March 29, 2012

Aging Gracefully in Song

This week's beauty is Dr. Lynn Schriner who is 57 years old. In college she toured with the rock band Dame around Europe and afterward was critically injured by a pesticide poisoning in a city park. She has since struggled with health problems stemming from the incident, which inspired her to become a naturopathic doctor and help people with their own health challenges.

In 2001 Lynn started the Music for Orphans Project in the Sudan. They have now funded the drilling of 8 water wells and fed over 4000 kids. 
Lynn is a cancer survivor and has survived 7 car accidents, a lightning strike, a brown recluse spider bite and a brutal rape in 1988. Married for 16 years she lives on Trolley Farm in Colorado where she has a spa. She is also the author of the book Bent, Not Broken and recently released a music CD titled Amazed.

I am happy to share Lynn's thoughts with you on growing older:

"When I was young, I heard whistles on the street, I was outwardly beautiful and inwardly fragile. Now that I am older I hear music in my soul, I am outwardly a smile and inwardly a song.

There is nothing but lines on this face called "Ma'm" But the lines go up. The laughter caused the crinkles in the corners of my eyes, There have been tears, enough to have a beach in heaven, but there is joy in the marrow of my soul.
Yes, I am older but I have out lived the cancer, and the loss of my baby, and the betrayal, and the heartache, and still I will see the beauty of the moon.

I will understand the undertow and swim strong against the currents but I will let the current take me out to sea without fear if I chose to. I will keep my hand open and my fists unclenched, because I have learned that gifts come. I will keep my peace rather than speak words better left unspoken because I have learned that I do not have every answer for the universe and I am quite small under the skies of heaven and that is okay.

I will not be ashamed of my red rimmed eyes because they have seen life and are still looking for the grace. I will be a voice for the weak, and a thorn in the side of injustice, and I will not be afraid.

This is the joy of my lines. This is the joy of the lost power of youth. My strength in aging comes from the joy of giving. It will be my battle cry.

Thank you so much for being this week's beauty Lynn.

I love your song I'm Just a Girl."

March 22, 2012

It's Never too Late

Iris Apfel

I am about to head out on a solo trip to a friend's wedding in Rhinebeck, NY and then on to visit my mom, who is recuperating from a fall. A few weeks ago, my 87-year -old uncle was changing a light blub, and on his way off the step stool, unfortunately lost his balance and knocked my mom flat her back.

As my dad use to say "It's always something..."

It really *is* almost always something. That's the reality of life, I think.

Anyway, have you heard the news that 90-year-old fashion and design icon Iris Apfel has been chosen to be the inspiration for the new MAC make-up line? How cool is that?  I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I wrote about Iris when I first started Lines of Beauty. I love that they have picked her to be their model.

Iris urges all women to enjoy their age.


She is following in the footsteps of a couple of other mature women- Ellen DeGeneres and Diane Keaton- who are the faces of Cover Girl and L'Oreal, respectively.

We ARE making progress!

You can see Iris Apfel's interview on The Today Show from last week here.

She is so very, very cool.

I also have to leave you with a bit of 18 and 20 year old daughters turned me onto this site called What Should We Call Me which is great for some quick laughs. Every day they post several two second videos, many of which crack me up.

Here are just a few:

When I'm looking for my phone.

When your boss isn't in the office.

When I have to do work but everything else seems so much more interesting.

Have a good weekend, my beauties.
XO Louise

March 13, 2012

Coming Around Again

I had a new thought this week about aging after hearing of a friend's struggle with it.

Something I've been trying to put my finger on.

It was an analogy actually.

I think when we hit age 40, and the signs of getting older start to settle in, it is similar in some ways to going through puberty- the lack of self-confidence it can bring, the awkwardness- the "what is HAPPENING to my body?"

The difference is that in puberty the body begins to sprout, but at mid-life it starts to crumble.

During both transitions in life we might feel a bit like we are slipping on ice- a bit ungrounded- unsure of where we are headed- if we are worthy -and questioning what life will bring us next.

The beauty of these transitions is that as the years carry on- we grow into our selves- we circle around to who we are in a more intimate way. We reach deeper into our essence.

We settle in.

We do it over and over again.

And grow beautiful with age.

