Fashion for 40+

See You In A Month! 1 Comment To view this content, you must be a member of julia's Patreon at $5 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content. Continue Reading

Fashion for 40+

Taking Some Time Off No Comments

Hey everyone! How are you doing today? Everything going ok? I hope so. We all deserve days/months/years of smooth sailing, me thinks.

Anyway, sorry I peaced out last week. I twisted my ankle really badly on Monday and slept for 16 hours and just lost the whole day, which put me completely out of sorts for the rest of the week. Plus, I was feeling a bit like a crab and didnt want to spread that mood around.

My ankle is much better now, thank you. It was a doozy, as sprained ankles go but I am almost back to 100%.

I am going to take the month of November off from blogging. I know! How will you survive LOL? But, for real, Ive got a lot of things going on behind the scene that I need to focus on and something had to give. Patrons, Ill give you an update on Thursday but will be pausing your subscription for the month of November, so you can plan what to do with that extra $5! Maybe something nice for yourself?

My plan is to be back in December and back on track with lots of beautiful photos. In the meantime, enjoy these pretty pictures of Michigan in autumn:

Everyone have a beautiful end of autumn and lovely Thanksgiving. I will be back before you know it! Take care!

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Fashion for 40+

I See The Light! 1 Comment To view this content, you must be a member of julia's Patreon at $5 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content. Continue Reading

Fashion for 40+

Beautiful October 1 Comment

Hey everyone! Good beautiful morning!

We are having a really beautiful October here in Michigan. It is unseasonably warm but the mosquitoes have died of old age so it is pleasant to sit outside again. I was even able to sit out on the deck yesterday evening as the sun was setting. Not a bug in sight! We deserve this time after the insane saturation of mosquitoes this summer.

So how is everyone doing today? Im doing fine. Busy working on my van but Im happy to report that I am about 90-95% done. In fact, my electrician friend finished up the electricity this weekend so we had to show her parents the finished work. Here we are being proud:

Im not ready to do the big reveal yet because I want to have everything done when I do. Dont worry. Youll be one of the first to see it!

Ok, and what am I wearing here? (its been awhile since Ive done any outfits, hasnt it?). This jacket I bought last spring and it immediately got too hot to wear even though its linen. Now, in October, it is a perfect weight. It is sold out of course, but I did get it from J. Jill.

The sleeveless tank top youve seen thousands of times from White House Black Market (do I need to link it even? Oh, good, its on sale here) and Im wearing the black capris I bought last spring that I have worn over and over and over again this summer and theyre still holding their shape well.

Penny, Kip and I have been enjoying our secret places to walk every morning. I have found two places in this semi-urban area where no one else walks their dog. This is good because Penny loses her mind when she sees another dog and also because we can have a stress-free, quiet walk.

I dont know why no one is ever on these two trails. They are well marked. In populated areas. Even have a dog poop bag dispenser and trash can. Maybe because the trails end in a swamp or on private property so its not worth the walk out there? I dont know. I walk it twice with my dogs to get a long enough walk in and were out there for about 30 minutes, which seems like enough of a walk to me? I dont know. Maybe Im missing something.

It could be because its close to the train tracks. Kip hates hearing the train coming, but once its next to us and rumbling by, he seems fine. Penny could care less. Maybe people dont like being that close to the tracks?

You also have to walk underneath the big power lines, so maybe some people dont like that? I dont know.

Its pretty isolated from houses and roads so Im able to let Kip and Penny off the leash to be wild dogs. Then, they sleep for the rest of the day!

Alright, well, Ive finished up my coffee and now I gotta get to work! Everyone have a nice week and take care of yourself. I think we are almost out of this!

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Fashion for 40+

A Day Late. No Comments To view this content, you must be a member of julia's Patreon at $5 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content. Continue Reading

Fashion for 40+

Enjoying The Outdoors! 1 Comment

Hey everyone! How are you doing today? Everyone doing ok? Feeling good about the future? Feeling good about now? I go up and down, but today Im feeling positive probably because I havent turned on any news today!

