Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Many Hats Do You Wear? | The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman

The 500 Hats of the Mordern-Day Woman
The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman


I often complain about the many plates I feel I need to keep spinning. Or the balls I try to keep in the air. Joyce Ellis in 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman: Strength for Today's Demanding Roles takes a little more positive approach as she outlines nine of the many hats we as women wear. It just feels like 500…

With a bit of humor, a measure of insight, and a dose of biblical wisdom, Ellis affirms the joys and challenges of a woman’s life. While she offers practical strategies for each of the nine roles we play, I would have liked to have seen more focus on how we balance a head full of hats. Worn individually, I can handle 500 hats. Sometimes before breakfast. But when life comes crashing in and I'm expected to handle a head full of hats all at once, … well, that’s when I would have liked some balancing suggestions.

She echoed my feelings exactly when talking about setting priorities. She says, “But it’s not true that you’ll always find time for what you really want to do. I really want to do too many things.” Precisely. The book is filled with stories and vignettes including a few dealing with GenSandwichers and caregiving. But while they add flavor to the book, they don’t offer a lot of practical strategies for those of us struggling to keep up with challenges we don’t feel in control of.

The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman is an entertaining read, even while not offering a lot of new insights. AND... If you click the graphic below, you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire.

Win a Kindle HDX!
The 500 Hats of a Modern Day Woman Joyce K Ellis
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis
  • A Modern-Day woman kit (T-shirt and hat)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 30th. Winner will be announced April 1st on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on April 1st to see if you won.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Do You Want To Know The Secrets Of Happy Families?

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Who doesn’t want a happy family? For those of us who are GenSandwichers, it seems like that is our primary focus. Or one of them… But how do we get there? Magazines promise tips and strategies. Library shelves are filled with books promoting different approaches. TV pundits offer their insights. Our pastors and religious leaders weigh in. But who really knows

In The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More , New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military. Written in a charming, accessible style, The Secrets of Happy Families is smart, funny, and fresh, and will forever change how your family lives every day.


Even though I no longer have children in the home, I was fascinated by his findings. I especially enjoyed the chapter on grandparenting, where he both affirmed the role of grandparents in kids' lives and put us in our place.


Bruce is celebrating the release of his book with a family fun "Happy Family" Kindle HDX giveaway.


  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 15th. Winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.
Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 17th to see if you won.

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Are You Aware Of The Two Midnight Medicare Rule?




One of the changes in the 2014Medicare proposed prospective payment regulations is the two-midnight rule. This rule requires that inpatients must remain in the hospital over two midnights in order to qualify for inpatient reimbursement.  Any stay shorter is considered outpatient, which has a much lower reimbursement rate.  Fortunately these rules have been delayed until September 30, 2014, but it’s important that you stay on top of this. It could have severe financial ramifications for you or your aging parent.  

Hospital leaders have vigorously opposed the two-midnight rule during the past year, arguing that the policy is unclear and undermines the medical judgment of physicians. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the policy to better monitor Medicare payment of short inpatient stays and ensure inpatient admissions are medically necessary. But the fact remains that this is yet another unintended (or intended?) consequence of Obamacare that will affect care for the elderly.

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Beware of Medicare Scams

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Over the years, I've warned readers of Medicare, Social Security, and other scams targeting seniors. It looks like there is one circulating in Missouri and Illinois now. If you are a senior or care for one, be alert for these scams. Warn your loved one (again) to not respond with personal information.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Caring for the Caregiver: This Year I’m Taking Care of Me



2013 was a hard year for me. What about you? In fact, I’m just now coming up for air. Christmas just came down last weekend. I just didn’t have the energy to take it down earlier. So there…

It seems that Mom has become more difficult this year. Not really sicker, but more needy, more clingy, and worst of all, more unkind. Meanwhile, hubby has had a back injury and almost needed surgery. But he didn’t pass the cardiac clearance, so we are re-thinking that. But for the past several months, he’s been in pain. And you know men in pain… So I reached the end of the year pretty much at the end of me.

Then I saw these caregiver resolutions in a post on Caring.com and decided I need to implement them (or something like them) this year. Not all of these apply to all of us, but let them be a jumping off point for your own declarations.

Here’s the sample from Caring.com to start you off.

