Something Personal I Have to Face

The weather in South Carolina has been really nice that past week and pollen season is over. These two factors made it the perfect time to start staining the boat dock that extends out from the lakeside gazebo in my yard.

Lake Dock stretching out over the lake before staining

Last year Ed ripped up and replaced the damaged wood boards. Staining the boards is my job and much easier than Ed’s repair work.

Diane with hat and sunglasses Staining the dock on Lake Murray

Using a paint roller stick and a 5″ wide paint brush made the process pretty easy. I felt like I was swabbing the deck instead of staining. I love being outdoors, so I didn’t mind taking this project on.

What made the job harder for me though was the need to keep my face covered from the sun. I need to completely cover it by wearing a wide brim hat that can get in the way, especially when it is windy outside.

Closeup photo of Blogger In My Own Style wearing a large brim black hat to protect her Vitiligo from the sun.

Today, I am sharing something personal with you that I have had to come to terms with over the past two years.

blogger In My Own Style standing and smiling at camera on lakeside dock without hat on.
Me, two weeks ago sans sun hat and with white opaque sunblock rubbed in all over my face and neck.

About 2 years ago, I started to see small sections of skin on my chin look patchy.

At first, I thought it was just my skin showing signs of aging, but then I started to get brown dots inside other brown dots on my chin. It looked very strange.

I went to my dermatologist to see if it was happening because of a serum or cream I was using. She looked at me and said:

“No, sadly that is not what is happening. You are showing signs of Vitiligo and unfortunately, there is nothing that can really be done about it and it may get worse and show up on other parts of your body over time.”

She was right. It has spread not just on my face, but I have new and spreading white patches also on my hands, arms and knees.

Over the last two years she has prescribed a few topical creams. When she gives them to me, she tells me not to expect much as the disorder is hard to cure. The only option would be to bleach/laser my skin like Michael Jackson did, but if I was lucky enough to have the Vitiligo clear itself up, then I would be left with bleached spots of skin, so the process is not recommended.

Blogger In My Own Style on a vacation in France

During the fall and winter months, it is not as noticeable because I am not outside in the sun as much.

When spring comes, each passing week into summer it becomes more noticeable as sun exposure makes it look worse. This is because the skin that is unaffected (still has pigment) gets tan from the sun and the contrast between it and the white skin where the pigment is lost shows up more. These white areas turn pink in the sun.

With each passing year, I have lost more pigment and my white patches are getting larger. If you look closely at the photo in my blog sidebar that was taken two years ago now, you can see a few lost patches of pigment starting on the right side of my chin.

Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. The involved patches of skin become lighter or white. It can happen on all skin colors. It is an autoimmune disorder and can be triggered by an event, such as stress, severe sunburn or skin trauma. Contact with a chemical is also thought to be a cause.

I feel mine was triggered by stress since it started after a very upsetting and life-changing event happened to somebody dear to me. It still upsets me every single day. This event pushed my immune system over the edge.

Allergies to foods such as gluten and dairy as well as sun exposure worsen it. I now have to address my body as a whole, focusing on healthy food, plenty of exercise and taking steps to relieve stress and ways to calm my mind. Sadly, the state of the world right now is not helping keep my stress levels down. :-(

Life outside now for me has me always wearing a wide brim SPF hat with my face covered in sunscreen. I have quite a few hats, so I can at least feel like I am making a fashion statement.

Black Burberry flap hat

Recently when shopping online for a new hat, I came across this Burberry hat. It is just what I need when out in the sun, but the price tag is totally RIDICULOUS!!!!! $490.00!!!!

I assume it is marketed for Jetsetters whose lifestyle has them going from one tropical paradise to another all year long and who can afford to pay that price for a simple hat.

I may have to use the design as a pattern to DIY my own. :-) Most hats with flaps sold have a flap along the back to cover a person’s neck. I need to cover the sides of my face like this hat would do.

Boat tied up on floating covered on Lake Murray

You know the old saying… “When life give you lemons, make lemonade”

I am keeping that in the back of my mind along with a positive attitude about my patchy skin and learning to “own it” with confidence. Life could throw me something a whole lot worse.

Floating dock and stationary dock getting a coat of stain.

It hasn’t stopped me from doing anything… even outdoor projects like staining the dock.

Lakefront Gazebo and dock floor being stained by Diane

So wide brimmed hats have become my must-have along with plenty of sunscreen.

Long lake dock after getting stained, American flag blowing in the breeze.

Once I finished getting the dock stained…

Upper deck on house getting stained.

I headed to the house to stain the second floor deck.

After photo showing stained wood deck.

Now that the dock and upper deck are done, I will move onto the main deck of the house wearing one of my many hats to get the job done in style. :-)

Once I get the main deck stained, I will post about the process and brand of stain I used.

Wide Brim Hats I Like

My Favorite Sunscreens

I have tried many brands of sunscreen and do have a few favorites. I like these because they have a high SPF, can be rubbed in, have no harsh chemicals in them and no fragrance.

Opaque Sunblock Application Tip: I learned that when applying opaque white sunblock you should apply it using small circular motions, instead of swiping across your face. Small circular motions help to blend the white opaque color in better so you don’t see it. It works!

blogger In My Own Style standing on lakeside dock

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  1. Mary Frasher says:

    Many blessings to you and your family. I will keep Zoe in my prayers.

  2. Diane,
    Thank you for sharing your challenge and the ways you are handling it. I believe, without a doubt, that your positive attitude is a great help. Your dock and deck look awesome, and I look forward to seeing more pictures of you enjoying the space this spring and summer.
    All the best vibes to you!

  3. Irene Harrigan says:

    I have just come across your post. The exact thing has happened to me. I wear sunscreen and try my best to cover it but I have grown to accept it and have noticed that it is becoming very common. You look beautiful, don’t give it a second thought!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Irene –

      Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that you are dealing with Vitiligo also and how you deal with it. It is all we can do, so I try to just let it go and take it as it is. :-) When it gets me down, I say to myself, it could be something much worse – it is only cosmetic and does not change what I can do in life.

  4. Diane, I have just come across this post after reading about your fabulous bedside chest DIY makeover. (Divine!) I too was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that affects the skin following a tremendously stressful time in my life in 2012. Since then I have maintained a gluten free diet to minimize inflammation but diet alone couldn’t bring this disease in check. For that, I underwent infusions to destroy the B cells responsible for my disease. I have been in remission for the past 4 years. If you haven’t yet been to a dermatologist at a prominent teaching hospital, it may be worth exploring. I travel four hours to see one of the few specialists in my disease. Wishing you the best!

  5. Peggy McDonald says:

    Your deck looks so good. I am sure between the two of you the porches will look as nice.
    By the way your face looks fine. Just keep wearing you hat so it won’t progress more. I have a friend with the same issue and she has grown fine with it over the last 20 years and I don’t even notice it at all. Take care, Peggy

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Peggy – I wear my hats and SPF and stay happy. :-) Life could throw me something a whole lot worse. In the winter months it looks much better. Over the past 8 months – when out and about, wearing a mask for Covid, hides most of it which keeps the sun off. Win Win for having to wear a mask.

  6. Vitiligo will never be cured, because patients lack the motivation to push for one. Vitiligo patients are content with placing their condition on the backburner while engaging in alot of positive self talk (“this makes me unique”, “there are more pressing diseases to worry about” etc. – which could actually be said of any disease…AIDS makes you unique too, and there are more pressing disease than AIDS, but that doesnt stop anyone from striving to cure it.). I feel sorry for the young people and teens who will have to live with this disease because older generations sho came before them were too complacent and indifferent about the disease, to push for a cure.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story, Diane. I am sorry you’re having to deal with this but your attitude makes all the difference. We see your wonderful blogs and beautiful home – as we do with many bloggers – and assume you have a perfect life. Your personal experience will let others see themselves in you. Perhaps you’ve enlightened another reader who may have ignored similar symptoms who will now see a doctor. No doubt you’ve inspired others who face similar issues to live their best life regardless. We all have our burdens to bear and your sharing of yours makes us all feel like we’re in this together.

  8. I’ve had Vitiligo since my 20s. I’m now in my mid 50s. The type of vitiligo I have is called nonsegmental, generalized vitiligo. This means it occurs in both sides of the body at the same time. Mine started as spots on my fingers on both hands and gradually moved up to small places on my hands and wrists. However the past 10 years it has quickly spread to other places on my body after going through a very stressful 10 year stretch. I also have Hashimotos Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disorder to which vitiligo is linked. Over the past 10 years it has almost completely covered both hands. It is on both elbows and underarms, as well as both knees and inner thighs. Within the past year it has started creeping from my hairline onto my forehead and also on my chest. I once had a doctor ask me if I felt self conscious about it to which my reply was no. I can’t do anything about so why should I spend time being self conscious of something I can’t do anything about. Hang in there and be proud of your new markings that make you unique.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stacye –

      Thanks for taking the time to connect and tell me about your vitiligo. XO

      My derm told me mine is also generalized. What started on my face, is showing up in more places with each passing year. It is all over both hands and wrists now and I see patches on my arms, knees and ankles. I agree with you – since there is nothing that can be done about it, to simply wear it with confidence.:-) My sister told me yesterday that she saw a Target ad where the model in the ad had vitiligo. Nice to see that everyone is beautiful.

      I do wear a hat and try to stay out of the sun and use sunscreen as much as possible. Other than this, I am not going to stop enjoying being outdoors where I love to be.

  9. Brenda Vetter says:

    I am sorry to hear of your trouble with vitiligo. I, too have it, but only on the backof one hand. It appeared 2 years ago in the form of 2 spots about the size of a pencil eraser and has spread to 1/3 of the area. I have been using a greasy cream called Tacrolimus, which is used for psorisis. So far, it has stopped increasing. The medicine is expensive (for me), but has lasted a long time. Just passing this along to you to discuss with your doctor. The condition seems to be related to other auto immune diseases and/or thyroid problems, both of which I have. It is not known what causes this or how to successfully combat it. Right now, however, we have other, more pressing diseases to think about! Good luck to you and I enjoy your blog and the pictures. The paint recommendations have been particularly helpful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Brenda – I will ask my derm about the cream. I agree with you… right now there are more pressing diseases to think about. My problem doesn’t even seem like a problem on the big picture of life.

  10. mickey wood says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your skin codition – one more unexpected hurxle to manage on this journey we call life. Who can ever know what lies around the bend in the road, but you seem to have adopted the best possible mkndser to deal with it. The bigger problem is the stressor that causdd it – another of life’s surprises, Whatever it may be. i am sorrier for that than the skin thing, which, thank God, is not deadly. You and your husband worked so hard to find your happy place by the lake. Enjoy your life. Wear the hats. Stay the positive creative person you clearly are. ❤

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mickey –

      Thank you for the nice note. XO I am following your advise – less stress and enjoying life at the lake while making hats part of my style. :-)

  11. Diane, when I saw that photo of you with your beautiful smile and the lake in the background, all I saw is how lovely, fresh and happy you looked. I thought, I love how she has let her hair go natural, it makes her skin look so radiant. It was only after I read your post and zoomed in on the photo that I could see the vitiligo. You are beautiful through and through. I hope you are practicing good self care to manage the stress. Thank you for all the goodness you bring to the world. I am sending good vibes your way.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bettsi- Thanks for sending good vibes my way. XO I have been learning to de-stress and learning to relax more and take life easy. The lake is my calm place. Now that it is warm out it is nice to get out on it more. Thank you for being one of my long time readers. That brings me joy. :-)

  12. You are perfectly lovely! We have friends that have it run in the family with young children having it. They are also lovely. Btw, that Yale’s most popular course on being happy and dealing with stress is available online for free. Saw the link on The Crowned Goat blog.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb, thank you for your nice comment. XO I will check the book out. Thanks for recommending.

  13. Lisa Farr says:

    Anna Wintour is known for wearing her signature sunglasses – they make a fashion statement. I heard recently she wears them because she has a eye problem, but to the world they are just iconic. I guess you will just have to rock the big, fashionable hat! They can be YOUR fashion statement! And you have such wonderful ideas and such good taste – I’m sure they will look FABULOUS.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – That is a very chic way to look at having to wear a wide brim hat. Interesting that Anna Wintour has an eye problem. I didn’t know that. Her glasses sure have made her ultra-chic. :-) Just like Elton John and all his glasses. They became his style. Styling hats will be mine.

      1. Lisa Farr says:

        I’m sure you will look VERY stylist in them. Audrey Hepburn did!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Thanks Lisa :-)

  14. Catpainter says:

    Hi, Diane,
    Just came off Amazon to compare a price and a big hat ad popped up and I thought of you. Not sure it is a reliable company, so looked at Amazon for Womens Caps and Hats UV Protection and they have a bunch in the $15 -$19 price range, and if you have Prime, free return if it does not work.

    Also read the response about hats and they are having a sale – lifetime guarantee on their hats – around $25 and up.

    Good luck. You can make a hat but getting one with built in UV protection might be worth the spend : )

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Maggie – Thank you for thinking of me. You are like my personal shopper. XO I do have Amazon Prime and will take a look and also the sale over on SundayAfternoon.

  15. Hello Diane, I love your blog. I’m sorry about what you are going through, you have the right attitude about it. Im sure stress is not good for any of us. If anyone can figure out how to craft a good copy of that hat it will be you. Take care.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elise – Thank you for your comment and reading my blog. XO I am getting a lot of great ideas in the comments from readers on my post about how to make and or design the perfect hat.

  16. Marguerite says:

    Your bright eyes and your smile sure do deflect from the vitiligo! Be well, we ALL need to be wearing wide brim hats and good sunscreen!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Marguerite. Smiling does wonders. :-)

  17. Regina Leitz says:

    I feel for you. I experienced the same thing starting about 2011. Mine differed in that large dark patches showed up across my cheeks and it kept spreading. It’s pretty much all over my face and I was going through a very stressful event at work. I wish I could find a makeup to cover it that didn’t look so heavy as I am in my 60’s & work outside the home.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Regina –

      So sorry to hear that you are dealing with Vitiligo also. When mine first started to really show up, I researched the best coverup, but all of them, like you mentioned are so heavy and feel awful on my skin. Plus after awhile where the darker patches are, would look grey. I find if I mix white sunscreen into any foundation, it ends up looking better, not perfect, but more even. I love going to Sephora and Ulta so I am always looking for something. If I find anything, I will email you. XO

  18. Sally Perdue says:

    Your deck turned out almost as beautiful as you are my dear! Hang in there and may God bless you and your sweet little family today and forever. (Also loved your pix from our Paris trip!)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sally – Thanks. :-) Is your fall cruise still a-go?

