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The following poem was written by my friend Donna
Swanson.  It was one of the major influences in my
life that made me decide to become an Activity
(Thanks, Donna)

Minnie Remembers
By Donna Swanson

God, my hands are old.
I've never said that out loud before
but they are.
I was so proud of them once.
They were soft
like the velvet smoothness of a firm, ripe
Now the softness is more like
worn-out sheets
or withered leaves.
When did these slender, graceful
become gnarled, shrunken claws?
When, God?
They lie here in my lap;
naked reminders of this worn out
body that has served me too well.

How long has it been since someone
touched me?
Twenty years?
Twenty years I've been a widow.
Smiled at.
But never touched.
Never held so close that loneliness
was blotted out.

I remember how my mother used to
hold me, God.
When I was hurt in spirit or flesh,
she would gather me close,
stroke my silky hair,
and caress my back with her warm
O God, I'm so lonely!

I remember the first boy who ever
kissed me.
We were both so new at that!
The taste of young lips and popcorn,
the feeling
inside me of mysteries
to come.

I remember Hank and the babies.
How else can I remember them
but together?
For out of the fumbling, awkward
attempts of new lovers
came the babies.
And, as they grew, so did our love.

And, God, Hank didn't seem to mind
if my
body thickened and faded
a little.
He still loved it and touched it.
And we didn't mind if we were no
longer beautiful.
And it felt so good.
And the children hugged me a lot.
O God, I'm lonely!

God, why didn't we raise the kids
to be silly and affectionate
as well as dignified and proper.
You see, they do their duty.
They drive up in their fine cars.
they come to my room
to pay their respects.
they chatter brightly, and reminisce.
But they don't touch me.
they call me Mom, or Mother
or Grandma.

Never Minnie.
My mother called me Minnie.
So did my friends.
Hank called me Minnie, too.
But they're gone now.
And so is Minnie.
Only Grandma is here.

And God! She's lonely!

©1974 from MIND SONG, by Donna Swanson,
2099N 75W, Williamsport, IN 47993. May not be
reproduced in any form without written consent of
Now that I'm older,
here's what I've

1. I started out with nothing, and I still
have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes
and all bran.
3. I finally got my head together; now
my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don't remember being
absent minded....
5. All reports are in; Life is now officially
6. If all is not lost, where is it?
7. It is easier to get older than it is to
get wiser.
8. Some days you're the dog; some
days you're the hydrant.
9. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure
could use a few.
10. Kids in the back seat cause
11. Accidents in the back seat
12. It's hard to make a comeback when
you haven't been anywhere.
13. Only time the world beats a path to
your door is when you're in the
14. If God wanted me to touch my toes,
he would have put then on my knees.
15. It's not hard to meet
expenses...they're everywhere.
16. The only difference between a rut
and a grave is the depth.
17. These days, I spend a lot of time
thinking about the hereafter...I go
somewhere to get something, and
then wonder what I'm here after.

Provided by
Why am I So Tired?

I am Tired,
Yes, I'm tired.

For a couple years I've been blaming it on
iron- poor blood, lack of vitamins, dieting and
a dozen other maladies that make you
wonder if life is really worth living.

But now I found out, it ain't that.

I'm tired because I'm overworked.

The population of this country
is 237 million.
104 million are retired.
That leaves 133 million
to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leave
48 million to do the work
Of this there are 29 million employed by the
federal government.
This leaves 19 million
to do the work.
Four million are in the Armed Forces, which
leaves 15 million
to do the work.
Take from the total the 14,800,000 people
who work for State and City Government and
that leaves 200,000 to do the work.
There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that
leaves 12,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 11,998
people in prisons.
That leaves just two people
to do the work.

You and me.


And you're just sitting there
reading this.

No wonder I'm tired.

Provided by
The Activity Director's Office
New Diet Rules

1. If no one sees you eat it, it
has no calories.

2. If you drink a diet soda with
they cancel each other out.

3. When eating with someone
else, calories don't count if
you both eat the same

4. Foods used for medicinal
purposes have no calories.
This includes any chocolate
used for energy, Sara Lee
cheesecake (eaten whole),
and Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

5. Movie-related foods are
much lower in calories simply
because they are a part of the
entertainment experience and
not part of one's personal fuel.
This includes (but is not
limited to) Milk Duds, popcorn
with butter, Junior Mints,
and Gummi Bears.

