Saturday, September 29, 2012

In good company?

NYC fashion icon Iris Apfel

Diahann Carroll, actress
Susan Sarandon, actress
Italian designer Rosanna Orlandi 
Sally Jesse Raphael, 80's talk show host
A friend commented on my new bug-eye specs: "You look like one of those women you always see in New York, with the huge glasses and chic scarves." I knew what she meant. I've seen those women every time I've been to the Big Apple. I'm just not sure I want to be one. As you can see from the small sampling above, big glasses can be fab or, in some cases, a fashion foul.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Checking my vitals

Normal. Dare I say: perfect?!
After watching this disturbing segment on Dr. Oz, I did more research on melatonin and became concerned my nightly dose might be messing with my blood sugar. (I just made the switch from 3 mg to 1.) So, I broke out my dad's old meter and sold my first born for some glucose testing strips (good Lord, those things are expensive!) At the pharmacy, I decided a blood pressure monitor would be a good investment, too, especially when I saw this nifty model that straps around the wrist.
Pretty darn good.....for a head case.
The blood sugar check went swimmingly. (Needles have never scared me.) But, the blood pressure test was another matter. Turns out, I have 'white coat anxiety,' even when the 'white coat' is me! (What kind of a person freaks herself out on do-it-yourself test?) Fortunately, by the end of attempt No. 3, I was back within normal range. Ultimately, it's reassuring to know your numbers, even if they're not that great. I need to keep that in mind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My eyes may be buggin', but I can see like a dream!

I was getting so tired of switching to sunglasses every time I walked outside, I decided to give transition lenses a shot. I retired my prescription shades to the car (new lenses won't darken in vehicles), and will use these - by ECO -  in my daily indoor/outdoor life. My new specs are big. Really big. I look like a Disney-esque insect in them. But, I love the blue and brown tortoise shell and my bifocal area is huge compared to the smaller-framed glasses of my past. Who knew such a little thing -- you know, like seeing clearly -- could be so thrilling?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gray hair: A luxury anyone can afford.

    I got one of those back-handed compliments on my gray hair from a stranger today: "I wish I could do it. But, I'm afraid of looking old....oh, gawd....but YOURS looks great... really!!" 
    No harm, no foul. It's happened before.
    Charla Krupp, author of "How Not to Look Old," once said, "it's such a luxury to be able to go gray. Because it is an aging look, and it means that you don't care about people knowing your age." 
    She was probably right. Thankfully, I've never been shy about stating my age - it's 56, for the record - or asking others their number, especially when playing 'Who do you know?' The gentler, albeit sneakier, way is asking the year they graduated high school, but sometimes I forget and just blurt it out, often taking people aback.
      But, does it bother me? The looking older part, I mean?
      No. But, admittedly, I'm married. I'm not in the meat market, the job market, or any other competitive situation that I'm aware of.
      My paternal grandmother, whom we called Mere Mere, had silver hair for as long as I can remember. She was completely white by age 40. (That's her at my folks' wedding in 1954, probably at age 48 or so.) I always thought she was gorgeous. Beyond elegant. And, her age? It didn't matter a damn to me. She was Mere Mere, and she was fabulous.
     So, if "being able" to go gray is a luxury, I wish more people would lounge in the lap of it, especially that well-meaning stranger in the shoe store. But, the luxury isn't in the not caring. It's in the letting go, and just being who you are.

Is this goodbye?

     Last night, my husband and I had "the talk." It's a debate that started years ago, but a resolution was always postponed. I guess neither one of us could face reality. (Denial is more than a river in Egypt, my friends.) Now, with our monthly cash flow tightening even more and early retirement on the horizon (that's my plan and I'm sticking to it), the question burns again: Is it time to ditch the land line? After all, we never use the thing. It still rings and rings, but the people on the other end are, 9 times out of 10, solicitors or politicos (which, these days, are the same animal.) And, we never use it to dial out. 
    I could use some input. Have you kicked your home phone to the curb? Why or why not?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

BoomerGirl boogies down

Last night, the hubs dragged a still mopey me to a dance party on the roof of the big hotel on the hill.  There, we Ponied and Frug'ed and Hitchhiked with complete abandon in the crisp open air, along with 150 other groovin' boomers. Thanks to The Crumpletons whose music took me back to a time when I had no worries, especially about work, since I was only 10 years old. Here's one of the songs they played last night which, at first listen, doesn't seem easy to dance to, but it didn't matter up on the roof. By the time the chorus came, the whole crowd was singing in full voice. It strikes me that this could be one of those "Mad Men" episode-ending songs.

