Aging and Learning

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Aging Framed

Despite a more than a two month pain flare-up, I have managed to carry on day-to-day activities.   In last week’s post, I “showed off” my Container Garden and Outdoor Furniture Refinishing projects.  In case, you didn’t see this post, take a few minutes, have a look, and tell me what you think.

Also, doing a bit of “showing off” in this post.  Though it was a challenge, as a first-time user, I created the above graphic on the same day I found out about PicMonkey.  Admittedly amateurish, but I feel confident that as I continue to work at it — the graphics will improve.

However, this post is about a Seasoned Sistah, an Elder, an Older Woman who wants to “live life to its fullest … and to make the little things in life good and wonderful”.  Yes, this post is about me.

Let me just share two of the many little things that fill my days.

Facebook

Since joining Facebook in 2010, I found new friends and reconnected with family members and old friends.  Not only is Facebook a social outlet; I engage and interact with like-minded people who share my political views.

I just took a few minutes to view my  Facebook Friends.  Of 239 friends, only 13 are over 65 years of age; and one of them is Hubby.  So, the majority of my Facebook community is made up of (1) the children of my older friends and family members; (2) my children’s friends; and (3) new friends.  Though I have a large number of friends and family members over the age of 65, most view communicating and/or interacting via Facebook, E-mail, Internet, Texting and Blogging as new technology and reserved for the younger generations.

Blogging

Within a few keystrokes the world-wide Blogosphere was within my reach.  I can raise my voice, express my views, share my memories, and, sometimes, just rant.

Reading the posts written by other bloggers introduced me to more information than this 71 year-old-mind can sometimes keep up with.  I follow a number of diverse blogs covering nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, lifestyles, DIY, recipes, book reviews, hair care, grand-parenting, older people, health related, and many other topics that attract my interest.

I am so proud of my blog, which I almost ditched in the beginning stages.  The first hurdle was getting through the step-by-step WordPress instructions.  Once mastered, I had to overcome the fear of writing and publishing the posts.  Slowly, I began to let go of what others might think; and to stand strong and write about what I wanted without seeking the approval of others.  I am neither a writer nor an author, but I wish to blog about my life.  Blogging is an outlet that has brought me peace, happiness and joy.

I am grateful for having broadened my life experiences through Facebook and Blogging.  The only regret is that so many of my older friends and family members failed to embrace this new technology.  But, we continue to communicate via the telephone and snail mail.

Though I am aging daily, I will continue learning as I journey down the path of “living life to its fullest.”

Commemoration of Dr. Dorothy I. Height

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Melanian News

Dorothy Height Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height 2
On this very special day, I ask that you take a moment to share the story of an incredible woman who changed all of our lives for the better. To NCNW, she was much more than our President; she was a timeless fountain of wisdom, strength and unconditional love. On April 20, 2010, Dr. Height left this world at the beautiful age of ninety-eight.
Dorothy Irene Height was an American administrator, educator, and a civil rights and women’s rights activist specifically focused on the issues of African-American women. Including unemployment, illiteracy, and voter awareness. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

n her own words, Dr. Height said, “I have dedicated my life in service to others – especially women and children – who…

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Showing Off: DIY Project and Container Gardening

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I am showing off in this week’s post and sharing photos of my DIY Project and Container Garden.

DIY Project

After many years of trying, I finally completed a DIY Project that makes me proud.  As you can see from the photos below the furniture on our front porch needed either a makeover or removal.

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Since, the pieces were only three years old, I chose the makeover option. Even though I was treading into unknown territory, I was confident.

First, I needed to find out what to do. I didn’t know anyone to ask.  So, I went to Google for an answer and asked, “how to refinish metal furniture pieces”.  Google directed me to detailed written instructions as well as video step-by-step demonstrations via You Tube. The only supplies I needed were sandpaper and spray paint.   Sanding was the most difficult.   Spray painting was the messiest. I must have overlooked the directions to wear rubber gloves and my hands sported green paint for almost a week.

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What do you think of my first DIY Project?

Container Garden

We retired and purchased our home in Florida a little over four years ago. During our fifty-four years of marriage, we lived in many homes. Some were rentals and others we owned; but they were all viewed as our sanctuary for peace, joy and happiness.

This home, for the first time, had an outdoor space that was livable year-round. I wanted to make the lanai, my special haven to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate.   I took the photos below on our first walk-through before purchasing the house. The lanai area was spacious, but barren. And, it remained that way for the first year while I was in recovery from a very serious and life-threatening illness.

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During this recovery, I learned to appreciate and value the beauty of nature; and, I decided to fill my haven with flowers and plants. And, I spent many hours picturing how it was going to look. These are photos of my dream Container Garden which has grown bigger and bigger each year.

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This year, Hubby invaded my haven and convinced me to add two tomato plants.

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And, I added the small herb garden.

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We are contemplating expanding the Container Garden, herbs and vegetables only, to the backyard.   Gardening is a new venture; and, I love it.   To become a better gardener, I seek the advice of other experienced gardeners and self-educate via books and the Internet.

