Showing posts with label Doing 60. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doing 60. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2013

Writer's Block

This year I decided to enter a couple of flower arrangements in our county fair. Never done it before. Entered the flower arrangement division, that is. Nor, for that matter, made a flower arrangement. So, why do it?

Well, it's because I'm turning 60 soon and this year has been all about doing new stuff. My friend Jennifer challenged me on my last birthday when she thought it was my 60th birthday.  That still cracks me up. I'm glad she got it wrong. I may not have even thought about doing some of the things I already have.

So, anyway, here is one of my fair entries. It's called -- appropriately -- Writer's Block.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Too Old to Uncover a Talent

Today I discovered a talent -- and a natural skill -- that I have.

First, let me put it all in context. I decided to enter the Country Roads Dry Flower Arrangement category at this year's County Fair. It'll be my first time. The requirement: I must make a dried flower display using a receptacle that I have found alongside the road.

So, this afternoon, the Husband and I decided to walk on the street that's next to the last small open field in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, a chicken-wire-type cyclone fence blocked us from wandering in the field. Still, I lucked out. Just on the other side of the fence was a broken toy rocket and a small kinda flat rubber ball. Bingo!

I was able to pull the rocket through the fence without busting it. Whoo-hooo! Now to get the ball that was further away from the fence. The Husband and I found a stronger and larger stick, but that, too, was on the other side of the fence.  That's when I learned about my talent.

I was able to put part of my hand (which I now consider small) through the fence and grab the stick. Now, here comes the neat part: I patiently moved the stick up the fence until it got to the point where I could pull it over the fence and handed it to the Husband.

He channeled his talented elementary schoolboy self and swiftly rolled the ball to the fence. He stepped back and I worked my magic retrieving that ball with my new found talent. Ha! Goes to show, we're never too old to uncover a talent.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Amazing, But Unplanned, Stunt

The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday morning, as I was pedaling my pretty pink bicycle. Quite freaky, in fact. Totally insane. I wish I had one of those cameras strapped to my head so I could've recorded the whole thing, which lasted a few seconds but in slooooooooow motion seemed God, Almighty! long. In my mind, what I did is akin (almost) to attempting the circle-of death-biker stunt. Hey! Don't laugh. You gotta remember I'm a fat, young old fogey turning 60 in a few months, which I say in a very positive way.

Okay, okay. I think I've got your attention to the kinda, somewhat, yes, indeed risk I experienced yesterday morning.

It was about 8:17 a.m. For those of you who don't know my normal pattern, that hour is like sunrise for me. The Husband was still snoozing in bed, the Mama was eating her breakfast, and Molly the Cat was gazing out the back window probably thinking about climbing the fence. Me, I had a meeting to go to and by, golly, this time I had planned to not be the one straggling in behind everyone else.

The morning was overcast. By the end of the block, I realized I should've worn gloves. That's okay, I thought. I'll just pull the cuffs of my hoody over my hands.  Nothing to it. So, steadying the bike with my right hand, I reached with my left to tug on the right sleeve when. . .

What the heck! The bike became unsteady. It wobbled, leaned to the left, and suddenly I found myself coasting at a slant as the bike began arcing into a circle. Oh, my God! I'm going to fall!
I believe I was actually riding on the inner rim of the tires. If there's anything I fear, it's falling. Yes, yes. I jumped out of a plane at 18,000 feet, but that really is different. I did not want to fall sideways in the middle of the street, my body tangled with pink metal.

The bike headed towards the sidewalk. Oh, my God! I'm going to crash into the curb! An even worse place to land would be the gutter. But, inches away from the curb, the bike turned itself. And, Thank you, God! began righting itself. 

Before I knew it, the bike had done a complete circle. I was back at the same position where I had begun. Without blinking, I pedaled forward, as if nothing happened.

A few houses away, I passed a young woman getting into her truck. She looked at me, smiling broadly, and said, "Good morning."

"Good morning," I chirped, wondering if she saw the whole thing and thought look at that old lady doing a neat stunt. Pedaling onward to my meeting downtown, I tugged at my sleeves to cover my hands.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I just love it when technical things come together. After all, I am a non-techie, regardless of what others may say.

Early this morning, or late last night (depending on your point of view), I received an e-mail saying that my domain names had expired and if I wanted to keep them, I need to renew pronto. So, that I did. I decided to forgo the URL for the old blog and purchase a domain name for Don't Be a Hippie.

