Category Archives: Products

Sadhvi Asks: Who is behind Maxine?


Maxine can still crack me up.  Like her, there was always someone around in the family who called a spade a spade.  In the “politically correct” times we’ve been living in, and now, where EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, I can appreciate Maxine’s character even more.  Because most of the people who used to be like her are gone.  And I know I should watch Jon Stewart, but I don’t have a TV.

The other day while at the market, I saw a young girl, maybe 11 or 12 years old, hugging a colorful book to her chest.  I asked her if I could see the title of the book.  It was, The Book of Awesome.  Her mother was behind her, and I asked what the book was about?  She said that every kid is reading it, and her daughter just loves it.  Nothing wrong with love, but this book even has its own Wikipedia page.  Now how weird is that?  What a peculiar thing, that there is a book written for people to read, about things like:

Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket and Other Simple, Brilliant Things

I wonder what Maxine is gonna have to say about it?

Hey, I might actually read this New York Times bestseller and start to wear a t-shirt with the cover on the front, and start carrying the book around, hugging it!

So who is the person behind Maxine’s character?  The following is taken from the Hallmark website:

John Wagner, Hallmark artist since 1970, says Maxine was inspired by his mother, his maiden aunts and his grandmother, the woman who bought him art lessons when “fill in the pumpkins” was about the extent of his art classes at St. John ‘s Catholic School in Leonia, New Jersey.

When Hallmark launched the Shoebox card line back in 1986, nobody knew that the crabby character gracing the covers of a few cards would become a celebrity.  It didn’t take long for Maxine’s irreverent quips about aging, the workplace, retirement, political correctness, and of course sex (or the lack of it) had struck a cord.


“If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday, or if she can make someone chuckle about stressful interpersonal relationships, then I’m happy.  Putting a smile on someone’s face is what it’s all about.”

Why the name ‘Maxine’?

“People at Shoebox started referring to the character as “John Wagner’s old lady”, and I knew that would get me into trouble with my wife,” John says.  So the Shoebox team had a contest among themselves to name the character and three of the approximately 30 entries suggested “Maxine”.   John says the name is perfect.  He’s also humbled by such acceptance of Maxine, and admits he’s proud of her.

So now you know!




My New Red Shoes


I have a pair of new red shoes from a company that I want to highly recommend to our readers.  I didn’t think I’d ever write again about shoes, especially red ones, but I can’t help it.  I love my wonderful new shoes, “filled with millions of tiny air bubbles”  from a British company called Hotter Shoes.

They approached us at Oops50 recently and asked if we would like to try out a pair of their shoes, and of course I agreed to be a guinea pig—who wouldn’t want a new pair of shoes with the emphasis on comfort, right?  I was a little worried though, that I might be signing up for what our mothers would have called “comfortable shoes.”  You know the type: big, wide shoes with thick soles that come in either white or black.  Well, I went tho their site and was pleasantly surprised; the shoes looked good, but they actually look even better in person.

Jane's New Hotter Shoes!

These are not ugly, comfort shoes of the variety worn by old ladies with bunions.  These are stylish and comfortable shoes—to tell you the truth, I didn’t believe those two words could go together.  And even though the company’s name brought immediately to mind the movie, “Kinky Boots,” while there is nothing kinky going on, these are definitely hot shoes!

They come in all kinds of different designs.  And they are incredibly comfortable.  No aches and pains.  No sore toes.  And, they come in wide sizes without looking wide.  Check out their site, and if you order a pair, do let me know if you agree with me.  And if you have a moment or two, let me know what your most comfortable shoe is, Ok?




Help: My iPhone says it’s OK to check my email while driving!


I got a new iPhone last week so that when I am at our stand at the Market, I can take credit cards with the Square.  I spent a long time trying to figure out the best deal from the many companies, and frankly, it was harder than my first year of college!  So when a friend said I should Google Square I did and was so happy that someone (one of the founders of Twitter) came up with this easy method that lets you take any credit or debit card with a smart phone.  And the best part is that there’s no monthly fee or service contract.  Another added perk is that customers think you are cool if you offer this, don’t ask me why!  Kind of like if you’re the first kid to have the newest-toy-on-the-block sort of thing.  It couldn’t be easier to use, and the money goes straight into your bank account.  Perfect for massage therapists, artist’s, and small business owners.  And it works with the Droid and the iPad too.  Really, it’s great.


But getting an iPhone has made me cross the line from where I set my boundaries in my own personal comfort zone of technology.  I mean, I don’t text because I find it kind of weird to type on something so small, and, I don’t have kids, which I hear is the only way to communicate with them these days.  I don’t like to play games.  I don’t really get lost, and if I do, I like to look at a map or even ask people for directions (I get a secret thrill out of talking to a complete stranger of the same species as me!).  I don’t need to identify a song I like on the radio, I can just enjoy it as something new, and I will leave it to chance when I am on the road and am looking for a good place to eat.  If it’s not good, I know it will be an interesting memory, or something soon forgotten.

So imagine becoming immediately addicted to something that I am a bit embarrassed to write about: and that is, checking my incoming email while driving!  Can you believe it?  It was as if some part of my brain took over and told me: ‘It’s OK…you’re just cleaning up any junk mail and looking for the important ones!”  The bad part is that I wasn’t just doing it just at red lights.  After catching myself doing it during a long stretch of the ride home, I vowed not to touch that iCrackThing while driving ever again.  I don’t know what happened, but it was scary!  No wonder Apple is now worth more than the oil companies!

My 10-year-old niece came to visit, and while driving together in the car to the horse ranch that she would be staying at with her Dad in the car ahead, the beautiful mountain views were truly something to behold.  She sat next to me playing a game on her new iPhone4.  “I love it!”, she says.  I told her she can love it, but not while driving on vacation with her Aunt Sadhvi.  I wanted her to find enjoyment in the ride and the journey and the wonderful views.  She reluctantly put her beloved iPhone away.

Just to let you know, I also write her letters in cursive writing, on cute stationary and send them in the mail with stamps that I pick out, not the ugly Forever Stamps.  I’ve heard they don’t teach cursive writing in schools any more, and I think that’s kind a real shame.  That’s when I started to send her letters.  So maybe my niece will be able to land a job someday because she knows how to read cursive?!  No, I’m just kidding.  I really just want to make sure she has some “human connection memories” instead of computer games that she’s become addicted to on her awesome iPhone.

Or just maybe all this tuning out and tuning into a hand-held computer that is so cute, sleek and even loveable is just a way to tune out the hectic energy of the world?



“Be careful not to fill up every moment of your life with “stuff”: things to think about, to react against, to worry about, be upset about, regret or even look forward to… There’s more to life.  You don’t have to stop doing, but you can intersperse your life with brief moments of presence.  Like now… allow everything to be as it is.  Then become aware that there is an awareness here, a consciousness, & that THAT is more truly who you are than anything else.”





Women Elder Sharing Romance Tips: Finding Mr. Right


I wanted to share my secret to eternal youth this week, but I couldn’t think of one.  Then I thought I could let you in on how at the age of 53, I’ve invested wisely and am now retired, except that this is not the case.

So instead I’m going to share something that I think is pretty interesting.  I was looking at the data collected from GoogleAnalytics, a free service from Google that shows which key words people are punching into their search boxes, and how many of them there are.  What I discovered is that the majority of people using the web are trying to find their perfect mate!  Uh oh, wait!  I think that also includes porn sites.  Geez.  I shouldn’t be surprised, since just about all of my single friends use online dating these days.  I even have friends who tell me, “I’ve got to find time to get on!”.

If only they realized that their type of “Mr. Right” is not anywhere but between the pages of a book.  Because having been in a relationship for over 25 years with the same partner, I can attest that it ain’t like what these single friends are yearning for.  It is not necessarily bad, it just isn’t romance every day!


If I were looking, I definitely wouldn’t look for a potential relationship online!  They pick the picture themselves and they write things that make them appear like they are auctioning themselves off on the block!

If I were looking for love, I would join a tango class, or a bowling league, or maybe just go the library and get some Harlequin romance novels and drift away in a comfortable chair.  Or just order online at my favorite book site: Better World Books.  A much better company than Amazon to support, by the way.

Here’s a quote from a summer read that I recently picked up (no pun intended).  Let me know if you agree with me that reading about romance might be better than an actual relationship.  It’s cheaper. There is no compromise.  When your heart gets broken, vicariously of course, it will be better by the end of the book.



He grasped me firmly, but gently, just above my elbow and guided me into a room – his room.

Then he quietly shut the door and we were alone.  He approached me soundlessly, from behind

and spoke in a low, reassuring voice close to my ear,

“Just relax.”

Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong,
calloused hands start at my ankles – gently probing and

moving upward along my calves – slowly, but steadily.

My breath caught in my throat.

I knew I should be afraid, but somehow I didn’t care.

His touch was so experienced, so sure.

When his hands moved onto my thighs, I gave a slight
shudder and partly closed my eyes.

My pulse was pounding.

I felt his knowing fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage.

And then, as he cupped my firm, full breasts in his hands,

I inhaled sharply.

Probing, searching, knowing what he wanted – he brought

his hands to my shoulders, slid them down my tingling spine and into my panties.

Although I knew nothing about this man – I felt oddly trusting and expectant.

This is a man, a man used to taking charge.

A man not used to taking ‘no’ for an answer.

A man who would tell me what he wanted.

A man who would look into my soul and say,

“Okay ma’am – you can now board your flight!”.


Are Women Over 50 into March Madness?


Is it just me or is it because I live in NC where basketball is king that I’m overwhelmed with March Madness?  To be honest, I really don’t care about it.  There it is.  I’ve said it.  I’ve got enough madness in my life, thank you very much.

Another truth, I never even heard about it until I met my husband 16 years ago.  He loves college basketball, and all sports except NASCAR (thank God).  Come mid-March, Madness lives in our living room because we are not a home with multiple televisions, something I insisted on long ago.  That means whenever there is any kind of tournament  (World Series, Super Bowl, PGA Golf, Wimbledon, etc.) the T.V. is on and on and on until I try to convince my husband to go downstairs to his office to watch this Madness on his laptop.  Needless to say, he doesn’t enjoy that AT ALL.

When I can no longer endure the basketball game in our house, I politely hand over the Sennheiser wireless headphones (which I highly recommend)  to  my husband before muting the T.V.

Sennheiser Headphones

When I question him about all this basketball, he thinks I’m crazy.  “Everyone watches college basketball this time of the year,” he assures me.  Really?  I’m pretty sure most of my friends don’t watch it.  I’m sure if I had sons who played basketball I’d be more interested.  Don’t get me wrong, I admire, even envy the talents of super athletes and their victories.  Who doesn’t like to see their team triumph?  But two weeks of basketball?  So, I’m asking, how many of you are really into all that March Madness?