I’m off to Hawaii today. 

My suitcase is pretty well packed. My INTENTION was to pack lightly.  My reality is always quite different.  While I am (by some miracle) fitting everything into my carry-on suitcase, it would take a forklift to get it into the overhead bin😊.  So I am checking my bag and hoping for the best.  I did activate a Galaxy Smart Tag so I can track my bag and see if it makes it on the plane.  What will I do if it doesn’t?  I will have a miserable flight worrying about what I am going to do.  There really isn’t a good solution to this conundrum☹.

I came across a post recently: Lifestyle Goes Mainstream as Boomers Embrace Minimalism. Apparently the generation that created consumerism is trying to go in the opposite direction.

The trend towards minimalism, to travel light, and to pare down our possessions to only what we need, love, and will use is the natural offshoot of the wisdom gained from years of overindulging and overspending. 

Rita Wilkins

I would love to say I am a light traveler!  While I do try, paring down on all fronts is a challenge for me.  That is particularly true when it comes to packing. 

A number of years ago, my meilleur ami and I bought a book for our daughters: Things I Want My Daughters to Know . It was written by Alexandra Stoddard, an early lifestyle guru.  One of the chapters in the book is ‘Travel Heavy’.  Her theory is that when traveling, you will be happiest when you are prepared.  She recommends bringing whatever you might envision you will need. She argues that traveling heavy reduces anxiety.

Considering life’s brevity, we should travel abundantly with great enthusiasm.

Peter Megargee Brown

Note: this book was published in 2007, well before our current epidemic of lost luggage!

While I envy ‘carry-on only’ people, that probably isn’t going to be me for trips longer than a few days.  I am trying to find the sweet spot between traveling light and traveling heavy.  Wish me luck!

I won’t be posting for a bit, but will share my travel adventures when I return.


P.S. The picture in the collage is of Betty White enjoying 2 of her favorite things – French fries and Diet Coke! Cheers to finding the pleasure in simplicity, traveling or not!



I have a MILESTONE birthday coming up in a few days. With that in mind, I found this post quite timely 😊: Lessons on Aging from my Mother and Grandmother by Elizabeth Denkel. Her grandmother was a rehearsal pianist for a ballet company and her mother was a bookkeeper.

Here is a quick summary of the lessons:

  • Don’t mention it – stop talking about aging; it’s boring
  • Why not work? – both her grandmother and mother stayed engaged in work or volunteering
  • Eat the butter – everything in moderation, even butter and cream
  • Love young people – keep up with their trials and triumphs
  • Be positive and never complain – everyone has aches and pains, enough said
  • Zest and dimes – stay interested and involved and ‘life can turn on a dime’ so don’t postpone joy
  • The power of lipstick – with lipstick on you can be ready for anything
  • Dashing over to Bloomingdales – the power of fashion never ends

When I was young, I don’t recall having ageless role models in my life.  My mom stayed working and put on lipstick every day, but that was about it. On the other hand, her older sister (lower left picture – mom is on the right and Aunt Nadine is on the left) was a ‘chick’ forever.  You can tell by the photo that she knew how to work it.  She was a widow and lived in Texas and California so I didn’t see her much.  I really got to know her when I was in my 40’s and she was in her 80’s, still a shameless flirt 😊.

I first got exposed to ageless style on a regular basis when I hooked up with my meilleur ami in 8th grade and got to know her mom and aunt. Her mom taught swimming for years.  Speaking of swimming, everyone in the family was a swimmer and it showed. Not a Saturday went by that her mom, aunt, and cousin didn’t go downtown to do a little shopping.  They definitely understood the power of fashion and the power of lipstick!

I always felt warmly welcomed when I came over and they listened to all my trials (a ticket for running a stop sign) and triumphs. I loved spending Christmas Eve with them and fondly remember their Hickory Farms beef stick and Kaukauna port wine cheese😊 (in moderation, of course). Her aunt’s daughter is following in their ageless style footsteps, as is my meilleur ami (pictured with me in the bottom right of the collage – second on the left). I learned the ‘power of lipstick’ from all of them!

I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness

Coco Chanel

It may sound ridiculous to you….but we need to be careful about allowing aging….in general…to cloud our vision…we tend to start walking more slowly and more cautiously…Just don’t forget to add a little skip to your day.




Today’s title is a quote from the Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman.  I love his Murder Club series and am thoroughly enjoying the 3rd installment.  The lead characters are in their 70-80’s and are living life to the fullest in a senior living environment, with humor to boot.

