Tag Archives: funny

When in Doubt…..Baked Goods!

I was having dinner with a friend last night who lives far away from me.  She was telling me about her parents and caregiving. I was flattered that this very busy, corporate woman had obviously taken the time to read several of my blog posts because she was very familiar with my ups and downs as a caregiver, attorney, and speaker.

The joy of this is that she was willing to share with me her hilarious story of taking her parents to a seminar on joint replacement since her mom was about to have knee replacement surgery.

As the nurse practitioner was speeding through extensive PowerPoint slides, my friend was furiously writing down notes to be able to deal with possible side effects, rehabilitation, medication and the personality changes that we all deal with when our elders have surgery…like, “I hate you because I don’t want to go to therapy and this hurts, and I haven’t gone to the bathroom for days on this pain medication.”

Meanwhile, her parents are chit-chatting with other future replacement recipients and asking their daughter to grab a brownie or two from the nice snack table that the hospital has put out to lure people to this presentation.

My take-away from this:

  1. Just because you’re caregiving at home, don’t think lots of other people aren’t doing it from work, from afar, or from their mobile phones.
  2. Caregivers love laughing at each other’s stories. We even know it’s funny while it’s happening, even though we may not be laughing until days, months or weeks later.
  3. You never know who might benefit from your caregiving plight. My Nana was right: Misery loves Company. I feel certain Nana didn’t make that up. It sounds like something Shakespeare probably said.  My five siblings and I must’ve made Nana pretty miserable ’cause we sure heard that a lot.
  4. As I suspected, Brownies solve everything.

Thanks to my friend for sharing. I love hearing all your hilarious tales. Never be afraid to be  It helps. I promise.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND!!!

“You Just have to Laugh…”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

 

Did We Actually Teach, Teach Them Well?

I have to say, we Baby Boomers can be a self-satisfied lot. There are all kinds of posts out there about how we did just fine with spankings, wooden toys that didn’t do anything, no car seats or even seat belts for that matter. Bad TV, bad diets, flammable pajamas, DDT, baby oil instead of sunscreen, none of that had a deleterious effect on us, right? We’re just fine, you young whippersnappers.

And if you Millennials had had it a bit harder like we did, walking uphill in the snow to school both ways, you wouldn’t be so lazy, entitled and clueless.

But take a second look, my friends. Our blessed Millennials may be gurus you will want to be looking to in the future. Here are my top six reasons why:

  1. Millennials don’t work at a job for 30 years that they hate. They don’t even do it for 20 years, 10 years, or even 5 years. They know that’s stupid. If you have to work for that many years, you might as well try and be happy about going to work.

    They know what to do with this!
  2. They are saving more money than we ever did.   According to The Christian Science Monitor, they are better at saving and wiser about it. Money magazine agrees. You think you’re so smart? You will be happy when your Millennials can throw a few bucks to your home-health aide to keep you out of a nursing home because you didn’t save any money.  They will be too, because they don’t want to be your home-health aide.
  3. Our kids work pretty darn hard, harder than we did. According to the Boston Globe, Millennials are workaholics, probably because they are in jobs that they like. Since they are not willing to stay in a job that makes them miserable, they work harder when they find jobs they like. And they keep looking. So maybe that search for happiness isn’t so selfish after all.

    They really like babies!
  4. Millennials actually value their work-life balance, according to Forbes. Even though they may be workaholics on one hand, on the other hand, they are known for taking pay cuts to have a work life balance. When they have families they want to be with them. This is a big plus, especially since they are saving more than any other generation before them.
  5. They do and know how to embrace technologyAdweek tells us that they are ever-willing to learn new things. As technology is speeding us up every day, we better have someone to help us with it. I don’t know about you, but I try and find a 12-year-old every time a new app comes out or I can’t figure out how to use my iPhone.
  6. They’re pretty freakin’ smart. Even as we have bogged them down with unimaginable student debt, they listened to us about education. They are the most educated generation ever.  I like being surrounded by smart young people. Although just this week my daughter chastised me for ‘mansplaining’ something to her. I corrected her immediately: “I’m not mansplaing, I’m MOMSPLAINING.” That’s always acceptable.

