Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Eyes Have It……………….

I thought I would return for a moment to my caregiver roots and relay a story told to me by my Mom, yesterday.

My beautiful mother has been having some vision issues lately. She had cataract surgery a few years ago and has been seeing quite nicely, even without her glasses, since then. Recently, she noticed that her eyes were watering more than usual, and since she was happy about everything in her life (and why wouldn’t she be with a daughter like me), she was pretty sure she wasn’t crying for no good reason.

She went to the eye doctor. After a  thorough examination, the doctor declared my mother to have “dry eye” syndrome and also interference with her vision from droopy eye lids.

Now some people would be kind of excited about the prospect of a doctor declaring you a victim of droopy eye lids.  No one wants to look like a basset hound, not even a basset hound, I’m pretty sure.

See, if a doctor will state that it is medically necessary for you to have eyelid surgery for better vision or to correct the flow of your tears, you can have plastic surgery on your eyes and your medical insurance will pay for it! My friend, Lisa, who actually noticed her drooping eye problem affecting her vision has been fighting with physicians for months now to get it fixed.

My mother was then referred to an eye surgeon to look into correcting the cataract surgery as well as the droopy eye lids.

This is how the conversation went down:

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

Mom: My vision has begun to get cloudy on the edges and I really can’t see well.

Doctor: Well, you know, with aging we just have to accept that things aren’t perfect.

See how pretty she is!
See how pretty she is!

Mom (a bright woman who is indeed aware that she is 87 years old): I certainly know that by now. But I was told that sometimes with cataract surgery fluid can get behind the lens and it needs to be repaired with a laser.

Doctor: Well I don’t see that with you.  I think you just need to wash your eyes real well with soap and water.

Mom looks at him like he’s a lunatic.

Doctor: Warm water, just use warm water.

Mom: I was sent to you by my eye doctor, and she saw that the cataract might have fluid behind it, so I wonder why there’s a difference?

Doctor: Well, I suppose I could do another test just to make sure.

Mom: Yes, let’s do that.

Cue Jeopardy theme song as Mom has test and waits to be called back into the doctor’s office

Doctor (with a chuckle): Well, well, well, I was certainly wrong about that!

Mom: What does that mean?

Doctor: You definitely are a candidate for the laser surgery, in fact in both eyes. But I would have to do one eye first, let it heal and then do the other eye. It’s kind of a pain to have to come back.

Mom: I’ll let you know.

Mom to me after relaying this conversation:

“First of all, (here she bursts into laughter), I don’t think I’m going to wash my eyes out with soap and water. And he didn’t even correct himself or say, “Oh I didn’t mean that!”. Second, so what if I have to come back two or three times? What else am I doing? I’m 87 years old. I would like to see!

Yesterday, my sister took her back to her eye doctor to get a new referral.

I wonder why people think age equals stupidity? I also wonder where that doctor got his medical degree and if he was last in his class. Nobody ever puts that on their wall, do they?

“You Just have to Laugh…………”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

How to Compliment Your Wife

On the eve of my daughter’s wedding, (I know, it’s almost here, then I’ll shut-up), what a better day to have a guest post from the amazing, fun and witty Vikki Claflin. And better  yet, this great gal is giving away a bevy of books to her of which is mine!. So if you love to laugh and want some more fun in your mailbox and your life..share a moment with Vicki and go to her website at the end and enter to win those books!

Thanks to Vicki for taking the reins today so I can be a MOB with no stress and have a laugh too!

In an earlier conversation with Hubs:

Me: “Does this bra make my boobs look perkier?”

Hubs: “Perkier than what?”

Me: “Perkier than before.”

Hubs: “Before what?”

Me: “This isn’t a trick question.”

Hubs: “Okay. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t think you should worry about it. We’re all getting older, you know, and I think you look great no matter what your boobs look like.”

Me: “What a horrible, mean thing to say!”

Hubs: “I was trying to give you a compliment!”

Me: “Well, you suck at it.”

Hubs: “For the love of God, woman, next time give me cue cards.”

I can do that.

Dashing down to my computer, I quickly typed up Hubs’ Guide for Complimenting His Wife.


Assuming we’ve moved past the construction site approach, including the juvenile (“Nice rack, baby”) or the cheesy (“You have eyes a man could drown in”), neither of which is particularly effective on girls over 22 and who don’t work at Hooters, let’s begin with the basics.

  1. Compliments should make us feel wanted, appreciated, and absolutely gorgeous. Every now and then, we want to feel like you still see us the way you did when we were first in love. Before the kids, our jobs, the mortgage payments, the dogs, the bills, the laundry, our birthdays and gravity all piled up and we swapped our thongs and stilettos for yoga pants and t-shirts.


  1. Be brief. Don’t ramble. A girlfriend once told me that the best compliment she ever received from her husband was a single word. She came out of the bedroom, dressed for date night and a bit self-conscious in her rarely worn, strappy little black dress . He stopped, looked at her for a moment and said, “Wow.”  (That night was the best sex they’d had for months. Personally, I don’t believe in coincidences.)


