Archive | September 2012

Becoming invisible when you get older…


I have wanted to write a post about this subject for some time because it seems to get ever more relevant.  The older I get the more invisible I get, so it seems. Now this can have its advantages. I look so innocent that I feel like I could easily get away with throwing a brick through a window and then point to the ‘younger’ person next to me and say ‘he did it’! I think I would be believed. Trouble is I have no desire to do such a thing nor have I ever.

BUT life can be very frustrating when you are getting older. The first thing that springs to mind are the mobile phones.  These days walking through the town is hazardous owing to the large number of people who persist in talking on their phones whilst walking along in a crowd.  It is up to me to jump out of their way because they just do not see me.  I am totally invisible to them, so it seems.  I suppose it all comes down to respect. When I was a young person, I was taught to respect my elders.  That meant that I had to open doors for people who were obviously elderly, pregnant women etc. Anyone who was older than me had to be allowed for.  I looked forward to the time when I was older and someone would do that for me.

Well that time has come but now I discover that I am invisible and rarely does anyone let me go first if the pavement is a crush. Seldom do I get offered to step onto the bus first. No, it is very much a ‘take care of yourself’ society.  I wonder why that is. Perhaps it was the rise of feminism in the 60’s that started it off. No longer did some women want doors opened for them or seats given up for them.  What were they thinking of? I didn’t agree with it then and I don’t now.  Perhaps I am old fashioned.  I am feminist enough to want equal pay for doing the same job as a man, but feminine enough that I would love for a man to open a door for me, especially when I am loaded down with shopping and/or grandchildren.

When my hair started going grey, I dyed it. I don’t like the half and half look. However because I am blessed with a youthful looking skin, I am taken for younger than I am, usually.  So this year, after I turned 60 I thought I would let my hair go grey and see what happened.  Would I command more respect with grey hair? If not, what is the next stage? Perhaps buy a black stick with a silver top and wield that around in shops etc. I rather like the Dowager Duchess in the popular drama ‘Downton Abbey’. That’s my next look I think.

My hair is now natural looking, grey at the front and dark brown at the back. I’m still debating whether to leave it like that or sneak a bit of colour in. After all, grey is an invisible colour isn’t it!

So back to the invisibility. Do you suffer from that if you have reached that certain age? Does it bother you? Why do you think it happens?  Are we, as older people, getting in the way? If you are a younger person, do you make allowances for older people? or do you ignore them? treat them the same as everyone else? be extra caring.

What I hadn’t realised when I was young is that it hurts to be old. The bones hurt, the muscles hurt, everything hurts. It’s like you wake up in the morning and you think to yourself  ‘what’s going to hurt today”? It would be really nice to have one day totally without pain. I wish I’d known that when I was young. I would have been a lot kinder to my parents and other people who were aging.

I found this post, which is on the same subject and is very interesting (to those of us afflicted).

Fibre – Gorgeous Autumn colours to spin with.


I bought this beautiful Autumnal fibre last week at a local wool shop. Isn’t it just gorgeous? It’s Targhee fibre and feels quite fibrous to spin with especially compared with the Merino fibre I’ve been spinning recently.  It is not difficult to spin with though, it just feels different.

I think it’s going to make a lovely yarn for this time of the year.

Here’s a closer look. So many colours combining to remind us of fallen leaves and shedding trees.

That’s not all I’ve got to remind me the season is changing. Check out this wonderful pumpkin that leaped into my shopping cart last Wednesday.

Have a great week everybody.

Oma

Can I take my cat abroad with me? – Millie looks forward to her adventure!


This is my American cat Millie.  Soon she will be travelling back to England with me to begin a new life in a colder climate. Hope she likes it!

Back at the beginning of the year I happened to notice that quarantine isn’t necessary any more for some countries. In the U.K. we have no rabies. It has been so for many years and we are not keen to have it either, thank you very much! However nowadays pets can have passports and injections for rabies and other nasties so we have decided to move Millie to England complete with her very own passport, chip in her neck and all the necessary jabs. It will mean an inconvenience for her for 24 hours but if we permanently locate to the U.K. eventually, the Millie has to come to. I couldn’t bear to leave her behind. Even if we don’t move entirely, at least Larry will be able to come and stay without worrying about Millie stateside.

Quarantine would have meant six months in a cage with me visiting her as and when I could. It is a long way to Heathrow from where I live and it would be expensive and inconvenient not even counting the cost of boarding a cat in quarantine kennels. It has always been a no no. Millie wouldn’t like it and nor would we, but this way, one day of inconvenience and it’s over.

