Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Tag Archives: beauty

Oh, hello!  I made sandwiches. Help yourself.

Last night was the first “class” of Reform School. It was exciting and fun and scary.

We learned more about inner mean girls and the sort of categories into which they fit. Turns out, I have no less than 7 mean girls with me. All the time.

This week’s assignment is to get to know our mean girls.  You might think you know her (them), but do you? Really?

So far I have met one. She is the leader. She bosses me and all the other mean girls around. Her name is Mean Marcy.

She keeps me from EVERYTHING. Why walk when I won’t lose the weight anyway. Why try new things when being afraid is what I know now. Marcy has been very busy.

I need Marcy to go on vacation. A long one. And she needs to take her friends with her. I’m exhausted from listening to her and all her lies.

I’m realizing that this post won’t make sense to many of you. (You know, because there *are* so many of you. *heh*) (Thank you for stopping by, BTW.) So I’ll keep it short. Marcy has some explaining to do. And the others need to introduce themselves to me.

Maybe then I will get to put some of those lies to rest. And I can show the world my fabulousness.


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.


Oh, hello! Come in, have some coffee. The muffins are almost done.

Before I start, I would like to welcome 2 new readers: Hawk Eye and Foible Gal. I know they are new, because they commented. There may have been others, but without comments, I would have no idea. Foible Gal also has a blog that you can find here. So, a big Mag and Moo welcome to you both.

Now. On with the whining:

I found out that someone here at the Gas ‘n Sip got engaged over the weekend. He and I work in the same area, and Soon-to-be Mrs also works here, but in a different area. They’ve had some ups and downs in the relationship recently, but it seems that has all been worked out and now… onward to wedded bliss. (And yes, he went to Jared. *heh*) I wish the absolute best to both of them. They deserve every happiness.

A day later, I also found out that another friend of mine is now in a serious relationship with “an incredible guy”. She has also been through some ups and downs with previous relationships and has been treated very badly in some of them. She also recently lost a loved one, so it’s time she got some good ju-ju going in her life. Turns out, Mr. Incredible Guy helped her through her recent loss, and they talk all the time, despite not living especially close to each other. She sounds so happy! I don’t know him very well, but if he really treats her the way she describes? Then I am thrilled for them too. I like to see happy couples.

Things like this is why Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. (That’s a whole other post…)

So, what am I whining about this time?? Good things are happening, and yet I whine. (It’s a gift. Seriously.)

I posed a question to my friend Debra the other day: Is it possible to truly be happy for other peoples’ joy while being a little bit jealous? Can a person hold 2 opposing thoughts in their brain and have them both be true? Or am I just incredibly self-absorbed and need to make it all about me again?

I Googled that question (the 2 opposing thoughts one, not the “Am I self-absorbed” one) and found: intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” by Fitzgerald, along with almost 7 million other options for answers. 

I would like to believe that while, yes, I possess a certain level of self-absorption, I am not SO far gone that I need to make it all about me. I know that, yes, I really am happy for both of these couples and I really do want them to succeed in remaining as happy as they are right now. But also, yes, I am a little jealous and would like to feel some of that new love giddiness and long-term commitment security in my own life.

So, what do you think? Tell me if you have ever thought 2 things that were opposing, at the same time. What were they? Did you question your sanity? (That probably just happens to me… never mind.) I’m curious how others handle this phenomenon.


Oh, hello! Come on in! We’re having mini crustless Quiche this morning.

So, it seems that some of the biggest “news” these days is about this “celebrity” Heidi who had plastic surgery. 

To back up for a second, I recently discovered I have reached the point in my life where I have no idea who most of the people claiming to be famous are. I don’t watch their shows, see their movies, listen to their music, or whatever it is they do. This Heidi is in that group for me. I have no idea why she’s famous, but evidently she is and was showing off her new bewbs on the cover of People magazine.

Back to my point. It’s been widely talked about that she had all these surgeries. She’s been interviewed and said she feels good about it and is very happy about it. Her husband is supportive of her decision. In my opinion, the story should end there. And yet….

And yet, from reading the news online, I have seen a new story, seemingly everyday, where other celebrities (who evidently have some sort of expertise) are opining on Heidi’s choices and condemning her for them.

Who do these people think they are? If this woman is happy with her choice, then the discussion ends there. Personally, I wouldn’t want beach balls for bewbs, but what? Oh, that’s right! I DON’T HAVE TO GET THEM. If it’s right for her, it’s right.

I suppose the argument could be made that she made this a topic of discussion by appearing in People in a bikini. But she’s a celebrity, and that’s what they do. They create photo-ops to stay on the radar. That’s her job. (I’m guessing.)  It could also be argued that she did all this to combat some level of insecurity. So, ripping her apart for it is helping her how? If she was insecure about how she looked before, what must she be thinking now?

