Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Happy Funeral

I went to a very nice funeral today. I didn’t know the deceased personally but his daughter and I are baby boomer diva girlfriends so I felt it was important to go and support her.

Unlike the majority of funerals I’ve been to, there wasn’t a lot of hollering and crying going on. No one was jumping up and down and trying to throw themselves into the casket. The choir sang two beautiful songs that made you feel like shouting----but no one did.

A couple of friends of the deceased talked about growing up with him and his love for golf. The preacher promised he would give a short eulogy and he did just that. The children thanked everyone for their support---and just like that, it was over.

One thing that had everyone cracking up laughing during the service was a comment the preacher made about the fact that no one was crying. He said a lot of people who cry at funerals aren’t crying because the person died; instead they’re crying because they’re reflecting on how badly they treated the person when they were alive.

So if you think you’ll be crying at this baby boomer’s funeral, my advice to you is: don’t bother to come.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Boomers Raising their Kids in the Burbs

Before today, I had never heard of a place called Groesbeck, Ohio and I’m from Ohio---born and raised. According to, this little town just outside of Cincinnati is the absolute best place in America to raise a child. Also making the top ten is another town in the Buckeye state called Waterville; another place I’ve never heard of.

Groesbeck, according to, offers kids and their parents the right combination of safety, community and education. This quaint little town with a population of just over 7000 and a median income of $49,000 is one of 50 so-called best cities to raise children.

Rounding out the Top Ten are:

2) Western Springs, Ill—population 12,493; median income $98,8761
3) Deerfield, Ill---------- population 18, 430; median income $107,194
4) Echelon, N.J.----------population 10,440; median income 49,410
5) Arapahoe, Nebraska--population 1,028; median income 29,500
6) Waverly, NB---------- population 2,448; median income 42,454
7) Wilmette, Ill------------population 27,651; median income 106,773
8) Waterville, OH--------population 4,828; median income 60,000
9) Lackland, TX----------population 7,123; median income 32,250
10) Hopewell, TN--------population 1815; median income 43,973

What is interesting to me is the fact that these towns are all an arm’s throw away from a major city where crime runs rampid--yet they manage to stay private. I’d be curious to know how many of my fellow baby boomers grew up in these places. After all, weren’t the baby boomer generation kids the first to experience what it was like to escape urban sprawl and find comfort in the suburbs?

Well, at least some of us anyway.

Friday, November 16, 2007

African-American Baby Boomers & The American Nightmare

A new report just released by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts reveals that African-American baby-boomers are more likely to have slipped down the socioeconomic ladder than their white counterparts. According to the series of three studies, 45 percent of black children born to parents earning middle-class incomes in the 1960s, about $55,000, are in the bottom 20 percent of wage earners today. In comparison, only 16 percent of whites from the same socioeconomic background find themselves in the same position. The report also reflects the fact that whites were more likely than blacks to rise out of the poverty they were raised in.

Columbia University sociologist Ronald Mincy, who served as an adviser on the study, told the Washington Post that researchers do not have a definite explanation for the findings, but speculated that there were many contributing factors. Mincy cited gaps in education, racial isolation, and a disparity in wealth and assets between blacks and whites as potential causes.

So what else is new? I wrote about this very subject several months ago: Black Baby Boomers and the American Dream.

If my grandparents had just gotten that forty acres and a mule they were promised, articles like these wouldn’t need to be written. I’m still open to the offer but with inflation and all, make that 140 acres please.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Viva Viagra: WHATEVER!

Is it just me or are there other baby boomer women out here who are sick and tired of hearing about the magic of Viagra? I just saw a video on You Tube where a rather handsome group of baby boomer men are belting out a song to the tune of Viva Las Vegas. (That’s the song Elvis made famous back in 1964). Viva Viagra is apparently a new ad campaign from the drug manufacturer, Pfizer.

What is disturbing to me is the fact that erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs are a huge business. Pfizer reported Viagra sales of $450 million in its most recent quarter. What is even MORE disturbing is the fact that Viagra, Levitra and Cialis can cause irreparable harm to the body. Possible side effects include:

changes in vision such as loss of vision, blurred vision, eyes being more sensitive to light, or trouble telling the difference between blue and green objects or objects having a blue color tinge to them
•difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
•chest pain or palpitations
•prolonged erection (lasting longer than 4 hours)
•skin rash, itching
•nasal congestion

And if that’s not bad enough, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added hearing loss as another risk.

OK, so does that mean that men are willing to risk going deaf, dumb and blind ( for the sake of having sex?

Thank God my husband doesn’t need it and as long as I keep up my end of the bargain, he NEVER will!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sister, Can You Spare a Cordless Phone?

Today I had an unexpected death in my home. My cordless phone croaked. It was a painful death for me because it died just as I was scheduled to do a telephone interview with actress and fellow baby boomer Nancy Cartwright. I told Nancy I’d get back to her in an hour after I trouble-shooted the problem.

I tried to put the phone on life support with a new battery---but no such luck. I tried not to panic or miss this wonderful interview opportunity so I went across the street and asked my neighbor, Adair, if I could use her cordless phone. She said she didn’t have one. I couldn’t believe it! There was actually someone who doesn’t live in a cordless world! Then I thought, “My next door neighbor, Kathy, sometimes comes home for lunch so I’ll ask her.” Several minutes went by. No Kathy. I had to do something so I sent her an email:


I'm hoping you're at work to see this message. Are you coming home soon? I need a cordless phone and mine is DEAD.