So stop bad-mouthing Millennials. First of all, you raised them. Aren’t you proud of anything they’re doing? Secondly, look closer, they actually have their shit together. In many ways, much more than Baby Boomers. Finally, respect, people. Remember when you were 25 and your parents wondered if you had listened to anything they said? Millennials listened alright, and they took what they needed and left out the bad advice.

To Millennials:  We’re still your parents, don’t get all up in our grills, either.

“You Just have to Laugh……”

©2017 CathySikorski

 

Fun and Games with Lisa………..

What better time to try and laugh than now? I’m trying….really, I am.

My mom provides me with great material, although I don’t think she means to, and I don’t think she’s always happy to be the topic of a humor blog on a regular basis.

My friend, Lisa on the other hand,  LOVES being my topic. I was thinking of her today and all the antics we’ve been through in the last seven years since she fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I know, I know, it doesn’t sound funny, but we became the Lucy and Ethel of healthcare.

  1.  There was the time I dropped her off with our best friend, Terri to walk a few blocks to the hospital for a check-up because there was a water main break and traffic was horrendous. I thought it would take me hours to navigate the streets and park. As Lisa and Terri literally waded through the streets of Philly, I found a parking spot in 5 minutes right in front of the hospital.
  2. Then the neurologist wanted to do a stay-at-home brain scan. This is where they  wrap your head like a mummy and put some electrodes in there and record you for three days. After they wrapped her head, we decided to go to Marshall’s to look for a hat to cover her mummy-head. Not one hat would go over the wrappings, no wonder the Mummy was so mad, not a fashion was made for him. From Marshall’s we went to the park to do a photo-shoot. Yeah, I just couldn’t pass up that opportunity.
    Fun with my Mummy!

    Before and After Photo Shoot. Lisa really is quite lovely!
  3. We had to drive an hour into Philadelphia every time she needed to see her eye specialists, which was a lot.  It took us at least 10 trips before we figured out that cheap parking was right in front of the hospital and easier to get to.
  4. Then there was the time they changed the procedure to check-in to the eye clinic. They decided that people could check themselves in, using computers. The computers were tightly packed into an area where you had to stand up to use them. This doesn’t seem weird, but a lot of the people in this eye clinic use walkers and wheelchairs. They can’t fit into the space where the computer is located and if they’re in a wheelchair, they can’t reach the computer. AND remember this is an eye clinic. All of the patients are having trouble seeing. We practically peed ourselves trying to figure out how this is a good idea.
  5. Then I took her for surgery and she had to be back in the hospital at 6:00 AM the next morning. It was a long day and a quick night, so we stayed at a hotel right across the street from the hospital. I forgot we were parked in a parking garage between two big cement barriers and ripped my side-view mirror right out of its socket. It dangled from its electrical cord attached to the car. After having it bang against the door for five blocks, I folded the mirror into the car, had to keep the window open for the 50-mile drive home in February snow, and the hi-tech mirror blinked right into my face every time I needed to change lanes or turn left.
For insurance purposes only, not to remind myself how dumb I am.
Wounded in the line of duty.

 

And you thought dealing with health issues wasn’t any fun!

“You Just have to Laugh……………”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

 

Having Fun is Hard……

I have been working diligently on my new website as well as doing a wonderful amount of speaking engagements for the last three months. I am so happy with my work right now.  I think I forgot how old I am, having fun is hard.

I was fortunate to get a free pass to the party of the season, the Kentucky Derby, two weeks ago. This was between some intense prep for speaking and trying to work on two online classes I’m taking to be a better speaker, a booked speaker and an entertaining speaker. Steve Martin is one of my teachers. I got an email from Steve today asking me where the hell have I been? How do you expect to be funny if you don’t show up for Steve’s class? I was working on it while having fun. I did my best at the Kentucky Derby to be hilarious. Just ask my friend Jim, who saw me trip in front of 158,000 people and still keep my hat on.

 

See, Steve. Jim is laughing.

Last night at a dinner party, I was doing my best to wow the crowd with the antics of my mother and her kleptomania.

You can’t be trying out new material while taking a class, Steve.

I’m procrastinating right this minute as  I’m supposed to be practicing my talk for tonight. In an effort to ramp up my hilarity, I have changed my talk completely, added props and new stories, mostly because the venue doesn’t have PowerPoint capability so I had to come up with some new crutches. Since Steve is my mentor now, I thought emulating him would be my best effort.

