Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On going Maintenance...

How do you handle maintenance of home and self?
Do you write lists, schedule appointments, keep a journal?
Or wait until it is almost too late?

The on going maintenance of home and garden can be expensive...
and our modest arts and crafts bungalow is in dire need of some TLC.
Our bungalow is looking really shabby...I am embarrassed
as the paint is peeling and it is looking rather pathetic.

Exterior house painting is our current project...
the scraping and prepping required would take many many hours up on a ladder and neither myself nor Mr. HB have the inclination or stamina to do this job so we are hiring a company that we know will do a good job.

One cannot let things go too far or things would start to deteriorate...
it is after all, a slippery slope
besides she is looking her age...a ripe old 104!

As we age, new challenges arise...

aches, pains, stiffness in the joints
sleep issues crop up
our skin changes
waistlines disappear and our youthful figures blur
our hair turns grey
necks get saggy
skin wrinkles: laugh lines are pronounced
the skin on our hands becomes crepe-y

All these challenges are a normal part of aging...
we can attempt to ignore them or become obsessive.

This wee poppies freshness and beauty are fading...
the wrinkled petals are turning brown in the sun
past their prime
but still lovely.

These lilacs did not last long in the vase...
in 2 days they wilted and turned brown.
There must be a trick to keep them looking fresh...
I cut up into the stems and plunged them into cold water all the way up to the flowers
but that did not seem to keep them from fading...

This toiletry tray holds a few of my favourite things...
scents, and a few of the "tools" that I regularly use.
I love a quality brush when I apply powder, shadow and blush.
Aveda and Jane Iredale make great brushes and with care and maintenance they last for years.
I wash mine frequently in Aveda Shampure shampoo and let them air dry.

I use these two products once a week and give myself a facial 
which takes about 5 minutes.
Then I moisturize with the Eminence coconut lotion 
 my skin feels fresh and looks and feels softer.

I slather this oil on my legs after shaving.
Before I go for my walks I use it on my feet and I think it helps my heels from cracking.
It also smells lovely!

Each morning and evening I wash my face with Eminence Coconut scented Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating cleanser
apply a few drops of the Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum 
and apply Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer.

I don't think it really matters too much what brand of products that we use.
They could be drugstore or heath food store lines.
Many people are fans of regular olive or coconut oil.
Whatever you use I think the main thing is to remove your make up and to keep you skin moisturized.

Always use Sunscreen!
It has been added to many formula's and is easy to use.
I like the Eminence sunscreen with the built in brush.

I brush and floss my teeth at least twice a day.
This Sonic Care toothbrush has improved my gum health in 4 short months.
The dental hygienist was amazed!
She said if I kept this up for the next 20 years my gums would not deteriorate!

I love the idea of having healthy gums
as I read somewhere that gum disease is linked to heart problems.

Keep active
find something that you love to do and immerse yourself in it.

There are many things that we can do to maintain our appearance and stay healthy...
I have just touched on a few...
this post just scratched the surface of a very large topic.

Please feel free to chime in with your own hints and thoughts...
we are all in this journey together.

Embrace beauty in all it's forms...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. You have touched on some very thought provoking topics. Maintaining a home and garden as we age, is a problem I deal with everyday...being alone makes it much more difficult. At some point I know that I will have to move from a place that I love, but that is probably the same with everyone. I guess that the idea is to try and enjoy it all while we can.

    I have become a big fan of coconut oil, I slather it on every night and I love it! Otherwise Retin A and a good sunscreen are absolute necessities.

    1. Have you considered hiring someone to help you in your garden? You could oversee what they do and work side by side if you want.
      As far as staying in our homes as we age I think we all face this issue at some point...I just hope that Mr. HB and I know when it is time to downsize before we let things go too far! Aging gracefully is very much my goal these days!

  2. There's no such thing as a work-free house, whether four or 104. Your humble abode looks mighty good in your photos. I wish we had reliable folks who we could hire to do our outside maintenance, like washing the house and gutters. There's so many chores that are almost getting to be too much. I'll never hire someone who isn't insured. This is after my mother hired a man through the seniors centre to clean the gutters. Long story short, he climbed up on the one story roof, fell, broke his leg and sued her. Her insurance went way up.

    Based on how great you look, the signs of aging are being tardy with you. I still haven't found the special products that cure all my many flaws. I do wear a quality sunscreen year round. I don't count on a blended moisturizer, you don't know if it's a broad spectrum.

    The one product I like for everyday is dr. Brandt Pores No More. It doesn't hide everything but is light and helps disguise a few flaws.

    Perfume is almost non-existent now that so many places have zero scent rules.

