A Life Lesson: How To Look Scruffy In Three Simple Steps Then Get Over Your Sad Self

How ‘ya doing scruffy face?

Zen-Den said this to me as he was walking into the kitchen from the garage after getting home from work.  Because I had my back to him while standing at the stove cooking ye olde supper, he couldn’t see my face.

Domesticity, we got it.

Anyhoo, while you might think this is going to be a tale about another gushy nickname, he was being literal.  There was no Chickiedoodle cuteness involved in this salutation.

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You see, somehow, probably while out in the forest primeval behind the house doing the fall clean-up, I got a rash on my face.

And somehow, probably by using one of the aesthetician-approved fancy Vitamin C serums that are all the rage, I exacerbated the rash.

And somehow, probably by not backing down on my doctor-prescribed retinoid, I managed to destroy my face.  Well, not literally, but my face got all red and flaky and itchy and beyond not good– straight to ugly.

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So there I was cooking, not looking my best nor happy about it, still feeling a twinge of self-pity, when Mr. Hilaremoose wanders into the house.  And you know what?

His ridiculous way of saying “hello” to me, even before he saw my ratty face, cheered me up instantly.

Didn’t do a thing to reduce the inflammation, but made me realize how inconsequential it is to worry about that. which. just. happens.

Laugh it off, move along.

Make dinner.

My life.

Ain’t It A Pip? Growling About Holiday Shopping, Enjoying An Animated Puppy

I’VE BEEN RUNNING AROUND THIS WEEK, looking for stuff to buy.  Not really enjoying the process, but aware of the fact that if I don’t get out there now the stuff I want will be gone.

And don’t go all check online with me.  I do that first to decide what I might want, then I allow brick and mortar stores to dazzle me with their customer service and ravishing displays.

During the holiday shopping season I give ’em a chance to please me because I’m old school.

So far, except for Barnes & Noble + Pottery Barn, stores have disappointed me. To wit, if your sales staff refuses to answer questions about your product [looking directly at you Apple] OR if you’ve opened your doors for business but none of your registers are working [giving you the side eye Crate & Barrel] then I will walk out of your store, irritated, but more aware of how little I mean to you.

Do those stores care about my lost sale?  I guess not.  Was I politely clear about how disappointed I was with my shopping experience?  Oh yes.  Will I go back into the particular location that ticked me off?  Nope.

I don’t know whether I’ll try to buy online what I went into the stores to see and experience.  The jury is out on that.  But if I do buy anything it’ll be with reluctance because I feel more like a disposal pawn, than a happy returning customer.

🎄 

BUT MOVING ONTO A CHEERY TOPIC, focusing on goodness, bringing this post full circle home via clever wordplay, I give you, my gentle readers, the following short animated film about a cute puppy named Pip.

You’re going to like this.

Get out the hankies because you’re about to be overwhelmed with the opposite of shopping frustrations. Yep, this is delightfully sweet and will warm the cockles of your heart. As they say.

I don’t know anything about this organization [I’m not affiliated with it] but this little video made me smile and feel good about life during a time of year when everyone, myself included, is running hither and yon– perhaps forgetting about the spirit of service to others.

Pearls Of Wisdom From Ms. Bean’s Weekend On Her Own

Want to know why June Cleaver wore pearls? Watch this.

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Don’t let anyone tell you that my life is not exciting, that I was not a dynamo of whoop-de-do fun while my husband was away over the weekend attending a convention in warmer climes.

I mean, would a boring person spend her Saturday morning sorting through her sweaters, winter clothes, jewelry + scarves, reorganizing her part of the bedroom closet?

Hmmm…?

And then, as a reward for doing such a good job, would a dull person go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy drawer dividers and a scarf hanger on which to put her newly organized accessories?

Me thinks not.

And lest the foregoing revelation of suburban debauchery doesn’t convince you that I’m a wild child, I’ll tell you, my gentle readers, how I spent my Saturday night.

[Try not to clutch your pearls too hard.]

I watched reruns of Frasier.

Yep, if that doesn’t confirm how exciting I am, then nothing will.

I’ll admit that at one time in my life I’d have been ashamed to let anyone know how low-key and practical I am when left to my own devices & vices on a Saturday.

But now, as a wise woman with a penchant for getting things done, for bringing order to chaos, for buying things with a coupon, I’m happy to tell you this.

~ ~ ~ ~

So what did y’all do over the weekend? Did you wear pearls a la June Cleaver while you did it?    

Blogging: When Nagging Doubts Take Over Your Mind

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Would you like to know a secret? Something about me, as a blogger, that I’ve never told anyone before?

Well lean in closer, my gentle readers, here goes…

I’m spending way too much time worrying about what to write here.

