Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: blog (page 1 of 16)

The Big Event – FierceCon 2018

The big event is this weekend, and I am busy putting all of the pieces together.

I started my blog, Facebook page and Instagram just over a year ago, and have found some amazing women because of them. It’s been fun getting to know women from all over the world.

So at the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to meet as many of my new online friends as I could.  Continue reading

When better might not be better – growing up in the 2000’s

Last week I shared a little about how I grew up and how I raised my boys. I even touched briefly on the next generation, my granddaughters.

Then I got busy on Wednesday helping my oldest son, and on Thursday, John and I were back on the road. We took some major twisty roads over to the Oregon Coast and then drove to Sacramento.

Often times, when John is driving, I’ll use that opportunity to pull out my laptop and write. But curves and twisting roads make that impossible for me.

So I was itching to get back to my laptop and write the third installment of my posts about growing up. I got my computer out while John drove us home on Friday, and wrote and rewrote a post to share.

And I agonized over it. 

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Thank you

Thank you so much to all you who have hit the donate button on my blog….(Shelly D, Cindy F, Mary H, Virginia S, Anne K….and more.)

As you know, blogging is a labor of love that costs more than it earns.

Your donations have helped, and will continue to help me share my story.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

Growing up outside – Passing it down

Yesterday I wrote about growing up in Michigan and how we spent most of our time outside.

I also mentioned because of that experience, I wanted to be sure my kids had the same opportunity.

When I got pregnant with our first son, my husband was still in school. We lived in a townhouse near campus and it was fine. By the time our boy was six months old, we’d moved back to Oregon and found a rental in town.

It wasn’t until after our second son was born that I started to remember my own childhood, and what it was like to grow up on a farm. I had married a city boy, and I wasn’t sure he would want to move into the country.

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Growing up outside

We played outside when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. It didn’t matter if it was winter or summer, we were outside most of the time.

In the summers we would play hide-and-seek until way after dark. There were a bunch of us and so many different places to hide that the game would go on for hours.

We also had a sandbox to play and dig in, though I do remember the cats liked “digging” in it too…which was a little gross.

We found things to do and explored beyond our farm too. 

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Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance Month – October

I have a good friend who has a child with Down Syndrome. I will admit, I don’t know very much about this condition.

In honor of her, other mothers, and of Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance Month, I would like to share her story with you.

From Trudy Callan

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The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

How to Mom

We learn how to be women from our moms, or at least a mother figure.

So we watch them closely and subconsciously put each act or word into columns of either, “This is good advice to live by and pass on,” or “No way do I believe this and I am so not going to do this to my kids.”

There are probably a lot of other columns too, but those two stand out the most for me.

I learned how to be a woman by watching my mom. Which is probably why I’m not a girly girl. She didn’t wear makeup or dress in pretty clothes. And she lived in “practical shoes” and flip-flops.

I think she made most of her dresses. You’ll recall I said she only wore dresses, even as a farm-woman, right? I have to wonder if her mom wore dresses too. But I can’t recall much about my grandmother.

My mom learned how to be a woman from her mother too. It’s passed down from one generation to the next with varying degrees of changes for each of us.  Continue reading

Filling in the blanks

Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.

And the enforcer too.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.

But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.

She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded.  Continue reading

What was he thinking?

Last week’s posts, sharing our story about how we went from friends to more than friends, got a lot of comments like “What was he thinking!?”

We thought we would share a video that may help shed some light on just what goes on inside some men’s heads when getting into a relationship. Especially those who have been hurt in previous relationships.

Check out this week’s Love Over 50 video:  Continue reading

The loop-de-loop

We got back from our four days of working on John’s home on a Sunday night in January 2012. I didn’t see John the next day, but we got together on Tuesday for coffee and to go over the applications for tenants.

We were sitting side by side at the Starbucks we’d first met at and John had applications spread out on the table. His phone was there too.

Within just a few minutes his phone lite up with a text message. From Toni. 

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Hopping on the roller coaster

Driving home from our road trip, I was content and happy. I had a wonderful time with my kids and new granddaughter. And it felt like John and I were closer, even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months.

On our way back, I was looking at a text John had sent me and I said out loud, “I think I’m falling for him.” My son said, “Yeah, I noticed.”

