So, How’s Your Day (Light Savings) Going?

Okay.  Three weeks ago, we entered into an early, pre-seasonal existence of Daylight Savings Time.

happy alarm dance

Daylight Savings. I’m not dancing about it this year!

This is the time of year when, presently, and up until June 21st, the days get longer. Depending on where you are on June 21st, it will get dark for us in the USA around 9:30 PM. When we are in France, it stays lighter until around 10:15 PM.  And when I say this, I mean twilight hits at that time when the day falls into night.

It’s also that time when clocks that weren’t set to the correct time six months ago are now set correctly. I opened a drawer full of watches that were now, correctly set!

And after June 21st, the days become shorter until November, when the clocks are turned back and we say “hello darkness my old friend” once again.

Hello Darkness: Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence Turns 55 - Rock and Roll Globe

One of my favorite songs during the shorter days: Simon and Garfunkels Sounds of Silence. It starts with “Hello darkness my old friend…..”

Not gonna lie. I used to live for daylight savings.  Gleefully giddy, when the clocks were moved forward for an hour—during APRIL, usually around Easter, life was easier. Especially since I was a much younger mother and my children participated in sports and other extracurricular activities.

Being at a Little League/Pony League/Varsity/Jr. Varsity/Babe Ruth/American Legion ball games oftentimes went well after the 6:00 PM hour and during the longer days were a pleasure!

During Jake’s Babe Ruth days the sun would set later and it wasn’t annoying to have a game end after 9:00 PM when it got dark. 

Driving to Oona’s Irish Dance lessons or picking her up from Field Hockey games were also a delight when the days were longer; living in Pennington, NJ meant you had better visibility of the deer that would be making a target of your vehicle.

From eight years old to a college senior at 20, I enjoyed driving her to dance classes while still light outside!

Running errands such as replacing the items that ran out for school lunches or eleventh-hour notebooks or items needed for school projects was no big deal during the longer days either.

Overall, as a mom, daylight savings time, for me, was a convenience and made mom’s taxi life much easier.

Add to that, being at the beach well after 5:00 PM was great because you got more beach time during the longer days!

It really was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the longer days back then!

Then the kids grew up. They went away to college.  Relocated for jobs and my purpose ended.

My life is different now.

off the charts

And might I add I’m pretty-much off -the- charts happy that I’m working!

Instead of being a stay-at-home-mom, I am a working woman.  I’ve worked, until recently full-time—meaning that my working day could run from 7:00 AM until after 7:00 PM—depending on the workload.  These days, luckily, my position with a different company is as a receptionist and facilities assistant working from Monday through Thursday until 3:30 in the afternoon. I love my job now. It’s fun and I get to interact with people.

And, my position allows me the pleasure of getting dressed!

But I’m starting to ramble, and I apologize.  Back to the subject of Daylight Savings.

I don’t like this business of daylight savings beginning before Spring. And by that I mean, I do not like it before mid-or-end of April.  It serves no purpose.   Instilling the longer daylight hours should go hand-in-hand with warmer weather. It should be a segue into birds chirping, grass that needs to be mowed for the first time of the year, Mr. Sun shining down on you with such vitality that all heavy outerwear has been placed in storage, and daydreaming of the invigorating feeling of sitting at Ocean’s front, being lightly splashed with salt water as the waves break at your feet.

Yeah. I prefer my daylight savings time when I can go to the beach..

…or run around in sandals!

What Daylight savings shouldn’t be is the feeling of remorse and guilt for arriving home  from work or anywhere else before 5:00 PM and wanting to take your clothing off to change into pajamas or any form of loungewear that is stained from cooking or has rips or just makes you look deliciously sloppy. After all, you are in the comfort of your own home!

My at-home uniform when I arrive back from work. Yes. I LOVE the comfort of old clothes–and I feel slightly guilty for wearing this ensemble whilst the sun is shining. There’s something very wrong with Daylight Savings this early in the year!

In being completely transparent with you, Daylight Savings time—this early in the year, wreaks havoc with my mental and physical body clock.  The fact is, for the past three weeks I’ve been tired.  Not the kind of tired where you can fall asleep at your work station nor is it the type of tired where you are emotionally exhausted. It’s that tired feeling you get after 6:00 PM in the evening. You’re not quite ready for a full-night’s slumber but you slowly inch your way into your bed giving yourself the excuse that it’s okay to be in bed whilst the sun is still shining because you have your books, journals, magazines and phone (to play Candy Crush) to while away time until that magic hour of darkness arrives.

True dat. I’m in bed way too early. But I’m being productive by playing Candy Crush!

And speaking of what Daylight Savings does to my mental frame of mind, is somewhat similar to what it does to my physical state. I’m just not ready for longer days yet.

This has been my prayer for the last few weeks. Early Daylight Savings wreaks havoc on me!

Look-I adore summer.  It means less clothing to throw on. It means no outerwear. It’s more reasonable to walk around barefoot.  And….it means less time spending on applying makeup because a natural (or fake) tan means less cosmetics time.

I do love summer.  I love my tan–whether natural or fake. And I love the longer days–IN THE SUMMER!!!!

And it’s true. I’m not mentally ready for more daylight yet. I prefer my autumns (after turning the clocks back) and winters to have shorter days and not one day before.

I think cities are spectacularly gorgeous when the sun goes down–especially when it sets earlier. More time to enjoy the night!

When days are shorter there’s more of a sense of time. When the sun begins it’s slow descent, the shadows are deeper. The sky takes on a deep blue, gray, purple hue with a touch of orange illumination.  You become aware that evening is approaching.  Your body clock is knowledgeable that you need to start dinner at a certain time.  During longer days, the time of day becomes something you often forget about.

That approaching twilight time close to 5:00 PM during the winter just makes me feel cozy!

When days are shorter, they comply with the weather.  There is a coziness that comes with darkening of days.  Akin to a big hug, there is nothing more comfortable as being in your pajamas at 5:00, sitting on the cushioned loveseat, with a toasty blanket over your body and reading a good book accompanied by a soothing cup of tea—all while dinner is cooking.  A hearty soup? A comfort-food bowl of pasta? A beefy stew? It all warms my soul and gives me a better mental outlook.

My favorite spot during shorter days–whether reading a novel or perusing through an old Dr. Seuss book or enjoying a cuppa. It’s such a great feeling of comfort.

It’s funny because during the shorter days, I enjoy my afternoon tea. During the summer, I just want iced tea.

And I’m more into desserts and cooking and baking in general when the days are shorter. I made Crepes Suzette the other night just after it got dark. Luckily I did NOT burn the house down with the flambe!

Like a rainy day. Some people despise rainy days. I happen to love them.  As a child and well into my teens, rainy days meant I could complete a book in one read. Heading to my bedroom, getting under the covers or actually, never getting out of them, reaching for a classic novel and immersing myself into pages and pages of words to enhance my imagination, it was what I loved most—and reading now banned books makes me look back even more fondly!

From my youth up until now, I dig a seriously rainy day for reading–OMG and when it gets dark out earlier. I’m in heaven!

Shorter days bring me to my favorite time of year—Christmas!!!  Who wants to listen to Christmas and Holiday music when it’s daylight at 7:00 PM?  I want my Holiday music to blast as the sun sets in late afternoon! It’s more festive.

My favorite Holiday House of all time. Martell’s Winter Wonderland in Hamilton, New Jersey.  In late afternoon, during Christmas season, around 4:45 Roman, Oona and I (Jake was too busy studying) would take the 15-minute drive from Pennington to see this delightful house. It was a happy place..

I don’t even think Oona was in middle school yet in this pic..

Maybe Roman was a freshman.  Always taking movies with his camera. God, I miss those days!

Especially Halloween!  Kids start trick-or-treating at the end of daylight savings—just a week or so before turning the clocks back. And the beauty of that is the sun is ready to set earlier. It’s tired of shining extended hours. Give the sun a freaking rest why dontja?  Halloween is spookier when the sun goes into slumber.

The spooky do's and don'ts of Halloween night - Wollens

Seriously. Who wants a Halloween evening in the daylight?

It’s more delightful in the dark!

I realize that I really should have written this blog post a few weeks ago but the fact is, I was pissed off with Daylight Savings being so early. And as I sit here on this early Saturday afternoon, it’s raining out. The sky is gray. It’s been raining on and off since Thursday. And I’m okay with that.

A truly gray day. I snapped this while in the car (my husband was driving) through Valley Forge Park. In a few weeks that tree will be sporting Crayola Crayon Spring Green colored leaves!

Earlier we went out shopping for tonight’s dinner. And I wore jeans, and a nice sweater and looked decent.

I made it a point to look decent enough as to not scare other people!

And I even wore Saturday makeup!

As I write this, I’m in Valentine’s Day pajama bottoms, an old Cincinnati hoodie sweatshirt , Christmas-themed slipper socks that are ripped on the soles but comfortable as all get out , but at least I have my hair and lipstick on. And that’s how I’ll be dressed for dinner!

Here I am, working on the blog on a gray, rainy day. I only wish the day was shorter!

And a rare moment of sharing these worn out slipper socks with you.

What’s your take? Are you a fan of shorter days or longer ones?

Or…have you switched as I have into enjoying the shorter days more as you’ve gotten older?


Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

What I’m Not Wearing This Winter…

Okay, although Spring is less than three weeks away, in reflecting upon the Winter wardrobe, it dawned on me that I really didn’t wear a lot of the winter/cold weather clothes that I was so gung-ho on retrieving from storage.

First Day of Spring 2023: The Spring Equinox| The Old Farmer's Almanac

Actually, Spring is 15 days away!

I pride myself for taking a day, both in Autumn and in mid-Spring, to take my clothing out of the plastic bins that are kept in the garage, lug them up three flights of stairs, carefully take the “old season” clothing from dresser drawers and closets and replace with the upcoming season.

Time To Do (Home) Work | Atypical 60

I should have kept some of these summer clothes in the closet instead of switching them out!

This winter, I could have done with leaving at least half  of the clothes in the bins.Although I’m a big believer in climate change, I’m not going to make this post political. I’m making it all about me and clothing that I didn’t wear or what I didn’t  have to do during this winter (but it isn’t over…..yet!)

Hint–I didn’t wear a lot of outfits like this!

It’s funny because even though summer is my favorite season, largely because I don’t have to deal with outerwear or shoes, I happen to enjoy both winter and summer immensely. Spring –I like it because the trees’ regrowth of greenery, the green grass and flowers beginning to bloom make me happy. Otherwise, spring, as well as autumn are lost seasons.  And the only things I like about autumn is the changing foliage and that first day when the air is crisp and cool.

Explaining the four seasons | LearnEnglish Teens

I’m a four-season kind of gal–even though these days it’s technically TWO-Winter and Summer. Forget Spring and Fall–they got lost!

Presently, we go from winter into summer with nary a true spring or autumn. Very different than when I was a child.  With spring, you lived for that day when the heavy winter coat was replaced with a sweater and autumn meant the start of a new school year.  The wool uniforms we wore were appropriate for those Septembers when the weather actually got cooler immediately following Labor Day.

No photo description available.

Our “Old” school uniforms. 5th through 8th grade girls got to wear skirts instead of the jumpers!

So, let’s get on with it—shall we?

This winter, I rarely wore my winter coats.  Since I abhor driving with a ton of outwear, and spent most of my outdoor time going from our home to the car, from car to office, and vise versa.  I opted for blazers instead.   The good thing about this is saving money on end-of-season dry cleaning. I can just keep the coats in the closet until next winter-ish.

My favorite Camel coat.  Purchased in Paris, I wore it a handful of times this winter. I won’t have to dry clean it because it never got dirty!

My “fancy” coat. I wore it twice. Once to work the day we had our Christmas party and last month when The Frenchman and I went to our Valentine’s Day dinner. 

I did not wear gloves. My winter gloves are kept, during the season, in the glove compartment of the car.  They came out once.  I think it was in December before I got Covid—we had a cold, very cold day. Other than that, I should have worn them more often after I ripped my acrylic nails off to get my fingernails back into healthy condition.  *Note: It’s been two months and my nails still look like crap.

TBH, I should have worn gloves more often because my nails are looking mighty bad  but it wasn’t cold enough. I swear the gloves have dust on them!

I didn’t wear my kilt skirts as often as usual.  I love my plaid kilts. They keep my ample behind nice and toasty during frigid winter days. Worn with tights is my favorite way—I don’t have to shave my legs.  This winter?  I wore a kilt maybe three or four times—which is just about unheard of for me. And it was so warm that the tights bothered me. Let me tell you— “fashion climate change” is a thing!

I love this kilt so much but wore it only once. It’s upsetting to me because I love my kilts but it just wasn’t cold enough.

I did manage to wear my “all-season” skirts though. Perhaps I need more clothing for all seasons moving forward!

This skirt has been showcased on this blog more than any other item of clothing but I wore it a LOT this winter. I also tanned the legs a lot because we all know how I feel about panty hose!

