Thursday, June 25, 2009

Painting the Barn

     For 30+ years, I started my day by preparing to go to work (as a high school English teacher).  The routine associated with that ‘getting ready’ phase in my day varied over the years, dependent upon children, energy level, spiritual needs, my first period class, and even diet (as in what am I supposed to eat today?).

     Once I was ready and I arrived at school, I was blessed to spend time with like-minded people. So many of my socializing needs were met by simply being at work.  In addition to professional discussions and ‘discursions’, I got to fill my “What color is that lipstick” and the “I love your shoes” tank as well. 

     It was indeed the best of both worlds. We all got dolled up for school (most days), and we enjoyed the dolling up of others- or at least I did. My favorite thing to do is to sincerely tell someone how nice she looks, friends and strangers alike.

     The point? In semi-retirement and wagon circling mode, I have become Chloe of the Swamps, and I think I am invisible.

     On those occasions when I am making an honest effort to ‘get ready’, it is as if I have 10 arms swirling around my head with an angry, resentful blow dryer. I sometimes feel I have become the English teacher with eyebrows at different levels and lipstick outside the lines.

     The time has come to re-work the wardrobe and re-do my summer uniform. I need to be in the yard, and I need to be out and about periodically.


*I am going to get a few more hot colored polo styled shirts at Target and pop the collar- a la Lana Turner. 

*I am then going to get a new plain, black (and a white) baseball cap at Wal Mart (because I love how they fit).

*I am going to wear big silver hoop earrings and a bunch of silver bangles if I leave the house.

*I have my black Reef flip flops, that are like walking on a mattress, to coordinate with my black baseball cap, and I am going to continue to collect cropped pants/capris (name dependent upon your generation and level of sophistication- at one time I think we called them pedal pushers).

*In honor of my mother who warned me often, I am going to use my moisturizer (including sunscreen), and I am going to ‘bring it down onto your neck Laura Ellen’.

     This is not high fashion, rocket science, or world peace.  This is life on life’s terms, out exploring, or in my yard sweating each glorious day.

      It is simply what my grandmother called painting the barn.






Jodie (everything vintage) said...

Oh heck this is cute girl...sounds like a plan!

#1...are you really going to pop the collar?

#2...the caps are two in a pack for $5 at WalMart. I just picked up several packs for myself!

#3 Big hoops on those ears and keep the bangles odd numbered!

#4 Are you sure we are not related?

#5 And onto the arms and shoulders too!

Who's your grandmother? Seriously...I think we are related!

You go paint that barn girl...
Jodie Ellen
just kidding!!!!
everything vintage

Kitti said...

Good morning Laura :) greets from my mountain in Ireland x its 5,30 am now, my hunny just left for another 12/15 hour day in a city half way down the country ! Im propped up in bed with my lappy and a cappucino ! contemplating my day :)my 9 year old son started summer vacation last week and already Im try occupy his day here, this last week the temperatures have been soaring and all my life I have fight off the sun ha ha ... born christmas week I am the eternal snow ball ^^...I left city life only a short few months ago , although it does seem longer ! time seems to move at a different pace when you dont see people rushing about all the time ;)I loved your post today :)by the time my hun returns each evening, my house is in order ! I am relaxing in my evening clothes and the kettle is ready for tea he he ...I had been last days feeling under pressure, with only a child for conversation all day,whilst worry if we can cope with a month's seperation starting next week,as he heads to his dads in south by the coast, I have been get a lil frazzled ! I do need a shopping trip and some bright new vests and undies ^^ ...As you so eloquently reminded me today how blessed I am to live with a nature clock, but I must always maintain my barn he he ...Kitti..

Sandra said...

As usual you have written a wonderful post. It is interesting to get up each day and not have to get ready to go anywhere. I do have a "uniform" of accessories that I wear almost everywhere I go. Pearls, pearl earrings, Andrea Barnett silver bangle, Roberto Coin cross necklace. It makes me feel like I'm fixed up! Retirement is an adjustment, isn't it? Wish we lived close!!

Elizabethd said...