Speaking of happy, I was talking to my meilleurs ami a few weeks ago and told her that I was about as happy right now as I have ever been.  I have an amazing husband and the family is all doing well.  I have great friends! My husband and I are finally content with where we live (we don’t want to even contemplate the expense and hassle of moving).  And I am also bien dans sa peau (comfortable in my own skin, although I have too much skin ☹).  I like being healthy enough to walk every day, seeing my autumn colors this time of year, and being able to travel with my husband or my friends.

There is an argument for NOT feeling happy right now.  The pandemic continues and climate change is a reality.  The politics of our country are painful, prices are WAY up, and I worry about the world our grandchildren will inherit.

I don’t choose to bury my head in the sand to these realities, but I can also choose to be happy right now and keep my sense of humor.

I came across a post: Finding Happiness at Any Age Depends on These Six Things by Julie Ambachew. Apparently, individuals in their mid-sixties report their happiness going up, compared to how happy they felt at 50.

Here are the 6 things happiness depends on:

  • Stay present – Being a person who can succumb to anxiety, I know how important it is to be in the moment.  My daily meditation practice is a big help!
  • Keep moving – I walk daily and am happy to report that I now have a friend in the neighborhood who also loves to walk.  We have a standing date every Monday.
  • Be a lifelong learner – I love to keep up on new ideas and current events.
  • Get the support you need – this includes friends, family, support groups, and a therapist if needed
  • Nurture your relationships – I am so fortunate to have my husband of 44(!) years, along with family and friends.
  • Activate your bucket list – For us, it is all about travel, including regular trips to Canada and as much time in Italy as possible!

I’m going to add a 7th thing my happiness also depends on – Be grateful.

 “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” 

Dalai Lama


Autumn Intentions

As I noted in my last post, for me, the new year starts in September not January.

Carol Hedges, the author of this post has the same perspective and makes her New Year’s resolutions in September.  This year she came up with 10 Positive Aspirations for Fall.

Her aspirations include:

  • Learn to layer – no more one season clothes, that’s what cardigans are for!
  • Ignore trends
  • Resist ‘buy me’ words
  • Stop her subscription to Good Housekeeping

Note: When I got married 44 years ago, my mother subscribed to GH for me.  I have kept it for sentimental reasons.  But I too have stopped my subscription.  It ain’t what it used to be!

  • Stand by my social media friends – I get this.  It takes a bit to put yourself out there on a blog, Instagram, etc.  It takes nothing to ‘like’ a post!
  • Stop worrying
  • Say no to super foods – just eat a healthy diet
  • Hug my virtual friends
  • Give thanks
  • Live with pride

I think these are generally fine aspirations/resolutions.  Thanks to advice from our yoga teacher, Jeni, I no longer make resolutions.   She suggests setting intentions instead of resolutions.  I took her advice to mean that intentions are more powerful.

As the month gets underway, I have been focusing on my daily intentions, which are simple yet challenging for me:

  • Choose Health
  • Be Kind
  • Get cleaned up before noon 😊.

Note: I spent so many years getting up at 5:45 and rushing to get out the door by 7 AM at the latest.  In retirement, I am savoring my morning tea, meditation, leisurely breakfast, and exercise. Before you know it, it is time for lunch.  So, my intention is to at least be showered and dressed by noon!

But, when all else fails, this intention works:

Remaining centered, I remember to live lightly, laugh, and be kind.

Daily Word, 9/7/22

And, in the words of a wise woman whose daily intentions were duty and service,:

It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.

Queen Elizabeth II


Micro Moments

I was reading a post about Les Petits Bonheurs – little day-to-day joys, simple pleasures, small moments of happiness in French.

The author had some good examples:

A nap in the middle of the afternoon, a glass of wine while reading that latest best seller, a walk in the park

Kay Margaret Kay

I have done a post on simple pleasures before.  I agree with her list and can add some of my own ideas.

On a particularly hot afternoon, when I was thoroughly sick of summer weather, I got to thinking.  Instead of ‘small moments’ of happiness, how about going even more granular and finding ‘micro moments’ of happiness?

I had great fun coming up with this partial list:

  • My soy tea latte every morning
  • Shared laughter
  • My first sips of a cold and crisp sauvignon blanc during our evening happy hour
  • An email from the library that the book I have been waiting for is available to download
  • My husband’s dahlias
  • A visit from a talkative hummingbird
  • Spotting my autumn colors
  • Crossing the border into Canada
  • And, the best of all, waking up to a marine layer after a particularly long hot spell 😊

I quickly realized that this list of micro moments could be infinite……and I think that is a good thing!



As I near 70, I am trying not to turn into a grumpy old woman!

