On this day, we thank all of your for supporting our book. We wish you a fabulous day filled with good food and good friends!
Elle & Jan
On this day, we thank all of your for supporting our book. We wish you a fabulous day filled with good food and good friends!
Elle & Jan
Coping with life’s little annoyances can be a real challenge. Traffic jams, neighbors who don’t pick up after their pets, cell phone conversations in elevators, people talking in movie theaters, long lines at the supermarket, useless customer service, general lack of regard…the list goes on and on.
As a rule, we can generally deal with one or two of these petty irritations. But when they begin to pile up, we often become agitated and angry. We complain to anyone who will listen, and at some point, we react by lashing out at whoever has the misfortune of being in our path.
Of course, by the time we express our frustration, the source of our malcontent is a mere memory, and essentially, we’re lashing out at ghosts. Once the victim of bad behavior, we are now unconsciously dishing it out. Essentially, we’re caught up in a vicious cycle that’s actually amusing—once you realize what’s going on.
While it’s easy to recognize annoying behavior in others, it’s more difficult to see it in ourselves—and even more difficult to stop before we jump into the fray. The trick is to watch how we behave and avoid becoming part of the cycle. In other words, we must become aware of what’s going on before it sucks us in.
The next time you find yourself in a situation that makes your blood start to boil, try the following:
If all else fails and you find yourself caught in this crazy loop, don’t be too hard on yourself. Life will always present lots more opportunities for you to practice.
There is no way around it, technology is something women need to embrace. While many women of a certain age complain about technology, let’s face it, gals—we’d be lost without it. Remember what it was like to stay home waiting for the phone to ring? Or for the mailman to deliver an important letter? Going to the library to check out the latest best seller or do some research? Getting up every time you wanted to change the channel on the television? Even saying the word television? Taking photographs and have to wait days for the pictures to be developed?
It’s taken only thirty years for technology to change our lives. Now, we can’t even imagine a life without a Kindle, iPhone or Android, Skype, Facebook (and other social media), email, and internet.
Want to know how far you’ve walked or run? How fast your heart beats? What to make for dinner? The airline with the cheapest flights? There’s an app for just about everything. Most are designed to make life easier by automating tasks, scheduling and tracking activities, and playing the music and movies you love. Apps even let you edit photos and send them anywhere instantaneously!
When you stop to think about it, technology is truly remarkable. But like anything, we eventually take it for granted and get stuck in a rut, using the same old tools without looking for something better. How long has it been since you’ve upgraded your phone or used a new feature on the one you have? Are you procrastinating because you dread learning something new?
There has never been a better time than now to embrace technology. It’s is here to stay, and the more we learn to love and appreciate it, the better we will be.
For as many years as I can remember, I have been making Cranberry Casserole to complement my Thanksgiving turkey. This sweet-tart side dish was originally given to me by my nephewette (the term of endearment for the women married to my nephews) Karen, whose family has been making it for generations. And let’s face it—it’s the time-honored recipes that originated with grandma that are the absolute best at holiday time.
Besides being quick and easy to make, Cranberry Casserole smells positively heavenly while it’s baking. As if that’s not enough of a bonus, it makes a great dessert when served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Enjoy!
2-3 red and green apples, chopped and unpeeled
1 bag fresh, whole cranberries
2 Tbs. sugar
1-1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
Combine apples, cranberries, and sugar in a 2-qt. casserole dish.
Mix oats, brown sugar, butter, flour, and nuts until crumbly. Spread mixture over the top of the apples and cranberries.
Bake at 350 for one hour or until topping is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
‘Tis the season to spend masses of money online, and Cyber Monday marks the start of the shopping frenzy. Although most of us like to think we’re savvy enough to avoid phishing scams, that’s not necessarily the case. A recent article in the online Credit Union Times states, “Forty percent of U.S. consumers fall victim to online phishing attacks, despite 91 percent being aware of the existence of spoofed websites or emails of trusted brands, according to a new report.”
Hackers do not go on vacation over the holiday season. In fact, that’s when they do some of their most extensive work. It’s therefore critical that you become more vigilant than ever at this time of year if you plan to hold on to your identity and hard-earned cash. Being aware of possible phishing scams will pay off!
Here are ten essential women’s clothing items I think every woman over 50 should own. This list will help if you enjoy fashion—or simply want some direction in building an age-appropriate wardrobe.
A black pencil skirt
A well-made pencil skirt works on just about every body type. The length can range anywhere from the top of the knee to mid-knee for the most universally flattering look. Team it with a blazer or long cardigan if you feel the need to camouflage your hips.
A pair of great-fitting jeans, even if you have to shop all day to find them
Nordstrom carries a brand called Wit & Wisdom, which won’t break the bank. My favorites are skinny and slightly cropped, so they look equally good with heels, flats, or a pair of bright-red Converse sneakers. If hips and rear are a problem, top them with a flowy tunic or a longer cardigan over a tank top. If you’re not the skinny-jeans type, choose a style that fits your body best: boot cut, straight leg, flared, wide leg. It seems that designers are offering every shape, so there’s no right or wrong style.
A tailored shirt
Not your husband’s or boyfriend’s shirt, this one is made just for you: smaller and streamlined. Tuck it into a pencil skirt or wear it untucked with a pair of jeans.
A long cardigan
A long cardi is the perfect solution to hide hips, tummy, and rear. Choosing one in a bright color adds pop to black and grey.
A classic watch
A really good watch isn’t cheap, but it is an investment. I bought this Tag Heuer in 1996 for $1000, and now it’s worth more than three times that much.
A novelty watch
For a fraction of the cost of a quality watch, you can find a perfectly functional—and fun—novelty watch.
