All of what is me right now.

I’ve just got to start with family-member bragging time today because my niece turned one on the weekend and took her first three steps.  To me! Which was resulted in one very surprised looking baby and a round of applause from her parents, Brian and me. She is pictured above wearing her new onesie-dress to match the doll my mom made for her – a little stunned from all the attention.

It was a nice weekend away on the island with family – we had dinners and played with the kids, and had conversations about things. THINGS. Like the development behind my family home, the indiscretions of family members, and the fact that my brother and I want to know each other better but don’t know where to start. And there are impediments, like distance and personality quirks. But we all want the kids to have a close relationship to their aunt and uncle, and that means we have to figure it out. So we are starting to.

We brought back two frozen chickens raised by my sister-in-law (plus 3 dozen eggs) and ate one of them last night. This is a pretty cool thing they are doing, and I hope that we can foster some food trades that work for them since we can’t raise meat in the city. Like healthy canning for the kiddos being a good place to start – reduced sugar jam, unsweetened applesauce and so forth.

When I came home on Sunday, I unpinned this sweater from blocking and discovered that it fits perfectly! Not only that but I have received three compliments on it today, despite the fact it has a weird camo-ness to it. This photo isn’t great, but the variegation turns out to be quite flattering and not at all “urban-hunter”…. rather tweed-ish instead. I’m wearing it office-side today with a short brown skirt and my long grey hair down. I either look like a super-confident and stylish-type woman of forty-ish, or I look like an older woman who makes her own clothes (in the worst sense). Hard to really judge that one, though  the people around me assure that I look great. So I am going to have to go with it (and disregard my mother’s comment about grey hair making me look old).

I find myself insecure these days about my looks and persona, which I think have to do with aging and the fact that once women move out of the madonna/whore paradigm of our fertile years – we immediately move into the cougar/crazy years. A woman either “looks so good for her age” or “has really let herself go” – and I want to be neither. Really, I’m aiming for “has a good life,” which involves a balance between staying somewhat fit without worrying too much about what other people think. Easier said than done (on the latter count especially). Fortunately I *do* have a good life (exceptionally so) and when I can filter out all the social noise about “who I should be” (thin, more accomplished, whatever, whatever) I manage quite fine. More than fine. Dialing down the outside noise is something I’m going to be working on over the next little while – particularly because I’ve got lots of awesome coming up and I don’t want to be distracted.

In one more piece of pre-forty news I am in the process of taking care of a number of little chore-items in my life – and yesterday I finally (finally!) took my graduated driver’s test and passed! Yes, that’s right. For ten years I have been driving with an “N” but as of yesterday I am N-free! I’m not sure if I’m proud of that or not, given that it took me ten years to get around to it – but at least I’m not going to be forty under the pretense of being a “new” driver.

And that, folks, is all of that is all of what is me at the moment.

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