Show Some Teeth

One of the most charming things about Paris proved to be their language.  I speak none of it.  Well, take that back.  I went knowing bonjour, bonsoir, merci, and thanks to The Little Mermaid, la poisson.  I now know how to ask for the check.  But I never tired of listening to it.

We stayed at a hotel with only  two English television channels, one dedicated to sex and the other to violence.  How do they view us, anyway?!!  We spent a great deal of time offering our own subtitles to French TV.  We were never accurate, but far more entertaining, if I do say so myself.

Yet, despite all the obvious language barriers, we thrived.  We found our way around.  We ordered food, a lot of food.  We enjoyed Paris.  We discovered the universal language of a smile speaks volumes.  These lovely people stopped, helped, and smiled back when presented with a smile.  Countless people, since we were always lost, busy running errands or heading to appointments took time to give us directions and help us on our way.  A delightful wait staff proved ever helpful.  We’d heard they didn’t like Americans.  That was not our experience.  What they liked were smiles.  Of course, I gave away a lot of Posh as thank yous.  They always smiled back.

I wonder what life in the good ole’ USA would be like if people smiled more.  Landing in New York, we found subcultures of people who also didn’t speak English.  They also were busy running errands and heading to appointments, but we found them far less friendly.  The national dialogue polarizing us filters into the mindset of a nation thriving on contention.  Like nothing else, a smile brightens a countenance and energizes a relationship.  It’s a universal way to engage others and create a happy space between two people.  I’m thinking we need more smiles.  Definitely.  Show a few teeth today, and see if you can get someone to smile back.

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The Universal Language

One of the most charming things about France is their language. I speak none of it.  Well, take that back.  I came knowing bonjour, bonsoir, merci, and thanks to The Little Mermaid, la poisson.  I now know how to ask for the check as well.  I’m a slow learner.

We are staying at a hotel with only two English channels, one dedicated to sex and the other to violence.  I prefer spending offering my own subtitles to French TV.  I enjoy listening to the graceful, lilting phrases and find myself far more entertaining with my own interpretations.

Yet, despite the obvious language barriers, we thrive, we find our way around eventually, we order food, we enjoy Paris.  We discovered the universal language of a smile speaks volumes.  These lovely people stop and help and smile back.  Countless ordinary people on their way to buy food or pick up dry cleaning took time to give us directions and part as friends.  A delightful wait staff proved ever helpful.  Of course, I gave away a lot of Posh as thank yous.  They always smiled back.

I wonder how different our world would be if we started over at Babel, none of us speaking the same language, reduced to smiles as tokens of good will.  Smiles seem a more valued commodity these days, and yet they also represent the cheapest way to communicate.  We need toothy grins and genuine smiles.  Every day.  I plan to try communicating more that way when I get home.  If I pretend not to understand you and simply smile, it may be I’m hard of hearing…but it may not!

 

Hand Savers!

The Naked Face

Surface.  The skin’s surface memorializes a remarkable tale of our life’s adventures in laugh lines, worry furrows and a myriad of “imperfections.”  Spending two weeks in Paris, a city where the surface, the presentation is everything, prompted some introspection,

Everything from food to fashion to architecture in Paris is all about presentation.  Grand on a scale beyond measure, the superficial assumes gigantic proportions.  The number of cathedrals and all their grandeur remains masked in looking at the everyday culture.  Yet what I loved most about Paris was all that lay underneath and less noticeable.  Subtle seasonings, marble slabs, triangular street corners and the shape of things.

Life is more about what goes on at the cellular level than what we create as a portrait on the surface.  Keeping it basic and sustaining health, just being real is something I love about Posh.  Skincare is basic.  Cosmetics are surface, illusory, all about presentation.  The building blocks of healthy skin include a good facial cleanser, a mask for detoxing, moisturizer.  I’ve got you covered!  If you wish to consider the anti-aging products, we have them.  But all of Posh is about the naked face.  We believe in wearing good skin, being the healthiest and most vibrant you possible.  Personally, I use our anti-aging products because I love them, but I also love tracing the journey of my life across my face.  It’s okay to be 67.  You can find these amazing products on my site at www.madaboutposh.com and click on LOOK NATURAL.

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Good Vibes Conquer Fear

I have to admit.  I was sort of creeped out.  SO much water.  I felt it taking the subway to Brookyn to eat at St Anselm’s, just knowing water was pressing in from all sides.  This was a thousand times more.  Looking out the window was easy.  Clouds and more clouds.  But looking at the screen that very clearly showed the plane over nothing but water for as far as the eye could see, well, it creeped me out.

