Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Tag Archives: fabulous

I have arthritis in my neck and spine. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that.

Part of what my physical therapist recommended was a smaller purse. One that wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on my shoulder, or cause me to walk with one shoulder higher than the other trying to keep it on my shoulder.

*blink blink*

I’m sorry. What?

I love nothing more than a big bag. Huge. I love knowing that I can carry anything I need and it’s always handy. How do I go from that to something smaller? How can I carry a book with me always??

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I decided to go see what else I could find.

Le sigh.

In the meantime, I was using one of those big clutch/wallet things. I didn’t love it, but stopping the pain became more important.

I was shopping in January in my neighboring tax-free state (and of course I kept records of anything I bought, for IRS purposes….). I went into this little boutique that had shiny things in the window. I am a kitten around shiny things.

In this shop, I found the most exquisite little vintage clutch. It was black, and satin, and boxy, and sparkly. I carried it around with me while I looked. I opened it and petted it a little. (Don’t judge!)

But, in the end, the exquisite little clutch went back onto the display. I could not (and believe me, I tried) justify spending $217 on a little clutch. Even a tax-free one.

So I went to Etsy.com. There must be something yummy there, right?

My first stop was at ME2Designs.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ME2Designs?ref=seller_info
Pretty, right?

It’s gold, missing some beads, heavy and allegedly from 1950’s Japan. I just know that I feel very girly with it.

 
Then I went to PoppyPunch, and I found this:

 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppyPunch?ref=seller_info
It’s even prettier in person!

This shop is in Thailand. They packaged everything beautifully, shipped it right away, and even with a delay in customs, I got it quickly. There were a bunch of others I wanted to get, but I’m trying to not be greedy.

 
And the best part? Both of these together cost me less than $40. Win!
 
So, there you have my latest addiction. Cute clutch purses that allow me to carry next to nothing, but also don’t aggravate my spine.
 
(There are a few more, but they aren’t as fun.)
 
No, I didn’t get paid or asked to post this or link to the shops. I liked both of these sellers a great deal and wanted to share them with you. That’s all.

177 days.

That’s how long I have until my life is formally changed forever.

Over-dramatic? Maybe.

But if you know me at all, you know that I tend to freak at new things.

Last year, in the midst of posting all the drivel just to say I posted something, I alluded to the idea that I wanted to sign up for a mini-triathlon in this area. I said that, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Pfft. AS IF that will happen.”

The mini-triathlon is called Tri-For-A-Cure and it’s an all women’s triathlon with all the money going to help breast cancer research. The events themselves are a 1/3 mile ocean swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run.

Back at the time I said it, research told me that the event is REALLY popular and registration fills up almost immediately. YES! I had an out, if I needed it. “Gee, I *tried* to register, but it was full. I couldn’t.” Followed by much relief and batting of eyelashes.

However.

The Universe called my bluff. Registration opened last night at 6:30. I was at my niece’s swim meet, sweating my butt off in a humid pool area, and thought, “Okay. You have to at LEAST make the attempt in order to say you couldn’t register. You don’t have a computer, but you have your phone.”

So there I am, trying to watch my niece, watching the clock, trying to register on my phone.

I hit send, thinking, “Be full. Be full. Be full.”

“You have new email.”

“Congratulations! You have successfully regis….”

CRAP!

I swear I heard the Universe chuckling. It is getting the last laugh. I have the confirmation and I am officially committed to doing this thing. I have spent the last 12 hours alternately excited, freaked, scared, hyperventilating, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

One of my favorite things is the Notes from the Universe that I get sent to me via email every morning. The motto is “thoughts become things”. Well, I just received confirmation that THAT is true!

NEVER EVER challenge the Universe. It will push you into new and exciting things.

So, now, I need to ask for your support and encouragement. If you would like to contribute financially to breast cancer research, you can pledge at: http://tfac2011.kintera.org/mhemphill

This pledge *might* be able to be applied as a charitable contribution on this years taxes. I’m not an accountant though, so don’t hold me to that.
If you can’t contribute financially, just your love and encouragement will be more than enough. Truly.

I’ll be posting updates here on how my training is going. I have 177 days until the event. (Yes, I counted.)

So, I guess the only thing left to say is…. where do I get a wetsuit?


Oh, hello!! I’m just making coffee. Want some?

So, it seems that there is good news just popping up all over the place today! Not for me, yet, but as much as I hate to admit it, it’s not *always* about me. Apparently.

Tall dude at work got a new chair. Which may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.

Mr. Russia sold an old iPhone for almost $200 – 1st generation. 4 years old. Holy cr@p!

Greg’s fiance got her new ring – the old one had much wrong with it (Thanks, Jared) so they had to get her a new one.

It’s possible that someone will be tendering his resignation here, in order to pursue what sounds like a very exciting new opportunity.

And one of my besties has a new gig that I can’t talk about, but it’s VERY exciting!!

And through it all, I’m celebrating with them. The best part for me – because I’ll make it about me if it kills me – is that where I normally would have a pang of jealousy and would think “When will it be *my* turn??”… That didn’t happen. I’m truly thrilled for each of these people and the wonderful events in their lives.

