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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ah, to be in a warm place

I'm craving a bit of warmth right now.

Saying goodbye to clutter is occupying my mind right now. And then organizing what is left. I have learned a lot this year from the blog and pinterest and just life. I filled my house with things I lost in the divorce. Then when I got something new, the old item was stuck somewhere. There is a treasure trove of stuff stuck somewhere. Free Bird stuck hers in a garage. Mine is all over a 4 bedroom plus bonus room plus double garage. Yep. A real treasure trove. But it isn't a treasure if you won't sell it. So I have figured out that after at least eight years of planning to sell everything and not following through, I am donating my treasure trove either to charity or to the dump if the treasure isn't usable. I won't know what to do with a house full of nothing. But I am looking forward to finding out. As the year wanes, I am filling black bags with stuff I will take to Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries. I will need several weeks to get it all done.

Spring is late March around here. Hopefully I'll be done with donations by then and can do a thorough cleaning of my house at the same time I'll be organizing. There are some truly wonderful blogs and web sites about organization. I am looking forward to using some of their ideas here. One thing I have learned from the blogs is that a picture is worth a thousand words so I am going to photograph my mess before cleaning. Then after pics. Then pics to put on boxes of stored stuff so I'll know what is inside. I love cameras.

I am actually looking forward to the new year and all this work.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goings and comings

I am saying goodbye to some not so good habits. I was not aware that as a result of an emotional problem, I react all out of proportion to difficulties. I am saying goodbye to that. It's odd but a short conversation with my long ago former husband got me to thinking about this. When a family member lost a job, I panicked and called him. He said not to worry and that this family member would take care of it. So I didn't worry and it worked out really well. That is a gift from 2011 that I'll take with me. And I will remind myself that worrying doesn't help anything, but it really makes me feel bad.

Another habit I am going to work on is procrastination. I put things off. And off some more. And really off. So this year I finally got up the nerve to deal with some things that I had been putting off. It worked out so well that I'm continuing to deal with more things. By the way, one time I put off getting my oil changed for so long my car engine froze up and I had to spend 5,000 on a new engine. You would think I'd have learned. Well in a way I did. I got my oil changed regularly after that.

I am going to do away with throwing shopping at my dissatisfaction with myself. I have a huge amount of things I never have worn and won't wear. To charity immediately.

The TV is not going to control my life this year. I have discovered Tivo.

I have never planned a menu for a day, let alone a week. This year I am going to try.

I am going to let go of some of my tendency to judge people. I Don't like that about myself.

Coming is more getting out of the house. Yes I have said that before. Damn.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another goodbye and hello

This time I am trying to say goodbye to preconceived notions. When I was growing up I was told 1. Not to stand pigeon toed and if I did I would need corrective shoes. 2. To stand up straight and not slump because it was bad for my back. 3. A gap between my front teeth needed a trip to the orthodontist. 4. High heels, esp high heel boots, worn with shorts = hooker. 5. The same with see thru garments. 6. White shoes only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 7. Socks and sandals are not a good look. 8. Shirts should either be tucked in or left out, not half and half. 8. Tats were for sailors and prisoners. 9. Big jewelry was for gypsies. 10. Men appreciate women with a curve or to and their opinion mattered.

Now I have to face those notions and many many more. I read on pinterest that the problem a lot of women have is that they have listened to love songs, read love stories, and seen love movies. There is that. But there are also the messages I got from my mom. The movie star magazines of my teen years gave us tantalizing glimpses into the lives of true stars. The didn't look real and I don't think we wanted them to look real. As a young woman, high school and college years, I dreamed of the beautiful engagement ring, the proud moment when we told everyone about our love, the wedding-----Stop right there. That is as far as my dreaming went. Jump to the riding off into the sunset as an old married couple. I am beginning to think of the good things about the social media now. The frugal cooks, the cleaning and organizing tips, the activities to do with the children. Wow would I have loved to have those things then.

So here I am, watching totally skinny girls wear stuff I was told not to wear, standing ways I was told were wrong, looking for all the world like aliens to the world of the 50's and 60's. Now the magazines delight in showing how the celebrities screw up, not how wonderful they are. The fashion magazines show designer duds and often the item is listed price on request. You know what that means. In these years of middle class dilemma re the economy, price on request is an insult. I enjoy looking at the blogs of the pretty young women who actually take different pieces of fashion and meld them into their own looks. I applaud them. And I'll admit to a certain glimmer of jealousy. A small glimmer.

But on the news this morning I saw an item about the young women on you tube bragging about their gifts from Christmas. They say they aren't bragging. Yeah right. I saw a small blurb the other day about Kim K going to Haiti to "help". I'll bet those who were bragging about their gifts are K fans. Well I'm trying to say goodbye to those things. I'm trying to focus more on the real world and all the things it faces. Don't get me wrong, I still want to look nice. I still enjoy fashion. I still want my home to reflect me more. I still want to get better organized, lose weight, clean the house better, save money, etc. I just want to do it with a realization of where those ideas fit into the real world.

I admit to being uncomfortable with some of the new fashion stuff. Those boots Gaga wears make me want to scream. The fact that many so called actresses and singers feel the need to show all of their body parts to succeed makes me nauseous. The fact that there are people who use the difficulties of others(Haiti) to make themselves look better makes me sick too. These are things I can do nothing about. My former love of name brands, my need to compare myself to others, my need to feel better when a celeb is having problems. These are things I can do something about. Hello to a closer relationship with the real world.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Starting with goodbyes and hellos

 2011 saw the end of an almost 14 year relationship with the kindest, most intelligent dog/friend ever. She was a good fisherman, a good traveler, a kind soul filled with integrity. She was the best of the best sort of pet/friend, never judgemental and never angry. Missed, greatly. With her on the boat is my honey, who was unfailingly kind to her and loved her as I do. Still.
I am saying Hello to some new wishes. Hopes. Dreams. and Goals. Period. I want to get back to the point of being able to look decent in a dress. I wish I had a waist. This year I'm actively going to see if it can happen. I hope I can remember all of my goals. I dream of being comfortable. These are the old ones. New ones include, lower cholesterol, more energy, less depression, more stamina, renewed spirituality, increased gratitude, and a better bed. In this week between Christmas and the New Year, I am realizing that my attention deficit disorder is a real problem that I never had a name for. I go to sleep at night thinking of the things I want to do. Many and varied things. By the morning I can't remember a single one. And if I think of some during the day, they are almost immediately forgotten. I am going to begin the new year with a fistfull of post it notes and pens. Wow the house will look odd. But I hope it will help.

