May 172017
 

My Head ShotIt’s the time of year dreaded by all, especially by those who are not young, slim or anything close to the beauty standards of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It’s Swimsuit Season! Are you resigned to going to the beach or pool in tank or tee and shorts? Understood. That was my summer wardrobe, too, but no more. Old Busted Hotness is breakin’ out her Old Busted Flab. (More about those boobs to come.)

I haz swimsuit!  (Me so happy. . . 🙂 )

 The Big Boob Caper
Ashley Graham bikini

Ashley Graham x Swimsuits For All Princesa Tropic Bikini, (linked in post) sale price $58

Have you seen the latest craze in plus-size swimwear? Due to the fabulous rise in body positivity, larger gals in two-piecers are proudly showing off their tummies. The models are freakin’ gorgeous and toned! My amazement comes, however, not from the tops of the suits but the tops of those models! To be more than a bit crude. . . . where’d they get those knockers? I didn’t think I was a slouch in the boob department, but I couldn’t fill those cups with my ass. Age and weight loss have taken their toll and if things don’t stop, pretty soon I’m gonna need fluffy gym socks to fill out my C cups.

Beach Pain

I remember being happy as a little kid on the beach. Truth be told, I’m always happy on the beach. But that’s before I was humiliated for being fat. Once in middle school, I had a two-piece suit. It wasn’t a bikini. It was what they called a hipster. It was green. My Grandmom bought it for me. My mother was beyond mortified. People were gonna see her kid’s fat rolls. OH, THE HORROR, THE SHAME!!! I was a junior size 11, huge in my mother’s eyes. Oh, to be that size now.

From here on out, nice tank suits were the name of the game. But as I got teased and humiliated at the beach by both men and women, I decided it was time to revert to the tank tops and shorts. . . or wrap myself in a beach towel. And as much as I loved the beach, I just avoided it. Too painful.

This is Ashley Stewart's power mesh swim top

Power Mesh Swim Top from Ashley Stewart, Reg. Price $54.50

Back to the Boob Suits

So I decided those big boob suits were just mock-ups for the model at hand and started ordering. Surely those cups couldn’t be that size in real life. Wanna bet? I looked like the old joke about the kid who proudly marches up to her teacher and announces she’s wearing a training bra. To which said teacher sweetly replies, “But what are you training, honey?” UGH

Last year, I bought a one-piece suit. It’s wearable, but the leg holes are too big and it fits a little funny. My parts are different sizes. Tankinis allow a better fit with separates. And don’t say the words “swim dress” to me. Those words scream old lady loud and clear and bring back my childhood shame. 🙁

My tankini top from Talbots

Pandora Beachy Blooms Tankini Top – Miraclesuit® available from Talbots online, reg. price $89.50

Success!

It took quite a bit of searching and returning, but. . . I finally have a great-fitting tankini top courtesy of Talbots. Yeah, the place I call the Muffy & Buffy store came through. Not usually my cup of tea. But one day, a gorgeous swimsuit popped up on my Facebook page and I clicked on it. To my amazement, it was Talbots!!! I scanned down the page and saw a tankini top in the same beautiful print. It was on sale and I got an online coupon for a massive percentage off. This place ain’t cheap! When I pulled it out of the package, I thought. . . . hmmm, maybe? And the best part? I would not need to stuff honeydew melons in the cups to fill them out. I put it on and modeled it for Ray. His eyes lit up. It’s in my drawer.

I’m planning on wearing it with a pair of black bike shorts from Fabletics. I also ordered a black swim skirt from Swimsuits for All.  And, yes, I know what I said about a swim dress, but this doesn’t look like one, even with the skirt.

So when you go to the beach in South Jersey this year, if you see a (very) short, fat old broad with caramel-colored hair sticking straight up, give me a wave. And if fluffy gym socks fall out of my bra, just palm ‘em discreetly and give ‘em back to me later, K?

See ya Friday with a great review!

May 152017
 

My Head ShotPanties, undies, choners, unmentionables or whatever you call them, we all need ‘em unless, that is, you’re a commando type of gal. There are a gazillion styles out there now in all sizes. But if you don’t want granny panties and you’re not quite ready for what I lovingly call butt floss, how do you find something comfortable in between? What follows is a humorous look at my (frustrating) hunt for the perfect panties.

