I just returned from Alt Summit, a business conference for pioneering and rookie bloggers held last week in Salt Lake City. It was unlike any conference I've attended and I look forward to sharing some of the good stuff in my next post. But for now, indulge me for a moment to gush about one aspect of this conference that really stood out. The flowers! They were everywhere, used to creative effect in unexpected places and generally lending a dreamy and luscious quality to the whole event. All of the young lovelies in attendance adorned themselves with flowers and I felt like I was at a midsummer festival in Scandinavia. It was girly and wonderful.
All photos by Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis.
This week, a friend sent a link to a humor writing contest. Called the Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest, it is sponsored by the Mark Twain Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. The deadline is next week, so click here to enter. Full disclosure, you have to pay $23 to submit, but I strongly encourage you to give it a try, as one of the prizes is a gift certificate to the Mark Twain store in Hartford, Connecticut. The "Cat in the Ruff" laminated bookmark is super cute.
I traveled to Iowa recently to attend my niece's graduation. Over brunch, everyone was discussing a story in the news about some idiot kids who burned down one of those landmark Iowa covered bridges. They got caught when they posted photos of themselves standing at the bridge with a container of kerosene. Just despicable. We all tsk-tsked about the fall of civilization and how somewhere, Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep were crying.
Every week, I work hard to write witty posts for you people and I hit 'send' and I'm happy. Then you open the email and write me back. Or you post a comment on the blog. Or on Facebook or Instagram. And let me tell you, you're a bunch of memoir-reading, NPR-listening, SNL-watching, kombucha-sipping smarty pants. This is my teasing way of saying that your comments are wonderful! You seem to be a very well-rounded crowd. Interesting. Funny. Worldly.
Last year at an estate sale up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the woman standing next to me remarked that this was the home of her deceased surgeon. "Sorry to hear that," I said. "Yeah," she replied, "Good thing my cleaning lady saw the obit. I was scheduled for a boob job that Tuesday."
Of course I immediately looked at her boobs. Couldn't have helped it if I tried. My glance answered my first question, which was whether she found a replacement surgeon. But the second question I asked myself went unanswered. Which was why. Why did this nice woman tell me, a perfect stranger, such a thing?
It is time for a new profile pic. I'll tell you the reason in a moment. I saw the photo on the left and decided that this was the look I needed.
Renn, my most trusted photographer, said, "No, I don't think this is going to work."
"But I'm a sexy laaady," I said.
A few years ago, I watched the Albert Mayles documentary on Iris Apfel, the self-described nonagenarian starlet. Have you seen it? She's quite a woman, a darling of the New York fashion industry who worked as an editor at Vogue Magazine, founded her own textile company, decorated homes of the rich and famous, and recently stars in national ad campaigns for Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar.
But only once does she touch upon one reason for her success. The director asks her about children and she says, "You can't have it all. I knew that."
Oh, did those words sting me.
In my suburban town, the unwritten dress code for girls attending prom is straightforward: juniors wear long gowns and seniors wear cocktail dresses. Over the years, as four sons attended, and I went to various houses to take photos, I never witnessed anyone who challenged this rule. Except for Clare.
Clare wore a vintage sari to prom.
Look at her. Was she not most fair and lovely? And so open to the world.
My friend Patrick has created the most cozy and welcoming guest room (womb) that no one in their right mind would ever want to leave. I met Patrick because our husbands work together. He and Ed live about a mile away from us, so after you've toured this room, you'll understand my problem -- how to finagle a situation where I would be forced to stay in this incredible space. Snowstorm? Tequila shots? Dead car battery? Poltergeist? Help me out here.
One afternoon last summer, I fell asleep on the patio and dreamt that a deer walked up and licked me. I awoke with a start and there in the distance stood a doe, gazing at me, and — I am not making this up —her eyes were filled with longing.
No surprise, really, when one considers that I am perpetually covered in a thin sheen of salt, a side-effect of hot flashes. That day was no different. To the doe, I must have appeared a rounded-off salt lick.