Newest Blog Entries


Put the Lid on the Pill Bottle & Cut the Organ Recitals

June 26, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Put the Lid on the Pill Bottle & Cut the Organ Recitals

Ailment mania has taken over our conversations. Yes, we’re over 50, but does every conversation and get-together have to start with or become an organ recital? Cataracts and knee replacements. Sleep machines and cholesterol meds. Surgery for herniated discs, lap bands and gastric by-passes for pounds that couldn’t be shed from every diet tried–Scarsdale, Atkins, Paleo, and Cabbage Soup. So many of us are obsessed with staying healthy at this age, and why not if we’re determined to live a long time? However, in the process, we’re often sharing the details of every medical appointment, test result, and diagnosis we’ve...


Part 2: Equal Pay? 10 Dating Conundrums in the Era of Gender Parity

June 19, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Part 2: Equal Pay? 10 Dating Conundrums in the Era of Gender Parity

Most of us encounter a host of thorny issues when we date at any age, but particularly after 50—who pays for a meal when we both have funds, how much to spend on a gift, ever to go Dutch? We’re certainly not etiquette gurus, but we learned when we became single, and listened to others debate these do’s and don’ts, that there are no clear-cut answers. Consider our advice as a guide, not a rule book. Nothing’s etched in stone, especially in today’s fast-changing dating world. Question: Should men and women discuss cost sharing before a date?  Answer: It’s certainly a way...


Equal Pay? Dating Conundrums in the Era of Gender Parity

June 12, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Equal Pay? Dating Conundrums in the Era of Gender Parity

Girls like cooking, dressing up and being asked out; boys like sports, tinkering and being in charge, which includes handling the money. These are the messages most of us over 50 years of age grew up with, and which remain firmly planted in our brains, even as etiquette rules change to meet our new gender equal economy. Nowadays, more women work and want to be viewed as equals; some even have become the major breadwinner in heterosexual couples, or earn more than their male peers and potential dating partners. It’s important too to take into account cultural differences such as...


Cooking 2.0, From Hands On to Virtual Cuisine

June 05, 2015 Barbara Ballinger

Cooking 2.0, From Hands On to Virtual Cuisine

Cooking has played a starring role in most of my life, from the time my next-door-neighbor and I began our culinary adventures baking chocolate chip cookies like those on the Toll House recipe package. We mistook the salt for the sugar and tried to compensate by adding more of everything.  Need I share more? Yet, it didn’t deter me from trying again, on my own. Married in 1971 and with Julia Child as my first muse, I worked my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, perhaps not as obsessively as Julie Powell, her acolyte, but my dog-eared, page stained...


Single Serving

May 29, 2015 Margaret Crane

Single Serving

As a widow, I had to take entertaining into my own hands. Two years after the death of my husband, I was ripe to have new adventures as a single. Top on the list was throwing my first ever formal dinner party—certainly not black tie but hors d’oeuvres, a three-course meal,  real silver, good china and lots of wine. For the most part during my 42-year marriage, our social life was pretty routine. We went to movies in groups, ate dinner at restaurants with many of the same couples, had them over sporadically, and they invited us back. Nothing fancy....