There’s nothing better than a carefully chosen piece of jewelry to add bling to your wardrobe. A fun necklace or bracelet can bring an otherwise sedate outfit to life.
A great-fitting bra
Any women who’s made the switch from a grabbed-off-the-rack bra to one that’s been properly fitted by a pro knows how dramatic the difference can be.
Spanx, or an equivalent slimmer
I don’t know of any woman who doesn’t have at least one of these in her wardrobe. It’s the go-to solution under dresses, skirts, and pants when you want to look as sleek as possible.
When making charitable contributions, it’s important to be careful. It’s a sad fact that charities are not always what they appear to be. While we like to think that our donations are going to a worthy cause, they may, in fact, be lining the pockets of the solicitors themselves. Watchdog groups say no more than 35 percent of charitable contributions should be applied to fundraising costs, which means the remaining 65 percent should be channeled to good use. Yet some so-called charities are spending less than 1 percent on direct cash aid.
Part of the problem is that these shady companies choose names that sound similar to those of respected national charities. They also incorporate key words that tug at our heartstrings—like cancer, children, police, firefighters, veterans—so it’s easy for us to be duped.
To be sure that your donations do the work you expect them to do, check out this information compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Florida. After examining the tax records of 6,000 charities that hire paid fundraisers, they identified the 50 worst in America. On average, these “fraudulent fifty” (our words) gave about 4 cents out of every dollar to the causes they were ostensibly supporting.
Following are the top ten offenders and the percentage of money raised that went to the supposed cause:
Kids Wish Network – 2.5%
Cancer Fund of America – 0.9%
Children’s Wish Foundation International – 10.8%
American Breast Cancer Foundation – 5.3%
Firefighters Charitable Foundation – 8.4%
Breast Cancer Relief Foundation – 2.2%
International Union of Police Associations – 0.5%
National Veterans Service Fund – 7.8%
American Association of State Troopers – 8.6%
Children’s Cancer Fund of America5.3%
To avoid unwittingly donating to a for-profit organization, we suggest that you follow these tips:
It’s noble to want to share your money with organizations that can put it to good use. Choosing the right ones can make all the difference.
As women, we often struggle with bringing balance into our lives. Just when we think we have job, family, friends, finances, and our health in perfect harmony, something happens to upset the proverbial apple cart. We are blindsided by life, and many of us automatically go into rescue mode.
At a moment’s notice, we’ll cancel a lunch date and drive twenty-five miles to fill in because our daughter’s babysitter called in sick. We’ll donate time (or money) we don’t have just because a neighbor asked us to help and we feel compelled (and guilty) if we say no. We’ll complain about our kids, spouse, pets, job, and lack of employment. But we do nothing to change our circumstances. We’ll react to traffic, long lines, telemarketers, disappointments, and anything that comes into our mental or physical path without realizing the amount of stress these tiny irritations can cause.
Unless we have a wakeup call like an illness or an accident, we’re likely to continue on this path without giving it much thought. As a result, we become so stressed out by our lifestyles that we don’t realize the toll it’s taking on our mind, body, and spirit.
According to an American Psychological Association’s survey, women report higher stress levels than men (5.3 vs. 4.6 on a 10-point scale where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”). Both genders agree that 3.6 is a healthy stress level, pushing women nearly two points beyond that point. Twenty-three percent of women report their stress level at an 8, 9, or 10, compared to 16 percent of men.
Solutions for managing stress abound. You can take a class in stress management, become a regular participant in an exercise program, eat better, and take a prescription medication, if necessary. But there’s one thing you can do to feel better immediately—and it’s free. Take five minutes to sit quietly and breathe.
Regardless of the crisis that is looming or actually occurring, the key is to remove yourself from the situation and go to a quiet place (I sit in my car), set a timer on your phone for five minutes, and follow your breath. In and out. In and out. When thoughts enter your mind (and they will), simply notice them and say to yourself, I’m thinking, and go back to following your breath.
That’s it. The (5 minute) Pause that Refreshes, and it’s not Coca Cola!
Volunteering in your community is a great way to give back. Established by AARP, Create the Good is an online organization that connects individuals with volunteer opportunities in their communities. Whether your goal is to share your life experiences, skills, or passions, you’ll find something that’s right for you on the Create the Good network.
According to the site, “AARP recognizes that many boomers and older Americans are already giving back to their communities in their own ways—and that a regular volunteer ‘position’ isn’t a good fit for everyone. With limited time and wide-ranging interests, many individuals are looking for more flexible volunteer options. That’s why AARP established the good.”
The Create the Good website:
All you have to do is type in an area of interest—homelessness, hunger, education, mentoring, etc.—enter the preferred distance from your ZIP code, and the options pop up. Many of them are relatively short term—from a few days to a few months—so you have considerable flexibility.
If you’ve never been a volunteer, Create the Good is a great way to give it a try. If you’re a seasoned giver, tell is what motivates you and why you would recommend it to others.
Aging is a state of mind
But sometimes feels a bit unkind
I’ll share with you here on this page
What life throws at you as you age.
The first is that your boobs will drop
Your bones will start to creak and pop
Your brain goes soft, your gums recede
You can’t remember if you’ve peed.
Your feet get wide, your butt keeps pace
You’re winded if you hum in place
Your vision blurs, your hearing fades
You’ve lost the point of panty raids.
Your hair goes thin atop your head
And sprouts up someplace else instead
You’re gray in places no one sees
That creaking sound? It’s just your knees.
But life goes on, so full and rich
You’ll live it at a fever pitch
Enjoying things you love to do
With friends who’ll always see you through.
So disregard this aging thing
You’ve many years to dance and sing
Your book of life’s not nearly shut
You’ve still got lots of stuff to strut!