Far From the Maddening Crowd

I’m all for having a good time.  However, have you eaten at a “trendy” restaurant where you can’t even hear yourself think let alone have a conversation?  Some of these eateries actually believe that the louder the noise the more fun you are having.  I have a problem with that.  Not only is it not fun, I usually come away with a horrible sore throat for speaking over the din.  I also can’t hear for the rest of the evening.

A friend and I visited a New York restaurant on the lower East Side a few weeks ago.  We heard the food was excellent and it was highly recommended by professional reviewers and personal friends.  As it was an occasion dinner (our mutual birthdays) we thought this restaurant would be an excellent place to celebrate.   Our reservations were for 6:30 p.m.

I arrived first and sat at the bar waiting for my friend.  As I sat there, I don’t believe I saw anyone entering over the age of 20-something.  An alarm went off which I ignored. Not intimidated by youth, I watched each reed thin “model-want-to-be” enter on five-inch platform heels.  Really, can anyone actually walk on these stilts?  Personally I would be tripping all over myself (but then, I am just a teeny bit older).

My friend arrived at the appointed time and we were taken to a very nice table.  There weren’t very many people seated in this beautifully appointed interior, as it was still early evening. The service was excellent with the waiters hovering around to make certain we had everything we needed.  Of course we order wine to toast another year.  The waiter approached a few minutes later and I think he asked for our selections.  I am not quite sure about that as I didn’t notice him until he practically yelled in my ear.  The noise level, as people were being seated at tables (now it was going on 7:00 p.m.), had gone up several decibel.  And, with each successive minute, with additional customers swelling the noise level, I saw my friend’s lips moving, but I could not make out what she was saying.

We couldn’t eat fast enough.  We both wanted to get out of this noisy place as quickly as possible.  I don’t remember the reviewers indicating the noise level in their columns.  Zagat  sometimes does provide that information in their guide.  Perhaps it would have been wiser to have checked this resource out before we made the reservation as when I consulted Zagat afterwards, it describes this restaurant as a “crushingly noisy scene.”  Which is an understatement.

Patroon dining room

Personally, my favorites for special occasions are where not only can you have a wonderful meal and exceptional ambiance, you can also have great conversation!  The following are some comfortably priced restaurants I would highly recommend for a lovely evening out.  In a contemporary setting, Patroon  features lovely banquets and excellent food.  Unpretentious, Gotham Bar & Grill in the Village is warm and welcoming and the food is delectable.  Like French food?  Then the bistro-like restaurant L’Absinthe might be one you might want to try out.  Of  course New York City offers a bounty of wonderful eateries but these three are worth a try.  Bon Apetite and enjoy your conversation!


Short Sightedness on Long Term Care Insurance

Recently I learned a friend’s life investments and savings that were meant to be enjoyed when she and her husband retired, were now almost depleted. 

Married for over 40 years they had acquired a very comfortable life style.  Homes in several locations as well as investments and savings added up to a wonderful retirement plan.  A few years ago her husband contracted a debilitating disease that required outside medical care, frequent hospitalization, and finally round-the-clock professional assistance at home.  The disease dragged out and chipped away at savings they both accumulated through their marriage.  Yes, they had health coverage, but it didn’t cover the duration of skilled care that he required.

Many prefer to believe they will be healthy and active throughout their lives.  Well, who in their right minds wants to be infirmed?  But illness does happen and sometimes it takes a long time to come back to one’s good health. That could require professional care which can be costly. 

Whether in a facility or at-home and depending on the seriousness of one’s illness,  extended nursing care can drain the funds that were intended for happier moments in life.  Long Term Care Insurance, much like home or automotive insurance, protects eventualities that “may” occur.  No one wants their house to burn down or for their cars to be totalled.  But such things can happen.  So you get insurance to cover these occurrences.  Well, Long Term Care Insurance protects savings. 

There are those who prefer to set aside savings for unexpected events by investing in the market, real estate, or the bank.  They might want to remember 2000 and 2008 when these investments imploded leaving a person financially vulnerable.  Additionally, a general misconception is that at age 65 long-term care will be covered by Medicare.  In actuality Medicare covers skilled care for only a short time.  So if an illness lasts longer than 100 days the individual is responsible thereafter for the entire cost of care at a nursing home or nursing care in one’s own home. 

