Saturday, March 24, 2018

Out and about...

We recently got one of those fliers from a new car dealer advertising a chance to win money for stopping by.  Now, our daily drivers are 6 years old, still running fine, get quite good gas mileage, and we aren't even thinking about replacing them.

But we know nothing about the new models from any brand, and if there were an unfortunate incident involving one of our cars, we'd be at a total loss to know where to even start.   And at that point we'd be under pressure to make a quick decision.  So, off we went to check out one of the US big three...

I was wearing my usual outfit of stirrup pants, pantyhose, flats, turtleneck tunic, necklace and bracelet, with my purse and no makeup.   Right from the get-go, we were greeted and addressed as two ladies.  I made no attempt to disguise my voice, and my wife did not play the husband card (and she avoided any "he or she" terms in talking about me.)    Over time, we noticed that the salesman and manager drifted from "ladies" to addressing us as "folks."  But never was the "S" word used.  And he held the door for both of us as we got in and out of the cars.  We were there for quite a while, including driving some of the models.

The only thing my wife mentioned to me when we were alone was "Sweetie, they really do think you're a girl."  My return comment was that it wasn't as bad as the incident when we were in the market for a car 6 years ago...the sales rep (at the place we didn't buy from) kept referring to me as "Ma'am" even after they looked at our driver's licenses so we could test drive a car.  It clearly showed a great big "M."   (I was wearing shorts, a polo and sandals.   So my outfit clearly didn't scream "woman."  Apparently my purse and long hair were the triggers.)

This time, my wife remained completely unconvinced that they figured out my true gender, even up to the time we left.   And that's a good thing.  As is the fact that she seems to be getting fairly comfortable with us being treated as two women.

By the way, we won $2.   Which came close to covering the gas cost to get there...

And then came the snow...another nor'easter, or "four-easter" as some have called it, because of it being the fourth in 3 weeks.   We actually were spared the worst of it here on the Delmarva.   I've seen from 3" to 5" of the white stuff in the area.  But the other side of the bay (DC and Baltimore, as well as the northern and western suburbs) ranged up to 10" plus.  And most schools lost at least one, if not two, days.

The snow was heavy and wet.  It made a beautiful sight, clinging to the trees.  And fortunately, didn't cause any power failures in our neighborhood.

But by the next day, the snow was over half melted, and the roads were fine.   If temperatures had been even two degrees cooler, things would have been much different...and much worse!

Hope winter has been kind to all my readers...


Saturday, March 17, 2018

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Fortunately, since the disastrous family luncheon, Mom has been doing somewhat better...though sleeping a lot.  Lower lows, and lower highs, seems to be the way it goes.  She slept through most of my most recent visit.

First, the good: I've worn the brown clogs shown in my picture a couple posts ago, and have gotten several compliments about them from both staff and residents at the nursing home.  Though I won't ask, I wonder if they've figured out I'm wearing girls' shoes?   I suspect that they do....

More good:  At the big box store recently,when I was checking out, I was addressed as "Ma'am" a number of times, and even heard "sweetie" from the middle-age male clerk who checked me out after a short wait in line at the cash register.  It all sounded sincere.  But whether it was or not, it's always nice to hear!

Then the bad:  recently it was time to get my nails done again, because the one toe nail which I somehow bruised a while back, and which was turning black-and-blue, was finally beginning to darken significantly and show through the gel color.  When my tech removed the gel, I got bad news...that my nail was indeed damaged,  and was beginning the process of loosening and falling off.

Needless to say, that was not welcome news at I asked if I should see a doctor.  She didn't think so, and since I just had my annual physical exam with complete bloodwork - all was normal, I tend to agree with her.  Why should anyone have to pay to have a doctor tell me that I bruised it and it's going to fall off???  I already know that.   So I had her use regular polish on my toes this time around.  The tech figures it will take a month or two to finally fall off.   Just in time for warm weather.  :-(  Time will tell...

Now comes the ugly:   a long-standing cracked nail on the big toe on the same foot (which she has been keeping glued together while it grows out - not pretty unless covered by gel or regular color), mean that when the above happens, I'm not likely to be wearing sandals for a while.   Regular polish on my toes means that I can just remove it myself when the time comes....I don't need to pay for a gel removal.

