Category

MidLife

Yo, MAP, Where You Been??

I took a sabbatical from writing.

And I have better posture for doing it. Mom will be happy.

The last year I have had many many changes and life events going on. Some were AWESOME and a few were some that will make your hair grey.

That’s life honey, not for sissies.

The ONE THING that I have learned is the old saying:

strong

I know, cliché, but it’s freekin true.

Sooo, in the last year or so I learned some things:

  • I don’t lose weight when I am stressed therefore I will never get divorced because the Divorce Diet will not get me a new man.
  • I will NEVER EVER rescue another dog with the REMOTEST DNA of Chihuahua in it.
  • Do NOT buy the cheap pads. Poise all the way!
  • When your parents become hard of hearing, it’s really not that bad. Except for the TV that I can hear from Florida. And the yelling.
  • When you travel especially overseas, you really only need 2 pairs of black pants, Uggs, ortho inserts, a camera, a jacket and deodorant.
  • Centre Court Wimbledon IS all that and a bag of chips. Or a glass of Pimms. Oh, and don’t make fun of the “Ugly English Old Dude” sitting next to you. He just may be the president of the All England Club…

 

 

wimbledon (7 of 9)
Amazing Serena @rustystirrupphotography

 

  • I totally fan girled over this beautiful young husband I met at an AirBNB we stayed at in England who’s best friends with Andrew Lincoln. THAT was embarrassing….

 

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - OCTOBER 02: Andrew Lincoln arrives at AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 5 Premiere held at AMC Universal City Walk on October 2, 2014 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

  • The correct pronunciation of the word HAM in Spanish is ‘hambon’ NOT ‘jambone’.
  • I love Guatemala.

    Me and Shari on an avocado, coffee and children's mission on Lake Atitlan
    Me and Shari on an avocado, coffee and children’s mission on Lake Atitlan
  • I still dig through  and buy dead’s people’s stuff (estate sales)
  • My mom is seriously a trooper – we took her on a pass (not recommended) to Amsterdam and Germany this past spring. Surprise! There are very few escalators in European train stations.
  • I started my own skin care franchise. Yep, you heard me right the first time. E-commerce all the way baby, work from home and can still junk, travel and write. Because the former three can’t pay all the bills. And I get to dress up nice again, go to a couple of meetings, a convention, and meet some pretty awesome, normal, and driven women. And the product works.Docs

 

 

I’ve also learned about patience, love, forgiveness, prayer, charity, dignity and hope.

And I guess those were my most important lessons this year!

 

Toto, We’re NOT In Nordstrom Anymore…

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

I bought a pair of orthotic shoes last week.

It was a sad touchstone in my life. I have been a shoe freak since my first pair of brown and white saddle shoes, all the way to the latest adorable Tory Burch flats. Shoes don’t judge. You can be a size 8 or a size 16 and wear a fabulous pair of shoes and feel like a million bucks.

I had to break down and find some. With my recent jogging journey, coupled with my little tennis fantasy and the age of my high arched feet, I developed plantar fasciitis.

First, I thought it was just some temporary heel pain. But it went on for a couple of months. Then, in working at my little antique store one day in flip-flops ( a big no, no) I felt crippled in that foot and went straight to WebMD.

Bingo-Plantar Faciitis. The best part of the description was that it happens to athletic people. If you call running two minutes and walking one minute athletic, I’ll take it.

According to WebMD:
Plantar fasciitis (say “PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus”) is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:

Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation camera.gif).
You have high arches or flat feet.
You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
You are overweight.
You wear shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out.
You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time

So off to the orthotic shoe store I went.

I mean seriously, these places need a HUGE makeover. I had to sign in and wait my turn behind an elderly gal getting those sexy black tennis shoes with the laces, and a 100-year-old cadaver couple arguing over which compression sock is the best. Toto, we’re not in Nordstrom anymore…

The selection was mediocre and the store gave me Buster Brown flashbacks from my youth. The saleslady was extremely helpful and I found a fairly cute pair of Vionic sandals that are so comfy on my feet. They aren’t Manolos but they will suffice.

