Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Foxes!

No, this is NOT me!

Do you sometimes find it difficult to decide what to wear? I do. Those muffin-top-spawning-hip-huggers don’t feel right these days, but I’m not feeling the “Mom jeans” either. The mini skirt doesn’t cut it anymore, but the muu-muu is a no-no. So I just stand there staring, glassy-eyed, into my closet trying to find something that works.

Why not just wear what I’ve always worn? Well, I could. But I feel like I’ve changed. No, I’m not a completely different person. I’m still a free spirit…still a bit boho. But I want to look more polished. Dare I say it?…a little more “grown up.” But definitely not "granny."

Earlier this year, after watching a Chrysler ad called, “Whatever happened to style?” I lamented the demise of the kind of style I experienced growing up in the fifties.

Somewhere along the way, it seems like we lost our sense of style. Dress codes have become so relaxed and informal, almost to the point of non-existence. I actually saw a man yesterday walking into a church service wearing shorts, combat boots, and a puffer jacket.

A young friend of mine went to a casino for the first time over the Christmas holidays, and was shocked and disappointed by the way the people were dressed. I think she was expecting something more sophisticated…more glamorous…more “James Bond a la Casino Royale.” Of course, that was not the case…

2012, for me,  has been the year of “Project Style.” I’ve been slowly and deliberately “upgrading” my style…spending an extra ten minutes or so in the morning on finishing touches when I’m getting ready for work, or trying to dress attractively (but comfortably) on my days off.

I’ve been paying more attention to grooming, and taking better care of myself, with regular facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages. I’m eating healthier, and practicing my yoga routine almost every morning.

I’ve gone through my current wardrobe and pitched everything that either doesn’t fit, or that does not fit in with my lifestyle anymore, and purchased a few new pieces to update my look. (I will go into this process later, in future posts)

For the most part, I’ve been successful in my attempts to look more pulled together, but more importantly, I’ve noticed that the better I look, the better I feel.

So over the next few months, I’m going to share with you the results of my ongoing search for a transitional style that works for me, as well as many of the sources, tips, and great products that I’ve discovered along the way that might work for you.

What are your feelings about style? As always, I would love to share your ideas, tips, and recommendations.

Looking forward to a fabulous new year!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life Is A Journey...

I’m not so much a New Year’s resolution maker. I prefer to think of life as a journey…choosing paths as I go. It’s not like I don’t have a plan…it’s simply not a completely fleshed out, carved in stone plan.

Resolutions seem so concrete; I make them…and then I either succeed or I fail. And, while success is exhilarating…failure sucks.  A journey, on the other hand, lets me travel in directions that I find interesting, while allowing me the freedom to meander a bit. Obstacles become bumps in the road to go around, over, under, or through. Sure, they might occasionally be really big obstacles…sometimes even direction changers…but they’re never the end of the road.

And the journey continues…


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Do you remember?

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better 
throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  

 ― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2013 ~ The Year of the Fox! "Silver Foxes" Returns to the Blogsphere...

Hello again!

Of the four blogs that I‘ve started over the past few years, Silver Foxes is, hands down, the most widely followed. I wondered why a blog about mid-life is so popular, which prompted me to do a bit of research.

After a week or two of looking at web-sites, reading blogs, books, and magazine articles on the subject, I’ve come to the conclusion that, 1. there really isn’t that much written about how to grow up without growing old, and 2. middle-aged women are, for the most part, marginalized in our society. Surprised? I didn’t think so…

We’re encouraged to either dye our hair, botox our expression lines, and lift our faces and butts in a desperate attempt to cling to youth…or to simply fade comfortably and quietly into the background to make way for the pretty young things. The p.y.t.’s get most of the attention from the clothing designers and cosmetics manufacturers, even though it’s us baby-boomers who wield the real buying power. And let’s face it…we’re not really all that interested in trying to look twenty five, nor are we ready to retreat comfortably and quietly into our golden years!

Most articles about fashion and makeup for women over forty give us lame advice on how to look younger, or how to disguise or eliminate our “flaws.” We’re called “frumpy” and “dowdy.” We’re encouraged to dye our “lifeless” gray hair. Our attractiveness and sex appeal are questioned. It’s a real blow to our self-confidence, especially at a time in life when we should be feeling really good about ourselves. There’s just not a lot out there that presents a positive image for today’s middle-aged women.

Of course, there are fabulous exceptions, like Eliza Fayle’s, Kama Frankling’s, Donna Pekar’s, Geri Brin’s, and Anne Kreamer’s

On Facebook, there are some inspiring, supportive, and uplifting groups like Gray and Proud, and Not Always Perfect…But Always Happy.

Then, there’s Diana Lewis Jewell’s beauty bible for women of all ages, Going Gray, Looking Great, and Anne Kreamer’s book that chronicles her journey of middle-aging, Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters.

Former makeup artist and fifty-plus super model, Cindy Joseph is a super role-model and creator of a pro-age line of cosmetics and body moisturizer. And More is a leading magazine “for women over forty who are interested in looking, feeling, and living their best.”

But compared to the plethora of material aimed at the twenty and thirty-somethings, women over forty are seriously short-changed. Over sixty? Forget about it…

What about careers and money? Most of what I’ve read about middle-aged women and careers assumes that we’ve worked hard, made it, and now we’re ready to retire and rest on our laurels. In terms of finances, the assumption seems to be that we’re going to retire with plenty of disposable cash, since we’ve been investing wisely and feeding money into our 401k for years, or we’re married to great guys who’ve made sure we’ll be well taken care of. And for many of us, that may well be the case.

