……..Fashion Over Fifty……..

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Yesterday on one of the social media that I skim every day, there was a link to an article about what you should and should not wear if you are over the age of fifty. With my birthday coming up and growing closer to seventy I read the article. It basically said wear what ever you damn well please, as you are old enough not to care what other people think.

I disagree with the premise of the article, as I think you should wear whatever pleases you ALL your life. Work may give you some restrictions, but when you are not in your work environment, dress to make your heart sing. I have always dressed how I wanted, not how I should. I am short and told not to wear long flowing clothes or big jewelry. I have done both all my adult life. Aging I find I want more comfortably stylish clothes and I find some fitted items, just don’t look quite as good, now that I no longer have that twenty-two inch waist.

The other thing I found very humorous was an article on what to wear in summer if you are over fifty and not one of the models featured in this article was over twenty. Like a fifty year-old is going to look the same after the estrogen has gone and middle has widened a little.

Below, the first photos show a series of women wearing exactly what they want. I am certainly not saying I would wear most of these, but they are comfortable in their own skin. I do like that!

What I did find after looking a while were photos of women looking fabulous over fifty and an inspiration of guidelines to follow.  Dress simply and elegantly. This has always been my attempt at fashion.  If you look in my closet, I don’t have a lot of color and I have mostly non-patterned clothing.

I think the following women look fashionably fabulous.

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Having shared that, I think you can find what not to wear at anywhere the best at Walmart. The things I think should be taken out of your closet at any time is anything that you do not feel good in or look wonderful in.

In my case the short shorts and mini skirts left a couple of decades ago, but can look bad at any age as you might notice in this lovely photo?

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Showing off your mid-section unless you are in perfect shape should not be an option.

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See-through clothing just doesn’t look good on most people. Showing everything is really showing nothing.

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Short shorts do not look good on 90% of our population.  Please look in the mirror before you embarrass yourself by going out.

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The most important thing to remember is that other people do not see you as you see yourself.  I once had a hairdresser say to me: “We look in the mirror and we see ourselves as we looked when we were twenty.” Personally that twenty year-old is a fond memory. Every gray hair was earned and every line on my face is from smiling at what life has to offer.

There are a few things I think don’t work on an aging body:

  1. Mini-skirts or short shorts
  2. Low rise pants that exhibit that mid-life roll
  3. T-shirts with “Sexy Grandma”
  4. Plunging necklines or waist high slits
  5. See through anything
  6. Pajama bottoms anywhere but home
  7. I hear hoop earrings should be on the list, but I still wear mine (dang)
  8. Thigh high boots, especially stilettos (do you want to kill yourself

What I do think is good, is anything that looks good on your body and feels comfortable enough to wear for several hours.  Know a good seamstress and alter your clothes so they actually fit.  Remember loser always looks better than tighter, at any age.

Let’s get dressed and hit the town.

……..Fashion Over Fifty……..

Who Wants What

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There was an interesting article in the Kitsap Herald this week called: “Who Wants What?” and other things in flux. The article talked about a family trying to figure out who got what when their parent or relative died. It is something that with the events of the summer has been on my mind. I realized what may be of value to us, can be of very little value to someone else. Just because we either received something wonderful as a gift or saved and bought it with our own money, means nothing to many people.

From the days when I lived a more urbane lifestyle I have a collection of beautiful crystal, china and silver. I became aware in the last few years that some younger people not only do not think of it as valuable, they disdain that I have not sold it for the money it would now bring. It is of no value to them. Several years ago, a new family member randomly took a glass from the cabinet to the beach, then left it over night on the arm of the chair by the fire pit, no knowing and not asking if it was okay. I don’t usually take my Waterford to the beach or leave it outside over night. That same visit another new family member used a couple Waterford crystal bowls to put chips on the picnic table just going into the pantry and taking the first thing they saw. Those bowls were a gift from my late husband that he bought as a surprise from a jewelry store going out of business. They fit in the lifestyle we had at the time. They are a fond memory of someone I loved and I don’t take them outside. I was informed I should sell these things and no one should keep glasses or bowls worth so much.

I started looking in to selling as I discussed in another article, but find it is no longer worth what I paid for it. So do you sell or enjoy?

