25 Aug 2016

Her Point Of View: Mimi Gregor

Her Point Of View, Mimi Gregor on vickiarcher.com


You have to meet Mimi.

Mimi writes and I listen.


I love that she knows herself, that she has the confidence to say what she believes and I feel like she is a great friend. When I thought of this series, “Her Point of View” I wanted to know more about Mimi. We may not have met in real life but I consider her a friend. 


I am a very curious thing, what can I say?


Mimi strikes me as a sage woman and a woman who not only gives wise council but also has the ability to make me laugh; a winning combination.


I wanted to share with you some thoughts she has written here over the years; comments that have made me sit up and listen, question my opinions or given me a downright belly laugh.



I know exactly where she is coming from with this thought,

“I confess that when I’m given a compliment, my first thought is “Are they being ironic? Or do they really mean it?” Then, when I figure out that they actually mean it, I am still a little baffled by it. Oh, I go through the proper motions of saying “Thank you” in a gracious manner. And I have them fooled; most people think that because of how I dress that I am confident. Ah, if only it were that easy.”


This made me smile big time,

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” — Thoreau

“Beware of all new clothes that require new bras.” — Mimi

Nup. Passing on this one. I HATE bra shopping. Worse than swimsuit shopping.”


 

“Oooo… don’t get me started on this subject, Vicki!”



I think it’s time we get her started, don’t you?


Mimi Gregor, Delaware, August 2016

How would you describe yourself?

I deliberately try not to define myself, as I believe that to define is to limit. Both my appearance and my interests undergo a complete overhaul from time to time, and the “me” of five years ago is not the “me” of today… and yet there are constants: I read voraciously, I love the natural world, and have always been particularly enthralled by birds (I am owned by three parrots), and I have always been interested in both the occult and in quantum physics. (Actually, there is surprisingly little difference between the two.)



Tell us about your day-to-day life?

I am a creature of routine, as I believe it helps things run smoothly. My mornings are invariable. I get up at 5:30, although I do not have to. I like my time alone in the morning. I prep breakfast, do some floor exercises, meditate, check out what’s going on the Internet, get dressed, then awaken my husband and my parrots and we have a substantial breakfast (eggs, yogurt with seasonal fruit, and coffee). My mornings vary a little after that. Some days I run errands, or work on projects around the house or yard. On Saturdays, I go garage sailing, and on Sundays, I clean. Lunch is our big meal of the day, and as I am a scratch cook, time must be made to make that. Naps for everyone after lunch. I exercise in the afternoon (strength training three days a week, yoga three days a week, a day off), then I wake my husband up to get ready for work (he works nights). I have tea while my parrots eat their dinner, then I clean their cages and do a quick tidy-up of the house. I take a shower and wash my hair (every other day) after my husband leaves in the late afternoon. I let the birds out and I read for a while. We have a light supper, then I put them to bed. In the evenings, I usually do some food prep. I may bake bread, which I do a few times a week. Once a week, I roast veggies and sauté greens for side dishes for the week. Sometimes I will make a large batch of something, like chilli, soup, meatballs, or a quiche. I like stockpiling items in the freezer for when I don’t have time to cook. Now that it’s summer, and we have a vegetable garden, I sometimes have to pull an “emergency canning session” or pickle something. At bedtime, more reading.



Are you the woman you imagined you would become?

I can never imagine where I’m going with any of this. I don’t have some “life plan.” I may read a book that sets me on an entirely different trajectory than the one I am on — that happens a lot. I rely almost totally on synchronicity and serendipity.



What are the valuable life lessons you have all figured out?

HAHAHAHAHA! I don’t think any of us can ever have anything “all figured out.” And we should be very, very afraid of those who think they do. But a valuable life lesson that I am reasonably sure of is: if it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it. And also: keep things simple.


Her Point Of View on vickiarcher.com


What do you like most about yourself? What do you like the least?

I like that I am able to change things about my appearance and my life without undue angst about it. I dislike that I am easily stressed by trying to multi-task and by trying to hurry. I don’t really think I belong in this century.



What do you like most about getting older? What do you like the least?

I like finally knowing who I am, and what I like, and not worrying about what the neighbours will think. That usually only comes with time, if it comes at all. I don’t like the physical signs of ageing — grey hair, fine lines, sagging at the jowl line, hands that look like a longshoreman’s.



What’s your favourite way to dress? Do you have a signature style?

Classic, neutral and simple. As I’ve grown older, I find myself wearing dresses more often than trousers. And adding feminine touches, like a deeper neckline, a form-fitting line, or a tulip skirt. I find myself buying fewer things, but of better quality.



Do you have a beauty secret to share?