What do you think of my Container Gardening efforts?  

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Post Script:  Photography is a work-in progress, too.  But, I am not ready to show off yet.  Still taking photos on my IPad or telephone.  New digital camera purchased months ago is on the learn-to-do list.

 

Repeal and Replace…The 2nd Amendment

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Interesting proposal to address the increase in gun violence.

L'Ennemi

gungun

First off, I am not going to make an argument against the 2nd Amendment by analyzing the opinions and ideas of the founders. They lived in another world with another set of realities that do not apply directly to the situation today in a nation of 1/3 of a billion people. We need to divorce ourselves from the idea that we must justify contemporary ideas on civil rights and societal reform by couching it in self-satisfying quotations and references to men who would wet their pants if they saw an AR-15 in action.

In case you missed the context:

Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher from Nevada who does not recognize the existance of the US Federal government, brought a bunch of armed milita members and “sovereign citizen” activists to support his “right” to pillage & destroy public land for his profit without compensating YOU. Mr. Bundy has been illegally grazing…

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Why Our Marriage Lasted Fifty-Four Years

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There is a forty-eight percent chance that African-Americans who marry before the age of eighteen, will breakup within ten years.   (Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Five months after MY 17th Birthday, I married the love of my life.
  • Five months after MY 71st Birthday, WE celebrated OUR 54th Anniversary.

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When Hubby and I married, on April 11, 1960, few believed the marriage would last past the first year.

MY Belief

OUR marriage lasted for fifty-four years because WE spent the first two years in Germany.   Separated from family and friends, I couldn’t pick up the telephone or run home after an argument. I couldn’t even go to another room.   We had to work out our disagreements, absent the advice of others.

Our First Two Years

Hubby unable to find a job, enlisted in the Army.   Six months later, He was assigned to a base in Gonsenheim, Germany. Within four months, I joined him. Because of his rank, PFC (Private First Class), We were not eligible to move into military family housing.

Hubby rented an apartment on what was referred to as the German Economy. We lived in a one-room, third floor apartment and shared the bathroom with another military couple who lived across the hall.   There was no hot water, no bathtub, a dorm size refrigerator, a coal stove for heat, and a hot plate to cook on. I soon adjusted to living without a television; and fell in love with Our transistor radio.   The one English-speaking station was Our only entertainment.   During the day, We listened to mostly country music. But, every night, We anxiously waited for the half-hour mystery, cowboy, and comedy shows.

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The first six months were the most difficult. Hubby was assigned to work on the base for 24 hours every other day. Even though I had the radio and Our Little Girl, I missed the face-to-face communication with an adult. The other people who lived in the building were friendly but there was a language barrier. Though there were three women living in the apartment building, they did not speak English.

Later, we met other military families; and I became friends with a few of the women. However, we rarely communicated. We didn’t have telephones, cars, or access to public transportation; and, this pretty much ruled out any “quality time spent with the girls.” So I learned to value and appreciate every minute spent with Hubby.

During those first two years WE built a strong foundation which solitified Our marriage. Our teen-age love developed into a strong friendship and even a stronger love for each other, which has lasted for more than fifty-four years. Hubby is not Only the Love of My Life, He is My Best Friend, the Father of Our Three Children and the Grandfather of Our Five Grandchildren.

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RETIRED AND LOVING EVERY MOMENT

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funny_retirement_cards-rb9d378b9963943e38638cde869b6a69c_xvuat_8byvr_512 I retired in 2010. Mind you, it was not a planned retirement. Just the opposite, MY goal was to work until MY mind and MY body deteriorated to a point, which made it impossible to continue working. But things happen.

In 2010, after surviving a life-threatening illness, Hubby and I decided retire and move to Florida. Leaving our:

  • family owned business that we had nurtured for more than sixteen years;
  • three children who were also our co-workers;
  • four grandchildren who spent a lot of time with us; and
  • extended family and friends that we had known for many years.

Four years later I can honestly say, “there are no regrets”. I entered a whole new world as a retiree. And, traveling through the first four years has been both exciting and enlightening.  On this new journey, I made many stops along the way.

I undertook new challenges; and, the old fears of “stepping outside of MY comfort zone” disappeared.   The inquisitive mind appeared, which had been latent for far too many years.

This inquisitive mind led ME to:

  • Yoga Classes
  • Aqua Zumba
  • Daily Meditations
  • Daily Affirmations
  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Texting
  • Container Gardening (flowers, herbs and vegetables)
  • Journaling
  • On-line Church Services
  • Bible Study

These new activities improved the QUALITY OF MY LIFEspiritually, emotionally, and physically. Most days, serenity and tranquility are present. On those rare days when they take a break, I still express gratitude and thankfulness. For I believe, in every day, there is something that we can be grateful and thankful for.

Since retiring, MY life is filled with peace, joy and happiness. I

  • welcome every moment,
  • embrace every moment, and
  • live every moment.

lifeisgood