Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Going back to work at a full time job while keeping the part-time job and other fun and interesting life activities (!) has had me going for the past couple of weeks but I'm beginning to find my sea legs again and get my bearings about me. For the record, I LOVE my new job working with older folks at the nursing home. I'm on one of the rehab units and mostly work with folks who have had surgeries or other hospital stays and need to get some strength and mobility back so they can go home. I see them when they come in, assess their psycho/social needs, work with their families and then arrange for them to have all the goods and services they need in place when they go home. It's fast paced and fraught with all manner of surprises and other variables but I am really beginning to enjoy it now that I'm getting the hang of it just a little bit.

So I told you all of that to tell you this; I grew up in a neighborhood just across the river from a very wealthy and prominent old money neighborhood. I went to school with the kids from that neighborhood and am still good friends with a lot of them today. I have seen lots of the movers and shakers out in the community all of my life and I must admit for a lot of my life I admired them for their successes and their standing in society (I've pretty much grown out of that and am quite content with my life overall these days even though I'm not what you would call successful in a worldly sense). Today, I was walking down a hall and I saw a woman I recognized by face if not by name who had been one of the society ladies I had seen in the paper at balls and fund raisers and in Publix in her tennis skirt chatting with friends in the produce section. But here she was, small and anxious in a reclining rolling chair, unable to communicate and seemingly unable to understand and it hit me like a ton of bricks. All the things we chase after and argue about and hold dear to our hearts all of our lives and for what? In the end what have we got left that we can hold on to? Our status, our accomplishments, our acquisitions.... none of it matters much by that point. And it can all disappear in a heartbeat. All I can do is to pray that she and all the folks I get to interact with are able to become more and more grounded on the spiritual side even as they begin to lose their groundedness on the physical side. And I pray that the transition brings with it peace and joyful expectation. And my prayer for myself is that I will remember getting gobsmacked with that realization and continue to loosen my grip on those things that I'll just be leaving behind anyhow. You can't reach out to take hold of the new stuff if you won't let go of the old.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Glory Hallelujah - a job!

After a long, long, long, extended, very long period of semi-unemployment I am pleased to announce that I have been offered and accepted a position as a discharge planner at a local long term care/rehabilitation facility! Yayyyyy - a job! It is PRN (as needed) but I will be filling in full-time for someone going out on maternity leave for 3 months so at least I know I'll have a real, big-girl paycheck coming in for that long and who knows what will come after that. Good things, I'm sure.

It's also going to be great experience for me and I expect to come across tons of new information and resources to share here for older folks and caregivers who have to make long term care decisions. The Feedin' Mama blog will be more useful than ever as I expand my experience and knowledge base.

And did I mention the big-girl paycheck? Again.... yay! Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow! And gobs of appreciation to my daughter-in-law Nicole for taking on Mama care during the week so I'll know she's being well looked after. Four generation households are the shizzle. (Martha Stewart translation: a good thing)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Local Girl Makes Good.... Go Grandma Lee!

75-year-old commedienne and Jacksonville resident, Grandma Lee has made it through to the finals on America's Got Talent this year and I just think that's awesome. This little powerhouse has done the impossible, she has all of the judges eating out of her hand, most especially the chronically grumpy Piers Morgan. And it's not just a case of "aw, look how cute she is" - they recoginize that she truly does have the talent going on - writes her own material, has excellent comic timing and you can tell she's just enjoying the heck out of the whole process. She says she was 62 when she decided to give stand-up comedy a try and 13 years later she's a star in the national spotlight. You go girl!

My favorite joke of hers is that when she dies she wants her ashes spread over the local Krispy Kreme so her fat daughters-in-law will visit her at least twice a week. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! The Seniors.... they do indeed rock!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rich, chocolaty stress relief

I know I've said it before more than once but it's so important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves and they usually need regular remiders that if they don't stay healthy in body, mind and spirit they're eventually going to need a caregiver themselves. Here's a link that is directed toward caregivers of folks with Alzheimer's but it's chock full of good advice for any and all caregivers. Follow the links for stress relief too, especially this one. They've got good stuff for everybody who has stress to address and that's pretty much all of us, yes? And then of course there's always chocolate...