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    I Lived Like My 89-Year-Old Grandma For A Day And Am Forever Changed

    New bedtime routine: Wrapping hair with toilet paper.

    Ryan Pattie

    Hello, world. Meet one of the women I adore most in this world – the sweetest lil' peach on the planet – my Grandma Gladys.

    Since she is turning 90(!) in a couple of months, I started thinking about what a typical day for her is like.

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    Now, my grandma isn't your average elderly lady. She lives an incredibly active lifestyle. She is super involved in the church, she teaches pie-making classes, she regularly visits the local nursing home, she is in a card club, and she is a grandma to 28 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren!!!

    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    She's also super thrifty! She reuses salsa jars, baggies, pie tins – you name it. So I hoped I could learn a few hacks after living like her for an entire day.

    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    I decided the best way to "live her life" would be to do it alongside her, so she could guide me through each minute of the day. (Plus, it would be more meaningful that way.)

    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed
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    Ryan Pattie
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    My grandma gets up at 6 every morning. And, she has a pretty common morning routine: pee and put on her makeup! She has one motto when it comes to makeup: Rosy cheeks are very important.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    She eats cereal every morning for breakfast, along with coffee and a glass of tomato juice. She usually reads the paper while she eats. So the start to her day is pretty ~typical~...besides maybe the tomato juice? IDK. One thing I do know is that I rarely ever eat breakfast — let alone set the table like she does. After she eats, she gets dressed and THEN puts on her lipstick. She says it's a waste to put on lipstick before breakfast because it comes off. Touché.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    My grandma typically walks to church every morning. But on Thursdays, she drives to get her hair done — she's a better driver than most people half her age, trust me. And then her hair is done for AN ENTIRE WEEK. The hairdresser puts her hair up in rollers, lets her take a snooze under the dryer for about thirty minutes, and voilà! (She wraps it up in toilet paper and shower cap at night to keep it in place while she sleeps, but we will get to that later.) As for me? Well, as I said before, most days I'm in a rush, so I usually just let it air dry in the car and put it in a ponytail. My hair was too long to put in rollers and – let's be real – there's no way that style was going to hold my hair, so I had to skip this part.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    My grandma loves The View. Usually at 10 a.m. on Thursdays, I am just getting to work, so watching this was an interesting change of pace for me. After we watched the show, we did crossword puzzles and I realized I am terrible at them.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    A lot of my family lives near my grandma, so they stop in and see her often. On this day, my cousin Ben, who is my grandma’s youngest grandson, stopped by. I'm not exaggerating when I say he is a prodigy piano player. Like, he can play any song you name off the top of his head with no music. He volunteers his time to play piano for the elderly often, and my grandma goes along to watch. So we headed there to enjoy.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    There's a local pizza spot in the small town my grandma lives in, so we decided to go there for lunch. Grandma's diet: two slices of pizza and one dessert pizza. I was loving this.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Obviously, because I work full time, I don't get the luxury of taking naps. But, everyday after lunch, my grandma takes about a thirty minute snooze. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    After we woke up feeling refreshed from our nap, we made a pie – as my grandma often does. Everyone says her pies are the best (hence why she teaches pie-making classes), so I was shocked to find out that the recipe she uses for her crust was one cut off of the back of a lard container. No secret recipe, no special grandma Gladys ingredients — just lard, flour, water, and salt! We decided to make apple pie, so we had to manually slice up the apples because she doesn't own one of those handy apple slicer things!

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    As I said before, my grandma gets random visitors all the time. So two of her great-granddaughters were dropped off (that's my son in the photo above) to hang out until dinner. I am a mother to one child and being around three kiddos made me realize I am really not ready for another one anytime soon!

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Part of my grandma's routine is keeping the local cemetery looking nice. So we headed there next. We stopped and said a prayer by my cousin and my grandpa. It was a nice peaceful moment that made me realize I don't stop and appreciate each moment often enough.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    The plan for dinner is always something homemade. My grandma is an excellent cook and she felt like chicken noodle soup that night, so that is what we made. Dinner that early never happens for me. Typically, my husband cooks because I don't get home until just before 7 p.m., so that is when we eat. And, I hate cooking, so I wasn't excited about this part. But, at least I had my grandma to guide me through each step so it wasn't a total disaster.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    My grandma did tell me that some days she does eat alone, but some days people also stop by for dinner — it just depends. On this night, three of her daughters (my aunts) stopped by to eat. And our pie was delicious I must say. When I eat at home we never usually have dessert, so this was a true treat!

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Everyone has to do it, dishes after dinner. So we did that and then peeled some cans she had so she could recycle them. After she eats, she usually sits on her porch and enjoys the evening and people passing by. This part was really nice for me, because I feel like I am always running around or doing something in the evening. I never have time (or make the time) to stop and just slow down. This reminded me to do so.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    Ever since I was a kid, the one thing I always remember about my grandma is that she wraps her head with toilet paper — and she still does. Her theory is that if she wraps it, it stays in place the whole night. So, we wrapped our hair, secured it with bobby pins, and put shower caps on to secure it.

    Ryan Pattie
    Krista Torres / BuzzFeed

    OK fine. I didn't have a shower cap, but my mom is a nurse, so I used a hospital surgery cap. Whatever. My grandma said her bedtime varies, depending on how busy she was that day, but she usually goes to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. We put on the local news and then retired for the evening. (P.S. – The toilet paper trick obviously did not work for me the next morning.)

    Overall, I would have to say the most important thing I learned from spending the day as my grandma is the importance of living in the moment – which my grandma truly does. Love you, grams and I can't wait to see you turn 90!