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You Don't Have to Be Pretty

Saturday, June 08, 2013

This is from this blog:

It's written by Erin McKean, a woman whose work and wit I love - she's a lexicographer (and she does great vintage fashion work, if you're interested in that sort of thing..which I am!)

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty

So the other day, folks in the comments were talking about leggings. I'm pretty agnostic about leggings, but the whole discussion (which centered on the fact that it can be *really* hard to look good in leggings) got me thinking about the pervasive idea that women owe it to onlookers to maintain a certain standard of decorativeness.

Now, this may seem strange from someone who writes about pretty dresses (mostly) every day, but: You Don't Have to Be Pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female".

I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.) Pretty is pleasant, and fun, and satisfying, and makes people smile, often even at you. But in the hierarchy of importance, pretty stands several rungs down from happy, is way below healthy, and if done as a penance, or an obligation, can be so far away from independent that you may have to squint really hard to see it in the haze.

But what does you-don't-have-to-be-pretty mean in practical, everyday terms? It means that you don't have to apologize for wearing things that are held to be "unflattering" or "unfashionable" — especially if, in fact, they make you happy on some level deeper than just being pretty does. So what if your favorite color isn't a "good" color on you? So what if you are "too fat" (by some arbitrary measure) for a sleeveless top? If you are clean, are covered enough to avoid a citation for public indecency, and have bandaged any open wounds, you can wear any color or style you please, if it makes you happy.

I was going to make a handy prettiness decision tree, but pretty much the end of every branch was a bubble that said "tell complainers to go to hell" so it wasn't much of a tool.

Pretty, it's sad to say, can have a shelf life. It's so tied up with youth that, at some point (if you're lucky), you're going to have to graduate from pretty. Sometimes (as in the case with Diana Vreeland, above, you can go so far past pretty that you end up in stylish, or even striking (or the fashion-y term jolie laide) before you know it. But you won't get there if you think you have to follow all the signs that say "this way to Pretty." You get there by traveling the route you find most interesting. (And to hell with the naysayers who say "But that's not PRETTY"!)

For a bit more on this topic - mostly the "jolie laide" part - there's this from the NYT:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEBERRYMUFF98 6/27/2013 3:34PM

    I have recently decided that if I am comfortable in sleeveless shirts then "to hell with the complainers"! After all, just go outside and today people are so unmodest it's pathetic. But I figure if I am comfortable, then I am happy-Never wanted to wear shoes that are 3-4 inches high-or all that dressiness....

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SLIMLILA 6/15/2013 11:58PM

    How have I been missing your wonderful blogs?

And I have to tell you about the little plaque that my grandmother always had in her upstairs hall, it said, "God made women beautiful, the devil made them pretty". (I could go upstairs and check the exact wording, but it's 1AM....) And have since found the same plaque and have it hanging in my upstairs hallway and was just showing it to my sis who just got to see my new house....

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FLORIDASUN 6/14/2013 10:08PM

    "Pretty" has a shelf life...and don't we know the women I know here in sunny SW FL keep trying to prolong the expiration date. I say "pretty sad" I'd rather look at the track marks near my eyes and around my mouth and say...she lived a life...and she smiled a lot! Look...she can still move her forehead! Now that's PRETTY remarkable! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2BMYOWN 6/11/2013 1:22AM

    LOVE IT!!!!! LOL

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ELSCO55 6/9/2013 9:22PM


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SUZYMOBILE 6/9/2013 10:57AM

    Gotta love a blog that gets you thinking! At my age I think about prettiness so little that it's hardly a blip on my awareness radar. When I do think of it, I consider prettiness to be vapid and brainless.

I'm with Morticia on comfort being a top priority. This used to drive my daughter crazy, because she has a fashion sense.

I look at my face in the mirror so infrequently that it's a shock when I happen to catch a glimpse in passing. I'm not usually horrified by what I see, which is a good thing. Sometimes I'm surprised that I look as okay as I do for my age. (Note, too, that prettiness is from the neck up. Nobody has pretty toes, for example.)

In general I'd rather be like my mother, whom one would have called "handsome" or "striking." Unfortunately, I'm neither. I am merely pretty, for my age, on good days. Guess you can't please everyone!

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JANEDOE12345 6/9/2013 10:35AM

    Thought-provoking topic, well said. Bandaging open wounds has always been a must-do step in my own daily beauty routine.

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HIPPICHICK1 6/9/2013 10:18AM

    After reading Morticia's comment I am reminded that *pretty* itches. Pretty bras, lacy and sexy, itch. A pretty up 'do itches and when it's let down your hair bending back in to it's natural state downright hurts! Sleeping in curlers to be pretty for a birthday party was hell. Accidentally poking yourself in the eye with a mascara wand can lead to infection. That's not pretty. Lipstick on your teeth isn't either.
On the days JF finds me in the studio covered in clay, my hair pulled back in a pony tail, no make up (which I rarely wear anyway), and wearing old baggy clothes that are stained and torn are the days I get the most compliments about being beautiful.

