Posts by Patty Chang Anker

Lost in Yonkers 4

Lost in Yonkers

Posted by on Jul 25, 2009 in Aging gracefully (more or less), Facing Forty Upside Down

Have you been following the news about how dangerous multi-tasking is while driving? It seemed obvious to me that texting while driving is not a good idea, but I was surprised that a recent study shows that talking on the phone hands-free is as bad as holding a phone to your ear – it’s the distraction of the conversation, not the device, that is most dangerous, and the effects are equivalent to driving while intoxicated! Well! I heard this and thought – how is a cell phone conversation any more distracting than, say, screaming children (or screaming parents)? Trying to find the right Justin Roberts song on the right CD before the children and parents start screaming again? Unwrapping a cheesestick, tossing it over my shoulder and hoping a kid catches it in the back? Isn’t multi-tasking a point of pride for moms? Still, I cut down on making calls while driving – better safe than sorry. But then, on Wednesday, while driving across Westchester to the Bronx ALL BY MYSELF, thinking happy thoughts with no distractions at all…I completely spaced out on where I was going and missed my exit, causing me to drive around Yonkers for 20 minutes asking 3 sets of people and dogs for directions...

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Worm guts galore Comments Off on Worm guts galore

Worm guts galore

Posted by on Jul 18, 2009 in Facing Forty Upside Down, Fishing, parenting

What we do for our children. When I started this quest to learn things in midlife I never had a chance to learn as a child, fishing was not on the list. A mother of boys had once warned me that hooking wiggling worms and unhooking flipping fish always ends in bloodshed, and bloodshed would be a total downer in my “new lease on life” attitude (or Patti-tude, as DH, dear husband, would say). But, our village fishing derby was tonight, and it sounded just too quaint to pass up. Plus, a friend was going to bring a rod and tackle for G, and I was hoping to get out of most of the baiting and fish removal (what can I say, I’m a city chick. Growing up I was told never to pick up anything wild because it might have rabies). So off we went, the girls delirious at the thought of catching the biggest fish. Well, our friends had to leave early, and when G appealed to me anxiously “Now who’s going to bait this hook? Who’s going to help me fish??” I looked around desperately for someone to bail me out and realized there were plenty of moms who knew how to fish and I was...

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Say what??? 4

Say what???

Posted by on Jul 14, 2009 in Aging gracefully (more or less), Facing Forty Upside Down

I always thought I would age gracefully. But today, when an earnest, well-intentioned young guy told me “You’re an older spring chicken” all I could think was…”SAY WHAT???” followed by sustained screaming, real and imagined. Yeah, it’s bad enough my low-rise skirts are now sitting at my natural waistline. That I ran around the house for an hour this morning looking for a homework folder for G that turns out never came home from camp last week. That 3 year old R inspects my face in the morning, pointing “Mommy, why you have wrinkles he-yah (here)? And he-yah? And he-yah?” And I’m not alone! Since my mismatching shoes post friends have consoled me with their own stories of walking around the city in bedroom slippers (more than 1 of you have done this!), leaving bags of groceries at the store (oh wait, that one is me again), recycling a brand new book without thinking, because hey, it’s paper. And see hlohlo’s comment to the “Has this ever happened to you” post for a laugh-out-loud story of misplaced keys. All this to say, aging gracefully is hard to do when you feel like a doofus much of the time. But hello, we are not “older spring chickens.” We’re firecrackers –...

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Has this ever happened to you? 6

Has this ever happened to you?

Posted by on Jul 12, 2009 in Aging gracefully (more or less), Facing Forty Upside Down

Scene: Hot, crowded parking lot. Patty, struggling to get her 8 and 3 year old daughters, plus baby doll, toy stroller, diaper bag, across it. “G,” the 8 year old: Mom. I have a question. Patty (herding the 3 year old, juggling, sweating, annoyed): What, what is it? G: Mom, why are you wearing 2 different shoes? (!!!) I look down. I’m wearing 2 different shoes. D’OH!! I have to start getting more sleep. Share: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Google+...

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Y’all are CRAAAAAAZY!!!! Comments Off on Y’all are CRAAAAAAZY!!!!

Y’all are CRAAAAAAZY!!!!

Posted by on Jul 10, 2009 in Facing Forty Upside Down

I’ve decided I have the coolest friends around. Not only are you embracing the idea of me going upside down, YOU’RE GOING UPSIDE DOWN WITH ME! Friends from across the country, some from 20+ years ago, are inviting me to trapeze, hanglide, kayak, surf with them. Holy cow, y’all are craaaaaazy!! Is this what you’ve been doing while I’ve been busy watching reality TV? Others are sharing their own adventures (roadtripping to Disney solo with kids) and misadventures (camping in the middle of nowhere and running out of gas). I got a contact-high off of one friend’s description of flying on the trapeze. And another reader was kind enough to note that I do not need elective surgery (!). Best of all, a fellow semi-swimmer responded “I’ve always wanted to learn how to dive too – do you want a buddy?” Hell, yeah! So stay tuned for “Diving with Z,” [diving, as in, tipping off the edge of a swimming pool into a contained body of water – not Finding Nemo, which let’s face it, was a terrifying portrayal of the mysteries of the deep, shudder]. Keep it coming, all of it – your stories, which I’ll post as guest entries if you like, and your camaraderie. This is...

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Boogie Boarding with Barb 7

Boogie Boarding with Barb

Posted by on Jul 8, 2009 in Boogie boarding, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down

After 39 years of approaching life fairly cautiously (when my daughter asked me if there was anything I was afraid of, there were so many things I could list, I was afraid to answer) I have decided it is time to start saying yes. Not ‘no, I don’t do that,’ or ‘yes, if it will make you happy.’ But — hell yeah, yes! So when Barb, fabulous new-friend-kindred-spirit, Barb said she was going to the beach by herself, saw me drooling with envy and asked if I’d like to come along, I said…yes! Not ‘we don’t know each other very well, let’s just have lunch before we spend a full day together on a first date,’ not ‘I would love to but I don’t know if I can arrange the childcare and I have so much work to do’ But, yes! And when we got to the beach and Barb asked ‘Wanna boogie board?’ I said yes again, though with a little less conviction. I’m not a great swimmer. I’m afraid of drowning, riptides, jellyfish, hypothermia, tsunamis. I may have tried a boogie board once when I was younger, but this one was like an alien object – I scanned the horizon and saw a kid with one attached...

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