Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another birthday? You're not old...

February, my favorite month, exceeded all expectations this year. I got my first ever Social Security payment, turned in my resignation at work, and, on the 29th, celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary (that’s 32 in regular years). (The accompanying picture is the wonderful flower arrangement given me and Bob by our friends, the Kennedys. I didn’t have any flowers at my wedding and this gesture just thrilled me.)

I also participated in a day-long workshop entitled, “The Divine P.I.T.A.: Essential Elements for Aging Well,” with a promised focus on “Practical Tools for Infusing the Daily with the Spiritual: Purging the Aging Myths.” My take on the subtext was that aging brings the freedom to be your authentic self, but, the reality of it still looms large. P.I.T.A. stood for “pain in the ass.” As a pre-boomer I was the oldest woman there and think I have learned to accept at least the greeting card wisdom about aging: The card front cover says, “Another birthday? You’re not old.” (Open card): “Hell, you were old last year.”

Coincidentally, the same week as the workshop I had been listening to an audio book called, No, I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club! It is the diary of the 60th year of a British matron, Marie Sharp, who is embracing this time of her life as the occasion to throw off the “shackles of youth.” (See above – becoming one’s authentic self by unlayering the masks we no longer need in age.) She vows never to join a book club where members seem to feel, “…they’ve forever got to poke their brain with a pointed stick to keep it working.” To her a book is either “brilliant” or “total crap; don’t touch it with a bargepole.” I found “No, I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club” if not brilliant, certainly one of the most engaging novels I’ve read in years.

I went online and bought some Evert-Green reusable plastic bags--the ones purported to keep your fruits and veggies from going bad. Do they really work? Actually, yes, if you don’t expect miracles. They keep things near to purchase-state for about two to three times the amount of time you might normally store produce. I ate a vine-ripened tomato the other day (be sure to remove any leaves or vine; they get weird) that I had bought and kept at room temperature for about 10 days. It was a touch more acidic than normal, but certainly better than any tomato that had been refrigerated even a night or two. Also, a basket of out of season strawberries, (I’m weak; I couldn’t resist) notable for turning to mush about 20 minutes after you unload the groceries, stayed viable in my fridge in one of the bags for about 36 hours. I’d say you’ll see a return on the cost of the bags (about a buck each) within a few months as they are reusable up to half a dozen times. The medium-sized easily accommodate a large head of red or green leaf lettuce or romaine.

And now that were on to food, if you are looking for a healthy, fab snack, try a “fusion” avocado. Cut a perfectly ripe avocado in half; fill the pit depression with 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce. Eat. Nummy. Try not to eat the other half too, because then you are treading in deeper caloric waters. One half of a small avocado will run you about 150k, a nice nutritious, afternoon snack that will easily tide you over until dinner.

In the continuing dry skin department…Mom, the original old broad, recommends generic no-tears baby body wash/shampoo. I use it now rather than Dove or Aveeno. At less than two bucks at any grocery store it’s a find.

E-you later, darlings.

Aunt Rose

P.S. Here’re today’s citations:

Evert-Green plastic produce bags:

No, I don’t want to Join a Book Club by Virginia Ironside from Amazon:

Fusion Avocado recipe: