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oMaple syrup producers in New York State started tapping their trees two months before they normally do.  NY Times, March 3, 2017

Is March still coming in like a lion where you live? Where do you live, and how is the weather you’ve been experiencing? We’ve had some 65-70 degree days in February here in Philly. I wonder how much of a lamb-like March finish to expect! Please click here and tell us what it’s like in your neighborhood.

Of course, every aspect of your life is interesting to the rest of us ElderChicks and friends. So, always feel free to share anything else that’s on your mind!

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dsc00516Yes, I am still living in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas…our small ranch is 60 miles northwest of San Antonio at Center Point in Kerr County, Texas. (There are seven “Center Points” in Texas). My husband, Rowland and I happily celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last August. I am still in business (at 84!) creating my miniature vanity trays and doll jewelry. I only wholesale my products and my retailers will not let me retire. You can see some of my things if you Google Patsy-Mac Vanity Trays.  On ebay you will see the elegant larger pieces I do for the larger fashion dolls…American Model (22 inch doll), Tyler ( 16 inch doll) and of course Barbie who is 11 inches tall. For many years I have been miniaturing and creating beautiful box rooms and little stores in 1/12th scale. Now my creations are going into a museum in Bandera, Texas which will open next year.

My current personal and business delight is my American Model doll, fully jointed and posable,  whom I dress for photographs with the creations I market for her. My St. Louis retailer, Jim Coates  exclusive rights to these larger designs for her and for the 16 inch Tyler.  These dolls are now cult collectibles and there are societies of people who own them and have conventions and buy things for their dolls….these adult toys indeed are truly beautiful.

– Patricia Reese Tessier, June 50, Girls High, Philadelphia

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2017

Darline: I will do everything possible to find new friends in the town I moved to recently to be near family. At age 83 it takes an effort to seek out people and join new groups. Not being able to drive at night is an added hindrance. However, my motto is the same as Dorothy Dix who wrote a long time ago “I stood yesterday, I can stand today.”

Muriel: Stay young by traveling in a  New Year with your adult children and going to far away places where life is very different from senior condos in the city!  I just returned from two very interesting weeks in Uganda where much poverty still exists and most roads are unpaved and in very bad condition, but it is a paradise in beauty, “the queen of Africa”, according to Winston Churchill, a century ago.  Tropical flowers, vast tea plantations on green hillsides, banana trees in most backyards, and smiling faces abound.  While women centers we visited give protection and economic opportunities, the numerous elementary schools are everywhere and in need of supplies, tuition and facilities that makes basic education possible for 250 students in two rooms! (We discovered ways to send limited help to provide a couple of young children with tuition to attend if there is interest.)  But we went to see gorillas in the  BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL FOREST.  In Bwindi they claim it is the only place the highest  three primates might be living side by side! For two mornings we marveled at the  animals’ beauty, traits so like ours, large appetites, loving family relationships, and ease of moving about humans without seeming threatened or afraid.  If you are hesitant to trek in highlands, along narrow paths, through thick vegetation, and fear of not making it wiith a group of nine, you might inquire about a lodge, like Sanctuary, which can provide a sedan chair  and carriers to make some of this experience possible for women in their late eighties, an experience that gives an unlimited pleasure for all who see this.  When one is near the national airport at Entebbe, one  can leave by Lake Victoria speed boat to travel to  the Ngamba  Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary where followers of Jane Goodall created  a place for these primate who like the gorillas demonstrate their “human like” skill like catching food thrown like baseballs, do sommersalt entries to greet guests, and smile at humans who smile back   and find  joys and lifted spirits  as a new year begins!

Rose Marie: When you smile at someone, smile from deep inside with warmth and sincerity and not just with your face. It makes all the difference and the warmth you were sending out will tend to remain in your own heart. It is a great practice and everyone benefits.

Cathy: Show up…. and do your best without judgment.

Gerri: Reach out for something new- not only embracing it- sometimes perhaps
inventing it.

Lucia: I’m going with Ann Beattie who said – What will happen can’t be stopped. Aim for grace.

Margie: Listening to uplifting music, being with uplifting people who don’t judge, watching a comedy and writing a gratitude list, going to a yarn shop and knitting with a group there. These are all activities from time to time that have helped me get through sad times. Feeling feelings is tough but I’ve been told to feel them so they don’t come back to haunt me.

Nancy: Appreciate every single day. Enjoy the gifts that nature provides. And watch as many sunrises and sunsets as possible. Have you taken the time to observe the night sky, especially on a winter’s evening? May everyone benefit from a positive outlook and speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Helen: Life is such a wonderful journey. I am enjoying the new awareness, reflection and taking responsibility for those things I placed on others. I feel good. I followed through on a new certification that was quite exhausting, but I did it. I finished it. I can do anything. I think that is part of the key, not judging ourselves because when we do that to ourselves, we do the same thing to others. Let’s move on with our lives knowing that there is a reason we have lived this long.

Julie: In 2017 I want to expand my capacity to love openly, particularly with those that have different values than me.

Mary: This year I will try to maintain the positive attitude that has gotten me through some difficult times in my personal life; in particular, I will wear my safety pin, display my anti-hate lawn sign, and continue to encourage my one remaining student teacher to speak out for the American values that seem to be in jeopardy in the way she approaches both curricula and students.

Elissa: Congratulations to all of us. We made it thru 2016. We marched forward thru births, deaths, divorces, mental, physical, financial political, slights, hurts and an assortment of negatives. Our skirts are slightly tattered, our shoes a bit muddy but, by golly, we made it to 2017. A bit wiser and much stronger to tackle this new year and all it has to offer. How lucky we are to be able to choose from yesterday, today and a glimpse of tomorrow. Pick one from column a…hand-written thank you notes. One from column b…the internet and from column c… a space trip to mars. It boggles the mind. We can leap from home-made oxtail stew to buying hard boiled peeled eggs from the deli counter and still have a discussion with your fridge about out of date milk! So bring it on 2017, we are ready and able to enjoy you with gusto.

Winnie: 3 words for 2017: KEEP IT SIMPLE

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Check List With Red Checkmark IconThe days grow short when we reach September…and shorter still in December. This is the month when I look over my list from January. Were goals accomplished? Did I visit a new place this year? See the people I vowed to meet for lunch? Lose those stubborn 10 pounds? And, yes, how did it arrive to December 1st already! I try to talk myself into viewing time as a continuum, that the end of another year is just an illusion, though I know my time is finite. That being said, “How did it get so late so soon” is a wonderful reminder for the urgency to live and love as much as we can each and everyday, and especially during the holidays.

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