Generation X Gets Dressed

Today I realized that I wrote in the Sundressed blog entry that I would talk about how reading this book changed everything in my Generation X 50s life.

The fashion we dress in and how we fashion ourselves and our lives and the makeup we wear and how we make up our minds to live the way we choose–all of this I’ve been thinking about.

It started with the changes I decided to make aligned with buying natural fabrics and branched out to ideas I had after reading other books too.

What I’ve started to do is look to see the fabric content of the clothes I’m buying. Preferring to buy 100 percent cotton blouses. Looking to buy a 100 percent wool coat to replace the houndstooth winter coat I’ve had for 11 years.

Alas, I lift weights so the training pants I buy and wear are synthetic material. This is one concession that is not eco-friendly.

Recently I checked a book out of the library titled Wabi-Sabi Home. The other guide I liked better that I checked out was Wabi-Sabi Welcome.

In only one regard I’m a fan of the Japanese Wabi-Sabi ethic: it’s predicated on valuing and flaunting the imperfect. The cracks in objects that are soldered together in gold to highlight the cracks.

In this regard it pays to talk about having a Wabi-Sabi wardrobe. Not thinking that as a woman we have to dress flawlessly with a full face of makeup.

One year ago I decided that in a roomful of women with obvious makeup seen covering their faces I’m going to stick with my eyeliner and lipstick.

As I’ve gotten older (and not gotten glowing performance reviews even though I’m a hard worker) I no longer care what people think of me and what I say or write or how I look or what I do.

I was born in 1965–the first year of Generation X. This accounts for why I think differently and see things differently from Baby Boomers.

My sincere hope is that I can change one reader’s life for the better at a time by writing what I do in blog entries..

My aim in talking about living my life Left of the Dial and being a Girl on the Left is that a devotion to doing your own thing is rooted in this firm belief I have:

There is no one–or any–“right” way to live act think feel dress and love.

Having empathy and being open-minded is the secret sauce in relationships. Too often stigma–in whatever form it appears–is baked into how a person interacts with you.

The hating and judging that goes on has been going on for too long.

This is why I chose to go left when everyone else goes “right.”

There is nothing right about enacting a law that makes ESG investing illegal. There is nothing right about fracking. Nor anything right and justified in building oil pipelines over sacred tribal lands.

My hope is that by keeping this blog I can give readers the courage to act true to yourself, think for yourself, and dress however you like.

Decide for yourself how you want to live. There’s nothing wrong with any of us. Even though the media darlings that spout divisive rhetoric would have us feel guilty and ashamed for daring to exist.

My goal has always been that this blog would be a judgment-free zone.

I’ll turn 58 in the spring. I’m too old to spend the rest of what could be a long life caring what people think.

I’ll end here by saying that everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

We should be proud of who we are and what we stand for.

Don’t let anyone who hasn’t met you and broken bread with you dare impose their view of who you are in what they write.

Step away from those books and blogs and platforms.

Beyonce was quoted in a fashion magazine years ago that social media is truly democratic because it allows everyone to have a say.

In a coming blog entry–though I can’t guarantee that it will be the next one–I will talk about how we can all be Advocates for each other and for the planet.

We could all use more love and less critical bashing of who we are and what we stand for.

So I say: if you’re going to wear polyester–by all means do so.

I couldn’t resist the silver-coated pants that called out to me either.

The Financial Feminist

I checked this book out of the library.

Before raving about the guide I’ll bring up one glaring issue.

Author Tori Dunlap talks about ESG investing–Environmentally and Socially Responsible Investment Funds.

The Republicans in the U.S. government enacted a law to make ESG investing illegal.

In Effect you cannot decide for yourself what companies to invest your hard-earned money in.

These kinds of “Social Choice” funds do not invest money in fossil fuel companies, gun manufacturer, or the weapons industry among other businesses like these.

It would’ve become illegal to invest in companies that put people and the planet before the greed that creates deplorable conditions for workers everywhere.

LL Cool Joe–President Joe Biden–did one thing right. He vetoed the act that made ESG Investing illegal.

So as of today we can invest our money where we’d like if we so choose to invest our money in the stock market.

Should a Republican become president we can kiss this free choice goodbye.

Other than this reality that I was compelled to point out Tori Dunlap’s book should be required reading for those of us–even clueless guys–who need this kind of financial help.

