Monthly Archives: January 2014

When family is just enough…..…

It had been a while since I had spent some quality time with my three youngest nieces & my middle sister & I was really starting to have withdrawals from them. You see before I got very sick & had to go into full time care I used to nanny for my sister, this was years ago when the youngest was a new born & she is now going on ten so as you can well imagine we are talking along time ago. Anyway, as my body started to give way on me & I became less able to take care of myself let alone three little girls I had to humble myself & admit I was no longer in a position to mind them & my poor sister had to go outside the family & look for a nanny through an agency. She has done this ever since & it has had its ups & downs but all in all it has seemed to work out!

The downside of it all is that I don’t get to see my little cherubs nearly as much as I would like to so when I get the opportunity believe me I savour every moment! It was last Sunday & my sister suggested I come over & they put me in the wheelchair & they take me for a walk around the area – this sounded like a great idea to me! Anyway, Mum & Dad picked me up from the establishment & we took our usual route (especially when my Dad’s driving) we drove past our favourite coffee bar & bought three cappuccinos & one flat white! Yummy I thought to myself, no matter how hard they try at the establishment their tea & coffee can never quite match up to a takeaway cappacino from the local coffee bar. Off we went to my sisters & it was nice because Mum & Dad were coming in to join us for the coffee drinking ceremony! There was a feeling in the air that made me wonder whether or not we were going to actually make it to the walk in the wheelchair but I didn’t care one little bit as long as I was with my girls I was perfectly happy! When family is just enough…….

The coffee was drunk by all, everyone was relaxed & happy, Mum & Dad decided to hit the road & so it was just me & the girls & my sister. We were loving lazing on the couches watching the wonderful dances my nine year old niece had choreographed herself, a few star jumps, a number of forward rolls & she was definitely showing some very creative talent! Then the big question came…..”Aunty Jen Jen, do you think I could do your makeup?” “Hmmmmm, I thought to myself, do I feel like being made into a clown, but then I remembered why I was there!” “Sure” I said to her, “just one thing I ask you don’t make me look like a cake face” (what we used to call her now eighteen year old sister when she was fourteen and used to come out of her bedroom looking orange after doing her makeup – might I add now she does her makeup amazingly and looks stunning everytime she leaves the house)! “Aunty Jen Jen, I’m  good at makeup you wait and see!”

So the process began…..she disappeared for a good five minutes & then she appears with her very own makeup kit! Never in my life have I seen anything like it, she has every brush for every part of the face, different shades of powders, eye shadow, blushes, special eye pencils that have very special jobs apparently & of course the absolutely necessary mascara! Right, paper towell was laid down on the stool incase of any accidental spills, everything was lined up & the show was ready to begin! I sat there like a princess being absolutely pampered & I would ask her the occasional question as to what was happening & she was able to tell me exactly what she was doing & why she was doing it…….a bit of blending of the powder to make sure there was no lines on the neck, of course the eye pencil which if I could remember its job I would be able to tell you but she certainly knew it’s purpose & then lastly I had to rapidly blink my eyelashes for what seemed like an absolute age so that the mascara went on just right!

“Well, Aunty Jen Jen I think we’re finished & you look beautiful, doesn’t she?” the question aimed at her almost fourteen year old sister who had shown a distinct lack of interest throughout the whole “process” other than to make the occasional comment on the heaviness of the powder or perhaps the mascara might be a bit thick, to which she got the usual sister to sister reply “shut up & mind your own business I’m the one doing Jen Jen’s make up”. The fourteen year old was now allowed to speak as she had been asked to give her opinion & she thought it looked great, possibly a little thick & dark in places but other than than that apparently I looked beautiful. Well, there was a smile from ear to ear & one very proud nine year old, she was very impressed with her handiwork! So, now it was time for photos, sensible ones & then of course a couple of silly ones. I will put in a few with this post so you get to enjoy some of fun that we all had!

Even though it was only a few hours that I spent there it was the best few hours I had had in a long time! There is something refreshing about children & their innocence & particularly when it is family it just makes it that much more special. I guess that is the reason why I titled this post “When family is just enough”, there are times when all you need & sometimes all you want are those around you who know you best & hopefully love you in spite of all your weaknesses & believe me in my case there are a few, but everyone is comfortable just to “be”, something I need on regular intervals when living in the “establishment!”