So I can now begin to plan my summer footwear....however, depending on how fast things progress, it looks as though I won't likely be spending much of my time in sandals.   Except perhaps that pair of fisherman sandals (which keeps the toes mostly covered...)

More later...


Thursday, March 8, 2018

An all-too-brief visit with my cousin and her hubby.

A quickie about what was supposed to be a fun weekend with my cousin and her hubby...ending with the highlight: our noon meal Sunday at the nursing home, with their aunt/my mother.

This saga started out on a tough was the weekend of the first of two nor'easters, the one with very heavy winds.  So our visitors got seriously delayed...they were coming to us from the south, and both bridges which normally make access to the Delmarva from the south convenient, were closed due to winds between 60 and 80 mph.  (The latter being over hurricane force.)  When they finally arrived, we had a good time visiting and getting caught up on Saturday afternoon...   We even called the local pizza joint to have dinner brought in...nobody wanted to bother with cooking!

Sunday was our pre-planned lunch with Mom at the nursing home - or hotel, as we have to refer to it in front of her. 'Telling it like it is - calling it a nursing home" simply doesn't work well...that brings up the "I want to go live with my mom and dad" issue every time.  Never mind the fact that they passed away nearly 50 years ago and the house belongs to someone else now.  She simply can't comprehend that.  

While our meal happened precisely as planned, and the food at the nursing home was quite good, Mom was definitely not having one of her better days,  and wasn't socializing well.  She didn't remember her niece or hubby, nor did she remember me.  The "not remembering me" part is happening more often lately.  Bright side is that she didn't call me her sister's name (her niece's mother.)   I have long hair like Mom's sister did. That really would have been awkward for my cousin.

And the next day, Mom stayed in bed through my visit...very unusual.

So she may hav started down that awful "slippery slope" which every Alzheimers victim has ahead of them at some point.   And what is at the bottom of the slope is never good...   Simply pray (in whatever way/language/religion you wish) that nobody near or dear to you ever has a run-in with dementia...simply a horrible disease.

It was unfortunate that my cousin and her hubby couldn't have stayed longer...we still had some catching up to do.   But that can be done the next visit.

More later...


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Come on, Halloween.,..and please let me be in town this year!

This was to be quite an incredible day!

When I arrived at Mom's nursing home a while back, I had no way to know in advance there would be a social event already in progress.  Or that they had already brought Mom down to participate.  It was a visit with the young (as in newborn) kids, to about 4 years old, a field trip from a local day care.  Mommies (and a very few daddies) were there with their babies.  I'm surprised my mom wanted to go...and in reality, I suspect when they wheeled her down, she simply thought she was going for a cup of coffee.

That day, I decided to wear a pair of gray capris, pantyhose, black turtleneck with necklace and bracelet, and my brown clogs.  See pictures...

Much to my surprise, when I came around the corner, there was Mom, already in the activity room, at a table with one of the other ladies, and a young girl was seated at her table, coloring (well, really scribbling with crayons - on paper).

I pulled up a chair next to them, removed my coat, sat down next to Mom and began talking to the various mommies about their kids as they came by.   (And didn't even attempt to disguise my voice.)  My mom sort of joined in, but only half-heartedly.  The other lady sitting with her ended up talking to them a bit more...but stayed seated with us.

It was fun being a part of the "mostly girl-type" discussions.    More than once, mommies encouraged their kids to "talk to these nice ladies" - meaning, the 3 of us.  None of the kids appeared to question my gender - no stares or double takes.  They simply accepted me as a woman.  A couple of them even politely answered my questions with "Yes, Ma'am."  OMG...

A mat was retrieved for the youngest (3 to 12 month) babies, and I spent a few minutes standing there cooing over 6 or 7 babies squirming away on the mat, while I was talking to their mommies.  (You smile at those babies, they - mostly- smile back.)  Mommies didn't give me a second glance, we talked like two women.  I guess they saw me as one of them.  There were only a couple of daddies present, and neither bothered with me at all - they apparently thought I was just "one of the old women who live there."  Some older kids actually carried on short conversations, about their age, coloring projects, and so on.  I actually felt right at home in my womanly role...

