Seeing Red

December 3, 2008 - One Response

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The first Ladies know the Power of Red

The Original Red Power Dress

The Original Red Power Dress

Red is a powerful color. It is a color that gets your attention. It is associated with seduction, romance, and now a study from the University of Rochester shows men find women wearing red more attractive.




The study on men measured the affects of color in assessing a woman’s attractiveness, and red won. An interesting point from the study says that the men “were unaware that the color red turns them on”.


Don’t ask me why research and time was allotted to this study. I am just commenting on the results because red is my favorite color.


Pictures of the US Senate and Congress show many women members wearing red suits. Do they get along better with their male counterparts when dressed in Red? I thought it was just a powerful color, not easily overlooked before I read this study. If men find women wearing red more attractive a conclusion can be made that they will cooperate and collaborate more with their female counterparts.


Case in point, when President Elect Obama and Mrs. Obama met at the White House with President Bush and Mrs. Bush, both wives were in red dresses. Conclusions can be made that if you are a woman and need to get along with men, wear red. Going to a party and don’t know many people, wear red. A social or business meeting with not your favorite people, wear red. Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Obama, and Mrs. Claus know to wear red!

Tie One On for The Giving Season

November 18, 2008 - Leave a Response

National Tie One on Day, an apron of course, is November 26, 2008. EllynAnne Geisel of Apron Memories, www.apronmemories.comsmoochie the apron, started this giving day tradition the day before Thanksgiving three years ago. She encourages embracing a “giving opportunity that has nothing to do with shopping or even getting into a car, but everything to do with our recognition of gratefulness  and our ability to give to someone in need of spiritual or physical sustenance.”

EllynAnne goes on to say “Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal and it is with in our historical linkage to share our bounty”


 EllynAnne has become the patron saint of the Apron.

She writes about aprons,, exhibits aprons, and sews and sells aprons on her web site. Her aprons have become famous with the Desperate Housewives character Bree wearing one, to the recent article in Vogue magazine.


When I came across the Apron Memories site I was infatuated. My very first sewing project was an apron, and I have loved them and sewing ever since. After I read about EllynAnne’s ‘Tie One On Day’, I knew I had to get the word out. Join me and other apron wearing women spreading thanks the day before Thanksgiving.

On Line Community Goes Live

November 12, 2008 - One Response

_blogging-momentmg_4110     Ever wonder what bloggers really look like from your favorite social net work sites? I am not talking about the posed picture they have next to their name, if that truly is their name, but a picture of what they look like when they are blogging. Many bloggers hit their favorite sites early in the morning or late at night, and don’t use their web cam for a reason!


     One of my favorite social networking sites is Women Etcetera,

This site is geared for the woman over 50. It is a voice with topics on health, business, ‘Today in Herstory’, articles and of course blogs. This on line community is a wonderful group of women “embracing transitions and change”. They use their real names and write from their hearts. They are also brave enough to have a picture of themselves blogging.


     Like other online communities, Women Etcetera members want to meet each other in the flesh. They want to meet the other women that they now call friends. The first Women Etcetera conference was recently held in Pittsburgh, PA. It was so successful that the second full day conference will be November 15, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

If you can’t make it, check out the web site and join this wonderful virtual community.



Hot Flash Voting

November 5, 2008 - Leave a Response

A friend of mine in another state told me she votes by mail because while in the voting booth, she gets a wee bit anxious and her anxiety triggers hot flashes.


Here in the state of Oregon, all voting is done by mail. Don’t want to mail your ballot, drop off boxes are located at libraries.  In tallying up the ballots, many of the workers wear gloves because some of the ballots are covered with food. Some of the ballots are hard to read because of coffee stains. The ballots come out 2 weeks before the election and people are at their leisure casting their vote. This is code for they may be eating at the same time.


My friend thinks Oregon is on to some thing great with their vote by mail. I personally miss the excitement of voting in person. I would suffer a day full of hot flashes to go to a voting booth. I always wanted to be one of those ladies outside the voting booth who takes your ballot. They always looked like they were having fun, eating cookies and coffee and talking with each other. They would scornfully look up the precinct when people didn’t know where to vote. I was asked once with perfect scorn “you don’t know what precinct you are in?”  Oh how I wanted that job!


