White Chocolate Practicality.

“Family Feud” is a game show that has pretty much been around since the beginning of time.  Of course I have heard of the show, but I have never actually watched an entire episode until I began my job as a Care Manager for Ethel.  Since then I have been lucky enough to see at least two episodes back-to-back each weeknight that I make my visits, because Ethel absolutely loves it!

She especially loves the new host; the brilliant and always sharp-dressed comedian, Steve Harvey.  I’m pretty sure that she watches the show just to see Steve Harvey, in all of his shiny-bald-headed handsomeness, so that she can say in her quiet, raspy voice, “Isn’t that the most sharp dressed man you’ve ever seen?”  In fact, in one recent, riveting episode of Family Feud, they surveyed 100 women and asked them, “What would you like to do to the top of Steve Harvey’s bald head?”

I had just assisted the caregiver in getting Ethel safely onto the commode, and Ethel asked me to repeat the question to her because she didn’t hear it.  So I repeated, “They surveyed 100 women and asked them what they would like to do to the top of Steve Harvey’s head…”

Ethel got all giggly, and even covered her face with her hands before she said, “I would kiss it.”

I cracked up and said, “Kiss it?!  Really?”

She looked at me, her eyes wide with shock, and she said, “Of course!  Wouldn’t you?!”

Before I could answer, one of the family members gave, “Kiss it” as an answer, and wouldn’t you know that “Kiss it” was the #1 answer on the board?  Ethel looked at the TV, and then looked back at me, and said, “SEE?!”  I just held my hands up in self defense.

That is the day that I learned that there is no joking around when it comes to kissing Steve Harvey’s bald head.

But that is not the best Ethel/Family Feud story.

The best story began with the following survey question, and it was a question that made even Steve Harvey blush.  It went something like this:

“We surveyed 100 men and asked them, if they could choose, what would their favorite flavor be of edible underwear…?”

Thankfully Ethel had dozed off in her recliner during the survey question.

One of the Male Family Members hit the buzzer:  “Um…Cherry?”

Cherry was the #1 answer.

It quickly became apparent, that while the male members of the family had excellent flavor suggestions for edible underwear, the women were clueless.

Crazy Uncle Ted of the Melvin Family had started up the round with the #1 answer of Cherry and Daddy Melvin came up with the #2 answer, which was Strawberry.  Once it was time for Momma Melvin to offer an edible underwear flavor suggestion, she was clearly flabbergasted by the whole topic.

Momma Melvin:  “Beer.”

Steve Harvey:  “Beer?  As in…beer-flavored underwear?”

M.M:  “Men love their beer right?”

Steve Harvey:  “Mmmm Honey…what do you say you slip into a pair of Budweiser panties tonight?  Sweetie, nothing turns me on more than when you wear your Heineken-flavored drawers!”  Of course the audience laughed hysterically.

Steve Harvey:  “Show me ‘BEER’…”

X – Beer was NOT on the list of one of the popular answers on the survey.

Ethel woke up from her catnap when she heard the caregiver and I trying to control the volume of our laughter.

Ethel:  “What’s so funny?”

Me:  “We’re laughing at the show.  They asked a really strange question, and some of the answers are hilarious!”

Ethel started laughing without even knowing any of the details:  “Oh would you look at that sharp-dressed man!”

Me:  “He really does wear some beautiful clothes, doesn’t he?!”

Ethel grinned from ear to ear:  “Oh yes.”

………….Steve Harvey:  “We interviewed 100 men and asked them their favorite flavor of edible underwear…”

Ethel:  “Did he just say ‘edible underwear’…?”

Me:  “Yes, he sure did.”

Ethel:  “Oh my!”

Another female family member was being asked the question, and her answer was, “Chocolate.”

Ethel:  “Did she just say ‘chocolate’?  Eating a pair of underwear is bad enough, but you certainly wouldn’t want it to be BROWN, would you??”

