How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


These Socks Suck

I like new ideas. These days what you know today is old news tomorrow. Someone somewhere dreams up invaluable and imaginative ways of making money. Time and again I’ve been bamboozled into parting with my hard-earned cash on near worthless product(s). When the darn thing breaks or falls apart, I don’t beat myself up about it because the investment is never large to cause true grief. Life is supposed to be an adventure. No? Sure it is.

Last minute Christmas shopping found me at Walmart in the Pet Department. Lady Gaga doesn’t know or care about Santa, but she would get a treat anyway. I bought her a cart load of Iams canned chicken, beef, and lamb paté. Her favourites. She only gets on heaping teaspoonful in the morning with a quarter cup of dry Iams and at night she has dry cat food only. One can lasts five days: five spoons.

On my way back to pay for all the goodies in my basket, I passed a sock display. Wild and jazzy colours; soft and fuzzy yarn.

Wait a minute. What’s this? The advertisement said the socks had aloe in them or were aloe? Can’t recall. Only hand-washing was recommended. Their softness sold me in three seconds. In winter as in summer, I suffer from callouses on my heels. At three dollars a pair, I almost threw three packages into my cart. Something stopped me.

The first time I wore the socks, I expected magic: soft feet overnight. And yes, I wore them to bed. Canada’s winters are cold; freezing this year. Sigh. No miracle occurred that night or the next no matter how velvety they were to the touch.

For washing, I threw them, inside out, into lukewarm water with a little dish soap. Thick fibres drifted to the top. Awful stuff. Scooping the fuzz balls out, I changed the water and started over again. Why did they shed and where was all that wool coming from? Would my socks disintegrate in the wash?

With care, I squeezed out all the water instead of wringing them out and hung them over the shower to dry.


The next couple of times I wore these strange foot warmers, fluff followed me everywhere: between my bed sheets, on the floor beside the bed, on the bathroom floor. At each washing, I expected a mass of fibres in my hands with nothing holding them together.

How many wearings or washings will they last? This latest adventure may be small but it’s not over yet. All for three measly bucks and no soft skin as anticipated. I wonder if I shouldn’t have put aloe and some O.V.O.O. on my heels before putting the socks on.

~ * ~

You want magic. I’m here to share it with you.  Use a Ped Egg on your heels–dry (the surface is like a rasp). The shower routine with the stone doesn’t work for me. Slather your feet with Vaseline. Put a plastic bag on each foot with a sock over each (cotton is good but not necessary) to hold it all together. Go to bed. In the morning your feet will be soft as a baby’s you-know-what. Honest.


Old Bird, New Tricks. . .

Generally speaking, I’m a tough old bird. I have no allergies that I know of, except for sunscreen. I can’t wear it. A breakout of tiny, angry water blisters, which itch like the plague and break if I scratch, and itch more when they break, invade my pitiful sun-screened skin.

A couple of months ago, I made a new discovery. (I’m way too easy, you see.) It’s time, I decided, to stop using Dove soap on my face after eons of use. I haven’t had any problems: no extra lines or flaky skin, but a change would be good, I thought.

Enter Nivea Visage Replenishing Cleansing Cream Lotion (Mature Skin). I also splurged on Nivea Visage Rich Moisturizing Day Care with SPF 15. This was not a big investment; the price was right, the total  under twenty dollars. Oh, what a feeling; what a r-u-s-h a new jar of cream will bring! I felt like a new woman for several weeks. My face looked as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Until, the diaper rash!

I believe I have some Rosacea as do many women after a certain age. What I saw was something more. When my cheeks and chin broke out in pimples—with pin-sized yellow heads—my attention sprang into front row.  Mornings I looked great, no redness and no pimples—until I washed my face and applied the moisturizing day cream—hmm, curious.

My head has been someplace else lately. I noticed sort of, but didn’t put the  details together. Something made me stop the day cream and switch back to a long-time old faithful moisture cream. No change. Yikes. (I blush easily, which makes my face a deeper crimson and the added heat irritates this new condition.) Now the breakouts were becoming more of a problem because makeup didn’t hide them and everyone could see what was going on. Blush. Blush.

I stopped the cleansing lotion and went back to good old Dove soap. No immediate magic, but three days later, no more yellow heads—only angry red lines. I’d also been drinking buckets of coffee lately and have been a bit more stressed out than usual. Generally, not good.

So far, I’m pleased with my skin’s improvement. Why do I always need to chase the next best product when the current one is doing its job? What can I say? I’m vain to hope—hope there is still magic to be had. Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I don’t like to look my best and feel like a new woman once in a while. I’m sure vanity never goes away. Am I right? Sure I am.