Your skin is your largest organ. If you wouldn’t put something in your stomach, it might not be the best for your skin either. I know that there are some things that only chemicals can perform adequately (hello, hair colour!), but I try to make as many of my products myself as I can (coconut oil as deep conditioner pre-shampoo, rosewater as toner, face mask from clay, milk, and yogurt; grape seed oil as makeup remover and body lotion.) If it’s impractical or inefficient to make myself, I buy hair and skin products from Whole Foods. Certain suspect chemicals are banned from their stores, so I feel better about buying products there. I love Andalou Naturals for hair care products and night creams. I’m hoping that using these gentler products mitigates some of the damage I do to myself by applying chemicals to my scalp once a month.


Her Point Of View on vickiarcher.com


What’s on the bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list. Present Mimi is perfectly content. Future Mimi… who knows what she will be into? I never have any idea where my interests will take me, so I try to not plan that far ahead. Just do what brings you joy in the now, because the now is all we have.



If you could change one thing in the past, what would you do differently?

I would have tried to be more patient in a great many circumstances where I lost my temper from impatience and have deeply regretted it.



What age do you feel right now?

It depends. Sometimes I feel six. Usually I feel like I’m in my late thirties. Never older than that.



Who would play you in a movie?

Ooo… I’d like Audrey Tautou.



images mimi gregor, google, eric piaseki

 

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36 Comments

Taste of France

I have long noticed Mimi’s comments and loved them. It’s so fun to read more of her in one swoop. She is very agile with a turn of phrase. “The Crow works alone”!!! She seems très bien dans sa peau.

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Vicki

I think so too… I love Mimi’s expressions and look forward to hearing her thoughts :)

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Mimi Gregor

I first started with the thrift shopping/garage saling/dumpster diving when I was young and had little money but needed furniture. Serendipity was always on my side, helping me to find whatever it was I was looking for. With a little paint and some fabric cover, I was able to transform my finds and live in stylish — and eccentric — surroundings. What I used to do from need, I do now for fun. Thrifting for me is probably like hunting is to people who prefer to go out and kill things and eat them. Fortunately thrifting is less messy and leaves my conscience clear (usually).

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Vicki

I like your kind of “hunting” Mimi… ;)
I always call the hunt, the search for the “fabulous find”… Still looking…

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david terry

As for dumpster-diving and haunting thrift-shops?……I subscribe to only two magazines, one of which is World of Interiors (I know, I know…..but I’ve been hooked for years; it’s genuinely interesting). Oddly enough (or perhaps not at all so) one of the things I’ve consistently noted over the years is how many of these houses/interiors are owned by folks (famous or otherwise) who have no problem saying “Oh, I didn’t have any money when I/we started out, so I got everything off the Portobello Road thrift-stalls” or “Oh….I found the dining room chairs by the sidewalk when I was 24 and living on the Upper West Side…years ago”, etcetera.

Rather obviously, good designers are often like good editors (Judith Jones comes to mind; She discovered Julia Child, Madhur Jaffrey, Marcella Hazan, and others who were at the time complete unknowns………simply by looking both widely and closely and picking out the treasures amidst all the trash).

So, I appreciated Mimi’s comments. She seems to personify the opposite of mere “bling culture”.

As for parrots? I’ve never had one (although I’ve known several well for many years at other folks’ houses). I kept one for a friend recently, and I ignored her advice that I spread a dropcloth under the cage. To be blunt?…I have NO IDEA what’s in parrot urine (and don’t really care to learn), but all I can tell you is that it absolutely strips and bleaches 220 year old wood floors. That was confirmed by the second morning of the parrot’s week-long stay.

In any ase, thanks, vicki, for another good interview.

sincerely,
David Terry

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Mimi Gregor

Was it an African Grey? Oh, man… their poop is like the saliva of the alien in the movie Alien. Even if you wipe it up right away… too late. (Yes, my floors are in a sorry state, but I am SO glad that I didn’t go with carpet.)

One needs to develop brass cojones when dumpster diving. In fact, the activity may be a pre-requisite for developing them. Even today, if I’m driving by on trash pick-up day, I peruse out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes I even abruptly pull over and take home a chair or a sideboard that I’ve been looking for. (The sideboard, I had to call for back-up: my husband with the truck.) I still own many of the pieces that we scavenged from college students 30 years ago.

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Anita Rivera

Good morning everyone! Vicki, I love that you started this series. Since most of us have been coming here for a long and marvelous period of time, I have enjoyed getting to know YOU. But this series is helping me get to know the people behind the names I see every time I come. Brilliant.

Mimi, it was great to learn that you take pleasure in many of the things I enjoy as well, and to be more than satisfied with the life you are shaping. To surround yourself with nature (love birds, they are humorous) and to take care of your body first thing in the morning and take care of your mind with much reading, that is how I would figure that people can learn to appreciate all the facets of being human, and in a grateful spirit. Body, mind, spirit must be treated with care.

