Tag Archives: aging humor

Gold Finger Salute Awards!

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GOLDFINGER-LOGO-web

Hey, I don’t mean to be a brute,
With my new BOOMERRANTZ salute,
But Nominees had best beware,
Now read my blog-post if you dare…

Enough already! I can’t turn on the television these days, without bearing witness to yet another ubiquitous award celebration for the rich and famous. Night after night during the months of January and February, we’re seduced by the ornamental glitz of shameless egoism, showered on the synthetic world of the stage and screen elite.

Get real people! I think it’s time for ‘we the people’ to hand out some awards of our own. When we use our collective powers to select individuals for awards, perhaps more of us could maximize the potential of these impressive rituals of public display for a higher and greater good.

That’s it! Let’s use our people’s choice license to charter a new category of awards that would express opinions and experiences from our not-so-glitzy everyday real life; experiences that are not always pleasant and sometimes deserving of a Gold Finger Salute!

Fertile ground: These new awards could be used to acknowledge the weight of unwanted residue often left in our lives by people in our community, our government, professionals in any field – and yes, even the entertainment industry. Anything that puts rantz in our pantz is fair game.

Let’s get the ball rolling: Here are a few categories that I hope will generate some passionate nominations from the silent reservoir of thoughts and experiences, that pick-pick-pick away at us…everyday.

Categories open for my “Gold Finger Salute” Award nominations:

1. M.V.P Award– Best performance by a Medical Doctor who finds the ‘Most Vulnerable Patient’ and prescribes the largest number of pills in the shortest appointment time, without the distraction of actually listening to the patient or making eye contact.

2. GRUBBY FINGERS Award – The Corporate CEO with the dirtiest hands and the coldest heart who cooks the hottest books in the corporate kitchen, while leaving his hungry investors boiling with a bad taste in their bank accounts.

3. WINNING WARLOCK Award – The surviving Celebrity who melts down in millions of living rooms, while drinking tiger blood and proclaiming himself to be a wild thing – stronger than two and a half men.

4. GOTCHA Award– The most elusive and convincing General Contractor honed in the artful techniques of creeping scope, making the most money over contractual budget on any one renovation.

5. TRIPLE M Award– The Lawyer or Law Firm who can demonstrate the ‘Most Money Milked’ from any one client on any legal action, for the longest period of time, without ever actually bringing the case to a close.

6. JUMPING JELLYFISH Award – The cruise Ship Captain who manages to cause a shipwreck, jump into the first lifeboat to shore and abandon his 4,234 passengers. All the while singing his favourite rap song, “Imma Be Imma Be…a Rat From a Sinking Ship.”

7. MATING RITUAL Award– The Corporate Banker who can exhibit the deepest levels of profit-envy, during a courting dance with an equally greedy partner. The best dance and musical combos for this category include; the Quickstep for “Size Does Matter,” the Hustle for “Bank-Bail-Out Boogie” and the Cha Cha Cha for “Sub-Prime Fiasco”.

8. GRINCH’S CHOICE Award – A multiple award to all School Administrators who cancel Christmas concerts due to misguided apprehensions, and replace said performances with bland non-Christian events where nobody gives a damn.

9. BOTTOM FEEDER Award– The Television Reality Show with the most voracious appetite, exploiting the highest number of living organisms from the lowest point on the food chain for public display and humiliation.

10. GREAT PRIMA DONALD Award – The Celebrity Businessman who manages to Trump all his opponents, by building the highest number of skyscrapers, while exhibiting the lowest degree of humility – and simultaneously sporting the worst comb-over in America.

11. SOFT SHOE SHUFFLE Award – The Elected Official with the biggest smile who makes the most provocative empty promises for the longest period of time, while side-stepping controversy and dancing non-stop to that popular politician’s ditty called, ‘The Power, Perks and Pensions Polka.’

12. BARKENPOOP Award – A multiple award to all deserving Pet Owners who miraculously believe that a cacophony of barking canines is music to a neighbor’s ears, and that the muck left behind by their dogs and cats running amok on other people’s properties is a welcome bit of fertilizer.

13. NINCOMPOOP Award – Any trusting Traveller in a male or female role, who – while of sound mind – chooses a Mexican vacation destination and naively expects to return alive – or minimally – with their bowels intact.

