Book of the Month: “Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner

A beautifully-written book in all aspects.  Here are a couple of my favorite passages:

“Seen in geological perspective, we are fossils in the making, to be buried and eventually exposed again for the puzzlement of creatures of later eras.  Seen in either geological or biological terms, we don’t warrant attention as individuals.  One of us doesn’t differ that much from another, each generation repeats its parents, the works we build to outlast us are not much more enduring than anthills, and much less so than coral reefs.  Here everything returns upon itself, repeats and renews itself, and present can hardly be told from past.” (p. 4)

“Long-continued disability makes some people saintly, some self-pitying, some bitter.  It has only clarified Sally and made her more herself.” (p. 8)

Yours in aging with class,

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Thought for the Day

Patricia Polacco's photo.

Yours in aging with class,

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Visiting the Old Folk

Four Generations

Four Generations – with my son and father… Grandson, Sean, is one yrs old.







Sean and Great-Grandpa... playing in the apple orchard

Sean Eliot (Great-Grandpa’s namesake) and Great-Grandpa playing in the apple orchard


Little treasures come to visit,
Four and two and one.
Energy abounding constant,
Forts to build, such fun!

Max had to wear my jacket to walk the dogs early in the morning.  His clothes were in the bedroom with his sister, still sleeping.

Max (age 4) had to wear my jacket to walk the dogs early in the morning because his clothes were in the bedroom with his sister, still sleeping.











Dyeing colored eggs for Easter
Yello, red, and brown.
Baskets full of candied chocolate,
Hunting all around.

Zoe (age 2) and Daddy, my son

Zoe (age 2) and her Daddy, my son

Zoe and Max (age 4) eating Easter candy.  Our puppies looking on.

Zoe and Max eating Easter candy. Our puppies looking on.









Sean and his Mom (my DIL)

Sean and his Mom (my DIL)

My son, Grandkids, DIL, and Dad

My son, Grandkids, DIL, and Dad


Weekend over rapidly,
All packed up and gone.
Quiet house is deafening,
Sadness lingers on.

Back to former work and life,
Routine settles in.
Cleaning up the odds and ends, but
Remnants found within.

Where’s the doorstop to our room?
Clay smushed on the floor.
Happy memories abound,
Smiling evermore…

Yours in aging with class,







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Har har har…

Check out “Success,” and don’t forget to laugh at least once a day.  😉


Yours in aging with class,

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New Gardens For a Changing World, Part 2

Speaking of New Gardens for a Changing World and wildflowers, check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s gardens.

Elizabeth is one of my favorite writers and happens to be selling her home in Frenchtown, NJ, one of the most attractive and remarkable houses I have ever seen.

(Photo (by Sam Oberter) and article on the house from

In this video, she delightfully whimsically narrates a tour of the inside; at 13.43, she’ll treat you to her splendid vegetable, flower, and herb gardens.

This photo, taken by Jessica Antola, comes from’s article, Elizabeth Gilbert, Full Bloom.

Wish I could buy this house.  Sigh…

Yours in aging with class,

P.S.  BTW, gardening aficionados will certainly want to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book, The Signature of All Things.


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It’s Come to Taking Drastic Measures…

Guess what?  I’m finally taking a major plunge…

It all started a year ago when I went on my first cleanse program...for ten days.  Before the cleanse, I had been chronically tired, bloated, and my back itched.  And these symptoms disappeared at the end of the ten days.

Although I didn’t take the time to figure out what foods were having detrimental effects on my particular body, since that time, I’ve been focused on healthier food habits:  reading ingredient labels, eating organic as much as possible, and studying nutrition.  I’ve been eating much healthier since then, but it hasn’t been good enough because I’m back to scratching my itchy back and feeling continually exhausted.  As if this weren’t enough, I suffered a chronic cough last winter that lasted three months.

My gut tells me the culprit is sugar.  I have been craving sugar since childhood and have been in denial about it.  When my sister and I were kids, we sneaked to the store down the street regularly, behind my mother’s back, to buy ice cream and candy as much as we possibly could.  We begged our friends to buy us stuff.  We even climbed over the chain link fence behind the store to retrieve empty Coca-Cola bottles that had been returned for deposit, only to return them again for coins to buy more sweets.

Heck, in my 20s, I used to have one of these every day:

(The photo of this delectable banana split comes from the talented food photographer, Stephanie Salo at


And the older I get, the worse this addiction has become.

This June, I will be 65.  A milestone.  And so I’ve been thinking the time has finally come to address this sugar monster once and for all.  Yet, I want to find a sense of balance — to savor my beloved sweets once in a while without overdoing.

My first attempt involved signing up for two separate “diets.”  It didn’t work.  I’m just not able to enjoy an occasional small amount of sweets.  It triggers bingeing on tasty, sugary provender and bingeing on foods in general.  It’s all or nothing with me.

It wasn’t until a few days ago, when I read this post, Our Year of No Sugar:  One Family’s Grand Adventure by Eve O. Schaub, that it occurred to me to try something drastic.  When she wrote, “What I didn’t expect was how not eating sugar would make me feel better in a very real and tangible way…It was subtle, but noticeable; the longer I went on eating without added sugar, the better and more energetic I felt.”

I want some of that!

I also just finished Dr. Kelly Turner’s recently-published masterpiece Radical Remission:  Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, and what she says about the health evils of sugar confirmed again that I must do something drastic.

Anyone, not just cancer patients, can benefit from Dr. Turner’s book and what she says about sugar (see p. 15):

While researchers are still not clear whether a high-sugar diet causes cancer, what we do know is that once cancer cells are in your body, they consume anywhere from 10 to 50 times more glucose than normal cells do.  Therefore, it makes logical sense for cancer patients to cut as much refined sugar from their diets as possible, in order to avoid ‘feeding’ their cancer cells, and instead rely on the glucose found naturally in vegetables and fruits.”

Check out for more informative, fascinating details.

If I analyze how happy I am when I gorge on sweets, the answer is, short-term “happy” for sure, but long-term, bottom-line “happy,” not so.  And because of all of the above, my plan is to give up sugar for a year.  I’ll keep you posted on this drastic journey.

Yours in aging with class,

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Inspiration for the Month: New Gardens for a Changing World

If I had my own yard, I would scatter wildflower seeds everywhere.  This is one of my dreams.  And so I was happy to come across excerpts from Jane Goodall’s new book Seeds of Hope in an article by Bill Moyers:

Last month Gombe videographer Bill Wallauer wrote to tell me about how he and his wife, Kristin, were transforming their “typical ridiculous American lawn” into a native plant habitat for bees and other insects and birds and a whole host of small creatures.

Right now the biggest new gardening trend in the United States is the elimination of fertilizer-​dependent and water-​draining grass lawns. Instead, gardeners are discovering the joys of creating more environmentally friendly habitats with native trees and plants — those that have been living in the area for hundreds of years and are adapted to the climate.

“My favorite spot is our beautiful native-​woodland-​wildflowers area, which has species like wild ginger, wild leak, and trillium,” he recently wrote to me. So far he has recorded 37 bird species in their “tiny little backyard.”

Almost everyone I meet wants to save wild animals and insects, but they often don’t realize how important it is to preserve the anchors of the wildlife community — the native plants.


Jane Goodall

Involving Children in Planting Gardens (Photo from

Nice, eh?!?

Yours in aging with class,

P.S.  Photo of Jane Goodall found at this link.

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