Saturday, January 10, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Brr! It is cold.  How about joining me in a nice cup of something warm, sit here by the fire and have a nice chat.  I generally start out my mornings this way -- cup of tea on the table and the computer on my lap.  This is my "quiet" time, my time to communicate with my friends, read my favorite blogs, mull over my day.  Just sort of get myself together.

I was reading one of my regular, and favorite, blogs this a.m. --Joysweb (  Joy is my first cousin, we were raised in close proximity and spent a lot of time together as youngsters so it stands to reason that we have a lot of the same things in common.  I was reading her latest post this morning and I have to say the one thing we didn't do alike was journaling.  She has always been a diarist, as was her mother -- my aunt and "other" mother.  I am sure Joy has numerous books outlining her life from childhood until now. I would love to read them, to see our childhoods through her eyes, to see if we remembered the same things the same way.  I am sure that will never happen but, having the genealogy interest that I do, I am sure her stash is priceless. 

She did try to get me interested in keeping a diary when I was a child.  This was my first diary and, if my memory serves me correctly, it came from her as a gift.

I still have it and there are a number of entries -- mostly about the love of my life, my elementary school boyfriend who shall remain nameless.  I am sure he doesn't even remember my name, much less read blogs, but if he sees himself here, well, so be it.  However, I just wasn't disciplined enough to keep a diary -- my nose was always in a book and I guess I just didn't have time to write one of my own. Oh, I wish I had, though, but that would be getting into the question of 20/20 hindsight, now wouldn't it?  I will say that my mother was against diary keeping -- she said that lots of things shouldn't be written down and I guess her negativity was instrumental in my lack of discipline. I guess my meager attempts at a diary will have to serve for future generations to get a glimpse of my childhood -- hahah! And my blog will have to serve as my adult diary. 

I have spent an inordinate amount of time the last couple of days googling "fashion for the frugal, mature woman".  I am not a fashionista and, according to most of these websites, I do everything wrong.  According to who?  I regularly read "Advanced Style" which I find to be comical and garish, sometimes.  However, it does leave you with the idea that if you like it, it is ok and maybe somebody on the street will take your photo. Obviously these women of Advanced Style live in much more fashionable places than I do and they have much more expendable income.  So I have been looking at what I, the older, rather round, American woman living in mid-sized college town and babysitter of 4 year old should be wearing.  And do you know what I found out?  Absolutely nothing.  I found out that I shouldn't be wearing pants with elastic waists (WHAAAT?) and I shouldn't be wearing muumuu's (they still make those?).  I discovered Normcore -- also known as Walmart chic -- which really tends to define me a little more closely. Normcore is dressing in basic colors with no identifying marks (i.e. designer labels) so you blend in. Yes, Normcore sounds a LOT like me so I guess I am ok there.  Skinny jeans are ok (ROFL) and I really shouldn't wear beige/khaki flats (well, there goes one of my two favorite pairs of shoes).  Makeup for the older lady should be non-existent but, if it is worn, it should be as colorless as possible (read: no blue eye shadow) -- everything should be matte earth tones (what? no blue eyeshadow? I don't understand.). I must be careful with blush in the sea of blah as I don't want to look clownish.  It is ok to have grey hair (thank goodness) and wearing it in a mid-length bob is preferable.  At least I got one thing right.  I decided I wasn't getting anywhere with the clothes so I would look at appropriate jewelry.  One site says tasteful, meaningful, GOOD jewelry that you wear habitually.  Another site says costume, statement jewelry.  My Aunt Linnie, who was the most glamorous person I have ever known, wore the same pieces of GOOD jewelry as far back as I can remember so that is my paradigm and I am going with that.  In essence, after a day and a half of looking at numerous websites on appropriate, mature dressing, I came back with nuthin'.  So, I guess I will just continue with my elastic waist jeans (much to my daughter's horror), my button down shirts, my flats  and my Pandora bracelet with charms depicting my ancestry.  However, I did come back with one piece of valuable knowledge -- leggings aren't pants.  For anybody.  And beige leggings worn as pants should be outlawed.  Not. A. Pretty. Picture. I guess I did learn, as well, that "advanced style" can really be anything you want it to be as long as you like it and are comfortable.  The only prerequisite is the "advanced" part.