But what if we want to keep working? How do we compete with people half our age?  What if we need to work? How do we get what we’re worth for the experience that we bring to the table? What if we can’t afford to retire? How do we maintain energy and enthusiasm? What if we want to start a whole new career? Where do we begin?

I’ve discovered that middle-aged women are often intimidated and/or overwhelmed when it comes to money. Many are completely unprepared financially for retirement. Why are so many otherwise savvy and intelligent women uncomfortable in their relationship with money? (In my opinion, Suze Orman’s book, Women and Money is a must-read for women of all ages, the earlier the better).

Gentlemen, I haven’t forgotten about you. But most of what I read and write about is from a female perspective because…well…I’m female. However, I think there will be plenty of things here that you’ll find informative as well. And we would love, love, love to hear from you! What’s it like for you guys? We want to know!

So, due to popular demand, I‘m bringing back Silver Foxes in 2013! Just like before, I’ll be writing about the ins and outs and ups and downs of growing up with style and chutzpah.

I am, by nature, curious. I’m a researcher…always ferreting out useful tips, ideas, and information that inspire and excite me, or that enhance my life.  And I’m always on the lookout for great cosmetics, skin and hair care products, clothing, accessories, designers, etc. that work for me now. I want to share my findings with all of you. I’m no expert, by any means, but I know what I like, and I know what works (and doesn’t work) for me. Perhaps it will work for you too!

And…this is very important! Any input from YOU is greatly appreciated. Everyone really enjoys the Silver Spotlight posts. We love getting to know each other! I invite you all to share your personal stories, inspirations, or information that you think might be of interest to your fellow Foxes.

Silver Foxes are smart, sexy, attractive, experienced, confident…and we’re just getting started!  We’ve been there, done that…and now we’re blazing new trails and making new rules! Get ready for the year of the Fox!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! Happy Holidays!
And Happy New Year! See you in January!


Monday, September 17, 2012

There's a new "C" in town...

Please check out my new blog "C" at

When I began Silver Foxes last year, my intention was to provide a platform for others to share their stories, profiles, thoughts, and ideas, and I want to thank everyone who did share for their participation and support.   

My plan is not to shut down Silver Foxes forever, however I will be concentrating, at least temporarily, on writing posts for "C."  All past and previous posts for Silver Foxes will still be available to read on this website.

If anyone has anything that they would like to share on Silver Foxes, please let me know, and I will be glad to post it.  

Thanks!  C 

Monday, September 3, 2012

"We The People" are in this together...

Politics is a touchy subject…especially in the months leading up to a presidential election…and more than ever when the country is as explosively divided as ours seems to be right now.

I make it a point to avoid political debates with family and friends.  Actually, I don’t care to discuss politics with casual acquaintances or strangers either.  Edgy discourse makes me uncomfortable.  Facebook is so inundated lately with political slogans, cartoons, and rhetoric that I find myself unable to look at posts for longer than a few minutes before the palpable tension causes me to turn off the computer and go do some deep breathing...

The news programs on TV and the radio are equally distressing because, depending on whose “talking points” we’re listening to, they're slanted either wildly to the left or wildly to the right.  But we all know that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  We're just not always sure where.

They talk on and on about polls and surveys…their guy is winning…their platforms are the most popular…but how can one be winning on this channel, while the other is winning on another?  Could it be WHO is being polled?  Is there a valid defense for the time and money being spent by both sides on polling mostly like-minded people?  Do they think we can't figure that one out?

I must admit I'm not really that well-versed in politics.  But it seems to me that most of us see ourselves, our country, and the world from a very “black and white” perspective.  And I’m NOT talking about race.  I’m referring to the polarizing opinions and personal experiences that bleed into our vision of the world and blind us to the visions of others.

Things like:

ALL wealthy people are selfish, hoarding, "fat cats" out to crush the “little people.”
ALL poor people, or people on welfare, unemployment and food stamps are lazy, "milking the system," and just don’t want to work.
ALL Christians are hypocrites.   Or ALL non-Christians are going to hell.
ALL women who have abortions are evil, baby-killing monsters.  Or ALL pro-lifers think that a woman who is raped can only get pregnant if the rape is "legitimate."
ALL people who DON’T have health insurance DON’T have it because they don't WANT to pay for it.
ALL white people, people of color, immigrants, women, men, gays, liberals, conservatives, etc. are _______________. (fill in the blank)

My point?  ALL is an erroneous word when we’re talking about a country as large and diverse as the United States of America.  And ALL is a dangerous word when we're speaking of the we see it.  Because "We The People" don't always see eye to eye when it comes to the truth.

So what is the answer?  No clue.  I wish I knew how to close the gash that divides our nation, but sadly, I do not.  I know what I'm trying to do.  And it’s not always easy.

First and foremost, I’m trying to avoid using the word ALL when referring to any person, group of people or segment of the population.  And I’m making a real effort to understand where each and every individual is coming from…how their personal experiences have affected them…how their fears, needs, hopes, dreams, disappointments, successes, failures, etc. have shaped them.  Not “how dare they feel this way,” but rather “what happened to them in their lives to cause them to feel that way.”  Maybe their causes are noble and/or justified…maybe they’re not.  But it’s not up to me to pass judgment on them.

I feel that it is important to “love your neighbor as yourself.“  People who have more than enough should help the ones in need, not because the government is forcing them to, but because it's the right thing to do.  WWJD?  Well, I know what He would NOT do.  He would not say, "it's not my problem."

And everyone who is physically and mentally capable of working should make every effort to do so.  No more taking advantage of a system intended to provide assistance to those who are truly in need.  A healthy body and a good mind are gifts.  They are not to be wasted.

