February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day



I'm sending love out into the world today.

To those in the far reaches of the earth, who might need it most.

To those close-by, who might feel that they haven't a hand to hold, anywhere.

I'm sending love out into the world today

Because I know we're all a little frightened about what might happen next

or what might not happen.

I hope you can feel it.

It's traveling today, from my heart to yours.

Xoxo,

Louise

February 10, 2017

Message from the Sky



The older I grow, the more I love astrology.

I take it with a grain of salt but usually find it pretty fascinating.

There is a message in this full moon for all of us.

Happy lunar eclipse everyone,

Louise

February 04, 2017

A Track In The Snow



I am still sorely missing my friend who died last week. First there was shock of her sudden death, then the celebration of her life and now, the reality that my memories with her are done being made.

Especially hard I think because she is the first friend I have ever lost, but perhaps this kind of thing gets harder as life goes along.

Out of I don't know where, I gathered the strength to speak at her funeral. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have spoken at my Dad's funeral and also my 101-year-old cousin's but this was harder. There were many people I didn't know there, she was my age and there was also a camera telecasting the service to another room for the overflow in the UU church. 

I am so glad that I honored her though. I am always glad when I do things that scare the daylights out of me, but this time in particular, I had a story to tell. I honestly think she pulled me through it.


"I am Liz’s friend, Louise.

With Liz's passing, we have all lost a glowing light in our lives.

Last Thursday morning, like the flip of a light switch, she was gone.


For years Liz has been my walking buddy.

Who knows how many miles we treaded, 

while trying to sort out the complexities of life.

Lizbeth, 

You were my nature girl.

The girl who got me to see so many things that I would've missed had I not been with you.

A bird in a tree.

A track in the snow.

The first sign of spring.


You were a confidant.

You were my cheerleader.

You radiated love.

Who will ever forget your smile? 


Your soothing massages provided my 95-year-old mother and so many others, the human warmth that we all need.

After every massage my mom would say to me

"Liz is such a kind and loving person." 

And we all know that about you-

and it is what I will miss most,

my dear dear friend."

January 31, 2017

When A Wall Comes Down

In honor of my floral loving friend, Liz
I've been flattened this week with some very sad news. This past Thursday morning I lost my dear friend Liz, who was my longtime walking buddy. She died very suddenly from complications of the flu/asthma.

When I say that she was a very kind and loving person it doesn't come close to describing her fully.

Why is it that I opened my phone to text her the day before she died, actually put her name in, got interrupted with a phone call and never got back to it?

I would have known perhaps how sick she was. I could have helped.

Why is it that she drove herself to the emergency room on Wednesday night and it was too crowded, so she decided to try again in the morning?

Eight hours later, in the middle of the night, it was too late.

Why is that this human was so prominent in my life, and yet, I have not one selfie of us together?

As my one of my daughters said, maybe this is beautiful thing.

That maybe we were experiencing more important things together than capturing a moment.

As I prepare for her funeral tomorrow, I am writing a short tribute to share.

Hold your friends dearly. We never know when they are going to slip away.

With love,
Louise

January 16, 2017

The Chakra of Love

The beautiful lotus flower represents the heart chakra.

I've been reading up on the 7 chakras and especially liked learning more this week about the 4th chakra, our heart chakra. 

The chakra of love.

Love, the ultimate healing force.

Especially important this week, in the difficult political situations we face.

When our hearts are open and energy is freely flowing, we are not only loving to others, we are also more loving to ourselves.

When our hearts are open, we know when we need to say no and do some self-nurturing. 

Try smiling at a few strangers today and see what happens.

Love and warmth will always radiate and grow.

xo,
Louise

January 09, 2017

What Is



In the wake of all the crazy things that are happening, such as the shootings in Fort Lauderdale recently, I'm finding it helpful to come back to what is right and what is working, and more than ever, to be very grateful for it all.

We can sometimes get so caught up in WHAT ISN'T can we not?

On the verge of the new presidency, I thought a bit of humor is in order for this week (see below).

With love to you all,
Louise





December 31, 2016

Twenty-Seventeen

I couldn't help posting this because it's so accurate and funny. The delicious coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate that I had a love affair with, not to mention the plentiful glasses of cheer, are now living not so peacefully on my thighs omgoddie. On this last day of the year I'm looking forward to a sugar detox to ring in the new year.

