Monday, January 29, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I think my bad hair day today prompted me to write this post.

I remember the days in my 20's, 25 to be exact, the year I met my husband. I loved my hair. I used to get it cut at Bumble & Bumble, a top salon in NYC. My hair was the most important accessory then and it continues to be now. Only thing is, back then, it really looked good. I paid practically half my salary to get my haircut (I was an editor at the time and made next to nothing). I had such a full head of hair, it was very wavy and I wore it a bit longer than I do now. I never had to color or highlight it. It was always shiny.

Fast forward 25 years and two kids later...they never tell you that kids take all the curl out of your hair! After I had kids, my hair was flat as a pancake. It never grew back the same way. And now, my hair is not only thinner, but I also have a receding hairline. I notice a lot of other women my age have receding hairlines too, except my mother who at 85 still has a full head of thick hair black hair (thanks to Loreal color treatments)...guess I take after my dad's side of the family..I have heard that receding hair is heriditary. Men are allowed to lose their hair, but it doesn't look as flattering on women.

There are also the gray hairs that need covering up. Since I now color my hair almost every six weeks, I don't notice the gray roots as much, until about the fourth or fifth week...that's about where I am right now...that's why I'm having a bad hair day. My hair gets dull and limp and has no matter how much hair gel, mousse or extra strength hairspray I put on it. And believe me, I have a bathroom cabinet full of gel, mousse, hairspray, color shampoos, extra body conditioners, etc, etc. ready to come to the rescue. I've tried many products that are supposed to transform your hair and am always looking for the miracle cure. If you know of one that works for you, please share it with me.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get my hair colored and highlighted. I find that when I get highlights my hair has much more body. Only issue for a person like me who has short hair is that you have to let it get longer, so they can put the highlights in your the foils stay on your head. That means about every 10 -12 weeks, I have about seven bad hair days until I can get my hair highlighted again. My haircolorist highlights my hair every other visit, about once every 12 weeks, and I get it colored in-between too to cover up the roots. Then I have to go to another salon where I get my haircut...doesn't make life any easier! I keep a calendar so I remember, although, I really don't need to because my bad hair days automatically let me know it is time to schedule an appointment.

It's interesting to note that my husband and son think I spend every other week at the salon getting a haircut. They don't even realize the difference between color, highlights and cuts, needless to say the important role each plays in the perfection of this accessory. When your hair is short the cuts are very subtle, but a few snips here and there can make the difference between a good hair day and a bad one. A good color brings back all the shine...and highlights...well, that's icing on the cake.

So, I know tomorrow may not be a better day since I will have to go through the entire work day with bad hair until I get my highlights that evening...but Wednesday, yes, Wednesday, I'll be smiling with my rich shiny hair and brilliant blonde highlights.

Do you know when I googled HAIRCARE there were 62 million sites that came up? Guess I'm not the only female whose hair is her most important accessory!


P.S. - Couldn't go through all 62 million sites, but did check out the third listing at was a fun site all about hair....will have to bookmark that site and go back to it when I have more time...when I'm not blogging that is.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Incredible Shrinking Feet

Why does it seem that while my hips are expanding my feet are shrinking? Gone are the days when it was simple to buy a pair of shoes. I used to be a size 8 or 7-1/2. I never had problems buying shoes. I always had a narrow foot, but now my feet are slightly smaller than a size 7-1/2 and too large for a size 7. Now I have to buy a size 7-1/2 and add two Doctor Scholl's inserts to each shoe so the size fits. I also add heel grippers to compensate for my narrow heel. Next it will be the orthopedic inserts and then I'll need to add a podiatrist to my list of doctors. Shoe shopping is not a favorite pasttime anymore...wish I was like Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City" whose foot fit every pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choo...not that I could afford to buy such luxurious shoes, so I guess it's just as well that I don't have perfect feet.

While I know Easy Spirits and Naturalizer are the "mature woman's" shoe, I don't like to admit that I actually have these shoes in my closet. If I do admit this... does it mean I'm now considered a "mature woman?"

Mules...Forget about shoes with open backs...the shoes they call mules. I don't know how women walk in these shoes, let alone drive. Every time I've tried to wear a pair my feet fall out of them...I end up walking barefoot and the shoes are somewhere five steps back!

