Newest Blog Entries


What’s in a name?

August 21, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

What’s in a name?

We’ve been facing a dilemma of late. How do we refer to the men we date when out in public and we want to introduce them? US: Oh hi, Mrs. Wagner, this is my boyfriend, Bob. (At which point, she looks at us incredulously because he’s not a boy – in his 60s in Barbara’s case, or in his 70s, as in Margaret’s. And he’s certainly more than a friend.) It was so easy when we were younger… but wasn’t everything? Long before we turned 50, he was a boyfriend and before that a date.Now that we are skipping down the path of...


14 Lessons Our Parents & Other Wise Elders Preached

August 14, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

14 Lessons Our Parents & Other Wise Elders Preached

Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, many of us had parents who taught us lessons about character, values, life, love and emotions. Although you might remember those lessons as incredibly annoying and often bordering on nagging, now you’re old and wise enough to know the wisdom of some of their directives. And just maybe you’re even passing them on to your children and grandchildren. Here are 14 that we remember well. Sit or stand up straight and tall, and more. “Margaret, you’re slouching. Do you want bad posture and to be bent over like a little old lady?” “Barbara,...


How Does My Garden Grow?

August 07, 2015 Barbara Ballinger

How Does My Garden Grow?

Everyone urged me during my divorce proceedings to move on, build a new life, have fun and do things I had never done during my marriage. I listened carefully, though during this very stressful time, I was lucky to keep my head above water. When I finally emerged as a healthy single, I was ready to heed my friends’ words and that included the purchase of my first house on my own where I discovered a new passion– gardening. It was to become a metaphor for growing and nurturing my new life in general. I hadn’t planned gardening to be...


Out of the Mouths of Babes

July 31, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Out of the Mouths of Babes

What have we learned from our offspring? Plenty. As children growing up in the 50s and 6os, our primary role was to be seen and not heard. Advice was doled out like morning vitamins with such directives as “Sit up straight,” “Chew with your mouth closed,” “Be respectful of your elders,” and so on. And we listened without challenging—at least most of the time–for our mothers and fathers knew best. We’d like to think we’ve passed on what we learned from our parents to our children, primarily the many lessons about living a good life and being kind to others,...


‘Oops. I’m Sorry.’ But Are You Always Really, Really Sorry?

July 24, 2015 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

‘Oops. I’m Sorry.’ But Are You Always Really, Really Sorry?

We all make mistakes, and by this age most of us could stretch our “sorrys” for “oops I didn’t mean that” clear across the country and back, maybe several times. However, we’re not talking only about the many ways we use the simple words “I’m sorry” in those cases when you’re sincere and apologetic, a mea culpa for a specific act. We may have hurt someone’s feelings because we were in a bad mood and screamed at our kids, spouse, partner, friend, mailman, trash collector or store clerk for absolutely no reason, asked a waiter to describe how a pasta is prepared multiple...