There will be more goodbyes and hellos to come.

Love y'all

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have finally figured it out

 Yep, I've got it. I am a big fan of fashion. I love lace, dots, some animal prints, a few chevrons, and beautiful watercolor look fabrics. But my nerves go haywire with lumpy, bumpy, spotty, holey, and studded. Don't get me wrong. I have a couple of bags with studs. But I have figured out that I prefer smooth, blended colors, soft textures, and simple. The recent Missoni craze from Target made me begin to think about the things I have a problem with and why. I'm still not sure why but I definitely know what.
 The hat has pearls sewn to it. To me that is lumpy and bumpy and it bothers me. Some folks loooooove that look and that is fine. I just can't handle it. The T shirt shown has sharp angles. That's another thing that bothers me.
 This outfit has many things I have a problem with. The vest and blouse are jangling to me and I'm not seeing them enhancing the leggings. It feels messy to me. And below, the shoes are covered with pointy studs. I think they are too high to but the studs just defeat my senses.
I have looked at a lot of pics on Pinterest and I have come to the conclusion that I just can't handle too much print, too sharp angles, too many studs, etc. I have always loved art and I can't handle jangling patterns. I have a top on right now that is heavily patterned and I am not sure I love it. Except that it feels wonderful. Even in music, I have a problem with anything that is jangly. This is obviously something I'll have to live with. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Clearing it up

 I did not make myself clear. I don't think animal prints are bad fashion. I actually like some of them and would wear some if I happened to find them in my size. I have one top that has an animal print mixed with other things and I love it. I do think that some people take the animal print to a ridiculous extreme. I saw, several months ago, Kim K in an animal print jumpsuit with animal print shoes. I have seen leopard dress with different print coat. I understand mixing patterns. I do. But in the case of leopard, etc, mixing two different prints doesn't get it in my book. So I recommend being careful with the use of the animal prints. The pics included here show my version of those prints done in an attractive and fashionable manner. Of all the fashion faux pas I have seen, overdoing anything is perhaps my least favorite. Except when used as costume as do some performers.

One further note, and I'll leave this one. I feel that a careful use of the animal prints can create an illusion of high fashion or even money. That feels good to me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I love lace

I have talked about lace done wrong. Now I am going to talk about lace done right. In my opinion, that is. I have fallen in love with the top dress and If (big if) I looked even remotely like that I would wear it proudly. It fits. It fits both the figure and the personality. And instead of covering the legs with some see-thru lace, it allows beautiful legs to shine. I love this look and the fact that it is both dressy and simple.
Who wouldn't want to get married in this lace dress. I think this one used lace to its greatest advantage. The pattern is out there, on the forefront of the look. The beautiful back is still visible but in a subtle way. Lace like this is much more expensive than the average but you don't need tons of yards of it so it is a good value. One thing I have a problem with is spending so much money on weddings. It is something I think should be more about the marriage than about the wedding. It's lovely to have a wonderful day to remember. But if that day is still being paid for a lot later, not so lovely.

This year has been, to my way of thinking, a year to overdo. Partly because of the social media, lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon of following trends. So this year, feathers are appearing in hair and some of the highest heels ever have appeared. Many of these shoes are just ridiculous looking to women who live in Middle America. Other trends to lose, according to fashion critics are---The big overdone mascara look. It seems to be a KK speciality and is seen on a lot of others. I'll bet those folks thought this was a new trend, but here, on Tammy Faye, is proof they are wrong. 

 The bandage dress? I think some women use it to prove they have a good body. Seems some are wrong about that.
There is so much animal print around I can't choose a pic to represent it. Suffice it to say, I've seen it at Walmart and the grocery store, at the gas station and the flea market. Anything to wear can be made in an animal print. And the idea seems to be-I am in style if I have some animal print somewhere on me and the more of it I wear, the more in style I am. And here is where I come back to lace. The feeling seems to be the same. There are lace shoes, bags, coats, earrings, bracelets. Just as there are all of these things in animal print. Wearing a lot of either makes the items look not so good.

I am no style critic. The opinions expressed here are just that-opinions. But I will say, overdoing any trend doesn't come off well. In my opinion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thoughts, Pics, and other things

 I purchased the top seen here from HSN on sale. I got it at the end of the season and it has white beads on it. I'm sure it was meant for summer and got it with the thought of keeping it till next year. When purchasing things from the internet, I take a chance on not getting things that totally fulfill my needs. However, this time it worked out for the best. The top is heavier than I would wear in the summer and it feels great in cool weather. In the black/white combo it works for me for winter.
And the Avon ring goes very well with it.
 I've worn this top before and remain in love with the colors but the jewelry is my add to this outfit.

These earrings are actually Avon also. They are sort of art deco and I fell in love with them. I'm fortunate to be able to get Avon for a good price. But even so, the Avon things I have are notoriously well made and last forever.

Enough about that. I am one of the 99 %. I am retired and trying to make it on not a lot of money. I have a significant other who actually pays the majority of the bills around here but I would love to feel more secure. He has been laid off for lack of business from his company more than once. It's scary. I have been looking for ways to cut back on my expenses. So I first checked on my Medicare insurance supplements. I have switched to another company and to a different sort of policy. I am saving a fairly large amount of money beginning the first of next year. So I got really proud of myself and began to check on Auto insurance. There are so many ads on TV claiming huge savings and I thought I ought to check it out. Turns out I can save over $22 a month starting Dec 5. So I went with it because when I get my income up a bit I can get a really good policy on my home too. I've been worrying about property taxes and had to come up with some back payments since the house is not financed. I can do the monthly stuff most of the time but the big intermittent stuff floors me.

