39 In Women Now

The Blessings of Another Birthday-Yay!

Celebrating birthdays

June is my birthday month


There’s something wonderful about having a birthday. Well, several things. There’s the benefit of still being on this planet. I’m happy about that. But there’s also that feeling of, “It’s my birthday! I’ll do what I want!”

And I did that.

I took extra days off and played like I was lazy. I went for walks, wrote in my journal, gave myself plenty of time to stare out the window in my office in the morning.

I saw three movies. Yes, three, in movie theaters! Movies are one of my favorite things.

Russ, Erin, Brent, and I saw The Rider. Oh my gosh. The next day I was telling Dad all about it over the phone. “Do you suppose it will come here?” he asked. “Well, it should being so close to South Dakota and all that.” So I looked it up. It’s playing in Fargo at the Fargo Theater on Broadway. And then my 92-year-0ld dad said, “That’s pretty far to drive but I’d really like to see it.”

“Dad, you are not driving to Fargo to see that movie! If it’s still playing when I get there this summer, I’ll take you.”

“Well, that’s going to be a few weeks. Maybe I can find someone to drive me.” Gotta love his gumption.

It takes place on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I’ve been there before. But you don’t need to relate to the sense of place to appreciate this movie. It’s a story about what happens when the thing you saw yourself doing is suddenly taken from you. Those dreams are shattered.


Brenda's Birthday

Being a bit lazy on my birthday


I was talking to Dad again on the phone Sunday night. We talked about dreams. I told him how being in my 60’s has me thinking about my dreams, the ones that haven’t been realized. And maybe they won’t be. I told Dad that I had a talk with myself a couple of years back about those dreams. I asked myself, If you don’t realize them, is that okay? And it is. I’ve had a good life with highs and lows, challenges and the overcoming of challenges. I look forward to the next chapters.

When I got home from the movie, I got on my iPad and started reading everything I could about this movie. I’m going to share a few of the links here in case you find it as fascinating as I do.

When Every Rodeo May be Your Last

The Rider, One of the Best Films of 2018

Chloe Zhao’s, The Rider, Is a Beautiful, Longing Look at the Transforming American West 

How ‘The Rider’ Became the Breakout Movie of 2018

Okay, I’ve said enough!


Brenda in Sonoma

Relaxing between matinee movies


A Girl Flick Weekend

I didn’t think I could see another film for three months after seeing The Rider but two days later when it was hovering near 100 degrees in Sonoma, it seemed like an excellent day for a movie, in fact, maybe two movies!

Russ and I sat in air conditioning and watched Book Club. My friend Marj said, “Finally!” And maybe you’re saying that too.

You know what? I delayed going to this movie because I was worried they’d be cheesy about the subject of older women. You know, over the top. But I related to a lot of things and laughed along with the characters. It was fun seeing grownups in a film about grownups.

I took notes in the theater.

When the friends were dressing Diane Keaton for her date with the pilot played by Andy Garcia, she came out in an oversized jacket. One of them piped in with, “I can take that to Goodwill for you!”

These lines, from one friend to another, cracked me up:

We’re not spring flowers.

No, we’re more like potpourri.


I thought the ladies were a great study in style.

Candace Bergen’s style was very traditional.

Jane Fonda was sexy, alluring.

Mary Steenburgen was kind of an elegant natural.

Diane Keaton was Diane Keaton of course but I realized with all her polka dots, gingham checks, trousers, linen suit, and Oxfords that I might call her a tailored creative.

Wasn’t it fun following their outfits?

And I liked this line which was near the end: Don’t be afraid to be happy. 

I took it personally, as a birthday message.


What I Want

In my own journal at my writing table the day after my birthday, I wrote at the top of a page, “What Do I Want for Myself.”


Living my dreams

Dreaming my dreams, living my dreams


Here’s what I answered.

Move in the direction of my wishes and dreams.

Be more available to myself and less involved in other people’s business.

Accept it all.

