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Inspiring Women over 50: Siggy Buckley, Author

Inspiring Women over 50: Siggy Buckley, Author

Siggy Buckley, inspiring women over 50

Siggy Buckley, author of I Once Had a Farm in Ireland.
One of the inspiring women over 50 that I have the pleasure to know.

As Siggy puts it…”we over 50s can rule the world!”

Author, organic farmer, matchmaker…given all of Siggy’s qualifications…I believe she is one of the most inspiring women over 50 that I know!

She has a new book out: I Once Had a Farm in Ireland. She writes about her experience on her organic farm in Ireland. Funny, touching,and full of information….you will want to read it.

Siggy Buckley Bio:

A former English teacher, Siggy Buckley’s life took an unexpected turn when her husband, a CPA, opted out of the rat race in Germany and made his family emigrate to Ireland to become organic farmers.
Her new life only produced a crop of misgivings and the breakup of her marriage. Single again, she reinvented herself, launched a dating service in Dublin. Remarried, she now lives and writes in Florida. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Amazon author page

My blog: www.SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

My books http://amzn.to/YzIr9J

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Dreams of becoming a journalist were thwarted early on; I became a college teacher instead.

What or who inspired you to write?

I had kept a diary through my formative years as a farmer’s wife and then as a matchmaker. My now husband encouraged me to put my accumulated memories and experiences into a book while blogging about several topics. Authors who inspired me are strong female voices like Benoit Grout and Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain.

What is your favorite part of your book?

My Favorite part of Next Time Lucky is the beginning of the last chapter on p. 230:

“ Homeward Bound

The only obstacles that could keep us apart were visa issues.  A European resident is allowed to visit the USA for up to 180 days a year but only 90 per visit.  My first 90 days were up.  At the end of January, shortly before I had to leave the country, I started to feel blue.

“What’s up, Sweet-pea?” He wrapped his arms around me on the sofa.

“I don’t want to leave you.  For once I’ve found a man I love whole-heartedly, who respects me, who fulfils my needs, and I have to go away for silly reasons like a frigging visa.”

“We’ll find a way.  I’ll visit you in Germany next month.  And then you come back to me here in the US.  Are you sure you want to come back to me or do you want to think about it while you are over there? Maybe make a trip to Spain and check it out as planned?”

“Why should I go to Spain if all I want is to be with you, Connor? Start all over in yet another country? I’ve felt uprooted for such a long time; I don’t know anymore where my home is.” I leaned more into him, and he caressed my neck and shoulders.

“After my break-ups in Ireland, I didn’t know where I belonged.” I continued.  “I didn’t want to stay in Ireland any longer and now I miss it.  Imagine!”

“Well, it was your home for a while.  It all makes sense to me.”

My head snuggled even further into his arm that embraced me.  “When I am with you it feels like belonging again.”

Connor took my face in his hands.  Our eyes interlocked.

“My poor darling! I want you to be with me, I want to take care of you and spend my life with you.  You are my partner, my friend, and my beautiful lover.” He placed a gentle kiss on my lips.  “We have so much in common though we come from different backgrounds.  Quite extraordinary, really.  You are like the female version of me – maybe at long last the proverbial soul mate I have been waiting and searching for all my life.  We’ll figure something out.”

“But how?”

“Something will come to us.” This line from Meet Joe Black had tickled us both when we watched the film together.  In the eyes of adversity, that couple kept looking for a way to master their future together.  Sometimes all you can do is keep trying. “

 What have you learned from writing?

Patience, persistence and that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Next-Time-Lucky-Find-Right-ebook/dp/B00B0K1M9C/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-3&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Next-Time-Lucky-Lessons-Matchmaker/dp/1456392441/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-5&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Product Detailshttp://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-Swapping–Insider-Successful-Homeswapping-ebook/dp/B005N0N3CO/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385282046&sr=1-6&keywords=Siggy+Buckley

Life’s Great Mysteries

Life’s Great Mysteries

Pondering Life’s Great Mysteries

Life's great mysteries

I sometimes sit and ponder the great mysteries of Life. And sometimes I just sit. Image: Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

I don’t always sit and think, but when I do…I ponder life’s great mysteries. There are things I will never understand, but then I suppose I am not meant to understand them.

That’s why they’re called mysteries, duh.

