Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fashion and Fire Ants

It was one of those perfect early fall days and I decided to stop by a local park for outfit photos. This was several weeks ago when leaves were just barely changing on a few trees. Things were going well although I was in a bit of a hurry because I had a meeting to get to later that morning. So I guess I wasn't giving my usual attention to my surroundings. See that innocent looking field behind me? Well I set up the tripod in it. Just as I got into a pose, fire ants attacked my ankles. I looked down and my feet and pants legs were just swarming with the little buggers. After slapping them off and checking and re-checking my shoes, I gave up. I'm just glad I took these first because I was done after that! You just never know what you face on an outdoor photo shoot!

Oh yeah, an outfit description. I almost forgot in all the excitement of the ants. The chambray vest was thrifted and I wear it so much lately it's embarrassing really. The burgundy pants just might be the garment I am most excited about for fall. Not that they're that special, but they suit me. The flats are Champions from PayLess. When I found them, I was hoping to find something built like a sneaker but dressier. Score! And the bag? I broke down and bought a new purse because I was still carrying a very summery madras plaid bag. I've never been much of a purse person, but that could be changing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What am I supposed to do with wavy hair?

 I have never ever been fashion-forward. I never get in on the front end of a trend. So I was thrilled to find out "beachy waves" are in style because that's what my hair usually does all on it's own these days. Other than the baby curls when I was little, I've always had mostly straight hair. Over the last several years it has become curlier, a LOT curlier! I have blamed aging, the water, shampoo and starting thyroid medicine. Whatever the reason, I love it!. So far I have been unable to bring myself to try the "no-poo" approach many are advocating online these days for curly girls. This year is the first time I've stopped shampooing daily, believe it or not. I was so greasy for all my teen and young adult years that I just continued to shampoo daily until this year.Crazy right? I did take some online advice about not dry-brushing and some other tips.
 This is my hair after "plunking" it into a microfiber towel for a while and scrunching a little. Other than that I did nothing else but let it air dry.

The photos below are where I dry brushed it just to do a comparison. I like both looks and am having trouble deciding how best to style it. Since it is wavy and not really ringlety curly, I seem to be able to get away with things truly curly folks can't.

O.K., Which one looks better?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Red Roses and Voluntary Vines

I decided to take advantage of the roses my sweet husband brought me yesterday and use them as a prop. Don't worry, he wasn't chintzy and gave me an entire dozen. I just thought posing with the whole bunch would look silly (see the last photo). I was pretty happy with the outfit except for the belt. According to an article I saw recently, I should really be wearing a medium width belt. Well usually I wear this with a skinny belt. This wide one ends up looking like sort of an under the boobies band. So I'm torn between liking that it makes my leg line look really long and worrying that it emphasizes the effects of gravity and time. That's all I've got to say about that.

You know I just have to note some little oddity in almost every post. Well, see that vine under the table? Yes, it actually grows up through the chair a little. I didn't plant it. Apparently a watermelon or squash seed fell from our deck to our new flower bed bellow the deck producing this unexpected vine. Also of note--the chartreuse sweet potato vine above is actually growing in a pot. It just spread all over once I moved it to the back yard. Apparently it loves morning sun much more than the unforgiving afternoon sun that our front stoop receives. My garden and my life are always a bit random, but it's always interesting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If I'm Joseph, where the heck's my cute, colorful coat?

I don't have a lot of followers, but I still feel like I've strung people along all Summer. First of all, this summer has been incredibly busy with vacations and activities, and the clothing I tend to wear is totally functional. The other factor this summer has been a change in our lives that took my complete attention for several months.

You see, in Georgia children at the age of 14 get to decide which parent they live with. Guess which parent has been carefully coaching the kids since the age of 4 to choose them? Answer--not me. Yes, the best interest of the child is supposed to still be primary, and, no, I don't think it was in our case. However, that is a huge complicated legal gobbledygook that I'm sure doesn't belong on my casual little blog.

