Monday, March 30, 2009

Road Trip to La Quinta, CA

People in cold parts of the country hate it when people in warm parts of the country complain about the weather being cold. But to me, 50 degrees is COLD!  So my hubby and I decided to make a fast trip to Palm Springs to warm up!  It's only a two hour drive away and a great escape.

La Quinta Resort & Spa is a fave place for us.  The mountains are so close you can practically touch them and the stars can actually be seen at night, which rarely happens in Los Angeles. The rooms are pretty nice too, and no, I don't work for the resort or the Chamber of Commerce, I just like it here.

But it's the Spa that draws me to La Quinta.  For the record, I am not a high maintenance kind of girl.  In fact, I've been known to turn down a massage on occasion, but not this weekend.  You see, I had knots in my shoulders and neck the size of the Grand Canyon.  I needed a massage bad.

My masseuse, Kim, met me with a knuckle-cracking handshake that was my first sign this was going to be gooooood.  I gave her a quick once-over.  She was tall, with strong arms and legs. Perfect.

I explained my massage rules-- The dos and don't of touching me.  I've done this enough times to know not to beat around the bush and just lay them out on the table so I can promptly find my massage zen.

-Heat the table (Hot flashes are enough heat.)
-Touch my arthritic hands (Ouch!)
-Massage my face (With all that greasy oil.)
-Pull my ears (What is that about?)

-Spend lots of time on the knots (The more the better!)
-Use lots of pressure (Seriously, it won't hurt me!)
-Massage my head (Ahhhhh.)

But whatever you do, DO NOT touch my feet.  I am extremely ticklish and touching my feet will blow the whole zen thing to smithereens.

Once we understood each other, Kim got straight to work, in blissful silence.  Don't you just hate a Chatty Cathy masseuse? Anyway, she worked her elbow, with her full body weight, into my aching shoulders and neck. Oh my gawd, it hurt sooooo good!  I could feel the knots starting to dissolve.

After 40 full minutes of silence and really hard work-- she was huffing and puffing, Kim said-- with shock and dismay registering in her voice-- "What do you DO? Your shoulders are a mess!"

"Um, I, ah, well, I sit at a computer all day."

"Honey, you need to give it a rest!"

After another 20 minutes of more intense kneading and pressure, Kim finally moved on to other body parts for the last 30 minutes of the massage.  I think she must have been exhausted because I could barely feel her touch.  Or maybe I fell asleep.

It's been a long time since my neck and shoulders felt this good-- this relaxed-- this stress free.  It was worth every penny plus a big tip.

Kim's parting words were, as you might have expected-- "Stay off the computer for the rest of the weekend."

I took her advice-- for about 90 minutes-- and here I sit, in front of the computer again.  Oh well.  There's still time for another massage before we return to Los Angeles.

How do you find your zen?
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor  -  Joanna

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Quotes #6

Things to think about from Academy Award Winning Actresses

"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself."
Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959)

"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."
Ingred Bergman (1915-1982)

"You can't get spoiled if you do your own ironing."
Meryl Streep

What are your words to live by?
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor  -  Joanna

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The F-Word At A Birthday Party

There is only one reason, and one reason alone, that I would travel from sunny Southern California to freezing Cleveland in the dead of winter and that would be for a loved one.  

I lived in cold weather country for half my life and I am done-- finished-- not interested in-- boots, slush, shoveling snow, ice scraping or freezing my ass off again for as long as I live.  Yes, that's a problem for my mother and family who all still live there, but I make up for it and visit plenty of times when the weather is hot and humid, and the Ohio mosquitoes are the size of New York City cockroaches.  I think that makes up for it. Nevertheless, I was going to Cleveland for a party in the winter, which is like saying "when hell freezes over" and well, in Cleveland, it kinda does.  But I digress.

My oldest friend and gal pal extraordinaire, Kay, was celebrating her 50th birthday.  Again.  In Cleveland.  But Kay is like a sister to me and I would not think of missing it.  Guys may become "blood brothers" but Kay and I are true sisters who made a vow, as we crossed our hearts and our push-up bras when we turned thirty, that we would never, ever, mention the F-word in public. That's "F" as in Forty and Fifty.  We were going to stay thirty-something Forever.