This little tulle number had a winter share of wear. It’s lightweight and in the last pic, I’m wearing booties–not full-on boots!

I did wear pants more than usual this winter. Not for warmth but because I remain sockless as much as possible and the winter was just the right temperature for the me that loves to remain sockless.  Caveat:  I did wear my pants in a very professional and polished way!

I can’t give up plaid and these Jamie pants from J. Crew Factory were a favorite this winter–I might wear them tomorrow.  They were very pre-Christmas festive!

Another winter outfit. Old Navy Pixie Pants and a J. Crew Blazer. Notice that there are no socks on my feet!

I wore this outfit last week.  I must say, the Orsay Dulci pumps from J. Crew are incredibly comfortable. The cashmere Tee was perfect for the office!

I think these J. Crew Pixie Pants were the most-worn pants this entire winter. Another work look!

I wore this to fly to Florida in January. It was a great travel outfit because it was warmer in Philly and cooler in Florida. Go figure!

I did not wear boots. This is a biggie. I love boots. I love the way boots look with a short skirt—especially tall boots.  I wore boots once….actually, twice.  One pair I was gifted by Vivaia, which I was quite upset about. I wasn’t even able to review the boots because I didn’t have the opportunity to wear them and I refuse to review a one-up item. You all know that I love to review after multiple wears. Hopefully, next winter will be colder.

It was painful to not be able to wear these boots this winter but they just were not needed. I’m hoping next winter is very cold so I can review these cuties!

I didn’t even get to wear my Hunter boots because it never snowed. IT NEVER SNOWED! We had a flake fall last Saturday. The big “snow” was about fifteen minutes of random snowflakes falling from the sky—or someone’s dandruff.

My poor Hunter boots. I love them and they are wonderful in snow and ice. But I didn’t need them. At least they have each other to cuddle with while in the garage!

I didn’t get to showcase all the sweaters I own. This pissed me off. I have a lot of sweaters—bulky, thin, oversized; some I can layer and some to be worn alone due to the bulk, texture and material. Instead, I ended up wearing thinner jersey pullovers which showcased every ounce of fat in my body!

My iconic French Hen sweater from J. Crew is over 11 years old. It’s thin enough to be one of the sweaters I have been wearing this winter!

Thankfully, I was still able to keep my head relatively warm with my wigs because there was no need for a hat!

Yup! My wigs have sufficed well this winter!

On the flip side, there was no need to shovel snow. The cars were able to leave their parked state and roll right out to the road without any trouble due to packed snow and ice. I didn’t have to worry about my husband throwing out his rotator cuff by shoveling—or worse.  I didn’t have to help shovel—which isn’t really that great because I could use the exercise.  And due to this, there was no time to sit back and enjoy a delightful cup of hot chocolate after braving the icy, frozen tundra of a driveway.

Throwback to my snowy days in Pennington!  The big snow of one of the winters. Roman and I were shoveling snow and having a blast!

Perhaps there was no hot chocolate but I did enjoy the tea!

Those damn blankets on the sofas that are used for protection against Chippy’s doggie paws and shedding fur, weren’t used to wrap myself in whilst reading a book or watching Netflix.  Actually the  bout with Covid during Christmas had me laying on one sofa wrapped in a blanket  while my son Roman was wrapped in his Covid Blanket.

Christmas season, 2023. Covid arrives with Santa!

Yeah. Christmas was ruined by Covid but it could have been better had we experienced a Christmas snowfall!

There were no children building snowmen in our neighborhood this year. No parents dragging the kids on sleds. No red, frozen faces and no snow angels this winter.

I also miss kids alarmingly over stuffed in outerwear! It builds character!

Interesting facts about snowmen | Just Fun Facts

Yup! No snowmen or snow people or snow they. Just dead grass and dirt.

And the killer is I can bet that some time in April, we will get hit with a pounding snow that’ll leave flooding rather than ice.  And a week later, the temperature will hit a humid 85 degrees!

Yeah Mommy Nature. Start working for the seasons. OK?

So a message to Mother Nature:

Dear Mother Nature,

Can you please make it snow and be colder next winter?  First of all, I live and love to complain—especially about the weather. I was not able to do so this year. I had to complain about it not being cold—or snowy.

Please do your job. I have no patience for laziness. You were lazy this winter when it came to the snowfall throughout the States. Philly didn’t get snow but California did? What are you drinking?

Perhaps you are struggling right now, and that’s okay. I still respect you. Just bring back all four seasons. Make Vivaldi’s spirit happy.



How has your winter been so far? Thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Stop Giving Me Low House-Esteem!

It’s a thing people. A thing. And we have HGTV, Instagram and other forms of social media and all those sneaky ads that pop up on our phone or Facebook or whatever.

Home Decorating Ideas, Kitchen Designs, Paint Colors - House Beautiful

My home will never look like this–first of all, I can’t afford custom design. Secondly, I can’t afford custom design.

Let’s have a little backstory first.

I grew up, before moving to Long Island in a duplex in Ozone Park, NY.  My immediate family lived on the bottom floor, and my grandparents and aunt lived on the top. That house, to me, still remains close to perfection.

This was actually the house next door but you get the gist.

The living room was in the very front of the house—and being in a borough, one could look out the window and see all the goings on of neighborhood families and friends.  So much that when a stranger was spotted skeptical eyes stared at the image—even from inside the house.

I don’t have photos of the interior of the old house but the living room walls looked just like this with a beige-ish wall color.

My mother had this room decorated beautifully. Not extravagantly—but incredibly tasteful. She had curtains hung with care, a big fluffy sofa that was dressed in slipcovers—in very 1950’s prints during three seasons and in the summer, the sofa, along with two club chairs that were formerly dressed in the same slipcovered fabric, were all naked. As it should be during those hot months.

Enjoy this photograph of my Aunt Tessie and my mother (right) in front of our house in Ozone park. You can see in the background my mom had a thing for window coverings.

The next room, another large room, served as a dining room—a rather formal one at that. And one that was rarely used.  The walls of these rooms were thick. No sheetrock. No drywall. You could say the building was as strong as a brick shithouse.

Me, on the far right in the coat and beret with the neighborhood girls on the stoop! We all had a stoop!

Next was the kitchen—and it was large enough to have a table, chairs, and incredible space for the appliances and my mother to cook the daily meals.  Next to the kitchen was a pantry and stairs that led to the “cellar”. We didn’t have a basement. There was no fancy furniture. No area for a “she shed” or a “man cave”. We all dwelled together as one family unit.  So back to the cellar. There was a little area where my father installed Popeye the Sailorman linoleum. It was the area that I, along with my sister, played while my mother did the laundry—the machine being in that same cellar. Also in the cellar was an area of utter mystery and intrigue. The coal bin. Back then our home was heated with coal. I remember the coal deliveries and I remember my dad, shoveling coal into the furnace that would bring heat to the radiators. Simple. No technology needed. And the heat in the home was outstanding.

Look at that glistening coal! It’s so funny because I remember the coal bin so well!

The design of the house was also a sort-of shotgun style where the front rooms, to the kitchen were walk-through.  The floors were all hard wood that my obsessive mother would wax and buff once a month and they were absolutely beautiful. There were no decorators. The TV stations showcased Jack La Lane teaching stay-at-home wives and mothers how they could stay in shape and in the afternoon, I remember my mother watching a plethora of cooking shows. But TV didn’t run our lives.  We were more active and our homes were more pragmatic back then. An abode for families to enjoy each other and as long as the house was clean and tidy—that’s what mattered.

And over the years, I’ve lived in studio apartments as a young twenty-something in NYC, in larger NYC apartments, and in larger homes.   All decorated to my taste but nothing elaborate.

The Chatillion at 214 Riverside Drive in New York | NY nesting

The Chattilion aka 214 Riverside Drive. Living in this building was like living in a dorm. It was so much fun!  And the rent was only $275 a month for a one-bedroom!

Fast forward to the home The Frenchman and I currently own.  As I sit here writing this post, I am looking at the two long and narrow windows that are in the living room. Blinds are drawn in the evening for privacy and during the day, the light flows in from the opened slots.

183 Hudson Dr, Phoenixville, PA 19460 | MLS# 1003452767 | Redfin

Our townhome. I love it because it’s a corner unit! 

LOL. Almost every day I ponder window treatments then I get stressed out because of drywall!

So, this is where I started to establish low home-esteem.  My windows, other than the blinds, are naked. There are no window treatments.  But before I move on, please allow me to explain this low-home esteem. Then I’ll show you what I mean.

HGTV. Remember the old-school House Hunters?  Back maybe ten years ago? People were actually in search of homes that worked for them and within their budget.

House Hunters - HGTV Reality Series - Where To Watch

House Hunters–the show where one half of a couple doesn’t work and the other one is an influencer and has either two million to spend on a home or….they want a custom mansion for $450K

Now—you have couples, many of them looking for a home way outside their budget of affordability. They want all the bells and whistles. Updated kitchen, spa bathroom, pool, land far away from neighbors.  Basically, they want a custom-built home for, on the average of $450K.  Uma. Then they end up buying a fixer-upper.  Proof that House Hunters is scripted and further proof that, unless couples are looking for future foreclosure, their grandiose plans are lowered a notch.

House Hunters' Episodes That Are Next Level - Lonny

When the budget is $450 K but you want a custom mansion!

Then we have Chip and Johanna—the infamous curators of Shiplap. Granted, I do like her taste in home furnishings but let us take a small step back. The couples are paying to have the homes they are purchasing to be fixed up.  They are also paying for all that staged furniture, if they chose to do so. This would lend itself for a substantial amount of money for all new items.

Fixer Upper's best-ever renovations |

Possibly one of the nicest Fixer Upper interiors I’ve ever seen, but the home owners have to pay extra for this–and can they even afford it?

I used to like them but honestly, now their brand Magnolia is nothing but overpriced crap sold at Target.

Primed (Ready to Paint) DIY Shiplap Planks | Ninth & Vine

I do find the shiplap inviting though. I’m getting ideas…..

Don’t get me started on The Property Brothers. I used to really love them. I mean, twice the amount of adorableness—but even they jumped the shark with the furnishings.

I can’t watch these two cuties anymore. Why? Because Vincent and I are NOT Property Handypeople!

Actually, the only home decorator I enjoy is Nicole Curtis. She of the restorations to old homes in the Detroit area. I love watching how she takes a torn down, abandoned home and restores it. Rather than knock down walls to make a “living space”, she reconstructs rooms.


Now Nicole has a show where she restores old lake houses. I freaking adore her!

She restores old, Detroit homes and turns them into visions of beauty.

It’s amazing and her taste is impeccable!

And to be honest, I am a room person. I love those designated, separate spaces.

So yeah, I definitely experience low home-esteem. And I shouldn’t.

We have a townhouse. Both my husband and I had single-family homes when we were younger adults raising our children (child in his case).  Now, as empty-nesters it’s a more practical choice to live in a townhome. We purchased nine years ago and have hardly made updates.

The walls can be painted but we’re just not sure as to what colors we want.  It’s an expensive undertaking and at my husband’s age, he certainly doesn’t need to be getting on a ladder and risking a fall.

Don’t even broach the verticals in the sun room. I hate them. And while I realize that “hate” is a strong and offensive word these days, I have no shame nor do I apologize for using that word to describe these vile window coverings. They make me cringe.  But I love our sunroom so much that I’ve dealt with this for almost ten years. And they, although outdated, don’t make the house look trashy.

The verticals. I can’t stand them. For almost ten years, I’ve been complaining and still–they hang!

Carpeting.  Shhhh!  I’m secretly waiting for the Frenchman to go to France by himself on family business so I can literally rip the carpeting off the stairways, sand the wood that lies underneath, and paint each step with a shiny enamel then add an oriental runner.  Carpeting is the bane of my existence.  It is a petri dish for germs and microscopic bugs and other nasty beings. No matter how many times these disgusting lays of fabric are vacuumed or cleaned, they bother me.

Redo Stairs | How to Remove Carpet and Prep Stair Risers

I want to do this to our stairs. Two stairways. Yes. I do. See how much prettier the stairway without the filthy carpeting looks? Now I have low stair esteem!

We did have crown molding added to the upstairs bedrooms.

Crown molding was added to all upstairs bedrooms.

And, last week, my husband paid a small fortune to have the toilet seat in my little bathroom replaced.

This was a big deal to my husband. It bothered him that the original toilet seat was the wrong size. Here’s the thing–he doesn’t even USE this bathroom. I do. And I never noticed the seat was the wrong size. I thought it was just my fat ass.

Our home, when we don’t have visitors, has blankets strewn on the sofas in the living room due to Chippy’s love for being a couch potato canine.

The normal state of our living room sofas. And you wonder why I have low house esteem..

Obviously, Chippy has a different point of view!

However, THIS is the way I want to view our sofas!

Is that so much to ask?

