Random Thoughts on Aging. Or, Aging Ain’t For Sissies!

Before I go further, allow me to give credit where it is due. I didn’t come up with “Aging Ain’t for Sissies”.  The credit belongs to Instagram poster tine_tibby0824 and I had to steal it.

Anyway, in less than two weeks, April 16th to be exact, I’ll be sixty-six years old.  It’s a bit difficult in some ways and its other ways it’s pretty cool.  Turning 65 wasn’t a big deal but there’s something about crossing the line from 65 into the high sixties knowing that you’ll be closer to seventy.

I Did A Thing. I Rejoined Weight Watchers Last Night | Atypical 60

And chances are, I’ll be baking my own birthday cake..

Saturday Randomlings | Atypical 60

And it’ll most likely be the Milk Bar Birthday cake recipe that I love!

I’m more aware of my mortality. And without being morose or maudlin, I become scared when I think about it.  I mean, chances are I won’t be around for my grandson Owen’s thirtieth birthday. It bothers me.

Seriously. I wanna be around forever so I can enjoy this guy as he enters into his thirties!

It also grates on me that after a divorce, and being a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years, my return back to the workforce has been a steady stream of shitty jobs. Women who stay home to raise children work 24/7 as nurses, doctors, chefs, bakers, seamstresses, referees, diplomats, cleaning ladies, therapists, problem solvers, project managers, fashion consultants, personal shoppers, coaches, taxi drivers, event planners…and that’s just within the family!  Yet, these multi-tasking skills are for naught when looking for a job.  Human Resources is interested only in your up-to-the-second resume and your current job.

All this and more while raising three children. And Corporate America couldn’t give a shit about the multitasking that a SAHM does!

I shall exit this earth as we know it as a professional failure!

Yes. Aging is a harsh reality and it hit me hardest the day I had my cataract surgery.  Pre-surgery, I saw life through foggy lenses.  My face looked—well, it looked almost wrinkle free. And the uneven skin tone kind of blended into a blurry but attractive rosy color.

This is how I thought I looked before cataract surgery.  No wrinkles and a rather ethereal aura!  Little did I know…

And when I took a look in the mirror with my near-perfect and new eyesight, I was shocked, appalled and started to cry. The reflection that stared back at me didn’t look anything like the one prior to the removal of the cataracts.  I was wrinkly—as in really wrinkly.  There was no longer a distinction between freckles and age spots.  My skin was a myriad of uneven tones.  And, I could spot the chin hairs so distinctly.

That THIS was how I really looked!  OUCH!

I wanted to get into my car, head to the surgery center and have my cataracts placed back into my eyes!

It’s true. Aging Ain’t for Sissies and I’ve put some random thoughts on the subject below.  Maybe you can relate?  Maybe you cannot.  Maybe you’ll laugh at yourself along with me.  Maybe you won’t.  But here we go.

That’s right. Aging Ain’t for Sissies. We gotta be warriors!

Do you notice that you’ve been searching through the bowels of the linen closet or the cabinets in the bathroom for those maxi-pads you wore before menopause made you love every month?  Only now, the pads are used for that little drip of pee-pee that drips out when you sneeze or laugh or jump up and down.  Yeah.

I swear to you that when I found a supply of Oona’s maxi pads, I jumped up and down for joy.  Then I leaked so I had to open the pack and put one in my panties!

Not to be vulgar or crude, but do you experience the Farty Party?  You know, when you are walking fast and from out of nowhere little puffs of air in the form of flatulence randomly exit from your butt?  Ahh. I remember a time in life when all it took was a squeeze of the cheeks to hold those little passes of gas back in.

Come to my farty party. It’ll be a real gas!

It’s the same thing on the other end.  Do you ever think about a time when you thought it was disgusting to burp and belch?  These days, I let it all out. I would rather release that garlicky or onion-scented burp than hold it in!

15 Surprising Foods That Cause People to Burp | 6 Minute Read

When you are in your Sixties, it is a surprise if you find a food that DOESN’T cause you to burp.  Ohh. I just burped!

The hair apparent.  Apparently, it’s moved.  The hair on top of your head, the tresses that used to be, at one time, your crowning glory, has fallen.

The hair on my head has fallen

Some of these hairs miraculously landed on your chin—or worse, under your lower lip. Or worse are now growing in your nose.  The brush which you faithfully gave your tresses 100 strokes a day has now been replaced with a tweezer in which you pluck 100 times a day!  Oh…and let us not forget the magnifying mirror.

To my chin.  

The tweezer is now my preferred beauty tool! Excuse while I go pluck around for a while!

Our mid-sections have expanded quite a bit but it is the expansion of the nose on the face that has us mystified.  How did my nose grow as I’ve aged?  Is it to hold my snotty attitude of my youth?  Or is it to house the new nose hair?

The reality of it is that our noses DO grow as we age!

There was a time when I could scrub floors and jump up from all fours when I was done. Now I’m lucky if I can actually get up without crawling to the nearest table leg or chair to hold on to as I slowly make my way to a standing position.

At least she had a good reason for not being able to get up. I can just about get off the sofa!

My body makes noises now. I’m not talking about the farty-party noises either.  My knees crack.  My stomach gurgles. And when I eat—I make eat noises that used to gross me out when I was younger!

My body makes more noises than a one-man band these days!

I’ve actually passed by reflective windows and mirrors and scared myself with my reflection.

This happens on a daily basis!  I’m not scared of my own shadow but I am scared of my own reflection!

I’m beginning to tolerate the scent of moth balls, old-lady perfumes and Ben-Gay! Clothing with elastized waist bands is looking rather stylish these days.

J. Crew and J. Crew Factory have perfected the elastic-waistband. It looks normal in front and from behind it’s totally elastic!  I wore these pants with a tucked-in-the-middle Tee and sandals.  I”m the cool granny!

I can’t stand the music that younger people listen to.  Give me classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Now that was music.

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Then. And Now.  He’s looking pretty nice these days but I do think he should let go of the super-long hair!

I’m constantly amazed at big corporations pontificating their do-gooding Equal Opportunity bullshit.  Until they include hiring people over 50, 60 and the like with that group of Gay, Trans, Bi, Yellow, Black, Brown and disabled persons, they are not inclusive.  Think about that for a moment!

Diversity, equality and inclusion - The Science Council ~ : The Science  Council ~

Spot the old person.  That’s right. The old person isn’t represented.  There IS no inclusion until older people are treated equally.

With Cancel Culture brings a Pandora’s Box of sorts.  Do you realize that All In the Family; The Jefferson’s; Maude; Barney Miller; F-Troop; Hogan’s Hero’s and possibly MASH would not be aired on TV simply because anyone could be offended by the content.  People don’t laugh at their shortcomings anymore.

And believe me, as adorable as Patty Duke and Sally Field were, someone today would find reason to be offended by these two nuggets of cuteness and great clothes!

I continue to be perplexed when I see TV commercials showcasing bratty, entitled children who refuse to eat what their poor working mother makes for dinner and then out of nowhere packaged Macaroni and Cheese appears and the kids, although still entitled brats, are suddenly happy.  For god’s sake, make a meal and if the children don’t like it, tell them to either eat what you made or go to be hungry. Chances are hunger will take over.

Have you seen any of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercials? It is nothing more than teaching bad parents how to be worse by giving into their entitled offspring.

And speaking of children…I recently saw a House Hunters International episode where a couple was taking their four children to live in Brussels.  They went to a bakery during the show and the baker gifted the family with treats.  Not one person in this family, parents or children, said thank you.  I guess manners are a thing of the past. Oops. I’m showing my age every time I say “Thank you” or “Excuse Me”.

What are pâtisserie, boulangerie and viennoiserie?

Wouldn’t YOU be thankful for a free sweet like this?  You know you are old when you are shocked at bad manners.

On the other hand, our aging has given us wisdom.  We are more confident about ourselves. We say what we want without worrying what others will think. We wear what we want. If we want long hair—we’ll wear our hair long whether it is real or fake!

That’s right. I will wear the longer hair–even though it’s fake. And the makeup. And the old sweatshirt…

We can wear the short dress and the jeans and the hoop earrings.

…and I will always wear that short dress!

We can travel without worrying about when the children have to go back to school!

Visiting Paris Anytime Soon? Let's Talk About It! | Atypical 60

And, we’ll be returning this Fall. We had our vaccinations!

We can make every night a date night!

At our age, every night can be date night! We don’t have to get a babysitter!

But most of all, we can thank our lucky stars that we are aging! It’s something many don’t get to experience. So let’s toast to aging!

HOn the sixth day of Christmas, let's make a toast with our Champagne  glasses!!! Have you found your perfect Holiday … | Champagne, Sparkling  wine, Champagne glasses

Here’s to aging!

Posted in aging, birthdays | 34 Comments

It’s All About the Body-Friendly Pants!

Trust me. I know the title is weird but you may thank me later.

Truth be told, I’ve hit a plateau in my weight loss journey.  I’m not really that mad about it simply because I’ve been eating with nary a care in the world. And now I am back on track. But I have to tell you, there’s a brand of pants that I’ve been really loving during this weighty time.

The pants are by Gretchen Scott and they are the Gripeless Spandex Jeans and are wonderfully flattering and stretch in all the right places. I’ve written about these pants in the past but it is time to revisit.

One of the number of Gretchen Scott pants I own.  These are so body-friendly and I love ’em!

Another great attribute of these pants is the prints.  Now under normal circumstances, I’m not much of a printed pants woman.  It’s solids or plaid for me.  But these pants—they are just different!  And with a 97% Polyester/3% Elastane content, these stretch in the right places! Machine washable and cool-dryer friendly, I remain faithful to air-drying!

The prints are fun and colorful–and the many colors add to different looks!

