My Blossoming Prejudice

I am not and will not be prejudice against anyone!

I am an open minded individual who feels everyone needs to lead their life the way they want.

I am no better or worse than anyone else.

I am different, but that is not a negative.

However, sadly, I recently discovered I do have a prejudice.

My mother was an avid gardener.  We would see her on her knees working in the garden, which was the size of a small field, all morning long.  The center of the garden was filled with vegetables (never call them veggies) and then it was surrounded with flowers.  Sturdy zinnias that could withstand the Wisconsin weather were the constant of the summer.

Then, along the driveway she planted peach and orange gladiolas and red and yellow tulips  Ringing the house were colorful petunias.  The sweet fragrance of the lilac bush wafted through the air.  Finally, by the basement door–where it is always in shade –were her Lily’s of the Valley.

I thought Mom loved every flower.

NOPE.

Every time we went someplace that had red geraniums, she would tell me she hated geraniums and would never have them in her garden.  Mom hated geraniums because her step-mother had them all over her childhood house.  She would wake up in the middle of the night thinking she was eating geraniums.

 

As an adult, every time I walked by a geranium, I would think, it was such an ugly flower.  Who would want that in their garden.  I also didn’t like the thick velvet greenery.

A few days ago, while searching for some flowers at the nursery, I noticed these beautiful lavender and pink striped flowers.  They were gorgeous! As I put my hand out to pick them up, I saw the name–GERANIUM!

It suddenly dawned on me that I was prejudice against geraniums!  Why did I think they were bad?  I had nothing against them.  I never got the taste of them in my mouth.  But there I was…hating what I really didn’t know.

If my mother would have thought that she instilled any prejudice in me, she would be mortified.

It also is very telling how easy it is to develop a prejudice from childhood and carry it into adult hood.  (Careful what we say in front of our kids–that off-the-cuff remark may stay with them for a lifetime.)

I now have geraniums dotting my garden landscape.

And, I apologize profusely to the geraniums of the world for any harm that I may have done.

 

I Missed the “Old” Celebration

We have all heard about months that we are to celebrate or to honor ideas or individuals.Of course, I’ve heard of June Dairy Month. Hey, remember, I grew up on a dairy farm.

Then, there is Keep America Beautiful Month, American Heart Month, Black History Month and Children’s Dental Month, just to name a few, but I just found out that May is National Older American Month?

(Of course, I missed it, since I’m talking about it in June.)

I have been an older American for quite a while and I have known many older Americans, but I never knew there was a month to honor them, I mean us.

As anyone who knows me, once I find something that intrigues me, I have to look it up and find the history behind it.

Holy Cow!   They have been celebrating older people since 1963!   But they were called Senior Citizens then.

President Kennedy was the first to declare that May would be called Senior Citizens month.

In 1963, there were not many older Americans.  The majority of the Americans were in their prime and busy MAKING BABIES!  There were a lot of babies.  They called us  Baby Boomers.   In 1963, only 17 million adults had reached the age of 65.  The very sad part about the Baby Boomer’s grandparents, is that one third of them lived in POVERTY.

Well, in 2018, the Administration on Aging still promotes May as Older American Month.  The theme this year was Engage at Every Age.

Many of the Older Americans I know have been engaged at every age.  In my Older American group, we are very much engaged.  This off the wall idea must have come from some whipper-snapper.

One of the activities that they want us to do, is impart our wisdom.

I have been trying to impart my wisdom to my children for years.  I impart, but their hearing is impaired.  They don’t listen to my wisdom very well.  I am sure many others have experienced the same issues.   The person who came up with that idea, was a wise old coot with no children.

There is good news!

The good news is that Older Americans are doing much better than our counter parts in the 60’s.  In fact, in the past 50 years, the poverty level of those 65 and over has dropped from 30% to 10%!

We have more power in numbers.  Now, there are 46 million of us compared to 17 million in 1963.

