Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Fashion For Men, Women, And Your Home

Thanks, Valerie Burns, for clueing me in on how well-dressed men and women are going to look this Fall.  You advised me to accessorize the dresses I already have in my closet.  I can add a fashionable jacket or sweater to give each outfit a new twist. And I guess it's time I went out and purchased a wide-leg pant to go with my close-fitting tops.  

As for "Carman": You've matched him up with a new sports jacket to go with his favorite jeans (he'll like that).

Now I need to check out how you want me to "season" my home.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Navigating with 78 Million People - Am I the Only One Who's a Bit Lost?

I guess you could say connecting with Boomers is a hobby of mine. When I’m not busy working on my new website, I love discovering new resources on the web and finding new ways to share and connect with others. I hear so much about networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and just recently became a member of the online community at, a networking site specifically for Boomers. recently broke into the top 2,000 most viewed sites, serving more than 78 million baby boomers and adults over 35. In June 2008, they reported 821,680 unique users and over 7 million page views.

It’s no wonder that is the self-proclaimed “#1 destination for Baby Boomers and Generation Jones.” However, after feeling around the site, I have found that the whole experience leaves much to be desired. The site provides a dizzying fusion of social networking, mulitmedia, lifestyle news and ecommerce-driven content. But more than anything it seems to have attracted a community interested in online dating. For me, it really hasn't been much of a place to share ideas and engage in conversation. Also, as savvy as I am with the web, I couldn’t imagine being able to easily navigate all the opportunities offered on the site (videos, travel deals, consumer reviews, and rewards points for the Boomj store).

Maybe I’m just looking for something different. Something real simple: making new connections and building relationships. But I'm not going to give up on Boomj just yet , and I think with a little tinkering, could streamline their user interface and be a good resource for Boomers to network.

What do you think? Are you a member of Boomj or any other online networking community?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finding Your Own Scent

"Carman" and I were watching Law and Order the other night.  Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) was saying that she could define an age group based on the smell of her perfume.

Now take the aroma of a grapefruit.

The Smell and Taste Institute in Chicago  conducted a study to determine what makes women smell younger to men.

A grapefruit fragrance, it was determined, created the illusion of a much younger (about 6 years) woman.  

So, ladies, on your mark.  Get set. Go to your cosmetic store.  Or your supermarket.  Whichever is closer.  

Choosing a perfume to suit you can be as complicated as picking out shoes, hairstyles, or clothes.  What smells good on your friend may not compliment you; that's because our scent is determined not only by the fragrance in the bottle but also by our own bodily chemistry which blends with the bottled scent to become our very own. 
Follow these fragrance pointers to achieve the impression you're aiming for:

Be patient to get the full impact of the fragrance.
Change your perfume with the seasons.
Change your perfume depending on where you are.
Shop for perfume when your sense of smell is the greatest--in the afternoon.
Dry skin requires more fragrance than oily skin.
Wait until you're showered and dried before application.
Consider your pulse points for maximum effects.
Don't wear another fragrance on the day you plan to test new ones.
Don't overdo your perfume.
Fragrant spray near pearls or costume jewelry can damage them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When You Can't Be There to Help: Home Health Aids

I met with "Wedding dance lady" the other day for lunch.  She told me about her mom who had open heart surgery.  WDL thought her mother was suffering from some dementia since the operation.  She was concerned at the moment that mom was getting confused about her medications.   
Luckily I could dip into my cache of suggestions and came up with the following:
There are many medication aids available, such as pill organizers as well as pill box timers and clocks.
Nothing takes the place of diligent caregiving.  But when distance and time interfere, it's nice to know that there are products and technology to lend a hand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Possible Remedies for Aging Skin

AMA, American Medical Aesthetics, specializes in the use of advanced cosmetic lasers for the skin. "Witty leader" at the gym is trying it out.  Sure the sessions come with a hefty price tag but she is hopeful that all her skin imperfections will disappear with the as-painless-as-possible treatments.  
Check out cutting edge remedies for sun spots, age spots, acne, spider veins. If this works (and I'll keep you posted with my observations), then it will be possible to look younger and healthier without undergoing  cosmetic surgery.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bankruptcy Filings Up For Seniors

One of our biggest fears is real.
Contrary to the downtrend of the under 55 age group, older Americans are increasingly facing bankruptcy.
These are the alarming statistics of bankruptcy rates released by the Associated Press:
55 - 64 years old--up 40%
65 - 74 years old--up 125%
75 - 84 years old--up 433%
According to the article, many of these people have fallen victim to escalating medical expenses and age discrimination in the marketplace.  
Maybe I can help a wee bit.
Fight age and employment discrimination.
Be aware of benefits for which you may qualify.
Know that there are employment options. 
Determine your potential financial emergencies and how much you need to set aside to cover them.  
Let's work towards cleaning up this mess, not contributing towards it. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fruits and Vegetables Can Reduce Your Risk for Disease

September is Fruit and Vegetable Month.  Not only can you boost your energy and stamina with at least 5 servings a day, you can also help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.

