Sunday, January 30, 2011

What I Did On My Winter Vacation

I can't ski on a good day.  I haven't had a good day in years.  My husband loves to ski.  I'm not sure my granddaughters "love" it, but they're pretty good at it.  So this is how I ended up in frigid temperatures watching the world pass me by.

My husband knows I'm still recovering from a broken ankle, but he felt compelled to make reservations at a ski resort anyway.  Why he didn't book a trip to the Caribbean I'll never understand.  Lounging on the beach--now that's something I'm sure I'm capable of doing.  But whatever.

I try to be a good sport.  (That's different from being an athlete.  I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those.)  At first I let my husband convince me that a ski boot would support my weak ankle enough to allow me to risk breaking a new set of bones.  Then one night several weeks before the trip, I found myself waking up in a panic at the thought of desperately trying to snowplow my way to a stop before I hurtled to the bottom of the mountain.  That's when I realized this idea of skiing wasn't the best idea I've ever had.  So I put my still-tender foot down.  I would not be putting my swollen ankle into a tight boot to slide down a mountain for anyone.

Contrary to what my family might say, I'm really not the type to demand that others change their lives to accommodate me.  I would still be willing to take a ski vacation, just not willing to ski. So now the dilemma for me was how to best utilize this time away from home.  (I did make it clear to my husband that he would be expected to take the girls skiing with him, at least for part of each day.  Seemed like a fair trade-off to me.) 

I haven't worked outside my home (or inside either, if we're being honest) since my oldest granddaughter was born over twelve years ago.  I wanted to make the most of this vacation, not just pack my mundane existence in a suitcase and take it on a road trip.  As luck would have it, this was the year my husband decided to try a different resort property far from the heart of the action.  So spending my days wandering the village wasn't practical.  Aha!  Maybe I could use this time to do some crafting projects!  It would require me to drag half the contents of  my house to a far-away location, but it would be worth the trouble.  I would use the time to actually create fun things without feelings of guilt; after all, you can't clean a house that's hundreds of miles away.

Then we were there.  Smack in the middle of reality.  It was no longer "what if" but it was now what it was.  And what it was was just another version of My Life.  We got up rather early each morning, got the kids dressed and fed, then my husband and kids were off living their lives. After they left I showered, spackled my face as best I could, and fought with my unruly hair.  Yes, so far this was looking a lot like the life I led back home.

I barely had time to cope with the inevitable depression that happens after I spend 30 minutes in front of a mirror when it was time to meet my family for lunch.  Now mind you, I never knew what time they would find themselves both hungry and near a restaurant, so I spent my "free time" waiting for their call.  Then the rush was on to catch a shuttle bus to meet them at whichever location was convenient for them.  And as I totally expected, my youngest granddaughter had had enough skiing by lunchtime every day.  So it was back to the condo for her and me.

Guess what I did every afternoon?  I taught my granddaughter to use my Cricut machine.  

And when the slopes closed every evening, my other granddaughter wanted me to teach her to use it, too. 

Did I use my vacation to create fabulous things that I would be eager to post on my blog?  No. Did I relax and enjoy quiet time alone?  Not a chance.  But I hope what I did manage to create over that long weekend were lasting memories with my granddaughters.  Yes, you might even say I spent the time Creating Fond Memories.  And it was all good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Ashamed to Admit...

...I fell for another "miracle" product.  Yes, I'm desperate and ready to believe just about anything.  Every day I seem to age another year.  I shouldn't be this vain; I was never the prettiest girl in the room.  Okay, that isn't entirely true.  Sometimes I was the only girl in the room. That upped my odds considerably.  But I don't like getting old.  And I really don't like looking old.  Some women can pull it off with charm and sophistication.  Not me.  I wasn't charming and sophisticated when I was young, and I don't see that changing now.

I try to keep my beauty routines to myself as much as possible, but with a husband and two kids around I don't always get the privacy I need.  Such was the case last weekend.

We were on vacation in a tiny condo with a tiny bathroom.  There was really no room for private grooming.  So with my eight-year-old granddaughter sitting across the living room from me (which was only about two feet away), I nonchalantly whipped out my new age-reversing device.  The promise is that if you move it across your face for ten minutes twice daily, the bright light it emits will stimulate collagen growth. (Go ahead, laugh--you too will be old someday.)  And it makes a humming noise.  It might never do anything else, but it will get the attention of anyone nearby. Sure enough, after a very short time my granddaughter looked up and said, "Nana, what is that?!", to which I replied, "Oh, it's just something I hope will help me look younger."  "I don't see how that's going to do anything!"

Where was this voice of reason when I was placing my order?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Toy Story Birthday Card...Yes, for a Grown Woman!

Lacking a creativity gene, I struggle with all things crafty.  Birthday cards are the worst.  Seriously, how many different ways can you say "Happy Birthday"?  But having invested my retirement funds on crafting supplies, I feel it is my obligation to make every freakin' card that goes out of this house.  Sometimes inspiration hits when I need it most.  Such was the case with my sister's card. 

I try to make each card reflect something special about the recipient.  With Cheryl, I remembered many years ago just after the movie Toy Story came out that she bought a talking Woody doll.  We laughed so hard playing with that doll that tears streamed down our faces. Hallelujah, my recent purchase of the Cricut Toy Story cartridge could finally be justified!

Yes, Woody's eyes make him look a little creepy.  I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I don't have glasses strong enough to allow me to see those tiny images in the cartridge handbook, so I was just winging it.  And once Woody's tiny eyeballs were glued down, there wasn't any way I was getting them into another position.  Thus we have Woody, the Peeping Tom.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time for a Change

For the sake of all things holy, I've decided it's time for a haircut.  I have been desperately clinging to a few long, thin, scraggly strands in hopes of fooling someone, anyone, into believing I'm under 50.  Obviously it hasn't been working.  And if it had, isn't that false advertising?  Some poor chap, just walking along minding his own business, sees this "hot young thing" walking in front of him, struggles to catch up and then turns nonchalantly to see the goddess he just passed, and -- HORROR! -- not only isn't she a goddess, she's a senior citizen!  The tease is over.  Yes, I'm old.  And so not hot.

And on that note, I was doing my weekly walk-through at Costco, granddaughter in tow, when I see this man giving me a look.  At first I thought maybe he was trying to figure out how someone as old and frail as me could be walking unassisted, but then he looked up, actually tried to make eye contact, and smiled.  Not the standard, "Whoops, I've been caught staring at the old lady with inappropriately long hair" smile, but an actual flirty sort of smile.  As I later told my husband (heck, yeah I'm telling him if some dude looks twice at me!), at first I thought maybe he was just being nice.  But based on my (much earlier) life experiences, this guy was staring to the point it was almost creepy.  To a normal person.  I'm not normal.  I'm menopausal.  And I liked it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Sister, Another Birthday (Another Blessing)

Today is my sister's birthday.  Cheryl was born only 14 months after me so she was first in line to annoy me.  (Yes, I freely admit I also annoyed my older sister--it was what gave me purpose in life.)  To be honest, I really only remember a brief period in time (when we were in high school together) that Cheryl drove me nuts.  But it didn't last long.

That's the thing about sisters; they add so much to your life that they're usually worth the trouble.  Have a wonderful birthday, Cheryl!
Me and Teresa on the top bench,
and poor Cheryl on the lower bench in front of our feet, probably about to be kicked