Then I went on Zappos. The mother of all shoe sites. And there ARE cute orthotic shoes, THERE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still refuse to give up my Tory’s or my Jack Rogers. In the future, when I wear those, Advil better be close by.

And an orthotic insert from Walmart…

 

 

I Ran My First 10K. And Survived…

(I have been off-line for a bit, traveling, getting my head together, and actually blogging for a non-profit about our Mission Trip to Guatemala – I think I’ll be  back to my regularly scheduled sarcasm soon!)

Check this one off the bucket list y’all.

The Peachtree Road Race.

I have lived in Atlanta on and off for over 40 years (mostly on) and every Fourth of July I watch as thousands (like 60K) of people get up early, get on Marta, and go run or walk this famous 6 plus mile race on our famous Peachtree Street.

And every year, I said I was gonna do it.

One year I got a number but it was right after 9/11 so I totally wimped out and fearing dying on the streets in my Target gym shorts and Spam T-shirt, I gave away my number.

Take that Al Qaeda.

Anyhoo, fearing I would ALWAYS regret not at least ATTEMPTING to get across the finish line, I signed up this year.

I joined a fun running group at the urging of a friend (ok, begging) called No Boundaries. It’s a fun organization designed to get you out there on the roads for friendship and health and in my case, plantar fasciitis. More on that later. We jog each Monday and Wednesday evenings during the week and start the sloooowwwwww way. Perfect!

Week One : Run 1 minute, walk 4 minutes. Hell yeah, I GOT THIS!!!

Week Ten : Run 4 minutes, walk one. Kill. Me. Now.

But I did it. And ran a 5K (well, walked and ran, that’s a secret to this whole fiasco I didn’t know of and the reason I stick with it).

I thought THAT was long.

But I got the T Shirt. Boom.

So the Peachtree was next.

I signed up last March and planned on training for it. Mostly so I wouldn’t be carried off by hot Atlanta Fire Dept. guys in my Target shorts and you know…

But, guess who showed up to the party???

Plantar Faciitis.

First I thought I was just having heel pain. Thinking maybe diabetes? Arthritis? Old Age? Bad shoes???

Nope, Web MD saved the day and told me I had this thing that makes the muscles and ligaments sore-especially runners and athletes get it a lot. WOO HOO – I have a RUNNING INJURY I CAN TELL EVERYONE ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!

But I was not going to bag on the Peachtree. Unless of course, it was 80 plus degrees and humid at 8 am that morning. Sadly Arthur the hurricane helped us out and it was 67 and dry.

Time to hoof it for the coveted T Shirt.

I was in the next to last pack of folks to start. By that time all the Elite Runners were in their hotels showered with their Starbucks…

But it was the party pack and I was with my people. As we got waved to start, the local radio station started blasting Sugar Hill Gang’s Apache. One of my all time faves. Next to me was a guy dressed in a grass skirt with a coconut bra on.

I was going to be OK.

And here’s the thing. All ages, sizes, abilities, races, were out there. The right half of the street were walking. The left half were jogging. I was in the middle.

Mile 4 was the turning point. It was up hill from there. All of a sudden both sides of the street were walking. Totally no guilt! There were photographers a few hundred feet before the finish. All I can say is no. That was NOT a Kodak Moment for me.

As I limped over the finish line with sweat in places I didn’t know could get sweaty, sore hips, a numb left foot, shin splints and wobbly knees all I could think of was – I am HUNGRY and I need a REAL COKE.

And I came in 49,616 out of 60,000. Not last, not first. Hell I’m 54.

Nothing changes.

But I got that shirt. And wear it proudly. It is a badge of honor in Atlanta.

So what’s next?

Not sure, but joining No Boundaries again in September.

Week One:  Run 1 minute, walk four minutes.

I so got this.

 

 

Empty Nest? I Wish…

Every year, I have a blue bird couple that takes up residence in the blue bird box on my screened porch. And every year, I watch as Daddy blue bird stands watch over the household and Mom blue bird works tirelessly building her nest, incubating her eggs, feeding her chicks and then coaxing them out of their home for bigger and better adventures beyond our back yard.

