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

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Red Dress Diary: 12 -- Your Place or Mine?

Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Entry 12:

Your Place or Mine?

Ceremony plans may not be as complicated and detailed when you marry later in life, but there are other decisions older couples have to make.

Most mature couples have two established homes. Deciding which house you will reside in can be a tough decision. In our case, Tom made the decision for us. I had gone from Daddy to dormitory to husband. I never had a place of my own, until I bought and decorated a new home after my husband died.

Tom knew how important it was for me to keep my new found independence, and suggested that we use his place as a weekend second home. But I wanted him to feel our primary residence was his, too. So we bought some new furniture, and replaced a few of my furnishings with Tom's photos and knickknacks. It may be my house, but hopefully we are turning it into our home.

Melinda (Mad Dog)

What's your WOOFer breed? Check it out in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty

Monday, May 25, 2009

Women Founded Memorial Day to Unite Our Country


In commemorating the battle of June 9, 1864, at Petersburg, VA, and memories of the old men and boys of the Petersburg militia, the ladies of Petersburg formed the Ladies’ Memorial Association on May 6, 1866. Mrs. William T. Joynes was elected the Association’s first President. The purpose of the association was “to devise means to perpetuate their gratitude and admiration for those who died defending homes and loved ones.”

At their May 30, 1866, meeting, the ladies “discussed the proper celebration of the 9th of June, the anniversary of the noble defence ... by the Reserves, many of whom fell on that day. By a unanimous vote it was decided to make this, the 9th of June, a permanent Memorial Day.” These actions of the Ladies Memorial Association of Petersburg, Virginia, inspired the ultimate establishment of a National Memorial Day.

One of the principal, active members of the Ladies Memorial Association was Miss Nora Fontaine Maury Davidson who had established a school for young women in Petersburg. On June 9, 1865, she took her students with her to Blandford Cemetery and decorated the graves of both Union and Confederate dead with flowers and flags.
Because of the relatively mild weather of Petersburg, grave decorations can last for quite long periods of time. Sometimes the decorations from the year before have to be removed before new decorations can be placed on the graves.

Decorating graves of deceased servicemen is a practice that still prevails in Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, a practice originated by Miss Davidson and the Ladies Memorial Association. Miss Nora, as she was called, instilled in her students “... the ideals of patriotism and devotion to duty.”

It was the graves decorated by Miss Nora and her students on June 9, 1867, that Mrs. John A. Logan saw on her visit to Petersburg in 1868. “It was from this celebration that Mrs. Logan, wife of the gallant Federal general, who was in Petersburg at that time, gained her inspiration which caused the National Decoration Day which is now in existence.”

Today we honor those men and women who gave their lives for our country. We thank About.com for this information. For more about women in history, please click here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Red Dress Diary: 11 - Encore Brides

Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Entry 11:

Encore Brides

I was surprised to find a whole industry out there that caters to older second-time-around brides. Websites and magazines offer information on everything from "mature" gowns and proper invitation wording, to seating etiquette for ex-spouses and "hot" honeymoon spots for seniors.

There is even a name for women over fifty who are tying the knot: Encore Brides. Okay, it is probably just a marketing label that sounds much more politically correct than "over the hill brides." But I like it!

It makes me feel like Cinderella and Prince Charming don't have to be young. Sometimes they have gray hair that shimmers in the spotlight as they slowly waltz into happily ever after.

Melinda (Mad Dog)

What's your WOOFer breed? Check it out in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty

Monday, May 18, 2009

WOOFer's Dress Code - Putting On the Dog


Some of us over 50, are quite confused about how we should present ourselves.

We're unsure about the kind of image we're projecting and whether or not we are correct in trying to conform to current fashion.

In spite of what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided: (courtesy of WOOFer, Dottie)

* A nose ring and bifocals
* Spiked hair and bald spots
* A pierced tongue and dentures
* Miniskirts and support hose
*Ankle bracelets and corn pads
* A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
* Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
* Bikinis and liver spots
* Short shorts and varicose veins.

Of course, we all know that none of us are guilty of the above, but we can always inform our friends who might be (ahem).

To read more valuable tips for "Dressing the Mature Mutt," Read chapter Eight, "Putting On the Dog," in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty.

Echelon Press (direct)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Red Dress Diary: #10 -- Time Is On Our Side!

Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Here's entry 10:

Time is on Our Side
Shortly after Tom and I became serious, friends and family members began to ask us when we were getting married. We wanted to take things slowly, particularly since I was a widow dealing with some complex emotions. People would say things like, "But you are older. You don't have much time left, you know."

