Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

I haven’t had a real tree in years. It’s really a lot of trouble and let’s face it, you can get that wonderful smell from a Sentsy and not have to vacuum pine needles for six months.

Growing up in Missouri, a few days before Christmas we went into the woods and chopped down a cedar tree to decorate. I can remember fragile glass ornaments—some shaped like bells—glass bead garland, and plenty of silver icicles hanging from every branch. One year we strung popcorn to make a different kind of garland. It looked okay, but I would have rather eaten the popcorn with plenty of butter and salt.

I can remember ribbon candy, peanuts in the shell, chocolates, orange slice candy, and apples and oranges. I also remember that when we had mixed nuts, they didn’t come in a can, they came in a sack from the grocery store. Each of us was responsible for cracking and picking any nut we planned on eating. I always like the filberts, or hazel nuts, although it seemed redundant to buy them when we each fall, we had our fill from the bush behind the house.

Another thing that stands out in my memory is how worried I would get when it didn’t snow on Christmas Eve. I was just sure Santa wouldn’t be able to make it to our house. I understood sledding, and just didn’t get that flying through the air part. Our sleds had to have snow and I figured Santa’s sled wouldn’t make the trip without a smooth layer of snow to glide through.

Eventually, we had an artificial tree at home. It was one of those silver trees that were popular in the late fifties and then were worth a fortune at flea markets many years later. I’m sure it was the nostalgic value and not the actual value of the trees.

It’s hard to believe how Christmas trees, at least for the most part, still look the same, but have also changed. I now have a fiber optic tree. I don’t spend hours decorating it, I just pull it out of the box and fluff it up, plug it in and let it twirl with its multi-colored lights and sparkling ornaments.

At least when Christmas is over, I don’t have to remove the ornaments (and million icicles) before I haul it back into the woods. Nope, I just unplug it, cram it back into the box and take it downstairs until next year. With the Sentsy candle, I can smell Christmas year round, if that’s what I want.

Copyright © Dec 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Doesn't Have to be Crazy

A few of the advantages of being a grandparent—you don’t have to worry about how much noise a toy makes or whether there is room for it in the Toy Room. Geeze, I remember when my kids had a toy box, but now kids need an entire room for the toys they get from Santa, their parents, their grandparents, various aunts, uncles, and family friends.

As the grandkids multiply so does the expense. More important to me is the time it takes to decide what to buy, where to find it, and the fine line between getting it soon enough that it is still in stock and not before the last marketing campaign causes a change of heart.

Several years ago, based on my kids’ pleas to not buy so much for Christmas and my own practical nature that tells me they already have too many toys, I decided to put my money in educational CDs for my grandchildren.

I buy the grandkids a few small gifts, but I don’t find it necessary to get too indulgent. I give the older kids pre-paid VISA cards so they can use them for something they really want and give the younger kids a few toys.

The major part of my shopping is done once I make the phone call transferring money from my account to purchase CDs for the grandkids' accounts. I avoid the pushing, shoving crazed shoppers, and my grandkids will each have several thousand dollars for education when they graduate high school. That money could have been spent on long-forgotten or broken toys.

We celebrate Christmas this Saturday. It will be a fun time to get together and, of course, eat. Christmas day will be a day to kick up my feet and relax. A few changes in our tradition has really made Christmas with my family more enjoyable and a lot less stressful.

Copyright (c) December 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Name is Linda—And I’m a Baby Boomer

I went to a small school when I was a kid, but my class always had five girls named Linda—and one year we had six. That was nearly half the girls in the class. One year a teacher decided that since we all had different middle names, the problem was solved. So for one school year, the teacher called me “Sue.” I wasn’t crazy about sharing a name with four other students, but never liked my middle name at all.

“Why did you name me Linda?” I asked my mom.

“Because it’s such a pretty name,” she said. “I didn’t want you to have an odd name like mine.” Her mother named her Lula. I thought her middle name, Ellen, was beautiful and I would have been proud to be the only Ellen in our class—heck, maybe in the whole school.

I notice that most women named Linda, like me, are baby boomers. This morning, curiosity got the best of me and I discovered that social security has the most popular name listed for the past 100 years. Well, not to my surprise Linda was the No. 1 name from 1948-1952 when it dropped to No. 2 for a couple of years. Still, it was in the top five names from 1944 through 1963: a solid contender for most popular girl’s name for boomers.

The same thing happened with Jennifer in the '70s, Jessica in the '80s, and Emily in the '90s. Someone hears one of those names and they can pretty well guess what generation you belong to. One of the timeless names is Mary—the most popular girl’s name of all.

“Linda” seemed to go out of style after 1963. Someday, it will make a comeback as our great, or great-great granddaughters inherit the name. Then, the naming cycle begins again. Except for Mary, and that never goes out of style.

copyright (c) December 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boomer Lit - Cougars on the Prowl

I have always been a reader. When I was young, I liked to read stories about kids my age. I wanted stories to have a plot, great characters, and situations I understood. As a teenager and young adult, I loved to read mysteries, ghost stories, and romance—as long as the book had a story.

Now, my reading is varied and I read many different genres and nonfiction about a variety of topics. As a boomer, I like stories about grownup people with mature storylines. Stories that appeal to 40, 50, 60-year- old women readers is sometimes referred to as Boomer Lit.

When I started soliciting stories for A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas, one of the requirements was that the protagonist had to be in her forties. The younger boomers are in their late forties and even older boomers can relate to stories featuring a more mature woman. Face it, the seventy-six million boomers are probably not that interested in a teenage girl or twenty-something character whose idea of a crisis is a zit on her face before a big date.

I didn’t actually label Hot Flash Mommas as Boomer Lit because the age of the protagonist falls outside of boomers. Women in their early forties are not boomers and I didn’t want them to think the stories were too “old” for them. Heaven forbid, that anyone younger than forty now thinks of us boomers as “seniors.”

In the next Shaker anthology, Cougars on the Prowl, the woman will be a boomer. While this book, too, could correctly be labeled “Boomer Lit” we have to consider that if the woman is a “cougar” the man may be a Gen Xer. I’m looking forward to what creative writers will do with this topic. One thing I know, for a story to be accepted, it must have substance, because that’s what we boomers like to read. Guidelines will be posted at www.mozarkpress.com by January.

copyright (c) November 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Watching a DVD

I consider myself to be fairly technologically savvy, but I just found out that I needed help from my seven-year-old granddaughter to get SpongeBob Squarepants up and going. Yep, I was able to get the DVD in the machine. The first challenge was to get the TV off satellite and onto the DVD player. OK. Success in one try. Yay!


