Wrapping up 2012 with Eleven Random Facts.


I would like to thank my Canadian blogger friends Dennis at Weird Stuff Happens to Me and Fern at The Fur Files for nominating me for the Liebster award and the Lovely Blog award over these last few weeks. I am always truly honored to be called out by one of my fellow bloggers who entertain and educate me with their words each day.

So now, because I have received these awards, I am supposed to list seven or eleven random things about myself and nominate other bloggers for awards.

For past awards I have listed what I think are the main random things about myself (that I’m a germaphobic, martini-drinking, stubborn-as-hell Taurus who curses like a sailor and likes old cars and fart jokes as much as a third grade boy).  And if you read my blog you already know a heck of a lot about me, but here are a few more random facts you probably don’t know:liebsterlovely

1.  I like plain Folgers coffee better than Starbucks coffee — I can hear the gasps of astonishment and bewilderment now.  (Thank God there is something I don’t spend too much on).

2.  When I find something I like (as in clothes or gadgets), for some reason I think I need two or three of them, sometimes in different colors.  (Is that hoarding?)

3.  I am the all-time MASTER of procrastination. (So much so that I still haven’t read the How to Stop Procrastinating book I bought 20 years ago)

4. I have one friend who receives gifts from me each year that are either related to Jason of Friday the 13th movies or to Barbie arms (Long story on both.  Always on a quest for a better Barbie arm gadget – see pic of ring holder and earrings.)

5.  I have more half-read books than probably anyone on the planet. (Most likely another symptom of my undiagnosed ADD.)

6.  I really want to spring for an Elfa closet install/makeover through the Container Store. (I go through this every January during their big sale and I never pull the trigger.)

7.  I’m eating nacho cheese Doritos right now instead of  one of the many healthy items I have in my kitchen so that I will eat healthier. (Like apples, oranges, carrots and healthy nuts – got tons of  all of these.  Wouldn’t pretty much anything be healthier than Doritos?  Even a bite of a tire…)

8. If doomsday had come on December 21st, there is enough food in my pantry to feed the neighborhood for a few months.  (Maybe I lived during the depression in a former life?)

9. I buy FAR TOO MANY throw pillows.  (It’s ridiculous. The ones on my sectional now still have tags on them until I can decide if they are keepers.) And why are they called “throw” pillows?  Are we supposed to throw them at each other?

10. I’m obsessed with 1980s era Porsche 911s.  (Particularly one named Lola.)

11. No matter what hotel, home or condo we ever visit, I always sleep on the side of the bed that’s not by the window. (I have no idea why on this one, but I am subconsciously consistent about it.)

Here are some bloggers I would like to give some shout-outs to (If you are one of them, please pick which award you would like and list 7 or 11 random facts about yourself and nominate seven fellow bloggers.  I think I’m supposed to pick blogs with fewer than 200 followers – I apologize if I goof since it’s hard to tell sometimes. Also hard to remember who already has what award. If you’re not listed, I may have already nominated you for something or will soon!

These bloggers make me laugh so hard that my family says “WHAT MOM?” or they make me think or cry or smile on a daily basis.  So many great ones that it’s hard to narrow some down.

Here goes: Free Penny Press, Emotional Fitness Training. Keeping the Glass Half Full, Life with the top down, Lorna’s voice, Ambling & Rambling, Writing Life Stories.

So there you have it.  Have a great New Year’s Eve celebration, whatever you do and wherever you do it!  Just BE SAFE.lifeonwrybumpersticker

What’s something random about you?

2012 in review – Life on Wry.

WordPress.com  prepared a 2012 annual report for lifeonwry.com, which I began actively attending to (making  myself write for!) in August. Pretty cool little report on this little ol’ blog.  (And pretty smart marketing technique on behalf of WordPress.) Thanks for following me on this journey of gratitude, of self discovery and growth and of the wryness of life.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ten Things – What Christmas Means to Me.


1. Family. This year, like many years of late, we get the extra bonus of having my sweet niece (aka daughter, best friend, sister) here with us. Then on top of that,  we get to see some of my cousins and their families in the mountains for a few days after Christmas which is an extra special family treat. We also miss our family who we don’t get to see on Christmas but who we keep near to us, in our hearts.

