To everything turn turn turn, there is a season turn turn turn,
A time to be born, a time to die. A time to build up, a time to break down..”

Well, it must be true, because both my stove and microwave have broken down. All of the appliances were installed with the house in 2013 – just ten years ago, but perhaps that’s the life expectancy of things these days.

We’ve already had to replace the kitchen faucet, which seemed like a fun project, but wasn’t, at all. Two faucets, and three visits from the plumber later, we have one that works. Kind of.

We also replaced the heating element in the oven. Things were taking longer than I thought they should to cook. Was it the oven, or was it just me? I bought an oven thermometer which told me the oven was fine. A few days later I was baking a large gluten-free carrot cake. When the timer went off, telling me the cake was done, I was met by a hot mess! The finicky heating element had finally given out.

Now a burner on the glass-top stove heats, then doesn’t. Heats, then doesn’t. Like someone driving with one foot on the gas and one on the brake.
At least I have three other burners. The nuke however, won’t heat at all and sounds like it’s about to blast-off into outer space when you turn it on. I didn’t realize how much I rely on it, until it quit working.

Well, time to move! Kidding. Actually, not kidding.

For a while we have been talking about downsizing even further, and moving to our “forever home.” We realized that neither of us would want to live here without the other. We’ve realized that we don’t enjoy yardwork anymore, so we discussed another apartment – no maintenance – even going to tour an over-55 complex that would be like living in a luxury hotel. Concierge, croissants and coffee in the morning! But they were tiny and expensive and their pool was mostly in the shade..

We looked at another complex that was beautiful, with both veggie and flower gardens, a beautiful pool and patio set-up, large balconies, and friendly staff… but it was far from everything… out in a cow pasture. We put the idea of an apartment on a back burner. Fitting analogy.

Then, around the holidays a friend called to say hello. He used to live three blocks from my cottage in downtown Austin. I asked how things were going and he told me he’d sold his house and moved into an apartment that he’d worked on back in the late 80’s. He’s a landscape architect. I know the area, but had never noticed the apartments – turns out they are tucked back in the woods and some even overlook a canyon and preserve.

Intrigued, we arranged for a tour of a couple different floor plans and explored the grounds, visiting with my/our friend for a bit afterward. He said the tenants tend to be older professionals, lots of retired folks, and it’s a quiet place. He seemed very content there. Could we be?


Since then we’ve been talking about the things we like , and I did a “pros and cons” list. There are 15 items on the “pros” side, one of which is a gas stove and oven. And of the 3 things on the “cons” side, only one of them is a real drag – moving!

The apartment would be close to our kids, so we’d get to see them more often. And great food and shopping are within a couple of miles in all directions.
It seems like it could be a very nice area to grow older. And speaking of that, my sweetie celebrated his eightieth birthday last week! We went out for a delicious dinner and our favorite cake on the planet – Whiskey Cake. It’s based on a British sticky toffee pudding topped with spicy roasted nuts and a cremé anglais. The cake itself isn’t like anything we’ve ever had before. Perfect for celebrating a man like no other!

The adventure continues. Tomorrow I am having a half-price sale on everything in my Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/fairviewphotos

Great, and grateful, to talk to y’all again.
XO Donna

Ground Control

My First MRI

I injured myself doing squats with weights: they are great for the butt, inner thighs, and calves. As it turns out, not so good for the knees.
I went to the orthopedic doc because my knee still hurt in spite of ice, elevation, and rest. The male nurse asked what brought me there. When I told him, he said simply, “Don’t do squats. We don’t like them around here.”

Um, okay.

imageThe doctor came in, looked over my chart, then asked me how exactly I injured my knee, could I show him? I did. He frowned and said, “Don’t do squats. We tell everyone not to do them.”

So I’ve heard. Won’t anymore. But…what about my butt?

After examining my knee, the doctor decided to send me for an MRI. “I’ll see you again next week when I get the results. Rest. Ice. Elevation.” He patted my knee as he stood to leave the room, “No squats in the meantime, okay?”  Funny guy.

When I was checking out, the young woman filling out the order for the MRI looked up at me, smiled, and said, “Squats, huh? Yeah, I don’t do them anymore since I started working here.”

Alright, I’m convinced.  But what about my….oh, hell.  I just smiled back.

imageWelcome to The Machine

The next day at Texas Orthopedics I was led to a delightful man who explained the procedure, led me to a changing room, and when I emerged dressed in scrubs he handed me a list of music to pick from.

I have heard that an MRI is LOUD, so I asked if I would even be able to hear the music. His response, “It’s a nice distraction.”
“And, how long is the procedure?”
“Twenty five minutes, probably.”
Twenty five minutes of lying there, completely still. “Sure, I’ll take….Santana.”
His eyes lit up, “That’s my favorite!”

In the imaging room I came face-to-face with a massive white machine with a donut hole in it’s middle. MAGNETOM.
I started humming “Ground control to Major Tom,”  from David Bowie’s song, Space Oddity (speaking of oddities, Iman is the stunning model/business woman married to Bowie, and Iman is also the Spanish word for magnet).