Don't suppose you can get the nutrients in any pill.  According to researchers the unique combination of nutrients in plants cannot be duplicated.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, quoted the following: "The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated that, if the only change a person made was to eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, cancer rates would drop by as much as 20 percent!"  Check out the definition of a serving and easy ideas to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Your Music Whenever You Want

Pandora's box?  No.  This Pandora does not release all the evils of mankind (greed, vanity, slander, envy) unless you consider listening to all of your personally-selected music sinful.  I, on the other hand, love the opportunity to rediscover old artists or find new ones.
I play free melodies while I work on my upcoming website

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Surprise Friend

After 2 daughters Mom hoped that her last pregnancy would yield a son. Instead she got me.
I was a chubby baby, an escape stepstool from our mutual playpen for my slightly older, more agile cousin Bobby.  I was also a real-life replacement for my 7 year old sister's doll, Susie-Q.
"Happy," "easy-going," "confident" were some of the words used to describe me as a youngster.  I gravitated more to Dad than to Mom and it remained that way until Dad died 6 years ago.
Sometime during my adult life (I can't pinpoint when), my role with my parents reversed.  I became more the parent, appearing when important decisions demanded my attention.  So I am surprised that our roles have changed once again.
Mom emptied her house (a huge job for which I am immensely grateful), closed all her accounts, and moved 1 1/2 hours away from everything and everybody familiar to her for the last 65 years. She's an active new member of a retirement community near me.  She is facing situations she hasn't encountered since her school days--which clique do you fall into, who do you eat with at mealtime, can you play the game respectably, should you get into a relationship, how vocal should you be about your views.  And she is handling each issue with grace, intelligence, and courage.
She is mastering new gadgets as well--a DVD player, a cell phone, a new tv, an Apple computer (versus her old PC).
Mom is modeling some significant character traits that I look for in a good friend.
She is not only my mother now--she is turning into a close friend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mad Men: An Addiction

I'm hooked. Mad Men is one of those TV programs that's addicting.  All the characters are multi-dimensional; their workplace personas (ambition, earning power, and sex) and personal lives (proper and traditional) are different sides of the spectrum.
Donald Draper is moving to the top of his game in the ad biz in the late 50's, early 60's.  Pete Campbell and others are newcomers clawing their ways up on the pay scale and for the larger office.  The strict gender caste system is evident in every part of their office.  Secretaries are often viewed as inferiors and as sex objects.  The tastelessness and downright lack of common courtesy reveals how times have changed--thankfully.
The last episode ended with Donald Draper and his wife and kids on a picnic. The scene showed the remainder of their picnic lunch on the blanket, lovely Betty with her head on her husband's lap, and the kids at play.  Absolutely pristine.  Until they are ready to leave.  Donald crushes his soda can and tosses it across the park.  Betty shakes the trash from the blanket and just leaves it there!  
When people reflect on the "good old days," they overlook how times have changed in a positive way.  They fail to remember the blatant sexism.  And these days you'd be stuck with a fine or hostile stares for littering.
Everything depicted in Mad Men feels authentic.  Is that the way it really was? 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

COPD, a Smoker's Disease

The doctor repeated words like "COPD" and "Emphysema," foreign terms to our ears.  So I looked them up.  COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.   By 2020 it will move up to the third leading cause of death.  About 1/2 of the 32 million who currently have it are unaware they are afflicted with it.
"24/7.  Oxygen for the rest of her life," he says.  
"But why?" we ask.  
"She used to smoke." 
"Yes, but she hasn't so much as touched a cigarette in years!"
I've known her for 44 years.  I remember our warnings.  I remember the grandkids finding cigarettes under cushions, in drawers, and other hiding places and tossing them into the toilet or the trash.  By that time the dangers of smoking were clear.  You only had to look at the warnings on the packages or up on the billboards.

Our pleadings mattered little.  

Until she contracted pneumonia.  The doctor said, "Stop smoking" and she did.  Cold turkey. No weaning.  No cigarette substitutes.  We were amazed at the willpower.
It seems like smoking has been a non- issue for so long.  Now we need to open our eyes to its future consequences not only on a family member but  on my husband and his brother who innocently breathed in clouds of second-hand smoke.   

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Real Sandwich

Mom's adjusting to her retirement community. My Mom-in-law is in the hospital.  I just attended my aunt's funeral.  It's not too soon to plan my daughter's wedding for next summer. I'm frantically working on my upcoming website.  My husband still wants to be fed.  My grandkids still want me to go to the park.  My friends wonder if I come up for air.  My Toastmasters group has one empty seat.  And I barely have time to indulge in something chocolate.   
Get the idea?
If this makes me part of the sandwich generation, then right about now I feel like this sloppy joe.  
Any suggestions for a little R&R? I hope there's a spa vacation in my future.