Our dining room table is my work space—a delightful mélange of  laptop, journals, pens, paper, and whatever I can pile upon it to create an artistic mess.  When guests arrive, the table is properly cleared and then set for meals.

I’m beginning to think that dining rooms are just another word for workspace! When the kids were in school, the dining room table was project city. Nowadays my blogging and journaling stuff rests on it!

But it cleans up nicely…

Sometimes I'm an Absolute Ingrate. But I Have Lots to Be Thankful For! | Atypical  60

…and looks even nicer when dinner guests arrive!

The downstairs family living space? It hasn’t changed since we moved in. That’s because the only time it’s used is when the kids visit or when I’m ironing and want to watch TV. There is a bedroom down there and my husband decided to purchase a cabinet to store extra bed linens.

The downstairs guest bedroom is clean and comfy. And that’s all that matters–it doesn’t need to be like a hotel room.

And when the kids visit, they can always relax here and even watch..

….the tv!

Sadly, this small cabinet didn’t fit in the bedroom and is now standing flush against the door leading to the common space outside. A door!  It drives me crazy to look at it but then I think—well, if someone tries to break in, they won’t get too far because the cabinet is protecting the entrance.

This thing. I can’t stand looking at it flush against the door. WTF? I would rather paint it and bring it upstairs.

The kitchen area. Okay. This is a large area and even though  it’s looking nice and airy, there’s a lot of wasted space and my workspace for cooking and baking allows only for one person. Since I don’t want anyone in my cooking space, I’m fine with this.

The work area in the kitchen is small..

A major lack of “good” working space but still, I’m able to bake and cook –I just need to work with the space I have.

The small table and chairs are part of the kitchen space..

come-on-cabinet | Atypical 60

..and this vintage cupboard is also a part of the kitchen space..


But when I see these magnificent kitchens with all the latest and greatest in appliances and aesthetics, it makes me feel that there’s something wrong with me in the fact I’m not going into debt to make my kitchen more “guest” friendly.

32 Magnificent Custom Luxury Kitchen Designs by Drury Design

Now, THIS kitchen has a ton of work space. However, I will not go into debt to remodel our kitchen.

But..the kitchen space also leads to my favorite nook in the house–the sunroom. And if I was going to do ANY updates it would be to add french doors  so the sunroom would be shut off from the rest of the house into it’s little designated space of a separate room!

My favorite space in the house. I love to cuddle up with a book or cup of tea in here!

The little room where I apply my makeup in the morning that doubles as a guest bedroom?  During the week, it accumulates into an untidy mess—I waste so much time drinking coffee and getting ready that if I take the time to tidy up, I’ll be late to work.

Yeah. The mess accumulates daily..

But on the weekends or when guests arrive, it’s all tidy!

And then it gets cleaned up again on the weekends or when the cleaning people arrive.

It’s a nice little room!

Our bedroom.  It’s large. Very large.  And I’ve been meaning to purchase an area rug to warm the room up a bit, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Other than that, the furniture fits the purpose.

The bed?  The Frenchman loves any bed coverings with blue. I do not. If it was up to me, I would have bed linens with no color or pattern at all. But one must pick and choose their battles.

Not my choice for bed linens. It’s too fussy!

The Frenchman’s favorite item in our home. The huge TV in the bedroom!

I love this oriential cabinet in the corner!

And when push comes to shove, yeah, there are updates that we can make but then we would have to give up travel. And while we are physically able to travel, making life memories comes first.

The Return to France. Ready. Jet. Go No! | Atypical 60

Whether domestically or internationally, for now, the money is better spent on traveling and the memories that travel brings.

The window treatments, the painting, ripping out the remaining carpeting, updating the kitchen—that can all wait.  And it is simply because I love my home the way it is. It is comfortable and inviting.

Yeah. From the welcoming hallway as you enter to the rest of our home–all you need is what makes your house a comfortable and inviting home!

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe I don’t have low house esteem after all!


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A Most Random Post of Purchases. From Makeup to Whatever!

Part of me is writing this because I’m disgusted at the way companies and (Ugh) influencers are using social media to shill, grift, sell.

Shocked No Way GIF by Disney+

Ohhh. I ALWAYS use what I … grifted. Every day. Look. No Wrinkles!

\I’m tired of looking at reels on Instagram (forget TikTok—I can’t even deal with that site anymore), where cosmetics and skincare companies post filtered videos, stories and pics on their regular feeds of women—both young and old to show you the miracles their products will work on you. They don’t. These women—especially the old ones are filtered up the wazoo.

This photo was taken from HuffPost: Read!

And I realize that I’ve blogged about this in the recent past but it is really getting on my last nerve. Lately it seems that Instagram is nothing more than ads—it’s very disturbing.

In addition, given the fact I’m not that comfortable getting into the car, driving to the mall, and being surrounded with people who may or may not have Covid have changed my thoughts on being in large public enclosed spaces. Covid changed me. The consumers  who aren’t wearing a mask but coughing up a keg o’ phlegm, just isn’t moving my needle.

The marathon known as 'Black Friday' actually has its roots in Philadelphia  - WHYY


Crowd at the local King of Prussia Mall (photo taken off the internet), I don’t see anyone wearing a mask.  Covid changed my shopping methods.

Instead, I’m letting my fingers do the walking.  And that means makeup and other items . Before I add any products that I am sharing or writing about with you,  I give full disclosure that links added on what I purchased are from Amazon and I do receive a small monetary commission—trust me it’s very small but, I wanted to throw it out there to you. These are products I buy and use. I have a gifted product in this post as well, and I have been using it regularly. And, there are items I have not purchased through Amazon but through various websites.

Okay. For the makeup.  I see tons of foundation ads—all pontificating the same thing. All with women—especially the older ones, swiping and swiping and swiping the product on their faces for what seems like hours.  Then with a quick edit, wrinkles are gone—all due to the foundation. Please do not believe this BS for one second.

A ton of product does not make an older face look younger. It makes you look like Bette Davis in Baby Jane.  Less is more and products that I’ve been using lately are cushion foundations and BB cream cushions.

Baby Jane Hudson - Wikipedia

Bette Davis was 54 when she filmed Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. And I can tell you that without all the filters older influencers use, IRL they probably look like this!

This cushion from Catkin is my latest purchase from Amazon.  It came with two refills for a total of $23.99. Divided by three that’s approximately $7.99 per cushion loaded with product.  This comes to less money than what drugstore brands are charging and this brand from China is worth purchasing from.

I highly recommend this cushion foundation/cc cream by Catkin. Less pricy than department store makeup and the two refills make the price point better than drug store makeup!

The product arrived well-packaged.  The two refills securely and air-tight wrapped.

Compactly (pun intended) boxed–no wasted space. I like that!

Two refills come with this.  Honestly, this is a great buy and I use this a lot lately.  I highly Recommend this Catkin BB Cushion!

The compact, itself is beautiful.  I do have a very old compact that I purchased a few years back and refilled it with sunscreen so I don’t have to carry a big messy tube around.

TIP: When the foundation runs out, you can clean out the refill and fill it with sunscreen. This way you have sunscreen you can travel with and the sponge allows for a better application–especially if you have sensitive eyes!

I used the Catkin makeup to achieve this look. It really is great for mature skin.

In addition, I “found” another cushion foundation from the Korean brand Missha Magic Cushion.  When I say I found it, I mean it was deep in the bowels of one of my makeup drawers. I must have forgotten about it.  I’m wearing it as I write this and am extremely pleased with the way my face looks.

The shade range runs more to the lighter side, but the sunscreen component is great and as a winter makeup–this is wonderful for those months when you aren’t out in the sun!

Here’s a side by side:

The side I’m point to has no makeup. See the redness? See how the Missha Magic Cushion covers the red? 

And, again, this was less than the price of drugstore makeup.  With prices running from about $15 to $20, it is still better than department store foundations and with the rising prices of drug store makeup–it’s worth it! Granted, the shade range isn’t extensive by any means but the foundation works nicely if your skin tone is medium to light.

My love for K dramas had me intrigued by a stick that has been used in many of the series I watch. Kahi Seoul Multi Balm .  This clear balm-in-a-stick is great for the winter when our skin gets dry.  In my purse, it’s a quick fix during office hours to hydrate my face. It isn’t oily and it glides on nicely. I swipe it all over and it keeps my skin hydrated and moisturized.  I won’t need it in the summer because I sweat…and sweat gives that hydrating glow but for the colder seasons, this is a good purchase.  At $24.99 it’s a bit pricey but one stick will last well after winter ends!

Surprisingly, this IS a multi-use balm. I use it on my face at the office when I can feel the HVAC making my skin dry and I use it on my cuticles. I use it as a lip balm too.  It’s worth the $24.99

The next product is so great that I ended up signing up for a once-a-month subscription: Peripera Ink Glasting Lipgloss in Clear.  I’ll be spending $8.91 per tube and for me, it’s worth it.  Here’s why- my lips are very pigmented naturally. Because of this, dark glosses and lipsticks look even darker on me and oxidize. The only lip color I can wear is pink—and the pink can’t be too nude or have any nuance of warmth. It has to be pink.

Hands Down. THE perfect shiny and clear lip gloss.

I’m also a lip gloss fanatic. I love me a good lipgloss—like a 1980’s type with a ton of shine to make my full lips look fuller than they are!  I ordered this clear gloss blindly.  I took a chance. You have no idea how much money I’ve spent wasted over the years in search of that perfect clear gloss. The gloss is too sticky or isn’t sticky enough. It tastes like over-sugared fruit. It has the worst applicator. There’s no product on the applicator. It doesn’t feel glossy.  Trust me, I’ve gone through every excuse.

My apologies for the crappy lighting but I took this photo when I was in a hurry. See how shiny my lips are?  Granted, the gloss doesn’t have all-day staying power but it stays put for a while and doesn’t feel gooey or sticky! I’m glad that I subscribed to this. My new one arrives this week!

So, when I ordered this gloss, my expectations were low. Then I opened the small, wider tube and applied. First of all, the doe-foot applicator has a little indentation in the middle which holds more gloss—that’s a plus.  The applicator is also wide—another plus for my big mouth.  Then there’s the gloss. It’s wonderful.  Glossy and glassy. It’s shiny!  Granted no lip gloss lasts all day but as the gloss wears down, my lips remain soft and hydrated.  I was so happy with this that I had to subscribe. Name brand and luxury glosses cost a small fortune these days—and drugstore glosses are nothing spectacular—but this gloss is everything!   A very good purchase. : Peripera INK GLASTING LIP GLOSS (003 CHILLING ROSY) : Beauty &  Personal Care

This gloss also comes in two other shades. I ordered the shade to the far right but it’s wayyyyyyyyyy too dark for me. If you are looking for a darker shade, check this out!

In inspecting my face before the holiday season—actually when I went to the dermatologist, I was somewhat sad—not concerned mind you, but sad.  I felt that way because my aging skin was looking mighty neglected.  I’ll admit—I have a plethora of skincare products but I get lazy at night when it’s time for a proper skincare routine. I don’t want to spend an hour or seven applying serums and creams and this and that. I want something simple—like me!

I remembered how much I loved Mizon products that I purchased maybe two or three years ago when I was on a snail kick. Snails both for beauty and escargot—how can you go wrong?

I remembered how happy I was with this Mizon Skincare set and how good my skin looked. I can’t remember why I stopped using this–laziness, I’m sure but I’m glad I found it again!

Anyway, I headed back to Amazon to see if this Korean brand was still selling the products, the eye pads, the moisturizer and serum I was once happy with.  They did and I signed up for a subscription to be delivered every three months.

For the subscription price of $40.86 USD every three months, this is worth the money. 

The eye pads are very soothing.  My eyes don’t get that puffy under normal circumstances but when I eat too much salt or drink too much wine, the next day my eyes puff up.  Applying these pads bring the puffiness down on those days but I mostly enjoy applying these at night before bed. I’ll watch TV while wearing them and it’s calming.

Again, packaging is secure. Each item is individually boxed within the box.

The serum—even though I’m not a serum person, I prefer this to any other I’ve tried because the product isn’t gloppy or oily. It has a nice feel and texture. Again, I use this at night.  A little goes a long way and it dries quickly so I can apply the moisturizer in no time!

The moisturizer. I love this moisturizer.  It’s freaking hydrating as all get out. It isn’t heavy—in fact it’s very lightweight—feels very “whipped”.  It’s great at night and great during the day. It melts nicely into the skin so you don’t feel like you are wearing any cream underneath your makeup. And it’s the one product I use both morning and night.

Other Stuff:

Okay. So after my cataract surgery almost 2 ½ years ago, It was discovered that I didn’t need the strong prescription I used to have. In fact, readers would suffice. Who knew?   And there’s such a vast selection of readers and decorative eyeglasses out there ranging from downright cheap to rather pricey.

Although I do need the readers, I also like the blue light glasses with plain lenses. It’s because I’ve been wearing glasses since I was two years old—I don’t feel comfortable without a pair on my face. I feel naked. It’s weird. The thing is I love the way glasses look on me.

