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), and Instagram–thisisyourbestyear.  We can also be found on Twitter–thisisyoubestyear@mariciajohns

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

Is It Or Isn’t It–How Do We Know?

One of my pet peeves is the word organic.  What exactly is organic?  What is the difference between Whole Foods and Wal-Mart’s organic?  The price is different so does that mean the quality is different?  What are the requirements for something to be considered organic?  Do we believe them?  I can tell you that I can tell the difference in cage-free eggs and regular eggs.  That’s about it though.  To be sure that our fruits and veggies are organic we need to plant and grow our own.

Then there is that meat thing. We all know that turkeys and chickens are not that large.  The mutant turnkey they sell us for Thanksgiving is as large as the pig the ham came from. I remember going to visit relatives once and seeing what they call a yard chicken.  I told my mom they needed to feed him, and that’s when she told me that was the size he should be.  And another thing, how many wings does a chicken have?  Where are the other parts of the chicken?  Seriously every restaurant has “wings” on the menu, but they don’t have thighs, breast or the other part of the wing on the menu.  So where are the other parts–mutant chickens with 10 wings?

The size of the chicken parts at different fast food restaurants is dramatically different.  At some, it seems you might be eating parakeets and others turkeys if you go by the size.  How is this possible that they say they are all serving chicken?

All of the different cooking oils from vegetable, olive, saffron, coconut, canola and so many more.  Which one is better, and do you need to keep one of each depending on

 

what you are cooking?  My mom used Crisco for everything, and she could cook.  In fact everyone I knew used Crisco.  Doesn’t seem that we are any healthier.  No, we never used lard so don’t go there.

I have a lot of other pet peeves when it comes to food, but you would be reading a novel.  My last one is expiration dates.  I don’t do a lot of cans or boxes, but when I do I look at the dates.  A recent report said they just put any date on the cans and boxes even the eggs and milk.  So when do I throw it out?  At one time I could tell you if an egg was good just by holding it in my hand–out of practice now.

I must admit that I do have about 5 different kinds of oil in my cabinets.  Can I tell the difference–sometimes.

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When our mother’s, grandmother’s and my great-aunt Alice cooked they used Crisco in a can, but they cooked with love, and we loved it.  It was better than any 5-star restaurant Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  There is always something new, but love makes everything taste better.

 

 

 

Honoring Our Mothers

Mother’s Day is all about memories and love. For those that are featured in this post with their moms I hope the memories are even sweeter.

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If you were to ask just about anyone to tell who was their first love, most would say it was their mother.  Mother’s were the first faces that we gazed our eyes upon.  They were the first ones that held us close and even sang to us.  When we gave them that first smile, they were the ones that had an even bigger smile.

Over the years they have had many names, mother, mom, mama, madea and so many more.  Have you ever noticed that the biggest defensive lineman when given a chance to say a word always tells his mother hello.  It’s just something about the word “mother”.

Some of you are blessed that your mother is still with you, and some of us know the feeling that they are no longer here with us. This slide show is for all the moms, mothers, mamas, madeas and more.  Each…

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Alzheimer’s Caregivers–“Til Death Do Us Part”

It attacks the brain and is the most common type of dementia–this is Alzheimer’s. There is no age requirement when it comes to the early onset of Alzheimer’s. We tend to think of our parents and grandparents when we think of Alzheimer’s, but the youngest person diagnosed with it was only 27.

The stories below are some of the examples of what it means when one states in their wedding vow: “til death do us part”. Each one of these has taken a different approach.

Mike and Carol’s journey was one that Mike was determined to make with her at home. Over the course of 10 years, and his health failing both mentally and physically he had to make a decision. A decision that was the best for both of them. Mike made the decision that even with 24 hour a day caregivers Carol needed more. He made the decision to put her into a facility.

As some caregivers think back over time, they realize there may have been signs they may have missed. As Barry Petersen talks about his wife, he tells how she changed years earlier before she was diagnosed.

All of the caregivers vowed to always take care of their spouse. They came to the realization that taking care of them meant they must face the difficult decision to put their love one into a care facility, not only for their care but the care of themselves.

Take a look at Barry and Jan and their journey with Alzheimer’s. Jan has since passed away.

Dan and B were the “it” couple that I watched on her weekly lifestyle show. From their beautifully decorated home in Sag Harbor to her wonderful restaurant that I visited in Washington, DC. They seemed to be living the dream until….. As of the writing of this article, B. Smith still remains at her home in Sag Harbor with Dan.

One important take away from all three of these cases is that couples should talk about their wishes if they become afflicted by this disease. The caregiver should have instructions that will make his/her decision on care much easier, and with less guilt.

