Thursday, October 27, 2016


Have you ever forgotten your login password and then had to answer a series of security questions in order to reset the password to get yet another password? I had such a senior moment just the other day. Even though I couldn’t for the life of me remember the password, I could CERTAINLY answer all the security questions BECAUSE the security questions were all about my FIRSTs. What was your first job? What was the make of your first car? What is the name of your first-born child? We remember our firsts because they are connected to our personal history, our emotions and our senses.

My first job was at a Mister Donut shop. I passed this donut shop every day on my way to and from the school-bus stop. I was a sophomore in high school. My job was to put fresh donuts in the display case for the customers. By the end of my shift, all the fluffy, puffy cream filled donuts I had touched had dents in them. I was a little heavy handed in my first-job enthusiasm. I was let go after one day.

My first car was a blue 4-door 1950-something Ford sedan. I didn’t learn how to drive until AFTER College – I had just turned 20 when I got my driver’s license. This was the car to get me to work and back. Being very practical aka cheap, it served me well.

The name of my first-born son is John Dale Emerson. John Dale, the name just rings of sweetness. John’s birth was an exhilarating experience for me … well-prepared, 100% natural, no complications, NO PAIN, just pure joy --- If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you for $1.00.

Another memorable first, though not related to those security questions, happened at age 50.  That’s when I ran my first marathon. It took me 6 and a half hours to complete it. I was used to being the caboose in my training as I always came in last on our practice long runs. I ran this marathon in Athens, Greece on the same path that Philipedes ran thousands of years ago from the town of Marathon to Athens. Philipedes died when he reached Athens. I totally get it – without water and race markers to guide me to the finish, I thought for sure I was going follow in Philipedes steps.  But, I didn’t. I managed to shuffle my way to the finish line parched and exhausted. The good news, HOWEVER, is that this was the start of a new lifestyle for me – a lifestyle of fitness and daily exercise.

I’m at the stage in my life where I can look at events as “FIRSTS” or “LASTS”. By golly, I choose to be challenged by NEW firsts.  As long as I’m vertical, I will not stop seeking out FIRSTS.

Last year, I set out to learn a new language. Not Italian, not Arabic, not Chinese … I took American Sign Language I AND Spanish I at Florida State College. OK, I’m an overachiever. Of course, I was the oldest student and I was proud of that.   Now that 2017 is here, I want to tap into my creative, crafty side. I want to learn how to do more DIY projects. There are so many clever ideas on Pinterest to try. What’s “in your wallet” for 2017?

    Compliments of Queen Sunny, Florida

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Ban The Bead!!

Today I’m getting on my soapbox (no pun intended!) and talking about MICROBEADS! Those teeny, tiny bits of PLASTIC, smaller than a grain of sand. YES, they are everywhere. You may be swishing them around in your mouth or rubbing them in your face. Microbeads show up in lots of personal care products: face soaps, body wash, toothpaste, even age defying makeup. Companies put them in these products as exfoliates or just for texture. You may not even realize you’re using them unless you know what to look for: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate.
The biggest problem with microbeads is that they’re designed to go down the drain. Most water treatment plants can’t capture them so BILLIONS of them end up in our waterways – our rivers, lakes, seas. Tiny bits of plastic from body washes and other products are polluting the Great Lakes. A California research group recently found more than 450,000 plastic particles per square kilometer in Lake Erie, DOUBLE what similar surveys have found in oceans. Comparable levels of plastic microbeads have also been found in samples from Lake Superior and Lake Huron. And even worse, these tiny bits of plastic act like sponges soaking up the toxics around them. A single microbead can wind up being a MILLION times more toxic than the water around it. Once in our waterways, they get eaten by fish and other animals. They could even make their way right back to you in your sushi. How’s that for the circle of life!
Why do companies put these plastic microbeads in their products? BECAUSE, plastic is cheaper than the natural exfoliates we used to use, like coca beans, sea salts, and sesame seeds. Plus, it’s an excuse to sell more stuff. Those natural exfoliates worked so well, you would only use them once a week. Microbeads are smooth enough to use every day. Which means you run out quicker and have to buy more of that product.

The good news is we ARE moving forward in Banning The Bead. Illinois became the first state to ban the manufacture and sale of products containing microbeads. The Body Shop, Johnson & Johnson, and L’OrĂ©al have pledged to phase out plastic microbeads from their products. Places around the world are considering outright bans. The Netherlands is the first country to announce its intent to be virtually free of microbeads in cosmetics by next year. 

No matter where you live you can Ban the Bead! Let’s get them out of our stuff, out of our waterways and out of our bodies.
by Queen Sunny, Florida, Fit 'n Fabulous Chapter of the Red Hat Society
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Happy Hatting!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Guest Blogger - HATalk E-Magazine Special Competition

Wearing a hat is so much fun. With a hat on your head, you walk taller, smile bigger and feel so much more confident.
This month, HATalk e-magazine is holding a special competition inviting Members of the Red Hat Society to show off their hats to the world. Simply share a photo of yourself wearing a hat on the HATalk for Red Hatters Facebook Page by November 7, 2016 and you will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a 1-year subscription to HATalk e-magazine.

You can post as many photos as you like - for every photo you post, you will receive one entry into the prize draw. If you post a photo of a group of hat wearing friends, only the person who posted the photo will be entered.

We can’t wait to see your photos! The winner will be announced on November 11, 2016. If you have any questions, please email

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