2. Food.  In particular, a much more expensive slab of meat that I usually buy which traumatizes me because This Bitch Can’t Cook and I don’t want to ruin it.  Plus, lots of other wonderful food like buttery mashed potatoes and pie.

3. Tradition. My family tradition Christmas cookies and the old tin cookie cutters that were my Grandmother’s which I use to make them.  I always think of my mom having the dough ready for me after school to help her press out the cookies when I got home.   I would help her make green and pinkish red buttery frosting and we would carefully frost each one and add multicolor sprinkles.  Every bite brings back those memories tenfold.  I can’t remember a year when she didn’t make them for us or when we didn’t’ make them for her.

4. Meaningful Moments.  A Christmas tree so pretty each year that I can’t stop staring at it  — with multicolored lights and each branch covered in sentimental ornaments.  Nothing about it matches which makes every glance meaningful.

5. Festivities. Fun and new cocktails that my niece makes for us – usually cranberries involved — with a jazzy Christmas song playing in the background.

6.Memories. Sleeping in my sister’s bed on Christmas Eve when I was little (this was a treat as she only let me do this on certain holidays).  I swear I can feel her green checked bedspread at my fingers now and picture and smell the antique furniture that surrounded her bed.  And hear myself asking her if it was time yet to go downstairs.

7. More Memories. My Grandma sitting in our green and white wing back chair with her slippers on in our fancy room watching my sister and I open gifts with an occasional giggle, especially when we opened whatever Madame Alexander doll she had given us that year.  She had a smile and giggle that were perfection.

8. Music.  Especially our Charlie Brown Christmas album that my husband has played every Christmas morning since we’ve been married for the last 21 years.  This, with a hot cup of coffee and crumpling wrapping paper noise — more perfection.

9.  Joy. Exemplified by our dog Tony completely freaking out when he hears us opening gift bags and rattling tissue paper on Christmas morning because he thinks every bag has a new toy or bone for him (this dog has a good memory).  Monkey dog follows suit.

10. A tradition of Counter-Tradition.  Staying in our pajamas well past noon on Christmas. Going to the local Chinese restaurant down the street on Christmas night (we do our big home meal on Christmas eve).  Being the only Christmas- celebrating folk there makes us feel ‘edgy,’ as my niece would call it.  Always reminds me of the Christmas Story movie (You’ll poke your eye out) and the restaurant scene with the singing and the duck (Chinese Turkey) – CLASSIC – you have to click and watch this scene.

What does Christmas mean to you?  

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays….

Thinking we were sexy in the blue Berlinetta…


I can see it now.  The baby blue interior of my sister’s beautiful dark blue 1979 Camero Berlinetta as she drove us down the turnpike on one of our pilgrimages to our dad’s house when we were young.  He and my stepmom lived in a nearby town about 45 minutes away, which seemed like a long car ride at the time. We did that road trip so many times I practically had every road sign memorized.  I was around 10 or 11 and she was around 16 or 17 years old.

Let me just say that we ROCKED that 8 track player on our turnpike trips.  I can picture us now, two young brunettes bobbing our heads to the music and singing very loudly while gyrating all over the car while in transit.  (Not super safe but we usually had a hell of a fun ride.)

So when a few of our theme songs from these little sisterly road trips come on the radio I am instantly transported back in time, sitting shotgun in the Berlinetta like my sister’s sidekick who thought everything she did was cooler than cool.  And she was cool.  One of the funniest, smartest and wittiest people I have ever known.

She drove the heck out of that car and it survived much abuse, a flood, even a few wrecks.  I remember the doors were so heavy it almost took two hands to pull them shut. And I’m surprised we didn’t wear that 8 track player out. Man, the stories that car could tell.

The Gap Band You dropped a bomb on me – (click to watch hilarious video – these guys are from Tulsa OK and  band name was based on first letter of the three streets they lived on: Greenwood, Archer and Pine.) .  Don Henley (Dirty Laundry) and the song that most  reminds me of these trips … Rod Stewart … If you think I’m Sexy … and you want my body…. come on suga lemme know….  We would sing out every word along with dear Rod.  I’m sure microphone gestures were involved.

