...where every woman over 50 is TOP DOG!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolution: Outsource Resolutions!

I realize there's a lot of debate about outsourcing. BUT in the interest of becoming a "more perfect WOOFer" and utilizing my time and energy to the optimum (while bequeathing my bestest WOOFer buds a reason for living and breathing), I hereby, thusly, and all that jazz, outsource my 2009 resolutions:

To Milkbone: All of my cardio and strength training exercise; payment (in full) of any and all of my health club membership dues; my mammogram and colonoscopy exams.

To Mad Dog: Any and all of my financial debt, to be paid in full by January 2; successful increase of my annual income to $500 billion by January 3.

To Alpha Canine: All of my current volunteer responsibilities; founding and funding a new 501c3 (The d.d. dawg Do Good Stuff Foundation) to save the planet, stop hunger, cure cancer and clone Johnny Depp.

To Pedigree: Any and all of my marketing, emailing and blogging duties; successfully scheduling interview spots for ME ALONE on Ellen & Oprah.

Wow, I feel new and improved already! Wait. Perhaps I should outsource my feelings to...Hey, where'd everybody go?!?!?

Now it's YOUR turn...Let the outsourcing begin!

(Speed read the following like an announcer at the end of a drug ad: Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a Resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.)

-- d.d. dawg (Diana)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the HOWLidays!

We got your WOOF stuff right "cheer!"

We got your Faux Paws!

We got your Bones to Pick!

We got your Tail Waggers!

Order WOOF today from

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We Call Her ...The ALPHA Dog

My friend, Diana, aka d.d. dawg, suggested I write a blog about how I came up with the WOOFer idea and what I expected life to be like at 50 and/or 60.

Well, let's get something straight right off, this really wasn't my idea. It's a wonderful idea and I’d like to take credit for it, but I simply mentioned starting a club since we were all turning 50. (Actually, I’d already reached that milestone a few years before, but Diana and Mary were about to join me.) That’s the extent of my contribution. They took the ball and ran with it. I merely stood on the sidelines and cheered them on.

Now, concerning my expectations about turning 50, I guess it depends on how old I was when I thought about it. At 21, I was probably thinking, “I hope they just take me out and shoot me.” At 49, I was probably trying to figure out how many years I could claim to be 49. I tried being 39 for several years until my son turned 30 and no one was buying it anymore.

The year I turned 50, I became a grandmother for the first time. It happened again when I was 54. When this occurs, it’s a life changing experience. Totally different from motherhood. Grandchildren are God’s gift to you for surviving parenthood. I can’t tell you how much I love my granddaughters. They made my life complete.

Also, in my fifties, I bought my first house, something I swore I’d never do. Now I spend my time mowing the yard, pulling weeds, cleaning up dog poop left by neighbor's pets, and thinking about washing my windows. Did I mention I couldn't be happier about it?

Near the end of my fifties, I was fortunate enough to retire. I taught elementary school for 36 years. I’ve since been lucky enough to travel places I never thought I’d see (Did you know they have tours for people on budgets? You just have to hop on someone else's schedule -- getting up at the crack of dawn to make sure your luggage is out in the hall so it gets on the bus.)

Now I am in my sixties—okay, 65 to be exact. My “friends” call me Medicare Carol. I’m blessed with wonderful friends, young and old, and good health. I exercise regularly and am actually below the weight on my driver's license. Who would have thought it?

Life goes on with changes, some good, some I’d rather pass on given a choice. (Oh, that reminds me, did I mention the wonderful granddaughter born when I was 50 is getting ready to take driver's ed? Oh, yeah, and those footprints? They belong to her!) I move slower and scare myself when I look in the mirror, but truly, I am content. Would I change anything? Well, we'd all like more money, right? But in reality I have it all....family, friends, health, and enough money to pay the energy bills. At least I do this month.

If you’re reading this, I’m sure it is an edited version. Diana and Mary are both much better writers than I am. (That is probably the one sentence that wasn't changed.) I’m sure you will enjoy reading the WOOFer book. It’s filled with wit and insight, and will help you as on move through your own glorious life journey.

--Carol Proffitt (aka Alpha Canine)

(Pictured: Dot (Pedigree), Diana (d.d. dawg), Mary (Milkbone) and seated before us, Carol (The Alpha Canine)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stair Master?

I've gained a few pounds. Well, maybe more than a few. I refuse to get on a scale, and even go so far as to shut my eyes when I'm weighed at the doctor's office.

I couldn't hide from reality, however, when transferring winter clothes to my closet and then half of them back out again because THEY DIDN'T FIT! I'm talking jeans and pants that I got LAST YEAR! *sigh*

And, the holidays are upon us! Time to make my favorite treats! Chocolate fudge and sugar cookies to name a couple. No chance that I won't pack on even more pounds before Christmas!

Sitting in my dark closet, sucking my thumb, I remembered a segment on one of the morning shows from today...or yesterday. Oh, whenever! Some 110 pound twenty-something aerobics bunny suggested a way to get those unwanted winter pounds off when the weather was too nasty to exercise outdoors.

"Utilize the stairs in your home or at work!" she said, flashing a sparkling, perfectly white smile. "Start slowly. Maybe 5 minutes, 3 times a day."

I took my thumb out of my mouth, stood up and threw open the closet door. Piece a cake! I can do this! When we first moved into our two-story home, complete with full basement, I lost about ten pounds just going up and down the stairs a hundred or so times a day!

