I AM EVELYNE. I AM

THE CORNFIELD

1945

Evelyne died when she was five. There in the August cornfield with open blue skies above, her life ended. She was on her back, trying to catch her breath. Each short gasp bringing in the pungent smells of fear, dirt and him. Evelyne struggled as he easily pinned her tiny body between the corn stocks with his teenage frame. She wanted her mother. She wanted him to get off. Her cries were silent and not heard. Not by anyone. Not even the crows casting shadows over them as they scavenged for food.

“Don’t tell your mother, or she’ll spank you hard,” he said zipping up his Levi’s. Evelyne could still hear the sound of the stalks swishing and crackling as he walked away pushing them aside. She lay there in her rumpled play dress, sobbing in fear until his steps faded away and only silence was heard. It ends there. That’s all she ever would remember of that summer’s day while playing hide-and-seek with her cousins on Grandpa’s farm, and life as any little girl should be allowed to have, well, for Evelyne, it disappeared when she was five. I am Evelyne.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

All Rights Reserved

( Excerpt from work in progress Blue Daffodils by Sandra Hart )

STOCKHOLM STREET STYLE

Scandi-Chic

Ooh

You can dance

You can jive

Having the time of your life

Ooh, see that girl

Watch that scene

Dig in the dancing queen

ABBA Dancing Queen

Whenever I used to think of Sweden, I immediately would think about ABBA, or the popular Swedish retailers IKEA and H& M. I never thought about fashion. Ever.

We all know Europe is famous for its fashion capitals, but until recently many have overlooked Stockholm. In the last few decades, it has emerged as one of the top places to go for a fashion fix, without ever looking like it was really trying. The effortless simplicity of style in Sweden’s capital would be interesting to any fashionista.

Stockholm Street Style from my closet

I began to wonder if I could go into my closet and reproduce outfits that one might see while walking the streets of Stockholm. Needless to say, the effortless street style that Stockholm is so famous for is not about one look in particular, nor is it about wearing certain labels or brands.

Just exactly what is Stockholm Street Style, anyway. Well, it’s about individuality, dressing in a way that brings out your own individual personality in clothes.

The use of the term ‘Scandi-chic’ has increased in recent years. I think it has come to represent a personal sense of style. An ‘ I am dressing for me. I am dressing for comfort’ style.

Just think of IKEA, H&M. Simple and something you can easily put together yourself. Easy and uncomplicated style. A natural sense of style.

Anne-Sofie Back is a trending Swedish designer that is popular both in Sweden as well as London. And, of course, Björn Borg,  is associated with being sporty, creative and innovative. 

Coco Chanel once said, “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”. I think, in Europe, Stockholm has gotten the message and is giving Paris interesting competition.

Sandra Hart • Life Over Sixty With Sandra

YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

An unlikely celebrity caught my attention the other night during the Icon Generation Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night. He offered a bit of information that I give out every week.

“Here’s the thing that I want to share with you guys – Because there’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self – and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself – you’ve got to recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you. And you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive and straight up just being good to people because that matters.” The Rock

Truer words were never spoken. Being your authentic self and being proud of that self. That’s where the magic lies. That is what has always been the most important. So many of us women over sixty sometimes lose our way once the children leave the nest or we retire from our careers. We can feel lost at sea without a rudder.

The beauty industry hasn’t helped. It has capitalized on selling us dreams of products that will keep us young. Fortifying that if we don’t look young we are worthless and undesirable. Not a word about the most important part of who we genuinely are – our inner selves. That is exactly where our beauty has always come from.

Years ago my husband kept talking about a famous race car friend of his who constantly had so many women running after him. In my mind, I envisioned a wildly handsome man. Instead, when I finally met him, my initial reaction was shock in how unattractive I thought he was.

At the time, I was guilty of only superficially reacting to his outer appeal. As I got to know him better, he became more and more attractive and actually quite sexy. His inner beauty was so strong, it radiated and translated into one very handsome and successful man.

That is how strong our inner authentic self – our true self is. We have to believe we are worthy and that we deserve all that life will bring us. Once you find that pot of gold within yourself it’s your responsibility to share it with others. We should not leave anyone behind.

I have often been asked why at my age would I want to be a life coach, or take the time and responsibility of sharing my years of living on Youtube. My answer was given by Dwayne Johnson, I don’t want to leave anyone behind. Everyone deserves to live the best possible life over sixty.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

Lipstick On His Glass

My husband keeps complaining that I leave lipstick on our glasses. He’s ninety-two and I keep reminding him he is a lucky duck at his age to still have a hot woman around to mess up his glassware with a Chanel shade named after him – Arthur.

For Arthur’s ninetieth the children and I took him on a transatlantic round trip on Cunard’s Queen Mary. I found ‘Arthur’ in the Chanel section at the boutique and decided why not. I spent $20,000 on this party for him, why not $50 on me. I love Arthur, but I also love lipstick.

There is something to be said about growing older. Arthur reminds everyone when he gets in and out of trouble with the etiquette police , “Im an old guy.” He can do ‘head scratching’ things and get away with it. Because he is old.

We just had a phone call from friends who have been together for 30 years. She has never been married and he has. She is over 80 and he is younger. She is afraid to fly so they have traveled the world together for thirty years by tramp steamers, cruise ships, trains and car. Now, on his part, that’s love if I have ever heard of it. Arthur would have left me years ago if he for thirty years had to take freighters to get from point A to B when traveling.

For our friends, everything for thirty years seemed just fine. They were both in the together groove without strings attached. They lived in her Manhattan apartment and vacationed in his Pocono house and traveled the world in between. Well, that phone call, they are getting married and we are invited to the wedding. True. We are going to a wedding in July. There is something to be said about growing older and not giving a hoot what others think.

I guess you could think of it as sometimes it takes couples longer than others to realize that they are in love. Forever love.

Hummmm? I wonder. She probably never leaves her lipstick on the drinking glasses. She finally got her man.

Copyright©️ Sandra Hart

FASHION FROZEN

Shedding

I can remember when I lived up north as

soon as I saw the daffodils pop their heads

up in the woods, I knew spring was here and

that I soon would be shedding those outside

layers and replacing them with less and less.

Looking forward to wearing jeans, tees, and

my boho fashions without the layers was

fashion freedom. The ‘me’ I had been hiding

all winter could finally breathe. The fresh

air and sun were the elixirs I looked forward

to as winter closed its doors. Oh, how I loved

summer.

Tropical Fashion

Now that I live in a tropical climate, those

seasonal changes are all but a memory. It’s

maxi dresses, tees, jeans and an uncovered

and fashion free life. The stuff I dreamed of

my whole life has finally come true. I should

be happy, right?

Fashion Challenge

Well, for me, the fashion challenge of

shedding has turned into the fashion

challenge of same old, same old. How does

one not tire of dressing for the same season

all year long, year after year?

For me the answer is trying to be as creative

as possible with what I have. The challenge

is to create different combinations in my

outfit parings and adding unique pieces of

accessories; scarves, belts, necklaces.

Surprise myself by mixing plaids and florals,

shocking unusual color combinations, (pink

and red, purple and yellow) and sequins

and denim.

When buying new, I don’t bring anything

into my wardrobe that can’t be mixed and

matched with what I already have. Even in

an eccentric way, it has to fit in.

Moral of the Story

I suppose the moral of the blog is to be

careful what you wish for. We can’t have it

all, but we surely can make it work for us.

All it takes is just a wee bit of creative

thinking to keep from becoming fashion

frozen in a tropical climate.

Copyright ©️ Sandra Hart

LEVI STRAUSS IS MY HERO

Here she goes again with her weirdo thought process. Jeans? Why on earth jeans today, Sandra?

Well, I say to myself, it may have taken me thirty years to warm up to the idea of wearing ripped jeans, but one is never too old to take a risk and live on the fashion edge, even if you are eighty! Sometimes as hard boiled as I am, I do have room for a change of heart!

1873 BIRTH OF BLUE JEANS

If Levi Strauss were alive today he would be either scratching his head in wonderment or snapping his suspenders with glee if he knew his work pants have become a staple and an American fashion icon.

Even in the 40’s and 50’s it was still a man’s world.

When I was growing up in the ’40’s and 50’s there wasn’t anything ‘jeans’ except the one ‘man-style’ any girl right away knew didn’t include them if she had a waist and hips. In order to get the right hip fit, the waist was miles too big and had to be belted like a paper bag to fit our waists. The legs were too long, so we had to cuff them a few times. But no doubt about it, we all wore jeans, even though it was a man thing.

Men, boys, girls, all shapes and sizes – jeans were in. There was an important exception, though. MOMS. I don’t ever remember one single mother who wore jeans. Ever. It was either slacks or dresses for casual wear.

THE MOM JEANS ARRIVE

Finally in the early 60’s we young mothers were excited when Levi’s finally awoke to the fact that the 40’s girl’s were now grown and were yearning to keep their love of jeans in their fashion choices. The cross over began as jeans were being designed with a woman’s shape in mind.

GRUNGE CHANGED JEANS

Yup! The grunge and rock scene changed how we would think about and wear jeans forever. Everyone’s favorite jeans that we had worn threadbare, but dared not leave the house wearing, suddenly became fashionable. Design houses began to purposely destress and deconstruct jeans into high fashion. Jeans had crossed over the rainbow bridge and found heaven in the fashion halls of the rich, famous and everyday man and woman. Manufacturers and designers found the pot of gold at the end of that beautiful rainbow!

DISTRESSED DENIAL

Well, you probably have already guessed the end of my story. After years of watching women my age and younger, walk around in ‘those things’, I have finally caved in and bought a pair of jeans that I could have destroyed on my own if I had any sense about me.

ELEGANT 80 CONVERT

Yes, they are very comfortable and so I like them because they make me feel hip – yes. Am I gong to buy another pair? Probably not, because the economist in me says I can make my own. I still love my regular grandma jeans, but the best part is that I am now more hip in my grandchildren’s eyes. That is worth all the ripped jeans in the world!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

WE’RE HAVING SOUP

Well, this is going to be a different kind of blog today. My husband just loves my soups and when I interviewed him on my Youtube Channel he just happened to mention my soups. You probably know the result. I have had lots of requests for my soup recipes.

While it is too complicated to put them all on Youtube, I thought I would share a few here in my blog. So here goes!

BASIC VEGETABLE SOUP

2 large carrots

1 turnip

1 parsnip

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

Fresh dill and parsley

5 cups water

1 14 Oz. container of vegetable or beef broth

Clean and chop all ingredients and pot with the broth and water. Turn on high until it comes to a boil and then simmer on medium low until vegetables are soft and the flavors have seasoned. Add pepper and salt to taste.

Additions: Tofu, vegetable sausage, beef, tomato sauce, or meat sausage can be added to basic recipe.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

1 large pkg dried peas

1 onion

2 carrots

1 14 oz. container of vegetable broth

5 cups water

3 Vegetable sausage or 1 ham shank

Salt and pepper to taste

Drain and clean peas. In large pot combine ingredients and bring to boil. Turn on medium low to simmer until peas are soft. When done can be served as is or ladle into a Ninja or blender to purée. Serve hot with a dot of butter on top.

POTATO LEEK SOUP

The first thing to remember when making this soup is to wash the leeks extremely well. Leek leaves can hide dirt very easily, so each, wash, wash. The flavor of leeks is with it, but be sure all the grit between the stems is gone before using.

Depending upon how much soup you want to make here are the ingredients.

6 or 7 Potatoes

1 Leek

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1 tbs olive oil or butter

Thyme, rosemary and 2 bay leaves ( remember to remove bay leaves after cooking)

1 cup of coconut milk or canned milk

1 14 oz. container of vegetable broth or chicken broth.

Dice or slice potatoes and add all other ingredients to pot. You can sauté leeks, onion and garlic if you want, but it is not necessary. Cook until potatoes are soft.

Blend until smooth or leave chunky. Garnish with a pat of butter and parsley.

Enjoy!

Copyright Sandra Hart©️

All Rights Reserved