What’s the Deal with Age? Tuesday, Sep 25 2012 

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my age.  Not because I feel old or that I am worried about my age. In fact, it is quite the opposite.  I don’t feel old, and I am not worried about my age.  I have found out recently that others appear to be worried about my age.  And I find that amusing.

All those platitudes about you are only as old as you feel and act young to stay young are things old people say.  The young people still cling to the idea that youth and acting young is for the young and  many look down their noses at someone my age (I have passed the 50 mark, but have not hit the middle of that decade) enjoying the same activities I did while in my forties or thirties.  Why would I suddenly stop liking some of the same stuff, I wonder?  But it really seems to befuddle some of the ‘grown-ups’ in that age group.

I do not have the desire to do the same things I did back then as often as I did back then, but not because I cannot.  It’s actually because my life is too busy to fit it all in, not because my advanced age makes me too tired, as the ones worrying about my age seem to imply.  My job is hectic and I shoulder more responsibility than I did during my 30’s and 40’s. I am still upwardly mobile in my career.  I upgraded my living arrangements from the average city dwelling to the home of my dreams in the country and the compute takes a bit longer, which is good in some ways and bad in others.  I have a grandchild that I adore and I spend as much time with him as I can.  I’ve bought into the whole social media scene and I’m online more than I should be.   I found out I love genealogy, and have become an addict.  (Intervention might be in my future.)  I own a second home about 4 hours away for relaxation and down time.  I have aging parents that require attention.  All that takes time, so I’ve shifted, adjusted and squeezed as much as I can into the space allotted me.  So, yes, I still do many of the ‘old’ things I used to do, just not with the same frequency that I used to do them.  And some of them are much less important as my ‘age’ (I prefer ‘wisdom’) has allowed me to determine some of those just don’t rate as high on the enjoyment meter any longer.

So bottom line, worriers, don’t worry. Yes, I’m older than I used to be.  Who isn’t?  However, just because you continue to indulge in the same activities at the same pace, and I’ve slacked off those activities, doesn’t mean I’m tired, ill or out of pace with the world.  It means my life is full of other interesting things and activities I like and people I love.  It means I’m putting my experiences to good use.  It means I am vital and alive.  It means I’m not worried.

Now where are my keys?

Santa and the 2 year old Thursday, Dec 17 2009 

I had high hopes that we’d get his picture with Santa this year, but alas, it was a no go.  My 2 year old grandson ( I call him Little Man) watched as the other kids sat on Santa’s lap and flashes of the camera went off.  After a cookie or two, we finally worked our way close enough to Santa’s bench that I thought I could coax him, but then he turned into water with no bucket and slid to the floor.  At least he didn’t cry.  He wanted to, but he didn’t.

But don’t despair, dear reader, we have a Santa picture this year.  Santa, Granny and Little Man are all in the picture, with Little Man on Granny’s lap.  I have one almost like it for his father, except in that picture it is easy to see that the child has been crying and I am much, much younger.  

Oh well. Maybe next year.

A Beautiful Sunset-Not Really Friday, Nov 13 2009 

A Beautiful Sunset-Not Really

So let’s just say there was this wife that likes to take sunset pictures.  And let’s just say this was this husband that knows this.  And let’s just say that on one evening there was a beautiful sunset.  Are we all on board?   Let’s just say we are.

One day Wife arrives home before Husband.  She’s still in her work attire, skirt, hose, minus her shoes, while she places dinner in the oven.  Chicken, in case it matters.  Husband calls.  He is on his way home.  Be about a half an hour. Tells Wife there is a beautiful sunset and if she drives to the end of the road they live on, where it intersects with the main road, she might be able to catch a good picture of it.  The area directly around them is heavily wooded, but the road at the intersection faces west, so there might indeed be a view of the previously mentioned sunset.  Wife decides to give it a go.  Slips off her hose, grabs the mega 35mm camera, grabs her GMC Yukon keys, grabs her cell phone, checks the oven time, asks the two little dogs, one brown, one white, if they’d like to go for a ride.  Of course they do.  They always do.  Wife heads to the Yukon, loads little dogs up.  Excited, they are.  Especially the brown one.  Loves to ride. Wife drives to the end of the road.  It’s not that far.  Not really.

The sunset is not quite visible for a picture and it looks like if Wife drives down the road facing west to the front of the subdivision, she might have a better chance at a good picture.  It’s not that far.  Not really.  So Wife drives a bit further.  At the entrance to the subdivision, the view is okay, but still partially blocked by trees.  This intersection is busier; a ‘T’ style intersection, cars passing at highway speeds. The highway is two lane and Wife knows that just a little bit north on the highway on the left side of the road, there is a spot where the trees break and there is a nice view overlooking a field.  She drives by it everyday.  She’s sure the sunset will be visible from there and the pictures will be great.  It’s not that far up the road.  Not really.  So she turns right and drives a bit more.  She turns left into an old unused driveway just before the crest of a hill, just past the opening in the tress.  Wife puts the Yukon in park and turns off the engine.  The view is okay, but to get it just right, she needs to get out of the Yukon and walk down the side of the highway just a bit.  It’s not that far.  Not really. 

She grabs the camera and gets out of the Yukon.  She shuts the door and picks her way, barefoot, down the grassy/gravely right of way next to the road as cars fly by at highway speeds.  The sunset is beautiful.  She takes several pictures.  With her excited little brown dog watching from inside the Yukon.  Bouncing on the armrest.  Where the automatic lock button is located.   

Even from the distance away, Wife hears the Yukon doors lock. 