  1. Be specific. “You’re pretty” is great, but “That dress makes your legs look a mile long” will be happily repeated to her BFF tomorrow morning over coffee, and you’ll look like a rock star.


  1. Pay Attention. Assuming she at least occasionally does something that surprises or impresses you (if not, that’s another discussion entirely), mention it. “You’re so patient with your little niece. You handled it beautifully when she set your office on fire” or “You were great with my parents today. And thank you for not decking Uncle Buck when he pinched your ass at our wedding…twice” will go a long way towards making her feel special.


  1.  Surprise her. A spontaneous “I’m glad I married you,” while you’re watching TV will put an instant smile on her face. In other words, don’t save it for when you want to get laid or you’re trying to end an argument.


  1. Try to make the compliment about her. “Great boots” is nice, but “You look hot in those boots” is muchbetter.


  1. Tell the truth. Unless you’ve been living in a shack in the Ozark mountains your entire life, with no cable or Internet service, “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” is going to sound phony to any woman but Angelina Jolie. She knows that’s not true, and now you have a credibility issue. It’s like parents who tell their child he’s the smartest person in the world. Sooner or later, little Billy is going to find out Mommy and Daddy were lying and now he doesn’t believe a word they sayPick something that’s actually true about her. “You have a beautiful smile” (when, in fact, she does) is a better choice.


  1. Avoid backhanded compliments. These are not compliments. They’re insults that start out slowly. “You can speak French?? Wow. I never would have guessed.” Bite me, jackass. “A woman shouldbe curvy. You look healthy.” I guarantee you we just heard, “You’re fat, but I’m not stupid enough to say that.” Hope you like sleeping on the couch. “Love your new haircut, babe. Your face doesn’t look as round.” By now she’s thinking, “OMG. So all this time, I’ve been walking around with a pumpkin head, and only now you’re telling me??” This is where “Shoot the messenger” came to be. These are passive-aggressive shots, and should be limited to no more than, well…none, if you want to stay married to this woman.


  1. When in doubt, tell her she looks thinner than usual. Surveys report

that 43% of women said that’s their favorite compliment ever. “You look so thin” will have us singing your praises all over town.


  1. A few other tried and trues that men should always have in their Things I Should Say to My Wife MoreOften rolodex include: “You look gorgeous.” “I love your body.” “You’re the most beautiful woman here tonight.” “I’m proud to be seen with you.” “I like the way you think.” There are others, but consider this your starter set, which should keep you going for the next few weeks.


When my son, Jake, was young, I instructed him very carefully about what to say when a woman asks about her appearance. To this day, whenever he sees me dressed up or in something new, he smiles and says, “Mom, that outfit makes you look younger and thinner.” You’re going to go far, kid.

And now, in a recent conversation with Hubs:

Me: “I’m using a new cream. How does my skin look?”

Hubs: “Fine.

Me: “Fine??”

Hubs: “Oh, actually you look stunning, and I wish I could stay home and stare at you all day, repeatedly reminding myself what a lucky, lucky man I am.”


Me (with a bright smile, deliberately choosing to ignore the almost-imperceptible eye roll and snort-laugh that accompanied that statement): “Thank you, sweetie. I love you too!”

Now, was that so hard??

book bundle ed. 5Exciting news: Vikki Claflin, author of “Who Stole the Cork Out of My Lunch?”, and I are co-sponsoring a fabulous new book giveaway, “The Big Booty Book Bundle Giveaway!” It’s FIVE books by talented writers that will keep you laughing out loud. And it’s free! For details and to enter, click


The Beautiful Vikki Claflin!
The Beautiful Vikki Claflin!

Vikki Claflin is an international best-selling author and public speaker. She writes the award-winning blog, Laugh Lines, where she doles out irreverent advice on marriage, offers humorous how-to lists galore, and shares her most embarrassing midlife moments. Vikki shows us how to master midlife with a little common sense and a booty-load of laughter. Check out more of her hilarious new book, Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? Middle Age, Modern Marriage & other Complications. Available at, B&N, and iTunes. Find more of Vikki’s writing at Laugh Lines.

Tips from the MOB…………..

So we are down to about 10 days until my daughter’s wedding.

Dieting to stay in just the right shape may kill us all. My husband couldn’t help himself, he just had to go get a WAWA hoagie. He had his first good night’s sleep in 2 weeks.

We aren’t starving, we have plenty of good, healthy, clean food to eat. We’re just bored to tears. And now that the bride has moved in with us for the last two weeks, it’s like living with the Warden. We have to be supportive of her healthy lifestyle…..or we’re put on hard labor, which we have to do anyway by going to the gym every day.

This is my piece. What are you having?
This is my piece. What are you having?

But man, I think that wedding might find quite a few people hiding in corners, the ladies room, and the cloak room, not having illicit sex, but illicit cake!

And although most of the womenfolk seem to have gotten their foundations under control, there are still a few debates about last minute things like strapless bras, pantyhose or no pantyhose and when to change from high heels to flip flops.

In the interest of giving Mother-of-the-Bride tips to MOBs and FOB :


Tip Number One: If you need to have a low back bra buy one of these. But here’s the trick.

