Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Coming Home

Yep! I'm back home!

I'm back at this original 'Velvet Brick' blog spot and I couldn't be happier!

A month ago I felt the need to close up shop and find a new place. Try as I did to make it feel like 'home', it just never did. Other factors played a role and I have decided to come back this blog that holds and means so much for me.

So welcome back! I have settled back in and I'm ready to continue down this path of life - with a view from front row! Come along with me...I hear the view is spectacular!

I Enjoy Being A Girl's being a 'mature' woman that's the kicker! Case in point....

Lately, a woman has been staring at me when I get ready for work in the morning. She has circles under her eyes, a sallow complexion and saggy jowls. Her face seems drained... empty.

And I feel sorry for her when I stop and look into her eyes.

...because she is me.

So the other day I decided that I should heed all of the Madison Avenue warnings of how aged I look, how used up my face there is HOPE at the cosmetic aisle at my local Wal-Mart just waiting to turn my face around! With list in hand and weed killer in my cart, I proceeded over to find the perfect remedy for my appearance plight. As I am an 'Oil of Olay' gal (and have been for over 25 years) I decided to see what miracles in a bottle they might have for me. After all, I am a simple gal - I wash my face with soap (occassionaly use St. Ives apricot scrub), slather on some unscented Oil of Olay and call me done. I'm sure that there is something I can purchase that will kick my beauty routine up a notch and send my appearance into orbit! Oh, and let's not forget - hold back those obnoxious hands on that clock that Father Times seems to have overwound to fast forward!

Yes... here's the aisle... let's see here..... hmm....

?????? !!!!! ??????

This is confusing... oh wait... what about this I .. um.. wait a minute... is that what I want? need? I'm not sure...uh...

oh, for Pete's sake!!

...... it was utter confusion on my part. It shouldn't be this complicated!!

There were packages upon packages that contained products bearing all sorts of promises and dreams. Potions that assured me that they would brighten, firm, resurface, tone, define, plump, peel, reduce, smooth, lift, renew, moisturize and buff my skin. There were lotions, creams, formulas, complexes and serums that would invigorate, penetrate, illuminate, exfoliate, hydrate, rejuevinate and permeate my skin. And don't forget the anti-wrinkle, anti-oxidants, anti-aging, anti-blemish, anti-pore clogging features these concoctions contain, too! Kits were abounding as well... kits to do your own home chemical peel, kits to do a micro-dermabrasion...kits with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, collagen... sounds more like my chemistry lab in high school, instead.

As any fashionista knows, money is nooooooo object when turning back the hands of time and the evidence of a life of hard work! I could purchase these tiny containers cleverly packaged into over-sized plastic boxes for a mere $17.95, $23.96, $18.99, $33.96, $27.99 and on and on. So simple. Just throw a couple of these 'fountains-of-youth in a jar' into your cart (beside the loaves of bread, weed killer and toilet paper) and you'll be turning heads and having people whisper behind your back "Just what IS she doing?? She looks fantastic!"

You've got to be kidding me....

I was so confused, over-whelmed and indignant about the whole scene that I left the aisle without any of it. I told myself that I'll just continue with the 'beauty regimen' that I have, thank you very much! So world, here's your official warning.... I'm going to spray my weeds, eat cinnamon toast and read my 'Oprah' in the bathroom with a sallow, sagging and listless complexion.

God help you!

Morning Pages

It's early Saturday morning. This is the view as I sit in my 'Julie chair' in my living room... a nutty cup of cafe' feminique coffee as company (you really must swing by Trader Joe's and pick up a can of this coffee! Ruthie, you DO know how to pick coffee, girl!).

