I love being an old lady!

I love being an old lady.


I’m aging. Silver hair, wrinkles, and a few liver spots ensure I’m no longer referred to as a chick (cute, dumb, or otherwise) or a ditzy broad (although I have my senior moments). I don’t have to worry about spending hours on make-up, styling my hair, or wearing the latest fashion.
Men both young and old open doors for me. Clerks offer to carry out my groceries. Do they think I’m feeble or do they respect me because of my age? Either way, I don’t care. No one has been rude to me in ages, and I don’t have to stand while commuting in a public conveyance.

I don’t have to worry about fancy clothes, either. I go with the three C’s: Clean. Comfortable. And Convenient. No glittery low-rider pants with hard-to-find belt loops that always seem to come undone, tight hammertoe-creating shoes, flaking eyeliner and mascara, pokey, pushup underwire brassieres, and hand-wash only blouses.
My usual attire consists of a colorful ‘scrubs’ top with front pockets for my pen and notebook, a tissue or two, and smartphone with gray yoga pants, shorts, or sweats, depending on the season. If it’s really cold, the scrubs are replaced with a bright hoodie. After I slide into my Crocs (no chance of blisters or bunions), I’m ready to tackle the world.


There are a few negative aspects of being old. I need reading glasses, but not for gardening or watching rainbows and wild turkeys. I don’t like the achy joints that came with the years, but other than that, I’m doing okay. I beat COVID (the 2020 nasty version). My heart and lungs work well enough that I can get where I’m going. My brain still functions well enough. I may not remember what I came into a room for, but I know my name and all the important stuff: phone, social security, and where I hid my credit cards.
I’m glad I paid attention to my grandmother. I brushed my teeth, ate well (maybe too well), and still take vitamins. I have all my teeth, pertinent parts, and can cook and clean better than any woman half my age (when I want to). My advice and/or opinion is still sought (sometimes) and I can crack a joke with the best of them. True, I only get wolf whistles from my husband, but he’s the only one I want them from anyhow. And thanks to that now long-gone miserable time of life referred to as ‘the change,’ I no longer have to worry about getting pregnant. Phew!

Do I have any regrets? Yup. Don’t we all? However, I’ve learned that no matter what, I can’t change the past. I can do my best not to make the same mistakes again, can gently urge my daughters, granddaughters – and anyone else who might listen and benefit – not to make rash choices and ALWAYS treat others as they want to be treated.
Yup. Be kind, patient, and enjoy the life you have right now. Tomorrow you might be laid up from an accident, or without a job or best friend because of hasty or cruel words, or maybe have a horrible toothache because you didn’t brush your teeth.

I’m hoping to avoid all of the above discomforts because I’m getting older and, I think, wiser.

Here’s a great story about an older woman who was able to do it all over again, but in a younger body. In a different time era. And with a severe case of amnesia. Perky old lady in a young, hot body. Will her innate sense and savvy get her out of predicaments with cougars (the mountain lion-type), creeps and kidnappers? Check out NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND, #free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Travel with Mona to Hungary

We visited Hungary twice, the first time while on a cruise along the Danube River and the second time as part of a land tour through Eastern Europe. I enjoyed both visits and can’t wait to return.

The capital, Budapest also called the ‘Queen of the Danube’ is bisected by the Danube. A 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. Buda was the kernel of settlement in the Middle Ages, and the cobbled streets and Gothic houses of the castle town have preserved their old layout. Until the late 18th century, Pest remained a tiny enclave, but then its population exploded, leaving Buda far behind. In the latter half of the 20th century, growth has been more evenly distributed between the two parts. There are so many landmarks to visit.

As we cruised toward Budapest, we encountered a steep limestone escarpment overlooking the Danube. It provided a panoramic view of the whole city. At the top stood the Citadella—built by the Austrian army in the mid-19th century in order to keep watch over the town. Today it serves as a hotel and restaurant and doubles as the stage for a splendid fireworks display on St. Stephen’s Day (August 20). 

