Serenity Doesn’t Have to Be Serious


Hope if this is your Sunday, it is met with a sunny day with big doses of Serenity.

I enjoy, “Looking at life from both sides now,” as Joni Mitchell sang in such a

sweet and lightly toned voice years ago. In the past ten or eleven years Joni M.

put out a newer, whiskey-sounding voiced version which really demonstrates

how life’s winding paths and changes match the lyrics much better.

After the passing years, the lyrics become so much more richer in meaning

than what they seemed like as a teenager.

Did you know Joni Mitchell had a brain aneurysm in the Sprng? She was

found on March 31, 2015 to be unresponsive before going to the hospital.

She is now 71 years old. It is hard to picture this dynamic woman incapacitated.

Since she went into the hospital, she has undergone various treatments, along

with speech therapy. I am hoping she has a full recovery.

I learned a little bit about how to handle certain

personal care processes while visiting my Mom.

One- If you are given a walker, don’t put it way ahead of yourself. This defeats

the purpose of support. They showed my Mom how to bend her elbows and get

the walker right up to her body. It still wheels forward well and it also, will catch

her if she loses her balance.

We all talked about this, brothers, Mom and I.

When you mow the lawn with a push mower, my brother contributed, your

arms will wear out faster while extended. So, keep push mower, grocery cart

and walker closer to body.

Two- If in the bathroom there are baby wipes or cleansing wipes, these work

well with stain removal of chocolate ice cream. Hope this is helpful, good to

know for my information.

Three- In your diet if you ever are one who has to go through thickened liquids

pull your chin down when attempting to sip regular water or beverages. This will

help close the air passageway and prevent liquids going down into your lungs.

I heard someone talking informally calling this, ‘second hand drowning,’ since

you don’t want a lot of liquid to slide down your air passages into your lungs.

You can get pneumonia or even die.

Children who have recently resuscitated, have had this occur days later,

when it seems the ‘coast is clear,’ but they have not had enough of the water

aspirated at the hospital.

Four- Despite absolutely loving showers in her past, Mom loves sponge baths

or sink and wash cloth baths. She likes her hair washed in the sink, too.

I am not sure why?

Do you know the reason?

Five- “Pick your battles.”

(with teens, especially)

With elderly, use respect and treat them with dignity.

Help them to choose what or when they wish to do some things which have


Also, be firm with routines and medications.

Do you have any lessons learned from dealing as a caretaker or working with

the elderly? I will welcome any helpful hints.


Here is a Fairly Familiar and Popular Parable.

(Not written by myself but found in a church bulletin.)

It will be known on my Blog as:

_________________”The F-ing Annoyingly F Story”_______________________

Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow forced his fond father

to fork over the farthings and flew far to foreign fields and frittered his fortune,

feasting fabulously with faithless friends.

Fleeced by his fellows in folly and facing famine, the fellow floundered as a

feed-flinger on a filthy farm. Fairly famished, he fain would have filled his frame

with foraged food from fodder fragments.

“Fooey, my father’s flunkies fare far finer!”

The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts. He fled forthwith to his

family. Falling at his father’s feet, he forlornly fumbled,

“Father, I’ve fruitlessly forfeited family favor.”

The farsighted father, forestalling further flinching, frrantically flagged his flunkies

to fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast. The fugitive’s fault-finding brother

frowned on fickle forgiveness of the former folderol.

But the faithful father figured,

“Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! What forbids fervent festivity? Let

flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flair!”

This originally came from a book called, “Treasury of Good Clean Church Jokes.”


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

47 responses »

  1. There certainly is a lot to learn on this blog. I’m sure this will be useful to all of us and we grow older and so our parents. Sad to hear about Joni Mitchell. I think I did know something about her being pretty ill, but did not know the extent of it.

    • I also may not have emphasized this chin position is great to protect children from swallowing water down the wrong ‘tube’ into the lungs. When a person tilts their head down they are more likely to be aware of the process of swallowing water or medicine with water. I will see if my littlest one, Kyah (age 4) uses this method, if she ever has something she needs to be aware of swallowing. The SLP said someone took their child to the ER while she was not breathing, they resuscitated her but did not aspirate her lungs of all the water and she died of ‘second hand drowning’ a few days later. Scary stuff, Marissa.
      I am also sad about Joni, especially hoping she can recover and live a longer life. My Mom is going to be 87 so 71 seems rather young for Joni, who in appearance looks healthy in her last ‘good’ picture.

  2. I don’t think you need any more helpful hints for working with caretakers or seniors. What you wrote seems like it would help you handle most any situation.