One of the problems with the above is the fact that I got messages from the time I was a child that I couldn't handle money. And for the most part they were right. After the divorce and loss of my mother, the messages went away. But I had no messages to put in their place. I think there are all sorts of negative messages given to us all the time. I plan to address this problem as if affects my life in this blog.

First. Because of the messages that I couldn't handle money, I haven't even tried. I was totally pleased with the fact that I could have my bills automatically deducted from checking. That meant I wouldn't be late. Good move. It also meant I could avoid facing facts about how much money was going out and where it went. Just take it out. I don't know and what I don't know won't hurt me. Really? That is how I thought. Messages cause a lot of grief.

Not to be left out, I always wanted to be pretty. I thought that because I saw that the only really well known women of my day were movie stars and they were really pretty. I am so glad that I didn't have to read the messages that are out there now. For instance, Who wore it better?. Who cares? If a celeb wore the dress and felt she looked nice shouldn't that be enough? How about the wedding things on TV? Who spent more? I saw where KK said her wedding would be bigger and better than the royal wedding was. Why? Why does the wedding have to be compared to another wedding? Why does how much is spent have to matter so much? Why, in this world of starving people does spending millions on a wedding have so much appeal?

I am seeing parents constantly telling their children that they are the best. That isn't possible. It just isn't. Real people may be simply wonderful at something but there is rarely a person who is really good at something that doesn't eventually find someone better at it. Why must we live in a society where we teach our children that if they are good at something they are really better people than others are? This can cause a child to either give up if they are not the best or to really believe they are better than other people and in turn give negative messages to others. I am talking about this because of one phrase I got from my Mom in the fifth grade when I brought home all A's except for one A-. She said, "Why wasn't that one an A too? Are you stupid?" I am 66. I remember that message as if it were yesterday. So I shall begin to harp occasionally on the messages we give our children and others around us. I am a firm believer in enhancing a child's belief in himself but with some realism thrown in. I certainly could have used a dose of it.

Lastly, I have to say that I am a quitter. Because of some of the negative messages I have received, I am not willing to try difficult things. Such as the money management. I turned some of that over to others who are knowledgeable about money. That was a good decision on my part. But I didn't see it as handling money wisely. I am now reassessing that thought and I think that was how any reasonable but not knowledgeable person would do it. If I need help with something I go to someone who is good at what I need help with. And I am a quitter because some things just look overwhelming. If cleanout of my home is such a big job, I don't even know where to start. I need to paint, clean carpets. I need to get rid of rooms full of things I don't need. Huge job. HUGE. So I've decided that as a Christmas gift to myself and my honey, I am going to spend 30 to 45 minutes a day cleaning something. Anything. Every day till Christmas.              Can't hurt.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I've had an upgrade

 When I was growing up Christmas was the most most most magical thing ever. As I have gotten significantly older, I lost that thing that spoke to me of magic. As things have happened to me, to my children and grandchildren, to my friends, and to my extended family, I have seriously misplaced the magical nature of Christmas. I am definitely not referring to religious mysteries but to the vision I had inside my head of what Christmas was supposed to look like.

I thought of Christmas as looking like the town scene above and the tree and other decorations below. I thought of Christmas as being something that I have never actually seen. I haven't been to a town like the one above, and it rarely snows where I live. When I spent several years in Florida I really didn't do well at creating the Christmas feeling. At least, I thought, it should be cold. When my children were home, there was decorating and good meals and buying gifts and wrapping and surprises. Since my kids are gone and so is my cash, there is little in the way of decorating. We still eat well, the two of us, and I send gifts. But no magic.

I know that many of you will say that magic is not what Christmas is all about. And I agree. It's just that magic was a part of Christmas I always enjoyed. And when I got older, I enjoyed making magic. But if I made it, it was not magical. Stinking thinking that.
I recently joined Pinterest and I have seen lots of things to make and to do for Christmas and other holidays. I don't choose to decorate in a major way but I do want to add that dimension into my life again. I gave my Christmas tree stuff to my daughter. I look around my overstuffed house and there are some things still here that I may use to decorate but I think the magic may be in making things this year. I have always looked at things I made with special fondness. Maybe they're magic.
 There are a lot of problems with expectations. Expectations can totally ruin the joy of the moment in almost any situation. I viewed Christmas in terms of greeting card pictures including tall, beautiful people with lovely children gathered around a tree or a piano. I saw Christmas parties where loving families and friends gathered to toast each other or marshmallows and dress up and look beautiful. I saw commercials on TV showing kids playing with toys, dressed in red velvet, eyes shining with joy. I saw me with my grandchildren around, jumping in my lap when I sat down and giving me hugs.

I am looking forward to the holidays this year. In my immediate family(kids, etc) things are on an upswing. I have totally given up the need for perfection in Christmas, in me, in my family, in my sig other, and in my pets. I'm frustrated by the dogs tracking mud in when it rains. Whooptydoo. I can live with it and I'd rather have the dogs than not have them. I'm frustrated when I want to go out and buy huge amounts of lovely things for my grandkids and I can't because there isn't enough cash. But I can love them to distraction and try to get them things they will enjoy. I feel frustrated that my TV hasn't lasted longer than 10 years and already needs to be replaced. Is there a day that goes by that something can't frustrate all of us? But if my magic is falling prey to these things, it isn't real magic is it?

