Showing posts with label Grandparents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grandparents. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why Long Distance Relationships Don't Work

You might think this post is about long distance romantic relationships.  Though I have had to endure those, too, it's not.  It's about trying to maintain a relationship with family members who live far away.

My Mom and Dad were born, lived their lives and died, all in the same town.  My Dad was an only child, but my mother had five brothers and a sister and almost all of them also lived in that same town all of their lives.  That's the way most people lived in the mid-20th century.

However, the Baby Boomer generation felt differently and many of us wanted to experience the world outside of our small towns.  I grew up in Michigan and for some reason, everyone wanted to move to California so that's what I did. 

Right after college I moved to California and, except for some brief back and forth forays due to some unhappy situations in my life, that's where I stayed until a few years ago when I moved to Washington State.

I am sure my parents were not happy that I decided to make that move, especially my mother.  But another thing about parents of Baby Boomers - they all had pretty stiff upper lips.  If they were upset about it, they didn't really show it, though over the years my mother would say things like, "Well, if you didn't live so far away..."

I know it's difficult for young people to even grasp this concept, but back when I was in my 20's and 30's,  there were no cell phones with unlimited calling, no email, no Skype, no Facetime.  If you wanted to talk to your parents or they to you, you had to call long distance. 

Now for my younger readers, long distance was not just a description of how far away we lived from each other, but the term for calling someone who didn't live in your area code, and a long distance call cost quite a bit of money.  My mother would almost invariably say during what was already a short phone call, "Well I don't want to run up your phone bill," which was code that it was time to get off the phone.  It was also code for "Goodbye," because she would then abruptly hang up the phone!

Likewise, you could call collect, which I did quite often in my youth when I worked jobs that didn't pay much.  Calling collect meant you talked to a telephone operator first who placed the call.  When your Mother or Dad answered the phone, the operator would say, "Collect call from Rosy. Will you accept the charges?" and then the call would go onto their phone bill.  It was also not uncommon to try to get around the charge by arranging with your parents ahead of time that you would place a collect call when you arrived home so they would know you had arrived safely. When asked by the operator if they would accept the charges, they would say no but they knew you were home safely. A free long distance call.  Hey, we had to be tricky like that.

The other way we communicated was by writing letters. 

Yes, you heard me.  I am not talking about typing out an email, but actually putting pen to paper and writing a letter in longhand.  If I was on a roll, I would write my parents once a week to let them know how I was doing.  I still have some of those letters because my Mother kept them.  My Mother and my Dad would write long letters.  My mother's letters were full of details about her social life, potlucks she attended, what she ate, I mean right down to the ingredients in the food, who she saw and whether they looked older than she did and other stream of consciousness, whereas my Dad's letters were always philosophical and might have included his most recent "Letter to the Editor."  Both were comforting in their own ways.

I didn't get home much, especially after I had kids.  Airfare was more expensive in those days, and I didn't have much money.  My parents would come out for visits every year or so, mostly my mother by herself, especially to see her grandkids.

At the time, it didn't seem like such a big deal.  I knew my parents loved me and were out there in the world and that seemed to be enough.  I didn't give much thought to the fact that I hardly knew much about their lives and them as people because I interacted with them so rarely.  Now that they are gone, I think about that a lot and wish things had been different.

So since I left home, I shouldn't have been surprised that my kids would do the same, right?  Wrong.  It was just as much of a shock to me as it must have been to my mother.  I had this idea that our kids thought we were cool and we would all hang out together forever. I liked my kids and looked forward to having them nearby as adult friends.  It's a nice thought but these days our kids have to go where the jobs are and where their hearts take them.  As it was, our kids grew up in a small town that had more rich retired people and tourists than young people with careers, so off they went to college and they never lived with us again.

