Another reason being sixty-five is great

Being old is terrific because I no longer care what anyone thinks. Sometimes I go entire days...(drum-roll please) WITHOUT WEARING MAKEUP!  

Red heads have no natural color. Well….I guess we do. White on white. No color in our eyebrows.  No color in our lashes.  Our only visible hues are freckles and the hair on our heads.  If we didn’t have freckles and hair we wouldn’t be visible in a snowstorm.

I started wearing make-up in 10th grade.  I carried my cosmetics in a small, square, white case. It had a handle on top and a mirror in the lid.  I would sit at the kitchen table, morning light streaming in the back windows, and apply my eyes.  When I finished Mother would often say, “Now you should sign your chin.”

My high school boyfriend once asked, “Why bother wearing makeup?  You don’t need it at all”  The following date I met him at the door, bare-faced and smiling.  He took one long look and stated, “I was wrong.  You need make-up.” (have I mentioned he was a terrible first boyfriend?)

My sweet husband tells me all the time I’m pretty without it.  He’s lying and I love him for it.  I am sixty-five.  Even on my best day, wearing professionally applied war-paint, I’m passable at best.  At sixty-five passable is just fine.

Now that I’m old I sometimes skip putting on a face! That saves 10 minutes of my life for other stuff….like sitting on my ass and reading. Or coloring. Coloring is a delicious pastime.

If I added up all the time spent smearing on a face I’d have decades. I’d likely also have no husband.
Guys tend to like women with visible faces. However, once they are nabbed one can let themselves go!  Yay for being old.

Hey you people, start reading my blog. I know you’re out there.

As a reward for “following” me, perhaps I’ll post a photo of me without makeup! (NOT!)

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This is my drawer full of war paint.
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The oceans of brushes I have for applying war paint.  I probably only use about three, but they are old friends.  I give them a shampoo bath about once a month and they repay the favor by manifesting a face on my head (almost) every day.

 

I used to ask, “Why me?” Now I say, “Why NOT me!”

Positive thinking can manifest whatever we desire.  My entire beautiful life was created by dreaming it up.  The manifestation of this life began after I ended my first marriage.

I was floundering with fear.  My lovely niece, Katie, sent me a small book, “The Prayer of Jabez.”   It’s a short little prayer.  Short was good.   My brain was so fried I couldn’t focus on much.

The prayer is composed of four parts. First, Jabez asks God to bless him. Second, he asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Third, he prays that God will be with him and stay close. Lastly, Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain.  In my prayer I changed that last bit to, “Let me cause no pain”– a largely impossible feat when breaking up a family.

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That first summer I walked miles, praying the prayer like a mantra.  Amazingly doors simply flew open.

Probably the most astonishing door was the one leading to product design.  NOTHING in my background would indicate I had the ability to design three-dimensional product, made in China, sold at Costco.

But a wonderful neighbor, Cynthia Voetsch, saw my struggle.  She owned a business that did exactly that–designed and manufactured lawn and garden items, as well as furniture–all of which was sold at Costco not only in USA, but England, Mexico, and Canada.  Cynthia  hired me on monthly retainer.  Here is one of the first products I ever designed in collaboration with my later partner, Mary Beth Vieha.

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This is Sarah.  She is a resin sculpture/bird-bath.  When we first bought our copy she was nice and clean. I lined her bowl with ice, topped the ice with lettuce and she served shrimp cocktail.    Now she stands in our front yard.                                                                                    Yes, that is a chain around her ankle.  We don’t want her to run away from home.

I even got to have my picture on the box!  You bet I’ve saved that giant piece of cardboard.  Co-worker Mary Beth touched up my make-up.
Another, Terry Pfister, dragged me outside to stand in front of a tree and shot several pictures.  This is the one that made the cut.

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Many of  my friends and neighbors bought Sarah.   Judy Nolan sends me photos of her Twin Lakes, Wisconsin Sarah every season.  Sarah has acres of lush flowers and foliage at her feet.

Costco sold a ton of those Sarah’s.   In fact, last summer while visiting Chicago, I ran into a Sarah in Roscoe Village.  I felt fancy.

So, take it from me, positive thinking can change your world.  Now I’m off to meditate.  Will put a post-it note on my chest saying, “Meditating not sleeping.  DO NOT HURL THE POOL BALL.”  Life is excellent.

I’m deaf, and this is good because…..

Jen Sincero writes that we need to think positive thoughts in order to manifest all great things in our world. If there is something negative in your life, you tack on the words, “….and this is good because.”

Tried it with my husband, Jim. His was, “I’m bald. And this is good because I don’t have to comb my hair.”

I’m deaf. I’ve been deaf for about 15 years. Lost my hearing when I had pneumonia.

Being deaf is good because…..

Loud noises don’t wake me up at night.
When I read I simply take out my hearing aids and instant quiet.
I get attention by saying, “I’m hearing impaired.”
I’m learning to lip read.

Try this little exercise! Last night I talked to a great friend who has very little money. She tried it. She said, “Being poor is good because I don’t have to worry about fluctuations in the stock market.”

Keeping the positive vibrations flowing. So, all of you, go forth and prosper. Have a beautiful positive day. Hooray for today. Is anyone reading this? Maybe not many, but eventually the multitudes will discover my blog and yay yay hip hip hooray I’ll be rich and famous and tall with long legs.

jen sincero    Go buy her book!  So great!

