In this age of the, Me too, movement it’s hard not to reflect how many times it has happened to you. I absolutely don’t like thinking about it the moments in my life when some guy, some man, made me feel uncomfortable and sometimes sick to my stomach. I think for most girls it starts in childhood. The first time a man looks at you or touches you in a weird way. At first you don’t know what it is. You just get a creepy feeling. You’re a child and in no way ready for any thoughts of sex. In the era I grew up in it was kept way more of a secret than it is today. I thought sex was kissing, and certainly something between a man and a woman who were in love with each other. (more…)
Goals give you focus. To find and establish your investing and saving goals, first ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to build an emergency fund? Build college savings for your child? Have a large retirement fund by age 60? Once you have a defined motivation, a monetary goal can arise.
It can be easier to dedicate yourself to a goal rather than a hope or a wish. That level of dedication is important, as saving and investing usually comes with a degree of personal sacrifice. When you dedicate yourself to a saving/investing goal, some positive financial “side effects” may occur. (more…)
Are you able to see patterns in your life experience? I discovered this concept in Richard Bach’s Book “One.” At the time, frankly, I didn’t get it, but I was in my thirties and didn’t have the maturity unfolded to see them. Discovering patterns takes a bit of maturing along with the experiences that make maturity unfold. I was okay with that.
Seeing the patterns in life is helpful if you’re a stay–at–home mom, a teacher, an entrepreneur, or perhaps work in the medical field, because this understanding helps you move from subjective emotions to objective peace of mind – that state of rest and joy we all crave and enjoy when it happens. (more…)
How ironic that there was a mystery about the author of the beloved mysteries that many of us read when we were young. Recently, we learned more about Carolyn Keene, the “author” of the Nancy Drew mystery series. It turns out that Mildred Wirt Benson (Millie Benson) actually wrote twenty-three of the first thirty of the original Nancy Drew mysteries. Her first was The Secret of the Old Clock, which was published in 1930. Only lately has this story come to light – the original publisher wanted to keep secret the information that they used ghostwriters and that no one named Carolyn Keene actually existed. Years ago, when we were researching Carolyn Keene for inclusion in our book, this information hadn’t yet been published and we couldn’t figure out who Carolyn Keene was! Fortunately, other women who wrote books for children were able to use their own names. Let’s learn about some of these literary women. (more…)
Gus remained crouched on the sidewalk until he heard retreating footsteps and only then entered the drugstore. He walked quickly to a waiting clerk, ordered a pack of cigarettes, some breath mints and three packages of antacids. Pulling out his wallet, Gus said in a hushed voice, “Say Pal, is there a back door to this place? I’ve got an irate girlfriend stalking me and I need to make a fast exit.”
A sly grin crossed the clerk’s face. “I feel your pain.” He chuckled and then nodded to swinging doors at the back of the store. “They’re unloading cold drinks back there and the bay doors should be open. There’s an alley there and just a short way to the street and cab stand.”
“Thanks!” Gus lifted the left corner of his mouth in a forced grin and stuffed his change back in his wallet. “I’ll do the same for you some time.” Making his way into the alley, he kept his eyes peeled as he walked to the street and hailed a cab. (more…)
While many of us may dream of retiring and moving away to a beach-side resort or cabin by the lake, the reality is that most Americans look forward to remaining in their own homes so they can continue to enjoy familiar comforts, activities and loved ones. In fact, an AARP survey recently found that 87 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older and 71 percent of those 50 to 64 wish to stay in their current houses as they get older.
Fortunately, it’s becoming easier for seniors to maintain their independence and stay at home longer thanks to the increasing range of services offered to this fast-growing market. This is great news, considering that by 2035, one in three American households are expected to be led by someone 65 or older. (more…)
Across the country as weather heats up, so do the grills. You don’t need to be a pitmaster to enjoy the fresh flavors that only come from grilling. A few simple tips and creative tricks will help you perfectly grill foods so juicy and delicious, you’ll impress even the pickiest of palates.
Keep it closed: If you’re looking, it’s not cooking! When grilling, it’s temping to constantly check your foods, but this mistake can cause items to cook unevenly. While some parts may be overdone, others could be dangerously underdone. A grill does its best work when closed, so let heat build up evenly to cook foods with all those fantastic smoky flavors. Peek in only when necessary to verify doneness or add sauces or oils. (more…)
Americans are now living longer than ever before. In fact, one of the fastest growing segments is people over the age of 85 who will represent 20 percent of the population by the year 2040. Because we are living longer, certain conditions specific to seniors are also on a steady rise. Dehydration, falls, fractures, cognition loss and attention deficits are now becoming more commonplace.
In a recent paper titled “Salt Appetite Across Generations” presented at a medical conference in Switzerland, Israeli researchers from the University of Haifa indicated that among seniors, a reduced sense of thirst could increase the risk of serious dehydration. They also noted that the appetite for salt does not diminish with age, and suggested that this could be used to help sustain hydration and prevent the dangerous symptoms that result from dehydration. (more…)
For many Americans, moving households represents a fresh start and a chance to improve quality of life. Last year, some 39.4 million Americans changed residences, thanks in part to better affordability in the housing market.
That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone’s moving process was friction-free. The logistical coordination and the physical work involved with DIY packing and loading can be a major chore in the best of circumstances. And that’s doubly true for baby boomers who are downsizing or moving to new communities, yet challenged by the physically grueling aspects of a DIY move. (more…)
It’s no secret that tobacco smoke can be deadly. It is strongly linked to everything from cancer and stroke to pulmonary issues and heart disease.
Although the prevalence of smoking in the U.S. decreased from 21 percent to 17 percent of adults over the past five years, according to America’s Health Rankings, the risk of dying from cigarette smoking has not decreased. In fact, the risk has increased over the past 50 years, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five deaths is estimated to be attributed to smoking. (more…)
U.S. residents logged 1.7 billion trips for leisure purposes in 2016, according to the U.S. Travel Association, and this number will likely grow in 2018. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or business, you shouldn’t lose sight of nutrition. It’s common to think, “Hey, I’m on vacation, so I can throw my healthy diet out the window.” Wrong. Traveling can throw the body for a loop with time zone changes, shifts in sleep schedules and the availability of fast, convenient and highly processed foods.
Use these five easy steps to make sure you stay healthy on the go this year. (more…)
As a fitness professional I try to be an advocate for positive body image and for turning the tide on how women feel about and view our bodies. I strive to be a champion for helping women feel better in our own skin and changing the tone of voice that we speak to ourselves in. I want to use my knowledge of fitness and nutrition to help others learn how good it feels to be healthy and to make positive changes in their lives.
I have a dirty secret though. I have no idea what I am talking about. None! I’m still trying to figure it all out myself. That means I’m going to get it wrong sometimes and I don’t have all the answers. I’m going to say the wrong thing and offend someone. It happens! The only thing I know for sure is that I have struggled with body image issues for most of my life and I know so many other women in the same boat. I want to do better for myself and for all of them and for our children. That means I’m going to keep talking about it as I figure it out. That means I’ll get it wrong sometimes along the way, and that’s ok. (more…)
For years I’ve taught women that the skin is NOT just a shell covering the internal, squishy organs of the body. It is instead, the body’s largest organ; comprising approximately 5-7% of a person’s body weight. It also serves as the body’s second bowel, third lung and third kidney and is a tremendous indicator of one’s overall health.
I’ve also tried to impress upon women that if it’s beauty they’re after, they’ll never achieve it by focusing on merely the external and/or topical… they will need to look within. WAY DEEP WITHIN… and perhaps to an organ system they’d prefer to ignore. (more…)
They say there are seven stages of grief. The two that stand out to me are Anger and Pain. There are actually many different kinds of grief. We grieve over the loss of a pet, the loss of a friend, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a good job, the loss of our youth. I’ve learned that not everyone experiences grief the same way, and that is perfectly acceptable. People have told me that they feel bad or strange that they are taking a loss of theirs much better than they ever thought they would or could. They feel some kind of misplaced guilt because they don’t feel more devastated. Maybe it is because they have a lot going on in their life, something like a new baby, a new marriage, or moving into a new home. Planning the funeral and all the arrangements can sometimes be a helpful distraction. Some people believe their loved one is in a better place. I sometimes wonder if the full force of the grief may hit them at a later date. (more…)
Gus took a window seat, glad to find the plane only half full. He was eager to digest the information Arlo had given him and put it all into a plan of action during the two hour flight to Chicago. His thoughts were soon interrupted when a portly woman plopped down in the seat next to him, placing her large carpet bag purse in her lap, spilling herself and her bag over his arm rest and into his plans.