This flashback-inducing song came on the radio as I was flipping through channels on my morning drive today.  (XM radio is my guilty pleasure and I love it so much that sometimes I sit in the car after I arrive just to listen – where else can you find a whole channel just for 70s or Elvis music? Or listen to what the weather is like in southern Asia?  And LOADS of great news channels for news junkies like me.  It’s my own form of crack.)

So as Rod started singing about his sexiness, I drove right back out of my neighborhood and did the long loop home as I blared that music so loudly that I could feel the seats vibrating.  Click to take a quick listen and I bet you smile.


The happy tears started running down my face as I smiled and I’m quite certain the crazy lady mascara effect on the way back into the neighborhood frightened a driver or two.

God bless Rod Stewart for his crazy hair, raspy voice and definitely for his sexiness.  And that blue Berlinetta.

What song transports you back in time?

Top Thing I Really Should Have Learned in 2012. (Top Ten Continued)

Top Thing I Really Should Have Learned More About in 2012: MATH

As a kind and gracious reader of my last post pointed out, I left out #5 on my top ten lessons learned. I’ve always said as a Journalism major, I simply don’t do math. But really, that’s pretty funny.

So what would number 5 really be?


Well, as I drove home from school drop off this morning, I couldn’t help staring wide-eyed at the snow all around me.  And noticing how soft it felt under my boots and as it landed on my sweater. I wanted to take a picture of every tree with snow perfectly placed on its branches as I drove past them this morning .  I know it sounds corny, but I really don’t care.

Even at 20 degrees this morning, I couldn’t help smiling.  I even went back outside after my return to take my neighbor’s paper to her doorstep.  It was so beautiful and perfect and soft that I seriously didn’t notice the 20 degrees.

I have learned the importance of stopping and noticing so much more in 2012.  Maybe it’s the writing that has made me more observant.  Or the introspection that more disciplined writing has spurred.  Or maybe this gratitude thing has really started to change my view in a way more significant than I had realized?

But it feels right despite its borderline cornitude.  I’m slowing to notice the snow, the deep orange and pink skies letting the sun out from under its covers early in the morning and the brilliance of the moon in our bathroom skylight before I close my eyes. The way petting my little red furry muse (monkey dog) warms me inside and makes my blood move more thoughtfully through my veins. The way so many people and things are not what I had first thought before I started this process.

The twinkle in my sons’ eyes when I spend extra minutes to encourage them and talk to them before they go to bed. The way each year we think our Christmas tree is the prettiest we’ve ever had. The way my Mom’s giggle was back (even if temporarily) when I visited her yesterday as she picked up one of the bills I was paying over the phone and gestured to it like it had the best joke written on it that she had ever read. Even though she lost her ability to read and comprehend a good year or so ago.

Maybe a part of my brain that was asleep has peeled the covers back to take another look?  I hope it never goes back to sleep.

Indeed, that is the number 5 lesson learned for little Miss Math Challenged … how powerful the effect of stopping and noticing can be.

What have you stopped and noticed today? 

Top Ten Things I Learned in 2012


10. There is no need to beat myself up about anything if I’m doing the best that I can.

9. I should never, ever stop learning.  There is still far too much to learn.

8. I am the #1 advocate for my children and should never be intimidated to advocate for them; it’s my job.

7. If we keep our eyes and hearts open, an unexpected smile, a delightful conversation or a great lesson can be found at every turn.

6. Childhood only happens once for our kids, and they’ll be gone before we know it.  Even if we’ve had a long day, we should teach them every single day how to be the kind of adults we hope they will be. And a lot of that is done by example.

4. If  I don’t like something, figuring out how to change it instead of bitching about it makes a whole lot more sense.

3. It doesn’t do any good to worry about what I can’t control.  Instead follow Dora’s advice in Finding Nemo: “Just Keep Swimming, just keep swimming….”  It will work out, whatever it is.  That was one smart fish.