6. Cookie pieces contain no
calories because the process
of breakage causes calorie

7. If you eat the food off
someone else's plate, it
doesn't count.

8. If you eat standing up the
calories all go to your feet and
get walked off.

9. Food eaten at Christmas
parties has 0 calories,
courtesy of Santa.

10. STRESSED is just
DESSERTS spelled backward.

Provided by
The Senility Prayer

God, grant me the Senility to forget the
people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones
that I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Provided by
What Do Angels Look Like?

- Like the elderly person who returned the money you lost yesterday.

- Like the person who told you that your eyes light up the world when you smile.

- Like the person whose eyes light up whenever they see you.

- Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things.

- Like the homeless person who asked for money to buy something to eat.

- Or the one who did not, but who just watched you as you walked by trying to ignore him.

- Like the person who showed you that it really is all possible, if only you believe.

- Like the stranger who just happened to come along, when you had lost your way.

- Like the person who touched your heart, when you didn't think you had one to touch.

- God's messengers come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types.

- Some with freckles, some with dimples, some with wrinkles, some without.

- They come disguised as friends, enemies, teachers, students, employers,
employees, co-workers, and fools.

- They don't take life too seriously, they travel light.

- They leave no forwarding address, they ask nothing in return.

- They wear sneakers with gossamer wings, they get a deal on dry cleaning.

- They are hard to find when your eyes are closed.

- But they are everywhere you look, when you choose to see.
Then and now:
1960's vs.  2000's

THEN: Long Hair
NOW: Longing for hair.

THEN: The perfect high.
NOW: The perfect high yield
mutual fund.

THEN: Keg.

THEN: Acid Rock.
NOW: Acid Reflux.

THEN: Moving to California
because it's cool.
NOW: Moving to California
because it's warm.

THEN: You're growing pot.
NOW: Your growing pot.

THEN: Watching John Glenn's
historic flight with your parents.
NOW: Watching John Glenn's
historic flight with your

THEN: Trying to look like
Marlon Brando or Elizabeth
NOW: Trying not to look like
Marlon Brando or Elizabeth

THEN: Seeds and stems.
NOW: Roughage.

THEN: Popping pills, smoking
NOW: Popping joints.

THEN: Our president's
struggle with Fidel.
NOW: Our president's
struggle with fidelity.

THEN: Paar.

THEN: Being caught with
Hustler magazine.
NOW: Being caught with
Hustler magazine.

THEN: Killer weed.
NOW: Weed killer.

THEN: Hoping for a BMW.
NOW: Hoping for a BM.

THEN: The Grateful Dead.
NOW: Dr. Kevorkian.

THEN: Getting out to a new,
hip joint.
NOW: Getting a new hip joint.

THEN: Rolling Stones.
NOW: Kidney stones.

THEN: Being called into the
principal's office.
NOW: Calling the principal's

THEN: Screw the system!
NOW: Upgrade the system.

THEN: Peace sign.
NOW: Mercedes logo.

THEN: Parents begging you to
get your hair cut.
NOW: Children begging you to
get their heads shaved.

THEN: Take acid.
NOW: Take antacid.

THEN: Passing the driver's
NOW: Passing the vision test.

THEN: Swanson's Mushy
chicken in an aluminum
NOW: Lean Cuisine's Mushy
chicken in a plastic bag.

THEN: "Whatever"
NOW: "Depends"

Provided by
A Woman's Prayer

Dear Lord...

So far today, I am doing all right.
I have not gossiped, lost my temper,
been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or
self indulgent.
I have not whined, bitched, cursed, or
eaten any chocolate. I have not charged
on my credit card.

However, I am going to get out of bed in a
few minutes, and I will need a lot more
help after that.


Provided by
Things That Irritate a Sane

A piece of foil candy wrapper makes
electrical contact with your filling.

A station comes in brilliantly when you're
standing near the radio, but buzzes, drifts
and spits every time you move away.

It's bad enough that you step in dog poop,
but you don't realize it till you walk across
your living room rug.

People behind you in a supermarket line
dash ahead of you to a counter just opening

People who ask "Can I ask you a question?"

People who point at their wrist while asking
for the time.

The car behind you blasts its horn because
you let a pedestrian finish crossing.

The elevator stops on every floor and
nobody gets on.

The person behind you in the supermarket
runs his cart into the back of your ankle.

The radio station doesn't tell you who sang
that song.

The tiny red string on the Band-Aid wrapper
never works for you.

There are always one or two ice cubes that
won't pop out of the tray.

There's a dog in the neighborhood that
barks at EVERYTHING.

There's always a car riding your tail when
you're slowing down to find an address.

Three hours and three meetings after lunch
you look in the mirror and discover a piece
of parsley stuck to
your front tooth.

