Where Is Prince Charming?

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There are some things in life that change very little over time. MEN!!!!! I am being somewhat sarcastic, but the truth is that they don’t really change. Yes, they age! They lose their hair and their teeth, and put on a few pounds around the middle, but they remain under the influence of that organ that dangles between their legs. It is really quite amazing that it wields so much power. And they don’t seem to mind admitting it. I met a very nice-looking 80 year old man not long ago. He invited me for lunch and over coffee and dessert, he told me he was in love with me. My immediate reaction was, “But you barely know me!” He responded with, “I’m eighty and all my parts still work just fine. I want to make love to you.” Well, I have to admit I was lost for words, and that is a rare occurrence.42b3fbfea992e02c3890d4d0fdd39dd6

Now before you get the wrong idea, I really like most men. They are fun and relatively easy to understand. What you see is pretty much what you get. So I have to wonder why finding someone to date is so difficult. Is it me?

I have been single for a very long time. Oh, I have dated now and then, but the men I have met  seem to  want either a serious commitment or a one night fling. I have lived alone for over 30 years, and I have grown to like my solitary arrangement. I really have no desire to live with another person at this stage of the game. And as for a one night stand, unless the sex is amazing, why bother? Whatever happened to just dating? You know what I mean… going to a movie, dinner, a sports event. I would love to find someone who would enjoy doing these things with the intimacy thrown in, but no living together. Perhaps single living has made me too independent.

Just where does a woman go to meet interesting men? I have heard all the suggestions like… join a club or a gym, singles dances, singles clubs, the grocery store or hardware store, volunteer, through friends, and online dating sites.

The craziest dating experiences that I have had so far were through online dating. It is amazing the things guys, and I am sure girls as well, put in their online profiles. Do they not realize that the idea is to actually meet in person at some point? One gentleman admitted to using his brother’s picture in his profile because the brother was younger and still had his hair. Imagine my shock when we met for coffee. a4d8775a8e71bc9974b87ec702d349eb

The biggest eye-opener for me was the number of younger men who are looking for older women. At least half of the guys that contacted me online were 15 to 20 years younger, and I stated specifically in my profile that I was only interested in my own age group. One guy, who was 14 years younger than I, was so persistent that I actually agreed to meet him. I mean maybe I was missing something here. We met at the zoo of all places. We looked at the animals for a couple of hours and then grabbed a bite to eat. The conversation was easy, and our “date” turned out to be fun, but I felt like I was spending time with my son. The guy was surprised when I said “no thanks” to date number 2.

The other single women in my social group agree with me. Where are all the eligible senior men? Oh, they are out there, but they are looking for younger women! If you have any suggestions for us, please let us know; we welcome any help we can get. Short of that, we may have to get fishing nets and head to the closest frog pond.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

Who’s Old?

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Driving to the cottage one weekend with my mom, I asked her, “How do you know when you are finally old and mature?” Without a moments hesitation she replied,” How the hell would I know? I’m not there yet!” She was 81 at the time. Now my mom was an amazing example of the idea that you should “die young as late as possible”. She was still rollerskating twice a week and downhill skiing in her 80’s. e9f84813bed03e5582ce442b45bdb0ef

I am by no means saying that aging is a piece of cake, but when you weigh the options, it’s the best choice. From my own experience so far, it is the physical changes that are the most difficult to accept. In past blogs, I discussed the visual changes of growing older like wrinkles, unwanted hair, sagging boobs, and graying hair, but those are relatively minor compared to other body functions.

One of the most obvious signs of getting older is Menopause. I put a capital on that word because it’s a big deal. In fact it is to blame for many of the things I listed above. I will go out on a limb here and say that no one misses their monthly period, but  who looks forward to those damn hot flashes? Those hot flashes affect you and everyone close by you. I remember when I first started to get them; I was teaching grade one. It was the middle of the winter, and I would throw open the windows in my classroom. One morning the principal dropped by for a visit. There sat all the kids wearing their mittens and hats. The principal looked at me and said,”Should I know what’s going on?” Before I could respond, a little voice spoke up, “Mrs. F. is hot!” My principal could barely contain his laughter as he closed the door behind him. He never mentioned it again.