Then the silly thing just kept playing the intro. What’s with this?

“Push ‘Okay’,” my granddaughter told me.

“I don’t have that button on here,” I said.

She took it from me and started punching buttons. Nothing happened. “I think you need a different one,” she said.

I started digging through the drawer in search of a different remote. “Oh, here’s one,” she said. It was on top of the player.

Pretty soon she navigated the menus and selected the episode to watch.

Silly me, I thought you just popped it and it played. Might have known it would be interactive. I’ll get by okay as long as my grandkids are here to help me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Body and Mind - Joyce Meyer and Zumba!

Yesterday, after work, we watched a Joyce Meyer video on mental health. She has a humorous way of getting the point across that you need to take charge of your thoughts and get rid of those negative voices inside your head.

Joyce pointed out something that we all know, but never think about. She said you can catch diseases, but you can’t catch health. When we stand in front of God, it isn’t going to make any difference what someone else did, it is going to boil down to what we have done personally. We need to not make the excuse that everyone else is thinking, or doing, something.

Immediately following the video, I headed out for a Zumba class. It was my suggestion as something to do for Business Women’s Week besides eat. It’s not that I’m opposed to eating, but it seems I can eat only so much in a week without that little nagging thought that surely a few extra pounds are creeping around my waist. And it’s already nearly impossible to polish my toenails with the spare tire I already have.

The class turned out to be a lot of fun! We all learned how to shake our booties and had quite a workout at the same time. Terri (our fearless leader) taught us that every time the word “fire” was in a song, you shook your hinny.

We all appreciated Terri’s slowing the class down a little (or perhaps a lot!) so we could (sort of) keep up. Zumba is great fun and I know everyone that participated had a fabulous time.

Now, I’ll never hear a song that has “fire” in it without wanting to shake, shake, shake!

Copyright (c) October 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerrobics.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Morning at Grandma's House

When I woke up this morning, and realized it was Saturday, I began to think about a typical Saturday morning when I was young. We lived in the country, far, far away from the nearest town with a population of 747. Saturday was the day we went to town to buy groceries.

Well, I always liked to eat groceries, but buying them wasn’t the fun part of the day for me. The fun part of the day for me was going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It was always an adventure because I had a lot of cousins and some of them were bound to be there. We built a lot of playhouses beneath the big oak tree. Sometimes the boys would build tree houses. It depended on how many kids were around as to whether they invited us girls to climb up the rickety boards nailed to the tree to see how the world looked from on high.

I remember climbing the mulberry tree and eating berries until they made my stomach hurt. I always did like berries. Grandpa always knew where and when to pick wild berries. My grandma made delicious gooseberry pies out of the berries that Grandpa gathered. I’ve never known anyone else to make blackberry dumplings like my grandma did—big fluffy dumplings swimming in blackberries and their sweet juice.

My grandma and grandpa died in the early 1980s, but they live in my heart and in my dreams to this day. Sometimes on a Saturday morning I miss them so much. I would love to spend a Saturday with them and once again taste my grandma’s blackberry dumplings.

Copyright © October 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hawaii Five-O, Revisiting a Blast from the Past

Recently, I heard the familiar Hawaii Five-O theme music on TV and my mind superimposed a camera zooming in on Steve McGarret (Jack Lord) where he stood on a balcony of the Ilikai Hotel. The show first aired in 1968, but I don’t recall seeing it until 1970. When we finally saw the show, Jim and I were excited to recognize the Y shape of the Illikai.

In December 1969 we spent our honeymoon at the Illikai. We married while Jim was on R&R from Vietnam. The Hawaii in the early episodes of Hawaii Five-O, is a time warp showing Hawaii during the same era we were there.

Each week, we watched, keeping an eye out for familiar places. One time they showed the inside of a room at the Illikai. Maybe it was a movie set, but they replicated the room perfectly. I don’t recall seeing any chalk lines in the shape of a body in the room we had, so I don’t think it was the same exact one.

We saw Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head, Waikiki Beach other familiar hotels week after week. It was almost like a treasure hunt. Jim, who grew up traveling, could always recognize the landmarks immediately. Sometimes, I took some convincing or waited for the characters had to mention where they were.

With the new Hawaii Five-O, I probably won’t see many places I recognize, especially without Jim to point them out. But the music will bring back visions of Jack Lord and of a young couple just beginning life together walking hand-in-hand through the lobby of the Illikai hotel headed toward the beach. As soon as the theme song ends, I can close my eyes and hear “Jingle Jangle” and remember warm sand beneath my feet and the promise of sunshine on my face.

Copyright © September 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School Vocabulary

The kids are back in school now, and I’ve been thinking about how the meanings of some words have changed since my schooldays. Yes, my memory goes back that far!

Two words that came to mind immediately are “senior” and “plus.” These two words have positive and uplifting meanings to school kids, but mean something else to boomers.

Do you remember when senior meant you were about to graduate, and not a discount at McDonalds? How about “plus”? With a grading system, that meant you were at the upper level of the grade you received. Most teachers wouldn’t give an A+, but if you got one, you knew you were better than the best. Now when I hear plus, I think of plus sizes. That’s something I don’t want to be. When you see the “One size fits most” you don’t want to be so much of a plus that you are not included in the “most” category.

I thought of a few other words that have different meanings now. A text was the books we carried home from school each day so that we could do our homework. Now a text is a cryptic message sent on cell phones. Cell is another word that is used differently now. When I was young, a cell was something we studied in science class not a phone we used to send texts.

I know I’ve only scraped the surface of vocabulary usage, but it did remind me of another thing. I’m glad I don’t have to spend my evenings reading a text—book that is. Sometimes, being a boomer senior has its advantages.

Copyright © September 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://www.boomerobics.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bike Riding for Alzheimer’s

My friend David Oliver, Ph.D. took on a 71 mile bike ride from Sedalia to Jefferson City as part of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride. The Breakthrough Ride began in San Francisco on July 17 and will end in Washington DC on World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21. More than 55 researchers plan to collect 100,000 signatures to present to Congress urging them to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority.

David wrote about his experience and I’d like to share part of it with you.