When you need a salesperson, you can
never find one.

You can never put anything back in a
box the way it came.

You can't look up the correct spelling of a
word in the dictionary because you don't
know how to spell it.

You drink from a soda can into which
someone has extinguished a cigarette.

You had that pen in your hand only a second
ago, and now you can't find it.

You have to inform five different sales
people in the same store that you're just

You have to try on a pair of sunglasses with
that stupid little plastic thing in the
middle of them.

You open a can of soup and
the lid falls in.

You reach under the table to pick something
off the floor and smash your head on
the way up.

You rub on hand cream and can't turn the
bathroom doorknob to get out.

You set the alarm on your digital clock for
7pm instead of 7am.

You slice your tongue
licking an envelope.

You wash a garment with a tissue in the
pocket and your entire laundry comes out
covered with lint.

Your glasses slide off your ears when you

Your tire gauge lets out half the air while
you're trying to get a reading.

Provided by
Signs You Are No
Longer a Kid

You're asleep, but others worry
that you're dead.

You can live without sex but not
without glasses.

Your back goes out more than you

You quit trying to hold your
stomach in, no matter who walks
into the room.

You buy a compass for the dash of
your car.

You are proud of your lawn mower.

Your best friend is dating
someone half their age ..... and
isn't breaking any laws.

You call Olan Mills before they call

Your arms are almost too short to
read the newspaper.

You sing along with the elevator

You would rather go to work than
stay home sick.

You constantly talk about the price
of gasoline.

You enjoy hearing about other
people's operations.

You consider coffee one of the
most important things in life.

You make an appointment to see
the dentist.

You no longer think of speed limits
as a challenge.

Neighbors borrow your tools

People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did
I wake you ?"

You answer a question with,
"because I said so!"

You send money to PBS.

The end of your tie doesn't come
anywhere near the top of your

You take a metal detector to the

You wear black socks with

You know what the word "equity"

You can't remember the last time
you laid on the floor to watch

Your ears are hairier than your

You talk about "good grass" and
you're referring to someone's lawn.

You get into a heated argument
about pension plans.

You got cable for the weather

You can go bowling without

You have a party and the
neighbors don't even realize it.

Provided by
What Do You See, Nurse?
--Author Unknown   

What do you see, nurse... what do you see?
Are you thinking - when you look at me:
"A crabbed old woman, not very wise;
Uncertain of habit with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice
'I do wish you'd try.'"

Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe;
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you're thinking, is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse.  
You're not looking at me!

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still.
As I move at your bidding, eat at your will:
- I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another;
- A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon a love she'll meet;

- A bride at twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep;
- At twenty-five now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home.
- A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast.
Bound together with ties that should last.

- At forty, my young sons
have grown up and gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;

- At fifty once more babies play 'round my knee
Again we know children, my loved ones and me...

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead.
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years
and the love that I've known.

I'm an old woman now, and nature is cruel.
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart.
There is a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
And now again my bittered heart swells;
I remember the joys, I remember the pain
and I'm loving and living life over again;

I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last;
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see...
not a crabbed old woman.
Look closer... see me!

[NOTE: This poem was written by a woman who died in
the geriatric ward of Ashludie Hospital near Dunde,
England.  It was found among her possessions and so
impressed the staff that copies were made and
distributed to every nurse in the hospital. Though it was
addressed to the nurses who surrounded the woman in
her last days, it cries for recognition of a common could have been written to all of us.]
Funeral Etiquette
Do's and Don'ts for

Don't attend funerals of people
you don't know.

Don't try to outdo the
family's grief.

Don't use the occasion to

Don't videotape the service.

Don't ask for "just a
peek-a-doodle" if it is a
closed casket.

Don't rate the funeral with a 1-10
rating scale in front of the family.

Don't race the hearse to
the cemetery.

Do offer your help, but don't
charge for it.

Don't make statements like
"something seems fishy to me"
or "I hope they did an autopsy."

Don't remark that the deceased
looks "way better than
they ever did"

Don't sit in the front row of the
church and lean over the seat to
wave at everyone you
know coming in.

Do realize that the grieving
family probably knows the
deceased more than you do:
especially if it is your neighbor
or your friend's aunt.

Don't approach the
widow/widower and ask for the
fifty dollars the deceased
owed you.

Don't make an offer to the
widow/widower on the
deceased clothes.

Don't try to make the grieving
family feel better by handing
them a typewritten list of the
deceased's faults.

Don't climb on headstones to
get a better view.

Don't do impressions
of the deceased.

