Tag Archives: post-50 women

Sadhvi Sez: Giving Thanks

Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster
Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster

Being married to a chestnut roaster who’s been making people happy for many years now means we don’t have a big get-together with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day (since he’s working!).  Not having children or family that live close by is the other reason why there is no big gathering.

With everyone else being occupied with Thanksgiving, I feel like I am playing hooky from life.  I secretly love that feeling, and am grateful that it’s possible.

It’s been a busy week, with just about every type of bad weather you can think of — constant heavy rain, extremely high winds, bone-chlling cold, and today, thankfully, weather that they have in heaven every single day — the bluest skies with lots of sun and no wind with mild temperatures.  We did wake up to snow, but having the sun shine made it all right with me!

While driving home everything felt so mellow.  The streets were almost empty, and there was a feeling of peace and calm.

When I got home I took our dog “Bello” for a long walk, and met an older couple who are familiar in the way people are when you say hello while passing them a dozen times or so in the last 10 years.  For some reason I laughed out loud when I saw them.  They stopped and asked me how I was, and I said, “Good”.  They told me it’s the first time there has ever been snow on Thanksgiving since they could remember.  I asked them how they were, and they said, “Good. I mean, we’re still walking!”.  Which made me smile, because it’s so true.

I got back home, fed the chickens and the rabbits, and then started cooking dinner for us.  When he got home, we sat down to eat and we both said we thought it was the best meal we ever had.

I don’t know what is happening, but I am feeling so grateful these days.  I think I even realize how special it is to be alive.  I must be getting older.  The next thing you know is that I will start to act wise.  I will let you know when that happens!

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”
— Rumi



The Art of Receiving


Barbara Brady

How many of you are comfortable giving to others, but not so at ease when it comes to receiving or asking for help yourself? 

You’re not alone.  Especially if you’re a woman!  We’re taught from an early age that it’s our job to make sure everyone else is taken care of, even at our expense.  Sayings like “It’s better to give than to receive” don’t help.



The truth is, if you’re blocking either giving or receiving, you’re blocking the natural flow of the universe. Giving is active, masculine energy, and receiving is passive, feminine energy.  Both are needed to be whole.

There’s also nothing “noble” about refusing help, gifts, or compliments. When you allow yourself to graciously receive, you’re giving a gift to the giver.  Think of how good it feels to give to another.  If you don’t allow others to do the same for you, you’re depriving them of those same good feelings.


One way to become a better receiver is to change the thoughts that don’t support you in receiving to supportive (and believable) beliefs.  “It’s better to give than to receive” becomes “It’s best to give and receive to keep the divine flow of life moving through me”;  “I don’t want to bother anyone by asking for what I need” becomes “If I ask for what I need, I give someone the gift of giving, which feels good”; and “I don’t deserve this compliment, money, etc.” becomes “I am worthy and graciously accept this compliment, money, etc.”

Barbara Brady

Life Transitions Coach


Question of the Week: What News Story Brings Back Your Early Teenage Years?

This is an experiment to see if we can get our readers to join in more of a dialogue with us.  We are going to pose a question each week, and see if we can get some interesting responses.  The question for this week is:  “What one news story do you most associate with your early teenage years for you and why?”

Here’s my answer:  The assassination of Martin Luther King

And here’s why: at the time of King’s assassination, I was living on an Army post in Germany and feeling sad about our tour there coming to an end—and I was more than a little worried about going back to the States and entering high school.  There was a string of assassinations that summer—first King and then Bobby Kennedy—and these events had a powerful effect on me, much more so even than John Kennedy’s death, since I was only in the 4th grade for that one.

The thing is that James Early Ray changed more than just one man’s life that day when he pulled that trigger:  my whole world was turned upside down.  The news stories and the pictures from that one event was that the United States had changed, in my head, from a place where beloved relatives lived and you could buy a wonderful hamburger into a land where good people got shot down.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta

The States suddenly seemed dramatically different from our secure, enclosed post at the top of a hill overlooking the little town of Landstuhl, and I couldn’t think about going back there without having day-mares and nightmares.  And now, whenever I think about King’s assassination, I feel that same scary, sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.  His death was not just the death of a great person—it was the first of many events that shook up my world and made me feel very aware of death, very aware of evil, very aware of how unpredictable and frightening a place the world could be.


Sadhvi Sez: Being in Love with Nature


I don’t know what is going on lately, but the more I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world, the more I find myself going inside.  It’s not that I don’t care about people and things that are newsworthy, it’s just that I think I’m at the point of screaming, “Uncle!”

Thankfully, Spring has arrived here.  Interestingly enough, the plant growth rate seems to be very rapid this year.  I mean, the mint just started to come up a week or so ago, and now it’s a foot high where I haven’t pinched any off for the rabbits.  Everything seems to be growing so quickly.  The cilantro that overwintered is bolting; the nettle is almost 3 feet high; the rhubarb is flowering already.  Hmmm.

While taking my evening walk with my dog tonight, I was aware that today is “Earth Day”.  I looked around at the green growth that was everywhere, and I felt so much joy.  Even though it was a busy day with work, I knew that this is the last week to plant poppy seeds, and I had saved some bachelor buttons from last year, the blue ones, and those needed to get in the ground.  Then I have to move a couple of rose plants that are spaced a bit too close together, and…then I smelled something that made me smile:  plum blossoms!  It’s such a unique smell that reminds me of the way my grandmother, Mabel Carter, who is long dead, used to smell.  Then I needed to get some compost and when I rounded the corner, I smelled the sweet shrub that had opened drifting in the air, just like a ripe melon!


So yes, the world will go on getting more and more insane.  That’s fine.  I am drawing a line in the ground: I am going to start to feed Sadhvi what she likes.  It’s time.  Funny when I opened the mailbox and saw that my TIME magazine subscription was about to run out, you know what, I tore it in half and threw it in the trash on my way to feed and water the chickens.


“When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.” 
Minnie Aumonier


Rescue Dogs


I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again:  “I’m never looking at the Craigslist pet site again.”  This time I mean it; I really, really mean it.  I used to view it daily and found myself so anxious about the impending fates of the animals that I finally weaned myself off it.  Then my husband would randomly send me ads for dogs he knew I’d like–Chihuahuas, Goldens, Collies–or dogs that he’d like–Chesapeakes, German Shepherds, Great Danes.  I found myself late at night, when I should be going to bed, taking a peek, while trying to avoid opening those heart- rending pleas for the shelter animals on Death Row. 

That’s what I was doing last week when I saw it:  “Senior Pekingese, please help, time’s up next Tues.”  I looked.  I had to put down my own senior peke, Yoda, last May. 

 I figured I had four days to think about this, no, to worry, obsess, and fret.  I told myself I had lots of dogs, not that you need another one, but what’s one more? 

As I left to go to my farm in Hillsborough, I warned my husband that I might be driving to Lillington on Monday to get a senior Pekingese.

On Sunday night I dreamed about it.  At first, the peke resembled a cute puggle and wasn’t a problem, but later it morphed into a young girl, and I have no idea what that means.  I got up Monday and checked Craigslist to see if there was an update. 

There was a post: “This little guy deserves to live out his remaining years in a loving home.  If someone will please pull him for me and deliver him to Raleigh, I will pay you back.”  I was encouraged: people were paying attention; he was going to be saved.  I emailed the person, suggesting she call the shelter to see if they had a transport available and asking for an update.  Of course, I never got a reply and upon thinking about it, it seemed to be a post I’d seen before, more of a cheerleader than a serious interest in the dog. 

The shelter was open from 1-4 on Monday, and the ad had said that those not adopted would be euthanized first thing Tuesday morning. 

I map-quested it.  It was a good two hours away.  I kept refreshing the site, hoping I’d see a change of his status.  After all, that senior dachshund got a home. 

My daughter encouraged me to call the shelter.  It sounded hectic there.  The dog was still available.  I tried to ask if someone could call me if somebody adopted him before I got there but was cut off.  “We can’t hold any animals, first come, first serve.”  I could tell I should just get on the road, and my sweet daughter declared she was going with me.  I cleaned out a crate and put a soft towel inside, and checked to see if I had Frontline.  The plan was to get him, and if we could get back to the vet before closing, to leave him there for a bath and worming.  We hit the road.

We got as far as Durham and checked the website.  “Mom, he’s been adopted,” my daughter said. “Hey, we’re in Durham, want to go to Costco?” “Sure,” I said.  I felt relief…happy for the little guy.

I came home and checked my email.  From my husband, a link to a Chesapeake he’d inquired about,  asking if I thought she would get along with the pekingnese.  A second email, telling the breeder he’d have to talk to the “boss” about it.  He doesn’t get it: I’m torn by the excess animals; he’s talking to the breeders who, in some respects, create those excesses. When Jane asked for suggestions to better the world a few months ago, I asked that all breeders stop for a year.  Give some of the already created animals a chance! 

There is a rescue for just about every breed out there, even the Westminister Dog Show champion, Banana Joe, the affenpinscher, has a rescue.  Rescue dogs may be a little frayed around the edges, but they’ll love you just as much.

Me… I’ve learned my lesson.  Stray dogs will come to me, that much has been proven. I don’t need to go looking for them on the internet.