Sporty Spicy Valentine

I haven’t posted anything on fashion for a while and this is a poor offering… This outfit has adorned my ‘sporty’ body for two days, thus the ‘spicy’ description. Yesterday Teddy came home, admired the leggings and felt my bum. Rather than change the routine for 36 years, I remarked, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford”. Hilarity ensued.

I am having some motion problems with fingers and toes, so clumsily opened a packet of orange Metamucil drink which I spilled all over the blue top. Coming from a generation that still had weekly baths, I just shook it off and wore it this morning. For a moment I wondered if I should change before going to the mall but couldn’t be arsed, in the Irish vernacular. While browsing in a very high end boutique, not one but two of the store assistants asked me where I got my leggings.

I could have muttered something about Lululemon but chose to tell the truth. They were snagged at the local supermarket for a few dollars, the sweater was also a few dollars in Old Navy’s super sale. The expensive Nike’s came from the outlet store. I walked from the store with my head held high, vaguely wafting the citrus scent of Metamucil.

Stopping at Nordstrom’s for my usual coffee, my eye was caught by two businessmen speaking an unfamiliar Spanish dialect. I asked them where they were from – Chile! They were asking the barista the origin of the expresso they ordered – no self-respecting Texan would ever do that… We only drink expresso in Houston to keep us awake on long shifts.

My dining table is covered in an array of lovely pink wrapped gifts from girlfriends. Valentine’s Day has become a Hallmark occasion but isn’t it lovely to celebrate the love of friendship with a handmade gift or card?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

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So, why was the trip to the Canyon so bad?

Given that I am going to show you some great photographs, what was wrong with my Grand Canyon trip?  I am cheap, thrifty and love a bargain.  Therein lies the problem; busy flight to Vegas paid for by Teddy’s miles.  I considered a helicopter ride to the canyon but decided to use my ancient British Airways miles for a prepaid tour bus to the western rim of the Grand Canyon.  It sounded so marvelous: comfortable tour bus; wonderful guide; lunch on the Tribal Land of the Hualapai viewing the Skywalk.  Blah, blah, blah – all I saw was that it was free.  I blame my upbringing in Scotland.  Even better, they picked us up at our hotel.  They omitted to mention some critical facts.

  • We left at 5am
  • Then we went to a detention camp staging area
  • We queued endlessly for another ticket
  • Finally we went out to the cattle trucks luxury Greyliner double-decker buses

There were quite a few singles among the groups of tourists.  Another, very sensible, lady and I were last to get on my bus but there was only one seat left.  She decided to get the next bus; impatient Kerry got on the bus…from…hell.  My seat was in the middle of 5 seats in the very back row upstairs.  Somehow in all of this excitement I forgot that I have a congenital spinal problem and take medication for that.  In the row was a Spanish speaking family, obviously tourists, who looked unhappy that I was going to take up their extra space.  I was equally unhappy.

After we got underway with a very jolly guide, I attempted to converse briefly with my fellow guests.  I discovered they were from Costa Rica and then nothing.  That made me curious because almost all the Latin American guests that I meet at the airport are friendly and very polite.  I was certain they were not originally from Costa Rica.  They looked nouveau riche, not uncommon in our part of the world.  Before we even reached the Hoover Dam, the senora next to me was snoring on my shoulder.  Sigh.

Without revealing everything about the trip, I was relieved they did not know I could understand Spanish and by the time we returned to Vegas, my mind was whirling with nefarious plans for their demise.  I jest of course… but do I?  My conclusion about mi amigos was that they were Cartel.  Their bags and clothes were ludicrously expensive and didn’t seem to match their coarse language peppered with Puta and Pendejo.  I would guess that they originated in Mexico by their accent and looks.  They endlessly encroached on my limited space with no apology.  The final insult was passing candies across me to each other, without offering me one or a ‘disculpe’.