When my kids left home I tried to stay relevant.  Looking back, I can see that I just didn't have a clue about how to be a long distance Mom.  It hurt my feelings when they didn't answer their phones. They both had cell phones and I knew they knew it was me.  Or when they did answer, our conversations were often short and terse.  I took it personally.  So I decided to avoid feeling like that, they should call me when they had the time.  I figured that was better.  That way, they would call when they had the time to talk.  That worked a bit better, but they still didn't have much to say.  I guess I had forgotten how happy I was to get out on my own and how little I had in common with my own parents when I was 18 and knew everything.

These days it is the most natural thing in the world for our kids to move out of the house and have their own lives.  Some go to college, some join the military, some get transferred to other cities.  It is probably more unusual for people to live in one town all of their lives.  And we want our children to have their own lives, right?  And these days, it's not easy for our kids to get started.  It's expensive.  So I am proud and happy that both of my kids are launched, as they say, and are successful and have their own families.

But I'm not happy that I don't see them much. 

When your kids don't live close by, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a close relationship.  When you think that for 18 years, people lived in your house, you saw them every day, you thought you had the same values because they obeyed the rules, right?  You ate together, you traveled together, you played games together, you had shared histories.  You thought you knew them, and then one day, they are gone and suddenly you discover they have their own values and ideas about how they want to live.  "When did you start eating tuna sandwiches?"  "Since when do you like jazz?"

Suddenly your kids are creating their own histories and it's not with you.  And that's what's wrong with long distance relationships.  Without a shared history, it is difficult to have a close relationship.  You just don't know them anymore.

A shared history is often the main thing that keeps couples together during difficult times and the same is true of your relationships with your family members.  You lose touch with who they really are because you no longer have the same experiences.  You are not creating memories together anymore.

I love my children and I know they love me, but now that they are adults with spouses and children (and I will get to grandchildren in a minute), their own families and lives are their primary focus, as they should be, but the added barriers of distance and time make it difficult for us all to share out lives.

Yes, we visit but I feel that visiting family is a strange thing.  When you don't see your family very often, when you do see them the push is on to make every minute count.  For example, if your adult children lived in the same town, you might get together once a week for Sunday dinner or to play golf or to watch your grandchildren play sports.  You would all go about your business most days, but get together when you wanted to.  But when you don't see your family members very often and then you do for a long weekend or a week's visit, the pressure is on to make the most of your time together, doing things together for entire days, 24/7, and likely disrupting normal schedules.  It's no wonder that family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving have such a bad reputation for arguments and dread.  But why would we expect to just naturally have a wonderful time with people we rarely see?

We can maintain relationships with our family members by calling regularly, using Skype, even writing letters (gasp!), but in our crazy, busy lives, even those little niceties can fall by the wayside.

And then there is the whole issue of grandchildren who live far away.  Likewise, we grandparents want our grandchildren to know who we are and to love us, which is not easy when we only see them a few times a year.  Growing up, my grandparents lived across the street so I saw them all of the time.

But these days it is not unusual for grandparents to live far away. I actually wrote about that in a blog post called "Parenting and Grandparenting from a Distance."  Re-reading that one, I see that I gave some good advice, some of which I haven't followed myself!

So you can see how long distance relationships not only don't work very well, but can lead to isolation, regrets, loneliness and the feeling that you are no longer relevant in your children's lives.

So long distance parents and grandparents, what do we do about it?

Though I will always believe that long distance relationships don't really work very well, there are some things we can do to try to make ithem work.

  • Take the initiative to create memories. 
By that I don't mean whine to your kids about how lonely and isolated you feel.  I did that and believe me it doesn't work.  No, I mean, try to figure out how you can make some memories together and act on it.  My daughter and I have started a mother/daughter vacation that we hope will be a regular thing.  Last year we met up and toured Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque together, just the two of us, which, of course I wrote about ("How to Have a Successful Mother/Daughter Getaway..."). 

It included some of our favorite things: eating and shopping!


When you go on a trip together, away from each other's routines, it feels more like a fun vacation (which it is) than a forced visit.

