Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spouse's Suvivor Benefits Myth

There is a myth about the spouse losing her social security benefits if her husband dies and she remarries again. This myth has been going on since the 1970s and probably before.

Just recently a friend of ours joined us for lunch. He had been widowed last year by a long time friend of mine. He admitted that he was finally dating but that they couldn't think of marrying because she would lose her social security. Not true.

Take the widow's or widower's benefits if you remarry. Generally you cannot get widow's or widower's if you remarry before age 60. But remarriage after age 60 will not prevent you from getting benefit payments based on your former spouse's work record. And at age 62 or older, you may get benefits based on your new spouse's work, if those benefits would be higher.

Or if they are a surviving divorced spouse age 60 or older. A deceased worker's former spouse may qualify for benefits if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. However, a former spouse does not have to meet age and length-of-marriage rules if he or she is caring for the deceased worker's child younger that 16 and entitled to benefits on the deceased worker's record. The child also must be the former spouse's natural or legally adopted child.

I have always thought that this myth is the result of one spouse not wanting to marry again but its all right to date. If you wish an official version of this, take a look at Survivor Benefits (Pub.No. 05-10084) for more information.

Have Fun. Gloria

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Understanding Each Other!

In almost every relationship between men and women, there comes a time when frustration becomes rampant! The woman feels as if she is talking to a wall. The man
gets lost with everything his woman is saying and turns her off. Thus he doesn't remember what she said because he never really heard it. He was thinking about something else and her request/complaint simply never penetrated.

Not only that. She feels that her guy needs reassurance and/or compliments continually. Often he requires attention....usually while she is busy washing the dishes or cleaning the floor. She rarely worries about her ego. She just does the job and gets on with life. Why can't he?

Years ago I attended a lecture by a psychologist who had worked with Americans who had been brain washed while prisoners of war in W.W.II enemy countries. Those experts doing the brain washing used the knowledge that men have egos that go up and down and manipulated their subjects accordingly. Men need the compliments, the reassurances to keep their egos healthy and well. Even the most secure of men find their egos appreciate a little lift now and then. It's the nature of the beast, so to speak. Ha!

Now women are quite different. Yes, I know that's evident! Our egos go around and around, thus renewing ourselves. Oh we appreciate being appreciated, no doubt about that! But most of us don't need a steady homage to our egos!

Recent research using MRI's may explain this difference. Women are good at multitasking. We can think of several things at a time. Where are the kids? What's for dinner? Did we make all the calls at work? etc.

Men tend to focus on one event, such as a football game, or if they are creative, their creation which they are in the process of creating, or that deal which they have been working on for the last week. Their mind is set on that switch and other things in their lives are just static. We could be nice and call it background music.

I hope this makes sense. If we both understand why men and women act as they do, we may have more tolerance with each other. No one is deliberately out to ignore or denigrate the other. It's just the way our brain works. And perhaps that is why it often seems that men can accomplish great deeds while women are more concerned with
details. And if women understand that their ability to multitask can defeat their desire to accomplish great works, they can plan ahead and focus on the one thing their heart desires. When I wrote my book, "50 Ways to Find Romance after 50" I found that I had to isolate myself and refrain from even calling my friends until that day's writing was done. I also had to ignore the dust, any fun dates, etc. You can see the results on my website and read excerpts from it. I also have a special on it and you can order it through pay pal. (See link on right.)

Speaking of attaining a heart's desire, my partner, Harry Borgman, has created a wonderful design for a sculpture which a local artists group, the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative, hopes to have cast and erected on the Red Arrow Highway by Sawyer Road in southwest Michigan.(Here's how it might look.) They have already placed several other sculptures in the area and are currently raising money for Harry's design. While Harry is well-known for his work in advertising and his paintings which may be seen on his website (see link on the right of this blog) and although he has sold many smaller pieces of sculpture, he would be thrilled to see this orange mental 18 foot high nautical salute welcoming people to Harbor County. If you would like to contribute toward this wonderful project, you can email me or Harry and we'll send you the address.

Note: I have much to add about MSG and its 'friends' in coming blogs and also the story about Susie and her vacation helping to take care of abused elephants in Thailand. I have had another round with MSG and find it difficult to eat in restaurants which I really enjoy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Would a Rose Be As Sweet if We called it Asparagus?

In the 1980s if one were widowed or divorced, s/he usually thought about remarriage somewhere in the future. Then suddenly in the 1990s women (and some men as well) decided that remarriage was not for them. They discovered that living alone wasn't all bad. It was nice to have a 'friend' with whom to date occasionally, but as one woman said: 'I don't want to take care of another old man!' Women were no longer thought to be old maids or losers if they were not attached to a man, if they did not have a 'Mrs' before their name. Most were no longer totally dependent on a man. They no longer wanted to be a 'wife'.

It's possible that men thought as well that they would like to be free to pursue new choices, maybe even younger women. While many didn't dislike their old style of life, they were now free to try a new version of themselves. They could think of themselves as 'very fine fellows' with no one telling them what to do.

Today we should carefully think about what we want. Not long ago a friend, a widow, called and asked what she should do about a current relationship. She enjoyed dating this new man who happened to be a friend of an associate, but she didn't want it to develop into an intimate relationship. She assumed but really had no idea how he viewed their dating. She had the vague feeling that perhaps he wanted more. Fortunately she had treated her new friend to dinner occasionally so that she was not in a totally dependent position. She had instilled some equality into the dating.

I suggested that she tell her gentleman friend that she enjoyed his company and dining out with him, but she simply wasn't ready for any kind of commitment and that she hoped that they could remain friends. She should be honest with him. As it turned out he wasn't interested in more either, so they were now free to be comfortable with each other. The guidelines had been drawn.

If you stop and think about what you want in your future life, you can more easily avoid awkward situations. "Know thyself" is wise advice. Perhaps "Be true to yourself" is even better.

But I wonder how much labels have to do with our decisions. What if we called the two people in a relationship 'partners". I suspect that many women don't want to be a 'wife' again because that word defines what that role will be. She will feel obligated to take care of her 'husband', to cook and clean. Nor will a man feel that he must play the role of a husband, taking on all the financial responsibilities that implies. Calling the two people partners conveys the idea that they can work together. It also can well describes a same sex relationship.

It's true that some people still cannot envision a marriage of partners. They want to have the roles defined in the more conventional manner in which we have all been raised. Isn't it time to knock down the barriers that stand in the way of a fulfilling relationship between equals. Both men and women have unique abilities to contribute to a new life. Let's not limit our roles but be free to join together and still be ourselves.

ABOUT MSG: If it were just MSG in our food that can cause all kinds of symptoms, it would be relatively easy even though MSG has many names not required to be included as an ingredient on labels. I am now finding that there are a myriad of additives that can jar our bodies such as 'gums' for thickening and preservatives put on some salad greens and even potatoes to keep them fresh that can cause stomach distress, insomnia, depression to name a few problems for 'sensitive' people. While name clinics still maintain that only a small minority will have problems, some health professionals estimate that over 40% of people are affected. If I toe the line and eliminate a lot of these additives from my diet, not only do I sleep better, even my eyesight is improving and my brain is clearer and more active. Many of the foods in markets that are additive free are imported from other countries such as bread sticks from Italy, water crackers from Canada, and lentils, eggplant and other vegetables in delicious sauces from India (Tasty Bites). What is our food industry doing to us?

How are you doing? I'll try to add a note about MSG, etc as I blog.

Until later than.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Romance Can Flee with MSG

It takes me forever to shop at the grocery store these days. As I wrote on my other blog I discovered that much of my fatigue, achy legs, fuzzy thinking, and heaviness of my limbs was due to MSG. Unfortunately, it's a bit more complicated to find things to eat than just looking for MSG on the label. As I learned by researching on the internet, it comes with many other names and ingredients.

I am so fortunate that my partner, Harry Borgman, whom I met on a dating site over six years ago (by following my own advice in my book) is very understanding. He has the energy of the Energizer Bunny. He has never retired from his art career and always has some project he can work on if I am dragging and want to rest. Hopefully, now that I have a glimmer of what additives to our food can do to me, I will feel better and better. I imagine that the devastation MSG can do to our bodies has certainly broken up more than one relationship. Or stopped creative achievements. It seems as if I have been tired all more life. Now I can get started on a whole new chapter, so to speak!

