Fashion Trends For Spring 2016

And there is something for everyone…

vintage straw bag

It looks to me like the 70’s are still going to be with us a while longer, especially into Spring/Summer 2016. Also for those of you who like the romantic/flowery, Victorian type clothing.. that is going to be big as well. Underwear as outerwear, not a fan of this. Do we really need to see your underwear? My dad always said, “it is more fun to unwrap something and be surprised.” Gotta go with Dad on this one.

The colors for Spring will be Peach Echo (coral/peach), Snorkel Blue (navy, one of my favs), Iced Coffee (sounds yummy and looks like what you would think it would..coffee), Lilac Grey (just looks like grey to me, but then what do I know, Pantone says its Lilac Grey so thats what it is, I do like grey by the way) Rose Quartz(which looks pink to me and not a color I wear, makes me look like I’m dead) There are a few others like Limpet Shell(which is a light colored turquoise, love this) and Buttercup, which I’m sure you can figure out. All in all not bad choices. Not that I ever go by their picks, but it does carry over into what colors the designers use for the season.

The one trend I am excited to see and have been personally wanting for quite some time is suede as in a suede jacket. I just had a conversation with a friend last week where she told me she was cleaning out the attic and came across her husband’s suede jacket from high school. She had it cleaned and her grandson is now wearing it. How cool is that?

So here are some of the top trends of 2016:

1.Straw and wicker handbags like The SAK Cambria Large Tote Shoulder Bag,Gypsy Stripe,One Size

2. Half Moon Handbags like this one from Silpada. To check it out go to my website www.mysilpada.com/renee.stambaugh



3. Suede coats, vests and jackets like this BGSD Women’s “Anna” Suede Leather Car Coat

4. Victorian Flowered tops and dresses, I myself was never a big flowery person. Well I do enjoy real ones, just not wearing them.

5. Maxi skirts and dresses – like this AGB Women’s Knit Maxi Skirt. I have been thinking of trying one of these, seems like they would be comfortable.

6. Aviator sunglasses – not sure they ever left but they are back…Go Maverick (as in “Top Gun”, one of my favs)

7. Statement jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets like the one below from Silpada. Again, you can check out my website above for more like this one.



8. Denim, denim and more denim – shirts, jackets, skirts and dresses. I must say I do love denim.

9. Pointy toe flats and gladiator sandals – I like pointy toes because they feel better on my feet than round ones for some reason. Evidently, I must have pointy feet. However, as a side note, there will be no wearing of the the afore mentioned gladiator sandals. They are also showing shoes that look like slippers, even calling them slipper shoes. I guess the pajama people will be wearing them. And some weird looking sneakers unlike any sneakers I ever saw….um, no..

I am happy to see so many flats because I just can’t do the heels anymore. Been there, done that, ruined my feet to prove I’ve done it. Here is a cute pair of flats Breckelle BA45 Women Suede Pointy Toe T-Strap Cutout Flat Sandal – Leopard

10. Pleats – showing lots of pleated skirts, and dresses. Never been a “fan”..get it?

It looks like it is going to be a great Spring for fashion and the groundhog said it will be early, so you better get a move on.

I will end as always with a question and a quote…

My question – Which one of these trends is something you think you would wear?

My quote – “Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never truly ends” ~ Kate Spade


Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links to Amazon and I may get paid a little bit if you would purchase an item…


Surviving The Loss Of A Job…

My thoughts on losing the last job I will ever have.


Next week will mark the one year anniversary of the day I got laid off from my “real” job. A job I loved and where I made a decent salary, had great benefits and made a ton of friends, both in the company and the businesses I serviced. It really was one of the worse days in my life.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a day much like today, still some snow on the ground from the last snow and very cold. We were told to be on a conference call, so I got all my work done, prepared for my store visit that day, showered, ate my breakfast and was dressed waiting to get on the call. I dialed in to the call at 10:00 and by 10:30 (maybe even 10:15) I was unemployed. No explanation, no apologies, no nothing. I was in shock as were the rest us that lost our jobs that day. The rest of the day was spent calling and texting each other to make some sort of sense out of a senseless situation.

There were no signs that this would happen, it truly came out of no where. The company just had another great year. Profits were up (thanks in part to us) and things were going very well. Of course there are always rumblings of something going on at a job and a few changes had already been made but we had been assured we were safe.

