A high school reunion to remember…

Ahhh…the first week of high school…amazing that it’s still etched in my mind. My best friend and I spent several days carefully formulating our plan to conquer ‘high school—week one’.  On our list: matching outfits—mandatory regroups throughout the day—and absolutely, positively—a walk home together to assess [in real-time], the most important week of our lives. : )  Good thing all that freshman nervousness was not to last. We were quickly up and running and in the swing of all things high school — she with her cheerleading and me enjoying new friends and the comforting arms of my very first boyfriend. My first love, someone to share in the innocence and exploration of IMG_1382companionship and protection with all the fancy fixings. From the early blissful days of falling in love to the sadness of parting…we found ourselves moving on after three heartfelt years. We created our own families and jobs and homes and so much more over the years.  But always in our hearts, we knew a coming together was imminent.

Then…with little fanfare, all short and sweet..there it was. A little posting for all to see announcing our high school reunion. A simple announcement for a very special 40-year celebration to bring kids who grew up together back together. It’s hard to imagine that 40 years could breeze by so quickly like a twinkling of the eye of life’s history and drama — the marriages, divorces, kids, parents with Alzheimer’s, and the loss of people close to us. Seems we’ve been through it all. And now, we get to rewind the clock for a few hours with people we once knew and loved. Together again under one roof! We get to check in, reconnect, and share moments from the past. It’s more thanIMG_1206 a party, it’s more than a blast from the past…for me…it’s a priceless ‘checking in’ with my first love.

Finally, the long-awaited evening came…and without fanfare…there he was….standing there in all his glory, smiling in all his 58 year-old handsomeness…STILL THE SAME…the one that got away, the sweet young man I failed to appreciate fully…the one that unselfishly gave me every ounce of his puppy love.

Perhaps he was the reason to attend the party, the reason to look as fabulous as one could…for the sake of our incredible memories from the past. We spent hours that night talking about what could have been, and hours enjoying every moment we had together, knowing this might be the last time we see each other. After forty years, our lives are planted in different cities with different people, and in different relationships…and that’s so very ok. Still…I cannot help but wonder what might have been…and at the same time appreciating every single moment I got to spend with my still-handsome, funny, kind and protective..high school love.

The one that got away has now gone away, but I still thank him for three beautiful years together some 40+ years ago, and for continuing to touch my life the way he always has. :)

Truly the ‘bestest’ of high school reunions!


A new world of fear

I’m staying close to home today, listening to the news, watching and feeling the unfolding cnn-of yet another terrorist horror. I can turn my head and avoid all things negative and depressing, but I will not. I need to know it, hear it, think about it and feel it. It’s my world, I don’t want to hold anything back.

For the past two days French born terrorist brothers have kept the world on edge plowing their way through Parisian buildings and streets bent on a bloody mission of carnage and death. In the end, some 18 individuals lie dead in the name of martyrdom…in the name of Allah. We shake our heads in disbelief over this growing cancer that’s becoming commonplace…and we wonder…is this is our new normal?

Following the story from the start, I could not ignore the obvious and unique differences from other terror stories. This is a story of vengeance by killers for specific acts by specific people. We don’t have to ponder or dig and ask why, they reason is clear. Two brothers bent on revenge killing for things they do not like, coupled with a twisted interpretation of religious duty.
Their targets – cartoonists, a specific group of French gentleman who have spent years throwing digs and insults at their Prophet Mohammed via cartooning. Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based weekly satirical publication is famous for its risqué cartoons and takedowns of politicians, Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 9.37.15 PMpublic figures and religious symbols of all faiths. In step with such haranguings and put-downs, the magazine once published an issue featuring a cartoon that appeared to depict a naked Mohammed, along with a cover that appeared to show Mohammed being pushed in a wheelchair by an Orthodox Jew.

While Charlie Hebdo cartoonists use their public forum to insult both religion and religious figures, certain dangerous members of their audience have been clear about expressing their blood curdling, al-Qaida-inspired disdain. The ‘unhappy’ include a scary and murderous group of fanatical Muslim extremists bent on revenge towards those who continuously diss its religion — specifically those penned by Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.
It is important to know that freedom of expression is an important and vital part of the French culture and over the years Charlie Hebdo has stood firm in its fearlessness of lampooning religious groups and its editorial right to do so.

As mothers, we teach our children to understand the basic values of respecting others. I don’t care how un-religious you are – do your own thing and let people do theirs. “Bullying” a specific religion or religious group is dangerous business and in 2015 you do so at your own risk, even in the name of free speech, even in the name of humor. Even Pope said, “speak something bad about my mother and you’ll get punched”.