As I approach my sixty-eighth birthday next week I have been pondering what will happen to all the “stuff” I have collected all my adult life. It seems the older I get, the less I want. I love the look of a perfectly clean clutter free countertop, but I do love the feel of drinking wine from a beautiful stemmed Riedel wineglass. For some reason scotch takes better to me in a heavy leaded crystal glass, so I think I will keep these as long as I can enjoy a little glass of something in the evening.

For twenty-five years I’ve moved two big boxes of Lionel Trains to different houses. This last year I offered them to my sons, thinking they would want them. Only one son wanted any of them and he only wanted the four oldest ones; so I sold the rest and lightened my moving load. I started asking my sons this summer, what if anything they might want. My oldest plays chess and wanted the ivory chess set his father bought forty years ago when he was in the military. My youngest said he would like toys from his father’s youth and his fishing rods; so he can have them any time.

And so it goes as I look around my home and wonder if they will want any of it when I am gone? I am thinking of making an excel spreadsheet list with all the good stuff, send it to each of them and see if anyone wants anything, then put the outcome in my will. I do want my own sons and no one else to be left what they want to have. I don’t want to add stress to their already busy lives, by having them have to deal with “stuff”, so I think I will donate what they do not want to a charity of my choice. I don’t want them arguing about “who gets what” or who or how do we sell all this stuff. I would rather see it donated to a good cause, rather than sold at some creepy garage sale like my brother insisted that we do with my mother’s belongings when she went in full time care.

When I go, I want to leave behind good memories and happy thoughts for my family, a few things they can pass on to their families and nothing more.

Who Wants What

“Inadequacy equals hostility and/or superiority”

A friend of many years sent this quote to me and I have to admit it made me smile. My friend is a retired psychiatrist, so the meaning hit home.

The last guests left last night. It was hard to watch my granddaughter walk to the ferry.  She gave me lots of hugs, and kept waving and sending kisses. Moments like that make you know you are a good person.  If you are totally accepted and loved by a six year-old, then the world is good for now.

Now the cleaning must begin, as it seems even the fish tank is dirty.  The chickens are hungry and the cat hair is at all time high. My Dyson Animal vacuum will have be recharged another time to get everything.  The house is quiet and peaceful and I am just loving the day.

I have collected about ten books and I am going to enjoy reading out on my deck. We have a wonderful handyman working to make our decks more private.  (Photos to come)  Our design should let light in, but be hard to see through.  It is exciting, as our neighbor built a deck that looks right into our house.

Think about the quote. It may change how you see the world.

“Inadequacy equals hostility and/or superiority”

The Quiet Life Begins Again

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Summer is coming to an end and the  entourage of guests is coming to an end at the same time. Entertaining my six year-old granddaughter had highs and a few lows. With little people it is interesting how perfectly behaved they can be for about two to three weeks, then familiarity begins and you are no longer a “fun” person, you are just another boring adult.  You have not changed, but their perception of the environment takes a turn. You are no longer new and exciting.

Summer Camp at the Boys and Girls Club saved the day for most of the summer, as she made new friends, had lots of fun activities and great field trips.  I joined them bowling in Silverdale, but decided the bus ride was a bit unruly for me, so did not sign-up for any more field trips. It was joy to watch my granddaughter bowl for the first time ever.  Of the three busloads of children, the high score (using bumpers) and on my team was 99.

When my son recently came to pick her up, we decided to take her bowling. So my off we went.  We discovered a ramp you can use for littler people that lines up the bowling ball and they just push it off. The one in Silverdale is hand-made wood, but worked just as well.

It certainly improved her score. She came in with a score of 98, the best of the group. The rest of us came in with scores in the 80’s. Maybe they should have ramps for all ages, especially seniors. Guess we are not a family of bowlers. The last time I personally bowled you had to keep your own score, not a plasma screen up above the alley for all to see just how bad your were.  They have senior bowl three games for free on Wednesdays.  Maybe I should work on improving my score, and it my be good for my arthritis as my hands were pretty sore.

This should have been the best summer ever, as my granddaughter is a joy to be around. In reflection I think I will try to only remember the joy of sharing her summer and not the heartache of some other visitors. It was a summer where I learned maybe you just need to make yourself happy and not feel responsible for the happiness of others.

