October 30, 2008

Potluck, The Pink Lady, and Wowettes.

I had breakfast in Laughlin, Nevada and dinner with the Wow group in my home in Chatsworth, California! The ladies started arriving early and my house, once again, filled with the voices and spirits of these amazing women.

The speaker tonight was Jackie Goldberg, the Pink Lady. I was told that she would be a terrific speaker and she was. She started her presentation by saying "I'm a sexy, sizzling, senior!!! She's 76, looks decades younger, and has the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager. Here's some of her words:

If you have the attitude, you can be anything you want to be.
Live belongs to the living.
Think pink, let the aura of a color allow you to see life through rose-colored glasses and surround yourself with people you love.
Get up, get out, and get a life!

The Pink Lady told story after story of being in difficult situations, like being a 23-year-old widow with three children and no work skills, and how her spunky attitude and exuberant personality got her jobs, good men, and new careers all though her life. You could see some of my slightly cynical ladies thinking that life just isn't that easy, that mountains aren't moved by guts and confidence alone, but she would have none of that. Attitude, again she says. Yes, she has her "down" times, but she is so busy with volunteering in three places, starting a new magazine called "Senior Chic," dating five men at once, and meeting new people wherever she goes that she doesn't stay down for long.

Listening to her talking about starting conversations with strangers and how she just is herself, her outgoing, sometimes loud, always bold self, really hit home to me. I've always been spirited but often held in my quirkiness, like it might offend or people might not like me. I've been conflicted about really letting the world see my true self, really allowing all of who I really am to shine through, and the Pink Lady's words really showed me that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by throwing caution to the wind and just letting me - be me.

The ladies were "wowed" by the Pink Lady. If you want to learn more about her, her website is: www.pinklady7.com. She teaches seminars on Getting Your Life Together: Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually, Reinventing Yourself, Words for the Wise, Effective Communication,, Grandparents as Parents, Humor in Life, and Senior Sexuality. Her website writes: She has helped hundreds of people reinvent themselves, stay youthful, improve their sexuality, and much more.

I can tell you that a few hours with The Pink Lady will change your life by making you be more alive, more sure of yourself, more eager to participate in all that life offers. Just being in her company has changed all of us. Oh, and that's a picture above of The Pink Lady surrounded by the smiling and beautiful Wowettes - celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Wow. See, we're already practicing what The Pink Lady teaches, to "Show people that once they hit 60 life is not over, but is still filled with passion, excitement, and love."

October 26, 2008

High school, life, and now.

I'm on vacation. I know I've written that, but I love to see the words. I took my visiting friend Auntie Sharon to a party of some of her oldest girlfriends last night. I met these ladies last year when I was Sharon's guest at her high school reunion. They were best friends in high school, that Catholic school up on the hill nearby, and can go on for hours about how "bad" they were, how they were late to class or spent their first class having breakfast at a local Bob's, only to be discovered by priests from the same school out for a bite. These ladies have kept in touch for these forty years since graduation and now get together for a girls' night out dinner every few months. Even the one who moved to Arizona took part via her cell phone!

I don't know how it is with men, but we women can sometimes laugh so hard our guts hurt. We laughed, giggled, chortled, and generally had the best time for hours last night in Robbi's beautiful back yard. Robbi is still married to John, who we invited to join us last night and who kept saying "this is a hoot!" while he was trying to catch his breath from all the silliness. I thought how it might have been to have been married young and stayed married, raising kids and buying houses and sharing hobbies and trips and adventures, all with the same guy for all those years. They talked about their trips and the groups they party with and I was delighted to listen, grateful to meet a couple that stayed together and still seemed to enjoy each other. It turned out that John and I graduated from the same high school the same year, can you imagine that? I told him for a Republican, he was a pretty cool guy and that I wouldn't write about his toe fetish. Don't ask me.

The other ladies were equally as wonderful. Sandy is single, works hard, and is finally going to Italy on vacation in a few months. She had talked about it last year at the reunion, saved for it since then, and now is going. By herself! So brave. She was so excited about the trip that it was contagious, all of us knowing that she would surely have the time of her life. Lovely Louise talked about how she and her new husband met, how their daughters were friends and brought them together. She's also a patient at my doctor's office, feeling well and looking very happy.

