Zen of Ageing

To wrap up the final day of the A to Z Blog Challenge, here is a thought about the joy and the zen of ageing.

The Zen of Ageing

“I love getting older. My understanding deepens. I can see what connects. I can weave stories of experience and apply them. I can integrate the lessons. Things simply become more and more fascinating. Beauty reveals itself in thousands of forms.”

— Victoria Erickson

You Know You’re Getting Older When…

Just a few laughs for our ‘Y’ day in the A to Z Blog Challenge.






How to Become a Focused Writer – C. Hope Clark

Some great writing tips from a writer I greatly admire. She’s a guest today on Writer’s Zen.

Writer's Zen Blog

Today we welcome a guest post from C. Hope Clark. She’s celebrating the release of her eighth mystery, Newberry Sin. Hope is a writer I admire and I’ve learned so much from her over the past few years. I began following her when I first began freelancing and discovered her weekly newsletter, Funds For Writers. Her book, The Shy Writer Reborn, soon joined my other writing books on my bookshelf – and is the one that’s most marked up, dog-eared, and highlighted.

Join us today as she shares her wisdom about becoming a focused writer. Then, hop on over and check out her mysteries. They’re excellent too!

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How to Become a Focused Writer

By C. Hope Clark

The faster this world revolves with the advent of technology, the more choices we have in everything we face. The speed of that information, and the resulting demands on our…

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Xtraordinary Grandma

grandma moses

Xtraordinary Grandma

At age 76, many people are starting to slow down and start relaxing in the later, older years of life. This grandma started something new, something that would bring her national acclaim and a lasting legacy. Her new pastime would lead to her being featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1953, and Life magazine on September 19, 1960 honoring her 100th birthday. A US postage stamp was created in her honor in 1969.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, born September 7, 1860 is more commonly known as her painter name, Grandma Moses. Known for her American folk art style, her work has been featured on greeting cards and other merchandise, in addition to the actual paintings.

Grandma Moses began painting late in life, at the age of 76 when her arthritis made her give up her current creative outlet, embroidery. She was a successful painter for more than 25 years and produced over 1,500 works. Initially she charged $3 to $5 per painting. As her popularity increased, her pieces sold for $8,000 to $10,000. In 2006, over forty years after her death, one painting, The Sugaring Off, sold for $1.2 million.

I doubt during her lifetime she could even imagine how popular her works would become or the staggering amounts of money some would sell for so many years after her death. She was simply a woman who loved life and lived it to her fullest, even if it meant taking up a new pastime in her 70’s.



Words from Holly


In Memory of Holly Butcher

Words from Holly

This message popped up on my Yahoo page  as I went to check emails. I was intrigued and wanted to read this mysterious, moving message from a dying lady. The link took me to Holly Butcher’s Facebook page, where this post had been posted four days earlier. When I read the post –in a mere four days – it had already been shared 36,435 times. (As of today, this shared number has jumped to 161,583 shares with over 239,000 likes.)

Holly’s words touched my heart and really made me stop and search deep inside. At this time I’ve been working on Embracing 60 for several months, off and on. As you’ve read by now, I started writing this in an effort to change the way I thought about my approaching milestone birthday. I wanted to begin embracing the new age on the horizon, instead of shrinking in fear and dread.

And here are beautiful words from a 27-year old lady on the eve of her death. She writes about how she longs for just one more Christmas, one more birthday. And I’m whining because I’m about to turn 60! Really? I’m already had 33 years of life that Holly never got the chance to enjoy, plus whatever years are waiting for me on the backside of 60.

I’m ashamed at myself. I’m ashamed that I even have the gall to bemoan this upcoming birthday. And I resolve to take Holly’s words to heart, to bring them with me into the approaching days as I instead embrace this gift, this beautiful extraordinary gift of life that I have ahead of me. And instead of cringing about the numbers ahead that end in ‘0’, be they 60, 70, 80 or higher…instead I vow to live each day with the fervor, appreciation and grace like the young woman Holly, who penned the following words did.

You can read her full post here.

Here are a few words from Holly:

A bit of life advice from Hol:

It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.

That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to its inevitability. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.

I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whining about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.

Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are. It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.


Book, Mother’s Day card, and tissue – 3 Day Sale!

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Three days left to get In Celebration of Mothers for only $10!

Take advantage of this special sale by April 30th and get a FREE package of Mother’s Day tissue paper (value $1.99) and a FREE Mother’s Day card too! (Value $5.99 – $7.99)

Card One: Felted MOM musical card, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Inside reads: Hope your Mother’s Day is as wonderful as you!

Card Two: The World is More Beautiful, with wearable butterfly bracelet. Inside reads: …Because of moms like you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Card Three: Happy Mother’s Day (with specialty envelope for hand delivery only, or to be included with other larger mailer. Inside reads: Hope every moment blooms bright with smiles, warm memories and, most of all, love.

