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You can go home again, Bonnie Blue.

11 Aug

My bedroom is my refuge. It first became my room when I was 10 years old. Before that I lived in all the other upstairs bedrooms at one time or another. But they were all connected by a hall and were contiguous to each other and the hall. When in 1952, the addition my parents had been planning was completed, my room became the farthest one from any other. It was on the last north-most part of the house.

I loved being far away from the rest of the family and our nurse Renie. I had my own stairway and total privacy. There was a dog leg shaped hall that connect to my sister’s room. it was a long way from my room to hers. It was too far to hear anything from her room to mine or vice versa. My room also had a balcony. A balcony was something Juliette had. Princesses almost always had balconies. Princess Elizabeth came out on a balcony to wave. (She had not yet been crowned queen at this point). The balcony thrilled me deep in my soul.

 

My room went through several iterations. When I first moved in my parents tried to follow my wishes, but they simply did not understand what I wanted at all. However, they let me choose the wallpaper and the colors of things and they bought me a mahogany canopy bed. It has a curved top instead of square wooden tester. So I was not able to have curtains on the bed as I had dreamed about. Also the wall paper was so 1950s and so romantic it had nothing to do with the look I wanted. What I wanted would have been a room more for 18th century dark mahogany wood, bare hardwood floors of wide boards, white walls with woodwork panels painted blue and a chair rail and shutters at the windows. But that is not what I got.

Instead the walls were papered with a baby blue background color with sheer white flounced curtains held back with pink roses. It was a dream paper, for a little girl’s room And my curtains at the windows were the exact same sheer flounced curtains in the paper, and they were held back with pink silk roses just like in the wall paper. It was lovely. I did not get the floors I wanted but at least I was able to make them buy me a rug and let some of the hardwood show around the edges of an oval rug which was pink and blue floral design. My floors were almost blond and had narrow boards but at least it was wood and NOT carpet. I really did not like carpet.

Later as a teenager, I wanted the room to look like something I imagined in a Roman Villa (via Hollywood) and I asked to have it painted white. REAL white, not cream colored. This was in something like ’56 and NO ONE painted anything stark white. They did not understand what I wanted. What I got was a very pale creamy white, BUT NOT WHAT I WANTED. and they painted the walls this color but behind a double bed with a headboard there was a gold and white material papering the walls, and a french bed hanging from a small crown atop the walls and curtains swooping down from it. It was also romantic and very pretty and rather chic for a girl of my age, but it was NOT WHAT I WANTED. I did enjoy that room with all my friends, I spent hours there away from the family and just enjoying my music and my books. I loved the privacy.

Later that balcony became an occasional temptation for various boys. But it really did not cause much trouble because I was so “good” it never occurred to me to be bad. I thought about it but discarded the idea because I was afraid of discovery. So I lived in that room until I was married in 1961 at the age of 19. I was crazy in love with Charley and with the idea of being married. I wanted to leave my parents house so much I would have done anything to get out of there. But I was not trained to do anything. And I had a strong inferiority complex about being smart enough, educated enough and self confident enough to get a job.

What I did not realize was that I was extremely sophisticated and self confident about a lot of things other girls my age knew nothing. I was versed in protocol and knew how to throw a wonderful formal dinner party. I was comfortable with people of all different countries and could usually deal with thick accents and strange customs with aplomb. But all I really wanted at that time was to make love. That was uppermost in my mind because I had wanted it for years and years. At least 5 years since I was 14 and began to understand what a pleasure it might be. But as I have stated before, there was simply no way to experiment. That was forbidden, completely, in those days. No NICE girl allowed herself to become promiscuous or to gain a bad reputation. This was the great bugaboo. A bad reputation could NEVER be repaired. And I was to avoid that at all costs. And I did.

The irony of ironies is that I am back in my old room now, at the age of 76. I am living in my old house in my old room with my mother. That makes me sound like a terrible loser. However, I had a wonderful life over the years. I was married for 43 years and had 5 children who have produced 17 grandchildren for me. I have had several careers and some made me money and some lost my money. But they all taught me lessons. I enjoyed them all and basically, would not change anything. Though it would have been fine if I could have made money with a couple of the Internet based ones. But I did not.

Then I divorced and began writing a book which came out about 10 years ago.
I must write and so I have told the [family], “Look out, Mama is BACK!”

I am going to write and they are probably not going to like some of it.

One reason I am going on about my writing is that I have a real story to tell and my room is featured in that story. 4 years ago when I spent any time at all living in my old room it made me uncomfortable. I assumed it was because I wished to be somewhere else all the time. But finally as I spent more and more time here, I realized that part of the problem was the dingy color of the room. It had been redecorated after some years since my marriage. For years when my husband and I came back to spend the night, the room looked almost as it had when I left home. But sometime later they painted it pink. It had dusty rose painted walls and curtains and bed hangings and a back wall of a pretty chintz material.

