A Whiter Shade of Gray

senior-3336451_1920In the last several years, there has been growing popularity in older women and men being chic, fascinating and featured in magazines. Well, why not? Older people have this “been there, done that” attitude and are going to continue doing what they want. Old does not mean slow, stupid or even about to die.

Our bodies are aging, each and every day. We know that. Yes, our brains do too, but that does not equate to being senile. We have a wealth of experiential knowledge that helps us to make quick and powerful decisions. We are no longer burdened by the “image” society has picked for us. We can sky-dive if it so pleases us. We can get married when we are in our 90s. If we want to wear florals, stripes and sequins all in the same outfit, so be it. “Insta-Grannies” are all the rage now. I won’t list them, because by now you will have seen, read or are following most of them.

Is this a fad that will slowly fade away as many of these icons pass on? A fad is something that gets worn out and loses its appeal. If we are all aging, then we are all fads. So why not be so individually cool that you never outlive your time?

active-cyclist-elderly-264073What these ultra-cool elders are really showing us is that you must keep going and growing in order to live your best life. Having your 60th birthday, or whatever age you deem to be old, is not an automatic indicator that you must now move to an assisted-living facility and wear Velcro shoes. A continually stimulated brain will spur you into stimulating your body. Walk, dance, climb, hike, swim, sky-dive, whatever challenges you want to place upon your body – just go for it. Be safe; just because you can do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for your body. Our muscles don’t recover as quickly as they used to, and our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be either.

barca-473854_1920Are you a widower and think that because your spouse of 50 years is gone, you should just sit alone in your tiny new apartment? Au contraire, my friend. Loneliness will kill you faster than your one martini with dinner. Why not a companion to share that martini with? There is no social demand that you be married. Living in sin, if you call it that, is far more fun than withering away by yourself.

Many seniors become entrepreneurs. Done with the working-for-someone-else world, many active adults start new businesses built upon hobbies or passions. We have a lifetime of skills and workplace savvy to make it lucrative.

How about a little Botox, sculpting, or other cosmetic enhancements? False eyelashes and eyeliner aren’t just for the 20-something set. Whatever you choose to make yourself look and feel better should be just to make yourself feel better, and not about what anyone else says.

old-2742052_1920Growing older isn’t an easy thing. The changes in your body can be very frustrating. The lapses in memory are annoying. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Be kind and loving to yourself. Use them as opportunities to slow down and savor the moments of each day. You now have time to do all the fun things you put off while you were working and raising children.

You might even have time to go sky-diving with your grandkids while wearing your new purple-sequinned jumpsuit.

Leat-Her Wear it

I’m not a big fan of leather coats. They tend to be too bulky and too stiff. Even my fave – the biker jacket. But when I saw this coat in the Sundance catalog (Robert Redford’s company), I decided that I seriously needed it. So I searched up a coupon and then pressed the Order button.

I’m glad I pressed Send. This coat is like butter and it has enormous style, almost military/calvary in its cut. The buttons come to a V at the waist and then the remainder are hidden. Those couple are a little hard to button from the inside, but oh-so-cool. It’s great for a slightly warmer winter day in Denver.

I know that from a social viewpoint, leather and its sister, fur, get a bad rap. Along with eating their contents. I have no “beef” [pun intended] with anyone’s choice; it is all in how you grew up. I grew up on a self-sustaining farm in Iowa. We raised milk cows (my favorite, as previously written), stock cows, pigs and chickens. We grew corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa. We planted a huge amount of potatoes and an average-sized garden. We ate what we grew and sold some for profit. That is what farming is all about. In the middle of an Iowa winter, having a freezer full of meat is a necessity. We had canned vegetables and potatoes in cold storage, but it is not enough to feed a family through those long cold months.

Pigs and cows were sold at the stockyards, which gave us money to live on. They, of course, generated meat, but the hides had to go somewhere. So, they became coats, shoes, belts, handbags and so on. A very practical use of all the parts. I abhor cruelty in any form, but it normally doesn’t exist in a family farm situation. All our animals, right down to the adorable baby ducks were well cared for.

So if you see someone walking down the street wearing something you don’t agree with, allow them their choice. They might be farm-raised like me. I’m sure no one will berate you for wearing broccoli on your pants.