Purchasing was quite a cheap thrill, I tell you what. Yep. I figure I can always use the URL for something else down the line, should I ever cease writing Don't Be a Hippie. For once, I'm looking ahead.

Anyway, a few minutes ago, I keyed in the right combination of words and numbers to have Don't Be a Hippie appear in the browser when I plug into the appropriate bar. Whooo-hooo! Another cheap thrill.

I think I will count this feat as a Doing 60. The little things count, too, in my book.

So, as not to totally bore you with today's nothingness: How about these sunflowers in the Mama's garden?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Paying No Mind to Conventions

This is dedicated to the Husband's and my friends—the Young Old Fogeys.
We Do It!
We're too old to do this.
We're too old to do that.
We're too old so some think.
But, we do it.

I'm not a young man.
I'm not a young miss.
Ah. But, we have much bliss
For we do it.

We hike up the hills.
We zip through the trees.
We pedal against the breeze.
We like to do it.

We're too old to do this.
We're too old to do that.
We're too old so some think.
Ha! We do it.
© Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doing 60: Planting Garlic

Garlic cloves all in a row—kinda.
The Mama definitely has something-to-plant radar.

This morning, I decided to plant the garlic cloves that were sprouting on the kitchen counter. I always wanted to grow garlic, just for the heck of it. Hmmm, I may have inherited the "mad horticulturist" genes from the Mama. Anyway, I put the chosen garlic in a yogurt container (which was probably the clue to the Mama that something was about to be planted) and put the container out on the back step. I would plant them after I picked some lemons.

The lemon-picking task quickly created the additional task of pruning the branches that were touching the tops of the apple tree. To the Mama's delight, because that meant she'd have something fun to do in the garden.

As I was walking by the Mama at one point of fetching pruning tools, she had this where-is-that-thing-I-wanted? look on her face. I thought it was the empty basket  for the lemons that I was holding, so I gave that to her and continued down the path to the lemon tree.

"Do you want me to plant the garlic?" she called.

I turned and saw her holding the yogurt container, wondering how did she know there was something to be planted in there. I had asked her earlier how deep should garlic be planted, but I never said I was going to plant some. When I was picking lemons, I was figuring whether to plant the cloves in pots or directly in the ground. And if in the ground, where could I do it without getting into the Mama's planting space.

"I want to plant them, " I said, waiting for her to argue that it would be better for her to do it because I don't know what to do.

But, nope. That didn't happen.

Without a hesitation, she said, "You can plant them in the box where the Filipino onions are." Then, she proceeded to show me how to plant them. Just stick the clove into the dirt, butt end down, and be sure not to cover the top.

Wow. A first. She gave me a bit of her prime growing space, without me whining.

So, after I pruned the lemon branches,  helped the Mama clip them into smaller pieces for the green recycle bin, and put away the ladder and pruning tools, I planted the garlic. Darn fun, it was. Loosen the soil, add compost full of worms from the compost bin, stick the babies into the ground, and sprinkle them with two yogurt cartons full of water.

As I admired my planting job, I realized that I'd committed myself to caring for the garlic babies until later this summer when they would give us fruit.  Gulp.

Yes, this is another Doing 60  for me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Doing 60: Planting Banana Trees

Last week, I planted my first banana trees. That's another Doing 60 for me.

The banana trees are transplants from the Mama's banana grove in another part of the yard. Click here to see where they originally stood. They were the clump on the far left side. 

Usually, I dig out the banana trees and leave them for the Mama to replant. No more. Not that the Mama can't do it. But, why let her have all the fun, right? Besides, I need to increase my strength, if I want to keep up with her come veggie gardening time.

The Mama supervised the job. I lugged them across the yard, one by one. In the photo, the banana trees look like they weigh nothing. Hah!

The Mama marked the spots where she wanted them. And, I dug.  Ping! Rock. Ping! Another rock. Ping! Ping! I enjoyed the challenge of getting the rocks out. It was so much easier than sitting in front of the computer screen and trying to think of a word that would precisely describe what I needed to say in a sentence. Ping!

It was very satisfying to place each plant into its hole and cover the hole back up with dirt. I forgot how much I like to play in the dirt. "Don't put the rocks back in," reminded the Mama now and then. She made sure the banana trees were snugly in the ground, and then made water canals around them.

I feel like naming the banana trees. Pilar, Maisie, Zebby, and uhm, LaLa, perhaps?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A First: Painting in Oils

I got out of bed singing "one toke over the line", but I was not channeling the guys who originally sang it. Rather, I was singing while thinking of the singers who sang it on the Lawrence Welk Show.  Mr. Welk described the song as a "modern spiritual".  Uh-huh. Yep.

With that lively verse going over—and over—in my head, I decided that the agenda today is to put one foot in front of the other.  I speak metaphorically. Perhaps, though, I may just take a step out the door and go around the block. The Husband and I are going on a hike with some friends at the end of the month, so it would be a good idea to be a bit in shape for it. I'm counting the hike as one of my Doing 60 things.

Doing 60?  That's what I've called the challenge that my dear friend Jenn gave me as I approach 60 years old at the end of 2013.  I've already done a few. Just haven't written about any of the them, until now.

Last week, Jenn and several other young old fogey friends drove down to our town and joined the Husband and me in a creative adventure at a local artist's studio. Shannon Grissom, artist and songstress, recently opened her studio to the public once a week for young and old kids to play at being an artist. It was a fun, relaxing afternoon as our party drew, painted, and made collages. A few of us were hesitant at first, but the enthusiastic and encouraging Shannon took the wind out of our unsureness very quickly. (Here's the link about her Creative Escapes. It's something you might consider doing if you're in the area.)

For days, I thought about what I wanted to do. I kept coming back to painting with oils because I've never done it before and always wanted to. But, I also thought that because I had no idea what I would paint nor knew how to use oil paints, I'd be wasting Shannon's paints. Wrong. Shannon assured T (the other young old fogey who felt the same way) and me that would not happen. "The good thing about painting with oils is you don't need a lot." I found myself taking a smear here and a smudge there of paint and applying it with a not-a-care-in-the-world attitude to the canvas.

So, that up there is a photo of my first oil painting. It was all done with palette knives. What a joyful experience! Thanks, Shannon! And, thanks to the young old fogey friends and the Husband for such a fun day!

Don't go yet, dear readers. Here's a treat for you. The link to the Lawrence Welk singers belting out One Toke Over the Line.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jenn's Challenge: S-i-x-t-y Things!

My birthday was a couple months of ago. It was a delightful day, spent wandering with the Husband. One of the many highlights of the day was a package from Jenn, a dear long-time friend. Many years ago we worked together in a community-based nonprofit in San Francisco. She  developed on-the-job-training jobs for at-risk youth, while I counseled them about staying in school.

Jenn and I had a lot of fun moments within our serious ones. She could get me to do things I would not consider doing, such as buying a disco dress in all its femme fatal glory. Not just once, but twice. And, then there was that time we were walking back from some serious moment, talking about non-serious things as we passed by the panhandlers, street musicians, and the folks talking into objects before there were cellphones on Market Street. We stopped in front of a wig store and gazed at the display of gigantic Barbie doll heads sporting long and short hairdos.

"I wonder how I'd look in a long blond-haired wig," I said.

"Let's find out," Jenn said, with her delightful twinkle of challenge in her eye. "I'll try one, too."

I looked quite ridiculous, and quite enjoyed the frivolity of it all.

Back to the package that Jenn sent me on my birthday. I didn't open it until we were settled in at my favorite place to eat breakfast. All I saw were a bunch of envelopes. My first thought was that Jenn had given me invitations to send for something I knew not what.  I dreaded the idea.

I opened the first envelope: A birthday card. The next, another birthday card. And so on it went until I had 12 birthday cards before me. Why twelve? 12-12-12 was the date.

Very sweet.

All saying in some way or another Happy 60th Birthday!

Except I wasn't.

But, that's what made the birthday gift from Jenn so perfect. It was just so like Jenn to want to do something special for me on my birthday and to get my age wrong.

I'm glad she my age wrong. The idea of turning 60 is a startling idea, more than any other age.

I saw Jenn a few weeks after my birthday. She apologized profusely. I told her, "I'm glad you did. You're preparing me for turning 60."

Jenn said, with that twinkle of challenge in her eye. "Then, Sue, you should do 60 new things before your birthday. Things you've never done before."

Stay tuned, dear readers.