Embrace your age, instead of dreading it. Join the conversation.

April 18, 2014

Salut Salon





German female quartet performs comedic instrumental acrobatics.

Bravo!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Day,
xo



April 14, 2014

New Souls, Old Souls

Did you ever think about how many lifetimes you've lived?

I noticed from a young age that people, regardless of their age or socio-economics, seem like they have taken fewer or more laps around the track, so to speak.

When I meet an old soul I feel like I want to climb onto their lap and stay awhile.

I don't think I am an old soul or a young soul. My feeling is that I am a medium-old soul.

Not that it matters at all. It's just something that I've noticed but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. I yearned to know more but I didn't even know what to research- until last year when it finally dawned on me and I put the pieces together.

Or at least I think I have put the pieces together.

Ha!

My apologies if this is all a review for you:

According to the site Loner Wolf  these are signs that you are an old soul:

~ You tend to be a solitary loner.

~You love knowledge, wisdom and truth.

~You're spiritually inclined.

~You understand the transience of life.

~You're thoughtful and introspective.

~You see the bigger picture.

~You aren't materialistic.

~You were a strange, socially maladaptive kid.

~ You just "feel" old.


If you are still with me, and care to know more, you can take an old soul test. They also have tests for infant souls, baby souls, young souls, and mature souls :-)

Holy mackerel.

Maybe dating websites have had it all wrong. Maybe they should be matching people up by the age of their souls.

Maybe this is a terrible idea.


April 07, 2014

Cycle of Life

Photo by Gerald Gribbon


Every time I see this photo by Gerald Gribbon on my Pinterest account, her beauty stops me in my tracks.

The sparkle in her eyes, her smile, the warmth she alludes. Her colors.

All I know of her is that she is from Phuket, Thailand, but I yearn to know more.

Where is she in the cycle of life?, I wonder.

If we think of the cycle of life like it's the face of a clock- twelve o'clock being our birth-  is she at 10:00 o'clock, with many many more moons still before her perhaps?  Or is she just a few strokes before midnight maybe, with only a birthday or two left before she passes?

My mama fell this past week while standing in the bathroom, trying to take off her sock. She broke the wrist she writes with and is more handicapped then she has ever been. It's been a hard week for both of us, but especially for her of course. I am noticing the instant intimacy that is created with someone when there is adversity. I'm having flash-backs of her by my side when I had my tonsils out in kindergarten, or the flu when I was young. Always a wonderful caretaker she was.

It's been a responsibility to have her close-by the last few years, but also, what a gift.

Such a very rich gift.
Her optimism, strength, and love for the simple things in life, inspires me endlessly.

March 31, 2014

Beauty Parlor Wisdom

Robbie Kaye, my 92-year old mom, and me, at the Griffin Museum

Three years ago I featured California photojournalist, Robbie Kaye, on Lines of Beauty when she traipsing across America photographing older women in beauty parlors.

Photograph by Robbie Kaye
Dedicated to changing the perception of aging and beauty, Robbie's inspiring book of beauty parlor portraits and essays, titled Beauty and Wisdom, is now complete. Luckily for me, Robbie was in Boston last week for the opening of her photography show at the Griffin Museum. We bi-coastal cyber friends, with similar missions, finally had a chance to meet and it was so much fun.

"True Beauty is what comes to mind when I look at the beautiful photographs in Robbie Kaye's book; "Beauty and Wisdom". Robbie boldly reminds us with gentle wisdom that we have a choice at how we perceive beauty and aging. When we look at ourselves through a clear lens as she does, what we see becomes a work of art."

~M.J. Rolek

I couldn't have said it better.

Thank you Robbie for your dedication to sharing the masterpiece that resides with all of us, as we grow older.

~ Louise

March 23, 2014

Time Sits On Its Hands




Love this video

Time Flies
We're led to believe
But it's us that fly
Time sits on its hands
As we rush by.

~Roger McGough


Go do what's been knocking at your door.
Tapping on your shoulder
Calling your name
Touching your heart
Love
later
life.

xo,
Louise

March 16, 2014

Twenty Strangers





I'm procrastinating doing taxes to share the above video.

