Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two Friends and a Bottle of Sherry

I have a friend named Bessie Mae, that comes over and drinks coffee with me each morning, and we sit around the table with our coffees and talk about our ailments—I’m ninety and she’s eighty—so we have a lot to talk about.

Anyway, sometimes we talk about other things, like our kids and recipes, and stuff like that.  So one morning we got to talking about a recipe for a sherry cake. Let me tell you, that is one delicious cake, but I’ve never made one myself because I don’t keep sherry in my pantry—at least not real sherry, and that’s what the recipe calls for.

Well, the more we talked about how good it was, the hungrier we got for that cake, so we decided we’d run out to the liquor store out on the highway—well of course I don’t mean we were going to really run out there—we’re not that lively anymore. In fact, we don’t walk too well, but you know, it gets pretty boring just sitting around all the time, even if you do have a new ailment to talk about every day, so we decided we’d just make a little trip to the liquor store—in Bessie Mae’s car, of course. I don’t drive nowadays.

It’s not because I can’t—I just didn’t want to fool with taking a driving test again. My gosh, I took one a few years back—well, I reckon it was about seventy years ago, but anyway, I’ve parked my car for awhile. I may change my mind about taking that test, though. It’s just that I don’t hear too well and might irritate the trooper if I kept on driving after he said stop.

Oh well. Back to our trip to the liquor story. I got my walker, and Bessie Mae got her cane—she’s younger than I, remember, and she’s one lively lady. I think it’s because of her red hair. Anyone with hair that red just has to be lively.  Come to think about it, I don’t remember her hair being red when she was younger

Oh well, back to our trip to the liquor store. It wasn’t far, so we made the trip without any problems. One guy kept honking at us, but we didn’t pay him any attention. We just figured he was trying to get Bessie Mae’s attention on account of her hair. She has that effect on guys, you know.

Well, anyway, here we were at the store, so we parked---well actually we parked several times. Bessie Mae kept ending up kinda catawampus with the lines. But she finally got parked straight enough so nobody would bump in to us—she’s had her left fender repaired three times because of the careless way people park.

We had a little trouble at the door. I can tell you it’s not easy to hold a walker and open one of these heavy doors some stores seem to like nowadays. And then the darn thing kept trying to close before I could get out of the way.

So there we were, and I can tell you that there were so many bottles we didn’t know which way to turn, No one paid us any attention, until my walker knocked a couple of bottles off a shelf. That’s when a clerk came over and offered to help us.

When we told him we needed a bottle of sherry so we could make a sherry cake, he tried to tell us we needed cooking sherry. When we told him the recipe called for real sherry, he just shrugged and pointed to another aisle and said “Take your pick, ladies.” and walked away.

Well, I thought he could’ve been more helpful, but that’s the way it is nowadays. Anyway, we found the sherry without any more help, but we had no idea there were so many kinds. Finally, Bessie Mae picked out a bottle she thought was pretty and said “Let’s get out of here,” so we paid and left. No body asked us to come back, which I thought was a little rude, but it really didn’t matter, because I had no intention of ever visiting that place again.

I think Bessie Mae was a little annoyed, though, but she didn’t let it affect her driving. She obeyed the speed limit and didn’t get distracted by all those people that honked and waved to get her attention. They all seemed to be in a hurry and looked like they were out of sorts about something, so we were glad to get back home and take a little sip of that sherry.

That cake can wait until another day.


No Politics, No Terrorist—Just Pleasant

Sometimes we just need s rest from all the unpleasantness we'e bombarded with, and nothing is better than scenes from nature, whether it's butterflies or flowers, trees or lakes—or both.
For the flower lovers

And the fascinating butterflies

Trees - miniature, colorful, and strange

Easy to look at

 And awesome


Sunday, July 3, 2016

The First Fourteen Days

             The first fourteen days of my 91st year
have been a mixture of good and bad. It began with two wonderful back-to-back parties given by my daughters—so much work for them and so memorable for me.

And that wasn’t all. I had lunch with fifteen of my former Girl Scout girls.  Grandmothers now. Some have retired from careers in teaching and nursing—some have their own businesses. Some are active in volunteer work.
Wonderful girls then—wonderful women now.

I am proud to have been one of their troop leaders, and so grateful to be remembered by them on this landmark birthday. Shall we try for the 100th?

All this fun was followed by a sore throat that quickly became a cough that got worse and worse. Antibiotics, cough syrup, inhaler—this cough sneered at their poor ineffective efforts. Now, after more than twenty breathing treatments, it’s losing its grip but stubbornly hanging on.

What a bother! I have things to do: a novel to finish, posts to my Aluminist blog to write, a few clothing alterations to make, boxes of junk to sort through....

All of which brings up the subject of stress. Today’s mail brought a timely article about the effects of stress. . The American Institute of Stress says that stress causes 60 percent of all illness and disease. And three-fourths of all doctor’s visits are said to be somehow stress-related.

Seems to me this is something we need to pay attention to.

According to this report, there are three types of stress. Each of these can have an impact on both physical and mental health.

The first type of stress is called routine stress. This comes as a result of stress at work, home or due to other daily issues.

The second type of stress comes as a result of change that happens quickly. This is defined as stress related to job loss, divorce or becoming ill.

The third type of stress is called traumatic stress. Examples of this type of stress include an accident, war, being assaulted or a natural disaster

The National Institute of Mental Health says chronic stress can elevate the chances of getting the flu, a cold or other virus. In addition, stress can make vaccines less effective.

Surprisingly, the health effects of stress may not be present immediately. For example, heart disease may not occur for years. This can make for an unpleasant surprise when it comes to health issues that develop down the road.

There are a number of ways you can deal with and decrease stress.

The first is setting priorities. According to the NIMH, this can be done by deciding what needs to be done now and what can be done later. Make it a point to say no to things that aren’t crucial that will add to your stress level.

Second, give yourself credit where credit is due. Give yourself a thumbs up for what you have accomplished instead of beating yourself up for tasks you didn’t complete. In addition, try not to run problems over and over in your mind.

Third, exercise consistently. According to the NIMH, a half hour of simple daily walking can both lower stress and elevate mood. Make it a point to add enjoyable activities to your life. And look into new options that may help -- like yoga, meditation or tai chi.

So relax; be safe, and enjoy this holiday ...and remember what our Fourth of July celebration is about.