After my surgery, I ordered a pair of Warby Parkers. It was during lockdown. I headed to the King of Prussia Mall, waited on a line to gain entrance then went in to try on and order a pair.  I can’t stand them and never wear them.  The fit is awful and I’ve had them adjusted. They were a huge waste of money at over $100.  I’ll never again buy from that brand.  While I realize Warby Parker has a huge fan base—they brand isn’t for me.

I found decent readers at Walmart at ten bucks a pair. But the thing is, they have a tendency to break quickly and I’m constantly making purchases.

My sister mentions she buys her readers on Amazon so I let my fingers, once again, do the walking and found this five-pack for $15.99. I’m wearing one of the pair now and they are comfortable, they fit well, they look good and I can see.  That’s slightly over five bucks a pair. I’ll take it.

NORPERWIS 5 Pairs Reading Glasses - Standard Fit Spring Hinge Readers Glasses for Men and Women

These inexpensive readers are from a brand called NORPERWIS. Five pair for $15.99 isn’t bad. I have a pair in the car, a backup in my everyday purse and I’ll adding a backup to my travel bag. 

As these are great for backups, they are more akin to the Walmart readers with being flimsy. Still, for the price, you can’t go wrong.

They look fine, do the job and are less expensive than even the Walmart brand.

And, I feel that if you do wear readers, a good pair is always key. I found that “good” pair.  Izipizi Paris is a French brand that sells incredibly stylish readers up to progressive readers.  I paid 40 USD for these glasses and love them. In fact, when we head back to France this summer, I plan on visiting the boutique in Nice, or if possible, closer to where we are staying in Theoule.

I love the quality of these frames by Izipizi and the thickness of the frames as well. It’s important to me to have at least one “good” pair of readers–something strong that I can rely on. And at $40 USD, these are FAR superior to Warby Parker. Sorry not sorry!

If you live in the Philadelphia area, the stationery store Omoi Zakka sells the glasses!

Big News—We're Moving! – Omoi Zakka Shop

I love Omoi Zakka. It’s the cutest stationery store ever. And if I lived in Center City I would walk over and buy the readers here. However, I despise parking in Philly. 

Little fruit and veggie package cutters.  I don’t know about you but I find releasing items from their packaging more and more frustrating and difficult.  Products encased in hard plastic surrounded by heavy cardboard—why does everything have to be childproof?  And thieves are going to find a way to steal this stuff anyway?  I’ve ruined acrylic nails, cut my fingers and hands and discovered a way to acquire more hangnails by trying to open these packages the natural way before cursing then finally grabbing a scissor.

Instead, I ordered these cute package cutters -one a strawberry and the other a carrot to ease my frustration. They were worth every penny of the $8.98 spent.  Both are retractable and lock into place. They are wonderful for opening up packages from the most annoying to those which just need cutting into the packaging tape. They are extremely sharp but used properly, make life a bit easier and the blade locks which is great for safety purposes.

One of the two cutters I ordered. These little box covers made my life a bit more pleasant. You have no idea the stress and anxiety I suffer when trying to open a simple package these days!

Two products were gifted to me from Prime Prometics. Mascara and a Cheek/Lip stick.

The mascara is really good.  I’ve been wearing the blue color almost exclusively since it was sent to me.  For some reason, I love the blue. It’s not as dark as the black but it doesn’t show up too blue. It’s a nice soft shade.  The mascara doesn’t clump at all. In fact, it doesn’t thicken lashes but it does make the lashes appear longer. It’s a lovely mascara that doesn’t smudge either.  The other colors sent were brown and black.  I’ll use the black as soon as the blue is gone then I’ll order the blue. I like it that much.  Brown does nothing for me as far as mascara goes, so I’ll give it to Oona.

The cheek stick is also really good—hence, it’s why it is in my everyday purse! It looks darker than it is but glides on to a nice flushed natural blush.  We all know I don’t like color on my overly pigmented lips so I keep this strictly for my cheeks.

Repeat on this pic from above. I used the Prometics Primelash Mascara and the Primewand Pigment stick (bottom far right). Both are $28.00 each on the Prometics website.  On Amazon the Mascara is also $28.00.  And the Prime wand Pigment doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon!

Two gorgeous skirts.  Okay, it’s common knowledge I love my J. Crew skirts and my plaid kilts. Sometimes—actually on that rare occasion I go outside the box.  I saw this tulle skirt on Chicwish. The Boho type vision of this skirt kept haunting me. So I purchased it.  Because I followed reviews (and I shouldn’t have), I purchases a size Large. It’s a bit big but not big enough to return it.  It’s the skirt I’ll keep for next Thanksgiving and Christmas so I can eat and not have to open a button because the waist is elastized.

.Yes. I went down the rabbit hole of being sucked in by internet ads. But it was a good purchase and the fit is generous! I bought this skirt on Chicwish for $35.90

Then I spotted a similar skirt on Amazon—and with hearts for $19.99.  I bought it and will be wearing it to our “after-Valentines Day-Valentine’s Dinner Date.  I went with a smaller size this time and prefer the smaller size. So word to the wise. Sometimes, you need to go with your gut on sizing and not reviews!

I actually like this better. The hearts make it dinner-date appropriate. I’m wearing this tonight when we go out for a belated Valentines Dinner!  Amazon did great with this for $19.99. It IS one size fits all but it fits me and I have a thick waist!

So…what have you been purchasing lately? Share the details!

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The First Trip of 2023—And the Most Important Item to Pack.

Almost two weeks ago I embarked on a trip to Florida to visit my Aunt Terry.  T’was  a girl’s weekend—my sister Theresa is flew in  from California and my sister Germaine from Long Island.

10 Things to Know About Florida

Actually, the Sunshine State wasn’t too sunny-but I didn’t need a coat so it was fine by me!

Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that none of us will experience dreaded delays and will all meet up within moments of each other in Tampa airport.  What with the way the airlines have been running as of late, I have my rosary beads at the ready to start praying to Mary that we all fly without problems.

Loop Text GIF by xponentialdesign

Instead of counting sheep, we can count flight delays!

Since this was a short visit—we  arrived late Friday afternoon. Due to work obligations, I left Sunday morning and they stayed on till Monday. The weather forecast for Tampa looks good. Highs in the 70’s lows in the 40’s –can’t complain.   Summer clothing won’t be packed. Instead, I opted for clothing that can suffice on those balmy autumn and spring days.

Waiting for my plane to arrive, I had to sit next to a self-important passanger having a LOUD conversation with his daughter about relationships and his Christian ideology.  If he was a true Christian he would have made his conversation private. I retaliated by playing Mozart on my iPhone louder than his mouth.

The usual flight outfit of J. Crew Pixie Pants was replaced with a lighter linen blend that I bought a couple of years ago at Target, a black shirt, black ballet flats and a denim jacket.  I’ll be traveling with my vintage Louis Vuitton Randonee PM, and in my carryon was a pair of Pixie Pants and a black jumpsuit worn for Saturday evening’s dinner out.  Another tee shirt. PJ’s, underwear, an additional wig and some makeup.

My flight ensemble for the first trip of 2023!  Very, very comfortable. I wore Luxurious by The Wig Company on my head. A very nice wig for travel. My smaller Randonee went with me and it was perfect!

The suprise upon arriving in Tampa, wasn’t the huge Pink Flamingo welcoming travelers, but it was all of our flights landed on time!  We met, then took an Uber to my aunt’s house.  BTW, Sorry for the lack of photos–I was really having a great time with my sisters and aunts!

This Pink Flamingo looks intimidating but everyone was snapping pics like crazy. Some even took photos of their dogs under this fun structure!

We had a quick dinner at my Aunt’s clubhouse, then headed back to the house for tea and conversation before calling it a night.  On Saturday, we hit a local mall because one of my sisters needed makeup. Then it was on to my brother Tommy’s house to meet the newest family member–baby Emma!  I can’t believe my brother is a grandpa!

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE DRESS ALERT!  MOB ALERT!  I saw this dress at Dillard’s.  Honest to god, I almost purchased it even though I’m not a MOB. It’s just that after writing my blog post : The Mother of the Bride Dress Saga Continues

Okay, back on track–we  headed to Capital Grille on Saturday evening for dinner.  In perusing the menu offerings and in light of the weight I need to lose, I had already decided what I my choice will be—the appetizer portion of the Tuna Tartare for my main course and Oysters on the half shell (0 WW points).   I can do without wine or a cocktail. I’ll stick to unsweetened iced tea.

That whole thing about eating a WW-friendly meal went out the window. I had a cocktail and meat!  Blue Filet Mignon.

BWAAAAAAAAAA!  All that healthy eating went to waste. I was having a great dinner with my sibs and my aunt.  Actually, the healthiest thing I ate was the night before–I had a Cobb Salad at my aunt’s club  (Top Left Pic). And the pic on the top right is the Blackberry Bourbon and Thyme Sidecar I ordered. Yeah–since everyone was pulling my leg I went for the win.  That drink was THE best cocktail I ever had. Thank God it was expensive–the price stopped me from ordering a second.  We enjoyed a Calamari appetizer (bottom left) and I ordered the filet mignon.  I ordered a plain coffee for dessert!

Me and my sibs.  I wish Pete was with us but I know he was looking down from a star and smiling.   Top Left:  My brother Tommy, me,  Aunt Terry, my sisters, Germaine and Theresa. Bottom left is my SIL Beth and my very hungry brother.  Aunt Terry, smiling because we are sitting next to each other!

The next morning, it was time to bid adieu to my family.  We had one last bit of conversation in the car on the way to the airport and the trip was over.  I had a surprise on the plane. It was the day of the Eagle’s playoffs. The plane was filled with “Iggles” fans and when we landed in Philly, they actually sang “Fly, Eagles, Fly”.  I’m a Giant’s fan.  I’ll leave it at that!

And, in true Cathe travel fashion–it rained as I was about to board the plane home. It’s not a trip unless the weather is raining on me. Still it wasn’t enough for a delay!

Hanging out waiting to board my flight back home. Yum. Yum. Biscoff cookies were served on the flight!  And I got to write in my journal! It was a great little trip!

But the most important item—or items  tha went to Florida with me were my traveler’s journal, pens to write with, and a little instant camera.  Allow me to explain.

My Journals.  BTW, the Journal on the right is my Traveler’s Notebook. Pricey but a great way to journal. On the left is one from Amazon–a dupe that was less than half the price. It’s just as good. If interested here’s the link:  Refillable Leather Journal

In the past I’ve always journaled during our trips to France—whether Paris or the Cote d’ Azur, taking the time every afternoon and even evenings was a time to relax, reflect and describe the activities of each day.

Last summer’s visit to France–memories contained in here!

And the memories contained within those journals are priceless wonders.  Every now and then I’ll open a journal from a past visit and will read about the great times we had in 2011—or 2007—or 2022. And my favorite years are the years Vincent’s aunt, my beloved Daniele was alive.

And now–my recent trip to Florida is nestled into my journal!

But, I don’t write when we head to New York City—which is so weird because I lived there for  decades, was born in Rockaway, lived on Long Island then back to the city.  Ink hasn’t hit pen when we’ve visited Cincinnati—and with two grandsons, I feel almost evil that I hadn’t written about our fun experiences there.

I do have past blogs regarding trips over the bridge into NYC but I haven’t journaled about them. It’s a shame too. Next trip. I journal!

The weekends that The Frenchman and I spent over the years in Washington DC deserved to be recorded. And I failed to do so.  The best I did was to write on the blog.

Actually, one of my first blog posts was written about the greatest weekend we had in Brooklyn.  When Jake, Roman and Oona Christmas-gifted Vincent and me with a stay at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, a cake-baking class at Momofuku Milk Bar and a fantastic dinner at an Argentinean Steak house.  In case you forgot, here’s the link : A Great Weekend In Brooklyn, NY!!!


This pic is from one of my first blog posts–and one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in my life.  Oona hadn’t even met her husband yet.  I honestly wish I had started journaling back then.

We need memories.  They are important. Recording our trips, events, and activities are a tremendous asset in our thought process—especially as we age.

Season 1 Starz GIF by The Rook

Although we never want this to happen, we oftentimes forget the little things–and journaling is perfect for those little things.

Writing these future memories  brings to our loved ones the gift of words—words about where we’ve been, what we’ve done,  our emotions, our sense of humor and our sense of who we are. We are able to express ourselves in the written form at times, far better than verbally.

I’ll even add little daily entries into my calendar!

And journals are fun to decorate! No matter how old you are! 

Which makes me want to take this a step further.  Writing notes like the simple “thank you”.  The “Thinking of You”. Or basically, any excuse to take a few moments to get a pen, a sheet of stationery or a card and for a minute or so, just to let someone know you are thinking of them.

This card arrived from my Aunt Terry in the mail yesterday. On the inside is a beautiful handwritten note that I treasure!

