• Halloween,  Halloween features and essays,  Holidays

    Halloween people

    “Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas.” ~Stephen Graham Jones It’s no secret that I’m a major Halloween fan. Every year, I eagerly await the start of the spooky season, and usually start decorating on October 1st. One of my friends calls me “The Halloween Queen” because she doesn’t know anyone who collects as many Halloween decorations and accessories as I do. To be fair, some of those items (including a set of Halloween wine glasses) were gifts from others who’ve indulged my affection for the holiday. For me, Halloween always stirs a cauldron of happy childhood memories — making costumes with my…

  • Aging well,  Change,  Personal growth

    Still looking through an old lens?

    “If you don’t allow yourself to learn and grow from the experience — from what was said, done, and felt — you will always look at your life through the same old lens.” ~Marc and Angel Chernoff, Marc & Angel Hack Life Sometimes we just don’t get it. We keep repeating the same mistakes, yet stubbornly expect different results. Or maybe we’re so stuck that we don’t understand why our old patterns of behavior or outdated viewpoints aren’t working anymore. As today’s quote reminds us, that’s when we need to be honest with ourselves and view the situation with fresh perspective. ~Cindy La Ferle

  • Domestic arts,  How to be a friend quotes,  Personal growth,  reciprocation

    Pure generosity

    “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” ~John Wooden My mom was a stickler for good manners, and “reciprocate” was an active verb in her vocabulary. Whenever she was invited to someone’s home for dinner (and whenever she received a gift) she took care to return the favor. She was secretly disappointed when others didn’t follow the same rules of etiquette. While reciprocation is a lovely thing, it took me years to fully appreciate the concept of paying it forward. As today’s quote reminds us, the true spirit of generosity is giving a gift or doing a favor…

  • Aging well,  approval seeking,  Halloween,  Health & wellbeing

    Identity crisis?

    “The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” ~Rita Mae Brown When I was in my teens, everyone in high school worked hard to fit in with her peer group. Even the non-conformists dressed like the other non-conformists. One of the gifts of aging is discovering that you finally feel comfortable in your own skin. You stop caring whether or not your clothing (or anything else you own) is on trend. You stop trying to impress others and start making choices that reflect your own taste and character. In short, you worry less about what other people think of you — because you realize that most people…

  • Aging well,  Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice

    While we can

    “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby There’s something especially thoughtful about sending a greeting card or buying someone a small gift for no special reason. And when you’re on the receiving end of such a surprise, it’s always a memorable moment. This is a lesson I learned from an old friend who loved sending “no reason” flowers when she was battling a terminal illness. But we don’t have to send cards or flowers to declare our love or friendship. There are dozens of other lovely, simple ways to express…