This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

5 for Friday...on Saturday: Beauty tips! (Really?)

Good Saturday to you all!

Now I know the first thing you think of when you think of me is beauty.

Wait, check that.

There are a lot of words people associate with me.  Fluffy, fat, funny, grumpy, lazy, odd, loud, mopey, sweet, gullible, and the list goes on. BUT the ONE word I doubt anyone thinks of pertaining to me is beauty.

That's fine.  I don't flatter myself. I'm not a great beauty.  (I can't even pull that "but I'm beautiful on the inside" silliness because I'm not always beautiful on the inside either. No one is. I'll bet even Mother Theresa had her grumpy blue mopey days when she just wanted to curl up on a couch and be left alone.)  But I have been told I have decent skin on my face.  And, since I'm "a woman of a certain age" I figured I might as well share my regimen.  Can't be any worse than an infomercial done by a celebrity, right?  At least you all know that I haven't had work done and that I actually USE the products I endorse!  (Yes every celebrity person who touts skin care products, I'm pointing at you!)

So here we go with my five top beauty things.  Some will save you money, some will cost you money, but they all work for me.

5)  Baby oil

Good old fashioned baby oil works better than any of those nationally advertised moisturizing shower
gels.  And, it's about $6 a bottle cheaper.  It's the best thing I've found to battle crepe skin.  (If you have it, you know what it is, if you don't, well, just wait, you'll get it, and then you, too, will feel like some sort of Halloween exhibit.)  

How to use it:  I typically shower at night.  (Gives me that extra fifteen minutes of sleep in the morning.  So after showering and before you dry off, liberally apply baby oil everywhere.  Then step out of shower.  DO NOT dry off, rather pat dry, so the baby oil soaks into your skin. It's best to wear soft, lightweight jammies, and I suggest having one or two sets of jammies that you use strictly for baby oil nights.  

Also, I like the oil with Aloe Vera. A little extra boost. Also anything with lavender is good as well. Does not have to be Johnson's.

CAUTION:  Be careful when applying so it doesn't drip onto the shower floor otherwise the floor WILL BE shockingly slippery for the next person.  Also, I do not put this on my face.  It's too oily for that.

4)  All natural hand made soap.

I grew up in the Ivory soap era:  99 44/100ths pure.  But that stuff dried out my skin like crazy.  so I
switched to Dove: 1/4 cup moisturizing cream.  Still, dried out skin.  (Which is weird because most of my life my body was an oil factory.  The Ewings could have made a fortune off the oil I produced.  Don't get that reference?  Look it up.)

It was at a Renaissance Faire a few years ago that I discovered all natural body scrubs and soaps.  The body scrubs are great when you want that silky smooth feel, but for me it's the soap that's great.  First of all, if you get the little scrubby bag to store your soap in, a single bar can and will last several weeks.  Second, you don't need to use it every day, but it you do, your skin won't dry out, you'll smell great and you can use natural soaps on every part of your body without fear of feminine irritation.   I don't use this on my face, however.  As I've gotten older, my face skin is drying.  Not dry...but drying, and I have to be careful what I use on my face.  

There are many recipes for the soap;  Goats milk, vegan, whatever. I prefer anything with mint in it or some kind of good scent.  

Where to get it:  Farmers Markets and Renaissance Faires are loaded with people who make soap and scrubs.  But if it's winter and you're not not near one of those places, check gift shops or fair trade stores like Sage and Timber in Lake City, CO.  If you can't get to a place like that, try the internet.  My personal favorite is Seventh Sojourn because I see those folks every year at Ren Faire.


3)  Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer, foundation and eyeliner.

I don't spend a ton of money on beauty stuff because, well, what's the point?  I mean, it's not like I'm ever going to be mistaken for Heidi Klum just because I use a certain mascara.  BUT I do pull out the bucks for three things:  Moisturizer, foundation and eyeliner.  And I get Mary Kay.  

Now, I don't buy the whole system. I'm not made of money!  But I do get those three things and I won't go anyplace else for them.  The moisturizer is perfect for face and neck skin. Once a day is enough and a single bottle lasts several months.  (A tiny dab is all you need.)  Same for the foundation. As for the eyeliner, I don't go outside my house without eyeliner on, and this stuff is soft when you apply it but doesn't smudge too much and doesn't make my eyes itch.