Unless I move to another State or Oregon goes back to voting in person, my life career goal is gone, obsolete. The best I can do is stand in front of a drop off box sipping coffee eating cookies and hope someone will ask me the location of the box so I can make some scornful reply! 

Passionately Pink Pumpkins for The Cure

October 30, 2008 - Leave a Response

All Pinky

All Pinky

Komen has a program for the month of October, breast cancer awareness month, for companies to join in fund raising by wearing Pink. The goal is to set a date and anyone who wants to wear the Pink in support for the Cure donates at least $5.00.


We took this fund raising challenge on a different bent with Passionately Pink Pumpkins for the Cure. We had so many table top pumpkins from our garden that we decided to decorate them with pink boa feathers and sell them as Passionately Pink Pumpkins for the Cure. Of course we wore pink in more of a Halloween/costume theme and had pink lemonade and pink cupcakes, because what is a pink fund raiser with-out pink cake?


The response was great and we raised $150.00 from our afternoon efforts. Next year we are planning for bigger response, more lead time and more cupcakes. No guarantee that the garden will produce an abundance of pumpkins again, but we can adapt with Passionately Pink Potatoes for the Cure, or even Passionately Pink Parsley for the Cure. We have a year to passionately plan.


My lovely dress was bought at the local Goodwill for $5.95. This was hand sewn and must have been a bride’s maid dress. The puffy sleeves and the bow in the back are the tell tale signs. A friend was looking for a princess dress just like mine to wear at the request of her 2 little boys for Halloween.  I am delighted to loan it to her for the evening because I know how difficult it is to find a passionately pink taffeta dress when you need one!

Menopause Stardom

October 22, 2008 - One Response

Did you ever want to be in the movies? Who hasn’t had a bit of a fantasy to see themselves on the big screen, gorgeous backgrounds, exotic locations, costumes and make-up that make you look like a real live movie star?  Yes fantasies are great.


 Reality is more like in the movie Tootsie when they scream “Not too close” for the camera work in shooting Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie. This week I was able to participate in some of the fun of movie making. Hot Flash Havoc,, is the name of the film being made that I am privileged to be a part of. Since it is in documentary style, I am playing myself, a middle age menopausal woman. My naturopathic physician friend Kelly Jennings,, is also interviewed and filmed. Kelly treats effectively, and patiently many women with menopause and breast cancer symptoms. She is also young, smart and gorgeous! So my close up is Kelly giving me an acupuncture treatment. Yes indeed, I am the woman in repose with acupuncture needles all over her face, head and neck!


I was also interviewed about my story, the breast cancer/menopause/entrepreneur connection. This film has a fantastic concept; educate and entertain about the condition called Menopause. The movie is still in production and I will blog about it again, and again as the release date becomes closer and my close up for stardom nears.

Crying At Work

October 15, 2008 - One Response


The question is when is it acceptable to cry in the work place?


A friend of mine has told me she is just about menopausal and she is having emotional surges like her teenagers. She is crying more frequently, and being very short tempered. While her teenagers are quick to get over their outbursts, she still reels from her own for hours. The crying is the most troublesome and hardest to hide. How many times, does my friend tell me, can she say it’s just allergies?

I have been at meetings when the subject of death is addressed when one in our group has lost a husband, wife or child to disease or suicide. A collective tearing up in these circumstances is totally acceptable. I have noticed however, that many of the men remained stoic. Crying makes people feel uncomfortable, especially in my experience, men people.


I have seen co-workers make harsh comments to one another in meetings. Sometimes the recipient of the unkind words is stunned into silence, like a slap. Sometimes another co-worker comes to the defense and it turns into a verbal brawl. I have seen pounding on tables, throwing back chairs, standing up and shouting, throwing papers, ripping charts off walls, and getting red in the face, but I have never seen a man reduced to tears. I am not saying this is good or bad, it is just an interesting observation from my 30 years in the drenches of corporate America.


