Baby Steps to Change

Let’s face it, no matter how positive we are or how well we take care of ourselves, all days are not created equally.

We have ups and we have downs.

Change takes energy.  On our up days, we have enough–we follow our plans–we behave (be have) in a way that supports our intentions.

But when we have low energy, we rely on habit.  And if our habits are not good for us, we know it on some level and judge ourselves harshly.  You know the routine–it’s a downward spiral that leads us in the wrong direction.  Self-punishment is a poor reaction but when you feel bad about your self, you will behave badly–see how it goes?

What I propose is that we allow ourselves to take baby steps, recognizing progress  as the goal and self-reward.

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New Year’s Re-SOUL-U-tion

New Year’s Re-SOUL-ution

Personal Activisim

Can you feel the heightened energy as we head into 2017?  There are changes afoot–it’s in the air.

Politically, we have drawn lines in the sand.  Often, time makes fools of us,  Do you remember the difference between reaction and response?

Response is the root word of responsibility, after all.

Reaction sounds like an action that has been taken before.

I don’t want to walk down any time-worn, dead-end alleys–do you?

I am going to welcome change into my life on a personal level and use my energy to reach the people who come into my life.

It’s exponential–we reach–they reach–soon, it can be the hug that was felt around the world.

I hate being cold!

I hate being cold.

I mean, I really hate it.

It deters me from personal improvement–and that’s a fragile commitment as it is.

Drafty floors and Yoga?  Not so much.

And daily moisturizing seems to be a warm-weather affair.  Cold lotion on my already chilled skin is like torture and I am loathe to do it.

Idea!   I will place the lotion bottle–(Neutragena Emulsifying Lotion–is my favorite of all time– and this was not a paid plug), under my electric blanket!  Genius!

Maybe I’ll just keep it there all Winter long.

You do what you gotta` do, sometimes, right?

Morphing from Optimistic to Optimystic

Learning to be Optimistic

One of the lessons my Mother taught me was to couple a bad experience with a fun-filled one.

Having polio put that to test more than once.

I can remember going to get fitted for braces at a machine shop attached to Children’s Hospital.  I had a lump in my throat all the way there because I hated it so much.  There was a metallic, smell of oil and a man with a big dirty leather apron who would stepkindly from behind the counter to fit me.  He was gentle and that made it even harder to choke back the tears—I didn’t want to wear those big, clunky, heavy shoes with those heavy, cold steel rods that kept me upright.   I had to admit that something was  different about me on those days. It felt all wrong.   i tried not to complain because I knew even then that it hurt my mother to see me cry.

And then…  she would gather me into the car and say, “Ok, Let’s go to our favorite restaurant,” —Sugar ’N Spice!:, then we would go to a Cinerama movie to see something amazing like—The Wonderful World of the Brothers’ Grimm or Paint Your Wagon or Dr. Zchivago—and then, we’d go shopping!

 I guess I got my shopping propensity from that!

Morphing from Optimistic to Optimystic

I began learning to be “optimystic” as I saw coincidences and synchronicities around me too often to believe them to be “just pure luck”.  That makes even less sense than thinking there must be some sort of cause and effect afoot.

And I’ve learned to trust “timing”, even dabbling in manipulation by learning to SLOW DOWN TIME.

For instance, when I realize that I have more to do than time to do it in, as often happens, I say out-loud:  SLOW DOWN TIME  and I imagine all that I want to accomplish.  Then I let go of the worry. I don’t check the clock anymore after that–until I’m done.   I just get going, doing one thing (or more) at a time and not engaging in panic nor doubt that it’s going to get done.

And Voila`–it works!   Saving me from stress. Granny in black hat

England Swings

Cheers!

That’s the definitive greeting of merry old England, gin is the drink of favor and I took both to heart.


We took the train, modern,and restful-to-the travel-weary, to Sheffield, located north of London in Central England, and named after the River Sheaf which runs through the city.  It was a surprising treat. 


In the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production which put it on the map during the First World War. There is a museum for history buffs (Ellioto), and a nice cafe’ for those waiting for the history buffs (that would be me!).


The city is surrounded by hills, contains 250 parks, woodlands and gardens within the city, and an estimated 2 million trees, giving Sheffield the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.[5] The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world’s oldest football club (that’s Soccer, you know).


It is home to two major universities– the largest in England. So nightlife was thriving and we had a taste along with some local color.


Vintage shops are big there and I dutifully made the rounds, wearing the wheels right off of the suitcase!

Blogging in Colombia: Manna for the Senses

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I See…

Medellin, a city of 3 million filling a valley and sprawling up the encircling foothills of the Andes Mountains. During the day, the colors are warm orange, foliage green and light baby blue. On the eighth floor, our room is level with the distant mountains, offering a birds’ eye view of the lush growth filling all the available space between and above the teeming array of terra cotta apartments, tenements and shacks. Thus far I have not seen 1 solitary home.  They are tucked away somewhere, out of view.  

The metro system unites the villages above city-proper with cable cars like ski lifts dangling above the metal roofs which are often held in place (or not) by stacks of bricks, old tires and garbage bags full of what– I can only guess. It is surreal when you are  floating in the air, so far removed.

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People, people, everywhere… Walking, bicycling, crazy wild on motorcycles, hanging out of impossibly crowded busses, standing-room-only on the metro, and disappearing into yellow taxis swarming all over the place! Even in jammed-up traffic, I am impressed with the lack of road rage– never a harsh word, have I heard.