Body Oddities

Due to surgery and stomach muscle removal from a nasty little thing called MRSA, I am plagued with Jabba the Gut and the relatively flat ass I was born with. Therefore, while I don’t quite want grannie panties, hipsters and bikinis don’t work for me. They’re uncomfortable and create more rolls than Pillsbury. However, I do have certain demands for what is under my jeans. No tighty-whities. I was forced into white undies from diapers till I left home. I was taught you gotta be able to bleach “da curse” outta them. Well, I’ve been spayed since 1998, so no more. Now I like ’em wild and colorful!!!

My Preferences

(1) MUST be cotton
(2) MUST be stretch cotton (due to said problem with Jabba the Gut)
(3) MUST have a fairly strong waistband
(4) MUST come all the way up to my waisted line
(5) MUST not need a personal loan from the bank to afford
(6) Did I already say they MUST be loud and colorful? 🙂

The Perfect Panties That Were
My first good panties

These were the Avenue originals I was happy with for years until I found Lane Bryant’s

I found the perfect panties that met all these requirements a few years back at Avenue. And then one day I found an even better version of the style at Lane Bryant. So I started buying them there. I would wait for the semi-annual sales and buy 6-8 pair at a time.

Last year, my body told me it needed to be smaller. I have movement issues and it’s not rocket science to know that a smaller body is easier to move through the time/space continuum. The birth of a very feisty grandbaby to chase brought this home even more. So when I could pull my fave Lane Bryant panties up over my boobs, I happily trotted back to LB for new ones, a size smaller.

And then came the day that I happily trotted back to Lane Bryant to get the next size down. . . only to discover there was NO next size down. “No problem,” says I. I will simply find them elsewhere a size smaller. “HAH HAH HAH,” says the fashion industry.

What I Wanted

These are the Jockeys I wanted for history’s and other sakes, but couldn’t find in a size to fit me

I decided I needed Jockeys.  Growing up, undies were called jockeys in my home. Then I discovered that Jockey isn’t overly fond of fat folk. The largest I found were a size 7. Maybe with stretch, but as they were? Not even with a prescription! I should clarify that they don’t seem to like fat women. Their mens’ undies come in a much wider size range. Oh, and did I mention that a 3-pack is $22.50? So no Jockeys for me. I should note here that I have just discovered that Jockey does indeed make plus sizes. Of course, these cost even more and you have to order them from their website as most stores only carry the smaller sizes.

The Hunt

Finding any type of decent full briefs is a pain in the butt (yes, pun intended). I repeat. . . I will NOT wear white granny panties. Yes, I’m a granny but. . . as previously noted more than once, I like bright colors, a decent fabric and a good waistband. Yes, I am willing to pay a little more for these features. But finding it? Nobody wants my money. . . or so it seems.

First stop, the internet. I decided to search. And search and search and. . . . well, you get the idea. Yes, my searches were specific. I would put in “stretch cotton ladies briefs” and would get. . . microfiber panties, nylon panties, bikini panties, hipster panties, the aforementioned butt floss and on and on and on and on. Did you not notice, Google, that I said stretch cotton briefs? And I thought you were my friend. 🙁

Hours were spent at Walmart, Target, JC Penney, anywhere they sold ladies underwear here in Lower Cowpie Heaven. As my old ones were wearing out and/or falling down, I needed something fast. I should note here I tried a variety of specialty undies, different fabrics, cuts, etc., just in case I could fudge my standards a bit. Nope. Didn’t work.

What I Got

So I finally decide I have to buy something and pick up a package of el cheapos at Wally’s. They were high cut but it was all I could find in the size. They were very, very thin and as see-through as a sheet of Saran Wrap despite their bright patterns and colors. Actually, they fit well, but I am not a gentle old lady by any means. I tend to yank things up and down and the waistband tore on the first wearing. Oh well, they’re tucked away for when I forget to do the wash. I should note here for those who can wear them, there is a new brand at Walmart, Target, etc. called Fit For Me that are wonderful. They start at size 9. I would have adored these a few years ago.

Next came Fruit of the Loom. Good ‘ole reliable Fruit of the Loom. We hunted. We searched. We damn near threw packages of underwear on the floor looking for the correct size. Finally, my husband spotted a package that said “briefs” and not “modern briefs,” code for just try to get these puppies up above your belly button! The Holy Grail lives! Well, all I can say is that they are somewhat better than the first ones. Nicer fabric, softer. But. . . they are much larger in the size than the first batch and still see-through thin. And a few bucks more per package.

The one-offs. I have purchased singles in a variety of places, all very disappointing. Had I found one that fit all my requirements, I would have gone back and purchased every pair in the store.