They were only part of the problem, however, and I was still relatively excited by the time we crossed into the Tribal lands, spotted Joshua trees and then finally glimpsed the canyon.  I don’t know if any of you have taken this particular route to the canyon but the Hualapai Nation have really gone to great lengths to satisfy the endless thirst of tourists.  There is the infamous Skywalk – you pay even more money to walk on it and then you cannot take any photographs.  You could have lunch at various places and shuttle buses regularly rotated between the Skywalk, the Wild West Show and the plain old canyon.

What is wrong with this image – the people!!!

Marriage to Teddy, who taught geological field-trips in Utah and Colorado, has given me the opportunity to see amazing natural wonders without so many tourists.  Although the Grand Canyon is the largest, it wasn’t the prettiest or most photogenic.  At the main viewing site, I felt constrained by having too many people around me, all trying to take dangerous selfies.  Without thinking about the consequences, I walked off into the road so that I could be alone.  Almost immediately I was corralled by a tribal guide who told me to stay within the invisible tourist perimeter.  There were very sensible health and safety reasons for that – the shuttles drove fast and I could have easily got lost or fallen off the edge.

Wandering off the Reservation

Lunch was not particularly appetizing but it did make me think about how difficult life would be on most tribal nations.  The bathrooms were clean but had a sign asking us to conserve water.  I wondered how often they had to drill new wells or was the water shipped in?  Even though I had another hour or so, I decided to head towards the shuttle back to base.  Alongside was a tent with tribal members selling hand-made trinkets.

One young man was just the image of my father.  Although our native DNA is from North West Mexico, it is pretty close to South West USA.  There were no borders before the Europeans arrived.  We started chatting and he told me that when the Hualapai Nation were given this land it was mostly useless.  As pretty as it is, there is no value in land that you can’t use.  It isn’t really suitable for crops or grazing.  Back in the day no one realized how valuable this type of tourism could be.  His sister Pearl had made the earrings I admired from Hematite, a healing stone in their culture.  I bought them for a friend who has cancer.  This was my favorite part of the trip, truly connecting with a real person from the canyon.

My father with his sister in the 1930’s

More to come soon…

I went to the Grand Canyon and it wasn’t…

Silhouetted crow on the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon

…that grand.  To be fair, the canyon was a really Grand natural spectacle, it was the arduous trip to get there that took the gleam off the visit.  Air travel has never been more popular, especially to tourist destinations.  The flight to Vegas was completely full and my heart sank as I walked towards my aisle seat.  Two rather large people completely filled the THREE seats.  They managed to squish up a bit and I had a little sliver of seat.  My airline should have dealt with the situation but I didn’t complain knowing it was pointless.

Finally we arrived at Las Vegas and even the airport seemed a little shabbier than it did a decade ago, on my last visit.  Still, I laughed at the slot machines right beside the gates.  My ‘I work at an airport’ aura followed me west and I helped a party of French people communicate with their Serbian Uber driver.  My Uber arrived and I drove off, shouting “Au revoir!” while thinking, ‘good luck finding someone else who speaks French…and enjoy our Freedom Fries!’

My hotel lived up to all its recommendations, just off the Strip but incredibly quiet.  Each room was a little suite and I could have happily lived there.  Perhaps some of the very elderly residents did? I felt like the young groovy chick that I am.  After I unpacked, I went off to see the sights of Vegas before my long trip to the canyon the following day.  Waiting at the crosswalk, I got talking to an older man (my age) who had his even older mother in a wheelchair.  I wasn’t sure she was alive…mummified?  Was his name Bates?  I kept bumping into them at the Mall across the street and she didn’t seem to move.  Welcome to Vegas!

As I was trying, with thousands of other people, to negotiate the Strip’s overhead walkways, I noticed that there were many homeless people; some drunk and some mentally ill.  One poor guy got in the large elevators with 15 or so other tourists.  He was shouting at nothing, terrifying the other occupants. My ‘I worked in mental health’ aura was about to appear when the doors opened and he stumbled out.  It is really hard to enjoy visiting a place when you can see the underside right in front of you.