“This is SO exciting!” she babbled with amazement. “Can you believe that at 76 I’m making my First Ever plane trip – to see my First Great-Grandbaby?! My daughter told me, ‘If not now Mom, when?’ So I took her advice and here I am! I told Harold – that’s my husband- he would just have to get by on his own while I took this trip- my ‘Bucket List’ as my daughter Valerie calls it. Can you tell I’m a bit nervous?” (more…)
Okay everyone, it’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about some made-up Hallmark holiday here, nope, not at all. I’m talking about the end of the winter doldrums, the burgeoning beauty of a long-awaited spring, and the desire to make some positive changes in your life. This is a great time to begin to make plans. New doors need to be unlocked and pathways forged where you begin to challenge the status quo of your life. Your life is an adventure—make it a good one.
We need to get rid of repetitive and negative mind-sets that are keeping you in a rut. Now is the to stop, take a breath, and to be honest with yourself. Forget age—healthy, positive changes can be made no matter the ‘number’ you see. It is only a number after all. Don’t let stereotypes of that number influence you in your decisions. (more…)
At the time of the landing at Jamestown, the arrival of the Pilgrims, through the Revolutionary War and into the 1800s, public education as we know it today in the United States did not exist. Although institutions of higher education such as Harvard University were founded as early as 1636, these institutions did not admit women. Women decided to take the matter of education into their own hands, ensuring that girls were taught more than the necessary household skills of cooking and sewing. Some established what were called “dame” schools. Others established Sunday Schools, kindergartens and the forerunners of today’s public schools. Let’s learn about some of those educational pioneers. (more…)
“Good morning, Ms. Cone or is it Cohan?” asked the young man from AT&T.
“It’s neither,” stated my seventy-five-year-old mother followed by, “what do you want?”
“Well, Ms. Cohan, I am calling from AT&T and it states on your account that you do not currently have call waiting – is that correct Ms. Cohan?” the poor schlub asked while attempting to stick to his script.
“Yes, that is correct and I do not want call waiting on my phone. Did my daughter put you up to this? She’s always after me to get call waiting,” she stated.
Onward he presses, “No ma’am, I don’t know your daughter.” (more…)
She was the first born, one of those leaderless strong women whose privilege it is to carve a fresh trail so those who follow have an easier way. She habitually questioned her decisions because she had no comparisons available. She learned to live with this discomfort, and eventually, she came to accept her decisions because of it. But we’re getting away from the chronology.
She was the cat’s meow, the apple of everyone’s eye, the anointed darling whose intelligence showed up early. She could speak in full sentences at the age of one. She loved to run, balanced and swift on the playing fields. Her mother doted on her and her father did too until the next precious little girl came along. Then he abandoned our heroine for the new kid on the block. The acceptance of this one took her nearly 60 years to accomplish because of the pain. (more…)
Want to start making more earth-friendly food choices in the kitchen? Start with mushrooms, a healthy food that requires minimal natural resources to produce.
According to a 2017 study titled “The Mushroom Sustainability Story,” mushroom production requires relatively low water, energy and land space. Growing one pound of mushrooms involves using only 1.8 gallons of water and 1.0 kilowatt hours of energy and generates only 0.7 pounds of CO2-equivalent emissions. And since mushrooms are grown on vertically stacked beds, it’s possible to grow up to 1 million pounds of mushrooms per acre annually. (more…)
Helping aging parents stay active and healthy at home can be achieved with careful planning. The rewards of personally caring for, or managing the care of, a loved one who needs help are innumerable. It’s an opportunity to give back and to offer a return on the loving investment they once made in us. The trade-off is that in-home care costs money; money that may not be available.
In-home care may be provided by loved ones, family, friends, neighbors or professional caregivers. It typically includes assistance with activities of daily living — bathing, dressing, toileting, eating and walking — as well as companionship, medication reminders, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, shopping and transportation. (more…)
Make your next brunch bubble over with Prosecco cocktails
Everybody loves brunch, but without the bubbly, it’s just breakfast. Add a festive cocktail to the mix, and suddenly you’ve got a celebration.
The next time you’re cooking up a weekend morning meal, be it a brunch-in-bed with that sweet someone or a noon-ish feast for friends, add authentic Italian flair to your crafty cocktails with Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero Frizzante, the number one Prosecco in Italy.
This vino frizzante, with scents of apples, pears and acacia berries, is as soft on your pocketbook as it is on your palate, making it easy to bubble up your brunch in style. Prosecco is definitely the bubbly on trend right now, gaining popularity as an approachable, affordable cousin of champagne. Here are five killer ways to use Riondo Prosecco to put the punch back in your brunch. (more…)
When it comes to business travel, more women are taking to the road and sky to get to their destinations. In fact, women account for 47 percent of all business travel worldwide, reports the Global Business Travel Association.
With female business travel on the rise, many brands are taking note of this growing consumer group. This year, Hertz is continuing its heritage of supporting the needs of female road warriors through award-winning customer service with its new “Her in Hertz” campaign.
The digital generation gap is slowly narrowing, as older users come to more fully grasp smartphone technology and appreciate its many benefits. New technologies make it easier than ever to maintain social contacts, monitor health and preserve independence. According to Pew Research, 85 percent of adults over age 65 own cellphones today, and the number who own smartphones has risen from 18 percent to 42 percent since 2013.
Generally, seniors don’t even require specially designed cellphone technology. While some phones are marketed specifically as being for older users, experts say that these specialized gadgets sometimes over-promise and under-deliver. In fact, ordinary Android devices and iPhones are more popular choices, as they’re economical, easy to find and customizable. (more…)
It seems with each passing day, the world spins faster and as a species, we’re required to do and be more, more, and still yet MORE…
As schedules tighten, we’re forced to rob from other time commitments. Our sleeping hours are usually the first-and worst- place we elect to chop.
Between the demands of a hectic work schedule, outside obligations and the nonstop work of keeping a house and home running, coupled with the natural physical drop in energy during the Menopause process, most of us feel like we could drop dead in our tracks, yet we press on. (more…)
Shhh… this is Sexy…
I’m having an affair with my husband. Some people have date night. We have date Saturday. All – day – long! Our friends and family know that it is our day, and no one calls or drops by our house on Saturdays. Or at least I don’t think they do. We don’t answer the phone.
Our kids are grown, and my husband and I feel like we are dating again. I’ve always been in love with my husband. Madly, passionately in love. However, it wasn’t until our last son graduated high school that I realized how long I had been being mostly a mother, and not that much of a lover. To be honest, it was my wonderfully patient husband who brought it to my attention. (more…)
Disconnecting the call, Gus tucked his cell back into his left breast pocket and stared out the window of Jessie’s car. He began to tap his fingers on his knees. After a moment, Jessie asked, “So what’s the scoop Gus?”
Gus drew a deep breath and winced. “Just as we thought Jess – only worse… The good news: they’ve found a car that might be the lead we need to trace Ms. X. Bad news is: it’s shaping up to be Mob related, no doubts – but no Mob we’ve ever dealt with before… From what Pete’s said this has ‘foreign’ written all over it—but from where?” They rode the rest of the way in silence. (more…)
The fitness and weight loss industry has seen many trends over the years. Most of us have experienced more than a few of them first hand. There was the Thighmaster, Tae Bo, the South Beach Diet, WOW chips. There was the era of Snackwells and step aerobics and now there are juice cleanses, hot yoga and barre classes. It is an ever-evolving machine of an industry and it isn’t going away anytime soon with obesity on the rise in America. We are desperately looking for that quick fix. That one thing that will get us fit and healthy for good, with minimal effort and minimal sacrifice.
Addressing this type of wishful thinking could take up an entire book and we all know that it isn’t realistic. What I have noticed though is another trend and it’s one that I think is exciting and encouraging and it bodes well for the health of our society. (more…)
Looking to live a good, happy, healthy long life? Need to lose weight or maintain it? Having a furry friend in your life can help you achieve all of these goals.
According to statistics, people who have one or more pets in their homes lead happier lives, are considerably healthier, live longer, and weigh less than those who don’t. Pet owners heal better after surgery and have reduced factors for cardiovascular disease. Those are pretty good reasons to be a pet owner right there but that’s not why we need and have pets in our lives. (more…)
The movie A Wrinkle in Time, adapted from Madeline L’Engle’s Newbery Medal award-winning book, started playing in theaters in March 2018. Awarded annually, the Newbery Medal is presented to the author of what is considered to be that year’s most distinguished contribution to American literature written for children. L’Engle’s book features a strong female protagonist, Meg Murry, described recently by author Diane Duane in an article in Smithsonian magazine, “Finally, here was a girl character being treated as if her take on what was going on around her, her analysis and her emotional reactions to the things that were happening around her, were real and were worth paying attention to.” The article also provides examples of other books with strong female protagonists, many of whose authors are profiled in our book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. Let’s learn about some of those books and their authors. (more…)
A recent study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College suggests an alarming state of awareness about retirement readiness: Of surveyed households, 33 percent realize they are not well prepared, 19 percent are not well prepared but don’t know it, and 24 percent are well prepared but don’t know it.
