The Rites of Spring… and Duct Tape

The Rites of Spring… and Duct Tape

    Duct tape is like The Force: it has a light side and a dark side and it binds the galaxy together. — Carl Zwanzig Charlie, my beloved mate of 30 years, is firmly attached to many things.  Me, our daughter, his extended family and friends, chainsaws, home improvements, computers, and fondly… duct tape. In spring he can be found wearing a roll of it at his belt, keeping it handy.  Give him that and a project and he’s off. MacGyver in Space Remember that old ‘70’s show?  I swear they modeled it after my husband.  It is hilarious to me how much Charlie (who disassembled his mom’s vacuum cleaner at age two) resembles that character in his creative ideas.  His mother, exhausted, finally gave him a hammer and nails to keep him busy.  This idea, seemingly unwise in the extreme, worked out just fine. We watched The Martian the other weekend, a most marvelous film.  But when Matt Damon whipped out the duct tape (affixed at his belt, of course) and repaired his own cracked helmet, I lost it.  I shrieked “Charlie!  They made a movie of you in space!” “Expensive Camping”  Charlie is a true handyman.  If he doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll learn about it.  We live in a restored and renovated (mostly by him) 1906 farmhouse.  If he wasn’t so handy, I doubt we’d still be here.  Duct tape has been his boon companion during many emergencies and repairs.  That—combined with his innovation and skill, a chainsaw, and a generator—have enabled us to live in Fairfield County (aka “Expensive Camping”) with comfort. My husband leaves me in awe with his ability to fix just about anything.  I only have to mention it, and I’ll find whatever it was repaired later.  Often I am amused to find that duct tape was involved.  He...
Turning 60… and Still Smiling

Turning 60… and Still Smiling

WELCOME TO THE CLUB! We’ve been through some things togetherWith trunks of memories still to comeWe found things to do in stormy weatherLong may you run I turned 60 last week. I was on the air stepper, doing my usual 1 hour workout, when I heard this classic Neil Young song on my playlist. Oddly, I had just celebrated the day before and one of the loveliest notes I received was from my “baby” brother, quoting these same lyrics. My husband, daughter and new SIL had orchestrated the most delightful birthday that I think I have ever had.  All of my family turned up at my favorite restaurant to surprise me.  They’d compiled birthday letters, cards and photos into a wonderful tribute binder.  These notes and cards were from family, nieces, nephews, friends, people I’d helped in varying degrees over the years.  There were photos from high school, old yearbook pages, and loving letters.  Not being a spotlight sort of lady, I was distinctly overwhelmed. It was magnificent, touching and heartwarming. A Milestone? Everyone says that turning 60 is a “milestone,” as though this is a sort of downgrade. Is it? I disagree unless “milestone” is meant as a great thing.    I don’t feel 60.  I don’t act 60.  I’m told I don’t look 60.  (And anyway, what is “60” supposed to feel, act or look like?  Is there a manual somewhere?) If someone asked me how old I was and I didn’t know, I’d say about 33.   Despite the silly cards in stores declaring that it’s some kind of goalpost, I’m too busy for lookbacks right now.  I’m so happy with where I am as well as where I’m going.  Sure, I’ve been rained on a time or two, but who hasn’t?  It rains on everybody.  So far, 60 for me has meant keeping the happy memories and discarding...
Holiday Fashion Tips for Boomerettes

