10 Things My Dog Taught Me

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Humor | 11 Comments


Carine’s dog Tulip, photo by Pascal Giacomini

Carine observes that some of life’s best lessons come from our four-footed friends

1. When you have an itch, scratch it. If something is nagging at you, insisting a certain person or circumstance just doesn’t feel right, go with it sooner than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Plus, your wallet may still be where you left it when you go to pay for your session with that shrink.

2. If you need to fart, just do it. If you are feeling bloated with the gaseous fumes of critical words that need to be said or important ideas which need to be expressed, let them out; you’ll feel a lot better. When you’re sick, do you try to repress your cough with syrup? Stop it! Cough up the mucus, baby. Blocking a bodily function has never been a good idea.

3. Show love with enthusiasm. If there is someone in your life who you just adore—be it a spouse, friend or special family member—show them you can’t live without them (you know, get all excited when they walk in the door, jump all over them, ask if you can sit on their lap, etc.). They’ll think you’re nuts but they’ll be thrilled, and you will have them eating out of your hand. Read more

A Stinky Epiphany

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health | 9 Comments

With her own type of “smell-o-vision”, Carine’s nose triggers lessons to be learned

I recently had an epiphany. It goes like this:

If you smell shit everywhere you go, you’re the one who smells like shit.

Sound harsh? It is the conclusion I came to after walking around for a few hours the other day, saying to my husband, “Something smells like shit in the house.” I checked the cat’s litter box, even though I had just cleaned it out. I looked all over to see if the dog had had an accident but found nothing. I opened the trashcan, hoping to find something rotten and offensive but came up empty. I then left to run an errand, and while I was in the car, thought I caught a whiff of something shitty but it went away, so I thought I imagined it. But the minute I got home, there it was again. My husband’s nasal passages are a lot like his hearing—they either work selectively or not much; I’m usually the one who smells potential gas leaks and such, so he was no help.

Later that evening, we went out to the hot tub in our backyard, and I smelled it again, so I looked around for dog poop but couldn’t find any. It was finally when I went into the bathroom to put on a robe after our soak that I noticed a brown stain on the rug. My genius side kicked in and I turned my shoe over to find a huge, caked up mess of dog shit that I must have stepped in the last time I wore those shoes, and somehow never noticed it. So much for my extra-sensory nasal passages, I thought to myself. And that’s when I had my second epiphany: Read more

The Long Road

Filed Under All Posts, Melissa Howden, Reinvention | 16 Comments


Photo by Melissa A Howden

With her eyes on the road ahead, for Melissa it’s been a journey of miles, memories and insights

As a child my mantra was, “When I grow up I’m going to… __”(fill-in-the blank). Usually I was exclaiming what I was going to do, or know, or be. I think back now on how I must have felt then making such definitive statements and I long for such simple confidence and belief.

Theoretically I am “grown up” but generally speaking I’m really just figuring IT all out on a daily, sometimes, hourly basis. And as I go it’s becoming clear that the more I think I should know, the less I really do.

A recent work-related change of location and the necessary drive across the country provided hours for contemplation and a framework for a glimmer of the understanding I’ve been seeking. The long road became a tome of memory, and simple insight mile after big sky mile. Read more

I’m a Believer

Filed Under All Posts, Melissa Howden, Relationships | 16 Comments

Photo by M.A. Howden

Photo by M.A. Howden

Believing is in vogue again—with all this hope and change in the air.

My mother would have called me a “Pollyanna” and believe me, coming from her that would not have been a compliment. She had a bit of the cynic, which is not the same but somewhat related to a bit of the croup.

I am an equal opportunity Believer.

I’m the kind who believes that if the traffic is slow, I am being protected from an accident up ahead.  I believe in the light of the sun and the glow of the moon. The nature of things comforts me.

I believe there are truth tellers and there are liars, and if I pay attention I will always know the difference.  Read more

On Ripening

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Courage | 4 Comments

Reclining Fig with Raven by Julie Higgins

“It is sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.” —Brigitte Bardot

Being a woman in full flower, of a certain age, and ripe, ripe, ripe, I often find myself comparing how I was to how I am.  CBF (Connie Before Fifty) was just a glimmer of who I am becoming. Confidence, discipline, integrity, fearlessness would come and go like the Aurora Borealis—shining, colorful and dazzling; dancing and playing for all it’s worth.

Then the self-talk would take over.  I’d tell myself all sorts of half-truths.  That I wasn’t worthy, couldn’t fulfill my promises, can’t do that, too tired, they’ll find out I’m a fraud, they don’t need me, I can’t cut it, or worst of all, they don’t like me.  I’d go about proving why all those things were true, hate myself for a few months, then gear up my energy for another go round, and again, fly and sing and be in my true self.  It was exhausting. Read more

Come Fly With Me: Travel Tips

Filed Under All Posts, Group Posts, Travel | 6 Comments


The days of Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) have become the days of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and stylish stewardesses (AKA flight attendants) have come and gone. With today’s travel more of a challenge than a delight, we gals at Fifty is the New… thought we’d share some travel dos and don’ts to help make the journey more comfortable, stylish and hassle-free.

Got tips? Share your own travel advice in the Comments section! Read more

Reinvention

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Group Posts, Reinvention | 3 Comments

Reinvention. I don’t love this word as description for how I am experiencing my midlife. It sounds too phony, too deliberate, too “Madonna,” too male. I prefer emergence, awakening, unfolding, release and renewal. In fact, I hope to never have to “re-invent” myself again.

We moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to four different high schools in those four years of school. I learned to reinvent myself as a coping mechanism. As a way to adapt, to fit in, to get people to like me and to be less afraid. Read more

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