My mom was on the grumpy side (a bit of an understatement).  She could be wonderful, but nobody would confuse her with someone positive and upbeat!  My aunt, on the other hand, was the epitome of positive and upbeat.  She never had children and was a joy to be around.  My mom had me and, on the other hand, was a tough customer!

Maybe I was the problem?

My mom was born in 1910 and was 2 years older than my aunt.  They were raised on a homestead in SE Montana with no access to medical care.  My aunt had a dislocated hip since she was a baby.  She finally had hip surgery in her 60’s or so.  Having chronic pain myself, I can only imagine how much pain my aunt was in for most of her life.  That can certainly lead to ‘grumpiness’ as a minimum.  But my aunt never complained that I knew of.

Despite her disability, my aunt lived a long life and died at 92.  Interestingly, my mom died at 84.  There might be some science here…..

This article made me think of my own aunt.  The author also had a kind and good-natured aunt and has come up with a list of 9 actions to take so you won’t be a grumpy old woman. 

  1. Be Patient with Children – do you remember adults who treated you well?  Return the favor.
  • Don’t Fear Teenagers – we’ve all been there
  • Be Open to Technology – yes!  Technology is wonderful for connecting to people of all ages
  • Let Go of Grudges – it is difficult to be positive and optimistic and hold a grudge
  • Be generous – live from a place of gratitude
  • Live in the Light – enjoy natural light and wear bright colors 😊
  • Engage in Activities You Enjoy – for me, hanging out with my husband, family, and friends, walking, movies, reading, and travel
  • Stop Complaining About Your Health – find something else to talk about (I’m guilty)
  • Be Social – we all need people in our lives

The line between angry young woman and grumpy old lady is very fine.

Judy Horacek


Family History

I was going to title this post ‘Aging OK’, but some recent events changed my tune a bit.

On with the post –

I was reading one of the gillion articles out there on aging, looking younger, etc.  I am not down with the whole idea of ‘looking younger’.  I have always been open about my age which is almost 70 (my candor may have been detrimental at times in this ageist society). I am fine with looking ALMOST 70.  No one will confuse me for a 60-year-old, but I also hope that no one thinks I am 80 either! 😊

Back the article, ‘10 things that make you look and feel older than you are’.  I like this one a bit better, because the focus isn’t exclusively on looking younger. 

Here are the 10 things:

  1. Being out of style (no pastel sweatshirts embroidered with flowers or birds)
  2. Sleep deprivation
  3. Being grumpy
  4. Never trying or learning anything new
  5. Isolating yourself
  6. Worry
  7. Being a couch potato*
  8. Lying in bed most of the day
  9. Being negative
  10. Holding onto anger

I like all of these tips and think they make sense. 

I, on the other hand, have a family history that is now coming home to roost and making me feel older than I am (and probably making me look older too)!  My dad died from colon cancer and suffered from macular degeneration in his later years.  I hoped to avoid both!  So far, no luck!

I just had what I hoped was my last colonoscopy and had a precancerous polyp removed.  I am glad it is gone, but it means at least one more colonoscopy in my future ☹.  And I saw my optometrist and he found some early macular degeneration.  Thanks Dad for both!

So, what’s next? 

I am now taking AREDS 2 for my eyes.  I am trying to adhere more closely to a Mediterranean diet and increasing my fiber intake which hopefully will be helpful to prevent colon cancer and stabilize my vision. According to this article by a Registered Dietician, good nutrition isn’t necessarily a silver bullet!

*The one thing I am totally committed to is daily exercise! The American Cancer Society recommends 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity/week.  I am trying to walk 45-60 minutes each day.

Exercise is roughly the only equivalent of a fountain of youth that exists today, and it’s free to everyone.

S. Jay Olshansky


My Tribe at 69

Yes, I know I post a lot about friendship on my blog 😊.  I imagine that is because the ‘friend deal’ is a big deal to me.  I remember how important friends were to me when I was growing up.  With adulthood, friends can sometimes fade into the background due to a lack of time as marriage, career, family, etc. take center stage.  Fortunately, with some care and nurturing, they don’t completely go away (whew!). For me, my friends are even more important to me in my third third than they were when I was growing up.

Not only are friends important for companionship, but they are also vital for my health. Who doesn’t like taking a walk with a friend? On the subject of friends and health, many of you are probably familiar with the Blue Zones.  If not, I highly recommend checking it/them out.  

The Blue Zones are the areas of the world where people live exceptionally long and healthy lives, such as Sardinia, Ikaria (Greece), Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), Okinawa (Japan), and Loma Linda, CA.

