Aug 30, 2011

Traveling Great Falls, Montana to Lewiston Idaho...Retire In Style Blog on the road!

Lochsa facing upstream in the afternoon light. Picture by Barbara Torris

Retire In Style has been on the road for almost a week.  We have been visiting friends in Great Falls Montana and have not been able to connect with the internet. Believe it or not, not every one has a wireless system in their home!  Surprise!

Autumn haze hangs over the Lochsa! Picture by Barbara Torris
We left Great Falls this morning. This Montana city is located in the north central part of the state on the eastern side of the continental divide.  We decided that we would come home by traveling south of Missoula through Idaho via Lolo Pass and down the Lochsa River to Lewiston Idaho.  I took pictures and reveled in the beauty of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area.  While the Lochsa River ran like a well behaved stream along the side of the road I know that this same river would be a raging torrent earlier in the summer as the snow melted in the Bitterroots.  I somehow missed that wondrous wild river I had seen several times before.
The Lochsa (pronounced "lock-saw") was included by the U.S. Congress in 1968 as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.[8]The Lochsa and Selway rivers and their tributaries have no dams, and their flow is unregulated. In late spring, mid-May to mid-June, the Lochsa River is rated as one of the world's best for continuous whitewater. (wikipedia)
This wilderness area covers over a million acres of land in Idaho and really is so beautiful it is a national treasure.  The wilderness was designated in 1964 and remains just a beautiful as it was almost 50 years ago.

I was reminded of traveling along the Big Sur in California.  While the road is very good, don't count on anyplace to buy water or eat for long stretches of road.  In fact we did not see much traffic and only two kayaks along the way.  The road is very curvy although in great condition.  We ate breakfast in Lincoln Montana, then took Highway 12 out of Missoula through Lolo Pass and traveled most of the day to arrive in Lewiston Idaho.

I am alway caught up in the Lewis and Clark story as I travel these roads.  I just may reread Steven Ambrose's Undaunted Courage again when I get home.

To go from the edge of the plains in Montana, across the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness area and back into the dry western Idaho/Eastern Washington/Oregon sagebrush country in only one day is hard to wrap my mind around.  We will travel down the Columbia River back to the Portland metro area tomorrow.

Pictures later.  My camera and this computer do not play well together.


Aug 25, 2011

On the road with Retire In Style Blog

Traveling here in the Northwest can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want to make it.  I think that Coeur D Alene, Id is a perfect example.  This community located on the northern shore of Lake Coeur D Alene is just a few short miles east of Spokane Wa.  It is a destination resort area and boast one of the premier golf courses in the nation.  Coeur D Alene Resort Golf Course is the Pacific Northwest's answer to Pebble Beach.  The famous island green as stymied many a golfer over the years.  The resort rates can come it at around $500 a night for two people using a special package deal.

On the other hand if you want to stay on the northside of town in a very plain motel with clean beds and recently painted walls you can get a room for $79 including taxes both city and state.  It is your choice.

We are staying at a Guesthouse Inn booked through Orbitz.  We have one bed and get a breakfast in the morning.  The bed is fine and the bathroom is clean.  It has a microwave and a small refrigerator.  It is a short drive to the lake.

So, you make the choice...big and fancy, special occasion resort or a road trip stop on the way to Montana.  You can do it either way.


Aug 23, 2011

How to be Trendy Without Breaking the Bank

Ingenious Full Length Mirror
Shopping online or using what you have to recreate that oh so new is a way of life for me.  Take the mirrors.  I was watching a show on HGTV yesterday filmed in NYC.  The designers had a blank brick wall to decorate.  So they went to a thrift store and bought several mirrors to display.  Not a new idea but still....  I just moved and left behind the best full length mirror I have ever owned.  It was glued to the closet door or I would have brought it with.  So instead of buying a full length mirror my husband suggested I just hang two of the mirrors we own, one over the other.  It is mirror magic!
Grandmother Chevron Throw
The latest trend in graphic design is the chevron pattern.  The medal worn by military men for a long time has found it's way onto pillows, sheets, rugs and wooden balls.  I really don't need anything like that right now but I do own a bit of my own chevron design...I have this pink afghan tossed across the back of a chair in my bedroom.  My grandmother made it before I was out of high school.