    Thanks for the ‘F’ story. That was fantastic fun. – Mike

    • I may have missed gobs of everyday suggestions, Mike. These were ‘new to me’ and I worked nearly five years in a nursing home, in Activities. When we took people out to eat, we would collapse their wheelchairs once they were loaded on the bus, we would use a lifting belt to transfer them into their seats and once out of the bus, taking them down on the lift in their chairs or walking them down to the front of the bus using the belt, we let them walk in their walkers. We did not always pay attention to their arms and body placements. I was passing this on, because I did not know about when swallowing, even with children, they are more likely to do it safely leaning their chin on their neck. The air passage is totally closed then. Water is not good to be glugged and swallowed down the wrong ‘pipe’ so to speak. I am much more ‘savvy,’ now! I thanked the PT and SLP for giving these valuable lessons! Take care and have fun with Florence, your kids and grandkids, MIke!

    • I am glad you loved her music and wondered, does she have a poetry book? Or as I do, do you consider her lyrics poetic? Thanks for being sympathetic and hope very much she may improve and fully recover. I wonder about the media, since I did not remember hearing this back in March. So glad you found the silly ‘f’ story to be funny. Boy, was that tricky typing it! ha ha! Hugs.

  3. Poor Joni Mitchell! Having any brain problem is frightening. I just this morning read that Beau Biden passed away. Terribly sad.

    Those tips are helpful. I think showers are tough on the body, personally. I take one or more every day but as we get older, having the entire body subjected to water is “exposure”. Probably baths in a tub are similar — too much on our largest organ, the skin. But that is just a guess.

    We have a rotary mower so I will pass this tip along to my husband.

    This is a serene day for us usually and I wish you one of peace and calm and beauty too, dear Robin.


    • Beth, I have two grandchildren in tow and some good news. I may have let you know when I was traveling around the Arts Festival I was listening to my librarian friend, (female), Marty ask questions of potters. I bought a lovely caramel spoon holder with what looks like woodburned leaves and a bird in it. It was so reasonable and I have only a red cardinal one for the winter with a pine branch, so in Spring, Summer and Fall I have a new one to place spoon on while cooking. Anyway, for some reason Marty was not giving me this man’s phone number so my youngest daughter found his email address and told me this. (His website had a 2014 update and not a current cell phone.) So, I emailed him and he loves nature and birds, so hope we may become friends…. he wanted to have me come to dinner but I told him meeting and having coffee would be best. He is heading to MI with his art/crafts and needs to be near his kiln and finish up and leave. So, leaving a kiln while firing would not be best in the next 4 days. There is no rush and we may as learn more about each other… who knows? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
      So, there you are, you have the most recent ‘scoop’ on my life!
      It may not be peaceful or calm but my two beautiful grandsons are being angels playing Roblox on the library computers. Smiles and hugs.

      • Oh, that sounds so promising, Robin! I hope it works out in some positive way. Have the little ones is such a treat. Have fun!

      • I am glad your husband found the tip to be sensible.
        I did not react about Beau Biden, so sorry since he was only 46 leaving wife and two young children behind. HIs brain cancer was something I also had not heard about, so this was (bad) ‘news’ to me.

    • Also, thank you for letting me know your input on the shower choice my Mom keeps making. I am hoping that she may do a once a week shower and continue to do her sponge baths or wash cloth clean ups daily. I think maybe the power of the water is kind of ‘tough’ on her, as you mentioned, Beth. If the tip works with your husband, this will make my passing it on, worthwhile!

  4. You know I came to the Joni party fairly late in life. As a kid, she just didn’t really float my boat. But when I finally came around, I did so in a big way and now just love her fiercely intelligent lyrics more than even the sound of her amazing voice.

    • Oh, Barb. It is so fine that you were in a different musical camp before you came to appreciate Joni M. I like how you put this! I am glad you are now believing in her fiercely intelligent lyrics and her sound of her voice. I like her older sounding voice which I can relate to her life’s experiences. I used to be a Carole King and Carly Simon fan, still am, but like you, appreciate Joni’s fantastic lyrics and in the movie, “Love Actually,” Emma Thompson’s character is crying in her bedroom while listening to “Both Sides Now,” but she ‘shakes if off’ and is able to be a supportive mother on the way to a hysterical holiday play her kids are in. This was a scene my youngest daughter and I cried during but really liked the way the director has a set of explanations of why he chose each song, which we love the way he inserts the Beatles and other prominent musical bands of ‘my period’ (and close to your period) of songs. πŸ™‚ Glad to know another Joni M. fan and know we all are rooting for her health improvement!

    • Luanne, thank you for reading and finding something which may sometime be helpful. I apologize when I had the awards list of old and long lasting friends, I may have left your name off. I just was winging that one on my new cell phone! I hope all is well and you have been making the author’s rounds. xo

    • I went back to May 4th and had not read for some time your posts, Luanne. It broke my heart when I got to the current ones, where you shared your loss of your father. I am very sorry and wish I had been better keeping in touch. xo hugs and prayers sent your way. I believe in spirits in birds!