My woman within panties

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! For now, these fit the bill from WW

Catalog to the Rescue

While perusing the Woman Within catalog for my first blog review, I thought I saw something in the panty pages. I thumbed right by. Then I went back. Surely, it couldn’t be. . . BUT IT WAS! The same kind of  (yes, by all that is holy, it said stretch cotton briefs!!!) panties I had purchased at Avenue and Lane Bryant. And wonder of wonders, they came in a size smaller than what I had! A coupon made them reasonable, shipping included, so I placed an order. Panty heaven, at least for now.

How About You?

What style undies do you prefer? Why? Where do you get them? Help an OBH out here, K?

See ya next time!

BTW, I am not affiliated with any of the companies featured here. I put the links in for your convenience should you decide to check ’em out. 🙂

May 122017
 

Company Name:  Woman Within  (a few pics at the bottom)

Size Range:  12 to 40, sizes above 24 are approximately $5 to $10 more depending on style

Shoes:  Yes, in sizes 7 – 12 W, WW, with wide calf boots also available.

Trendy:  NO

Overall Rating (out of 10):  7

For those of you who lived out of the old Lane Bryant Catalog back in the day and know that the current Lane Bryant stores have nothing in common with that catalog any longer, allow me to present Woman Within. The catalog changed its name approximately 9-10 years ago. It is now a part of Full Beauty Brands, which also includes plus-size catalogs Roamans, Jessica London, Ellos and Swimsuits for All.

The Clothing

Woman Within sells basic, non-trendy clothing. It’s a little fuddy-duddy to me, but I do occasionally purchase basics from here, including tee shirts, undies and the occasional odd garment. You won’t find anything super stylish here but you WILL find good basic pieces for your wardrobe.

They have a few cute dresses scattered throughout, but most are maxis which make my short stuff look. . . learn the term. . . F&D or Frumpy & Dumpy.  😉 Swimsuits tend towards the granny look. They have a large selection of underwear, sleepwear, basic pants, shorts, jeans, tops and shoes.  The shoe selection is where I feel they excel. Woman Within, Roamans and Jessica London carry a huge selection of large, wide and stylish shoes. (More on this in a coming post.)

Sizing

As I said, they have sizes 12 through 40. Not all clothing comes in all sizes. They have a decent number of petites. I haven’t seen many talls, if any, but their regular clothing, to me, is very long. Most descriptions give the length of the pieces somewhere in the description. I admit that I’m not crazy about the fact that a catalog geared to plus-size women charges more for extended sizes, but that’s the nature of the beast for most retailers.

Fit

I always thought their shirts ran a little snug. Some items ran big.  My point being there seems to be little to no consistency in sizing. They DO, however, offer free exchanges so, if you like something and it doesn’t fit right, you can exchange it for a different size.

Speaking of Returns and Exchanges

Exchanges are free. Returns are accepted for refund of purchase price to the original payment method within 90 days, minus $7.50 for return postage (usually through UPS drop box). After 90 days, you can still return an item but you will get a Woman Within gift card, minus the $7.50, instead of a credit to your original payment method.

Price

It’s hard to give you a guideline here because every day brings a new deal so you have to check the site. Most dresses I looked at were in the $25 to $60 range. Tops go $25 to $40 regular price. Tee shirts are cheaper. Jeans are basic and in the $40ish range. Personally, I think they are expensive for what you get. Their quality is better than Walmart, but. . . not as good as I think it should be for what they’re charging. Now all that being said, check the next section on getting a better price.

Special Deals

Oh my goodness, there are ways and ways and ways to cut the price at Woman Within and earn benes. There are coupons out all over the internet for this catalog. (Check Retail Me Not) If you sign up for their emails, you will get an immediate 40% off coupon and you will continue to get coupons. They have big sales on all major holidays, too. And they also have a refer-a-friend program. There is a page on the site where you can refer friends. When your friend purchases, they get $25 off and you get $25 in your account to spend as you please. If you sign up for their credit card, you earn $10 rewards which can be spent like cash. You can sign up on the site for a free catalog. Every time you get a new catalog, there is a discount or free shipping or a freebie on it.

My Overall Impression

The Woman Within Catalog used to be the one place a larger woman who liked mildly conservative clothing could get everything. It still is, but it is no longer the only place. While I occasionally purchase from them, much more stylish clothing can be found in lots of other places. However, if it fits you well, the price agrees with your budget and you like what you see, give them a try. The company **is** reliable and will work with you to iron out a dispute, if necessary.

See ya Monday!