So you see you can be trendy without breaking the bank.  Shop online or use what you have.  You will find more information below.

Just Click on the Images for More Information
Zig Zag Rugs
Bambo Sheets.
Chabby Chic Mirror (should I paint my frames white?)

Apartment Therapy Missoni for Target

Aug 22, 2011

5 Beautiful and Unique Hostess Gifts

I am always on the lookout for the perfect hostess gift.  They have to be inexpensive yet unique enough to let the host and hostess know that you appreciate their attention.  I think I have found four five that you will like.

moontea artwork block print
moontea artwork linens
ipop refrigerator magnet
More Info Here

  • Spices...There is a cute little spice shop here in the Pearl District of Portland.  You can buy boxed sets of spices for barbecues or salads.  You can even buy the box and make your own gift box.  I bought salad spices, barbecue and curry.  These will be included in a hostess gift box.  Penzeys Spices is the name of the business and their online shop can be found here
  • Refrigerator Magnets... ipop has darling magnets, paperweights and jewelry all designed with artwork under a glass dome.  The ones I chose came in a small plastic box and feature bird's nests.  They are beautiful.
  • Linen Towels...We are very lucky that moontea artwork is an every other week visitor at the Sunday Market in Orenco Station here in Hillsboro.  The artist is from Grand Ronde, Oregon.  She has created a beautiful Etsy shop and has a blog that she writes on occasionally.  I bought three of her tea towels. I want one of every item Kristin has for sale.
  • Wine...We happen to live in area noted for it's Pint Noir wines.  We visited the Ardiri winery on Sunday and will bring a beautiful bottle of our beautiful Oregon wine.
  • More Info Here
  • Napkins...This is the simplest yet most welcome hostess gift of all.  I actually keep a drawer full of beautiful or interesting napkins to give as hostes gifts.  This time I purchased a package of the Anne Taintor designed napkins...they say Damn straight I keep score!...I know we will all laugh over these.
I just thought you needed to know.


Aug 21, 2011

Just a Few Good Reasons to Retire by Erik Braunitzer

Courtesy of PDE, New York City Real Estate Agents.

It’s refreshing to hear some good news about retirement. Erik Braunitzer is an invited guest writer for Retire In Style Blog. He writes for Elliman Real Estate in NYC and has a degree in Philosophy. I think you will be interested in what he has to say.

Just a Few Good Reasons to Retire

For a majority of people, owning a home is considered to be one of the most important assets. To those who’ve recently retired, their home may be much more than just a financial asset, but rather a sentimental one at that. This is where retirement and the urge to relocate can become tricky.

It’s a tough choice, but one that should be made carefully. More commonly found in first time homebuyers, there comes regret, or what I like to call RRR (retirement relocation remorse.) But before you go drowning yourself in a pool of your own sympathy, remember that there are plenty of good reasons to get off your butt; call the most reputable relocation agency, and get moving.


One of the biggest motivators is debt. Retired workers frequently retire with payment(s) leftover, which is definitely not desirable. So what’s the solution? Find a smaller home. Not only will a smaller home cover your old mortgage debt, but also it will yield cheaper costs in the long run. Remember, gas, electric and water don’t ever get “paid off.”

For those of us without enough equity to cover the new home, having a less costly mortgage still yields greater affordability.


And a smaller home will almost always be more eco-friendly, considering the furnace and common appliances are updated with energy star ratings. You can feel good about reducing your carbon footprint!

Physical Stress

Although you’re feeling happier and more relaxed in your retired lifestyle, the effects of mowing and landscaping may be taking its toll. Therefore, it’s with great recommendation that you consider moving into a condo, or perhaps looking into community homes. It’s funny how the same lifestyle live during our college years happens to be the most desirable as we approach senior citizen status. Yet, it can make for a much more accommodating, comfortable lifestyle.

