Tuesday, April 29, 2014


So, this happened...

I had finally coaxed my ratchety grocery cart from the automatic door of the Major Market across the parking lot to my car. The cart was loaded to the tune of 'this is the only day in nearly two weeks in which I have been able to make it to a store and the next ten days aren't looking too promising either'.
The bag boy had completed a small architectural miracle with his artful stacking.

This was a very full cart.

As I opened the trunk and prepared to load my retirement account in the car, a woman approached. She was nicely dressed, late fifties to early sixties. She paused beside my car and said. "You have the nicest looking grocery cart I have ever seen."

I looked from her to my cart and back again.
She smiled.
I smiled.
My head spun.

Could she really be complimenting this load of food?
It was a colorful array of reusable bags. (Which has taken five years for me to finally get use to carrying them. You're welcome Earth.)
Perhaps she had followed me through the grocery and noticed my 'perimeter only' purchases: huge green watermelon, a rainbow of fresh vegetables, carefully chosen organic meat, locally cultured yogurt, a huge bouquet of brightly colored daisies. (Okay, the meat may have been from the $5 meat rack and I am pretty sure the daisies were totally GMOed. Those colors don't exist outside of the Crayola factory. She would have appreciated the carefully chosen bottle of wine but it was buried under three bags of chips which were crushed hidden under the watermelon.)

She smiled again and began to walk away and I realized it did not matter the reason for the compliment. I felt a ridiculous sense of accomplishment. My mood had been bolstered by her kind words. I smiled back and with a gracious yet questioning 'thank you' I took credit for it all – the bags, the contents, the arrangement, the craftsmanship of the cart maker.

As I proudly related the story to my family, it was pointed out that perhaps, she was the bag-boy's mother. After all, it was really his handywork which so carefully filled and stacked the bags.

I waved the naysayers off with a tip of my wine glass and took my crushed bag of chips to the deck.
You haters can't bring me down.

It really is a delightful haul.

 (I was so surprised by this incident that I didn't even think to take a picture of the stacked cart. I did, however, unload everything and arrange it in a pleasing manner just for the photo for this post. I probably should have put away the ice cream first.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a Marvelous Night for a &*^%&* Moondance

It is 3am. I am lying in a crumpled heap on the concrete pad in front of our garage door. My palms burn. I can feel blood dripping down my left knee, absorbed by the shredded remains of my pajama pants and terry cloth robe.

It was really only a matter of time.

There are three sets of stairs into/out of my house. One inside and a choice of two to get to the driveway.
Five carpeted stairs from the main floor to the landing...where my heels got caught, bilaterally, in some invisible fiber sending me careening onto the carpet at my husbands feet while he stood watching in amazement. If he hadn't had the oak door open I would have died.
Six concrete stone stairs making a winding pathway through the ivy under the big pine tree lead to the driveway...where I slid on an invisible patch of ice, pitching into the air in the manner of Tara Lapinski, landing on my butt. It took an hour before the vibration up my spinal column turned to actual pain.
And finally the five traditional concrete steps to the concrete pad by the garage door.
You would think this would have been the safest way down the steps at 3am.
I mean really. In math terms I had a 1:3 chance right?

Why was I walking down the steps at 3am in my now ruined pajama pants and blood soaked terry cloth robe?

I wanted to see the Blood Moon.
The night, here on the Coast of Illinois was cold, crisp, clear. The moon was fabulous. Big and round and moon-like. A shimmery deep pink. To the lower right a bright twinkle, Venus, I believe. One more brightly twinkling star a little further to the right.

I would have taken a picture but my iPod was not spared injury,receiving cosmetic damage to its face. And although the iPod still works, the moon being eight gazillion-paradigm miles away, is really too far for my tiny iPod camera.

If you are interested it looked just like my scraped up left knee.

I would have posted a picture of that but there is just too much sensationalism in journalism today.
Crossing that line would be a slippery slope.
Like the stairs.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

And This is How an Idea is Born

So I was sitting around with a group of co-workers the other day. We were pouring over the latest Vogue – critiquing the outfits, the models, the prices...
The conversation went something like this:
"Too short."
"Too young."
"Won't wear it. Won't wear it. Might wear it...no, won't wear it."
"Wow, she's scary..."
"He's cute."
"He's my son's age."

The median age of this group is early 50's.

But there was one outfit – The model is dashing across the white page, presumably to meet some exotic friend after a long hard day of international finance and shopping. She is wearing a thin black turtleneck and short white skirt, black knee socks and black chunky shoes. Totally do-able, if the skirt were a little longer and the knee socks were black boots.

"I could see myself in this." I said, optimistically, a vision of me dashing to the local cafe after a long hard day of shopping or museum wandering, in my mind.
My co-workers gave me that 'are you serious' look so I amended my previous statement with, "I mean, I couldn't pull off the knee highs. I don't think I even own knee highs anymore...."

And at that moment it dawned on us all. We simultaneously pulled up our pant legs to reveal BLACK KNEE HIGHS.
They were orthopedic knee highs, but still.

We had discovered the basis for Calvin Klein's newest line.

May I present to you, Calvin – The Menopause Collection.

A line of dresses and skirts in lengths somewhere between daytime hooker and Pentecostal Sister. Blouses in a variety of styles, including halters and thin straps but with BUILT IN BRAS. Real, adjustable banded bras. (Because honestly, those shelf bras are neither shelf nor bra.)
No 'empire' waistlines. (If we wanted to look pregnant we would just stop working out and eat all the Carbs after 5pm.)
And no 3inch or shorter crouch zippers.

We mid-life women want to look put together, fashionable and even a little sexy sometimes. But we do not need to be draped in leopard print, or taupe three quarter sleeves or those ridiculous 'high-low' flowing blouses. Some of us live in the Midwest for Pete's Sake. It is HOT in the summer. Have you ever tried to wear three quarter sleeves in 90 degree, 100 percent humidity?

It is not pretty.
And way too fragrant.

And not to worry Mr Klein. I even have a name for your new line. It embodies the style, grace and experience of the over 50 woman while remaining youthful and en vogue.
Are you ready for:

Haute Phlash

(Just to be safe, I googled 'Haute Phlash'. It seems it is MY ORGINAL IDEA in regards to a clothing line. The only true link to the words used together was to an Alpaca Farm which named one of its babies Haute Phlash. It's daddy being Jumping Jack Flash. And as most of we over 50 women can relate to Mick Jagger, Jumping Jack Flash and alpaca sweaters, and as there is no one on earth who doesn't love baby Alpacas, I am feeling the need to contact this farm for a picture to use as the symbol of Calvin's new line. I feel it will totally solidify our working relationship if I have all the basics ready.)