Friday, May 29, 2009

Fashion Peeve #2: Glasses Are Ugly

In every makeover I've seen, the girl with glasses has to lose them to look beautiful. What-- glasses automatically make you look dumpy? You can't be beautiful and have bad eyesight? What does the poor girl do now without her glasses? Bump into things? Make other people drive her everywhere because she can't drive without glasses?

Yes-- I know. The obvious answer is to wear contacts instead. But what if that's just not feasible? Eyewear is expensive: My eyeglasses cost about $500, and I wear them for about five years. Yearly cost: $100. However, contacts will cost me about $20 a month, times twelve months, equals yearly cost of $240. More than double! And then you still have to buy a pair of regular glasses anyway, because you can't wear your contacts 24/7, so if I add that, we actually get a yearly cost of $340. Some people have to think about things like that. (Especially in families like ours, where out of six people, five of them wear glasses. That adds up.)

Then there's considerations like these: you work in a dusty atmosphere, like when I used to help Hubby with tree work. I definitely could not have worn contacts to shove branches in the chipper. Or LovelyDaughter's case where she tried valiantly to wear contacts, but her eyes refused. It took her twenty minutes to insert one contact and then her eyes watered and burned incessantly. She finally gave up and went back to glasses.

Another option, of course, is to have LASIK, or something similar, but once again, not always a realistic choice because of expense, health, or age.

So here's what I think: The makeover people should show beautiful women with glasses, but perhaps with better frames that show off the eyes and face better. Don't just ditch the glasses, give them a makeover too!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meditation for Pentecost 3

This is taken from "Word of God Everyday," which comes every day to my inbox.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
melt the frozen, warm the chill;
guide the steps that go astray.

~Pentecost Sequence

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DIY Makeover Quote #7

{supermodels} Linda and Naomi, or Shalom and Amber, might look perfectly slim and adorable in an old tablecloth cinched in with a clothesline, the rest of us have to choose our outfits a little more carefully."

~from Does This Make Me Look Fat?: The Definitive Rules for Dressing Thin for Every Height, Size, and Shape, by Leah Feldon

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Time to Plant

We planted our garden Saturday!

Some of it was already in, like the spinach, peas, lettuce and onions. And the broccoli. And some of the tomatoes. But we got the rest of it in Saturday: peppers, okra, beets, carrots, beans, zucchini, summer squash, watermelon, cucumbers, more tomatoes... and one garlic plant.

As we were planting the sky clouded up, the breeze cooled down, and about the time we were done it started raining. Which I think is a best case scenario, because then we didn't have to water the garden, God did it for us.

And then we celebrated by going out to Pizza Hut. Great day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meditation for Pentecost 2

I'm not doing real well at remembering to use the Novena to the Holy Spirit this week. When I do remember, I end up adapting the prayers, because they are after all Catholic prayers, and sometimes my Protestant sensibilities object. But there is one line I really like. It's from the prayer called "Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit":

Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations.

I can pray that without hesitation.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meditation for Pentecost

from Saint Padre Pio:

The spirit of God is a spirit of peace. Even in the most serious faults He makes us feel a sorrow that is tranquil, humble, and confident and this is precisely because of His mercy.

The spirit of the devil, instead, excites, exasperates, and make us feel, in that very sorrow, anger against ourselves, whereas we should, on the contrary, be charitable with ourselves first and foremost.

Therefore, if any thought agitates you, this agitation never comes from God, who gives you peace, being the Spirit of Peace, but from the devil.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

DIY Makeover Quote #7

Glamour, n. (also, glamor) 1) the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain things or people seem appealing or special. 2) beauty or charm that is sexually attractive.


*Age. A woman needs to be at least thirty before she can achieve glamour, and even that is a stretch. With age comes confidence and the ability to be comfortable in one's own skin, as the French say. It takes a few decades for a woman to make friends with her idiosyncrasies. (I refuse to call them flaws.) That confidence is utterly essential for a woman to be truly captivating. She has developed a personal style. She knows what haircut flatters her bone structure, what fragrance suits her own natural scent. She has made a study of herself and understands the importance of her walk and her voice. She has an entire arsenal of weapons at her disposal, and wields them all with grace and enthusiasm.

*Self-awareness. A glamorous woman is aware of the effect she has, and she uses it quite deliberately. Glamour is never an accident. It is purposefully reaching out to draw others into the warmth of your charmed circle. A glamorous woman knows precisely how to make you feel comfortable and is genuinely interested in enjoying your company. She understands that when she smiles at you, she can leave you dazzled. She loves to turn on her full charm and watch you fall under her spell--a glamoury is an enchantment, remember. She knows that she is not always the most beautiful woman in the room, but she is always the woman who has put the most thought into herself and into you. She knows that simply by holding herself like a beautiful woman, by walking like a beautiful woman, by using a beautiful woman's gestures, she will be perceived as beautiful. And since glamour is an illusory quality, isn't that all that matters?

