Category: Going Solo

The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money, and More

At 50, Barbara Grufferman said , " Years of media messages had wormed their way into my brain, tempting me to pull the proverbial blanket over my head, ready to give up and give in. I started to believe the articles, research and reports telling me that women over 50 are powerless, averse to change, glum, cranky consumers, unsexy and should step aside to make room for the infinitely more beautiful, desirable, hirable, acquisitive and loveable younger generation."

Barbara was featured in an article a couple of days ago in the Huffington Post. The article tells how she turned her world around Click here to read it. It will amaze and inspire you, as she shares her six major changes, that anyone could do.

In the first bullet point she says, "And, as a result of doing push-ups and the Plank, I'm working to keep osteoporosis at bay." I couldn't imagine what the "Plank" so when I was doing a search for this type of exercise (I assumed it was an exercise) I found a video she had uploaded to YouTube where she shows you how to do it. You can see the video below.

Barb-twitter-faceI don't like to hear anyone talk about feeling invisible, but sadly, that's how some people feel after they have hit 50. I mean, It's sad for a girl to reach the age where men consider her charmless, but it's worse for a man to attain the age where the girls consider him harmless. So Barbara's story can be an inspiration to us all. Andrew Cohen once said, " Most men are very attached to the idea of being male, and usually experience a lot of fear and insecurity around the idea of being a man. Most women are very identified with their gender, and also experience a tremendous amount of fear and insecurity."

The only thing about life that never changes is the fact that our lives are constantly changing. We are hit with a series of milestones, some good and others bad. As I have been divorced twice, I know how feelings of loss after losing a loved one, or divorce can have a major affect on us. And, some people see turning 50 as a pivotal point in their lives and get so depressed they just want to end it all.

No, I'm not being over dramatic. On the Psych Central website one fellow wrote in and said:

I am getting ready to turn 50 in the next month, and ever since I can remember I have set this date to die. I no longer feel wanted or needed by anyone and no one can understand this. Turning 50 is not a joke to me—it is a turning point of either life or death—doesn’t anyone care?

No one likes to talk about these things, but some people feel this way. What's worse, it could be someone you love, a friend, partner, or spouse. You may not even realize it....

For Barbara, she took this as an opportunity to get fit and even remade her career. She said. " After going through my own personal re-evaluation and transformation, it was clear that being a writer, speaker, and champion of positive aging and women's rights was my new calling and would be my new career. Between the ages of 50 and 56, I wrote a book...."

Watch the video below about the book she wrote titled The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money, and More.

  best-50-ebookThe Best of Everything after 50 provides top-dollar advice in an affordable format. When Barbara Grufferman turned fifty, she wanted to know how to be—and stay—a vibrant woman after the half-century mark. She went in search of a “What to Expect” book, but couldn’t find one. So she consulted New York City’s leading doctors, personal trainers, hair stylists, fashion gurus, and financial planners. Click here if you would like to order it from Amazon.

You will see some great testimonials on that link, and lots of great reviews. Plus there is one that is not so great. D. Summerfield writes, "If nothing else, this book deserves an extra star for its smug, self-righteous, know-it-all tone because it is so obvious that the author is not aware that she is being in any way overbearing. Just like Charles Schultz's iconic Lucy, this author knows absolutely what is best for everybody else, and is even willing to set up a cardboard stand to dispense "Psychiatric Advice for 5 cents" in order to make life for the lesser human beings just a little better."

Her comments remind me of something I hear the kids saying these days: haters gonna' hate. But you know, if you had a choice of being hated for being bold and beautiful, or pitied for being old and feeble, which would you choose?

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.


Do I need a toaster oven?

toast-featuredIf you live by yourself, or only have to prepare small meals, I've read that toaster ovens can save you quite a bit of money by the end of the year. An article on says, "A toaster oven uses about 1225 to 1550 watts, while an electric oven set at 350 degrees F might use about 2000 watts. Conservationists recommend using the toaster oven to cook small meals and heat leftovers. A toaster oven only uses one third to one half the energy, compared to what a conventional oven uses when preparing the same food.  Using a toaster oven when preparing small amounts of food can result in a significant savings at the end of the year." That's good to know since our electricity rates are going up by 7% over the next two years.

Of course you can get your meals cooked up a little quicker too, since you don't have to wait so long for it to heat up as the regular oven.

I was browsing through and ran across some nice reviews for the Cuisinart TOB-155 Toaster Oven Broiler, Stainless/Black which is marked down by 44% off the list price for $139. I see they also got a used one for $85. Here is a better picture of it below. You can also read more about it, including some great reviews by clicking here.


I try to watch how much electricity I use. Since my daughter left, my bill is already down over $120 every two months. I mean, I sue less hot water, there is only one TV running at any given time, less hot water, and sue of the washer and dryer --- and I try to limit the use of the lights in the early morning and evening to only what I need.

But, I still use the oven quite a bit. Sometimes I will cook a small ham, chicken or roast. And I always put my fish in the oven. And then too... I must admit I have a weakness for the Cavendish Flavor Crisp, Spicy Fries.

