Capture Your 365 (August 11 to 22)


Here we are…into September already. And while the weather remains hot & humid, there is a storm gathering across the province…for tomorrow…is the first day of school! The weather man is predicting heavy rains and possible thunderstorms, but the ferociousness of any storm won’t begin to compare to the torrential turmoil most parents and kids are going to experience. Wake me up when September ends! Click on the photos to read the quotes.

Welcome to September!

“Crazy Shot” Lingerie


I made the mistake a few years ago, during a low point, of telling Hubby not to bother buying me any more lingerie and I cleared out most of my drawer. I figured he’d already bought the cow and quite frankly, “the old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be”. And then I reconsidered and added it back on my birthday/Christmas list. My drawer remains empty…(except for the black bustier I shared with the ladies of Morning Break…and one pastor. To read why, click here).

Since I had half an hour to kill before I picked Little Guy up from camp last night, I stopped in at a new lingerie store. The store name is in French, and if you remove the last 3 letters, it translates to “crazy shot”…and there was something crazy going on inside!

The first thing I noticed was the delicate scent of lavender. Next was the eye candy, shimmering pastel confections with lace and bows. Many of the items were hung on sequined hangers that sparkled like disco balls in the soft, warm light. There was even a white couch facing the dressing room, embellished with lacy and feathery pillows to provide a special someone a private viewing perch. There wasn’t a hint of skank anywhere, just elegance and class…

I gravitated (slowly so as not to be too conspicuous) to the rack on the back wall subtly marked 70% off. It was mostly soft cotton and lace pajamas. I peeked at the price of a simple navy & white striped chemise made of cotton knit….$175.00…and I struggled to not belt out “Are you freaking kidding me?” I can buy an oversized knit T-shirt at Wal-Mart for under $5. Sure, it’s not sexy but I won’t have to put a second mortgage on my house so I can sleep comfortably in the summer.

Obviously, I was not going to be making any purchases today. Slightly disappointed, but not undaunted, I moved across the aisle to the next rack, and not wanting to give the impression that my jaw was dragging on the floor in shock, I picked up a bustier with matching panties. It had solid creamy satin cups edged with pale pink ribbon rosebuds. The body of it was made with delicate, almost ethereal cream lace, and the bottom was a scalloped edge of satin. Perfection! The matching panties were also cream satin and about the size of a postage stamp. “Are you freaking kidding me?” I wanted to scream. It was $450.00. I wanted to ask if the boning came from an actual whale, slaughtered by a blonde Bunny, and deboned in the North Atlantic Sea.

I strolled nonchalantly to the front door, smiled sweetly at the lady at the counter (who thankfully was busy chatting with a buxom broad this whole time), and slipped out the door to my car, where I burst out laughing. Why was it so expensive? The satin was the same polyester blend that I find at the department store. I used to choke at their prices, finding it difficult to justify spending more than $20 on something that I sleep in (and often can’t wear in front of my family – they’ve been scarred enough). I understand that “true” lingerie (as opposed to the mass-produced ready-to-wear variety) is more expensive because they are using a higher quality of fabrics and laces. I wear expensive bras (mostly because I can’t buy my size off the rack). Thanks to gravity, bras need to be well-constructed to provide adequate support. Not only that, but the shape and contours of women’s bodies are not cookie-cutter, so companies are continually experimenting with different cuts and forms to provide support and comfort. But $450!?!? Just imagine how many pairs of fabulous shoes I could buy with that kind of cash…and I can wear them outside the boudoir! Now that’s a wise investment.

Hubby suggested the prices were high based on the location of the store. However, it’s in a strip mall…two doors to the left is a Hockey Lion store, and two doors to the right is a Convenience Store. Hmm…I’m not convinced. But I am convinced that there are women out there with way too much money and who may just be dumb enough to think that if they pay these exorbitant prices, they are collecting something valuable. Perhaps she doesn’t realize that she needs to search from within to find beauty, something far more valuable than a $300 nightgown. I believe a woman with a loving heart and a gentle spirit can look exquisite in a $20 nightgown, and if she is with the right guy, he’ll be blown away by her.