Yes, the good news is that we are not poor, but us poor souls are continuing to support our children.  There are some statistics about how many millennials live with their parents.   One report says 50 % and other says 1 in 3 are still living with mom and dad.  That is a major drain on the Older Americans.  We need to keep working longer to support the millennials.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  By 2030, there will be 78 million people over the age of 65.  That number will be greater than the number of children.

I hope that by 2030, the millennials will have moved out and they will be supporting their children, AND, they will be supporting all the Older Americans.   I really don’t believe they will give us monetary support, but at least emotional support. Maybe by then, they will be willing to listen to our wisdom.

As we ponder about how our children will support us, we have to remember, that every May we will be acknowledged.

MAY IS OUR MONTH!!

But May?  I got news for you, us Older Americans are not in the Spring of our lives.

I think for many of us it is LATE, LATE, LATE FALL.

 

What Happens When a 77 Year-Old Plays a 3 Year-Old?

All three years old love to run and jump and play–non-stop!

Most 77 year-olds like to sit, relax, laze in the sun, and take long afternoon naps.

 We all know older men tend to grumble a lot and their low voice sometimes sounds like a growl, particularly when they are tired.

The three year-old loves to hear her high pitched voice and shouts it over and over and over hoping someone will listen to her and play with her. She especially wants the 77 year-old to play with her.

They try to play hide and seek, but the 77 year old is too tired to look for a good hiding place and he is found much too quickly. He growls as the three year-old jumps up and down and shouts.

 

The little one is always picking things off the floor and the older one is constantly trying to take it out of her mouth.  It is like a tug of war, that is either won by the three year-old because she just has too much energy, or the angry retort from the 77 year-old stops her in her tracks.

And the problem is, they are making my office their playground.  I am trying to write and their constant chatter puts me over the edge.

But I noticed last Sunday when the three year old wasn’t around, the 77 year-old moped around all day.

 

He kept looking for the younger one thinking she was playing hide and seek. He never found her.  It was a sad day.

The house was even too quiet for me, too.

 

Max is 8 inches tall.  He is a Toy Fox Terrier.  Dakota is a Siberian Husky, and at only three months towers over Max.  She loves to lay her leg across Max’s back pretending they are friends, but Max usually isn’t in the mood for a hug.

Max, my 77 year-old, (in dog years, but 11 in people years) spends most of his time growling, disciplining, and arguing with Dakota.  Dakota is three years old in dog years and three months in people years.  Dakota spends her time chasing, barking and irritating Max as much as she can.

Yes, they are “playing” in MY office.  Yes, Max is always that noisy.

It looks like they are going to kill each other with their mouths wide open, but believe me, they are just trying to prove whose mouth is bigger.

And worst of all..

These are not my dogs! I just get to babysit them both!!!!

I Mean, What Do They Have To Do?

A young mother was watching her one year-old child crawling on the carpet of the mall play area.  She smiled at me and asked if my two grandchildren were my children.  I smiled–wondered if she was blind–and corrected her and said they were my granddaughters.

It was the middle of the week so I assumed she had the day off, but she told me that her mother takes care of her kids during the week. I blessed that grandmother because I could see what a handful the little boy was.

I said that was really sweet of her mother because grandmothers get tired much easier than mothers. The young mother complained that taking care of baby was hard for her, too.  I wasn’t going to argue with her.  I  didn’t say it, but I thought, kids are a lot of work, no matter what age.  But the older you are, the less energy you have for them and you tire so much easier.

I was then informed by the young mother that grandma will babysit during the week, but she refuses to babysit on the weekends.  According to grandma, weekends are babysitting free.

I could see the anger growing in the young woman’s face.  “I mean, that doesn’t make sense to me,” she said. What does she have to do on the weekends?”

My mouth dropped open.  There was so much I wanted to say, but I realize I can’t save all the grandmothers in the world.

But I was thinking…your mom has to take care of her mental health–she raised her kids, now it is your turn.  Grandma has to take care of her emotional and physical

health.  She has to visit friends and play.

How do grandmas play?  They ride bikes, they hike, they swim, they golf, and they enjoy a night out.  How about watching a movie–during the afternoon–when grandpa is less likely to fall asleep?  A meal at a nice restaurant–or even fast food–is a treat because Grandma doesn’t have to cook.