Watching the story unfold the world is stunned to eye-witness such carefully planned acts of revenge where diabolical, crazed zealots are able to launch a murderous mission right before our eyes. And now, there is no going back, we track their movements on TV where two misguided grown-up orphaned brothers wear suicide like a badge of honor. Now, after gaining entrance to the secure building they somehow make their way upstairs with ease, rushing a Charlie Hebdo staff meeting only to shoot and kill at point blank, 12 cartoonists – the very people responsible for their angst and humiliation. Not yet finished, their killing spree takes to the streets, spreading intense fear amongst Parisians, where they overtake a printing shop. One brother takes a moment to shake the hand of a unknowing customer, moments later answering the phone only to reveal much needed information about their purpose, their rant, their leaders. Moments later, in a hail of bullets — the brother terrorists are surrounded and finally taken down in a hail of bullets from Paris cops.

c5183990-e85e-4668-8c6a-8009355b8eb3-620x372With the drama over, the story will remain painfully fresh in our minds and our thoughts are on the French people and the rest of us that hold France near and dear to our heart.
But in the end, we cannot help ponder if some level of change is in order. Change in how our words and writings can affect various cultures or groups and whether making fun to this extent should be minimized, adjusted, or eliminated. NOT because we are afraid, but because our thoughtfulness to change is what makes us great. We ask ourselves whether bullying religion is ok, and how we would feel if WE were the target of bullying —even though it is meant to be funny, and no harm is meant.

Comedic artistry and freedom of speech doesn’t mean harmful insults. In the US, we do not practice this level of literary freedom to the extent that many other countries do, and for that I am proud of this sensitivity. Religion, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, all are game, but I believe we are smarter and far more sensitive and creative than this. And it often takes something like the Paris tragedy, the loss of respected cartoonists and loss of life in general to humble ourselves enough to find the guts and the strength to consider change in order to be better.

Post event info:
First issue since attack (news)
First issue roll-out


Our beloved American way

If you live in America you definitely know about the “American way”. It’s the things we believe in and do in common. It’s also a ‘catch-all’ phrase we love to attach to situations…a sort of ‘everyone-else-is-doing-it’ thing, typically the easy route and definitely the lazy route, lol. Until recently, I never really understood just how profoundly protective we are of it — our beloved American way — especially when it comes to food.

If you’ve been paying attention you will know that the last decade has been a rush of newly uncovered information about the side-effects of our super-crappy food supply. Food experts, nutritionists, dietitians, Banana pancakesdocs, scientists and others are taking it up a few octaves in hopes we might hear what they have to say about the stuff we are putting in our mouths. Seems that food as we know it is damaging our brains and our bodies, slowly bringing on man-made problems like obesity, laziness, crankiness, moodiness and hunger pangs that won’t let up. There’s also a plethora of medical ailments to consider like high blood pressure, obesity, type II diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease — all possible side effects to our food choices.

“But I like it, and I should eat what I like”. That’s what a close friend of mine said to me on Thanksgiving day about being a regular at McDonalds. In our short conversation she also included:

  • I don’t think it’s as bad for you as they say
  • I deserve to have a treat!
  • I don’t think it’s going to cause any long term problems
  • They wouldn’t sell it if it wasn’t healthy for us
  • Once in a while won’t hurt me
  • I don’t believe the experts, they don’t really know
  • It’s the American way

And there it was! The conclusion I didn’t want. The “smh” moment where I realized that eating any which way you Family Dining Al Frescowant at any time you want is normal and truly is the American way…and caving in to so-called experts can and will be looked upon as being a ‘sold out’. It’s also NOT the American ‘anything’ at this point in time.

Going outside of what’s normal isn’t nearly the normal we all hope for…and those that do are raising eyebrows. So for those that continue to say cheers to white bread and Coca-Cola, I just simply say… it’s not alright, but at the same time we all do what’s right for us. And that’s MY American way.

If you want to change your eating in 2015 and live with a clearer mind and improved health, here are a few links to get you started.

