Tiny Titillates Me

The tiny house movement fascinates me. A resident of New York City my entire life, I’ve always lived, out of necessity, in modestly sized homes and apartments. A 1,400-square-foot apartment is considered the lap of luxury in New York, except of course to the hedge fund billionaire who recently paid $238 million for a 24,000-square-foot penthouse overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park, reportedly the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S.  So I marvel at people around the country who choose to downsize and live in spaces as tiny as 90 square feet. Even families of four are relocating to tiny homes and living “off the grid.”

A former home furnishings editor and writer, I marvel at the ingenious storage, seating, dining and sleeping solutions designers have created to make tiny homes functional and ultra comfortable. Drawers are incorporated into stairs; modules can transform from sofas to beds in minutes, pop up tables convert from coffee to dining tables. And the cost to build and equip a tiny home can be a fraction of the price of most small houses anywhere in the country, but you’ll need to find the location to put it!

One of the most intriguing and exquisite tiny houses I’ve seen is in Melbourne, Australia, and constructed of three 20-foot shipping containers.  Hard to image a trio of cold metal shipping containers becoming a warm and welcoming home, but a young couple about to have their first child made it happen! I love the Scandinavian-looking light woods and simple, clean lines throughout the house. Notice how much storage is built in under the bed and living room seating, and look at the perfectly designed work space and laundry room. As their child grows, the couple can add a container to their home for her or him.  At around 500 square feet, this wouldn’t be considered a tiny house by many tiny house dwellers, but it sure is when you learn that 2,555 square feet was the average size of new single-family houses built in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2018, according to the Census Bureau.

Most of us live with too much clutter, and clutterbusters such as popular storage consultant Marie Kondo are teaching us how to straighten up and fly right.  Tiny house living definitely isn’t for those of us who can’t part with possessions we’ve amassed over decades. When you meet the Australian couple you might be tempted to clean up your act, and maybe even to put your house on the market and go tiny.

If you want to start to explore the tiny house movement, check out this cool site and this one.

Primal Fear

I jump every single time the biscuit can pops!
Deborah Scott
  “Really strange but SOME WORDS….make me cringe if I hear them.
Chris Anderson-Montgomery
Fish and things just under the surface of water.
Kim Davis
Walking on sidewalk grates or sidewalk basement doors.
Louise Murphy
Sharon Nowak Massanelli
 A balloon popping! As a child I didn’t like Jack in the Box because of the surprise. People will often laugh at me, and I will laugh with them, because of it, but I really don’t like being near balloons for fear of the surprise pop.
T Mah’ni Mahni
 Snakes, spiders, bees, any insect really. Creepy crawlies!!!
Gail Schaefer Manndel
Sharon McTigue
Mushrooms 🍄 – I just hate them.
Wendy Wilson
Mice! 🐁
Sarah Beck Byrd
Going over a bridge.
Paula Marie Tutko
Birds. You can’t control them.
Phyllis De Francesco Crawley
People behind the shower curtain. SO, I have always had clear ones!
Cheryl Porter Armstrong
I don’t drive on the highway for fear if I’m lost and I keep driving I may take the wrong exit and end up driving to another state lol.
Donna Lopes
Fear of the ocean or lakes. Can’t get near them.
Debbie Grabczynski Garber Wendt

Stamps of (Dis)Approval

I asked a tattoo artist friend of mine how much it would cost to get a small heart tattoo on my shoulder. He told me they start at about $50. Then I asked about the pain level, and he said there was a good amount of pain so I thought it over and went out and bought new shoes.
Bonnie Gentry
  “Here is one of mine! I have 4 others! I LOVE tattoos!
Paula Bernhardt
I have one. I got it one year ago at age 72. It is a cardinal in memory of my mother💕.”
Margaret Hatcher Barnett
My opinion of tattoos is not the popular opinion! Many people who  I love have tattoos so I refrain from saying anything to them as its their body and their choice. Tattoos don’t make me love them any less!!! Since this poll asks my opinion….I think that they are trashy looking….especially on women. Back in the day only men who had been in the military, prisoners, motorcycle clubs, and trashy women had them. I know that’s not the case now as a large portion of society has them but I don’t care for them at all!
Connie Whitfield Rigsbee
Always surprises me just how judgy people are. If you have them– good for you, if you don’t– good for you. I got my first one at 40 after years of listening to people say how bad they are, how trashy they are, how you will look as you age– then I decided I don’t care what people think nor do I need anyone’s permission. 😊
Pamela Mitchell
 “I got one when I turned 50! A gift from my daughters.”
Tina Gerberick-Roberts
 “No, because I don’t want to look like a sagging box of crayons. Lol.”
Jan Smith
 For all the ‘trashy’ comments, I’m a self made, well-educated woman. I have not, nor will I ever be trashy.
Josie Darling
My daughter lost her baby who was only one year and two weeks old. The dandelion wish held significant meaning to her. I had my leg tattooed to honour my precious grandson who was taken from us much too soon. 💔My two daughters and I each have a butterfly on our shoulder, too.
Catrina Harding

I have one. To celebrate my son finding recovery from addiction!

