Privilege Blog

Cream Blush And Spray Paint, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:07am

More and more I experience retirement as a quest to balance the small against the large. Or the large against the small, either way, equivalence. It is a real luxury. I am deeply, deeply grateful–for the gentle outcomes of course, but even more for the chance to sit in the balancer’s seat. Right there in my own identity, making decisions.

See, free time allows for big projects. Writing a novel. Canvassing for candidates. Caring for family. Volunteering in school. Planting trees–which they now believe is one of the most useful things we can do for our planet. Also ever so green and so pretty.

Also small projects, like decorating objects. One of which is myself. Behold my new favorite cream blush. By Kjaer Weis. Comes in 10 shades, made of safe, organic ingredients, and allows you to buy the full packaging once and refills subsequently. Which is helpful, because, let me say right here right now, $52 is admittedly a lot for a pot of cheeky dreams.

It blends beautifully. The bold swatch on my arm was applied con brio, but if you look closely you can see a lighter swatch above, and that’s how it looks when I apply it lightly on my face. Very natural and youthful; Blossoming is a good name. I used to get little bumps on my cheeks from blushes, no longer.

Kjaer Weis cream blush in Blossoming, and refills. You can also find it at net-a-porter. Use code KW10 for 10% off, because $47 is less then $52.

Here’s another small project. Never underestimate the liberty to laugh at your own foolishness. How so? Écoutez. My house is hot these days, and I’m resisting the urge to install AC. (See, political conviction. Also, ornery.) To cool down we open doors to encourage a delicious cross-breeze. But, to keep one of said doors open, we need a big heavy doorstop. We started using a large full bottle of laundry detergent. It served, but, ugly.

I spray-painted it. In hammered silver of all things. I tell myself it’s Koonsian and I am amused beyond all reason. Yes, those are dead ants on the slate tiles. Life is not poetry every minute of every day, never mind Flaubert.

I have often thought everyone should get divorced before they get married, so as to understand what’s at stake. I now wish we could all retire for several years, before we start work, before we have children, before we disappear under those dearest waves of connection and obligation. That said, I regret little and enjoy these instances of freedom as they come.

Have a wonderful weekend, every single one of you.


Links may generate commissions. I do wonder what the analytics would make of these two links in one post but hey, freedom.

51 Responses

  1. LOVE the doorstop.
    Here in Issaquah (east of Seattle), we’re having a more “normal” summer, with the occasional marine push keeping the temperatures down; for which we are profoundly grateful. Air conditioning sales are on the rise here. It has been really hot in the past two years. None of the new apartments being built have it, I feel badly for those whose windows face west.

    1. @Allison, I’m glad your temps are more normal this summer. Our house faces south, and we lost two big shade trees, some of what we’re dealing with is temps at least 5 degrees higher than normal, the rest is specific to our yard.

  2. We succumbed last summer, overcame lifelong eco-political principles and bought a small air-conditioner to make sleep possible. As Allison says, above, sympathy is due those of us whose condo units face west — ours, as you’ve seen firsthand, features an entire wall of west-facing windows, and only tiny windows that can be kept open at night (we can get a cross-breeze by leaving balcony and terrace doors open during the day). Luckily, our summer north of Allison, but also in the PNW, has been more temperate, with highs mostly around 23. This week, though, we’ve got a few days that are supposed to go into the higher 20s, and our condo will be like a greenhouse. . . .
    Now I’ll stop moaning and tell you I love your doorstop. Koonsian indeed! ;-)

    1. @Frances, Oh yeah, west-facing in the Pacific Northwest/Canada seems completely unjust. I couldn’t do this without the multiple doors we have, and the fact that some of them are kind of opposite each other across the house. And, even so, on the days above 90 degrees I’m researching AC/solar panels, hoping they’d be net neutral if I did both.

      Glad you like the doorstop;).

  3. Hahaha! Quite cheeky that Koonsian doorstop. Thank you for making my slog up north to Cape Cod more amusing on this very hot Saturday. For many years we didn’t need air conditioning on the Cape. There was rarely the heat and humidity to make it necessary. However, for the past few years, we’ve been experiencing heatwaves more regularly. Thus, we gave in and installed AC. Have a great weekend!

    1. @Jane, Thanks. The Cape needs AC now? Ah, we’re going to have to address this, as a country, as a species. There comes a point when we just can’t live in the natural temps:(.

  4. I adore your artful doorstop. Well done, not just the accomplishment of it but the imagination that took you there in the first place. No AC here either. We seldom need it in Vancouver, but some days our building functions as a giant kiln. I should be a fine ceramic by now. Finally, I fear that if people retired before working, few people would actually go to work. Heh.

  5. I’m always open for a new cream blush—I have to say that I don’t always apply mine carefully which makes from some surprised comments from family–never mind strangers.

    I cannot imagine living without air conditioning–even though I did it as a young child in Texas. We love Santa Fe, but our favorite lodging is not air conditioned–so we don’t go there in the summertime.

    1. @Susan D., I highly, highly recommend this blush brand. Just go to your nearest Neiman’s and give it a try. Goes on light, but, as they say, “buildable.” And it didn’t used to be hard to do with AC here at all:(.

  6. Oh. Lisa, only you have the savoir faire to paint a laundry soap container. I love it! C’est drôle.
    Enjoy your weekend as well, mon ami.


  7. Lisa you turn the world upside down. That is appealing to me. In Missouri air-conditioning is a necessity. I was more than surprised to hear that you live without it. Interesting! Your right there’s allot at stake in a marriage and a previous divorce makes that more than clear. Have a great week. Know how much I appreciate your musings.


    1. @luci, Thank you. And it’s so interesting, I was actually thinking that I was writing this post upside down, as I wrote. Thank you for recognizing that.

  8. Gosh I enjoy your writing! Both the expression and the observant notions. I’m sad to think the Bay Area has grown so hot. After muggy sweltering summers in the east I loved those cool, bug-free summer evenings. Sure there were hot areas that didn’t get the cooling fog etc, but reading about this change in San Francisco, Marin, and the Peninsula is more vivid in some ways than the temperature increases here, near Philadelphia. Love the doorstop. Earthier than Koons. Can imagine a pompous wall card about the artist’s intent to comment on our entanglement with commerce by offering the form drained of garish color and and brand yet still recognizable. Possessed of a certain beauty when reduced to a pewter simplicity, etc. Hahaha!

    1. @Wendy, Thank you! And I LOVE your wall card and let’s add the visible plastic recycling symbol to the text and dance in a circle like museum fiends:).

  9. No air conditioning? Barbaric! I’m I have air conditioning but I don’t go racing around the world in private planes or helicopters. Blush absolutenent. (Trying for French) it makes a big difference. Give Milk cream bronzer a try also. Enjoy

  10. I can’t believe you don’t have air conditioning…or do you and you don’t use it? I would never be able to sleep.

    I’m curious how you decided on that color for blush for you? It’s a great brand but I’m feeling color confused about everything lately.

    Doorstop is genius.

    1. @KSL, I don’t have it! Used to be only 5-6 days/year would be hot enough to affect sleep. Now it’s a different story. We have the marine layer, or at least we used to, so we could almost almost always cool the house down manually, by opening it at night and closing it in morning.

  11. Oh boy no air conditioning! I grew up in the Midwest, we never had air conditioning, the only way to escape our mega Hot house was to pile into the car in the wee hours of the morning as our mother would take us on a joy ride, zipping down deserted country roads.

  12. Love the doorstop. Hope you used the detergent and then filled it with water. Not sure we would be able to appreciate retirement without first putting in all those years of hard work, but like watching you contemplate the possibility.

    1. @MJ, Thanks;). The detergent gave us a rash, so we didn’t use it. The jug is full of water now though. However, I’m worried it’s leaking – ha! Best laid non-plans…

  13. Love the doorstop! I’m impressed that you went for the artsy “hammered” rather than plain, ho-hum silver.
    We lived in San Jose, until recently, w/o air conditioning. Our saving grace was a whole house fan we turned on when the day started to cool. Open the windows and doors, turn on the fan. Out goes the hot air, in comes the cool. Yes, it takes power to run the thing but not as much as AC. Comparatively, not expensive to install, either.

    1. @Thea, Confession: I meant to get regular silver but was overwhelmed by the rows and rows of spray paint at the hardware store! And your fan sounds great, we get close to that by opening all our doors in the late afternoon but I bet a house fan would really speed the process.

  14. Love your faux pewter doorstop. Having any breeze that requires a doorstop is a good breeze. Cooling has definitely become a challenge. July broke records for heat in NE at 90 to 100 degrees. Even nights stayed hot. I installed energy efficient Fujitsu mini split heat pumps a few years ago, for both supplemental heating and cooling in the summer. Reflecting on life experiences provides plenty of insight. Great book material. I’d say you are destined to publish.

    1. @Susan, Thank you. Let us hope I can incorporate some of this material into an imagined story. It’s HARD! In any case, thanks also for the info about heat pumps. There is so much I do not know about the world, I find out more every day.

  15. The next step up is a swamp cooler – wet fabric, box fan, evaporative cooling. We used to set it up right before bed, and it’d stay a little bit cooler in the bedroom until we were asleep, anyway. There are ways of making a swamp cooler that are more complex than just hanging up a wet dishtowel in front of a fan, but it’s a start, anyway.

    (but I get so cranky if I can’t sleep because it’s too hot. Also, now, my body falls apart in the heat, so AC it is.)

  16. Do you have evaporative cooling options? It is popular in my city as we have dry heat – basically a shallow dish of water on the roof across which fans run. You can keep the doors open which is its saving grace for me (and way cheaper to install and run than AC). Of course, it is no good if you a) like icy coolness and b) have humidity.

    Also, I love that line about divorce. I wish I had understood earlier how much work it is to be married instead of expecting it to happen.

    1. @Amanda, I guess we have to make our own evaporative cooling systems with wet cloths and fans. Our heat is dry too. And thanks. xoxo.

  17. Lisa Enjoy your retirement to its fullest!Thank you for sharing your most wonderful wisdom with us through your writing! Fyi its me Alexa ( moms Alexa)lets grab a bite to eat some time i still want to be present in your beautiful life! Lol love ya lots. ❤

  18. I persist in suburban Boston without AC, but make generous use of window fans overnight with Vornados to circulate air in the day. (And usually I’m at work all day in AC that is far too cold). I have promised some concerned young people that when I turn 65 (3.5 years from now) I will put an AC in the bedroom, but we shall see. I’m lucky to live in the ground floor condo of a two family house with trees and bushes all around.

    I will say this July tried my soul– 3 heatwaves and 12 days total over 90F.Reminds me of my South Carolina childhood just a bit too much. But sleeping weather was okay. In SC we’d pitch a pup tent in the back yard and the mosquitoes feasted! But cooler than upstairs in our house sans-AC.

    I never have worn makeup, but sometimes I look in the mirror these days and my face looks monochrome. Where did my sweet rosy cheeks go?? :-) Maybe I’ll buy some of this nice blush and find them again.

    And…as for the doorstop–genius! But rather than Koons who I do not like, I think Flintstones Laundry Detergent!

    1. @Charlotte K, Flintstones laundry, ha! I love that.

      And monochrome, exactly, that’s my goal now if I wear makeup, just to add back the color I had 10 years ago;). The blush really helps, especially if I’ve worn a tinted moisturizer for SPF.

  19. Hello Lisa,
    Referring to my comment 12:48 pm 8/3/19…please be demystified. I was making a subtle reference to the blush you are recommending.
    Best wishes

  20. The tree dilemma: wonderful to help counter climate change, but also a danger, given the reality of the increased ferocity of storms. My house is on a heavily wooded patch, and we have lost a number of HUGE trees in the past few years. There are too many trees to count that could come down on the house, and wind and storms make me fear we could be crushed in our beds. No solution, other than moving, but I am not yet ready.

    1. @MaryInMD, Yes, it’s really a dilemma, and something I’d like to see municipalities thinking about. I hope your trees stay well clear of your house.

  21. Husband and I bought this house 23 years ago close to the coast near Ventura, Calif. Usually we suffer too cool May grey, and June gloom but now, with climate change, we finally had to buy a window A/C last summer…

    we, too, get a wonderful cross breeze by opening windows and doors in the late afternoon when it cools down but that did not work last summer…Needless to say we have not needed the A/C this summer but, each of us on our third marriage, I do not sweat the small stuff and agreed to get the A/C..he is a genius when it comes to installing, and fixing things.

    As to divorce, no way do I regret my 2 divorces, but appreciate the good guy I finally got.

  22. Oh the luxury of opening doors and windows — here in Florida the house would be full of mosquitoes, lizards, roaches, wasps, etc. With high humidity and temps in the 90’s life would be miserable without AC, but we do try to run it as little as possible. It’s no wonder the state was not considered habitable except in winter until AC was created! Now if we could just get some good candidates I could canvas for….

    1. @AK, Good question. Several reasons. 1. We have a slate patio that’s easily scratched – a rock would scratch it if dragged. 2. I didn’t have any rocks that are big enough – the patio is a step down from the door frame, so the doorstop has to be tall 3. I have to move the doorstop when I close the door, rocks don’t usually have handles and a rock that was big enough would have to be picked up with two hands as I leaned over. 4. Artistic whim. Something that was already beautiful wouldn’t allow for playing around.

Comments are closed.