I used to work with a woman who cried frequently at meetings. It was a tough company, we were in sales, and you were expected to exceed your sales goals to keep your job. Men were the bosses and morale was not a consideration. Over the ten years I knew this woman, she cried at meetings when she was criticized, or when she was praised. She also cried at the Christmas party, and when she had too much to drink. In short she was a crier. In the ten years we worked together she maintained her job but she was not advanced, viewed as not able to handle pressure, and not being able to negotiate with difficult people. I heard others throw around the word ‘Drama Queen’ when referring to her. I know many did not want to work with her because she was disruptive with her crying. Crying elicits a need to comfort for many people. It is difficult to concentrate on work if you are busy comforting the crying person.  It is also difficult to ignore a crying person and stay on task. Looking back, I think she may have been PMS, post pregnancy, or peri-menopausal. Her hormones may have been running amok, or it was just part of her personality.


I think we have all had moments when we tear up in frustration or hurt feelings.

Not one condition or reason can be attributed to why a woman cries at work more than a man. I think a host of reasons trigger crying, menopause or hormone changes may just be some of the mix.


The conclusion I have reached is that it doesn’t do any one any good including the crier to cry at work. Go to the rest room, or walk outside your building, go to your car or someplace alone. Excuse yourself. Crying appears to be in the same genre as bawdy jokes. They can make some people feel uncomfortable, and give an air of an unprofessional demeanor. Don’t let your career be jeopardized by a few tears. No crying at Work!

What is your opinion?




On The Verge

September 16, 2014 - Leave a Response

I was speaking with my sister recently after she had a very exasperating experience. She stated she was on the verge….
Well she was so exasperated that fill in the blank was easy.

I realized we are all often on the verge of something good or bad.
Here is a list that may appear in your conversation:

On the verge of something big
On the verge of losing it
On the verge of a nervous breakdown
On the verge of falling asleep
On the verge of hitting it big
On the verge of discovering a breakthrough
On the verge of hysteria
On the verge of enlightenment
On the verge of a big break
On the verge of extinction
On the verge of exhaustion
On the verge of recovery
On the verge of making it
On the verge of acceptance
On the verge of going Postal

Being on the verge can be very dramatic. It can be a full of exasperation or full of hope. It might take someone a lifetime to be on the verge of some attribute or a split second. Some of us may never act on what we are on the verge of or be the recipient of what is just out of reach.

What are you on the verge?

Behind the Scenes at Haralee.Com Sleepwear

September 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

It takes quite a few people to run Haralee.Com Sleepwear, my company. Every year we introduce 1-4 new styles. We have a photo shoot to introduce the new style and usually take some additional photos of styles and a new group shot.

A lot of planning and scheduling and coordinating goes into the photo shoot before even one picture is taken. We take our photos in our home. We want the look to be informal enough that the customers can see themselves in our line of sleepwear. Most of our competitors use a white background. We have been turned down to sell on Amazon because we don’t use a white background. Some companies use only one model. We use 4-5 different real women as models.Group 2014 Reading2

When we have an intern the photo shoot is usually their culmination and the most fun aspect of their internship. This year we didn’t hire an intern because we had The Perfect Intern and her memory is still too fresh!Terra in Action

We cleaned and scrubbed the house and staged it so all the photos would be indoors. We had a new model this year who was fulfilling an item on her bucket list, that is to pose as a fashion model. We were ready until our photographer’s camera could not communicate with her lights. The solution was to take the photo shoot outside. It was damp and cool outside and only one model brought shoes!

It was a scramble to get the shoot completed before the rain started and models had to leave for prior commitments. Frenzy is a good word, but we got it done and I think the look s great.Claire Repose

Here is a shot of our model who is the daughter of another model and is pregnant with her first child.

Laughing ConradsHere is our newest model. She can scratch off fashion model from her bucket list.

Here is a great behind the scenes look.Super Model Amy

Lyndi and Lou
Do you have a behind the scenes story to share?

Haralee.Com Behind the scenes

Women and Heart Disease, or Are You Having a Little Heart Attack?

August 25, 2014 - Leave a Response

Preventative cardiology is a field where cardiologists like to make an intervention or after the heart ‘event’. I was lucky enough to hear a preventative cardiologist for women speak.


