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Lee Highway

This morning I had an appointment in Staunton, Virginia and took the serene Lee Highway.  It is normally a 45+ minute ride but I like driving through serenity with views of a tranquil rural Virginia.  And on this bright, sunny day it felt like I was driving the only car on the road.

That was until the traffic jam caused by an accident up ahead.  First a 20 minute wait with the engine off and then a forced U-turn to start over on the Interstate.   Arghhh!

Lost – Time 

Being a woman of  iron will and firm determination I got on that hated truck-dominated freeway chewing on my cheek from nervous anxiety and made it to the appointment just in time to find the doors to my destination were locked.  Arghhh!

Found –  Destination

Lost – Nobody There

A strange looking fellow dressed in raggedy clothing came up to my car and said, “Can I help you?”  Putting on a nothing-scares-me demeanor, I said,  ” I have an appointment at this place but noone is there.”

And he said:  “No, you don’t have an appointment.  We are closed.”  Turns out the scruffy fellow was the one I had an appointment with.

It is possible I had the wrong date but not likely.

Nevertheless, after some not-so-polite words with the person I was supposed to have the appointment with, I moved on.

Lost – Time and Temper

I next wanted to find Milmont Greenhouses in Stuarts Draft, VA.  I don’t have a GPS but managed to muddle my way to this bastion of millions of blooming and budding things.

 I was on a search for Cat Mint!

Cat Mint is supposedly critter proof (deer and rabbits hate it).  It is also drought resistant, blooms almost all summer, looks a lot like Lavender, and “if you can’t grow Cat Mint you should stay out of the garden.”

O.K., so I miraculously found the place!

milmont-1

Found – Milmont Greenhouses

But then I couldn’t find the Cat Mint.

Lost – Energy (Staggering Around a Giant Nursery)

Milmont

Cat Mint is listed under Nepeta.  Who knew? 

nepeta_cats_meow_cjw14-23

Nepeta – Cat Mint

After wandering around the greenhouses among crowds of manic gardeners I managed to look on the good side and said to myself, “At least you are getting some Vitamin D3 with all this sunshine!”

Found – A Positive Outlook on Life

And finally there it was – the Nepeta.

Found – Nepeta (or YES – CAT MINT)

But my sunglasses managed to disappear.

Lost – Sunglasses

I thought I lost my cell phone too but it was in the car all along.

Tension does this sometimes – causes you to lose your mind.

Lost – Mind

I did find my cell phone though.  It was tucked in the creases of the passenger seat.

Found – Cell phone

It was a very strange Lost and Found kind of day.

 

 

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It comes as rather a nasty surprise that I am aging.

You too?

Oh, I knew there would be a few aches and pains,

and of course a face with well placed character-wrinkles

and some artfully arranged gray hairs.

But the plan was (and still is) to ignore such minor imperfections and compensate with self deception.

Creams and lotions help (and please try them all like I do).  The commercials might be right after all.

And  maintaining an upbeat, youthful attitude is the way to go.

This means a devotion to nutrition and exercise (if you practise on rare occasions like I do).

But who knew about falling asleep in a chair and waking up

with mouth wide open?

And how can you take charge of keeping

your mouth shut when you’re out cold?

I admit this humiliating onset of age mars my usually proud

and eternally youthful countenance.  And thankfully, I don’t snore!

But

I am now hoping for soulmates out there (those of you with gaping jaws)

to come forward with your learned-from-experience solutions to this ultimate indignity.

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In a quiet moment I was looking around the house.

I noticed a pattern. Do you see it too?

Viola's Horse Pic

Equine-Canine Friendship

Puppy Wall Dishes

Puppy Wall

Us 3 Tigers

Tiger Trio

Jess' Rat

Unidentified Object Made By Granddaughter Jess in Her Earlier Years

Collie Pic

Collie and Friend

Unbronzed Horse

Prancing Horse

Pepper Plaque

Scottie Dog

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Detailed Red Car

The Old Oldie Just Detailed

I discovered it is never too late for an adventure!

Aging is no barrier since there are surprising  opportunities to experience new, wonderful and uplifting feelings that can leave a person dreaming in anticipation.

I suspect you are eagerly awaiting the details.

Bill and I bought a car.

That was fun, but not the dreamy exciting adventure in question.

We  purchased a 2013 used car (with a lot of techie he-man gadgets).  This car is old but new to us.

But no, that was not the adventure either.

To further explain this story it should be known that the new-old car is now Bill’s and I have inherited our 2006 old-oldie.

Certainly not the stuff of dreams huh?  

But just as an aside, surely my giving up the new car will put me on your

list of sacrificing, saintly humans who give more than they receive.

To further qualify this story and to fill you in on the adventure,

It must be remembered that anything Bill touches gets kind of messy – meaning dusty and used-up looking (excluding Me of course).

Anyway, the brand New Used Car is now Bill’s to mess up,

and the Old Used Car is solely and exclusively MINE!

And the Old Used Car has been “detailed.”

AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS THE ADVENTURE!

I am beyond excited!

I have never had such work done before but I now have an old car that

  • looks like new,
  • buffed to a high shine,
  • no dust,
  • no pebbles
  • and no mud on the floor boards,
  • everything organized in the glove compartments,
  • ancient papers discarded and only the most up to date easily accessible,
  • bugs off the windshield and anywhere else they have collected,
  • leftover food from feeding the critters at Safari Park vacuumed out of the window wells, and
  • in other words, untouched by you-know-who!

O.K., I didn’t really expect them to organize my papers – or did I? That is a “detail” isn’t it?

I was beside myself with anticipation – like a young girl looking for a new dress to prepare for the prom, I kept imagining things.

Will I love it?

Will it look as good as I think it will?

Will the world see how beautiful it is?

Talk about an adventure!  I know it’s not like rock climbing or skiing or even trampoline jumbing.

But WoooHooooo!  Did you ever think of DETAILING an old car as an adventure?

 

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My favorite stories are about survival.

Like tales about the plague or hurricanes are just wonderful.

Surely there must be germs of experience in such doomsday revelations to help one through life’s most pressing challenges.

But the latest survival information I discovered is even more direct.  A rather obscure article I read recently gave explicit instructions on imaging to deal with life problems.  Evidently you can think your way into surviving anything by simply writing a thought, shredding it, and then discarding what you wrote!

Doesn’t that make some logical sense?

Presumably, the image of trashing a problem like the plague (after you reduce it to little paper bits) will make the whole thing go away.  I’m sure they never thought of imaging in the days of death-by-plague, but we have definitely come a long way since then haven’t we?

Anyway, as instructed, I now spend 15 to 30 minutes a day writing down every thought and then shredding and discarding each thought, one by one.

The waste basket is full of bits of  note paper .

And in the last few days noticeable patterns emerged.

PATTERNS:

  1. Reminders.

    “Buy milk.”

    “Get graduation cards for J and K.”

    “Call Kit.”

    (Do you see any correlation to eradicating a serious problem in such thoughts? Well I wrote them down anyway and did the dastardly shredding.)

  2. Questions.

    “When will my friend be moving back to this area?”

    “Should I order pot holders online?”

    (So far there have been no subliminal answers. Maybe I am thinking of this exercise like it’s a Ouiga Board.)

  3. Wishes.

    “I wish I had a dog.”

    “Wish I didn’t have to cook dinner tonight.”

    “I wish I was thin.”

    (Now wouldn’t that be something if I could tear up the last wish and begin to lose weight?  I did notice I skipped the after-lunch cookie today!)

CONCLUSIONS:

  • This exercise is fun.
  • I don’t think it has any intrinsic value but will let you know if I ever feel problem free.
  • Maybe the exercise can be tailored to address specific problems.  Like one day you shred only those thoughts that are about wishes.
  • Or maybe it is like writing a letter to Santa, who will read the list and come forth with all the goodies
  • I don’t see any signs that my expected longevity is extended.
  • So much for shredding problems.
  • And so much for survival.

And my last thought was/is in the Reminder category, “Don’t forget to buy a whole bunch of scratch pads because you are running out of shredding-paper.”

Now maybe THAT is a solveable problem except I shredded the reminder and will probably forget what I was trying to remember.

 

 

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Change is o.k. I guess.

But at what point should one begin to think about starting over?

I am giving serious consideration to reliving my life with new loves.

No, I don’t mean acquiring new relationships.

Well, maybe so.  Maybe some relationships.  Relationships with places and things.

Long-time favorites once loved and counted on are either going, going, going, or gone.

  • The downtown gift shop I loved and even wrote advertising copy for is selling out!
  • The health food store I depended on for expensive delicacies and youth restoring vitamins  has already closed its doors.
  • Long nylon nightgowns that helped with silky, sleepy, bed-turning are now considered “Vintage” and impossible to find unless you want to sleep in something slept in by somebody else.
  • Big terry cloth pot holders with pockets are missing. They may be another vintage item. (Hurrah Ebay!)
  • My quilted barn coat is getting frayed from 12 years of use and is irreplaceable.  The store that carried it no longer carries it. Neither does anyone else.
  • Favorite tea flavor (Vanilla Caramel) is gone from our local grocery stores.  Is there such a thing as Vintage Tea?  (Yay! Amazon!).

Every day something else is NA (Not Available – To be youth oriented, I am practicing talking in initials) and the search begins for replacements.

“Such is life,” my sainted mother used to say.

She never told me I would lose so many old loves and would have to start life over.

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babyalicesuck-good-01-01-1932-171-M3

Image from www. vintage-ads.livejournal.com

I have suffered numerous bad habits over the years, beginning with Thumb Sucking.

My parents tried everything including rubbing something on that tasted bad.  Nothing worked.  Finally, on the first day of kindergarten the teacher announced, “Look around children.  We have a baby in the room.”  And there they were all looking at ME!  I do love commanding attention (still) but that was the last day of thumb sucking.

Then in the teen years there was the Nail Biting habit.

Would you say these habits were symptoms of an insecure personality?

In those days, long fingernails were a sign of beauty (but mostly a sign of control over one’s habitual impulses).  I proudly decided to stop nail biting and stopped.  Congrats to that determined young woman.

Smoking was another horrible habit which took hold for years until I stopped “cold turkey”.

I still feel rather smug and self-righteous about that and sincerely try not to lecture friends about the evils of smoking.

Oddly enough, Rubbing-it-In can become a habit too.

But now my latest habit involves Reading Books!

READING BOOKS?

Habitual reading maybe?

Habitual reading of special interest books?

Too much reading?

Too much of the same kind of reading?

No, No, No and No.

What happened the other night revealed  an entirely new habit to break.

The story goes like this:  I was reading a “real book.”

The definition of a real book is one you can hold in your hands and turn pages.  If you are destructive you can even write in it or turn down page corners (but this is a travesty and can be considered inhuman behavior).

Anyway, I was reading a real book for a change and suddenly found myself tapping the side of the page.

Nothing happened so I tapped again.

Then I tapped more aggressively.

Nothing happened.

Until it finally clicked in that I was not reading on my Kindle, and could not tap the margins of a real book to make it turn a page.

 I had to turn the page myself!

Talk about a strange habit in late life!

THE PAGE TAPPING HABIT!

THE KINDLE READING HABIT.

THE HABIT OF READING BACKLIT PAGES WITH NO PAPER CORNERS.

THE HABIT OF TAP TOUCHING THE MARGIN TO GET TO THE NEXT PAGE.

This habit of page tapping has become so ingrained I may need lessons on how to read a real book – the kind you can find in the library – or at least some libraries.

I hear some university libraries are doing away with real books and going fully digital.

Yikes!

Any suggestions for a cure though?

I am a Habitual Page Tapper and need help to break the habit.

 

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