What mortified me even more were the British tourists behaving crassly.  I really tried to manage my Trans-Atlantic twang so I could travel incognito.  There was a really loud English couple, from up north like Jon Stark, in Victoria’s Secret who were trying to find something classy for her mother (presumably my age or less).  They eventually found a sexy little something in leopard silk polyester.  I struggled to contain my mirth…  Later I came across some Scots men in a hotel bar and every second word was a loud cuss word.  Sigh.

I took some shots close to my hotel as night was falling.  It was as though the night added some dark glamour to the previously tawdry street.

Do you see the truck at the bottom?  Sin City Indeed.

Who needs “Bird Box”…

…you could just join me while I blithely pack up Christmas ornaments. “WTF Golly Gosh!”, I said as I noticed this harmless leaf footed bug who had died while stuck to the duct tape. He belongs to the stink bug family so DON’T SQUISH HIM, if you see a live one.

Didn’t he mummify perfectly? Such a handsome fellow when he doesn’t take one by surprise…

Then I started climbing up into the attic and noticed yet another mummy, above, that must have been under the Xmas boxes. Nearly fell off the darn ladder! Why is he decapitated? Is this an omen for 2019? This is a wonderful resident of Texas known as the tree roach. Most folks who move to Texas from other places are delightfully surprised that the giant roach they are trying to stamp on, FLIES into the trees! The biggest one I saw was 4 inches long and SLEEPING UNDER MY PILLOW. Even the bug man shuddered. Teddy and I both screamed.

So, although I am not phobic about these bugs, I was feeling a little skittish and had used too many cuss words at the very start of 2019. I sat down for a recuperative mug of tea and a snack. When I stood up I felt something fall onto my slipper. I glanced down and said “Geez Louise”…

I had to re-stage the photograph because I cussed again and threw my slipper off with the black THING. It was a Welch’s fruit pastille/candy. Heavens to Betsy, I do hope this is how 2019 is going to continue because it really made me laugh and pee a little.

If you are not one of the 45 million people who downloaded “Bird Box” from Netflix – it is a scary movie with an excellent cast. Perhaps I should ask guests to wear a blindfold when they visit my house?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SEASONAL SOLILOQUY

This is the real Christmas letter that I send to our friends and family – enjoy!

SEASONAL SOLILOQUY

The title is deceptive – it was just to lure you in.  The truth is that not much has changed from last year.  Here are the best bits

  • Andy turned 60 years old in April. He is just as grumpy and annoying as I thought he would be.
  • I am horribly hormonal and bark orders at my poor senior spouse. Zits and wrinkles. Piss and vinegar.
  • We went to Mobile, Alabama, to celebrate the above senior’s birthday and it was wonderful despite back seat driving.
  • We are both working – enough said.
  • Andy traveled to California, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Kerry went to Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.  I ticked the Grand Canyon off my list and it was the trip from hell.
  • WE GOT A NEW REFRIGERATOR IN BLACK STAINLESS STEEL. So much anticipation and excitement only to find it just keeps food cold.
  • There were no hurricanes in Houston. There was a tropical storm on one of my VERY LONG work trips across the south of Texas.
  • MILLENNIALS! That references the previous point.  There are no Starbucks in rural Texas; deal with it.
  • Andy is about to exhibit some of his wonderful photographs on stretched canvas.
  • Kerry still writes nonsense on her blog and this year the fairy stories were popular but her fashion blogs even more so. Que?
  • We both had new DNA tests to clear up some anomalies. Andy has found some biological relatives in – wait for it – PETERHEAD!!  I am still Mexican and Irish.  I like Tequila and potatoes.
  • Kerry reduced Andy’s blood sugar levels – YAY! Some of this involved barking orders about food choices but now he is no longer pre-diabetic.
  • We watched a lot of Netflix.