The video, ‘Just a Little Heart Attack’, is a must see for women.

Since women are usually the nurturers in the family, taking care of everyone else but themselves, this video is spot on!


Just a Little Heart Attack


The cardiologist gave several examples of women patients she has seen in her practice who have displayed one of the top symptoms of heart disease: Denial

Intuitively women know there is something wrong but……


An example she gave was of a woman who was having symptoms but the family was about to go on a family vacation and she didn’t want to ruin it by having a heart attack. The family made it to their destination and that night she called 911, but met them outside because she didn’t want to wake up her family! As a result she ended up in a hospital in a city she was unfamiliar and doctors she didn’t know.


Because men were studied first regarding heart attacks their symptoms were thought for years to be the same for women. Not really is the reality. Women will have symptoms of jaw pain, throat pain, fatigue and heartburn more than men.  


So here are modifiable factors to reduce your chance of becoming 1 out of 4 women to die of a ‘Heart Event’:


  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Smoking
  • Abdominal Obesity
  • Nutrition
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Stress Management


Have you had your cholesterol tested or your blood pressure? Are you at risk?

How Do You Know You are Menopausal?

August 18, 2014 - Leave a Response

I spoke with a friend recently who mentioned she didn’t think she was menopausal any longer although she still suffers some hot flashes and night sweats. As we were talking she lost her train of thought twice. She also mentioned some mood swings. I suggested she was still menopausal and she snapped at me with a sharp retort, and eventually agreed maybe she was still a wee bit menopausal!

Here are the signs that menopause has a grip on you and how to cope:
CRS, Can’t Remember Shit
Write everything down. Do not say to yourself that you will remember, you will not! Write everything down on a note pad that you keep in the same spot in your purse or on your desk so you can check it often and frequently.
Do not leave your to do list, or calendar only on your phone because you will forget to charge your phone.
Do you walk into a room and forget why?
Do you find milk in the pantry, socks in the frig, or other items temporarily placed and forgotten?

DGS, Don’t Give a Shit
You think you look better, younger, and sexier, than anyone else you know even when others may comment lovingly, critically or snidely to you about your dress, hair or overall appearance and you don’t care.
You think you used to be the smartest person in the room. You know that may not be the case because you cannot remember some words or have become dependent on spell check but who cares.
You cannot watch a Lifetime/Hallmark movie without sobbing. You hate criers at work and now there you are blubbering about someone’s story and you don’t care.

Mood Swings
One day you are happy and satisfied and the next you want to sell the house, leave the family and the job to eat chocolate in Paris.
Are people saying things like “You just need your morning coffee”?
Do you have co-workers who only email you?
Does your family ask “Why are you so sensitive?”
Do you have sudden road rage?
Have you gone Ape Shit in a public setting?

Eerily Image with Lisa Pjs
What can help?
Try to get a good night sleep. Ask your Doctor for sleep medication.
Not even when you were at the top of your game did you function well while sleep deprived. Shameless plug for our wicking sleepwear,, can help!
Try exercise of some kind. Whacking a ball in some sport or joining an exercise/dance class can help.
Talk with friends your same age.
Just know it is normal, you are not going crazy or becoming emotionally unbalanced; you are menopausal.

I am sure I forgot an important tip or sage advice but you can comment here.


Eating Close To The Bone

August 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

Louie and Crab


Do you eat ribs?

Do you eat chicken wings?

Do you eat big shrimp?

Do you eat crab or lobster in the shell?

If so, do you pick up your food with your hands?


The above foods have to be picked up with your hands to eat, using a fork and knife is not necessary. That is my opinion. I will admit that I observe people eating. I don’t make judgments just observations.


Do you eat chicken pieces on the bone?

I think so many people eat boneless skinless chicken that the idea of eating a piece of chicken on the bone is forgotten. Yes a fork and knife is needed.


I realize many people do not like to eat foods with their hands. Many people also do not like to cut food away from the bone. Many people do not like to eat close to a bone.

I don’t get it. I really don’t. A fork and knife application isn’t that hard.