As we mature, we do seem to forget more which does not mean that we have Alzheimer’s. The chart below is a simple way to explains the difference.

alzheimer anddementia

Alzheimer’s came to my family with my paternal grandmother. It was something that seemed to strike out of nowhere, and life-altering decisions had to be made immediately. My grandfather had died years earlier, but I know that he would have been like the spouses above, he would take care of his wife as she had always taken care of him. Even though in the later years of his life he was in failing health, he would be determined–“til death do us part”. Some conversations are hard to have, but a necessity as life continues.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Taking care of someone does not mean doing it all alone there are resources.

Try these sites and others for information on being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Support Programs and Information

National Institute on Aging

AARP Help and Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

You’re Aging Yourself–Watch Your Posture

Marsha, the trainer that I work out with told me something that put me into action quick fast and in a hurry.  As she was putting us through hell, yes hell, she told me that my posture was getting bad.  She informed me that for all of the hard work, posture would show age just as fast as a body that was not in shape.

My mother was the first one that told me about my posture, and it had gotten better over the years.  While trying to figure out why it was now starting again I did some research.  Here  are some of the reasons why we begin to have bad posture:

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  • We sit at work all day looking down at our keyboards and monitors.  If we have the adjustable table for our computer, we still find ourselves looking down because we find it more comfortable.

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  • Our smartphones have become part of us.  We look down at them all of the time.  Even if we are really doing something productive, we are looking down.
  • Being overweight or obese affects posture.
  • Habit is another reason.

I am proud to say that last week at workout I was told my posture was looking good. Talking with several people about what could be done to halt this has helped.  Here are some the things they said.

  • The trainer–line your ears up with your shoulders–look at yourself in the mirror when exercising
  • The masseuse–start a yoga class or find one online.  Even our resident yogi at work said this was a good idea.  She even informed me that she had to get back in the habit of good posture.  Reminding herself especially while driving that she needed to sit up straight.
  • Me–stand the computer desk high and then sit while at work–this will cause me to sit up straight since I will then have to look up at the screen.
  • Yogi–be conscious of your posture.  Believe it or not you will catch yourself slumping and immediately straighten up.

I found an extremely good video *(SarahBethYoga) that I do after my devotional and stretching.  It takes only 10 minutes.  I can honestly say that it works.  Take a look.

Remember that posture affects your entire body.  Bad posture causes pain and your entire body has to compensate for it.  So stand/sit straight and remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Your body will thank you.
*Take a look at other videos by SarahBethYoga on her YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Support The Movement–Victory Over Violence

Just by walking and/or running you can assist the Women’s Center win their battle with sexual assault and child sexual abuse.*  You can participate in their 22nd Annual Victory Over Violence (VOV) Walk/Run on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Duck Pond at Trinity Park.

 

Public awareness of sexual assault has increased with the advent of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns.  Rape Crisis centers across the nation have seen an increase in the reporting of sexual assault, harassment and abuse. The Women’s Center has itself seen over a 13 % increase in hospital accompaniments during forensic rape exams from 2016 to 2017.  Year to date, they have seen a 16% increase year to date compared to the same time period in the year 2017.

Many people participate in the VOV Walk/Run to acknowledge and remember those whose lives have been affected by sexual assault or intimate partner violence.  It is their way of giving back.

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To participate, volunteer or learn more about the Women’s Center, please click The Women’s Center Victory Over Violence Walk/Run.  The 1K Fun Run will begin at 8 am with the 5K Walk/Run starting at 8:30 am.  This years emcee is Courtney Gilmore, reporter at NBC DFW.

The proceeds from the Walk/Run are used to support The Play it Safe!® program.  This program has been designed for children Pre-K through high school and uses materials in ways they can best learn and respond.

Remember, “thisisyourbestyear”.  Take a walk or run and help the Women’s Center and all that are affected claim Victory Over Violence.

*We incorrectly reported that this run was focused on stomping out domestic violence.  While it can be a part of sexual assault there are many other organizations that specifically address domestic violence.

 

Eat A Great Meal And Give To A Great Cause

by Julie Williams

**If your organization is looking for a volunteer opportunity, please contact The Taste Project.  

Fort Worth’s newest nonprofit restaurant, Taste Community Restaurant, launches its Spring menu today.  Chef Jeff Williams and the team, consisting mostly of volunteers, encourage all Fort Worth residents to come taste and see a new approach to solving the issues of hunger in our community.

