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Shading The Windows To The Soul…

Or Deception Is Our Nature

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Full-length mirror selfie

Who doesn’t like feeling and looking their best especially when you’re preparing for a special event? But what about those times when you feel like pond scum? This question I faced a few days ago as I was getting ready for another followup appointment with my ophthalmologist.

Over the past two weeks, I had one emergency room, one doctor, two ophthalmologist visits, antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatories, and all over one eye, my good eye. After I recovered from the flu it began with a minor itch in the corner of my eye, then blossomed into an aching, swollen, mess that has me couped up and practically bathing in antibacterial products.

Needless to say, makeup has been out of the question but what’s a girl to do when she has to go to a follow-up appointment? She breaks out the heavy artillery. That’s right, a dress, boots, fur vest and the most important item dark oversized shades. Adding a little lip color and no one was the wiser, all I had to do was keep my gear on.

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Left to right shows improvement in the left eye.

I actually felt better and couldn’t help secretly smiling knowing I was such a sight under my sunglasses. As my son and I waited until we were called in to see the doctor he gave me the sweetest compliment saying “yeah mom, you look nice but I wouldn’t expect any different because deception is the nature of your sex,” I burst out laughing. He has such a way with words and who’d thought his sexist comment would become the title of my blog post?

Even though I’m still not 100 percent laughter always makes me feel better and I try to find humor all around me. Not taking myself so seriously has truly helped me survive what I may have once thought wasn’t survivable.

Description: In the full-length mirror selfie I am wearing a burgundy and black floral wrap dress, black suede knee-high boots, gray faux fur vest, silver earrings, stretchy cuff bracelet. I must have been sick because I totally forgot to sport my burgundy booties, oh well there be another time.

The collage of four selfies shows the improvement in the swelling of my left eye. In the two upper photos, the eye is nearly swollen shut. In the bottom two pictures, the eye is opening.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve when you’re not feeling your best? Please do tell, you’re among friends here.





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Cozy, Comfy & Cute – Autumn Wear’s 3 Cs

Cooler temperatures dictate chunky sweaters and one of my personal faves, a reversible cape.

Tri collage consisting of two photos of me standing and one sitting posing with my white cane in front of my counter.In the collage I’m wearing a tan dolman sleeve sweater and a leopard print scarf, with black leggings, black patent tasseled loafers, and a navy/gray cowl cape. The snaps which create large armholes enables even greater versatility of the cape as I can wear it as a wrap. The wool blend keeps me nice and toasty in the autumn chill.

Opting for flats instead of heels made this outfit even more comfortable without compromising the fabulous feeling I get from wearing a cape. Additional cute combos can be achieved by pairing with jeans & over the knee boots, long skirt & ankle boots, dress pants & heels. Whatever you choose, with the right bag, shades, or optional hat, you’ll be ready to conquer the universe.

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Favorite Pastime Restored – Shoe Shopping Without Eyesight

Nine Ideas To Help You Find Shoes You’ll Love

Brown shoe box with a black patent leather loafer with tassels on top of the boxLast week I went shoe shopping. The timing was perfect. It’s the end of the summer season and I was able to take advantage of sales, markdowns, and bargains.

Shopping when blind means I have to use my remaining senses to experience what I once took for granted. Since I’m no longer able to drive, I’ve resorted to buying shoes online but occasionally a visit to the store is in order.

So, I went to my fallback – having my son drive me to the store. But this time it was different. I was abandoned!

As we drove to the front of the store, he stopped and said, “I’ll be back.”

“What?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean ‘you’ll be back’? Why aren’t you coming in with me?”

He responded, “Mom, you’ll be fine. Remember how you used to love coming here by yourself?”

Sheepishly I said, “Yeah, uh, but that was before, you know (dramatic and almost panicky tone here; scratch that I began whining), I went blind.”

“Mom, I’ve got some running around to do. You’ll be fine.”

Tri collage of me posing in my new shoes. I'm wearing black jeans, black top and a black velvet fringed kimono with red flowers.I begged, threatened, sulked and cried, but my son was unmoved and gone like the wind. So as soon as I got my bearings, I unfolded my white cane and boldly went forth into the store where no blind woman (at least not this one) had gone before and tried to find shoes.

I began the lengthy process of going up and down the long aisles to look at each pair. At first, it was frustrating, but I must admit it felt good. Actually, great. Shopping independence again!

Overall, my experience was a good one. I took pictures of the shoes I tried on and sent them to my friends for opinions. It all worked out. But going forward, if I’m alone again when I shop, I would do some things differently.

Here are nine ideas that may be helpful to you. If you can, shop with a friend who loves shoes and whose judgment you know and trust. But if that’s not possible, know that you certainly can enjoy the freedom of shopping by yourself.

Nine Ideas to Help You Find Shoes You’ll Love

  1. Before you go, read about and discuss the latest trends, styles and seasonal colors with friends and family who have similar tastes and interests and try to have some ideas about your preferences before you arrive at the store
  2. Call ahead and tell them you are blind or visually impaired, that you’ll be shopping and may need some assistance
  3. When you enter the store, ask an associate about the layout to make it easier to find your shoes
  4. Use the store’s shopping bag to gather several pairs of shoes to try on in one sitting
  5. Wear a backpack-style or over-the-head strapped purse to keep it on your body and off your mind while trying on shoes
  6. Have personal footies that match your skin tone
  7. Ask the associate if they could take photos of you wearing the shoes you try on
  8. When ringing up, and if it’s not a talking scanner, have the salesperson call out the shoes as they’re scanned – this checks your items one more time before purchasing, and secondly, confirms you’re paying the correct amount; and if available, use a talking barcode scanner
  9. And finally, boldly wear and enjoy your beautiful new shoes!

My eyesight may be gone, but my passion for shoe shopping has been restored.

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Delight In Your Feminity

Description is on body of post.Pictures are great but they don’t always tell the whole story. For many of us on social media our pictures tell the story we want to convey which can be in stark contrast to our reality.

As an advocate working to change perceptions on blindness and sight loss, my pictures attempt to show confidence from a blind perspective. What they don’t show is my insecurity but that’s okay because I know who I am and I don’t want to come across as someone I am not.

I’m not perfect, far from it. I laugh at my foibles, quirks, and even the changes in my body I cannot control. I love the uplifting feeling that takes place when I throw on some hair, do nakeup, and get dressed to face the world but make no mistake I am the same person before and after. I love being feminine and encourage others who want to feel the same way to do so despite what life throws your way.

Delight in your femininity. Love you. Validate you. Trust you. As you begin each day remind yourself that you are enough. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and reject the notion that you have to fit in. Be courageous, be authentic, know your worth. ~Steph

Image: Tri collage of me posing in front of my counter wearing black leggings, three-quarter dolman sleeve top looks sort of gray, orange pointed toe slingback flats, black obi belt, black leather short necklace with a silver pendant, and silver drop earrings.

Have a great Monday!!

#whitecane #confidence #independence #blindness #blindnessawarenss