So let her wear it.

A-Dior-able

images[5]On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior launched the “New Look” collection from his Paris couture house. The world was recovering from World War II, and its austere, masculine clothing. The New Look returned the feminine silhouette with a full bustline, tiny waist and curvy hips. I believe that it reminded the world that the feminine, nurturing energy was returning. It was criticized as being a wasteful luxury when times were still lean. Thus is the power of the feminine energy, to create, to nurture, to honor the need to pamper our souls.

Today, my Sweetie and I attended the Dior exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The show is in its final tour, ending on March 17th. The exhibit included dozens of beautiful gowns and suits, beginning with the classic “Bar Suit” categorized by a creamy fitted jacket and a black, calf-length full skirt. Think Lucille Ball in her heyday. From the simple suit to fabulous gowns of detailed embroidery and gems, lean silhouettes to curvaceous sweeps, all stunning in this gorgeous collection.

 

I, myself, enjoyed the blatant outrageousness of John Galliano. Highly satirical, if you studied the garments closely. One fabulous gown, that I failed to take of photo of, (God knows why not), which I dubbed “Queen in Bondage”. Bejeweled red satin, the bodice was a tightly fitted corset style with the seeming intent to expose the breasts, although there was a bit a fabric tucked in to keep it decent. Or so I assume. The skirt flared out from the knees, mermaid style, looking almost impossible to move in. The entire garment was capped by an innocuous-appearing crown. Luxurious, over-the-top, this gown defined Galliano’s evil genius. Too bad he couldn’t limit his antics to design instead of running off at the mouth.

IMG_20190303_115107239 (1)Like all art, fashion is beauty in the eyes of the beholder. For women in general, it is the living expression of our soul. You can wake up in the morning ready to deal with what is likely going to be a sh*tty day, and instead, choose to arm yourself with a great outfit. Fake it ‘til you make it, or so they say. Dressing in your favorite outfit, because you know you look fabulous in it, will change the day into something great. And I hate to disappoint you guys, but women don’t usually dress for men unless they are hunting for a husband or boyfriend. As designer Betsey Johnson said “if girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times”. Just notice when you are in a public place, most of the women are looking at each other and often commenting about shoes and handbags.

Why? Because we are just f-ing adorable.

You-nique

img_0628Cleaning up your stuff and your life is getting rid of what does not serve you or doesn’t make you feel good.  Cleaning up means allowing your authentic self to come out.  If you can’t be you, who will?

Living a good life means being yourself.

Some people say that they don’t know who they are.  Well, if you have done the clean up work then you know who you aren’t.  What you are left with helps to define you.  Living your life as a lie can cause deep suffering within your body.  Trying to conform to other’s ideals of who you should be can actually cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases.  Who wants that?  You can only live your life for yourself, because you must live within yourself.

Being authentic does not mean harming others or things.  It does not mean you get to be an a$$hole.  Being authentic is treasuring the uniqueness of you, the beautiful, spontaneous, quirky, creative, sparkly inner being that radiates with joy.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

 

Maybe you think you are weird.  So?  What is wrong with weird?  A lot of people are and like weird.  Find them and buddy up.  Maybe you are very traditional and old-fashioned.  Nothing wrong with that either.  Lots of alike-you’s out there.  Spirit wants to grow so therefore, interesting, unusual and quirky people were created.  Spirit loves this.  I think Spirit has a giant paintbrush and a bucket of colors and has an absolute riot dashing them on the canvas of life.  Now isn’t that just a beautiful thought?

 

We just finished some of our decorating projects.  It was a joy for me, because I allowed my artistic side to come out.  I went for bold, with a little bit of quirky humor and that suits my Sweetie too.  It turned out fab, if I say so myself.  I’m sharing a few of the pics with the hopes that you’ll be inspired to allow your inner delight to come out.img_0629

You do you.

Oz-tober

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Photo: Pixabay, Efraimstochter

Last night, Ozzy Osbourne played at the Denver Pepsi Center.  I didn’t go because it was a work night and I just can’t stay up that late anymore.

Ozzie and many other musicians have been out on epic tours, some for several years.  Why the significance as that is no different than any other year?  Because most of them are over the age of 60.  They are still out there rockin’ it and kickin’ a$$ long after the rest of us are snoring in our beds.