I disagree. Maybe we don't have fifty years of marriage to look forward to, but we do have time--more than we ever had in our younger relationships.

We are not juggling responsibilities, trying to find the balance between being good providers, great parents and worthwhile employees. We are no longer struggling to squeeze a few hours into our hectic schedules to see friends or have a "date night." Sadly, we also don't have to deal with in-laws or taking care of elderly parents. We have fewer distractions and more time to devote to our relationship.

We may not have the quantity we did years ago, but now we have quality time to spend with each other. So time really is on our side.

Melinda (Mad Dog)

Did you know Mad Dog can write a limerick about ANYTHING?!?!? Check it out in WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm Not the Woman I Thought I Was - A Mother's Day Poem

When I was in my twenties, I was a woman
With a flat stomach and ten polished fingernails,
A woman with a handsome boyfriend.

When I was in my thirties, I was a woman
Who was smart and professional, who wore a fur coat and high heels
And had an apartment with a view.

When I was in my forties, I was a woman with two babies
Who lived in a condo with no view,
Who wondered what she gotten herself into.

When I was in my fifties, I was a woman who mothered a mother,
Who chafed and struggled, who admired what I had borne,
And who wondered who I was.

And now I know I am a woman who had a flat stomach and
Ten polished fingernails, a handsome boyfriend;
A smart, professional woman who wore heels and a fur coat
And had an apartment with a view. My dry husk, attached to a twig.

Now I know I am a woman who, with a mate of such good fortune,
Had two babies who grew honorable and compassionate,
Even though she lived in a condo without a view
And wondered what she had gotten herself into. My struggling self, trying to push free.

And now I know I am a mother who mothered a mother, often badly,
But tried, and found the view in her own backyard,
And understood what she had gotten herself into,
And untied her heart so that it could , at last, lift with gratitude.
My wings, drying in the sun, unfolding to my own amazement.

By WOOFer, Joann Dunn

Joann Dunn is also an author. Find out about her Curtis Family Chronicles on her website:

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Red Dress Diary: #9 -- Extra Grandma

Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Here's entry 9:

Extra Grandma Older second marriages can be confusing to young children. They often don't understand the new relationship and how that person fits into the family, particularly when similiar relationships already exist.

This past Christmas we visited Tom's son and his family, including six-year-old Ajay. Tom's grandson told me that he knew his "Grandma" was "My Mommy's Mommy," and that "Oma" was his Dad's Mother (Tom's ex-wife).

Ajay studied me carefully, quite perplexed at first, like he was trying to figure out where to put me and what to call this woman his Grandpa was going to marry. With a big sigh of relief, he grinned and proclaimed, "So you are Extra Grandma!"

Works for me!!
--Melinda (Mad Dog)

For Melinda Musings pre-engagement, check out WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty (Echelon Press)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Linda Rogers...Hungry for Life

"Rogers unbuttons language like a verbal vamp." - John Moore, Vancouver Sun

Our guest WOOFer/Verbal Vamp is author/poet/performer/
songwriter/journalist/editor (what did we miss?!) Linda Rogers. Along the way she carved out time to also get married and have three children, who have since blessed her with three grandchildren. She lives in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and is the author of numerous novels,
children's books, books of poetry, songs...well, the list goes on and on. Please follow this link to find out more about Rogers' amazing work not only expressing herself creatively, but her committed efforts to empower children around the world.

Sit back and enjoy her interview, one she titled ...

Geriatric Rambling

WOOF: Although you were from a writing family, you were sabotaged at almost every stage in life when it came to developing your writing career. What made you persevere?

LR: I never knew what other people wanted from me because I hadn’t bothered to figure them out. I sometimes did what I was told and sometimes didn’t. That is the game. As I hadn’t figured myself out either, I had nothing invested in being anything except a good mother and now a good grandmother.

Even though I am a big blabbermouth my grandson recently told me I was trustworthy and that he told me things no one else would hear. WOW!

I do have a huge compulsion to talk, to share stories and ideas. That is primal. There is no ego in it. I haven’t ever taken the trouble to figure out why anything about myself. I always thought the world was a lot more interesting. I love the world.

My mother gave me pencils and paper to shut me up when I was a small child. That worked. I am only quiet when reading and writing. Otherwise I am talking singing, buzzing. Maybe that is perseverance. I also like to get to the bottom of a story. I think PK Page once called me inquisitive. That wasn’t a compliment, even though I choose to take it that way.