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VALERIEMAHA 6/9/2013 9:00AM

    "Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being.... We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order; knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly."
-- Plotinus, 204-270, CE

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IMREITE 6/9/2013 1:50AM

    i'll have to remember this line "tell complainers to go to hell"

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MADEIT3 6/8/2013 10:41PM

    One of my heroes - an older woman I rented a duplex from back in the day - used to walk with me when I first started walking on a regular basis. Her mantra was "how pretty do you have to be?" She always added something about one of the three H's: health, hope, and happiness - all three are more important than being ornamental.

Thanks for sharing this - so profound!

emoticon emoticon

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    My mother was super prissy and always wanted a daughter who she could dress up in the foo foo frilly stuff. As a cruel twist of fate she got me for a daughter and she said that from day one I expressed my distaste for the fancy junk. She couldn't understand that for me it was about comfort, not looks. She shed many a tear about it. My mom often asked me "Don't you want to be pretty?" Not especially if I have to itch to do it. She held out hope for my children but one of my son's first sentences was, "No sweater!" LOL.

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NORASPAT 6/8/2013 9:32PM

    I should have looked in the oxford English dictionary before I responded. I never really liked the word since it invariably be used in other ways. Pretty awful, pretty funny, it just seems to me to be a meaningless word. It is often awful pretty bad and pretty nice just undercuts the word nice.
I never wanted to be pretty just lovely and loved. I AM that so its all pretty silly after all. HUGS Pat in Maine.
How does you garden grow? Mine is still shivering it is still cold at night.
HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon PRETTY GOOD !!!!!

Comment edited on: 6/9/2013 11:03:41 AM

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A-DAY-AT-A-TIME 6/8/2013 9:25PM

  Love it! emoticon

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Tired. Bad memory. Sleep?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Since my old FitBit quit and they kindly send me a new One, I've learned something interesting: My ability to sleep is even worse than I thought.

I've always been a very light sleeper, and for years had to have absolute darkness and absolute quiet to sleep (and if I had them, I'd fall asleep literally in under a minute.)

I was always a back sleeper, until I gained so much weight a few years ago and started to snore. Then I'd wake myself up every time I fell asleep, like some demonic sleep-deprivation experiment, and so I had to learn to fall asleep on my side. I got that part down well enough, but rolling over was a problem - every time I started to roll over, I'd stop on my back, where I was comfortable, then snore and wake myself up. I learned to wake up enough to intentionally reposition myself on my other side, then go back to sleep.

And even though we slept in separate bedrooms for years (his back pain and snoring made it impossible for me to sleep, and my kvetching made it impossible for him to sleep) knowing my husband was in the house, whether we were sleeping together or not, made it easier for me to get a good night's rest.

I don't wake up well from any kind of make-you-sleepy thing. Even innocuous things like Benedryl leave me half asleep for many hours the next morning. The old stand-by, the night-cap, doesn't work for me terribly well either - I fall asleep quickly, but waken about four hours later. I've read that it's a sudden drop in blood sugar that causes it, and it's quite common. If I take a (not two, just one) Benedryl at night with a glass of sherry, I'll sleep like a stone for eight hours, then go downstairs to the sofa and nap like a stone for another four. 50% of the 24 hour day spent sleeping isn't really okay.

I can concoct a mix of substances (nothing like a background in experimental psych, heavy on the brain chemistry parts) that will let me sleep for eight hours, and even waken somewhat refreshed, but in the first place, who wants to be drugged every night, and in the second, I strongly suspect it messes with the brain's sleep cycles, because I have weird dreams in odd sequences.

With the FitBit, you tell it what time you went to bed and got out of bed, and it generates your sleep pattern in between. It seems that although I'm in bed for a decent number of hours - somewhere between seven and ten, depending upon whether I have a good book to read - I'm only getting between three and five hours of actual sleep. One night it was only one hour and change. I wake somewhere between 10 and 15 times per night, sometimes more. My "sleep efficiency" is around 40% - I think the highest I've ever seen it is 67%. By contrast, my daughter who works alternate weeks day and night at the emergency vet clinic and needs very little sleep (and never has, even as a tiny baby...) has about a 97% sleep efficiency.

I could throw the dog and the cat off the bed, but I don't think they bother me much, and besides, I like the little buggers. Having them both hammering at the door all night wouldn't improve my sleep much anyway.

I've read all the Sleep Tips and Insomnia Help and all of that. For a while I thought it was lack of exercise, so I got more exercise. Then I thought it was depression, so I got help for depression. Protein before bed. Ambient noise. No ambient noise. Room temperature. Not staying in bed to fret when I can't sleep. Staying in bed so at lest my body gets some rest. I've done it all, and nothing seems to help.