I stood at the bottom of the stairs and plotted my strategy. I would start off slowly. Ten times running up and down the stairs. Then I'd increase to twelve, then fourteen. Yep. That was my strategy for today.

Up-Down. Up-Down. Uuup-Dowwwwn. Uuuuuuup (huff, huff)-Down. Uuuuuuuuuuup (wheeze, gasp, pant)-Down. After just five times up and down the stairs, my life flashed before my eyes and I weighed the possibility of making it to the phone in the family room to call 911.

Eventually, I did make it back up the stairs...one step at a time. Tomorrow's exercise? Throwing away everything in my closet that isn't elastic.

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shower Scene or Dining Daguerreotype?

Mary & I make a good team. Have for the last (mumble mumble) years. Oh, awright...45! Anyhoo, we were bunking together recently while visiting a dear friend, Pedigree Patterson, cackling like a couple of old WOOFer hens, discussing plans for Thanksgiving...

Me: "Everyone expects a Norman Rockwell holiday when it's usually more like...:

Mary: "Norman Bates!"

What say ye?

Is turkey day a gathering of family & friends around a lace-covered table with warm banter and homemade bread?

Or more from the perspective of a turkey watching a shiny axe blade slicing the air heading for your neck?!?!

Whatever it is, may it be blessed and bountiful!

d.d. dawg

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Miss Pattie

My “over 55” neighborhood is a buzz with excitement. We’re having a big celebration for our “Miss Pattie,” who will soon turn 90.

But this won’t be one of those parties you sometimes see on the news, where the elderly wheelchair bound guest of honor gingerly eats a tiny piece of birthday cake. This is Miss Pattie, and she is a 95 pound dynamo who is as sharp as a tack.

Miss Pattie walks most nights, and has a social calendar that could probably make Laura Bush’s life look boring. A true southern belle, she makes “to die for” pecan pralines from scratch and can still charm the best of ‘em! She may not be everything she was at 40, 50, or even 70—but she is darn close.

I recently told her that when I grew up, I wanted to be Miss Pattie. Saying “I want to be like you when I get old” wasn’t respectful, and didn’t seem appropriate, since she really isn’t old.

When I asked what her secret was for the bounce in her step, and the twinkle in her eye, Miss Pattie replied, “No medicine.” Her only “medication” is a daily multivitamin. Her other advice was, “Stay positive, hold on to your faith and hope, and interact with real, live people every single day.” In spite of some adversities she has faced, like being widowed twice, she has managed to follow her own advice.
Genetics, life style and luck do play a role in our longevity. But people like Miss Pattie are wonderful role models for those of us passing through “mature” on our way to “elderly.” She is proof positive that life can continue to be good, even when you are

Mad Dog

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dancing Queens

Cheryl, Cynthia, Mary, Oleita

I hadn't thought of her in awhile, so when my husband, who was traveling in Tennessee about 20 years ago said, "You'll never guess, in a million years, who I met," he was right.

We were about five years old and coaxed into ballet and tap dancing classes by our overly-confident parents. I truly don't remember if she was good, or not, but I still cringe today, after 50 + years just thinking of my stumbling and bumbling around the dance floor. And, ooooh, those awful recitals!

Still, my inability to dance didn't stop me from taking 25 or so bows after a less than perfect performance. (see picture below)

"Go ahead. Guess!" He coaxed. "C'mon. It's someone you haven't seen since you were 8 years old!"

Well, that certainly narrows it down! "I have no clue." It was late, and I was getting a little annoyed at the guessing game.

"Oleita Cook!" He shouted.

My mind flew, immediately, to pink tu-tus and Oleita, the pretty, dark-haired friend who had, in my juvenile mind, simply disappeared, unceremoniously, from my life.

"Wha...who...how...?" was about all I managed to stammer.

I won't go into the whole story, but my husband was searching for a business lease location and had been put in touch with a realtor. As luck (karma, in this case) would have it, the landlord was late so the realtor invited my husband to go across the street for an ice cream cone. They began talking and he discovered that she was from Southern Indiana.

"My wife's from Southern Indiana."

The realtor told him she was born in Corydon

"My WIFE grew up in Corydon!"

And so, after many, many decades, Oleita Cook (now, Norton) and I were reunited. If anyone reading this doesn't believe in fate, then...well, I have nothing for you.

Oleita is still a realtor, a successful one at that. She still lives in Tennessee with her husband. We just visited them a couple of weeks ago and had another good laugh about that fateful ice cream caper. "Had it been winter, ice cream wouldn't have been an option and we probably wouldn't have spent the time talking," she said. Go figure. All I know is that we will always remain fast friends. Some bonds are never broken.

She's also a WOOFer and proud of it! Gravy Train is her WOOF name! On our last visit, we talked about being WOOFers, and how freeing it is to reach the age where confidence is no longer something we strive to achieve. We have it! We're WOOFers!

If you have a story you'd like to tell about a long-time friendship, or a new friendship that feels like you've know each other forever, let us know!

E-mail GreatDames@woofersclub.com. We might publish your story! Oh, and pick a WOOFer name for yourself, too.

Photo at the bottom: Left to right, Cynthia, Cheryl, Yours Truly and Oleita

Mary (Milkbone)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do The Math...