Taste’s new menu includes spring items such as croquettes with leek, sundried tomato, and bacon; bruschetta made with ricotta cheese, avocado, and sweet peas.  Honey-soy chicken lettuce wraps.  And a house-cured bacon and green tomato sandwich.  But the menu still has many fan favorites including our Carrot Curry Soup, South American Arepas, and our Traditional Burger with Texas-beef, house-processed cheddar cheese, house-made pickles, and our Tasty Sauce all served on a bun baked on site.

Taste Community Restaurant is the first project of the Taste Project organization designed to help feed, educate, and serve Tarrant County’s food insecure population, a total of 18.1 percent of Tarrant County’s overall community.

Taste’s solution is a fresh and healthy pay-what-you-can restaurant where everyone in the community, regardless of financial means, can enjoy a healthy, high quality meal, made from seasonal ingredients from the surrounding area. The menu has no prices. Patrons are simply asked to:

  1. pay what you can afford;
  2. pay what you would typically pay; or
  3. pay what you would typically pay, plus a little extra to help a neighbor in need.

To-date, Taste Community Restaurant has served over 5,000 meals; some guests are in need, and others want to help.  “This place blew me away.  Great environment, great people, and even better food; all wrapped up and there for an amazing cause,” said Trenton, a guest at Taste Community Restaurant.  Another guest, Bri, left a note that said, “…you’ve showed us that there are still good people in this world.  Thank you for being so nice to us and helping us get through another day without going hungry.”

Fort Worth and surrounding area residents can come show support for the underlying issue of food insecurity in our community.  Enjoy a wonderful meal.  And meet some amazing people.  Lunch is served from 11am – 2pm, Tuesdays thru Sundays.

Take look at our great spring menu.

Indulge Restaurant News assignment at Taste Project

Taste Community Restaurant

1200 South Main Street

Fort Worth, Texas 76104

Open for Lunch: 11:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesdays – Sundays (Closed on Mondays)

Now taking reservations for Easter Brunch.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–enjoy a great meal for a great cause.  How hard is that?

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Bringing Healthcare to Thousands

Each year women of a certain age dread the slightly uncomfortable mammogram.  For that small amount of discomfort, we all breathe a sign of relief when the results come back negative, and if they come back questionable, we are grateful that we know that something needs to be done.

In all parts of Tarrant County (the United States) there are thousands of women who do not have insurance that will assist them with payment for this and other annual exams.  Many of these women do not have any symptoms, but when they are seen by a doctor it is often for something that could have been eradicated with early detection.

The Kupferie Health Board of the Texas Health Resources Foundation is sponsoring their annual Puttin’ on the Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon (March 27, 2018).  Proceeds from this fabulous event will benefit mobile health outreach to underserved women in Fort Worth and surrounding communities. Some of the screenings and procedures are:

  • Breast diagnostic procedures
  • Digital diagnostic procedures
  • Cardiovascular risk assessments
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Well-woman exams and cervical cancer screenings

The fashion show is like no other, the beautiful clothes are modeled by professional models and survivors with their stories being told.  Some of the survivors were diagnosed through the screenings and procedures they received from the mobile health outreach.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available.  Just click Puttin’ on the Pink. Through very generous donations, they will raffle off 11 fabulous prices.  To see the items that can be yours click raffle.  You do not need to be present to win, and you are helping a great cause.

This is our third year covering this event.  Last year it was our honor to interview Irene, the beautiful survivor featured in the video below, and to learn more about the mobile health outreach from someone who has used it.  To learn more about the mobile health and the event, take a look at the video.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. It’s about more than breast cancer, it’s about life–Puttin’ on the Pink.

Puttin’ on the Pink

March 27, 2018

10 am Reception/ 11 am Fashion Luncheon

Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom

 

 

 

Red Is Your Color

by CY Cooper

Last week, Thursday, March 1st, to be exact, the 2018 Tarrant County Go Red for Women Luncheon took place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.  The annual event, in conjunction with the American Heart Association drew women, and some men, from all over Tarrant County to come together in their quest to end heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and 1 in 3 women die of cardiovascular diseases each year.

The Go Red for Women endeavor began in 2004 and every February/March, women all across the country proudly wear red, telling their stories of survival and raising awareness of heart disease and stroke as the Number 1 killer of women.

This year’s Tarrant County Go Red Luncheon not only raised much needed funds for lifesaving research and awareness, but it also featured keynote speaker, Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon.  Switzer told the packed ballroom, it doesn’t matter what age, size, gender or stage of life you may be in.  It’s never too late to make a change for the better for yourself and for others.

Before the luncheon got underway, attendees were treated to a mimosa reception, complimentary health screenings, cooking with heart demonstrations and a silent auction.  During the luncheon all were encouraged to donate to this year’s fundraising effort by opening up their hearts along with their checkbooks.  Members of the Fort Worth Fire Department were present to assist in collecting the donations.

