A Packable Raincoat, and Coco Update - une femme d'un certain âge

Wednesday Miscellany: Plans Go Awry Again…

Susan Blakey and her dog Coco, a senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Yes, Coco is ok.

I’d just sat down to work on blog posts yesterday afternoon when I noticed she was having trouble walking. Her back legs were very weak and floppy. Fearing she’d had another stroke, I called the vet and took her in to be checked out.

The good news is that she doesn’t seem to have had a stroke or any blood clots. The problem seems to be pain in her lower back, probably a herniated or compressed disk. (I’ve learned this is relatively common in Cavaliers.) So they sent us home with a two-week course of steroids, and orders for “complete rest.” 🤞she’ll respond to treatment.

But…the visit took a few hours and my planned blog post will need to be pushed back.

Today’s my birthday; I’m 63! 🎉 I look at every year as a victory, and celebrate my age. No big plans today, though. I’m off to yoga class, then will come home and get started on my packing for our Puerto Vallarta trip. Look for my travel wardrobe post on Friday. I’ll celebrate in Mexico with a Margarita on the beach.

A Packable Raincoat

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age tries on a Madewell packable rain jacket.

Speaking of travel and packing, I did want to show you this cute packable raincoat. It’s water-resistant (not water-proof) but incredibly lightweight and can be stuffed down into its own belt bag. Offered in 3 colors, sizes XX-Small to 3X. I’m wearing a size Small here. It’s made from recycled water bottles, and is light and breathable.

Stay in touch.

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  1. Robyn
    March 4, 2020 / 2:33 am

    I’m so sorry. That happened to our Shih Tzu last summer. He had to be on crate rest for 6 weeks. Luckily, his brother would stay in the crate with him from time to time. Also, we have a portable crate and we’d move it around to wear ever we were.

  2. Jane
    March 4, 2020 / 3:26 am

    Warmest Birthday wishes Susan! . I love your blog—style, travel, life. Coco is a darling, hope she’s feeling better soon.

  3. karen
    March 4, 2020 / 4:04 am

    Happy Birthday!
    sorry to hear Coco is under the weather again, hoping for a speedy recovery for her and safe travels for you.

  4. Linda
    March 4, 2020 / 4:13 am

    Best wishes on your birthday! Hoping your little Coco feels better.

  5. Inge
    March 4, 2020 / 4:14 am

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Susan and all the best in your new year.

  6. Kathy
    March 4, 2020 / 4:15 am

    Happiest of birthdays to you! Love your style ❤️

  7. Karen
    March 4, 2020 / 4:16 am

    Happy Birthday Susan…. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I wish Coco a speedy recovery. They are our little babies. Thank you for your blog!!!! I have learned so much from you.. thank you for all the hard work you put into everyday… ❤️

  8. Diane B
    March 4, 2020 / 4:20 am

    A very Happy Birthday to you Susan. Enjoy your day. We had to put our dog on steroids periodically and they worked amazing, but he could not stay on them. Best of luck. You look terrific in the head to toe look.

  9. Teresa
    March 4, 2020 / 4:26 am

    Happy Birthday Susan! I hope you have a wonderful day! Wishing a speedy recovery for Coco.

  10. Cindi
    March 4, 2020 / 4:28 am

    Poor Coco! Hopefully things will improve, so hard to see that sweet face in any pain. Thanks for the great jacket suggestion-the color is great on you! Happy. Birthday! I didn’t realize you were also a fellow March birthday! I am celebrating a big one this weekend myself. Enjoy your day & always thanks for such a great blog!!!

  11. Mary G
    March 4, 2020 / 4:39 am

    Happy Birthday young one! I just had my 77th and looking forward to many more! Wishing you the best….

  12. March 4, 2020 / 4:47 am

    Happy Birthday Susan. Enjoy your day!

  13. Carol
    March 4, 2020 / 5:00 am

    Happy Birthday to you! I agree with another reader that you look fabulous head to toe. Sending get well wishes to Coco.

  14. Denise B
    March 4, 2020 / 5:07 am

    Have an outstanding birthday!

  15. March 4, 2020 / 5:27 am

    Happy birthday! You have the same attitude as I do, thankful for each one.

