When you’re young and strong, they’re the mundane chores you never think about until you can no longer perform them. All of a sudden the little things you’ve always taken for granted are not only elusive but pritnear impossible to accomplish. What a difference 5 years makes.
Seems like I just got this 70 year old body out of the repair shop for a routine maintenance check after my warranty expired, when another part wears out, cracks or freezes up. While none have had a devastating affect on my life, it’s become exceedingly frustrating.
Since when did mash potatoes become hard? (They aren’t if you cook them long enough! Some starchy humor). We often have mashed potatoes on Tuesday’s when Ariana and Jovi come over for supper. I blaming the Hubs (that was easy). About two years ago he made fried shrimp for supper (yum). We’re old and lazy and rarely eat at the table anymore unless some serious cutting with a steak knife is involved. BTW, not eating at the table goes against everything I grew up with or we did as a family when our kids were little. We ate supper together at the kitchen or dining room table more often than not. Now John and I fill our plates, and watch a 42 minute program while we eat before I clean up the kitchen.
So getting back to our little shrimp fest. Hubs forgot to turn the burner off which housed the pan of oil. (Had we been seated at the table like civilized humans instead of in the next room, one of us certainly would have noticed or smelled hot oil-I hope). It was on low but the pan was scorched beyond the two days I was willing to try and clean it. Well that was my potato pan, so I had to move up to a bigger sized pan when I’m cooking. Unfortunately I can no longer lift the pan from the stove to the sink, (3 lousy feet) drain the water and place it on a hot pad for mashing. I now prop it precariously on the side of the sink, tip the lid a half inch (doing my best to avoid the free steam bath burn) to get rid of the water. Ten years ago I could lift a peck of cooked beets in an 8 quart pan filled with purple boiling water and drain them suckers. Now I can’t do 2 pounds of spuds. How did this happen?
When we were in Yuma 5 years ago I went to a church craft show with my sister-in-law and bought a small rectangular piece of gorilla shelf liner used in cupboards so tableware doesn’t slip and slide around. The outside edge is crocheted. My purpose was using it to open jars and plastic screw topped Diet Pepsi bottles. Kept conveniently on the counter and it’s worked until 2021. My hand no longer has the strength to twist this grippy cloth and if I do get the lid to budge, pain shoots through my hand, pulsating in the bottom of my thumb for several minutes. Dang it, this is making me crazy.
Hubs ordered a gadget with several sized openings which have tiny grippers which hugs whatever sized lid you’ve inserted. Instead of my fingers and thumb doing most of the work, my supper bottle of Diet Pepsi is unscrewed with more of a twist of my wrist causing no discomfort. So far it’s worked great.
My next annoying ‘why can’t I do this anymore’ is my stinking ‘smells wonderful’ shampoo. The 16 ounce plastic bottle has a lid where the top part opens when you ‘pop’ it up with your thumb. My thumb has decided its no longer going to participate in this daily exercise. There’s not a big enough gap between the lid and microscopic indentation where my thumb should easily be able to snap that sucker open. Most days I can’t get it open using both thumbs. Argh. Now I have to grab the wet washcloth, using 2 thumbs and push up on the lid flipper.
I know what you’re thinking. Just leave the exasperating, aggravating lid off the shampoo and pour a dot every morning, eliminating that minor irritant. However, you simply can not grasp how obsessive I am about my shampoo. That little quirk started 20 years ago when I got hooked on a John Frieda Shampoo for colored hair (by accident-the shampoo not the coloring part. I was still doing that on purpose). I forgot my overnight bag when I was driving 800 miles to visit my parents. Stopped at Walgreens during the trip and bought a set of travel sized hair care products. After using it once I wanted to grow my hair long just so it would be easier to smell. Sick, I know. A few years later Frieda discontinued the hair color treated type, forcing me to buy every bottle available on the black (after) market. Ok, it was e-Bay but every bottle was exorbitantly expensive. And I ran out of the shampoo (but not the conditioner-might have enough for my life expectancy) maybe 3 years ago. No problem because I stopped dyeing my hair about the same time.
