Bargains

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Everybody loves a bargain, right?

I know AGMA does!  I’ll always be the first in line for a “value” deal.

So, I was an early fan of Groupon way back in 2009.  Groupon started in Chicago in 2008, and rapidly expanded to reach a global audience.

For the 3 of you who might not be familiar with Groupon, it’s a service that offers group discounts to save money on goods/services through virtual coupons.  You pay $$ for a goods/services specific Groupon but then get a substantial discount on the item/service you are purchasing.  So, for example, I can get $30 worth of food at a local restaurant by using a Groupon I bought for $12.

Back in the early days, there was one – count it – one (1) Groupon offered per day in the Atlanta market.  And they were very popular.  Very.

I remember deals selling out an hour after the they were announced, because the vendors limit on how many could be sold.  Now I think there are literally thousands of deals on any one given day in cities all over the world.

Obviously, competitors popped up over the years – LivingSocial, Yipit, Woot, Scountmob, to name a few.  And there are local, city specific businesses offering a similar service.  In Atlanta we have Atlantaonthecheap, LoafDeals and HandPickedAltanta.  I’m pretty sure that some of these are not stand alone companies – they are owned by the larger, national companies.

You know how that works…

Because the vendors that offer these discount deals through these virtual coupon companies have to split the income received for the sale of the coupons with said virtual coupon company, they end up getting very little money for the goods/services purchased by the consumer.  So in my example above, the restaurant might only get $6 of the $12  paid for the Groupon.  But the vendors obviously consider it a good way to promote their goods/services.

I guess…

Most deals have expiration dates on them, but have wording saying that the value the consumer paid for the coupon never expires and can be used at the vendor’s business.  So if I let my $12 deal for $30 worth of food at the local restuarant expire, I can still dine at that restaurant and use my virtual coupon for $12 off my meal.

AGMA is convinced that a huge part of these Groupon-type companies’ income streams is from those of us who buy these discount coupons and never use them.

Ever.

But seriously, who hasn’t been tempted to try an ionic foot detox offered at a business across town because it was just SUCH a good deal?  And of course everybody’s feet could use a good detoxing.  But then it’s just so hard to carve out the time to do something that is pretty far out of the norm for you in a part of town you’re not all that familiar with.  And your good friend didn’t buy one when you suggested it and now you have to go alone.   And you’re really not sure what they’re going to do to you.  So you end up not going and the deal expires and now you for sure won’t drive across town to use the $15 credit you have for a $55 iconic foot bath.

Sadly, this was AGMA when this whole virtual coupon craze started.  But with age comes wisdom. I’m very selective of what I buy now.

However I need to share one of the recent deals I purchased. And used.

It’s just sooooo quintensenntial AGMA.

I run, but doesn’t do much else in the way of exercise.  A few years ago I bought a deal for 1 month at a gym that was about 5 miles away.   The gym had a water rowing machine and I fell in love.

Hard.

I went twice a week to use that sweet rower.  I lost weight and my tummy was starting not to look like I was 3 months along with twins.  But the month expired and I had to break off the relationship.

Fast forward to 2 months ago when a deal popped up for rowing classes at a place only 3 miles away.   I jumped on it.  AGMA was gonna fall in love again.

In addition to rowing classes, they also offer silk aerial classes and those pole exercise classes that is all the rage with the young’uns these days.

I went for the first 3 classes during the day and the studio was pretty quiet.  The rowing machines were in the aerial space.  But I did get to see the pole studio which looked…

Interesting.

Anyway, I got back into my rowing groove.  And I decided that I like sort of doing my own thing rather than a “class”.  But I had one more class left on my “deal”, so I booked it for last Monday evening.

The studio really buzzes in the evening!  A bunch of young, very fit young ladies were milling about waiting for their class to start (NOT rowing…).  Then a woman, who obviously worked there, walked out from the pole studio with 6 inch chunky heeled red shoes, red hair piled on her head, a red baby doll nighty that came down to mid hip, and a thong.

And both cheeks were just a shinin’ like the moon!  And the moon was definitely full…

She was complaining because the air conditioner was dripping into the studio.  Nothing like a bit of reality to interfere with your exotic dance lessons.

And there was AGMA, looking like the frumpy plump sorority house mother to all of these supple and fit young things who were getting ready to swing their stuff around a pole and on aerial silks.

Ah….if only I was 40 years younger.  And my moon wasn’t ready the size of Jupiter.

And speaking of that general “area”, if anybody’s interested, there was another deal – through Living Social – that caught my eye last week.  It was for Vaginal Steaming Sessions.

Yup.

I’ll just leave it up to you to use the Google.

$29 for 1 session; $55 for 2.

Get ’em while they’re hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your number?

sleeping-on-cloud

Back in March 2015, I wrote about the trauma of Hubs and AGMA buying a new mattress in “My last __________ (fill in the blank)”

Hubs thought this was going to be our “last” mattress.

Not even close.

After 3 1/2 years, we went mattress shopping again.

Turns out the “high quality” POSM (piece o’ sh*t mattress) that the salesperson assured us would last for 20 years (hence Hub’s “last” comment) was…a piece of sh*t.

There’s a special place in Hell for dishonest mattress salespersons.  Right next to dishonest used car salespersons.  And dishonest Federal Appeals Court judges who like beer. And reality stars turned treasonous politicians who think Nazi’s and white supremacists are “good people”.

