Category Archives: Aging


New Dresses from Gayle <3
Image by betsyjean79 via Flickr

I’ve heard that women going through menopause experience changes in their hormone levels that cause mood swings. Since I’m a recent inductee to this club I can say from my own personal experience that this is rubbish. It isn’t the hormone levels that cause us to be crabby, we’re just pissed off because  we dressed and undressed all night long…on the hour, every hour and we don’t have any new clothes to show for it.

***I’ve nixed the automatic link that appeared below my post… skip going to the doctor, skip the prescription for hormones instead try increasing your soy intake. Asian women don’t experience hot-flashes and the reason is thought to be dietary. For other natural cures visit my favorite online resource at


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Filed under Aging, health

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Author Claire Cook considers herself a late-bloomer having published her first novel in her mid-forties. I knew of Claire’s work because I read the second book she wrote, Must Love Dogs and then picked up a copy of every book that followed.

Years later I met Claire online on the website. Our conversation started after Claire visited my online journal and read some of my writing. At the time I had just written “I Forgot that Sunflower’s Die,” which was just a few lines that touched upon the death of my daughter’s father. Claire had also lost a parent as a child and she shared her story which had recently been published in Good Housekeeping magazine.

Since then Claire’s periodically sends a note cheering on my writing, and with each book she writes I’m reminded that it’s never to late to follow your heart.

Whether you find yourself writing at a child’s swim practice or in the humid, hum of a bustling laundry mat, remember to love what you have and to bloom where your planted.

Here is Claire Cook’s interview on the Today Show…well done, girl:)



Filed under Aging, Authors, Books, Fiction Writing, Films, Life, Writer's, Writing

Single-Payer Bill Introduced in the House -H.R. 676

Tell your representatives to support single-payer health care!

Rep. John Conyers has reintroduced HR 676, The United States National Health Care Act, which would eliminate private insurance companies and create a national health care system that would guarantee that all Americans have access to high-quality health care.

A single-payer system would be financed by taxpayers and would remove financial barrierse, such as unaffordable co-payments and premiums, that prevent people from seeking needed care.

Please, call your representative today regarding this crucial issue! Our goal is to flood congressional offices with calls so lawmakers understand how crucial it is to fix the health care crisis.

If he or she is currently a co-sponsor or co-sponsored HR 676 in the past, ask him or her to stand firm for the bill and actively seek additional co-sponsors. If he or she has yet to co-sponsor HR 676, ask him or her to please become a co-sponsor immediately!

You can find your member of the House here, or simply call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your representative. Don’t know if your representative is a co-sponsor of HR 676? Find out  here

Click here to learn more about Single-Payer health care

The above links will bring you to your representatives page where you’ll find a link where you can send them an email. If you don’t want to call, feel free to contact them via email.

The following this the note I sent to Congressman Jim Oberstar:

Dear Congressman Oberstar,

I understand the Single-Payer bill, H.R. 676 will without doubt face opposition from the insurance industry and other special interest groups. Americans are in crisis and it’s time for true leaders to bring about the change this country desperately needs. If you haven’t co-authored this bill I urge you to do so, then urge other legislators to do the same.

Be the change America needs.

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Filed under Aging, General, Government, health, Life, Politics, United States

Elaine’s Birthday Card

I sent a birthday card to my cousin in England, I thought it was a funny card so I posted  it.

A Birthday Fairy Tale


Once upon a time, there was a princess wo was like a size four or something. She could eat whatever she wanted and always stayed really skinny and had flat, firm abs even though she never went to the gym.

Every time she tried on jeans, the very first pair fit perfectly and made her butt look amazing. She lived in a great big, beautiful castle with her handsome, multimillionaire husband, who was busy all the time buying her giant diamonds, taking her to Hawaii, giving her foot massages, and telling her how beautiful she was.

One day, she was eaten by a dragon and no one cared.

The End

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Filed under Aging, Humor

Wii Fit, Yoga Day 2

My son brought home Wii Fit yesterday and I’ve now done Yoga two days in row…yeah, I know. Let me first start by saying thanks for all the ballet lessons Mom. There is no question that its had a profound effect on my balance, control and flexibility, even at my age. I’m pretty good about exercising which up until yesterday consisted of walking. What I love about Yoga is how gentle it is and the subtle stretch felt great. Its been a long time since I’ve stood on one leg but I managed to pull it off respectably.

The best news is that according to Wii Fit,  I don’t need to lose weight. My Body Mass Index (BMI) is 22 which is what they identify as a goal…go mom. My Wii Fit Age is 46 when  I’m actually 47 so I was a little disappointed  until everyone else  landed anywhere from 3 to 12 years over their biological age… suddenly minus one year didn’t seem so bad when I considered pulling in a plus 12…yikes.

What I found to be the most entertaining aspect  of Wii Fit was that all the characters that my boys have created on the Nintendo Wii showed up during various group activities, characters like David Spade, Jerry Garcia and Hunter S. Thompson to name a few. While I was running with my Wii Trainer Anderson Cooper jogged past me, waved and shouted “looking good,” A compliment I greatly appreciated.

