Wow this is hard to write.

As I start this website up (I’m resisting calling it a blog for various reasons) I am 43 years old. It is August 2011. As the years go by you can do the math and come up with my current age. I’m not shy about stating my age. It’s a badge of honor in my opinion.

I am partnered up with a very lovely man named Mike who is originally from Milton, Ontario, Canada. He is a self-described corporate hippie. I confess I don’t understand the term. I think it means he embraces anti-establishment tendencies, is a raging liberal, and is against The Man, but holds a steady job with health benefits. We met online. One of the first questions I asked him was, “You don’t smell like patchouli do you?” I mean, gross. (He doesn’t by the way. He swears by lavender oil to keep mosquitos away in the summer so for the 4 weeks of summer weather we get here in Portland he might smell off and on like lavender, which I can totally handle. Patchouli is a deal breaker.) We live in an old farmhouse (circa 1895) in Southeast Portland, OR with two dogs – an Australian Cattle Dog named Emma and a Samoyed named Serena. We have a yard that is proving to be a lot of work. My feelings on the yard change daily from, “this is awesome” to “this sucks.” The growing food part and room for the dogs is awesome, the upkeep and weeding is the sucky part.

I grew up in Boston area Massachusetts. It was formative and, after living in many different regions of the United States, I can honestly say I am pretty happy that is where I grew up (probably a lot of people feel this way about the place they grew up). You can’t beat four real seasons, music, the arts, and a very healthy respect for intellect in those formative years. I still love the city even though I now live aaaaaaall the way over on the other side of the country in Portland, OR. My accent is very slight. Most people don’t hear it, but every once in a while I pronounce the word idea as idear (wince).

Some places I have lived (and I enjoyed them all): Reading, MA; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Arlington, MA; Houston, TX, Charlotte, NC; San Francisco, CA; brief stint in Austin, TX that I’m not sure I should even mention; and Portland, OR.

I worked for over 10 years running operational teams for financial service Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 organizations. While it made me aware of what I was made of it eventually sucked the soul out of me and I made a change. Since 2001 I have been working in higher education administration and it is an environment I can get behind.

I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts. I earned the degree concentrating on painting. Immediately after graduating I fell in love with making books by hand. This has slowed somewhat and I have dabbled in glass bead making, and am currently itching to get back to painting (after the big studio remodel project). I’m not setting the art world on fire, but I am enjoying the creativity.

I am a DIY-er. I am always working on some creative project. I sew – clothing, things for the home, etc. I really love home decorating (and I seriously think I should have pursued this as a career). I like to revamp old furniture. I really want to learn to reupholster well. I hate painting walls but I’ll do it if necessary. I love to rearrange furniture. Or work with local people to create furniture. I’ll drive two hours in traffic to pick up the perfect, hard-to-find, basket for the new hutch in our front room. I love bargain hunting, and thrift store shopping for furniture. I like a lot of different styles.

I want to be a thrift store shopper for clothes but I am confessing here for the first time that it skeeves me out (in Portland this makes me a pariah).

I hate bike riding. I tried to like it. I do not. Don’t hassle me about it.

I have a lot to say about fashion for women in their 40s. The gist of it though, is that there are no good resources out there. I see a lot of articles that tell women in their 40s what they can no longer wear. These articles piss me off. Wear what makes you feel good. Wear that mini skirt every one tells you you can no longer wear if you’ve got the gams. Body types will dictate styles that work and styles that don’t. At the end of the day you only have to please yourself.

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