    Sonicare toothbrush - I just bought one too and like it much better than the other brand.

    1. I read about that Dr. Brandt product...sounds like it works well for you.
      Hiring only Insured companies and workers is really great is unfortunate that your mother found herself involved in a lawsuit...friends of ours had a similar experience with a roofer.

  3. How interesting! Pray tell how the Sonic Care (Philips?) toothbrush has improved gum health! Is it used for helping with stopping receding gum problems? Claire

    1. Claire, My gums have been receding for the last 10 years and I have had to go 4 times a year for cleaning appointments to keep the problem in check...I wanted to avoid having gum surgery which involves grafting tissues and is very very expensive!
      I brushed with a manual toothbrush and flossed everyday but nothing seemed to work to improve the health of my gums until I started using this Sonic Care toothbrush...and it has really improved my gum health.

  4. P.S. Which model do you use? "Diamond Clean" or "Flexcare Platinum" or "Healthy White"? I see the "Diamond Clean" model selling for around US$250 a unit!

    1. We have the Diamond Sonic Care...
      yes it is expensive! Definitely an investment in our health.

    2. Do you use all the features of the Diamond Sonic Care? What I mean is, from hindsight, would you pick the same model or do you think the "Flexcare Platinum" would have suffice? I usually buy the most deluxe models of these things but never use all the features! Just to be clear, hope you are not endorsing their product for a fee. My dentist said that gum recession is not reversible! You can arrest the recession but not reverse it.

    3. Thank you anon, it seems I am not the only one who is getting tired of these sponsored posts

    4. Btw, you cannot reverse receding gums, just like you cannot mend split ends, ( you need to have a haircut)
      Stating that this brand will reverse or improve receding gums is nonsense, hostess I suggest you stick to posting pics of flowers, because these thinly veiled sponsored posts are insulting to your readers

    5. I have no experience with the Sonic Flexcare system so I cannot comment...perhaps you can?
      My dentist and the hygienist were pleased with the gums as they have firmed up since my last appointment and are looking much healthier...
      I did not exaggerate, I merely stated that my gums had improved...
      as I have said before anon If I rave about anything on my blog it is purely my own enthusiasm...nothing more...and I love to share good things with my included...and if my posts are insulting readers I am sure that they will just delete me from their feed and move on...

  5. Right now we have a new leak. I wanted to finish decorating but leaks take precedence. It can get overwhelming BC my to do lists get bigger and I just sit on my chair looking st the list!!! I now have a calendar with appointments so I can glance at it rather than going thru emails and I've found that helps.

    1. I cannot agree more, water leaks take precedence over most home improvement projects...sounds to me like you have a very good system.
      To Do Lists help me immensely,

  6. I have tried all the products, both costly and drug store variety. I have been using good quality olive oil as cleanser/ moisturizer and orange blossom water for toning for the past two years. I exfoliate at least twice a week with a homemade sugar scrub. I have to say my skin is healthy and glowing and I have received many compliments, however what works for one person may not work for another. Don't get me started on home maintenance, as much as we try, does it ever "all" get done???

    1. I agree with you... home maintenance is never finished...once we complete one project there are several new ones that are added to the list!
      Janet at The Gardener's Cottage is a fan of olive oil too...she works in a spa and her skin looks beautiful. Compliments would reinforce your dedication to your skincare regime. A glowing complexion is a sign of good health must eat well and drink lots of water.

  7. Life does bring new challenges as we go into our senior years. We are in the 'transition to retirement' phase, which means a bit less work, a lot less income! Home maintenace is an ongoing one for us too, as we try to maintain our home in good condition for eventual sale and downsizing. Next on our list is an electrician, to replace a number of light fittings which have decided to 'retire'. Your skin care routine is very interesting. I always had oily skin and never used moisturisers or oils, but advancing years have certainly changed that. Now I try to remember face, arms, hands, legs, feet, hair - they all need regular infusions of something :)
    That pink flower is fantastic!

    1. Sounds like you are staying on top of your home maintenance...and looking forward to retirement.
      I have had dry skin most of my adult life...I blame it on my thyroid condition.
      I heard that women with oilier skin have fewer lines and your experience would you agree?

    2. Well, I don't really have lines on my face, just a few crepey ones on my neck from when I lost weight. So maybe that does come from oily skin - I never really thought about it :)

    3. Sounds like there are added benefits to the skin's appearance when it retains moisture, whether by nature, or the added lotions and potions that we buy and apply...

  8. In our West Coast climate, exterior maintenance is so important! Our ageing cedar siding (1970's ) style is being replaced and our balconies redesigned. Even apartment living can involve costly maintenance. Large trees are being replaced and landscaping changed to reflect more native-like plant choices. I renovated our interior just before I retired (5 years ago) and I am seeing a need for a bit of touchup already.

    As for me, I am fortunate to be have naturally unlined skin but I use Avène (now available at Shoppers' and Caudalie regularly on my face and a drugstore brand on my body.
    I assign myself some tasks to accomplish each day and try for a balance of physical and intellectual activity. This stage of our ageing definitely does involve regular maintenance.

    1. I love your comment about "balancing physical and intellectual activities!"
      That is such wise advice...and I agree that your skin is very youthful...good genes or diligent regime and healthy habits? Perhaps a bit of both!

  9. Ageing is certainly bringing me a lot of challenges health appearance wise.
    I find it difficult to know what to wear loathe shopping and will find any excuse not to go. But the pickings are slim in my wardrobe for our Autumn Winter so I need to get motivated or just stay home and become a hermit. I do cleanse and moisturize my skin every night and have my haircut every 5 weeks.
    Home maintenance is less of an issue for me as I do enjoy it and have a husband who feels the same. ( not all jobs are appealing) Hostess you know from my instagram feed I have been painting my kitchen cupboards after 12 and a half years. The doors have been easy enough as they are on my dining room table but the body of the cupboards more problematic as laying and kneeling on the floor has been a challenge. Luck me I have arthritis. Once this job is finished I need to get out into my garden and cut it back so the list is never ending but on the upside I'll never be bored.

    1. I read Jennifer's blog...she is a stylist...A well styled Life is her blog and she has some great posts on clothing for those over 50. Janice at The Vivienne Files blog has some great combinations and there must be oodles of other bloggers who would be worth a visit to give you some ideas and inspiration...I hope you choose to go out and not hibernate!
      I have been following your IG feed and it is fun to see your progress.

  10. I am RIGHT there with you...........everything on YOUR LIST hits HOME with ME!
    As for the LILACS a retired florist just left a comment on my blog post about roses......maybe it TOO would help with THE LILACS?I too have never had luck with LILACS LASTING better off on the TREE!
    GOOD ADVISE...........WE need to keep sharing cause WE are ALL in this TOGETHER!XX
    WE need to PAINT our home too this year......I want to change the color ITALIAN wants the SAME OLD COLOR........white!

    1. We are staying with the same colours as they are heritage colours and we have a heritage listed home. I Wish you luck on persuading your husband to change the colour of your husband has the architectural artistic eye so I usually go with his expertise.
      Will pop over now and see what the florist has to say...

  11. I want to tell you how much your blog means to me. Each time I read it, it seems like I am sitting in the kitchen, enjoying a pot of tea with a favourite sister. Thank you so much for the joy you share with us.

    1. My goodness kind of you to leave such a sweet comment...I am not sure that I am so deserving of it but will graciously say thank you.

  12. What a great post - I love to hear you and your gentle readers home and self care regimes - so interesting. Your blog is lovely - always interesting - helpful topics for every day life...I saved a post you wrote once on marriage, and how you and your Mister have kept your marriage happy, and I read it over and over. I look forward to your posts - always enjoy every one of them ! Thank you for a wonderful blog....

    1. Oh Patricia I have forgotten that post...
      I must go back into the archives and have a look.
      Many of the blogs that I read seem so professionally written and so well researched that I am often surprised when I get a compliment on a post.
      I write from my own life and experience and when I publish a post I never know how it will be received...

  13. I use some of the same products I've used since the 70's and it just occurred to me, that I never use sunscreen unless I'm lying in the sun. I do use a BB creme or foundation, and I know it has sunscreen.
    There's always something that needs to be attended to in my life; either personal, business, or house related. I do what I can during the day; but come 5pm. I try to let it go, relax, and enjoy the evening.

    1. You have a large home and a vibrant business and I am sure that keeps you busy and takes up a lot of your energy. I like your habit of relaxing every day at 5pm and focusing on enjoying the evening.

  14. I don't have much success with lilacs. I always cut them for my sister's birthday dinner and never do it before the day itself because they so often droop and crisp within 24 hours. One thing that works for me is to cut an X into the bottom of the stems about three inches up. Then I dip them in a floral product called Quick Dip that helps stems rapidly take in water. But they just don't like to be cut! Your white lilacs are lovely. I've been meaning to plant some white ones! I also love the deep purple. Though I think my favorite is the classic President Grevy.

    1. I have tried that trick too...even bashing the stems with a mallet....well actually my rolling pin but not with the Quick Dip product.
      Mary Anne Komar has left a comment and I am going to try her trick and see if it works...Lilacs are one of my favourite Spring blooms...are you hosting a party for her this Spring?

