Your Tombstone

I am known far and wide (in my own family) for my potato salad.  True.  Megan said she didn’t like anyone else’s, but she tried one bite of mine and loves it.  Lori agreed.  What a recommendation!  I argued long with my oldest son to be able to serve it on Mother’ Day, and he only conceded when I promised I’d share my recipe.  In full disclosure, I admit everyone over 13 loves it.  Don’t ask the littles.

If you carved your own headstone, what would you etch for eternity to see? I think taking inventory on a regular basis constitutes good mental hygiene.  Here’s what I hope I am known for:

  • smiling with grandchildren
  • super good waffles with sleepovers
  • friendship with peers
  • service for God
  • being a camper at heart
  • ever a mama bear
  • best potato salad known to modern man

Printing this list and taping it to a mirror offers me a daily reminder of what’s important to me.  A Calvinist might consider my barometer shallow, but I freely admit that being a human being isn’t easy.  Some days I aspire to just this much.  No more.  I leave perfection to those better than I.

And my potato salad?  Perhaps it’s time to spill the proverbial beans, or potatoes, in this case.  You can find my secret recipe under any Hellman’s label, but I offer it here for my oldest son, who I am sure never reads my blog.  Megan, don’t you dare write it down and give it to him!

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, boiled and chopped with skins intact
  • one onion, chopped
  • six hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (which Levi won’t eat so I don’t add)
  • 1 cup Hellman’s
  • 1 teaspoon sugarAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

I encourage you, dear reader.  Take stock.  Etch your tombstone onto your mirror (use pen and paper.  It’s easier.)  Be known for what matters most to you.  If you aspire to perfection, go for it.  If you, like myself, just celebrate surviving some days, don’t beat yourself up.  I think every tombstone ought to tell a story.  What’s yours?

What is Truth?

Charcoal.  The proverbial chunk of coal pressed into a diamond leaves centuries of untold drama in its wake.  Now I don’t care if that’s urban legend or gospel.  I like it, so I accept it.  These days truth depends on what newspaper you read or which commentator you listen to on television, so I feel free to believe anything I want.  I believe coal becomes diamonds, and I have no facts to dispute it.  I barely survived chemistry.  Four times.  You have no idea how sad I am to admit that, but it leaves me free to believe the very best about the lowly lump of coal.

What I do know about charcoal, however, excites me.  Did you know that charcoal can, all by itself, pull at least a thousand times its weight of impurities from your skin?  Charcoal serves as a natural filter, lifting toxins from the aggregate form.  In a mask like Cackle Spackle, it lifts oil, dead cells, and debris to clean your pores and make your face squeaky clean.  That just plain makes me smile.

You see, take away the jewel-toned packaging.  Take away the cute name.  Take away the competitive pricing.  What remains cleanses, purifies, detoxifies.  It is a high quality product.  I tried Cackle Spackle, and let me just tell you this: If you are 68 going on 69, you do not need this mask.  It lifted dirt, cleansed pores and residual oils.  Probably all the residual oils I’d been storing up for a rainy day.  Afterwards my skin was D-R-Y.  I need a gentler mask.  Envy This, a caffeinated mask, hits the spot for me.  But masking?  The truth is, everyone ought to mask.  Yes, that means you!

 

What is a Blog?

Blogging.  I am conflicted about the whole concept of blogging.  On the one hand, it seems like the ultimate self-adulation in a world drunk with selfies.  What possible insight does one lonely blogger offer a society stuffed with too much useless information?  Google any topic and you’ll find a plethora of quotes and articles, and probably spend hours sifting through it all.  Adding to the reams of cacophony seems pointless.  On the other hand, the impulse to write burns within me.

I write for myself.  I write for my business, because I love what I do.  I write because words carry innate power within themselves.  Words sear.  Convict.  Touch.  Hurt.  Heal.  They pose as insignificant chicken scratches, but don’t be fooled.

Oh no, my friend.  Words aren’t just mightier than the sword.  They infuse life and motive into the swing of the sword.  Sentient within the universe lies a Being I call God.  He created words and imparted Himself, His essence into words, leaving them open to the heart and mind of the person who uses them, be it a good heart or an evil heart.

I take these words I pen very seriously.  And so should you.  Because once you read them, the voice in your mind forever retains them, truth and untruth.  My friends, I am honored you read my words.  I promise to write strong words, edifying words, words worthy of your time.

 

Wonder Woman

What’s Real and What Isn’t

Now let’s be honest.  Are mermaids real?  The new Posh line focuses on mermagic…and we all know that mermaids aren’t real…or are they?  An old tale in Women who Run with the Wolves talks about a mermaid who changes skin to live on land, and from it I learned be true to yourself.  The mermaid spoke to me as if she was real.  The lesson was certainly both valued and real.