Like a lot of other WOOFers, give or take a stray black sock, I’ve sorted and stuffed a load of dark clothes into the washer about 5000 times over the course of my adult life.

You’d think I’d learn.

Oh, but, no.

Today, as I lift damp, limp clothing from the washer, give each piece a shake and transport it to the dryer, I see it. The lint-cover black tee.

That’s what I get for buying new bath towels only every decade or so. And back in the 90’s, when I purchased white ones, I did so to avoid this very thing.

How quickly we forget.

So now, here I wait to see if the dryer can rectify the damage I have done, remove the plethora of lint I have inflicted on an innocent black tee. Damn those new dark green towels.

Besides that, they don’t absorb as well as the old ones.

Oh, there’s the dryer buzzer. Wish me luck…

Of course, the lint filter is going to be just the WORST!

-- d.d. dawg

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One Million Women

October 22,
there was an all-day
live webcast of The Women's Conference 2008 on http://www.californiawomen.org/. Live blogging coverage was also provided for all conversation sessions. Speakers included Christiane Amanpour, Madeline K. Albright, Cecilia Maria Attias, Cherie Blair, Cerue Konah Garlo, Sister Joan Chittister, First Lady Maria Shriver, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Indra Nooyi, Campbell Brown, Warren Buffett, Chris Matthews and Bono. Click here to view the sessions.
Empowering women, of all ages, at home and all over the world.
--d.d. dawg

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's My Life

Bon Jovi sings about it. Life. Well, this is my new life. Book fairs and conventions. And oddly enough, I love it!

Not so much the concrete floors, which are hard on WOOFer feet and legs. But I love, love, love meeting new people!

Who knew a writer could come out of her shell and enjoy interacting with people...instead of putting words on paper (or computer), forming words in her mouth and speaking them. Maybe it's the instant gratification thing.

I don't know, but it has quickly become one of my favorite things. People are fascinating and basically share the same needs and wants. Who knew?

And sometimes they actually buy a book or two.

---d.d. dawg

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dewey Readmore Books

Must admit...I’m a dog person. But one special yellow cat stole my heart on CBS Sunday Morning.

Dewey Readmore Books was the resident cat at Spencer Public Library, Spencer Iowa after a heartless soul dropped him into the library book return one cold January night in 1988.

Library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother also in a struggle to get back on her feet after a series of tragedies, found him the next morning, hoarse from crying and suffering from frostbite. He stole the hearts of the staff when, despite his discomfort, nudged each one of them in a gesture of thanks. Their decision to adopt him was rewarded by 19 years of loyalty.

A contest was held to pick a name, and Dewey (named after Melvil Dewey of Dewey Decimal System fame) Readmore Books was officially added to the staff. Patrons and friends donated pop cans and money, from as far away as New York, to pay for Dewey's food.

Don’t get me wrong. Dewey was no charity case. As an official library staff member, he had his own job description:

*Reducing stress for all humans who pay attention to him.
*Sitting by the front door every morning at 9:00 am to greet the public as they enter the library.
*Sampling all boxes that enter the library for security problems and comfort level.
*Attending all meetings in the Round Room as official library ambassador.
*Providing comic relief for staff and visitors whenever possible.
*Climbing in book bags and briefcases while patrons are studying or trying to retrieve needed papers underneath him.
*Generating free national and world-wide publicity for Spencer Public Library. (This entails sitting still for photographs, smiling for the camera, and generally being cute.)
*Working toward status as world’s most finicky cat by refusing all but the most expensive, delectable foods—and even turning up his nose at those most of the time.

To read more about Dewey, his incredible journey and lifetime of love, visit:
Spencer Public Library

Milkbone (Mary Cunningham)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dogs Rule!

Dancing dogs. One joyful dog with only two left legs. The tiniest dog. Footage of the largest dog. A dog who does math problems—without a calculator. A Golden Retriever who nurses tiger cubs. A dog, rescued hours before he was to be put down, doing “handstands” for Oprah.

Pretty doggone amazing. WOOFers sure picked great role models. Even though there are those in the canine community who come to an untimely end, through no fault of their own. But right now that’s not the intent of this post.

This post celebrates people who stand up for animal rights. Folks, like the caregivers at Angel Gate who believe in nurturing animals disabled from neglect or abuse by focusing on what they can do. Not on what they can’t.

Oh, and how do the dogs in their care respond to that kind of treatment? Come here. Let me lick your nose, and I’ll show you.

d.d. dawg (Diana)


I recently saw the movie, The Women, and was struck by a conversation two characters had concerning the fact that women often “shrink to fit” their mates.

Since we are generally, by nature, “people pleasers,” I think most of us often give up a lot-- or give in too much-- in many of our relationships. We start by trying to be the daughter we think we are supposed to be, adjust to blend into our husband’s life and schedule, and make major “shrink to fit” sacrifices when we have children.

I think that is one of the many advantages of being over 50. Most of us have more freedom now, and no longer have to “shrink to fit” anyone. Not that we don’t always want to try to please others, as well as practice compromise in our relationships. It is just that, in our middle years, we can embrace just being who we are. We can spread our wings to their fullest span and fly! Nothing is there to hold us back.

Hopefully, we learned things like patience, persistence and appreciation for the world around us during our “shrink to fit” days. So when we do get that chance to fly, we take our time, sail through the currents, and soar higher than we could have in our younger years. And that is when we realize that the view is so much more spectacular when you have waited a while to see it.

