10Jun/16

The Ocean Fixes Me

I have seen quotes that “the ocean fixes everything”, all I know is it sure fixes me..

My "fix"

My “fix”…

Spending time at the beach brings me so much joy. It is really my happy place and I love nothing more in life than sitting on a beach relaxing and reading a book. But it also has a way of “fixing” me.

I have had a bit of stress in my life recently and while I know things always have a way of working out sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I get so mad at myself for not being able to just rise above it all and move on but it truly seems harder and harder to do that. I think when we are young we think we are invincible and that we have all the time in the world. We expect good things to happen and they do. As we age we are dealing with so many things we didn’t know we would be facing at this point in our lives so it just makes it a little harder to keep coming back time and time again. I am not one to feel sorry for myself and I always look at the glass as half full but sometimes it is hard to do that. So then on top of not coping with things the way I should, I feel guilty for feeling the way I do.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” ~ E.E.Cummings

Spending time at the beach last week reaffirmed just how much the ocean brings me back and soothes my soul. I have always loved the beach ever since my parents took me to Atlantic City, NJ when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. And I have never missed a single year since that very first time. I need that ocean fix, I crave it and can always tell when it is time for me to go again. I just need to sit on a beach somewhere and just “be”.

Why does the ocean make me feel this way? What is it that comes over me and takes me out of myself, fills me with a sense of calm and gets me ready to face the world again? I have never figured it out. I am a fire sign, so it makes sense that the ocean would cool me down and soothe the fire so to speak. I don’t know how or why, I just know it does.

Having just left the quiet, quaint beach town of Chincoteague, VA. I am once again reminded of how much I enjoy the peace and calmness of that kind of place. What a difference from years ago when I had to have the glitz, glamour, stores and bars to enjoy the beach. I craved all the excitement. I loved going to the beach during the day, and even then felt the connection but afterwards I wanted to hang out in all the loud music, filled to the max with people places. No more. The beach and all it has to offer me is quite enough.

Even the sunsets are better

Even the sunsets are better there…

I don’t think I am imagining how much of an effect the ocean has on me. I can sit on the beach for hours just watching wave after wave crashing to the shore. I can be quite happy watching sea gulls flying around and maybe seeing an occasional dolphin swimming by. All of that is awesome and I enjoy seeing it, but it is the calmness and feeling of total peace that keeps bringing me back again and again. I feel like I am somehow cleansed and released from all the stresses and things that were bothering me at home. I can almost(yes, almost) forget them and feel like I am me again. The young me that believed that anything was possible and that everything would be ok. I never used to doubt that. But now it gets harder and harder to believe these things I once knew to be true.

Lately, I have had a few set backs trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love fashion and jewelry and love being a part of that industry. I am not one to just sit and not do anything. Yes, I am retired, and I love it..but I’m not dead. I love people and being around them. However in the period of a year I have been laid off by one company, the second one dropped my hours to zero and the third one is closing the end of July. It is frustrating at my age to start over so many times. And to have the company you really loved working for to just close. I have started over so many times in my life I have lost count. And what was easy and fun to do at 30 isn’t as easy and sure isn’t fun when you are in your 60’s. So as I sat on the beach last week I pondered all of this. Then I silently asked, “what’s next?” As I looked straight ahead the clouds in front of me formed a little “U”. I guess I got my answer.

the little "u" in the clouds...

the little “u” in the clouds…(look straight in the middle, it’s very small)

On the way home in the car I was feeling an increasing sense of dread that I was leaving my happy place and would be returning to reality. The stressful things will all still be there and I will have to deal with them again. So I wondered, if I lived at the beach would all these stresses magically just go away or would I still have the same ones I do now but I could walk on the beach every day and sort them out. I plan on being at the beach as much as I can to find out. And it’s way cheaper than therapy!

And so in closing I once again leave you with a question and a quote…Would you live at the beach if you could?

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch – we are going back from whence we came.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

02Jun/16

I Remember Every Lyric To Songs From 50 Years Ago…

But I can’t remember what I had for breakfast today.

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Seriously, why can I remember every single word to a song from over 50 years ago, but not remember why I came in the dining room?

I went to a concert last night. Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. It was an amazing night of music and brought back a ton of memories from the 80’s. It was fantastic. But my favorite part of the night and the one I am writing about today is when Cyndi sang a song from my teenage years.

It was a great night to be at a concert, there was a cool breeze going and the music was amazing. I was having a great time! All of the sudden Cyndi starts a song that I couldn’t believe she was singing. Unbelievable, I recognized it from the first three cords. It was a song from 1962. “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis. I was immediately taken back to my 13 year old broken hearted angst ridden days as a teenager as I sang along with Cyndi. I was truly was close to tears as I belted out every single word.

“The End of the World” ~ Skeeter Davis, Written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee

“Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
‘Cause you don’t love me any more

 

Why do the birds go on singing
Why do the stars glow above
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye”

As I was singing along with the song I was thinking to myself, “how do I remember this”…It was over 50 years ago I heard this song and yet I knew each and every word like it was yesterday and I was playing my 45 on my little record player in my bedroom. I played that record until I wore the thing out and had to go buy another one. But really, how do we remember songs from back when we were teenagers and we can’t remember why we walked into a room? We stand there wondering why we’re there until we walk back out and suddenly it comes to you why you went in there in the first place.

Why do these words come so easily after so many years? Is it a  because a memory is attached? Not always. I have read studies where dementia patients respond to music from their youth and it may even help them regain some of their clarity. It triggers some lost part of the brain. So is that what happens when we hear a song from our younger days? We are triggering some lost part of our brain or are we triggering some lost part of our youth?

Music has always been important to me and I think it just stays in there until something “triggers” that memory. Case in point, when we hear a line from a song and can’t get the darn song out of our heads all day. And just how many of you can not remember what letter comes next in the alphabet until you sing the “Alphabet Song?”

Maybe it’s just repetition that makes us remember. I certainly played that record enough times. Or maybe it really is a memory of a lost love, a place or just a simpler time. We have so much going on in today’s world that is confusing and hard to understand. But music is simple and takes us to places that comforts us and soothes our soul.

“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Unknown

Perhaps the schools should start singing math to the students, I’m sure it would work better than some of the ways they are trying to teach it these days. I guess us old folks should make up songs about our grocery lists, daily chores and bills to be paid so we don’t forget these things. Do you think it would help? Ok, sorry but I just got a picture of myself going down the grocery aisle singing, “milk and coffee, toilet paper and tea.” Not too sure I’ll be doing that.

So I don’t have the answer as to why we remember these songs and we can’t remember what we need to get through the day. I don’t know, I’m just glad I do.

I leave you as usual with a question and a quote. Do you remember the lyrics to old songs? What was the last one you remembered and sang along to?

“Someone once asked me: Why do you love music so much? I replied: Because it’s the only thing that stays when everything and everyone is gone.” ~Unknown

 

 

26May/16

Do You Know Who This House Belongs To?

Because it’s falling apart and no one cares….

is this your house?

is this your house?

I wonder who lived here. I wonder where they are now. Was it a big family? Were they happy? Did they have meals all together at the kitchen table every night? Did they sit out on the wonderful balcony and have late afternoon tea? Did the kids run around outside and play in the yard? What did this magnificent old place look like when it was in it’s full grandeur?

Who knows the answer to these questions? Does anyone? I see so many of these empty, abandoned houses in my travels and every time it makes me stop and think about who lived there and what happened to them. A family once lived in that house. They were most likely happy and had kids and pets and lived a wonderful life. They celebrated birthdays and holidays together with their whole family. They loved their house. And they loved each other too. At least that is what I tell myself.

It used to be you would see one or two of these abandoned houses along the rode. But now you see them everywhere. One right after another. Why? Why is there so many? What happened to the family that lived there and didn’t they have any family members left to take it over before it fell into such disrepair? It didn’t look like that when it was abandoned. It was a beautiful home. Yes, maybe it needed a few repairs but it didn’t deserve to be left to ruin.

“It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.” ~ Unknown

There is one such house on a route I take quite frequently. I always noticed it and it struck a cord with me because there was always something going on in the house or in the yard. It really stuck out due to all the people there and also because it seemed the family was so happy and joyful. They always had picnics and parties out in the yard and numerous kids were running around playing. It was so nice to see this.Then one day I drove by and the house seemed empty. After driving by there a few more times my suspicions were confirmed. They were gone. What happened? How could a happy family like this all of the sudden be gone? And with all the people in the family, not one of them wanted the house.

Now granted, I know times are tough and there have been so many foreclosures in the country but are all of these empty houses a victim of the times or something else entirely? Do the people who owned them die and there is no one around to take over the house? No one to sell it? And then to make matters worse, they never get torn down, they just sit there and get covered by weeds and fall apart. It is, in my opinion, one of the saddest things.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it does. I think about these houses and think of all the happy times spent inside those walls that are now falling apart. I can envision the Christmas tree in the window and little kids dressed up in their costumes knocking on the front door at Halloween. The owners and their kids quickly coming to greet them with an apple or a bag of candy made by the lady of the house. I see the kids rooms full of their prized possessions. Their stuffed animals and games. What happened to their things? Was everything just left inside to rot along with the house?