Where to get it:  Ask around, I bet you know a couple Mary Kay ladies.  Otherwise, check the  Website for a dealer near you.

2)  Hair products

Friends, THIS is where I spend my money.  If you are going to color your hair, and it doesn't matter what you color it, just because my shade of choice is hot pink you can be any hair color you want, you need to invest in hair color products.  If you are still doing the box hair color, use what you want, of course, but if you go to a place and pay someone else to color your hair, spend some money on shampoo, conditioner, and hair products that are going to lengthen the life of your color.

I use KMS color vitality shampoo and, because I love all things minty, Pureology Hydrate Conditioner.  You won't need much of either product (especially if you have soft water) so a bottle of shampoo lasts me three months and a bottle of conditioner quite a bit longer.  

As for styling product, since I have short hair these days, I am all about hold that isn't heavy.  I love Paul Mitchell Thicken Up. It's heat activated, so a tiny bit run through your hair before you blow dry is ideal. You won't need too much hair spray if you use this and honestly, I've had the same bottle of
the stuff for two YEARS now.  And if I MUST use hairspray, I get the little can of TRESamme extra hold.  (Travel size. I find that getting the big can, by the time you've used half of it, it gets really watery and sticky.)


Where to get all of this:  The shampoo and conditioner are sold at better salons, as is the Paul Mitchell Thicken up. HOWEVER, I've found that online the prices are a bit better.  Amazon is probably your best one stop shop for all of it, plus you know, free shipping, but if you look around you'll find these high end, long lasting products at decent prices.  Worth it, especially if you have colored hair.


1)  FACE WASHING STUFF

Finally, what is it, then, that I DO use to clean my face?

Are you ready for something shocking?

Okay, to preface this, I have to tell you that since I was twelve, I've been in search of the best way to keep my face clean.  I've tried everything:  Noxema  (good)  buff puffs  (BAD) acne creams (bad, since I'm allergic to most of the acne fighting chemicals) astringent cleansers (too drying) make up removing cloths (too expensive). You name it, I've tried to use it on my face.  

And then I watched an episode of "Mad Men" where Megan Draper  (okay, I'll wait for you Mad Men
Yes, warm water...that's it. That's all this woman needed.
I, too, would like to look the way a TV writer could write me!
fans to boo and hiss for a moment) told someone that her mother's beauty regimen was simple:  Warm water on the face.  Every day.  It was a revelation.  I mean, sure, Megan Draper's mother is fictional...and it's unlikely any woman would seriously only wash her face with warm water.  

Right?

Of course..it's crazy....

Or IS IT?

After that episode I tried just warm water on my face for a few weeks and I realized it was working!  My face wasn't dry like it had been, and yet, the oil in my T-zone wasn't out of hand.

I did notice, however, that warm water alone wasn't perfect at removing my eyeliner.

What to do?

And that's when I found a jar of Ponds cold cream Peaches left behind when she moved out.  I tried that.  BOOM POW, make up gone!  SKIN SOFT.  

But still, a little oily.

So now, my face regimen is this:  Warm water morning and night
every day. Ponds three times a week at night in the shower.  Mary Kay moisturizer each morning.

My face has never been better.  Seriously. Clean, soft, not oily.  

Where to get it:  Ponds...check the bottom shelf at any big box store. You don't need a big jar, I've had the same three ounce jar for about six months.  Again, a little bit will go a long way.

So that's it.  My beauty tips. No, you probably aren't going to be mistaken for a supermodel.  BUT, your skin is going to feel better, your hair is going to look better and, since most of these products are going to stretch and last you several weeks or maybe even months, your wallet is going to feel better.  And isn't THAT what we all hope for when it comes to beauty?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Can You Solve This Mystery?

Okay readers, I have a challenge for you:

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, September 8, Skippy and Peaches, while on their way to the airport, noticed a shoe in the front yard. It was not one of their shoes, nor did they recognize it as a shoe belonging to Hubby or me. They left it in the yard.

