Acting Like a Grown-Up

Aug 31, 2011 by

Some believe this means being boring. Staid. No fun. All responsibility and no spontaneity. Au Contraire.  Of course this is just my perspective, but… Being a (single) grown-up means: You can decide when it’s time to act silly…and enjoy doing so…without worrying about what others think. You can designate one day a week as the “blob day.”  Mine is Sunday.  With a few rare exceptions, I do absolutely nothing that I don’t absolutely want to do.  Oddly enough, some Sundays are my most productive days… You can choose to have cold cereal for dinner, and enjoy it. (Some nights this is JUST the thing for me. No sad little single moaning here.  I love Weetabix, with very, very cold milk.) You’ve learned that kindness is both a virtue AND a skill. A skill that...

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The “Thing Thing” (Clean your cabinets!)...

Aug 1, 2011 by

I recently moved my mom, aka “The Momster” to Albuquerque.  As such things go, I couldn’t move most of her material possessions. Too much stuff. Too little time.  Too many and higher priorities. And, as I spent hours digging through drawers, closets and cabinets…much of it appeared to not have been touched, much less used in years, if not decades. ALL of it coated in multiple layers of deep, deep brown nicotine (Hey, wasn’t this white when I sent it as an Xmas present? Ack. Ack.)  So, what the hell to move??? –  especially given Mom’s directive to “do the best you can.” Still, I tried…digging out old family jewelry…sifting through piles of paper… trying to get the things that would really (I thought) mean something to the Momster.  All while breathing in decades...

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I Hope Happiness IS Contagious

Jun 29, 2011 by

Friends and regular readers of my writing here and at Lipsticking know that I’m going through some major adjustments with my mother.  Fiercely independent. Unwilling to ask for help. Unwilling to accept help. Well, that explains me…but it also explains why my mom ended up where she is…in an assisted living home here in Albuquerque, with multiple major ailments. So sad. Too late. She simply can’t live alone anymore. (She’d HATE my telling you this.  She considers someone asking her where she went to high school a major invasion of privacy (!?)  More about that – generational differences and various conceptions of social interaction in another post.) All that said, Mom is doing amazingly well, adjusting to living with seven other women, in a city she never liked, in a home she didn’t choose,...

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Southern Fried Rice

Jun 24, 2011 by

Yep, that’s what I said. Southern fried rice. I also do “clean out the fridge” rice…or “what do I have in the freezer and pantry” rice…;-)  Basically, work with you’ve got. Get creative, or not. As long as you have garlic and onions in the mix, it’ll be tasty. …and I’d love to try this fella’s Southern Fried rice down in Memphis.  I might just have to fall off the vegetarian wagon for this one. One of my little tricks/cheats is to cook a pot of rice about once a week. Then, I can do all kinds of things from there, with very little effort.  (Tip I got from Cook’s Illustrated.  Bring rice to boil on the stove, cover tightly and put in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Totally fool-proof rice....

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Yes, It CAN (Will?) Happen to You...

May 13, 2011 by

Sure, we’re all fun and fab and over 40 (or 50, or 60).  But, age isn’t just a number.  It’s a reality, and our bodies have their own agenda, even with the best of care. As difficult as it may be for independent women, we also have to realize we need help on occasion, especially as we get “old old.” We don’t think “that” will ever happen to us – falls, dementia, fading sight, just plain old age – but if we live long enough it will, in some form or fashion. Even Betty White moves slower than she used to…and I’ve been told bladder control is one of the first things to go.  (Here’s an idea –  thong Depends in designer colors!) Are you still reading? Or have I totally bummed you out? ...

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Five Reasons I Don’t Date

Apr 25, 2011 by

(No, Not Because There Aren’t Any Men) Sure, as I get older, the available pool of men gets smaller.  But, even if they’re available – would I want them?  Would they want me?  By this time, we’ve all got lives and baggage; it’s difficult to make a space for someone else.  Many men wouldn’t be interested in me, for reasons you can infer from the following five reasons I don’t date. 1.  That Deadly “Story Of My Life” First Date.  Hey, I love me; I’m my very favorite person.  I can navel gaze with the best of ‘em.  But after – oh – 25 years or so I’m sick of talking about my hometown, what my parents did, where I went to college, my favorite authors, my hobbies, etc. etc.  Why not just hand him a...

