Why Women Don’t Tell

Disclaimer: this is not a political statement as to who I believe should be the next president of the United States.  This is strictly a story about something that happened to me. Current news events have brought back the memory.

This happened thirty-two years ago.  Thirty-two years ago, I was in the Army Reserves.  Finally, it is time to tell.

Both my ex-husband and I had just returned from active duty tours in Germany, and I was pregnant with our first child.  I was 27 years old.  I had completed my time on active duty and was happy with the choice I had made to be a stay at home mom.  After four years on active duty, I would fulfill the remainder of my military commitment by doing monthly weekend drill with an Army Reserve unit in Louisville, KY, while my husband continued with his active duty career at Ft. Knox, Ky.  He would be attending the Armor Officer’s Advanced Course in Ft. Knox.  I began my time with the reserve unit a few months before our first child was born.

I don’t remember all of the particulars like the exact name of the reserve unit or the exact names of the individuals involved, but I do remember the exact nature of what happened.

Jennifer was born in November of 1984, so this incident occurred sometime around the beginning of 1985.   I was a promotable First Lieutenant when I left active duty.  My reserve unit assignment was in the supply room since I served as a Supply/Property Book Officer while I was on active duty.  That is the person that does all of the supply/equipment requisitioning for the unit and is “accountable” for keeping track of all of the equipment.  The commander of the unit was the person “responsible” for everything.  At least that is how it was when I was on active duty from 1981-1984.  I doubt much has changed where that is concerned.

At any rate, I was in the supply room this morning during drill weekend going over something with another Lieutenant at his desk when the unit’s First Sargent came walking by.  As he walked by, he smacked me squarely on the rear end.  Startled, I jumped up and knee-jerk-reaction punched him in the arm and said something like, “Knock it off! That’s not okay.  I would never walk up to you and grab you!” He smirked and walked away.  He was lucky I didn’t knock his head off his shoulders.

Immediately after the incident, I marched directly to the unit commander’s office; He was a major.  I explained to him that I had been leaning over a desk working with the other Lieutenant when the First Sargent walked in and patted me on the rear end.  The commander chuckled and said, “Oh he just probably meant that in a fatherly way.”

“Excuse me sir, but with all due respect, I am 28 years old.  My father hasn’t done that to me in quite some time.  His behavior was inappropriate and I expect that he will be reprimanded for it.”

I left the commander’s office.  I continued with the rest of my day.  When I got home that evening, I told my husband what had happened.  He was livid to say the least.  He said it was sexual harassment and the commander, if he was doing his job correctly, should appoint an investigating officer.

A few weeks later, I did get a phone call from a woman.  She was a Captain with the reserve unit assigned as the investigating officer relating to the incident.  She came out to our quarters on Ft. Knox and we visited for a while.  I explained to her what happened.  I felt good after the meeting.

Sometime later, I received a phone call from the unit commander.  He explained the investigating officer’s findings to me.  I don’t remember his exact words, but it was something like she had decided I was going through postpartum depression and the incident didn’t really take place.  I was flabbergasted! I hung up without saying a word.  I couldn’t fathom she would come to this conclusion.

I never returned to that reserve unit.  I resigned my commission instead.  I wrote a detailed letter to Military Personnel, explaining the incident.  I said I had never experienced such blatant disrespect while I was on active duty and wasn’t about to start while I was in the Reserves.

Why am I saying something about it now thirty-two years later?  For the same reason so many woman are just now coming out of the woodwork with regard to one of our presidential candidates.  They didn’t come out sooner because who would have believed them.  Nobody believes women when they make these kinds of accusations. When a woman makes a claim of sexual harassment, it is often considered the woman’s fault.

What egregious error did I commit the day it happened to me?  Was it showing up to work?  It couldn’t have been because of what I was wearing.  I was wearing BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniform) with my combat boots.  How sexy is that?  Was it what I was doing?  I was bending over a desk, discussing a work item with a co-worker.  I am even reluctant to say I was bending over a desk as if somehow THAT wasn’t appropriate.  IT HAPPENED!  What could I possibly gain at this point to make up something like this? It happens every day… and will unfortunately happen eventually or it already has happened to all women.

I am sure Karma got the female Captain who investigated the incident, the female captain who was sure to come up with a finding that would promote her career!

There are some foul men out there!  Men who think it is okay to do whatever they want to a woman. Just don’t be bold enough to try it with my daughter or my granddaughter!

Fair warning!

Here is my card today.




Hope you enjoyed what you saw and read today.  Writing is one of my other passions.  I just don’t think I am that good at it.  But I am getting better.  🙂

Until next time…

Happy Stamping!





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GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ Really Works

One would assume that as one grew older the propensity to do dumb things would diminish. Wouldn’t one?  Unfortunately, that is not always true.  The fault is perhaps in the “assuming”.  A wise person once told me never to assume as when one assumes one makes an ass out of you and me (ass-u-me).  Today not only did I assume something, but I also did a dumb thing.

I am here to tell you that the product GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover really works.  Here is how I know.  First, a little background information.

My friends and family (and some of you that have been following me) know that this past May I retired after 21 years of teaching. In addition, you know that when an individual retires he/she must learn to live with less discretionary income.  I began to make this transition of learning to live with less about a year ago.  I took stock in what I spent every month and reset my priorities.  No longer able to afford monthly trips to the salon and day spa for various services, I figured out which of these services I could do at home on my own. I also decided which I could live without (although I did not think it was possible to live without any of them), and which I still needed to pay another to do for me.

The two things that made the pay-someone-else-to-do list were the manicures and monthly hair color and cut visits to the salon.

The do-myself-items were  pedicures and eyebrow and lip waxes.

A trip to Sally Beauty Supply ™ solved the problem of facial hair removal. I purchased a box of GiGi Hair Removal Cream for the face with calming balm for use on my face for the price of one of the previously mentioned services.  I would be saving a lot of money because one box of this stuff afforded me with multiple uses.

When I got it home the directions said to keep it away from your eyes, so I decided not to use it on my eyebrows. I continued to pluck my eyebrows with tweezers, but I decided I like the look and feel of my skin after an eyebrow wax.  Not wanting to spend the money to go to the salon, I made another trip to Sally Beauty Supply ™.  Herein lays my first mistake.  I purchased a box of GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover.

I read the waxing directions  and decided to put it off for a while. I was concerned with burning myself if I made the wax too hot and applying it strictly to the skin below my eyebrows.  I did not want to be eyebrow-less.  I have to wear my glasses when I pluck my eyebrows with tweezers, and I was wondering how that would work when applying hair removal wax.

As I stepped out of the shower this morning, I decided it was time to for an eyebrow and lip wax.

I applied the hair removal cream to my top lip, waited the required amount of time, wiped it off with a damp washrag and my lip was done. It was as simple as the directions made it sound. Next on the agenda were the eyebrows.  I decided to give the tweezeless wax a go.  Herein lays my second mistake.

I heated the container of wax in 15-second increments as the package instructions state. I made sure the wax wasn’t too thin, because that meant it would be too hot.  I was going for that creamy consistency the directions said I wanted.  When I thought it was ready, I applied the wax to the skin below my right eyebrow.  I didn’t wear my glasses.  I figured they would just get in the way.  After applying the wax, I thought, “This isn’t too bad.  You did a good job keeping it off the eyebrow and only on the skin.  Do the other one.”

As I was applying the wax below my left eyebrow, I whispered to myself, “Careful…careful…careful…Awww Sh………….!”

I worked quickly to remove the wax before it hardened completely.

Let me just say, that GiGi Microwave Tweezeless Wax ™ facial hair remover really works!

My husband thinks I changed my hair style. 🙂

For today’s creation, I used some of my left-over supplies from October’s My Paper Pumpkin Kit.  So I don’t need to tell you that this card was super easy and quick to make.

October PP Thanksgiving

Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!


Mother’s & Daughters

What is it about some mothers and daughters that cause their relationship with each other to be so notorious at times? I have often wondered if as mothers we see the qualities we dislike most in ourselves in our daughters and we try to fix them.  I know my relationship with my mother was sometimes difficult, especially when I was an adolescent and again when I was a single mother.  The same holds true for my relationship with my daughter who will soon celebrate her 30th birthday. She and I get along pretty well now, but there have been times in the past when things were not so stellar.  Like me, she can sometimes be headstrong and determined to do things her way.  (Is that really a bad thing?)

I have done a little reading (enough to make me dangerous) about mother and daughter relationships and this is what I learned. According to an article I read, the three biggest things mothers and daughters usually argue about are hair, clothes, and weight.  All three things relate to physical appearance.

When I look back at the times my mother and I really went head to head, they usually but not always, centered on one of those three things. She either didn’t like the way I was wearing or the color of my hair, a dress I was wearing made me look a little “frumpy”, and well, “You’ll lose the weight when you are ready.”

“All I ever really wanted was for you to approve of me, Mom!” That was the conclusion I finally came to and when I decided I was adult enough to stop looking for mother’s approval, our relationship improved a thousand times.  She could make comments about my looks until hell froze over, and I did not care. When I stopped reacting to what she had to say, we stopped arguing.

In hindsight, looking back at my relationship with my daughter and two of the times we butted heads, they both relate to physical appearance.

When my daughter entered high school, I made an appointment for her at the Clinique counter in a local department store for a makeover. She wasn’t allowed to wear make up until her first year. She attended a parochial school until she graduated high school, and makeup was expressly against dress code until then.  I thought it would be best if someone other than her mother gave her a few makeup tips.  Kids usually listen to the advice of others over their parents at that age anyway.  The consensus among kids that age is their parents don’t know anything. I know mine didn’t!  The only grew smarter as I grew older. I thought I was being very progressive and insightful by doing this.  This would surely solve the problem of her wearing too much make up as most girls her age have a tendency to do.  It would also save a lot of confrontation between the two of us over the very subject.

In reality, all it really did was set me back about $150.00 when I purchased the cosmetics the salesperson recommended. Did she follow the makeup tips that were suggested?  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

I can’t remember the number of mornings my beautiful daughter would come down the stairs to the breakfast table OVER made up. Sometimes the eyeliner was so onerous and dark I thought a raccoon was coming to breakfast. Or, the foundation so carroty in color and thick, I could see a line along her jawbone where the foundation ended and her natural complexion started.   Sometimes the eye shadow was so blue or green that her younger brother would whisper to me, “Jenn looks gross!”   Something funky was always going on with her makeup.  To me, my daughter was beautiful (and she still is).  She didn’t need all of that stuff.  I continually tried  telling her this.  It was when she got to be my age she would need a little extra help.  I also tried telling her that boys didn’t like to be with girls that wore too much make up.  What did I know anyway?

One morning on the way to school, Jenn made the mistake of asking what I thought of her makeup. The second mistake occurred that morning when I told her exactly.

“It’s too much, Jenn. It looks a little slutty.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” she screamed. “I can’t believe you just called your own daughter a slut!”

“I did no such thing,” I said. “I said your make up looks slutty.  There is a difference!  Besides, if you don’t really want to know what I think, don’t ask because I will never lie to you!”

As she continued to vehemently screech  her dissatisfaction with my response, I gently asked her, “Are you pms’ing, Jenn?”

“No, I am not!” she  bawled.  I knew immediately that she in fact was.

After that, she never asked again about her makeup, and I never offered my opinion.

Around the beginning of her junior year in high school, my daughter told me,

“You know what Mom? My English teacher told me the foundation I have been wearing is a little too dark for me. She recommended I try another one that is more the color of my complexion.  She said…”

I smiled to myself, and thought, “What have I been saying? Thank you, Miss English teacher.  I love you!”  LOL!

Here is my card today.  I felt a little autumn-ish, so I worked on a Thanksgiving card for today.  This is what I cam up with.  Hope you like it.  I LOVE these colors together.

For All Things - 3

I always look forward to your comments whether they are about what I’ve written or created, so feel free.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!


Time Flies! Plus a Tutorial

I can’t believe it has been over a month since I was last here to write to you and show you what I’ve been working on.  WOW!  A lot has happened in the last month.  My family was here to visit (Mom, sister, and brother-in-law).  They were here from Ohio for two weeks.  Then I went to convention in Salt Lake City.  Then just four days after getting back from SLC, my husband and I went back Ohio and Pennsylvania where we are both from for two weeks.  We just got back on August 9th.  I spent last week TRYING to get into my stamp room and then finally over the weekend I did.

While we were visiting back east, we had the opportunity to visit Lancaster, PA where my husband is originally from.  I love that part of the country.  It is beautiful and the home to  of what he calls the Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish).   We visited the Lancaster Central Market which celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.  We were fortunate in that it was open when we were there.  It is only open a few days of the week and sometimes when we go back we miss it.   Plus, while we visited his sister, brother-in-law, and brother treated us to a Maryland Blue Crab feast!   OH MY GOD!  I ate sooooo much.  It was delicious.

Also, we managed to get a visit in at the wineries in the Finger Lake Region of New York.  We were in Hammondsport, New York to be exact.  My sister and her husband have been visiting that part of the country for the past 30 years. It is “their” spot, and they were kind enough to show my husband and I around.  It is amazing how many people from this part of the country that have never heard of The Finger Lakes.  Makes me wonder where they were in their social studies class when they were in school.  Maybe because I was born in Pennsylvania and I grew up in Ohio it was just a part of the country that I was inherently familiar with.  🙂  One of the wineries we visited was Bully Hill.  It was my first time there, but I had heard about Bully Hill Winery a bazillion years ago when I took an advertising class at Youngstown State University while working on my undergraduate degree.  My brother-in-law had the same instructor for the same class.  She had us do a full-blown advertising campaign for the Bully Hill Winery as  a class assignment.  He first visited the winery over thirty years ago.  I finally had my chance.  It was fun, and the wine was delicious!   We visited many other wineries and tasted a lot of other wines too.  But Bully Hill has special meaning.

I have a couple of things to share with  you.  The first is a card using a stamp set from the Holiday Mini Catalog which goes on-line next week on August 28.  I can only show you the card.  I got the idea for it from the most recent Stampin’ Success magazine.  It’s a combination of two projects that appear in the magazine.  The name of the stamp set is For All Things.

For All Things - 1I just love the colors I used.  Don’t you?  The colors are Marina Mist, Crushed Curry, Rose Red, and Soft Suede.  I would have never thought myself to put these colors together.

This next card is done using the same colors, but I used the stamp set called Amazing Birthday.  It can be found in the current Annual Catalog.

Amazing Birthday -1

Finally, I want to share the gift I made for my room-mate at convention this year.  I meant to do this a few weeks ago, but you know how that goes.  I’ve included the link for the tutorial to make this box along with links for diagrams for the lid and bottom.  I call this a Convention Survival Kit.


Convention Pillow Gift 1-2014

Convention Pillow Gift 2-2014

Convention Pillow Gift 3-2014

Hope you enjoyed your stop here today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!