 

 

 

These are just a few of the things in life that I find are totally unexplainable:

  • Steel balls shaped like bull testicles that hang from the trailer hitches of pick-up trucks. Is there a reason for this? I think not.
  • Blouses with back hems way longer than the front hems. They look like a bathroom accident just waiting to happen. I imagine terrible moments of anxiety when the back end of one’s shirt drops into the toilet while one is “freshening up” just prior to an important job interview. Ew.
  • People who complain about the quality of beef in a McDonald’s hamburger. One must not expect Kobe beef for $1.29; nor must one expect the cook to “hold the pickles.” You cannot always have it your way.
  • The popularity of WWE wrestling. It is  not honorable…it is not the way of the great Sumo tradition.
  • Commercials featuring an elderly couple sitting in separate claw-foot bathtubs while watching the sun set and waiting for the Cialis to kick in. I mean…WTF? Uh, I mean…namaste.
  • Toilet tissue commercials. By the time you are old enough to buy your own toilet paper, you are probably too old to be influenced by little cartoon bears that go poo-poo in the forest.
  • And then there’s man buns. I know the guy in Kung Fu Panda wore something like this, but…seriously guys…you don’t have to. Honor yo-self and just wash your hair.
Life's Great Mysteries: Balancing rocks.

Balancing rocks…something else I will never understand.
Image: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

I know I sound cynical ( SOUND cynical? yes, I AM cynical) and that is probably why I will never know the answers to all of Life’s Great Mysteries. OMG. Uh, I mean…Om.

 

The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals

Buy The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals

heart & soul food cooking with friends

Heart & Soul Food
Tales of Food, Family, and Friends
perfect for cooking with friends

Retail Hell

Retail Hell

Christmas Eve… Just another day in Retail Hell
image by imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Retail Hell

by Peggy Browning

On Christmas Eve, I walked out of Retail Hell at 7:12 p.m and I never looked back. I was not shopping; I was the person behind the counter ringing up totals for ice cream and milk and eggnog and listening to people complain because the store where I work didn’t have all the ingredients for the pie they wanted to bake.

It’s Christmas Eve. Maybe you should have planned ahead, fool.

I am convinced that anyone who works retail is a special kind of person. Actually, I am convinced they are saints. I’m not a saint; I’m a full-on sinner. I have no place in retail sales. I hate every minute I am working because, basically I don’t like people all that much.

Here’s a sample of what I endured on Xmas Eve in Retail Hell.

A woman purchased a gallon of milk for $3.36. Her change from a five was $1.64. I placed the paper money in her hand and put the coins and receipt on top of it. She grimaced.

I said, “Is something wrong?” “Yes,” she said. “That’s not how you are supposed to return change. I was taught that you put the coins in the hand first, then the paper money.”

I asked, “Is the change correct?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, then.” Next…

“I got the last eggnog on the shelf,” my next customer said.

“Well…it’s your lucky day, then!” I said.

“No it’s not. I have to pay $4.29 for it and that’s before tax.”

“Actually, the price has gone down and is only $3.99 for a half gallon, so with tax it’s only $4.34.”

“That’s still too high.”

“You don’t have to buy it; I can put it back on the shelf if you don’t want it,” I said.

Then we had a staring contest….I guess I won because he finally broke and said, “My wife wants it.”

“Okay, then.”  Next….

More than one frantic woman yelled… “You don’t have any frozen pecan pies!”

“No. We sold out early this morning.”

“What am I going to do?! I depend on you all to do my baking!” (No, folks, I am NOT exaggerating this.)

And I said, helpfully I thought, “How would apple pie work for you?”

“No, no, absolutely not. We always have pecan pie. It’s our tradition.”

And I thought, but didn’t say…shitfire, lady, it looks like it’s time to start a new tradition. Frozen pecan pie sucks.

My register went down….it stopped scanning on the biggest order of the day while people lined up past the frozen pizza section. The manager fixed it by re-starting the computer because they don’t trust us to re-start it even though every clerk behind a register knows how to do it. Then it stopped weighing bananas…and, well, let’s just say, lots of folks might have received a banana flavored Christmas miracle.

On Christmas Eve in Retail Hell, our store ran out of half-gallons of whole milk, eggs, half-gallons of 2% milk, sausage, canned biscuits, frozen pecan pies, and whipping cream. People begged me to go look in the back storage refrigerator for them.