Those curtains had blue flowers along with deeper pink ones, and I did not mind the print. But the walls were just plain dingy and unpleasant. I wished they were a color I liked. But the horrible idea of moving everything out of my bedroom, the closets and bookcases, moving the big furniture kept me from it. Then one day I was speaking of this and my son Robert said he had a man who could do it. I got a quote and agreed to do it. I had not moved up all of my things yet, so it was the absolute best time to do this.

As I was making my final move out of Barrsden Farm and staying those last few nights on the sofa there, Robert’s “man and a helper” were painting my bedroom. They moved the large furniture toward the center of the bedroom and covered everything with a clear plastic tarp. They took down the draperies and covered the wall that had material on it with plastic. They really did a great job. the color is best described as robin’s egg blue, though it is probably not that bright. But because blue reflects back on itself, it is a very vibrant bedroom. The color hits you like a splash of cool water when you enter the room. It is immensely satisfying to me. The color literally makes me happy. Just walking by my open door gives me a little boost of happiness.

Painting my room has turned out to be transformative. Everything about my life is better since that room became a special color of blue. The vibration is better. Better!!! It vibrates ‘positivity’ all the time. The change in how I feel about living here is remarkable.

If I had had any idea that a difference in the color would have so great an effect on me and my whole life, I would have done it sooner. That is why I love to tell people about this experience. Most people would not imagine that a color could change someone’s mood instantly. Who would have imagined that what really made me “OK” with moving up to Washington DC was how much I loved my room in it’s new color. If you are ever in a similar situation or maybe one of your children is unhappy for some reason. You might just explore the possibility of changing the color of the room. It is a nuisance, and it could be expensive, but my goodness; how effective!!

My bed and light streaming in from the balcony.

Because it was such a dramatic difference I urge parents to listen to their children about color. And for the good of adults reading this, I have learned that many people do not want to learn anything that is not compatible with what they believe they know already. So this is just something that worked wonders for me. Take it or leave it.

As I write this I can glance in the direction of my beautiful blue room and receive a little surge of pleasure just seeing the color. The room has eves on both sides which give it character. There is blue carpet on the floor which might be just ‘way too much’, except that I have spread an oriental rug on top of the carpet. it goes from the foot of the bed to a yard or so from the door where one walks in. That little 7 by 5 rug makes a huge difference by alleviating the total blueness of the carpet. And my nice queen size bed is centered on the North wall which has no windows. The french doors to the balcony are to the East and a dormer window facing West is on the opposite side of the room. There is a door into the very blue bathroom which has not been changed since 1952. It is all blue, the floor and halfway up the walls is all blue tile. The fixtures are blue too, except for the toilet which was replaced a few years ago with a white one. The bathroom is pretty tight because it was originally supposed to just be a half bath. When I begged my father to let me have this room for my own they had to figure out a way to put a tub in there too. And they did. But the toilet does sit a little under an eave in the roof. I am not sure what might happen if some tall man got up suddenly from a seated position, he might knock himself out.

I love my room. I love my life here in Washington DC. I enjoy that color more than I can say. And the lesson I learned is that a thing like an attitude can be transformed by color. The implications are amazing. Go for it!

 

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Vacation

8 Aug

I am on what is supposed to be a vacation with my mother, at her summer house in R. I. She is  happy as a clam. (Is that too much of a cliche for this post?) She spends her days napping and eating breakfast in the late morning. She eats 2 fruits and a piece of toast and a scrambled egg and a piece of bacon every single morning. She sits in the light and airy breakfast room with it’s concave glass windows all around the semi circle of the room The curtains are faded now. They have lost much of the vibrant blue color of their blue and white stripes. You might not notice the blue stripes and think they were solid white. On closer observation the stripes are sill there even on the most faded parts of the sun-bleached material.

The light fixtures in this room are extraordinary. They are brass and they protrude well over head height. They are in the shape of a human forearm holding a glass hurricane shade. This protects the light bulbs in each sconce. Truly unique, they epitomize the feeling of the house.  One of the most beautiful on the Avenue, if what you wish for is good bones. Totally comfortable interiors, gracious staircase, and spacious grand hall awe the visitor on first sight. Glistening brass on the stair rail and dull, rusty green carpet that should have been replaced a decade ago which paves the way for ascent to the next floors. Quirky and cozy, formal and imposing at times. The house welcomes each guest with a view right through the front hall, the great hall and the octagon room beyond it to the freedom of sea and sky seen beyond the green lawn.

 

Looking east the water gleams in the sun and white sprays of sea swells, smashing against it, decorate the stony island off the cliff at the edge.  The property levels out near the water.  There is a classical design in the low wall dividing the yard from the public land below. As people walk the cliff walk which is lower, near the water at this point, they cannot see the majestic house above because it is set back out of their view.

