December 31, 2018

To an Even Better 2019

Every time I hear Auld Lang Syne it brings tears to my eyes it is so beautiful.

Here is to a better 2019 than 2018, which was thankfully better for me than 2017 :-)

I am going to push off soon and go dance with my dear sista-in-law to ring in the New Year. If you are local, I like the Boston based, Bear Hill Band for getting down & dirty on the dance floor πŸ’ƒ

But first, a few little start-the-year-off-right tidbits:

Why People Wait 10 Days to Do Something that Takes 10 Minutes. I think it's safe to say that we all do this. For me it's sometimes more like 10 weeks or 10 months omgoddie....

Tidbit #2:

How to uncomplicate our lives in 2019? (seriously can we?)

Maybe! Try this:

Identify what's most important to us and eliminate as much as we possibly can of everything else. Best done by making a list of everything we do (and yearn to do- a critical point!) and then cross off what we no longer want to do in 2019. A good way to get clarity perhaps and bring in more joy?

Lastly, have you, like me, been eating too much sugar through the holidays, where there has been a cookie in every corner?

Check out the Ted Talk below for support with yet ANOTHER sugar detox. Sugar so hugely effects the brain (such as memory, as well as inflammation in our bodies). If we eat a lot of it, we are sure to not know who we are in a few short years, as we limp downstairs, with poor knees, to get yet another chocolate-chip cookie :-)

Happy New Year and love to all,

and to all a good night! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

December 27, 2018

There is a Crack

 Yesterday on Pleasant Lake
Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in

That's how the light gets in

~Leonard Cohen

It’s been a few years of being cracked wide open, and splintered apart and I can honestly say now that I am grateful for all of it.

Without the cracks, I would never have seen, learned and embraced so many of the lessons that I have on this spiritual journey. I feel more whole now than I ever have.

More to come in the New Year. 

As always,

in love & light,


November 30, 2018

Deep Within Us

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all,

and then stands back to see if we can find them.

 ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I think of my mama frequently as I've made my way through the new life that I have been creating for myself. How she so seemingly, effortlessly, began a new path and understanding of herself at the age of 90, when she moved to the Boston area, for her final resting.

How she reached out and made new friends and continued to learn new things. How perhaps she grew to know the artist in herself a little more deeply. How she learned new ways of being in the world through her experiences and through what came across her path, that ignited a spark in her and lit her up, like a new dawn. Until about age 95, she remained excited about life and optimistic about her days, even though, like me, she had her moments of uneasiness and doubt. To me she always seemed to be reaching for a new spice to sprinkle in her life.

And the beauty of all of this is, I got to witness it all, like a primer, for what would soon follow for me, after her passing.

Frequently during her last few years, I would ask her what the secret is. Many of her responses here were after the deep dementia had begun to settle in:

Mom what’s the secret?

Being good to other people and being careful about how you treat them.

Mom what’s the secret?

Be thankful for what you have

Mom what’s the secret?

Love each other. Be friendly. Be as active as you can be.

Mom what’s the secret?

Two glasses of water to start each day.

Mom what’s the secret?

Take good care of life.

Mom what’s the secret?

Climbing Mount Marcy.

Mom what’s the secret?

You tell me.

No you tell me

Mom what’s the secret?

Good friends. Having a change with people you like to see

Mom what's the secret?

Having someone to love.

Thank you mama for inspiring me to love life through my senses even more, as the older we grew. Sight, taste, sound, smell and touch,

especially touch.

I love you dearly.

November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Everyday is thanksgiving.

My we give our love & gratitude today.

May we wrap our arms around them and send them out into the world,

like shooting stars,

today and everyday.

We all need this more than anything

We all love, love.

We cannot live without it in our souls.

May we pay the love and gratitude forward.

And acknowledge others today for their beauty

and be intimate and vulnerable with the love that we have to share in our hearts,

which is sometimes the very hardest thing to do.

Allow love to wash over us,

like a new season.