Lifestyle & Climate

Living in a community certainly comes with social benefits. Even more importantly, these condos or community homes are typically equipped with some of the latest in appliance technology, including central air. The greatest concern retired folks have with their community however is it’s location. Generally, people want to settle in a warmer, weather-friendly climate. Living where it’s warm is more appealing to a high percentage of homeowners, particularly for those that are actively involved in outdoor activities like fishing, golfing and simply observing nature.

Most of the above are unprejudiced, but there are varying opinions regarding things like weather and labor. Sometimes retirees enjoy staying busy by doing all the daily duties that come with owning a home, and Christmas may be a holiday preferable with snow.  An even more important decision-maker is family; sometimes relocating to a warmer climate isn’t as convenient for close families. Nevertheless, there are enough unbiased reasons to switch locations, including financial benefit and sustainability. Before you consider retiring, be sure to think about all of the above with logic and love in mind.

"Erik Braunitzer is a member of the creative writing & web strategy department at PDE. With a degree in Philosophy and Management IS, he works closely with Content Developers and off-site Web Experts to maintain web relations and boost visibility for PDE. For more information on how to get your New York City Rental, visit Elliman Real Estate today! "

Down Sizing in Retirement  Retire in Style Blog
Retirement Realities or What if your Dreams Don't Come True  Retire in Style Blog

Aug 19, 2011

How I shut my computer down...humor!

Apple Inc.Image by marcopako  via FlickrMy computer has decided that it does not like to be shut down.  It lets me close all the applications and very nicely allows me to look at the choices available for putting the baby to bed.  It will even tell me that this or that is not closed properly like all good little Apple computer will.  Then I can click the shut down icon and it will shut down, the screen goes blank and everything will be very quiet for a few second.

That is when I begin to sneak away from my desk.  I roll the desk chair back quietly and turn to the left so I won't bump the desk or touch the track pad.  Just as I am rising from my chair it will suddenly spring back to life.  I will hear a BONG and the computer will reopen as though it has been asleep for the required 10 hours.  Like a wakeful two year old I swear it would get up and follow me out of the room if it could.

On a few occasions I have actually unplugged the naughty machine, forcing it to be quiet for the required length of time.  I have come to believe that this computer may be a living force of nature that cannot be told what it will or will not do.  It is saying "yes I do know how to do the things you ask but I will never tell you how to make me do it."  Thank heavens I know where the plug is located...Apple put it in a very convenient location for a good reason I think.  Sigh!

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Aug 18, 2011

Eating Your Way to Healthy Eyes

I was delighted when I received an offer to publish a guest post from a person in the business of helping people improve their vision.  I hope you enjoy and use the information she has been willing share. Here is what Maggie Thistleton had to say.
Healthy eyes enjoying the view!

We’re told all the time that we should eat healthy: it’s good for maintaining a healthy weight, it’s good for the heart, and it’s also good for overall well-being. But what many don’t realize is that eating well can protect your vision. Several foods are rich in vitamins in minerals that have been medically proven to promote good eyesight.

Vitamin A
Foods that are rich in Vitamin A have a number of health benefits. Vitamin A acts as an immune system booster, while at the same time helps with eye function. Vitamin A also aids in protecting the surface of the eye against eye infections by reinforcing the membrane layer of the outer eye. Beta carotene, the compound that makes carrots orange, is converted to Vitamin A automatically by your body.

Foods rich in Vitamin A:
  • Cantaloupe
  • Squash
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
Lutein is similar to Vitamin A in that it is an antioxidant that is vital for good eye health. Diets low in lutein have been directly linked to the increased risk of the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. The best way to get lutein is through diet, and green leafy vegetables are packed with it.
Foods rich in lutein:
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnip and collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
Finding tasty recipes for these foods can be tough, but there are several eye-healthy recipes over at the Eye Health Guide. To get you started, here are my favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Taking care of your eyes has never been so delicious!

