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By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
The Times 

My "Nine over Ninety"


April 14, 2022

Is it the water? Relaxed and friendly Lifestyle? Homegrown veggies? The fact that our area has 9 (plus) people over 90 years old is impressive and has given me a push to rethink my procrastination and make a life plan. As I’ve said before, planning is not my strong suit, so here goes:

First: Shop less, save more! I may need to make those social security checks stretch more than I anticipated. Saving, like planning, is also not one of my strong suits.

Second: Eat better and healthier. I hope radishes are healthy because the seeds I thought froze or washed away have sprouted. I should have an endless supply of radishes this year. I have also started planting cabbage. I gave up on the 45-day variety; the promised timing was a hoax. It was at least 90 days. Happily, it wasn’t attacked by bugs like the spinach and zucchini were.

Third: Plant ninety seeds, hope for nine plants! (I’m a ten percenter). Other than radishes, it’s always a guess as to what seeds will survive and sprout. Having no patience, I usually give them ninety minutes, then go buy starts just in case.

Fourth: Celebrate what will probably be ninety currant tomato plants that keep reseeding and spreading with increased yields. I’m sure these tiny tomatoes have beneficial properties, maybe because they look like peas.

Fifth: Throw more parties! We hosted our first Sunday brunch this week, and it was a blast! It felt like ninety people attended, although it was closer to forty. We did have ninety different platters of food and at least that many glasses of wine and other drinks.

Sixth: Exercise more. The weather is finally improving. Mugsy and I need to walk more and shed our additional winter pounds. Mugsy is an excruciatingly slow walker. He just can’t resist marking every pole, post, fire hydrant, or blade of grass in town. Considering my lack of patience, I usually pick him up and carry him, which burns more calories. A win, win.

Seventh: Stop procrastinating and finish fixing the house. Patch, paint, replace the acoustical tile ceilings, and add moldings. If I follow the eat healthy and exercise plan, I could be living in the house longer than initially anticipated, so it should be nice.

Eighth: Don’t underestimate the weather prediction of strong winds. I’ve spent this morning chasing seat cushions and garbage cans that have been strewn about from the gale-force winds. I have every device I own plugged in, so I can watch TV, movies, or read, if there is a power outage, its candles, and a book.

Ninth: Shop Less, save more! Refer to items 2 and 7. I need to have enough money to fix the house and supplement social security because I’ve decided I will be one of the nine over ninety in twenty-plus years.

I know that healthy eating and exercise are not enough. Reduced stress should also be added to the equation. To that end, I don’t stress about what to wear anymore, since working at home, there is no need to “dress to the nines.” Jeans, running clothes, and no makeup are just fine.

Coincidentally, a few days ago, I found a bag of 100 tulip bulbs I purchased at Costco months ago. I forgot to plant them, so I planted them this weekend. Maybe it was symbolic, but ten of them were dead, so ninety new bulbs seem appropriate for this week’s newspaper theme. I’ll be lucky if ninety percent bloom next year, but I’d settle for ten.


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