  19. Judy Schweichler says:

    Thank you for sharing your very personal health story with all of us-your faithful readers! I wish you good health-you are a beautiful person!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Judy – Thank you so much and for being a faithful reader. XO

  20. G. C. Dean says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your positive attitude is just awesome, and, I think the wide-brimed hats are really chic!!!

    I have found doing any form of art, drawing, painting, gel printing, art journaling to be very calming,

    Best wishes.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gretchen –

      I am lucky that we live in a world where there is lots of fashion and hats to choose from. I can make my hats part of my style. :-) I agree with you about taking time to persue art of any kind or a creative hobby. It takes your mind off everything and you forget about time, just enjoying what you are creating. XO

  21. Thank you for sharing your story! And good for you for not letting Vitiligo slow you down. I have a friend that’s had Vitiligo for several years and they go sailing in the tropics every year. Lots of sunscreen, hats and sunblock garments have kept her enjoying life.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Connie – Thank you for sharing about your friend. Love hearing she is active, even in the sun and enjoying life. Gives me all the more confidence to not let it get me down. XO

  22. Angela Bolen says:

    I am fairly new to your blog, so my first time leaving a comment. I read your story and want you to know that you are beautiful! I love the photos that you share of your home. Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Angela – Thank you not only for your kind words, but for reading my blog and taking the time to comment and connect with me. :-) If you ever have any questions about anything I post, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Martha XO

  23. Shirley LaFortune says:

    As we age we all get to make lemonade. Accepting it is the best way to go. Thank goodness it is not terminal. I do love the English style hat but of course you could devise a pattern using a good stiffener in the ‘brim’. You might enjoy looking at scrub hats for ideas of patterns that might work or early American costume or Amish hats for ideas and customize to your personal need and taste – go for it fashionista. This isn’t dress rehearsal, so enjoy life each day.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shirley – Thanks for all the hat ideas. You must be a hat designer or just love and know a lot about hats. XO Love what you said… This isn’t a dress rehearsal, so enjoy life each day. That is the best prescription.

  24. Ann Flora says:

    So sorry to hear that you have to deal with this condition, but glad that you are going right on making beauty in your life to share with others. Warrior on!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – thank you. I like your saying… Warrior On! That is just what I plan to do. XO

  25. lorraine Ortiz says:

    Very brave of you to share this personal struggle. From my perspective you are beautiful. I enjoy what you do and look forward to your posts like hearing from a friend, and o don’t even know you. You have brought back pieces of my childhood that I so enjoyed but forgot about. My mom was crafty and both parents hands on. Thank you and stay well.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lorraine – Thank you for the nice comment. I love that I feel like a friend. I wish I could meet you and all my readers. Since we are interested in many of the same things we are kindred spirits – online ones. :-) My mom was crafty too and my dad could build anything. It makes me happy to know I am bringing back fond memories of your childhood and mom and dad. XO

  26. Nancy Vellutini says:

    I certainly feel for you and can somewhat identify with your problem. I have rosacea which is getting worse as time goes by and more and more difficult to conceal. I have never noticed your skin problem until todays pictures. You do a very good job of concealing it. I’d like to know your secret. Congratulations on being brave enough to share with us.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – Sorry to hear about your rosacea. Does food or the cold make it worse? I don’t know much about it, but feel your pain. I hope you can figure out what makes it flare up so you can help lessen it.

      My vitiligo started with dots on my chin about two years ago and has slowly spread to other parts of my face. Just recently it has really started to show up more. The best cover I have found for it, although not perfect is itCosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50. Here is a link to it so you can see what it looks like:

      I mix it with mineral sunscreen and rub in well.

  27. You are still a beautiful woman with a great heart! Your deck is gorgeous and so are you. Thanks for sharing. I really had no idea what Vitiligo was. You just keep making lemonade and being YOU. I’m always learning from you and your blog.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kris – It is nice to hear that you have learned things from my blog and I. Best thing a blogger could hear. I will keep on doing my thing and making lemonade. :-)

  28. Sunday Afternoons makes several styles of sun hats and some have flaps on the sides. You may want to check out their website ( I have one of their hats and they are easy to wash and care for.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I just went to the site and found two. :-) Thank you for the recommendation.

  29. Leslie Thornton says:

    You’re definitely a trouper!! Thank you for your story, and all your wonderful blogs.
    One thing… hats do help a great deal, for the overhead sun… but be aware that when you’re by the water, that reflection will come from below. Hang in there girl, keep making lemonade!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Leslie – Good tip to remember about water reflecting off the brim of a hat. It is easy to forget especially when on vacation and having fun…and then you end up with a burn. Thanks for reading my blog. XO

  30. Catherine says:

    Hats, especially big hats, are GLAMOROUS! Agree with someone else’s comment that it very quickly (within 5 minutes) becomes something you see but don’t see, like glasses or gray hair.

    And you look beautiful with that great smile! :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Catherine for the nice note. I am finding that hats can be fun to wear and like you said – glamourous. :-)

  31. Nancy Bowen says:

    U r doing well. Very positive and working thru your medical issues. Glad ur thinking & working your plan.
    Great medical advice for all .
    Ps deck & dock & house look great.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Nancy. :-)

  32. I know that this skin disease really bothers you and how others (you think) are looking at you. I know if I were to be in your shoes I would not want to go in pubic and I’d be having the same thoughts as you. However, when I look at your beautiful, happy smiling face I see the patch on your chin but it is just a passing look because I am seeing YOU! The smile and the way you radiate being happy. Life is so much more than looks and we have been programed so we forget all about that and judge by looks first. Be happy and thankful every day for what you do have in your life as it appears you try to do. Continue on my friend!!!!!!!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you for the nice and thoughtful note Lynda. XO Happy is the way to live – I will keep on smiling and enjoying my blessings. :-)

  33. Laura janning says:

    Your Still beautiful!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – Thanks XO How are you holding up in GA with all your kiddos at home? I am sure you are ready for all this to be over soon. Stay well.

  34. Wow, thank you for sharing personal info like this. It might be helpful to someone else! And yes, it could be much worse, so there’s that to be thankful for, right? I have to say….when I saw your picture above, I thought to myself how wonderful your face looked! Seriously! Like you had a makeover, or something. Now, on the humorous side….
    Remember Sunbonnet Sue? She always had some adorable looking headgear!
    Love and hugs, Diane

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – Thanks XO I think all the white sunscreen I apply and rub in very well acts as a nice diffuser and makes my skin overall look better – even the wrinkles. I don’t wear foundation anymore as it only makes everything look grey. Sunbonnet Sue… always had very colorful hats. :-)

  35. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Thank you for sharing Diane. My daughter has vitiligo as well. I’m not sure if you remember all the issues I had with her when she was little but everything she had was related to her gut health. Doctor’s here didn’t help me at all but my practitioner friend in Germany found out that she had a severe candida overgrowth and with her help, we overcame it all. The reason I’m mentioning this is that some believe that candida and vitiligo have a connection and to our astonishment the vitiligo stopped spreading and in some areas pigment even came back. We finally found a doctor here in the US in Quakertown who believes in natural gut healing and he helped us too. Regular testing facilities in the US don’t even test the right way for the candida overgrowth in your gut.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julia – Yes, I remember the issues you had with your daughter. XO. I remember her diet too. She was a trooper. So happy to hear that the issues are behind her now. I agree that gut health can play a big factor in many issues and I have read a few articles about it and Vitiligo. Eating healthy, no sugar, alcohol, or processed foods for me. I agree there are not many doctors that believe in it. If I still lived in PA I would make an appt with the Dr in Qtown. I will have to do some research to see if I can find one here in my area. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with me.

