Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Teaching the Old Dog New Tricks

Getting old is not for sissies. Raise your hand if you've heard that one. Raise your hand if you've reached the age where you realize it's a true statement. Anyone else wake up in the morning with a smile and immediately remember you need to take inventory before trying to get out of bed? How about getting up carefully so you can steady yourself so you don't take a tumble on your way to the bathroom instead of jumping up ready to hit the gym? And speaking of the bathroom, by the time you do wake up to start the day how many other times were you up during the night? Those 8 glasses of water keep us busy, don't they?

NUTRITION FACT:
If you drink a gallon of water every day, 
you won't have time for other people's drama
because you'll be too busy peeing.

Wasn't it just a couple years ago when I could get up and do what I had to do? I know I got slower but these other nuisances took me by surprise. Of course, as Dad would quickly remind me, at least you're moving. Yes indeed. Moving just in a different way. And with caution.


Even in the kitchen, I'm finding things I have to do differently, too. For example, I'm left-handed and my index finger on my left hand has developed what feels like arthritis, not surprising as it has been in my family for generations but which, in no uncertain terms- sucks. So, I'm having to find different ways to hold cooking utensils and might even have to teach myself to use them with my right hand. And please try to open packages when both of your thumbs have arthritis issues as well. It's like I'm going to have to learn how to be something without opposable thumbs. Let's be honest though, a lot of the packaging was impossible to open before this happened without using scissors. Or a hacksaw. And for goodness sakes y'all when it comes to dicing up onions into tiny pieces that task is so much easier if you use the sharp edge of the knife whether your fingers have pain or not.   

The appetite changes. Hardly anything tastes all that great anymore which is super good because there are pounds needing to be shed but super bad because it doesn't stop me from eating it just stops me from enjoying it so much. And we won't even go into the digestive issues that accompany the aging process because those of you who have reached a certain age are probably already familiar and those who are not of a certain age well, just don't even worry about it until you get there. 


I went car shopping and I'm still in the search process. How terrible is it when you go looking for a car and you just find one you like but decide against it because it's too high and will hurt your hip but it can't be too low because it's too much of a strain on your back and knees when you climb out and if you think that's easy when you stand 5'10" think again. 

Items located on low shelves are reached by other people or else they stay put until someone else is around who doesn't have a problem with their back. And heavy stuff? I used to be able to outlift a lot of people but not so much anymore. Unless I want to pull about a thousand muscles. If there's no one around to help out the heavy stuff stays put because I am not a fan of my hands and/or back screaming at me in their high pitched voices. I'm one of those who likes to make sure things are nice and clean under the furniture and being the fridge and now I let a cleaning service do it and yes I did ask if they went under the furniture. They do. Whew.


What about lighting? Seriously, is there a light bright enough to read that small print without shining the light directly onto the page or bottle or whatever? This is where Amazon gets a high five from me for offering free Kindle downloads directly onto my phone and computer enabling me to read anything I want at any time. Yay!

Have any of you tried standing up from a low seat while holding a two-year-old who loves you to pieces and doesn't want you to put her down? Luckily, there is something I call 'super Amma powers' that allows me to rise up from that low seat with Lula Mae in my arms without screaming. Ok, I am screaming but it's in my head because externally I am all smiles that say, "why yes, sweetie, Amma would love to hold you while getting up out of this low chair and carry you into the nursery to play because y'all, look at this face. Who wouldn't do anything she wants?


Seriously, what in the world did people who don't have SOs or four daughters who are more than willing to help you with these things do?


All in all, I really have no complaints. What I have are differences and the whole problem is learning how to readjust and deal with those differences. Changing my nutritional intake, practicing Yoga and meditation, walking, making sure I'm lifting with my legs, blah blah blah. It's not that I don't know what to do it's that I am not doing it.

As my friend, Leslie, says at Les Than Perfect, take it slow and easy. Just change one tiny little 10-minute thing at a time. Ok, I can probably do that. Do y'all think sleeping in an extra 10 minutes/day is what she had in mind?


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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ups and Downs with the Wednesday Medley

Terri says this might be fun. Wrong. It IS fun! AND I actually made it on the actual day instead of Thursday! I'm on a roll, y'all. I've had a great week already as my best friend from college came by yesterday morning and we visited for a couple hours. Tomorrow, another friend will come by for a cup of Christmas cheer. Friends are the best, aren't they? And grandchildren. :)

Now, on with the medley. 




1. On December 5, 1901, Walt Disney was born. Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World? I have been to both. Can you share a favorite Disney memory? I'm not much of a Disney fan. I mean, I liked watching The Wonderful World of Disney when I was growing up but that was mostly because Kurt Russell might be on and I would never have wanted to miss him. LOL Yes, he's older than I but that mattered not to my elementary school self. I adored him! There's a story in the next response.