Stumbled upon a great Bath and Body Works shampoo soon after only to realize they produced it occasionally. Our local store just started carrying the shampoo again so now I’m up to my eyeballs with bottles of the stuff which should suffice for my lifetime. Should I leave the bottle open and unprotected, my fear is when Hubs is showering he might fall prey to one of his sneezing fits (which last about 5 minutes with wind gusts between a Category 2 and 3). The tile wall is fairly safe but a less than pound plastic bottle of my favorite smelly shampoo on a dinky tiled, grouted shelf would be toast. You understand my concern now right? I should just look for a generic bottle that’s easier to open and fill it with my shampoo.
Here’s my last irksome task which has become combative. Everything gets placed in the sink before I do dishes (yes I still wash them by hand and never use my dishwasher. A waste of kitchen space in my tiny kitchen) that has a lid, like our double wall, insulated water glasses, Hubs loosens them or I end up carrying it into the family room, soap suds running down my arm and I’m about to fling that sucker across the street! The big picture is my overall health is excellent and I fully recognize and accept these loathsome changes as part of my aging process. I have much to be grateful for but that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to ‘pitch a bitch’ about what’s happening in my life that’s driving me to distraction. Anyone younger than 60, you’ve been warned…
7 thoughts on “Menial Tasks…”
Yep, and it happens so fast. One day you wake up and life as you know it will never be the same.
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It is infuriating and I’m actually disappointed that parts of my bod are letting me down!
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I bought myself one of those jar opener units a couple of years ago. (Not like yours but same idea). Dan said it would never work, so I showed him – with a jar of salsa. The lid popped right off and the salsa shot out all over my shirt. Dan laughed and laughed. 🙄
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Too funny! Odd how many times we are humbled (for our own good). Hubs and I were talking while I was making whipped butter yesterday. I turned off my Kitchenaid mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl, splashing a huge glop of thin butter on my shirt. Hubs thought it was hilarious, while I was concerned for my shirt. Thanks for commenting and have a great day Anne Marie…
I always love your posts, Neese. Much of what you post about reminds me of my experiences – now and back then. And your hubs reminds me of Dan. 😂
Well, Miss Neese, sometimes it takes a few readings of your posts before a response comes to mind. Sort of like two friends sitting on a porch, sometimes ya’ have to do a bit of rocking before something more than a, hmm, comes to mind.
Yeah, those bones do ache, don’t they. But, I’ll bet they hurt from time to time before, too. The difference is back then there was too much to do to think about it. Now, that pain just creeps up on you or jumps out of its little hiding space – just as things were going easy.
Maybe the antidote is doing something new. When my knees started to really bother me after helping The Redhead plant 100’s (well, maybe a handful) of flowers and shrubs she suggested a liniment. Nope, I went out and bought a pick axe. The knees don’t bother me at all now… and the pain in my shoulder I chalk up to using “new” muscles.
Maybe it’s the ability to keep laughing at ourselves that makes the aches less painful.
And, Miss Neese, get yourself back to eating at the table. The view is much better.
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Well Mr. Bill, you’ve got a way of putting my whining in perspective, so thanks for that! I can’t recall a lot of aches and pains in my younger days but chances are you’re right about that too. I was busy with more important matters. Still all one has to do is look at my swollen fingers and knuckles for me to realize my hand ‘looked normal’ until 5 years ago when it suddenly started growing extra bone/spurs/parts which are part ugly/part painful. But my overall health is better than good so I should stop complaining.
We do eat at the table every Tuesday night when our granddaughter Ari and great granddaughter Jovi sup with us, but have fallen into some bd habits the rest of the week I’m afraid.
And I’ve got a big confession to make. Can’t remember exactly when you posted your blog about ‘Coppers,’ but it was superb and I meant to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and how much of your own experiences went into those stories. I can’t imagine getting spit upon. Lately coppers and Christianity have sure taken a hit in our society (among other things), none of it for the better. Don’t wander into Billyland (hope I remember that right) for too long and keep writing young man…