A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Follow Up Drs. Appointment

I forgot to tell you a funny story from my doctor's visit last week.  I went to the gastro for my follow-up after the colonoscopy.  Five polyps, all benign. (I know.  That's a lot, right?) 

Anyway, I was sitting in the exam room and the nurse had done all her note taking on the laptop.  Finally, the doctor came in.  She looked at me, said hello and looked at the computer.  She turned back to me, looked at me for a second and then said: "you don't look 78".  No, I said, I'm 68 (my February birthday being foremost in my mind).  She asked me my name.  I told her.  She clicked some buttons and then said: "you had a colonoscopy on ...".  Yes.  She told me all were benign and to "come back in 5, no 1 year" and then showed me out.

Yeah, right.  Like I'm going to forget the ordeal of emptying my body in a year's time.  I'm sure it's going to be closer to 5 but we'll see. 

Had to wonder if the nurse put my slightly high blood pressure on a 78 year old patient's chart instead of mine.  LOL. 





Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Brexit

I was reading a discussion on a British blog I follow with various opinions on the Brexit problem.

Around 52% of the voters voted to leave the EU.  I'm sure you know they are having all kinds of debates on how to get out without paying $39 Billion Pounds to the EU.  The Prime Minister can't seem to make anybody happy and the Parliament seems to be at odds with each other.

The unrest is so similar to our situation.  The vote for our current President was so closely split with Clinton winning the popular vote by about 52% and Trump winning the electoral college.  Now we have the Republican Senate and Democratic run House.  Will they be able to get anything done bipartisan?  I can only hope.

I also read a post on Facebook this morning with pictures of walls, past, and present, dividing so many countries around the World.  It just seems so strange to me that so many people want to wall themselves in to keep away the poor, desperate and unwanted citizens of dying societies.

I don't know the answer for the Brits or us, however, it seems like a world-wide problem we should all work together to figure out.

But what do I know?  Maybe it is just the way history keeps repeating itself.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Snapfish photo offer

I use two companies when I get my photos printed or make photo albums.  One is Snapfish.com and the other is Shutterfly.com. I got a notice that Snapfish is offering 100 free prints a month (you will have to pay postage) if you load the app to your phone. 

My son and daughter - and myself until I got my new camera for Christmas - take all of our photos on our phones.  My phone takes great pictures and is always with me when I see something or someone I want to snap. 

The problem with photos on your phone is that you cannot share them when the family is sitting around - although my youngest Grand Girl will get on my phone and look through my album.  But this is more a climb in your lap and let's talk about who, when, where and what that she likes.  So while the cell is convenient, I prefer seeing a larger picture (with my poor eyesight). 

I also save all the pictures my daughter and son post on facebook to my photo gallery and then to one of the above photo websites.  In the past, I have printed pictures when they ran a special of a penny a piece.  Now I am going to try the app and see if I take 100 a month.  I might not take that many but it will be interesting to see. 

My family loves the photo albums I give them at holidays and after special events.  They are affordable on sale and are a reminder of the great memories we shared, 

Just FYI, in case anyone is interested. 

P.S. to Marie at Island Musings, our photojournalist - I hope you are keeping a good record of all your posts and photos for the grandkids, as well as the historical society of your area.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First Visit




Just a quick catch up.  I spent Wednesday and part of today at the Son's house.  Life with the Girl was much easier at their house and I enjoyed my day (Wednesday) with the girls. 

I had been feeling poorly for a couple of days prior to making the trip to Son's house. My sugar was going up and down and once again I couldn't quite figure it out.   I had gotten my flu shot last week.  I had a flu-type reaction once in the past but thought I was doing fine this time.  I made the trip thinking I would muscle my way through any poor feelings but alas it didn't work like that. 

I ended up going to bed at 6:30 pm on Wednesday.  Not because the girls wore me out, but because I had been falling asleep in my chair several days over the last week.  Then I had a sugar drop in the night and a high reading when I got up.  To make it worse I forgot my meter to test my sugar levels so couldn't tell what my high and low numbers were and adjust my insulin accordingly.  In other words, I made it worse on myself and had to go home to test my blood and get it organized.  Luckily the Grandson was there and didn't have to work so he covered for me.   