I don’t know how I went from being blow away by exorbitant prices to being blown away by that last statement. Maybe it’s a deeper truth that we all need to remember…it isn’t the price of the gown, or the fabric or label…it really is about what’s inside…and that’s not crazy!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray


 “A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.” -Anne Bronte

 The definition: fray (verb) – the unravelling or wearing of the edge of fabric, rope, or cord; to wear thin or through; showing the effects of strain on a person’s temperament.

The Challenge: Share a photo of what “fray” means to you — it could be a tear in a favorite pair of jeans, a street rumble just about to begin, or a friend diving into an oncoming wave at the beach.

To see more Fray photos, click here.

Ice Bucket Challenge: One Stylish “Sheep”


I was nominated by a friend late last week, to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I did it this weekend. I filled my bucket from the hose and added ice cubes, before donning my black velvet and white satin sheath evening gown, my string of pearls, and my long white satin gloves. Hubby and Little Guy each grabbed a camera to videotape this prestigious moment. And Big Guy did the honours…

I’m pretty sure most of North America has heard about this challenge, and the backlash against it has started. Most recently, Scott Gilmore wrote an article about “why the ice bucket challenge is bad for you”, and while he may have raised some valid points to consider, I didn’t appreciate being told that I had just made an incredibly poor choice in participating and donating to this cause. Gilmore wrote “The marketing gimmick is very clever. It is short, immediately understandable, and like the most popular forms of slacktivism, it is easy to do, entertaining to watch, and narcissistically self-promoting”.

Normally I am a very conservative, extremely thoughtful person. I believe strongly in being generous and wise steward of the resources that God has given me. I have finite resources and I cannot give to every charity that has a need – and most have great needs. But I found Gilmore’s assertion that ALS is not a particularly worthy cause in which to donate, seems callous. While statistically it may be a “rare disease and, thankfully, only about 600 people die from it every year in Canada,” and “ALS research is not an urgent need” as Gilmore states, I seriously doubt those living with this disease or caring for loved ones, would appreciate his assessment. There are approximately 36,000 ALS cases in Canada and the U.S.

I thought this particular challenge was very cool (no pun intended). It was something that everyone could do, regardless of age or physical ability. I watched a friend in her 70s do it, and I watched a friend’s son do it (he’s 18 months old). Did I enjoy watching others’ videos? Yes I did! Did I think they were being narcissistic, foolish, or “craven sheep”? No I did not! Personally, I was thrilled to be nominated where normally I am overlooked. Personally, I enjoyed the sense of community as I laughed at, and laughed with others through various social media venues. And you know what, maybe I did look like “a craven sheep”…but at least I did so with style!

Ice Bucket Challenge

 

 

For Better or For Worse…


I mentioned it earlier this week…I got my hair butchered cut…and I’m not happy about it.

In my first blog post in January 2012, I wrote “I wore my “new” sassy green boots on Saturday – an incredible find- and was feeling fabulous, when it dawned on me – I need a new hair style too, edgy with colour? Hmm…” Well, the blog continues, my mid-life crisis is happening, and I’m still feeling fabulous in my sassy green boots…but the haircut didn’t happen.

I’ve almost always had long hair. I grew up with a twisted notion that guys like to get their hands tangled up in a thick mane of lustrous locks. I have always thought that scene in the gag-me-with-a-dump-truck until-I-vomit-my-insides-out movies where a guy gently traces a girl’s face and sweeps a lock of hair off before uttering some nonsense that makes her melt, was romantic. I’ve been married 18 years; if those moments haven’t happened now, they’re not going to happen. I’m over 40 now. It’s time to grow up and move on.

I booked the appointment. I researched the requirements for donating hair to the Cancer Society and medium-length haircuts. I washed it and asked my Mom to snap a “before” picture…

Long Hair

I thought I was prepared. It was only hair after all. It would grow back. I had already confirmed that the stylist couldn’t do the colour as well, but I could add it later. I only had to lose 8”.

I thought I had been clear; I had a picture after all…

But hair is never just hair. It’s a woman’s nemesis and her definition. It’s sexuality and beauty, a “crowning glory”. It’s not just hair…

She cut off 12”.

“Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there’s only love in the dark…nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart” - Bonnie Tyler/Jim Steinman, Total Eclipse of the Heart

My mother thought it was “cute”. She kept saying it over and over again, as if that somehow made it all better. I hate the word “cute”…have always hated it. Kittens are cute. Little girls with curls are cute. 40 year old women are not “cute”.

