Does Vein Surgery really work?

By Jane Bokun

Throughout my 40s and 50s, I usually walked around with a huge mass on my leg.

People pointed it out so much I went to a doctor thinking it was a tumor.

“What do you think it is?” I asked my doctor.

“It’s fat,” he said. “It’s fat.”

“Fat?” I said.

“Fat,” he said.

fit athlete during training on running track
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The truth was I knew it was unsightly. I had taken to wearing boots even when the weather was milder. Besides the fat tumor, my legs looked like a purple map of the universe. But there was another thing, they were in pain. There was pain in my legs every day and when that wasn’t happening, my legs and feet were itching.

My most fervent wish was to get my varicose veins done and I heard it was covered by insurance. I quickly signed up at one of the vein clinics and got ready for the treatments.

They included a sonogram of both legs which had varicose (thick, bluish, itchy) veins. After the sonogram, I met with the doctor and his technician to do a vein ablation. It consisted of targeting a large vein to shrink with a heated laser. Afterwards, a few bandages and a 30-minute walk around the office were all I needed. Before the heat laser procedure, there was an anesthetic put on my leg for any pain. I have to say it wasn’t very painful. Each leg was done on separate days.

Now my legs no longer itch, and I’ve been able to ditch the boots in summer. As with all things, I wonder why I didn’t do vein ablation earlier.


Hiding food insecurity

By Jane Bokun and the Foodbank of Northwest Indiana

When I met Julie Anderson, who is currently the SNAP Support Specialist for the Food Bank and will soon head up its new Order Ahead Program, I could never have known that she once suffered from hunger pangs. She never told anyone, and she never asked for help. I can relate to that. I also have gone through times when I couldn’t access a sandwich to save my life and never asked for help. I love the fact that Anderson is candid about her situation. Her life is like so many others.

At age 29, Anderson married and began a family. After 16 years, the marriage broke down. She became a single mom of four. “I was at rock bottom, having to find a way to support my family completely alone,” Anderson says. “Through a federal program I qualified to enroll in a job training program. One of my first opportunities was with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. I felt very beat down and honestly exhausted, but I needed a job, The Food Bank took a chance on me.”

At the time, Julie didn’t admit to herself that she was food insecure. “Here I was, working around food all day, while being extremely hungry myself.” One day, a fellow employee asked Julie if she’d like to share her lunch. “It was such a kind gesture,” she says. “I realized people at the Food Bank practice what they preach.”

What does the face of hunger look like? Just a short time ago, it looked like me. Anderson is far from the only person who is going hungry because of temporary lack of funds. Many times, food insecure seniors can have health problems including depression, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure because they’re hungry and embarrassed to speak up. The statistics are maddening. They include 5.2 million seniors aged 60-plus who faced hunger in 2020. That’s a lot, but the problem is apparent. We all must speak up when we’re down.

My husband and I both have college degrees. We were in trouble many times and could have used a hand. If you’re afraid to speak up and are in need of food, contact the NWI Food Bank at (219) 980-1777. There are so many programs and volunteer opportunities in this, and all food banks across the country, you’ll be glad you did.  


Finding your beauty at makeup counters

Complimentary makeovers? Yes, please.

By Jane Bokun

I discovered a love of getting my makeup done by professionals when I lived in Louisiana.
Before that, it was trying my best trying to color match the least expensive base and lipstick that always went over my lip lines. When I moved to the city of crawfish etouffee and alcohol-ladened Hurricane drinks, I thought the women were beautiful.

They had their makeup done for every occasion. Coffee? They met with designer dresses and faces full of the latest color palette – done by their personal makeup artists who came to their home to freshen their faces. I should also mention that we met through our children. Besides outstanding made up faces, many of them had lots of children.

I had to find other ways to keep up. I wasn’t winning in the children or makeup departments. I only had one child and had never even thought of not doing my own makeup. Sometimes, they would lend their makeup artists to me, and I have to say it was great. But the answer to my woes came in the form of makeup departments or dedicated beauty stores like Ulta Beauty.

Ulta stores are chock full of all things that promise hope in the form of cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, hair products and much more. If they could do plastic surgery, and it was in a sterile environment like an operating room, I’m sure there would be a line of people wrapped around the store.

