It’s Birthday Week!

Birthdays…I’ve had a few!



This Saturday, July 8th, will be my 67th anniversary of life. It’s an odd number and I feel somewhat odd about it, honestly. When I think back on that cold December day when I was contemplating turning 60 and started this blog, I have to say, this one feels less heavy than that one did and mostly because so many of you have encouraged my writing and contributed your thoughts and opinions on this blog.

That’s a great birthday gift, I must say!

So many changes have occurred since this writing adventure began and mostly for the better. Politics aside, obviously. My partner in life for 49 years has always been ready willing and able to take on an adventure and our last move was a big one. We have no regrets about that at all. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever felt as calm and peaceful as I do now in this beautiful little piece of country at the beach. Again, politics aside.


Dave and I


I wish my mother in law were around to enjoy this place, too. She loved bird watching and I’m sure she would be walking around with her bird book open on a daily basis. She left us way too soon at 69 and never got to see her great-grandchildren or even meet her granddaughters-in-law. She would have loved them.

But, if I learned anything from her it would be #1, get good health care, and enjoy every moment you have here. We aren’t given any guarantees in this life.

Here are some of the goals I’m setting for my 67th year:

* FINISH THE BOOKS! Yes, I’m yelling at myself but, it is time to get the memoir finished and the next installment of The Duffy Chronicles, too. The best present I could give myself would be to get them both published within this year. It is doable!

* Continue to hold our political representatives accountable and (I hope) see impeachment proceedings soon. I can’t turn away from the responsibility we, as citizens of the greatest country on earth, (well…it used to be), have to reclaim our status in the world.

* Get more involved in community affairs. We live in a small community and, as with many small hamlets, the best way to make change is to get involved. Dave is great at that, I’m not. But, it matters to me that we know what is going on in our own backyard.

* See my family more often. We are a few hours away from our kids and sometimes it feels like we’re on opposite coasts. The grandkids are busy, busy, busy, and that’s important but, somehow we have to carve out time. I will try my hardest to make that happen.

* Continue to purge ‘things’. I’ve never been a hoarder, not even close, but I believe it’s important to reassess closets and storage areas on a regular basis and find a way to donate them. I love that lighter feeling after a good purge. Don’t you? Not to mention I have clothes I’ve not worn in ages and I’m not sure they still fit, but that’s another story.

* Be grateful for my life every day. If you’ve read any of the excerpts from the memoir you got a taste of what life was like when I was growing up. It wasn’t pretty. But, as a survivor of abuse, physical and mental, I’ve been able to truly appreciate the life Dave and I have made together and to promise myself I will continue to honor it.

Now, tell me what you’re planning for your next birthday.












Leave a Reply



  1. Carol Cassara

    You’re a Cancer! I’m with you on purging more. Giving it a go, myself!

    • Barbara

      It’s crazy how things seem to creep up on you and the next thing you know you’re purging again!

  2. Helene Cohen Bludman

    Happy birthday to you! Health, happiness — what could be a better gift that that?

    • Barbara

      Exactly, Helene! Thanks!

  3. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

    I love all your goals. 49 years married happily is such an accomplishment too. It sounds like you’re living a wonderful life. I’m looking for more financial independence by my next birthday and am working on it every day.

    • Barbara

      Keep on working it, Rebecca! It’s good to have goals and hold ourselves accountable, I think.

  4. Lee Sequeira

    I love your plans for the your next 365 day journey around the SUN !!!
    Happy Birthday WEEKEND to You!
    ☆ ╰╮☆☾ ☆ ╰╮☆
    ☆╰╮. ≀ .╭╯ ☽
    . ⌣⌢ (ˆ◡ˆ) ⌢⌣
    . ☾ ╭╯˙≀˙╰╮☆ ╰╮☆
    ☆ ╰╮☆☾ ☆ ╰╮☆

  5. Dana Flagg

    I will 67 the 9th of July and also have been married 49 years. Have a great birthday!!!

    • Barbara

      Yay for July birthdays, Dana! I hope you have a great one, too!

  6. 1010ParkPlace

    I’m right there with you, Barbara! Hopefully my house will be finished–I write this as the painters are spraying something on the walls in my bathroom that’s giving me a headache, and I think they’re high–my puppies will have stopped chewing and peeing, and I can start having more friends over. That’s not asking for a lot now is it? xoxox, Brenda

    • Barbara

      I totally understand the rehab issues with dogs, Brenda! Our dogs were a total mess while we were gutting our house and making it ‘ours’. They survived and we all love it, as I’m sure you will, too!

  7. Pia

    My birthday is next week.
    To celebrate, not, I had eyelid surgery on Monday. Today’s the first day I don’t look like Elvira on the day after Halloween, the bride of Frankenstein, or a combo.
    I look like an old glitter/punk rocker run amuck.
    It’s the first day I can actually see properly–even better than I did after my vision surgeries.
    The stitches come off on Monday. Can. Not. Wait.
    I hope that 67 isn’t a year I focus on health–though all three of my surgeries were medical necessities/vanity in a way. In another way I think eyesight is one of the keys to independence in older age so I’m claiming my independence.
    As I’m seeing better than ever–I was having some eye strain before this surgery I hope this coming year is a year of writing, again, and I too want to finish my book. And travel. I’ve never been to the Amafali Coast or the Greek Isles and hope to see both this spring.
    And lots and lots of long walks. “They” still don’t know what was/is wrong with my respiratory system but it’s under control and if it’s under control when the temp/humidity index was 115, it can be under control all year.
    I hope you have an incredible year.

    • Barbara

      Wishing you a year of excellent health, my friend!

  8. Suzanne Fluhr

    Happy birthday—again. No reason not to celebrate one’s birthday month. I’m glad I got to see your new, bucolic mileau. I understand why you are happy there. And, judging by the sold out Secret Garden Tour, I wouldn’t say you’ve been slacking in the being involved in your community endeavor. Like you, I’m all about gratefulness.

    • Barbara

      I’m so glad you could come to the garden tour, Suzanne. It is a beautiful place here, can’t deny. We do need to get a NJ group gathering together!