By Rob Pascale
I retired seven years ago and when I think back, I can see that change caught me completely by surprise. There were times I struggled, and still do today, to come to grips with this life stage - the lack of structure, the loss of personal identity and a meaningful role in our society, and the problem of having to fill so many hours in a day with personally meaningful stuff.
I've been a part of the American workforce since I was 15 years old. Like most Baby Boomers, I've had jobs I've loved and plenty I've hated. My freshman year in college I worked as a "litter critter" picking up trash and doing odd jobs at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.
Every park has a "hook" - something that brings tourists in the gate. It may be a beautiful lake, majestic mountain or steaming geyser, but there's something that makes that park stand out from the rest. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, that hook is dinosaurs.
Not actual real, live dinosaurs. Dinosaur Valley isn't a wealthy Texas oilman's version of Jurassic Park. Its main attraction is dinosaur tracks deposited in the soft limestone 113 million years ago by Tyrannosaurus Rex and his closest friends.
That summer, I joined some of my closest friends as we picked up 50-gallon steel trash cans filled with watermelon rinds and dirty diapers in the 100-degree Texas heat. The smell was so powerful I learned to apply Vicks VapoRub beneath my nose before heading out on trash duty twice a day. It was the only way I could stomach the stench.
When we weren't hauling trash, mowing grass or scouring bathrooms until they sparkled like the Hope Diamond, we cleaned dinosaur tracks. To this day, it's the oddest job I've ever had.
This was their Jurassic version of "take this job and shove it."
I'm obsessed with finding trendy fashions at rock-bottom prices. Normally, that means carrying a really big bag loaded with coupons, being aware of all the sales (you gotta love e-mail!) and having a strict no-cutting-tags-in case-of-a-price-adjustment policy. Whew, that's work!
But as of Aug. 30, my life gets a lot easier. That's when H&M, one of the world's largest retailers known for offering fashion-forward apparel and quality basics at value prices, comes to our backyard. Well, close enough anyway.
The style-setting superstore's seventh Texas location will be at DFW's Grapevine Mills Mall, only a short hop from our very own Colleywood.
Looks like I just found a whole new reason to shop the largest outlet mall in north Texas.
Costume jewelry like H&M's gorgeous, pearl-and-crystal bib necklace ($17.95) is on-trend for fall.
To celebrate, H&M is:
The H&M at Grapevine Mills will feature collections for women, men, younger women and younger men with separate "store within store" sections for accessories, lingerie, maternity and sports apparel. This location will also carry the Swedish retailer's plus-size line, H&M+, as well as children's sizes from newborn to 14.
Want a budget-friendly way to get take your look to a new level?
We're celebrating H&M's Aug. 30 arrival at Texas' Grapevine Mills Mall by giving away 5, great gift cards from the fashion-forward megastore. Boasting a combined value of $300, these cool, wallet-stretchers work for everyone in the family and can be used at any H&M location in the country.
Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends Sept. 6!
By all reports, E. L. James Fifty Shades of Grey is this summer's HOTTEST read and, until recently, it was in the top slot on Amazon's bestseller list.
Some of my friends (yes, even those in the 50+ crowd like me) have loved it so much they couldn't wait to finish the other two books in the erotic trilogy. Others simply couldn't get past the explicit and often ultra-kinky sex scenes. OMGoodness!
Should I read it just to see what all the fuss is about? (Please help me out and let me know what you think in the comments section below.) While on the fence, I've rounded up some other great new love stories perfect when you're in the mood for pure-pleasure reading:
"Be prepared" may be the Boy Scouts' motto, but it's also great advice for us girls.
Charlotte and I enjoy taking the hike (it's 65 acres) through lovely Bellingrath Gardens just outside of Mobile, Al.
My mother-in-law Mary Jo and I were alike in many ways. With dreams of becoming reporters, we majored in communications, got teaching certificates just in case that journalism thing didn't work out and had sons who share our love of writing. Sometimes, you just get lucky.
Angels Crest, the new mystery thriller from Magnolia Pictures, is a gripping drama that tries hard to be something it's not. It tries to be a great slice of life thriller, but instead it gets swallowed up by the plot holes that dot this movie like so much cinematic Swiss Cheese.
Tip 1: Start Planning Before A Crisis Hits!
The old, two-story bungalow was perfect 30 years ago; but over the years it has become too quiet, too big and too dangerous for your favorite 80-year-old to navigate. In addition, mom's heart condition sometimes makes her dizzy, she doesn't cook anymore and she readily admits that driving the old Chrysler wears her out.
I dunno, it's just a feeling I have...
Chicken is the go-to entrée in our house and when we go to it, we usually go to chicken I've grilled. Since it's a kitchen staple, we keep a zip-lock bag full of grilled chicken breasts in our freezer at all times. Why? After a hard day slaving away in the blogosphere, it's a quick and easy dinner!
If Charlotte wants to whip up some of her famous chicken enchiladas, she's ready to go. It's also great in her Hot & Cheesy Chicken Dip, grilled chicken salads, Super-Satisfying Chicken Spaghetti, Comforting Chicken and Rice Casserole and even by itself with a side dish of her special Mini Macaroni and Cheese.
This recipe is super easy and if you know a guy who likes to grill, it's something he can do to help out in the kitchen. Bonus!
2 Ingredients Is All It Takes To Make The Best Grilled Chicken You've Ever Eaten
At the ranch last weekend, I had to break one of my top rules and face the world without eye makeup. Not a pretty picture.
Bob said, "Why bother?" We were set to move furniture that scorching Texas morning with no one around for MILES and MILES. And any makeup would melt in a matter of minutes.
So I gritted my teeth, went au naturel and vowed I wouldn't return to our little hideaway without packing some waterproof options. That's why I was thrilled to team up with two top beauty gurus on this eye-inspiring giveaway.
The folks at Mally Beauty and Billion Dollar Brows (BDB) Salon want to give two lucky Boomer Babes a chance to keep the focus on your eyes ... free!
You could win a super-sweet set of eye makers valued at $112. These cool cosmetics play up your eyes with color that lasts through heat, sweat and humidity.
· Mally Summer Splash Kit - Waterproof eyeliner pencils, shadow and mascara.
· Mally Evercolor Shadow Extender- A magnet-like primer that keeps shadow from fading and wearing away.
Mally Beauty Summer Splash Kit
Mally Beauty Summer Splash Kit
· BDB Universal Brow Pencil - A water-resistant shade that complements all hair colors and skin tones.
· BDB Brow Gel - Hold and control for perfect brows all day.
· BDB Tweezers - The exclusive tweezers of the Billion Dollar Brows Salon.
You could win this $112-value set ... FREE. Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends Aug. 23!
What's on my radar this month? Casual pieces that spell fun whether I'm blogging from my beautiful home office (Thank you Donna!) or stepping out with the girls ... lots of birthdays ahead!
When you're a high-handicap golfer like me, errant shots can lead you into some pretty nasty places full of snakes, poison ivy and God-knows-what-else. It's not uncommon for me to find myself in golf course "jail" like this...
I'm guessing he didn't get an endorsement fee for this product.
Serve dinner without homemade dessert? Even on my busiest days, I try not to go there.
By Christie Mellor
So, there we were at "College Night" a few years ago, my oldest boy Edison and I, when we ran into the mother of one of his friends. She leaned in to me with a haunted look in her eyes and said, "I just don't know what I'm going to do when Jake leaves for college."