Did AGMA say that out loud?

After 3 1/2 years, we each had a huge divot in our respective sides of the mattress.  It was so bad that, if either one of our cats tried to lie in the middle while we were in bed, they would roll into whatever black hole divot sucked them in.

We always found them, but AGMA couldn’t escape the nagging suspicion that they had journeyed to an alternate universe briefly though our mattress wormhole.

My side was approaching National Park status in terms of depth and width.  Okay, realistically maybe only Georgia State Park designation.

AGMA Canyon Recreational Area.

The mattress death knell sounded when  I went to an Orthopedist.  After an X-ray of my spine, I found out that it could be used as the letter “C” on a Sesame Street episode.

Perhaps this is why AGMA has been having chronic hip & leg pain after every run since February?

My doc referred me to a spinal physical therapist.  AGMA recently chronicled the subsequent encounters with dry needling in the rear from said physical therapist in “A day in the life…”

The first thing my great PT suggested was that AGMA change the way I sit in the evening when watching TV and working on my laptop.  Instead of slouching on the couch which is sooooo very comfy,  I was to sit in a straight backed chair with a bolster at my lower back.  This would help put the natural curve back in my back and relieve a bit of the pressure on the spinal discs that have been smooshed by my wonky vertebrae.

Noooooooo!!

But AGMA was a good patient and did as instructed, although I initially pined for my uber-comfy spot on the couch.  Pined AND whined.  But, happily now, 2 months later, I love sitting on my straight backed chair and NEVER sit on the couch anymore.  It’s too uncomfortable.

This is good.

The second thing my saintly PT suggested was to get a new mattress.

This was not a tough sell to AGMA.  I hated the POS mattress. But I was a bit worried how Hubs would take it.  I mean, this was going to be his “last” mattress right?

Thankfully, he also recognized that our POSM was a POSM.

We talked about trying to get a prorated refund from the POS mattress salesperson, but ultimately decided that the return probably wouldn’t be worth the effort.  AGMA felt confident that he wouldn’t give up without a fight.  And he’d probably want us to buy another mattress from him.

NEVER!

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on AGMA!

In 2015, I thought there was a seemly unlimited number of mattress choices.

In 2018, there really is an unlimited number of mattress choices.

Beside traditional mattresses that you can buy in department stores, or POS and non-POS mattress stores, there is now a plethora of foam mattresses!  Memory foam, cooling foam, therapeutic pressure relief foam, countering support foam, firm foam, smooshy foam, and more!

You can order the foam ones on the internet.  Your mattress is delivered to your door in a box.  You “simply” unroll it, give it some time to “plump up” and put it on your bed.

Voila!

But who wants to do all that work?  Do you have any clue how heavy a foam king sized mattress is?  And what are we supposed to do with our POSM?

And what firmness foam do you get?  They are rated soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, firm, extra firm.  WTF??  And layers…how many layers of foam do you get?

They all come with a trial period so if you totally get the firmness level wrong or you just don’t like it, they send somebody to pick it up and you get a refund (sometimes minus delivery fees – gotcha!)  Then what, since you’ve already gotten rid of your old POS mattress?  And, if you order another one of a different firmness, how do you know you’re going to like that one?

Too many unanswerable questions for AGMA…

So we ended up buying the most expensive air mattress in the world…a Sleep Number bed!  But it was on sale…

No worries about delivery – they deliver it (for $199 that is…) And they cart away your old POSM.  And they have a 20 year guarantee (pro-rated after the first 2 years that is…)

And you get a 100 trial period.  If you don’t like it, they will pick it up and give you a full refund (minus the $199 pick up fee that is…)

But what sold AGMA was the ability for Hubs and I to adjust the firmness to our individual preferences.  Insane!

This might be TMI, but I’m a 40 and Hubs is a 45.  Yeah – I said it…

And guess what?

AGMA’s back and hip have been feeling a whole hell of a lot better…

So between the dry needling and sitting differently and sleeping on a better, more supportive mattress and doing some exercises, AGMA just might be ready to run that marathon on Sunday.

Sunday????

Holy sh*t!

So if you’re in Chicago on Sunday and want to catch a glimpse of AGMA in the flesh, come down and watch the marathon.

I’ll be the one in the white hat, blue shirt and running shoes.

Aging gracefully my ass!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nec-ked and unafraid

 

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CAUTION:  This may be a TMI post to some.  Especially some of you gentle testosterone laden souls.  You’ve been warned… 

A friend I hadn’t talked to for a while called me the other day.  Her husband was out of town and she had just finished up a very busy month of travel and obligations at home. 

She was in bed planning to take a nap after our call.

But during the conversation, her brother decided to pop in for a visit and just strolled unannounced into her bedroom.  AGMA’s pretty sure he has boundary issues…

She whispered, “I gotta go.  I’m naked under the covers and need to shoo him out so I can get dressed.”

She took all her clothes off for a nap?  And her husband was 100’s of miles away?   She was naked just for the fun of it?  WTF?

AGMA was taken aback.

I’ve never been very fond of prancing in my birthday suit and it kind of surprises me when people are.

When I was young – 5 maybe – my mother, sister and I went on vacation with my aunt, uncle and cousin.  We shared a rented cottage on…wait for it…

Lake Erie!

