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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Family Models

Gary and I attended a splendid event at Silverado in Calabasas last Friday. We were joined by our kids and grandkids to meet Marley the baby kangaroo. Marley is a resident of the Silverado Aspen Park community in Salt Lake City and she has been "on tour" visiting our communities in Texas. Fortunately, she made this one stop in Southern California and we created a fun "meet and greet" party for seniors and children, including Keegan Ingram on the left in the lower photo.

The top photo evolved because we needed someone to pose as a senior in the pool with the children because it was too hot for our residents to be in the intergenerational swim program that day. You can see who wound up as our memory-impaired senior in the second photo. He sat there with Shane, son of my associate, Julia, and Keegan. Look for "good old Gary" in future flyers and brochures. You can click on the photo to make it larger and see the expression on Gary's face!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Matters Most

Last weekend our kids and grandkids came over not once but twice to hang out and play with the dogs. Keegan enjoys his kiddie pool almost as much as our puppy, Bindi Sue. Unfortunately, Bindi is not the swimmer that Keegan is...she sinks because a Corgi's front end is so heavy, like an English Bulldog's (not swimmers either). A couple of weeks ago, Bindi managed to jump the high side and into the plastic pool. It was cute till I realized she couldn't keep her head above water. I raced to her rescue and got her out, sputtering. Thank goodness she didn't need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She loves water, so this incident didn't turn out to be a "learning experience." Last weekend, she tried to jump in dozens of times while Keegan was in the pool. We couldn't stop laughing. I took pictures while Keegan screamed with glee and Cory jumped up to get her down.

Meanwhile, life is coming to an end for our dear "Bro" kitty, Poudre. He's almost 18 years old and winding down rapidly. We anticipate taking him to the vet in the next week. He has a big boo-boo on his back leg, is down to two teeth, wheezes constantly and hasn't been cleaning himself. Molly, our other cat, spends hours grooming him now. I spent an extra half hour in bed this morning cuddling with him. He's been my friend and confidante for such a long time that it's hard to imagine a life without him. Poudre is the only other male in our home, which is why I always say he's Gary's cat. We cherish all the joy he's brought us.

Mom's doing very well at home now. She's behaving herself and using her walker to go everywhere. Everyone at her community has been telling her how much she was missed during her three months away and that makes her very happy.

Family, friends, pets...that's what matters most!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Man has Questions

Gary is doing fine after last week's angiogram. Thank you to the many friends who sent their prayers and positive thoughts. We truly appreciate you. He will need a triple bypass "at some point," and we'll find out more about that when we visit his cardiologist next week. Meanwhile, he's on some new med's and has a bruise the size of Cuba on his privates where the angio catheter went in and out in two different spots. Very colorful. Not the kind of "swelling of the groin" he wants.

One of the ways I know Gary is fine is that he calls me in the morning when he's driving to a job site and says, "I have questions." Then he asks something I would never think of asking. For example, today he called and said, "Is it legal for one person driving a hearse with a body in the back but nobody else in the vehicle to travel in the carpool lane?" And yesterday he called to ask if I thought a "Name that Body Part" game show featuring two teams cutting open a cadaver and correctly removing parts could be a winner. Obviously he must have death on his mind, along with watching some crazy game shows lately - "Wipeout" and "I Survived a Japanese Game Show." Either that or it's his new med's. Whatever. With his background in forensics I don't view this sudden focus on dead bodies to indicate he's depressed. It's the other way around. He's quite happy.

I've had a week of doing all the heavy lifting and bending around the house while Gary recovers. There's been some drama. I dropped a huge bag of dog food on my foot, stubbed my big toe while loading six boxes of books into my car to bring to the office and let the big trash can lid accidentally fall on my arm as I was dumping a bag of dog poop. Thank God nothing hit me in the face because the rest of me looks like I've been in a horrible fight or on "Wipeout." Gary asked, "Do you suppose your co-workers think I'm beating you because of how much you're nagging me about eating salt and saturated fat?" Another good question.