The sudden loss of anything forces you to think what you could have done differently, why did this happen to you…and all the other millions of questions that come to mind. I myself had just gone through one of the toughest years of my life, having lost my mother and my sister, my daughter and three grandsons moving over 10 hours away and my best friend moving to Florida. So by the time I got this call I was already done, this just shut the lid on the coffin.

This job was the most favorite job I had ever had!  I told everyone, I saved the best job for last. Being in my 60’s when I was hired, I knew I would retire from this company and that it was indeed the best one to retire from in so many ways. I worked very hard for them, probably harder for them than any other job I ever had. I worked far more hours than I was supposed to, worked long into the night many nights and missed a lot of family and friends gatherings. I also missed watching my grandkids at their sporting events, because of it. But I told myself it was ok, it was for a good reason, I was paid well, I loved it and they valued me. Sadly I found out that was not the case. Losing the job made me realize they never really valued me in the first place or they couldn’t have just thrown me away like they did.

So how do you come back from losses such as this? I admit, I did a lot of feeling sorry for myself the first few days. I did a lot of soul searching, what did I want to do now that I had the time to do it? I was 9 months shy of full retirement, so it would not be easy to find a job at this point in my life and did I really want one? I thought about it a lot while searching the help wanted ads and sending out some resumes. What’s next, what do I do? I always wanted to write and so a week to the day after that terrible phone call, I posted my first blog post. Writing this blog has truly helped me get over all the feelings I was now feeling..those of inadequacy, loss and depression. I also signed up for unemployment and took Social Security in September. I decided to see what retirement was like. I must say it is fabulous.

Here are few final thoughts on the subject:

1. It’s just a job. It doesn’t define you or make you what you are. You can’t find what you are meant to be in any job. This comes from within and it is up to you to decide what that means to you. I have heard people say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. While that may be true, it doesn’t always pay the bills. But we can certainly work for people who value us and enable us to live a life outside of work.

2. I could never make plans while working there. Even short term plans. I hadn’t been able to even schedule a dentist appointment as my schedule was always in flux. Having lunch or dinner with family and friends was really hit or miss. Most of the time even if I made it there at all, I was late. Now I have these regularly and realize what I was missing by working so hard and what I had given up for this company by doing so. I will never give up what is important to me for anyone or anything again.

3. We never know in this life what the next day will bring, so we need to live in the moment we are in right now. This moment… it’s all we have. Make the most of it!  Do what truly brings you happiness and joy. And spend time with the people you love!

I love this quote I found, “Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.” ~Unknown




The Love/Hate Relationship I Have With My Hair

and how this can be applied to almost anything in your life..



I am the little girl in the middle of the picture, the one with the scowl on her face. This is my birthday party and I should be happy, but all I can think about is how much I don’t like my hair and how much I want it to be like the other girls in the picture.

How It Began..

My “love/hate” relationship with my hair began in grade school somewhere around 3rd grade. I didn’t mind it much before that or really even pay much attention to my hair or how it looked. However, at some point in 3rd grade, and I remember this as if it happened yesterday, one of my little “girlfriends”  told me my hair looked stupid and that I shouldn’t wear it curly. I was so upset and barely kept myself from crying in front of her. How could I change this? I couldn’t, my hair was naturally curly and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. I don’t even begin to know how I made it through the rest of the day. And as soon as the bell rang I ran the whole way home crying so hard I could barely see. I ran in the house and told my mother what had happened and repeated to her what the little girl said to me. She tried to calm me down of course and then told me that the little girl was just jealous of my hair and how pretty it was and not to worry about it. Yeah, right!

This love/hate thing with my hair continued through elementary school and high school. My true friends never mentioned it or said what that little wench(being nice here) in the 3rd grade said to me. But there were those times on a rare occasion, like after I walked a mile to school in the rain, when I could see them looking pitifully at my wild, frizzy hair. I never made peace with my hair or should I say, the curls.

Things I  Tried..