It’s so nice to hear the good stuff. There’s too much focus on the bad stuff in this world. So, today, I’m asking you to celebrate the good stuff – even the small things like a new chair. Let’s make the small wins more important for a while.

YAY for everyone!!!


Oh, hello! We’re having tea and bagels this morning. Help yourself.

I do love me some makeover shows. I loved What Not To Wear (WNTW) on the BBC. Trinny and Susannah picked apart the wardrobes of frumpy, schlumpy women and made them FABULOUS! And unlike American telly, they got to say things like “You have really great tits!”

There was a show on TLC (I think) called 10 Years Younger that was fun. (It might still be on, but something shiny went by and I haven’t watched it in forever, so who knows.) They took someone, put them in a sound-proof box. Then random passers-by critiqued them and what was “wrong” with their look/style and said how old they looked. After new clothes, new hair/makeup, and a pep talk, they went back in the box and went thru the same process. The difference was 10 years younger. (Imagine the editing that went into that!)

Then TLC brought WNTW to America. They made it an hour show, instead of the 30 minutes that BBC had. The first season (maybe 2?) they had Stacey and Wayne. Remember Wayne? The Fabio-wannabe with the long hair who thought he was all that, and a bag of chips, plus tax? Yeah, not so much. He was replaced by Clinton – a tall, thin, fabulous partner. They (S&C) make over women (they used to do guys too, but not any more) and are very respectful of the “big” girls – “It’s not about what size you are”, etc. blah blah blah. (Oh, of course it is. That’s what we do here in this country. But I digress). I still watch them and enjoy seeing the transformations. They finally replaced the hair guy (thank goat!) and now if they would replace the annoying makeup chick (not everybody wants a phucking smoky eye, you whore. And put on a top that fits, while you are at it!) the show would be great.

Well, now we have the best of both worlds. Trinny and Susannah have come to America!! I absolutely LOVE these two. Why? Because, while like C&S, they are respectful of “women of size”, they don’t gloss over it. They confront it and celebrate the “flaws” – regardless of the size of the woman. They also aren’t afraid of pointing out their own “flaws”. It’s definitely more like your best girlfriends telling you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear. AND! they take their “victim” to a store in their own town. IMO, this is the best part. They show the makeover person how to shop in their own environment with what they have available to them on a regular basis.

C&S fly the makeover person to NYC to shop. That is great and exciting and glamorous, but it’s not realistic for women who live in North Dakota, or Ohio, or wherever, who don’t have access to the ritzy-titzy stores of Manhattan.

Anyhoo. Today’s blog was brought about because I was trying to celebrate my gut, and I thought about how awesome it would be to have Trinny and Susannah come here and do a makeover on me. Here is their website, in case you want to find out more about them.


Oh hello! Sorry I haven’t been around for a while. Have some noodle salad.

Several years ago, when my brother Herb was still with Satan, we had all talked about learning to kayak and/or buying them. We went to a local sporting goods store which offered “outdoor sports training” and tried out some kayaks. Herb and I thought it was great fun. Satan decided she didn’t like to get wet. Or leave the house without showering and putting on a full face of make up. And doing her hair. She also didn’t like to sweat. So instead, we continued on with the same old thing – they would leave their house on weekends at around 2, after Satan had vacuumed (again), done at least 2 loads of laundry, had 1/2 pot of coffee, cleaned the stove, and gotten ready. Then they would swing by to pick me up, do Satan’s errands which she couldn’t seem to do during the week, and then go somewhere so Satan could drink we could eat.

I’m fully aware that I could have opted to do something else, but I like hanging out with Herb. And I like to go out to lunch on occasion too. But I was getting tired of always having to plan everything around alcohol. Drinking is also all well and good, but jeepers, can we do something else??

The last winter that Satan was around, I said that I thought it would be cool if we got snow shoes and got out and did something in the fresh air. Herb seemed into it, but Satan doesn’t like to be cold. *sigh*

Flash forward to this summer. Satan is gone. Herb is now with a lovely person. Let’s call her….Spice. (Get it? Herb and spice? No? hmmm…) Anyhoo, Spice has to work every other weekend. So Herb has some free time. He also got a bonus over the summer and invested in….. drum roll…. KAYAKS!! WOOT!!!

The first time we went this summer, we went to a little pond. We were both a little wobbly and tippy, but quickly got the hang of it, to some degree. Neither of us could paddle straight – or float straight for that matter! Being the lazy person that I am, my shoulders and arms were toast, very quickly. Then we went the next day, to a bigger pond. Still ridiculously sore, and uncoordinated, but we both realized that THIS was the way to spend sunny summer days. NOT sitting inside cleaning or running errands.

We’ve been a handful of times since that first weekend. Herb spends every other weekend with Spice. (still nothing? huh…). Each time, we get better and more confident and have tried larger ponds and lakes.

This past weekend? We decided to try THE BIG ONE! The lake everyone boats on. The lake our water supply comes from. The lake with more boats, jet skis, canoes and kayaks that we’d ever seen. On the busiest weekend of the summer. Yeah. Good thinking. *eye roll*

So we head out early. It’s a gorgeous sunny day. We have lunch and water and beer and lots and lots of sunscreen. We get there, put the kayaks in the water and set off. So far so good. “Hey cool, we should paddle around those islands!” “yeah, let’s do it on the way back” “k”.

