Made You Look!

If you came to our house and took a look around our livingroom, you would notice a long, offset spatula with pride of place on an end table.

Our cat has some favorite new toys. She loves to bat about small, round, felt floor protectors that attach to the bottom of chairs and furniture legs so they don’t scratch the floors. She tosses and chases them, carries them in her mouth and leaps for them when I toss them in the air. I just had some in a container, thought she would like them, and there we are.

The only problem with these toys is that they slide very easily under the furniture, the grandfather clock, the stereo speakers, and closet doors, out of her reach. When that happens, she sits in front of wherever the beloved object has disappeared, and implores us with body language and meows that she is distressed and that we need to retrieve her toys. It is getting very tiresome to retrieve these things, hence the spatula, which can reach under everything and flip out the discs. Sometimes, I think she delights in making us get up to search for her, making us look for things at her bidding.

Who have been the greatest helpers in your life? When did you need the most help? How easy is it for you to ask for help?

42 thoughts on “Made You Look!”

  1. I think the Baboons are all out helping others this morning! Yesterday I ran into some computer issues at work, and of course, our tech guy had left for the day, so I was at the mercy of the State ITD “Help Line”, which worked out pretty well. It is odd to have someone 100 miles away take over your computer and move your mouse.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have had a packed week at work, so I have read but I have not replied to anything for lack of time. I still want to reply to the question from yesterday. Favorite soup is Posole which I made last week. Then I froze half of it for this upcoming week.

    I hate asking for help, but of course, this is a necessary thing. I needed the most help during my breast cancer treatment 31 years ago. People brought me meals and watched my son, who was 8 years old. My sister and her 1 1/2 year old daughter came up and stayed for awhile. My niece was so excited to see me so she ran as hard as her little self could and hit my drainage tube. I nearly fainted of pain. My mother also “helped.” When I came home from the hospital my son had strung a piece of yarn across his doorway with a sign that said “Stay Out! For Grandma only.”

    I suppose the next period of life that will require a lot of help will be in my dotage. Uggh.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m a lone wolf. I don’t like to ask for help. My brother Neil has helped me the most, maybe, by being a catalyst in social situations. Maybe I should tell him that, WHEN HE ANSWERS MY MESSAGES! He won’t remember, he was drunk the whole time.
    It wasn’t a long term thing that changed our lives, but Neil and I were in a bad situation with a job he took on in Wales , to totally rebuild a cottage, with a new roof, and new just about everything. I went up to help him, with nearly all the money already gone,and an awful lot of work left to do. An American girl came and helped us for nearly three months, and learned on the job. We were able to feed her and that was all. The owner’s boyfriend paid us enough to get by every week, and we somehow struggled through to the end of the job. Jeanne went home to DC, and disappeared, but I haven’t forgotten.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Barbara, I was supposed to have been there at the start. Neil’s marriage went badly wrong, and I should have been there, but I didn’t really know what was going on.

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  4. I’d like to piggyback on Jacque’s good comment. Aging is most definitely not “just a number” but an inevitable and highly unpredictable process each of us must navigate. As we age, we lose abilities. That means we experience aging as a seemingly never-ending series of losses that turn an independent person into a dependent person.

    This is complicated. About three weeks ago I lost so much strength and stamina that I concluded I would soon lose any ability to move independently. I bought a transfer chair, a sort of wheelchair, which meant I was conceding to the need for someone else to wheel me from one place to another. To my shock and delight, the past week or so has shown me I can now walk to any spot in this building so long as I allow enough time to pant and recover as I negotiate stages of the trip. I have not used the transfer chair yet. But I someday will.