On the afternoon of Monday, September 12, upon returning from Colorado, I, too, noticed a men's brown shoe in our front yard. I was tired and didn't bother to pick it up.

Today, September 18, Hubby went out to mow the grass. The men's shoe was still there.  It's a very nice men's shoe, and Merell brand, in very good condition, men's size 10.5,  (It's Hubby's size and he would like the mate because again, it's a very nice shoe.)

So here's the mystery, all you budding mystery writers:

Whose shoe is it?  How did it get on my front lawn?  Where is the mate? And, are the people who lost it coming back to get it?

I'd love to know what you think!

And as for why we allowed a random shoe to sit in our front yard for more than 10 days, I have no real reason.  We're not outdoorsy.  Not even a little.

Friday, September 16, 2016

5 for Friday: Ruby Snot Rockets and Other Stuff I Found on Vacation's Brick Road.

Good evening!

I like to travel, it's true, but I have not been away from home for more than a week in many, many years.  The last time I believe was when Skippy was in kindergarten and we went to the East Coast of the US.  And before that...our honeymoon. Otherwise it's been long weekends here and there as we could fit things in.

I spent pretty much the first twelve days of this month away from home, on a journey.  The plan was to drive a few hours and land somewhere in Iowa on the first day, then drive a bunch more hours and land at a college friend's house on Saturday and THEN, on Sunday, drive a butt load more hours and land in the middle of the Rocky Mountains sometime before sunset, because mountain roads are twisty and narrow and people from the Midwest should not drive them in the dark.

In those 12 days I discovered five things about myself and about traveling across the middle of this great country.  And now, I'm going to share them!

5) The real benefit to going to college:

I love Face Book most of the time, and never better than because it connects us with friends far and wide, people we'd otherwise probably lose touch with or keep on our Christmas card list (if we were organized enough to have a Christmas card list.)  

This was very true on day two of our trip:  We were able to visit, catch up with, and camp out at a college friend's home in Kansas.  Thank you our friend E and her wonderful family, and of course, her dog, Faith, who was just smart enough NOT to be taken in by Hubby's best charms!  It was great catching up, and even better sharing dairy free Martguerita pie!  Thank you!

And that ends the nice portion of the blog.

4) I'm not sure that's food...

When traveling Hubby loves nothing better than to eat at places with "local flavor."  Now, I'm on board with local flavor.  I've come to love things like grits  (Do not eat grits if the person serving them to you doesn't call you "hun.")  and other things that might surprise people, but on this trip I decided to try something called fried mush.

"Fried" is a word I enjoy when used in conjunction with food.  "Mush" well, that's another story. I've eaten things I've described as mush, but not actual, real mush.  So, when seeing this gem on the menu at a diner I had to give it a go, thinking that the joy I get with "fried" would outweigh the hesitancy I had with "mush."

I'm not even sure what I ate was food.  I'd call it greasy sawdust.  It was greasy and dry at the same time. Now, Hubby liked it slathered in butter and syrup.  But I guess if I'm going to pile on butter and syrup I'd prefer something that maybe HASN'T also been in the deep fryer.  I mean, even I have my limits.

3)  I know what Dorothy was REALLY talking about.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

Ah, now that's a classic movie line, right?  And we all think it means that Dorothy was in unfamiliar territory and was nervous about her new surroundings.

After driving across Kansas the long way I'm here to tell you, we were wrong. Dorothy didn't mean she was scared because she didn't think they were in Kansas anymore. I believe her line was shortened. What the actual line was is this:  "Toto...THANK GOD, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

I've driven across Nebraska many times. I've ridden the train across Montana. But nothing prepared me for the complete absence of people and, you know, people things like buildings and rest stops, that is Kansas (and, for those of you who think it's over once you cross into Colorado, nope. The flat, barren, no people, no houses thing goes on and one for several more hours)

Sure, I mean, I was blown away by the vastness of the sorghum fields  (it's a thing, look it up) in western Kansas, but after about seven hours of that, you sort of start looking for any signs of life.  And you're not gonna get it in Easter Colorado.  Nope, the sorghum fades away to fields of pretty much nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. 

AND THEN:  BAM.

Mountains.

