It’s Not Tin!

Dad and I got into a heated discussion recently about foil. He refers to it as “tin foil,” while it has always been aluminum foil to me. I recall hearing his mother call it by that name, so I know who to blame.

Over the years, I have noticed that many, many other people must have grown up calling it “tin foil,” so I decided to do a bit of research on the subject. I learned that there was foil made of tin, but in 1926, aluminum foil was introduced. It became wildly popular because it was cheaper, lighter in weight, and did not rust. Eskimo pies were the first commercially-sold product which were wrapped in aluminum foil.

The overall consensus regarding why people may have referred to it as tin foil was that was how it was known by their grandparents. However, Dad’s grandparents immigrated here just three and four years before tin foil was replaced by aluminum, so that excuse makes no sense to me.

I will need to discuss this further with Dad. When I asked Grandma to name the silvery paper she would use when baking a turkey, she said, “foil or aluminum foil.” Aha!

So my question to each of you is what do you call it—tin or aluminum foil? Your answer will tell me who the biggest influence in your lives is: Dad or me.


Will I Ever Stop Meandering?

When I sat down at my computer today and considered what to write, another topic came to mind, but for some reason, my eyes wandered down to the right side of my blog page where the dates of my many other postings reside. A little investigation resulted in a surprise, which was that I missed the anniversary of the inception of Mommysmeanderings, which was July 19, 2015.

During that time, I published 460 stories here, and 230 stories on Do Svidanya Dad, which began six years ago next week. I took a one year break writing “Do Svidanya Dad” and then a little time later as I worked on the revision, “Trapped in Russia.”

When I looked at both blogs, I realized that I was publishing every day during the first year of each, and then I realized I could just not keep up the pace, and did anyone really care?  What was I thinking, and how did I do it? I was still involved in my book club, and during that time period, I became a grandmother twice. Where did I find the time? I truly do not have an answer.

I appreciate the loyalists who kept up with me, particularly Dad, because I know that he has read every single one. Thank you!

Will there come a time when I run out of stories? I did with my blog about Grandpa, which I now publish sporadically. We’ll see.

FYI, here is the first story: Ask a Busy Person.


Yes I Can?

Today, one of the youngest members of the family knocked off the number one item on my bucket list (not his) by climbing a rock wall at the zoo. Although he did not make it all the way to the top; nevertheless, I would call it a success, and he is only six.

I was excited for him, but at the same time, I have been rethinking my recent belief that I waited too long to do it. The thought that the time to be able to scale that wall has passed made me feel sad, so now I am seriously reconsidering attempting it on a day where the audience is small—probably after school begins and zoo camp is over.

Now that I have finally had physical therapy on my new hip two years post-op and am finally feeling little or no pain, I think I should try. I have no restrictions from my doctor beyond extended running. He even told me I could skydive if it was something I really needed to do. (I don’t.)

So I will let you know if I do it, and I will even let Dad take a picture or two.

I think I can, I think I can!



Today I’d like to share with you a recent experience I had that is, to say the least, very delicate to discuss. While you all will probably experience this fifteen to 20 years from now, my hope is that medical technology will advance enough to improve upon the unpleasantness factor of what I am about to discuss with you. I have already seen forward-moving changes since my first run-in with this “adventure.” (Puns are intentional) Let me expand upon this.

After the age of fifty, every ten years or less depending upon your genetics or previous experience,  the medical world has advised that we all have a colonoscopy. Since I have already lost two very dear friends to colon cancer, I have reluctantly acquiesced to this recommendation.

One must schedule at least a day and a half on your calendar, so I would suggest a Monday appointment. Day 1 is a time for cleansing, and I don’t mean sitting in a room with soothing music on your playlist so you can purify your soul and mind.

Rather, we are purging our colon—if you get my drift—via consuming nothing but Jell-o, chicken broth, certain beverages from a prescribed list (coffee, tea, juice, water, Gatorade, or lemonade), and a special potion.

Ten years ago the potion was a magic powder of unknown origin mixed into a gallon of water, which had to be consumed in prescribed amounts over a very small time period. It tasted awful and was quite difficult to endure over such a short span of time.

Well, times have changed, and now the prep is merely two 10-ounce bottles of an only semi-awful liquid preceded by some pills. Then you watch television, read a book, or do anything else that does not expend many calories because you will be famished. In approximately six hours you will be doing a great cardio-workout, which involves much running at warped speed toward the ladies lounge.

I am grateful that my hip was in tip-top shape for the cardio component of Day 1 because time was of the essence.

Day 2 was a breeze. I was administered a wonderful sleepy-time dosage of propranolol by an anesthesiologist named Bo. Before I could snap my fingers, Dad was by my side informing me that I will not need to return for another ten years. It is my deep hope that technology has improved enough to enable the results by something less invasive, such as an ultrasound, and that Day 1 will be filled with much less running and a tastier magic potion. That is my wish to you and to me.

I concluded my morning with a lovely breakfast of eggs Benedict, coffee, and fruit.