  • Accept your adult children for who they are now.
I know it's difficult to think of that little tow-headed girl as a grown-up with her own beliefs that might not be yours, but you have to accept that she has grown up and respect her as she is now.  My mother was still telling me to stand up straight and smile more when I was in my 40's, which didn't do much for a happy adult relationship.  So when you do get to see your adult children, don't go into mother mode, nag them about their posture or try to change them, get to know the adults they are now.

  • Text and email ideas, stories and information you think might be of interest.
It is difficult to stay close to people when you are not sharing daily or weekly events.  Though you are far away, you can still keep your kids in your life by sharing your observations and ideas via text and email.  Don't necessarily expect a reply or get upset if you don't get one.  You are letting them know they are in your thoughts and they are learning some things about you too.

  • Be a supportive listener.
Your kids probably have busier lives than you do now, so when they do contact you, make it about them, not you, so you can be a part of the experiences they are having, even if just vicariously.

  • Keep in contact with your grandchildren. 

If they are little, send them cards and Skype or talk to them on the phone.  When they are older, maybe they will actually let you friend them on Facebook! Visit when you can.  Try to be there for the big events. It's easier for you to travel than for a family with little children.

  • Relish the memories and shared history that you do have with your children and grandchildren and continue to try to create new ones.

  • And then... plan to move in with them!

So my fellow long distance parents and grandparents, hang in there!  As my mother used to say, "It will get better."

How do you handle your long distance family relationships?


Thanks for reading!

See you Friday

for my review of

"Our Kind of Traitor"


The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)


and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Letter to My Newborn Baby Granddaughter

Dear Newly Born Granddaughter,

Welcome to the world!

I had almost given up hope that I would ever have a granddaughter.  I have two wonderful grandsons whom I love very much, but they like boy things and as they get older will probably not want to go shopping with their old grandmother or try on make-up, you know, girlie stuff (anyway, so far they haven't shown an interest in that). 

And now here you are.


I know your Mommy will be your very best friend, but I hope that I will be a BFF too.

I am looking forward to all of the fun times we will have and things we will do together,


Tea parties.


My mother used to collect cups and saucers.  She kept them in a cabinet and she would let me pick out the ones that I wanted to be "mine."  I have those cups and saucers now, and I will let you choose your favorites too.  My mother used to do little tea parties for my girlfriends and me.  She would make us some tea and toast and cut the toast into long strips that she called "fairy cakes."  I will do the same for you and I will also make some little sandwiches and cut off the crusts and we will have scones and jam, just like they do in England.  If you like, your dolls can join us.

Playing with dolls.

Your Aunt Ashley had a few American Girl dolls, and I still have those.  However, I have added a few more to the collection, well more than a few.  Her room looks like a shrine to the American Girl doll.  OK, more like a horror film starring a bunch of dolls.  I couldn't help it.  I needed a little granddaughter in my life!

I also have all of the Disney Princess (Barbie) dolls waiting for you.

("Twilight Zone" music ensues)

Playing Dress-up.

It's no secret that I have been known to buy the odd outfit or two.  OK, or 100.  Clothes come and go, but I have saved some that I thought a little girl just like you would love to dress up in.  I loved to play dress-up when I was a young girl. So did your Aunt Ashley.


My grandparents lived across the street from where I grew up and I would spend time with them.  One time I was snooping around up in their attic and found a trunk.  When I opened it, I couldn't believe it.  It was like being in a movie and finding treasure.  The trunk was filled with clothes from the turn of the century and I'm talking about the turn of the 20th century!  My grandmother said I could play with those clothes and boy, did my friends and I have fun with them.  When we play dress up, we can pretend to be princesses or fairies or the President of the United States!


This is something I have honed to a fine art. 

I can teach you the "bob and veer." That's where you are shopping in a store and suddenly take a sharp turn and disappear because you spotted a Marc Jacobs dress on sale. It's like "bob and weave," but with "bob and veer," you bob and then, rather than weaving, you veer directly in a straight line to the object of your desire. Hubby, your Papi, HATES that.  

Or the "I can't afford NOT to buy this!" technique.  That means that the item is on sale and has been marked down so low you will lose money if you don't purchase it.  OK, that's sort of a joke, but the idea is that it would be a crime not to buy it.  So you do.

