Archive | January, 2014

the need to pee ….

21 Jan

Over recent years I have noticed a very bizarre phenomenon… the need to pee as soon as I pull up in at home and the keys are removed from the ignition.loo2

This strange situation usually happens at the end of the day, when… with great relief I wheel into the garage and begin to unload the shopping (along with all the sundry bags and items collected throughout the day). It’s a though a switch is flicked, and I have to pee….right then and there.. !!!

It quickly becomes a mind game, as I employ every single muscle fibre of my well tuned pelvic floor (at least it once was)…  to buy myself enough time to at least get all the stuff as far as the kitchen before rushing full speed into the bathroom (God help me if the backdoor is locked and my hands are full while I fumble for a key).

But here’s the puzzle…the normal trip home is 30 mins, yet on the odd day that I am travelling from the city it can be up to 2 hours …it makes NO difference how long or short the trip is. Nor does it matter that I make  a conscious habit of going to the loo before leaving the office, it’s just an automatic response to arriving home (mmm what does THAT say?).

I cast my mind back to the 80’s when I worked as a Childbirth Educator… coaching couples in the care and fitness of their pelvic floors, drilling them in their exercises like it was boot camp. I wonder just how bad things would now be without the benefit of all that training.

Guess it’s just another one of the joys of being ‘50 something’ !

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fear of the “bag lady”

20 Jan

I returned to work today after a fabulous few festive weeks and I must say that getting back into a routine is a mixed blessing… one that (at this stage) I am choosing to embrace. However, while sorting myself to get out the door this morning, I stopped in my tracks as I realised with horror  that “I’M ON MY WAY TO BECOMING A BAG LADY” aaargh. I need to get this under control before I end up becoming the little old lady with the pencil thin eyebrows that we met earlier in “The Meaning of Eyebrows”  loubale.wordpress.com/?p=129&preview=true  baglady

By the time I had: packed my lunch in my gorgeous cooler tote bag (part of the decision to take lunch rather than buy it)… filled my lap-top bag with everything except a lap-top ( documents that I should have read over the break ,but didn’t)… grabbed my handbag with my personal bits and pieces (you never know when you will need make-up, panadol, glasses, sun-glasses, rewards cards, perfume and money), then collected the 2 bags of clothes for the charity bin (from yesterday’s ruthless draw cleanout)…. I could barely get out the door, let alone in the car.

I struggled and it’s only day one!

Over recent years I’ve started to notice that I carry stuff back and forth to work each day ‘just in case’, so I’ve decided it will stop…right here… right now;  I plan to take a minimalist approach to commuting and literally ‘lighten my load’.

That said, I’m not sure what it is about us women, but there is something bizarre about piling stuff into handbags, yet never stopping to fully empty them… (meaning that you then need a second bag to cope with the overflow). I’ve never been great at swapping bags to match outfits….it would mean actually decanting stuff back and forth with the ultimate worry that just when you need them, those 10 pens you have been carrying ‘just in case’…won’t be there.

Footnote:

Before putting fingers to keyboard tonight I emptied my handbag …lo and behold, I discovered a map tucked in one pocket, when I checked it out I found it was a relic from our trip to New York in Sept 2012, complete with our travels around the fabulous city marked in pen.P1120581

Sentimental? Maybe…

Necessary every day in Penrith? …Hardly.

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feeling like a quick enchilada?

19 Jan

There is very little that frustrates me more than rushing to do a quick grocery shop stop, and then not being able to easily locate the things I need.

I reckon I did 3 laps of Coles today scouring the shelves for salad dressing. Nothing special, new or different… just regular Paul Newmans, but do you think I could find it…? In fact I found things that I didn’t even know Coles sold, but for some reason the salad dressing remained elusive.

When I eventually resorted to actually reading the signs above the aisles, it made me wonder who decides what product is worthy of signage. There seemed to be very little rhyme or reason to the items that got top billing …but salad dressing was not one of them.  There were all sorts of things listed, but one in particular had me stumped and more than a bit amused… “Mexican Food”.

I would love to know how high the demand for enchiladas, guacamole or chimichangas  is in North Richmond, but my guess is that more people want salad dressing. Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos and burritos as much as the next person, but I just can’t see how Mexican food got it’s own sign. (I didn’t see anyP1090159 for Italian, Chinese or  French food…)

Anyway, you will be pleased to know that (after a good 15 mins) I eventually located what I was after, without a scrap of help from their store directory;  but at least I will know where to go the next time I get struck by the need for a quick enchilada!

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it’s all in the numbers

18 Jan

numbersThere is no doubt it’s hot… in fact one could say REALLY bloody hot. But what is it with the need to know the actual ‘number’ that tells us how hot it is?