For the Americans at risk of not being able to maintain an adequate retirement lifestyle, it’s critical to take action. For the households that are well prepared and don’t know it, they risk sacrificing a comfortable retirement. Understanding the behaviors associated with good retirement planning, in turn, can help you get a better sense of where you stand. Consider the following behaviors, which are more likely to be modeled by those who are well prepared for retirement. (more…)
Most working women and most professionals want to advance their skills, land that promotion and get a raise. However, some 36 million adults face a significant barrier to achieving their goals and aspirations: They still need to complete a significant amount of coursework in order to earn a college degree.
While many of these adults have completed at least some higher education classes, the demands of family life and maintaining a career, along with a lack of financial resources, can both be forces that derail these plans.
Fortunately, the pathways to earning a college degree are evolving, which means a working professional now has more affordable and efficient means to finish the coursework. With a smart strategy, a busy working professional can make that dream of earning a diploma into a reality. (more…)
Entrepreneurs, it’s time to stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Small business owners know it’s a life that can be high stress and sometimes even uncertain. But here’s one encouraging fact: Small businesses are doing a lot to keep Americans employed and the economy humming.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, firms with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. And the SBA finds that 60 percent of new job creation comes from small businesses.
Still, one of the top challenges that entrepreneurs face today is attracting new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. That’s what pays the bills, of course. Part of that solution is always looking ahead so you can capture their minds and hearts, so you can then capture the sales — with these five simple tips for small business success. (more…)
At the turn of the calendar, many people begin taking action on what they plan to accomplish in the new year. Some have resolved to take up a new hobby, to save more money, to travel and, of course, to improve their health.
New eating plans and gym memberships are common steps people take toward their health goals, but there are other effective ways to improve your health — like adding probiotics to your daily regimen. You’ve likely heard of probiotics before, but do you know how they benefit your health and how to select the right one for you? This article can help.* (more…)
It happens: You hit the snooze button once, twice, then three times, so when you’re finally showered, dressed and ready to tackle the day, you’re already behind schedule. Oftentimes that causes you to skip breakfast completely.
Turns out, your breakfast habit is one time-saving step that should not be skipped. First off, eating a nutritious, high-protein, balanced breakfast every morning is a proven way to kick-start your brain, improving concentration and performance. Plus breakfast is linked to better weight control, as it provides your body energy and may reduce hunger later in the day. (more…)
Get active outdoors with a hobby more satisfying than binge-watching another television series. As a pastime, gardening can help you eat delicious, more flavorful food while transforming your patio or yard into a colorful hangout for butterflies and bees.
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to have a fresh supply of crisp veggies, fragrant herbs or fresh-grown flowers. Whether you have a balcony, rooftop or patio, gardening is a hobby that quite literally allows you to harvest big rewards.
One of the most exciting parts of gardening is deciding what to grow. With thousands of plants to choose from — flowers, vegetables and herbs — a small pot of soil can be a canvas for creativity.
As the weather starts to warm up, Americans will hit the road more often for destinations ranging from family outings to spring vacation destinations. Because cars are such an important part of our daily lives, Hankook Tire examined what drives Americans to keep up with car maintenance, as well as what matters when maintenance can do no more and it’s time to visit the dealership. (more…)
In our lifetimes, we live, we move, we have our experiences and our feelings. Sometimes in that process we grow stale. It’s like the old song lyrics: “Is that all there is?”
Scientists have discovered that our cells self-renew. Here’s a peek into one scientific study. Since I’m not a scientist, I don’t know if cells experience peaks and valleys as we humans do, but I think that going through many years of these experiences can have an effect on us unless we make searching for greater understanding more of a priority. (more…)
People usually think bad words have four letters. Sadly over 40 million of us in the United States think that one of the worst words of all has seven letters, and honestly 40 million may be a low estimate. I’ve had a big problem with anxiety for most of my life. For most of those years, I was deeply ashamed of it. It was way before the words “Panic Attack” became a common household phrase. Even today, there are not a whole lot of people who know I have anxiety, and sadly even less who may understand.
Most people think it would be easy to spot someone with anxiety. People assume that anxiety sufferers are high strung, visibly stressed out, and agitated. Often times we can just seem quiet and shy. I have sat in the middle of a party, stressed out to the max, and many may just think I’m a snob. The truth is that I was trying not to show how petrified I was at that moment. Social situations are hard for us because, God forbid, a nasty panic attack could strike at any moment. We constantly live on edge, fearing it could hit at any time. Some attacks are quietly held inside; some are full out panic and hyperventilating with sweat on your upper lip and a painfully racing heartbeat. There are many varying signs and symptoms of anxiety. It’s ugly. It’s unwanted. It’s a nightmare. (more…)
As I was debating what to talk about this month I decided to poll people on social media to see what topics they would like to hear about. What were the burning fitness questions that people had and what advice or guidance did they want as we head into the spring months? The overwhelming response was that people wanted to learn how to get ready for swimsuit season. I inwardly groaned as the feedback came in because in many ways this goes against everything I stand for. Quick fixes to change the way you look are not my strategy or specialty. The more I thought about it though I decided that this was something I could talk about and hopefully provide a fresh perspective.
What is the best way to get your body ready for bathing suit season, the beach, and upcoming vacations? Put a bathing suit on your body and go to the beach. Pick a suit that fits you well and OWN that suit. That’s it – that’s my advice. Groundbreaking, right? (more…)
I’d like to talk with you about Possibility Thinking and why the innards of it are so critically important to women’s lives.
Our world abounds with right and true, positive thinking, and yet there are still a lot of challenging problems to be resolved. Would you agree?
We have more tools now certainly than when I was a child to point us in the direction of health, wealth, success, happiness, and harmony? One of my favorites is not having to wait until Wednesday to go to the library to do that week’s research. Isn’t the internet grand?
In our era, women’s issues are very much in the public eye. We owe a lot to those brave women like Susan B. Anthony of the anti-slavery movement; like Elizabeth Cady Stanton also a suffragette and early leader in the women’s movement; and like Ida B. Wells one of the first women to keep her own name after marriage and to lead an anti-lynching crusade. There are so many more. (more…)
Professionally speaking, women entering our 40s and 50’s typically are reaching our peak earning years. However, at this stage of life we also start facing the reality of becoming the “sandwich” generation; an honorable distinction that comes from having aging parents and growing children. As we move through these years we should see our net worth steadily rise. Yet, for some of us the opposite has been true as the financial obligations at this time tend to be stretched between ever increasing college expenses, a hot real estate market for first time homeowners, along with the possible need to help aging parents financially with increased health care costs.
So, what are we to do?
The following simple ideas will help you move into a positive, productive and proactive mind set.
First, take an inventory of your assets and liabilities along with your income and expenses. (more…)
Like the heaviness of the cigarette smoke swirling in the room, the atmosphere of the inner office at Acme Bail Bond felt stifling. After a few moments of silence, Gus turned to Pete. “I know we’re both thinking the same thing.” Pete met Gus’s gaze with an equal look of dread. “Yeah,‘fraid so. This has Mob vibes all over it — but where in the world do you fit in?”
Gus tamped out his half-smoked cigarette. Taking a deep breath he glanced up to see Jessie staring at him, a look of concern furrowing her brow. For a moment their eyes locked. Gus turned his attention back to Pete. “Guess I got a little too close to one of their operations but my gut tells me this has to involve that woman at the hospital.”
Gus sat rigid for a moment, thinking. (more…)
The Oscar nominees for 2018 have been announced and shortly after this column appears in March 2018, we will know the winners. Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys. These awards are among the most significant presented to entertainers. Did you know that the Tony award is named for a woman? The Tony award is actually the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. Antoinette Perry was an actress and director, as well as an activist and humanitarian. The Tony award was established in 1947, the year after she died, by the American Theatre Wing, which she-cofounded. It memorializes her efforts to encourage young talent. During World War II, she raised money for the war effort, provided assistance to wounded serviceman, and provided entertainment in auditoriums and to troops in hospital wards. Perry has been inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. As a salute to Antoinette Perry, in this month’s column, we feature women who have won Tony awards for their work in the theater. (more…)
Figuring out what’s best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion.
“When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider,” says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology. “Clogged pores, acne and other common issues can be a result of age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. I often hear about common misconceptions that cause otherwise well-meaning people to make mistakes that trigger larger skincare problems.”
To help people better understand skincare and take control of their daily regimen, Dr. Lortscher shares the top misconceptions about skincare and acne. (more…)
There are few foods that span a variety of diverse culinary styles more than fresh pork. Fresh pork is known by both leading chefs and home cooks as a flavorful, versatile solution for any night of the week.