High Heels... I also can no longer wear high heels, too much pressure on the ball of my feet. Although, I did wear a pair of sandals with high heels to the wedding I recently attended. I was able to stand and walk for a few hours...very surprising...Ann Taylor to the rescue (again!)...maybe they were just the right heel height for the shape of my foot. They had stretched out a bit since I originally wore them and did require constant strap adjustments throughout the evening.

Kitten Heels...Kitten heels are about the highest I can the Franco Sarto and Arturo Chiang brands. I think they were made for narrow feet.

Flats...So glad flats are back in style. They are not as sexy as heels, but way more comfortable. The Enzo brand makes my favorite brand for summer flats and are available in every color.

Patent Leather Shoes...these bring back memories of my childhood. My black patent leather Mary Janes were my favorites when I was a shiny! If you like patent leather shoes...check out the new Bloomingdales catalog or website...there are red patent leather flats by Arturo Chiang called "Gigi" (loved that movie, maybe that's why I love the shoes)...I may have to splurge and buy these shoes.

Boots...are also not fun to shop for either. I have thin legs so most all the high top boots are too wide for my legs. I did purchase a pair of Nine West lower brown boots this year and liked them so much that I went back to the shoe store and bought the same pair in black. Now that I have wider hips and my older suit pants inch up I have to compensate with boots...that way the length of the pants don't look too short.

Maybe I'll find some neat new shoes when I go to Italy. I do love Italian shoe designers. As Michaelangelo said, "What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed."


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Taking Risks

I was thinking about risk-taking this morning on my drive to work. While I am not a risktaker, as I've mentioned before, everytime I have taken a risk it has always turned out for the better.
So why am I always so scared?

For example, I remember when I moved to New Jersey and missed out on a beautiful house I wanted to buy because I was scared of purchasing a house that cost more than my husband and I had planned to spend. I was not as experienced with owning my own home, since I grew up in an apartment and was used to apartment living even after I graduated from college and moved back into the city. In hindsight, it was a price I probably could have afforded and if I had bought that original house, it would be worth much more today and I never would have needed to move. I blamed it on the fact that the owners would not budge on the price and I thought that you were never supposed to pay the asking price on the house. In reality, I think I used that excuse to cover up my fears.

Thirteen years later, I took a risk the second time around...when we decided we wanted to move. We wanted a ranch house all on one floor because my husband has trouble climbing stairs. The realtor showed us houses that were above our price they always do. This time I was also wiser and more experienced. I knew what I had missed out on before and was more willing to take a risk. So, when I fell in love with a house that the realtor showed me I knew I had to bite quickly. It was more than I wanted to spend and I was afraid, but I did it. I went ahead anyway. Even better...nine years later and the house has almost doubled in price and I have been able to make the payments every month. Now, my goal is to pay off my house by the time I turn sounds so far away, but that's because I'm only 49!

When we get to 50 are we able to take more calculated risks because we are wiser and we know more? Or for those like me, does it get harder because we get more set in our ways?


Monday, January 22, 2007

Remembering the C's in a Relationship

Today is my 23rd wedding anniversary. I was married on Superbowl Sunday in 1984. It feels like just yesterday. I always look at my wedding album each year on my anniversary and remember how I looked back then, when I was a 26 year old newlywed with longer hair and no wrinkles on my face, a flat stomach before the kids were born. I was a runner back then, even ran in some 10K races.

I remember my wedding ceremony. The rabbi commented on the 5'Cs of marriage. I can actually only remember the 4'Cs...if any reader knows the 5th one please send a comment. Maybe your rabbi or clergyman gave the same ceremony at your wedding. Anyway, here are the 4'Cs I remember:

Commitment: the act of commiting or trusting yourself to someone forever;
Compassion: a feeling of of sorrow or pity for the sufferings or misfortunes of your spouse;
Communication: the imparting or interchange of thought, or information by speech, writing, or signs (that includes the non-verbal communication we have with our spouse...sometimes this sends the strongest signals to a spouse, especially the sound of silence); and
Compromise: a settlement of differences by mutual concessions. I've done a great deal of compromising throughout my 23 years of marriage. I'm sure my husband would say it is mutual.