It’s a bit rougher out there than we’ve seen, but nothing we can’t handle. We paddle up one side of the lake, looking at the ducks and trees and camps. We went for about an hour and a half. Then we stopped at a sand bar, where there were a lot of people sunning themselves or bringing in their boats to stop for lunch. We swam for a while, had lunch and rested.

Then we get back in to go further. Onward we go up further into the lake. There are a LOT of boats now and the wake is getting higher. But we pressed on. We traveled that way for about another hour-ish, then turned back. By this point, the waves were practically white-caps due to the number of boats going by. We were both exhausted, but kept going.  We even went by a whole flock of tufted ducks. They looked almost like loons, but they were brown with tufts of feathers off the back of the head. Tufted Duck This is the closest picture I can find. But the real ones were way prettier.

Almost back, we decide Hey! Let’s go across to the island! Yeah. From where we were, to get to the island, we had to go across “open” water, across the boat lane, across the jet ski lane. No protection of the shallower water. No protection of the shore. And off we went. For about 30 minutes we paddled. Hard. I lost feeling in my hands from gripping the oar. We both decided our shoulders were burning. Finally!! We made it. Um. Yeah. That was fun. Kinda. NOT.

The waves from the boats were pushing my boat into the shore and I almost got washed up onto the rocks. But halfway around the island, we discovered such calm water that we floated for a while then. We made our way back towards the car. We had to wait at the bridge for 5 or 6 boats to go under first, then we went under and back to the car.  We were out for about 4 and a half hours. Whew!

Long day. But the weather was perfect. The exercise was great. The water was warm. We had a lot of fun. I did feel badly that after all of that, Herb had to drive down to Spice’s house for the evening. Spice lives about an hour +/- away. UGH. I was toast. I don’t know how he made it. 

But the best part? After that adventure, we decided that we would be able to make it out to one of the coastal islands next summer. Ocean! There is a lovely restaurant out there that we could have lunch at. FUN!

Oh, and if you are wondering why Herb doesn’t go kayaking with Spice? It’s because she is not a strong swimmer and is a little bit afraid of it. I still think she would be fine and have a blast, but Herb doesn’t want to push her. She would have probably died out on THE BIG ONE with us, but the smaller ones would have been great for her.

So there you go. My new favorite thing to do. Kayak. If you have been kayaking before, you know. If you haven’t, and you have the opportunity, GO! You don’t really need to be a strong swimmer if you stay on the lakes and wear a life vest. (I consider myself a strong swimmer and still wear one, because you just never know what could happen.) Try it. You may find yourself with a new favorite thing to do, too.


Oh, hello! Would you like some water? And how’s about a Klondike bar? (you just sang the song, didn’t you? *heh*)

I? am a hypocrite. I think I’ve known this for a while, but I’m just now allowing myself to acknowledge it. Oy! This inner growth stuff is exhausting! How am I a hypocrite, you ask?

So, you’ve probably seen those talk shows with the overly dramatically “interested” host who is grilling the guest in an attempt to make them cry. “What happened to you?” “Why are you doing this self-destructive behavior?” “Blah blah blah”. All the while feigning interest. And then the guest, sniveling in the corner of the squashy sofa, sobbing and says, “I had a hard childhood!” “My mother was mean to me!” “People were mean to me when I was in school!” “Blah blah some other lame-ass excuse that deflects all manner of responsibility!”

And then there is me at home, on my sofa, very likely with a sapphire and tonic, yelling at the television, “You whiny pathetic loser!!” “Take some responsibility for yourself and your actions.” “The past is over! Leave it there and move the fuck on!” “Blah blah blah you can’t change what happened so focus on you and your future and be fabulous with what you have now because whatever happened then made you who you are now, you cow!” (Yes, my rants are long winded and blathering. It works for me.)

So what does all this mean in terms of me being a hypocrite? When the hell am I going to get to the point? Hopefully, soon.

Recently, the realization slapped me in the face that I am that sniveling whiny talk show guest. I have been the one who has said that what happened to me in my teens led to what occurred in my twenties and that is why my thirties were the way they were and why I am at the place I am now.  Well, guess what, Kitten?  Remember the rant at the television? No? Here it is again: “Blah blah blah you can’t change what happened so focus on you and your future and be fabulous with what you have now because whatever happened then made you who you are now, you cow!” (I can be very harsh…)

I am over-weight because I made myself that way. Not my past. I did it. It’s time that I own that and move forward from this point. Being good to myself, as good to myself as I am to others, needs to be a priority. I have wallowed in my past for far too long. It’s boring. I’m sick of it.

It’s not going to happen overnight. I’ll have relapses. And that’s okay. It’s to be expected. But practice makes perfect, right? (Goat, maybe a few more cliches could be used here. *huge eye roll*). Baby steps towards total fabulousness is my new goal.  Wish me luck and expect some meltdowns. But all the while, know that I’m getting there.