There have been opposing views regarding this issue.  Much like other insurances, there are those who believe taking out insurance benefits the insurance companies and not individuals.  However, those who have a realistic outlook on the possibility of health problems are more financially and mentally secure when they are insured against such events.  They know their hard-earned money is safe plus they are covered for life’s unexpected turns. 

Long Term Care Insurer talks about her decision to buy policy.

So that being said, there was an interesting pro-and-con feature on this subject in the Wall Street Journal on May 14th, 2012.  You might want to check it out as it features experts’ opinions on the subject, each supporting their arguments.  Fox Business “Boomer” column also focused their report on pros and cons of Long Term Care Insurance. In addition, there are impartial organizations  such as Consumer Reports that provide more about the subject. You might also want to check out insurance companies such as New York Life Insurance, Prudential, Aetna, Mutual of Omaha who provide Long Term Care Insurance.


We have to face the obvious, ladies.  Yes, our figures were “hot” and “sexy” at one time but somewhere between before and now that gorgeous shape lost its sizzle.  Child bearing years stretched that perfect contour; as did weight gain; in some cases little or no exercise left the body un-toned; and let’s not forget… each year does take a toll on our bodies!

Flattering swimsuits that shape your body.

That being said, making a trip to our favorite store and finding a flattering swimsuit is a major challenge. Let’s be real, those adorable “itsy-bitsy,” “teeny-weeny,” bikinis that we used to wear are in most cases out of the question today.  In addition to the barely there skimpy suits are the plunge front and back numbers that leave little to the imagination, especially the ripple effect that has somehow appeared in layers down our sides and our backs.  Another that not too many can wear is the waist high-leg cuts that successfully provide more attention to our cellulite thighs which overnight made an appearance down our legs. So what do we do when we are in search of a flattering swimsuit?

I am happy to report fashionable, sexy and age appropriate swimwear does exist!  Magicsuit by Miracle Suit, a manufacturer of  figure flattering swimwear, designs functional and fashionable styles that slim, trim and hide some of our visible imperfections. Another company that provides similar attributes is Lands’ End. This company designs a collection of swimsuits that suit almost any body type in the most flattering way with their “Fit Solutions” collection.  Solid or in print the suits hug and taper with some incorporating racing stripes that slim your body. They even have shorts or skirts that have additional tummy control. It’s up to us to coordinate how we want to see ourselves. So ladies, now we can make a splash and have fun in the sun all summer long.  Isn’t that refreshing!!!

Hollywood & Madison Avenue Embrace The Allure of the Mature Woman

72-year-old Valerie Ramsey began her modeling career at 62.

This is the first, of what will be many of my observations, opinions, pet peeves, and perceptions of interesting topics to women who have been honored with the title “grandmom”. 

We are women of a certain age, true, but that should not keep us from exploring our potentials and options.  We have so much to offer: our wisdom (because we should be smarter and wiser by now), our energy (because we should be keeping ourselves fit); our inquisitiveness (because we should never let down our enthusiasm for anything new); and most importantly our sense of humor (we have earned the right to laugh at our idiosyncrasies).  These fundamentals stimulate and invigorate us and make us important in today’s society. 

So let’s explore a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. Our beauty.  Have you looked in the mirror with your glasses on and under the full glare of lights?  It may not be what you hoped to see… now don’t panic and morph into Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” . It’s you!  And you are lovely… a little more mature, but lovely nonetheless.

Truthfully speaking, do you want your skin pulled, or injected?  What’s wrong with looking your age? Nothing, I say! Take a good look at bold faced names such as Judi Dench or Maggie Smith who star in the new movie, “ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”   They are beautiful!!! They haven’t masked their appearance…their wrinkles are there for the whole world to see.

Even cosmetic companies and model agencies have recognized that women in their 50’s to mid 90’s are beautiful in their respective ages.  Mac Cosmetics  is featuring Iris Apfel a 92-year-old woman, wrinkles and all, as their face for a fire engine-red lipstick.  While Valerie Ramsey, a 72-year-old model, has consistently been featured in international fashion magazines and advertisements. 

So ladies, if Hollywood and Madison Avenue embrace our looks why would we ever think of marching into Dr. Nip N. Tuck’s office?