Time, just a little more time…and muffin tops.

I could start this post with a number of clich√©’s regarding time, like “time is fleeting” or “time waits for no (wo)man” but I truly don’t have the time.

I hate that I have neglected my blog(s). I am writing this post during my early morning breakfast-plus-wait-for-my-hair-to-dry 10 minutes of free time. Truly, I have started, edited, stopped and re-written these last few sentences simply because I am distracted at the moment, which means there will be nothing substantive written here today. The cat is clamoring at me for attention, I should be doing some homework, I keep looking at the clock, but oh—I miss my blog, sigh ūüė¶

So here’s a short and oh so truly non-informative and who the hell cares topic for today: muffin tops.

I have this t-shirt that is a lovely mix of olive/spring/leaf green. I bought it for the color because it just shouted springtime in the PNW to me from the rack at Kohl’s. My computer desk sits directly next to a window. At this early 6AM writing, I can see my reflection in the window, just like a mirror because it’s still very dark outside.

I have now dubbed this fantastic shirt my muffin top shirt. I am 52, menopausal, not skinny but not really overweight; just of unequal distribution of the weight I have, meaning: around my middle, and this wonderful shirt shows that off perfectly.

Also a perfect illustration of time. Time does bad things to bodies. Time should be ashamed of itself. Time to turn off the computer. Deep sigh.



Wow! My chestile area is amazed

Well, I guess I found the secret to being a blogger, write about intimate undergarments, especially those involving the chestile area and/or use the word boob and you will get more likes; comments; and follows in 1 day than you ever have before!

Thank you all sincerely who took the time to read my last post and I am so glad you enjoyed my writing or maybe it was simply my long overlooked admittance that said chestile area needed attention. Either way it was great to wake up this morning to like, like, like!

By the by, I do realize (and I hope that you also realize) that my use of the word chestile is a complete fabrication. I actually think I might have stolen it from a friend of my daughters, or at least something like it. K****¬†is fondly thought of my me as someone who is quick on the draw with made up words and if I didn’t hear it directly from her then she was my inspiration none the less.

Just to be safe, I Googled chestile. Not because I really thought it might be a word, come on now, but you all know you can Google just about anything and someone, somewhere will be using the word. My search reveals:

  • Che Stiles—tiles of Italy. A locally owned New Zealand tile company
  • Chestiles—a band called Nightwalker with apparently 1 YouTube hit
  • ¬†Chestile.com—an¬†Italian site that has something to do with art and painting although my minimal Italian language skills don’t allow me to fully grasp what it is I could order through Paypal

I refuse to go any farther than page 1 as this is truly a silly, made up word. But at least in some odd sense I feel better as a writer because I have sort of given credit to those who have come before me. I try not to plagiarise, really. But I have enough of citing references in class so I am not going that far.

Hey, that’s an interesting concept for a blog. Make up a word and post what you find on a Google search, all the while applying your own viewpoint. Probably taken already and actually sort of takes the fun out of making up words.

I will leave you this morning with an image. I couldn’t help myself. I had to run to Google images also in a search for chestile. Guess what, I found the disc put out by the infamous band I mentioned above. Now I feel that I can truly hold my head high, double credit in a post has to make up for using their word right?

(?) Musings on ladies undergarments

I have finally decided to break my silence on this topic after a short struggle in which I was trying to determine just how much I might offend some of my readers.

But the reality is this: I made a vow to myself that this blog would be about me, all aspects of me and my life and I am still struggling to let all of me be revealed. So I take this stance. When I decide to write a slightly sketchy post openly I am going to begin the title with a secret code. To any of my readers who wish not to read about any of my odd, or more personal ramblings then disregard any post title that begins with this (?).

You have now been warned so enter at your own risk.

Tonight the topic is bras, or if you prefer brassieres, although I have never liked that world. It makes me think of the 1950’s style Playtex¬†bra with the cross your heart design, the stitching that went directly across the cup and the oddly pointy quality to the bra itself. I remember these because I thought it was great fun to put on my mother’s Playtex bras; stuff them and walk around like I had boobs when I was about 8 years old.

And of course I have to pay homage to Jane Russell if I am writing about Playtex bras, but really was the female anatomy ever really that protrusive?

My revelation involves a personal inability to realize for a long, long time that one’s body¬†changes as one ages. I have seen evidence of this as clothing sizes have advanced and retreated over the years, clothing choices and styles have changed regularly based on new or advancing bulges and bumps but for some reason, one area of my body that has been locked in a time warp has been the chestile area of my person. I am not sure why I have been unable or unwilling to realize that for many, many years now that area has not been the same size it was 10, 20, maybe even 30 years ago.

This does not mean that I am walking around in the same bra I was wearing at 20 years of age. I assure you I am not. But I have been consistently buying a size that in reality has not been “my size” for many years. Why have I not noticed this change? It is not for lack of any want or desire that their be a change. Quick the contrary. One of the most awe-inspiring times of my life was during my childbearing years when I had the privilege of actually having a chest and cleavage. Somehow though, I simply assumed that when those fruitful days had passed, I had also returned to my pre-motherhood size and shape and I simply purchased my usual whenever the need arose.

I consider myself an intelligent woman. Why in the world did I assume that while the rest of me was changing and morphing and bulging and receding, my chestile area was frozen in time. It was not, and until very recently I did not acknowledge this. So in a fortuitous moment, an ah-ha moment, an epiphany actually I decided to not only look at the possibility of new sizing but actually went so far as to try on and discover that reality is an amazing thing. Purchasing new and correctly fitting undergarments has greatly added to my comfort, my self-esteem and my cleavage.

This by the way is only an example of what I may have purchased. I am not advertising for any brand personally

The downside of this though, and you knew there would be a downside because I am 52 not 22 is that ultimately the need for this up sizing is not all positive by any means. Yes the need was there but much of what was once not being contained that is now being contained is the result of age, 3 children nourishing themselves, and what I affectionately like to term, “underarm boob” which is my way of not completely admitting to that little bit of extra skin and tissue (ok fat) that tends to sit just to the side of the breast itself and in an ill-fitting undergarment likes to peep over the top of the band. Sort of back fat but just a little more forward.

I am happy to report that everything is now contained nicely.¬†I feel much better about myself. I spent more on brassieres lately than I have in my entire life* and I can finally say proudly that I don’t have a little girl chest anymore.

No, there will not be pictures, video or revelation of actual sizes. I leave that all to the imagination of my readers. There will be no pointedness either. Thankfully I have outgrown that phase also.

*My cheapness may have also been a factor in the many years of wrong size wearability as it is well-known or maybe not so well-known that spending $30 or $40 or more dollars for one bra makes me wince mightily and refuse to acknowledge the need for a change.


Searching for purpose even now

I am in the middle of a reflective period of my life once more. Every so often I start mulling over who and what I am, what I have or have not accomplished in my life and what purpose I might still serve.

I wonder if others do this. At 52, shouldn’t I have the pleasure of saying that I did all I could, that I have no regrets, that I fulfilled every goal, that my life is pretty much complete.

Yet, once again this morning my life feels somewhat wasted. I feel that I have something more to give, that I can make a difference somewhere. I remember thinking early in my career that I was making a difference in people’s¬†lives. I don’t feel that way anymore. I haven’t for a long time and should have ended this career years ago. But old habits die hard, and it is nice to bring home a regular paycheck. I felt more fulfilled in a second career, many years ago. But then, my children were my true passion and that career began to interfere with my being a mom. At least I believed it interfered too much and I gave it up.

My children are raised. I know I was successful as a mom and wouldn’t change anything I gave up to be the mom I wanted to be. I did make a difference in their lives and it’s evident in their decisions, attitudes, and goals as adults. I am not a constant presence for them anymore, yet certainly still a consistent presence. If they really need me, they ask, but I know and they know that they were raised with the ability and self-confidence to make good choices and decisions. I am simply a sounding board at this point.

So what does one do with a deep-seated need to be involved, be needed, be useful and give to others. How does one use their skills, intelligence, leadership ability and interests in our human condition to find purpose. Writing this I seem to sound like a 20-something who has no clue what to do with their life. I kind of expect that¬†from a 20-something. I’m not sure it’s ok to expect that of a 50-something.

I also don’t want to be a 60-something and feel like I am still searching.

When life gives you Heberden’s nodes….whine about it.

So after losing patience once more with hands that ache, swell and hurt I went back to my GP to take the next step-x-rays and blood tests to rule out rheumatoid arthritis. I also was supposed to go back and see him in August, an appointment I conveniently skipped. Who wants more bad news right?

Word of warning to anyone who has osteoarthritis¬†and goes in for hand¬†x-rays: double¬†up on your pain reliever BEFORE the appointment. Two hands + ¬†3 x-rays¬†each = pain. Lots of pain in my case. We had the flat on the table shot, the what I like to call “riser shot” whereby this lovely soft foamy structure was laid¬†under by elevated and spread fingers to separate them and finally the “killer shot” for me: thumb and index finger in a pincer grasp-fingers spread and pinkie extended back while all lay cocked to the side on the table, and the x-ray tech says “please hold very still” and I look down and see my fingers trembling of their own volition.