I feel that it is important to acknowledge and respect the viewpoints of others.  Everyone has their reasons, whether you understand them or not, and whether you agree with them or not.  Naive and oversimplified?  Perhaps.  But what do you have to lose?

And, regarding politics, I feel that it is important to give substance to our voices by voting.  It is our right…it is our privilege…and it is our responsibility.

All I ask, is for your voice to come from a place of  respect and love.  Because "We The People" are in this together.

Love, Love, Love


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Let Me Eat Cake!

I hear so many people these days bemoaning another birthday.  “I just want to crawl in a hole and forget I’m getting older,” they say,  “why celebrate one more year closer to death?"  They point out the wrinkles and the gray hair.  They talk about the “good ole days when they were young and beautiful.”  They cry about all of the calories in cake and ice cream.

Well I say, that’s bulls*#t!  Every birthday is a reminder that we’re still alive.  We’re another year closer to perfection!  And one gigantic chunk of birthday cake and a scoop of ice cream is NOT going to do that much damage, compared to lying face down in a salad, whining about belly fat and falling asleep alone in front of the TV at eight!

We celebrate birthdays because we still can!  Life is short.  A birthday is a joyous occasion!  So I say, every year we should celebrate another chance to be grateful for this wonderful life!  Today is my birthday, I’m sixty one years old, and I’m happy to be here!  And yes...cake will be eaten!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Andrea Beaman ~ Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

When I was younger, I had to try to gain weight.  Can you imagine?  I grew up in the South, on soul food and home cooking.  Fried was the preferred method of cooking, and dessert was mandatory.  But since I was so skinny, I got used to eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

In my twenties and thirties, and even into my early forties, I still ate what I pleased.  But I had loads of energy and was crazy-active, so I rarely gained more than five pounds...usually over the holidays...and I would just cut back for a few days and lose it as soon as my waistband started getting a little snug.

Then in my late forties, I hit menopause. Wow!  I just looked at food and gained weight.  My energy level plummeted.  I started having migraine headaches, my thyroid was acting up, my joints ached, and I began to second guess every decision I had ever made in my life.  I cried all the time.  I was one hot mess!

I was desperate, and for the next ten years I tried every diet known to human-kind.  No, they weren't always healthy, in fact, many of them were downright dangerous.  But after I dodged the bullet with cancer, I decided that it was more important to love myself than to be skinny.  I began to research healthier diets...healthier lifestyles...and I found Andrea Beaman's website.  I really like Andrea because her advice is down to earth, but more important for's DO-able.

**** Here is Andrea's story, reprinted from her website, and the link to her website ****

At 12 years old, I wasn’t a fat kid. As a matter of fact, I was pretty skinny (that’s me on the right). But, all the girls at school were on diets, and the women’s magazines were recommending diets, and my mom was on a diet, too. I remember thinking, “I should really go on a diet.”
It began by eating “diet” food and drinking diet soda. I also ate low-fat or, better yet, non-fat, yogurt.
And, an interesting thing happened – I began gaining weight and didn’t understand why.
By the time I was 15 years old I had a warped idea about food.
I remember going to my best friend’s house every day after school. Omi, her grandmother, would prepare us the most delicious meal – Braised pork or chicken with gravy, creamy mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Twenty minutes after we ate, we would lock ourselves in the bathroom and forcibly get that homemade food out of our bodies.  I remember Omi knocking on the bathroom door asking, “Are you girls okay?”
We’d say, “yeah we’re fine,” and turn the radio louder so she wouldn’t hear us throwing up.
But, the truth is we were NOT okay. We were damaged. It was the 1980’s and we were brainwashed by the dieting industry to think food with fat would make us fat.
At 17 years old I attended Weight Watchers “fat camp” in Pennsylvania. It was sensible dieting. We ate meals that were very low in fat, drank diet soda, used artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, and slathered fake butter on our bread.
I remember one night at camp, I got stoned (hey… I was a teenager), broke into the food shack, and stole, and ate, an entire jar of peanut butter.  Apparently, my body was craving fat.
After fat camp, I joined weight watchers and bought a food scale. I weighed and counted every fat gram and calorie that went into my mouth. Unfortunately, this made eating a laborious task.
Eventually, I grew tired of weighing and measuring and counting, and joined Jenny Craig. They sold boxed food that was already weighed and measured. It certainly wasn’t delicious, but it did the job and I lost a few pounds.
With every diet, I initially lost weight but always gained it back…PLUS some! I was not obese, but I was chunky. And, it seemed the more I dieted, the chunkier I grew. At my chubbiest I was 149 pounds, which is not FAT. But, I’m a shorty! At 5’ 3” (and a 1/2), I was 25 pounds heavier than I am right now, and I felt bloated and uncomfortable.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time when I was in my early 20′s. After chemo and radiation we tried something called a Macrobiotic Diet.  It wasn’t about counting fat grams or calories; it was about the quality of food and how it affected the body energetically, physically and spiritually. It was an entirely new concept for me.
The diet consisted of whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds, and fruits.  And, it was very low in fat, so it fit perfectly with my “dieting” mentality. Eating that food made my body feel good and helped me go to the bathroom – which, as a chronic dieter, was a rare occurrence. As a result, I dropped a few pounds… literally, right into the toilet.
After mom died, I kept some of the Macrobiotic principles and my weight leveled off at 139 pounds. But, mostly I went back to my unhealthy “dieting” ways.
Finally, a gift from the gods came. At 28, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and a goiter. After watching mom suffer, and eventually die from chemo and radiation, I decided radioactive iodine was NOT an option for me (Radiate My Thyroid? No Freakin’ Way!).
I stopped the nonsense and stopped dieting. Instead, I focused on eating the best quality food to help my body heal.
Within the first 4 months I dropped 18 pounds. It’s been 16 years and I’ve never gained back that weight. I don’tever think about dieting anymore. I just eat food, real food, with all of its nutrients intact, including the fat.
Below are some steps to help you break free from a dieting mentality and lose weight.
STOP dieting:
  •   Dieting deprives us of physical and emotional nutrition
  •   Dieting creates dysfunctional behaviors
  •   Dieting contributes to weight gain
Eat Real Food: see pictures below. This is what food looks like.
Drink Water: there is no better beverage for your body.
Ditch Chemical Sweeteners: These chemicals disrupt endocrine function, lead to weight gain, contribute to depression, and destroy brain cells. Not only that, artificial sweeteners are so unnaturally sweet that they compromise the delicate palate in your mouth. No longer will a fresh berry taste as sweet as it naturally is if you eat chemical sweeteners.
Sit Down to Meals: Do NOT walk or stand and eat. Digestion needs relaxation to function properly. If you are stressed out, or walking and eating, stress hormone rises and digestion shuts down.
Move Your Body: A simple 35-40 minute daily walk can help. You don’t need to pump iron, you just need to move your butt EVERY SINGLE DAY.
If you find you are stuck, here are some common dieting mistakes:
  • Eating cold foods and/or too many salads – dampens digestive fire and slows metabolism
  • Forbidding foods – the dieter becomes obsessed with forbidden food
  • Eliminating fat – creates wild cravings and the dieter is never fully satisfied
  • Emotional eating – what are you really craving? Love? Companionship? Inspiration? Creativity?
  • Impatience – it took time to gain the weight, it’ll take time to take it off.
  • Lack of self love – if we don’t love ourselves exactly as we are right now, we won’t take care of our body.
Stop the nonsense and stop dieting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Put a little life into your life!