I purchased the Harry Potter final film. I read the whole series and saw all of the movies. I have been watching animated films. I've loved the stories of Middle Earth. I have traveled to the Dune of outer space. I have enjoyed Tim Burton's Nightmare movie. The thing that this is teaching me is that while I live in the real world, I need an imaginary one too. Faith is one thing but for me it doesn't give my mind the vacation it needs. I can actually look at laundry better if I have seen a fantasy movie or read a similar book. Then my reality of mud on the floor isn't the only thing in my mind. Cooking dinner isn't so much a chore as it is just something to do. I am somewhat at peace with the idea that this is my reality. I need magic as a part of it and I must find and make that magic myself. I actually am thanking pinterest for that.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I am going to discuss it

I am going to tell you a couple of things I've found that make my life a pain in the neck. I'm not mad all of the time and for the most part I deal on a daily basis. I've made some major mistakes in my history. I deal on a daily basis. I don't spend a lot of time living in the past. But here is where it gets dicey. There seems to be a new trend on the social media to use a lot of sayings to help get thoughts out that are not well said in the mind. Such as the one above. But I find I often don't have a lot of control of those thoughts. When I was growing up and since hitting maturity I have felt that I am different in my way of thinking. For instance, I have no idea what to think of pictures of families sitting around the dinner table on holidays. I was an only and evidently the extended group(aunts, uncles, etc) weren't in the picture because we didn't celebrate holidays with them.
 I am also at a complete loss to understand why I can't just forgive myself and move on from some of my giant mistakes. I am human. I had some needs that were not being met, were being ignored, were being stomped on. I tried to find comfort. I hurt a lot of people. I am back there too often. I feel that there is nothing I can do now to make up for it. I feel sick inside sometimes. I really need to get out of my past. If I don't my future will be awful and since I'm not young I would like to have some good stuff coming. But I feel stuck. And I don't know what to do.
Yes, there are times that I just want to hit someone or something or a lot of someones. I subscribe to the belief that I am in control of my mind and I don't have to act on bad impulses. What a laugh. I don't act on impulses that might hurt other people. I do act on impulses that hurt me. And I have lived so long with so much inward facing anger that there aren't enough anti-depressants to help. What can I do? Should I continue to do what I have been doing? It hurts a lot. I left home at 18 for college then married. Why am I still hearing messages from my mother in my heart and head? My marriage has been over and gone for 23 years. Why the messages of inadequacy from the marriage are still haunting me I don't know. But I do still have them.

One thing I didn't get a copy of is the Idea that without passion, life is sort of dead. I think of myself as sitting on a razor blade with passion on one side and despair on the other. If I have so much darned control of my mind I must, absolutely must, get off the razor blade. Please wish me luck on my choices.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An opinion

I am just like everyone else. I have opinions. And this one may cost me some friends. I have been trying to help with the over pollution of the earth by recycling. Anything I use I try to recycle and I feel pretty darned good about it. We just hit 7 billion inhabitants and of course we are growing exponentially.  I believe that there will be a time when we are too populous to sustain ourselves. And the Duggers are having another baby. 20th. I could go on all day about how wrong I believe this is.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

They are gone

I was trying to stop following a blog that no longer posted and there was an error message. It said they couldn't stop that blog and to try again later. Then it proceeded to wipe out from 20 to 25 of the blogs I follow. Damn. Today isn't starting well. On top of a truly horrible day yesterday, and a truly horrible day Friday. I'm wondering if I need to go back to bed and try to start over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have to love her

This is not my dog. This is a beautiful dog with just the attitude I want.

Again there is no new pic

I went to the dentist a week and a half ago and had a root canal. And I'm getting a new crown. Unfortunately, since I'm not as young anymore, it's taking things longer to settle down. I have been swollen on one side of my upper lip and it still hasn't completely gone down. It makes my whole face seem off and since I still have a modicum of vanity, no pics. Actually no make-up.

I began to worry when I got out my winter clothes and began to try things on. I don't make many changes in the winter since a lot of my wardrobe is of the year-round variety. But some of the things that fit last year don't fit so well now. Yep, too much sweets and fats. So I called my wonderful daughter the chef who has lost over 60 pounds and asked for some coaching. She did the loss with a major cut back on the fats and a lot more fresh veggies and fruits. She lives in Florida. Sorry but the veggies and fruits aren't quite so fresh here. Anyway over the last couple of weeks I have made an admitted half hearted effort to cut down on sweets and fats. Yeah. Half-hearted. It seems I don't include candy, sugar cookies, toast with butter, etc in that group. So, I began to wonder. How serious am I about dropping pounds? I have talked to myself every which way and I'm no closer to the answer. I can ask myself if I don't care how I look. Well I thought I did. Do I not care how I feel? Well I thought I did. Don't I care about the quality of my life? Well I thought I did. So why am I having so hard a time making a commitment to the improvement of my life. I have to admit that my knees and back hurt a lot more now. I have to admit that I am more tired now. I have to admit that my interest in crafts and decorating have deteriorated with the energy level. I don't sleep as well(hardly at all). I have a lot of trouble doing chores. I can't shop(did you hear that?).

So I am on the horns of a dilemma. I'm slap dab into the story of my life. Procrastination. Running from the difficult. Feeding fear and depression with food. And having a hard time making up my mind to do even one day of the change I need to make. I cleaned out my fridge, freezers, and pantry. But the candy is still here. And the cookies. And because I live with someone some things must stay. What needs to go is my attitude. I am still behaving like a child. I don't plan meals. I don't plan snacks. And I don't shop well at the grocery store.

Because I have been made much more aware of the way I look by posting on the blog, I'm hoping to gain insight into my behavior by discussing it with anyone who would like to chime in. I've been into using bandaids to cover my dissatisfaction. For instance, I've now changed my hair color about 10 times in the last few years. I have had it several different styles. And amazingly enough I still look fat and feel bad. I have bought some clothes to wear, thinking that they might make me look pretty. But I find it doesn't make any difference if I can't be satisfied and OK with what is inside the clothes.