Oatmeal has always been a favorite of mine. It’s warm, filling, and just good for you. There are several ways to spice it up, and one of my favorites is Blueberry Pie oatmeal. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which are good for eye and overall health.
Blueberry Pie Oatmeal    
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup crushed graham cracker 
Combine oats, water, and milk in a small pot and cook on medium heat until oats are thick and cooked through. When oats are almost cooked, stir in blueberries. Remove from heat and serve, topped with walnuts and graham crackers. 

I’m a carb lover, so I love finding ways to sneak them in. Whole wheat pasta lets me do just that, and I love experimenting with different toppings. This easy pasta recipe leaves me filling full and satisfied, and I get to have my carbs!
Quick and Healthy Pasta
Whole wheat pasta
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small can fire roasted tomatoes
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté spinach and garlic over low-medium heat. Once spinach is warm, add fire roasted tomatoes and simmer. Drain pasta and set aside.
To serve, lay down a later of pasta, a layer of the spinach mixture, a layer of sauce, then top with Parmesan cheese. 
Nothing makes me feel satisfied like a filling, but healthy, dinner. Asian food is one of my favorites, and this Shrimp and Scallion Stir-Fry does not disappoint! If you don’t like to eat sea food, easily substitute grilled chicken for shrimp for an equally healthy meal.
Shrimp and Scallion Stir Fry
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches scallions, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  •  2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
In a large skillet or wok, add vegetable oil and set to high heat. Add shrimp, and cook until pink. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and scallions and cook for one minute, then add lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and let simmer for one minute. Season if desired and serve over rice.
There are more healthy recipes here, which include things from breakfast to dinner, even snacks and vegan recipes. With all the work of collecting recipes already done for you, there’s no excuse not to start cooking healthy!

Author Bio:
Maggie is a writer for Reading Glasses Shopper where she helps her customers find the best reading glasses. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and shopping.

Why a Hand Held e-reader?No. 1 Gift for Mother Kindle for the Vision Impaired

Aug 17, 2011

Books for Grandchildren...surprise!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Other Coconutty SongsImage via Wikipedia
My two grandsons were visiting the other day. All play dates involve toys, outdoor play and books. The routine is pretty predictable. They come in the door hungry...I fix "maccy cheese" and they eat. We drag out the big box of toys and they play with every item in the box and then we move on to the books. They have the drill down and so do I.
But it always surprises me which book they will find interesting. Sometimes it is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and another time it will be Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  The Chicka book is a favorite just because they love to say the title.

The Secret Garden

This visit turned out to be a little different.  The smallest boy picked up my Country Gardens book put out by Country Living magazine.  This grandson is only 20 month old.  We went through the book page by page exclaiming over all the beautiful flowers.  His big brother aged 3 1/2 joined in the fun as we flipped through the book.  When reading time was over we headed for the backyard.

About half way through the kitchen my oldest grandson stopped dead and pointed at our secret garden in the back...look at all the beautiful flowers he exclaimed and rushed back to get the book we had just finished reading.  He went through every page checking the small flower garden as he went along.  He was sure that he had found the pictures of the flowers in my backyard.

I should know this by now...3 children and 11 grandchildren never know what a child is going to want to learn about on any given day.  On that day they just wanted to look and learn about the flowers.  Who knew!

Busy Boys

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Aug 16, 2011

Dude Ranch Give Away...Fab Over Fifty!

 Do you ever dream that you will actually win in a drawing?  Me too.  In this particular case, I am dreaming of a vacation at a dude ranch in Idaho.  The location is enough to make me swoon and adding the $1600 vacation at a dude ranch called Red Horse Mountain Ranch for sure has me ready to faint.  But that is not all...there is wine tasting, log cabin suites, world class cusine, adventures like horse back riding and evening entertainment.  What do you think?  Could you handle all that?  You really should hop on over to Fab Over Fifty, register if you are not already a member and enter the contest.  This cowgirl is recommending it!