It’s my day off, so I decided to get my errands out of the way and enjoy the rest of my day.  I went to the grocery store at seven.  Nobody was there!  Finished in record time!  Then I went to my favorite neighborhood café for breakfast.  It’s a place where the locals hang out, and by locals, I mean people who have probably lived here their entire lives.  

It’s an older crowd, and when I say older, I mean the average age of most of the patrons is around seventy…which makes me the local spring chicken…although I do qualify for the senior discount.  Cha-ching!  I’ll take it!

While waiting for my food, I looked around the room at the other diners, and caught snippets of their conversations. (I’m not snooping…they talk REALLY LOUD)  One lady was telling her friend about another “scandalous” friend who had taken a part-time job doing phone sales because she found retirement boring.  One day, the scandalous friend talked to a gentleman that she found interesting (and vice versa),  They decided to meet at the park for lunch.  She was there the next day in a red dress.  He did not show up.  She apparently took it in stride, and moved on.  But a week later, she thought about him again and decided to give him a call.  She called information, his number was listed, so she called him.  A woman answered the phone.  It was his wife.  She said her husband had died the week before.  Wow!…better than TV…

Anyway, I looked around the room at the other diners, and I noticed that most of the ladies dye their hair.  How do I know?  Trust me on this one.  But the thing that I find curious is, dying their hair seems to be the ONLY thing they’re doing to look younger…AND…their hair color and style look to be the same color and style that they’ve probably had since they were in high school.

My question is, are they dyeing their hair because they’re trying to look younger, or is it just out of habit?  I ask this question, because for the most part, they are overweight, out of shape, and seem to have little desire to dress with any kind of younger style.

I know this sounds judgmental, but I’m not judging…it’s just an observation.  I found myself mentally making them over…the way I redecorate other people’s homes in my head when I visit…and I came to the conclusion that, if they would exchange the biscuits and gravy for the oatmeal with blueberries, get a little exercise, un-dye and loosen up their hair a bit, and let me take them shopping for an outfit that didn’t make them look like a sack of potatoes…they would look fabulous!  Right now, they just look and act so “old.”

I’m reading Jim Donovan’s book, “Don’t Let An Old Person Move Into Your Body,” and I wholeheartedly agree with his concept that we should challenge the myths of aging…that we don’t necessarily have to deteriorate as we get older.  I just want to tell these ladies, “C'mon, let’s get moving…let’s get saucy…let’s show a little attitude!

I’m not suggesting that they go the “dye/botox/lipo” route.  Frankly, it’s too late for that anyway.  I’m just saying, “put a little more life into your life!  I’m with the scandalous friend…put yourself out there…wear a red dress…meet a guy in the park for lunch!

And on that note…I’m outta here!  The weather is fabulous, and I’m going to the park!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hip waitin' to happen...

One of my favorite quotes, that I stole from my friend Deb, is “I’m hip waitin’ to happen.”  Don’t you sometimes feel like that’s what we are?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve lived in a youth and beauty obsessed culture…which was swell when I was young.  But now, I sometimes feel like I’ve been black-balled at sorority rush.

I was shopping the other day, and when I asked the young sales clerk what she thought about the dress I was trying on, she replied, “It’s cute…but kind of…not right…for someone your age.”  “What do you mean?” I asked.  “Oh…well…it’s a little sexy,” she answered.  (What?!!  I don’t like sex anymore?!  You could’ve fooled me!)  It was spoken in a tone that implied, “why bother?”

No, it wasn’t too short or overly tight…no major cleavage.  It wasn’t my usual black and I’ll admit, it was slightly out of my “comfort zone,“ but I was considering branching out.  Instead, I put it back on the hanger and slunk out of the store.

