Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: beauty

I haven’t been around much. I promised myself I wouldn’t post just for the sake of posting. I want to get away from posting just crap. Hopefully, this won’t be that.

I am 33 days free of processed sugar. WOOT! For the most part, it has seemed pretty easy to do. There are days, like today, where it seems I would kick a small child for a donut. But, even with that, I know I wouldn’t like it. And won’t get one.

I feel I have to add the “processed” adjective because there are some negative people around who insist that “there’s sugar in everything.”  Or “There is sugar in fruit.”  Yes, but the sugar in fruit is not processed to within an inch of its life, is it? And last I checked fruit is good for you. Or at least better for you than a donut.

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Speaking of those people… I am going to really try to eliminate such negativity from my life. If you feel the need to be negative and not support me, I feel the need to not associate with you. You are welcome to your opinions; encouraged to have them, in fact. I just choose to not be around you. It all falls in line with my word of the year: KINDness. I am trying to be KINDer to myself and others. And you don’t meet that requirement. I will remain cordial to you, but you no longer warrant further interaction.

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Speaking of KIND….This has been working out very well for me this year. One month in, and I am still going strong. My attitude is better, my eating habits are better, my interactions with others are (mostly) better. I feel lighter, and I am noticing that I am looking brighter. My eyes are not as dull. I like this. It’s fun to be KIND and friendly to others.  I did miss an opportunity to be KIND the other day at Starbucks, but I’ll not miss it the next time.

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REALLY random question of the day: I was watching the Closer the other night (I love that show!), and this question occurred to me. The main character is a wine drinker, and her husband is a recovering alcoholic.  Yes, I know they are just playing roles, but it made me wonder about this in a real life situation. If a person takes a drink, and then kisses an alcoholic, does it trigger something in them? Or is it not the same thing? I really don’t know. Perhaps this is a silly question, but I think about these things.

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What else?

Oh, I have been doing my Morning Pages for about a month now. These are my 2 pages of journaling in the mornings. It’s really been good. Honestly, I have fallen down on it of late, but I’m getting back to it. It really helps me get a focus for the day and to replenish my soul. Sometimes I feel really depleted after it seems like I have been giving to everyone else. My Morning Pages help me take care of myself so that I can take care of others.

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Lately, I have been attending a lot of my nephew’s basketball games. He’s a junior in HS, and is a starter. He has gotten so much better and had turned out to be such a nice kid. He’s respectful of his grandmother, which I love. And he has the most adorable girlfriend! And she’s respectful too. It’s delightful to see that in 16-17 year olds! It restores my faith in youth.

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I think that’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to. Perhaps I’ll have a “real” post here again soon. Until then, hugs all around!


So….

The focus of my year, as I’ve mentioned, is kindness. To be kinder to myself and others.

One of the ways I have been kinder to myself is to eat better. I realized the other day, that quite without trying, I had not eaten anything processed or pre-packaged since the beginning of the new year. I knew I wanted to eat better things, and evidently that, coupled with my intent to eliminate processed sugar, led me to eat only things that are “real”. Go me!

As an aside, after that realization, I ate pizza before a hockey game. Dear goat. It was SO good, but SO filling. I had 2 1/2 slices (cut a 3rd in half) at around 5:30 and was full until morning. Who knew?

But I had another realization last night, when I was hit with a wave of loneliness so big that I thought I was being suffocated. Unless I wanted to get out of bed and saute up some Brussel sprouts or asparagus, I was going to have to actually “feel” this feeling and see where it took me. You see, previously, I would have gotten myself a snack of ice cream or chips or something else, and numbed my mind so that the feeling of loneliness would be crushed back down and I could go on as usual.

Not having the snack to anesthetize myself forced me to ride the wave. I cried. I hugged Maggie and Seamus. I journaled. I was able to get the feeling out. To go through it and experience it. At the time, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all. I REALLY wanted a snack. But since I hadn’t bought any, I couldn’t. Once the wave subsided, and I was able to gain a little distance, I knew that this is a good thing.