I know.  I’ve been preaching out drinking water, about the positive effects of water in the body, but here’s the thing.  I like it in my product and I like it in my tummy, not floating under me.  And I noticed that the only two flotation devices were situated at the far ends of the plane  Here I was sitting plumb in the middle.  In case of an emergency, both slippery little rafts would be full long before I got to the door.

Here’s the thing about fear.  You control it, not the other way around.  So here I am, writing notes for Leadership Camp, working on my blog, eyes off the screen, ignoring the turbulence.  I find it’s the same all through life.  Taking a risk, starting a business.  You control life, not the other way around.  Feel free to join me.  It’s a thrill a minute around here, 35,000 feet in the air.

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Go to www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN. I’ll be your friend every step of the way.

Three Days at a Time

I love New York.  I know.  It’s big.  It’s noisy.  It’s not always clean.  It’s not just crowded, its sidewalks are jam-packed with people.  Say what you will, I love all those things for three days at a time.

While foreigners probably think of America as one giant New York City, and believe we all live loud lives in a teeming anthill, the truth is much more simple: the rolling hills and plains and gardens that dot our landscape more aptly describe us.  We live simple lives.  We kiss our babies, mow lawns, plant gardens and weed endlessly.  The national pulse rests at a healthy 80 beats per minute.

So why do I love New York City?  It’s alive.  Vitally alive.  It quickens the dead spot in my heart and I feel it beating again.  I needed this time, this space of time, to know my heart will one day heal.  That’s the real gift New York City, with all its disparate parts, has given me.  These noisy, teeming throngs of people are friendly, helpful with directions, proud of their city.  I sat and cooed with a baby bouncing on a proud daddy’s knee.  I carried on a serious (very serious) princess conversation with a 4-year-old on the subway.  (She likes Tangled, but she loves Frozen, not a fan of Moana.  Really?  How is that even possible?)  When I strip away the hyperbole, I find this fantastic array of people and lights and frenetic action are also my America.  And I love it.  Three days at a time.  Goodbye, New York City.  (Bill says “Good riddance!”)  Hello, Paris!

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Too Many Hats

Mother’s Day looms before us, and I’ve got you covered!  Posh pampering is the perfect gift for your sweet mama.  Let me tell you why:

  • Shea butter and cocoa butter make our creamy body butters sinfully decadent for dry, parched skin.
  • Sustainable palm oil gives our chunks that great cleaning action a mom’s hands need fifty times a day.
  • Essential oils create a delightful lasting aroma in all Posh products.  From Never Grow Up face cream to a Big Fat Yummy Hand Cream, your mom will love Posh.
  • Magnesium salts make our bath products second to none.  A tired mom always appreciates a good soak!

Moms today carry more responsibilities than the highest paid CEO, but remain the most under-appreciated, under-compensated and unrecognized heroes in America.  Feminism labored to give women equal rights, but in the process denigrated many a woman’s most basic calling, that of motherhood.  Moms run errands, fix meals, do the laundry, clean the home, comfort boo boos, train the next generation, run side businesses, serve the community, take care of elderly parents, and often work full time at a paying job.  Every mom secretly wears a cape and magical bracelets and way too many hats.  Go to my site: www.madaboutposh.com and order your mom some sweet pampering today!

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When Yarn Runs Amok

Gentle reader, I know you crave my unsolicited advice, so I’m going to bless you with the tip of all tips.  Is it the secret to making money?  No, it’s bigger.  Is it the secret to a rich and fuller life?  Bigger.  “What could possibly be bigger,” you ask?  Listen up!  In time buds of promise will enter your life.  This begins many seasons of celebration and gifting, but under no circumstances should you make a quilt for this bundle of joy AND knit a baby afghan as well.  Seven grandchildren later the tale unfolds to yet another chapter.

Never, no never, make a big boy quilt and a big boy afghan when the first grandchild graduates to his big boy bed.  Yarn runs amok at our house because I failed to recognize the error of my ways.  These older children’s adult-sized afghans require a lot more yarn, and their afghans take up to a year of sporadic effort.  In the midst of each one eight or nine gnarled skeins require laborious unknotting, accompanied by the gnashing of teeth and a great deal of moaning.  And when you delight in a rascally puppy who loves to play with yarn, well, I think you are right now imagining the ensuing chaos.

Yes, yarn runs amok at our house.  Again.  Afghan #8 is almost finished, and I am not, I repeat, NOT starting wedding afghans.   I adore my grandchildren, but at long last I admit to the error of my ways.  My next afghan remains undetermined.  It just might be for Bill and I to snuggle under on movie night.

