Month: March 2017

Inspirational Women, Politics

A Non-Traditional Blessing

Dear Reader:

My dear friend, Beth Bordelon, was one of millions of people who marched on January 21 , 2017. She introduced me to this Benedictine blessing written by Sister Ruth Fox in 1985. I found it beautiful and particularly relevant at this time in our country. I have a copy hanging on a wall in my pink shed.

BethMarch

A Non-Traditional Blessing

May God bless you with discontent with easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live from deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, abuse, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and  peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort  them and to change their pain to joy.

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

If you have the courage to accept these blessings, then God will also bless you with:

happiness—because you will know that you have made life better for others

inner peace—because you will have worked to secure an outer peace for others

laughter—because your heart will be light

faithful friends—because they will recognize your worth as a person.

These blessings are yours—not for the asking, but for the giving—from One who wants to be your companion, our God, who lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.

Wishing you happiness, peace, laughter and friends,

Michele

The Color Pink

“The” Pink Dress

Dear Reader:

I  vividly remember the dress that got away, maybe in the same way that some women remember the man who got away. I can see it and almost feel it…soft pink, perfect pink angora/cashmere blend, long sleeves, mock turtleneck with a hemline just above the knee.

My mother had taken me to run errands after school one day. I was about 10 years old. We were racing through Gottschalk’s, a local department store,  in pursuit of a crock-pot when I came to an abrupt stop in front of a child-sized mannequin.

“Oh, mom,” I exclaimed.

“Oh, no!” was the quick reply.

My mother was not born with a love of pink or fashion, and I’m quite sure that the dress would have been out of the budget, anyway. But, to mom’s credit, she remembered the shade of pink I had admired and a couple of weeks later sat down at her sewing machine to make me a short, polyester skirt that I wore with a pink, cotton turtleneck in an attempt to re-create my dream look.

Since then, I’ve purchased many pink dresses, bags, scarves and shoes; most of them are gone and forgotten. Yet, nearly 50 years later I still remember that dress… so maybe it didn’t get away after all!

Sincerely,

Michele

P.S. The first day of Spring is a nice day to shop for the perfect pink dress!

 

Politics

Wisconsin

Dear Reader:

The food on the top shelf of the fridge is melting because the upper light will not turn off and it’s generating too much heat. Meanwhile, the ice-maker in the freezer has stopped working altogether. Annoying!  It’s January 22…two days after the inauguration. I’m on the phone speaking (well, negotiating) with a customer service representative from Sub-Zero. The contractor who completed my remodel did not register the appliance so I may have to pay for the repairs despite the fact that I think the appliance is still under warranty. Will the company representative agree? She can not miss the fact that I am sick; my voice is compromised, or sexy, as only my husband would say. I don’t know why I’m calling today, except that I should have called last week. Maybe she will feel sorry for me.

I attempt to create a rapport with her while we wait for her computer to retrieve the pertinent information about my appliance. I ask her where she’s located. She’s in Wisconsin. I wonder silently why “Wisconsin ” should generate a slight reaction within me. Hmmmm? Ah, yes…it is one of the states that helped elect our president. She apologizes for her very slow computer and asks me about the weather in California. I do not want to boast, but it is nice, I tell her. “However,” I add, “as you may have noticed, we get nasty colds in California, too! ” She laughs and continues to make enjoyable small talk. I get the feeling that I would like this woman.

Finally the computer is displaying the needed information and we are ready to get down to business. She asks me a few questions and we share another laugh this time at the expense of contractors who do not follow through with paperwork.  It is beginning to become apparent to me that I am just outside the warranty window when she says “Ok, it’s done! You are covered; here’s the repairman you need to call!”

I hang up thinking that she seemed a very nice woman…a very nice woman from a red state.  I am convinced that she could not possibly approve of the way the man in the White House speaks about women and minorities. She couldn’t possibly believe him fit to lead. And, yet…maybe …

Politics has always been of interest to me, and I have always delighted in vigorous debate. But, this moment in history is different. I remain deeply unsettled about this election. I am exceedingly  grateful for any small act of kindness shown to me from a friend or stranger. I feel that I am looking for a general reassurance that most people are good and want the best for the country and each other. After all, everyone has appliances that break, computers that freeze and colds that last much too long. That may not be enough to bind people in the long run, but it was enough for two of us today.

Michele

Physical Fitness, Mental Health and Growing Older

Another Birthday, Lucky Me

Michele10

Dear Reader:

One of my favorite old photos was taken at my birthday party in Storybook Land, a “castle” attraction at a local park. I’m wearing  my favorite orange party dress and a shy smile. My look suggests that I am both “loving it” and “hating it!” (I’m seated in the royal red chair.) The setting would still make me happy; it was straight out of a book of fairy tales! But, I have not always felt comfortable as the center of attention.

Decades later, though, I don’t mind the attention one bit. In fact, I’ve been celebrating all week! I will comfortably and enthusiastically receive the good wishes of family and friends. It’s my week and I’ll claim it!

Feel free to remind me next week if I haven’t changed my About Me page to reflect that I am now a 57-year-old woman!

Salud,

Michele

Quotations

Friday’s Quote

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

Audrey Hepburn

Creativity

The Pink Shed

Dear Reader:

It’s fun to feel like a little girl again…at 56! That’s how I felt the morning I met the truck in my driveway that held the makings of my shed. I didn’t leave the house that day, but instead kept a close eye on the progress, snapping photos and offering water to the builders.  By day’s end, I had my shed, as promised!

The next day, I selected a contractor to put in electricity, walls and floors.

“It’ll take two weeks,” he estimated. I am well-versed in “contractor-speak,” so I thought, ok, a place of my own in a month …or so!

Three months later, he was done and I had a place for my desk and books!

A few photos for You:

 

Michele

Creativity, Inspirational Women, Physical Fitness, Mental Health and Growing Older, The Color Pink

Thanks, Kristin!

Dear Reader:

If you’re in my age group, you’ve heard and read that the key to staying young is to learn something new. Apparently science can now back up this theory. I’m not sure that I feel any younger than I did several months ago when I started working on my blog, but I do feel happy and energized! It has been so much fun to learn how to use technology to express myself creatively.

My partner in this journey has been Kristin Guidi. She is the friend of a friend and does not typically tutor older women who need computer skills to set up their blogs. She works in web and app design and development and can be found at 17MileCreative.com. Suffice to say, she is highly overqualified to be my blog assistant. But, I am so glad she agreed to help me get my blog launched. She is one of those people who functions beautifully using both sides of her brain! I so admire this, as I am basically a right-brainer creative type. Kristin not only offered me the technical instruction I needed, but she also inspired me. She offered her opinions about color and design and tone and even content, and all of her advice helped make my blog more beautiful and useful.

Today, she brought doughnuts to celebrate my launch…how sweet!

Mmmm,

Michele

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