Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pluck! Pluck! Pluck!

Hey girlfriends, have you reached "Check My Chin" age? Do you pause at a mirror to stare at your face in a search for hairs that would rival the beard on Grizzley Adams? Are those tweezers your most used and cherished tool?

Join the club! We spend our teen years watching for zits, get a brief respite during mid-life, and suddenly find ourselves in the post-menopausal hair-pulling stage. Yeah, we had one of those when the kids were around the house too. Maybe that is practice.

Just like Himself I seem to be watching the hair slide from the top of my head downward to my chinny-chin-chin. The part above is ever wider and my coiffure, never abundant, is thinner and thinner. Unlike my waistline. Dark hairs sprout on cheek, lip, and on one or another of my chins. Why dark? That stuff at the top was always dishwater blonde-brown. It is now rapidly turning gray. Not the new beard. It can be anything from gold to coal-black. Worse yet it seems multi-hued, starting out barely visible but turning darker as it reaches incredible length. I examine those jowls almost daily yet still am surprised to spot some errant whisker that escaped notice until it is… well seems anyway, a foot long.

Hey, Ho - the joys of being a mature (?) woman.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Falling behind... more and more.

The first of the year has traditionally been the time I sort through receipts and make sure bank statements and such are filed, ready for tax time. Himself and I usually do our taxes as soon as all the financial forms are in,,, those 10whatever things that get clipped to the wad of IRS forms. Our forms have always been relatively simple. Only the very wealthy seem to need a mega-zillion pages to report and track their mega-zillion bucks.

But that isn't what I was going to observe. As I waded through the debris on my desk it came to me how lax I've become about those statements and receipts since my husband retired and was able to more fully embrace his computerhood. It was my idea that he involve himself in the monthly process of tracking our income. Or maybe that would be better referred to as outgo. Up until retirement, while he did do the yearly taxes, I kept track of every other financial matters. I paid bills, balanced the checkbook, tended to savings accounts… all the in-between day-to-day stuff.

The responsibility shifted slowly from me to him. I still write checks for monthly bills but some are now paid on-line and Himself handles that. We still do taxes as a tag-team but I'm increasingly resistant. He has a app for tracking the banking and for a while we did that as a tandem activity but, as the stack of monthly statements he'd printed out last year and left on my desk indicates, I've resigned my duties.

I sat down and made an attempt to "catch up". It took only a few minutes to convince me that it simply wasn't something I am willing to tackle. The statements as now neatly filed in our finances binder uses an imaginary header reading "Failed to Comply".

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Charlie My Boy!

This is a portrait of my grandson on his new unicycle. He didn't get his coordination and fearlessness from MY side of the family. Well, maybe a bit of the coordination, but not a shred of his full-tilt-boogie, damn-the-torpedoes-full-steam-ahead style.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's talk about the weather…

As one of my Fr's said: Let's talk about the weather…

We talk a lot about it here on the Oregon coast. The Pacific currents and the Arctic air masses give us a mild but slightly schizophrenic climate.

In the southeast portion of the state it is all about cold and rain, or lack of it. In the middle of the state it is about heat, cold, and rain, or lack of it. Here on the coast it is about wind, and rain. Usually we are short of neither.

I used to talk about, okay- complain about, the cold. Himself and I moved here from California and the more northern tamps plus my aging bones resistance to chilly breezes brought forth mutters and a certain sense of indignation. After my wailing and complaining was answered by climate comparisons with some of my friends I muted my noise. The Oregon coast can't compete with Fairbanks, Alaska in the Cold department!

But our coast can do rain. And wind. At least we could until this winter. It has been drier than usual this season. And the wind has been, shall I say, less than enthusiastic? Weather stories on the nightly news are focussing on potential drought. Climate experts are being interviewed. Past seasons statistics are being trotted forth. The lack of rain is a topic everywhere.

I don't mind though. As a conversation theme it beats politics!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Again, and again, and still again...

I spent a few minutes this morning checking my calendar and jotting down the birthdays of friends and relations, the ones coming up in the first half of this year. It was startling to note how many of us have reached our sixties. Intellectually it is something I know. Emotionally it still hits me with the Whoosh! of my breath being taken away.

We're getting old, my friends and I? Whose idea was this? When did it happen?

Many of the friendships were formed when we were in our thirties. We were grown-ups. or at least thought we were, and age wasn't an issue as it was in school - when a year or two made a big difference among us. In my thoughts we are still those active people, charging around in life with our futures still mostly "out there." Reality is different. We've slowed down. Health is an issue we discuss much more than kids or politics. Several friends have dealt with cancer. Nearly all of us have arthritic joints and aches in places we once didn't know we had. We think about Medicare and Social Security. We worry about making what we have last as long as we do. We find ourselves shaking our heads, wondering if the emerging generation is "going to hell in a hand basket."

It wasn't in our minds to get old. It snuck up on us. I keep tripping over the idea, surprised to find it new each time I stumble on it. "Oh, that's right!" I exclaim - and promptly forget it again, much more comfortable with that previous vision of adult/forever.