Sunday, October 12, 2014

Embracing Autumn

Autumn at home - photo credit Karen Horn
I've never really cared much for autumn but I'm so looking forward to it this year. After a long, dry summer here in drought stricken far-northern California, the recent bit of rain (and more that we anticipate in the coming week) provides welcome relief. Driving to town yesterday, I noticed that some of the grass along the road has even greened up, which provides a nice contrast to the turning colors of the leaves. And the cooler daytime temperatures, light breeze and crisp-ish night air are sure appreciated.

Then I realized that I am now firmly in autumn in my life seasons, as well. Hmm... How did that happen? Where did summer go?

Two things have happened recently that have made me think more about the seasons of life.

First, I've been spending some time visiting at a rehab hospital that also includes long-term care, which has given me more than a glimpse at life's winter season. Not pretty for many but as with other seasons, each person's experience is largely based on attitude. While some folks choose to continue to live their life despite failing health, others choose to simply exist. When I reach winter, I want to be in the first group.

Secondly, a woman I've known several decades just died unexpectedly at the young age of 71. Although I intend to live to 100, you just never know how much time you really have left. Rather than being depressed by this fact, I'm reminded of how important it is to really live each day.

So... I'm embracing autumn. Care to join me?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Advanced Age at 65?

In researching specific risk factors recently, I discovered that "advanced age" is 65 or older. Say what? I'm less than a decade from entering advanced age? I thought reaching advanced age wouldn't happen until in the 80s. Maybe even the 90s. For some, I guess it could be 75 or so. But 65? This just can't be right! Fortunately, right after making this shocking and horrifying discovery, I happened upon Grandma Gatewood's Walk.

Have you ever heard of Emma Gatewood? A few years before I was even born, this woman hiked the Appalachian Trail...when she was 67! Not only did she thru-hike the whole 2,000+ miles way back in 1955, she did it with just a few items stuffed in a homemade denim bag thrown over her shoulder.

Wearing Keds and packing a change of clothes and a few other necessities (she didn't even have a sleeping bag!), she's the first woman to make the journey and the fifth hiker to walk the trail end to end. And did I mention she was 67?

If that's not impressive enough, she actually thru-hiked the AT three times before she turned 76. Now that's a lot of walking!

A few years ago, I posted about Grace Small, the Hitchhiking Grandmother. These women are such an inspiration! Not that I aspire to follow in their footsteps, mind you. But it sure reinforces that age doesn't have to dictate what you can accomplish and "advanced age" at 65 is just a bunch of BS.

NOTE: Book image is an affiliate link. As I've said before, this is the easiest way I know to include photos in blog posts. If you're signed up with Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free like I did. Otherwise, check your local library.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kindle Unlimited is...NOT

I accidentally signed up for a trial subscription to Kindle Unlimited and was considering continuing on for $9.99 per month after my trial ends in early October but now I'm not so sure. You see, despite the name, "Kindle Unlimited" really isn't unlimited after all. Yep, that's right. NOT unlimited.

What do I mean? Well, as soon as I got my welcome email after my unintentional signup, I quick-like downloaded a novel I've been wanting to read. Then over the next few days, I downloaded some nonfiction that sounded interesting. So far, so good. Then yesterday, I tried to download another title and got the following message:

Sorry if it's a little blurry but you get the idea. If I can only have 10 books at a time, in what universe would this be considered "unlimited"? Hmm. It's making that $9.99 per month for unlimited books way less attractive...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

99 Days Until Christmas Tip-a-Day Action Plan

What? Only 99 days until Christmas? Geez, it didn't take much to get me back to blogging, did it?

Well, anyway, come September 18th, there will only be 99 days until Christmas. Want to join me in getting ready this year?

99 Days Until Christmas is FREE on Amazon right now so go grab a copy. But if you miss the free period, it's part of a 99 Tips for 99 Cents series so will cost less than a dollar when it's full price.

Let's get ready for Christmas!

(BTW - this is an affiliate link beings that's the easiest way I know to get an image to an Amazon item.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Good-bye Blogging! Final Post at The Best 50 Years

I quit! After nearly six years posting here at The Best 50 Years, I've finally had least for now. Why? Well, blogging just isn't fun anymore and so I've decided not to do it. Duh. Here I am, living my BEST 50 years and yet allowing the big G and all things computer/internet to steal my peace. How stupid is that?

Why I'm quitting - at least for now...

The final straw is what appears to be my total inability to renew my domain name (not this least not yet!) through Google. Way back in the day, I purchased this domain and one other when I started blogs through Blogger. It was super easy, there was no problem with getting the right custom domain name attached to the right blog - what could be better? Well, over the years, the big G has made what to me are incomprehensible and inexplicable changes and I can't keep up. Nor do I want to. So I quit. I have so many better things to do with my time.

Now what?

For the time being, The Best 50 Years will remain as is. I'm just walking away but I'm not taking it down. After all, one of the reasons I posted here was so that I had an easy way to find certain info again. Anyway, this domain name is good until September so maybe by then, I can figure out where to go to renew. As for the one that expires in a few days? Well, I've decided I don't even care. I think it's served its purpose and I'm ok with letting it go.

9/10/14 UPDATE - Beings the domain successfully auto-renewed and I've been away long enough I don't hate it anymore AND I have a few things to say again, I'm back to blogging...

At least for today...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Custom Memorial Quilt Finished!

This quilt is finally finished! After several design changes, I got  the depth I wanted and now it's forever in fabric instead of just being in my head or on paper. 

For a young widow and her toddler son, it will lay across her bed until he's older, which is why she requested a size and orientation appropriate for a twin bed.

You may notice the clothes pins running down the left side in the first pic. Well, I have no place to hang a quilt this size right side up for photos, so we hung it sideways and then rotated the photo. See? 
Beings the backing was regular-width fabric, I matched the pattern when I sewed it together. Then I quilted it by sewing around the squares and rectangles. I'm really happy with the way this quilt turned out. As usual, it is now my favorite!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose!

Had to share another gem  from Morna McEver Golletz. I get her email newsletter regularly and always find some pearls therein. The question she posed today is this:

Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Are You Actually Enjoying Your Life?

Enjoy your life!
Just read a post by Shelagh Cummins, a business trainer & consultant for Mom Entrepreneurs and co-founder of, and had to share a nugget of wisdom that applies to any area of life. In her Overcome Potential Obstacles post, Shelagh suggests creating a chart that lists potential obstacles you may need to overcome and your solution. The one that really hit home with me is this:
You realize halfway through the year that you’re not enjoying what you’re doing / You’re the boss… you get to close shop or hire someone.
Think about it - you really ARE the boss. While Shelagh is talking specifically about business, I want to go one step further and ask, "Are you enjoying your life?" If not, what can you do about it? What changes can you make to quit doing or make easier the things you don't enjoy?

Then over at Clear Voice Branding, Heather Poduska (personal branding strategist for female entrepreneurs) shares what to do when you don't see results. Again, this advice is aimed at business, but it applies to all areas of life. What specifically hit home with me is this:
You may not be focusing on the right activities...being busy and being productive are not the same thing...(what) activities...are a) absolutely necessary to run your business b) which ones have historically led to the kinds of results you are looking for. If an activity doesn’t fall into one of those two categories, either cut back on it or ditch it completely.
Beings it's the first day of Spring (yippee!!!) and time to do some spring cleaning, I think I'll focus on some life areas to spruce up in addition to those home areas that need attention. How about you? Is how you're spending your time either necessary or leading to the results you desire? If not, what can you do about it?