The caregiver and I just about fell on the floor laughing.

Me:  “You make an excellent point Ethel.”

Ethel:  “Honey, when you get to my age, it’s all about being practical.”

……….Steve Harvey:  “Show me ‘CHOCOLATE’…”

Sure enough; Chocolate was #5, but it was labeled Chocolate/White.

Me:  “Chocolate is a popular flavor for underwear I guess, but at least it’s white chocolate.”

Ethel nodded in agreement:  “Yes, well white chocolate makes much more sense.  Plus it’s delicious!  I have a question though; do people eat underwear often…?”

I quickly pointed at the caregiver, and the caregiver pointed at me.  Since I’m the Care Manager, the responsibility fell on me.

Me:  “Ummm…well…ummmm…it’s more of a naughty kind of a thing…”

Ethel’s eyebrows went up:  “Oh?  Ohhhh.  Yes.  Of course it is.  That’s why the men know so much about it.”

Me:  “Exactly.”

The Basics of Teaching Farming.

JoeI watched “Lean on Me” with Joe and Dot this afternoon.  For those of you who may not have seen this movie, it is based on a true story, and it stars Morgan Freeman as a high school principal who is sent into the worst, most dangerous school in the New Jersey district.  His job is to whip the students and the teachers into shape, and to get the test scores up to par.  It’s one of my all-time favorite movies and I cry every single time I see it.  Joe enjoyed the movie as well, because when it was over he just couldn’t stop talking about school and teaching, etc.

For example, when I took Joe to the bathroom and got him seated comfortably on the pot, he said, “Well I’d better get this over with so I won’t be late for school.”

Me:  “Oh yeah?  What grade are you in?”

Joe chuckled:  “No, no, no…you’ve got it all wrong.  I’m not a student; I’m a teacher.”

Me:  “Oh yeah, how could I forget?  Remind me again, which class do you teach?”

(Joe was never a teacher)

Joe:  “Oh this and that.  Farming mostly.”

Me:  “Yeah, I bet you’re a great teacher!”

Joe grinned:  “I do alright I guess.  Don’t get too many complaints.  Not much to teach anyhow.  I just tell them to dig a hole in the dirt and put a seed in there and cover it back up.”

Me:  “That about covers it, huh?”

Joe chuckled:  “Yup.”

Once I got him cleaned up and back on his feet, Joe looked in the toilet bowl and said, “That reminds me!  I’d better teach them about manure as well.”

A little later in the day…

Joe:  “School was sure a lot smaller when I went there…”

Me:  “Oh yeah?  How many people were in your school?”

Joe:  “Oh…around 12 or so.”

Me:  “There were 12 people in your class?”

Joe burst into laughter:  “No, there were 12 people in my whole school!”

Me:  “WOW, that’s a small school all right!  Did you have lots of friends?”

Joe:  “Can’t say I had lots of friends, but I had as many as were there.  When there’s only a dozen people in your school you can’t be too picky!”

Funky Chicken.

JoeWhile I was getting Joe ready for bed last night, I discovered several morsels of chicken (leftover from dinner) wedged in his butt crack.

Me:  “Joe, may I ask you a question?”

Joe:  “Sure!”

Me:  “How did you manage to get chicken in your butt crack?”

Joe:  “What’s that you say??”

Me:  “There is chicken. In your butt crack. How did it get there?”

Joe:  “What the hell kind of question is that?!”

Me:  “It’s not so much of a question as it is an observation.”

Joe:  “Who invited you to observe my ass?”

Me:  “My boss. It’s part of my job description.”

Joe:  “Your job is to look at old men’s asses?”

Me:  “I wouldn’t phrase it quite that way but…Yes, I guess it is.”

Joe’s eyes got real big:  “Well that’s one Helluva deal!”

Me:  “Tell me about it.”

Joe:  “Now what was it we were talking about before?”