A lot of the obstruction was gender stuff. Men don’t like women who are smarter than they are, unless they are very secure. I am married to a secure man. He is not threatened. Probably he is smarter than I am.

WOOF: We're very interested in hearing more about this "opera-singing" ghost. Can you single out a particular experience?

LR: Funny you should mention the ghost. I cleaned her house yesterday, because my youngest son and his family are moving out. It is a big old MacLure (well known architect) house built by a musical family. One of the family members was an opera singer called Georgina Kent. Georgina was not thrilled about her early death, so she hung around.

We read about her in the city archives after she showed up, particularly in the bedroom of my eldest son, also an opera singer, which had been the nursery for her children. She told him her name on his Ouija board and blew out candles. She also laughed when people had sex.

We often heard Georgina singing, but the sex part was very memorable.

WOOF: Your works range from novels to poetry to songwriting to children's books. Do you have a favorite genre? Why?

LR: I honestly don’t think I do, although, because I am the Victoria Poet Laureate at the moment, people are more inclined to describe me as a poet. Because of the job, I am more focused on poetry, mostly initiating projects like getting inner city kids to write, setting up a popal program with schools in other countries, collecting books and school supplies for kids in a South African township school, organizing art, dance music and poetry exhibitions and readings and editing an anthology of poetry and visual art called Framing the Garden.

I am not ignoring my other children. Soon, in addition to a poetry collection called Muscle Memory, I will have a new novel The Third Day Book, the second in the Empress Trilogy, and an album of songs Ruin and Beauty, written for the band Light Sweet Crude.

You could say I have faves of the moment. Some ideas come as stories, some as songs and others as poems. They fold themselves into different parts of my brain.

I don’t favour any of my children either. They are all different.

WOOF: In a recent piece on Leonard Cohen, you wrote, "For me, he has always been the priest of the impossible possible." The impossible possible. That phrase is haunting. Please explain.

LR: Cohen has spent his life banging his head on some kind of prayer. Poetry is prayer. Sometimes it helps make the impossible possible. Sometimes the possible impossible. That is the paradox of life. We are touched but not touching. We are touching but not touched. Life is hunger. The beautiful thing about Leonard Cohen is that he seems to have figured out that real joy is not in longing, but in being, where we transcend the need to be or have more than we are. That is the possible. He may have to stop writing!

WOOF: Is there anything about this time of your life you savor so much you can hardly speak about it? Do tell!

LR: Everyone in my family is well. Everyone in my family laughs. I wish the world were like that. I savour the blessings and try to relieve a small part of the suffering of others who are not as lucky, but I no longer believe in magic solutions, and gilded answers. The world will create problems as fast as we find solutions. That is the other side of grace. It has its own fascination. I am becoming a watcher as well as a doer.

WOOF: We suspect you will never use up your wealth of talents. How do you expect to continue expressing yourself in new, creative ways?

LR: My body will use itself up eventually. That is the way it is meant to be. I have escorted loved ones to the last threshold and it is beautiful there. I expect to keep on encountering beauty. It will continue to astonish me. Even if, when something prevents me from writing, I will continue to experience it until it is over. I’ve used up quite a few trees and it will be someone else’s turn to write about their time on Earth.

We want to thank Linda for sharing her insight into the many facets of her fascinating life...Visit her website for more on Linda. Let's hope she'll visit us again with more Geriatric Rambling!

-- Diana

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Red Dress Diary: Entry Eight

Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Here's entry eight:

Love is Wonderful The Second Time Around. Just as Wonderful With Two Feet on the Ground.
I remember falling in love and becoming a young bride many years ago. I was swept away and didn't worry about anything. Just jumped into the fire...with no money, no home and no real plans beyond the next Christmas. Ignorance is bliss, until you have to face the usual marital problems like personality and lifestyle differences, in-laws and money issues.

This time Tom and I are discussing everything from drawing up new wills and blending families, to handling assets and signing a pre-nuptial agreement. I think age and experience have helped us become better equipped to deal with concerns before they become major hurtful divisions. It seems we are approacing issues more rationally and less emotionally than we did in our first relationships. Wisdom has enabled us to treat this union more respectfully.

The passionate fire produced by young love is truly wonderful. The glowing embers of older love may not be as explosive, but they, too, warm your heart and soul. Love is different this second time around, but it is just as deep. Our feet are on the ground and not in the fire. And it is just as wonderful!

Melinda (Mad Dog)

Click here to read more about Mad Dog's feet...well, really her red shoes!

For Melinda Musings pre-engagement, check out WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty (Echelon Press)