Smithfield Fresh Pork is proud to partner with the National Pork Board and 20 award-winning chefs at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF). These chefs will create high-quality pork dishes for attendees featuring Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork, an all-natural premium line of fresh pork. Each recipe will showcase the superior quality and versatility of the Smithfield Prime collection and inspire consumers to cook with only the best ingredients at home. Event-goers will have the opportunity to experience these recipes at the following NPB-sponsored events: Tacos After Dark on Thursday, February 22; Burger Bash on Friday, February 23; Spanish Dinner on Saturday, February 23; Swine, Wine & Spirits and Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ, both on Sunday, February 25. (more…)
When it comes to maintaining and/or improving your heart health, it’s the little things you do day after day that can have a big impact on your immediate and long-term health.
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are naturally the first things you think of when looking at ways to support your body’s most important muscle, but to really make your heart health initiatives as effective as possible, you need long-term solutions, not quick fixes.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has long been at the forefront of heart healthy initiatives, and this year’s Life is Why We Give (TM) campaign is drawing support from people and companies — like Pilot Flying J — all across the nation. In order to help you live a healthier life in 2018, follow these seven heart-healthy tips today. (more…)
Earlier, when instinct and training had kicked in, tragedy was avoided and Gus relied on it again to get him safely home without being followed. He approached his neighborhood, cautiously with his lights off – relieved as he remembered that Theresa would be at choir practice.
Entering the darkened house he went straight to his room, retrieving the bottle from under his bed. Gus would finish the contents but not until he was sure he heard Theresa was safely home.
Waking before dawn after a fitful night, disheveled and ravenous, Gus cracked an egg into a glass, filled it with milk, a dash of Worcestershire and with a shudder gulped it down. A cold shower would complete his ‘wake-up call’.
Gus scribbled a vague note for Theresa about a ‘fender bender’, insurance coverage and needed repairs and slipped out into the still dark early morning.
When Theresa awoke she read Gus’s note and mentally filed her own planned phony excuse for another day. Dressing hastily she headed for Madison General. She needed penance for what her words might have caused and some much needed answers as well.
Gus drove to Midtown Manhattan, entered the parking garage next to a dingy, grey, five story office building. He took the stairs to the second floor and stood for a moment in front of a glass fronted door marked ‘Acme Bail Bonds ‘. A faint smile crossed his face as he removed a cartoon of Wily Coyote pasted on the glass. There’s always one…he shook his head.
He entered the small waiting room and immediately recognized the figure standing at the window. A slender dark-haired woman turned, smiled warmly and stuck out her hand.
‘Hello, Gus it’s good to see you – looks like we’ve both been called in on this one. Pete’s with a client but he has news. ‘How’ve you been?’
‘Fine…’ Gus scrambled mentally to steady his voice and present a calm countenance. How long had it been since he had seen Jessie? Six or seven years at least but it all came flooding back.
One of the best female Bounty Hunters in the business, Jessie and he had been partnered in a stake-out near Madison Square Park in Manhattan to catch an elusive well- known drug lord. Two nights into the wait and without a sighting, a snow storm suddenly turned into a massive blizzard. Headquarters finely called off the search but public transportation had been halted by then and streets would be impassible until city snow removing machines could make their rounds to relieve the mountains of snow already accumulating in monumental proportions.
Gus remembered that is was Jessie who recalled that The Flatiron Hotel was very near. They braved the blowing snow and gasping for breath they were relieved to see the inviting warm light, shining through the steamed- up windows. Gus and Jessie entered the lobby. Disgruntled people were milling about and grumbling about the forced delay of their plans.
The dining room was closed so the lounge would have to do. The two cold, wet partners scrambled for the last vacant booth. Jessie removed her parka and wet boots, tucking her feet under her as Gus went to the bar returning with two mugs of Hot Buttered Rum and a bowl of peanuts
‘Dinner is served Madam’ Gus apologized with a smile. It took two more mugs of the hot rum drinks for them to finally begin to feel any semblance of warmth. During that time they shared personal histories, bucket lists, past faux pas in their respective careers and retirement dreams- somewhere ‘warm’ being the common thread.
Gus had always thought of Jessie as extremely competent at what she did – an opinion shared by bail bondsmen and local police departments as well. She had a great arrest record and was well thought of by all levels of law enforcement. Most of the guys thought of Jessie as a ‘good ole girl’ –and it was always meant as a great compliment. But up until then Gus had never really looked at Jessie and was surprised to see just how feminine and lovely she seemed. Was it the candle light, the rum or something else??
An hour passed quickly but without any let up in the weather. Jessie stretched, wiggled her toes and slid them under Gus’s leg.
More as a reflex, he remembered, he took her foot in his hand commenting on how cold it still was. But, surprisingly he wasn’t aware of the cold anymore.
At that moment a voice came over the loud speaker. ‘The management would like to announce that in light of the severity of the storm all of our available rooms can be had at a substantially reduced rate. We want you to be warm and safe. You may proceed to the front desk for those accommodations’
Jessie looked up at Gus – her eyes wide and quizzically imploringly. She put her hand on his arm, took his hand and pressed it against her lips.
It took a few seconds for Gus to get the implied meaning of that surprising, sweet gesture. True, his mind raced, this could happen without anyone being the wiser…Mary had been gone for two weeks in Des Moines taking care of her sister and not due home till next week, Theresa was most likely long tucked in at her own apartment and besides she knew her dad was on assignment and not available.
Still holding Gus’s hand, Jessie started to rise. Gus pulled her back down, steadying his gaze and racing heart he put his arms around her and kissed her gently.
‘Jessie, we would regret this in so many ways. Please know I am flattered beyond words and of course tempted….but…’
‘I know’ Jessie sighed sadly. Please know I don’t make a habit of this. In fact, this IS the first time. Chalk it up to the making of a Perfect Storm. Thank you for letting me down gently’.
She put her hands on his face and he saw that her eyes were full of tears. With that she put on her boots and headed for the desk, alone.
In the brief moment of recollection Gus remembered that he had watched her walk away, had sat for a moment, then putting on his coat, walked out in to the freezing night. The stinging, blowing snow bit into his hot face. Hugging the walls of the buildings and leaning into the wind he fought his way to Penn Station, four long agonizing blocks away.
It would be late morning before he managed to get home. The house was cold and lonely but still he was so glad and relieved to be really Home. He waited a few hours and phoned Mary to tell her how much he loved and missed her.
Gus’s brief recollections of the incident were cut short as Pete and a lawyer came out of the inner office. ‘Good luck, counselor’ Pete remarked as he ushered the well- dressed man out the door.
Once the outer door was closed Pete turned to Gus and Jessie
‘OK – Here’s where we stand. My sources checked the cabs for the night that your Ms. X was found. No one matching her description was delivered there or to any nearby environs. And there were no news reports of her being found there in that awful condition. Money talks and also keeps even more silent, sometimes. And I am sure the club owners have ways to keep their seedy reputations from being too spread about. What did your trip to the impound reveal?
Pete raised his hand to stop the answer as he reached for the ringing phone.
He turned away from the waiting couple but his body language was all too clear.
‘OK – you’re sure and those are the facts? A damn shame! No one deserves that!’
Pete hung up the phone and slowly turned, grimly, to face Jessie and Gus.
‘Our friend, Sam has just been found – dead! Same alley – So he was still there where you last saw him Gus. I know the true facts will be kept quiet. Seems his throat had been cut, and – get this! – a Gardenia was stuffed in his mouth. Bizarre!
Gus clenched his fists – enraged but with sadness and remorse as well. Sam’s informant life style had gotten him this awful end and Gus had been a co-conspirator. He was aware now just how precarious Sam’s life had become – circumstances had forced him into a life and a death – a drop and a word at a time.
Gus knew now that all the strange circumstances that had come to pass were coming from a very sinister evil and he was deeply involved without knowing how or why. He did know that he had to do something fast! But ‘WHAT’? Who else could be the next victim?
© copyright 2017-2018 Laurie Allyn all rights reserved
Laurie Allyn is a professional jazz singer with a storied past. Singing in smoky clubs in Chicago during the 1950’s and 60’s, she went on to record an album in Hollywood. When the recording label went bankrupt, she turned her attention to professional modeling. Now living outside Seattle, she writes mysteries and continues her singing career.
The holidays are a distant memory and 2018 is in full swing. We are back to our busy routines and my guess is that the gyms are already a little less crowded than they were the first week of January. Where do we all stand on those resolutions we set for ourselves? Are we still going strong, or did we stop before we really got started? My guess is that many of us have lost some of that momentum already and the cycle of defeat is slowly starting to set in.
