Category Archives: Products

Remains To Be Seen

Adrienne Crowther
Adrienne Crowther

Let’s face it – no one likes to talk about death. Whether it’s our own, our parents, a spouse, or a friend, it hasn’t been a conversation topic of choice…..until now. Not surprisingly, we baby boomers are re-inventing our end of life practices and attitudes around death.

Here are the facts:

  • Cremation rates have soared to more than 40% of all deaths (close to 90% in some states)
  • Burial costs have reached high, sometimes unaffordable levels
  • Families are transient, and family members no longer live in close proximity to each other, nor to a family burial site
  • Religious tenets are more flexible regarding cremation as an option for disposition

Many recent articles, books, and other media point toward the growing number of cremations, both in the US and worldwide. Baby boomers especially, are breaking tradition in their spiritual beliefs, environmental convictions, and affinity toward individuality in all aspects of life. The funeral industry concedes to this rapid conversion to cremation, yet products for containment of cremation remains are limited, and are often mass-produced and outsourced.

Shine on Brightly
Shine on Brightly

Shine On Brightly is an online company that was launched in 2008 – the result of a lifelong passion for art, love for people and their stories, and lots of research on the changing trends around life and death rituals (especially among baby boomers). Fifteen months later, Founder and Owner, Adrienne Crowther lost her husband of 30 years. Nine months after that, his sister, who had been one of her dearest childhood friends, also died.  Adrienne’s work and business is truly unique and I thought it appropriate to address this subject for our oops50.blog.

Annice and dad
Annice and dad

What are your plans? When my own father died in 2011, I was grateful that he had taken care of all his burial plans.  Everything carefully outlined and paid for- in advance.  What a gift that was to all of us.  And what an alternative Adrienne has to offer to both the living  who want to plan their end of life rituals, or for those who will be making arrangement for their  loved ones.

The Perfect Pouch to Stash Your Stuff

Annice
Annice

Ladies, (not only women over 50), have you ever left your cell phone on a restaurant table?  Or how about searched for your glasses when they were already on your head functioning as a headband? I’m sure none of you have ever lost your keys even though you threw them in your purse – that infamous black hole where objects vanish.

If you’ve ever done any of these things, you will surely identify with our beloved Nora Ephron when she says, “I am living in the Google years, no question of that.  And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google.  The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn’t it?”  I Remember Nothing.

Eleanor at Woolworth 'Walk
Eleanor at Woolworth ‘Walk

So, now you’re wondering what my memory has to do with the perfect pouch.  For starters, it’s attached to my body.  It is a perfectly designed, handmade pouch that clips to your jeans or any pants/skirt via belt loops.  It’s stylish and sized perfectly for your cell phone, car keys, and lipstick.  I love it, and so do all my friends who’ve received them as gifts who in turn buy them for their daughters.  It’s my gift du jour and I have designer, Kathleen Lewis, to thank.

 

Kathleen Lewis
Kathleen Lewis

Kathleen Lewis has spent over forty-five years creating art with fabrics, fibers and other art mediums in Asheville, NC. Kathleen can take a piece of fabric and change it into something totally different such as a whimsical owl to carefully stitched bags, one-of-a-kind hats, and beautiful hand-dyed clothing.  I can’t thank her enough for that perfect pouch.  

Please take a look, and if you’re in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC you can find them at Woolworth Walk, (the chicken salad is pretty good there, too.)  eleanor standing

Visit Kathleen at:   kathleenlewisdesigns.com/ 

Covered Perfectly

Annice dressed in Covered Perfectly
Annice dressed in Covered Perfectly

One of the things I love most about our blog is meeting incredible women over 50 who are constantly creating something new in their life.  I love my baby boomer generation – we just never stop innovating.

One such woman is Pauline Durban, who discovered Oops50 and reached out to us about her company, Covered Perfectly, an online retail store selling fashionable tops for women over 40.

Pauline Durban
Pauline Durban

A native Brit, Pauline, moved to California in 1992, and decided to launch her company 21  years later  (at the age of 57) to respond to a forgotten market – women who want cute and stylish clothes that actually fit them and not their daughters.  And, at the same time, covering parts we would rather not reveal. Without going into too much detail, you know what I’m talking about.

I will admit, before looking at the website, I was skeptical. Clothes for women over 40?  Surely they couldn’t be talking about me.  On the other hand, clothes shopping just wasn’t as fun as it used to be.  I mean, how many long sleeve varieties could one department store sell?  And don’t get me get started on shoe shopping.

I am pleased to say that I agreed to wear and review one top from the Covered Perfectly store.  I told Pauline it was risky, because I was going to be honest.  “Fair enough,” she said.  For starters, the choices were amazing.  I chose a silvery gray top that feels like silk on the body.  I wasn’t sure about the right size but followed the instructions on the web, and when my top came, it fit perfectly.  I will definitely order more. 