Last year, for Kay's 50th, she was laid up in the hospital going through a nasty spell the likes of which would have sent me to the pharmacy for industrial strength Prozac. Since then, the past 12 months, and the C-R-A-P she has endured (medical and otherwise) is mind-boggling to the point that if I told you, the list would be as long as your arm, and you'd think I indulged in one too many martinis at lunch.  It's been a relentless, bazaar, and seemingly never ending year of wild roller-coaster riding.  Let's just say, the afternoon of the spectacular Hudson River plane crash landing, I literally called to make sure Kay wasn't flying that day.  With all that had happened in 2008, it would not have surprised me one bit, that early January, 2009 day, if she'd been standing out on the wings flagging down a tub boat.   Anyway, I digress again.  Back to Cleveland.

Kay's beloved husband, Vince, and their two beautiful, college age daughters, decided to throw a surprise birthday for her 51st to make up for the big plans they had to cancel for her 50th. Pulling off a surprise for Kay was a very tall order.  She's one of those babes who is everywhere and knows everyone and everything.  And I mean that in a good way.  We thought for sure, out of the 75 invited guests, someone would spill the beans. But, nope!  She was 100% blown-away-surprised.

For her poor husband, keeping the secret was tough.  A sell-professed "bad liar", he found himself spending much longer than usual shoveling snow from the driveway, walking the dog, and pretending to prepare their taxes just so he wouldn't slip-up in front of her.  It got to the point that he was so stressed trying to make excuses for his undercover actions to Kay, that one day, after filing the dog's dish with water, he put it in the refrigerator instead of on the floor for their pooch.  The poor guy was ragged by party night.

But daughters, Ella and Melanie, had it the roughest. They were doing the bulk of the planning via email from college, each in different states.  Arriving in Cleveland, three days before the party to prepare, meant sneaking in and out of the hotel their parents are living in so their Mom didn't see them or their cars. No small feat. (Remember all the crap I mentioned in the last year? One had to do with their house burning down and now living in a hotel for 6 months while it's rebuilt!  I wasn't kidding. Someone needs to call Ripley's.) 

Kay's daughters were troopers and had obviously learned a lot over the years watching their multi-tasking, super-mom plan parties on the spur of the moment for the masses.  They pulled it together, delegated when necessary, and had arranged for more than enough food and libations.  Entertainment included every "oldies" song from our generation along with a hilarious slide show, complete with Kay smoking a bong in college and other embarrassing bad hair photos from the past half century.

By the end of the night, as the party wound down, Kay had mascara tear-stained cheeks and was absolutely joyful.  Despite an entire room of people cheering her on for her Fifty-first, I never once saw her cringe at the mention of the F-word.  She was Fifty-one, madly in love with her husband, beyond proud of her daughters and happy to have her Fifth year behind her.

How do you celebrate birthdays?
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor  -  Joanna

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fifty-something Dating: Chapter Two

Single, fifty-something guys... 

One dynamite woman, Marilyn (53), spent $1700 on a dating service that sets you up on "pre-screened" dates to "do lunch".  She thought her initial interview with the matchmaker went well and that she had articulated her "wish list" in a man.  

Or, maybe not.

Her first lunch was with a guy (52) who'd been divorced for more than 20 years.  He was attractive, employed, and didn't eat with is feet.  Good start, she thought-- until he mentioned that, since getting divorced, he hadn't been in a relationship for more than two years-- And he'd been in several relationships!  Yep, the guy was a hit and run dater-- The ultimate 24 month revolving door of love connections. Check please....

The second date was equally unimpressive.  Mr. Man (56) rode up on his very loud, Harley Davidson-- dressed head to toe in leather. His bike was decked out in chrome, so were his front teeth.  She shamelessly hide in the bathroom until he gave up and rode off into the sunset.

Third date was a Mama's Boy (52) who brought his poodle, Gigi, with him.  The dog ate off his plate-- and hers.  Marilyn speed dialed the matchmaker from the parking lot to share the pain. What part of a "normal, healthy male, looking for a long-term relationship" didn't Miss Matchmaker understand? 