We love doing makeovers,” says Ulta consultant Ariel Alvarez.  Customers go into the chic store, sit in a makeup chair and get their makeup done by professionals with all the new knowledge and it’s free.

“You can do it anytime you have a special occasion or want to learn the latest,” Alvarez says.

She has suggestions for those over 60.  For example, why not try more colorful eye liners like bright purple or mahogany brown instead of the same old charcoal? Try new blush as well.

“The (French Name) blush in crème instead of powder is very youthful,” Alvarez says.

Crème blush instead of powder? Mind blown.

Customers leaving the makeovers agree.

 “You feel good when you leave the makeup counter,” says Pam Grkinich. “They give you a free redo and you feel great.”

At the Macy’s makeup counter, where they also are eager to do makeovers, there are also people who will share the latest tips free of charge. They have all the top brands such as Kiehl’s, Lancôme, MAC, Origins, Shiseido, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Yves Saint Laurent, and more. There’s even a new makeup called Beauty Counter that may be less harmful.

I took this problem to the experts at Macy’s: for a long time, I noticed had a lip problem. My upper lips were puckered and wrinkled. I wanted to check out the lip counter at Macy’s and see if they could show me how to perfect my aging pout.

They showed me how to use moisturizing products with hyaluronic acid to moisturize and exfoliate my upper lift. It worked. But if it didn’t, I had secretly planned surgery.

Consultant Christa Mamer says before you embark on a new makeup routine, think about the face that’s under it. Is your skin dry and wrinkled, or oily and pimpled? Mamer says she has products to soothe your skin and make it ready for new colors.

“Our (Parisian name) skincare by Lancôme of Paris strengthens the epidermis,” Mamer says.

“I do need my epidermis strengthened,” I thought.

I had the thought that enters every woman’s mind when anyone shows any beauty products.

“I need that.””

“We have a hyaluronic acid product which lifts and firms,” Mamer says. “We’ve sold out twice do you want to preorder?”

“Sold out twice?” I thought, I’ve got to preorder,

Then, I saw the price: $130. “I will preorder later after I’ve come to my senses.”

Or, when it’s just a luxurious, complimentary makeover.

Like all the other women who come to the makeup counter looking for relief, I was thrilled.

“I do makeovers at cosmetics stores all the time,” says Doretha McBride.

“I love it and the price”


By Jane Bokun

Even though at 65 I have a lot of aches and pains, I also have a lot of younger friends who don’t care – or notice.

To keep them, I stick to these five rules:

  • Don’t judge.
  • Be open minded.
  • Try new things like long distance travel.
  • Maintain your sense of humor.
  • Seek out the fun in new situations.

The adage, age is just a number, is true in my case, but it’s strange. I was always the one who was older than the rest of my grade school class, in college classes and even the job scene. In kindergarten, I started at just four years old and got held back a grade for being emotionally immature. This act started a trend, and I eventually didn’t go to college until I was 20. I was always just older and didn’t act my age (I still don’t).

Ticking off one of the reasons for what some would call, my delayed maturity, I never wanted to miss a minute of fun – or what I perceived as an epic idea.

I once took a dusty train ride to Mazatlán in Mexico from Nogales, Az. The train was black tar colored, older than even me, and huffed and puffed its way through dusty mountains, finally to the azure blue sea of Mexico. You’d think I’d be scared, but I thought it was a great way to travel. The train cars were full of people who presumably weren’t used to high class travel. The filthy threadbare seats were full of white, clucking chickens who were along for the ride. It took about 24 hours. When we got hungry, there was a potato vendor on the train. I took my younger friend Jill, who spoke fluent Spanish. We had $100 dollars between us and two weeks to kill. We had already booked a Holiday Inn so we were covered there. When we got to Mexico, she met a man, and I didn’t see her again for the rest of the trip. That’s the kind of thing younger women do and this was pre-cell phone. I was just hoping she was alive.

Now that I’m an oldster, the ones I find myself doing the most with are young people that have a willingness to explore new things. I retired, but still took on some side gigs such as selling wine and even Dyson vacuum cleaners and $500 blow dryers. Everyone who works selling things is a lot younger than me and I recently worked with one. When our shift was over, she said, “Do want to go get a bloody Mary?” Sure, I thought, but won’t you be embarrassed with your grandma? Nope, this 28-year-old was game and so was I. It’s the attitude. I try never to judge. It makes you old.