What actually determines whether we will be successful or fall right off the wagon? I believe it all comes down to mindset. What was your mindset when you set your resolutions back at the end of December? Were you thrilled about the idea of starting a new year on the right foot? Getting healthy and fit, taking better care of yourself, making lifestyle changes that you could stick with, and being kind to yourself during the process? Did you set realistic and meaningful goals, keeping in mind WHY they were important to you? Did you remind yourself that you have the power to make these changes and feel confident that you could and would make it happen because you deserve to be happy and comfortable in your own skin? Did you write your goals down and tell others who would be willing to support you and hold you accountable? (more…)
Perhaps I’m nuts but I just can’t help feeling a key component of finding- and celebrating- love during the Midlife Years is being overlooked by many women today. Here’s why:
Currently 3 of my Menopausal gal pals are finding themselves in new love relationships, and all 3 are encountering the exact same angst, insecurity- and self esteem issues regarding their body images and their budding sex lives with their new partners.
My friends have all lamented that they are ‘no longer youthful’- ‘no longer look like they did in their 20s’ – ‘cannot possibly be now all they might’ve been before’ and are ‘horrified at the prospect of being seen naked by him…’ (more…)
When you’re part of a long-term couple you never think about the dreaded “D” word; divorce. But with one out of five marriages of couples over 50, ending in divorce, the safety we find in being a couple is tenuous at best. At some point any one of us can find ourselves thrust, unwillingly, into a “D” area—the dating game.” For many of us the idea of making ourselves available in the dating pool is daunting, if not downright terrifying. Again? I’ve got to go through the whole round of meeting someone new again?! Oh God!
What do you do when you’re no longer part of a couple? What happens when we suddenly reverts back to me? (more…)
Valentine’s Day is one heck of an emotional pot-stirrer, don’t you think? It’s the time of year when men absolutely must be accurate mind readers, when children absolutely must recognize their mother’s love, and when boy friends absolutely must be at their best performance.
Please consider other opportunities that come under the guise of Valentine’s Day: (more…)
Google Arts & Culture is presenting exhibits on inventors and discoverers for online viewing. Five specific exhibits have been developed to present women inventors and discoverers: science, medicine, engineering, health and beauty, and household. Many of these women have patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Did you know that it wasn’t until 1809 that a woman in the U.S. could get a patent in her own name? That first woman to do so was Mary Kies, whose patent (signed by President James Madison) was for a device for weaving straw with silk or thread to make hats. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. In this month’s column, we feature women inventors and discoverers whose contributions have enhanced our quality of life and standard of living. (more…)
Savvy hosts and hostesses know that the keys to a successful soiree are a room filled with laughter and delicious treats served. If you’re hosting a special event with friends and family, impress and delight your guests with fresh, new takes on the classics.
Here are some ideas for a simple, yet indulgent, chip buffet:
* Vary the chip choices. It’s hard to beat the classic potato chip at any snacking occasion. Make your snacks special by adding crispy kettle cooked chips to the mix. Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips are cooked in small batches to create extra crunch in 11 flavors, from better-for-you Lightly Salted Olive Oil & Herbs to a spicy Jalapeño. (more…)
Winter blues got you down? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, according to Psychology Today. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD.
Even if you don’t have diagnosed SAD, it’s not uncommon to have bouts of the winter blues. There are many reasons people experience a “winter funk:” cold weather, little sunlight, shorter days, limited outdoor activity, etc.
Additionally, between the months of November and March, the lack of vitamin D absorption from the sun can be taxing on your immune system and may also be contributing to your winter blues. (more…)
More women than ever are entrepreneurs. However, while women continue to make strides in business ownership, the path to success is still significantly more difficult for entrepreneurial women than men. A recent study reports that female entrepreneurs receive only about 2 percent of all funding, despite owning 38 percent of the businesses in the country (Harvard Business Review).
“The culinary industry is dominated by men, but I have never let that get in the way of my success,” says Leticia Skai Young, owner of LoLo’s Seafood Shack in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. “Don’t worry about being a woman, worry about being a leader. Focus on being your best self.”
To inspire the next generation of business owners, Young partnered with the Stacy’s(R) Rise Project, an initiative from Stacy’s Snacks that helps women shatter the glass ceiling in the highest ranks of the culinary industry. Young hopes her entrepreneurial tips will help other women who aspire to own their own business: (more…)
For many Americans, fixing a flat tire remains a mystery. According to a survey from AAA, nearly 20 percent of U.S. drivers don’t know how to change a flat. This is compounded by research saying there are 220 million flat tires annually — and each driver will experience up to five flat tires in their lifetime.
Before hitting the road, study up on these flat-tire-fixing hacks and build up the confidence to complete this all-American road test:
Be spared: Spare tires are usually hidden under the carpet in the trunk area, but they aren’t always included in newer vehicles (allowing manufacturers to make lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles). When purchasing a new vehicle, ask the dealer about the inclusion of a spare. (more…)
With the newly passed tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), now is the time to start thinking about how this will affect you so that you can plan ahead for the outcomes you will start to feel in your paycheck as early as February 2018.
This tax reform affects virtually everyone; however, families, homeowners, residents of high-tax states, the medically uninsured and small businesses will be especially affected. Most taxpayers will experience changes that could reduce or increase their taxes owed. If you’re not sure how this may affect you, here is a summary of possibilities. (more…)
In speaking with clients over the past few months, I found that time and time again they were dismayed to find themselves back in the same hole they had worked so hard to get out of. There isn’t just one challenge that faces individuals trying to get financially healthy, but rather several common mistakes that collectively seem to steer individuals off track. I want to take this opportunity over the next several months to map out some common errors and make suggestions to help you find solutions that will put you back on a successful path! (more…)
A cat retreated from the porch as Gus approached the back door. Making a mental note to put some scraps out and to hang the birdfeeder out of reach, he entered the kitchen just as the last drop of coffee splashed into the pot.
“I was beginning to wonder if you’d started your day off early!” Theresa chided, grabbing her cup and sliding into a chair.
“Not a chance.” Gus smiled.
Theresa continued filling their cups. “Planning to visit the guys in the city today?”
“Haven’t decided yet…” Gus evaded. “What’re your plans?” (more…)
I have wanted to be skinny for as long as I can remember. That has always been the unspoken goal and it has been a struggle for most of my life from childhood all the way through to adulthood. I’m certain that I’m not alone in that. That I’m not the only woman who has wasted an incredible amount of her precious time agonizing over her weight and the size of her jeans. It is just the world we live in. We are bombarded with images and ideas that confirm the notion that we are supposed to be thin. That definition of “THIN” has changed a bit over time, but it is still there. Thin is good, not thin is bad. Every tv show, magazine cover, movie and now social media reinforces this idea whether we talk about it or not. Fortunately, I see the women in my generation very carefully trying to re-define what self-love looks like for our daughters. We are careful not to talk about dieting and we strategically try to model healthy habits without making SKINNY the goal. Only time will tell how effective this campaign is, but I can tell you that it is an uphill battle when the rest of the world is still sending our kids the same mixed messages. (more…)
Everyone has those days. You’re operating in a fog, or perhaps you spaced out on a family member’s name in the middle of dinner, or maybe you just find it hard to concentrate on work or hobbies. When these unwanted situations begin to come up more often, you may start to worry. Aging has long been associated with a slow mental decline.
The good news is there are simple things you can do to clear the cobwebs and regain your focus. Dr. Mike Dow, a psychotherapist and best-selling author, says we often don’t realize the brain is just like the heart, our muscles, our lungs and bones — it needs maintenance, and healthy habits to help keep it working at its very best. (more…)
A hundred years ago, few thought that the clunky automobile that broke down so often would ever replace a horse. In the 1970s, people wondered if the personal computer that a few eccentrics were using would have any use beyond storing recipes. It’s safe to say that these innovations, along with many of the technologies we now use daily, were once considered impossible dreams.
Right now, the most-talked-about piece of technological innovation that is poised to transform our lives is the autonomous or self-driving car. As self-driving cars gain widespread adoption, analysts are predicting the rise of what is known as the passenger economy — a term coined by Intel — that is expected to be worth $7 trillion by 2050 as validated in a new report by analyst firm Strategy Analytics. (more…)
In October 2017, the University of Virginia announced the hiring of the first African-American woman ever brought in as an Athletic Director at one of the 64 power five conference schools. As the hiring of Carla Williams indicates, women are involved in sports as athletes as well as in other positions. In this month’s column, we feature women who have contributed to sports as officials, as administrators, and in other non-performing positions, although many of them were athletes or had athletic careers as well. (more…)
When you chose the graphics for your business “way back when,” you loved them. Folks have gotten used to seeing them. Perhaps it’s time to give things a fresh look. I’ll bet you could find new graphics that equally fit the bill as your old ones did. You’ll feel better about it, and so will your clients and potential clients.
