Sophia Loren

The Beautiful, classic and always timeless Sophia Loren. I just love actresses from this time period. They posses a beauty that is just not captured in today’s stars…Couple that with the caption and it is classic. No reason for this post, other than it makes me smile. Enjoy!


sophia laren

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

This Thanksgiving, as I look back on all that is and has been in my life, I find that there are more things for which to be thankful than I can count.  It has been a year full of the best, the hard, the long and more surprises than I thought possible.  From my sister and nephew moving in, to supporting them and being the head of the household, to them moving out and standing on their own, to Mom and Dad coming up every 4 weeks, to having 7 people and 5 cats at my house at any given moment…what a year!!

And through it all, everything we have needed has been right there. We may not have lived in luxury, things may have had to be juggled every now and then, I’ve had to work two jobs more than once this year, but there we have not gone without. There has been plenty of everything. Plenty of work, plenty of love, plenty of faith, plenty of wine, plenty of food…plenty of whatever was needed.

And there has been plenty of gratitude and thankfulness along the way., This year in particular, I have been thankful for everything that has crossed my path. Because this year, I have been, oh so aware of the gentle precarious balance that it takes in this life to make everyday work right and peacefully. It’s been a year of great fortune, and great struggle.

This year has seen the end of the legal battle, huge advances in my career, the beginning of a new career for my sister, Dad’s treatments being successful, a new car and an amazing love brought into  my life. My family is all together and healthy. And that this moment, life is perfect. I could not ask for anything more (maybe chocolate that has no weight gain?).

And this year, as I look back it is more than anything, the year of thanks and gratitude. And as I say my prayers around that table this year, I give special thanks for these, and so many other things this year, too many to list, too personal to make public.

A Breath

Life is busy. Crazy busy, sometimes.  It’s the end of Fall, beginning of winter. The beginning of the holiday season, with all of the parties, social events, fundraisers, meetings and functions. Time for travel, shopping, planning, cooking , baking and…everything.

And it the middle of everything, I much stop to take a breath. Because this moment, this perfect day, will not come again. And so, in the midst of so much activitiy, don’t forget to breath, to smile and to be grateful. After all it is a time of thanks. And this year, I am thankful for so much that I could pop. Life is better than I ever thought it could be, and the possibilities are endless. Proof that hard work and big dreams pay off.

The First Paid Gig

Photography is a hobby I have had for many years.  It started out one afternoon when I was bored and my parents had a new digital camera.  Pretty soon I was snapping away at flowers, bugs, cats, dogs, people…anything that I could snap. Pretty soon I was the family photographer, snapping away during holidays, anniversaries and family reunions.  Next to the cook, the photographer is the most loved, or hated, person in the room.

Photography has been a great hobby from which I have derived a great deal of enjoyment.

And then my employer needed some shots taken. And they decided I was the one to do. But I am not a professional, I told the. And they reassured me that they were not worried and knew I could do a great job.  I swallowed hard.  My first paying gig!  I wanted to do the happy dance, then it was promptly followed by the thought of “Oh crap, I hope I can do it.

When the time rolled around, the camera was in hand, tri-pod ready and I was feeling creative. The people I was shooting were a lot of fun and everyone had a good time.  And, the pictures turn out fine.

They will be delivered Monday on a disk.

So all that worry and anxiousness was for nothing. And isn;t that the was it is in life? We worry and are nervous…and everything turns out fine. The hard part is remembering that.

Dr. Heavy-bag

Years ago when I lived in New York, my boyfriend got me interested in kick boxing. He was very big in martial arts and self defense, as he practiced Grav Mcgaw. For those who are not familiar, it is the Israeli marital art of hand to hand combat – do everything you can to avoid conflict, but if you must, here is how to disable your attacker, or even kill if if need be. I tried it, but liked kick boxing better.

And indeed knowing how to box served me well when I was attacked. While my attacker was so much larger than I was that I was not able to completely fend him off, I was able to defend myself and cause some damage. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had not had the confidence and know-how to fight back.

And I still box. Dr. Heavy-bags is what I call my boxing bag, is in the garage and always ready for a good workout. Indeed, the Dr. has been very helpful for my best friends as well. If one of my besties has a bad break-up, she simply comes over, pins the ex’s picture to the bag, puts on the [ink boxing gloves, and boxes her little heart out, until she is too tired to box anymore. Then she comes to the den and we have wine and conversation.

Who would have thought that a heavy-bag and a boxing class would lead to so much fun?

Healthy is as Healthy Does

In life, most of us strive to be healthy. We watch our weight, cut down on carbs and trans fat, exercise, get check ups, take our vitamins and generally stay away from anything that might make us unhealthy – for the most part. But that is just the physical.  If we do not take care of ourselves emotionally as well, we will be just as crippled as if we are in a wheelchair.