Whatever the background, let's just say my husband and I find ourselves suddenly empty nesters four years earlier than expected. The boys will be home on alternate weekends and parts of school holidays, but things have changed completely. The whole thing kept me too busy to worry about photographing myself and all that this blog entails.

We are counting on eventually being able to say like Joseph "What you meant for evil, God used for good." His own brothers sold him into slavery, he ended up in prison and went through all kinds of trouble to later realize God used him to preserve the children of Israel. Every single experience was preparing him for his later role. It's a pretty amazing story, but living in it is not nearly as cool as it sounds at vacation Bible school!

So, here I am still here and kicking. Now I'm going to go reorganize my fall clothes. I'm just sure there's a multi-colored coat in there somewhere.

And as for why I don't post much in summer . . . here is a typical less than flattering outfit and my lovely family.

Friday, July 20, 2012

We Interrupt This Blog to Bring You . . . Summer!

As you can see, I've been a bit busy! If I promise to blog faithfully during Autumn, will you forgive me?

Quick comment about my clothing--I prefer to wear workout clothes to kayak and swim rather than a swimsuit. They dry quickly and I like the shorts because no swimsuit is kind to us large-thighed women. How are short skirts that don't come close to covering my thighs supposed to help? Am I right? I promise that is not my stomach hanging down but the top billowing out. No really, it is.

We spent the last several days at Panama City Beach. We did everything from riding go carts (that's what happens when you're the only female in the family) to kayaking. The above picture is from our adventure at Cypress Springs on Holmes Creek. Gorgeous place in the middle of nowhere near Vernon, FL. The nice folks at Old Cypress Canoe Rentals were kind enough to shuttle our kayaks and were so friendly. It's a little family business run from their house and they went out of their way to take care of us. In this case that meant picking us up in the middle of a thunderstorm while being just as cheerful as if it was perfectly sunny.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Break

I know I haven't posted many outfit photos, but this is a very busy summer for us. This is about as formal as it gets! I know I said scarves in Georgia in the summer just don't happen. Well I crocheted this lacy one out of NaturallyCaron Spa and will make an exception for it. By afternoon, it's usually off though!
And this last photo? It really serves no particular purpose, but I thought it was fun!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just A Little Sunbeam

Let me introduce you to Sunbeam. Since that just happened to be the brand name on my scale, I just went with it and call her that. Yep, there's more than a little irony going on there. Recently I noticed that my parents' scale is named "Health-O-Meter". That's right, step on me and I'll tell you everything you need to know about how healthy you are. I have no doubt a scale can be a useful tool, but I've come to believe it is but one tool, one indicator of the health of the person climbing aboard, not the whole picture.

When I step onto my little Sunbeam, she tells me I am obese. However, she does not tell me that my cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. are great. She can't tell that I have RA that is one of the chickens that came before the obesity egg. She has seen me through diet pills, Weight Watchers, and Thrive and can tell you that my weight has gone everywhere from 170 up to 197, but keeps settling down at 183-186. Same weight I was 10 years ago when I married James. She can tell you that I basically battle the same 3-5 lbs. monthly over and over. Most importantly she can tell you I have stopped stepping on her every morning and cursing her!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Folk Dancing and Toy Horsies

 Yeah, but I bet the title got your attention, didn't it? I'm not sure why but I have more than one outfit that reminds me of some sort of folk dancing costume. And the horsey? 

Horsey came from an antique mall even though he's obviously not all that old. He's every little kids dream and was only $15. How could I resist. I had to hurry to use him as an outfit photo prop before sending him to live with my niece and nephew. My kids are way to old and cool to play with him, but I have to admit we have all been posing him different places around the house, pretending to ride him, etc. So, I guess that means we've been, um, playing with him. Now for the outfit photo . . . in case you wondered what one wears in the south when the temperature soars above 100, I have to say we wear as little as possible. I used to avoid dresses but last year I discovered they are breezy and cool. It's like wearing shorts but more appropriate for all kinds of settings. I'm turning positively girly!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Planking or Camping? Nope, it's a hammock

Hammocking, It's the latest thing, really! Maybe we can start a trend of people planking in a hammock. My kids kept spinning over staring at the ground. They are much braver than I am. 

