Friday, June 27, 2014

Ageism and the Modern Woman

After turning 50, I started noticing something - Something trivial, but still annoying. Advertisers apparently no longer spoke to me, a 50 something, empty nester woman. The only commercials and ads directed to my generation seem to be Viagra, Cialis, those horrible undergarments with that catchy twist tune, and numerous other pharmaceutical products that will take care of my urinary incontinence and depression.  
Heck, even so called “anti-aging” products use stunningly gorgeous 27 year old models that wouldn’t know an age spot or wrinkle unless it bit her on her butt. Seriously. Guess what advertisers? Just today I used shampoo and conditioner, soap and razors. I’m wearing makeup. I did the dishes and washed two loads of clothes. I filled my car tank with gas yesterday, after shopping at Target (another advertiser who seems to think that only 25 year old girls shop there). Shampoo commercials only show young girls with long tresses, shining and blowing in the wind (after they’ve tied their hair into some ridiculous knot or something). Laundry detergent commercials always center on a young family with unruly kids smearing popsicles or pudding or mud all over themselves. They should see my husband’s grimy clothes after he’s mowed the lawn; now that would be quite the demonstration!

When a 50 plus year old woman, or man for that matter, is used in advertising or media, it’s either for the above mentioned Cialis ad, or they’re made out to be a buffoon who can’t negotiate the internet or their smartphone. Those “funny” parental text memes? Yeah, they’re offensive. Mom’s and Dad’s are stupid y’all! LOLz.  Whatever. Remember seeing the SNL skit featuring Sally O’Mally? The message? If you’re 50 you must be obnoxious and wear stretchy jumpsuits!

But most 50 something year old women I know are pretty amazing. Accomplished. Hilarious. Active.  We’re conservative, liberal, educated, parents, grandparents, wives, divorcees or widows. We’re caretakers to our aging parents, sandwiched between time spent with our children and grandchildren. We’re people. We matter. We have value.
* Like my friend Robin, who works out like a fiend, has the body of a 25 year old, can sing better than most girls from Nashville, organizes giant charity events and wears slammin’ stilettos like it’s nobody’s business.
* Or my amazing girlfriends Terri and Lynn who I had the pleasure of spending a leisurely few days with last week. We danced to JLo, sang at the top of our lungs, and had more fun than you can imagine. Terri mentors pageant contestants and Lynn is one of the most dynamic women I know. (just don’t take her high heels away from her, she will cut you)
* My friend Judy, who is a talented, accomplished artist.
* Her sister Sandy who is not only a breast cancer survivor, but a barrel racer!
* My facebook friend Denise, whose sense of humor has seen her through hard times and the long distance separation from her grown son.
* My friends Donna and Judy, who created a wine beverage that sells like crazy, employ and empower other women, and generously give back to their community.
* Carla, who survived kidney disease, and is an amazing mom and example to her wonderful son.
* My former teacher Connie, who is a diehard Jimmy Buffet fan and  an incredible example of resilience, and is one of the coolest women I know.
* Me? I know how to use the “interweb” and am proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Word, Excel and Quickbooks. I navigate social media and embrace and enjoy using Instagram, facebook and Twitter. I’m a wife and a new grandmother.

We aren’t caricatures, and  wouldn’t be caught dead in a red stretchy jumpsuit if our lives depended on it! We lived through the 80’s, been there, done that!

Yes, I’m older- maybe even wiser. (Maybe) But I’m tired of being insulted. So here’s to my sisters. All of you, because even if you’re not here yet, you will be one day! (Sooner than you think), and I hope that the existing ageism in our society is dead and gone by then, along with pharmaceutical ads and Viagra commercials!

(I’d love for you to give a shout out to your favorite fabulous 50 something woman!)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Springtime on the Chute




  1. A sloping channel or slide for conveying things to a lower level.

In other words, it's a creek, a ditch, a drain...whatever. It's interesting and kind of pretty,
in a Louisiana kind of way. I'm sure in the summer it will be a haven for skeeters
and such, but for now, we're enjoying it. There's lots of interesting wildlife here.
Birds I'm not familiar with, and weeds and wildflowers galore.

have no idea what kind of bird this little dude is. He's quite vocal
and hangs out on the ground. If you are a bird person, please let me know!
He's driving Daisy crazy! LOL

A few more views of the chute and birds below...

I think these are Sandpipers. Maybe?

Some kind of tall white water bird shown below. Like I said...I really need
a bird person to help me identify all these birds!

In the afternoons and evenings we love to hang out on our patio and enjoy the
nature show!
This past weekend was chilly, but we didn't let it keep us inside.
We grilled out, then huddled under blankets and relaxed. We made
THE MOST DELICIOUS grilled chicken on Friday night, then for Cinco de Mayo,
we used the same marinade recipe and grilled flank steak. SO GOOD!
We served the flank steak with a black bean and corn salsa.
Oh, and did I mention the marinade recipe contains tequila? Oh yeah.
We've also discovered Mission Artisanal Tortillas in Flax and Blue Corn.
So much better than a plane old flour tortilla! 