I could see the man he was before his divorce. The one who was devoted to his little family and their life together. I could also see the profound hurt that kept him from “going there” again.

So I wasn’t surprised when he texted me and asked what day I would be home. Or that he asked to come over and play tennis with me the very next day.   Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

John wrote this post while I was away for the holidays. He was messaging me daily and we both agreed  online dating was getting old.

Column 26 – Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

(I used this column to say “focus on where you’re at”.
I also used it to disparage the dating sites a little. They can be frustrating, and I wanted to tell people if the sites are annoying then the best thing to do is leave them alone for a minute.
About the time I wrote this one, I texted Loretta to get her thoughts on the sites. She said they didn’t feel ‘organic’ to her, and that she was done with them.
I said I agreed and was going to take a break from them myself – saying it would probably be months before I got back online).

Something I’ve come to know about myself is I can be stubborn at times.

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Reminder: we are important too

The other day I wrote a reminder to myself (and other women) to put our oxygen masks on before assisting others. I got a lot of comments in the vein of: “I so need to remember this.” Or “Thank you for the reminder.”

Here we are, in midlife or later and we are still habitually putting the needs of others before our own. Well, at least some of the time, anyway.

It got me thinking about our roles as women and how we were raised to put others’ needs, especially men and our children, above our own. I see it all the time, and get a bit frustrated by it.

We not only do it to ourselves, but to other women as well.

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The Dance – If you want him to move towards you – Step back

Let’s see….where did I leave off?

Oh yeah, with John running off. Can you believe after months of a friendship and then just one night together he ran?

I actually could. Predicted it even.

The good news: I knew John well enough at that point and suspected it would take a lot of patience if we were ever going to be anything more than friends.

The bad news: I was irritated by his behavior just the same. There was no reason to not meet for coffee or join me in a tennis game or go hiking. Something! But, nope, he wouldn’t meet up with me.

So I got busy with my own life. 

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Please secure your oxygen mask before assisting others

I’m being pulled.

My attention is being pulled in many directions. I have people relying on me, and I want to be sure I can help.

Last week I had to focus on a wedding that I coordinated, and that was an enormous task. So I thought the best thing to do was to take some things off my plate.

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Jump in, The Water’s Fine – Repost

A while back,  I shared a blog post called A Look Inside. I wrote about feeling off that day, and shared that I spent the day trying to understand why. I got a lot of very nice feedback on it, and several people shared some of their off moments with me too.

I like that so many people have commented and shown support. And I’m using several different platforms to share my blog, in hopes to reach people who can either relate, or just find my stories interesting.

I am also learning as I go, which is sort of the point of the blog. You know, reach 60 and be wise, healthy, happy and content. One thing I’m learning is that there is a bias towards sharing one emotion: Happiness.

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Thoughts and things

I had a friend ask me a few weeks ago how I manage to write so much. She was impressed that I write at least five days each week for my blog.

The answer was easy.

I told her I have this running dialogue in my head, and she nodded her head in agreement saying she does too. So then I said, “All I do is sit down at my computer and type out pretty much exactly what’s going on inside my head.”

We laughed at that.  Continue reading

If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

After John and I had our one and only romantic evening, he was still texting me and sending me his columns, but all of a sudden he didn’t have time to meet for coffee or play tennis or get together at all.

So I got busy with my own life and plans and let John figure out his own issues.

Column 22 – If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

(One of the things Loretta and I had in common was our love of family – we sort of lived for our kids. Continue reading

Book Excerpt – November 2011 – When Sparks Fly

This is a book excerpt from November 2011. John and I had known each other for about five months at this point. Though we had started out as friends, we were now both single, and sparks were flying.

November 2011

One evening in November sitting together on Loretta’s deck, which overlooks a tree studded hillside, the conversation turned to personal matters. She told me of her life – and of how big a role her kids played in it. My stories paralleled hers as I told her how I wanted my life to look, and how important my kids were to me.

We’d been having these conversations for a while now – at least since September – and I think we were both getting the same sense from them. The one that tells you that, hey, there’s got to be a reason why this person always feels so comfortable to be around.

John was desperately trying to keep me at an arms distance, especially when it came to his heart.

Continue reading

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