Something happened the first time I laid eyes on the brand’s Gripeless pants and jeans.  It was the prints and the colors. The prints are fun and whimsical and really disguise any flab you might have in your gut.  And trust me, I know gut! My gut is that one part of my body that’s the most challenging. Due to my stomach issues, there are days when I’m bloated. And if I eat too much bread, I get bloated. And if I eat too much dairy, I get bloated. And if I eat onions and garlic and get all gassy—I get bloated.

Therefore, my biggest issue is the waist/torso area.

The pants stretch to accommodate the widening waist!  

What I love about the Gretchen Scott pants other than the fun prints and vibrant colors, is the fit of the legs.

I’m especially fond of this India-inspired “Animal Kingdom” print! It’s just loverly!

They are skinny with a bit of give so that they are never too tight.  The waist area stretches to perfection and is never uncomfortable. I think this is essential for post-menopausal women since our middle area has a tendency to spread a bit.  The pants are sized nicely too.  The brand takes all body sizes into consideration with a size range that runs the gamut from Shrimp which is XXSmall to Diva which is XXXL.

Worn with navy heels for a more dressy and polished look or..

…worn with bright flats for a more casual look, the pants are versatile as well as practical.

And despite any weight gain I’ve endured over the time from my brother’s death at the end of 2019 through the pandemic, the Medium sized pants have managed to stretch with my body.  Allow me to give you and idea of how some of the pants fit me.

Notice the fit through the leg. Slenderizing but not super-tight. There’s some give here.

..and worn with a bright tank top–this is a nice summer look!

Next in line are the more trendy, loose-legged, wider legged, and paper-bag waisted pants.  Let us not dismiss the elastic waistband. There are pants with an elastic waistband that are not frumpty-dumpty.

Let’s take a look. Shall we?

I never expected to love the paper-bag waisted pants as much as I do. keeping in proportion, my feeling is that it’s best to go with a more fitted tee or top when wearing these pants!  These were purchased at Target and I really need to have another pair in my closet!

I’m loving the look of this outfit and it’s very body friendly. The top is from Amazon and I’ll add it to my idea list that I’ll post below. I don’t feel like shaving my legs tonight so I’ll probably wear this ensemble to work tomorrow!

Now a look at the J. Crew Factory Jamie Pants.  The ones below were purchased yesterday.  There was a 60% off sale at the store and we happened to be at the outlets, so I took advantage.  And that’s also something else I wanted to touch base on.   I’ve changed the way I’ve dressed during this pandemic.  Pants are now a larger part of my wardrobe than dresses are. It is very odd indeed because I’ve always considered me a dress kinda gal. Now it’s the pants!

These are the navy Jamie pants purchased yesterday. I also have them in black.  The photo was adjusted with more light so you could get a better look at the detailing.  The pants come above the ankle and I love this length. I’m wearing with a bright v-neck tee, also from J. Crew Factory.

A view from the side-I wanted you to see my gut. These elastized-waist pants are very tummy friendly!!

And now for the wide-leg version of the Jamie Pant.  I actually like these better because the wide leg is rather intriguing.  They look good even though I’m out of focus..

Here’s a better look at the wider leg. Not too long so that I’ll trip over the fabric, these graze the ankles as well. I like these better with heels than flats!

And allow me to reiterate how important the tops are in keeping with a flattering look.

Here I’m wearing a cotton tee. It doesn’t look bad but…it does add a bit of volume to my upper body. A more spandex-type fitted shirt is better.

As an aside, there are dresses that are body-friendly as well.  The dress below, another Gretchen Scott Designs item, was purchased from Mercari, cost me $34 which is a steal considering the average $169 price tag on most of the brand’s dresses–and was received in never-worn, new-with-tags condition.

Yeah. The gut still sticks out but at this point, I don’t give a shit. I LOVE this dress and for the most part, it stretches in all the right places and as I lose weight it’ll look better! It’s a size Medium and I’m a happy camper!

As far as the dresses go–I’ll definitely be wearing more in the summer as the weather gets hot.  But..I’m slowly switching it up to more pants.

Has the past year affected how you dress?  Let’s talk about this!

Here’s my idea list that you can check out. The Gretchen Scott Pants I’m showcasing on the blog post aren’t on Amazon but similar items are.Rember to take the list when you go shopping!  I’ve added affordable pants that come close to what’s in the post:  Idea List_Body Friendly Pants

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It’s Okay to Let ‘em See You at Your Ugliest! It’s Okay!

Yesterday I did a thing.  I filmed a video for my YouTube channel and I went outside of my comfort zone.

I did a “GRWM” or, in layperson’s terms “Get Ready With Me” video.

This type of video is remarkably popular.  I’m sure it has something to do with our curiosity and wondering just how others manage to pull their makeup looks together.  Most of these videos are filmed by younger women.  Those with peaches and cream skin. You know the type I’m talking about.

GET READY WITH ME: Fall Night Out! - YouTube

I don’t know who this YouTuber is but even though she’s younger, I give her lots of credit for the before pic. Yeah. She’s got perfect skin. And yeah. She’s tons younger but it’s about the fact she is pretty honest with the no makeup look. And I have to say. She’s gorgeous without makeup. But..we’re a lot older!

It’s the woman who hasn’t entered into the realm of serious ageing.  Her skin isn’t full of wrinkles or age spots and the uneven skin tone hasn’t set itself into her complexion yet.  Ninety-nine-point nine present of them, I pass by simply because they are not relevant to me.  My only exception is the wonderful Shelby Wilson, who always manages to do the fresh face and natural face video. The. One. Exception.

This is Shelby Wilson. She is the ONLY younger YT makeup guru I follow. and I’ve gotten a ton of great tips from her. Her looks are multi-generational! Please allow me to strongly suggest you watch this video:  Doing My Mom’s Makeup

But—what bothers me and, quite frankly, upsets me to no end is when I see the mature, over-50, over 60, old lady, proaging woman, whatever you chose to call her, filming these videos and using a filter to erase the lines and wrinkles and other signs of ageing she has acquired over the years.

No. Your computer screen is not dirty nor are your eyeglasses smeared with Vaseline. It’s me with an over-filtered photo. And it is ridiculous. And it is one of the reasons I left many online wig groups because older women INSIST on filtering their faces.  Sure. The wrinkles and flaws are visually erased but it isn’t REAL. It isn’t what an older woman looks like (correction unless she is able to afford the best face lift on earth). I shake my head.

And it drives me equally crazy when women of the mature age-bracket, use filters and Photo Apps on their Facebook posts and Instagram feeds.  If you must resort to this way of catfishing people, then you are not happy nor are you pleased about ageing or your looks. And it goes against the thought process of ageing gracefully.  Or gratefully.

Hey. I didn’t look this smooth since I left my mother’s womb–and I’m sure upon first sight I was wet and wrinkly.  But seriously folks–I’m 65 years old and if anyone believes that this is what I really look like, I have a bridge to sell you.

To be honest, I’m grateful that I’ve aged thus far. In three weeks as I enter into my 66th rotation around the sun, I am very aware of my flaws.  In fact, I’m going to go further and be completely transparent.

Over the years, I’ve had the pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis zapped from various spots above my mouth due to sun damage. This has left me with a very blurred lip line and very uneven lips.  It is something that I’m very self-conscious about and for my birthday, I’m treating myself to Juviderm to give myself a more defined lip line. I’ve been saving up for this for six months as my husband isn’t thrilled about my choice.  But—my mouth. My choice.  In the meantime, it doesn’t stop me from showing how I really look.

I’ve had at least 8 spots on my upper lip burned and zapped off by my dermatologist. It has left me with a less-defined lip, a blurry lip and a very uneven mouth, which has left me very self aware and unable to wear red lipstick.  I want to wear red lipstick again. I also want my mouth to be well-defined again.  

Truthfully, the only fakeness about me is my hair and my nails..

Speaking of which, I need to get a fill-in next week. And I need to reapply the fake tanner that Chippy licked off this morning…

…..at least my titties are real. I can usually be found lifting them up at least a dozen times a day. I know, I know–sometimes I’m naughty!

And that’s my point.  It is okay to let people see you at your “ugliest”. And by that, I mean it’s okay to go without makeup. It’s fine to allow others to see you as you really are. You don’t need to hide behind a filter.  Granted, I’m not going to go all filler-crazy and spend every last cent on fillers. No way. I’m just merely correcting the results from sun damage.

Let’s go from ugly to acceptably normal–shall we?

Back to the Get Ready With me.  I showed a step-by-step, which I’ll go through below in still photos.  To see the video, click this link:  Get Ready With Me. From Ugly to Acceptable

 

Bare Faced and completely hideous to some degree.  Look!  I have freckles, age spots, scars from accidents and acne, sun damage, a scar from skin-cancer surgery.  Wrinkles. I’m the whole package of a flawed face—and it’s okay!

A lazy, naturally crossed eye. Redness. Age Spots. Scars from accidents and surgery. Freckles. Wrinkles.  A face only a mother could love–and my own mother loved my sisters’ faces better!

So, after moisturizer and primer, I went in with my beloved Well-Rested to cover the blue and any discoloration around the eyes.  And yes. It is a mineral powder and if anyone notices it enhances fine lines then you are too close to my personal space.

I’ve been using Well-Rested since before my face was a wrinkled raisin!  I can’t stop using it. I love it. It works to get rid of the discoloration and blue tint. And you can wear cream shadow over it!

Next it was eyeshadow and liner.  For the everyday, I go with a very light shadow and I make a very fine line at the edge of my lid with a cream-based liner crayon. I also tightline with it. I also applied my favorite mascara—L’Oréal’s Voluminous Mascara. It’s inexpensive and great!