So, by special request, here is the marinade recipe and the salsa recipe as well.
Note: We cut the recipe in half for the chicken breasts, since we just had two.
We followed the recipe for the flank steak. 

Tequila Marinade
 1/2 cup clear tequila
Juice of 2 large lemons, freshly squeezed (look for Meyer lemons, they're awesome)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. chili powder
1 seeded and diced jalapeno
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together. Place meat in ziploc bag or shallow baking dish
and marinate for at least 6 hours in your refrigerator. Make sure the meat is
well coated with the marinade. Preheat your grill, and prepare the grate with oil,
so the chicken or steak won't stick.
Grill chicken until golden about ten minutes per side, depending on your grill
and the size of the chicken.
Grill flank steak on HIGH for 7 minutes on one side, 5 minutes on the other side.
Then remove from the grill, tent with aluminum foil and let the meat rest
for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve with tortillas and Black Bean and Corn Salsa.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 can Mexicorn, drained
1 can RoTel tomatoes drained (I use the original style)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one large lime
1/4 cup clear tequila
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
(optional) 1 avocado sliced or chopped.

Mix all ingredients together, and chill in refrigerator for several hours
before serving.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


So here I Egypt. Not really. But it feels like it at times. Away from my family. Away from my friends. Away from the job I loved. Away from the place that I knew as "home". Out of my comfort zone. It's been an adjustment.
Adjusting to my new house has been interesting. I keep losing stuff that I unpacked when I was in an exhausted daze. I'll remember where something was in the old house, but have absolutely no clue where it is in our new house. I can't remember what I got rid of, and what I kept. Seriously. I was in a daze. Try moving two weeks before Christmas. I do not recommend it to anyone! Ever!
Adjusting to my new city has been an adventure. It's been fun trying new restaurants, new shops, new grocery stores.I'm starting to learn my way around, finding shortcuts and different routes around town. I just keep wishing my "old" friends were here to experience it all with me.
Adjusting to a new church is difficult. We were already searching for a new church home before we moved. We just hadn't landed anywhere, so we were in a state of "church limbo" for awhile. We've visited two churches here, and think we've finally found a church we'll be able to call home. It's close to our neighborhood, so I hope I can be as involved there as I used to be at FBC, back in the day. We've joined a class that we like, so we will be moving our letter there in a few weeks.
I've joined Bible Study Fellowship. The study this year has been on Genesis, and oh my goodness, it's just what I needed. God has spoken to me so loudly and clearly. The verse (Genesis 26:3) in the photo above literally brought me to my knees when I read it. God gave me His confirmation that we are right where He wants us to be.  I don't know why. It really doesn't matter. It's out of my comfort zone, but we're here. Together. Just one more leg in our journey. We've now moved 13 times in our almost 31 years of marriage. We were just blessed to take a nice long pit stop in Texarkana for 18 of those years. I've also learned in Genesis how Joseph endured incredible hardship and pain, but never lost his faith, keeping his focus on God. He looked for God, and trusted God in his circumstances, never allowing himself to have a pity party. (I've lost count of how many pity parties I've had) So, like Joseph, I'm going to bloom where I'm planted and try to be a blessing to others.
So I have a new view. A fresh new life. Winter is over, Spring is here..
Now go and bloom where you're planted!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Leaving My Heart In Texarkana: Letting Go

Tonight will be the last night we spend in our Texarkana house. It's a bittersweet turning point for us. This old house has nurtured us, and we've so many wonderful memories here. 
We've experienced first days of school, and graduations. Homecomings, dances, and proms. Birthday parties, and barbecues. Ice storms and  hail storms. First dates, and broken hearts. Learning to drive, and wrecks. Broken bones, concussions, and surgeries. Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Football, Volleyball. Going to college and graduating college!! Engagements, showers, and two weddings!! Our patio and backyard evolved from a baseball diamond and volleyball court to a relaxing patio perfect for wine and candlelight. We've opened and closed a business, and experienced the heartache and disappointment when it didn't work out quite the way we wanted it to. Through all of that, this house on Williamsburg was our haven, and our port in the storm.
And this town embraced and accepted and loved us, from the moment we arrived in 1994. Our home church at FBC was the perfect place to raise our children, and we made so many wonderful friends there. Pleasant Grove was the best school we could have chosen for Amanda and Greg, and we are forever thankful for the amazing teachers and coaches they had there.

