The voice of Baby Boomers from a woman's perspective

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Chick lit by Liane Moriarty

liesIf you like to read about bitchy women, you’ll love Australian author Liane Moriarty’s new book, Big Little Lies. Even if you don’t like to read about bitchy women there are lots of other things to appeal to you in this story such as, love, adultery, murder, mystery, domestic abuse and the complicated job of raising children in today’s world. And there’s a scene in the book where one of the characters describes erotic asphyxiation that prompted me to think about what the accusers of Jian Ghomeshi might have experienced. While this may sound like a downer, the book is actually quite engrossing. I found it hard to put down until I knew how all the pieces of the plot fit together.

Having read Moriarty’s earlier book, The Husband’s Secret a couple of years ago, I was confident I would enjoy her latest work.  The author clearly understands what she’s dealing with when describing life in the coastal town of Pirriwee, a microcosm of any neighbourhood we are probably all familiar with. The book opens with mothers preparing their children to start Kindergarten amidst the swirl of mommy cliques, economic disparity and complicated family issues. Modern women will relate to many of the scenarios described in the book and the author approaches her subjects with intelligence and empathy.

Moriarty’s books are not serious literature but Big Little Lies is a fun read and I got through it fairly quickly. It reinforced my own belief that living a life of truth is ultimately the better way. I have always found lies to be contemptible and require a trail of further lies to sustain the narrative, which rarely has a positive outcome. But you’ll have to read the book to discover the truth.

For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, book and movie reviews, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read.

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Back in the saddle again

sick1Did you miss me? The reason I haven’t been blogging this week is because I’ve just lost six days of my life thanks to a vicious virus that had me laid up in bed for longer than I can ever remember. It started with a sore throat on Monday morning and by noon I was flat-out on the sofa, moving later to my bed where I’ve been holed up in the dark for almost a week. Everything hurt. My hair hurt when I brushed it; my armpits hurt when I put deodorant on after a shower; my joints were so sore I could only lay in one position for ten or fifteen minutes before I had to shift to be more comfortable. I’ve had a blinding headache non-stop and thanks to extreme light sensitivity in my eyes, I could neither read or watch TV to pass the time.

So what I did with that time was lie there under the covers cursing the major pharmaceutical companies and plotting my revenge for their inability to come up with a vaccine or cure for the common cold. I am absolutely convinced this is not an insurmountable problem. As my old boss used to say, “I want solutions not excuses.”. Despite their arguments that the common cold cannot be prevented or cured because of the various permutations of the virus, I don’t buy it. After all, they found a vaccine to prevent HPV and that’s a virus. We can vaccinate against pneumonia, shingles and dozens of other diseases. And they’ve unlocked the secrets of complex DNA sequencing codes. Why not the simple common cold?

pharmaThe reason there is no cure or preventive vaccination is because it’s simply not in the best interests of the pharmaceutical giants to solve this problem. They make bazillions of dollars marketing and selling snake oil cures to the hapless public that do a questionable job of even mitigating the symptoms. I’ve always been a believer in treating the cause rather than the symptoms but how would they replace all those obscenely huge profits from questionable cold remedies if they were simply able to prevent the common cold. I’m convinced that a science nerd in some university lab has already created the vaccine but Big Pharma paid big dollars to buy the creator’s patent and silence.

And while I’m on a rant here, I have the same attitude about a cure for cancer. It’s simply not in the best interests of Big Pharma to come up with a cure when they can charge suffering patients nine hundred dollars a month for anti-nausea drugs instead. Think of all the well-meaning participants in Terry Fox runs and Susan B. Komen runs-for-the-cure that have been staged in the last thirty years. They’ve raised billions of dollars for research and yet they still haven’t found a cure?

We're ready to rock n' roll once again.

We’re both ready to rock n’ roll once again.

It’s been rather quiet for my readers this past week and the ongoing sources of my irritations and annoyances have enjoyed a week of peace. I’m now ready to resume my evil ways and call out the offenders, champion the champions and speak for Boomers who care about the world around them. And my little Yorkie’s delighted too. She’s spent the last week snuggled up against me, leaving my side only long enough to eat and go pottie. She’s dying to resume her busy life of ball-chasing, sniffing lamp posts and otherwise terrorizing the neighbourhood. We’re both ready to rock ‘n roll.



