Ah.  I'm a bold girl, assuming this will interest anyone but me.  But I plow forth anyway and ask, who among us has embraced and celebrated and more than that - intentionally perpetuated - the precise color that God saw fit to give us?  I'm at that place - thaaat place - in life where  more and more and then more salty/peppery strands sense that it is appropriate to make their way to the surface, proclaiming, really, to all the land that this woman is no longer 22, Universe!  These are the times where only a British accent can really do justice to the message that demands a hearing.  Enough now with England.  Let's talk hair.

I'm wrestling right now (for the first time) with the age appropriateness of my hair.  While I'm not quite ready to begin to crop it close to my head in the gender-defying perm that so many older ladies seem to favor, I'm also wondering if I can really pull off the lengths that heretofore have characterized my hair.   I am sensitive to my desire to walk that fine line between hey! I'm a 55 year old Brittney Spears wanna-be and who cares that my 13-year-old daugther is ashamed of my antics; she's just jealous!  and the woman who abandons any semblance of an attempt to present herself attractively to the world because she's too tired and the thought of the exertions required make her feel even more so.  I wish to be classicly tasteful and right now, I'm not sure that my current hair reflects that.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?  I know there are stylists among you and I need your help. 
 
 
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I used to - in the height of my imagined elegance and very real ignorance - look down disdainfully on Crafters.  I thought they were just the epitome of podunk-dom.  I wondered how it was that these people couldn't find better things to do with their time when there were starving children in Etheopia, for pete's sake.  Of course, as I contrasted my own young, naieve life which hadn't yet unfolded in any real way to theirs as I misjudged them, I felt stupendously superior.  Ah.  The fall from those dizzying heights of the arrogant early twenties. 

Now if geekiness is defined by one's involvement in 'the Crafts,' <insert English accent here> I'm one of the very biggest.  I make cakes for fun, I create cards and gift tags for joy, I scrapbook to document our fleeting lives together, I design bulletin boards at my children's schools for their teachers, I make somewhat unattractive chocolates, I'm a newbie knitter, and I'm very, very open to pursuing a whole lot more.  I plan to look into making jewelry and to pursuing felting.  I love being a geek; there's so much freedom there.
 
 
Ok, via the ever-helpful Internet, I found a recipe for a sickness tea that I LOVE.  It's too early in the day to vouch for it's health claims, but the taste! It knocks my socks off.  And here it is:

1-2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 chili pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Boil together with about three cups water and then reduce to a simmer for about ten minutes.  Add 1/2-1 tsp. honey and enjoy.  Brace yourself for a kick and enjoy a unique and invigorating tea.  Love it!
 
 
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I just learned to knit.  I love it so much.  And what's more, I don't even let JoyBoy's most recent derisive comment about the whole process faze me even a little.  That man had the gall to tell me that Sex Vixens don't knit.  What does he  know about sex vixens, I ask?  And so I knit.  And then I do it again and sometimes I even purl, just to keep things fresh.  As is my way, I need to have multiple knitting projects on the go to keep it interesting and so I'm working on two scarves for each of the respective daughters and two bad boy gigantic flower corsages just because they're different.  I called them funky orange bastards to my sisters via email and as I hoped, they responded with just the sort of accepting and whole-hearted laughter that feeds my soul.

I'll show you those big orange bastards soon.  They're really cool.
 
 
I've mentioned my passion for mushrooms to you.  You may or may not recall.  Essentially I think mushrooms rock.  I scramble for some more convincing, eloquent way to describe these perfect morsels.  Phrases like stuff of the gods spring to mind and yet, don't quite seem to capture the near ecstasy I feel while eating them and while thinking about eating them.  The other night, I sauteed a mix of cremini, shiitake, brown button and portobello.  I added a little olive oil, salt and the ever-ubiquitous garlic and there! you have it:  the perfect food.  I realized as I ate them in an almost desperate fashion that I wasn't a kid anymore.  Only my husband and I clamoured for them; the kids watched us in disgusted silence and contented themselves with the pasta and rose sauce, which for me, was the clear cut side dish of the evening.

The meaty substantialness makes my belly feel like it's just returned from a sleepover at my Grandma's house.  I feel content in the way that her air-dried flannel sheets, still smelling of love and of the sun made me feel when I was eight.  Mushrooms and Grandma and sunshine and love.  Stuff of the gods.
 
 
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The View From My Front Door
I live in Pleasantville.  I really do.  Of course it's not formally called that, but it is most affectionately nicknamed that by many of its' inhabitants.  We're technically part of a city, though to find us, you have to make your way up a forest-lined road, snaking its way up a mountain.  We have it all here, the flora and the fauna and the quick proximity to all the amenities the city itself has to offer.  We are just far enough outside of the city proper to ensure that the riff-raff find it a bit of an inconvenience to bother with us (not so far, mind you, that a couple of said riff-raff didn't find the time and the energy to steal two of our four children's bikes Halloween night).

We stay-at-home moms (and there really are a great number of us, living here in Pleasantville) walk our uniformed children to school in the mornings en masse.  If you weren't expecting it, you might do a double take at the sight of us all.  For just a second, you'd wonder if somehow you haven't made  your way back to 1940.  It felt mildly disconcerting at first, from the perspective of an inner city dweller cum 1940's-Housewife, but now I only rejoice in the retro-ness of it all.  My kids are so safe here.  Oodles of other children swarm the cul-de-sacs and the meandering streets with their poetic names after school.  The doorbell rings constantly.  We're right back to sharing our flour and eggs and sometimes even our canned refried beans around here.  There's always someone you trust to turn to in times of need.  Something in all of this slightly cheesy togetherness touches me deep inside my jaded soul.  In the middle of the chaos that the city so often embodies, you can get yourself a can of free, spontaneous refried beans and a homey chat elaborating upon how good it is that the street sweeper has done such a nice job.  And you know,  he really has.
 
 
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JoyBoy laughs at me and mocks.  He loves the mocking.  He can't live without the mocking.  But my self-esteem can handle it and my bird collecting can handle it.  He calls me the ornithologist, but as I gaze at these beauties, I note with finality that I can handle the name-calling.  Aren't they pretty?  I'm almost obsessed with birds these days.