Apr 182024
 

I’ve been knitting since I was five years old. My Grandpop taught me one rainy afternoon with 4 pencils and a ball of string. Yeah, I was going in circles even back then. LOL I found a book in the Five & Dime and taught myself to crochet two years later. I don’t think Grandpop knew what he created. I spent every waking moment as a child either knitting or crocheting something. All my money went to buy yarn. In high school, I was crocheting bikinis for all the skinny girls out of crochet cotton. Lining them, too! I knit enough socks to outfit an Army.

Fast forward to the present day. My age now starts with a seven and. . . well, that was then and this is now. I can barely follow a pattern. My arthritic fingers won’t make the intricate movements they once did. I still love yarn, but making anything that resembles what it’s supposed to be can be challenging. I had to develop some coping mechanisms or give it up. HORRORS!!!! So here are three tips for older yarn crafters. They help me. I hope they help you.

Two words: Stitch Markers

I can’t count a starting chain or a row of stitches to save my life these days. I simply lose track of the count. Stitch markers to the rescue! I have the kind that hook so you can use them on either knitting or crochet. If I need a long starting chain, I’ll put a marker on that chain every 10 or 20 (if I’m feeling lucky!) stitches. Makes counting and going back to recount much easier. These things are life savers if your brain these days has a lot in common with the spaghetti strainer.

Write It Down

Yeah, yeah, I know. We all think we can still remember. Funny. I do a lot of You Tube video tutorials without a written pattern so. . . . if I put it down for too long I can easily forget what I’m doing. Especially the ends and beginning of rows. I’m okay figuring out the pattern in the middle from what’s been done, but turning that row and starting the next one oftentimes goes in one side of my brain and out the other. I now keep some colored index cards at my desk or in my bag and I write down the end of one row and the beginning of the next. Just in case. You can also keep a small notebook by you if that works better.

Let the Yarn Carry the Project

I used to pride myself on elaborate and difficult stitches, in both knit and crochet. If I try it now, all I get is a big knotted mess. I just can’t do it anymore. But what I CAN do is buy fancy yarn. There are so many beautiful yarns out there, both cheap ones and more expensive, that have gorgeous patterns and colors on them. There are variegated yarns, speckled yarns, ombre yarns, sparkly yarns, hand-dyed luxury yarns and yarns that change color by themselves like Caron Cakes. Start using them. I now select easy stitch patterns with a one or two row repeat and let the yarn carry the day. Trust me. They come out looking beautiful and you aren’t ripping out your last gray hair along with your project.

Whatever you do, please don’t give up. The world needs us yarn crafters even if we’re a little slower and clumsier than we were in our youth. You can still make beautiful things. You just have to find ways that work for you. I did. Now it’s your turn. If you have any other tips for this ‘ole gal, please leave them in the comments.

Nov 132021
 

Have your feet aged? Science reports people’s feet can get wider or simply larger with age whether your weight changes or not. I have many friends who once wore a 7 and now wear a 9. I’ve always worn a 9. Just call me Lady Bigfoot. And since I’ve shrunk dramatically and I’m only 5′ nuttin’ honey, well. . . .to quote my mother, at least I won’t tip over in a high wind.

Aging feet can present some challenges. If your size has radically changed, that means all new shoes. Sweet thought, but not on a fixed income. Cheap shoes are killers. You can find some more inexpensive sneaks that aren’t too bad, but everything else? HAH! So let’s delve a bit into the agony of da shoes for us *mature* folks.

Tie Shoes

At first glance, these seem to be the best option. They are secure. If your feet swell, you can adjust as needed. Even if they stretch a bit with time, you can just tie them tighter. But what happens when you can’t tie them? I love and prefer tie shoes, but. . . my hands are funky now. Makes it difficult. Is your middle bigger? Bending down to tie those shoes may be a real pain in the gut. And the biggie. . . what do you do when they come untied and you’re alone? Yeah, I know, some of us can still bend down easily and tie them again. We hate you. J/K  J/K  J/K  LOLOL But if you can’t. . . I usually run and hide somewhere so nobody films me getting those shoes tied. And that brings us to. . .

