Monday, July 25, 2016

Life Repeats Itself

Imagine my surprise to see I hadn't published a thing on this blog for a year! And so much has so much has remained the same. I wonder if that's what life is like when you get older?
First things first: I moved again! I know, I loved having a house, but it was so far away from all my activities that I spent all my time driving. So I put the house on the market and it sold within a week! Where to move? I knew I wanted to go back to Boca. But....Buy? Rent? My daughter suggested rent, so that's what I did. More downsizing, but it wasn't as difficult as I expected. And what a great location! Dead center of town, first floor, and I can even see the lovely community pool from the second bedroom. It's actually worked out beautifully. I just moved my living room from one place to another.

Nobody on either side of me either, so it's quiet. A fairly new complex, attractive, nice amenities, rather large, but all ages, which is nice.

Of course, right now, my living room looks like this:

Something about fixing possible air conditioning leaks, every apartment in the complex will have to go through this...I feel sorry for those with pets and/or kids.. As Gilda Radner used to say: "It's always something!"

Then, sadly, one of my very good friends had surgery, was on the mend in rehab and suddenly died! It's been a shock to all of us...they discovered she had blood clots in her lungs. I'd been to see her just the day before and while she didn't seem to be improving very quickly, she was alert, normal and all she wanted to do was get home.
RIP, Polly.

And my last bit of news? Remember this post? Petty Surgery. Well, it's happening to my other knee. And this time, the cortisone shot didn't help much. Hoping to hold off surgery until the end of August, if I can stand the pain.

Are any of you watching The Great British Baking Show? Such fun (LOVE Paul Hollywood!) and you can watch some of the first episodes (called The Great British Bake Off in Great Britain) on Netflix and UTube. Last night I saw one of their older shows with just Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood making Christmas treats....found it accidentally as I was scanning through anything with the British title. They were so cute together and the recipes amazing. See if you can find's the link online:

Lastly: I am making NO comments about anything political. Here or on Facebook. I promise.

Can you believe only 5 months until we're all thinking about Christmas?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Get Smart

Do you remember the Don Adams "Get Smart" show from the 80's? He just bumbled along through life. You can't do that anymore. Personal responsibility is the name of the game now.
And I can't tell you how important this post is/might be to someone you know and love. As my dear friend Nancy used to say: How do ignorant people manage their lives? Well actually she used the word stupid but that was years ago and definitely not PC these days. At any rate, she made the comment in relation to something ridiculous that happened to her at the driver's license bureau, but it holds true in every aspect of life. Although today I'm thinking medically, so it's simpler just to list a few things that have happened to me or mine and hope it might help you in the future.

1. Ten years ago my son, at age 45, had back surgery. He's a trauma nurse, so we're not talking about somebody ill informed regarding anything medical. In the middle of the night, a nurse came in and was preparing to give him medication of some sort. He asked her what it was, looked at it and told her it was not what was prescribed. He was right. She checked. It wasn't. Now if that happened to me, I'd never have known unless I asked the doctor what medications were being prescribed and then kept an eagle eye and night....for anything given to me. I'd just trust the correct medication was being given. What worries me is what if I'm so ill I can't check?

2. If you have a health scare, be sure to take your spouse, your daughter or son, a friend or anyone who will listen carefully to what the doctor is telling you. You'll probably be in a state of panic, won't remember anything and you won't ask the right questions. I've had it happen. For some reason, panic turns off your ears.

3.  I had a hip replacement 8 years ago. Every year I have an X-ray followed by an appointment with my orthopedic man. I called for my yearly appointment and in turn, his office called the people who do the X-ray. I then received a scheduling call. I was told I had to prepare for two tests: an ultrasound of the pelvic area (must drink 32 ounces of water before the appointment) followed by the normal hip X-ray.  Hmmmm. I questioned the woman for quite a while trying to make certain that first test was requested by my doctor, but she decided I was either senile or an idiot (see first paragraph) spoke more slowly, which was soooo annoying, and kept asking if I understood what she was saying. They look at your birth date and scratch you off as senile, stupid or nearly dead. You will find this happens more and more as you get older. I finally gave up with her and told her I would call my doctor.
That first test sounded familiar and then I remembered: my OB/GYN had me do this a few years back. That couldn't be right, so I Googled the test and sure enough, it didn't have a damn thing to do with a hip replacement. I did call the doctor and no, they had not asked for that ultrasound. What if I just took their word for it and had that unnecessary test? The woman was quite adamant about it. Instead of assuming I was an idiot, she should have double checked with my doctor. How difficult would that have been?

I have more to list, but you get the idea. And these were minor incidents. I bet you could each add a personal experience to this post....feel free to do so in comments, any advice may just help someone.

Be informed. Use good sense. Get advice. Talk to people. Use Google. Understand your doctor. Understand your medications and what they do. Get details. Write it down.