I was arranged comfortably, reminded to hold perfectly still, given a set of oversized, squishy BOSE headphones, and covered with a fresh, soft blanket. The tech excused himself, and left.

Reminiscent of a blast of reverb at a concert, and  just as jarring, the initial sound startled me.
His voice through my headphones, “Are you okay, Miss Donna?”
I assured him I was, then the music began, and the MRI commenced knocking, whirring, and vibrating.
I lay there, Carlos Santana’s soulful guitar wailing, the machine rocking along, and thought;  if it weren’t for the cold, and the sterility of the place, I could have been flat on my back, head in a speaker, at a 70’s rock concert all over again.

It was over much quicker than I thought it would be.
“You were so still,” the tech told me.
I thought that was the whole objective…to lie perfectly still.
Do some people just not do that?

imageThe Reward

Rather than getting a lollipop for being a good patient, afterwards I went to Nordstrom and treated myself to a glass of wine and a bowl of French Onion soup for lunch.

The perks of growing older!
XO Donna


I hate rules

Unless they make sense to me. Then I am cooperative, part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Guidelines are okay. But rules…I need to know who made them up, and why? What’s in it for them? What’s in it for me?

imageQuestion things. (Especially yourself!) Don’t buy the party line. Go find answers for yourself. Continually seeking, learning and growing will keep you engaged and young-at-heart. Great underwear will keep you sexy. As will not following all of the rules for fear of what others will think.

As irony would have it, this week I have been inundated with lists of “rules-to-live-by” from friends. Knowing how I feel about rules, you can predict how I feel about lists of rules.

Some of them were great, especially if I chose to call them guidelines rather than rules. Some of them were way too black & white. Some were sappy crap. Some were important, wise reminders. And one was x-rated, hysterical, tears-rolling-down-my-face funny!  (I’ve posted the link for that below)

Since everyone’s making lists, I’d like to present you with my own list:

  1. Eat healthy food 85% of the time. Always drink lots of water.
  2. You can only love others as much as you love yourself.
  3. Don’t do things out of obligation, or fear of what people will think of you.
  4. Throw out your ugly panties. Wear a bra that fits properly. You’re a goddess.
  5. Give out what you’d like to receive. Karma can be a bitch, baby.
  6. Dream BIG. Takes chances. It can turn out even better than you imagine!
  7. Take care of yourself FIRST in order to take care of others.
  8. Don’t compare and don’t judge. Allow yourself to be inspired instead.
  9. Let go of the past. Except happy memories. Be here now.
  10. We will get older, (dammit) but we don’t have to get old. That’s just a mindset


The x-rated list is here:  http://tryingtobegood.com/love/how-to-be-ideal-seriously-I-got-this

XO Love, Donna


It’s a choice

advancedstylebookTwo things happened this week that have had a great impact on me – a friend sent me a link to a blog that she thought I’d enjoy, a blog that is related, in a way,  to this one.  It is the perfect photographic example of  what I know in my heart, what I am exploring,  and hoping to achieve.  Thank you Sheri Lynn Parr, you hit the nail on the head!

The blog is: www.AdvancedStyle.blogspot.com  

I hope you will all check it out. A young man named Ari Seth Cohen has been photographing amazing older women, for their sense of style. Let his blog tell you how it all came about.  But his attraction to their sense of themselves, and how they create stylish lives has evolved from his blog into a book, a film and now advertisements for Coach bags.

When I first saw this blog, I was stunned!  It was like seeing a unicorn, or an angel, or Santa Claus….you want to believe, but up until now you’ve had no evidence of their existence.  Here were stunning, radiant, stylish women. They do exist, and they are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!  What this means to me, is that now I have role models. And I have permission to be myself, to quit trying to “fit in” in a “what’s-in-style” sort of way, and be stylish and chic in my very own way. Even more so than I have given myself permission to do so far! 

The second thing that happened was that I received an email from another friend.  It was of stereotypical old women; c0ntrastinstyle“we’re-in-this-together, declining-with-age, ain’t-it-awful?”  that most people chuckle over and forward.  Or chuckle over and delete.  But, I didn’t find it funny, didn’t chuckle…and I realize it’s because I don’t choose to get old like that (see lower right).  Old is an attitude. And it can be an excuse.  “Older” is an accumulation of years and experiences on this planet.  And it can be done beautifully! (see upper right. Yes, the women are all around the same age).

Yesterday I spoke to a woman for a while at the salon. She’s my age, 61. She told me about some  female friends of hers in their 70’s, that ski all winter on advanced slopes, in deep powder, in and out of trees! She said that living like that was what kept them young. I tend to think that being  in touch with your sensuality, open to adventure, doing what it takes, and continuing to take an interest in everything around you is what allows you to ski those Black Diamond runs in life!

It’s really a choice. And it’s your to make!

XO Donna