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Welcome to This is Your Best Year!!!

Welcome to thisisyourbestyear!  You and I are on this journey together.  Together and collectively, we will give suggestions on living life to the fullest.  This is a blog for women who thought that when they reached this age, life was over.  This is for all of those women who thought their mothers were old at this age–well they may have been, but that’s not the case anymore.

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We will discuss everything from health, beauty, faith, life, children, grandchildren, exercise, careers, retirement, starting all over again in love and/or career. We will talk about learning the word no, taking time to be who we are.  With this blog we will have fun, we will talk fashion, food,travel and all kinds of products–in other words, we’re going to talk about us.

You can always email us at: thisisyourbestyear@gmail.com and see all the things we are doing by visiting us on Facebook–(thisisyourbestyear).  We can also be found on Twitter–thisisyoubestyear@mariciajohns

Let’s get excited ladies, and stay tuned.  Remember–“THIS IS YOUR BEST YEAR”!

There Will Be No Paper or Plastic…

I’ve decided that there will be no paper plates or plastic ware in my house.  Yep, you heard me right.  The only thing used for eating and drinking that will be paper will be napkins, and that’s because I hate to iron.

A couple of years ago I decided to give my daughters part of their inheritance so that I could see them use it.  To my youngest, she would get my mother’s beautiful china which I can still remember the day my father gave it to her.  This was something that she had wanted forever, she was beyond excited, she was ecstatic that she could now serve special occasion meals in beautiful dishes.  I was ecstatic too because I wouldn’t be allowed to wash the china–too clumsy.  On those special days we would polish the flatware that was never used, iron the napkins, wash the china and crystal and place them on the dinning room table that only saw food on special occasions.

To my oldest, I wanted to give my china that was given to me by my father.  I remember when he started buying it. I was only a sophomore in college living with my sorority sisters, but I was excited. Visions of special dinners popped into my head.  I would set this beautiful table, and my mother and grandmother would iron the napkins. My father passed away before all the pieces were purchased, and I could never find the sugar bowl and creamer at any replacement site.  On one of my many trips to San Antonio to one of my favorite antique shops I ran across both pieces.  I was ecstatic.

Neither of the girls took me up on my offer.  The oldest one informed me that she already had a set of china which she does use some of the time (mine looks better).  If it didn’t go in the micro wave the youngest one didn’t want it. I tried the sympathy plea– “You will always have something to remember Granny Ruby by”.  It didn’t work.  I was informed they would always remember her.

What was I going to do with two sets of beautiful china, delicate crystal wine, champagne and water glasses?  The champagne classes are not fluted, they are the kind you see in the movies and they stack them. I had flatware and napkins that had nevfer seen the light of day. My husband solved the problem because he had a problem.

One day after a weekend of family as the dishwasher was humming along, he didn’t have a clean plate, and there were no paper plates.  What was he going to do? Stop the dishwasher and remove a half cleaned plate?  Go to the store and buy paper plates? No, just reach up there and get one of those china plates. From that moment on I decided there would be no paper plates or plastic ware used in my house.

That moment made me realize that I was going to use each and everything in my house.  So when you come to dinner you just might have your takeout/delivery on fancy china with paper napkins.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Everyday is special.

Information On Well Woman Exams

Thank you Ms. Ruth Ann Hornbeck-Hatch for sharing this valuable information on free well woman exams.  If you are in need of or know a woman in need of a well woman exam, and insurance coverage is a problem, please have them call or google 211.  It will give outlets to places that do the well woman exams for free.

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Let’s spread the word to our family, friends, church members and others.  There is a way to help save the lives of women.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, let’s help others help themselves.

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The Exam That Can Save Your Life

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Believe it or not there are some women who never have this routine exam. It is recommended that all women over the age of 18 have an annual well woman exam. This exam should be taken so that it can possibly identify early health problems.  Usually upon completion of the yearly exam, the doctor will have you schedule the next appointment. I am screaming to the top of my lungs–Get Your Well Woman Exam!

Some women do this well woman exam around their birthday or some other significant day.  I do mine in the summer in June.

This exam will be given by your gynecologist.  The exams always include a breast exam, pap smear and pelvic exam.

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The importance of this exam lies in identifying potential early health problems. The most important tests included in an examination are the tests listed above. Some doctors consider other tests in the examination, including measurement of blood pressure, HIV testing, and other laboratory tests such as urinalysis, and testing for other sexually transmitted diseases. The procedure is important also to detect certain cancers, especially breast and cervical cancer.