I mean, if I learned one thing from my blogging break it is that when I’m not blogging I wake up in the morning with a mind filled with mellow thoughts.

And I start my day with a sense of clarity and purpose that’d make Covey [and his Seven Habits] happy.

But when I’m actively doing the bloggy thing I wake up in the morning uncertain, with confused ideas about what to write here and low-level anxiety about whether or not what I published earlier in the week was a good idea.

Doubts fill me in a way that only the Devil [and his Seven Mortal Sins] could take joy in.

• • •

• • •

So you know what I did? How I handled these nagging doubts that worry me?

I conducted a study on my bloggy self and my writing behavior wherein: 1) I tracked the time I spent blogging during October;  2) I reviewed my following/commenting process looking for a better way to do it; and 3) I evaluated my categories with an eye to revision.

Here are my findings + changes:

1) I put in about 3 hours per day on all things blogging, such as researching, writing, editing, publishing, reading other blogs, and commenting;

2) I follow a variety of bloggers and to do this more easily I’ve ditched WP Reader entirely, choosing to upgrade my Feedly account wherein I can have everyone filed away, all orderly like;  and

3) I need to have fewer categories, well-defined in my head, so that when I sit down to write I’m focused and unworried, thus I’ve re-envisioned my blog with 7 categories.

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• • •

So has my little foray into personal blogging self-awareness helped me feel more in control of what I’m doing here?

In a word, YES.  Most definitely.

And maybe the message of this blog post is that once a year I need to revisit what I’m doing on this blog and how I want to keep on doing it, so that writing my personal blog doesn’t cause me to worry.

Seems obvious as I say it here, but sometimes the obvious doesn’t come so easily to me.

No secret about that, now is there?

Fashionable Or Not, Here Are My Answers To The Fashionista Questions

Over the weekend I saw that Carol had answered these questions. She got them from Melanie who got them from Rory who asked them originally. I thought this looked like fun so I did it too. Here are my answers.  

• • •

Q1 How important is colour in your life?

It’s very important, so much so that I have a blog tag for it: Colors Of My Life.

Q2 What is your most favourite colour to wear?

Blue, all shades– but not at once.

Q3 Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?

Teal or aqua.  I get compliments when I wear either of those.  They bring out the color in my blue, sometimes greenish, eyes.

Q4 Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?

Less is more, my gentle readers.  Overdressing makes me feel silly and contrived.

Q5 What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]

T-shirts, cotton sweaters, Birks, denim jacket, jeans.

Q6 Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?

Remember the book, Color Me Pretty by Carole Jackson?  With a hat tip to her seasonal color analysis [learn more about yours here], I dress for each season using colors I know flatter my skin tone;  I’m a summer.  Then I add a shade or two associated with whichever season it is, so that I “blend” with the world around me.

Q7 If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?

Dark jeans, silk blouse, a spectacular necklace + simple hoop earrings, leather flats with a bit of attitude.  Why?  ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

Q8 If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?

Dark pants or a pencil skirt in wool [maybe], a blazer or v-neck cardigan, white blouse or t-shirt, small necklace + stud earrings + watch, flats or pumps [depending], a stylish leather purse.

Q9 How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]

Flats [5], sandals [12], pumps [3], boots [5], athletic [5].  This means I have 30 pairs of shoes.  Is that a lot?  Seems like it to me.

Q10 Do you have classic clothing, or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?

Of course I do!  I’m all about classics.  Three items are*: cotton cardigan sweater by Lands’ End, three-quarter-sleeve blouse by L.L.Bean, Court bag by Coach [from before they lost their mind].

Q11 Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?

Clear colors, simple textures, as little pattern as possible.  Nothing too match-y, match-y.  I want people to see me not some goofy overpowering pattern or unflattering trendy color.

Q12 Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?

Yes, it is bien dans sa peau, a French saying that means to be happy + comfortable in your own skin.  ‘Tis a goal and a mantra.  I read about it first in French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano and the idea has stayed with me.

Q13 Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?

No knee socks ever.  Ankle socks sometimes in the winter when it’s cold everywhere I go.  Sans socks when possible.

Q14 Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?

No, I don’t see a connection between color and music.

Q15 If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]

I play no music while I’m getting dressed.

Q16 How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?

I HATE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES, however I may buy one or two new items each season… if I have to… preferably while shopping online… so I don’t have to go near a store… with other people in it.

Q17 Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?

I have no strong opinions about tie-dye.  I’d wear it on a t-shirt or scarf, if I liked the colors in it.

Q18 What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?

I have a bright pink [blue undertone] fleece jacket that I wear more often than you might think I would.  It goes with everything I own.

Q19 What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardrobe? How often do you actually wear it?