Me too Laura, as an ex teacher I well remember the days of looking good for work. Now, sadly, in the depths of the French countryside , it's jeans/capris/cant think when I last wore a skirt!

Debbie's Garden said...

Don't forget red lipstick on occasion! I'm not retired yet, but I wear a uniform every day (fire department). Navy pants, white polo. It would look silly to jazz it up with jewelery and pretty shoes. So on weekends I might be the fanciest grocery shopper in the store! Its my only tine to put on what I want to wear and be girly.

Anita@Theycallmejammi said...

I drove 55 minutes into an office for 28 years, then I had the fortune, 5 years ago to be able to convert to work at home. I still have the same opportunities and I still work just as hard, but what I don't have is someone on the phone, someone pinging me on Sametime (also know as IM, instant messaging, etc) and one to two people standing in my door...all wanting my attention at the same time. I am still constantly on the phone and I still have someone pinging me relentlessly for attention, but not one person can come stand in my door anymore. You wouldn't believe what a relief that is. The stress level has changed somewhat...the job is still highly stressful and quick thoughtful actions are required almost every minute of the day...the differance is that now, I at least am surrounded by things that I love, things that I collected, things that belong to me and make me happy. I am home and that means a lot to me. My routine has changed...I still get up, but an hour later than I used to and I still shower but I don't doll up like before...I'm clean and semi-presentable, but I'm not always dressed to the nines. I'm still pretty, at least my husband, my dog and the Grandbabes think so...the daughters, well they love me anyway.
The moral is, life changes and routines is how you roll with those changes that really matter. Sounds like you are rolling pretty good and I for one, would like to say that you look dressed to kill everytime I visit your blog. Thanks for being YOU.

Dixie said...

Laura... all have said it before me... I love your post... I enjoy reading everything you write. That English teaching certainly comes in handy... you express your feelings so eloquently... and the thing is... you express the rest of us so perfectly as well...

God Bless you sweet friend... hugs. Dixie

Poppy Cottage said...

Hi Laura!

Thanks for visiting, it is so nice to meet you. I just love your blog and what a funny post. You will be very stylish in the yard ;) Thank heaven for flip flops!

Take care,

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Your title grabbed peaked my curiosity! Although I did not go to a job per say (stay at home mom) I always did my hair, makeup and dressed...... for myself first then hubby. Nowadays I have a baseball cap on (with a horse logo of course), jeans and boots! I'm not painting the barn, I'm GOING to the barn! HA! Thank you for your creativity in putting words to keyboard! Luanne

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a great post today. And I love the "paint the barn" idea. My mom just passed on the moisturizing the neck thingie a couple of years ago; so like a good daughter (of 54), I've been obediently doing that. Heck, when I'm in bed at night, I moisturize most every place. It just feels so luxurious and makes my bed sheets smell really nice.

Pam @ Frippery said...

This post perked me right up. So true that when you are mostly at home things start to slip. (age does that too but thats another story) I love your idea of having a simple but classic easy wardrobe for the new lifestyle. Always looking your best for every occasion really does a lot toward mood boosting. Thanks so much for this post, I really needed it right now. I am definitely going to paint the barn, Pam
PS I have always loved popped collars. It adds just a bit more sass to the look.

Jo said...

Too funny ~ I was just on the phone this morning with a girlfriend discussing this very topic. My last day of school was last Thursday and no wiggle room routine is gone and I can't get into a new one. The weather has been blah with rain and gloom here on the East Coast ~ no need for sun screen at this time but I am looking for a new rain coat :)

Thanks for the smile this morning ~

Domestic Designer said...

Love your post as usual! I decided about 8 months ago to "paint the barn". I got contacts, let my hair grow longer, updated my wardrobe, and started "stretching" myself by trying new things. In the process I have met so many wonderful people! I still like to have those stay at home no makeup days...just not as often. My ultimate compliment came just a couple of days ago when a stranger said to my husband, "Your wife is a lot younger than you isn't she"? I am actually older than him!:-) I loved it! Have a great day and have fun "painting the barn".

