Impatient for Spring

They say spring has arrived, however someone forgot to tell winter it can now leave. I don’t know about you ladies but this time of year gets me down. I write this as snow falls, it is depressing. I am sooo over winter. My winter coat is starting to weigh me down and my boots to feel like cement blocks. I am impatient for spring and everything it promises. I long for a light jacket or bear arms and sandles. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my body and not just my face which is the only thing that has been exposed for the past four months. I am ready to trade in my beloved cashmere for crisp linens and cottons. I am impatient for the long warm evenings out on the deck with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and a good book or friend. The smell of barbecues and freshly mowed lawns. To see green grass and budding gardens and flowers pots spilling over in bloom. I long for the tulips, daffodils, and the flowering trees with their heady scents, and the first roses. To hear song birds and watch them splash about in the bird bath or searching for worms after a rain shower. Am I starting to sound desperate enough? Will spring please hear me and come.

Change: 

I have never been one for change, just keep me on an even keel, don’t rock the boat,  but finally it is time for a change. After twenty some years in the same place I have decided to move from a house I thought I would hate to leave. I guess it was the first place I felt that was really home and connection with family.  Although it has a lot of history and good memories I have decided it is time to move on. Finally let go of the past and have a fresh start. It is a lot of work moving and letting go of the past. I am down sizing and so purging. Something I thought would be hard to do but is surprisingly easy. I have gone through possessions I have not looked at in years and have been saying to myself why do I have this? For example I came across my grade six report card.??? It must have been among my mother’s things that I inherited from my sister. She kept everything. No sentimentality here so out it went. In the end I was brutal at purging and it felt good. The most exciting thing about moving is the planing. Putting a new place together, buying new stuff, repurposing some of the old, having a vision and then seeing it come together. I have a great group of friends who have helped in buying furniture and putting it together. My new apartment I have decided is going to have a very European look to it. I am going by their example of living in small spaces and I am trying to showcase the things I have bought on my travels.  There are two weeks to go to moving date, and I am looking forward to it as an new adventure. Now if we could only pick up my new place an set it down in Paris or one of those beautiful little hill top towns in Tusccany, that would bee a real adventure.

Bra Shopping

Hello ladies.  As women of a certain age we all know that as we age our bodies change and so does our bra size. You all know, that like most women I enjoy shopping, but I HATE shopping for a bra. It’s like going to the dentist. I know you cannot avoid it forever so I set aside an afternoon for the dreaded search for a new bra. I started with my usual lingerie store, but they did not have what I wanted in the right colour or right size. Size??? I have been measured and told what my bra size should be, but I don’t buy into that. All bra brands are different and so are their sizes. If one bra size were true, shopping for one would be a breeze. You would just pick out what you like and buy it in your size and never have to try it on. It is never that simple. I avoided all sales girls because they just want to know what size I take and the bring a lot of bras that do not fit, then they want to measure you again. The frustrating thing was all the bras I really liked did not start in my “size” to begin with, so I started trying on bras in three different sizes.  Three hours later, five different stores, and trying on at least thirty bras, (in three sizes) I finally find one that fits. Yeh!!!!! Not exactly what I liked but by now I just want to go home and I am in need of a good stiff drink. Who invented the bra anyway? I know it was a man, and probably a distant relative of the sadist who invented the mammogram.

Anticipation:

Soon I will be on vacation and I am going on a trip. Anticipation builds as I count down my final days. I have been booked for a year which seemed like a life time . I have my tickets now, my to get list is finished, only a few to do things to be checked off, and I am partially packed. I have had more conversations with my travel roommate in the last two weeks than in the last year. We have talked about what clothes to take, how much money to set aside for tipping, a restaurant we may try, and what to shop for. I look forward to the places I will see, the people I will meet, and the photos I will take.  Have I mentioned yet that I love travelling? I only wish I could do it more often, however that means time and money. I have often wondered what it would be like to have the means to travel whenever one wanted and for as long as one wanted. Ah the jet setter life. To be pampered in the best of hotels or rent a villa for the more homey touch. Alas my reality is only pretending to jet set for two and a half weeks every other year. I plan to make the most of it.

My New Hobby

After my last post it is time to lighten up again.

I have found a fun new hobby.  Traveling on the bus each day I sometimes get bored if I have nothing to read, so I now do makeovers on people.  Not just women of a certain age but of all ages. My first makeover was a doozy. She was a young woman in her early twenties who I assume does not like to shop and does not own a mirror. I will start from the bottom up. She wore boots that looked like brown paper bags with fur trim, grey sweatpants that were at least two sizes too big, and a ski jacket in a red, black, and white abstract check design. Hopefully it was warm as that would be the only good thing about it. Then there was the hat. This was the most atrocious looking excuse for a hat.  It was a knitted hat in a rainbow of pink, mauve , and turquoise, (went really good with the coat) with a pom pom on top and two more on ties under the chin, and ear flaps. Really, is she four? Is she going tobogganing? No self respecting woman should wear such a hat. No self respecting four year old would either. I knew this makeover would be rewarding if only for my benefit. I could see the potential as this was an attractive girl with flawless skin, pretty eyes, and perfectly shaped brows. I can only guess at hair colour as it was completely hidden under that hideous hat. So from the bottom up again. I visualized her in knee length leather boots, skinny jeans or leggings with a tunic style top, a knee length black down coat, the new slim line kind belted at the waist,  and since she obviously likes colour, a close fitting hat and matching scarf in perhaps a bright red. Cashmere of course. To top it off a cross body bag or tote depending on how much stuff she had crammed into her backpack. I would nix the dark framed glasses, play up the eyes with a little colour and lastly a natural looking lip gloss. Now she was a girl ready to be noticed in a positive way. Too bad it was all in my  mind. I think I may try this new hobby on an unsuspecting male next time. So many subjects so little time. Tell me about your secret hobbies.

