Riding, uni and more exciting things...

Well life here, as usual, is flipping hectic! Skipped out on Oceanias after feeling crap for what seemed like weeks on end. Very sad indeed, but Aido snaffled an awesome fifth, and I think a fourth in the short track. Probably the best series year that he's had for year and years!

I am riding again, although not as much as I would like. With three 8am uni starts it makes life a little difficult to rise att 4.30am on consecutive mornings...sometimes your body just says no and you have to listen! But now is the part of the season where I do a few long races, don't stress myself out too much, and then go into hibernation over winter. Or at least that's the plan, but don't tink I could deal with beig inactive for that long!

Looking forward to Central Australia stage race in May (though terrified of missing any uni this semester, it's a shocker!), hopefully a few of the national series chicks will come along, and I'll have the legs to make it a decent hitout. I know those with time time and means are heading over to the World Cup at that time, so that will take a bit of the pointy end away!

Also, National Marathon Champs is coming up in a couple of weeks, which will be interesting coming off the end of the XC series, followed by illness and time off. A three hour ride still seems like forever, but hopefully I can get some solid riding in the next two weeks or so and just eat and drink my way to the finish...it's a tactic that has worked for me before.

Anyway, it's wet wet wet here in Brisbane. Weather for ducks, not runners, cyclists of riders of silly motorised scooters...

Birth - Camilla Basham

Sometimes the very last row of pecan trees was a unbroken violet blue wall just a tad darker than the heavens but this afternoon it was almost indigo and behind that great never ending sky was a bruised dazzling white.

Peaches Delaney was leaning against the red of the house, her arms folded, resting on a cliff of belly, her legs crossed at the calf and her left toe spading the ground. She was a robust woman with a tiny barbed wire face and perpetual ferreting blue eyes.

Cherry was just the opposite. Small and slender body with a large round moon face and brown eyes that always seemed widened behind her coke bottle glasses as if in a state of constant shock. She was bent over pulling up weeds out of the bed of marigolds around the house. The two cousins wore large floppy sun hats that were once identical but Peaches’ had since turned a dull washed out shade of pale, bent and hanging low like the moss on an oak tree. Cherry’s hat was just as stiff as a good whiskey and vivid green.

“You hear about that young girl from Bogalusa that birthed that dead baby then up and died herself the very next minute?” Peaches asked.

“I read about her in the Herald.” Cherry answered looking up with a surprised expression, though not really surprised at all. “What of it?”

“She was a Roberts, married a Delaney, so she’s kin to us; something like a sixth or seventh cousin by marriage.”

“Is that so?” Cherry tossed a giant chunk of dandelion weeds and onion grass as if they were the devil itself come to wipe out the good earth and she the saint who would never allow such a fate.

“Seeing as how she was kin to us, we seen the body.” Peaches dug her toe deeper in the dirt, “We seen the sick baby, too. Tragic.”

Cherry remained quite, focusing now on exorcising the crabgrass. She was use to such catastrophic tales of tragedy from Peaches. They exhausted her. It was a well known fact in town that Peaches would don her best Sunday dress and drive a good forty miles for the sheer morbid gratification of seeing a body laid to rest.

Birth - Maria Robinson

Your closets are full. You don't really know where to kind the clothes that you really enjoy. And your favorite books are buried under newspapers, pillows and shoes you were meaning to throw away. At fifty, It is hard to say goodbye to everything since you lost so much as a child.

The junk man came and you started filling boxes with your life story. You wondered what someone was going to think at the recyling center when they picked up an enveloped addressed to you from your ex-mother-in-law from 1983. Would they stop for a moment and create a story about who you might be?

Forty years ago, your mother slipped away in the night in intensive care. Your dog was put up adoption and your father moved the family away from your school. You had to start all over again with nothing except your favorite pair of blue jeans and a few beatles albums.

Now, time is sliding away from you again with all of its force.

Birth - Vanessa Hsu

As he looked at the piercing jet lines across a deep blue up above, he thought it was fitting that the sky was cut in two, then three and finally four clean chunks, segments of blue clearness that all of a sudden were finite and compartmentalized. The beginning of things in his life, new fatherhood, moving to a new place, were starting only now to take shape, and although the same uncertainty ruled his life as it had thus far, now the new constraints broke it up in well-defined pieces of uncertainty.

He kept thinking, "roll with the punches, roll with the punches" and as much as figuring out what you were doing wasn't a possibility, pretending that you did was a necessity. His daughter had just been behind the doors at his back, and standing in the balcony of the hospital room, with Mary and his baby finally resting, he felt like having a cigarette. The moment reminded him of the first time he saw his parents as people, with their own fears, wishes and insecurities, and not just parents who knew it all. He wondered how long he could keep the facade on for his own daughter, it was his turn now to seem all-protecting and all-knowing, for as many years as possible.

Final Notice - Jennifer Baljko

There it was. The blue inked stamp. Some official signature. An order to restore her name to the way it was before the joining and splitting of two people’s stuff, lives, and souls. Legally, it was the final notice, the last nail in the proverbially coffin, the fade-out of their short marriage. Emotionally, it was the beginning of entirely new phase of life. A life alone. A life free. A life left to cobble together however she choose. She didn’t know which one it would be. She tried not to fathom a guess.

All these years later, she’s glad to have that binding contract tucked away in a file, something to look at and even cherish. It reminds her of a carefree youth, hinged to a sharing she willingly gave away. It also evokes the mature independence she’s nurtured since then, fully in love, but without the fairytale promises. The journey from then to now leaves her standing in an observant awe of her own wonder.

Final Notice - E. D. James

He’d picked the lot after years of research and felt confident it would be the perfect location to take advantage of the rising seas. The land had been incredibly cheap thirty years ago, which was good, because, as a twenty year old programmer he couldn’t afford much. A little knob of serpentine sticking up from the edge of the farmland that sloped up from the bay. Worthless as farmland and a poor site for a house back then. He’d stuck an old airstream trailer on it that he’d bought from an aging hippy in Petaluma and used the property as a sort of retreat from his life in the high tech world of San Francisco. Back then he was sure that for once he’d made an investment that would pay off. Not today, not even next year, but decades in the future. Right when he would need.

On his forty-fifth birthday he held a big party on the property. He’d felt like a king as he watched his friends enjoying the views of the bay, the dock he’d put in at the foot of the hill, and the speed boat tied to the dock that he’d bought with a home equity line that barely tapped the equity in the property. He was sure that he had made it. That life would be good from here on out. The struggles were over. A little voice whispered in his ear that day after the third shot of tequila. The little voice said, “sell it now, the water is still rising.” He was sure it was merely the fruit of the mescal talking. The predictions he believed in said another ten feet. That was it. The water would come no higher. It was only the wackos that were yelling that there was another fifty feet to go. Those doomsayers had always gotten it wrong.

Now he stood with the water lapping at the wheels of his trailer holding the final notice to vacate in his hand. Like the farmers down the hill, his property was now worthless and he was bankrupt. That credit line had run out.