At first I tried to console the shoppers and offer alternative suggestions.  But after five hours of pouty, whining customers asking me to do the impossible, I finally broke.

“I’m mad at this store,” said a relatively sane looking man. He was dragging along his tween-age granddaughter and both were sucking down milkshakes. I hadn’t had a sip of water for five freaking hours.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you’ve only got gallons of whole milk. And I need a half-gallon. Would you go get me one out of the back?”

“We don’t have any.”

“Why not?”

“We sold out of them. We’ve been very busy today.”

“And you don’t have any in the back?”

“Sir, I assure you we don’t have any in the back. We are not hiding anything from you.”

“I’m not getting any then. My wife told me to get a half-gallon.” He scowled and lingered at the register.  He shouldn’t have stayed.

“What can I say, Dude? We had them this morning. You should have come in earlier.”

I could have said so much more, like…suck it up, whiny-butt….do I look like I care?…sir, you need to get out of my line before I stab you in the eye with a spork… but I didn’t. I kept my thoughts to myself.

I’m sure his wife dealt with him later…because she needed more milk, obviously,  and wouldn’t have cared if it was in a gallon or half-gallon.

Next…

Some really nice folks came in. Some wished me a Merry Christmas. But the experiences with rude jack-wagons far outweighed the nicer ones.

Moral of this story: Hell is real. You can experience it in any retail business on Christmas Eve or the day before a major snowstorm is predicted. Be nice to the person behind the counter; don’t be a jack-wagon and you might get free bananas instead of a spork in the eye.

 

Save me from Retail Hell next year…I’m begging you! …Please purchase my books!

Click on the image to Purchase.

Product DetailsE-Book      Paperback

10 Signs You’re Getting Old

10 Signs You’re Getting Old

10 Signs You're Getting Old

10 Signs You’re Getting Old
photo by Victor Habbick/freedigitalphotos.net

I am feeling old today. Frankly, I am beginning to feel old almost every day. I know I’m supposed to fight the feeling, so to speak, but dang it…some days are tougher than others. Today is one of those days.

I’m just not feeling involved. I feel old today and I just don’t care that I feel that way. Maybe I ‘m going to feel this way for the rest of my life. I don’t know…it’s possible. I’ll probably perk up in a few days and try this youth thing again, but right now…for this moment, this hour, this day…I’m just going with the feeling.

10 Signs You’re Getting Old

  1. Everyone looks the same. And I mean everyone. All blondes look the same, all people of every color (red and yellow, black and white) look the same, all the new young red-haired actresses look the same, all newscasters look the same…EVERYONE looks the same. I personally know three blonde women who look exactly like Amy Schumer. Yes…I really do.
  2. You don’t know the names of the new actors .  (except for Amy Schumer.) And you don’t care that you don’t know. You wait for Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline movies to come out, but don’t really care if you miss them either.
  3. You are surprised when you see your former classmates because they look so old. I mean…you know you have aged and you are aware of your own aging process when you look in the mirror. But, you didn’t expect your friends or high school buddies to age…
  4. You recognize well-done dentures when you see them. And you ask for the name of the dentist who did them.
  5. You find something to complain about every day and you force yourself to find something to be grateful about every day.
  6. You simply don’t care about much of anything any more because you don’t have the energy to participate in drama. You know now that everything WILL work out…one way or another.
  7. Your children are approaching 40 and you’re surprised.
  8. You voted in your first Presidential election in 1976.
  9. You have given up old resentments although…
  10. You have lived long enough to see Karma in action. And that, my friend, is sweet sweet sweet when you see Karma raise her head and smite someone who deserves it. It’s also great when Karma rewards someone’s efforts for good. I love me some Karma…especially that smiting part.   😉

 

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt & Lemon Meringue Pie

Saving CeeCee HoneyCutt and Lemon Meringue Pie

Saving CeeCee HoneycuttWhat I Read This Week: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

What I Ate This Week:  Lemon Meringue Pie

This week I read, or rather listened to, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman and I ate homemade (made by me using my mother’s recipe) lemon meringue pie.