This might be the toaster I wind up buying. It's 17.8 x 16 x 9.6 inches ; 16.8 pounds. So this isn't anything like the flimsy little one that used to set on the counter when I was married. That one wasn't any heavier or sturdier than the toaster used for just toast. No... this one has state-of-the-art electronic touchpad controls, and a capacity large enough to let it double as a second oven. Cuisinart makes baking a whole chicken, broiling fish, or toasting 6 slices of bread easy as pie!

If you would like to help out with some advice, please use the comment section below. Let me know about your experiences with these ones, and if you think this is the one I should get.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.



Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife

heaven-featuredIs there life after death? Regardless of what culture you're from or what religion you follow, there seems to be a current theme that many people believe in an afterlife.  Coming from a home where my brother and I attended Sunday School and church every Sunday, one would think I'd be destined to believe. But it seems I always had more questions than answers. To believe in something without questioning it; doesn't seem to be logical.

When I was a teen I stumbled across a book in our library about Plato, a student of Socrates. It seems that the discussions that took place the day before he was poisoned, proved the soul is immortal. Socrates offers four arguments for the soul's immortality. After reading the arguments, I found the logic impossible to dispute. Nevertheless, I closed the book and decided not to believe that which had been proven otherwise. However, if I could learn more, I would. I had not become an atheist.

As the years slipped by, I found cause to once again revisit my open-minded belief. It was the year after my wife and I had bought a house in Calgary. My daughter was four years old at the time. We had been living in a condo community, where we rented a two-story, three bedroom condo. It really was quite comfortable living there. Each unit had a fenced backyard, where toddlers and pets could play.

Miles to the south of us, in a town called Lethbridge was a very similar condo community. From the pictures I saw of it, you could hardly tell it apart from the one we had been living at. One family living there had a three year old daughter, the same age my daughter was when we were renting our condo. The little girl had blond hair, just like our daughter. And the little girl would often go out the front door to the neighbors place just two doors down, to play with the children who lived there. Funny, the similarities -- our daughter had done the exact same thing many times.

The difference is, this little girl never had a chance to go back home. A friend of the family, who she was used to interacting with, picked her up, drove her 200 miles north of Lethbridge and left her sexually abused and beaten to a pulp. When they found her in the secluded area, she was half naked and underneath a pile of brush. She had been barely alive when he left her. They found her dead, clinging to one of the branches of the brush that had been piled over her to hide her.

Does that sound like there is a fair and just God? Discussions with others always result in vague religious quotations, like, "Everything happens for a reason". Or God needed to bring this little lamb home. I have a hard time buying this. Heck, that could have been my little girl....

One of the things I heard, and probably hate the most is, "She's in a better place now." Who says? Where is the better place? Heaven?

One of the top books on Amazon right now is titled, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife. Written by Dr. Eben Alexander which chronicles his near death experience. Dr. Alexander is an expert on the brain, though he readily admits that no one really understands it all. He is articulated and well educated, but I think his experience with the afterlife is a result of brain damage he suffered from when he almost died. He says, "We are all here to try and get closer to the truth." Watch the video below to see what truth YOU find in his words.

If you watched the video, you will have heard that before he left what he calls the earthy sphere of existence and was delivered into the core, that he "believes a creator was behind the beauty and love he witnessed." Of course, we all have our beliefs; doesn't necessarily make his right.

proof-ebookGo ahead and click here  to read a preview of his book, and what it entails. And then click to read some of the reviews; there are 1,818 customer reviews. You will see one of the review says, " While Dr. Alexander's experiences have startling similarities to other near-death experiences I've read about, what sets his book apart is the fact that Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon with great knowledge of what makes up consciousness. The parts of his brain that would create experiences like he underwent (such as in a dream state) were not functional at the time he experienced them. He is also a man of science and a skeptic, who changed his views completely after experiencing this. This transformation is interesting and notable. His descriptions of heaven are vivid, uplifting, and fascinating."

You will hear that in the video above too, that "... The parts of his brain that would create experiences like he underwent (such as in a dream state) were not functional at the time..."

I can't believe that. It must have been functioning at some low level.... if he was able to remember it. But this doesn't prove the little girl who died under a brush pile is in a better place. How can one prove there is an afterlife, much less heaven, if you haven't died? Those who have lost all vital sign and been declared clinically dead for a few minutes, and then come back from their out-of-body experience, simply means that we need to reassess what it is to be clinically dead.

I'm afraid a lot of people use this kind of stuff as a crutch. Just like a drug addict needs his drugs or alcohol to get by on. If you're 50+ and alone; don't waste your time worrying about an afterlife. There isn't any. Go enjoy the next half of your life.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments, about religion, afterlife, or life in general.


How to lose 100+ pounds

fat-featuredThe Kindle version of How to Find the Motivation to Lose Weight and Get Healthy (How to Lose 100 Pounds) is free today. Note: these Amazon promotions are typically only available for 24hrs, sometimes up to 48hrs, so if you want this book, click here to get it now.