  5. your tips are all practical and useful and things we might never think of. as for the bath vs. shower issue, i think it has to do with feeling safe and secure. sitting down instead of standing, and more importantly having someone caring for you, human contact.

    • Human contact is a nice part of being taken care of. Now that she is not so worn out from her fall, ometimes Mom does her own sponge bath and likes not being in a shower. This confuses me since there are many different support systems, a chair, two handles, etc. But I do feel it is her choice and try not to disagree with her. Smiles for this nice comment, Beth.

    • I know, this must have slipped by me, too. I was listening to the news journalists wondering when she may improve and get back home, since she was hoping to be released. This made me look Joni up! Smiles, Robin

  6. Hi Robin,

    You never fail to please with your
    awesome postings and this one is
    a gem, as always my sweet friend πŸ™‚

    I am sorry for my small contribution
    here as I am still not back in our WP
    just yet, but planning on a return in
    the near future πŸ™‚

    Keep adding to your uniqueness and
    do have a beautiful start to your week
    Robin πŸ™‚ I haven’t forgotten you πŸ™‚

    Andro xxx

    • I never worry about my friends since real friends come back. Life and all its wonders keeps many busy, Andro. I was a little slow with posting for a few weeks, so don’t feel bad, my friend! Smiles and keep on having fun in your life. This is a gift to others, you know. We all wish everyone the best, if they have good luck and plans, it makes me happy!

  7. I didn’t know that about pulling the chin down. It would have been good information to know when my dad was in a care facility. He ended up with pneumonia a couple of times. I wonder if this contributed to his illness within his illness.

    • April, I was an Activities Director for five years, did practice resuscitation every year at inservices, along with other necessary preventive care and never learned this important fact! I am so sorry about your father and this is so sad that it may or may not have been prevented. I was shocked to hear that children when resuscitated may have water left in their lungs and there have been cases of ‘second hand drowning.’ Horrible, but it does make sense when you think of breathing into someones mouth, you tilt the neck so that the throat closes.
      Hugs for your sweet Dad and you. Hope he recovered. . . since I may be sticking my foot in my mouth.

  8. I laughed at this one, too. It was really clever and I had a heck of a time typing it, Brenda. I would look at the program it was in and then, click away and back again. I do think you are my favorite commenter for mentioning no prodigals, madrigals or moms! So original, Brenda! xo

  9. I am so glad to be back here after my vacations. I have done the trick of unfollowing and then following you fresh but unfortunately it didn’t help too. I am still not getting your posts on reader. I have to visit your blog to check out new posts. No problems, I may be late in responding but I will come back for sure. I hope you will not see it as an excuse as I know you trust me Robin. I enjoyed the funny, frisky and frolic F-story. Hugs πŸ™‚

    • I am happy to see you and hope you are fully refreshed, since it was a little bit ago that you got back from vacation. I tend to ‘go in circles,’ and find myself trying to still keep up. I am glad to hear you had a break and also, that you enjoyed the religious re-telling of the story of the “Prodigal Son.’ Take care and hugs sent your way back to you.

    • Just so you know, I also get frustrated. Since I am writing a response about “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” and this is what I said, but it is not publishing it. Have you checked ‘pending approval” under Comments section of WordPress. I may not be the only one there…. Please check.
      Here is my comment, I love the flowering trees. It is always sad to say goodbye to sons, or family. Also, it is sad to end vacation. I enjoyed learning about Dubai stop. Smiles, Robin

      • I have already checked ” pending approval” twice. Even I have tried to write comments on your posts but failed to published. The comments still show when I check notifications in ‘reply failed’ section. I thought that might be I was replying from my mobile WordPress app that’s why the problem occurred. Anyway I will keep trying. I have come back yesterday. I will check your blog soon on my laptop.

      • Sorry I did not mean to stress you out. I don’t have a reply failed section. This would help me to know it is somehow being prevented. Thanks for your friendship and will at least keep liking your posts as I read them. Then you will know I was there πŸ™‚

  10. Some very interesting tips, Robin. My 90-year-old mom is in a care home and has to use a walker. I don’t think anyone has ever taught her how to use it properly. I’ll pass on your advice about holding it close to the body. I wonder if keeping my chin down when I sip will stop me coughing when I drink cold beverages. I’m going to try it. “Second hand drowning” sounds really scary. 😯 Sylvia

    • Sylvia, your comments were so.meating full and I was so happy to find them all. Have you every missed several that were waiting approval? I am embarrassed to find yours and other fellow bloggers on wordpress. I wish that wordpress would automatically accept these. I apologize profusely for your waiting to hear back from me. Hopegullu, this won’t happen again!! Have a blessed day. Smiles, Robin

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