I like to listen to audio-books while I drive. I stopped listening to the radio quite a while ago…like years ago.Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky, but I don’t like to listen to random music any more. I don’t like smart-alec disc jockeys. I don’t like commercials. And I despise most talk radio although I do sometimes enjoy NPR if I can find a channel that comes in clearly.

I’m pretty sure that last paragraph verifies that I am getting old and cranky. So be it.

Lately it seems that I drive a lot.  Although I am basically a stay-at-home-grandma and live-in-nanny for my three-year-old granddaughter, I drive about 150 miles every two weeks to pick up her up after she visits her Daddy at his house. Since we have changed our residence to a place where we’ve never lived before, I also take long drives around the area looking at all the new things that I’m not familiar with.

I am excited when I find an audio-book that entertains me so much that I want to keep on driving. Last week I had the good fortune to plug in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. I listened to it while I drove the 150 mile round trip to pick up Baby Dear. I listened when I drove the 120 mile round trip to see Tater & Tot, my other grandchildren. Then I cruised around the countryside just listening, laughing, and crying just a tad while I listened to Jenna Lamia narrate the story with her “just-right” interpretations of the charming Southern ladies who populated the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Many of the descriptions in the book reminded me of my own childhood growing up in rural Texas and savoring the days with my mother, my aunts and their friends. CeeCee’s Aunt Tootie reminded me of my own Aunt Fern. Hearing this story, told by the pre-adolescent CeeCee, was like taking a trip back in time to my own girlhood.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt rates right up there with Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. 

If you read a good book about the South, you are required to bake a pie and eat it within the same week.

When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmm boy! ~Jack Handey

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 can Eagle Brand Milk (any sweetened condensed milk will work, but I prefer Eagle Brand)

Heart & Soul Food by Peggy Browning

Read More stories and recipes in my new book Heart & Soul Food. Available at amazon.com and smashwords.com

¼ cup lemon juice ( I prefer fresh-squeezed. Use 3 to 4 lemons…maybe more depending on the size and juiciness of the lemons)

2 egg yolks

¼ tsp vanilla

 

Separate eggs; set aside egg whites to make meringue.

Combine milk and egg yolks and blend well. Blend in lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until mixture thickens .

Pour in to baked Graham Cracker crust. I used a pre-made crust from the grocery store, added a TBSP of butter by cutting small pieces of butter and putting them on the crust and sprinkled a TBSP of sugar over the crust. Then I baked the crust for 7 to 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. This makes the it taste more like homemade and moistens it a little. Don’t over cook it.

Meringue

Whip the egg whites until they form a stiff peak, mix in 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp. vanilla.

Top  pie with meringue and bake in 350 degree oven until meringue is browned.

SUMMER TOMATO ONION CUCUMBER SALAD

Tomato Onion Cucumber Salad and Virginia Ironside

tomato onion cucumber salad

tomato onion cucumber salad Image: freedigitalphotos.net

What I Ate & What I Read

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I like to talk about what I ate and what I read during the previous week. This week I read the novel No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year by English writer and columnist Virginia Ironside. In honor of the vinegary attitude in Ms. Ironside’s book, I ate tomato, onion, and cucumber salad.

I liked Ms. Ironside’s novel. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, but it was entertaining in a stiff upper lip British kind of way. The English unspoken no-whining rule has always intrigued me and it does even more so now that the population of the USA is so prone to whining and complaining and pissing and moaning. That includes me, too.

I liked Ms. Ironside’s attitude about aging, which was…accept it and move on. She talked about her friend’s impending death, her other friend’s search for a good “boyfriend”, her own renewal of hope and faith upon the birth of her first grandchild. Her character was determined to enjoy life as is. I like that in a person even if it is a fictional person.

I ate tomato, onion and cucumber  salad. It’s one of my most favorite salads any time of the year, but it’s especially good when you are celebrating the approach and promise of spring and summer after an insufferably long winter. (I know that sounds like whining, but I’m American not English, so cut me some slack.)

It’s even better when you can use fresh tomato, onion, and cucumber from your own garden or your friend’s garden. The best vegetables are ones that are shared with friends and neighbors.

The recipe is found in my own book of recipes and stories, Heart & Soul Food: Tales of

Food, Friends, and Family which I am shamelessly promoting here.  But I’ve also included it in this post.

Anyway, here’s a tomato onion cucumber salad recipe from Heart & Soul. I hope you enjoy it. I do! 