Sights include the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the Buda Castle hilltop complex, and the stately Hungarian Parliament Building.

Heroes’ Square: We walked through the statue complex of Hősök tere. Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square) stands out for its iconic, towering pillar and Millenium Monument complex that dates back to 1896. The complex honors Hungary’s 7 founding figures, together with a few other important national leaders. The square serves as a convenient central point for exploring the city.

Tombs of the Heroes

The Hungarian Parliament Building is the grand icon of Hungary’s democratic government. The majestic, neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building dates back to 1904 and looms over the Pest side of the Danube River. It’s the largest building in the country. Viewed from aboard river cruises or the western bank of the Danube, the structure’s reflection on the calm river surface adds to the breathtaking panorama. Its turrets and arches make up most of its façade and with Renaissance and Baroque interiors. Group tours are available at the visitor center.

The picture I took on a cloudy, rainy day from the river cruise ship.
Picture from the web

The Royal Palace in Buda: It now houses the National Széchényi Library, Budapest History Museum, and the Hungarian National Gallery. 

We had a tour of the palace

St. Stephen’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica named after the first King of Hungary, King Stephen I. With its impressive architecture and decorations, it is a popular tourist destination and place of worship and also holds regular concerts. We visited the interior during the day and admired the illuminated façade during our night tour of the city.

The Fisherman’s Bastion, world-famous for its turrets and for spires is one of the most well-known attractions of the Buda Castle area and provides perhaps the most beautiful panorama of the city from the Buda side over the river Danube.

The Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue is a monument on the Gellért Hill in Budapest.

The Freedom Statue by night.
A view of the Danube, bridge, and Parliament by night.

There are so many statues in Budapest. I enjoyed two that were not famous!

Although we traveled twice to Hungary, we couldn’t see everything in Budapest. If I ever return, I would like to swim in Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the largest mineral bath in Europe, shop in the Great Market Hall, and listen to a Liszt symphony.

Love You Doc Series – New Release

Dr. Robert Olson was a well-known cardiac surgeon and heart transplant specialist who lived in Florida. His wife Janice was a nurse. Robert and Janice deeply cared for their close-knit family and encouraged their children to follow in their footsteps. At home, all they talked about was hospital, patients, surgery, recovery, etcetera…

Sure enough, their four kids studied medicine. The oldest brother, Nathan, became an orthopedic surgeon and worked in Boston. His brother Aidan finished a residency in neurosurgery and accepted a position in Cincinnati. Their sister, Sophia, was an ER doc, and the youngest sibling, Liam, was still in med school when their dad died.

In the four novels of this box, these successful doctors faced their share of problems before finding their HEA.

Happiness and goals: gifts we give ourselves

The ‘Wake up in the morning with a smile’ virus

(Dateline: December 22, 2012)
It’s been four years now and I’m still smitten with the happiness virus. Mine is fed by giving in to my love of writing. Such happiness is not to be cured but should be spread. Fortunate is she who has found her love and followed it. My advice to others: if you have something—a talent or maybe just a strong desire—that causes you to awaken with a grin, embrace it, cultivate it, and share it. It might be good for others, too.
Writing is my happiness. Sharing is my privilege. As of December 2012, I have composed four and a half novels (and published two of them), penned numerous novellas, spent a week in and about Greensboro, North Carolina for the sole purpose of research (it’s the home zone of most of my stories), purchased and/or downloaded dozens of research books, and cut and pasted countless rows into my Excel database of storylines for THE FAIRIES SAGA. I compulsively jot random plots, quotes, and themes into notebooks or tap them onto my smartphone, saving them for (possible) inclusion in future works. Writing is still my happiness.
Goals are gifts we give ourselves and my next one is to travel to Australia in January 2014. Part of FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, the fifth in my series, transpires in January 1788 with the arrival of The First Fleet, the ships laden with prisoners transported from England to Australia. I want to endure the climate at the same time of year as did those hardy men and women, touch and smell the exotic flora, tread those historic sites, investigate the museums, and barefoot those seashores. It’s also a great time and place for research since I’ll be leaving Alaska in the icy gloom of winter to spend a couple of weeks in sunny, summertime Sydney.
Give yourself a gift, a small goal, not one of monetary gain, but of seeking happiness. Singing, sewing, serving others: do what truly makes you happy. A song written for the church choir, a cap crocheted for a new baby, a book of poems for your mother, mowing the lawn for the old couple next door. These are simple gifts; gifts to yourself, and also for others.
Happiness is ours to create, culture, and ultimately, to share.
Dani Haviland, author