  • I will organize and dispense all my loved one's meds. . . but not beat myself up for forgetting the occasional dose.
  • I will apologize when I lose my temper, but realize that caregiving is so chock-full of temperature-riling situations that eternal calm is impossible.
  • I will be there for my loved one, but I will continue to run my own life at the same time.
  • I will let myself grieve and cry and feel sad, instead of trying to keep a chipper smile on my face all the time.
  • I will accept or ignore criticism for what it's worth (or not worth) rather than letting it eat at me.
  • I will quit blaming myself when bad things happen. Bad things happen.
  • Finally, I resolve to take care of me this year, not just my loved one. Because eventually I may be the one who needs care, and better it be later than sooner.
  • I resolve. . . not to try to be perfect this year.


How about you? How are you going to take care of YOU this year? Share with us your declarations.

Photo Credit: Peat Bakke

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Related by Chance; Family by Choice: the Critical Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law Relationship



How’s your relationship with your daughter-in-law (DIL)? Or is that too touchy of a subject? I think a lot of moms of sons are surprised by the challenges of adding a new woman to the family, especially if we have a close relationship with our sons.

I was blessed with a friend who was years ahead of me in the mother-in-law (MIL) business. She was so diligent in maintaining a good relationship with her DIL. She pointed out that when a young man marries, the new wife often sees the MIL as competition. At first that didn’t make sense. Don’t we both love the same man? But that’s precisely the point. And to complicate the matter, most families don’t seem to put words or even cognition to that dilemma, so other conflicts arise to express it. Since they aren’t the real issue, they often don’t get resolved. Hurt feelings abound. And the son we love is caught in the middle. Another thing that happens is making the transition from child to adult and developing an adult relationship with your son and his wife rather than a parent/child relationship. If you’ve been close, that’s a hard transition for both parents and son. And here, the new wife gets caught in the middle.

Deb DeArmond has written a wonderful book about this issue.  Related by Chance, Family by Choice: Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships (Kregel Publications, 2013) talks to both mothers of sons and wives of those sons, addressing the most common glitches in this vital relationship.  It’s helpful to see both sides of the issue, as well as the side of what she calls “the man in the middle”—your son. The book is easy to read and features questions and personal evaluations at the end of each chapter to help you be more honest with yourself. And who wouldn’t want the goal: a better relationship with the wife of your son and the mother of your grandchildren.

If you’ve felt that your only option in dealing with your adult son and his wife is to “wear beige and keep your mouth shut,” the book is for you. If you’ve had misunderstandings with your DIL, there’s hope for reconciliation. And if you have a good relationship, you’ll learn ways to make it great.

I’m so thankful for the wonderful relationship we have with our DIL. She’s a treasure, and we tell her that regularly. It hasn’t always been easy, and still isn’t. But we’ve both worked hard and continue to find ways to make our family work. I feel like I’ve given and changed a lot, but I’ve also been very aware of the many concessions she has made to include and honor us. And ultimately, that’s what this relationship is about. Each party respecting the other and creating a delightful, God-honoring extended family.
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

National Family Caregiver’s Month





November is National Family Caregiver’s Month, so I want to salute you, my readers, for the care you give. As I talk with caregivers, I see men and women who are laying down their lives for aging parents, disabled spouses, or others they love. In the process, the caregivers’ hopes and dreams are often put on the back burner. Not only do they watch the decline of someone they love, but they also sacrifice their work, their goals, their finances, and sometimes their marriages. It isn’t easy.


Just how valuable are you? According to several AARP studies, 65.7 million caregivers (29% of the U.S. adult population) providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. Caregiver services were valued at $450 billion per year in 2009- up from $375 billion in year 2007. At $450 billion in 2011, the value of informal caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care, more than total Medicaid spending in 2009, as much as Wal-Mart sales ($408 billion), and nearly exceeding total expenditures for the Medicaid program in 2009 ($509 billion). That’s a lot of value, folks! And the value of unpaid family caregivers will likely continue to be the largest source of long-term care services in the U.S. since the aging population 65+ will more than double between the years 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million in 2000.


Over 34 percent of caregivers provide more than 75 hours per week caregiving. That doesn’t leave time for much else. Seventy percent of working caregivers made some job change to accommodate their caregiving role. 12% of caregivers reduced work hours or took a less demanding job while 9%, gave up work entirely, compared to 3% that took an early retirement.


So thank you, you priceless family caregivers. Yes, you’re squished, but you are so very important. So please, try to take some time for yourself. Take care of yourself. And pat yourself on the back. Well done!



Photo Credit: KaCey 97007