You have to know that I went to school in the 50’s and 60’s and curly hair was not in style. Straight hair was the norm and if anything it may have had a flip at the ends but that was it. No curly hair was ever seen in my days at school, so I was it, the lone curly haired girl in the whole entire school. It is hard to be different and very hard to be the only one. I tried everything to make it better or less curly, like sleeping with my hair rolled up in beer cans or ironing it and much later, straightening it. The beer can thing worked…until I walked out of the house on a humid or rainy day. The ironing thing did as well until my mom caught on to what I was doing, especially after the day I burnt both my hair and my neck. I was not allowed to do that anymore and I spent the rest of that day explaining why I had a “love bite” on my neck. The professional straightening thing wasn’t very professional back then so it last maybe a week. But it was a week I truly enjoyed…

We didn’t have the products back in those days like we do now. We had shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. That was it! Oh and also some goopy stuff that was like jello. But believe me when I say these things did not work (on curly hair) and in fact made matters worse. The hair spray we had then was like painting your head with lacquer. And when you went out into the rain or faced the slightest bit of humidity, you would wind up looking like “Medusa” (check her out in Wikipedia)…not a good look or one I wanted to copy. I just wanted “straight hair”…

How I am feeling today..

A few years ago at a class reunion a few girls told me they just loved my hair and how lucky I was that I didn’t have to pay tons of money to have curls. They went on to say they were aways jealous of my hair and wished they had it. Wow, who knew! Certainly not me, the curly haired 8 year old in grade school who ran home crying. It did one thing though, it made me realize that we never know how others are feeling or what they really think about anything. We assume so many things in life and most of the time when we do that we are wrong in our assumptions.

The real lesson I have gotten from this whole thing is that we just need to accept the things we can’t change. And maybe, just maybe even learn to embrace them.

Is there something you have always wanted to change about yourself?

“if you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit





“all I’m asking for is a little respect”

I used this line from Aretha Franklin’s song because I thought it was a great one and a good way to start this post about respect or actually the lack of it in today’s world. I am deeply saddened every day when I see stories on the news of how we are treating people, our country, our children and even our animals. How have we somehow lost respect for everything we used to hold so dear?

When I was growing up we respected our elders and got up to let an older person have our seat when they came into the room. We didn’t talk over people and most of the time we weren’t even in the same room where grownup conversations were going on. For the most part we were taught to speak when spoken to. We certainly never talked back and if we did, what happened next sure wasn’t pretty. But we learned from that not to ever do it again. It was called respect.

Our parents and grandparents were respectful of our country and the people who ran  it. Even if they did not agree with the politics or the person holding the office, they showed respect for that office. I can’t ever remember even one time any one of them ever made disparaging remarks about someone in office. Of course they didn’t always agree with that person and they definitely would talk about what needed to be done differently. And just so you know, my grandparents and parents, every one of them, had very strong opinions to be sure, but never did they resort to name calling or making fun of the person in any way. I shudder to think what my Grandpa who taught Sunday School would have to say about the way we speak about our elected officials today.

It started in the home, our respect thing. We had dinner together every single night. My parents would ask how our school day went and we actually talked to each other. No one looked at a book or watched television. If we listened to music it was soft and in the background. We connected and enjoyed our time together. And no one left the table until everyone was finished and certainly if they did it wasn’t without asking if it was ok for us to do so. It was called respect.

We also respected our teachers and law enforcement. People knew there were rules and laws and they knew the consequences of breaking them. If we did at some point break the law or a rule and had to pay the price, we didn’t get a lawyer to sue the state or school because “they” did something wrong. We accepted our role as the one who did wrong and we accepted the punishment.

Our respect of others was always very important and along with that respect was manners. We said excuse me if we bumped into someone, opened doors for people and helped our parents and grandparents without being asked or expecting money for it. We wrote handwritten thank you notes for gifts or at least called the person on the phone and talked to them. It was called respect.

I don’t know when all of this changed. When did we as a people get so caught up in the day to day world of work and life that we seem to have lost respect for everything? We don’t even respect something so simple as the fact that someone may have a different opinion than ours. I would like to see us return to those days when respect was important. It could maybe help us to heal and move forward as a nation and as human beings. At least is would be a great first step.

“Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” ~ David Willis


Top Ten Things That Make Me Happy!!


and no, clowns aren’t one of them…

I think I am a fairly happy person. I am blessed to have wonderful people in my life that make me happy. I also have a few other things that make me happy and here they are:

1. A hug from my grandkids. An added bonus is if they say “I love you Grammy” while hugging me.

2. Exercising. I know this usually isn’t fun and there are days when I don’t want to do it, but it does make me feel happy when I am done! And then I don’t feel so bad eating that bowl of ice cream.