High School Reunions

I recently got this letter in the mail from a fellow Newark High School graduate Chuck Cover.  Seems I sent it to him about fifteen years ago, prior to a reunion.  I tried to trick him into thinking me fit and fancy.

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I’ve been to several NHS reunions, but two  stand out clearly in my mind.

My favorite reunion prank was played with a writer friend, Jane Guill, author of Simon and Schuster’s Nectar From a Stone.   Jane and I made up a fancy classmate, named her “Deweybrat” and spun an exotic world trotting lifestyle for her. Weekly we would meet for breakfast. Jane would dictate tales about  beautiful Deweybrat, owner of a lingerie factory.  Dewey traveled the world marketing her products.  She also had a gorgeous hunk handsome man in her life.  Jane based him on her hunk handsome Welsh husband, Andy.

I  asked family members and friends if they had any exotic trips coming up.  Jane wove the locations into our letters. My friends then posted mail from all over the world!   I have no idea how many we sent, but the prank went on for the better part of a year.  I even paid for a ticket for me,  as Alice, and for Dewey, anonymously.

It was a gas, and we had the reunion committee racking their collective heads to figure out who Deweybrat was.  There was some finger-pointing, but I denied any knowledge.

Deweybrat, being fictional, was unable to attend.  Jane invented a fire in Dewey’s garter belt factory.   Emergency!  Deweybrat couldn’t attend!  I then sent the committee a last-minute Western Union telegram voicing Dewey’s regrets.  Boo Hoo.

I specifically asked Western Union if point of origin would show  up on the telegram.  I was assured not.   WRONG.  My cover got blown on the afternoon of the reunion.   That evening the committee presented me, aka Deweybrat,  a white feather boa.  It was very Deweybrat-ish,  but a  disappointment after nearly a year of crafting letters and sending them from afar.

My second favorite reunion was my ex-husbands.  I wore the name tag of some woman who failed to show up.  All evening people were talking to me about how I’d changed,  Pretty funny.  There were amazing and amusing stories I learned about my fake me.  Fibbing has its advantages.

 Nectar From a Stone by Jane Guill

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At sixty-five I forgot how to make my formerly fantastic Toll House Cookies. What’s happening to me?

I really messed up my last batch of chocolate chip cookies. This was SO wrong. Once upon a time I had amazing cookie baking tricks and a reputation to maintain. After a while baking chocolate chippers was like riding a bike. I knew how to do it and they were always awesome…

Until they weren’t.

On March first I made our neighbor, Brian, a batch of my Toll House cookies for his twentieth birthday. I’ve made them for him regularly and successfully in the nearly four years we’ve lived here.

But on March first something went horribly wrong. The cookies ran together in a big mushy mess. I managed to scrape them onto cooling racks, whereupon the middles dripped through the wires to the counter below. They were a dismal embarrassing failure.

I blamed it on humidity. I blamed it on the oven, the ingredients, the alignment of the stars. I blamed it on everything but human error. (ie myself)

I should have started over. Instead I chose to go with, “Well, it’s the thought that counts!” When I was able to kinda’ sorta’ move from racks to platter I displayed the least unfortunate ones on top. Brian ate them without complaint but Brian is twenty. Twenty year old boys eat everything without complaint.

Meanwhile my daughter Mo–the cookie baking hot-shot show off–keeps posting Instagram photos of her baking products. Snickerdoodles, Toll House, Oatmeal Raisin, chocolate ones with sinfully delicious looking chunks. This pictures shows perfectly browned, uniform French-bakery-shop-worthy beauties.

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Her latest miraculous cookies.  She likes to taunt me by sending these pictures.  It’s a good thing I love her.

How is this possible? I’m the cookie person in this family, dammit.

Finally I broke down and confessed I had lost the touch. I asked Mo for advice.

“Are you using a cookie scoop, Mom?” …..huh?

“What about silpat matts?”….and those are? My deaf ears translated that as “thilfad”, then “willgab”. She finally spelled it out “Stephen, Igloo, Lady, Patio, Alice, Too bad/so sad/can’t hear.”

“Do you have half sheets?”  This one I actually knew about from Ina Garten.

“Furthermore it’s best to weigh ingredients rather than measure by cups–flour settles. A cup isn’t always a cup. Oh by the way the best temperature is generally 350 degrees other than for chocolate chip, which I bake at 360.” ….again, huh?  I thought 375 degrees for chocolate chip cookies was a hard and fast rule.

All in all I figured out I really don’t know squat about cookie baking.
Immediately went to Amazon–bought the aforementioned scoop and silpat mats.

Today I decided to dive back into the cookie dough. I didn’t have ingredients for chocolate chips, plus I was still too cowed by my recent failure.

I made peanut butter cookies instead. I even snuck in some of Jim’s closely guarded Dove Dark Chocolate mini candies. The results? Not bad. Not as gorgeous as Mo’s though. Guess my next purchase is a scale for weighing the flour I can’t eat. Celiac Sprue, no gluten allowed….which is a good thing because I shouldn’t be eating cookies anyhow.

Check out these yummy confections. Yay me! No they aren’t as uniform as Mo’s, but I’m just a beginner.

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