If you've been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I'm obsessed with the Ojai Garden Tour.  If you've never heard of Ojai, it's a sleepy little town about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, nestled between the Topatopa Mountains, and I love it.  I've been going on the Garden Tour for years on Mothers Day weekend and I look forward to it so much.  Last month I went online to buy my ticket and there was nothing. WHAT?!  I called the Chamber of Commerce and was told that the tour was cancelled this year, NOOO!  Apparently the massive amounts of rain we had ruined gardens and there were not enough people to volunteer their homes this year.  I was upset.  Really I was.  I sat at my desk thinking there was no coming back from this devastation. Yes, I'm overly dramatic, but still.  I needed a way to recover from this news.  And then I remembered the Pasadena Showcase Home.  I had never gone and I could go on Mothers Day!  I bought a ticket. 

My daughter and I are extremely close so Mothers Day is every day for me, and she was out of town, coming back in time for us to have dinner.  That gave me the day to myself.  And I really wanted to go to the design house alone.  When I told some of my friends they offered to go with and me.  I politely explained that I was going solo by choice not by default.  It was the ultimate Artist Date!  Browsing through an 11,000 sq. ft. mansion that looked like it was right out of Gone With The Wind, on 2 acres of gardens in Pasadena CA. 27 different interiors designers took over the house and each designed a different room.  Yes please.

If you have never heard of an Artist Date, it's a solo experience doing something you love by yourself.  The idea was created by Author Julia Cameron and described in her book The Artists Way.  And if you've never given yourself an Artist Date what are you waiting for?!

Going solo to an event like this means I can concentrate on taking photos, which I love to do.  I'll share some below, some, as in a lot. 

Speaking of solo dates, I recently came across my old collage journal and documentation of my very first solo date.  I was 20.  I went to a pub called Casper's that was right next to Nagler Hall, the dorm I lived in on 27th street when I went to FIT.  Students would hang out at the bar, but this night was different, this night I was going to ask for a table, all by myself and have dinner.  I got dressed up, I remember I was so nervous and I wrote three pages in the journal on how traumatizing it was when the hosted said "just one?" I was sitting in my kitchen reading those pages last week and howling with laughter.  Another beautiful thing about getting older, I love taking myself out to eat, having confidence, and not caring what other people think of me. AKA freedom!

I had a great time at the showcase home, they also had shops set up outside.  I had a lovely lunch in the garden.  And although none of the decor styles were my taste, I found something in every room that I liked.  Overall, I truly appreciated all of the thought that went into every aspect of the designs and the artistic details of every room.

And of course without a selfie, was I really there? 😜



Dear Fellow Baby Boomers, 

Have you noticed lately that we have become big business?  Not only is every company and/or celebrity out there coming up with something to target our wallet, fight aging, and battle menopause, but it's become politically incorrect to say things like "anti" aging.  We're apparently supposed to say "pro" aging now.  How about instead of all this talk on aging, we just live our lives without focusing on our age number at all?

We've become a marketing tool.  I'm not against this, if things are legit, but I am against companies that market anti wrinkle creams to us on 20 something faces.  New magazines that target women over 50 but get their advertising dollars from designer clothes splashed across their pages on 20 something models. 

A few years ago I was prompted to change my blog and instagram name to Life In The Six O.  One of my girlfriends, who is 10 years younger than me, said I was her poster girl for aging, hmmm, I liked that.  She said she was scared by some of the women she knew that were my age because they looked and acted frumpy.  She was freaked by frump.  Up until that point I had pretty much always lied about my age, well not really lied, but never corrected anyone when they assumed I was younger than I am.  I was afraid people would stop taking me seriously in business if they knew my real age.  Let's face it, there is ageism in this world.  Then I realized I was part of the problem.  If I told the world how old I really was, maybe people would start to see that this is what 60+ looks like.  I thought I could be part of the solution, instead of the problem.  Frump is a choice not a chronological component.  And we all have a choice.

Fortunately, we are the generation, after the generation, that called things like your period and menopause "the curse".  Imagine being a young girl in the "olden days" and getting your period?  No one told you about it, you had no idea what was happening, so naturally they all thought they were bleeding to death.  Same with menopause, even our mothers' generation didn't talk about it, although I've heard some refer to it as the "beginning of the end".  Oh brother!  And I remember my mother would say that it just didn't really affect her.  Well, I beg to differ! 

Any Jewish friends out there get the period slap?  There's an old Jewish custom (although when you google it, the roots of this "custom" are a bit sketchy) that when a Jewish girl gets her period for the first time, her mother slaps her across the face for good luck.  My mother did this to me.  My nonviolent mother who never hit me, smacked me right across the face as I sat on the toilet pondering the fact that I was supposedly a woman now.  Shocker!  She quickly explained that it was good luck and hugged me.  Yes, I was still on the toilet.  That tradition ended with me.  I did not smack my daughter when she got her period.  Talk about your body image trauma!

