Thursday, October 27, 2011

Status Update For Buddy

Buddy-Cloots-Baby has been living comfortably next door since her cat-fight and neck injury. Her sutures are dissolved, her fur is growing back, and the vet said she’ll soon forget her former life as an adventurous outdoor kitty. Buddy-Bud (as my neighbor’s been calling her) has the run of a large uncluttered house with plenty of places to play and explore. She has toys. She eats home-cooked beef and chicken in addition to her favorite dry cat food. There’s no doubt that Buddy-Bud is happier living with Mary Ellen than with my family.  She’s no longer living the life of a tormented Cinderella forced to deal with the daily hissy fits of two mean feline step-sisters (Jellie and Scratch).  Life is good.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blessed Be Beauty In A Bottle

Two years ago, in a moment of bravado, I revealed my real age to Dr. Mehmet Oz on national TV. I was exceedingly happy with his genuine look of surprise upon learning my harsh demographic truth. He attributed some of my good fortune to good genes. My Mom and Dad both had great skin and were on the thin side… thank Goddess! 

Since Dr. Oz last saw me, I’ve gained and lost the same five to ten pounds several times, my face has more wrinkles, and I’m drier everywhere there’s skin. I fondly remember a smoother, moister time –the pinnacle of estrogen.  Am I uptight by the turn of events?  Hell Yeah… what Everyday Goddess wouldn’t be?

I’ve recently started considering my options for minimal facial restoration. There’s beauty in a bottle, beauty in a syringe, and beauty under-the-knife.  Given the fact, I’m afraid of needles and scalpels, the alternatives are limited to state-of-the-art cosmetic remedies all which promise dramatic results.  But do they?

The tray on my night table currently contains: In An Instant products by Heidi Klum (Intensive Firming Serum, Intensive Eye Treatment, Instant Wrinkle Smoother & Instant Warming Scrub), wrinkle Revenge (antioxidant enhanced glycolic acid facial cleanser), Olay Regenerist (micro-sculpting serum, DNA superstructure UV cream with SPF 30), Dr. Robert Rey’s Inhibitox (Instant Wrinkle Erase with Active Exotics), Anew Retexturizing Peel,  Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, and ROC (Deep Wrinkle Night Cream). So do they work?

The short answer is: Maybe. Without the daily and nightly treatments (not strictly adhered to) I might look drier and wrinklier.  Given my trepidations regarding physician assisted beauty, I’ll continue my quest for the Holy Grail of anti-aging beauty products.  In the meantime, I’ll do the best with what I have – genetically and cosmetically. Sooner or later, I’ll reluctantly redefine Boomer Beauty because in my heart of hearts, I know that something-something will never again look like thirty- something… and it’s not supposed to.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It Takes A Village To Save A Cat

How sweet is this little girl?
In the spring of 2010 my next-door-neighbor mentioned a stray cat (she’d been feeding) had taken up nightly residence under my deck. My daughter soon befriended the kitty and (much to my hygienic dismay) took to petting and feeding her.  On their sporadic outings, my two kitties (Jellie and Scratch) hissed and chased the interloper. And so it began…

The Christmas blizzard of 2010 turned our neighborhood into a frozen wasteland.  My daughter looked out the front door at the right and perfect time and saw the snow-covered stray walking up the street.  She dashed out the door, scooped her up, and brought her inside.  Needless to say I worried about diseases, fleas, and an uncivilized cat that didn’t know how to use a litter box.  Buddy (as our neighbor called her) was quickly taken to the vet to assuage my feline/human health concerns. My husband attended the check-up and registered her as Nona (short for no name).

Buddy-Nona-Cloots (as my daughter called her) lived with us all snowy winter despite the obvious protests of Jellie and Scratch. The only peaceful place for our now multi-named kitty was a secluded spot in the basement which our elderly mean girls couldn’t reach. As the weather took a turn for the better, Clootsie (as I began calling her) took to the streets during the daytime and returned nightly to my neighbor’s house.  Her latest adopted feline-step-sister Lucky Lady was a lot more accepting than either Jellie or Scratch. I accepted the change of address graciously and considered it an opportunity to practice non attachment (a yoga principle).

Buddy-Nona-Cloots-Clootsie roamed the neighborhood during the day and returned home (next door) most nights to eat and sleep.  A recent cat fight left our little furry girl now with many names (and two families) wounded. I took her to the vet who frowns upon outdoor pet life. Following an expensive hospital stay to address a nasty bite to the neck (too close to her jugular for comfort) and an abscess which required numerous stitches, our kitty has been recuperating next door where she constantly whines to go outside.

We’re all hoping Buddy-Nona-Cloots-Clootsie-Baby (the latest name) will learn to love the security of indoor life where her daily adventures include looking out the window.  It’s more likely she’ll wait for an opportunity to escape as she’s done before.  We can barely control our own destinies, how could we possibly direct the fate of a cat with an agenda of her own?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beware: The “I”s of Intimacy

The “I” s of intimacy (a.k.a interruptions) abundantly threaten relationships on a regular basis.  Naturally occurring “I”s can’t be avoided no matter how much an individual or couple may try. Such is life.  Many “I”s are obvious to all parties involved while some remain hidden to self as well as others.

* Illness * Injury * Irritation * Immobility * Interference*

Illness and injury top the list of impediments to intimacy. Obviously, when one partner is sick or hurt, it’s plain to see how easily intimacy (physical or otherwise) dissipates.  After all, a serious, painful, or life threatening diagnosis freezes one in their tracks; and all eyes and ears become focused on the circumstances.  Limited mobility, pain, and/or miscellaneous angst all too often declare a silent and insidious war on otherwise loving partners; intimacy is collateral damage.  Short or long term interruptions give way to A New Normal (not necessarily a good one).

When The “I”s of Intimacy strike, there are steps you can take to preserve intimate companionship. Consciously create a New Normal in which there’s always some physical (and verbal) closeness.  Even a tiny bit of intimacy goes a long way. If one partner is in physical pain, for example, and can’t move around in a sexual or sensual way… kissing, cuddling, hand holding, fondling, or stroking…  to the extent it is possible… continually or intermittently… maintains the connection.

Being mindful of intimacy when closeness is compromised-- due to the intricacies of life (IOLs) -- may require nothing more than being a loving presence while watching TV together.  Sometimes the simplest remedies work the best.