Life on the Lighter Side: Swimsuit Edition

Once again, and in a mind-boggling way, I can truly say, “I’m no Martha Stewart!”

I just watched her remarking about her Sports Illustrated photo shoot. She’s on the cover of the swimsuit edition, for crying out loud. She’s 81 years old, or young, or mature, however you want to put it.  She is amazing and articulate and brave. I love that she wants to make women feel better about themselves at whatever age.

Even though I personally have qualms with these SI issues, I do share her sentiment of wanting to make women feel good about themselves, but my platform is a tiny bit smaller than Martha’s. The only thing that Martha and I really have in common are X chromosomes.

But along that vein and pushing all vanity aside, I am posting a recent photo of my husband and me in our swimsuits as we walked along a secluded beach in Fort Pierce, Florida. It is a good reminder that the paparazzi are everywhere, and my sister acted as one of them when she took this from our oceanfront balcony. This is the only picture of us from that trip. I don’t sit for a lot of swimsuit pictures. Actually, standing is always a more favorable pose, and the further away the better, but I digress.

To sum up: I’ll never keep a house or calendar that looks anything like Martha’s. I’ll never have a dinner party that could hold a candle to hers. I’ll never be on the cover of SI or any magazine, especially in a swimsuit. I’m okay with that.

The flip side: I’m very satisfied with my abilities as a housekeeper and my calendar works for me, too. I will host the occasional game night or dinner party, and sometimes I may use paper plates. It only took me five or six decades, but I’ve reconciled myself with my feelings about my body. It suits me just fine. I still will decline any and all offers from Sports Illustrated – in case anyone asks.

In conclusion and to make this truly a swimsuit edition, I offer two pictures of some bathing suit clad relatives of mine hamming it up in front of the camera. The close-up is my mom and her mother with her cousin Dotty in the background offering a serious pose at the now defunct Oakwood Inn in St. Michael’s, Maryland – Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The sliding board picture was likely taken in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Both pics are circa 1945.

Have a happy summer!

March – In Like a Lion and Out Like a Tasmanian Devil

Whatever happened to March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? The entire month has been more like watching the Tasmanian Devil (from Bugs Bunny fame) spinning around wreaking havoc on everyone he meets.

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And speaking of March – is Martha Stewart prophetic? I don’t think so, but she was right on for the March issue with the headline – “Happy at Home.” I don’t think everyone was happy about it though.

Her April issue, “Sweet Spring,” may have some points. In particular, “The Best Natural Makeup,” which I don’t feel the need to read.

That’s already trending. I don’t know anyone who has worn makeup for weeks. I’m saving money on that and hair products. Natural ain’t always pretty, but who cares? I’m not going anywhere. How about you? I may actually read my magazines!

I am missing my humans right now. Missing hugs from my grandchildren. Thinking about my friends who live alone. Missing normal. Knowing that we’re going to get through this and praying a lot. And I’m thinking about you who read my blog. Thanks, and God bless you!

Martha Stewart and Me

I enjoy both Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living magazines – that is when I actually sit down to read them. I was so proud of myself for taking the time to read my October magazines, looking for a recipe or household idea I could make my own. I was almost finished Southern Living when the mailman delivered my November magazines. This makes me a little crazy. How can time fly by so quickly that it’s time to read about November? Shoot, there were still 12 days left in October!

I set the new issues aside and committed to finishing up October before November 1 (my idea of goal setting). I even tried a new recipe from Southern Living. Here’s a picture of it. It’s beefy squash and pasta (or something like that). It had collard greens in it – that should have been a clue. Anyway, I cooked it and it looked just like the picture in the magazine.

I know there must be some collard green fans out there, but why is a mystery to me. Controversial cooking tip: avoid cooking them with ground beef.

The butternut squash was the star of the show. The greens were the horrible ending, which lingered through the night. Bitter endings are the worst. I threw the recipe away so I wouldn’t make that mistake again. It was a glorified hamburger helper.

But this post is more about Martha Stewart’s fine publication. I don’t relate to it as easily as I do Southern Living. SL has a down-home feel. Martha Stewart Living has an uppity, uptown feel, even though her uptown is her home in the Hamptons or her home in Maine or her other home in Maine. Still, I know there is much to be learned from Martha, and honestly, I do admire her.

But I can only go so far with her.

I live by my calendar. I keep one on the wall and one on my phone, which literally keeps me going in the right direction. Page 2 of Martha’s magazine gives us her calendar. Its subtitle is “Gentle reminders, helpful tips, and important dates.”

There are few similarities. Of course, I live in Orlando and she lives in one of the above three locations, so yeah. I get it. Plus, she’s Martha Stewart.

Thing(s) we have in common: Get flu shot.

Things we don’t have in common:

  • Pick apples and make cider
  • Move tropical plants indoors (She should have a Florida home, too. That would eliminate this chore.)
  • Have horses reshoed.
  • Prepare chicken coops for winter.
  • Today Show appearance.
  • Swap out summer linens for winter bedding (again, a Florida home is needed)
  • Speak at Horticultural Society of NY’s fall luncheon
  • QVC appearance – This is a close one. I made an appearance at CVS this month.
  • Take drone photos of fall foliage. This is my favorite.

This is a sampling of her month. Next month she has an entire day dedicated to checking and refilling the bird feeders. They must be some kind of humongous feeders. I have to refill mine every other day.

In contrast, my month had:

  • Art show meeting
  • 3 appointments for my mom
  • Furniture repairman
  • Grandsons’ football games
  • 3 church small group meetings
  • Writers group meeting
  • A weekend trip to Maine not to see Martha Stewart, though we took photos of the fall foliage (not with a drone)
  • 3 luncheons (I wasn’t receiving awards or the speaker)
  • 3 special birthdays – Happy Birthday to my son, Joe; my son-in-law Derek; and my grandson, Oliver, is turning one!

I think I like my calendar better. In fact, I know I do. But, thank you, Martha, for pointing out the need to be organized and balance work, friends, and commitments. Now that I have my November magazines and I realize that the holidays are upon us, I’ll need all the encouragement I can get. I’ll use her calendar for comic relief and to remind me to deep clean the oven on November 19 and polish the silver on November 20. (Thought I’d end this post with that little joke!)