Melinda--"Mad Dog"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Wiley WOOFer

I could see she had spunk when she marched into the booth.

“Hello there…” I began my usual pitch.

She grabbed a copy of WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, and thumbed through the pages. “I’ll take it.”

“Great,” I said. “Is there someone special you’d like me to inscribe it to?”

“Yeah.” She beamed, pointing at her chest. “Me!”

Handing over the signed book, I thanked her and commented, “I love it when a woman gets it for herself.”

With a snort, she turned on her heel and called over her shoulder. “Sometimes that’s the only way you get it!”

WOOFer wisdom at work.

Diana (d.d. dawg)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TaeKwondo at 51!

Kim Kistler Grobholz, "L. A." born and raised, moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 1970 after meeting and marrying her first husband who she met hiking as a student in Austria. She has two children and has lived in Munich for the past 17 years. She studied music and history at the University of Maryland, and later trained as a veterinary practitioner. She now has her own clinic in Munich. (In the picture with her is her "golden love," Buddy.)

By the time I reached 50, my 26-year-old daughter had her brown belt in Taekwondo after 5 years of regular, dedicated training. She infected me so with her enthusiasm for this Martial Art, that by the time I turned 51, I told myself that I´d try it…if I could get out of bed the next morning after my first training. And I did!

The idea of turning my body into a “fighting machine,” was humorously encouraging. Learning one form after another was a tedious and often frustrating challenge (24 in total. I'm at # 10). The belt tests – which often involved humiliating failures at trying to break a board with a kick or hit - took place every year, from white to yellow to green to blue to red and ultimately – what I hope to be achieving soon – black. This is my 10th year, and the boards break easier as training becomes more intensive and my energy better channeled.

I am almost always the oldest in the group, but that never bothers me. It has been nice to work out with so many young people over the years, to share the same goals and challenges. When it comes to sparring and other exercises, age plays no role, as nature gives us all strengths as well as weaknesses, and both are there to be worked on and transformed.

Martial Arts bring benefits that spill over into one´s daily life. Practicing falls take the fear out of them, bones are strengthened through percussive training and warm-ups, and I noticed quite early that my piano and cello playing improved remarkably. It has something to do with that “Chi-flow” which is what Martial Arts are all about.

It seems that the body is so grateful for improvements as one grows older, benefits, even in memory and concentration, make themselves noticeable. Aging can mean poorer blood circulation as time goes on, but with dedicated training not only muscle tone improves from tip to toe), but the inner organs remain well supplied with nourishment, which our skin reflects.

Turning 60 a few weeks ago, I never felt more vital, healthier, or stronger in my life. I got through those years of physical change without hormone therapy, and finally have the figure I´ve always wanted!

A great gift from my daughter who has been my inspiration.

Thanks, Kim for sharing your inspiring story!

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

Mary Cunningham Books

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"OLD" Friends

Remember when, in the 60s and 70s, one marketing strategy manufacturers used to entice shoppers to snatch their laundry soap off the grocery shelf was to include a “gift” inside each “specially marked” box? Customers proudly stood in line at the cash register, confident their detergent was, in fact, “stronger than dirt,” and a bit smug that they were savvy enough to spot and take advantage of an added bonus – a bath towel. Who cared that it was yet another item to be laundered and therefore increased the need to buy more detergent. It was free!

Oh, and what lovely towels they were. They were decorated with big splashy roses. Red and pinkish roses, in all their full-bloom glory, from one end of the cloth to the other. Speaking of fabric, one must assume that in order to package each towel along with the powder detergent, it had to be fairly thin. It may not, however, explain why the texture of every towel was like that of an emery board.

So there we were, back in the day, my “old” friend and me, at the A&P in our small Southern Indiana hometown. In a hurry, we’d split the shopping list, Carol taking one half of the store, me the other.

What happened next created one of those moments when time stands still. Often in those instances, it takes a second to comprehend just what has occurred. But on this day, unfortunately, I knew exactly what I had heard. And then I heard it again.


It was Carol, at the other end of the store, on the detergent aisle. She’d spotted the brightly colored box that we’d just seen advertised on TV for the hundredth time. With the same zeal as the lady in the ad, though with not quite the same size viewing audience, but believe me, it was big enough, Carol was reenacting the commercial.

Just the other day we were again together in a grocery store. Trying to select the best fruit, with the produce manager restocking right next to her, Carol kept dropping bananas on the floor – then placing them back on the display.

I will forever be grateful she didn’t burst into a rendition of “I’m a Chiquita banana…”

I wouldn’t have put it past her though. She still has the spunk to do such things and does so without shame. I just think this time it slipped her mind.

Age has its rewards. Like two “old” friends still shopping together.

Carol (Proffitt) is an original in many respects...only one of which is being a charter member of WOOF. For a story about her delightful mother, check out WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty!

Diana aka d.d. dawg

Monday, September 8, 2008

Should I Apologize?

Walking on a nature path near my home this morning, I spot a "senior" gentleman pushing a baby stroller and slowly moving toward me.

But, what got my attention was the cutest Basset Hound puppy on a leash trotting alongside the stroller. It was love at first sight! Especially since I once had a Basset named Wilbur.