The food was delicious, the company beyond delightful, and I can't remember laughing that hard and for so long, maybe ever. I've grateful they allowed me to participate in their little circle of women that they've kept going for decades. I read an article recently about how having friends keeps us healthier and makes us live longer. I think this bunch might just live forever.

October 24, 2008

Vacations, old friends, and a road trip.

I'm on vacation. My oldest friend Auntie Sharon is visiting this week from Georgia and I want to spend time with her, as much as possible. We go way back, over 40 years. We married brothers the same year, had baby girls the same year, got divorced the same year, and then lived together after our divorces. We were in our mid 20s, looked fabulous, were opposites who got along famously. Our daughters grew up like sisters, and she has a place in my heart that no one else fills. She moved to Georgia six years ago and I still miss her, so having time with her is like medicine to me. We are so different that it's a wonder we get along, but I think we just accept and love each other unconditionally which is a precious thing.

So I worked today until 1:30, left to pick her up at the airport, went to the bank, picked up my grandchildren after school, took them home so Auntie could see my daughter, and then went to surprise her 86-year-old mom. It's a big Italian family where everyone talks at once and it sounds like they're arguing, but the love is palpable. It's so different from my family where we never speak our mind, are so full of baggage that we rarely see each other, and we have animosity towards each other that even outsiders can feel. I love to be part of Sharon's family's noisy and sometimes chaotic gatherings, grateful to be part of a family who care about each other and accepts me as one of their own.

I think we never quite get over the messages we learn as children. After thirty years working for the same boss, I still find myself shrinking in fear that he will get mad at me, like I'm reliving my childhood years with a family of bullies who I feared. It always seemed like I was an outsider, someone they picked on and went out of their way to make feel bad and small and unloved. I've spent many, many years trying to grow out of that fear and lately, at work, it's about 50-50, that sometimes I feel intimidated and sometimes I feel powerful and strong. So we don't just cast off these old fears, but we can submit to them less and less as we become aware and seek a new path.

I'm not the person I was when Sharon and I were pals years ago, but being with her is a reminder of who I was and who I've become. We're going to take a road trip in a few days to somewhere we used to visit together and I think we'll have a great time. I hope we can connect, not as who we used to be, so we can really get to know each other as we are now. I'll keep you posted.

October 19, 2008

Fires, gratitude, and new friends.

One of the new Wowettes, Karen E., faced this mountain of fire last week and was evacuated, not knowing what would happen to her home of many years. She spent a few days with another Wowette Patt, and did end up going home to a very smoky and undamaged home, amazingly. You just never know when tragedy will hit, such as in a medical emergency or a fire or another of life's many surprises. We wake up each day, usually taking for granted all that we have, and a tragedy comes along and nothing is the same. In my office at work, we see people who were going about their regular lives and suddenly they faced a life-changing medical situation for which they are totally unprepared. The human spirit is strong and powerful - we have a huge instinct for survival, and many of us are aware of what could happen and are grateful every day for the roof over heads, the job that pays our bills, and the health and safety of our loved ones.

Karen is one of those women I would never have met if there was no Wow, that monthly meeting where we gather for potluck and a speaker and celebrate our womanness and the joy of friendship. She is 65, divorced, currently unemployed, and taking care of a long time best friend who is battling a nasty cancer. She's a hard one to peg, to label. She's beautiful, has a wonderful smile, is very caring and kind, and sings the most beautiful karaoke with her friend Patt that I have ever heard. She's not really much like me at all, but I think I liked and admired her the first time we met. She's friendly and fun and outgoing and I admire her spirit. And I just enjoy her company, like she's always surprising me. She is a former ballroom dance teacher, sold perfume, and never re-married after a divorce many years ago, but lives life with passion and enthusiasm, even in the midst of difficulties. When I realized that her home might be in the path of the recent fire, I called her to invite her to stay at my home for whatever time she needed, and she was genuinely touched by my offer. I met her at the time of my break-in and I haven't been exactly myself, kinda scattered and distracted, but she put up with that and continues to want to be my friend. Life brings surprises and she's one of the nicest. I wish I had her picture so I could show her her smile - would brighten your day, for sure.