I’m guilty AF for sending off an email or a text.  Rarely do I have phone conversations anymore. When I do its family. When I text—it’s family.  I need to invest in note cards. And various holiday cards and send them out to let others I love and care about know I’m thinking of them.

Thank-You Notes & Blank Note Cards | Hallmark

I need to invest in notecards and send them out.

But back to the journals. And notebooks.

Back to the journals!

It’s so funny because now, perusing a website for stationery has taken the place of sleuthing down clothing. In fact, the week before my trip,  at my insistence, my husband and I headed into Philadelphia to a Stationery store, Omoi Zakka, so that I could purchase refills for my Travelers Notebook.   It’s such a little gem of a shop, I could have spent hours there—and I definitely plan on returning.

Omoi Zakka, in Philly’s Old City, is a little gem of a stationery store. I need to get back.

I purchased refills..

…and received this cute postcard!

Then I discovered another stationery store located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; Yoseka Stationery.  (I’ve just  received my order) Now I have an excuse to get back to Brooklyn!

If I lived back in NYC, I would be subwaying it to Yoseka Stationery on a regular basis.  I purchased girl stickers by La Dolce Vita. I’m in love with these beautiful stickers.

These stickers from artist Bofa Huang, creator of La Dolce Vita, are, hands down, my favorites. They are very empowering..Here’s a link to a very sweet Interview with her:  Bofa Huang Interview

So, tell me dear friends. Do you keep journals?  Are you writing about your travels? Are you writing about your memories? Are you sending little notes to friends and loved ones?  Do tell because I’m intrigued!

Let me know!

Posted in Bofa Huang, Journaling, Travelers Company, Travelers Journals | 10 Comments

A Part of My Youth Died This Week—Waking Up to Reality!

So, this past Thursday, January 19, 2023, I had my annual OB/GYN checkup.  I have extremely bad doctor anxiety which has made me put off going to my primary doctor for a regular checkup.

Gynecological Chair" Images – Browse 676 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock

I don’t even bother covering up any more….I shake too much to even try to put it on–that’s how much doctor anxiety I have!

I do the eye doctor. I do the colonoscopy doctor. I do the Ob/Gyn and the Mammo.  All with the exception of the eye doctor leaves me in a state of such bad anxiety that it’s difficult for me to function.

Lin Manuel Miranda Doctor GIF by Golden Globes

Web MD is WORSE than ANY online bullying. Every. Single. Day. I have a symptom to Google. And every doctor’s visit I’m told to keep off of the internet as a doctor!  Yesterday I threw up. I thought I had an ulcer but it was due to tasting bad garlic. TIP: If you think something is bad, just throw it out. Don’t eat it or you’ll throw it up. True story!

Just HOW much of a medical-anxiety person am I?  This email arrived from the International Beauty Show in NYC.  I thought it was about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Yes. I did!

Anyway, I went for my lady parts exam. And as soon as she said my parts felt fine, I relaxed a bit.

90 Day Fiance Reaction GIF by TLC Europe

Yeah. After I arrived home from the office, I relaxed with a hot bath. No rose petals because they would make me sneeze. No bubbles because they dry my parts out.  Just hot water and body scrub. I did have an anxiety-filled moment when I cut my leg with the razor I shaved with!

She asked me about my grandson, of which I explained that he’s beautiful, funny, smart and adorable and  at almost two years old, he’s big brother to 4-month old Bennett!  The doctor got a kick out of that and mentioned my daughter and son-in-law aren’t wasting any time.  We had a really nice chat.

And now there are two little ishkabbibles to talk about!

Then she came in with her concerns: my blood pressure and my weight.  My blood pressure was high. Not alarmingly high but high enough for her to tell me to go to my primary doctor.  She also expressed concern regarding my weight and where the weight was settling. The fat wants to stay in and around my gut.

Animated GIF

I’m not completely screwed. I love salt-just call me Bambi.  I hate exercise.  I cannot manage stress.  But–I don’t smoke. One out of four ain’t bad!  Yes it is.

At 165 pounds it’s increasingly difficult to lose.  My “ideal” and most comfortable weight has always been between 135 and 140 pounds.  I was close to that before my brother passed away. Then things got weird.  Lockdown happened.  The job I had at the time was making me miserable and my solution was emotional eating.

And as I write this blog post, I’m having a banana. And rather than shove it into my mouth, I sliced it, put the slices in a ramekin and I’m eating this banana in a more refined manner!


Some people lose their appetites during certain life events and stress.  I eat.  And eat. And bake. And eat. And cook. And eat.  Gobble. Gobble. Gobble it all down.

Presently, I feel like a puffer fish with the energy of a slug.

My doctor is correct.  I need to change my wicked ways. And when I got back to the office after my exam.  I ate three squares of Ghirardelli Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel Squares.  And a turkey wrap sandwich.

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Squares 5.32 oz | Casey's Foods

What else would one eat after being told by the doctor to lose weight?

Then I arrived home.  While changing I was perusing Facebook and came across a post by a friend.  David Crosby, the musician, died at 81 years.

Honestly, the news of Crosby’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks.  I think because it made me aware of my own mortality. He was only fourteen  years older than I am. And three years older than my husband. It’s scary.

This hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ll tell you why—but I have to find the proper wording and explanation so here goes…

Music is an important part of my life. Incredibly important. Music is calming for me. Music brings wonderful memories. Music got me through rough spots in my life and great spots in my life.   Christmas music makes me ridiculously happy! Classical music is my deep-winter jam. There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not listening to music.

Mad Genius christmas santa jazz santa claus GIF

Christmas 2022. The year of my “Christmas Jazz” playlist!

Pop music came into play when I was a young child because my mother always had the radio on.  When I stayed with my grandparents and Aunt Terry during the summers as a kid, all songs from the British Invasion were playing on New York Radio Stations of WMCA and WABC.

File:WMCA Good Guys 1964.jpg

These guys. If you are a New Yorker or grew up in the New York City area, you listened to them before school and after school.  

…and you also listened to WA Beatles C radio with Cousin Brucie.

And my favorites have remained. Favorites like the Kinks, Jimi Hendrix,  The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Dusty Springfield.

I love the Kinks. I’ve seen them more than once. And the crush that began on Ray Davies when I was nine years old never ended!

From the time I was around nine or ten, music has always been under my pillow in the form of a transistor radio, on the radio in the house stereo, in the car, in the cassette tape player, in the CD player and now on my iPhone!

Restoring the World's First Transistor Radio | Nuts & Volts Magazine

My little transistor radio was very similar to this. I would listen to it at night under my pillow. During the day it was oftentimes a challenge to get reception unless you moved the radio a certain way.

Then I left the young years for those pre-teen and teen years—and music became even more important.  And this is where David Crosby enters my music life.

David Crosby | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates | MTV | Rock and roll  fantasy, Rock music, Crosby

This is the way I remember him the most. That longer wavy hair and mustache!

The Byrds.  In 1965 just before I was almost ready to enter into the awkward years, I heard the slightly tinny, almost garage-band sound of The Byrds. Their huge hit, Turn Turn Turn , wasn’t written by any of the members of The Byrds but was written by Pete Seeger.

Why was David Crosby fired from The Byrds?

I love this photo of Crosby in his Byrds years.  Who knew he would go on to be the founding member of one of the greatest American rock groups of all time?

David Crosby was a member of The Byrds. I didn’t pay much attention to him at the time because Roger McGuinn was the “cool” Byrd sporting the Granny glasses he turned into an iconic ‘60’s look.  And Crosby wasn’t as cute as Chris Hillman but Crosby was talented in writing and playing guitar.

David Crosby's Hilarious Reason for Being Fired by The Byrds

More Byrds with Crosby!

With his volatile personality—he left The Byrds in 1967 for another group—Buffalo Springfield and was a vocal and musical part of the anti-Vietnam War anthem “For What it’s Worth”.  And FWIW, Stephen Stills didn’t write this song as an anti-war anthem. It was written regarding the LA Sunset Strip Riots curfew in 1966 but turned into an anti-war song.

David Crosby Filled In for Neil Young

Crosby (left) in his Buffalo Springfield days. Richey Furay (later of Poco) and Stephen Stills (of…CSN, CSNY and Manassas)

Again…our spirited David Crosby ended up leaving Buffalo Springfield to start one of the greatest, most influential and memorable bands—Crosby, Stills and Nash, in 1968.  I was 13 years old.

20 best Stephen Stills songs from Buffalo Springfield on -

1968 pic of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Why does David Crosby look like he has something naughty up his sleeve? Stills looks like such a prepster!

It wasn’t until 1969 that I really started to listen to CSN. Their first album was played over and over and over and over—I now listen to it over and over and over on my Spotify!

Crosby, Stills & Nash 1969 Album Cover Location

Not only an iconic album but an iconic album cover. This album basically defines my youthful teen years. I still listen to it regularly!

Crosby wrote one of the most beautiful love songs, “Guinnivere” about the three loves of his life at the time. And yes. One of them was Joni Mitchell.

Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' at 50 - The New York Times

Crosby with one of his Guinnevere muses–Joni Mitchell.  She dumped him for Graham Nash. 

With the addition of Neil Young, CSN became even more of a super-group. And the hits came. Déjà vu is one of my favorite albums.

Déjà Vu' at 50: Album Review

Another album I listen to regularly. Sometimes I like this better than the CSN album then sometimes I don’t!

David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” remains, to this day, my favorite song on the album.  I think it may have inspired my love of long hair on my sons—even though they cut their hair and I still beg them to grow it long……….

My boys back when Jake had long hair and a beard. Roman’s hair never grows that long but he can rock a ‘stache from time to time!

But there’s more to this and I’ll explain.

Those teenaged years, for a great number of us, are awkward and challenging. Unless we were born high-school perfect, especially girls (not being sexist—just blunt).   Many of us didn’t have that beautiful straight hair or perfect skin.  We were coming into our own and yet, didn’t really know ourselves.

Awkward Smile GIF

Yeah. Those years were definitely awkward for me. 

For me, I wasn’t a “popular” kid nor was I a social outcast. I was somewhere in the middle. Just your average high school co-ed.  I had friends—mostly from my Catholic school days, but didn’t have a huge list of them. I honestly preferred to be by myself.  However, I enjoyed just being friendly to my classmates.

What Are You Celebrating Fred Armisen GIF by Saturday Night Live

Yeah. I was pretty-much satisfied with being average. Smack in the middle–a safe place to be when you’re a teen!

One boy in particular, and I remember his name, Eddie Gleckler, made fun of my crossed eyes at any given opportunity, letting me know how ugly I was; but I shrugged him off as a douchey thing.  Still, it made me very self-conscious. He wasn’t a bully per se—but he was a very mean boy.  And mean boys grow up to be mean men.

Laugh At Ha Ha GIF by filmeditor

I would say he was akin to Scut Farkas of  “A Christmas Story”.  Mean. And quite honestly, there weren’t many mean kids in the schools I attended but I HAD to catch the attention of this one.

And going home, turning my stereo on and listening to David Crosby’s soothing voice, made me realize that everything would be okay.   I knew despite my imperfections that I would be someone’s Guinnevere someday.  And although I also thought I would have a boyfriend with long hair—it never happened. All my boyfriends had shorter hair-with the exception of one who had a beautiful head of curls.

The Complications of David Crosby

Surprisingly, Crosby’s soothing voice was a great comfort to me.

Crosby, even with his volatile personality, was a good man. He was the bio-father of singer Melissa Etheridge’s children. That’s a true act of friendship.

Mellissa Etheridge and David Crosby smiling

This photo from The Advocate says it all. What a great friend to donate his sperm. Melissa Etheridge was lucky to have him as her children’s bio dad!

Twenty-five years ago, he took Grace Slick to rehab—basically saving her life. Only a true and loving friend would do that.

No photo description available.

Quoted by Slick:  “The only famous person I know is David Crosby. We’ve rescued each other numerous times for drug-related problems but we’ve been sober for a long time now.” – Grace Slick

So, here’s to you, Mr. Crosby.  You didn’t know me, but I knew you through your music. You helped me to get through those awkward years.  You also gave your musical gift to my three children who adore the Déjà vu album. They listened to it as children.

David Crosby turns 81: Looking back at his career and controversial life


Thank you David Crosby for bringing me through those teen years into adulthood–and I’m still enjoying your music!

You’re passing has made me realize my mortality and the mortality of those I love and those I’m quite fond of.

I’m old now. And at times slightly awkward and still average but I hear your voice and am still soothed. So thank you again.

Thank you.


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Winter Isn’t So Bad After All—In Fact, I Enjoy This Season!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely a summer person—but for reasons that are purely selfish and self-accommodating.  And I realized this after much thought.

You see, what I love about summer is that I don’t have to wear a lot of clothing. A simple frock that I slide on over my shoulders and allow it to fall over my body means that I will get into my car and drive comfortably without having cumbersome outerwear to deal with.

Pied-a-Fair–The Shoes of Summer | Atypical 60

A simple five dollar frock–Rondini Sandals and a long but lightweight wig make it so easy to dress during the summer months.