SUMMER TOMATO, ONION, & CUCUMBER SALAD

A combination of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers makes a delicious, healthy salad. Add some fresh or dried herbs and let this combination marinate for about an hour before serving.

3 TBSP rice vinegar

1 TBSP canola oil

1 tsp honey

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground pepper, or more to taste

2 medium cucumbers

4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced thin

2 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or tarragon

*If using dried herbs, start with ½ tsp. and add to taste.

 

Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl.

Peel cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds. Add the cucumber slices, tomatoes and onion slices to the dressing; gently toss to combine.

Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Add herbs just prior to serving and toss again to mix.

My F**K It List

The F**k It List

There comes a point in your life when, instead of adding things to your Bucket List, you The F**k It Listanalyze what you really desire and what you really care about and how much time you have left to accomplish what you want to do. That’s when you make a secondary list. That’s when you make your F**k It List.

President Obama and I have a lot in common. We both work off the same list.

When I turned 50, I made a Bucket List. And truthfully, I accomplished a lot of the things on it. I give myself credit and pat myself on the back for that. I. Am. Awesome.
Now I’m closing in on 60 and I’ve realized there are some things that I thought I wanted to do, but that I really don’t want to do. The perfect time to do those things has passed and I have no regrets. I can revise that Life List any time I want.

Here’s my Revised List…The F**k It List:

  • Try harder to be pleasant. I tried…didn’t work.
  • Forgive people who have hurt me. At my age, it’s way easier to forget than forgive…and that’s pretty much what I’ve done.Don’t remind me.
  • Put more effort into my “real” job. Oh, please.
  • Skydive. Oh, hell no.
  • Stop making fun of the people on Fox News. Not gonna happen. There are some things I just can’t control.
  • Give up sugar. Huh-uh.
  • Stop buying shoes. No.
  • Improve my image, wardrobe, and looks. That has changed to: Be Comfortable Always.
  • Act my age. Oh right. Giggle, giggle, snort, snort. I don’t know how to do this; I’ve never been this age before.
The View Through My Rose-Colored Bifocals

For more about my Original Bucket List and a little about my F**k It List, purchase my ebook.

The Big 5-0 on Sale for 99 cents

big 5-0 coverThe Big 5-0 is on sale for 99 cents.

Well, here I am again. I’m shamelessly promoting my books. Yep. It’s true my first novel, The Big 5-0 is on sale now through April 22 for only 99 cents.

I need to sell about 100,000 copies, but I’d be happy as heck to sell 1,000 or 100 or 10…ya know?!

Here’s the deal…I love to write books. I love this series I’ve started writing about Matilda Mason the bored, beleaguered, slightly bloated garden page reporter. I love Matilda, even though she’s crabby and depressed.

But I HATE trying to sell these books. I’m just not good at the marketing end of this business. I need some help.

Do you think you can help? Toyota Financial Services and I would be ever so grateful if you would share this post with your friends and encourage them to buy The Big 5-0 for only 99 cents. It’s available in ebook form on Amazon, of course…aren’t all books available on Amazon nowadays?

If you don’t have an ebook reader, that’s no problem. Amazon has thought of everything. They have a free download for your computer or tablet or phone so you can read all the ebooks they publish. Amazon wants you to buy The Big 5-0, too.  🙂 Download your FREE Kindle reading app here. 

 

READ THE PROLOGUE & FIRST CHAPTER of The Big 5-0  HERE: 

PROLOGUE

Cambridge Women’s Clinic, Cambridge, Texas

October 21

Buy a red balloon.

I scribbled one last item at the bottom of my TO DO LIST. The list was already quite full. But this addition to the list was important.

Have Pap Smear.

Have Mammogram.

See Teresa.

Meet Edie at Pat’s.

Cook supper for family.

Have fun.

Buy a red balloon.

But I’d forgotten to write down “buy a red balloon”. Adding the last detail assured me that everyone was taken care of…for today, at least.

I am a Libra. Astrologically, I am supposed to strive for perfect balance. I struggle with that…I tend to be a little scattered. I blame being scattered on having so many responsibilities…

I make lists to balance myself. I often scatter my lists, just like I’m prone to scatter my energy, so I’m not sure the list making works.

Perhaps I’m a little unbalanced.

Oh, well. I try.