14. A-Hole ROFO Award – The mayor of any major city who smokes the most crack and tells the most lies, while in and out of any number of drunken stupors, and drags his long suffering wife in front of the nation’s television sets, to witness his declaration of eating preferences.

15. A-Hole DOFO Award – To the loudest-mouthed male sibling of any mayor of a major city, who supports his crack-smoking idiot of a brother.

Final word: While this list is just a drop in that big bucket of tarnished gold fingers, our collective salute to deserving nominees in these selected categories could put a whole new polish on the all-powerful-award-granting rituals. I’m sure you will all have many very personal choices to add to this not-so-distinguished collection. Good luck with your nominations and may the biggest losers win!

Although my carpet isn’t red,
And my awards are in my head,
To Nominees I say, “Salute!”
But now I really have to scoot…

Pat Skene
See you between the lines…

One Day Indeed!

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woman on swing

 “The nice thing about getting old, is you might become young again.”

                     Edwin Honig, American Poet and Playwright.

My rant du jour: Today is National Senior’s Day in Canada. It’s a nice gesture in a world where seniors are mightily ignored and largely    invisible to the masters of the universe. But there is a change brewing, as boomers come of age and take charge to voice their opinions.  This is a good thing.  So why do we need a “Senior’s Day” to be recognized as a valid part of society?

More please! I guess a few token hours out of one token day, is a nice polite gesture to celebrate our aging population and the contributions this generation has made to the country we live in. Do we really need a flag raising at City Hall to remember that seniors are an intricate part of the web of  everyday life? Could this day to focus on seniors be nothing more than a hypocritical salute to “old people” because of a lack of respect and understanding in all levels of society?  Why should we have one stinking day?  We don’t want “one day.” We want every day!

Senior immersion: Like it or not people, the world is flooded with seniors. I myself am surrounded by seniors because I am one of the gang.  Some of these cranky codgers and codgerettes walk the face of the earth in a constant state of angry birds.  Many more seniors tread softly with a quiet wisdom…like they’ve cracked the code of the Mona Lisa smile. I love this group. And I am honoured to listen to the stories seniors have to tell…the teachers, the lawyers, the nurses, the business leaders, the everyday people of yesterday, today and tomorrow…with all their successes and tragedies.

I digress: When I was a toddler, I was apparently fascinated by old men. I would crawl up on the knee of any old geezer I could find, much to my poor mother’s horror! I am happy to say, I no longer hold that fascination. But I still do like some old men, especially the old fashioned kind…like the gentleman who tips his hat, holds the door open for me, respects my opinion and treats me like a have a functioning brain.  Hubsey is an old man too, and I like him a lot because he never grew up. And I love to crawl up on his lap!

What’s old is new: So here I am, in the dawn of my twilight years, surrounded by a gaggle of gently used human beings. I live in a condo full of seniors, I sit next to them at the doctor’s office, my friends are getting more wrinkled everyday and my dentist is an old man.  Even my two younger sisters are getting long in the tooth. We used to giggle and talk about boys, fashion, careers, bringing up kids and planning vacations. Now we talk about old men, sciatica, knee replacements, grandkids and constipation. But we still manage a good giggle fest from time to time.

About old men: Have you ever noticed how the older generation of men in our lives clear their throats, like they’re constantly trying to get your attention? Or how they grunt when getting out of a chair to let you know they’re on the move, so you can get out of their way? Old men don’t talk a lot. But when they do, it’s mostly to tell you how it used to be, or complain about the government. And as any long-standing married woman, who’s had the same husband for a while will tell you, they’re very well trained and worth hanging on to.  Trading a used model in for a new one is out of the question for most old broads. Remember, your old man may come with some saggage, but a new old man comes with big baggage!

About old women: Here’s something about we older women…we worry about wrinkles and waistlines, instead of celebrating our cellulite and the wisdom of our years.  We worry about that whisker that popped out on our chin overnight, instead of taking comfort in the freedom that comes with getting older. We worry about our white hair and thinning locks, instead of enjoying that second cup of tea in the morning…happy that we no longer have to strap ourselves into a pair of pantyhose to go to work.  And we wear far too much beige and black…never enough electric blue and emerald green!