I must admit, I have no idea what it's like to be over-weight. In the last 30 years, I've probably only gained about 10 pounds, and I'm happier with it, believe it or not. But I do understand the struggles people go through. Many people go from one diet fad to the next. Sometimes they even go in circles and repeat the same methods and fads. It all starts off with the same dream: to lose weight.

The author of the book is Paula Seymour who developed this plan and has lost 120+ pounds. Watch her motivational video below titled Dream a Little Dream...

lose-100-bookI've learned losing weight isn't something you can do for someone else. It's something you have to do for yourself. Like anything else, if you want to make some major changes in your life, you really need to want it. Ms. Seymour is an expert on this. Her book How to Find the Motivation to Lose Weight and Get Healthy (How to Lose 100 Pounds) is the first in series of 6 books she has written on this topic. Click here to get it now.

I know she looks fairly young in the video, but apparently she is over 40. I have to admit, if she's over 40, she is looking great for her age. If you're looking for a weight-loss guru, she could be it. She has been offering a lot of support to the folks who get her books. She maintains an active blog, that's recently been updated as well as a Facebook group page, and a YouTube channel with a number of videos. Seems to me, if you like this Kindle book that is free today, and are interested in more, you could wind up with a complete support system in place by joining her Facebook page, and subscribing to her blog. She seems very genuine; like she cares. Here are her own words from her author's page on Amazon:

I don't want to be that person who is selling you a formula for losing weight fast and fixing your life, yet hiding behind my own weight and insecurities. I will tell you straight out that you and I are very much the same. I'm not perfect in this and I like to call myself a work-in-progress for sure.

I know what it's like to feel like giving up. I know what it's like to let the weight control our lives.

PLEASE hear me when I say that you are not alone and you REALLY can change your life.

You are fully capable and you don't need a fad diet or a fast weight loss plan.

You do need to be able to believe in yourself and you need to know that YOU can create a very realistic plan that will have you losing weight AND enjoying your life as you do so. It is possible and it's not JUST about the scale.

I hope that you will allow me to "walk with you" as you create a plan for your own success. I would love nothing more than to hear from you and celebrate your successes along the way.

Please reach out to me via the blog links you see to the right or join me and an AMAZING group of people on Facebook at:

I would love to "meet" you there and hear your story. :)

Wishing you much success!

~ Paula

Click here to download your copy now

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.


Empty nest

After living with me for the last three years my daughter decided she would like to live with her mother for a year. She will be 16 soon, and it's good for her to spread her wings a bit, even though I will miss her terribly.  Life is a game; ask William Shakespeare who said:

Life is but a walking Shadow, a poor Player That struts and frets his Hour upon the Stage, And then is heard no more; It is a tall Tale, Told by an Idiot, full of Sound and Fury, Signifying nothing."

I suppose it is time to do a little strutting then, which will "signify nothing" -- but it will get me out of the house a little more. I think when you're single again, especially 50+ and alone, you need to make sure you're not sitting around and moping about the last 50 years. If you eat right... exercise a bit, there is a good chance you still have HALF of your life to enjoy.

There is time.... time for YOU!

In a book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Empty Nesters: 101…  the authors share 101 stories written by parents who have been there already and share their stories with new empty nesters.  These heartfelt stories will inspire, support, and amuse parents grappling with their own bittersweet new freedom.  The book also includes stories from the kids themselves, providing the view from the other side.  Parents will nod their heads, cry a little, and laugh a lot as they recognize themselves and their almost grown-up children in these stories.

In some of the stories parents share gazing at surprisingly clean bedrooms, starting new careers, rediscovering their spouses, and handling the continuing, and often humorous, needs of their children even while they are away at college or ensconced in their own apartments.  In one amusing story, a mother writes of dropping her last child off at college and then realizing that she and her husband can do anything they want.  They spend three days driving the six hours home.

None of my plans include dating. According to Eric Klinenberg , New York University sociology professor and  author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, he says there are a number of factors that are contributing towards this growing trend. But one of the main reasons is simply because we can afford to do it.

I'm thinking I might go to the Community Collage and enroll in a graphic design course. I may choose to spend more time fishing. And, there will be definitely more time in there for me grab the ol' guitar and go to more jam sessions.  There have been a lot of weekend plans I've had to cancel because my daughter had plans with her friends which meant I would have to be home. Seriously, I never minded cancelling my own plans in favor of hers. I fully realized what a wonderful opportunity it was for me to raise my daughter alone. We spent a lot of quality time together; I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's just that when the time has passed, it's time to move on.

I haven't been hunting for years. I know there are a lot of people that frown on hunting. I'm afraid I don't know any better. I grew up in a small community of 150 people. We had the bay to the south of us and nothing but the woods to the north of us. My parents had a very small farm, and most of the animals were raised for food. Unless you're a total vegetarian... the best roast I've ever cooked and ate was bear meat.

If you're looking for ideas of what YOU could do, and you don't seem to be able to come up with any on your own,  you might want to have a look at a previous post  titled Fifty Things to Do When You Turn Fifty. And if you already have some GREAT ideas, please use the comment section below to share them.