BA50 Bloggers Writing Retreat

Covid Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again

I truly thought we were done. I foolishly thought we were done. After being vaccinated and boostered I felt like I had a shield around me. But then I went on a two-night retreat sharing a house and meals and lots of glorious writing and even more glorious laughter with seven other vaxxed women.  (Our BA50 Writers Blogging Group). It felt so good and so back-to-normal again… until it wasn’t....
Felice skiing

How We See Ourselves: The Meet And Greet

I've been meeting a lot of new people lately as my husband and I have settled into our winter life in Park City, Utah for the second year. And so, at every new social introduction I am greeted with the same question..."It's so nice to meet you? What do you do?" So many decades of living have resulted in a full mantle of mini monikers...a mini series with multiple seasons. A bookshelf full of titles and chapters that need serious editing.  But which one will I pull off the shelf first? ...

Tattoos: Never Say Never, Even After 60

I grew up in a world that was divided into two kinds of people: those who had tattoos and those who were afraid of people with tattoos. In the movies, prisoners and gang members, carnival workers and criminals had them. They marked reckless, defiant outsiders…tribal members with a shady moral compass.  Nazis tattooed people. End of story. Then in the 70s, the stigma dimmed a bit. Fashionable, creative, adventurous celebrities like Cher, Peter Fonda and Janis Joplin displayed their ink. The chests and arms of those “in the service” in Viet Nam showed their proud affiliation. For the first time, although far from my thing, I saw tattoos as an indicator of something relevant to a person’s individual story, a canvas of their experiences....
TV Remote

My TV Remote Misery: WTF

Last month for my birthday we got the Samsung Frame tv whose main selling point is, when off, displays different pieces of art work and/or selected pictures from your phone. “Can I get network television?” “Yes,” promised the sales rep. “Do I need a Firestick or Roku?” “Nope. All built in.” And thus began Liz’s latest foray into techno-world. The Geek Squad guys came out and installed it. Gave me a two-hour tutorial. I wrote everything in a notebook. When they left I felt pretty confident I had a handle on this and started to play around with it....
Felice Shapiro

Avoiding Transition

"When are we leaving? It's already mid-October and we are the only ones on our street who are still here." My husband has been ready move on from our island home of almost 6 months and back on the mainland of life. "Wow, really, you're ready? I have so many writing projects. I'm starting my Podcast. I will get distracted by life if I leave here. It's so cozy and quiet here. I can think here. All the tourists have left. I love it." "You mean you just want to stay for another month or two?" "That would be awesome." What a gem of a guy I think. "Nope, that's not gonna happen." "Holy, shit he's really ready."...
Nightrose PJs

PJ’s, Girlfriends and Sleep Overs

“Deb, You want to do a home to home?”

“Love to."

“Really, seriously?”

My feet start twitching and I am out of my chair -- I’m so excited.

I am suddenly 12 years old again, and a little giddy with the idea. That beastly Covid has ruined our annual sleepovers for too long. 

Like a rebellious pre-teen, we feel courageous and agree to a date.

I had been at her place last time, so we were going to start this round at my place. It was my turn now.

I wanted to get her something special to commemorate the sleepover re-launch.  My British friend had told me about these amazing PJ’s and so I went on-line to check them out. They were fabulous looking and frankly looked a little British. 

Words of wisdom

Not So Wise Words of Wisdom

I’m sending out a blanket apology to anyone who listened to my advice when I was twenty-five. I’m so sorry, I was an idiot. My friend Sonia recently reminded me that she got married because of me. I had no recollection of any profound words. We thought, how many bad marriages could have been avoided if people didn’t listen to our shitty WISDOM? ...
Bar Cart

The Bar Cart Dilemma: We Vowed Not To Shop At Walmart And Then…..

Mom would scary-mutter things about unfair labor practices and dismal manufacturing conditions whenever we drove past that store, her opinion proclaimed with such vehemence I could clearly imagine whip-wielding giants standing over kids (just like my friends and I) laboring over assembly of Barbie Dream Houses.  Walmart-avoidance was just a point of fact as I grew up, never something I judged in others. Or did I? I probably could have been quieter about disliking Walmart when the Kids were young.  But like many Mom-isms, the words and explanations of why “We don’t shop at Walmart” shot out of my mouth. The Kids were listening....
Felice Shapiro

Happy Birthday Obama From a Better After 50 Superfan

This week, there’s been a lot of buzz on Martha’s Vineyard about Barack’s birthday. He’s throwing a party for his 60’th and it’s no secret. He is loved and the celebs are pouring in.  Bruce, Oprah and Clooney and Alicia Keys to name a few and I couldn’t be happier for him. And so, as I watched him quietly tee off from the green, he looked up for a quick moment, struck the ball dead center, hit a spectacular down the fairway drive, paused and then look me right in the eye, smiled and waved to me. I waved back. And then he stepped forward still smiling with full eye contact. “I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and I hope you have a great celebration," I said. And he graciously nodded and looked me straight in the eye and said......

When My Body Becomes This Old House

My gynecologist stood up from between the stirrups, peeled off her surgical gloves with a snap, and said, “you have a loss of vulvar architecture.” “Pardon me?” “Post-menopausal women commonly lose physical definition of the vulva,” she said. Is this something ELSE I need to maintain? I can’t exercise my vulva like I do my ass to keep it lifted off the back of my thighs. Can I? Thankfully I can’t see my vulva in the 10X magnification mirror—...
Meeting in Person

BA50 Bloggers: Meeting in Person Is the Best

The very first BA50 Blogger Meet-up in Person. "A lunch invitation turned into an overnight plan. Each of us was going to be driving at least two hours. Why not make a mini-vacation of it? Ellen did the hotel Googling and we made reservations for an overnight, Thursday into Friday, at the Hotel Northampton. Our own rooms. At 60+ we’re big girls and don’t need to share a room anymore. A flurry of texts were exchanged. What time are you getting there? What are you packing? Drinks first, then dinner? We were as giddy as high school friends going away on their first vacation without parents. Only… have I mentioned we had never met each other in person before?"...
Woman with mug and hat

WTF Is Cheugy? Learn A New Word Cuz Gen Z Is Calling Us Cringe

Thanks to the rise of the catch-all insult cheugy, declaring millennial lifestyle staples as cringey has gotten easier than ever before. If the emergence of a trendy new term is making you want to, not take a nap, but just rest your eyes for a bit, then I regret to inform you that you’re old you’ve come to the right place. WTF is cheugy, am I cheugy......

Digitally Challenged After All These Years

I wish Safari could help me find everything on my phone. “Show me how to connect to WiFi again?” my younger self would ask my kids. “Here, I’ll do it,” they’d respond, taking the phone from my hand without showing me how, leading me to a bad pattern of helplessness. I now feel like a bird with clipped wings that cannot fly. “You still don’t know how to do this Mom? Scroll down, no just scroll down, keep going,” my daughter says trying to help me find the right setting. Frustrated, I look up at her. “Did I stand behind you and say, ‘Just step, just start stepping,’ when you were learning how to walk?”...