The man introduced me to Daisy and she obligingly rolled over on her back so I could rub her warm puppy tummy. The gentleman and I talked for about 10 minutes about how he'd lost his 19-year-old beagle in April and still wasn't over it (evidenced by the tears in his eyes). I chimed in about our 16-year-old mix, Molly and how we were struggling with the "inevitable."

We exchanged good-byes and continued on separate paths. I still had a smile on my face thinking of Daisy when I stopped and realized in horror that I not only hadn't asked about his grandchild sitting quietly in the stroller, I didn't even know if it was a boy or girl!!

What kind of grandparent am I?? The woofie-loving kind, I guess.

To read a story about Wilbur, read WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Number Too BIG To Ignore!

Fifty. The number catches the attention. Not only of women reaching that milestone, but women younger and older than 50, men of all ages and even “tweens.”

This claim is based on the past weekend’s Decatur Book fest. In the Echelon booth, perched on a stand, stacked on a table, here, there, everywhere…were copies of Women Only Over Fifty, a big old 50 plastered on a red cover. Yep, hard to ignore.

So for two days I met the most wonderful people who were drawn to that number. Men who bought our book for their spouses—to show support if their wives were feeling a little anxious about turning 50 or to honor the fact their partner had accepted it with grace. Young women who bought the book to celebrate a sister or an aunt who would soon quality as a WOOFer or were already enjoying the decade. A young man bought it for his mother. A junior high student stood staring at the cover for the longest time, drawn to it for reasons I will never know, and maybe she hasn’t even yet processed.

Then there were the women of this “certain age” who couldn’t wait to buy it for another friend who was crossing that threshold either willingly or being dragged.

Perhaps the women who touched me the most, when I asked who they wanted the book dedicated to, were the ones who proudly pointed to themselves and answered, “Me!” I particularly remember one woman who then quickly added, “I deserve to be nice to myself.” I told her, she was the reason we wrote the book. She represents the best of this WOOFer breed.

WOOFers. Women not afraid to embrace (with vigor!) wherever they are on their path. Especially so when times are challenging and unfamiliar. But on we go. Head held high and humor well intact!

A big thank you to ALL you wonderful people who stopped by the booth and made my weekend!

The book sales were great. Which means: There are a lot of us out there, in numbers too big to ignore,
and we’re gonna…

WOOF on!

Diana (d.d.dawg)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Woofers + Chocolate!

d.d. dawg (Diana), Mad Dog (Melinda), and Milkbone (Mary), celebrate the arrival of WOOF books with chocolate/chocolate cake!

Pre-order Today! Amazon

Friday, August 15, 2008

Perks of Being Over Fifty

*Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

* No one expects you to run...anywhere.

* People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

* There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

* Things you buy now won't wear out.

* You can eat supper at 4 pm.

* You can live without sex but not your glasses.

* You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

* You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

* You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

* You sing along with elevator music.

* Your eyes won't get much worse.

* Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

* Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

*You're not "up" on the latest dance moves...and you don't care.
anonymous author(s)

Milkbone (Mary)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Loss -- Andy

I have cried so hard the last few days. My eyes are swollen and sore, but yet I continue to sob. My heart feels like it has been ripped out of my chest and I hurt—all over. The pain of grief is unbearable.

But it isn’t a mother, father, or close friend that I am grieving for. It is my cat. Only an animal lover can understand that losing a beloved pet can be just as painful, because our pets are truly part of our families.

I found Andy all curled up in his favorite napping spot. After sixteen years of being my constant companion, he was gone. I’m glad he didn’t suffer.

I got Andy from an animal rescue place when he was five weeks old. He weighed a pound and a quarter at his first vet appointment. He was so scared that he was literally shaking all over. When I picked him up and cuddled with him, he sighed and relaxed in my arms. And the rest is history.

We went through so many changes together—several long distance moves, the death of his brother, his struggle with diabetes, and the death of my husband.

I don’t think we humans can truly love unconditionally. We try. But our pets are experts at unconditional love. They never argue with us when we come in from a bad day at work. They don’t try to “fix” what is wrong. They never say a word about the extra pounds we have gained, or ask us “What in the world did you do?” when we come back from spending big bucks at the hair salon. They just listen and love.

They have their demands though. Andy would greet me at the door, meowing for a treat and a rub. At night sometimes, he would yowl—just to get me to wake up and acknowledge the fact that he was there. And the last eight years of his life, I had to give him insulin shots twice a day. But all I did for him only made me feel needed, wanted and loved. Through it all, I feel like he gave me a lot more than I gave him. He only asked me to love and care for him. And, in return, he gave me total unconditional love.

The house seems so empty without him. I long to hear him purring in my lap, and looking up at me as if to say: “You’re the greatest thing since tuna fish!”

Andy, I am so glad I had you for so many years. The pleasure you brought me will help turn this sadness I am feeling now into wonderful memories. Rest in peace, buddy.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Cat On A Hot Tin WOOF

A WOOFer spies a feral cat prowling her farm and emails her observations. The feline ventures close for food and drink. Try to pet her? Gone, baby, gone.

My friend goes on to say the cat’s behavior reminds her of a middle-age acquaintance who is always on the move. A veritable undomesticated great dame.

So maybe WOOFers and cats have more in common than previously thought.