Go at my own pace. I’m not behind.

When I don’t know what to do, choose something I love.


Oh, I forgot to mention Ocean’s 8! Fashion candy, but not a lot of substance, in my humble opinion.

And I must speak about birthday cards! Paper and art on the front of a card … well, that’s nearly as fun as fashion. Here’s one of my favorites.


Birthday card

A bird perches on heels


I decided birds of a feather must flock together so I placed it next to the other bird that you know so much about.


Birthday cards

Birds of a feather flock together


When I count my blessings, and I did, you are one of them. This kind community that’s flocked together brings me so much joy. Your shared experiences of love and compassion and dressing and changing and rejoicing is a constant inspiration to me. Thank you for making my year!

Your turn. Want to share movies? Mottos? Style notes? Begin!


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  • Reply
    Susan Winham
    June 26, 2018 at 4:45 am

    If your birthday is June 25th then we are birthday twins : ) love your blog and perspective on life in our 60’s…my day was much like yours minus the movies. I need to see Book Club and I have a friend that is after me to see it with her. Gotta do it soon. Have a great year Brenda!
    Cumming, GA

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Susan, you have a great year too! We aren’t quite birthday twins. It’s just that I’ve extended the celebrating! My birthday is on June 21st. Hope you enjoy the movie. So glad to hear from you!

  • Reply
    Mary Dana
    June 26, 2018 at 5:15 am

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful, joyful birthday, because you share so much joy and wonder with us! Reading your posts always makes my heart happy. Thank you being the warm, generous, caring and supportive person you are. You are truly moving through life in a way that blesses those around you.

    As for mottos, mine is “there will be beauty.” This came to me during a long season darkness and pain, when I noticed that small things–a bird singing, the shadow of a tree swaying on the bedroom wall–stood out in such sharp relief–a flash of brilliant light in the dark. I realized these things surround us all the time, every day. No matter what pain, sadness, trial or loss may lie ahead, there will be beauty.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 10:40 am

      I love “there will be beauty.” That is so true. It’s interesting those seasons of darkness and pain. That is part of my “accept it all” motto. Whatever it is, I shall accept. I truly adore the simple lessons you’ve taught us about beauty. When we are attentive to beauty, or at least when I am, it aids me in slowing down and just being. Gosh I loved what you said. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Karen Winfield
    June 26, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Brenda, I also had some serious health challenges a couple of years ago and lost my sister way too young at 55. I am so grateful, too, for every birthday and I honour your resilience and rejoice in your intentions for the months ahead. Many blessings for your birthday!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Karen, you really know the fabric of gratitude for birthdays as they certainly aren’t guaranteed. I’m sorry for the loss of your sister, yes, way too young. Thanks for sharing. xo

  • Reply
    June 26, 2018 at 5:28 am

    I love that you see a movie and take notes on the outfits, Brenda!! I’m sure I do that somewhat, but I’m not smart enough to categorize them like you did!!
    You are also so good at taking time for yourself (or slowing down as you mentioned so long ago). I’m always go, go, go and I need to take notes from you!!
    Thanks for always sharing your life with us and your wonderful way with words!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Thanks, Jodie. Part of talking about slowing down is to help me reinforce myself to do it more! I need practice as it’s not my normal speed at all. Right now I’m inviting the spirit of summer into my days. It helps me to put spaces between activities. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Nancy Neisse
    June 26, 2018 at 5:49 am

    It was Candace Bergen not Lauren Hutton. I loved the movie! I am in Fargo right now. Weather is nice!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Nancy, if an elderly man shows up at the Fargo Theater looking for the movie, The Rider, will you help him to his seat? And yes, it is Candace! My brain did a trick on me! Enjoy Fargo. I miss it!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Wait…Lauren Hutton!? Oh, ok, I’m not losing my mind, someone already pointed that out!
    Wheh! What a relief! Thought I was losing it!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 8:06 am

      Yes, a lovely follower emailed me this morning over that one. I’m laughing at myself. I was thinking during the movie when they had the flashback pictures of the women when they first met that I wondered why they filled in the gap in her teeth. Geez Louise! Well, that’s one of things I mean–those brain swaps–by my desire to “accept it all.” This falls in that category for sure.