Trying It On For Size - Kate Bueler

Trying it on for size. I decided to try it on for size. Not in the I want to buy it and wear it everyday kind of trying on. More like the tentative look at the item. This isn't really my style. I say inside my head. But it looks interesting. Maybe I should just try it on for size.

I decided to try it on for size. Online dating. It's been a week. It's not really my style. I am a more organic-not hippy variety-let things happen kind of lady. But after some deliberating and listening to others who have done it and the fact that the applicants I have seen too lately haven't been very promising. I decided to try it on for size. But before I stepped into the dressing room, before I got into the line to hand my clothes to the attendant, I decided it had to be for fun. It had to be for material. Writing. And if something came out of it great. And if nothing did. It had to be okay too. I am an anticipator kind of woman- I get expectations in my mind so before I tried on this new way of dating and interacting and the creating of the perception of what others would want to see of me. I paused. And when I walked inside the room to try it on. It was just me and the mirror.

I looked at the reflection as I wrote down words, not too many, some funny, others not, just enough not too many to go upon the screen of me. It is hard to know what to tell on this medium. It is so much easy to talk in person. And see another's face as you speak words. To know if they shake their head in unison with you or not. Then the pictures. Which pictures to choose? Fun ones of course. Unique. And of course I had to look good in them. Not the boring typical head shots. No cutting off a significant others arm. 3 I choose. One-when I am dancing and you can't see the details of my face (risky- maybe), one in a wonder woman outfit- top half only- in glasses and one in a tight dress that I found at forever 21 even though I am way past that.

And then the moment of truth when I stood in front of that mirror and pulled down the clothing past my head to see and send. And wait. Trying it on for size is letting me see what is next. And what will happen. Its putting something on that is new to take a risk and say what if I wore this. Out of this room. And surprisingly it was easy. There was attention, and ims, and ask out for dates and messages and it was fun on the rainy afternoon. I found myself laughing at comments or saying oh no out loud at looking at profiles. It was easier then I thought to stand in that mirror and try it on. But now what would be next. Next. For all that attention. I haven’t made the next step of finalizing anything. Of seeing anyone beyond this room. For after I signed up on that day, I haven't had time, I haven't made time. There might be something about walking out of this room inside to the outside world in this new look to see what happens next which really scares me. Scares me in a way that I keep just looking in the mirror, turning different directions to find the perfect view.

Trying It On For Size - Lisa Jacobs

I certainly didn’t see myself as Venus, goddess of love and beauty. But the director did. And when I put on the dress, I finally saw it, too.

I was not a fashionable girl. Most of us have fashion faux-pas’ but I think I was especially challenged in this department, on account of my extreme insecurity and early years as a tomboy. When I was young, I thought the best item of clothes ever invented were Toughskins. As in, the Sears brand jeans, for kids. I thought it was SO COOL that I could fall and fall again off my skateboard and those jeans didn’t rip or tear. My knees were perpetually bruised and battered, but those cords didn’t show a scuff! I especially liked the brown ones, because brown was one of my favorite colors. Seriously. Other girls liked pink, and some liked purple or red. I liked brown.

I remember one day in 4th grade wearing brown tights to school, under an atypical skirt. They were riding up my butt and on my walk down Avila street I looked around to see if anyone was around. Empty. I hiked up my skirt and rearranged my tights to untwist from my upper thighs. Immediately I heard a loud “hoooowah” and turned around to see Emily leaning out of her window up the block. Spotted. That whole day Emily teased me about wearing ‘pantyhose’. Look at Lisa all dressed up fancy in her pantyhose. They’re NOT pantyhose I tried to protest, they’re tights! But it was no use, everyone thought I was wearing pantyhose and I was mortified. I never wore those brown tights again. I bet Emily turned out to be a lesbian. I should look her up; I bet she is cool.

In fact one of my most memorable fashion disasters was school picture day in the fifth grade. I had forgotten it was picture day, and since I wasn’t too fond of having my hair washed, or cleaning in general, my hair was greasy. I wore a navy blue crew neck t-shirt (most likely a polyester blend) and my favorite brown cords. Was I still wearing Toughskins at age 9? Probably. You can’t see the brown cords in the picture, but you sure can see the grease in my hair.

One of my most favorite outfits in middle school was black and yellow. I got some black cords as a hand-me-down from our super fashionable upstairs neighbor Dee who dyed her hair. One time my sister and I went up to borrow some milk for my mom, and Dee had all this reddish brown gunk on her hair and the white towel around her neck. I didn’t know anyone who dyed their hair. I thought it was fabulous. My (older) sister thought it was stupid. She told my mom who thought it was stupid, too. I also got this sort of see-through yellow shirt from Dee and I wore it on top of a black turtle neck. My mom said I looked ‘cheap’. She didn’t approve of wearing black. Funny to think about that now. My ten years in New York, and I still think it is a bit risqué to wear black. All because of that hideous yellow and black outfit. I felt so cool every time I wore it.

Freshman year in high school I was the only girl who wore a jeans jacket. OK, they did come back but this was before they were in. Trouble was, I would wear the jeans jacket, which was a bit too tight, with my blue jeans, which were also a bit too tight. I was not a svelte pubescent and it was not a good look. I had no idea.

The Last Thing She Expected - Bonnie Smetts

Marjorie stood still, stuck in one spot in the center of the living room. She would not take a step until the snake man had been to every room, she would not move.

Sasha came from the kitchen. “Ma’am, would like some tea while you wait?”

“No, no thank you. I’ll just stay out of his way, then.” Sash had to have known all along what was going on in the garden. After all the staff passed through the garden to get to their house. Marjorie felt betrayed. They knew she’d have nothing of the silly idea that cobras brings babies. She took a step and then stopped herself. She cringed at her mistake. One could be under the chair or behind the door or in the breakfast room. Or she could sneeze and be dead.

“OK, then ma’am. He should be done soon.” Marjorie heard banging of doors and cupboards upstairs. And murmuring. She wanted them to be done, to be gone. She hadn’t agreed to this. She’d agreed to a comfortable life, a bit unusual, a bit difficult at times. But only a little, Ash had promised. Not this. And he went to work. She wondered what they did about cobras at his office.

More banging, louder and quicker. A slammed door and then silence. Murmur. Silence. They had to have caught one—the quiet meant the snake man was moving like a mime, silently in slow motion with his stick to carefully get his loop around the snake’s neck and pick up its man-sized length and stow it in that box. That white box he carried, the box with small holes, as if they wanted to keep the disgusting creature alive.

“Sasha, Sasha.” She stood in her circle of fear, hoping Sasha could hear her in the kitchen.

“Yes, yes. What is it?”

“Did they? Can you ask if they did?”

The young woman’s long braid swayed back and forth as she climbed the stairs to the bedrooms. Marjorie strained to hear. She should be learning their language. She wanted to understand what they were saying. She waited in her prison in the center of the room. Not even the sun could find her there.

A door closed upstairs. Sasha’s whispering steps came back toward Marjorie.

Trying It On For Size - Christa Fairfield

She stretched her aching body across the bed. Her head ached as it did everyday. She squinted to read the digital alarm clock that rested on her husband’s bed table- 11:30. No wonder the rays that slide passed the edges of the pulled shade burned her eyes. She would not make it to San Leandro today. How was she going to keep this job?