3. Food..any kind of home cooked meal, meals made by someone other than me, the afore mentioned ice cream and a good cup of coffee( I know coffee isn’t food)..also a good glass of Moscato( I know this isn’t food either)

4. The Beach, the smell of the sea, the feel of the sun and spray of the ocean on my skin and just way it relaxes me like no other place on earth.

5. My friends, getting together with them for lunch or dinner and talking and laughing about stupid things. Even texting or chatting with them on Facebook.

6. Spending time with family, especially my kids, my grandkids and my nieces.

7. Shopping. Anyone that knows me knows I love to shop! (note:I must really love it because I write out my blog on paper before I write it here and had shopping down twice). I absolutely love the thrill of finding a bargain. I guess I got that from my Mom.

8. Writing. My new favorite pastime. I always loved writing and even did it from time to time in years past. But since I retired now I have more time to concentrate on it and am loving it even more! It brings me so much joy to put my thoughts down on paper. It’s good to finally have an outlet for all the things I have been carrying around inside my head!

9. Dancing and music. Live music most of all. I used to go dancing at least once a week or even more. I haven’t danced in so long I don’t know if I still can. I plan on changing that this year! Who’s up for dancing?

10. And finally my new Happy Light! I know I have some degree of “SAD”..because I get very sad when we have shorter days and less sun. So I read up on these lights and got one and I must say it does make me “happy.”

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it” ~ Bernard Meltzer  I hope I do!

What makes you happy?




My Ten New Year’s Resolutions


“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one”.

Brad Paisley

I could probably just tear the page out of any journal and reuse the resolutions for that year. Eat better, exercise more, and on and on…But this year is different, this year I am going to be realistic and make resolutions I think I can accomplish! Not that I made totally unrealistic ones in previous years, but evidently they were because looking back on them now I didn’t accomplish but one or two of the ones I wrote. However, I am not the person I was then. The past two years have changed me. And I hope for the better!

My ten resolutions for 2016 are:

1. Everyday I will pause for a few moments and take time to reflect on what is going on. I will be grateful for everything I have and find joy in that moment.

2. I will keep on keeping on….what is the alternative? To give up..well that isn’t going to happen. I have been keeping on for 66 years now and I’m not about ready to give up now. One of the things I will be “keeping on” is my writing. I started writing this year and plan on continuing to do it and maybe even more of it in 2016!

3. I resolve to find more “Good”. I try to do this everyday already and as hard as it is sometimes to find it.. I do manage to find one good thing a day. I want to find more of it. And if I can’t I will be the “good” myself. Everyday!! There has to be more out there, I just need to find it!

4. Check off more things on my “Bucket List”. Our time here is limited. I must remember this and “do it now.”

5. Spend more time with people I care about. I have done more of this in 2015 and reconnected with several dear friends and family members. But I am going to do even more of it in 2016. We spend way too much time with people who don’t give us joy. We need to be with people who raise us up, not pull us down!

6. I resolve to stop taking things so seriously. Life is too short to get upset about the guy cutting me off in traffic, although I wish it wouldn’t happen, I don’t need to let it ruin my day. I will laugh about his stupid haircut and move on with my day. Laughter is the best way to diffuse anger and I plan on laughing more. So if you see me laughing, you may or may not have annoyed me…

7. I will continue with my new plan to get “dressed up” every single day… It makes me feel good. And, I have the clothes, I might as well wear them. I was inspired by this quote…”Get up, dress up, show up and never give up.” ~ Regina Brett

8. Last year was my year of live concerts…I resolve to hear even more live music this year! And not only to hear music but to “Dance” to it! I used to love to dance and did it all the time. At least several times a week. I was truly a dancing queen..This coming year is my year to “just dance!”

9. I plan to travel more and see places I have never seen. These places don’t have to be far away or costly. There is so much to see all around us, if we just look for it. How many times do we go by a little town or attraction and say, wow, I never knew this was here? Well, I am going to go there next year! Who wants to come along?

10. And finally, I am going to take better care of “me” next year. For most of my life I have taken care of or gave more time to someone other than me. My kids, my parents, my employers….they all came first and I got whatever time was left over. And there was never a lot of it left, believe me. But 2016 is going to be different….now it’s time for “me”!!!

I would love to hear some of your resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them?