So, I'm home with this painful shoulder and taking some analgesics so I'm a bit spacey. I'll do some housework, read some more in a good book, and maybe sit outside in the sunshine. And be very, very grateful for my many blessings, my home and my family and my friends, new and old, that make my life richer every day. Lucky me.

October 18, 2008

Arthrograms, personal ads, and staying home.

Just another week in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The fires are out and the weather is gorgeous. Blue sky, lots of wispy clouds, and temps in the 70s and 80s. Work is Ok. One of the docs was out of town and I realized that I can take care of the business of one doctor, but not two, so I have to summon up the guts, again, to get them to agree to hire one more person, even though we're really in close quarters and haven't signed the lease for the bigger suite. Still, it's progress for me to feel strong at work and I don't take it for granted. Must say that the guy who works with our office and who looks and acts like the two hunky male guys in my Stephanie Plum mystery novels stopped by yesterday and yes, is still as gorgeous as ever. I know he's taken, but it's fun to look and be in his presence. And, for the first time, he hugged me and said he missed me. I just have THAT effect on men, obviously.

And I did muster up the courage to have an arthrogram of my painful right shoulder. It's been feeling better since the steroid injection, but I really want to know what is happening, what's been torn, and what might need to be fixed. It's not such a bad procedure, just an MRI, an injection into the joint, and another MRI, but the tech wasn't so thrilled to hear that I am claustrophic and sometimes have panic attacks. I just checked out, listened to all the noise and chatter in my head to distract me, and did fine, per the tech, and it didn't hurt more than a few seconds. But afterward? They warned me it would make the shoulder pain worse, but jeez, this is really painful. I had to cancel plans last night to see one of my favorite girlfriends and today am just gonna stay home, take some pain pills, and put some frozen corn on the painful spot. Try it when something hurts, put some frozen corn in a baggy and then on the sore spot, really works nice.

I did hear back from the Hilton where I want to have another party. I offered to pay for the band myself and then charge a small fee to the partygoers to pay me back and then the Hotel can keep the bar tab, which really sounds like a win-win, no-lose situation, but you never know. After going to that singles event last week, I am really motivated to thrown another of my parties where the room fills up, the music is amazing, and people are just having a great time. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I'm still not dating. Here's some responses to my personal ad, just so you can check out my options:
Hope you are having a great day. Let's go hang out. I am 31 years old, I am a normal, good looking, hard working, athletic, open minded guy that is looking for a cute, fun, out going girl to hang out with. I am not looking for a relationship right away. Age and ethnicity does not matter. It would be great to spend some time meeting new people. If you are normal and not crazy, please reply with recent pic and we can take it from there. Thanks.
Sounds nice, but 31? Don't think so.

Another one, kinda simple and to the point. I ask for a pic and short bio and this is what I get:

Nice, likes animals, but something doesn't sounds right. Maybe the garter belt thing put me off:
If you like me, read further. I'm tall, dark brown hair and eyes, (as you can see). I was brought up Catholic but got over it. My philosophy of live is ever changing as I observe and experience life. I do think protecting innocents is important to me. I rescue dogs when I can. On a date, I may very well feel compelled to save some hapless beast wandering in traffic. I will not at all mind if you have some pet-fur on your sweater. You don't have to LOVE animals as much as I, but you must at least tolerate them. Of course, I'd prefer an animal lover. I read alot...among my favorite authors are, Steinbeck, Flannery O' Connor, Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Natalie McKelvy, etc. My idea of good art is what entertains, ME. I go to theater when I can, I've been rather busy lately. I'm looking for no particular (body) type. Chemistry is all important. I do like women who enjoy wearing garter-belts on occassion. I have no idea why, but I like the look on the female-form. Which is NOT to say I'm looking for a Victoria Secret model. Please don't be put-off by my confession. OR, if you are, that's fine, too! I am really uninterested in people who are reticent. I hope all of us find our mate. I do best when I say more than less about my likes and dislikes.
All types interest me, so long as they are kind-hearted and sincere. So, write back if you're interested, and don't,if you aren't.

