Acting Our Age? We Are.

Last night, John began a discussion a topic those our age are having to deal with now. He asked the question, "Why do I keep getting the feeling that those younger than us feel we're not acting our age?", and I totally understood. We are in the 55-65 age bracket. That's what the world sees. That's what our bodies portray. That's the 'outside of the book'. Just as the covers of a book ages with time, the story, the plot, the delight in reading a good tale, stays the same.

We don't feel the way our bodies appear to others. Within our hearts, our souls, we feel so much younger. Personally, I've never left my late twenties or early thirties. The forties were awesome but that's when the mirror began showing a different woman than the one within. That's when we began getting second looks for laughing out loud or 'not acting' our age. We are acting our age, the one we feel inside. The one we'll always be.  Just because the body ages, the mind and the will to live fully never ages.

I am guilty of thinking my mother acted like one of the grandchildren at times. I am guilty of wondering why in the world some 'old' lady would wear what she did, couldn't they act/dress their age? It wasn't until I began getting some of the same spoken thoughts, some of the same glances, did I realize I had reached 'that age'. And let me just say here that I really, really dislike disrespectful cashiers that talk down to me and treat me as if I have no sense whatsoever. That being said, our decaying bodies will never stop the love of being young. I will act a complete fool just to make a grandbaby laugh. I am totally smitten with them and our daughters will tell you that. Childen don't care how silly you act, they love it. They haven't set parameters of how an adult should act.

Seriously, I pass a mirror and wonder who that woman is. I do not dislike my body shape. It's definitely not the one I used to have. I cannot eat as I once did and look as I once did. Within my heart of hearts, I feel so much younger than the woman in the mirror. I feel as if I could do cartwheels with my daughter again, do a high cheerleader jump, and rollerskate without breaking something. I have to be careful with this body I have now, but that doesn't stop me from trying to get as close as I can to the woman within. Am I acting my age? You betcha. It's a chore breaking lose from the restrictions and the restraints the world wants to put on us, but the next time you see an 'older' person acting like they think they're 29 again, they really are. They're acting their age. The one inside. Just like a good book, the covers ages, the story never grows old.

Why These Photos?

Melissa gave me the courage. You can find her at Melissa's Heart and Home. She went on a diet and shared it with her readers. Before photos and every hard detail about dieting. Thank you, girl, you inspired me. I knew if I put it on a blog, I would hold myself accountable. Some days are better than others, but I'm seeing and feeling a difference. And I like that. Maybe mine will help someone like yours did me. So ~
to find out why you're seeing these photos, 
go to my blog, Losing Forty. You can see another reason I'm excited about 2011. Let me tell you, those 'before' photos?! Yeah, took a lot of courage to put them on there. If you read the 'Tips and Hints' post, you'll see why most before photos look this way {wink font}. Have a great weekend!

Feature Friday!

CasaSugar has some great tips on prepping your home for resale. We have moved a few times in our life together and never had a problem selling any of them (and getting a bit more than market price on a few!). It is extremely important to 'stage' your home and I cannot impress that upon you enough. Now is the time to put away family photos, put bulky furniture in storage, and get rid of the heavy drapes! HGTV has several shows that will not only give you ideas but will help you sell your home quickly and get the necessary money you need. I loved staging ours. A quick sell means we're looking for another to decorate and move into. For a bit. Until I get the urge again. Poor hubby. He's a patient man.
I loved what Melissa at The Inspired Room had to say about melding our feminine side with that of our masculine others. Her article You Anchor Me Back Down is heart warming and filled with photos that bring her post to life. I'm sure from there you'll want to explore the rest of her site as well!
One of the sites I frequent always makes me go, "Oh!".  Kristen is very talented, not only with decorating her home but she has an Etsy shop as well and sells the most precious deocrated framed and photo books. She has been taking us along with her on the renovation of her kitchen and it's finished now! You can see her choices and the completed project here. Kristen's Creations is a beautiful blog.
No one, that I know of, throws a party like Melissa Lester, at A little Loveliness. She's a local writer, author, and party planner that thrills the senses with not only her ideas and photos but she includes the recipes! Some are new and tweaked by her, some have been passed down for generations. Her site? A total feast. Believe me. It's one of those sites you'll go back to again and again. And again.
I worked at a children's boutique for a bit once and we sold birthday hats for almost $25. I've seen them for $20, but you won't spend anywhere near that kind of money and still have a beautiful hat for that little special someone. Jones Design & Co have a tutorial on making these and it's too easy. Then embellish to your heart's content. And yes, you can do this!
Heartstrings is another site of mine, where my hands lead when my heart is filled and running over. It's a quiet site, and I feel uplifted and refreshed each time I visit. Or add to it. I hope you enjoy it, as well.
Our daughter's blog is about a busy mommy with day to day problems, giggles, and hugs. There are bad days, great days, and some things overheard and noticed. If you're a young mother, click over to Jenny's spot and see if you can find yourself in her life. If you're a grandmother like me, it will bring memories to your heart and wishing that just for one day, they could be small again. With hugs, and bright eyes.