Today and everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving my loves!

from my home

to yours,


October 31, 2018

Humor & the Gifts of Aging

We forget some of the things that we are grateful and willing to give-up, along the aging journey.

Jane Caro reminds me a little of actress Emma Thompson.

She shares, most importantly amidst her humor, "Stop whining about getting old. It's a privilege."

So so true!

Whilst folding the laundry etc, enjoy.



October 27, 2018


Boy have I learned this in a 101 ways this year.

In spades I have, as I continue to repaint my tipped-upside-down life.

We really are WHAT we think about.

Eckhart Tolle has said that being able to change the channel in our head, begins with the awareness of what we are thinking about.

Growing better at doing this has been the silver lining

of my everything.

September 29, 2018

Fears Are Just Stories That We Tell Ourselves

Recently I discovered transformational comedian Kyle Cease by accident on Youtube. The one line of his that caught me in a profound way was-

 "Fears are just stories that we tell ourselves."

Hell yeah! Boy can I apply this to every area of my life. Every day. But when I catch myself in the grip of fear and remember that it is just a story that I'm telling myself, it allows the fear to dissipate and helps me to move beyond it.

Fears really ARE just stories that we tell ourselves. Our minds are like little fear manufacturing factories, the little devils!

One of my mottoes in the last ten years has been, "Do what you are afraid to do"(from the Nike ad)  but I didn't realize that the reason that I'm afraid to do something is because of  the story that I create and attach to it.

And herein lies the unraveling of making our way through our fears and out the back door of them:

Don't be afraid to do what we are afraid of AND understand why we are afraid, and simply catch that it's all a story.


Recently I have begun a year long program at Coach Training Institute so that I can become a health and wellness coach. I've been planning on doing it ever since a I started Lines Of Beauty and posted about this amazing woman who coached people till she was 101. I've waited until now to start the program because I knew that I wouldn't have the bandwidth to do it until my mom passed on (or is this just a story of fear that I told myself?)...

Anyway, my new life is riddled with fears but I'm doing my best to toss them up into the air, like little helium balloons, and allow them to fly away.

Kyle Cease's video on letting go of control is another good one.

Enjoy my sweets.


September 25, 2018

Remembering What We Want

Photo by Belovodchenko Anton
I stumbled upon this quote recently:

Discipline is remembering what we want.

It's a good one.

For some reason I have hardly ever been at a loss for knowing what I want. It shifts, and morphs, and re-balances to be sure, but like most of you probably, at any given moment, I am pretty adept at putting my finger on what it is that is going to ring my bell.

So maybe we know what we want, especially the older and wiser we grow. We could make lists about what we want in every little area of our life. From what we desire for dinner to the much bigger picture in life- like how we want our world to be. We could make notes about how we prefer to feel, how much stress we want in our life, how much downtime and together time we need. About what we want to do with our now precious time and who we want to hang with. Basically how we want to operate and maneuver, through the rest of our days.

And more importantly for me right now, how to create the connection and intimacy I crave.

Every day, actually, we make decisions about who we want to be.

So where is the disconnect between knowing what we want and then doing something that is totally not in line with what we want?

Ahh yes- we forget what we want. Sometimes just temporarily, but frequently, for way too long. Or, what we want seems so outlandish and outside the possibility of who we have always know ourselves to be, that we give up on what we want before we even try.

Usually out of fear.

Or maybe it's that we get too tired or too hungry or too overwhelmed, or sick, or too exhausted from having someone else be sick, and we forget to listen to our internal compass. Life happens. Things get in the way. There are bills to pay, and fires to put out and mouths to feed.

Sometimes there are just too many flies buzzing around our head.

Well this I know- the only remedy for remembering what we want- is to slow down long enough, and get quiet enough, so that we can hear ourselves. For some people it's meditation, but for me I can pinpoint so many things in my life, and zero in my happiness, when I am out running, hiking, swimming laps and more recently, biking.

Discipline is remembering what we want.

Gosh I wish I knew this when I was younger.

For more related reading, I've another post here.

Have a good week.

Get quiet.