2. Gratitude can make a hell of a difference in my life.

1.  Life is short so I should not sweat the small stuff and instead focus on making a difference in this world, which feels crazy good.

I learned a lot more than this in 2012, but these were definitely some highlights.  Thanks – as always – for being on this journey with me.

What are a few top things you learned this year?

Little Red Riding Hood and the Monkey Palooza

sock monk

Little Red Riding Hood keeps me guessing on her visits. If I turn around for more than a minute, she will nicely rearrange things for me.  Almost always after she leaves on her Wednesday visits, I either find that something is missing or that she has moved something to a strange place.  Almost like my Mom is messing with me, but she has no idea given her Alzheimer’s.  And I have to smile sometimes.

Since we are a dog lover family, we have a basket of dog toys in the living room for our spoiled dogs to access at their leisure. As you can imagine, there is always a dog toy,  or two, or three, strewn across the living room or kitchen floor.  They know who’s in charge here.  They are.

But things on the floor seem to bother my mother, who kept our house the cleanest and most orderly on the block. So she spends a lot of her time here picking up dog toys, leaves and such.  (Less vacuuming for me.)

Our mini Golden Doodle is nicknamed “Monkey Dog” in our house because we’re sure she has opposable thumbs which she uses like a little monkey to scavenge for food and trouble at all times.  So ‘monkey dog toys’ for our Monkey Dog are quite fitting, and thus aplenty in our house.

Last week after my Mom left, I found the sock monkey dog toy in my spoon rest by the stove. Once I figured out that she must have done it, I got such a kick out of it that I left it there for a few days despite how germy it probably was. (I have germaphobe issues.)

Then yesterday after she left, I found another monkey dog toy perfectly positioned in our home computer chair, as if ready to type.  This too cracked me up. I left him there until the kids later moved him.monkeychair

Today I am grateful for our monkey palooza and the smiles that Little Red Riding Hood gives us.

What are you grateful for today?

Reprogramming my Brain’s Autodrive — a Holiday (and Life) Survival Technique


I haven’t written in several days.  I figure it’s because of the general holiday madness that seems to zap every spare moment I have.  But also due to my sporadic funk caused by emotions and memories that come rushing in at me during the holidays, like a rising tide that splashes me when I’m not paying attention, just a little at a time.

Just the other day I was reminded of events that brought back some not-so-great memories and feelings. A piece of mail was all it took to break this particular dam of unsettled emotions.  I found myself reliving hurt and anger over past events from many years ago. Until I caught myself and became aware of what was happening.

I’ve been much more zen (as my niece puts it) and more at ease with everything and everyone this past year, so I’m a little disappointed with myself when I let this happen. My logical self knows better than to replay and get riled up over events that are over and done with.  And move forward. Because, as I always say, life is short …  right?

Fortunately I was able to catch myself and become aware of what I was allowing to happen.  At that point I remembered an interview I heard on the radio in my car just an hour or so before. It was an interview with Deepak Chopra about his new book that he wrote with Rudolph E. Tanzi, an expert on the causes of Alzheimer’s.  It’s called Super Brain, Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness and Spiritual Well Being.   (I just bought it for myself as an early Christmas present to read on my Ipad.)

In the interview Chopra discussed how, in contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, the brain can be taught, through a person’s increased self-awareness and conscious intention, to reach far beyond its present limitations.  He explained how we don’t have to expect to react to situations  in the same ways we always have (the interview was relating this to holiday stressors like family visits).  Because, as he explained, nothing can inevitably make us feel a certain way.  We often decide how to react based on our brain’s “autodrive”  which has been programmed with patterns and expectations.

The book discusses how we can easily reshape and reprogram our brain to better awareness, health and well-being.  How a better mind-body connection, combined with a lifestyle for a healthy brain, can actually diminish effects of aging and memory loss, anxiety and even obesity and more.  Their work debunks several myths about how we understand the brain and aging, explaining how we can actually increase brain cells as we age, rewire our brain to stay young, and prevent memory loss. I still need to read the book, but connecting feelings with memories seems to be a common thread of their discussions.