And this was back in the day when it was spontaneously combusting because there was so much industrial waste/toxic chemicals in it.  Okay, maybe the fire was a little bit later – 1969 – but you know that sh*t had to have been building up for years!

But hey, the cottage rental was probably cheap and we could drive there. And we weren’t going to spend that much time submerged in the sludge so it was all good.

I remember getting ready to go to the beach and running out of the cottage without my bathing suit on because I was so excited.  

AGMA was evidently fine going commando back in the day.

I don’t remember anything else about that vacation other than running out of the cottage naked, and getting yelled at by everybody to go back in and put some clothes on.

And the body shaming begins… 

Like most young women, when I hit puberty, things started changing and looking “different”.

My step-mother took me to the lingerie section of the local department store to get fitted for my first bra.  I remember lots and lots of wooden drawers with bras and panties in them, and the whole place smelled like my grandmothers parlor.

It was the shopping trip from hell

It was bad enough that I had to take my shirt off, but then this “old” lady (probably the age I am now…) had to actually touch me when she measured me in various places. While my step-mother and the rest of the store staff looked on.

Okay, maybe not the whole staff, but it felt like a lot of folks were staring at my “buds”.

Once the measuring was done, the torture was to continue…

After rifling through multiple wooden drawers, the sales lady came back to the fitting room with several bras in my size (probably 26AAAAA).

The trying on process involved pulling and pushing and strap adjusting and lots of clinical touching trying to make everything fit the way it should.

AGMA understands that this was normal protocol for the Are You Being Served crew, but to a 12 year old, it was totally humiliating.  

As I got older and the “girls” blossomed, it became evident to AGMA that something wasn’t quite right.

I’d seen my older sister without her bra and her girls were happy, perky and at attention.  She could totally get away without wearing a bra underneath her shirts and look great. 

I mean, this was the 60’s and bra burning was a thing right? 

My girls, on the other hand, appeared as if they’d just run a half-marathon without carb loading the night before.  They looked exhausted, sad, and were definitely unperky-ish.   

AGMA realized it was a bad case of saggy boobs.

No bra burning in my future.  I needed all the help I could get.

As a matter of fact, as I got older, I started having to buy steel reinforced bras (underwires) with wide straps and backs to help winch the ladies up to at least appear to act like they were trying to pay attention.

Sometimes it works.

But once the bra is off, they’re off to the barcalounger to watch Oprah reruns.

AGMA’s pretty sure that my lazy ladies are a big part of the reason I never liked going commando as an adult.  

All that flipping and flopping just isn’t comfortable. 

But one of my best friend is YUGELY BIG up top.  I mean so big she has to custom order her bras.  Massive, to the point where she gets backaches at times.  

And she prances around her house naked all the time.

WTF?

Maybe AGMA has other issues besides the flipping and flopping?

The times I tried to sleep naked, I’d have the “cafeteria” bad dream.  You know, the one where you are either behind the counter serving or you are in line getting food, and you’re naked.  But nobody else seems to notice or care but you.

It’s quite unsettling.

So yeah, maybe something else is going on.  But at this stage of my life, AGMA thinks it’s probably a moot point.

Although I’ve often thought that maybe a trip to a nudist beach or resort might help.  

I’m pretty sure that, years ago, I bought into that perfect body image lie that our culture promotes with such vigor.  The unspoken notion that we should be ashamed of our bodies and need to “fix” them if they aren’t happy, perky and attentive.

Maybe seeing other imperfect people might help.

Doubtful.

But if I do go, anybody else interested?  It could be a vacation of a lifetime.  One you’ll never forget.

No matter how many pharmaceuticals you take.

Let a smile be your umbrella blah blah blah

hedghog

Source: hedgehog_azuki Source:Instagram

It’s time to lighten this joint up!

AGMA’s last three posts have been of a somewhat somber nature.  My apologies for the barrage of Debbie Downer posts.

To be totally honest, life still seems to be a bit more on the old, dirty shoe leather side than the rainbows and unicorns side.  And it’s so easy to settle into a comfy seat and start chewing away at it.

Like I’ve been doing for the last 3 weeks.

It’s really hard to write a light, funny, fluffy post when you’re just not feeling it.  At least for AGMA it is.

I was never a very good liar.

So my go to in the ‘I need to write something that will make folks smile, but have no clue what to write’ department is my AGMA spam folder in WP.  It’s usually full of potential for humor.  Here’s one of my spam themed posts… Love is Love

But it was not to be.  I guess WP automatically purges spam folders on a regular basis.  The last time I looked at it there were 12 spammies in it.  Today, there are 2.

And one was in Russian:

“Добрый день. Предлагаем Вам наши услуги в области международных перевозок грузов.
Работаем международных грузоперевозок по основным направлениям: Россия (Челябинск, Екатеринбург, Пермь, Новосибирск, Красноярск, Омск, Тюмень, Томск) – Беларусь – Казахстан.
Но можем выполнить перевозку грузов по любым иным маршрутам.
Более подробно можете почитать на сайте компании “МиТур” ”

According to Google translate, it says:

“Good day.  We offer you our services in the field of international cargo transportation.  We work international cargo transportation in key areas.  Russia (Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Novosibirst, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Tomsk – Belarus – Kazakhstan, but we can carry out the transportation of cargoes on any other routes,  You can read more on the website of the company “MiTour”. ”

ZZZZZzzzzz…

So AGMA might have to consider the nuclear option.