I don’t know how to make balloon animals and I didn’t have time to go find an arrow like Steve’s but these turkey legs were just hanging around my house. I hope I can find just the right words to integrate this into a talk about the legal and practical issues confronting caregivers.

Never be chicken to laugh at yourself!

Perhaps it will be funny enough that I will bring a free package of Depends as a door prize for the participant who laughs the hardest.

See why I’m tired? Having fun is really hard.

By the way, that picture is with Jim’s mom. At least I have two fans!

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

One Man’s Trash…is a Girl’s Night Out!

When you spend a good part of your time or life as a caregiver you find forgetting to be a common occurrence. I have classic tales about my Nana forgetting where she put her shoes, her wallet and most disturbingly…her teeth.

My mother-in-law would hide her “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button in ‘safe’ places. Every time we went to the assisted living facility we would be ready for a game of hide-n-seek with the magic button, a button she would never push anyway.

My brother-in-law would forget where he put bills, checks and insurance papers all the time. He was actually happy when I agreed to clean up all his paperwork and just take over.

Eventually, with all this stress, the caregiver starts to be the one to forget. We all experience this as we get older. I’ll admit, it makes me panic a little. When you are too close to forgetfulness you start to think it’s a bad omen if it becomes a part of your day.

Since my caregiving has dwindled quite a bit in the last few years, I take bad memory very personally, like my brain is betraying me. I know it happens to all of us, and it is definitely a symptom of stress. But I have always known it’s a source of hilarity. And today was no exception.

As you may recall we have a very long driveway. So we put our trash cans and recycling in my SUV and drive it to the end of the driveway. A few months ago our new trash hauler required us to start using a large container for trash.

My husband’s pet peeve is that large, unsightly container defiling our cul-de-sac. So several yards before we get to the end of the driveway we pick up the large trash container,  which is tucked in the woods, and wheel it down to the end of the driveway. Then we take the trash out of my car and put it in the container.

As the SUV is my car, my husband said,

“Hey, I loaded the trash in your car. Drive me down to the bin on your way to your dinner with your girlfriends.”

“Okay,” I said.

The real culprit

I stop the SUV where the bin is tucked away. My husband gets out. And I drive away.

Down the driveway, past the mailbox, through the cul-de-sac, down the steep hill to the end of the street.

My car makes a few weird noises. Now, I’m mad because I just got new tires. And my car stinks. What’s that all about?

I turn the corner, go around the bend, there’s that noise again. I look in the rearview mirror

A fun place to take your trash!

and see the trash. I was taking the trash with me on a ‘girls night out.’

I found a driveway, turned around, went back up my street to the cul-de-sac, and I see my husband slowly walking back towards the house shaking his head in disbelief.

I’m laughing so hard, it’s silent. I can’t speak. He just looks at me.

“I was waving my hands and yelling, ” he said so plaintively. “I called your cell phone and you didn’t answer. I couldn’t believe in a nano second you forgot that you had the trash in the car and just drove away.”

He’s officially worried.

“You Just have to Laugh….”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

 

 

 

A Christmas Story……….

 

On Sat, Dec 19, 2015 at 4:30 PM ( MY NEPHEW Wrote)

Dearest Aunt,

Could you find it in your heart to take a few minutes out of your busy day and send me the mailing address of the ( my brother and his son)? It would be most helpful of you and I would owe you my gratitude.

Yours,
Mr. J Doodles ( A NAME WE ALL CALLED HIM WHEN HE WAS A TODDLER)

 

On Dec 19, 2015, at 9:48 PM, Cathy Sikorski <cathy.sikorski@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. J Doodles,

Here is the requested information: (Info redacted to protect those unsuspecting relatives)

I will be sure and keep the ‘chit’ you owe me for this great burden and use it in the future when I find it  most necessary!

By the way, love our thermometer, except it’s broken . I debated telling you. I don’t want you to go to any additional expense but thought you’d want to know. Hope you all have a wonderful Merry Merry Christmas. We will try and call  you on Christmas day before we go to your other aunt’s for dinner. Love you all! So excited that you’re coming to  thewedding!!! Love A. Cathy

Cathleen S. Sikorski, Esq.