Holiday Fashion Tips for Boomerettes

TIS THE JOYOUS SEASON!   I am hitting 60 in January and I want to look pretty and be comfortable for the holidays.  Shouldn’t be all that tough to find something, right? However, in the Royal Wedding aftermath (see multiple previous blogs for that), I haven’t taken one blessed second to figure out what to wear to all the holiday festivities and parties that spring up. One of the many great things that 60 brings with it is confidence about what you want to wear.  I am dead set on comfort. I braved the mall the other week to take a look at what’s out there.  I also investigated online, catalogs and other women my age to see what the current trends are and what can work for us.  It can be difficult finding stylish and attractive outfits that are also comfortable, well priced and suitable for multiple functions. Here are my findings: There seem to be a smorgasbord of comfortable, attractive pants.  It’s almost as though we Boomettes said en masse, “I’ve had it.  I’m going to be comfortable.”  Love that!  Trending are leggings (but not the skin tight kind, thankfully) and dressy or casual pants, generally in a slim-fitting ankle length.  I did see a very few of the palazzo wide legs from last season, but they were in the minority.   This was true of the small number of dresses I saw as well. Fabrics are velvets, silk or poly, even wool.  Dress these up or down; you look great and feel wonderful. I saw tunics and blouses everywhere in a rainbow of colors and fabrics, many bejeweled.  These remind me of the Indian gauze craze of the 70s, with their beautiful handwork.  These stunning tops are often silk and vividly colored.  The embellishment on them, when paired with a pair of elegant pants or leggings, adds a...
A Firm Foundation in Body Shapers

A Firm Foundation in Body Shapers

We have five days left til wedding bells.  Five days.   And I had not addressed the issue of a girdle. At some point in my 50’s, my fanny decided to migrate to the front.  Now I sport a “menopot.”  It was time for the Dreaded Ladies With Tape Measures at the department stores. Since it’s been literally years since I have investigated foundation garments, my memories were not pretty.  Garter belts, things called “control panels,” and pantyhose that rolled and flapped like a window shade when you bent over.  One certainly wasn’t looking for comfort in any of these little items. Body Shapers 101 I began online for information and was inundated with the myriad numbers and varieties of what they now call “Body Shapers.”  These “girdles-no-longer” alternatives looked great to me.  Since I had no idea where to begin, I went to several brands that I trust (Maidenform, Bali) and one new brand, Spanx, which all the young girls swear by. I needed flattening of my Menopot, not shaping.  So I was looking for something that would hold that in, not roll down and let me eat and breathe in relative comfort.  Tall order. Armed with three body shapers I hit the dressing room. Here are my findings, duly reported for you, gentle reader.  All prices ranged from $45.00 to $75.00. Maidenform “Flexees.”  A  high-waisted panty with low cut legs.  Has a control panel on the front.  These were extremely comfortable, did not bind at the thigh opening and did not roll down.  Unfortunately, they did not flatten the menopot enough.  There was an industrial strength option of these that promised to do that but I doubted I’d be comfortable enough, so I passed.  Price:  Lower range.  Bali “Lace n’ Smooth.”  Another high-waisted panty, with longer legs to the lower thigh.  These were very tight indeed but they...
Father of the Bride, Unsung Hero

Father of the Bride, Unsung Hero

DADDY’S SONG I’ve done an awful lot of chatting in this blog about the upcoming wedding of our daughter, my dress, my emotions, decorating, the shower and female-related doings. What about my husband of almost 30 years, Charlie? A STRONG AND SILENT MAN Charlie, a quietly loving and diplomatic man, is the literal glue that holds our family together.  He is our rock and our refuge.  A strong and silent type, he is the epitome of a gentleman.  He is, indeed, a “Gentle Man.” His actions speak much louder than his words and always have.  When our daughter was born, he was uncharacteristically emotional.  It was a long labor, an emergency Caesarean delivery.  Once we were both safe, he left the hospital and returned with enough coral roses (my favorite) to fill two rooms, putting the nurses into a wild scramble to find enough vases. He sat by my side and sobbed his relief as he held my hand.  His arms were the first to embrace her.  One of his priorities—after ensuring that we were both indeed okay and calling the families—was to immediately start a college fund for her. Her first words were “Da Da.”  His was the bedtime story voice she loved.  He taught her to ride her bike, to ski, to swim, to drive.  He was her favorite playmate.  He designed and built a wooden swing set for her, painted her room the exact pale turquoise she wanted (Mrs. Blandings, Jr.), moved her in and out of various dorms. He raised her to be courageous, compassionate, strong and kind.  He taught her decency, honesty, truthfulness and honor.  He educated her on diplomacy, helping those less fortunate and being a good friend.  He counseled her on finance and savings, how to care for her car.  He paid for her entire college education so that she would not...

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