And of course we got a bit of a late start and dillied when we should have dallied which put us in the middle of those twisty, turny narrow roads in the dark. And yes, Sarah did have a panic attack, Hey, you sit in a car for 12 hours and then climb 10,000 feet and see how calm and collected you are as you see wildlife of all kinds sitting there in the ditches along the roads, just waiting to jump out and kill you!

And speaking of trying to kill us...

2)The air is trying to destroy us all.

Seriously, the air in the mountains wants to kill humans.  It's thin, there's not as much oxygen at 10,000 feet as there is at say, normal human living levels.  I spent most of the time we were at our destination in the mountains  (yes, enjoying the lovely scenery and the quaint town, and the fun company, and all of that was great.) trying to catch my breath. And this isn't a fluffy thing.  I mean, it is, but I can walk three or four miles at a shot in my home town and the worst thing that happens is my right foot starts to hurt like the dickens.  I couldn't walk from the bed to the bathroom without gasping for air and the day we went up higher....like above 13,000 feet, I nearly blacked out. Someone in our group said, "The air up hear is thin."  And my response:  "Yeah, but I'm not."

Even oxygen deprived, I'm still funny.

But the lack of O2 is not the only thing about the air that's trying to kill people. It's dry. It's so stinking DRY.  Humidity in the lowlands of Denver was a mere 15%.  (Where I'm from a super dry day is more than twice that.)  I spent several days unable to swallow because my throat was so sore from the dry and my nose...well, it took my almost a solid week back home for my nose to stop producing these delightful, red snot rockets every time I used a tissue.  I'm not kidding. I doubt I'll complain about it being humid here again.  BRING ON HUMID...I WANT TO LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But...even in a state far, far away from my own home, I found my people. No, not Green Bay Packer fans, although we did find a very nice lady at a diner in Kansas who swore up and down that the Packers were her team  (WE ARE EVERYWHERE!)  instead...I found...

1)  Smart alecks at the airport.


I flew back from my journey with my children. Both of them are much better travelers than I am, both of them having flown several times in recent years. My first flight in over a decade was to Vegas and back in May with Hubby. The last time I flew with the kids, I was holding their hands and giving them juice boxes to keep them calm.  This time around, they guided me through airport security, complete with drug sniffing dogs  (DO NOT PET THE DRUG SNIFFING DOGS). By the time we neared our gate, my whole head was clogged with bloody snot rockets and my throat felt like I'd swallowed a broken Coke bottle and three sharp knives.  

We stopped at one of the shops to see if we could find a certain decongestant, one that had given me a tiny bit of relief while still high up where the air is not even air.  I purchased a single pill for far too much money.  While making the transaction, I said, "Skippy, please remind me that my boarding pass is in my wallet."

Skippy and Peaches looked at me and both said at the same time, "Your boarding pass is in your wallet."

Didn't I raise fun kids?

But that's not where this ends, no, then the cashier said, "Ma'am, your boarding pass is in your wallet."

Ha, ha.

AND THEN, some random woman who wasn't even inside the shop, she was waiting for someone else, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Your boarding pass is in your wallet."

At this point I was laughing,and gasping for air, and trying not to blow bloody crusties at anyone because hey, this was funny, and then the guy behind me said, "I was going to tell you where your boarding pass was, but I figured I'd give you a break."

My people. Even in an airport many miles...okay one mile....above my own homeland...my people.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Don't poke the bear, even when laundry is involved.

Yes, there's an age gape between us.
Good afternoon!

My dear Hubby got another year older two weeks ago.  Now, normally for Hubby's birthday I just giggle and tell him he's a year older than I am  (He's three months older). I figure it's payback for when we were both 17 and the government decided to change the drinking age from 18 to 21  but anyone who turned 18 before September 1 could still drink.  Hubby made it by 11 days. Me?  Well, unlike most of my friends in college, I couldn't legally imbibe until MY SENIOR YEAR!

That was a big deal back then. Now, it's all about how big that number is for your age, and right now his is one year bigger.

Now, we haven't yet crossed that magical line of 50, and we're both sort of healthy and keep ourselves in A shape.  So yeah, I don't really think of us as old.  (Well, except when I think about how I'm the oldest person in my company now...then I feel old.)  But something happened this morning and I have to share it with you. I don't know if it's old age, or maybe we're just that oblivious to everything. You be the judge.