Two weeks passed before Marilyn ventured out to "do lunch" again.  This time, Mr. Right (55) appeared at her table with flowers in hand.  Now we're talking!  Lunch was fabulous; they had so much in common and they laughed and laughed.  It ended with a sweet peck on the cheek and the promise of another date.  She never heard from him again.  

Up next, Mr. Sweet (51), and that was the problem.  He was "sweet" which ranked him right up there in the "nice personality" department.

By now, lunch was taking up too much time so Marilyn decided to cut-to-the-chase and switched to coffee.  Cup, after cup, after cup-- of coffee.  Date, after date, after date.  Nothing.  No one. After twelve dates, not a single interesting guy with potential in sight.

As of this writing, Marilyn is anticipating her 35th class reunion and the possibility of her also single, high school sweetheart (54) sweeping her off her feet-- again.  Not likely, but a trip down memory lane might be interesting. After that, she's taking a break from dating and going with the old line "what's meant to be will be".

I'll keep you posted.

Have you made a fifty-something love connection?
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor  - Joanna

Monday, March 23, 2009

To Spanx Or Not To Spanx

How a little-ish piece of spandex changed my life.

My grandma wore a girdle.  A serious girdle.  I have no idea how she wiggled into it but she wore one, every day of her adult life.  I swore I never would.

Well times have changed baby!  Hallelujah for Spanx and all things stomach sucking, gut pulling, and waist minimizing!  No more pooch for this grandma.

I have Spanx in every size, shape and color.  And, I often wear them all at the same time.  Yes, I layer my Spanx for maximum body shaping results.  Call me delusional but by the seventh pair I'm sure I actually have a waist.

It cracks me up when I hear some young thing like Eva Longoria, for example, say she swears by Spanx for her Red Carpet looks. Heck, I swear by them everywhere!  Especially when I'm in the bathroom and have to peel them all off.  In the middle of a hot flash that counts as a workout.

Some days, when I wear my industrial strength Spanx, I can actually cheat the "sizing chart" in a clothing store's fitting room and shave off a full size.  Add in "vanity sizing" by designers and voila! another size instantly disappears.

Now, at fifty-something, as my butt runneth over and my love handles merge into muffin tops, I can honestly say-- completely sober by the way--  that Spanx are the greatest invention of my lifetime.

Ahhhh, who knew in every package of Spanx came a pound of denial.

Welcome to TheFiftyFactor -  Joanna

Friday, March 20, 2009

Adventures At The Orthodonist

It's a little weird having an Orthodontist when you're in your fifties.

It started as a 45th birthday present-- to myself.  I "gave" me braces, on my teeth-- a full set of metal for my pearly whites.  I always hated my crooked front teeth and decided it was high time I did something about it.  

It's the best thing I ever did for myself; I only wish I'd done it years earlier.

My Orthodontist, Doctor Jay, has a beautiful Beverly Hills office with lots of frosted glass and attractive dental assistants for his adult patients.  But every now and then, things get backed up and I find myself in the "boys room" surrounded by enough sports memorabilia to fill a school gymnasium.  Every inch of the walls are covered with shirts, jerseys, hockey sticks, basketballs, baseballs, posters and pendants-- literally all the sports bells and whistles you can imagine.

I'm out of my element in the "boys room".  Sports is not my thing, neither are adolescent and teenage boys with metal-mouths who look at me like I'm the old dog on the porch.

I much prefer the "girls room" when the office is over booked. It's filled with about 200 hot pink and purple lava lamps.  For the morning appointments, the lamps are just warming up and move as slow as I do-- but by the afternoon appointments the lava is like flowing, like totally awesome, and like way cool for sure.  In the girls' room I don't have to worry about being the old dog-- Teenage girls don't even notice me or my braces.

Regardless of which room I'm in at the dentist, there is not a snowball's chance in hell I would have been brave enough to wear braces as a teenager-- if they'd been an option for me.  The teen years were tough!  The teen years with a full mouth of metal-- like back in my day-- NEVER.  I'd have run away from home first.  But as a forty-something, my confidence was, in fact, strong enough to handle to jokes and wise cracks that accompanied all my metal.  At 50, check ups with my retainer are a walk in the park.