    This is just a single issue in a complicated process that bewilders and challenges an aging person. As people age, they must rely on others more and more. They learn to accept help. But the process is anything but simple and predictable, which means an older person has to cultivate the ability to accept help and the grit to fight to remain independent. That’s a tricky balancing act.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Watching Sandy age is not fun.
      Some of my daughters parishioners have been so helpful, even including loan, more like gift, of an electric bed. Caring staff love that she has it.
      I grew up in time and place when neighbors helped neighbors. I spent some part of my childhood helping on at least 25 places, mostly in the valley below our farm. Most of those people helped on our place.
      Sandy got upset when I asked people to help. Help then, in spades. But they did not help you. I think it is a residual of her abused childhood. Or maybe bring a city girl.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Cat tale: someone called my daughter’s landline last night, a rare thing. One of her cats watched her. When she put the phone back on its cradle, he knocked it off. This morning when she got up, he was waiting outside her door to rush in and knock it off. Then he sat and listened to the dial tone. He did it three times more. So she unplugged the phone. He lost all interest when it was silent.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. OT: I had a busy few days too. I wanted to tell you my ideas about home decor. If it’s not going to to be a dark old cottage with bems and no electricity, then it’s Early Workshop for me every time. Our house here is probably described by the locals as English Messy style, but I was closer to my dream when I lived in Graham and Lynn’s field. I blocked in the door of my caravan, and replaced it with double, insulated doors right across one end. The workshop end. It meant the workshop doubled as the entrance hall, which probably made the butler’s job difficult, though of course, butler’s aren’t paid to complain. Not that mine got paid.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One component of English Messy is the way people fill bare walls with many, many small objects. I think this is a natural consequence of living for many decades and centuries with walls that don’t increase in size. Bit by bit, stuff goes up on the wall and never comes down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my moms new apartment, we took a handful of photos along; one large painting of the farm needed a study hook, and there was one already in the wall so that picture went there.
        Beyond that, whenever we ask mom about pictures, she says she can’t see them anyway so didn’t want anymore put up.
        Except one. Dad’s picture. Right next to her chair so she can see that one.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Sandy ignores pictures I hang, but I hang them anyway. Done now. My daughter mare 14 Shutterfly picture books, which I have over here. She has no interest in them even when I sit with her. I found another 17 albums or scrapbook around the apartment or in storage, most of which she made of trips we took. Kids don’t want them but want me to hold onto them.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Does Sandy have any favorite pieces of music that you can play for her, Clyde? Music has an amazing ability to reach even people in deep dementia.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. I replied to this hours ago, but it still hasn’t appeared. Our kind of English Messy refers more to the placement of items on the floor and furniture, than on the walls.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am much more comfortable being the helper, rather than the helpee. But this journey after Husband’s stroke has had me often on the receiving end of all kinds of help, thank the lord. I just have to trust that surely the world is unfolding as it should, and it is OK for me to accept all that is coming our way.

    Some of the greatest helpers were friends who showed up in a big way after our son died in 2007. Two of them lived in Elk River, north of the Twin Cities, at the time; they moved back to Port Townsend about a year later, but they were there for that crucial first year.

    I know there are others – thinking…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, sometimes you think of more answers to posts, don’t you, Barbara? I can’t match your memory, but I remember my obvious one now. When I burned that caravan down – I believe I told that story.
      I slept at the farm that night, at Graham and Lynn’s, then I went to Neil’s place in town. Next day, Lynn told me where to go for my new, free caravan. I cleared up the site(not fun), and moved back. And the neighbours showed up at Lynn’s with clothes, food, kitchen utensils – I could have opened a shop. I really felt as if the whole world cared-even Pete Snell.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Morning-
    “I’ll do it myself!”
    Mom says those were my first words. But I think I learned it from her.
    These days I round up some college kids when I need stuff in the theater moved.

    Sometimes the biggest helper is someone who will just listen.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I was fiercely independent as a child. About the first thing I did she said was push back when she tried to hugbme at about 3 months. Did I have my fm touch thing that young?

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Ben, I love it when someone confides in me. I recognise that I know nothing, so have no trouble in refraining from giving advice. Well….. I don’t mention it much, but one of the best jobs I ever had was five and a half years as a Samaritan volunteer. I didn’t have to be expert on anything! Luckily.
      Joking aside, it’s actually often difficult to remember to just listen to what someone is saying, and not weigh in with opinions and advice. I suppose that’s all we ever aimed at in our various training sessions and meetings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think most people are a lot more comfortable helping others than they are asking for help for themselves. When you’re helping you are in a position of power or strength, whereas when you are in need of help, you’re in a weakened position.

    When I was younger and moved with some regularity, lots of friends helped. It was understood that you would return the favor when those same friends moved, and we all did. Likewise, friends have helped me in various ways when I was recuperating from several surgeries and when I took that nasty fall in 2012. It was humbling to realize that I’d never be able to pay that back, so I try to pay it forward as best I can.