My three adult sons got to spend a weekend together. It was not without its events, but they did get to spend time talking and catching up. A couple of their friends they had not seen in a while came over and they all initiated our new beach side deck. Pavers are now under the fire pit, rather than warped boards.

My husbands children arrived for the next weekend. They spent time on the new deck and added a little more initiation rites to the deck as they stayed up and talked into the night. Maybe we need to think of a way to have “smaller” fires. I wish I could say that weekend went well, but it ended on a majorly sour note.

We all see the world through our own set of blinders. We see what we want to see, how we want to see it. We can all be in the same room at the same time and have a totally different experience. Our memory of what is said and done is biased by our view of life. The bias can be small or it can be extreme. I learned a little of the extreme before I had to start blocking emails.  I now know my view of the world is my view and only my view. People may understand how you see the world, but they do not see it the same way.

Next summer I think we just take a vacation. It would probably cost a lot less money than what we spent on toys, clothes, food and wine and for some reason I think it might a lot less stressful.

As our children grow into adults and become the people they are going to be our role changes and we are no longer the parent. Adapting to whatever role we have or don’t have in their lives is not as simple as one might think. We are no longer the person of knowledge that we were in their youth. As we become grayer in hair, we are perhaps grayer to them, not the lively over-active person they have always known.

One night I took my granddaughter to a local Mexican restaurant to dinner. We ordered guacamole with the chips, as they come with just salsa. I ordered two tacos and she had a quesadilla. Neither of us are big eaters, so I never order full blown meals there. When I the bill came I was charged for two orders of guacamole. I pointed it out to the waiter and realized by his expression he did not think I would notice.  Telling my older neighbor about this she shared that she thinks people see your gray or white hair and think you have less gray matter in your brain.

When I started getting gray hair, I did not start getting stupid. When I started getting gray hair I did not start to get meaner, but I do stand up for what I believe in. As I get more gray hair I am seeing people view you differently than they did when you were younger. I am finally okay with that, but I do think you need to look for the humor. The other day when I was out running errands I found a sign to put by my front door.  If I can match the paint, I may change the W in WITCH to a B.

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The Quiet Life Begins Again

“Blocking” in Today’s World

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This week “blocking” became the new “buzz” word for me.  I discovered you can block people from contacting you on gmail, if they have contacted you in the past.  Yippee!! Freedom from written insults! On Gmail, you open the email, go to the down arrow on the right of the sender’s and when the list appears just click on happiness or in this case block. Confirm the block and that person cannot contact via your email. Be sure to remove their email information from your contact list, which is very simple. Bring up the name in question on your contact list and click on the dots.  Block is a happy option.

Facebook is even easier to block when “unfriending” is not enough. Just click on the dots to the right of Message and block is a choice on the list. Don’t share your happiness with people that don’t like you.  They do not need to see what makes you happy in life.

LinkedIn will allow you to block someone and they will not know they are blocked. I found several of the group that turned on me had viewed my LinkedIn page and figured there was nothing good that could come out of it, so figured that block out too.  Go to their profile and to the far right of their name click on the three dots.  Block is one of the options.  I felt relieved, sad in a way, but satisfied there was one less way they could view me.

Hiding a Blog from unfriendly eyes is apparently impossible. I have been warned to be careful what I write or who you write about. Even if you do not name the individual, apparently you can be sued for slander if there is any indication that it refers to them.

Blocking people that are mean to you gives you the freedom not to have them in your life. There is enough negativity in the world, so any that you can eliminate makes your world a better place. We all live in our own piece of the world. Sometimes we just need to make it a smaller place.

PS: I never thought I would have to wait till I am almost 68 to learn how to block the unwanted. Do it earlier and enjoy life!

“Blocking” in Today’s World

Celebrate Solitude

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In our busy world, we seldom take time for ourselves.  We keep busy working and taking care of others. Once in a while it is good to step back and enjoy our surroundings.  Where we live in the Pacific Northwest we are surrounded by the beauty of nature. At this point in my life I live in a cottage I personally designed and built on a quiet cove, near a quiet town with limited traffic sounds in the distance.

This summer my husband with the help of two sons, built a deck about twenty feet from the edge of the water. The fire pit in the middle keeps you warm for conversation in the evenings.  This summer fires burned often and conversations continued till close to dawn.  I will have to admit I did not take part in the late night gatherings, but was glad for the hum of family and friends enjoying the beach.