Warning: As everyone knows, when seniors are around, you must get rid of area mats because we’ll trip on them. Get rid of shoes at the door because we’ll trip on them. Get rid of toys on the floor because we’ll trip on them. Do we seniors never think to look down? Someone should invent a senior-sensor-sonar device to clip on our shoes, which would automatically make loud beeping noises like a truck backing up…and zap the floor of any debris as we pass. Is that brilliant or what?

Final word: Anyway, that’s all I have to say on the subject for today. Seniors are alive and well and we don’t need a special one day flag raising ceremony at City Hall to mark our existence.  We need every day to do that –  and it’s up to each one of us to shout it out and make every day count!

Pat Skene…see you between the lines.

senior_xing

50 Shades of MAC

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I’m in love with my MAC!

As you learned in my Apple A Day post, I succumbed to the geeky side and became an apple junky.

Now I don’t mean to get all Mac & cheesy on you – but after 3 weeks of pure bliss, I’m happy to report that right here in my rusty years, I have finally found the perfect relationship. apple_heart

Who is he? As you can guess, my new guy’s name is Mac. He’s handsome and sleek in his shiny silver suit – and I love his blue tooth. He lights up when I turn him on, and he loves it when I play with him in the dark. We make such beautiful music together. Hubsey doesn’t care much for him, but he likes to watch.

What else does he do? Mac loves to tickle my fancy and teach me new things…like 50 ways to use my magic mouse. He responds to even the slightest touch of my fingers on his sleek young body. At times he can be frustrating as hell for an old broad like me to deal with, but then he rewards me with a eureka moment of pure technological ecstasy.

He’s considerate and always asks for my preferences, although he’s  usually one step ahead of me and seems to know exactly what I want. He never complains unless he’s feeling low and needs some time to recharge his batteries. And he doesn’t much care that the kitchen has never been my best room.

There’s still a lot I don’t know about him, but that adds just enough mystery to keep our relationship apple-fresh. I’ve come to depend on him, and when he’s down, I feel lost. But when he’s charged up, he fills me with energy and spunk!

Trouble spots: He responds to most of my commands but like most men, he has a jerk gene that surfaces now and then, so I give him a good reboot to refresh his attitude. And at times, his head is somewhere in the i-clouds when I need him most – but he likes to dream and that’s okay with me.

He never asks for much and is comfortable in any setting. What a perfectly symbiotic relationship. He doesn’t bring me traditional flowers or buy me jewellery, but he sends me anything my heart desires  – in beautiful retina display! What a guy!

My MAC – he’s a Pro in my Book.                                  heart8

(P.S…My MAC is not to be confused with my friend Beth’s husband Mac. Although I’m sure he’s lovely too.)

Pat Skene

See you between the lines.

Once Upon a Word

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Double trouble: I’m sorry to subject you to the subject of the english language when you’re probably having a nice soft day. But sometimes I think the word-inventors were verbally insane or just plain lazy. Why else would we have so many words with the same spelling and totally different meanings? Was the project team simply lacking in brain cells or imagination?  Or did they become bored halfway through the job? Perhaps it was an early attempt at recycling to save endangered letters?

To better explain what I’m on about, there is no time like the present to present you with my story-present. Happy reading!

Book with stars

The Sewer in the Sewer

Once upon a time, there was a Polish seamstress who liked to polish her husband’s boots. She was a lovely little woman who would shed a tear every time she saw a tear in her man’s work clothes, hanging in the shed. Wasting no time, she would always repair to her sewing room to repair the damage. The little sewer also liked to grow vegetables and could produce lots of produce for her family. But she drew the line at taking out the refuse and would refuse to carry out the garbage. And try as she might, she could never teach the sow to sow. But that’s a story for another day.

Now despite her protests, every garbage day her husband would take her by the hand and lead her to the garbage, then tell her to get the lead out as he went off to work.  And by the way, he also resented the fact that she didn’t know how to row a boat and she wouldn’t let him teach her. But again I digress, as that that has nothing to do with my story.

Anyway, one day as she was hauling the bags to the curb, a dove suddenly dove into her hair. She screamed and ran into the street, and the poor little sewer fell into the open sewer. She tried to pull herself out using her scarf, but the wind was too strong in the tunnel and she couldn’t hold the scarf steady enough to wind it around the pipes.  Then suddenly in the street above her, she heard an invalid arguing with a policeman about an invalid parking spot. She screamed for help and thankfully, they were close enough to rescue her and close the sewer cap.

