Published in the Rains County Leader on March 20, 2018:
Anyone who has pets, especially curious cats, knows that these animals have a thing about closed doors. They have a strong desire to be on the side of the door where they’re not. It’s the pet version of “The Grass Is Always Greener” – that thing that causes cows and horses to stretch their necks between strands of barbed wire to try and reach one scrawny dandelion while standing in a patch of lush green clover. It was also probably the inspiration behind the invention of the pet door that so many of us have installed in our homes. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 13, 2018:
Last week I warned that my mind might be a little foggy from the time change when it came time to write this week’s column. Of course, it could also be the allergy/cold medicine I’ve been taking for the last three weeks. Regardless of the cause, I was having trouble coming up with anything readable, so I’m recycling a blog post from several years ago that has been an all-time reader favorite.
When my grandson was 7 years old, he asked his dad why older people sometimes smell bad. That question came up a lot in the caregiver support group we attended in Florida. We also talked a lot about why the homes or rooms of the elderly smell bad. As group facilitator, I tried to come up with answers and even resorted to Google and Wikipedia. The consensus is that there isn’t an overall reason for that “old” smell, like an aging cellular structure or elderly pheromones. Some articles attributed the smell to certain oral medications or topical ointments. Most agreed, however, that the biggest culprits are poor hygiene, both personal and household. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 6, 2018:
Next Sunday is one of my least favorite days of the year – the first day of Daylight Savings Time. On that day, people in seventy countries around the world and the entire Continental United States with the exception of Arizona will begin doing everything an hour earlier so that we theoretically have an extra hour of daylight in the evening. The truth is that most of us will miss that “extra” hour because we will fall asleep with our faces in our dinner plates, exhausted from waking up before the crack of dawn. (more…)
Published in The Rains County Leader on February 20, 2018:
Newer readers may not be aware that several years ago I wrote a memoir about Alzheimer’s caregiving. It was structured around a seven-week, sixteen state motor home trip we took with my parents, both of who suffered from some kind of dementia. In one of the early chapters, I shared the difficulties of getting ready for the trip. Following is a paragraph about getting Mom and Dad’s clothes ready to go: (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 13, 2018:
The first time I remember hearing the term Redneck Tupperware was at Home Group. Every Friday night a group from our church meets for dinner, fellowship, and Bible study. Everyone brings a dish or two, and there’s usually quite a bit leftover which we share with anyone who wants to take some home. Most of us don’t have the foresight to bring our own to-go containers, but our hostess is very generous. The night I first heard the term, she pointed to a cabinet under the island where we serve the food and said, “There’s lots of Redneck Tupperware in there. Help yourself.” I smiled when I saw a large collection of empty plastic tubs that had once held whipped topping, butter spread, lunch meat, and other foods stacked in a fabric cube storage bin. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 7, 2017:
I understand the concept of Daylight Savings Time, but it seems odd to me that twice a year a large portion of the world’s population completely changes its daily schedule. After the spring change, the standard work day ends in time to enjoy more daylight hours before bedtime; and the fall change means that less of our morning commute to work or school is made in the dark. Still, considering the disruptions caused by the changes, I have to wonder if it’s worth it.
Some people seem unaffected by the change, but I once did some research on the subject and uncovered scientific evidence that many people are. I found a Swedish study that said the incidence of heart attacks increases by 5% after the Spring Forward event, probably due to stress; and a Canadian study said that fatal auto accidents increase by as much as 17% on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins, probably because of sleepy, inattentive drivers. (more…)