I have been reading some fashion blogs by some of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. And no, I don't compare myself to them. I do, however, wish for some of the comfort those girls have within themselves. And of course I consider them total eye candy. I've been checking out crafting blogs, thrift blogs, and sewing blogs. Over the course of my life I have crafted, thrifted, sewed, painted, cooked well, and enjoyed doing them all. But I am feeling the throes of depression hitting. I have allowed this to happen to myself. I had a period of time when I battled depression with the most outlandish behavior a wife and mother could think of. I have taken anti-depressants for years. I went to therapy for almost 4 years. I swore to myself I would never let the feelings of failure and worthlessness sneak up on me again. I swore. And I lied to myself. I am taking yet another drug and this time it isn't the normal antidepressant. It doesn't seem to work either. But is it me? I don't seem to be helping myself. At all. I know that there are certain things I can do to help myself. I am too old to waste any more time. I'm going to go throw the candy away now. Then I'll plan what to do next.

Monday, October 10, 2011

All mixed up

There was an Elvis Presley song called "All Shook Up" and I borrowed the idea. Now is the time that causes women and men no end of confusion on what to wear. Late Summer and early Fall are hard on everyone around the East Tennessee area. Because---wait for it---there is no way to tell what to wear. The weather forcasters say it will be 55 in the early morning, 67 by 11 am, and 78 to 80 by late afternoon. OK, then. Brian leaves for work at 4:30 with a t shirt and a flannel shirt. And he is freezing and I'm glad I don't have to hear him complain. When he gets home he has been sweating and he comes into the fairly cool house and shivers. It's no wonder that the drug stores are almost sold out of cold meds. And I am here at home-retired-and able to dress differently from hour to hour if I wish. I am truly grateful for that.

The outfit I'm wearing goes with the bracelets pictured below. I suppose I am pretty simple in my clothing choices. I like things that don't show my big belly, flat butt, big hips, etc. I want things that stretch(no, not stretch denim. Not enough stretch). I want things I can wear all day and they don't look like they have been slept in by noon. No linen. I want colors that make me smile(most colors do). I want things that fit and fit my life style and looks. That's not asking much. There are so many different styles and designs out there I can pretty much have anything I want. So now I have, in wanting all of that stuff, filled my closet. It is admittedly not so big. but I've also filled two other closets, several boxes under my King bed, and a couple of boxes and bags full of stuff to donate or sell. I have two large stand up jewelry boxes full and several hanging sort bags also with jewelry in almost all of the pockets. I have probably 60 pairs of shoes, most of which I don't like. I have about 40 bags, and I have realized that many of them I don't like. In other words, I think a major purge is a must. And I am too frugal(read hoarder) to just donate so I'm going to list 4 things on ebay this week. I have been putting it off, fearing that no one would buy things I'm selling. But nothing ventured and nothing gained. I've learned that from my friend Jen's blog where quotes are offered. I need to be reminded constantly that I am capable to counteract some messages I can't seem to dump. Jen is at Her offerings often make me think and examine ways my life can improve.
The rings above are a couple of my favorites. I wear fairly large jewelry. The small stuff just disappears on me. Anyway. I had bought a couple of tops at Stein Mart on sale. The one below is a one piece. I love the look of the half shirt that is attached to the jacket. I don't love the fact that they don't come apart. So I am going to take them apart and make a back for the white part. Then I'll have a lacy tank and a blue jacket. I love the idea of refashioning things and I'm anxious to get started. Just have to get over that fear of messing up.

 Klimpt. I love his work. I haven't spoken of it here on the blog. The Kiss is one of my favorite pieces ever. This piece is one which could be examined for hours and there would still be something new to see. And gold is one of my very favorite colors. The metallic sort.  Ariel at has opened my eyes to seeing the art in clothing and I fully intend to pursue that interest. The more I am able to see artful things, the happier I am. There is something about getting other views and other colors, about seeing the world through other eyes, that makes my heart full.
I have gotten some more followers on each of the blogs I write. I am so grateful to those who show an interest in what I am interested in. Thanks

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I don't have it.

I don't have an Apple computer. I have never had one. I don't have an IPhone or any of the other Apple products. But Steve Jobs is the reason I am sitting here writing on my personal computer. I honor him and his brilliance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Goodbye summer

I am so happy to see Autumn entering East Tennessee. I'm still loving some of the Summer colors and I decided to wear this one in honor of Summer's last fling. I'm always somewhat energized by the arrival of the cooler weather. And I always associate the Fall with lots of fun things from my past. Like: 1. When my X and I were dating we often went on road trips. Our sort of road trips consisted of trips through the beautiful countryside and up into the mountains. Either alone or with 1 or 2 other couples. We were in college but if everyone pooled their money we could get a lot of gas. Anyway, the Cherokee National Forest is one of the most beautiful places in the USA. And it has always been a bit off the beaten path. So we would go up, smell the campfires, wade in the icy water, pick up beautiful color leaves, laugh and have a wonderful time. Fall. 2. I loved school and Autumn always meant back to school. While some seem to think of it as new wardrobe time, I never did and I always loved the smells. The smell of new pencils and large lined paper. I imagine that some of that has gone away with the computer age. And I loved seeing the people I'd not seen over the summer. Playground games. Shooting buttered straw papers in the lunch room. That nasty bus. I loved it all. 3. It's Football Time In Tennessee. I was always in the band as I got older. Yep. One of those nerds. But I loved the bus trips, and going to all the games. Of course I wanted to be a cheerleader. But never was. There is a smell to football games. Popcorn, hot dogs, and dust. We had a track around the football field and there were a lot of kids walking the track to see and be seen. 4. In the Fall when the leaves changed I always felt the most creative. So as an adult, I would start making things for Christmas. And I have noticed that most of the paintings I have done were of Autumn scenes. Tells me something.