See what a difference a hint of shadow (Bobbi Brown Shadow Crayon in Stone),  Liner (Thrive eye liner pencil) and Mascara  make?  Hey. Look at my good eye please!

Then I went in with the cream foundation—this by Seint (formerly Maskcara), applied and blended the bejeezus out of it.  You can be rough. That skin has toughened over the decades. The more you blend, the more natural the result!

Next I went in with my Seint cream makeup. My facial expression is quite unique–isn’t it?

And after blending with a brush, I go over it all with this InStylish sponge. This is the only one I have left. I had three. Chippy ate the other two.

See? We’re looking a bit better now!  The skin tone is evened out. This is NOT a full-coverage look. It is simply evening out the skin tone and distracting from the flaws!

Then a bit of contour, again by Seint and cheek and lip color. I used the Boomstick Color stick and applied with a Real Techniques brush. I cannot praise those Real Techniques more than I do. I LOVE these brushes!

Boomstick Color stick on my cheeks applied with a Real Techniques brush. (I got hooked on this brush after watching a Shelby Wilson video. I now have eight of these).

See what a little color om the cheeks does?  I feel so Gidget!

Brows all done.  A bit of a finishing touch with setting powder under the eyes to ensure the mascara applied to lower lashes won’t smear and a bit of glimmer and I’m done.

Momma Mia. This brow crayon/pencil from Trestique is an HG item. 

Wow. I look so…so….NORMAL!!!

See. It’s so easy to go from “ugly” to decent in a matter of minutes. And let us not forget the hair.  I’m wearing Reeves by Estetica Designs.

I tell you that a woman’s crowning glory is her hair–even when it’s fake!!

 Mature Beauty Tip!  My go-to beauty tool these days is a tweezer. It gets rid of lady whiskers and—ugh—those stray nose hairs.  I’m beginning to think the term “menopause” was put into place because you acquire manly traits like chin whiskers and nose hair. Thank God I don’t have ear hair sticking out!

…and those pesky lady whiskers appear out of nowhere. Any time of day. 

More of the ugly truth. I stick the tweezers up my nose as well. I’m just waiting for the ear hair. Trust me, it’ll come.

So, do you prefer bare-faced “ugly” (I use that term loosely and with a sense of humor) or do you prefer a cloudy, filtered face. What helps you decide when it comes to cosmetics? I’m curiously nosey on this one! What’s your opinion on filters and face apps? Am I the only one against them? Do tell!

As an extra, I created an “From Ugly to Pretty” Shopping list on my Amazon Store.  Seint cosmetics is not available on Amazon but I did find dupes in cream foundation and contours.  I do receive a small commission from sales on Amazon, so please don’t think I’m shilling.  You can print the list and keep it in your purse so when you go shopping you can compare!    thank you!

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More Makeup for the Proager! How I Boom! Boom-Dee-Yada-Boom!

Okie Dokie!  So, for the past couple of years I’ve received comments, and even emails from readers of the blog, and friends and relatives, such as my sister-in-law, Linda extolling the praise for Boom Sticks.

I’ve always shied away simply because I wrote to the company asking if they had mini-sized products to try but never received a reply.  I get funny when I don’t receive a reply.

Kristen Wiig No GIF by The Lonely Island

Yeah. I got all like this.  All I wanted was a reply….

Anyway, during that past couple of years, my skin has changed. Be that as it may, it seems that as we proage or skin can sometimes speed that process up.  My skin is now blotchy. It is more wrinkled and my features are seemingly disappearing.

3/4 of the hair is gone and I’m left with “little” hair. The neck–I can’t even.  The skin has changed so quickly. Blech! It’s blotchy AND wrinkly. I need help!

Sadly, I cannot iron the wrinkles out of my face the way I do with clothing.  And my funds do not allow me to enter into the hallowed operating rooms of New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery to have some special nips and tucks into my face.

Facelift Recovery - Immediately After Face Lift

Trust me. If I had the funding, I would do this. Sadly, I’m a Paupered Princess so I cannot do this!

 Instead, I rely on makeup to assist in my endless endeavor of pulchritude.

Whoda thunk?  Just a bit of makeup can make me look presentable. Read on my loverly friends…

And with the plethora of Instagram ads for Boom, I finally bit the bullet and made the purchase.

BOOMSTICK TRIO | BOOM! by Cindy Joseph

Every day. All over the internet. I was boomed with these boomsticks. I caved. Yes. I did. I caved in and made the purchase!

I was curious to see if these three little sticks would, in fact, be all that is needed for a fresh, proaging face and I wanted to see how they worked.

Boom’s founder, Cindy Joseph was a makeup artist come model—and a later-in-life model.  Quite honestly, she was a very beautiful woman. And it’s sad that she passed. After watching a few of her videos demonstrating the products, she came across as such a genuinely nice woman.  She was very charismatic.

Staying Proage with Boom by Cindy Joseph

Cindy Joseph, Boom founder, was such a beautiful woman. I don’t think she needed much makeup.  But her pro-age ideology is right up my alley.  

Besides, how could I not be drawn to her and her brand which pontificates the importance of proaging?  Seriously, she was a huge proponent of the proage movement and her brand still carries through on that ideology.  And that is a wonderful thing itself.  The website is also ridiculously refreshing to see because all of the women showcasing the products are of the mature demographic.  I think Boom just may be the only cosmetics company to do this and it is well-needed and well-appreciated.

The three products, the Boom Sticks, are housed in a cotton pouch.  They aren’t oversized and yet, are not miniscule in size. They are a decent size for every day use. The sticks, in the pouch, will slide right into your purse or travel case. And that’s a good thing.

This handy-dandy pouch houses the products but now that I thnk about it, this would make a good mask….

The products are Boomstick Glo, a yellow moisturizing stick.  Boomstick Color, a deep mauve stick that can be multi tasked all over your face.  Boomstick Glimmer, which is a radiant highlighter of sorts. It’s a lighter mauve with a nice satin finish.

From Left to Right. Boomstick Glimmer; Boomstick Glo; Boomstick Color.

Can the products truly work for everyone as the brand states?  I’ll let you know further in the post.

Since these sticks arrived, they’ve been used every day. Every. Single. Day.  However, and this is big—I don’t use them on their own. And this is what kind of goes against the belief of Boom because the brand gives the vibe that all you need are the three sticks for a beautiful face.

I swatched the best I could in natural lighting. The bottom is the Color Stick–it’s very pigmented.  On top of that is the Glimmer Stick, a very subtle hint of highlight giving a dewy and shimmery glow, and on top of that the Glo Stick it’s pretty-much invisible and is great as a face-balm if you will or..as I use it as primer!

So, let’s get on with how I Boom and what I think of the products.

I’ve got a comparison of sorts here. I applied the products on my naked face. Then re-applied on my face after applying foundation and a few other items.

First is the Glo stick.

I mean. this face is scary naked!  I’m using the glow stick which I’ve applied on my lips (it’s a great balm) and all over my face.

This is very moisturizing.  It is an opaque stick that has, as do all the sticks, a slight tackiness to it.  Trust me, the slightly tacky texture isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, I like it because the products stay in place!

And, although this is a moisturizer, I use it more as a primer. Using this as a primer gives me more hydration after I’ve applied my regular moisturizer.  In addition, I use this as a lip balm before applying lip color.  It has no scent at all and a little bit of this goes a long way.

Next, we have the Color Stick.

The Color Stick.  I dunno about using this on my naked face. I’ve got a lot going on here.  My face is ruddy and blotchy.  Granted it does give a nice flush of color but I’m being very honest and realistic here. I may be a pro-ager but I do need a product to even out my skin tone.

This is both the most intriguing and confusing of the three products.  Again, it is an opaque stick with a bit of tackiness.  Whereas in the little room where I apply my makeup in the morning, the lighting gives this a very deep mauve appearance. I’m now in my dining room writing this and the late afternoon lighting is giving this more of a brick-reddish brown appearance.

You can use for an all-over sun-kissed look.  Some use it as a bronzer and this can also be applied to the eye lid or as a shadow of sorts.  In addition, it is a cheek and lip color. Now—here’s the thing.  I watched Cindy Joseph apply this to her bare face.  Let me tell you something, she had beautiful skin. Like really great skin.  No blotchiness. Her skin tone looked very even.  She didn’t appear to have any redness either.

I, on the other hand, have freckles, age spots (and they aren’t proage spots either-these are age spots), redness on my nose and chin. I also have scarring from various incidents of clumsiness and acne on my chin.  My skin is textured and now rather wrinkled.   The Color stick does not work on my naked skin.My pasty Irish coloring doesn’t lend itself well to using this stick as an all-over product.

However, this is great as a blush.  The shade is very natural and very pigmented.  Not too pink. Not red. It’s just a nice flush of natural blush. But the really incredible thing is this stick as a lip color. I was freaking blown away! First of all, there’s a lot of natural pigmentation in my lips. And surprisingly, it can be an issue with lipstick. Most lipsticks, unless they are pink, oxidize on me due to the natural pigmentation.  Most lip color ends up darker on my lips so I was skeptical.  And I couldn’t wrap my head around the thought process that as we pro age, our lip color should match the color of our gums (that was in one of Cindy’s videos). I was questioning that.

Until I put it on my lips. It definitely works on the naked lips as well as lips with a touch of foundation on them. I was blown away by this stick as lip color. Honestly, it’s pretty remarkable.

Last is the Boomstick Glimmer:  It’s very subtle. The stick is a lighter mauve shade with a glimmery sheen. It is quite loverly (as Eliza Doolittle would say). Applied to my bare face, you couldn’t really appreciate the luster of this stick. Applied over the Color stick on the lips it gives the prettiest satin finish. It doesn’t come off as frosted—just as a nice satin finish.