Did I mention my knees hurt a little this morning? Note to self: The days of boogying in high-heeled boots may be over.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The end of a chapter, not the book.

        The email came yesterday. "We're changing the plan for Sunday's paper starting this weekend," it said, in so many words, "and your Boomer Girl column no longer fits. How does once a month on Monday sound? That's all we have space for." I said, "Thanks, but no thanks" because, honestly, why bother? (Downsize me once, shame on you. Downsize me twice, shame on me.) I will miss doing the column, but I'll find other outlets, perhaps on the NYTimes' new Booming! page, who knows? And, it's already a relief not to be stressing over what the heck I'm going to write about next week. Here's a big thanks to my readers, especially the ones who occasionally took the time to say, "Hey, I can relate." And, to the Lawrence Journal-World/World Company for the opportunity, among many others, to connect with the community I love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Size 12, plus size? She's 6'2", people!

Congrats to Robyn Lawley, the first "plus-sized" model for Ralph Lauren, for breaking a barrier, of sorts, and advancing her career. She's gorgeous, definitely has the Lauren look, and is creating a buzz in pop media. But, let's do the math: Size 12 at 6'2"? Doesn't that translate to a 6, or even a 4, at the average U.S. female height of 5'4"? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Put a cork in me, I'm not done yet.

I'm not crafty. Not even close. But, I recently took leave of that reality and got in WAY over my head on a project that will finish out the upstairs guest/exercise room - applying sliced corks (thus my new cigar cutter) to the old, beat-up bulletin board over my son's old desk.
The problem is, after cutting up my entire collection of corks - we're talking 4 or 5 years' worth - I still don't have enough....
I've drunk a lot of vino in the last four years.
So, I put out a call on Facebook and - voila! - five cork donors in less than an hour. That's the beauty of social media, my friends. This almost makes up for all the cat pictures.

Royal photo scandal in Kansas

Image cropped in accordance with Benjamin Moore decency standards
Surfacing this morning are illicit photographs of the Duchess of Benjamin Moore painting in her underwear over the weekend. Spokespeople for the Duchess say Her Fabulousness prefers to paint in her knickers, explaining that the shedding of nonessential garments allows for a certain nimbleness in execution and simplicity in clean-up. Information was not immediately available as to how the photographs, taken at shockingly close range, were obtained, although officials strongly suspect it was an inside job.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Belated column

Got busy painting and forgot to post my Sunday column yesterday, which hasn't mustered much positivity in the comments section, even though - or maybe because - it was an almost verbatim transcript of an actual conversation between my husband and me last week. It did, however, elicit a complimentary comment at Rotary today from a man who wondered why women seemed to have the exclusive on nutritional Nazism. "Because we love you," I replied. "Uh.... good?!" he said, walking back to his table. One Rotarian, rendered speechless.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beats the heck out of Spanish conjugations

My daughter, the future esthetician, just called, a sense of urgency in her voice: "Are you gonna be home tonight? I need someone to practice on." Fortunately, her roomie is out, so yours truly gets to be the guinea pig for her first full facial massage. Sigh. This takes me back to all those nights, years ago, sitting on my bed, drilling her for spelling tests or Spanish quizzes. Yep, I think I deserve a little effleurage on my decollete!