  16. kathy
    March 4, 2020 / 5:47 am

    Happy Birthday to you Susan! You have the right attitude. Birthdays are a gift and should be celebrated! I have lost two very dear friends who would have loved to continue having birthdays.
    Love your blog!

  17. Christina Marinucci
    March 4, 2020 / 5:48 am

    Wishing you a very happy birthday I’ll be keeping Coco in my thoughts.

  18. Jaye Coker
    March 4, 2020 / 5:52 am

    Happy Birthday! You’ve been looking great in your new colors. Best wishes to your furry friend too.

  19. Rondi
    March 4, 2020 / 5:59 am

    Happy Birthday, Susan!

  20. Marysue
    March 4, 2020 / 6:01 am

    Happy Birthday wishes from a new -ish follower! I hope Coco is feeling better, she looks like a darling. Looking forward to packing post and will be reading some of your previous posts to prepare for first trip to Europe in September, thank you for all the wonderful content you share on your blog!

  21. Sherry S.
    March 4, 2020 / 6:01 am

    Happy Happy Birthday! Love your blog and style!

  22. NDakTeach
    March 4, 2020 / 6:07 am

    Birthday greetings, Susan! May you enjoy the day and the year!
    It sounds like your trip is still on – I’m so happy for you and looking forward to hearing your updates and living vicariously through you!! Our Vietnam/Cambodia trip this month was cancelled, which is a bummer as we’d been planning for over a year. 🙁 It was actually a relief when it was called off. I repeat your “rant” often: wash your hands!

  23. Sandra
    March 4, 2020 / 6:13 am

    Wishing you a wonderful birthday and a fun vacation! Hope Coco feels better soon.

  24. Frances
    March 4, 2020 / 6:16 am

    Happy Birthday, Sue!

  25. Ann in Missouri
    March 4, 2020 / 6:21 am

    Happy birthday, my virtual friend. Enjoy everything about it.

  26. patricia valentic
    March 4, 2020 / 6:26 am

    Happy birthday Susan. I appreciate your blog. Thank you for sharing your classy creative fashion ideas. I hope you have a great birthday trip to Puerto Vallarta. patval

  27. Cheryl
    March 4, 2020 / 6:29 am

    A Big Happy Birthday. Give Coco a get well hug! You are fabulous, you are gorgeous, you are honest, and inspiring. Thank you for being “on the level” and for providing consistent encouragement to love ourselves for who we are. Your new color palette is AMAZING, you look so vibrant. Wishing you an amazing day and many many more.

  28. Meg
    March 4, 2020 / 6:31 am

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Thank you for another year of great style and travel posts!

  29. Noblepower
    March 4, 2020 / 6:36 am

    Happy birthday from a fellow Pisces! I hope Coco is feeling better soon, poor little girl!

  30. Jan Whichard
    March 4, 2020 / 6:41 am

    Happy birthday Youngster! The 60s is such a terrific decade! My recommendation is that you have at least two Marghueritas when you get to PV.

    One sneaker suggestion check out Allbirds Tree Runners shoes. They have new time limited colors that pop up regularly. I snagged a pair of coral-ish ones a few weeks ago but one has to check often for colors.

    Glad the pup is hanging in there…she is precious.


    • Pat
      March 4, 2020 / 12:00 pm

      Birthday wishes! Have a great trip, and I know you have good care for Coco while away. Best to all!

  31. Nancy
    March 4, 2020 / 6:45 am

    Happy Birthday from a soon to be 63 year old (August)! Enjoy your day! Best wishes and continued good health to your precious fur baby.

  32. Ev
    March 4, 2020 / 6:57 am

    Happy Birthday, Sue! Wishing you all the best. I’m really enjoying your color journey, even though your colors wouldn’t work for me. I still get inspired, though. Hope Coco is feeling better.

  33. Linda lennon
    March 4, 2020 / 6:58 am

    Happy Birthday! Get well wishes for Coco!

  34. Sharon
    March 4, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Happy Birthday! I enjoy your blog and find your information and tips very helpful -keep it up!

  35. Elizabeth
    March 4, 2020 / 7:05 am

    Happy birthday! I love your blog, your fashion and travel sense and your candor.Hope you have a fabulous Mexican getaway and that your pup rebounds quickly. Here’s to a great year ahead!