Harry by the way has had over 70,000 visits to his blog on illustration and art (see link) and I may never catch up, but now at least I feel as if I can try!

I urge anyone who has unexplained symptoms to consider a sensitivity to MSG or sulfites or any number of additives which are supposed to make our food taste better when in reality it just saves the food manufacturer money. By the way although most wine contains a sulfite as a preservative, there is available organic wine. You don't have a large choice but at least you can still have wine on your menu. I find that I can absorb one glass of regular wine with dinner one evening, but if I drink a glass the next evening, I get a mild hangover. Rats. Maybe I can convince the restaurants we frequent to carry organic wine.

Here I'll put in a plug for Marcos Bistro in Grand Rapids as they use no MSG in their food. I chatted with Deb, the chef's mother, and she assured me of that and related that she had had a bad experience with MSG at a tacos place. By the way you'll find the best Walleye you have ever tasted here.

In Bridgman the Grand Mere Restaurant keeps a bottle of Dry Sack Sherry for me which I totally enjoy. Maybe I can get them to exchange it for an organic wine. They have wonderful food as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I wrote the book, "50 Ways to Find Romance after 50, Love and Lust in Later Life". By following my own advice from the book I met Harry on the internet. There are over 49 other ways to meet a new love in it. I now have a special on my book, which by the way is good for almost any age, not only over 50. You'll find some excerpts from it on my website and easy ordering with Pay Pal. (See the link on the side of this blog)

Here's to romance against all odds. Will see you soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

There's Romance and Then There's Romance. Loving Life.

Romance takes a lot of time. Possibly I am getting slower. Bah! That can't possibly be it. I do find that when we have a good romance in our life, we find that we want to do more and we have more to do. I am trying to manage my home and help Harry keep up his. I have two lives with friends in my area and friends in his. Plus we have friends all over the world who have invited us to visit. How lucky I am but how swiftly life goes by. I think we have to sit back and try to look at our lives objectively in order to keep from totally exhausting ourselves. I have written numerous blogs in my head and want to bring you stories of other romances. There's romance and there's romance.

For instance I have a wonderful story of a friend who spent her vacation in Thailand helping to take care of abused elephants.

Then there's our health which if it is good allows us to enjoy our romance more fully. I inadvertently was eating snacks loaded with MSG to which I am quite allergic. After I finally realized that I must be eating something that was making my body unwell, I started reading all ingredients lists more closely. To my dismay I discovered that I was eating a variety of foods containing MSG under several different names. Since then I have been trying to detox to get that supposedly benign additive out of my system and am really reading all the ingredients of anything I buy using my special glasses with lights. And of course that's another story.

Then there's looking our best. When Harry (my internet romance) and I went to Jacksonville last year I accidentally signed up with Mary Kay cosmetics. I've always been interested in make up and because I am frequently in the public eye, I rarely go out with out gilding the lily so to speak! Anyway I have plans to tell you what I've learned about skin care and applying foundation, eyeshadow, etc with photos to illustrate each step. I also will show you how one of my Mary Kay friends has made herself look more glamorous. In the last catalog Mary Kay has brought back nail polish. I just love it! More on that as well.

And hopefully Harry and I will have more adventures to bring to you. A local artists group in his area is raising money to have one of his sculptures cast and placed on the Red Arrow Highway. I'll include his brochure in a future blog.
And last, but not least, my son Rusty has updated my website for my book,; "50 Ways to Find Romance after 50, Love and Lust in Later Life" with a special offer as well. Now you can buy the book for half price for a limited time and I have Pay Pal for your convenience.

Well, there's lots more to come but my cat Snicklefritz is staring at me and switching his tail so I will go down and feed him.

I look forward to any of your comments and your ideas. I'll also be posting on my other blog with guidelines to better romance and questions about romance that I have been asked in the past few weeks.

Of course there are many guidelines in my book as well as places to find a new romance. After all I found Harry on the internet!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Visiting Mismaloya, Buying Jewelry in Mexico

Obviously I have not been active on this blog for awhile. I have many ideas but while the spirit is willing, the flesh seems to be weak. I just can't run fast enough to do everything I should. I'll keep trying.

I never did finish blogging about Harry's and my trip to Puerto Vallarta. Normally February is the prime month, but we were able to get the trip almost at half price so we packed our bags, called the cat sitters and were off.