2. The first roller coaster attraction at Walt Disney World was Space Mountain. Do you/did you like roller coasters? That's a big 'ol NO. However, I did ride that darn thing with my dad in 1987 when we took ArtistDaugther (two and a half at the time) and NashvilleDaughter (5 months old at the time) and it wasn't that bad but that was because it was dark and I couldn't see what was coming. And when my aunt took me to Disneyland we rode a roller coaster. Back in those days a lot of women enjoyed wearing wigs and my trendy aunt was one of them. When we got on the ride she asked if her wig was going to fly off and the girl said, "You might want to hold on to it." So my aunt rode with one hand on the bar and one hand on her wig. LOL

3. The very first fairy tale that Walt Disney made a cartoon about was Little Red Riding Hood. Did you enjoy fairy tales when you were a youngster or did they scare you? I was between thinking they were silly and being terrified. Did you have a favorite? No, but Hansel and Gretel gave me nightmares for years. 

4. In Lady & the Tramp, Tramp's real name was Butch! Do you have nicknames for your fur babies and/or your children? I do. I often call Tucker Tucky or Tucky Poo or Stinky Poo or Baby. I call the grandbabies Lula Mae and Opie and my girls are Breezy, Deanie, Bird, and DoodleBug (and sometimes Little Bit or Shrimp---she's the shortest in the family).

5. I can't let this day go by without respecting George H. W. Bush, as he lays in state in the Rotunda of our Capital today. He was our 41st President and only the second father to have a son follow him as President of the United States. President Bush loved his colorful socks. I bought Joe a pair of George H. W. Bush socks for Christmas one year. I know Myra has a pair...any other bloggers checking in today who have a pair of the Presidential socks in a drawer at home? Nope. Didn't even know this fun fact about him. How do you feel about colorful socks? I have no feelings about them as far as I know. I'm not a fan of socks unless it's really cold and my toes are freezing but then I put on my big, floppy socks and they are all blue or black or gray. I have a friend who ADORES colorful and crazy socks. He's the pastor of a church in the upstate and when he left our area a few of us gave him a box full of crazy, colorful socks. He loved them! Oh, and he's a Dallas fan and his wife is a Panthers' fan so we gave him Panthers' socks. That was hilarious. We had a pair of Dallas socks but hid them until later. 

6. Please tell us something random about your week! The Christmas decorating is pretty much done around here and the most fun of all was the big tree because two little people hung about a hundred ornaments on the same 5 branches. The rest of us hung ornaments all over the tree but apparently, this is not cool with Lula Mae as every time she comes over she takes ornaments off the tree and puts them in the area she and Opie chose the first day of decorating. Y'all, it's both hilarious and the cutest thing ever. And for those of you who don't follow me via social media, there's this: 

And this:








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Monday, December 3, 2018

Big Fat Lazy Bum?

There are a lot of services out there these days I thought I'd never use and yet, here I am today for a little bit of a confession--I'm taking advantage of at least three of these services.

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Let's start with online Christmas shopping.
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Most of you probably remember I have a strong aversion to crowds. I don't want to be too close to strangers who bump into me and don't bother to voice an apology or too close to those who do express an oops, sorry. I don't want to be too close to those who are out there spreading their illness to everyone and their brother whether they say excuse me or not as they sneeze right into my face. I don't want to be close to people in general and I certainly am not a fan of the way some folks drag their little kids out for a 10 hour shopping day when the kids are obviously tired and hungry and having zero fun and why in the world they do that to those poor kiddos is beyond me. So, I do 97% of my shopping online not just to avoid the crowds but also because the deals I get online far outweigh those I ever received from going inside a brick and mortar monster. Plus, I can take my time and find more unique gifts this way. How much of my Christmas shopping is done online? At least 99%.

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How about online grocery shopping?
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In related news, I've been taking advantage of ordering groceries online for the last couple months after I swore I would NEVER it. Never say never. I used to wonder why in the world people would let someone else touch their food and make choices for them. I might have even been a little judgy when I saw people pull up to the speaker with no apparent need for such service though I did quickly remind myself to stop that as we never know what's going on in other people's lives. I thought ordering groceries online and just picking them up would be more for people who are disabled or mos with young kids because seriously, who doesn't remember hauling your kids into the grocery store watching other people judge you because your kids didn't want to be there any more than you did and also seriously anybody who wants to hear what it was like never experienced it. I use to haul four little ones in there between the ages of newborn and 6 so yeah, I remember and maybe for older folks who are tired or maybe their back hurts anyway, that's why I thought the online shopping was created.


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Yes, I'm a little bit on the lazy side, however...
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Well folks, let me tell you something. Online grocery shopping is for people like me. People who do not like crowds, people who don't care for the heat and humidity of the low-country, people who like to make things easier for themselves instead of harder than they need to be. Am I lazy? Ok, we've had this conversation here before, too. Yeah, I'm a little bit on the lazy side. I prefer activities that don't make me sweat or breathe heavily. But shopping for groceries online has just become pure common sense to me at this point.