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The breast exam is usually two parts.  The first part is visual.  This checks such things as color, symmetry, lean body mass and more.  It also looks for abnormalities such as shrinkage and bulges.  The breast exam then goes to palpation, which means while thepatient is lying down the doctor will use two or three fingers to go around the gland (breast) and under the arms to feel for abnormalities.  This does not take the place of the mammogram which should also be done yearly.

Another part of the well woman exam is the pelvic exam which exams the pelvic area.  It is done in three parts.

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  • The inspection of the external genitalia looks for color changes, lesions, warts and other abnormalities.
  • The bimanual exam which palpates (touches) organs that can’t be seen. With the index and middle finger the doctor checks the inside of the vagina checking the length and width–the cervix is also checked.  With the other hand, the doctor will press the stomach and check the uterus and ovaries.
  • Speculum examination is where a device called a speculum will be inserted into the vagina. The speculum is opened to widen the vagina so that the vagina and cervix can be seen.

A pap smear will be done while the speculum is in place.  The doctor will take cells from the cervix.

A breast mammogram should also be done yearly.  I do mine the same day as the well woman exam.

 

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You can also opt for the 3D mammogram which my doctor suggest that I do.  Some doctors will suggest that you also take a breast ultrasound because of family history and/or age. I have taken the ultrasound, and there was something discovered, but thankfully it turned out not to be serious.

Your well woman exam helps to keep you a well woman. Remember “thisisyourbestyear” taking this exam can save your life.

**The well woman exam and mammogram are usually covered by your health insurance.  There are several agencies that will do both for those that are uninsued.  In the North Texas area please check those listed below and others.  Please check your local areas–this exam can save your life.

 

 

 

Honoring Dad–Happy Father’s Day

I always think of the fathers that I knew when I grew up on Della Lane in Longview, Texas–they were great men and fathers.

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Their presence was never in doubt; it was as it should be. They were always there in the neighborhood in every single house. You could see them every day. Most of them left early in the morning while others would just be coming home. Dinnertime was always held around their schedule, and everyone’s presence was expected.

Their jobs were as varied as their personalities. The factories employed some; stores were the employers of others. There were those who worked in the carpentry business and others who could repair any and everything. One even worked for the school system.

These individuals took their faith very seriously even though some did not attend church regularly. They were all Protestants with most being Baptist, one Church of Christ and even one Christian Methodist Episcopal member.

The strong sense of education was instilled in all of them even though some had not received a…

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It’s Your Birthday–Celebrate

Sasha Obama just celebrated her 16th birthday, and she was probably counting the days until she could tell anyone who asked that she was 16.  There was probably some sort of celebration with friends and family. She may have even gotten a great gift from her parents, but everyone who knows her knew it was her birthday.  She told them weeks in advance that it was getting closer.

Most women of a certain age dread birthdays, or at least talking about the age we are as they are a reminder of the fact we are getting older. Remember as a child when someone asked you how old you were you would answer 15 and a half, and I will be 16 on June 23.  It seemed we wanted to be older.  At the age of 20 we would tell people I will be 21 in so many months. Then the dreaded 30 came, and for the most part we would own up to the age of 30, but soon after that we stopped talking about our birthday.

If we celebrated we started to insist that there be no candles on the cake except maybe one in the center because it just looked better, and besides who wanted all the germs from blowing out all of those candles.  Time seemed to speed up, and we zipped through the 40’s some of us the 50’s and beyond by just saying it was our birthday.

Some say you are to never ask a lady her age, it’s equivalent to asking a man how tall he is, and we all know how that goes. But then when we get pass a certain age, we tell our age with pride.

Is age just a number?  If it is, then why do we refuse to acknowledge our birthdays as we mature. When did you stop celebrating, was it when you turned 30, 40, 50 or beyond?  Some say that women stop celebrating because society does not take kindly to women of a certain age.  Men become more distinguished, and women become just older.  We even see it in the national news as was shown by the last presidential election.

There are some who have always celebrated their birthdays with as much gusto and excitement as they did turning Sweet 16.  They party like it’s 1999.  My sorority sister, Hazel is one of those people.  She recently held her 90th birthday party. She put up a huge sign so that you knew her age just in case you forgot.

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Maybe you don’t want a party to celebrate your birthday. Maybe you just want to sit on the patio and drink a nice cup of coffee. Celebrate in your own special way because it is your special day.