Just over 57 million hits and it's only been on Youtube for 6 days.

I like that they included at least one older person in it.

I've wondered what it would be like to kiss a stranger and then just walk away.

Kind of like having, maybe, a delicious piece of chocolate,

or possibly even better.

Perhaps this is where our minds go, even if we've been snug and mostly sound with someone for many years.

Or less.



Yesterday my 65-year-old brother sent me an email with the subject,

"Wisdom Resides in a Natural Face."

I opened it and there wasn't anything enclosed.

So I emailed him back and said " Where's the link?"

To which he responded,

"No link. Just a thought. Does plastic surgery take wisdom out of your face?"

I think it does.

Restoring or erasing our faces, deletes their history.

Wisdom comes over time, one of the beauties of aging.



Watching people morph into old age is very interesting.

March 08, 2014

Worst Enemy

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and have to keep tabs on thoughts like these that can get in the way of a more fulfilling life:

~Thinking that we have already missed our chance.

~ Obsessing over examining personal failures.

~Changing who we are to satisfy others.

~Using failed relationships as an excuse.

~Dwelling on things we can't change.

Good huh? I didn't write them...in my cyber travels I discovered this neat site called Marc and Angel Hack Life. They have lots of practical tips for productive living, such as 6 things happy people never do- which now that I reread them is an even better list than the one above. :-)


February 28, 2014

Very Little




I often think 

that besides the basic necessities of life,

I need very little. 

That if I have my running shoes,
and my knitting, and a book,

and someone to love
wherever I go

that life is pretty wonderful. 



Artwork by Gayana at Etsy.

February 24, 2014

Wabi-Sabi

Iglesia de San Francisco, Antiqua, Gratemala
Mr. Fix-It and I were down in Nashville this week. The land of yesteryear, where recycling is a new concept, folks are still smoking in bars, and where life is lead with conservative thought. 

We had some really good BBQ however and were fortunate to feel the warm spring sun upon our faces. Not to mention the friendly people, good music, and wide open spaces. 

I missed the wabi-sabi of New England however. 

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. "Wabi" is the kind of beauty that is caused by imperfection, such as found in a handmade vase. "Sabi" is the kind of beauty that can come only with age, such as the beauty of older people. 

Wabi-sabi is flea markets and antiques, not big-box stores and man-made building materials. Wabi-sabi celebrates the cracks and crevices that time leaves behind.

Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace the lines on our face, furniture that has seen better days, the vase of no longer perky flowers, and the march of time they represent.

What if we could be content with our lives, exactly as they are today?

That is the wabi-sabi question I leave us with.

Special thanks to both Liz and Sandi for educating me on wabi-sabi.

For further reading on the wabi-sabi of our perfectly imperfect bodies click here.

Have a wonderfully wabi-sabi week :-)


February 12, 2014

Lovely Little Things

Thank goodness for Valentine's Day. What better way to occupy ourselves amidst this long, bloody cold winter!

I've been trying to keep the mojo going making cards and crafting, whilst watching the Olympics. If you aren't a card maker, or are short on time, Paperless Post has some sweet ones to email your valentines for short money ( and even some free ones). I especially have a passion for the texture of letterpress and am going to change this one into a Valentine.

Canadian designer, Mags Kandis, has written a great book called Gifted, that is chock full of 30+ great ideas to knit, crochet, and felt all year long.

And Valentine's wouldn't be Valentine's if we didn't have a little romance would it? Thank you to Caroline for sending this clip along. I love it. It's from the New York Time's Modern Love column and it's titled Falling In Love At 71.

Two minutes of optimistic sweetness.

Tra-la!

Happy Valentine's to you my dear readers. As I begin a new year, I want to let you know how much I appreciate you, and how much I continue to love having Lines of Beauty.

