We live in a multi-generational household.  I did not even know that word 20 years ago.  Or if I did I never said it out loud.  If I had I would have laughed.  People don’t live with their parents after a certain age!  And parents don’t live with their kids for heaven’s sake.

Oh there is always the occasional exception to the rule but overall it’s rare.  Boy do I know better now!  Not only have my adult children and their offspring returned to the nest, but I’ve warned them all that I will not go into retirement dragging my cane and medicine bottles.  I have every intention of living with each one of them for a period of time I set forth, and then I will leave when I get good and ready.  While I am there, I’m going to leave dirty dishes in the sink, spill unknown substances and not wipe them up, leave my shoes in the middle of the living room floor and I may or may not use a glass to get a drink from milk, orange juice, (fill in the blank) that is in the fridge.  I will however, leave a swallow or two so someone else can throw the carton away.  I will whine about being hungry and then complain when they serve me something not to my liking.  I will snicker behind my hand, and their backs, when they show frustration.

I suppose I will be forced to take responsibility for raising my kids to think they could move back home.  I admit that having blood-kin live on the streets is not something I could live with.  We live in trying times and even more so that the lines are blurred regarding who stays home with kids, what is acceptable or not regarding parental behavior and the ever increasing government intrusion into our lives.  Yes, I feel responsible for my children and my grandchildren.  I do not feel it is the government’s job to take over.  There are too many who take advantage of a hand out and expect more and more.  And then we all have to open our pockets.  I’m not saying what I’ve done is the right thing.  Lord knows I could use more peace and quiet and a clean house once in a blue moon.  I guess what I hope is to teach my children to take care of eachother no matter what.  WE need to be responsible for eachother.  Period.


barbee50We are both 50 years old.  Me in 5 days.  5 days and counting.  You betchya I’m counting.  This is the big one. 

On one hand I’m freaking out because I just can not fathom being that OLD.  I keep hearing that 40 is the new 30 so does that mean 50 is the new 40?  My body may be convinced of reaching half a century but my mind has yet to grasp the reality.

I think perhaps part of why my mind hasn’t caught up is because I’m surrounded by my grandchildren, who wear me out, but as the saying goes, keep me young. 

I think having small children around is the key to staying young.  You don’t have time to be a fuddy duddy when kids are dancing, singing, playing, arguing, and just being kids all around you.  I love exploring with the babies and re-living experiences with the older kids. 

I like the picture I posted of Barbie.  She’s realistic.  It’s much closer to me than the Barbie who for 50 years has only changed her hairstyle and make-up.  I know there are some who strive to achieve that Barbie body and to you I say good luck.  I don’t need it.  I’d like a similar one (without the exaggerated proportions) but I’m okay with the imperfections life has bestowed upon me and that I have happily eaten myself into.  I’ve earned my grey hair and stretch marks.  Perhaps I should embrace my crown of glory more.

I played with Barbie while growing up and so did my daughter and now my granddaughters.  Barbie may have an unrealistic body but what she represents, at least to me, is continuity.  Passing down the gauntlet of womanhood and the changes in life we need to embrace.  Barbie was a housewife when I played with her.  My granddaughters have nurse Barbie, pilot Barbie, Barbie Princess, and I suppose eventually President Barbie.  Why not?

We’ve come a long way, Barbie and Me.

Happy Birthday to us.


Winter in Colorado is cold.  Really cold if you grew up in Arizona.  I used to put on a sweater anytime the temperature dipped below 80 degrees.  Now I go outside in shirtsleeves and feel quite refreshed when it’s a mere 50 degrees. 

 

And then there are those oh so happy times when I create my own little heat wave.  It doesn’t matter what the outside temperature, my personal space is 110 degrees in the shade.  I’d love to get my hands on one of those thermal image cameras and take some images of the shimmering heat waves that I know are emanating from of my body.  I dream of being able to jump into that mirage water you see on the highway that you can never quite reach while driving on a long stretch of road.  I’ll find any excuse to stand in front of the open freezer door pretending to pick something to thaw for dinner. Thankfully my personal vacations only last a short time, so I can get back to my normal cold feet.

 

I usually have what my husband affectionately calls Popsicle Toes.  No matter the time of year, but much more pronounced in winter, I wear slippers.   I wear socks to bed and I don’t care who knows it.  You can’t be sexy if your feet are freezing.  I have an especially tough husband who allows me to put my feet between his calves to warm them up.  At least up until our fantastic find which I’ll share in a moment. 

 

Five years ago we moved from Arizona to Colorado and started the never ending search for warmth.  I lost count of how many electric blankets we bought that would last one month and then crap out or go wonky.  I apparently do not understand the washing directions of electric blankets because as soon as I wash it a couple of times the durn thing is history!  One of the blankets decided to heat my husband’s side of the bed and not mine.  So I flipped it over thinking I was being clever.  The act of flipping that blanket over rendered it completely useless.  This was a never ending source of frustration and cold feet.  I cannot sleep when my feet are cold. 