  • Reply
    Bobbi A Mouzon
    June 26, 2018 at 7:04 am

    We went and saw Book Club when it came out and I loved it…I laughed and cried. And yes, Ocean’s 8 was just a bit of fluff with pretty clothes.
    I enjoyed reading your reflections on birthday month as I am finding myself becoming more and more depressed and feeling “finished” at 62. Seeing you helps me to remember that we can still be busy, vital women.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Bobbi, I’m so glad you brought that up about feeling depressed and finished. You bring voice to many people. I’ve heard this from friends as well. It’s a subject I will continue to explore. Thanks, my darling!

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    June 26, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I loved this post! I want to see both of those movies. Thank you so much for reviewing them for me. Also thank you so much for the shout out on your last post. I kept trying to comment on my phone and gave up! Hope to get together soon. We need to plan our Paso excursion!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

      I am ready for that Paso excursion! Thanks, Cindy. And you’re so welcome about the last post. I learned so much from you and so did my readers. Cheers!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Hi Brenda,
    I’m happy you had such a lovely time celebrating your birthday. I think it’s wonderful that you have such a close relationship with your dad and speak with him so often. I miss my Dad all the time!
    I turned 60 in April, it came as a bit of a shock, and I’m still surprised sometimes. Filling out forms at an appointment the other day was the first time I actually wrote THAT number down. Makes it all more real, somehow! My dad would always say “consider the alternative” when it came to birthdays and getting another year older. I agree! But still, sometimes I don’t recognize myself or my life, things are so different around here now with an empty house and my husband deeply engrossed in a new, demanding job. I’ve been staying very busy, but I like your idea of stopping and really thinking about life and the things you want for it. I need to do that more!
    Thanks for the inspiration to lead a more thoughtful and present life!
    Xo Heidi

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      You are so welcome, Heidi. I do love what you shared about turning 60 and those feelings sometimes of disbelief. Now that I’m 66 I’m been doing this 60 stuff for awhile. Now 70, well, that may be different. What you say about not recognizing yourself or your life sometimes is so meaty. This is true for many. I get those feelings too. Maybe especially being around my daughters who are so not 60! You’re giving me more food for thought!

  • Reply
    Cindy Scurry
    June 26, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I totally align with your notes on what you want for yourself. I love your blog and I feel like we are sitting together and you are talking to me. So real and honest too. Your dad reminds me of my dad. BRB, I have to go see some movies.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Then we’ve got great dads! Thanks, Cindy. I love sitting together and talking with you!!! XO

  • Reply
    Sue Malizia
    June 26, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Sending birthday wishes from a fan of yours!!! =)

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks, Sue, much appreciated!

  • Reply
    Patricia Madsen
    June 26, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Brenda, you are so wise. I do enjoy reading your posts and following you on Instagram.

    I have seen Oceans 8, which I enjoyed tremendously, and have The Rider in my Netflix queue. But my best recommendation for a movie about ladies of a certain age is The Midwife, available on Netflix. It features two very different women, each with challenges but determined to live her life in the way she sees fit. It’s in French with subtitles, but the story and characters are easily translatable.

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks for that recommendation! I’ll check it out. I’ve been looking for a new treat on Netflix! Wow, I didn’t know The Rider was on Netflix! I could show it to Dad that way!

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Following Augustine
    June 26, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday, Brenda!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Rachel Smith
    June 26, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful, funny, fashion-helpful writing! I’m 57 and though I can fit into clothing a teeny bopper might wear, my forays into the clothing store changing rooms used to constantly conjure the words, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Boy, have I cringed with an internal understanding of wrongness in thurs fitting rooms. Oh, my.