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Hazel at her 90th birthday party celebration

Happy 90th Birthday and Many More! because thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

 

The Taste Project–Founded On Love of Humanity

I didn’t quite know where to put this post because it is about many different things.  First of all it is about a man and his vision, a vision that is about to become a reality. Chef Jeff Williams is a man with a passion for food, and a heart that believes in the goodness of mankind. So what better place to hold this interview than in a great restaurant over lunch.  So we had a great lunch and a wonderful, informative conversation about a vision to feed a community.

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The future home of the Taste Project

Chef Jeff’s love of his vision–The Taste Project, a not for profit restaurant is evident when he tells someone about it. The vision came to him years ago in 2003, but it was not until 2012 that he began to bring his vision to life.

The Taste Project will be a restaurant where everyone will be able to get a great tasting meal (Chef Jeff will be the head chef when it first opens). The Taste Project restaurant will be one where you pay what you can, pay what you would normally pay for a meal of that quality or if you can pay a little extra that would be great.  This is a restaurant for everyone, but especially for those that have food insecurity which is a term that I was not familiar with.  Food insecurity means that a person/family may not

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have access to adequate food because of a lack of money and other resources at certain times during the year. This could mean that someone you know may be going without adequate healthy food, food that will sustain them.  They may have something to eat, just not what they need to lead a healthy life.  For the most part, the people who have food insecurity do not qualify for other types of supplemental assistance.  They are in essence between a rock and a hard place.

The restaurant belongs to the community.  Chef Jeff is quick to point out that the more people who the restaurant is able to assist, the better the community will be. He has worked at 4 other not for profit restaurants learning by doing so that he can make the Taste Project a success.

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Chef Jeff Williams and construction foreman getting the Taste Project ready to open

The Taste Project will be located in the Near Southside of Fort Worth, Texas on 1200 South Main Street, and is scheduled to have its grand opening on August 22 at 11 am for lunch.

Secondly, since this is the North Texas communities restaurant, it will need to be staffed by volunteers from the community.  There are many volunteer opportunities from servers, painters to paint the building, graphic designers, food tasters, writers and so much more.  If you have a skill, the Taste Project probably has a position for you. In order to help The Taste Project feed one community at a time, they need the assistance of the community.

If you are interested  go to The Taste Project and learn how you can help to feed one community at a time at “our” restaurant–we are all owners.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–The Taste Project is making a difference.

 

 

Looking For A Great Girls Outing–Try the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament

First of all let me give you this disclaimer before you read any further.  This will be the last year that the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament will be held at The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.  It will now move to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.

That being said “the last round” was an amazing girls getaway for those that love golf, like golf, kind of like golf and those that don’t know anything about golf.  There is so much  more to a golf tournament than golf.

At the beautiful Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, maybe it was because it was the “last round” everything was done to perfection.  Even the parking was convenient.

For those that love golf, there were the top players on the PGA participating with some surprises along the way.  There was so much to do, see, eat, drink and enjoy.

Let’s get started first with the resort.  If you were fortunate enough you may have been able to snag a villa with a view of the course from the balcony.  We saw quite a few ladies and gentlemen doing just that. Some had their cocktails and food to enjoy while watching the tournament.

Just walking around was peaceful and beautiful.  The weather for the most part was very nice.  The sponsors tents were great places to stop and enjoy food, drink and great conversation while watching the action on the course. The Grey Goose tent had signature cocktails for enjoyment with cute giveaway glasses. While you sipped your cocktail there was always someone to discuss golf on every level–learning can be fun!

Of course there was the fashion to take in as there is every year at the Byron Nelson; though this year the fashions seemed to be more individualized (no set pattern).  The city of Irving had great events from pictures, to prizes.  You could go inside the AT&T booth and drive a simulator and much more. Cadillac, the official car had their newest models on display for your viewing pleasure.

There were activities in the hotel for those that wanted to relax a bit more.  There was the Well and Being Spa in the hotel. If you felt that you didn’t get enough exercise walking the course they have 4 indoor tennis courts, a massive workout facility, squash courts and more.

The Byron Nelson Golf Tournament at The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas in Las Colinas has something for everyone.  It made a great girls getaway. For those that don’t know a lot about golf, it is a great way to learn–it’s as easy as talking to the person next to you.  You might even enjoy it.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Mama’s Office–Where Life Long Decisions Were Made

The office of most mothers of women of a certain age. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Everything was done in the kitchen of our home. When were younger, we practiced our reading at the kitchen table. Mama would be cooking and we would be reading out loud. I still wonder how she knew the words before we did. As we continued our education even college homework would be done at that table.