She would clean the house. It needed it. She had expected the girls would help out more with the demands of the house when she got the job. They did a bit but it just was not at the level she put it into it. She would make a nice dinner something that could be served if Larry got home at six-thirty or eight. It was tough trying to prepare meals without a known serving time.

Her hand skimmed the sheets seeking her baby doll nighty that she had taken off sometime in the night as she regularly did. It made the girls crazy that she slept naked. She didn’t understand it. They all had the same parts. The skimp of cotton slipped over her head. Then her feet slipped to the floor. The elevation of her body shot a pulse of blood through her head that her brain barely registered. It did not register as an abnormal occurrence.

The Last Thing She Expected - John Fetto

The salmon was on top of the wine and the other groceries and as she walked the bag would slip so that she’d have to stop and shift it back up on her hip, and the very expensive bit of fish would wobble on top so that she had to be careful it didn’t flop onto the sidewalk. Home and Hawley were just a few blocks ahead.

She was going to cook a special dinner for Hawley because tonight was a special day, and there wasn’t going to be an argument about it. Hawley would be out in the driveway, fussing with his blue chevy pickup doing god knows what, but really sulking. He wanted her to let him take it back, the promise he’d made about what they’d get to make if he got a job. And he’d gotten a job, but since he started working as a night watchman he’d been even stranger, mumbling about what they were doing and how it wasn’t right. Now he’d be sulking underneath the blue Chevy, banging metal with his tools, wanting her to take it back, to say no they didn’t have to do it now, later would be good enough.

Each step she took closer to the house, her steps got stronger. She was going to hold her ground. Just as soon as he got a job, that was the deal. She wouldn’t get mad. She didn’t want to make a baby out of anger. She’d let him sulk be off in his garage doing god knows what while she cooked the fish and made the rice and potatoes. She’d leave the kitchen window open so he’d smell and after a half hour or so her not barging in and picking a fight, he’d smell the food and wander into the kitchen. It would give him something else to talk about and so he’d talk and then he’d sit and eat, and she’d poor the wine. She could see how it all would happen. She kept replaying it in her head all the way up to the house, then she looked at driveway and saw the last thing she expected. Nothing. Nothing but empty gravel with dirt pushing up along the ruts. Hawley’s truck was gone. So was Hawley.

Pleasure - Melody Cryns

I got to hang with a whole new group of “bad boys” all weekend, until Tuesday. That’s what my friend Debby calls all of my guy friends, my “bad boys.” It’s kind of a running joke with us. A whole big group of us were stranded at Johnny Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks – a huge hotel with casinos and huge, vast conference rooms, a comfy Starbucks and stellar rooms in the “tower.”

Even the smell of cigarette smoke as we walked through casinos with our ukuleles to jam together as a group or eat at Rosie’s Restaurant, which was the only restaurant in the Nugget that was open 24 hours – an older lady who looked like she came right out of one of those movies from the 50s when people went out to restaurants with her old-school outfit and her spunky attitude always greeted us – as if she knew us intimately well, and my friends from the Santa Cruz ukulele club would smile when they’d see me with at least two of my “bad boys,” actually really nice guys who were just hanging with me and sort of looking out for me.

One of them, Steve, pretty much never left me the entire weekend – and he was one guy whom I probably wouldn’t have minded “taking advantage,” but of course it wasn’t to be –he was 12 years younger than me and apparently had a girlfriend in Idaho – ohhh but he played his six string ukulele so beautifully…and even took over on bass and guitar at our many ukulele jams we were to have over the weekend – with a whole group from Santa Cruz that I knew also stuck until at least Monday.

We jammed by the pool, we jammed in a big conference room next to the arcade on the second floor, we jammed in the open lobby when you walked into this massive hotel and casino, we jammed at the Starbucks – no one minded at all. In fact, those who were around us wanted us to jam some more even! I carried about my Santa Cruz songbooks…everyone assumed I came straight from Santa Cruz or maybe San Francisco, but not so…I proudly wore my Reno Tahoe 2011 Ukulele Festival t-shirt one day, then tie-dye the next – not really having enough clothing to last me through Tuesday since this was supposed to be just a weekend trip.

I never left Johnny Ascuaga’s Nugget until near the end of my stay there when I dropped my friend Steve off at the truck stop where it was waiting for him to continue his journey across country – he had taken several days off just to attend this amazing ukulele festival. He showed me pretty much everything he’d learned at the workshops and then some.

I got to jam with some awesome musicians – oldies but goodies, Hawaiian music, even some bosa nova stuff…just show me the chords and I’ll play ‘em and let the “big boys” jam…that’s how you do it. Or sing along with everyone, including a group of spunky older women from Modesto who actually did little dances while singing the songs – next thing you know, 40 or 50 of us are doing some swaying and dancing with our ukuleles and singing fun crazy songs such as “Motorcycle Mama” (my personal favorite) It was all so amazing and fun, and I couldn’t think of a better group of people to be stranded with in Sparks, Nevada…

On Sunday night I heard from my son Jeremy.

“Hi, Mom – we got a place in Sac’to! And we just moved in…in the rain!”

“Yaaayy!” I breathed a huge sigh of relief..he had talked about possibly moving to Tahoe or Reno and the thought of Jeremy stuck in the snow with all of his worldly belongings in a truck had really freaked me out, although I couldn’t tell him that…

And who knew I’d be the one stuck and stranded, and not Jeremy at all whose best friends live in Reno but were in Sacramento helping him move.

“Come by and see the new place!” Jeremy said, sounding weary from another huge move – he knew about moving.

“Sure, I will, you okay…”

There was a pause on the phone as I watched the lights start to flicker as night fell on Reno, Nevada, the shadows of the snowy mountains casting a beautiful glow.

“Well, yeah…I’m okay but Jen’s really stressed out and so am I…this is kinda scary Mom. I’m going to be a Dad and this move…and Jen, well…”

“It’s okay, Jeremy,” I said. Not having any idea that I’d have a conversation like this with the son I’m so close to – we are probably more alike than any of my four kids whom I love dearly. But Jeremy and I have always had this special bond…ever since he was my baby boy who always hung with me and stayed awake throughout our adventures to keep me company while the other kids fell asleep – Jeremy whom I could talk to for hours about music and life and he never got tired of hearing my stories about my past life as a kid growing up in San Francisco…with the wild hair and the tattoos and gauges in his ears…my wild young man was going to be a Dad.

“I know it’ll be, but man…I didn’t think it would be this hard.”

“Just think of all we’ve been through, Jeremy. Remember?” I reminded him of our crazy move from Oregon to California when the moving truck ran out of gas on I-680…of all the times we had to pack up and move in California because rent was too high for me, a single mom with four kids…how we struggled…and all the adventures, listening to music in the car and singing loudly because that’s all you can do when times are bad…

“You’re right, Mom…that’s what I’ve been trying to tell Jen, about all we went through…and how we got through it…”

“Yep! I’ll see you on the way back home. As of now, I have no idea when I’ll get there, but I will be there.”