Like I said, it's the best thing I ever did.  Now if only a facelift was as simple.

Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Quotes #5

Quotes from women worth thinking about...

"In Biblical times, a man could have as many wives as he could afford.  Just like today."
Abigail Van Buren   (1918-2002)
Dear Abby

"If you have something of importance to say, for God's sake start at the end."
Sarah Jeanette Duncan  (1861-1922)
Author and Journalist

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat healthy and lie about your age."
Lucille Ball   (1911-1989)

What are your words to live by?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weighing in on Michelle Obama's Biceps

Michelle Obama's Official White House Photo has America debating her right to bare arms.

One of the few things that can be said about America's strength these days has to do with the First Lady's biceps.  With the sagging state of the economy, education, foreclosures, jobs, and a zillion other vastly more important, and potentially devastating issues at hand, apparently it's Michelle Obama's strong, gorgeous, bare arms--her bare biceps to be exact, that are all over the news.  Have you heard?  They're causing a flap... No pun intended.

It seems those "in the know" around Washington D.C. and many in the fashion world think it's inappropriate for Mrs. Obama to bare her arms in public.  The new official White House portrait is "not First Lady-ish" I heard one talking head say on the radio today.  Huh?  

Let's think about this for a moment.  Forget about the fact that there hasn't been a First Lady in recent years with arms she'd ever want anyone to see.  But, in Mrs. Obama's case, her first 50 or so days in the White House, have been a bang up job-- with or without sleeves.  She'd moved her family and started her girls in new schools.  She's worked at soup-kitchens for the homeless and read to school children.  She's given numerous speeches and built goodwill.  She's posed for countless magazines to help build the country's moral.  And, she's found time to keep her arms in the fabulous shape we've all grown to know, love and envy.

People!  It's time to move on.  Michelle Obama is doing a great job, so, on those slow news days, when the press has nothing better to talk about, leave her shapely arms alone and focus on the important stuff..... Like how I can get my arms to look like hers!

What I would give to go sleeveless again like Mrs. Obama is beyond the scope of this blog. For the past several years, I've done every arm exercise known to womankind to get a pair of "guns" to envy.  Now, in full blown hot flash hell, I'd give anything to go sleeveless on a freezing January day but I wouldn't dare!  I'd scare small children and send grown men running and screaming down Pennsylvania Avenue.  Truly, my arms are the size of elephant's ears and continue to flap five minutes after I've finished my Miss America wave.

I took my toned arms for granted in my 30s and well into my 40s.  White tank tops were my summer "uniform" and I was proud of it.  Then one day, I think it was around age 46, I caught sight of myself in the mirror after a shower and said out loud, "What the hell happened here?!?"  Gone were my once toned arms despite my five day a week workout regiment.  Seemingly overnight, I had developed a cross between a big turkey's neck and a large slab of Jello on the underside of my upper arms. Upon closer examination I even saw dimpled skin.  Crap!  Who gets cellulite on their arms?  

God help me. 

That day, I turned on all the lights in the house and ran from mirror to mirror squinting and thinking surely I wasn't actually seeing myself (???!!!) in the reflection.  But there was no denying it.  My arms had gone to hell in hand basket.  I wore black-- long sleeved black-- and went into mourning.  

It's been years since my arms have seen the light of day although I continue with my never ending repetitions of arm exercises. Instead, I cheer Michelle Obama's fashion style, I cheer her great arms, and I thank her for adding little sweaters every now and then.  I can do sweaters.   They cover my arms.  I appreciate that enormously.

Mrs. Obama's Official White House photo is stunning.  If people want to arm wrestle her over her bare arms all I can say is watch out-- Her guns are loaded.  

What's next?  Will some nonsense like she's too thin be breaking news?  Oy.

What do you think?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

The chorus from When Irish Eyes Are Smiling written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.  Music by Enerst Ball for Olcott's production of The Isle O' Dream.  Music published in 1912.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bubble Bath Time

The only time anyone ever wants to talk to me is when I'm in the tub taking a highly anticipated, much needed, and well-deserved bubble bath.