There are wonderful aspects here. The peace of the far edges of the property, the cool mornings just at sunrise, the lovely roses and the rose garden. On the porch, against the wall, metal racks over flowing with draping flowers bring a meditative few moments even to those most frenetic and unsettled.  There is much to appreciate and be grateful for here at this end of the island.  I am full of gratitude for this blessing.

However, life goes on. Leaks appear, one TV is repaired and second one breaks. There are strange wires hanging from the roof, left by the repairman. Tile is falling off of a bathroom wall and the front door has to be closed “just right” in order to get the rod that holds the stationary door in place to lodge in it’s depression in the floor for just this purpose. The lights above the mirror of the white and gold bathroom are not working, because the wires are broken behind the wall. The Cook must go to Warwick to see a retinal specialist. The driver must take here there. and wait. and bring her home. The children change places, the grandchildren accrue and bring great grandchildren. Some arrive first and leave first while the next wave has only been here a few days. Most of these great-grandchildren are old enough to handle their own travel plans. They are civilized. But there are comings and goings late at night. Don’t ask questions.

In the afternoons it is possible to lay out on the broad covered porch and read or listen to an audible book with headphones. The quiet broken occasionally by a helicopter flying overhead. Or suddenly wild barking erupts from the front hall as some hapless mailman approaches and all the dogs react in the loudest way they can.

When I leave here I will need a vacation from my vacation.

Have you ever tried a 40- hour fast?

27 Jul

                  Have you ever tried a 40- hour fast? It sounds gruesome, doesn’t it?

I have been doing a program called The Long-Term Solution with David King ( https://www.davidkingfitness.com/ ), who is a diet and lifestyle coach. He is the Tony Robbins of the weight- loss world. He has a major health program going. It is obviously very successful.  He insists that though his diet guidelines are definitely Keto in design, he makes sure it is nutritional Ketosis. And it is.

We track every meal. We track our water intake and our exercise. And we have a “stalker,” to keep us on track. This is a person who knows about the program and what to do to make it work. Every morning we send our stalker our first weight of the morning plus a photo of the Keto stick to see if we are in ketosis. Also we send a plan for what we will eat during that day and what exercise we plan to do. We can talk to this person and check into what we may be doing wrong when we mess up or “plateau.” And we need to check out our level of ketosis every day. We are held accountable.

The program is quite intense. David King makes nearly daily videos to inspire us and keep up our interest. He constantly thinks up new ways to keep us invested in his ongoing programs. He is very good at this.

He also suggests going on a 40- hour fast from time to time. As it happens, I was doing such an amazing job of losing weight, I decided to try it. That day I had had a late lunch that included eggs and bacon and avocado. I was completely satiated and happy NOT to eat dinner that night. I went to bed without   a thought of being hungry. When I woke up the next day, I had a large glass of water, first thing. Then, more water before having a mug of black coffee, then another glass of water. I continued to drink water all day long. I probably had 12 large glasses of water, of 15 oz. each. So– there were many trips to the bathroom, and, truly, I was not hungry as long as I kept hydrating my body. The say, to go to bed early to shorten the time of possible hunger, but I didn’t make it to bed till 11p.m.

When I woke in the morning, I realized that the forty hours was over, at 8:00 am.  I ate a healthy Keto- type meal of eggs and avocado, and I was again quite full– and satisfied. I eat a lot of bacon on this diet, and that is allowed. But later, if you get further into the diet, you might be encouraged to stop eating bacon for a while.

The bigger point here is that it is not that hard to fast for 40 hours. And they say it is like rebooting your body. It is good for your liver and other organs. And you will feel so virtuous and powerful.

Did I do that? Yes! I did. And it was such a great experience. I felt good the entire time during the fast– clearheaded, and energetic, and pleased with myself. It was a good time, too, to write and be productive. No meals to disturb my train of thought. And at the end, I lost another 2 lbs.

I must caution you, though, that the weight lost after the fast may come right back, as it is probably water weight.  Nevertheless, you will be headed in the correct direction, and must certainly not become discouraged if you get a little bounce up.

The other thing about this type of diet, I have found, is that sometimes there is a plateau in your weight loss; then you will get what they call “the Whoosh!” and lose a pound or two, or even more, fast.

My daughter talked me into trying this diet. It was not particularly what I wanted to do, but she finally convinced me to just try it. I did, reluctantly, and YEAH! I have lost 19 lbs.

If you don’t know how much that is, just go to a store that sells 20- lb. bags of dog food or bird seed. Pick up that bag and think how heavy it is. I have just taken almost that much weight off my ankles, my knees, and my hips… I feel fantastic!

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Copyright©.  2018 Bonnie B. Matheson