I hung up the phone, grabbed my ukulele and headed out the door of my fabulous hotel room once again to meet the guys for yet another jam down at Starbucks this time…The elevator whisked me down 17 floors and I walked out into the lobby, suddenly remembering…

I was in this very same lobby the morning after Thanksgiving in 2004 – with my daughter Megan and a whole bunch of little cheerleader girls getting ready to compete in the Regional Pop Warner cheerleading competition. These girls, the Mountain View Marauders, dressed in orange and red, had blown away everyone including the judges at every single competition they’d participated in – winning first place every single time amid so many other great teams.

I was so proud of Megan and these girls because they worked together as a team, these eight to eleven year olds…from all walks of life, 19 beautiful young ladies who showed the world that working together as a team with no one being a “diva” or a “queen” could make it in tough competitions – who worked seamlessly as they did their dance numbers, their stunts and their cheers. Like the San Francisco Giants, I thought, tears suddenly filling my eyes as I looked at that lobby, closed my eyes and remembered those 19 girls, their coaches fixing their hair at 6am Friday morning…they were the first ones up to cheer against 50 other cheerleading squads, and only the top three would make it to the National Cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida. One part of me wanted to win so badly, but the other part was worried about the finances…how to get Megan there…we’d traveled up to Sparks, Nevada from the bay area in my Toyota Corolla, me, Megan, big bro Stevie, my exboyfriend Mike and his daughter Bridgette…all crammed into he car.

Yes, we were here…and we took a bus over to the Livestock Pavilion where the competition took place…being the first ones up was tough, the sound system wasn’t quite together and one of the back spotter dudes got too close to the girls’ stunts causing one of the flyers to topple over – but watching the girls seamlessly lift Esparanza back up and continue the competition as if nothing had happened, their hearts broken because they assumed they wouldn’t win with a blunder like that, truly amazed me..if only the world could be run by girls such as these…it would be a much better place.

And we sat for hours watching team after team, the girls holding hands and crying..especially at the end when they didn’t make 3rd or 2nd place, which was all they could hope for…when the announcement came over the loudspeaker, “And in first place, the Mountain View Marauders!” we all jumped up and down and screamed for what seemed like hours – like it was American Idol or something, and the girls laughed and cried…Megan rushing over to almost knock me over and cry…chaching, Orlando, Florida here we come…I had thought

That’s what I thought of while standing in that lobby, spending the entire weekend with Megan and part of my family, celebrating after that competition with a trip to Circus Circus in downtown Reno…Megan strutting her stuff so proudly…she and her team truly winners and well deserved.

What happened to those times? Where had they gone? That seemed like a lifetime ago and now here I was with a bunch of crazy ukulele strummers…

The journey home on Tuesday was free sailing, even through the snow…and I did stop at Jeremy’s house, a huge four-bedroom house with three bathrooms and a huge yard for his dogs…plenty of room for a family and for people to visit…I loved it.

And I loved Jeremy too…and reminded him that this was only the beginning of a new life, sure stressful at times, but wonderful nonetheless…

I Won!

I was asked to sub at Bunco probably this time last year, and that turned into a permanent gig. What an awesome group of ladies, and I'm using that term loosely!  Really, they are great! So much fun. I've had a blast!  
Normally, we play for prizes. But one of the Bunco'ers lost her mother to breast cancer recently so we played and donated.  I thought I'd try a different approach to 'winning' and use reverse psychology, acting like I really didn't care if I won.
 Well, I guess you could say it worked, I did win!  Well, actually I lost so bad, I won. I had the most losses, 17, some said that was the most they'd ever seen (there's a b-word for those people). So I guess I have one thing going, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it well! And I'm going to take pictures of my winnings that will make me feel like a winner!
Let's talk about these! Pink tulips from Michelle.  Background in the first picture, my living room wall. Picking that blue for the living room was a grave mistake. It's not a what I would call a dark colour, but the camera sees it as dark, and I have to crank up the ISO every time. Makes Christmas morning photos pretty hard to get. I like how the top right hand corner is lit up, that's the light from my door windows.
The second shot is in the exact same spot, in front of my front door, it's retro, has 3 square windows running vertically down the door. Lets in some indirect light through those stylish frosted windows. The back ground, hold on, is the inner box from the Rock Band guitar. Anything can be a background when you shoot at f/2.8. The box was right there, it's white, but it's not very wide, it was a perfect background/reflector. I'm crafty, I can made do.

Pink & Green Thursday: Girl's Night In

Sometimes I think one of the best things after a long week is spending a night taking a bath, giving myself a manicure and pedicure and playing with make up. Make sure to check out our Lush Life giveaway featuring five great products from Lush Cosmetics for your next night in!


[all images via tumblr & we heart it]

Music of the 70's

I don't when or how it happened. The other day I couldn't find any songs playing on the regular radio stations I listen to so I switched to the oldies station.   I seldom listen to the oldies station, well I always thought of music from the 50's and 60's when I think of oldies.  

Bands like the The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynard, The Rolling Stones and ZZ Top just never seemed like oldies music to me.   Great songs that I know my heart.  Songs that when ever they come on the radio, you have to crank it up.  My foot starts picking up the beat, my body starts swaying to the rhythm.  The songs just brighten up the moment and I can never stop listening to them.  How could they be considered oldies?

Last year Lynyrd Skynard was playing in San Antonio, Tx.   I brought tickets for our family to attend. It was an awesome concert.  We were surrounded by people in their twenties and they all knew the songs by heart also.   Bic lighters glowing and swaying to the music, it definitely was a great night.

Well, I still don't consider those great bands ready for the oldies station, but at least I have found a place that plays the music I love.   

Lush Life Giveaway

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Edit 4/2: You only need to comment once on what you've completed; each person's entries are being maintained in an Excel spreadsheet and the winning entry will be drawn from that. Sorry for any confusion :)

The contest closes Thursday, April 7th at 11:59 pm EST
The winner will be announced Friday, April 8th and will be drawn at random using Random.org

Good luck!

Denial - Maria Robinson

You want to be able to say no but it keeps backing you into the corner of your room.

You try to talk your way out, hoping that the inertia will burn away like fog on a morning in May.

But it's hanging over you, it's taped your mouth shut. You can't hear your own thoughts.

You keep making things up and talking to yourself. You keep papering over your own heart.

Denial - Vanessa Hsu

The kid, as I called him, always had a smile when we met, he would be affectionate to me and kind to the rest around us. He would make sure his text messages were full of smiley faces and always offered to do what I wanted. It was a sweet disposition, and yet, there were always pauses when we spent time together, lapses of quiet. His long lashes would point down as his eyes half-closed. He would turn quiet, turn inward. And I always wondered what happened inside.

If I asked, he would quickly brush it off, say it was nothing or that he didn’t want to share problems and go back to the general air. But he would also drop hints, about a stepfather’s wedding he wanted to attend abroad, about not wanting to live with his mother and half-brother, about his mother being beautiful and having had a hard life, about being twenty-two but feeling thirty-two. These came accidentally over the course of six months, but they also seemed to be invitations, to be asked. Although each time I took it, it seemed I was wrong. He’d smile and change the topic.