While all this was happening, her husband was doing some construction work  at the Hot Sands Resort when his cell phone rang. Upon hearing his wife’s distress, he instantly made the decision to desert his job in the desert and rush to his little sewer’s side. He was upset to see that she had hurt her arm in the fall, so he lovingly wound a bandage around the wound.

From that day on, never again did he object to her objections about taking out the garbage, as this had become the object of her near demise. And he would intimate to his closest friends how intimate they had become after this incident.  Oh yes – and never again did they row about him teaching her how to row a boat either.

And so they lived happily ever after.  Cute Star

The End

Pat Skene

See you between the lines.

An Apple a Day…

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New Arrival: I’ve changed my clothes 3 times before sitting down to write this post. Everything had to be perfect – hell, I even cleaned up my workspace for the occasion. It’s not everyday you get the Lamborghini of computers to keep you company through the long lonely hours of a bloggers life. I had to make a good first impression for my shiny new MACBook Pro 15″ with retina display and mission control dashboard. Oh baby – come to mama!  Image

You didn’t! Oh yes I did! I made the gargantuan leap from PC land to Mac island and I’m overwhelmed by alien widgets, icons and dazzling special effects. But despite the blank page in my brain and the piercing pain in my cyber-gut, I already know this will be a forever relationship. Like any good marriage, it’s just going to need a ton of work.

Salute! So with a saddened heart, I put my old Dell PC to rest yesterday after 10 years of loyal service. She was a good old gal, hardworking and carefree; except in her final days when the constant chugging uphill to make the grade, broke the tired old broad down. I’m sure she felt like poor Sisyphus, pushing all that computer guck uphill everyday, only to watch it crash back down again.  Then recently, through her coughing and wheezing, she asked me if she could retire and stop the madness. I reluctantly agreed. She will be missed.

New tricks: I know this PC/Mac change is a huge step for me at this age. But the way I look at it – why should all the new toys and gadgets be only for the young? What about the young at heart? Yes, my learning curve will be curvier than most, but I’m up for the challenge. As you know from reading i-Crazy and i-Lied, I’m nuts about i-stuff. And now with the syncing opportunities and creative possibilities,  how can I not fall even deeper in i-love? It’s a marriage made in the Mac store!

If truth be told: Of course it helped to have my brilliant niece come with me to translate what the fast-talking pimply-faced salesman was blah-blah-blah-ing about.  When the youth of today talk to me, I try my best to turn up the speed on my ear-intake control valve, but it’s all gobbledygook most of the time. And as everyone  knows, except those under the age of 25, higher vocal speeds cause glazing of the eyeballs, especially in the elderly.

Life Support: After arriving home with an empty wallet, my niece then helped me with the hook-ups and initial transition to Mac-dom. I couldn’t get her to move in with me, but she did promise  24/7 support for the next 10 years if Hubsey feeds her one of his delicious concoctions on every visit. What a deal!

Signing off: Well, that’s it from me today. In just 24 hours, I’ve gotten this far, so that’s a good sign. As we age, we tend to think we gather knowledge and maybe even know-it-all from time to time. But change is a good exercise in humility and patience. May the force be with me!

See you between the lines!

Pat Skene

In My Dreams!

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old-people-friendly-happy-coupleYikes!  Have you noticed as we age, we start looking more like our husbands? We wear our pants higher, our underpants looser, our hair shorter, our shoes flatter and we even have the odd whisker popping out in the darndest places. And don’t get me started on the old-man grunts I make when I get out of a chair!

It’s a crap shoot:  What is it about getting older that makes us want to get special deals and free stuff? Is it because we’re on a fixed income, or maybe because we’ve lived long enough to earn a better price? Or do we just get cheaper as we age; afraid we’ll outlive our money in the reality game of aging roulette?

Cheap cheep: And you gotta luv how so many aging boomers eagerly morph into early-bird cottonheads. Not only do they get the wiggly worm, they get 2 for 1 dinners, 1/2 price drinks and doggie bags filled with mushy leftovers.