After 23 years, I think I would say the 5th C is Contentment: a state of being satisfied. Do we become content with our mates after many years of marriage? Women's magazines always write about how to keep a marriage exciting after the initial luster wears off and the kids come along. It is hard. After the kids are born, they take priority for at least the next 18 years of your life...until they go away to college and you become an empty nester. I've got one year to go before my youngest child goes off to school...then hopefully, my oldest who is graduating from college doesn't decide to move back in.

I was surprised to read in the paper yesterday about how many single Americans there are today. According to the article I read, it said that 51 percent of all women live without a spouse, and about half of all men are in the same situation. The number of people marrying has dropped off in the last 45 years. It goes on to elaborate that the marriage gap isn't about men and women, but rather about class and education. The statistics reveal that college educated women are more likely to marry than non-educated women.

Is it that women (and maybe men too) don't want to practice the 5'Cs? Let me know your thoughts on this one.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lifes Little Pleasures

January 20, 2007

As I age, I find that it is the little things in life that make the most difference. Not too long ago, I used to get excited at each new purchase. I was somewhat of a shopaholic. I was always buying new clothes. And when I wasn't buying new clothes, I would do my "weekly watch," which involved a trip to the mall on the weekend to see when the outfit I wanted went on sale. It was usually a Jones NY outfit, in autumn colors. They were my favorite suits or ensembles for work.

Now, I get excited by the little things in life. Yes, I do still shop for clothing, but not as much as I did several years ago. And Jones NY clothing just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Beyond the bath (as I've mentioned in previous posts), I also enjoy:

- Hot chocolate with marshmallows on a winter day. It was so cold today that I went and bought mini-marshmallows and went home and made a hot cup ofchocolate and topped it with lots of min-marshmallows;

- Starbucks decaf skim latte (grande-size). These lattes are good warm in the winter and chilled in the summer. It's lighter on the calories with skim milk so I don't feel guilty;

- Buying an issue of People magazine and taking an hour to read it from cover to cover;

- Reading chicklit. This usually only happens when I'm on vacation. I never read books anymore when I'm not on vacation...either I'm too tired at night...or I'm reading the newspaper or a magazine;

- Watching an old Audrey Hepburn movie. My kids bought me the Audrey Hepburn DVD collection with Roman Holiday (my absolute favorite Hepburn movie); Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's;

- Exercising on at the gym on Sunday. While it used to be my shopping day, now I'm a weekend athlete;

- Eating pancakes for breakfast on a Sunday morning (before exercising!);

- Reading the Sunday New York Times (cover to cover). This may soon require a sabbatical with all the sections that now are in this paper;

- Going out to Panera Bread for a cup of hazelnut coffee (mostly decaf mixed in since I'm not supposed to have any caffeine) and a cranberry walnut bagel with cream cheese.

I'm sure I could think of more of life's little pleasures. Even a good night's sleep would do. I think I'm going to try to treat myself to these pleasures more often on the road to 50. Notice I'm not committing to anything...I did commit to writing everyday in this blog and have not held true...but, at least I'm trying.

That's why I'm signing off now to go enjoy my new issue of InStyle magazine...or maybe my new issue of Vogue... What's your list of life's little pleasures...write a comment and let me know.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Back to School or Back to Sleep

January 17, 2007

It’s amazing that I am actually still awake and blogging. Last night I drank some decaf coffee at dinner and that kept me up all night. I think decaf coffee still has enough caffeine. Ever have one of those nights where you do not get any sleep and you just watch the clock all night? And I’m not even having night sweats yet. At least then I’d have to get up and take some time to change my pajamas. I know the experts say don’t look at the clock, but I always do. What else are you supposed to do? I don’t like to turn on the light and start reading. Plus, my husband is asleep so it is not very practical.

Maybe after I turn 50, I’ll go back to school. I’m envious of my daughter who is in Italy right now and on her way to Venice for the weekend. I never had a chance to go abroad when I was in college. I’m so glad my daughter decided to do this trip so that I will have a chance to visit Italy. My mom always said that when I was younger, she got a chance to see new places when she was visiting me. They weren’t as exciting as Italy…so sorry mom.