The first thing I knew of him was that he was a boxer as a child. A child boxer, isn’t that something –to a much smaller degree—like being a child soldier? Or at least a child worker? That he stopped boxing because “that stuff messes with your head, it permeates the rest of what you do, it’s not good”. Eventually I learned his stepfather had been his trainer. And then, that his stepfather and mother had gotten a divorce, a messy one, where he testified at age eleven and that he had to lie about his mother, he said.

Denial - John Fetto

Hawley screamed for them to wait but even the door gunner couldn’t hear him. The sound of the chopper was too loud. They yanked him on board, holding his arms and legs. The cabin shuddered and wobbled as hopper lifted up out of the grass. Hawley legs dangled outside the bay, and bits of metal flew from bullets smacking the door. Still Hawley screamed for the chopper to wait, that they were just behind him, three men, all friends who had walked out of the Cambodia. The door gun got hold of the back of his pack stood up and began pulling him in. When his ankles cleared the edge of the cabin, the man holding him sudden let go and slumped the corner. Hawley fell on hard metal, and lay there clutching as the chopper wobbled back and forth, fighting for air and avoiding bullets. Above the tree line it leveled out, and Hawley pushed himself up, starting to crawl to the pilot to tell him to turn around. That’s when he got a good look at the door gunner slumped in the corner, blood faced and still.

They wouldn’t tell him anything about his team when he arrived at the base camp. They hustled him into the aid station, and started to pump fluids into him, dehydration they said, but then the doctor stuck a syringe into the fluids and when Hawley asked what it was, he said, “vitamins,” and winked. The world suddenly got dreamy. All the voices were liquid, pouring like syrup from their mouths, and he could swear he could hear Jaybird laughing in the other room. Somehow without anyone telling him, he knew they’d made it back and were all doped up like he was, feeling no pain. His feet didn’t hurt like they’d been running for three days. His swollen ankle he twisted on tree root was still swollen and ugly from where the tendons tore, but it felt fine. Even the cuts on his hands and knees crawling along the riverbed, weren’t aching like someone had rolled a granite boulder over on them back and forth. It was all good, and he wasn’t even pissed they dropped him in the wrong part of Cambodia, he’d gotten out alive. When he woke up the next day he was still feeling no pain, but it was beginning to wear off. Before it did, he wanted to get out with his team and self-medicate at the bars that had strung up outside the camp. But whenever he asked to see Willie, Jaybird or Sandman, the nurse or orderly, had to tell him he had to talk to the talk, like it was a very big deal just to tell him which of beds set up the rows of tents, housed his buddies. They were close by; Hawley could hear them laughing, so as impatient as he was he, just let it go. They hadn’t him a morning supply of medication and slipped back into a stupor that half wide awake dreaming, and half sleep. The third day there were less pills, and his mind was coming into more focus. They led him in to talk to an intelligence officer, a Captain Quinn, who asked what happened, and Hawley told him the same story he’d hear from everyone else, but he knew they did that, interviewed team members separately to compare their stories. When the pick-up went right they’d go over the story on the ride back on the chopper, but this time they’d been separated. So Hawley was deliberately vague on time and area, just sticking to the main truth, that they’d been dropped in the wrong area. Quinn wrote all this down with great interest. Even had the decency to shake his head like he knew they fucked up. Instead of it being unoccupied valley next to another valley where the Vietcong were camped they either dropped them into the wrong valley or the Vietcong had moved. Soon as they began to descend they’d taken fire. The chopper pilot tried to pull up but the chopper went down, and they jumped out of the burning machine. Quinn wrote this down too on his pad. He showed Hawley reconnaissance photos of the burned chopper. The photos were so detailed you could see the depressions in the grass from the dead bodies before the vc pulled them away. Hawley pointed at the photos, explaining how his team slipped past the perimeter that that had encircled them then it was one long foot race back to the Vietnam part of the border and extraction. At this point Quinn looked surprised, asking again if everyone made it out. All three other men, and he read their real names. Hawley told him nick names, Jaybird, Willie and Sandman. He still thought the intelligence officer believe him, so he explained that it had been along run, and they’d been spread out. Hawley up out front on point, but he could hear the brush breaking from the men on his team following him, how Hawley hear them talking, telling him how they were just behind him, how for days they camp and slept and worked they way back from Cambodia to the Central Highlands where they finally made radio contact, the Army made there last and worst fuck up saying there had only been one man to pick up. Hawley expected Quinn to get made about this too, but Quinn wasn’t taking any of it down. All his papers were folded up and sitting on his lap and he was just staring at Hawley.

That was the last time Hawley saw Quinn. The next captain was a doctor. A psychiatrist. He had a little folder too in which he made notes, and first thing he did was ask Hawley to tell the whole story over. Hawley wasn’t stupid. He knew they were going to deny the whole thing. After a few moments of not talking, the shrink nodded, folded up his notebook and said he’s be back tomorrow.

Denial - Christa Fairfield

Ellen watched him from across the room. His eyes blank and focused on the screen centered on the wall between their chairs. She had dangled her legs over the stuffed chair’s arm so she could watch him. She’d perched a book on her legs but hadn’t read a single word. His breath was even.

“When do you leave for your trip?” she asked leaning the book down to have a full view of his response.

His focus didn’t move from the screen full of ice and fisherman. “What?” he asked back.

“When do you leave for your trip, I said.” She closed the book with an intentional force hoping it would gain his attention.

“Six,” he said.

“Great,” she responded. She twisted herself off the chair. Picked up her phone from the kitchen counter behind them.

I’m done here, she thought. “I can’t deny my feelings. I won’t.” She texted. “Come by at 7am. He will be gone.”

Denial - Anna Teeples

As night started to finally fall, my mother, father and I started to walk towards the apartment. We had found Ristoranti Osteria Zio Gigi merely by desperate convenience. Arriving earlier that day, my parents were a swilled mix of hunger, tired and jet-lagged. It was the closest restaurant to my flat and only four doors away. Gigi, the owner, was tended to the shorter side yet stout with a full dark bread and round white eyes and a head of wavy brown hair. He sang. He sang to me in Italian, he sang to my father. They did not share a common language but my father and Gigi talked all night, somehow. Dad would end up being a 'regular' there for the duration of their three week trip to see me in Florence, Italy.

As we walked towards the apartment, the food pusher came alive.

“Let's go find a gelato. I have to try this stuff that I read about,” Dad said.

“Dad, I can not possibly stuff another morsel into me. We had three courses and already shared a dessert. I can't,” I said.

“Judy, what about you? We came all this way and we have to find the best gelato shop in town. Which way do you think we should go?” he said turning to my mother.

Typical Italy with a gelato shop in almost every block, he stared down at the mounds of the soft semi-frozen cream. Mom had already researched so many things about the trip and informed us that “Gelato typically has less than half the fat of ice cream and usually less sugar too.” They taste tested small spoonfuls of Nutella, fruit and coffee flavored gelato before deciding on a cup to share.

“Are you sure you don't want to have a mini size gelato, come on Anna?” he pleaded. I was not sure why my father needed to feed us to show his love but this was his way with all his children. We were subjected to the end-of-dinner food-pushing love.

