Iced Tea Chat - Goal Oriented

I have lemon and mint today if you'd prefer those to go into your tea...  Oh and Orange and basil.   And why not a cool but so tasty little appetizer of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on Whole Wheat crackers topped with a slice of cucumber?  It's my new favorite munch mid-afternoon.  Cool and crisp and full of fiber and protein and low carb, too.

I've been busy trying to accomplish my month's goals and so far, I'm on target with them.  My desk area is as complete as I can make it at the moment.  I am still searching the house for artwork and frames to finish off the wall space. I've also worked on that flower bed beneath the Faith Tree. I'm not done, but I've plodded on.  It's slow progress but it's progress.

It sometimes takes a bit more gumption than I have to draw upon to get busy right now.  I think my problem is that I'm a little discombobulated with this new schedule.  I didn't think it would be difficult and really it isn't difficult.  It's different, however, and is taking a little time to adjust.  John and I are cramming in as much as we can into two days between two shifts.  It feels a bit like someone turned up the speed dial on our lives.  We've moved from 33rpms to 45rpms.  We might be keeping up but it's not our accustomed pace.  

"No sitting around." proclaims the man of the house, "I don't want to lose a day now that I've only got two days between shifts."   Indeed, except for one day when he'd spent the whole 24 hour work shift running one call after the other, he's made a point to mow  and to run errands and get tasks done on the other days.  Which means that I work the day he's gone and the two days he's off and in the end I've put in a full week of work.  Add in the time I spend writing posts for the blog and I really do get in a full six days of work each week.

One day last week I took John's work day and drove up to Katie's to visit.  Katie had been unwell and I was a little anxious to check on her.  She had gone to the doctor that morning but is doing much better.  She wasn't really into conversation that day which told me a great deal about how she felt overall but she seemed to find some comfort in my just being there. (

There was one little bit of conversation, something I thought was interesting, since I've been feeling  the same thing myself.  She expressed her desire to do something to change up her house.  I so understand that. I've been looking about for nearly three weeks now trying to decide what it is exactly I want to change.  Katie's house is cute as it can be but it's pretty much the same as when she moved in a year and a half ago, so her restlessness is likely far more genuine than mine.  She spent early Spring redoing her bedrooms and now she's ready to change up the main living spaces.  

I am always amused how she, Amie and I lean hard on a more formal/traditional look but none of us are formal  traditional.  I think what we like is classic style which is often portrayed as formal traditional.  What we do, of course, is our own thing with what we acquire.   Katie's shared some things from Pinterest with me that are inspiring her.  I can't wait to see what she manages to do.

As I said, I've been feeling rather restless about my house as well but so far, as I  look at a space I'm thinking of changing, I find I really do like it as it is. I did order another slipcover to put on the newest chair because I find I just like the look of slipcovered chairs.   I also like the lightness it brings into the room. But so far that's all I've come up with to change besides recreating my desk area.  If John's recliner weren't an unusual shape I'd order a slipcover for it, too, but it's not a standard reclining lounge chair. 

I know there's a change I'm ready to make but I'm not terribly sure it's in my house.  So what am I wanting to change?  I keep telling myself I need to dig and delve and figure it out, but right now it's all I can do to cope with the schedule change.  Funny that as analytical as I am I seem to be just too befuddled to sort it out.  In my journal, I note the things I plan to do for the day or the things I did the day before, but little of depth.  And when I sit and ponder it all, I just end up with a blank mind, staring out of the window and come to with a start realizing that I've zoned out.  

I took the little wooden child's table and chairs I'd bought at the consignment shop when I visited Katie and Taylor knew immediately that it was hers.  She sat right down and played with her toys at the table.  She ate lunch at the table, too.  She watched a portion of a movie sitting at her table.  She tried to have supper at the table but Zoey, the big German Shepherd took advantage of everything being at her nose level and tried to help herself to supper, as well.  Taylor takes no stuff off that doggie of hers and put up quite a big fuss about it. Her mama moved her to the big dining room table to finish up her meal.