Fall also ushers in some other things. My marriage began at the end of August and ended at the end of August. My wonderful son was born in October as was my Mom. My Dad died the day before their birthdays, on one of the most beautiful days of the year. Autumn leaves were perfect that year. It didn't seem right. My Mom died at the end of November. But in spite of or because of these things I have love Autumn since I can remember. It is sometimes a mixed bag of emotional stuff. Sometimes it makes me cry. This year my Dad has been gone 34 years and Mom 22. Sometimes I cry. But mostly I smile. I sort of think of Fall and Winter as the Earth taking a rest for the next growing year. And I think that is a hopeful sign.

There are a few other things about Fall I'd like to mention. There is new TV. There is the biggest fashion publishing blitz of the year. There are new things to do, even as a family. The corn maze. The sports. Halloween. Eating lots and lots during the holidays. And remembering loved ones.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I watch too much TV

No pic today. I just have a few things I notice myself doing now that I never did before.

I turn the sound off or I change the channel if: 1.  People start singing about structured settlements in an operatic fashion.  2.  Mayhem occurs.(Insurance commercial)  3. A well dressed woman stands up at a wedding and starts talking about regularity. 4. Cute little Jennifer Hudson starts singing.(Weight loss commercial)  5.  A duck talks or dances or a gekko mentions food. These things irritate me big time.

I also find it difficult to watch Hollywood news on TV or read about it in magazines. I value the truth and I sometimes don't think the authors wouldn't recognize the truth if it kicked them in their collective behinds. Things like "secrets of..." , and "exclusive" are put there to make us think we are in on something. We are I guess, along with a few million others.

Lastly, there is programming. There used to be a Fall/Winter season. Now there is a short summer season. The Fall is still packed with new programming but it is all on at the same times and after Feb there is a vast wasteland till the Summer season which starts in May or June or July or August or whenever. I used to love many of the shows on but many of the series are ten years old or older and are straining to keep current. By the way, I have noticed that many of the new crime shows headline women instead of the old standby male cop. Interesting. Now to my peeve. I pay for many many many channels. And yet in the morning when I want to sit and drink my  coffee, and watch TV,  a lot of the channels have only telemarketing. I have noticed that as many as half of the channels are showing the TV ads most of the day. I resent paying for them. I won't watch them.

I guess I am back to reading books.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just a few observations.

There are a few things it is never good to run out of:
Cat Litter
Frozen Pizza
Certain personal products
Toilet Paper
Money(gas is too expensive)
Clean underwear
Time(This one is often a problem for almost everyone.)
Computer Memory
Necessary Medications

I'm using these as a general rule. Some folks may never make mistakes, or need meds, or get tired. But I'll bet they are in the minority.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not Missoni

I have stated in previous blogs or comments that I don't care for Missoni. Unfortunately I am irritated by most zigzags. There are certain patterns that I find unsettling and Missoni is the author of one of them. This zigzag pattern is one that I do like. I think because it isn't straight across and it is broken up by other patterns. So I bought it. I think that is my attempt at trying to do a trend.

I read in a blog that a woman was always dressed in black pants, a flowy top, and great jewelry. I love that idea. I don't think I'll immediately pitch all of my non flowy tops. But I am going to try to work up some outfits using that idea. I am also going to try to match jewelry to my present outfits so I get the most out of both. I decided to hang a sandwich bag on a hanger with the top if it's the only top I wear that jewelry with.

I do a small amount of sewing and hope to increase it soon. On one of the sewing blogs I saw a book mentioned about how to make changes in patterns. I find sewing easy and fitting hard so I have been reluctant to mess with a pattern once I get it to fit. This book is so wonderful in its explanations.
The book is out of print I believe and it was published in the 90's but good ole has it and there are many used copies available. I got one and it is just great. Anyway, there are so many ideas about changing the basic pattern that I also got some ideas about redoing garments that I already have. One of the most obvious is long sleeved tops that have sleeves that are tight or too short. On a sweater I have opened the underarm seam and made a flow sleeve. On a top, long sleeves became 3/4 sleeves. And this book is great too if you have a seamstress or someone who does alterations.

I want to tie into the last post. I have had some really wonderful comments from some of the nicest people ever. Serene says I can be a trend setter. That idea rings a bell with me. Leesa and The wonderful Free Bird have their own take on making my way.  I think that for the first time in my life I actually feel the freedom to take the road less traveled. So the road is going to get mapped out for me by my choices.

I love to see the beautiful young girls and their blogs. I know I am not able to have those looks both because of age/weight and because I so won't spend that sort of cash on fashion. But the feeling of satisfaction they have with their looks is something I have wanted. I have decided that they work hard at their art(fashion). And instead of having jealousy about them I am going to view their art and just enjoy. I am going to enjoy making my way down the road just as much. My thanks to all of the commentors who have helped me get started.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Age appropriate? On trend? Huh?

 Partly because of the blog I am getting a better handle on my own personal style. Part of the style is a Boho vibe. I've always wanted to be a hippie. The freedom displayed by the hippies when I was in my early twenties pulled at me. I know myself well enough that I wouldn't have been able to totally commit to that lifestyle. One of my main needs has always been for safety. Unfortunately I made the mistake of depending on others for safety and they were either unwilling or unable or both. So after my  parents were gone and I was divorced it hit me that I needed to take care of myself and to create a safe place for myself. I haven't ever been good at it. I'm still learning.

One of the problems with taking care of yourself is that sometimes you must find out who you are. I have become someone I don't recognize. I have spent tons of money trying to become on trend, elegant, chic, pretty, or just acceptable. I went on a diet a year ago to become more acceptable to me. I now weigh more than I did then. I have purchased, willy nilly, clothes to make myself feel better only to arrive at the conclusion that they don't fill my needs. Some of them are trendy. At least they are trendy for someone who weighs what I do. But that doesn't help. I find myself going back to the same few outfits in my wardrobe because I know they fit. And many of the other things may fit but I'm afraid to try them on because they might be too tight. I don't know what to do now. Resolutions I make are forgotten. Or ignored. I have been unhappy with my looks all of my life. All of it. I've decided I am not going to be pleased. So I have to come up with another way to deal.

