Tag Archives: womenover50

I Talked to My Mother This Week

It has been a while since our readers have heard anything from us!  Sorry!  We hope to do better in 2016. First -time grandmotherhood for Jane and a job change for Annice made things a little crazy!I  But, here we go again!  Welcome back to Oops50, which should really be called Oops60 at this point, but we are fond of the original name!  Here’s Jane’s first post for the new year.  And, please, send us your posts!

Jane
Jane

I talked to my mother the other day.  The only reason that is worth mentioning is that my mother is dead. Here is how it happened.  I was driving by myself on a fairly long road trip—the perfect circumstance for me to think too much about things that are worrying me—and I realized that I was feeling overwhelmingly sad.  I just had one of those awful, down-to-your-toes sadnesses, and the first thought that came in my head was “I wish I could talk to Mama right now.”  That thought made me even sadder because one thing I miss more than anything since her death is the ability to pick up the phone and talk to her about things—bad and good—that happen in my life.  But then, I had this thought:  ‘why not just talk to her now?’  And then I entered this very strange place where I imagined myself dialing her number (since most of my conversations with her happened over our land line and not by cell phone!), and then I had a conversation with her.

First, I apologized for not calling in so long, and then I launched right in to telling her about everything that was on my mind. And, the next thing you know, I was crying—just like the old days.  I talked and talked and cried and cried, about every last little thing that was bothering me, and as I talked and cried, I felt the muscles around my heart start to loosen up, and I could feel myself start to breathe a little easier, and I realized how much tension and worry I had been holding in.  And then—and this is the really remarkable thing about it—I felt that tremendous sense of release and relief that I used to feel when Mama would say something as basic as “I hate for you to be feeling this way, darling” or, her standard, “Get some rest, and I know you will feel better.”  It was as if Mama, from across the miles and years and clouds or whatever is between us had said, “Everything is going to be all right,” and, wonder of wonders, I believed her.  And, for the rest of the day—and even now, a few days later, I’m still feeling the effect. 

My family of origin!  Mama's in the middle, with me to her left.
My family of origin! Mama’s in the middle, with me to the left, back row.

I have to say:  I’m glad I was on a road trip when this happened and not driving down a street of my town.  No one could see me or overhear me, so they couldn’t accuse me of losing my mind and hanging out with ghosts.  But I had this urge to share this experience on the blog because I highly recommend it to those of you have a mother who has moved on to her reward:  give her a call sometime!

The End of My Writer’s Retreat

ANNICE
ANNICE

I never expected to finish the revision of 25 chapters in five days.  Of course, I must admit I’ve been revising for ten years so I guess it’s not all that surprising.  But who cares?  It’s done – 311 pages.  Now, all I have to do is make copies and give it to my devoted writer’s group for one last look.  I can tell you they’re probably sick of it but they’ve never had all the chapters together to actually read it through like a real book.  I know there will be changes, albeit minimal ones.  I’m terrible with comas and sometimes I get mixed up when to use italics for newspaper quotes and when I should just use quotation marks.  I used to know those things but have learned to rely on my group for that.  As for commas, Peggy is the comma Queen so she’s got that covered.

bird eggsIf you recall, there was a dove nesting on a planter on the steps of the condo where I’m staying.  Yesterday evening, when I was leaving, I was delighted to see the dove resting on its nest.  I tried to be quiet when I closed the door behind me but apparently I scared her off, and she flew away leaving behind two perfect white eggs.  I don’t know much about birds but prayed she wouldn’t view me as a predator and abandon the nest.

The next morning (Day 5) when I arrived, I was a little apprehensive about what I’d find.  Thankfully, the dove was back on its nest incubating her eggs.  While she still has a ways to go, I couldn’t help but see the symbolism in this bird’s nest and the finishing of my book.  So, here’s to hatching birds or books or whatever else that needs hatching.

The End
The End

Day 2 of My Writer’s Retreat

Annice
Annice

Day two of my writer’s retreat.  Well, that’s what I’m calling it even though it’s not exactly what I planned.  I was supposed to go to Bowers House, a Writers Retreat and Literary Center in Georgia, but given that my husband is still recovering from major back surgery, I felt uncomfortable being so far away – just in case.  So, feeling deprived and sorry for myself, I decided to take the week off anyway and just write at home.

It’s not that I can’t write at home, I do it all the time, but I also do the laundry, organize drawers, clean the closets, clip my dog’s nails – you get the drift.  Did I say I also check my kitchen cupboards to see if all my exotic spices are still in the house just in case I get inspired to make an amazing Indian dish?

While I was gearing up for my make-do “retreat,” my writing mentor and dear friend, Peggy, was going out of town to visit her children the exact week I had to cancel Bowers House.  I know Peggy’s place because my writer’s group meets there every other Tuesday.  It’s only ten minutes from my house but it feels like miles and miles away.  It’s quiet, serene, with cream colored furniture, and best of all there is Gracie,  her pure white cat who thinks she’s a dog.

