I should be blogging, but life & bleeding & Bourdain & grads & ballet get in the way…


I should be blogging about my female issues, part 2, but at the moment my innards are weeping the bloodiest of tears. I’ve slept so much this week since the endometrial biopsy- and it jump started my period early. I had no idea that simple uterine biopsies could take so much out of a person. The pain is better, the fatigue is not.

My hysterectomy is scheduled for 12 July.

My endometrial biopsy (the first) should be back early this week, the oncologist says.

My son graduated from high school last weekend, I still need to add this to the blog. I am so proud of him.

Maisie has her 2nd ballet/tap recital of her life tomorrow. I will be herding cats/taking care of the tots back stage, like I did last year. Someone has to do it and I’m evolving into a stage mother at this point.

The other crazy things happening in the periphery are dying down, for now. I’ve had my say and will continue to work through this, as a reminder to myself and others- don’t let people walk all over you. There are some seriously chronically messed up opportunists out there- and yeah, while addiction can account for a lot, that still is not an excuse for what was done to us.

I think about Bourdain and his fragility- and the fragility of those around us. This world will eat you up and spit you out if you don’t stand up for yourself and for what is right. Tony Bourdain stood up against the tides, championed his girlfriend’s #metoo cause against Weinstein- and it still wasn’t enough.

I saw a chilling post Bourdain put up on his Twitter on 22 May. It called out some guy re being found hung (I’m paraphrasing) in a lavatory from auto-erotic asphyxiation. It kind of gave me chills. While I don’t know the circumstances surrounding his death any more than the rest of us (a bathrobe belt, found tied to a door)- suicide or accident- neither is preferable.

He had his child at 50. That alone would make it impossible for me to take my own life, but I don’t live in anyone’s skin but my own.

It’s sad, sad, sad in this mad world.

Death comes to all of us, sooner or later. I think about my own mortality a lot right now. I’d fight tooth and nail against it, just like I fight tooth and nail against any other injustice levied against others and myself.

But life goes on, children grow up and graduate and do their recitals and play with their toys. We grow older. We die.

Over and over, in different bodies and different lives, it is all the same. We all share this common thread- even though we believe we’re unique.

We’re not unique. That is the beauty of it. The sameness, the threads that bind us- that’s the wonderment.


Maisie’s Newest Silver Baby Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!


Got more baby jewelry swag in the mail today from Claire Lush Designs!

In today’s package, she received a V-shaped silver cuff and a heavier silver patterned cuff, plus two thin silver cuffs for a friend’s daughter.

They look ADORABLE on Maisie.  I had to move the Puravida bracelets over to the other hand, which is no mean feat when you have a squirming 10 month old.

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

My parents were here visiting, so photos were snapped with the kid only in her diaper and jewelry. She’s going through a “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA” phase and doesn’t want anyone but me usually, so it’s a good thing when people visit and she goes to them- gives me a slight break, which I sorely need.  She refused to nap for 2 days and finally went down for one this afternoon.

She only seems to have 2 speeds lately:  “Pick ME UP!” or “DANCE TIME!”

Here is a video of her dancing with my parents in the background:


Miss Maisie Update: Today the separation anxiety was OFF THE CHARTS. How Do You Handle Separation Anxiety?

Maisie was 10 months old this week and the separation anxiety phase has been in full swing for a while now. I am never more than a few feet away from her at any given time. We have been practicing attachment parenting with this girly. She’s not a great fan of carriers. She NEEDS TO BE IN A ROOM FULL OF people. This girl LIVES to entertain.

If anyone tries to leave the room or go home or pee, she melts DOWN.

Today she was in rare form, poor baby.

Exhibit ONE, when my dad attempted to leave the porch to refill his coffee cup:

Papa returns, but she is still ticked off that he left… I think my dad is onto something when he says she doesn’t want to lose any of her entourage:

The world finally ends when her father leaves for work:

I am open to ANY suggestions regarding how to survive this stage.

How do/did YOU handle this separation anxiety phase?

I don’t recall it being this difficult with her brothers.

If you have any advice or war stories to share, feel free to leave a comment.