    It becomes trickier to ask for help when you know you’re not going to be able to reciprocate. That’s the conundrum we find ourselves facing as we grow old and infirm; we have to depend on others for doing things we used to be able to do for ourselves. It’s one thing to need the occasional helping hand or favor, and something completely different to not be able to do even the most basic things for yourself. Last Sunday, for instance, my friend Philip’s tremors were so bad that I had to feed him. It has been a struggle for him for quite some time, but he has persevered. It was an awkward moment for us both, but when it became obvious to me that he would not be getting anything to eat because he was dropping the food long before it reached his mouth, I asked if it was OK for me to help him. He nodded, and I tried to act as if it weren’t a big deal, but we both knew it was another small dignity and bit of independence lost.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I remember doing that for a friend in hospital, but that time we managed to get past that awkwardness, not sure how. It was never something I even thought about later in her company. It was a temporary illness, maybe that was the difference.

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    1. Help that I will pay for…that is. I recently got some help from a teenage neighbor to change lightbulbs in the horse barn, he wouldn’t take money But is willing to come help when he has time…difficult to ask when he doesn’t want money so I have arranged with his grandfather to take money to put aside for the boy. Makes it a little easier to ask. I hope.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My response below was written before I saw Cynthia’s second post. I agree that’s when finding a creative way of restoring the balance is called for. Good for you, Cynthia, and good for that young man, too.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Cynthia’s answer makes me wonder whether it’s harder to ask for help with something that you would typically pay someone to do? Or vice versa.

      Now that I think of it, the times that I have really “needed” help, I didn’t have to ask for it. Friends, and even strangers, saw the need and stepped up. Likewise, there are very few people I’ve helped that actually asked for it. Maybe I’m way off in left field here, but it seems to me that asking for help isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Renee’s example of getting help with her computer issue strikes me as a no-brainer. The help-line wasn’t doing her any favors; that’s their job. No reason why accessing that should be the cause of any consternation. If, on the other hand, you’re stranded in the middle of the freeway because your car has stalled, or your car won’t start on a cold morning, it’s a whole different situation. Do you ask your neighbor for help, or call AAA?

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Problems can still arise in the realm of paid work. I’ve had tough times, some winters in the past, when I wouldn’t have dreamt of asking farmers if they had any work for me. Maybe they’d give me work they would have done themselves, just to help me.
    But in the summer I’d have no problem going to a farm where I could see they were busy with hay, and ask if they needed a hand, sometimes when I didn’t know the people. I was a hero then, doing a job others didn’t want. Obviously, I didn’t NEED to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I see it, Fenton, when you offered a helping hand, you were were not the person on the “needing” end of the transaction. I think we can all agree that it’s a lot easier to offer help than to ask for it. And asking for help when you can offer nothing in return is especially difficult. If I can’t clean my house, it’s a lot easier asking someone else to do it if I can afford to pay for it.

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  10. I’m really good at accepting help when it’s offered but I’m not as good at just asking for it upfront. I think that’s a pretty common thread here today.

    But I do have a funny cat story. On Wednesday I was going through all the mail that had been sitting on the dining room table for the last week and sorting it out. Nimue jumped from the table to the buffet and she sat there and she looked at me. Then she looked up to the next level which is where I have all kinds of greeting cards sitting out that have been sent to me. I said to her “don’t even think about it” And then she promptly jumped up. I got up to get her and she immediately ran to the other side, knocking half of the cards down. So I went to the other side to try and grab her and she ran back and knocked down the other half down. Darn cat..

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I rarely ask for help. Consequently, I rarely get it. I’m always happy to offer it though. A common thread it seems.

    But what caught my attention this morning was the title of today’s post: Made You Look!

    When I was a child, the common rhyme was, “Made you look, made you look, made you buy a penny book.” What did that mean and where did it come from, I wondered, and what is a penny book?

    Spoiler alert: I still don’t know what a penny book is or what, if anything, the rhyme referred to, but apparently there were regional variations to the rhyme. I had hoped that the rhyme had its origin in some historical event or circumstance but that has not turned up in my brief research.

    Nevertheless, it turns out that the rhyme is common in the British Isles and is one of the rhymes collected in a book called The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by Iona and Peter Opie.

    So how did a children’s rhyme common in the British Isles make its way to Minnesota? This is not an unique instance, of course. Children’s rhymes are often mysteriously conveyed across generations and across oceans, apparently but I don’t know that anyone has ever discovered how that happens.

    Liked by 3 people

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