There is also the "I can't live without it" technique.  My Dad would always ask me that. "Is that something you can't live without?"  What do you think my answer was? 

And finally, there is the "It might be gone forever" ploy.  This means that you might find something you can't really afford, but if you don't get it, then when you DO have the money the item will be gone and you will never find it again and regret it for your whole life.  So you have to buy it to avoid that kind of pain in your life.

I learned most of these shopping techniques from my Dad.  My mother did not approve.  In fact, it is easy to misunderstand these things, so let's just keep them between you and me, OK?

Reading together.

C'mon, of course we are going to read and read and read.  Your brothers already love books.

After all, your old Glammy is a librarian.  We can go to the library together and get your very own library card and that card will open up a whole wide world of adventure. 

And speaking of Glammy, you might wonder why I am called that.  Well, I might have wanted to be Grammy, but my mother was Grammy to her grandchildren, so that nickname was taken.  If you had known my mother, you would know why there was only one Grammy!  And even though your other grandmother is quite a bit more glamorous than I am, she wanted to be called Grandmother, so I thought, why not?  I wanted to be an actress, I have a bit of an Auntie Mame side and love to dress up, so Glammy seemed to fit. 

Watching Musical Comedies Together.

Growing up, my mother and I loved to watch the old musicals - "Singin' in the Rain," "The Music Man," "Oklahoma."  Then I watched them with my own daughter and now I look forward to showing them to you.  Who knows?  Maybe you will be the next musical comedy star!

Talking about boys.

And boy, can I tell you some stuff about boys!

Those are just some things I have been wanting to share with a little granddaughter.  You.

But you know what? If it turns out you don't like those things, that's OK too.  I will just be happy to spend time with you doing whatever you love to do and getting to know you as you go through life.

And I wish for you a life filled with giving and receiving happiness, thoughtfulness, kindness, empathy, compassion and equality.

You probably won't be able to believe it, and I hope by the time you are old enough to notice there won't be any vestiges of inequality still around, but there was a time when women didn't have rights - they couldn't own property, they couldn't vote, they had to ask their husbands or fathers for permission to do almost everything, they were treated as second class citizens, and even today many women do not get paid the same amount of money for doing the same work as men.  Can you believe it?

Your mother, grandmother, aunt and I are all feminists and we hope you will be proud to call yourself one, too, and you will care about women's rights. Because there is still work to be done.  I have been concerned that many young women today don't seem to wear the word "Feminist" with pride. It's almost as if they take for granted what women in earlier generations had to do to get where we are today.  I wrote about that a few months ago - "Why is Feminist Such a Dirty Word?"   

And can you believe that the United States has never had a woman President?  We are one of the few major countries in the world where that is the case.  I hope that by the time you are old enough to vote, there will not only have been a woman President, but more than one!

I hope that you will be proud to be a woman and not take any crap.  There, I said it.

I wish for you a world you feel safe in.

I want you to be able to go out in the world without fear.  Women should be free to travel, go out at night, dress how they wish, all alone and without fear. But the reality is that there is some bad stuff out there. So be brave but be smart and don't take any crap.  There, I said it again.

I also wish for you a wonderful education and the joy of learning.

You come from a family that has always valued education.  Growing up, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't go to college.  Your Dad and grandmother had to get a lot of education to become attorneys, your uncle is a professor and your Aunt and I both had to get master's degrees to become librarians.  Your Mom has a master's degree in business from Berkeley and your Aunt went to Stanford, neither of those were small feats.  So you and I will be talking about colleges in a couple of years.  You can never start too early.

I wish you love.

You have the most wonderful parents and brothers and family all around you who love you.  I hope you will experience lots more love in your life, giving love and receiving love, and no matter what happens, even if your heart gets broken, that you never give up on love.

You are only 5 days old.  I am 67 years and 243 days old, so I hope we will be able to do all of those things together and that I am still around to see you grow and graduate and find love and have children of your own.