David Oliver wrote:

On the eve of the big Alzheimer’s Breakthrough bike ride, I was sequestered with my fellow riders, John Cirrito and Jess Resvito from Washington University, and Ben Timson, from Missouri State University, at the Comfort Inn in Sedalia. Since I hang out at the University of Missouri (in Columbia), we had most of the state covered. I think all of us were excited and a bit nervous, at least I was.

Most likely the oldest and least experienced breakthrough rider, I wondered if my amateurish training had been sufficient to see me through the day. My longest attempts had been 42 and 35 mile outings on the KATY trail, a scenic but flat abandoned railroad path converted to one of the most magnificent Missouri State Parks stretching across the state for more than 200 miles from Clinton to St. Charles, Missouri. Little did I know that riding on the asphalt and concrete back roads of Missouri would in no way be similar to the hardened chat and rock floor of the KATY. Nevertheless, short rides on this and extended street routes to work and back constituted my preparation. My trusty TREK bike with hybrid wheels was going to be another factor that I had not put into the mix. Perhaps I should have trained with more experienced riders; no one this day had tires the size of mine. These were my thoughts as we were taken to the start point on the northern fringe of Sedalia on county road HH.

Within the first two miles, and for the rest of the day, John, Jess, and Ben, easily outdistanced me. Mel’s van became their support vehicle, and Glen’s mine. I caught up at all the rest stops and lunch so we did bond and I felt very much connected to them, but Glen was my companion and life line; having him following along with a yellow light circling atop his van was a buffer from traffic and allowed me to take in the countryside and enjoy the peaceful sojourn beside and along endless soybean and cornfields.

I was particularly good at “calling cows.” I think my mooing imitation turned them on as they raised their heads in anticipation that I might stop. Dogs were less predictable. Some would wag their tails, others would charge toward me until they felt thwarted by Glen’s “caboose” close behind me. I enjoyed speaking with farmers along the way, one who urged me to stop and help him with fence repair, and another who wanted to know our cause giving a thumbs up when I yelled, “All for Alzheimer’s research!” In Prairie Home we pedaled by a perfect replica of the “Field of Dreams” baseball field surrounded by cornstalks on all sides. At lunch we all talked about it, but none of us had stopped for a photo opportunity, a real loss. My first of two flat tires occurred soon after. Glen was outstanding repairing both in less than ten minutes, what a gift to know these cycling machines so well. I must admit that repairing the first flat gave me some needed rest as well as the strength to carry on to lunch in Jamestown, Missouri.

The last five miles, were however, grueling. Hill, hills, and more hills! One of my knees began to throb and I begin to worry about a blown knee, torn ligaments, and an emergency room. Glen and I had dropped pretty far behind at this point, and spent a good five minutes deciding which way to turn at Hwy 179 and County Road Z. The debate allowed my knee to sufficiently recover, but I asked Glen to drive me up three of the remaining four giant hills. I felt no guilt as I coasted down the other side of them and ultimately joined the others just short of reaching our destination. So while I didn’t complete the full 71-72 miles, I did go 68-69 of them; ironically numbers that match my age. Within view of the Fairfield Inn in Jefferson City, all four of us entered the parking lot side-by-side; the Four Musketeers. Like at the end of the three New York City marathons that I have run, I felt a few tears slide down my face. No one saw me, but I was not ashamed.

Follow the progress of Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride at www.alz.org.

Copyright © September 2010 L. S. Fisher/David Oliver
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forget the Joneses—Keep Up with the Grandkids

Early in our careers we focused on climbing the corporate ladder and getting ahead in life. Now that we boomers are aging, we are in the retirement zone and concentrate on building a healthy 401k. We no longer try to keep up with the Joneses and realize life is what it is—and find ourselves comfortable with our standard of living. Now, our goal is to stay healthy and fit enough to keep up with our grandkids.

I just went to Branson with my grandkids. My daughter-in-law, Stacey, and I took three of them to Silver Dollar City on Friday. We migrated from the kiddie section where we all rode rides for the younger crowd. Now, you would think this would mean carousels, little cars, etc. But no, the rides are high-flying swings, pirate ships that zip around in circles throwing you against the person riding with you, a big ship that rocks back and forth higher and higher above the trees, a small rollercoaster and other rides that left me a little on the dizzy side.

Later, we moved toward the big rollercoasters and I watched the two little ones while Stacey and twelve-year-old granddaughter got onto a rollercoaster that rocketed off the platform before going through a series of twists and turns. Then they rode one that did a loop-de-loop letting them see the world from an up-side-down vantage point.

It seemed to me that we walked uphill all day in 100 degree heat. At one time, I was so hot that I was drenched with sweat and my skin felt like it was being pricked with a billion pinheads. By the time we left, I was exhausted and felt like the calves of legs had been in a car wreck.

The highlight of the day for me was stopping at Steak and Shake and drinking two glasses of ice water with lemon in it. Yep, it was quite a day. The only thing I can say is I kept up with the grandkids. Geeze, I don’t think the Joneses can compete at all with that feeling of accomplishment.

Copyright © August 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blame It on the Blueberries

I’ve always had a love affair with blueberries, so I bought a pint of berries at the grocery store a few days ago. Each time I opened the refrigerator, they kept screaming at me to make blueberry pancakes.

“Blueberries, I bought you because you are a super food—and I need to learn healthier habits,” I chided my little blue friends.

“We want pancakes!” they replied.

“I don’t have time,” I said.

“It’s Saturday! Of course, you have time,” they encouraged, rolling over slightly as I picked up the box, shining with tastiness.

The next thing I knew Aunt Jemima was pouring her mix into a bowl, and I couldn’t help mixing in the water. Well, once the pancake mix was ready, the next logical step was to add blueberries.

After pigging out on pancakes, I kept telling myself that at least the blueberry part of the pancake was healthy. Blueberries are full of antioxidants to help ward off all kinds of evil diseases and conditions. Heck, they can even lower cholesterol, and I could definitely make use of that.

A short Internet search later, I was a little surprised, but not shocked to find out that huckleberries are a wild version of blueberries. Cool. I always liked them too. My Grandpa Whittle used to pick buckets of the tiny blue berries.