Slip-On Shoes

You might think these are the answer and for some of us they are. But you still have to bend and sometimes pull to get into them. I have a heel that juts out so I always have to yank on the back of any shoe to get it on, no matter how well it fits. There are long-handled shoehorns you can get. These are good. What about when they stretch out? You can’t tie them tighter. Then it’s new shoes or heavier socks time. And once my foot starts slipping around in a shoe, I am a major-league fall risk.

Dress Shoes

These are one of the banes of my existence. I LUV dress shoes, but my days of hoochie heels are long gone. When I was in high school in the 60s we used to say we wore sit-down shoes and a stand-up girdle. (Does anyone even know what a girdle is anymore?) If I wore some of those shoes now, I’d be in a full-body cast within 5 minutes, maybe sooner. Try finding dressier flats. They’re out there, but it’s difficult. If you can wear a low wedge, you have a few more options. And if you still CAN wear hoochie heels, you go girl!!!! I won’t tell you what we used to call those in high school as it’s vulgar, but it had to do with Joan Crawford. 😉

Are There Solutions?

I’m not so sure about solutions, but there are some things to help. The aforementioned long-handled shoe horn is one of them if your feet give you trouble about going into shoes.

Shoe stretchers are still available (try the Vermont Country Store or a high-end shoe store) and can help ease shoes which may still fit but tightly so. I’ve also seen sprays that can stretch your shoes and boots.

There are slip-on shoes that look like tie shoes and you can simply step in from a standing position. Witchcraft!!!! LOLOL They’re not cheap, but they’re out there. The one I see all over is the Kizik brand.

Lastly, take some care in choosing your shoes. I understand how tight money can be, but shoes are NOT the place to scrimp once you’re up there in years. And me, the one who likes everything to match and be fashionable, hates telling you this, but black sneakers are just as appropriate as black heels for most things. And a helluva lot more secure. I use a pair of black ballet flats. If it’s really fancy I hook on a pair of rhinestone shoe clips from the 1920s, a prized possession from my beloved Grandmom.

Your feet carry you around and, trust me, it hurts when they tell you to go perform an anatomical impossibility and drop you on your arse. Please don’t ask me how I know. . .

(FULL DISCLOSURE: The brands mentioned here are for you to investigate. I am NOT connected with any of these companies and make nothing from telling you about them. Damn!!!!)

Let’s Take a Trip in the Wayback Machine 😉

Aug 292020
 

This is Chelsie Kenyon, a phenomenal brain trainer and marketing coachDear Chelsie,

I don’t remember how I found you, but I believe I was on You Tube looking for something motivational. Not sure why I clicked on you, but I did. The last thing I thought I needed was some glamour girl Barbie doll telling me what to do. As I was about to click out of there, you said shit ton, one of my very favorite technical terms. 😉 Then you started talking about kicking ass. Somewhere down the line you dropped an F-Bomb. Blonde bombshell or not, dare I think I found my tribe and its name is Chelsie Kenyon?

A Little About Me

I am short and round, an old Nana who is way past her glory, if I ever had any. I have a self-esteem problem. My mother didn’t like me and, to her, I was fat, ugly and good for nothing. She repeated it till her dying day when I was 61. She’s still in my head, but I’m fighting. So your California Golden Girl look was the last person I thought I wanted to listen to. You could have Bobbi Brown do my makeup, dye my hair, carve the tonnage off of me with a chain saw and put me on a rack for a year or so. Not a snowball’s chance in hell of looking like you or even close. But, hey, I’m old enough to be your mother, so. . .

Chelsie, You Kept Getting In My Head

After that first video I looked you up on the net. I found this massively impressive website, chock full of glamour shots. I cringed. But I listened, too. You were real. I found the link to your Facebook group and clicked the join button. To say I was blown away is an understatement. I was still having trouble with the glamour girl look. Jealousy? Not at my age. Maybe regret for what never was and what never will be. After a day or two, I was hanging on to every word you said. And then I did the unthinkable. . . I bought a course from you, Ms. Barbie Doll. Okay, okay. It was a small course, but I bought it.