Like crows on a wire: Years ago, before I was a woman of a certain age, I used to visit my aging aunt Bernice in Florida. She never cooked and ate out all the time. I was horrified at how we would always arrive early and line-up  for dinner at 4:00pm. It was usually a buffet so the old codgers and codgerettes could get their money’s worth.

Free take-out: I remember once, aunt Bernice had forgotten to take a Ziploc bag into the restaurant. But that didn’t stop her. She simply fished a plastic rain-hat out of her purse – you remember the kind that folded up like a cheap fan? Then she asked me to load it up with chicken thighs from the buffet on our way out. Kill me now!

Words to live by: My aunt has sadly passed on and here I am, the same age she was at the time mentioned above. But I don’t feel old, I don’t own a plastic rain-hat and I don’t steal food from a buffet…as yet. And, as  Hubsey always says, “I don’t line up for food or sex.”

Stuck in time: In my dreams, I’m always 32. I know this because people ask me my age (in my dreams). I’m never any older and never any younger; always 32 years old! Slim waist, long blonde hair, killer stilettos, and not an aching bone in my body.

Reality bites: But then I wake-up and see that strange old woman in the mirror, and I ask her, “Who the  hell are you?”

stock-photo-5993527-broken-mirror

Pat Skene
See you between the lines!

A Tip of the Brim

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What’s up? A very exciting thing happened to me this morning when I went on my walk.  Well, this is as exciting as things get in my world. To you, this may be a dull and boring start to your day, but try to be kind and share my joy.

Tip of the day: As I walked along the waterfront in my early morning brain fog, noodling about the things that go on in my head at that time of day, a gentleman of a certain age did something, no man has done to me for a very long time. (Get a grip!) He tipped his hat to me as he walked by. In return, I gave him the biggest smile I could muster.  What a beautiful vintage greeting for a Victoria Day weekend.     

Let’s be clear: This lost art of  “hat tipping” is not to be confused with hair tipping, waiter tipping, tipping the scales, the tip of an object, giving someone a hot tip, the tipping point, tipping one’s hand, the tip of a pitched baseball, things on the tip of your tongue, bringing rubbish to the tip, or the tipping of an unsuspecting cow. I’m talking about the tipping of a hat.

It’s in the bones: This cultural expression of respect and greeting, says so much in a simple tip of the brim. It doesn’t have to be a fancy hat with pomp and plumage. It can be a simple Blue Jays baseball cap. It’s the manner in which it’s being tipped that counts. And I promise you, there will always be a real old-fashioned gentleman underneath it. 

Without words: The message that this small gesture conveyed to me, was – nice to see you, it’s a beautiful morning, enjoy your walk, I respect you, I hope you have a good day, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met…okay, maybe I made up that last part, but you get my drift.

Back then: In the late 19th/early 20th century, this gesture was used as a non-verbal greeting, mostly done by males. It was rare for females to partake in the custom. It was also a ritual used to emphasize status and social distance. For example, a subordinate would remove his hat, while a superior merely touched it.

Right now: Today, we’ve taken things to a whole new level. We may not find many hat tippers out there, like I did this morning. But the blogosphere has developed a modern day hat tip by using the letters HT or h/t, to thank someone, or acknowledge a contribution to something new or interesting. It’s a nice thing to do and considered good netiquette.

Well, that’s it from me to you for today. H/T to you all and happy Victoria Day.

Pat Skene

Great Leaping Refuse…As the Condo Turns

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Why another post? After my exit from this series yesterday, Britt Girl sent me a comment to say that one of her favourite things about condo living, was the garbage chute. Great leaping refuse!  How could I have forgotten to mention, nay praise, the almighty garbage chute! So I’m back to pay homage.

Picture this: The big-ass house I had before becoming a condoarian, was in the country. So the property was large with a long driveway out to the road. On garbage day, especially in the winter, I would don my parka over my PJ’s and go out to the garage.  There, with freezing fingers, I would tag each bag ( we paid for pick-up) and load one at a time on to a hand cart. Then I would wheel the damn thing up the driveway, tipping the bags off the trolley several times through the bumpy ride.

Beware of dogs: At the same time, I was armed with a stick and my trusty ultrasonic dog repeller to defend myself from the 12 neighbourhood dogs that roamed the area, despite their electronic fences. My nutty neighbour next door had 5 of them and those barking pooches watched my every move. She also had 13 cats and built an addition on her house for them, but that’s a story for another day. Okay, are you with me so far?