So, as I said, it went much better than expected.  The Girls behaved so much better and willingly did homework and cleaned their rooms without my asking twice.  They were a little noisy at times but nothing like at my house.  I believe a lot of this had to do with the amount of room they had to move around in their house without being in each other's face.  The young one still talked too much and the older was a little bossy but otherwise, I felt like my sweet girls were back. 

The Son was so glad to see me and I think he had a lot of talking he wanted to do.  His office is continuing to expand and asking him to take on more responsibility.  He thinks they don't understand a father being a single parent.  We didn't get a chance to talk about everything but will get to more of that next week. 

So all in all, I am feeling so much better about their little family.  I'm sure I'll be dropping you more updates but for now, things are good. 


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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Mary Poppins to the rescue

I am feeling very optimistic about my confession of yesterday. There are several areas of the problem I can relate to in my own life. 

Like my son, I was the single working parent of 2, so yes, I know how incredibly hard it is.  Also, like the oldest Grand Girl, I was the introvert and my middle sister was the talker.  I would take a book and run and hide from her.  My sister and I laughed about that this weekend.  My sister also shared that in the classes Directors of Day Care Centers are required to take she learned a lot about children (and adults) who need to talk and children (and adults) who just don't want to hear it. 

We also talked about these generations of children after us who were not able to go outside and play.  I worry because children now have no place to be loud and boisterous and just plain unruly without their every sound and action being monitored in an enclosed environment. 

There is something to be said about laying in the grass with your good friend complaining of your siblings, parents, teachers, etc.  You release.  You blow off steam.  No one hears you and no one tells you not to talk like that. 

I didn't have brothers for a long time so I'm not sure what boys got up to but my friends and I had all kinds of pretend games.  In particular, I remember playing pirate.  Where in the world did that come from?  At any rate, we used boards and sticks and whatever objects we found laying around and ran and played to our heart's content. 

I may be wrong but I believe children just need to get out of their own life sometimes. 

And, I have to confess, I so remember my sisters and I saying things like - "she is on my side", "she touched me", "she keeps looking at me".  So, this thing with the Grand Girls bickering is not unfamiliar to me either. 

I know my son is a great Dad but he is not, of course, perfect.  He spends a lot of quality time with them even after he comes home dead tired.  I'm sure I will see some areas he can improve in.  Just by asking and accepting the help he is ready to make improvements.

Dear Olga - you did not go to far.  I shared my situation because I knew there could be different suggestions because of the different life stories we have all led.  I want to have as much information as possible to work with. 

I want to start with the quickest most direct solutions.  I don't believe I have all the answers.  All the suggestions I receive will be my library of information.  If something doesn't work it will be discarded and new ideas tried.  Even though I see many parallels with this situation and my own life, I know that what worked for me then may not be the ultimate solution now.  Trial and error. 

My hope is that with a little bit of support my son will have the strength to pick up the reigns again and the girls will have more direction and better able to entertain themselves - quietly. 

Now as soon as I buy an umbrella, I'll put on my Mary Poppins hat and be off to help the children. 









Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ok, the story about my son and staying at his house. 

This year the Grand Girls' mother went out of town for Christmas with the new husband and new baby girl for an extended visit.  The son's girlfriend who helps him a lot was also out of town for the holidays.  That left the son with no backup for the days he had to work.  In steps Nana.  

I've posted before about how tired their visits leave me.  For the last year, each visit seemed to get worse.  It took me until this Christmas to realize how bad it really had gotten.  

The Girls were here three days before Christmas and three days after Christmas.  By the third day of each visit I was so angry and nearly in tears and that was with my daughter and I tag teaming them.  The last day of the last visit I had to tell my son I could not keep both of them together anymore.  They were wild Indians and their behavior unacceptable.  

We talked for a long time about how hard it was for him as a single parent.  How the girls were talking and getting in trouble in school.  How the girls were bickering 24/7.  How the girls created a mess every single day.  How he was barely hanging on.  

I should have seen this coming.  I saw the change in the girls but I didn't read the writing on the wall. 

My son also told me he wanted to move in with his girlfriend.  I know that she will hate the Girls if she lives with them full time and she has to act like a parent.   I think that it is almost impossible for the step-parent to be the governing parent unless you have accommodating children.  Most children will use their angst at the loss of a parent through death or divorce as a mechanism to vent anger.  I'm sure there are people for whom this wasn't the case.  According to what I hear, they are the few, the lucky ones.  