Parenting After 40: Nostalgia and Raising Baby on the Front Porch…

View of my hammock and front porch... where we spend most of our time

View of my hammock and front porch… where we spend most of our time

Raising a child these days is so different from when I had my ‘first brood’ of three sons 26-17 yrs ago. Life is so much faster, more ‘plugged in’ than it was when my boys were young.  All of the ‘mommy friends’ I have now are about the same age or a wee bit older than my oldest son. We make playdates, talk online, or text on Facebook. Other mothers discuss phone/tablet apps and other electronic entertainments for their kids- which leaves me a bit overwhelmed. I remember a slower, more face-to-face time- and I miss it.

I live in a huge 102 yr old house on the corner of a semi-busy residential street- not far from the beach and downtown. I’ve owned this house for many years and raised Maisie’s older brothers here. It is always in flux, always in a state of renovation or some sort of pleasant (and sometimes unpleasant) chaos. We have very little yard, so I utilize every square inch of it, gardening even the city tree lawn. I grow veggies in raised beds and roses everywhere else. We own three lazy, gigantic Newfoundland dogs who are always snoring away in some odd corner.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

My favorite part of this house is the wide front porch-where people who visit sit, smoke (if they smoke, because I don’t allow that in my house), drink coffee, and chat till late in the summer evenings. Maisie plays on it and has a small swing she loves. I have a hammock addiction and hung one in the front, too. I love to lounge with the baby there on warmer summer days.

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street...

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street…

People ask me why I’d spend so much time in the FRONT of my house, where it is so public… I like people watching (and I also have no backyard to speak of). It reminds me of my childhood, when people were not so hidden away from each other.

sharing bread from the farmer's market up the street with her grandfather

sharing bread from the farmer’s market up the street with her grandfather

My family is loud and friendly and argumentative and we spend most of our summer days and nights out there, probably to the chagrin of our neighbors. Nowadays folks cloister themselves away in their houses or backyards, unless they’re walking dogs or pushing strollers. My family is one of the few in my neighborhood who use their front porch as a living space.

where most of the action happens

where most of the action happens

When I was a child, I grew up not far from where I lived now. In those days, it was common to see people outside on their porches in the evenings. Children played on the sidewalks, rode their bikes.  Parents and grandparents worked in their gardens. Neighbors laughed and talked after supper. Women would hang their wash in the backyards. Everything was noisier and more ALIVE.

I still do most of those things. Most folks do not. It makes me sad.

The stillness and silence of these neighborhood streets is so unnatural to those of us who remember how it used to be.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s.  We used to have a very famous amusement park here.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s. We used to have a very famous amusement park that was torn down in the early 1970s.

Only when our town has festivals or fireworks or something similar does it come alive again. Our population swells with the FIPs (that’s Michigander for “Fucking Illinois/Indiana People) and out of townies who become weekend/vacation residents. A lot of people complain about these times, but I don’t. I love it when I can see humans out and moving and not hiding away inside their homes like Mole People.

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

I love raising Maisie on our front porch, watching her try to interact with her grandparents and friends and other family members.  Our world is so different now- people are less connected, more plugged in to the virtual world. I want her to learn to socialize and to say “Hi!” and wave to the folks who pass by on the street. I want my child to understand what life can be without the internet and iPads and all the other things that children these days rely upon for entertainment.

I think this is one benefit of being a mother over 40.  I remember what childhood used to be like and want my daughter to celebrate and enjoy the simpler things- like connecting with loved ones on summer days on a front porch.

Other new parents over 40:

How do you think your parenting style differs from younger parents?  

Feel free to leave a message in the comments section.


On Blending and Contouring… A Real World Makeup Adventure on an OLDER Face

Me, after the contouring/spackle business, with hair in pincurls.

Me, after the contouring/spackle business, with hair in pincurls.

Blending and contouring have been big, big things since… forever.

Kim Kardashian has been blowing up the blending/contouring makeup world with numerous videos.

If you search on youtube, a zillion tutorials will pop up:


This post was inspired by a recent blog done by Elizabeth over at ElizabethandLipstick.com– it’s a great makeup blog and she’s lovely, check it out.  That is how it is supposed to look on dewy, fresh young faces.

How would the SAME technique work on an older person?  Let’s find out:

Before I had a baby and before my botox melted, this would have been a do-able ‘going out’ look.

As most women will find, a lighter hand is needed the older and more wrinkly one gets.

The brush that once would have made for a flawless complexion is replaced by the beauty blending spongy thing.

Care must be taken to keep the crap from settling in the teeny lines- which it WILL DO- or to keep it from smearing like that old lady in that 1993 Little Caesar’s pizza commercial:


this is my holy grail of under eye concealers- covers beautifully and doesn’t crease/budge.

