Time To Get Down And Dirty

Hi to all my Gal Pals,

In one of the women’s magazines I read there is a small section where a woman shares an embarrassing moment. Well, I am going to share with all of you my most recent embarrassing moment (heaven knows there have been many!). I had a small get-together for my sister’s birthday and all went well until I put the candles on the cup cakes. After my sister made a wish and blew out the flames she asked me what “number” candles did I put on her cupcakes. I said “69” at which point she said she was only 68. I said that can’t be because we are three years apart and I was going to be 72. Well, I was quickly reminded that I was going to be 71 not 72. Now, there are both positive and negatives to this situation. On the positive side I am younger than I thought (yeah!) but on the negative side, other than being embarrassed, I am wondering if this is a sign of dementia. So, when I saw this as a foreboding of things to come I started researching to find out if this is truly a potential problem. Have I gotten to the point that Aunty Acid describes as having a true memory issue? She says and I quote “Sure it is OK to talk to yourself. It is even OK to answer yourself. But when you start asking yourself to repeat what you just said, you might have a problem”. All is good! I haven’t reached that stage of memory loss.

I am happy to report that forgetting one’s age as we get older has nothing to do with deterioration of our faculties. As children we look forward to our birthdays because it means celebration and presents. In our teens we look forward to the age when we can get our driver’s license and in our early twenties we look forward to the age when we can drink alcohol. In middle age we look forward to the age when we can retire. In all these situations our birthdays are important points in our lifelines. However, after retirement our birthdays seem less important. Birthdays are just reminders that we are getting older so they seem less exciting and more exhausting. I hate to make this macabre statement but as we get older death becomes more imminent. As your age gets bigger, the number of years you have left gets smaller. So, in summary, the upside is that I don’t have to worry about dementia yet but on the downside, well, do I really have to explain? We really don’t know what is in store for us in the future. It is like Aunty Acid says, “I hate when someone asks me where I see myself in five years from now when I don’t even remember where the hell I was 2 days ago!”. So true!

Well, spring has sprung! It is time to get rid of the drab and focus on beautiful colors. We are so over having cabin fever and are looking forward to being outdoors. Some of you are planning your summer gardens and visiting new places. Others just want to sit on their decks with a drink in hand and watch the world go by. I am looking forward to breaking out the spring and summer clothes. I hear that magenta is the color for spring but for me I love a burst of colors. I don’t see anyone telling Mother Nature “Sorry, you can only put out magenta flowers this year”. Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or the use of colors to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colorology. Colorology is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment. For example, red is used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation while blue is believed to soothe illness and treat pain. I guess different strokes for different folks. Let’s all of us be our most colorful selves this season and be happy doing so!

Of course spring makes me think of flowers and I am already getting my containers ready for planting, especially those spring flowers like bulbs and pansies. I have shared with you many of my favorite containers of flowers so I thought I would share with you my recipe for my potting soil and why I do what I do. Below is a picture of all my ingredients.

As I get older I need to make sure my containers are light weight so I can move them easily. I typically use a plastic or resin container because they are so light weight. I like Ace potting soil because it has the consistency of top soil but if I would fill a container with it I would not be able to lift it. So I fill the bottom of the container with good old styrofoam packing peanuts that I get from the UPS store because the roots of my annual plants don’t need a whole container full of potting soil. Before I put in my potting soil I put light weight landscape fabric over the peanuts and up the walls of the container which keeps the potting soil and plant roots from mixing in with the peanuts. I tend to buy 4 inch pots of flowers so I make sure that I leave 7 inches from the fabric to the top of the container (2 inches below the 4 inch potted plant and 1 inch at the top for watering). I carefully put the potting soil over the landscape fabric so I don’t pull down the fabric along the sides of the container. The reason I make my own blend is because I want to make sure my add-ins are evenly distributed. First I mix in a little bit of perlite for better drainage then I add in the water storing crystals, both are mixed in evenly throughout the potting soil. I do not put the water storing crystals in my spring containers because I do not want my bulbs and fleshy roots to rot out in the cool, wet spring weather. I do not use them in my summer containers when planting tuberous begonias because I need the potting soil to dry out between waterings otherwise the tuberous roots will rot out. The last part of the recipe is to evenly work the Osmocote into the top 2 inches of the potting soil. I do not buy a ready made blend because I am never sure of an even mix of add-ins. At the end of the year you can throw away the annuals, pull out the landscape fabric with the remaining dirt and you can keep the packing peanuts for next year.

OK, let’s leave winter and move into spring and summer outfits.

You know how much I love ponchos. They hide all sin! If you have been watching Chico’s flash sales you probably will recognize this top that I got for less than $50. I consider it an early birthday present to myself. The colors that are swirling through this fabric remind me of moving water. I paired it with these wide leg pants (made of polyester, rayon and spandex) that literally flow like water when I walk. This “flowing” water theme is carried through to my accessories as seen below.

Let me tell you my crazy thought process when picking out jewelry for this outfit. This necklace reminds me of a water lotus plant and the turquoise parts of the earrings are like little water falls. The rest of the jewelry was chosen simply based on colors in the poncho.

This kimono was also an early birthday present I bought for myself and was also less than $50 from Chico’s flash sale. There is nothing that yells “spring” like flowers do. Because this is a fairly long kimono, I am wearing a mid-thigh length white top underneath. The leggings are navy blue as are the pumps. It is a very slimming look.

The long chain necklace is made of round navy blue beads and I paired it with a floating black bead necklace. The flower earrings are also navy blue with a rhinestone center and edging. The yellow watch and the white bracelet pull out the colors of the flowers. I wear the yellow and blue star rings on my pinky fingers.

I bought this topper at VonMaur for less than $25 a few years back. I love the combination of black and white checks with red flowers. Anything that hides my belly is worth the money! I have paired it with a white sheath top and semi-wide leg, light weight, black pair of pants. I typically choose shoes that match my pants but the red shoes look so good with this outfit.

I am very particular when choosing red accessories. There are so many different shades of red so I try to be consistent with the same shade of red in my accessories. The red in the topper and the jewelry is an orange red. The necklace was made by a woman in a third world country so of course I had to buy it to help support her. My earrings are hard to see but they are decorated with little red cardinals. My watch face and rings reflect the square shape of the checks in the topper.

I am now going to sound off about this whole “losing weight” situation. Isn’t there some unwritten promise that we will “feel” so much better if we lose a few pounds? Well, after losing 24 pounds since starting this blog I am still waiting for that promise to kick in. The only thing I feel is FRUSTRATION. We live in a world of celebrations, bakeries and food commercials which I am faced with constantly. My liver doctor said I need to lose another 10 pounds and I am only allowed a sugar dessert once a week. FRUSTRATION! Even after losing 24 pounds I am still in the same “overweight” category on the BMI chart. FRUSTRATION! I don’t find it any easier to get out of my little Honda Civic, my legs still feel very tired after my daily 2 mile walks and I don’t feel any more energetic. FRUSTRATION! I am told that losing weight is healthier for my innards but because I can’t see that benefit I do not find it highly motivating. The only upside is that I can justify buying more clothes that fit me (as if I need any more clothes!). My family and dog love me no matter what my weight is and I really don’tcare about the dating scene. If losing weight makes you feel better, how come I was happier being heavy? Maybe I should just follow Aunty Acids advice, “People don’t want to hear about your diet. So shut up, eat your salad and be sad.” UGH!

So until next month remember God loves you and so do I.

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