Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Mother's Love Never Dies

My friend TJ had a unique encounter that I thought would make a wonderful Mother's Day post. Here is her story:

"I do not know how mother got to Bali.  But the discovery produced a smile on my face.  Mother finally got to travel. Just the week before I had carefully spread her ashes on my brother’s grave before heading to the airport.

I had been unable to discard the vessel that had contained her ashes and had held it on my lap for the long flight. I had been sure it was empty.  I do not know why I looked inside.

We had been spending a magical week in Bali.  Our guide was a devote Hindu. Karma, reincarnation and their varied beliefs were constant topics of conversation.  I asked him about a resting place for Mother. His positive response was heartfelt; he would arrange everything.

Two days later, we drove to the ocean with mother’s ashes.  Waiting for us were several holy men, dressed in white. My mother was about to have a beautiful Hindu funeral.  The men chanted, incense was burned, chimes were rung and offerings were made.  Although in a language I did not understand, when she finally was given to the sea, I felt at peace. 

Surprisingly, many people questioned the appropriateness Hindu ceremony.
 “Would she have approved?”
 “I do not know.”
 Soon the answer would change.

Mother and I were never close. When I was barely 4, my 7-year-old brother, died.  My mother retreated from life and me.  She was a fearful, timid woman who spoke wishfully of world travel.  Getting a passport scared her so much she abandoned hope of travel. In opposition, I grew up energetic, outgoing and a world traveler. 

I was joyful mother had found her way to Bali.

Upon my return home, I scheduled a facial.  I went to my usual lady, who knew nothing of my travels or personal life as I enjoy quiet meditation during facials. This was not to be. 

With eyes closed, I felt an energy rush when she touched my left arm.  Purple lights went off in my head.  My body was tingling.  Afterwards, I asked her what had happened, referencing only the purple light.  Avoiding eye contact, she told me, “Your mother contacted me when I touched your left arm and energy began to flow through you.  She told me to tell you she had a blast.  She felt very important and it was the nicest thing you have ever done for her.”

I was stunned and at a loss for words. I felt love flowing between mother and myself.

I am looking forward to Mother’s Day secure in the knowledge a mother’s love never dies."

Monday, May 4, 2015

4 Deadly Sins of Gift Buying

With spring and summer comes many occasions to buy gifts or presents. It seems that there are many more birthdays during this time of year. From Weddings, showers, baby gifts, graduations, birthday gifts, get well, retirement, or anniversary occasions, a gift needs to be bought.

Gift buying can be a resentful chore or a fun experience. I have some tips so you never make a faux pas and break even one of the ‘deadly sins of gift buying’.

Here are the sins:

1. Something that says to the person they are fat
This includes gym memberships, a trainer, or a subscription to a diet plan.  If the person requests this gift, it is still dicey and you are treading on thin ice.

2. Something that says they are old
This includes wrinkle creams, makeovers, or AARP membership. (My own company’s menopause pajamas can be a wonderful gift when presented as ‘travel pajamas’).

3. Something that says they are not very smart
This includes beginning classes in anything, Rosetta Stone, on-line courses, or books they have never shown an interest.

4. Re-gifted anything
If you didn’t like it why would anyone else? You can rationalize all you want!

Now if the recipient of your gift has expressed complete desire for any of the items from the sins that may be interpreted as fat, old or dumb, buy it. Be aware it still carries a risk component.

Successful Gift Buying Tips:
Wedding, baby showers, wedding showers gifts will be well received are those you buy from their registry. Sounds boring but it is safe.

Graduations, retirement gifts can be fun or practical. For graduates I like an electric teakettle with a supply of soup, noodle packages, hot chocolate etc. presented in a laundry bag. For retirees I like a collection of flip-flops or hats in a personalized bag or basket.

For Birthdays in the summer I like beach stuff. Big body towels, big rubber toys, squirt guns etc. presented in a beach bag.

For anniversaries I like special food or wine items. Something consumable because if it is a 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, or 50th party, they really don’t need some THING!

Get-well gifts are always a tough gift. If they are recovering or not has to be weighed before you buy. Here a film DVD is safe.

Do you have any gift-buying sins or gift buying suggestions?

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Does Fishing and Blogging Have in Common?

As I was eating smoked salmon this morning that we smoked from the fall salmon run our neighbor caught I was thinking about my next blog. That’s when the similarities hit me. Fishing and blogging are similar activates. Here are the attributes for both activities:


Blogging requires patience to come up with an idea, then write it, then edit it, then think of ways to improve it and then rewrite it and then hope someone will read it and then read a comment from a reader and then maybe another comment! If you are really lucky your blog post will be picked up or run in a wider circulation venue.

Fishing similarities are requiring patience to wait with your line out, reel it in and recast, get a nibble but nope, recast and wait and then a bite and reel it in and you landed a fish!

Sometime a blog or a fishing adventure turns up nothing. No one comments, or you don’t catch a fish. Then other times the blogging and fishing Gods collide and you get many comments or reel in your quota of fish! Those thrills and rewards are what keep us going, keep us blogging and fishing.

Do you fish?
Do you blog?

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Profound Difference Between Men and Women, (according to my unscientific research)

Here is the scenario:
You are preparing some food item and you are out of a needed ingredient. You are home from work and you have changed into comfy clothes.

Here is the question:
Do you get dressed and head off to the store?

Here are the answers from some of my 50+ women friends:

1    1.    NO. I have changed into comfy clothes; I’d make something else.
2.    Maybe if I didn’t take my make-up off yet.
3.    Did I take my bra off? If I did, no way!
4.    If it is winter and I can throw on a coat.
5.    Of course not. Go out that time of day after working all day? I would be too tired by the time I got back home to make anything!

Here are answers from some 50+ men friends:

1    1.    Sure
2.    Yes
3.    I’d pick up something else too

Notice the men do not have any hesitations about changing back into clothes, underwear, makeup, and time of day or season.

I asked some women in their 20’s and 30’s the same question. Their answers were more like the men, unless they had small children, than the 50+ year-old women! So what happened? Here are my conclusions:

1    1.    At 50+ we women know the one time we rush to the market without make-up wearing a baseball hat is the time we bump into several people we haven’t seen in a long time!
2.    We 50+ women don’t have the extra energy.
3.    Men at 50+ don’t’ care what they look like if they meet someone. In fact they might go out for a beer. Women would rather cut off their arm!
4.    Men think it will just take less than a half-hour so what is the big deal?
5.    Young women look good with little effort, and have more energy than their 50+ counterparts!

Tell me your answer. Do you concur or not?