Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don't Do it, Hillary

Politics aside, if anyone asked me what I would tell Hillary Clinton as she considers a run for the Presidency (and let's face it, she is considering it), I would tell her to forget it.

I can only argue from my own experience, and whether I am average—or is it median?—I am not sure. I am a few years older than Hillary. I can call her Hillary, can't I? But that means she would be 69 when elected and 77 after 8 years in office. Now the Pope is currently 77 and when he took a few days off the other day because he was tired, no one minded. Imagine the President of the United States taking a few days off for that reason. By the way I, who used to be pretty adequate at arithmetic, had a wretched job getting my brain around those numbers. I think I would have a lot more trouble with the budget of the USA. Of course, I was working on this problem as I was lying down for my obligatory afternoon nap.

All this is to say that age IS a factor. I am a great fan of Ronni Bennet and her blog about aging. Some time ago ago she wrote an eye opening post asking when old age actually begins. The comments section is worth reading. The writers differ greatly in their perceptions of old age, both the physical and mental changes they are undergoing. But hardly anyone reaches the late 70's without age rearing its ugly head.

Of course she would have some advantages. Someone to choose and buy her clothes (designer if the occasion warrants), a doctor just outside her door and a hairdresser on hand to help with the scrunchy or whatever she needs to make sure her hairdo befits a President. Imagine being called out of bed in the middle of the night to the Situation Room to deal with a possible Third World War with tousled hair. That's why Margaret Thatcher favored the helmet and hairspray look.

None of those advantages would outweigh having to get out of bed in the first place. Most of us enjoy the occasional sleep in. I suppose this is the place where someone mentions Ronald Reagan. Or someone tells me I am a traitor to my age or to my gender. She would be closely scrutinized because when you are the first to do something, it happens. We have all seen that. So don't do it, Hillary. Enjoy your new grandchild, have nothing to do with ambitious men in navy suits.

Notice, I haven't mentioned Bill once.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Postal Service held its regular food drive a couple of weekends ago. The idea is to leave a bag of contributions for the carrier to pick up. So off to my pantry to see what I had. I remember a set of instructions I once  had— don't just give away "basic" foods because the hungry will appreciate a luxury item now and then and remember that often the needy will not have access to a stove. As I sorted out my food items, I was pretty sure that some of the items I once bought for a long forgotten recipe would not be welcome. So the fava beans, chopped pimientos and chipotle peppers in adobe sauce went back on the shelf. Now if only I could remember why I bought them. The biggest sacrifice in this house is the Wilkins Tawny Marmalade, but that too was omitted.

At last I had to confront my elephant in the room when it comes to canned goods. Each year my kids recognize that the part of Thanksgiving dinner I am least likely to burn/omit ingredients from/overcook is pumpkin pie. I suspect that if they were in charge they would go out, pick pumpkins, scrape out flesh and make a tasty pâte brisée. Alas, those days are over—if they ever existed. So for me cans it is. Libby's pumpkin, Pet evaporated milk. However, I am always afraid I have not made enough. If you had seen the size and appetite of my teenagers you would understand why. So I always buy extra and leave them sitting in my pantry. And who eats pumpkin pie in May? Maybe we should. A few of them I had bought when I was in my rather smart if anal period of sticking on labels to make rotating cans easier. I could see some of them were several years old. But when I looked at their expiration date, there was still a long time to go. That stuff lasts for ever.

Memorial Day is coming up. Pumpkin pie anyone?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ooh la la, Brigitte

I wrote at dreary length about my fall on the black ice on our porch. My ankle was not broken and it began slowly to heal. It took forever for the pain to abate, but I am left with a swollen ankle that looks like a hunk of meat. My doctor decided to inflict more pain when he took a chunk of flesh to biopsy (people shouldn't get moles THERE), though I am happy to report I did. But he decided my ankle and my varicose veins  needed some help and gave me an order for elastic stockings.

Where do I start? If it was winter, I would get the black version, but it is summer so I went for ivory. I am not going to sit on a stool and show you how I look.  Mine do not reach as far up my leg as the ones on the package, so skirts, even fairly long ones are a tad iffy. In fact, there is a reason mine do not look like this. This woman is a MODEL. She was chosen for her slim and perfect legs and her pointed feet, not for her varicose veins and chunky ankles. Ah, advertising!

The lace is nice and so far is holding up. But I am pondering the meaning of the icon at the top of the package. It looks a little, well, male, to me.