Tonight, after a long day of work; after the dishes and laundry were done, and my husband was happily parked in front of the big screen TV watching basketball, I run a hot bath and stepped into paradise-- just me, bubbles, and a few candles-- in perfect, quiet, bliss.  It's my happy place.

Before I could finish my first sigh of relaxation, my husband was knocking on the door with a game score update. 

Go away.

My second attempt to relax was interrupted by the phone ringing. My husband swings the door open and hands me the phone.  I shiver from the cold draft.  It's a political telemarketer! Apparently, hubby dear, is unable to screen calls.

Third try-- The neighbor kid calls selling chocolate bars for school.  Then my mother calls.

Fourth go 'round-- He's baaaccckkk asking if we have any ice cream-- as if ice cream would be somewhere other than in the freezer-- where he is perfectly capable of checking for himself.

Beat it buster! 

At last-- finally, peace and quiet.  The water is barely warm.  I close my eyes and....

"Hey honey, are we busy three weeks from Tuesday to have dinner with the kids?"

For the record, I do not, nor have I ever, taken my calender into the bathtub.  And while we're at it, "the kids" he's referring to are grown women probably trying to take a hot bath at that very moment.  

Get me a sharp object so I can end my misery!

At this point, I'm turning into a prune, the water is cold, the bubbles dissolved and my head aches.

I turn on more hot water in an attempt to salvage my sanctuary. You see, a long, hot, bubble bath is my escape from all things stressful; a way to relax my tired body and clear my throbbing head.  I do not like company in the bathtub, the bathroom or even that side of the house when I'm bathing.  I just want to be alone.  

My husband is at the door again.  Apparently I'd been in the bathtub for so long he asked if I was okay? 

 I'll be out as soon as I finish calculating my alimony payments.

Defeated, I pulled my soggy self up out of the tub and got dressed to join my husband in front of the TV--

At which point he had absolutely nothing to say to me.

Welcome to  -  Joanna

Friday, March 13, 2009

Annual Check-ups

They are all done for another year!  It took me two months but my annual check-ups are complete.  Teeth cleaning, bone density, colonoscopy (Oy!), pap test, eye exam and today-- my mammogram.

As I sat against the wall, facing the window, in a long row of chairs it struck me as odd that about twenty women were all on display in the giant picture window of the mammogram office.  At street level, it had a huge, can't miss sign, announcing to all the world that we ladies were at the doc's office to get our annual breast smashing!  What's up with that?  Haven't they heard about curtains, vertical blinds, frosted glass?  For some reason I started humming How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?.

Women walking by had interesting looks on their faces as they stared at us in passing.  Some registered the reminder to make their annual appointment.  (Yeah!)  Others literally seemed to cringe knowing we had a date with a very cold hunk of machinery.  (Boo!)

And then there were the ones who stepped up their pace and walked faster-- past the window and straight into denial.  And you know who you are!  You, right there-- The one looking into the computer screen with denial written all over her face.  I'm talking to YOU!


Hello.  Anybody home?  Heeeelllloooo????  Knock, knock, denial calling!  Are you in there?  Time's a wasting girlfriend.  Tick, tick, tick.  I'm on to you.  Cue:  Jeopardy music.... do do dodo do, do do do...

I think you get my point.  But seriously.  I have war stories about a cherished friend who didn't get her mammogram for four years (!) and recently spent her 50th birthday in the hospital-- getting a mastectomy.  (Yes, holy shit!)  Thank god she is recovering but it was a major wake-up call for her and the sisterhood in her universe.  So I'm beating the drum, sounding the alarm and pointing fingers.   You!  The one who's not making the time to take care of herself, please-- stand up, dial the phone and go.  Now!

And please talk about this with your sisterhood universe.  It's an important and loving question to ask the women in your life. Afterwards you can "bond" over boob smashing jokes.

Have you had your annual mammogram yet?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Think About it Thursday: Quotes #4

Quotes from women worth thinking about...

"I have a simple philosophy.  Fill what's empty.  Empty what's full.  Scratch where it itches."
Alice Roosevelt Longworth  (1884-1980)

"Don't be humble.  You're not that great."
    Golda Meir (1989-1978)

"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon."
Susan Ertz

What are your words to live by?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Am I Being Punked?