Pam Hardy Volk

“I will be the last human left with no tattoos!
Cyndilu Lu
I got this when my Mom died, I was 55.
Lana Smith
“My first and only tattoo done when I was 52 On the inside of my wrist to represent my volunteering at two Olympic Games and the musical notes represent my involvement with singing with a choir formed at the Olympics😀.
Kerry Linden
I got my first (and only one) done when I was 50 and I love it. It’s a poppy wrapped around a snooker cue and is in memory of my parents (cue is my dad as this was his sport, and poppy is for my mum).
Jill Jennings
When my daughter was pregnant 10+ yrs ago, we were told it was a girl, so I had her initials tat (small) on my shoulder! Guess what…it was a boy! By the time my granddaughter was born, they changed her name! I have initials on my shoulder that mean nothing! Someday I may go have a flower or something put over it. It’s a great convo piece though!! LOL
Madeline Kay Norton
“Nine and counting. Love them.
Sharon Mary
“This is my most recent> I have five and got my first one when i was 45.
Donna Parker
I would never deface my property ;).
Maxine Lynn Rubi
This is in memory of my husband whom I lost over three years ago! 😢💔
Paula Bernhardt
I have freckles, many spots, crows feet, wrinkles, and varicose veins. Who needs a tattoo? I don’t want to pay for pain. And I’ve seen what happens to tattoos when skin begins to sag. It ain’t pretty.
Darinda Huntley Venters
“Hubby and I have matching tattoos.”
Diane Strickland
I’ve had a tattoo since old ladies thought you were from the wrong side of the tracks if you had one! Now I am the old lady! I love it, it was from a meaningful time in my life. I’m looking into getting it recolored.
Darlene Chavez Gonzalez

All About You

What’s Up With You and Your ‘Adult Kids’?

Do you live across the continent from your grown kids, but see them more frequently than a woman you know whose children live blocks away?   Does your sister get emotional support from her daughter, while your son wouldn’t even know you died as long as someone kept texting him from your phone? Was the last trip you took with your son when he was 15, or do you vacation with your son and daughter-in-law at least once a year?

Our relationships with our adult kids can range from joyful and easy to heartbreaking and downright complicated, or somewhere inbetween. We’ve met parents we always thought were perfect who are now rebuffed by their grown children, and parents who constantly criticized their kids when they were little, but are now welcomed with open arms by their adult kids.

Interestingly, 56 percent of you admitted that you’re closer with one (or more) of your children than with the others; 44 percent have sons and daughters who don’t worry about your health and well being, but 78 percent of you have offspring who confide in you.

Are you perfectly content with your relationship with your grown kids, or do you yearn to change it? Take a look at how 164 members of the FabOverFifty community interact with their children and see how you fit in.

Stop and Smell the…

“Patchouli oil; the smell of the hippies in Het Vondelpark in Amsterdam when I was sitting there with them secretly skipping my school lessons as a 15-year-old girl (46 years ago now).
Miriam Brink
“Jean Naté (mom), geraniums and a cupboard full of soaps and bath towels (grandma), fresh cut lawn (dad)!❤️🎉
Patti Wyckoff Warren
  “Old Spice, my dad. The smell of onions and celery cooking reminds me of my mom’s cooking for Christmas dinner. 😢
Shannon Rarig
A tarot reader told me my deceased mother was handing me red roses and gave me their name Passing Clouds. I knew nothing about roses, so I planted a  bare rooted stick. In the spring it grew leaves, then buds. When they finally opened, I instantly recognized the perfume from my childhood family garden!
Linda Sutherland
Jergens face cream! Every time I open the bottle it  brings me loving beautiful memories of my mom and tears of how much I miss her! But I know she is happy with my daddy in heaven & in no more pain ❤️.
Jose-Inez Tejada Martinez
Honeysuckle in my grandparents’ yard…summertime, by the ocean. Ahhhh.
Susan Flynn
 “Cigar. Reminds me of my grandpa.”
Carol Fede
 The smell of patent leather shoes!! My mom would buy my sister and me the real patent leather shoes that you could polish with this black polish, especially for patent leather.
Joyce Calderon Larson
Orange blossoms when my hubby and I were dating. We would ride his Harley through the orange groves.
Kathy Williams
“Dirt, reminds me of going to a cellar during storms.
Penny Acker
“My grandmother’s lightly burnt toast and lilacs.
Terry McCrossan
My grandfather’s pipe which had a sweet cherry odor. Salt water from the front porch of my grandparents’ home in Massachusetts.. Shoe polish, baking cupcakes. I have so many. They always bring a tear and a smile.
June Brown
“A specific coffee. When I smell it I get transported to my Oma’s kitchen in Germany. I don’t know the name of the coffee.
Nanette Miche-Schwartzmeyer
Vicks VapoRub when I was sick! Still love that smell!
Laura Gouvion
Lifebuoy, the soap my father always bought and used since the Canadians brought it with them when they came to liberate the Netherlands in World War II.
Miriam Brink
“Coppertone! Instant teenage beach memories.
Candace Naylor Swenson Laska