 

Then one day we were shopping for yet another way to keep warm when we found this nifty little invention.  The name escapes me, which by the way is also part of those personal heat waves – memory lapses.  Anyway, it goes over the mattress like a fitted sheet and has dual controls like an electric blanket.  Honestly – there is nothing better than climbing into a bed that is already warm on a cold night.  Toasty!!  Add flannel sheets and you’re ready to hibernate.

 

So for 2009 I wish you a little heat wave of your own to warm you up.

 

 


It is not until I developed the aches and pains of Boomerhood that I became curious as to why my body betrayed me. 

 

When I get up in the morning I sit on the side of the bed before I attempt the walk of age.  My backbone won’t straighten completely, at first, and I steady myself on the bed or the wall.  As my boudoir is in the basement of our home I must face the challenge of the stairs before I can even begin to smell the heavenly scent of eye opening coffee.  I half pull, half crawl my way up 13 stairs – isn’t that unlucky?  I’m not superstitious and it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 20 stairs – it’s Mt. Everest first thing in the morning.  Especially this time of year when I awake before the sun has the decency to get up first and light my feeble way.

 

 

I won’t bore you with all of the aches and pains in an ordinary complaining mode, which I notice a lot of “old” people do.  No, I will tell you about the creaks and groans by way of my youth. 

 

At the age of 10 I was fortunate enough to have a friend who lived down the street.  Her name is Michelle and she took ice skating lessons.  I was fortunate enough to tag along from Granada Hills to Burbank, California to the Pickwick Ice Rink to take lessons with Michelle.  There was a huge picture of Sonja Henie in the lobby, who I aspired to be.  I recall watching Peggy Fleming in the Olympics and thinking “I could do that.”  Until one day after lessons Michelle and I stayed for open skating, giving our mothers several hours of free time.  There is a stunt called shoot the duck that I could just not master.  I could do it on roller skates, but not on ice skates.  So, Michelle would hold me under the arms while I crouched down with one leg straight out as I grabbed my outstretched ankle.  Most times this worked just fine, or until our momentum stopped us as Michelle couldn’t lift her feet to skate and hold me as well.  Sadly, one day attempting this feat, my toe pick dug into the ice.  100 to 0 in no seconds.  I stopped.  Michelle didn’t.  She flew over my head, but not completely.  The weight of her body landed on my neck, bending my chin and implanting it into my chest.  By the time Michelle got up and stood looking down at me I figured out I couldn’t breathe.  I don’t know how I knew, but I croaked to Michelle “bend my head back.”  She did and my airway opened up.  As far as I knew I was fine and went about my merry way.  The only thing that changed was me trying to shoot the duck.  My duck was shot.

 

Forward a few years.  We move to Arizona and I make a friend who likes to try cheerleading stunts with no ability whatsoever.  Being the ever bright child I was, I joined in this dangerous activity.  One evening while I was spending the night at my friend’s house we try a stunt.  I crouch and she jumps onto my back and sits on my neck – or something like that.  Of course, that isn’t what happened.  You got it, she jumped on my back and while settling her 115 pounds on my neck, we fall forward.  Once again my neck bends forward and my chin plants itself into my chest.  Injury #2 – but what do I know?

 

Forward yet another few years to find me in the passenger seat of a car driven by my older sister.  We have her two year old son with us and (before seat belt laws) he is standing on the bucket seat beside me.  We are going upriver in Parker, Az and stop for traffic so we can go to River Rags and look at bathing suits.  As we wait to make our left hand turn the girl in the car behind us is doing everything except watch the road and at about 40 mph’s runs smack dab into the back of my sister’s car.  The two year old goes flying into the back seat and as soon as my neck has whiplashed I am twisting in my seat to grab the now screaming child.  Thank God he was unhurt.  Just scared.  Sister has whiplash, I’m holding two year old and someone calls an ambulance.  I look behind us and the girl behind the wheel has a bloody mouth from hitting the steering wheel.  This is pre-air bags as well as safety belts or child restraining seats.    We all go to the hospital as a precaution and sister and I are given pain meds and told to go to a chiropractor to treat the whiplash.  I’m young and tough and I don’t like the chiropractor so after one visit I give my sister my pain pills and go about my life. 

 

I also climbed trees, water skied, rode motorcycles and engaged in activity that now requires proper safety equipment to prevent injury, but did not way back in the Stone Age.  Or what is now my youth.

 

So there are three significant injuries that I now suffer from in my Boomertom.  Arthritis in my neck flares up and now causes migraines.  Yippee!!  It sucks, but I have to say this – I had a great childhood, broken bones, injuries and all.  So pass the Ben Gay and let’s do some chair dancing!