Am I losing my memory, losing track of time or just plain losing my mind?

A woman trying hard to turn back the hands of time, actually needing an alarm clock around her neck to remind her what time it is, has to be one of the all time worst jokes ever played on a menopausal woman.  So where's Ashton Kutcher?  I want to slap him silly.

The problem is, lately I seem to have lost all sense of time.  It just flies by and the next thing I know it's dinner time... or Wednesday... or Memorial Day... or the party is today, not tomorrow--at our house!  Throw in those gawd awful "menopause moments" when my brain is like a black hole and well, I feel like I'll be a scattered mess until the end of time.

But today I found a life-saving invention!  Think alarm clock on a rope.  My new discovery is a wind up timer, that's on a chain, to hang around my neck, so I'm never at a loss for time again!  

These days I'm time-phobic so I bought five of them.  Count 'em FIVE of them!  They're a bright, lemon yellow color and tick, tick, tick so loud it's easy to keep track of time.  The best part is, when my desired time is up, the alarm RRRRRINGS so loud it could wake the dead.  Now there's no way I can miss a single minute!  

Trust me, I will not wear the alarm around my neck when I leave the house.  I'd sound like a crazy ticking time bomb and in this day and age I could land in the slammer.  But I do have one in my car in case I arrive somewhere before I'm actually  supposed to be there.  I'll set the timer so I'm not late, even though I'm already early.

Time's up, gotta go.

Welcome to  -  Joanna

Monday, March 9, 2009

Don't Make Me Stop This Car

How many times did you hear that as a kid?

Growing up, our family car was one of those huge station wagons with the third seat facing backwards. The tailgate pulled down, not up, making it practically impossible to put groceries in without having to throw them which meant the Wonder Bread always got squashed.  I swear you could get lost in that car it was so big.

My dad loved to load my mom and us kids-- there are five kids in our family-- into the station wagon and go for rides on Sunday afternoons.  It was "free" entertainment in those days.  Back then gas was thirty-two cents a gallon.  (Why does the thought of thirty-two cents a gallon make me sound so old?)  We'd circle practically the entire county in an afternoon.  Our rides always ended up at the town's small air strip to watch planes land and take off.  I have no idea where those planes went or why they were coming to our community.  Seriously.  We lived in a really small town where the only excitement was watching planes fly! Yes, sitting in the grass at the "airport" was like watching paint dry but none of us ever complained because my dad enjoyed it so darn much.

Unfortunately for my dad, fifty was not the new forty.  He died of cancer when he was only 59.  It pretty much sucked and I mean no disrespect by that.  But "suck" is the only four letter word I can use to describe it since this is a PG-13 blog.  I'm still angry he was taken so young after such a hard fight.  It's been more than 15 years now and I have to admit, sometimes I still reach for the phone to call him.

I wonder what my dad would think of his four daughters today. Three of us are crashing through menopause like bats out of hell.  My brother, the lucky twerp, doesn't have to worry about hot flashes but I'm here to tell you he freezes his butt off when he's with his sisters in the winter.  We have every window in the house open-- and I'm talking about Ohio winters!  My baby sister has learned to "dress accordingly" and is bundled up so much she can barely bend her arms.

Funny though, my dad was a big guy and I never remember him ever being cold.  I can't even picture him in a winter coat!  As long as the thermostat wasn't cranked up with the windows wide open so he was "heating the outdoors", I think he'd probably get a laugh out of his girls fanning themselves like three blind mice in a freezer.

Today would have been my dad's birthday.... Forever fifty-something.

Welcome to  - Joanna
If you liked this post you might also like my friend Jane's blog - Jane at the Garden Gate

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How Do You Communicate?

I was born at a time when children were seen but not heard.  My first words were please and thank you and I was taught to say my prayers each night.  We had one rotary telephone in our house but I longed for my own pink princess phone.  

Times sure have changed!  So has my vocabulary-- at a dizzying pace too.

It started with gee whiz and holy smokes then groovy, sock it to me, and well, excu-u-u-use me!