So, anyway, how beautiful is it right now? Here in Michigan during my absolute favorite month, we are pretty gorgeous. Very few mosquitos. Perfect temperature. Beautiful leaves. I feel in awe on every walk and try to take it all in. Sometimes, I dont want to head back while were on a walk, even though the dogs are done chasing squirrels and rolling in grass and are actually lying down and are ready to go back.

Looks like Ill be able to get up north some more this month because my brother-in-law is finally trusting someone (me!) to shut down his cabin for the winter. He drains all the water from the pipes and turns off the heat and the cabin just freezes solid for the winter. Usually they close it up in early October, but Ive convinced him to let me close it up later so me and my family (and Penny!) can still enjoy it for a little while longer.

We did visit my Mom and her new dog Buddy this weekend. Penny and he were fast friends and ran and played wildly, which she loves, for awhile, but he doesnt have an off switch so Penny got fed up with him. She has raised lots of puppies (when I adopted her, she had been rescued/caught with her spring puppies and her fall puppies) so she knows how to discipline a young dog, but hes not a quick learner.

He would run and knock into her and any humans standing nearby because he doesnt look where hes going. She would bite him (increasingly meanly) to get him to chill out but he didnt get the cues, so she stopped playing with him. She would let him walk with her and be near her but she wouldnt run with him anymore. He even tried laying down next to her to play while laying and she ignored him. Maybe hell figure it out as he gets older or if he plays with other dogs. My mom reported he slept the whole day after we left, which I can imagine because he must have been exhausted.

As you know, I am such an outdoor girl. I love being able to pop outside with my morning coffee or sit on the porch petting a cat or taking a long walk. I dont mind the rain or the cold (well, the scary cold I dont care for) or the dark. I feel stifled when I cant get outside and I prefer to look out the window than look at a screen. The only thing that deters me from going outside is mosquitoes and they are gone for at least 6 months so I am happy!

Anyone have an idea what flower this is? Ive never seen one before this weekend.

Also, for my political followers, this ad has made me happy. Ive never seen a political ad that has the power to change the narrative about America and American politics like this one. And its an uplifting history lesson. We need to hear more like this and remember that this is the America we love.

Alright everyone. Im going to pop outside! Well, that is true, but Ive got lots of work and errands to do too.

Take care everyone!

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Fashion for 40+

Only Big Stuff Now No Comments To view this content, you must be a member of julia's Patreon at $5 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content. Continue Reading

Fashion for 40+

18 Months Into History 6 Comments

Hey everyone! How are you doing today? Me? Im ok cant believe were 18 months into a pandemic and still holding our breath. I am grateful to be vaccinated and will get the booster when its my time, but Id really, really like to put this behind us and get back to normal, whatever normal will be after these last years. I really would just like to be able to exhale.

Just hearing 18 months of the news about this is exhausting, let alone living through it. And still worrying about yourself and loved ones is exhausting. We all are going to have some PTSD when this is over arent we? There will definitely be some pent-up emotions and unexamined events that will need tending too.

So, I want to keep documenting how it is to live during this time in real time, rather than in hindsight. I think when someone writes about an event after its happened, theyre able to edit some things out that may or may not be significant, but writing in real time is just recording rather than reflecting and the mind (at least this mind) still remembers. If you arent up to a glaring look at the current situation of the pandemic in our country right now, you may just want to stop reading now and glance at the pictures and then catch up with me next week.

Onto recording what its like to live in the U.S. during the Covid pandemic in September 2021:

So, this pandemic has shown a lot about our countrys humans hasnt it? Who ever would have guessed a world-wide pandemic would become a political issue in the worlds third most populous country? I assumed it was all going to be a medical-focused event, and we would be spending a lot of time and effort in trying to contain it while waiting on a vaccine. Well, we barely made an attempt at containing it in the beginning or even now, but luckily the vaccine came quicker than expected.

