Advice from an old lady

Before I get to the more general advice, let me dispense some cautionary advice relative to COVID. I’ve been reading one horror story after another about hospitals being overrun and depending on whom you believe, a health care system on the verge of collapse or already fully collapsed.

In that vein: stay off of ladders; keep your knives sharp; exercise care going up and down stairs and getting in and out of the shower; get your groceries delivered — or if not, certainly cut out all non-essential shopping for a month; do not get drunk (according to my brother some huge percent of ER admissions are alcohol-related); save your heart attack for the summer; take all your meds; shovel snow in brief intervals or hire someone else to do it; get grippers for your boots; stay off motorcycles.

In other words, now is not the time to cut yourself or take a bad fall.

Now for some more general old lady advice. I’d love to hear yours!

Roll spine before getting out of bed

In winter, put hemp salve up the nose to keep tissues soft

Open all mail from Social Security promptly

Buy the nicest face products you can afford

Heating pads are a way of life

Sprinkle critical items around the house: charging cords (plugged in); reading glasses; writing instruments (I like Bic Medium points, blue); dental floss

Make every bath a salt bath — regular Epsom salts for the average day, scented Epsom salts for a little treat, and fizzy bath bombs for a bigger treat (I pull my bath bombs out of the water halfway through their fizz to extend use).

Invest in good walking boots and comfy shoes that have a little style to them.

Scarves and earrings can dress up a wardrobe of plain shirts

If your size or stature is hard to fit, when you discover a pair of pants or top that is flattering and comfortable, immediately buy two more in other colors (I wish I had learned this decades ago)

Enjoy food!

To counter this, I don’t eat breakfast, take a statin, and walk every day. Every once in a while I’ll eliminate gluten, dairy, and/or sugar for a while. Sometimes years.

(I haven’t quite worked this one out and have struggled with an extra ten pounds for about four years).

Dogs! Cats! Need I say more?

A heavy bamboo blanket turns a couch into a haven. Upstairs, I now sleep under a weighted blanket as well. It took some trial and error to figure it out, but now that I’ve got it, I can’t imagine sleeping without it!

Stay in touch with friends.

31 thoughts on “Advice from an old lady

  1. RainSluice

    Thank you, you dear old lady you 🙂 This is very helpful and affirming.
    What is a “heavy bamboo blanket”?
    Otherwise, I’m doing everything right except I take showers. Did you read the article in the Sunday NYTimes about relaxation? it’s interesting.
    I think when I do yoga (regularly. which I don’t) I incorporate spine rolling, muscle relaxation and good breathing habits. However, when I feel stressed or have lifted something too heavy everything goes to hell. I found a chiropractor who has taken away my sciatica. That has been life enhancing to say the least. I suppose I could buy a lot of heating pads for what the chiropractor costs…?
    None of that helped me sleep. However! For the past month I’ve been taking CBD-THC. One half of a gummy usually works for me. If not, or if I’m particularly agitated before bedtime, I take a whole one and that always works for me. I think I am a bit of a better person now; “old” be damned. Onward.


    1. deemallon Post author

      Can you share the strength of your gummies? So glad you found a good chiropractor but let me say you can have a heating pad AND see a chiropractor! In fact, a heating pad might help the chiropractic adjustments “stick.” I have this glorious bamboo blanket made by pottery barn. It’s heavy so it really sits on legs and lap in a soothing, cozy way. I have not been able to find them again though and I really tried at Christmas. When I search bamboo blankets most that came up were cotton. But I forgot to search in pottery barn. That might work.

      1. RainSluice

        oh! I’ll bring back the heating pad 🙂
        strength of “deep sleep” gummies: 25 mg CBD 2 mg THC, 3 mg melatonin
        Thanks for info re: blankets 🙂

  2. deb

    Last night was my first sleeping on a four-inch memory foam mattress topper. Replacing a king sized mattress was out of the question, but a topper, doable. At first, the feeling of settling into wet cement was alarming. This was quickly replaced by deep relaxation brought on by the alien condition of NO pain in any of a dozen places that formerly needed pillows adjusted and readjusted. It’s a good thing I did NOT adjust my chemistry before bedtime. Woke up refreshed and physically changed for the better.

  3. Tina

    I love getting advice from “old ladies” always the best advice. Thank you .. I will definitely look into those blankets. Have a wonderful day everyone .. it’s going to be a great one.

    1. jude

      I’ve been ordering my goceries. Today they sent a note out, due to a shortage of inventory and divers they are one week out on delivery. And I am out of everything. So going.

  4. Marti

    Well from probably the oldest lady here:

    Bah to the aches and pains, crank up the music and dance as the glib old saying goes, “dance as if no one is watching’ and if they are, who cares because see that never stopped me: I dance when and wherever I get the urge; indoors, outdoors, etc. When we used to be able to go places, it was my husband who always bet me that I would not last 10 minutes at a festival before I broke out in dance… After 52 yrs together, you think he would be blase about my dancing but the other day, he said he missed the absolute spontaneity and hilariousness of me putting it all out there so I twirled in front of him and did a little bump and grind and we laughed and by the way, laugh, if possible once a day. Other times, shedding a tear or two is also quite good…

    Two things I do every day: no matter how early I am up, I open the door and mind you these days it is an act of courage as I am sure you well know given your weather, I step outside, chant a blessing for the day, breathe in and out and go back inside.