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When my sister and I did our 4-H projects, the kitchen table became our workshop with everything from sewing machines to podiums. Mama was a leader in our 4-H club so we practiced everything there.

I remember the day we got a new dishwasher. Everyone was excited, even me. I had turned about 12 and thought that making pretend milkshakes in the soapy water was fun. Little did I know that I would forever be the dishwasher in our family. I remember that I would wash and mama would dry while my sister did…

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It’s In The Bag–Hope For Women Of Domestic Abuse

This post was written by C. Y. Cooper

A large enthusiastic crowd was on hand for the “IT’S IN THE BAG” LUNCHEON & AUCTION held Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The luncheon and auction benefitted the important and extraordinary work of THE LADDER ALLIANCE, a Fort Worth based organization, founded by Sharon Cox.  The mission of The Ladder Alliance is to provide women victims of domestic violence and low-income women with the necessary tools to lead self-reliant, independent and successful lives.

On hand for the luncheon and auction were not only supporters of the organization but also several graduates of The Ladder Alliance programs.  The silent auction with over 100 items included handbags, jewelry, wine, sports packages and restaurant dining.  NBC 5 news anchor Deborah Ferguson was the emcee for the luncheon.

Beside the items up for auction, a powerful, serious display entitled “In Her Shoes……” visible to everyone in attendance, clearly drove home the point regarding domestic violence in our society.  Each pair of shoes represented a woman killed in the state of Texas in 2014-2105 by someone who had been an intimate partner along with a tag bearing the name of the woman and the city where she resided.

The Ladder Alliance, an established 501 (c)(3) organization serves between 300-400 women each year.  Throughout the year two programs are offered to assist women in their climb to independence.  The programs are Basic Computer Skills Training & Professional Office Skills Training.

The Ladder Alliance is located at 1100 Hemphill Street, Suite 302, Fort Worth, TX 76104 or you can call them at 817.834.2100 for more information to assist someone. To see more about them, visit their website by clicking The Ladder Alliance.

Remember “It’s in the bag” because “thisisyourbestyear”.

Yes Virginia There Is Life After Menopause

If only life was as simple as song lyrics.  You know if it were that easy then everyday would be great, but we all know that the process of life is not easy.  Each phase we go through has its challenges. Don’t jump to conclusions before you know the facts.

As women we tend to go through phases of life every 5 to 10 years or so it seems. Our bodies are constantly changing, and as we age things can change dramatically. There are studies out there that tell you about perimenopause (premenopause).  They explain what to expect once you get into the dreaded menopause.  It’s sort of  like telling a woman what to expect during pregnancy–no two are ever alike.

Then there are the studies that tell you what to expect while you are in menopause.  They even write television scripts about it. Remember Edith Bunker? They tend to forget to tell you again that no two women experience the same things in the same way.  Some people never know they have entered the dreaded menopause zone. They just know they are no longer having periods.  There are no hot flashes, no night sweets, no mood swings, no heart palpitations–they don’t even know they are changing.

My doctor who is male gave me advice when I talked to him about certain symptoms.  At least it was honest advice.  He said no one had ever died from menopause at least to his knowledge.  Life would get better.

Well I am here to tell you it does get better, but not the same.  Some women still experience brain fogginess, you know not remembering directions while driving, but you get there–don’t panic, it’s normal for some.  Reading and rereading is one that many women experience. It makes it hard when you are in a book club.

Weight comes from just thinking about food, and it comes in places that you never had it before.  Don’t fret exercise and a well-balanced diet still can fix this–it just takes more effort and time than before.

Had oily skin when you were a teenager and hated it, don’t worry after menopause dry skin is normal for many women.  Moisturizer becomes their best friend.  There may be a need to switch to all new cosmetics.

The subject of hair is another subject.  Depends on where the hair is or isn’t.  My best advice is to invest in a good magnifying mirror and a pair of tweezers.  Enough about hair that isn’t on the head, but on the face.

Some women even after menopause still have hot flashes.  I know for a fact insomnia can continue on.

There are prescription medications that you can take to help with the symptoms, there are even holistic medications that are available.  It’s up to you and your doctor to decide what course of action that you need to take.  Remember what is good for someone else may not be good for you. Don’t jump into what others do, we are all different.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” and “yes, there is life after menopause”.  Now jump!  Just look before you leap because no two experiences on this journey of life are the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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