I like to call it Ageless Living, not because we don't age, or can stop the hands of time, but because my focus is living life without putting age restrictions on myself.  Age affects us, no doubt about it.  Hey, if I don't stretch before I get out of bed in the morning I'm walking to the bathroom like Frankenstein.  But how many times do you hear women say "I'm too old for that" or "it's too late" for this or that.  This drives me crazy and it's just not true!  Ageless living is about living without paying attention to societal stereotypes for the "middle aged" and that's exactly how we break those stereotypes, by proving them wrong.  It's never too late for a new dream, a new hobby, a new pet, a new city, a new home, a new friend, a new job, a new career, or a new style!

The other day I posted a story on instagram from @the.dancing.nana.  She was tap dancing at her own 100th birthday party.  And smiling from ear to ear.  She's been dancing her whole life.  Do you think she ever listens to anyone that tells her she's too old to dance?  Or that she might break a hip, or asks when she's gonna stop already?  No she doesn't.  She just keeps dancing.  And I bet that she thinks a lot more about dancing than about the fact that she is 100.  And that is why she continues to dance and live her best life.  In her mind she sees herself as that young beautiful dancer, and so she is.

Master Life Coach Tony Leigh says "we can only create to the edge of our self image".  The first time I heard her say this my mind was blown.  BLOWN!  Read it again, "we can only create to the edge of our self image".  So if you're walking around thinking of yourself as old, you're going to be old.  Not a complicated concept to grasp.  If you think you're looking frumpy you most likely are.

We often forget that we have the power to create through our own thoughts.  It's been proven that our subconscious believes everything we tell it, whether it's true or not.  So why not tell it the good stuff!  Pick your best age, for me it's 45, I'm 45 and holding.  That's what I think, that's what I feel, and I have made that part of my self image, and that's what keeps me young.  Let's forget aging gracefully and let's age powerfully!

If you have any doubts here's a little inspiration...

Famous French Chef Julia Child did not have her first cookbook published until she was 50.

Acclaimed novelist Toni Morrison became the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature at 62.

Kittie Weston-Knauer is the oldest female BMX bike racer. At 71 she's still wining championships and has no intention slowing down.

Ray Kroc founded McDonalds at the age of 52.

Fashion Designer Vera Wang did not enter the fashion industry until she was 40. 

Claude Monnet was 73 when he started his famous water Lillie series.

American folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known by her nickname Grandma Moses, and her famous painting of the same name, began painting at the age of 78.

Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing the Little House series of children’s books at 65 years old.

Charles Darwin Published the Theory of Evolution at 50 years old.

Just to name a few.😉



I wanted to post one more time for 2022 to wish you all a beautiful holiday season and a happy & healthy 2023.  And to thank all of you that have reached out to me this year.  And for being here reading my blog, it has meant so much to me and has been such a comfort.  It is greatly appreciated! 

Also, sending warm hugs to all of you in the rest of the country on this beautiful 79 degree day here in Los Angeles.  And to all of you that are living through the bomb blizzard, don't hate me.  On the up side, you're having a white Christmas!  How beautiful all the snowy pictures look on Instagram.  We do go down to the 50's at night so I do have a fire going while I look at your snowy pictures, again, don't hate me. 

It actually started to snow on me at the outdoor mall today.  Seriously, I thought I was having a stroke 😮.  I turned to a person behind me and said "do you see that?"  It turned out to be a snow machine.  Nice fake out.  There was also a guy with a mini horse sitting outside having coffee.  I had seen him walking from a distance and thought it was a really big dog, but it was a horse!  Only in LA.  And although we don't have a White Christmas, we do get pretty festive around here, so I thought I'd share some holiday postcards of pictures I took around town.  Oh, and I'll include the horse.😊

And of course, sending slobbery kisses from my Stella.
From Our Home To Yours
Happy Holidays!


Happy Holiday Season! ~ It's hard to believe the end of the year is quickly approaching.  People have commented to me that I must be glad to be leaving 2022 behind.  Actually, it's quite the contrary.  Leaving behind the year in which my husband died means that it gets pushed further into the past.  In 2023 I'll have to say, my husband died last year, and that just seems so far away.  It will feel like I've been without him so much longer.  But in spite of 2022 holding the saddist event of my life, life continued to hold me up in new and unexpected ways for which I am very grateful.

On a lighter note, girls weekend 2022 happened.  This is an annual tradition for me and my friend Nicola that we have been doing for about 20 years now.  We've missed a few due to Covid but we're back!  It's our time to Reflect, Release and Renew.  This is the first year we decided to do it on Catalina Island. 26 miles across the sea, as the song says, from the Port of San Pedro, CA. 