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White Trash Cocktail Parties

Apr 15, 2011 by

Honey, where’s the Miracle Whip cookbook? Does the headline make you think of home brew with saltines and vienna sausages?  You may also wonder if I’ve been watching too much Justified. Nahhhh. No such thing as too much Justified. I’d buy those godawful sausage things for Raylan Givens and serve ‘em up with a smile.  I’d even get Mags to give me the recipe for Apple Pie (without the poison), if Raylan wanted to stop and sit for a spell. What the HELL are you talking about, Mary? This is supposed to be a Foodie Friday post! Oops, sorry. Where was I? Here’s a deep, dark secret of Southerners (and really, people everywhere) – some of the simplest and most unsophisticated recipes are the ones you can’t keep on the table.  They’re scoffed right...

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Flea Markets Are Like Dating, or Maybe Not...

Apr 14, 2011 by

I enjoy flea markets. I love fleaing.  Ur, no, no – not fleeing. We’re not talking about dating when you’re 50+ today.  Or, maybe we are.  The quality rankings of fleaing could apply to dating.  But then we humans can make pretty much anything (Hey! Quantum physics!) apply to our mating rituals.  But I digress.  ANYHOO… I can spend hours and hours marveling that someone somewhere actually bought the turquoise/burnt orange/rusted/broken gizmoy thingie in the first place.  What the hell is it anyway; good lord is that really three zeros on the price tag!? WHAT is the dealer smoking? Now, that I’d buy – must be really good shit, man. For those of you who may be new to the fine art of fleaing, here are some basics: Fundamental law that applies to all...

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The Art of Eating

Apr 8, 2011 by

As M.F.K. Fisher said, in her introduction to The Art of Eating, “Let Thackeray provide our text: ‘Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent turn of mind, must like, I think, to read about them.’” She goes on to add, “I have been addicted to eating for half a century and to date show no sign of breaking the habit – or its kindred one of devouring food by courtesy of Gutenberg.” M.F.K. Fisher is one of my all-time favorite writers – for reasons you can infer from the above. The Art of Eating is a compilation of five of her books.  As one of her admirers noted, she writes about food, but she’s really writing about life.  Sadly, Ms. Fisher is no longer writing, having died in 1992.  However,...

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Oh Be SERIOUS Mary!

Apr 6, 2011 by

Humor is also a way of saying something serious. – T. S. Eliot I love to laugh; I love to make others laugh.  However, this sometimes gets me into trouble, since I can be perceived as “not taking ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) seriously. But, at the age of 50+, I’ve been around the block, run with wolves, swam with sharks…and all the rest of the hoary lines about making your way in this big, bad world.  I’ve seen Masters of the Universe and Big Dogs with their pants around their ankles, both literally and figuratively. I know what’s it like to be stranded by the side of the road with nobody to call and no money (That’s a [funny] story I’ll tell some other time).   I’ve been broke, but never poor.  Through it all...

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Why Life is Like Leftovers

Mar 25, 2011 by

Sometimes it’s better the next day…other times not. Sometimes it’s worse (and how’s that for a cheery “be your best self” affirmation? 😉 There seems to be a universal law re trying new recipes.  The more you make of something, the more likely you’ll hate it – and when you live alone, that’s a LOT of regret…and guilt.  But, I’ve slowly learn to let.it.go.  Really. Out it goes and I continue on my journey to the light. Used to, I’d let the big ol’ pile of blech sit in the fridge, reproaching me for waste, every time I opened the door.  I couldn’t bring myself to eat the stuff, but I couldn’t throw it away either (Can’t we all hear our Moms right now?  Starving children in China, etc.)  Then, after the ghastly concoction...

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A Tomato, Some Butter, and Thou...

Mar 18, 2011 by

Come to think of it, I don’t need thou.  Give me a tomato, a garlic clove, a bit of oil or butter and some pasta – and I’ve got a tasty, from scratch dinner done in no time.  (One of my deep, dark secrets is that I can eat an obscene amount of s‘ghetti. Really.  It’s downright embarrassing. It’s one of my comfort food/Friday meals.  Yay, me! Feeling depressed? Nothing a little more butter won’t fix! Oh, who are we kidding? A LOT more butter.  It’s Friday, and even it’s not, I deserve it.) I’ve cooked my entire adult life, often without a book. I was lucky to grow up around women who were whizzes in the kitchen and I learned from them without even realizing it.  Whip up pudding from scratch?  Absolutely!  Fry...

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