This clear picture of what a lousy night's sleep I get, though, is comforting in many ways. I no longer have a lingering suspicion that there is "something wrong with me" because I'm so weary all the time, nor that I'm sliding slowly into dementia because I'm so forgetful and am losing what used to be an excellent vacabulary and ability to spell. I think I'm just sleep deprived.

But because sleep deprivation correlates with so many things, none of them good, it may be time to see a doctor and go spend a couple nights at the dreaded Sleep Clinic and let them poke around inside my head, or teach me to sleep with a bit in my mouth, or whatever it takes. I loved not needing much sleep. I really don't love not getting enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVE_AMAZINGLY 7/5/2013 6:47PM

    I realize you posted this some time ago, but thought you may still welcome a belated comment.

Protein before bed causes wakefulness. Eating a complex carb and hour or so before bed helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin, and also helps avoid the blood sugar drops 4 hours after going to bed.

I hope this helps.


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2BMYOWN 6/11/2013 1:20AM

    Well....I can't say a flippin' word....I have the exact same problem. That is why I ended up being a third shift worker for most of my life, I finally gave in and just decided that if I couldn't sleep, anyway, I may as well make money not doing it. LMAO I am lucky if I get a solid six hours most days or nights. I will go on much less for a spree of days and then crash and burn for 10 hours straight after a couple days of that. I gave up. I can't take Benadryl or anything like that because ironically, those meds that normally cause drowsiness in others works opposite in me and wire me for sound. (sigh) So....well, if you ever figure it out, clue me in, too. LOL

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    I would probably flunk the sleep test as well. I got screwed up years ago working goofy hours as a nurse and it's hard to get back to normal. My doctor always prescribes mild sleep meds for me which I refuse to take.

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SUZYMOBILE 6/3/2013 7:20PM

    Please, please solve this, Karen! I wake up to pee all through the night, and alcohol used to boot me awake at 2 AM, but this is different, I think.

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    Last night was a eyeopener for me as well. Rarely happens ,thank goodness!

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MTRACHEL 6/2/2013 12:14PM

    There is so much research about sleep. I think your insight about 'not needing much sleep' versus 'not getting enough' is very important. You may not need much, but what you get needs to be good sleep. Good luck!

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AJDOVER1 6/1/2013 11:37PM

    I'm in the same boat. I have chronic sleep problems. When I got a BodyMedia monitor I was horrified at the actual numbers. I wish you all the best. When you find a solution, share it please!

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    Yeah, if you find answers, please share!!

I wake up 18-22 times a night but my efficiency is still in the low 90s.. but still.. I'd like to be able to stay asleep..


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NORASPAT 6/1/2013 9:18PM

    SCOOTER I have to tell you that my DH well over 20 years ago kept me awake because he stops breathing. I was talking to my allergist and I told him DH wakes me up when he stops breathing. He asked how loud he snores I told him he never snores he just stops breathing so I start to count second by second and after I get to 10 I would poke him. He breathed he repositioned and he went back to sleep. The allergist said he needed asleep study. Sleep clinics were in their infancy then so we had to go out of town to a sleep lab.
After the test to which the allergist referred DH to, sent the report back to our GP he was surprised I never told him about this. I never thought about it.
DH has Central sleep Apnea, not obstructive. He just forgets to breathe while he sleeps.
He was ordered a very expensive C-Pap machine. It blew in his face all night and he would chuck it across the room. He refused to wear it so I still had the same ritual. When he had congestive heart failure he was told to wear it. Eventually he was told he would have to go on Oxygen if he did not wear it. I told him I did not like 02 in the house. A week later a house close by us burned. The man inside was using 02 and he perished.

Needless to say we went back to Sleep study and they told him he could try the new Bi-Pap machine that breathes in and allows him to exhale. DH said it was so much better so he has used that every day since then. He takes it when we travel, even overseas and if he has a procedure that calls for anesthesia the machine goes with him.
Long story to let you know sleep Apnea is not always about snoring. Did I mention he stopped breathing 163 time that first night of the study. He was less than 80 % of 02 saturation. Every time we go to the Dr;s his Oxygen level is taken and if they do not I ask them to clip it on his finger it is almost always 98%. Now he stays awake in the evening and yawns much less HUGS, I hope you can get tested.
I take Melatonin with GABA and Theanine and I sleep very well these days.
HUGS Pat in Maine.
Hugs and much love Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCOOTER4263 6/1/2013 7:08PM

    No apnea. I've slept on the sofa with adult kids around me plenty of times, and as long as I'm on my side, I don't snore. I asked my husband several years ago, and the children more recently, if they'd ever noticed that typical silence followed by big snort, and I don't do that at all. It's a combination of age, weight and sinuses, for sure.

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SLIMMERKIWI 6/1/2013 6:31PM

    Have you ever had sleep tests done? specifically for sleep apnea?