I always have loved color and pattern. Not Missoni. Jerky patterns make me nervous. I am reminded of sharp things. But flowing colors and patterns are very soothing to me. I think I am defining what is "On Trend" for me. With my need for color and flow, the top I am wearing (HSN) is an example of what I'm drawn to. The closest to a spiky fabric I can handle is an Ikat. I've posted one before. Anyway, I love the ethnic looks also. Some seasons they are "IN" and some seasons other things are in. I've been really disappointed in the designer offerings this year. I've found most of the fashions depressing and I'm really glad I don't have to dress that way.

Above you can see me in one of the outfits I have been wearing. In the summer I really don't wear much jewelry, it feels heavy to me. And basically what you are seeing is me in something I can get on my body. And it's boring. I have beautiful jewelry. Much of it came from Avon, like the ring below. But much is one of a kind and handmade. I think I've used the jewelry and handbags as my only form of expression because in a lot of the cases one size fits all. 
The newest thing, on trend, must haves are all expressions being bandied about in the fashion world now. On trend seems to be skinny jeans that are so tight they pull across the legs. Pants that sit so low that they look like they are going to fall off. Crotches at the knee. Cut off jeans and high high heels. See thru clothes with mismatched bras. Bulky scarves with flip flops(saw that one yesterday). There are bags big enough for everything one could ever need. There are shoes that are much larger than the foot wearing them. There are 2 part outfits, (dressy on top and relaxed on the bottom). I saw on MSN Glo a picture of a girl who had 4 different patterns on, and they were wrinkled. (I used to think that meant the give away bin at the thrift store.) There are models who make heroin chic of 15 years ago look fat. There doesn't seem to be a dress on the red carpet that isn't cut down to there, or up to here, or both. So it's difficult to know what to do. Young women don't get dressed. They style themselves. Make-up is either non-existent or it is totally wild. There are bracelets on both arms from wrist to elbow. I saw a fashion pic in which the model wore 4 watches. Some of the designs out there would look great on a slender person in their 50's or 60's. But I am stumped when it comes to finding clothing for myself at 66 and very overweight.

I realize that many of the things I have mentioned are marketing ploys. But I am as gullible as the next person when it comes to that. I want someone to turn around and look again and say to themselves, "She looks good." And I do recognize that because of my age, things that look good to the very young aren't pleasing to me. Some of the styles popular now would have been worn by women in the exotic trades when I was a young married. And I promise that mini dresses have been in and out several times. However, I don't remember when showing the underpants was OK. I guess that now I think fashion is an anything goes business. I don't envy the designers. It must be hard to stand out when there is no really specific trend that everyone wants. But I also think it is difficult for any regular woman to stand out. Many use pics of "fashion inspirations" and that may be one way to go about being fashionable. I dare anyone to find a truly fashionable woman of my age, my weight, and my lack of income that I can use as a fashion inspiration. In the meantime, I am glad I like change because the seasons are changing here and the problems will come up again with my winter wardrobel

That's all for now. I am not sure whether I am bitching or just jabbering. I suppose you'll have to decide.

Friday, August 26, 2011

For Pat Summitt

I wore orange today for Pat Summitt. The University of Tennessee women's basketball coach was recently diagnosed with early onset dementia. Pat is one of the best loved women in all of basketball. She has amassed an astounding record and has shown incredible integrity in all of her dealings. She has devoted a lot of time and energy to fund raising for charities. Her players love her. Her Lady Vol fans love her. The people who don't support UT but know of her love her. She is a thoroughly good and kind person. The least I can do is to join the many thousands who are wearing orange today for Pat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This could be your closet. Today my closet looks about as much like this as does my bathroom. These closets are wonderful things and I would love to have one. I have a small walk-in that I don't have to share. But it is small. And it is totally disorganized. The pictured stuff wouldn't fit into my closet. I intend to have a little word game about this problem.

Closet=where I store my clothes.
Wardrobe=my clothes if I have paid attention to Clinton and Stacey.
Clothes=what is in my closet now.
Dressed=clothing on my body, just any old thing.
Dressed and ready=ready to go out the door, clothes, make-up, hair,    jewelry, bag, etc.
Fashion=what the people who write the magazines say is what to wear.
Style=a combination of some fashion and what looks good on me.
Accessories=the things added to the clothes to make them look better
Accessorize=the things I add to the clothes to make them and me look better.
Must haves=things the advertisers want us to buy.
5 Basics of my fashion= fit, comfort, usefulness, cost per wear, and how it looks on me.
Fit=does it fit me or some idealized model close to my size?
Comfort=does the fabric feel good, have enough give, clean well, maintain shape, etc.?
Cost per wear=did I pay too much to get my use from the item?
How it looks on me= my mirror tells me and if not that, then the camera?
Usefulness=I don't and won't have a fur coat, faux or otherwise. I find them hot and I don't care about what the stylists say. I won't pay a lot of money for a scarf when I don't use them very much. I might pay out good money for a well fitted pair of shoes. I look for things I can use for layering, for dressing up or down other things, etc. If I purchase something, I want either good cost per wear or I want it to enhance the usefulness of something else.

Right now I have a large group of clothes, not a wardrobe. I had never thought about organizing the clothing I have into a wardrobe until the blogging about fashion and sewing came to my attention. Now I am going to try to improve my closet with cubes and storage items, and I am going to try to improve my wardrobe using the five basics I've come up with. Fall should be fun this year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Questions and more questions

I saw on the internet that push up bras like this one are being marketed to young teens. Why?

I saw on the internet that a 10 year old girl is in French Vogue in provocative  poses. Why?

I saw on the internet that a 6 year old girl from Toddlers and Tiaras routinely does dances that simulate the sex act. Why?