They also drew about 3 gallons of blood, oh and I got a flu shot also, which made my entire arm so sore I couldn’t move it so I slept with the heating pad that night for sure. Long story short: definite characteristic nodes of OA but no signs of RA. Not sure if this is good news though. While I can’t say that I like the idea of my own bodies immune system attacking me from the inside, a small part of me kind of hoped that maybe an RA marker would appear. Maybe, just maybe then instead of just trying to mask the pain, I could actually take some sort of med that might halt the progression of the disease. No, I was only able to reaffirm that:

1. I am old and not getting any younger. 2. My joints are simply old also, tired and worn out and trying to remind me of that fact constantly. 3. I better get serious about plans for the future. 4. Elastic waist pants might be making an appearance in my closet sooner than expected. 5. I can help the economy by hiring a younger, strong, able-bodied and nice looking young man to tie my shoes, button my pants, chop my veggies, put in my ear rings, open my beverage containers, brush and floss my teeth, and on really bad days-drive me around so I don’t have to use my hands or turn my progressively stiffening neck.

Yes, I said it here first. Ok that’s a lie-I did tell the doctor I was pretty certain that OA was making it’s presence known in my neck also. Have had neck issues for years that never made sense until recently dealing with the hand issues. Freeway off ramps are by far the worst. There is no more quick glances back over my shoulder to check for cars, mostly because my head won’t move quickly; it hurts to attempt it, I hear these weird grating sounds in my skull when I do, and it truly won’t turn far enough to allow me to safely check for cars. So I stop, turn my entire body and of course by that time I end up sitting and waiting for a line of traffic to move before I can merge.

I have admitted to independent tendencies. I realize that I am someone who does not like to ask for help, ever.¬†If I want something done, I do it, or I used to. I don’t like waiting. I don’t like asking. I don’t want to admit I am incapable. I have to get over that. I don’t have a choice anymore. I have to learn to embrace a fundamental part of life: sometimes you just need help. Jerry has been ¬†warned that sooner rather than later he will be in charge of putting gas in my car each week. I haven’t mentioned that one of his least favorite activities, grocery shopping, may not be far behind. I can’t spring too much on him at once.

I am thankful that this condition simply means that my body is tired, that it signals that over the years I have been independent, maybe too independent, but at least I was doing things that made me feel useful or brought enjoyment to my life. It certainly could be worse. I still have hands that function, a neck that still holds my head up all on its own, even if pain comes along with these actions. I can simply say that I am now among the 20 million + people in the United States that have OA. I am a statistic. I am no longer quite so independent, but I am not stopping…not yet.

Endearing pet stories: we love them, we hate them

Enjoying my Sunday morning coffee and bran muffin this AM, reading the local newspaper and catching up on world news like the advances in democracy in Saudi Arabia and Russian leaders Putin and Medvedev swapping jobs.

Local stores have some good deals on fall shoes and boots-might have to go check those out today, and sweaters also-a girl can never have too many sweaters.

Rather quirky, but the last thing I always read in my Sunday newspaper packet is the little Parade Magazine insert. It usually has an interesting recipe, often vegetarian, a book review or two that sparks my interest, even though I am back into the no-time-to-read-anything-but-textbooks mode, and in the very back a weekly op-ed sort of article in a section called American Stories. Sometimes these are quick little insights or advice but  mostly just glimpses into real people life events from not so real life people. One contributor is Connie Shultz, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who writes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I have seen her articles in this magazine before. She often writes about her family. Today was another piece about her second family: her pets. Her children are grown now so she and her husband call their three pets their family; their children. I think many, many pet owners can identify with this.

Today’s story carried the title Old Faithfuls¬†and was accompanied by a sweet picture of a jet black cat and a smushy faced pug. Meet Reggie and Gracie:

Schultz has written about these two before, along with a third companion, another cat named Winnie. These pets are of very advanced age, having been members of her family since before she met her current husband. As a reader, I can take one look at the title here and get a pretty clear picture of where this piece is headed. I don’t have to read much farther than the first few lines and I can feel the tug at my heartstrings and that funny, crinkly, twitchy feeling at the corner of my eyes as the very first sign of tears spring up. I, like so many millions of others am a softy when it comes to pet stories. Also, like so many millions, I have taken the attitude with the loss of each family¬†pet that “there shall be no more four-legged creatures entering my house, ever again”, and I have been proven an absolute liar when the next four-legged creature becomes a part of our family.

We all know that when we adopt an animal into our lives the outcome will most likely be a sad one. We realize that the life span of a cat or dog will not outnumber our own advancing years and we will inevitably have to walk down the road to doggie or kitty heaven with more than one pet. Schultz touches on this in Old Faithfuls with this quote from veterinarian Nick Trout,¬†¬†‚ÄúWe‚Äôve come to embrace our animals as family members,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWe are not meant to lose our children. And yet we take pets on, knowing we‚Äôll have to lose them. It‚Äôs the package deal, to the very end.‚ÄĚ

We know this and we come back for more, yet how can we not when we look at the faces of all the Reggies and all the Gracies out there, many who have no one, many who have been abused, tossed aside or forgotten and all who simply want to belong to a loving family.

I have to go hug my cat now.