Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is It My Age?

Yesterday was my birthday and so, I set out on a very small adventure to a near-by town. My goal was to visit the Talbot's store there to see if perhaps I could find a little tailored shell or two to wear on those days when I have a consulting job. I can usually find just what I want at Talbot's but if that fails, I can ALWAYS find what I want at the Chico's next door. Wow, was I mistaken!

I don't know what's happened to the Talbot's line of clothing but I couldn't find anything tailored in the entire store. Well, that's not exactly true. I found a few tailored blouses but I just can't seem to pay $88 for one shirt or top. And then there were the tops and blouses with ruffles. Who in their right mind wears ruffles at my age? I stayed in the store just long enough to realize that I was NOT going to find anything in Talbot's and ventured over to Chico's. Wow, what a shock.

I found sequins and see-through fabric, crazy belts, and very short little skirts. Not for me, thank you. Usually, at least, Chico's has a 50% off sale in July so if I am a bit hesitant about a garment, I can try it for much less money. But no luck for me in that department. New duds were not my karma for the day.

So I decided that I had better take good care of my current clothing and have it all gathered up to take to the dry cleaners today. And on the way home, I will stop at my favorite consignment shop to see it perhaps one or two little Talbot's tops from yesteryear are hanging on the racks waiting for me to purchase them. I know it may be my age; I know I am cheap. But I refuse to pay $88 for a garment the size of a napkin.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Gift For Me

I have a birthday this month and so, last week, I bought myself a present. I don't usually buy myself gifts because I am a very thrifty saver and don't buy something unless it's very practical. At least most of the time. To give you an idea of how practical I am, I need to tell you a story that took place when I was fifteen.

My father's cousin Louis came to visit us from South America and I had never met him before. He spent the entire Sunday afternoon with us, enchanting us with stories of his country and mesmerizing us with his sparkling personality. When he was going out the door to leave, he pressed something into the palm of my hand. After he had left, I realized that he had given me a one hundred dollar bill. Now at fifteen, I did not use the money to buy clothes and I did not use the money to buy shoes. I used the money to buy myself a sewing machine.When Louis found out how practical I was and how sensibly I had spent my money, he gave me another hundred just to blow on anything frivolous I could think of.

But I digress. The birthday gift I bought for myself is a Kindle. Now, mind you, I don't "need" a Kindle. I can certainly carry a book around and read from a book and turn the pages of a book. But the Kindle just fascinates me to pieces. Just think, it can hold 3500 books, magazines, and newspapers. I can't carry all of that around with me. And I can adjust the font to accommodate my aging eyes. What could be better than that? And it is the size of a paperback book and weighs almost nothing. So I bought Kindle and a very cute little lime green leather case to protect it. And I have already purchased three of the latest books and downloaded several free ones.

I know I will love having the Kindle with me as I travel in our tiny little travel trailer. There is very little space for books in there. And I can have the latest books with me on the road and not have to wait in the virtual queue until it's my turn at the library. I will be 68 years old this month. I think it's time to be a little frivolous.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

From Lao Tzu

I found this today and felt compelled to share it.

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.

- Lao Tzu

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm A Big Girl Now

I did something yesterday that I have been terrified of doing for over ten years. I got a cortisone shot in my hip. I have heard horror stories of cortisone shots. That the needle is ten inches long; that it is really painful; blah, blah, blah. I am a big baby; I don't like pain. I am a terrible patient.

Ten years ago, I fell from a scooter while on a crazy ride in Italy. About one month later, I was seized with hip pain so intense that I could not sit . I could only stand and I could lie down. So I would be driven to work while lying down in the back seat and I would stand all day at work. I suffered this pain because I was terrified to get a cortisone shot. How much sense does that make? After about six weeks, the pain went away. Whew, saved!!

So fast forward ten years. Last fall, while in Cuba with my daughter, I began to have discomfort again in my hip. After walking for a while, I found it necessary to sit and rest. I was becoming an old woman. I don't like that image of myself. My daughter commented that I was not quite a spry as I had been in Mexico three years earlier. Ouch!

