Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Who Are You?

Who are you and what have you done with Maggie?

Veggie warning for the beet-phobic among the readership.

I don’t know who I am anymore.

Once upon a time, I didn’t need a grocery list. I was a whiz in the kitchen. I’d whip up a batch of, oh, I don’t know – let’s say chocolate beet brownies – or lasagna – maybe both in the same afternoon – after a day of weeding in the yard and hanging laundry on the line. And the brownies were perfectly executed and the lasagna “to die for” and everyone would rant and rave and sing my praises.

I used to track my expenses to the penny. I tended the garden with maniacal precision. Computers and printers and all manner of office tools obeyed my every command.

Now? Loosey-goosey is my middle name. Now, it’s, “Sorry honey, I forgot the marshmallows,” and “Who cares that the bank book doesn’t balance?” Besides,  hawkweed and wild strawberry lend a quaint Victorian cottage feel to the place, don’t you agree?  And that clothes dryer is mighty attractive these frosty fall mornings.

Now? I am more often than not defeated by printers and fax machines. Yesterday, while helping out at the library, a patron had to wait 45 minutes for her fax to go through. BECAUSE I DIALED THE WRONG FREAKING NUMBER! (Stupid minuscule keyboard and my giant fingers.)

Today, I almost forgot – AGAIN!-  to add the meat (well, the meat substitute) to the lasagna. However, I did remember, after a half-dozen times of forgetting, to add the spinach to the tomato sauce. Today, the brownies* are sugar-free – they don’t taste bad, if you are a fan of bitter dark chocolate. The only saving grace is the natural sugar content of the beets. But I topped them with homemade frosting for the sweet tooth in the house. Frosting that I made without measuring and with a heavy hand. Way too much milk, so it’s runny.

See what I mean? I’m completely out of control!


The irony is, it doesn’t matter. Not one bit. The brownies taste fine. As does the pasta, if a little less than “meaty” if you’ll forgive my pun.

I suppose it’s a sign of maturity. Which is another word for aging. Which is another way of saying that I’m an old fart.

OK, then! I know who I am. I’m officially an old fart.

But please? Wish me well. This old fart just got herself a new “smartphone.”

***   ***   ***

*I told Joey that I made brownies. She asked how they turned out. This is my reply.

Categories: Personal Growth, retirement

Tags: , ,

52 replies

  1. Boy can I relate! The good thing about being an old fart is that it’s an acceptable reason for all those forgets and mess ups.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In hindsight the happiest day of my life was when I started on-line banking and I didn’t have to make the cheque book balance any more. Loosey-goosey looks good on you, Maggie, and in my books anyone who can turn beets into brownies is truly a kitchen wizard. FYI, I LOVE beets but never in a million years would I suspect they would make a good marriage with chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, I could go on at length about my obsessive financial tracking habits, but I will spare you. Suffice to say, I too find online banking a godsend.

      As for bizarre food combinations, beets and chocolate gave me pause at first, too. Even now, after several batches, I have to overcome that initial hesitation. I don’t eat many because of the carbs, but since I accidentally discovered they taste not bad without sugar…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, Maggie, that smartphone will sharpen up your brain, either that or it will go the way of the brownies and pasta. We’re all forgetters sometimes. (sigh) Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this made me laugh as I seem to have the same problems- well xcpt that I’ve never put beetroot in chocolate cake!!
    When I was a capable professional working single mum to my 4 children, I could still keep my house tidy, laundry done, cook nutritious meals AND have a social life. But since I retired everything has gone to pieces! The ironing is never finished, the house is chaotic with grandchildrens toys everywhere, my dog IS the extent of my social life, and ready meals occasionally are to be found in my freezer!
    But I’m happiest playing with said dog or grandchildren and hubby is content with benign neglect, so who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two sayings come to mind when I think about your and my “working women” past – “The willing horse takes the load” and “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” I’m glad that you and I have reached a level of comfort our “benign neglect” phase. Rather, I’m learning to become comfortable!

      My dear – from one WI member to another, you must try the beetroot chocolate cake! It is easy, and tasty! With or without runny frosting!



  5. I actually couldn’t recall the name of the road I have lived in for the last five years recently. It was my first time at the local Over Fifties Club. Somebody asked me, it all went expectantly silent and…no road name! They were even trying to help me. Might it begin with a B…?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As long as you can make brownies, you’re fine in my book, Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A smartphone, eh? When the young whippersnapper salesman saw my 7-year old cellphone, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “There is a 6-month learning curve for the smart phone and we don’t give classes.” End of statement. I may be old but I’m not stupid. I pulled my husband and said, “we are getting the hell out of here.” Let me know how that smartphone works, will you, Maggie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Young whippersnapper, indeed! The nerve. I wonder what he’d have to say when he saw my 2004 vintage flip phone? Which I’d still be using if it hadn’t finally given up the ghost.

      I dunno about a 6 month learning curve. Since I’m familiar with Android and tablet use, the transition to the phone has been easy. So far. That said, I don’t intend to use the dang thing to the fullest – taking and sharing images on Facebook and Instagram, for example. I am a dedicated desktop computer user. The new phone is strictly for emergency purposes. (Famous last words, anyone?)

