The Dentist IS My Friend (a mantra)

I’ll admit, I have a teeny weeny dental phobia. Okay, maybe more than teeny weeny but I’ve managed over the years to overcome it, for the most part, at least enough to get the necessary dental work done. I even had peridontal surgery! But that’s another post.

I sit here typing with a gaping hole in my mouth ..and a maritni by my side. After much pleading with my patient, compassionate, well skilled dentist to please replace (which means re-glue) that crown into place ONE more time, he finally convinced me it just ain’t happening and the tooth would need to be extracted in prep for a ……..dental implant. Lord, I just can’t think about it without breaking into a cold sweat. Yet when the time comes, I’ll bite the bullet..possibly his fingers….and do it.

My reason for bringing this to your attention is how I made the decision when my kids were quite young that they NOT be burdened with the same disdain for the dentist as I was. You see, when I was growing up we didn’t have dental insurance and so were only sent to the dentist in “emergency” situations. Not a fun way to establish a positive, trusted relationship with a man who you saw only when you were in pain! And so my children first saw the dentist at age 3 and I was quite diligent about bi annual cleanings and sealants, preventive care and braces. The whole enchilada.

And I continue that regimen with the GP. In fact he ASKS when his next cleaning is! He eagerly strides through the door never noting or commenting about the antiseptic smell that makes me nauseous. He smiles at the receptionist, flops in a chair with ease and comfort and hops up when his name is called like he’s first in line at the burger joint with a free coupon! And then turns to tell me as I rise to accompany him, “I’m good Nan..I’ll be right out”. I smile and nod, turn back to my chair and magazine and then think I’ve done something right here and he won’t feel the need for a martini after a dental visit.

Hey! maybe he’ll opt for dental school and I can get my dentures for free! Now there’s a thought!

Happy Thursday.
Love and Light.

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M&M’s – Menopause and Memory

Menopausal Madness

Menopausal Madness


At 56 I’m officially ‘post menopausal’. Prior to that I was menopausal, pre-menopausal and peri-menopausal. With all those pause-als I should have known there was more to this life transition than what my elders and GYN were telling me.
I believe the word “pause” is a not so subtle warning to women of what to expect when a once quick, sharp memory takes a nosedive. In it’s place comes the long……….pause. It arrives frequently and usually without warning. The word is there, right there on the tip of your tongue, teasing your brain and playing hide and seek with your dusty word retrieval skills. Sometimes you can even see it in your mind’s eye, but articulate it? Nope. At least not without a struggle. Of course it always happens when you’re trying to engage in a conversation with the hope of an intelligent exchange. Or conversing with a co worker, friend or spouse and want desperately to make a point or at least impart a coherent thought!
Lapses in memory are a part of the aging process therefore it’s to be expected. I accept that. What is unacceptable is why I can see a coffee table in my mind but end up calling it the thing-a-ma-jig because I can’t recall the name of the damn thing! The frustration rises with every passing second until at last the light bulb goes off and I can speak the illusive noun.
Names are another topic. I’ve always prided myself on being able to recall a person’s name. Now? I confess I’ve resorted to calling most men ‘honey’, which they don’t seem to mind especially if they’re over 70. And women are gracious and accepting of a warm smile and a “so nice to see you again!” said with great sincerity. Oh. And if she’s over 45, I get that little smile of knowing in return.

It’s a sistah thang.

Happy Saturday!

Until Death Do We Part…or whoever gets most of the blanket.

The Spouse and I are coming up to our 31st wedding anniversary this June.  A quiet weekend away alone will be our celebration. Nothing glitzy. We’re blessed to have a condo in the mountains for family getaways and we don’t get there often enough, but I’ve booked that weekend early. For a couple to be married more than 30 years seems to be quite a feat these days; at least the reactions I receive when the topic comes up give merit to that statement.  I suppose in retrospect it is pretty amazing to have lived, loved, fought, argued, cried, laughed, nurtured, supported and shared the same bathroom with one person all those years. And sharing a bathroom takes great compromise and patience. There are no secrets I’m aware of that can guarantee a long happy marriage, or any other relationship for that matter. I do know that communication is key.

