Before this gets juicy…

I go to the gym to exercise out of the heat and sun three or four times a week. This morning, while on the treadmill at the gym I spent some time thinking about bodies, mine in particular, although I was also looking around and noticing others. There’s a gaggle of middle aged Asian women who come every morning clad in what my grandmother called house dresses and flip flops. They monopolize the stationary bike section, chattering away and watching Regis on the TV. (Clearly, this isn’t like the Eastbank Club, Obama’s and Oprah’s hometown gym, back in Chicago). There is also the usual bunch of young thangs who wear lots of makeup and exercise in spandex from Victoria’s Secret and don’t sweat. In any case, if I’m not in a yoga class I try to clock 3 miles on the treadmill and then about 20 minutes on weights. This level of exertion is just barely stemming the current tide level and I imagined the tsunami if I stopped exercising altogether. My mind drifted to the fact that I’m 5 pounds heavier this year than I was last and ten pounds heavier than I was five years ago. The treadmill is really boring so I did the mental calculation: at this rate I’ll weigh 385 pounds by the time I’m 85. Great. Shades of Gilbert Grape. I’m sure my body is missing the three flights of stairs in the Chicago condo. I typically went up and down about 30 times a day and I also walked a lot more in Chicago, especially around the zoo.

The last mile or so,  I started mulling over this skin cancer issue and the business of exposing myself on the www. I’m sort of ambivalent about it because, having said I would post photos, it means I have to, well, put pictures of myself up here. And not at my best, either. (You’ll note there’s no profile picture in the sidebar and those of you who know me on FaceBook know that I look a lot like a Heron.) I’m not particularly photogenic to begin with but of course,  that’s not really the point of writing about skin cancer. Still. I think the decade between 50 and 60 is a tough one for women. Without effort I was ticking along quite nicely, in a very average looking sort of way, but now things are sagging and pooching and getting blotchy and if I think about it too terribly long it gets quite discouraging. I’m the first to agree that beauty is about inner grace and yes, it’s only skin deep but you know? It’s my skin, my nose for pete’s sake. So there you have it- the beginning of the big whine. Tomorrow, I’ll start with the series on the basal cell and Mohs surgery. So brace yourself. I’m just saying.

Sophie could care less that, with age, she is getting a bit of a ‘cat skirt’- that charming flap of feline belly that goes from side to side when she trots. She’s happy enough, eating lizards and dozing the days away, with a little chase and romp in the evenings. She and McCloud perk up about 630 or 7, have some dinner and race around. That’s when Sophie likes to go out and hunt little anoles and bring them in as presents. The best McCloud can do is snare balls of yarn. He pretends they are big rabbits he’s bringing us with all sorts of yowling fanfare so we go along with that. “Wow! McCloud! What did you catch? That’s a big bunny! Thank you so much!!” Unless it’s an expensive skein of silk/merino blend, in which case I yell, “Dammit, cat! Cut that shit out! Why can’t you catch a real rat or something??”  McCloud remains permanently baffled.sophiebed

Sophie is very appreciative of her felted cat bed and sleeps in it all the time, now that I took it off the luxe cat tree we bought at Petco. Yesterday, after they’ve stone cold ignored it for 3 months, I decided to put the cat tree out in the alley so maybe someone with a better cat would take it home. It was by the back door with other stuff going out to the garage and then, when it looked like trash, Sophie decided to use it. She spent the whole night sleeping there.sophietree

One last bit of meandering. This is a small house so I’m trying to avoid too much superfluous clutter. The bins and tubs of felt have been multiplying as I get busier felting so when I saw this pattern file cabinet up for grabs at the fabric store the other day I dragged it home with the help of my friend, Elaine.filecab(Yes, I have two calendars. One has zoo babies and one has birds.I couldn’t decide.)

It was pretty scuffed up from years of use but very heavy duty and solid (stamped Simplicity Pattern Co. on the inside) so I figured some spray paint was a good investment. Next year we’ll probably haul it to the North Carolina house and put it in the basement (A basement! Hooray! Lordie, do I miss a basement.) but for now, it’s hulking unceremoniously next to that beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright table in the study. Ah, me. But it holds a lot and I managed to get about 8 big plastic tubs out of the way.wool

While I’ve been getting high on spray paint fumes, Rich has been off on a business trip. His business trips take him to places like the Super Bowl, U.S. Open and so forth. Tuesday he went to the All Star game with those beer people in St. Louis. It’s a tough job but I guess somebody has to do it.

IMG00131(He sent me this on his Crackberry. A sea of Cardinal red…)


11 responses to “Before this gets juicy…

  1. I think you are so absolutely beautiful that there should be no worries whatsoever. I’m always jealous of women who are so naturally lovely that life is simple – get up and go and just always look great. You are one of the lucky ones. Give those kitties a hug for me. 🙂

  2. I know you are beautiful. I also have issues with photos of my face on my blog. Whatever you decide will be fine with us all. *hugs*

  3. Once in a while someone takes a good photo of me (the one last week at the restaurant), but all too often they show all my real flaws; such as the one my daughter took in Myrtle Beach, which I will never show anyone!! There were wrinkles and brown spots on that one I didn’t know I had. It just proves that my bathroom mirror really is a magic one and it makes me look just like I did 30 years ago…..LOL. I get such a surprise when I pass a mirror in a store. I don’t recognize me. Then the other photo (full body) she took, which makes me look like the side of a barn in width. I also have gained 5 pounds this year (and the last 3), but I don’t see it when I look in the mirror – only in some photos. Talk about discouraging? Makes me want to lock myself in a closet and never come out again.

    I am trying not to be envious of that pattern cabinet. I would have been ALL OVER that in the shop.

    My cats have skirts, too, but I didn’t know that’s what they are called. Too funny. Wht do cats only want something when you don’t want it any longer?

  4. You ain’t so bad doll.

    That was my Bogart imitation.

    Betcha feel better now, huh?

    The dermatologist was checking me out the other day and when she got to the vast mohs scar on my shoulder that she created, she told the intern, ” I should’a put a straight jacket on this guy to keep that scar from stretching wide like that. He was SUPPOSED to take it easy for a while.”

  5. I have never been a sun worshiper… and finally it is paying off.
    But for the rest of me…. I do stairs at least fifteen times a day, to no avail. I guess when the Morton’s neuroma / bone spur in the ball of my right foot gets so bad and fired up that I can no longer do that… I hope I am upstairs… then I might be able to starve myself a while.

    Love those little kitty skirts… with Scarlet’s up and down and up again weight, she has a lovely jiggly one. Miss Chloe, who is the definition of “waif” doesn’t. She walks stiffly, like I do… and her kidneys are going but she is the reigning diva since her sister passed away. Therefore she will NOT eat the prescribed kidney diet and ONLY the turkey and giblets fancy feast ground up in the blender. I have to give the remnants of kidney diet to Rhett… he eats anything. He says “hi” to Sophie, by the way.

  6. I never like any photos of me, but sometimes I’ll relent and actually post one on the blog or facebook. I am what I am (Hey, fc, i’m imitating popeye there!). And the camera lies big time! This I know for a fact. Because when I look in the mirror there is someone looking back at me who seems very comfortable in her own skin. Photos of me make me look I would ditch this body in a hot second for anyone else’s. I think that lying camera makes me nervous. Anyway, I’ve seen photos of you. You always look fine and good.

    I’m looking forward (albeit squeamishly) to your future posts. Good luck with it all, vicki.

  7. I completely agree – between 50 and 60 sucks. I just turned 54 in June and my face has never looked like this. I was always blessed with blemish free skin, even as a teen rarely fought off zits and now am paying for it. Roseca is the bane of my existance. I have to stay out of the sun due to thyroid med and the reaction. It’s just all a mess. Menopause is not fun. I may have to choke someone.

  8. I am coveting your pattern case. I just wrote a post for tomorrow on mid life and the mess its made of my body. Check it out tomorrow. When we had the family pictures made on vacation, I had to swallow a few times when I saw mine. I love, love everyone else’s but who’s that fat person with them? Got my prescription solareze cream to start spreading on my face in hopes that when I go to the dermatologist in 60 days, all the bad spots will be gone away. Growing old ain’t for sissies.

  9. I have the 5 pounds too and the 10 if I look back far enough–but am trying to convince myself I care. That’s a bad attitude!! The 50s are rough and I’m not even into my mids. My neck hurts and sometimes my knees twinge when I run. You post whatever you’re comfortable with and we’ll understand!

  10. I am in full sympathy. I turned my dismay at my (ahem) shifting body into a poem called “The Body Betrays”.
    As a redhead, I have mostly tried to stay out of the sun (except for an uninformed youth). Now, I am grateful I don’t tan.
    Anyway, good luck with Mohs–just a layer at a time.

  11. This “Mohs” you speak of–I suspect I will have more than a passing acquaintance with it. Give me a year or two.

    I hear you on all the other stuff. Loud and clear. I have my moments. But there is so little I can DO about it (aside from exercise and sensible eating) that my mind quickly moves on to something else.

    I do envy sometimes my elderly dog’s complete lack of self-consciousness about all her lumps and bumps.

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