That First Course

Your course came in two parts. The little second part about building a Campsite link I did first as it looked like something this technoeejit could handle. And I did. I was so pumped! So I tackled the other part, “Quick and Dirty Funnels.” Of course, I didn’t tell anybody that I didn’t know what the hell a funnel was. But I figured I was still teachable, even at my age. So I went through the course once. I went through the course twice. In the middle of the third time I broke down in tears. I had no idea what was going on. Should have saved my money. Every negative voice came rushing back.

But Your Group. . .

I was going to get out of your group, but. . .I couldn’t. I was like the proverbial moth to a flame. Then I jumped in another group with you. And then. . . the photophobic that is me purchased your Fauxtography course, you know, the one that makes you look like you’ve done a pro photoshoot but using just your phone and some props. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

When I look in the mirror all I see is an ugly old lady with wrinkles and a huge nose. Yeah, I know that’s not technically true, but it’s historical conditioning. I’ve done a lot of work in breaking out of that, but WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU, MA’AM. . . . taking a photography course brought it all slamming back like a sucker punch to the gut. The voices in my head told me I was an idiot, a fool, stupid, yada yada yada. But, hell, I paid for it. So I opened it up.

Fauxtography

At first I had every excuse in the book why I couldn’t do this. There isn’t any white space in my house. The tripod doesn’t work right. I don’t know how to use the camera in my phone all that well. I’m gonna look ridiculous. I’m just gonna open up old wounds. And on and on it went. My usual self-hatred. But I kept clicking on the lessons. And a strange thought started appearing, one that said maybe I COULD do this. Every time I closed the course, my brain snuck right back in and snickered, “FOOL!!!” But. . .but. . . but this was really good information. No, I was NOT gonna look like you. I was gonna look like me. That had to be okay. Me is okay. I kept repeating that over and over and over again.

And a Selfie Started It All

The course is not about taking selfies, but I decided to try a few things. I had to dig deep and figure out what was actually fueling my camera fears.

First one was hair. I have very little of it due to medical conditions. And right now what’s left is plague hair, not cut since February. But hair is easy. I have wigs. In fact, I have a wig almost the exact color my hair was in the olden days, kind of like a bright shiny penny. The second thing is I have next to no eyebrows. Then what did I buy the damn Anastasia eyebrow powder for? I went to work. Eyebrows on. Check. Wig on. Check. And here I sat, feeling like a foolish old lady who was playing dress-up.

I started clicking away. I took some ridiculous-ass pics at first. Thank God you can erase them. I would have had to cut up the negatives in the old days. Remember when you had to wait two weeks to discover your photos sucked? LOL But then I got a few good ones. And then I got one that made me sit here with my jaw on the desk. That can’t be me! I sent it to my husband. This man who has loved me for 52 years texted back, “Who dat?” with a heart on it.

“THE Selfie”

Me with a red wig and happy

And Now Push Comes to Shove

Now it was time to do what scared me the most. Me. On Camera. Front-facing. Me and the tripod. Hoo boy!!! I chickened out several times. I repeated several sections of Fauxtography, all the while seeing Chelsie’s beautiful smile and hearing her encouraging me to pull a Nike and Just Do It. So I did. Again, the ridiculous-ass pics showed up. Delete works nicely. But then there were a few. . . I’ll let you be the judge.”

Thank You, Chelsie!!!

I can’t thank you enough, Chelsie Kenyon. You pushed me, you shoved me, you kicked my ass hard. You. Someone I normally wouldn’t even give the time of day with a broken watch only because of how gorgeous you are. How ridiculous is that? But the substance behind that gorgeousness came through loud and clear, even to this faded and jaded old lady. I am so glad I stayed. You now see me all over your groups. I may be the oldest one in there. I absolutely don’t care. I’m in. And guess what? You’re stuck with me, woman. I’m not going anywhere. Oh, and I just bought two more courses. 🙂

Love,
Carla

P.S. Wanna go check Chelsie out? Her name is linked to her site at the beginning of this blog post. Her FB group is The E.P.I.C. Woman Collective – For your Brain and Business. Just click and knock on the door! And for a hella good marketing technique, try The Daily Prompt. You will NOT regret it!!!