So nice to meet you, Mimi!

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Vicki

I do love every feature I write and present but these are really fun… Anita, I think I will keep running this series on and off forever :)

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Mimi Gregor

As it was nice to meet you last time! I’m really glad that Vicki has started this series; it’s great to get to know everyone else who comments frequently and to realize that though we are all different in many ways, we are alike in many more ways to offset that. After all, if everyone is the same, and has the same opinion about everything, then that makes for a lot of redundant people out there.

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Our French Oasis

It is great to read about people who are utterly content with their lives, in an era when we have far more than previous generations and yet we also complain far more, I found this incredibly refreshing. I have one simple motto in life I pinched from the late Queen Mother, “never complain, never explain” I find it works rather well and I stick by it! I also love your natural approach to living Mimi, one I try and follow completely as well and I do truly believe that what we eat reflects in our skin.

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Mimi Gregor

As to living life according to natural rhythms, I have learned a lot from my parrots. I eat more healthfully, because I want them to eat healthfully, and they want to eat what they see us eat. So lots of fruits and veggies! And they nap after lunch (very sensible idea, and also one that a lot of countries followed until we “brought them into the twenty-first century.”) which we generally do. They go to bed early and get up early, and maintain a routine. One could do worse than emulate birds, except maybe for their bathroom habits.

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Margaret

Such an insightful glimpse into a fascinating life, to be so at ease and content with oneself is pure bliss. I am so loving getting to know more about the regular names i always see. Great idea Vicki. Xx Margaret

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Janet

What wonderful conversations I always find here-and I love, love this series. These are great questions we should all ask ourselves-and then see how the answers may change! Thanks so much for sharing this info-XO

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Linda H

Vicki–How wonderful that you take the time to get to know your readers. I’ve seen Mimi’s comments before and they are wonderful. I love finding treasurers in consignment/thrift stores. LOL Haven’t yet dumpster dived! But I love the crow analogy and have always been enchanted by actual crows!

You have a terrific blog and it is truly a bright spot in my day.

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Mimi Gregor

When we first moved in together (lo, these many years ago!), Paul and I had NO furniture except for kitchen appliances, a mattress, and a radio. One of the high points of our year was the weekend that the local college students graduated. They jettisoned ALL their belongings — most of which were unused — into their dumpsters. Which Paul and I then plundered. We may have been poor of money, but we didn’t know it. We had a hell of a good time conducting our “raids”. Made a day of it, including brunch. We haven’t done that for many years, but it still makes me smile. That’s why I love crows; that’s pretty much how they live.

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david terry

Oh, Mimi……..I have friends in Charlottesville, Virginia whose entire, very nice house and most of their wardrobe has been supplied, since 1976 or so, by the departing students from UVA each May. My friends simply raid the dumpsters and back-yards of the fraternity and sorority houses (i.e., kids whose parents have money to spare, to say the least). Apparently, departing seniors just throw EVERYTHING away.

As for crows?……I have a penchant for them also; there are at least three stuffed ones, five or so sculpted ones, and somewhere around ten paintings featuring crows in this old house. I have (i9nsofar as anyone owns crows, which is to say not at all) two quite separate, fiercely competing flocks that live in the pecan groves surrounding the front and back of this 220 year old house.

Oh?….the same friends I mentioned previously?…….years ago, the mother rescued and successfully healed a crow with a broken wing. Word got around the small-ish town that she was The Lady Who Could Fix Crows, and everyone in town kept bringing her wounded/sick crows (I’m not at all kidding). She ended building a long, caged runway on her back porch, where ten or so crows would flop and flap around at any given time.

All of them were named “Jim”. Once again…..I kid you not. My friend (she’s elderly these days) loves her dogs and birds (her last parrot, which was named “Zelda”, died only a few years ago and was provedly over 100 years old), but she’s not exactly Politically Correct.

I doubt that the cringe-making aspects of that little Jim “joke” will be readily apparent to non-Americans.

Thanks for the obviously evocative post……

david terry

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Mimi Gregor

“Dumpster Day” was the High Holiday of our early years. The students here are the same as the ones you described: mom and dad paid for everything, and the kids just jettisoned it all. We had a route planned, hitting all the best places first, and even had equipment (a bent curtain rod to move things about without climbing in — although if it was a good stash, in we climbed!) We weren’t the only ones who did this, but it was surprisingly non-competitive. People were usually looking for specific things, and sometimes we’d clue each other in to where we’d seen said item.

The wounded/sick crows were probably trying to find their way to The Crow Healer. Researchers who trap crows for banding have found that crows can not only recognize the researchers later and dive-bomb them, but they actually tell other crows that haven’t been trapped about the particular researcher and they dive-bomb him also. The researchers have learned to wear full-head masks when they do this in order to avoid bombardment.

