Sunday, December 4

Opening My Big Mouth Again

I'm sure all the teens I know will kick me for this:

Texting--The High in "Hi"

Saturday, August 20

Relax in the Green

Many of us live very "indoor" lives and could use a little quiet time gazing at the "green" of the beautiful outdoors.  Here's a relaxing video highlighting the streams at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Look and listen for bugs, bird calls, waterfalls and the range of hues to be found in this lovely Richmond treasure.


Friday, July 8

Save Money--Repair and Maintain Those Garden Tools

Working in the flower gardens is much more enjoyable with sharp shovels and hoes.  I asked my sweetie to show me how to use the grinder to sharpen the blades and we made sparks fly!

Since I had some help in the shed, I found a hose clamp and my sweetie attached it to the split handle of my hoe.  Yes, I'm cheap and don't want to buy a new handle.  I think the clamped handle is going to work out much better than the twine-tied "fix" I recently did for my old shovel.
Gardening is going to go a lot faster now, since I won't have to duck when the blades fly off the handles and then shove them back on tight enough to keep working.  If I remember to wipe the dirt off the blades after I'm done then maybe they will stay in better shape.  Last year I combined rock dust with motor oil in a wide bucket and used it as a parking spot for the tools, metal side down in the bucket.  That kept the rust off well.

Sunday, February 6

Just a Little Color

A while back a friend and I went window shopping on Saturday morning, a real treat for her because she was out and about without her two little ones for a couple of hours. We walked around the big department store and I asked if she was interested in looking at anything in particular. Turns out she was gravitating toward the cosmetic section, so there we went.

She got a free skin care and make-up "consultation" and the result was beautiful. She was an uncut diamond prior to the session and looked shiny and polished afterward. Just the lipstick alone brightened up her skin and eyes. She felt a little unsettled but, as she passed mirrors throughout the store, was beginning to appreciate how a little bit of color on her face brought out her beauty.
I wondered if she would continue using make-up at home. After all, who would encourage her to make the extra effort in her busy day? Her husband loved her as she was, as did her little ones. The answer is--she will notice and she will feel better if she creates a routine of taking care of her skin and using a little make-up.
Hmph--she's naturally beautiful, why use "fake" beauty products? Well, because they help us pay attention to ourselves and feel prettier. Yes, we are pretty enough without "painting" ourselves. Sure, that's true. But let me explain it this way.
When you have a beautiful wooden table in your kitchen or dining room, one that has gorgeous wood grain patterns or even a burl wood and you just love it. You leave it uncovered, without a tablecloth, so you can enjoy it every time you walk past. You don't even polish it to enhance the shine, it's striking "as is."
Let's say you also love the vibrant color of flowers or cut branches of flowering shrubs in your garden. The color makes your day brighter as you look out the window. It catches your eye and lifts your spirits. You'd like to bring some of that color into your home so you can enjoy it while you perform your daily routines.
If you cut some pretty flowers, put them in a vase and set them on your table, is that taking away from the beauty of the table you love? Is it "fake" to add something to the beauty of the table? Should the table always remain in its usual state, without adornment or enhancements?
To me, using lipstick and mascara and other "colors" for our faces is just like adding flowers to a room or placing a lovely piece of art in our daily lives; these things brighten up our day and give us pleasure. Every time we see ourselves in the mirror we see a little extra color and that makes us feel sparkly. Maybe our loved ones feel a little bit of the same, even if they never say so.
We feel better about ourselves and, when this happens, we get a little boost of cheerfulness which helps us give more happiness to others.

Disclaimer:  My mom used skin care products every day that I remember (first Dorothy Gray, then deMarkoff, finally Lancome), and I watched her elaborate regimen of applying make-up prior to her leaving the house from my early years until just last year.  Also, I was on "Make-Up Crew" for my high school's drama club for several years.  Yes, I was a diehard thespian.

Saturday, January 29

Make Your Own Beauty

Well, there we were at Caffespresso on Gaskins, listening to the live piano music and waiting for my blueberry scone to be heated, and Amy is sitting there playing with the foam on her coffee.  Looking a little closer I see her creating this beautiful design with the cinnamon and frothed milk.  What an artistic morning!

Wednesday, January 19

Beauty all around

I've been taking work photos and coming home to scan photos from my parents' vacations in the 1960's and 70's.  Here's a shot from tonight, looking west over Powhatan from my back stoop.  Ain't it purdy?