Jul 312020
 

A new word has entered our lexicon, maskne, or acne from wearing a maskWith the advent of having to or choosing to wear masks in public, a new word has entered our lexicon. . . maskne. This, of course, is acne due to the wearing of a mask. If you have acne-prone skin, anything disturbing it will tend to cause breakouts. But even those not normally prone to acne are seeing zits, inflammation and redness due to the conditions created by wearing a mask. Our facial skin is used to being out in the open. And, by the way, this is NOT a should you or should you not wear a mask. This is a better way to help maskne.

Standard Stuff

You can always use the standard OTC acne treatments. These things are chemical farms, though, and I’ve had enough of that stuff on my skin to last three lifetimes. But, again, many of them DO work and, if it’s your only option, you may want to try it. CAUTION: If you are over the age of 20, please do NOT use Clearasil. It’s made for super oily teen skins and will turn you into the Sahara Desert unless your face is normally an oil slick. There is a better way to help maskne.

My New Way Begins With Lavender

So now we get to my favorite method, essential oils. Do they help? Research says yes. And one of the words I use most often in my oily adventure is LAVENDER. I think if I only had one bottle of essential oil it would have to be lavender although I’m not a big fan of the smell. (Getting more used to it, though.) I put it on my itchy bug bites last night and wham, bam, thank you ma’am. . . they stopped itching. It’s good for all kinds of skin things, acne being only one of them. Since we’re not supposed to touch our faces, put it on a cotton ball and spot treat. It’s a super gentle oil.

Tea Tree Oil

Lavender DOES have some competition in the acne department, though. The biggest contender is TEA TREE OIL, another one I can’t stand the smell of. LOL Despite the smell, its healing benefits are legendary. Add one to two drops of this oil to a cotton ball and spot treat. You can also dilute it if your skin is super sensitive. Dilution of an essential oil with a carrier oil does NOT reduce its effectiveness. NOTE: If you have oily skin normally and not just in our age of masks, don’t use coconut oil for carrier oil as it can clog your pores.

Frankincense

One of my faves, FRANKINCENSE, can also be used to combat maskne. The boswellic acids contained in this beautiful oil are capable of soothing inflammation and killing the bacteria that causes acne (P. acnes).

Thyme

And my favorite nightly back rub, THYME, is also a champion of the cause. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that Thyme is an effective way of killing P. acnes. NOTE: Do NOT apply Thyme to your eyes or get it near them.

Rosemary

ROSEMARY has also been shown to damage P. acnes. It’s is currently being studied in the lab as an antifungal, too.

Cinnamon (or Cinnamon Bark)

CINNAMON (cinnamon bark) is good for more than baking. It’s also proven effective at fighting P. acnes. There have been studies that seem to show a reduction in menstrual pain as another benefit to this wonderful sniff.

A little research will turn up a few others in your search for a better way to help maskne.

Sadly, Maskne is here to stay for a while. So grab your favorite essential oil and have at it! You should also check the video below for tips on how to properly wear and care for your mask.

DISCLAIMER (1): I am NOT a medical or scientific professional and nothing you find on this page is intended as medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical care. References are given for certain statements and facts which are not my own. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

DISCLAIMER (2): I am a Young Living Independent Representative. If you follow the links for the various essential oils you will end up on a website with my member number on it. If you follow it and purchase, I will receive a small portion of the sale. My member number is 18641551 if you’d like to join me on my oily adventures. 🙂

 

Jun 122020
 

This is me in full makeup. But not all makeup is suitable for all skin types, no matter what it says.Some great new makeup product all the celebs are gushing about on Instagram is the new must-have. It screams “good for all skin types.” You’re in like Flynn, right? Well, you may be, but that largely depends on how many candles are on your next birthday cake. Good for all skin types is good for all skin types except when it isn’t. When’s that? When it’s not good for aging skin.