Here’s the glimmer stick. It really is great but just..on my freaking bare skin just doesn’t give the product justic. But take a look at the lips. I put some over the color stick and I LOVE IT!

With a bit of eyebrow pencil, mascara and liner, thngs look a hella lot better–especially with the bare naked face! Trust me there is something to be said about eye makeup–even if you are cross-eyed as I am!

Now here’s the about these sticks on the naked face—while they don’t work for me now, during the summer, they might work wonderfully when I’m tanned (after lots of SPF that is). I’m thinking these are probably gorgeous when your skin has that evened out tan.

The only decent no-makeup pic of me. I was tanned. It was for Oona’s wedding and I can just imagine how great these sticks will look when I’m well-tanned and fake-tanned!

So, I applied some foundation and eye products and then re-applied all three sticks. The difference was astounding.  I’m big on cream makeup these days and I applied Seint cream foundation on my face. I used Trestique Brow Pencil, Monoprix mascara, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Cobblestone and Thrive eyeliner.

So after I decided to add a bit more makeup, I used the Seint cream makeup (I know, I hit pan put I have backups)

The other products I used were Trestique’s brow pencil (which I love), Thrive eye liner pencil and Monoprix mascara that I purchased over two years ago in Paris. (I know. I’m disgusting as all get-out for using two-year old mascara *French Shrug*) I also used my beloved Subtl Beauty concealer! 

I used the Glo as a primer and applied extra to my perpetually chapped lips.  Then I went in with the foundation.  Over the foundation I applied the Color stick on my cheeks and lips and went to town with the Glimmer stick.

Yeah. NOW we’re talking! And just enough of a light touch with foundation and concealer and the Boom Sticks work wonderfully!

All three work beautifully with other cosmetics.

And yes. For me, they don’t work on a bare face but with a bit of cream foundation and concealer, they are pretty darn worth every cent!

And I want to say something about that.  We’re all different. We all have different cosmetic needs.  Some have gorgeous skin and can bypass the foundation, concealer and brighteners. Others—well, we need a bit more assistance. If a product doesn’t work for you the way it is meant to, it doesn’t mean it won’t work.  Just because the products don’t work on my bare face, they are not wasted. They work exceptionally well on my face that has been primed and foundationed. (Is that even a word? It is now.)

Cindy Joseph was so beautiful that I could stress eat over her perfect skin.  I’ll be she’swearing abit of face makeup here.  If you get the chance head to YouTube to watch some of her videos. Her voice is so soothing. She really seemed like a very kind woman!

I think these Boomsticks work well for women who are not into makeup because they can enhance cheekbones and other areas of the face. And they are easily applied.  They also work well for those of us who are makeup addicts because we can incorporate them into our routines with additional products!

Overall, how would I rate these sticks?  They are honestly between an A and an A+. The only thing keeping them from a full-on A + is that they don’t work for a naked skin tone that needs to be evened out but with other products, work beautifully.

What I would love to see (hint, hint if anyone from Boom ends up reading this) is the brand develop a foundation stick. That would be the icing on the cake. A super-hydrating stick with a bit of tackiness to keep it in place and coverage where we need it would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Boom-dee-ada! These nuggets are keepers!

If you use Boom how does it work on your bare face—I’m really interested to know!

Posted in Boom by Cindy Joseph, Proage beauty | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Vaccine Saga Continues. I Received My First Vaccine Yesterday. But..

And there is a but. BUT, I’ll get back to that later.

So, let me tell you what’s been happening.  As you are aware, I pre-registered with Montgomery County in the beginning of January to get my Covid_19 Vaccination.  Updates were being sent but nothing updating my spot on the list.

And after three months, it was becoming quite frustrating.

drjamielong.com/wp-content/uploads/time-flies-.jpg

Time sure flies by quickly-even when you are waiting for an answer!

Flashback to this past Thursday. The Development we live in has a Facebook group.  One of our neighbors, a nurse, posted about a vaccine “Pop-Up” shop that was taking place on Saturday, March 13 (yesterday) and posted the link to apply. This pop up was hosted by our local school district and The Medicine Shoppe, a local pharmacy.

The Medicine Shoppe — Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce

Shout out to The Medicine Shoppe in Boyertown. It may be a half hour from our home but moving forward, we’ll be sending our prescriptions here!  Thank you for hosting this!

In order to receive the vaccine, one needed to be living in our local school district. Mind you, I was at work when I found out about this so I immediately went on a break and filled out the application.  I had very low expectations as the Montgomery County Debacle was driving me crazy.

Lo and behold and there by the grace of God, I ended up being accepted to receive the vaccine.  What I find to be absolutely incredible is the County I live in, failed to get in touch with me and within eight hours of applying to receive the vaccination through the school district and pharmacy, I had an appointment.

Ever the skeptic, I was still having issues believing this would take place so I sent a letter to my local congresswoman. I haven’t heard back from her.

District 157: Melissa Shusterman (incumbent) - Chester County Democratic  Committee

I wrote a letter to Melissa Shusterman-I voted for her you know.  She’s very pretty.  But she pretty-much ignored my humorous but snarky email!

And with my husband getting his second vaccination tomorrow at Paoli Hospital, I was really getting anxious over receiving mine. Well, all doubts were put to rest when I received a second email confirming my appointment with specific instruction on where to go—what building—etc.

And here’s how it rolled:

My Covid-Vaccine ensemble was comfortable and appropriate. A fun tee with short sleeves to roll up so that I could welcome the vaccine.  J. Crew Pixie pants because they are stretchy and comfy and J. Crew ballet flats because they are freaking comfortable–especially on long stints of standing.  I was dressed for success!

My appointment was 3:45. And as I no longer have children of school age, I had no inkling where the school in which I was receiving the vaccine was. We did a dry-run.  And at first it was confusing because it was early—but that was a good thing. We spotted signs leading the direction we were to head to.  We saw a police officer and his son happened to be one of the volunteers.  We asked if this was the correct place, and they assured us it was.  Both men were extremely friendly and helpful. They also said to arrive a few minutes earlier than the appointed time.

So off we went and I felt really good.

Upon returning, things ran smoothly and efficiently. To the point of being perfect.  We arrived and our automobile, with us in it naturally, were placed on a line.  Then, about five cars would leave the line to make the way to a parking area.  I was asked if I had mobility issues. Since I don’t, the car was led to another parking area.

Volunteers abound and leading us to the right spot, it was run like a finely tuned needle (I guess that’s the phrase) and every singly volunteer was so helpful and friendly and the vibe was incredibly positive!

As I exited our parked car, my husband ended up taking a nap as I headed into the building.  Once inside, I was greeted with a thermometer to the forehead and was asked for my name.  With a normal temp, I took the form given to me, headed into another room and filled the form out.

I filled out the form and headed to wait patiently (and I’m not a patient woman) on the line!

After filling the form, I waited on a line in the corridor of the school.  Another volunteer handed all on the line a card and a pen. We were told to take outwear off to make things easier.

The line was single-file, long and went quickly. I felt like I was back in school! And look-there’s an ice cream freezer to the right. Ever the gluttonous piggy, I thought we were being gifted wtih ice cream.  The vaccine was actually the gift though!

My Vaccination Card. Best ID I’ve ever had!

Did I mention when applying, it was requested that we have copies of our prescription and medical insurance cars with us.  The administrative assistant in me made color copies, front and back and stapled them. I also wrote a cover letter and placed all docs into a yellow folder that I brought with me. Trust me, I was prepared!

Ever the nerd, I was pleased as punch when the volunteer told me I was awesome for copying front and back and stapling.  Rather than awesome, I was just desperate to comply because I wanted this vaccine.

Yes. I AM that nerd girl. Even as a child I dared not go outside the lines when I handed my homework in. I also hovered over my papers so nobody else could cheat off of me.  It is only befitting that I would make perfect copies and staple them.  A + for me!

The wait on the line wasn’t long at all—I swear this was efficiency at best.

There was a quick stop at another table before entering the gym where the shots were being administered.  Again, my temperature was taken and I entered the gym to receive another form and stand in another line.

Everything you need to know about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine | Coronavirus  pandemic News | Al Jazeera

I received the Pfizer vaccine and trust me, drugs never looked so goo!

And then it happened.  I was called over to a table and received my vaccine!  Took two seconds.  A band aid was placed on my arm where the vaccine was injected and I was given the date of the return for the second vaccine.

Don’t mind the bra strap. At least I wore underwear!  And just like that–I had my first dose! Ohh I like this camera angle because my upper arm looks so good! IRL its a mud flap!

After receiving the needle, I was led to a desk. On the desk was a timer.  The timer was set for fifteen minutes. This is the wait time between receiving the vaccine and exiting the building. Just to make sure there is no reaction.

Can you believe this? I mean, HOW organized is this? A timer no less!

After the fifteen-minute allotment I exited thanking every last volunteer.  After I receive my second dose, I want to sign up to volunteer. The positivity and upbeat vibe from the volunteers were truly exceptional.

My favorite volunteer. She’s a music teacher and gave up her Saturday because she is so passionate about everyone receiving the vaccine. I want to be best friends with her!  It’s a good thing we had to leave after fifteen minutes. I would have stayed longer just to socialize–it’s been a while!

So, I get into the car and tell Bonaparte the date of my second dose and he looked at me. (This is where the “but” comes in)  He very seriously reminded me that on April 10, we will be in Cincinnati to visit Oona, Sam and baby Owen.

How could I possibly forget about this nugget of love and cuteness. WTF is wrong with me?  I KNEW I would mess something up. I knew it!

Dumbfounded, I realized I was so stinking excited about receiving the vaccination that I forgot about the trip.  And I also realized that I simply cannot—and I repeat CANNOT do any thing right! I couldn’t re-enter the building to correct the date.  Surprisingly, I didn’t panic but I got in touch with the woman that I had been corresponding with who was a tremendous help.