Don't ask about the "eats" the
minute you arrive at
the funeral home.

Don't ask if there's any booze.

Don't use the word "rooked" if a
discussion of funeral
expenses arises.

Don't ask the widow/widower on
a date at the funeral home.

Don't tell everyone how much
your flower arrangement cost
and offer to show them the bill if
they don't believe you.

Don't remove anything from the
coffin as a memento.

Don't tell the grieving family "it
could be worse" and then go
into a long rambling story about
the passing of your
little dog Blue.

Don't tell the relatives that this
is the smallest funeral
you've ever seen.

Don't use a fake name like "I.P.
Nightly" in the guest book.

Don't offer to make a beer-run.

Provided by

My face in the mirror isn't
wrinkled or drawn.

My house isn't dirty. The
cobwebs are gone.

My garden looks lovely and
so does my lawn.

I think I might never put my
glasses back on.
Foot Prints in the Sand
Words by Mary Stevenson

One night I had a dream.
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord,
And across the sky flashed
scenes of my life.
For each scene I noticed
two sets of footprints in the sand.
One belonging to me
and the other belonging to the Lord.

When the last scene of my life
flashed before me,
I looked at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along
the path of my life
there was only one set of footprints....
I also noticed that it happened
at the very lowest and saddest
times of my life.

This really bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I
decided to follow you-
you would walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the most
troublesome times of my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why in times
when I needed you the most,
you would leave me".

The Lord replied,
"My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you
during the times of your
trials and sufferings.
When you saw only one set of footprints-
It was then that I carried you".
Butt Prints in the Sand
--Author Unknown

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt,"

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."
"Come Visit"
- Author Unknown

You say that you can't do anything.
Can you read? Good. Read to me.
My eyes aren't what they used to be.
Can you write? Good. Write a letter or card for
My hands are shaky.
Can you sing? Good. Help me with the words
and I'll sing along.
Can you tell about your job? I was a nurse once,
Can you listen? Wonderful! I'm starved for
Can you make a sponge cake or zucchini bread
or angel biscuits or fudge? They aren't on the
nursing home menu, but I remember how good
they were and
I  would love to taste them again.
Do you play checkers or dominoes or rummy?
Fine, so do I. But there is never anyone who has
the time.
They are understaffed around here, you know.
Do you play the violin or the flute or the piano?
My hearing is poor, but I can hear any kind of
Even if I fall asleep, you'll know I enjoyed it.
Once we were somebody, just like you. We were
farmers, and farmer's wives, teachers, nurses,
beauticians, stockbrokers, electricians, bankers
and sheriffs,
and maybe a few outlaws, too. We're not all
senile - just old and needing more attention than
our families
can give us. This home, whatever its name,
is "home" to us, and you're an invited guest.
Please come. The welcome mat is always out -
not just on Thanksgiving.  I hope you keep this
and read it again in
January, February, and every other month of the
year. We'll still be here and our needs will be the

**This was printed Sat, July 18, 1987 by Dear Abby.
You Know It Will Be a Bad Day When

Your horn sticks on the freeway behind 32 Hell's Angels.

The worst player on the golf course wants to play you for money.

You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.

You get to work and find a "60 Minutes" news team
waiting in your office.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

You turn on the evening news and they are showing
emergency routes out of the city.

Your twin sister forgets your birthday.

Your 4-year-old tells you that it's almost impossible to flush a grapefruit
down the toilet.

You realize that you just sprayed spot remover under your arms instead of

You discover that your 12-year-old's idea of humor is putting crazy glue in
your Preparation H.

You have to sit down to brush your teeth in the morning.

You start to put up the clothes you wore home from the party last night.......
and there aren't any.

It costs more to fill up your car than it did to buy it.

You wake up to the soothing sound of running water...and remember that
you just bought a waterbed.

Your car payment, house payment, and girlfriend
are three months overdue.

Everyone avoids you the morning after the company office party.

The bird singing outside your window is a vulture.

You wake up and your braces are stuck together.

You call your answering service and they tell you it's
none of your business.

Your blind date turns out to be your ex-wife/ex-husband.

Your income tax refund check bounces.

You put both contact lenses in the same eye.

You compliment the boss' wife on her unusual perfume
and she isn't wearing any.

You need one bathroom scale for each foot.

You call your wife and tell her that you would like to eat out tonight and when
you get home there is a sandwich on the front porch.

The restaurant check has been on the table for ten minutes...
and no one has touched it.

Nothing you own is actually paid for.

You go on your honeymoon to a remote little hotel and
the desk clerk, bell hop, and manager have a "Welcome Back"
party for your new spouse.