Well not a total sugar detox but just scaling back to my little bits of daily dark chocolate delights :-)

Happy New Year to you all!

May we do what we love to do and do it often.

Xo,
Louise


December 26, 2016

Blessings Eternal


In the end, when all the hunting and gathering was done, love and my Christmas spirit arrived and I had a really nice time hosting. I think I just need to allow my pre-holiday frustrations to seep out sometimes, kind of like letting the air out of an overly full balloon.

On Christmas Eve my sister read a poem with a lovely message. It seemed especially poignant this year:






What is Christmas?

It is tenderness of the past,

courage for the future.

 It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow 
with blessings rich and eternal,

and that every path may lead to peace.

                       ~ Agnes Pharo



I hope that this year, you felt some blessings eternal too.

xo,
Louise



December 17, 2016

If Men Breastfed

Oh how I have missed writing but life has seemed too topsy-turvy lately while preparing to host Christmas.

Just between you and me, I hate the holiday hustle...frankly, besides the tree, sparkly white lights, yummy food and being together, I could just skip it. And even this I could skip. I know, I'm such a scrooge.

The best thing to me about December 25th is not having to do it again for 12 more months.

This year I vowed to keep it simple and not go near a mall. In fact, I vow to not go near a mall ever again if I can help it. I know this is stretching it however...although, we should get use to the concept as shopping malls are becoming a thing of the past, as they are slowly going extinct.

I'm enjoying buying from small independent shops and making things if I can and the rest is so easily done online with google images/google shopping. For instance, I wanted to get my 95-year-old mom some purple pajamas (her favorite color). They will go nicely with her purple glasses and her purple walker and her purple watch band :-)  Had I gone out into the world on foot to search far and wide for a pair that I like, it may have taken forever. However by googling them they were instantly in front me. Like magic.

For a bit of humor this week, I bring you this funny, over-the-top clip made by Naya, a breast pump company:



November 30, 2016

Drinking From The Sky

One breath

and then another

SLOWLY

GENTLY

DEEPLY

Breath is the link between our body and our mind,

where no one,

can steal our peace.


November 19, 2016

Simply Simple



Sixty-four year old make-up artist, Cindy Joseph, got her first modeling job the same day she cut off her last bit of colored hair and went all gray.

I love what she shares here about the beauty of aging and the make-up line she created called Boom, which is the first cosmetic line to celebrate aging, instead of covering it up.

I also love what she shares at 8:15 about how when we are revved up about life, how it changes the dewiness to our complexion.

More on Cindy's line and great philosophy here.


November 12, 2016

Only Tears



I've been trying to get my mind around that we are about to replace Obama with a very scary creature, as well as understand how all this happened.

Perhaps we had to fall this low to wake everyone up who voted for him, and voted out, so many critical things that we as humans and our environment need- including a sane leader.

No more words,

only tears.

Sending love your way.

October 31, 2016

Nourish

The two emotions that mess us up the most are fear and anger.

We can't be grateful and fearful at the same time, as we cannot be grateful and angry simultaneously.

But what can we find in fear and anger?

This I know- there is a lot to be learned in times of struggle.

We just need to be patience with ourselves, to get to the other side, so that we can see it.


With the election now within arms reach and so much uncertainly and fear in the air-

what can we do to nourish ourselves?

How do we step outside our heads and breath in optimism and gratitude?

How do we nurture ourselves with more nourishing thoughts?

We can't change the chaos in the world but we can change what we listen to and reroute the thoughts in our heads. Change the channel, as I like to say.

We can change who we are in the midst of chaos.

So today, I turn to gratitude and creativity.

Today I choose health and happiness.

Today, I choose love.
 

October 28, 2016

The Wholeness of Who We Are





This week, a beautiful clip by Elisa Romeo from Hay House Radio.

The soul is the wholeness of who we are,

The wisest and most loving part of us.

The part of us that really matters

and lasts forever.





October 22, 2016

What The?


Just a quickie today as I am knee deep in a freelance knitwear project. 