Dr. John Gray authored a wonderful book titled “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” and it’s pages are dog eared now in our house. The Spouse thumbs through it often, which makes me smile because I know he’s seeing the truth of some of Dr Grays theory and rolling his eyes at the rest. Either way, it’s caused us both to pause when we’re having discussions or muddling through our frustrations as to why the other just doesn’t get what we’re saying when it’s so very obvious!

To sum things up, ongoing communication is vital. Open, honest, heartfelt sharing of feelings brings any relationship to a more intimate and bonded level. Learning what your communication styles are and prioritizing your marriage, committing to grow together to insure understanding and empathy for each others feelings will be the best foundation you can lay to have the joy of looking back over, oh say..30 years.

And not hogging the blankets is second on the priority list!

Happy Saturday!

Wrinkles indicate where the smiles have been!

big_girl_panties

One thing I hear a lot when acquaintances and friends are told we’ve adopted our 7 yr old grandson is “oh well he’ll keep you young, that’s for sure!” I’ve always been one to feel age is a state of mind, a number, an attitude. Having to keep up with a 7 yr old boy doesn’t change that, though I admit when the Grand Prince needs lessons on his new bicycle this Spring, sans training wheels, it won’t be Nana who’s running along side; my knees will protest.

Our society is so obsessed with the aging process or better yet keeping it at bay for as long as possible. I figure at 56 I’ve earned every crease, creak, groan, sag,  gray hair -the ones not professionally colored- and age spot that graces my face and body. Gravity is what it is, said Mr. Newton, why fight it?  Our faces and bodies will never look as they did at 25. Have you seen women who’s cosmetic surgery  leaves them looking  like a cartoon character  because they are desperate to dive into the fountain of youth over and over? Oy! Not a pretty picture.

It’s called midlife for a reason. Our youth is gone, but our living is not and there’s lots more to come. In fact the wisdom garnered over the years far outweighs the fleeting  pleasures of youth. My Dad always said, “oh to be 22 and know what I do now!” Of course I didn’t ‘get’ it until I was much older but truer words were never spoken. However, if we could have that we’d miss out on learning to live, making the necessary mistakes and gaining the wisdom over the years that ushers us into the magnificent creatures we are at 50 or 60 or 70 and beyond.

Could you, at 25 or 35 wear crazy hats or stripes and plaids or sweat pants to the supermarket and not bat an eye or cause eyebrows to raise? Could you at 25 or 35 wile away the day just reading, sipping tea, take a long walk, paint a watercolor, play with the cats all while the laundry was piled high and the dust bunnies were running rampant? Could you, at 25 or 35 have a second helping of dessert just because or relive memories of those wild escapades and travels in your younger days? I’d say the latter was unlikely since you’d probably have had those experiences as a child…with your parents overseeing them all!

Bette Davis is quoted as saying “Old age is no place for sissies”.  If we’re spending time trying to recapture what once was we’ll never enjoy the experience of that which seasons us for the second half of  life.  I know I’m going to enjoy the next phase in life’s journey without a care for or a look back  toward the ‘old days’. I’m too busy living life in the ‘not so fast lane’. And it suits me just fine.

Happy Tuesday, all you Big Girls!

Time is not on my side


Contrary to the lyrics of the Rolling Stones hit, “time is on my side, yes it is”, there are many days when I wish for 28 hours instead of 24.
Here’s the schedule for the end of our day, not even factoring in the eight plus hours prior.  Bet there’s a familiar them here for you as well.