Designs on 47th Street said...

OH, what a great post! Having a home based business, I often times have no one (other than my husband) to get made up for...BUT I have done every day of my life unless I am sick in bed. I just feel so much better about me if I have on make up and hair done. Oh and YES to moisturizer. I have been preaching that to my daughters since they were in their teens.

This is my last year in my 50's so I feel my styles are changing....slightly. I am fighting old age just as hard as I can!

You go girl! :)

Anonymous said...

Laura -
thank you for visiting me today. I really enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more of your blog!


June said...

Hi Laura, I love this. I am at home most days with my son who is disabled. I don't often take time to think very much about how I look around the house house and garden. But every morning I do try to 'paint the barn' (I love that) I want hubs to see me at my best and my children who drop by once in awhile. Thank you for another wonderful post.

Rebecca Nelson said...

Darling, well written post my friend. Since I started to work from home several years ago my makeup bill began to go down. One day I thought " look totally crappy!" I started to get up and out and I'd put on my face and do my hair REGARDLESS of the fact I may not being going anywhere. It was enough for ME to feel good...

Hubbs liked it too!


Melissa Miller said...

Laura you are so cute!

I enjoyed your clever "painting the barn" post!
Sounds good to me. I need to do the same.

Have a wonderful weekend.
~Melissa :)

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great post and good timing. I need to "paint the barn". Until I retired, 5 days (sometimes 6)a week I had a regular routine of the full coat of makeup, the hair & all sprayed up, hose, etc. But now - there are days I hope no one comes to the door. I am having one of those days today.:)

Dirt Princess said...

I TOTALLY get you on this one! I went from having a very professional career, to having ZERO career. I went from High heels to flip flops, so I totally understand. You pop that collar girl!

Vintage Chicken said...

It's obvious you are a beautiful person inside and out, I doubt that you need much paint on the barn! LOL

trash talk said...

Girl, if I had a neck instead of a head just screwed on, I'd pop the neck with you. I love it when it's popped on a white oxford, too!
I don't know if it's just a Dallas TX thing, but I wouldn't dream of going out without being a little "fixed" up. I always have bought what I call "my kicking about" clothes. Mother always warned about letting myself go and I took it to heart, but I have never heard the expression 'painting the barn"! Love it.

The Stylish House said...

You not only paint the barn, but the entire farm in my case! I am proud to say I was a card carrying member of the peddle pusher generation, who is now part of the computer generation. Jangly jewelry and big silver hoop earrings are a wardrobe staple, but only when out casually. Cheers to you, with a tall glass of pink lemonade with a cherry and a straw.

Lavender Chick said...

Great post! Made me think that I probably need to at least get somewhat made up for my hubby on days that I am home. I still work and am gone quite a bit. I'm realizing that it probably appears to my hubby that I get all dressed up for everyone but him! So... with that said, when I do get to finally enjoy retirement, I will be sure I don't turn into a huge slob.... (which will be difficult)

Lillian Robinson said...

I do not miss the getting ready! I'm happily snuggled into the retired, capri/tank top phase of life!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.


Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Great post! I would like to try the luxury of not having to go to work, but it doesn't seem to be in my future to stay at home every day, at least for awhile. Have fun in your "stay-at-home" clothes and makeup! laurie

mamaK said...

This post is so cute! It reminds me that my barn is looking a little ragged! I guess that's what happens to SAHMs! Love your blog and thanks for the smile!

The Rev. C. Earl Mahan said...

Love this.

peace +

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I've never heard that expression before but I like it! It really says it all. I can get in a rut especially if I don't have anywhere that I have/want to go. I did the same a few weeks ago and bought a skort (remember those) and a few new polo shirts at Target.

Barbara Jean said...

Great post.
Love the blue dishes!
Enjoyed looking at some of you blog too.
I'll be back.

Barbara Jean

Stacey said...

Even when you are home alone you have to paint the barn!! It makes me feel put together. I swear my eyes won't stay open without the benefit of mascara.

AMIT said...

Enjoyed reading your interesting posts here.Thanks for all this good posts.

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