Brenda's Blog Archives - 1010 Park Place
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Brenda’s Blog

— Life —

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One of my favorite women is someone I’ve never met in-person. Until we spoke on the phone, I’ve known Sandra Sallin only from the comments we leave on one another’s blogs and Instagram accounts. Even so, her joie de vivre and determination to live life to the fullest, regardless of what’s placed in her path, comes shining through.

“I feel the urge to do whatever adventure comes my way, now, while I can.”

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— Relationships —

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Good, bad or outrageous, my life has been about as normal as picking blueberries on Mars. After reading my blog posts over the years, many of you have urged me to write a book. I took your suggestions to heart, and New Years Day, I began writing a memoir. Even though I’m a writer, and I have an outline, writing a memoir is difficult. We all have a story to tell, but writing a book can be overwhelming. What if you had a simple template that made writing easy and had places for photos? And when you’re done, you’d have a finished, printed book?

Would that encourage you to write your story?

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— Life —

Tikal Photograph by Graeme Churchard, Flickr.com
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If you live long enough and travel far enough, many of the things your mother warned you about will come true. I’ve started writing my memoir, and I realize my mother couldn’t have known about most of the things I’ve encountered. While mother told me it wasn’t polite to urinate in a public pool, she didn’t tell me not to pee in the rivers of Central and South America. I didn’t do that, but a friend did, and a tiny matchstick-sized catfish swam up his urethra and anchored itself there with sharp barbs. What I learned from his misfortune was if you must pee in a river in the jungle… You’d better be wearing a tight bathing suit.

However I’ve learned, firsthand, something our mothers never knew, and most of our government and the media doesn’t want us to know.

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— Essentials —

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Isn’t it funny how things like smells and music can jog our memory and remind us of places we’ve been or experiences we’ve long since forgotten? Like every time I open the dresser drawers in the guest room, I’m reminded of my grandmother. Even after all these years the rose pattern on her drawer liners still smell like her favorite perfume, Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking.” And today an online photograph of a room I’d never seen before struck a familiar chord. 

I knew it was related to a fabric I’d been seeking for over 10 years.

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— Relationships —

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Good friends are like portals to the past and the hands that help move us into the future. In the last week I’ve gotten together with a number of good friends. One I don’t see often, but when we do, we pick up as though one of us just stepped out of the room for a few minutes. 

No “Tell me what you’ve been up to?” We talk in shorthand and enter the conversation in midstream.

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— Life —

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My mother put a lot of time and energy into how she looked and how others perceived her. She never stepped outside her door, even to pickup the newspaper, without her makeup on, every hair in place and dressed in something attractive. But at some point mother was all dressed up with no place to go. Mentally and emotionally she stopped living her life… decades before she died. 

Is this just what happens to many of us as we get older, or is something else at work?

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— Life —

Remember The First Wives Club with Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler about three divorcees who seek revenge on husbands who’ve left them for younger women? While the film was hysterical, for sure, women of a certain age loved it because the story offered more than a grain of truth. I have another cautionary tale, “The Second Wives Club,” (not the TV show that featured younger women), but a Shakespearean horror story few people are willing to talk about except for me and my friend.

Let’s call her Saint Cecilia.

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— Relationships —

ANNIE WITHOUT LULU
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Instead of children I’ve always had dogs, sometimes three at a time. They’re my family. Annie and Lulu were eight weeks old when I adopted them from the animal shelter almost two years ago. From the beginning the “experts” told me someday I’d have to make a choice and give one of my darling girls away, but I didn’t believe them. “Litter Mate Syndrome,” they called it. I’d never heard of litter mate syndrome and never had problems with any of my dogs. What do the experts know anyway? 

In this case… Everything!

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— Life —

PHOTOGRAPHS ©RANKIN
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If you’re on Instagram you may have seen women over 50, 60 and 70, putting their best selves in front of the camera on a daily basis. Many are professional models while others are fashion bloggers, hoping you’ll like what they’re wearing and will purchase it through them, plus they’re hoping brands will collaborate with them. I think most of the women I see on Instagram feel great about themselves, and they’re old enough to have accumulated a sense of self-esteem. It’s the teenage girls there who concern me. So many of them look alike. Let me rephrase that… 

So many of them want to look alike, but they have yet to learn what makes them special and unique.

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— Relationships —

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We’ve all gotten songs stuck in our heads that play over and over until we want to go screaming into the night. That’s how I’ve felt this past week. I’ve been singing Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s 1963, Wives and Lovers. I have no clue where it came from, but I can’t get rid of it.

In 2013, HuffPost said Wives and Lovers “could be one of the most offensive songs, ever.”

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