Friday, July 28, 2017

Eighth Tiara Check-In!

French Friday!!

We've still got about six weeks left on our "Summer Tiara Challenge" - how's your sparkle this week?

I had a week that served as a reminder that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I wasn't happy that I turned into the Voracious Craw for a couple of days and threw off my painfully-slowly-developing good eating habits, but it had some learning moments. For instance, you hear much about "don't keep junk food in the house," which is good advice. But you know what? The day will come when you grab your keys, get in the car, and go get it! Don't beat yourself up - it'll happen. In my case, the mass quantities of cheap candy I mindlessly snarfed didn't even taste good and afterward - blech! So file it away as a lesson. To go with that lesson - don't let yourself get hungry-starved! I had some busy days this week and I fell into old habits, which includes thinking, "Oh, I just need to finish this before I eat. And this. Oh, look - there's another task over here."

Stop that! It's pert-close to madness and no one benefits from that.

When this happens (and it will), do not despair. Wash your face, say your prayers, go to bed. Then start over the next morning. Square your shoulders, Daughter of Shine! Treat yourself gently and do the same for others.

That's really the other point I want to address in this post. This week, I changed my mermaid hair to a much darker base - it's really back to "galaxy hair" for the rest of summer. The colors are rich, and deep, and thoroughly artificial. You do not "go galaxy" if you don't want people to notice the look.  Why, as a respectable, tax-paying, middle-aged woman, would I do this?

The answer is quite simple, but was a long time in coming.


To begin with, I think in contemporary American society, there's an idea that women my age ought to quietly go out to pasture. We're considered "past our prime," which seems to be measured almost solely in sexual attractiveness (I could use a far more vulgar term, but I was gently reared, so I won't) and a large swath of society seems to put an expiration date on that.

Nope. I am more comfortable in my skin than I ever was in my twenties and thirties and that is a fact with which others simply will need to learn to deal. Their discomfort is not my problem.

Secondly, as a child, I was nearly painfully shy. Really - I think I was attracted to working backstage on theatrical productions because the crew is so often invisible. I nearly never felt comfortable interacting with people, which is one reason I'm sure I developed my love of language and my (occasionally) sharp-edged tongue.

It's taken me years, as in decades, to learn how to stand up and be seen - and to holler if necessary.

I'm not giving that up to make other people comfortable.

There's a philosophy that claims we'll all have to answer, not only for the wrongs we did in this life, but for the joys we refused to partake in. I want both lists to be as short as possible. That doesn't mean I don't know how to wear a demure strand of pearls and a twinset, but to quote a costume designer I once knew, "All clothes are costumes." Why do we insist on only one version of ourselves?

Go shine. The world needs your light.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Seventh Tiara Check-In!

Rock Crystal Points - wow!
Welcome back to another "French Friday," where we check in on our summer tiara goals!

I spent last week on vacation out in the wilds of Utah, so I deliberately missed a posting, rather than try to cram one in and thus upset my strict schedule of relaxation and rejuvenation. I'm sure you understand.

Visiting Utah is a different world - two of my bestest friends (who have known me since I was in my late teens) met in college in Virginia, married, and eventually settled out in the high desert of the Beehive State. We've seen each other through some beautiful, whirlwind, joyous times, and we've also been there as rock-solid supports for each other through some of life's lesser-than-great moments. I love them ferociously and they me. (Plus, when FryDaddy and I visit, the children are put on "fetch mode" with strict orders to make us comfortable, which is decadent beyond belief, since the kids actually go into "staff function.") Lesson learned - tiaras need to be placed in your carry-on luggage, but expect to be stopped and have your luggage hand-searched by the TSA personnel, as it is unusual to see tiaras on the X-ray machine. It may be best to practice looking imperious before approaching the security line.

FryDaddy got to do his thing, which mostly involves bookstores and quiet nooks in which to read, preferably with a cat curled up on his lap. Thanks to Iris-Kitty, he had the time of his life! My vacation was a bit more active - note: that was not an "easy" hike, regardless of whatever delusions the guidebook writer was suffering from! - and also punctuated with Versailles-level luxuries, such as fresh pastries, morning cappuccino with cream, and serious "girl time" involving self-care and high tea at the Grand America Hotel. (Yes, that outing involved two tiaras, one frilly hat, and an exquisite fascinator between the four of us. I also bought a music box.) There were fireworks on the lake that made us all scream with excitement, fresh-picked asparagus and currants, and more love than we could absorb.

Truly, a magnificent, tiara-worthy break!

Coming back was hard - not only did the Carolina humidity hit us like a wet woolen blanket as soon as we left the sanctuary of the airport, there was also the necessary return to food tracking. Not bad - I did re-gain three pounds during my break, but I regret nothing. Do you hear me? NOTHING! In this, the book of Ecclesiastes is wise - there really is a time for everything and last week was a time of indulgence, soothing, and deep comfort.

Not to mention, it was great fun to see the kids tear into Cheerwine, which they couldn't remember ever seeing! I guess it's my own "private Utah," which is vaguely like My Own Private Idaho, without all the hustler activity and Henry IV references, which really means it's nothing at all like My Own Private Idaho. 

We'll be back there soon - and I urge you to find your own magic spot. We all need one (maybe more than one) and you can't expect anyone else's to truly suit you.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sixth Tiara Check-In!

Hey, sunshine - how's that tiara sparkling? That's right - we're now about halfway through summer and it's time for another tiara check-in!

This week - wow! Some GREAT stuff happened (including a "girls' day" with my beloved teen goddaughter) along with some not-so-great stuff to even it all out. You don't wear a tiara only on the good days, you know. If you've earned one, you wear it and stand even taller and straighter on the days that are punctuated by bouts of ick. (FryDaddy spent a large chunk of this week down with the Creeping Crud, which is always bad, but in the summer seems even worse. He's on the mend, though.)

It was blazing hot so I didn't exercise as I had intended and I didn't get around to trying to make my own crepes either, but my garden provided a few cucumbers this week and the tomatoes are (finally!) starting to ripen. I also was gifted with cucumbers at my weekly WW meeting. (I'm down another .8 of a pound and closing in on my second goal, which was to lose 5% of my starting weight.)

Now, we'll have to see what happens on that front this next week - vacation is coming up and we're heading to the wild West where goats and elk roam the Wasatch Mountains and meals delectable enough to make Julia Child slap her momma are routinely prepared - much of it from the back garden and beehives! Alas - we arrive in between rodeo weeks, so I still don't get to see "mutton busting" but lazy days on the reservoir, a fancy high tea, some high altitude hiking and possibly a pedicure involving a belt sander are on the tentative schedule.

The video is from Texas, because - Texas.

I have learned a new French phrase for this "French Friday" - "il faut oser!" or "You have to dare!"

Excellent advice, I say! Therefore, my goals for this next week are simple - enjoy, recharge, and luxuriate in the company of those who love me!

May your week bring you joy!