Listen to our hearts. It's right here with each of us, waiting for us to put our hand on it and take care of it.

Oh yes- and one more thing. I love the magnificence of the photo above. Among other things, like the lighting, I love the peeling paint.

Belovodchenko Anton, you have outdone yourself.

August 31, 2018

JOMO, the new FOMO

Oh what a great acronym.
Time alone- the precious and sometimes hard to find commodity that I so love.

On this note, I will say no more, and sign off & head for one of my favorite places (the shower) and then to bed. πŸ˜‰

The joy of missing out.

Ciao miei amici,

August 28, 2018

And In The End

.......the love you take, is equal to the love you make.
 ~ Lennon & McCartney

I’ve had quite the journey in what has historically been a long, loving, ebb and flow, 30 year marriage.

Until the last few years, when the tides navigated a much more challenging course.

It’s a meandering story of course but I will share this- being at the effect of some else’s quandary has been excruciatingly difficult.

My patience more than ran its course and about a week before my mom passed, I finally began to cut the cord from the sorrowful tunnel where I had been residing, stretching deep from the umbilicus.

I know... :-(

The house has been sold and I've moved to a nourishing little new abode where I’ve begun to lay down a fresh path for myself. It’s been a hard road of severing the octopus tentacles of my emotional entanglement, to so many things this year.

I keep reminding myself that it's okay for life to not turn out the way I always thought it would.

I keep trying to remain in the present, and not rehash the past, or worry about the future. 

"Be here now", I tell myself over and over again.

Take life, just one day at a time. 

I keep reaching to trust the process and searching, like a spiritual inspectress, for the silver linings.

And I can’t tell you how much better I feel. Not yet better, in all ways, than how I once felt, but so many little gems of happiness better, from where I’ve been.

Baby steps for us all, my dearhearts.

Several things have helped me to not end up in a cuckoo's nest:

  • Every day I try my best to take care of myself. Yoga, swimming, running, eating well, journaling, getting enough sleep and talking with loved ones. ( a great article on journaling here)
  • Each day I ask myself "What needs to be done today?" and as best as I can, I set about doing it. 
  • Changing the channel in my head, when I begin to go down the road of SHOOTING 2ND ARROWS- Either arrows shot backwards at myself, by rehashing unhelpful thoughts and conversations, or arrows of worry, or arrows at someone else, when I forget to stop and proceed with love and acceptance, rather than anger and resentment.
  • Reading articles and books, like this FABULOUS ONE. Sound support for not taking someone else's situation personally and focusing instead on the best personal mind, body, spirit self-care of your life.
  • My therapist. Thank gawd for him is all I can say. He reminds me frequently that I am soundly stable and am handing well the mother load that was laid before me this year. He helped me from slipping into the gutter.
  • And lastly- and this has been hard amidst the craziness of a new life- keep doing and searching for what I love. For what lights me up. For what rings my bell. For what brings me joy.
 ....And for how I can harness my new found strength and play it forward.

Phew, this was a big one.

May love and peace and gratitude, be with us all,

πŸ’œ Louise

July 30, 2018

Notes To Self

Every so often I like to reread this list I made many years ago, when the blog was young, titled "10 Easy Ways to Age Gracefully Today".

I am re-titling it now to "Ten Easy Ways To Feel Better Right Now" :-)

I haven't looked at this list during my tumultuous last few years and I wish I had, as it holds some good Louise truths and reminders.

The good news is that I am rising from the muck, and things, in so many ways, are on the upswing. But more on this in the future, as it's not the easiest of stories to share.

So here is the list again. For me and for you <3

  • If you can't change it, move on.Thou shall not stew.

  • Stop getting stuck in your story about woulda. coulda. shoulda. and get on with doing what you love to do.

  • Surround yourself with loving, low-maintenance people who increase your vitality instead of rob it.

  • Remember that aging is part of the wondrous cycle of life. It is normal and it is what is suppose to happen, just like getting our baby teeth.

  • Take care of that pesky task that has been hanging over your head for way too long. It won't take nearly as long as you think it will.