I like the little buggers on my bed, too:-) (cat and dog) - especially since hubby died, because it doesn't leave me feeling alone.


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FLORIDASUN 6/1/2013 4:52PM

    I'd be the first to say that your vocabulary hasn't suffered a whit according to my reading! emoticon I feel for you because DH is a certified insomniac...he has tried EVERYTHING! I'm well on his heels trying to sleep with the manaic! emoticon I ALWAYS wake up tired no matter HOW many zzzzz's I've registered. I too think his snoring, my snoring, his tossing, my turning, that play into this sad problem also.

Sigh...I MISS the sand man!! emoticon Lately DH has been taking Sleepy Time Extra Tea (it has chamomile Valerian and Tilia estrella flowers in it) about an hour before bed which most times helps. He also got something from our chiropractor..the ONLY doctor we trust here in sunny SW Fl called Calm. It has 325 mg of magnesium which is supposed to relax your muscles and send you to snoozy town. Sometimes for good measure he even takes both! Now that I'm making a point of getting more walking into my days I've found that I sleep easier...I'm not sure BETTER...but easier. I needs TONS of's because me brain is pedal to the medal... all day compared to the average bear! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/1/2013 4:55:38 PM

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VALERIEMAHA 6/1/2013 3:31PM

    I can't even imagine. And it sucks! I think getting some input is good. You can then decide what you what to do with the information.

Tried lullabys?

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BETHGILLIGAN 6/1/2013 1:56PM

    Lack of sleep is awful!! It impacts every area of your being!! I say the sleep clinic is going to be a necessary evil for you. Sorry! But, if they can figure it out, think how much better you will feel!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/1/2013 12:32PM

    There's not much worse in the world than being sleep deprived. Fortunately, that is seldom my problem. But when it is, I have found Valerian to work great. Hope you resolve this. Lack of sleep, even for one night, makes me feel like a certified maniac.

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ALICIA214 6/1/2013 12:30PM


Sleep Clinic seems to be the way for you to go...I hope they can help you...


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The new job and The Project

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I am finally semi-gainfully employed - 20 hours per week, although being May and all, I'm putting in about twice that at the moment, which is fine. I work for:

where I am the landscaper and greenhouse manager. Ten hours a week I have SEMP (Supported Employment) help - one of the participants is assigned to me to do whatever I ask them to do, typically simple but labor-intensive tasks, like moving 100 flats of vegetables from one place to another. The other ten hours I spend doing any number of landscaping tasks, from climbing around in the barn looking for various things to planting shrubbery. Right now I'm there so much more simply because it's planting season (and also the big important Dinner is coming up in a week and a half, and everything has to look Perfect.)

My main project at the moment is the Sensory Garden, which is a wheelchair accessible garden that, as the name suggests, engages all five of the senses. I'm putting in plants with different textures (fuzzy, smooth, rough), scents (herbs and scented geraniums), and tastes (different mints, nasturtiums.) For hearing, I have wind chimes and a little waterfall into the pond I dug in last week, and for seeing, well, with any luck the whole garden will be gorgeous, with all different shades of green in addition to different colors of flowers. I also have a bird-feeder and bird bath, and a gazing ball to put in.

So far I've gotten the paths in. I didn't take any "before" photos, but this shows the wheelchair accessible path:

where you see the weedy places, well, the whole thing was like that. There are a few perennials buried there in the weeds, but it's mostly just scrub. I have to tear all that out and replace it with plants and the other items I mentioned. Since this photo of the path was taken, I've put in three raised barrels so that people in wheelchairs or who cannot bend easily can still run their hands over the herbs and taste the mints.

Just wanted to bring my Spark Buddies up to date - and this explains why I haven't been around as much. Too busy! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

(that's a truck load of mulch! )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 6/11/2013 1:27AM

    Well, ya know, Scoot, this is just plain freaking awesome. LOL I have NO **fashion sense** in ANY way, so I really admire someone who can take a patch of weedy ground and turn it into something beautiful and soothing. I am lucky to hang a picture on the wall and have it not come out all a-kilter. However, give me a hammer, nails, couple o' power tools, and I can design and throw together something spectacular, altho it never quite ends up exactly as it was envisioned initially, I seem to need to 'tweak' it into something else before it's finally done. I love all of the different abilities people have. Gardening/landscaping will never be one of mine so I am very grateful to people like you who DO have it!

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FLORIDASUN 6/1/2013 5:05PM

    You are the BOMB! Soooo special this new job! So perfect that you are the one doing it with help of course! I would love to be outdoors digging around in our scrubby yard...we back up to 26 acres of natural FL wetlands...but I won't exhert the time and energy until I know we can hold onto this beloved house. It's been a bloody three year fight..and it STILL goes on. I just updated a friends page (Ocean Mist) with the latest fiasco! I'd tell you all about it...but it's just too exhausting to splain all over again.

