Category Archives: Uncategorized

Someday, My Shrimp Will Come

Today I was singing a song from Into the Woods which begins, “He’s a very smart prince.” But instead, I sang, “He’s a very smart shrimp.” My middleaged brain has been mangling words right and left lately.
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I’ll Stay Middleaged, Thank You Very Much…

 I’m back and feeling more middleaged than ever. Awhile ago, I was saying how when other middleaged women talk about feeling old, I always think, “But I still feel like I’m 30,” or some such superior thing. Well, my body has betrayed me. Still, I would FAR rather be middleaged than a 15-year-old girl again. More on that in a minute. 

Quick shift of focus: when someone states to the world at large that basically God commanded her to sit her butt down and write her blog, you’d think she would actually comply (“She” being “me.”) But instead, I spent another month sitting on my Continue reading

2 Life-changing Tips: Rule the Makeup and Buy the Shoes

Listen closely: don’t let your makeup tell you what to do, or be all intimidating and, like, “You better use me the way I’m meant to be used,” and mocking you because you may never be a movie star. If your makeup talks down to you, you need to show it who’s boss. Say you spend $30 for some facial packed powder with just a touch of shimmer, and the shiny box demands that you treat it regally, and the instructions tell you to dust it gently across your cheekbones — guess what? You can simply use that as a guideline. Go ahead: put it on your eyelids as a softly glowing eyeshadow. Or brush it across your chest for an evening out, to show off your cleavage. Wearing an off-the shoulder shirt? Try it on your shoulders. Hell, dust it on the tops of your feet to draw attention to the awesome color of your manicured toes if you want. There are no rules. 
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Makeup and Mug Shots

What a Christmas break! I’d say it was about 3 months long… not that I vacationed from work or life (as if!) but I haven’t blogged in ages. It’s like when I was an angst-filled teen and young adult. I’d keep a journal for months or years, but if I skipped a certain amount of time, I’d begin to think that I had too much to catch up on, and the task was too daunting… and it became more daunting the more time went on. And it’s not like I had to fill in all the missing days — nobody was reading it but me. But even here, the longer I was away from writing, the harder it became to get back to it. Which, I guess, is the same for everything in my life, and maybe in everyone’s life. Exercise, healthy eating, enjoyable passtimes: the farther I get from the days when I engaged in those things, the more difficult — and eventually nearly impossible! — it feels to get back to them.
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I love Being Middleaged; Do You?

I’m middleaged, and I’m determined to celebrate it. Do you love whatever age you are? I’m thinking about this because of a conversation I overheard between a teenage kid and his middledaged mother recently. These are his exact words: 

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ADD Saved My Marriage (but Ruined the Ice Cream)

Discovered this morning that I left the stove burner on all night. Said a prayer of thanks for still having a house. And a family!

Middleaged friends, are you this bad? Is your brain your enemy sometimes? 

About 10 years ago, I told a therapist I was worried I was going to get into a car accident because my mind seemed so foggy when I was driving. I couldn’t focus on cars or traffic signals because I was constantly distracted. The kids were about 5 and 3 years old, so obviously they distracted me in the car. (And at many other times during the day. Well, MOST other times during the day. Okay, ALL day.) The therapist suggested that, like many middleaged women who work and have children, too much was going on in my life. If I truly worried I was going to get into a car accident (and I truly was), I needed to do something about it. I wanted to knock her down and pull her hair: what the hell did she expect me to do? Give away one of the kids? Spray lavender on my pillow and take to bed for a week?
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Why I Hate Umbrellas but Love Nordstrom Rack

We don’t seem to use umbrellas in Northern Colorado. It doesn’t rain much, and it usually stops early and dries quickly. Also, everyone in Colorado, including middleaged women, is obsessed with the outdoors; I guess it’s not “cool” to carry an umbrella. Even MAWs put on our mountain climbing jacket with the oversized hood and head out. And we do NOT hunch our shoulders or duck our heads. We walk proudly through the rain, even if inside, we’re cursing the weather.

Last Thursday, though, Nordstrom Rack opened in our town, and I took a stand against being umbrella-less. I took extra care with my hair and makeup because it depresses me to be in a dressing room and see how pasty I look in that light, and how flat my hair gets from pulling items over my head. 