Growing old is getting even better . . . if you live in Mississauga

MiWAY promises to be the better way to get to the wine store.

MiWAY promises to be the better way to get to the mall or the wine store.

Mississauga City Councillor Carolyn Parrish was positioned to win the hearts and votes of thousands of Mississauga seniors and Boomers who are soon-to-be-seniors this past week by introducing a one dollar transit fare for seniors. But the motion was held over to a later date. I’m surprised our ninety-four-year-old ex-Mayor Hurricane Hazel didn’t come up with that one but she would probably have been attacked by her critics for conflict of interest.

Imagine life for Mississauga Boomers if this deal goes through. There’s a bus stop at the end of my street that goes direct to Sherway Gardens. When I’m in my eighties and can no longer pass my drivers’ test, I’ll still be able to get my retail fix and have plenty of coin left over for a Timmie’s steeped tea in the food court. And the liquor store is right across the road from the mall so I’ll be able to load up on wine all in one trip.

Compare the estimated cost of owning and operating a car (based on CAA calculations) with taking a return trip on MiWAY (Mississauga Transit) every single day of the week.

Cost Per Year Cost Per Month
Automobile $12,000.00 $1,000.00
MiWay $730.00 $60.00
Savings $11,270.00 $940.00

 That leaves me with enough cash leftover to spend on any number of fun old lady things, such as:

  • Pay rent/mortgage/operating costs on my condo
  • Buy real meat instead of cat food for protein in my diet
  • Treat my gal pals to a comp’d meal during our free trip to the casino
  • New orthotics for my biker boots
  • Tickets to Paul McCartney’s concert tour celebrating his 100th birthday
  • Indulge in Mary Macleod’s melt-in-your-mouth ridiculously expensive chocolate chunk or pecan shortbreads more than once a year
  • Those nifty incontinence pads specially designed for thongs.
  • Dining out when it’s not even the “early bird special”
  • Wine with a cork instead of in a box
  • Medicinal weed for my arthritis
Another round, Timmie please.

Another round, Timmie please.

The possibilities are mind-blowing. And combine that with all the hundreds of dollars I’m saving every year by using my Mississauga library card to download books instead of purchasing them, I’m practically rolling in dough. Which means I could also afford real dough like maple donuts with my Timmie’s steeped tea. In fact I could even buy a round of tea for all my Boomer Broad pals. Does life get any better?

One dollar bus rides are just the beginning. If we push a bit, we could probably get a card from the Mayor on our birthday thanking us for all those years of paying taxes and encouraging us to live longer to keep paying taxes. We’ll probably all still have part-time jobs or hopefully some incoming-bearing investments until we die so we’ll never get any relief from the tax man. Just call it government’s way of saying “thank you”. All aboard!

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March Madness explained

Thought you’d enjoy this reposting of a piece from a year ago.

sale1Please tell me I’m not the only person in the world who thought March Madness was about special annual retail sales—like Black Friday. For weeks leading up to the big event and for the duration, I kept waiting for the flyers from my favourite retailers to arrive in my mailbox. With visions of bargain-priced sugar plums dancing in my head I couldn’t wait to hit the mall to stock up on half-price underwear and my favourite jeans. Surely all the cosmetics companies would be having extra-special promotions with yummy shades of lipstick in their give-aways.

Excitement turned to disappointment when the media started talking sports in the same sentence as March Madness. My suspicions were confirmed when I asked my husband who gently explained that the “real Marchmeaning” of March Madness was the narrowing down of basketball teams competing for ranking in their respective cups—as in athletic. Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus but not in March.

For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, book and movie reviews, order my book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read.

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This Animal Shelter Offers Pet Delivery To Offices To Reduce Stress And Help Animals Find Homes

Lynda Davis:

The niece of a Boomer girlfriend has a pet-sitting/dog-walking business. Just had to share this from her blog.

Originally posted on :


The future is now. The Humane Society Of Broward County, an animal shelter in southeastern Florida, has launched a service called “Snuggle Delivery” that delivers shelter animals for hour-long visits to workplaces in sore need of cuteness, snuggles and friendship.

The visits (which require a minimum donation of $150) help both the animals and the people they visit – the animals get socialized and get to meet new potential owners, while the offices they visit become cuter, friendlier and more stress-free while the animals are there. The animals are all spayed and neutered already, and are delivered together with documents that would-be adopters can sign on the spot.

