My thoughts & opinions on whatever pops into my head. Keep in mind, that my tongue is always kept firmly in cheek. My political opinions are just that...opinions - not intended to offend or inflame. Opinions are not facts & should not be construed as such. As a Libertarian & fan of the Constitution, I believe in free speech, free thought & the right to express my thoughts, beliefs & opinions just as all others have the same right. You are free not to read it
I started working from home 95% of the time, I could plop down at my desk and
computer wearing sweats or pajamas and slippers and nobody would know – except
me. I would know and feel less professional, less competent,and certainly less spectacular.
mom has always encouraged my sister and me to get up, shower, get dressed and
put on make-up at the start of the day.She professed that doing so would help us feel better even on a dreary
day. And she was right. While I may not subscribed to the character played by
Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live – Fernando – who always expressed that is
was better to look good than to feel good – I do believe that if we look good,
we feel better.
lot of women my age or even younger essentially give up. They don’t like their
menopausal bodies and choose to disguise themselves in blandness. But I’m a
firm believer that the confidence we’ve built through the years of living life
gives us a beauty and character that younger women envy. And if they don’t,
they should. Those of us who have survived the turmoil of the 1970’s and
1980’s, broke barriers for women, worked twice as hard, tried to be superstars
at home and at work, learned lessons from life, made decisions, and still
stayed true to ourselves through it all deserve to celebrate the women we have
become, the bodies that have served us, the minds we have cultivated and the
face that we have earned.
writing style is engaging and encouraging. She advocates that we women should
dress to please ourselves and have a right to look fabulous everyday. And she
doesn’t mean the fabulous that fashion magazines present. She means the
fabulous that each one of us has within us. She encourages us to celebrate who we are and
the body we live in today. That is why I always wear beautiful underwear. Her
books taught me to only buy and wear what I love. So I love my yoga clothes, my
coats, my handbags, my makeup, my vanishing back Soma bras, and my Tieks ballet
Soma Vanishing Back Bra
embrace your beauty as the awesome woman you are today. Shape, size, perceived
defects, wrinkles – don’t matter. Remember that Helen Mirren is now the face of
Lore’al in Europe! Over 40 is fabulous! And as one of my friends pointed out –
the hot flashes cause my skin to glow!
I was born and raised in north central Indiana with frigid icy winters that
often had temperatures that dipped well below zero Fahrenheit, I was born in
July, the midst of summer and love hot, humid, sultry weather. My feet feel
numb when the temperature dips below 55 F. I need shearling lined boots, down
comforters or duvets, cashmere shawls in the house and office, a fur or
shearling long coat and hat, a fireplace, a scarf that wraps around my head,
face and neck, and a cat to sit on my feet.That is, until I get a hot flash. Then I have to shed the layers, turn
on all of the fans, and walk outside in my yoga clothes, barefoot, until the
heat subsides. Then – I’m back to freezing. And I’m sweaty. Yuk!
the change in weather affects my mood. Despite the good fortune of having a
lovely Indian summer this October, the approaching winter makes me want to
hibernate. I feel tired, out of sorts, discombobulated, off-kilter, frustrated,
overwhelmed by work and somewhat apathetic.
I know I am extremely blessed and do feel gratitude that I no longer have to
spend 6 hours in a car or train commuting each day, that my job affords me a
significant amount of autonomy, that I have the respect of my team, and that I
truly am at the top of my game, I’ve had to actively remind myself of my good
fortune and let the stress go. It has been a struggle the last several weeks. I
do not work outside in the elements. Nobody will die if something falls through
the cracks. I do not have to fear illness from treating Ebola patients. So what
is the source of my angst?
is the change of seasons. While there is beauty around me as the leaves turn
vibrant colors and the air is till somewhat warm – I know that just around the
corner is winter – when the trees are bare, the air is cold, the mornings and
evenings are dark, and the landscape is gray.
know this too shall pass. And I have to accept what is. But I don’t have to
embrace it with gusto. I just need to adapt and look forward to the spring that
will come, the daffodils, roses, iris, and tulips. That will get me through the
darkness. The memories of what will come.
1.Wear a corset! Really! It makes a difference and
it not uncomfortable. A corset holds the “girls” in place, provides the period
correct silhouette, and gives one back support;
2.No bangs! No ringlets! Part ye hair in the
center pull it into a neat roll;
3.No synthetic fabrics! Synthetics are flammable,
shiny and inappropriate; if it is shiny, don’t buy it! No matter how good the
4.No obvious makeup.Avoid looking like a trollop!
6.Please to avoid inappropriate footwear! No
visible tennis shoes, crocs, sandals or stiletto heels. Square toe ankle boots
or dancing slippers (for the correct occasion) or square toe flats only.
7.Unless you are a sweet young thing (defined as
under 20 years of age) please don a one piece dress with the same pattern on
the bodice and skirt of wool or silk or cotton. No white shirtwaist and
patterned calico skirts! Also, unless a young girl no Swiss waist!
8.Again, repeat after me – unless you are a maiden
or hunting, at the shore, a ball, a dinner, or at home, please wear a silk or
straw bonnet or a wool or cotton sunbonnet when out and about.At the shore one may wear a wide brimmed hat.
While hunting one may don a narrow brimmed hat; indoors one may wear a
decorated hairnet or lace cap or festive hair ornament. Otherwise – mutton
dressed as lamb!
9.All sad rayon snoods should be burned – or
melted. I have short, baby fine hair, but I can still find period appropriate
ways to disguise my 21st Century locks. Make an effort. It is not
expensive or challenging. Purveyors of awful hair coverings should be shot with
Nerf balls! Charlatans I say!