We had a blast that weekend. Then for father's day I took the hubster off for an alone weekend camping. Would you believe after using this hammock for years it came untied while I was napping in it? There is nothing like being awoken by the back of your head smacking the ground. No photos of that trip because I mostly shlepped around with no makeup in between swimming in the lake and kayaking.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Red Carpet?

This looks like a red carpet photo--something I never, ever thought I was possible for me. Sorry folks, it's just a shot outside a tiny church in a tiny southern town, but don't we clean up well?

And my boys? You may never see them in dress shirts again till their weddings. So enjoy while you can. I may be slightly biased but I think they are the best looking 14 yr olds ever.

Next we have my new daughter-in-law and her twin sister and the lovely couple with our niece. My personal favorite photo has to be my hubby holding my sparkly clutch for me. It just makes his outfit.

And finally, my parents. Style has to originate somewhere, you know!

Step-mother of the Groom Dress

Just one of several reasons I have neglected my blog--my step-son's wedding was Saturday. I finally decided the paint fumes were probably the main reason for feeling awful recently. So we took greater care with the ventilation as we finished up last week. Now I'm back to just regular RA fatigue. Yay! I'm so excited. It's a bit of a pain but manageable at this time. 
Yeah, nobody really markets dresses to the step-mother of the groom, but with large number of blended families, maybe somebody should. In this case I got really lucky because my mom wears the same dress size I do and she has lots of awesome clothes. She gave me 3 dresses to try and I had one of mine I was considering. However, as soon as I put this one on I knew it was the one and didn't even try the others!

Here is my hair about as fixed as it ever gets. I have always been curler and curling iron impaired. Add to that having wrist pain and no hand strength and it means I almost never curl my hair. Fortunately, it became curlier in recent years and just needed a little encouragement. I did pin curls in back and used curling iron on the front. Ironically, I spent longer straightening my sons cute curly locks. Why do boys never appreciate their curly hair?

More photos to follow of the lovely occasion and my lovely family.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I'm feeling slightly better today and we both made it to the office. My only co-worker at our tiny office is having health issues too. Coincidence? I think not. Even though we bought "low VOC" paint, I'm still pinning at least some of this on the fumes. She has the same ridiculous fatigue as me. Then, lucky woman, she can add nosebleeds, a swollen place near her jaw, and a sore on the side of her nose similar to a cold sore.

Feeling a little fuzzy and unfocused!

Still, I can't completely say it's the paint at this point. We have really made sure to open doors and have ventilation as we touch up and paint our doors and that seemed to help. But I had not even been to the office on Monday when I got knocked down by horrible fatigue again. Of course we are 40 ish and 50 ish which means we are both old enough to get tired out way faster than when we were younger. So that might have something to do with it.

But our office looks amazing!

Something is definitely up but like me she is resisting going to the doctor. Hopefully she will go this week since she has some additional symptoms above what I have. I will eventually go, but am resisting because fatigue is already such a big, well-known part of RA. Fatigue also goes along with any and everything, too. So how in the world do you pin it on something particular? Add to that the fact that she and I normally do very little physical labor. During the painting process we have daily been squatting, crawling, climbing scaffolding, reaching and generally contorting ourselves into odd positions all day every day for about a month and a half. Standing is very difficult for me and I have been doing lots of that too. And again, add to the painting that on our off time I have been making a new flower bed and she has been cleaning out her mother's stuff.

Let's just say we are totally exhausted!