On one vacuum foray, I met a young saleswoman working at the store I was at.

“They told me not to talk to you because you’re crazy,” she said matter of factly.

To be honest, I have heard that before.

Now, we’re close friends and I’m off to her baby shower.

“Maybe after I have my baby we can go to Mexico for the weekend,” she said.

“Sounds good,” I said and I meant it.

On the flip side, I also have a 98-year-old friend. She’s had a bevy of facelifts and looks absolutely fabulous. When I laugh with her I don’t know her age and she doesn’t know mine. She’s one of the hippest and funniest women I’ve ever known.

At this point, there really isn’t a lot of time for pain. We need to get our bucket lists finished. I’m always surprised when younger women want to come along for the ride.


For one thing, they have a lot of energy, and curiosity. They rarely say no if I say let’s go to Seville, Spain in November. They might think it’s a great idea and start packing. Some friends my age might question my sanity if I asked them to go to Spain.

 “Why not,” I would say.  Right now, I feel like I’m kind of lucky, kind of.  I can travel now without too much trouble. My entire life I’ve felt just jumping on a plane and going anywhere takes planning. I spent the last year taking care of my dying father who really wanted to stay alive and now I think, “to hell with planning.” Find the inner Jane, who still thinks she might get into a little trouble with her friends.

I want to stay open and not set limits. Young people talk about formerly taboo subjects like the latest vibrator, like it’s perfectly normal conversation. They’re not afraid and why should I be?

#over50chicagolifestyle, northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Get the walk-in bath you deserve

By Jane Bokun

When my father was sick and couldn’t bath as well as before, he wanted a beautiful walk-in tub.

We would see commercial after commercial for these unique walk-in tubs, but we never got around to buying it. That was a lost opportunity because he died shortly after slipping in his old, slippery shower and hitting his head.

It was heartbreaking finding him encased in shattered glass and it didn’t have to be. Now, it’s easy to get walk-in tubs through many vendors.

Now, walk-in bathtubs and showers exceed all ADA standards. The modern shower heads are adjustable and can be raised or lowered on the wall along with a shower bar fixture.

They’re a hit with families like the Morrisons who gave their convenient shower walk-in remodel five stars.

“We’re so happy with our new shower,” says Rick Morrison with a cheeky grin.

For nearly a quarter of a million Americans bathing and showering appears to be particularly dangerous. Overall, about two-thirds of accidental injuries happen in the bathtub or shower — which makes sense, because each can become slippery.

As for the standard walk-in tubs that my father needed, anyone with or without a disability can remain independent longer by taking baths. Best of all, you won’t get burned (double entendre) because there is a digital thermometer mounted on the tub.

#over50chicagolifestyle, over 50, Uncategorized

Looking for a snowy good time? Try Winter Miracles at Door County

By Jane Bokun

Some people may not think Door County, WI. when they think of a winter playground, but they would be dead wrong. In the summer, it’s yachts moored in sparkling blue water and tony restaurants. But in the winter, the cold, blue waters of Lake Michigan turn to magical, ice palaces and places to bring home the day’s catch after ice fishing.  

Indeed, here in one of the coldest winter spaces, there’s time for ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even fat-tire biking. But Door County is considered the Cape Cod of the Midwest and has it all. It sits on mammoth Lake Michigan, which covers Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.  I am particularly interested in ice fishing because I haven’t done that yet. Luckily, what I notice is you don’t have to be perfect at any one of these sports. Bucolic Door County has a large retiree population and a lot of the people who come to this area to retire, or purchase second homes, like to laugh a lot.

I asked Destination Door County Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh, if the tentlike ice huts were heated and he said it was quite comfortable and safe in the cozy huts. Novices like me even find there are plenty of fishing guides to help get the huts ready and help with your fishing expeditions. They bait your fishing poles and then you can catch walleye, northern pike, perch, or brown trout. The area is also becoming known for getting some prime, popular whitefish. I’m familiar with catching fish as a relaxing, Zen hobby as my dad often took my family fishing on Lake Michigan in the summers. After we caught our wriggling fish, we would watch as my dad fileted them while we said, “gross.” My mom then cooked them to a golden brown and our trophies were delicious.

Door County has lots of romantic Bed & Breakfasts and hotels to accommodate newcomers, according to Jarosh. I’ve also done some snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and found I can handle the white snow packed Wisconsin hills with only some deep breathing – and silent praying.