One day we visited with a long time friend of Harry's, a photographer with whom he had worked in the 1960s, Al and his wife Carol, at Mismaloya where they have a condo. This is the area where the film "The Night of the Iguana" was made starring Richard Burton. His stardom and Liz Taylor's amorous visits to him there in the 1950s brought worldwide fame to Puerto Vallarta where each bought a home. In the late 1980s parts of the original set were still standing when I visited Mismaloya. Since then all trace of the film set has disappeared and a large hotel has been built.

This is how the cove looks today. It's no longer the pristine and plain small village it once was. On the left of the photo is the new hotel and condos. To the right are numerous little restaurants (tables and chairs stuck in the sand) where you can choose a freshly caught fish and have it roasted over an open fire and then served. As you sit there feasting on this delicious lunch, vendors come by with offerings of carved wooden figures, jewelry, etc. It's all part of the fun. One couple was very irritated with the sales people and felt bothered by them. Then I guess they shouldn't eat there or on any beach front because the array of goods being displayed is going to continue. You do have to be careful with your purchases, however, whether it's on the beach or in one of the little stores lining many streets in town. I stopped at a stand where a woman was displaying 'real' turquoise. First the price was too cheap and with examination, I could see the turquoise nuggets were stones which had been painted. On a much earlier visit to PV, I had bought a ring which I was assured was real amethyst. I had it appraised for an article in my magazine and it turned out to be a fake spinel. It's still pretty, but not what I thought it to be. My son on another visit thought he was getting a real deal when he purchased a 14k gold chain at the flea market. My appraiser said it was only washed gold, not even 10k. You'll do better at reputable jewelry stores of which there are many. Actually I've bought some of my most favorite pieces at HSN. They guarantee their wares and you can always return it.

I will say that many, many years ago when Cancun was just being built in the 1970s, my family and I went to a market outside of town. I purchased a beautiful fire opal set in ornate gold for $150. It was appraised at over $600. I doubt you would get that kind of buy today.

I digress. On a walk around the bay, I couldn't resist photographing this pelican. Really the views are so wonderful wherever you go and generally the weather so balmy, you just have to have a good vacation.

Carol and Al later drove into PV which is about a five mile drive of very winding roads and we had dinner at the famous restaurant Daquiry Dick's. I hadn't eaten there for several years and then we ended up dining there twice. One of their specialties is a red snapper on stick. It really isn't that wonderful and quite difficult to eat, but I just had to try it. It was worth it although I wouldn't order it again. Each restaurant is a little different and you have a great choice of cuisines. One of the world famous restaurants is German gourmet. Truthfully neither Harry nor I have had the desire to try it even though you'll probably read about it in every guide book.

There's another trip we took to Jacksonville, FL for the 50th anniversay of the Corvair which I have not written about and which was a result of Harry faithful blogging. I'll bring it to you on the Finding Romance after 50 blog (see link). He had designed the announcement ads for the GM Corvair. He has had over 53,000 hits on his blogs so far. You can find a link to them on the side of this one. He also has painted around a dozen paintings of a new series which I will show you on my next post. His gallery in PV wants about six new paintings and another gallery is interested in showing his art work in Ohio. More on that later, also.

I have been thinking about other ideas, trips, etc I want to bring to you. There is romance and there is romance. A friend of mine went to Thailand on her vacation as a volunteer helping abused elephants. I'm talking with her next week and will bring you her story soon either on this blog or the romance after 50 blog. I'm also planning to show how different you can look with the right makeup with before, during, and after photos of me and perhaps some other friends. That should be fun. While we don't always have to look fabulous, it's good to look good. You feel better. And this goes for men as well. Who wants to go out with a slob!

OK, friends I'll leave you now with a stunning photo I took in PV from our balcony. Have a super day. I love your comments. Let me know what you'd like to read about too. If I ever figure out Facebook and Twitter, then I'll be able to let you know each time I make a new post.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Well, I just joined Facebook and I cannot believe the time all this stuff takes! I have to put a photo on my page there. Of course every site is different when trying to add things. I thought I was putting a bio on Newsvine and it came back to me as a comment from a reader. I guess I'll deal with that another day as I want to write this blog.