I looked like a used Q-tip. I looked like I was wearing a brown helmet. Where’s that dump truck?

Hubby first saw my new haircut Saturday evening. He never said he didn’t like it…but what he did say built upon my rapidly diminishing ability to keep a stiff upper lip, and his words haunted me until bedtime…that hour when all reason slips away quietly, just like the setting sun. And faced with my reflection in the glare of the fluorescent bathroom lights, I could see the truth.

First, came the gentle weeping, the slow trickle of tears from the corners of my eyes. But like a summer storm, the heavens opened with a torrential outpouring of unreasonable sorrow. I breathlessly sobbed a cacophony of unintelligible words behind my hands. I knew Hubby was probably panicking, grasping for something to say while knowing fully that nothing was going to stem this flow. His wife had turned into a monstrous behemoth of volatile emotions, and he may or may not be partly responsible. (I’m pretty sure he was amused as well, so don’t feel too sorry for him). Like a banshee, I cried , “I just wanted to be pretty…this is where you’re supposed to say ‘you are pretty’…even if (repeating Hubby’s humiliating statement)”, which succeeded in making us both laugh, even as I was hiccupping into my damp pillow. I fell asleep hoping my pillow didn’t grow mould in the humid room as I slept.

I wanted to stay in bed the next day but I had to help lead worship. I had to start facing my world again…So, here I am world. Smiling on the outside…while still dying a little inside.
Short Hair

It’ll grow back, right?

I should have reminded Hubby he married me for better or for worse…

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette


A silhouette, is the outline of someone or something against a lighter background. Their contrasting forms or shadows can create dramatic pictures.

I think some of the most beautiful silhouette photographs I’ve seen have been taken on a beach at sunset…but I don’t live near a beach. Or a lake. Or water of any kind unless you count the water in my wheelbarrow, the rusty one with the flat tire… And then one overcast day, as I was getting in the car, I saw this little fellow taking a moment to just enjoy the view.

Bird Silhouette

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops – at all -

 And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

- Emily Dickinson

To see more Silhouette photos, click here.

The Bath Mat


It wasn’t about the bath mat. In fact, it was never really about the bath mat. It was about wanting to “feather my nest” on a tight budget. It was about getting something new and pretty. It was about having warm toes on the floor after a hot shower…ok, it was mostly about the “nest”.  Every now and then the desire takes over and I feel a “need” to make my home more than just a place to eat and sleep, and hang out on weekends.

So I bought a bath mat…on sale…in a colour that I thought would look good in our bathroom. Finding a colour that goes in our bathroom is a challenge because our bathroom was built in 1959…with salmon & sea foam green tiles. It’s “retro”, but not in a good way! I proudly laid out my new bath, (after rubbing my face on it a few times – I certainly wasn’t going to do that after tender tootsies had snuggled into it, no matter how clean they might be). Hubby was the first to point out that the pale blue mat did not match. Sadly, he was right (and putting that in print will haunt me), and rather than fight with him, I took it personally, removed the mat and gave it a new home in the basement (the place where things go to die). You have to pick your battles after all.

I truly believe that husbands and wives are meant to be partners, two individuals who honour and respect each other’s responsibilities and expertise. But at the risk of ending up in hot water, I’m going to make this statement: “home-making” tends to be the wife’s God-given domain for womanly authority. It is part of our responsibility, and our place of influence. It is our sanctuary, our domain, and a part of her security. I re-read Proverbs 31 (how often have I despised this woman’s boundless energy!). In addition to running a business and supporting her husband in his affairs, she also runs her household wisely. She “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands…in her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers…she makes coverings for her bed…she watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”. A wise husband recognizes his wife’s abilities and frees her to decorate and make the house a home. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value” (Prov. 31:11-12 NIV*).

I’m definitely not saying a wife’s place is in the home, or that she should she get everything her own way, but that we are all uniquely gifted – and we should respect that!

I bided my time (a few months)…I watched sales. And I got my bath mat – 50% off! It’s super thick and off-white (you can easily see Hubby’s black sock fluff). But it’s staying and I’m happy. It’s about more than a bath mat.

* New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.