  36. I was going to ask what sunblock you liked, as you’re probably an expert by now! Thanks for including those recommendations. My son often reacts badly to chemical sunscreens so we stick with the opaque physical sunblocks too! Have you tried the powder sunscreen? We’ve used it for years and I LOVE it for my face. The sticker price is a shock but it lasts a very very long time. It’s the Sunforgettable mineral sunscreen by Colorescience if you want to look into it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen – I tried a powder sunblock a few years ago that my sister gave me. It made her break out. I can’t remember the brand, the packaging was white and yellow. The brush made my skin itch, not the actual powder. I will have to look into the Colorscience brand. Maybe it has a softer brush. It does make applying sunscreen fast. Thank you for recommending.

  37. Hi Diane, Thank you for sharing your condition with us. One of the things I like best about your blog is you keep it real. You don’t try to convince us you have all the answers and a perfect life. You are just like us dealing with many things at once.
    The dock & deck look great. What a big job!
    I am already looking forward to your next post.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jane – Thanks for the nice note. I am all about keeping it real and am happy to hear that you like that I am. Means a lot to me.

      Today I stained a section of the deck. Ed power washes and I stain. It is a big job, but we are doing it one section at a time so it is not as overwhelming. Thanks for reading my blog. XO

  38. Thank you for sharing – your beautiful spirit is reflected in your beautiful smile. As we age, so many unpleasant things happen but i would trade it for the world. Thanks for owning it and sharing :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Shirra for the kind words. XO

  39. Ruthie Peterburg says:

    Hello Diane, I am so very sorry to hear about your skin condition. You are such an energetic person and an inspiration to all of us. I wish you well and hope you manage to make that hat for yourself. All the best, Warm regards, Ruthie

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Ruthie XO – I think I have figured out a way to make the hat. I just have to get myself to a fabric store now.

  40. Diane, I’m so sorry to hear of your skin issue. Thank you for stepping out and sharing this chapter in your life. You have been such an inspiration to me in several ways since I started reading your blog. You are gorgeous with or without skin problems! God bless you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – Thank you. It makes me happy to know that you have been inspired reading my blog. That is the best thing I could hear. :-) XO

  41. Good job and your deck and dock project. It looks like it was a big job.

    Sorry about the Vitiligo, i am sure using the creams and dealing with the dermatologist you can keep it in control. As my doctor once told me when I got sick “we all got something”.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jane – Thanks – Getting outside in the nice weather made the staining job easier and not so much like work. Seeing the difference makes it worth the time and effort. I agree… we do all have something. :-)

  42. Diane, so sorry to hear about your skin condition, however you have a great attitude about it and are not letting it slow you down.
    What did you use to stain/ seal the dock?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Patricia –

      To stain the dock I used Behr Semi-Transparent Waterproof Stain & Sealer. I mixed two colors to match the existing color. I mixed a ready made color sold in the line – Chocolate with a custom color called Chestnut. The stain has a slight sheen to it and goes on very well. Lasts 6 years on decks and 8 years on fencing and siding.

  43. Catpainter says:

    The deck looks great – good job, as always!

    My mom had vitaligo at your age but eventually she had the creamiest, clearest complexion after it spread. No spots, just great neutral skin on her face that she had to protect from the sun. She had short white hair and the pale skin and white hair made her glow. Her arms didn’t fade as evenly, but I think she didn’t protect them as much as her face.

    It eventually becomes something you and others see but don’t see, like glasses or gray hair. It’s thoughtful of you to share with your followers because sharing it normalizes it for others.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Catpainter – Thanks for telling me about your mom. That gives me hope. One of the fitness instructors at the gym I go to had Vitiligo all over her body as a teen and no longer has any pigment in her skin. It is like you describe your moms, clear and creamy. I do hope that my story does make others understand the disorder and accept it as just how things are for some people.

  44. You look fabulous. I would have never known unless you told us. You’re rocking the hats!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Vicki :-)

  45. Dear Diane, So sorry you are having to deal with Vitiligo. You are such a positive person that I was surprised to read you believe your condition was brought on by stress. I have dealt with herpes simplex #1 ( cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face) all of my life and an outbreak of the blisters can be caused by stress also…so I shouldn’t be surprised that Vitiligo can as well. I’ll tell you what my mom used to tell me…count your blessings and make your blessing count. It sounds like you are doing just that! I have no doubt that you will be making a Burberry Hat knockoff that will look like a million bucks. Much love to you XXOO.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vikki – Thank you. I have been thinking of a way to make the hat maybe using a large brimmed baseball cap as the base. Once the craft store opens near me I will try to find supplies that will work. Your mom was right to count your blessings and make them count. XO

      1. Doray Mattocks says:

        Hi Diane, think back to our days in PA and the Amish Bonnets. Maybe one of your sisters can send you 1 or 2 to work with so yo can fashion it to a baseball cap.
        Take take my friend. Looking forward to seeing you on one of our trips to Clemson, yes he is still there working on his Masters and we can socialize.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Doray – :-) I remember those Calico fabric bonnets, especially on Laura. She had a few of them that my mom made. I will come up with something, especially needed for when we are out on the boat. XO Take care.

    2. Bonnie from SC too says:

      My husband has dealt with cold sores for many years. He has finally found a product that when applied sparingly when he first feels one coming on–stops the progression. The product is Raleigh AP (antipain) oil. My mom used to buy it off a man who peddled in the county. She would pull the AP oil and apply to any cut, burn or scrape and while we all moaned and groaned–it works! So hubby is a believer and it may be worth a try. I finally see it on Amazon so, heck, it must be real.

      Vicki, you are beautiful and thanks for sharing your story.

      1. Thanks Bonnie, you are sweet to take the time to respond. Blessings to you.

  46. ALLISON EVARTS says:

    Thank you for feeling sharing this with us. You have been an inspiration to me many times in the past for the things you have done with furniture and now you have inspired me again for the way you have been brave to share this and how you are handling it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much for your nice note Allison. XO

  47. Hi Diane, Love your blog and get so many ideas from your posts. Your dock and deck look wonderful. Can’t wait to read what you used. I too have vitiligo, Had one spot on my ankle as far back as I can remember, but started getting many more spots in my twenties and it has continued to grow . My hands and fingers are 90% white and have many large patches everywhere else. I was told it was hereditary many years ago. My mother’s cousin has it. At least it doesn’t cause any physical pain, so it could be much worse. Hopefully after awhile you won’t notice it as much. We are both lucky to have fair skin so it isn’t as noticeable in the colder months. I have seen several ads on TV using women with vitiligo and they look beautiful, just as you do. Having grandchildren is the best medicine for everything! She won’t care what you look like!!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lynn – I mentioned to another reader about a fitness instructor at the gym I go to that has had it since she was a teen. She no longer has any pigment and has been my source of knowledge all about the disorder. Thanks for telling me about your story and living with it for so many years. You give me hope. I agree grandchildren are the best medicine for everything. I get sent daily photos and videos of my Zoe. They make my day and any problems I have just melt away. She is getting so big, not talking yet, but I am sure soon.