Head to the dictionary and look up the word Moron. You will see the description:  Catherine Lartigue

I sent and email explaining my dopey error.  And it isn’t looking promising for the second dose. But things have a way of working out so I’m not giving up on this.

And last night at dinner, I was still talking about the great experience and Bonaparte told me that was one of the things he loves about Americans.  He said no matter what our politics are, we are still willing to assist others with a smile and genuine kindness that you don’t see in France.

Baltimore Fishbowl | frenchman -

I know. I know. I am stereotyping. But the fact is, my husband–at times, IS the cranky Frenchman and he admits it. And that’s what he loves about we Americans. We’re just happy and nice!

I thought that pretty-much summed up how we really are as a people. It’s been a year. There’s hope. We have hope now because we have the vaccine.  I’m hopeful that things will return to normal at some point. I’m hopeful that everyone will be vaccinated.

I got a big family.  This makes me look forward to a big family par-tay in the future!  Or…getting back on a flight to France!  But most of all, I can’t wait to see my grandson!

And I’m hopeful that I will receive my second dose!

Have you been vaccinated yet?  Are you struggling to find a way to receive it? Is your area organized?  I really am quite curiously nosey about this. Do tell!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 32 Comments

On Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss and Then Some

Let me begin this post by telling you, just in case you are not aware, that I am a socially liberal woman (Yes. I’m a woman.  I have an Origin of the World.  I enjoy being referred to as a woman) but I abhor extremes with any social ideologies.  Extreme conservatism is not a good thing. Neither is extreme liberalism—or, as we are now calling it, progressiveness.

Rosie The Riveter Woman GIF

Yes. I truly do believe that women are empowering among many others..

Honestly, I hope I’m making myself clear. I’m a proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement and at the same time, I make no apologies for my pale skin tone and freckles. I’m rather proud and happy of my Irish roots.

Although I’m a Roman Catholic, I respect my Atheist, Agnostic and Non-Christian friends.  In fact, unless you are an extremist in your religious or non-religious ideologies, I respect you.

its always sunny in philadelphia religion GIF

In addition, it’s always a good idea to have a sense of humor when discussing religion!

Body-shaming isn’t my jam. In fact, I lost a number of followers of this blog due to one “popular” and quite funny and eccentric well-knows bloggers because she body-shamed a woman on a post and I called her out on it.  And her make-believe liberal friends mad at me for that!  No matter what size you are, it’s your body. I respect you.

Poking fun at how others look isn’t my thing either.  My preference is to make fun of myself because if I can make one person laugh at my imperfections or shortcomings, I’ve done a good deed.

My favorite fun shirt at the moment is “I gotta good heart, but the mouth tho” is very much on target. I have a complete gutter mouth but I’m charming and everyone gets a laugh out of this shirt because they know its true!

If one wants to be referred to as “they” or any of the gender-neutral references, please let me know in advance so that I may comply. In the same vein, I don’t mind being referred to as woman, female, lady, even broad. Its all good and I’m not offended.

Gay Pride GIF by Originals

Yes. Gender is a spectrum and I’m of the woman spectrum. I respect your gender. Please respect mine.

Gay pride is something I am passionate about.  One’s sexuality is their business. If two men want a relationship. That’s great.  If two women want a relationship. That’s great. Everyone is free to love the person they want to love.   And same-sex marriage should have been put into place a long, long time ago.

But presently, I’m having some issues. And those issues stem with the recent turn of events regarding both a childhood toy and an author who assisted in my, as well as others, learning to read for pleasure and honing in on our ability to rhyme and speak in sing-song voices.

I’m referring to Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss.

Last week, Hasbro decided to drop the “Mr.” from Mr. Potato Head to make the toy more inclusive. (Hasbro article)

Now, if you are of my generation, you will remember that Mr. Potato Head had a partner—a wife, in fact. Okay, maybe she was the wife of a different potato—perhaps a Butter Potato or a Sweet Potato but there was, in fact, a Mrs. Potato Head.

Vintage Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Funny Face Combination Kit No. 2004 |  Vintage toys, Funny faces, Old toys

The original Mr. And MRS. Potato Head in all their styrofoam glory!

And if you are familiar with the vintage Mr./Mrs. Potato Head TOY, you remember the TOY as it were originally, with the thin head made of Styrofoam.  After a few uses, pieces of the Styrofoam would break off and it got a bit wonky.  And so, we would head to the pantry or fridge, depending where mom stored the potatoes, take the vegetable and place the embellishments into a real potato.  Giving new meaning to playing with your food.

Might I add that the Potato Heads were a rather diverse couple as they could be changed from a potato to fruits or vegetables. I’ll call the Mrs. Pepper for now!

To be honest, I have no idea WTF suggested this re-naming of Mr. Potato Head but I think it’s inane.  It is ridiculous.  And children, for generations, did not give a shit what the gender was simply because you could turn a potato either into a woman or a man with the help of the little plastic features that came with it.

I pondered the gender of this potato last night. It had no ding-dong nor did it have a love canal. It was a vegetable. So I cooked it and ate it.

In my mind, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head were made for future makeup artists, no matter what the child’s gender.  A young boy that leaned toward a future of makeup and beauty could pretty-up a potato with eyelashes and red lips. Not to ignore the stunning dress, shoes and purse but this was also a future fashion designer’s dream!

And for the girls who were tomboys (am I allowed to use that word), perhaps they could dress Mr. Potato up to be the image they wanted to be.

1952 Mr. Potato Head Funny-Face Kit | Play-R: The Gaming Adventures Wiki |  Fandom

It’s true. All my more masculine girls could have a toy that they could relate to. So then tell me, just what is so bad about Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head?

My point it we all know that any potato has no gender. A potato will grow eyes if you leave it uneaten for too long but it is a vegetable.  And if the toy version is referred to as “Mr.” it is fine. It is non-offensive.

Actually, I find the more modern Potato Head couple to be less attractive then the ones I grew up with. They are too cartoonish looking. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking like a cartoon….

In fact, my favorite Colorforms toy of all time was “Miss Cookie’s Kitchen” I freaking played with that toy for ages, rearranging the various items in her kitchen.  God forbid this would ever be sexist due to the Miss in Cookie’s Kitchen. But subconsciously, this Colorforms set actually started my love of all things cooking and kitchen related.  And did a fine job indeed.

So sexist.  A woman in the kitchen. Then why are there so many male chefs?

But let’s talk about the wonderful Dr. Seuss. Shall we?

All the good he’s done with giving the gift of imagination and reading to children and now six of his books are banned. That is messed up!

Six books by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss are no longer being published.  The two banned books I am  most familiar with, because I loved both of these books as a child, are “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” and “McElligott’s Pool” These two books showcased the talents of Dr. Seuss’s illustrations beautifully.  I loved both stories but more so, I was mesmerized by the uniqueness of this drawings.

“McElligotts Pool” is no longer being published due to the “Eskimo” fish illustration.

I LOVED this book. And often took it out of the library to mull over the delightful illustrations.  Not once did the book give me a racist or ethno-centric thought!

I never realized that the term “Eskimo” was so offensive.  I remember enjoying “Eskimo Pie” ice cream which has, as of June in 2020 been renamed to “Edy’s Pie”.

This–the illustration of Eskimo fish is what got the book banned.  I’m still shaking my head….

And I make no apologies for feeling that the term Eskimo Pie is a lot less offensive than Edy’s Pie. Think about that one. Yeah. Edy has some pie!

As a child, I never recalled the term “Eskimo” to be a derogatory term for Indigenous Arctic people.  I never used the term in a snarky way. In fact, the only time I used the word was when referring to the ice cream or a furry jacket I had back in the early 1960’s which was called an “Eskimo” jacket. It was simply what the jacket was called.

Back in the early to mid 1960’s I wore Eskimo jackets as that was what the outwear was called. It wasn’t offensive. Nobody thought any less of Artic people. In fact, these jackets were a great source of warmth in the winters!

“And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street” is no longer being published because of an illustration of an Asian person.  A Chinese man to be exact.  Again, as a child, I knew better and was more diversely educated than to think that this illustration depicted the usual person born in China.

The book, first published in 1937 is merely about a boy named Marco who walks along Mulberry Street and the visuals of his wild imagination come into play. That’s it.

Amazon.com: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (9780394844947):  Dr. Seuss: Books

And excuse me for eating with chopsticks every time I eat Asian food.

..this is the illustration that got the book to no longer be published.  Now, I don’t know about you, but even as a child, I knew very well that the term Chinaman wasn’t used and nobody I came in contact with from China looked like this. Let us use our common sense.  

Do all Irishmen look like the Lucky Charms Leprrechaun?

Lucky Charms cereal c. 1964 | Lucky charms cereal, Cereal box, Cereal

The only thing I find offensive here is that children are subjected to eat this garbage.

And to all those who are offended by Seuss’s so-called racism. Didja know he was a liberal who despised Hitler?  Where’s your liberalism now???

I’m guessing those who condemn Seuss have no idea he was quite liberal politically.

I see him as more inclusive. While not banned, the book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” is about everyone having different qualities.

Dr Seuss Beginner Books, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

I cannot even remember how many times I’ve read this book…

Whether thin or fat.

No size-shaming here. Everyone is equal!

Whether your teeth are yellow and you are slightly weird. It’s all good.

And I never thought this guy needed to get his teeth fixed either..

It brings a message that it’s ok to be different.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Challenge to Donald Trump

And thanks to Seuss for including all ages–such as old!  And thank you for encouraging children to converse with their parents. 