I might have to go all Julie Andrews on everybody.   “Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens…”

Noooooooo!!!

Yup.

So here’s a partial list (in no particular order) of what makes AGMA smile:

  • Hedgehogs in lawn chairs
  • Minions (the yellow, cartoon kind, not the tRump kind)
  • Champagne bubbles in Epernay
  • The name of the country Djibouti
  • The thought of a Blue Tsunami in November
  • The Tour de France
  • The Crones of Anarchy Facebook page
  • The idea that there is really a pee tape
  • Hearing my grandkids call me Nana
  • Memories of “Hulking out” for my kids when they were young
  • German chocolate cake
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Hearing an Al Green song.  Any Al Green song.
  • Cappuccinos in Rome
  • The opening number of Hamilton
  • The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia
  • The possibility of a US Senator Beto O’Rourke
  • Meerkats
  • Reading your blogs (some of you make me LOL!)
  • Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Happy by Pharrell Williams
  • Hubs and 1 year old granddaughter watching the Five Little Ducks video
  • Any trip requiring a passport
  • Grandson and DIL dancing to We Know The Way from Moana
  • Any meme with Cadet Bonespurs and family/friends in orange jumpsuits
  • Hugs from either one of my sons
  • Roadrunner cartoons
  • Wonder Woman
  • Hitting that Publish button!

Whew.

So…I feel better.

What about you?

What makes you smile?  Laugh?  A funny story that made you belly laugh (so much so that maybe a little pee pee leaked out?)

Tell all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old friends

washer

When Son#2 was around 4, our dishwasher died. Feeling rather panicked at the idea of…OMG no…hand washing all of our dishes, AMGA and Hubs went out to purchase a new one immediately. When the delivery/installation people pulled out the dead dishwasher and hauled it away, Son#2 started wailing.

Evidently he and the dishwasher had a ‘special relationship’. Like Putin and Cheeto Man.

Only the passage of time and M&M’s managed to calm him down. It took about 15 minutes. I think he liked the look of the new dishwasher.

4 year olds tend to be a bit fickle.

Once upon at time, AMGA laughed at what’s become known as “the dishwasher incident”.

Not anymore… I get it now.

Some of AGMA’s best friends are machines.

Take Goldie for example.

Goldie is my 2008 Toyota Prius. I bought her in September of 2007 after I was T-boned in my 2006 Prius – Bluie – on I-75 at about 50mph.

The good news was that AGMA was basically unharmed from the accident. The bad news is that Bluie was totaled.

(Can you guess the colors my last two cars? AGMA’s creativity is simply astounding and can’t be contained… I’m like an American Dali.)

So I’ve had Goldie for nearly 11 years. That is the longest I’ve ever owned a car. It’s 25% of my car owning life.

I feel old.

AGMA tends to take my cars for granted. I get Goldie regular oil changes and check-ups, but other than that, I basically ignore her.

My interior looks like I am homeless, and live in my car. On any given day you can find a treasure trove of banana peels, energy bars, half empty coffee cups, a plethora of napkins from Starbucks, mail, a variety of plastic utensils, salt and pepper packets, 15 reusable shoppings, empty soda cans and used dental floss (ewww…) in her interior.

There’s a large chocolate spot in the rear hatch back carpet area (spilled mocha), the carpet under the gas pedal is thread bare. Her glove compartment is stuffed with oil change receipts that date back to 2008.

But despite my treatment of her, Goldie has been very, very good to me. She’s been the most dependable mode of transport I’ve ever had. And she hasn’t been fussy at all.

Plus, she gets killer gas mileage – 48mpg. Her hybrid battery, that was supposed to last only 7 years, has far exceeded expectations.

Which is exactly why AGMA is thinking that it might be time to start looking around for a late model used car.

Shhhh – don’t tell Goldie.

Truth be told, I’d love to have a car with all that hands free stuff and blue tooth and the internet and the loud alarms that let you know you’re too close to the mailbox when you’re backing up.

My son and DIL have a car that parallel parks itself! WHAT?? Yeah it does!

But then I look at Goldie. And I realize that she’s a lot like me. Not fancy, not flashy, not a lot of bells and whistles. But sturdy, dependable, cute in a 2008 way and wears her mileage well.

I’m pretty attached to her. I’m real attached to her actually.

I think it might be love.

And then there’s AGMA’s washing machine and dryer.

We bought them waaaayyy back in 1995. Well before the advent of high efficiency (HE) front loading washers.

There’s something about those front loaders that I don’t trust.

My son and DIL have one, and I watch it sometimes when I’m visiting.

Seriously.

It just sort of tosses the clothes around in what looks like 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of detergent. I guess it’s fine for now while their kids are little. But there’s nothing like a full tub of soapy water and a violent agitator to knock the crap out of the clothes to get the the grime out of a 10 year old’s play shorts and shirt.

AGMA’s going to be sad when they need replacing. Which may be soon. Actually, at this point, every load they do is a gift.

I’ll be sad not only from a “Holy sh*t…a new washer is how much???” perspective, but from a ‘tug on my heartstrings’ one as well.