The most expensive item of clothing in my wardrobe is my lined wool winter coat that I wear when it’s below 30ºF outside.

PQ20 Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Nope, answered them all, thank you very much.

Q21 Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired more so?

Being stylishly attired is important to me, which means that occasionally I’m fashionable, but for the most part means I follow my own aesthetic that I’d describe as relaxed classic with a little boho chick thrown in for fun.

I have a casual vibe.  I like simple structured clothes in natural fabrics, with an occasional foray into animal print or ethnic print or lace or tiny shiny bling.

I want NO extra fabric draping all over me, NO sports team apparel, NO tacky jewelry or makeup.  Just me, pulled together without fuss, comfortable in my own skin**.

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*Hello FTC! As usual no company has paid me a cent to talk favorably about their products here. Fear not, my old friend, The Spectacled Bean remains an ad-free blog.

** In case you’re interested, three personal style blogs that I like are: GIRLS OF A CERTAIN AGEThe Vivienne Files, & une femme d’un certain âge.

The Rest Of The Story: Thank You For Asking, My Gentle Readers

Quick, is anybody looking?

About the water leak in the ceiling of our recently remodeled bathroom…

[Story here.]

The ceiling is fixed thanks to roofers, remodelers, and painters.  The problem was that last year when The Remodelers were in the attic installing the new bathroom fan they accidentally knocked against the existing vent which jostled it enough so that the connection on the roof became loose.

Then water from melting snow and rain dribbled in around the existing vent, dripped through the attic down onto the ceiling– and eventually made itself known in the bathroom.  Hence the problem.

But you know what kids, all’s well that ends well.

About MIL after FIL’s passing…

[Story here.]

MIL, who is in her early 80s & has her own serious health issues, never wanted to live in their house after he was gone, so she has moved into an Assisted Living facility wherein she is safe and cared for by a staff who know how to keep her healthy and we hope, happy.

This is a woman, who before this, has lived in only 3 different houses in her life, so change does not come easily to her.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers [or tots and pears 😉] regarding her.

About the confusing Latin + Native American message…

[Story here.]

I figured it out, oh yes I did.  After a bit of online research plus a conversation in real life, I realized that [ready for this?] a Shakespeare play was going to happen in a rural county park.

The message was a sly reference to Shakespeare, using Latin, combined with the name of the county park, that happened to be the name of a Native American tribe. I don’t know how effective this message was at getting people to attend the play, but it was a good brain teaser for me.

And we’ll just leave that story right here.

About the eyelid cleaning that I had last Friday…

[Story here.]

The BlephEx™️ procedure was without drama, the way I like medical things to be.  The Doc put some anti-bacterial foam on this little gadget that looked like a Dremel drill wannabe and vibrated like an electric toothbrush on cocaine.

He slowly moved it around my lash line and eyelid area, cleaning my eyelids and eyelashes as he went.  No big deal, it tickled a little bit and took about 15 minutes.  Immediately afterward my eyes were tired, but I could see clearly to drive & read.

Overall my eyes feel less gritty & more relaxed than before, so there you go.

Nope. Then let’s smooch!

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Any more questions you’d like to ask me? This is your chance. If lines are busy, please keep trying. 

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August Makes Me Itchy & Cranky, So I’m Doing This

Photo from an old greeting card. I’ve no source for it, but it’s how I feel right now, so here it is.

Unbelievably hot. Intermittently sunny.

Humid. Rainy. Windy. Moldy, with irritating tree + grass pollens in the air.

That’s our weather now.

Schizoid. 

I don’t like it, but that’s a given because August is my least favorite month of the year.  Some years I don’t try to keep this blog going during Hell Month, but this year I guess I’m feeling optimistic that I’ll have something to say here.

That I’ll do something, preferably fun, potentially interesting.

But you knowz what, my gentle readers?  The only thing I have going on this week that might even vaguely be called interesting is that I’m having BlephEx™️ done at the doc’s office.

BelphEx™️ is a medical procedure to combat blepharitis.  What is blepharitis you ask?  Allow me to quote from the BlephEx™️ brochure:  “Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes.” 

Sorry you asked, aren’t ‘ya?

Getting to my point here, the BlephEx™️ procedure I am to have on Friday is to clean my eyelids and eyelashes in a way similar to the way a dental hygienist cleans your teeth.  This procedure will be a first for me, so I’m hoping that it’ll make my dry eyes itch less, as advertised.

To that I’d say HALLELUJAH.

So, my gentle readers, what have you got going on this week?

Something I hope that is a darned sight more interesting and less old-person-like than getting your eyelids professionally cleaned.

Lord love a duck, even typing that last sentence, I feel pathetic…