I still get breakouts.  I’m approaching mid-life, or am already there I suppose.  According to some, the old 50 is the new 40, the new 60 is the new 50.  I’m so confused I don’t know how old I am anymore.  I admit there are women hitting the half century mark who look fantastic.  There is also botox, plastic surgery, and who knows what.  I figure I’m at a good spot though.  I’m not going up the hill.  I’m not going down the hill, yet.  So I must be at the top of the hill!  All I have to do is keep my balance and not fall to either side, right?  Of course there’s no falling backwards, so it’s not really a hill is it?  Now I’m analyzing too much.

At this point I’m having new symptoms of the old menopause and old symptoms of the new adolescence.  C’mon life – make up your ever lovin’ mind.  One or the other for heaven’s sake.  I’m either old or I’m young, but don’t make me suffer both ends of the age spectrum!  Who else has to decide whether to take hormone replacement therapy or Clearasil?  I went to the pharmacy to see what I could find to ease some of these annoying symptoms but by the time I got there I forgot why I went.  So I bought a candy bar (chocolate) and some ice cream and went home.  Felt great and didn’t feel like I wasted a trip!  Sure blew that diet though.  Oh who am I kidding, I’m not on a diet.  I watch my weight like a fat cat watches a bird fly outside a window.  Yes, I know it’s there, instinct tells me I should jump up and do something about it but I’m just not motivated with a fridge full of food, Thank God.  Besides I have to keep my balance on top of that hill now. 

 


I have to admit to boomerangin’ once when I was at a very vulnerable time during my first marriage.  I was pregnant with my first child and not sure my husband was ready for parenthood, not sure he was even ready for husbandhood.   Heck, now that I look back I don’t think I was ready for marriage or children, but are we ever?  I don’t think anyone is ever really ready.  It’s like learning to swim by jumping in and sputtering and splashing until you dog paddle and tread water.  But that’s another story.

Boomerang children.  I have two who have done it.  I have threatened to buy my son a t-shirt that says “I still live with my parents.”  He’s not afraid to wear it.  After serving in the US Navy my son, his wife and their then 3 year old daughter were convinced – by me – to move from mild weathered San Diego to wild weathered Colorado until they “got on their feet.”  That was three years ago.  He decided to use his GI Bill to go to school and decided to finish before moving.  Most likely to Arizona.

My daughter and her two children also lived with us when they moved from Arizona to join us in Colorado while her brother was still in the Navy.  She and I don’t live in the same house very well and she flew the coop shortly after her brother’s move in.  Can you imagine three sets of families in one home?  It was pure madness.  Granted, we have a large house but trust me, no house could be large enough for that arrangement.  Disaster, discontent and all out war is just waiting to erupt when you put that many people in one house for an extended period of time, especially during a Colorado winter.  I think the only thing that saved us as long as it did was that all of the adults were working and I was working the oddest hours.  I would leave at 9am after everyone else was gone and not return until 9pm when everyone else was getting ready for bed.  I missed most of the drama.  It was great.  But I was not totally immune – I would “hear” about it.  From ALL sides. 

Now I’m a stay at home gramma taking care of an almost one year old and three other school aged grandkids (my own).  I find this is not unusual and goes along with the boomerang kids.  How can young adults these days afford housing and daycare these days?  And gas for their cars? 

I joined Grandparents.com.  Maybe they’ll have some secret tips for this new life of boomerang children and helping to raise the grandchildren.  I can’t wait till I get old enough to move in with my children and they can take care of me!  I’m going to be messy,  just to keep them on their toes.

UPdate: Daughter and two have boomeranged.  Lord help me!  I’ll be posting the “NO VACANCY” sign out front now.


They say it happens with age.  One of the first things to go.  It’s little things at first and then more and more.  Car keys, glasses, where you live.  Yes, forgetfulness happens.  CRS occurs.  I am only now making it official because I am forced to make it public.  I forgot my password, user-name or both – for heaven’s sake – for my blog, formerly kept in this here space.  I had the password emailed and did the change in the proper format and for whatever reason it did not work.  So now I’m forced to START OVER and make this hideously embarrassing announcement.  Have pity. 

Who else has forty eleven passwords, user-names, Pin’s, phone numbers, key codes and whatnot to remember besides me?  It is inevitable that our brains would overload and we would be digitally locked OUT.  Thank goodness I never lock my back door at home or I’d be left out in the proverbial cold.  NOTE: For you would-be burglars I have a HUGE dog who eats people he doesn’t know.  Not to mention two yappy chihuahuas who will eat you at the ankles.  Really.

So here I am at the beginning again which I’m going to just consider as a fresh start with new ideas and I’m not going to limit myself to just one subject – or observation.  I’m going to play it by ear, shoot from the hip, calls em as I sees em and all that happy stuff.  Wanna play?

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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”. Erma Bombeck

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