Monday, November 26, 2012

A woman of a certain age...

A woman of a certain age may feel in her heart like she’s 18 years old, or 20, or maybe 25, 30, or 35.

But what she sees in the mirror when she looks at herself is a face that shows every one of the 50 or 60 or 70 years that she actually is. Who is this “old person” looking back at me?

I especially like the essay “Old Lady in the Mirror”

Having good genes helps, having good bone structure helps, having lived a good lifestyle helps (especially not smoking)—all of these things help to preserve a sense of “youngness,” in one's appearance, but having laughed a great deal in the 40-plus years since one was 20, and what age does to the jawline and the lines that extend from the edge of the nose to the outside corners of the mouths, and what happens under the chin, gives it away.

I can try to act like I am not “60-something.” I can still act "young at heart" (as long as my joints will let me) but I can’t pretend that I am still 24, or 30, or 40.

I made the mistake of taking a profile picture of myself so I could show my sister my haircut, which I have now gotten “used to” even though it is still too short. I don’t often see myself from the “side,” and it was something of a surprise to see that there is enough of a turkey neck there to make it dangerous to go out in the woods during turkey season...

which is why I retook the photograph with my hand under my chin to help hide it.

I was visiting with a friend about how that now that we are indeed “women of a certain age," and although we have not given up on attempts to look as good as we can, we have become invisible to younger men -- we are now their "mothers" and are no longer in the “breeding pool," we are not seen as “sexual objects,” and so their eyes tend to slide right over us. We are no longer being "checked out."

We have decided that is really "OK," because both of us love our husbands very much and we are not on the prowl for another man. We are not Cougars. But in some ways, to become invisible is rather invalidating.

Although most women in the U.S. who visit plastic surgeons do so to augment their breasts or for liposuction, a substantial proportion have operations to fix the signs of aging on their face – whether it’s their eyelids, a “facelift,” or injections to reduce the lines on their face, especially middle-aged women who are still in the workforce and competing with younger women. I can understand now a bit better why they do it.

I have gotten some rather expensive Clinique make-up that does an amazing job hiding the permanent flush in my cheeks and chin, which I use on certain occasions, but I won’t be getting plastic surgery.

As uncomfortable as I have been on occasions in my own skin over the years, I am just going to work at accepting me as I am now and am going to become as more years pass, and get on with enjoying life as best I can.

My brother sent me a lovely blue scarf (along with coloring pencils and dental floss sticks for my birthday). If I can figure out how to drape it around my neck, I may just do so. My wardrobe in the future may also sport turtleneck sweaters.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bent out of shape…

Having concluded that our favorite way of preparing sweet potatoes (aside from sweet potato fries, or sweet potato chips... or) is to leave the peels on and cook them in the microwave, and then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil so that they continue to cook, it is imperative that the sweet potato be stabbed repeatedly—and deeply—with a fork all over to make sure there are enough holes to let steam escape so that it does not explode inside the microwave.

Sweet potatoes are somewhat denser than white potatoes...

 and it is best not to use a cheap fork to do this.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

My brother called very early this morning -- for him out there on the Left Coast -- to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. They were planning the meal for 4 pm and he invited us over for dessert.

Sure, I said. We'll just hop in the car and come on out...

I have had the blessing of having a wonderful family and I am truly thankful...

Here is a picture of us on Thanksgiving Day in 1963

And here we were 2 years ago about a week before Thanksgiving...

I have a great deal of wistfulness on this day of giving thanks. I do miss them very much; but, I will be sprouting wings and flying out there to see them in a week. Yea! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

A little piece of my heart...

Last Tuesday she walked out of the Animal Rescue Shelter and into our lives.

She weighs 14 pounds and a few ounces. She seems to have enough energy to power a small town.

We go on a 2-mile walk, and we come home exhausted, and she is still bright and lively and acts like she could go another 2 miles. I suspect she could quite easily pull me on roller blades.

She has captured our hearts.

She is far more of a hunter than our other dog was. She is convinced there is a rat living under some old rusted file cabinets that our barn has fallen down around.

She is probably right. 

She is obsessed with catching it.

We did not want a “yappy little dog,” and, fortunately, she is not. She is very quiet. She has barked once—and that was because she was beside herself trying to get to a rabbit.

The cat is not exactly thrilled with the new animal in the house, but they are getting long remarkably well. Squeaker came up to her the other day and gave her a head-butt, which is what Squeaker does to us when she wants us to scratch her head. And we are breathing easier.

We have not named her yet; for the moment, she is Little Doggie. Unless, as my friend says, she picks her own name, that is probably what we will end up calling her.

We are very glad she has come into our lives.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I am excited... and terrified

The 7-Up distributor in town went out of business years ago, and the various buildings connected with it have sat vacant ever since. Then, a few months ago, one of them was painted a hideous acid-green color and occupied by an animal rescue group.

I had told them that we would rescue a West Highland terrier, or a small terrier mix of that type, or a Schnauzer, or...

And they called me on Saturday and said they had a purebred Schnauzer. 

I saw this little silvery dog dog yesterday when I stopped by the place after church. I fell in love her. How could I not.

They put her in a room with some cats, and she showed no interest. They stuck a young kitten in front of her and she sniffed at it and the kitten bared it claws and she backed off. I know the cat is not going to be happy, but I was reasonably convinced the dog would not try to hunt down the cat and eat her.

Today I paid the adoption fee and bought a sack of food at the feed store of the variety that the dogs at the rescue center are currently being fed. Tomorrow I will pick up this dog, who is about a year old.

She is a sweet little thing. In fact, I suspect we will end up calling her "Sweetie" or "Sweetie-pie."

Our first dog died in 2003 (on our son's birthday, as it happens), so it has been quite a while since we have owned a dog. Our first dog was practically perfect in every way. I hope this one will be too.