International Women’s Day 2014

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Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

The above paragraph is from the About Page of International Women’s Day. Did you know that IWD is a holiday in some countries? Their About Page (under the 2000 and beyond section) lists the countries that have declared it a holiday.

The theme for 2014 is Inspiring Change. You can visit the IWD site and be inspired by women’s artwork and stories, find out if there are any events in your area  or watch a variety of videos such as how women can be agents of change.

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Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is not for everyone. If you are celebrating Anti-Valentine’s Day, or doing your best to ignore it, revel in the fact that you are not caving in to the excesses and demands of one of the biggest holidays of the year. And if people tell you you should be doing something for Valentine’s Day, remind them there are 364 more days in the year for you to show the people in your life how much you love them. Until then, let’s have a laugh to help us get through the day.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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A wish for you on this Valentine’s Day
that you’ll take time to laugh and maybe to play,
just bury the blues, let go your worries
do something happy and giggle in flurries,
run in the forest hug a small child
grin at the clouds and do something wild,
just for this day be perfectly free
for that is the way you were meant to be,
watch how your magic blossoms in wonder
as lightning flashes in evening thunder,
and know in your heart come what may
I send you my blessings this Valentine’s Day.

Ted L Glines

February 13th is Galentine’s Day

Image from my Pinterest page. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259871840972335953/

This needs to be an international holiday!

Happy Galentine’s Day! If, like me, you had not heard of this relatively new holiday, the wiki for the show Parks and Recreation explains it all.

What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, Leslie Knope and her lady friends leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!
Image via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259871840972336063/

So now you have another reason (like you needed one) to talk or get together with your girlfriends. Even if Galentine’s Day is new to you, find a little time today to reach out to the women in your life, to honour your friendships and to celebrate how all of you are, as Martina McBride says, “beautiful the way you are”.

This One’s For The Girls Lyrics

This is for all you girls about thirteen
High school can be so rough, can be so mean
Hold onto, onto your innocence
Stand your ground when everybody’s giving in

This one’s for the girls

This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In a little apartment just trying to get by
Livin on, on dreams and spaghetti o’s
Wondering where your life is gonna go

This one’s for the girls
Who’ve ever had a broken heart
Who’ve wished upon a shooting star
You are beautiful the way you are
This one’s for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one’s for the girls

This is for all you girls about forty-two
Tossing pennies into the fountain of youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Make’s you who you are today

This one’s for the girls
Who’ve ever had a broken heart
Who’ve wished upon a shooting star
You are beautiful the way you are
This one’s for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world this one’s for the girls

Yeah, we’re all the same inside (same inside)
From one to ninety-nine

This one’s for the girls
Who’ve ever had a broken heart
Who’ve wished upon a shooting star
You are beautiful the way you are
This one’s for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one’s for the girls Continue reading “February 13th is Galentine’s Day”

Sunday Quotes – Love By The Book

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I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.

Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Spunky Old Broads Month And The Red Hat Society – See What They Share

(Image via perfectlycursedlife.com)

Edited for repost: January 2014

One of the most searched for and viewed posts for January 2014 is the Spunky Old Broads Month post from 2012. I thought that since it is one of the most viewed posts this month, I would repost with information about the Red Hat Society. Pat S. left a comment on the original post that the poem “Warning” also plays a part in the history of the Red Hat Society. This excerpt, about founder Sue Ellen Cooper, is from their about page:

While visiting a friend in Tucson several years ago, Sue Ellen impulsively bought a bright red fedora at a thrift shop, for no other reason than that it was cheap and, she thought, quite dashing. A year or two later she read the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, which depicts an older woman in purple clothing with a red hat. Sue Ellen felt an immediate kinship with Ms. Joseph. She decided that her birthday gift to her dear friend, Linda Murphy, would be a vintage red hat and a copy of the poem. She has always enjoyed whimsical decorating ideas, so she thought the hat would look nice hanging on a hook next to the framed poem. Linda got so much enjoyment out of the hat and the poem that Sue Ellen gave the same gift to another friend, then another, then another.

One day it occurred to these friends that they were becoming a sort of “Red Hat Society” and that perhaps they should go out to tea… in full regalia. They decided they would find purple dresses which didn’t go with their red hats to complete the poem’s image.

This quote is from Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother of the Red Hat Society:

“The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.”

While Spunky Old Broads Month and the Red Hat Society are not affiliated with each other, I think both show the spirit and enthusiasm of embracing  middle age and beyond instead of automatically declaring it the enemy. Besides, we are so wise by the time we reach middle age, we can’t help but laugh at some of the absurdities of life.

The following is the original post. Have a wonderful and spunky February.

***

February is Spunky Old Broads Month and February 1st is Spunky Old Broads Day! You know some Spunky Old Broads, either personally or as characters in books, television shows and movies (I always think of the Golden Girls and Auntie Mame).  Zanyholidays.com has this wonderful description.

Spunky old broads are positive, fun, butt-kicking mature women over the age of 50 who refuse to sit back quietly and get old. They want excitement! They want a regret-free life! They want form fitting aprons! They want calcium supplements!

When I grow up, I want to be a Spunky Old Broad! I want to wear hats

(Image via webmd.com)

and if I have to use a cane,

(Image via amazon.com)

walker

(Image via mbacofficesolutions.com)

or wheelchair,

(Image via neatorama.com)

I want them to sparkle in the sun.

Something that kept showing up on different blogs as I was doing searches for Spunky Old Broads is a poem by Jenny Joseph she wrote in 1961 called Warning. You may also know it as When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple. So, if you know a Spunky Old Broad, perhaps share this poem with her at lunch or while having some brandy and start practicing some spunkiness yourself.

Warning

by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Happy New Year 2014

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I know, it’s been a while. Sometimes you need to take a break when you realize you are losing the enjoyment that doing a blog brings you. So, what better time to start blogging again than on the anniversary of my last post?

Haven’t really done much. As usual, some days have been better, some worse. I’ve made the effort to get out more. The luck of living in an urban neighbourhood means opportunity to go for a short walk. I even  sometimes go to the coffee shop to meet up with a friend of mine and his gang of troublemakers when they go for coffee.

I’ve been listening to podcasts of short stories lately. It’s interesting and enjoyable listening to such diverse stories and the talented actors who read them.

I have also done more reading. I joined Goodreads this year and won some books which, in turn, made me buy some books. I have a pile on my still messy desk and a bunch of ebooks to read. It’s easy to read “something” on the internet, there’s a lot to whet the appetite. It’s also easy to lose a couple of hours, not that that’s always a bad thing to do. Some days it the perfect tonic. But, I’ve enjoyed getting away from the computer and being lost in a good story.

So, that’s been my year in a nutshell. I’ll leave you with this New Year’s wish and will see more of you in the new year.

When the midnight bell rings tonight,

Let it signify new and better things for you.

Let it signify a realization of all things you wish for.

And let if signify a year of courage and believes.

Wishing you a very prosperous 2014.