I truly hope you as the reader have times when “family is just enough……” – it is most refreshing!!

The make up artist with Aunty Jen Jen being silly!
The make up artist with Aunty Jen Jen being silly!
A nice one!
A nice one!
The made up one with the fourteen year old!
The made up one with the fourteen year old!
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It’s Thursday & it’s Council Cleanup Day tomorrow……..

It’s been a while since writing a post & for that I’m sorry as it is not due to lack of content but more lack of energy on my part, it must be living with the oldies is making me tired & old!!! No, to be honest part of the illness that I battle daily is low blood pressure & it makes me incredibly tired so even though I have great intentions sometimes they just don’t become a reality but here we are back with another post!!!

My day had been fairly quiet being Saturday, not a lot happens around the establishment on a Saturday, so I had a nice dinner of pumpkin soup (my favourite- particularly as I don’t have many to choose from) & raspberry jelly & I was making my way back to my little room. In order to get to my room from the dining room I have to go along a fairly long stretch of carpet before I turn a corner & go straight down a ramp to my floor. I have to be careful on that ramp as it is quite easy to pick up a bit of speed & sometimes lose control of my trusty walker so I am always cautious coming back down the ramp.

“Wow”, I think to myself as I look ahead & see a pile of beautiful furniture piled up outside Patty’s room, she had her lovely wooden side table, a wooden chair, a few pictures & she was still in the process of removing & stacking outside her “house” as I later found out the name of where she was living!

“Patty” I shouted, well, not exactly shouted but certainly used a raised, shocked voice, “what on earth are you doing?” She looked up at me with a rather bewildered shocked look on her face as if to say “what on earth is wrong with you?” & then what came next just made my day, she said,”don’t you remember it’s Thursday & it’s Council Cleanup day tomorrow & my husband & I can’t live with this clutter anymore in our house so I’m putting everything we don’t need anymore out on the footpath!” (Footpath….last time I looked it was a strip of blue carpet but I wasn’t about to argue over something so trivial!)

Well, how do you respond to something as “out there” as that??? Firstly, we are not living in houses, we are living in small rooms & secondly poor Patty’s husband passed away a number of years ago & one thing I can confirm he definitely is not living in he house with her!!!!! I knew I needed to think long & hard about how I was going to respond to this one as I didn’t want to upset her but at the same time I thought I should let her know that it was not Thursday & as far as I knew Council Cleanup wasn’t this week. I proceeded along those lines with my response & I also added how beautiful her furniture was & how sad it would be to have the Council pick it up & dispose of it. After some long & hard thought  she could see my point but didn’t have a clue how she was going to get all this beautiful furniture back into her house from the footpath!

“Hmmm, I have a suggestion” I said to her. How about after all your furniture moving you go back inside your house & sit on your comfy remaining chair & when the staff come down after dinner they can help you move your furniture back inside your house”.  How does that sound Patty?”. Well, she thought that was a great idea after being so tired from moving it all out so she was thrilled with the arrangement!

She was so grateful that I turned up just in time to tell her she had got the days mixed up for the Council Cleanup so she didn’t go & move anymore of the furniture out onto the footpath unneccessarily & I was just happy that I had got to her in time before the after dinner rush came & by that stage she would have blocked the whole hallway oops I mean footpath……

As I know I have said in some of my previous posts there was a time when the Patty’s of this world would have known full well it wasn’t Thursday tomorrow & she wasn’t living in a house & there was never going to be a Council cleanup but as I choose to look at it, a wire goes funny up top & makes people who were once intelligent, sensible people do totally outrageous behaviours. We never know whether we are going to be one of the ones that  the wire chooses to go funny with but what I say is enjoy every moment, never ever take for granted each moment you have been given & if you happen to be touched by someone who has had a wire go funny up top try with all your might to love them & treat them with the dignity & respect you too would want for yourself if the roles were reversed!

Believe me when I say this I am writing to myself as much as to my readers & to be totally honest I am surrounded by “Patty’s” 24 hours a day & I certainly don’t always treat them with the same love & respect that I would want for myself at times, so this post was very much a challenge to me & a reminder of how we have no choice on how life is going to take its toll on us but as those living in community we certainly have a choice as to how we are going to treat those we are interacting with!

Here’s to the beautiful “Patty’s” of this world!!!