Here's to the masters who lunch

My good pal and funny gal, Carol (a frequent commenter on this blog and stellar blogger in her own right), is kvelling, and rightly so. Her 90-year-old pop and his Hollywood pals were featured in a L.A. Times story this week about their every-other-Wednesday lunch-in-a-bunch. (That's him in the pink shirt - darling!) So, why am I bogarting her post? Well, in the first place, I don't have my pop anymore, and I know she won't mind lending me hers, at least, vicariously. Secondly, read the article and get a load of the names and show titles! These guys wrote the baby boomer pop culture history books, and Carol grew up with many of them in her living room. That's pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You got me going in circles....

I got curious about The Friends of Distinction after last night's go-go fest in the kitchen. Here are the two hit songs that followed "Grazing in the Grass." Amazingly, I remember most of the lyrics:

I need some must-see TV. STAT.

Nothing on the tube. Trolling Twitter. Tonight's reading material:

Is it the end of men?

And, does happiness equal freaky in bed?

Clearly, I have a lot to think about. (Note to self: Consider swearing off social media once and for all.)

Remembering what we lost

    This is the award-winning front page my newspaper colleagues put out on Sept. 12, 2001 in an all-hands-on-deck team effort that many are still talking about today on Facebook.  I was working on the TV side of the street at the time, having yet to "cross over" to print. In fact, that's where I was when the second plane hit, standing in the control room where I could see the horror happen on numerous monitors, as if one haunting image wasn't enough.
   So much has changed since then. Not only on a macro, i.e. world, level, but in my own professional microcosm. Most of my fellow reporters who covered the events of Sept. 11 have gone separate ways, leaving journalism for other, more stable professions. Newspapers are mere shadows of their former selves, with page counts that are, too often, laughably pathetic.
   Today, my heart is heavy remembering the lives lost in the worst American tragedy of my lifetime, and the subsequent decline of newspapers. I miss the way they were. I miss the way we were.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Can you dig it, baby?

Just caught this act on PBS' Ed Sullivan highlight show and started doing the Monkey (or was it the Funky Chicken?) right there in the kitchen. Wow! And, who knew they were singing "Rock it to me, sock it to me?" Great, great song.

I'm totally a totaller.

There are less than four weeks until my sorority pledge class reunion (our first get-together in 28 years) and drastic measures must be taken to break the weight loss plateau I've been on for a few weeks. That means - gasp! dare I say it - no booze. Everything else about my diet and exercise routine lately (save for the tiny little hot dog I ate at the football game) has been exemplary. But, truth be told, I do enjoy my scotch. And, a glass of wine with dinner. And, after. Unfortunately, science tells us that the body processes alcohol first, before fat, protein, or carbs. Thus, drinking slows down the burning of fat. (Dammit.) So, for now, it's tea. Tea and self-sympathy. Cheers, I guess.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ra-ra, sis-boom-ba!

It was a glorious day for a college football game. 75 degrees at kick-off with a lovely breeze wafting through our shady tailgate spot in KU's Marvin Grove, just a 15-minute walk from my house.
I thought about my dad today. He was the greatest Jayhawk fan of all time (self-proclaimed) and the man who taught me the rules of football at an early age. From the time I was four, I was his constant companion in Memorial Stadium, rooting for the team through thick and thin.
We used to sit under the press box, right side, 35 yard line. Section 8, Row 51 on the aisle. (How can I still remember that?)
I'm sad to say that, except for the rituals - fight songs, Rock Chalk chant and tailgating parties - I don't care much for the game anymore. Still, it's good to go, once in a while, to soak up the atmosphere and feel the spirit of your fellow fans, present and past.

It's like buttah!

Eureka! I finally found the perfect butter color for the stairway and upstairs hall. The ideal hue that will complement the gray carpeting and bluish guest bedrooms and bath.  It's called Soleil - Benjamin Moore, of course (I'm a paint snob) - but there will be no painting today. For, it's a cool 65 degrees and I'm off to a college football game, one that I will actually watch from inside the football stadium. Yes, friends. Pigs have taken flight, hell has frozen over and, come to think of it, didn't we just have a blue moon?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lobe Wonder is wunderbar!

