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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Life Inside

Still feeling off my game after a full day at work.  No ballet class makes me a very dull person.  Seriously I would be brain dead if I did not take ballet class.  My work as a Research Associate involves speaking to business professionals all over the country which is not mentally challenging but physically takes a great deal of positive energy no matter how you are really feeling.  The best part is laughing with my colleagues and keeping the stress to a minimum.

Sitting at a desk connected to a computer and telephone all day I do make a point to get up and walk every 30 minutes.  Take the stairs every chance I get and would think when I get home I would be craving to run off to ballet class.  Not so much.  It takes determination, perseverance and all the rest of it to get to class every night.  But when an injury or illness comes along and I an not able to go that is when the withdrawals set in and I realize how much I depend on ballet for body, mind, spirit, wellness.

I cannot even begin to imagine what a professional athlete goes through mentally to get through.  It is healthy to rest yet my mind keeps telling me I need to hurry up and get well.  When I allow myself to just be with what is real instead of wanting it to be different I am aware that I do not allow it for very long.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Personal Photos

Feeling out of focus tonight on my deck
Last Friday evening I had my friend come over and teach me how to take photos from my Reader and save them to my folders.  Feeling low grade flu symptoms tonight decided not to go to ballet and practice posting photos.  This one captures my state of being this evening.

My camera is a Sony without a remote.  I need to get to a camera store to find out what kind of camera I need to take my own photos.  I have a tripod and know that I do not need a remote but hopefully a camera with one will be easier.  I know the secret is practice, practice, practice.  I keep reading advice on different camera positions.  I have heard it needs to be placed at hip level or belly button and another said shoulder to forehead level.  Then it's all about the lighting. 

Or, I could wait and find a boyfriend to take my pictures.  Oh for sure, that's going to happen.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Question Of Blogging

Just a few months into posting I wonder if it is consuming too much of my time?  I am very particular about what I read and watch on TV.  My favorite films are documentaries and programs that feature artists creating their art.  Two of my favorite documentaries are Man On A Wire and Exit Out The Back Door.  Art Beat is a local program on our public station that feature various local artists.  The inspiration I receive from their lives is what I appreciate.   Also I love people who have a great sense of humor.

  I find the same with the blog world.  With so much to choose from to sort it all out and decide which ones I connect with are few.  I find the ones that interest me also inspire me.   I can dialogue with them more than, "love your hair and your scarf is perfect".  That kind of communication is fine but if limited to that I would feel like I am at a cocktail party every night and I don't even like parties. 

Today with my sore throat I stayed home and had some time to read new blogs  I have not learned how to use the "links" in my blog.  I have read if you refer to someone's blog in your post it is a courtesy to include the link.  I will do that when I learn how but for now I will just say through Metscan who I enjoy reading led me to David Leeds blog "A Husk Of Meaning".  I only had time to read a few of  his postings and look forward to reading all of them. 

Reading David's reason for blogging he speaks of learning and evolving.  Discovering something new and enriching is what makes blogging fun for me and worth the time invested. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Royal Road To Health

One of my interests along with two of my friends is to learn how to take care of our own health problems.  We had a discussion about this last evening and each have our own stories of when doctors are helpful and when they are not.  We do not have a doctor.  That does not mean we do not go to doctors it means we rely on our own best judgement whenever possible.  We use whatever resources we can find to help our self first.

One of my favorite books to turn to is "The Royal Road To Health or the secret of Health Without Drugs by Chas. A. Tyrrell, M.D. written in 1907.  I am not into cleanses but I appreciate much of his book that promotes healthy food as medicine and all the basics that we all know.  His presentation seems empowering to me and that is what I look for in a teacher.  One that encourages me to be responsible for myself.

Today I feel a sore throat coming on and tired eyes.  You know that achy all over feeling.  My first reaction is to ignore it and it will go away.  Later I fix hot water and lemon juice and hope it just magically goes away.  I hope I can apply what I have learned in the past.  Not to ignore the signs and to take it as an opportunity to take care of myself instead of pushing through it. 

Do you have a favorite health book or an example of what works for you when you get a sore throat?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Childhood Dreams Do Come True

My Grandaughter at the beach in Florida 

What did you want to be when you were eleven years old?  I wanted to be a teacher.  When my cousin and I would get together we would set up her room with fake desks and a make shift black board and play teacher for hours.  I remember my mother setting up a tent in our backyard that I would use as a classroom.  All the neighborhood kids would come over and in my role as teacher I would pass out grape juice and graham crackers to ones who were good.  My mother said some of the parents would call her to say I was too bossy to their child.  Over the years I have enjoyed teaching English As A Second Language, yoga classes, various workshops on different topics and hope I have not come across bossy or an authority or expert in any way.  My best teachers show me by example rather than diplomas or degrees or titles.  I like to teach by example as well.