And for something fun to end with on a Friday, I'm joining up with Only Prettier. After you read mine, go to her site and link up yourself! And have a beautiful, blessed weekend ~
1. Can you drive a stick shift? ONLY if I have to!

2. What are two foods you just can't eat? Ugh, mincemeat and rutubagars
3) Do you buy Girl Scout cookies and your favorite? We don't anymore, but I loved the chocolate with peanut butter things. I could totally eat a box with some sweetened icy tea!

4) How do you pamper yourself? When no one's home, and no appointments, I sleep in. As late as my widdle body feels like it! And I don't feel guilty about it either!

5) What is your nickname and how did you get it? Sweetheart to him, momma to them, Nan to the g'babies, Princess and/or Sunshine to my daddy, and Mrs. Hood to my students.

Food, Friends, and Fun!

She had to have some annual tests done and didn't want to go alone. It is a nice thing to be needed, not to mention I'm always up for some girlfriend time! I went along to giggle and laugh, and read a book about Oprah (by Kitty Kelly!) while Kay had a vamp take her blood and an alien scan her chest and heart. She was feeling a wee bit frightened.
The testing did not take long, and since she had fasted, she was hungry! WhooHoo, breakfast! One of my favorite meals. What am I talking about?! They're all my favorites. We ate, and talked and talked, and ate. Driving out of the parking lot, we decided not to go get our nails and toes prettied, as planned ~
But to go to the Zoo instead! I've been to the Montgomery Zoo once, with Jenny and her babies, since leaving my second grade post and let me tell you it was nice getting there in a vehicle that wasn't a long yellow bus! The day was a bit windy but beautiful. Cool enough that we were glad we had light jackets. We just wandered around and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
My favorite was the Sumatron Tiger. He/She was so soft and cuddly looking and very regal. We had to remind ourselves that it was an animal much like this that tried to take the face off that entertainer in Las Vegas. What was his name?! Siegfred and Roy? There comes a point when you just have to realize that one day it's a house cat, the next day it's a wild animal that wants you for dinner. Just sayin'.
I also like the alligators, and there are signs up stating they are building a new addition just for the American Alligators, which by the way are in all natural rivers and most ponds around central Alabama. WHaT tHe?! This is no lie, and I still laugh when repeating it, but there was a student named Aaron in my class one year. Came to school telling us his daddy had found a Styrofoam cooler at work, and it had a baby alligator in it! After the hullabaloo 20 excited kids can make ended, I asked him if they were taking it to the Zoo. "Heck no, Miss Hood, he just let it go in the creek behind our house." Aaron's best friend, John, jumped UP saying (loudly) "THAT creek runs behind my house!"  A few years later, they both came by my room to visit and I asked Aaron about that alligator. Before he could answer, John yelped, "I forgot about that gator! I bet that's what's been happening to our dogs!" And yup, I laughed again, thanking my lucky stars I didn't live on the creek that emptied into Blackwell Slough! True story, cross my heart. Which is why I would never, ever, ever, never slide over the edge of a boat to pee. I don't want to turn around and see two beady eyes a foot away from my nose. I keep telling Hood there's things with sharp teeth in that river! 
So, I wasn't afraid of the tiger. Or the gator. But snakes? (Or 'snicks' as Jenny called them when she was younger.) Just being in The Reptile House made me nauseated. Kay kept getting right up on the glass to find whatever was to be in the enclosure and I promise you, had something come at the glass from INSIDE that cage, I'd have peed in my pants. Right there. No lie. And knocked her down finding a way out.
We left and it was Sonic time!!! How many of you love those slushies as much as I do?! All time fav is the Cherry Limeade. Route whatever. Gimme the biggest one there is. Then come home, put the lime slice down the garbage disposal and make your home smell fresh!
Having rested driving back to town, and rejuvenated with a snack and drink at Sonic ~ and NO, I'm NOT going to tell you what we had. I have a blog about Losing Forty and this is NOT confession day, so there. But it sure was good.
And who doesn't like to go to Kirkland's?! They're having a lamp sale, but nothing grabbed me and it was a bit crowded. I don't like to look with someone bumping into me while I'm standing still with several large pictures propped on a hip. Kay felt the same way, so we called it a day. Went back out to her SUV and played with our iPhones. She got one last week! and now, like me, she's addicted.
She got hers through Verizon. Now, I want a new one from Verizon.
It was such fun, and thank you, Kay, for needing a friend.
It's always nice to be needed {grateful font}.
And to go to the Zoo.
And Kirkland's.
And play.