I so enjoyed my day.  The weather was gorgeous all day long which made for a wonderful ride home.  It's quite a long ride, two and a half hours.  Plenty of farmland and historic homes and ranches to see along the way.   Just 15 miles north of us Queen Anne's lace grows wild at roadside.  It doesn't grow here.  I love seeing that pretty flower in patches along the roadways and there was plenty to be seen on this trip.  

Still, it was quite a long day overall, pleasant as it was.  I confess I found it very hard to push through on Friday and get my tasks done for the weekend.  

John was back at work on Sunday and I did a number of tasks before heading out for the morning.  I'd planned to go to church and of course, had to do several things on the way out.  I was a little put out when I got to church because a sweet little old lady ran up to me and insisted that I commit to coming to the senior adults dinner that evening.  I wouldn't agree however, partly because  I don't feel senior adult.  I don't think I look old enough to be senior adult yet, either, I found the idea of being a senior citizen depressing.  Yes, John is getting nearer a retirement age, but he's just barely started his sixth decade and I'm not quite there yet.  The senior adult people aren't really old, but they do tend more towards mid-70's and 80's.  I'm not even near that yet.

John and I have had this discussion many times lately.  We're forever being invited to join the senior adults for this or that at church but we don't really seem to fit in anywhere.  We're hardly as young as the empty nester group and not quite old enough for the seniors groups.  We'd like a between sort of group.

I was less convinced later that I'm as young as I feel when I got out to the car and glanced in the mirror. I gave myself a slight pass only because (a) I'd not had a hair cut in eight weeks and (b) I'd only had about an hour's sleep the night before.  I decided a hair cut was priority before I even thought of heading home that day and that's just what I did.

No it didn't transform me.  I still looked mighty tired but I felt sure that with a sound night's sleep I'd look less senior and more just adult.  One can hope anyway, right?

I was going to the rather lux salon to get my haircut.  The truth: I felt so pampered going in there to have my hair done despite the cost.  However, when the stylist I was using left unexpectedly and no one bothered to give me a call but cancelled my appointment I was mighty upset.  I loathe breaking in a new stylist as much as I loathe shopping for a bathing suit, but I do prefer to choose the stylist myself.  Call me picky but if I show up to get my hair cut and you've not made your own personal appearance look nice, I don't expect you're going to give much care to my appearance, either.

I started going to the same cut rate, in and out in 15 minutes, place that John goes to.  The girl there does a passable job on my hair.  She does shape it well, but there is no shampoo or styling.  It's truly a 15 minutes hairstyle and penny for penny, I assure you that in reality I'm getting what I pay for though it is still an inexpensive option. 

I must look for a new stylist.  When I go in to get my haircut I don't go in just for the basic cut.  They don't even blow it dry at this cut rate place which is something I do every day here at home!  No, I want the salon experience.  I want the pampering moments.  I want someone to take the time to show me how good my hair ought to look...  I want more.  I guess because I cut corners so many places when it comes to clothing and makeup and house and home, I just need an area where I feel I'm indulged, you know?  But I struggle with it at the same time.

We had the most pleasant day on Monday.  I don't know why but I simply had no desire to do a whole lot of anything on Monday.  I had worked double time on Sunday when I was alone, as I normally do, and Monday just the basics was enough as far as I was concerned.  I'd made a big breakfast for John coming in from work.  I did nothing about dinner.  Nothing.  I didn't thaw out a thing, I didn't offer up anything.  Instead I looked at him and said "Perhaps we could pick up something to eat while we're out getting your check."  I guess he wasn't very hungry, either, because he agreed readily enough though he didn't plan to leave until a little later in the afternoon.

Well, we went by a favorite local hamburger place in his work town.  Packed to the gills.   "Why is everyone eating so late today?" he asked me as we chose to bypass the place.  We drove past a spot that was closed on Monday's and then on to a mom operated place outside of town.  They closed after lunch every day.  John turned down a back road I hadn't traveled in perhaps ten years and we drove to a small town like so many other small towns in rural Georgia.  It's limping along just barely alive despite all the people that live there.  I so hate seeing these little towns dying out but you can't singlehandedly save them all.  