  36. Pam
    March 4, 2020 / 7:06 am

    Happy Birthday! It breaks your heart when your fur babies aren’t feeling well. I have two 13 year old Labrador retrievers (brother & sister). They both benefit from regular acupuncture. It has worked wonders on my dogs and I’m sure it will help Coco too. Best of luck!

  37. Maggie
    March 4, 2020 / 7:08 am

    Happy Birthday! I am so glad that Coco is better. Rimadyl seemed to help our dog in her later years with arthritis in her lower back and hips. Please give Coco a scratch in her favorite spot for me!
    FYI – I don’t know if you have Primark near you but I have found a few things there to update my wardrobe.

  38. Jane
    March 4, 2020 / 7:09 am

    Best wishes to both you and Coco, Susan! I turn 70 next month and am so grateful for the upcoming decade!

  39. Joan
    March 4, 2020 / 7:16 am

    Happy Birthday! Oh…..our dogs! So important to have them in our lives. I am thoroughly enjoying your new brighter colors. As for the rain jacket…oui! I purchased a waterproof Columbia for my upcoming trip to France. My color is Merlot and it works with everything I own. I guess it’s time to stop obsessing about my packing list…..now, onto corona Novid19. I have no intention of canceling my May trip!m

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 4, 2020 / 3:44 pm

      That is one of my pet colours as well. Columbia has very nice cool reds.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 4, 2020 / 3:48 pm

      That is one of my pet colours as well. Columbia has very nice cool reds.

      By the way, I know many young people who wear pretty much only black and other sombre hues. Depends on the “tribes”.

  40. Sue Rees
    March 4, 2020 / 7:25 am

    Happy Birthday Susan. I hope Coco makes a speedy recovery. We have a 10 year old King Charles spaniel and know what lovely dogs they are. I love your red Eccos! I have them in navy and white – so comfortable. Now I’m fancying the red!

  41. Mary
    March 4, 2020 / 7:25 am

    Happy birthday to the woman who made a huge packing difference to lots of us!
    Best wishes to Coco-our animal friends make such as an old napkin, and use it
    to iron with–prevents any mishaps with a too hot iron!
    thanks again and lots of fun this coming year!

  42. March 4, 2020 / 7:48 am

    Oh gosh, somebody else has to give the medicine to Coco then. Hope your dog is easy with that. Poor girl.
    The coat is a great summer rain garment. Hope you will have a good flight and drinking that margarita soon.

    • Susan Blakey
      March 4, 2020 / 7:50 am

      She’s actually very easy to give medicine to…just put it in a soft treat and she gobbles it down. Our house and dog sitter is someone who is part of her “second family” so I’m comfortable that all will be well.

      • March 6, 2020 / 5:13 am

        That is really nice. We always have to “book” a girl who sits with our dog in our house. But she is not always available. And then there is the day care and weekend centre for dogs. Fortunately it is not too far away and Watson really likes to play with the other dogs. They have three big fields to run in and a pool to cool off.

  43. Sue
    March 4, 2020 / 7:56 am

    Happy birthday! Coco’s prognosis is a wonderful gift. Our beloved — but a little too plump — cat had two periods of crate rest over the course of a couple years. I think he liked the attention (we put him in the center of action in the house and he barely seemed to care he was in a large crate). All was well for many years after.

    I noticed once again today that you’re such a great model I routinely click on your fashion selections, only to find they look far better on you than they do on the model on the seller’s website. You’re an inspiration for us all.

  44. Alexandra Martella
    March 4, 2020 / 7:58 am

    Happy birthday!!! Have a fabulous trip!

  45. Elizabeth
    March 4, 2020 / 8:28 am

    Happiest Birthday Wishes to You! Have a great year

  46. Lisa B
    March 4, 2020 / 8:39 am

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Hope you enjoy your day. Thanks so much for another year of helpful advice and outfit inspiration. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve appreciated your styling tips.
    Hope your baby feels better. Anyone who has owned a dog knows the emotional upheaval of loving a senior dog. Hope Coco feels better.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 4, 2020 / 3:40 pm

      Or a cat. My lovely Renzo (dark tuxie, almost pure black) lived to 20 1/2, though he had been a homeless stray. I’m not much for birthdays, but they are far better than the alternative and can be a good opportunity for a get-together with friends and family. Many kisses to the lovely Coco.

  47. Suz
    March 4, 2020 / 8:42 am

    Happy Birthday! Celebrating in Mexico with family and a margarita (or two) sounds like a great plan – enjoy!
    Suz from Vancouver

  48. Carolyn Varick
    March 4, 2020 / 8:50 am

    Happy birthday!

    I’m loving how using your color palette is making your entire wardrobe look intentional and cohesive. The warm pastels and gamine style just makes it all go together even when things don’t precisely match!

    Hugs and snuggles for your Coco.

  49. Elizabeth Johnson
    March 4, 2020 / 9:26 am

    Happy Birthday, gorgeous Susan!!
    I hope you have a fabulous time celebrating in Mexico.
    You grow more beautiful with every year.
    You inspire me greatly. You are a wonderful, caring, talented
    I think of you every time I go shopping now — “what would Susan think?!”
    I’m making better decisions with clothing choices, and I’m having fun experimenting with new styles and colors.*
    You’re all around awesome. Thank you for all of your informative, interesting blogs — I
    consider them gifts. You are a gift, too.
    Wishing you the very best,
    Twitter: @ ElizabethJSays
    P.S. My children are my biggest fashion critics. Since reading your blogs and following your
    advice, I haven’t heard comments from either of my children like: “Mom! You look like a nun
    from the ’90s.” Yes, I heard this one years ago as I was heading to a meeting thinking that I
    was really rocking a new black dress.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 4, 2020 / 3:42 pm

      Odd, I know many young people who pretty much dress only in black and other sombre hues. Different “tribes”.

  50. Janine
    March 4, 2020 / 9:51 am

    Happy Birthday! You might want to take Coco to see an animal chiropractor for her back.

  51. Brenda
    March 4, 2020 / 10:12 am

    Happy Birthday and many best wishes to you (and to sweet Coco) for a healthy, happy year to come!

  52. Angela in NZ
    March 4, 2020 / 11:02 am

    Happy birthday, enjoy your trip 🙂

  53. Kathy Ludgate
    March 4, 2020 / 11:38 am

    Happy Birthday!

  54. March 4, 2020 / 12:06 pm

    Happy Birthday, Susan! Enjoy your trip to PV and a margarita (or two) in celebration. Sorry that Coco gave you a scare but am happy that she will be her self again soon. Thank you for your wonderful ideas and inspiration. Love your colors. You glow, girl!

  55. Elizabeth
    March 4, 2020 / 12:31 pm

    Warmest Birthday wishes, Susan, from cold & lightly snowing Canada! My 63rd is at the end of this month.
    The problem with a dog, or any pet, is that they are a family member and you love them through thick & thin. Sigh.

  56. Kay
    March 4, 2020 / 12:39 pm

    I used to be 63 🙂 I really like that jacket, color and all.

  57. March 4, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Susan! Hope that the steroids bring some relief for Coco!

  58. noreen kelly
    March 4, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    happy birthday! hope your dog is on the mend soon

  59. March 4, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    happiest of birthdays to you! Sure the best gift would be a pain free fur baby.
    I just bought a coat very similar in color and style that’s waterproof at Costco!

  60. Lee Rosenthall
    March 4, 2020 / 4:27 pm

    Happy Birthday, Susan, and Get Well Soon, Coco! You both look wonderful. 🙂

  61. March 5, 2020 / 6:41 am

    I hope things are improved with Coco now. I know all too well how upsetting it is when your furry ones aren’t well. I hope she’s bounced back nicely before you leave for holiday.

    I love the colour of that raincoat. How amazing it is made out of recycled plastic!! Superb. xx

  62. Blyma Wolpin
    March 5, 2020 / 8:15 am

    Happiest of Days! Hooray for healing for Coco. Love that nutmeg color on you. Have a wonderful trip.

  63. MARLA
    March 5, 2020 / 4:19 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIZ PICES! You look darn cute in the rain jacket shot. 63 looks great on you. Blessings on that sweet puppy dog.

  64. March 6, 2020 / 11:41 am

    Happy Birthday! When will we celebrate? I guess we have to wait for this virus to abate. Rats. Loving your blog!!! Hope the little guys heals well.

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