And maybe, when a woman hits 50, any wild streak she embraced in her younger years doesn’t immediately shrivel to the size of Cleopatra’s mummified ovaries. Her graying hair (somewhere beneath the L’Oreal) doesn’t automatically signal a dullness of wit and wiliness.

Correct me if I’m wrong (which I’m not, so don’t bother), WOOFers still feel the fire “down below” and a quickening pulse at the mere mention of the Denzel Washingtons and/or Ellen DeGenereses of the world.

Sure, a Barkalounger and Social Security take precedence over bikini waxes and firm abs on the over-50 woman’s priority list.

But, hey, all that means is this...a WOOFer not only weighs more than in her 30s, she also weighs a bit more carefully her choices.

Example: Now, with the urge to be a “bad dog,” many of us sip a glass of red wine before 5 and dine on extra-dark chocolate.

A WOOFer toast: To healthy, wealthy and … wild!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Gone Fishin'

One of the more unpleasant things about getting older, I think, is that we become more resistant to change and learning new things. I know that has been the case for me.

Sometimes we are forced into change, and even when it is because of bad circumstances, that can be good. After I lost my husband almost three years ago, I had to change absolutely everything about my life. I learned to deal with all kinds of new experiences, from pumping my own gas to handling the IRA’s.

I also discovered that new interests not only helped me in the healing process, they empowered me and made me feel accomplished. I learned to dance, and became involved with different social circles. One of the people I met along my way was Tom, who is now my boyfriend. (And yes, it is OKAY for a WOOFer to refer to a man she is dating steadily as a “boyfriend”).

Tom had expressed his interest in fishing when we first started dating, but I was quite surprised when he suggested I try it. “Fishing??? Now isn’t that supposed to be some type of a male bonding ritual?”

His response was “Try it. You’ll like it.” So I reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. Or would that be hook? Of course, I have to admit, it helped when he told me that he had a covered pontoon boat, complete with a stereo system and bathroom. And—that the boat was stocked with lots of goodies, including chocolate and adult beverages.

The first day out was so relaxing—just quiet conversation, the warm sun and the sparkling water. I decided right then and there that this fishing stuff was okay. But then, it happened...

I looked over and saw one of the rods attached to the boat bend completely over. Tom yelled, “You got one!” and I grabbed the rod out of the holder. I started turning the reel madly, only to be told, “That’s the wrong way! You’ve got it upside down!”

The entire time I was trying to get that darn fish to take a boat ride with me, I was yelling “Help me! I can’t hold on! This is too hard!” I glanced over and saw Tom filming my novice attempt. “Oh yes you can!” he declared. “Just kept turning, and hold on tight!”

After a string of colorful words, and a lot of tugging, I won. Tom scooped my catch up into the net and put the fish on the scale. I couldn’t believe it when he said, “You caught a 10 pounder!”

My heart was pumping and my arms were shaking. Man, what a rush! I did something I never ever dreamed I would or could do. Maybe fishing is just a little thing, and of course, not everyone’s cup of tea—but it felt so amazing to realize I had pushed the envelope again. I had been challenged to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

It has been great fun to share my “fish story” and show friends the photo of the big one that didn’t get away. And even more fun to hear the words “Wow. Is that you? And you caught one that size by yourself? Boy have you changed!”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Long Ago and Far Away...

Some (many) of you WOOFers out there may not remember this era, but it brought back my "small-town" memories. (The author is anonymous)

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.

Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.

We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.

We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.

We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me Me.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
Oprah couldn't talk, yet, in the Land That Made Me Me.

We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.

For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me Me.

We'd never seen a rock band Grateful to be Dead,
Airplanes weren't Jefferson, Zeppelins weren't Led.

Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was a virgin in the Land That Made Me Me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
Babies might be bottle-fed, but they weren't grown in jars.

Hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me Me.

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
Fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.

And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
Ancient were our parents in the Land that Made Me Me.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.

They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way baby, from the Land That Made Me Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.

And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me Me.

Milkbone (Mary)

Do you have special memories of the 50s or 60s? Post a comment, or e-mail us! GreatDames@WoofersClub.com

*Thanks to Kim for the e-mail!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Keep On The Sunny Side

I am the “baby” in an over 55 community. Most people would think being surrounded by lots of widows in their 70’s and 80’s would be depressing. I find it inspiring.

Many of the women in my neighborhood have suffered through some tragic events and currently face health and financial issues. Yet, with few exceptions, they are still as positive and productive as they can be.

Take Miss Pattie for example. She will be 90 in December, has been a widow for over 25 years, and is also a cancer survivor. I have never seen her without a big smile on her face and a joyful comment about something.

Mozelle can barely walk, yet to my knowledge she has never uttered a word of complaint about the pain she suffers as a result of arthritis. She is always so interesting and has given me a lot of useful advice.

Pauline lives next door to Mozelle and is amazing. I’m sure she is somewhere in her 80’s also, and yet she thinks it is “no big deal” to drive in nearby Dallas. She is tough and won’t let that awful traffic stop her from visiting family and friends.

And then there is Dovie, who keeps us all laughing. Her life has not been a bed of roses, but she uses her quick wit to turn almost any situation into a humorous one. I often have tears rolling down my face after spending time with Dovie, particularly when she talks about older men that just want “a nurse and a purse.”