And when those babies fledge, which I have had the opportunity to watch twice, Mom and Dad will perch on the opposite side of the box, usually on my trellis and squawk and squawk at each kid until they finally take that leap and fly out of the nest. Sometimes they stumble, fly in to my potted plants, get confused, look scared, but after a few moments, they gain confidence and fly off.

For the next month Mom and Dad teach them the ways of the world and off they go to find fame and fortune and not get eaten by the neighborhood cats.

This is the way it is supposed to happen.

But many of us still have a 18 plus year old at home. Either they are not going the college route, going to a local community or tech college, working full-time, burned out from high school or generally dealing with having a hard time leaving the comforts of their home.

So this Momma blue bird squawked and squawked and this baby is STILL HERE…

I’ve read all of these heart-felt posts about having an empty nest. Dealing with the reality of having their kids go on to new and bigger things. Exceptionally sad yet happy for the new phase in their child’s life. You people are LUCKY. Geesh.

I love my daughter with all of my heart and have enjoyed (mostly) every single minute of her growing up years with her Dad and I. But Girlfriend, it’s time.

Time to for her to find herself. Time for her to find out about the REAL world. Time for her to fend for herself. Time for her to ENJOY herself without her helicopter mother frantically texting her every 30 minutes she’s out on a weekend night. Time to make mistakes. Time to fall really in love. Time to make new friends.

And I know that she is on a different time schedule and going off to school may not be her thing. That’s cool. But it’s time.

And what Mom, in her right mind, would miss THIS???

There are many of us out there that are just waiting for the moment that the kids fly the coop and we are counting down the minutes. You just don’t hear about us. We were the moms who didn’t cry at the bus stop the first day of kindergarten. We were the moms high-fiving each other and pouring Bloody Marys on the first day of school.We were the moms that DREADED summer vacation (mostly in the teen years)We were the moms who thought 5th grade graduation ceremonies were ridiculous (it is after all, something that a kid SHOULD do, you know, go on to 6th grade???)We were the moms that sat, at 4 am, in line at the school to get their teen a parking space so we didn’t have to drive them to school. We DID cry at your high school graduation. Yes, a bittersweet 12 years has gone by.

But the next day we were at Target buying bedding and furniture for your new dorm room or apartment. 2 months ahead of schedule.

For all of you out there saddened by your upcoming empty nest, I feel for ya. I know, I know, end of childhood, end of being a hands on mom, facing aging, yada yada yada. Boo freekin hoo. Take a hint from Momma blue bird, she got those chicks out of the house in 4 weeks. She’s our hero.

So to all my girlfriends facing the empty nest with dread in a few months, it’s time. Come on over, I’ll have the box wine. The chips and dip. It’s time-to celebrate. It’s finally OUR time. The best is yet to come.

 

It’s Almost Mother’s Day, And The Award Goes To…

mother of the year award

We are overworked, overlooked and overtired 24/7 and yet we still do not get recognized for our efforts. In the acting, singing, hell, even the  business world, awards are given out like candy. Those people need to satisfy their insecurities with these awards. Feel better about themselves. Get bonuses, pay raises, magazine covers.

But what about US? The Mom’s out there???

There’s an award out there for us. One that we secretly win several times a month, even several times a day. It’s one we should be proud of, should wear as a badge of honor. Yet we mutter or YELL it at the top of our voices – to usually no one in the immediate area – then we go on with our day.

Yes, it’s the most sacred of all awards.

The Mother Of The Year Award.

Funny Family Ecard: When you get the 'Mother of the Year' award, then I'll listen.

I personally have won this award for my achievements in mothering from the day my daughter was pulled out of my nether region, and now to our almost empty nest.

There are many categories too.

The first award  I won  was in the delivery room.  It’s  The Psychotic New Mom in the throes of a semi medicated C-section Award:   After one hour of dry heaving in the recovery room, with my peaked husband by my side, the nurse wheels my squishy bundle of joy in and says—Now we gonna do the show – which was the beginner baby training class for new moms. I said, between gags – “Are you freeking kidding me? Bring her back later! I’m RECOVERING, dammit – isn’t what this room is for?”

