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ScarFace Undone

This past October 2014, I had surgery on my face. The surgery was to remove skin cancer from beneath the surface of my face.

September, the month of impending change, is when I learned I had cancer. Before surgery, I had a couple of weeks to think about the alien living below my eyes, beneath my skin. I hated the idea of something foreign living there. Knowing it was caused by too many unprotected days in the sun, I vowed to never again go outside without wearing a good quality sunscreen. I’ve honored the vow.

Below is a photo of the day I learned that the yellow fireball in the sky had not been my friend.

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This is what the spot looked like… a pimple that wouldn’t go away. I didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. Until it lingered and wouldn’t clear up.

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I had both dreaded and looked forward to surgery. I was not excited about having my face opened up, but I was anxious to get the show on the road. October, one of my favorite months, ushered in Surgery Day; my good friend Angie Alexandersen drove me to Marietta for the procedure. I went into surgery believing all cancer would be removed and knowing I would have a scar afterwards. I just didn’t know how wide, long or deep the scar would be. But my attitude was: Ok…you’ve had fifty plus years of a relatively unmarred face. So you may have a scar. Deal with it. You’ve fought tougher battles than a blemished face.”

But I also knew I would help the scar heal physically with the products I “peddle” (that’s how one of my son’s friends described my business skill-set). 🙂

I am a consultant with Rodan+Fields, the skincare company created by Drs. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. During the past year, I had seen my client’s wrinkles decrease, age spots disappear, rosacea, eczema and acne cleared up… leaving behind a flawless complexion. And while RF doesn’t make claims of healing scars, I knew I would give our products a chance before using the expensive creams my doctor suggested.

The doctors and nurses had instructed me to wait a few days before removing the surgical bandages. In the meantime, I tried to set my mind for whatever lay beneath the white netting covering one side of my face. Expect nothing, just pull the bandages back and accept what’s there.

Alone and holding my breath, I carefully removed the gauze and tape. One look and my stomach knotted up slightly and I sort of wanted to cry; but then I talked myself back: It could be worse. It wasn’t in the bone. Others have dealt with so much more. Think of what Denise is going through. If this is the worst of it for you, consider yourself fortunate.

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I developed my Rodan+Fields Game Plan. And when the stitches were removed a week or so later, I began applying RF Night Renewing Serum and RF Overnight Restorative Cream directly to the raw, invaded area.
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RF Overnight Cream

A couple of weeks after sutures were removed, the scar area began to harden and raise up in a long rigid line down my cheek and alongside my nose. It reminded me of the Rocky Mountains, except it was an angry red mountain range rather than one of snow-capped beauty. My physician told me it was from the internal stitches healing and pulling the tissue and muscle from different directions. “The roots of the cancer were spread in different angles, you were stitched accordingly. We can talk about procedures to correct it after you’re completely healed”.

Searching the internet for restorative possibilities, I came across a surgeon using a ‘needlling’ process to break down scar tissue. Watching the video, I had an “aha moment”: “Hmmmm, RF has the AMP MD Roller. I wonder if that would work as well as what the doctor would use? The roller has surgical grade needles on it. I’ll give it a try”.
Six weeks after surgery, when most of the tenderness was gone, I began “needling” the scar with the AMP MD Roller. Immediately after “rolling”, I applied the serum and the PM Cream. I did this every night before going to bed; in the mornings, I reapplied the Overnight Cream. I still “roll, needle” the area every evening. Since then, I’ve added the full Redefine Regimen to my bedtime routine.
RF Serum Roller

I began to see a rapid improvement in the look of the scar once I added the RF AMP MD Roller to my scar-healing game plan. I’m still elated with the results I’ve received with Rodan+Fields products. Many times I had been impressed with the improvement in my my friend’s skin after using RF, but I was shocked with my outcome. And then one day the thought floated through my head…“Why are you shocked? Didn’t you believe you were worthy of the best? You tell your clients they deserve improved skin. So do you.”

I’ll never stop using Rodan+Fields products. Each and every thing I sell has a 100%, empty bottle, 60 day, money back guarantee. If I can help you, message me or one of your Rodan+Fields friends….we’ll talk about your own game plan. Whether it’s for wrinkles, age or hormone spots, acne, skin irritations…we have something to help you. You have nothing to lose.

Your skin will be with you until the end…treat it well.

I no longer wear foundation cosmetics, so each photo posted here is naked skin, no editing.

Photo in the bottom right corner of the collage was taken in January 2015.

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March 2015

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April 11, 2015

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Changing Skin, Changing Lives

Video: Scarface Undone

Danita Clark Able
Rodan+Fields Executive Consultant

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night….oh, wait.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to spending a week or two every summer with my aunt and uncle. My family lived in what I considered the “Boonies” of Cherokee County; but my aunt and uncle had moved from Cherokee to the big city of Cartersville. They lived on Douglas Street. My visit to Cartersville had all the makings of a great summer. Everything I needed was within the traveling distance of my bare feet.  Their house was a stone’s throw from Main Street; three blocks from the outdoor Olympic sized pool at Cartersville High School, and just a skip and a jump from the Iced-Slurpees of a convenience store on Tennessee Street. An old, wood-framed store was located a street or two behind their house.