“It’s better than skiing down a mountain,” I tell myself. It may also be more challenging then say, laying out in the sun sipping on a Pina Colada.

After some grunts and groans, it might be time for a spa, I lovingly say to myself.

“I’m trying to live in the moment.”

 In Door County, I choose The Spa at Sacred Grounds. There are a few spas here and it makes me want to stop and visit them all, (I love a fancy area) but I’m on a mission.

The Spa at Sacred Grounds in Door County

Although Wisconsin is thought of as a state known for friendly farmers and the popular Green Bay Packers football team, it can also be glamourous here. Art galleries, specialty pubs, wineries and large homes are no strangers.

Once you get to The Spa at Sacred Grounds, in Door County’s Ephraim, the first thing to notice is the place exudes calm. It’s open all year around. On the grounds there are tall trees and myriad plant life. It feels strange because you want to sit at a comfortable table in the woods and never leave.  It feels otherworldly.  When you’re, like I often am, feeling nothing but problems and anxiety, The Spa at Sacred Grounds is an oasis of therapeutic peace.

Kim Maedke-Shumway, a Door County native, was a customer at the spa for 18 years before she became owner.

 Helping others gave the trim, dark-haired woman a new sense of confidence and she already knew what made people happy. She started out with unique massages, facials and spa treatments. It’s a day spa so there is no hotel backing up the property. Inside the spa, there’s a pristine library and yoga studio where classes are held. There’s a private log cabin where some massages are performed as well.

“I thought if I can do for one person what this spa has done for me, I’d be doing well,” she says with tears in her eyes.

After a day at the spa or shopping in fun stores like Bliss, a luxury co-op made of several clothing and design stores, it’s time to try other winter activities. There are 250 miles of snowmobile trails; candlelight skiing in January and February; sleds and tubing at Peninsula State Park; romantic sleigh rides with Mayberry’s Carriages; Classes such as weaving and philosophy at The Clearing Folk School; and even a fish boil every Friday night at the well-known White Gull Inn.

There also are trolley rides that include specialties like cocktail and ghost tours found at Door County Trolley.

It can be tiring, and some homemade cherry wine might be in order from Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery. I love tangy cherries and have tried the wine flights which are delicious. Lautenbach’s, open year around, focuses on all things cherry which is my absolute favorite. Besides wine, you can get cherry strudel, pancakes, drinks and more.

For those who want to try this little-known jewel in winter, it’s easy to get to from airports in Chicago, (about four hours); Milwaukee (about two hours) and Green Bay (about an hour). Rental cars are also easy to procure.

Before this winter excursion, I always thought I was a summer girl, but this trip to winter Door County was life changing. You might want to meet me in Door County for very, very slow candlelight skiing and a generous poor of cherry wine.

northwest Indiana, over 50, Uncategorized

Photo apps put pictures in your hand

By Jane Bokun

As grandparents, or grand anything, (in my case it’s aunt), we know the pictures we take are precious and may never come again. It’s true every shy half-smile we catch of our young ones, or even perfect faces covered in pasta sauce, make us feel truly connected – no matter where we live.

As heady as those connected moments as soon as we take our photos, they’re going to neverland in the backs of our phones. I never take them out and I want to start. With the aid of today’s apps and devices, we can do more.

If you haven’t done it, back up your computer or smartphone photos. It’s the most important thing you can do to make sure you can always enjoy your images. Luckily, there’s a painless way to back up your photos, and that’s to set up automatic backups. To do that you can go to settings and click on iCloud backup (http;//www.icloud.com). Then turn it on in settings. In the long-term, it’s always best to back up your files and photos.

Besides the iCloud, there are free solutions to back up your pictures including Google Photos for Android or iOS and Amazon Prime Unlimited Photo Storage via the Amazon Photos app. Options with small subscription fees include Dropbox.

If you’re not thinking about messing around with apps there are devices where you don’t have to download anything. A top device for many people is the Photo Stick (www.photostick.com). It works with any phone and can save up to 60,000 photos & videos (8G, 64G, 128 GB). Best for us grands, its easy-to-use and there’s no software or app to install. It also automatically backs up thousands of photos and organizes them for you. Easiest, it’s basically a USB Flash Drive and costs about $35. Lastly, if you want to store your photos on your computer, connect your smartphone to your PC with a Lightning Connector or mini-USB cord.