--Deanna Raybourn

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick Takes Friday--May 22


Do I have sore muscles today! I've been a lot more physically active this week than I've been for a while, and every muscle is protesting. But I'm not going to let that stop me! Also, new discovery: Opening and closing an enormous sliding door (like, 12 feet wide by 15 feet tall) is a great abdominal exercise. So I've decided to use our cute Z3, which resides behind that huge door, as often as possible.


Yesterday LovelyDaughter and I were out running a couple of errands for JD's grandma, who has severe rheumatoid arthritis. One of the things she wanted done was to find a solution for a situation involving her new adjustable bed. It has a remote control that lets you raise or lower the head or foot, and she wanted a way to keep the remote close to her for use in the middle of the night. The problem was, she has very little range of movement, so the normal solutions, like putting the remote on a beside table, or in a mattress pocket, were out of question. Also out of the question was anything involving snaps, zippers, velcro, buttons, or elastic. And we really didn't think sewing pockets on all her jammies was a good long term choice.

After putting our heads together, LovelyDaughter and I came up with what we thought was a brilliant solution: we took out one of the screws on the back of the remote and replaced it with a screw that has an "eye" on it. Then we bought a small purse with a removable wrist strap and attached the strap to the eye. It was perfect! We are really proud of ourselves.


As I said, LovelyDaughter and I were out yesterday, and once or twice I caught sight of myself in a mall window. I was wearing a flouncy skirt with a sleeveless top and flat comfy sandals. I thought the look was cute-- until I saw myself in the window. My first thought was "comfy old lady." Darn! I wanted my thought to be "stylish woman." I'm little discouraged about my makeover at this point....


I've been basically home alone this week, since the guys have taken their lunches with them every day, and GuitarGeek is off helping with a benefit concert in Minnesota. It's amazing how much I can get done when I don't have to make a big meal in the middle of the day.


Big news: I've started drinking coffee!

We discovered a place online called "Coffee Fool." Their coffee is supposed to be really fresh and less bitter, and once you've tried it you never go back, so they say. So we ordered three kinds of coffee beans, to go with the coffee mill Hubby just bought off Ebay. One of them is called "Smooth Sailing," and is supposed to be reduced acid. I tried it, and I can actually drink about half a cup of coffee, as opposed to the two tablespoon maximum I normally drink. Usually coffee sets my stomach on edge, but not this one, so now I know. Avoid the acid, and I can be a big girl.


I'm going to be using this for the next nine days as my daily prayers. What better way to prepare for Pentecost than to pray for the Holy Spirit's work in our lives? (Thanks, Jen, for the link.)

This article from Zen Habits has some interesting ideas (55 ideas, actually) about energizing your life. I'm particularly struck by #14: Drink lots of water. I know I have a tendency to get easily dehydrated. Drinking more water would be an easy way to perk up!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's Spring!

This morning I woke up early-- 5:42 by the clock-- to the sound of a guinea outside our window.




(And so on and so forth.)

And we don't even HAVE guineas this year. I think it was a renegade from Hubby's folks' place over yonder. At any rate, there was no sleeping with that alarm going off, so I got up and tried to herd it back toward home.

That done, I noticed that everything outside this morning was AWAKE! The birds were singing! The breeze was blowing! The bushes and trees and flowers are blooming! The sun was coming up! It's morning! It's SPRING!

I almost wasn't able to go back to bed.

But with a heroic effort, I managed.

Later, at a more sane hour, I did get up, and I packed lunches for the guys, and sent them all off to slay the dragon. I had an extra sandwich, so I ate that for breakfast, and I tell you what-- I think I should do that any morning I expect to do a lot. I think a sandwich does me better than cereal and toast.

I've got the garden weeded, the part of it we have planted, and I have a load of laundry on the line, and another in the washer, and I'm ready now to plant the tomatoes and peppers. If I have time and/or energy I want to weed the flower beds.

On the other hand, LovelyDaughter just called, and we may zip out (after I've planed the tomatoes) and take a little errand trip and buy cat food, and flowers to plant in my planters. I guess I can't do everything in one day-- but sometimes I'd sure like to try!

Speaking of getting laundry done, BIG NEWS: we got a new washing machine Saturday! I'm so thrilled. Our former machine was a Maytag Neptune-- you know, the one that (as the sales gal told us) celebrates its second anniversary with a $200 motherboard replacement. Yep. That happened to us. About ten days before the warranty expired. And not long after that, the other control board went out, but we jimmy-rigged it so we wouldn't have to lay out $300. And now another part blew and the thing groans like a jungle animal either on the prowl or in pain, and the diagnosis was that a new machine was in order.

This time, we bought a Bosch, just like our dishwasher. We've been very happy with the dishwasher over the past three years, so we figured that would be the way to go for the clothes washer. It's a front loader, works great, it's quiet, we love it!