I am Woman. I take care of stuff. That’s my lot in life. I take care of my family…my job…everyone…even when they don’t appreciate it…even when I don’t really want to take care of them.

I opened a magazine and waited to be called to my first appointment.

 

ONE

“Matilda Mason?”

I looked up from reading the Southern Living magazine when I heard my name called. The nurse smiled at me and I nodded in reply.

I stuck the magazine under my arm, rose, and followed the blonde nurse to the back of the women’s clinic. Could this young thing wearing the Elmo scrubs possibly be a nurse? It seemed the nurses got younger every year.

I checked her name tag. Sure enough, the tag said Amy Wilson, LVN.

“Let’s check your weight now,” Amy the LVN said as she slid the measure up to the one hundred pound mark.

Obviously she hadn’t looked very closely at me or she would have started at one-fifty. Tactfully, she changed the scale to the one-fifty mark, slid it up to one-sixty, and moved it carefully back until she stopped on one-fifty-five.

“Looks like you’re up a little bit from last year,” she smiled. “How tall are you?”

Oh, for Pete’s sake, Nurse Amy, I thought. Give me a break.  After all it’s my birthday. Spare me a little shame, please.

“Five feet two inches“, I answered with a little smile of my own.

She jotted both measurements in my chart.

Amy opened the door into the exam room and motioned for me to sit on the table while she took the blood pressure cuff off its holder.

“How old are you?” Nurse Amy asked

“Fifty. Actually…fifty today. It’s my birthday,” I said.

“Oh. Well, happy birthday.” She wrapped the cuff around my upper arm. “How have you been lately?”

“Oh…fine,” I said.

“No problems?”

“Nope. None that I can think of,” I answered.

Well, of course I could have mentioned the problems.  Like my temperature fluctuations: too hot or too cold … never just right. I could have told her about night sweats and insomnia. Pulling my quilt up to my neck, kicking it off, then….well on and on. But I didn’t feel inclined to discuss this with young, non-menopausal Amy.

Amy took my temperature and felt my pulse, gave me a paper gown, and asked me to undress.

“The doctor will be in shortly.” She rushed away to greet her next patient.

I changed, folded my clothes over the side chair, and continued reading the magazine. I was tearing out a recipe when Dr. Ayers came in. She was a petite, round woman of about sixty and I considered discussing my newly fluctuating body temperature with her.

“Lemon cupcakes,” I said as I waved the torn page at her.

She sighed, but smiled, brushing her gray streaked hair back behind her ear. She was struggling to have a good bedside manner.  But still she gave it a good try.  I can’t say that I blamed her. If I was in her position, I’m sure I’d tire of hearing the complaints of menopausal women, too.

Dr. Ayers looked at my chart and then cut to the chase.“Well, the blood pressure is a little high. Looks like you’ve gained some weight since the last time you were here. Pulse is a little fast, too. Shouldn’t be so high at resting rate.”

“Yeah, well,” I muttered.

“You need to cut out carbs and start exercising. You’re actually thirty pounds overweight for your height. I’d like to see you lose at least twenty pounds before you see me again next year. Do you use much salt?” Dr. Ayers looked up from my chart.

“Well, umm. Not that much,” I said.

“Cut back on that, too,” she said, looking at the chart again. “How old are you now?

Damn, didn’t they write these little tidbits in the chart? Nurse Amy had written down all the other pertinent information. Surely my birth date was written somewhere in the chart.

“Fifty,” I said. “Fifty today…in fact. Today is my birthday.”

“Oh, well, happy birthday. Take a deep breath,” Dr. Ayers placed the cold stethoscope under my little paper split-front shirt.

“Are you having any hot flashes? Any symptoms of menopause? Light periods, spotting, missed periods?” she asked.

Well, yes, that and a whole lot more, but I didn’t want to discuss it today. Maybe I should have told the doctor about this general feeling of malaise. Perhaps I should have mentioned the anxiety I felt building in me or the excruciating boredom I experienced day-after-day.

But Dr. Ayers had already pissed me off by telling me to cut out carbs and salt and to start exercising. (Oh, yeah…I was irritable and had rapid mood swings…I’d neglected to report that too.)

Stick a fork in me, I thought. I’m done.  These complaints could wait until my next physical. I was already feeling a little old today. No need to complain about my waning ability to reproduce or my lack of enjoyment of life.

