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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

What do you think of when you hear the word "summertime?" Here are some of the thoughts that come to my mind...

Going to baseball games. When I lived in Colorado, we went to lots of Rockies games at Coors Field. This past week, we went to a Dodger game in Los Angeles with Dru and Larry. Larry's tickets were right by third base and just a few rows up from the Dodger dugout, which meant Gary could stare at one of his heroes, Joe Torre. We ate Dodger dogs, peanuts, kettle corn, pretzels and drank beer. Dru and I tried to catch foul balls in our hats (photo), but thankfully that didn't happen, although a few got very close. And by the way, the Dodgers beat the Marlins.

The Beach. I love the fragrance of coconut oil mixed with salty sea air. I can't go and walk in the sand or swim in the ocean this summer due to foot surgery; but it's not keeping me from spending time on a cliff above the ocean enjoying the seaside panorama, people-watching, the occasional dolphin sighting, and the beautiful weather.

Band Concerts in the Park. The granddaddy of Mission Viejo concerts in the park happens this Saturday when the Pacific Symphony comes back again to delight young and old. Picnics on blankets, sipping wine coolers, watching children run around the park and the sunset through the trees as some of the world's most beautiful music is played right there in our "backyard." It doesn't get much better than that.

Pool Parties. We rely on Dru and Larry for these. Hours spent floating in their pool and talking about everything under the sun, and sometimes the moon. We bring the wine and soda. They have the plastic cups and "noodles" for floating.

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. Maybe this started with baseball games, the county fairs of my childhood or trips to Disneyland, but summer isn't summer without a certain amount of hot dogs and burgers. The photo here was taken at the recent "National Hot Dog Day" party at Silverado Senior Living - San Juan Capistrano. Even the mayor came. He likes hot dogs, too.

Rum Drinks. Mai Tais, Pina Coladas, Blue Hawaii's, Bikini Martini's - all favorites, especially when they come with a little paper umbrella and a cherry.

Ice Cream. Is it any wonder the last three items on my summer list are all about food and beverages? Ice cream is the VERY BEST! Not even lactose intolerance keeps us from enjoying the occasional ice cream binge when the temp outside gets above 85.

Hope you are having some hot fun in the summertime!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

...of Cabbages and Kings

It's been nearly a month since my last posting. I've been very busy lighting up the Internet via Facebook and Twitter, getting used to short messages. Yet today I want to say a bit more, as the Walrus said, "to talk of many things," so decided to jump on the blog.

I'm a big proponent of seniors giving up their car keys when it's apparent they are a danger to everyone around them when they get behind the wheel. That being said, it's really REALLY hard to give up driving. I did it for a month while my right foot healed from surgery to remove a bunion and hammertoe. Life was NOT great during that time of having to depend on people to schlep me to and from the office, meetings, church, supermarket, doctor's appointments, and so much more. I gave up my independence and hated it. So now I know how much it will "suck," if and when I need to give up my driving privileges forever.

Gary and I went to Anne Nelson's memorial service at CBS "TV City" in Los Angeles last week and enjoyed being with a couple hundred of Anne's friends, associates and family members. Did you know Art Linkletter is still alive? He's 97 and he was one of the best eulogists that night. Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, was a speaker too. So was I (never miss a chance to tell a good story), and so was the actor Robert Conrad, who was one of Anne's best friends. My cousin, Dru, and her mom, my Aunt Bettie, were delighted to pose for a photo with Donna Mills, from Knot's Landing, one of their all-time favorite shows.

We have a pumpkin patch in our backyard now. We're also growing cabbages, lettuce, tomatoes, basil, parsley, peppers and more. I love having a little herb and veggie garden. The only challenge is keeping the dogs out of it. I guess that's better than trying to keep rabbits out.

Attended an excellent WomanSage presentation about social networking by Denise Shiffman, author of "The Age of Engage." She says you simply must be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I'm on all three; however I wasn't really using LinkedIn or Twitter until I listened to Denise. I went from seven to 70 contacts on LinkedIn within a few days. Don't know how many I have now. And I started Tweeting too. One of my Silverado associates, Mary Poole, tweets about Alzheimer's and dementia - constantly. In fact, she has so much information that we are using it in the Silverado clinical blog.

Speaking of Silverado's blogs, we now have two. You can check them out by clicking on the button on our "landing page" - The Silverado Life blog writing is being shared by me and our marketing intern, Tara, who is a welcome addition to our team this summer.

Have you ever heard of fire-hooping? Tara the intern is an MBA candidate at Cal State University, Fullerton, and she is also a professional "fire-hooper," who twirls a torch-lit hula hoop around her waist. I watched her in a video and couldn't keep my mouth closed. Gary and I are thinking of hiring her to perform at a party in our backyard later this summer.

My associate, Patty, is keeping the King of Pop alive here in our office. She has been listening to all Michael Jackson, all the time, for nearly a month. Actually, I think today is the first day since Jackson's untimely death that I haven't heard "Beat It" or "Billie Jean" coming from her office. Maybe it's time to "Heal the World" and get on with life.

Gary went on a four-day fishing trip this past weekend and returned with 8 pounds of yellowtail. I wanted to make sashimi, but instead we took it over to Kathy J's house and had a sunset grilled fish-fest overlooking the big fish's former home, the Pacific Ocean. The fish was delicious, although Gary insisted on having steak because he doesn't like fish. Ironic, yes - but more fish for me.

I'm out of the dreadfully unpleasant "bigfoot boot" now and into a little shoe for a few weeks until my foot heals enough to fit into a sneaker. At least I can drive, which is great because now I can go over and visit my mom and listen to her complain constantly about not being able to drive any more.