The other night with guests galore in the house I found myself with the only room available being our living room.  I was reading a book, but was not in the mood for what I was reading. I looked out at the beach and noticed no one was around.  I grabbed a bottle of champagne, a glass, my down coat and walked by myself to the beach and the new deck.

It was a glorious early evening with lights still dancing on the water and  a group of geese floating nearby on the water.  In the early evening there was little traffic, the park across the water was empty as it was dusk. Opening the champagne, not in celebration but in “Oh My God, I need a drink” after the week that was still happening, I sat and decided I was the only one that could make and keep myself happy.  We all determine our own self worth, how we view the world and how we feel about who we are. No one but you can do that.

Like a copper tea pot, others can abuse you, put dents in your soft exterior, overheat you till you are no longer the beautiful copper you once were, but unless they put holes in your body, you can still make a great cup of tea.

As the sun set further and the chill of the night set in, I sat in quiet reverence enjoying the time by myself. I was saddened by the events of the last few days, but knew it was still a lovely place to live.  Harsh words could not take that away from me. I had worked hard all my life to finally be able to live on a beach where I could easily put sand between my toes.  I had done it on my own as a single mother. I no longer needed or wanted what I had in past and am content in my here and now. At some point in time taxes and life will take away this spot in the world that is mine to enjoy for the moment. When that time comes I will try to remember this moment in time when all was well with the world, the champagne was cold and I was content to not answer to anyone.

Look for that space in your life. As a child I had a special walnut tree in our orchard where I would climb and sit and dream about the future. Now I am content to sit and wonder where life will take me next.

Celebrate Solitude

The Bear Families Share

The Bear Family Left had just been joined by The Bear family Right. The Left Bear Family didn’t understand The Bear Family Right but thought they were right. The Right Bear Family didn’t understand The Bear Family Left but thought they were Right. The boys in the Bear Family Left made a very long list of complaints about the Bear Family Right and sent it to them after an event at house the bear parents shared.

The sons of The Bear Family Left complained about how they were treated, why the house they now visited that was originally owned by The Bear Family Right had rules. They had rules growing up, but for some reasons those rules should not apply in the Bear Family Right home.

bears81-1024x716The same sons thought they should be served only on the best crystal, china and silver, but could not understand why they had to help clean up anything. They thought it was now their house, but with that came none of the responsibility of the home where they grew up and were expected to help clean up after meals. They wanted to be able do anything they desired in the house, but none of the responsibility of helping to maintain the house.

The Bear Family Right suggested maybe paper plates might be fine for a picnic since there were so many people in attendance, then there would be no argument about who was to clean up the mess. The sons of The Bear Family Left were insulted with the idea of paper plates for an outdoor barbecue, and felt they were being treated unfairly when they were not free to use all the things in the house that The Bear Family Right had collected for many years, treasured and did not want broken.

The Bear Family Right did not ever have the chance to explain any of the significance of the cherished pieces because it did not matter to The Bear Family Left. The Bear Family Left felt that if it was in the house it should be used in whatever matter they desired. If they wanted to take crystal to the beach that had been a gift from a dear friend, now departed; they felt they had the right. It was okay with them to put beautiful cut crystal bowls on the rickety outdoor table, They did not know or apparently care that it was last gift from The Bear Family Right’s late husband. They told The Bear Family Right that if anything was worth it should be sold, not cherished.

Because The Bear Family Right asked to be careful of some of these things, The sons of The Bear Family Left became extremely angry. They huffed and they puffed, they sent degrading emails to their father, telling him how totally horrible this person that he loved and married treated them. The mother of The Bear Family Right never once had the opportunity to explain any of it.

The sons of The Bear Family Left felt the Bear Family Right had forced their father to sell his home and move into her beautiful beach front cottage. What they did not realize is that the beach cottage was worth a lot more money and would be a better investment after the retirement of the father.

The father of The Bear Family Left had two rather exotic cars when he married the mother of The Bear Family Right and bought one more after they met. The sons did not know the story behind the new red Porsche, they just thought the new bear wife had forced him to sell his favorite toys. The new bear wife thought the toys were very pretty, especially the Mustang and did not want him to sell his toys. One by one he sold them, as he felt that part of his life was in the past and he wanted simple nice/functional cars to drive going forward. Maybe his sons did not know that the Porsche he traded in caught on fire spontaneously the day after he traded it in. That could have happened in the garage. His sons never knew that his new wife had always driven Porsches and sold the last one shortly before they met. The sons knew so very little about her history and never asked.