In April, while at EPCOT with one of my other daughters, the same thing happened. I had to stop and rest much more than normal. My daughter offered to rent an electric power chair for me. "No thank you", I said, " It's not that I don't want to grow old. It's just that I don't want to grow old, JUST YET. "

Well, the old hip hasn't gotten any better. In fact, it's gotten worse. I am having trouble working in the garden; I have pain all the time; it is wearing me down. After sitting in the car for only thirty or forty minutes, I have to get out and stretch. I am taking a cross-country trip in the fall. Can you imagine how long that trip will take if I have to get out and stretch every thirty minutes?

So last week, I went to see an Orthopedist. He took x-rays of my hip and identified an inflamed bursa, the sac on the outside of the hip that connects to all the other muscles and ligaments in the leg. He suggested one of two things: either a cortisone shot or medication such as Celebrex. Well, the other thing I'm terrified of is medication with insane Celebrex. So, guess what? I made the decision to put on my big girl pants and get the shot.

My appointment was scheduled for yesterday. Now, I have worried about the shot all week. I have awakened in the middle of the night worrying about the shot. I have researched the shot, the side effects of the shot, the needle size for the shot, ad infinitum.

So this is how it went:
1. I positioned myself on the table, lying on my side.
2. Mr. Doctor Miracle came in, swabbed my "bursa" spot
3. Mr. Doctor Miracle sprayed something on the spot
4. Mr. Doctor says, "Are you alright?"
5. I say, "Of course I'm all right; you haven't put the needle in yet".
6. Mr. Doctor the Magnificent says, "Yes, I have, we're finished."
7. I become effusive and have to control myself not to kiss Mr. Doctor

I can't believe I have put off comfort because of my irrational fear of a cortisone shot. Today, the hip area is sore but in about three days, Mr. Doctor said my pain will be only a memory. I should be fine to travel across the country without having to stop every thirty minutes. I'm a Big Girl now!!

Monday, July 4, 2011


I spent the evening last night with Gary and Kathy, my two first friends and employers nine years ago when I moved to Ocala. Gary and Kathy are food purists and dinner at their home is always an event. Gary is an avid fisherman and he and Kathy had caught many pounds of fresh Florida red snapper that was begging to be eaten. In addition, their friend Nels, a cattle rancher who lives here in Ocala, brought over his special recipe of chorizo sausage mix made with his home grown pork.

Kathy put together the most amazing fish chowder I've ever had. I was expecting a tomato-based chowder but, instead, she made a very simple New England milk and cream based soup with fresh snapper, potatoes, tons of spices, fish stock and butter. Oh my, it was simply exquisite.

She then stuffed eggplant with the chorizo sausage and created a baked eggplant delicacy that I could not quit eating. The meal was accompanied by thinly sliced cucumbers in a light sour cream and vinegar dressing and topped off with a glass of fine wine.

One of the things I love about dinner at Gary and Kathy's is that there is always great conversation about new recipes to try, new books to read, and new places to travel. They are both such generous people, were amazingly generous bosses, and continue to be very good friends.

Kathy sent me home with a satiated appetite, several pounds of snapper to put in the freezer, and the promise of another visit soon.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I used to love summer when I was a little girl. Time off from school; trips to the library; reading books on the couch in our big living room with all the windows and doors open (no AC back then). There was watermelon served on the wooden picnic table in the yard, crab suppers, trips to the ice cream stand, and sleeping as late as I could given the mother that I had.

I have grown to be wary of summer. Summer is hot here in Florida and getting hotter every year. I love the yard and I love the garden. But it is so hot during the summer, that I can barely stand to work outside for fifteen minutes. And it rains weeds here in the summer. I can't keep up with the weeding and so I let it go for much too long. And my body is rebelling. I am sore in so many places that sometimes yard work is really hard for me. I have to use one of the little kneeling stools if I want to be able to walk when I'm through.

So, I don't weed very often. And I don't plant as many plants as I used to. Instead, I sit on the porch beneath the ceiling fan and eat watermelon. And so I look at the garden from a distance. Because almost anything looks better from a distance......and the imperfections are not evident....and I don't feel guilty.....and I can continue eating watermelon and making garden plans for fall.