About healthy eating
Learning about vegetables
Staying full longer

Living life out on the social stage

When I think about getting older I often think about my Dad who will be 79 in a few months. He’s a bit of a Jack Lalanne type. Spends much of his time working out at the gym, walking on the beach and playing his horn. Recently he said, “I play pool with guys that are in their 50s. And by the way, they aren’t so 50s fab.” This made me laugh. “They are more like 50s-flabby, dad-lowresflubby, farty, and frustrated. Then he asks..”what’s wrong with your generation?”
I had to stop and think about this. Then I pulled up Facebook and I saw my answers…the big reveal! Clarification in all forms and flavors. A cavalcade of aches, pains, trials and tribulations, begging for my attention – waiting for a ‘like’, a comment, anything. Is this what we have become? And these are people I know and love, or used to know, and used to love, now it seems some are a scant image of their old self. And their cry isn’t good reading. It chimes of loneliness cying out to social media for someone to take a listen, take an interest…on a stage that’s right at their fingertips. I don’t remember these guys as complainers. And I don’t like seeing old school chums and family friends..asking for attention…using their ‘wall’ to evoke a little controversy…enough, really.
Why load everyone up with this? Seems we have enough drama and stupidity circulating our lives for God’s sakes… it’s not very cool, and not too “social” either… it’s just one big drag for readers. Somehow I am not feeling too social right now. Maybe I’ve been too sour and not checked in enough with friends that need a little love. Maybe I need redo the way I see things and lighten up a bit.
Turns out my Dad Joe was onto something. Not a guy that notices and comments on too much of life’s upside-down idiosyncrasies but his perspective of our generation is pretty right on. It’s amazing to have your dad alive and well and commenting on stuff that makes you stop and take a listen. Thanks Dad…always teaching.

Let’s buy some timeshare

Like many a friend before me, I went and got my real estate license. Mostly because “you just never know“… the most common over-arching, compelling reason given, according a handful of agents. With curiosity, I ask what this means. I’m assured that the chance is real. Any real estate salesperson can hit it big — sell a lot of houses and make a boatload of money. OK..I get it, an elite club.
So I went through the tedious process of studying new stuff in my 50s, which has layers of “I don’t have the same focus” to getting mad at the content as if to say most of this can’t possibly be necessary.  But I did it, and thankfully, I passed! So a little relaxation at the nail shop is now in order…gotta plan my future with a pedicure! There, sitting next to me, dipping her toes in bubbly warm water was my old friend Linda Alvey! Real estate? “Don’t mess with that, sell timeshare, they make a lot of money and don’t have to schleShopping womanp signs around in high heels!” Timeshare, interesting. And so before I wasted any more time trying to figure it out I was standing in front of beautiful property on the beach, preparing to interview in my lucky, tight gray pencil skirt.
Barely into my work history, I heard “you’re hired!” — and within moments I was now brand new sales rep who is going to make a lot of money. That’s what they said. My primary role is to sell a lot of timeshare to the unknowing. Yes, it’s true… folks barley get what’s going on — but one thing they DO know —is a free gift awaits them after two Continue reading

When a pet dies.

Four sad and painful days had passed since my goofy, charismatic, full-of-life striped boy-cat died. As sad as this was, his two cat-mates seemed oblivious, going about their business — making things a whole lot easer, what a relief!
But then it all changed.


SG, rest in peace and thank you for being the best buddy you could possibly be.

The first time I head that ‘sound’, it echoed big throughout the house. It was an alarming and harrowing cry… long and urgent. A meow so deep it hung in the air and stayed there. I researched online, I paced — anything to figure it out a way to soothe his obvious anxiousness, the endless stares out the windows. No one really knows what a cat might be feeling, but one thing was clear, this 14 year-cat-mate realized his best friend was gone. And he was sad. I’ve never thought about how animals mourn, didn’t know if they did — but this was real and I was living it. It’s not something you can ignore, rather, it’s something that requires action.

If this has happened to you…do something. Find ways to sooth and distract. Get new toys, brand new scratching pads with dried cat grass or catnip rubbed in. And get rid of the scent of the missing animal so the others can ‘move on’ without lingering reminders. Give lots of extra attention, mix thing up, change things around such as furniture, cat trees, food bowls. And give tons of attention.Your cat is mourning the loss of a loved one, and they have real feelings about it. Be kind, be cool, the better you do with it, the sooner they can move on and adjust.

Get your skin glowing again, seriously.

Growing up, we knew that going to the beach meant getting a golden tan. Even if it nerium-2bottleincluded getting a little burnt, we often held off on the suntan lotion. It wasn’t such a good strategy, but we wanted a tan really really bad, so we took advantage of the moment. So bask we did, at the pool, at the beach, and in our own backyard. Now that we are smarter, we know our skin is a reflection of those years, so yeah, we had no choice but to get super careful!