The sons described the new bear wife as being cold, self-serving, constantly negative, extremely rude, extremely disrespectful, confrontation, condescending, short (true as she is not very tall), ridiculous and insulting. They felt they were not welcome in the home their father shared with her and that she treated them with desrespect. The father has yet to figure out why they feel this way because she is the happy and positive person in their personal relationship. It should make one stop and wonder how the bear wife felt whenever they came to visit?

The sons of The Bear Family Left were troubled by how they felt she treated their father and that she somehow wanted to change and control him in every way. They felt she had taken his retirement, (which he lost when he was let go) his house, his cars and his money.  They did kind of forget that she might have brought equal or more to the marriage, but had never bothered to ask. The Bear Family Left sons knew very little about The Bear Family Right or what their history was or what they had accomplished.

One day the oldest son of The Bear Family Left thought he had enough of it when the bear wife asked if he would mind staying with his dog in the fully furnished art studio above the garage, as new carpet had just been installed in the house and the wife had asthma. She asked him very nicely with the bear father standing at the front door, unbeknownst to the son.

The son grabbed his dog, went out the back door, coming in swearing a couple of minutes later.  He seemed to forget there was a six year-old baby bear in the room and a son of The Bear Family Right.  He called the bear wife many bad names and shouted he was going to find her and tell her off.  She had been sitting in her adjacent office and heard it all.  She calmly told him she was there and that she would like his father to be there to hear what all he had to say.

She walked to the front of house looking for his father and he followed yelling at her. By the time the father was found too many false accusations to mention had been screamed at the wife.  She finally yelled “No one can talk to me like that in this house”.

He left and the older bear couple went for a walk with the baby bear.  Everyone was unhappy. When they returned, the older sister on The Bear Family Left came in the house in tears. She and her father talked and she left in a huff. Nothing good was going to happen in this situation. The rest of the day she would not let her bear daughters play with the other baby bear.  No one was happy and the bear wife never ever got to try to talk to anyone.  She was now a “fucking bitch”, according to son and treated everyone horribly. I guess they did not know that was one more thing finally accomplished on her bucket list.  Next year she would volunteer to be the horse poop picker upper.  She figured that had equal stature on the list.

The Bear Family Right was very upset as she had always tried to be as nice as possible. She had helped The Bear Family’s youngest son get into architecture school, spending hours redoing his portfolio, rewriting his entry letter and helping more than once redo his resume. His portfolio had been selected as one of the best at the architecture school and was on display.  She had taken a month to plan a wedding shower and later a rehearsal dinner for the youngest son and his finance, doing all the cooking herself, designing invitations and inviting a lot of young people she did not know into the beach cottage. She had spent time talking to the oldest bear son when he was having marital problems and spent several hours rewriting a resume for a girl he met. She was the one that sent cards, gifts and always remembered important events. Yet, here she was a terribly horrible person that they all had hated since they met her.

The children of The Bear Family Right and the father of The Bear Family Left do not understand why they think she is bad. They had never seen her treat the other family badly as they say, or be negative or rude. They never heard her insult them, confront them or be condescending. They do not feel she treated them like children, unless trying to get their attention to come to dinner is a childish way to say dinner is ready. The bear father is still trying to figure out what she said that was hurtful or traumatizing as they say it was. She is trying to figure out the same.

The Bear Family Right said every visit was overshadowed by constant tension. If they felt that way and the rest of the family did not know it, how do you change it? If you can’t talk about things and feel you can only express yourself via explosive behavior or very nasty emails, how do you solve anything? This is not intellectual thinking, this boorish childlike behavior.

Moral of the bear story: Don’t hold negative feelings  inside and blame how you personally feel on everyone around you.  As in most situations there is more than is seen at the surface, but if you do not have the conscience to delve a little deeper, then you deserve the consequences.

Aftermath: The mama bear got to go to Urgent care with an asthma attack brought on by dog hair and bad air. The family is now split due to where a dog slept and life goes happily along.

 

The Bear Families Share