Monday, November 19, 2007

Old? Who you callin' old?

Yesterday my first child turned 29, which is a little weird for me. Somehow, it's OK to have kids in their 20s but not their 30s. So I'll be trying my damnedest to a.) grow up by next year and b.) not turn into a cranky old woman. Cranky, maybe, but not old.

I pondered this age thing a bit this weekend when my 3-year-old grandsons succeeded in literally knocking me down (thank God the bones aren't brittle yet), and when I made a trip to the doctor's office over the weekend for a flu shot. When I was younger, I threw caution to the wind and took my chances with influenza -- which I don't think I've ever had. What's next? The gout? Shingles? At a bit over the half-century mark, I have already started the head-bobbing that comes from wearing bifocals, grunting when I put on my socks, plucking hairs from places where they just have no business growing, and exhibiting these funny "age spots" (which really don't "fade" no matter what you put on them) on my hands. Gray hair? Plenty of it. Extra weight? Way too much of that, too. Memory loss? Uh-huh. There's no turning back, I guess.

But I can put up with all of that. Here's what I do wish, however: that Gen-Xers and Millennials that I know would stop dismissing me as terminal and unhip and treat me with a little respect, please, because I AM older and I DO have some experience and I AM, for an , um, older person, pretty cool. At least I don't feel like I act crotchety. Much. I just like people who can read, spell properly and listen as much as they talk. So there!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

As seen on TV!

OK, so on Sunday I spent a whole silly hour slicing the season's last crop of rhubarb. It was kind of woody, not the best -- that's usually reserved for early June, when it's so succulent and makes your teeth squeak when you chew it. But I know I'll crave rhubarb pie in the dead of winter, and pies are pretty forgiving -- the sugar covers up anything -- as long as the flavor's there.

This time I lugged out the Cuisinart food processor from the dusty confines of the bottom of my pantry. This thing has has jillions of blades, some of which I've never used, that chop vegetables into shapes ranging from julienne strips to something looking strangely like my cat. But it's great for chopping celery and rhubarb into tiny, paper-thin slices. It appeals to my precise (some might say anal retentive) nature when all these little slice are just the same size.

Not wanting my handiwork to go to waste and freezer burn, I also hauled out the FoodSaverTM, that nifty little machine that vacuum packs food into FoodSaverTM bags for the freezer. I lined everything up on the counter, even located the instructions because I'd already abused one of these machines to the point of product replacement. It made me a little nervous when I saw a sticker on the bottom of this one that said "reconditioned," but I pressed on. An hour later, I was cursing and still had not sealed a single bag. Reading the instructions again, I was advised to wait 20 minutes before attempting to restart the machine. So I just figured, screw it, and put the damned thing back in the cabinet with the other labor-saving devices designed to keep women tied to the kitchen. It was that or send it to FoodSaver heaven.

But wait! There's more! I came home Monday night and thought, it's been more than 20 minutes. I'll try the friggin' FoodSaverTM again, just in case I haven't really made the thing crash and burn. And whaddya know: Lo and behold and glory hallelujah, it worked. I now have two, count 'em, two perfect-measured packs of frozen rhubarb, all ready for Grandma Therese's Rhubarb Custard Pie in February. I'm feeling quite smug.