I washed/dried innumerable soccer, baseball, football and track uniforms in them. I washed/dried the last couple of years of little boy play clothes before they turned into teenage angst clothes. I washed/dried pants & shirts that were worn to junior and senior high school dances. And I washed/dried massive loads of clothes brought home from college on breaks.

Call AGMA crazy, but I kinda miss those days…

I washed/dried throw rugs that were ‘messed on’ by our dog, KC, and our cats, Wart, Willie, Caesar, Gus and Max. Okay – maybe not such a fond memories of the messes, but 4 out of the 6 critters have gone over the rainbow bridge. I still miss them…

I washed/dried my sweet step-mother’s clothes in them weekly while she was in the Alzheimer’s unit of a local nursing home. And AGMA was very grateful for the long soak cycle at the beginning, the extra wash cycle and the extra rinse cycle. If you catch my drift. She’s now been gone for 17 years. I will always miss her…

Yeah…AGMA is just one big sentimental blob about my washer and dryer.

And Goldie.

I’ll probably cry like Son#2 did so many years ago when they reach the end of the road.

Anybody have any M&M’s?

 

Crones of Anarchy

thats-not-how-this-works

Facebook and AGMA have been a ‘thing’ for over 10 years now.

Mostly, it’s been a positive ‘thing’. To prevent hacks, my page’s security is as tight as Melania’s face. And I’ve been able to reconnect with people I haven’t seen since Richard Nixon was pseudo-President and The Beatles were still making beautiful music together.

Facebook has changed a lot these past 10+ years.

Now it has all these algorithms built in it to target tons of advertising and the appropriate Russian trolls to on your personal FB page. They also dictate which one of your friend’s posts appear on your timeline. So you can have 400 ‘friends’ (serioulsy?) but only see the posts of 25 of them on your timeline. You can always pop on over to those 375 other ‘friend’s’ (seriously?) pages to see what they’re up to, but c’mon…

“What the hell is an algorithm anyway?”

I’m glad you asked.

According to the first definition that pops up on Google, an algorithm is “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.”

Clear as the accounting on the Trump Foundation’s balance sheets, right?

I guess Facebook used special algorithms when it sent all of our personal information to Cambridge Analytica for the tRumputin campaign.  Those wacky kids!

But AGMA fully believed Mark Zuckerburg when he said Facebook would change it’s ways. And AGMA fully believed that Facebook would do an amazing job of protecting its users data in the future from unauthorized collection. AGMA also fully believed that Facebook would not need any government regulation – they would do just a dandy job policing themselves.

Oh crap! I misspoke. I meant wouldn’t! WOULDN’T!!

But despite the trolls and stolen personal data, AGMA still has her FB page. They say a bad love is better than no love at all…

However, the number of ‘friends’ AGMA can claim has dwindled a bit since November 8, 2016. My posts since that day have tended towards scathing criticisms of Putin’s Puppet and his band of merry traitors. I asked people to de-friend AGMA if my posts offended them. Some obliged. Quite a few actually.

Including my brother. He also de-friended my sister, who is the most gentle soul you can imagine, because she’s against caging children, supports common sense gun laws and wants a President who actually likes the rule of law, democracy, American, and Americans. And our allies.

Go figure.

One day, under the “Facebook Pages You Might LIke” side bar on my FB page (clearly al-go-rhythm driven), a page named Crones of Anarchy popped up. Clearly the name held great appeal for AGMA.

Why not?

AGMA’s definitely a Crone, and a little bit of Anarchy is good for the soul.

But to be a part of the Crone club, you had to take a test. AGMA hates tests. I guess they don’t want any posers – Russian trolls or males or unCroney women. Or Cult45-ers.

I get that.

The good news is that I passed! I’m in baby!! AGMA’s officially a Crone!

But then you knew that.

So if any of you ladies are on Facebook and have felt, deep on the inside, that you are and have always been a Crone, check them out.

Guys…AGMA doesn’t know what to tell you… Maybe the Crones of Anarchy can start a fraternal branch. You know, like the Eastern Star is to the Masons?

I’ll make that suggestion at our next Crone meeting and get back to you.

 

P.S. AGMA sincerely apologizes for my unexplained absence these past 2 weeks. Been visiting the MAGCITW (the grands) which is always exhausting and all time consuming.

I missed a lot of sh*t that went on in the world while I was immersed in Peppa Pig and playing good car/bad car/good train/bad train.

Sending late, but very hardy KUDOS to my friends living in the UK (or is it England, or Great Britain, or the United Kingdom?) for the AWESOME BABY TRUMP BALLOON!

And having a Queen who, very passive aggressively, wore her Barack Obama gifted brooch when meeting Putin’s Poodle. You rock Beth!

Hail Britannia!

“This House is Clean!”…rewind

roto

(This post was originally published in 2014.  It’s a humorous take on a subject most folks are reluctant to discuss.  For obvious reasons…

I’m reposting because it want to make sure EVERYBODY (and AGMA means EVERYBODY) over the age of 50 knows how critically important it is to get regular colonoscopies.  Sooner if there is a history of colon cancer in your family. 

A little over a year ago (February 2017), Hubs went in for a “regular” colonscopy (his previous ones had been clear).  The GI guy removed a large polyp and it turns out there were cancer cells hiding in the polyp.  

Damn cancer cells.