I've had long slits - instead of small holes - in my ear lobes for decades, the consequence of wearing too-heavy earrings for too long. I'd all but given up wires, opting instead for post-style earrings that were feather-light....not easy to find, believe me. Lately, I've come "this close" to having them surgically repaired, but couldn't come to terms with the price and the prospect of not wearing earrings for 6 whole weeks while they healed. Now, thanks to a brilliant little product called "Lobe Wonder," (also known as Earlift) my unsightly problem is solved. I just applied two tiny, clear stickers to the backs of my ear lobes and no more slit!! This is no less than a game-changer. Lobe Wonder inventor, whoever you are: You're a genius!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Parting is such sweet sorrow

It's not like he's leaving home, really. He hasn't lived with us for several years. But, he is leaving - off to the "big city" of Kansas City, 40 miles away. We gave him our perfectly-good-but-too-big sofa, a gnarly coffee table, extra microwave and our garage refrigerator as a housewarming present.  Oh, and this very appropriate door rug which I purchased for both of my adult children from Urban Outfitters...
It's like a little piece of me will always have a place.... on their floor.
I must admit, I got a little teary as he pulled away. I'm really going to miss that fridge. 

Wheat=bad. Period.

After a temporary, stress-induced fall from the wagon, I have rededicated myself to a wheat-free existence.  This article tells you why.  And, this video by Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and my hero, explains it even better:

Discover what's in-store at ReStore

     If you've never been to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, here's why you might want to consider a pop-in once in a while: For years, I had been looking for the perfect, ultra-shallow bookcase/hutch for my family room, a converted single-car garage that is our summertime TV watching and reading spot. It's a step-down affair so the ceilings are high, but I could never find the right piece - at the right price - that was only 14-inces deep. Until ReStore. I recently bought this incredibly crafted reproduction of a stately English book cabinet, complete with antique hardware - a wealthy woman's cast-off - for a song!! As in "la, la, TA-DA!!" And to think I was just a ReStore donor heretofore!
    The shelves are adjustable, so the plan is to install a flat screen TV on the bottom left. Voila! Another room, post-kids, goes streamline.
    I will be stopping by ReStore in the next week.  I'm looking for some some small end tables. Beats the heck out of Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My sweet workout suite

Today, I spent a blissful hour in my new yoga/Pilates studio (aka my daughter's old room), where I sometimes sleep whenever the snoring gets to be too much. It took me several days to clear out the clutter and get it to the Zen-like 'bare bones" space I envisioned (how I wish I had taken a 'before' photo), but my hard work has paid off.
All that's left is my bed, a desk and exercise equipment (with a mirror to check my form) and lots of floor space to do my new Pilates routine,
which I adore, even though the instructor reminds me so much of Glee's Sue Sylvester, I sometimes have to giggle from my core.

"50 Shades of Green" by C.J. Hamilton

    I've been working on today's newspaper column for about four weeks, off and on, which is 27 days longer than it normally takes to write a column. Not that it's any great masterpiece, but it was difficult striking the right tone...and, perhaps, going public with my obsessive and kinky affair.
    P.S. Thank you, Nex, for delivering the goods, even if it was one only one-inch worth.
    Meanwhile, poor B.B. is having a bad morning.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm baaaack!

Heeeeeere's BoomerGirl!
     It's Sept. 1st and my hiatus is hereby over. Good riddance to August and The Summer of 2012 which will go down in my personal history book as one of the most miserable on record. But, the world continues to turn and, as if to usher in a new day, the rains have come (thank you, Isaac), interrupting the dreadful drought that has plagued the farmers and put the rest of us in a funk.
     In the last month, I've been busy with home improvement projects, including lots of painting (walls, not portraits) which may be one of most satisfying, Zenlike activities there is. We replaced all the upstairs window blinds, had the carpets cleaned, purged the closets and created two pleasant guest rooms that, between overnight guests, will serve as a fab exercise "suite" for yours truly. Photos to come.
   As I mentioned before, the dogs have started blogging, which has been fun except for the muddy paw prints all over my laptop.
   Anyway, I'm happy to be back in the blogosphere (it's as if I never left), blathering about all things boomer to sweet peeps like you. Thanks for reading and happy Labor Day weekend!

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...