Remember when we were all desperately trying to find a vaccine appointment last spring? I was so relieved when my mom was able to get hers and then felt like I had won the lottery when I was able to get mine. Only months later did I find out that my brother, an engineer with a masters degree, was refusing to get the vaccine. It never even crossed my mind that someone without any health risks, had heard or read something that would make them refuse the vaccine. And even now after 6, 7 months and millions of vaccines later (and all that data) they still arent budging. It blows my mind.

Join us for a walk on the beach?

Remember when we were clapping for our frontline health care workers and putting signs in our yards supporting them? Remember when people would bang their pots and pans in support of them? It never occurred to me that a year later, some people would turn against them. Or threaten them. I guess we should have expected it when we saw people threatening physical harm against our elected officials and health officials in the government who were supporting lock-downs or mask mandates. But doctors and nurses now having to worry about their safety? And teachers and school administrators? What a weird, weird change.

18 months in, and I bet everyone knows at least one person who has died from Covid, so its not an abstract idea anymore. Youd think that when the virus came close to some people, theyd definitely want the community around them to be doing everything in their power to keep the virus at bay. Or if you had believed it was fake in the beginning, after a death, youd see up close and personal that it is real and then be the strongest advocate for masks and vaccines. However, that would mean that youd have to admit that you had been lied to by people you have trusted for years and that you were duped by their lies. Two cold, hard facts that people have a hard time reckoning with, I guess.

Personally, for me, Im still wearing my mask indoors at the store and places that are indoors with people I dont know. Im eating outside when I go to a restaurant. This might all be unnecessary, but Id rather be safe than sorry as the science learns more and as the data continues to come in. I dont like wearing a mask. I wish I didnt have to wear it, but I also wish I didnt have to wear a bra! At least the mask isnt tight!

I have no idea what this barn is used for. House? Events? I was just driving down a dirt road and saw it beautifully towering over the landscape

Remember when we thought this summer would just be joyous, end-of-pandemic get-togethers? Hot girl summer? Parties and family reunions and weddings all blissfully safe and worry free. Nope. We had those events but we had them outside and with a bit of niggling worry in the back of your mind every time you got within breathing distance of someone. It was better than it was before the vaccine, oh gosh, for sure, but not as free and celebratory as I thought it was going to be.

Supposedly were not expected to get a fourth wave (strike that, just checked and were in the fourth wave now) I mean fifth wave this winter because of the amount of people who have been vaccinated (This scenario assumes childhood vaccinations take off and no new, more-transmissible variants emerge), and I really hope this is true. As I was looking for the article to link for you, I did come across some articles that believe this winter will be bad. Oh, Im really hoping they are wrong. Being this vigilant is hard to sustain for such a long amount of time. Again, were all going to have to have time to process our experiences and emotional responses once were able to, when we feel like its safe to unbox it all.

Midwest fields full of food

The other thing that strikes me is how were all supposed to act like everything is normal. Go do your job. Go get your groceries. Run your errands. Send your kids to school. But, oops, dont get in a car accident because the ICU is full. Or dont let your kid get an appendicitus because we cant help them cuz we dont have enough staff and theyre exhausted and theyre threatened by wackos every time they walk in our out of the hospital.

OK, As Im writing this and reading this I am seeing that we are still in the middle of this shitstorm and it is traumatic. We are coping with it and carrying on the best way we know how but I am giving you permission right now to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. Its ok if you need some quiet time. Its ok if you need extra sleep. Its ok to say no to things/people/experiences that drain your strength. Heck, I cant even watch a new show because of the emotional investment and emotional drain it might extract. Ive just been watching shows Ive already watched. How weird is that?

Do you see the Sand Hill Cranes? They dont even know there is a pandemic, lucky them.

Give yourself a hug. You deserve one. I deserve one. Dont fall out with yourself over this, because you need you. We need you. Be as kind to yourself as you are to a friend. Get through this however you need to and think of how strong were going to be on the other side! Pandemic? Whoop-dee-doo.

77% of adults are vaccinated in the U.S. We are so close! Ireland is about to open up completely and fully and no one is contracting Covid or spreading it or dying from it. They did what they needed to do and are coming out on the other side. That is going to be us someday!

