I Don’t Feel So Nice Anymore

I am trying to pinpoint where this feeling comes from, if it is an external or an internal source. I take a pill daily for depression. Actually two pills. The second one is to help the first one do its job to the best of its ability. My body doesn’t utilize the first one so good without the second one which is enough to raise my hackles. Why don’t I behave so I can get by taking one pill instead of two? See, already I am getting testy.

In this, my 70th year, a large increase of twisted situations, external sources, keep life challenging. I once was described as calm and unflappable. No more. Some of the small things that should dissolve minutes after happening stay with me longer. Like yesterday’s visit to Comcast.

In April I answered a call from a sales rep who explained that my rate would be going up to $88 a month unless I took advantage of this new plan which included getting HBO and other stuff.

I worked my way through the jabber and had her say in plain English that I could  have a plan for $74 ($19 more than my present plan) or I could pay $88. Even though I do not have a tv, I would have the bundle of cable and internet with either plan.

Several days later UPS delivered a box from Comcast. I knew it had to do with the new plan but just let it sit there while my housemate searched for a cheaper alternative, without losing HD Wi-Fi.

Then the next Comcast bill came–$81.We had no better alternative and now I couldn’t explain for love nor money what it was I had access to and what the box had to do with it.

I girded up my loin and took the box to the Comcast office. I told the customer service person that I needed help understanding what was going on with my account. Which she explained to me without either one of us losing our composure.

I did feel that little hot flush feeling (blood pressure, hormones??), but managed to content myself with snippy sentences instead of all out sarcasm. Because you know you are not talking to the person who controls the labyrinth of new plans, additional channels and speed, partial charges and partial credits; the reps are just the messengers. Bless their hearts.

I did find out the box’s involvement–it had to do with cable and tv. “We don’t have a tv so do I leave it here?” “No, you need to have it.” “I need to have this, even though I am not going to use it?” “Yes, if you don’t take it then I’ll have to charge you $88 for your plan.”

My 70th Year – SeniorPeopleMeet.com

What I Did on my Snow Days

The snow days of February pushed me to another first, to check out an online site for the purpose of anonymously checking out people, choosing to speak to those I think sound congenial via the internet with the idea of eventually meeting and dating if you both consent.

After googling senior match and looking at the choices, I went for SeniorPeopleMeet.com.I followed instructions to provide basic information about myself–first name, age, email address, online name, looking for man or woman, and height–which got me to the second step of free registration

Now came several pages of fill in the blank of everything from have children ? to annual income. There is also a place to mark what you want in the way of a relationship experience from a match. Body type, instead of asking for weight, says a few extra pounds, athletic, disabled. Agnostic, Christian, Pagan, Hindu are a few of the religions listed. You can decide on the distance radius you want your match/friend to live in. They add the notation that broader distances will help get more quality matches and responses.

A disclaimer from me: I had consumed two and a half small glasses of wine when I started this. Then I considered my track record…70 years old, divorced since 1986, one semi-serious relationship over 20 years ago, last date 5 years ago. If ever I was going to do this, now seemed the time.

So I got this far because it was free up til now. I knew that I was not going to spend money from the beginning so my observations are limited. Although you do get a good size grab bag for nothing. I receive several emails a day letting me know who has viewed me and who has flirted with me.

I like the section called, “Who Do You Like?” Two pictures are showing with the age, location, and user name. I click on one and the other one goes away, all the way down the page. Then there is the new members in my area with a picture and user name, followed by who viewed me and a request to email that person or just notification of the number of profile views.

Down the side of this page are the mini profiles with pictures and a symbol saying if a person is online right then or not. Plus a flirt button you can click on.

User names are interesting: freeasaneagle, Coolmichael,Smokieshiker, Truestoryteller, and WildPatchie. gsalooking puzzled me a little. Is that just a looking, you guess?