My granddaughter loved having her picture taken as a baby.  She naturally posed for the camera before she was old enough to know what posing meant.  She has always loved clothes and styling her outfits and then having photo shoots.  I know she will follow her interests as I have mine in her own way.  She will have many teachers along the way.....I hope she will find as many wonderful inspiring teachers as I have found on my journey.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love Of Self

Photo from Google Images
About 25 years ago I was working on a Social Science degree at Marylhurst College when I was asked to be a speaker at a Women's retreat.  One of my mentors helped me put together a topic that was very controversial at the time and still is to a lesser degree in 2012.  I had struggled with low self esteem growing up always wanting to be different than who I was.  My mentor told me I should speak on that topic.

I called my talk, "Love Of Self" and forget now how I put it together but I do remember the comments I received afterwards telling me how much they appreciated my personal story and how they could relate.  My mother would tell me after the age of 50 things in general get easier.  I have found that to be true for me.  There is a peace of mind that comes with age.   Striving to be better, do more, accomplish something, get ahead, all seem to smooth themselves out over the years.   Now when I get caught up in the competition of life, and I do, the difference is now I can be aware of what is going on and let it go in various ways.

My workplace is a fierce environment of competition.  I work for quota's to be met and notice myself wanting to be the top producer and when I am not it bothers me a great deal until I see what I am doing.  Ballet class is another place where I find my ego struggling to feel "good enough" and then get down on myself if I can't get the combination and judge myself terribly.

Last night I wrote down a quote by Oscar Wilde.  "To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance.."  I wrote it down because it touched me somehow all these years later after giving my talk.  Then this morning a co-worker sent me an inspirational quote and part of that quote said...."May you be content with yourself just the way you are."  I know this message will continue to help me because my striving can get way out of balance when I least expect it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

When Shopping Is A Question Mark

My jackets and blazers are basic colors with a variety of styles that I remind myself I do not need more.  Especially no more blazers.  If I find an interesting cut jacket in a fascinating color or fabric would be the only reason I would purchase another.  I do need tops to go under the jackets I already have.   I do not want checks, polka dots, stripes, or flowers.  And for me though I love sparkly I am over sequins.  Lace is tricky because it can look aging on me.  I am thinking chiffon but we shall see.

The first thing I pick up and think about trying on is a pair of powder pink jeans at H & M.  Then  realize I am not shopping for jeans so we move on.  The clothes are very poor quality but I like the challenge of finding something fun that does not appear cheap in fit and fabric.  As I keep wandering and picking up items and feel the fabric I see some green jeans.  As I hold them up in front of the mirror I remind myself, "no jeans".  I leave the store and go to Forever 21.

A few weeks ago I bought a white fabric short coat that I like.  It was $26.00 and because it is white I know it will cost more to clean than what I paid for it so when I found another one today and tried it on to make sure how much I love it I bought another.  Yes, I heard Jackie O. bought 6 of the same thing so I bought 2 of these coats.  As I continued to look for tops I know F21 is another junior store that is a fluke when I can find something.  I find some chiffon tops but they are just not quite right so ready to go purchase my coat when I come across a white blazer.  I try it on and tell myself I only have one other white blazer and I can always use another one so yeah........I did.

Making my two purchases I continued going in and out of the mall stores but my heart was not in it so I cut my shopping trip short and as I was driving home thought about my purchases and decided I am not sorry.  I just wonder how my psyche can start out telling me one thing and end up doing the exact opposite?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Saturday Night in Portland

Ballet class this morning.  One of the dancers gave us each a "Dancing Daisy" she found at the dollar store.  The daisy dances with solar energy so you set it in the light and the daisy and its leaves dance away.  So fun!!!  I think when you dance you are always 5 years old at heart.
Isn't this Dancing Daisy the cutest sweetest thing ever?  You have to imagine him dancing but that is not hard to do is it?

On to Target to get myself a booster chair for my chair that is not high enough for using my computer.  My hips fit in it barely because meant for a 6 ear old but it works exactly like I was hoping. Then I bought several Elf cosmetic items.  Their eye primer was recommended and since it is only $1.00 I was in shock when it did not hurt my eyes and works perfect.  So I went back today and bought Elf mascara, blush, brush, eye shadow......all of their items are $3.00 or less.  We shall see if the items I bought today are as great as their eye primer.

Then I went to TJ Maxx and found a pair of Mia $145.00 boots on sale for $25.00.  Oh yeah.  Had to get.  They are lace up the front sand colored wedge swede.  I love boots.  One of my co-workers asked me if I needed more boots?  I did not even realize how many I had.  Last time I counted it was 20 and now I think it is up to 25.  But most of my boots are $30.00 or less and I love them all.  I should have a boot parade but I don't think they show off so well on their own.  They do make the outfit though.