Why do I sometimes feel insignificant?  Invisible?  I’ll tell you.  Look at the size two mannequins.  Look at the salesgirl.  Look at the fashion magazines…check out the ads.  If it’s a middle-aged women, the ad is usually about hair dye, osteoporosis, or hormone replacement.  Walk into a restaurant behind an attractive young girl who’s having the door held open by a guy and watch the door slam in your face. (Not all men do this, but it’s happened to me and my older girlfriends more than once)

But times are changing, and we’re going to make it happen.  The youngsters just need to get on the program.  Before you know it, age will be a non-issue.  Because we boomers don’t settle for crumbs!

So today, I’m thinking about going back to buy the dress.  And I want to say to the cute, bleached blond salesgirl. “Honey, I’m not too old to wear this dress…I’m hip waitin’ to happen!  And I‘m gettin’ antsy!”


Monday, August 20, 2012

You Inspire!

In my post last Sunday, I shared my “a-ha” turning point...about how to approach aging and going gray, when I saw a photo of Yasmina Rossi in a magazine, looking vibrant, energetic, and gloriously gray.  Quite suddenly, I realized that...1. just because I was getting older didn’t mean I had to be tired, overweight, and out of shape, and…2. gray hair was beautiful, and could really be much more flattering than dying my hair the color it was when I was a teenager. It was a real epiphany!

I began to look for more images of Yasmina, as well as photos of other silver-haired icons and role models, and I found enough to convince me that getting healthy and happy, and keeping my hair long and naturally gray was the way to go.  But If I hadn’t seen Yasmina’s picture in the magazine, I might have caved to the pressure of well-meaning friends, thrown in the towel, purchased the “Mom” jeans, and cut my hair and dyed it brown.
My point?  Yasmina is an inspiration. as well as all of the other lovely silver-haired models, actresses, etc. whose photos I discovered online and in magazines.  BUT SO ARE WE!  Maybe you don’t even know it, but every time you go out into the world with your foxy silver locks…joyful, confident, stylish, not trying to look twenty, but lookin’ good…you could be the one who tips the scales…the one who changes somebody’s mind about going gray…who puts a positive spin on growing up with panache.  WE INSPIRE!  So when you leave the house today, and every day, remember…YOU could be the one who inspires someone else’s turning point!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Silver Spotlight ~ Chris Zuzze

I started coloring my hair when I was about 22 years old.  So very young for the vicious cycle to begin.   I learned at an early age the meaning of that terrible word “roots”.  I was streaked, light blonde, dark blonde, light brown, dark brown, red – any color you can think of.  But not matter what I did, after just a few short weeks, it would turn orange!!!  I always blamed it on the Florida sun, but I now believe the color simply washed right down the drain. 

In November 2011 I had enough.  I was sick of looking at every picture of myself and seeing that horrible orange, unnatural color.   I was determined to end this self-destructive “every two” week color routine.  I did almost cave a few days before Christmas.  But I was strong and thought – NO, it’s only one day.  It will be over in a short 24 hours.  I endured!!!  

After Christmas, I buzzed my head so it wouldn’t have to deal with the two-tone horrible look.  It was very short and I received a lot of criticism.  The people I worked with thought I had lost my mind.  But I prevailed.  I held my ground and just kept smiling.  Because I cut it so short, it was over very quickly for me.  All of a sudden I had the most beautiful, healthy, shiny silver hair.  People started to take a second look.  As it grew longer, I was getting more and more compliments.   The people that were so against me doing this “horrible” thing of letting my natural silver grow in, started to come around.  I started getting rave reviews!  I have never, ever been so happy.  It is the best decision I have made in my life!  I feel freer than I have felt in 40 years.  I very often see admiring glances from ladies and gentlemen and they are looking at my hair.  Without saying a word, I have influenced woman I care about to do the same thing.  I don’t believe in pushing my decision on others, but if just by looking at my hair, I encourage others to try the same – it brings me much joy. 

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  This is one happy lady here.  I hope anyone that reads this might be so inclined to try it themselves.  If not, that’s ok too.  It’s a very personal choice and not for everyone.  Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts.

Chris Zuzze, West Palm Beach, FL  (one very happy and free 60 year old!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Decorating with's not just for hair

We choose our wardrobe and makeup with our lovely silver tresses in mind.  So why not decorate our homes to accentuate our crowning glory!  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Inspirational Silver Foxes...

Here are a few of my favorite, inspirational, Silver Foxes.  These ladies are beautiful, confident, talented, and loaded with style!  They are not "spring chickens" and they're not trying to be. But aren't they fabulous?  C

American graphic designer and artist based in San Francisco, California

Fashion Stylist, and creator of cult-beauty product Olio Lusso

American Artist, lives and works in New York, NY

American businesswoman, interior designer, and style muse

American dancer and choreographer, lives and works in NYC

One more time...going gray does not mean letting ourselves go!

We Silver Foxes know the difference between “going gray” and “letting ourselves go.” However, it has come to my attention recently that a lot of people still don’t seem to understand why “choosing to go gray” is not necessarily synonymous with “giving up.”

And I say to those people…have you looked at us lately? Because when I look around at all of my silver-haired friends, I see happy, confident, energetic, attractive, healthy, well-dressed, well-groomed, intelligent, and joyful ladies and gentlemen who are living life to the fullest.  Not a slacker in the bunch. We care about our appearance.  Isn’t that obvious?  

However, there is more to life than spending all of our time and money trying to look the way we did twenty years ago.  We are smoking’ right now…just the way we are! 