“Have another drum leg, there's plenty left. Can I get you some more green beans. There's one more slice of bread left, have it.” It never stopped.

Some days he was unrelenting and I would have to bark at him to back off in fear that I would just eat myself to the size of a Pillsbury dough girl. Was he afraid that the older he got, he might not be able to see me? Or I would just shrivel up from the lack of nourishment to the body as well as my soul.

Today was different, we were exploring new worlds together. How could I deny our “first gelato” together. My request was the “mini” and I received the equivalent of a quart of ice cream overflowing on top of the mini cup. How the world was I going to finish this? He stared at me with utter delight of a young child awaiting presents under the Christmas tree to be open.

“So, how do you like yours?”

“Dad, it's really good. Thanks for suggesting we get one.” I could see his weird happiness.

“Anna, we have to start early tomorrow. I think after lunch and dinner we should try two new places. We have to find the very best gelato in town before I leave.” He was on a roll. “Maybe we should have one in the morning too.”

I wondered how I would balance the love and attention disguised in massive caloric intake over the next three weeks.

Denial - Melody Cryns

No, it just can’t be that way – I wish it wasn’t. If I could go into a time machine, I’d jump back to 1967 and be that 10-year old girl again before my innocence was so cruelly taken away from me…I’d fight back before the battle even began instead of enduring the pain and struggle, the denial, the guilt, fear…

One part of me remains stuck in that time period – sometimes I still am that precocious little girl running around the streets of San Francisco in that neighborhood in the inner Sunset District…I still careen down hills on my skateboard without a care in the world…and life is good….it’s what I imagined it would be before he walked into our lives…he’d been hovering about for years – even them. Hanging out at my mom’s best friend’s house…

I know it never would have happened if Mom hadn’t broken up with my dad. He didn’t want to leave…he wanted to stay but Mom said it wasn’t working out I guess…all we kids knew was that Mom and Dad fought quite a bit…Mom wanted someone more “intellectual” than my Dad I guess..

So it was the summer of love when they told us the news – that Dad would be moving out. I still remember how sad and defeated Dad looked…and how sad I was too…when they sat us all in the living room…Dad sitting in the big, blue stuffed chair and Mom sitting in the French chair..me sitting on the piano chair and Michael and Jennifer on the couch.

Nothing felt quite the same after those moments…Mom said it as better this way. I could tell Dad didn’t agree…Ooooohhh, why do things have to change?

“Where will you go, what will we do?” I blurted out…feeling betrayed somehow, wondering if Dad would even be around…this was unheard of…a family broken .. yet things had already begun to change with the summer of love and all…but still!

“Don’t worry. Your father will still be around, and he’ll come see you,” mom assured me.


After they sat us down, Dad sat in the blue stuffed chair looking as if he could burst into tears at any moment…I’d never seen him look like that before…he was listening to the big band music he loved so much…

I remember running up to him and giving him a hug…as I hugged him Dad said, “You know, I really don’t want to leave…your Mom…”

“I know.” I comforted my Dad even though I was only ten…

I knew that life wouldn’t be the same again…

But what I didn’t know was that our lives would also roar downhill into a turmoil and strife that was as dark and terrible as the tsunamis and quake…our own personal disaster from hell…

Faith - Camilla Basham

Milo had faith that there, on that very night, in Molly’s sacred room amongst her innocent memorabilia – the one eyed stuffed bear, the pink ceramic piggy bank, the cheerleader’s pom poms - of her babyhood and puberty, that in that divine place something beautiful might happen. She sat on her brass bed cross-legged wearing a short white nightie and looking more spectacularly embraceable than he had ever remembered. Without a sound, Milo turned out the lights and lay down beside her, motioning blindly for her to unfurl her body beside him.

Nothing whatsoever happened.

He lay there for about two hours, mindful of her apprehensive body beside him in the darkness, thinking how implausibly ingenious life was, how petrifying, really, in that it occasionally does give essence to one’s lighthearted dreams.

After a long time, when Milo sensed that Molly’s breathing beside him was laborious in sleep, he rose, bowed down, kissed her invisible face, and staggered out. Because, really, what good is a dream once it comes true?

Setting It Free - Bonnie Smetts

Through the open window in his room, Dr. Sarin heard his nephew call him. He rose from his desk and peered down to the garden. Raghev was huddled over something. “Uncle, uncle, come save the bird.”

Dr. Sarin wondered why Raghev’s tutor wasn’t with the child. He moved to go downstairs hating the heaviness he’d been feeling in his legs lately. Each step was a labor and he wished for the lightness of his youth. “Come, come.” Raghev whispered and waved.

A kingfisher stood near the base of a tree, wild-eyed, glassy-eyed and terrified. Its wings didn’t move. “Oh, dear. Raghev, stay away from the bird. He’s hurt.’

“But can we fix him, Uncle? Can we make him fly again?”

Dr. Sarin bent down. He hoped the bird was simply stunned, shocked. “Come, move away. Let’s go inside and let it be. Just let it be for awhile.”

“Can’t you fix it? Maybe its wings are broken.”

“Where did he come from? Did you see it hit the window?”

“It was just here, I saw it from inside.”

“Just let it be and see what comes of it.” Dr. Sarin stood up. He hated how his legs ached when he bent for too long. He reached for Raghev’s hand and relished the warmth of the boy’s flesh. “Let’s go in and find Rama. Where is Rama?

“She went to get a box. I told her we should put it in a box.”

Dr. Sarin knew Rama wouldn’t get a box. Surely a tutor knew something of birds. Raghev broke lose from Dr. Sarin’s gentle grasp. He ran up the stairs to the house. Running, always running. The child has forgotten the bird already, Dr. Sarin thought. Now I am left to worry about the bird. He loved the blue of the kingfishers and waited each year for their arrival. Only time would tell if the bird could set itself free from the garden.

Faith - Judy Albietz

So now, Lily punched back down the fear rising in her gut. There was no guarantee for humans traveling through the Time Portal. Not only was she scared of dying but she also was scared of the process—of what the process of time traveling would do to her. Will my body’s molecules be taken apart and not be able to get back together again? I have no choice. She thought back to Sam’s statement of how this was totally unfamiliar territory. For Lily, the first—and only—time she had time-traveled, she had been unconscious and Sam had been with her. Sam had tried his best to describe it for her, but he cautioned that his experience was that of a time-traveling dog and not a human.

Before it’s too late, I have to tell him. Lily thought. She and Sam were standing side by side as she started to step into the Time Portal.

“Sam, I want you to know—“Lily started to say, but stopped. She couldn’t see him as her body was propelled forward. Then misty strands of pink, green and purple clouds were coming at her from all sides, weaving her into a cocoon. “Sam!” she called. No answer. She tried to look back but couldn’t even move her head. Her body was frozen. She closed her eyes.

That morning Sam had explained the Time Portal. “We are not sure how your body will react when the Time Portal takes you in. You will be absorbed. You might feel trapped. Take that as a good sign. I wish I could go with you … to protect you.” A soft whine had come from Sam’s throat as he squeezed his eyes shut. Lily had reached over to hold his big head in her arms.