“Not really,” I lied.

“Lie back and relax, please,” she said.

Nurse Amy came back in with the speculum and KY. She smiled at me again while Dr. Ayers checked my breasts for lumps.

“Not too bad. Feels like you have some little fibroid knots. Nothing to worry about. Cut back on the caffeine. We’ll check it more extensively with the mammogram. Do you have one scheduled?” Dr. Ayers was nothing if not thorough.

“That’s my next stop today,” I said.

“Good. Put your feet in the stirrups and scoot to the edge of the table,” she said. Diligent Nurse Amy covered my bare behind with a sheet.

“Try to relax now,” Dr. Ayers said again as she inserted the speculum and took the smear with a very long Q-Tip.

Sure. No problem, I thought.

“This is always a very relaxing position to be in,” I said, trying to make light of my compromised position.

Dr. Ayers rolled her eyes and my joke fell flat. She had heard it all before.

The exam was over in minutes. The good Dr. Ayers snapped off her gloves and extended her hand to help me sit up.

“We’ll let you know the results of your Pap. As always, we’ll call if it’s bad news. Otherwise, you’ll get a letter in a few days.  No news is good news.” She finally smiled.

I scooted off the table and started to dress myself.

“So, you need to lose about thirty pounds, cut back on the carbs and salt, exercise, cut out caffeine,” Dr. Ayers scribbled notes on the chart.

“No caffeine?” I asked.

“The fibroid knots…” Dr. Ayers looked exasperated.

“OK. OK. I got it,” I said, more snappishly than intended.

Before she popped out through the exam door, she added the final blow.  “How old did you say you are?”

“Fifty,” I sighed. Would this questioning never stop? “Fifty. Today.”

“Stop at the appointment desk on the way out and schedule a colonoscopy. Everyone needs one at fifty,” Dr. Ayers said as she departed.

“Sure,”  I said.

Well, Happy Birthday to me.

After I pulled my clothes back on and stuffed the purloined recipe in my purse, I waited at the desk as instructed. The receptionist smiled as she handed me the appointment card for my colonoscopy.

What was it with all the smiling?  Maybe it was just me, but the overly pleasantness seemed unnecessary.

*

I walked downstairs to the imaging center, read another magazine, tore out another recipe, and followed another young nurse into an exam room. This time I had my breasts squeezed and examined mechanically, but at least no one told me I needed to lose weight or start exercising. And no one asked my age.

Thank god.

*

Each year I make myself a Birthday TO DO LIST. While some women schedule a spa day complete with a facial, massage, pedicure, and manicure, I schedule all my physical tests for the same day, then take the day off from work. I schedule them all on my birthday so I can remember them.

So, each year, on the 21st day of October (or the closest day to it if it falls on a weekend), I have a blood test, Pap smear, and a mammogram.  It’s a gift I give myself. I know…some people have all the fun.

I always come away from the clinic feeling as if I’ve been abducted by aliens and taken to the Mother Ship for a probe. And this year I could add an anal probe to my previously scheduled tests.

Great. One more thing to look forward to.

It was beginning to look as if my 50th birthday would be a real game changer.

What do you want? When do you want it?

 

What do You Want? When do you want it?

I’m feeling confused today. Not the kind of confused where you feel like you’re losing your mind or your heart or your soul.

I am feeling confused about what I want to do. I have plans and goals

what do you want? when do you want it?

What do you want? When do you want it?
image:photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

and ideas and notebooks full of affirmations, five year plans, and journal entries that say “ Today I will…”

But today I’m not sure of what I will. I merely want to crawl back in bed and curl up in a ball. I want to sleep today and maybe tomorrow. I want to spend the day doing nothing and “will-ing” nothing.

And before you get concerned about my mental stability: No, I am NOT depressed.

It’s not unusual for me to spend a whole day occupied doing as little as possible. But even when it appears that I’m doing nothing, I am usually asking myself “What do you want? When do you want it? “

Since adolescence I have been on a journey looking for enlightenment…looking for peace…looking for my “truth”…hoping to “live my best life.”