At least daily I get an email that says these are my matches, I have 5 available and should give them a nudge. But I can’t do that unless I pay money just as I can’t see any messages someone has sent me. I am not sure how long this goes on, the free peeks.  One of my matches was female which was a surprise as I did mark male on my profile. Other emails tell me I have 3 unread flirts; 50% off subscription now; can use tokens(?) to Promote Me. The last one because my popularity is critically low.

My observations:

  • I think it can be as good a tool as any in today’s world for people to meet each other.
  • If you are cautious in your approaches it can be done with minimal risks although SeniorMatch does not conduct background checks on its members.
  • If someone has a photograph with their profile you would think it would be a smiling, happy face photo.
  • The match services do provide helpful hints and advice to people seriously interested in finding a date, a casual relationship or a mate for life.

As for me, I’m glad I checked it out, but not interested enough to go any further. Thankfully for all involved. Can you imagine me running amuck on a mate match service?

La la Land

423 E Emerald Ave 034  Tennessee weather made a name for itself this February with ic423 E Emerald Ave 001e storms, frigid temperatures and four snowfalls in eleven days.  For a bad weather pattern to last so long is unusual in our area. Not only do Southerners  not drive in snow real well, most don’t know how to handle being confined for days.

On Friday the 13th I had minor surgery done and came home right before the arctic blast took over our lives. Recovering my energy intertwined with being stuck in one place. I rested within the walls of my home as the rise and fall of the thermometer governed my life.

Most of us wish at some point we could stay at home for several days without being torn away by work, meetings or school. My time was now!  So many projects to work on–scanning photographs, finishing articles half written, small home improvements–and then check off my list!

Instead a strange inertia settled upon me, stuffing my head with cotton balls and adding more sleep to my life. I spent my days streaming favorite Netflix, acorn, and PBS shows. Thank goodness MASH is running now; such a nice, long series. Keeping up with current events meant keeping Facebook running 24/7. For exercise I played FreeCell, Mahjong Titans and Clash of the Clans.

Time floated  You would think it would pass slowly, but it actually seemed to speed up, particularly between three o’clock and seven. As I tried to figure that one out I realized I had no idea as to the day of the week. Every day became a Sunday, waiting for a Monday, which never comes. La la Land describes the situation pretty accurately.

Food took on an exaggerated importance. Liquids were all I could tolerate for over a week,423 E Emerald Ave 004 but once I realized I could eat chocolate by letting it melt in my mouth before swallowing it, I was ready for more substantial items. Jayne, my housemate, made her escape to the grocery store when there was a break in the weather (escape me? break from me?). The list I sent with her? OJ, Pringles, Hershey kisses and jelly beans with a request for Pinot Grigio if she made it to the wine shop.

Lest I  give the idea these free days were a total loss, I read and read and read some more. I experimented with my wardrobe, coordinating fuzzy socks with pajamas or sweat pants. I got my income tax done, called my brother and enjoyed a play and dinner out with friends.

423 E Emerald Ave 002I mentioned in my last post that February is not my favorite month and it just gave me more good reasons to keep it in that spot.  But, hey…the sky is blue today and the calendar gets turned after tomorrow!

My 70th Year – Boomsday 2014

Being in my 70th year I can tell you that my balance is not always tip-top and I find myself thinking more often about where I place my feet. The fear of falling is a very real fear for older people. Lose of mobility is a big deal. But a fall doesn’t always spell disaster. Thank goodness.


Knoxville is home for the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the United States. A friend invited me this year to watch the excitement from her condo close to the Henley Street Bridge. It is a lovely place with a backyard ending at the edge of a hill that drops to the riverwalk.

It was still early, not yet twilight, and people sat in lawn chairs talking while the youngsters  played. Jodie brought out Boxie, their 15-year-old miniature Schnauzer, for a walk before the fireworks began. I thought I would help out by walking the dog so Jodie could visit with her guests.

Although Boxie is legally blind she realized that someone else had her and after about fourIMG_9859-001 steps she started to resist and pull back on the leash. I was afraid she would slip her collar and became very concerned because I know that Jodie loves God, her family, the UT Vols and Boxie, not necessarily in that order.

So I turned, bending down to grab Boxie and the next I knew we were rolling, over and over, down the hill.  A large post in the ground about half way down stopped our fall. Boxie was above my head and I still held the leash. Unhurt but trying to figure out exactly what had happened I lay there.  In seconds some of the guys from the party came down to check me out. I told them just to make sure that Boxie got to Jodie and that I thought I was fine. One was an EMT and he scrutinized me for broken bones before letting me sit and then stand up. Miraculously I was ok, with only a cut on an elbow.

Embarrassment set in when I realized people down on the riverwalk witnessed the fall. At the same time  two policemen and other rescue people came racing up the hill. I assured them there was no real damage to me and with the help of my heroes  from the photo 2party I got back up the hill. After receiving first aid on my cut I went to get a report on Boxie who hadn’t suffered any outward wounds.

Other guests couldn’t believe I hadn’t broken a bone and when you consider my age I was very fortunate. I mostly couldn’t believe that I  slid on my stomach and then rolled. My t-shirt make it look like I dove into third base. One of the young guests took a look at the mud streaked front and said, “You look like you have been doing art.”

The sun went down and the fireworks display went off with many oohs and ahhs. I sat there, replaying my spill in my mind, shaking my head, and giggling to myself.      IMG_2871

My 70th Year – Post 1

On July 4, 2014, I began my 70th year of life. It is December now. What have I been doing with my time? That is a more difficult question than it seems.

I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, where my car keys are, or what it is I am suppose to do this Wednesday. Some, mostly the very young, will find this forgetfulness an oddity, as I can remember the words to Pinky Lee’s theme song and what I named kittens born in 1956. I do notice people in their forties having the same problem. While their forgetfulness is caused by busy lives involving work, children and relationships, mine can definitely be traced to an old brain.

No serious deterioration yet and hopefully there never will be. I look at it in the same way my hearing was explained after an auditory test. The results showed that I was not getting hard of hearing, but rather that what was said to me was not getting processed by my brain as quickly as in younger years.

Great help. I still say “Huh?” which produces the same effect, people speak louder and pro-nounce as dis-tiNCt-ly as possible.

Next my eyes jump on the bandwagon by developing two conditions caused by aging. After 54 years of wearing contact lenses, these are replaced by progressive glasses. I loved my contact lens and I really would like to whine about having to wear glasses. I am constantly pushing them back on my nose, trying not to fixate on the bridge portion of the frame which is always in my sight. They seem to need a lot of cleaning, or is that just floaters I am seeing?

Joint aches and pains must be the most common, constant and controlling issue of an aging body. At least I am not alone. A gathering of friends entails grunts and groans as we sit or stand. Time is devoted to talking about ailments, but we still follow our rule: No discussion of bowel movements. That is to be saved for the nursing home.

Most phases of life–childhood, marriage, career, parenting, empty nest, retirement–had beginnings and ends.  Few of us can even pinpoint when our aging process started, although the need for reading glasses after the age of 40 is a tell.  After that it is a toss of the coin, God’s choice, or how much yoga you practice as to what hits you before that last breath.

Knowing that state of the mind is important, I accept aging as a matter of fact most days. Then someone’s innocent remark about it being 50 years since our high school graduation sends me flying to the mirror. As I study my face with its wrinkles and neck sags, I am in disbelief. I look old or older than I imagine myself to be. The way I look is not about vanity as much as what others see when they look at me. I want to cry out and say I am the same as always, don’t look at me differently.

My thoughts are on the future, sex, and fashion along with everything else that has been on my mind throughout the years. Would that surprise young people? I sure couldn’t imagine my grandmother thinking of anything beyond cooking and her television shows when I was a teen.

I use to think life would get easier with age; that it would be quieter and less complicated. Instead each day still has the ability to surprise, challenge and change me. If I am smart I will be open and feel and experience what every day brings. Watch out world! Carpe diem, indeed.