I always enjoy your comments, David.

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LindH

Oh I would love such a find!! We have in our area a day called “large pick up day”. It’s a day when people can put anything and everything out front for the trashman to pick up. You should see the trucks loaded down and some pretty darn cute stuff. My son and his wife bought a 5 piece set of furniture from Goodwill for their new baby daughter’s room, they painted it and re-glued it and you should see it. It is beautiful!! Originally it was the old white french provincial furniture that everyone had in the 60’s and 70’s but it was pretty battered. I have lots of “reclaimed” furniture in my home that has either been repainted or sandblasted down to bare wood which is then sealed with Tung Oil. These are my favorite pieces. Maybe I’m a baby crow, at least I hope so :)

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Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse

Thank you, Vicki, it IS great fun to get a deeper insight into the women and friends we have shared thoughts with in the Internet world. Mimi sounds like great fun, a woman who knows who she is, no-nonsense, interested and positive about life and other people. I love finding out that as women, we always have more in common than not. It is so lovely to get to know you a little better Mimi.

Ps. Love the QM quote, Susan! I think I’ll print that out and hang it in my office.

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Linda B

It truly is lovely to get to know other human beings whenever we get the opportunity! Mimi, thanks so much for sharing this picture of your life and your wisdom. Vicki, thank you for generously making these sharing opportunities happen!

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Ali

I love this series. Whenever I read the comments I have always tried to conjure up what the people are like…I know some interesting men follow along also. It is so amazing….we are all from different parts of the world….but we each come together here.

Ali

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lisa thomson

Another wonderful interview, Vicki! I love this series. Nice to get to know you, Mimi! I also love Audrey Tatou, at least her films and the characters she so beautifully plays. I love your attitude and this really resonated with me “I don’t have a bucket list. Present Mimi is perfectly content. Future Mimi… who knows what she will be into?”

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Mary-Jill Bellhouse

So refreshing to read Mimi’s response. I love the idea of regularly overhauling your appearance and interests – I’m going to do that! Thanks Mimi! And thanks Vicki for the series – great to read the generously candid thoughts of others, that come at exactly the right time, and enable us to take their inspiration into our own lives! Mary-Jill

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Mimi Gregor

I have heard that every cell in your body is completely replaced every seven years. So, in effect, you are a new person. I believe that every single cell has a consciousness, and that this aggregate makes up what we recognize as our consciousness. So it stands to reason that our interests and aesthetic would change over time. I think that a lot of people hold on to the same interests and appearance over time simply out of fear of changing — what would everybody think! It’s fun to just go with it. The neighbors will get over your new haircut/color/wardrobe/whatever.

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david terry

You’re not the only one who’s heard that business about every single cell-in-your-body’s being replaced by the end of every seven-year period, Mimi.

An older (than me, at least) friend of mine told me, a few years ago, about the day that her former husband (who’d abruptly left her for another woman, years previously and after 25 or so years of marriage and four children) pulled that predictably dumb-ass, utterly cliche, and self-congratulatory “Only now do I realize how much I threw away! I am but a man with a man’s needs!!” act on her one night when, after several years of not even seeing or speaking to him, he asked to have dinner with her. And, yes, he had the nerve (having divorced her) to say that he “could come over” to her house for dinner (which, of course, she would cook).

According to my friend (she’s a very smart & capable 75 years old nowadays), she looked at him (while they sat in HER house, these days) and said “Oh….really? You know….I’ve heard that every cell in your body is replaced every seven years. It’s been eight years since you left. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve never touched a single cell of this body. I hope you don’t mind if I’d like to KEEP things that way. ”

“OUCH!” was my first thought……….

sincerely (if amusedly),
david terry

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Mary-Jill Bellhouse

Love it Mimi!! (Read Bruce Lipton: ‘The Biology of Belief’ – about how each of our cells has a consciousness and how this affects their interaction in whether we become ill or stay healthy. A really good logical read from a well-respected medical & quantum physics practitioner.)

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Mona Turner

It’s so nice to have gotten to know Mimi Gregor. I always enjoy reading comments and often wonder what that person is like behind the writing. Mimi is completely comfortable in her own skin and I love that. What an interesting woman! “If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it.” This is a phrase that I really try to live by. Thanks for sharing your amazing self with all of us Mimi.

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Deborah Peterson Milne

I love a woman that never feels older than in her 30’s. I admire Mimi’s contentment and living in the moment. Truly a woman to admire, respect and love. Bravo to Mimi for not defining herself. To put labels on ourselves inhibits us. I wish I could sit down for tea with you, & all the ladies you’ve chosen to participate Vicki. Such strong, inspiring females. xx

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