After a full workday, I pick up the Grand Prince from after school care, which for me is in the same building I’m employed. That’s a huge plus. Next it’s off to run a few errands, maybe pick up something from the market. If it’s not a karate class day or a tennis lesson then we finish up and head home. Upon arriving we greet the menage of animals and then doff the winter attire to appropriate places and tackle the backpack. Homework, notices from school, permission slips, all to be signed, read or filed on the fridge. Next it’s homework and a snack. I’m very fortunate he’s a conscientious kid and one who enjoys learning, so there’s very little balking about getting homework done. The GP is very on target about snacks too and what’s okay and what’s ‘are you kidding me before dinner!?” sort of snacks.
I start tossing in a load of laundry or swapping one to the dryer while answering questions about spelling, grammar or math (Gods, I hate the math part and beg for the Spouse to handle that. Yes, I’m math phobic). Usually the Spouse is home before me and starts dinner. I’m in love with him all over again every day for that!. While dinner cooks, the GP must do 15 to 20 minutes of silent reading and I get the same time to check email, scan the newspaper, sort the mail and reconnect with the Spouse to share the days events. Multitasking? Parents have done it for decades without a fancy title.
After we share dinner and discussions of our day, it’s time for cleanup, load the dishwasher and a shower for the Prince. While the grandson sings in the shower, I get clothes ready for the next day and pack lunches and/or snacks and remind him over the din of singing and splashing to make sure homework is safely tucked in the backpack.
Toothbrushing and pajamas come next, a little television and/or snuggle time and in a blink of an eye, the clock strikes eight and it’s up to bed and a story. I have managed a few breaths in between. I love you’s are exchanged as are hugs and sweet dreams wishes. All within a three hour time span. Whew!
When coworkers at our lunch table excitedly rehash their favorite episodes of Scrubs, CSI:Miami or Law and Order I nod, smile and listen; totally and blissfully clueless.

I’m asleep by 9:30.

Happy Thursday!

A Day in The Life of A GRG* (*grandparent raising grandchild)

The birthday invitation was for two o’clock on a Saturday sent by a classmate of my grandson. I was thrilled he had adjusted well to kindergarten; making new friends, discovering the joys of learning and life beyond the world of our friendly little neighborhood.

Now the next social step presented itself, the birthday party. I telephoned our RSVP while my grandson bubbled with excitement about the prospect of seeing his friends outside of school and having fun at the local roller skating rink. I, on the other hand, was a little hesitant. My memories of roller rink birthday parties attended with my children were on par with my first visit to the periodontist. However, this event wasn’t about me, it was about my grandson enjoying social time with his peers. Off we go to the local toy store, spend 35 minutes deciding and with much negotiation we at last have a gift purchased, wrapped and in hand.

On the appointed day, we arrive five minutes early (teaching children social graces such as promptness is high on my priority list) and the rush of memory hits me the instant the door closes behind us. We’re greeted by blaring rock and hip-hop music, flashing lights, and scores of children flying by in haphazard direction on 4, 6, or 8 wheels. The only order is inside the rink itself. “Skaters in clockwise circle only please” crackles over the PA system. Before us are row upon row of tables with reserved signs; Isaiah’s Party, Mia’s Party, Olivia’s party all forming a continuous domino like line. We find our host’s family table and smile pleasantries and exchange thank yous then off we go to the rental counter and skates that bear the wear of thousands of children’s feet. Would it be paranoid to pour hand sanitizer on the inner soles? Skates are fitted and it’s onto the wooden rink floor, dodging the experienced and blending with the ‘don’t let me’ fall crowd. I, skate less, and grandson on wheels makes a difficult pair. At 5 yrs old he’s coordinated enough but his inexperience on wheels and the deafening din of the music makes it impossible for any instruction so we settle for “I’ll stand still and you pull me Nana” mode. Naturally, his idea, not mine. Needless to say, once around the rink was the limit for me and his frustration was beginning to show so we decided to return the skates and check back at the table for party food.

The usual fare greeted us. Pizza and drinks delivered just minutes before and served on Star Wars matching plates and cups with a cake sporting Darth Vader and Yoda. Who would have thought Star Wars was back in fashion? All gifts are quickly packed up at parties these days which is a blessing and avoids the occasional teary child wanting to ‘help’ open them and several more ripping at the toys to be the first to play and leaving the birthday child in a meltdown.

A little more time for skating or arcade games (we opted for the latter and had a blast race car driving!) and then it was done. Party over. An hour and a half had passed as I glanced at my watch and offered a silent prayer as the birthday Mom handed out goodie bags. (*note, these are a must and require a computer generated thank you note inside) Once more we smiled and exchanged thank yous to kids and parents alike. I sifted through a Mt Helen’s size pile of coats to find ours, congratulated the birthday boy and ran for the nearest exit sign to the sunshine beyond. Hand and hand we walked to the car and my grandson beamed up a smile to me, “Nana? Wasn’t that cool? I had a great time!”

And then it came as I knew it would. “Can I have my birthday at the roller rink?” That sweet face and set of deep dimples almost had me but I managed the age old reply created by and for all grandparents.

“We’ll see.” And then I smiled.