I had directed them to give her a bottle at night-I was going to breast feed but that first night I felt I needed some peace after 36 hours of labor and giving over a pint of O positive blood to this fiasco –  About 2 am I hear the baby cart wheels clickety clacking in the hallway-I lay there thinking – NO, NO, NO—the nurse brings her in and says – This baby hungry! I rolled over and said, “It’s on the chart-give her a bottle-I’ll nurse in the morning”….Man, the room service in hospitals suck.

She was 24 hours old. I had to write my first acceptance speech…

Awesome  start.

The awards started coming as she grew.

The second one I won was the Most Likely To Freak Out Your Mother In Law in Church Award:

At her christening, her pacifier fell out on the floor during the service-standing there and not wanting a screaming infant, I bent over, picked it up, put it in my mouth to clean it, then promptly stuck it back in her mouth. I heard a gasp from the front pew and looked over to see an expression on my MIL’s face that I’ll never forget – I thought my germophobe MIL was going to pass out.

In that expression I knew that this already not good enough for my son daughter in law just proved her right.

The Real Reason I Gave Up My Perky Boobs Award

I breast-fed mainly because I was lazy and seriously, who wants to get up at 2 and 4am, drag yourself to the kitchen and prepare a bottle??? Shopping? No problem—I knew where every bathroom/ nursing station was in every mall within a 25 mile radius of my home. Dr. Spock also writes that a beer at night wont hurt your baby. I will confirm that by saying that it assists with sleep both hers and yours, but stay away from asparagus….just saying

There were other awards from infant to toddler – some minor – some major but I won them all:

The Car Nap Award

A ten minute ride home will turn in to an hour tour of local neighborhoods just to get that one hour of peace.

The Reason Our Parents Had Cocktails at 5 Award

The witching hour. Enough said.

The I Just Intend to keep Her Alive Thank You Award

Crawling? To go play in the dog water bowl? At least she’s happy.

I let her wear her Dumbo fleece Halloween outfit for an ENTIRE year. From one Halloween to the next. She  was 2. Then 3. I had to use a chip clip to hold the ears back while she ate dinner so they wouldn’t fall in her food.

dumbo1

The Sort of Honest Mom with No Backbone Award

Holiday fibbing worked well – Santa will only bring you three good things, the tooth fairy only gives out a dollar-the one that came by your friend’s house with a $20 robbed the bank and will go to jail, the Easter Bunny gets the chocolate eggs from the chocolate chickens, you get my drift.

She was so totally in love with her pacifier, I had 3 in her bed, extras in the car, in my purse, and in her stroller. When it was time to give them up (according to everyone else with an opinion…) I cut off the end. No problem, she still used it. Finally at four, she gave them up on her own–Don’t worry about the damn pacifier-it kept DFACS from my home and 2 grand and 2 years of braces in high school and she will have movie star teeth.

During the later elementary and middle school years she started seeing through my mom bullshit. It was going to be a bigger stretch to achieve stardom during awards season.  I did, however score a few minor ones:

The Best Supporting Mom at the Soccer Game in 20 degree weather sitting in the Car Award

The You Can’t Play Softball Because You Will Hate The Outfit Award which goes right along with The Award for You HAVE to Join The Catholic Girls Basketball Team Because it COULD Get You in to the Private School Award (she is 5’6 and now in public school so obviously I was wrong)

Best Make Up Artist : For the time I made her scary for Halloween at the age of 9. She slept in my room the next week.

The Best Costume Award when You Let Your 9th Grader Dress like a Trampy German Beer Girl at the Local Neighborhood Halloween Party ( it was cuter on the package than in person…).

Set Decoration: Remember how much time, love and energy we put in those nurseries? Wait until they become teens. Get out the Hazmat suit, you’ll need it. You figure, oh hell, if she wants her room purple then she can paint it herself. She was in 10th grade. She can put on eyeliner in the dark but couldn’t keep the purple paint off the seams of the walls.

The Stunt Woman Award:

I tend to drive with my knees when I am fishing for my cell, eating a quarter pounder, drinking a Caramel Macchiato that is oozing over the edges of the cup, you know, important things. My teenager looks at me and seriously asks, Are they going to teach ME how to drive with my knees in Drivers’ Ed??

Help. Me.

How many of you with teenagers have won the following award????