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Waxing Poetic at Summer’s End… Or ” What sagging Skin?

Comfortably situated on a sturdy wooden park bench uptown, I watch the children play in the water-feature across the street, its foamy cascade, a sweet relief to the dog days that define late Summer. The effusion of flowers are just past full bloom, proudly touting seed pods and rose hips, having fulfilled their seasonal purpose in the circle of life. Brave stalks still reach toward the sun while others bow low, calling it a day, fulfilled and content with their place within the cycle.  
But I’m a little wistful at the thought of winding down, as the season is sure to pass, changing my preferred lifestyle and of course, the clothes that I love best.
Still enamored by strappy tops and sleeveless-ness, I choose to ignore the body parts that seem to have deserted me, having fallen ungracefully towards gravity’s callous pull. My mirror and I have a love/hate relationship, so I am taking the path of least resistance by enlisting a dose of healthy denial–opting not to bemoan that which I do not see.
Personal style is an individual freedom that I foster. Developed from a whim, it becomes an exercise of creative expression. An art form, if only in my own mind, it is a liberty that I claim from having lived this long!

The setting sun is casting sky-blue-pink across my pervue, the sky, a gigantic canvas for celestial finger-paints of color and light. The cicadas seem to herald the day’s end, grateful to have lived another day or perhaps they are celebrating the passage into the coolness of the night. Their constancy is reassuring and reminds me of fresh mown hay on a still-life from my childhood when living seemed easier–or at least, less complex


There is a heady sweetness in the air coming from wave petunias, thick and luscious to the bees. A young woman has begun to trill a folk song across the way, her guitar the only accompaniment to her soulful lyrics, so clear and pure and hopeful.

And now it’s dark– that deep velvety blue, backlit from the sun just setting. I’ll go home now. Many Thanks for sharing your time and attention.

Dressing Strategically with Earrings

Earrings–more than meets the eye!

I never leave home without them–seriously. I’ve been known to stop and buy a pair just because I forgot them and didn’t feel properly dressed.

You probably have a style you like you feel comfortable with but it need not limit your options.  Just because you’ve been a stud kind of gal does not mean that you can’t experiment with something edgy–a different sort of look–a new expression of your personality.

How we present our selves is more about how we feel than how we look.  What we think is imperceptible, is anything but–something as small as an earring can change the way you hold your head and make eye contact, for instance.

Who knows?  By experimenting and expanding your repertoire, you just might find your inner snaZZy, waiting to be released.   Maybe it’s time to let it out to play.

Aging has that effect sometimes.  It’s often a life stage that sets us free(er), allowing for change, reminding us of our teenage years when we longed to find ourselves.  Growing older in years  can have that freedom of discovery too.  And our habits bespeak our experience.  Change 1 little thing and the paradigm suddenly shifts, opening us up even further.

Ok, back to earrings–an adornment women have been wearing for centuries; the Sumerian women purportedly wore them 2500 BCE.

FYI:  Earring Definitions

Studs are usually posts, attached to the lobe or top of the ear (or even the nose–but that’s another subject).

  Dangles do just that, with a wire or stud securing the suspended article which is free to       move in a mobile-like fashion.

  Drops consist of a stud at the lobe with just one large jewel or article suspended  from it.

  Chandeliers, similar t the dangle, is more complex–sometimes having several tiers.

  Cuffs fit around the ridges of your upper ear.

  Gauges are the hole expanders and exist just beyond my understanding.  Old fogey?      Maybe.

Earring Tips:  

Short neck?  Avoid long-dangles.

Long neck?  You have more options

Avant-garde? Do what you will!  (my personal favorite)

Round face (widest at the cheekbones with no taper to the chin), Long drop or dangle earrings to elongate your face and make it look slimmer. Avoid large circular earrings, hoops and button studs which only emphasize the roundness. Also, stay away from drop earrings with a dangling round disc. The roundness will only make your face look rounder. Earrings for round face shape…

Long and Narrow Face: Choose earrings that emphasize the width of your face. Studs, clustered earrings, short dangles, hoops in a medium to large size. Round earrings will widen your face, and make it look fuller.

Square Face: (forehead and jawline are similar widths) need to soften the hard edges of their face. To do this choose go for earrings that are medium to long with rounded edges. Oval shapes soften things up, and circular earrings and hoop earrings work well too. Stay away from square studs or any kind of earring with a square as it only reinforces the squareness.

Heart Shaped Face: If your forehead is wider than your cheeks and the lower half of your face narrows like a heart then you have a heart-shaped face. In this case, you need to counterbalance your sharp chin with chandelier or tear drop earrings. Earrings that are wider at the bottom than the top help fill in the lower portion of your face, so your face is more balanced.

Oval Shaped Face: (the widths of your brow, cheekbones and jaw are almost equal)  Lucky you! You can wear almost any shape, but triangular earrings or simple studs will show off your lovely cheekbones best!

Bone structure will determine the size and weight of the earrings you will look best in.

Small, fine bone structure: (Meryl Streep/Sharon Stone/Jodi Foster ) Choose earrings that are thin, fine, flat and delicate.

Medium Bone Structure: ( Teri Hatcher, Madonna, Liz Hurley) Opt for medium weight and size earrings.

Large Bone Structure:(Oprah, Donatella Versace) You can carry off  medium to large, heavy, chunky earrings.

(Thanks to Deborah Boland, creator of Fabulous after  40–http://www.fabulousafter40.com/best-earrings-for-your-face-shape/)