Chopra explained a particularly memorable technique called STOP to use when faced with any challenge or unwelcome feeling:

S – Stop what you are doing

T- Take a deep breath

O- Observe what is happening in your body

P – Proceed with kindness, joy and love.

And this is what I will continue to try to practice — which is also the basis of what therapists, philosophers and yogis have been trying to teach us for years.  To step back — become more  present and aware — and proceed with the manual setting fully switched to the ‘on’ position.

What feelings have you become more aware of – and in better control of –  over the years?

I’m grateful for these reminders and insights, and the ability to further take charge of my fate. Thanks for reading…

A different kind of holiday greenery – a salad made by yours truly that I actually like!


Don’t get me wrong, I love salads.  But usually if they have blackened salmon or juicy sliced steak on them, along with walnuts and blue cheese crumbles and the like (far from low cal).  Especially if they are made by anyone other than me. So I have to share my gratitude for actually finding a salad that is easy, low cal and healthy, and that even I enjoy!

The holidays are here and this is when I find myself surrounded by food that I love to indulge in and that can make my clothes even tighter. So, if I can switch out a few meals a week to this tasty salad that isn’t wracked with fat and calories, hot damn and hallelujah!

I found the recipe in a magazine and modified it so that even I would not be able to find too many excuses for not throwing it together quickly in a time crunch.   Therefore it had to use ingredients that were easy to find, inexpensive and keep well in the fridge for a week or so.  And it has to be quick and easy, and yummy.

Check it out:

Let’s call it –  Life on Wry Salad

Ingredients – (now I keep this all on hand)

-Spinach or Arugula (or my favorite – a mix of both that comes prewashed and ready to eat in a container at the store. Yes, I go for easy)

-A sliced up apple (I like Fiji)

-Nuts (slivered almonds, walnuts or pine nuts or whatever you like.  I go for a bag of  presliced almonds so it’s ready to go.

-Quinoa – (This is new to me.  Pronounced Keen -wa.  It looks funky but it’s good.  Look for near couscous/rice in grocery store.  I cook a small saucepan full – about a cup of it according to directions – and I keep it in a small container in the fridge ready to go – that is key for me.)

-Blueberries (the trick for me is to keep any berries in the fridge prewashed from the moment I put them in the fridge – so I have no excuses not to eat them)

-Light Balsamic Vinaigrette (you can make your own or use Paul Newman’s like I do)

Directions – 

Get your quinoa boiling per box directions (or pull out what you’ve got ready in the fridge).  Then put as much spinach or arugula in bowl as you’d like, toss on some blueberries, a sliced apple, some nuts.  Add some quinoa – 4 tablespoons or so – just eyeball it – and throw on some light balsamic vinaigrette.  Voila!

End result – 

A salad that is easy, tasty and high in all kinds of nutrients and vitamins that are good for your brain and everything else.  And that I’m grateful I discovered!


What are you grateful for today? 

White Christmas Dreams and Santa’s list. Damn that Christmas music. (Grasping for Gratitude)

Christmas tree

I know better.  I really do.  What kind of holiday high was I on to think that turning on old holiday music while I decorated my tree during a Little Red Riding hood visit was a good idea?

Being a bit of a sentimental sap already (especially with old tunes), holiday music has a way of making me miss ‘what was’ more than any other kind of music.  Thoughts of my Mom and sister and I decorating the tree while the Christmas music blared into our fancy room with green carpet and yellow velvet love seats, and all of my Mom’s plants all around the room.

I would get so upset if they started to hang one single ornament or place one strand of silver icicle tinsel garland before I was there with them.  They knew what a younger kid complex I had, so they were very patient with me.  We would get the tree decorated perfectly, just in time for our cat Rascal to knock the whole thing over during the night.

So while my Mom (Little Red Riding Hood) was here today for her Wednesday visit, I thought some holiday music might put a little sparkle back in her eyes while I worked on my Christmas tree so the boys could decorate it later.  Sometimes little things like this can bring her back for a moment. But sometimes reaching for those random lucid moments can be downright exhausting.