Woman Within crinkle dress

Floaty, mid-length, crinkle fabric dress, $39.99 to $49.99 depending on size

 

Woman Within Stretch Jeans

Straight Leg Stretch Jeans, $29.99 to $39.99 depending on size

Woman Within Silas Sandal

Cute, up-to-date sandal in a full range of sizes, 7M to 12WW. $39.99 to $49.99 depending on size

May 102017
 

My Head ShotDo you work out? I do. If I’m being perfectly honest with you, I’d rather not but. . . I’m afraid not to. Age and illness have taken their toll and, if I sit too long, there are consequences. So off I go to the gym and yoga. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lately, I see lots of other folks there who look just like me, older and larger than the average bear. I used to go in old (lady) pants and tee shirts. But one day I looked around at all the ladies rockin’ their cute active wear outfits and decided, “Why the hell not?” I left the gym, headed to Lane Bryant and snagged me an outfit.

That First Outfit

Me in my 1st gym outfitThis was that first outfit. (Yes, my flying squirrel upper arms are showing, thank you very much! 😉 ) The mannequin was wearing the only one in my size. I stripped that gal nekkid in a heartbeat and bought it. LOL The top is royal blue with the word INSPIRE on it. I needed that. The pants are actually capris but I’m mega short, remember? They’re sorta kinda crops on me but I can yank them up to the knees if necessary. You can’t see it well here, but there is a multi-colored stripe down the side of the pants that matches the word INSPIRE.

Super comfy. Easy care. All the good stuff. And not too expensive to boot. I’m wearing a 14-16 in this pic. You will note that most of my tops will be tight around Jabba the Gut. If I buy them bigger, they tend to swim on me in all other places and make me look sloppy. So I just go with the snug middle look.

My honest impression of Lane Bryant active wear:  Good quality, reasonable price (on sale) but not a huge selection. That being said, they are getting more and more as larger women are becoming more active.

But Wait, I Need More!

I’m going to the gym 3-4 times a week. OMG, I need another outfit!!!  Back to Lane Bryant I went. Problem was they didn’t have another one that I really liked. As this blog moves forward, you’ll find out how picky (anal) I am about what I spend my hard-earned clothing bucks on. So remembering that Google is my friend, I found Fabletics.

Me in Flabletics blueFabletics is an exercise wear company founded by Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn’s daughter. She’s late 30-ish and in amazing shape. When I first heard of them, they had kind of a bad rep. They apparently made some changes because, all of a sudden, I began hearing good things about them. All the models look like Kate Hudson and not me, not by a long shot.  I didn’t know if the clothes would fit. I got a good deal through a friend, though, so I tried an outfit. When it arrived, I was like. . . uh-uh, no way.  But. . . does shuckin’ and jivin’ into compression pants classify as a workout?  It should!!!

As you can see, this one is a royal blue top with LOUD leggings. Luv me some wild prints! I’m wearing a size 14-16 which is an XL in their size range.

Fabletics is a membership site. Every first of the month they debut new outfits for that month. You have five days to decide if you want something and boy, oh boy, do the outfits sell out quick! Outfits are $49.95 and up, usually with free shipping. If you don’t make a selection by the 5th OR SKIP THE MONTH (more in a moment), they put a $49.95 charge on your credit card that you can use whenever you’d like. You can skip a month at any time. Believe me, I’ve skipped most of the months that I’ve been subscribed. SHAMELESS DISCLAIMER:  If you click THIS LINK and sign up, you get two pair of leggings for $24, which is the current sign-up special. And I get something for it, too. 🙂

My Honest Impression of Fabletics:  Great style, good fit, easy to navigate website and membership plan. GREAT NEWS!!!  They just started carrying some kickass plus sizes up to a 24. I like the leggings much better than the tops. The three pair of leggings I own are very strong and supportive. The tops not so much, but they look good!

Old Navy

Me in purple Old NavyOne day I decided I needed something new to encourage me to go to the gym. I ended up in Old Navy, attracted by a sign that said BIG SALE ON ACTIVE WEAR. I had ordered some of their compression workout pants about two years ago as they only had the larger sizes online. I was pleasantly surprised to find they were now in the store up to a 2XXL, which is about a size 20-22.  This is my Old Navy gym outfit.

The top is purple and the bottom is gray camo. The back of the top is actually mesh but it overlaps so there’s not much showing. Yeah, you can see the back of my sports bra. Who cares? I’m such a rebel these days!  (HAH!) This one was a little pricey and I wouldn’t have bought it had it not been for the extreme sale. I’m wearing a size large as the XL didn’t support Jabba the Gut. I am not comfortable with my floppy bits flopping about, especially while working out.