    Thanks to photo filled blogs like yours I have begun to build some confidence dressing myself. Age appropriate dressing can be confounding. Especially when you feel 32 in the inside and your skin hasn’t looked that age in 32 years. If you know what I mean. Your blog speaks to me. Your style speaks to me.

    Right when I accidentally put a few things together that felt like me that also honored my actual years, I stumbled on your joyful blog that makes me laugh, that inspires me, that provides good ideas on what the heck to wear. Thank you for posts.

    And, finally, is there any chance your mother or another female relative ever used to be an elementary teacher in Ohio?

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Rachel, what a delight to read your comment-three times I might add! I had to chuckle when you said that you feel 32 on the inside but your skin hasn’t looked that age in 32 years. I GET IT!! I’m so happy you’re getting some inspiration from my posts. I’m here to offer that up for sure! No relatives that I know of that are in Ohio. My relatives are in North Dakota and now Minnesota. But just in case, I hope she was a great teacher! xx

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    June 28, 2018 at 4:49 am

    What a beautiful post, and all who shared their wisdom, and celebration in life. ,especially yours. A little motto I strive and sometimes fail to live by,is, Look for the good ! in the day, in people, in the situation, in the lesson etc ! It helps me , when things are hard, or I am sick, or even in relationships with those I love, if we get cross with each other. I am glad you are trying to think a bit more of you Brenda,
    because YOU are certainly worth it ! sending love from Oz to a lovely soul x

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Thanks so much, Trinnie! I love how you bring up “looking for the good” even as we get cross with the ones we love. Loving relationships aren’t all balloons and chocolate and love songs. Ah, the fluidity of relationships. But I appreciate how you work your motto into all parts of your life. You inspire me! Love from Sonoma, my friend.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2018 at 5:41 am

    June 21st is my daughters birthday! First day of summer! What a wonderful way to start ones life! Happy birthday!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Kathy, well then you know. Brent and I gloat about having the best day for a birthday, ever! Your daughter probably feels and acts the same way. How can we not? The longest day of the year! Happy belated birthday to her!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Brenda, happy birthday! I am new to your blog, and I am so enjoying reading your posts! You are like a ray of sunshine, bright , optimistic and fun. I’m on an antique buying trip this weekend for my shop, and look forward to some more reading of your posts this afternoon. Wishing you a beautiful weekend, xo Lidy

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Well, Lidy, you are just a delight! I ran right over to read about your passion for Paris (I guess it was my fingers that ran right over) and adored it. Everyone I’m close to says I have to go to Paris. I’ve never been! With your guide, I’ll be in good hands. (Hey, everyone, if you’re headed to Paris be sure to read Lidy’s post frenchgardenhouse.com/blog/a-passion-for-paris. What a wonderful shop you have. Your passion for antiques is infectious! So glad you’re here, my dear! xo

  • Reply
    June 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Just discovered your blog and am loving it! I see in an earlier post that you’re wearing the “65 Years Bold” T from Chicos! I just got it to wear on my 65th BD June 23. It’s kind of shocking to reach this age but I’m also enjoying it immensely. Feeling much more free and enjoying every minute of retirement, even though I do notice my energy is a bit less than it was 20 years ago. I look forward to reading more of your earlier posts.

    • Reply
      July 2, 2018 at 11:19 am

      It feels so great to be discovered! Thanks for joining in with this great community! I know what you mean. Sometimes looking at those numbers like 65 and 66 seems a little odd. But we move through each year a year at a time, thank goodness. We get time to adjust! I’ve wondered about that energy piece as well. Learning to accept it as just “what is” still is a process sometimes. I hope your birthday was DIVINE! Happy Birthday to you!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2018 at 6:40 am

    I was without a computer & missed your birthday!


    I turn 60 in July (I share a birthday with Contessa) and I’m fine with that, luckily.

    • Reply
      July 3, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Awesome, Cara. Happy Birthday right now to you. I don’t want to miss saying that! I highly recommend 60!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Thank you!

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