But don’t think that we don’t work at it.  We eat healthy, workout, do yoga, zumba and pilates, choose clothing that is becoming, comfortable, and expresses our personality, and use natural, non-toxic beauty products when we can find them.  (beauty industry, listen up!)  We may not be dying our hair, but we are certainly not letting ourselves go!

Get on the program, guys!  Gray hair does NOT mean giving up!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spread the word...It's grayt to be gray!

Good Morning, Silver Foxes ~

Many of you have already heard my story, but for those of you who have not, here’s a recap…

A few years ago in my mid-fifties, I found myself in a dilemma…I guess you could call it a mid-life crisis.  I’d always been attractive.  Not beautiful.  But cute and confident.  To be honest, I kind of took my physical appearance for granted.  It was what it was, and I didn’t obsess about it.  I was really much more involved in what I was doing than how I looked…

But one day, after a couple of years of unfortunate events and relentless stress, topped off with a diagnosis of breast cancer, followed by surgery (lumpectomy) and six and a half weeks of radiation, I came face to face with an image in the mirror that, frankly, I didn’t recognize.  I was overweight and out of shape, my skin was puffy and blotchy, I had dark circles under my eyes, and my long, golden brown hair was turning gray.  “Wow!  When did that happen?” I thought.

I began to consider getting some “Mom” jeans and cutting and dying my hair at the suggestion of well-meaning friends who insisted that gaining weight was a natural part of aging, and that getting my hair cut and colored would make me look much younger.

Waiting for a radiation treatment, I was flipping through a magazine and saw a photo of Yasmina Rossi, with her waist length, silver hair, slim figure, and joyful demeanor.  She inspired me to be “me” again.  I realized I didn’t have to be the beaten-down woman that I was on the fast track to becoming!  I began working out again, resumed my yoga practice, and changed my diet.  Within a few months, I’d lost twenty plus pounds and was feeling great.  I was thrilled with my progress, however, most of my friends still wanted me to cut my hair and dye it.   I adamantly refused.  I loved my hair, and I loved the color.  And yes, silver/gray IS a color!

Flash forward to the present.  I’ll be sixty-one this month.  Still feeling great!  More active than ever.  And still love my long hair with the silver streaks.  So I was disheartened to read the eSalon article that pointed out that “my natural gray was dull, flat and lifeless,” and that “the truth is, natural gray hair makes people look older.”  How anyone can make such a sweeping, generalized statement is beyond my comprehension.  Oh, that’s right…Estelle is an “expert.”

My initial reaction was indignation and anger.  I’m so sick of the beauty industry and their relentless attacks on women who choose to age naturally and gracefully! Assisted by the media, they spread the mean-spirited message that we are lacking because we refuse to desperately cling to youth by dying our hair.  (I say women, because there doesn’t seem to be the same venomous prejudice toward men who don’t dye)  

But the real truth is…we look great!  We are a group of vibrant, confident, intelligent women, who will not be changed or brought down by a multi-million dollar industry that preys on fears and insecurities…for their financial gain!  

We are gray, and we are proud of who we are…the way we are! We are an enormous and formidable segment of the population.  Our numbers are growing like wildfire!  And we WILL change society’s dim view of aging and gray hair!  How?  

First, by example.  Who can resist healthy, active, intelligent, confident, and attractive silver-haired women (and men), enjoying every moment of life with joy and gusto?  After all, we are fabulous! 

Second.  We will put the message out there…with our books, blogs, posts, photos, articles, and a little help from Facebook and Twitter.  We will spread the word…”It’s grayt to be gray!”   

And third, with our dollars.  We’ve worked hard, we have the money, and we will buy…or not buy…the products we want.  And lets face it, the beauty industry is in it for the money. Eventually, they will come around if they want to stay in business.  If the demand is great enough, they will start developing products to care for our "foxy" silver hair…and abandon the horrible, toxic chemicals that cover it up!  We’re not bitter, but we are tenacious!  And we are not nearly as vulnerable as they think we are!

A special note to you ladies and gentlemen who dye.  We won’t stop you, criticize you, or judge you. (Although, we might one day inspire you to change your mind about dying :-)  It’s your hair, and you can do with it whatever you want to.  And you look lovely!  But please, just extend to us the same courtesy!  Estelle...are you listening?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Your Authentic Self...


Au - then - tic (adjective)

1. Of undisputed origin  2. Genuine  3.  Made or done in the traditional or original way.  4. True


I hear people say this so often these days.  It seems to be the new feel good, warm and fuzzy, spiritual awakening, phrase of the moment.  But what does it really mean?  How can you be anyone but who you are?  And, if you have to work at making yourself into your authentic self, aren’t you becoming un-authentic?  Un-genuine?  Un-original?  Un-true?

After giving this subject much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that being “authentic” has as much to do with “ACCEPTING who you are now” as it has to do with “BECOMING who you want to be.”

I used to be so into my “superficial” authentic self.  You know…expressing “who I wanted to be” through how I looked and how I dressed.  I starved myself in an unhealthy way to fit into my jeans, and wore shoes that could only be described as “torture devices.”  I wore lots of makeup and big flashy earrings that hurt my ears.  “No pain…no gain,” I thought, “as long as I LOOK good.”

But somewhere along the line, I figured out that no amount of dieting, makeup, provocative but uncomfortable clothing or bling could make me FEEL good about myself if I didn’t like ME.  So now, I eat generally healthy foods with the occasional splurge, wear enough makeup to brighten my face without putting on a mask, and dress in stylish, but simple, comfortable clothing.  I don’t dye my hair and I wear it long, because I like it this way, and I don’t consider cosmetic surgery an option for combating the physical signs of age.  I’m sixty…I am supposed to have gray hair and a few wrinkles. One day, I’ll be ninety and have more gray hair and even more wrinkles.  I’m ok with that…

And then, there’s the authentic self that applies to our relationship with the world we live in, and to our spirituality, and to what, if anything,  lies beyond our life on this earth.  What do we believe in?