Changes in our vision and hearing are other problems that creep up on us much more slowly. I remember my arms seemed to get shorter and shorter as I strained to read the newspaper, and I had to keep adjusting the volume on the phone and television. I have been wearing “reading glasses”  for several years now, but I am starting to notice that it is more difficult to see distances when I am driving. I guess there is an eye test in my near future.

9c054ffb4fa960ff23b81a5f2d140bd9  Sitting with the girls at the pub is a good demonstration of hearing deficit. Someone will say something and ultimately someone else will tap their neighbor on the shoulder and ask, “What did she say?”It turns into that kid’s game of “Telephone” where they pass a message down a line.

I was talking to a male friend at the pub one night and after the conversation, one of the girls asked what we were talking about for so long. I said that I had no idea because I can’t hear him very well with the music and talking. She said, “But you were answering and nodding your head.” I replied, “I just agree with everything he says and smile a lot.” She started laughing. “That could get you into trouble.” She’s probably right. I may have agreed to wild sex!!! I am counting on the theory that he can”t hear very well either. 5afd794f8e18a60044af87d79ab1fca4

I think the worst part of getting older is leakage. That’s right! I said leakage. You laugh and you pee. You cough or move the wrong way and you fart. There is no getting around it. www.pinterest.caLuckily most of us are in the same situation, so there is a general understanding among our age group. You know you are not alone with these issues because the store shelves and television ads feature helpful hygiene products that are readily available.

And how many others are up several times during the night to visit the bathroom? I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed and slept through until morning. Eight hours of sleep a night be damned!

Oh, I almost forgot! There is one change that makes the other issues less problematic. Memory loss! How many times a day do I go up the stairs and wonder what I am doing there? By the time I walk back down, I have remembered and head back up again.

0793f1b6c625ca3bcb5f78d34abba691 It’s like an involuntary exercise program.

They say that when you are a senior , you are “over the hill”. Where is this hill and what’s on the other side?  I’m not climbing it unless there is wine.

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I think the best piece of advice that I could pass on came from my own doctor, surprisingly. She said that no matter what, keep moving and living your life because when you stop doing all those things that make you happy, it’s downhill from there. And speaking for myself, I am in no hurry to get to the bottom of that damned hill.

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

 

 

Sex and the Single Senior

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One of my favorite television series was “Sex in the City”, and I now watch it every day in reruns. I always fancied myself as the Carrie Bradshaw character, and here I am writing about sex and the single, senior woman. Dreams can come true! All kidding aside, I get the impression that many younger people think that once we hit a certain age ( I have no idea what that age might be ), we are no longer interested in sex. I am here to set the record straight. Yes, we are still interested! (Except those who perhaps never were.)

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A friend of mine has a mother who is living in a retirement home. She is in her late 80’s. One evening at a large, family dinner, her mother needed something from her purse, and she proceeded to pull several items out to find what she was searching for. Out tumbled a condom package. Her children and grandchildren gasped. She was unfazed. When questioned about the condom, she simply said that they give them out in the “home”.

“You have to be careful, you know,” was all she said as she refilled her purse.

And she is correct. Sexually transmitted diseases are sometimes rampant in retirement homes. The residents may be old, but they are not dead.

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Not so long ago at our weekly pub dinner, the conversation got around to sex, as is often the case. We were laughing and joking, but one of the girls became serious.

“I’m worried that if something happens to me, my children will find my “special drawer” where I keep my vibrator,” she admitted.

The table went silent for about a second. Then another voice piped up, “Just pair up with one of the other girls, and if either of you becomes too ill, the healthy  one will go in and hide the evidence. Problem solved!”