The book, tissue paper and card can be mailed directly to you for you to wrap and give.

Or, I can gift wrap the book, sign the card with your name, and mail directly to your choice of recipient.

You can purchase directly on my web site via paypal. ($10 plus $3.50 shipping.) Send any specific delivery instructions to me in an email at texastrishafaye@yahoo.com


Card One


Card Two


Card Three


Victory Dance

Things are not always what they seem. Jenny Darren, a 68-year old woman from Cotswold, proves that. She appeared on stage for Britain’s Got Talent dressed in dowdy attire, complete with hair up and wearing a pink cardigan over typical English granny clothing. And then…well, that’s all I’ll say here. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. She may be 68, but she’s anything but an old woman!


Queen Mary’s Daughter


Welcome Emily-Jane!

I’m very pleased today to be sharing about a new book being released, Queen Mary’s Daughter. I became acquainted with Emily-Jane Hills Orford’s writing when her essay about mothers was included in our anthology, In Celebration of Mothers. I’ve followed her since and am excited to see her historical fiction making its debut this week.

Here’s an excerpt from Queen Mary’s Daughter. Hop on over to Amazon and check it out.


Excerpt #3:

A silence ensued and then the voice Mary Elizabeth had heard only hours before. “I hope you will spare me and make it quick.”

A swoosh.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum…” The voice was halted mid-prayer with a noticeable snap.

“No!” Mary Elizabeth shrieked.

“Princess.” Jamie reached across to where Mary Elizabeth sat on her horse, stunned. He gave her a gentle shake.

“She is gone.” She startled out of her thoughts. “I heard her last prayers. She begged her executioner to make it quick.” Tears cascaded down her cheeks unchecked.

photoEmily-JaneHills Orford

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://emilyjanebooks.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realpeoplestories

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ejhomusic

Blog: http://beyondtheordinaryincanadianstories.blogspot.ca/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1732544.Emily_Jane_Hills_Orford


Unstoppable – Mary Houbolt

Unstoppable – Mary Houbolt


Mary Houbolt celebrated her 60th birthday in a most unusual way. No birthday cake complete with black candles and black crepe paper streamers for her. She competed in her first Ironman triathlon.

If you’re not familiar with the Ironman, it’s the granddaddy of triathlons. It’s one of the most grueling and one that can intimidate even the fittest athlete. It’s a race that combines a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

No, I can guarantee you that competing in one of these is not on my Turning-60-Agenda! But that didn’t slow Mary down. In 1989, when she was 32, tests revealed that a lump in her breast was malignant and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Her two daughters were ages 4 and 6 at that time. Despite the dismal diagnosis with a slim chance of survival, aggressive treatment sent Mary’s breast cancer into full remission.

And here was now, looking 60 dead in her sights. So, she went for it.

She began exercising and training seven days a week, and after 14 months of training was ready. She didn’t expect to win. Her only goal was simply to complete it. (Ha! I write ‘simply’ as if just completing the Ironman is a simple thing. No it is not!)

She not only finished the event, she won in her age group!

As Stephanie Booth writes in her article about Mary:

One triathlon’s enough for most people. Mary had a different take. “I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll keep trying,’” she says.

Mary kept going. She was unstoppable. Booth reports that in the past seven years Mary competed in 9 Ironman competitions and over 20 other triathlons. She also competed in Race Across America, where a four-woman team cycled 3,000 miles across 12 states. She and her team “finished in 7 days and 11 hours, setting a record for women between the ages of 60-69.”

Booth writes:

Mary just turned 67, but she won’t be slowing down anytime soon. “I will not grow old gracefully. I don’t want to just sit on the couch.” Each time she competes, “I feel lucky to be alive,” she says. “I think, ‘Life is great. I’m really glad I was able to keep mine.’”

Cancer didn’t stop Mary 29 years ago. And age isn’t stopping her now. This unstoppable icon is an inspiration to me. If she can do all that…what can I do?

The Person I Have Become


April is the A to Z Blog Challenge. We’ll be posting to a different letter as we work our way through the alphabet. I’m posting snippets from a Work in Progress, Embracing 60, scheduled for release this June. Thanks for joining us! Come back tomorrow for thoughts on the joys, delights, and sometimes aggravations about reaching milestone birthdays!

The Person I Have Become


I can’t take credit for this terrific piece about ageing. It’s one of those things circulating in the virtual time-suck world of Facebook. To whoever wrote this in the first place – Kudos to you! I enjoy the sentiment you share and admire your attitude.

But, since I don’t participate in the Facebook ‘share this post with so many people’ items, I didn’t share it. But I’ll share it here, with hopefully more than 7 people.


Enjoy this. I am forwarding this to those on my “mature” mail list because it is so well written. Please send back. (I did) It’s neat. Don’t delete this one, you’ll laugh when you see the return message.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to, and less critical of, myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read, or play on the computer until4 AM? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, we remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and too many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

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