It was very, very early colon cancer – literally only a few cells grouped together.  It wasn’t even staged.  In May, the area around the poly was removed and the margins turned out to be  clear.

There was much dancing and celebration at Casa AGMA the day the pathology report came back!

The survival rate for early detection of colon cancer is very high.   This is a very good thing!

So this is all to say, if you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, get thyself to ye olde butt doctor NOW!)

On the way to a group run Monday, my running buddy told she was getting her first colonoscopy next Thursday. A colonoscopy virgin. Grasshopper has much to learn…

(Leave now if you don’t like TMI ‘cause this is going to be “one of those” posts!)

She complained that she couldn’t have any solid food on Wednesday; just clear liquids. She said she would be hungry. She was obsessing over how hungry she would be. “Oh honey,” I wanted to tell her, “hunger will be the least of your worries next Wednesday.”

I’ve had two colonoscopies. I think this puts me into the “experienced” category when it comes to this sort of thing. Lucky me.

Studies show that early screening for colon cancer save lives. I’m all over that. And, a colonoscopy really isn’t as bad as people say. Really. Maybe not.

I’ll give you that the prep is kind of yucky. My friend is going to be taking pills to “get ready” for the big day. I’m jealous. I was never offered a pill option.

The first doc in Ohio wrote me a prescription for something that I had to mix with water. It made 30 gallons. It seemed like it was 30 gallons. They said I had to drink it all over the course of the afternoon and evening the day before the procedure.

Game on!

Initially, it tasted like a cross between Gatorade, Pediacare and lemon-lime Kool Aid. Not too bad I thought at the time. “At the time” being the key words here…

Three gallons and three hours later into the prep “protocol”, my upper GI tract started to rebel. It was getting hard to drink the stuff. It was now tasting like a cross between horse sweat and liquified, stale Easter peeps. My throat was starting to clamp shut.

‘Round about that same time, my lower GI tract started to join the party. That’s the nice way to put it. I hovered close to the water closet. Very close. I was thinking of moving in for the night.

Several hours and several more gallons of the now totally undrinkable foul witches brew later, I took a stand. Enough is enough. The gag reflex had started kick in. This is never good. And what I did manage to force down started to shoot through me like I was a goose on speed. I made the unilateral decision that I had successfully completed the prep phase.

My second doc in Missouri didn’t write me a prescription for a prep concoction. He told me to get several over the counter products at the local drug store. Said they worked just as well. And it was cheap. No 30 gallons of toe jam peep sweat. No clamped shut esophagus. It was much more civilized with basically the same squeaky clean results. Easy peasy. Kind of…

So once the prep work is done, you’re basically home free. Other than the next day they snake about 15 feet of tubing up your colon while the doc wears a miners light on his head, a hazmat suit and stares at his monitor with live video of your now clean as a whistle innards. Can I order that on NetFlix?

But the best part of the whole process is the amazing twilight sleep stuff they use to knock you out! You have no idea at all what’s happening. This is very good. And you wake up feeling like you’ve had the best sleep you’ve had in years. In a sick way, it kinda makes it all worthwhile…

So if you’re over 50 and haven’t had a colonoscopy yet, for heaven’s sake schedule one! It’s a relatively simple procedure that could save your life. Plus you end up (get it – end up?) with some pretty good stories that you can swap with other 50+ types. Good times.

But I do have one question – when did they stop calling them proctologists and start calling them gastroenterologists? Proctologist is just such a great word. It’s the stuff great jokes are made of…

Two proctologists were talking about their patients (obviously pre-HIPPA…) The first one said that he was probing one of his patient’s “nether regions” and pulled out a bouquet of flowers. In stunned amazement, the second protologist said, “Where did they come from?” The first proctologist answered, “I don’t know. There wasn’t a card attached.”

Badum-CHING!

That Depends…

Purple

Hubs and I have been put on notice.

We went out to dinner with Son#2 who also lives in Atlanta. He is #2 strictly because he is our second son, born 18 months after Son#1. Son#2 in no way alludes to his position in our hearts and affections.

Although after last night, we may revisit that.

After some discussion about a class Hubs was taking in a seniors continuing education program at nearby university, my younger son made an announcement. I could tell that he had been thinking about this for a while and was waiting for the “perfect time” to bring it up.

Not sure he got the timing quite right.

He told us that it would be best if we found an senior living facility to move to sooner rather than later where we could get involved in “activities and arts & crafts.” He cautioned us no to wait too long. He said he didn’t want us to insist on living in our house until we got “old and bitter, and then fall on the floor and poop all over.”

Yes – those were his exact words. You can’t make this sh*t up.

No pun intended.

Hubs and I burst out laughing. It was just so unexpected and graphic. He was laughing too.

When the belly laughs subsided, he assured us that we were a “long way away from getting to the point of pooping all over.” We must be a bunch of middle schoolers…everybody started laughing again.

We moved on to other topics, which with Son#2, is always interesting. Since he was little, he’s always had strong opinions about things (translation, he was a pain in the arse a good deal of the time…) That hasn’t changed. But at least now he has the maturity and wisdom to select his words and timing, except when he’s talking about us falling down and pooping all over.

But it got AGMA thinking…

When is the right time to give up your home for an alternate living situation due to aging issues/concerns?

We may not be as far away from that as Son#2 thinks.

