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Old Mum, New Mum

“Sometimes Mum I miss talking to you. The way you would listen to me gripe and knew just what to say. The way you would bicker with me over who Pa loved more. I even miss your reminders to drink more water.”

I touch an old  photo of my Mum and I on the window seal as I finish the dishes.

“Beep Beep click click click click click. Beep Beep click click click click click”  New Mum responds to me.

“Are you still going to remind me to drink water?” I ask quizzically.

“No” she mumbles and whistles her familiar whistle in a pattern three.

“Well I do miss Old Mum” I exclaim,   “New Mum is quite the hoot”

She continues her personal soundtrack of clicks whistles and hums.

My new favorite soundtrack.

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Grocery Maze

“Ma’am can I help you find something?” A young guys says approaching me.

“Why would I need help?” I ask him.

“Oh, I just thought… I’m sorry, its just that you’ve been in this aisle for a almost 45 mins.” He told me before quickly scurrying away. I look at the collection of glasses and plastics holding different colors of pastes, liquids and sauces from the floor to above my head. I have about five dressings in my basket. I’m not sure if I plan to make something or if I just wanted them because they look interesting.

Do I need help? Was I here for something in particular? I turn away from the same aisle that momentarily stunned me with options and was now spinning my head into a frenzy. I reached down for the cart in front of me and jumped at the sight of hands grabbing the handle. Quickly I look around and there is no one else except for a worker at the end of the row restocking something. Again, I reach for the cart and I realize the hands I don’t recognize must be my own.

That is my ring. Those must be my knuckles and those must be my nails. I went to reach for the cart and these are the hands that grabbed it therefore these are mine. I assure myself. I wander towards the front of the store and get lost by milk and juices before grasping that I was at the back of the grocery.

Finally making it to the counter, I unload my condiments on the conveyer belt along with some peaches that were in my basket.

Who put those in there? I smiled in bemusement and shrugged it off.

“Are those peaches? 4401! I know that one like the back of my hand!” the checkout girl said.

“Thats good, one day you may not recognize your own hands!” I say looking at my own again.

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Cargiver Chronicals: Atypical Perspective

“Hello Beatrix” I say as she wobbled into the kitchen and picks out her seat at her dining room table. She is the first individual I’ve worked as a caretaker for who absolutely has no routine. She likes to change it up for herself. You can tell that she struggles to make decisions but I think she purposefully does things to make herself struggle, in the way one would struggle during mind exercises.

“Good morning, Jenifer.” she chose the seat with the most sunlight and momentarily closes her eyes to just feel the heat on her face. I smile as I grab her half and half from the fridge.

“Coffee is almost ready, would you like sweetener?” I ask with the selection of brown, raw, white and cubed sugars on a tray that I place in front of her.

She grabs the little spoon with her slightly shaking left hand and puts a teeny bit of brown sugar on it and brings it to her lips. She studies my face as she tastes it.

“How’s that one?” I ask her.

“Do I typically like this one?” She rebuts.

“Beatrix nothing about you is typical.” I stand to get the coffee pot and pour out two cups. “Which will you be having?” I plop 2 cubes in my cup and add a splash of half & half.

She scoops one of each and tosses in a a cube.

“Feeling sweet?” I ask, pushing the half and half towards her.

“Feeling Atypical.” She states.

“Well good! Do you know where we’re headed today?” I ask.

“In to the city for lunch.” She answers.

“That’s correct, do you remember who we are going to see?”

“My son?” She asks herself. “No my grandson Mark.” She corrects.

“Yep, Mark is taking us to an Art Show.”

“Oh yes, he likes to draw the clouds.” She’s says staring into her coffee cup and I wonder if she remembers why he draws clouds.

I don’t bother to ask though. Something tells me she is stuck on her thoughts today.

We went into the city and lunch with Mark her grandson, and my husband. I was working with Beatrix for about 2 years before we got married. It’s been 8 years now and most days she doesn’t make the connection or at least doesn’t mention it.

Mark started drawing clouds when he used to travel on airplanes with Beatrix she was a world renowned painter. She used to travel all around the world with Mark going to her shows & exhibits. While they were on the plane she would have him look down at the clouds and draw what he saw. He would draw clouds and she would draw the land beneath in the open spaces. For years they started presenting their collaborations at landmark museums since they’d been all over and had a unique perspective of the land below.