FOF Survey: What’s Up With You and Your “Adult Kids”?

Time Out

“FB and YouTube.”
Anna Chenault
  “Reading, reading and there’s always reading.
Susan Bailey Chakerian
“Snuggling in bed in my jammies all day!”
Gail Ferraro
“Word games to stimulate the brain!”
Vicky Peters
“Watching TV.
Alyce Anderson Sneed
 “Word games and working out at the gym with my husband.”
Catrina Harding
 “Facebook. In the summer being out on the deck.”
Tom Kelly
Suzanne Dwyer
“Watching Netflix in my PJs.
DeeAynn Durbin
“Playing in my garden.
Teresa Boyd
“Reading in the tub. Hardly time wasted.
Caitlin Hecsh
“Walking at the beach!
Cindy Larson
Sue Taylor
At 63, I love to have coffee and vape each morning. And yes, my center chest does hurt.
Carol Ann Ricker

Building and Owning Your Personal Brand TWIST

by Julie Cottineau

                         Photo: Pete Souza

We often think of celebrities as having unique styles with “signature looks”:  Anna Wintour, artistic director of Vogue, with her perfectly styled hair; Michelle Obama, exuding confidence, while showing off her killer biceps in feminine dresses;  Sarah Jessica Parker channeling Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City with Manolo Blahnik heels; Tyra Banks, strutting her fierce catwalk and flashing her trademark “Smize” (smiling with her eyes).  You might even have a girlfriend you admire for here consistent and unique look.

These women aren’t playing dress up; they’re crafting and communicating their personal brands.

What’s a “personal brand” anyway,  and do you really need one?

Just like the branding for products and services that helps us identify and choose our favorite running shoes, coffee, perfume or mobile phone provider, Personal Branding can make individuals stand out from the crowd. And it’s not only for celebrities.

Having a strong personal brand can help you stand out in the competitive job market and nail a dream job, or get noticed at work and get a well-deserved promotion or raise. It also can help people remember you and think of you first for exciting volunteer opportunities. Projecting a strong personal brand means you’re clear about your personal TWIST – your point of uniqueness. Feeling comfortable in your personal brand also can give you a great boost of confidence.

Close your eyes and think of Beyonce, legs astride, long hair blowing behind her, ready to take on the world. Interestingly,  Beyonce has shared that she doesn’t always feel as confident as she looks. When she walks on stage in front of large crowds, in fact,  she often channels a personal brand avatar (or double) she’s created, named Sasha Fierce. If Beyonce needs a strategy to feel more comfortable in her personal brand, why shouldn’t the rest of us consider doing it,  too?

What, Me Worry?

  “The lack of Love and Compassion for each other in this World.
Lupe Olivares
“How man is slowly destroying this planet 🌎.
Andrea Bledsoe
“The fact that there are few to no unbiased and fact-based news sources in the USA.”
Bonnie Bell
“Trump in the White House.
Jackie Clark
 “ALWAYS……. homeless animals 😿.
Susan Farley
 “My kids leaving my nest! 😭
Heidi Thompson
“How social media is making everyone extra nasty.
Kelly Logsdon
“My husband’s health.
Brenda Wesche Norton
“Teenage daughter.”
Lori Trick
My elderly parents in an overburdened health care system…. they are at their mercy with not enough aides to assist them.
Joan Kronlund
Company downsizing… several. I have built up $ and started life over…repeatedly…drained my security and retirement in between. Retirement isn’t until 67, but experienced level jobs that pay high enough for health insurance and living aren’t targeting 50+ for hiring.
Sherri Springfield
Slow small business. How will I survive? Too many people shop online!
Anita Johnson
I am a mess–the question should be, what doesn’t worry me??
Chris Anderson-Montgomery
“Money… my whole life money. 🤨
Sharon Smith Seewalt
“Global warming!
Amy Murphy
My teeth. I want a big beautiful smile!
Randy Pittsinger
“Gaining weight.
Fran Estrada
Margie Smith
 “Don’t worry….be happy!
Sandra Robbins Lightfoot