A few weeks ago we updated our Iphones to ios 10.0.2 and very soon were curiously out of data. 

What the heck is going on, I wondered...

It turns out that in that little agreement that we say yes to, before updating our phones (and never read), there is a clause that if wifi is weak, our phones will automatically use cellular data to improve the connection.

The cell phone companies must be loving this one.

Anyway should you like to turn it off, just go into "Settings" and then into "Cellular" and down at the bottom slide "Wi-fi Assist" to off.

This morning while it poured outside my kitchen window, I did the dishes while listening to Pandora. Burt Bacharach's 1964 ballad, "Anyone Who Had a Heart", sung by Dionne Warwick came on. The words are kind of co-dependent but the melody and her voice...are like sweet butter.

Thank you Burt & Dionne for inspiring me to spin across the kitchen 

with my dish towel, on a rainy day.



October 15, 2016

Inside of Us

Last weekend I took a solo journey to Kripalu, while Mr. Fix-It was away. I had never been to Kripalu and was curious to spend some time there, especially since I've been doing more yoga lately.

It had been a long time since I ventured off on my own like this. I don't think I've ever been alone for 3 days, even though there were plenty of other people there. It was a bit scary heading out, but also exciting to be doing it.

What was it going to be like to just be with myself for 3 days?

Who am I when everything else is not there?

Frequently lately, I've been craving more time alone. I've needed to cut the engine and stop taking care of what sometimes seems like a gazillion things and too many people.

I bet this rings a bell with many of you, nurturers that we are.

It turned out that I really liked the solitude, as I thought I would.

I stayed in a non-snoring dorm room with about 20 other women and decided to eat all my meals in the silent dining room. It was actually a relief not to speak with anyone unless I chose to.

One of my favorite things that I did all weekend was take a two hour paddle boarding class, where 12 of us paddled out into the lake, laid down on our boards and mediated among the lily pads and geese, while drifting back to shore. It was divine.

Peace and tranquility.

I found what I went looking for.

And a little bit more of me.


September 30, 2016

The Things That We Don't Know That We Don't Know


Sitting here beyond mid-life now, it's apparent to me finally what the gifts are that I was given.

Here is the question however, what gifts have we all been given that we aren't aware of because we haven't yet discovered them?

Like the things that we don't know that we don't know.

Maybe one of the best things about aging is discovering parts of ourselves that we have yet to uncover.

If we will only step out and allow ourselves to reach for them.

Perhaps I am a good pastel artist and I don't even know it because I haven't picked up a pastel since I was in grammar school.

For all of us, one of the gifts that we were given is our voice. The ability to speak the truth for ourselves. To say what it is that we are yearning for. To tell it like it is and not mask who we really are and what we want.

Our voice however takes practice as we are sometimes afraid to speak up and share our truths and opinions with others.

The energy to speak is located in our 5th chakra of self-expression.

It is where my energy gets blocked the most I know. When my voice changes pitch it is a warning that I am stressed about what it is I need to say or do.

Or not do.

Sometimes what I really need to do is stop doing.

I know you know what I'm talking about.

Sometimes we need to turn off our phones and shut out the world so we can slip away from the all the pings, and dings, and rings and see what else might happen.

Like the things that we don't even know that we don't know.

September 25, 2016

Naked Truth

This is my dear friend Chris who I have known for ages. She took this photo of herself after getting out of the shower the other day and sent it to me.

She is sixty-seven and without make-up.

Chris has always been a beauty and still very much is, especially with a smile that lights up her eyes.

Along with the photo, she sent this message:

"After decades of attention towards my genetic good fortune, baffled because my looks were no accomplishment of mine, my beauty began to change and my social value did too. It wasn't my turn anymore. I was always more important than my looks AND unprepared for life under a dimmer spotlight. Life in America as a woman was confusing on that count. Now I know the deal and recognize aging as a source of wisdom and grounding.

I've stopped lamenting about visible aging. One of my teachers also a former stunner, taught me "I was beautiful then and I'm beautiful now."

More on Chris and her inspirations on aging here. 

Also this week on Huffington Post: 14 women show off wrinkles to make a potent statement about aging.

