Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some things I am thinking about today



1) Adventures in Chapped-ness


When you have dry flaky skin everyone who works in cosmetics and skin care at the "store" has a miracle cure.

And when you google "Dry skin, very mild roscacea" and "make me look 40 again", the ads follow you from site to site until you are mourning over poor Bob Simon and some skin care regimen is right along side telling you to buy now before your face falls off...

Ema has recommended Hope in a Jar, but I can't get it till NYC.  Any other ideas?  Just tried crazy- expensive Clarins sample and no difference whatsoever.  Drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, ready to slather self in butter.  Oh wait, maybe will just use rose hip oil instead...


2) your health is everything

I have heard several stories in last few days about people I know who are sick.  And not flu sick, but sick-sick.  I am reminded that good health is a gift not to be taken lightly.  I am also reminded that wine ought to be drunk when you hear about such things as wine has very curative properties and makes you feel all warm inside...



3) You learn a lot in a taxi cab..


Taxi Driver Cartoon Repixlikeview pic
Disclaimer - this is for illustration only.  I have NEVER been drive by a taxi driver who looks like this - EVER

--especially where I live, where cab drivers are all locals and who struggle to eke out a living in our (very) small city.  I have taken two cabs in the last 24 hours, been called Ma'am four times, discussed the ungodly amount of snow eight times and discussed someone's rheumatoid arthritis and someone else's sleep problems.

Barry will tell you that this is me.  Yes, it is actually.  I have yet to meet someone (excepting violent offenders here) who don't have an interesting story to share.  Oprah says people only want to be heard and I think she is right.  And frankly, I can listen to someone's woes for the ten minutes it takes to get home.  But I also hear tales of interesting lives and people who love what they do because they get to meet people too.

4) Bob Simon

I was very sad to learn that Bob Simon was killed yesterday in NYC.  I have been a fan of Bob's for many years and always thought he was a classy, articulate, forthright journalist. He will be missed.




5) Picture Books

where the wild things are

I am taking a course on writing picture books right now and my daily homework, in addition to my other writing, is to read picture books for half an hour a day.

It is hard to be grumpy when you are reading picture books....


It seems once our kids grow up we don't buy these kinds of books anymore, but the joy getting back into all aspects of children's literature, especially the picture books, is wonderful.  With the recent announcement of the Caldecott Medals


and Newbery Awards,



now is the perfect time to catch up on a great (albeit short) read!

So that's my day.  How about yours?

xoxo wendy


46 comments:

  1. Hi, Wendy,

    I am 60, and recently retired (like you!) and my skin is less dry this year since I am staying home. However, I have two products that I like really well and I think they are helping my skin this winter. I like Olay Regenerist lotion or serum, and use it daily under my makeup. A new addition this year is Hourglass primer serum, No. 28, which is a moisturizing makeup primer. I never used a primer before, and it makes my skin feel wonderful. If your lips are dry, Fresh Sugar lip treatment is great.

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    1. Thanks so much! I love Fresh Sugar Lip treatment, too! Okay, I am definitely going to take these names to my local drugstore. Fore oil of olay is there, is hourglass primer - oil of olay or is Hourglass the brand?

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    2. Oil of Olay is the brand of the moisturizing serum. Hourglass is the brand of the primer. I get the Hourglass at Sephora, but Oil of Olay is at all of the drugstores.

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    3. Thanks - will take a look. Won't see a Sephora till NYC. rumour has it they have a skin care analysis thing-a-ma-jiggy there...

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  2. Try raw unfiltered coconut oil mixed with a vitamin e capsule. Also wait for spring.

    I am reading a picture novel and during the dry bits those images help.

    When you come to London get cabs. London does have very funny cabbies who are also political pundits.

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    1. That is so funny - the first time we went to London the cabbie gave us his card and told us to call if we ran into any problems - we talked and talked and talked in from the airport!

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    2. Naomi - exactly, and they are the bane of my existence.

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  3. I suffer from rosacea too and when I have really dry skin I use Sea Buckthorn salve at night. The consistency is like Vaseline so you don't put make up on over top of it but if you work from home writing you might be able to use it until your skin is no longer flaky.
    I use Avene moisturizer for daytime.
    Try looking online or at your local pharmacy...
    Hope in a Jar is available from Sephora here and they also have a website.
    Don't forget to drink lots of water...moisturize from the inside too.

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    1. I will have to go look for that. I have tried Avene before but didn't quite do it. I think I will be waiting for Spring!

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  4. May I suggest Amlactin for your super dry skin. It used to be dermatologist prescribed but can now be found over the counter at Walmart, etc. It basically takes off the layer of skin. Everyday for a week or two then twice a week. I put it on only at night. Make sure you wear sunscreen because you will be exposing new skin soon.

    I have taken to reading the obituaries and being quite aghast how many are within a few years of me. Am i the only morbid one who does this?