Wife picks her way barefoot back down the grassy/gravely right of way to the Yukon.  Tries the door.  Locked.  Looks in the window.  Phone on the console.  Keys in the ignition.  Awesome.

So let’s recap. While dinner is in the oven, Wife is over two miles from home, standing barefoot, holding a camera, on the side of the road next to her locked Yukon, which contains two little dogs and her cell phone. 

Wife tries to get the little brown dog to bounce on the armrest again until the Yukon unlocks.    This actually works once, but relocks as quickly as it unlocks.  The little brown dog is bouncing too much it seems. Wife considers walking back to the house, which hopefully hasn’t caught fire, to get the spare set of keys.  But Wife can not recall if she locked the house when she left.  If she walks all the way back, barefoot, keep in mind, and the house is locked, the trip would be wasted.  She is relativity certain she locked the house.  Husband always insists.  Wife doesn’t give up on little brown dog unlocking Yukon but decides to wait for Husband to drive by on his way home.  He will, because it is his only way home.  So Wife talks to little brown dog and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  Wife can hear cell phone ringing in Yukon.   And doesn’t see any smoke from direction of home. After a time, Husband’s truck crests the hill.  She waves.  He drives by.  And waves. 

Moral to this Story:  One can really go too far without trying.

(And for those of you that just have to know:  The house was locked. The dinner was only slightly overdone. He did figure out she wasn’t just standing on the side of the road taking pictures. He turned around and came back to find out want was wrong.  He drove home and retrieved the extra set of keys.  The little dogs had a great time.  The pictures turned out so-so.)

The Ultimate Frosting Experience-I’m Just Sayin’ Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

Since I don’t know any of you personally, cannot share this info with you in person and have your best welfare at heart, I’ve written down some tips for canned frosting consumption that I’ve learned in my vast personal experience while consuming store bought frosting directly from the can.  I do not want you to fall prey to the same pitfalls I’ve experienced.  If you take these suggestions into consideration before beginning your quest for the perfect ultimate store bought canned frosting experience, you will find your ultimate experience elevated to a superior level. Take these ten steps very seriously. I don’t share them lightly.

  1. Stick with the name brands.  Off and store brands claim they are the same.  They are not.  Betty Crocker means it when she says she is the best. When it comes to canned frosting, it is all about her.
  2. Pay the extra few cents for ‘deluxe’, ‘creamy’ or ‘whipped’.  The regular canned frostings are merely okay, but since you are searching for something more than just ‘okay’, the few cents extra pays off.
  3. Pick a flavor you already know you enjoy.  Experimentation gains you nothing while seeking the ultimate frosting experience.
  4. If you own a long handled spoon, such as an iced tea spoon, use it.  Shorter spoons may allow your fingers to brush the top of the container as you advance into the depths of the frosting. Touching the frosting container distracts from the full flavor and texture experience.   If you only have short spoons, it is okay to use them, although a soft long handled spatula might be a better choice.
  5. Canned frosting need only be refrigerated once it is opened.  But, when the frosting is ‘fresh’ i.e. unchilled, it is easier to place larger amounts of the creamy concoction on the spoon.  It just slides on the spoon waaay too fast.  This can lead to a container of frosting being consumed faster than intended.  To slow, and therefore savor the canned frosting experience, chill the frosting before consumption.  A minimum of 22.5 hours is recommended.   For those of you with sensitive teeth, the chilled frosting is not so cold that it might become an issue. (It is not frozen like its sweet cousin, ice cream.)  Microwaving the frosting to remove the chill is not recommended.
  6. Although there are those that advocate spreading (or globing) the creamy mixture between cookies or on top of other types of baked goods, supplementing the frosting in any manner, while tasty and certainly more socially acceptable, only reduces your ultimate frosting experience.  You are not seeking the ultimate dessert experience. (That’s another topic altogether and not likely to fit in one email) You are hiking the Mt. Everest of the canned frosting experience.  Therefore, it should be about the frosting and only the frosting.
  7. For those of you that may be concerned with the possibility of additional calorie intake due to the consumption of canned frosting, I’ve found that multi tasking reduces this risk.   This may take some time to master, but for you right handed persons that have difficultly using your left hand for anything productive, practice holding the frosting spoon (empty of the frosting) in your left hand while using your right hand to click your computer mouse.  Once you’ve mastered this ability (it may take awhile, my left hand is not normally good for much of anything), load the spoon with your frosting, keeping the open frosting container close for spoon refills.  Then spend your time browsing the web or playing computer games while slowly partaking from your spoon full of canned frosting.  This practice also slows down the consumption rate.  This may allow one can of frosting to be utilized over two computer sessions.  For left handed persons, try the above referenced action steps using your right hand.
  8. For households with more than more frosting experience underway (this is one time I do not suggest sharing), label your can with a symbol or word that is only yours.  You may use your name if that’s all you can think of.
  9. Consumption of canned frosting immediately after a full meal, during which you’ve most likely eaten too much already, reduces your pleasure experience.  Waiting till your meal has ‘settled’ or consuming the frosting in place of the meal is recommended.
  10. Store bought frosting containers come with a plastic sealing lid.  Always close and seal your frosting container securely when placing the partially consumed treat in the refrigerator, to protect the full and robust flavor of the frosting.  Once again, this is all about the frosting, and nothing is worse than dreaming of a chilled, creamy frosting snack, only to find it tastes like the deer sausages you left uncovered in your refrigerator.

I am sincerely hopeful that these tips and suggestions (hard learned) will enhance your store bought canned frosting experience.    And as I like to say around here, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

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