XO,
Louise


February 05, 2014

Greater Than

Nobody tells you
it's okay to call yourself beautiful
it's okay to smile at mirrors
and it's perfectly fine
to say your own eyes are pretty

it is wonderful to love your own waist
and your legs
regardless of their size
and you are not conceited
if you use your fingers to list
everything you're good at
rather than point
at all your own flaws

you can acknowledge you're smart
and that you'll go places
and you will be someone
greater than your mistakes

you can't always expect
other people to believe in yourself
for you


~Anonymous


There is big news this week for those of us guiding how our culture sees older women. American Apparel, the clothing company that targets ages 20-35, has chosen a 62-year old to be their lingerie model. Oh ya baby. How great is that? Have a peak here and say Halleluiah!

Also, on the tail of last week's video, I found another one that I like even better by the same creator called Let's Make Our Day Harder:

Darling Magazine recently released its third video in the That’s What She Said series with Soul Pancake. It’s a feature on the beauty of aging.
Read more at http://www.ryot.org/video-get-excited-aging-soul-pancake-darling-magazine/554685#p6LIA5x1Gl6jbuMD.99
Darling Magazine recently released its third video in the That’s What She Said series with Soul Pancake. It’s a feature on the beauty of aging.
Read more at http://www.ryot.org/video-get-excited-aging-soul-pancake-darling-magazine/554685#p6LIA5x1Gl6jbuMD.9
Darling Magazine recently released its third video in the That’s What She Said series with Soul Pancake. It’s a feature on the beauty of aging.
Read more at http://www.ryot.org/video-get-excited-aging-soul-pancake-darling-magazine/554685#p6LIA5x1Gl6jbuMD.99

January 29, 2014

23.5 Hours



My daughter sent me the above visual message a few weeks ago. It is very well conceptualized as well as carries a great message about the single most important thing that we can do for our health. It's rare to find a youtube video that has almost 2000 comments but after watching you'll understand why.

Hope you are all surviving this long, cold winter.

February 1st is around the corner and I am so happy for that!

January 25, 2014

MaCHəˈrāSHən


  


Maturation: The process of becoming mature: the process of developing in the body or mind : the process of developing to a desired level.

I took my mom to the dentist last week. I asked the dentist if the problem at hand was a typical one of aging. "Yes, of maturation", she said, as she smiled over her glasses.

Wow, I thought. This word pleased me. What a neat way to describe physical aging, beyond say, puberty. Maturation. 

Maturation, like a fine wine.

It's happening, just as its suppose to, all around us, inside and out.

And how much more do most of us like ourselves as we mature than when we were 20? And even 30, 40 and 50.

I must remember to ask my mom if she likes herself more at age 92 than 50.

I'm intrigued with how much we change as we go through maturation. As we continue to balance, re-balance, and ripen.

I'm intrigued with how as our physical youth slips away, our inner emotional and spiritual self grows rich and wise, and forever.


Photo by Franci Strumpher.

More on my love of hands here.



January 20, 2014

The Currency of Pleasure



I saw this on the Omega Institute website a few weeks ago and thought that it was very good.

Stress is what happens when more of our energy is going out than coming in.

We have to stop and fill our well back up.

Some of my best ways of achieving this are getting enough sleep, having time alone, taking time to exercise, and being creative. It really doesn't take much more than saying no to others and yes to ourselves.

A friend of mine once told me that her favorite way to figure out if she really wants to do something that someone is inviting her to do is to ask them if she can get back to them on it. This way she doesn't say yes under pressure.

We just have to remember to do it.

I've been fighting off flu-like symptoms the last few days and my sister turned me on to oscillococcin, which is a homeopathic remedy. I found it at our local drug store near the cough drops and I really think it is working should any of you be in need :-)

January 11, 2014

Is This Love






It's hard to believe it's already January 11th. The thing with the holidays is that it's always a relief to have them over, even though they are kind of fun. It kind of feels like it use to feel when finals were over in college. But then I get tripped up with all the stuff that didn't get done in December.

I will be quick this week. I just read Seth Godin's post on TL;DR, which is an acronym for "Too long; didn't read"- about how we are constantly bombarded by way too much lengthy information. Ain't it the truth.

So I leave you with the above video ( thank you Chrissy), which is wonderfully fluid and a joy to watch.

Also I leave you with this magnet that my business partner gave me and I see every time I open the fridge. It reminds me over and over again to remain positive as we launch our product- as well as a good reminder for anything that we are striving to accomplish in life.