My neighbor across the street, Ann, has cancer. She is a gifted artist and after seeing how much the chemo treatments cost, she spent $2,000 of her own money to have note cards printed with her artwork on them. She is selling these special cards to raise money for those patients who can’t afford the chemo her insurance covers. All of the money she is taking in goes directly to a foundation at the hospital. In her darkest hour, Ann is still reaching out to help others.

All of these women have traveled down different paths, have weathered different storms, and have new struggles ahead. But “sunny” words—sometimes hilarious—are all they use. Like one day when Dovie said “Come on girls. Let’s get up and go out before we mildew!”

I like to go to lunch with “the girls.” Their spirits shine through their aging faces and frail bodies. On one recent outing I saw Miss Pattie’s eyes still dancing with enthusiasm, and said, “I want to be you when I grow up!” And I do. God Bless the ladies who show me every day that life—despite its ups and downs—will always be better if you keep on the sunny side.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is She Born Yet?

Will she be from Oregon? Delaware? Wisconsin, New Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii? The next woman US presidental candidate.

Politics aside, we can be proud (or should be if we aren’t) that citizens in this country opened their minds enough to actively support a qualified woman running for president. (The fact an African-American man also found his way to that rank is historical as well. Whoo-hoo!)

Again, leaving political parties and personalities at the polling booth, the WOOFer generation is potentially the last to truly appreciate the significance of this milestone. My mother was born around the time women were granted the right to vote in this country. So she was too young to remember struggling suffragettes. Her mother did, however.

That means a woman I have known in my lifetime, a woman who touched me …with whom I talked, laughed and cried…experienced firsthand the joy and responsibility of claiming her place next to men in determining the fate of our country and her own life.

Another of my role models is Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated here with Susan. B. Anthony), social activist and leading figure of the early woman's movement in America. I think it’s my duty as a woman to share her words with my daughter and granddaughter, who will then, I hope, pass them on to other women and young girls.

In 1892, after fighting for female suffrage and women's rights for five decades, Stanton made her final appearance before members of the US Congress, and spoke on the central value of the individual. From Solitude of Self:

"The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self-dependence must give each individual the right to choose his own surroundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear--is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself…”

Women have come a long way the last 100 years, from the time they were arrested and beaten for standing in front of Woodrow Wilson’s White House, peacefully waving flags printed with the commander-in-chief’s own words about the rights of Americans.

Still we have not seen a woman occupy the Oval Office. But I just bet Stanton is smiling right now, her hand on the pulse of every American woman’s birthright, merely wondering: Is she born yet?

d.d. dawg

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Sippery Art of Book Reviewing

What are YOU reading?

For all you WOOFer "wanna-be" book reviewers, have we got a book for you!

June is 'Book Reviewing' month at Blog Critics Magazine! To promote the release of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, author Mayra Calvani will be interviewing 15+ reviewers and review editors during the month of June. Learn all about the business of book reviewing and what's in the mind of some of the most popular reviewers on the internet today. Some of the guests will include: Alex Moore from ForeWord Magazine, James Cox from Midwest Book Review, Irene Watson from Reader Views, Andrea Sisco from Armchair Interviews, Magdalena Ball from The Compulsive Reader, Sharyn McGinty from In The Library Reviews, Lea Schizas from Muse Book Reviews, Linda Baldwin from Road to Romance, Hilary Williamson from Book Loons, Judy Clark from Mostly Fiction, and many others! To see the complete lineup, visit: The Slippery Book Review Blog.
Stop by and leave a comment under the interviews for a chance to win a Virtual Book Tour (sponsored by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, a $150 value!) or a $50 B&N gift certificate!

We also wants to encourage all WOOFers to send comments to WOOFers Club Blog about your favorite books. Let us know what you're reading...what you like, along with what you don't like!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Is It So Hard To Find Clothes for WOOFers?

Every time I go shopping, I get frustrated. I can’t seem to find anything to wear. My choices are something in the Hannah Montana line, or an outfit that looks like it belonged to Eleanor Roosevelt (no offense to a great woman, but her generation dressed in a style I would label as “dowdy”).

These days clothing manufacturers are making their apparel for either the young, very shapely bodies or the older “only one curve and it is round” figures. Many of us over fifty have bodies that fall somewhere in the middle, and we want something stylish and flattering.

Take jeans for example. Most these days are “low riders.” I don’t sport a butterfly tattoo, and I really don’t think the world is ready to be exposed to my lower back (and that other thing that rhymes with back). I want something that sits comfortably at my waist and hides my tummy. The other day when I tried on a pair of elastic waist jeans, I let out a shriek that sent the sales lady running into the dressing room to see if I had just dropped dead. In the mirror I swear I saw my grandmother (God rest her soul) in pants that could have passed as two huge blue sacks.

And what about underwear? I find panties that either look like they could be used for big white kites, or thongs. Now you talk about uncomfortable! Not that I have had any experience with those thong panties—but I can just imagine what they feel like in that place I refuse to expose that rhymes with back.

Dresses, skirts and blouses aren’t much better. My middle aged roll won’t allow me to wear those cropped tops, and it seems my only other choice is a “I never leave the house” muumuu. Aren’t there any tasteful styles that are somewhere between “I’m a cute little hottie” and “I don’t care what I look like anymore?”

I don’t mean to slam or ridicule any age, size or shape, but honestly most of what is available for women over fifty is definitely not appealing to us, or appropriate for our body types.