Gracie
Gracie

Wouldn’t Gracie need someone to take care of her?  Yes she would.  What an amazing swap.  I get to write at Peggy’s place all day and leave when I’m ready.  So far, I’ve been going around 10:00 and returning around 7:00. Gracie is happy and I’m ecstatic.  In two days, I’ve revised 12 chapters, and hopefully, I can finish all 25 of them by the end of the week.

In addition, I have given up all household chores, including cooking, so we’re either eating out or bringing in, and the only thing I do in the morning before I leave is walk Terra, our dog.

Oh yeah, look at this little jewel I see in the morning.  A dove has decided to build a nest in a planter near Peggy’s front door.  I’ve watched it grow in just two days.  What a perfect metaphor for my writer’s retreat!

Creating a Nest
Creating a Nest

Manicures & Spring Rolls

Annice
Annice

Recently, I decided to get a manicure.  It’s not something I do very often but I needed a fast and cheap escape while waiting for my husband at Verizon.  He either lost his cell phone or had it stolen in Miami where he went to have back surgery in April.  Buying a new phone should be simple, right?  But, nothing at Verizon is simple.  Since Len was not driving yet, I had to take him there but the thought of sitting in Verizon and dealing with his problems just felt too overwhelming.  I’ve got my phone and it works just fine – thank you.

Off I went to Hollywood Nails & Spa at River Ridge shopping center.  I had never been there before and was pleased to see how clean and shiny it was.   As soon as I sat down, my manicurist gave me a bottle of water. A few minutes later she came back with two piping hot spring rolls on a little white paper plate and placed them on the table between us.  I’m thinking it’s her breakfast, after all it’s only 9:30.  The aroma is killing me but I pretend the spring rolls aren’t there.  The manicurist (promise to get her name next time) begins to clean and prepare her tools .  “Eat,” she finally says.  I look around to see if anyone else is eating spring rolls but no one is sitting close enough for me to know for sure.  Delicious.

spring rolls

I tell her how much I love her spring rolls and ask her where she is from.  Viet Nam.  I love Viet Namese food and tell her I wish Asheville had a Viet Namese restaurant – or at least a good one.

I’m devouring the second spring roll when the manicurist removes the empty paper plate and replaces it with hot soapy water. “Soak,” she says.  Once my nails are polished and dried, the manicurist gently massages my hands and arms.  Thinking this is it, I’m ready to get up and pay, but the manicurist says she will be right back.  When she returns, she’s got two white steaming towels to wrap my hands in.  So, so nice.  Finally, I get up to leave and I notice several customers chomping on spring rolls.  I asked the other customer at the cash register if everyone here gets spring rolls.  Affirmative.  OMG, this business owner knows a little something about customer service!  Maybe she could teach a class at Verizon.  

hot towels

One more thing, the price was five dollars cheaper than my last manicure.  Guess who got a five dollar tip?

manicure
After the manicure!

 

Oops50 Gets a Makeover

Annice
Annice

Oops50 is getting a makeover.  And, why not?  She’s almost five years old and we’d like to give her a lift.  So, if you’ve noticed the blog looking odd, things out of place, colors not yet perfect, it’s because we’re at the back end making changes. The changes are thanks to my brother, Max.

Max
Max

His company in DC (well, one of his companies) is giving us the makeover.  His creative team at Bravery Corporation is helping us re-energize our brand by designing a new logo and giving us a cleaner site.  It’s not that we didn’t like our old one, we loved it, (thank you Diane), it’s just that when we created our blog we didn’t know what the hell we were doing despite the fact that the WordPress founder claimed he designed his template with his mother in mind.  Well, he should’ve talked to us baby boomer women because we didn’t find it so simple.  We forced too many balloons in the template, and couldn’t take them out because we paid someone too much $$$ to put them in and had no more money $$$ to get them out.  So, that screwed us up every time we wanted to load images, videos, etc.  I’ll just end there as that story is way too boring to explain further.

Bravery Corp.Superteam
Bravery Corp.Superteam

Now we have Bravery’s super team, and specifically Marcus (from the prestigious Savannah College of Art & Design), who truly embodies their corporate identity in a way that was probably never intended.  Bravely and patiently, Marcus answers our tech questions about what we want our blog to look like and what functions we want which seem to change by the hour.  We have to keep reminding him we are older than his mother and not yet as old as his grandmother– subtext — somewhere between menopause and post-menopause so we don’t make decisions quickly.  So to you Marcus, we’d like to say, “Be brave, young man.  It’s almost over.”

Marcus
Marcus

We’re aiming for April 1st to officially launch our new site, so be on the lookout for a new Oops50 logo, a cleaner and easier site to navigate, and an Pops50 store showcasing some of the favorite products you’ve shared with us over the years as well as some of our own. In our store you’ll find books, garden supplies, pet supplies, cooking supplies, shoes, bras, and anything else you bring to our attention or we think you’ll want to know about.

Finally, and most importantly, thank you Bravery Corporation for taking us on – and thank you to our readers for almost five years of reading, sharing, commentating, and sticking with us.