  48. Dear friend,

    Sorry to hear you joined our group. Mine started on my thumb 20 years ago. Fortunately it has stayed on my hands. Keep wearing hats and I will keep wearing gloves when in the sun. I wear gloves while driving too.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – Yes – hats have become part of my life. Not good for keeping hair nice and neat, but needed. I think if it spreads more on my hands I will start wearing gloves when I am outside. I do when gardening, but may have to consider wearing them when I am out. Thank you for sharing how you deal with it.

  49. Thanks for sharing! We all have something we’d rather not deal with. Among other things, I’ve had large dark spots on my face for years now. Used to cover them with make up. My grandson pointed to one of those spots years ago and told me it was his favorite freckle! I’ve learned to live with them and not be embarrassed by them any more. There are so many other more important things to deal with in life. Hang in there. You’re beautiful — inside and out!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Luana – Out of the mouths of babes. How cute of your grandson. :-) You must have given him the biggest hug ever after he told you it was his favorite freckle. I agree that there are so many more important things to to deal with in life. XO

  50. Sharon B. says:

    At first I thought you were going to say it was skin cancer that kept coming back, so I am really happy that you are not dealing with a life threatening condition. I had a precancerous spot over my eyebrow that the doctor had to burn off 3 times, but it’s been about 4 years now and it hasn’t come back but it was worrisome for a few years. It is really hard when something is on your face, but I think you are looking at it in a good way. It could be worse, so thank goodness it isn’t. And fortunately you are able to still enjoy all the activities that make life enjoyable for you. I really appreciate that you have written about this problem you are facing, because it could help someone else who is also going through this. Good for you Diane. Keeping enjoying life! Great job on the deck. Now I know the best way to stain ours!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – So sorry to hear that you have had a precancerous spot come back. That is worrisome. Happy to hear that is has been 4 years. A very good sign. I do feel fortunate that Vitiligo is just cosmetic and doesn’t effect what I can do in life at all. As for staining, using the pole and brush makes the staining process easy and no need to get down on hands and knees.

  51. Wow! Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. You’re so beautiful (spirit and body) and talented and you’ve handled it with grace and style. Stress is a serious thing and can effect our health in numerous ways! Stress caused diabetes to flair up in my life almost 2 years ago. Of course, my love of sweets probably didn’t help ; – ). Stay strong, Sister.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Sophie – Stress is not a good thing. Sorry to hear that it has caused your diabetes to flair up. During the past two months it has been so hard not to feel stressed and reach for comfort food. Stay strong too. XO

  52. Leslie Wilson says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Diane! You are awesome and I appreciate you sharing your struggles as well as your many blessings. You look terrific and so do your many decks and docks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Leslie XO

  53. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this Diane! But I appreciate your openness about it. No doubt you’ve reached someone struggling with it as well. As I told my daughter when she was diagnosed with Epilepsy last year, we’ve “all got something”. Each and every one of us is dealing with issues, some visible, some not. I think sharing your story helps put more compassion in the world, so thank you for that. You are rocking that hat and the deck is looking FABULOUS!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen – Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t know about your daughter’s Epilepsy. Hugs… XO One of my closest friends growing up was diagnosed with Epilepsy when we were in 5th grade. She is now 60 and it hasn’t stopped her from living a very active and vibrant life. Like you told your daughter… we all have something.

  54. Laura Dennison says:

    I hate that you are dealing with vitiglio but have you seen the stories lately of the models with the condition? Apparently there are three or four of them with the condition that are walking the runway these days. So you could say you’re trending!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – I love hearing this and so happy to hear that the beauty and fashion industry looks at them as beautiful and unique. A great way for anybody that may not look like everyone else to thrive.

  55. Hi Diane, I actually was admiring your hat before I read the article! You are beautiful please try to remember that! Keep that beautiful smile coming!! xoxo

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jennifer – Thanks. :-) I bought the hat at TJ Maxx for when I go at the beach. It was the largest brim hat I could find. XO

  56. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Our family has many auto-immune issues including alopecia but I did not know that vitiligo was one, as well.
    I’m sure that you opening up here on your blog will help someone else coming to terms with this condition.
    Your newly stained dock and deck look amazing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – Thank you about the deck. The weather has been so nice the past two weeks, perfect. It felt nice to be outside to enjoy it while it lasts. The forecast calls for the 90’s this weekend. Not a good staining temp. I think auto-immune issues may run in my mom’s side of the family. No one had vitiligo, but aunts and cousins have had RA and alopecia.

  57. Diane, Try for wide brim sun hats. You’ll do great.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sally – Thank you for the sun hat recommendation. I will check it out right now. :-)

  58. Diane,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry you are going through this…it is always amazing how the body deals with stressors. You are beautiful! I understand about the auto immune issues. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease last year, and it is also autoimmune. We have a few different AI diseases in my family, and they can definitely triggered by stress on the body. Thanks for sharing your favorite sunscreens, too. I am always on the lookout, since I am pretty sensitive to the sun. You rock, and I love all of the projects and ideas you share. Have a great week!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Tracy – Sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with Celiac disease. In my family there are a few others with different AI diseases, also. So there must be a heredity factor at play. Since I go through a lot of sunscreen, I have used many and am happy to share what I like best. Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading my blog. XO

  59. I’m right there with you when it comes to protecting the face from too much sun. A few years ago a had a quarter-sized skin cancer removed from the right side of my face, under my eye and beside my nose. It was deep, as well. The plastic surgeon had to slice from between my eyebrows, down under my right nostril, and upper cheek to pull it all together! So, I have a little more pronounced frown line between my brows and that’s all! Can I just say Artist! Unfortunately, no more sun for me. I’m in Upstate SC, and love the sun, too. So sorry you’re having this situation but, as usual, you are handling it with grace and style!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Delanie – So sorry to hear what you have had to deal with and happy to hear your surgeon was an artist. Makes a big difference. It sounds like you have handled it well. I have a friend who had a similar surgery to remove skin cancer from her face. She had before and after photos and it was amazing to see the after and hardly any scar unless she pointed it out. Thanks for taking the time to connect. It is nice to get to know more about readers than their name. XO

  60. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I’m so sad you’re having skin issues. My mother would tell you that you’re still blessed. I hope you try the Selsen Blue. I used to bathe my Rufus Peke in it, because he had skin issues. It did clear his troubl ed skin allergies. Get the Original. It smells so good!