Although a bit of a pessimist, I stumbled upon a skin care line called Nerium. I like to think of it as a minimalist type of product because there are only three products in the entire suite! It’s not sold in the stores, so it’s more MLM style, with a, ‘Avon/Melalueca’-styled sales person who guides you through the initial experiment of trying it out. She actually gave me a bottle to try out for a week. She said, your face will feel so soft, and I thought, I think my skin is already soft…but wow! It’s really soft, and suddenly I starting touching it during the day! I stopped using my pile of other skin products (retinA, eye gels, and other crappola) and now just use the day cream and the night cream. It’s strange not to have an entire program of using a million products. I love the ingredients, mostly peptides and antioxidants. I like that.

That was a few weeks ago and now I am a junkie. It’s really simple, and I decided to be a ‘brand partner’ sales person so I could get a discount and turn my friends onto this truly spectacular skin care line. It’s so very worth checking out, and trying on your own.

I say go for it, and don’t ask questions. You’re gonna like it!

If you want to buy it or OR try it, click here to contact me, I’ll help you out.

Let your numbers be your guide!

I don’t always know my checking account balance or my FICO score, but I do pay close attention to my ‘other’ numbers…blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and a few others. These are super important numbers and all of them are based on how well I perform! Ha, ha, it’s true. Eat and live well and your physical numbers will be great. Spend well, save well, and well… you get the point. We doctorcartoonalso have to be our own health advocate! When they take your blood pressure, ask what the numbers are!  Silence is no longer acceptable by the ‘blood pressure takers’ — give us our numbers! Speak up and track your OWN body’s progress — even if it’s in good shape. Know how you are trending, year after year, during stress, during happiness and during calm. You are the only one to truly know your body! You’ll be happy you did especially if you are on a journey to lose weight, eat better, or look better!

It’s a good feeling to be in the driver’s seat with your OWN personal set of numbers – they belong to YOU.

…There are 6 body numbers that you should know at all times! (1) blood pressure, (2) waist size, (3) weight, (4) cholesterol, (5) fasting blood sugar

But I am going to help you understand which numbers are important to know! The following are Dr. Oz approved!

(1) Blood pressure — I notice that every time I go to the doctor’s office, they take my blood pressure. Rarely do they announce it out loud. I can assume I’m OK, but it doesn’t help us get up close and involved with our own numbers! I want to know trends with my numbers, but we must be our own advocate and ask for our numbers at all times.
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Those 50-something rebels


Our parents used to shake their heads and say…”time sure does go by fast”. Looking back now, it seems they were concerned about getting older! Deep inside our young, supple, naiveté minds, we could not imagine mom and dad worrying about something like aging. Seems their fairly young bodies were slowly morphing into eyebrow-raising, chunky monkey mounds of flesh, hiding out quietly under clothes that kept getting tighter.

elder pensive at the mirrorUGH…let’s not make it a big deal, though… it’s just that being in your 50s means we need to accept that things are going to be different or will become different…from this point on — and we have to be good with it. We have to know that the things we once laughed and smirked at, may soon be us.
We have to know that it’s OK to talk about social security, retirement, great grandkids and ‘old people dating’ sites. We are OK with being called Grandma, and it’s no big deal to hang out exclusively with an older crowd, after all, they get you — for God’s sakes, it’s a free country anyway and bingo is still legal!
And keeping up with technology isn’t that important for us – let the young ones take care of that! Their brains are far fresher than ours.

On the flip side, I cannot help but think there is STILL a gray area for some of us. Take a few 50-something rebels I happen to know. They prefer things their way! They handle “getting older” kicking and screaming. You know who they are – those super friends and colleagues who eat healthy, are busy learning new software, redoing their website, taking up cross-fit or Zumba-ing their asses off, maybe they’ve taken a new lover – OR they are simply just getting out there living life in all their glorious 50-something style. I love being a rebel and I love hanging out with rebel people who have not acquiesced, who continuously show me how THEY do it, how they live life awesomely to the fullest, in spite of a bad day, a few gray hairs, or a swollen joint.

I tell myself all the time…keep your mind and your options open, the party is barely getting started…ha ha, just ask my super busy friends…the rebels!
:  )

A 50-something rebel doing what she does best.

Spotted! A 50-something rebel doing her thing.

The Skinny on Coconut Oil

It’s not a craze. It’s real. It’s been around for ever and its benefits are off-the-charts worth incorporating into our 40 and 50+ lives. Now the beautiful benefits of virgin, unrefined coconut coconut oiloil has finally reached shore  – making its way into our lives. Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids with some very powerful medicinal properties. Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.