Create a new Facebook Header. Your header shows up a lot when you share your business on other groups. Think about the fresh new look you want to see and find a graphic artist to do it up for you. Fiverr is a great place to hire a graphic artist at less than exorbitant rates. Perhaps a new logo might be in store? (more…)
I woke up this morning, opened the newspaper and read the tragic news of 2 young women killed in a grisly car accident the night before. These young ladies were 17 and 18 years old respectively. I looked at their photos, obviously taken during happier times and thought of all they would never experience.
And then the thought hit me: they lost themselves so very young, whereas I’ve been losing myself by bits and pieces throughout DECADES. A sad realization I’m sure I share with many Midlife women and men. (more…)
A few weeks ago while strolling through Facebook, I came across this hashtag #MeToo (in the weeks following when The New York Times and The New Yorker first broke stories of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abuse of women he worked with) and began to see post after post of women using the same hashtag in their timelines. Then, actual stories of way too many women (some I knew, some only through Facebook) using the same hashtag began to populate my news feed. I kept thinking to myself, this can’t be true. There can’t be this many women affected by abuse. But there it was, in black and white, glaring at me and saying DO SOMETHING! So, I reached out to several women who were brave enough to share their stories with KW Magazine. Their stories follow, and I want to thank them all for their strength and courage! I hope their stories help others who cannot express it in writing… (more…)
‘The twists and turns of life can be daunting, despairing- disconcerting, especially during Midlife. When all hope is lost, it’s often in this desperate, pivotal moment that life chooses to renew, rebirth, reinvent and reinvigorate…
Kalon Women Magazine’s new mystery series ‘Becoming Billie’ draws upon this truth and leads readers on a dark and harrowing journey, through the smoky NYC and Chicago jazz scene, seedy ‘dives’ and bloody alleyways – battered and broken hearts – and eventually – to simple new beginnings in the town of Weehawken NJ.
Join Laurie Allyn each month for a fresh installment and let ‘Becoming Billie’ weave its web of intrigue, deception, murder and triumph… you’ll be glad you did!’
Becoming Billie – Chapter One
So many lives lived in a parallel universe – never meeting, or knowing that the other exists – until circumstances intervene.
For two strangers, this parallel universe is about to collide in a cataclysmic way that will alter each of their lives forever….
Augustus ‘Gus’ Walker and his daughter Theresa attended an early Mass, lit a candle and now stood by a small headstone, the carved Angel’s head bent over the words, ‘Mary Elizabeth Walker, Beloved Wife and Mother- Gone to be with Jesus’.
A light rain was starting to fall but they lingered, each reflecting on the two years since Mary had died.
Theresa held her father’s hand and softly said, “Come on Dad, we’d better get you home for a nap before work.”
Gus nodded, his eyes still closed.
At that same moment, 5 miles away, an ambulance was pulling up to Madison General Hospital. The medics carefully wheeled in the battered, bloodied body of a woman. No identification accompanied her. Wearing only one shoe, her cocktail dress soiled and ripped, she painted a picture of happy times gone horribly, horribly wrong. The ER admission process began and soon she was wheeled into a curtained cubicle for triage.
The rain was tapering off as Gus eased into his parking place. The wiper blades kept time to the tune on the radio:
‘It’s like reaching for the Sun.
It’s like reaching for the Moon.
It’s like reaching for the Stars – Reaching for You…’
Gus didn’t know one singer from another but let the words wash over him in a poignant reminder of just how desperately he missed his wife. Two years hadn’t dented the loneliness. If anything it was becoming worse.
It was difficult keeping it bottled inside but he didn’t want to burden Theresa. She’d given up her career to be there; first for Mary- and now for him. She never complained about moving back to the house she’d grown up in, yet he wondered how much she missed big city life. Each of them had made major changes when Mary was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
After his years in the Army, it seemed natural to enter law enforcement. He’d worked his way through the NYPD rising to the rank of Detective. He’d found the work intriguing– and had even been instrumental in bringing a few cold cases to justice. But Gus had taken early retirement to be with Mary throughout the final agonizing days and never looked back.
He switched off the ignition, squeezed the crucifix of Mary’s rosary he carried in his pocket- a ritual he never missed before every shift – and stepped out on to the wet pavement, avoiding the puddles. His heavy black Rothco’s did their job. They’d served him well, seen him through much… like Mary’s rosary had helped him hold it all together.
The automatic doors swung open. Fluorescent lights shook him into awareness. He walked into the ER entrance. He was now Gus Walker, Security Guard, Madison General Hospital.
The night Duty Nurse looked up from the roster.
“Good evening Gus. … still raining?’
‘Hi, Rhonda. Not so much now but it sure was a frog-strangler drivin’ in.’
She smiled – ‘Stop by the break room – I think the coffee’s still warm and there’s cake left over from Pat’s birthday – chocolate and rich! That oughta warm you up!’
‘Thanks. -Not tonight… I’m off my feed.’ Gus winced.
The contents of a half empty whiskey bottle under his bed was the culprit and although he’d never gone to any job ‘under the influence’, the influence had taken another route now bordering on an ulcer.
‘Ok…more for me!’ Rhonda laughed. ‘Oh- by the way, we have a new ‘visitor’ in ICU. Came in this morning in a bad way. They think it’s drug related and she’s really busted up. But you’ll probably check that out on your rounds.’
Gus nodded and began down the hallway.
First Floor. Always quiet. Just the Admittance Desk, the darkened gift shop and empty cafeteria. Custodians were mopping the floors and vacuuming the billing office.
Gus checked the main front doors and then took the stairs to the second floor. No one was at the desk.
Down the hall he looked into a room where a young patient was playing a game on his iPad.
Gus rounded the corridor and heard agitated voices. Passing the other darkened rooms he came upon a young nurse desperately trying to quiet an older man who was belligerent.
‘What’s goin’ on here?’ Gus asked in an authoritative voice.
‘Oh, Mr. Walker’ the young nurse exclaimed. ‘…I’m so glad you’re here! Mr. Ward’s insisting on going home and that’s just not possible.’
Gus guided the frail Alzheimer’s patient back to bed. His uniformed presence put a comforting light on the situation and soon the old man was asleep in his bed. Gus stayed for a few more minutes to make certain all was well and then proceeded on his rounds.
He checked the doors to the operating theaters and moved on to ICU. Most of the occupied rooms were now dark, but for one. This room was lit. It was difficult to distinguish much about the human under the blanket. A nurse joined Gus by the door.
‘It’s always so sad- this hovering between life and death.’ she sighed. ‘This one in particular. You’d think as sedated as she is, she wouldn’t make a sound. Funny thing is – not the usual moaning one might expect….it’s more like – well…humming.’
‘Are you sure it wasn’t the radio? Gus questioned.
“Well, I did have the radio on…VERY softly – but I swear the humming was coming from her and it was the same tune!’
Gus breathed in – and then out. For a fleeting moment, he thought of Mary and how much she’d loved music. It’d kept her alive during the worst.
He swallowed hard and replied ‘Well, they say it soothes the savage beast…’
With this, he continued on his rounds….
Don’t miss the next chapter of ‘Becoming Billie’ in our January 2018 Issue
© copyright 2017-2018 Laurie Allyn all rights reserved
Laurie Allyn is a professional jazz singer with a storied past. Singing in smoky clubs in Chicago during the 1950’s and 60’s, she went on to record an album in Hollywood. When the recording label went bankrupt, she turned her attention to professional modeling. Now living outside Seattle, she writes mysteries and continues her singing career.
What do you think of when I say the word “running” or “jogging”? Does it elicit thoughts of freedom and strength? Your mind clearing as you hit the open road and push yourself to go faster and longer? Or do you think of miserably trying to push yourself a few more steps while every part of your body screams at you to stop? People often say that you either love running or you hate it. We tend to talk about it like there is no in between. I would like to suggest that there can be more of a gray area. If you don’t absolutely love it you do not, in fact, have to hate it. You might even grow to enjoy it!
If you are on a mission to get healthy and fit it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to start. There are so many options, but running can be one of the cheapest and most convenient places to begin. Some people may cringe as they read that, but stick with me! It is a great way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness as it boosts confidence and eliminates stress along the way. (more…)
The change has been gradual but notable & carries over to retirement planning.
More women have become the primary wage earners in their households. Generations ago, life and financial roles were cut and dried according to gender. Man: breadwinner. Woman: homemaker. Those stereotypes have, thankfully, shattered. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38% of women in heterosexual marriages now earn more than their husbands. Thirty years ago, less than one-quarter did.1
The Great Recession of 2007-09 may have contributed to this shift. In June 2010, Department of Labor data showed that nearly 22% of American men aged 25-65 were unemployed. In addition, 16.6% of all Americans were in the “underemployed” population, either jobless or working less than 40 hours per week; it is reasonable to assume that men made up roughly half of that demographic.2 (more…)
Last week, while visiting over lunch, my friend looked at me -with tears in her eyes- and proceeded to tell me how terribly frustrated she was and she didn’t know what to do…
When I asked the details, she told me about the weight struggles she’d battled consistently for the past decade. It seems she had been to numerous doctors and each one had lectured her about not exercising enough – consuming too many calories – or not having enough discipline. Each one then placed her on a stringent diet—none of which worked—and all of which made her feel more and more like a failure.