I HATE these bloody marauding above the law bankers...just hate em to the max. Thank goodness fiesty little Senator Elizabeth Warren is taking them to task...she's pretty spectacular! I LOVE fighters...that aren't afraid to go up against big wigs...she put Treasury laudy da's RIGHT in their PLACE...and I pray she just keeps at it!
just love her to pieces! emoticon emoticon

You are one of those FAB women prize fighters too! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NONIE_C 5/30/2013 2:03PM

    This sounds like such a wonderful project! I hope you'll continue to share photos as it progresses.

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SUSANNAH31 5/30/2013 8:31AM

    Congratulations! This sounds like the perfect work for you.


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HIPPICHICK1 5/29/2013 12:07PM

    Wow!! What great ideas you have for the sensory garden! I can't wait to see more photos.
Suggestions: Lemon balm, bergamot, flowering thyme, lamb's ear and tall grasses that make swishing sounds in the wind.
You are emoticon emoticon

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    It looks like it will be beautiful when you are done!!!

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PJH2028 5/28/2013 8:22AM

    Hey!!! That's fantastic! What a great part time thing! Sounds like the good kind of work satisfying. Hard work. Outside, breathe making cleansing beauty.
Right now I want to be you.

Sending you connection and friendship.
Mindful of how many times your hand reached out to me

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_UMAMI_ 5/27/2013 12:03AM

    "You are a MAGICIAN!!", I wanted to say, thinking of the Tarot card wherein one transforms what is above to what is below, only you're kind of doing the reverse.

Then I thought, wait, what is the female version of magician, and can only come up with....witch? That seems so wrong!

Anyway, I think what you are doing is Magical. Can't wait to see the final results. And we'd like scratch n' sniff cards sent out for the tactile and scentual parts of the experience, please.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TURTLETALK 5/26/2013 10:11PM

    What a wonderful concept. I am a special education administrator and we have several students who love to garden at whatever level they can manage. We have a greenhouse for them but I wish we had something like this for them to volunteer emoticon when they transition out of high school.

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NORASPAT 5/26/2013 9:14PM

    Scooter how great that must be for you. I am so happy you have your most awesome job. Lots of hard work but for some of us digging in the dirt is like child's play.

I am SO happy for you and proud of you too. Now one of these days I will get myself there to see it. I will check out if it is a reciprocal garden for us. WooHoo, way to go. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/26/2013 8:30PM

    It is looking great!!! I can't even imagine the work all of this entails!!! You are amazing and a real gift to Heritage Farm. They are luck to have you!!!! Good work!!!!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 5/26/2013 6:04PM

    What a great job! I love to landscape as well. I mostly do my own yard. It is a good hobby for me and sooo fulfilling.

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AJDOVER1 5/26/2013 2:37PM

    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to tell us this. It sounds so cool.

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DLDMIL 5/26/2013 1:50PM

    emoticon on a great job.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/26/2013 12:04PM

    I just looked at their web page and read their history and mission statement. What a great idea and a wonderful place. I am very impressed!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/26/2013 11:59AM

    That sounds quite wonderful! I think I'm in love with the concept of the "sensory garden" deliberately designed for those who might not find it in nature. How cool it must be to help develop such a project!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/26/2013 11:50AM

    With all your credentials, they definitely got the RIGHT expert for the job. And how uber cool that such a place even exists in your neck'a'da woods! Awesomesauce!

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JANEDOE12345 5/26/2013 11:40AM

    Combining all your skills in one effort, except writing == perhaps you could write a piece for local paper about it.

You sound so happy!


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ACIMPEGGY 5/26/2013 10:59AM

    Oh, what a marvelous, wonderful, supercalifragic job!

A great service to the employer, the public, and yourself...log the exercise, dear.

Hope you post more photos and protect your back.


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SKINNYINMYHEAD 5/26/2013 10:50AM

    That is so freaking cool! You must get a lot of satisfaction thinking about how much pleasure your hard labor will bring to others.. I think that is freaking awesome!!! Must post progress pictures more often!!

And lord.. we haven't even touched on the workout that must be!

Thanks for the update!

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DAWNSJOURNEY 5/26/2013 10:50AM

    emoticon That is Truly Awesome.. how great to enjoy all that nature.. get your workout in .. Because I am sure you Work Out doing all that work and then a little cash on the side..

I wish I had a landscape EYE !! Great job my friend , Great Job..

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I feel...healthier?...already!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sorry about the picture quality - that's what you get with a phone in a weirdly lit kitchen.

Anyway, that's my Green Smoothie (or juice - I'm still not quite sure of the difference - possibly a smoothie uses a blender and juice comes from a juicer.) The larger pitcher behind it is the rest of the batch - I got a little carried away adjusting the flavors.