    Great job on your dock!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – Your mom was right. XO Even with my problem, it doesn’t stop me from living. I found out the there is a skin fungus called Tinea Versicolor that can look similar to Vitiligo. It can be treated successfully with Selsun Blue. Sadly, it doesn’t help Vitiligo which is an autoimmune disease. :-(

  61. Anne Kinsey says:

    Thanks for sharing! I”m certain there will be others who can benefit from your experience and your recommendations of sunscreens. And I love your hats!!
    You never cease to amaze me Diane. You are so resourceful! 5″ paint brush on a paint stick?! What a great idea! And you certainly have made progress.
    Best wishes to you. And again thanks for sharing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anne –

      So nice to hear from you. :-) I hope all is well and life in this Covid world is treating you OK. The large 5″ paint brushes that can be screwed onto a paint stick are the best, plus they are not expensive and last a long time if you clean them well. Makes the job of staining a deck much easier.

  62. Still so beautiful… And inside too, I’ll bet.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Sara – XO

  63. You are a beautiful woman And Your hair is gorgeous My 13 year old grandson, who is bi-racial, has this disorder also. He uses the creams, they help a little. My heart goes out to you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kay – Thank you XO. Being a teen and having Vitiligo I have learned from a friend who had it all over her body as a teen that it can be especially challenging as kids can be so mean and not understand. I hope the creams can help him lessen the contrast of colors between the pigmented skin and the parts that have lost it. Hugs to your grandson.

  64. Cathy Tibbles says:

    Uggg. Sorry you have to deal with that Diane! You’re so right though – it could be worse! I’m glad that you’re still healthy and out there enjoying the out of doors. Your stamina amazes me!!!

    I went to find the way to add a tub skirt to my bathroom reno last week and yours was the first post to show up! Thank you for that!

    1. Cathy tibbles says:

      AND – I meant to say you totally rock that hat!! :)

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Thanks Cathy – It is the widest one I own. :-)

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Cathy :-) I am so happy you told me that my bathtub surround post came up first for you in search. Yeah for the SEO win! I never know for sure what will show up. That post is an old one too, but evergreen. Hope your bathroom reno is going as planned.

  65. Rebecca Platt says:

    I, too, am so sorry to hear what you are going through. And everyone is right, to such a nice person. Life is just fair sometimes.

    But know that those of us who follow you (think you were the first blog I ever followed, will be there for you encouraging you along the way.

    God bless you on this journey .

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rebecca – Thank you so much. XO I really appreciate your comment and that you have been reading my blog for so long. That makes my day!

  66. Diane, you bring so much cheer, inspiration, and motivation to your internet community. Like everyone on this blog, I am sorry for what you are going through and hope that your many positive qualities will help you through. As you said, we are all being hit with additional uncommon stress right now. I’m glad you have your beautiful property and lake to enjoy – I thank my lucky stars every day that we were able to move to an area where it is easy to be outdoors at present; it is therapeutic. I’ve been having trouble sleeping due to a loved one’s situation that causes me a lot of anxiety, and it is difficult to get it out of my mind. I’ve been trying to “let go” of things I can’t control, easier said than done (I do find Jack Kornfield’s Letting Go meditation helpful). Bless you, and best wishes to you and your family.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Linda – I too, thank my lucky stars that Ed and made the move to live on the shores of a lake. Being outside and seeing the water helps melt the stress of life away. Like you mentioned… its therapeutic. Over the last two months, I have been trying to focus on the things that I can control and stay away from the news as much as I can. I want to be informed, but don’t have to hear every thought and opinion on the situation – way to stress producing. I will see if I can order the Jack Kornfield book from my library app on my phone. If not I will get it on Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  67. Hi Diane, Thank goodness that you understand what’s in your heart is the important thing, not how perfect your skin is.
    I live in a Colorado and never go outside without a hat. (I have my sun problems). Have you heard of the brand of hat out of Boulder called Wallaroo? I wear their hats all the time and they have so many styles to choose from. They are light weight and keep the sun away. Be sure to google them.
    My sunscreen of choice is Elta MD skincare UV CLEAR broad-spectrum SPF 46. I wear it every day rain or shin!
    Love all the help and ideas you share?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marion – Thanks for your kind words. XO I have not heard of Wallaroo hats. I will check them out later today. Thanks for telling me. My dermatologist sells the Elta MD skincare line and has given me travel sizes of the UV Physical sunblock in the line. I liked it. I have not tried the clear yet. I will ask at my next Dr. appt.

  68. Linda L Weeks says:

    Oh, Diane that is so unfair! Just when we are getting to be more comfortable with our age, something sneaks up on you to add to “the list” . I’m 67 this week, and ten years ago I would never have thought that I’d have arthritis and cirrhosis and trigger finger of all things, all as a bonus for getting older… and I have this thing on my eyelid… just heartless. You don’t look bad, and I’m serious as a heart attack – whoops, could have gone all day without mentioning that one … You are an adorable lady, whatever age!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Age does sneak up on us for sure. I remember growing up my dad always used to say when he would see the signs of aging hit him… It’s no fun getting old or getting older should only be for teenagers. :-) Sorry to hear that you have had to deal with a list of problems. XO We all have something to deal with, some less than others, but I guess that is what comes with being human. Keep smiling.

  69. Your are a beautiful person! Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying life!
    I have an autoimmune disease, and some days I want to hide in bed all day! But the good days far outweigh the bad! I always enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing! Take care

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Marlene – Sorry to hear that you have an autoimmune disease. They can be baffling as to the cause which makes them harder to treat. I hope you have more better days and less where you don’t feel well. Sounds like you don’t let it get you down. XO

  70. Hi, I love following your DIY ideas. Very unique ideas! So, as I look at the way too expensive hat wondering if you could get a plastic face shield glue fabric both sides and make slits (buttonholes) add buttons or Jean snaps to regular hat base?? To attach. Just thinking here.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle – That is a great idea. Very clever. :-) When the craft store opens back up near me, I will take a spin down the aisles to see what I can find to use. Thanks for the idea. XO

  71. Sandra Collins says:

    Thank you for sharing that! It’s a good reminder that everyone has their own story. We may look at other people and judge them for the way they look or the way they act, but truly we don’t know what they’re going through.

    You know what? That hat may be $490 but it would be money well spent. How much money will you spend on other, imperfect hats or other solutions? Ask for gift cards, or could you even pay for it with your HSA since it is for medical reasons? If you wear it for years, it will be worth the investment now. Maybe look on ebay for a used one?