My honest impression of Old Navy active wear: Good styles and prints. A little on the expensive side, so  wait for sales! From my experience, the sizes are not always consistent so try it on first.

Lots of Choices

As I said in my prior post, there is explosive growth in the plus-size active wear market. You can get outfits and separates in many places, including JC Penney, Walmart, Target and other big box/mall stores. Even Nike, that staunch defender of the Just Do It thin folks, has started carrying larger sizes. (Two words:  Cha Ching!!!) It’s actually fairly easy to find active wear up to a 3X. However, if you’re larger, don’t despair! I’m doing some research into extended-size active wear. I know it’s out there and I WILL find it. Stay tuned.

Oh, do you notice my huge feet? For some reason, that and my big gut are all I see when I look at these pics. LOL  I am barely 5’1″ (if I stand up real straight and suck it in hard) and yet I wear a size 9-9.5 shoe. My mother always said I wouldn’t tip over in a storm. For some reason, the shoes look HUGE to me although I’ve worn this size shoe since I was a young woman. We’re our own worst enemies, aren’t we?

Coming Up Next

Stay tuned for the next edition of Old Busted Hotness. Fridays are going to be reviews of catalogs, stores and other places to get stylish, wearable and reasonably-priced (for the most part) clothing for us, the older, larger woman who wants to look GOOD. I get a gazillion catalogs and have purchased (and returned) many, many things. The exploration starts in two days.

See ya then!

May 082017
 
My Head ShotAnd So It Begins. . .

What begins? So glad you’ve asked. Me, OBH, a/k/a Old Busted Hotness, a/k/a Carla, is jumping into the world of plus-size blogging, but. . . with a twist. What’s the twist? This one is for us gals WELL over the age of consent. There are many excellent plus-size blogs out there but the oldest gal I’ve seen blogging is maybe 40. As many of you know, I have socks older than that. So here I am. I’m still what society calls plus-size and I’m OLD. Perfect fit. We have money to spend, too, and I am forging ahead with the intention of making us a force to be reckoned with!

So What Will This Be About?

Clothes and, more importantly, the challenges we face as we age in a body larger than the average bear. I should point out right up front here that I am militant about, “Wear whatever the **** you want.” If you want to wear goth, wear it and wear it proudly. If you want to wear something more conservative, wear that and wear it proudly. You will get my opinions and boy, oh boy, do I have ‘em! But in the end, it’s wear what makes you feel good about yourself. The gloves are coming off on, “You’re too old or too big to wear that!”

The BIG No-No

Something else I am militant about is NO BODY SHAMING. NONE, NADA, NEVER. I recently saw a supposedly fat-acceptance person shaming a thin person and what’s left of my hair stood up on end. My mind started calmly enough with the fact that nobody should EVER denigrate someone due to their size. Your weight or BMI is NOT your self-worth. And then I got mad and thought, “HOW DARE YOU???” Someone who has been made to feel less than human due to size doing that to another person? Nope, not on my watch. So if you feel the need to leave a size-shaming comment, suffice it to say your comment will be deleted, at best. At worst, you will be cursed into the next millennium!!!

Size vs. Health

One other point I want to make right from jump is that size does not equal health. I understand that excess weight aggravates some medical conditions. I’m not trying to say don’t strive for health. However, society, as a whole, still sees fat women as sitting on their collective asses and eating bon-bons all day. Nothing could be further from the truth for most of us. Want proof? Take a hard look at the increase in retailers selling plus-size active wear. If there was no market, there would be no gym clothes in 16-24 and beyond. Personally, I go to the gym 3 times a week and I do yoga once a week. I watch every bite that goes into my mouth, some due to medical problems and some due to trying to be the healthiest old fat lady I can be. Got a feisty grandbaby to chase!

The Big Why

Why am I doing this now? Because all of my life I have believed the hype that thin is good, fat is B-A-D. I have dieted until the cows come home, twisted myself into a pretzel trying to force this body into things that it was never meant for, swallowed probably thousands of dollars in miracle “cures” for fat and. . . just about anything else the so-called “experts” out there told me would make me “normal.” God, how I hate that word!!! To quote my longsuffering husband, “Normal is a setting on the dryer, nothing more.” He’s right. Why did it take me so long to learn that? Question for the ages, but I HAVE learned it. It’s finally my time. . . our time.

So let’s age together, folks. Flash those wrinkles and droopy bits proudly. If we are not what society wants to see, you know what? They can look in another direction. When I was young and a size who knows what, three guys at the beach followed me around yelling, “Look at the whale!” And I was in a bathing suit that covered almost all of me. I went home and cried. All I can say to those guys now is that if you’re still out there, don’t try it again. I’ve found my balls. Took me longer than it should have but, as the old adage goes, better late than never.