I’ve been asking myself “What do you want? When do you want it? for a very long time. For years (about 45 years to be exact) I have noted in various diaries:

  • I want peace.
  • I want to be thin and attractive.
  • I want to be loved…respected…whatever.
  • I want to be healthy.
  • I want to make my living through writing.
  • I want my kids to be happy.And at peace. And successful. And loved. And adventurous. ETC……

The list hasn’t changed much in all those years. Sometimes I have the list mastered; other times I don’t even come close.

What do you want? When do you want it?

I just want to take a break from all those goals that never seem accomplished. And I want to take the break now. Today. Just for a little while. Then I’ll come back to work on the ever-loving goals and LIST.

In the last 6 months, I have written and self-published two books. I have moved to another house in another town in another state. I have changed my identity from Peggy: part time ticket taker at the city auditorium- part time front desk receptionist- freelance writer to Peggy: live-in nanny /homemaker –  freelance writer.

I’m tired, y’all.

What do you want? When do you want it?

I want a nap. And I want it now.

 

And I still want to make my living by writing, so would you please buy my new book available in paperback and ebook?

https://www.createspace.com/5268534

 

The Best Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe for Pi Day

The Best Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe for Pi Day.

chocolate cream Pie recipe

Thoughts of chocolate cream pie
image by Carlos Porto/freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is a special day because of the date. Yep. I know I took some liberties with it being Pi Day and all. But I’m just trying to be punny. Ha, ha. LOL.  Pi Day   … 3.1415….   Pie Day … You get it.

I comprehend the significance of the date; I’m just not that impressed. You see Every Day was Pie Day when I was growing up.

Find this recipe and others in my recipe/story book, Heart & Soul Food at amazon.

I have a story and a recipe to share with you. It’s a pretty good story and my Mama’s chocolate cream pie recipe.

My mother… in addition to milking the cow and raising all our food and sewing our clothes…baked something sweet (usually a pie)  every day. Yes. You read that correctly. EVERY DAY. Unless there was something sweet left over from the previous day and there was enough of it for all of us. In that case she didn’t. But we usually ate it all, so she proceeded to bake. Every Day.

You see, my Daddy loved sweets, especially pies. And my Mama loved my Daddy. She expressed her love every day by baking him a pie.

Daddy’s favorite of all pies was chocolate cream pie.

Occasionally Mama made a cake, but that was rare. Most of the time she baked pies: cream pies, fruit pies, fried pies, cobblers. She made her own pie crusts too.

My youngest grandaughter is my taste tester for all my recipes.

My youngest grandaughter is my taste tester for all my recipes. She rates the chocolate cream pie recipe : Deeeeewicious!

Last week I was craving something sweet and comforting. So I made a chocolate cream pie using Mama’s recipe. I shared it with my youngest granddaughter. She gave it her seal of approval.

I swear…this pie was so good it made me cry. And it made me miss my Mama. When I fed a few bites of chocolate cream pie to my granddaughter, I could feel my mother close by, smiling at us. I know my grand-baby felt the love there, just as I did.

There’s no better way for a proper Southern woman to express her undying love for someone than to bake them a pie. You need to bake one today…and maybe Every Day.

Because every day should be Pie Day.

Chocolate Cream Pie

1 cup sugar

3 TBSP corn starch (or flour)

3 egg yolks

2 cups milk (I used 1 ½ cups of 2 % milk and added a ½ cup of cream)

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1/4  cup cocoa

1 pre-baked and cooled pie crust

 

Meringue

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* I use a store-bought pie crust. I prefer the Pillsbury brand found in the dairy section. It’s already mixed and rolled out. All you have to do is place it in a pie pan and bake it according to directions

For the pie filling: Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe

Slowly heat 1 ½ cups of milk in a 1 ½ or 2 quart sauce pan. Do NOT let it boil.

Mix sugar and corn starch in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks well then add ½ cup cold milk. Stir together.

Add dry ingredients to eggs and milk combination. Mix well. (Should make a nice smooth concoction, like a smoothie)* This is the secret to the creaminess of this pie. Do not skip this step.

Now add the mixture to the hot milk, stirring constantly until it is the consistency of pudding.

Pour into the baked pie crust. Spread meringue on top and bake at 350 degrees until meringue is lightly browned at the peaks.

*You can also put this chocolate cream pie filling in a graham cracker crust. Let it cool, then top with whipped cream. The pie filling can also be eaten as pudding. Delicious.

Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe