Month: April 2017

Dogs, Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Flowers, The Color Pink

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things:

 

raindrops on pink roses

Dear Reader:

My husband, who is one of my favorite things, bought me the Blu-Ray edition of my all-time favorite movie, “The Sound of Music,” and we enjoyed it in all its glory last night. I love a good sing along and I love “My Favorite Things” most among all of the wonderful songs in the film. The lyrics got me thinking about my own favorite things and wondering about yours too! You already know I love my hubby, daughter and doggies! Here’s a list of the stuff I like:

 

  • Raindrops on (pink) roses… Julie was right, they are lovely
  • Illy coffee…when we serve it, our guests consistently ask, “Wow, what is this coffee?”
  • LaMarca Prosecco…cheers!
  • Beckmann’s Three Seed Sourdough bread…you know how I love to cook;)  If I have this in the house, I simply top it with an egg, cheese or veggies, and viola…it’s a meal
  • My new Kitchen Aid Mini Stand Mixer in pink…it fits in my very small kitchen

 

 

  • Cream…poured into my coffee, whipped to top my fruit and to spread between layers of cake
  • My two favorite destinations:  Maui and London…one for relaxing, the other for exploring
  • Chanel No. 5 on my pulse points since I was 20 years old
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
  • Books, books and more books
  • My pink shed, of course!
  • Sleep, especially after a spritz of lavender spray on my pillow and a slather of Aerin Rose Night Table Cream on my face…I simply inhale the sweet dreams

 

Sleep tight with lavender spray and rose face cream

I’d love to hear about your favorite things…

Michele

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family, Friends and Neighbors, Physical Fitness, Mental Health and Growing Older

How Old Do You Feel?

 

Dear Reader:

It was one of those moments that just sneaks up on you. It was 5 years ago, but it remains fixed in my memory. It was the day I realized that even though I was the one driving from point a to point b, my passengers were not far behind me. I was sitting in the car pool lane at school with my neighbor in the back seat awaiting the arrival of my daughter.  We had just finished an uninhibited, full-throttle, banging on the steering wheel and backpack sing-along with Adele. I was still “Rolling in the Deep” when my 15-year-old passenger asked. “How old do you feel?” I turned to face her and she continued. “Do you feel as old as you are?”

I was impressed with her question, and I wanted to know where it came from before I  answered. She said that it came from observing her mother closely. Fair enough. She deserved a thoughtful response.

At the time, I was a mere 52-year-old, so in some ways I was still getting used to the label:  “50-something.” I was then and still am in good health fortunately,  but I didn’t really think that was at the heart of her question. I had to tell her that, although I wasn’t really sure what “50” was supposed to feel like, it was very hard to believe that it had happened to me, even though I was along for the entire ride.

“So you are saying what everyone says:  time goes by quickly?” she asked. She’d heard it before and I could only confirm that it is one of those truths that can’t be known…until it is known.

She wanted more than a simple, trite, easy answer though, so I drew a comparison for her. I described “Imaginary 50-year-old Michele.” She’s a better driver. She’s very wise in a very casual way.  She’s less fearful. She’s more organized.

In contrast, “Real Michele” was still a lousy driver and a bit disorganized. She knew what she didn’t know and she did not hesitate to ask for help. She was not unafraid, but she had a greater sense of peace than she could have imagined.

I also confessed that the picture that I carried in my mind no longer closely matched what I saw when I looked at photographs of myself. Generally, I wasn’t bothered by that though. I estimated my imaginary mental picture age was about “35.”

If I were asked the same question today, I’d probably reply in the same manner. I’m now closer to “60” than “50” and I’m sure when that happens it will feel sudden, and I’ll bet I won’t feel like a 60-year-old.  I’m guessing I’ll still be a poor driver and a bit disorganized, but, in my mind’s eye, I will have aged some; I’ll probably look about “45.”

I’ve decided a bit of denial is just fine. I know how old I am, but there’s no reason to dwell on how many years I’ve lived except to marvel at my incredible good fortune. When I want to feel really young,  these things always take me back:

  • Listening to the Bee Gees
  • Driving a fast car…fast
  • Flirting with my husband
  • Swinging, you know, in a swing in the park
  • Eating a doughnut or hot fudge sundae or a piece of cake with special candles

My daughter baked me a cake!

This year I visited my daughter at college the week before my 57th birthday and she and her roommates helped me celebrate. They baked me a cake and used the only candles they had in their apartment, as they had all turned “20” this year!

Michele

Creativity, Inspirational Women

Guest Post: Painting Barbie by Beth Bordelon

Dear Reader:

Our “From the Pink Shed” hostess Michele asked me why I paint Barbies. The easy answer is, “ I just thought it would be fun.” But when pushed to consider the question a bit more deeply a few things come to mind.