I’m really not sure if she even  knew who I was today.  She barely spoke a word and her Alzheimer’s seems to have progressed to a new level. She can’t really dress herself and she seems to have little energy.  I can’t really be sure if she still thinks I even look familiar.  She hasn’t known our names for about two years now.

I kept asking her if the new garland looked okay on the tree and if she liked it.  Not even a smile — which is usually the saving grace of these encounters.  She just looked at me like a was a complete stranger yammering at her and she continued to pick up tree needles from my floor.

As I adjusted my tree ribbon and listened to Bing Crosby drone on about his White Christmas dreams and someone sing about Santa coming to town and checking that list twice, a few tears streamed down my face in slow motion.This isn’t going to get any better and I just hope it doesn’t drag out forever, for everyone’s sake.  And I feel guilty for thinking that.  Nobody gets better with this disease.  They just run out of life.

I tried not to let her see my tears, even though I really don’t think she could notice.   I wished I could have called my sister to complain, whine or speculate about what’s next on this dim horizon.  But I haven’t been able to do that for 13 years. She left me here to figure all this out, even though I know she didn’t mean to.

I know in my heart I have so much to be grateful for.  My health, my family, a roof over my head, my friends…..  But this morning just sucked.

So after a few songs, a few more tears, and a few more blank looks from my Mom who was still collecting dust bunnies and needles from my floor, I grabbed the remote from the table, clicked off that damn music and walked away from the tree.  My throat was tight from my pent up tears and I took a deep breath.

I noticed Mom had something in her hand.  It was a grocery list that my stepdad had written and probably thrown away. She must have had it in her pocket. It was in three pieces and she kept looking at the pieces and refolding them. She’s been a list-maker since I can remember. I grinned because some old habits really do die hard.

Who knew what was going through her head while that music played and I decorated a tall outdoor tree in the center of my living room?  Maybe running her fingers over the little pieces of that list in her hand brought her some kind of comfort that she needed.  If that’s the case, I’m certainly grateful.

“Don’t I know you?” A classy, romantic tale of how I met my husband.

eatatjoesIt was my senior year of college on a Thursday night, when the weekend festivities were just getting started. I walked up to the bar to buy my friends some drinks.

This old college restaurant and bar was smoky and dark, with wood walls, pool tables and a great outdoor patio with lights strung from end to end and benches that would give you splinters if you weren’t careful.  And cheese fries that were the perfect remedy for any college hangover. The place is famous now, and despite the fact that it has become more of a commercial enterprise than a hole in the wall, it sure brings back good memories.

At any rate, I’m guessing Bye Bye Miss American Pie had just finished playing – that was the song that would make the entire bar stop what they were doing and sing along.  And for some reason it always made me want to buy my friends another round of shots (Rattlesnakes to be precise).

I was rather generous with my new credit card that some smart creditor was willing to offer me as a college student who worked 12 hours a week as a Party Pics Photographer.

At any rate, I noticed he was at the bar too, apparently ordering shots for his friends as well. Looked like we had something in common right off the bat. I couldn’t remember his name but I knew him from my 8:30 am Intro to Speech class the last year where he sat a few rows in front of me.  My roommate who was in the class knew him and briefly introduced us in the stairwell one day.  She knew I thought he was cute. I remember watching his hat fall off after he fell asleep in class and jolted his head as he woke.

Our drinks were ordered and I glanced over. “Don’t I know you?” I asked. (I know, so typical, I just blurted it out.)

“Oh yes, I remember,” he said as he turned toward me. (Later I learned that he had absolutely no recollection whatsoever of meeting me. Clearly, based on the hat incident, he was barely awake for that 8:30 am class.)

It was a busy night and it was taking a while to get our drinks. There was a sketchy Hungarian tennis player with a strong accent and bad teeth who had been hitting on me and was hovering around the bar. Who knows why in the world a Hungarian tennis player was going to college in Oklahoma, but I digress. I tried not to make eye contact.

I leaned in toward him. “Hey, would you mind acting like we’re together for a second?” Again, it just came out as I asked this cute guy who pretended to remember me to cover as my boyfriend. He looked confused but I asked him to just go with it. He played along and put his arm around me. (I know this sounds like the perfect pick-up method, but I swear it was not my original intent.)