Have a peek at the beautiful woman above. She is such a masterpiece. Life has worked its amazing patina on her, and she is sparkling still, and so full of vitality.

Is she worried about old she looks, I wonder?

I don't think so.

She is who I strive everyday to be.

March 08, 2012

Aging Gracefully with Her Paintbrush

This week's beauty is Marilyn Smith Rosenfeld. Marilyn is the mother of Liz Smith who was a recent Beauty of the Week here on Lines of Beauty. It is easy to see where Liz got her artistic talents from. Marilyn and Liz seem to be yet another example of the apple not falling far from the tree.

I am happy to bring you Marilyn's story:

"Old age caught me by surprise. I am 77, will be 78 in April, still do not feel old, but I have begun reading the newsletter from the Senior Center with more attention.

About 15 years ago, I was in the supermarket when an older gentleman called out in passing, "Wednesdays are Senior Citizen discount days, pass it on!"  I thought, "Why is he telling this to me?"

I have never dyed my hair, never had cosmetic surgery. I had planned to accept old age when it got here, but not worry about it.

Old age was a time way in the future.

Three years ago, my husband suggested we go to the Senior Center to join a French Conversation group. I said, "Surely we are not that old yet."

We did join the group, and met several remarkable people all over 70, some in their eighties.

We met Anne, who is 81 and dances the Tango every night until the early morning hours.

We met Walter Ford Carter who wrote No Greater Love, No greater Sacrifice, about his father's death as an American army surgeon in the Normandy Invasion during WWll.  He goes to France each summer to lead tours of the Normandy beaches.

We met Ilse, who, as a Jewish teenager exiled from Germany to France during WWll, barely escaped being deported by the Nazis, chronicled in Once They Had a Country, Two Teenage Refugees in the Second World War by her daughter Muriel Gillick.

I have always been an artist. Since 1984 I have been a watercolor painter. I keep a drawing journal and draw what I see wherever I happen to be.

My daughter Liz, the youngest of our 4 children, and the creator of Made In Lowell, had the delightful idea of scanning my drawings, printing them out, and making notecards which she sells online and also in her studio. My husband and I love to go to Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios the first Saturday of each month, visit with Liz, and be introduced as "My mom who does the drawings on the cards." So satisfying!

I am so lucky to be able to draw and paint something I can do as long as I can hold a pen and brush.

Our children bought us a computer seven years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary.
I love the computer. I write emails, look at stuff online, and find all sorts of information on Google. This has kept me feeling young more than anything else.

Over the years I have been friends with several older women who lived into their nineties. They were all vigorous, creative, intelligent and active. I loved, admired and respected them, and have been inspired by them to keep drawing and painting, keep learning, keep moving, keep going. "

Marilyn thank you for being this week's beauty. As I told Liz I love your story and I'm always so happy to feature women with more experience with growing older :-)

March 02, 2012

Come Away with Me

I thought with winter finally arriving here in Boston it might be nice to cyber-escape to Maderia, Portugal, one of my favorite places to visit.

My in-laws are from Madeira, which is an island 310 miles off the coast of Morocco.

Madeira is known for its rugged volcanic peaks, beautiful tropical coastline, and a climate that is almost always spring-like.

Maderians use terraces to grow crops because the island is so mountainous. 

The terraces and seascapes create breathtaking views around every bend.

Madeira is known for its gorgeous flowers, fresh tropical fruit and vegetables, its bountiful fish, and  espetada which are beef kabobs...they could easily be a "gateway meat" for vegetarians- they are that good.

The island is also known for its very famous Madeira wine. 

Wine is served every day, not just for dinner, but also for lunch.

Perhaps this is why afternoon siestas are so popular.

Hiking and swimming are a big attraction, and so are gondola rides- as well as these hair-raising toboggan trips thru the streets of Funchal, the central city.

One of my favorite things about Madeira is the music and dancing, which are frequently ballads about love.

These are amazing sea caves used by the local fishermen.

You can click on the photo for a better view. It makes a fabulous screensaver.

Photo by Geoff Summa.
February 2012

It's a long journey to get to Maderia.

But, it is so worth the trip.

"A vida e boa" in Maderia.

          (life is good)