The If I Can Ever Get Them Out of the House and Become Self Sufficient BY 18 I’m Going to Disney World Award

By the time they are 18 if you are still alive, not on drugs, and not locked up in the psych ward at local hospital, then you’ve done your job.

That’s your award. We all win it at some time or another.

We’ve raised our kids as best as we could and now they have wings. Some of those wings may be a little crooked, but hers are still intact. That’s what is important.

And when we become grandparents we can smile, nod, and say – get ready for the red carpet darling, you are going to need an acceptance speech, and a drink….

This is a blog hop on Midlife Boulevard! Enjoy the other writers too!

 

 

 

Pass the Perfume and Bring Me a Fan

hiherspotty
@flickr

This weekend I found out that I am getting to the age where going to the bathroom in a clean restroom is a right, not a privilege. You would think that since the porta potty was invented in 1962 by George Harding that it would have come a longer way in 60 plus years.

But it hasn’t.

Initially this device was invented for people who built and worked on ships-because finding a place to shit on a ship closer to the area you worked in was a necessity. Designed on the outhouse concept, ship workers were having to leave and walk all the way back to the docks to go drop the kids off at the pool. Made of wood and metal at first, they found that they were smelly.

OH REALLY???

So in the 1970’s they were made of fiberglass. They are still smelly. But on the flip side (ok, porta potty joke inserted here heh heh) they are lighter and easier to transport. And clean. The cleaning part is selective at events. Some do every day, some wait till the end.

Obviously where I was this weekend, they waited till the end.

Now I know us gals are for equal rights and all that but I am sorry, I just CAN’T go in a plastic crapper right after a 300 lb guy with tats, a Big Gulp and an ‘I’m with Stupid’ shirt on comes rambling out the door.

RattlesnakeWarning1
@Flickr

I. Just. Can’t.

At the end of the day, I’m still a delicate southern belle with (some) manners and a personal hygiene fetish. Showers are important to my mental and physical health. And so are clean hands.

And clean hienie.

astrodiaper
@Amazon

I consider it the lowest depths of hell to go in a plastic box with an open toilet in 86 degree heat to get some relief. I’d rather wear astronaut diapers to an event than go in one of those things again.

I participated in an antique festival this weekend and besides the slow sales, me and the girls all around me were laughing AND complaining about the relief stations. I swear, we would have paid a dollar a poop to go in an air-conditioned, clean women’s room if they had it. Because in reality the people who make the most money at these things are the guy selling the funnel cakes, corn dogs and water at two bucks a bottle. Which is why they need these things.

I’m sensing a business here. Can you see me, in a pink trailer with ladies rooms, air conditioning, working sinks, fans-at a dollar a drop? I’m going to call it The Princess Pooper and am going on Shark Tank for funding.

Don’t steal my idea. I know lawyers.

So please Festival people, concert promoters, party planners, and all, at least can you DESIGNATE the chick shitter???? Would it kill you? Could the Porta Potty makers make pink potties with fans for goodness sakes?

Just until I get my funding.

You’re invited to my launch party. Bring a fan.

FUN FACT: The world record for the most porta potties assembled at one time occurred in 2009. During the inauguration of President Barack Obama, 5,000 porta potties were rented for the attendees of the event.

Oh those crazy Democrats…

I only need 12 MORE LIKES on my Facebook page right up there to the right to get to 2000-LIKE Forever 51 and I promise to keep us both entertained.

10 Things To Not Do Yourself

It really makes me crazy when I am either shopping with someone or I am manning my booth at the antique market and someone says, “Oh, I can make that MYSELF!”

Yeah sugar, you just go ahead and try that whydontcha. . .

And BC can also be the WORST about saying this, especially when it comes to the yard.

poolboy1
A girl can dream…

In my wildest of dreams I have a pool boy, a landscaper, a gardener and a yard man. A whole slew of he-men trimming and making my Barbie Dream House Garden come true. In my hood, most people have yard services and for the first 16 years we lived here we consistently violated the covenants by doing our own yard. And BC grew up in a household where his weekly duty was cutting their 1 acre yard thick with St Augustine grass that he had to use the push mower on for years.

It gives him major acid flashbacks. So when he did ours, he always came in with the ‘itches’.

