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 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.

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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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

The Sun is Not Your Friend

How did we slide from shiver to sizzle so quickly?  We left for Paris with snow in the forecast and came home to a sauna.  Spring simply failed to show up.

This weekend we sweltered through five soccer games.  It occurred to me, part way through Saturday, that I own a business with sun block in the moisturizer…and guess who forgot to put it on?  You know, it only works when it’s on the skin.  I learn that lesson again every year, never expecting it to be hot so soon.  I’m a slow learner.

block it.JPG

The bottom line is really very simple: the sun is not your friend.  I know gals love that glistening golden look, but there’s more than one way to get that glow.  Fake it Till You Make It, applied regularly, creates the look safely.

No one thinks melanoma lurks in their future, except me, of course.  I grew up in an age when everyone slathered on sun tan lotion and headed to the pool for the day.  It was like frying chicken on concrete.  I suffered through at least one doozy of a sunburn every year, often two or three.  One year I had blisters on top of blisters, and the doctor wanted to hospitalize me.  I obviously get checked for skin cancer on a regular basis.

But other women, the ones who don’t think they will ever be diagnosed with skin cancer, need to take the threat seriously.  Men have the highest incidence of melanoma as they age, when those years of working out of doors begin to catch up with them.  In short, these two products are perfect for everyone this season of the year!

 

 

Quiet Earth Would Have Loved Posh

Now, no judging!  I freely admit we’re hooked on old Westerns.  They’re short.  There’s always a clear cut protagonist, with good versus evil blatantly discernible.  We honestly don’t mind black and white television.  At the inception of our nation we were blessed with colorful moral giants like Washington and Madison.  Now heroes pale in comparison.  Our world seems turned inside out.quiet earth

And watching them, I can’t help but notice how spoiled we are as a nation, how spoiled I am.  My grandparents and great grandparents all lived simple lives.  And me?  I live amid time-saving gadgets galore, with more furniture and comfort than any generation before me.  Do I appreciate it or take it for granted?  You know, since I happen to be writing this piece, that I favor counting my blessings.  I love our comparatively simple home, deficient closets and pea-sized kitchen notwithstanding.  But I’m a simple person.  I mean, I go bananas over all the new Posh.

I’m addicted to the colorful packaging, the delightful scents, the cute verbiage.  The re-emergence of the Beach Blanket BFYHC is something the Posh girls campaigned for, because we love that coco-nutty scent.  The new snarky, packed with bits of loofah, tickles my fancy.  And the new scrub!  I’m in heaven!

My mom loved to tell the story of me running through the house, clamoring to see “Quiet Earth.”  No one knew what I was talking about, until Hugh O’Brien appeared on the screen one day.  Yeah, I love simpler times, and I love the idea of simplicity…but I live in the 21st century, and I need my Posh!  You know what?  Quiet Earth was something of a ladies’ man, and I think he’d have liked it too!  You can find it on my site.  Go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on hand creme.

beach blanket

The Fabric of Life

It used to be the norm.  Multi-generational families were common, and still are in other countries, especially in Europe.  In America we got away from that dynamic and our culture shifted into rugged independence rather than being inter-connected.  We accepted teenage rebellion as a norm rather than the disease it truly became, a harbinger of separation and distrust.

Along the way we lost something, something really valuable.  Grandparents pass down family history and mores.  They reinforce parental values.  Blending fosters emotional health and purpose for the grandparents, while it creates a cocoon of support for the littles.  My own life was enriched by a grandmother who taught me to knit, by in-laws who taught me frugality, by a mother who taught me perseverance.  Parents scurrying off to work and then trying to keep a household running in the evening can’t squeeze it all in between supper and bedtime.  Turn to grandparents to fill that missing link.

Owning a business is a great way to keep the fabric intact.  Many grandparents babysit, but I suggest turning part of that time into a purposeful, multi-generational endeavor. Littles can help, developing a work ethic as they enjoy time together.  Seniors on fixed incomes benefit from all the perks of a side hustle.  Of course, I sell Posh–but choose something that fuels your passion.  Turn a hobby into income, or join a direct sales network with all the support built into it.  The wide world beckons you.  Beckon a little to be part of your venture!  Everyone wins.  (If you wish to join me, go to http://www.madaboutposh.com and click on JOIN.  I will contact you asap!)

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, who were 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.

pretty