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2017 Resolutions

Sarahcamellia-2

Does everyone think of things they would like to do differently in the new year?  The beginning of another year does have the feeling of a fresh start and making positive changes.  Here’s my list:

1.  Practice yoga every day.  I received the book, Yoga As Medicine, for        Christmas which led me to this resolve.  Walking a couple of miles daily has become a habit for me.  Even though I’ve been attending a yoga class twice a week, I’d like the practice of yoga to become a daily habit as well.

2.  Always have fresh flowers in my home.  During the holiday season I’ve had poinsettias, amaryllis and a Christmas cactus which I received last year.  It survived to bloom again!  I also cut camellia blossoms out of my yard.–I tried to find those with long stems.  Also, throw the flowers out when they’ve wilted.  Nothing more depressing than sad flowers and stinky water.  Let me replace those camellias right now!

3.  Live a little more elegantly.  I have beautiful crystal, silver and dishes.  What am I saving it for?  Presentation, even for myself, is important.

4.  Have cosmetic eyelid surgery.  My eyelids are drooping!  Is there a stronger word?  Sagging?  Over hanging?

5.  Share my home with more friends more often.  I enjoy visiting in a small groups.  This means I need to keep certain things on hand:  soft drinks, beer, wine, cheese, crackers, etc.  (I’ll try not to eat and drink it all.)

6.  Post to this blog regularly.  I did a poor job of that in 2016, but I resolve to do better.  I’ve already thought of the next topic.

Wow! 2017 is going to be a very good year.  I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

Perfect Gifts

Christmas Gifts--Yum!

Christmas Gifts–Yum!

Sarah

It seems that there comes a time in life when the giving and receiving of consumable gifts seems appropriate and appreciated.  I gave and received those sorts of gifts this Christmas.  I was given tangerines from the Texas valley, pecans from San Saba, Texas, local honey, coffee, homemade apple bread, wine, port, chocolate, tea, hand soaps, a container of narcissus and jars of dip and jam.  I love all of these things!  In turn I gave grapefruit & oranges from the valley,  tamales from a local bakery, toasted pecans, wine, coffee, jam, balsamic vinegar and organic pomegranate juice!

I guess most of my friends and family who are mid-60′s plus, just don’t need or want more things–unless they’re big ticket items which they buy for themselves–a new car, a green egg,  Alaskan cruise or tickets to a Las Vegas or Broadway show.  I sort of like this point in my life.  Certainly things have to be replaced, maintained and updated (bathrooms, kitchens, the house in general,  clothes, shoes, plants in the landscape), but I don’t really need or want to accumulate more objects.  There’s a certain freedom in that circumstance.

Exceptions to the  list of consumable things that one might want to acquire are books, CDs or DVDs. I was very pleased to receive a book on yoga which was on my wish list.  I also purchased an Andrea Bocelli Christmas CD which I’ve enjoyed, and I can’t wait to see the Advanced Style DVD which Susan is bringing for our birthday celebration!

Hmmm, maybe I’m not as free from the desire to acquire things as I thought!  Happy New Year!

 

 

Trees in the Fall

Sarah

I live in a wooded part of the state of Texas.  The woods are filled with several varieties of oak, sweet gum, hickory, pine and magnolia.  Every year about Thanksgiving, which is coming up this week, the leaves of the deciduous trees turn all sorts of glorious colors:  yellow, bronze, copper, gold, orange, red and maroon.  The view of the trees from my house is fabulous!  I know the northeast is known for spectacular fall color, but this is pretty impressive.  Crepe myrtles are commonly planted here, and they can be quite vivid.  There are a couple of other trees that should be mentioned:  the Chinese tallow and the ornamental pear.  The tallow tree is not a native and is really a trashy tree and not long lived, but it redeems itself every fall with its showy leaves.  The ornamental pear is not particularly long lived either, but the white blossoms in the early spring and beautiful fall color make it quite popular.  Another of my favorites for its color is the bald cypress. It’s actually a conifer that’s deciduous.  The bald cypress is fast growing and lives a long time.  I have one in my yard which I planted.  The only thing I don’t like about it is its “knees” which come up in inappropriate places!

I’ve tried growing a couple of Japanese maples with no success.  That maple is an under story tree.  I made the mistake of planting one in an area that receives intense afternoon sun.  Its leaves sort of fried every summer.  In another attempt, I planted a maple near my front door.  It seemed to thrive for several years but suddenly died.  I don’t think I’ll try another one.