And now we let go. At the Christmas concert Sunday night, Danny Gokey talked about letting go, and quoted Romans 8:27-29: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

Everything that's happened to us here in Texarkana, and all of our experiences, both good and bad, have shaped us and prepared us for this. So we're stepping out in faith, and trusting God, and we know that He's leading us right where He wants us to be. We know that we have new friends, new memories and new experiences waiting for us in our new home.
(but I leave a little piece of my heart here in Texarkana)
Much love to you all!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012


I'm cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning. And organizing, and packing and staging. Trouble is, I keep getting sidetracked by my knick-knacks and the memories attached to them. I'm a saver. I save things.Some worth saving, some SO not worth saving!  I saved a Lego Santa that Greg made me years ago. (worth saving). A bunch of keys I have no idea what they go to! (not worth saving-or maybe they are???) Pictures, pictures, pictures. (worth saving) Lotions and potions and creams and gels and makeup and sprays, six trashbags full to be exact. (not worth saving)

Now I've moved on to the kitchen/living areas of the house. I've packed away lots of framed pictures today, because that's what all the staging pros and HGTV says you're supposed to do. "de-personalizing" it's called. Yep. That's exactly what it is. Anyway, I found a stash of notes and cards from my precious Mom. So glad I saved those! (We should write more real notes these days, and send less emails and texts! Just my opinion.) Inside one of those notes I found this printed poem, with a note from my Mom thanking me for being her precious daughter. What an honor to be hers. As I wipe away the tears, I thought I'd share it with you...

 Two Mothers Remembered
by Joann Snow Duncanson
I had two Mothers - two Mothers I claim
Two different people, yet with the same name.

Two separate women, diverse by design,
But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,
Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.

She was the one whose features I bear,
Complete with the facial expressions I wear.

She gave me her love, which follows me yet,
Along with the examples in life that she set.

As I got older, she somehow younger grew,
And we'd laugh as just Mothers and daughters should do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,
And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.

So quickly she changed and turned into the other,
A stranger who dressed in the clothes of my Mother.

Oh, she looked the same, at least at arm's length,
But now she was the child and I was her strength.

We'd come full circle, we women three,
My Mother the first, the second and me.

And if my own children should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes and the old goes away.

I'd ask of them nothing that I didn't do.
Love both of your Mothers as both have loved you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

So. It's inevitable. I'm about to turn fifty. Five-Oh. Uh-Oh. I'm usually very laid back about birthdays. But this one, well....this one hurts. Not sure why. Well. Actually I think I do know why. It sounds old. Fifty. Many of my friends have already pushed that envelope, and in a really good way. I've got some dang good lookin' friends. Men and Women who make Fifty look like child's play. Physically fit, active, stylish, fun loving. They're setting a wonderful example for me as I approach my birthday.

It's really remarkable how quickly time seems to pass now. Especially from my 20's on. During my 20's I was having and raising my babies. Moved 11 times. In my 30's I was a "Stay at Home Mom", doing the classroom Mom, Sunday School teacher, PTA volunteer thing. In my 40's I've partnered with my husband and opened, operated, and sadly, closed the business. I've gone to work full time, leaving the "housewife" part of my life behind. My kids have completed their education, begun their careers and married the loves of their lives. I'm sure that one day they'll be startled to find that they too have watched the years stream by quickly.

I know enough now to know that I will never know it all. That as cliche as it sounds, we're never through learning. That there is ALWAYS something more to do, to learn. I KNOW that God has a plan for me, and that He's preparing a way for me to accomplish His plans. I know that I'm a poor sinner, but that my life experiences, good and bad, have all shaped me and helped make me who I am now and who I will be as I grow even older (hopefully).

I know that the best decision I ever made probably seemed like the most foolish, when I married John almost 30 years ago at the tender age of 20. He's the love of my life, more handsome at 50 than he was at 20. He's been the best husband, the best father, my anchor and my security. What a blessing.

This has been quite a ramble. But if you know me, you know that's just how I roll. I'm not ready for a rocking chair. I still want to drive my convertible Mustang (fast) with the top down and my hair blowing in the wind. I want to travel, but don't have the time. I want to spend MORE TIME with the ones I love, because I'm finding that really is the only thing that matters to me anymore. I don't have an actual bucket list, but there are things I hope to do: go to Hawaii, see a Packers game in Green Bay, take an Alaskan cruise, go to Italy. I hope one day to have an incredible relationship with my future grandchildren, and that they will KNOW me and love me. See, I've got a long way to go and a short time to get there, as the song goes. Happy Birthday to me, and thanks for reading...


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NiftySwank: Doing vs. Waiting


NiftySwank: Doing vs. Waiting

And my problem is in the waiting. I just might possibly be the most IMPATIENT woman on the planet. I want things, and I want them now. I want results, and I want them now. Which is weird, considering I'm also the Queen of Procrastination. Weird, much?

Cheryl's Recipe Archives: Earthquake Cake - Two Versions

Cheryl's Recipe Archives: Earthquake Cake - Two Versions
Definitely going to have to try this recipe soon! Sounds delish!