    You go girl! Your posts are always an encouragement in more ways than you know.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandra – You are right about the hat, especially if it covers the face well. I like your idea about seeing if I could get it covered for medical reasons. It can’t hurt to ask. Thanks for that idea. I will call my insurance and find out. :-)

  72. I’ve only ever heard of this happening to black people. Interesting to see it on a white person. Has it also impacted your sister? Just wondering since you are twins.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Amanda – It seems to happen more in black people and cultures with darker skin tones, like in India. But it happens in white skin too. It just isn’t as noticeable as the contrast between pigmented and un-pigmented skin is not a great in white skin. Sadly in the India, if anyone has it, especially women, they are treated badly, like lepers. :-(

  73. Helen E Moss says:

    Hi, Diane,

    One of my friends and crochet student has the same thing — and, if it makes you feel the tiniest bit better — I don’t even see it anymore, and his skin is not as fair as yours. When I first met him, he looked me right in the eye and told me the problem he was having with crocheting. We started to work right away and only months later did he even mention vitiligo, and that was just in passing. Do what you have to do to take care of it, and look everybody right in the eye with those great big eyes of yours, and if that doesn’t work, give’em your biggest grin.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Helen – Great advice. Thank you. XO All of my friends and family don’t even see it anymore. It is just part of what I look like now. I do get odd looks sometimes when I am out and about and wonder, do I have something in my teeth or on my face and then I remember, “Oh yeah… they are looking at the Vitiligo.” :-)

  74. Kellie Williams says:

    Oh, my GOSH! Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m pretty sure I have the same thing. I first noticed the patches on my left arm and now have a larger patch under my chin. I’m in my early 60’s so just thought another gift(?) of AGE. I shall now take this new found insight straight to google. Thank you, again!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kellie –

      I am so happy to have helped. :-) My dermatologist provided me with a lot of information when I was first diagnosed, but since then I have done a lot of research. You will find a lot out about Vitiligo on Google and another similar looking condition, called tinea versicolor that is a fungus, not an autoimmune disease.

      I found this website helpful in determining the difference:

      If you click on the links where there are line drawings of little cameras in the article, you will be able to see the difference. It may help you figure it out.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Heather for the nice comment and the link to the hat. I will check it out. :-)

  75. Linda C Johnston says:

    First, the dock looks great. Next, the deck looks great. Now, YOU loooooook great! No kidding. I thank you for sharing with us. Please let me remind you, that whether you can see it or not, we all got a little somethin’ somethin’ going on! I love that you have spoken out about it. Can you imagine the number of people you may have helped today?! Bless you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Thanks – I hope my story can help others with not only Vitiligo, but that have severe acne or other skin conditions. Since I posted, I have learned quite a lot about my readers who are dealing with diseases and cancer. Like you mentioned, we all have somethin’ going on. Keeping a smile on our face it the best medicine. :-)

  76. Deborah Brennan says:

    Diane, as another poster said, it IS startling to discover how chronic stress can cause physically life altering health issues. I too have an autoimmune disease , Ulcerative Colitis….manageable but very unpleasant when it flares up. Sometimes these conditions can lead to more serious effects, which is all the more reason to tackle them head on with whatever strategies work best for you…which you are doing beautifully ! Regarding hats…which are a favourite accessory of mine, I discovered Wallaroo Hat Company, based of course in Australia, where people take sun exposure very seriously. They are fantastic….well made, stylish, and affordable for their quality…I hope you check their website out, and find one ( or two) you like !! Lots of packable styles as well . Thankyou for sharing, and happy hat hunting ! Deb

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb –

      Sorry to hear that suffer from Ulcerative Colitis. One of my friends has it and I know how awful it can be when it flares up. Stress is not a good thing and I am taking every measure I can to keep my levels of it down. It feels good.

      I don’t have a Wallaroo Hat, but I will check out the website. The hats sound perfect – affordable and well made. :-) Thanks for the recommendation.

  77. I’m sorry. My hat wearing is due to skin cancers. I’m so thankful your attitude keeps you enjoying the outdoors. Being outside is great therapy for me.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – I am so sorry to read that you have had skin cancer. XO I am thankful that we live in a time where we have a lot of hat options to choose from. For style and need to keep the sun off our skin. I agree – Being outside is the best therapy. :-)

  78. I am so sorry to hear about the Vitiligo…you are a trooper! And thanks for explaining all this to us. Stress is responsible for so many different illnesses, and this virus we are dealing with, doesn’t make it any easier.

    Your dock looks great. And with your vast array of hats, you should be able to enjoy the great outdoors. Stay safe! ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donnamae – Thank you XO I am making hats my thing. :-) My fashion statement when outside. I am learning to de-stress better and it feels good. I stained another section of our deck today. Ed power washes and I stain. A little bit each day until we are done and the really hot weather arrives. Take care. Enjoy your weekend.

    2. My sister has had vitiligo since her teens and will be 72. Being in the sun was Always tricky for her to cover up but be able to enjoy swimming etc .Several years ago she bought from Land’s End bathing suits that have a combined skirt and Capri length pant and long sleeve bathing top. It has changed her life. She is able to join the family on the beach and in the water in a much less restrictive way, plus she looks totally cute!

  79. Catherine Smith says:

    So sorry about your skin situation, Diane. Looking at the Burberry hat, it would not be difficult to add the side pieces to a ball cap. An experienced sewer should have the knowledge to make a pattern and there are several stiffening type products to form the sides. Just a thought and if it weren’t for my arthritis, I would do it for you. Maybe you know someone that could. Keeping busy and thinking about your beautiful granddaughter is a good thing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Catherine – I think you are right. I have to get myself to a fabric store once they open up. I think if I get a wide brimmed baseball hat and create flaps like you mentioned, it may work. If I can, I would even like to figure out a way to move the flaps when not needed. Maybe above the hat or underneath the cap part. My mind is in design mode. Thanks for your tips. XO

  80. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I love SPF hats & clothing from Coolibar, and I also have two good quality SPF shirts from LL Bean. About 5 years ago I suddenly developed a sun allergy, I was tested for Lupus and don’t have that. I didn’t start any new medications etc, so my derm can’t explain it. I need to cover up as well but the SPF clothing is cool & comfortable. I even have fingerless SPF gloves if I’m going to be out for awhile as well as a neck guard if I’m sitting outside with a glass of wine! I choose summery light colors for clothing & hats so that I don’t look out of place with others wearing shorts etc. Wishing you good health.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – Thank you. XO Over the last few days I have found out the Coolibar makes some great SPF clothing and hats. I like the idea of the gloves as my hands are looking pretty patchy. Thanks for taking the time to tell me. I hope you enjoy that glass of wine tonight. :-) I will be enjoying the same.

  81. Betty Baker says:

    As the saying goes “this should not happen to such a nice person”. I am very sincere in this saying. I do believe you are one grand lady with a fantastic ability to make so many people happy with your wonderful blog. I only hope that it does not spread any more! You look wonderful in grand hats. With your fantastic ability you should be able to make that expensive hat.. I hope that this will not go further and I will keep you in my prayers. Sincerely Betty Baker. And with love too.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Betty – Thank you for the nice note and prayers. XO In the big scheme of life, I could be inflicted with something worse so I am taking a Pollyanna attitude and just keep on smiling and doing my thing with hats. I can make my hats my style like Elton John did with his glasses. :-)

  82. Nice job on the decks! Love the color.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Debe – Going out later today to start on the main deck. Enjoy your weekend.

  83. erika wilson says:

    Hi Diane, I and two of my bothers have suffered from this type of skin problem most of our young lives…back in the 70’s. A dermatologist told one of my brothers that it was a fungus below the first few layers of skin and suggested using Selsun Blue, shampoo on the skin when relaxing before showering and also using it as reg. shampoo. It works! i used to get the spots all over my arms and my brothers both had their backs covered with spots and large patches of it, plus they had large patches all over their legs….with the use of Selsun Blue it has all cleared up for all of us. Selsun Blue is a fungal shampoo, for dandruff, but it also cleared up the spot issue. Back in the 1970’s, we were not given a diagnosis, so i don’t know if it is the same thing as what you have, but it’s a very cheap experiment, that doesn’t have any dangerous side effects. My spots do come back every few years, but once i notice them i get at them quickly and they clear right up (about 1 month). It’s much easier to see them in the summer months, as my skin darkens….in the winter its so much harder to see it, so i fail to treat my skin, until summer arrives.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Erika – It sounds like what your brothers and you had growing up is Tinea versicolor. I am sure as a teen that was no fun having spots over your body especially in the summer and in a bathing suit. Tinea versicolor can look like Vitiligo, but the two are different. I have learned a lot on my quest to find out more about Vitiligo. :-)

      Tinea versicolor is a fungus that is caused by the GI system and too much yeast/candida. As you know it can be cleared up using anti-fungals. Another remedy for it is to try to control the amount of yeast your body gets in the way of sugar, bread, alcohol and some food additives that yeast thrives on. My nephew has it on his arms. I will tell him about the Selsun Blue. I wish Vitiligo could be remedied this way, but it is an autoimmune response that attacks the skin.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your story with me. I hope you have a spot free summer. XO

  84. I’m so sorry you having to deal with this, but…Your dazzling smile lights up your face! I have fair, easily burned skin and love my Coolibar hats (I’m just up the road in Clemson, so same hot, hot sun). I remember the days of my youth in Charleston…no protection whatsoever if my mother wasn’t watching! Now to mow grass I wear long sleeves and pants, sunblock, gloves, a huge hat and noise canceling ear muffs! You did a great job on the deck!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Roxanne – Thanks. We could be grass cutting twins. I look the same when I cut the grass, minus the ear muffs. :-) The weather has been so nice the past few weeks which makes grass cutting Ok. Once the heat settles in, not an enjoyable job. Back in the 70’s when I was a teen we would bake in the sun – no sunscreen at all, too. Times have changed since then. I don’t have a Coolibar hat. I will go take a look at them.

  85. It’s amazing the effects stress has on our bodies. I also have an autoimmune disease and had unrelated bowel surgery. I know stress was a huge contributing factor to both. No one could tell to look at me, but I’m sure because yours is visible it can cause additional stress. It sounds like you’re doing what you need to do as far as self care, so I just want you to know you are beautiful and an inspiration to me and so many others. Not only is your blog full of great ideas and projects, your kindness and warm personality shine thru! I hope your friend’s situation is improving, and you are both in my prayers.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan –

      Thank you so much for the kind words. So sorry that you have had to deal with an autoimmune disease that required surgery. XO

      It sounds like you are making the best of it. I can feel your positive energy in your words. I am learning how to simplify my life so that I can manage stress better. I do feel blessed that I have found a job I love. I truly enjoy blogging and know for sure it was meant for me to do, which is the best kind of job to have. :-)

  86. Annette Clipman says:

    Diane, thank you for your willingness to share your experience with Vitiligo. You are courageous, incredibly talented and beautiful. You are inspiring. Thank you for being authentic and helpful. Wishing you the very best! ~ Annette

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Annette – Thank you so much. It makes me happy to know that I am inspiring and helpful. I could keep my problem to myself, but it feels better to share so I can stay real and perhaps help someone else dealing with issues in life. XO

  87. You are a jewel in this jewel box of a life… Keep your great attitude, always love reading your many challenges and how you overcome them with your greatness.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Tana. Your comment made me smile. :-) Love the saying… in this jewel box of life. A nice way to look at life.

  88. Hi Diane:) I feel your pain. I have vitiligo too, it started with a small patch on my knee, no it’s inside my inner thighs, I have huge patches under my armpits, some on my elbows and hand, as well as some on my face. I’m fair so it doesn’t show as much in the winter, either, but if I get a tan at all it does. I also have really bad psorasis which I feel like is related because they are both autoimmune. It’s one of those things that we just have to accept, I guess, and not let it slow us down too much.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Krista –

      So sorry to hear that you have to deal with Vitiligo also. XO. Have you had it long time?

      One of my fitness instructors has your coloring and had it over her entire body as a child and teenager growing up in the 1980’s. She was treated with lights and no longer has any patches. They no longer do this treatment, at least where I live. Her skin in creamy white now.

      Did you see what Julia from Cuckoo for Design wrote in the comments on my post? Her daughter had it along with other problems that they or her doctors in the states could not figure out. It wasn’t until she went to visit her parents in Germany that she found a doctor who told her that it had to do with GI issues. She was treated in Germany and now she is so much better and sees a Naturopathic practitioner in the states. Worth looking into or sending Julia a note to find out more.

      I am happy to see that you don’t let it stop you from living life.

  89. romeogirl says:

    Thanks for sharing. I believe I have the same thing on my arms (thanks for sharing about stress) but also had reconstructive surgery on half of my nose because of basal cell carcinoma. Always looking for great hats! My derm recommended Ulta MD but I also like the Alba products recommended by the EWG. Sending love from my new hometown of Beaufort.

    1. Elizabeth Morris says:

      I also have vitiligo on my armpits, torso, and hands. None on my face so far. It is not fun but it could be so much worse. I am quite fair and I avoid getting a suntan.
      It was interesting to see the comments about the connection with autoimmune diseases , candida, and gastrointestinal problems. I may try using Selsun Blue, although I think it works on a different type of skin problem. I have a friend who also has vitiligo and he has serious gastrointestinal problems so there may be a connection. Hopefully there will be more vitiligo research in the future.
      Your blog is wonderful, by the way.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Thanks Elizabeth – I agree that Vitiligo may be caused by disturbances in the GI tract or add to it. I am trying to eliminate all added sugars as a start to get my gut health better. I have been trying to find out more, but there is so little about it. I have read serums with Magnesium and Zinc have helped some and that anyone with the disorder, should get 4x more Magnesium in our diets than recommended amounts. We are like pioneers trying to do what we can to figure it out. Let’s hope for more research.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much. XO So sorry to hear about having to deal with basal cell carcinoma and having to have reconstructive surgery. :-( That is life changing and scary. I have a good friend who has gone through the same thing. She wears a hat and sunscreen always now too. I will check out the Elta MD and Alba sunscreens.

      There is another skin problem that looks like Vitiligo that many people have. It is caused by a fungus and is called, Tinea versicolor. If you Google it, you can see the differences in the two and figure out what you have. I bet the weather down in Beaufort is beautiful. Such a pretty place. Enjoy!

  90. Hi Diane,

    Gosh, I’m sorry to hear about your Vitiligo, however, it sounds as though you’re handling it as best you can, things could be worse, right? The deck looks amazing, great job. The weather has been beautiful here in Atlanta, glad you all are having good weather too, get outside and enjoy it (with your hat and sunscreen ?)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Debbie – The weather here has be just amazing. I wish it could stay like this all summer.

  91. Diane, I am very sorry about the event that caused you such trauma. I have a friend who suffered a terrible, sudden loss a few years ago, and I have always believed that led to her own vitiligo which developed very shortly afterwards. Praying for peace for both of you.

    1. Lynn Woodall says:

      Sending love and hugs. You are in my prayers. XO

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Thank you Lynn XO

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pat – Thank you so much for your nice note, prayers and telling me about your friend. I hope she is OK and is trying to live fully again. Stressful events, especially ones that are out of our control are not good for the mind and body. :-(