For inspiration, I often take or find photos of subjects I might like to paint later. One of my largest photo files is the Barbie folder. Not just any Barbie, but the vintage original Barbie dolls that Mattel introduced back in 1959. For some reason, later Barbies seem frivolous and maybe a bit tacky to me,  yet the original Barbies seem classic.

When my daughter was growing up in the late 1990s, I intentionally never bought her a Barbie. I felt that those unrealistically shaped, perfect glamour girls would be unattainable or improper role models for her. When friends or family members gave her a Barbie as a gift, I would go out and buy the doll a doctor’s outfit, a basketball uniform or an art studio in order to give her something productive to do, something that made her more than just a pretty face.

I think part of my interest in painting Barbie dolls (and other retro toys) is due to my 14-year career as an advertising art director. I created many a layout for clients’ products or services—hamburgers, soap, cameras, clothing. Paintings can turn objects into heroes. Think of Andy Warhol and the Campbell’s soup can. Painting a Barbie feels a little like creating an ad for her without the need for a headline!

Ironically, growing up, I never owned a Barbie.  My parents gave me a Tammy doll with her very own carrying case instead. (I still have both!) I liked her and certainly had plenty of opportunities to play with my friends’ Barbies, not to mention Midges, Kens and Skippers. So am I now trying to compensate for my “deprived” childhood? My amateur psychoanalyst self says I don’t think so.

If I was to be totally honest —and I’m embarrassed to admit this—there’s a part of me that relates to this perfect long, tall gal. We both came into the world in 1959 — Mattel started selling Barbie five days after I was born. She’s long and lean and so am I, at 5’10” with a 33” inseam. She’s perfect, and I’m, well, a perfectionist. I’ve fought hard to let that label go, but hey, it’s a process! Who knows how many more Barbies I’ll paint. Perhaps she’s out of my system. We shall see…

Beth

My friend Beth’s work can be found at Bordelon Artworks. In addition to being a very talented artist, she is a very dear friend to me. You can reader more about Beth and our friendship here.

Creativity, Physical Fitness, Mental Health and Growing Older

Period. space, space.

photo-1533543119973-d60296462573

Dear Reader:

This is, at once, an explanation for my errors and a defense of my sanity.  Since I launched fromthepinkshed.com, I’ve received comments, criticisms and suggestions from those nearest and dearest to me. There is nothing I like more than constructive criticism…well, unbridled enthusiasm is nice! But seriously, how can I improve if I don’t know where I went wrong?

Here is a partial list of the mistakes I’ve made as illuminated via lengthy text messages from friends and family:

  • You haven’t been alive for a “century”…insert “half.”
  • There is an extra space between the first sentence and the second sentence.
  • The “Bachelor’s” name was Nick, not Chris.
  • There is an extra space between every sentence in paragraph 2.
  • Um, your link doesn’t link.
  • There’s an extra space after, LITERALLY, every sentence in your post, Mother!

What’s with all the extra spaces? Period.  space space.  Period.  space space.  Typing, I thought, is kinda like riding a bike…you master the skill and you never forget how to do it. I learned how to touch type back in 1976 when I was in high school; I topped out at a swift 80 wpm! Fast. I was fast. I’m still pretty fast! I can type faster than I can think.

When readers began pointing out my “spaciness,” I was bothered. Are the extra spaces the first indication that I’m at the top of the hill and will start rolling down very soon. NO, definitely not. The answer came from my daughter, as so many other good things do!  She called one day to say that after a class in typography as part of her Graphic Communication major, she had the answer to the riddle.

Here’s the explanation. Typewriters, it turns out, are very democratic machines. Every character is given the exact same amount of space on the page. That means that the letter ” i” is given the same amount of space as the letter “w,” even though it clearly doesn’t need it. This is called monospaced typesetting. An extra space between sentences was needed to delineate the beginning of a new sentence because the spacing between words was uneven on a typewriter.

Computers use proportionally spaced fonts, which adjust spacing to the size of the letter. There is no need for two spaces between sentences as the print is readable with only a single space.

It’s a simple as that! I’m old. I was taught to double-space. Turns out typing is not just like riding a bike. I’ll need to focus and proof-read or I may drive my daughter crazy!

Michele

 

Creativity

Ideas are Very Cagey Things

Dear Reader:

Get to work before it’s too late!

That idea 

catch it

before it slips away 

An idea is a very cagey thing.

First you’ve got it

then you’ve lost it.  

Where did it go?

 Is it with someone else?  

Is that the idea?

 Does it wish to be caught

 expressed?

Surely.

It zips around alighting here and there until someone sees how splendid it is

how witty and wise

She catches it and puts it on paper or canvas or a blog.

There’s another.

Grab hold of it.

Reach out to it 

 Where does it carry you  

Do you fly or swim or float or glide or skip?

Ideas are very cagey things.

Have fun,

Michele