I don’t think Dr. Suess was thinking anything derogatory with his Eskimo fish or with his Asian man eating with chopsticks.  It’s all about how the overly-sensitive and extreme progressives interpret these books.

HAVE YOU READ: McELLIGOT'S POOL - McElligot's Pool

I think it was just about releasing imagination!

And it is a shame because growing up, I didn’t give a second thought to ethnicity.  It just wasn’t a big deal.  It didn’t matter whether you were Chinese or Italian, Catholic or Jewish, brown, black, white or yellow.   Perhaps parents and the overly-sensitive should take a look at what offends them and teach their children better from it.

The only thing I found offensive in Dr. Suess’ writings was the mess Thing One and Thing Two made in the house!  Had I messed the house like that as a child, there would be severe repercussions.

Seriously. I found the mess Thing 1 and 2 made far more offensive than the Eskimo fish!

Look. Racism is wrong.  And ethnocentric behavior is questionable. But to all those adults who feel Mr./Mrs. Potato Head should be gender neutral and for those who feel Dr. Seuss is a racist monster, remember that actions speak louder than words.

Teach your children.  Educate yourself on how to treat others. Step down from your self-righteous horse and look around. We are surrounded with more pressing issues at the present time.

What’s your opinion on this?  Perhaps I’m not sensitive enough.  Let me know your thoughts!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 43 Comments

It’s Been a Year! One. Entire. Year. Of. COVID.

I was cleaning out my iPhone the other day and came across a few photos that hadn’t been deleted.

They were from last year. The first week of March, 2020.  Today is the first day of March 2021.

And let us hope the winter coating can be stored away in a few weeks!

On that first weekend of March last year, we decided to spend the (click this link for last year’s blog post about our)  weekend in Manhattan. 

Hard to believe this was taken a year ago and even more difficult to believe we are entering year two of the pandemic!

We stayed at the Marriott in Midtown and before arriving at the hotel, we drove to Nyack to visit my husband’s grandfather’s grave. A lifelong Parisien, he moved here due to work obligations and passed away due to a heart attack.  He was living in an old house in Nyack and was buried in the town.

We stapped first to have a little visit with Bonaparte’s grandfather!

It’s a bittersweet sentiment for my Frenchman because his entire family is in France so it gives a connection here.

But more about the weekend.

We heard about this “virus” but really hadn’t known the seriousness of it.  Yet.

What we did notice was traffic was eerily light.  And lighter traffic is always a good thing but this was different.  And it was more noticeable as we approached the City.

And once in the city, we were astounded that traffic remained so light. I mean there was no traffic at all.  Under normal circumstances driving in the City, I’m usually cursing every five seconds and flipping the bird every 15.  On that day, I remained unsarcastically angelic!

This was the heaviest traffic we encountered–in Times Square it was rather eerie!

And when we arrived at the hotel we were greeted as though we were royalty.  In fact, Marriott upgraded us into a rather large suite. Little did we know it was because a great number of travelers opted out of staying at the hotel!

We had great views in this corner of the suite. And a year later, the hotel closed. It’s so sad.

After unpacking and headed out and about for an afternoon walk, we didn’t notice a smaller number of people.  That area of the city is usually pretty crowded and the locals were going about their normal weekend errands and whatever it is they needed to do. We had a lovely dinner at Le Relais de Venise Entrecôte and the restaurant held a good crowd. It was business as usual.

We had a lovely dinner here–it’s actually our “usual” place in The City. And I”m happy to announce it has remained opened a year later!

MMM…Steak!

And despite some of the normalcy, we had a hunch that something was about to happen.

The next day, we left the city and arrived at the Holland Tunnel in record time.  No one was on the road. We exited a metropolis that had morphed into a virtual ghost town.

We had never witnessed such empty city streets. It wasn’t a sign of good things to come.

It was not until the next day that I realized the severity of this virus. We were now experiencing a true pandemic.

The office I work in was now under a lockdown of sorts.  Staff was now ordered to work from home.  I was one of three people who volunteered to come into the office.  (For me, it was a dream—not having to be with most co-workers was a delight)

Season 1 Midge Maisel GIF by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Only I wasn’t sorry. I was delighted!  It was so productive!

And thus, life changed.  Restaurants closed. Malls and stores closed.  People were now ordered to wear masks. There was no cure for this mysterious illness but we all knew it was bad. Very bad.

And last March, I had no idea that I would still be wearing a mask during the November voting process!

In the beginning, for me, it was a pleasure to drive to work with no traffic. It was even more of a pleasure to work in an empty office.  I mean, it’s a beautiful thing to not have to deal with the office gossips or the slackers or the moles who spy on everyone while spending less time on their daily duties.

4 Things You Can Do When the Office is Empty – Time Management Ninja

A year later, I think back on the empty office. There is now a handfulof people working onsite but we keep a very safe distance!

After all, how long would this pleasure of being alone last?  A few weeks? A month at the most? Oh boy, were we all in for a rude awakening! Weeks turned into months and those months turned into a year. A year later, I’m not as delightfully giddy as a was during the onset of this pandemic.

Sad Miss You GIF by Rosanna Pansino

I must say that I DO miss my friends!  A lot!

A year later, I miss people (except most co-workers) who are my friends.  I miss random conversations with strangers while we are waiting in line at a store or elsewhere.  I miss seeing young parents with their babies and telling them how cute their baby is.

Black Friday: People Are Getting Paid To Wait In Line - Simplemost

Suffice it to say, I even miss standing on lines like this to see a movie!

I miss going out.  I’ve been a semi-prisoner in my home for one year now.  No contact with family. Sure, I did get to visit Oona and Sam twice and I got to spend time with my new grandson Owen. And Roman came to visit. But Jake is still out in L.A.

Thank God I have memories of my visit to Ohio to see my new grandson!

But there were no trips to Long Island to see my sister.  Our trips to France, two of them cancelled with a possible third in the queue of cancellation. For 2021 No weddings.   No barbeques.  No random restaurant meals.  No wedding showers. No baby showers. No birthday parties.  No nothing except one trip to the beach last summer.

Under the Chics. A ReFrenching Look On Finding Your Own Style! | Atypical 60

Something tells me we won’t be hanging here  in Antibes this coming summer.

And please—do not even broach the subject of Zoom events because it is simply not the same as being in a room with real human touch.

How to Protect Your Meetings: Zoom, Teams, WebEx and More - Shen Milsom &  Wilke

Zoom isn’t cutting it for me.

As we enter into Year Two of this pandemic, I honestly don’t have much hope for 2021.  Montgomery County here in Pennsylvania is a joke—an absolute joke with the handling of the vaccines.  Smokers and obese individuals are receiving their vaccination before soon-to-be-66-year-old me along with peers of my age group.

cigarette smoking GIF

Smoking?  You’ll get your vaccine first!

Masking it has become the new normal.  Caution has taken over our lives.  Hand sanitizer is the new eau de toilette.  Take out and curbside pickup is the substitute for dining out. Amazon is now the Mall of America.

Amazon.com : Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel 1 OZ Travel Size (4 Pack) :  Beauty

I haven’t purchased any perfume in a year but I’ve got a steady supply of this!

A year ago, I was delighted to be away from people. A year later, I long for the company of people (except most co-workers).  I daydream of arriving home from the office and having my husband suggest heading to downtown Phoenixville for a bite to eat rather than the typical weeknight dinner at home.

 

I want to return to France.  I want to be on a TSA line that is so long that I’m cursing up a storm and my patience is tested.  I want to be bitchy to overly-aggressive sales assistants but want to be kind to the nice ones.

That’s right. I want my naughty mouth to get working on a long TSA line!

I want the opportunity to mull over an invite.  I want to go shopping to purchase a gift for someone special and wrap it and adorn it with ribbon and embellishments.

Ahhh. Christmas.  2019?  I long to make pretty wrappings again!

I don’t want a daily count of the deaths.  I want this goddamned pandemic to end.

2020 was the year that wasn’t.  I felt as though an entire year of life was wasted and it won’t come back. And as I age, time is of the essence.  Hopefully 2021 will see a return to life as it were.  And I’m not alone. It seems that the year mark has thrown many over that mountain of patience and hope.

New Year's Father Time Coloring Page | crayola.com

 

This is how a feel about last year.

This first day of March marks entering into the second year of COVID-19 but, this first day of March also gives an awakening that Spring is just around the corner.  As the air begins to change from frigid to cooler and the days get longer our spirits will start to bloom.  And as the Crayola-Spring Green crayon color appears as a sprinkling of buds on the trees, and the grass turns from stiff blades and becomes, once again, barefoot soft, our hearts will also soften.

I want real-life Spring Green back…

And next month, it’ll look like this–it’s be welcomed and we’ll be a bit happier and sunnier!

It’s been tough.  We all feel it. But let’s look forward to spring and the warmer weather.

We can do this! Think happy thoughts!  

How have you been coping with the realization that it’s been a year? I think it’s good to talk about this so you know that you are not alone!

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Let There Be Light—For Our Pro-Ageing Eyes!

With ageing comes challenges.  Especially with our eyesight.  Am I right or what?

My own experience was the not-so-pleasant gift of cataracts.  It was especially challenging for me simply because I was in denial.  My eyesight, albeit bad to begin with, was getting progressively worse—and rather quickly.  I blamed poor office lighting, people using their bright headlights, mother nature for making the day sky too bright and the night sky too dark.

 

Frankly, Cataract surgery changed my life–definitely for the better!

It wasn’t until I went to the Ophthalmologist that I was faced with the truth. I had not only one cataract in each eye but had two.  One in front of my lens and one behind.  But the worst was when my doctor told me it happens with age.  I couldn’t handle that—age hasn’t made me less shallow!

But it’s a fact. Our eyesight changes as we age.  A number of people not needing eye glasses when they were younger, now are in need of prescription lenses.  Many develop cataracts.  Others develop conditions such as presbyopia, glaucoma, dry eyes and age-related macular degeneration. Yeah. It stinks but that’s the ageing process for ya!

Eye drops and medication for eyes often becomes the new normal!

Luckily, though, I had the surgery and my eyes are better than ever.  However, I do need to take care of my eyes.  These days I wear blue-light readers whilst working on my work and home computer.  I use eyedrops to keep my eyes hydrated and on doctor’s orders, religiously wash my eyelids with baby shampoo every evening.

My blue-light friendly eyeglass wardrobe has expanded!

Good lighting is also paramount. Honestly—it is.  I can think back to childhood and my parents constantly nagging me to read in better light.  Little did I realize my parents were right!   So, you can just imagine my surprise when the folds at BenQ, reached out to me to try their e-Reading desk lamp!  I jumped at the opportunity and waited for this lamp to be delivered.

Image result for benq ereading lamp

From the BenQ website

Here’s how it rolled:

First of all, the lamp was delivered quickly after I agreed to review.  Considering how the postal service is these days, I was impressed.

 

This large package arrived in due time!

The packaging:  The lamp was shipped all the way from Taiwan and I was a bit concerned about the packaging.  My fears were put to rest upon opening the large box.  Every component of the lamp was packaged securely in Styrofoam and wrapped in sheer cling wrap.

In the box, the lamp was housed in styrofoam..

…and components wrapped in cling wrap.  The lamp was sent extremely secured so nothing would be broken!

My next fear was how to put this together.  I’m not particularly astute in assembling any sort of household good or furniture and I thought this would be no exception.  Again, fears were put to rest with easy-to-follow visual directions!  Honestly, have no fear of complicated instruction. This was easy-peasy, lemon squeezy to put together.  I used the little wrench that came with the packaging and it took less than five minutes to assemble.

A quick-start guide was included as well as a small wrench for assembly.

With the pieces of the lamp on the floor, and instruction, along with the little wrench, I was able to assemble the lamp in record time!

Another attribute of this lamp is the fact that the base is a good solid weight.   It won’t topple over with any surprise movement but isn’t so heavy that you cannot transport it up and downstairs from room to room.  Don’t transport it while barefoot though because if you drop it, you can run the risk of a bruise or worse.

I especially liked the visuals illustrating the importance of using the wrench to tighten the arm into the base so it won’t fall off and hurt your foot!

Performance.

This performs so well! First of all, the arm of the lamp is adjustable and allows you to custom-fit the lamp to your needs.  When I’m on my computer, I lower it so that the curved lighting area is placed over the length of my laptop.  It can be adjusted higher or as low as you need.

You can adjust the lamp to your desired height. Another plus is the generous sizing of the base.  It stays put!

My preference is having the light lowered to hover over my laptop! (And yes, my grandson is my laptop wallpaper!)

The lamp’s light literally covers the length of the laptop or computer. 

You can also adjust the lighting from a warmer yellow lighting to a cooler blue lighting.  In fact, there’s an icon you can touch with your finger to adjust.

Warmer lighting or cooler lighting?  You have the option!

Warmer for reading, cooler for computer!  It’s foolproof!  Just a touch of the book or screen icons will adjust for you!

The button at the top of the lamp also allows you to adjust the lighting and with a light touch can be turned on and off.

A light touch is all you need to turn on and off!

And in true LED fashion, will last forever. No bulbs to change!

No changing lightbulbs with this LED lamp!

The coverage of this slender lamp is incredible. There is no area left untouched when you’re working on your computer.  There’s no glare given off by the lamp so your eyesight won’t be strained nor will your eyes be fatigued. It’s all good and I prefer using this to overhead lighting or a smaller lamp.

The lamp covers over the top length of your workspace.  No glare either!

Used as a reading lamp, it’s just as good.  It’s very easy to carry it over from my work area to my sunroom for some pleasurable reading.

Easily transportable from room to room.  I can sit comfortably in the corner of  the loveseat in our sunroom and enjoy the pleasure of a book and good lighting!

The price?   The list price is $229 and can be found on Amazon.  Although it might seem pricey, the lamp is well-worth the money spent.  It is solid. It is well-constructed. The adjustable arm is user-friendly.  The lighting it gives off is well-needed and a must-have for those of us with ageing eyes.  At this juncture in our lives, we might purchase less “stuff” but what we do purchase can be money well-spent.

Definitely worth the price!

And if you are a grandparent of a child in school who happens to be visiting you or spending time with you, this light is great for their study and school time.

Overall, I’m impressed with this.  I use it every time I’m on my home laptop, which is practically every day.  Since I’m now working from home once a week, it will be used while working.   Eyesight is a gift—and almost losing it to cataracts was a big scare for me—I’m now taking very good care of my eyes and this e-Reading lamp from BenQ is assisting in that care!

As a proponent of Senior Class Wellness, I highly recommend this e-reading lamp to my friends of our demographic!  Especially with the challenges of ageing eyesight!

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My Husband Got Vaccinated and I Did Not. More Randomness for The Weekend!

Okay so here’s the deal.  I mentioned that Bonaparte had surgery recently.  It was oral and he needs to be on a soft diet for six months. And whilst I was in Cincinnati for a week enjoying my new grandson, I ate.  I ate a lot.

And what I ate wasn’t necessarily the healthiest but wasn’t the unhealthiest.  I’m lying.  I nibbled at the trail mix. And nuts. And I consumed a few lactation cookies just to test them out. Brownies were also made—twice and I enjoyed them.  As did I enjoy the chocolate chip cookies I made and a little cheesecake.

I ate Indian food and Chinese food and managed to cook a few meals.  Am I guilty? Not really because my daughter needs to eat in order to keep that milk supply flowing.  I was there to help eat the food!

But while I was away, the husband lived on soup.  To begin with, he refuses to actually “cook” for himself so he went to Wegmans and purchased quite a few Karine & Jeff soups that happen to be imported from France.

These soups are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  The nutritional value is very weight loss friendly AND they are filling.  My newest obsession is the brand’s Thai Coconut soup!

He lost quite a few pounds without really trying.  And over the course of time I was in Cincinnati, I gained one pound.  Which, by the way, I’m thrilled about because I would have sworn I gained more.

Now that I’m home, I’ve become obsessed with these soups because they are all natural and quite filling.  Still, it’ll take me a dog’s age to lose five pounds.  And it just happens that when my husband went to the doctor two days ago, the doctor demanded he not lose any more weight.  Trust me, I just about spiraled into a jealous rage!  But my new project is to find soft foods that will fatten him up. Oh, if I had a mustache, I could twirl the ends in such a villainous way!

season 10 episode 23 GIF

What did he do?  He had oral surgery and his Frenchness allowed for a drastic weight loss while I………………

Anyway, (because we all know that anyways is not a word) we both registered with Montgomery County, PA to have our COVID-19 vaccine.  What a bunch of bullsh….!

I registered over a month ago and receive these emails basically stating that Montgomery County has a shortage of vaccines and it’ll be a long wait.  Most likely when hell freezes over!

Stay Safe Rosie The Riveter GIF by INTO ACTION

Seriously. I’m vaccine ready. Unfortunately Montgomery County, PA isn’t ready to hand them out!

That being said, the wonderful Philadelphia-based Main Line Health sent a message to my husband that he could receive a vaccination!  Imagine that!  He didn’t even have to reach out to them.  Main Line Health reached out to him with this illustrious offer simply because he had a heart attack and they have his health records.

Image result for paoli hospital

Paoli Hospital part of Main Line Health. Can I tell you that being a hypochondriac, I love Main Line Health.  All the doctors I’ve gone to are steller and this health company is a dream for any hupochondriac!

Believe me—I was incredibly happy that he would be receiving this shot and in my usual devious way, decided to accompany him to Paoli Hospital when he received the vaccination.  My thought process was that since he was going in the evening and the weather was rather inclement to say the least, the old people (and by that, I mean those about ten years and upward from my age) would stay home. Therefore, I would be able to grandfather up and receive a vaccination because it would be best to give the shot to me than to dispose of an unused one.

Party Celebrate GIF by INTO ACTION

I was doing the Vaccine Happy Dance simply because I was so sure I would be able to get leftovers!

Are you following me?

We arrived at the designated office for vaccinations.  And there they came out of the building. An army of elders.  Most walking very slowly due to the weather situation.  And as we approached the entrance to the area where the check-in was, my doubts of receiving a vaccination grew stronger.  The waiting area was chock-full of people who were quite older than I am.  This didn’t look good for me.

old man dance GIF

Never underestimate the determination of  those over 75!  They will go out in any weather to vote and to get their vaccines!

The nurse greeted my husband while ignoring me!  I asked her if I could sidle up to get a shot. She looked at me without even asking my age and told me I was too young.  My reply to her was that I am, in fact, old.  I’ll be 66 in two months.  She chuckled and stated that I was still too young.

Now THIS is a young me. Note the car seat and I’m still here!  In addition, I’m not this young anymore but this is how the nurse pictured me!

This was now my opportunity to entertain all those awaiting their vaccines!

“Can you believe it?” I said “When I was young, I had fake ID to make me older so I could get into bars” “Now I’m old and am told I’m too young” “Anyone got a fake ID?”

Season 4 Alcohol GIF by The Simpsons

Forget the beer–I wan’t a fake ID to make me old enough to get vaccinated against Covid!!

But I couldn’t stop!  I went on, just like a female version of Rodney Dangerfield complaining about no respect.  I started griping about the fact that smokers are getting the vaccines before non-smokers.  (And this is fact—at least in Pennsylvania it is.  All those beer-drinking cigarette fans are now safe from COVID-19 while I’m a walking time bomb).