Since I NOW have an ‘au naturel’ 46 yr old face- thanks to a 10 month old with separation anxiety and inability to be put down long enough so I can PEE- full on MAKEUP TIME is merely a special occasion endeavor.

Other things to remember when laying down that spackle, older ladies:

1. Your face is either going to be too dry or too oily, or both.  Switch up your products.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Amazing Concealer by Amazing Cosmetics.  It barely budges or creases, no matter how humid the weather.  It doesn’t make you look like a decrepit, decaying wax doll, either.

2. Go EASY on that setting powder, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF BOTOX.  Nothing shows fine lines like a dusting of powder around the eyes.  Yeah, I know we may need it, but damn. It’s not fun to look at one’s face too closely. Sometimes I am glad that our up close eye sight is failing.

3. Use a wet beauty blender sponge- it gives a more sheer coverage- and you can use your fingers to layer more on and blend, blend, blend- BLEND- and blend some more. Remember back in the day when your mom or grandma used Pan-Cake makeup and the wet sponge?  Same damned thing, different name and shape.

these egg shaped sponges are the BOMBDIGGITY, girls.

these egg shaped Beauty Blender sponges are the BOMBDIGGITY, girls.

4. Invest in a good MAGNIFYING MIRROR, the higher the magnification, the better.  Get big ones, small ones, purse sized ones. They are SO worth it.  Nothing worse than blindly trying to glue some false eyelashes on and having the strip somehow adhere to your makeup smeared reading glasses… sad, but true.  (Yes, younger women reading this- you will someday experience these things as well- prepare for the inevitable NOW.)

5. Is your face starting to lose that luster, that sparkle it once had?  Are you getting that peri-menopausal powdery older lady skin?  Chemical peels/dermabrasion/laser treatments help with that.  A good highlighter cream or powder (that sparkly stuff) also works wonders.  LORAC used to make an excellent one. Lately, I’ve been loving Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands.  It’s a dupe for Benefit’s WATT’S UP! at a fraction of the price.  It’s sheer and it’s wearable with or without foundation.  Excellent product.

6. Don’t be lazy like I am.  Use a makeup primer and eye makeup primer.  Those things rock. They even out skin imperfections and disguise pores, some lines, and help the makeup STAY ON YOUR FACE. There’s a crotch itch/thigh rubbing cream sold in the lady bits section of stores that has the exact SAME INGREDIENTS as one of the most popular primers, but the name escapes me. I *do* know that it costs about $4 vs $30 for the primo stuff.

Now for the contouring/highlighting parts:

I actually used this tutorial from GlamBoothTv’s youtube site- it’s great and you can blow it up nice and full screen while you slap that makeup on your face:

Here is a list of the makeup used for the contouring:

Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion on eye lids
Concealer: Amazing Concealer in I can’t read the freaking small print on this tube
Foundation: Revlon Colorstay 24 Hours Whipped Creme Makeup in 220 Nude
Contouring (dark color): Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in Shade 44; some matte brown eyeshadow for the nose
Highlighter(s): Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands
Powder: Revlon Age Defying Powder with DNA Advantage in Medium; also used Coty Airspun Face Powder in Light/Medium Neutral Tone

Up close around the nose and eyes.  Yeah, someone needs to give me a tutorial on how to get those modern 'square front' brows!

Up close around the nose and eyes. Yeah, someone needs to give me a tutorial on how to get those modern ‘square front’ brows!

I did exactly (well, almost… as much as possible) as the video instructed.  I seriously need a tutorial on the mod new brow thing all you gals are doing.  I am BEGGING you.  Step by step… please.

The look was a bit disconcertingly heavy after the last 2 yrs of minimal makeup.  My undereye area is in need of some filler in the tear trough region.  I knew that the foundation would settle as I did my hair, which it did.  All in all, I was pleased with the results, but it isn’t a do-able look for me for everyday.  My skin has learned to BREATHE in the interim and no longer will stand for thick makeup daily.

all the contours and highlights, ducklips and all- on my vintage head.

all the contours and highlights, ducklips and all- on my vintage head.

One thing I dared NOT do once this concoction was applied to my face was:  KISS, TALK MUCH, SMILE, let anyone touch my head.  I had to put a plastic grocery bag (yeah, bad for the environment, yadda…) over my head and had to let someone help pull the clothes on.