Celebrations ~

Today was lunch with these two sweet ones,
and their little sister. {This photo was taken in G'burg,
and I really do need to begin carrying my camera
with me. I miss so many adorable moments.}
{Miss Elle is learning to pose.}
We will very soon be seeing these babies,
and we will go out and celebrate my birthday
again. I just love celebrating all month!
To our daughters and their families,
Plain and simple.

Happy Birthday! to Me!

It's my birthday!
I slept late with the man that holds my heart,
 received a phone call from a darling daughter,
having lunch with another darling daughter,
and the weather is sunny but cool.
What more could one ask for?
Thank you, my beautiful Lord.

Have You?

One of my girlfriends sent these. I had to laugh because I've done three of them! Yep, held a sign upside down as a cheerleader. Of course, at that age, we giggled and giggled, showing off for the football players. Ah, high school.
Washed a car in the rain? Kinda sorta. There were several times I washed our car under the carport when it was pouring rain outside. My sweet man still makes fun of me for doing that, but I wanted a clean car when the rain stopped! He drew the line when we moved into a house with a garage.
This one made me laugh out loud. Not only have I driven off with items on my car, but I've also tried to set a large Sonic Cherry slushie on top of the car, only to have it fall through the sunroof. I've also set my billfold and iPhone on the top while putting items in the back seat, drove all the way to Lowe's and back before losing them both just as we went to turn onto our road. I'm not surprised I forgot they were up there. But for The Hood to not notice them?! And no harm to either the billfold, which didn't pop open, or the phone. Of course, I had to get an OtterBox after that {frowny font}. OtterBoxes are NOT girly girl!

So, what silly/stupid/can't-believe-I-did-that have you done?!  C'mon now, I know you've got something to share. Bring it on. We'll laugh together! And here's to giggles the rest of the week ~

Happy Valentine's Day, to those I love the dearest, the ones that have crossed my path and left goodness behind, those I don't see nearly as often as I'd like, and those of you that I've met here. May the week be filled with love and laughter for all of us ~ 02.14.2011

Guest Author, The Lands Across the Lake

I love Brittany's blog. Not only because I fell in love with her husband when he came into my classroom during his second grade year in elementary school but because she speaks the honesty of all young mothers and wives.  What she does have that I never had is the opportunity to live abroad while Daniel is serving our country.  Today's post was too good not to share with my readers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and I'm sure you'll remember those shoes she's in right now. Maybe you're standing in them yourself. And after reading this, hop on over to The Lands Across the Lake and become a follower to keep up with this sweet young family. Without further ado, here's Brittany in her own words.
*    *    *    *    *

"Sometimes I wish that growing up I had a better idea of reality. I lived in la-la land for way too long. In college I had several store credit cards like Express and American Eagle and had no idea you had to make payments every month. I thought it was just an option and as long as you still had credit available you were good... You just needed to make a payment when you needed to charge more stuff. Wrong. So wrong. So very wrong that my credit score is just now to a number that isn't completely embarrassing. You live, you learn.

I also wish that my Barbies had come in different stages as a kid. Like, the Barbie that we all had was your college and pre-pregnancy Barbie. Then, once Barbie had a baby there was a little attachment for her waist and chin (those are the two places I've had the hardest time accepting ever since Eli was born). Barbie would throw away those hot pink stilettos and start rocking flip flops and Reebok Easy Tones. She would have to get rid of the Corvette and start driving the Jeep. Ken would trade in his ascot and Speedo for a pair of khaki cargo shorts and an old college tee to remind him of his glory days. The dream house would need a new roof and the toilet wouldn't stop running.

I guess that is what makes childhood so magical. The idea that you would always have everything go your way and every morning you wake up next to Ken and looking like our girl Barb. Bills magically get paid and you only work for the fun things you want to buy. Lingerie doesn't itch and babies always sleep in their own bed. You can stay up until 3 am and sleep until noon. There is always milk in the fridge and mom still cooks you supper... "

Now to all of you heading into the weekend, be safe, be happy, and look for someone to help have a day as nice as yours ~


Flashback Friday

First, we received this photo from our daughter, Stacey ~
Snow, lots of snow. School was out!
About twenty minutes away is our daughter, Leslie.
And she got snow! Even more once this was taken!
Stacey and Leslie live in Brandon, MS. Jenny lives in our city.
Look how much snow they got at their home?!
Everyone got a nice, clean accumulation of white snow.
Except us. East Prattville did not get
Pooh. It was pretty coming down, and some
is better than none. This year we've had more cold days
and more snowy days, just not here. Not sure why.
But I can remember last year and smile knowing there
were four little ones laughing and playing in the snow.
{Elle was a few months old and uninterested.}

Post a photo from this last year on your blog and let me know. I'll visit and see what you were up to Feb. 11, 2010! Here's the original post from Jenny's site, Our original post can be found here. Personally, I hope we aren't through with the snow, but I have to say that from here. Say it outdoors and people glare at me.

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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