Let’s not even broach the subject of driving barefoot simply because I drive that way during all four seasons.

Can We Just Let Summer Be Summer? Please? | Atypical 60

I also passenger barefoot.  I dunno. Summer is the time to let the feet be free!

And truthfully, although I love the beach, I am getting sick and tired of the damage it has done to my skin—even with sunscreen and sitting under an umbrella—that seed of damage was planted when I was a child—from my summers at Rockaway Beach to Long Beach when I lived in NYC to those at Fire Island, the Jersey Shore and the Cote d’Azur as an adult when the damage only got worse.

Put On A Happy Place!!! | Atypical 60

Let us not even go to the subject of my surgeries from sun damage! It’s my own fault!

In addition, I also love the longer days—and to be completely honest with you—that reason is because I’ve always despised driving at night—but due to my new job being part-time (with benefits] and leaving at 3:30 in the afternoon, I’m not driving in the dark. Anymore.

Lastly, although I love and adore our home—I love being in a townhouse. Now that the kids are on their own, we don’t have to deal with curbside appeal. We have an HOA fee for that.  But, living in multiple dwellings often means that you have to deal with certain “stuff”. Our “stuff” is our neighbor’s overly aggressive dog who they insist letting practically live on their deck. Our summer dinners on our deck are a thing of the past as of last summer.

How to Beat the Heat Without Getting Naked! | Atypical 60

No thanks to the dog next door, we can no longer enjoy summer meals on our deck!

And so, I have a new-found fondness for that dark, monochromatic time of year. That season where hibernation seems to be on the minds of more than bears.  I think a good number of us like to spend more time under the covers during this time.

Ahhh. Winter Solstice. My favorite day of the year because after this short day, they get longer.

When I was a child, I loved winter. It was, in fact, the coziest time of year.  Headed to school all bundled up, coming home to hot cocoa while doing homework and studying.  Getting into pajamas earlier than usual, feeling satisfied when my mom cooked a comfort-meal dinner then being nestled on the sofa between one of five siblings to watch a TV show or two before heading to bed.

a christmas story GIF

How many of us when through this winter ritual getting ready for school or play?

Weekend afternoons were spent ice skating on the lakes until our feet and fingers became numb.  We didn’t have snow days back then.  The school buses drove slowly through the snow making that crunching noise as the wheels hit the packed-on snow that covered the road.   Winters seemed longer but it may have just been because we weren’t impatient with our lives back then. We lived each day at a time.

It's that time of year when Charlie Brown is on. The inner child in us is  screaming "YESSSS!" | Snoopy christmas, Charlie brown peanuts, Peanuts  christmas

Back in the day, winters seemed colder and snowier and ice skating at Brightwaters Lakes was a weekend thing!

I’ve somewhat returned to that patience.  And at my age, have learned to appreciate winter, once again, for what it is. Although not a snow person anymore—the shoveling is taxing and driving through snow and icy roads is not only dangerous but it is stressful. There are other things I can now safely say I love and enjoy about winter.

I can do without snow but I love this painting. I have no idea who the artist is but they caputured winter perfectly!

I love my daily commute to and from the office through Valley Forge Park. It’s enjoyable to admire the foliage and lack thereof during the seasons. What I love about the winter is that you get to view the naked trees with their branches and split-end like twigs extending out like nerve endings. You get the shape of the bones of the trees.

On the way to work through Valley Forge Park CAVEAT: Nobody was behind me and I drove very slowly while I snapped these pics!

The bare trees and my music make for a very soothing commute!

I also love to see how the trees change on a seasonal basis!

Honestly, even a dismal scene can be a thing of beauty in the winter! It’s what you make of it and how you look at it!

And the lack of color is wonderful for a neutral-toned lover such as myself. I love my color in the summer and during the holidays.  Otherwise, I’m happy with a few tones that make life appear similar to black and white photography.

Had it been a cloudy day, this would have been a beautiful black and white photo!

And my diet withstanding, I love the weekend meals that I make in the winter.  Saturdays are spent running errands then coming home to cook a restaurant-dining-at-home atmosphere in the privacy of our home.  We don’t have to deal with noisy or complaining diners.  I won’t lie, we do enjoy our dinners out but we don’t do that often. We save those evenings for special occasions.  I enjoy the baking and it comes to a stop in the summer!

I made escargot last night for a starter. I do not do this in the summer…

On Friday, I made 75 Gougeres for The Frenchman. He’ll have a supply to last through February!

Even my music tastes change with the seasons.  During Spring and Summer, it’s more classic rock. Fall is my Scott Joplin season and with Winter comes my beloved Christmas music, classical and smooth jazz.  The later two calm me down.

Snowfall - song and lyrics by Wes Montgomery | Spotify

I can’t get enough of Wes Montgomery’s Snowfall on my Spotify Winter Jazz playlist. I LOVE this one! It’s so wintery and calming!

Winter is also a time to binge on new Netflix discoveries. I am now official hooked on KDrama–AKA Korean dramas and comedy series.  Definitely worth watching and well-done–especially the historic dramas!

I finished Extraordinary Attorney Woo (left side pic) on Netflix. It’s about an autistic attorney and it was fantastic.  I also just finished the 20-episode The King’s Affection–a historical melodrama taking place during the Joseon Dynasty. This was epic. History. Drama. Mistaken identity. Love. Comedy. Tearjerker moments. It’s got it all!

And I will admit, even though I can’t stand outwear, I enjoy my time in sweaters and winter clothing.  To a point.

And notice–no socks!  Not even in winter!!!!!!!!!

The weather may be chilly—and downright cold on some days but I love the warmth of our home. I feel cuddled and coddled.

Hmmm. snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket and Netflix or a book. During the winter months it is all that is needed!

Chippy agrees!

And I love my visits to Longwood Gardens when Roman visits.

Longwood Gardens at Christmas or anytime during the winter is fine by me!

In fact, I’ve been inspired to become a member of a local arboretum—Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens.  I visited last week for the first time and fell in tree-hugging love. The huge deck area has me waiting for Spring when that first burst of warm weather allows me to sit on a chair  or bench within the gardens and get lost in a novel!

Jenkins Arboretum in Devon. In the winter, it’s like having a huge garden to yourself!

I stumbled upon this cut-down tree trunk at the arboretum. Look. It’s older than I am!

I sat on one of these chairs last weekend for quite a while just reflecting upon the beauty of the bare trees. It was glorious!

How about you?  Is winter a time for reflection, self-improvement and hibernation—or are you disgusted with the cold weather?


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So, After Just Under Three Years of Covid as We Know it….I Tested Positive

Yeah. After lockdown and all the required vaccinations as well as booster shots, wearing a mask in public for what seemed like—forever, traveling both domestically and overseas on flights as long as 8 ½ hours, jammed packed at customs—and close enough to others to become impregnated (if I was that young and productive), staying home and becoming more of a misanthropic individual than I ever was.

I tested positive for Covid.

Thank goodness the “T” line is not as dark as it was a few days ago!

There are definitely mixed feelings about this and I’ll address it as I go further into this post.

On Christmas, I had a cold. Nothing to the chest, just a head cold of sorts and feeling a bit tired. Nevertheless, I took it easy.  Since The Frenchman’s granddaughter is in a community presentation of the play “Mary Poppins”, they decided to forego Christmas dinner with us as they didn’t want his 12-year-old granddaughter exposed to germs. And I get that.

sick black and white GIF by Okkult Motion Pictures

Basically, this is what I’ve been going through.

And so, Christmas, as you read in my previous blog post was restful and quiet. Just me. Roman. The Frenchman. Roman went home the Tuesday after Christmas.  I had a few days off with the return to the office last Thursday.

And my return to work was quiet but very productive.  Nobody was in the office and I had the opportunity to catch up on mail, tidying up the facilities and wait for a delivery that never arrived.  Yet, I thought this “cold” was lingering. Something felt “off” and yet it didn’t.

Video gif. A woman behind a desk, punches the air excitedly as she spins with cheer in her chair.

Yessssssss!  I was happy to be back at work–even if for one day!  I honestly enjoy my new job!

So that evening I took a Covid test at home. We ordered quite a few free tests and had a plethora of them in our main bathroom.

How Not to Use Rapid Covid Tests | Kaiser Health News

We have quite the number of these tests. I fact, my obsessive personality has me taking these tests more than I should.

I carefully followed the directions on the test.  Opening the swab gingerly, making sure my hands were clean (as if it really mattered), and, went to town showing the swab up my nose to ensure that I was collecting whatever traces of disease were lining the wideness of my nostrils.

With the focus of a scientist, I placed my dirty swab into a little plastic container and swirled it around 15 times with the liquid that was securely ensconced into said container.

Mcgill Library Chemistry GIF by McGill University

Yes. I take my obsession with these Covid tests very seriously.

And then, I placed my three drops of my snotty residue into a small oval opening that would lead to the area which would tell me whether or not I was infected.

It came as quite a surprise when I discovered a positive result. In fact, I’m such a Doubting Thomasina that I repeated the test. Three times.  Positive.

I’m obsessed and triggered at the same time.

You have no idea what went through my head.  I was thinking about heading to the emergency room. After all, I had heard more than my share of Covid horror stories since my previous job was dealing in healthcare. Thank God in Heaven I am no longer working at a triggering job.

But I thought the worst. I envisioned myself under an oxygen tent, gasping for a molecule of air. I saw my temperature rise 1000 degrees.  I wondered if I needed to be placed into an iron lung.  I started to cry. Not little tears but sobbing, ugly tears. To the point my husband thought I needed to be placed in the ER for my mental health as opposed to the physical.

Mindy Kaling Crying GIF

Well, yeah. I was also crying because I was hungry. I’ll admit it.

Here’s the thing that bothered me though—and please, please, please my friends, please correct me if I’m wrong—because I could be….wrong, that is.

What really bothered me is that, after almost three years, the vaccines, the boosters, the mask-wearing, and the fact my blood type is O Negative, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t get Covid. At all.  My competitive nature makes me feel as though I lost the sport of avoiding this annoying condition.

Jimmy Fallon Kane GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

It’s true. I couldn’t win at the game of keeping Covid at bay and it pisses me off.

Granted, the media did a fantastic job into showcasing the horror of not getting vaccinated—and I appreciate that.  The media also did a stellar job of managing to showcase how politicians could have saved millions of lives—but I’m not going to touch upon that right now.

I only wish the media had showcased a more realistic picture of what can happen after you comply—after you get your vaccinations and boosters and follow the rules.

Fact is, I don’t feel bad.  I’ve had colds where I was a lot worse. Where I couldn’t speak (which everyone I’ve lived with was thankful) for a week, where my chest was like a rattling old trunk, where my only meals were the daily amounts of mucus that flowed down my throat into my belly.

Frequent Colds: How to Prevent Frequent Colds

Believe me, I’ve had colds far worse than I’m feeling with this Covid.

There’s none of that. No sweats. No fever. No chest cough. Just sneezing and what appears to be a congested head.  I swear to you even the stuff that comes out of my nose into a tissue is clear!  Albeit, there’s a lot of that clear stuff running into the tissues…and dripping on my pajama tops.

Quite honestly, the worst part about Covid was sneezing made my hemorrhoids worse.

sick natalie zea GIF by The Detour

I think hemorrhoids should be a symptom of Covid. From one end to the other!

Yesterday, we were able to take down all the Christmas decorations.  I cursed at the lights that were difficult to unravel because I should have unraveled them when the tree fell on top of me but I was too lazy. I, along with The Frenchman, lugged tubs up and down flights of stairs, lifted the tree out of the tree stand so my husband could put the tree outside, wrote a blog post—overall I was very productive.

When it warms up a bit I’ll transplant the Poinsettias into a large pot.

From the family room on the lower level..

To the foyer..


..the.. room. All traces of Christmas are gone.  Back to beige..well…

…the Catholic in me is leaving the fake tree in the sunroom up until Epiphany. Then it’s being dismantled.

And so, today I’m home. And just as our Christmas tree slightly overstayed it’s welcome—as the branches started to droop and dry out; I’m feeling like I’ve overstayed my welcome at home. I had a nice time being home for the holidays but I want to get back to work. I enjoy working.

The good tree waits patiently to be picked up.

That process of waking up when the alarm rings at 6:00 AM, gives me joy—because it’s another day that I woke up.  I love brushing away that morning feeling with a dab of toothpaste squeezed upon that brush that’ll enter my mouth.  The feel of the splash of cool water hitting my face rejuvenates me. And the feeling of moisturizer over my face makes me well-aware that I’m keeping my skin soft.

Good Morning GIF

When that alarm rings–I’m up. No snooze button for me!

When my husband brings me my coffee as I’m “putting my face” on makes me happy.  And deciding what outfit to wear is one decision I’m never indecisive about.  My morning commute through Valley Forge Park relaxes me as I listen to my music.