I don't know. Not enough info? Not enough punctuation?
i love women i want to be with someone who is fun not shy outgoing and honest i am all of those things love

Geez, if I were a few decades younger!!!
I am Male, late 30's, 6'3, stocky/husky build (good-looking, trust me!), former body guard, ex college ball, blond, hazel-eyes, Northern European/Spanish/Native American mix, no tattoos, two earrings. Mentally & Physically Healthy, D&D&D free! I do not smoke and rarely drink, by the way, but do not mind if you do.

Good thing this is an adult blog. Not that I don't like what he likes, but shouldn't we at least know each others' names before discussing these details?
I love sex, and can spend hours and hours making love to you...I enjoy cunnilingus, I love sucking on breasts for hours and hours, and giving sensual massages. My favorite position is doggystyle, but I like cowgirl style too, with you facing me so I can thrust up into you while sucking your sweet breasts. I also love anal sex with the woman, and I am very gentle and passionate about it...

Is it too awful to reject someone because they're really overweight? I would like to talk vwith you to see if there is a connection. I live in Simi Valley, I'm 48 6' and 260. I like going to a good movie or just watching one at home with a special lady. I like to camp, fish and love the beach, day or night.

So I'm home for the weekend, waiting now for the refrigerator repairman to make his
3rd trip to fix my broken water dispenser. Not much of a social life now, but that's OK. I've got some house stuff to catch up on and a good book to read and I don't drive when taking pain meds, so it's just a chill-out-stay-home-enjoy-doing-nothing weekend. It's not so bad. I like my company.

October 12, 2008

Girlfriends, giggles, and clean carpets.

It was a nice weekend in Chatsworth, California. No train crashes and I had a social life. I started off Friday night with a massage and then dinner with my friend Kathy who is heading for her home in Baja for a few weeks, that blissful haven on the sand north of San Felipe where she can do nothing and enjoy the magnificant ocean and sunsets. Aaaahhhh. So we had delicious Thai food, great conversation, and lots of giggles and I'm delighted to have her as a friend.

And then I took care of something that was really bugging me. My stained carpet. Doesn't sound like a big deal but sometimes the little things just irritate me, that subtle under-the-surface constant aggravation that I often don't recognize that upsets my balance. So I had Sylvan from Supermachine Fine Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning spend Saturday morning making my ten-year-old carpets look like new. He and his assistant Rene were amazing, just did the most careful and thorough work while entertaining me with stories about his long and happy marriage, his artistic wife, his successful and good grown chidren, good books, and his views on life. I really like Sylvan, a big-hearted, happy, and hard-working man who is obviously good to his employees and appreciates what he has earned and created in his life. You can reach him at 800-339-4795 or at his website at www.supermachinecarpetcleaners.com - he told me he would clean any small room, without moving furniture, for free, just to prove how much you'd like his work. Amazing how much a clean carpet has affected my sense of well-being.

Then I picked up my twin grandchildren so my beautiful curly-haired daughter could go out to lunch with her girlfriends and the kids and I went to dim-sum. Yum. When you walk into this restaurant, there is a huge salt water fish tank and the kids had to stop and name all the fish and plants and tell me that a certain fish lays eggs in one of them and other such fish facts that I didn't know! The children love dim sum, and I love to watch them enjoy it, and then we went to Ross to do some shopping and they went up and down the aisles with me, being really good and not touching stuff and oohing and aahing at all the silly decorations and then they each picked out a new toy and then I took them home to rest.

And this is the surprise. I went out to a singles event. Yes, I dressed up, did the hair and make-up, picked up my lovely friend Gail, and went to a dance. I had those last minute I-don't-want-to-go panic, but I keep my commitments and plus I thought it might be blog-worthy. Well, it was not so much fun, really, a bunch of people standing around a waterfall with the DJ way over there and no real dance floor and these key things that you're supposed to go around and use to find a lock that opens on one of the guys so you can mix more easily and then might win a door prize and I did! Except that I won a free pass for a future similar event, lucky me, but it did motivate me to plan another of my parties since there were several people there who recognized me and asked, almost begged me to do it again. OK, OK, I'll do it. I did get my cards read, which I'd been wanting to do, even though I don't put much stock in the whole psychic thing, but who knows? The cards apparently said that I had nothing to worry about, that I will find a new love partner in June of 2009 who I will meet outside of California and his name will start with the letter L, that there will be big money coming to me in 2010 and that I should be more playful and let things and thoughts from the past go. And then she said that I needed "spiritual cleansing" which she could apparently see in my eyes and that I could call and make an appointment to see her in her office. I'm thinking maybe her cards told her to find ways to make more money, but I can't be sure.

