Eyebrows. Then and Now.

Published August 7, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Back in March of this year, I decided to stop plucking my eyebrows. In doing so, I learned a few things about eyebrows. You can read about my ‘discoveries’ in my post ‘Eyebrows. Who Knew?‘. While I quit the main plucking, I do keep the edges and middle clean (ish).

I have never been the girl who loved make-up. I didn’t wear any make-up for years and years. Even as a young adult, about the only make-up I wore was a brown mascara so my blonde eyelashes showed up a little more. I didn’t even wear any make-up for my high school senior portrait. None. In fact, here are my high school era eyebrows:

1977 eyes

And yes, that is really me, well my eyes, 40 years ago. And yes, that is my senior portrait photo. Well, part of it anyway. You can easily see I wasn’t into yanking my eyebrow hair out back then. But even still, they looked fine to me. I look at this photo and I still think they look fine.

I can’t even remember when I began plucking them. But I did at some point.

40 years later, I am at the 5 month mark of no more plucking. Right about the time I ought to have achieved full re-growth of my eye brows. Today they look like this:

2017 eyes

These are my 40 years older eyes. And still no make-up. The eyebrow on the right shows the scar from a minor surgery I had in high school. The natural shape has changed somewhat. They are not as thick as they once were.  But all in all they look just fine. At least to me. I wear bangs (combed back for this photo) so who really sees them anyway?

What the photo doesn’t show, are the white-blonde, grey and red hairs mixed in those brows along with the darker browns. I find it kind of odd that the white-blonde is still there all these years later.

I never have been, nor will I ever be, the lady at the eyebrow/eyelash bar (an eyebrow/lash bar just sounds too wierd for me). I don’t powder or pencil them in. I simply don’t see the point. Women spend hours grooming their eyebrows – plucking, brushing, gelling, powdering, penciling and now stamping – to get that perfect shape. While keeping them in some sort of shape is necessary for most women (like those with very dark, or heavy hair), the amount of time some women spend on their brows seems like overkill for a line hair meant to keep water and sweat away from your eyes.

I do wear light make-up more often now. My skin has some sun damage from an early life spent outdoors on a horse. So I use a light foundation with sun screen in it to even out the skin tone. I found I like to play a little with eyeliner pencils, often wearing more than one colour at a time – because make-up ought to be fun, and I’m a bit odd. Some mascara on the upper lashes and I am done.

But I am finished with the eyebrow plucking and shaping. I don’t feel it’s an important part of my daily routine to spend time on. Anyone was may want a date with me will just have to come to grips with that. Sorry guys, but I am firm on this.

But what you prefer to do is up to you. If it makes you happy, or keeps you feeling good about yourself, go for it.

‘Cause if we were all the same, life would be dull a unbuttered toast.

 

 

 

And The Holiday Push Begins

Published August 1, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

It’s July. July. October and Halloween are 3 months away. Since Halloween occurs at the very end of October, one could even say Halloween is 4 months away.

And yet, my local Jo Ann Fabrics has Halloween decorations out. Some are already on sale! I bought a tiny poison bottle from the Halloween collection, and it was already marked 30% off. In July.

For a moment I thought Well, Jo Ann’s is always pushing the seasons, this isn’t any different. Last year, they had all the Halloween stuff out, and were beginning on Christmas by August. No one needs Christmas decorations in August. Honestly. No one.

But after Jo Ann’s, I stopped at the local Dollar Tree. They also had begun the Halloween stuff. Granted, Dollar Tree wasn’t shoving a full-blown display at me, but they already had little pumpkin and witch votive holders out on a shelf. By the way, Dollar Tree also puts out Christmas crap an aisle over from Halloween crap.

The crap sediment aside, I truly love Halloween. I have built up a cool little display (well, I think it’s cool) from Dollar Tree Halloween buildings I’ve repainted to actually look nice, to thrift shop finds like my witch mannequin hand.

IMG_2398

 

Everything in the photo is from the Dollar, a thrift shop, or a garage sale. Except the bottle labels. I bought those on close out at Jo Ann’s one year. Even those paper lanterns are from the Dollar Tree (they light up purple). And yes, even the little lights in the houses are Dollar Tree lights .

So yes, I do love Halloween. I love having all my creepy crawly stuff out. I love looking for more little things to add to my display (last year I got a skelly vulture on after Halloween clearance. I’m looking forward to perching him on a shelf somewhere). What I DON’T like is how retail shops are pushing and shoving holidays at us earlier and earlier every year. It is truly getting out of hand when I can buy a Halloween decoration, on sale, in July.