Every time I tell someone I am going to Italy, they tell me about his/her trip and where I should shop or where I should eat or where I should stay or what I should do while I’m there. One woman in the bookstore told me to be sure to buy leather goods, especially to not deny myself a nice pair of Italian leather gloves. She said she regretted missing out on leather gloves when she was in Italy almost 20 years ago…she still thinks about the pair she passed up. I wanted to get her name so I could buy her that pair of gloves. I think I’ll take her advice and not deny myself some Italian jewelry and leather gloves while I’m there this spring.

Tonight may be a mid-week Lunesta night. I don’t like to make it a mid-week affair, but if I don’t get some shut eye I doubt I’ll be functioning tomorrow.

Lights out!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Golden Globe Day

January 15, 2007

Today is Golden Globe day. Next to the Academy Awards, it's one of my favorite days. I'm a celebrity junkie. Love to watch what all the stars are wearing...Armani is my favorite designer...such gorgeous draping, fabrics and details on his gowns.

I always wanted to be a famous designer. My first major in college was design, but I didn't think I was good enough, so I switched into Home Economics Education ( is that dating me or what?) and minored in design. I sewed many of my own clothes when I was younger, even as I progressed in my career. I made suit was tailored with Calvin Klein brown wool fabric and big the days when shoulder-pads were in fashion. I made all my own maternity outfits when I was pregnant. Then when I had kids and got busier and busier at work, I never had time to sew.

I still love fabrics and good clothing. It is one of my weaknesses. I have piles of beautiful fabrics in my basement that I've bought through the years at designer fabric stores in different cities. I also have piles of Butterick, Vogue, Simplicity patterns for all types of clothing and accessories sitting in my closet. Most recently, I bought a dress form...for when I do start sewing again. I move the dress form in and out of my daughter's room (since she is away at college - when she arrives home to visit or for breaks I move the form back in my closet). It's had a good amount of movement, but not any usage. Oh yes, I started to hang my sweater on the form, so it's not naked anymore. The best part about the dress form is that it as my hips grow as I age and become a permanent pear-shaped person, my dress form will grow with me.

People do start second careers during the second half of their lives. That's what I'm looking forward to. Maybe when I turn 50 and become an empty nester, I'll have more time to focus on my sewing.

As for my favorite designer, I told myself (and many of my friends) that when I turn 50 or when I become a Vice President at work, that I was going to buy an Armani suit. Since I don't see the VP title in the horizon anytime this year, I guess it will be on my 50th that this mega-event happens.

For now, I've got to get going and get my work done so I can watch the Golden Globes and dream that one day, maybe my designs will be on the red carpet!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Count is On

The count is's my first week...only 51 more to go!!

January 8, 2007

Today I turned 49. So I’m officially a year away from the big five-O. Or is it that I’m really 29 since in today’s standards, 50 is the new 30. Right? So, I’m committing today to capture my feelings, my fears, my excitement, my progress, my ups and downs, as I go through this year.

My friend Ronni says I don’t look 49, although I do see more lines creeping up on my face every day. And I am in that pre-menopausal state where I seem to ovulate every few weeks. My doctor says that’s what happens at this age…first you skip your period for months and then you get it sometimes twice a month. Once you’ve missed it for a year, you know you’ve officially gone through menopause. See what I have to look forward to.

I also have a year to plan what I want to do for my fiftieth birthday. Originally I had wanted to spend my fiftieth birthday in Paris, but a few years ago I went to Paris, so that one is out. Then I was going to go to Italy, but since my daughter is spending a semester abroad in Rome this spring, I’ll be visiting Italy in 2007. So what should I do? I could go back to Paris, I could go white water rafting down the Colorado River…just read about a women’s hiking and camping trip expedition that sounds pretty adventurous…maybe I’ll get my friends to join me who are also turning 50…or maybe I should go on a spa vacation, always wanted to visit Canyon Ranch in Tucson.

Another thought was to skip the adventure and maybe make myself over…like whitening my teeth and replacing my front tooth which has an old cap on it that is discoloring…or maybe capping all my teeth so they look even better. Or, maybe I should botox my wrinkles away. Maybe have the nose job I’ve always wanted to have. Maybe have the laser surgery on my eyes, so I will no longer have to wear glasses. Or get a personal trainer and finally exercise away that tummy and hips that have expanded after having two kids.

Not sure what I’ll do yet, but I have a year to plan and change my mind again and again.

My commitment is to write in this blog every day, or almost every day, and keep track of things this year. We’ll see how I do. I did commit six months ago to try a new Estee Lauder wrinkle cream and I have to say, I’ve kept it up. Every night, no matter where I am, home or traveling, I have my jar of wrinkle cream…as the jar says, you must use this religiously to get results. My ritual is to wash my face and then put the cream on afterwards. Has it changed my wrinkles…hard to tell. Once the jar is empty, I’ll move on to the next cream on my list.

Have to go now and wash my face – apply my Estee Lauder cream – and try to get some sleep. Yes, there is the lack of sleep too at this age. I say TRY to get some sleep…these days I don’t know if I actually will be getting any sleep. That’s another sign of pre-menopause.

Talk to you tomorrow. Promise.


January 9, 2007

Hello again. I’m back. Guess that means I am committed. But, since I do travel and do not always have internet access, there may be some misses. I did say I would try to write every day, so I am going to keep track on my computer and make up for any days I am not on line.

Today I ate an entire Panini sandwich from Panera Bread. It was so good, but I did feel guilty afterwards. This is a really bad time of year for me…just recouping from the December holidays and all the holiday parties…my birthday that requires me to eat a chocolate cake…nothing like the ultimate chocolate cake from Wegmans, it is simply the best. Then the end of the month is my anniversary, so we go out to dinner. And in between I have a family wedding to go to.

The last time I went to a family affair I had my hair dyed and highlighted the day before and it turned into zebra stripes. My husband said they were so bright he could not look at me when we were driving to the event. Even my 85 year old aunt asked what I did to my hair. It was a sad day. I’ll never do that again. That’s why when I thought of getting a spray tan for this weekend’s event, I was very nervous. I kept thinking about the Friends’ episode when Ross goes to a tanning salon and it sprays him so many times. I bet that would happen to me.

I’m just not a risk taker, even after all these years. I think some of it has to do with the way I was brought up. My family lived in the same apartment in the Bronx until I went off to college. And my mom and dad were not risk takers, they never bought a house on Long Island and moved to the burbs like all my friends’ families did. The biggest risk I took was going away to college and then leaving my home in New York City for New Jersey (well at least I went over the Washngton bridge). Both my husband and my boss are not risk takers either, so I don’t have any support for future years unless I force myself at 50+ to start acting differently. Age does sometimes allow us to be more of a risk taker since you eventually learn that there is oftentimes nothing to lose, but more times so much to gain. In fact, this blog was a big risk for me. It took me days before I could push the button to sign the agreement to post my diary.

That’s enough for today. Again, time to get some rest, as you can see I post these during the evening because I work all day (and late into the night sometimes). My ritual face wash and Estee Lauder treatment are waiting…and my cholesterol medication and Colace…another sign of aging.

Good night…sleep tight…talk to you tomorrow…or the next day.


January 10, 2007

I’m traveling again today.

Whenever I am traveling, I use the opportunity to take a bath. It is a true luxury, and one that I don’t often get a chance to do when I am at home. At home, I’d have to first clean the kids’ bathtub in order to use it, since my master bath only has a shower, and that takes time. Plus, when I’m home I never seem to take the time to relax in a bath. There is always some other chore that pulls me away. Maybe if I want to try to relax more, I should commit to taking more baths. Maybe if I tried once a week, I’d be more likely to do it. I remember when I once used the Lavender bath foam from Bath & Bodyworks…it smells so good and really does relax you.

There is something special about being away and having your own bathroom, with no one to disturb you. Taking a bath in a hotel is a ritual I started when my kids were young and I had to travel for business. What a treat it was to have a relaxing bath knowing no one would knock on the door or call for “mommy.”

Only issue this week, was when I went to run the bath at the conference center where I was staying, the stopper would not work. I pushed it several times, juggled the latch up and down, ran the water several times in the hope that it would magically stay and the water would build up. But, like Alice through the looking glass, the water shot right back through the hole. I was too lazy to call the maintenance department as it was quite late in the evening. It was a huge disappointment.

While I did not get a chance to use the bathtub, I did use the fitness center at this conference center. I am very proud of myself. I don’t know about you, but I often pack my sneakers and gym outfit and nine times out of 10 I think up some excuse why I do not have time to exercise. I should just resign myself to the fact that I am not a morning exerciser, even though I am a morning person. This time, I actually went after dinner. I think it was some of my female colleagues who inspired me.

Now I am exhausted. Time to wash my face…you know the routine…put my Estee Lauder cream on my face…and go to bed.


Other subjects that have sparked my interest today that I plan to explore more on a future date:
… after talking with an acquaintance that just got back from a four months in Florence, she made me question the fact that more Europeans work to live and Americans live to work. For someone approaching 50, maybe I should move to Europe after I turn 5-0. I think as we get older we should live to work more rather than work to live. Will have to look into this further in the coming year!

…type A personalities…how do you change your personality? I think I was like this from an early age…not sure this one can be changed even at 50.

January 11, 2007

It is so late…and I really should be in bed…or at least trying to get some shut eye.

It’s less than a week since I made my commitment, but I’m keeping it up.

I had my wonderful manicure and express pedicure this evening….what a treat. It is so relaxing. I love going to the salon for some pampering. Although, I think I treat myself to this pampering about once every six months. Every time I say I am going to treat myself more often, I never follow through. Now that I am on the road to 50, I should treat myself, yes, truly treat myself, to this pampering at least once a month.

I know so many friends who have a weekly or bi-weekly ritual of getting their nails done at the salon and they get pedicures religiously during the warm weather months as well. Why is it I am always too busy? The salon even stays open until midnight…probably for women like me who cannot find the time during regular daylight or evening hours.

I also love hearing all the conversations at the salon. It so enjoyable to hear all the chatter and a great escape from reality or the stress of the day. Here is a person or people that you don’t even know and you talk about everything. This evening we were talking about relationships, about marriage, about family, etc. Although, I don’t even intimately know these people, it was fun. You really get to let your hair down (literally), guess that is why it is a salon. Reminds me of the movie Shampoo, remember the one with Warren Beatty, aren’t all the clients in love with him?

So, now my nails are dry…my computer is running out of power and will soon shutdown. I’ve really enjoyed myself tonight…The Office (such a funny show)…new episode of Grey’s Anatomy (love that show)…a manicure…an express pedicure…life is good on the road to 50.

Talk to you tomorrow.


January 12, 2008

Friday night is Lunesta night. Time to catch up on my sleep that I missed the entire week. Fridays are routine for talking on the phone to my best friend and then getting a good night’s sleep. I do remember when Friday night used to mean getting home, getting changed, going out on the town. Now, I look forward to Friday in a different way…getting home, getting in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, watching television or a rented movie… if I can keep my eyes open past 10:00 pm.

So as much as I want to chat…I am going to cut short my blogging for now…time for some shut eye.


January 13, 2007

This evening, I went to my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. What a strange feeling to see all my cousins who have aged. We’re now all in our 50’s and possibly 60’s, except for me…I’m the baby in the family. I remember when we were teenagers and in our early 20’s, our parents were the ages we are now. Most of our parent’s generation is gone, except for one aunt.

I don’t know about you, but when I am around relatives at this time in my life, I always start to reminisce. I think about the 60’s and 70’s when Sunday meant a visit to my grandmother’s apartment. How the uncles would sit and play cards and the aunts and children would sit in the living room and talk (sometimes yell) at each other.

It’s strange to think that so much time has gone by so fast.

I was one of only a few women who were not wearing a black outfit. Is that what it means when they say “black tie affair?” I thought men were supposed to wear black tie, not female guests. Why is black always the color of choice for formal affairs? I’m an Autumn and always have been according to Color Me Beautiful, and black is not one of my flattering colors. So, I wore a Cream sleeveless top with beading around the neckline, beige brocade pants and sexy sandals, with my perfectly painted pedicure. Ann Taylor came to the rescue as she always does for special occasions.

We stayed overnight at the Marriott Times Square. Nice service and puffy beds….and you now know what I like to do when I visit hotels…take a bath. I’m pleased to say that Sunday morning when I woke up I hit a homerun with the bathtub.

Tomorrow I’m taking a vacation from blogging. I’ll be back on Monday.