This is awesome. I would like this.
So for his birthday I got Hubby two very fun t-shirts to replace two of his fun t-shirts that our idiot #4 cat destroyed. See, we have three nice cats and then there's the Idiot #4 who thinks every piece of clothing, bedding, towels, rugs, rubber mats is all his to drag around the house.  We've had to cover all laundry, clean or dirty in the laundry room.  I can't have kitchen towels hanging on racks or drawer handles and now, since we're on to his game, I can't put towels on the racks in the bathroom.

Several of our shirts have been shredded with claws (getting the shirt out of the basket) and teeth (dragging it up the stairs and around the house.)  Many of those are Hubby's.

Anyway, so he has these two shirts. And he's going to see his sister in Colorado for his annual two weeks of being an unshaven mountain man.  So this morning I told him if he wanted anything washed before he leaves tomorrow night he should put it in the basket.

He says, "Well, if you find those two new shirts you got me, that would be great."

I say, "I washed them and put them in your basket."

He says, "Did you put them in Skippy's basket?"

I say, "I don't do Skippy's laundry with ours."  (We are all about the same size and we all wear t-shirts, usually black, grey, or red in color.)  "I'll check my basket, maybe it got in there."

So I went downstairs and checked my laundry basket. Nope. Not there. I then checked the dirty laundry. Also no.  I was very close to knocking on Skippy's door and WAKING HIM UP...  

Let me pause here for a moment.  Since Skippy's baby days we have one rule in the house.  "Don't Poke The Bear."  Skippy is NOT a person who wakes up well.  Even as a baby, if he woke up on his
own, fine.  But if something startled him awake, or if we moved him while he was sleeping or if someone woke him up on purpose, he would cry and yell and be generally unpleasant.  The same holds true now, almost 23 years later. If the boy is sleeping, we do not wake him up.

And I almost did, because the other rule we have is "Don't Go Into Skippy's Room."

No one wants to see what's in there.

Well, I'm not stupid. Before I subjected myself to Grumpy Skippy, I went upstairs to do something I haven't done in a good long time:  Go through Hubby's drawers.

Some wives put away every one's laundry, but I don't come from that kind of stock. My mother washed, dried, sorted, and folded the wash and then put it on the stairs.  Now, if you were smart, like my father, you'd pick up your pile of laundry and carry it to your dresser or closet and put it away right away.  If you were dumb, like my brother and I, you would let it sit there, the pile getting bigger on Mondays and Thursdays (because that's when you do laundry.) You'd get what you needed, underwear, sports uniform shirt, whatever, from the pile, but you never actually MOVED the pile up to your room until it became so LARGE one of the parents would trip on it, sending all the clothes, and usually the parent, down the stairs in a flood of textiles and yelling.

I don't do that either because we live in a ranch and the stairs to the basement are narrow enough.  So I put them in COVERED laundry baskets  (because of Idiot #4) and that's where it all sits until they decide to get their clothes. And if the basket gets too full and Idiot #4 knocks the top off and drags their clothes around I'm not rewashing them.

My point is,  for the last 20 some years Hubby has put his clothes in his own drawers.  So today I went up there and looked in his drawers and it was in the third drawer I opened that I found the following:

The two shirts he was looking for.

On the top of the pile of shirts in the drawer.

With the logo right side out so you knew exactly which shirt it was.

And oh yes, did I mention the shirts were RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE PILE?  Do you know I almost poked the bear to find these shirts and there they were...right at the top of the drawer, literally the last thing he tucked into that drawer yesterday when he put his laundry away.

Now, I don't know if that's a sign of old age or what, but I know I had a good chuckle. In fact, I laughed the whole time I sent him the above sentences in three texts.

And then...this happened.

Hubby texts back:  Thanks. I guess I'm in the blog...


Old age...BRING IT!
I HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THE BLOG!

Friends, I very nearly forgot that I have this beautiful, lovely blog where I can poke fun at myself and others for the amusement of you fine people.  

THAT is old age for sure!

Yikes!


The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...