October 18, 2022
Found recently, I wrote the above blog nearly ten years ago. Reading it was an eerie trip back in time. The feelings remain the same, though. The goals have been modified and the results are even more profound. I made it to Australia (yay!) but haven’t finished my epic, Fairies Down Under. I have written and published a total of forty-one stories now. Quite a leap from four and a half novels in 2012. Back then, I was only aiming for five. THE FAIRIES SAGA series is still unfinished. However, the tale grew in unexpected ways with even more stories. The vibrant characters were so hard to contain, a new separate series (ARLIE UNDERCOVER) emerged. Some of the gang (mostly colorful, dumb crooks) wound up in THAT TWIN THING and TRIPLETS: THREE AREN’T ONE series, too.

In a word, my joy at writing was too great to rein in, so I didn’t.
By next month, I will have achieved another landmark. My little company, Chill Out! Books, will have published one-hundred multi-author sets, too! Publishing the works of others wasn’t even a consideration when I began my little startup. Now it’s a new joy, a guilt-free, calorie-free diversion that also makes me a few bucks each month.
Wow! What a difference ten years make. I’d like to think it was because I had goals that gave me joy when working towards them, an abundance of friends who encouraged me (thanks, husband, Mimi Barbour, and the many ladies in The Authors’ Billboard group), and a positive attitude.

Multitask the FUN way: listen to Alexa read your book!

If life seems a mystery to you, check out my latest Cozy Mystery Collection: MURDER IS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY. You’re not the only one with conundrums to solve. Read with Kindle Unlimited for your best bargain OR listen to the book with Kindle Assisted Reader when you ask your Amazon Echo device to ‘read my book.’ If it’s not already in your KU Library, just ask Alexa to add it for you. Yes, you can ‘read’ a book and cook or crochet or change diapers at the same time with KU and Alexa (her voice is great, too).

The Value of Friendship by @PatriceWilton

Value is a quality that provides worth to people. If you consider your friend a stock, value is the price you’d pay to buy the friendship. The value of friendship is priceless. It’s not something that can be bought or sold but can be given and shared with people who are dear to us. In times of need and celebration, our friends give us a shoulder to cry on and someone to celebrate with.

Friendship

Here are a few of my favorite quotes on friendship. Perhaps you have a few of your own.
  1. The value of friendship is that it is the most beautiful thing in our lives. A good friend may not be the same distance away, but they will always be convenient to reach.
  2. A friend knows all about you and still loves you. A friend thinks you are a good egg even though you are slightly cracked. That’s the value of friendship; thank you for being my friend.
  3. Friends accept each other as they are and delight in each other’s differences. Friendship has no measure or end; it cannot be quantified or reduced, like love. Friends will go through fire for each other; the value of friendship is worth more than gold.
  4. The value of true friendship is a rare and precious thing you can never pay too high a price.
  5. The value of friendship is not only to do things together but to share the happiness you experience. When someone in your life makes you feel that you truly matter, it’s friendship at its best.
  6. Being a good friend is just as important as being a good person. A true friendship is something that everyone needs, and it takes time to build up a strong one.

Take a moment to reflect on all the meaningful friendships you have now and in your past that made a difference in your life. It’s humbling, and I’m ever so grateful for each and every one, even though distance keeps us apart. Cherish those who have enriched your life. It really is the best thing in the world to have wonderful friends.

Author Billboard has many new collections added in the past few months and in the near future. Please check them out by clicking here. Books are also our friends.

No Friends as Loyal as a Book