The Wave

When my sister died, a friend sent me a poem entitled The Wave. It tells how even long after a loved one is gone, grief will sometimes comes and hit us like a wave. It can be triggered suddenly by a memory, a song, or a spoken word. I have experienced many waves over the years and this week brought another with the death of yet another friend who died too young from cancer.  How I have grown to hate that word. I cannot wait till the day that word is forever eradicated from our vocabulary. Too many have gone and each time it gets harder. Each time it brings back to mind all the faces of the past and how much you miss them. Although I did not get a chance to say goodbye this time, that is the hardest part. What to say, not falling apart in front of them, and seeing them at their worst, not in a way you want to remember them by. Death truly is an enemy. This is dedicated to all our loved ones who are gone.

The joy of doing nothing.

  1. We all need a day now and again when we can kick back and do nothing. A day to rejuvenate the mind and body. No alarm clocks, no agenda, cell turned off, just time to do whatever you fancy. Yesterday was that day. It was glorious. I slept in and actually felt rested. Brought my coffee back to bed and got caught up on some reading. Made some pancakes, put a little brandy in my second cup of coffee and read some more. I listened to music, bought a few DVDs on line, and settled down in the afternoon to watch a delightful movie, Dear Franky. A Scottish film staring Gerard Butler. YUM. I know, he is not quite the Cary Grant type I mentioned in my last blog, but face it girls, we all like a bad boy once in a while. Then I did something that I have never done on December 25 before. I barbecued. What a day. The air was warm , there was the smell of a wood burning fireplace mixed in with my cooking, Morrocan chicken, potatoes and onions, and carrot drizzled with honey. YUM. (a different kind). To top it off I found they were showing my favourite western on TV. Rio Bravo. Best line “Sorry don’t get it done Dude.”Next best line “Take it out, put it away, nobody ever asked me if I needed a drink, I could use a drink.” This movie always cracks me up. John Wayne actually made three versions of it under three different titles. All in all it was a very satisfying and relaxing day. Hope all you ladies had a great day too. Tell me about it.

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Men

You know the old saying. “You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.” My question is where are all the Cary Grants in this world? You know the charming, suave, men with manners who open doors for you or offer you a seat if you are standing. Do they still exist? Has women’s liberation chased them all away making them think we don’t want common courtesy anymore? I don’t know about you but I still appreciate it. It seems for some men, holding a door open means going through it first themselves and then holding it only long enough that it does not slam in the next persons face. I ride the bus, and I have noticed that men seated will avoid eye contact. They bury their heads in the news paper, stare at their phones, or even their shoes in order to avoid feeling obligated to offer you a seat. Middle aged men seem to be the worst, unless you are a tall leggy blonde. To be fair there are some very well mannered young men out there who have been taught well by their mothers. I had one open the door for me the other day and he even said hello with a smile. I almost said thank you Cary. So mothers and grandmothers teach your sons well. We could all use some more Cary Grants in this world.

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Shopping is a bore.

This may sound like a contradiction to the title, but I love to shop. I don’t know many women who do not like to shop even if it is only window shopping. I like to shop for clothes, shoes, purses, and jewellery. That being said I am afraid I find shopping for clothing in particular a bore in this city. (Sorry Ottawa) I find it a challenge to find appropriate, stylish clothing for the women of a certain age. Most stores I find cater to the teens or at best 30 and under. Everything is fitted and short at both ends. Then there are the stores that cater to the little old lady look that unfortunately I see way to many women wearing. Remember I mentioned before, the elastic waist bands, and frumpy shapeless tops. Yes there are stores that sell stylish age appropriate clothing, but they can be pricey, and there are not enough of them. I always have to spy out things and wait for a good sale hoping my size is still available. I also need a petite size in most things and there are not a lot of options there either. The other down side of this limited shopping choice is you stand a good chance of seeing someone else wearing the same thing. I have gotten to the point of saying to myself “she has good taste, or good minds think alike,” when I see something I own walk by. The internet is an option, but a tricky one in my eyes as I still like to see, touch, and try on in person the things I want to wear. There is no fun in just clicking.  Now the only time I really look forward to shopping for clothes is when I go on vacation. I love shopping in New York and especially Europe. I know there I can find things that are different and that I won’t see here. However that happens only every other year and it means really having to save for it. If anyone knows a good place to shop locally for women of a certain age and doesn’t mind sharing, put it in the comment box. Meanwhile shopping for me is a snooze.

Obsession

Hello ladies. I recently saw a television commercial that encourages women of all ages to stop obsessing  about the parts of their bodies they hate and instead embrace them and own their looks. I say BRAVO. For so long television and magazine adds have been promoting women to fit a certain look which  is not realistic. We cannot all look like models and even models age. For us women of a certain age it makes us chase after our youth with disappointment. We all know that after a certain age things tend to go south of the border and it is harder to lose weight and tone up, but that is life so why make ourselves miserable if we can’t lose that last few pounds or we have a bit of a tummy. Remember that is what shapeweare is for. We should exercise and eat healthy and want to look the best we can, but we need to stop the obsessing because life is too short. This also applies to those anti wrinkle cream commercials where the women featured are only twenty something to begin with. The printed adds feature actresses who may be over forty but are air brushed up the wazoo. Have you seen the adds with Jane Fonda? I am sorry nobody at that age looks that good in REAL life. No mater how expensive the cream or what the add promises you cannot erase that much time. Save your money girls . ( have you not noticed that creams promoted for older women are always more expensive?)  Yes we must moisturize and drink lots of water, get enough sleep, stay out of the sun, and eat healthy, but stop obsessing . So embrace the life and body you have now and own it.

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