So maybe blueberry pancakes weren’t the healthiest use of blueberries, but they were mighty tasty. It wasn’t my fault at all—the blueberries made me do it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Age is Just a Number

“May I sit with the popular girls?” I asked the ladies who always sit together at church. It is a big church, but most people sit near the same spot each Sunday. Unlike the church of my youth, there are no pews, just rows of chairs. I’m usually flanked by Ila and Pat on the right, and Sheila on the left.

As I left church yesterday, Ila and Pat had paused in the hobby to have a conversation. I joined them, and they were talking about how their eye problems affect their driving. In the course of the conversation, I discovered these two vibrant women are in their 80s.

I shouldn’t have been surprised because my mom is in her 80s and looks and acts more than a decade younger. I hope that I’ve inherited her “young” genes. Even more important than her youthful looks, I want her enthusiasm and positive attitude that life is all about making the most of it.

We baby boomers need to look at the women we know who demonstrate aging brings us to an important season of our lives. We do not need to dread getting older, because most likely there will be still older women to serve as role models.

“Thank you! You made my day,” Ila said when I told her she certainly didn’t look like she was in her 80s. “It means a lot coming from a young person like you.”

Gotta love it, don’t I? Someday when I’m 80, I hope to hear Ila, Pat, my mom, and other vibrant 100+ year-olds appreciate how “young” I am. If I look like any of these ladies, I’ll know it’s a sincere compliment.

Copyright © August 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Bets Off

In Missouri we have a program for problem gamblers. All they have to do is dial 1-800-BETSOFF. Judging from the number of social security wielding people at the casino, I wonder how much of a problem gambling is for them and if they can afford the losses.

I have nothing against gambling, or gaming, as it is known here, but know it can be addictive. In fact, some of the new machines are entertaining and can be a whole lot of fun, especially if you win some small consolations along the way.

I was at the casino this weekend and saw a bus pull up in front and a load of senior citizens pile out of it. One lady in a wheelchair and another leaning heavily on a cane were beating it toward the machines.

At one time, Missouri had a daily loss limit and you were only allowed so much time inside the casino. Our legislators repealed that so we could compete with other casinos in bordering states. They are known as “boats” and some actually float on the water. Most of them are not really boats at all, and I’m not sure what they have to do to qualify for “riverboat gambling.”

Will gambling fever be even more prevalent in the future as we baby boomers retire? Are we going to entertain ourselves by feeding our 401k into slot machines? I hope not. Logic tells you that casinos aren’t in the business to give you money—they plan to take in much more than they shell out. The only question we need to answer is how much is the entertainment worth to us? Once we know the answer to that we just need to say, “Hey, the bets off. I have better things to do with my money.”

Copyright © August 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Senior Moments

Don’t you just hate it when you start to think you’re moving from scatterbrained to senior moments?

I just went to Minneapolis for a conference, and most of the trip went smoothly. Of course, one morning, I put my coffee on to brew while I took a shower. It was one of those pots that make a cup at a time so you insert the little packet of coffee, pour a cup of water in, put the cup under the spout and push the button. Simple. After my shower, I went to collect my cup only to discover I had forgotten one simple step—the one where I put the cup back under the spout. Ooops. It isn’t easy to sop up a whole cup of coffee with Kleenex. Thank goodness the tray caught most of it, or it would have been even harder.

After that, things would only have to go uphill, right? And they pretty much did until I decided after a grueling day to go to the ice machine to get some ice for my Diet Pepsi. I pulled the card out of the envelope and stuck it in my back pocket and strolled down the hallway to the ice machine. This hotel didn’t have normal hallways. They zagged off in several directions, but I only went down the wrong hallway once. I got my bucket of ice and made it back through the maze to my room. I pulled the card out of my back pocket to unlock the door and found myself looking at the GO pass for the light rail.

Okay, so I know darn good and well that the Go pass isn’t going to open my door. I set the bucket of ice down and thought about how to get into my room. Finally, I decided the best bet was to go to the front desk and tell them I’d locked myself out.

“Do you have any ID?” the clerk asked me.

“Of course not,” I said. “I was only going for a bucket of ice. My ID is in the room with my other worldy belongings.” After asking a few verification questions, she gave me a key. She probably looked at me and thought—senior moment—give her a key while she still remembers her room number.

I’m back home now so things should get better. As far as going to church this morning with only one earring—we can call that a fashion statement instead of a senior moment, can’t we?

copyright (c) July 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Boomerang Come Back

When I listen to my iPod I sometimes think I’ve boomeranged back into the sixties. I downloaded all my favorite CDs and must admit that my collection is heavy on the music that was popular during my high school years. Music can be an instant connection to a flood of memories. I try to collect only music associated with don’t-worry-be-happy thoughts. Even happy recollections can cause that nostalgic feeling that hits right in the pit of my stomach.

My trial subscription to XM radio has almost expired, and I am struggling with whether it is worth renewing so I can listen to “60s on 6.” Sometimes when I push the button to hang up my hands free phone, I accidently change the radio station. I’ll be driving along and realize I’m listing to spa music, which I find relaxing, and, of course, reminds me to make an appointment for a massage. Or, I might tune in the Nashville station and hear some favorite country tunes and the memories associated with them.

Music is an easy way for me to channel the feeling of Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” and those days when we boomers thought we were going to change the world. It was a time when the life that lay ahead of us was mysterious and filled with endless possibilities—all we had to do was find ourselves so we could find our way.

Now, we boomers have boomeranged to a new era as we face retirement and look forward to the rest of our lives, finding ourselves in a different era and body, but still thinking about the exciting new possibilities as the road ahead gets shorter. Aren’t we once again those boomers who want to change the world? That is still our goal to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren.

copyright (c) L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Boomer Music: Woodstock and the Ozark Music Festival

I read an article about Woodstock, NY, last week in American Profile. Of course, when I hear “Woodstock” I’m thinking 1969 and the festival, or “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.” In reality, Woodstock was not in the town of Woodstock but rather on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm near Bethel, NY. During the festival, 500,000 people converged on the farm creating a national spectacle. Woodstock, 2010, is a sleepy, artsy village that has incorporated the famous festival with the same name in their tourist offerings. The town of 6,241 has 500 artists and 20 galleries.

Here in Sedalia, MO, July 1974, on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, we had a mini-version of Woodstock known as the Ozark Music Festival. I lived in town then, and nothing prepared us for the chaos that would overtake our lives throughout the three-day festival.