What is real about the new Posh line is great colors.  Great scents.  Great names.  Lots of glimmer and shimmer.  Great products.  Also real about Posh are thousands of results and satisfied customers.  You see, Posh consultants are all, every last one of them, Posh addicts who love the product so they share it with friends.  Well, friends and family and neighbors and strangers.  Actually, we hoard our favorites.  We have no shame when it comes to Posh.

Posh consultants are nothing like sales ladies at a local drug store or Macy’s or Sephora’s.  We didn’t apply for a job because we wanted a paycheck.  We fell in love with a product and the paychecks came after.  This is an important distinction.  How many women do you know who are so absolutely devoted to their moisturizer and their mask and full product line that they keep six on hand…just in case?  Look at your Posh lady’s stash and you’ll see what I mean.

littlest mermaids

 

It’s mermagic.  Plain and simple mermagic, and even the littlest mermaids at our house love Posh.  Every last one of them.

Empowering Women (and men)

Tip Tuesday is a common theme in Perfectly Posh.  We spend a lot of time helping each other figure out better ways to run our businesses.  Unlike corporate America, where people claw their way to the top, brown nose, vie to get attention and steal the credit whenever they can, Posh pits you only against yourself.  Requirements for advancement are clearly laid out and there’s no glass ceiling, no limit to how many can succeed.  We can all succeed.  Every business owner gauges her own successes, maps out her own path, and competes only against herself.

I like cooperation.  I thrive in a sisterhood of friendship and mutual support.  And in that spirit of support, I decided to offer you my top five tips for being happy at 68.  I consider happiness a bar of success.

#5  Decide to try.  Engagement means exactly the same thing in business and in life as it means in romance.  Put the ring on and commit to your business, to your goals, to what makes you happy.

#4  Decide to smile.  Life’s vexing grievances are better swallowed with a cup of pleasure.  Seriously.  Show some teeth whether you feel like it or not.  I find that the smile ushers in the joy, not the other way around.

#3  Decide to train.  Yup.  Be a life learner.  Pick up new ideas.  Learn a new language.  Study a new topic.  Find a mentor.  In some way, every day, every single day, learn something new.  You’ll be happier sharpening your mind.

#2  Decide to serve others.  Simple, really, just serve people.  Make something easier for someone around you.  If you work with someone, help that person succeed with no sense of self interest, no hope for personal gain.  Just serve someone.

#1  Decide to be consistent.  Daily effort.  Ten minutes or two hours–you decide the amount of effort, but doing something daily to meet your personal goals elevates you in the standings of life.  That consistent effort yields satisfaction, which makes you happy.

Want to work with me?  I’m full of ideas, and I love sharing them with my team!  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN.  empower women.JPG

 

Debris

Scraping the debris of life requires concentrated effort.  Sure, I can sail along ignoring issues for a long time, but eventually life looses its fizz and feels flat.  Anxiety mounts. Something feels wrong.  It takes a mental backhoe to dig down to the bedrock of hurts and issues too long ignored.

A daily scrub of introspection eliminates all that.  Yes, just taking time each day to look at my heart and mind circumspectly, leaning against a heavenly measuring stick, keeps my soul squeaky clean.  I like to add some Bible; I’m a huge fan of the Psalms.  The trick lies in finding time.  I am seldom alone, and all these people in and out of the house insist on talking to me!  When the boys were growing up I often hid in the bathroom.  Now that I’m old I pretend I’m napping.  Sometimes it works, but don’t tell them.

I love a scrub in my shower as well.  Posh does scrubs really well.  Eco-beads, bits of loofah, seeds…all kinds of organic action work together to exfoliate and cleanse.  I get those annoying little bumps on my skin–keratosis pilaris if you want the medical term.  A Snarky Bar eliminates them.  Try one.  You’ll thank me later.

scrubby

What Is A Mother?

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  Naturally I have thoughts on the subject.  My own mother died more than thirty years ago, so it’s been a long time since I experienced a mother’s love, a mother’s pride, a mother’s confidence.  Wendy’s answer to Peter Pan makes all of us want to be with our mothers, and of course I miss that.

For me, Mother’s Day is more about being that source of support for my children than being recognized as anyone special.  Their loving attention all year long is more than enough.  I admire my sons.  I believe in their potential.  I am proud of their accomplishments.  I adore the men they’ve become.  By extension, I immerse myself in their children and spouses.

I hope to remembered for the good in my life, but its success is measured by the fruit of my labors, my family.  Are my children God-fearing?  Honest?  Productive yet kind?  That barometer of success keeps me ever on my toes.  My life’s work remains unfinished.

