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Monthly Archives: December 2015

It’s Christmas, Again

I’ve just finished putting up the Christmas decorations. Again. A couple of weeks ago, I seriously contemplated the idea of not bothering this year. After all, I’m old and tired. I’ve been hauling out decorations for the past 50 years. I need a break. Bah, humbug.

The kids and grandkids won’t be coming this year, they are too far away. I used to pay for their tickets to come for the holidays, but I can no longer do that. My roommates will all be gone to family celebrations, and I will be here alone. After all, Christmas decorations are for family and friends to enjoy, right?

ornamentBut someone gave me a handmade Christmas ornament as an early gift. It’s lovely and thoughtful with my “Golden Girls Network” logo on it. What do I do with it? I need a tree to put it on. I have an artificial tree in the garage and it’s easy to set up. I have boxes and boxes of ornaments to keep this lonely ornament company!

First off the shelf is the music box. It’s a carousel that plays Christmas songs. When the grandchildren were very young, they sat on cushions and listened to it for what seemed like hours and watched the wooden horses go around and around. I plugged it in this morning and turned on the music as I worked on everything else. “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” I closed my eyes and remembered the children.

Next are the Santas. I have a collection of Santas. One is “golf” Santa which reminds me of the ex-husband. One is Irish Santa who represents my heritage, another is German Santa…and a very large Santa with an apron who has a toy workbench and two elves to assist, which is my favorite.

Then there are the stockings. I still have the stockings that my children used. No one is coming this year to fill them, but the names are there on the fireplace mantel, waiting. My Santa hat is on the head of a teddy bear who sits on my desk.

The gingerbread house is in its corner; the glittering lights are up; and the wreath is on the door. The nutcracker soldiers have all taken their stations, and the poinsettia towels are in the bathroom.

And finally, the tree…I still have a few ornaments from when my children were still at home. I have ornaments that I collected from trips…the Eiffel Tower snow globe from a long ago honeymoon in Paris, the beach ornaments from the Virgin Islands, my few White House ornaments, the ones that the grandkids made as a Christmas gift. There are six ornaments that I bought my first Christmas alone and I put on a plant in my tiny apartment. There is the collection of Victorian doll ornaments from visiting old plantations in the south…it is hard for me to work on the tree because I am so filled with memories.

I have a toy train. It has tracks and a whistle that blows. My kids thought I was crazy to put it under the tree and play trains. After all, I was a grown woman! This became a favorite of the grandkids. They came to my house to play with my toys and “grandma insists that we all share her toys!” There was method in my madness.

Finally, I put the red and green tablecloth and napkins on the table with the special napkin rings. The Christmas dishes wait on the shelf to be dusted and used.

My plan is to bequeath all of my decorations to my four grandchildren so that they can remember me at Christmas. They are still young teenagers and are twenty years away from having a family and a Christmas tree of their own. At some point, they will come for a visit and will decide which decorations they want. As I put decorations in their places, I wonder who will want the doll ornaments, who will want the Santas, who will get the music box. I guess I will have to keep putting them up until “giveaway day” arrives.

Of course, I didn’t do this alone. My handyman brought the boxes from the garage and strung the lights on the exterior of the house. He put the outdoor elves and tiny trees in my flower garden and connected all of the lights. My north pole still lights up!

And now it is time…I pour a glass of wine and relax in the rocking chair, watching the sparkling lights flicker as the sun goes down. I have had my wonderful memories but am alone at the moment. Since I have decorated, perhaps I should invite some friends over for a holiday party. After all, the decorations are for friends to enjoy also.

Isn’t it interesting how the kindness of one person can make a difference? I invite all of you to share a kindness this holiday season with an older person. You might spark memories, and your kindness may be passed along to someone else.

Golden Girls Gift Guide – Best Gift Ideas For House And Home

It’s time for the next batch of our Golden Girls Network Gift Guide picks! This time we are focused on the best gifts for the home and kitchen. We’ve found some great ideas for making your Golden Girl homes cozier and brighter this holiday season!


Me2015-12-03-1449179022-9516814-Travel_red_front.jpglitta Coffee — Who doesn’t need a caffeinated pick-me-up every now and then?  We love these gift ideas from Melitta. The 1-cup Pour-Over, allows your Golden Girl to brew coffee just like her favorite shop does, but from the comfort of home (i.e., in her cozy slippers and holiday pajamas)! We also love the travel Pour-Over — perfect for brewing a cup to take on the road.



Garden Tote from Premier Home & Gifts — Our Bonnie loves spending time in the 2015-12-03-1449179117-5344450-largegardentote.jpeggarden of her Golden Girls home. So we were really excited to find Premier Home & Gift’s Large Garden Tote, which combines convenience and practicality in a tote anyone with a green thumb would be excited to use all the time. The tote comes with three metal gardening tools secured in an easily accessible pocket. Plus, the bag is really nice looking, made of durable fabric and has a stain-resistant interior. All for $27.95!




Better Muffin Pan — All home bakers should have this muffin pan! Made by the same company as the famous Edge Brownie Pan, this pan is great for baking muffins, cupcakes, cornbreads, and more! Plus it’s only $35.95.




Phone Fetcher — We’ve all been in this situation, hearing a call or text notification and 2015-12-03-1449179345-3263301-bling_family_012.jpgthen not being able to find our phone in the bottom of our purse. Enter the PhoneFetcher! PhoneFetcher attaches to any purse, bag or even a belt loop on one end and the earphone jack of a smartphone on the other. For only $14.99 you can help your friends never lose their phones again.




AquaNotes — Sometimes we get our best ideas in the shower! The AquaNotes notepad suctions2015-12-03-1449179651-7910236-AquaNotesRetailPackagingCP183.jpg to the shower wall and lets shower thinkers to write down their thoughts before they’re gone. The waterproof paper is so durable it can even be written on underwater. The waterproof notepads are only $7 and each one includes 40 sheets of perforated paper so it’s easy to take great ideas from shower to the office or even the grocery store. What a great invention!




AquaCamel — Have a snowbird in your life? Whether your Golden Girl is heading to Florida for the winter or her kids’ houses for the weekend, this self-watering plant pot keeps plants perfectly hydrated for up to 60 days. AquaCamel is available in two sizes, starting at only $24.99.




Tomodachi Photoreal 12 Piece Set — A good set of knives is key to preparing a good meal, and we love the look of this set. These knives have bold, bright-colored, soft grip handles and beautifully detailed photo prints featuring life-like images of your favorite fruits and 2015-12-03-1449179837-7401204-knives.jpgveggies. This set has everything your chef-friend would need, including an 8″ Chef knife with sheath, 8″ Bread knife with sheath, 7″ Santoku knife with sheath, 5.5″ Santoku knife with sheath, 3.5″ Parer with sheath, and 4″ Citrus knife with sheath. And a easy to digest $49.99 price tag!






Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker — There’s nothing quite like a tall glass of iced tea on a hot 2015-12-03-1449179918-8877236-iceteamaker.jpgsummer day and this pitcher will allow your friends and loved ones to brew that cup even quicker! The Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker from Takeya chills freshly brewed tea in seconds, locking in freshness, flavor and nutrients at its peak. This pitcher prepares two quarts of iced tea at a time — and it only costs $29.99.

Golden Girls Gift Guide – Last Minute Gifts and Fun Finds!

It’s the last few days of the holiday season and you find yourself scrambling to complete all your holiday shopping. There are always a few people on your list that are so difficult to shop for. Golden Girls Network is here to help! We have some fun ideas for last minute gifts for every Golden Girl on your shopping list.


ShanaLogic Nail Decals – Of course we couldn’t resist these creative and kitschy Golden Girls nail decals fr2015-12-09-1449682838-7479030-9437_tha_goldengirls_full.jpgom ShanaLogic! We can think of no better way to pay tribute to the original Golden Girls than by wearing them on your fingers. The Golden Girls Nail Decal set comes with 64 decals and you can mix it up with Rose, Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche, “Golden Girls,” and “Stay Golden” designs. We love this idea for a stocking stuffer or as a housemate gift for your Golden Girls roommates. Plus the decals are only $9!



HopeRocks – We love HopeRocks – both its jewelry and message. Each HopeRocks Jewelry piece is made with stones that signify a mood or belief – some jewelry is made w2015-12-09-1449683028-9758730-HRlogo.pngith stones that promote luck and strength, while others highlight positivity and good fortune. Even more important, though, HopeRocks Jewelry donates 10 percent of every sale to Generation Hope, an organization that provides direct sponsorships and one-on-one mentoring to teen parents who are attending college. A beautiful bracelet is priced at $48.



Good Day Socks – Show your holiday spirit from your head down to your cozy toes! Good Day socks were2015-12-09-1449683215-1903190-GoodDaysocks.JPG designed with the uplifting message, “Gonna Be a Good Day,” on each toe. This festive pair features a fun candy cane motif and comes in a coordinating gift box, making it a truly original gift for the holidays! This is the perfect stocking stuffer at only $12.




Golden Girls Network – Know a baby boomer woman thinking about shared housin2015-12-09-1449683494-4111400-GoldenGirlsCover_FRONT_FINAL.jpgg? Give her the gift of companionship and affordable housing! Help your Golden Girl get going on her shared home with dozens of tips and ideas in my book, How to Start a Golden Girls Home. And with membership in Golden Girls Network free through the end of the year, there’s no better time to get started! How to Start a Golden Girls Home is available on Amazon.com for just $14.99 for the paperback or $9.99 for the Kindle version.

Golden Girls Gift Guide – 7 Super Cool Gift Ideas For The Foodie Boomer

Coffee-Lovers BoxNew Mexico Piñon Coffee Company – Looking for a unique gift for the coffee lover in your life? We tried the New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company’s products, and loved their varied and delicious flavors.  Have you even ever tried Dulce de Leche or Apple Empanada coffee?  All coffees are hand-roasted in small batches. Gift Boxes start at only $16.99!


renfro salsa

Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa – You can’t have a party without chips and salsa – and we’ve found the perfect salsa to give as a holiday or hostess gift.  Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa is delicious and fat-free!  You can even spice up dinner, as each salsa jar comes has a recipe printed on the label.  We suggest buying a few different flavors to create a sampling basket – what a great gift!



partybox_exteriorMcCrea’s Candies – For the sweet-toothed Golden Girl in your life, we love McCrea’s Candies Caramels.  Handcrafted in small batches, we think this delicious delicacy makes the perfect gift!  And Martha Stewart agrees, as she selected McCrea’s as an American Made finalist!  Try giving your Golden Girl the gift of McCrea’s flagship product – a Hawaiian black lava sea salt swirled into caramel.  Plus McCrea’s also offers  flavors including vanilla, scotch, chocolate, maple, mocha, and coffee.  These decadent treats range in price from $4-15 depending on selected gift sizes.


SeelyMint_PattiesBox(1)Seely Mints – Or maybe your Golden Girl likes a minty zest with her chocolate?  Try Seely Mint Patties!  Every fall, Seely Mint Farm in Oregon transforms into a candy factory as its kitchen team busily handcrafts a range of all-natural mint confections.  Give it a try – the intense and fresh flavor is delicious and these peppermint patties will only set you back $8.50 a package.


Harry & David Snowman Cookie Jar Gift with Cookies_26444_2015Snowman Cookie Jar Gift with Cookies – The long-standing expert in gift delivery, Harry & David delivers with its Snowman Cookie Jar Gift with Cookies.  The cheerful snowman is sure to brighten the holidays for your special Golden Girl! Complemented by sweet raspberry shortbread cookies crafted in their Southern Oregon bakery, this holiday cookie jar will add a pleasant touch of seasonal décor year after year for only $39.99


JackFrost (2)Harvard Sweet Boutique – You can’t celebrate the holidays without cookies and we can’t pass up these amazing gift boxes from Harvard Sweet Boutique!  There are so many amazing varieties to choose from – opt for the combination that your Golden Girl will like best with the Christmas Build Your Own Gift Set.  It’s only $45 for a box bursting with eight gourmet cookies and six chocolate ganache-covered brownies – all in flavors of your very own choosing.

16806_Sonoma_Mulled_Zin_Shot_In_House (1)(1)Republic of Tea Mulled Zin Sonoma Tea – Imagine curling up on the couch on a cold winter’s day with a mug of freshly brewed Republic of Tea Mulled Zin Sonoma Tea – the name alone is enough to transport your Golden Girl to a sea of relaxation!  This deliciously smelling tea is a hot tea blend made from Zinfandel grape skins infused with warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest.  A beautiful tin costs only $7.99.

Now’s your chance to WIN some of the amazing products mentioned in our Gift Guides – be sure to enter the drawing at http://woobox.com/yghzaz to take home an unforgettable prize!