Monday, October 31, 2011

Adventures at the Home - Elevators

As I walked into the nursing home where I do my cooking group the first thing I noticed was about 80% of the staff were dressed in a costume. That’s not a bad thing since it is Halloween. I signed in and went through all the formalities.

Heading towards the elevator I spotted a guy who had been coming to my cooking group the last few weeks. I greeted him and asked if he was coming to cooking group today. He replied, “I wouldn’t miss it!”

Together we headed towards the elevators and while doing so I noticed he was constantly looking to his left, then his right, then behind him. That’s a pattern I never seen him do before but I just shrugged it off.

We got on the elevator, the doors closed, and he just blurted out, “Might want to watch yourself today Ralph, people are really acting weird.”

After a moment I replied, “You do remember today is October 31, Halloween, don’t you?”

He looked at me, got a grin on his face, and said, “No #$%^ !! Well, that explains a lot.”

He seemed pretty relaxed during cooking group.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday Funnies

A Minister was walking down the street when he came upon a group of boys surrounding a dog. All the boys were between the ages of ten and twelve.

Concerned the boys might be hurting the dog, he asked, "What are you doing with that dog?"

One of the boys replied, "This dog is the old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whoever can tell the biggest lie gets to keep the dog."

Of course, the reverend was shocked. “You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie."

There was dead silence for about a minute. As the reverend was beginning to think he had gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."

(Thanks to Cliff)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yesterday and Today

At noon on Tuesday I was on the golf course in a short shelve shirt swinging a golf club. The sky was a radiant blue, the sun was shining and there was a slight breeze from the south.

Then this morning I woke up to this.

On Wednesday at noon the only thing I was swinging had a blue handle.
You may not know this but – I hate snow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pile Up On Mayberry Lane

A year and half ago I started a cooking group at a local nursing home. I take in a picture, we go on a mental field trip, I show them how I cook something and then magically a dessert appears and we eat. The best part is the eating.

On my first day there I noticed two things. First, all the hallways had signs like Hopeful Avenue, Cheerful Drive, etc. Secondly, ninety-eight percent of the residents were in wheelchairs.

One day we had 45 residents, most like because we were having apple crisp with ice cream. Because of the size of the class two employees of the nursing home, Lindsey and Kala were helping me. We took our mental field trip. I told them a couple of jokes while showing how I make apple crisp. Then two warm apple crisps appeared. As soon as they were uncovered the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg filled the room and everyone was ready to eat.

I was rummaging through the box which contains all the ingredients and utensils I need when I realized I had forgotten to pack an ice cream scoop. That’s when I said the words that started a chain reaction of events, “Will somebody go to the kitchen and see if we can borrow an ice cream scoop? Otherwise there will be no ice cream today.”

Suddenly, all I heard was metal hitting metal and adjectives strung together in such a way it made any fire line I was ever on seem tame. I turned around and saw that about fourteen of the residents had pushed themselves away from the tables. Wheelchairs were banging into one another, arms and legs were intertwined, some people were cussing a blue streak and it was all taking place underneath the hallway sign which read Mayberry Lane. I threw my hands in the air and yelled (yes, I had to yell to be heard over all the commotion), “Hold it! Hold it!” Everyone stopped. Then, in a little calmer voice, I said, “I guess what I meant to say was, Lindsey or Kala, could one of you go to the kitchen and see if we can borrow an ice cream scoop?” There was a collective response of, “Oh, okay Ralph”. The residents started pushing themselves back to the tables with a lot of side conversations like, “I’m sorry I called you a @#$%^” taking place.

The ice cream scoop appeared and Lindsey, Kala, and I proceeded to serve everyone. I started chuckling about what had happened when Lindsey made the profound statement, “Never underestimate the power of ice cream”.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Part Time Employment

Earlier this year two ladies in our cul-de-sac were expecting. Their due dates was a week apart. When you get to be my age it is really fun to be surrounded by young families with young children so I was pretty happy. So happy that for a portion of the summer I agreed to work part time as a census taker.

One day a sign ‘mysteriously’ appeared at the entrance of our cul-de-sac. It was in the yard of one of the pregnant women. The husband who lives there pulled into the cul-de-sac that night hopped out of his truck and marched over to look at the sign in yard. He threw his hands on his hips and muttered something like, “What the . . . .?” He stood there for a few minutes staring at the sign repeating aloud, “Who would do that? What’s that about?” I was in the front yard when he came marching over (yes marching, he was on mission). He looked at me and asked if I knew what the sign was about. I told him I had seen it earlier in the day and after thinking about it as near as I could tell it was the population of our cul-de-sac. We took a few minutes and mentally worked our way from house to house. Four people lived here, two people lived there . . . yep, it came out to 18. Then my neighbor pointed out it didn’t include his eldest daughter who lives at home part time. I agreed with him but also pointed out the ½ might confuse people. Then he asked, “But who would put that sign in my yard?” That’s when I bent down and started to pull weeds. My neighbor stormed off to get another look at the sign. Suddenly he turned around and with both hands on his hips, determined to resolve the issue asked if I was the one who put the sign in his yard. I looked at him and said, “I did not make that sign.” He started to storm off then stopped and came back over, “I didn’t ask if you made it. I asked if you put it in my yard.” Well, it was the moment of truth. I stood up and told the truth, “Yeah. Yeah I’m the one that put it in your yard.” Suddenly he relaxed and the tension was gone. I went on to explain to him that I had accepted a job as a part time census taker for the cul-de-sac. As our numbers increased it was my job to update the sign. My good neighbor then walked over looked at the sign and started to laugh.

Over the next few weeks people would walk by or drive by looking at the sign. They would either get a puzzled look on their face or burst out laughing. The sign stayed as is for about a week.

Then we had a chance. Our numbers increased. The lady whose yard the sign was in gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Mom was doing well, the baby was doing well, and as stated earlier, at my age another baby to spoil and play with is just pure joy so I updated the sign.

It was fun to watch as people went by. The ones walking by would see the sign and smile. Some even clapped. People driving by would slow down and look at the sign. One person stuck his hand out the window and waved, another honked her horn a few times.

But my job was not complete. A few days later our cul-de-sac was blessed with another little girl. My job, as census taker, was to update the sign. Again people walked by and smiled, cars slowed down and people either smiled or honked.

I left the sign up for about a week after both births wondering how something as simple as a little sign could bring so much joy to that many people. I concluded it’s one of those things we will never know until we get to heaven.

A week after both of the births I took the sign down. It was time to go back into retirement.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Colorado Gold

Char and I have been doing a little traveling. A recent day trip was to go see the aspen trees. The colors are really spectacular this year. Following are a few pictures we took.