Monthly Archives: November 2013

Forget the Frump! Inspiration from the Fabulous Fashionistas


Here is quick clip about the British documentary, the Fabulous Fashionistas.

The fashionistas make me want to shop  until I drop.

Not drop from tiredness after a day of shopping.

The Big Drop, like drop off the earth (when my days are done). That’s what the fashionistas are planning to do. Shop until they drop.

What about you?

What’s your fashion plan for your golden years?


I must say, my own mom, who frequents Loehmann’s in Baltimore once a month or so, has set a fine example for me too!


Here’s an article about the film and here’s another one.

To fashion!  To life!

Giveaway Winner!  Congrats to Laura, who won the copy of Sarah Thebarge’s inspiring memoir, The Invisible Girls.

Grandma Versus Gen Y



A guest post by my daughter Laura Allen:

“If you don’t find a job after a couple of months in Dallas, you could always get going on starting a family.”

These were my mom’s words right after I got married and settled into my new home in Texas.

A bit annoyed that she’d mentioned this yet again, I responded, “And where would I put a baby in my small apartment? In the kitchen? Babies need space and cost money!”

My mom was blessed with her first grandchild last year, and she is head-over-heels.  I can definitely see why, as my nephew only gets more adorable every week.

But, me?  I’m only 28! I’m a newlywed. I need to have a career, a savings plan, a house. I need to go back to Europe!!

What is it about my generation that makes us think there is a perfect time to start a family – that all these external conditions need to be met before having a baby?

In my mom’s day, it sounds like the only requirement before trying to start a family was a husband.  But my generation seems to think we need to have it all. We want more than the American dream. Some have even called generation Y entitled.

I like to think we are just fortunate enough to have options.  Sometimes, though, there are so many choices, that it’s impossible to make decisions.  I’m hoping that the decision to start a family will just happen one day. That I will have a birthday, eat cake, and think ‘This year, I’m ready for a baby!’

Who knows if I will ever truly feel ready or if I will even be able to produce offspring.

One thing’s for sure though. If Matt and I have a baby on the way, my mom will be one of  the first to know, but only if she stops bugging me now!

Laura Allen was recently married on Bald Head Island and lives with her husband in Dallas. She hopes to continue her career in education and enjoys exploring new restaurants, cooking, and blogging in her free time.

Laura and Me

Photo Top: Laura and nephew Maze during wedding week on Bald Head Island.

Photo Bottom: Laura and I before the wedding.  Photos courtesy Katherine Younger. 

Pedaling Through My Past



Pedaling Through My Past


One Stationary Bike + Google Maps = Incentive to Exercise

A post by Nancy Espersen:

January 1st rolled around this year with the same resolution: To ride the exercise bike every day.

But how to maintain the momentum?  Perhaps logging the number of miles each day with the goal of reaching a destination?

But where to?

How about my childhood home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I Googled directions from Hillsborough to 3707 E 54th Street, set up an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the miles and started pedaling.

Almost 6 months and 1,181 miles later, I reached my destination:


Minneapolis Minnesota

This photo was taken in March 1951. For some reason my parents felt compelled to pose my brother and me in front of our house.  On the back of the photo my mother wrote “snow, snow, and more snow.”  As I look at this picture I remember praying for snow days when I was in school.  It took a major snowstorm to close the schools – I have the feeling this would have qualified.

After “arriving” at my first destination, I checked the spreadsheet and found I had only missed eight days of exercising.  There were definitely times I did NOT want to get on the bike but the thought of getting behind on the schedule got me moving.

Once on the bike sometimes I would barter with myself saying that if I went five miles that would be enough, only to find once I got to five I could then get to six and even seven (my goal for each day).

Buoyed by the success of the first six months, I selected another route.  This summer I biked from Hillsborough to New England “visiting” cities where my husband, Gordon, and I had lived.


Newport Rhode Island “fixer upper” (700 mile marker)

I kept telling Gordon that this could be a nice house and he would laugh.  In 1994 we took the plunge, bought the house and started renovating.  The location was perfect – in an historic neighborhood only a block and a half from Newport Harbor. The views of Rose Island, the Green Light and Newport Bridge were amazing. 


 Next up was Providence Rhode Island (735 mile marker).


We lived near Brown University and Benefit Street.  On our nightly walk Gordon would quiz me on the various architectural styles of the houses.

The final stop – Plymouth Massachusetts (791 miles)


Gordon’s new job at Ocean Spray brought us to 99 Court Street in 1988.  Whale watches, Thanksgiving at Plimouth Plantation and cranberries come to mind when I think about our time in Plymouth.

Even though I upped my goal to 8 miles per day, this round seemed to be easier.

Many times I would bike 9 or even 10 miles.  Perhaps this is because I was reading a book rather than watching television.  And I had more milestones on the spreadsheet. It helped to see that I had just crossed the border and was now in Virginia or that I had arrived in Washington D.C.

So where will I go this fall?

A tour of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan reminiscing about childhood vacations.

nancy and gordon

Nancy Espersen writes, “Gordon and I have called Hillsborough home for the past 13 years.  There is so much to offer in our little town (history, arts, special events) and we love being a part of it. “

Menopausal Chaos and a Psychic Giveaway!



I stood in front of this mirror in the ladies room of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

A crazy mirror, decorated with names. I was so impressed that I snapped a picture.

Menopause and its images and symbols are never far from my mind, thanks to Friend for the Ride.

I’m proclaiming this a Menopause Mirror.

We can only see in the glass dimly  (to quote St. Paul).

When you’re in the midst of the Great Pause, your body can feel wonky, weird, confused.

So can your mind.

You can’t see the end of the wild hormonal ride.

And that’s one of menopause’s main frustrations.

When a new symptom would appear, I’d ask myself, “Is this menopause?”

I’d consult my trusty resource,  34 Menopause Symptoms.

Even once the periods have stopped, for one, two, or more years, the hormones can keep on bopping around, causing chaos of one sort or another.

We should be able to see into the mirror of ourselves.

After all, it’s our body.

But it doesn’t work that way.

We’re not psychics!

Giveaway:  When Psychic Source offered Friend for the Ride a giveaway, I thought, Why not?  The winner will get a 30 minute psychic reading.  You can choose from a variety of readings ranging from Numerology, Tarot, Astrology, Love, and lots more. Read more about your options here.  For a chance to be the lucky winner, just enter a comment by December 5 saying you’d like to win. Come on ! I bet it’s in your cards…

Psychic Source