Fitness, Menopause

Brush Like a Flamingo

Balance. The not falling over kind of balance.

I took a nasty spill the other day. I don’t  know what, besides a sharp turn and stepping from road to grass, made me fall.  For a few days, my shoulder felt like Jane’s might after swinging from too many vines, and my hand was black and blue, but luckily, I’m okay.  I might not be next time though.

As we age, balance becomes oh so important.  Falls are the downfall of those up in years.

Have you taken the balance test?  Can you stand on one foot?

I sure need to work on balance. And compared to other things to work on, like cutting down on sugar or learning to “show don’t tell” in my writing, balance work is  fun.

In the April O Magazine, fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds, writes, “My regimen consists of a single exercise–brushing my teeth on one leg.”

So I’m trying to do this too: Stand on one foot while I work on my not-so-pearly whites.

For a picture for this post, I thought perhaps I could show you my bathroom,the very spot where I brush my teeth.  Hmm. Boring?  TMI?

I went in with my camera and found the lovely bird above. I am hoping she might be the Queen of  One Foot Standing, a flamingo (although her beak is too long.) She sits in a tiny gold frame on the wall above my sink.  My eyes meet hers as I brush and balance.

Any balance tips out there?  Anybody swear by yoga or Tai Chi?  Tightrope walking?

Photo: Cliff found the pink bird picture for me in Tijuana years ago.  The print is tiny, about two by two inches.  Below are two other prints, even tinier, that he bought at the same time. The signature on the bird print is hard to read, but I think it’s “Urrutia.”  I can’t decipher the signatures on the prints below.

My friend Lisa just sent me this picture. She was in the Bahamas, getting balancing lessons from an expert!

Aging, Gratitude, Menopause, Teeth

A Toast to the Tooth Fairy and My Dentist

A hearty toast to our old friend the Tooth Fairy:

                       Here’s to the old tooth under the pillow,

                        Here’s to the space that it left behind,

                        Here’s to the new tooth soon to follow,

                        Here’s to the Tooth Fairy, generous and kind.

It seems only yesterday that I was leaving my teeth under pillows. Now they crumble away in my mouth.

Well not all of them, at least not yet, but those molars fat with fillings do tend to give way.  But in all, we’re told:  “Practice gratitude.”

And I am grateful.  I’m grateful for a dentist who can fix up my failing teeth.  Thank you, Dr. Cheek (his real name, I promise), and to your assistants.  I’m grateful for fast drills, Novocain, magic moldly stuff that turns into a fine fake tooth, and the glue that holds it in.

Recently, I toured the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore.  If you’re grumpy about going to the dentist, you need to check out the old instruments in this museum.  OUCH, OUCH, and OUCH.  You’ll never complain about a visit to your 21st Century dentist again.  Better yet, bring him or her a present!  I’m giving mine a Tooth Fairy necklace.

Happy Birthday on Wednesday, to my daughter Katherine, who left notes to the Tooth Fairy asking her to please leave the money but let Kath keep the tooth!  You encourage me every day with your boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Photo:  The glow-in-the-dark Tooth Fairy necklaces and flavored dental floss are souvenirs I purchased in the museum’s funky gift shop.  My poem “A Toast to the Tooth Fairy” (© Barbara Younger, 1998) was first printed in June Cotner’s Family Celebrations:  Prayers, Poems, and Toasts for Every Occasion.  Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999.