Category Archives: Real Life

Fun Fifty Shades Stuff

50 SoG bear I am having lots of fun reading all the commentary on the net. There’s so much!

Here are my favorite two things thus far:

A writer at the magazine Marie Claire tried to have all the sex in 50 SoG in one weekend. Her prose is hilarious and her shout outs to Gilmore Girls will please many.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company has a 50 Shades of Grey Teddy Bear just in time for Valentine’s Day. I confess I want one. It’s adorable in a twisted sort of way!

What are the best things you’ve read or seen connected to 50 SoG?

Is there any way for a woman to age in Hollywood?

Helenrenee-zellweger-435Several news sources have slammed Renée Zellweger’s face recently. said “But when fallen It Girls like Zellweger re-emerge in middle age with radically retooled faces, we can’t look away.” Comments on Twitter ranged from snarky to snide.

For her part, Ms. Zellweger says “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”

In Hollywood, women over 40 are almost always visually wrong in some way. Either they look too done, too old, too fat, too thin, too saggy, or too tight. There’s a reason we all swoon over Helen Mirren. (She has confessed to considering plastic surgery but says she hasn’t gone under the knife yet.) She looks impossibly beautiful at 69. Ms. Mirren, however, is a rarity. Most actresses over 40 are marginalized or consigned to dowdy roles.

What do you think about Ms. Zellweger’s look?

Dabney Grinnan

Another Kind of Winter Warmer

I’ve so loved reading all of the Winter Warmer recipes shared by everyone at AAR. I plan to try out a number of them over the next few months (first up, Melanie’s potato soup).  But I find I’m now in the need of a very different type of winter warmer.

A little over a week ago my apartment complex came through and installed a lot of energy saving devices in all of the apartments. As someone who tries to be energy efficient, I was very enthusiastic. I came home one evening to discover a new “low flow” shower head, new pipes (wrapped with some kind of insulated stuff) under the cabinets, energy-efficient light bulbs, and a programmable thermostat. Having only dealt with an old dial thermostat before, this programmable thermostat was a revelation. It came pre-programmed for optimal energy savings, set for cooler when people are assumed to be at work or sleeping.

Continue reading

a story about a dream, dying, and the power of Krispy Kreme

6md4g.AuSt.156A month ago my youngest children, seniors in high school, came home raving about a school assembly they’d attended. “Mom, this guy was amazing,” my daughter said. “Cool,” I replied and then the talk moved on to our family’s upcoming Thanksgiving.

I should have paid more attention.

This past Monday, at their school, something extraordinary happened; the sort of thing that makes you believe in the wonder of  “living, loving, and trying” even as you accept the implacability of loss.

Here’s the story. It’s worth reading. Be prepared to cry.

Trick or Treat

UnknownMy having an October birthday has meant many, many Halloween themed parties over the years.  Then my youngest daughter came into the world on October 30 and we had two in the family born close to that veil between the living world and the dead.  I was actually finishing costumes for my two oldest children when I went into labor.  When each of my children were old enough,  I made costumes and drove my kids to other neighborhoods or attended church events on Halloween.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood we lived in for nearly twenty years was not conducive to trick-or-treaters and in all of those years we had exactly three trick-or-treaters…TOTAL. Continue reading



I wear crocs from the moment the last of the snow and ice clears in the spring until the first snow flies again in the fall. These comfy, open air shoes are easy to put on and take off, come in a variety of colors and can be worn with practically anything. That is what I love about them – they are just so darn convenient.

I started with one modest pair of taupe crops. They could be worn with most things and were perfect for “hasty” days when I just didn’t have the time to put an outfit together. That lasted three years. Visiting the crocs store this summer was my downfall. I got a pink pair. Then purple. Black. Now my “need” includes a pair of blue crocs. Since it has started to show signs of winter where I am I will hold off on that purchase till summer. Still, I look in my closet and cringe when I realize I have outfits that simply can’t be worn without those blue crocs :-)

Do you wear crocs or do you have another favorite style of easy wear shoe?

– Maggie AAR