And as I stated earlier – no one needs Christmas decorations in August. The retailers are also trying to sell us heavy coats, gloves and winter scarves in the hottest month of summer. SUMMER, people. Who the heck wants to try on a down jacket when it’s 90+ degrees outside? And trying to sell us swimsuits in January is not really off setting that.

I don’t know about you, but this all makes me tired. It also tends to suck the joy of the holidays out of me. It’s too much thanksgiving /Christmas/whatever-you-celebrate/New Years for me. I much prefer my holidays one at time. Then I enjoy them. I don’t feel like it’s all been shoved in my face to hurry up and do, so I can move on to the next one.

Too bad retail shops can’t figure that out.

 

 

 

The Joys of Retail

Published July 21, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

I like my job. I really do. It’s mostly fun, and I get to see all the cool new candies that come out, as well as learn what candies have gone away for good.

But the customers can really make or break my day.

I generally enjoy helping people find what they are looking for. The store is a little overwhelming for first time shoppers. There is a ton of things to see – 94 flavours of salt water taffy, 70 bins of bulk, unwrapped candies, 96 bins of bulk wrapped candies, ice cream, handmade fudge, handmade caramel apples, hand dipped Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Cupcakes and bacon, handmade truffles, nut clusters, haystacks and other chocolate delights (all the handmade and dipped items are made in house – fresh!). So there is a lot to see, and finding that one thing you want may be a bit difficult. So I am there to help.

And then there is the other side of the coin.

I find trash all over the place. Candy wrappers, napkins, used kleenex and bits if paper. I find it on the floor, on shelves, tucked behind displays, and in the open bulk bins. I often find chewed pieces of taffy just left on a shelf. ‘Cause, yeah, I want to clean up your chewed up food. When did it get so difficult to put your trash in the bins? Can’t you spit the taffy into the wrapper and put it in the trash bin? You know, the one that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE BULK BIN YOU DROPPED IT IN?

Apparently not.

And it is really not cool to turn your ill mannered children loose in any store, but especially not in a candy store. They really don’t need to pull everything out it’s holder and drop it on the shelf or the floor. Nor do they need to shove past people. And it’s sad to say this – but isn’t just kids. I watched a woman in her late fifties pull a candy filled toy out it’s display, play with it, then drop it on the shelf rather placing it back in the display. The one DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF HER. I also ‘followed’ and man in his 30’s up and down the aisles putting back all the crap he pulled out and then dropped on the floor or the shelf. I gave him a brilliant smile as I put back the candy bar he dropped on the shelf. He got the hint and stopped doing it.

And this is CANDY store. We sell sweets. All kinds of sweets. You ask me for cigarettes, and I will tell you we have candy, bubblegum and chocolate cigarettes. We even have bubblegum cigars. We do NOT have real, tobacco cigarettes or cigars, and I have had people come in specifically to ask for them. I have also been asked if we have feminine products (We don’t, just in case you were wondering. Oh, but we do have gummy and chocolate band-aids).

All that frustration can make for long days on the floor. I get tired of the rudeness and being shoved by customers while I am trying to fill bins. I get tired of finding nasty snot rags and chewed up candy lying on the shelves. Some days the very people who make my job possible, try my patience to the breaking point.

Then the sweet things happen to offset all the frustration.

There was this little girl, maybe 3 or 4, who had to show me her bag of candy. She had very carefully chosen several things from the bulk wrapped candy bins. She held up her bag and pointed out to me all the special candy she had in her bag. I knelt down to share the magic with her and told her how perfect all her choices were. She smiled, and then very solemnly asked me, with her eyes wide,  ‘Are you the Keeper of The Candy?’.

That made my entire week.

 

 

Dating. Well, The Lack Thereof

Published July 14, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Deceit-And-Lies

 

I have tried online dating on and off. If you search back, you find posts about the various dates I went on. Most are pretty funny overall. Some are just tragic. Dating at any age is total pain in the arse. Trying to date in your 50’s is a pain in much more than your arse. It just plain stinks.

The questions these supposedly mature men ask are incredible. It’s like talking to a 16-year-old. They are not questions they would ask if sat in a coffee house face to face with someone. But online? Hey, nothing is off limits. Even when they are TOLD it is off limits, they ask anyway.

I thought perhaps this was an issue only for us older women. But no. I know someone who is in her late 30’s and wanting to date again. We chatted a bit about the online dating ‘scene’ and I found her interactions were pretty much the same as mine.