Then, last night, I realized how really dysfunctional I am in the kitchen.  I have been married for 42 years and have been cooking for all those years and I still can't get it right.  Either I don't have all the ingredients or something has gone out of date or, the worst thing, it isn't defrosted.  I can't seem to have a meaningful relationship with a crockpot -- my husband really doesn't like food out of a crockpot (especially boneless/skinless chicken breasts).  So, last night sitting at LaMadeleine (after realizing the the sausages we were having for dinner were outdated) listening to my husband grouse about how they had taken his favorite salad off the menu it dawned on me what I am doing wrong.  Instead of cooking the dinners that my mother cooked (time consuming, labor intensive affairs), I need to be cooking what we really eat -- restaurant fare.  Fast Mexican food comes to mind -- in Texas we had Mexican food every Wednesday in the school cafeteria and all of us still think "it's Wednesday, it must be Mexican" so I should start there.  I asked about his favorite salad which is Roasted Pear and Proscuitto on Field Greens with toasted pecans.  I think I can replicate that.  Maybe with balsamic dressing.  I am sure we can make Friday either sandwich or pizza night.  I think I had an epiphany! I just need to make restaurant food in my kitchen! How do you think that sounds?  Maybe with a bit of effort and thought (not too much though) I could make it healthier.  Hmmm....sounds like some listmaking for me today.

Well, I have finished my second cup of tea and I hear the washer calling my name.  So, I guess it is time to get our days started.  Thanks for having tea with me -- next time maybe there will be a treat to share -- maybe a project to share. So, until next time -- have a great Saturday.


Penhallow Street said...

Delightful post and a bright spot in the day. Yes, Advanced Style--I wish I had the nerve to don such combinations, but that would take a lot more confidence, time, and money :)--and I know my mother of "many" advanced years would ask me "What I was thinking?"

You and Erma Bombeck have similar styles when writing about the day to day--it's great to find the humor in life! Keep on writing :)

Boyett-Brinkley said...

What a great compliment! Thank you! I loved reading Erma Bombeck and read her column daily - I miss her. Yes, my mother would just say "Advanced Style" is tacky (see previous post). I personally think I fall into the Walmart Chic realm a little better -- jeans, t-shirts, sneakers -- yeah -- my deciding factor is ---- drumroll -- comfort!

JLS Hall said...

Yes, you're right -- restaurant food! That's really what we've been doing for quite a while now - cooking restaurant food at home. Pizza, tacos, soups and salads. And now that I've discovered Costco, it's a great help, too.

I LOVE Advanced Style! It gives me hope. And I pretty much ignore all the "guides" about what I should be wearing at any certain age. Didn't follow them when I was younger, so I figure why follow them now. They're mostly written by children, anyway!

Frugally challenged said...

I look forward to hearing about the restaurant cooking chez vous!

The fashion for designer labels baffles me. I would expect the designer to pay me for advertising their goods, not charge me more for the privilege!

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Mary -- yes! You are right! If I were to be a walking billboard I should get paid for it. The thing that gets me is people who buy "something" designer and then wear it until it literally falling apart but figure that because they paid so much for it, they can't let it go. I am too fickle with my purses and things -- I would rather buy just regular stuff and change things up.

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Joanie -- I haven't had a Costco membership for a while now-- we still have a Sam's card -- need to check out Costco again -- I think their stuff is better. Yeah, I think I am turning this into LissieLou's Diner. Last night I wanted Tres Leche cake from a nearby restaurant but the last time we ate there it cost $98 -- for the two of us. So, I am going to figure out what we eat when we eat out and make something similar here -- has to be cheaper. Plus we can't figure out where to go anymore! Eating has become a real trial.