The tiny glass in front is my Chia Shot. I'm not a fan of gelatinous drinks, so I may have to work with this one a bit.

In the back is my newly started batch of kombucha.

My meals lately seem to consist largely of chlorophyll, bacteria and fungi. And yeast...I forget what kingdom yeast belongs in. It's something like a eukaryote, isn't it? *waves away question*

The Green Smoothie actually isn't bad. I've learned that wheat grass just Parsley, however, which looks simply green, actually has a really strong flavor. A bag of spinach doesn't give very much juice. Neither does a bag of carrots. A knuckle-sized lump of ginger helps almost everything. I can see that a juice-alone diet would use a *huge* amount of vegetation weekly.

I have no clue as to how to track a green smoothie (or juice) nutritionally. I'm not much for tracking anyway, but I'd be interested to know. Perhaps I should consult my Green Smoothie Lover teammates.

And in other news, I got my new FitBit - the old one quit about three weeks after it's one year warranty expired, but the Customer Service people were extremely nice and gave me a free new One. So now I have no excuses about not knowing how far I walked or how hard I worked - FitBit and SP sync flawlessly.

So, soon I will be so healthy none of us will be able to stand me. You can blame this on my daughters - one just wants to fit into her cute clothes, and the other has been insufferable ever since she ran that marathon. *grumbles somewhat enviously* But they've been reading stuff and juicing things and pestering me to buy goji berries - I don't know what they are, but whatever it is, Wegman's is always out of them. And I have hemp hearts and cacao and Lord knows what other healthy oddities lying about waiting for me to consume them.

Oh well. I said I'd do it, and I am.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 6/1/2013 5:14PM

    I'm a green drink fanatic! It's just SO good for you how can you possibly turn your nose up to it. I've tried and tried to convince some of my sparky friends that could really use a burst of green in their lives and they are the ones that are the MOST resistant...and the MOST in need.

I guess I've just never been a 'picky' about anything. Growing up poor will do that for you! I used to chew corn cobs after the corn was all eaten away...just because that was the only thing in the house to eat. My daddy was a gardener and definitely preached waste not, have not...or does it go the other way around?

My mom was a professional person MUCH more interested in her career than it was one pot meals from whatever came out of the garden. I grew up in vibrant health and skinny as a stick.

Course I didn't know how to put a balanced meal together for years! emoticon and I'm STILL a big fan of one pot meals...this time in the crock pot! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/1/2013 5:15:04 PM

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    I admit I'm a weenie. I can't do the green thingie. Ick, LOL. Nor the chia shot. You are very brave!!! I don't want any kombucha either. What I want is some chicken and dumplings - can't have that. LOL.

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JUSTYNA7 5/26/2013 9:29AM

    Wow, what a change from the gal who first joined SP who did not care what she ate! emoticon

I think smoothies are great... and just like everything should be taken in moderation. When you blend it all up too small then you don't get the fiber you think you are getting but you sure get the nutrients...or as many as your body will use... and then the rest just passes through you. I used to add a bit of flax seed oil as my healthy fat to make it a meal replacement but fiber and protein have become bigger things for me. Good question. How DO you track these? I used to measure everything to get an idea and put them all in the tracker. Just to get a ballpark. Some things like spinach are not worth measuring. Butter on the other hand... I am measuring again for a reality check because I am changing my way of eating to the "full plate" way of eating... half fruits and veggies a quarter meat and a quarter grain or root vegetable. But I am downsizing my plate size and want to make sure I am still getting enough calories. This is a crazy business learning to eat healthy!

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AJDOVER1 5/25/2013 7:34PM

    My Guy used to be into juicing, but I was horrified at the waste. We've got a Nutribullet and LOVE IT! I think many people define smoothies as having some kind of dairy in it. I have a green drink most days. I put a couple tablespoons of chia seeds into it so I don't have to deal with the gelatinous nature of chia alone.

It's not complicated. It works for me.

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    Anytime someone says "and it doesn't taste bad" I stay away cuz they couldn't force themselves to say it tastes good!! ugh.. I think the difference between a smoothie and juice is that a smoothie is everything (the leaf, stem, etc.) put in a blender (like a vitamix) and blended.. where as juice issssss.. .well, juice... only. Of course, I don't really know cuz I do not juice or do smoothies but I do own a Vitamix! I have a thang that if it's going to count as a calorie it need sto be CHEWED.. LOL

Your daughters sound like they love you very much.. so JUICE ON friend.. JUICE ON!

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SPARKLINGME176 5/25/2013 4:51PM

    YES! Happy juicing! I just stick with Greens, lemons & apples. Ginger, too, sometimes. I've tried the kombucha, but it is not for me. I have issues with yeast things. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 5/25/2013 11:22AM

    Hear Hip Hip Hurrah for Healthy!