Some of us love balancing our accounts and are aware of exactly what our account balances are on any given day. Not everyone needs to read The Financial Feminist.

Either way I recommend this book to everyone.

The difference is Tori Dunlap’s tone of voice is warm and empathetic. Unlike other personal finance authors she asks you not only to record one month’s worth of purchases. Dunlap tells you to write down why you bought the items and how you felt when you paid for them.

The second part that I liked was the chapter where you create financial goals with a mission and timeline that you want to achieve and how to fund this objective.

After that I stopped reading the book and skimmed only the interviews she featured with other women.

One woman was African American and stated point-blank that if she didn’t budget enough money for grooming her credibility would be trashed interacting with employers.

In one other finance book I read and can recommend the author claimed you didn’t need to adhere to a budget at all. Which makes sense. His belief was that you can use your money “to have anything you want–you just can’t have everything.”

So for some of us we’re going to splash cash on makeup at Sephora. Others are naturally inclined to shop at Walmart for Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore.

The beef that Tori Dunlap has is that women are told to save money and stop spending frivolously. Men are told to invest money and accrue wealth. This fact is evident in the kinds of results that are given when women and men search on this topic on the internet. Different methods are shown for women than the ones for men in the search results.

I check out a lot of personal finance books from the library. First I check to see if a woman wrote the book. In one guide I checked out a woman told women readers to deduct car loan payments on the tax refund when you used your car for a business. Should every women want to be an entrepreneur? How is that advice supposed to help ordinary woman?

The Financial Feminist is the best book of its kind. Even for readers who are shrewd investors or veritable wealth wizards I recommend reading this Tori Dunlap book.

I’ll end here with the best personal finance books I’ve read:

Balance: How to Invest for Happiness, Health, and Wealth. Andrew Hallam, 2022.

Good Money Revolution: How to Make More Money to Do More Good. Derrick Kinney, 2022.

Money Strong: Your Guide to a Life Free of Financial Worries. Liz Davidson 2023.

Simple Money: A No-nonsense Guide to Personal Finance. Tim Maurer 2016.

Everything You Know About Money is Wrong: Overcome the Financial Myths Keeping You from the Life You Want. Karen Ramsay, 2001.

Happy Money. The Science of Happier Spending. Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton,  2014.

The Next Millionaire Next Door. Thomas J. Stanley & Sarah Stanley Fallaw, 2020.

The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read. Daniel R. Solin, 2010.

We Should All Be Millionaires: A Women’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power. Rachel Rodgers, 2021.

Invest Like You Give a Damn: Make Money, Change the World, Sleep Well at Night. Marc de Sousa Shields, 2017.

Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing: How to Live Your Values and Achieve Your Financial Goals with ESG, SRI, and Impact Investing. Larry E. Swedroe 2022.

Again the Republicans in the U.S. government are trying to make this kind of investing illegal. Thus this book might become obsolete if a Republican becomes president.

The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+. Suze Orman, 2020.

The only Suze Orman book I recommend. She reduced an adult man to tears in a personal finance DVD where she was giving advice to audience members. She berated him for going to school to get a degree to have a new career. She told him he could’ve done fine in life by remaining a waiter for the rest of his life. What if he wanted to do something else? I was unemployed and had no job when I was back to school to obtain a Masters degree. Suze Orman is against doing this. Take what she says with a grain of salt. In her 50+ retirement guide she appeared to redeem herself with solid advice.

Why Should White Guys Have All the Wealth? How You Can Become a Millionaire Starting from the Bottom. Cedric Nash 2023


The 2023 book above I checked out of the library.

The author advocates for wearing natural fabrics that make us feel good wearing them.

She picks up where Maxine Bedat left off in Unravelled: The Life and Death of a Garment.

Lucianne Tonti explores the production process of wool, cotton, silk, linen and other natural fabrics.

How the creating buying and long-term wear of these clothes can be made truly sustainable with regenerative farming of flax cotton and sheep.

After reading Sundressed I knew that as sound as my habits have become I could do more going forward.

Dismayed I was to realize a costly J.Crew coat I bought (at a reduced yet not cheap cost) was not 100 percent wool.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about how reading Sundressed sparked me to reexamine nearly everything going on in my Generation X fifties life.

Sometimes it takes reading a book or overhearing a conversation on the train to get a light bulb to go off in your head.

Feminist AF

Buy or check out of the library the book above.

It should be essential reading whatever your age race or gender if you want your eyes opened.

The book is geared to Brown and Black teenage girls to get empowered.

I checked it out of the library and read it in two hours. What an eye opener.

Though if you’re not in the demographic of the readers for this book perhaps you know a young girl you can gift this book to.

What you don’t see exists whether you can see it or not from your Point of View.

There’s two sides to every story.

We should each of us bring our truth to light.

In New York City it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against a worker because of the person’s hairstyle.

Across America high school dress codes prohibit girls from wearing their hair in box braids.

In multiple U.S. states laws were passed making free speech a crime when you’re talking about what a Black author wrote in a book.

Summer Boismer a teacher was fired because she gave her students the link to the Brooklyn Public Library Books Unbanned Teen e-book library card application.

The Free Service allows teens 13-21 in all 50 states to check out e-book versions of books that have been banned in Texas and elsewhere.

Apply for the Free Teen Books Unbanned Library Card or give this link to a young person who would be interested..

This is America: Land of the Free because of the Brave authors librarians and educators who are acting to free everybody to think for ourselves.

Intellectual Freedom is the cornerstone of public libraries everywhere. Or should be when Conservative gatekeepers limit access to books and knowledge.

Feminist AF? I’ve always been.

Calling Out Cowards

Before I form an opinion of a person I read the book they’ve written. I want to decide for myself what I think of them. Instead of relying on hearsay.

It’s time for calling out cowards. “Cancel Culture” is likely not the right avenue to address what’s going on. A person who opens their mouth to speak with hate will cancel themselves right then.

Before I formed an impression of Candace Owens I read her book Blackout.

The Black Conservative pundit wrote in Blackout that it’s okay that police officers shoot and kill Black people as the number of Blacks that cops kill is a tiny fraction of the total number of people killed

What? I didn’t learn that kind of math in a textbook.

The fact that a person of any color would think that it’s okay that a person like Breonna Taylor was killed steams me more than a cappuccino.

On an ordinary day I choose not to talk to anyone about the medical condition I have which is technically a disability. The kind of disorder where if I were agitated and mentally unstable the cops arriving on the scene would shoot me dead.

Realizing that I’m fortunate to have recovered and be doing well I don’t take kindly to Candace Owens writing that it’s okay for cops to kill people. (Read Blackout–I’m not making up or inventing that she believes this is okay.)

Sadly, there are too many people like her that shrug off what cops do and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

Individuals with emotional illnesses–of every color–have been and continue to be shot dead when cops arrive on the scene.

The murder of Eric Garner on Bay Street by police officer Daniel Pantaleo upset me the most. Precisely because the DA claimed it was Garner’s medical condition that caused his death. Not the chokehold.

In this way my disability could be used against me in a court of law.

Bills are being sponsored in the House and Senate regarding police reform.

I recommend you write to your Senator and Congressperson to ask them to do the right things.

Get Organized Month

The truth is too painful for me to want to write about what’s gone on right now. I will talk about my take on this in a future blog entry.

Today I will stick with the original topic I wanted to post on how January is Get Organized Month.

At the end of this blog I will link to the Dressing Well(tm) website. Founder and President of Organization by Design, Inc. Mary Lou Andre featured in her latest video there must-have organizing products.

Andre has created an industry out of talking about dressing in clothes.

One tip she gave I paid attention to after having resisted for years–using acrylic storage. On a recent trip to a Burlington Factory Store I bought for $4.99 each two of these bins. One is bigger and has one tray. The other has 3-divided trays.

The one bigger tray holds 3 wool and flannel winter scarves filed front to back like envelopes with their folded-over sides on top. The divided bin stores 3 pairs of winter gloves.

Cheaper acrylic storage than to be found at the Container Store.

The trick I’ve discovered is to set your limit up front to decide the number of items in an accessories category that you can sanely manage the upkeep of.

Using the Marie Kondo method I touched items I haven’t used at all or wore only once. Into the donation bags they were tossed.

I’ve come to realize that I. Am Not. A Scarf Person.

Along with culling my accessories I’m donating in like-new condition houseware items I didn’t use at all either.

The true sanity-saver is to keep on hand only the things you use throughout the year. I’ve seen firsthand that it’s overwhelming to need to pull out or move aside or rearrange the things you don’t use simply to get to the one item you’re reaching for.

The things you store need breathing space around them.

I study and practice feng shui. It’s my conviction that a closet or drawer or cabinet overstuffed with things that haven’t been used in years causes stagnation.

The flow of chi (pronounced chee) is the life energy in your house or apartment. Blocked chi can drain us people living in these spaces of energy too.

I’ve found that by lightening my load of what I keep on hand I feel more energetic too. This is what it’s like when I got to the point where the only clothes in my closet and drawers are the ones I use every week.

You can watch the Dressing Well(tm) YouTube videos here: Dressing Well(tm) website.

With all the ongoing injustice going on in society it’s my contention that taking a break from the news by doing what gives us joy is warranted.

Watching these videos puts a smile on my face.

I hope followers of my blog can take joy in what I write.

Celebrating Ourselves

Let’s have a party.

Bravery is called for in the post-COVID world. I’m writing a second memoir. As an Author I’ve grappled with the tone of voice of the new book.

Then I decided: to show by celebrating myself that readers have permission to light up the world with your greatness.

I wondered at how Kylie—or is it Kendall—Jenner has 125K Instagram followers.

Then I understood how a superstar could have hundreds of thousands of fans:

A person like Lizzo or Beyonce is not afraid to be themselves and express their feelings by singing songs and speaking out.

They do what a lot of us are afraid to do—flaunt what they’ve got—and we adore them for doing this.

Why can’t you and I revel in ourselves to the people we interact with? Like the Beastie Boys sang we have to “fight for our right” to party as our original selves.

At the end of the day I know I wouldn’t be happy living as a pale imitation copycat of someone else.

Let’s bring ourselves to light.

I’m not a superstar like Kendall. I’m a tiny person with a big mouth who has only 120 followers.

Getting a kick out of blogging because in the end it’s a way to make a positive difference in readers’ lives.

Blogging is a way to bring people together who wouldn’t meet IRL.

Perhaps in my humble words I can give you the courage to Celebrate Yourself.

To be continued.

The Most Magical Time of Year

It’s said that the holidays are the Most Magical Time of the Year.

My horoscope had foretold that there would be peace among everyone gathering at the table this season.

For Christmas I was given a gift card. I figured out how to use it on the internet to buy rainbow moonstone stud earrings.

As 2023 nears I’m grateful to end this year with renewed gratefulness for my good fortune.

I urge readers to live with gratitude. Even for the inevitable trials we all face I say: be grateful for the hard times as well as the beauties.

2023 I envision as the Year of Reflection. The time to examine where we want to go and what we want to do.

My New Year’s Resolution is to buy a skateboard. To practice rolling on the asphalt roadway in the park. At 13 years old I had a red skateboard. Rolling down the hilly streets where I lived gave me joy.

Not doing an ollie or other explosive move I simply loved rolling along.

Remembering this short-lived hobby I got the idea to buy a skateboard. Why can’t a 57-year old woman skate? is what I thought.

A Generation X girl living in her Third Chapter I’m on a kick of self-reinvention. My motto is risk, fail, rise up, repeat.

What gave us joy when we were younger should not be ruled out as a hobby in the 25 years after 50.

Too often we become adults and abandon the happy-makers because we think we should do what everyone else tells us we’re supposed to do to be successful and be accepted.

No–I was miserable living in the mainstream in the years I thought I should try to have a normal life.

Decades later realizing that the only way I would be happy was to live my life Left of the Dial.

In this last week of 2022 I urge readers to join me in renouncing the tried-and-often-(not)-true approaches to living our lives.

For my birthday I’m going to buy a skateboard. Watch YouTube videos on beginner skateboarding techniques.

Watch out as this Skate Girl rolls in the park in the spring.

I hope my blogging gives you the courage to try something new (or return to something that gave you joy).

This really is the Most Magical Time of the Year when we’re getting ready for 2023 and the possibilities that beckon.

Risk, fail, rise up, repeat. If you ask me that’s the only way to live going forward.

Pretty Good Advice

In her book Pretty Good Advice: For People Who Dream Big and Work Harder Leslie Blodgett wrote: “When you see beauty you become beautiful.”

The author is the founder of Bare Minerals the makeup line. I recommend you buy her book which is why I quote from it.

As the year ends I’ll quote another beauty–South Korean model Sora Choi who was quoted:

“To me, beauty is when a person is living and embodying their truth, no matter what that is.”

On the cusp of 58 I’ve learned that no one else gets to speak for me. Only I can speak my truth, or else others will impose on the world their view of who they think I am.

2023 I envision as the year when everyone is free to live and embody our truth freely and fearlessly.

We should be acting to lift each other up. Not cutting each other down. I stopped reading editorials because the hateful rhetoric only serves to divide people instead of bringing us together.

Believing is seeing. Believing that others are beautiful you will see the beauty in everyone.

It starts will looking in the mirror and feeling that you are beautiful.

I’m no saint. I won’t be exercising this week. I view this lapse like taking a holiday vacation week.

If I could give my own Pretty Good Advice I would end here with:

The two foolproof ways to achieve any goal–even a New Year’s resolution coming up–are to understand that change will happen incrementally. And that compromise is called for when you can’t do what you want to do in one day or in one week.


It’s time to unshackle ourselves from self-limiting beliefs. Internalizing shame about who we are will rob us of the energy to set goals and go after them with gusto.

2023 is going to be even better than 2022 was. I firmly believe that whatever happens in our lives we can live through it and emerge stronger and better.

Hiding our light is no way to live. Beating ourselves up because we feel like we’re a failure is no way to live.

I urge followers to see the beauty in yourself and everyone else.

Together we can move mountains of hate. We can create the world we would like to see.

More coming up on what I’m doing to shift the needle toward love and forgiveness.

No Hello Kitty

The Italian written on the Davines holiday box stated the hair products were for capelli indisciplinati. The Italian word for frizzy hair sounded like undisciplined–which described my incorrigible hair.

So, I was willing to save up the $75 to buy the shampoo conditioner and leave-in treatment that might just help my hair blossom into gorgeous after all these years.

Who exactly did I want to look beautiful for?: Every guy I sent a message to on OKCupid ghosted me after my second response. I got the idea that circa 2022 things hadn’t changed: It was okay for a woman to open her mouth to kiss not speak.

My photogenic face compelled men to click “like” on my profile. A few guys went further and sent messages. What’s with the “likes” guys? If you like a woman, send her a message–don’t be coy. We’re not communicating via the Pony Express–this is 2022.

I got the idea that they were shocked when a pretty face had something intelligent to say. Not what they were expecting Cupid to shoot them with?

Getting ghosted. Every. Single. Time. I got the hint and canceled my account.

Not relishing spending an hour or two every day reading match profiles to see who I wanted to send messages to. Acting as a caregiver to your mother you have no energy or time left over to conduct love combat in the hopes of getting one man in your scope.

Pat Benatar got it right: “Love is a Battlefield.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

Living my life Left of the Dial I’ll use the hair products for my own joy and love.

What was I going to do instead of hunting for a boyfriend? I’ve begun sending emails to my Republican congressperson asking her to do the right thing on humanitarian causes.

One January night 12 years ago I attended a candlelight MLK Vigil for Peace. Five of us–I had thought hundreds would show up–stood in a triangle park holding lit votive candles.

My candle fell on the cement path and broke. After giving the host of the vigil my email account ever since then I’ve been sent in my inbox pleas to act on social justice issues.

Ever since Mr. Toupee–my nickname for Donald Trump–became president the emails have escalated. LL Cool Joe–President Biden–has been no saint either.

Sending messages to Nicole CacaCola–my moniker for Malliotakis the Republican who won the election–is my way of participating in our Democracy.

A girl in the world who’s an Activist I can’t get any play on OKCupid. The men want to Meet Cute. Then when they find out I’m No Hello Kitty they bolt.

This holiday season since I have no love interest–I’m going to wash the men right out of my hair–and wash and condition my hair with the Davines products.

What’s cooking in my Protest Kitchen? Peace Love and Happiness.

This is what the world needs. We don’t need endless wars, bipartisan bickering, and the ongoing hate.

Have something to say. This is what I would tell readers: use your lovely lips to speak out.

Our time is here. We have the opportunity to change society for the better.

Whether or not our hair is frizzy. And whether or not other people like that we have loud mouths.