Actually feeling your feelings. Whoda thunk that such a simple concept would be so profound? I didn’t. For more years that I care to admit, I have eaten my feelings. I don’t want to do that anymore. I won’t do that anymore. (Because, really. You can’t mask feelings with vegetables, let’s be honest. ) So, my pledge for 2011: feel whatever comes up. Look at it. Examine it. Then put it down and let it go. I know it won’t be easy. I know I will stumble and reach for that… um… popcorn, I guess. But, with my sincere apologies to REO Speedwagon, it’s time for me to fly, and I can’t do that with all this baggage.

Wish me luck. This is gonna be good. I can tell.


Dear Designers:

I am a woman of substance. I am a woman of size. I am not a size 2. I don’t look like Taylor Swift or Angelina Jolie or even Jennifer Hudson (now). I have curves – boobs, booty, tum. All of it. And do you know what? I look good.

I have very good taste. I am stylish. I like nice clothes. I like to dress nicely.

Yesterday, I told the world about an event in which I took part. I wanted to look nice for that event. I thought a new dress would be appropriate. So off I went to the local mall – a place I loathe, by the way – to find a dress. How hard can this be, I thought?

I will not be mentioning store names directly. Why? Because stores stock what you, the designers, makes. I. Blame. You.

The first store I went to had a limited selection of clothes for women of substance. Mostly, there were sweatshirt-type clothes. Really?  Fat women only deserve sweats? Don’t even get me started.

Store number 2 had a huge selection of dresses. There must have been 25 racks of dresses. 24 of these racks had sizes no bigger than a 10. The last rack? So called “Plus” sizes, but all were very “blingy” and appropriate for, say, the mother of a bride at a mafia wedding. Um. No.

Store number 3 had one rack, and 2 wall displays of dresses. They were all 100% polyester and would have been appropriate for, say, a church outing at the retirement home.

Really, designers? Are all fat women old? Are we all lazy? And dumpy? And slovenly? Should we all be looking at Wilson Tent and Awning for our clothes? Should we hide the fact that we are beautiful and sexy and fun and confident? Why can’t we wear the same clothes as the “Misses” sizes, but just in our sizes? (I might have included Juniors sizes there, but that is a whole other post.)

I know I am not the first person to complain about this. I know that this post will never be seen by anyone in the fashion industry. And while I accept that, it makes me sad. You are missing out on a whole demographic. A wonderful demographic that has money to spend. A lot of money. A demographic that will represent you well and make you proud.

I hate the word “fat”. I hate that “Plus” is a term used to describe full-figured women. I hate that we are looked on as lesser individuals. I hate that we are labelled. I hate than anyone is labelled.

We are not lesser. We are not inferior. We deserve so much more. You are missing out on so much.

I hope some day you will learn that. I hope one day, we will get the respect we deserve.

Regards,

Mag And Moo.

 


Have you ever gone to see a Notary Public? You know, when you need your signature verified – you might need a notarized copy of something? I’m a Notary. It’s not hard to become one. And normally I don’t even consider it to be a big deal. Until…

Monday last, after my latest trip to Canadia, I was back in the office, thinking about how much I wished I was somewhere, anywhere, else. Then the local Director of Foreign Affairs asked if he could talk to me in the conference room. My first thought? “Oh, goat. Now what??”

The DFA never, NEVER, talks about his personal life at work. Ever. So we sit down and he says, “You may know that I got divorced 5 years ago.” No, how would I know. YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT YOURSELF. He went on: “I have been with my girlfriend for about a year and a half and we are getting married.” Me: Okay. Congratulations? Him: “You are a Notary, right?” Me: OMG! Can I marry you?? Him: “That’s what I was hoping you would do. It will be a very small ceremony. It will be at ___ hotel, then we’ll have champagne. No one here knows.”

Side note: only 3 states allow their Notaries to perform marriage ceremonies. I happen to live in one of them.

