Monday, July 1, 2013

WiseWoman, from Alleged to Official

When I looked up "Crone" in Wikipedia, the very first thing it says is, "The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman...marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle."

I've heard her described as a wise woman, sometimes cantankerous, sometimes magical.

I once watched an episode of the Oprah show on which Tyne Daly described celebrating her fiftieth birthday as entering the age of the Crone, (I'm not sure exactly what she said, but I hope you get the gist), by cutting her hair and refusing to further dye it, and other celebratory events. I was moved by that, because we are close in age, and I was approaching my own fiftieth at that time.

I stopped coloring my own hair during my thirties, when I started finding a few stray silver ones, that would not "take" the dye. I'm now almost completely silver, and I can't imagine putting yucky chemicals on my hair... Or face, for that matter.

What stared out as vanity (when I was in my forties someone told me I looked better, and younger, without make that was all I needed!), has become a habit of trying to keep my body clean...within limits. I use store bought toothpaste, mainly because I still have an unopened tube in my drawer. I remember my parents using a mixture of table salt and baking soda on their teeth. My plan is to start that habit once the tube is gone. (FYI, both of my parents died at 88 and 91 respectively, with most of their own teeth in their mouths!)

I have a stick of Tom's deodorant in that same drawer, but my fabulous DIY-er of a daughter-in-law made me a stick and I alternate using them with equal results.

I have not used store-bought shampoo or laundry detergent in over two years.

On the other hand, I use creamer in my burr-ground, French Pressed or Cold Brewed coffee. Milk just doesn't do it for me. Sorry.

I have an app on my Chinese manufactured, designed in the USA smart phone that tells me if I need to boycott a GMO using food brand, but on some favorite things, I don't want to know, and after some research I determined that an egg is an egg is an egg, whether from a free range chicken, or one in a cage. I guess I'm not a Vegan-minded meat eater. And really, aren't all hens vegetarian, anyway?

I no longer care so much if I'm a little fat. I no longer worry so much about what I see in the mirror, wrinkle-wise. My husband, who never fails to remind me that he is one-year-six-days younger than I am, tells me I am beautiful every single day, and after almost sixteen years of marriage, that seems to be enough for me!

As I wrote on my last blog, I'm pretty content all around, with aging in general. I guess I am, as my mother used to say, aging gracefully. Being what Bette Davis allegedly described in her famous quote, "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it." It's mostly okay with me.

What all the above chatter has been about is mainly an affirmation, of sorts, for my own darn self. Yesterday the manly spouse noticed something on my chin. The light caught it just right, and he noticed it. I plucked it out, surely it will return. It was more than silver, it was pure white. It did not make me happy, and I am not dealing with it well. It was about an eighth of an inch long.....oh gosh, I can barely bring myself to type the word, much less say it out loud. Okay, here goes. (I just actually took a deep breath as I typed this!)

A whisker.

I have officially entered my own Age of the Crone. It is only mildly comforting to know that I am indeed a WiseWoman.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Omaha, NE

Friday, May 17, 2013

My list

Today is the first day of my 62nd year. I will receive birthday wishes by card, by phone, by text, and by social networking.

I woke up this morning and found a card at my place at the kitchen table. I know my husband, the Manly Spouse, spent some time at the card aisle picking out the very best one. He does that; it's one of the many things I love about him. He always asks me what I want for my birthday, then stresses about it. Really. I already have everything I need, so what do I want?

Okay, here's the list:

I want to retire. With health insurance. So I can play in my little "garden" (without any back pain!). Then to eat from the bounty that grows there.

I want to be thin....maybe. I've been thin, it's not that big of a deal really, so maybe scratch that one off the list.

I want to watch my children and grandchildren live happy, contented lives.
I want to stay healthy for as long as I have left to live, then die as cheerfully and as gracefully as my mother did.

My mother used to answer the "what do you want for..." question with, "Diamond Earrings!" Then one year, for christmas I think, she got a pair. That shut her up. After that the ubiquitous answer was, "a kiss and a hug."
You can't have too many of those.
Speaking of my mother, I would like to spend another day with her, listening to the stories she told about her life.