All this “Kardashian-ness” is hard work.  I was worried about the makeup staining the neckline of my outfit.

I have to admit, all the contouring and highlighting (or ‘strobing’, as I’ve seen the kids call it now) is way too 1990s flashback for me.  I felt less like Kim and more like Kris Jenner mated with the newly minted Caitlyn by the end of this.  Eat your hearts out, fellow momagers…

photo 4

the end result wasn’t terribly bad, once I put the lippie on and did something to the hair.  I still kinda scream “MOMAGER”, though.

photo 5

this is a look that, on an older woman like myself, says “I survived the 1980s and 1990s and I have the hair to prove it” #bighairdontcare


Maisie likes to chase our three 150 lb (each) Newfoundland dogs…

Tiberius and his usual look when Maisie is afoot

Tiberius and his usual look when Maisie is afoot

(yeah, my house is a wreck.  I have 3 newfs blowing coat and our groomer is pregnant and hasn’t been able to groom them… sue me)

This kid has been pretty vocal today. She woke up from her nap and screamed:

“GEH UP!! GET UPPPP!!” until someone came to her rescue.

We own 3 Newfoundland dogs.  Their names are Berry (short for Strawberry), Scucca (pronounced “SHOOKA”), and Tiberius. They were my babies until she came along. The dogs weigh about 150 lbs (75 kilos-ish) a piece.  They are also TERRIFIED of the human puppy who chases them in her walker, on her knees, you name it… and tries to love them/pull their tails/drink out of their water bowls.

If you put them in the kitchen and shut the door, she will RAM her Joovy Groove walker into the door until they’re free.

She ADORES *all* dogs.  Every dog that visits, or is walked by our porch- she is waving, hollering “HI DOGGGG!”, trying to get to the dogs… all dogs ALL the time.

It’s exhausting.

I asked today if she could ‘be a doggie’ and she started barking at me in a convincing fashion.

Of COURSE, I couldn’t get that on video because she’s been Michigan J. Frog all week.

Getting photos or videos of her doing things is like having Michigan J Frog.

Getting photos or videos of her doing things is like having Michigan J Frog.


1970s Retro Lips Smacker Review

they come in 3 packs- this one is Dr Pepper, A & W Root Beer, and 7-Up flavored.

When I was a child, long ago in the late 1970s, Lip Smackers lip glosses were all the rage.  Girls my age showed off their different flavors, wielding tubes of the stuff that resembled a fat glue stick.  I remember my dad disapproved of me wearing them back then, because ‘they were too much like lipstick’!

I found these in the drugstore and was catapulted back to my childhood, so I bought them.

They are much smaller than I remembered them being- and the flavor is less ‘realistic’. It’s a nice lip balm, though.  Like the originals, they provide no color, just gloss and a faint waxy flavor.  It didn’t particularly smell nor taste of “Dr. Pepper” or any of the other flavors.

How many of you over 40s remember the originals?


Well, the spine doctor scared the sh*t out of me today…

I am not sure if this is true or not, but that's what he prescribed.

I am not sure if this is true or not, but that’s what he prescribed.

Update on the bad back situation:

Saw the spine doc/pain management fellow today.  He said I had 6 choices, most of which included (what he said would be) PAINFUL injections to the spine, while awake- including, perhaps, cauterization/burning of those nerves in the lumbar region where the pain is originating.

I have to bodily drive back to South Bend, IN (where my rheumatologist is) and bring him a physical copy (on dvd) of my back x-rays.  He did not order a MRI.

He talked so fast and was so dismissive, I could not get a word in edgewise.  He blew into my room like a rockstar with his 2 female groupies (“assistants”) in tow.I asked him twice to explain the procedures, but he could just tell me ‘they were painful’ and continued to blow me off.  I expressed my nervousness over what he was saying, he said I sounded MANIC.

Um, excuse me, F*cker, but that was A-N-X-I-E-T-Y, not mania.  I am not bipolar, but I know quite a few others who *are* and that would be an incorrect diagnosis.

When I also told him that I wanted to resolve this and not become a slave to pain meds, because I have an infant daughter to care for- he prescribed Tramadol.  I don’t know much about this med, but he was sure to inform me that it was an opiate.  Yay.


I paid my $75.00 copay for that consult.  My frustrations with the $1600 dollar shit insurance I pay for monthly are a WHOLE ‘nother blog…