My Darling Aunt,

I am so sorry to hear about the damage incurred by the United States Postal Service. I was quite concerned about the thermometer making the arduous northern trek unmolested, as it is such a fragile thing. Thank you for telling me about this calamity and rest assured this wrong shall be righted.

Thank you for the addresses. It makes physical correspondence with the New Jersey relatives much more convenient. You have made the impossible, possible. You can add that to your long resume of assisting others with their most dire needs. And as for the ‘chit’, you deserve it, as I am sure you have a huge pile of chit from your years of caring for those who need it. Every time I see your face I think of all of the great things that you have done for me and my family and all of the chits that face has garnered. So in my eyes, you are always chit-faced.

Thank you again, and may your holidays be filled with friends, health, and good cheer,

– Mr. J Doodles

Wormed out of my Apple

See….it’s genetic..

“You Just Have to Laugh…..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

No Regrets…..

Hope you enjoy my Grand Slam Story Slam for 2015! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my beloved readers. I am so thankful for all your reading, comments and support. Hope this gives you a chuckle. I have never had one regret putting myself out there for all of you!

 

 

Out of the mouths of babes………..

When my sister died from breast cancer in 1995 she was just 41 years old.  My daughters were 6 years old and 3 years old. At their age, they knew it was a sad affair, but they were resilient enough that they adapted to the sorrow around them with the beauty that young children have. They made the grown-ups smile and realize that happiness could and would return one day, even if in a different way.

Trips to the cemetery weren’t really unusual for us. My Dad died when I was a little girl, my Pop-Pop was buried there and quite frankly the cemetery was bucolic, filled with flowers and beautiful. I also grew up across the street from two different cemeteries. We used to play there all the time. So I took my girls to our church cemetery when they were young, sometimes with my Mom or my Nana. We would plant flowers, the kids would get water from the old fashioned pump, and run between the headstones plucking billowy headed dandelions and blowing them into the air, making wishes.

So cemeteries were not a sad place for my girls. Four months after she died, it was my sister’s 42nd birthday. I told the girls I wanted to take something to Aunt Cindy’s grave. They wanted to go to the Dollar Store and get balloons, like we did for their school parties. I thought that might be a nice idea. So off we went.

There were dozens of balloons decorating the walls and racks of the dollar store. I was surprised that the girls went right to the balloons to make their choices. They were usually distracted by the thousand different trinkets, candies, and party supplies that assaulted you as you walked in the door.

But they were on a serious mission.

Rachel, the big sister, picked first.

“I like this one, Mommy,” she chirped.

I immediately teared up and tried to stay happy and positive. Rachel could read by this time and the balloon said, “I miss you….”

“Of course, we will take that one, Rachey.”

Margot was still diligently looking through all the birthday greetings, the balloons with numbers on them and the ones in black were not to her liking. And then she found it, the perfect balloon to honor her Aunt Cindy,

“I want this one, Mommy!”

“Really, Margot?” I said a bit slowly, since my three year-old couldn’t read just yet.  “Why do you like that one?”

“It’s pretty, Mommy. It has pretty flowers on it and Aunt Cindy would like that.”

“Yes, sweetie, she truly would.”

Get Well 1Aunt Cindy would like the sentiment a thousand times more than the flowers… So I bought an identical one for Uncle Larry this week, as they are buried together, having a chuckle I hope.

“You Just have to Laugh………..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

One Man’s Trash or When the Saints Go Marchin’ In………….

There are karmically times when you know you are too distracted. Of course, you don’t usually find that out until karma hits you over the head with a two-by-four.

Yesterday, I had a massage, which although meant to be therapeutic, was also supposed to have the added bonus of relaxing my head, neck and shoulders which love to tie themselves into knots on a weekly basis.

I was feeling pretty zen as I left the masseuse, and then my mind took over.

“Okay…now I have to go to Wawa, get lunch for my brother-in-law who despises the nursing home food. Then go to his old apartment, get his mail, pick up his hand braces talk to the management about closing up his apartment, and get to the nursing home before lunch so he eats the lunch I’m bringing and not their swill.”

For some strange reason, as I get back in my car, I decide this is a good time to clean out all the extraneous trash. I have a cup from the masseuse, who gave me water, I have a napkin with a peach pit in it, which was my breakfast on the go, and some WalMart receipts that I no longer need sitting in the cup holder. I gather up all these items, throw them in the big bin outside the store and drive away. I’m feeling very superior, as I now have a tidy driving space, not like all those other slobs driving around!