First of all, I knew I had an allergic reaction to sunscreen? What is SPF 15, after all? But I forgot. So my head has been buried in the sand but no more. I hope I don’t have to give up coffee—or wine. Both of these aggravate Rosacea as does stress, but the big bad problem seems to be going away. . .

This feels like a service announcement. What? This is about ME. It is NOT an infomercial. Please.

~ * ~

For information on Rosacea:


SUNSHINE, Where Are You?

What a spring this year! March was warm as summer. Afterwards April showers arrived. Now snow and bitter wind these past two days. The rain is expected, I agree—but it’s almost May.

“Hey, Mother Nature, where are you? Is my voice too small for you to hear?”

I’m little, I’m tough and I can bend in the wind, but here I am shivering. I’m too young to die so soon. I feel  Jack Frost is back again. Is he lost, I wonder?

“It’s  Little Tulip, remember me? Send sunshine soon, pretty please so I can do my job brightening up this garden thing.”


Truths, Lies and Wishful Thinking (not necessarily in that order)

I had a friend in a similar living arrangement as I’m in: daughter / husband / no children plus MOM living in granny suite downstairs. “Mom” met someone and moved OUT to live with new beau upsetting the status quo of the household. I got to thinking. Hmm. What if I met someone who got my mojo going? I’ve been abstaining virginal for a couple of decades—but, if I met someone now, which way was I likely to swing?

I’m no longer a nubile female. So, I suddenly realized I wasn’t. I freely admit that. OK, I’ll come clean—I’m a little older than that—over forty and then some. Well, maybe just a touch and a little bit.

If I think about it, some of the reasons I like living alone is that I’ve picked up habits over the years I’m not sure I can change. Also, I can get cranky, eat you out of house and home and drink all your fruit of the vine—on some days.

How does a body move in with her kids and then move OUT into a beau’s abode? What about the capital investment? Frankly, would I be the super granny to accept more change? Let’s see how things stack up in the sharing / living together department in my neck of the woods. What are my chances?

  1. When it gets cold out (or in), I get phlegmy. It’s not a nice word, I know, but I use it because I don’t know any other that says it like it is. There are times I have to work it out and sound like a sailor who’s choked up his gob of tobacc-y. Not lady-like, but this is my life.
  2. Not often, but at sporadic intervals, certain foods don’t agree with me the way they used to. I’m not fit for company. Why make someone else suffer just because I can’t be social? I don’t have a need to die of embarrassment even if I could find it in my heart to share those moments. I don’t want to do share-zees either. Phe-w!
  3. I’ve finally gotten in touch with myself and found I’m an OK old gal. Somehow, I’ve become greedy with my time and don’t want anyone to feel left out or ignored just because I have lots of plans that new beau might not be interested in. Well I AM and I’m going for it!
  4. I need to read to live. I can’t sit and watch football, baseball, hockey or golf as I’ve never been into sports before. Why would I change now at my ripe old age? It would upset me to hurt anyone’s feelings but on the other hand, I can’t keep changing all the time either. What about ME? If I can’t, he can’t either?
  5. I have only one bathroom. We would need to have two if you were to come on board. They would have to be far apart—I like my privacy. Also, I like to read in there so I don’t want anyone knocking on the door to tell me to hurry up. Some things take time. And, I don’t want anyone within shouting distance anyway.
  6. My bathroom time is sacred. Since I am not twenty forty plus and a little bit, it takes three times as long to get ready to face the world than ever before. I do not intend to share my secrets with anyone either. These have taken a long time to perfect and they are all mine.  I intend to keep them to myself. Forever. Especially the before part.
  7. When I shower, I might not feel like shaving. At my age I mostly need to shave in the summertime. In winter, there doesn’t seem to be a problem. Unwanted hair seems to thrive when there is heat. Still, should I not feel like shaving, it should be my choice, OK?
  8. I enjoy the company of other women. Why is that so strange to you? There are more women in my age group than eligible men. I’ve never been in a cat fight over a man in my whole life. Why would I want to start one now? I’d be outnumbered by all those other women, you see, vying for your attention. I’m just not willing to die this young—even in the name of lust or what have you. Do I even remember what that is?

There are lots more assumptions to examine. These are just a few but it’s a start. What a crazy world I live in now. Things aren’t as clear as they once were. I’m still able but am I willing or interested in any MORE changes in my life?