After you’ve backed up your precious pics, it matters what device you’ve used to take your pictures. Some people who use actual cameras such as the Canon, most likely store photos on disks. But, if you use your Android smartphone or iPhone camera as your only camera, it’s so easy to snap a photo and forget it. Recently, my sister-in-law sent me the cutest picture of myself and her puppy and I never even realized I was in any photos with her dog. Now, I’m obsessed with a photo I never even knew I took and there could be thousands more. I should also mention that I rarely take a good picture.

There are things you can do to save your pictures until you want to take them out and look at them again.

“Collecting photos over time is like a digital diary,” says phone enthusiast Brooke Pospychala, a lively Chicagoan with thousands of pictures. “I love that I can look at a photograph and be transcended to that moment in time that I may have forgotten about otherwise.”

After everything is backed up, there is clean-up for your photos. Find your pictures wherever they are all located on your camera. Do they all get saved to a photo file? That’s great, go to that file and delete the ones you don’t want, or that are grainy, or don’t picture you in the fabulous light you want. It’s like cleaning up your junk drawer. You’re going to feel like a new, well organized human being. If you’ve got birthday party, graduation party or any parties, keep just a few of those photos.

For those of you who are afraid to try new things. Just do it and then you can brag about it. For example, downloading apps. This is the dirty secret of many of us in our sixties. My 66-year-old sister who works in tech is afraid to download an app.

“I don’t know how to do that,” she always says.

I know her knowledge is limited because I bought her a Google Nest to listen to music and hear the weather although it still sits in the box. It only required an app and she won’t download it.

Here’s how anyone can download an app:

  1. Using an Android phone, you can first open Google Play, or, the Play Store app. Then, find the name of the app you want. When you find it, click install.
  2. With an iPhone, downloading an app is much the same process. You can google the name of the app, or click on the App Store icon, download the app and click install.

You can use an app called Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) which lets you share and host hundreds of your photos. Best of all, it’s free. The app, Purrge (http://www.purrge.com), lets you delete lots of photos in no time at all. It’s faster and there are a lot less steps. It does have a fee.

Now, you’re really ready to save your precious pics for all time, or the next family group text. My brother commemorates birthdays by sending each family member a collage of photos he has taken of them throughout the years. I thought, “what a lot of work.” Now, I realize it’s a lovely way to pay tribute to chubby-cheeked grandkids who are now teenagers, or those you love.

Now that you’ve got a handle on saving and collecting your photos you can start thinking about creating albums or archives of pictures you can share with others. There’s a device now, called Bevy (by Lineage Labs) that collects your digital photos and organizes them saving you the time. It’s both a device and a service that collects photos from your family that can be stored in one place.

It might be a lot to learn, but it’s worth it. For some photo collectors, it’s a labor of love.


My Father, Myself

By Jane Bokun

I was one of the caregivers for my father during his last days where he was either mad at me or saying, “you’re treating me like a king.”

It was hard and frustrating, and I kept saying, “We have to get someone else, or we have to put him in hospice in a facility. But in my head and those of my brother and sister, we heard, “if you put me in a home, I’ll kill you” as my father said all the time.

All things come to an end, and he did die just when I thought I couldn’t take care of him anymore.

At the well-attended funeral, my brother, nephew and niece wrote beautiful tributes to my father. My niece’s really resonated with me. It was about how my father knew almost no rules. I too, feel like I’m like that. I’ve taught my own son, “if you walk into a room with purpose, no matter if you don’t belong there, no one will stop you.”

With that, here is my niece, Lauren McDonnel’s, essay about her grandfather, my father…Rest in peace, I know you’re skipping the rules up there.

This is a photo of my father in the middle of his granddaughters. They are Kristen Szafranski (left), Brooke Pospychala (middle) and Lauren McDonnel (right).

I would say that my Grandpa was a lucky man. Married to the love of his life for 65 years. Got to witness all his children graduate from college. Got to witness all 6 of his grandchildren graduate from college. Got to witness his children get married and also had the opportunity to witness 2 weddings of his grandchildren. Got to meet his great granddaughter and watch her go from just a happy little cuddle bug, to crawling, to walking, to running around babbling and laughing all while getting her hands into everything. While trying to contain a toddler stressed me out, seeing the pure joy on his face while watching her was priceless.