Another huge benefit and one thing that keeps me going back to shopping online for groceries is one guy at my grocery store who shops just like I do. He checks the fruit to see if there are any moldy pieces sitting in the container, he checks the dates on all perishables and he gets me deals like y'all wouldn't believe. Plus, he's just the sweetest and my whole family loves him. I think I am an online grocery shopper for life.

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Apparently, my standards have changed.
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The final service I recently started using is a cleaning service. Yes, I did. I thought I'd give it another shot but wasn't holding out much hope because I've tried them before and quickly discovered that no one cleans like I do so it was always short-lived. This time, they did a fabulous job because I didn't have to do it and because my standards have changed which happens when you get a little older and become desperate because you're so busy you need to resource one more thing out to someone else. That being said, they did do a pretty good job. They moved items to dust and their vacuum went under the furniture so I'm happy with that. Shoot, they even cleaned the ceiling fans which is something I only think about doing when I notice all the dust that has collected on the blades.


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Raise your hand if cleaning your house has become difficult.
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Cleaning the way I used to clean is becoming more and more difficult for me not just because of the time issue but also because I can't seem to get on my hands and knees and go all over the floor and under the furniture like I used to do once/month and moving the fridge and all those other big cleaning related things you have to do every so often. Am I disabled? No. Am I lazy? What? This again? Kind of but not this lazy. I simply don't enjoy pain and I am not a fan of housework though I do love the end result. What I am is a person with fibromyalgia and arthritis who is trying to run a small, creative business from home and still have plenty of time to spend with her family. Creating for CoasterDoodles is something I love to do but it is time-consuming and I'm going to say right now you people who are moms with young children and trying to run an Etsy store or work outside the home or whatever it is you do to support your family financially AND clean your house AND spend time with your family---I have no idea how you do it all so yes to relieve stress and free up time I'm using a cleaning service guilt-free and I highly recommend it. 

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Who does the heavy lifting at your house?
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Let's face it, if your household is like mine you do the heavy lifting during the holidays as well as other times during the year so why not take advantage of services designed to make life a little bit easier? Things that give us more time not just to relax but to enjoy our family and friends. If shopping for groceries online and picking them up or having them delivered, and shopping for Christmas gifts online, and hiring a cleaning service gives me more time and makes me feel less stressed then yes, I'm going to do it. Maybe I just don't have what it takes like my grandmother did. She was a master of preparing the holiday feast and cleaning her house and getting things done like grocery shopping without help from anyone all the while humming through her days without one single complaint.



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Being grateful and attending the tasks are different subjects.
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I do try to remind myself to be thankful I have dishes to wash beccause that means I have food to eat, and a bathroom to clean because that means I have indoor plumbing, running water, electricity and a bed to sleep in with clean sheets but while being grateful is easy attending the tasks at hand when I would rather be creating  or spending time with my adorable grandchildren is not so easy. Given the choice between cleaning and shopping vs sitting on the floor with my grandchildren I'm going to be found on the floor.

I guess what it boils down to is this- if there's a way to avoid the oppressive heat and humidity (you had to know this was coming...) of the low-country, I'm going to do it. If there's a way to lower my stress level even a little bit, I'm going to do it. If there's a way to make more time for creating and for spending time with my family and friends, I'm going to do it.

One more thing, and it's important. When you decide to have Thanksgiving over the weekend instead of on Thanksgiving Day, make sure you either have food in the house or have made plans to order something or know what restaurants are open because if you don't you will spend 3 hours looking all over town for someone, anyone who is open with something to eat besides pizza. And don't go by what the internet tells you because apparently, the internet fibs on Thanksgiving Day about such things.

Ok, for real last thing! Y'all, please go and visit my friend, Leslie's post about this very subject right HERE. She's AMAZING and y'all will absolutely LOVE her! Tell her I sent you when you leave her some love in the comments! Thanks! 



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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Speeding Through Fall

Gosh, I'm late again! It's going to take me a minute to get back in the swing of a regular Wednesday blog meeting but I am truly thrilled you're doing this, Terri! It's hard to believe how quickly fall is speeding by and Christmas will be here before we know it. How do we slow it down? 






1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy? It did. Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you? Don't tell the highway patrol but...I'm kidding. I used to have a heavy foot but I stick to the speed limit now. But yes, I'm ok with 70 just not so ok with anything over that and am most comfortable around 60-65. 


2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch? Girl, it's football season so I'll be watching football! I make time for Christmas movies because I love them but when football is being played it's on my television. 


3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again? A roller coaster that made a circle. Never. Again. And I never have. 


4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  I did not have French toast yesterday. Do you like French Toast? I LOVE it! Especially when my dad makes it. 