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Aug 15, 2011

Making our house a home!

You know that ad selling storage boxes.  They suggest you clean everything out so you will have more space.  Then you can buy all those beautiful baskets and boxes that look gorgeous on your shelve.  The last and final chapter in the story need to fill the boxes with lots of new stuff.

Well, selling your old house and buying a new one is a lot like that.  We sorted and disposed of all the old stuff.  We bought a beautiful new storage unit (house) and now we really need new stuff.  Some of it can wait but some things just will not wait for even a month.  The list goes like this for us:
  • Pot rack for the kitchen
  • Gadget hooks for the kitchen
  • Curtains and Blinds for the windows
  • Some plants for the window box
  • A new TV (you saw this one coming didn't you?)
My husband made the kitchen stuff for me...he is very handy.  Then today we went out shopping for curtains and blinds.  I decided on curtains from Target for our two bedrooms and the office/tv room.  My husband has very good taste so we are good at the job of choosing.  I love sheers so I am putting them in the guest bedroom where most of my antiques have found a home.  We will wait on the living/dining room.

The curtains I found for the master bedroom have tabs on the back of the top hem to give a beautiful pleated look when they were hung.  These blackout curtains matched the bedroom decor and it turned out that they were a lot less than the regular lined curtains.  They almost feel like canvas and press beautifully.  The curtains we bought for the office/tv room are  silk-like in a beautiful copper color.  The match stick blinds came from Home Depot.  We were very lucky to find them in the right size off the rack so we could hang two side by side and they fit the windows perfectly.

The total for 4 fabric panels and 2 sheers plus two decorative rods came to  $126.  I thought that was very good.

I might add that our office/tv room is a mishmash of traveling treasures and momentos.  A designer would have a fit but you know what, it is just kind of comfortable.  The room has two chairs and will probably be used by the two of us all of the time.  So we can just let it be.
Curtain from Target...match stick blinds from Home Depot

Desk/TV Stand!  Odd but very practical!
We also bought a new flat screen TV.  Our old tv from the condo was 11 years old and huge!  The flat screen fits on top of the desk and leaves room for my husband's laptop when he needs to use the desk.  Our furniture has never fit so nicely in any house before.

I bought a rosemary plant because I cannot cook without rosemary and I love to step out the back door and cut some from the plant.  I bought lavender and coreopsis for the planter that hangs under my kitchen window.  We brought some plants from our other house and they are already in the ground.  I want a bed of shasta daisies and coreopsis in the front yard but they will wait until later this fall or next summer.

The most important
thing that makes it really feel like home
is a visit from our grandchildren.
So there you have it...the first steps in the process of settling in.  It is a lot of fun.


Aug 11, 2011

Why take a walk? Your mind needs the exercise!!

     I wanted you to know how important it is for you to leave your very small space and go for a walk.  Go out and get coffee or just visit with the neighbors.  I don't care where you go...just go! 
     Why?  Well, the thing is your mind needs the exercise almost as much as your body.  You know I am a great proponent of small space living.  We don't need huge houses to wander around in.  But, it turns out, restricting our whole life to that small space or even that big house will lead to some pretty bad stuff.  For example, here what I read this morning in MD News:
 An individual with a life space restricted to their immediate home environment had almost twice the likelihood of developing AD (Alzheimers Disease) compared to an individual with the largest life space. 
     The definition of "the largest life space" would be all those spaces OUTSIDE your home.  Social interaction is evidently very, very important.  So, if you decide to live in a small apartment or age in place, be sure to keep the world as your living room and get out everyday...please!


Aug 10, 2011

What do you call people that live together? Erasing "Married" from the English Lanquage

My husband and I after 50 years of MARRIAGE!
I do try to keep up with the times!  In fact, I think that you will find that the older people get the harder they try to stay in touch with what is trendy.  But sometimes there is no hiding our age.  Here is what is happening to me.

