Week in Pictures

Made baguettes for the first time…YUM! It’s actually not much different from making regular bread, except for letting the first batch of yeast/flour ferment overnight before adding the rest of the flour/salt/yeast. I must say I love the proofing feature on my stove – now that I’m back to gluten, I’m trying to make bread twice a month – enough to enjoy without overkill 🙂

Slowly but surely, the first flowers are starting to bud, from the daphnes (left) to the rosemary (which the bees will be stoked about – as soon as it warms up enough to emerge) and the crocuses. As my husband would say, noice!!

Today, as I left one of my favorite nurseries, Thicket (we’ve decided to plant our very first – yes, first! – fruit tree, a Granny Smith apple, which I had to special order from them), I was awestruck by this mural on the side of a building. Not sure how long it’s been there but it made me feel so serene to gaze at it. Portland is no Melbourne when it comes to street art, but the street art is definitely on the rise which is lovely (sadly, most is planned/commissioned – while messy, conformist tagging is all too common, random street ART is rare…that stuff I could photograph seemingly forever, like St Kilda art spotted here and here a few years ago).


I’ve always had a mad crush on Alicia Keys and it’s gotten into a true love affair with her living makeup free. I’ve always had a massive problem with the magazines of today – especially the ones who purport to EMPOWER women yet are loaded with nearly all of their ads telling us how we’re not good enough, articles how we can “look younger” (because god forbid you look your age), makeup artists who are interviewed about “helping” women “look like better versions of themselves” (as if they’re not good enough unless they wear a bit of concealer, and blush, and foundation, and mascara), and scream about diversity and think they’ve fulfilled their quota by having one article or cover shot of Ashley Graham that year and then go back to size 2’s everywhere else. I’m tired of being 43 and told that I can “look great at any age” because every magazine does that once a year, as if I’m supposed to be amazed that a 43 year old like me can possibly deserve to look good – then watch them tell you how to “dress your age,” and that for some reason I (along with all celebrities over the age of 30) am now relegated to the wrinkle cream section of the magazine – because god forbid I tell those manufacturers to go fuck themselves. The other day I noticed I’m getting the first signs of what’s sweetly referred to as a “necklace line” on my neck – and when I googled it, I found – in this order – 1) a plastic surgeon’s website, 2) “5 Ways To Hide Your Turkey Neck”, and 3) an InStyle magazine article on what kind of fillers, cosmetics, and surgeries can “fix” this. In fact, the entire page of results was all about why this was an ugly, awful, disgusting flaw that must be corrected. Nothing scientific at all. So with that, tonight I decided – rather than watching that Lying Orange Fuckwit (who just today insulted our intelligence by claiming to care about Made In USA while his own companies do not, spits on immigrants – while his own winery seeks out migrant workers – and claims to keep water clean while ultimately shitting all over the environment by removing most clean water regulations that have gotten us out of the shithole of the 1970s), I decided to watch the full documentary of Embrace, something I’d seen some of the videos of on YouTube but now that it’s on Amazon, I got to watch in its entirety. Taryn, you might remember, is the phenomenal Australian woman who posted a nude photo of her real, genuine post-baby body and it went viral. She’s leading the charge, and I’m glad to be part in any way I can. Above center is me, tonight, no makeup, no photoshop, selfie taken in the doorway of my bathroom. This is what 43 looks like. These wrinkles under my eyes are what I’ve earned by seeing the world and the people in it and playing in the sunshine and putting in my contacts every day. These are my unplucked eyebrows (including the right one which to this day shows the effect of unsupervised plucking from when I was about 19 years old in the mild attempt to look like Linda Evangelista a la 1993) that I’ve not allowed tweezers near in over 10 years. This is the face that has only seen foundation on it ONCE – for a school play in 7th grade where they put pancake makeup on me for my 5 minutes on stage. This is the nose my Norwegian-blooded half-sister used to call a “pig nose” because it wasn’t long and thin like hers. This is the face that has never purchased foundation or blush. This is the face that once wore black eyeliner like a religion and red lipstick like a trademark – but never thought it should be worn while exercising (makeup was something I learned in my SoCal years was par for the course in the gym – no wonder I could never go to their hip hop classes that I used to love so much in the Northwest!). These are the eyes my husband fell in love with from across the pond and the lips that he kisses every morning and every evening (and as often as possible in between). These are the freckles on my collarbone that reflect the times I didn’t wear enough sunscreen or simply got from long horseback rides in the summers at camp or driving with friends to the coast or working in the garden with my love. Every morning my routine is as follows – splash water on my face, put on an eco-friendly SPF moisturizer, brush my hair, put in my contacts and dab my pits with some homemade coconut oil/baking soda/lavender oil deodorant. Bam. I’ve got more to show, but this is where I want to start. Remember, a lot of them assholes at the fertility clinics claim they want to help women yet they weigh you and often require a bullshit BMI to even treat you, which has zero bearing on IVF success rates.  Watch the Embrace documentary or at least the bits about it on YouTube. Take a day off – or two, or three – from cosmetics. And remember that everything your body is on the outside is perfect in all of its imperfections. You want to be stronger? Be stronger. You want more endurance? Climb those stairs. But if it’s about eliminating shame about who you are?  Fuck that shit. You got nothin’ to be ashamed of.