Me:  “I asked you how you got chicken in your butt crack.”

Joe chuckled:  “I guess I must’ve ran out of pockets!”

That’s Not Reese Witherspoon!

I was asked to do a fill-in shift today to care for an elderly couple, both in their 90’s, with dementia.  I will call them Wilma and Barney, and they are an adorable Jewish couple, originally from Boston.  Barney is the quiet and polite one, and Wilma has all the attitude in the world, but they are both just as sweet as can be.

All they really wanted was to watch movies all day and eat their meals and snacks in their recliners.  They love movies so much that their daughter made sure to get them like 1,000 channels on their giant flat-screen TV so that they would have plenty of variety.  We watched every kind of movie today; Romantic Comedies, Dramas, True Stories, Classics, you name it.  After dinner Wilma wanted to lay on her bed and watch TV in her room for a while, so I set her up with a Reese Witherspoon chick-flick and left to clean the kitchen.

About 15 minutes later, I went into Wilma’s bedroom to check on her and her eyes were as big as saucers.  That was when I looked at the TV just in time to see an extremely graphic sex scene, complete with nudity, a swimming pool, and the works.

I said, “Whoa!  That’s not Reese Witherspoon!” and dove for the remote control.

At some point within my 15 minutes of absence, the chick-flick had ended and Cinemax: After Dark was scheduled next.  It wasn’t even dark yet!

For those of you who may be wondering; Wilma did not even have access to the remote because I had left it on top of the TV and she’s not able to walk without assistance, so the fault was all mine for not checking the movie listings for that network.

After I quickly changed the channel to the most Rated G movie that I could find, Wilma shook her head, and said with her adorable East Coast accent:

“Thank Gwad ya came in here when ya did!   I’m not sure what happened, but all of a sudden folks were takin’ off all their clothes and…well…it just got real swassy (saucy), if you know what I mean.  Much too swassy for my taste.”

Oh, it was swassy all right!

Lightning and Heart Attacks.

I’m watching the local news in Portland with Joe and Dot, and they are reporting on a lightning strike in the Rock Creek area.

Apparently a bolt of lightning struck a giant tree last night which cracked the tree in half. The tree then fell on some poor, chubby, Old Fella’s house, and the electricity transmitted through the tree started a fire in one of the bedrooms of the house.

The old man, who was hooked up to an oxygen tank, ran to his garage to get a fire extinguisher.   He made it back to the bedroom, but he had a heart attack as he was trying to put the fire out.  Luckily his implanted defibrullator shocked his heart back to life, and he was able to tell the story on the news from the front yard of his fire damaged house.

When being interviewed by the reporter about his near death experience, the jolly old fella chuckled and said, “Well, it was the first time I’ve been hit by lightning, but it wasn’t the first time that I died from cardiac arrest.  To tell you the truth, I’d rather not experience either of those things again.”

Reporter:   “How are you feeling today, Sir?  You’re lucky to be alive!”

Old Man:  “Well let’s see…My wife’s alright and my cat’s alright, so I guess we’re all alright s’far as I can tell.  Ya know, it gets you thinkin’ about life and whatnot, that’s for sure!”

The Piggy-Back Ride.

JoeMe:  “Okay, I’m going to help you get up now so you can walk to your bedroom.”

Joe: “You want me to walk?”

Me:  “Yep.  I’d carry you, but I’m not quite strong enough.”

Joe:  “Are you sure, cuz I can hold on pretty tight!”

Me:  “I don’t think we’d get very far.”

Joe:  “But we’d be quite a sight, wouldn’t we?!”

Professional Back-Scratcher.

JoeI just finished my commute from Seattle to Portland via train to arrive at Joe and Dot’s house, where I was greeted with two great big smiles.

After we all chatted for a bit, I asked Joe if he needed anything.

Joe:  “Like what?”

Me:  “Like a glass of water or a snack?”