What happened next? In true MagandMoo fashion, I proceeded to freak out. Why? Because this is a HUGE event in someone’s life and what if I screw up? I knew that this was in no way about me. At all. But I kept thinking that if I didn’t do a good job, the focus would then shift to me and take it from the bride. I didn’t want that. It was their day. I was just given the honor of being a part of it.

I found some non-religious based vows online and made a few tweaks to them. Then I printed them out so that I could practice on the cats. (They were so no interested.)

So, yesterday, I went to ___ hotel at the appropriate time. I was the first one there – which was fine, because I totally thought I would be late. The DFA and his friends showed up and proceeded to give everyone a glass of cognac. At 10am. Sure. Why not.

Everyone milled around a bit for about 30 minutes. Then we hear the elevator ding, and the bride was there. We got into position and the bride came in – so lovely, so young, so giggly – in a beautiful dress, elbow length gloves, hair all pretty.

After I read the first part of what I had down-loaded, I looked at the groom – normally very serious and business-like at work. He had tears in his eyes. It was so sweet. So touching. And I knew I had found the right things to say.

We did the intentions portion. Then the exchange of rings. The groom started cheering. I had to stop him to get to the part of “You may kiss your bride”. She kept giggling.

The whole ceremony took about 15 minutes. It was his 2nd wedding, but her first. She looked so happy. Even the DFA looked happier than I have ever seen him. There were lots and lots of photos – I believe I was fortunate to avoid most – if not all – of the lenses. I was hugged and thanked and told it was an honor that I had done this thing for them. But to me? *I* was the one honored to have been part of it. No one else from the Gas ‘n Sip was there. And I can’t tell anyone! It’s not my story to tell.

When I got my Notary license, I always thought it would be fun to marry people. But then when the time came? I really *got* what a big deal this was. I was able to make this young bride’s dream come true. I changed the lives of these 2 people. Forever.

I don’t know if this union will last – I hope it does. They are certainly adorable together. But I do know that I will forever thank them for granting me the honor of being a part of their day in such a personal way.

So what did you do this weekend?

 


Oh hello! Yes, I’m here again so soon. The tea is fresh. Help yourself.

If you’ve spent any time here at all, you know that I am ridiculously hard on myself. My self-esteem hovers near non-existent. And generally speaking, I am lazy. I have posted before that I need to make a change and I get lonely, and blah blah blah… until even *I* am sick of myself.

Well, I also spend a lot of time trolling around on other people blogs and clicking links to things they like. By doing that, somehow, I had come across this. Over the summer, I even signed up for the 40-day cleanse. But, continuing a familiar pattern, I didn’t follow through because I wasn’t held accountable by anyone. (Not even myself.) And I hadn’t told anyone that I was doing it.  Part of this website talks about the Inner Mean Girl Reform School. It’s a 10-week program to help you stop being so hard on yourself, enjoy your life, and to feel successful. BRILLIANT!!

Yeah, except, again, continuing a familiar pattern, I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT. GAH!!

And then.

I have a birth mark on my forehead that is usually not visible. It used to be when I was little, but very rarely now. It’s in the shape of an angel. When I was little, I thought it was to remind me that I have a guardian angel protecting me. But as the mark faded, I forgot about it. And I forgot about my angel. On Sunday, as I was getting ready for my weekly visit to my parents, she was back. My angel was back. She is still faint, but I could see her again. I wondered if she was back for a reason, but then set that aside and went on with my day.

I found out on Monday why my angel appeared again. She was reminding me that I do, in fact, have angels working for me.

How do I know this?

Monday evening, while sprawled on the sofa watching (very likely) another NCIS* repeat, I got a Tweet from an angel. She wanted to know if I would attend the Inner Mean Girl Reform School with her, as her guest. It would be her gift to me. (I would tell you who it is, but I’m not sure she wants that, so I will keep my angel’s real name a secret. Henceforth, she will be referred to as Angel.)

I immediately burst into tears. And almost fell off the couch. Here was this woman, whom I have never met IRL, offering to in essence GIVE ME MONEY TO CHANGE MY LIFE. What? Really?