Over the years I found out what a doobie was, had a cow, knew several airheads, burnouts and your mama.  Archie Bunker taught me a few new words I could have lived without.  

The Force was with me.  I could dig that, was grossed out, gagged with a spoon and dated a dufus.

Then things got really interesting.  I got some bling, was phat and wacked.  


Now, in the new millennium, OMG, I LOL with my BFF on IM. What is that about?  

Today I have an unlimited calling plan and ten phones in our household.  But no one seems to actually TALK anymore.  We email, instant message and text, in shorthand no less, but rarely communicate face to face anymore. It took me three weeks to figure out what TTYL meant and frankly, I should have just picked up the phone and called my Internet savvy friend to ask WTF?!?!?

Keeping up with our new lingo is exhausting.  Seriously!  My overheated head is going to explode and my arthritic fingers and thumbs can't keep up.

But wait, I need a Facebook page to communicate with the younger generation-- my nieces, nephews and grandkids.  So much for less cyberspace.... or my pink cell phone.

How do you communicate?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Friday, March 6, 2009

No Cussing Week in Los Angeles

It's official, this week is "No Cussing Week" in Los Angeles County.  Will someone please tell me what a fifty-something with an occasional foul mouth is supposed to do with all the swear words, profanity rants and crude snips on the tip of her tongue?  

What happens if I squeak a peep of potty talk?  Will the Dirty Word Patrol snatch me up and duct tape my mouth shut?  If I stub my toe and spit out a few four letter words will I be added to the naughty list and get nixed at Christmas?  Will the Wash-your-mouth-out-with-soup Squad ring my doorbell?  This could be a problem.

Who is the snot-nosed cuss crusader-- a sophomore from Pasadena, who made up this squeaky clean idea?  Is this his idea of a joke on the cuss-challenged because I'm not laughing?  I think we're getting a bad word rap but I cannot really say-- without the possibility of incarceration.

Yes, "No Cussing Week" has been all over the news and I get the point of all the fuss.   For half my life, "stop cursing" has been on the top of my New Year's Resolution List.  But seriously, I don't cuss all that much really, just a tiny bit, from time to time, every hour on the hour.  But never, ever, at anyone.  Oh no, I'd never do that because, well, that's just nasty talk. But come on already, don't you think at fifty-something I've earned the right (and learned the place) for a little colorful language now and then? Okay, maybe not this week.

Are you "cuss-challenged"?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Quotes #3

Quotes from women worth thinking about...

"Sometimes when I look at my children I say to myself, Lillian you should have stayed a virgin."
Lillian Carter (1898-1983)
Mother of Jimmy and Billy

"I married the first man I ever kissed.  When I tell my children that, they just about throw up."
Barbara Bush

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt  (1884 - 1962)

What are your words to live by?
Welcome to  -  Joanna

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gal Pals Rejoice

My lunch appointment was late arriving today.  As I sat in a booth waiting at my fave deli, I listened to a gaggle of gal pals behind me and could not stop smiling. You know how the sound of babies laughing makes you feel good?  Well, these women and their laughter-- actually it was more like roars-- had the same impact on me!  It was all I could do not to ask to join them.

Instead I did the next best thing.  I ease dropped.  They talked about kids, husbands, parents, hot flashes and shopping.  They told stories on themselves and busted each other for silly snaphews.  Clearly these babes had been pals since they were kids.  They were more than comfortable with one another and were letting it all hang out as they say.  It sounded like a blast!

When they left, I admit, I checked them out and boy was I surprised!  Along with their designer bags, diamond encrusted watches, headlight sized rings and very expensive cars, they also had on ratty sweatpants, over sized tee shirts with silly stuff printed on them, bed hair and no make-up.  Funny thing-- they looked beautiful!

These fifty-something women were so comfortable in their own skin and with their best gal pals that all pretense was gone.  On a day they all appeared to have been cleaning house or working in the garden, they dropped everything and seized the moment to make time for each other.

The camaraderie was enviable, the support for one and all was unspoken but obvious, and I'm guessing they'll drop everything again to get together when the next opportunity arises-- regardless if they are "put together" or not.

I love that!

Do you have a great gal pal moment?
Welcome to  -  Joanna