Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guest Blogger: Helen Brown - Tumbledown Manor

Back in my late 40’s, the walls were closing in. Our adult son had major health issues. His sister was threatening to move to Sri Lanka to become a Buddhist nun, and our youngest was itching to leave home. The provincial newspapers I’d syndicated to for years were dropping my weekly column faster than you could say menopause. In between times, there was the mastectomy.

My women friends were facing challenges, too. Maggie’s husband walked out. Sue’s son was caught taking drugs. Becky, who’d devoted herself to a corporate career, was languishing on the redundancy heap.

We wept together and fretted there was no road map for the second half of life. Our mothers had considered themselves old at 50 - no wonder when a generation before them, in 1900, the average lifespan was just 40 years.

As it turns out, my friends and I were on the brink of the most creative, energized phase of our lives. A decade or so on, I can report Maggie has moved in with her new partner, Annette. Sue’s son is working in a law firm and Becky’s online business is booming.

I decided to honour these women, and give hope to others, with my first novel Tumbledown Manor.  Poor Lisa Trumperton has the worst birthday ever when she learns her banker husband is having an affair. On top of that, she’s worried about her daughter’s emotional distance and weight loss. Lisa’s friends are horrified when she decides to flee New York and return to her roots, and a bossy sister, in Australia.

I’ve always been fascinated by grand country houses. In fact, my grandmother lived in one similar to the old family home Lisa buys. The place is crumbling around her ears, and the neighbors are far from friendly. But with help from the Grey Army and an unreliable handy man with the sexiest legs this side of the black stump, Lisa begins to carve out a new life.

Researching Tumbledown Manor was tremendous fun. I hope it brings laughter and optimism to anyone who’s wondering what’s on the other side of a mid life crisis.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my prognosis after breast cancer is great. The Buddhist nun came home to finish her PhD and move in with her boyfriend. Our son is happily married with two daughters. And I stopped writing columns to produce Cleo, a book that has sold two million copies worldwide.



Helen Brown is the author of TUMBLEDOWN MANOR, CLEO and CATS & DAUGHTERS published by Kensington Books. http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/32260


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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bless This Red Hat - Poem by RHS Member



In a thrift store on a dusty shelf
Spotted by a gifted shopping elf
Lay a Red Hat much neglected and lone
She purchased it and took it home.

The magical Red Hat was a perfect fit
Brought to mind a poem written by a Brit
The poem and Red Hat was a novelty
“With a Red Hat that doesn’t go & doesn’t suit me.”

Oh, but that Red Hat given to a friend
Brought much joy and a new trend
Now the BIG 50 frees us for time to play
Adds a splash of color to a once dreaded day.

Bless the Red Hat for bringing joy
Freeing women like Helen of Troy
It has changed the world topsy turvy
Women of the world now being nervy.

Red Hats come in all sizes and shapes
From simple visors to touring hats with drapes
They reflect the personality of the woman beneath
Brightening her face like a Christmas wreath.

There is a magic once a Red Hat sits upon the head
Woes & worries are quickly gone...just shed
Red denotes strength, determination & passion
We wear it proudly with daring & great fashion.

Under the brim of the Red chapeau
Anger, aches & pains magically go
Red Hats keep brain cells firmly in place
No “senior moments” in this life’s race.

Red Hats are popping up all over the globe
Varying the style of a Red Hatted wardrobe
From the US to far off Malaysia
Bermuda, China & Australia.

That little Red Hat in the corner of the Shoppe
Is causing much wisdom, like the fables of Aesop
Displaying the creativity of its owner so clever.
A gift of a Red Hat means friendship forever.

Bless this Red Hat for the joy it doth bring
Bless this Red Hat which gives a freedom fling
Bless this Red Hat causing comradery & daring
Bless this Red Hat that makes our heart sing.

© 2006 Barbara Witzell, Queen RazZ
RazZmaTazZ Chapter
San Diego, CA USA


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Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world?  Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

WHAT GOOD LISTENERS DO


  • They focus attention on the person speaking.
  • They watch for nonverbal clues.
  • They don't interrupt.
  • They resist the urge to offer solutions.
  • They stay on topic.
  • They show empathy.
  • They are open-minded.
  • They think before the speak.
The Red hat Society is a global women's group that promotes fun and friendship.
We make good friends.  Check us out.


Not a Member of the Red Hat Society?  There's only one, join the fun!
Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world?  Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas.