Cleaning

I cleaned out Jerry’s car. I took out everything but the manuals and oil change receipts in the glove compartment. I filled a large box and three Wal-Mart bags.

The stuff I picked up was personal, his cane and a towel he took to the gym and then used to wipe condensation off the windows. I found the CDs he burned to listen to in the car and while walking. I found change and old Kleenex, a bunch of ink pens and it all was elements of Jerry. He always kept plenty of these things on hand and rarely threw anything away.

I threw a lot away. I saved things like the tire gauge and umbrella. There were surprises as well, a box with my Aunt Donnie’s writing on it that I considered keeping but eventually tossed. I found our lawn chairs, just in time for powwow season. I found my Uncle Rush’s putter. I found ordinary stuff like trash bags and ice scrapers. I found his gym bag and it’s in the pile too. I still haven’t opened it yet.

The car looks empty and impersonal. I’m going to sell it, I plan to take it to Carmax and get an estimate. It’s a good car, well cared for. The only problem is the dash light is burned so you can’t read the odometer or other functions. Also it needs a jump because the battery conked out since it hasn’t been driven since July.

I admit I’ve thought about selling it before but didn’t know how Bear would feel about it. If he’d be offended that I was trying to wipe away his dad’s memory or if it was too soon. But he brought it up one day, saying we needed to do something with it. He suggested giving it to my dad but I didn’t feel it was a good thing.  The car originally belonged to an aunt who didn’t care all that much for him and I knew he would just drive it til it fell apart and throw it away.  I know how she would feel about this and even though she’s gone I can’t see doing it.  Plus there’s the very practical side–we both could use the money and we’ll split it. He was agreeable with this solution. Now I just have to do it.

Update: I discovered the battery was dead. No one has used the car since Jerry. So I called AAA and waited for someone to jump it, the guy used one of those boxes. After about five minutes of charging and running the battery he said give it 15 minutes and it would be all right and run the next day. It didn’t. I let it run and when Bear came outside with me for a short test drive in the parking lot it died. I called AAA again but decided to wait til later today to try it again since it was almost 10 pm. I was tired and doubly bummed out because my Wings lost in a shootout to Ottawa.

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First 5K of the year

I finished the first race of the year, a 5K I’ve done three years in a row. I got my shirt, put on my number and re-taped my right knee with KT tape. It helped,  I made it up the two small hills and incline and it doesn’t hurt. Maybe tomorrow but not now. My time was respectable,  46:46 for me is decent. I’m fine with it though I have done better but my knee didn’t hurt and I wasn’t 2 days from my 50th birthday.

It was made sweeter by hearing my Wings win in overtime on my way to check in. I had groused about it, they finally play on free TV when I can watch then I have to leave at the beginning of the final period. It’s an odd coping mechanism but I find a strange comfort and affirmation in guys skating after a tiny piece of frozen rubber and slamming each other against the walls. Hockey is a great diversion from sadness,boredom and everyday crap. In OK it’s a strange foreign diversion that confuses and occasionally repulses other people,  which can be another benefit. But I had gone to watch our local AHL team the Barons play and they lost. Bummed me out but I recovered. Wings lost their last 2 games which made a win even better. I’m betting Babcock chewed some of them out before that 3rd period. But I digress, hockey is my “thing” and I’m a little enthusiastic when I get the opportunity to go on about it, something that irritates Bear and he has mentioned it.

The race was good. The weather wasn’t hot and the gray skies had cleared by start time. I was in back and stayed there most of the race. But my competitive nature came through and I ran as much as my knee allowed.  I was behind some walkers and passed them easily. I passed a couple of younger women and I admit I get a jolt of something good when I do. Adrenaline begins to flow and when I pass one more person it is a small victory. I passed two women about my age who were visiting most of the race. They are probably nice women, kind and decent people I’d like in other circumstances but when I’m in this mode I don’t care. I don’t believe in letting anyone get ahead of me, to allow them to beat me even though it’s not that kind of race. Being an old broad, 2 days from my 50th birthday,  has made me more determined and that I have something to prove. Not necessarily to anyone else but to me.

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These women passed me and I took that as a challenge.  I ran , speeding up and passing them then stopping a minute later and going back to a walk. Sure enough they passed me again and I did the same thing, I left them in my muddy dust (it had rained) and ran a couple more short bursts. I didn’t see them after that. Then I got passed by a dude I had passed earlier, about 500 ft from the finish. So I sped up and told myself I would be running across that finish line. I did not pass him but I was close. Sometime after getting a bottle of water from a little girl I felt the crazed urge dying down and I became my mild-mannered self again.

I didn’t start sweating, not really,  until after the race. I had my hair dyed a few days ago and worried my dye might run but it didn’t. lI felt hungry a little later and remembered I hadn’t had lunch so I just finished a salad and snickerdoodle cookie. Now I’m going to pick up Bear and go home and crash. The weekend is over.

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The shirt

uh, no

I have said it before– I am vain. Being old and vain can be an expensive combination as I was reminded this week. As vain as I am, I am somewhat prudent too. Probably a result of age and experience.

I have a turkey wattle, loose skin under my chin. It’s from losing weight after my gastric bypass and it’s a sign of getting older, things begin to sag all over when you are half a century old. I don’t like the way it looks and decided to do something about it. I made a consult appt with the doctor who did my Juvederm treatment to see if I might be a candidate for lipo.

He was cordial and polite while he pulled back my hair and tugged my chin skin. He smoothed my skin back and said lipo wouldn’t do it.There was too much skin and sucking out some fat would leave me uneven and lumpy looking. He suggested a lower face/neck lift. An in-office procedure, trade name Naturale. Procedure is another term for in-patient surgery though he could do it in a hospital if I preferred though it would be more expensive and I’d be drugged up. In office would be with general anesthesia, a couple of injections to numb me but I’d be lucid.

He explained he would make a small incision by my right ear and another under my chin. He’d suck out some fat from under my chin and tighten up the rest with the ear incision. I’d have a drain installed under my chin for 3 days and after that I’d wear a face band to hold it all in place. He would give me a prescription for painkillers but it was likely I wouldn’t use them.I could not take Advil, aspirin or Aleve 10 days before my procedure or after. I’d be able to get around after a day or so but recommended taking off a week. You might be fine and ready in 5 days and think I am a great doctor because I said it would take a week. But if it takes a week then you have plenty of time to heal, he explained. The older the patient the longer the recovery time. He flattered me saying I’d probably take 5 days.

There are risks. Although it rarely happens blood can pool under the chin and I would call him and go to the hospital to have it drained, to avoid blood clots. It happens in less than 1% of cases he said.

Then I went to see the business manager who would give me the costs, details and even schedule the procedure if I wanted. This was what helped me make my decision.

The procedure would be $9291.00, if I paid in full in 7 days I’d get a 20% discount and it would be $7694.47.

Although I have confidence in this doctor and he took time to fully explain the surgery (and it is surgery whatever term is used) and answered my questions I left without scheduling. The main reason is the cost. I expected it to cost a bit, that I’d be spending vacation time and other costs besides money. I admit this was too much, frankly I can’t afford to spend this. I’m not rich, money is definitely an object. Then I had an unexpected twinge of conscious– what if I donated this sum, $7,000, to charity? Wouldn’t it be better used and possibly have greater long-term effects than what shows on my face? I asked how long the effect lasts and he said depending on weight loss about 5 years but a little tuck would usually tighten up the loose parts. Unfortunately I don’t have that amount to donate but it doesn’t mean I can’t give something. In the meantime I’m going to live with the wattle and looking like a 50 year old. I may not be thrilled with it but I know it’s the right choice. This doesn’t mean I am evolved enough to say no indefinitely. If I can afford it, and the circumstances are right I probably will. I am vain and honest.