So yes, as I said before, I would say that my Grandpa was a lucky man. Not only was he lucky enough to experience all of life’s milestones, he also genuinely walked around with luck always by his side. The rules did not apply to him.

For instance, when I was little, he would take me to the East Chicago Library where they would have a little reading camp for kids. Every week, every kid was supposed to bring in snacks to share with the class. And all but one kid did that. Can you take a guess of who that kid was? Instead of giving me a box of cookies to share with the class, Grandpa would come in and take a box of cookies and walk out. No one from the staff confronted him or said anything. And when you would ask him about it, he would respond with “I thought they were free to take?” The cookie burglar did not stop there. It was years later, but while Grandma was being treated for cancer at U of C, there was a little café on the floor that sold little snacks and drinks. Right by the cashier there was a huge cookie display. Every time Grandpa would walk pass the cookies, he would take one. Would he pay? No. Just took it and walked back to my Grandma’s room. Again, no staff person confronted him or said anything. But when we caught him in the act, his response was, once again, “I thought they were free to take?”

When I was applying for jobs, no matter how many times I would explain the interview process he would roll his eyes and shake his head. Then I would hear the story about how he never interviewed for a job. He just one day picked up a broom and started sweeping and the next week a paycheck was given to him. Then I would roll my eyes and shake my head and tell him “if it were only that simple”. And I would get the headstrong response “don’t listen to those SOBs, just walk in and start doing the job!”

During their move back to Indiana from Florida, Grandma and Grandpa had to take the written driver’s exam to get their Indiana licenses. Grandma was nervous as hell when it came to taking this test. She had me quiz her all time up until she took that test. I would quiz her and while I was doing so, I’d ask Grandpa if he wanted to study with us. He would just swat his hand and say “nah, I don’t need to study. I got this.” Yea he had it alright. But then again, anyone wouldn’t need to study when you turn the driver’s exam into an open book test. You heard that right, leave it to Grandpa to walk into the DMV to get the written driver’s exam and sit down, pull the booklet out of his jacket, and take the test right then and there, all out in the open. Once again, no one confronted him or said anything. He turned in his test, clearly passed, and walked out with his new license. Grant it, little did the DMV know that they just gave a driver’s license to someone who thinks the rules do not apply to them. I say this because Grandpa was notoriously known for not stopping at stop signs when there were no cars around. One day while driving though the typical stop sign, a cop caught him in the act and pulled him over. When asked why he didn’t stop at the stop sign, Grandpa replied, “what’s the point? There weren’t other cars around.” Flabbergasted by his response, the cop told him he was right and let him off with a warning. A WARNING!

Grandpa was always lucky when it came to the stock markets. Yes, he lost a few times depending on the economy, but for the most part I would say he did fairly well in stocks. So well that I like to think his luck somewhat brushed off on me when I had to “play the stocks” for a high school class. It was a finance class I had taken, and within this course you were to pair up in groups and each group was given X amount of fake money to do as we pleased with stocks. Even though this was all fake trading and investing, there was still a possibility to win actual cash at the end of the course. Knowing how good Grandpa was with the stock market, I quickly went over to his house after school and explained to him what I would be doing in class. Without even finishing up how the class works, Grandpa gave me a list of stock options to “invest in” right away. So like a good grandchild, I logged into the fake investment site we used for the class and purchased all the stocks on that list. He would monitor my fake portfolio as if it was his actual portfolio. He monitored it so much that he would call me on when to sell and when to buy. And it didn’t matter what I was doing he would call and call and call until I picked up. One time I was in a calculus test and felt my phone vibrate. Who was it? You guessed it, Grandpa. I ran to the bathroom to answer the call. Immediately it was Grandpa telling me that I needed to “sell gold NOW!” For as crazy as it was for Grandpa to be into this fake investing project, it did pay off. My team ended up being top 50 in the state of Illinois and we won some actual cash! My teacher was all excited as he never had students rank so high for this project. He came up to my group and wanted to know our secret. My group looked at me and I looked at my teacher and said, “my Grandpa”.

I know we can all go on and on with stories about Grandpa. And at the end of the day what you are going to get out of those stories is damn he really was lucky and he did not let the rules apply to him.