Job well done: After several trips up and down said driveway, while looking over my shoulder for canine attacks, I would leave all the bags neatly lined up at the edge of the roadway for the town garbage and recycle trucks to pick up.

Garbage police:  Then as was often the case, as I sat working in my den – the trucks would arrive. If a bag was too large, or too heavy, or the dogs and crows had ripped it open, they simply left the bag beside the road and drove away. And when the recycle truck came along, the workers would peer through my clear plastic bags, and if they saw something they didn’t like inside , they would also reject the bag – and leave a big yellow note attached to it.

Crazy old lady: Now I consider myself to be a sane, albeit feisty sort of gal. But the actions by these garbage police drove me into a frenetic state of irrational rage. I would storm out the door and chase the truck down the street waving my recycle pamphlet , as they left me in their exhaust fumes.

Ultimate insult! Now do you have any idea how it feels to have your garbage rejected? Your garbage! And for the whole neighbourhood to see! People would smirk and look at our house, as they pointed at our bags and drove by. My poor dejected refuse, slumped in disgrace with their yellow rejection slips flashing like neon lights.

Encore performance: And the worst part was having to schlep all those bags back down the driveway and into the garage, only to get more stinky until the next pick-up day – when I would have even more bags to schlep back up the driveway!

Have a cigarette: So you can understand my orgasmic state of mind, when I simply throw my garbage into a chute and walk away. It’s euphoric, blissful and sublime – I tell you. No fuss, no muss, no kidding!

Until next time – these are the days of our lives.

Enjoy the Good Life – As the Condo Turns

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In the final episode of this mini-series, I just have a few more things to say.

Buying a box in the sky and paying condo fees is something Hubsey and I said we would never do. And yet, here we are with no regrets, albeit on the ground floor.

Paying condo fees is not an appealing prospect for most people. But if the fees are commensurate with the location, number of on-site amenities and quality of the building – in my view, it’s worth digging deep every month to pay for it.

Tip of the day – Enjoy the good life!

Okay, I’ve talked about a lot of things over the past 9 days, including condo envy, codger-dodgers, good and bad condo boards, and crotchety old farts who roam the halls enforcing the rules. 

And if I’ve learned anything here, it’s that living in a condo community means you have to compromise, and you can’t always do things your own way. But like anything in life, you learn to put up with the bad, as long as the good takes up a bigger space.

So I’d like to sign-off this series on a positive note. Because despite my numerous failed attempts at storming the castle to change some things – I do enjoy condo living!

Top 10 things I love:

1. Swimming during a snowstorm.
2. Stepping outside for a walk along the waterfront.
3. Feeling safe and protected.
4. Enjoying the gardens from my ground floor patio.
5. Taking yoga classes right downstairs.
6. Mailing letters from the lobby.
7. Making friends with like-minded people.
8. Leaving on vacation with no worries.
9. Living in a smaller space where everything has its place.
10. Being 10 minutes away from my daughter and granddaughter.

And that’s it from me to you, in this (not so final) final episode of…As the Condo Turns.  Thanks for reading.

Until next time – these are the days of our lives.

Save Those Vintage Clothes – As the Condo Turns

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Hey condo-folks! This is my penultimate post on the subject…well, for now anyway.  After 9 days of this, I’m getting condo-brained-out and I’m sure you’re well into condo-overload by now. Tomorrow will be my last post in this series of 10 episodes about condo living. But in the meantime, here’s today’s topic.

Tip of the day – Save those vintage clothes

One of the hardest things about downsizing and moving to a condo is getting rid of some favourite closet items. This includes the sophisticated Jackie Kennedy ensemble you bought in the 60’s, your favourite Moroccan-style kaftan for entertaining at home in the 70’s, and the power suit, complete with linebacker shoulder pads you wore so proudly in the 80’s. Well, I can tell you that you don’t have to throw out a thing!

Going to a social event in a condo building can be like attending a period fashion show. While many zoomers keep up with current fashions, some of the older residents hang on to their vintage haute couture with the iron grip of an aging actress looking for one final screen test. And if you’re lucky enough to attend a formal gathering with sequined ball gowns and tuxedos, you’ll be catapulted back into a movie set of bygone days. It’s like viewing a ballroom scene on the Titanic! And good for them. It’s a beautiful sight!