Everyone laughed and nodded in agreement.

Then another friend announced that she had already given this some thought, and she had a better solution. ” Never mind a vibrator,” she said, “what you need is an electric toothbrush. No one will think twice about an electric toothbrush in your bedside table.” We were puzzled for a minute or so. Then we burst into gales of laughter, but she was serious. Now let this idea sink in for just a moment. Are you still with me? Just use your imagination. ( I think the toothbrush manufacturers should be paying me for this plug. )

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“I wonder if I can get a motor for this beauty?”

The point of this post is that age has nothing to do with desire. And while aging bodies do create more challenges , where there is a will, there is a way. As I have said so many times before, life is not finite or predictable. If something is enjoyable and you are hurting no one, then I say go for it. At what other time in your life can you have the fun without worrying about getting pregnant? But as always….be safe!

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

Fashion Is For Every Age

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A couple of weeks ago, fashion icon, Iris Apfel turned 95. This incredibly colorful woman is well-known in fashion circles for her personal sense of style, and she is the first to tell you that you must wear whatever makes you happy and confident. I have followed her for many years, and although my own style is much different than hers, it made me think about how far we have come from our grandmothers.

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Does anyone, besides me, remember their grandmothers wearing those floral, cotton house dresses? You remember, I know you do. My grandmother had a closet full of these shapeless garments with buttons down the front and large patch pockets full of kleenex.

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And the icing on the cake was the stockings rolled down to the knees and held up with elastic garters which I am certain cut off the blood flow and led to varicose veins, poor circulation, and who knows what else. It has been many years since I have seen anyone wearing these frocks, but I checked, and you can still purchase them.

You would not catch any of my friends wearing these garments. We all love to shop for clothes, enjoy a good sale, and are interested in fashion. And just to be clear, fashion does not have to be expensive. As Iris put it,

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Fashion, after all, is just another way of expressing ourselves and has no age parameters. Well, there may be some limitations!

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When I was younger, I often heard older ladies whispering among themselves about someone who they referred to as “dressing like a teenager”. They made it sound shameful. I remember wondering when I would have to start “dressing my age”. I looked to my own mom as a role-model. She loved to look “put- together”. I can’t ever remember her saying something was too young for her. She simply modified how she wore it. And for me, that is the key to fashion. Simply put yourself together in an interesting way that reflects your personality and makes you feel comfortable and confident. “Miss Fishnet”, up there, is just doing her own thing. It is not for anyone else to judge.

There are a few fashion blogs that I look at from time to time, and it is interesting to me that almost every one of them describes what our basic wardrobe should look like. No one should be telling us what we need because they do not know our lifestyle. Lifestyle dictates our requirements. Some of us like a few dresses in our closet, but others may prefer pants for all occasions. Cagney and Lacey are perfect examples of this. Both are dressed entirely appropriately for an evening out, and yet, their choices are very different.

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Style is entirely personal and is a visual portrayal of our personality. As much as I love to see Iris in her colorful outfits, I am a classic, neutral girl who loves to add bold jewellery and scarves to punch things up. Here are some looks I love for daytime errands, shopping, dinner with the girls, or Saturday pub night…..

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My lifestyle today is definitely more casual. My closet does have several “little black dresses” because I still love to get dressed up when there is an occasion.

The wonderful thing about fashion is that it continually evolves. There was a time when I loved the color and glitter of sequins on my outfit and who knows that may happen again. My point is wear what makes you feel happy, unless it is those damn pajama pants. I draw the line at pajama pants in public.

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Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

Boobs

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I was having lunch with some friends a few days ago and the conversation somehow turned to breasts. One of the girls casually mentioned that she had stopped wearing a bra some time ago. She said she loved the feeling of freedom that it gave her. Instead of the constrictions of an undergarment, she simply layered a couple of tops. It got me thinking about my own “girls”.