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_UMAMI_ 5/25/2013 9:54AM

    Kombucha! I want to hear more.
emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 5/25/2013 9:27AM

    I have tried most of those and I have opted for taste not waste. I love spinach raw or cooked but juiced left so much goodness behind our compost was better fed than
myself. I loved to juice carrot and apples but that led to eating Carrot apple cakes and muffins so it again was counterproductive. KIDS and DH loved the cakes. That was the Zucchini Chocolate cake era too. These days I only make them RUM cake if they ever come back to Maine at a holiday.
We all have to do it our own way, if you are loving it. GREAT!!!

You sure sound more like yourself again so if green smoothies keep you smiling. Whirl on !!!!. Its' nice to hear you are doing so much better. HUGS and much LOVE Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEMLADYONE 5/25/2013 8:45AM

    Good luck with the juicing. I tried it a few years back and decided it was much more pleasant to just eat the whole freggies! And much more economical....unfortunately at that time, I didn't really start eating many, but now I am and loving it!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/25/2013 8:01AM

    Wish I could say YUM! LOL What's in the miracle juice? If you feel healthier already, I may have to give it a try!

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BOMBSHELLY 5/25/2013 7:56AM

    That's some great looking juice there, my friend. Appears deeply vibrant and full of good for you goodness! What's in it???

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Is a little competence really too much to expect?

Friday, May 24, 2013

This is the latest installment in what is apparently a continuing saga of irritation and disappointment, stemming from dealings with people whom you'd think knew their jobs. This is even better than my usual complaints about Home Depot people who don't know a Phillips from a flat, and grocery store people who don't know where the mayo is. This is about the people who control the driving lives of all New Yorkers.

I'll skip the gory details of the back story and get right to the part where, in mid-March, I didn't have two nickels to rub together. One of the bills that didn't get paid that month was my car insurance. In New York, you MUST have car insurance at all times, or your outrageously expensive registration is revoked or suspended or some such nonsense.

Since I kept expecting to settle on the land sale momentarily (beginning on April 12th - we finally settled May 9th), I didn't really break out into the cold sweat that was apparently called for - I just carefully observed traffic laws and generally flew under the radar.

The minute I got the check from the land sale, I paid all my overdue stuff and got my car insurance reinstated. I assumed (oh, you can see the danger from here, can't you?) that the DMV would learn that my insurance had been reinstated by the same magical process through which they had learned it had been canceled, and my registration would be reinstated as well.

Oh, silly me.

I decided to do grown-up things on Wednesday, and one of those things was to telephone the DMV and be certain that all was forgiven. It wasn't. Not by a long shot. The woman on the phone told me that I not only had to pay a huge fine ($8/day for the first 30 days, $10/day for the second 30 days, and $12/day thereafter up to 90 days, upon which something unspecified but undoubtedly hideous occurs) but that I also had to turn in my plates and not drive the car for an amount of time equal to the length of time it was uninsured, which in my case would be until early August.

To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I repeated what the woman had said several times, because in my admittedly limited experience with various laws, you either pay the fine OR do the time, not both. In this situation, she assured me, I had to pony up the $720 *cough* AND be without a vehicle for 75 days. No way around it. Since my license was still perfectly fine, I could buy a new car (oh, sure), fix the pick-up and get it inspected and registered (right again) or drag the 1974 Opel out of the barn and do the whole re-title (it's in my late husband's name), inspect and register thing (once again, not happening.) I could walk to work (what the h...eck, it's only a 22 mile round trip)....or bicycle (22 miles of steep hills.) So I spent a goodly part of yesterday coming up with some pretty sketchy plans to title a vehicle in PA (where I technically still have an address), and after great hassles and nonsense, have something almost legal that I could drive until I got my license plates back.

I went back to bed at 9:30 in the morning and stayed there for 24 hours, emerging only for the occasional martini. I know you don't approve, but I couldn't cope. Not a bit of coping available there.

Then yesterday I rallied, got a decent breakfast and went to work. I asked at the place I work if by any chance we had a spare pick-up I could use for 75 days. My friend and supervisor Julie asked me why I needed it, and I told her the whole sordid tale. She said the same thing had happened to her two years ago and all she had to do was pay the fine and she didn't have to turn in her plates at all - that option was only if you couldn't or didn't want to pay the fine. WHAT??

I got home and called the DMV - got a different woman who assured me that, yes indeedy, that was true. Pay the fine and everything is copacetic. Keep the plates. Drive the car.

I told her what the woman had told me Wednesday morning and was told, "Oh, she must have been mistaken." MISTAKEN? EXCUSE ME? "Mistaken" is when you think your friend's birthday is the 23rd instead of the 22nd. "Mistaken" is when you think you recognize someone, but it's not that person. "Mistaken" is NOT when it's your job to tell people the traffic laws and YOU DON'T KNOW THEM. And this isn't some vague, teensy paragraph buried deep in NY state's convoluted legal system - this is a situation that has to come up almost daily. Mistaken. *rubs temples*

So all I have to do is drive to the DMV, which opens in two hours (I've been dressed and ready to go for twenty minutes now...I woke up at 4:00 a.m.) and pay the absurdly high fine, and then I'll be totally legal again.