Open Collar
Open Collar

Launching a business at any age is challenging and exhausting.  I applaud Pauline for being innovative – focusing on women over 40 and getting it right.  And that’s why we so love the Brits.

A Little Carbon Monoxide to Enhance your Sushi?

 Annice

Annice 

A few weeks ago, after the long awaited grand opening of our new Harris Teeter supermarket, I decided to drop by after Terra’s obedience class.  It was past dinner time, I was hungry, and parking was at a premium.

Harris Teeter

Very nice, I thought, as I strolled the aisles.  Yep, everything is here:  gorgeous looking produce, 20,000 cereal boxes, and a very attractive deli counter.  Perfect, I thought, I’ll just grab some sushi, buy a few apples, and go home to eat.

sushi counter

The sushi looked divine.  I picked up the first package and noticed an oversized label.  WTF – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor?” (Question mark, mine).  I re-read the label 3 times – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor,” not to mention all the other chemicals on the label.  I picked up a few other varieties, and there in bold print – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor.”

I politely (as least I thought I was) spoke to the help behind the counter:  “Excuse me, am I reading this right?  You put carbon monoxide in the sushi?” One would have thought I had the plague, the way everyone stepped back about three feet.  They looked at me, looked at each other, and kind of shrugged their shoulders.  No one said a word.  “Really?” I asked.  “Carbon Monoxide?”  At that point, others around the deli counter seemed to be gathering and waiting for an answer.  I started to feel a little embarrassed for the counter help.  Surely they were excited to have a new job at the new Harris Teeter.  I was not trying to create a scene, but the sushi a la carbon monoxide really got the better of me.  At last, someone spoke up:  “Yes, it’s to retain color, and it’s approved by the FDA.”

sushi

Oh yeah, that made me feel better.  Japan, Canada and the countries of the European Union have banned the practice because of fears that it could be used to mask spoiled fish.

I moved on to buy some organic apples, and despite the fact that our region is the 3rd or 4th largest apple producer in the country- no local organic apples.  I will admit, I don’t always eat organic, but I do like my apples to be just that.

Once home, I just had to Google the use of carbon monoxide in fish, and I learned that not only are fish brokers, supermarkets and restaurants using carbon monoxide for fish, but it’s being used on beef, too, to keep that raw red color. 

For all you sushi eaters out there, Whole Foods and our local Earth Fare stores do not use carbon monoxide to retain color.  

Here are some useful links:

http://www.harristeeter.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carbon-monoxide/DS00648

Cars and Their Parts

Annice

I was dreading buying tires yesterday (don’t most baby boomer women feel the same way?) despite the fact that my two front tires were practically bald and my car was due to pass inspection.  And yes, I know, the safety issue is critical.  The problem is, it’s overwhelming and I hate anything to do with cars or their parts.  In fact, if you remember I posted back in 2009 about buying my first brand new car ever when I traded in my 1989 Dodge Dakota pick-up with almost 200,000 miles.  Loved that truck, but I ditched it for my new Honda Fit – thank you Mr. Obama for that cash for clunker deal.

As it turns out, Honda is very clever.  While the Fit is a cheap mass market

Honda Fit

car, Honda has tried very hard to make sure you buy the tires from them.  In other words, OEM (tires), or original equipment manufactured products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name, i.e. Honda.  How do I know this?  The Honda Fit chat room, of course.  I ventured there one late night looking for advice and a bargain.  One smart guy had this to say. “Most stock OEM tires are garbage, and I suggest replacing them with something in a more common size. 185 55 16 is an odd ball tire size that will offer limited choices.  Tirerack shows only 2 choices.  Honda probably figures that most people will get frustrated and go back to their dealers for tire replacement at inflated prices.  I suggest changing the OEM’s out with either 195 60 16 or 195 50 16.  The 60 series tire will offer a softer ride with good handling and traction while the 50 series, though V and Z rated, offers a similar ride as the OEM’s but more affordable tires and brand choices.”

So you see, I need to change them out to 195 60 16 …and I set out to do just that.  I started by calling all my local tire stores to see if they had two said tires for my Honda Fit.  No one had them in stock but all could order them and have them in a day.  All were more expensive than the Honda dealer, so Honda it had to be.  Then, while doing errands yesterday, I saw a store called Discount Tires.

I parked the car, and as soon as I got out, a young smiling guy in a uniform came up to meet me in the parking lot, and asked if he could help.  He ushered me inside, educated me on tires and basically shared the same info the Honda Fit forum did.  He had the tires in stock, and they were almost $40 less than Honda and the local tire guys.

.

Twenty minutes later and a cup of gourmet decaf coffee (it was 5:30 p.m.) and I had my new tires.  I wish I could have given my business to the local guys but $80 is a big savings.  Guess I’ll have to spend it in a local restaurant this week-end.