No, I don't think Walmart killed the.  In fact, there's only one Walmart within 30 miles of many of these towns and very seldom do any of these folks shop at Walmart.  I know many folks who would happily support small business if small business would just clean up their act a little.

I think there is a tendency to get a small town attitude at times.  You call for an appointment and they don't bother to get back with you.  You ask to have work done and they suggest they'll stop by and it's months and months before they call.  You want to keep a small time alive I say there are things you can change.  Do timely work.  Recommend someone to do what you don't do well.  Stock decent produce or meat at the grocery and rotate the stock so you don't have customers pick up expired products.   BE competitive.  I'll happily pay a higher price for a product that is not inferior to one I can get 30 miles away for half the cost.  I just don't want to pay the premium price for stuff that isn't any good.  And keep a little stock on the shelf.  I think it's ridiculous to find no Tylenol and be told they'd have to order it for delivery in two days.  No thanks.  I can drive the 10 miles to the next town and buy all I want without waiting two days to cure my headache.  And there is no Walmart 10 miles away.  No I'm afraid what has killed the small town is the absolute refusal to do anything differently than it was done ten or twenty years ago, the refusal to believe that people will stay and shop if the product offered is at least equal to what's available elsewhere or if service is a little better than it is anywhere else.  And lose the attitude. I don't want anyone being surly and rude because I shopped elsewhere when I've TRIED to purchase in your place and you didn't care to have what was wanted in stock and refused to order it.

Our little local diner is a prime example of people staying around town for a bit of quality service and food.  It's not expensive and it's not fancy, but it's good plain chicken and good plain hotdogs and hamburgers and the locals and those who drive through town flock into the place.  The service is always nice even when they are at peak busyness.   There are many other choices people might make within ten miles but to a person they choose to stay local and buy their lunch and their family reunion chicken because they know it's GOOD.  It makes a difference.

Oh I rabbit trailed off there didn't I?  Through the little dead town with  it's pretty old houses decaying not so gently we drove and then onward toward a town with a selection of fast food places because there was not even a diner seen in that little town. We drove past a restaurant and two fast food places. All were packed out.   We ended up going to our favorite restaurant which was a much bigger and nicer meal than we'd planned to have, but it's just secluded enough that traffic seldom builds in that area.  I treated John to dinner which is unusual because he generally insists upon treating me.  We decided to have a steak, something we never choose to indulge in away from home and it was so good.   And after, John stopped and bought us each an ice cream cone to eat on the way home.  There's something awfully summer-ish about an ice cream cone in July,  isn't there?  I mean you can't eat as slowly as you might in winter and yet it tastes so much better somehow when it's hot outside.  We took the longer drive home, too and laughed and talked all the way.

We seem, this week at least, to be in a pattern of eating a very, very late dinner and skipping supper entirely.  It's not been planned to have just two meals each day but it's where we've been this week for some reason.  Tuesday John mowed and trimmed the lawn.  I was busy indoors writing and doing some deeper cleaning jobs that I'd wanted to get done.  I think we finally stopped about 3pm and had our meal.  

So yesterday, John was back at work. I'd toyed with the idea of leaving home.  "Go do something fun..." I said to myself.  But in the end I wanted to be at home.  I wanted to tend to some of those goals on my list for July and my work list for this week. I wanted to putter about my house.  So I did.  I got so much accomplished. The fridge sparkles with little real effort on my part.  The cupboard I'd meant to clean out two weeks ago is neat and clean.  I loaded up a basket of things to take out to the shed and a trash can and a box for donations from the guest room clutter.  It looks restful and peaceful now in that room.  I pulled up the soapwort and dug out the iris from under the Faith Tree.  I did laundry and dishes and wiped and polished and straightened and in the end, I felt tired but happy, productive but not deprived.  