After listening to her story, I asked her when her weight issues had begun. She told me they had started in her mid-forties. I then asked her when her Menopause process had started. She again stated her mid-forties. (See a pattern forming here?) (more…)
I’m really starting to get bad cellulite and am feeling depressed. Why is this happening? Is there anything I can do to help it? I exercise and watch what I eat but nothing’s helping.
Lynda M. of Santa Cruz, CA (more…)
The holidays are the perfect time to entertain, but the thought can also be somewhat daunting since we are all so busy this time of the year. I love doing a beautiful cheese platter or charcuterie board. It’s really easy to pull together, can serve a crowd and everything included can be at room temperature, so you, as the hostess can relax and enjoy your party. There really are no hard and fast rules, but I wanted to share and few guidelines with you to get you started. And here are some fun recipes you can add to your platters or take to a party as a gift for your host. Enjoy the holidays. Eat, drink and be merry!
Depending on the size of the crowd you will be serving, you can assemble your offerings on any number of different things. Use your imagination, get creative. I have used pizza peels, bread boards, large white platters, large chunks of wood cut from stumps, and even brown paper running the entire length of the table. (more…)
If you live in the United States, you surely know the Christmas traditions from this country. And you also know the traditions in place when you were a child. And you know the traditions you’ve got in place right now in your family.
Would you enjoy changing things up a bit this year? Maybe dropping off one that doesn’t hold much meaning any more for you and adding something new? Would you like to learn with other countries have as their traditions? How might you use these ideas to establish new traditions in your family? (more…)
National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., contains 100 statues – two from each state. Of that total, nine are women. In this month’s column we feature Jeannette Rankin (Montana), Dr. Florence Sabin (Colorado), Sakakawea (North Dakota – whom we often know as Sacagawea), Frances Willard (Illinois), Sarah Winnemucca (Nevada) and Helen Keller (Alabama), all of whom have been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The other three women represented by statues are Mother Joseph (Washington), Esther Hobart Morris (Wyoming) and Maria Sanford (Minnesota). (more…)
On the Temple of Delphi there are 147 maxims carved. Probably one of the well-remembered ones is “Know thyself.” Socrates added his two cents in when he said “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
What would it take to fully know your Self? What would you have to do to begin such a process or to extend one if you’ve already begun? I think we could all agree that such a journey would be toward self-awareness as a net result.
Do you know that your emotions all show up on your face as you feel them? Did you know every pound of fat you carry requires seven miles of blood vessels? Are you aware you’re taller in the morning vs. the evening? Did you know your bones are as strong as granite? You will have shed 40 pounds of skin in your lifetime. You could only see black and white when you were born. (more…)
For years I’ve educated women about not only acne in general, but Midlife acne specifically. There’s so much more to it than ‘fighting It all over again’.
If you read my articles regularly, you’ve heard me say over and over and over again ad nauseum: focusing just on the outer surface of the skin is sheer folly. If you wish to have healthy, radiant skin – you MUST start deep within. There’s no way around this truth and it’s all the more crucial to your success when Midlife acne rears its ugly head. (more…)
I am about to turn 54 and have noticed over this past year, I’m developing bad breath, dry mouth and bleeding gums. My gums are also receding and I’m feeling insecure about smiling! I use an electric toothbrush and floss daily but nothing is helping. What’s the matter with me? Ruthie B., Moses Lake, WA
Ruthie, I feel your pain- and probably every Midlife woman reading this does too! Ever heard the expression ‘Long in the tooth’…? Well, we’re there.
With middle age comes receding gums, despite costly dental treatments, high end toothpastes, mouthwashes, bleaching kits and electric toothbrushes. (more…)
One in two women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture caused by osteoporosis in her remaining lifetime. Despite its prevalence, there are many myths and misconceptions about this “silent” disease. These myths may be a reason why osteoporosis is underdiagnosed and undertreated.
A fragility fracture (breaking a bone by falling from a standing height or lower) can impact day-to-day life, but it can also be an indicator for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. When you have osteoporosis, even daily tasks such as taking your dog for a walk can put you at risk for a fragility fracture of the wrist, leg or even hip. But, a startling 82 percent of postmenopausal women did not identify such fractures as a possible risk factor for osteoporosis, according to results from a recent online survey of over 1,000 postmenopausal women conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Radius Health, in partnership with HealthyWomen and the National Osteoporosis Foundation. (more…)
Before your divorce goes through, it will be wise to check up on financial matters. It will be better to assess the state of your financial life before the split rather than after.
Find out where you stand financially. Beyond your salary and your bank accounts, how much do you have in the way of retirement savings? What will your monthly income be? What investments do you hold? Will you retain ownership of any real estate, and assume the mortgage payments yourself? Will you be selling any assets or ownership interests?
You should document everything about your personal finances. Everything you can think of. Whether you scan it or copy it, you should have as complete a picture of your financial life as possible. (more…)
Unpack those fitness limitations and find solutions!
Have you ever heard the quote that goes something like this, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the made-up story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it?” It comes across as a somewhat harsh self-help rallying cry but I don’t think it is too far off base.
As a health and fitness coach I spend at least 50% of my time hearing about clients’ limitations and the obstacles they face. We chat a lot about the things that are keeping them in a perpetual cycle of poor health, yo-yo dieting, and often physical discomfort. These obstacles seem insurmountable for most people. They feel too big to work around because they have been hiding behind them for so long that it would be frightening to make a change. It would also take a lot of work. It is much easier for us to stay right where we are, doing the same thing we’ve been doing, using the same excuses we’ve been using than to step outside of our comfort zone and plow right through those road blocks. (more…)
For many, the pressure of the holiday season can be enough to wear away the glitter and magic.
Some 62 percent of American adults define their stress as “very or somewhat” elevated over the holidays, says research cited by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Neurobiology.
But that old chestnut doesn’t have to be true for you. When you plan ahead and keep your expectations reasonable, the season can unfold at an even and enjoyable pace, making room for new and happy memories.
That’s doubly true when you’re entertaining. As long as you’re well-prepared, your event can create holiday cheer and goodwill and even strengthen bonds between friends and family. Consider how these entertaining tips can help you stage a minimal-stress, maximum-impact event at which your guests can relax this holiday season. (more…)
“Words turn probability into fact and by sheer force of definition, translate tendencies into habits.” ~ Fay Weldon
My writing career began in the third grade and like a hook in a fish’s mouth, it’s been reeling me in ever since. Telling you how long would be laughable. Trust me: it’s decades! I want to share many reasons for you to write because of how your life will be enhanced. Here’s why: (more…)
Summer is beginning to leave us and the lovely days of autumn are moving in. William Cullen Bryant described Autumn as “the year’s last loveliest smile.” It beckons us all to stop and slow down a little, to watch the changing colors and enjoy the falling leaves. It prepares us for quieter, shorter days and the coming of winter. It truly is my favorite time of the year. Both outside and inside, I love an autumn day. During this change of season, my cooking routine is changing too. I love autumn foods-soups, stews, roasted vegetables and the smell of freshly baked bread. Of course this time of the year we also begin to think about the upcoming holidays, too. So for our next couple of times we share together, let’s talk about some recipes you can use to entertain with, or give as gifts during the holidays. These delightful little holiday breads are three of my favorites that I hope you will enjoy making, eating and giving! (more…)
On August 21, 2017, the first total solar eclipse in 99 years visible from coast to coast became a national event in the U.S. Millions of people drove to be within the band of totality; millions of others viewed the eclipse from their homes and offices through special eclipse glasses. This astronomical event causes us to think about the early women astronomers who helped contribute to our knowledge of the heavens.
This month, we are pleased to feature these women astronomers, Maria Mitchell, Williamina Stevens Fleming, Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Vera Rubin.
Healthy diet and lifestyle are our best weapons against age-related diseases.
Becci Twombley is sports dietitian for USC Athletics and Angels Baseball, overseeing the nutrition of 650 collegiate athletes and the 200 players within the Angels organization. The healthy practices she employs to keep her athletes fighting strong also apply as preventative measures for staying fit and active as we age.
“It’s vital at any age to adopt good habits to live a long and healthy life,” says Twombley. “Exercise and move 30 minutes a day and along with that, pay attention to what you put in your body.” Twombley’s prevention plan starts with a “food first” approach. (more…)
If you’re a woman who feels like you’re constantly fighting fatigue, there could be a physical reason for that sluggishness.