“Home is a place you grew up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” ~ John Ed Pearce

I see so many vintage items and pictures at antique stores when I go there and I think the same thing about the items. These pictures were once hanging on the wall in a family’s home. This light was on a table beside a child’s bed. A family once ate their meals off of this beautiful set of dishes. The old toys especially the cars and dolls really get to me. I can picture the little curly haired girl playing with her beloved doll while her brother played with his cars on the floor. So many memories, now just sitting there waiting.

We are told these are all just things and they don’t matter, it is what we keep in the heart that really matters. The house sitting in disrepair. The old photos still in their original frames. The beautiful vintage desk that once sat in the parlor. Yes, they are just things, but they belonged to someone. Someone who loved them and someone that was loved.

I leave you as always with a question and a quote. What do “you” think when you see these abandoned houses sitting along the rode? Do you even think about them at all? Is it just me?

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

 

 

19May/16

Hey, I Still Know Stuff…

I may be getting older but I still know a little something

Listen to me kid..

Listen to me kid..

Do all the young whippersnappers around you make you feel old or like you don’t know anything? Do you sometimes feel left out of conversations at dinners or a party because of your age? Do you feel you are totally dismissed, like you couldn’t possibly have a clue at “your age” of anything remotely relevant to the subject. Or worse, when you do finally have a chance to comment, you get the “eye roll.”

There have been several occasions lately where I felt this way. Maybe it was just me and the way I was feeling at the time or could it be I took the comments the wrong way, but it seems like this happens all too frequently these days. I have heard some of my friends talking about this and have seen comments on social media where the “older generation” is made fun of or mocked because how could they possibly know about anything current or interesting. I personally have felt it in a store and on the phone with a company I was dealing with.

It is all a little disconcerting to be treated in this way. To hear comments such as, “well that was then and this is now,” or “yes, I know they did it like that back in your day, but this is the way we do it in today’s world.” They may as well throw in “you old geezer” when saying these things because you know it is what they are thinking. It makes me angry to be treated like I don’t know anything or that I am incompetent because I am a certain age, it is the same way I felt when I was growing up and was treated at times like I couldn’t possibly know anything because I was a girl.

We should never be too quick to judge people on what they know just by looking at them. Nor should a whole generation be judged by their age. My generation, The Baby Boomers have gone through so many times and eras of change and revolution. We changed the world back then and we are changing it now. We have been through and seen so much and come out on the other side and in doing so we may have just gained a tiny bit of knowledge that we can pass along in today’s much different world.

“Age is not how old you are, but how many years of fun you’ve had.” -Matt Maldre

Our generation did not have all the electronics that we have today. We didn’t have computers or even calculators. So we had to learn all of this later in life. Kids today from the moment they are born are electronically connected and they know how to do things we are just learning to do. I have taught myself how to do most things by trial and error and believe me there were a lot of errors. But that is how you learn and continue to grow. I started this blog and had to learn so many things about how to get it out there for the world to even read it. I amazed myself at what I had a accomplished and that I did it all by myself. So I know a little about some stuff.

We should not be dismissed, we are still relevant. We know stuff. We know a little about a lot and we know a lot about a little. These wrinkles you mention mean I have been many places. These age spots you focus on mean I have lived and done things you will never do. These old eyes you look into have seen things…some wonderful and some I hope you will never see. When you look at us try to see what is really there. Try to see us as a whole person and see where we’ve come from and what we brought along with us. See us as having something valuable to offer. We may surprise you.

I remember growing up and listening to my grandfather for hours on end thinking he was the smartest man I ever knew. He had been through so much in his life and had so many wonderful stories and such valuable information to share that I just wanted to soak up everything he told me. I hung on his every word and loved listening to him.  And I don’t remember ever rolling my eyes during one of these conversations, not even once. Do the kids today even care about what we have to tell them? Do they want to hear our stories? I hope so.

So what do you think about this? Do you feel like the younger generation thinks we are no longer relevant? How do we change this? The bigger question is, should we even try?

We are relevant and we know stuff! Just ask us, we’ll tell you!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

09May/16

My Child Is How Old??

How do I have a child that’s 50, when I am only 50 myself?