So. . . who’s with me?

OBH on Easter 2017

Dec 312016
 

Today is December 31st, 2016. Many are preparing to celebrate the end of this year. It was a year to remember, for sure. It was the year where the entertainment industry lost a lot of people, some expected, some not. It was the year the U.S. saw our political system devolve into something I can’t even describe. It was the year that civility and common decency flew out the window and online hatred soared to new heights. And while I deplore all of those things, I can’t really hate 2016 because, for us, it was also something magical, something wonderful and something miraculous. 2016 brought us the birth of Sybella Starr.

It happened on April 24th. She was due on the 28th so the text that my son and his lady were headed to the hospital wasn’t unexpected. It was a long day for her beautiful mommy, who ended up with a C-section just before 10 p.m. Sybella was here. The next generation arrived in a glorious seven-pound package!

Holding that little bundle for the first time was something I will remember the rest of my days. She was tiny but feisty, with a full head of dark hair and deep blue eyes that looked right into yours. Less than 24 hours old, she already followed the voices of Mommy and Daddy. At that moment, she was the most beautiful vision I had ever beheld.

As I write this, Sybella is eight months old. Those eight months have been a roller coaster ride for our family, definitely not all lollipops and roses. But through it all, there was Sybella. We did our best to visit every week. No matter how bad that week had been or how broken my heart was, somehow all was right with the world the minute that little girl was in my arms. That feeling would sustain me for the next seven days until I would race to hold her once more.

Sybella is growing up way too fast, as is the destiny of most children. She is trying to walk. She talks right in your face and I’m sure it’s the most scintillating conversation in the universe. I only wish I knew what she was saying. Soon, I will. She is funny, spirited, super intelligent and loves to play. She is the most beautiful baby in the world, according to her very prejudiced Nana and Pop-Pop. And while I am sure I will be saying things like this about subsequent grandangels, right now, it’s all Sybella. And what an “all” that is!

So good-bye 2016 and welcome to a bright, shiny New Year. I expect a lot from you, 2017, but you’re going to have to go a LONG way to beat April 24th, 2016, the dawning of the age of Sybella Starr.

 

Apr 072013
 

Bally's Beach 2 (800x600)Most of you who know me know I work quite a bit in Atlantic City, NJ these days. I was raised with my toes in the sand every single summer since I was six months old. As an adult, I lived in or near all of the best Jersey Shore areas. I love the beach. I have always loved the beach, but I no longer live by the beach. Sometimes life dictates things other than your ideal situation.

Well, yesterday, we were headed down to Atlantic City to see the Johnny Mathis show so I could write a review (coming soon to Ms. Atlantic City). When a hotel is packed out, oftentimes you don’t get your pick of rooms; you take what’s available. Well, when I opened the door to our room, I gasped. We’ve had ocean views before, but not quite like this. I could see from the door through a very clean window and it honestly took my breath away.

Since we were fairly early for what we had planned to do, we turned our chairs towards the window and sat and just looked out. It’s quite a difference from the woods I now live in. Peace like a river. . . it may be a cliche, but there it was. And I realized that the beach was indeed “my place.” We’ve been talking about moving back and that view cemented my resolution.

This morning, I woke up to a sunrise over the beach and the peace flowed once more. Double dose of cement to the resolution. It will take a bit of doing, but it’s definitely doable. I have to go back there to have peace. So I will. I keep mixing I and we, but hubby feels the same way I do.

The beach is “my place.” What’s yours? To some it’s a farm. To some it may be mountains. To others it may be a city sidewalk. I much prefer a place where things are happening to total peace and quiet. I live out in the woods now. That may be “your place,” but I’ve been here ten years never cared for it. Life’s little circumstances plopped us here and here we’ve stayed, but it’s not “my place” or even “our place.”

My hope for you is that you find “your place.”  It took me a long time to realize why I kept returning to the beach. I have lived in a lot of places and in different parts of the world, but I could never stay. The beach kept calling me back. Now I know why. Soon I will go to the beach and stay.

Mar 192013
 

DWTS DL Hughley screen captureI have a question for anyone out there who is a “Dancing With the Stars” fan.  What in the hell happened to the judges last night? They were almost in lock step with scores and comments and then they went on the attack, singling out one poor contestant who, I’m sure, gave his best.  This was a new cast with little to no experience, opening night jitters and, I’m sure, a firm resolve to give it their all.

