Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Not Complaining

Compared to New Yorkers I have nothing to complain about. I've been snowed in for five days, but at least our snow will melt by February and my roof didn't collapse.

We're still well stocked, could get by without milk for a couple more days.

And it's been very productive because I roped Bill into some chores he prefers to excuse his way out of.

All of the spilled flour, spices, and crumbs are cleaned out of the kitchen drawers--all twenty of 'em. 

Upstairs, we pawed through the dressers and winnowed out socks with stretched tops, summer shorts two sizes too big (him) or one size too small (me.) And we wrestled over his flimsy washed to death, torn up T-shirts until I got them into the trash bag. 

I saved the job we both hate most for today. We went freezer diving. 

The problem is that my small chest freezer needs compartments! We'd started with bags to separate the fruit from the vegetables as we preserved last year's harvest. But digging around for the beets you can't see but you KNOW are in there really messes with the system. 

I put on my stretch knit gloves and we formed a two man relay from the freezer to the counter. Bill kept grumbling that we never should have bought a freezer. Three years ago he groused that we should buy one! 

It wasn't so bad. We sorted and repacked, taking mental inventory as we went. 

I made a slushy with left-over lemon popsicles. I'll eat scallops tonight.

He was happy that we found two last bags of beets and greens. I'm happy that we have plenty of fruit to last until the May strawberries come in.  I have more tomatoes, tomato-based broth, and salsa than I can use up before the end of next summer. 

It helped me plan the garden.  I'll tell my friend to grow more beets. I'll plant fewer tomatoes. 

Why aren't you complaining? Be the first to comment below (just click on the no comment link, it will take you to the comment box.) 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Little Piggy Has a Paradigm Shift

My grandson pointed his bare foot at me and demanded "This Little Piggy."

So I reached out and took his smooth little heel in my left hand, and wiggled his big toe between my fingers. I began the rhyme but ran out of rhyme before I ran out of toes. He has six on each foot!

count the toes

So we started over and improvised. "This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This little piggy ate peanut butter and jelly..." and I asked him for suggestions.

Each time through we changed favorite foods. "This little piggy went to market...stayed home...ate ice cream, ate yogurt, ate..."

"Cookie!" he added.

"This little piggy ate cookies. This little piggy cried 'Wee,wee,wee' all the way home."

I wonder why had I never changed the chant before?  None of my grandkids could relate to roast beef. 

Bo and I enjoyed it much more this way.

While in the Colorado mountains we saw a herd of deer. They nibbled the bushes just a few feet away from us, although on the other side of the window. "Look, Bo!" we urged. He looked, but he was speechless.

There were so many, we were all riveted.  As they wandered around the house we traipsed from window to window. they sprang straight up into the air, and tussled antler to antler.

After several minutes Bo surprised us with a unique thought.  "Where's Santa?"

None of us had wondered that!

One friend shared that after a tragic death of a young woman in the family, the grandchildren said they bet the girl's father was glad she was with him in heaven for Christmas.

I think that's one important thing children do for us--give us a new lens that transforms what's familiar.

So if you don't have grandkids, or they live far away, or they're all grown up, or think they are, go find a young child to shake up your routine thoughts.

Will you share one of your grandchild's mind benders?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Flamenco, Restrained Passion

"Mom" my daughter said, "you need to exercise more. You walk like an old lady."

I walk like an old lady?!  Was that because I only walked 3 miles on a snowy road and the rest of the family continued into the woods? Or because I'm stiff and totter a bit when I first get out of bed? 

If I were going to pick up a new exercise regime, I think it might be flamenco dancing.  

1) Flamenco burns calories, works important muscle groups, and
2) even older gals get to dance with the cute young guys.  

in Granada, Spain

3) The costumes are a lot more fun than spandex and draw the eye away from mid-body lumps. The long skirt would hide my varicose veins.  Low heeled shoes with a strap are safe for any age.

4) You don't have to compare stats with anybody, for example miles walked or your time for the 10K.  Who's going to ask how many times your castanets clicked per minute?

5) Of course, you'll have to learn to play castanets, which are made from and named after, chestnuts. 

6) It's an art form of restrained passion--dark glances over the shoulder, the disdainful tilt of the chin, or arms extended in invitation to the beloved. That's more excitement than a brisk walk any day.

7) Complex hand clapping and flourishes of a fluid, fringed shawl add more  drama, and a few more micro-calories burned.

So when Susanna asks how my exercise program is coming, I'll tell her I'm committed to being a flamenco dancer. As soon as my lessons begin in Spain.

Do you have a fantasy exercise program? Do tell.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Parking Meters Fight Homelessness

Sauntering through the Denver International Airport this week we passed a parking meter.

At least, it had been a parking meter. A bright idea and some paint transformed it into a quick, guiltless, fund raiser. 

 I'd left my spare change with the grandkids for their banks, but next trip I'll put it in my pocket for the homeless.

The parent organization has similar, blue meters in and around downtown Denver. From 2007 to 2013 they raised over $200,000. They accept change, debit and credit cards. 

If you find yourself going through the Denver airport, look for this one on B Concourse. Clean out the coins and help a family.