WHO DOES THAT???

Angels do.

Angel and I have “known” each other only for about a year. We Tweet frequently. We have spoken on the phone occasionally. We have read each other’s blogs often. I wouldn’t say we know each other well, but evidently, Angel saw something in me that told her I am worth her time and money.

I. Was. Floored.

No one has ever done something like this for me before. And as anyone who knows me knows, I don’t typically accept things like this. From anyone. Sure. Buy me a coffee or a lunch once in a while, (and I will reciprocate), but this? Normally, it makes me uncomfortable.

This was different. I didn’t get that feeling of “Oh she just feels sorry for me” or whatever. I just knew that she sincerely wanted to give me this gift, that it made her happy to do so. And it felt right.  I know that if I were a better money manager, this is something *I* would offer to do for someone, but I didn’t know I was worth it. (And someday? I will do this for someone. Pay it forward. It’s the right thing to do.)

So I said yes. And cried some more. (It’s what I do. Apparently.)

So, starting tonight, and for the next 10 weeks, I will be back in school. Reform school. What am I hoping to get out of it? I hope to be able to tell my Inner Mean Girl to STFU (nicely of course… *batting eyelashes innocently*). I want to stop hearing all the negative things that go on in my head. I want to find the motivation to get off of the couch and walk. I want to replace all the negative cuck (It’s a word. Shut up.) with positive stuff. And remind myself that I am worth it.

Part of this process is to solicit support from people. So, instead of hiding on my sofa, in front of the computer, here I am. Putting it out there. I am going to Reform School and will be making positive changes in my life. I am going to need your support. (Yes. I’m looking at you… and you.) I will slip up and I need you to call me out. (But kindly, please.) And I would like to share with you what I’m going through. I hope you will help me and accept me and support me. (And if you can, join me! Sign up, too!) (No, I didn’t get paid to say that…. le sigh.)

Anyway. That’s what is going on here. And in about a week, I get to meet Angel, in person, for the first time. She is coming to visit me! And I’m sure I’ll cry again.

Thank you, Angel, from the bottom of my heart. You have given me a gift that I can never repay. I hope I am worth it. And I hope I deserve it. And I look forward to going to Reform School with you.

*One of Tony’s lines has stuck with me. And I think it’s kind of appropriate here: If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. If you want something different, you need to do different.

Who knew Tony DiNozzo could be so profound?


Oh, hello! Grab a yogurt. We’re going to watch the Burn Notice I have on DVR.

I need an opinion, please. Because I’ve been trying something new, and I get strange reactions and I don’t know if I should continue.

We all like to think we are fabulous, right? Usually, we take time in the morning to make sure our hair/face/clothes look nice/clean/put together. Maybe not on weekends, but generally speaking, when we present ourselves to the world, we do it with our best face forward.

Amirite?

So, in the interest of spreading happy in my immediate world, I have started telling people that they look nice or whatever. I mean, I don’t chase some stranger down in the aisle at the grocery store. Because, well, that would probably get me arrested. But if I have an interaction with someone, I’ll point out that I like their outfit or whatever.

The reactions I have been getting, though, have shocked me. I would say that a majority of people look at me as if I am crazy. Or that I’m mocking them. Or just generally have a negative reaction. I don’t get that. If someone came to me and said “You are fabulous!” I would probably blush, giggle, say thank you, and want to hug them.

So, their reactions are very confusing to me. And this is where I need an opinion. Should I just think that they are fabulous, but keep my mouth shut? Should I just be swept along with the current of “there is so much negativity in the world, just go with it” mentality? That makes me sad.

Someone told me last week that she thinks I always dress so nicely. That comment stayed with me all day. It made me smile. Why don’t more people want that feeling?

What would you do?


Oh, hello. Come in and have a cookie.

Floating on the lake

day 5 of kayaking

listening to nothing

but the sound of sun shining.

The wind picked up

and I heard the sound

of the birch leaves

applauding my efforts.