“What is it about two level-headed males sharing the same space that drives them to grow fangs, mark their territory and growl at each other every…”
Just the mere word conjures up some nasty images and gets your skin crawling, but what do you really know about it?
It smells sweet, but tastes awful! Ever bite into a slice of bread before noticing that it has started to turn moldy? Bet you couldn’t spit it out fast enough.
It has a pungent odor. It’s one of those smells that you can’t get out of your nose. Once you notice it, all your other senses seem to shut down, and it’s all you think about.
It looks ugly and scary. Even the smallest discovery stands out, and once you realise it’s mold, it seems to grow darker and larger right before your eyes.
Finding mold in your basement, or anywhere in your home, can be upsetting and cause for concern. Now that you understand what you do know about mold, let’s find out what you don’t know.
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Check out my latest post at Slant.com. If you’re like me and are trying to stay ahead of the aging game, take a look at my easy ways to be hip.
Writing 101: Day 10 – Update over a cup of coffee
…it would have likely been my first cup this year. While I’m not a “coffee-hater,” I’m not a “coffee-lover” either. I generally have one or two cups a year when there’s nothing else to drink, or I just feel like it. Thanks to my Gram’s influence, I prefer a nice cup of hot tea.
So, let me tell you about the great week I had.
I just got back to work from a “staycation.” Hubby and I took the week off primarily to celebrate his aunt’s 95th birthday. The family came in from all over the country – Nevada, Florida, Virginia (we live in New York) – to visit for the week and surprise Aunt Lorraine.
She was definitely surprised. And so were they.
One by one, each of her four children entered through the back door of her home (she still lives alone in the home she shared with her husband for 60+ years.) They snuck through the kitchen and around the corner with outstretched arms to surprise their mom. Like so many times before, they expected a squeal of delight and a barrage of hugs and kisses.
This time was different.
Lorraine was a day short of 95 and her typical excitement at seeing her children was replaced with confusion and a little panic. Then, as the strangers poured in one by one, Lorraine didn’t see them as the familiar faces of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she only became more and more disoriented and frightened. As the group grew larger, the room became louder and Lorraine became quieter.
Things got better.
After a couple of hours of catching up and realizing that the influx of bodies was just too much, everyone disbursed to their respective hotels to let Lorraine rest. With a good night’s sleep, she was a little more prepared for the day ahead.
95! Wow – can you imagine waking up and realizing that you’ve lived for nearly a century?
The family arranged for a BIG birthday bash at a local recreation center. It actually was perfect! The log cabin-style lodge was located out in the country with a picturesque water-lily pond, walking trails through a densely forested area, a playground for the kids and lots of open space. That meant everyone could spread out and yet still be part of the special event.
As we all approached Lorraine to wish her a “Happy Birthday,” she was less stressed and recognized most everyone. It’s so nice to be remembered as “one of the family.” As is typical with the elderly, the mind is very selective about what it recalls. Often it’s easier to reminisce about memories from your youth than from five minutes ago. Lorraine is no different, so we chatted about making chocolate novelties for Easter as if it were yesterday instead of 20 years ago. She laughed and cried and had an amazing time.
The day was wonderfully casual and filled with endless photo ops. As my husband and I watched the immediate family pose for one more keepsake of the occasion, it struck us that Lorraine had made a powerful contribution to this world. There stood 25 smiling children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that were all there because she opened her heart to love all those years ago. It might have been her birthday, and to an outsider, she was the one receiving all the gifts. But we knew she had supplied all the gifts that day, and they were standing right in front of us – our family.
Thank you, Aunt Lorraine – it’s just what we needed.
Okay, I’ll admit it…I turned 55 a month ago.
Although I was born in 1960 and firmly planted at the tail end of the “Baby Boomer” crowd, I’ve never felt as if I belonged in that demographic. I can recall, with great clarity, my 30th birthday. My husband threw me a surprise party, all my family and friends were there, and I was the most popular person in the room. I was trim and stylish and hip.
Surely it’s impossible that 25 years have passed since that spectacularly impressive time in my life! As I look in the mirror, those eyes that look back at me are a little less bright, the lips a little less plump and the skin texture a little less firm. But, in all honesty, I don’t feel a whole lot older.
I’m one of the lucky ones – genetics has come through in a still-smooth complexion, with only the faintest of creases at the corners of my eyes. So, with a few tricks up my sleeve and the devil-may-care attitude of that vibrant 30-year-old that still lives inside me, I also don’t act a whole lot older.
If you’re a woman and promise not to tell, I’ll share some of my secrets:
- Embrace technology. There’s nothing that sends up red flags more than if you’re still carrying around the same flip phone you’ve had for the last 10 years and are content to keep it another 10. Some basic familiarity with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest will also give you some “street cred” among Millenials and Gen Xers. While you’re at it, if you don’t use a computer for work, take a couple of continuing ed classes and get yourself a tablet, so you, too, can Google with the rest of us.
- Freshen up your look. While your hairstyle is your signature, if every trip to your hairstylist begins with, “Just a trim, please,” it’s time to shake things up. A new cut, a little color to hide the gray and some tips on styling will keep you from regressing back to your old ways. While you’re at it, get a makeover. Ladies, blue eyeshadow is out; natural tones are in. And don’t be afraid to use a little foundation to smooth out those imperfections.
- Clean out your closet. I know you know this, but just because you can still fit into that jacket with the shoulder pads and hip-hugging mini skirt, doesn’t mean you should. Classic styles are perfectly fine, but make sure you didn’t actually wear them in the 80s. Also, consider age-appropriate clothing. It’s a real giveaway when you’re in your 50s and wearing the latest Candies Collection.
- Time to ditch the mix tape. I know, I know – “They don’t make music like they used to.” I’m not suggesting you give up your oldies but goodies, but it wouldn’t hurt your reputation if you turned on a contemporary station once in awhile. Better yet, go buy yourself an iPod, put in your earbuds, and no one will know that you’re listening to the BeeGee’s Greatest Hits.
- Stop saying you want to be “hip.” Also, stop saying neat-o, groovy and all those other phrases that produce eye rolls and snickers from the age group you’re trying to fit in with. Listen carefully to conversations, watch some new shows on television or Google (see Tip #1) “trending slang” to help you learn the lingo (oops, that one slipped out).
There’s not a lot we can to do actually stop time from sneaking up on us. But with a little research, determination, and practice, we can all experience a timelessness that will keep people guessing what’s really written on our driver’s license.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear some of your ideas on this subject.