But if not, you have this little thing I wrote so that you will know I couldn't wait to meet you and that I love you already.

So my darling girl, it's a big wide world out there just waiting for you. 

Live fearlessly!

Go for it!




Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie 
"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
(Who can resist a title like that)? 
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Parenting and Grandparenting From A Distance and The Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Celeste and Jesse Forever," "Small Town Murder Songs," "Starbuck," "Ginger and Rosa" and extol the virtues of stair walking and meditation.]

But first

Parenting and Grandparenting from a Distance



OK, OK, I know I am being overly dramatic here.

But I sometimes sit with my little wine-guzzling poodle and wonder how my life veered so hugely from how I was brought up and what my expectations were.

I grew up a block from my grandparents - my Dad's parents.  They were a big part of my childhood - holiday celebrations, Sunday dinners.  They had a TV before we did, so I remember going over there on Friday nights to watch the Friday Night Fights (boring) and Ed Sullivan.  As a teen, I was expected to read the newspaper to my grandmother every afternoon after school and take her for walks. She was blind.  As my grandparents aged, my Dad, who was an only child, would stop by their house on his way home from work to fix their dinner. So I lived near my grandparents until I went off to college, and my grandparents lived in their own home until their deaths at 89 and 92.

But my generation was a different generation, and it was not unusual for young people to move away from their families.

I know it was very difficult for my mother when I not only went to college and rarely came home, but on the day I graduated, I announced I was moving to California, thousands of miles from my home in Michigan.  She must have been crushed, but she never said anything, never complained.  I should have learned from her example.  But I didn't.

As I look at this picture of her helping me get my room ready on my first day at college, I can relate to what she must have been feeling. 

Despite the fact that we raise our children to be independent, happy and successful, it doesn't often occur to us as they grow up that they might live their independent, happy and successful lives far away from us.

If I might brag a bit here, my son is a successful attorney, happily married with two lovely little boys.  My daughter is a Stanford graduate embarking on a new career in Information Science and happily married to a professor. 

So what's the problem?

My son is 900 miles away and my daughter is 3000 miles away.

So while I am happy that my children are happy and successful, what my mother and I both didn't bargain for was that we wouldn't be a part of that happiness and success.

It's a cruel irony that we raise interesting, kind and responsible children and just when they get old enough to participate in adult activities and carry on interesting conversations with us, they move away!

I know I am not alone in this.  This is probably more the norm for parents and grandparents than not these days. 

So how do we remain in our adult children's and grandchildren's lives when they live far away? 

How do we create those shared histories and memories, so crucial for maintaining close relationships?

When our children were living at home, we participated in our children's activities and had family nights and trips.  My husband and I both came home after work and spent most of our free time with the kids. 

When they went off to college, I decided not to be a "helicopter parent," calling them all of the time and bothering them.  I wanted them to find their own way, thinking they would call me when needed.  But what I really wanted was to talk to them every day.  When I did call them, our conversations would be terse or they wouldn't pick up at all. That would hurt, so I resolved that I would wait until they called me, thinking if they called me, then they would have set aside the time and we would have nice conversations.  Not necessarily so.  I have always been envious of parents whose children say, "My Mom is my best friend.  I can't imagine not talking to her everyday."  That didn't happen for me.

There was a disconnect between what my expectation of the mother-child relationship should be and the reality. 

We sold our house and left California for Washington State when our daughter was a sophomore right before the housing bubble burst.  That was a good thing, but what we didn't anticipate was the difficulty for people of a certain age to start over somewhere new not knowing anyone there.  However, our daughter really liked the Seattle area so I was fairly certain that she would join us after college.  However, through a series of events, she stayed in California and eventually met a fellow there who was visiting from Atlanta.  She married him and off they went.

Our son was ensconced in his life in California and as he frequently reminds me, he only lives an hour and a half from his childhood home.  WE are the ones who left.
So that's how it happens.  One story out of many, I am sure. 

