Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Do Liquid Medications Have To Taste SO Bad?

Today I am preparing to have both a colonoscopy and endoscopy tomorrow morning.  I don't really mind the procedures (after all, I am sleeping during them), but I absolutely detest the preparation.  After taking four teeny-tiny little pills that always make me terribly sick, having to also drink a gallon of vile-tasting liquid seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me.

When I was a little girl the pediatrician prescribed Cod Liver Oil for my older sister.  Just the smell from the open bottle was foul, and I remember my mother saying she was thankful that it was my sister who had to take it and not me.  My sister was cooperative and did not fight taking it.  As for me, I would and still will take the biggest pill but even a scant teaspoon of liquid medication makes me want to bolt.  When I was a child my mom would have to catch me to give me cough medicine for my annual bouts of bronchitis in the cold Chicago winters.  Sometimes it would take both my father and my mother to accomplish it (one to catch me and hold me still while the other one squeezed my jaws to open my mouth to get the dreaded spoonful of medicine down my throat). 

To this day my own children remember having to take cough medicine during their childhoods in Dallas.
My son is the oldest and he, like my sister, was cooperative and would take it without any problem even though he detested it.  My daughter was always very petite but very strong, and she and I both laugh when we remember the way she would try to escape taking the medicine.  Since her dad traveled much of the time it fell to me to devise a way to hold on to her AND get the medicine in her mouth.  Because she was petite, I would be able to catch her, put her down on the carpeted floor on her back, straddle her to keep her arms and legs from flailing, and then with one hand squeeze her jaws to open her mouth while inserting the spoon with the other hand.  It was always an ordeal, and I knew how awful the medication tasted so I felt terrible for having to force her to take it.  She has long since forgiven me for those episodes which were necessary but never enjoyable.

Now my children are adults with one living on the opposite side of the country and one living on the other side of the world.  They both have visited me recently, and I love them beyond words, but I must admit that I am glad they are not here to see me today as I make myself go through the process of
preparing for tomorrow's tests.............although perhaps they might enjoy a little revenge if together they could catch me and hold me down while pouring that nasty liquid down my throat.  As it is, I must just do what I have to do, like it or not, and know that by this time tomorrow I will be sound asleep on a gurney as my doctor performs both procedures.  I am hopeful I won't require these tests again for another five years and that perhaps in the interim some genius will invent a new prep medication that tastes like a delicious milkshake.  One can only hope...............

Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't You Just Love Clever Ideas?

Perhaps because I don't think of myself as a particularly clever person, I seem to be fascinated with what I consider to be the clever ideas and creations of other people and other cultures.  During my long career at Neiman Marcus I was able to see many clever ideas become merchandise to be carried in our stores and catalogs.  I remember the year the Pet Rock hit our selling floors for the Christmas Season.  I remember the mood rings that were quickly snapped up in the '70's.  We also sold a very pretty gold-tone costume ring that had a hinged domed cage which opened so that any one of six colored stones could be placed inside to coordinate with one's mood or wardrobe on any given day. 

This weekend I received two items which I think are especially clever.  My son and his family live in Tokyo, Japan; and he visited me this weekend.  He brought me a sweet note from my daughter-in-law accompanied by two thoughtful gifts which she had to know I would enjoy.  The Japanese people package everything so beautifully that before I even know what is in a package I am intrigued.  The first item was a packet containing small rectangles of paper.  Actually, the rectangles are paper soap.  I think it is an extremely clever idea because we all know there are many times when using restrooms we find soap dispensers to be empty.  Now I can carry this little packet in my handbag to be prepared when that happens.  While my hands are dry I will remove a single piece of paper, then turn on the faucets and as I begin to wash my hands the paper will turn into soap.  Is that not clever?

The other gift she sent to me is called "fashion paper" and is something I had not previously seen.  The paper is printed with a very pretty, delicate, pastel floral design, and is folded into squares about the size of cocktail napkins.  Each piece is meant to be used to wrap a small gift, and I think it is a very clever idea (especially coming on the heels of the recent holiday season when each time I wanted to wrap a small gift I had to cut into a huge roll of gift wrap paper which was cumbersome as well as wasteful).  So now I am eagerly looking forward to the next gift-giving occasion so I can buy small presents and wrap them in my "fashion paper."

What about you?  What are your favorite clever ideas and items?  Please share them below in the comment section.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Handmade Gifts To Be Treasured

It has been my good fortune in life to know many people who are creative and able to make lovely things.  I had childhood friends who were gifted, and I have adult friends whose talents are amazing.  When a person takes time to create something special and then bestows it on me as a gift, I am truly touched.  My daughter is one of those people.  She is creative, thoughtful, a perfectionist and has given me some of my most beautiful and favorite gifts.

One of the many things she thoroughly enjoys is making gift baskets.  Because she is thoughtful she selects each item with great care and is able to produce themed baskets geared perfectly to the recipient.  During the 2012 Christmas season she designed and produced a beautiful basket to give to a cousin.  The basket theme was Audrey Hepburn, Paris and the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Both she and her cousin are avid fans of Audrey Hepburn, Paris, and Breakfast at Tiffany's (as well as Sabrina and Roman Holiday).

I watched my daughter assemble the carefully chosen items, and she gave equal time and attention to selecting the best basket in terms of shape and size.  She purchased specific fabric to line the basket and asked me to make the liner which I was happy to do for her (it gave me a chance to learn how to make basket liners since I had never before sewn one).  She made pink marshmallows to go along with pink hot chocolate and a special mug she created.  She baked and decorated cookies in the shapes of a French Poodle, the Eiffel Tower, and a fleur-de-lis.  She placed them in glassine bags tied with small ribbon bows.   From the color coordination of shredded paper nestling the gift items to pink M & M's, pink icing on the cookies to beautiful  ribbon encircling the basket she gave meticulous attention to every detail.

The gift basket was a beautiful gift and much appreciated by her cousin.  Truth be told, I have always really liked gift baskets so the temptation to not let it leave my house was strong..........but I am content with
this photograph and the knowledge that I have a talented, generous daughter who creates beautiful gifts.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy 2013

Now that the Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year and my house returned to some semblance of normalcy, I want to take time to wish all of you a very happy, healthy and blessed New Year.

I could not resist making a few resolutions (like many people I make resolutions but break them within days ............a very unattractive quality I think).

  • The usual one topping my list is there again..........losing weight by getting more exercise and eating healthier food.  I am pleased to report that at least the number of pounds I need to lose is less than this time last year (when I had my lung surgery I lost 15 pounds, but I do not recommend that as a way to do it).  
  • The next one always on my list is to get control of spending and saving (perhaps our government will ultimately provide some ideas if ever they are able to cut spending to match their revenues...........a novel concept).  
  • My third and last resolution is to spend more time working on my Internet business selling handmade clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers.  Life-threatening health problems the past three years pulled my attention away from my business, but if I am healthy in 2013 (God willing) then I plan to focus more time and attention on my website and my ETSY shop  

I have no idea if you made resolutions or what your resolutions are, but I do know they are usually easier to make than to keep.  That being said, I wish you much success in keeping yours.   Perhaps by including mine in this blog post it will hold me more accountable than in previous years.

As the world seems to be embroiled in turmoil, anger, financial ruin, tragedies, divisiveness, etc. my primary resolution should be that I will do my part to contribute to Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.  Mahatma Gandhi said something to the effect that we should be the change we want to see in the world.  Therefore, I hope I can be more patient, more tolerant, more helpful, and more positive.  Like the song says,
"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

Happy New Year, everyone!  May there be peace, happiness and good health in your lives.