When Alexa did the same jogging activity she bypassed the rules and ran ahead of her trainer, shortly thereafter she  fell ass-over-tea kettle down a hill just as a frail-limbed, spectacle clad Mahatma Gandhi sprinted past her.

Wii Fit is the perfect addition,  I love to walk, just not on a treadmill.  Wii Fit give me new options over winter and allows me to work on targeted areas.

Now, when my bum goes into the air is that called the  Sun Salutation or the Moon Salutation?


Filed under Aging, Life

3 A.M. on Day 3

It’s 3:30 A.M., I’ve been awake for about a half hour and I’m crabby, really crabby. This is the third day in a row that I woke up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep and I can’t go back to sleep. I was so exhausted yesterday that I couldn’t hold a thought.

For the past month of been under the weather trying to get rid of an upper respiratory infection which left me tired. For the past week I’ve felt like myself again and I’ve even looked like myself.   Looking and feeling rundown for a month grew worrisome and it didn’t go unnoticed by my daughter who tried really hard not to smile as she muttered, “maybe you’ll stay that way.”

Nice. As if inching seriously past 45 isn’t awful enough I have an 18 year old daughter amusing herself with thoughts of my eminent decomposition. Where’s the love? For that matter where’s my Rolling Stones t-shirt and my graffiti jeans?

The upshot is that my energy level is back to normal but I just can’t seem to stay asleep more that 4 hours at a time. Stress? Not anymore than usual. I will admit that I’m incredibly behind on everything from being ill for so long. I noticed it was Chinese New Year and thought crap! Last time I celebrated Chinese New Year was when I flew to London to celebrate my cousins birthday which means I didn’t send her birthday card…or write to my aunt in Wisconsin, or my cousin in Arizona…my second cousin is waiting for me to call and my 108 year old grandmother will cry when I visit because I’ve been away sick so long.

What I have done is catch up on laundry, bookstore business including tons of shipping, paperwork, I’m organized to file my taxes and I caught up with both of my Mary friends who I haven’t talked to in too long.

What I have to do now is get seeds planted for this years garden, order the new crops and get them growing. Last year I planted 25 organic Roma’s which we harvested and roasted with olive oil and garlic…for hours. It made exquisite sauces that only lasted through fall, so I’ve canceled growing corn and instead we will plant 100 heirloom Amish Paste Tomatoes. We’ll also plant more organic German Butterball Potatoes this year, the ones we grew last year were wonderful and we harvested enough produce  to keep us through the winter. The asparagus crowns will be old enough to harvest this year.  I also plan to add an experimental plant from the Andes called Oca and Hopi Ceremonial Tobacco which is cold weather resistant.

I have a moral conflict with the tobacco, its sort of a novelty I’m excited to try and I’m eager to learn more.  I don’t know if I’ll give it to any of the smokers in my life. Obviously we’ll also plant the seeds harvested from last year which will include Amish Snap Peas, Christmas Lima’s, Blue Lake Green Beans, Scarlet Runner Beans, Arrow Peas, peppers….no green ones, Walla Walla & Sweet Vidalia Onions. Then of course the pots of fresh herbs, salad greens and the annual memorial Sunflower patch for Alexa’s dad…this year we’re planting a variety that is edible.

I’m also completing the application to attend St. Cloud State University. I’m not entirely sure I want to do that but I’m keeping my options open. In many respects I’m more lost at this point in my life than I’ve ever been. My life’s been defined by my children and my baby turned 18. I”m operating my online business while I decide where to go career wise…I have nothing defining my life and I haven’t the first clue as to what to do with it.

My children are grown, I’m not in a relationship, I’m working self employment from my home office….I just assumed at this juncture of my life I’d at least have a job restricting me and I don’t even have that.  Having the ability to choose is good but I’m bewildered.  I keep waiting for an obvious path or something to point me in the right direction but it’s all still murky.

Here is what I know:

I want to continue writing fiction &  I want to improve my skill as a writer so I am able to fall back on journalism and obtain work with bigger publications than I have in the past. A degree would also give me more range as a non profit director.

I have a finite amount of time most of which has been spent raising children and I don’t know the most direct path from point A to point B. I don’t want to spend time in a classroom covering political science when I’ve worked as a political organizer, community organizer and lobbyist. So, I’m not ready to commit to anything  and I’m not prepared to answer bigger questions about my life or pull together a plan.

For this reason I may continue with my online bookstore and launch a local newspaper until I have a clearer sense of direction. In the time it takes to get the paper established I can investigate my options and execute a well thought plan.

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Filed under Aging, Education, General, Life

Nobody Cuts a Dress Like Maggie London

While shopping online this morning I fell  in love with this scarlet dress. Before logging on to the Nordstrom’s website, I checked out petite sized dresses sold in the same price range on other sites and they were just wrong. Either they were too boxy, or the hemline was too short or too long. It’s not that I dislike my legs, I just think that less is better and drafting a hemline below the knee on a petite girl just makes us look shorter.

Maggie London’s done everything right.

I’m normally not a fan of red but in this case its stunning.

Here’s the $10,000.00 question: if the woman in the red dress had more cleavage would the dress remain elegant or become too vintage pinup girl ..I honestly can’t decide.


Filed under Aging, Life