You are not ignorant stupid.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spring Cleaning

It finally occurred to me: my drawers, closets and the garage were a total mess.Things I don't wear anymore, things I don't use anymore. Just things. I don't need "things" any longer. They just leave a disaster behind for someone else to clean up and dispose of. And I know from whereof I speak. I did it for my parents. Even after we took the few things each of us wanted, we ended up tossing an enormous amount of things in a pile in the center of their living room. I was shocked. It nearly reached the ceiling. Guess what? Our children won't want most of what we treasure. We didn't, so why would mine? Sure, my daughter says she wants this collection of silver topped jars (they were my mother's):

but who's going to keep them polished? And where will she display them in her small NYC apartment? Not only that, I own a gorgeous tea set including the tray with all the bells and whistles and it's stored in my sideboard. Has been for years. I decided to sell it as I never use it and it was rejected by the local auction house plus two consignment shops! When I passed that info along to my daughter, she was incensed and called someone she knew at Sotheby's, sent photos and information. No thank you was the answer. Better to keep family heirlooms in the family. (In other words, yours is not the quality we require or....we have so many in stock we can't sell them. Nobody wants them anymore.) I haven't completely given up hope....I'm still thinking eBay for those silver topped jars.

Another prime example of cluttering is books, all kinds: my mother had cookbooks galore. For the most part, my sister and I between us already had the same cookbooks and didn't want hers. But they were good ones and in perfect condition. Hated calling 800gotjunk to unload them. Libraries don't want them. So what did I do? I piled them in the trunk of my car and everywhere I went for the next month, I announced I had free cookbooks in the car. Eventually, they were gone. And right now in my garage? Several large boxes of books and encyclopedias. (Does anyone use those anymore?) Well, that car trunk full of books trick isn't going to happen with my kids. Disposing of estates would be simpler if the family lived in the area, but mine don't and they have jobs. No free time. I ended up giving away nearly 60 cookbooks in the last month. My cookbook giveaways piled high:

I kept the very best and my cookbook shelf, formerly jammed with books, now looks like this:

So nice to bring some of my majolica pieces out of the dark cabinet and use them, plus other odds an ends from our travels. Will I miss the cookbooks? Not really...I had already put the best recipes on my computer.
And when I pass on....most of the things on these shelves will no doubt end up in a dumpster. Hopefully, not the majolica. Remind me to make a list of the better pieces.
The family won't have the time to sort or the money to waste on shipping furniture.

Next I moved to the bathroom cabinets and drawers. An easy enough sort, although among other things, I ended up throwing out about 20 various bars of decorative soaps I had been saving for years. Saving for what??! Sheets, towels, why did I have so many? Nothing matched either. Salvation Army got bags full.

Then I started on clothes, shoes and coats. My mother used to say: dispose of anything you haven't worn in three years. So I did. Some went to consignment shops, the rest donated.

The kitchen was next. And difficult mentally because I am a food blogger and had to make some tough decisions. One thing was easy....I rarely entertain anymore so I got rid of a ton of things I had purchased over the years for parties. Small plates and glasses, serving plates I bought at Pier One. Nothing valuable, but all taking up space. And....things my kids would dump anyway. (Have you gone through your spice cabinet lately? OMG.)

Would you believe the most difficult was the garage? That's where we put everything we don't have room for in the house. Hem. Cache-pots galore...gone. Old books....gone. Old picture frames. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to dump scrapbooks and old yearbooks.....good thing, too, as we had our 60th HS reunion this month and the committee used lots of my photos. On the other hand, who's going to want all that crap when I'm gone? I've already sorted the kids' photos and distributed them to each. Doubtful my kids will look at my old yearbooks, or VHS's (!) of old super 8 film my uncle took when I was a child. Yawn.
One thing I am grateful is done: the Christmas decorations and ornaments in the attic. My daughter and I sorted through them all last Christmas. And dumped. She'll thank me later.

Are you wondering right about now why I didn't have a garage sale? Not allowed in my gated community. But I did give a great deal to friends who I'm sure plan to have a garage sale in the near future. I was grateful to get those boxes out of the garage.

Didn't the consignment shops take anything? No. They might, they said, take my set of Christmas Spode with matching glasses if I brought it in next fall. But only if it is a full set...nothing missing.
Did anyone want my depression glass dessert plates? I had about 40. No.
I think one of the problems with consignment shops in South Florida is everyone moves down here, decides to simplify their life and all the heavy furniture and "things" brought from the north end up in consignment warehouses. They are chock full and getting more and more particular about what they take. Can't say I blame them.

What I'm trying to say here is this: Nobody, but nobody wants your stuff. Oh...there are a few things, like my little cane collection. (The kids will fight over that monkey with was my grandfather's. Maybe. I'm probably wrong about that, too.)

Some art on the walls. Perhaps the majolica. My sterling silver flatware.
But for the most part, things YOU think are valuable, are not. It is a humbling experience and a great lesson to remember.
No, I'm not ill. But it's only a matter of time and I wanted to thin out the flotsam of my life while I have energy and the will to do it.
Those "things" are not worth much anything in the end.
Your family is.
Your friends are.

(BTW: Do you know anyone who wants an armoire?)