Why am I NOT an All Skin Type?  HINT: We’re old! 🙂

By the time you’re 50ish, your skin is probably dry or at least drier than it was in your 20s. What you may not know is that your skin is thinner, too. Here’s a great article that explains it well.

Aging Changes in Skin Care (Medline Plus)

The Fat Layer Thins

If you read that article, you will see that your subcutaneous fat layer thins. If you already have a thin face, it’s gonna look thinner. Me? I’m still waiting for cheekbones. LOL Seriously, though, they say that certain medications are absorbed by the fat layer and losing this layer changes the way some meds work. If you experience anything out of the ordinary while taking a new medication, call your doctor immediately!

So Whaddya Do?

First, figure out what your main skin care concerns are. For me, that’s something to even out the color patches on my face. I have a lot of discoloration thanks to medical conditions and the drugs to combat them. Not complaining, really. I’m alive. I have wrinkles. I’ve tried to cover them but only plastic surgery or Botox will help and I’m not doing that. So for me it’s the hunt for the perfect foundation.

I Know You Use Something, OBH. What?

Right now, I’m using the Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless foundation. It’s a cream in a compact and it looks like swirled silly putty at first glance. But it goes on really smooth and doesn’t feel heavy at all. It’s about $12 in Walmart last time I checked. In CVS it’s closer to $17. Yikes! I also like the Too Faced brand in everything. It’s somewhat pricey. Anastasia of Beverly Hills is another good line but much pricier. Both lines are vegan if that means something to you. You have to experiment. It’s the only way.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with any brand mentioned here and I get nothing from plugging them. This is simply what I know about and/or use. However, if anyone from these companies reads this and wants to hire me, hit me up in a comment! 😉 )

Application Matters

So now that you have found IT, the perfect foundation in a coverage you love, do you just slap it all over your face? First, take a good look at your no-makeup face in a big mirror with decent lighting, as close to daylight as possible. Be honest. There are spots on my face that have sunken in slightly and some of my spots have heavier pigmentation. If your skin is fairly even, apply the same way all over. For me, I start with a thin layer all over and then build coverage on the spots that need it. One caveat. . .

DO NOT HELP GRAVITY!!!

I have read one tutorial after another that says to apply your foundation with downward strokes so you don’t rile up the hairs on your face. Everyone has hairs on their face, usually very fine and not visible. Howsumever, you won’t catch me stroking downward. UP, UP, UP for this ‘ole gal! Gravity has done enough with dragging my skin towards the floor. I’m not giving it any help! Your choice, but I recommend UP strokes. My hairs will recover from being riled up.

One Thing to Avoid

I hate to say this because I love the stuff, but mineral makeup is not good for aging skin. In fact, it rarely looks good on skin over 35. It was becoming all the rage when I left Elizabeth Arden years ago. It kicks serious tushy on oily skin. For dry skin? I think it makes you look way too powdery and flaky. For that matter, if you have AGING dry skin, I would avoid any powder as much as you can. Choose cream instead. I DO use a setting powder when I am all finished, but it’s very light and doesn’t leave that powdered doughnut look on my face.

Are You Tired of it ALL?

Many women are tired of makeup by the time they reach their senior years. If this is what makes you happy, by all means do it! Get yourself a good cleansing and moisturizing routine and show that beautiful skin to the world!!! For me, I feel better with at least my face covered so I don’t look like a patchwork quilt. I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup as I wear very thick glasses for nearsightedness. A little mascara and maybe a pale shadow for brightening MAY make their way to my eyes but it’s mainly face coverage that concerns me. Your face; your pick. You show YOU to the world in the way that makes YOU feel your best!

About the Video:  Gotta love a gal who pounces her foundation on, right? Angie gives great tips for applying foundation to dry aging skin. Well worth the 12 minutes. Enjoy!