Most of us were na├»ve enough to believe it was going to be a bluegrass festival with a little “pop rock” thrown in. How wild could that be? When rumors began that our little festival was getting national attention, the locals pointed out that the Earl Scruggs Revue was listed on the posters. Of course, others were listed as well—The Eagles, Bruce Spingsteen, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent—and the list went on and on.

The bluegrass festival was advertised as “No Hassles Guaranteed” and I think promoters may have failed to mention the blue part of the grass. Once the seventeen mile traffic jams cleared out, Sedalia was invaded for the duration.

My husband and I finally had to see for ourselves what was going on and took an evening drive past the fairgrounds. I particularly remember a man strolling down the street wearing nothing but a towel—and it was hanging over his shoulder. Topless women were everywhere. Naked people spilled off the fairgrounds and along Sixteenth Street as they scouted the area for food, water, and beer.

Festival goers took over unattended garden hoses to shower in front yards. They discovered the quarry lake and converged on it skinny dipping to avoid the 100 degree July heat. Around 1,000 people suffering from drug overdoses and dehydration were transported to the local hospital. Stores closed down because they were overrun with scantily dressed hordes of people.

Estimates of the crowd range from 160,000 to 350,000. They did more than $100,000 damage to the fairgrounds and the with the state fair a few scant weeks later, heavy equipment was used to doze the filth away. The Ozark Music Festival is called one of the largest and most forgotten festivals. Maybe the world has forgotten, but longtime residents of Sedalia, especially boomers, remember the festival well.

Copyright © July 2010 L. S. Fisher
http//earlyonset.blogspot.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vampires Just Aren't What They Used to Be

When I was young, a vampire was a scary thing—out to rob you of life so he could remain eternally young. They were usually handsome, but you knew at heart they were evil and dangerous to be around. You wanted the beautiful, but foolish, girl to see her life was in jeopardy and flee to safety.

Now, thanks to New Moon and Eclipse, vampires are all the rage. And, even more shocking, some of them are not evil at all and fight their impulse to bite humans. They are the new superheroes.

I just can’t be that supportive of Edward, the vampire in New Moon and Eclipse. I much prefer Jacob, the werewolf. He is much manlier and has a normal personality—well at least until he turns into a wolf and races through the forest on all fours. I have to totally agree with Jacob when he tells Edward, “I’m much hotter than you.”

I think Edward looks a little sickly and that pasty complexion doesn’t do anything for me. And something about his advanced age (how many years???), makes me think he is totally inappropriate for Bella. And Bella herself, duh, why would any woman want to become a vampire?

I’m thinking Bella must be under a spell to prefer the vampire to the werewolf. My granddaughter says I just don’t get it and has given me advanced warning that Bella takes the plunge in the final book. I told her I think the author is making a big mistake by doing that. She should have eventually had Bella figure out that Jacob is, by far, the better choice. Either that or some serious recasting needs to take place for the next movie.

Do you remember Michael Landon in I Was a Teenage Werewolf? I’m thinking werewolves were always hot.

Yeh, I never was fond of vampires. It’s not that I’m afraid of vampires anymore, but I do know I have always felt a little protective of my neck. That just because I’m ticklish, right?

copyright (c) July 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Drive Down Memory Lane

Last night I took a detour on my way home to drive down the main street of my hometown. I thought I might possibly see someone I knew. After all, the advantage of a small town was walking down the sidewalk and seeing familiar faces. It’s not that I hadn’t been back to my hometown—I was there during the Christmas Parade a couple years ago. At that time, there was activity going on, and I had a chance to visit with people I hadn’t seen in years.

At about 7 o’clock on a Friday night, it was a different situation. I turned onto the street and felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone. Abandoned buildings stood in spots that had at one time bustled with activity. I could barely make out the lettering on Cooper’s Grocery Store where every Saturday we filled up two carts with groceries for our big family. Where was the drugstore where I bought milkshakes, malts, or cherry cokes served up by the owner, Bob Hagedorn?

The only two vehicles on the entire street were parked in front of the Gallery which used to be Nolting’s Department Store. Where Kipp’s Drygoods had been, junk was piled in the display windows.

I made a U-turn at the end of the street just like everyone did when I was growing up. As I drove back down the street, I looked for more landmarks as I dredged up visions from my childhood. I saw the building that at one time housed the “pool hall” where many spirited games were played on Saturday afternoon. I looked for the theatre where we watched movies when they finally made it to our town.

Tears clouded my vision to see the hometown of my childhood deserted and lonely. Not one person was to be seen.

As I drove back past Cooper’s store a car pulled up to the stop sign and seemed to stop in surprise that another vehicle was on the street. I saw an older lady in a big old-fashioned car. What did she think of me, the woman in a red Malibu cruising the main drag? She probably thought I was some crazy tourist who had made a wrong turn and was lost.

Maybe I was a little lost. I know my hometown is gone and now lives only in memories and faded photographs.

copyright (c) June 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alzheimer's Reading Room: What is it like being an Alzheimer's caregiver? Unconditional Love

I submitted an article to Alzheimer's Reading Room about my caregiving experience. The Reading Room is an excellent source of information about Alzheimer's and includes everything from research information to personal stories like mine. Kudos to Bob DeMarco for maintaining and constantly updating this excellent site!

Alzheimer's Reading Room: What is it like being an Alzheimer's caregiver? Unconditional Love

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Year Older

Have you noticed how those birthdays just keep rolling around? I’m pretty sure I’m just imagining it, but it seems like the years are getting shorter.

I’m still shocked when I look at the calendar and notice that June is half over. Before you know it, the shopping days until Christmas countdown will begin. I’m not even sure I have all my Christmas decorations put away from last year. In fact, I know my Christmas lights—or should I just call them party lights?—are still wrapped around my deck railing. At least they are clear, so I can claim they have been left in place intentionally.

Anyway, I know it is officially my birthday because my sister-in-law delivered my birthday watermelon. She and my late brother-in-law, Dennis, gave me my first birthday watermelon when we visited them in Glendale, Arizona. Dennis carved “Happy Birthday Linda” on it. I believe he even had a candle stuck in it. Ginger has carried on the tradition without fail.

Okay, so birthdays aren’t all bad even when you’ve had so many you’re in danger of losing count. Someone asked me if I was 29 and I said, “Don’t be ridiculous—I’m 39.” Oh, wait a minute, that’s the exact age of my oldest son.

