Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Glasses Can Be Sexy, Just Ask My Husband

Dear Readers, I am among a group of women who write for the wonderful website for women over 50 called Vibrant Nation.  One of the benefits of being a member of their blog circle is the opportunity to test drive products geared for women of a certain age and then share my opinion on the quality of the product with my readers.  If any of you read my post, What Not to Wear No Matter What the Ad Says, you know I have no trouble giving an honest review.  So, on occasion I will share on my blog a Product Review.  This is the first of many to come.  I hope you will find them helpful as you navigate through the many consumer choices we have out there availabile to us Women of a Certain Age.

Glasses Can Be Sexy, Just Ask My Husband

I was in the fourth grade when the nickname, “Four-eyes” was attached to me.  Near-sightedness runs in my family, but did it have to hit me so early on?  My first pair of glasses were what they call “cat’s eyes,” and perhaps back then I thought they were perfect. 
Eyewear has come a long way since then and so has my taste in glasses.

Laser eye surgery to correct my near-sighted vision was a blessing, but I still need glasses to read things up close.  Sure, I’ve purchased the drugstore variety of glasses but they are flimsy and most unattractive.  My husband of twenty-five years has often commented on how he likes me in glasses so I look for styles that compliment my face and encourage that familiar look of desire, even after all these years.  Icon Eyewear has a wonderful line of glasses; I know because I was one of the lucky ones to receive a free pair to try and when I put them on, “Wowza” was the word my husband used to say they looked good on me.  These glasses not only look good, they have substance to them, hugging my temples comfortably and the color and design make it clear they are not the dime-store variety. 
If glasses must be a part of my fashion accessories, then this line works for me. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In the Middle

By 1988 I was really into my Native American phase, so when it was time to send out announcements for my upcoming wedding, I searched for a card that would be unique to me and the new life I was dreaming of with my husband-to-be. 

I went to a Native American artist's show and found the absolutely perfect message I wanted to convey in an image. 

This is a drawing by talented artist Carole Bourdo, it is called The Beginning Place.  I met the artist at that show and asked how I could obtain cards of the image; the best we came up with was 5 x 7 sized cards.  I paid in advance and had them shipped to my home only to find the artist had generously signed each one.

Next, I needed to come up with the invite and a way to get them on the cards.  This was the era when printers and operators were just getting to know one another - I was still an amatuer with all this equipment and I couldn't afford to waste one card.  After several attempts I figured it out but as you can see the end result was far from "wedding picture perfect." 

Yet, to me the invitations were worth so much more than money could buy. 

Our invitations were made with love and conveyed promise:

My marriage to John, like the copy on our invitations, has been through a little wear and tear, but twenty-five years later we are in the middle of our lifetime journey.  The drawing was meaningful to me at the beginning of our journey as we walked down the aisle and said, "I Do," but truthfully as I write these words and think of all we've been through so far: children growing, fights, laughter, tears, thoughts of breaking up, making up, babies born, animals we have loved and lost, youth fading, the lines on our faces becoming more pronounced, grey hairs and belly paunches, I am so profoundly touched that I have walked this road with John. 
Wedding Day, February 1988

As my favorite character, Gus McCrae (from my favorite movie, Lonesome Dove) said, "By God..... it's been one hell of a party." 
And fortunately for me, the party is still going.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's Time to Weed: in the Garden and in Life

Weeding is the most satisfying job. 
I love it when the soil in my garden is just crumbly enough that the shovel sinks in and loosens the offending vegetation.  I bend down and with little effort pluck the trespasser from the earth, thus giving the plants meant to be there room to breathe. 
Sure, the job comes with back-bending and heart-pumping,
but those inconveniences give me the opportunity to stand up, lean on my shovel and take in my surroundings, something I don’t think enough of us do anymore these days. 

The garden isn’t the only place where weeding becomes necessary; I have found that the task works just as well in life. 
Over the years I’ve worked at jobs that didn’t fulfill or challenge me.  So I went back to school to find what fields inspired me and left behind jobs where I had to wait on people, do what others told me to do, or sit at a desk dreaming of what lay beyond the window of my cubicle. 

From early adulthood my feet took me on the other side of that window where I discovered new places, made new friends, experienced my country’s varied environments.  I never once regretted the starting over or pined for the familiarity of what I’d left behind; except for the people.  The trouble with wandering from coast to coast the way I have is the loss of immediate connection with those I care about, those that are a link to my past. 
Weeding people and places from my life came with the adventures I sought and found.  While it was not hard for me to relinquish the place, it is a lot more difficult to throw those I made memories with, laughed and cried with, onto the heap of the discarded. 

It took me a long time to get over my high school years, the first place that I felt a sense of belonging.  Those friends I made were family – then. 
Graduating Class, 1975
But we’ve all moved beyond those connections and while I still am glad to glimpse the lives they lead now I really have no place there.  The same can be true with those I grew up with.  Weeding out people that don’t serve you well, those that are not a positive influence in your life really have no place there either. 

To make a garden thrive sometimes it’s necessary to throw out the good with the bad, as in the desired plant that is all caught up in the roots of a weed.  To allow the warmth of the sun to nurture, to allow the oxygen in to breathe, to see life flourish it’s necessary to do some weeding, both in the garden and in life. 

Yes, both jobs require some pain, in the back and in the heart, but doing so provides the opportunity to stop and look around at all the wonder close at hand; a chance to admire and enjoy the harvest.   

I’ll keep weeding until my garden and my life are full of color.   


Monday, February 4, 2013

Brain Retrain

Ouch! What did I do to my shoulder this time?  I’m having a flare-up of bursitis, making range of motion in my arm very painful.  It could have happened because I haven’t been to yoga in weeks, or perhaps because I lifted a 5-pound weight wrong.  Or, maybe it’s just this aging thing.  Whatever it is now I have to nurse the arm, and that means using it as little as possible. 

It’s no wonder that the old arm is wearing out.  For 50 years I’ve been overusing it.  I’m right-handed; why would I ever consider using the left?.  But, as I was vacuuming the house the other day I used my left hand.  It was then I realized that my left side had been underutilized all these years; it was time it pulled its weight. 
They say the brain needs to be challenged to keep us young.  So, Lefty, are you up for the challenge?  It won't be easy; using my left hand feels so foreign.  I started to notice that I choose sides for lots of things: I chew on the left side of the mouth, part my hair on the right; old habits are hard to break.  But the neglect of my left hand is more than just habit. 

I grew up with the impression that being left-handed was taboo.  I’m not sure where I got that message, but a quick Internet search proves that left-handedness was an undesirable “choice” and that had to be broken in children, just another example of misinformation that results in the pressure put on kids to change what comes naturally to them.

I won't mind teaching myself a new way of doing things, so while my right shoulder heals, my left hand and arm will have to chip in.  It's like having a whole new set to work with, right?  Just don't ask me to autograph my new book with the left.  I'll need plenty of Alleve for that task.

So, here's to the new me and a new brain!