I get it that if we aren’t talking about a celebrity, they get concerned. I also get it that what they do/say/wear has absolutely no bearing on my life. And finally, I get it that there is a whole industry built on reporting what celebrities are doing. But how about we focus on what they are doing to better the world and not what “we” think they should be doing. Talk about/Promote the new movies/books/shows/music.

But let’s get away from the constant mental flogging about looks. Use what Heidi did as a spring-board to have a discussion with your kids (if you have them, that is. My cats? Not interested.) about body image. Again, it may not be right FOR YOU, but it was for her. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to agree.

But, step off, Judgey McJudgerson. Or at least remember your feeling of superiority the next time someone judges you.


Oh, hello! Help yourself to some hot wings and fries. Good stuff.

I had to force myself to not do the ugly cry tonight.

Almost three years ago, Madam X started to not feel well. We didn’t know what was going on, but she kept getting worse. She was tired all the time, her spleen was enlarged, her mental faculties were diminishing. She was gray. There’s no other way to accurately describe how she looked.

After six months or so of living like this and slowly deteriorating, Madam X was taken into the hospital emergency room. Her spleen was of a size that warranted immediate surgery. Since so much blood had been diverted to her spleen, she wasn’t able to think clearly. That explained her inability to think clearly and remember things and walk more than a block without needing to sit down. While they were in there, digging around, they found out that Madam X has cancer. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

During that time, Madam X and Mister Y were in the process of selling the house in which they had lived for more than 40 years. They were moving into a smaller house that was newer and more manageable. There was a lot going on. Madam X was going through chemo, moving,. Everyone was completely stressed. Luckily, the cancer was caught early enough that radiation wasn’t needed in addition to the chemo. We were all really hopeful.

After the chemo, Madam X went into remission. She recovered slowly, but we were convinced that it was a blip on the radar. Every checkup seemed to be a reaffirmation of this, as the blood tests showed that all counts were good and this vile disease was being defeated.

This past summer, Madam X started to not feel good again. She was tired all the time. She didn’t want to go to the doctor until her regularly scheduled checkup, despite me begging her to do so. I think she knew, better than anyone, what the results were going to be. I should have known. So, in September, when she should have found out that, yet again, she was clear, she instead found out that the cancer is back.

Her doctor seemed to be optimistic and encouraging. Chemo was scheduled for every three weeks for 6 courses. The doctor said this was going to take care of it. I’ve been watching Madam X during all of this and I see that she’s not recovering as well this time. She remains tired all the time. She is certainly not bouncing back as quickly. I can feel my heart breaking.

Thanksgiving is coming up. Madam X does not want to, or can’t, do such an event. Her daughter suggested that we all go out for dinner instead. But even that seems like too much for Madam X. The last time I spoke with her daughter, she callously shot off a “She probably won’t be alive for it next year, so we should do something.”

(Pausing for the ugly cry now…. brb…)

I’m back.

So ever since, that statement has been on my mind. I asked Madam X’s son if he thought that statement was accurate too. He said that he didn’t think it would be that soon, but that it was coming. Hence, the ugly cry.

I love Madam X more than anyone else on the planet. She has been there for me through everything – good, bad, or indifferent. She has been an inspiration. She has been my cheerleader, my leveler, my hero, and my friend.

I know that, at 42, I am of an age where people in my life will be getting sick and/or dying. But in this situation, I feel like I am 12. I should be mature enough to handle this. Of course I will be sad. Of course it will hurt. But do I need to have a complete meltdown at just the THOUGHT of this person not being in my life? People die all the time, and their loved ones go on. They go on with life, with love, with living. They don’t lose their sh*t.

I don’t want to hurry this process along, but how am I going to deal with this brilliant, lovely, loving woman not being in my life? I need to find a way to hold it together the next time I see her, the next time we get together for breakfast. I mean, if I am this much of a mess as a result of some off-hand, snotty remark by Madam X’s daughter, what will I do when the real thing happens?

I am angry and sad and I know that it is completely unfair that this woman is sick. She has worked hard her entire life. She has given everything to her family and her children. She never asks for anything in return. She is kind, and loving, and sweet, and (normally) full of life.

Tonight, this is my struggle. This is my challenge. This is my reason for sobbing.

Madam X deserves better. She deserves to reach the end of her life surrounded by joy and beauty and love. She doesn’t deserve to have this horrible disease get the best of her.

Madam X, I love you and I want you to get better. And if fate is cruel and doesn’t allow that to happen, I want you to know that you will be with me forever – as a constant reminder of how to live, as a good and true person. I can only hope to, one day, be a fraction of the woman you are.