I admit that I am not a ‘numbers girl’ … I hate sudoko but love crosswords, hated maths but loved english. There is no way I could tell you the price per kilo of any meat or vegetable… (if I need it, then it’s the right price). Nor could I tell you exactly how much I weigh; if (like now) the muffin top begins to appear, then it’s time to stop eating. I prefer to not think about the number of years I have been around, and I struggle with having way too many numbers to choose from in order to find the right TV station.

On the other hand, Mr ‘50 Something’ is like The Rainman…give him a measurement or phone number and he can retain and recall it forever..In some ways I’m envious, but the thought of cluttering my brain with all those meaningless digits (then maybe needing to find them again) just freaks me.

With this numbers skill comes a fascination with all kinds of measurement…the speed of sound, the speed of light….the speed of speed !!! But then there is the temperature, ‘how hot is it going to be?’… ‘how hot is it now?’… ‘how cold was it?’.  For him it’s all about the numbers, whereas for me it’s simple…. ‘do I feel hot?’, will I get cold?’, ‘do I think I’ll need to take a jacket, and if so, what colour?P1120574’.

It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same … (as he says, between us we can count AND write) but watching the outside temperature gauge in the car flick up or down by a degree is not really enough to capture my imagination (on the other hand, if there was a scrabble board built into the dashboard …. I’d be there in a heartbeat).

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the party’s over…time to detox

17 Jan

Sadly all good things come to an end, including holidays. You know that time has arrived when you begin craving a daily routine… and lettuce leaves.

Having abandoned all diet rules over these past weeks, I thought it might be good to kick start a return to the real world with a ‘foot spa detox’ at the local massage parlour.  With promises to ‘suck the toxins right out of your system via the soles of you feet’… it seemed an offer too good to refuse (and perhaps too good to believe)…but what the hell?  If there was ever any doubt, the thought of a relaxing foot massage at the end, certainly sealed the deal.

Now first up I must say there was something a little unnerving about sitting with my feet in a tub full of water and an electric current running through it… but hey, what could possibly go wrong? Anyway… I’m here to tell the story.

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The effect was obvious within minutes. Swirls of colour began to appear and the water gradually started to look like the sludge of a slow running creek. To think those oily slicks, bubbles and flecks of crap were emerging from MY body was enough to make me want to puke… but at the same time provided enormous amusement….so I guess the experience was worth it for the entertainment value alone (not to mention the massage).

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I am keeping an open mind, but emerged feeling very relaxed and   ‘cleansed’, almost virtuous and pure (and with very clean feet). Apparently the full effect and sense of wellbeing will peak within 3-4 days, but for now I can say that I immediately felt lighter … not sure if that’s due to the removal of toxins or money from my wallet….we’ll just have to wait and see, meanwhile bring on the lettuce leaves.

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the fine art of fishing

16 Jan

It’s true to say that ever since I was young, I have liked to challenge convention; not in any huge anti-establishment kind of way, but more an irreverence to accepted practice. As a young adult I was always good at questioning and then stretching the rules (rather than breaking them outright) and the more someone told me ‘this is the way we do it …(whatever ‘IT’ was)’ the more likely I was to find an alternative way to get there.

So it comes as no surprise that from the time I met my now ’50 something’ man, (who considered himself an accomplished fisherman; having been trained in the nuances of the sport by his father) … I have challenged the ‘rules’ of fishing.  Who says the fish don’t bite if it’s windy (surely it doesn’t affect them underwater)… or that you should have a particular type of line with a particular style of hook if you want to catch a particular kind of fish…and then there is the bait… bla bla bla ….on it goes, and suddenly a simple and relaxing pastime becomes fraught with rules.

MY rule is just grab whatever leftovers you have handy (that will stay on your hook), and knock yourself out. As for line and rigging …if it looks good and the hook stays on, then who cares what kind of knots you tie?

Some of my more successful moments have been with apple and chicken, but over the past few days I have managed to score flathead with BBQ’d tomato and basil sausage, and bream with multigrain toast. See…Who said it needs to be complicated?  (although I’m sure my now departed FIL would turn in his grave at the thought …)P1120516

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hunger games

15 Jan

I’m not sure if I am alone in this…but I rarely ever get ‘hungry’. Sure I eat (way too much over these past few weeks) but ordinarily food barely makes it onto MY Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

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I like to cook… but in a creative kind of way for a special occasion or special person, but the idea of weekly shopping for food as basic sustenance bores me to tears these days…ESPECIALLY if I am not feeling hungry at the time. I stare at the supermarket shelves or into the butchers cabinet and I draw a blank…instead of being inspired and exciting my taste buds, my mind goes blank and I end up with a version of the same thing as last time ….UNLESS it’s a special meal and I am shopping for interesting and exotic ingredients with that in mind.