Joe:  “Nah, I think I’m alright.  There is one thing though…”

Me:  “Yeah? What’s that?”

Joe:  “Well see, I’ve got an itch on my back here…”

Me:  “Uh-oh…sounds like you need a back scratchin’.”

Joe:  “Yeah, I was thinking that you looked like someone who could do a pretty good job at that.”

Me:  “I do huh?”

Joe grinned:   “Yep.”

Me:  “Okay, turn around and I’ll scratch your back for ya.”

Joe:  “Now that’s what I call good service!”

The Cherry Tree.

joe_dotWe were sitting at the table eating breakfast, when I felt Joe’s eyes on me.  I looked over at him and he was just grinning ear to ear.

Me:  “You look like you’re in a pretty good mood today, Joe!”

Joe:  “Yep, I guess so.”

Me:  “I bet it’s because you’re wearing your red shirt.  You look really handsome in red.”

Dot:  “Red has always been a good color on him.”

Joe:  “What’s so good about it?”

Me:  “It brightens up your cheeks.”

Joe:  “What good does that do me?”

Dot:  “We’re the ones who have to look at you, and you look good in RED!  Now, eat your breakfast.”

Joe:  “Does it make me look taller?”

Dot:  “Huh?”

Joe:  “Does my red shirt make me look taller?”

Dot:  “Oh for heaven’s sake…”

Me:  “I think it makes you look taller, Joe.”

Joe’s eyes lit up:  “Well if it makes me look taller, then maybe I’ll have a better chance of picking a cherry from the cherry tree!”

Dot:  “We don’t have a cherry tree.”

Joe:  “But if we DID have a cherry tree; when I wear this red shirt then I’ll be taller, and I can pick cherries.”

Me:  “You’re right, Joe.  You’d be tall enough to pick the cherries AND you’d look very handsome while doing so.”

Joe beamed:  “See Dot, I told you so.”

Dot:  “I think maybe you’d better not wear red anymore.  It gives you a big head…”

Joe:  “No Dot, see my head only looks bigger because my red shirt makes me look so much taller.”

The Runaway.

Lois the FinLois tried to “run away” in the middle of the night, using her bedside commode as a walker.  She didn’t get very far, since she could not figure out how to unlock the door.

Me:  “Where are you going, Lois?”

Lois:   “I’m gettin’ the hell out of here is where I’m goin!”

Me:   “You’re not going to get very far carrying your commode.   It’s really heavy.”

Lois:  “The WHAT?!”

Me:  “You’re trying to use your toilet as a walker, and it’s too heavy for you to push around.”

Lois:  “I just figured that I might need to use the toilet while I’m walking to Sylvia’s house.”(Sylvia is Lois’s long deceased sister.)

Me:  “How about we visit Sylvia tomorrow when there’s daylight, and you can be sure to use the bathroom before we go?”

Lois:  “Well, I’ll think about it.”

Then right there by the front door, Lois decided to use her commode.  As she was sitting on the pot, she smiled at me and said, “Boy, these portable toilets sure are handy!”

Me: “Yep, they sure are.”

Connect the Dots…

Lois the FinThis has been one of the most difficult days with Lois that I’ve ever had.  Some days are just like that with folks who are suffering with dementia, and it’s sad.

At one point this afternoon, I escaped to the caregiver’s bedroom to take a breather from having to answer the SAME questions OVER and OVER and OVER again.  Of course she followed me into the bedroom, and just stood next to my bed glaring at me and scratching her butt with her hand down the back of her pants.

My patience was nearing an end when I said, “Lois.  Will you please not scratch your butt right next to my head at least?!”

Lois looked at me bewildered and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Me:  “Lois, look at where your hand is right now.”

Lois pulled her hand out of her pants:   “It’s right here!”

Me:  “Okay, now look at where my head is.”

Lois looked confused for a moment, and then put her hand right back down her pants:  “I don’t see the connection.”

Welcome to my world.