Monday, November 30, 2009

Reservations Mandatory - Take III

If I think of the things in my lifetime that I once considered safe but now know are harmful, high on my list would be the sugary soda I drank in lieu of water and milk, (Dad was a soda man), the cigarette smoking that lasted until I neared 30, and the hormones I took for more years than needed. True, the soda wasn’t as potentially dangerous as the other two, but I am on my third set of caps and have more root canals than anyone I know.

Well, the other day I read about a possible new addition to the list of reversal of opinion products: granite countertops. It seems there is radon in granite. Supposedly, there is not enough to do harm, but, nevertheless, it is there. The fancier the granite, the more of the toxic gas.

Not one salesperson volunteered this information to us when we remodeled our kitchen, and when Hubby and I recently went to look at new model homes to get decorating ideas, not one kitchen or bath had granite. In its place was glass. I had never seen glass as thick as butcher block, and it was pretty. In fact I liked it better than granite. (Actually I am not a fan of granite because what other people love about it, I hate: you can’t see the dirt, especially coffee and gravy spills.)

Anyway – a few days ago, after reading Sherry North’s blog in the Miami Herald about the granite I wondered if that was the reason the fancy new models we looked at didn’t have a drop of granite in them and shared this with Hubby. He sat silently for a while, obviously thinking about his answer. Finally, he said, “Are you trying to tell me you can’t cook in your kitchen anymore?”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Let It All Hang Out

For various reasons, too many people can’t accept the inevitable aging process. Some don’t want to appear “old,” while others refuse to admit their true age. Me, I am grateful for each year given to me, and much to the chagrin of some of my friends, shout my age for all to hear. Fear of appearing old has led to the development of many highly lucrative industries, beginning with cosmetics and onto plastic surgery and Botox.

Since moving into a seniorville – a place with a high population of age hiders and altered appearances - I have developed ways to discover if a person is truly as young as he or she looks or maintains. Discovering the truth makes me feel as if I guessed the correct number of jellybeans in a jar. It’s fun. One trick is to sneak the ages of their kids or grandkids into a conversation with a person who looks like they belong in a college dorm, not a seniorville. Many of these folks who won’t admit to their age will readily show pictures of grandkids or brag about their kids and grandkids accomplishments. One gal I met a few weeks ago talked of visiting her grandkids in college. Despite her wrinkle-free face and neck, I knew she wasn’t the spring chicken her face indicated.

Today during my early morning two-mile trek around the walking trail in my seniorville, I discovered a new reliable way to tell if a person’s face isn’t the one mother nature bestowed on her/him. One lady, whose face was as smooth as a balloon, gave me the new, true test – look at the bare legs. No matter how much botox or surgery she had above her shoulders, her thigh skin was sagging towards her knees. She may have facially looked like she was forty, but with each step towards me, the truth was hanging low for all her fellow walkers to see.

Best of all, now I think I know what Joan Rivers meant when she said she has had Botox everywhere possible. If any of you have seen Joan in gym shorts recently, let me know if I’m right.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reservations Preferred - Take II

In the middle of our weekly Mah Jongg game, one of the players asked our hostess what the blue gook was on her shoe. She removed her shoe – a brand new adorable red sandal – and held it up for all of us to inspect. “Gum,” she announced, much to her chagrin.

I told her to use nail polish remover. Another person nixed my idea because it probably would remove the color. The idea of using a sharp razor was mentioned and immediately discarded because it might scratch the leather. Finally, someone said to put it in the freezer. “Take it out tonight and you’ll be able to peel it off easily.”

She put it in the freezer, and we continued to play. The next night her husband asked what was for dinner. “I had no time to cook today so take a frozen dinner from the freezer,” was her innocent answer.

You can guess the rest – like him holding up a frozen shoe and wanting to know how it would taste when defrosted in the micro, and would she suggest he add ketchup or mustard when it was done, etc.

The end comment was the best. “If this is the best recipe your Mah Jongg group has, no wonder y’all like to eat in restaurants so much.”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Decoratingly Challenged

Light bulbs set in the super high ceilings and super high plant shelves that adorn the 12 to infinity high walls of some homes are good for the economy. They have actually created new jobs. All 6 foot one and shrinking of Hubby never needed anything more than a stepladder to change our highest bulbs before we moved into our new home. “You need a 12-foot ladder,” a neighbor advised when looking at our ceilings.

Hubby paled. He doesn't climb anything above a step stool. Never. Ever.

“There’s a contraption,” another neighbor said. “It kind of looks like a telescopic toilet bowl plunger that grasps the bulb and then you twist. Nothing to it.”

With Hubby’s hand tremor and my lack of anything even remotely resembling eye-hand coordination, I visualized the bulbs smashed on my floor.

“Call my bulb man,” a friend suggested. “He has a route and changes all my bulbs once a year – that way the most I’ll ever have is one bad bulb by the time he comes.”

A new industry has been born. Yesteryear’s milkman has become today’s bulbman.

Another industry that is a direct result of high plant shelves - that were not designed for real plants because they are virtually impossible to water - is the manufacturing of oversized bric-a-brac to adorn the shelves. Normal-sized collectables - plates – vases – figurines - that were good enough for my mother and grandmother’s curio shelves and breakfronts just don’t cut it on shelves that are sky-level, not eye-level. Instead, people put platters and bowls from the Green Giant’s own china, urns big enough to hold a dinosaurs’ remains, as well as flower filled bike baskets, doll carriages, and huge containers on the shelves.

Some folks are original and put their real lifetime collectables – clocks, big dolls, or even hats – along the shelves – as long as they are visible from below. One friend has every 8 x 10-school and special occasion picture ever taken of her kids and grandkids framed and perched like birds on the perimeter of her dining room shelves. I feel like I’m inside a yearbook when I dine in her home.

Hubby likes the idea of collectables. The major problem is neither of us are collectors with one exception. In one corner of our garage stand the crutches I used when I broke my foot. Next to them is the walker Hubby was given after his knee surgery. In a carton close by are the two different black boots – one knee high, the other mid calf – that I wore when I broke my foot. Now we have to decide if we put them on our plant shelves how they would look with artificial greenery wrapped around them. We know they can be seen from below, but we’re not sure if they go with our decor. They’re the wrong color.