The risk. This was something they didn’t talk about. The rule. The rule that humans couldn’t travel through the Time Portal. She’d survived the first time, but Sam had been with her. And he couldn’t go with her this time. And this was the only way to stop the infection that was killing the Time Portal. She and she alone had to take the anti-virus back to her time, back to the nano-second before the virus invaded in the first place, back to before Sam ever entered her life.

Now that it was too late, she regretted most of all how she’d held back in the first place. Never told him just how much he meant to her. Now she’d really lost her chance forever. She asked herself what’d stopped her. Yeah, she thought. If I die he’ll never know. If I live, I’ll have no memories of who Sam is or how much I love him.

Faith - Kate Bueler

Faith. As the cross between rain and mist saturate my skin with a spa touch I know I have to have faith. Faith in my work. Faith in my students. Faith in redemption and the possiblity of it. As I open those doors from my public to private life to walk home-the drizzle brings a great relief that I don't find myself covering up or protecting myself from it. The dampness of the spray brings a relief from a hard day. Relief from what just happened and relief in the possiblity of my faith as I step one foot in front of another. The wet sprays my face relieving and allowing for my own wettness to fall. I move slowly as I walk home. With sadness in my eyes, with contemplation across my lips, with disppointemnt living on my nose, faith finds a place in the lines between my eyes and loosens my face. It is starnge when you have this look how many people mostly men will look at you. And try to speak to you. As if your sadness might be a sign of weakness a biological need to be saved. No one to save me. But this water washing over me to begin again. But this put the foot in front of the other. But the faith I found in believing. In believing in the possiblity of change.

Yesterday at school my student got caught for a serious offense. An offense that included the dean and the authorities and his family members. A kind of offense that gets you kicked out of school. A kind of offense that gets you a record. At first as I heard the news, I sat down and it slipped off me. There was a pause and disappointment. But it wasn't until I saw his face. His face before he made the walk down the hall and the stairs to a future he was uncertain of. A conversation I knew was about to happen. He walked not knowing what was to come. I stood in that hallway watching him walk away and I froze. Do I go after him to say anything? Do I let him walk along side this secrutiy guard to his destiny? I let him face it alone. Part of this job is letting go. Letting them fly alone. But knew and hoped that I might be able to talk to him. For this moment. But to let him know we were still here. Here for him. For I might not see him again. And a relationship built in writing during a volunteer project became me giving him cliff bars and taking walks and discussions about life and future and choices. There was a gift in that.

As I walked in to the room. I didn't know what I was to say. He looked up into my face. And the first thing he did was cry. Wetness fell down his face. He had held it together until he saw me. Someone who believed in him, someone who he had disappointed. Someone who he trusted and shared more than with many. And in that moment. I know the only thing I can do is sit there. Be there. Help him get through this moment. And let him know. He is more than this. More than a dealer. For he is. As he wipes away the tears, we all are heavy in the sorrow of mistakes made and what would happen next. Consquences are important to make us stop. Stop in our tracks. And the chose we have to decide whats next. Choose right or left. I didn't leave his side until I had to. I knew that being there and caring was more imortant than the yelling and lecturing and legal troubles that would come.

Faith in myself to do the right thing or what I think is. Faith in this student to be who he dreams. Faith that as I walk, walk home that we all get chances again. I have to believe in redepetion. I have to. But now it is something he must face alone. Not with me by his side. But I have faith. That I still might sit there. For him. And as I become more wet from the sky doncation above, it washes over me. As I start again too.

Luck - Lisa Jacobs

I hadn’t expected the bamboo forest to be so green. I had pictured the light brown/tan stalks that I had always seen in bamboo thickets, and of course the green leaves. But the stalks here in the forest were green, and huge. Some were too large to fit two hands around. And the gorillas, especially the silverback, were able to just reach over and pluck a stalk for munching.

We had been walking for more than an hour and I was elated. The first group I had been assigned to was selected for me because of my age, I am sure – they were a wimpy man and a group of not so adventurous looking ladies. I didn’t want to be with them; I wanted to be with the young folks and I was lucky enough to have met one of the staff workers the night before at dinner. So I asked him to switch me and he came back a few minutes later directing me to a group of mostly people around my age, or at least the age I feel. I am lucky to be much stronger and fitter and youthful than my chronological age would indicate.

So we set off at 7am. The trackers were already out in the jungle, having risen at dawn to find the last place the gorilla families had been the day before. All the groups set off in different directions, each toward the likely environ of their particular gorilla family. Once the trackers found the gorillas, they would radio our leaders so we could go meet them. The group leaders were lovely – one was older and he had been one of the people to actually habituate the gorilla family that we would meet that day. The other was a young guy, full of beans, as I told him. Always with a joke. You are full of beans, I said.

We also had a couple of trackers with us, who used machetes to break through the tougher underbrush. But mostly we just walked. The rolling hills, nothing too steep, the verdant vegetation. It didn’t quite look like the African jungle I had imagined. It was not foreign.

Then we got the radio. They had found the gorillas, who were hanging out in a bamboo forest. It was the bamboo forest that made me realize I was far from home.

When He Just Stopped - Jennifer Baljko

Oriol sat down at the table. Picking up his pa amb tomaquet, he flipped to the story about the Barça soccer team winning the European League championship. He made a mental note to clip the story and send it to Cesc. Maybe that would make things better between them. Oriol skimmed the other headlines. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of a picture of a funeral scene, and that’s when he just stopped, his hand holding tomato-slathered toast suspended in mid-air. His eyes may have been staring at photo, but everything in him raced back 20 years to that scene.

He saw the face of Juan’s mother getting out of the black sedan, draped in black, elegant and put together, but her face did little to cover her heartbreak. Oriol had gone to each of the memorial services. He wasn’t wanted there, and he knew he couldn’t face the families, not yet at least. He hid himself best he could from their gatherings, and lingered in the faraway corners hoping none of them would recognize him as the man who killed their loved one.

“Oriol? Are you still in the kitchen?” Rosa called from her sewing room. “Could you bring me the scissors? I left them on the counter.”

Oriol put down his bread, folded the paper, stood up, and headed for the door.

“I’m going out,” Oriol said.

“Could you bring me the scissors first? I’m in the middle of a hem,” Rosa asked.

“No.” Oriol slammed the door behind him.

Snakes - E. D. James

Olivia went through her checklist one more time before she snapped the aluminum cases closed. There were only a few more chores to get done and she would be out the door and headed to Siberia. She could still barely believe the chain of events would take her from trapping Sandhill Cranes in backyards in Homer, Alaska to trying to figure out what was killing Red Crowned Cranes in Siberia in less than seventy two hours. The photographs of Audrey’s bullet riddled body in the front seat of her car flashed through Olivia’s mind and triggered a thought for one last item to pack.