Motherhood is not about conception, because many women serve as mother figures for those around them.  It’s about giving that service day in and day out to the God-appointed loved ones who cross our paths.  That’s why I’m preparing a feast for my family on Mother’s Day, my day to love on all the kiddos large and small who will be coming home.  My slide show somehow leaves out a few munchkins, but the picture depicts the fun we enjoy.  Alma, I’ll miss you dreadfully .  Rest in peace, my Tall Man.  You still occupy a lot of real estate in my heart.

 

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The Itty-Bitty Things

Ray Kroc, a founder of McDonalds, is credited with the phrase “getting the itty-bitty things right,” and establishing a school for flipping burgers.  It may be urban legend, but I like the concept.  Human nature takes its cue from a constantly degrading universe, and all too often, failure to set goals results in little failures in the things that matter most.  That ability to choose to do better and be better rests as the hallmark of being a human being.

Stated another way, “good enough never has been and never will be good enough.”  Perfectionism is not a trait anyone who knows me would ascribe as one of my personal qualities.  Nevertheless, in some things, I do set lofty goals for myself.

In business, not in housework.  In cooking, not in baking.  In service, not in play.  I believe I can be exceptional in the things that matter most without being consumed by the insane notion that I can be perfect in everything.  Be exceptional in the things that matter most to you.  Set priorities.  Give the things you care about a lion’s share of your attention and effort.  See a difference.

In a past season of my life I worked as an RN.  Professionalism became a byword in our education and training.  It colored my everyday philosophy of life.  I wanted to be a professional mother.  A professional kind of writer.  A professional business owner.  And I plan on never retiring from that!  Getting the itty-bitty things right, from customer service to working with colleagues forms the basis of my business creed. If this resonates with you, join me!  I’d love to work with you!  Yes, I’ll be 69 this year, but I can use that life experience to leverage myself into a better life situation.  So can you.

join me 2

Function or Form?

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

In everything from food to fashion to architecture, the French care as much about the facade as the function.  Grand on a scale beyond measure, the superficial assumes gigantic proportions.  And yet, what I loved most about Paris was all that lay underneath.  Subtle seasonings.  A shower the size of a walk-in closet.  The shape of things.

Life is more about what goes on at the cellular level than what we create as a portrait of ourselves on the surface.  Keeping it basic.  Sustaining health.  Being real.  That’s what I love about Posh.  We talk a lot about “naked face” and achieving a healthy skin that speaks volumes about the state of the body underneath the surface.

Skincare is basic.  Cellular.  Healthy.  Cosmetics are surface, illusory, presentation.  The building blocks of healthy, glowing skin include a good facial cleanser, a weekly mask, and moisturizer appropriate for your type of skin.  Drink lots of water.  Apply sun block.  Covering up my life’s journey is the farthest thing from my mind.  Being healthy and being real epitomizes my life’s aspirations.  Let’s talk…I’ve got you covered, in more ways than one.  (See what I did there?  LOL.)

How Do I Spell Potato Skins? YUM

Family gatherings…a time to spoil your peeps with the best food and fun.  My family comes home twice a month for family dinner and I am always excited to have them.  After being gone three weeks, I was over due, so this week it was a highly anticipated event.

The birthday boy requested taco salad, so I of course upped the ante with some home made guacamole.  For an appetizer I decided to try my hand at potato skins…can I just say yummy?  Here’s how I made them:

A day ahead:

  • Fry up a pound of bacon.  When it’s nice and crispy, crumble it up into small bits
  • Dig up some green onions and chop them into thin slices.  Peel a few whites apart for little rounds.
  • Clean and dry your potatoes.  Place each on a square of foil.  Drizzle on some olive oil and roll the potato to coat the surface.  Liberally sprinkle on garlic salt and pepper on every side.  Roll them up and bake until tender.
  • Wash away the onion scent with Gender Bender

That day:

  • Cut each potato in half.  Scoop out some of the potato to save for scrambled eggs.
  • Salt each potato.  Fill with cheese and crumbled bacon.  (I had some bbq pork, but at the last minute decided not to use it.  Not necessary!)
  • Baker at 350 for 15 minutes, add more cheese and bake another 5 minutes.
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream, green onions and the last of the bacon bits.
  • Wash away the onion scent with Gender Bender

We consumed them.  Wait, it’s more accurate to say we inhaled them.  They were great.  I loved every minute of having them home.  First Sundays all the littles have recitals and play us something they’ve learned, so that was a treat.

And if you don’t like the smell of onions on your skin?  That’s right.  Get some Gender Bender.  $9.  It’s a steal!  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on COLLECTIONS, click on CHUNKS.  It’s good for just about everything!

gender bender