As dementia struck Beatrix her art became a collection of unfinished doodles. She would become upset that she couldn’t recall the land marks as she saw them. The years passed and Mark started to do solo work which was crushing for him, because art was their thing & he was so prideful to have his Grandmother as his business partner. They had a unique relationship. Beatrix had very sparse memories these day. She still draws in her notebook all the time, half finished aerial views of mountain ranges, bridges, ponds, schools everything you’d see from a plane.

After we ate we went to Mark’s gallery opening where we browsed his latest collection.

“What do you think Grandma B?” Mark asks

Beatrix was quiet and taking it all in.

“They are all incomplete.” She says “what will people make of them?”

“The entire gallery was sold. So I think people like them.” He smiles giving her a quick squeeze. “This is the highest selling collection we’ve done yet.”

“We’ve done?” Beatrix asks stepping closer to examine.

“Yes Grandmother, I blew up your notebook doodles & themed unfinished clouds around them. This gallery has as much of your work as it does mine.”

Beatrix just pursed her lips and nodded once. I think she was trying to holdback tears because then she asked if we could go to the bathroom. When she came out she had refreshed her makeup.

When we were leaving she hugged Mark. “You keep your Atypical eye, my son.”

“Only if you promise to keep your’s.” He said back kissed her cheek and sent us off.




1. Diuretic.

When used for help with bloating, dandelion tea has been shown have a significant effect on water content in the body because of its diuretic properties.

2. Liver Detox.

Dandelion tea has shown to dramatically increase a detoxifying enzyme of the control group of animals tested. More research still has to be done, but this study is a good example of how dandelion tea may actually have a real effect on liver function.

3. Dandelion Tea May Soothe Digestive Ailments.

It has historically been used to improve appetite, soothe minor digestive ailments, and possibly relieve constipation.

4. It Could Have Future Anti-Cancer Applications.

Recently, dandelion root has been studied for its cancer-fighting potential, and so far the results appear promising. A 2011 Canadian study showed that dandelion root extract induces cell death in melanoma cells without impacting non-cancerous cells, while another showed that it does the same to pancreatic cancer cells. While the anti-cancer effects of dandelion tea haven’t been tested, the potential is positive.

5. It May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections.

Paired with another herb, uva ursi, dandelion roots and leaves may help prevent urinary tract infections. It’s believed this combination works because of anti-bacterial compounds in uva ursi, and the increased urination associated with dandelion.

See here for more information!

Q: What did the alien dandelion say to the earthly dandelion?
A: Take me to your weader!


No tricks, just treats.

“C’mon old lady, Were going to Nana’s!” I open the garage and watch as my three year old hunches over in her best Nana impression and shuffles to the car.

Nana wasn’t feeling well this week, she had a few panic attacks last week and has been needing an extra hand with some things. My daughter is used to spending almost everyday after daycare at Nana’s, so I wasn’t too surprised when she told me for Halloween she wanted to be her “Best Friend Nana”.

My little princess decided that she didn’t want to go trick or treating but instead wanted to take care of Nana.

“We are going to make Nana soup, and cuddle her in the warmer blankie. Aren’t we momma?” Sophie tells me.

“Is that all Nana does when you are sick?” I ask

“Also the sneezy papers and the minty”  she says as she straightens her dress in her lap. I giggle at her interpretations of tissues.

“The minty?” I repeat wondering if my mom gives her a vapor rub.

“Yea, in my favorite mug.” She confirms.

“Ohh, Mint tea.” I say

“Yes, the minty.” She simply restates.

As we pull up she climbs out of her car seat and shuffles up to the door. We usually just dart in but she knocks on the door and Nana’s caregiver, Analise lets us in.

“Oh Nana, I heard you were sick this week!” she climbs up to the couch where my mom is sitting and feels her head with the back of her hand.

“Why? are you the doctor?” My mom says perplexed.

“No mom, this is your Nana, she’s here to take care of you this evening and make you feel all better like you usually do for Sophie.” I tell her. She looks at me for an extra moment and then nods her head.

As my daughter shuffles around the house getting all her favorite items for my mother I watch in amusement. I’m full of utter admiration that on a holiday where my little one could dress up as anyone in the world like her favorite animal, a princess, or a character from TV. She chose to be my mom. Someone I have always strived to be like.

My mom, who has trouble remembering who this little kid running around her house is half the time inspired Sophie so much she completely forgot about the candy.

I pour a bag of M&M’s into the sugar cookie dough I just made, and scoop out dollops at a time onto the cookie tray.  It’s my little treat for her huge heart.