Here we are in Brenham just after Thanksgiving this November.  One of the benefits of living in Texas is that it is warm in the winter time.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

From Kerry and Andy xxx

Toffee says Howdy!

READ THE NEXT PAGE FOR THE LESS HORMONAL VERSION…

page 2

Kerry’s hormones have balanced somewhat and I have stopped barking orders at Andy… ❤  We had a lovely evening showcasing Andy’s photos that we would like to exhibit in 2019.  Andy has been successful at selling some photos through Getty Images over the last few years, so this is a fun new adventure.

Andy is standing next to his piece de resistance, a 12 image composite of Arches, a natural rock formation, in Utah.  It is taken without a tripod – the composites are both horizontal and vertical.  Doesn’t he look slim and handsome for a 60 year old senior; all that hormonal barking has paid off? 🐕

One of the images is Kerry’s; the crow in silhouette at the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  This was on the aforementioned trip from hell to Grand Canyon.  At least I got a good photograph out of it and potentially funny blogs in the future.  I have taken a break from the blog but hope to get back to it soon.

WISHING ALL MY FRIENDS AND READERS HOPE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2019

This is just for Leah – our forests look exactly the same.  This was taken at Lake Bedias in Texas just after Thanksgiving.  The sign at the start of the forest tells us to watch out for snakes, alligators, bobcats, coyotes (but no lions, tigers or bears…oh my!)

 

Fall into Navy

Loft flowered blouse, Walmart junior jeans,  Silk flower ankle boots from Ross?

Do you notice that lovely glow on my face?  That is desperate sweating because it was still in the 90’s but I wanted to do another Fall Fashion post.  It is about 9 am in the morning and you can see the humidity on the deck.  Welcome to the swampy south!

Isn’t it great when you have friends who are the same size as you?  The blouse above was a gift swap from a friend.  The jeans were bought last year and, as always, I have to shop in the juniors section to get a good fit.  The pink dangling earrings cost about $2 in Waco and I love them!

Very fine knitted navy sweater from Nordstrom’s Rack, Linen pants from some years ago, Iridescent Navy kitten heels from Steinmart

This time the freebie was from another friend whose mother passed.  Like me, her mom loved clip on earrings so I inherited some.  I love these ones with a ‘ruby’ center.  Everyone keeps asking me why I don’t pierce my ears.  My ears are perfect and my Nana told me only ladies of ill repute had pierced ears.  Some things stick with you…😁  Despite that I am wearing a see-through sweater showing off my lovely 34 DDD bra (yes really).  Thank you to whichever ancestor gifted me them.

Bell sleeved blouse from Loft, ancient boot cut jeans from Marks and Spencers, those favorite Green Boc sandals

This is another gift of a blouse from the first friend.  It was a trip to the outlet mall that went wrong…to my benefit!  The pretty green earrings were also from Waco.  On a road trip I found this amazing place like a souk, and I have yet to find earrings that are as comfortable.  I bought eight pairs…

One of the reasons for the skin glow is a recent facial.   My skin had started to break out in acne cysts.  Her conclusion was that I was just filthy.  I don’t know how many times she applied a mask and took off layers of humidity and skin.  My mother gifted me beautiful skin but I forget that I have to be a little more careful in the tropics to avoid breakouts.

Why don’t you try gifting or swapping clothes with friends who are a similar size?  I had one tunic dress that I wore until I was fed up, gave it to a friend who wore it until she was fed up and now I have it back again.

