10 August 2013

Random Questions in Lieu of a Real Post

Do you sweat while you sew? More specifically, while you lay out and cut out fabric? I do, like a pig. If pigs sweat a lot. The climate does not seem to make any difference.

Has any of you who have attained "a certain age" as I have found that your fingernails and toenails have begun to grow longer and stronger than they did in your youth? I recall a conversation in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead about whether fingernails grow after death and whether toenails grow at all. Rosencrantz opines that his toenails do not grow because if they did they would be curled around the ends of his toes because he never cuts them. When I first saw this play in the 1970's I was struck by the accuracy of Rosencrantz's observation about toenails. Now my toenails need trimming every couple of weeks or my shoes don't fit. I find it irritating that it is only as I grow too old to reach my toes easily that they begin to require my attention. My fingernails, which have always grown but used to break off and stay stubby, also grow long and strong now.

Should the previous question have begun with "Have"?

Do you get regular manicures and/or pedicures? I got a manicure before my wedding and have never had a pedicure. My friends, however, swear by them.

Do you indulge in notions porn? I can spend hours surfing sewing notions sites like Nancy's Notions or MacCulloch & Wallis even if I have no intent to buy anything. And why are sewing notions called haberdashery in the UK while a haberdasher in the US sells men's clothing and accessories?

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What is the best way to develop good taste? I seem to devote a lot of time (and money) to sewing garments that, even if they are successfully constructed and fit me, don't suit me or my situation in life.

And speaking of my situation in life, I am hatching a plan to retire early, sell my house and live on my pension and social security somewhere in Europe. Early could be as early as next summer. DH wants to stay in Los Angeles but I wouldn't mind leaving him behind if I can figure out how to afford it and/or talk him into getting a job. (grumble grumble) What do you think?

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  1. Have been wondering where and how you've been. You just may have a second career as a stand-up comic for us seniors!

    Doubt you are on Medicare yet but they will pay for a toenail cut at a podiatrist every 6 weeks. Though you will probably be biking around Europe by then--sounds great!

    1. Seriously? That is funnier than anything I could come up with!

  2. How nice to have you back!
    I started sweating when I turned 51 and haven't stopped. It does seem to increase when I sew, mostly because the sewing room is even hotter than the rest of the house.
    My nails haven't changed much but my hair grows twice as fast (seemingly) and is now wildly curly instead of straight and flat.
    I don't have an ongoing obsession with notions but an intermittent flirtation, mostly with vintage buttons.
    Taste I don't have much clue about, but early retirement sounds good. I retired at 46, but it was more quitting than retirement, as I didn't have a pension or anything. I just got to the amount I'd estimated to be "enough" saved, and that was it. There was a big plan of a second career that didn't work out, and some unfortunate market adjustments that put me in a severely underfunded position today, but I still do not regret leaving the insanity. You should do it!

  3. Thanks, Katrina. I'm sorry the market ate your savings but I admire your discipline for accumulating any--if my employer didn't squirrel my money away for me I wouldn't have anything to retire on.

  4. Boy you ask a lot of questions. LOL

  5. Toenails! I have to cut them once a week. I can still reach them so I guess I won't have to use my medical benefits to have someone trim them, Of course, I could have the farrier rasp them down when he does the horses.

  6. I sweat a lot. All. The. Time. The first time I noticed this, I was in the early stages of pre-menopause, and I was walking to work. It was -47C or -52F(no that isn't a typo) I was dressed appropriately and when I got to work I was soaking wet with sweat. How can you sweat when it is that cold out?

    My nails have changed either their growth patterns or their strength, which sucks cause I would like to have nice long girly nails. I have never had a manicure or a pedicure. I would love to, but there are many other things competing for my tiny disposable income and manis and pedis lose.

    Yes, I indulge in notions porn. I more often than not actually buy which explains why no manis and pedis. I am looking forward to perusing MacCulloch and Wallis's website. Thanks for the enabling.

    If you find out how to cultivate good taste let me know.

    If you do manage to retire in Europe, make sure your home is near some wonderful sewing destination and operate a B&B for sewists. That should help you subsidize your new life.

    Nice to hear from you. It's about time.

  7. As between a mani/pedi and a good haberdashery haul I'll take the notions every time!

  8. A BnB for sewists in Europe... yes! Paris, please. Let me be the second in line to vote for that one :)

  9. Get a pedicure! Granted I've only had four total in my life but they always make me feel pampered and swanky. And I'm ready to retire to Europe now only eight years in to teaching. Only 22 more years to go. Ugh.

  10. Hmmm.. this is very interesting, funny and a little too like me! I never sweated (is that really a word?) before being perimenopausal. Now cold or hot I sweat at times. In the winter I have to call girlfriends to ask them if it is unseasonably warm. My nails of hand or foot are neither stronger or longer... they are still weak and short like normal. Pedicures and manicures are something I don't have the time or money for.... by the time you get to the place to have it done and back and the time to do it ... too long.. I'm bored. I mean really it's just painting your nails and filing and stuff. I hate paying for something I can do myself.