So as the reality of the "empty nest" set in, I began overcompensating for the distance by oversharing all of the angst I felt about how difficult it was adjusting to this new life, new job, not knowing anyone, etc.  My rationale was if I did this, my children would continue to get to know me and we would stay close that way.  Not  recommended.

 So what do you do?

Well, don't do what I did. 

Here is what I have learned.

First of all, when your children leave for college, call them as much as you would like to.   
It doesn't do any good to pretend to feel something you don't. Just know they have issues of  their own as they adjust to their new lives, so don't get your feelings hurt if they don't pick up or return your calls or have monosyllabic conversations with you.  At least you are making the  effort to show your love and that will resonate with them later.  I think in the end, my not  calling made them think I didn't care.

Don't overshare.
Yes, you might be feeling sad or having difficulties with your own life, but they have their own problems. Worrying about their parents shouldn't be one of them.

Get your own life.    
As I look back, I see that yes, I had a career, but once my children came, I saw my main role as mothering.  I have had to reconcile myself to the fact that this role is now behind me. Your adult children no longer need mothering, so it's time to take stock and redefine your role.  Then when you are in touch, you have something interesting to share with them.  We are all friends on Facebook and I send them my blog, so we can keep up with each other online in between phone calls.

Be a friend.
Your adult child doesn't need a mother, but everyone needs a friend.  And your children should be given the same respect and deference you would give your friends.  Infantilizing your adult children will only make them not want to be around you.  Be a good listener.

Avoid guilt trips.
There are other parents involved when your children marry and those parents also want time with your children and their spouses.  Holidays can be particularly difficult.  In our situation, the "kids" have rotated every Christmas with each family.  The first Christmas we were alone was very would have been very easy to call them and say "This cannot happen again."  But we went to Paris instead (something I would actually not recommend...I mean, Paris at Christmas, which was a zoo, not the going away part.  I think Buenos Aires would  have been better).  If this happens to you, get away from what makes you sad and do something that will make you happy and look forward to next year.

Create an environment your kids will want to return to.          
When your adult children and their families do come to visit, it creates a somewhat unnatural balance.  If we all lived in the same town, we could get together when we wanted to and enjoy each other's company as long as we wanted and then return to our respective homes when we got tired of each other.  When families come together from long distances, they usually stay for awhile in your home and that can create pressure to spend all of that time together, knowing that everyone will soon part. Also it's sometimes close quarters. So treat your family members with the same respect you would show your guests, giving them space to be alone if they want and looking after their individual needs.  Plan fun events and a comfortable, fun environment.  The last time our daughter and her husband visited, I made up a list of "adventures" we could tackle  - they could choose which one.  They chose kayaking and  it just about killed me!  But our adventure was a funny story we could all share.

Try to plan the next time you will see your children again.
If you can manage it, check in with your adult children and try to find a time in the not too distant future when you all can get together again.  It might be around an event like a major birthday or some fun activity they might like. When my husband turned 60, we all gathered at a condo in Lake Tahoe to celebrate.  But keep in mind, if your adult children have their own children, it is probably easier for you to travel than for them.  To know when you will see them again makes it easier.

Share family stories and pictures.

They may not care now, but they will later in life. I wish I had asked my mother and dad more questions.

And what about the grandchildren?

We grandparents who must do our grandparenting from a distance fear being strangers to our grandchildren. 

 How do we transcend the miles?

Skype is a godsend. 
When they are infants, you can see them and they can hear your voice. As your grandchildren get older, you could read stories or make up silly stories and use props or teach them some songs.

Keep current on your grandchildren's interests.
My oldest little grandson is obsessed  with the movie "Cars," and already anticipating "Planes," so I come prepared to watch "Cars" with him and to bring him toys of those characters, or whatever is his latest obsession.

Write letters and cards to them.
Corresponding by letter is almost dead these days, but it is a still  a wonderful way to interact with your grandchildren.  When we were in London recently, I sent my 2-year-old grandson a postcard with a double decker bus on it, because I knew he loved buses and trucks.  I said, "This is how people ride around in London.  Glammy and Papi (yes, I'm Glammy) rode on one of these and thought of you.  Maybe you can ask Daddy to show you where London is on a map so you can see where we are."  As your grandchild gets older, you can send longer messages and letters.