I’m not trying to give anyone a plug here, but there are a few manufacturers that have gotten the message that there are a lot of women like me looking for nice clothes that fit well. I like the pretty styles at Coldwater Creek (especially when they hit the discount outlet store online!) and I discovered my favorite western store carries a line made by Wranglers called Aura. Not only do the jeans hug my waist comfortably, they are stretchy! Can’t beat that! I also understand that Spanx undergarments are the greatest thing since popcorn for “not so perfect but not terrible” older bodies like mine. I am anxious to try them.

So kudos to those folks, but we need to see a lot more choices out there for WOOFers!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Two Song Broads

Cher’s take on aging. “It sucks!”

Tina Turner. “Age is just a number.”

Gotta love 'em both. Tina, 68, touring again. Still, legs to die for. Attitude and light radiating from her FUNky hair right down to her stilettos. Makes you wonder if that river she’s been rolling on all these years flows from the fountain of youth.

Cher, 61, opening in Las Vegas. No biggie if you’re a performer of her caliber, right? Well, maybe. Except she gets stage fright and could easily sit home playing computer solitaire. For whatever reason, she’s also putting herself out there again. And, like Tina, she’s still got it going on.

Just maybe not quite so thrilled when she looks in the mirror at a middle-aged woman. Tina may have had a moment like that. Who knows. And perhaps Cher will turn the corner and feel better about the whole aging process. She and Tina already have a lot in common, personally as well as professionally.

Bottom line is this: These two song broads STILL give life all they got.

And, why not? It’s that, or play the red eight on the black nine. Now THAT sucks!

d.d. dawg

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Woofers Are Covered!!

(drum roll, please)

Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen. Boys & girls. Dogs and cats (well, maybe not cats! Okay, cats included). We're thrilled to unveil the new cover for our upcoming release, Women Only Over Fifty (WOOF)! A funny, light-hearted break from the normal spin of the world. A humorous little book that will have WOOFers everywhere howling at the moon!

Yep. d.d. dawg (Diana), Mad Dog (Melinda) and Milkbone (Mary) can't wait for the book release by Echelon Press. Looks like July 1.

Watch for updates, because we'll soon be launching the Woofers Club Blog, including a forum were you can "unleash" all your funny stories, frustrations, and vents about the "joys" of the aging process.

So, get ready for the Wild, Wacky, Wonderful World of WOOF!

Doggone, we're good!

Monday, May 12, 2008

If One's Good...

Mother Goose - Random House, 1949

We love books, right? But just how much? Enough to set aside 12 buildings on our rural property where we house one million (yes, MILLION) tomes? Sure, we would if we could. But you gotta admit, THAT amount of effort takes an amazing passion for books.

Central Wisconsin, off County Road K, that’s where Lloyd Dickman cultivates wheat and corn while his wife Lenore grows the book collection. The Dickman’s bookstore is open regular business hours on Saturday and anytime by appointment…or if you happen to find them stocking shelves and not out procuring more books.

During an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, Lenore, who rather likes her Dickman system for cataloging instead of Dewey’s, pointed to a book table she says is the most important of all. The table does not labor under the weight of leather-bound classics like “Tale of Two Cities” or “Les Miserable.” Rather small, colorful reads such as “Mother Goose.”

“If a child knows eight nursery rhymes by the time he is four years old,” said Lenore, now retired, but who, with her husband’s support and sacrifice, earned a PhD, “that child will be an excellent reader by the time he is eight years old.”

Personally, I have to trust the opinion of someone ensconced by that much paper and ink; a person who when additional book space was needed, cleaned out, fixed up and roofed a huge storage bin that once held cow manure. Actually, that project was Lloyd’s contribution. Soon he’s going to turn over one-third of his tractor garage to Lenore’s ever-expanding stockpile.

That’ll bring their bookstore “chain” to 13. All that without serving one cup of coffee or surfacing the long dirt road leading to their store.

Yeah, one has to love books nearly as much as they do to venture out to their place. And that’s exactly what the Dickman’s count on.


CBS Sunday Morning - Bill Geist

Friday, April 18, 2008

WOOFers To The Rescue!

Women Only Over Fifty with a "new leash on life." Have we got a book and a club for you!

From Oprah to Ellen to our water aerobics instructor, it’s all about the joys of aging! How 50 is the new 30! Whatever!

Some of us are hounded by middle-age. We’re dog-tired, wrinkled as a Sharpei and barking like a bitch.

Enter: WOOF: For the over-fifty woman itching to howl at the aging process. From issues of graying hair, expanding waistlines and wrinkling tattoos, to embracing triumph over personal tragedy, WOOF raises four paws to our past accomplishments, present realizations and future dreams.

Are you up to it...dogtrotting alongside this sisterhood taking the second half of life by the tail? We know you are. After all, the past 50 years you’ve gained freedom! You’ve gained power! You’ve gained wisdom!

(Don't tell us you think weight is the only thing you've gained. Oh, you so need

WOOF! Women Only Over Fifty - Look for it this Summer in your favorite bookstore or online.

“A howl a day keeps the scowl away!”

d.d.dawg, Milkbone & Mad Dog

And, if you're in the West Georgia area, stop by and say, "Hey!" d.d. dawg and Milkbone will be at the Carrollton Mayfest, Saturday, May 3rd from 10:00AM-4:30PM. We'll be "somewhere in the vicinity" of Adamson Square!