At what age do we turn middle-aged? Is it 40? 45? 50? At what age are we allowed the indulgence of a middle age crisis? Are women, mothers, ever allowed such an indulgence? I certainly have no desire to run out and buy a red convertible, but I do have my eyes on a handbag that is far too ridiculous a purchase in these economic times. Does that count? Surely I need to stay away from my computer and the mall tomorrow, if only because I know that on my birthday I am much more likely to "click to purchase" than on any other day of the year.
While running down my favorite farm road this morning (the inspiration for "Chasing Shade," actually, when on hot summer days I found myself criss-crossing the street in search of shade to ease my run) I started mulling over the fact that I will be 45 tomorrow. It's begun to bother me a little bit, not because of the number itself, but because of the unknown that turning older brings to your life. My eyes are genuinely less predictable, my metabolism appears to be getting sloooower and sloooower, and my few gray hairs have brought along their cousins.
Ah, yes, but I did go for a run this morning, and my legs didn't give out (though I didn't get any beeps like I used to in the old days... probably a good thing). I haven't misplaced my keys in many months, and I still don't look like a complete fool in washed-out denim (if I do, please, someone, tell me!). Oh, and because of my gender, I don't have to worry about my prostate or Viagra. Truly, a blessing.
Yet, I'm pretty sure that tomorrow I will officially be middle-aged. I have about 18 hours to convince myself it's not a bad thing, especially if you consider it means I will live to 90! Yet, it is still somewhat unsettling. So, I'm going to enjoy today as much as possible. And, yes, my kids and siblings still have to call me tomorrow, but everyone else is off the hook. I need as little reminding as possible. Truly.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK -- Homemade Dogfood
I know what you're all thinking, she's finally gone off the deep end, making homemade dog food (you should have seen the looks on Meg and Mark's faces last night when we were explaining the process to them --- they think we're nuts!). But, let me assure you, our three dogs are thriving on this combination, and if you get the timing down, it doesn't take that long. One batch lasts the three dogs about 5 days. You can adjust accordingly. The breeder recommended that the puppy get 1.5 lbs. of food per day, Kovu (male/five yrs. old) get 2 lbs., and Chloe (female/11 yrs. old) get 1 lb. Since starting on this recipe, Chloe is like a new dog, thinner and with a lot more energy. Kovu has also slimmed down and his coat is shiny and beautiful. As for the puppy, she would probably eat wallpaper glue if I gave her that, but she loves this, too. Think about it.
Proportions should be 1/4 protein (beef) and 3/4 carbohydrates. We accomplish this with the following ingredients:
Long grain Brown Rice (cooked)
Carrots and Broccoli, steamed or boiled long enough to chop easily in the food processor. About
twice as many carrots as broccoli, as some broccoli is good but not too much (don't know why..)
Powdered Milk (calcium)
Pumpkin (canned) or Pineapple (chopped) -- added so the dogs don't eat ... you know...
Large scoop of cottage cheese (more calcium) (added right before serving)
Raw beef (we use 85% hamburger) (added right before serving)
We also put in a supplement called Nupro (from Revival.com), akin to a powdered vitamin.
Try it. I'm sure your dogs will love it.