I wore a really cute outfit today, but did I take a photo? Um, it was a white tee, red sweater vest, khaki shorts. For fun I threw on a pearl necklace for contrast with the casualness--very cute. Bad, bad blogger. Bad!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stripes and Flowers and Health Struggles

What, you were expecting maybe some pattern mixing? This is not an overwhelmingly exiting outfit, but it works for when I need something casual. I'm having some kind of health struggle right now and don't exactly know what it is. So please bear with me. The fatigue that I had several days in the last few weeks let up over the weekend but returned yesterday. I don't get it. For the camp out I was able to kayak, swim, walk to the bathroom 3 million times, etc. I did start feeling a little yucky when we were breaking camp and packing up, but the weather had turned hot for the first time that weekend and packing up just sucks! Then when I woke up Monday my wrists were aching and I felt dizzy and drained.

At first I blamed the storms moving through although my RA doesn't freak out with the weather like it used to before starting Enbrel. However, even after the rain cleared out, I still felt lousy. I made it to work a while today but still not feeling good. I just had my yearly, er . . . woman check up and 6 month check in with my Rheumatologist. So I hate to go back to the doctor. Temporarily I'm waiting a few more days to see if the fatigue improves.

The reasons I have considered range from exposure to paint fumes while we have been painting my office to RA fatigue, thyroid issues, a virus, etc. My thyroid meds recently had to be increased but surely that wouldn't make me feel this bad. Before I started treatment for hypothroidism, the symptoms were very, very subtle. Nothing like this. Meanwhile, outfit photos and blog posts may continue to be iffy till I feel better.  Sorry!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back From Camping

Yeah, my poor blog has been neglected so badly lately that I figured one more weekend wouldn't hurt. The hubster, my kids and I took off for the wilds of Lake Alatoona and camped at Sweetwater Creek Campground. It wasn't exactly wilderness, and with our new camper, it wasn't exactly roughing it. However, we managed to unplug the children from video games for 72 hours. In my book, that's a huge success. We kayaked, swam, and grilled. My step-son and his wife even visited for some fishing and a mean game of Rummy. The funny thing is, even though tomorrow is Monday, I have a staff retreat at Lake Lanier. I'm not sure that I'll be able to return to reality come Tuesday!

I took very few pictures which is really, really not like me, but I was very serious about just kicking back and living the experience. Maybe I'll post some later of my kids rolled over in the hammock. Outfit photos? You've got to be kidding. I just had my first bath in 3 days. Yeah, they had 2 shower houses but we just swam in the lake. So not like me! Hopefully the slower summer schedule will have me blogging better from now on.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vested Interest

 All I can say is that I was in the mood to wear purple and grab whatever from the closet. It was just that kind of a day. We're within a day or 2 of completing the painting of our office and I'm beyond tired out. For some reason every day I have crushing fatigue. Could it be paint fumes? Or just being a contortionist all day? I really don't know.  Now that we're down 2 boys with 2 to go, I need to paint the downstairs, but it will be a while before I'm up for more painting. I know my blog has been suffering but, I'm soooooo tired. When I'm not painting and at home, I have been preparing our new flower bed and gathering firewood for this weekend's camping trip. Hmmm . . . I just can't figure out why I stay tired!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Messy Bun Day

I thought I wouldn't try the old sock bun way atop my head. Cute little young bloggers look cool and trendy. I know I would look nutty, or frumpy or just plain wrong. Mid-head bun like I used to do for ballet recitals, now that I think I can do. So I did a sock bun the night before. It was perfectly smooth and adorable. But this is how it turned out the next day when it counted and I would actually see other humans. Since it was a painting day, I decided to just go with it anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Walking with my boys

Wowsers! I knew this was a wild print on this dress from Cato, but now I really see it in the photos. I have some kind of outfit blindness where mirrors just don't cut it for me. Nothing shows me reality like a photo. We took off after church for Chattanooga to look at a pop-up camper (yes, we bought it. Look for camping posts as summer continues).  I started out in the cutest gladiator sandals, but changed into my ugly blue sneakers. I've never been one to suffer for fashion to start with. Add RA to the mix and cute shoes move way down the priority list!

The hubster and I recently discovered the Riverwalk area and decided to try it out on the boys. I'm never sure if they will be all for a walk or whine the whole time. Fortunately, they are maturing and embraced the whole thing. We had a blast!