Some ask “why?”  “Do they need more money; don’t they have enough?”  “That’s old news.”  “Sick of that music.”  (Seriously?!)  Or “they are too old to be doing that”.  The reality is that they are out there doin’ it because they LOVE it.  Music is their passion, their reason for living.  They live to make music, play music and perform music.  And why not?

I recently saw a photo of Klaus Meine of the Scorpions that said “this is what 70 looks like”.  If that’s 70, then everyone should aspire to that.  70 is no longer seen as the bent-over, shuffling wrinkled person with overgrown nose hairs.  Check out Ari Seth Cohen’s “Advanced Style” and you will see photos of [yes, real] kick-a$$ older people living life to the fullest.  “Old is the New Black” is the motto.

Older people have had enough of being pushed aside, told what they can or cannot wear, think, do or anything else a bunch of under-experienced brats have decided.  Older people live, love, wear purple hair and have sex on a regular basis.

We are not dead yet.

It is a time to embrace your passions, to do the things that you barely had the time for when you were younger, to play, to have a loving relationship, to think, to feel, to honor yourself and speak out for what you believe in.

Or rock it at an Ozzy concert.  Just remember to wear your ear plugs.

Gra-feed-me

IMG_0443                                All photos from the RiNo area of Denver.

Graffiti has long been considered an eyesore and often gang-tagging.  There is obviously some beauty in it since many graffiti artists are being commissioned to decorate the sides of large buildings.

Denver has two areas with extensive wall art.  River North, known as RiNo, on the north side of downtown has gorgeous work of graphics and bold colors.  I’ve taken several photos and plan another trip for more.  The colors just grab my creative soul.  The other area is on West Colfax, known as the 40 West Arts District.  They actually have painted a green line on the sidewalks and pavement for people to walk around and view the art.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve driven past much of it.

The history of graffiti is attributed to Cornbread, a high school student in Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl.  Sigh.  Everything starts with love.

Graffiti is about getting attention, and probably for the purpose of feeding the soul of the creator.  How many times have you sat in a meeting and doodled while you listened to some talking head?  Feeding the need to quell boredom.  Or maybe designing the next rocket ship.

Graffiti is the most raw form of creativity.  Spewing out colors, shapes, swirls, maybe people or things.  The contents of your heart spread out for everyone to see.  I guess you could say posting a blog is some sort of graffiti.  A bunch of nonsense on an electronic wall.  Well, not everyone’s blog is nonsense.  But really, don’t we write in the hopes that someone will “Like” it?  No head trips here, just random thoughts.

However, I just might start adding some swirls and bright colors to my posts.  Gotta feed my soul, you know.IMG_0453

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Recently, at work, the subject of dress code has surfaced again.  We have a new director, and he is getting his feet wet in all areas of the business.  After initiating the topic of shoes, he wisely turned the dress code idea over to a team of women.  Women police each other, after all.

59745-2001_CEREZA[1]Many a man, to his everlasting regret, has ventured in to the female shoe closet thinking to discuss the quantity, cost, necessity, appropriateness and style of female footwear.  Many of them wisely retreated when they notice the squinty eyeball staring back at them.  A brave few thought to continue the topic, and then determined that there is a fine line between brave and dumb.  Some hearty souls continued on, and were grateful that the living room sofa was a comfortable place to sleep.  And some were never heard from again.

The only men who can safely traverse the domain of the female shoe are those of a “different persuasion”, or the Great Oz of Shoes himself: Mr. Manolo Blahnik.  Should Mr. Blahnik ever appear in a woman’s shoe closet, especially if he were bearing gifts, she could succumb to a heart attack at that very moment and consider her life complete.

51g35jLUYvL._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Shoes represent the Holy Grail to women.  They are the ultimate form of self-expression.  We willingly spend thousands of dollars for coveted pairs, suffer untold agony and blisters for a few hours of wearing a spindly high needle for the praise of a friend or stranger.  Women have made new friends over a pair of shoes.

A beautiful pair of shoes can brighten a woman’s day.  Knowing that pain could come later, she will still step out proudly and with confidence that she can kick a$$.  An ugly pair. . .well, can make a woman feel ugly.  They are the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite.  A necessity, if you will.