Anxiety really is a waste of time.

December 31, 2013

Feliz Ano Novo



Here's to a new year of love,

companionship,

spontaneity,

and finding joy

in the everyday,

simple things in life.

xo,
Louise






December 28, 2013

And Then


"I didn't want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of aging and older women not being beautiful." - Photographer Annie Leibovitz

Aside from the longevity of many of the people in my family, it was Annie Leibovitz's photographs of older people that inspired Lines of Beauty in 2010.

It's not every day that I look in the mirror and think that aging is wonderful. Letting go of youth is a process, not unlike the natural process of letting go of many things in our lives.

But I truly see the beauty of aging in those around me, and even in myself many days.

What I like is how real it is. Does that make sense? I like how authentic aging is and how it is simply what is suppose to happen. I like how all around us in nature we see aging. I like the organicness of it. The rawness. And I really don't want to monkey with it. This masterpiece of living.

I was thinking- how neat would it be to have wrapping paper with cool wrinkly old people on it?

This morning I've been enjoying a present my eldest daughter gave me. Devouring it actually. It's a beautiful book/magazine called Kinfolk that is published quarterly in Portland, Oregon. The photography is heavenly and this issue focuses solely on aging; in people, food, and in wonderful old things, like antiques, that we can fill our homes with.

Hope you're enjoying the post-Christmas calm as much as I am.

xo



December 22, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods

Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village
I've been missing the blog but have been too bowled over with life to sit down and write. Last weekend I went to a family baby shower in nyc. I love the energy and sensory overload in ny, and can never quite get enough, even in a storm. I can't imagine living there however, as I'm too much of a nature girl.

Upon returning my business partner and I finally met with a manufacturer for our natural food product that I think we like. It's a huge accomplishment after being on the hunt. I will keep you posted!

And then it was straight away into the holidaze scramble which I both love and hate. I love making things, but I hate the pressure of working under a deadline.

One thing that I have been dying to post is a video that my daughter made for her final english project about women and aging in the media. It is so good but her teacher warned her that she could get sued for using images taken off the web so she is of course hesitant. The video is about loving the skin that you are in.

Warmed my heart as you can imagine. Turned me upside down with glee.

One more thing before I push off and head back to cookie making and wrapping presents, which is my 2nd favorite thing about Christmas :-) In case you need a great last minute quickie homemade gift- the planter to the right is one of those amaryllis bulb kits that you can buy at the grocery store for under $10. Comes with the pot, dirt, and bulb. Just throw an old 100% wool sweater into the washing machine on hot and then dry it in the dryer on high (you might have to do it twice). Then cut a piece of the felted wool to fit the planter and sew up the seam. Viola! Can be enjoyed many winter seasons to come.


A very Merry Christmas to those of you who are celebrating.

xo,
Louise



December 07, 2013

Bridging Divides



I've been swept into the world of crafting this week. For me it's the best part of the holidays.

But I want to stop and give tribute to the incredible and beautiful Nelson Mandela.

 Pray for more world leaders like him.

... The man who inspired millions to bridge divides and seek peaceful change... but remained on the US terrorism watch list until 2008...
Beautiful Mandela at age 92


WTF?

Sometimes I really want to run away. To where, I am not sure.


On a lighter note:

I've been staying warm as I craft with this curried lentil soup that is a cinch to make if any of you out there are curry lovers like I am.

I have also been making some super cute knitted crowns, which are also easy to make. Having become a great- auntie, I'm delighted to have new wee ones to knit for.  The directions are from Etsy for $4 but I'm pretty sure there are others on the web for free. I just like this pattern in particular.

Still have to put 2 more bobbles on this one....

And last but not least I found this very cool scarf that you knit ON YOUR ARM in 30 minutes. Haven't tried it yet but I just wanted to show you. There is a free how-to here.

Hope you are finding pleasure doing whatever you are doing this week.

xoxo,
Louise



November 26, 2013

Obrigada



This photo collage is a recycle from last year. We're hosting my favorite holiday this year. This morning I was out in the woods gathering bittersweet and greens for the table. Tonight our eldest arrived. Tomorrow night our youngest arrives, if her flight isn't delayed with the storm here on the east coast. I am loving having our home come alive again after three months of quiet and solitude.