I’m allergic to this, I’m allergic to that. When I cut that bush down I broke out in hives. Wahhh Wahhh Wahhh.

Never mind the fact that he just had to have that $1500 mower to make our grass perfect. Oh, and that makes him cough and sneeze constantly too.

So about a year ago, I convinced him to give it up and hire a yard service.

Saved the marriage. And got the HOA off our pine straw-less backs.

So for all of you who have friends, or family members that always say, “I can do that cheaper myself,” I give you

10 Things To NOT Do Yourself:

1. Heart Transplant
2. Cremation
3. Root Canal
4. Septic Tank Cleaning
5. Defend Yourself in Court
6. Breast Augmentation
7. Asbestos Removal
8. Hair Plugs
9. Build Your Own Swimming Pool (I swear he ALMOST tried this)
10. Lasix Eye Surgery

Cremation Update - 375
You’re a hot piece of ash…

I love my yard guys, even if they are portly and muddy. Cheaper than marriage counseling.

My Secret Second Life – or Why I Still Have a Fanny Pack

f51potteryIn all of my spare time-since there is so much of that-I am a closet thrift store and Goodwill stalker. It’s an addiction that I probably will never give up. Because at least once a week I find an item that makes me want to take it, run up to the counter and pay for it so fast before the shop employees find out what it is. I mean, I get the nervous sweats when this happens. Better than sex I tell you!

This past week, I had not one, but THREE of those finds. The first was at Goodwill – I found a nearly brand new Longchamps backpack just hanging there on the rack for $4.95. It retails new over $100 and is a chic fave of college girls. THEN, I found a pair of pink and green Lilly Pulitzer capris for $3.95 at a thrift store. THEN, I found an all leather John Romain bag at this off the beaten path thrift store that I just decided to pull in to in a sketchy area for a dollar.

SCORE! Dooney (l)  Gucci (r) @me
SCORE! Dooney (l) Gucci (r) @me

Be still my heart.

For years I have antiqued and flea market shopped here in the southeast. There is no junk shop or thrift dive left uncovered in my little corner of the world.  My goal is to do a portion of the Longest Yard Sale this summer. And attend the Hollywood Bowl Flea this year. And Brimfield in Massachusetts, and Charlotte and Mt. Dora….that’s a lot of miles on the ol’ truck. I think I’m gonna need a bigger fanny pack.

I have an antique booth at The Green Bean Exchange here in Alpharetta, Georgia, and the monthly Lakewood 400 Antiques Market in Cumming. It’s more work than you can imagine but it is so much fun and the people are crazy, hilarious, fun, and very knowledgeable about their items.

Retro glasses, anyone?
Retro glasses, anyone?

I collect and sell mostly vintage tablecloths, transferware, old silver, some shabby chic pieces, vintage jewelry and vintage purses. I have been making tote bags out of vintage tablecloths I have collected over the years and also ones rescued from tablecloth purgatory with holes or stains on them. I have found the secret sauce that in 90% of the cases will get 50-year-old stains out of these things (a little original Dawn dish detergent, some peroxide and baking soda-make into paste and rub it on the stain) that I saw on Facebook. Don’t tell me Facebook is a waste of time…

My booth in Alpharetta
My booth in Alpharetta

This is the other part of the mermaid life many of y’all may not know about. Lots of people have secret second lives. I do carry around cash rolled up, I do try to keep this off the credit card, I arrange my errands to include antique malls and junk shops. I even arrange travel to include the passion. Mine happens to involve an affair with the past. And a Coach fanny pack.

Makes BC crazy until I bring him home something cool, like a vintage wood planer (yawn but gets his heart rate up), old cool tools, or in the case of a Goodwill score, a set of Leffe (that’s a Dutch beer he LOVES) beer glasses in mint condition for 5 bucks. It doesn’t take much people.

So, I bought a sewing machine at Goodwill this weekend. I am officially in my middle age crafting phase. God help me.