Oh, dear.  Perhaps yarn is destined to run amok at the Rhoads house.  I see symptoms of the madness in future tense in my brain.  Help!

yarn and knitting needles
It looks so innocent. Be warned! Yarn takes on a life of its own and runs amok without the slightest warning.

 

 

Grace Notes

What happens when the Sisters get together the day before vacay?  I forget to download boarding passes.  That’s what happens.  Eeek!  A full gate greeted us at the airport, and we held really bad boarding numbers.  Nail biting ensued.  We wanted to sit together.  We each had carry on luggage.  My innate capacity to worry set in with a vengeance.  Yikes!  This could be bad.  Really, really bad.

 

But a Hand has overseen us in the last few weeks, a gracious and loving Hand.  Our ever wise and wonderful #1 son had an experience confirming that Alma’s death was not an accident.  God, the mind and the hand ruling the universe, called him home.  And He anticipated this event long ago.  It was planned.  No detail was left to chance.

 

 

From Alma’s last gift of a puppy to snuggle when my heart felt broken to a free trip to Paris unknowingly booked for a timely month after the fateful demarcation of life before Alma and life after Alma, grace notes continually fall to sweeten these bitter days.  And yes, we got to sit together.  And yes, there was plenty of room in this very full flight to stow our carry on luggage.  These grace notes fail to heal the hole in our hearts, but they do soften the blow.  We actually laughed together on the plane, something we hadn’t done in the last month, and we both sensed Alma was laughing with us at the little joke we made.

So, gentle Brothers - retouchedreaders, take heart.  The loose ends, messy details, inconveniences and sorrows in your lives are not unnoticed by a gracious and loving God.  In the most desperate of times He still engineers your comfort and your sustenance.

My father died about 40 years ago.  My mother died about 30 years ago.  My only sibling died about 15 years ago.  My only family numbers four–Bill and the boys, so family became a very precious commodity for me.  These handsome boys long filled a void in my life, and it seems unreasonable to expect them each to pick up the missing third of my heart…perhaps I need to learn how to let God do that.  More grace notes definitely needed!

My “Risen” Son’s Favorite Meal

All right, all of my sons love it.  I mean, I’m not sure you can BE a Rhoads and not love mashed potato pie.  Seriously.  Make a half sheet pan or just forget about it.  When it comes to mashed potato pie, all calorie counting and pretenses of moderation are flung aside.

Now I know some of you like Shepherd’s Pie, but stay with me here.  My sons don’t want no stinkin’ vegetables in their favorite meal.  Think of the time it takes to fish them out.  Think of the taint of green or orange or yellow flavors.  Ewww!

Yup.  Ten pounds of mashed potatoes.  Five pounds of juicy hamburger gravy.  Slap it together and bake at 350 for a bubbly ambrosia with crusty edges, and you have unleashed greed, gluttony and delight.  Unless you have eaten with us, no mocking.  It’s just a fact.

Katelyn refuses to refer to her daddy as having died.  She always talks about her “risen” daddy, and I’m good with that.  And it’s no secret this was Alma’s favorite meal, bar none.  I fix each one’s favorite meal for their birthday dinner, and Alma was notorious for coaxing his children into requesting mashed potato pie.  We will always miss him, and I may always cry when I make this dish, but I will always smile when I picture him relishing every bite.  I hope it remains a Rhoads family staple.

My grandmother made this dish.  My mother taught me.  I must pass this legacy on.  It’s magical, and perhaps my one claim to fame, lol.

Let Me Be Your Cheerleader

You face challenges that make you feel small.  You fight personal battles and demons no one recognizes.  You struggle to make ends meet.

I know that, because I am like you.  I look into women’s souls each day through their sad or worried or haggard eyes, and these are the words I long to say: ” You are enough.  You are doing spectacular things.  Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come.  It’s okay.”

But these are the words I want to say.  Not the words I always feel free to say.  There is one place where I can say all those words, where I can cheer on other women, celebrate their successes, urge them to conquer their fears…it is in my business.  My business is my platform for blessing other women.

My company of more than 140 women may be the most celebrated women in America, because I have the extraordinary privilege of being their cheerleader.  I love this aspect of my business.  I mean, I love it.  And I’d love to cheer you on as well.  Join me!  Whether you want to purchase skin care products at 20% off, or whether you want a paycheck, it’s the sisterhood of Posh that fuels my passion for my business.  It is truly like no other sisterhood.  Let me celebrate you!  Don’t you need a cheerleader?  Go to www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN.  I will contact you, help you, and be your advocate, your cheerleader, your mentor.  It would be my privilege.