How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Flash in the Pan – Loco

He flipped the bottle with a hairy paw and glugged with relish. The empty container slammed against the counter’s edge. Crystal splinters sprayed the air like tiny spikes. They pelted his wrist, and belly, and chin.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“What just happened?” Stretch rushed into the open bathroom.

Woolly swayed and bared his teeth, bleeding wrist gripped to his soggy midriff.

“You drank the Rubbing Alcohol?”  Bloodshot eyes bulging, Firewater Man dropped to his knees and howled as glass penetrated skin.“You’re loco, man.” Stretch grabbed a towel to staunch the crimson flood. Woolly screamed. “I’ll call an ambulance. Don’t…”




~ * ~

The word limit for Loco is 100 words. I used all of them.

The new Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan has begun. The theme is Disturbed. Click: to check out the rules and join.


Butt Out

It’s nice we live in a free country, isn’t it? You can shop where you want, buy and wear what you want, and do almost anything so long as it’s legal.

I’ve heard visitors / newcomers from other countries say they are appalled at how North Americans go out in public: in jeans or shorts for all occasions; T-shirts too small or too big, ripped or dirty; scuffed and / or filthy, grimy shoes or flip-flops, beat up and grubby running shoes etc.

If you’re at home in the backyard cooking, cleaning, painting, cutting the grass—go for it. I don’t disagree with what you choose to wear or how you wear it. You’re the king of your castle.

Is it too much to ask a little care about your appearance in the grocery store, pharmacy, coffee shop and so on?

Should I be waiting for the light to change, please do not pass me on your bike with your pants half off. Male or female, this picture of you crouched over the handlebars isn’t attractive.

I don’t want to trip over you when you bend down to reach for the spaghetti sauce in the grocery store. That exclamation point down the back of your pants is not my idea of a room with a view.

As well, when I am in the pharmacy looking at vitamins, I have no interest in an introduction to your butt cheeks.

Worst of all, when I’m enjoying myself in a coffee shop, I never want to drop my face in shock when you flash your fat, hairy behind a foot-and-a-half from my face and I faint from shock. On the banquette. Ugh. Someone, half-dressed like you probably sat in the very spot my nose almost nuzzled.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

I don’t know you and most of the other patrons don’t either. Please be kind to strangers and don’t flash that thing at me in public? Can you not feel a breeze? Don’t you care how you look? Consider your hygiene as well as that of others.

On the other hand, if you are still within a block of over-the-hill, and have a nice tight…like you know—plumbers, contractors, firemen—the calendar types…

Nope. Forget it. Don’t show off what your pants are supposed to cover when you’re out and about in town.

Then again, what goes on behind closed doors, but that’s another story.


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:


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.


Birds of a Feather

There are women my age whose hair is white but who still have dark eyebrows. Alas, I have dark hair but sparse white eyebrows. Which would you rather have? Hair you could always colour if you wish; not so much your thinning eyebrows. Now every morning I must be artistic to painfully paint on twin lines, one over each eye. Some days I’m successful, artistically speaking.

Oh, the things that are changing and out of my control. Luckily, and possibly due to generous application of ‘magic’ lotions, my skin is still holding up. On the other hand, it might just be good genes. Both my grandmother and mother had good skin. I happened to mention to an acquaintance recently that she had good skin for a babe our age. She confessed it’s because she puts ‘crap’ on her face. So what’s wrong with getting a little help along the way? That’s what drugstores are for. Aren’t they also in the business of a steady supply of legal drugs? Later. Of course, later. Not just yet.

I dislike the words’ crows feet’ but  I can happily say mine are light and aren’t exactly ingrained  into my skin yet. My smile lines aren’t etched too deeply either. However, since my teenage years and all the seriousness that involved, I’ve developed deep craters in my forehead—signs of a deep thinker I’m sure. These days I try not to look so serious or get lost in thought too often—not because those etchings become so prominent—but so that I won’t get lost indeed and forget where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposedly doing.

Since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, it’s a good thing all my friends and I are in the same boat. It’s not that misery loves company, it’s birds of a feather. It’s not getting older that’s scarey, it’s losing good health, mobility, flexibility, your sense of humour, your memory. You can’t avoid life, can you? The best you can do is not take yourself too seriously because you’re not going to get outta here alive baby. Make the most of it. With compassionate friends. With joy and exuberance. Loved. Understood. Cared for. Your friends, who understand you, are your anchor in the storm as only birds of a feather can.