I waited impatiently for a response. No response. Then I decided to go to the nearest store to buy a phone. Well as luck would have it, the nearest store didn’t have any more cordless phones left. What? Does that mean the whole world has gone cordless??? Yes, everyone except my neighbor across the street.

I finally found one and rushed home to charge it. The directions on the box said it needed to be charged for a minimum of 12 hours before use. But all was not lost because Kathy did come home for lunch. She saw my desperate message and responded:

“Well I was just sitting here trying to decide where to go read my book at lunch time so I guess I have my answer! I'll be home in 15-20 minutes.”

My neighbor, my fellow baby boomer, my friend Kathy saved the day! I’m so glad I know my neighbors. And I also know what I’m getting my other baby boomer neighbor across the street for Christmas.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hallmark Catering to Baby Boomers

A couple of weeks ago I was one of seven bloggers invited to a one day conference at the Hallmark Headquarters in Kansas City, MO. (Four of the seven were baby boomers).

Hallmark wanted to get feedback from us on their new line of encouragement cards called Journeys. The cards are supposed to reflect a change in our emotions. Sure, birthdays, anniversaries and get well cards have always been important, but in the 21st century we’re also dealing with issues like menopause, cancer support, divorce, aging parents, empty nests, weight loss, etc. Hallmark is trying to reflect that change.

I must admit that I was impressed by the Company’s initiative. They took the time to research each blogger and knew what we brought to the table. And they didn't turn the event into one great media campaign blitz to show how they "reach out and touch" with the company President & CEO. They were very unassuming. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know Don Hall, Jr. was the head man when he spoke because he was quite soft-spoken and didn't dress like he had just stepped out of GQ Magazine.

What also impressed me was the fact that they had obviously given careful thought and consideration to baby boomers. After all, we are the ones who have the largest purchasing power. Cater to us and you’re bound to be successful. Furthermore, Hallmark took the time to seek out bloggers who were writing about the very subjects they think are important.

BUT---Hallmark has definitely missed the point when it comes to marketing to the menopausal crowd. The one card they introduced read:

(outside) “What’s the worst thing about Menopause?”
(inside) “Men don’t get it!”

OK…that’s just plain stupid! I would be totally insulted if my girlfriends sent me that card. There was obviously no thought---and probably no woman who had an input on that card. They would be smart if they did away with it.

Then there’s Maxine. Ten years ago, she was the hottest thing going (no pun intended), but today Maxine is OUTDATED. She represents MY mother and she is definitely post menopausal. As a woman currently going through menopause, I represent a NEW FACE. I’m classy, a little bit sassy and a woman who is on the move and making a difference! I am not living my mother’s menopause and Maxine does not represent me.

Thank you again Hallmark for the invite and, as fellow blogger Stephanie (www.backinskinnyjeans) said, if other companies want to know how to impress the average consumer, they need to take a page out of the Hallmark "this is how we do it blogger style" manual.

If you want to see more about the trip, check out the video on YouTube:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Horses Dying for Menopause

If you're like me, you're definitely concerned about the ingredients in the foods you eat. But are you as equally concerned about the ingredients in the medications you take?

For example, if you take the drug Premarin, does it bother you to know that it is made from the urine of pregnant mares? Do you care that these defenseless creatures are subjected to animal cruelty to help you alleviate your menopausal symptoms?

According to an article written by Gregory McNamee, the process of collecting horse’s urine began in the 1940s when researchers at one drug firm discovered that estrogen taken from the urine of pregnant mares helped to relieve some of the effects of menopause in women. Overnight, an industry sprang up in the northern United States and Canada as hundreds of farms were placed under contract to deliver this urine.

It’s sad to think this process developed a drug that was peddled to our mothers by doctors who swore it was safe and natural---just as natural as feeding a woman a healthy dose of oats and alfalfa. Unfortunately, this process continues today. I invite you to read the entire article by Gregory.

I don't take synthetic drugs for menopause, however, I know many women who do.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election Day from a Baby Boomer's Point of View

All Republicans are NOT racist! Despite the actions of a few---maybe quite a few—it’s unfair to lump the entire Republican Party together as bigots. Sadly, however, that seems to be the prevailing attitude in our community, especially with African-American baby boomers, and it keeps good Republicans from getting the respect, attention and votes they deserve…even when they’re Black.

On Tuesday, voters in my city were given a choice between two mayoral candidates—both Black men. (The incumbent is a Democrat). I worked at a couple of the precincts on behalf of the challenger whom I’ve known for several years and have appreciated his stance on the issues that concern me. White Republicans and even some white Democrats said they felt it was time for a change and wanted new leadership. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of blacks I talked to snubbed their noses at the idea of having a Republican mayor and were even more indignant over the fact that he was a “Black” Republican.

When are we going to make decisions about voting based on our research and not on the fact that mama, granddaddy and everyone else in the family is a democrat so I must be one? If my history lesson serves me correct, the Democratic party stemmed out of the “Dixicrats” who were southern racist politicians. Did they only teach that in the North? When are we going to stop taking the attitude that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” It might not be broke to the visible eye but there could be a cancer festering on the inside.

Not long after the polls closed, the incumbent was declared the winner again for an unprecedented 4th term. So the city is back to business as usual once again.

Maybe the Republicans really do need to clean up their act and make the party all-inclusive and the Democrats need to stop taking all of us for granted.