Newest Blog Entries


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...


The Dirt on Extreme Downsizing

July 17, 2015 Barbara Ballinger

The Dirt on Extreme Downsizing

We boomers have carefully planned most of our real estate moves—starter apartments and homes to get on the equity upswing, places to live as we raised families with good schools nearby and “location, location, location” our guiding mantra, maybe a larger home if we wanted to trade up, and now a place to trade down or downsize as we started to discard too many furnishings and possessions, and simplify our lives. Being single after my long-term marriage ended in divorce and giving up my former family home proved a great incentive for me. But few of us, including myself, had...


Going Underground

July 10, 2015 Margaret Crane

Going Underground

At one time in real estate repartee, if things were “moving down,” we’d be referring to our basements. After my husband passed away four years ago, the term “moving down” took on new meaning. It came to the fore as I searched hurriedly in a crisis for the right plot that would become my husband’s final resting place. Married for 42 years, we had both been in denial about our mortality. We didn’t discuss our funerals or how and where we wanted to be buried, even after my husband became ill. And my parents were both alive and had just...