My husband and I moved from a beautiful lofty condo with spectacular views born of youthful dreams.  We loved that home for the 10 years we lived there.  This last winter I woke with the thought that we needed to find a home we could enjoy now but would still carry us into our senior years...whenever that is. We put our condo on the market, sold it at the asking price and found a beautiful home in a 50+ community.  You would think that we could let ourselves act a "little" old in this setting.  But no!!!

The stumbling block seems to be my habit is assuming that if you live together, have a family together and love each other you might by some remote chance be married.  Not that I give a rip if you are married or not.  I just am in the habit of assuming that you might be.  So I ask!  

The children and grandchildren of acquaintance have babies and I will ask about the spouse or say "Oh I didn't realize your daughter/granddaughter/friend's daughter was married."  Someone will lean in close and remind me that babies are born all the time without people being married!  Darn!  I really do need to quit doing that.  

But the final straw is my mistake of addressing the person sitting next to an older woman as though the two belonged together...I will say, "and apparently this is your husband."  NOOOOOO...that is not the husband. That is a friend!  They live together, travel and heaven only knows what else together but they are not married.  Phooey!  I feel so foolish for even opening my mouth.

So here is the deal...what do you call that person that shares your life,and babies?  What are you to each other if not a bonded couple "married????" in an informal way ?  If your husband dies and you find someone to share your life with but choose not to marry for financial or legal reasons, what is your relationship. Either we need to redefine "marriage" or find a title for that other person.  

I really do need help now!  The definition of marriage is changing so fast that I can't keep up.  Now I even need help with the word I will use to describe the relationship between my married gay friends.  I may not be allowed to go out in public before very long if I keep acting my age! 


Aug 8, 2011

Pot Light Conversion Kits & Spray new again!

Conversion (retrofit) kit from Lowes
transformed can light!
We just moved into a different to us!  But it was built 15 years ago.   We are very impressed with the quality material but it is just a little bit out of style.  All it needs is some paint, cleaning and a few cosmetic changes.  You know...a light fixture here and a can light there.  So, instead of buying new stuff right off the bat, we went and bought a can of silver spray paint and a pot light conversion kit (a light fixture retrofit kit.)

My husband disconnected the light fixture from the ceiling and removed the decorative glass shades.  He taped the sockets with blue painter tape and hung the light fixture from the ceiling of our garage.  He took great care and time to apply light coats to cover the light fixture and chain completely.  When the old brassy light fixture was rehung with it's new silver paint we were very pleased.  Now the chain needs to be longer but that will come another day.

We purchased a pot light conversion kit as Lowe's the second day we moved in.  It was a matter of removing the light bulb, screwing in the fixture and tightening it to the ceiling.  No one will be the wiser and it really does look very sharp over the kitchen sink.  The bar you see above the windeow is the beginnings of a pot rack that will hang there.  I love my pot racks!
Brassy light fixture after spray paint changing
it to silver...much better!

Have a wonderful day.

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Aug 6, 2011

10 Most Read Blog Articles + Google Search and Me

Reader's Favorites:

     Is this the first time you have visited?  Well, welcome to my life.  I am retired and have been for 14 years. I guess that makes me an experienced retiree.  I have been writing this blog for about 6 years.  It is my favorite "job" in a life that really required no honest labor.  I would have done this for a job in my pervious life if I could have.  It has been a wonderful gift.
About the blog!  Thing I love.
     I love the stuff I find on my Live Traffic Feed from Feedjit.  That is that list in the sidebar that tell my readers why people visit this site.  Usually it will show specifically what people are looking for and even which link they use to exit the page.  I do love company here at Retire in Style Blog.  It has taken me several years to accumulate a list of titles that attract people.
     For example, did you know that if you put Retire in NYC Blog in the Google search, my blog will come up in the list....several times!  Isn't that interesting?  Because the title of this blog has the words Retire and in and Blog in the title I guess I am automatically in the neighborhood. But even better, I actually have visitors that come to see me using this search.  Isn't the internet wonderful.  I love Google!
     The title of this blog evolved after many attempts to get it just right.  It began as Barbara's Travels.  I initially changed the name because it shouted travel agent.  I wanted to talk about retirement and life out here in the real world.  I have been very lucky that it has worked out for me.
     I would love to have you as a follower.  You can click on the follow button in the sidebar...thank you in advance.