There are many folks that love the desert and others who like an expanse of sandy beach, but I’m very pleased and thankful to live in the forest– particularly at this time of year.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Appearing in the Second Act

Sarah

Helena Rubinstein said, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.”  I don’t think I’m lazy, but maintaining my appearance as I age, is work.  It takes commitment and discipline, and it’s endless!

I’ve just read a book by Christopher Hopkins, the makeover guy.  You may have seen him on Oprah.  I bought his book, Staging Your Comeback, several years ago.  The three of us had fun figuring out our body types and the body types of others (X, A, Y or O).  After that afternoon, I shelved the book; however, he has much to say about clothes, hair and make-up.  Here are a few of his tips:

  • Dark recedes and light expands.
  • Texture adds mass.
  • Round adds pounds.
  • Shine expands wherever it’s placed.

When trying to select flattering clothing, he suggests aiming to create the illusion that your figure is proportionately balanced by camouflaging the prominent features that you don’t like  and drawing attention to your good features.  He has techniques for dealing with a short neck, narrow shoulders or very broad shoulders, minimizing or maximizing the bustline and minimizing the midsection and derriere.  He’s a big fan of pantyhose and a well-fitting bra.

On the subject of gray hair Christopher writes, “. . .allowing your gray hair to shine through is best held off until it is more than 25 percent white.    Once it’s up to 50 percent white, it’s going to have more punch.”  He also states, “that gray hair is only best when it is ideal for your skin tone.  If you look better in warm tones, gray might not be the best.”  On the subject of hair length, I agree with Christopher’s statement that long hair is only for a select few in the second act.

His section on make-up recommends putting emphasis on the eyes by curling your eyelashes, using mascara and eye shadow (only neutrals, no frosted blues or greens), and he makes a huge deal out of eyebrows!  Having your brows tweezed where you need less and penciled or powered where you need more will make a dramatic difference.  “Next to a good bra, it’s the best thing you can do for a lift.”

I guess my assignment for tonight is to go through my underwear drawer and toss those old bras.  Why am I keeping them?  Then on to the make-up drawer.  I must confess I think I have some blue and green eye shadow.  Surely it’s not frosted!  And I’m feeling very insecure about my eyebrows.

Streamline

Streamlining…. I think it may be time.  I am referring to the process of paring back or down-sizing one’s possessions, and simplifying one’s lifestyle.   I like the word “streamlining” because it implies  changes that make things breezier, fresher and even sleek.  The simplicity of Feng Shui comes to mind.

The saying “less is more” really is true, but it runs counter to the way I have done things for a very long time.  The benefits of donwnsizing or simplifying is not new thinking,  it is well documented in articles and books.   I am just late to the party!

Very recently I heard a minister tell an anecdote about a young man “possessed by his possession”, a glamorous MGB GT  sports car, and how upon eventually totaling it and having to replace it with a dented used car he experienced freedom.

Perhaps the desire to pursue this process of streamlining is a characteristic of my age group, “approaching 70″.   And, I suppose that since this aging process is inevitable, I will try to embrace the freedom of a simpler lifestyle!

So, this should keep me very busy….where to begin?

 

Martha

 

Hair

Susan

When we began this blog there was a list of things that we felt were important and helpful in maintaining our appearances as we got older.  One of those things was a great haircut and color.  Youth allows for all sorts of strange hairstyles & colors, but not so as you get older.  I have been going to the same hairdresser for about 10 years.  Now, I am sure that my natural hair color has changed a bit in that time, but really.  I go every 5 weeks but I never know what color it will be!  I am blonde, or used to be, not sure exactly what my true color is now. Anyway, even though I try to suggest to her that it was a little dark last time, or a little light….I just never know what I will get.  This last time I came out with very brown hair.  I like brown hair, but it was not what I had in mind. Recently, the problem has seemed to escalate.  About 6 months ago she moved her shop to her husband’s used car lot, so maybe she is somewhat distracted?  But she really knows how to cut short hair so what to do?  Well, maybe the mystery of never knowing how my hair color will turn out adds spice to my life and my husband’s.  He has never said he prefers brunettes, but he does notice my haircut if I come home with dark hair.

Plastic surgery

Susan

Mmm. I thought the mention of my having a little “work” done might make someone curious. I think the issue of having a surgical procedure done to try to stall the aging process brings up some philosophical issues about vanity, at least for me. But my eyelids had become rather hooded and I didn’t like the way they looked. Vanity! I had a procedure done called blepharoplasty: excess eyelid is removed. Anyway, I had already decided to have the procedure done when lo & behold, Medicare paid for it! I think my eyes look better. I am anxious for the sisters to see my eyes and give me their opinions. Hope they approve because can’t be undone.