Dan Buettner studied these communities and identified Power 9 (copyrighted), the nine lifestyle habits of their healthy people. One of the lifestyle habits he identified is choosing the Right Tribe, which are social circles that support healthy behaviors.  For example, Okinawans create moais – groups of five friends that are committed to each other for life. 

I started thinking about my own right Tribe and came across this article about friendship after 60. Here is what the author looks for in friends.

Friends who:

  • Are fun, LAUGH, and enjoy new things,
  • Only complain when its necessary,
  • Are real about what they’ve experienced – are authentic,
  • Stay open to possibilities, and
  • Are not dependent on my energy – energy is precious. Some give and take is important at this stage of life and relationships.

Her list is pretty much my list.  I would add a couple of wishes to the friendship list:

  • Friends who are trustworthy
  • And here is the biggie – friends who are forgiving of my numerous flaws, keep coming back for more, and somehow love me regardless 😊

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

Jim Rohn

Despite numerous ups and downs over the years, I am fortunate to have a moais of five+ friends that are stuck with me. Here’s hoping they feel the same way!

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, so before I close, here is a quote from Dr. King:

All we say to America is: be true to what you said on paper.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Elephant

Pardon this analogy because I really like elephants! 

But to me, SARS-CoV-2 is like an elephant.  It is big and no one really seems to be able to see all the puzzle pieces.  And I am not sure the entire elephant has even been revealed at this point (another dangerous variant to come?).

I really feel for the scientists who are trying their best to develop guidance and advise elected officials.  I imagine much of the time they must make the call without all the science they would like.  If they wait for all the science to roll in, it might well be too late to act to prevent hospitalizations and death.

An example of that evolving science and changing guidance revolves around masks. 

First, we were told not to wear masks because they were needed for health care workers and they probably wouldn’t help the public.  Masks were recommended to keep infected people from spreading the virus.  The science shifted and we now know that masks protect the wearer and the people they encounter, so everyone was told to mask up.  Along came vaccines and fully vaccinated people were told they didn’t need to wear masks any longer.  And now, with increasing cases and the delta variant, everyone needs put masks back on regardless of vaccination status. Another indoor mask mandate goes back on the books today in Washington state.

I am OK with guidance evolving as new science becomes available, but to much of the public it feels like ‘whiplash’!

I was looking forward to fall with travel back on our agenda.  We also have trips planned for fairly early in 2022. Our fingers are crossed at this point because there may be more elephant….and new guidance….to come.

I came across this somewhat depressing post: Thoughts of Winter 2021 Give Me PTSD! How I am planning for the months ahead.

The author is planning on how best to take care of herself with COVID 19 threatening her ability to get out and about for yet another winter!

Her suggestions include:

  • Shut off media
  • Make a list of things to do
  • Enjoy hobbies
  • Invest time in friends
  • Explore a new interest
  • Exercise
  • Dream
  • Talk it out
  • Change ‘should’ to ‘could’
  • Repeat positive thoughts

News is scary, hospitals are filling up, and people are refusing vaccinations. It’s time to think over how to take care of myself as the days on the calendar march forward. I’m making these preparations and encourage you to consider making them too.

Linda Ward, Mindset

I am not quite ready to make a list quite yet; I guess I am in denial.  But Linda is making some good points.

See you later this week.


‘Before Times’ Carry Forward?

My husband went fishing with a pal on Thursday.  During the ‘before times’ (pre-COVID-19), I would often use my free time to do some leisurely shopping.  I thought about taking a run to Bellevue Square (my favorite shopping destination) but couldn’t muster the energy or the interest.

I read this post the other day.  

The author talks about the subtractions she has taken with COVID-19 and has no intention of resuming in the ‘after times’.  Her list includes shopping trips, running errands just because she needed something, social events she never enjoyed, uncomfortable clothing (!), comparing herself to others, having opinions, and thinking she can change the world’s problems.

As I’ve spent tons more time at home and have been forced to adjust, I see that I have subtracted some habits and practices in my life. And those have been positive subtractions.

Debbie Hensleigh

I don’t think we are solidly in the COVID -19 ‘after times’, but there are things I used to do that I am not sure I want to carry forward.

Shopping trips as a pastime is probably one of them.  I am also trying to limit my frequent errand running. 

Being less judgmental is a constant challenge for me, but a worthwhile goal. 

I am totally down with her plan to ditch uncomfortable clothing.  Thank heavens for my vast Lands End tee shirt wardrobe!

I definitely plan on continuing 2 of my ‘COVID times’ activities this summer – reading and hanging out on my front porch!

Have a good weekend and I will be back on Monday.