She went over to her desk and pulled open the bottom left drawer. In among miscellaneous rulers and boxes of paperclips and memorabilia sat an eight inch long silver handle. Olivia picked it up, held it out away from her body and pressed the button on the side. The blade whipped out and settled into place with a satisfying clunk. She ran her thumb along the edge and felt the sharpened steel slide across the ridges of her fingertip. Her dad had given her this blade when she’d headed off to Berkeley to get her PhD in Ornithology. He’d said she’d need something to protect herself from snakes when she was out in the field. She thought maybe he gave it to her to protect herself in Berkeley, a town he considered too loose and liberal to be safe.

She held the knife in her hand and imagined herself straddling the man who had sprayed Audrey’s car with bullets. She wanted to hold the blade to his neck and spit in his face and feel him quiver in fear. She would start slowly letting the blade cut into his neck so that she could watch the pain and disbelief at his fate set in before she laid open his jugular vein and let his blood run out onto floor beneath them. She imagined getting the man to tell her who had sent him to kill Audrey. She wondered if his answer would be the name of someone she would meet in Siberia. She decided to pack the knife. From what she knew of Russians it was just possible that she would get a chance to bring her fantasies to life.


I received a set of two Deborah Lippmann polishes earlier this month from Gilt. I was really excited to try more Lippmann colors since Happy Birthday was all around pretty fabulous. This color, Stardust, is labeled as a frost on the Lippmann website but I find it to be more of a brushed metallic. The polish itself is comprised of micro-fine silver glitter that applies fairly opaque in one coat (bottom right picture). However, upon two coats the polish looks like molten silver which was a bit difficult to capture with my camera. The polish applied evenly and did not leave behind brushstrokes, a common occurrence with metallic colors. While I have warm undertones, I still felt this color worked with my coloring. Overall, I really liked this polish and am looking forward to using it for pedicures this summer.

For all the Girls

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
To wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knees?

I need to wear these glasses
As the prints were getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to grey
And my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
Just the outside's changed a bit.

The First Day of Spring

The first day of spring has finally arrived.  I have been looking forward to spring all winter long.  The wild flowers on the roadside are starting to bloom.  The sweet fragrance of freshly cut grass lingers in the air.  The joy of spring is finally here.
Immediately my mind starts thinking of Sangria on the front porch, sitting on the swing listening to our favorite tunes.   Gardening and heading to the beach on the weekend.
Suddenly my heart skipped a beat.  I have been wearing my sweats all winter long.  It is time to get out my bathing suit and shorts.  Suddenly all my thoughts of spring came to a screeching stop.  OMG, I haven’t started working out yet.
The only thoughts going through my mind now are: Betty the yeti, Thunder thighs and Chunky monkey.   I know what was once a small muffin top now looks like a full split loaf of bread.  Why was I longing for spring, I ask myself.  Why have I been procrastinating working out?
Immediately I start searching through the DVDs for my workout video.  I know I had it this past fall, certainly it could not have gone that far.  I keep thinking to myself why did we not move further north where the winters last longer, maybe Alaska.  I keep searching for the workout DVD but can't find it anywhere.  Alright, improvise, turn the television to the 80's channel and work out.

One hour and ten aching muscles later, I start thinking to myself.  Why am I so worried about what everyone else thinks I look like.  I look good and feel good.  I am in good shape, just not the same shape I was in 25 years ago.   

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

I wear UP! :D Thank you Fash.On online shop for this cute polkadot dress ;) Love.

..and if you noticed it, I just dyed my hair *from purplish brown* to real black. >:D Happy.

brown shade, RiotsBarbie. UP shoes. DIY boater hat, vintage heart necklace, rings. Gun necklace, Shop Nefertiti, polkadot dress, Fash.On onlineshop.

Little Lovers

So there is a new shop in town, and they have some pretty nice and fantastic clothes and accessories! It's called Berrybenka.com and here I am in some of their outfits!

They're an online store that carry many different brands and they aim to carry only the most fashionable and high quality products! Aside from dresses, tops, and bottoms, they also sell accessories and outerwear. At Berrybenka.com, you can shop your day's entire outfit from head-to-toe and be fashionably dressed!

So do head over to their website and shop at www.berrybenka.com now!

Shoes, Wimo. All outfits, Berrybenka.com

Makeup Review Monday: Undercover

I am a firm believer that if you do not have a good base, then you have nothing to stand on. While this applies in many situations such as morally, while making speeches, your house, it also applies to your makeup!

Sometime last year, I finally put down the tinted moisturizer and decided to try Bare Minerals. I really like the effect of Bare Minerals but I notices a significant lack of moisture in my skin since I was not using the tinted moisturizers any more.

I have tried two different products for my makeup base. This is how it worked out.
Estée Lauder DayWear SPF15: I liked this moisturizer. My mother used it and loved it so that is why I gave it a shot. It has a cucumber scent, and I would describe its weight as moderate. It is not too oily and I think would work for a lot of skin types because of this. My main draw back? The SPF is lower than I would like, and the price! DayWear is $43.00 for 1.7-ounces.

Philosophy Hope In a Jar SPF25: I LOVE this moisturizer. I tried it based on reviews on Sephora.com and my love of most Philosophy products. This is supposed to be scent free but there is a very, very light hint of lavender in the moisturizer. I would describe this as a heavy weight moisturizer that is just barely oily, it may not be the "everyone" moisturizer. I am glad the SPF is higher, because while most makeup now contains SPF, we are usually not putting enough on or evenly enough to get the proper protection from makeup alone. It also makes my skin feel better than the DayWear, I can't quite explain why, but it just does. Finally, the price is more reasonable, $38.00 for 2-ounces.

Keeping your skin properly moisturized helps keep down the amount of exfoliating that needs to happen, and that is great for me since most exfoliates, except Lush's Angels on Bare Skin, make my face go crazy. It also provides a slightly "sticky" base for powdered makeups to sit on.

I think most of you have heard about or are part of the cult following of Urban Decay's Primer Potions. I have been a member since 2004. Finally, as an exclusive to Sephora, Urban Decay has released all of their Primer Potions in squeeze tubes! I am so excited to try them and compare packaging. The old bottle, while lovely, was a pain in the butt. They previously released a professional size of the original formula in a squeeze tube, but I have not seen it in stores or online recently. As soon as I get my hands on one I will be sure to share it with you all! They are available at Sephora.com at $19.00 for 0.37-ounces, a dollar more than the old bottle, and a little more product too.

What moisturizers are you swooning over this week?

Crafting and an Outing

I made another canvas on Friday. I started with an idea, and then it didn't end up the way I wanted it to. I ended up having to paint the camera image over the original iron on because I painted over it and it lost it's clarity. Now I can live with it. 
For what ever reason, the juices were flowing on Friday and I started and finished a 6x6 American Crafts album. It's our Christmas one. It's too fat, but I'm over it.
Saturday, don't get too excited, but we went to the Art Gallery. The school district had an exhibit of a select number of students' work displayed. Emily had a drawing picked so we went to check it out. There's lots of amazing talent in middle school! This photo was taken before ice cream, and she didn't want to have her picture taken.
As an added bonus, or maybe it was the endorphins from her favourite ice cream from Moolix, she let me take a few shots of her. I love that she's sitting on the sidewalk beside the garage, where the reflection from the white of our garage, and the cream of the neighbour's house makes for awesome light.