The bad thing about fudging on your age is people think you aren't aging well. Is it better to just fess up and let them tell you, you look so much younger? Last year, my son took me out to dinner and told them I was 65. This year he asked if I was 70?

On my birthday, I ate at Perkins. I ordered my delicious tilapia off the senior menu without being carded. They consider anyone over 55 to be a senior. I think we boomers need to come up with a better title than senior, which makes me think of someone who is ready to graduate. Does this mean whoever coined the term thinks we are about to kick the bucket, or "graduate" from life?

Maybe there are a few perks about getting older. My watermelon is in the fridge chilled to perfection. Discounts are sweet no matter what you call them. So look out senior discounts, here I come.

Copyright (c) June 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Teen Sailor Girl Should Be in School - Not Lost at Sea

It sometimes amazes me to see which stories make national news. Sixteen-year-old Abigail Sunderland wasn’t even on my radar until I heard she was “feared lost at sea.”

As the story unfolds, I couldn’t believe any parents in their right minds would let a sixteen year old attempt to sail around the world. Did they think she was Christopher Columbus junior? Was she in search of new lands? Nope. She was trying to recapture the world record her brother Zak held for a short while.

When someone dared questioned her father’s reasoning for letting Abigail take off in a sailboat, he made an asinine remark about parents let their children drive cars although some of them are killed. Is it no different letting your teenager drive a car across town than it is allowing your daughter to take off in a sailboat around the world? At least if the car breaks down, you don’t have to call in helicopters, planes, and boats to rescue your child.

I vaguely remember a sixteen-year-old boy sailing around the world, but couldn’t tell you if it was Zak or the Briton that promptly took the title away from him. What I do know is none of the people raising these children deserve to be called parents.

Growing up in the sixties, if we wanted to do something wild and reckless, it was a given that we would be doing so without parental permission. One of my dad’s favorite sayings was, “It’s not that I don’t want you to have fun—I don’t want you to get hurt.” Then there was always the other one—“Because I said ‘no’.”

Abigail left on her voyage in January. Why isn’t a sixteen year old in school? She should be thinking about applying to colleges, not risking her neck for a world record. Had she completed the trip, the record would no doubt be broken by some other teen who thinks he/she is invincible.

Now, my sincere hope is that the Sunderlands have to pay for this rescue, which I’m guessing cost more than my salary for the next hundred years. As for Abigail, she should be grounded until she’s twenty-one.

Copyright (c) June 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh, My Aching Back

Sometimes I think aches and pains come with the territory once birthdays start swooshing by with the speed of light. I’m pretty adept at taking my normal bodily owies in stride, but when new ones crop up, I get a bit testy.

It seems my back is always tense and a little sore. A good massage makes me feel all better and relaxs those tight muscles in my shoulders and neck. About a week ago, I was trying to get comfortable to read a novel and I just couldn’t seem to get myself propped up on the pillows to get as comfy as I wanted. It was a little annoying that my back didn’t feel the best, but nothing that made me lose any sleep.

As the week progressed, I noticed the pain was getting a little worse and was in the middle of my back. I guess everything goes south with age—including my back pain.

By Friday, if I moved wrong it took my breath away and the pain was harder to ignore. Well, since I only worked two days last week, I didn’t want to take time off to sit in a doctor’s office. I’d never had anything like this before, so I was in hopes that if I ignored the pain, it might just go away.

Of course, anything gets worse on the weekend when the only option is tough it out or go to the emergency room. Saturday, I moaned and groaned, used the heat pad, and popped a few extra-strength ibuprofen.

The good news is, today the pain is pretty much gone. At least, no stabbing pains. To be on the safe side, I’m planning on a little more heat pad therapy and ibuprofen, and practice my ignoring techniques.

Copyright (c) June 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summertime Then and Now

Kids are out of school and thinking about summer vacation and as they mull through their choices, it makes me think of summertime in the Ozarks when I was growing up. In the sixties there weren’t a lot of choices to think about. Summer would be three months of playing outside with no idea of pollen count, swimming in the Lake of the Ozarks (without considering e-coli contamination), drinking fresh squeezed lemonade, or cooling down in front of the box fan while I read True Confession magazines.

We grew up without air conditioning so summertime in my memories is intertwined with heat, sunbathing, and the smell of Coppertone suntan lotion. Yes, the idea was to soak up the sun to have a “healthy” tan, not to be a paleface sickly looking person.

We listened to music on a transistor radio, not an iPod. Sometimes I wonder what I would have thought if I could have seen a glimpse of the future and the conveniences I take for granted now. I would have thought I’d been dropped into the middle of a science fiction movie.

The TV in our house was a black and white set with three channels. Now, people feel underprivileged if they have less than a hundred channels. They would never understand my dad’s logic that you could only watch one channel at a time—oh, that isn’t necessarily true now anyway. We had one TV and my dad decided which of the three channels we watched. That means we watched a lot of westerns and war shows. I suppose we should have been scarred for life by the violence, but none of us grew up to be gun-toting criminals.

We were raised to assume that any gun in the house was loaded, and you don’t point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger even if you were positive the gun was empty. My brothers hunted and fished with the understanding that any game they shot or caught was to be cleaned and eaten. Wastefulness of any kind was not tolerated. If you took food out on your plate, you darn well better eat it.

My parents ruled the house, not us kids. We didn’t backtalk or argue. Sometimes we could sway mom if we presented our case nicely. But with my dad “No” meant no, and “I don’t think so” meant no. “I guess” meant yes. We kids never tattled on each other.

Times have certainly changed and not just for kids. “Good old days” make better memories than a current way of life.

No matter how hot it is outside, I’m comfortable in my air-conditioned home. Let’s just hope that someday I’m not sweltering in the heat while I watch a black and white TV reminiscing about 2010 as the good old days when I lived in comfort.

Copyright (c) May 2010 L.S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tornado on the Ground

I’ve seen a few tornados in my lifetime. The whole system of tornado watches and warnings has certainly evolved since I was a kid. We didn’t have the capability of pulling up Dopler radar on a PC or have a weather radio. We usually knew a storm was coming when the sky turned black and the dog started howling.

The first time I saw a tornado, I was about eight years old and visiting my aunt and uncle in northern Missouri. We were returning from a picnic in a park and stayed ahead of the storm until we made it back to their house. Just as we headed to the cellar, we could hear the roaring of the tornado.