When I was a child, I went to church.  I didn’t really love going to church.  I found sitting still and being quiet for an hour or so almost impossible.  But I believed in God.  To me, God was a benevolent, white haired, gentleman…larger than life…the Father of all fathers…who watched over me, cared for me, comforted me, and loved me.  I liked that.  

But one day, I stopped going.  I felt like organized religion was just a little too judgmental to suit my life-style. I still believed in God, of course, but I wanted to have fun!  I wanted to go out on Saturday night, sleep late on Sunday morning, and meet my friends for brunch on Sunday afternoon.  I missed church in a way, but it just didn’t fit into my agenda.

I became a free-spirit, world traveler, adventurer. Then I morphed into a somewhat more affluent, sophisticated version of a free-spirit, world traveler, adventurer.  I began to study Eastern philosophies, and started doing yoga and meditating regularly.  Somehow, it just seemed more accepting, open-minded, and worldly. I still kind of prayed to God in private, but publicly I appeared to be so much cooler!  I loved going to Buddhist study groups.  I enjoyed leaving my shoes at the door, lighting incense, and meditating in front of an altar.  It was all so “exotic.” But I always felt a little self-conscious.  You know the feeling…when you’re trying to be something you’re not.

Yoga was fun too.  There is a real sense of harmony and community in yoga classes, and everyone was so shiny and hip, with their coordinated yoga gear, groovy water bottles, and “Save the Planet” bumper stickers.

But eventually, I got tired of the dirty looks when I slipped up and didn’t call God “the Universe” or “Mother Earth,“ and the lectures about the evils of BBQ ribs, fried chicken, sweet tea, and tap water became tedious.  I never knew when I was going to be verbally assaulted for wearing a brand that didn’t exhibit acceptable social consciousness.  My circle of friends was so politically correct that I felt I had to second guess everything that came out of my mouth…and everything that went into my mouth.  I just didn’t feel like ME anymore.

And frankly, I began to grow weary of people who touted living simply and frugally, but who were driving around in BMW’s, wearing expensive designer clothing, and networking after class.  Not that there’s anything wrong with nice cars and clothes.  But it just seemed to go against the lifestyle they were promoting.  It didn’t feel “authentic.”  One of my favorite ah-ha moments was reading an article written by a yoga teacher (not anyone I know personally) on keeping your ego in check, that ended with a list of all of her “celebrity” students.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still have many friends who are fine and dedicated Buddhists and yoga practitioners.  I continue to study Eastern philosophies, and practice yoga and meditation daily. And I love and respect “Mother Earth.“  But I also eat fried chicken and ribs, and drink sweet tea and tap water…without shame or guilt.  Sometimes I go to church.  And I still talk to God every day.

My point?  “Authentic” is having the courage to accept who you are, inside and out, and to embrace what you believe, even if it’s not the expected thing, or the “in” thing.  “Authentic” is the ability to listen to your “bullshit” detector and act accordingly.  Just be YOU!  Yes, we learn and we grow, but in that growth process we must remain true to who we are in our heart of hearts.  We ARE original…We ARE authentic.  We just have to acknowledge it and own it...


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Age Appropriate?

What is “age appropriate?”  Why are we encouraged (and occasionally nagged) to co-ordinate our actions, lifestyles, state of mind, mode of dress, makeup, hairstyles, etc., with a specific, chronological period of time?

It began when  I was a child.  “No!” my mother said. “You can’t read Peyton Place.  You’re too young.”  So I stole it out of her nightstand drawer while she was at work and read it anyway.  She was wrong.  I found it to be quite entertaining, and delightfully trashy…although a few of the more graphic sex scenes didn’t make sense until a few years later…

At fourteen, I took my hard earned babysitting money to Goldsmith’s to make my first “unsupervised” clothing purchase.  I came home with a little black dress.  Mom said black was “too mature” for a girl my age…but she let me keep it because I adamantly refused to take it back.  I mean…it had a white collar…and it made me feel glamorous and sophisticated…

When I was nineteen, I took off for New York City (from Memphis, TN) to “blow my life’s savings.” (Really? I had about $200)  At the bus station, I was told that I needed to “grow up and settle down…that going all the way to New York just to look at paintings in museums was frivolous and irresponsible…and that riding a bus for twenty six hours to a big city was dangerous (actually suicidal) for a naïve, young girl.”  That one was really confusing, as I was being asked to act like a mature adult, while being told that I was too young to embark on such an adventure.  So what was I?  Grown up? Child?  I didn’t care…I just wanted to see Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.  I stood in front of that painting for hours…tears of joy running down my cheeks…in another little black dress…like Holly Golightly at Tiffany’s…heaven…

These days, I’m still experiencing ambiguous and conflicting messages, some from complete strangers, regarding my age appropriate appearance and lifestyle…or rather my absence of age appropriate appearance and lifestyle. While most people at sixty are comfortably ensconced in the “acquisition stage,” I’m getting rid of stuff.  Not that I ever had much stuff to begin with, because I’ve spent most of my adult life (and my money) on fabulous adventures.  Hoarding and saving for old age never made sense to me.

Most people don’t understand my retirement plan…to live in a vintage Airstream…to read and write and paint, overlooking a lake, a river, an ocean…to drink coffee and trade stories with quirky strangers in cook burgers on a big green egg…to never wear real shoes again.  I don’t want to spend my golden years dusting off knick-knacks and mowing the grass.  But they’re still telling me to “grow up.” …to “act my age.”  My response is, “I am acting my age…in my head and in my heart.”