 

Quirky Kerry Ramblings

Alabama squirrel aka Kerry

I went to my psychiatrist for a regular appointment last week.  First, he asked what was wrong with me when I thought I felt more like myself (quiet and introspective), then I misheard him suggesting that it might be the Phage.  My head immediately went to Star Trek Voyager where the Phage was a recurring story line of an alien disease.  Their skin starts to rot and I immediately thought about my red scarred zit on my forehead.  Reality returned and I asked him to explain (do you understand why I see a psychiatrist now?)  He was referring to the seasons changing at the autumnal equinox.  That might explain why I kept waking up at odd hours and felt out of sorts.  There are all sorts of clinical evidence theorizing that we do react emotionally to full moons and changing seasons.  Seasonal Affective disorder is very common in Northern Europe.

Can you tell that my mind is hopping about like a squirrel on caffeine?  I keep trying to focus on tasks but failing miserably – my head is full of pumpkin puree.  So here are my current ramblings about my life:  –

Why are my fashion posts the most popular? I love doing them and really appreciate the interest but I am 58 and really past my sell-by-date.  My elegant modeling mum always wore tasteful neutrals with a splash of vivid red or blue.  Quite naturally I wanted to look the complete opposite.  Punk was emerging and I was determined to look like Blondie, dyeing my dark hair blonde and dressing very provocatively.  Then I had a ‘wholesome’ period and then I got fat.  It wasn’t until my mum had died and I was in my 40’s before I found my own style.  Before that I hated having my photograph taken – how times change!

Why do I have so many gay boyfriends? Why are they all better looking than any straight boyfriend in the past??  I come from a conservatively religious background and it wasn’t okay to be gay.  Despite that, one of my aunts was undoubtedly gay but stayed in the closet to her family.  She kept introducing me to her girlfriends and I still didn’t get it…  I really don’t judge people for their sexuality and perhaps that is obvious.  I cherish the close relationship with a gay man without the complication of desire and can flirt outrageously without consequence.  At college, I made an assumption that a man with some feminine attributes was gay, made him my best friend and ultimately broke his heart.

I have been head hunted by three new companies in the last two weeks. This is at a time in my life when I would like to ‘chill’ and keep my anxiety levels down.  I am delighted, of course, but surprised (especially by one VP who recommended me – I didn’t think he liked me).  My first diploma was in business with a focus on travel and tourism.  Most of my career was spent working for non-profit organizations but now I work for DMCs – Destination Management Companies.  Who would have thought that my quirky personality would work in my favor?  It is an over-used word but I am a nice person and that goes a long way when you work with clients.

My sole piece of art is on the dark web – just jesting. 😈 I can’t post a link because it is a private site…  My friend Rob has a beautiful body that he likes to post naked.  One of his followers did a beautiful charcoal sketch from his nude photo and this so impressed me that I processed it photographically as an ink sketch.  Rob then asked me to process a different nude photograph which he sent me by email.  In case you are wondering, I did tell Teddy and showed him my artwork.  He rolled his eyes…  The odd thing is that there is nothing sexual about our friendship – Rob is young, handsome and straight.  Beyond that he is a really lovely guy whose personality and writing clicks with mine.  I make lots of cougar jokes but even I have a limit – he has to be at least 45 years old. 😁

My current best writing is fairy stories. I have invented a Texas School of Fairies, situated in Austin but no pun intended…  My mum had many beautiful qualities but the one I remember most is that she would make up a new story for me every night.  It always included a little girl called Kerry and animals and fairies and elves – you get the picture.  It was a special moment because she worked long hours and Nana did most of the caretaking.  I don’t have children but I would savor reading stories to them at night.  As an only child, my head was always in story books and I read the library dry.

My longing to travel has left me, along with the desire to write travelogues. I can’t quite figure out why.  I have retreated from friendships and groups, rarely socializing.  For a while I was depressed but now I feel reasonably settled.  My personality is still the same but even my psychiatrist noticed a difference in my behavior.  In some ways I have gone back to my childhood; solitary but content.  If I get anxious, I can still talk too much but it is lessening.  I share more with Katniss and Toffee than anyone else!  No doubt this is another phase in my life but momentarily I am enjoying the quiet.

Rambling over, until the next fashion post…