Now onto October 3rd. There’s a lot of history on this date for me.

October 3rd, 2007 – Baba passed away

October 3rd, 2015 – Ben and I get married

October 3rd, 2022 – I lost my last grandparent, Grandpa

Looking at this day, and the events that happened on it, I have to joke and say, “Ben and I sure know how to pick a date!” But in all seriousness, I do see one thing in common within all these events. Love. Yes, death is sad, but as the sadness fades, and death anniversaries come year after year, we don’t dwell on the sadness of it all. We dwell on how much we loved and still love that person. We dwell on how much that person loved us. So just how we celebrate wedding anniversaries with love, we celebrate death anniversaries with love too. It’s a sad time now because we are trying to cope with not being able to physically see Grandpa anymore, but just as he loved us with all his heart, we will always continue to love how he did and carry his love forever in our hearts.

October 3rd will always be a day of love in my book.


The Grand Canyon and the elderly

After my son graduated from college and had done so well, I promised him a trip to the Grand Canyon after flying into Phoenix.

“It was truly awesome,” I said.

Post College trip

The first time I saw it, I was shocked. I came from what was essentially a steel mill town that was often dirty and smelling of the billowing smoke from factories. That wasn’t all. There also were people who lived there that never saw the Grand Canyon and never wanted to see it. My side of town suffered from a lack of intellectual curiosity or curiosity per se.

My son, on the other hand, was not that excited. He didn’t grow up in what was essentially a ghetto, and it wasn’t as awesome to him. He grew up in Tampa with its beautiful beaches and stunning atmosphere.

But me, I had never seen anything so big and colorful and awe-inspiring. The gargantuan mountains of sand that had been honed through time and water for years was amazing. It was near my alma mater, Northern Arizona University, and so I often did a little hiking with a bottle of wine and a friend. We were fearless back in the days before there were no fences and buses around the canyon.

“It’s a giant hole,” my son said nonchalantly.

“Yes,” I said, but what a hole. “Ok,” he said, and wanted to get back on the buses to see other parts of the hole. A curious thing had been happening. Everywhere my husband and I went people gave us their seats. Even when we were on a bus to get a rental car in Phoenix, people stood up and gave us their seats.

“Oh no, that’s okay,” I told one Hassidic Jewish man and a pretty girl.

“We’re young,” he said politely. Did I mention both I and my husband can walk?

“Oh my God, I really think I’ve still got some life in me,” I thought.

When the bus came to take us to another part of the Grand Canyon, I didn’t get a seat fast enough and stood in the aisle while everyone begged me to take a seat.

“I’m not doing it,” I thought. “I’m a daredevil.”

After the bus stopped, my son chastised me.

“You’re old mom and you should always take a seat,” he said. The girls traveling next to us agreed.

“I may never sit again,” I thought to myself in elderly defiance.

Then, as I sat in the Phoenix Airport, a worker came up and asked if I wanted a wheelchair? What? Why?

“Take it,” my son said.


Disney has culinary magazine

By Jane Bokun

Have you ever patted your tight, huge stomach after having eaten a delicious meal at Disney and thought, “I wish I could make this at home?”

Now you can with Delish Magazine done by Disney Staff. It’s a product of my friend Charles who works in public relations for Disney and it’s a winner. It’s got 50 secret recipes from Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. There are even drinks to complement each season. You can do a Disney feast without leaving your home.

Disney’s new food magazine

(From the blog) For Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs has a few new openings you’ll definitely want to have on your radar. Starting last March, Disney eaters can indulge in all the DOLE Whip your heart desires with the brand-new Swirls on the Water. This kiosk will feature delicious flavors as well as signature items like DOLE Whip Lime & Habanero Soft-serve Nachos featuring waffle cone chips topped with DOLE Whip lime and habanero soft-serve, mango boba pearls, Tajin spice, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream, or the 50th Celebration Cone with a DOLE Whip lemon and cookie dough soft serve swirl. You can also try the DOLE Whip Flight featuring all six of the featured swirl flavors and those over 21 can indulge in the Sangria Float featuring DOLE Whip and red wine sangria.

Now, I like all older women, love Sangria. It’s got that hint of sweet, but overall savory taste. I plan to remake the DOLE Whip sangria. If you’d like a copy of Delish Magazine by Disney, please leave me a message on the blog at http://www.bpeeled.com.