Hubs is afflicted with that $^#%@%*& neurological disorder. It’s robbing him of the use of his legs. We live in a 4 story townhouse.

Lots.O.Steps

And he has to be very careful going up and down all those steps because the weakness in his legs causes him to lose his balance easily.  He almost tripped this morning.

While we may not be ready for a senior living situation quite yet, we may not be that far away from moving to one level living.

AGMA’s father believed in reactive crisis decision making. And because he was an absolute monarch in a kingdom of two, my poor, sweet step-mother had to go along with whatever he said.

After my step-mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1990, we lobbied very hard to have them move closer to us after they sold their home. They lived a 4 hour drive away with no family close by. Not really easy or convenient for us to pop by… We got a realtor involved to try to find a place that they (my father) liked in Cincinnati (where we lived at the time.)

In the end, they (my father) decided to stay where they were, 228 miles away, and rent a townhouse.

Then my father promptly had a nervous breakdown due to the stress of trying to care for my step-mother, and had to be hospitalized.

Within 3 weeks, we moved my father to Chicago with my sister to recover after his release, moved my step-mother to Cincinnati to live with us, packed up their townhouse and had movers put it in storage. And that was just the beginning of some pretty major changes/upheavals in their/our lives brought on my father’s refusal or inability to admit they needed to live nearer to family.

Needless to say, AGMA was close to a nervous breakdown after it was all said and done…

I DO NOT want to do that to my children. I truly want to recognize when it’s time to throw the cards in and give up being lady of the manor.

That will be hard.

Lady AGMA’s had a manor to rule over since we moved into our first house 40 years ago.

But part of not aging gracefully is not being a major pain in the arse to your children as you age. Just a little nagging one…

Just enough to let them know you’re still around.

AGMA has to believe that no matter what living situation we’ll find ourselves in, that I’ll continue to be a crusader for coloring outside the lines and laughing as much as possible.

And tattoos.

And using colorful language.

And young men in spandex.

Pass the Depends!

Cold sores and lip fungus

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This past June marked the 45th anniversary of AGMA’s first tentative, wobbly steps into adulthood. Very wobbly. I was naive. I was shy. I was mousy.

But I was ready to start my real life.

45 years ago, I, along with 700+ classmates, graduated from high school.

And those of us who are still fortunate enough to be around and in relatively good health and with the means and desire to travel to Pittsburgh, got together last Saturday night to celebrate that momentous event. Or we were just looking for a reason to party.

Yes.  It was my 45th high school reunion.

And as promised in my earlier post in June, AGMA was boldly and proudly in attendance. Because, unlike 50 of my classmates who are no longer with us, I could go.  And not to be morbid, but of those 50 classmate who have gone over the rainbow, 22 have passed in the last 5 years since our last reunion in 2011.

Holy crap on a cracker – 22 in 5 years!  Poof, gone.

I think it’s a good thing we’ve started having reunions every 5 years now.

Aging is clearly a risky business.

Contrary to my plans in my June post, AGMA didn’t get glammed up or dressed to the nines. I didn’t wear heels or lots of make-up. I didn’t buy a new outfit either. It was billed as a casual affair so I went casual, wearing clothes I already had, and a bit of blush and eyeliner.

But I looked good… Darned good.  And people noticed.

It was a good night for AGMA’s normally fragile, humble ego. Like the Grinch’s heart, AGMA’s ego grew three sizes Saturday evening.

Because only 2 of my 5 BFF’s were there and Hubs stayed back in Atlanta,  I wandered around most of the evening striking up conversations with former classmates and/or their spouses/partners.  I call it social “cold calling” and I’m pretty good at it .

“Hi! My name is AGMA. I’m sure you don’t remember me because I was very quiet and shy in high school, and didn’t move into the community until 9th grade. So do you still live in PIttsburgh?” It was an effective opening line.

And if I was talking to a man, I added, “And I definitely didn’t talk to guys. I used to blush and turn red.” I was surprised at the number of men who laughed and said, “And I didn’t talk to girls!”

Turns out many of them were as terrified of me as I was of them! Who knew?

Based on AGMA’s observations of the 80+ people who came the reunion, my classmates, 45 years later, fall into one the following groups:

  1. People who have become self actualized enough to leave the cliquishness, “labels” and insecurities of their teenage years behind them and are now really nice people. AGMA falls into this group. Of course.
  2. People who are still suffering from self confidence issues and are still reluctant, after all these years, to go outside of their comfort zone.   So they still stick like glue to their old high school peeps for support. That’s just sad.
  3. People who have never gotten over the trauma of _________ (fill in the blank) from their high school years and have come back to prove a point. They are now (take your pick…) successful, beautiful, handsome, have a head full of hair, skinny, rich, have a hot spouse and/or successful kids, and have come to rub it in the face of the cool “kids”. Who really don’t give a flying f*ck. Still.
  4. The people who were self confident and nice in high school, and are still self confident and nice. Yeah – there were a few of those.

In general, the women have aged better than the men. Although I do have to admit to a few double takes with some of the guys. A few of them have gotten better with age. Much better.

But the big story of the night was that I did what was totally impossible and unthinkable to a 17 year old AGMA. And it only took 45 years. Who said crazy dreams don’t come true? You just have to be willing to be patient…

AGMA got to kiss our former class football jock hero. He was the quarterback of our state title winning football team. He was so popular that a quiet, shy mouse like me would never even think of daring to have a crush on him. That would have been just crazy.