Happy New Year to you all! May 2016 be a year filled with joy and peace! ~Hellion


Top Ten Things I Miss About Christmas

 it’s not just about the presents..


I’m the curly haired little girl in the picture holding my new doll. And that is my cousin sitting next to me. I had just opened my presents and was showing her what I got. I miss these kind of Christmases. The kind where I was a kid and the world had so many possibilities…one of which was Santa coming to our house Christmas Eve. I miss that and so many other things about Christmas. Here are my top ten.

1. I miss strangers saying “Merry Christmas” to each other when passing on the street. Everyone was in a great mood and you could at least count on people being nice to each other from Thanksgiving to Christmas and maybe even as long as New Year’s. Now most people don’t even look you in the eye.

2. I miss my Mom and Dad having a Christmas Eve party with all of our family there. My aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and neighbors all together at our house. The men in the den talking “men stuff” and the women in the kitchen chatting up a storm and us kids in the living room sitting on the floor by the tree playing games(not electronic ones) and talking about what presents we thought we would get the next morning. And all of us would sing Christmas carols later.

3. I miss baking cookies with my mom and grandmother. My sister and I would help and we couldn’t wait for them to come out of the oven. The smell of them baking was the thing I remember most and it seemed like it took forever for them to be done. When they finally did come out of the oven we ate them as quick as Mom could get them off the baking sheet. Making sand tarts were by far my favorite. Decorating them with the red and green sugar stuff and usually pouring too much on, then having a red or green mouth the rest of the day.

4. I miss going to see Santa and telling him what I wanted. I loved this part and I loved the belief that he was real and that if I was good I would have a chance to get what I wanted. It wasn’t a lot. I never asked for much. Maybe a doll or a game or at the most a bike. It wasn’t like today, we only wanted one or two things and we were so grateful if we got it. I remember carrying around my Shirley Temple doll forever. I loved that doll. And then my Barbie…I didn’t get one the first year I asked for her. But when I finally did, she became my most prized possession. I still have her to this day sitting on my book shelf.

5. I miss the snow on Christmas Eve. We usually had at least a little back when I was a kid. I loved it. What did I care then? I didn’t have to drive in it and my Dad had chains on the tires so we were good. It was so pretty and made everything look so clean and perfect. We would go for a drive through town and see the houses all decorated for Christmas and the lights shining through the snow made everything look so beautiful. It seemed to me back then everyone had their houses decorated.

6. I remember before my grandparents passed away the whole family would go to their house on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t a huge house but somehow we all fit. The adults were all laughing and talking but the kids would be in the kitchen looking out the window to see if we could see Santa and the reindeer fly by. The older kids would say they saw him and the younger ones would rush out to see.. but of course he was already gone. At some point during the night one of the adults would somehow sneak away without any of us noticing only to come ho, ho, hoing(not sure this is a word) down the stairs. The costume was not the best by any means, but we didn’t care. We each got a chance to sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted and got a small gift on Christmas Eve. Most of the time it was candy or something simple like a book, but to us it didn’t really matter what we got, it was the pure joy we felt of Santa actually being in my grandparents house. I remember he always had bells and we could hear him coming the whole way from the third floor. I remember this like it was yesterday.

7. I miss Mom reading “The Night Before Christmas” to my sister and I before we went to bed Christmas Eve. After which, she would tuck us in and tell us not to get up too early because Santa might not have come yet and it would ruin our surprise(which really meant my parents wanted to sleep past 5am) and to wait until her and Dad would call us downstairs.

8. I miss my sister, Rhonda and I trying to stay awake so we could hear Santa and the reindeer on the roof. Our bedroom was on the second floor so of course we thought we would hear them when they landed. We tried our hardest to stay awake. She would fall asleep first and I held on for a little longer. One reason I was awake longer was because I would worry about how he would get in at all since we didn’t have a fireplace.

9. I miss getting up early Christmas morning and rushing down the stairs to see what we got. This would be of course after my parents would yell the “all clear.”  We would run down the steps at top speed and there it was… It was magical. He came. Santa had been there. Sometime during our sleep, and we finally did fall asleep at some point, he had been to our house. And there on the floor under the tree was the evidence that he did exist.