In the US, 1 in 10 women, between 12 and 49 years old, are dealing with the results of low iron, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and that can easily lead to extra fatigue and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), particularly affecting menstruating women, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes (especially women) and recent blood donors. (more…)
So even though we’ve all made it through the sweltering heat of summer, many of us are in the midst of our very own personal, perpetual heat wave: Menopause.
And if you’re like most women going through this time of Change, you’re combating the Sweltering Sweats any and every way you can think of, including increased and concentrated antiperspirant use.
Some women have even been told that if they apply antiperspirant to the palms of their hands and around their hairline, this will help calm the clammy drips that so often accompany hot flashes.
Hold on! Not so fast!
There’s a study that was published in the not- too- distant past that many missed. This study was published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology and in it some very alarming connections were made between the aluminum compounds used in antiperspirants and Breast Cancer/ Alzheimer’s development. (more…)
I’m about to turn 60 and have colored my hair for years. I’m getting tired of all the hassle that requires and am thinking about going gray. What do you think about this and what should I know before taking this drastic step? Quinn P., Nashville, TN
Oooh… good question Quinn- and not an easy one to answer! Going gray is a highly personal decision and is not for the faint of heart.
If you’ve been coloring your hair for a very long time, I suspect that your hair color is probably of a darker shade. If this is so, then the only easy way to grow gray gracefully is to get yourself a kicky, short haircut and go through the remaining grow-out process that way.
The only other way to get through the frustrating grow-out process is to cut your hair short and wear wigs while the colored portion of your hair grows out and can be trimmed off. Either way, it’s going to take cutting your hair and then allowing the rest of the colored portion of your hair to grow out, and then cutting again as the gray replaces the colored portion. This isn’t fun and can take time. (more…)
With over-scheduled days full of early-morning conference calls and endless to-do lists, it’s impossible to avoid the stress that comes with working hard. Hand-in-hand with all that pressure, a lack of quality sleep can lead to sleep deprivation, aches and pains, stiffness, sore muscles, tingling or numbness in your extremities, general fatigue, as well as an increased risk of getting sick.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. In fact, a survey by Mattress Firm showed a correlation between stress and those who receive less sleep than recommended.
Twice as many stressed people get fewer than five hours of sleep each night compared to those who are not stressed. What’s more, those who are stressed are five times more likely to experience insomnia at least once a month. (more…)
Will your heirs receive a fair share of your wealth? Will your invested assets go where you want them to when you die?
If you have a proper will or estate plan in place, you will likely answer “yes” to both of those questions. The beneficiary forms you filled out years ago for your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), your workplace retirement plan, and your life insurance policy may give you even more confidence about the eventual transfer of your wealth.
One concern still remains, though. You have to tell your heirs that these documents exist. (more…)
Each day we watch the highlight reels on social media. Perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect houses – the list goes on and on. If we believed everything we saw on Facebook it would seem as though we were the only people on earth with any troubles. It is incredibly difficult to keep from getting caught in this comparison trap. Intellectually, we know not to compare ourselves to other people’s photoshopped happiness and perfection. Our emotions are a different story though. Our emotions are sneaky and very susceptible to comparison.
The same holds true in the world of fitness. We are bombarded with images of 6-pack abs and hard bodies, tanned and toned to perfection. We think, “Why don’t I look like that?” or “What am I doing wrong?”. In reality, the bodies in these images are not what we should be striving for. Success looks different on everyone. Healthy does not mean that we are a size 6 or weigh 140 pounds or have abs of steel. Very few people will achieve that without eating broiled cod and broccoli all day long, and that’s not living! Being healthy and fit is about how you FEEL on the inside. It is about your body, but it is also a state of mind. Getting healthy may involve losing a significant amount of weight to get to where you need to be but please don’t make yourself a slave to the scale. The scale never tells the full story and is often given too much power.
As you start your fitness journey turn your attention inward. Be mindful of non-scale victories and celebrate them along the way. Are you clothes fitting better or getting loose? Do you have more energy and find that you are sleeping better? Are you noticing an increase in confidence, general happiness and a bounce in your step that has been missing for some time? All of these things should be just as exciting as seeing that number on the scale drop. (more…)
Our beloved editor had her toes very close to Hurricane Harvey’s spew in August and, with compassion for all who felt his wet wrath including Sandra, it made me think about any lessons we might all learn from such disasters.
Please don’t think I am diminishing or disrespecting the inconvenience and suffering of the many. I am not. I am just waxing philosophical over on the other side of all that because I am absolutely convinced that only good is happening ultimately. I did a bit of research using the good behind Hurricane Harvey in Google and here is some of what I discovered. It’s most interesting. (more…)
Have you tried zoodles or spiralizing yet? It’s such a fun new trend and can really spruce up things at mealtime! The idea has been around for some time, but has really been revolutionized over the last few years. It seems everyone is doing it and you should too. Almost any fruit or vegetable can be spiralized-carrots, zucchini, squashes of all kinds, cucumbers, apples, beets, and cantaloupe are just a few of the items on a very long list of possibilities. Spiralized fruit and vegetables can be boiled, sautéed, stir fried or served raw, and the finished products are low in carbs and many can be used in place of pasta in endless dishes. The devices used to spiralize come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are available at prices ranging from under ten dollars to 50 dollars or more. Choose the model that is right for you and give it a try. Have fun with the vast array of beautiful, colorful and oh so tasty ribbons you can create. Here are a few ideas to inspire you in the fun new technique called spiralizing. Enjoy! (more…)
The 2017 book, The Radium Girls, describes the terrible illnesses the women who painted radium dials on clocks and watches for their employers suffered. The book describes how the women’s lawsuits against their employer eventually led to both federal and state legislation to protect employees in the workplace. One of the important figures mentioned in the book is Dr. Alice Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton, who is credited as the founder of the field of occupational medicine, received a Lasker Award in 1947. The Lasker Award recognizes the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease. This month, we are pleased to feature Lasker Award recipients Dr. Alice Hamilton, Dr. Florence Sabin, Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Nancy Brinker. As well as the Lasker Award, all of these women have been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. (more…)
Mobile phones have become an essential part of life for most people, helping them stay connected and increase productivity. However, this technology can also be a distraction when driving, which puts everyone on the road at risk.
More than one-quarter of all car crashes involve phone use, both with handsets and hands-free, the National Safety Council reports. Considering many states and countries don’t yet compile and report data on cellphone use following a crash, this number is likely much higher.
Distracted driving isn’t just an issue for young adults. High technology use means this is a problem across generations. For professionals in particular, the expectation to stay productive and reachable means a constant temptation to use cellphones when driving. (more…)
Are you noticing a golden hue to the sunlight, the earthy aroma of bonfires and a slight chill in the evening air?
As autumn officially kicks in, we’re turning our thoughts to all the good things that come with the season, including football, cozy sweaters, apple orchards, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the warm comfort food that pairs well with crisp fall days. (more…)
In this day and age, it can feel intimidating to even hear the words “fitness” and “nutrition” muttered in the course of polite conversation. The concept of health and fitness has become so confusing and convoluted over the last several years that many of us don’t even know where to begin. We know that we need to do something, but the thought of wading through the piles of contradictory advice and fancy gyms on every corner leaves us feeling defeated and tired.
This recent fitness craze is both good and bad, in my opinion. It is great that people are starting to understand the impact of fitness on their long-term health. We know so much more about exercise physiology now than we did even 5 years ago. There are fantastic options that are effective, efficient, and don’t take 3 hours and lots of equipment. (more…)
You must avoid it. Think about tomorrow, not just today.
Provided by Ronit Rogoszinski, CFP®
No woman wants to end up a “bag lady” – impoverished, out of options, left to fend for herself on the streets. Only a tiny percentage of women from affluent households will experience this retirement nightmare, but that does not mean the risk should be dismissed.
This is the financial circumstance you may fear more than any other. What can you do to counter that fear and guard against running out of money in retirement?
The first step is to plan. You must plan with the knowledge that you might outlive your spouse; that you might spend some, or even all, of your retirement alone. Because of your potentially longer lifespan and the lack of a spousal safety net, it is not unreasonable to assume that you may need 150% of the retirement money that a man in your situation might need. That may be stunning, but it is worth realizing. Imagine your children having to bear the financial burden of taking care of you when you are elderly. If you have no children, imagine having to rely on welfare and Medicaid at that time. Surely that is not the future you imagine or want. (more…)
It seems like just yesterday you brought her home and made her a part of the family. If you own a cat or dog, you have fond memories of your furry family member from day one.
Fast forward to today. Just like with people, age sometimes creeps up slowly on pets. Every pet is unique, so changes happen at different times. What’s more, age-related changes can be easy to miss because they appear so gradually over time.
Being aware and proactive is the best thing pet parents can do to help their aging pets stay healthy as they age. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that pets have a senior screening at about age 7. This allows the veterinarian to address any current concerns or potential health risks, including nutritional considerations. (more…)