You can visit my Etsy Shop-The Happy Flea and see more items!happfleapic

Never Trust a Fart – and 21 Things You Need to Know at Midlife

  1. Get a bra fitting – be amazed and fascinated at what your true size is! Believe me, I thought I was in the 34’s until recently. Denial is a river in Egypt.playtex

2. Get a brow job and makeoverSephora is your new best friend. Or the Mac counter if you can take the music and the transgenders doing your lipstick. A gal at Sephora got ahold of me last week. I asked the innocent question-What is your BEST brow pencil? And I got a wonderful tutorial and an instant face lift. Do it, it’s worth it!

mebrows
3. QUIT with the high school hair-all I’m gonna say is if you still have the SAME hairdo as you did in your senior picture in 1978, get thee to a salon now! Farrah is (literally) dead. So is Annette Funicello – let’s get into 2014 and try something current.

RIP Farrah...oh and the sweater
RIP Farrah…oh and the sweater

4. Get a mammogram, colonoscopy, pap smear, stress test. It’s time. I don’t care if you just ran a half marathon or did hot yoga with the hot dude from town. Do it. Besides, a colonoscopy is a good 5 lbs gone and instant detox!

5. Moisturize-everything. Every day. Use the GOOD stuff, not the cheap Walmart stuff on your face at nite. Wear Sunscreen on your face. Let me tell you, I had a friend get a total facelift a couple of year ago, she looked like ET for a month, then a battered wife for the next and it still took a year for most of the scarring to heal and that surprised look to go away. I ain’t got that kinda time.
6. Exfoliate-this is the new mantra today-especially if you are hitting midlife. And let me tell you, you will be surprised at how well this works. I’ve been using Rodan and Fields exfoliate and AMP system and it has worked miracles. And no, I am not a rep. Also your body too-my calfs look like they belong in Gator World so I got that coconut palm oil sprayer thingie and do that in the shower. Works like a charm.

This stuff is the BEST
This stuff is the BEST

7. Pedicures-there is nothing worse than skanky toes in sandals. Please get a pedicure.

8. Carbs are not your friends-or rather, simple carbs are evil. Especially to me. And my teenager just got a job at a bagel place FTW. If its white, sugary and starchy you will end up with a muffin-which is what they are made of.

MuffinTop

9. Travel--go go go. Get a passport if you don’t have one. If anything you’ll feel kinda worldly. Take a girls trip. How cathartic are those??? I’m sorry but there is nothing better than sitting around a beach or mountain condo with your closest girlfriends drinking wine, laughing and telling stories. It’s that “Ok, so I’m not so crazy after all moment” that we all need once in a while

10. Keep toilet paper in your car at all times-trust me on this one…you just never know

11. Keep a journal

12. Get a decent camera-don’t rely on your smartphone to hold all your precious memories and porno shots. One drop in a toilet, or fall to a tile floor and all that could be gone, then you have to go to the phone store and have some basement nerd restore your pics. Woo hoo.  Back that baby up once a week at best. Get a nice digital camera-they now have wireless ones that you CAN post to Facebook, etc and still have that shot on a card you can download to your computer.

13. Try caviar – time to get adventurous with your food. Ok, I hate caviar but I love nigiri sushi-the really raw slab of fish (tuna especially) on hunk of rice. I also have found that quinoa, rice noodles, peppers and fried gator tail are pretty damn good. If you’ve made it this far without a major food issue, go for it. Still not sure about the chocolate crickets though.

14. Drink a Scotch – no carbs, no sugar and low cal. Also makes you more sophisticated, well maybe. Shots are so Carlos and Charlie’s in Cancun on a cheap cruise. Or Fireball Whiskey-oooh weeeeeeee

NOT a good idea...
NOT a good idea…

15. Get a car with heated seats-I will NEVER NEVER have a car again without heated seats. I don’t care how much the addition is, this one option is worth every penny. Especially if you are over 50

16. Fiber Fiber Fiber

17. Get a crock pot – you are busy and having a good time-makes cooking so easy

18. Buy anything with the word Astro in it – good advice from a wise sage in my family. I’ll leave it at that…
19.  Never trust a fart – especially during exercise. At this phase I have learned that if I am going to run, or downward dog, lactose is advised after exercising

20. Do exercise that you LIKE – so that means if you like to do the naked dance while doing laundry, its exercise in my book so go ahead with your bad self and pop a move-just make sure not to pop a hip.
And last but certainly not least (for this list anyway):

21. A Great Shoe and a Great Handbag don’t Judge…. You can be a size 14 or a size 6 and they will always be there for you to perk up your day. Don’t skimp and don’t wear Clarke’s on a date…

Oh HELL to The NO
Oh HELL to The NO

So, lucky for us, mom jeans are making a comeback, and MiracleSuits are on sale at Costco. Good luck my girlfriends-the ride is better HERE than anywhere!