I'm not a religious person but when the kids were young we began saying a quick grace each night before dinner, as we continue to do. I wrote it so we could take time to count our blessings each day.

I leave it with you now but first I want to say Obrigada ( thank you in Portuguese) for your continued readership.


Let us be thankful for all that we have.

For our home, and our health, but especially for each other.

Each day is a blessing.

Amen


Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


xo,
Louise



November 22, 2013

But Then





I keep noticing both the amazingness and the absurdity of smart phones- how this little gadget can, in one breath, bring us closer together, and yet in another, pull us further apart.

Smartphones are a contrast in so many ways.

I love them.

And I hate them.

I like that in a flash I can ask Siri to wake me up at 8AM and without further ado my alarm is set. I love how in an instant I can look up words that I don't know the meaning of. I like how through the camera's lens, we can capture life with crystal clarity.

I love that even though my children are both far away that they still feel in some ways close-by. Without even talking, we can remain a relatively intimate part of each others lives with photos, texts, and videos.

But then, I step out into the world.

I step into an elevator for instance. And the normal social uncomfortableness that humans experience with each other is masked by phones. A moment to be lost in nothingness, is hard to find. A minute to be bored, has been washed away. And nature has become perhaps for many, a bit of a blur.

It's harder than ever to just be.

I have to keep reminding myself to forget my phone.

Because when I do,

it's heavenly.


November 14, 2013

Three Things



The Long Road: I've been struck this week by the story of Madonna Badger who lost her 3 children and her parents in a house fire on Christmas 2011. It is of course a very sad story, but one in which Madonna has shown incredible strength, recovery, and inspiration. It is amazingly therapeutic when we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

The Coolest Thing: Looking for a great holiday gift? How about an extra long, color coded charger for your smart phone?

The Skillet: Quick and easy sauteed chicken thighs with lemon caper sauce. Ou-la la!

Off to mow my leaves ( haven't raked them in 2 years and the lawn is loving it)

xoxo




November 08, 2013

Even If

When we speak and say what we really mean, we cross a waterway whose current carries us even closer to our truth.

There is something so delicious and freeing about speaking the truth.

But sometimes it's hard to do.

I had an image when I wrote this of being in a shirt that was three sizes too small.

I imagine that the shirt represented the straightjacket we can all enter when we're afraid to speak the truth.

The buttons on this too small shirt were all straining and pulling with tension. And with my arms outstretched, straight at my side, and puffing and flexing my chest, all the buttons popped off.

 And flew up into the air.


October 30, 2013

Trust Yourself

Nothing in life just happens. It isn't enough to believe in something. You have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them, to struggle.

~Golda Meir


Trust yourself.


I love odd shaped pumpkins.

Happy Halloween my little goblins.

xo,
Louise

October 25, 2013

All There Is

With the threat of autumn's first frost last night, I went out to harvest my farmer daughter's garden. Not pictured here are 4 delicious snap peas that I ate happily enroute.

I also wanted to make a birthday bouquet for a friend but when I poked around at the tale end of the season's offerings I thought to myself " Is this all there is?"

I had a moment of thinking that I needed to go and buy her some flowers. Then I looked a little closer and started clipping what was there. Amongst the hydrangeas, marigolds, and mums, there was also some kale, and mint, and sweet little yellow pedals on the broccoli that had gone to flower.




So I brought it all inside- and ta-da!- the experience went from being one of lack, to one of abundance. "Look at ALL there is," I thought to myself.

The same thing happened the other night when Mr. Fix-It was off at a game and the pantry was nearly empty. Not in the mood to shop or get take-out, I scrounged the kitchen. Before I knew it I had before me a whole wheat wrap with some chicken soy tenders from the freezer, melted Camembert cheese (thank you farmer girl), buffalo hot sauce, blue cheese dressing, and some garden veggies nestled inside of it.

And a glass of wine.

And the remote all to myself.

Ahhh. peace.

Peace be with you too.
xo