Six months later, after a lot of grief from my friends who remembered me saying that I would be so old when I married that I’d need a cane to get down the aisle, we were engaged. Another four months later, we were married.

Twenty two years and two kids later … we’re still buying our friends shots.

(This is part of a blog hop How I met my husband from GenerationFabulous)

Click to read more.

Am I still a creep for laughing if I’d be crying otherwise? Grasping for Gratitude.

My Mom has always loved the holidays.  And she took great pride in her present wrapping.  She would mail everything to us two months before Christmas because she was that prepared. (She was an uber organized, list making, cleaning machine to be reckoned with.) But now that her Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point that she has no idea what Christmas is, it’s hard to figure out what to get her that she would enjoy opening.  I know how much she has always enjoyed wrapping and unwrapping and I can still see a sparkle of  recognition in her eyes when she unwraps a present.  But the options are slim these days.

While I was on my mad Amazon present shopping spree to get everything ordered and on its way (Amazon is the BOMB and where I buy almost everything with my Prime free shipping account), I struggled to figure out what to get her. I found some great puzzles for people with Alzheimer’s – easier than the ones I’ve gotten her before which are now too hard for her. And I ordered her favorite Russell Stover’s cream chocolates which I have bought for her every Christmas for the last 25 years (she has NOT forgotten that she is a chocoholic).

Most other things that I would have gotten her in the past would not be of  need, use or value to her now.  So I had a brainstorm – since my stepdad is having trouble getting her dressed and undressed each day (sorry I know this is depressing but it is what it is), what if I could find clothes that would help make it easier? There had to be something out there like robes and nightgowns with velcro fasteners, that kind of thing.

So during my search I came across some items in this general category that made me laugh outloud and then stop myself.  Because I felt like a creep for laughing. But I figure at this point most of the time when I’m dealing with my Mom stuff, I’m laughing so that I won’t cry. And I’m telling myself that makes it less creepy.  Same as when I make Alzheimer’s jokes about my own memory and it freaks people out and they don’t know what to say. Anyway, just go with me on this.

So here we go, the first item of interest: the Anti-Strip Suit. 

Product Description: The Latest, Most Effective Anti-Strip Suit in an innovative fabric that resists tearing like never before. Sewn down collar, embroidery detail. Incredibly long zipper that extends to below the knee for easy assisted dressing. Dome closures at neck helps prevent disrobing. Elasticized waistband and roomy seat for an easy, comfortable fit. Strong polyester-cotton knit. Machine washable.

(Apparently this is so people won’t randomly strip – we’re not to that point yet.  But it gave me a hard-core chuckle. And what a great idea for a product.  I guess there is a whole industry of clothing like this that I had no idea about.  Pretty genius actually.  Do they sell these for teenagers?)

Next up: the Fancy Gold Lamé Adult Bib.


Product Description:No danger of ruining your holiday or special event finery with this whisper light GOLD Lamé  adult bib. Measures 14.5″ long from bottom of neck, and 13.5″ wide. Velcro closure. MADE IN THE USA!! Fun and glamorous, perfect for home or restaurant. This bib is NOT intended for heavy duty use. CARE NOTE: Bibs may be laundered in cold water and hung dry, but do not attempt to spot clean: If rubbed, the gold will delaminate. Do NOT iron, fabric will melt.

(We are not to this point either but the gold lamé  part cracked me up.  They had others with leopard, bowties and  fake jewelry embroidered on them.  They just needed some with a bikini outline like on those corny T-shirts you see in catalogs where it looks like you are wearing a bikini.  But then you’d need the anti-strip suit for the rest of the table I guess.  Maybe that’s a bad idea.)


At any rate, I found a few items to order.  And I’m grateful that I got a chuckle out of some of these items, even though it still feels a little creepy to admit that.  But I’m sticking with my story that it’s better to laugh than to cry and that takes the creep factor down a notch.

I’m also grateful that I got quite a few holidayish things done today. I will breathe easier as I lay my head on the pillow tonight.  I’m also thankful for you, my readers.

What are you grateful for today?  (Even if you have to grasp for it.)