Alright so lets get through this and then laugh together about all the high jinks that happened during the pandemic as we blissfully forget the unpleasant details of some of our fellow humans. How nice will it be to just put this in the history books and recount stories of how we lived through the pandemic of the early twenties? I remember when (say in your old lady voice) as we breathe without worry.

Until then: Take care my friends. Hold yourself up. You got this. We can do this. Stiff upper lip and all that. Keep calm and carry on. (The Brits really came up with some good, fortifying sayings didnt they?).

Have a good week and Ill talk to you next week.

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Fashion for 40+

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Fashion for 40+

Each Day Is A New Day 1 Comment

Hey everyone! How is everyone doing today? Taking care of yourself? We need to remember to take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically so we can outlast this chapter and come through the other side, better and stronger than before.

Late night full moon over Lake Huron

I know thats easier said than done. Im always struggling to put my health and fitness closer to the top of the list of priorities and some days Im good at it, and some days not so much. Im trying to look at it as more of a hobby rather than a chore, so I can approach it more positively and make more time for it, not that Ive made much time for hobbies lately Oh well, each day is a new day.

As you know, I do enjoy taking walks and I just took Penny to a dog trainer so she is better on the leash. She has not adjusted well to living in town with so many other dogs around walking by her house and being on the same path as her, so I had to find a better solution for her and me. I was starting to dread our walks because she was so unpredictable and as time went on, became more and more unruly and lunging at other dogs (and sometimes people) and barking her head off uncontrollably and I couldnt get through to her to get her to stop, so Id just end up dragging her away. Embarrassing and not much fun.

Woke up to a stormy morning today

It took a month to be able to get in to this one-on-one training recommended by a friend and Im happy to say (so far) he was worth the $$$ because she stays right at my side, comes back instantly when I call her and now she wear a head halter (just like the horse halters) instead of a neck collar which keeps her more controllable while on a walk and keeps her from barking at other dogs. The first time we went for a walk with it on, a young boy seemed concerned seeing Penny shake her head back and forth trying to get the halter off so she could bark and jump at his well behaved, jovial golden retriever, so I told him (shouted to him from the other side of the street actually) It looks worse than it is!. Erg. So, I only use it when were likely to run into other dogs and I hope its just until shes chilled out.

Hopefully Penny (and I) are able to keep up the good behavior. Im doing the reinforcement like the trainer suggested and trying to get Penny to play with a ball (it helps her release her cattle dog instincts) so she doesnt feel the need to lash out on the leash, though shes not much interested in the ball yet. Plus shes smart and sensitive (and a bit dramatic) so Im hoping only one trip to the trainer is all we need, because she really did not like it and it was exhausting for her and I.

The waves were coming closer to the trees this morning

Ive been letting her chase the waves at the lake and she loves it. At first I thought it was triggering her OCD and maybe stressing her out but since weve been up at the lake more Ive noticed she loves going down to the beach to chase and bite the waves. This seems more similar to chasing cattle and biting their heels (thats where they get the heeler name from) than chasing a ball (which she doesnt really get). She wags her tail and her head and ears are up and she looks happy and excited as we start heading down the stairs to the beach. I think its actually a good thing for her. At least it does wear her out:

We did pop down to Michigan State University for my daughters graduation this weekend:

She actually graduated in December, but the university did such a lame graduation ceremony (her name scrolled by on the website, yes, really) for all the 2020 graduates that they did a make-up for them last weekend. It still had some super-lame aspects to it (recorded singer on video singing the national anthem couldnt find someone to do it live?) but at least it was some acknowledgement and some bit of ceremony.

Its easy to wake up early here when this is your view!

So, happy fall equinox today! The official start of autumn! I love autumn. Its my favorite season. I love the produce thats in season and that its harvest time. I love the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love how the flora looks. I love the temperatures. I love the snuggly sweaters. I love the down comforters. Really, I could go on and on about this season, but you get the idea. Im expecting lots of good things this autumn!

Alright, well, Ive got lots to do so Ill say goodbye. Ill talk to you next week unless youre a Patron then Ill talk to you on Thursday.

Take care everyone!

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