You receive a 150 page instruction booklet on how to save money...from the
electric company.
Airline food starts to taste good.

Your mother approves of the person you are dating.

Your doctor tells you that you are allergic to chocolate chip cookies.

You have to borrow from your VISA to pay off your MASTERCARD.

You realize that you have memorized the back of your cereal box.

Your cat abandons the nice box you prepared for her and has her kittens in
your dresser drawer.

Everyone loves your driver's license picture.

You realize that the phone number on the bathroom
wall of the bar is yours.

Your kids start treating you the same way you treated your parents.

The health inspector condemns your office coffee maker.

You look out the window of the airplane and the B.F. Goodrich Blimp
is gaining on you.

The gypsy fortune teller offers to refund your money.

People think you are 40...and you really are.

You are pigging out at McDonald's by yourself and the manager
orders the numbers on the sign outside changed.

Your new lover calls to tell you "Last night was terrific." and you remember
that you were home by yourself.

Everyone is laughing but you.

Provided by
Wrong e-mail

A couple from Minneapolis
decided to go to Florida to thaw
out during one particularly icy
winter. They planned to stay at
the very same hotel where they
spent their honeymoon 20 years
earlier.  Because of hectic
schedules, it was difficult to
coordinate their travel
schedules. So, the husband left
Minnesota and flew to Florida on
Thursday, with his wife flying
down the following day.

The husband checked into the
hotel. There was a computer in
his room, so he decided to send
an e-mail to his wife. However,
he accidentally left out one letter
in her e-mail address, and
without realizing his error,
he sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile.....somewhere in
Houston, a widow had just
returned home from her
husband's funeral. He was a
minister of many years who was
called home to glory following a
sudden heart attack. The widow
decided to check her e-mail,
expecting messages from
relatives and friends. After
reading the first message, she
fainted. The widow's son rushed
into the room, found his mother
on the floor, and saw the
computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 May 2002

I know you're surprised to hear
from me. They have computers
here now and you are allowed to
send e-mails to your loved ones.
I've just arrived and have been
checked in. I see that everything
has been prepared for your
arrival tomorrow. Looking
forward to seeing you then!
Hope your journey is as
uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!
Love, Lust and Marriage

Love: When you take a bubble bath together
Lust: When you take a bath in Jell-o together
Marriage: When you give the kids a bath

Love: A romantic candle-light dinner for two
Lust: "Do I have to buy you dinner first?"
Marriage: 4 McDonald's Happy Meals . . . to go

Love: Giving your love some candy
Lust: Thinking you are the candy
Marriage: Scraping the kids' candy off of the carpet

Love: Sex every night
Lust: Sex 5 times a night
Marriage: What's sex?

Love: A night out at the symphony
Lust: A night out at the Holiday Inn
Marriage: A night out at Sesame Street On Ice

Love: French perfume
Lust: Brut aftershave
Marriage: "The baby needs changing. . ."

Love: Lending your jacket to your love
when he/she is cold
Lust: "I can think of a way to stay warm . . ."
Marriage: Your teenaged daughter has
borrowed all of your jackets

Love: Talking and cuddling
Lust: Rolling over and falling asleep
Marriage: Getting up to wash your hands . . .

Love: Finding the "Fell in Love on AOL" room
Lust: Finding the "Blonde Dominatrix" room
Marriage: Finding the "Married and Looking" room

Love: Long drives through the countryside
Lust: Long parking sessions at Lover's Lookout
Marriage: Long drives with the kids
screaming in the backseat.

Provided by
The Sin

Two elderly, excited Southern
women were sitting together in
the front pew of church listening
to a fiery preacher.

When this preacher condemned
the sin of stealing, these two
ladies cried out at the tops of
their lungs, "AMEN, BROTHER!"

When the preacher condemned
the sin of lust, they yelled again,

And when the preacher
condemned the sin of lying, they
jumped to their feet and
screamed, "RIGHT ON,

But when the preacher
condemned the sin of gossip,
the two got very quiet. One
turned to the other and said,
"He's quit preaching
and now he's meddlin'."
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Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

Copyright 2004-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved


- If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.
- I don't get even, I get odder.
- I am having an out of money experience.
- I am in shape. Round is a shape.
- I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of widths.
- Practice safe eating, always use condiments.
- Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
- Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand.
- It hurts to be on the cutting edge.
- If marriage were outlawed, only outlaws would have
- If it weren't for me, there'd just be a pile of my
clothes on the floor.
- I am not a perfectionist.
My parents were though.