So in comes Nana because I love my son and because I love my girls.  I did not do enough to save the Grandson from the Girls' mother.  Grandson spent most of his life grounded in his room and other wrong actions by her.  I say that but I wasn't there.  I don't know how wrong she was or, in fact, how wrong the Grandson was.  I just want to make sure there is no way I will have to live with the Grand Girls saying to me what the Grandson has said - why didn't anyone protect me from her.  

So first step, get the girls expending energy.  Some simple outside play time will help but I think they need more.  They used to go to daycare and maybe that change influenced some of the problems.  The littlest one, already the talker, now has no one to talk to but her loner, artistic sister.  You hear the bickering don't you.  

The youngest, besides being a talker, is also very movement oriented.  I don't know how else to say it.  Her body is always in action.  Turning, dancing, singing, performing - always something.  A little is cute, too much is please sit still. 

Yep.  Expending energy in interesting ways, that is my plan.  Get them active after school so they won't try talking/horsing around in school.  Get the youngest involved in some organized play plan where she can move and talk and play with some other little girl beside her sister. I'm thinking the Y, gymnastics, dance class, something like that will work for the youngest.  Finding her an outlet will be my first and probably easiest adjustment to make.   

For the artist who is turning into her father's son.  She wants to go hunting, fishing, atv riding, etc. with him.  This could be wanting time alone with him but I also think she is a tomboy at heart.  I am trying to think of something that is done individually but gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Certainly art does that for her but I'm trying to think of something that has a physical aspect also.  By the way, she also ruled out all of the activities I listed for her sister.  I thought of piano lessons.  Something she can do in her room, alone and at her own speed but with an accomplishment level that can be shared with us.  I'm just not sure yet but I intend to ask her some leading questions.   

There are many facets to this program I am about to undertake.  I'm not going to be a cook and cleaner.  I'm going to be like that tv program, Super Nanny.  At least that is my hope.  To give my little family some guidance in hopes they can get back on track.  

Luckily my son has a room for me because like the oldest Grand, I too need a place to shut the door.  I will spend the night on Wednesday and Thursday.  I may add days if I see I need to be around on the weekend for a while but I am only committing to those two nights right now.  That will leave me 5 days uninterrupted at home.  Two days a week.  Eight days a month.  I can do that -- I think. 

Any advice about activities for these two different little girls will be appreciated and considered.  Good gosh.  So much trouble and they are not even teenagers yet.  Boy, I gotta be out of there by then.  Just kidding ... sort of. 

So yes, I am back in my happy place but leaving for a little bit each week.  I even joined an online dating site.  Hahaha.  More about that story later. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Synchronicity

Most of us have experienced synchronicity in our lives - that simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

Over the weekend my daughter's girlfriend commented that her son was going through the bandana stage and we laughed and compared the many ways my Grandson had worn bandanas when I was making them and the way her pre-teen is wearing them.  So, of course, it got me thinking about what fun I had making them in my little garage apartment.

My garage apartment was on a different street but very close to where we live now.  I have commented many times to friends and family how glad I am to be back in this neighborhood.  This neighborhood just makes me happy.

This neighborhood is also where I lived in my early 20s.  Again, not the same street but close by Houston standards.  I had a boyfriend in a band back then. Watch out, Barbara. After we broke up I met my ex-husband while he and his friends were here in town on an adventure.

So this part of town is part of that time in my life when I moved out on my own, had a job, a boyfriend and an apartment.  How much more grownup would I ever be I thought.

Well, here I am at nearly 69 (February) and right back in the middle of the setting of my glory days.

And my glory days takes us right back to late 60s into early 70s and the Hippie/Tie Dye era.  See the circle.

My mother once told me you go back to where you were the happiest.  That really did not make sense to me at the time. Now, I see what she means.  Maybe it is an old age thing - looking back on the good times but I'm here, it is 2019, and I think it is going to be great.

Except..... I'm going to be staying at my son's house - way, way across town -- a couple of days each week.  Starting tomorrow ...

More on that story later ...