Unexpected gifts
Don't wait until birthdays or the holidays to send little thoughtful or fun gifts. Sending something for no reason would be a happy treat for your grandchildren and remind them of you.

I can't say that I have heeded my own advice at all times and, in fact, as you can see, I have made some pretty bad mistakes.  I have had to change my expectations.

I am certainly still a work in progress, especially now that I have recently retired, which is a whole new world unto itself. But I am committed to continuing to define my role in my adult children's lives and to be an active grandmother - one step at a time, no matter the distance.  Now I need to go.  I hear a little poodle getting into the wine again!

How did you handle your empty nest?

How have you handled being a grandparent from a distance?  Any cool tips?

Rosy the Reviewer's Week in Review
I have four little gems for you this week, ones you might have missed.

"Celeste and Jesse Forever"

Rashida Jones and Adam Samberg play a divorced couple who try to stay friends.  A really sweet romcom about two very likable people who just aren't meant to be...and that's OK.  Rashida Jones was co-writer of the screenplay.  Did you know that Rashida Jones is the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton of "Mod Squad" fame?

Rosy the Reviewer says...sweet and a different twist on the "soul mate" issue.

An almost unrecognizable Peter Stormare (remember the woodchipper guy in Fargo?) plays a  tormented cop in a Canadian Mennonite community who must come to grips with his violent past.  It's a mere 75 minutes long, but it gets a lot done. 
Rosy the Reviewer says...Slow moving and gripping at the same time. Reminiscent of "The Killing."


This is not about the coffee chain, but about a loser of a fellow who made money donating to a sperm bank only to find out later he had fathered 500+ children and 142 of them want to meet him!  A very funny and entertaining French-Canadian film (subtitles).
Rosy the Reviewer says...lots of adult fun!


Sally Potter is the female Woody Allen.  She writes, directs and gets famous actors to play small parts in her small films (Oliver Platt, Christina Hendricks and Annette Bening in this one).  One of my fav films is her "The Tango Lesson," which she also starred in.  This one follows two inseparable friends in 1960's London in the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis and what they get up to.  Baby Boomers can relate to the practice of ironing one's hair to get it super straight and sitting in a bathtub to shrink your Levis so they fit perfectly, or I can anyway.   Potter's stories unfold in the slice of life realm, but they are affecting.  I think she is very underrated.
Rosy the Reviewer says...Potter needs a larger audience.

Nothing to report this week. I'm trying not to eat.  Have to start somewhere.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Food...why does it have to be so hard?


According to "Lucky Magazine," pointy-toed shoes are back for fall as are over-the-knee boots and the kick flare skirt.  The color palettes are black and pink and zebra stripe and green (has zebra stripe replaced leopard as the new black?).  

 After having gone through three closets this last week of clothes I will never wear again, including pointy-toed shoes, over-the-knee boots and kick flare skirts, my obsession with fashion is starting to seem out of fashion.  Well, I might still wear the over-the-knee boots.



Stairway Walks

Completed another Seattle stair walk.  This is one of my absolute most fun ways to get exercise - urban walks that combine nature and neighborhoods.  It's a great way to get to know your town or City better. We did 5 miles in about 2 hours followed by some champs.  There always must be reward!
I don't know if you would call this fun exactly, but I have started Oprah's 21-Day Meditation Challenge.  You can sign up, too, if you are so inclined.  I am looking forward to the miraculous relationships it promises!  :)
I am doing that along with my 10-day Headspace course, so I am getting there.  I can now do 10 minutes with no problem and did an extra 10 today starting the Oprah Challenge.  Can't tell if it's working yet.  I still scream at the dogs when they bark their heads off when the FedEx truck drives by while I am trying to meditate.  Seems counter productive somehow!  OM....
So that's it.  Week five in this new world of retirement. 
How did your week go?