Unless I find the woman with the soft voice, that one from Wednesday morning who was "mistaken." Then we may be dealing with assault.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RWETHAIRYET 5/25/2013 3:20PM

    Wow! That's incredible. But having had some major issues with the NH and Mass DMV a few years back that involved hours of travel time and I don't know how much money...along with computers that are supposed to talk and share information and don't, and different people misquoting rules and regulations....I still ended my last visit...which involved 2 hours of going back and forth between 2 different people, having a melt down in the NH DMV.
They must all hire from the same gene pool.

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IMREITE 5/25/2013 2:56AM

    too much buracracy and to many inerpretations of laws. people get to "rules are rules" but habe no intellagence/expereince in why they are there. We have too many regulations and to little common sense. and computer systems often do not let peoploe think for themsleves to come up with the best solution.

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_UMAMI_ 5/24/2013 11:43PM

    *Added to the "too crazy to make this $hit up" list....

Yeah, I would have been up and raring to go hours before they opened, myself.
I hope all turned out well!!

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GEMLADYONE 5/24/2013 11:16PM in NY sounds complicated! I do share your frustration with people not knowing their jobs. Sorry you had to go through all the tension and worry over bad info though.

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MCJULIEO 5/24/2013 10:47PM

    Yikes! What a mess!

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    What a nightmare. It sounds like they mean business in New York about you having insurance. In Illinois they could care less.

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SUSIQZER 5/24/2013 8:18PM

    Oh, I love how the insurance company is so quick to cut you off with the DMV, but can't be bothered to let them know when you're legal again... grrrrrrrr.

And soft-spoken girl probably has an amazing pension.

I don't blame you one bit for the martinis!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/24/2013 4:38PM

    I am so sorry you had all that stress imposed on you. That woman sounds like an unemployed Ph.D. who is employed demonstrating her flakiness. I have found, to my dismay, that I should never trust anyone who says something that sound too fishy because people all over the place have their facts wrong. Especially when they are "specialists".

Best wishes!

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AJDOVER1 5/24/2013 12:48PM

    Here in California, there's a little sign next to each and every DMV employee reminding us it was against the law to assault a State employee.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/24/2013 11:32AM

    OMG, this reminds me of some of Morticia's DMV blogs. Unbe-friggin-lievable!

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LIFE-FAITH 5/24/2013 11:07AM

    LOL... I am sorry your post is no where near funny, but your last statement got me going! I so understand!

I am tired of incompetent people KEEPING their jobs or OK not having to take any responsibility for a "mistake". I understand we all make mistakes - we all do, but I am fed up with incompetent people who really DO NOT CARE.
I could give a few examples but I will not.

I understand the martini thing! I would have been distressed and ready to take action too.

God bless and keep you!

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TURTLETALK 5/24/2013 10:55AM

    I know from your perspective this was infuriating but I must say it was an enjoyable read. Sorry for your pain with the DMV.

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CECE0330 5/24/2013 10:25AM

    Ha. I think government agencies sometimes purposely try to drive us insane. And holy cow those are strict laws. We have mandatory insurance here in IL, and if you're caught without it your car is impounded, but I don't *think* if you go without for a few and fly under the radar (don't get pulled over, don't get in an accident) there is no penalty. I mean, how do they know you were even DRIVING without insurance?? What about people who are hospitalized for a short time, or otherwise ill, or your car breaks down so you take public transportation? Sheesh.

Bright side, at least you can drive still!

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    I'm not making light of the situation.. but.. I gotta tell ya I did some snickering.. 24 hours in m bed with martini breaks!! ROFL...

I'm just glad it all got straightened out.. very glad.. now, assuming no assault has occured.. go have a martiini and relax.


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SLIMMERJESSE 5/24/2013 8:45AM

    Unreal. But a good rule of thumb when dealing with any govt agency is always get at least two answers to a question - no kidding. How about my city... the
land of uninsured drivers where I pay a higher premium on my
insurance to cover me because they choose to drive without?
Life is pretty strange indeed.

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CELIAMINER 5/24/2013 8:14AM

    Hon, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you get to the DMV. I know you have to act all nice and grateful the monster is allowing you to drive again, but after all the stress you've had heaped on you, you deserve some revenge. Just don't know what it could be, unless the local TV stations have a consumer report section that takes on injustices and brings them out in the open.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/24/2013 8:04AM

    OMG! Another DMV horror story!! So glad you're getting it straightened out. My son has had similar issues in VA. Your answer depends on day you call and who you talk to. It is unbelievable and they act as if it's a silly mistake!!! So frustrating!!

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