  • Have an orgasm.

Did I just say that?

  • Stop worrying about what other people think. It's your life.

  • Don’t forget that human's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Acknowledge someone.

  • Get over your fear. Fear is normal, so embrace it and then you can move past it.

  • Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. Be your own best friend. It is the foundation for a good long life.

Photo by Jef Bettens, Limburg, Belgium

July 20, 2018

A Vibration, A feeling, A Thought

I'm not a big prayer, at least not in the typical sense.
Someone told me recently that what we think about is actually like praying.

"Thinking is like praying," she said.

So it's best to think good thoughts so that negative thoughts, or worries, don't become reality.
So that we don't give strength and life to them
or a tree to grow on.

What we think about, we become.
Like lovely little affirmations.
Like little bits of golden gifts to ourselves.

Sending love and prayers out into the world to you all today.

June 29, 2018

Into My Heart

This photo of my mom was taken when she was my age.

Almost every afternoon since I can remember, she made a point of setting the timer on the kitchen stove and taking a nap for 20 minutes.

A mother of five, stealing some time for herself to rejuvenate, between her piles of ironing, making pie-crusts, canning peaches and putting a wholesome dinner on the table, every night of the week.

She was the epitome of mindfulness, way before it was ever a common word in our culture. Before we all grew so busy with double income households, in order to pay for life's necessities, and before smartphones took over our lives.

She passed away already 3 weeks ago but I found her again several days ago, in my heart.

This is where she has moved to, where I can still touch her now and hold her. Where I can take her with me anywhere.

Where I can call on her for strength.

June 22, 2018

Sleep My Child and Peace Attend Thee

After a long, hard year for my mom, she passed beautifully and peacefully at the age of 96, while her children sang her the lullabies that she had sung to us, so many years ago. 

It was incredible to see her take her last breath. Not unlike the first breath of life, in its miracle.

After she passed, I crawled into bed with her and held her until the funeral home came to take her away.  No longer worried about hurting her frail, tired body, I will never forget how it felt to hold her, and breath her in and feel her still warm heart, until I could no longer.

Mama, I know how much you wanted to live to be a hundred. 

I’m glad you didn’t though as this past year had times of being so very hard for both of us. 

But there in the darkness however, 

lived some of the sweetest moments I’ve ever had with you. 

Thank you for moving here six years ago. 

At 90-years-old you arrived with zest and optimism for the next chapter in your life. 

And I got to know you, not through the eyes of a rebellious teenager or a tired working mother, but as an empty nester myself.

It’s as though we had our own little honeymoon.  

During which, I realized how similar we are.  I’ve had moments of not knowing where you leave off -and I begin. 

I will be forever grateful for your easy-going-ness and for your ability to see life through this kaleidoscope of kindness 

and gratitude

and love 

and beauty. 

I will be forever grateful for our friendship and how you made me feel like I was the best thing since sliced bread, 

when I am not always. 

I could tell you anything. 

Thank you for demonstrating such good self-care. 

And for reminding me of how important it is to take time out for ourselves. 

Thank you for telling me that after a good nights sleep, that things almost always look better in the morning. 

Thank you for teaching me, by example, not to gossip. 

Thank you for teaching me how to swim and how to knit. 

I’m so very grateful that later in life, you discovered the artist in yourself. 

Thank you for being the most nurturing, open minded and liberal Mom on the block. 

But most importantly, for always loving all of us, just as we are and for who we are. 

Mama, I will love you and carry you with me, forever. 

And I will miss, from this day forward, not to ever be able to give you another Eskimo kiss again. 

May 30, 2018

Midlife Unraveling

Brene Brown wrote an excellent, and very timely, article this past week about the midlife crisis/transition.

Be sure to share it with anyone you know who is struggling or knows someone who is, as I do.

She is amazing. Click here to read.

In love and in peace,

May 20, 2018

All That Grows From It

"Some days I wake with a cloud around my heart. The heart, like the earth, is usually blanketed by ever changing atmospheres that come and go between days.