Yes, probably 50% of the mommies were wearing capri pants...the other 50% - cropped jeans.  No dresses or skirts at all.   That day, I fit right in...

After one of the mommies got her daughter "talking to these nice ladies," the woman sitting with Mom and me confided that old timers think I'm Mom's daughter.  When appropriate, she corrects them gently, but some of them simply don't buy it...they believe I'm a girl.  I assured her that I'm fine with that - I answer to either Sir or Ma'am, and if they see me as a girl, I'll try to fit right in if that's more comfortable for them.  But I mentioned that it's a phenomenon which has happened for years, probably because of my hair, nails and sartorial style.

Then she said something to the effect that "well, the rest of us know who you are, and don't care what you choose to wear...we love you, however you like to dress."

Bring on Halloween....


Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's been too quiet around here...

Test results came back, with no major issues to follow up.  Yes, admittedly a couple of small things need attention, but all-in-all, it's not a bad report.

During our recent warm spell, I decided to break out my capris for the first time this season, on my morning visit to Mom's...and it was fun!

When I arrived at the nursing home, a gaggle of 3 women (including the Director) were standing at the reception desk, talking business.  We all exchanged pleasantries, and as I passed the entrance to the reception area (which meant they could see my capris clearly), all 3 commented to me about my outfit.   "Wow, look at you, sweetie!"  "It must be spring - you're sporting your capris!"  "Fabulous idea, hon...they're perfect for you - you look very pretty."  Then all three of them put their legs "front and center" so I could see their flats and bare ankles (the Director was in low heels - I was jealous), as they commented: "At least we got rid of our socks!  Guess we should be wearing our capris, too!   You're a great inspiration!"  We all got a chuckle out of that...

But now the weather's gone bad again...and unfortunately, none of us have worn them since!  (That warm spell sure has led to one big bunch of confused trees...which are starting to bud already.)  Yes, I do plan to oblige - once the weather breaks...

A couple days before I wanted to get my fingernails done, I stopped by the nail salon to make an appointment.  (Of course, wearing my traditional stirrup pants, tunic top, pantyhose, flats, and carrying my purse. )  The nail techs were happy to see me, and they made my appointment.  When I left the salon I walked to the food market nearby to see if they had something we'd be needing soon.

But to get there, I had to walk past a pizza joint.  I casually looked in from behind my Foster Grant's as I approached, and noticed a fiftysomething, somewhat disheveled-looking bearded man sitting alone in a window seat, staring at me as I got closer.  My sunglasses made it possible for me to watch him (by moving my eyes as I walked, without turning my head in his direction).  Once I passed him, there was a 90 degree turn in the sidewalk, with obliging store windows, and perfect lighting, to let me watch his reflection in those windows without looking in his direction - at least till I turned the next corner and disappeared completely.

Once I finished at the store, I had to retrace my steps.  And guess what, he was still sitting there, still alone, whiling away the time.   I looked his way until he noticed me, then presumably with his eyes following me (at least initially), I cut across the parking lot  and disappeared among the cars.   He was either an admirer, a hater,  a curious person, or maybe someone from my neighborhood, who thought he recognized me.  One thing for sure, I didn't recognize him.

I'll never know - and don't really care.  I'm just looking forward to getting my nails done...

And following is the finished product:

My visit to the salon the next day was uneventful.   Other than the one lady who was being finished up when I arrived, the place was "all mine."  A very quiet visit, with only the two techs.   With some extra time, my tech applied an extra coat of gel on my nails, which caused them to be quite a bit more noticeable.  She thought they looked better, and I have to agree!

Best of all, the nosy man was not sitting in the pizza shop!

I'll close with a couple of pictures from the archives:

One of our son's family pets, an "old lady kitty"...she's 9 years old.

And for ferroequinology fans:

The circa 2002 Mt. Washington Cog Railroad train - sitting at the top of Mt. Washington, NH: elevation reportedly 6,288 ft.   Nowadays, they run more diesel trains than steam.

Till later...