Mapping Your Retirement
A Peek at Boomer and Elder Attitudes

Getting to Know the Elderbloggers List

Each of the blogs on the Elderbloggers List on the left sidebar has been carefully selected for its quality. If forced to choose just one to recommend, I could throw a dart and be pleased with wherever it landed.

However, the list is up to nearly 250 now (with more waiting in the hopper) and I don’t have the time to keep current with them all. I don’t think anyone does, and random clicking on blog names that are appealing leaves out some that you might think are gems.

There was a time a year or two ago when I “reviewed” one blog every week, but now it would take several years to get through the list and given the rate at which elders are joining the blogosphere these days I would never finish the job.

Still, I would like us to get to know one another better, so here’s a little project to help us do that.

  • Choose a blog from the list (no, don’t use a dart) that you have never visited or have not visited in a long time

  • Take a look around the blog, read some new and some old posts, check out the features, get a feel for it

  • Then come back here and in the comments section, tell us about the blog you chose

  • Keep your “review” to about 250 words or fewer so the rest of us can be sure to have time to read them all

To give it some form and ease of reading, we’ll create a format. Start your review with a header that is the name of the blog in bold and is also a link to it. Here is the html to do that:

<strong><a href="URL goes here">Blog name here</a></strong>

Just copy and paste the html into the top of the comment form and fill in the two blanks. Be sure to not lose any of the carets, slashes and quotation marks – they are necessary. Then hit the “enter” key twice for some space and start your review.

Since this isn’t Secret Santa and we’re not pulling names out of hat, some blogs may get reviewed more than once and inevitably some won’t be mentioned at all. As an old lady I knew a long time ago liked to say, them’s the breaks. If we like this idea, we can re-do it every few months or so and choose blogs that haven’t been written about before.

I’ve started us off with a "review" of the first-listed blog.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, there is - for me - a special story because it is as much a part of my personal history as it is the writer's: A World Remembered by Rabon Saip.]


Comments

1 Woman's Vu

The subtitle of Nikki Stern's blog is "Loose Threads From a Tightly Wound Mind". You don't have to take her word for it; it shows in every post which are usually tightly written, wide-ranging observations on culture, current events, her personal life, the frailties of humankind, and politics. She complains about the weather a lot and she got my attention as a fellow fan of V-8 juice. I don't think there are many of us or, at least, not many who admit it.

Nikki is a consummate news consumer with an eye to the things that catch my attention too so I could almost as well read her blog as The New York Times and feel like I am on top of what's happening. And she's got a sly way of making her opinion clear when she appears to be saying something else that makes me smile.

Nikki's husband died on 9/11 and she contributed a story to The Elder Storytelling Place last May recalling their times together In the Kitchen that is both personally poignant and universally human.

There is some damned good writing going on at Nikki's place. Now if she'd just lose those nasty Snap! pop ups, I'd go back more often. They hurt my eyes.

Caregiving Blog

Thank you, Ronni, for this great suggestion. It gives us a reason to go exploring. I chose Caregiving Blog because I have been there myself. What a great resource Cargiving Blog is! Strangely enough, it was started the month my mom passed, November 2006. I could not find information about the author, but perhaps I did not know where to look? In any case, he speaks from experience, having cared for elderly parents. His mom seems to have had Alzheimer’s, and in the story of the first time she did not recognize him, he provides a word for what my mom sometimes experienced, “agnosia.” The author reminds caregivers to care for themselves, reviews guides for caregivers, summarizes a Consumer Reports article about nursing homes, reports on a book about the coming crisis as Boomer women age with insufficient retirement funds, etc. etc. Lots of food for thought here. The focus is on the caregiver, not the elderly parent. I plan to visit this blog in the future and will recommend it to anyone who may be considering the idea of taking in an elderly parent.

Journey to a New Life

This is a grief and loss blog. Today's entry was about changing the blog tagline over the past three years. It began as "When You are Going through Hell - Keep Going." Then it changed to , "Walking Through Grief and Loss One Step at a Time." Now it is "Throwing off the veil of death to live a transformed life." These tagline changes represent the stages of the blogger, Suzann's, progress through the grief process.

Suzann is finding and photograhing many things that bring her joy now. But she's still interested in helping people deal with grief and heartbreak. Here's a sample from a recent post: "It is said that time heals all wounds. Time may dull the pain of a broken heart, but it is fully feeling your pain and acknowledging it that will truly help you heal. Dealing with your heartache in a healthy way rather than putting it off for tomorrow is the key to repair. Gentleness more than anything else is called for."

In October 2005, she wrote about her longing and pain and said, "Oh my darling - life moves on but oh so slowly without you."

Suzann is writing her way though the healing of an open wound, using words to help her stitch the bleeding shut. It takes courage to deal with her loss, and it takes courage to do it in a public place. The blogging helps her. It also helps others who are suffering from loss. It's inspiring.

Velvet Sacks

What a great idea! The first blog I picked turned out to be inactive so on my second try I made sure to pick one with an asterisk indicating a new post.

Velvet Sacks refers to those soft little drawstring bags made to hold jewelry or other precious things, and the posts here are precious little jewels. The author is intelligent and thoughtful, living alone and nearing retirement in Baton Rouge. She has worked mostly in human resources and as a legal secretary. Her people were originally from Missouri, but she moved to East Texas as a schoolgirl and lived in New York state and other places as an adult before returning to the south.

She reads a lot, especially mysteries, and I suspect that has been true for most of her life. She watches a lot of television too. She has a dog. She's tried and failed at keeping a journal. She writes well and she's attracted some regular readers who make comments to which she responds.

She writes about current events and the world around her as well as about her family. She worries whether she did the right thing by voting for Bobby Jindal. She tells stories and recounts memories from long ago. She takes us on a walk down the street where her grandparents lived. I won't ever forget the story she told of her very first day of work, the day after she graduated high school.

It's a good blog. Check it out

Projections

I just discovered this blog written by a guy who may be my alter ego. We share a lot of things in common and grew up a few miles from each other. His blog is a collection of personal anecdotes, news items, political commentary, and just plain interesting stuff. He's such a prolific writer it's necessary to read him every day (sometimes more often) to keep current.

Ronni, how about giving your readers an opportunity to do this once a month or so? It is such a good idea and with 250 blogs in your sidebar, we certainly can't expect you to do the reviewing all on your lonesome...

The NaBloPoMo (http://nablopomo.ning.com/) created a randomizer of the blogs participating in last year's competition. It was a lot of fun to discover new blogs that were nevertheless relevant.

CBreaux Speaks

CBreaux Speaks ...after more than eight decades of crowing the sun up... is the blog of Betty Reid Soskin. Betty and her very large extended family trace their roots back to California Black Pioneers who had Celestine Breaux, a slave of St. James Parish Louisiana, as a common ancestor.

With a historical perspective,Betty writes about current social, political, cultural and personal subjects from Richmond California.
She recently became a Ranger for the National Park Service.

What I most appreciate is Betty's willingness to share her joy, pride, sadness and rage. Her perspective, as an elder Black woman, is different from many who write and read in the blog world.

As a young, white woman from Chicago, I went to Louisiana to do social justice work in the 60's. A close local colleague and friend was Cheryl Breaux. I thought CBreaux might be her. Instead I found this fabulous woman and writer.

Betty does not have a comment place immediately after each post. To comment you need to email her.

I visited AMBIVABLOG and will not go back. There was a very funny cartoon about a cat that was hilarious and I was encouraged. However, when I read further I found that it became very cerebral and comments about politics and ethics became a lengthy discussions between three (I could be wrong about the number of entries) people who argued their points endlessly back and forth. No one convinced me of anything. I did not learn from this banter and it became a boring clash of egos.

I apologize for not putting the header on my comment.

Beyond the Fields we know


The heading for Cate's blog says it is words, images, places, seasonal meditations, wild and earthy thoughts along the way. Looking at the beautiful photographs, the hunter's moon is particularly striking, and reading the essays, I would say the blog lives up to those promises.

I am very fond of artful photographs in blogs and especially appreciate those that are earthy and beautiful. The entries are poetic of nature and spirit, inclined to make one think a bit beyond the superficial diving into the feelings of the heart.

Her photographs of nature, small creatures, things as simple as leaves are all colorful with lusty appreciation for life lived fully.

She wrote under The Hunter's Moon of October, "Last night was cold, but it was velvety and sublime too. Somewhere out beyond my hill in the darkness, there were wolves singing their hearts out to the round moon above, and from time to time, I put down my camera, pointed my own nose at the stars and joined their chorus (was rather off key though). October's moon is melancholy, but there is something truly wild and elemental about it - it makes a crone feel like singing along with the wolves and going for a moonlight run with them later too."

Reading it made me feel like joining in.

B&H Ranch

The word "ranch" popped out at me. Why haven't I visited this blog before?

Rob and Catherine are living the kind of life I so want to try. Back to nature, forsaking most of the rat race and its trappings; really doing things using your brains, sweat equity and no small amount of ingenuity.

Rob has great photos to view, a live web cam (so cool!) and the best way to shoot wildlife - with a stealth cam. Glad to see he seems to have escaped this season's California wildfire tragedies (though they have battle scars from previous years.)

Rob and Catherine are perfect role models for me. So much to discover at this blog, I shall be adding them to my own Herd (sidebar).

This is a great idea, Ronni!


MeandtheCat

As a catlover I had to go for this one and then I realised that I had already 'met' Lorraine because she comments on one of my other favourite blogs by Keith and they're on each other's sidebars. Anyway, I enjoyed reading her posts. They are not totally animal/cat orientated but she has an amusing way with words whether she's talking about something serious or funny. There's much to make you laugh on her blog but also alot to make you think. Well worth a visit.

Xtreme English

I really enjoyed reading this one, especially the very very funny "takeoff" on in-flight announcements. She has great pictures from the peace march in DC as well. I'll be visiting again.

Amen With A T


This blog is by Beryl Ament. Despite the obviousness of this title, it took me awhile to catch on. In her profile she states. “I am an alien. Really.” Beryl is from England, arriving in the US many years ago, but still loving her homeland. She has some good links to English blogs/journals. I have a good friend who lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and have traveled in both Scotland and England, so I enjoyed the references and photos from Britain.

I also felt much in common with Beryl because she posts about her grandchildren, a subject dear to my heart. Other topics include her memories, family and friend life, her own trials, and miscellaneous tidbits. She has been posting since the end of 2005. I looked for a list of categories, but didn’t find it. There are lots of photos, something else I enjoy. She has a link to her Flicker albums which I browsed also. Of course her writing is good or she wouldn’t be on this blogroll.

One recent post has a great cartoon to which I’m sure most Elder Bloggers could relate.

Right now Beryl is going off line to have the floors in her computer room refinished. Of course she is dreading it! Based on her constancy at posting, I’m sure she will be back soon.


Loose Leaf Notes

In one of those serendipitous moments I randomly picked the blog of a woman who has the same first name as I do. The first thing I noticed was the quote at the top of the page:

"Things I would not tell anyone, I tell the public." ~ Michel de Montaigne

That made me smile. Aren't all bloggers doing that? Colleen's blog is a mixture of photos, poems ( I really enjoyed the October 19th one), life stories, and opinions. She also has a feature called The Thursday Thirteen which is a kind of a short weekly version of 100 Things About Me. I'm a sucker for those short bits of information that other bloggers are willing to share. I'll be stopping by again.

Women's Voices For Change

I picked one near the bottom of the list -- Women's Voices for Change. At first click I was very impressed. This blog has sophisticated and pleasing design and is chalk full of interesting features, including Quotes-of-the-day, magazine and book reviews and Web 2.0-style category listings. It features well-written posts by a range of authors, many of whom are obviously professional writers. As advertised the content advances the voices of women making a difference in our world today. My favorite post was an excellent feature about the world's current top two astronauts -- Just a Couple of Middle-Aged Women...

That post really sums it up!

Fat Old Artist

I liked this blog because of the many pictures. She is traveling to Japan these days so new posts won't appear for a while.

Scroll down to the entry for October 1, 2007. It clearly and succinctly describes how fragile some of our healthy days can be.

I'll be back.

Mind Trips

Colorful Vermont fall photos were my introduction to Pam's locale and blog, "Mind Trips." The title appealed to me and was the first blog I randomly selected that I had not previously visited. I was enamoured with her pictures of the northeastern colors of my favorite fall season which stimulated a "mind trip" of my own from past visits there. So, I was immediately attracted to seeing and reading more from Pam.

My reaction to this well-written blog is that it is delightful, enjoyable, informative, humorous, emotionally stimulating, and co-incidentally, another recent intriguing serendipitous experience I've encountered.

Pam does, indeed, write from a thoughtful perspective, often threading some humorous events through more serious commentary. Check out her 9/28/07 post titled "Politics, Survival and Exploding Eggs." She shares even more in other posts, including a high action photo shot of her skateboarding grandson.

Anyone who might wonder what blogging can be all about, why time might be spent writing posts and to other bloggers -- questions I'm asked all too often by non-bloggers -- will appreciate Pam's personal perspective on that topic. She shares her reaction and feelings, with photos, of meeting in person, someone she first met through blogging.

Pam is a very active lady judging by family photos, and her accounts. We all encounter challenges throughout our lives and Pam has not been an exception in that regard. She's youthful as elders go -- anyone younger than me is youthful. You'll definitely want to read her profile where she describes some of the physical activities in which she has participated. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she's just being modest with her artist background description, as she continues to engage her skills and honor her talent.


Granny Geek

I decided to take a look-see at Granny Geek because I liked the title and I'm glad I did! I had a lot of fun exploring it as she covers the gamut as far as topics go. She looks at the world with a jaundiced eye and provides humor, commentary, pictures and musings on whatever strikes her fancy.

Her reviews of restaurants in the Dallas area made me hungry and set me a-thinking about a trip there just to check them out.

I think my favorite category is The ACLU Answering Machine which just goes to show -- yet again -- that some people have entirely too much time on their hands! It's a hoot!

Her recipe for Black Bean Dip -- non-fat and vegetarian -- is awesome and I'll be trying it soon.

The only caveat I offer on this blog is that if you're a Conservative sort, you could be offended.

A Little Red Hen: Peace, Politics, Yarn Life After 60

NDB's blog inspires a great mix of wonder and admiration in this MUCH YOUNGER elderblogger. You can't get within a yard of her without winding up with a condom in your pocket. (My son-in-law asked my daughter after she returned from a gallery tour with NDB, my friend Cathy, and me and showed him a couple of NDB's NYC subway-design condoms, "What were you ladies DOING in the city??) She is serious about her campaign for safe sex for elders. She creates condom amulets for hopeful/lustful elders to wear as jewelry--she offers the pendant, the brooch...I'm waiting for the ring and the watch cover!!) NDB, aka LRH, is a superhero like Batman in that her war on crime (sexual irresponsibility and laxity) involves a gadget, not any personal superpowers--other than her irrepressible spirit. She's a talented, enthusiastic knitter, too, and her charming husband, Ron, is never far from HIS knitting needles. Hmmm...perhaps this means men have their own means of protection?

Now I am curious. I AM elderly and my blog IS listed: "asterisks indicate recent additions.

Have I REALLY been read, evaluated and added because of quality or is it "included" only because I clicked on your site?

My tracker showed you had looked at my site so naturally I will assume something I posted caught your attention. Or I answered a question you've had for a long time. Maybe you share my delight with the 1960s.

I'll stay with that thought in my dotage. Thanks.

Marilyn’s Family Blog

Just for the fun of it I decided to choose the blog ahead of mine in the elder bloggers list. I had never visited Marilyn's blog before. It is amazing how similar we are. Marilyn describes herself as an "early-retired person with lots of enthusiasm, energy and experience." and she and her husband live in a Del Webb community in Texas. I would describe myself the same way except my husband and I live in a Del Webb community in Reno, Nevada.

Marilyn writes very well and she posts on a variety of interesting subjects. Most recently her posts have been filed under keeping busy. I was inspired by her recent post on making quilts from scraps of fabrics. Older posts tell when she and her husband traveled around the country in a 35' Winnebago.

I intend to keep reading Marilyn's Family Blog.

ElderWomanBlog

I chose Elder Woman Blog and it was my first time visiting.
Really enjoyed her current entry about living near the water and feeling claustrophic when she's inland. Since I live on an island and was raised along the Boston coast (not to mention I'm a Pisces) I could relate to her wonderful writing.
Marion blogs about thoughts on green, conscious ageing, simple living, loving the earth and life in general. She lives on the south-western coast of England.
And I'm glad I paid her a visit. I've noted her URL and plan to return, but I was sorry to see that her postings are rather infrequent.
(And thanks to you, Ronni, for suggesting we do this!)

Rants by Ronni (not me)
I chose this because I was curious to find out who the 'other' Ronni was and what sorts of things she wrote about. As soon as I began reading I was immediately drawn in to her world.
This Ronni,who calls herself 'The Scourge of the Internet' is just the sort of woman I enjoy knowing. Courageous, earthy, plain-speaking, calls a spade a spade. And funny, with it. So it didn't surprise me to discover that she's originally from the north of England, where folk are famous for their down-to-earth directness and wry humor.
Although her business is supplying costumes, Ronni wears no mask. Her blog is one of the most self-disclosing and fearless I have ever read.
Something truly awful happened in her life not long ago. And she kept blogging. She blogged her way through all the classic stages of grief – desolate one minute, furious the next. What an amazing chronicle of a crisis and the healing process that is now taking place. And what an amazing woman, to have shared it with the world, the way she has. Thank you – both Ronnis.

Suzzwords

Ronni, I thought this was such a neat assignment. I did have to browse your links because for me the words are all and with slow dial-up I shy away from blogs with too many graphics, videos, or endless hyperlinks within each post.

The blog I chose is ‘real life drama’ past and present. I may have visited at some time in the past but this assignment gave me reason to pause and have a GOOD LOOK. I was pleased and entertained with what I found. Lots of laughs, memories, nostalgia, about simple enjoyments, and all of it integrated into real time.

Suzz says she long longed to be a comedy writer. She needs to long no more. She is a comedy writer. I am chuckling with pleasure as I add her to my list of links.

The Ancient Mariner

The Ancient Mariner is a unique blog in that its author is nearly ninety years old(!) so has the perspective of a wide swath of history informing his comments. That makes a difference; when he decries the Iraq war, you have no doubt that it hurts him whenever he hears of another young person dying in that lost cause. You have no doubt that he doesn't think it's right that someone so young should die for him; that the natural order of things is dreadfully turned around.
And another reason I'll return to read Harry Gotlieb is that he served in the Pacific theatre of WWII, the less-heralded arena. I want to know what stands out for him about that cataclysmic experience. And finally, I want to know why he named his blog for his seagoing nature; I want to read about that nature. I'm curious.

ouroboros

Now this was fortuitous. I chose ouroboros for several reasons--The Worm Ouroboros was one of the first series of fantasy books in the mid to late 60's, and since I had already read the Tolkien books, I thought I'd give them a go. The ouroboros symbol of a worm swallowing its own tail fascinated me.

The blog ouroboros did not disappoint. For openers, as an analogy for aging, otherwise known as the life cycle, it is supremely satisfying. The writer presents the science of aging as warm and inviting. I would go so far as to even say whimsical and humorous, though that's due more to the writer than the subject matter. A rare talent.

Reading ouroboros is like snuggling into an old leather chair with a cashmere throw, a good cup of tea, a crackling fire, and watching the world unfold on a molecular level, only in technicolor. Or like questing through a top of the line RPG with an advanced radiant AI. A joyous challenge. A sensual thought provoker. The inscrutable made eminently scrutable. Rather like its namesake.

Go. Visit. It will exercise your brain and make you smile. An excellent companion for and about aging.

Red Nose

Best. Funny. Blog. Ever

Compassionate and liberal, too.

Thanks for this suggestion. How long would it take us to get to know all these great bloggers on our own?

DAY TRIPPER


At some level, I seem to identify with the writer. What is it? I only know that I end up here every day, eager to read. And always pleased that I did.

Kalyn's Kitchen

It was pretty hard for me to pick from among the creative, fun and provocative blogs on your list; hell, I hope to visit all of them at some point but I have a hankering for Kalyn's Kitchen - and why not? User-friendly in every way possible, including the recipes! If you like kitchens as much as I do, you'll bring your laptop on over to the stove top and get going!

"Who Moved My Dentures....or musing on aging, by Anthony Cirillo hit me where I live. He asks, "Do I have long term care covered if I should need it?" I thought I did until I read the figures he posts here. I was pleased to see there were nursing home awards, and I was apalled to know that an for profit nursing homes siphon off funds needed by the patients.

It was the first time I visited Mr. Cirillo, and I learned something new each entry I read. It won't be my last visit here.

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