We get over 300 sunny days a year here; Thursday, of course, was pouring rain. (I tried to think of a metaphor like pouring cats and dogs only better, but nothing’s coming. Suffice it to say it was pouring like a motherfucker.) I searched the house for an umbrella, because I didn’t go to all that effort just to have the rain ruin my hair. I  found an oversized one in the garage (which I now realize is a GOLF UMBRELLA, the source of the problem) and was thrilled with it. At first.

So: I get to the car and unlock it, and realize the umbrella is longer than my arm and wider than the opening of the car door. I try to sink backward into the driver’s seat while simultaneously closing the umbrella like graceful women do in the movies, but, like a giant grabby octopus, the umbrella snags itself between the car door and the car itself, making it impossible to close either the umbrella or the door. I turn the umbrella sideways; rain pours onto my boots. I lean out to click the little clicky thing. An additional bucketful of water pours onto my shoulder; more rain drips into my sleeves and collar. I get the damn umbrella closed; now I am holding it straight out of the car, at arm’s length, as though I am about to joust. I wonder what to do next (but am secure in the knowledge that, if a dark knight on a horse appears with a lance, I am well prepared): I can pull the umbrella into the car, across my lap, and onto the passenger seat, but that will shower water everywhere. Also, I suspect the umbrella will not be satisfied with the passenger seat: it will want to reach across the console and share my seat because it hates me. Maybe I should have initially crawled into the BACK seat, left the umbrella to drip on the kids’ seats, and climbed over the console to the front.

Finally I jump out of the car, open the back door, shove the enemy onto the floorboards, and fling myself into the front again. I’m sure you’re wondering how my hair survived: surprisingly, it was fine. Unfortunately, I was sweating furiously from exertion so I can’t say the same about my makeup.

Nordstrom Rack held crowds of women and squeezing through the aisles was a challenge, but we were all in a good mood and feeling festive, as though a throng of friends had come home for the holidays and we were all enjoying our little shopping spree while waiting for the rum punch and figgy pudding (which never came, might I add).

Despite the lack of refreshments, the trip was a success: I bought a pair of ballet flats , a blouse, a “fashion leather” jacket (which I think means “it’s not real leather but we think it still looks good”), a belt (reversible, brown on one side and gold on the other), and a lightweight, drapy sweater.
  
 

Free People sweater, Jessica Simpson ballet flats, Michael Kors belt


Couple of tips for shopping at the Rack:

1. Get a cart. It’s best if you bring a ton of different sizes into the dressing room because there aren’t many attentive sales folks to find your sizes. Without a cart you will be hauling too many clothes around, and the arms of the shirts will drag along the floor, and you’ll trip on them, potentially ruining a great outfit.

2. Tell the person who hands you your number at the dressing room to NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR CART. I lost mine and there were no more to be had. When I tried on shoes, I had too much to carry and it was very awkward (though I still managed, bless my heart).

3. If, like me, you balk at buying $40 or $60 or $80 bras at Vicky’s Secret or even Macy’s, definitely check out the Rack. I got a perfect DKNY T-shirt bra for $16. It’s very supportive (it tells me all the time how nice I look).

PS: Just remembered I also got a black Calvin Klein blazer. Everything together was only $250 (shoes, sweater, blazer, jacket, belt, shirt). Impressive, Jen. Very impressive.

Flowers and Fingernails

This is so cool. I never normally get designs on my fingernails when I have a manicure. Usually I like a more minimalist look. But I read about this on Pinterest.

It’s an actual flower on my nail. You pick a tiny flower (of which there are an abundance here right now) and flatten it between two heavy books. I folded wax paper over the flower first so it wouldn’t stick to the pages. When it’s a little dried out, you paint you nail with one coat of polish and let it dry. Then add another coat of polish and, while still wet, tap the flower gently into place, making sure all the petals and leaves are stuck down in the wet polish. I used the pointy end of an orange stick to make sure I didn’t smudge the nail. Let it dry again, then put on a coat of clear top coat.

Once the top coat is dry, use a nail buffer to gently buff any rough edges off the flower that may be sticking up. I added another clear coat after that.

Might take some practice. I tried it once and made a gloppy mess. Last night I had better luck.

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