Friday, May 25, 2012

Quote of the Week

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world”  ~Marilyn Monroe

Females love shoes. It must be in our genes. When I was a little girl, getting new shoes would literally thrill me. At Christmas time my grandmother sent my sister and I matching holiday dresses and my mom would take us shopping for the perfect shoes. I adored my new dress, but it was the shoes that excited me. I couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive, not for the presents or relatives or parties, but to finally be able to wear my new shoes! I began begging my mother to let me wear them as soon as they were purchased, but she held firm and they remained in the box until Christmas Eve.

At Easter it was all about hats. To go with our new dresses, my sister and I wore wide brimmed hats with flowers and ribbons. How stylish we were. I recently attended a women’s function themed ‘Going to the Races’ where I spoke about my book. This was an opportunity to wear great hats, which you don’t see much anymore unless you are actually going to the horse races, or belong to the royal family.

What Marilyn’s quote reminds us is that when we look good, we feel good. A woman can be feeling down in the dumps, but when she puts her make-up on, she is ready to tackle her day. A good fitting suit can give a man a burst of confidence, just as a bad hair day can throw everything off.

So do the clothes make the man… or woman? The short answer is no. We all know of well-dressed people who have no substance. Looking good comes from confidence and self-worth. Feeling good about yourself, and focusing more on others, are qualities that will make you attractive. However, when you are competing for recognition or want to stand out, appropriate dress and grooming can put you ahead. So get out there and put your best foot forward… and make sure it has a fabulous shoe on it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Last Letter

Snail mail is becoming less important as technology now allows us to pay bills, do banking, shop and correspond from our computers. As I sorted through a weeks worth of flyers, political propaganda, and the stray bill still being mailed, I came upon a treasure, a hand written letter. I turned the delicate stationary over to confirm what I already knew. It was from my long time friend, Doris, who is the only person who still writes me letters. I ran my fingers over the front of the envelope and wondered if this would be the last letter I ever received.

As I unfolded the sheer, pastel stationary, I noticed how Doris’s penmanship had weakened. She is getting quite old and I hear from her less frequently. Having received something that must have taken an effort on her part, humbled me, and I savored each unsteady sentence. What a gift this letter was on this otherwise ordinary day. While I sat quietly reading the letter, I felt very close and somehow connected to Doris.

I was an avid letter writer when I was young. The letters flew across the states to cousins I saw only once a year. Recently one of those cousins scanned and emailed a letter I had written her 44 years ago. We laughed at my immaturity, but relished having this written history of our youth. I was amazed that she still had this old letter, but it took us back to our innocents for a little while.

I will answer Doris’s letter even though letter writing is already considered the way people used to communicate. I doubt that I will receive a reply so I will keep this one and take it out from time to time to feel the intimacy only this ‘last letter’ can give. Getting an email, tweet, or facebook 'like' is a fine thing, but it is nothing like receiving a letter.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Signing Wednesday May 13

I will be speaking and signing copies of my book at Ladies Night Out at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, CA Wednesday May 13th. It should be a great evening. It is always fun when ladies get together.
Living Fit After Fifty - A Guide For the Post-Menopausal WomanMy book 'Living Fit After Fifty - A Guide for the Post-Menopausal Woman' is also available at   

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother – The Heart of the Home

Sunday is Mother’s Day and for the last three years I have not had a mother to honor. When my husband and I were first married, between us we had two mothers, three grandmothers, and one great-grandmother, all requiring attention on Mother’s Day. I was writing cards, sending flowers, planning meals and visits. It was an effort on my part, but they all deserved recognition and gratitude for all they had given us over the years. We did our best to let them know they were loved.

The last of our ‘mothers’ passed away three years ago and now I feel a little lost when Mother’s Day rolls around. I am a mother and I will be enjoying a visit with my two sons, but even they do not fill the void that our moms left.

 If you still have a mother, enjoy and honor her every chance you get. She probably loves you more than anyone else ever will. I was blessed with the best of mothers. She cared for us, worried about us, and knew when to back away and let us make mistakes. I wish I could have been as wise raising my children.
I plan to enjoy Mother’s Day with my family and be grateful for all the gifts I received from my mother and grandmothers. I wish all mothers a wonderful day because we are all the heart of the home.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Use the Good Dishes

When I was a little girl rummaging around in my mother’s linen closet, I found a pretty little box that sparked my interest. The box was white with pink flowers and tied with a pale pink ribbon which I gently slipped off and lifted the lid. A delicate perfume filled the space around me as I unwrapped three silky smooth bars of soap nestled in layers of tissue. I rubbed one of the bars against my cheek savoring its softness and wondered why these lovely soaps were hidden away. When I asked my mother if we could use them she replied that they were special and not for everyday use. Disappointed, I returned the ‘special’ box of soap to the linen closet.

After my widowed mother passed away, my husband and I began the emotional job of clearing out that same home that I had grown up in. All the memories of my childhood were brought back to life as we went from room to room. There in the hutch were the delicate beer glasses from the 40’s/50’s that had been there all my life. However, I don’t remember ever seeing them being used. Did anyone actually drink beer out those glasses? I have seen actors using them in old movies. Along side the beer glasses I found the hand cut, colored crystal wine glasses, that collected more dust than wine over the years. In my mom’s cedar chest were the baby clothes lovingly crocheted by my grandmother and aunts, untouched since I wore them as an infant.  In the garage we found the old wooden, manual crank ice-cream maker, still on the shelf covered with cobwebs. So many bittersweet memories of my simple, innocent childhood, provoked smiles, laughter and tears.

As I progressed through the house and began pulling tablecloths and comforters from the linen closet, there behind the towels, sat the ‘special’ box of soap. I opened the lid, and as I expected, they were all still there, forgotten after all these years. What had she saved them for? How sad that she never enjoyed the few minutes of luxury the soap could have given her.

In the end, most of my parents prized possessions were given away or thrown out. I brought home a few things (including the beer glasses) that I just couldn’t get rid of. On the way home I found myself wishing my parents had enjoyed all the things they considered too good to be used. Instead, the items became give-a-ways, or garbage. What a shame.

Now the beer glasses and the colored crystal wine glasses are in my hutch. However, instead of collecting dust, I intend to enjoy them. My husband thinks the beer tastes better in the elegant glasses. In fact, I am using my own ‘special’ dishes and glasses more. I intend to make each day that I am healthy and sharing my time with friends and family a special occasion. As I offer a toast to my parents with their ‘special’ glasses, I feel their approval that we are enjoying them. Isn’t that what they are meant for?