This is what she looks like in my mind

This is what she looks like in my mind…

So it happened this past weekend, my oldest(thank goodness) child turned 50! I really don’t know how this happened and where the time has gone. I just turned 50 myself. I remember it well, my kids had a wonderful 50th birthday surprise party for me. It was just last year, wasn’t it? It sure feels like it was. I remember the day Shelly was born and that a day afterward, it was Mother’s Day and I celebrated it in the hospital. But really, how did this happen?

This recent turn of events has caused me to do some thinking on how quickly time passes and how we don’t have endless days and years here on this earth. We need to do, say and be all that we want, when we want or miss the opportunity to do so. Our children grow up, our grandkids grow up and we can’t change that or stop time. There are days when I am with them and suddenly it hits me and I think to myself.. “right now, this moment, I would like to freeze this moment and stay in it forever.”

There are always times in your life which cause you to reflect. When the kids graduate from high school or college, when they marry, when they turn certain ages. But the age thing I think are always, at least for me, a time for reflecting the most. When they turned 16 was one of those times, then 21 and 30 and so on. But 50! Come on, I just can’t even.

Shelly in her much hated Danskin outfit

Shelly in her much hated Danskin outfit and the also much hated Poodle curtains behind her.(she was scared of them)

Remember when we were kids and it seemed like it took forever for our birthdays to roll around? Now I have one and it is no sooner over and there is another one coming so quickly I barely get the gifts put away from the first. Well I may have exaggerated a bit here but you get the gist of what I’m saying. Time flies by. My oldest grandson will be 14 this year and I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. In fact I think it was yesterday..

I remember my Mom telling me all of this and her acting all weepy sometimes about our gatherings for birthdays and holidays and how she wanted us all together. She wanted pictures and we all had to be there or we would suffer her endless reminders of how we didn’t show up for the much anticipated get together or event. I didn’t quite understand her angst then, but now “I get it.”

But back to the subject at hand…my child turning 50! Because this is what I am ranting about. I enjoyed my 50’s immensely. It was one of my better decades. My kids were all grown and living on their own(for the most part, occasionally one would drift back in for a time). I was in good shape physically and had a lot of stamina. I was even riding a bike for 20-30 miles at a time. I had a lot of fun those years as well. What happened to that person? I feel the same inside but the outside isn’t communicating to well with the inside. I remember those times vividly and fondly. So I hope the 50’s decade is a good one for my daughter, I hope she enjoys these years and remembers them with as much joy as I do.

My daughter is not just my daughter, she is also my friend. Being so close in age and having gone through all we went through to get this point in life has created a bond which I know will last forever. She is funny, smart, loving and a total music freak. Seriously, she absolutely loves music. One of the many things we share is that love of music and we go to a lot of concerts together. We love the beach and go as often as we can. We both love sitting on a beach where there is not a soul around us and just enjoy the view and sea air.  Sadly for us, most of the time on these empty beautiful beaches a family of ten comes by and pitches their tent right beside our chairs…Another thing we share is a love of shopping but that isn’t always a good thing. We are not good for each other as we encourage the other to buy. But we do have fun. We always have fun!

 

Shelly and I  in Outer Banks

Shelly and I in Outer Banks

And so I wish for her to have 50 more years to go to concerts and for me to be able to go with her. I can only hope!

I leave you as always with a question and a quote.

What are your thoughts on your children growing older, turning, 16, 21 or 50??

“The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way.” – Joyce Carol Oates

and this one just for the fun of it…and because it made me laugh.
“Daughters are like flowers, they fill the world with beauty, and sometimes attract pests.”  ~Author Unknown

02May/16

The Women In My Life Lift Me Up…

Do your friends lift you up or pull you down?

Girlfriends

Girlfriends

Having just returned from my annual Girlfriends Weekend yesterday, my mind was filled with so many different thoughts and feelings as I feel asleep last night. The women I go on this trip with are all different ages and range from almost 70 to others in their 40’s and 50’s. We have a core group that has always gone and from time to time we have invited a few others. But this core group of women and our conversations this weekend were what caused me to write this post today.

We talk about many subjects while we are together and do many things, but one thing stands out in my mind and that is how we constantly build each other up. No one ever tries to belittle you or make you feel less than. We even talked about this very topic over our 4 days together. You hear and see so many stories in todays social media crazed world about women tearing other women apart due to something they have said or the way they look. I have to say and maybe its because I lucked out in the friends department( I do know I have), but all my women friends always lift me up and I feel better about myself and the world in general when I leave them.