The service is currently only available in southeast Florida, but we hope that other shelters will soon follow their example!

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Dog, forgive me, I knew not . . .

Do your research before selecting pet food. It could make the difference between life and death.

Do your research before selecting pet food. It could make the difference between life and death.

Every once in a while when I’m grocery shopping, I throw a couple of huge bags of premium dog food and treats into the cart and then drop them off at the animal shelter. Makes me feel good and helps them out. I thought I was doing a good thing by selecting Nestlé Purina Beneful until I read more data on the issue of dog food products and once again you can’t believe what the package says. I’ve written previously about the dangers of pet treats imported from Asia.  While the labels may say “one hundred percent chicken product” this may not the case. A friend’s Shitzhu died from kidney failure caused by eating imported dried chicken tenders.

Premium pet foods may not be the best thing for your best friend.

Premium pet foods may not necessarily be the best thing for your best friend. There are no federal regulations on pet food labeling.

Of course, Purina is denying any connection between pet deaths and their products but the evidence is mounting and a class action lawsuit is pending. There are many links on the internet about the problem. Here’s just one from ABC News.

I’m playing it safe and feeding my three-pound Yorkie more and more of the same food we eat including chicken, brussels sprouts, carrots and other fresh food as well squirting the contents of a fish oil capsule into her food every couple of days. Now I have to figure out what is the safest pet food to drop off at the shelter as I can’t deliver fresh meals on wheels every day. Do your research before buying pet food and don’t believe the marketing claims.

book coverFor further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, book and movie reviews, order my book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read.

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What would Steve Jobs say?

VEven Steve Jobs recognized the importance of disconnecting from electronics.

Even Steve Jobs recognized the importance of disconnecting from electronics to recharge.

Arianna Huffington made an interesting comment on Real Time With Bill Maher this week that echoed something I had been giving a lot of thought to lately. All the hype around the launch of the iWatch left her wondering what Steve Jobs would have thought about Apple’s latest release of something “we didn’t know we needed”.

In an earlier blog posting (Feeling uninspired, take a nap) I championed the merits of down-time. Experience has proven that we get our best ideas and think more creatively during periods of idleness or quiet time. Our brains need time to recharge and Steve Jobs recognized this by meditating regularly. He credited his Zen time for being responsible for clearing the way for his best ideas. We have to wonder what his reaction would be to his company’s release of a 24/7 gadget that you strap to your wrist to ensure that you’re absolutely never out of touch. Huffington went on to say that apparently many people actually text while having sex. While I could never claim to be talented or dexterous enough to accomplish that feat, those who can will delight in the hands-free benefits of the iWatch.

phone1I have a cell phone which I rarely use and I venture to say my life is as full and rewarding as those who are on a smart phone drip. I bought the cheapest plan available and will never in my lifetime use all the minutes I’ve accumulated. It completely baffles me why people have to be constantly texting or talking in the course of their everyday activities. I don’t hesitate to ask friends to put their iPhones away during lunch or dinner. It annoys the hell out of me that people treat their smart phones as life-lines, afraid their heart will stop beating if they aren’t immediately aware of what their son/daughter/husband/wife/grandchild is thinking or doing every minute of the day. And don’t get me started on driving while texting or holding a smart phone.

No one can deny the many benefits of having smart phones and I acknowledge that. However, the constant buzz and busyness of 24/7 electronic communication must surely be robbing humanity of that vital Zen time we all need to function as healthy beings. When I see people walking while texting or talking on cell phones, I can’t help feeling sad that they’re missing the sound of the birds, feeling snow flakes on their eyelashes, enjoying deep breaths of fresh air, marveling at the stunning contrast of colours between green treetops and blue sky or simply daydreaming.

thriveDo we really need to know our heartbeat or how many calories we’re burning every minute of the day. Even Stephen Jobs, with his obsessive Asperger’s-like behaviours allowed time in his schedule to disconnect. And Arianna Huffington has written a book about the subject, “Thrive “.   Are we becoming a society of zombies enslaved by our electronic devices as if they were life itself? Sadly and tragically, the answer is yes. But I’ve chosen to opt out and I really don’t think I’m missing a thing.

book coverFor further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, book and movie reviews, order my book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess or birthday gift as well as just a fun read.

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