Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photographer Ann Murray - Downy Woodpecker in Action

My agent's daughter Ann is quite a good photographer. After I saw some of the pictures she'd taken in her yard, I asked if she'd like to contribute to my blog. It won't surprise me if the Bloomfield Garden Club members try to recruit her to be the group's photographer!

Here's what Ann has to say:

          In northern Virginia, a downy woodpecker enjoys a meal of high energy suet. Suet is a great option for bird feed in the winter. Made of fat from beef kidneys, it offers quite a treat for a hungry bird. There are many different mixes and flavors using ingredients like berries, nuts, seeds, and other components for a bird’s healthy diet.  However, be wary of serving this in the summer as often. Because the fat melts at certain temperatures, it can grow rancid and make the critters sick. During the winter when food is difficult for the birds to find, these cakes are something greatly desired among woodpeckers, finches, nuthatches, and other variations of bird.
Ann Murray - downy woodpecker
            This bird enjoying this suit is the downy woodpecker. The smallest variation of North American woodpecker, this bird can drill extremely tiny holes with its beak to gain food sources that other larger woodpeckers cannot. If one puts out a suet cake in the United States or Canada where these birds are common, it is very likely they will soon be seen.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Class Reunion - Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena Nelson Dooley

Continuing in the spirit of Class Reunions, I asked Lena Nelson Dooley to share what happened at hers. Here's what she said:

I went to two reunions, maybe 25th and 30th. It's in another state. When I first got a book published, I chose to use my maiden name as my middle name on my books. We had lived several different places while I was growing up, and I hoped that maybe one of my classmates would recognize the Lena Nelson part of my name. 

At the first reunion I attended, one of the women who graduated when I did had actually bought the book on the off-chance that it was me. I loved knowing that. Seeing all my friends looking so much older was eye-opening, but James and I really enjoyed it. 

Visit Lena at her website:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Some of My Favorite Videos

With all the stress and worry in life, I find ways to lighten things up. One of my favorite sites to look at is, a place I go to watch humorous or cute videos.

Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Father of the Bride at the Altar – Sweet, heart-grabbing, and funny!
  • Impersonating Bird – Very smart! Just be careful what you say around him, or it's sure to be repeated!
  • Invocation – Who says aging has to be serious? Starts with a blessing and ends up having you doubling over in laughter!
  • Parent Rap – Cool parents! I wonder if their kids feel that way! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Class Reunion Story - Martha Rogers Style

Martha Rogers

When asked to share her reunion story in honor of my Class Reunion series with Abingdon, my dear friend and fellow Bloomer (B&H Bloomfield series author), Martha Rogers, has graciously agreed to tattle on herself. 

Here's what Martha has to say about her high school reunion:

At our 50th class reunion for my Baylor class, we were all sharing stories about our Baylor days. Well, the MC remembered one of my antics and called on me to share with the whole group what I had done one Homecoming. I believe it happened in the fall of 1954, my sophomore year. I got up there and shared the incident with them. 

As I related it, I saw the stupidity of the stunt and became so embarrassed at the picture painted with my words, I could hardly finish. One of my classmates stood up and proclaimed before the group, “Martha Whiteman speechless? Priceless. Don’t think I ever saw that before.”

That was embarrassment enough, but then the worst happened after I returned to the table. An old classmate with whom my husband and I were good friends here in Houston started in like he did when we were freshmen. He knew exactly how to get a rise out of me, and sure enough, he made a remark about my age and being the baby of the class and having to stick a pacifier in my mouth to shut me up.

There I sat at age 72 and reacted exactly like I had when I was 17 years old by screeching, calling his name and hitting him hard on the upper arm with my fist. The whole table laughed until they almost cried, my hubby included. I can’t believe at my age I reacted like a teenager would have in the fifties.
(I’m not so sure I really want this out there for the whole world to see. J )

The nicest thing that night was the editor of the alumni magazine hearing about the novella, Sugar and Grits, and said she’d review it for the magazine if I’d send her a copy. I did and she wrote a very nice review of my story, Not on the Menu.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fashion for the Over-50 Woman


I love fashion. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. As I look back at pictures from my teens, 20s, and later, I see that although my outfits have changed, my basic style hasn’t. Everything I wear more than once has to be flattering to my coloring, suitable for my body type (which has changed several times through the years), appropriate for the occasion, and comfortable.

Now that I’m past 50, I realize that some of the things my 20- and 30-something daughters wear won’t work for me. They look cute in certain outfits that make me look downright silly. That’s why it’s important to stop and think before purchasing something just because it’s cute and stylish. It needs to look good on me and be age appropriate. I also have a limited clothing budget, so it has to be affordable.

Here are some tips I’ve gathered from research and observation:
  • Start with the basics. I typically spend more money on pieces that I’ll be able to wear more than one season.
  • Keep all your clothing organized so you can find what you need.
  • Have pieces that are versatile and can be worn in more than one outfit combination.
  • Trends can be embraced with one caveat: They must be age appropriate, or they make us look silly.
  • Don’t show too much skin that may be saggy or droopy.
  • Avoid skin-tight clothing. Instead, opt for luxe fabrics in pieces that fit.
  • Be cautious with fussy prints. I love prints, but I try not to overdo them. Rather than an all-over print, I try to keep it to one piece for maximum effect without allowing it to overwhelm the visual effect.
  • Layering adds interest to most outfits. Use belts, jackets, cardigans, vests, and scarves for the look you want to achieve.
  • Pantsuits can be more youthful than many skirt suits. Try on both and take a long look in front of a full-length mirror to decide which works best for you.
  • Fashion jewelry is fun and inexpensive, so wear it. But don’t overdo it. Too much jewelry looks cheap, and that’s not the look you should be going for at your age.
  • Wear a hairstyle that has some movement. Whether it’s short or long, it looks more youthful if it isn’t plastered in place.
  • Use only enough makeup to enhance your natural beauty. Too much makeup is aging.
  • Moisturize your skin to keep it glowing.
  • Stay in shape with a healthy diet and exercise. When you don’t feel well, nothing you wear will look good.
  • Walk with confidence.
  • The best fashion statement is a warm smile.