8PM Saturday night and all is well in Portland, Oregon.  Time for dinner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Individual Style Is Key

My mother asked me, "Why do people over a certain age always say how old they are when they speak?"  Example, "Well, I am 82 and blah blah blah blah."  She wondered if they were bragging or complaining or wanted a medal?   Since I do not have a camera yet that will allow me to take my own photos for my blog I am wondering if like reading a book if the author is good you can visualize the characters just by the way they are presented in word only.  What does age have to do with it?  I guess the author does say something like "at age 48 she was blah blah blah"....because I think we are conditioned to stereotype people by age in our minds.  It is just natural even though we know that age is just a number we still generalize. 

For me the best blogs are the MOST PERSONAL.  The ones where I get a chance to get to know the person rather than just look at the outfit of the day.  Second Skin was an excellent example of this.   Do people have to know how old you are to get an idea of who the person is?  I think there are people who really identify with their age and those who don't.  I do not and until I get my camera and post pictures I will see if I can describe who I am.

This one awoke this morning and had her wardrobe planned out and stuck with it.  She has never been related to as her chronological age and dresses accordingly.  She is not the wild child that is a Betsey Johnson and not any one style that she could identify with.  She has an air of mystery about her that comes natural and her personality is on the side of teasing and kidding around with her friends and co-workers.  Her nickname at work is "Paris" because there is an attitude that comes quite natural with everything being about her. She has below the shoulder length hair with bangs and blonde highlights that she blow dries and flat irons then lets fly free only washing once a week.She does not like going to salons, and no manicures, pedicures, or botox please.

Today for work she began with an oversize chiffon creme button down the front shirt with huge black polka dots worn over a white camisole.  She paired this with black knit Guess skinnie jeans and a black velvet short Victorian style jacket with pleats in the back she purchased  from the Gap a thousand years ago.  But she hardly ever finds anything at the Gap for her style.  Then she wore a pair of lace up granny 3" wedge shooties in bronze from Shikeh.  Finishing touch a clip on denim and antique beige satin  rose from H&M.  Not done yet she wore on the left ear a small diamond stud and the right ear a costume jewelry diamond stud with a very long silver chain that looks like the ones they sell at Bebe.  Oh, and then still yet a huge solitaire crystal cut costume cocktail ring purchased at a specialty resale store. 

I am so not good at presenting a character study.  And I have to know what I like about fashion blogs is to be able to SEE how the wardrobe looks on the body and get inspired by what I SEE and then I like to read about their personal insights.  I have to get a camera sooner than later.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Best Book On Style

Ok...have your read Simon Doonan's "Eccentric Glamour"?  I am reading it for the second time because I love to laugh and I love his point of view on how not to look like everyone else. In my city that means a uniform of jeans, tee, jacket/blazer, and flat soled boots or athletic shoes. 

 The questions I am asking myself from Simon's book is:
  • What makes me different?
  • What makes me unique?
  • What is my signature repertoire of well chosen style constants?
Simon says, "identify something that communicates and defines your unique self then punctuate them with a jolt of the unexpected."  LOVE THAT!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

$10,000. Smile

Toddlers & Tiara's is controversial when it comes to competition and the question is if it is healthy or not for children to be in the pageants.  When you put a $10.000 prize into the mix then I say there is no question it is not going to be a healthy event. 

I think the show is going to be turned in for cruelty to children after tonight.  Competition is hard enough but with that much money on the line it turns into a bad night in Vegas.  There are so many shows I refuse to watch on TV.  I wonder why I like to watch this show?

Have you ever participated in a pageant?  What was the experience like for you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ballet Addiction

Afraid of snow decided not to go to ballet class and now I am sooooo bummed!!!  And I was NOT going to let this happen.  This time, this year, I was not going to let the weather forecast slow me down.  I decided starting this week I was going to go to class 5 times a week no excuses.

The only thing I can muster to do tonight at home is 20 releves.  The end.  I feel like a loser.  I have been here before a million times and what do I learn?   I am aware to call myself names does not help, soften and surrender my mental story of what a loser I am.  There is a part of myself that says if I pardon myself and accept my choice then I will do that ALL the time.  Now I am aware that is just a story I tell myself and I can choose to buy into the story or let it go.

I just love ballet.  It is the best form of exercise ever devised by man in my opinion.  I just want to do it forever.  Nothing else interests me.  I think that is called an addiction.

Monday, January 16, 2012

When There Is A Will

Whew!!  I had a day.   Ballet class tonight and cold outside decided to stay in and figure out why my blogging suddenly became a problem with design etc. so this athlete spent the whole day ONLINE and only when I softened and relaxed and took a nap did it come to me how to fix all and I did.  Hooray this athlete is jumping up and down!!!

Martha Graham said we are all athlete's in training and I agree.  Whatever you are devoting most of your time to is your athletic endeavor.  I met with my friend from Barcelona yesterday and we spoke of my health issues and hers and how we use Dr. Google because our Western medicine does not focus on the individual but rather on statistics.  There is no answer for it so we have to find our own way to deal.

I was told to trust my daring expansive vision.  Then tonight watching Knocked Up I hear the scene with the father talking to his son  ":Life doesn't care about your vision.  Life happens and you roll with it."

Do you think Martha Graham is right?
Do you think the father is right?