Charlie Sheen Smoke GIF

Sorry Charlie, but I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that smokers in PA are getting vaccines before non-smokers!

Teachers and first responders, as well as health-care workers definitely deserve to be vaccinated first. But smokers? Come on now..

Halo Masks GIF by INTO ACTION

Especially for those of us who don’t smoke!

Needless—or rather needle-less to say, I’m glad that my husband got his vaccine.  Now I wait!

Back to the wait—I mean weight!  I’m very punny today!

At 159 pounds, I’m feeling better but not quite there yet. With about 15 pounds to go, this is the slippery-slope time.  The last ten to fifteen pounds are the most difficult.  The weight comes off more slowly but I’m ok with it.  Lord knows how many times I’ve been through this.

The scale will be moving slower now but it’s a pleasure to see the 150’s again!

Calories are continuing to be counted with the Nutritionix App and I’m finding this app to be incredibly helpful.  I prefer it to the WW app that I was using while on Weight Watchers.  Calorie-counting is making me far more accountable than counting points but to each their own. Whatever works for you is the best solution!

I’m really diggin’ this Nutritionix App! I downloaded it to my iPhone via the App Store and this is the free version!

Clothing is definitely fitting better but my problem area remains my pufferfish gut.  And in all honesty, it’s my own fault through lack of exercise.  We’re presently buried underneath a foot of snow that has accumulated over the course of two weeks.  But with March and Spring knocking at the door-it’ll be good to get out and walk.

Ugh. We’re buried in snow. It would have been nice around Christmas but in February?  Nope!

Pants are definitely fitting better but the jeans are still a bit too tight. It’ll be awhile..

In the meantime, the Gretchen Scott Designs printed stretch jeans are fitting nicely–they stretch!

And speaking of Spring……………….two nights ago, after relaxing in a nice hot bath, I ended up applying fake tan to my fish-belly white legs.  I simply couldn’t take it anymore. Tired of wearing tights (because I refuse to wear pantyhose) with skirts and dresses and tired of looking at my blue veins, I grabbed leftover tanning mousse and went to town. The smell has dissipated and I’m now looking forward to being bare-legged for the winter’s remainder.

I just couldn’t take the pale legs a moment longer. Luckily I had fake tanner left over from last summer…

And….was able to go bare-legged to the office yesterday! Granted, I wore boots–still, no tights made me happy. Besides–I love the feel of being bare-legged!

How are you dealing with the vaccination dilemma? Are you waiting?  Did you get your shot?  Do tell!!  And have a great weekend or what’s left of it!

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You May Now Call Me…Grandma!

Well, it’s been a whirlwind three weeks.  There’s been a lot going on in my life.  Let’s see……… my husband had surgery and he’s 100 percent fine.  I went through the annual stress and anxiety of getting my mammogram…and that was fine.  And work?  Well…it’s still there.

But the big news is that I became a grandma on Tuesday, January 26th!

I’m a Grandma!!!!!

I’ll tell you all the juicy details.

So, Oona went to the doctor the Friday before giving birth…January 22, to be exact.  Oona’s blood pressure was on the high side so they were monitoring it.  And on Monday, they decided to admit her to the hospital.  They were going natural, but the baby was a bit on the large side for her body type.  (Where this mommy has what is called “Irish” hips, the same cannot be said for my daughter).  And after pushing for over 2 hours, it was decided upon to give her a C-Section.

My baby and her baby!  He had no problem finding his thumb!

And…on Tuesday morning, my 8-pound, 21 ¼ inch grandson, Owen Michael was born!

Straight outta the womb and into the world. He’s about five minutes old here.  She did deliver two weeks early. Had she gone full term, this little nugget would have weighed in over 9 pounds!

After the initial relief that the baby was well and kickin’ and healthy, my thoughts went back to my daughter.  To be honest, I was really concerned about her blood pressure.  I never had that issue during my three pregnancies and remained slightly worried about her. I’ll get back to this.

In the meantime, she and Sam produced the cutest (I know, I know..every grandparent thinks the same thing), most adorable baby I’ve ever seen. Owen is perfect!  And the photos they sent me didn’t do justice as to how precious that li’l nugget of handsome is.  I couldn’t wait to hold him.

All snuggled up! He’s just so stinkin’ cute!

Here’s where it gets weird. And I think I made a couple of errors in judgement. I’ll explain.

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to fly to Cincinnati to see my daughter and my grandson.  I had a week of rollover time off from 2020 that had to be taken by March or I would lose it.  And as much as I love and adore my boss, she kind of wanted to know when I would be out of the office. My ex-husband was asking me when I was going to visit so he could block out time for him.  Roman and Jake were also on the queue for traveling to see their nephew.  I ended up leaving for Cincinnati on Friday, February 5, and returning home on Valentine’s Day.  In hindsight, this wasn’t really the best choice I’ve ever made.

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The pressure!  The pressure!  

Why? You ask.  Well, it didn’t give Oona and Sam much “alone” time with their son.  Honestly, I didn’t think this through.  My impatient nature got the best of me.  I’ll tell ya something else.  For some ungodly and delusional reason, I thought Oona would be overwhelmed at the prospect of new motherhood.

Ummm.  Yeah.  No way is my daughter overwhelmed. She took to motherhood like a fish takes to water!

After all, thinking about how I felt when I came home with my son Jake, I was overwhelmed. I had nobody to help me.  My mother lived in Florida—although my dad came up for moral support, and I didn’t get along with my mother-in-law.  I really felt alone. Don’t get me wrong—I loved being with my baby and relished in everything that goes along with having a baby. It was just that first two weeks made me doubt if I had what it took to be a “mommy”.  And I thought Oona would feel the same way.  I expected her to be a bit needy and dependent upon me.

Oh boy, was I ever wrong!

This mommy has it under control!

She had that mommy thing down pat.  In fact, she was a hell of a lot better at it than I was when I came home.

She’s very organized.  I’m not.  I was a very “crunchy-granola” earthy attachment mom. (albeit with more of a preppy style—a true paradox).  She’s got Owen on a schedule. I had no schedule and very quickly my overwhelming emotions flowed into complete chill and relaxation.

Image result for crunchy granola mom

This was me –breastfeeding until the children were three years old.  I made their baby food too. And baked goods.  And home-made tortillas because I didn’t want them to be fed a ton of chemicals. All that changed once they became involved in extra-cirricular activities.  Kraft Mac and Cheese anyone?

In addition, realizing it’s been thirty-one years that I’ve had a baby in the house, there’s a lot of things that have changed.  When I breastfed, the only pump available was a Marshall-Kaneson that looked like a cross between a kazoo and trumpet.  The pumps my daughter is using are incredibly advanced in tittie technology!

babyfeeding, suctionmilkingtool, manualbreast, breastpumpbaby

This is a replica of the pump I used. And I managed to get quite a bit but this is so primitive to what’s available now!

And then there’s the lactation cookies.  I was told to drink a bottle of beer to produce milk. I hate beer but luckily, produced a ton of milk on my own.

Image result for lactation cookies

And yes. I tasted a couple of these cookies. They were delicious but alas–I didn’t produce any milk. My well has run dry!

The trip was a good one though.  I was able to hold my little bundle of joy and even got to babysit while Oona and Sam went out to breakfast and ran errands. Due to the winter weather at it’s best, we had a very nice snowstorm and spent most of the time indoors.

In the dire need for exercise, I went outside for some photos and a long walk. It was actually very beautiful outside!

Oona and I binged on Workin’ Moms, a series on Netflix and watched a few documentaries.

I’m full of bliss. Dang I wish I could take him home!

I cooked a couple of meals but was reminded that I make a mess when I cook.  So …I made only a couple of meals.

I roasted a lemony chicken, grilled brussels sprouts and made sausage and peppers with tortellini in a pesto sauce. Oh..and I made cookies and brownies too!

And that was it.

Holding my grandson was an emotional experience. It was an odd feeling to see my daughter as a mom.  It was even more odd to see that she didn’t need me.  She’s got everything under control. It was sad that my baby advice was not needed because she gets her baby advice from her friends.  But I guess that’s the way it is.

We were color-coordinated!

It also comes as a rude awakening that I won’t be the grandma that is close to Owen.  I’ll be that grandma—the one who lives far away.  Everyone tells me that the time spent with him in the future won’t matter because it will be quality time.  But I ain’t buying it.  My grandmother was an important factor in my life and I saw her regularly.  I was with her every day when before we left the city for Long Island and I continued to spend my summers with her, my grandfather and Aunt Terry. These were the adults who had the most impact on me.  I was closer to my grandmother than my own mother.  And the fact that I won’t be seeing Owen on a regular basis is daunting.  I certainly won’t be a major player in his life but I can make our time together fun.

Sadly, I won’t be the close grandma. I have to come to terms with that. 

Face time and Zoom aren’t the same as real life.

A future UT Longhorn. Uncle Jake got him a Bevo pacifier!

So yeah, if any of you out there are about to become first-time grandparents in a while, give the new parents time to settle into their lives as a family with their child.  Don’t be over-zealous or over-anxious to see the new baby. Don’t smother your children. Don’t give advice—just listen.  Don’t hover over the baby.  If you have to travel a long distance, give it a bit of time before visiting.  Don’t ask if there’s anything you can do—wait until you are asked to do something.

Give them time to settle in to becoming a new family!

And make your visit shorter than a week.  I would say three to four days max is the way to go.

Give the baby time to get to know mommy and daddy as well!

Other than that, I look forward to more and more pics of my little grandson.  Oh. And by the way, my “grandma” moniker still has not been chosen.  I think I’ll allow Owen to do the honor!

What will he call me?  Granma?  Granny? Grammy? Glamma?  Just as long as he doesn’t call me late to dinner!

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