So don’t throw away a thing! Keep all your lovelies and don them with pride. You’ll be wearing your memories and be right at home. 

Until tomorrow…these are the days of our lives.

Relax and Make Friends – As the Condo Turns…

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I’ve heard many aging boomers say they could never live in a condo with a bunch of old people. Well, most of us still have a lot of juice left in the blender, so don’t knock it ’til you try it. There’s comfort in living among others who have been there, done that. And you don’t have to suck in your gut or worry about any low-hanging bit and bobs when you go to the pool.

Tip of the day –   Relax and make friends

Living in a tall building of condo units is like living in a beehive. Most days, we all buzz around like contented little condo-bees. Oh sure, there may be some with more active stingers than others, and a few may have more venom in their ego-sacs. But deep down, we all want the same thing – a safe and happy community.

My granddaughter has a difficult time thinking of me in any way, other than the grandmother she has always known. It’s a difficult concept for her to picture me in my younger days and imagine me as a mother with a career, just like her mother.

In the same way, everyone in a condo building has history and experiences hidden away in their baggage. We have all “bee-n” (pardon the pun) somebody else before becoming who we are today. Just imagine the wealth of knowledge and adventures stacked up in all those units, one on top of the other – like a bee colony!

In my experience, people living in a condo environment are friendly and generous in sharing their backgrounds. It’s easy to meet new people and so interesting to hear the incredible stories of the lives they’ve  lived. And it’s not all past tense, by any means. More and more zoomers continue to work and travel, with no plans to stop.

Living in a detached home can sometimes feel isolated, as we grow older. We may no longer go out to work, and our social calendar may not be as busy due to health or circumstance. But in a condo – you’re never lonely.  

Regardless of the weather, just step outside your door to get the mail, go for a swim, or a run on the treadmill. There is always someone to talk to and chances are, you’ll find common ground to talk about.

If you’re like me, you’ll thank your lucky condo-stars that you made the decision to downsize that big-ass house, and BEE happy in a wonderful community of like-minded people.

Until tomorrow – these are the days of our lives.

Stand up to the Bullies – As the Condo Turns…

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As with any neighbourhood, condo buildings will always have their share of  crotchety old farts, who consider themselves the keeper of the rules. A friend of mine from Chicago tells me how someone shouted at her from his balcony at 10:00pm one evening, as she temporarily parked her car in the outdoor visitor lot. He told her she should park in the underground garage. And in the shared laundry room of her building, certain self-appointed snoops patrol the place like they’re on a reconnaissance mission to recover stolen support hose and granny panties. She gets up at 4:00am to do her laundry and avoid them.

This brings me to today’s topic.

Tip of the day – Stand up to the bullies

In my nearly three years here, I have encountered our resident enforcers on several occasions. They’re easy to recognize by their distinctive hatchet faces and beady eyes. I’ve been told with finger wagging precision by the hydro police to remember to turn off the lights in the pool and lounge areas when I leave. Another time, I offered to do a free author reading for the grandchildren of the condo development here, and the signs were ripped down from the bulletin boards because they weren’t approved by the sign police.      

Now I realize without rules we have anarchy. But without reason, we have stupidity. On a good day, I tell myself that these self-imposed guardians of the sacred rules are misguided souls who need to get a life.  On a bad day, I just want to tell them to go to hell.

As owners, we own our unit and everything in it. Common areas are shared spaces, not exclusive to a few obnoxious bullies. But like any bully, if we ignore them long enough, they’ll eventually go away. And if they don’t – release the hounds!

Until tomorrow…these are the days of our lives.

Become a Codger-Dodger – As the Condo Turns…

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Okay, ladies – this one’s for your eyes only. You heard it here first!

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I have it on good authority that, as seniors find themselves alone in their golden years, men are far more likely to be looking for new partners. Woman, on the other hand, seem to settle into their new-found single lives rather nicely. Oh sure, there are lots of lovely December romance stories about love and companionship, but I’m talking about the women out there who have no intention of taking on, and training, yet another man in their lives, let alone an old one.