Eating with your hands I think could be awkward if you are in your very finest clothes at a very fancy event. But if you are with friends in a casual setting like a home what’s not to enjoy with munching down chicken wings, or ribs with your hands?


I have seen people eat chicken wings with a fork and knife, carefully removing the skin. I have seen people cut bits of a rib off with a fork and knife to eat. I have also seen people appear to pine over some shrimp because they did not want to lift the tail with their hands to eat! Crab and lobster in shells, my observations, some just say forget about it!


Am I barbaric? I am fixing corn on the cob with a grilled lamb chop tonight. I’d invite some friends but I don’t want to offend anyone. What are your rules when it comes to eating with your hands? Do you eat close to the bone?


I Don’t Want a Bucket List

August 4, 2014 - One Response

Fill the bucketMany people have bucket lists. I don’t. The idea of a list to check off items before I die has no appeal to me. Am I alone?

I have heard some precise, outlandish, and ridiculous bucket lists. Learning to be a snake charmer? Really? So if you put something like learning to become a snack charmer on your bucket list and it never happens is the whole list voided? Is it a way to achieve lesser and more reasonable feats?

How old do you have to be to start a bucket list? I overheard a 30-something woman talking to a 40-something woman about their bucket lists. Before they could turn to me at my advanced age and ask me about my list, I left the vicinity.

I think I underestimated the popularity of a bucket list. I thought it was like the Macarena, something fun for a short amount of time. Bucket lists, I read, have appeared on people’s resumes and in job interviews, and even in obituaries!

Bucket list fundamentals, I really want to know:

Why do you have a bucket list?

Do you keep a bucket list because you are afraid you will die with regrets?

Is it a way to brag?

Is it a checklist to keep score among your friends, neighbors and associates?

Is it a conversation starter?

Is it a filter, you only associate with people who have similar bucket lists?

  Empty Bucket

What is on your bucket list?

Do you think you will achieve all the items on your bucket list?

What happens if you don’t meet 25% or 50% of your list?

Convince me I need a bucket list!

Where is my Service for 16?

July 28, 2014 - One Response

At one time I had a service of dinnerware and flatware for 16. Now I have a firm service for 10. Where did the missing flatware go? Did they take up with the solo socks? Has my dishwasher taken up with the dryer and it is an appliance conspiracy?


I know some dishes have broken along the years. Yes that time I was giving a plate full of food to a family member to bring to some one seated at the table and it was a bad pass off, and a messy cleanup. Then there was the time some other family member cut lemons with a huge knife and force on a dessert plate. Of course there was that incident when a soup bowl and dinner plate slipped out of the dishwasher onto the floor.


I started with a service of 16 realizing that not all dishes last forever. In fact my pattern has been discontinued. All these mishaps account for my being able to serve Thanksgiving dinner for 10 only. Some one wants to bring a friend; they better bring their own dishes!


Now where are all my forks and tablespoons? I think some went for a potluck and never came home. I am not accusing but let’s just say I use camping flatware for potlucks. It’s not pretty but it serves and if it doesn’t come home it is not missed until the next camping trip or ever.


The dining room table seats 8 comfortably. We don’t have to bring in any extra chairs or the put some one on the piano bench. This is my new limit to entertain. More people than 8 will have to be seated at the children’s table with paper dishes.


I know I can’t be alone with this problem. Have you found your missing dishes or silverware? What do you do when you have more people than service ware?

My Cars are Aging Faster than Me!

July 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

In 1986 I left my job and I bought a new car. The kind of work I did came with a company car. I knew I would get another job and another company car, but until then I decided to buy a car I would keep, a convertible. The dealer tossed me the keys and told me to take a test drive. I liked the car, and bought it. I call her Beverly.

I didn’t buy air conditioning on the convertible, thinking as a young person that if it were warm I would have the top down. In 2002 I was hot all the time. Even if I drove fast with the top down I was still hot. I really needed a car with air-conditioning.


The Mini Cooper was just being introduced and I thought it adorable. I was put on a 6-8 month waiting list. I couldn’t wait. I was going through cancer treatments and my coping skills were diminished. I needed air! I found a Mini on line and bought the car over the phone. I call him Monty.