I need to sit down right about now. Maybe I could sip a glass of wine while I’m—you know—thinking about the possibilities. It could happen; I’m not sure I’m ready though!


(until next time)


Inky Dinky Spider

I thought I was dreaming; perhaps in another dimension…

When’s the last time anyone you know opened up a jar of moisturizer to find a daddy long legs all curled up inside, looking as comfy as a snail in its shell? It happened to ME!

This was a new jar, used less than half a dozen times. Of course I SCREAMED and almost dropped it but being a frugal person, I realized haste would be waste. A good moisturizer that appears to be doing its job cannot be so carelessly tossed away just because some leggy intruder decides to take up residence. The question is: how did it manage to ’squat’ without my noticing? Where did it come from? Had it been there all that time, just buried beneath the surface without my noticing? It moved in at the factory, you say? Not a good enough reason!

I grabbed a Q-Tip, gritted my teeth, scooped the sucker OUT and flung it into the waste basket. Then, I scooped some more and managed to remove a broken off spider appendage (I think). I was even mindful—MINDFUL— not to waste more cream than I had to. And I don’t think I touched it with my finger. Yuck!

You’ll be proud of me because afterwards I just closed my eyes and slapped on that moisturizer before I could change my mind. You bet I wanted to scream but I pretended it all away. How cheap can a person be? All I can say in my defense is I took drastic steps for drastic measures…or something like that. Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it. I guess I’m a grown up after all.

I used to think that darn children’s song was so cute. Well I don’t anymore!


Makeup Graveyard

WE all buy it. Tons of it. There are always new promises. New and improved products. There’s magic to be had and darn it, I’m going to get me some! All I have to do is open up my wallet. Go to another presentation. Talk to another female friend who has found the fountain of youth. She swears by it. “It’s a miracle,” she says. “You gotta try it. My face has never felt so smooth or dewy.”

Before my eyes the results are even better than any commercial or promise. For about two weeks.

Over time, I have ended up with baskets full of beauty products which might work for some ONE but not for me. Not anymore.

The last one I’d gone to was a Mary Kay home makeup party in the seventies. It was expensive, was a lot of work but seemed to be working. But not as well as it supposedly had for Mary Kay. Maybe my skin wasn’t old enough yet. I’m sure I must have had the wrong kind of skin. The magic didn’t even last until I finished my whole program of products.

Probably not at a house party but somehow I heard about Clinique. Everything was well and good, but this too fell flat not too long into our cozy liaison. Then there was Estee Lauder and so on.

Recently, I attended an ARBONNE home makeup party. Once again I was mesmerized by promises of the purity of the product: no byproducts, plant based, no mineral oil(s) to clog up your skin etc. The word Switzerland also evoked a kind of alluring promise. I had dared to mention to the consultant that I had, (as did we all most likely), a makeup graveyard underneath my bathroom sink. I wished that manufacturers made smaller sizes for the newly initiated. She told me there is a 45-day money back guarantee with this product. That’s a good start. I think, but I’ll have to wait and see. How many people actually go to the trouble to return products?

I try to believe that someday I’ll be truly happy with a product that’s doing a reasonable job. Are the manufacturers not keeping up with my skin’s age when it is time? I found products to be more agreeable before the anti-wrinkle formulations as they do not agree with me. My skin thinks it’s wrinkle cream.

What I want to know, as I follow all the different promises to the fountain of youth, is why do they seem to poop out so soon? Usually you’re expected to see results within 30 days. I’ve tried that too but the magic soon fizzles out. I’ve never tried to look impossibly youthful as time marches on. I just want to feel good about myself.

So to sum up. Will I be yet again disappointed? Maybe. Will I stop spending big bucks to look soft and dewy? Not likely. Why is it that I can’t bring myself to throw out all those half-full containers of past due wizardry from underneath my sink? OK, so I’ve taken a stab at it but still tend to hang on to some of it anyway. What will it take to bring in that bulldozer?

Other Reasons for the Graveyard

I have another beef. Over the years, I have fallen in love with certain beauty products that I LIKE. Take lipstick shades, for instance. I’ve also liked after shower sprays by Jean Nate and Calgon. I have been using some products faithfully for years. Suddenly, the colour is changed just enough not to be agreeable anymore. Or it’s been removed altogether. Something I’ve liked has had its formulation changed. A product has been replaced with a new, better invention but doesn’t work as well as the original. I’m still talking about ME.

I’m out in the cold, again, without prior warning. What’s with all that? Didn’t it used to be that the customer mattered? I don’t think I like being told what is good for me.