Completely opposite of the guinea under our window...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Looky! More blogs to read!

I've been following quite a few blogs recently that have to do with fashion and style, and I decided it was time to share them with you. So if you look over to the right in my side bar, you'll see a brand new list. Some of the blogs give advice; some show photos of "what I wore today." They are all interesting to me, at least for now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunday Jaunt

I think we've been hanging around our friend Swede too long. Why? We're starting to do crazy things like what we did Sunday for Mother's Day.

We drove four and some hours to Kansas City, and then turned around and came right back.

Well. Not right back. We hung around for about four hours first.

What did we do?

We packed up a picnic-- which included what I thought was a great inspiration: hot sloppy joe meat in a thermos bottle-- and met my family at Wyandotte County Lake for a picnic. My mom and dad and brother and nieces were there and it was a very nice, mild day: cloudy with a very light breeze, and it was the perfect temp for a jacket.

After we ate, we drove closer to the lake and fed a little bread to the geese. And then spent some time near the playground equipment for the girls.

And then my dad was tired, and my brother needed to go, so we took off. Hubby and I had vague notions of visiting some other people in the city, but decided instead to just head on home. We never even saw the city itself, since we drove straight to and from the lake, which was sort of cool. Even though I grew up in KC I think I've always been a country girl at heart, so it doesn't hurt my feelings at all to not have to drive around in a big city!

When we got home, Hubby gave me the best Mother's Day gift ever: an all-over body massage. It was a good day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What I'm Wearing Today

Hubby loves how I look today, so I'm going to try to share the look with you. Here's a pic, taken with Photo Booth, meaning, I stood my laptop on its side on the picnic table....

blue plaid tank: Goodwill, probably a couple bucks (it was a long time ago)

gray tank: Shade, $11

crop jeans: hand-me-downs

pink sash: recycled from a skirt I cut off and hemmed

gray and black flats: Pamida, $15

stud earrings: Walmart, about fifty cents

silver bangle watch: Pamida, $15 (bought way back before they went on clearance!)

shoelace hair band: ?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cute stuff!

It's a bee-yoo-tiful day here today, and I've got the urge (finally!) to get a bunch of stuff done. But I just have to take a minute to tell you about my eensy weensy shopping excursion yesterday. I stole an hour from my grocery expedition in order to do it-- and you have never SEEN the power shopping I did at the grocery store to make up for it!

For a few weeks now I have been unsuccessfully looking for a pair of cute flats, and look what I found yesterday:

They're not as dressy as I was originally looking for, and they're not red, but they fit, and they're cute, and actually, now that I've had them home, I find they will be an EXCELLENT addition to my wardrobe. So I'm really excited about that, and I'm thanking God for them, because, believe it or not, I know He led me to those.

Also, I found these:

Bracelet watches! I have one in silver, and I had decided that I would like one in red, and maybe brown. It would be a practical way to accessorize, because I like stuff to be practical as well as pretty. So I saw these recently, but I couldn't justify $15 apiece; but then yesterday I decided to just go for it, because, well, because I had talked myself into it.

But when I got there, I discovered they were all on CLEARANCE for $10 apiece, so very very COOL.

And then I found a pair of khaki slacks (sorry, no pic) that actually FIT, so even though they were still $20 on the clearance rack I went ahead and bought them. And I came home a laid out the cutest outfit-- khaki slacks, red embroidered sleeveless top, red cardigan, tan ankle strap sandals, and red bangle watch. I tried it all on for Hubby and he said I looked very dressy; and I think I looked stylish. I have a new outfit for Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

DIY Makeover Quote of the Day #6

This morning as I lay in bed awake (oh the joy), I came up with my own fashion quote. It goes like this:

Being stylish is like eating chocolate: not strictly necessary, but oh so fun, and you feel better.

How's that?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fashion Peeve #1: Flats that don't fit

I have been trying to find a cute pair of flats, preferably in red, to spruce up my casual outfits. You know, something comfortable but still stylish. But no luck.

Beside the fact that despite the fashion pix everywhere red shoes are not that easy to find, there is the problem of fit. Every single pair of flats I have tried on-- and I have tried on many in many colors-- is too tight in the toes, while falling off at the heel. It reminds me of some types of dress pants and shorts that feel backwards no matter which way you wear them. Who has feet shaped that way? --with narrow toes and fat heels?

I've decided that the very definition of "flats" precludes the idea of them fitting me. This style is designed to be very flat and narrow, with very little toe box. (Oh, so that's why they're called "FLATS.") But me, I have a very large big toe that needs room. I also have a foot that's shaped more like a triangle: pointed at the heel, and wide at the other end.

So at this point, cute flats are OUT, unless I go after the more athletic-styled flats, though I was hoping for something a little more, oh, sophisticated. Rats.