 One afternoon, early into the visit of the summer of my twelfth year, my aunt sent me to the old store to pick up something she needed…most likely a Coca Cola.

Entering the ancient structure, my nostrils were greeted with the musty odor of old things. Once the screened-doors of the old store creaked to a close behind me, and my eyes adjusted to the dimness, I found it was a place I liked. The older man who owned the store kept a good selection of penny candy on hand and my Aunt Mae had told me I could buy some.

I enjoyed the independence and responsibility my aunt entrusted to me. I relished the idea of doing such a grown-up thing as walking to the store alone. But, the getting there that gave me trouble.

To get to the store, I had to walk run past a time worn, ivy covered house. The two-story home loomed eerily over the corner of Douglas and Carter Streets. At the corner, I had to pass immediately in front of the house and then turn left onto Carter Street. This journey that took me toward the rear of the shaded property.

Even on the brightest, sunniest, 100° days, there was something dark about that place. Bone chilling quakes rippled through me as I neared the house. No matter how many times I walked to the store, I could never shake the freezing fear I felt when I was near the house. Instinctively, I found myself avoiding the sidewalk in front of the house. Crossing to the other side of Douglas Street, turning left on the far side of Carter Street and then zig-zagging back when I was a safe distance from the “spooky’ house, made me feel somewhat protected. Holding my breath the whole time. 

Even now, more than four decades later, I can drive past the place and remember the coldness I felt there, on hot summer days. 

 This past Valentine’s Day, someone on Facebook posted this question: “Anyone know where the house is in Cartersville that is on the Travel Channel tonight?”

I scrolled down and saw that someone had posted an article with a photo of the house. My spooky house.

Turns out, in the 1930’s,  the area of the sidewalk in front of the house had been the scene of a murder. Which led to a kidnapping and a hanging. The murdered man was the Chief of Police of Cartersville….he had been seeing to the arrest of young black man. aged twenty-two years. While the young man was frequently incarcerated, the Chief would send for the prisoner’s beautiful, nineteen-year old wife. And so it went.

One night, the young man escaped and he and his brother drove to the home of the Chief, presumably to bring his wife home. She had confided in him, the details of the Chief’s despicable behavior.

When the brothers arrived at The Chief’s residence, he came outside. He was not willing to peacefully let the girl go. An argument ensued, and somehow the Chief’s gun wound up in the hands of the escaped prisoner.

The gun was fired. The Chief died on Douglas Street, in front of the house… (in the very spot where I had #fullbodychills on hot summer days).

The young man was arrested and jailed. A couple of nights later, local citizens kidnapped him from the city jail and lynched him in downtown Cartersville.

The young bride, fearing retaliation from the friends and family of the Chief, was afraid she would be killed as well. (she believed they would murder her before knew they would let anyone know what their Chief had been doing with the nineteen year old, black wife of his prisoner), She fled town and was never heard from again.

(This is the condensed version of the story, if you prefer to read more about the incident, I’ll post a link to an article written by local attorney Tony Smith. He quotes local historian Ed Bostick, author of “Lynchings in Bartow County” for the Etowah Valley Historical Society. He quotes and names many other local residents. You can read the full account of the murder of Cartersville Police Chief Joe Ben Jenkins, by scrolling down to “1930” at this link: http://www.tony5m17h.net/CartersvilleLynchings.html ) Thank you Phil Bridges for the link.

No matter how you feel about ghosts, haints, haunts, ghouls and lingering spirits….I know I felt something cold and creepy on that street, four decades after the tragic events which unfolded there.           

 Thank you for reading,    Danita

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Hey Baby!

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I blame SnowJam2014, boredom and a mullett, for my brief foray into the mystifying world of online dating.

I’ve just never been curious or brave/interested enough to give dating sites a try. I mean, looking at a stranger’s photo, reading a (most likely fake) profile, and then meeting the person behind the photo/fakeprofile in a public setting…where both parties will be scrutinizing the other, doesn’t sound like fun to me. Yet, it works out for some. For instance, I have a sweet friend married to the man of her dreams; a debonair Englishman whom she met on a dating site. But she is young and beautiful, and I’m thinking her case is probably rare.

A while back, and as a matter of Research, a friend allowed me to enter her online dating page. I crossed that threshold once….once was enough. A quick perusing of the site convinced me online dating wasn’t for me. Weeding through all those cheesy photos and goofy usernames…made my tummy feel yucky.