But the emotional isn;t as obvious, because no one can look and see they emotionally unhealthy-ness. If our arms is broken, or if there is a bruise somewhere, we cam see it. We know it needs attention and to be looked after.  But what happens when we stop taking care of ourselves emotionally?

Our life breaks down. We start making poor decisions that can affect us our whole lives, if bad decision after bad decision stacks up. And then all of the sudden, you look up and realize, your life was never what you thought it would be. Because little by little, it got slowly chipped away by each time you did not take care of yourself.

But it;s never too late to change, never too late to get emotionally healthy. You are never too old, never too young, never too far gone.  You just have to do what you know is right, no matter how hard that is.  Stand up for yourself, don’t be afraid to say no, or stop, or just to voice your own truth.  And if making someone else happy is hurting you or making you un happy-well, that is called being co-dependent. It’s an ugly word for an unhealthy way to live.

“To thing own self be true” is the saying, and believe me, it keeps your mind and spirit healthy.

How do you do that? By simply being honest about how you feel, what you need, what you don;t need, what you can do and can’t do. The people who love you don’t want you to be run dry. They don’t want you to be depleted. They want you to be happy and full, so by disrespecting yourself, you are also disrespecting them as well.

I had to learn that this week, and it was a hard lesson for all those involved. And some are still mad and me and may be mad for a long time. That’s OK. I can;t help that. I can only help myself and make sure my life is healthy. And everyone will be better off, in the long run, even if it’s a little hard at first.

I have never been one to be pushed or bullied around. And I have taken down quite a few bullies in my time. But I am such a people-pleaser that if I am not careful, I will sacrifice my own comfort for the sake of those that I love. This is not helpful, and it does not serve me very well. Indeed, it may seem you are doing that person a favor, but you, in fact, are not.

The best way to take care of those you love, the best way to make sure you have a good and happy life, it truly to take care of yourself first. When you make sure you and your life are full, you have plenty to give those you love…but make sure to set firm boundaries so that you continue to take care of yourself and have something to give.

And remember, healthy is as healthy does. Sos honor yourself and be healthy.

In The Still of the Night

I am constantly amazed at this thing called life. Constantly amazed how beautiful it is, how much larger and more wonderful God’s plan is for you than what you ever thought possible. I am amazed at what you can accomplish if you ignore the haters, stand up for what you believe in and do what you know to be right.  I am truly amazed at what happens when you take care of yourself and tune out all the irrelevant outside noise.

When your life is red hot with wonderful blessings, it doesn’t matter how cold the weather. A wonderful man in my life, who is warm, wonderful, amazing, patient, kind and wise. Romantic; he brings me flowers, chocolates and tells me I am beautiful. And looking in his eyes, I know how lucky I am to have found such incredible human being.

More work than I can handle, I get calls and emails every day with someone wanting to interview and hire me. A new place to live soon, my family healthy, friends all around who love and support me. My favorite sunglasses in the car, lipstick on (hey, a girl must be prepared!) and the radio loud with my favorite music, it’s going to be a great day. It may be winter, but this is the Spring of my life, where there is more love surrounding me than ever before, and the possibilities are endless.

Yes, life has it’s ups and downs, in and outs, readons and doubts. But there is nothing so aweful in ly life that the word stands still. ife is breathing, heart beating, one moment at a time. With all those that I love near.

Maybe it’s my age, and the wisom that comes along with it. Maybe it’s just not caring what those who don;t like me thik anymore, maybe it’s that my life is too full to care about the negative things that used to drag me down. Maybe it’s being feisty enough to stand up for myself and those I love, maybe it’s knowing I am a strong independant woman who knows what life is about, what shold and shouldn’t happen, and what to do about it. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.

And in the still of the night, as I lie need thinking about the day and my life, I am so very thankful for all that I have, for all those who are in  my life, mostly because, all because, they help make my life a safe place. y remind me every day, that God’s spirit and Grace are within each of us. And they make life much more full, light, happy, and wondrous. And in the still of the night, as a drift to sleep, I say a prayer and give thanks for each and every one of them. Every little thins and every person, makes a big difference in my life.

The Bliss of Fall

The air is crisp and cool. The leaves are amazing colors of red, gold and orange. Sweaters have been brought out. It’s getting dark earlier in the day. The smell of fireplaces is already in the air at night. Windows are opened and blankets are put on the bed for extra warm sleeping. And festivals are in full swing, celebrating everything Fall.

There is something magic about this time of year. The before-the-holidays, after-the-summer, time of the year. I am excited this Fall, of all the wonderful things going on in my life. All the exciting new, all the comforting old, all the long night conversations of now and firelight moments to come. There will be hand holding, Hot Toddies with friends and warm bowls of homemade chili.

This time of year for me is…delicious.

I am excited about life, love, work and friends. Love. Yes, I may be excited about this the most of all. Something I have not experienced in many years. It is beautiful, pure, This holiday season will be more joyful than many in the past.

Most mostly because, all because, my heart is full this Fall, that things are blissful.

