Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: Orange County/CA

Musings of a woman who left her corporate career to become a caregiver for elderly parents, wrote a book and found her way back to corporate - with love, instead of fear, leading the way. Now working at my Alma Mater, UC Irvine, as Marketing and Communications Director for the School of Biological Sciences.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Electric Wheelchair Mania

Mom called me on Wednesday morning to blurt out, "I know you won't like this, but I have ordered an electric wheelchair." Mom has been coveting the speedy red model that belongs to her neighbor at the assisted living community. Of course, the issue is that Mom doesn't NEED an electric wheelchair - or ANY kind of wheelchair for that matter. She is supposed to walk, and so is Dad, which is why they live in apartment that's a long way from the dining room. Their doctors, physical therapists and my sister and I decided it was a good way to force them to get plenty of good exercise. When they lived independently in an apartment, they never went anywhere - just sat at home all day and watched TV or read old birthday cards. They have been really healthy since moving to their new community. Then Mom borrowed that speedy red wheelchair and drove it around for a few hours, scraping a few walls in hallways and crashing into the desk in the main lobby, dislodging a chunk of wood paneling. The managers asked her to stop using it because she hadn't had any "training." Reluctantly, she returned the chair to its owner. That was several months ago and I've been waiting for her to tell me she wanted her own chair ever since that day. So here we were on the phone and I said, "You don't need a chair like that." "OH YES I DO AND YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I ALREADY ORDERED IT AND MEDICARE WILL PAY FOR IT," she yelled at me through the phone. What was I supposed to do other than get into a big argument, which I try to avoid these days of our lives? So I called her doctor and he said, "Why not? Get a personal liability policy or rider on your homeowners insurance and let her go for it." So that's what we're doing. Mom, "my giant toddler," gets her motorized toy after all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shopping Sense

Last week I enjoyed a "girls night out" with my friends, Linda and Terry. We went shopping in Laguna, then out to dinner and to a play. While shopping, Linda told Terry and me about her favorite clothing store in Tustin and said we would love their clothes. Terry and I love how Linda dresses, so we got the name and address of the store. Yesterday we went with Kathy J to check out the boutique. Yes, the clothes were great, but we realized immediately that we had neglected to ask Linda about the prices. The lovely, somewhat unstructured simple cotton and linen clothing items were VERY expensive, with a pair of elastic-waist pants or a short-sleeved blouse priced around $275 apiece. We took a quick walk through the store and went straight to a nearby Loehmann's where I found four cotton items for a total of $70. Whew! We learned that in these times of high-priced gasoline, it's best to learn more about a new store before driving 30 miles to visit. Just thought I'd share that with you today!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday Adventure

I asked Gary for some help with a project yesterday afternoon. I'm working on an event for a client and it's themed to NASCAR racing. Gary was helping me with NASCAR jargon to use in the marketing materials. He was telling me about "hot pits" and "silly season" and all the different flags, when suddenly he said, "Bring your notepad and let's go." I asked where and he insisted it was a surprise. Those kinds of surprises usually lead us to Home Depot, Sears or Pep Boys, or once in a great while to our son's home to see the grandchild. Not this time. In the truck on the 405 Freeway North, I kept asking for clues, but got none. However, he kept up the dialog about all things NASCAR and I took notes (that are a bit hard to read due to the bouncing truck). When we passed LAX airport I stopped trying to guess where we were going, although I did believe it had something to do with car racing. WRONG. Gary was simply in the mood for a hot dog from Pink's famous hot dog stand on La Cienega. We drove 60 miles to stand in line for over an hour for a chili dog. Hey, it was not dinner at Morton's, but I'm not complaining. It certainly was a surprise and we enjoyed the NASCAR brainstorm session during the ride. If he'd asked me to go with him to Pink's I would have exclaimed, "What are you - crazy? Not in the Sunday traffic. Nuh-Uh." This way, he got his hot dog, I had a good partner for my brainstorm session and we spent the day together. I welcome your suggestions on where to take him for a similar kind of surprise because he knows he owes me one.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Book Orders via Web Site

A quick note to say that our shopping cart at is being updated. We should be up and running with Paypal in a day or so. Thanks for your patience. Meanwhile, if you want to purchase a book, please visit Thanks!

Where the turf meets the surf...

Where the turf meets the surf, there is enough silcone and botox to float the Titanic. Opening Day at the Del Mar Thorougbred Club racing season did not disappoint. The horses were good to us, but the real fun was people-watching at the Turf Club. Champagne flowed, along with lip gloss, lip service and hundred dollar bills. I've never seen so many plump glossy lips in my life. And there were plenty of other body parts that had been pumped up, nipped, tucked and tatooed. We saw at least half a dozen breasts peaking out from slinky little sundresses. And about the guy in the canary yellow suit - who knew Big Bird was a Turf Club member? What a show! I was reminded once again that I am no longer 35, or even 49! Some of the women my age were trying in vain to compete with the 20-and-30-somethings - BAD idea. Age appropriate fashion should be a mandatory class for every woman turning 40, 50 and 60. No matter how "fit" we are - or think we are at these ages, we don't belong in a low-cut spaghetti-strapped skin-tight sundress - sorry! OK, maybe in the bedroom, but not in public. I have pictures to prove my point. Save your self-esteem and wear something comfortable for a change! Gotta run...not to the racetrack, but to the gym!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blog Sabbatical Ends

I've been busy. Add that "busyness" to my penchant for long, gabby posts and you get absolutely nothing for six months. Sorry.
Lots of copy-writing jobs and freelance writing in the pipeline now. Kathy J and I are writing something together. It will either be a play or a script for a TV movie, probably Lifetime. It's about two women caring for their elderly mothers. Duh. The first few times we met to write, all we did was laugh hysterically about the stories we can tell.
Speaking of mothers, mine is doing fine. So is Jack. Mom had to have a pacemaker replaced last month and there were some complications so she had to spend the night in the hospital. Thankfully, after a few scary hours, she came out ALIVE and TICKING! Hooray. Jack and Mom were healthy enough to attend the big annual charity hoe-down at the Garner Ranch on June 23rd. They brought along 15 friends from their assisted living community to join the rest of our 150-plus guests for a big BBQ and cowboy action in the corrals. Kathy J is now our official Garner Ranch historian and has completed a wonderful filmography and history of the ranch. She and my sister, Meg, gave great tours of the houses, barns and grinding rocks. Jack sat on the front porch of Meg's house and told ranch stories to anyone who would listen whenever the country-western band took a break.
We had a great July 4th celebration at home with family. It was a hot, muggy evening, but Mom and Jack still had to be bundled up in blankets on the front porch to watch fireworks on the street. "Legal" fireworks are ok in our town.
Summer weekends are mostly lazy, with lots of outdoor kitchen activity, family and friends gathering for conversation and cocktails, and little grandson Keegan splashing in his plastic pool in the backyard. We have been letting the cats (Poudre and Molly) out in the patio some days, and that's very entertaining!
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club opening day is tomorrow and we'll be there with Meg, Ted and Hannah. It's always fun to watch the girls in their hats (and not much else, which makes Gary and Ted smile)and the posers from La Costa hanging out around the bar at the Turf Club.
Gary is still commuting to Beverly Hills every day, overseeing the stucco division of Glaeser Builders, Inc. He has lots of celebrity clients now, which is good because they have BIG houses that need LOTS of stucco. I love to hear the stories about the goings-on, paparazzi, etc., most of which I can't print.
Life is good.
I'll do better keeping up the blog from now on.