So faith, could be defined as the effort to believe in light when we are covered by clouds. It may seem like the overcast lasts so long, but the reality is that the sun never stopped burning it's fierce light behind the fog.

No clouds last forever.

The earth and all that grows from it knows this truth.

And like the earth knows, so does the heart, and everything that grows from it. Even in spite of all our understandable pains.

*Note how the trees and flowers do not collapse when the clouds roll in and draw strength from this truth."

~ Anonymous

Beautifully said don't you think?

With love as always,

P.S. I got these gorgeous pink lilies at Trader Joes more than a week ago for like $8 and their beautiful complexity has been knocking my socks off ever since :-)

April 29, 2018

The Arrow

"The Buddha speaks about the "second arrow." 

When an arrow strikes you, you feel pain.

If a second arrow comes and strikes you in the same spot, the pain will be ten times worse. 

The Buddha advised that when you have some pain in your body or your mind, breathe in and out and recognize the significance of that pain but don't exaggerate its importance.

If you stop to worry, to be fearful, to protest, to be angry about the pain, then you magnify the pain ten times or more.

Your worry is the second arrow.

You should protect yourself and not allow the second arrow to come, because the second arrow comes from you." 


April 24, 2018


And the other benefit is, that like smiling at someone, it makes us feel good too.

In love and light,


April 13, 2018

I Am

My Mama's hands

I am not old…she said
I am rare.

I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.

I am the retrospective
Of my life as art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing.

You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure.
I am a map.

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey 

Ask me anything.


April 06, 2018


When life gets challenging, as it has been for me for about a year now,

I try to remember that this is just many hard moments, strung together, like a necklace, that I am passing through.

I try to find the new strength in myself.

I try to find the deep down lessons.

I try to see who I am now, that I wasn't before. 

And what I have discovered, that I never would have, if adversity hadn't come my way.

It sure brings gratitude to my doorstep, when I remember to look for it.

It brings an optimism for better days, that I have never had to reach for.

But it has also made things much more crystal clear for me, of what I want and don't want.

Perhaps this is one of the greatest silver linings about hard times, in the middle of our lives.

So here I sit thinking.

A fish outside of water.

February 28, 2018

My Visit to Cuba

I had yearned to visit Cuba since my early years of watching I love Lucy and seeing Ricky Ricardo play the bongo drums in his Cuban nightclub.

This and that I've been very curious about the country, just 90 miles off the coast of Key West, especially since Diana Nyad peaked my interest when she successfully swam the voyage from Cuba to Key West in 53 hours in 2013 ( her 5th courageous attempt).

Cuba, a land that has been so close, yet so far away, because of the complicated political landscape.

It turns out that now it's quite easy to visit Cuba. Much easier than I had imagined. All you need to do is get a visa at a gateway airport and pick one of 13 reasons for traveling there. I chose "Support The Cuban People." I arrived armed with an itinerary to do this and held onto whatever receipts I was able to collect to prove my whereabouts. The truth is however, I don't think anyone is really checking to see if visitors have simply sat on the beach as their  primary form of entertainment.

What I liked most about Cuba was the music (which I didn't get enough of) and the kindness of all the people that I came in touch with, especially the cab drivers.

One of the other things that drew me to Cuba was all the old cars. It occurred to me while there that this was most likely because when I was born, being the 5th child, my parents decided to buy a Checker cab to tote around their growing family. By the time I was in kindergarten, this was a very embarrassing car to be seen in, but in reflection, it is one of the little gems of my childhood.

One of the other things I liked is that much of Havana is in disrepair or even in ruins. This of course is sad, in many ways, but I love the beauty of imperfection and the Wabi-Sabi that is everywhere in Cuba.

Two other highlights, besides sitting down and people watching, were swimming in the warm, beautiful aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico and visiting Hemingway's home, as seen in 3 of  the photos below.

Being in Cuba only 4 days, I didn't get to venture outside of Havana like I had wanted to. Especially to the village of Vinales, as well as to the chocolate factories in the oldest town of Baracoa.