With the tremendous success of this year’s event in their rear view mirror, organizers have begun planning for the 2019 Tarrant County Go Red Luncheon for Women, scheduled for Friday, February 15th at the Omni Hotel.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” the color red looks good on everyone.

 

Women Building Leadership–WFF

The movement is strong and getting stronger.  Women are taking their lives and situations into their own hands.  They know that it is now or never.  Strong women in all fields of endeavor have started mentoring, sharing and encouraging women to become the best they can in whatever they desire.

In Dallas, Texas on March 4–March 7 WFF (Women’s Foodservice Forum) will continue their effort to lead the way to gender equity in the food service industry.  WFF wants to create a successful model that can be shared and emulated in other industries.

The food service industry is the second largest employer of women behind the federal government.  In 1989 the WFF was established to assist women in building their skills, expanding their knowledge and broadening their perspectives through education, mentoring and connections. Encouraging them to gain the leadership skills that will allow them to reach their full career potential is one of the main focuses of WFF. They strive to assist women develop their skill set all through their career journey–from beginning (entry level) to the end (CEO).

Hattie Hill, the President and CEO has been involved with WFF since it’s inception.  She sees the correlation of the national conversation  on #MeToo to #TimesUp, and now gender equity as one that has always been there, but is now out of the shadows. In her research she came across a study that indicates that at the rate women are going in the workplace, it will take about 100 years to reach gender equity.  WFF is striving to cut that time by many years. They are striving to be the solution to the things that are holding women back from success.

The leadership conference offers a variety of speakers and topics.  The topics are as varied as the women and the positions they now have, and the ones they are striving to attain. The conference is built to assist, teach and mentor.  The leadership conference content is driven by the participants.  Participants have given their thoughts and comments on speakers and topics they feel would be helpful to them.

This year the conference will launch the “Lead the Way” initiative.  Broadcaster and author Maria Shriver, broadcaster Gretchen Carlson and former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama have been selected to christen the initiative.

The conference hopes that the women in attendance will takeaway many things, but one in particular–they want the women to focus on themselves in developing themselves.  The conference itself focuses on three areas: the industry (attracting great talent), the organization (companies want to know how it leads and attracts talent at all generations) and the attendees (what talents do they have, what do they want to do, getting great connections and one of the most important things–how can they pass on this valuable learning experience).

To learn more about the WFF and it’s goals or to register for the conference, please go to: Women’s FoodService Forum.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” we don’t have 100 years.

 

 

We Are Not Our Hair–It Changes Too

As a little girl growing up in East Texas I loved my neighbor’s hair. Miss Adell had hair that went almost to her waist.  I called it water wavy hair.  It was hair that harsh chemicals and heat never touched.  To get a flip or something special she would put those famed pink rollers in it.

Even as she grayed her hair to me was her crown and glory.  After a bout with cancer with chemo treatments, her hair came out.  I never saw her during that time, but I did see her when it started to come back, and it came back straight. It was still beautiful and was getting long again, but it was straight.  It was then I realized something important.

Her personality had not changed, she was still Miss Adell, still just as beautiful as ever. She was not her hair, she was the neighbor that I loved–hair or no hair, straight or wavy.

I met the beautiful Paulette Leaphart on Facebook.  I saw this beautiful bald woman who had this megawatt smile that could light up any room.  At the time she was fighting breast cancer. After seeing more beautiful pictures of her with and without hair, wearing alternative hair, caps, hats and all that is in between I knew she was not her hair–she was Paulette.  She always knew she was her own beautiful woman–she was a fighter, in fact, she was a champion.

Years ago I met a lady who always wore alternative hair–she suffered from alopecia areata. She would change her look as quickly as she could.  Then one day she decided that she was not her hair, and off came the alternative hair. When the wigs came off it seemed that the smile grew brighter, and so much more.  She knew she was not her hair. Her hair has started to grow back, but she knows who she is with or without it.

As we mature and hormones go wacky our hair changes.  It can become thinner, drier, brittle and yes it also turns gray.

While watching the movie “Black Panther”.  I saw this beautiful woman with no hair. She was strong, she was confident, she was fit, she was fine, she was everything–she was not her hair.  One of the best moments is when she is so uncomfortable with her alternative hair.

As I write this I am in the process of trying to decide what I want to do with my hair. Just like a lot of women of a certain age, it is a work in progress.  For almost a year I have not put a relaxer on it.  Color has not been on it for about two years.  I have finally figured out “I am not my hair”.

As with everything else our hair changes.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  We are not our hair.