And then, there’s my appearance.  I don’t dye my hair.  It’s silver…to my waist…and I like it that way.  People tell me, “you need to color your hair…the gray makes you look old.”  But those same people say, “you need to stop trying to look like a teenager and cut your hair into a more “age appropriate” style.”  So which is it?  Do I look too old…or too young?  Laughable really, since most of this sage advice comes from individuals who are dyed, stretched, injected, and sucked within an inch of their lives in a vain attempt to look twenty years younger.  Seriously?

My philosophy?  There is a right way and a wrong way for everyone.  But what’s right for one person is probably wrong for another.  Why can’t we just accept, and relish, the fact that we are all fascinating, fabulous, and unique individuals? If being able to check the age appropriate box is important, then please, do it!  If riding a scooter with gray braids flying sounds like fun, then hit the road!  If living in a nice house in the ’burbs is your life’s ambition, go for it!  If you want pink plastic flamingos in your flower beds, by all means, put them there.  And if you want to dye your hair the color it was in high school, or have your boobs lifted to where they were in high school, then I whole-heartedly support your efforts!  I just want to wash my silver hair and roll down the car windows to let it dry in the breeze.  I want to see my laugh lines and belly fat as signs of a life well lived.  My point?  We are free to be you and me.  Why would we want to be anyone else?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's Wrong With Just Being Yourself?

I spent a few hours at the bookstore yesterday afternoon. Since the introduction of Kindles, Nooks, iPads, eBooks, etc., I fear that one day, all bookstores will go the way of the dinosaur. So, I try to patronize them as much as possible. A quiet table by the window…Australian Vogue Living…a latte and a lemon bar…ahhh.

Have you ever noticed how many self-improvement books are on the market? There are literally thousands of “how to” books that deal with self-confidence, depression, fear and anxiety…not to mention coping with mid-life crisis, gray hair, wrinkles, and unwanted belly fat.

There are books on diet and exercise regimens that promise to add years to your life. There are books full of makeup tips, hairstyle suggestions for your facial shape, and wardrobe ideas to minimize your butt…and more books touting lotions and potions for your skin, dyes for your hair, and cosmetic surgical procedures to nip, tuck, and lift whatever sags. You won’t necessarily live any longer, but the strong implication is that your quality of life will greatly improve if your eyes and lips are lined, your cheekbones are amply defined, your unnaturally golden blond bangs are draped over your forehead to hide the wrinkles, and your “love handles” are strategically camouflaged…or sucked out.

Are we really that unhappy and insecure? I mean, as I go from day to day, I come in contact with a lot of people. Most of them look pretty good, and seem reasonably together. But somebody buys these books. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be written and bookstores wouldn’t have a gigantic self-improvement section. Of course, “looking pretty good and seeming reasonably together” doesn’t always translate into actually “being” secure and happy.

I’ll admit, I’ve read a few (hundred) self-improvement books in my lifetime. And, some of them were marginally helpful. But I stopped when I realized that my dog is the happiest person I know…and he doesn’t read. He eats whatever he wants when he’s hungry, and he stops eating when he’s full. He likes to chase squirrels, but never seriously considers the health benefits of running. He enjoys riding in the car with the wind blowing his hair, damned the hairstyle! He likes everybody at the dog park and accepts them as they are, and they all love him back for his friendly, non-discriminatory attitude. He has big ears and a crazy-big nose, but he embraces his flaws and doesn’t consider cosmetic surgery an option. And, he never, ever, checks out his ass in the mirror before he leaves the house…

My question is, why do we human beings think there’s something wrong with us? Do we really need that much "self-improvement?" Are all of those books written because we feel so bad about ourselves…or do we feel bad about ourselves because there are so many books written about what’s wrong with us…and how to fix it? As the kids say, “I’m just askin’.”


Monday, January 30, 2012

Personal Style & You ~ Marianne Kobie

What is my style? Since I retired 8 years ago, it has changed dramatically. I am fortunate enough to live in warm weather year round, because of that I own mostly 100% cotton clothes. My usual outfit is a sleeveless tee and shorts or a cotton dress. I am adding jewel colors into my wardrobe, which is so fun, since I had been just a 'brown' person for so many years. You will usually only find me in flip-flops or flat sandals. I have not used a hairdryer in years. I don't wear a watch, and very little jewelry, but I do try and remember to put on long earrings each day. My make-up consists of lipstick and mascara and occasional blush. I guess I always look ready for yoga - which is something I love to do. My silver hair really has fit into my low maintenance life style. So, I guess I just answered what my style is "low maintenance".

Marianne Kobie

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Personal Style & You ~ Lynn Oster McClain

Lynn is a new member of Gray and Proud, and has graciously agreed to post her personal style story on Silver Foxes...

You inquired about personal style - I'm 67, so perhaps I'm "too long in the tooth" to be interesting, but here it is anyway. At the age of 60, I decided to base my entire wardrobe on jeans and nearly eight years later my style has endured. I never wear dresses or skirts (hate the look of pantyhose or bare legs on older women, unless they're in amazing shape) and won't wear trousers or slacks in any fabric.

It's all jeans, all the time... I'm thin so I currently favor skinny jeans in white, multiple rinses from light to dark and different fabrications (cotton, cord, velvet, satin, etc.). I keep my jeans style current with tops (always black), jackets (motocross, field, cropped, etc.) and shoes.

Are you still awake?? That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks for sharing, Lynn...and welcome to the group!