On the way to my brother-in-law’s apartment, I remember that I’m passing the post office and need stamps for my daughter’s bridal shower invitations. A quick yank of the car into the post office parking lot, and I reach into my purse for my debit card. No card.  I take everything out of my purse, go through every pocket in the purse, take everything out of my wallet. No debit card.

How can this be? I just had it at Wawa? Oh crap. Did I put it back in my purse, or was it still in my hand when I threw away the trash? Oh crap. I start to pray: “Dear Saint Anthony, come around, something’s lost and can’t be found.”

I don’t even get out of my car, thinking, I’ve got to get back to that trash bin before they empty it or some other superior feeling keeper of a pigsty pours their left over Big Gulp on top of my trash. I’ve got exactly four minutes to get here (I timed it on the way).

AnthonyDear Saint Anthony come around something’s lost and can’t be found. You can say that a lot in four minutes,

When I get to the Wawa, there’s a space right in front of the trash bin. And, of course, a guy sitting in his car watching me. Ugh. Don’t care, I’m goin’ in!

I look in the bin and cannot believe my eyes, The bag is completely clean. The only trash in there is mine and my debit card is sitting right on the top. My first foray into dumpster diving felt so good, I wanted to do a victory dance. But I refrained, that guy was still watching me.

I must’ve been good today. Karma and St. Anthony my new BFFs.

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

It’s gettin’ hot in here. So take off all your clothes……

I’ve been so entrenched in caregiving, I decided I needed a girl’s day out. So I went out, all by myself. I need to find a mother-of-the -bride dress, because well, I’m the mother-of-the-bride.

My friends insisted I try to find a gown at  Neiman Marcus. This store is ridiculous. On my way to the evening gown department,  I walked by a “SALE” table loaded with purses. The sale was 50% off, as marked on the price tag. The first tiny clutch I picked up off the table is on sale for $2500.00 TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Hmmm. Might be out of my league here.

But my sister bought her mother-of-the-bride dress here and the price was well within all the other places we had gone to. I forged ahead to the snooty, fancy-pants evening gown High Heelsdepartment, which was right next to the shoe department where the Christian Louboutins snuggled every so comfortably next to the Jimmy Choos. Not a pair was under $600.

But, okay. I would not be stopped. I found a few gowns to try. I couldn’t find a salesgirl to save my life. So I stood outside the locked dressing room, struggling to hold these expensive, voluminous gowns while praying someone would come to my rescue.

Finally, a sales person shows up, ever so happily puts me in a dressing room and comments as she leaves. “Oh, I don’t think you want to try on THAT dress, it’s cut way too low in the back.” All that did was piss me off, and I said, “No, I want to try it on anyway.”

I swear to God, there isn’t one damn item in this store for less than $100, and now in the dead of August, when it is over 90 degrees outside, these dressing rooms are NOT air-conditioned. What, they can’t afford the electricity? I’m sweating profusely while taking off my clothes. Now, I’m going to try and put on slinky gowns that stick to me in every possible crevice. It’s hotter than the hinges of hell in here.

Many minutes go by and no one comes by to help me. I peek out of my dressing room completely unzipped and there’s a man chatting with a woman about the Jimmy Choo’s she’s trying on in the dressing room.

First, why is there a man back here, when we are in various stages of undress?  Why isn’t there anyone to help me zip up a $700 gown. And why is it so damn hot in here?

I struggle in and out of a few dresses…nary a sales person in sight, except for the conversation I’m hearing in the next dressing room.

The man and woman are discussing how adorable the shoes are that she is trying on. THEY have a sales woman who is bringing them different sizes of shoes, in the dressing room. Is it me, or is that weird? Go to the damn shoe department, and take that cursed man with you.

And then I hear why I’m getting no help.

She: “So we have about 10 grand in shoes here.”

He: “Yeah, that seems right.”

She: “Well, we have four grand in clothes, so we’re right where we want to be with that.”

He: “Yeah. So the shoes should be okay.”

gown 1Why would anyone help little old me with just a $700 gown?

I’m pretty sure those two had their own air conditioner in their dressing room.

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski