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This week the nation has watched my state endure—and survive—a devastating natural catastrophe named Harvey. We’ve seen images of people being plucked from their rooftops, saved from rushing waters by human chains and hoisted by helicopter, holding their babies. Shock, sadness and overwhelming disbelief are understandably common among the residents. We’ve also seen resilience, hope and sheer determination as volunteers brought their fishing boats, kayaks and large trucks from all over the nation, with an “I just have to do something” mindset, working themselves to exhaustion. Continue Reading

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I did it. I chased my lion. My two friends and I just returned from a trip to Uganda where we led women’s conferences in two remote communities. Instead of being confronted with a giant, I found a lamb, in an impoverished country filled with women who have so little, but who are rich in spirit.

My life will never be the same.

The women of northern Uganda possess inner strength and faith unlike any other women I know. Many were raped and beaten during the war, and many lost their husbands to Kony’s horrific murders, HIV or malaria. Many never had husbands, but were left behind by men who refused to commit to a pregnant partner. Continue Reading

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As long as the Rollings Stones continue performing, I’ll continue going to their concerts. The first time I saw the Stones, it was their second U.S. performance, June 6, 1964, at Teen Fair in San Antonio, Texas. I was there–by myself–to see Bobby Vee and Paul Peterson from the “Donna Reed” show. As far as the Rolling Stones go, you might say I’m a pioneer; one of the first. They changed my life but Paul Peterson? I don’t remember much about him.

This September I’m going to see the Stones again—by myself—only this concert is in Lucca, Italy.

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— Life —

Val Haller in her Chicago 'house concert' room
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How many of us have reinvented ourselves over the years, particularly as we find ourselves with an empty nest or knocking on the door of retirement? Last month I met Val Haller, a fellow Fierce 50+ woman who’s not only as crazy about music as I am, but she turned it into the focus of her reinvention. What started as an idea to create a curated playlist on a streaming music app–ValsList–so busy adults can enjoy more than the music they grew up with, Val Haller has become an influencer and a powerful brand in the music industry.

Many adults don’t like rap or don’t want to listen to the current music stations in hopes of sifting through music they don’t like in hopes of finding something they do like. What’s more, the sheer number of music discovery platforms have left many Boomers a bit bewildered, and so they’re stuck in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

In addition to her popular Val’s list, Val was featured on Oprah; she wrote a weekly music column for the “Boomer” section of the New York Times, and she began hosting “house concerts” in her Chicago home, featuring cool bands. Val’s concerts have become so popular, she’s taking them on the road to country clubs and other organizations. What started as a love for music has allowed her to think about expanding on a national level.

This is the first of many music lists Val will be curating just for 1010ParkPlace! We’re excited to have her join us, and if you like her suggestions, you can either download them to your playlist/start a playlist of your own, or checkout her website and her app! Enjoy!

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While shopping for antique and vintage pieces, I’m always surprised at the devaluation of anything with a monogram. Whether it’s an engraved piece of silver or an embroidered set of pillowcases, buyers often turn a cold shoulder towards items personalized for someone unknown and long dead. I feel differently about monograms. It’s a lost art, like letters written by quill. Just because an old letter is not addressed to you doesn’t mean it’s without value. Continue Reading

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A friend and I were having coffee when we started talking about how lovely it was not to go out any more. She’d seen a sign in a gift shop that read, Let’s Stay Home, and we both thought it was just beautiful.

The whole Hygge trend, embracing the Danish notion of comfort, reflects that my friend and I are not alone.

Dining out at the new hot restaurant or going to an A-List party has been surpassed by pillows, reading socks and tea.

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I grew up in the world of antiques and never left, sharing professional time as a dealer, auctioneer, lecturer and author. Invited to attend the very first US taping of Antiques Roadshow in 1996, I have since been to the majority, over 100 in all. Appraisers are chosen by WGBH in Boston, and are on their own dollar. There is no compensation for appearances, hotel or travel expenses, and all sign an agreement prohibiting commercial activity related to the show. This is PBS after all, and integrity is essential. I believe that is largely why (over 10 million viewers each week) love the show, and why we all keep coming back for more. Continue Reading

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Everywhere I go these days, I’m surrounded by Nomophobes. Whether it’s at a luncheon, a business presentation, or a casual dinner, these addicts are showing their disrespect and lack of social grace in record numbers. This addiction has swept the nation! It’s the fear of being without your cell phone.

Nomophobia is the abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia,” and it’s used to describe the anxiety we experience when we run out of the house without our phone, or we’re out of cell phone range, or the flight attendant says, “Turn off your mobile devices.” If you can relate, then you are a Nomophobe.

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For March’s book club, we’re discussing Abby Fabiaschi’s novel, I Liked My Life. It’s a beautiful examination of grief, marriage, parenting, mother-daughter relationships, and aging. I’m thrilled the author is able to join us for Q&A. Continue Reading