Early sunlight is starting to stretch its arms across a crisp, frosty sky. Shadows illuminate the wall and slowly dance through the room. It's a quiet setting after wrestling with the cat in the confines of the bathroom to perform triage on a nasty abscess, and putting back together the damage done by attempting to wash a queen-size down comforter in one's washer. (*note... if you are so inclined to mimic my stupidity, please refrain from any attempt to jam such item into such container. Not only will said comforter not emerge clean and fresh, you will find yourself mopping your laundry room at 11 pm, then running your dripping wet comforter, which now weighs 50 lbs., as oppossed to its usual lofty 10 lbs., out to the clothes line in 39 degree weather. Said action is not condusive to a restful night's sleep.)

But I digress....

I recently had the priviledge to listen to the author, Julia Cameron, speak about the benefit of writing your 'morning pages'. Journaling in the morning before you do anthing else. I've attempted journaling in a scattered sort of style and always had the mindset that you journaled in the evening...when the day is done. But Ms. Cameron says that is not the time to do your journaling; by then the events and actions of the day have already happened...and you can change nothing. She offers that to journal in the morning allows you to set your day, to plan your direct your actions and make happen what you wish, desire and need. I like that train of thought.

So I attempt to do my morning the morning. This is a bit difficult, as I am not a morning person, so to speak. But I have tried to do them when I can. I found a wonderful set of Marjolein Bastin journals for a mere $5 four years ago, and they are the perfect pages to begin with. I've also met other women who, too, do some type of 'morning pages'. (Where was I when this little ritual began??!) No matter. I'm glad to have found it now.

A few days ago I was driving around 'blogland' and visited a young woman whom I found through a friend who also blogs. Every so often I stop by her site. The other day, she posted these wise words which she had found on her sister's site. I printed out this - whatever you want to call it - for it hit me at my core. I have shared it with a couple of friends over the last few days; each one wanting their own copy. Perhaps you, too, will find comfort, affirmation or support in the message that these words beholds as they descend down. May blessings find their way to you this day.

Let Go, Let Spirit

To 'let go' does not mean to stop caring...

it means I can't do it for someone else.

To 'let go' is not to enable,

but allow learning from natural consequences.

To 'let go' is to admit powerlessness,

which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To 'let go' is not to try to change or blame another;

it's to make the most of myself.

To 'let go' is not to care for,

but to care about.

To 'let go' is not to fix,

but to be supportive.

To 'let go' is not to judge,

but to allow another to be a human being.

To 'let go' is not to be in the middle arranging all of the outcomes,

but to allow others to affect their destinies.

To 'let go' is not to be protective;

it's to permit another to face reality.

To 'let go' is not to deny,

but to accept.

To 'let go' is not to nag, scold or argue,

but instead, to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To 'let go' is not to adjust everything to my desires,

but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

-author unknown

Miss Party Princess call me a 'Sally Jean' wannbe. Guilty!

I love that gal and her talent and style! I took a class a year ago to learn the art, of soldering. Not an easy feat, let me tell you! But no matter. I have fun and enjoy indulging in it from time to time.

Friday found a birthday girl amongst us...Dear Ya-Ya N! Such an amazing gal in so many ways and just the perfect party girl to pamper and present a present to!

So I collaged away - not knowing what I was making but just letting the creative juices flow. Voila'! Little Miss Party Ettiquette! I've been dying to post about her, but I knew birthday eyes would be visiting, so I had to tuck my surprise away for a bit and keep it a secret! Oh, so hard to do!!

After some soldering (let's just make this perfectly clear.... I am no Sally Jean...and her business is safe!) and a gossamer bow crown, our little girl was ready to be tucked into a pretty striped birthday bag and head on over to a favorite little brunch spot!

Ya-Ya's N and R and I gathered for a wonderful, lingering brunch of really great omelets, cinnamon buns, coffee, tea and the most decadent birthday brownie ever! It was like a liquid cake - which explains why, when I tried to move it into a 'to go' carton, it literally rolled over itself and ploped upside down, despite my best efforts to fix it up! It ended up looking like I had stirred the life out of it and thrown it into the plastic container... I was truly horrified at what I had done and kept saying to N.."I'm so sorry!!" ... but I got to laughing about it that tears were rolling down, too. N.. I really AM sorry, though!

Happy birthday, dear N!