For more good info on the villages of Cuba click here.

Hemingway's home
Hemingway's home
Hemingway's home

Shoemakers in Havana
View from breakfast at the hotel

Cab ride to the beach in the taxi driver's grandfather's 1955 car
Day at the beach with a beer and fish for lunch
Havana cathedral

February 27, 2018

Quieting the Voice

I returned from my trip to Cuba on Thursday to growing concerns about the precarious health of someone in my family. For me it has been a year of worry and great concern about a multitude of things that life can unfortunately throw at us.

It has also been a year of realizing that I truly don't have control over much, except my thoughts and where they wander, as well as taking very good care of myself.

Last night I eased myself into the pool and Cried Myself a River. I remember when my Dad passed away, almost 17 years ago, that the shower became this oasis for me. The pool wasn't nearly as private of course, but I discovered that allowing myself to wail, whilst swimming, was so very cathartic.

I'd been holding onto the tears for days, trying to be the strong woman, I fear not being.

I believe that letting the tears come, allowed me to sleep like a baby last night, with the comfort of my mama's soft, red plaid, fleece blanket, wrapped around my naked and very frightened inner child.

Let our tears come, let them water our souls.

May we step into the light,

even when it is raining.

January 31, 2018

On Becoming

A refreshing message to read and encompass at mid-life,

or at any age actually.

How often is that we think we know how things are

only to find sometimes that they are perhaps scarily, yet rejuvenatingly, different?

Not very often.

Where do we hang when what we've always hung upon is uncertain?

With ourselves is where.

When nothing is certain,

anything is possible.

There is such beauty

in the curiosity and mystery of living.


January 23, 2018

My Mama's Reds

My mom's beautiful 96-year-old hands, like parchment paper.

My mama turned 96 yesterday. She has also remarkably, and very gratefully, turned a corner within her dementia, to a much happier place, as of late.

The last 10 months have been a harrowing experience for her and for me, as she further lost her memory and slipped into acute paranoia, calling me sometimes several times a day, in utter panic about not just the safety of her own life but for her loved ones as well.

This is a woman who had, until then, lived a life of balance and happiness. A woman who raised five children and had a long, loving, 58-year marriage to my Dad. She is also a woman, who grew up with a bi-polar mother and never really processed how that affected her. As my mom's dementia settled in, so did her fears that she was becoming her mom. The underbelly of what showed up was her trepidation of what people thought of her, something that she no doubt worried about since childhood but kept under wraps, until she could no longer.

Three things came to her rescue this past year: Medication (although it took awhile to get it right), her willingness to seek counseling, at the ripe old age of 95, and her red plaid blankets.

Oh yes, and one more thing, vanilla ice cream.

The Christmas before last, she purchased an innumerable collection of red plaid fleece blankets to give as gifts. The multiple purchases were also coupled with confusion, of how many she had bought and who she had already given them to (par for the course at 94...or even at age 55, as I was having a hard time keeping track). My initial thought about the blankets was, that although they were very synthetically luxurious, they were a far cry from the wool blankets that I grew up with and loved. I thought they were kind of icky. To her however, they were a heavenly comfort, better than a stuffed teddy bear. She kept two for herself (as you can see in the photo below) and they became the security blanket that helped usher her over the hump, of losing her mind.

In recent months she has lovingly referred to them as "My reds". On the worst of her days, I came to her rescue. Equipped with vanilla ice cream, I would wrap her in her reds, sing to her and hold her, reaching for solace, to appease not only her, but myself. It is only now that I can look back in reflection, through my tears, and begin to see the subtle beauty of those moments.

One of things that has helped me to cope, the past several cold winter months, is the same thing that has helped her. At night, in an effort to bring myself comfort and sleep, I wrap my body in my own red, before pulling the duvet over my shoulders. Wrapped in this little cocoon of coziness, I've been sleeping very deeply on many nights, like a relatively content, newborn woman.

At the same time, my youngest daughter has been there for me through my struggle and her own, whilst wrapped in her own cocoon of coziness too. <3