Back to Mexico! Harry and I stayed as usual at the Fiesta Americana Hotel in Puerto Vallarta. We love the balcony overlooking the Bay of Banderas. We can see the town from it as well as the huge ocean liners coming into port. It's a view of which I never tire.

I look forward to breakfast on the beach every morning where I can order whatever I wish including fresh papaya juice. The members of the wait staff have become old friends and they really try to please. I wanted a little more pulp in my juice so I mentioned it to Antonio, the Captain of the morning and lunch settings, and presto, there was more pulp. He really has his staff trained well. His assistant this year was Isabel who always met us with a smile.
Unfortunately the evening offerings are not as good nor the staff as well trained. Because we were quite tired from the trip and elected not to go out, we tried the two hotel restaurants three times and were disappointed three times. Often the young waiters see a couple or group who they think may be big tippers and away they go. (This problem is not exclusive to this hotel.) It took me well over 5 minutes to get some bottled water and only 4 tables were filled. The food was very mediocre. Antonio assured me that he would alert the mangers so that next year would be better.

In past years many of the evening meals have been memorable. There would be extensive buffets on the patio. This year the hotel was only partially full and only limited menus were offered. On the other hand, because of the light week which we had chosen, the rooms were on special - about half what we usually pay. By the way, you have to upgrade to get a full view of the bay from your room. It was a little more but well worth it!

There are so many really good restaurants in Puerta Vallarta that we didn't have enough days to dine at each one. Our friends Ron and Lois were vacationing there, too, so we had dinner with them a couple of times. Here we are at La Vitae which is a new eatery right on the walkway along the bay. On Sunday night you can sample authentic Mexican food from a huge variety of booths along the walk. Not to mention all kinds of crafts.

We sometimes have a difficult time finding an evening to get together with Ron and Lois in Sawyer where Harry lives, but in PV we had more time to enjoy our friends.

Several times a day we would go out on the balcony to enjoy the view.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the most romantic cities in the world Harry and I have been traveling here since we first met over five years ago. Part of the Romance Game is keeping romance in our lives. Harry is very thoughtful that way and we have wonderfully romantic dinners where ever we are. Every couple needs to spend time with each other away from the problems of daily life.

Harry keeps busy with his blogs and has been working on a new series of paintings. (I'll include a couple on a future blog.) John Straun, who owns The Loft gallery in Puerto Vallarta, has a few of Harry's earlier painting/digital designs and would like have several paintings in this new series.
That's it for this post. This is a photo of the two of us having a romantic dinner. Cheerio.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Your Romance Writer Is Back!

Hi dear friends,

It is the New Year and I'm going to be blogging weekly again. Harry and I have just returned from Puerto Vallarta where we had a wonderful, romantic vacation. Harry, if you remember, is my other half. We met on the internet about five years ago. Actually we are on our sixth year in this romantic relationship. I've spent so much time driving back and forth to his house 100 miles away that I've had little time to blog. During my travels to Harry's, I've discovered many new friends plus several other couples who met on the internet. I'll bring their stories to you, probably on my other blog which you can link to from this one. On both blogs, I'll have lots more tips on romance, beauty, health, and romantic places to travel in the coming months.

While in PV, I went horseback riding with my dear friend Pamela Aguirre who owns Rancho el Charro. Here are the two of us, proving I can still get on a horse. (I'm the one in the hat.) Pam and I have been friends since I met her in the 1980s while I was writing a newsletter for a timeshare there. I wrote a story about her and her ranch in 1987 in my late magazine CHOICES. Yearly she and several other women go on a week long ride exploring some wonderful trails starting from Puerto Vallarta. One of these days I'll go with her and bring you our adventures. Bless Harry. He indulges me my pleasures and never complains. That certainly should be part of a successful and happy relationship. I give him the same freedom.

That's it for now. Next blog I'll have photos of Harry and me plus some fun and romantic places we went. Until then, have a super week. I must admit the weather was much better in PV!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'll Be Back SOON

Hi dear friends,

Have had a tough few months with my energy level but plan to start writing about romance again starting in February. I am still having a wonderful romance with Harry and have met several other couples who have found love a second time around which I will tell you all about in just a couple week. In the meantime: HAPPY NEW YEAR.