Undo the top 2 or 3 hooks and fold them under. No one can see it and you still have the support you need. And for those guys out there who think this tip is not for you. Au contraire…You need to practice hooking and unhooking, especially if  you plan to drink, a lot. You must become deft at this while swaying back and forth, otherwise your femme fatale may suffer shortness of breath, crushed inner organs and rib damage. When she says, “Get it off!” that’s what she means. FYI. Then, you both can enjoy your drunken stupor.

Tip Number Two: If you are struggling with whether or not to wear pantyhose, buy these.

PantyhoseI have no idea if these pantyhose are magical, but at $49.00 a pair, when the average pair of really good pantyhose can be under $10.00, well it must be because you will look like this under your dress. And since you, and only you, will know how bangin’ you’re looking, well that confidence boost is totally worth $49 on your daughter’s wedding day.

MOB Shoes

Tip Number Three: Stilettos. These are my actual shoes. I’m the shortest one in my family now. My daughters have surpassed me long ago. So in order to look like I belong to these tall people in pictures that last forever, I bought these escalators. I love them. They’re sparkly. They make me tall. They seem comfortable for the five minutes I’ve worn them to have my dress hemmed. And I am absolutely positive that after one dance, I’m going to be screaming for mercy. So pack the flip-flops, gals. Balancing on a sugar high, an alcohol wave, a tsunami of emotions, and three inch heels, I figure I’ll need to drop it low as soon as possible. In my shoes, I mean, in my shoes. Bring the flip-flops, you really won’t regret it.

Tip Number Four: When you finally realize that the only thing you are there to do is support your beautiful daughter and her wonderful groom on their special day, so you might as well let your hair down (literally, if you need to), just have fun. And know that nobody is actually looking at you anyway, they are having their own private battles with their undergarments and crazy ass shoes.

So for the first time in three years of blogging, I’m taking a week off to enjoy my daughter’s wedding…..see you in two weeks.  And please don’t ever forget…………….

“You Just Have to Laugh…..”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

Fairy Tales Can Come True……………..

Last Wednesday I got the phone call every girl dreams of. Yes, George Clooney invited me to his lake house on the Amalfi Coast!

No, it was better than that. My Congressman, Ryan Costello of the 6th District of Pennsylvania, through  his amazing assistant, Lisa Reynolds called me to say my mother’s problems with the Veterans Administration are well on their way to being solved.

As a caregiver, we list this in the miracle column.

If you have followed my past few blogs about this journey wherein I am trying to get the VA to correct their mistake from 15 years ago and get my Mom back on to her proper medical insurance, you know it has been nothing less than a”clusterf#$%k.”   That quote, by the way, directly from a VA customer service rep who thought he had put me on hold, and that moment was ever so much better than any Muzak.

Since January 9, I have already spent countless hours on the phone and faxing, scanning, emailing and snail-mailing documents to various demons of the Veteran’s Administration and Department of Defense hoping against hope that I could stave off a medical insurance disaster before it happened.

In the interim, my husband suggested I call our Congressman. I was thinking about that very thing. Since my  husband gets Congressman Costello’s newsletter, he noticed that he has a position on the Veterans Administration Committee. So, what the heck! Ain’t that what we pay these guys for?

I spoke with the ever-so-kind Lisa Reynolds. I faxed her all the documentation that I was constantly sending out to the Federalis. And for some odd reason, I just let her do her thing and waited to hear from her, probably because I continued to inundate myself with phone calls and wild goose chases to the VA.

On Wednesday, Lisa called to say that the Congressman has gotten my  mother registered with the correct medical insurance back to 2002!! Hooray. Happiness, Joy, Exaltation.

Not so fast………………..

“That’s the good news,” she said. Uh oh.

“The only glitch is, your mother has to submit all those incorrectly paid bills, for the last 15 years, to the new insurance with in 180 days or it will not be covered and she will be responsible for those medical bills,”

Oh gee whiz, that sounds so easy, like , I don’t know, gathering all the pine cones in the forest for the last 15 years and then shoving them up their ………… sorry, I got distracted looking for a metaphor.

“But we have until August,” Lisa exclaimed.


Yet, she most assuredly told me that she would assist me in getting all that information from the old insurance company to send to the new one. Mind you, these are both arms of  Veterans Administration insurance. It’s not like it’s Aetna and United Healthcare. They are both Veterans medical insurance.

But they are not allowed to talk to each other. Only we can talk to them and then transfer information back and forth. I found that out in my 10,000 phone calls between all these quasi-agencies.

But I can live with this. I can do it!

RYAN COSTELLOSo I want to right here, right now, give a formal thank you to my Congressman, Ryan Costello, who I did not vote for, but who has restored my faith just a bit in the system. He worked for his constituents, regardless of their party affiliation to solve a real problem in his District. I am grateful for his attention to this problem and for his associate, Lisa Reynolds for tackling this crazy issue in record time.

See, people it can be done. People who don’t agree on everything can help one another and get things done. Wow, what a concept.

And it never hurts to laugh while helping….And dream of George Clooney’s House on the Amalfi Coast….

“You Just have to Laugh………….”

©Cathy Sikorski 2016