I never understood why someone had to make another feel small to make themselves feel better. I have seen this many times over the course of my life, especially in the workplace. There would be a person that was my superior who thought they needed to control you or belittle you to make them feel like a better boss or a more important person. And in all honesty and I really hate to admit this, most of the time the boss who did this was a woman. I have had several women managers over my many years in the work environment and 9 times out of 10 I had this kind of boss. I must say, I also had several wonderful women who mentored me and I truly felt they wanted to see me succeed. I think those women knew the secret, that if I succeeded it could only make them look good.

In my opinion women should do everything they can to help other women. This is a tough world we live in and we don’t get out alive. So why not help others along the way on this journey called life. I don’t get it, but maybe this is something you don’t learn until you are older. Like so many other things we learn as we age and we are all so busy trying to survive that it is hard sometimes to look beyond our own little world. I don’t think I fully understood this completely myself until a few years ago. I wish I had realized all of this earlier so that maybe I could have helped more younger women going through some of the things I did. I have tried to mentor quite a few over the years and can only hope I succeeded.

Men seem to support other men and not feel so threatened. At least this has been my experience when observing them together. So I don’t know why women think it is ok to hurt other women. We women are thought to have more emotional and caring mechanisms than men do. So then explain to me why this happens. Why do women do this to one another? I know both of my daughters have had similar stories where they had a woman who was their superior act in such a way it caused them to leave the position. However I can truly say I feel both of them try their best to help other women. I have already started speaking to my nine year old grand daughter about this, but somehow I don’t think she needs me to tell her. She is a very kind and generous child and I know she will help others. She already does.

I want to say how grateful I am to all the women who have helped me throughout my life. I know I am blessed to have had so many of them at various times and it seemed  each one came when I needed them the most. Some of them are no longer here and some have moved on but they will always be remembered for what they gave me. I can only hope I gave back some of that support in return.

Lets all try to be more supportive of others whether it be a woman or man. Did you ever feel like someone was trying to bring you down? Do you have a person in your life that has lifted you up? I would love to hear your stories.

“We are not here on earth to see through each other, we are here to see each other through.” ~Unknown

24Apr/16

When You Came To A Fork In The Road…

Which way do you go and was it the right way?

a fork in the road, oh wait its a lake

a fork in the road… oh wait, its a lake!

Have there been times in your life when you had to make a decision on something very minor at the time, but it actually changed the course of your life? I was at dinner with friends recently and we were discussing this very thing. How one small decision totally changed their life and what would have happened if we took the other “road.” How do we know if we made the right choices?

We all had stories that night where we knew that we had made a critical decision that changed the course of our lives, but we also all decided we didn’t know at the time how truly life changing it would be. Would we make those same choices today? That is a hard one to answer. We only know what we have now and who really knows what would have happened had we taken the other “road.”

I myself have had quite a few of these “forks” in my life. I have a rather large collection of them and am now ready to sell them or give them away at this point in my life. I know I have had many times where I made a decision in the spur of the moment and it affected my life, but the conversation at dinner made me look at the ones that stand out as important to me and my life as it is today. Here are the top 3 decisions I have made that altered the course of my life.

The number one decision I made that changed my life…

The one choice I made that has had the biggest impact on my life was when I got pregnant at 15. I was scared and I was so young and had my whole life ahead of me. But I chose to keep my child and get married to the child’s father. Looking back on that now I know I made the right decision. There has never been a moment that I regretted this and I am so grateful for having the guts to do it. There weren’t many girls who were raising babies and married at 16 in my town in the 60’s. So it was hard, and truly changed the course of my life forever.

Did I make the right choice? Unequivocally yes! I love my children and I can’t even think of what my life would be without them.

The second most life changing decision I made….

When I was dating my children’s father I once had a huge fight with him and I broke up with him. It was during the summer I was 15 and before I found out I was pregnant. Another guy friend found out I broke up with my boyfriend and asked me to go out with him. I said yes. I always liked him and thought why not I need to move on and this was a good way to do that. (remember I was only 15) The next day my boyfriend came to the house and we made up, he gave me his ring and he went away for the weekend with his friends, so I had to call the other guy and tell him I couldn’t go. We were both sad that our date wouldn’t happen.

Did I make the right choice? Yes! I have thought about this many times over the years and how it could have changed my life. Not who the date was with particularly, but the fact that I wouldn’t have married the man who would father my children. Again, my children are so very important in my life and anything that would have changed that regardless of the man I married to get them would not have been good. You may say I may have had a happy life and other children with the other guy, but I may not. The kids I have and grandchildren from this choice is definitely worth all I went through.

