehistoric times. I’ve come to realize that the remote control is a clicker, a CD is a tape, the cell phone is a ringer, the printer is a copier and the DVR is a recorder. It’s not that these ‘alternate’ names are confusing. It’s fairly easy to tell what my parents are referring to most of the time – especially when they… point.

It’s when the parentals are at a total loss for words yet they expect you to read their minds, nonetheless, that you become somewhat frazzled and impatient. It can go from one extreme to the other:

1) The Dangerous Chair – a comfortable chair that, once sat on, makes an octogenarian fall immediately asleep. This covers every chair in the home from the most comfortable recliner to the hardest, metal folding chair.

2) Squeaky thingy – this can be anything from the upstairs neighbors walking around on parquet floors to a door that needs oiling.

3) Ice box – an old fashioned name for a refrigerator/freezer.

4) Who-ja-ma-bob – again, could be a razor, an alarm, the doorbell, the tv… anything whose name doesn’t immediately register.

5) Thingamajig – see above.

And don’t even get me started on proper names. Whether it’s trying to remember a person’s name from the past, a character or actor’s real name from tv or even their only daughter’s name (I usually come in at about 5 or 6 down on the list – after my brother, my grandparents, their grandkids), I’ve gotten so used to it that I’ll basically answer to any of the above… especially if it’s for something really good that I didn’t even do!

Owning Your Age

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When we’re really young, we’re in a big hurry to grow up. Children will, early on, hold up one or two fingers to proudly declare their age when asked. Then they go through a stage where they are very definitely, “four and 3/4” or “almost 5.”  

Our desire to age rather quickly makes another comeback when we approach double digits and, again, when we’re old enough to get our driver’s permit. Lastly (depending on where you live), there’s that urgent desire to be able to vote. Okay, drink… Whatever.

After that we’re not so keen on advancing in years. Some even go to great lengths to try and slow down the aging process. Every few years we’re thrown a bone when some group or another comes up with the latest: “60 is the new 40”Yeah, right. And I’ve got a wooden bridge I’d like to sell you.

But fear not, baby boomers. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If you live long enough, you’ll be eligible for AARP, Medicare, Social Security and senior discounts up the wazoo. So be loud and be proud. Own the age you’re at. Act the age you are. And age as gracefully as you can!