      The only reason I opted for something other than a basic talk and text model is that it reminded me of a cheap Fischer Price toy. Plus, it was the same price.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “It just doesn’t matter.” When I was younger I had a boss who’d chant that phrase when she got stressed. She was a character, but kind of programmed me to default to that idea. Your post reminded me of that. Beets in brownies?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s all about choice Maggie, and you now have the choice to worry and fret and even attempt perfection or simply let it all go and enjoy life with the attitude that all that crap just isn’t worth the trouble. You could be perfect, if you wanted, but then we would all have to stop reading your blog because we would feel very inadequate 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You may call yourself an old fart, but at least you managed to get your post published intact. I just spent several hours writing a post and when I finally published it, it was blank. Everything I wrote was gone … god only knows where. If this is aging, I don’t like it.

    … but beets in chocolate cake? Oh yes. It makes the most divine cake regardless of whether the icing is runny or not 💕


    • Oh man, that sucks about the disappearing post. So annoying. It’s a crap shoot, it seems, computer technology – It works fine, time and time again, and then, poof – it doesn’t. Hm. I suppose the same can be said for just about anything, including our aging bodies.

      Glad you can relate to beets and chocolate – it sounds as if we are in the minority.


      • I toyed briefing with the idea of trying to recreate it, but I just don’t have the heart to do it again 😦

        Now you’ve planted the seed, and I have a few beets sitting here … there might be a chocolate cake in my near future. What else is there to do on a rainy, windy Sunday? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been in EXACTLY the same place – the post vanishes, I curse, and realize that I don’t have the motivation to recreate the dang-blang thing all over again.

          Of course, I may not be in the exact same spot and am putting words into your online mouth. Forgive me, if I have.

          Let me know if you make the beet cupcakes. (I’ve been calling them brownies. They are not brownies. And I feel sheepish because I have yet AGAIN failed in the attention to detail department!)


  11. Oh, so true! Mind if I reblog?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Are you living my life?! I keep shrugging about things I used to be so careful about!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I guess since I was never at the level of perfection and “to die for” I didn’t have as far to fall. But fall I have and, you are right, it really doesn’t matter. Now beets are a whole other issue… they are not allowed in my kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have always considered myself a “make do” kind of gal – that is, I strove to be “average” as opposed to perfect. But in hindsight, I realize I was still striving. It’s a relief to let go – or to at least know that I CAN let go and the world won’t come crashing down.

      One of my Facebook friends said that the shocked look in the cat meme could apply to beets and chocolate combo, too


  14. Yes ! I’d be celebrating that “loosey goosey” demeanor if I were you. It is just one of the benefits that comes with age. When I look back at all the things I used to break a sweat over…ugh. You find out that so many of those things just don’t matter, and it’s okay to give up those self-imposed standards. You have worked for this, so just enjoy it !!

    As for the beets, I’m sure they make a delicious addition. (spoken by one who adds zucchini to chocolate chip cookies)

    Happy Weekend, Maggie. It’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, you read about other women (and men, I suppose) who have had similar epiphanies and you understand it on a certain level and figure, well, d’uh, of course. But it still feels like a major revelation when it happens to you.

      Good to know I am in great company!

      Happy weekend to you, too Van! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You have a lot of company. I used to be quite the baker. Now every time I bake something, I have to put everything out, double check it before put it in the oven because I ALWAYS forget something. Sometimes it’s not important but sometimes it is. I’ve become good at compensating. My solution is to cook simpler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do the same thing! I gather the ingredients first, check and double check the recipe as I work my way through it. And still! Yesterday I was all set to build the lasagna when I realized I hadn’t put in the burger – AND IT WAS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ME!

      Cooking simpler, eh? That bears consideration.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh nicely done!
    This made me smile 🙂
    I really love beet with chocolate, as I testify all the time about the joys of red velvet cake made the RIGHT way. One day I’ll have to break down and make one myself. A lil runny icing never hurt anyone.
    90% of my lasagnas are meatless.
    I do think the hawkweed and wild strawberry lend a certain charm, yes. And I’ll say the same for my wanted weeds. I wonder how small a garden or yard I could actually keep impeccably tidy 365 days of the year and I’ve decided that doesn’t exist.
    Great post, Maggie!


    • You are, of course, absolutely correct. There is no such thing as an impeccably kept garden, if the work force at said garden is only one. Or two. Possibly even two dozen. Gardens are sneaky that way.

      Earlier this year, we had a veggie burger at a local restaurant. Hubby was skeptical – he thought it was meat. Turned out that it was a product that was available at the grocers. I’ve been over the moon making my usual casseroles that call for ground beef, this time using a soy substitute. Yay team Vegetarian!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I had a comment , but I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say . Oh , join the club ! , I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ooooo – new demon-tech. Just don’t use your smart phone to look up summoning spells, and you should be fine 😀

    As for chocolate & beets…I’ll pass. Never been a fan of beets, and I don’t do much baking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, about the baking thing and lo/no carbs. Beets and chocolate cupcakes don’t exactly fit in with a keto kinda approach to diet.

      But we have beets, and I live with a string bean and I love to cook. I lick the spoon and the spatula, and of course, test the final product as any cook worth her, um salt, would do. And that’s that.

      Today I had none. They are almost gone, thank goddess.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Damnit…I forgot. Something about aging and memory loss?

    Hang on, I’ll remember it eventually 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I once made a pumpkin pie and forgot to include sugar. It happens. Congrats on the new phone! – Marty


  21. Great post Maggie. I don’t feel so alone anymore. And yes….brain farts happen to old farts. And the hearing is going too. I used to be energized by a busy day and now I’m happy to sit in my recliner and watch documentaries on TV. And dinner, hmm…let’s just have a muffin and milk, No cooking needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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