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Friday, May 22, 2015

7 Quick Takes

Jules here-

Thought I would do a classic 7 Quick Takes Blog this Friday as I have more random elements to discuss....

- 1- 
We have just returned from a trip to Delaware this past weekend!  8 Hours each way- no DVD player- and we survived! We ate plenty of snacks, listened to hours of books on CD, and sang an innumerate amount of nursery rhymes.  It had been three YEARS since I had visited Delaware, and it was so wonderful returning to my childhood state!  And, we happened to arrive on my nephew's TENTH birthday-- I moved from Delaware to New Hampshire shortly after his birth, so this will be my tenth year in New England too!

If you have never been to Delaware or near-by Pennsylvania, make a special trip to Longwood Gardens!  It is internationally ranked as one of the top ten gardens in the WORLD!  I forgot how spectacular the acres of manicured flowers, trees, shrubs, and water fountains are! We had such a fantastic time!

If you do plan on going to acres and acres of walking-- you may want to pack a stroller.  My two youngest were QUITE exhausted after the afternoon.
At the entrance, before the walking...

This was not a posed shot. This is back at the entrance AFTER the walking.

As soon as you are out of New England- don't forget to stop for a Rita's Water Ice- though the prices are ASTRONOMICAL since I was last there.... it was fantastically refreshing on a hot day. 

I also had the opportunity to attend a childhood friend's wedding, meet up with a high school friend, and stay with my brother and sister-in-law.  It's always amazing with certain friends no matter how long it has been, it feels as if no time has passed. 
All dolled up for wedding! James's jacket lasted two minutes....
High school best friend, Joanna!! Loved seeing her darling girls!
James is still obsessed with golf:  he enjoys watching golf on TV, playing golf in our backyard, and he even insists on wearing "golf shirts".  We had the opportunity to sneak onto a golf course adjacent to my brother's home.  We had to play the hole QUICKLY while the "paying" golfers got closer to us...

You may be saying to yourself, "Oh, Jules has been traveling so much, that's why she hasn't blogged!" Go ahead, think that. It's not really because a coworker of mine gave me her kids' old Nintendo DS with MARIO on it for my kids......  I can't stop playing.....
Blurry photo courtesy of Lissie... I am bleary eyed and playing Mario....

And in the worst news of all, James's final pacifier broke.  I am sure some of you are calculating how old James is-- well, 3 1/2.  Yes, most moms wish for a child to give up a pacifier- but James, he still naps. I treasure those 1-2 hours of peace and quiet. And today, he is not napping. I hear him stomping around his room and getting into trouble (and, no, I am not checking on him...).  It took him 2 hours to go to bed last night, and the previous night he fell right to sleep with his pacifier! (albeit, it was at the top of the stairs...)

Easy Rules #23498-  Returning to the place you grew up can fill you with reminiscing and longing, but it also rekindles old friendships!

Easy Rules #453234- Addictions can be anything that stop you from completing your daily activities: smoking, alcohol, Mario.  Be careful what you choose. At least you can clean and drink at the same time.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mini-Rant #4

Jules here-

I am enjoying my paint-free days and spring weather- I am painting a little. My parents blessed me with an awesome housewarming gift of a corner cupboard from a consignment shop:

Cupboard Before
Cupboard After

And I must admit- I think I like painting walls, better than painting furniture.  I probably should have spent more time taking of the doors and sanding- but from far away- the piece looks great :)  Plus I got to dust off my old tea cup/pot collection that had been in boxes for over 10 years...

As you know, I work with the elderly population in the home care setting and I often see patients who are quite isolated and lonely.  Many of them are eager to share life stories, pictures of grandchildren, and general conversation.  Some of them have very supportive families who provide daily or weekly care for their parents-- but many of them have infrequent contact with their own children.  Tonight, I am going to do a mini-rant on behalf of the elderly population.  I will post what I have heard from an elderly patient, and my thoughts...
Cutie Patootie
  •  "Well, my daughter lives 45 minutes a way with her own life. She's so busy with work, and she doesn't have time to help me right now."  If your job keeps you so busy that you can't help your elderly mom get groceries once a week or clean her shower- then you are in the wrong field.  OR if you are working that hard then why aren't you PAYING for someone to come up and help your mother out?  Think about how much you do for your children right now-- your mother and/or father did that for you.  You might be busy with hauling your children to sporting events, juggling home and work- BUT, rearrange your life to support your aging parents.

    Time to take the keys? Or just take the wheels...
  •  "My daughter took away my keys, so now I can't go anywhere." Obviously, I support the decision to take away an aging parent's keys if the parent no longer can physically handle driving.  I often recommend license suspension to doctors/family if I believe a patient is incapable of driving. HOWEVER- if you take away a person's freedom to drive- you MUST come up with social activities, support systems, and a link to the outside world.  If your mom used to go out to lunch with friends once a week- try and arrange a carpool for her. Did she get her own groceries? Go to doctor's appointments? Church?  I have had patients who can't get to religious services because their children "no longer believe"... TAKE your elderly parents to church if they want, even if you DON'T believe.
    Messy grandkids at grandparents
  • "I honestly don't like when my grandchildren come to my house. They are quite loud and they don't listen well!" We don't live in the "children should be seen not heard" era- but your parents/grandparents might have.  Having children constantly interrupt, make messes, and yell can be quite disruptive to an elderly person.  Though you may be relaxed around your parents, try and have your children be on "church" behavior.  Make sure you let them run around at a park or exercise them well prior to going to visit so they are more calm.
    The smartphone takeover...
  • "When my grandchildren come, they never talk with me as I used to do with my grandparents- they just stay on their phones the whole time!" RUDE RUDE RUDE!  When your children visit someone (no matter the age), phones should be OFF.  If I hear another parent say, "I just can't get my son/daughter to get off his iPhone" I will scream, "YOU ARE THE PARENT!!"  I am guessing your 14 year old isn't footing the bill for a smartphone, and I am guessing you want to be in charge of your teenager-- then do it- seize control and set some rules!  Teach RESPECT!

Easy Rule #8790- The golden rule not only applies to children, but to grownups too. Practice what you preach and teach your children how to care for an aging parent. You'll want them to do the same some day.

Easy Rule #8791- The population is aging, encourage your kids to get a career that's guaranteed to have work :)