 

Grandmas are NOT the grandmas of the 40’s and the 50’s–maybe even the 60’s.


WE’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!!!!

 

Celebrating 70 in the Hyperborean North

Most people, when they arrive at a major age milestone, seek warm weather.

Number One wanted to see the Northern Lights for his 70th birthday!

I forgot how cold a -19 (yes, that is a minus sign before the nineteen) really feels.  I experienced that kind of cold previously, but it wasn’t by choice, as it was in early March 2018.

In order to view the Northern Lights, you have to go north–as in UP the mountain.  Once we survived the jostling and bouncing of the snow-cat ride, the full moon lit the  Seussian landscape of trees burdened under the weight of what looked like giant snow monsters, climbing to the sky.

We stayed on that %$%^*^$ cold mountain until 3:30 a.m.   We saw faint white colors and some green streaks of the Northern Lights, but not the vibrant colors that you see in National Geographic pictures. Yet, it was a great “Anventure” as my granddaughter used to call adventures.

We can only, sort of, take the Northern Lights off our bucket list, because we are greedy and we want to see the colors in all their glory.  (So, I guess we are going to Iceland for my 70th.)

The fun did not stop with the lights.

The hazy white in the background is not snow, but it is mist from the Chena Hot Springs.   Number One was not brave enough to plunge into the hot springs in 13 degree weather. (Oh, 13 degrees felt warm and comfortable to us at this point)  The snow creatures that the mist created, looked as if they were ready to pounce as they guarded the spring.

 

 

 

The buildings look like cupcakes frosted with a thick layer of butter cream frosting.

 

No, this is not a black and white picture.  This is high noon in Northern Alaska in early March in full color.  The trees fill an endless, forbidding landscape.  I really don’t want to meet some of the inhabitants of that wilderness, they might think I said, meat, not meet.

 

 

Snow!  The snow flakes were wet and fat and I was soaked, but our hyperborean adventure was fun and truly memorable.  My dad knew his hats.  This high-fashion, orange chapeau kept my head warm and cozy.

Hyperborean is my second new word.  It means very cold.  That is number two of my ten new words!

 

One Lesson We Were Never Taught

Every dentist, I mean every dentist, tells you to floss between your teeth.

My Worst Nightmare
Looks Like An Electric Chair to Me

Now, with age, dang-gunit,  I’ve learned it is even more important to floss. That is  because, for some reason,  our teeth separate and lots of gunk–disgusting gunk–gets caught between our teeth.  Both my niece and nephew are dentists, but I love them, anyway. My nephew explained why this happens.

Be forewarned, this is a translation of what he said.  He is much more technical.

The area around the teeth as in gums and bone can be diseased, but most likely it is due to stress and how we deal with it.  You know when you clench your teeth because you can’t say what you want.  Or your brain is still dealing with the stress of the day, or of problems you have no control over, so you grind your teeth in your sleep to chew away the problems.  Oh, by the way, it doesn’t work, it just messes up your teeth.

Another reason could be that a dentist left a gap where he/she shouldn’t.

Or simply, your teeth grew in weird.

I spent many long hours at the dentist as a child.  As an adult, I only have 5 of my original teeth that can get cavities, so I don’t have to spend quite as much time there.  But, I do have an occasional crown replacement and I do try to clean my teeth professionally every six months.

And what do they tell me to do?  Brush for two minutes at least twice a day and floss.

Floss–It sounds so bunny-like, as in Flossy, Mossy, and Cottontail.

But there is nothing cute about flossing, your hands and arms contort into weird angles as they try to find a way to get that stupid string between your  teeth. And then, why is it so difficult  to find the  space between the back teeth to put the &*&%^$ string into.

I am a person willing to learn, so I told my nephew I didn’t really know how to floss.  My daughter was there and she fell over laughing. “How can you not know how to floss?”

My  kind nephew kept his laughter inside, but I could still see it in his eyes.