Those of us who live in the Midwest (and aren’t storm chasers) hate to hear the words “Tornado on the ground.” Sedalia has been hard hit by tornados before, and those of us who saw the destruction aren’t exactly wishing to see that again.

I was at the Memory Walk Meeting last Thursday night when my phone rang. It was my oldest son checking to see where I was and to tell me part of the county was under a tornado warning.

“I think it’s going to miss Sedalia,” he said.

“I’m here at the church,” I said. “I guess that’s as good a place as any to ride out a storm.”

I turned my Dell Netbook on and pulled up the radar to have a look at the storm. The chairwoman’s daughter, Theila, watched over my shoulder as the red box representing the tornado warning moved closer to Sedalia.

“It’s moving to the north of us,” I assured her.

That’s when we heard the sirens. I gathered up my items, and our group headed toward the bride’s room, which is the church’s designated safe room. We were joined by an older couple and a young man. Of course, we all started dialing our cell phones. All I got was a “network busy” message. The young man reached a friend who said the tornado was on the ground by the new high school. Well, tornadically speaking, that wasn’t far from where we were.

Having lived in Missouri my entire life, I know rumors of tornado touchdowns may be exaggerated, but this time it really did happen—and, of course, it was caught on video. That video and other pictures have made the rounds on Facebook.

Damage was slight because the new rating system deemed it a weak tornado or an EF0. It’s probably a good thing it was weak because about half the people in town were standing in front of windows or outside to get a good look at the tornado and snap a few pictures.

Yes, I prefer being in a safe room to gawking at a storm headed toward me. Personally, I don’t want to be sucked up to OZ because I just had to shoot a video or snap a picture.

copyright (c) May 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baby, the Rain Must Fall

The lyrics to Glenn Yarbrough’s song, "Baby, the Rain Must Fall," have been on my mind for the first two days of my three day weekend. I had my heart set on Silver Dollar City and even drove out there Friday. Just as I saw the “Free Parking on the Right” sign, the sky opened up and small rivers flowed freely on the highway as the windshield wipers frantically tried to wipe away the torrential rain.

Well, somehow I wasn’t convinced that my travel size umbrella and small plastic poncho would keep very much of my body dry so the Ozark adventure was postponed for a day. Saturday, I had a writers meeting to attend, but the rain was back with a few rumbles of thunder thrown in for good measure.

Sunday is the day of last chance—at least for this weekend. I’ve planned to log a few miles of walking for the fitness challenge at work. It takes five miles to earn a railcar and my train is really short—two cars to be exact.

All week, I was so busy, I skipped the gym, but was confident that Friday, I’d walk five miles at Silver Dollar City. Now, I don’t see any railcars in my immediate future.

Who knows, my schedule for the upcoming week might allow me to go to the gym or the walking track a few nights. Well, I do have two meetings scheduled and there is American Idol to vie for my time.

On workdays, it seems that beautiful spring weather sends out a siren call beckoning me to be outdoors. Yet on the weekend, my lone anticipated outside activity is rained out. It may not rain more on the weekend—but it sure seems that way. And, baby, if the rain must fall, why can’t it just darn well fall on a workday and leave my weekend alone?

copyright (c) May 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Functional Dysfunctional Family

How many times have you heard an excuse for bad behavior: I came from a dysfunctional family? As a person who grew up in the fifties and sixties, I want to know what planet those people came from that didn’t grow up in a dysfunctional family.

Isn’t every family dysfunctional? What the heck is dysfunctional anyway? According to my trusty Oxford American Dictionary dysfunctional means a failure to function normally. Following that train of thought further, I checked out the definition of normal. Now there’s a word that reeks of impossible for a boomer. Normal means conforming to what is standard or usual.

Weren’t we baby boomers proud of being nonconformists? Didn’t we strive to be free-thinking unique individuals? So why would we have a problem with a dysfunctional family? How can a group of individuals from different generations mold into a completely normal functional unit?

If you came from a functional/normal family, how would you ever deal with the dysfunctional world? There just aren’t that many completely “normal” people around—besides what is normal for one person isn’t normal for everyone.

I’m pretty sure my cat and I make up a dysfunctional family. If you still insist you don’t come from a dysfunctional family—take a good look around at your next family get-together. Would you consider all of them to be normal?

Just be thankful that growing up in your dysfunctional family gave you the skills you needed to function in the dysfunctional world.

copyright (c) May 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com
Alzheimer's Blog: http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Retirement Car—Red Jewel Malibu

Sometimes it’s hard to give up a car you love to shop for a new one. My 2002 Oldsmobile Alero has been a good, faithful car for the past eight years. Now that I’m getting closer to retirement age, I wanted to have time to pay off a new vehicle before living on a reduced income.

Several months ago, I saw a red jewel 2010 Chevrolet Malibu on a showroom floor, and it was love at first sight. Was I really close enough to giving up my day job to purchase my retirement car? Besides, selling my Oldsmobile has the feel of divorce—leaving the tried and true for a flashier, younger model. Maybe that idea stemmed from reading The Cougar Club.

A few weeks ago, my oldest son and I went to our local Chevrolet dealer, W-K, and test drove a Malibu. After negotiating the price and all the rebates and discounts, we priced the car on the lot and my dream car that would need to be ordered. Of course, I went with the one that had to be ordered.

The Malibu has all the bells and whistles—Onstar navigation, Bluetooth, heated seats, remote start, power everything, even a manual shift option. It will take me two years to just learn what I have, and longer to know how to use it.

I notice many admiring glances as I tool around town in my red Malibu. One complete stranger even said to me, “What a beautiful car! And a red hot mama driving it!” Okay, so I made up the part about “hot mama” but it that’s how it makes me feel when I drive it.

I sold my Oldsmobile to my sister-in-law who lives next door. I feel a little pang when I see her drive it. I’ve become a car cougar—in love with the hot, new model, but with a sentimental attachment to the car I cast aside.

copyright (c) May 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Friday, April 23, 2010

Silly Songs of the Sixties

One time I saw a CD called “Silly Songs” and was a tiny bit annoyed when I realized every song was from the sixties. I’m telling you, we didn’t think those songs were so silly when they came out. In fact, some of those “Silly Songs” bring back a lot of emotions. I won’t say they are all happy, but at least some of them are.