Whenever I am  asked what do you want to do for dinner ? … I’m happy to defer with the standard “I don’t mind…what would you like to do?” because it’s a rare day that I have any particular taste desire.

This is a more recent phenomenon. I mean… I  always managed to feel the kids well when they were small… but these days I’m more likely to look at the clock at 8.30pm  and think ‘mmmm I guess it may be time to consider what to prepare for dinner … oh, but seriously does anyone really want to eat?’ … (as I look about and see them gnawing their arms off up to the elbows). Not that they are incapable of cooking … but somewhere in the back of my brain there IS  a plan and they all know that they dare not interfere with that!

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battle of the senses

14 Jan

YP1090208ou’ve gotta laugh …otherwise it might make you cry.  We’ve all seen the hallmark greeting cards and email gags about the more ‘senior’ folk who are hard of hearing…Well picture this. Yesterday we took my 92yo MIL out for a spot of shopping and a trip to the bank. Being extremely frail we organised a courtesy wheelchair for the adventure; but only 15 mins or so into our window shopping, she announced (rather loudly) that a toilet stop was needed. Fortunately the disabled loo was nearby, clean and vacant …so we managed without TOO much drama and relatively unscathed by the experience. However, when we made it to the bank and sat (while ’50 something’ son did the banking for her), she announced to me …in the voice of a deaf woman minus her hearing aids… that she was feeling a bit ‘unusual’ in the toilet department and thought she might have piles. This whole scene was a tad awkward (especially given the silence of the bank)… but was made worse as I tried to reply with something sensible… in MY broken and voiceless whisper … All I got back in response was a very loud  “EH LOVE ?… WHAT DID YOU SAY”? Now I am very familiar with not being heard, but normally I can make myself understood second time around with a few hand gestures….but this was a little difficult and the more I tried, the louder she got. The whole scene ended with her saying loud and clear … “EH? I CAN’T HEAR YOU….I SAID I THINK I HAVE HAEMORRHOIDS”! At which point we took the money and left the bank (good thing we won’t be back at that branch anytime soon).

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first world birthday dilemmas

13 Jan

Ok so what do you do when you simply run out of ideas? …Birthday gift ideas that is.

After celebrating 35 Christmas’ …35 birthdays… and 33 anniversaries…not to mention the random acts of gift giving in between,  I have finally drawn a blank when it comes to that special treat for my ‘50 something’ man. The 103+ presents to date have ranged from practical to creative and at times completely useless (I remember the 2 ton pet rock for the garden in 1995),  and from thrifty to extravagant. P1090245But today I could think of  nothing!!! nought, zip, zero.

Why is it that are men are just so hard to buy for ?… He either has it, (or simply doesn’t need or want it) or is fussy and too hard to please.  Yet on the other hand women are so easy (they can NEVER have too much jewellery or perfume).

One year I even tried the World Vision ‘water wells for a village’ approach …mmm, while it made me feel good it probably missed the mark just a little (lucky I didn’t go for the goat).

Sigh…perhaps it’s time to revisit to old days of sock and undies with the odd hankie thrown in (actually, come to think of it …does anyone even use hankies these days?)

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walking…the rules of engagement

12 Jan

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It’s not an unusual sight these days to see morning walkers out and about, doing their bit to control the bulging waistline; but never is this more evident than the holidaymakers in January on the coast.

All the ‘50 somethings’ with their new-found resolutions, flock to the foreshores for their morning exercise, before heading home for a cooked up brekkie, a rest and a leisurely read of the paper, followed by lunch and a well earned ‘cold one’(if they’re super keen they may have squeezed in a sleep on the beach and an ice-cream beforehand …but of course that’s optional).

The art of the ‘50 something’ morning walk is something worthy of comment. First of all there is the look…no sweaty gym gear for this lot; its fresh joggers, white socks, shorts and t shirt (more often than not, with a matching visor).  Unlike the under 30’s, who are pounding the pavement beside them in singlets with sweat glistening on their rippled bodies (and for whom jogging is as natural as breathing)…Instead, this lot stroll along with a pause here and there to gaze at the marine life or to stop and chat with a ‘fellow walker’… BUT as long as this morning ritual lasts a minimum of 45mins, it’s respectable to go home shower, flop and feel good about yourself.

Then there is the etiquette… the unspoken rules that say; stay to the left, allow the speedier paced to pass, and don’t confuse oncoming (pedestrian) traffic with any sudden movement…or worse still, no movement at all.  Apparently this is MY crime …. frequently accused of ‘not paying attention’ or ‘choosing my line’ too late, I’m beginning to wonder if  the ‘walking police’ will soon insist on us all having a pedestrian licence before setting a jogger on the pavement.

Still it shouldn’t be too big an issue; because for most of us it’s a short lived phenomenon and by February the joggers and visors will be securely packed…ready for next year.