Not For Sissies

Products I have used in the past
Products I have used in the past

The older I get, the less beautiful I feel.  Clearly I’m not dealing with this whole aging thing terribly well. And, the older I get, the more high maintenance my body becomes. I am not by nature inclined this way. The only promise I made to myself in my early years was to not use soap on my face. I’ve generally felt there’s always something way more interesting to do than slather on beauty products. This attitude made me kind of a slacker in my beauty “routine”.  That is, until lately.  My skin acquired more and more sensitivities through the years and it takes longer in the mornings to put myself together.  I have dermatitis / eczema on my hands and other body parts which results in my legs sometimes taking on a fish-scale like appearance.

I’ve got rosacea both on my face and eyelids (called ocular rosacea). This took my doctor well over a year to finally diagnose; apparently cheeks that are constantly red, a hallmark of the disease, is not rosacea, according to him. It wasn’t until the disease progressed to the appearance of plaques that he finally admitted it was rosacea.  More info on rosacea here:

Types of Rosacea - picture from
Types of Rosacea – picture from

To control the ichthyosis (the medical term for “fish scale disease”), this website recommends washing with a non-soap high fat content product, exfoliating and moisturizing every day (Every. Day. Are you kidding me?)

So recently I’ve amassed a collection of creams, lotions and potions. To which I receive no promotional fee from for mentioning them.

Rosacea products, both prescription and otherwise. Green-tinted moisturisers and primers help even out my skin tone, often resulting in a rather ghostly appearance. So, after I take the red out, I put the color back in with blush;  some days I ponder the irony of this.

Body wash, exfoliator, special hand creams, gel for the aches and pains. I need to use “free” laundry products or my skin reacts to either the dyes or perfumes.

A faithful flosser I’ve become, my dental hygienist is impressed.   After years of not flossing, an appointment showed something on examination that flossing would help.  She suggested I floss after every meal (!); I compromise by flossing daily.  Every other day there seems to be something in the news about a new study that shows that not flossing will either cause Alzheimer’s or kill you:

With the use of merchandise to take the red out, put the red back in, smooth and draw the eyebrows on, take the fish scales off, keep the irritation away, hide the gray, moisturize the body, color in the dark circles, disguise the effects having a chronic illness has and treat the aches and pains, I start to feel like my own science experiment.

Maxine understands.

hotflashes maybeolder

I’m 52 now and I better start to plan my bathroom renovation;  it’s going to need more storage. Extrapolation and indexing up means that, as the years go by, the products will only grow.

My Aunt Karmen was right:  getting old ain’t for sissies.  Or those with small bathrooms.

Note:  This post was originally written January 26, 2011,  and revised in 2014.

What I Wish I Knew (When I Graduated From High School)


I’ve accepted that gauntlet thrown down by our pastor to speak at our church’s graduation night this Friday, a night where we honor our high school grads. This year, there’s one high school grad. However, at my behest, we are also honoring our three class of 2014 university grads (of which I’m one).   The university grads have been asked to speak on “what I wish I knew when I graduated from high school”.

This is my speech:

Back when I graduated from high school…

  •  Dinosaurs roamed the earth
  • Apple was just a piece of fruit
  • An “I-Pad” was something you put on your eye if it hurt
  • Personal cassette tape players were all the rage
  • And a cell phone was what you used only if you were arrested!

Graduation from high school, for me, was a hard place to land. I was 17. My foster parents were moving to the US. I was not. Panicked, I married the guy I was dating. I was frightened of the future, and self-preservation kicked in; I needed someone to look after me. (Our marriage ended in divorce four years later). I only share this to provide a bit of context.

Five things I wish I’d known when I graduated from High School:

  • God is a god of grace, love and forgiveness – not just rules.
  • A high school diploma does not a great job make.
  • Career testing – at least the kind I had – is not terribly accurate or useful.
  • A teacher or guidance counsellor taking me under their wing and giving, well, guidance would have been extremely helpful.
  • Apple and Microsoft would achieve world domination. (Apple’s first stock offering was in Dec., 1980, just 1.5 years after I graduated. Microsoft’s followed in 1986.) Honey, we could have been rich!

[name of graduate], in the words of that learned scholar, Dr. Seuss:

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.

And, one final thought from Teddy Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

I think what Roosevelt’s saying with that quote [name of graduate], is simply: GO FOR IT. Whatever you choose to do, you’ve a soft place to land with your family always, in success and in failure. If I’d had a soft place to land when I graduated from high school, who knows what I might have accomplished?

How to Decorate a 50′ Tree With Christmas Lights

Guest post by my husband, Randy

  1. Bring a really big ladder.
  2. Take extension pole.
  3. Attach clothes hanger to extension pole (another use for duct tape)
  4. String lights through clothes hanger.
  5. Try and convince a really good friend to climb the ladder holding the extension pole.
  6. After friend gives you a dirty look, climb ladder yourself.
  7. Pray for safety.
  8. Place lights around branches and pray they (or you) don’t fall off.