What’s all the fuss to stop the ascent to the top of the hill? I mean, really, think about it. Plodding uphill is exhausting, knee-breaking work. It’s also exciting, necessary, rewarding, makes us strong, and gets us somewhere. Somewhere very important: to the top of the hill. And hopefully, by the time we get there, we have left a lot of worthy things behind, a legacy that makes us feel exhilarated and helps others get to the top of the hill even easier than we did.


Then what? Well, what goes up must come down, right? And that’s the fun part! We’ve done our duty getting to the top of the hill, and now we get to cruise down, rest our eyes, and feel the breeze in our faces. So why are many of us trying to put on the brakes? What do we want to accomplish? Do we want to stand still and watch everyone pass us by, never getting to that next step, that next great experience? Do we want to backtrack, walk backwards to the top of the hill again? Talk about exhausting! Then we are neither climbing nor descending the hill, and where do we fit in? Are we content to live an illusion, let the natural process of life pass us by while we stagnate at the top of the hill, getting in the way of those achieving their victorious summits?

So what’s the deal with wanting to slam on the breaks?

Losing youth is a depressing fact of life if our priorities are muddled, if we listen to the media that tell us we are no longer viable because we are aging, if we give up our interests and talents and the things that make us tick, if we don’t realize how important we are to those younger than us who need our hard fought experience and advice, and sometimes an understanding shoulder to cry on.

But if we recognize that beauty really shines forth from within, and that aging refines natural beauty, not diminishes it, and that those despised creases in our faces are really a memory map of all the beautiful and wonderful times we’ve shared with our beloved family and friends, we can enjoy the ride down the hill, glorying in the wind caressing our faces, looking forward to that next fresh experience those climbing the hill must wait to discover.

It’s all perspective, isn’t it? We can’t change reality. And time is a gift. It’s our choice what to do with it.

Happy cruising!


I think that mirrors have slid under the radar when it comes to culprits that breed discontent. Just think about them. They hang, stand, sit, big and proud everywhere, seducing their prey to take just one look, to linger for just a moment, arrange a strand of hair here, check lipstick there. But I guess in the end, the joke is on them! We aren’t admiring the mirror at all, we are using it for our own end.

So one day I went to the mall with my daughter, Jenna. It was warm out, the birds were singing, I was in the middle of writing a novel – one of my favorite things to do – I had been biking and walking in beautiful places, eating fresh raspberries, feeling fit and wonderful. In general, just enjoying life and spending time with the people I love.

Jenna was looking for gym shorts, and I was along for the companionship. She went into a fitting room to try on a couple pairs of shorts, and I browsed the other clothing in Bloomingdales. Then I saw it: a linen peasant top in a design I used to wear in high school. It was too cute to be true! And it brought back memories of youthfulness and carelessness,  days when I had more free time and less responsibility. It brought back the ocean and the beach. I was feeling 17 again. Of course, I had to try it on!


I brought along a fancy skirt way out of my price range, just for fun, eagerly scampered into the fitting room, and disrobed. Then I caught a glance of myself in the 3-way mirror – i-yi-yi! – Did I really look like that? The back of my body caught me off-guard, as I usually only see the front. What I looked like in my mind’s-eye: solid and firm because of all the bike riding, ready to tackle the beach again in a bikini – wasn’t what was glowering back at me. The lighting in the fitting room wasn’t kind,  and I left that malicious place feeling very down and depressed.

I needed to go to the gym with my daughter and spend about 4 hours a day there!

Needless to say, I didn’t, and don’t. I need about 36 hours in a day to fit in what I do now. Luckily, the memory of what plunged me into the depths of despair is fading – or I’ve blocked it out. I’m feeling okay again. Okay for a woman who has been married for 29 years and had four children. Pretty good, actually. But I’d never wear a bikini again, and I’d never own a 3-way mirror!

In fact, I’m thinking of getting rid of mirrors all together, and just owning one teeny-weeny one – for my purse. Without a mirror, I’m me. I’m singing on the inside, creating stories, thinking about the next sweater I want to knit, laughing with my husband and kids,  enjoying my friends, and dreaming about apple crisp and pumpkin pie.

What do you think? Mirrors: friend or foe? I’d love to hear from you!


Don’t you think if mirrors weren’t so handy and abundant, we’d think less about the way we look?

A Wrinkle in Time

Everybody gets wrinkles – in time. Long ago, wrinkles used to be an accepted fact of aging. Long ago, wrinkles accompanied gray hair, yellow teeth, and a lot of times, plumpness. Enter Grandma! And long ago, grandmas and grandpas were cherished just as they were by their families, especially their grandchildren. I don’t think they obsessed about their looks long ago. They were just happy to be vital, often revered members of the family – the matriarch or patriarch.

But this in NOW. Things have drastically changed. Appearance means a lot to many people, and maybe everything. Old people are often overlooked, set aside, and even devalued. Old people are under a lot of pressure to not look old.

I still think that confidence is a person’s best, overall beauty asset. Confidence, purpose, thoughtfulness, and kindness far outshine outward appearance. Also, discovering what makes you tick and defining your personal style, often according to your own unique gifts, talents and interests, and staying energized and fit go a long way in making a person look and feel beautiful.

Having said that, let’s talk about one of the biggest hurdles to aging: wrinkles.

To be honest, it would be really nice to have tighter skin. When I use my fingers to hold back the loose skin – not much, mind you! – or when my daughter randomly reaches over and does it herself, it really feels and looks better. You know, just a wee, little tweaking.


I look at it like this: When I have a favorite blouse or shirt or pair of pants and the seam comes loose, or something gets stretched out, I pull out my trusty sewing machine and stitch it back up. Then it’s good as new! So if it’s good enough to tighten up a piece of clothing, why not a face?

Well, I don’t know that I’d actually have plastic surgery, I’m more of a natural girl, but the technology is out there.

So let’s talk wrinkles, self-confidence, and aging. What’s your take on these in-your-face (thank you magazines, TV, and movies) issues? I’d love to hear from you! Debbie

When talking about being and living naturally, one must consider many aspects. As with so many things – politics and religion to name two – views can be taken to an extreme, tip out of balance. What is natural to me, might not be natural to you.

For instance: I shave my legs and armpits. Some people might consider this unnatural. And if taken in the literal sense of the word, God gave us armpit and body hair to keep us warm, to protect us. Shaving it can be looked at as images-1interfering. Yet, avoiding armpit hair helps when it comes to the “fragrance” our pits exude. So it is my personal opinion that armpit and leg hair can be shaved off and a person can still be natural. (However, watch what deodorant, or even worse, antiperspirant, you wear. Synthetic chemicals and heavy metals are quickly absorbed through porous armpit skin. Instead, I would suggest a mild, essential oil  formula made from natural antiseptics. We were made to sweat! It’s good for us.)

So let’s discuss some of the possible “interferences” to being and living naturally and healthfully, to see what it’s all about. And let’s remember that the whole purpose of this blog is to liberate women to be themselves, and not think they need to strive to live up to the media’s or society’s definition of value and beauty.

I’ll start with myself. I have spent about $390.00 to get a large – I think it’s large! – dark, heart-shaped (at least it was heart-shaped!) “sunspot” removed off my face. I can see about 5 more developing. Ugh! Anyway, I went to a spa/salon owned by my dermatologist and had the first laser treatment for $250.00. After the healing process, the spot was minimally lighter. I went back and was told I’d have to pay the same amount to have another treatment – yeah, right! Instead I opted for a $75.00 cream (with the synthetics and bleaches I abhor using) and it didn’t work at all. Then I ran into an old friend on Facebook I remembered was training how to use lasers years ago, and it turned out she is a laser technician now, (sorry if that’s not what they’re called). She told me to come in and she’d work on my “big, ugly brown spot” – as I had coined it – for $25.00. After her treatment, the spot is much lighter. She is going to give me another treatment for free.

Am I being ridiculous and obsessive to get the sunspot – age-spot (cringe) – removed? Well, I’ll never go back to the salon/spa that did my first two treatments. But I will go back to Debbie Gallup. I could have saved a lot of money going to her in the first place, if I had only known. And yes, I will try if I have the money, to get most of my spots removed, if they are on obvious parts of my body. I feel very self-conscious about them. If I don’t, I will end up looking like a leopard.

What do you think? And what are the issues you are deliberating about, wondering if it is excessive to fix them?

Let’s talk about wrinkles in my next post!

You are beautiful, Debbie

P.S. I WENT WITHOUT MAKE-UP LAST WEEK! And I felt just fine. We ran a few errands and walked at the zoo. Here’s a pic just to prove it:



As I was getting ready to go to the yarn shop yesterday, and then to the Mall of America later, I was putting on my makeup, feeling guilty because of my blog. However, in my last post, I wasn’t suggesting you didn’t wear makeup at all – always – just not being a slave to it, right? That said, this is how my day starts out, when I’m going out, even to run a quick errand:

I get up. Check my hair. Fortunately now, I’ve come to terms with its waviness and wear it in a style I don’t really have to style much. Then I put on just a little translucent powder. (NOTE: almost all of my makeup is natural, no synthetics.) I use the powder because I have dry skin and love oils and butters. The powder sucks up the excess. I’m not rationalizing, who wants to go around with a shiny face? A shining smile, definitely, but not a glistening face. So then, as I’ve mentioned before, I use concealer. I need it. Otherwise I would be a bit of a distraction. Well, it is just another very tiny step to put on a little mascara. No time at all. AND, I need powder above my eyes, esp., since they really trap the oils, so why not a color powder like an eye shadow? (I do love color!) Just in case you think I’m obsessive, I do often go without blush, and not just because my skin tends to a bit of redness all by itself.

Caught Putting on Makeup

You see how it is? And I do, at my tender age of over 40, by more than 10 years, (but who’s counting?) look better in makeup.

It’s the days I just don’t want to put on anything and some evil, vain spirit grabs my hand and wraps my fingers around my powder brush that get to me!

Then consider this: do I really need to impress strangers? Are they going to remember me the second after they see me?

I grew up in a looks-centered home and state: Southern California, and so am trying to defeat my demons.

In a nutshell: If a person feels like putting on makeup, it’s fun, go for it, but if not? Feel free to leave the house without it!


(This was originally a reply to a comment left by Jaclyn, but another friend, Susan, suggested I make it a post. I have such clever friends!)

I don’t know about you, but I greet the prospect of having to get ready every morning with the same enthusiasm and desire I would having to push a stalled car down the street: boring, drudgery, and too much time and energy! (Even though the girl in the picture looks like she isn’t taking the task seriously. She’s young. Just wait.)

Pushing a car

So, is there a solution?

Don’t get me wrong. I    adore color in so many forms, even on my face, and there are times I actually enjoy the process of getting ready to go out someplace exciting. But what about the everyday existence of going to work, to the grocery store, the library, etc. I mean, I might just run into someone I know! And I abhor myself when I mutter the endless excuses: “Oh, my, here you caught me without my make-up.” (I have to let them know that I know that they know I look, uh, different.) Or this one: “Uh, no, I’m not sick or anemic, I just didn’t put on any make-up.” Or: “Yikes, you caught me with my grey roots showing! Too bad I didn’t run into you tomorrow, I’m getting my hair colored tonight!”

And then there’s the clincher. Growing up, it seemed like after a certain age, when you grew too old to care anymore, women let themselves go. That’s exactly what my friends and I thought, and not kindly. Am I now one of those women contemplating sneaking out of the house with my hair in a ponytail and no make-up? Ahhhh!

So this is what this blog is all about. Let’s talk about being natural. About being ourselves. About acting like the fortunate sex (the males) who just get up in the morning, (or after a nap, or after a swim), and take a shower, run a comb through their hair, brush their teeth, and greet the day without giving another thought to the way they look. Is that really possible for women? I mean, after all, it does seem a bit of a double standard, doesn’t it?

Only because we let it be!

There is nothing more beautiful than a natural woman with confidence and purpose – and a bright smile. There’s nothing more beautiful than a natural woman with confidence and purpose – and a bright smile. There’s nothing… At least that’s what I keep telling myself, and think, deep down.

Let me know your thoughts on this all-consuming issue. It seems simple, but we could talk about all the details for ages. And, after all, that’s half the fun – right?