I'd like to spend another evening with my father, sitting quietly, feeling his calm presence.

A million winning lottery tickets will not buy any of these things, nor will they buy what I already have: a loving spouse, a roof and a bed, and a patch of green with tomatoes and eggplants growing and growing, health, and a cheerful disposition.

I already have everything I need, and life is really good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Omaha, USA

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I started to title this post, "what I like about growing old". But when I thought about it, I realized its all about perspective.

In 2007, I walked away from a job that paid well, and that I sort of liked. Office politics, my own stubbornness, and other factors all came together and I thought, "no problem, I can get another job quickly..." A recession, my age, and a series of interviews where I was told I was overqualified, proved me wrong, wrong, wrong.

I spent the three next years painting old furniture (and some new), and selling some of it at my Etsy shop.

It was fun, but I stressed about the lack of health insurance in my late fifties, so I kept up the job search. On a whim, and not without a small sense of desperation, I applied at the Big Box Super Store, and within an hour, they called, and within a day, I was again gainfully (sort of) employed.

After six months, I qualified for the group health insurance plan, and started breathing again. I also started enjoying retail work. It's fun; it's easy, and the folks I work with are mostly a joy.

Ninety percent of my co-workers are in their twenties. Young, fresh faced, smart! Many are students, some still in high school, most in college... even the "executives", college graduates who are earning their first real paychecks, learning the ropes, and having the time of their lives.

But when you're nineteen and twenty there is Drama. There is a lot of Drama.

One of my sweet girl colleagues calls it being all about the "boyfraaaaaaand", with a wry grin and a certain youthful wisdom.

I can remember this. In fact as I chat with my young friends, whether she is the wise girl above, or the young mother dealing with her small children, I am aware of the great blessing of growing old. Because I remember this.

It is a blessing that they share with me their joys and sorrows. It is a blessing that I can share with them, if they ask, what I have learned from the vantage point of my years.

I have the perspective gained from my own joys and sorrows. I'm so very grateful for all of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Omaha,United States

Friday, January 18, 2013

At the very least

Recently I was scrolling through the forest of bumper stickers that Facebook has become and almost stuck my foot in it.

We all have opinions and many of us just can't understand why the rest of the world don't agree with us... At least that's the way I feel.

Each morning, after I read my local paper, I peruse my Facebook "news feed". I joined the social networking site a few years ago, and have been overjoyed to reconnect with many people I used to see every day. Folks I went to elementary school with in Ohio. Folks I went to college with, the beautiful people I lived with in a series of Urban Communes when I lived in California. Women I Koffee Klatched with when I was a young mother in Colorado. And more. It's exciting to see where people are, what they are doing, who they have become.

But since before the election it's become more of a place to post information about our favorite causes, express our opinions on volatile issues. The latest is Gun Control.

I recently wrote a letter to the editor after the Sandy Hook shootings. I said we need to "settle down" and focus on the issue of how we treat Mental Illnesses in this country. I think all the excited rhetoric and activities about gun control is sort of a knee jerk reaction.

Like it or not, our Constitution guarantees you and me the right to gun ownership. It's in the Bill of Rights, and that makes it arguably non-negotiable. I agree we should not shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but I do not believe we should mess with the Constitution.

Don't get excited. I don't have a bunker in my basement, but it is true that without our individual ancestors bringing their own guns to the war, forming those Militias, we might be all British Citizens today.

I have written about Mental Illness. It's a horrible disease. It's life threatening...not just for the ones who suffer from it. It's dangerous. It's the underlying reason behind all the mass killings that have ever been perpetrated. In my opinion anyway.

Can't we get excited about the sad, severely lacking state of Mental illness treatment in this country? Can't we look for a cure for Schizophrenia, Bi Polar diseases, and other Mental diseases with as much passion as we do for Cancer, Heart Disease and Birth Defects?

If in my wildest imaginations I thought President Obama would see this blog post, I would ask him to create a Mental Health Task Force. At the very least.

If I thought Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would see this post, I would ask the to set up a foundation that would research diagnoses and treatments for Mental Illnesses...especially the most dangerous of them. At the very least.

Can't we just settle down and focus?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad