Sunday, January 27, 2013

The "Lynell Reality Show"

I have been asked how I have time for so many activities in my life, how long it takes me to do my makeup or get dressed for the day, and how I fill a typical weekend.

So, just for fun, I’ve put together the following compendium of how I spent yesterday, January 26, 2013, from start to finish, complete with pictures. It’s a lighthearted but accurate look at a typical winter Saturday in my life. I hope you enjoy it.

First on Saturday’s agenda? A cup of piping hot tea, my own special blend of orange pekoe, green tea, peppermint and apple-cinnamon, drawn from a gigantic kettleful I make at the beginning of each week. As I have no shortage of energy, I don’t need any caffeine, so decaf tea is fine for me. As soon as I rise to start my weekend, still in my pajamas, I typically build myself a crackling fire, sit in front of the fireplace with my steaming beverage, and read the morning newspaper. If I’m hungry, I sprinkle a chopped apple with Stevia and cinnamon, microwave it for a minute and a half, and voila, I treat myself to a "baked apple" for breakfast.

The trail was snowy and quiet
The very next thing on my agenda this weekend was a trail ride in the woods near my home astride my beloved gelding, Braveheart Romeo, who goes by the barn name, "Chubby" (for a story about how I came to own Chubby, see my post titled "A Horse of My Own"). Although Saturday dawned sunny, the temperature barely tipped 25 degrees Fahrenheit as I beckoned Chubby from his pasture, brushed his thick winter coat and slid my comfortable endurance saddle onto his back. We meandered along winding paths through thick timber for about an hour as numerous white-tailed deer kept a watchful eye on our progress.

Back at home I showered and slipped into my favorite pair of "weekend jeans", vintage Stockton of Dallas beauties that come by their fading honestly from decades of near constant wear rather than factory-imposed distressing. I added a white ribbed-knit long-sleeved Faded Glory Tee-shirt from WalMart and decided the day was cold enough to rock a fabulous Christmas gift from my dear friends, Robert and Jan, an incredibly soft faux-fur vest by Belle Fare. Over knee-length ski socks I pulled on Slovakian après-ski boots from Ski Haus apparel shop in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and then scouted my inventory for some casual jewelry. Another Christmas gift caught my eye, a beautiful necklace, earrings and bracelet in gorgeous tiger eye set in heavy silver, presented to me by guests at Christmas dinner, Robby and Ging and their little boy, Jimmy.  Rounding out my ensemble was yet another Christmas gift -- a fabric hobo bag embroidered with gold thread from my best friend's mother Joyce, in Spokane. The colors were ideal for the taupe tones I was trending.

With my tousled hair swept up in a free-style bun and toasty fingered mittens to keep my hands warm, the latter an ingenious and very thoughtful yuletide gift years ago from Gaylene, my good friend and former law firm colleague in Dallas, Texas, I made my way out into the world to run several errands.

Aaron helps me make a purchase
at Calvert Wine & Spirits
First on my to-do list was a trip to Hunt Valley Towne Centre, an upscale outdoor mall on the other side of Baltimore County where I planned to pick up a set of matching hearth rugs from the Plow & Hearth store there. But first, I popped into Calvert Wine & Spirits (, a sizeable liquor store sure to have a couple of specialty liqueurs I’d been hunting recently without much luck. Success! They stocked one of the two I was in search of, Sweet Lucy bourbon-crème liqueur, intended for "Kentucky coffee", a new winter cocktail that caught my eye recently in my local Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Next year's Christmas shopping!
Rebecca rings up my purchase
at Plow & Hearth
Next on my itinerary was a visit to Plow & Hearth (, where I not only picked up the hearth rugs I had ordered, but scored a fabulous find: nifty stocking gifts for next year, at 75% off. I bought all they had in stock.

Tom dispenses samples and smiles
at Wegmans supermarket in Hunt Valley
Since I happened to be in the same shopping center as my all-time favorite Wegmans supermarket (, I stopped in to say hello to my friend, Tom, who is something of a Wegmans "produce personality" at that location, demonstrating imaginative ways with fresh veggies on weekends while handing out samples of his fare. I picked up a few groceries and headed back across the picturesque countryside to my own neck of the woods.

Laura works the Macy's cosmetics counter
Once back in my little corner of the county, I stopped at my local mall where I visited the Macy’s cosmetics counter ( and was helped by a congenial clerk in my purchase of some Clinique face wash called "Take The Day Off", which I have found to be perfectly suited to my sensitive skin.

Katarina, left, and Mihye are expert
tailors at Festival Cleaners

With that accomplished, I made a quick stop at my neighborhood dry cleaners ( to drop off some winter sweaters. I was greeted enthusiastically by the two Korean gals who run the place, Katarina Park and Myie Ha, who followed my 70-pound weight loss in 2011 with the fervor of ardent fans, even whipping out their tailor’s tapes from time to time to measure my progress.

Finally back at home with over thirty miles added to my odometer since morning, I spent the remainder of the afternoon working on my blog with my hair coiled around hot rollers in anticipation of a festive Saturday night out. Later I spent a little time at my dressing table, dusting on a fine layer of Bare Escentuals mineral powder foundation, a perfect balance of brightener and masque which I was turned onto last summer by my best friend, Kari, while we were vacationing in southern Ireland together. I added shadow and blush and mascara and lipstick. Total time to finished face? Ten minutes.

John Waters seemed contemplative
Offering a smooch didn't help
As darkness fell, I transitioned into evening attire, choosing to reprise a beautiful Jackie Jon New York dress I'd purchased in December. This night I wore it to the Baltimore Symphony’s rendition of John Waters’ Hairspray.  The musical revue, narrated by none other than the renowned movie director himself, was a blast. Fellow concert-goers complimented me on my sparkly Rachel Roy shoes from Macy’s, and although I didn’t get to meet John Waters personally, I did get my picture taken with a life-size cardboard cutout in the lobby of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

A topiary horse adorned in purple celebrates
the Baltimore Ravens' championship
season at Hunt Valley Mall in Maryland
How do I have time for so many activities in my life? Because I watch zero television, that’s why. Well, not quite zero, since I have been known to catch a Baltimore Ravens football game or two. But that’s it. No prime time, no network news, no sitcoms, no reality television and no cooking channel or animal planet. I’m probably the only girl on earth who has never seen an episode of Seinfeld or Dancing With The Stars or Biggest Loser or X-Files. And that’s fine with me. To tell you the truth, I could see myself falling in love with the food network and nature programming, so I have avoided those on purpose. The rest? I just can’t be bothered.

I'm going to teach Chubby
how to carry a Ravens flag
in his mouth!
I’ve always said I’d rather be actively engaged in a life I love than to live my life vicariously through someone else’s on the tube. And a show with canned laughter that lets me know when to guffaw, such as a sitcom? Puleeeeze. I’ll do my own thinking, thank you. I know who the soup Nazi was because I read about him. And I know that Mad Men takes place on a set full of marvelous mid-century décor because I’ve seen articles about it with photos. I may not have watched a single episode of any of those shows but I’m not hopelessly out of touch. I would simply rather be doing than watching.  In fact, although I filmed a television commercial two years ago for my dentist, I have yet to see it on TV.

I have horses to ride, plays to attend, outfits to design, volunteer work to do -- and I have a fulltime job that I love. I listen to the news on the car radio while I commute. My life is rich and full and I don’t feel deprived of what’s going on in the world. I read about it. On my own schedule.

And now you see that my Saturdays unfold like most other people’s: I run errands, banter with friendly salesclerks, enjoy the process of interacting with my fellow human beings and four-legged beasts.  I love my life!  You can’t do that with a television.

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