I don't consider myself a prude. I don't consider myself to be closed minded. But these questions are just the beginning of some things I have no understanding of. For instance, in a movie named "Pretty Woman" a few years ago, Julia Roberts was outfitted with over the knee boots and mini skirts to play a street walker. Now the designers show these things regularly and so called "Stars", especially the reality show ones wear them. They are obviously trying to get people (or more to the point, men) to look at them and think they are "Hot". Now the rag mags regularly show celebs in various states of undress. And the celebs are going out that way. Hair extensions, boob jobs, liposuction, and other forms of plastic surgery have made it possible to look just about any way to get someone to ogle. It has become the method of choice for a lot of no talent folks to get their 15 to 30 minutes. But children. Children. The little girl wants to do that her mom says. I'll bet that when she was a baby she didn't say, "Mom, I want to dress in lewd clothes and shake my groove thang." Children are being offered such folks as Britney, a Kardashian, Miley, etc. in totally skimpy things and are led to believe that this is the way for a teen to dress to be noticed. It worries me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm looking forward to the fall fashions

Roberto Cavalli has always been one of my go to guys when I want to look at beautiful fabrics and for the most part, he doesn't disappoint. However. Here. Yes the fabrics are pretty. But the look of winter pajamas is just sticking with me. I am  not able to look at this piece as fashion.

Maybe because of the fact that a lot of kids are back in school, or because of the offerings in the stores, or because of the fact that I get bored easily, I'm interested in Fall fashions. This summer has been another really hot one and continues to be hot and muggy for us here in the foothills of the Smokies. But, I am not enjoying the bright colors I loved in the early Spring. I know I have a tendency to need change to keep from being bored. And I know I don't want to go entirely to dark colors. But when I look outside at the unrelenting sun and see the back yard is a dust bin yet again this year, I long for the cooler, darker days of Fall and Winter. It seems a rest for the eyes. So when I say I love the Cavalli fabrics, I do love this one. It is a darker color in a way and yet it has the lightness of  a cool fabric.

I have been attempting to get a handle on the sewing I want to do for Fall. I have many patterns that will have to be adjusted to fit a large chest. I'm not so good at adjusting and I've never had to before so this will be an interesting learning experience. I plan to post some of the fabrics. Maybe some hints as to types of garments will help. Anyway, I'm keeping the really bright colors for next Spring. What fun it's going to be to dig them out then.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This heat is killing me

I am well aware that there are a lot of places in the country that are much hotter than here. We are in the mid to upper 90's with a fair amount of humidity. I just can't seem to handle this very well. When I go out, I come home sweaty and exhausted. My honey works in this heat. I just don't know how he does it. Anyway, I haven't taken much in the way of fashion pics lately. I have been wearing the same things a lot because they are cool and not much accessorizing. So I found a couple of things to show and discuss instead. I pretty much am lazy when it comes to remembering
the names of designers but I can't forget a look. There are a
lot of  bloggers who are remaking clothing into things that
are wearable for them. I think that this designer had the
same idea. However there seems to be a problem. I think
the designer used all of the leftover pieces.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

As much as I have always loved Versace, I really think the cut of this dress emphasizes what the wearer doesn't have. Otherwise it is a really cute dress. I'd love it in a regular sleeveless version much better.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Loving this

 This dress is the epitome of elegance to me. After posting some pics of garments from the runway I'd like to recommend this one for the runway instead. Stacy and Clinton talk about enhancing the best features of the body. On the previous post, that was not done. The models had really thin legs and the skirt stopped at the right place to show that. Then the boots covered the lower leg. Just think how much better the outfits would have looked with a nice pair of heels.

This dress has many of the things I love. First the color is wonderful. That color is perfect for my complexion. The fit of the dress would have to wait a while, (100) pounds, but it is a very feminine shape. The pattern is a bit boho which appeals to me in that wearing it wouldn't be following the crowd. So for me, this dress makes a lot of sense.
 I love color. I especially love color on a black background. It makes the colors pop out and gives the outfit some oomph. I don't know where I got the photo but I will promise that if I ever find that fabric or a garment made from that fabric, it will be mine. I have read that wearing black is slimming. Unfortunately, unrelieved black can also be boring. Just thinking of adding all of those colors makes me smile.
The dress at left is not one I could wear. I have never been able to find an appropriately uplifting bra to wear with that sort of dress. I like the style. I like that it is very tropical. And the colors are just wonderful. It makes me think of the tropics and I would wear that fabric as a top and just love it. I have discovered, though, that when I think of tropical I don't think of the type of heat we have been having in the middle of the country. Not even the beauty of this dress could make me feel cool outside in this heat.
 This pic is definitely from someone's blog, and I, again, don't know whose it is. I wouldn't use it but I am so in love with the look presented here that I couldn't help it. The top is really pretty to me. The sweater is fabulous and would enhance just about anything worn with it. And I am so in love with that necklace that if I knew where it came from I would already have one. One thing that I would change about the outfit if I were to wear it is that I can't wear large bulky necklaces down low that way. I have a large bust and it would get lost so I would have to shorten the necklace for me. But this look just rings my chimes.
Do you see the print on this skirt? It isn't black but again, a fairly dark background mixed with the floral is nice. The best part of the print to me is that the flowers aren't all over the fabric. There is plenty of room for that lovely background color to shine through. And the mix of top and bottom with the belt is super.

There are times I truly despair of ever being able to wear things I see and fall in love with. I have never been prone to tearing things apart to see what makes them appealing to me. But now, that is just what I am having to do. While I'm still trying to figure out how to get past my horrific eating habits and drop some weight, I can't wear stuff just because it will go on my body. I've been doing that for maybe 50 years. I've been arguing with my body about size and proportion for at least that long. Right now belts are out. I lament the problem and do nothing about it. But I am learning to be more discerning about the things I really like. And I am trying to include certain aspects of those things into the wardrobe. I am also learning more about things I don't like. Aren't you glad I'll be sharing those things with you too?