Millie started her life with someone else. When we first saw her she was about one year old.  She was sitting in a cage in Petsmart and we chose her specially. When we brought her home she zoomed about all over the apartment, obviously glad to have so much space. She is an outdoor cat, preferring to run free up the banks next to the apartment block, in and out of the hedges and trees.

She has her very own cat-door, which Larry made for her and her own special basket, see above.

She is a very special lady, six years old now and in her prime.

When she gets to England she will meet my other cat Patch, who is an old lady of 12 years.

and the Ghost, who belongs to someone else, but lives mostly with me, inside if he can sneak in or outside mostly:

It will not be easy…. there will be tense moments…. but fingers crossed we will all be happy family one day!

Tennessee – University of Tennessee Gardens – Knoxville – September 2012


My regular readers will know that Oma has been uprooted and transplanted into Tennessee for the next few weeks. Incredibly, I have been here for one week already! The other day we went for a very pleasant walk around the University of Tennessee pleasure gardens, which is where I took these photos. Now I need your help because I don’t know what a lot of these tropical plants are called. Please could you tell me if you know?

The first picture, above, shows some very pretty plants, which look like a kind of aloe vera.  Am I right?

The red plant in the next picture reminds me of a coleus.  Am I right or is it something completely different?

I know that the next very pretty pink plant is a Sedum. Anyone know which variety of Sedum. Sedum is known also as an Ice Plant and it is very popular with butterflies and bees.

No prizes for the next pic., which shows some gorgeous water lillies doing their thing in a man-made pond. Just lovely.

How about these yellow beauties?  Anyone know what they are?

Now the cactus. What sort of cactus is it and is the fruit edible?  I’ve seen fruit on this before when I’ve been over but I have no idea if it is edible or what to do with it if it is.

The last picture today shows me admiring a sunflower.  It is full of seeds and the birds were enjoying them.

I have more pictures, but that will do for today.

The last time I went to the University Pleasure Gardens was back in February when almost everything was dormant.  What a difference I saw this week. Lots of colour and vibrant growth and the butterflies were gorgeous.

I hope you’re enjoying your day.

Rose


Some say love it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed

Some say love it is a hunger
An endless, aching need
I say love it is a flower
And you its only seed


Its the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
Its the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance


Its the one who wont be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live


When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong


Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring, becomes the rose

Bette Midler’s song

Oma’s Tennessee garden


I’ve completed my journey and arrived back in Tennessee, looking forward to another game of Scrabble with Larry.  A while ago he made this Scrabble board because we both got fed up with the restrictions of the usual one.  I like this one much better and the game lasts all through the evening, which is a pleasant way to spend time. Larry is my husband.

It was also nice to see my familiar things like this old table, which belonged to my Oma.  The table lived in Holland for much of its life, then travelled to England with my mum and finally has its resting place in Tennessee.

I say finally, but then you never know do you.

The lovely knitting needle case on the table is very appropriate for where I am in my life at the moment, i.e. a little old lady with grey hair who spends her time knitting and spinning…

I have lots of dried roses as pot pourri.  They always smell so wonderful.

Now I’m going to show you some pictures from the Tennessee garden, through the year so far.

When I arrived I had a very sore back and I’m still suffering with it. However, maybe after a few day’s rest, I will feel better and be more mobile.

I did manage to walk round Joanne’s today though (wink). I love that place.  It’s full of gorgeous materials and yarns and scrap-booking stuff etc.  All the things that make me a happy me.

The lychnis is pretty in the next picture.

So for the next few weeks I will be blogging from Tennessee. I hope you’ll follow along with me as I live my American life?

Dylan likes his boats.


My little grandson Dylan likes coming to Oma’s house. I have lots of toys for him to play with, most of which I kept from when my own sons were little boys.

He loves the circus train. Here he is playing with the ringmaster, who has a black moustache and a top hat. Dylan likes putting the little people into the suitcase.

Then I noticed that the pattern on my footstool looked like the waves of the sea, so we had lots of fun with his three little boats, making them bob up and down on the waves.

Then I told him that Oma is going on an adventure on a big aeroplane. I suggested that he looked in the sky on Tuesday. If he sees a big aeroplane flying by at about 3 pm, he might see me in the window, waving at him.

I also told him to watch the postman when he comes up the street. He might have a letter from me to him. I showed him what a letter looked like (I had one handy to send to my friend) and that when it came it would have his name on it: MASTER DYLAN S….

I’m going to miss that little boy for a few weeks…