10. I miss the magical feeling of Christmas. I miss believing Santa is real.  I miss shopping downtown with Mom. I miss all the people who are no longer with us. I miss the smells, the sounds, the love and peace we felt as kids. I wish it could all still be the way it was back then. Back when anything was possible.

What do you miss about Christmas?


Mom’s Jewelry Box

It really isn’t just a box….


My daughter gave this to me last week. Mom’s jewelry box. I last saw it when we were cleaning out my parents house to get it ready to sell. At the time I only quickly glanced inside and put it in the box of things to save. When I opened it again last week a wave of memories came flooding back. As a young girl I loved playing in this box and the others Mom had in her bedroom. I tried on the earrings, necklaces and bracelets and as well as her clothes. But it was the jewelry that gave me the most pleasure. Wearing it and parading around the house in it made me feel like a queen.

I got every piece out of “the box” and was immediately taken back to a time and place where Mom had worn the item I now held in my hand. As I gently felt each one I could also feel Mom beside me. It was as if she was right there with me, telling me the stories I was remembering so vividly. She had several jewelry boxes and a ton of jewelry, both “real” and costume in each and every one of them. Mom had diamonds and pearls and every other kind of gemstone that my dad had given her for birthdays and Christmas. She loved all of her jewelry equally but it is the costume pieces that are etched in my mind and when I think of her I picture her wearing them.

I think the earrings are what I remember most of all. She wore the largest earrings of any one I ever knew. Mom never got her ears pierced so she wore clip earrings. She looked great in them. Always matching them to the outfit she chose to wear that day. I can picture this like it was yesterday and so do others evidently. To this day, I have people come up to me and tell me what they remember most about my mom was her large earrings. Whenever I look at pictures of her, in every single one of them she has her “large earrings” on. . She did have a knack of picking just the right ones and she could totally pull off the look! It was her trademark and she wore it well.

The next day I shared the jewelry box with my grand daughter and she just loved looking at all of the pieces of beautiful jewelry. She picked them up with such care and held them while I told her stories that went along with each one. I just knew she would love this as much as me… and she did!  I gave her a piece to remember her great grandma. And I know she will treasure it forever, just as I do.

I miss my Mom so much but I love that just opening a “box” can give you such pleasure and so many wonderful memories. I love these memories of her and I’d be willing to bet she has her earrings on right now!


If you look closely in the picture above, you can see Mom’s “large earrings”…


Did someone you know have a trademark item? Do you?



“Doesn’t Anybody Stay In One Place Any More?”…..

“So Far Away” -`Carole King



With Thanksgiving just last week and Christmas fast approaching, I started thinking about all of the holiday celebrations of years gone by and people that are no longer here to celebrate. Some of these people have passed away but many have moved to a different part of the country. It made me think about this…Why “don’t” people stay in one place any more?

When I was growing up my whole family lived in the same city. No one ever moved and they stayed in the same house forever. My parents lived in the house they built before I was born and never once moved. I don’t remember any of my aunts and uncles or grandparents moving either. There was one uncle who did and I was very upset when they moved since they lived right down the street from us and moved to another end of the city altogether. It wasn’t that far away really, but it was like they were living across the country to me since I was five at the time they moved and sad I couldn’t see them everyday.

We got together for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other times though out the year and we all celebrated together as a family. Aunts, uncles, great aunts great uncles,  and cousins, everyone would be there. And we went to my grandparents every Sunday night for dinner, most of the family would be there as well. I don’t think I appreciated this as a young girl but looking back on it now, it was wonderful to have those times together. I did look forward to seeing my cousins especially at Christmas. We would all hang out in the kitchen and look out the window for Santa and his sleigh to fly by. The older kids would tell stories of how he flew right over Grandma’s house and how they saw him once, so of course we younger kids were glued to the window looking for this to happen again.

I remember these times and how much fun we all had together. But not just the fun times, it was also the way the family pulled together if there was someone in need or if someone was ill too. Someone would come over to help out, make dinner or just sit and chat. Everyone was there for you as a kid, too. We didn’t have babysitters, my Aunt or older cousin would watch us if my parents went out of town. That didn’t really happen very often because if they went on vacation or out of town, we went with them. The family unit was a strong one and you knew someone was always around and would speak up or help out if you needed them. Because they were nearby and we saw them on a least a weekly basis you felt like you always had someone there to help if you needed it, but God help us if we misbehaved, they were also there to let you know when you did wrong.