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    1. I'll have to check on that - most things I read tell me not to peel anything off - my skin is so sensitive and the rosacea I think might get inflamed, but not sure!

      OMG - I read the obituaries faithfully!!

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    2. So does MrBP! I don't do it. But obits are the Irish Sports Pages you know, not sure the origin of that expression but there you have it...

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    3. Hilarious !! I never read them. I'm missing out!

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  5. The writer Maggie Alderson has rosacea, and has written about it a bit on her blog. Currently she's on some sort of special diet and it has disappeared. https://maggiealdersonstylenotes.wordpress.com She's pretty good about answering questions so if you asked her what she's found that works in a topical sense she'd likely tell you what she's found that helps.
    I chat to everyone too. I remember my grandmother used to do it as well, so I suspect it's some sort of inherited problem!
    Picture books are very much a part of my life at the moment, although I know that will only be for a couple more years at best. All those years and years of reading to my children, and I'm nearly at the end point, which is sad, as bedtime is my favourite time to spend with them. And there are so many great picture books! Have you read the Zen Shorts books (there are a few in the series)? The illustrations are exquisite, and they incorporate Eastern philosophy into the story. I love reading them to my kids as we then talk about what the story meant. We also love anything by Julia Donaldson.. I think we have them all, but if you haven't read the Gruffalo, do! xx

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    1. Love the gruffalo! Will your kids let you read longer chapter books with them next? My kids and I did the whole lord of the rings, Harry potter, series of unfortunate events series. I think we dragged it out till they were at least ten! I am definitely going to get those zen books!

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    2. Oh yes, I'm reading chapter books with my daughter at the moment. My oldest Son reads to himself now, although occasionally we read to him still (he's 9). I stopped reading to him mid way through last year, but we'd done Arabian Nights, The Odyssey, lots of Roald Dahl… I just love kids books, and buy way too many!

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    3. Oh Roald... Love! I buy way too many as well!

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  6. Aquaphor is the only thing that helps my dry flaky skin, I have to mule it across the pond on Ebay.
    I wish all taxi drivers would take a vow of silence, all of their non stop yattering and questions drives me insane.

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    1. Will have to check out aquaphor. Too funny - I love meeting everybody!

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  7. Thank goodness my brother FINALLY had a baby because I've been able to buy children's picture books again.
    My skin is dry but I've been wearing Clarins this winter and it works perfectly on my skin, it is spendy though. Also sounds like it didn't work for you.
    Gosh very sad about Bob Simon.

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    1. I wouldn't have minded downsy if it was miraculous, but three days no better and maybe worse. I think I need to go somewhere humid!

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  8. Hi Wendy, I hope you find some relief for your dry skin. Here's a link to what Caroline Hirons says about it, it may be of some use to you:

    http://www.carolinehirons.com/2011/11/dry-or-dehydrated-cheat-sheet.html

    I use argan oil or rosehip seed oil after cleansing and toning (nighttime with glycolic acid pads, maybe not the thing for you), then I moisturise. But then I think I have normal skin, neither dry nor oily.

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    1. Funny Patricia -: my daughter just flagged her to me - I was not familiar with her at all.

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    2. Wendy, she is fantastic, and her videos are a hoot! Since reading her I now double-cleanse if I've been wearing SPF, and I started with the acid pads. Go to her Youtube channel, she's worth a look.

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  9. I have dry skin ame mild roscacea as well, and my go-to is The Body Shop aloe cream: the day or night cream for my face and the aloe body butter for the rest of me.
    I like talking to taxi drivers as well and so does my husband. This used to drive our kids crazy since they thought we we embarrassed them!

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    1. Sorry about the typos- I really should proofread!

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    2. I am going to check the body shop tomorrow. I'm back on the Rose hip oil till I find something else. I have hard core Clinique moisturizer that I like as well. But still - so flaky!

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  10. I live in an century old apartment building with radiator heating which is awful as it takes you back and forth from extremes so get by with a little electric space heater and have taken to using lotion which I should apply with a basting brush.
    Winter hasn't been fun here but even Siberia has been sending Bebe and her Boston brethren notes of condolence.

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    1. If you can believe it, we hear in Atlantic canada have had it even worse - never seen so much chow and another 3 or 4 feet on Sunday!

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  11. HI Wendy,
    Are you sure that your flaky skin is not caused by ( possibly new) food sensitivities? I have started to realize that red peppers, potatoes, and a few other foods make my skin flaky. This all rather new for me, so now I avoid nightshade plants unless I can't resist. Then, I notice a recurrence of the continued flakiness.

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    1. I do have food allergies, but they have never manifested in the skin, but I will keep track of that now that you've suggested that - thanks!

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  12. We LOVE picture and have troves of them; at Christmas I put some favorites around the house to curl up and read. How exciting you may be writing some!

    Do you get enough oil in your diet? Olive is good internally and externally; flax seed oil capsules help some people's eyes and may help the skin. If you can tolerate Amlactin, it may get rid of the flakiness ( has a mild acid it in). Another 2 feet of snow forecasted for Saturday and bitter cold too.

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    1. I do the same thing Lane! I definitely eat lots of olive oil, maybe will add the flaxseed oil - I don't eat fish or nuts because of food allergies, so don't get those nutrients. Will ask my doctor about am lactin.

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  13. I have no specific suggestion for your dry skin issues, but after having spent waaaay too much money on products over the years, I found a source named Paula Beugon who looks at the ingredients behind beauty products and explains in understandable terms the effects of products. I found her book a long time ago, but I think she's exclusively a web site now, as well as weekly newsletters and such if you choose. Check out www.beautypedia.com. She has reviews of products and suggestions for skin issues, as well as articles. I've used her "Paula's Choice" brand with good results, and I've followed her advice on other brands as well, and my skin has improved and I've spent less money. I feel much more confident about skincare and makeup choices after consulting the site rather than just listening to the salesperson at Sephora who can sucker me in to buying some overpriced cream. I highly recommend checking out the website!

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    1. That's funny - I was looking at her site yesterday and I wondered about her products. Skincare is so confusing as EVERYONE has the miracle cure or the best, don't they? If clarins had worked I would have been glad to keep going with it, so am definitely still looking. Will go lol at Paula's choice.

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    2. I am an avid Paula Begoun fan, I have read her books and appreciate her candor.

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  14. Your right about the importance of our health, my very wise Mother-in-law always said that if you could fix it with money it wasn't a problem.
    My hands are so dry they crack no matter what I do.

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  15. I find that washing your face as little as possible works better for me, it does not sound right I know but if I don;t use make up I don;t even touch my face.
    People always tell me their life stories, taxi drivers, painters, plumbers, strangers on the train. I don't mind at all, I am a sucker for a good story, bring it on.

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    1. Me too! And I am with you on the face washing!

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  16. This is simple and works terrifically. Buy a humidifier, place near your side of the bed and run all night while you sleep. Also any product with Hyaluronic Acid binds moisture to your skin. It's in many affordable products. I'm also a fan of mild Glycolic Creams which I find very moisturizing. Stings a bit but removes flakes and seems to help. Try the humidifier :)

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    1. I haven't had a humidifier since the kids were little. I avoid stings now like the plague, as it seems to make the red horrible!

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  17. I agree with Jennifer, a humidifier is the way to go. Drinking more water (aka "moisturizing from within") doesn't do much, as the outermost layer of the skin has no circulatory system and the amount of water that reaches this layer is by diffusion and is regulated by the body. Also, agree with Jennifer's moisturizer recommendation. Look for something which contains natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) and/humectants - here is a brief list of the more important ones: hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid/sodium lactate (besides moisturizing, it also exfoliates and it is gentler on the skin than glycolic acid), urea, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, panthenol. NMFs are part of the natural composition of human skin, and form a major part of the barrier function of the skin. Using a straight vegetable/plant oil such as rose hip or coconut oil won't be of much help if you already have chronically dry skin & rosacea, whereas using a moisturizer that contains any one of the above ingredients actually boosts the barrier function of the skin.

    Here are a few product recommendations:

    1) Riversol - formulated by a Vancouver-based dermatologist specifically for people with rosacea. I don't have rosacea, but the active ingredient, hinokitiol, provides a number of benefits: it is anti-inflammatory, as well as being an antioxidant and antibacterial, so it can be used for other skin conditions. I use the facial serum and it is really excellent. It's expensive but I think it is worth the money. They give promo codes every so often so there is the opportunity to get a discount, and they also offer trial kits so you can test beforehand. www.riversol.com

    2) Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Cream - contains an extract of a certain variety of licorice that has been shown to be anti-inflammatory (which causes the redness). I have been testing it for a few months now, and notice it really helps to speed up fading of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is available in drugstores in the U.S., but not in Canada.

    3) Avene Anti-Rougeur - I haven't tested the rosacea line by Avene but have heard from a number of people with eczema who say the Avene moisturizers are really effective.

    Others worth considering (all available at Shopper's Drug Mart):

    Eucerin - Aquaphor (very heavy cream for sensitive skin); 5% Urea cream; 5% Hyal-Urea (contains urea and hyaluronic acid)

    Oil of Olay Total Effects 7 for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free: contains Vit. E, panthenol, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate. Excellent all-round cream and very affordable.

    CeraVe - contains ceramides

    Uremol - contains urea

    Lac-Hydrin - contains lactic acid

    Hope that helps. Hopefully only more month of winter!

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    1. I got my list! Thanks! I did buy the body shop's aloe vera night cream and it makes my face feel wonderful, although it may not do anything else!

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