Lest you think AGMA was dallying on Hubs, it wasn’t like that. Really. Although after 2 Moscow Mules, I’m not exactly 100% clear on how it all happened. I’m pretty sure we ended up kissing dramatically for a photo op.

Keep a lookout for it on Facebook. That possibility kinda makes me quesy…

At least there were no tongues.

Now that would’ve been gross. He’s turned out to be a kind of a slimy ,used car sales person type who drinks too much.  It’s tough being a washed up jock.

One of my first thoughts afterwards was that I hoped he didn’t have anything that was contagious. Not the reaction AGMA might have dreamed of 45 years ago….

But I was young and naive then.  And not aware of the dangers of cold sores and lip fungus.

I’m really looking forward to our 50th.

And I wonder who I’ll pucker up for in 2021?

Aging gracefully my ass!

Home improvements

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My friend Andrew over at Andrew’s View of the Week, besides being a poet, humorist, author and wise (cracking?) sage, is quite the woodworker and handyman. Show off.

His current project is building an enclosed raised bed garden. But, in the course of my following his blog, he has reported on completing a myriad of other projects around the house. I get exhausted just reading about his DIY exploits. Show off.

But really, I do adore him. In a jealous AGMA sort of way…

Hubs and I used to be handy around the house. Real handy. We did a lot to our first house, purchased in 1978. We were young, strong, foolish and broke back then. AGMA remembers the agony of steaming the wallpaper off of the first floor plaster walls then sanding the walls down to get them smooth in order to paint them. We must have eaten plaster dust for the next 2 years…

Yuck.

We put an island in our kitchen and installed a new countertop on all of the cabinets. We built shelves and installed tile around the fireplace. I made our curtains, and stained and installed interior shutters.

We did plumbing and electrical projects too. With some very mixed results… There always seemed to be elusive leaks that defied detection on the plumbing projects. The good news about the electrical projects is that nobody got electrocuted.

But we needed a larger home when our family went from two to three to four in a short 18 months.

Our second house was an upgrade. We went from 3 to 4 small bedrooms, 1 to 1.5 bathrooms and driveway parking to a 2 car garage. But the house needed work so we rolled up our sleeves and went at it again. It was just a bit more challenging this time around with a baby and a toddler.

We were restless though. Like many other young families, we were in search of that panacea, “a good school district”. And we found it. And moved again…

We stayed in that house for the next 15 years. Still 4 bedrooms, but we scored a tiny master bathroom so we were up to 2.5 bathrooms. AGMA was in 3 toilet heaven.

And you know how I feel about toilets.

But home improvements in this house were few and far between. It was a season of busyness with kids, work, volunteer “stuff” and aging parents, so there wasn’t time for DIY. And $$ was still pretty tight so we couldn’t pay anybody else to do the work.

So the dismal kitchen that was in the house when we moved in in 1987 was the same dismal kitchen when we sold the house in 2002.

We did replace things as they “died” (dishwasher, garbage disposal, carpeting, etc), but we did very little by way of improvement. We did make a half hearted attempt to finish the basement. Clearly an amateur effort, but good enough for a gathering place for kids and friends.

2002 started our new, innovative approach to home improvements.

We literally improved our “home” by trading up. As in going from one home to another on a regular basis. We moved and upgraded before things had time to die or break or go out of style.

Brilliant!

Since 2002, AGMA’s lived in 6 – count ‘em – six different homes. Other than the home we’re in now, the longest we’ve ever lived in any of of them is 3.5 years.

Therein lies AGMA’s current dilemma. This past June, we celebrated 4 years in our lovely townhouse.

Waaayyyy too long if you ask me.

Things are starting to need attention/improvement. Our alarm system hasn’t worked for the past 6 months. We have like 20 foot ceilings and our tallest ladder is 12 feet so we have multiple burned out light bulbs in closets. A door in my bathroom cabinet is catywhampus. And we have a built-in, inoperable Jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. Nothing says 2001 like a Jacuzzi tub…

The roof and all of the kitchen appliances are 15 years old.   As well as 2 of the 3 (count ‘em three!) HVAC units.  It’s past time to replace the 3 year air filters (to the tune of $500 each) on the fancy, smacy air filtration units that are attached to 2 of our HVAC units. When we put them in 3+ years ago, AGMA had no idea we’d still be living here and have to replace them yet again.  Ouch.

Our town home has great bones, but the flesh is starting to sag a bit.

Just like AGMA.

So the question is, do we do it the old fashioned way and actually replace/upgrade things. Or do we move. Again.

The moving on a regular basis strategy really worked for us. Even through the housing crisis, we managed to upgrade in amenities and location, and still be in the black. Our home now is probably the nicest we’ve live in and is in a fabulous neighborhood in Atlanta.

But moving is hard. Really hard. Especially as you get older. Even when it’s a “corporate” move and somebody else does most of the packing and moving.

The last move nearly did AGMA in.

So I guess it’s time to put on the big girl AGMA pants, and start dealing with that sagging flesh. Hubs checked out of the DIY thing years ago, so I’m going to be on the hunt for a good handyman.

I forget, where do you live again Andrew?