The third most life changing decision I made…

My move to Frederick, Maryland with my then live in boyfriend. This was a very hard decision for me. I was leaving behind my family and friends and everything I ever knew as my life at 36. But it seemed like the right time to do this. There was a lot of stress in my life from my recent divorce and I thought a fresh start was a good thing at that time of my life. My boyfriend getting transferred to Frederick was to me at that time a sign and it seemed like a good place to do that. It was only an hour and a half away so it wasn’t like I was moving across the country or anything.

Did I make the right choice? Yes again! I needed to start fresh, and to do that I had to get away from everything I knew and the life I had in Pennsylvania. I was excited and scared all at the same time. I had a chance to reinvent myself. I only knew one other person in Frederick besides my boyfriend. So I went out and met new people and became what I always wanted to be a “business woman.”  When I left my home town I was a waitress, And while there is nothing wrong with that and it served its purpose for me money wise and being able to spend time with the kids, it wasn’t  something I wanted to continue to doing. My positions in Frederick allowed me to be on a course where I opened my own store. My life dream was fulfilled. Not everyone can say that, so yes, I made the right choice.

We all make choices, every single day. Some of the ones we make affect us our whole lives. I am happy with all the choices I have made and don’t regret a single one. What about you? Have you come to a fork in the road and had to make a decision? Did you make the right one?

“The choices that you make in your life will make your life. Choose wisely.” ~ Michael Josephson

 

 

 

15Apr/16

In Search Of The Perfect Pillow…

is there even such a thing?

pillow puffed and ready to go

pillow puffed and ready to go

I have been in search of the “perfect pillow” for quite a while now. Maybe as long as 10 years.. And in that time I have purchased and rejected at least 15 pillows. The pillow I am using now I got about a year ago and I have to say when I first got it I loved it, it was indeed “the perfect pillow”…now not so much.

I never had a problem with a pillow when I was younger. I just went to bed and slept comfortably on my side and woke up ready to go(well maybe not ready to go, but woke up feeling fine). I only used one pillow for many years and then had to have two. I needed a little bit more support. I don’t think I ever even gave my pillow a second thought. It was just there waiting for me when I crawled in bed. Then a few years ago I started having problems with my neck at times and finally attributed it to the pillow/pillows I was using. I had to travel for work during this time and when I was at a hotel I noticed I didn’t have the neck problems when I woke up. I didn’t really give it much thought at first but after a few times it made me stop and think about why I was feeling so much better when I woke up at the hotel as opposed to at home. I felt great. I slept soundly and my neck felt relaxed all day. This happened every single time I went there and it was at least once a month if not more. I loved those pillows. And I had to have one!

I would forget all about the pillows until the whole neck thing would return and believe me, it did return. And then I would be at the hotel again and it was better. So I decided I had to find those pillows no matter what. I searched online and of course on Amazon, my go to site for everything. I found so many “hotel” pillows I wasn’t sure which one to get. So I looked the next time I was at the hotel as to the brand name they had there. Well, that was of no help as It was just the name of the hotel, they wanted you to buy their brand. I looked it up and they were $75 for one pillow, one pillow. I never paid more than $25 for a pillow and wasn’t about to do it now. I found one with rave reviews and purchased it. It cost $45. I didn’t think I would ever pay that much for a pillow but when you think about how much time you spend sleeping I guess its worth it.

I purchased the pillow and loved it. I could wait to unpack it and try it out. It was wonderful and truly worth every penny. I slept soundly and my neck did not bother me. I told everyone about my wonderful pillow. I was in heaven. I have had the pillow for about a year now and it’s “broken.” The reviews did say that after a while the pillow gets flat. Flat??? Flat is an understatement. It bunches up at the top but down at the bottom(where your head and neck are) it is nonexistent. It’s like I am sleeping on my arm, because I have my arm under it to give me a smidgen of support. If you take the pillow and put it in the dryer and fluff it, it is fine…for 5 minutes. But then it’s back to the new pancake style pillow I now own.

what my pillow looks like

what my pillow looks like on my bed

 

There is another issue as well. Not only does my “new” pillow not give me any support, it makes my hair flat. Flat hair, just like the flat pillow. I’m really not liking this at all. I don’t even understand how it does that. Anyone that knows me knows my hair is curly and somewhat puffy. How can a pillow manage to flatten my hair? So its back to the drawing board and the never ending search. I found one on Amazon, it is Bamboo, it’s made in America and its $49.99. I think I may try it.

I am hoping this will work. I am into this whole “earthy” Bamboo thing since I got my Bamboo mattress pad. I love it, is very comfy and cool in the summer and keeps me warm in the winter.

 

 

So that’s the deal. I really hope I find the perfect pillow. I am always searching for something. I think my life would be dull without a quest of some kind to keep me entertained. It keeps me on my toes. Speaking of toes, I would rather it be shoes I am looking for.. Oh, never mind, I am still looking for the perfect pair of flats.

I leave you once again my friends with a quote and a question. In fact two quotes, I couldn’t decide which one I liked best so I thought I would give you both.

“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” ~ Charlotte Bronte

“Fatigue is the best pillow.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Do you have a favorite pillow? If its great and you love it, tell me about it in the comments. I may try it.

Disclaimer: This post contains links to an affiliate site and if you click on the link and purchase something (which would be wonderful) I would make enough to buy a coffee.

 

08Apr/16

My Love of Shoes, Documented in Pictures

 how it all began…

 

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Ballerina flats

I think it started when I was a baby. My Mom loved shoes and had a million pairs of high heels. She wore them all the time, 4 inch heels no less. So maybe she somehow passed that love along to me while I was still in the womb. I know she did with the whole shopping thing so I guess the shoe thing was just a natural one for me to pick up from her too.

renee

Not “cute” shoes

I’m guessing I didn’t get the whole designer cute little shoes thing yet in this picture. But I really don’t think it was my fault. I was only 3 at the time of this picture so I don’t think I had much say in what shoes I wore. Don’t judge me, I just wore what my Mom made me wear.

Saddle Shoes

Saddle Shoes

In this picture I am in elementary school and saddle shoes were all the rage. I was so excited when Mom got these for me.  I loved them and wore them every single day. I polished them and took great care to make sure the white part stayed that way. The cheerleaders wore these in high school and I wanted to be a cheerleader(sadly, that never happened). My older cousin was a cheerleader and she wore hers all the time, so of course I had to wear them too!

Red T Straps

Red T Straps

Next it was these red T straps shoes. I don’t know who made them or where we got them, but they were way cool. I wore them with everything. It didn’t matter if what I had on went with the color red or not, I just wore them. They were my first really stylish shoes. I thought I was “it.” Whatever “it” was…

Capezios, My Favorite

Capezios, My Favorite

You have to excuse me if I get a little teary eyed here. This is my favorite shoe ever…ever!! All of my friends had Capezio shoes and I didn’t. I begged my parents to get them for me and it fell on deaf ears. They were “too expensive.” You have to understand, I was in 7th grade and all the seniors were wearing these. Since I looked up to these girls, all I wanted in my 12 year old life was to have these beautiful shoes.  My friends all had them too and I was the only one in “my group” that didn’t. We all know how that feels. So I asked my parents if I could somehow earn the money to buy them, would they even allow me to get them. They said yes.. I think mostly because they didn’t really think I could do it. But even back then if I wanted something bad enough I would find a way to get it. So I got a “job.”  I started babysitting for a family up the street. They had 3 kids, two of the kids were really sweet and good kids, but the youngest a 3 year old was a real pistol. He was so bad, they had run out of babysitters who would even set foot in their house. So they were very happy to have me. Believe me when I say I earned every penny of the money they paid me and more. It was like something out of a horror movie watching this kid. But I had a goal and when I reached the amount I needed to buy my beloved Capezios none of that mattered. The day Mom and I went downtown to get my shoes was I think the happiest day of my life. I got the shoes I coveted for so long and I paid for them myself. All was right in my world that day, I had my shoes! I wore them home on the bus and slept with them right beside me that night. I couldn’t risk my little sister trying them on and ruining them. I proudly wore my new shoes to school the next day and I was finally “in style.”

I have not been able to find a picture of Capezios, the twin button kind I so loved anywhere on the internet. You can find anything on the internet, why not these? There are a few other styles but no twin button ones like mine. A group of friends were talking about this recently and one of them told me she still had her shoes. Yes, the ones she wore in high school. So I asked her to send me a photo of them. They are pictured below. I couldn’t believe I finally had a picture, only difference is hers are red. The one and only picture I have of mine is the one above of me wearing my black ones. I don’t know what ever happened to my shoes. I miss them…

Linda's Capezios

Linda’s Capezios

 

Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers

After the Capezios came the penny loafer. I’m the blonde sitting on the edge of the chaise with the beloved penny loafers on. Everyone was wearing these and I was older and cooler now so I had to have them too. Everyone was also wearing them with a shiny new penny in theirs but I put dimes in mine. I always was a rebel.

My Capezio Heels

My Capezio Heels

For years after the loafers I wore high heels (must have gotten it from Mom). The higher the heels the better. I wore them to work for hours at a time and it didn’t bother me one bit. I loved them and had every color and style. These were Capezio. Yes! They made heels too.

Boots

Boots

At this point in my life, I like comfort,  but I still love style. So I wear a lot of boots. I wear them all winter long and if they weren’t so darn hot I would wear them all summer. I love boots. I am into the ankle boots now as well. They are so good for the transition between Spring and Summer. I do love sandals and flip flops for the hot summer months and have a ton of them too.

Right now I am searching for the prefect ballerina type flats. But really I guess I will always be searching for that perfect shoe I once had and loved so much. I loved the look of them, the feel of them and last but not least the smell of them. There was a certain smell Capezios had and no other shoe has come close. Ok, I do know how that sounds, but it’s true. I don’t know if it was a Pennsylvania thing or if girls in other states were as attached to their Capezios as we were. Sadly Capezio is only making shoes for dance now, even after all of our emails and phone calls to them. I did find a pair a few years back, Clark was making them, they weren’t the same style but they were Capezios. They only had one size left…a size 6 and since I wear an 8, they really are a smidgen tight. In reality I can’t get the shoe even half way on my foot. But I have them. I have a pair of Capezios. I open the box now and then and smell them.

 

I hope you enjoyed my photo trip down shoe memory lane… I leave you as always with a quote and a question.

“One shoe can change your life” ~ Cinderella

What was your favorite shoe?

 

01Apr/16

My Favorite Quotes About Life

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I saw a friend post one of my favorite quotes yesterday and it made me smile. I have so many favorites and wanted to share a few of them with you. I hope they make you smile.

  1. “Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.” ~ Unknown – This one really resonates with me because it has happened so many times in my life. I have had my share of hard times but after each one I come back stronger than I was before.
  2. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr Suess – I think this is so very true. People who “truly” care about you and love you will still love you no matter what you say or how you act. Believe me I know this to be a fact. I’ve tested this out too many times to count. I love it. And I love Dr Suess.
  3. “I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on the laughs would make me cry.” ~ Unknown – I really have experienced this first hand lately.
  4. “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.” ~ Randall G. Leighton – I have always believed this and thank goodness when I dance no one “is” watching.
  5. “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer.” ~ Erica Jong – I think this is so spot on. We just need someone to confirm what we are already thinking. I do this a lot. I ask my friends what they think and I know what they will say before I ask them. I do know who to ask and who not to ask on specific subjects. LOL..
  6. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” ~ John F. Kennedy – Believe me I know their names…I have a list.
  7. “You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.” ~ Unknown – I think this is very true and have seen it happen to people I know. I love to play!
  8. “If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun.” ~ Katherine Hepburn – I love this quote and I loved Katherine! I have disobeyed a few rules in my lifetime and it was worth every minute. Maybe I will share a few in a future post. Get ready..
  9. “Never regret something that makes you smile.” ~ Unknown – Kind of goes hand in hand with number 8. I have very few regrets in my life, but things that made me smile sure aren’t one of them. And I have a question, why don’t we know who said so many of the quotes that are out there? Just a thought I had while posting these.
  10. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.” ~ Mark Twain – This is a great quote and one I have tried to live by. I have a few more on my bucket list but I am checking them off one by one.
  11. “You can be Gorgeous at thirty, Charming at forty and Irresistible the rest of your life. ~ Coco Chanel – She also said, “A woman with good shoes is never ugly.” Thank goodness I always wear good shoes. I do love shoes! And boots..
  12. “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.” ~ Regina Brett – You all know how much I love this one. I use it quite a bit and did a whole post on it a while back.
  13. “What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about.” ~ Unknown, but Larry Laprise wrote the Hokey Pokey in 1948 ( a little trivia for you) The first time I saw this was on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, I cracked up and it continues to make me laugh every time I see it. My daughter bought me a sign with this on it so I see it quite a bit.
  14. “Don’t date guys who wear turtlenecks.” ~ Renee Stambaugh – My friends and family laugh at this one, but think about it…
  15. “When you are perfect, you can worry about everyone else. But you will never be perfect so you don’t need to worry.” ~ Renee Stambaugh – My Mom said something similar to me, I have said this to my kids and now they are saying it to their kids. My grandson said it to his brother last time we were together and my heart nearly burst. They really do hear you..

I always close with a quote and a question, so here is my quote and it’s another one from me. “When you are faced with a problem and are stressed about it, ask yourself this, when you are 90 and sitting in your rocker on your front porch will this matter..”

What is your favorite all time quote and why?