Yes, it was a wonderful back in those days. We saw these people all the time. And then something happened. Everything changed, people didn’t get together as much. Each family had their own family and were busy with their lives and jobs. Some of the family moved out of the area. We went from seeing people all the time to maybe once a year and then most of the time it was at a funeral.

When did this all change? When did people start moving away from the close knit family unit? Did it change when more people started going to college and they stayed in or near the city where they went to college? Did jobs dry up and they needed to go to more urban cities with higher paying jobs? I know of many people who moved away due to health issues and needing to be in warmer dryer climates.

I know people my age who say they don’t see their children or grandchildren but maybe once a year if they are lucky. I am blessed that 2 of my children and 2 of my grandchildren live nearby. And the other child and her 3 boys live out of the area, but we all really make an effort to see each other several times a year and talk on the phone and FaceTime weekly. It makes it seem like they are not “so far away.”

Why doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?

“Long ago I reached for you and there you stood. Holding you again could only do me good. Oh how I wish I could. But you’re so far away.”



What Are You Wearing??

Why don’t people dress up anymore?



This is my family, my Dad, Mom, my sister Rhonda and me all dressed up visiting my Aunt and Uncle at Christmas. It wasn’t Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but we were still dressed up because that is what we did “back in my day.” People don’t dress for anything anymore, not even church or weddings. It makes me kind of sad to see the way some people dress to go to the mall. I know people who won’t agree with this but I think if people would dress up more there would be less problems in this world. I’m no stupid, I know this is an over simplification. It wouldn’t make the world safer or stop wars or anything, but If kids had to dress like we did in school back in the 1960’s maybe it would make them more respectful. Maybe everyone would respect each other more if they respected themselves and how they looked.

The other day I saw something at the mall that got me to thinking about how we dress and what we wear. An older woman in her late 70’s had on a pair of the ripped, torn jeans, My first thought was, wow, she is too old to be wearing them. Then I stopped and thought about it a little and said to myself…”you go girl.” I have a pair myself, granted mine aren’t as ripped and torn as hers were. She had a cute sweater on and her hair was quite stylish. I had to admit she did look nice. At least she didn’t have on pajama pants like some of the people who were also shopping that day.

We should all wear things that make us feel good and if wearing those jeans made that little 70 something feel good than more power to her. It makes me feel good to dress up and go to meet friends for lunch or dinner. I don’t get the opportunity to dress up as much now since I don’t go to work every day. But when I do get dressed up it makes me feel great. Putting together a fun outfit, with just the right jewelry….Silpada of course (www.mysilpada.com/renee.stambaugh)and maybe a scarf and then top it off by having someone remark on how much they liked it sure makes my day a whole lot better.

All of this made me think why do we only dress up to go somewhere or to do something. And why don’t some people dress up to even do that? I have a lot of clothes…a lot! And the fact is, if I only wear my nice things to go out to lunch, dinner, shopping with friends or the occasional event I go to, most of my clothes will never get worn. So I am doing something out of my norm and changing things up a bit as I have spoke about in a previous post. And I have mentioned this quote before too because it is one of my favorites, but thought it said what I wanted to accomplish here…”Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up and Never Give Up,” – Regina Brett

Most of the time if I don’t have anywhere to go I just have on a tee shirt, fleece jacket and leggings or sweats. Oh and my slippers…That is fine but really there is something to be said for dressing up a bit, a nice sweater, jeans, putting on some light makeup(maybe a little mascara and lipstick),jewelry and shoes, comfy shoes but shoes. You would be amazed, it really can change your whole attitude.

I have been doing this for a few days now. Wearing things that I have had in my closet but that seldom get worn. I am not wearing my best clothing or dressing up like I am going to an event. But I feel better. I sure look better. And if I don’t wear all of these things than who will? Maybe this will be the start of something.. I would love to see people care about the way they dress again and maybe they can also stop wearing yoga pants everywhere. If you do could you please turn around and look at a view of yourself from the back before you go out the door.

What has happened to us? Why don’t we care how we look anymore? I think about my Grandmother and how she wore a dress everyday her entire life until the day she died. We don’t need to go that far but having a little respect for ourselves and the people who have to look at us certainly has to be of some value. It can’t hurt.

Do you dress up? Do you dress up only if you are going somewhere and even then do you really dress up or just get dressed?

My outfit today….