I think cars age about 5 years for every human year. My husband and I fall in love with our cars. Beverly’s value is more sentimental in her present condition than monetary. Monty has lots of miles and Mini’s aren’t known for running with hundreds of thousands of miles. We are in the talking stages of selling.

I bought my cars with so much emotion that they are hard to sell. I want to hold on to that confident young woman’s buying choice of a convertible. I want to remember my fearlessness with buying a car unseen, not test driven as my victory over cancer. I really hate that my cars are aging faster than me!

Have you ever become attached to your car? What did you do when your car became old?

The Healthy Brain or Over Sharing Brain Stuff

July 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

I recently attended a seminar on the brain. It was a continuing education credit class for me. The seminar was lead by 2 brain surgeons. There were cookies and fruit passed around while we listened and looked at slides. Note to self and anyone else; unless you look at brain slides all day long, don’t be snacking!

The first doctor loved his slides. He showed surgery from different approaches to the brain: through the sinus and nose, through top of the skull and slicing through the mid skull or base of skull. Since brain surgery is not my usual choice of slide viewing my reaction was a loud internal yuk, yuk, and yuk!

I must have zoned out on the asked question because suddenly the doctor was talking about worms in the brain. Now you understand my reservations on the snacking. Well it appears a person can acquire a worm that goes into your brain from eating uncooked pork. He says sometimes the worm is still living when they remove it from the poor soul’s brain!

Another question about diagnostic testing and surgery brought the remark that he and his ilk do so many brain surgeries they can do it in their sleep. Here is where I am afraid I am over sharing. Like everyone else I would hope my brain surgeon would have his eyes open when operating on my brain even if it is to him/her, child’s play.

Brain Surgeon #2 got up and thank goodness did not have any slides. She started her talk saying summer is trauma season in the brain injury field. More accidents on the brain occur during the summer than a fantastic snow/ski season in the winter. People are outdoors on bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, diving into water, waterskiing and generally taking too many risks without headgear protection. Many back injuries are also brain injuries. Then there is the matter of alcohol that may or may not induce some risky behavior but does increases bleeding in the brain. Not a good thing.

The brain surgeons say brain health is influenced by lifestyle and diet. They feel the brain is the Rodney Dangerfield of the body, with the heart getting all the glamour!

Take-away to have a healthy brain:

  1. Healthy Lifestyle, exercise and diet
  2. Helmets for bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs
  3. Don’t dive head first into a body of water that you don’t know the depth
  4. Don’t drink and dive, drive, waterski, or do any activities
  5. Cook pork thoroughly
  6. Don’t do Meth. It appears you can literally fry your brain on meth


I hope I didn’t gross out anyone, but the brain is interesting, don’t you think?




Summer Projects and Tooth Fairy Pillow Dreaming

July 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

Spring started with a friend mentioning to me about her chairs she reupholstered. I was impressed with her work and asked her if she would help me. It was fun and I am really pleased how they turned out!

Then I was cruising through Goodwill and spotted a bolt of outdoor fabric. I ‘d been wanting to get new cushions for the outside chairs so why not. My sewing machine buzzed and my skills came back, sort of. 

Because it does look a bit like the circus is in town with all the stripes, I made another tablecloth to mix and match.

I was feeling confident on my sewing skills so when another fabric piece appeared at Goodwill I thought it perfect for cushions for the cat baskets.

Now that summer is here, I’ve put the sewing machine away for a bit. My summer project is to organize my loose recipes. I did this about 10 years ago with category tabs. I bought this notebook and plastic page protectors and if I can stop printing off recipes I find online or from, I will finish by summer’s end.

Another project waiting for cold weather and the return of the sewing machine is Tooth Fairy Pillows. I picked up some felt and fabric at a yard sale that will be darling. The woman I bought the fabrics from asked if I was putting a handle on the pillows that go on the doorknob of the child’s room to direct the Tooth Fairy. Did the Tooth Fairy get stupid?

Do you know the proper protocol for Tooth Fairy pillows? Any one have a tooth fairy design they like? I am open for ideas!


What are your summer projects?



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