The benefits are many, especially for those who aim for aging gracefully. Getting older means paying close attention to the health of our brain as it is now front and center a leading topic. Coconut oil offers incredible benefits, from protection or reversal of brain fog, early Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

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Me Love Bread

bread and oil

Tasty and delicious, and hard to resist.  Can food sinning get out of control?

Pair me a glass of Pinot Noir with warm crusted bread and olive oil and I have the perfect segue to a delicious and healthy dinner. Not.

Turns out our tastiest foods can hurt our health in big ways.
More and more, new research screams loud and clear that many of our food pleasures are flat-out bad for our brain, even when consumed once in a while. Bread, with its warm, simplistic persona and mom-ish charm is one food that can wreak havoc on our brains, even when dipped in delicious and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) olive oil.

There is new evidence that carb-loaded-bread foods are starting to ruin our most valuable asset, our head – one body part we should to protect with guns drawn.

In a new book by Dr. David Perlmutter, Grain Brain, the effects of gluten, carbs and sugar on our brains is devastating taking food hangovers to a new level. You know that foggy, bland brain feeling, it’s the brain’s way of reacting to eating crapola, much of it served up by our favorite restaurants. He writes:

“The science supporting the relationship between carbohydrates and dementia is quite exciting, as it paves the way for lifestyle changes that can profoundly affect a person’s chances of remaining intact, at least from a brain perspective. In a recent study published by the Mayo Clinic, those consuming a higher-fat, lower-carbohydrate diet had an astounding 65 percent risk reduction for dementia. Likely the advantage to the lower-carbohydrate diet stems from its effect on lowering blood sugar, as studies have clearly linked lower blood sugars to reduced risk of dementia, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

Get your voting on ya’ll

Yep, it’s here! Election day is right around the corner and it’s time to vote in another dude for president. And in true form, we find ourselves immersed in all the glory and excitement that the 2012 election process brings. Whoo hoo! The autumn air is crisp and cool and those who love voting and elections are probably prepping for a ticker-tape party the moment their guy wins. What an awesome time to celebrate with friends and champagne!
On the flip side, we also need to be truthful with ourselves and acknowledge all the ridiculous waste a presidential elections can bring. And, there is a lot of it.
While people across the country continue to struggle financially, both candidates unapologetically waste millions of dollars annoying the very people they hope to get on their side. They produce a slew of pathetic (and expensive) TV ads, featuring old school back-biting, belittling, and lots of other un-gentlemanly messaging aimed at swaying us to vote for them.
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How better is your phone?

Well, it’s happened. I force-lumped myself into a heap of people who love to brag and compare their cell phones. A little obnoxious, I know, but lately, it seems everyone else’s phone is better than everyone else’s, and I’ve let it get the best of me.
Truth is, it’s their “choice” of phone that is the awesome part and real key point. None of us actually built the iPhone, Galaxy or Droid, it’s our selection of said equipment that we protect like a mama bear. So, if we didn’t ‘make‘ them, then why are we such authorities on them and unable to shut up about how good they are vs. all the other phones? (Self included.)

Case in point, recently I caught myself doing an impromptu blathering about my phone for no reason other than wanting it known that mine was better, for which I do not know as factual – I’ve never done a comparison or even dialed a number on the other phones. But for one moment, I swore (in my mind) I knew every single feature of the iPhone as though I wrote the blueprints – back when they were inked on a napkin at a juice bar in the 90s up in Silicon Valley next to a guy named Steve. How could anything trump the iPhone I ask? It’s Apple, geez.

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Crying and the sweet sound of music

After a quick airplane ride to Hawaii recently, I observed just how quickly we have jumped from the plight of the overly-endowed passenger (i.e., spillage of their bodies into our seat space) to the trials and tribulations of defensive moms and dads who often need to take little ones along a flight.  From the instant these poor parents board the plane they realize their vulnerability to stares, head-shaking, sneers, or even being subject to complaints to the captain (the guy driving the plane)! The problem? Their sweet babies are not very fond of flying and love to verbalize it!

But…”WE HAVE NO WHERE TO GO” – no place to rock the baby!  Hard to believe, but that’s what parents say bugs them the most. True, we haven’t built a special on-board annex for screaming children yet, but moms,  give it time – the airlines have been put on notice by agitated passengers to DO SOMETHING, please!  I don’t know…maybe ‘adding on’ is the answer to the mile-high baby crisis.

I must admit though, I am NO fan of getting my seat kicked – over and over while dad sits there with X’s for eyes ignoring Junior’s romp into doing what ever the heck Junior wants.
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