“I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
~ Alicia Keys for Lenny



10 thoughts on “Week in Pictures

  1. Well said. I’m over 40 myself and get so sick of all the articles and ads directed at “women of a certain age” that aim to make me feel inadequate. I’m with you– marketeers and ad men and magazine editors can just fuck right the fuck off because”women of a certain age” should be celebrated. And since they won’t do it, it falls to us to say “this is me, just as I am, and if you don’t like it…Well, I just don’t care”. It’s gotten easier with practice.

    You are beautiful and perfect just as you are, and I wish my makeup-free face looked as good as yours. Thank you for saying these things, thank you for being a shining example of what “women of a certain age” should REALLY be like😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Growing up, I always wondered why my mom never wore makeup. As my friends got into it, I did too. That lasted for about 2 years and my mom obliged – never saying one negative thing about it. Then one day I simply stopped when I was 14 and have never looked back. I think of all the money I saved, all the chemicals I haven’t spread on my face, and all that time saved! I also for a long time said that I was never going to be my mother. Ha! I’m now a make-up free, blunt, opinionated, strong women just like my mom! I now I strive to be more like her.

    My nieces are into makeup right now at ages 4 and 8 (egats). Everyone tells them they are so pretty. I talk more about their determination to solve a problem. They comment that I’m so pretty. I hope that one day they will look at me and realize that while makeup can be fun, it isn’t necessary to look pretty. I hope they realize that they have a lot more than looks going for them. It will be hard in our society and the messages they are constantly fed.

    I had tickets to go see Embrace in the theater but we ended up in Seattle for medical stuff. :/ I sent two graduate students instead in my place. Still on my to see list.

    Oh – and what is the moisturizer with SPF do you use? I have some but doesn’t have SPF. I tend to do a moisturizer then a sunscreen. I’m always looking for good eco products!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeez, 4 and 8… I didn’t even start experimenting with it until I was eleven and that was only because of peer pressure in Middle School… well put on makeup being something that can be fun but not what makes someone beautiful… it’s merely decorative, like accessories…


  3. Looking good for 43! I applaud this make-up free lifestyle. I have to put color correcting concealer or else everyone would see a red face with acne scars. 🙂 Separately, I didn’t know that BMI had zero bearing on IVF success rates.


      1. EcoFeminist – I didn’t mean any disrespect when I wrote “for 43.” You look really good. I shouldn’t have put “for 43”. I’m so sorry. I’m envious of your clear beautiful skin. I’m ashamed of my acne scars. They are a source of insecurity for me. But I see your point – it’s society’s pressures that make us feel this way. And makeup companies want our money. Those are my initial reactions. Some food for thought here. Thanks, i did see your post earlier but I skimmed it. I’ll give it a good read. Many thanks. It’s 10:13pm here so I’m off o bed. Good night. 🌙 💤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love that quote! I’ll try to watch Embrace soon. I just wish more women would be able to feel happy with themselves as they are and enjoy life. Who cares about things like cellulite, wrinkles, stretch marks, scars etc!? Worrying about them only gets in the way. And if someone is bothered by how someone looks then it is their problem. So many women worry about their “post baby” body these days and then you have women like us who would love the opportunity to have a post baby body!

    Liked by 1 person

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