The only time I actually go bra-less is at night when I am sleeping. And yes, it is very liberating, but I would feel naked going without my bra anywhere else. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I would occasionally go without a bra because the dress or top I was wearing was cut in such a way that the straps would show and spoil the look. Today girls actually intend to show their bras and often choose colors that stand out.

The trend today seems to favor large breasts, and plastic surgeons are busy performing all kinds of expensive enhancements. Personally, I would like to give up a couple inches. I always thought breast feeding my children would cause my mammary glands to shrink up later, however that has not been the case. And aging has brought with it the inevitable boob sag. a9ab671e4b5b715862b312ccd5a23387

I wonder why we seem to have a fascination with this part of the female anatomy? I have decided that it is the most obviously visible, female feature that relates to sex. It doesn’t matter whether you are wearing a top cut down to “there” or a turtleneck sweater showing no skin at all, the size and shape of your breasts are obvious. And be honest ladies, men are not the only ones who notice these attributes.

The whole process of growing breasts in puberty is a milestone. I remember a funny incident with my daughter when she was in nursery school. We had been given a bag of hand-me-down clothes from someone with older girls. The items were far too large, and I put the bag in the closet to save for a later date.  While picking the kids up from nursery school a few weeks later, the teacher asked to speak with me. She could barely contain herself. She asked if I knew my 4 year old was wearing a bra. I was puzzled at first and called my daughter over. Sure enough you could see the faint outline of the training bra through her sweater. I almost died in a fit of laughter. She had found the item in the bag and tried it on in her room. She apparently liked it, and decided to wear it to school saying nothing. At home, it took some coaxing to get her out of it.

I must admit, I love beautiful, lacy lingerie. It makes me feel beautiful knowing that I am wearing pretty pieces under my clothing. I also must admit that I lived more than half my life wearing the wrong size. For years, I have admired the gorgeous windows of lingerie stores and print ads. It is only since retirement that I decided to treat myself to a properly fitted, fancy bra. The experience was enlightening, and I hate that I waited so long. For me, shopping for lingerie is like being a kid in a candy store, only the treat lasts so much longer. The “girls” look so much better with proper support, and I think it actually changes the shape of your silhouette and the way you carry yourself. It may be expensive initially, but a good bra lasts for years. I highly recommend treating yourself to this little luxury.

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Aging definitely does a number on our bodies, no matter how hard we try to keep it in check. Personally speaking, I think I will always wear my bra, and hopefully it will always be colorful and lacy. If it makes you feel good about yourself, then indulge yourself. The struggle is real ladies, no matter what species we are, aging is going to present challenges, but don’t stop trying to always look and feel your best.

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Thanks for reading

Penny xo

 

 

 

 

To Dye or Not to Dye

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I know it is getting close to Easter, but I am talking about hair not eggs. Coloring my hair has become an increasingly difficult choice for me. I began finding random gray hairs in my mid twenties. I ignored that old wives tale about pulling them out and growing two in their place, and by the time I reached my mid thirties, I had a rather substantial silver streak across the front of my head. People asked me if I had it dyed that way, and I proudly told them it was natural.

Well, when the silver started to take over my head, I just felt old when I looked in the mirror, so I took the plunge and bought some hair color. I erased those natural highlights and went back to my chestnut brown locks.

Fast forward about 30 years and here I am contemplating letting my hair go natural. It has become a tedious, messy ordeal to keep coloring, and I think I may be ready to give it up. I am not even sure what my natural color might be at this point. I look at pictures of my mom and try to imagine myself with her hair.

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My beautiful mom

Well, to be honest, I probably would not actually go natural, but at least closer than it is presently. My hair is currently a light brown with blonde highlights and annoying silver roots which appear about every two weeks. I am tired of trying to keep up with the growth.

I used to think that gray hair just made us look old, but more recently I have had a change of heart. It is not the color that makes us look old, but rather our style and attitude. It seems everywhere I look there are women with beautifully coiffed silver gray tresses. Apparently GRAY is the new black! Older models with gray hair are gracing fashion magazines and advertisements everywhere. They look stunning!