    Read every day, read for knowledge, for enjoyment, for understanding, for laughter and then put a few thoughts down on paper. I don’t journal but now and then, I write a few words, tuck them in a dresser drawer, look at them months later and toss…it is in the putting down the words, that I feel an uplift and it is also in the release, that I feel the same.

    Communicate with my cloth basket, at least once a day, wait for threads to speak and if they don’t, toss them about, remember what gave them color and markings and then, pat them back into place in the basket…this ritual is so important to my mellowing out process.

    I’m a very light sleeper, get by with less than 7 hrs, get up between 3 and 4 am every day but when there are those nights when I need a little help, I resort to my old tried and true, Ovaltine in a cup of warm milk with a bit of honey.

    AND I am one of those women who still puts on a bit of eyeliner, mascara, blush and a bit of lip color, even if all I am doing is taking the trash out and staying indoors. As a Spanish woman, we speak with our eyes and I still want to amplify what they say with a bit of help but I have to say with my old 74 yr old eyes, it is quite the challenge to not get eyeliner on my nose. I used to do the cat eye liner in black, now with my gray hair and hazel eyes, my eyeliner is a soft green taupe waxy pencil that slightly enhances how I look but in my mind, I look ravishing…! and that my dears, is how I get through my days.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Fabulous tips from a fabulous woman. You’re a bit of a legend honestly! I love all of these ideas, especially the dancing and the eye pencil. Thank you once again for such a generous contribution to the conversation!

  5. Nancy

    You and everyone else has such great suggestions. I’ll add only two to the mix. I try (really hard) to do a few neck & back stretches in the morning when I get up. Very simple ones that help set the tone for the morning, at least. Also, something that has helped as I become that old lady, is giving myself permission to be who I am at any given point in time. If I feel old or tired or not…whatever, I am accepting that. It is not worth beating myself up about this.

  6. Liz A

    I love every bit of this … so here’s my list of quotidian activities …

    Some modified Pilates-type stretching to keep my back happy and prevent sciatica (supplemented by an Omron TENS unit and Thermacare heat packs when stretching fails to get the kinks out after a visit with the grandkiddos)

    Stitching and/or reading in the light of a south window … in an overstuffed rocker

    Blistex for rough skin … not just on lips, but on cracked cuticles and scaly spots … even (wait for it) on rough heels!

    Doing the New York Times xword and Spelling Bee … plus my latest online game indulgence: Wordle

    For better or worse, reading the local newspaper on my laptop at breakfast, the NYT on my iPhone in the afternoon, and Rachel Maddow on TV for dessert in the evening (along with a tiny bowl of Haagen Dazs … always!)

    And I wish I could say I blog every day, but no such luck

    1. deemallon Post author

      I haven’t had a tube of blistex in years. That’s about to change! I also do the Times puzzle and spelling bee but I haven’t discovered wordle yet. I think maybe I ought not because I also do the tile puzzle and the letters around the box thing.

      Ice cream! I love you.

      We watch at least the opener of Maddow in the evenings too. Sometimes I think I should watch the recording midday instead because who knows why I can’t sleep when I can’t sleep. Her content is never not upsetting.

  7. snicklefritzin43

    Love all your practices – sounds like life is full of preservation and awakening features for the aging self.
    So many changes, especially since covid still reigns in a state where only 50% of the folks are vaccinated. Long soaks, walks when it isn’t icy, daily strength building and balance developing exercises go together to keep me strong and pretty fit for a gal looking closely at the 80’s.

  8. Anonymous

    So many good ideas here! Love advice, especially from wise women. This being my first time in my life to stay in one place for more than a year (truly a miracle) my whole outlook has changed. What I’ve discovered so far is:
    stick to a schedule for going to sleep and getting up. Sleep in a cool room. No coffee past 2pm. No food past 430. Paint/create/ make something every day, even if it’s just a little. Walk a mile or more. (Learned from you, Dee) Epson salt soaks 2 or 3 times a week are the best. Sinus rinse/neti pots are life savers as is a cpap machine, once you get used to them. It can take a while but it’s worth it. Thanks for starting this sharing of wisdom 💕

    1. RainSluice

      watched the Qigong video – now to do it 🙂 looks GREAT. thanks!
      after that maybe I’ll be able to crossword puzzles. Yes this was fun, plentiful great responses.

  9. Faith

    Just discovered your blog, though I’ve seen you a lot at others’ blogs. I enjoyed reading back several posts. You’re on my list now.

    If I may add to the old lady advice:

    Never let the number of years you’ve lived define your age. (And age can change from day to day.)

    And back several posts: Congratulations!!!! on finishing the collage challenge. I am ADD and I do get it. Awesome! You give me hope.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Faith! Looking forward to “chatting.” I’m watching Queer Eye right now but will check out your blog in the morning.

      Love the wisdom about numbers. Thank you for that.

  10. debgorr

    I think I need to print this! 🙂 As someone in her 50’s I don’t know that I can add anything other than remember to say “I love you” lots to the people you love. And as someone who’s knees are aging faster than the rest of me…Epson salt baths are awesome.


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