Tip of the day – Become a codger-dodger

For all you single woman of a certain age who have earned your stripes, and want to continue enjoying your man-free lifestyle, becoming a codger-dodger is an important skill to master. Men are creatures of  habit as they age, so it’s easy to determine their routines. This makes the delicate art of dodging the codgers an easy manoeuvre to learn. 

In my building, there is a gaggle of old guys who share a swim and a hot tub at the same time everyday. Imagine my horror the first time I found myself soaking in a tub with the bunch of them! Another afternoon at the pool, I met an aging Romeo, I have dubbed “The Red Baron.” He was  wearing a tiny red  Speedo swimsuit. (Picture this at your peril.) He stood on the side of the pool flexing something or other – I think it was the wrinkles on his biceps.  Anyway, a few days later, he made googly eyes at me in the hot tub. I don’t go swimming at that time of day any longer either.

So this is how I learned to become a codger-dodger – and I’m married. That just shows you how desperate they can become!  So take a notebook everywhere you go and study their habits closely. Work your routines so they don’t overlap into codger-crossing zones and you can become a codger-dodger too. Just pay attention and have your wits about you at all times. They may be charming and seem harmless at first sight, but deep down, they’re all looking for someone to fry their bacon and wash their underwear. Good luck with all that!

Until tomorrow…these are the days of our lives.

Look Outside the Box – As the Condo Turns…

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When you consider your choices  of  high-rise, low-rise, or no-rise, remember – what’s outside can be just as important as what’s inside.  

Tip of the day – Look Outside the Condo Box
As we plunge headlong into our dreaded golden years, it’s important to keep active. Blah, blah, blah you might say. Well, hear me out you old codgers and codgeresses in waiting. I kid you not! We all need to get out into the fresh gentle breezes on a regular basis, to keep the dust from settling into our wrinkles. 

So saying that, make it easy for yourself and choose a condo unit with walking options. Being in the middle of nowhere, or in an isolated suburban area will not entice you to go for that daily airing. But if you have a variety of shops, or access to a waterfront trail or parkland nearby, you will be encouraged to get out often.  

Having a destination like a drug store or grocery store is a good motivator to  abandon that recliner – as are coffee shops and restaurants. If possible, avoid choosing a place where you have to drive to everything. It isn’t good for your heart, your health or your hips! 

Until tomorrow…these are the days of our lives.

Beware of Condo Envy – As The Condo Turns…

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I’m back! I’ve been busy doing all sorts of exciting work – full explanation will come with a big announcement in June! In the meantime – here’s the dealio.  

Condo patter: Further to my previous posts on condo living, I thought it was time to step it up a notch – especially for those of you considering  the spring market leap into condo-land.

Tune in daily: There may be many of you out there having sleepless nights, thinking about making the life-changing, mind-numbing, downsizing move to your first condo as a more mature citizen. Well, listen up! I have a lot to tell you about life in the condo lane – and I’ll do it all in the next 10 days. Compare it to a daily soap opera of sorts…a mini-series if you will.  Except the cast of characters won’t be naked (thankfully) or wearing the latest New York fashions (sadly), but there could be a few naughty bits of scandal along the way, (can you keep a secret?)

Here’s the scoop! While I’m still a newbie condoarian, I do have highly prejudiced experiences and unabashed opinionated observations to share with you, based on my life over the past nearly 3 years. And in no particular order, I’ll tell you about the good, the bad, the not-so-young, and the restless. So stay tuned.

Tip of the day: Beware of Condo Envy
All condos are not created equal. There are usually a variety of floor plans available in every condo building. And while you may choose one suitable for your needs, make sure you can stand the test of condo envy. There will always be another condo on a higher floor, a better view, more square footage etc., and you will be compared to those units.

In my experience, the first thing condo owners ask when they meet you, is  – what unit are you in and what floor are you on?  This is too often done in an effort to establish pecking order via square footage, view and market values. And that’s usually even before they ask your name! It becomes an obsession of comparison among the cotton-head community. And they do it very nicely, but it bugs the condo-crap out of me!

Now you know the inside scoop. It’s nothing to worry about, just be aware that it goes on. And no one will tell you about this or, least of all, admit to it.  So choose carefully, be happy with your investment and ignore the rest. 

Until tomorrow…these are the days of our lives.