I made myself an indulgent sort of lunch of Chicken pot stickers with stir fried vegetables and settled into my chair to read a couple of old magazines.  I had a long conversation with John and watched in amazement as rain poured down.  We weren't supposed to get any rain at all.  Silly weather man.  My
laundry got soaking wet and stayed on the line but I did have presence of mind to run go put the fern under the eaves of the porch roof where it could get a good watering.  It was a good day, a happy day.  Maybe my idea of fun just isn't the same as someone else's idea of fun but I will venture that I had fun as I played about my house, involved in what I did without stopping to do anything but what I was doing.  No division of attentions required.

Today started with promise and ended with a broken pinky toe which is throbbing painfully.  I've taken just enough Tylenol to lessen the pain slightly and fuzz my brain mightily.  I think I'm going to see if there's an unclaimed nap lying around anywhere.  I'll call it mine if  find it.


Debby in KS said...

Okay, Seniors, Salons, & Small Towns....that's what I'm wanting to comment on!

I understand very much about your sentiments. We have several groups at our church. One for 50+ and one for 70+ are the *older* groups. I think that all the 70+'s also go to the 50+ group because I am BY FAR the spring chicken in the group. I bet the next one older is 20 yrs. my senior. I always enjoy the topics of the groups, but the lunch chat is usually lost on me. Then, at the pool, there's a class group for Boomers. I'm in the youngest 10%, clearly. While I am technically a Baby Boomer by a year, I can't relate to that group at all. I relate solidly to GenX, born from 1964 on. I stick to those Boomer classes because the other option is to be with 30 yr. olds....bahahahaha....Heart attack anyone?! So, I understand your feeling. I think we're in the Tweens. Beyond middle age, but not senior either.

The salon....I am a freak lol. Most women I know LOVE the salon experience. My mom & grandma went every Friday for my whole life.
I can get on board with a wash and style, but if my hair is cut, I MUST go home, take a shower, and wash it. I feel itchy all over, like the little hairs are all over me and alive lol!! I always go for the wash & cut, then leave wet-headed. Straight home and into the shower!! So, when I had big events, I always went for the cut a week or so earlier and then back again for the style. It drove my mom batty!

And small towns...I think you hit the nail on the head with some of the "we've always done it this way" attitude. There was a lovely market 2 towns over. We had been antique shopping & decided to stop there to pick up a couple of things. The cans were dusty. Some things were expired. It was as if the owners merely turned on the lights and sat at the register. There was no displays, didn't look like it was cleaned, etc. So, I wasn't surprised to hear they closed the following year. We had the same experience when we went to a laundromat in the town next door. Our town doesn't have one. We went inside and more than half of the machines were out of order, there were piles of dryer lint everywhere, the change machine was broken, & so on. I can't imagine they're still in business.

Yet, I've been to small towns where they have little shops that people actually drive an hour for!! Just to go there because the service is great or there's something unique. I was just telling my husband the other day that it's been awhile since we went to this little restaurant about anhour away. Teensy town & yet that restaurant is always packed and there's a wait. You just can't find that kind of cooking in the city so people are willing to drive a bit. The cars in the dirt lot are from counties all over.

I hope you found a nap. Our temps have been at 100+ and I know it sure sucks the energy out of me. And yet, I have a kitchen floor that needs mopping!!

Debby in KS said...

Eek. Sorry I got so long-winded!!

Margie from Toronto said...

Totally agree with you about the ice-cream - it is such a treat in the summertime. A friend and I went for a walk through a local park on Tuesday and then had an ice-cream each while sitting out on the patio of the cafe in the park - there was a lovely breeze, not a cloud in the sky and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I live in a large city so don't know a lot about small town life but have to say I agree with what you said. The successful small towns that I like to visit have shops that are unique in some way, they have cafes or restaurants that are clean, appealing and offer something a little different to make it worth my while to travel there. Just last week 5 friends and I all drove for 1.5 hours to get to a small restaurant and gift store that sit on a secondary highway north of the city and with nothing else nearby but farms - BUT - it is such a wonderful place that you have to make a reservation even on a weekday. The setting is unique, the service is wonderful, and the food is amazing. They stick to a small menu, they have a couple of specialties and they have been going strong now for years. The gift store next door is bright and airy with a constantly rotating stock of lovely items that always tempt people to buy so we are willing to spend the whole day driving back and forth just for the experience. It must be sad to see so many small towns going under.

Lana said...

Our lake house is in a very small town but there is small town pride there. Downtown is a wonderful place and the houses on Main Street are so adorable and well kept.Too bad all small towns cannot catch that vision.

Mimi said...

Dear Terri, I had quite a few nods and chuckles at your post today. Senior moments indeed. When exactly does one become 'senior'. At 57 and 61, Husband and I do not FEEL senior. Yet we too, are constantly encouraged to do senior-ish things. As for the hair stylist too. I had a stylist years ago, who just knew me. She knew my hair, my lifestyle, how I liked to look. Dammit, she knew what to do before I'd even sat down. Well, she left about 12 years ago, and since then, I've had a terrible time with hairdressers. I have just recently found a good one again, and I'm just hoping she doesn't retire before I do! A great and warm post Terri. Just what I needed to read today. Mimi xxx

Melonie said...

I do wonder sometimes if it is a maturity thing, and the need to bring someone younger into the "senior" fold to spice things up. I'm in my 40's and my husband isn't yet to 40, but we are consistently sought out by acquaintances 55 and 65+ and invited to things. In some cases, it is veterans' groups who are trying to bring in the younger generation to keep things going, and they see my husband is professional and interested in the history of it all. At church, I rarely find myself around women my own age; I can't get to them because I am surrounded by my "girlfriends" older than my mother. Perhaps you and your husband are a draw to those dear seniors who know you will be respectful, make time to listen, and add some pep to their get togethers as the "spring chickens" of the group! :D

Kathy said...

Ouch, I do hope your toe is feeling better this morning!
Your post made me laugh too! I am surely not a salon girl. I go for the haircut and that is it. I don't want anyone messing with my feet or hands, so I have never gotten a mani/pedi/massage etc. Now my grandmother and aunt had to go every week for a wash and set.
Oh the age thing, I was newly married in my twenties when a women in her 60's invited me to the women's group at my husband's church. It was a small church, but I still didn't want to join a group of women so much older than me. :D
I grew up in a small town, and they are working hard to revitalize the downtown. Most of the people are friendly and helpful, and I can't think of anywhere that I have been lately that hasn't updated if they want to stay in business.

Anonymous said...

I never really thought of small old towns in the way you did. You are spot on. We have an old hardware store we go to. Somethings cost more..some don't. With out a word said they always give "oldsters' a discount. That too helps with any price difference. It is though the people working there and the service and knowledge they have that is the main draw. If they don't have what you need they direct you to another store in town that will..or they order what you need and get it in promptly or suggest an alternative product.. So helpful. I wish several of the other old hardware stores that used to be here were still here. It is hard to look back and remember how down towns used to be. The types of stores and the service they gave everyone is so missed. Back then clerks would actually call families when they got in stock they thought that family would be interested in. They knew your sizes and tastes etc. They were never super hurried. There was not a whole rack of the same shirt or dress. Selection was varied but not over whelming. It is hard to explain but so missed. Again though, it was the workers that worked with the owners and the owners who let the workers do what they knew was right to make the business work and earn money for them all. Now so much is corporations and the clerks have no idea when stock will arrive..or if it will be restocked. They get whatever the parent company sends them. Yes the companies use computer information I am sure to make each stores contents right for each area but.... The workers are so often are over heard talking bad about their bosses or the companies. A real no no in front of customers. I think because corporations seem so distant from the little workers they feel less loyalty to the companies. So many stores 'back when' were family owned. Least in the towns around us. People knew the family and their reputation for fairness etc. I wish I could take generations back to some of those old times to see how it was. But I talk to young people and they say they too have their own memories and think these times are great too. And they are of course. But the 'feel' of life is different. Too much rush..too much unkindness...not enough communicating with each other. I am feeling overly sentimental these days with some family issues and so am even more sentimental just now.

Anonymous said...