If you've never done this practice, either with a friend or partner, or by yourself, I really encourage you to try it.  Look through your calendar, reflect on your year, and really notice how you spent your time.  Acknowledge your accomplishments.  So often we just look at what went wrong, when we need to also look at what went right.  Then decide what you will be bringing into 2023 with you, and what you will leave behind.  I plan to leave behind a few lbs. of grief fat. 😝  

Neuroscience has proven that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.  It's so easy to get swept up in the day to day minutia of life, so write down the life you want to live and then live to create that life.  When you commit to something or agree to something, whether it's work or play,  run it through this simple filter, if it's not a hell yeah, then it should be a definite no.  This is the beauty of getting older, we get to answer to ourselves instead of everyone else.

We stayed in the cutest little hotel called the Bellencia and our room was right off the roof deck, so everyone who walked up the steps looked in and there we were on the bed with our journals, and people waved at us, it was so funny.  Also a little weird.  We finally closed the shade.  It's off season now in Catalina so it was not crowded, a bit cold, and really pretty decorated for the holiday season.  

We arrived on Saturday morning just in time for a fabulous breakfast at the Pancake Cottage.  Then did some browsing, checked into our hotel, and hung out on the roof deck.  I brought us some homemade guacamole and other healthy treats.  We had dinner at the Naughty Fox, which was part of our hotel, outside looking at the ocean under a very toasty warm heat lamp.  Then back to our room for more of our reflecting and planning.  The hotel has complementary bikes and we planned to ride first thing in the morning but woke up to rain.  It was fun being on the island in the rain, although bike riding was out.  

Had another great breakfast at Original Jacks Country Kitchen.  Then we decided to rent a golf cart, yes, in the rain.  The golf carts are the best way to get round on Catalina to see all the fabulous views.  Cars are not allowed on the island.  We joked at the cart rental because clearly we were the only ones renting a golf cart in the rain.  But hey, they have a roof top, so why not.  As we started on the path along the ocean and up into the hills the rain stopped and the sun came out.  We kidded around that it was Mike taking care of us, odd things like that pop up in my life all the time now that I attribute to him.  We were talking about him when we stopped for a view picture.  On the right was the ocean, but I looked left, and I had never noticed this before, (and I've been to Catalina a lot over the years), there is an old pet cemetery.  I took a picture but didn't notice anything strange until I got home Sunday night and went through the pictures.  On the retaining wall of the pet cemetery it said Mike L,  L is the first initial of My Mikes middle name and under that was the word Stay.  See the picture below.  Insert chills.  Also, is it just me or do you see the little man in sunglasses popping through the ground?

After our ride, we had lunch at Maggie's Blue Rose, a great Mexican restaurant and then off to a spa called  A Touch of Heaven Day Spa located in the Hotel Metopole.  Most of the spas were closed due to it being off season, and we were lucky to get last minute appointments. 

 It was a small spa and so we were in different spaces.  She was in the building, and I was led to a tent on the roof.  I was a bit skeptical as the woman unzipped it. (Am I really going in there?!)  But wow, to my surprise it was a beautiful sanctuary inside.  It was warm, had a big Buddha, lots of candles, twinkly lights, twigs and aroma therapy.  Did you know the word Spa is derived from the word Ah, as in Spaaaaaa?  OK, I made that up.  But really, it takes so little to make me happy.

After the spa we found out that all the boats that day had been cancelled due to the storm, but our boat, leaving at 6 PM, luckily was still on.  Did it occur to either of us that a boat after a storm could be a challenge?  Nope, it did not.  In fact we had even been in a drug store earlier but did it occur to either of us to get some Dramamine?  Nope, it did not.  

From the minute that boat took off, after the captain braced us for swells up to 6 ft, we were tossed around like salad.  The ships crew started passing out plastic bags 5 minutes in and people were already throwing up.  Nicola was super nauseous.  I felt so bad for her.  I was better.  I knew I wasn't going throw up, but I was scared.  It was like bad turbulence on an airplane but you're in the cold, dark, freezing ocean.  Where are the life jackets again?!?  45 minutes later, we pulled into the port of San Pedro and the Captain came on and broke the silence by saying "well, that was fun".  Gotta appreciate a good sense of humor. 

      Beautiful Avalon Harbor 


View from the hotel roof deck.
Breakfast is always a good idea.
The cutest couple.
These pictures are not filtered, it's just that pretty.
Here is the Pet Cemetery I mentioned, see the "Mike L Stay" in the lower right, and the little man with sunglasses popping up in the foreground?
The entrance to the Wrigly mansion.
My favorite house on the island.
Endless views.
Entrance to the Bell Tower.
The Casino which is no longer a casino, but a place for entertainment, including a movie theater, was built in 1929.
The Casino lit up for Christmas.
The sky was putting on a dramatic show all day.
The Catalina Express about to toss us around like salad for 45 minutes. 😳 In spite of that, another great annual girls weekend on the books.