coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

If you've got it

I found a new hair stylist to cut my hair.  She is my daughter's stylist and I like her very much.  She does a good job, charges reasonable fees, and has purple hair.  She also has real artwork by real artists on her walls. It makes me happy just being in her salon, looking at all the colors. Unlike the chrome on white walk-in salons I've been going since I've been in Florida, this seems comfortable, edgy, and welcoming.

She told my daughter that she thought I was adorable. Adorable... I'm not sure I know what that means. It is not the first time I've been described that way by a young woman in recent years (i.e., since I got old). The day of my retirement party I wore leggings, a silky tunic top, and an asymmetrical light sweater. When I asked my younger colleague if I looked ridiculous, she said "No, I think you look adorable." That did not fill me with confidence, but I chose not to care. The party went on as planned.

The hateful old hag who lives deep inside me wants to look for ageism everywhere. She wants to disdain this as a backhanded compliment. The Good Colette, however, is thrilled and wonders how I can make being adorable work for me.  I mean if you've got it, flaunt it - right?

Any ideas?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

I am an inert mass

Some people have panic attacks, some have heart attacks.  I seem to have attacks of inertia. 

These quirky spells usually follow a period of extreme activity.  It is a pattern. I work like a crazy woman at something or other for a relatively long time, then I start forgetting to do important things because I'm overwhelmed.  I'm pretty sure this is my unconscious mind's way of telling me to slow down... and quickly, please. Which I then do as if I was slamming on the breaks. After that, I find it hard to do just about anything for a while.  I become inert. 

Here are the things that are way too much for me to do this morning:
  • finding a book to read
  • peeling boiled eggs
  • putting photos in my photo album
  • picking up my grandson's toys and putting them away
  • vacuuming the living room
  • taking my new flip flops out of the box
  • moving the cleaned clothes from the washer to the dryer
  • figuring out how to change the formatting of this list from bullet points back to normal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Peach Pie and Politics

I'm eating peach pie. My husband's pie crust is remarkable. We are a team; he makes the crust and I make the filling. I must confess this is my lunch today. It was either leftover pie or a salad - no contest! Actually, I am only pretending this is my lunch. I know for a fact I will eat that salad, too. 

While indulging, I am researching candidates for circuit and county judges. I have my mail-in-ballot for the Florida Democratic primary sitting on my desk, and I am trying to figure out some of the more arcane choices so I can finish up and mail it in. Florida's primary August 28.

I'm fairly certain who I will vote for as Governor, positive about Commissioner of Agriculture, and struggling with Attorney General. I love my U.S. Congresswoman, so will definitely be voting for her again. The judicial candidates and the school board elections are the tough ones for me, there is not nearly enough information available.

Florida has had Republican rule for 20 years. During that time they've controlled the Governorship, the State House and the State Senate. The Democrats got sloppy as a result, and became less effective at choosing and pushing good, competitive candidates...until now. We have a wealth of great candidates, many of them new. The Democratic party is being transformed by progressives entering the arena. Big changes are coming in Florida in November, unless Voldemort tampers with our elections from afar. It seems they are already trying. Shame on them!

And that, my friends, is why I am voting by mail. I want a copy of what I did. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It didn't rain at all on Saturday!!! 

Why would I say such a thing? Well, it has rained, and I mean POURED, every afternoon or evening for most of the summer. In trying to imagine a Florida summer afternoon rain shower, I would have you think of torrents, sheets, cats and dogs. We have to drain the pool by an inch or two a couple days each week so it doesn't overflow (and by "We" I mean my husband). 

This is the rainy season in Florida. Even though it didn't rain for an entire day, the ground is still squishy. There remain pools of water in low spots, and water rises in every nook and cranny. It is also the hottest time of the year. I am not complaining, not really...  I would still rather endure August in Florida than January in New York State. Anyway, it's hot, muggy, and messy here. 

In truth, I am in awe of (and in love with) Florida. I respect the harsh beauty. I avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. I battle primeval insects. I photograph alligator, egret, and ibis in the wild. Our back yard includes 4 palm trees despite their lack of shade. I grow canna lilies and banana trees. We have annual passes to Epcot (after 4). My county is blue. Actually it is Orange County, but you know what I mean. I relish the natural and cultural diversity one finds here.
I wear hats and slather myself with sunscreen, for crying out loud. This Florida place feels like home.

Oh Lord, I just heard some thunder. Which reminds me, I need to start stocking up on hurricane supplies. 