September 15, 2016

Growing Harder



It has occurred to me in last few years that one of the keys to feeling well, healthy and staying fit is increasing and maintaining muscle mass.

After the age of 40, each year we lose 1/3 of a pound of muscle to fat.

The other truth is this:

Muscle burns 2.5 times as many calories as fat.

I know, I know...

So you can see what a slippery slope it is when we don't continue to build and maintain muscle.

When we don't build muscle, we usually put on more weight as we grow older. The worst thing is that the added weight causes all sorts of issues like knee, hip and back problems, not to mention diabetes. When we stop moving, because we are in pain or because we are unable to move, the slope unfortunately gets even slipperier.

Even at rest, muscle burns 2.5 times as many calories as fat.

There are many ways to build muscle but swimming is excellent because water is 12 times as dense as air. It's great resistance training. This makes swimming a far more effective way to tone muscles than any other cardio exercise on land.

Once we get over having to put on a bathing suit, and bear the 10 seconds it takes to adjust to the water temperature after plunging in, we can gradually add on more lengths each time we swim, until you start feeling like THIS.

Thank you to Sam at Team Sam Fitness for this week's inspiration.
( Sam is a cancer survivor and was hired along with me, to launch Nestle's new Boost product, Simply Complete.)

Thank you also to my mama for her inspiration. At 94 she is still strong enough to not sit on the toilet seat in public restrooms.

Every time she does it I'm amazed.


September 09, 2016

Putting It Down


It has been said that we have 60,000 thoughts every day.

Gosh is this true?

It has also been said that 90% of our thoughts are the same thoughts that we had the day before.

This I believe. I can see why it is beneficial to read books, seek different experiences and meet new people.

It's refreshing to change the channel in our heads and get rid of the thoughts that don't serve us. We all know the ones I'm talkin' about.

What thoughts in our daily mental chatter can we put down and lay to rest?

Kind of like a fall cleaning for the brain.

One of thoughts that I can put down is that I wish I was smarter. I wish I could talk about practically anything but I can't.

The other day I went to my first hot yoga class ever. I don't like hot weather and have resisted going, like the plague.

I thought I wouldn't like it but I loved it.

It felt like I was in a cocoon of rejuvenation- to stretch and sweat like I have never sweated before.

What a wonderful thing it is.

Thank you to Alyssa Hale for this week's inspiration.

August 26, 2016

There's A Crack In Everything


The only thing that I can compare waiting for the docu-ad to be released is being 9 months pregnant, anticipating the arrival of a child. I can't tell you how many times I have checked their webpage. 

Their website analytics person must be wondering what IP address is clicking on it no less than 3 times a day.

It's me, it's me!

Apparently the ad has been completed but is no doubt going through another editing phase.

Last weekend, my four siblings and I moved my mom out of her apartment, that she has loved at her retirement home. She is now in just one room there, so that she can receive more care.

She has handled all these late-in-life transitions so well. I only hope that I will be equally as chill when it comes time for me to give away all the things I have loved and lived with for so many years. A physical dismantling of a life. 

One step closer to heaven, as she continues to do her artwork.

As I've unpacked her treasures that I chose in the sometimes turbulent sibling divvy, I've been close to tears at times. Heavy in my heart but also very grateful. 

Grateful not so much for her treasures, but for the remarkable woman she continues to be.

How interesting (and hard)  it must be to watch your children chose from your life, what they would like to have in their own. 

Knowing that you can't take it with you.

xo

August 16, 2016

The Other Secret


The secret is to keep doing things we love to do.

I'm finding however that some of the things I've always loved to do seem to have had the wind blown out of them a little as I've grown older. Like it's time to move on and discover new things to love.

Are you finding this too?

I made my first vision board ever this month. Mr. Fix-It and I each made our own. I've always hesitated making one because I am more of a "be here now" person and don't think a whole lot about the future. But I surprised myself as I thought to include a list of simple life goals and things I want to get better at- like being a better listener and not taking things personally. Gosh, as a mom and a wife, is this ever a hard one to get over, but I can honestly say I've made a little headway already.

Also on my board is a reminder to always provide myself with plenty of flowers, music and human touch.

Oh and one more thing,

at least one daily dose of chocolate.