I also take advantage of every opportunity to go outside

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I don’t know about the rest of the seventyish population, but I have been staying indoors a lot of the day, for a lot of the days and weeks and months this past year. It is especially noticeable in winter, as right now, for instance, I couldn’t go out without a big pep talk. I mean, today it is 34 degrees and snowing/sleeting/ freezing-rain. If I went out I would get my clothes wet, ruin the beach hair effect I’ve just created with a lot of product in my wet hair. …


Yoga before coffee is my new thing

a cup of hot coffee in a plain cup
a cup of hot coffee in a plain cup
Photo by Vincent Tom on Unsplash

Looking back over my long life, I am encouraged by the habits I have begun that have led to important accomplishments: learning to play the piano, cater weddings, complete graduate school, self-publish a book. But I am also aware that I have wasted many years wishing for a habit that I have never managed to start or sustain. A clean house, a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, control of my finances.

I have started on these things over and over and may have done well for a while but then didn’t. In other words, I lost the habit. There…


Some tips for how to handle your own

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I was doing great with my new habit, walking one minute more every day, then I hurt myself. My setback was small but the way I reacted to it reminded me of the big implications of our ability -or lack of it- to respond skillfully to negative situations.

For several weeks I had been increasing my walking time every day and was feeling really pleased with this new habit I was building — walking after doing the dishes every morning. A few days ago, I awoke with a serious pain in my ankle. Every step gave me a sharp pain…


It’s easy to forget when you’ve always been.

picture taken at sunrise on a foggy day through bare branches of an apple tree
picture taken at sunrise on a foggy day through bare branches of an apple tree
Photo courtesy of the author

Slow Life as Privilege

I received a comment from someone after my last story about the privilege of having a choice to do things the hard way. At first, it got my dander up, as my grandmother used to say, as most any criticism or advice will. Of course, most of the time, these comments eventually remind me of something I need to be more careful or thoughtful or knowledgeable about. My best teachers, indeed.

I wrote about some of the things I choose to do the hard way, not buying them commercially but making them myself. I talked about the benefits of choosing…


Doing little things like peeling almonds, shelling peas, making bread “the hard way “ has its own rewards

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I was spending an enjoyable few minutes in my kitchen this morning, blanching almonds and peeling them. It was a pleasure to sit on my kitchen stool with a pan full of blanched nuts, and remove the skin from each one, letting it sit on the red-checked kitchen towel to dry before adding them to my nut mix. I got to thinking about why this activity, and other similar activities, like shelling peas, or chopping vegetables for a stir-fry seemed so pleasant to me.

I have had other women say to me, why do you bother making your own bread…


Why are big storms so exciting? Why do I keep writing poems about rain?

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

While going through my backlog of poems - written over the past fifty years - to begin to publish them, I have been surprised to see all the poems I have written called Rain or Rain Song or Meditation on Rain, etc. What is it with rain that captured my interest all these years? And then there is the snow theme, and the colors of the sky, and clouds and sunrises and sunsets. I do write about other things but weather is important to me, it’s apparent.

But then it is to almost everyone. It is a cliché between most…


How my expectations create an early spring for me (and now I give it to you)

An early morning in March, before sunrise the clouded sky appears blue and reflects blue on the snow covered ground. Outlines of trees.
An early morning in March, before sunrise the clouded sky appears blue and reflects blue on the snow covered ground. Outlines of trees.
Photo courtesy of the author

The beginning of March is only a hint of what is to come, yet it is enough to set my imagination going in the direction of spring. After seventy some times around the sun, I have seventy some different impressions of the month which all boil down to this: despite how gloomy the weather is outside, you can ignore the evidence of your eyes, spring is coming. My belief in its likelihood is going to usher it in, nudge it along the path toward…


Eleven ideas to get you started again

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

I don’t know if you are like me but, sometimes I feel like there is no way I can think of something new to write. I have been doing the same things, talking to the same people, living primarily inside the same four walls for nearly a year now. I have written 150 some stories on Medium and dozens of new poems and I feel that there is nothing else to say. I’ve said all I’ve got, I’m tapped out. There is no more.

Well, we’ll see about that, says my Seventyish muse.

There’s a writer’s voice inside my head that is not letting me get away with much…


It’s not very wise to ignore effective treatments

picture from the author’s front porch of a messy herb garden, scarlet runner beans climbing the post of the porch
picture from the author’s front porch of a messy herb garden, scarlet runner beans climbing the post of the porch
Photo courtesy of the author

I am in favor of science and research-tested medicine. But ignoring millennia of folk wisdom about how to solve day-to-day health dilemmas is just not smart.

Science has been beleaguered recently, and I want to say that I am firmly on its side. I value the results of scientists who have rushed to create vaccines for Covid-19, as well as all the science that has led to this computer age and all that we can now do virtually. I do support science.

My thesis here, though, is that there are tools and…


Suggestions from A Seventyish Woman

Photo by Loic Leray on Unsplash

I am a person who loves to invent routines and habits. I thought of a new one this very morning. But one of my habits is doing something different. Here’s why this is so critical as we get older.

1) You tend to be mindful when doing something different

Being mindful or practicing mindfulness is not just a New Age fad but an ancient understanding of the best way to be alive -- paying attention, fully engaged and present with whatever you are doing.

In my opinion, the times when I am mindful are peak times and I try to build more of them into my life. When you are…

Jean Anne Feldeisen

I've got my fingers in way too many pots. Cook, writer, poet, reader, musician, therapist, dreamer, a transplant from New Jersey suburbs to a farm in Maine.

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