    2. Yes! Had a large dinner for her tonight. It rare for her to have a Friday night free so I'm glad it worked out. I used five dozen roses on the table! No lilacs as my lilacs are terribly underwhelming this year.

    3. Sounds and details would be wonderful...
      I made banana bread and rhubarb crisp today...I could have picked some lilacs for you.

  15. Ok here is the secret to all woody stemmed flowers! Put some water on to boil, get a hammer and beat the heck out of the stems for about 2-3 inches and then submerge in the water that has just been simmering and off the burner, the beaten part that is and leave for about 5 minutes then place in vase with room temp h2o. Hydrangeas too❣💐🌱🌿🌺🌸🌷🌹

    1. Thank you Mary Anne...I am going to try this trick!

  16. Leslie, I love to paint and scraping to prep would be no problem on a lovely historic home. All I would need would be a few snacks/coffee plus conversation with the hostess of course! Are you changing the bungalow's colors?

    1. Oh my sounds like you are energetic and enthusiastic!
      Our Humble Bungalow colours are going to remain the same...the colours are heritage approved and we like the combination.

  17. Maintenance can be somewhat of a burden. Then I stop and think, "What else would we do with our time?" As I age I find that somethings can be eliminated and others just require more time. I cut some lilacs yesterday and they had to be tossed out this morning. Too bad some of your followers can't show up to help on the house prep and painting! We could have a painting party!

  18. Oh that would be above and beyond the call of duty!
    If it were one room and painting party might be fun but the work that goes into an entire house? I find that thought daunting...
    Mary Anne has a great trick for lilacs and hydrangeas...please look at her comment above...I am going to try it and will report back!

  19. My daughter's fiancé just bought a house and we have been busy over there helping to paint the whole thing. They scheduled a painting party, but only one couple showed up besides us!! Lots of work, but wow, does the house look so much better.
    We live in a big house; I'd like to move, my husband wants to stay. So we are embarking on some remodeling projects -- then he'll want to move and I'll want to stay! Anyway, lots of work, really, no matter what size house you're in. Ongoing really.
    My dermatologist told me always use SPF 45 or more because they put on three layers when they do the ratings. In other words, one layer of SPF 45 is really only SPF 15. Which he says is fine. But don't count on your foundation with SPF 20 to really protect you. I didn't know that.
    I love using oils, and use argan and almond oils. And I'm a huge list-maker!

    1. Oh well your dermatologist just corroborated what the gal at the Spa advised me to do...that is why I put sunscreen on after my moisturizer and before my Jane Iredale powder which has an SPF of 20.
      My husband is still working and does not want to downsize either...your projects will make a difference and you may jut fall in love with the improvements and as you mention you will want to stay! The projects will add to the salability and price of your home when you both agree that the time is right you can sell.
      Our bungalow is very small and with the ongoing general maintenance we are kept busy making sure that it does not deteriorate beyond repair...I like to think that we are being responsible stewards of a listed property by "keeping up appearances!"

  20. We are in the midst of some maintenance projects here in the new-old cottage. There will be 200 amp service and there has been a new outlet here, a new light fixture there - a range hood fan and under-cupboard lighting. There's always something. As for the face.....well, it is what it is. I moisturize the wrinkles and wear bright lipstick!

    1. Sounds like things are moving right along at the Pondside Cottage!
      I think the task lighting under the cupboards is a brilliant idea...
      My two favourite "accessories: these days are bright lipstick and a smile.

  21. I really enjoyed this post, and have just read through all the comments. I started using a Sonicare toothbrush about four years ago and I love it. Mine isn't the diamond model, but it does a great job so I probably won't upgrade until this one dies. House upkeep can be daunting. It is one of the reasons I was so happy to downsize to our cottage a few years ago. My husband has some health issues and isn't able to do very much around the house, and I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with things myself.

  22. I never thought that a toothbrush could make such a huge difference to our gum health. You were wise to downsize and keep things manageable. That is always in the back of my make a move before things go sideways!

  23. Thanks for your post, Leslie. After years of only needing to see the hygienist sporadically, I know have to visit her quarterly as in "old age" my teeth started not clearing the plaque efficiently as before. Just one of so many inefficiencies of my aging body :-(. My husband has been on the naughty step with our hygienist recently and was read the riot act, being told that an unhealthy mouth can trigger a heart attack, as you mentioned, and diabetes. News to us. We are brushing and flossing like mad now!

  24. I'm a big fan of home maintenance. I try to do something every year so it's always a work in process. I like a routine for personal care. By evening, I'm tired and I need a no-brainer routine in place. Eminence is lovely. I use a lot of Vichy too.