And as the weather turns colder and as we gently transfer into the season of the holidays, I plan to enjoy every moment.

Socialism Starts at Home

There is a saying that we have all heard: Charity begins at home. I truly believe this. You cannot be unkind to those with whom you live, and truly help others outside of your home.  To understand charity, it must be  joyful thing, spiritual and simple in it’s giving. But when does charity, compassion and good will turn into socialism? When those who can do for themselves, choose instead to depend on the kindness and compassion of others, because they are either too lazy, or feel too entitled, to get up off the couch.

I have a friend who is helping another friend and her son while they are going through a rough time. She lost her job and has a family to support, so she works while her sons go to school and her husband works part time. She and one of her sons lives with my friend. My friend was more than happy to help in this situation, she has been very fortunate and believes in giving back and helping others. But something has happened recently, a shift so to speak.

There is a lot of money being made…but somehow not enough to even cover a small portion of rent, monthly bills and groceries. And somehow, not enough time to help cook or clean either. When my friend complained and asked for help around the house, they balked. “We re not going to pick up after you,” they both echoed angrily. And indeed they don’t. “You make me feel like a second class citizen,” the woman told my friend. They brag that they picked up their own things, and that’s all they have to do.

Somehow, my friend’s kindness has turned into a socialist state. Her house “guests” are perfectly capable of cooking and cleaning themselves, especially if they cannot contribute financially. But they choose not to. When did they start expecting, and feeling entitled, to live in a nice house, free of charge, not having to cook, clean or have any responsibilities at all?

And the surprise – both these guests consider themselves conservative Republicans, The woman complains about having to pay so much in taxes to support those who don’t; want to work. She complains about how her heahtcare costs have skyrocketed because she has to pay the the health care of those who won’t work…but she expects she and her son to be able to continue to live in my friends house without contribution?
If someone gave me a free place to live when I had no where else to go…I  would be their cook, maid and anything else they needed! (anyone need a live-in cook and made??)

Regardless of a person’s political party, if you complain about having to support others because they will not work, then you cannot have the double standard of expecting someone else to support you when you can contribute and choose not to. Get up off the couch, do some house work, cook dinner, pay your share, or do something…but stop complaining.

All of us, which is about 15 people, are telling my friend she needs to get these people out of her house if they refuse to contribute, and she agrees. And I have to say, if my sister behaved in the way this lady is, I would have to remind her how we grew up – that you never take more than you are willing to give, that the world and the people in it do not owe you anything, that is you want something you work hard to get it, accept help when you are down and out – and contribute when you can. That is just the right thing to do.

Children need to be taught this as well. growing up we were extremely fortunate. We had everything we ever wanted – but we also had chores do to. We had to keep the house and our rooms clean. we had to study and keep our grades up, we had to be respectful. And yes, we did get spanked with the belt, even the switch. And there was even the wooden spoon when we were really bad. And if we did not do all of our chores, keep our grades up, and have good manners…all of our nice things were taken away.

Growing up, our House was not s socialist state. Our house was not a democracy – it was a dictatorship. And if we didn’t like it, we could get a job, move out and pay our own bills Needless to say, we stayed in the spoiled land of my parents house. And we did our shores. And kept our grades up (for the most part). And had good manners. We were taught that our parents did not owe us all these nice things, that it was a privilege to have them, and that too keep them, we had to earn them.

Charity is a good and beautiful thing. As a society, and as humans, we should all help those who are less fortunate. But the less fortunate have to be willing to contribute what they can as well. They have to be willing to work and give back, pay it forward when they can and help others to are down and out in the future. Without those who are less fortunate working so they can give back, society breaks down. And those who had extra to give suddenly find themselves coming up short.

And my friend is starting to see that. She has given her friends a choice – sit down and have a conversation about them contributing and stopping the complaints, or move out. Because her house is not a socialist state.

And the charity is only charity until it is taken for granted.




The Joy of Being over 40

One of the things I am very thankful for is being over 40. It’s wonderful and I am having a blast. I saw this posted on Facebook and had to share. So, to all the women over 40, enjoy!

CBS commentator, Andy Rooney on women over 40: “As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn…’t care what you think. (We really don’t)

If a woman over 40 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it’s usually more interesting. (If my boyfriend wants to watch the game, he should. I’ll be doing something with my best girlfriends, thankyouverymuch.)

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it. (This is very true, as an ex found out…and the bullet still has his name on it)

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated. (Yes we do. A good man deserves a lot of praise. And I make sure my wonderful boyfriend knows he is treasured every day.)

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. (We are petty amazing that way. So don’t even try the lies with us. Better to just get your things and leave quietly…)

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. (We know what to do and how to do it.) 

women over 40 are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her. (Yes we are. I never had a problem telling someone if they were  jerk before, but that gets even more so when you are over 40. We just don’t have the time or patience to be bothered with it. It’s a beautiful thing.)

We praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

Me being a total woman
Me being a total woman