This is the kind of damage fire ants can wreak when you don't watch where you step

Friday, August 3, 2018

Scratching my head

Have you ever noticed that if you use certain words/names in your blog posts that the number of views in your stats from certain less than desirable countries rises dramatically?  I wonder how much these professional snoopers get paid to make the world a worse place to live in? 

I think we all know what we must do to fight injustice, evil, and lies.  Vote!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bone Tired

Yes, I am bone tired. I am back from the family wedding that warranted my new haircut. I had a great time, filled with family, old friends, and a ridiculous amount of fun. I also had ice cream twice, as well as wedding cake. Wine flowed. Sinful abandon abounded.

Now that I am home, I find myself exhausted. I did nothing yesterday, and I may do nothing again today. I'm trying to figure out if this is a physical reaction or an emotional one? It is likely a combination of the two. I refuse to admit that I am simply aging and have less energy. Oh, Hell no!

In the meantime, my nephew's wife is having a baby. She is having a hard time and a long labor. I wish we were still in Indiana so I could be sitting vigil in the hospital with my Baby Sister. Saturday she married off her youngest child. A few days later her oldest provides her first grandchild.

If sonograms can be trusted, today we add another heroine to the family saga AND Baby Sister and Mikey become grandparents! My nephew and niece-in-law's lives will change forever. Everyone's life will be enhanced when this baby arrives. I may be bone tired, but I am shaken (not stirred) by these glorious events.

Today I will be on the couch reading, napping, and resting my weary bones.
Perhaps I'll get my mojo back after this stubborn baby girl is finally born.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

On passing for normal

I'm going to a family wedding this weekend. I got my haircut so I could pass as normal. Aaack, the pressure to conform. How I hate it. 

My hair has been rather long for awhile - way longer than I should probably wear it. However, I don't like going to the hairstylist. For me it is akin to going to the dentist, just another thing I must endure from time to time.

The last time I got my hair cut was September 2017. You can imagine how long my hair was this morning, before it all came off.  Long enough to pull back in a ponytail, or messy bun.  I like the idea of older women having long hair and pulling it back. I have seen many women of a certain age looking lovely, elegant and artsy with long gray hair. I love that look. Unfortunately, I can't seem to pull it off.  If I grew a few inches taller and lost a half a million pounds (or got my neck "done") it might work.  But that just doesn't seem to happen.   

I don't have another wedding to go to until December. That means I don't have to get my hair cut again until the end of November.  Yay.

Friday, July 13, 2018


I know, I know, forgiveness is a difficult concept. When someone has done something bad enough to warrant our forgiveness, we are usually too angry and resentful to even see straight. So the concept of forgiveness seems out of the question. Only weak people forgive, right?

I'm not so sure. I'm tired of hating and resenting certain people in my life. It is like burning in Hell. I think the real heroes might be the victims who refuse to be eternally victimized. The ones who choose to forgive so they can move on, as unblemished as possible. Because when you forgive, you don't say it was okay. Bad things are bad things, and forgiveness doesn't wipe that away.

Forgiveness happens when you say that the problem belongs solely to the one who treated you badly. You still have to deal with the social, physical, and relationship damage inflicted, but you don't have to hate. If you can forgive, you cleanse your psyche of the darkening stain that particular transgression (or injustice) casts. You walk away with a real chance to heal. The sin stays with the sinner, where it belongs. Am I being naive?

Here's a really interesting YouTube video (by Nadia Bolz-Weber) explaining forgiveness in that light. It made me think:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Some people make me sick

I'm currently sick of interacting with people and need a break from reality. 

I am not a misanthrope, au contraire!  I like people very much. I am a social being, and I care deeply about society. I am able to forgive, and I trust easily. I admit my mistakes and apologize when I lose my temper. When younger, I had an endless capacity for love.  Or perhaps it was simply an endless capacity for the bullshit of others.  I dunno.  Hard to differentiate.

At any rate, I am cranky and snippy. I have just alienated a person with my bad temper and I feel bad about it.  However, she still makes me sick. 

I hate when I do this.

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
Ambrose Bierce

Monday, July 2, 2018

My beautiful New York State

If you've never been to the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York, you may enjoy seeing these photographs. 

Libe Slope at Cornell University, looking down to Cayuga Lake
Looking to opposite direction. That's Ithaca, New York in the valley     
The overlook, gazing down at Taughannock Falls near Trumansburg, NY

Taughannock Falls from the walkway
Standing at Taughannock Falls looking up towards the overlook

One of the walkways at Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York

R, CH, T standing above a small falls, Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY

The top of Lucifer Falls at Treman State Park
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The bottom of Lucifer Falls
Wine Country, Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, NY

Water and rock formation in Treman State Park