10.Discard all of those tapestry shoulder bags!
11.Battenberg lace was not used in the 1860’s!
Unless you have traveled back in a time machine, your Battenberg lace parasol
is of the future!
12.Just because somebody sells it on Sutler row,
that does not mean it is period correct. Many sutlers are clueless about what
the people of the time actually wore and used. Some sutlers are stuck in the
sad days of the 1970’s or don’t care if they can make a buck.
Okay, so I figure if I repeat these guidelines over and over
again somebody may listen. I work in insurance claims so I am used to misguided
people disagreeing with me or ignoring me. But while re-enacting is a fun
family activity – it is not a game. It is educating the public on the way things
were and we have a duty to represent an authentic persona – not a caricature!
came upon me gradually. I used to love shopping at outlet malls and upscale
shopping centers. In fact, when I first moved to the Dallas area in the mid
1980’s, I learned my way around by driving to North Park Mall or The Galleria
or Los Colinas.On my way home from work
I would often stop at the Plano Mall and wander through Lord & Taylor,
Dillard’s and Foleys.That was before
leveraged buyouts and the homogenization of department stores. Each store had
its own character and the store’s labeled items were often as high in quality
as the national brands. (Of course, I later learned they were all made at the
same factories). Now, most department
stores offer the same merchandize. I’ve grown to hate visiting shopping malls.
They all now seem boring, soulless and uninspiring.
carried merchandise from the front line stores that were from a past a season
or two, or returns or overruns or seconds. It was possible with some diligence
to find a gem, a bargain so delicious that my heart would sing for days. My
best find was an Albert Nipon tea length black whisper silk dress with gold
embroidery marked down from $980 to $75 at Loehmann’s Back Room. I wore it for
black tie events for 10 years! Every time I wore it I felt like royalty!
however, outlet malls are populated with stores that manufacture merchandise
just for the outlet store. While the clothes may look similar, they are not. The
fabrics look cheaper, feel cheaper, the fit is inconsistent, and the prices are
not great.Outlet stores also seem to
have perpetual “sales” so that the consumer believes they are getting a
bargain. However, I’ve found, that the sales prices at most front line stores
are ultimately better because the merchandise is better.
afternoon I went to the Prime Outlets in Hagerstown, Maryland specifically to
visit the Soma outlet. One of my friends had said she’d gotten some great deals
there and I was intrigued. She was right about Soma. The Soma at the Hagerstown
outlet mall sold first line store merchandize at full price as well as
discounts on styles no longer sold in the front line stores. The prices were
about the same as if I were buying at the sale price online – but there was a
Soma was the only store worth visiting. The Chico’s outlet sells only “outlet”
merchandize. The Talbot’s outlet only sells items manufactured for the outlets.
The merchandize at the Ann Taylor outlet was sub-par. The items at the Ralph
Lauren outlet seemed the same as what is sold at T.J. Maxx under that label
rather than what one would find at Neiman’s. Seriously, with the exception of
my purchases at Soma, the experience was completely uninspiring.
other than the occasional foray into Chico’s, Soma, Talbot’s or Nordstrom, I
shop online.There are no crowds. The
prices are good. Shipping is fast.Returns are easy. And the selection is amazing. It is necessary to check
often and always Google for coupon codes.But, I believe I’ll continue to avoid the shopping centers to keep my
Civil War Military Re-enactors of a Certain Age – It is Time
to Portray a Civilian!
historic process photographers who have taken images at the major 150th
Anniversary Civil War re-enactments, we have seen good, bad, ugly, uglier and
scary impressions. While I normally focus on civilian impressions, it is time
to consider the state of the hobby in the military sector.
is an aging hobby and many military re-enactors have continued to portray
soldiers long after any actual mid-19th Century male would have been
considered qualified to serve in the Home Guard. There has been many an event
where we pitied the horses that were drafted to serve as rides for cavalry
impersonators of zaftig proportions. Women who make no effort to pass as male
soldiers defile the ranks at reenactments. Even children with toy guns join
I am all for family fun, a re-enactment that is marketed to the general public
as a living history event should aspire to some level of authenticity. The 150th
Cedar Creek re-enactment this weekend purported to have standards of
authenticity; however, it is clear that nobody made any effort to enforce the
standards. Visitors that were charged $18 a head to watch the battles were
treated to badly executed skirmishes in which unfit, couch potato, weekend
warrior, poorly accoutered, aged soldiers who fired their weapons at point
blank range resulting in- no casualties.
another challenge in staging even a pseudo authentic re-enactment, there is a
significant number of re-enactors who want to “burn powder” rather than
recreate history. As such, they refuse to die or fall wounded.At a properly choreographed re-enactment, the
commanding officers direct certain persons under their command to portray
casualties. That is authentic. People must die.
those men and women who have reached a certain age – say over 45 – and have
continued to portray a soldier, it is time to clean that military uniform (or
burn it), stow it in mothballs (or burn it,) and morph into a civilian
impression. This could be your opportunity to improve an impression. One can
portray a civilian with authenticity as an older, less fit, softer, slower, and
more rotund human. The possibilities are endless. So, you’ll have to hang up
your Henry, Spencer, Sharps or Enfield rifle and carry a walking stick instead.
But think of the delightful patterned trousers and fabulous civilian frock
coats that one can wear! Not to mention you can enjoy portraying civilians with
your spouse or significant other and you can decamp to a hotel with a shower
and eat really good food while enjoying heat or air conditioning rather than
camping in unpleasant weather.
is time to move into the Civilian world if you attended any of the 125th
re-enactments (or could have) as an adult. Really. I’m not joking. It is time!