He explained and let me try, and he saw I had problems.

Read the next part as they do on commercials when they speed read through the fine print.

According to Dr. Laurent in the AARP Health article,  “Proper flossing involves wrapping the floss in a ‘c-shape,’ and covering as much surface area of the tooth as possible. You should cover about half the diameter of the tooth from each angle. Make sure to move the floss up and down along the outer surface and under the gum tissue,” says Dr. Laurent. “This way, the floss will clean plaque from both the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, as well as beneath the gum tissue.”

Ok, do you know how to floss now?  Nope, me neither.  I could explain it to anyone, but I can’t do it to my teeth.

Did anyone ever teach you how to floss?  All my dentists every said was, “Floss.”

I guess I heard, “gloss over it” because if they don’t show you, it must not be important.

You are taught to brush by your parents.

Most adults do not floss.  Research articles tell me that 40% of the people say they don’t floss.  You know as well as I do that the other 60% are lying.  Ok, maybe the other 59% are lying–I guess dentists actually do floss.

The only time most of us get anything between our teeth, like a toothpick or the newfangled floss on a stick is to remove an irritating piece of food.  Once that is done, we don’t even think about the others.

But, we continue to clench and grind.

We need to start a new educational movement!  Just like they did in the 60’s with the seat belt campaign.

Children need classes in flossing! The dentist has to let them floss between their teeth, themselves.  Make a game of it.    You know the old adage, when you do something you remember it.   At the same time, parents need classes and need to be given a chance to do it themselves.

I really think there are more people out there like me who struggle in  getting their hands into their mouth just like me, and say, screw it, and stomp on the string before throwing it away.

By the way, don’t tell my niece and nephew that the closest I get to flossing is using a newfangled TOOTHPICK.  And, dang-it, it is expensive.

 

Just don’t tell my niece and nephew that I gloss over flossing.

Boost Your Salary With a Messy Desk

After reading this title, how many of you think you should be billionaires by now?

Well, I think my desk could qualify me for a trillionaire.

 

Now, why do I think this way.

Well according to an article in Woman’s World magazine, us messy deskers are 36 percent more resourceful than those with an organized desk.

Supposedly, people like  Number One, who are so organized and their schedules are so inflexible and uncompromising,  they miss out on out-of-the-box thinking and different  creative solutions.

No, I did not say Number One was inflexible, I said his schedule–I just want to make that clear.

A study was done using 240 companies and this study found that the most creative and productive  employees have terribly messy desks and offices.  Also very interesting, is that they had they had advanced the most in the company and they made the greatest amount of money.

All my life, my desk has been covered with the tools of my trade and papers were piled high.  As a principal, the teachers knew the only time my desk was clean was when the high-mucky-mucks were visiting.

You may find it hard to believe, but when my desk is clean, I feel paralyzed.

When the desk is clean, and I can see the color of the desk, I fear that if I start working, I wont see that pretty color again for weeks.

But there comes a point, even for me, that the messiness becomes a little overwhelming.

So–I did it.

Yes,  I cleaned off my office desk!  I could hear the angels sing AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.

Cover your eyes, the sight might hurt them.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I am paralyzed when my desk is clean.  You know so because you have not heard from me in twelve days.

Now with a clean desk I  can’t find my trillions, either.

I guess the balance between a clean desk and a messy one is as volatile as the stock market.  But don’t worry,  now that I have starting using it again, my desk will get really messy and my funds will grow.

Chivalry Exists in My Knight in Gray

I can take care of myself.  Women, in most situations can take care of themselves.

But sometimes,  it is nice to know that a male will come to your rescue.

Yes, I was well protected this weekend.

I admit I was being a little lazy and didn’t want to get up–of course it was 6:45 a.m. and I am RETIRED!

Anyway, my  daughter’s  method of encouraging me to get out of bed was to  hit me (playfully) with the decorative pillows on the bed.

 

 

That’s when it happened.

 

That is when I was rescued.   My rescuer is old, at least 91!

He is small, and  frail with  very spindly legs, but he is surprisingly agile for his age.