First dance was great!  Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough kicked it into a high-gear cha-cha and the judges were very complimentary. They looked good out there.

Then it sorta kinda went downhill.  Most of the male contestants, to be honest, didn’t do too well.  Again, it was the first night, people were scared, the skills, if any, were new.

Boxer Victor Ortiz and his million megawatt smile couldn’t quite overcome a very stiff Foxtrot attempt. He gave it a helluva shot, though. The judges were like. . . “meh.” Bachelor Sean Lowe wasn’t the epitome of grace out there either, but again. . . he got lukewarm praise from the judges.  General Hospital’s Ingo Rademacher stomped around out there and missed a lot of steps but got the now familiar “meh” response.  Baltimore Ravens’ running back Jacoby Jones got a remark from Len that said he was “all icing, no cake.”

Recovering addict and comedian Andy Dick gave quite a charming performance with his new pro partner Sharna Burgess, probably the best male contestant’s performance of the night. Len told him he had all the “fluidity of RoboCop.”  The guys got different versions of “meh” one after the other, but it wasn’t until actor/comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke took the floor for their Cha-Cha that the. . . errr. . . crap hit the fan.

The 50-year-old comedian was trashed, smashed and drug across that dance floor by three so-called “professional” judges. Okay. The dancing wasn’t very good. But first night, non-dancer, opening night nerves, etc.  Where was the, “Hey, good job, but do this better next time” stuff? He would have been better with the “meh” trio the other dancers were inspiring. But noooooooooo. . . here’s what this poor man got.

From Bruno, the diplomat, who usually gushes over everyone to help and encourage:  “OMG, D.L., you have terminated the cha-cha-cha.”

From Carrie Ann Inaba, known to be occasionally bitchy, but usually encouraging:  “I have some bad news for you: That was yi-yi-yikes!”

But neither of them could top Mr. Goodman when he attacked. Len put on one of his best mean faces and said, “Listen, if any dance is going to suit you, it’s got to be the cha-cha-cha.  This was no good.” D.L. Hughley did his best stoic face, but looked like he wanted to cry. Okay, so he wasn’t that good. A lot of them weren’t that good. Was that a reason to humiliate him on national television?

I have to give D.L. Hughley credit for holding it in and reacting with the grace he did. He made one slightly snarky statement and I think he was being too nice. Afterwards, he said, “I haven’t danced in 30 years, so that’s the equivalent of bullying a second-grader.”

Why D.L.? With few exceptions, there weren’t a lot of spectacular performances last night.  Leader board topper Zendaya was great.  She’s 16 and has some dance skills.  Aly Raisman is an Olympic gold medalist. She did pretty good, as did the aforementioned Kellie Pickler.  Elder stateswoman Dorothy Hamill held her own, too, in a beautiful contemporary dance. The rest of everybody else fell into the “meh” club and, for the most part were judged as such.

I’m sorry, but there was no reason to attack D.L. Hughley the way they did.  And why him? Others were just as stiff, just as clumsy, just as. . . well, bad. Was it deliberate? It sure looked that way. Or were our esteemed panel of judges just looking to pick a fight somewhere and maybe his red shirt was the signal? I honestly don’t know, but I’m beginning to think that “Dancing With the Stars,” which is always looking for new, fresh contestants, maybe ought to start looking for some new, fresh judges, too.

Mar 042013
 

Stressed womanGood Monday Morning! If you haven’t had your coffee yet, I’d advise getting some because Old Busted Hotness is in heavy rant mode. And, yeah, we’re gonna talk about respect, something sorely lacking in today’s society.

On Saturday night, I went to a concert to hear one of my very favorite singers of all time, Michael Bolton. He didn’t disappoint and it was wonderful, even after all these years. His voice is strong and the old fart is still easy on the eyes. LOL Why did I call him an old fart? Well, Michael Bolton turned 60 last week believe it or not. . . and therein lies this tale.

When you go to concerts in Atlantic City, the rules are posted all over the theater. And then they announce them, just in case you can’t read. Two of the biggest no-nos are (1) NO CELL PHONES and (2) NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. Difficult to understand? I think not.

I know, I know. . . you’re gonna tell me that kids aren’t going to give up their cell phones no matter what and I shouldn’t expect them to listen, yada yada yada. Well, that’s fine. . . if it were kids.

That’s why I mentioned Michael Bolton’s age.  That audience was easily 90% over 50. There were very few “kids” there, if at all. I saw a few couples in their 20s, maybe 30s, but that’s it. Michael hit his stride in the late 80s and 90s. Only his die-hard fans have followed him through the years after that; hence, the “old fart” tag.