Oh and if you are available, Mr. Blahnik, my closet is open. . . size 7, if you please.

Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.

Opportunities and Boundaries

I recently read a posting on Karen Rauch Carter’s Facebook page about opportunities and front doors.  Karen is the author of “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life”, a fabulous and easy-to-follow guidebook about using feng shui not only in your home, but your entire life.

IMG_0391The point of the posting was whether or not your front door allowed for opportunities to find you.  A front door that you could not see from the street or wasn’t easily accessible from the street sidewalk did not allow for opportune energy to find you.  Conversely having some measure of boundaries was also important, especially if you live at the end of a street or bend of a curve.

My front door clearly has both.  I hadn’t consulted the book before transforming our front yard.  It was the typical builder basic: grass, tree, three shrubs and bark.  The front door was black.  It is a cool-looking vertical house, but it needed a little. . .pizazz.

I’ve never been one to do things by halves.  And there is certainly no doubt where my front door is and how to get to it.  My sweetie and I made the hoop gate.  Along with everything else you see.

The red door and red hoops very clearly open the path to opportunities.  Red energy can work two ways, either draw energy to something or block energy from it.  I set the intention for both: allow the good stuff and block the bad stuff.

IMG_0392.JPGBoundaries are set with the iron fence, yet you can see through it.  Good personal energetic boundaries allow good things to flow into you, like love and abundance.  A brick wall is not a good boundary, either in a yard or yourself.  You quite literally shut yourself off from everything.  So our fence allows the energy to flow.  You can see the beauty inside, with the flowers and the landscape yet it blocks people and their peeing dogs from harming it.  No more than you want a peeing dog in your inner landscape.

There are a pair of planters flanking both sides of the fence.  A pair always represents good couple energy.  Flanking the fence means we share our boundaries equally.

Along the fence line, we planted the more interesting species.  Some rather erotic looking lilies and plenty of colorful tulips.  None of which are blooming at this time.  The tulip fest is done and the lilies haven’t opened their sleepy eyes yet.  I think this demonstrates that we are not afraid of letting our more “colorful” side be right out front to the public eye.  As it should be.  Why should we hide the very best parts of our inner landscape?

And sometimes we shouldn’t hide the more difficult parts. IMG_0386

Splurge and Purge

Barcelona: Tourism And Daily Life As Independence Crisis DeepensZARA is coming to Denver! OMFG, I will be in so much trouble. If you know about ZARA, you will understand that statement. If not, Google it.

ZARA is a Spain-based retailer of affordable clothing. But I am talking gorgeous, well-made clothing. They have a number of designers on staff, so they can quickly turn out a big selection of off-the-rack styles. Their clothing is stylish, contemporary and most often unique. Don’t let the models fool you, anyone of any age can shop there. They have an online shopping site too. My recommendations: look for the embroidered and beaded jackets. People will think you are wearing Gucci. Ah, lovely.6895252505_2_1_1[1]

I could do my entire wardrobe in ZARA. Not only would that be pricey and impractical, but I wouldn’t do it. I have many non-ZARA items in my closet that I love and will cherish until they are threadbare. However, I feel it is healthy to, on occasion, rotate items out of your closet. Things that you don’t wear just take up space in your closet and prevent you from seeing the things you love. They create stuck, heavy energy that can drag upon you when you are choosing your outfit for the day.

Ever look in your closet and think you don’t have a thing to wear?

That’s stuck energy preventing you from moving forward. It’s time to clean that sh*t out and allow yourself to present the best you. You ought to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.

The first step is to clear out the old. I recommend reading Mari Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. It is a very inspiring and useful method to clear out clutter and organize what you keep. It is kindly and practical and based upon “keep what you love”. You do that by holding the item and asking yourself if you love it. If you haven’t read it and want to, go to the Resource page on this blog and click the link. It will take you to Amazon and in just a few days you can have it in your hot little hands. Then you can start to change your life. It seriously works. I Kondo’d everything before we moved into our new house. Then did it again and I routinely go through my clothes and my house. I feel lighter every time. Plus I have room to buy something new. I know that sounds self-defeating, but life moves on and things change. Nothing lives forever and neither does that monster shoulder pad blazer you have from 1985. Although I miss the 80s.

If you want to live your best life, be brave and Purge so you can Splurge.