Max–91 in dog years–jumped up on the bed, growled ferociously and leapt at Jazz.  He didn’t stop and think that he weighs eight pounds and is barely 8 inches tall. He thought he was David fighting Goliath.  I was impressed and felt humble that he would save me and not even think about his size.

Yes, I did save my daughter from my gallant knight in grey. (No injuries on either side, but my daughter snarled  louder than Max when I grabbed him in mid-air.)

When it comes to chivalry, size doesn’t matter, nor does age.

 

 

 

I Can Relate to the Newly Convicted and an Addict.

My stomach is in turmoil.

It is going to happen tomorrow?

Do I really have to do it?

What happens if I don’t?

All day today I have been thinking about how I can relate to a newly convicted prisoner going to prison.  Her  life will be so restricted and much too structured.  Even before she goes in she thinks about escaping.

The addict wants to go to rehab, but she doesn’t want to go.

She doesn’t want to give up the things that make her feel better–even if it is only for a short time.

She starts rocking in her chair, hoping that this is a nightmare and she will wake up and she will continue to take what makes her happy.

Yes, I can relate because tomorrow I am starting a new diet.

Di–ets, are painful, restrictive, and make you a little crazy.

Like the addict, I have done this countless times before.

Yes, I relapsed and relapsed badly.

I want to feel better.  I want to be able to move easier. I want to be able to exercise every day without soaking my aching knees in Epsom salts for three hours. I want to stop buying big clothes.

I DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!

I don’t drink.  I don’t do drugs. I am very well behaved in most situations.

But I do, do chocolate.

Of course the new diet I am starting does not include chocolate.

It has vegetables, vegetables, vegetables,  vegetables and a few more vegetables.  Not much fruit (I love fruit).

I can eat chicken and eggs and chicken and eggs and chicken and eggs all day long. Oh, I can throw in a little red meat and a little more fish, too.

NO CHOCOLATE!

My weekend treat is a 1/2 cup of brown rice and a piece of fruit.

NO  CHOCOLATE!

I made the first step in my journey.  I admitted I have to lose weight–I have been admitting this for a long time.

I set up my environment for success.  I went to the grocery story and the only things in the refrigerator are vegetables.

Before I go to bed I will make the big sacrifice to finish off whatever chocolate is in the house.

Tomorrow–I think I will sleep in so I won’t have so many hours to go through without carbs and chocolate.

Tomorrow will come all too soon.

Good-bye chocolate! I will never forget you!

 

 

Will Books Be As Obsolete As a Rotary Phone?

 

I walked into a bank last week and while waiting to speak to the accounts person, I sat in the conformable chair facing a bookshelf of books.

But it was not a bookshelf of books.  It was a PICTURE of a bookshelf of books.

It made me think that a lot has come and gone over the past 60 years.

You cannot find a typewriter, except in antique shops.

 

 

 

Anyone born after 1970, most probably, has never heard of a slide rule.  And for sure, they never used one.

 

 

 

The  rotary phone–you know–the kind that you have to dial is now considered a novelty.  My daughter has this one in her room as a “dope” (i.e. cool) decoration.

When we use the phrase “dial a number,” someone from my generation knows what it means to actually put a finger in the little hole and turn the dial until it reaches the concave finger stop.

There is nothing to “dial”, as in moving in a circular motion, on a cell phone or a push button phone!

Push button phones came out in November 1963 and Bell had to convince customers it was better and faster.

By 1980, almost all phones in homes and offices were push button.

The phrase, “dial the number” is an antiquated term.  I wonder how long it will be before that term is as obsolete as the rotary phone.

Back to my picture of the bookshelf of books.

Will future generations only know about books from paintings or pictures that are hanging on the wall?

Will you only be able to find them in antique shops, or will children only know about them from stories handed down from generation to generation?  Will they be a “dope” decoration in a room?

Will the real meaning of the term “turn the page” be a term that is as vague and unknown as “dial the number?”

I was just wondering because the flat screen television above the picture was real and working just fine.