Men lie. About everything. Their name, their job status, their marital status. They ask highly inappropriate questions and demand answers they have no business knowing. Then, of course, you are a bitch for shutting them down. One man I kind of liked finally confessed he signed up so he could get laid. He wasn’t interested in a real relationship. Really? Just go the corner bar for that.

I don’t understand any of this. Why would anyone be such a total douche? Why can’t you just be who you are in real life? Is that so difficult? And why the hell are you on a dating site if your ass is married?

And I get it. It isn’t just men. It’s everyone. Sexual preferences don’t matter. People are assholes online because they are online and don’t have to face the humanity across the table. No one is safe from the online joke that is called a dating site.

As much as I’d like to find a male companion, I don’t see it happening any time soon. I am too old for any ‘meet cute’ thing. The closest I could get is both of us kneeling down to tie shoes laces and realizing neither one of us can get back up without a hand. And I seriously doubt I will be filling bulk bins at work and meet the eyes of some nice man who things I’m all that and a bag of chips. It simply doesn’t work that way once you get a bit older. It doesn’t help that I am too weird for the ‘normal’ crowd, and too ‘normal’ for the weird crowd. I am weirdly grounded?? Hmmmm…

In light of that, I’ll just keep on being happy alone. Because it’s perfectly okay to be alone.

 

The Saga of The Car

Published July 7, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

On May 14th my car called it quits. There was a lurch, a bump and horrible squeal, then silence.

I feared the worst, of course. I still owe on the car, so regardless of it’s working condition, I have to pay that payment. I don’t make a lot of money. My budget is tight.

I spent the money needed to have it towed home. A local auto repair shop came to take peek at it in the parking lot where I live. Then I paid to have it towed to them.

And there it sat. I waited to hear back from them. And I waited, and waited , and waited. I rang them and was assured they would look it in a few days. Still nothing. Weeks passed and I finally walked to the shop and talked to them face to face.

The worst had happened. The timing belt tenioner had let go and the engine needed to be basically rebuilt. We discussed cost, payments, options, etc.. I waited for the estimate. I finally got the call about the estimate. Yup. It wasn’t good.

They required about half down to begin the work. I thought this was odd. I have never had to pay upfront for repair work. But I (with the help of family) I got it together and paid them.

I am walking everywhere and getting rather sick of it. I can’t go to some places I want or need to go. I am also a bit fed up with the lag time getting my car repaired.

But then I found out the other side of the story.

The shop is small, local repair shop with a stellar reputation for quality work. They are nice people. They are stuffed into a tiny space that no longer fits them. So, being good business folks, they looked for larger quarters. And they found them not far away from their present location. They were told things would be done before the move in date. They paid the money for the lease and set about getting ready to move. For an auto repair shop, this means the lifts have to be moved as well. There are a lot of heavy items that need moved and installed. It is expensive. And they thought they had planned it all out.

Then the walls that were supposed to be built weren’t built. The owner of the new space reneged on many of the promises made, claiming his agent wasn’t authorized to make such promises. In other words, the owners of the auto shop got screwed over, but can’t back out now because too much of their money is invested in the new location.

So the auto shop owners did what they could – they bought the dry wall and installed it themselves. They have been working to finish the interior on their own dime. And they still need to move the lifts and other heavy equipment. Their resources are draining fast.

The auto shop owner shared this with me the other day when I was gently saying they had had my car for a month and I needed it back. He explained that normally he  would never have asked for money up front, but all their extra money had gone into the new location and he just couldn’t order all those parts without something down. He was very embarassed to have to share this with me.

It makes sense. The lag times, the slow to return calls (not their normal MO), the money needed ahead of time. The shop is in a tough spot. I told them I could walk to work and not to worry too much. They took that to heart.

Now the conspiracy to keep me from my car continues. Parts have not come in. The head has not come back from the machine shop yet. All the things that are out of anyone’s hands to do anything about. You can’t fix a car without the parts. I have been promised that as soon as the head comes in, the car will be repaired.

I guess my feet will just have to suck it up a little longer.

 

The Battle With Light

Published June 29, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

woman-with-head-under-pillow-on-bed

 

Summer days mean more sun. Sometimes, depending on where you live, you may be trying to sleep while the sun is still shining. Other times it means everything in your house has a damn light on it. That is an issue all year ’round.

When did manufacturers decide everything needs a light to tell us if it’s on? Some have a light to tell us it’s off. Some have light to tell us it’s in ‘sleep’ mode. WHY?!?! Are we suddenly so stupid we need a light to tell us all this?

