Sunday, January 13, 2013

Raindrops keep fallin' on my clothesline?

Yes, I know.  It's been WAY too long since I last posted.  It's been way too long since I took pictures just for me or to experiment or have fun.  So, on this very dreary, rainy (but almost 60 degree) January Sunday, I grabbed the opportunity to see what kind of shots I could get of the raindrops hanging from the clothesline.

I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of them.  Pleasant surprises have been on the agenda recently, so I hope it continues a while longer!  In addition to the typical family crazy schedule, I finally landed a job (although just part time) at the Friendliest (and Busiest) Place on Earth.  This past Friday was my first day out of training, so I'm still learning a whole lotta stuff!  The residents have been very nice and welcoming, and the staff is as well (and they're a lot of fun to be around, at least so far).

Those streaks in the background?  That's the rain falling.  Didn't know I was catching it, but oh, so glad I did.

For some odd reason, I am fascinated by the raindrops that just hang from the bottom of the clothesline, feeder poles, and eaves. These didn't fall . . . maybe it's the perseverance I appreciate.

This one was really a two-fold surprise.  One was catching that raindrop streak; two was the tree reflection in the raindrop!  I certainly didn't notice it when I took the picture.  Serendipitous wonder!

For this one, I liked the 3 different shapes/sizes of the drops, yet all reflect the trees in the distance.

I have greatly missed taking pics for fun or experimentation.  So much going on that has kept me from it (not just the weather).  I'm going to have to once again MAKE the time to take my little excursions into experimentation.  So much to learn, keeping in mind perspective and perseverance I'm so inspired by.  To borrow Nike's phrase:  Just DO It!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Busiest Place on Earth, Busier!

Each year that Mom has been at Friendship Village, December has been full of wonderful decorations, activities, programs, celebrations, and caring.  At the end of the Staff Program, the staff members hug as many of the residents as are willing to participate.  Then they finish up working for the day, and this year followed up with their Holiday Open House the very next day!

When Friendship Village has an event, they want everyone to feel welcome and have a great time.  It's very comforting to see all of the staff at the events, working hard, but with big smiles and welcomes for all, and sometimes special smiles and hugs for residents.

Jingle Bell Bus

This year's open house was the 3rd one Mom and I have participated in.  Each year it has been very well planned and organized with activities to entertain, amuse, and lift up the spirits.  Events including rides in the Jingle Bell Bus, carolers, candy making, live nativity "performance," Mrs. Claus' Gingerbread House, Hanukkah festivities, AND plenty of delicious food and punch, plus pictures with Santa made for a busy but fun two hour open house!

I would challenge anyone who spends time at Friendship Village during the holidays, especially during the Employee program or Open House, to NOT be in the Christmas mood!  It certainly had me in the mood for relaxing with a couple of Christmas movies (Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Inn), and now it's time for some Christmas music - sing-along!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Busiest Place on Earth

Wow.  I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted.  I knew I'd been busy, but not THAT busy!

One of the things I really appreciate at Mom's assisted living facility is the staff Christmas program that is put on for the residents.  Last year they REALLY put a lot of effort into it with the directors learning a ballroom dance they performed.  Today was this year's performance, and I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard or so much!

The theme for this year was 2012 in review, so the staff "re-lived" different activities and events the residents participated in.  Everything from Snowball Bingo to Shabbat dinners, fundraisers for the Alzheimer's Association, St. Patrick's Day, to the Health Fair was represented, all with a huge dose of self deprecating humor.

Staff waiting in the wings for their performance . . .

 Snowball BINGO . . . yes, "they" are throwing fake snowballs at the caller!

 I think this was a beach day . . .

 Gangster Days await!

Yup, Valentine's Day (Health Center staff).

 Maintenance had St. Patrick's Day . . . .

 And mentioned their "recycling program" for batteries and light bulbs . . .

 I believe this was to represent the Jewish holiday of Purim (Queen Esther??)

 Jerome Demmings, Executive Director, being told the doc couldn't find a heart!

 Easter bunny/Easter Bonnets . . .

 Gangster Days & Miss Friendship Village (assisted living staff)

Mother's Day Tea (assisted living staff)

 Extended Services staff sharing the game much enjoyed by their residents, complete with a distracted "O."

 Chaplain Snowden representing one of the several car washes to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

The Activities staff re-living the ice cream truck day (I think the original day was better 'cause it had real ice cream!).

 More Activities staff for Jungle Day.

You have to love an Executive Director who will dance down the aisle to "Car Wash" . . .

Some of the "back office" folks talking about the health fair, Oktoberfest, and the many activities held on a regular basis.

 One of the maintenance guys receiving his flu shot . . . the staff got to yell "Timber" as he fell off his chair in a faint.

The Kitchen staff does Thanksgiving (they did 4 Thanksgiving meals in two days; 3 of them in one day).  Each year, they allow the residents to invite up to 2 guests to join them for a Thanksgiving dinner, free of charge.

Marketing staff has fun at the expense of the President of the Resident's Association (she loved it though; she had a front row seat for her little roast).

 Sing-a-long time . . . "Dashing through the snow, In a one horse open sleigh . . ."

 And the rest of the staff joins in complete with dance moves and hand motions!

These guys were the hit of the program!  Most were from the Kitchen staff, and represented the Olympics.  Enjoy the Friendship Village Synchronized Swimming Team . . .

Such a fun time!  And I only shared about 30 shots with you (I took over 200).  No, there are no identifying shots of the residents (privacy issues).  But the staff is fair game.  I am always amazed at how they seem to know everyone's name, and each pitches in if they see a resident in need of assistance.

And tomorrow is the annual Holiday Open House!  More pictures to come . . .