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So why am I so apprehensive????

I was discussing my thoughts on going gray with the girls over dinner on pub night. Everyone had their own opinion and ideas of course. Then someone sporting spiky, platinum hair with black and pink highlights said, “We should get to decide on YOUR hair because we have to look at you the most.” The table broke into gales of laughter. Oi vey!!!

Maybe I should ease into this gray transition thing by doing something totally fun,

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Or perhaps not.

Another friend reminded me that if I color my hair, I must also consider my brows. She warned that it can be a dangerous situation. A technician was dyeing her brows and forgot her in the room. By the time the technician returned, she looked like Groucho Marx. The visual of that made me burst into laughter. It took several days of scrubbing to tone things down.

I have an appointment with my stylist in a few weeks, and I’ll discuss it with her. Until then, I guess I’ll just keep dyeing.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

P.S. If you have any thoughts or your own experience on this, let me know.

 

Green Medicine

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When I was a kid, it was common knowledge that people who used marijuana were criminals or at the very least bad people. Right??? Then the hippies and flower children gave new meaning to this beautiful green plant. My how times change! The Canadian government announced last year that they were planning to legalize cannabis in 2018. Medical marijuana clinics have popped up in numerous cities, and some doctors are prescribing cannabis for their patients as a method to manage pain. Last year, our local Senior Citizens Association hosted a luncheon, and the guest speaker talked about…… you guessed it, cannabis. The response was overwhelming. Many could not even get a ticket and another presentation is in the works.

Apparently, marijuana’s time has come !

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Not only has its time come, but seniors seem to be on the leading edge of its popularity. I know numerous friends who use it to help combat anxiety, reduce pain, and to help sleep.

I can personally attest to its effectiveness. About three years ago, I began to suffer from pain in my knee which ultimately was diagnosed as arthritis. My doctor recommended taking Tylenol for Arthritis to ease the discomfort and casually mentioned I would no doubt need a knee replacement down the road. I knew several people who had had this surgery, and I did not like the outcome. Many were still unable to resume normal activities and had to be very cautious about stairs, uneven ground, standing for lengthy periods, and even walking for a distance. This definitely did not fit into my pastime pleasures of travel, dancing, and gardening. There had to be some way to reduce the pain and stave off surgery for as long as possible. And so I began my research.

The medical marijuana clinics were on my radar, and I decided to look into this a little more. I discovered a wealth of information on the internet and by talking with people. It wasn’t long until I discovered CBD cream. I won’t go into a lengthy explanation about this “green medicine”, but it is made from the cannabis plant and no, it will not make you high. Cannabis has two active ingredients, THC which will alter your mental state and CBD which will not. Our bodies all have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors.

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CBD Cream

These receptors help us absorb the CBD through our skin. CBD reduces inflammation  among other things, so you can see where it could be very helpful with NO side effects. Call me crazy, but I really do not feel good about ingesting medication to relieve pain and at the same time rotting my stomach out.

I am not a doctor, nor do I know everyone’s individual situation. I am only suggesting that it may be worth a try. I know some that have tried it and proclaimed it ineffective. I do know it is not a magic fix. Like all natural products, it takes time to build up the necessary CBD levels in your body. I also know, I am pain free.

Some of you may remember the story about “The Little Red Hen” from your childhood. She found some wheat seeds; she planted those seeds; she tended those plants; she harvested the wheat; she ground the grains, and she baked bread.

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I am beginning to feel like that “Little Red Hen”, if you get my drift. I, too, can grow it, harvest it, and turn it into other products. I may even try making the cream.

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If you have any interest in the benefits of marijuana, there is endless information online. In today’s world, we really must advocate for our own health. I do hope the government makes good on its promise to make this extraordinary plant legal.

 

Thanks for reading

Penny xo