So the lights go down and Old Busted Hotness relaxes in her seat to enjoy every note, word and nuance.

Sadly, though, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it might have been because those 90% of 50+ folks were still using their cell phones and the flashes going off were enough to blind a third world country!  Yes, old farts text, too, and they text ALL the time. The darkness was broken by dozens upon dozens of cell phones; some even rang or buzzed loudly. And those camera flashes. . .

The ushers tried, but after about 15 minutes of trying to find the “flashers,” they simply gave up and let the show go on.

I expect this behavior from kids, although I do not like it. I’d even expect it from folks into their 30s, but would like it even less. BUT FROM OLD FARTS? Come on, people! I know you can read. We were taught to do that. And we were also taught respect for authority.

I have to say that my eyes were opened Saturday night. . . and not just by the friggin’ flashes going off all around me. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert, despite “seeing the light,” but I have to admit I had my socks knocked off, too, by the blatant disregard of the rules from a generation I thought knew better.

I guess it proves the old adage that you learn something new every day. . .and some of those things you’d be better off not knowing. arghhh

Feb 142013
 

Older hugI’ve seen a lot of professions of love, beautiful Valentine’s Day cards and many warm and loving sentiments floating across my Facebook newsfeed this morning. Then I saw an article by my friend Michele Gwynn about what folks really want for Valentine’s Day. You can read that HERE. And then it occurred to me that most of what I was looking at was for younguns. Some of us are no longer young. So that got me to thinking. . . what would older folks want for Valentine’s Day.

Well, if you’re married, I think you want to be remembered. Cards, flowers and candy sometimes get lost in the progression of years and it becomes just another day. Even a peck on the cheek with a heartfelt greeting of “Happy Valentine’s Day” can do it for you. If you get more than that. . . WOOT!

No card, peck on the cheek or otherwise? Make your love’s favorite dinner. You’ve been together a long time. You know what it is. If dinner can’t be changed, make cupcakes or some other quick and easy dessert that’s your love’s favorite. Even a drink can be special. Sprinkle some cinnamon in a cup of hot chocolate. It’s easy to say, “Hey, I appreciate you hangin’ around this long and I’m glad you’re still here.” Sounds like a lot less than a gushy, passionate “I LOVE YOU,” but after you’ve been together for a long, long time, you’ll see what I mean.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that instead of hearts and flowers and pronouncements of romantic love, what you’re trying to say is what an old song by the group Orleans says. . . You’re still the one! Remember that? Click here if you’d like to listen. 🙂   “You’re Still the One” by Orleans

If you’re alone, this may be one of the worst holidays for you. Everyone’s preaching love and togetherness. You probably feel like you just don’t belong. So love yourself. Buy yourself some flowers or candy or a little something you want. Reach out. You’re not the only lonely person out there. Go to a nursing home and visit. Don’t laugh. My grandmom used to volunteer in a nursing home when she was older than most of the residents! You will put smiles on people’s faces but the best part is you’ll put a warm glow in your own heart.

If you’re an older couple on a fixed or tight income, there are a lot of things you can do to show your love that you care without breaking that already meager bank.

Make a Valentine card. Go to the dollar store and get some construction paper. Surely you remember construction paper? Play like you’re a kid again and make a Valentine. It doesn’t have to be perfect or look like it came from Hallmark. That’s the beauty of it. Write your heart on that red paper. Cut up a paper lace doily (yes, they still make them) and trim. Voila! Instant love.

Dinner at a fancy restaurant is nice, but getting a coffee from Starbucks or other coffee shop is nice, too. A burger at McDonald’s will do the trick (if your heart can take it). The point is to eat the meal with the one you love. What you eat is really unimportant. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup at home will work just as well.

Need an inexpensive Valentine gift? Fancy chocolates are great, but you can just as easily go buy some candy hearts (that dollar store again!) and put them in a fancy Valentine box or tie them up in a square of red felt or even paper; adorn with a ribbon. If you know your person has a favorite candy bar, one of those will do just fine, too.  It’s the love that counts, not the price tag.

If you can afford a movie, that’s a nice night out. If not, rent one from one of the red or blue boxes. Our Redbox rents for $1.28. Get some hot chocolate or other beverage of choice and cuddle up on the sofa.

There are lots of things you can do, even if you are an old fart, and, yeah, it’s sill early on Valentine’s Day, so if you’re old and thinking this day is past you or you’re still young and in love but broke, there are many things you can do. Now go show someone you love them!