Saturday, December 22, 2018

My Christmas Ornament

Now before you think what a wonderful job, let me just explain how much I really did to make this ornament in my Glass Blowing Class.





The truth is I really only made the top bulb part.  You start the ornament from a long tube-shaped piece of glass.  The glass is heated by continuously turning the tube and then the end is pushed closed  You continue heating but several times you will quickly pull it out of the fire and blow into the end of the tube, then return to the fire all the while continuing to turn.  At one part I blew so hard I nearly broke the bulb.  The instructor said if the bulb had broken we would have had to leave the classroom for several hours as there would have been minute pieces of glass in the air which could hurt your lungs, eyes, etc.

The tail of the ornament is made by pulling the heated glass and pushing it back towards itself to create the ledges and stretched out for the tail.  The handle is a piece of heated glass stretched with fancy pliers to lengthen and then curl.  The teacher did all that part and I was glad to let him handle it as he performed the fancy work. 

My thoughts are that it was enjoyable and very interesting but not for me long term.  Reasons:  the continuous turning of the glass wands, sometimes one in each hand was very hard for me.  I don't seem to have that upper body strength anymore.  Holding your arms up and continuously moving was harder than I expected. 

The second reason, I was a little nervous around the fire. It was perfectly situated and I was ok doing it but knowing that I was exposed to the fire just made me uncomfortable. 

All in all, it was a fun couple of hours.  I learned something I had never done or seen that close up.  There were only 3 people in our class so we got loads of hands-on personalized instructions.  And, as I mentioned before, the young lady (early college years) was very polite and well mannered.  Very respectful and made sure that I had room to see.  Polite young people are so nice to be around.  I wanted to tell her family what a good job they did but then I thought, no, it was up to her choice to display good manners and continue that attitude in her life and she should really get the credit. 

Well Christmas is not quite over but I feel I've done enough to say I celebrated it well.  Ready for the fireworks and then life as normal.  Good golly.  How did I ever get to be this worn-out person?  Oh well.  Life happens.   

More later....

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Busy. Busy.

The Grand Girls and I went to see The Christmas Carol at the Alley Theater.  Really nice theater, dressed to the max, as were the Little Girls.  Another Video.  Since I found this app I'm just addicted to making something from all the pictures I take.



Then today we went to the Galleria.  Can't even tell you how big it is.  Blocks and blocks.  Floors and floors.  And, an Ice Skating Rink in the bottom center.  We had lunch, watched the ice skaters and then rode the elevator with a glass side up and down 12 floors.  Not the best thing to do after lunch but they thought it was great.  


And I still had a smile on the way home.


If I don't talk to you before, Have a Very Merry Christmas ....


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bloglovin' app for smartphones is a DUD

My relationship with Bloglovin' has come to an impasse.  Since Blogger or Google or whatever system last changed my blog reading platform, I came to rely on Bloglovin' and was very happy.  I'm still happy with the program on my computer but not on my smartphone.

Since the last time I lost my phone - when someone picked it up right outside my house and contacted me but never responded to my requests for a meetup - I have gotten a replacement phone which I assumed to be the same model.  It looks like the same phone but doesn't act like the same phone.

I have spent so much time removing the "improvements".  I backed up my phone and it should have reloaded like it was before - but nooooooo.  But, I digress.

When I reloaded the Bloglovin' app on my phone it added a new feature - you have to choose new blogs to read before it will let you read the ones you already follow.   Now I have been known to explore new blogs by subject area or by reading comments on a blog and thinking that person sounds interesting and going to their blog. 

What I do not want is to be forced by Bloglovin' to add blogs everytime I open the app.  I contacted them and got a thank you for contacting us and we'll be back with you - which, of course, they did not. 

So because I have advocated for Bloglovin' before, I wanted to tell you that I do not recommend it as your blog reader on a cell phone unless you are lucky enough to get the app I had before the "improvement". 

Another crazy thing.  Is it me or is every page so full of ads that you can only read 3 lines of type at a time and/or so slow loading because of all the pop-ups, videos, etc.  I'm beginning to feel like I did about regular TV when there were more commercials during a television program than there was a program. 

All of these companies need to remember they are not the only game in town and if we are not pleased, we will go elsewhere.  Just sayin'.