Because I live with a roommate in tiny (crappy) apartment, most of my stuff is in my room. This includes my TV, a small dehumidifier, my clock, my iPod speaker station, my laptop and a couple of power strips to help keep the electronics safe.

They all have a damn light.

The TV has a blue light to tell me it’s on. I guess the picture on the screen just isn’t enough to get that point across. That blue light changes to a red light to tell me it’s off, because the lack of a picture on the screen isn’t enough to tell me I turned it off. That light is about an inch and half long. It is very, very bright in a dark room. I now have a stack of decorative boxes to move in front the light at night. Otherwise I feel like Sauron is watching me all night.

The small dehumidifier also has two lights. A green on to tell you it’s on – the light humming sound just isn’t enough of a clue – and yellow light to tell you it’s full and needs empty. Both of these lights are tiny, but they are the brightest damn LED’s I have ever seen. The green light lights up the room almost enough to read by. Is this supposed to be a signal to all other dehumidifiers? Why does it need to be so bright? I solved this one by painting over the green light with black nail polish.

My laptop has a light on the front to tell me it’s on, plus a light on the power cord to tell me it’s plugged in. The cord light changes colours depending on if it’s fully charged or charging. Not only does it have a light on the top of the plug, but also on the bottom of the plug. I have no idea why there a light on the bottom of the plug. The front light pulses when the lid is closed. Why? Why can’t it just dim down a bit? So now there is a bit of paper taped over the front light. I cover the charging cord light with the belt from my bathrobe (The lappy sits on a small table near my closet at night. The robe hangs on the closet door).

My old digital clock had a dial on the back so the display could be dimmed. The one I have now doesn’t have that feature. I can turn it away from my face and let it be a nightlight. It isn’t so bright that it lights up the room like beacon. I just wish more clocks were made with the option to dim the display.

Thankfully, both power strips are hidden away and the lights on those are not an issue.

My iPod speaker/player is the only one that is sensible. When I turn it on, the front plate lights up to tell me it’s on, and where it is set (iPod or radio). When I turn it off, all the lights turn off. Glory hallelujah!

Why have I declared war on all this light? Because all that light makes tough for me to sleep, especially on nights I am having trouble getting to the actual sleeping part.

All that light may also prevent your body from fully resting.  You may be sleeping, but your body is still on some sort of alert due to the lights. Yup, there is science behind that. This why some people wake up when a bright light shines in their face.

Me? I just want to sleep. Without all the lights.

 

Foot Care, Hair Cuts and Cars

Published June 18, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

The days keep rolling by. I’ve figured out the best way to care for my feet, gotten a new haircut, and finally got the full estimate on the car. It’s quite the 2 weeks!

My feet continue to complain about the sudden uptick in the work they are expected to do. I am on my feet all day at work. I rarely sit down for anything, and rarely take breaks. I’d rather just work. Since I have to walk to and from work, this means my feet work harder than they have for long time. They need a little extra care and attention.

After some trial and error, I found shoe inserts that work for my feet. I’m not sure when shoe manufacturers decided that support and padding was just too much to deal with, but it leaves those of us who wear the shoes having make them support our feet properly. Even high-end athletic shoes have nothing inside them to support the foot. It seems like a lot of money for a fancy shell with a logo on it. I also remembered epsom salt. Epsom salt is wonderful for sore muscles and exhausted feet. I found if I soak my feet, they recover faster, and are ready the next days pounding.

I got my hair cut. Well, technically, I got all my hairs cut. Cutting just one wouldn’t really show, now would it? I was letting my hair grow out from a short cut. I had gotten it almost even all the way ’round. It was in a bob above my shoulders, but it was a pain. It was messy and in my way. It never really looked nice. I know, that is all part of growing hair out. I’ve had long hair. I’ve had long, long hair. But this time, the awkward growing out phase just wasn’t something I was up for. I also remember what I do with long hair – nothing. I pretty pull it back, braid it and that’s it. I rarely wear down because it gets in my way. So I end up with long hair no one sees because I keep it braided all the time.

So why have long hair?

Now it’s short and fun. I  think I need the top a wee bit shorter, but I can wear it spiky, or messy, or blown dry and combed smooth. It also makes using my fun colours easier.   (I have some washable bright colours for my hair I use from time to time)

And I finally got the final estimate on my car. With a little help, I’ll get that paid for and have a car again in about a week. They gave me the worst case scenario estimate, so it may come down a little in the end. They are also taking advantage of the torn apart car to replace some parts that are due, or almost due, for replacement. All in all, my car ought to be very close to as good as new as it can get.

Now the only thing missing is summer weather.