I posted this not to glorify myself for becoming immediately enlightened or to criticize plastic surgery. I hope it answers some questions for someone who is curious about the procedure, what it is and the costs in time and money. The costs may be higher elsewhere, depending on the region, doctor and other factors, this is a rough estimate but the procedure should be much the same.

vacation

Last week I was in Seattle. It was the first vacation I’ve had than in years and I went by myself.

Vacations were out of the question for a long time for several reasons. Jerry was sick and couldn’t travel;  we couldn’t afford it;  we had to work;  traveling with Bear would be too stressful and Jerry didn’t care to go anywhere too far, Dallas was far as he would go. But I am alone now,  had the time built up at work and enough money for a trip provided I wasn’t too extravagant. Bear endorsed the idea,  partly because I haven’t seen much of the world and partly because we were getting on each other’s nerves,  too much closeness can do that.  I asked his advice on planning my trip,  used expedia and soon found myself in the local airport on the other side of the security barrier.

I haven’t flown since before 9/11 but he told me what to expect and to wear slip on shoes. Getting there was exciting and slightly terrifying,  I forgot what turbulence felt like and recalled what a friend of mine said about flying, that it isn’t normal to be in a tin can 30,000 feet in the air.  Yet take off was an adrenaline rush and seeing big city airports impressed me. Seattle really impressed me too, so much that the people there  take for granted left me in awe. Buses that run til 2am and all over town! Free admission to museums! Cops who aren’t intimidating!

I might write more about the trip later,  if only to preserve the memory. I had mixed feelings about taking the trip,  was it too soon after Jerry’s passing and was it all right to have fun, to enjoy myself without a little guilt? I admit I felt like I was abandoning Bear especially since I left the day after his birthday. He was okay with it he said.

I did things i enjoyed, went where i wanted and it was easier than I expected.  I did make mistakes I might not have if I had someone else with me, namely getting lost and following  directions and map reading. I did manage even if it took me a little longer but I survived.

I need to get used to doing things on my own and to be comfortable with the idea of being alone.  It is an on-going task, most times I don’t think about it,  I just do because I don’t have a choice. I can’t wait for someone to take care of things and I really don’t want someone taking over, that irks me.

Bear and I went to the cemetery today to visit Jerry and see his headstone. We were satisfied with the job they did and it helped.  Bear admitted he felt relieved,  he wanted to go before but something always came up so finally going  out there was a good thing for him. It was good for me too. I wanted him to know I haven’t forgotten,  but that I think I am ready to let go because I have to. It doesn’t mean everything in my life is going to change overnight, but that my life is different now and I acknowledge it

Headstone

Headstone

juvederm

Last week I had a doctor jab a needle near my eyes, injecting chemicals into my skin. I willingly paid $500 for this and took time off from work to do it. I did it because I had bags under my eyes and I am vain, I freely admit it.

I am turning 50 in a month.Mortality doesn’t bug me. Being old doesn’t bother me that much but looking old does, a lot. Five hundred dollars worth, I hadn’t thought you could put a price on self-esteem and vanity but apparently you can. I did this willingly, no one forced me and I am glad I could do it. I don’t regret it.

I know a lot of people will think I’m doing this because I’m looking for a new husband, that I’m dating or wanting to start, especially with my hyper hormones. It’s a logical assumption but no, it’s just vanity.

I’ve done it before, it wasn’t my first time. I used money i inherited from my family. I had thought about my family would make of this. I know my grandpa and one aunt would shake their heads. However I know one aunt would support it and my mother would heartily approve. So with this in mind I did it Sept 2013 and again last week.

Here’s an after pic, no makeup, no editing. I know I could have more done to m
y face but I don’t want to be one of “those” people who look odd, scary or unnatural. Besides I don’t have that kind of money, thank goodness. I know I could post a better pic, with makeup and carefully angled but I perversely want to show my (semi) natural face. So you’ve been warned.20150225_172811