Two days ago, yet another ‘fifty-something, divorced friend’ and I were commiserating over the good, bad and sometimes hilarious aspects of dating at our age. She had me in stitches with her stories. “I look at photos of these men, see their grey hair or no hair and think….’Heavens! Not that one! He’s much too old for me!’ Never mind that I may be five years older and have more grey hair than he does,” she said. And there was the scrutiny. My old friend confirmed my fear.

Then today, the third day of SnowJam2014, I received a message with a photo attached. I admit to having gone on a few dates with old friends I’ve become re-acquainted with on Facebook. Sometimes I even joke about Facebook being a dating site in disguise. But it feels safe and generally, mutual interest is shown and a fair amount of dialogue takes place before a date is scheduled. Generally. Nothing quite like the following encounter has happened before…

Have you ever crossed paths with someone you (vaguely) knew in high school and, although you are now over fifty, you realize he is still sixteen years old? No? Probably just my good fortune, so please bear with me while I describe such an (facebook) encounter. The Message: “Hey baby! Whats up! Hit me up! Lets go out!!! Lets get together soon!”
Baby? I barely knew the man over thirty years ago. I think Baby is a wonderful name of endearment, but I didn’t like hearing it from this guy. Perhaps my displeasure had something to do with the photo. A man wouldn’t send a photo of himself to the opposite sex unless he felt it was an impressive likeness, would he? The Photo: His hair was still mullettish. His belly hung over his belt and a wife-beater stretched across the belly. Dark sunglasses covered his eyes; no smile. I guessed it was his ‘I’m Cool’ expression. He held a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

“Why, would you send this photo to me,” I wondered? And at that moment, an absurd but true thought struck me and I laughed out loud, literally. I laughed not at my ‘friend’, but at myself. This man obviously has much more self-confidence than I do, I realized. I dislike photos of myself and would never send one, unsolicited or otherwise, to someone I might wish to go out with. But this guy put himself…in all his glory…out there and took a chance; something I would never have the courage to do. So, I developed something of an admiration for his pluckiness and deleted the connection.

Later in the day, boredom settled in and my mind wandered to the conversation with my girlfriend and, for some reason, I decided to subscribe to a free dating site. Once again, I was in uncomfortable territory, but I lingered a little longer this time and had a few laughs. Oh, and I saw some old familiar faces too. 😉 (An old friend had his senior photo locked in as his profile picture, burgundy tuxedo and all. He graduated in 1978).

In the event you’ve deprived yourself of the amusing experiencing of logging onto a dating site, consider yourself no longer deprived. The following profile information was copied and pasted straight from the site. Usernames have been slightly altered to protect the innocent, but the posts remain the same. Enjoy.

hungry69: (Nonsmoker) Looking for ladies in my area for fun and companionship. I try to stay in decent shape and physical attractiveness is important to me. I do not require a beauty queen, however ,if you describe your body type as average, it means that you are not overweight. Pretty but pleasingly plump could be an exception! Also, I don’t have the time to educate bleeding heart liberals .I only smoke some if I’m enjoying an adult beverage in evening(never during the day).

kingofducktown Hello, Howdy, Hey, and Hi,How are you doing? What’s Up?What’s Cooking? Now don’t be shy, come a bit closer, closer, come on closer I won’t bite…hard,I promise you that I wont.
First off, let me tell you that I was Georgian born and raised, I hope you won’t hold that against me.
I am a somewhat shy person but don’t worry, I’ll open up soon as I get to know somebody, and watch out! My humor could come out of left field and hit you like a ton of bricks and you won’t even know it!
Let me see, hmmm, “scratching his head”, I have been depressed somewhat for the past year, I have been lonely. While being burnt by other online dating services, I think I should try it once more. I hope that I can meet some nice lady here. As for money, You Can’t Take It With You When You Go!

iamdoctor: With muliple college degrees and a passion for life learning and passing along great values to others…I am a caring and passionate Man , driven and focused with lots of love inside to give to the right woman, I have a very young and able body, was recently tested scientifically to be biologically 39, will tell you more , open minded to try new things, positive and a all around very nice guy, drop me a line, as I work two careers and am away from the PC during the days, I will respond to all your messages, flirts are fun too, to begin with, to break the ice, if you do want to really get to know me please write to me,,, thank you for viewing my profile

blinky: Im here to just look around and see if any ladies may be interested. And I know we all have been around the track at least once. Theres no 50 yr old virgins-we all have our past. Get over it. Lets do this!

drgoodman: Fit, good looking. First, combine Doctor Huckstable with Al Yankovick into a Vin Diesel body. Next add a passion for children and good food. Looking for someone to be passionate about me.

Friends….I shook my head and laughed a little today…whittled away another snow day and confirmed I would rather watch reruns of My Favorite Martian and Land of the Giants than try to find love on a dating site. I’m not criticizing those courageous souls who do, but they’re just too funny (and a tad bit intimidating) for me to seriously consider.

Danita

Author, Letters From A Whoremonger’s Wife

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