5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted? My tree is up and it is all lit up. It is still missing the garland but I'll get to that soon. Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays? I have not but while watching the festivities in New York via tv last night I thought I would quite like to go and witness it firsthand one year. I mean, if it's that spectacular on television imagine what it's like in person!


6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours. My little Lula Mae was here this week with an ear infection. I sure do hate it when the grands are sick but I do enjoy having them here. She was out of school 2 days and then right back and full steam ahead. That one is a trooper for sure. And a moose in a china shop. Ha!

Last year:

This year:


What a difference a year makes. 
And yet, the fascination continues. 




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Monday, November 26, 2018

New Traditions

Sometimes when a holiday rolls around and your kids have kids and families, things will get turned around a little bit and different plans are made and in the midst of all the changes we have a choice to feel left out or betrayed or we can embrace it and discover the possibility of new traditions.

When a couple family members decided to get away a couple of days over the Thanksgiving break our family chose to embrace it and try something new. Something different. Meaning when Thanksgiving did not happen on Thanksgiving Day it did happen on Sunday and guess what? The world did not come to an end. That's right! We not only survived, we thrived. The only thing different was the day. We still had all the traditional family foods followed by the traditional feelings of why the hell did I eat so much followed by another plate or three. AND I got my tree decorated! AND the grandbabies were here to help! This could very well become a new tradition in our family.

When TeacherDaughter is in the house, every moment is a teachable moment. Opie wanted to help cook the mac and cheese and TeacherDaughter let him. 
When the lovelies were growing up we always decorated the tree Thanksgiving weekend or at least no later than the following weekend and what I discovered when they grew up and move out was I hate decorating the tree alone so this solves that problem. Seriously, who doesn't enjoy decorating the tree when grandkiddos can help?

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Once the kids grow up and move out, we have to be willing to make adjustments, especially during the holidays.
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I am one of those stickler people who like to celebrate a birthday on the actual birthday, Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas on Christmas Eve and Day. I don't go for this 'well, your birthday is on Thursday so we'll celebrate over the weekend or celebrate Thanksgiving in October or Christmas on New Year's Eve but what we empty nesters find out rather quickly is when our kids grow up and move out on their own we have to be willing to make adjustments. Otherwise, we might get left out altogether and nobody wants that, I know I don't. So, we adjust.

Some pictures were blurry but I think y'all can see how much he enjoyed helping!
I'm not going to say I didn't feel sad at first especially since this is our first big holiday season without Mother so all that sentimentality and melancholy and those sweet childhood memories of the way we celebrated each holiday as a family becomes even more emotional when you find out one or both grandchildren will not be able to come on the actual Thanksgiving Day and you do tend to feel a little bit let down.
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If we are not open to change we're going to be very disappointed and have a lot of sadness in our lives.
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The problem is if you let that disappointment take hold you're not going to be open to the possibility of trying something different. It's true I am not one of those who is always open to change because tried-and-true is my thing and because I like comfort and because I am not a fan of uncertain and the unknown. But what I dislike more than change is the very thought of celebrating with only one or two people or not celebrating at all when I have to do is make a change and we can almost all be together. If we are not open to doing something different every once in a while, we're going to be very disappointed and have a lot of sadness in our lives.

Everyone enjoyed the feast! There was the usual
overabundance  of food but I think we handled it well. 
All that to say, our family celebrated Thanksgiving 3 days late this year, on Sunday. We had the traditional Thanksgiving feast and everyone was here except NashvilleDaughter and DrummerBoy but they always spend Thanksgiving with DrummerBoy's family plus his sweet family had a funeral over Thanksgiving which is never easy but even harder over the holidays. So, we gathered with our feast on Sunday, we played games, we made plans for Christmas (when we will all be together and then some), we set up my Christmas tree, and the grandbabies were here! If I had not been open to doing something different I would have missed out on one of the most wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations we're had in our history of family Thanksgiving celebrations.

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What it boils down to is what is more important- the reason behind the change or getting to spend time with our family?
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So, friends, things are not always going to stay the same but if we are willing to be open to doing something different we may find even more joy in that than we did in previous celebrations. Be open to doing something different and always, always be willing to do what it takes to spend time with your family. Don't overthink it. What it boils down to it what is more important- the reason for the change or getting to spend time with family? Spoiler alert! It's spending time with our family. Do they want to celebrate on Sunday instead of Thursday? Do it. Would they rather you come to their house? Go. Are their in-laws extending an invitation to you? GO. Are they asking you to give up Thanksgiving but they'll be home for Christmas? Do it.

I don't know when my tree has been more beautiful! Especially
that one area in front that spans about a two square foot
area and holds about 50 ornaments. 
Be flexible. Be willing. Open your hearts to new and exciting celebrations. Just make sure there's a television nearby for watching football. Just sayin'.




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