I am 70 now and although the numbers say I am a senior you wonder how you got here so fast. Most all the people we hang out with are 75 to 89. They tell us we are youngsters. :-) LOL I do think that by the time you have had children..especially grown children, and gone through all of this your are pretty much equal to the older ones in much of their talk. Yet at your age Teri you do need a middle group. John may be nearing retirement age but only slightly. Is there any way you can incorporate some about your age in some activity? Meet for a picnic or such? I hope there are some your age at church too. You don't have to set up any monthly meeting but to have a group barbecue, bowling or such once in a while will bring you all closer.
My problem with church is I am married but my husband does not ever attend. Some even call me Miss. there. It is a very family type church with most homeschooling too. Activities and classes are many there. But I am the only single person. I feel out of place. When I get home hubby is not interested in knowing any spiritual thoughts that happened and does not know most of the families so I can't share much with him. Even though when I have gotten home from the few times from church bursting to share the wonderful whatever that happened .
The last two years I have listed many projects that I wanted to finish. Small things but bothersome to me.
I have been doing them little by little and not instead working on new things so much. Much like your redoing the area under your tree. I used to have a big food garden and can a lot. Not the last two years. Small garden only so I can work on these pesky things. I thought I would be done in one year but it is almost two. Least the list is getting smaller. :)
My granddaughter treated me to a manicure and pedicure. A first for me. It was a great together time too. :-) I had no idea how just looking at my nails would spark the girlie side of me again. I had forgotten how that felt..almost like being younger again! I have thanked her many times since. it sparked me to go another step in my upgraded 'look' too. Like your doing the first posts about your wardrobe pairings etc. I thank you both. :-) I still cut my hair myself with a Flow bee though. ... ...
We do love those Aldi Ritz like crackers! Great BOGO. Also compared underwear prices for hubby two weeks ago. Glad I checked the prices before getting them!
Isn't it amazing how you can find more things to throw out or give away when you only went through the same room a short time before that and thought all was gone already! :-) Sarah

Becky Gepford said...

Although my husband and I are still in our 50's, there are senior groups that are for 55+, and we've been invited. But, not as much if we have our 12 year old adopted daughter with us. Or, if we are toting a van full of teenagers around. But, I've been asked more and more if my nephew is my grandson, as we are going around places. So, I'm aging, whether I like it or not. (Age-wise, he could be my grandson--my sister adopted him when she was a little older since he was a sibling of the other 2 kids they adopted) We don't feel ready for the senior scene, yet. I guess because we still have 3 kids at home (even though one is 21), I can't see where we would even have time for it. Sometimes, I think it would be fun to have some alone time, less chaos at home, or just time to read and relax more, as I fantasize that seniors do. But, then, I'm off to another dance class, youth group event, the library summer reading movie, or something else fun to do, and I figure I'm getting the fun that seniors have, just in a different way! I think it's all about keeping busy, engaged, and our minds active, no matter what our age!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri!

I'm just now getting a chance to catch up on your blog after a busy past three weeks of visitors and family gathering. The point you make on the age issue sparked a thought in me. Of course, while many of us often seek out others near our own age (most likely due to shared historic and cultural references) it seems to me that there is a quiet undercurrent in our culture to push people into the senior category at an earlier and earlier age...and to segregate us by age. When I was growing up 65 and older was retirement age. Then it decreased in increments to 60...55...and now 50! It's my thought that not defining ourselves as an "age" or a certain "generation" is much less confining mentally...more freeing so to I continue to live in denial (as my dad advises) haha!

All this brings to mind Mike's mom who was raised in southern Illinois and went to school in a one room school house from grades 1-12. She often lamented the fact that schools segregated children by age in the modern system. She explained that as a young child she picked up so much learning (academic and social) from watching and listening to the older and younger children .( I always pictured the schoolhouse in "Anne of Green Gables" when she talked about it.). Multi age socializing has so many layered benefits for all a school situation and out!

Anyway, sorry about the rant! I so enjoy your thought provoking posts and it's always such a treat to catch up here!


Diary for July: Week Two

July 7, Shabat Saturday:   So very much I want to chatter over today and perhaps I will...I don't typically write on Shabat, having al...