 

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Networking and Scotch-It Works For Me!

balvenie-bottles

It’s nice to have friends in cool places. This is why I love networking-you never know who you are going to meet and how you can connect with each other to experience things you never thought possible.

Take for instance last year. I was tweeting with some other bloggers when I saw a call for bloggers to go to NYC to participate on a TV show. If you know me, I replied immediately to my soon to be new blogging BFF Julie Deneen of Julie Deneen 2.0 and Fabulous Blogging fame. The next thing I know I am at the CBS TV center in Manhattan at 7am waiting to participate as a tweeter/blogger for the Anderson Cooper Show!

We are BFF's now - Me and Deborah Norville at the former AC Show
We are BFF’s now – Me and Deborah Norville at the former AC Show

Last month I had the opportunity to review the new Jason Bateman movie, Bad Words, for Midlife Boulevard in Beverly Hills. I reached out to Leslie Marinelli of The Bearded Iris when I first started blogging 2 years ago (she lives near me, so I celebrity stalked her) and after a thorough background check she met me for lunch and we’ve become fast friends-she likes me even though none of my pets have prolapsed penises

This weekend, a good friend and up and coming Atlanta Designer Steve McKenzie and his wife Jill invited me to a blogger event at the American Craft Council’s craft show-it was a Scotch tasting with Balvenie Scotch. Steve is an artist and designer and he and Jill opened up a fabulous shop in town last year called Steve McKenzie’s. It is truly a treat with beautiful Grange furniture, accessories and table settings, Moleskine, pottery, china, Colsen Keane leather, and signature Steve McKenzie fabric. It’s becoming the hot new place to go for the Atlanta design trade and trend setting home owners.

http://stevemckenzies.com
GORGEOUS or WHAT???

I am not a food blogger, nor do I review much else but a few movies, books and restaurants. I am also a Cabernet girl so Scotch is not on my radar, even though it is always on BC’s. My last sip of Scotch was Johnny Walker Red in college on a date with a rich golfer frat boy to an ACC football game and it didn’t end well.

Johnny Walker Red – 1, Mary Anne – 0.

Suffice it to say it’s been 30 years since my last drink of Scotch (or Wild Turkey Bourbon–this Southern girl doesn’t do the hard stuff well).

But since I am adventurous, enjoy Jill, and got free admission to a craft show and free Scotch, I was game. It is, after all, networking

We went to a presentation by one of the reps from Balvenie Distillery in Scotland.  We tasted 4 flights of whisky (that’s without the E you see) from Scotch aged 12 years to one aged 21 years. And there IS a difference in taste and Scotch DOES have a bouquet and you DO stick your nose in the cute glass and sniff it. Just like boxed wine, uh huh.

scotch

And either my taste buds have matured, I’ve matured, or it was that those college memories have receded, but I really loved this Scotch. Of course, my favorite was the PortWood Balvenie aged 21 years in vintage port (the wine) pipes to the tune of around $250 a bottle.

I’m worth it.

My other favorite was the Caribbean Cask, aged 14 years in Caribbean rum casks-light and with fruit and vanilla overtones I thought that this was a great second place to the PortWood – and less expensive.

Oh, and Scotch doesn’t fill you up, has no added sugar, pairs well with dark chocolate and is totally Mad Men. One ounce of Scotch has 56 calories, zero carbs and zero sugar. And apparently men really dig a gal that orders a Scotch. I did my research and I can justify just about anything-it’s in my genes.

Thank you Jill and Steve – thank you Balvenie! See, networking IS important!

So guess what-I do enjoy a good Scotch. I guess I am heading in to Greta Garbo territory – “Gimme a whisky. Ginger Ale on the side. And don’t be stingy, baby.”

greta