And then when I arrive at work, I’m ready to handle any tasks that come my way.

What I don’t enjoy is being stuck at home when I would rather be at the office. It’s weird.  At 10:25 AM I finished a nice cup of tea.

I know. I know. My tea mug is naughty but today, that’s how I feel. I just want to get back to work!!!!!!!!!!

I applied nail strengthener to my nails and I’m hungry. But since I’m making yet the 1,000,000th attempt at losing weight, I’m drinking water instead. And I’m still hungry. I could actually go for a burger topped with melted Swiss cheese, sauteed onions and cooked mushrooms along with a large chocolate shake. Yeah. My taste buds are longing!

My taste buds are in working order–as is my nose!

Actually, I’ll go into the living room, plop my butt on one of the sofas, turn the TV and peruse through Netflix to find something to watch!

Honestly, have you had a mild case of Covid?  I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume you’ve all been vaccinated and boostered. So please if you did have Covid anyway, I would love you to share your experiences.

I’ll be back to wearing a mask on my own accord!

Welcome to 2023!

Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Beauty My Way for 2023. And a Goodbye to Christmas 2022!

Okay. As we end 2022, I’m not going to post about my Christmas Holiday. That much!

Well….not THAT much. I’ll add a few pics!

Fact is, it was a pain in the ass. Literally. I had a hemorrhoid flare-up. And after the plethora of Preparation H (which I used so much of, I couldn’t even save any to use to subdue wrinkles on my face) gel and cream, along with Tucks pads and cream shoved up my back door canal, and sitting in a hot bathtub every night, I’m just now, after a week, beginning to feel normal again.

hemorrhoids GIF

Basically—I feel like this guy!

Add to the fact we all had colds, it was a very quiet albeit relaxing Christmas.

Sick 1980S Tv GIF by absurdnoise

The sofas were decorated with blankets, pillows , Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu and NyQuil!

I kept off Social Media as much as I could because, quite frankly, I’m getting tired of the subliminal bragging that is showcased. Equally tiring is seeing women over forty/fifty/sixty and over filtering themselves to fetal or marshmallow level.

5 Tips to Avoid Over Filtering Your Photos - Nine9

She’s really 88 years old. I got a bridge to sell yas!

Bragging Full Of It GIF by ABC Network

Honestly, MOST people are tired of seeing your annual new luxury cars, bags, shoes, jet planes, islands you own….

Also, I don’t need to see how you are dressed in a different ensemble every night sipping cocktails.  All that booze would give me the worst GERD on earth and I would ruin anything but old pajama bottoms and a tee shirt while cooking or drinking.

Welcome to my Holiday Wardrobe!  Old Navy PJ Bottoms, A tee shirt covered in dripped snot and  filthy, wet tissues stuck in the sleeve. I’m enjoying watching Netflix movies about look alikes switching places!

So here it is. The holiday look for my home in a nutshell.  I am pleased and quite happy with how everything looks. We didn’t get the biggest tree this year nor did I break out the “good” China. It was low key.

Table set for Christmas!

Set for three!

But…I did listen non-stop to my Christmas playlists on Spotify and Roman and I had a great evening at Longwood Gardens.

We did return to Longwood Gardens to see the spectacular gardens at night. It was gorgeous.

Oh! And we did manage a trip into NYC to visit Vincent’s nephew and family in from Paris!

Yup! It was a great day in the City! 

So on to beauty my way.  My blog, as small as it is, is almost eight years.   I was a newcomer to my ‘60’s and as I’m now at the end, I see that during this decade, I’ve noticed the process of aging has hit harder than any past decade.  My skin has definitely gotten a lot drier. The fine lines have grown deeper. The jowls hang from the sides of my jaw like mudflaps.  Where my eyelids were once perky, they are now drooping and tired looking.

Freckles have morphed into age spots.  The uneven coloring has become more uneven. Eyelashes are sparse as are brows.

And the tweezer remains my most-used beauty tool to pluck those surprise lady whiskers that pop up on a daily basis.

Revlon Perfectweeze Slant Tip Tweezers

Yeah. I have one of these babys in each purse and in my car!

Eight years ago, I wore more makeup. My eyes could handle heavier shadow and liner. I used to wear shadow and mascara on my bottom lids as well as the top.  Nowadays all that eye makeup looks hard and harsh. So, I apply eye makeup only to my top lids.

Not gonna lie. I LOVE the way my eyes look here but in the five years since this pic was snapped, my skin has aged. 

Do I miss the heavier look? Yeah. Not gonna lie. But now I need to do what works best for me. And come to terms with my aging.

It doesn’t do any good to get caught in a cosmetics rut of yesteryear because it’ll only age us more.  And it isn’t that I want to look like I did back in the day—it’s that I realize I no longer do look like that so it’s time for a change.

I think the biggest change in my overall use of cosmetics came this year. Realizing that heavier foundations were doing absolutely nothing for me, I started to research alternatives such as cream foundations and tinted moisturizers.

Some creams are better than others. I do like the Seint cream foundations (which the company refuses to call foundations—referring to them as “highlight” instead) but you need a couple of shades for a look that isn’t flat.  Also, their contours are very good but the tutorials are horrific. I’ve yet to see any self-proclaimed Seint make up artist blend that stuff in.  Contour needs to be well blended to create the illusion of a shadow—but that’s another subject.

Actually, in 2021 I went a bit overboard with the Seint makeup–but I do like the creams–they need to be applied LIGHTLY though!

I love the Fenty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Foundation but I equate it more with a tinted moisturizer. A little goes a long, long way.  (I love this so I’m sure it’ll be discontinued any day now) It gives a nice satin finish and the key is to use as little as possible.

This is excellent for mature skin–again, apply lightly and moisturize before using but it really is good.

The iT Cosmetics CC Cream is surprisingly, one that I really like considering I cannot stand the brand. The brushes fall apart, the other cosmetics leave my skin dry as the desert but this is really good. Again—just a touch is needed.

CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ - IT Cosmetics | Sephora

I seriously cannot stand this brand overall–but this is one good product and it stays on all day.

This year brought about my admiration for Jones Road Beauty.  I think Bobbi Brown has done very well with her new “clean” brand.  The “clean” part really doesn’t move my needle. I’m not expecting any cosmetics that I buy to become filthy unless I don’t take good care of them.

It’s whipped and light and I’m definitely a fan.

Anyway, the WTFoundation is an airy, whipped dream of a foundation. There’s definitely a learning curve to applying but once you get it right—you’ll love it.  I also love the whole aesthetic of the brand.  Minimalist, simple and neutral. It’s a no fuss way to approach the makeup.

Here’s a face full of Jones Road Beauty. I’m even wearing magnetic false lashes here. I don’t even know why but I am–and they stayed put all day!

I’m gonna focus more on the makeup that I discovered this year—actually around September. I was really on the fence about it for a while, but the more I use it, the more I really love it.

Chanel Beauty Les Beiges makeup line’s three products I’m talking about are: The Water Fresh Tint; The Water-Fresh Complexion Touch and the Water-Fresh Blush.   The Tint and Complexion Touch both come with little brushes. I can give or take them but the purpose is meant to break up the little “bubbles” with the brush then apply to the fact.

The three Les Beiges makeup I purchased from Chanel Beauty. The Water Fresh Tint; The Water Fresh Corrector and the blush.  I used quite a bit of the water tint already–it’s because the product is very watery!

These products are very watery and the Complexion Touch is more of a concealer that does a great job covering up little flaws. The products feel like nothing but yet, last all day. It’s really weird—but in an excellent way.

This is the water tint. It’s extremely liquid!  Extremely!

The blush is very liquid as well. The corrector–more of a thicker texture.

The little brushes that accompany the corrector and water tint–used to break up the “bubbles”. Your fingers will work just as well.

My big issue is the price. These products are expensive—especially the Water Fresh Tint. If I used this every day, I would be broke—so I save them for when we have guests at work or if my husband and I are going out to dinner—or actually, I did wear these products a good deal during the holidays.

Here’s a Before and After. I used all three Chanel products on my face along with other items…

At first, I applied a ton of moisturizer. Then followed up with Etude Face Blur, which I’ve been purchasing from Amazon for Years: (Face Blur Link ) I love this stuff. Then I applied Charlotte Tilbury Flawless fllter for a hightlighted look.

Then I went in with this eyeshadow palette from Jones Road Beauty. The neturals are wonderful and last all day..


Next it was brows and eyeliner…

…and mascara primer and mascara!

Then I went in with this trio on my face.

Lastly, lipstick and gloss..

I don’t spend a lot of money on lip products. The inexpensive stuff works just as well, if not better! NYX  Butter Gloss remains a favorite as does Revlon lipsticks. I prefer pink to reds or corals!

Are these products going to turn back the clock?  No. They won’t. However, they will give you a nice glow and a nice look.  And at this point, all I strive to achieve is a look that won’t scare anyone. In all honesty, I am incredibly pleased with the Chanel products but it’s that price. In justifying—or at least trying to justify the price, I can honestly tell you that I’ve cut down a lot on purchasing makeup and beauty products.

As long as I don’t scare anyone when I leave the house, it’s all good!

I refuse to buy based on social media anymore. Those Instagram ads—those YouTube reviews will have you sliding down the deepest rabbit holes at a rapid speed.  I refuse—absolutely refuse to purchase products where the ads feature over-filtered women and men. I refuse to support any cosmetics company that supports this false advertising as well.  I’ll judge for myself and use the products in my own way.

I no longer follow any influencer who uses a filter. This one–the photo on the right shows how she looks without a filter and she’s an attractive woman. The left photo? Any cosmetics company who supports this false advertising should be fined.  My cosmetics boycott listing has grown quite long.

Best Anti-Aging + Skincare of 2021! - YouTube

I USED to follow Angie of Hot and Flashy. But she’s full of $$$hit these days. She’s old enough to know to use the phrase “Pro” Aging rather than Anti. And she’s pretty honest about the work that she’s had done–I respect that. But don’t sit there pontificating products when you’ve had regular work done. Nothing against her–I like her way , she’s just not my jam anymore.

Another “beauty my way” thing?  My nails. I’ve decided to grow out my natural nails. This one is sure to be a doozy because my husband has a “thing” about longer, perfectly manicured nails. Look. I can’t blame him because beautiful nails make for beautiful hands.

I cleaned up the nails a bit–I thought they would be in worse shape but they are paper-thin presently. It’s gonna be work to get them into decent shape!

However, when I think of all time spent at the nail salon and almost $100 including tip for a set of acrylics or a refill, I feel it’s high time to give my fingers a break (not literally).   And so, the acrylics were ripped off. (Yes. I know that is bad.) I filed down the residue as best as I could.  I ran to Target and purchased a cuticle cutter; cuticle sticks a big file and OPI Start-to-Finish which is a nail strengthener of sorts.

This stuff is all I need for now. 

Do my nails look great? Nope. Not at all.  Am I okay with the way they look? Meh—I know in a few weeks they will begin to look healthier. Actually, within the few days I’ve taken the acrylics off, they are looking slightly healthier.

Fact is, I’ve always admired healthy and natural nails but as a life-long, nail bender—not biter mind you, but bender, I’ve never been able to grow my nails to a decent length (BTW— “nail bender” –That’s when your nails get to a certain length and due to anxiety, you bend the nails mindlessly until they break.)

10 Tips for Healthy Nails – 100% PURE

My nail goal! We’ll see…

We’ll give it a go here and see how it turns out.  I can only hope and try to get my nails in decent shape. I’m not going to beat myself up over this. Just like I’m not going to beat myself up over losing weight…

That’s another thing I seem to go through each year—the false promise to myself that I’ll lose weight. I’ve done it before. Pre-covid era.  Then came Covid and the job that really messed with my mental health and the weight hung like a swinging pendulum.

Cartoon gif. A chubby Trixie Tang from The Fairly Oddparents chews a bite of a giant cookie, and her belt breaks.

I can’t do the emotional eating thing anymore.

Now, with a new job that I enjoy, I can only hope and try to stick to some phase of a healthier eating phase and rely less on emotional eating.

This Christmas was actually a decent start. Since we had colds, it was mostly soups and tea.

I made a ton of soup. In fact, I’ve more on the stove. Make a lot, put it in jars and you’re good to soup up for a few days!

Oh..I made quiches too!

In fact, the huge roast I purchased was cut into two, cooked for Christmas dinner and half is still in the freezer. Desserts were consumed in human portions and most of the cookie dough is still in bags in the freezer.


The Buche de Noel this year was smaller and decorated with candied cranberries and rosemary..

The last slices were consumed last night. A decent way to end the year!

And as I sit here at our dining room table on this first day of 2023, I’m looking at the Christmas tree in the living room. She has begun to wear out the welcome as the branches droop downwards. The Christmas music I’ve been listening so gleefully to, beginning right after Halloween, and sounded so happy and made me giddy with excitement, now have a nuance of sadness to them.

The tree is drooping but I’m not ready to let go yet!