I did enjoy being "out there" but everytime I got to talking to a nice looking guy, he would walk away, so I asked a Ian, a guy standing near me, if I smelled bad and he leaned in and said, no, that I smelled good, so I have no clue. I did finally ask one guy that I see at my parties how it is that these guys don't seem to ever connect with any of the ladies and he said he really had no clue but that he would really like to and didn't know why it didn't happen. I didn't meet Mr. Right or even Mr. Right now, but it was good to get out and be social. The guys were OK and I did get a few hugs and Gail said that at least three of them wanted to date me, which I didn't see at all, so maybe I'm as clueless as the guys.

So that's the weekend. Nice breezy Chatsworth. Today I hung out and read some stuff and watched a bad movie and did some chores and that's it. I guess I have to wait until next June to meet my new love, so I better get busy planning some trips. Or not.

October 3, 2008

MRIs, chicks, and aluminium foil.

OK, I survived the week. I haven't had the water dispenser fixed on my refrigerator and I broke my rolodex at work. One of my docs is in the hospital seriously ill and we're all really upset about it. I finally got up the courage to schedule my right shoulder arthroscopy (an MRI, then an injection of contrast, then another MRI) when I realized it was authorized as "MRI right shoulder without contrast with arthrogram" which makes no sense to me or the schedulers, so we have to get that corrected before they'll schedule it. And my friend Bev, who is booking the November weekend singles cruise, called to tell me that she was finalizing the payments when one person's credit card wouldn't go through. She found out that he sadly had passed away in July and told that to the cruise line person who asked "does that mean he isn't going on the cruise?" Duh? And Auntie Sharon called to say she is coming out to visit from Georgia which is beyond wonderful as she has been my best friend for 40 years and I really, really miss her. And a really cool and powerful businessman who just started to work with my office came to meet me and promised to find me the perfect man. His decision. Strange week.

So now I have my grandchildren for the weekend, which is the nicest thing to happen in any week. My beautiful curly-haired daughter and her fine husband are away for the weekend, celebrating their 11th anniversary. I just told them to promise not to talk about the kids for more than the first few minutes of the drive and to laugh a lot. So this afternoon, the little ones and I went to the local pet food store and saw a few dozen new chicks and a few rabbits and snakes and fish and birds and then walked and ran and played at a park across the street from the store. And we came home to a dinner of Chinese food, which they love, and their blessing on the meal which is "Earth who gives to us this food, sun who makes it ripe and good. Dear sun, dear earth, by you we live, our loving thanks for you we give." The twins have a ritual where they say the blessing before dinner and then say something they are thankful for and Talia said, "I'm thankful we have such a good living life" and Quinn said "I'm thankful we have a new month and it's Halloween." Geez, so simple and so right-on, these two happy and sweet little people.

I did get to go with a girlfriend to a movie preview this week of "New York, I Love You," which was amazing, twelve vignettes by different famous writers and directors, all revolving around the idea of finding love. And I took dinner over to another girlfriend's house last night to listen to the Vice-Presidential debate with her and her mom, both of whom provided a calming influence to my anxiety regarding the current election and the future of the United States and the world and other huge issues that are totally beyond my control.

So I have no point here, except that it was a bit of a tumultuous week, that I survived it well, that I appreciate having girlfriends, that I am blessed with a loving daughter and son-in-law and grandbabies, and that I am healthy and feeling pretty good about myself and life. Oh, I forgot, I found my lost checks, those that I had hidden after the burglary in a 'safe' place. They were in the drawer with the Saran Wrap and aluminium foil. Now, that's weird.