Stop the Movie Madness!

Dad and I went to the movies recently, and as usual for us, we left early enough to grab our favorite seats, which are in the row behind the handicapped seats. That particular row has the advantage of having a railing in front of the seats, which double as a foot rest. Little did we know that times have changed again. While we still were able to choose our seats, now it had to be done outside the theater in the scorching Carolina heat.

We wondered why the line was moving so slowly, and it was not until we got close to the ticket booth that the reason became apparent. Along with being asked which film we wanted to view, how many tickets we were purchasing, whether or not we were a Regal Cinema member, and what was our mothers’ maiden names and places of birth, we also had to choose our seats.

I admit there are benefits to this, but not at the ticket counter. If you have small children and want to arrive at the last possible minute because you know they are unable to sit through all the pre-movie dreck, then it is worth the minor additional fee to purchase your tickets in advance while in the comfort of your home and reserve your seats at that time. The same would hold true if bringing an elderly friend or relative, whose body cannot endure too long in one seat. For everyone else, either reserve at home or take your chances on a seat once you are inside the theater. Guess what, Regal Cinema? Reverting back to choosing inside will reduce your lines!

Moving on… When I was a kid, I recall that prior to the start of the feature film, we saw cartoons. Grandma told me that when she went to the movies, she would see newsreels of whatever was newsworthy at the time. This was particularly welcomed before there were televisions in every home.

Here is one for locals living in South Carolina:  Dead A-Bomb Hits US Town

If memory serves me correctly, when you went to the movies during your childhood, the feature films were preceded by coming attractions or trivia. Now, before the coming attractions, we must sit through at least fifteen minutes of advertisements for life insurance or job openings at the theater in addition to previews of shows out on cable.

No, no, no! Give me the trivia or upcoming movie previews, but no more Geico commercials!

I guess I just need to watch my flicks at home!

The Elusive Sweet Dreams

It is not uncommon to have occasional difficulties falling asleep. Sometimes we are excited over an upcoming event; other times we are stressed or worried about a situation on the horizon. Perhaps we have had too much caffeine or there are outside sources such as noise or light impeding our transition into dreamland.

I have done a lot of reading on the subject when sleep eludes me and have learned about several remedies: Drugs such as Ambien or Benadryl, melatonin supplements, yoga, white noise, a cup of warm milk and honey, and deep breathing are among the suggestions I found with the help of my good friend Mr. Google.

Dad does not usually sleep past 5 a.m., but I have noticed that when we have been away, particularly sleeping where there is little to no light, he does much better.

Last night I was hit with an irritating red light emanating from somewhere on his dresser. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. Perhaps, Dad suggested, something was moved while I was dusting. After he tried unsuccessfully to block it, I turned on the light and went searching in my nightstand drawer for the solution.

After adjusting my fix, but before turning off the light, Dad caught a glimpse of me and began to roar with laughter. I was not amused.

Allow me to explain. When we went to Paris many years ago, we were given a little sleep package by the airline. Inside was a toothbrush, socks, and an eye mask. I still have the socks and the mask, which gives the wearer instantaneous blackness.

They take a little getting used to, but they do the trick. It solved my problem and off to sleep I went once dad stopped laughing.

I guess they were not as comfortable as I had hoped, because when I awoke, they were no longer on me. But that really doesn’t matter, because they got me to sleep.

“Middle Age”

When I was growing up, my birthdays were much simpler than the parties of today. They were never celebrated at a park, bowling alley, gymnastic studio, game venue such as Chuckie Cheese, or a movie theater. They were all at home and were never themed—with matching invitations, plates and decorated cakes like back in your day. A few examples from your parties were Wizard of Oz, Minnie Mouse, Care Bears, Winnie the Pooh, and Beauty and the Beast.

But back in the olden days before color TV, microwave ovens, cell phones, and home computers, we only had a plainly-iced cake with candles and occasionally, Grandma decorated our birthday cakes with M&M’s. The paper plates were white.

As the first-born in my family, I was constantly reminded of my age by my four siblings, who liked to say that I was born at the hospital in Jockey Hollow, which was the winter encampment site for Washington’s Revolutionary Army.

To this day, they like to tease me about my age. Just look at the card I received from my soon-to-be-60-year-old sister, Aunt Ar.

I am at peace with my age, particularly this year since the Beatles were nice enough to write a song for this occasion—one of my favorites I must add.

Reflecting back on my life, I must say I am happy. I have three girls, and now three boys—thanks to three lovely ladies who gave birth to those men—and two terrific grandchildren who constantly make me laugh and feel loved. Nearly forty-one years later, I am still having breakfast with the same crazy, lovable husband.

I have written two books and am working on checking my travel items off my bucket list. During the past ten months, I have knocked off Alaska and Ireland. Cuba made it in the nick of time before travel by Americans was once again forbidden. Thanks to my two-year-old hip, I hope to be able to continue traveling for many years to come. And based upon the travels of my almost 96-year-old friend Gene, I should be hitting the road for at least another thirty years!

So far, so very good!