The wreaths and décor need to be taken down, wrapped carefully and nestled into tubs for next Holiday season.

Well..TWO of the three wreaths need to be put away, the one on the far right is realy. I’ll just strip the ornaments and ribbon off.

I’ll do that next week. I just want to gaze fondly upon the remnants of Christmas 2022.

Yeah…next weekend I’ll take it all down!

Happy New Year to all.  Have a healthy, safe and prosperous 2023.  Don’t worry about perfection. Don’t fret over unpromised resolutions. Just do the best you can.

Chippy is resting from an attack yesterday! He’s okay though. He’s a fighter!

With my love to you for 2023!

Posted in Uncategorized | 37 Comments

From Thanksgiving to Clumsiness. It’s All Good!

When I last posted it was two days shy of a month.  There has been a lot going on. And I think I’ll begin with the obvious.

I started a new job. Three weeks ago.

It’s part-time, four days a week—benefits included and is close to home. I’m the receptionist/facilities administrator. A pleasant change from the past five years in disability.

Still business casual but when visitors come, I step it up a bit with a skirt and heels.

On another note, we stayed home this Thanksgiving.  We didn’t go to Paris—what, with a new job and……Oona being in a wedding close by in neighboring Bucks County, PA, meant she and Sam and the boys stayed with us and I got to babysit while Oona and Sam attended a wedding.

Jake flew in from LA. Roman arrived via Amtrak from NYC and my step-daughter and her family were all on board for Thanksgiving Dinner.  My sister and her family were dining at her in-laws and stopped by for dessert so it was a very enjoyable holiday with lots of activity!

A nice shot of me and my boys during the hectic Thanksgiving week!

Due to the babies arriving, I did manage to add some Holiday décor to make the house festive for them!

The small fake tree was in the sunroom. I wanted at least a little holiday embellishment!

As usual, Thanksgiving was fantastic.  Great food and family—what could be better?

Family Art Print featuring the drawing Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell

I didn’t look like that as I served the turkay. I also don’t have a picture but it was pretty-much a modern take on Normam Rockwell’s Thanksgiving dinner!

The icing on the cake was getting to babysit for Owen and Bennett whilst Oona and Sam attended the wedding—actually Oona was in the wedding party. And……. Owen was ring bearer. And after enjoying himself for a while at the reception, he was ready to come to the room and enjoy quality time with GamGam and Uncle Roman!

My grandson, Owen, quite possibly the most adorable not-quite-two years old ring bearer of all time! The flower girl dropped the petals and Owen cleaned them up. Oona is training him very well!

Back to Thanksgiving—Since the kids were over a few days prior, it meant lots of cooking and prep for the Holiday.  I have to say that I should have taken photographs of the turkey because it turned out to be the best I’ve ever made.

Chef Jay Hajj with his turkey. Mine turned out looking this good but I didn’t cook it standing as he suggests because the bird was too big!

I followed the brining instructions from the cookbook Beirut to Boston by Chef Jay Hajj. Hands down, this brine was fantastic.  We had to purchase a huge plastic tub from the hardware store because the 24-pound turkey was a handful.  Placed the turkey in a giant plastic bag, added the brine and placed into the tub.

This book has become one of my favorites and well-used!

Project Source Large 30-Gallons (120-Quart) Gray Tote with Standard Snap Lid in the Plastic Storage Containers department at

It was almost comical. I purchased a tub similar to this, placed a huge plastic trash bag in it, placed the turkey in the plastic bag, poured the cooled brine, closed the bag and filled with ice. For two days. It was well-worth it!

Now, there was so much stuff in the fridge that the tub with the bird and the brine had to be placed out on our deck. Due to the temperature two days before Thanksgiving being more end-of-summer, The Frenchman had to get ice. Luckily when evening fell the temperature dropped drastically and my turkey was bathed in a cold brine surrounded by ice.

I was nervous about the turkey because I didn’t cook it with stuffing.  My ex-husband and his girlfriend had the task of bringing stuffing over. His mother’s recipe for stuffing was always a hit with everyone so I took advantage of one less item to cook.  Anyway, I opted for throwing a couple of oranges and lemons into the cavity and basting the bejesus out of this turkey.  AND, I actually cooked TWO turkeys. Chef Hajj suggests cooking one to make stock. Trust me the first bird was merely a turkey breast but it still did the job.

Needless to say, even I was impressed with the juiciness of the bird. Honestly, three days later the remaining meat was not dry. His brining recipe is a keeper.

I also made his hummus and his Moroccan Meatballs.  The meatballs are such a hit with my family that I’ll make a batch next weekend and freeze them.

Incredibly creamy and the best hummus I ever had. Chef Hajj’s. I’ll never go back to store-bought hummus again!

You can see from the mess I made on the recipe page that these are a family favorite. 

I made a lot. A lot. They keep well in the fridge and Roman would just randomly snack on them–and the sauce is incredible!

After the meatballs are browned, they continue to cook in this ridiculously aromatic and flavorful sauce. I’m getting hungry.

The hummus?  Owen, who isn’t even two years old couldn’t get enough of it. His strategy was sticking a piece of pita into the hummus, sucking the hummus off then redipping the bread.

My little sous chef. He helped me with baking cookies. And ate a ton of hummus!

My apologies for a serious lack of pictures but we were having so much fun that I didn’t take any pics of Thanksgiving dinner.  Here are a few that I did manage to take.

Blueberry crumb oversized muffins which were a big hit..

Croissants which are always a huge crowd pleaser.

Homemade cranberry sauce.

Biscoff roulade. I made it in advance, wrapped it very securly, froze it, thawed it out and decorated it right before dessert. This was delicious.

The Biscoff filling was finger-lickin’ good!

Preparing deviled eggs.

I made quiches in these pie pans that I bought from Amazon.  Very Emile Henry but for a fraction of the price. Went from fridge to oven with no issues and cleaned up like a charm!  The brand is Le Tauci and I’m heading to Amazon to buy two more. 

Onto Friday.  Jake flew back to LA. Oona; Sam and the babies drove to the wedding venue for the rehearsal and spent the night. Roman and I hung out. The next day we drove to the wedding, to Oona and Sam’s room to baby sit.

Wow. It was such a pleasurable time.  First of all, Oona is such a great mom. She’s very much on routine –especially with baby Bennett.  She had a ton of expressed milk in bottles for him. And it was easy peasy. Although I must say, he went through quite a number of diapers!

Baby Bennett is so chill. He’s completely unfazed by me. LOL!

Owen was the ring bearer and after he partied for a while, Oona brought him back to the room. He watched his little Trash Truck videos, we read, then he went to bed.

Tired after dancing and partying at the wedding–it was Trash Truck time and then right to bed!  

On Sunday, Roman and I visited Longwood Gardens to see the trees in the conservatory all dressed up for the Holidays.   And in the Holiday spirit, came home with two ornaments and a Christmassy bar of soap!

Just before the rain arrived at Longwood Gardens!

The Christmas decorations are awe-inspiring and really get you into the Holiday spirit!

Photos don’t do justice to the natural beauty.

It’s so beautiful!

Now THIS is a wreath!

Little goodies that Roman treated me to!

Monday morning brought about a farewell to Roman as he caught the train back to NYC and to work. There is such an empty feeling when the kids leave.  And it takes a few days to get my emotions back to normal.

Here’s where the fun begins.  The office I work is in new. As such, there is still minor construction going on. And on Thursday, work was being done in the reception area which is my new dwelling.  Due to safety measures, I was given the day off. Which was a nice turn of events as it meant another four-day weekend.

On Thursday I decided to run a few errands. One of the errands was purchasing a plain wreath for the front door and Poinsettias.  I drove to my favorite place for product and plants—Produce Junction and I found what I needed.

I purchased a plain wreath and embellished it with ribbon, berries and balls!

My Poinsettias. I need more!

After loading the car and dropping the shopping cart off, I made my way to my vehicle. Then it happened. I fell. I fell because I tripped over my foot. I tripped over my foot because I have this awful habit of dragging my feet. I was wearing flat shoes.  However, my clumsiness me.  I fell hard.  Thankfully the cashmere leggings that were worn were not ripped, but underneath all that fuzzy warmth, I gashed my knee.  My coat never ripped but I had a gash on my arm. My nose got scratched and my clean white tee was now a mess of gray tar, dirt and the remnants of a rainstorm the night before.

I leave the house all clean and arrive home a hot mess! My leg was actually a lot worse. This photo was the cleaned up version!

But there as another surprise.  A surprise worse than the fate of bloody limbs and filthy clothing.  Upon my fall, face down to the ground, I fell an inch away from a used condom.  Yes. My precious visage almost touch someone’s love juice. I could not handle that.

scared horror GIF

No way would I take a photo of that thing. But this is pretty-much my reaction upon seeing that!

As helpful as shoppers and store staff were to run to my assistance, the only thing I could point out to them was the used piece of latex rubber.  Had my face touched that thing, I would have driven straight to the ER to have them degerminate my entire body.

And so, the next two days were spent sore and bloody. I think it would have been a safer haven for me at the office.

Wait! There’s more entertainment.

On Friday, we got our Christmas tree. We’ve always gotten a rather…large tree but this year, my husband suggested going the smaller route. Although I hate to admit it, he was right.  The kids have their own lives. Jake will spend Christmas with his girlfriend’s family. Oona has the same Christmas value routine that I had when the kids were younger. Don’t leave the house—Christmas is for the kids.  Roman will come over simply because he isn’t far away and my husband’s daughter and her family will come for dinner. So, it’ll be small and intimate.

The Christmas Chronicles 2018. WTF?? All I Want is a Freakin' Duck! | Atypical  60

Our 2018 tree. Rather large but pretty. We opted for smaller this year!

We headed out to get the tree and found one at Home Depot. A nice balsam fir number that hit the six-feet mark. It’s full but not oversized.

Ahhh. The Frenchman smiles because he is happy to finally have a smaller tree!

My husband also pointed out that since the tree was substantially smaller in girth that we get a tree stand constructed for a smaller sized tree. I agreed and we purchased a tree stand with plastic screws.

Cinco Advantage Tree Stand, 1 ct - Fred Meyer

This is the tree stand we decided upon. It’s plastic. The screws are plastic. Do you know where this is headed?

Upon arriving home, we prepared for the tree’s placement in the usual corner in the living room.  Honestly, a smaller tree was a pleasure to take up the stairs and place into the stand.  Now, about the plastic stand.  The tree was placed into it. The trunk screwed in, but if felt slightly wobbly to me. My husband assured me it was fine.   The tree, nestled into the corner, settled in for the night before being decorated.

Taking up less space, I think I’m going to go for a smaller tree every year.

Yesterday, I woke up early, and after my morning coffee, headed downstairs to begin embellishing and decorating the tree.  Strands of lights carefully placed upon the evergreen. Spools of ribbon were wrapped carefully on the diagonal.  Ornaments from years past and recent ones were hung with thoughtful placement.

I woke up early to untangle about 8 sets of tree lights. Ever so patiently I must say!

Then it happened. The plastic tree stand that was wobbly in the first place gave out and the tree fell. On me. On me who already had two gashes, a scratched nose from two days before, was now under a fallen tree.  Ribbons became unfurled. Ornaments flew. Chippy’s eyes lit up because he envisioned lots of items to chew.

awkward merry christmas GIF by Videoland

Yes. The tree fell. On me.

I called to my husband. No answer. He was watching the World Cup.

World Cup 2022 Guide to Each Group | The Analyst

Apparently these guys were more important than me and the tree!

I called again. No answer. I managed to lift the tree off me. The tree that was now a tangled mess of lights, fallen needles and ribbon droppings.  I held the tree and called to my husband in a louder pitch. Meanwhile water was on the carpeting.

My voice would wake the dead. If you drove me to a cemetery late at night and had me scream, I can assure you that at the least, spirits would rise and beg me to let them rest. However, my husband was so focused on the World Cup that he didn’t hear me. Finally, after what seemed like hours, there must have been a commercial break because he finally came downstairs.

season 6 squid's visit GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

I’m proud to be loud!

He assessed the damage, went downstairs to the garage and came back with the old tree stand that was used for the larger trees. It worked like a charm.

In the meantime, I had a tree to redecorate, I was covered in tree needles and sap, and had a meltdown.

Understand, we were an hour and change away from attending a community theatre production in which my husband’s pre-teen granddaughter was performing. She’s incredibly talented and it would have been great to see her but there was no way I would be ready in an hour. And there was no way I would leave the mess of the tree on the floor for our dog to tend to while we were away.

The redecorated version. I kinda like it!

Instead, I stayed home to re-decorate the mess.  My husband was not happy but I’m going to see her perform at a later date.

Just some Holiday fun folks.  And as I sit here typing these words, I’m looking up at our tree-standing erect in its corner and thinking—it doesn’t look half bad!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to this Christmas and Hanukkah Season!

I’m spending the day indoors today. Away from parking lots and trees!

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments