comingling…old…and young

English: A wood cut of a seventeenth century E...

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Yesterday after exercise class several of us chatted over coffee at a local watering hole. Its ambiance is homey, charming. Mis-matched furnishings fill a small space…tables, chairs, benches and sofas. The same could be said of the clientele…singles hunched over their lap-tops…couples huddled in corners…friends, like us, conversing and laughing…and then there’s the playgroups. They can range from a pair of moms with their toddlers, or like yesterday…a full-blown preschool’s worth of young ‘uns.

Within close proximity to the toddlers roundup, our group of middle-aged women got a little prickly at times with the noise and commotion surrounding us. We couldn’t hear ourselves talk, or think for that matter, above the shrieks and crashing of chairs on the floor. It didn’t help that the moms were too busy chatting with one another to intercept. 

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Upon exiting the coffee house I mentioned to Kristina, friend and exercise instructor, what some of us had thought the owner might do to accommodate the needs of his customers. If he rented the vacant shop next door, he could have the adults fraternize in relative serenity in the old space, while moms and their children could happily spread out in the newer digs.

Without pause Kristina replied “We don’t really want to separate ourselves from other age groups. We need to comingle with them to keep ourselves from becoming old and crotchety.” She mayn’t have said those exact words, but I quickly got the drift…and wholeheartedly agreed. In fact I think she said it’s best not to cart ourselves off to retirement communities when we grow old.

English: Seahaven Retirement Community, Grooms...

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It’s not the first time I’ve heard say living in mixed neighborhoods is preferrable to  homogenous ones, where everyone is of similar age and lifestyle. The young energize the old; the old share their wisdom born out of many more years of life experiences.

…the fountain of youth lies within…with a little help from without…

Matti
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…but hey!…everyone finds her own way…
………hugmamma.
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daily post challenge #222: do i prefer to lead or follow?

Female Mallard with ducklings

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What I’ve noticed in four decades of marriage is that I’ve become the social leader in our family. Those of you who are married, don’t you find that’s true in your families as well? It seems to evolve naturally over time, that wife and mom becomes “it” in deciding when to do what, with whom, how, why, when and where.

Empowered

We’re probably partly to blame because anything hubby suggests might be rebuffed. Been there; done that. Not at the beginning, mind you. I was very acquiescent. Aren’t we all when in the throes of budding romance? But as relationships evolve, women feel more empowered to make suggestions. Batting our eyelashes, we get our way. That’s when men relinquish all say-so in their social lives, like it or not. And we, the fairer sex, win the title of “Social Leader for Life!” Yeayyy…us!!! But wait a minute. Should we be celebrating? I’m not so sure.

For the rest of our relationship with that special someone, which could amount to decades, we women are charged with making all decisions pertaining to where to go, what to do, what to eat, how many days to vacation, where do we board the pets, who’ll mind the kids, what clothes to pack, who should we invite, where do we spend the holidays, what kinds of gifts to buy and for whom, with whom do we socialize, with whom should the kids socialize, keeping in touch with family and friends, making new friends, what to serve at parties, planning parties, grocery shopping and cooking for get-to-gethers and cleaning up afterwards…and on, and on,and on. The list is as endless as we want to make it. Yeayyy…us!

If I had it to do all over again? I’d shut my mouth and let my wonderful hubby have at it………hugmamma.

……..what about you?……..and you lucky, lucky men……..any opinions?  😉

“exercise and pastries,” oxymoron, or balance?

On the last Friday of the month, our exercise class usually meets afterwards for coffee and conversation at a local Starbuck’s. Once in a while we patronize another local “coffee” house…mine. Since it’s decorated “to the nines” for Christmas, I love having people over for a “look-see.” And my exercise buddies always love  to look and see, how our household rings in the holidays.

Since our personal computers are still without internet connection, thanks to Comcast, I’m still blogging gratis my husband’s laptop. Because of this, I’m not able to share photos of this year’s decor, which I can only access on my computer. Hopefully service will be restored tomorrow, and I’ll be back in “my office.” When I am, you’ll get a peek inside what my daughter calls our “Christmas explosion!” Meanwhile, the photo at the top of my blog is of last year’s decor, partially of course.

Somehow preparing to entertain is an all night affair. I almost never get to bed until the wee hours of the morning the day of the party. I crawl under the covers, only to get up a couple of hours later, put on my “new day” face, and proceed to rush about on pure adrenalin. I should be napping right now, but I always get sucked in to blogging. It’s my time for personal pleasure. And writing gives me a “high,” like trillions of endorphins flying around inside my head, wearing happy faces. Blogging is one “detour” I can never seem to bypass.

Unfortunately preparing for today was delayed last night, because I wanted to first write and publish a post on tinnutis, or ringing in the ear. Writers will agree, I’m sure, that we have to continually write to be taken seriously. And I’ve a long way to go, since I’ve only been writing consistently for 5 months. 

Knowing my penchant for delay, I bought a few items for today’s coffee with the ladies. If you’ve a nearby QFC, you can purchase some of the goodies that were a hit. Dutch Country’s Homemade Red Velvet Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling (made from scratch). “Thaw and Serve. Ready to Eat.” Dutch Country also makes a Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling, again “from scratch.” The other pastry I bought from QFC was a Danish Kringle, a “Traditional Danish Pastry.” It looks like a large pretzel in the shape of a heart with an “x” in the center. Its crust is sooo flaky and its center is laden with a thin custard layer. Hmmm…yummy!

My homemade contribution was an “Overnight Breakfast Casserole.” It’s very easy to make, and lent something different to a table of sweets. Actually, a friend brought another egg dish that included mild peppers. It was flavorful, and not spicy as expected. Here’s the recipe for my casserole. Next time I might try it with hashed brown potatoes, instead of bread. I’m certain that would change the taste and texture of the dish. Bon appetite!!! 

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE     

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter, 6 to 8 slices bread, 1 to 1  1/2 lbs link sausage, 12 eggs (beaten), 3/4 cups milk, 1  10 oz. can cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper to taste, 1 to 1  1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese..

Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down in baking dish. You might have to cut each slice into quarters so all slices can fit in the dish.  Brown sausage in skillet, drain. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Beat eggs with milk in mixer bowl until foamy. Add soup, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour over bread; sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Chill, covered, in refrig overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour or until center is set. You may add fresh sliced mushrooms, and use mushroom soup, or vary cheeses and substitute hashed brown potatoes or tater tots for bread.

If you’re nowhere near a QFC (or Kroger) market, here’s the manufacturer’s information: Dutch Country Apple Dumplings, Inc., P.O. Box 603, Orrville, Ohio 44667, (330) 683-0646. Larsen’s Original Danish Bakery, 8000 24th Ave, N.W., Seattle, WA 98117, (206) 782-8285, www.larsensbakery.com.

You must be wondering, or maybe you’re not, how women who make it a point to “bump and grind” in exercise class three mornings a week, can return to indulging ourselves once a month. Partly because it is once a month, but more importantly because of the camaraderie we share away from class. Socializing is an important factor in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. Those who are getting on in years, including myself, must make a concerted effort to remain connected to people, to our community, to society. The fact that my friends and me exercise, socialize, and eat sweets, now and then, demonstrates how normal we are in trying to live balanced lives.

wishing the same for you, a balance of exercising…socializing…and pastries…hugmamma.