One of the silly songs on the CD was “Yellow Submarine.” Now how could anyone consider the Beatles to be silly? We are talking about THE Beatles, after all. Obviously, this song was selected by someone who didn’t remember the screaming, yelling, fainting, obsessing, and idolization from your average run-of-the-mill Beatlemaniac. Nope, anyone with those memories wouldn’t dare call anything performed by the Beatles a silly song.

I can’t remember what other songs were on that CD, but I can think of a few that might actually qualify as a bit “crazy” as one Web site calls it. Crazy is more appropriate for songs like “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Wild Thing.” I actually thought the real name of “Wild Thing” should be “Wild Thang” since that is exactly how the Troggs sang it. Maybe the prize should go to “Tip Toe Thru the Tulips.” It’s a mystery how or why that was ever a hit. And yes, it was pretty darn goofy. You kinda had to be there to appreciate “Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp.” I bet I'm not the only boomer who wants to dance everytime that song comes on the radio.

Okay, I’ll concede crazy, but silly? Not as long as we boomers can sing all the lyrics to “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hop on The Soul Train

Our health insurance encourages us to participate in wellness programs and our latest work health improvement plan is “Hop on The Soul Train.” This nutrition and walking program comes at just the perfect time for me. I just had my physical Wednesday and, once again, my doctor tells me that if I lose ten to fifteen pounds my numbers should be perfect.

Like a lot of other baby boomers, I’m taking medication for high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. Still, my last blood work showed creeping-upward numbers in way too many categories. Even before my doctor visit, I was working up to the mindset that I needed to get serious about reducing those numbers. We have a great prescription program with our insurance, but this year I took the leap to a high deductible plan—and first thing being applied to that deductible are prescription drugs.

The Soul Train plan is simple: walk five miles and you get to add a “car” to your train. The trains are colorful pieces of laminated paper posted along the hallway. The person with the most cars wins a gift certificate to a sporting goods place. The rest of us can win incentives along the way for turning in our weekly miles, servings of fruits and vegetables, and glasses of water. Since I didn’t see cups of coffee listed, I may not do so well on the fluid intake.

The idea is for each of us to take control of our health habits by stepping up the veggies and increasing our exercise. Hopefully, those of us with 10-15 pounds to spare can drop a little weight and improve those tattletale numbers. If nothing else, we can feel righteous about improving our overall health as we hop on the soul train.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Creaking Bones

Although I feel youthful on the inside, my body doesn’t always cooperate, and I’ve developed some creaking bones over the years. When I was in my late thirties, I began to have trouble with my knees. After consulting with several physicians, I think the doctor that rattled off a long name for my condition and followed it up with “You have sick knees,” was about the least helpful one of the bunch.

I lived with my “sick” knees for another fifteen years until my limp became noticeable. I finally told my family doctor I had to do something. He said it would probably take surgery to fix them, but he wanted me to join a gym and use the machines to strengthen the surrounding muscles before we scheduled surgery.

I joined Brian’s Gym and under the guidance of a personal trainer, I began an exercise program to build the muscles without doing more damage. At the same time, at our workplace health fair, a representative from GNC recommended Co Q-10.

A strange thing happened—after years of suffering with my knees, they got a whole lot better. Five years later, I occasionally have flare-ups with my knees, but not often, and I can easily live with it.

When I pay my gym membership or buy another bottle of Co Q-10, I can’t help but think it’s a whole lot better than surgery. My money is much better spent on prevention.

Copyright (c) April 2010 L. S. Fisher
http://boomerobics.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

Does “How sweet it is!” make you think of Jackie Gleason or the sweet tea you just ordered at McDonald’s drive-thru? I’ve never been one to drink sugary drinks—at least not on purpose.

I saw a demonstration at our health fair recently that really drove home just how blissfully aware most of us are of just how much sugar we consume. A certified health educator, Dee Ann Brodersen, held up a 20-oz bottle of orange soda. She had me read the label on the back.

“How many grams of sugar?” she asked.

“It says 35 per serving,” I answered. I can read with the best of them.

“Okay,” she said, “how many teaspoons of sugar do you think that is?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe four?” That sounded like a lot of sugar to me, and much more than I would ever stir into a drink.

“Well, let’s see,” she said. “First you need to convert the grams to teaspoons—4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. So, divide 35 by 4 and you get 8.75 teaspoons of sugar.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I said. “Who would stir almost nine teaspoons of sugar into a drink?”

“Exactly,” she agreed. “But how many people will stop drinking after the first serving and not drink the other serving and a-half in this bottle?” She reaches behind the table and pulls out packets of sugar taped together—all 22 packets.

Back to that McDonald’s sweet tea—a large sweet tea has 59 grams of sugar, a medium has 38 grams of sugar, and a child’s size has 23 grams of sugar. Before you indulge in that next sweet tea, or order it for your grandchild, exercise your mind and visualize those packets taped together. How many will it be? Let’s see 59 divided by 4—you do the math!

copyright (c) April 2010 L. S. Fisher

Friday, April 2, 2010

Boomers and Class Reunions—How Many Years Ago?

What runs through your head when you get the invitation for a 40 year class reunion? Reconnecting with former classmates might not be too shocking if you have attended a few reunions along the way; otherwise, you might want to pop a nitro before you walk through the door.

I’m not sure which is worse, your school’s “golden” couple—basketball star weds homecoming queen—who remind you of your grandparents, or the svelte class nerd who looks twenty years younger than everyone else. Both remind you it's time to renew your gym membership.

Strange things happen with friendships too. You may have been best friends in high school, but now you can’t remember why. Or that cute guy you flirted with in study hall has turned into someone who totally creeps you out. (Did you hear rumors that his ex disappeared and was never heard from again?)

Oh, heck, you’re a Boomer, and you can handle it. Wearing your darkest shades will have a twofold purpose: You hide your crow’s feet, and your vision is muted so that everyone else looks better too.

copyright (c) April 2010 L. S. Fisher

Bending: An Aerobic Workout

Have you ever wondered why people wear shoes with Velcro fasteners? After all, you learn to tie shoes in kindergarten. Well, I can tell you with the voice of authority—bending is hard on chubby girls.

When I try to get past the extra roll engulfing my middle to tie my shoes, I find myself out of breath. I’ve decided that bending is my new aerobic workout. I just need to get the breathing technique down before I fall on my head and can’t get up.

Silly people with their Velcro straps—they aren’t getting their exercise.

copyright (c) April 2010 L. S. Fisher