Aug 4, 2011

Sagging underarm problems??? Shopping for the look!

     I am sorry for me and all others like me...I have bat-wings!  Really, this is not a cool thing.  In case you didn't know, those flabs that hang down under your arms as you grow older are not attractive.  The trick is to cover them up still feel cool and relaxed in the summer heat...or at least appear to feel cool and relaxed.  There is nothing worse that sweating in public!  Yuck!  So what do we do?
Image from Macy's
     I was doing some research for an article on cardigans last week and discovered the beautiful waterfall or shawl design so many women are wearing now.  The front falls loosely in gentle folds.  These sweaters are lovely in a very sheer fabrics.  Worn with a camisole or a tank top they can be the perfect addition to the antibat-wing wardrobe.  The one shown is from the Macy's online web page.  I love the sleeves.
     A sheer white blouse with a sleeveless tee underneath is a look that gives the illusion that we could show our arms if we wanted to.  I loved one from Ann Taylor made out of silk with a contrasting lapel.  A black dressy tee underneath with be gorgeous.  It can be found on the Ann Taylor website under blouses and tops. (Sorry no image available)
Image from Nordstroms
     The TrouvĂ© Shirred Sleeve Silk Top from Nordstroms is the perfect cut to disguise those sagging underarms and still let a little arm show.  The asymmetric hem is very stylish.  It is just sheer enough to show off a lace camisole or soft printed tank top.
     Chico's is always a good go-to source for flattering clothes designed for the FAB/50 woman.  They cater to those of us that have special needs as we age.  They understand women of a certain age love beautiful clothes!  I like that.
     Thank you Fab over Fifty for the inspiration to write this article and do a little online shopping for all of you.


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Aug 3, 2011

4 Inexpensive Summertime Activities for Visiting Grandchildren

Brayden with his 3-D glasses
Finding just the right thing to do with your grandchildren can be a trick.  I know, we do have a television and we can plop those babies down in front of it.  After all, who needs to be exhausted at the end of the day.  Right?

Then we remember that playing with the grandchildren can be as much fun for us as it is for the children. Mine are little and big, boys and girls, active and quiet.  There is no perfect toys for these guys.  I have to be very creative to keep them happy for an extended period of time.  I have three things for you today...well maybe four.  Who knows.
  • Crayola 3-D Chalk:  This is the best new play thing I have seen in a great while.  After the child draws a picture they can look through the glasses and see their image pop into 3-D.  My 14 year old granddaughter played with her little cousins on our drive-way yesterday.  The little one scribbled and then watcher her draw.  They would share the glasses to see the image in 3-D.  I pulled up a chair to watch what would happen.  
  • Elena tracing Brayden with the chalk.
    Brayden getting ready to see himself in 3-D
  • A Paper Bag...sometimes it is the little things that children love.  If you will give your grandchild a grocery bag with a handle and send them out into the yard on a treasure hunt they will create their own fun. Every stick and pinecone becomes a treasure to be shared.  I pull up a chair to watch this one too.
  • A metal box and magnets...the wonder of magnets never seems to wear out.  I even found a paper doll toy with a metal box and magnetic clothes.  My granddaughters were fascinated.  I had to put  my hands in my pockets because I wanted to help out and they didn't want me to interfere.  I pulled up a chair and watched.
  • Bocci grandchildren and all the adults love to play bocci ball in the back yard of my daughters house.  If you are a grandparent that has played bocci when you were snow birding you know how fun this game is.  It turns out it is a game for all ages.  I can play too...I don't even need a chair.
  • Water and a Bucket and a cup....fill the bucket with water and pull up a chair.  Watch the magic begin!

Have a wonderful day.


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