My first girl friend lived down the street from me.  Her family had horses and we would take them out and ride up into the hills above Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana, CA. That area was all green with a little stream running through.  Those days were so long ago when I was in Elementary School that I have forgotten her name.  I lost touch with her after I graduated.  That area today is fully populated with very expensive homes.

When I was in High School in Canoga Park I had several girl friends. There were 4 of us who hung out together, Donna, Gene, (spelled like a boy), and Mary Lou, who spelled her name in 2 words, mine in one.  We used to go to the beach together.  And one summer afternoon we all bleached our hair blond.

My other friend in High School was Norma.  She wanted to be an actress and took classes in acting and diction which caused her to speak differently from the rest of us.  But she was talented.  I remember she married a Mexican boy who carried on his family’s traditions in which the male was King and the females obeyed the King’s desires.  That marriage didn’t last, there were no children, and I lost touch with her after I married.

All of my friends of those years drifted away when I entered UCLA and we all got married.

Then, after my first child was born I became interested in joining the Native Daughters of the Golden West.  I was one, after all.  I met Betty on the night we were initiated and we clicked immediately.  She was shy, as was I, and she was a talented artist.  She created all sorts of things and urged me to develop what ability I had.  She suffered from Shingles and tried to alleviate the pain by sitting in a bath tub full of warm water and baking soda.  Her marriage was not a happy one and eventually she left her husband and married the man across the street who had been in love with her for years. They moved to Carson City, NV.  Betty was my friend for more than 50 years.  We corresponded and often spoke on the phone.  Each time we called it was as if we had just talked the previous day.  Betty died of lung cancer.

Then my husband and I began playing contract bridge and we met several people who became friends.  One couple in particular was our partners in team games and although we played in tournaments together we didn’t socialize in other ways.  Then my husband died and they were my comfort through the worst of the next few years.  But they separated and divorced.  I still see Eve, but not often. We have known each other for more than 40 years.

Another group of friends I made during my years in the bridge world were Kay, Serene, Louise and Judy.  They had all been BFFs for a long time so if I was included it was with all 4 of them.  We had parties, including the husbands and my current date, went on rallies, and shared creative activities.  I was closest to Kay.  She and I would have a puzzle weekend occasionally.  She would provide the jigsaw puzzle at her house on a Saturday afternoon, we worked on the puzzle, had dinner with wine, gabbed, and I would spend the night there.  We could finish the puzzle on Sunday and I would go home.

When the 1994 Earthquake hit I was living within a mile of Kay’s home.  My townhouse was intact, but I was afraid to stay there alone so I spent 3 days at Kay and her husband’s home.  They had another couple also there for 3 weeks when their mobile home was burned to the ground and they had to find another place.

Kay introduced me to genealogy and helped me get started on searching for my ancestors.  This turned into an obsession which still occupies my life.  Kay and I began making yearly trips to Salt Lake City to do research and each time shared a room for a week.  Then others joined us so that we usually had a group of 10-15 people who all helped each other with their research.  We realized that all of us loved reading so we began meeting once a month for brunch and to exchange the books we have read and liked.  This group is still ongoing.  But I only see them once a month and have no other contact with them except an occasional email joke.

Some of the friends I met through bridge and genealogy are no longer living.  Judy was the first to go from lung cancer.  She was beautiful, extremely talented, generous, fun, and married to a bookie.  Louise was intellectual, very active in the bridge world, and married to a man who had extreme food dislikes.  Louise died from lung cancer.  Serene, also a bridge player and married to a bridge player died from lung cancer.  And my best friend, Kay, died from lung cancer.

I have no BFF.  I do not have lung cancer.  I am 86 years old and have outlived all my BFFs.  I have a few new friends that may develop into BFFs, but I doubt it.  I have a busy life, I don’t like to drive anywhere, my legs are weak, and my back hurts all the time, so I am content to stay home except for the 3 times a month when I meet with the book group, the games and movie group, and one new gathering of 4 of us who play cards.  It’s enough.  My BFF is my computer.

Word Play Fun

I love words.  I have often kept on reading the dictionary even after I found the definition of a word or how it’s spelled.  That is one reason for sending you the following posting.  The other reason is that I thought it was very clever.

FUN WORD PLAY (Hey, we all need a smile every now and then):
I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I live close so it’s a short drive.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense. It really gets the adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart. At my age I need all the stimuli I can get.

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible; but life shows me I am not.

People keep telling me I’m in Denial but I’m positive I’ve never been there before.

I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there.

So far, I haven’t been in Continent, but my travel agent says I’ll be going soon.

By Will Sherwood from “Tidbits of Santa Clarita Valley”

The Circle of Success

At the age of 3 it means not pooping in your pants

At the age of 12 it means having friends

At the age of 18 it means having a driver’s license

At the age of 20 it means having sex

At the age of 35 it means having money

At the age of 50 it means having money

At the age of 60 it means having sex

At the age of 70 it means having a driver’s license

At the age of 75 it means having friends

At the age of 80 it means not pooping in your pants.

There you have it.  Enjoy success.

The Power of I Like You, Part Two, by Circe Denyer

How hard is it to say I like you? Harder than you think. It is because the words must be honest. You cannot say them and not mean those like you can with ‘I love you’. The person you say them to will expect to be told why this is true. They cannot stand alone. They must be backed up with the explanation why. They must mean something about the person they are told to. They have value because of what they mean.

Try it. Stand in front of the mirror. Tell the person you see there, “I like you”. Immediately you should hear something inside you saying, what do you like? OR some other truth.

Now, think about your own interaction with the people closest to you. Have you ever said these words to them? Have you ever heard them said to you?

Now, imagine someone significant saying those words in a meaningful tone to you. Do you feel the power, the significance of them?

For me, I wish these words were spoken more often, with sincerity and truth between friends and lovers. I wish the people who know them would share. I wish those who need them would receive.

A Night to Remember

Last night I had a delightful evening with good friends.  My daughter, Circe, and I visited with Linnaea and Bruce Mallette.  Linnaea served a delicious dinner, of course, but the special event was a showing of “Gone With The Wind” on their ginormous wall TV.  It was just like seeing the movie in a theatre.


I had read Margaret Mitchell’s book and seen the movie twice, but long, long ago and only remembered certain scenes.  It brought tears to my eyes to see those beautiful and talented actors once again.  The movie was a masterpiece for David Selznick who spared no expense to achieve the affect he desired.  His attention to detail was exquisite.  If there were 1000s of dead soldiers lying on a battlefield, they were real people.  Extras, of course, but paid men and not computer generated.  And the costumes!  Oh my, the costumes!  They made me appreciate the wardrobe department for their enormous effort in design and production of the quantity, and quality of elegant gowns. Authenticity right down to their petticoats.


Mr. Selznick did not skimp on the scenery either.   If you are not from the South or have never been there this movie showed you what it is like, then and now.  Every scene was perfectly displayed.  He captured the essence of that period and the tragedy that was the Civil War as told by Ms.Mitchell.


This is a very long movie with an intermission.  Linnaea treated us to a splendid dinner while we enjoyed the intermission.  All in all, it was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long, long time and I am indeed fortunate to have friends like Linnaea and Bruce Mallette.

On The Radio!

Last night I participated in a live radio show!   I can’t believe it.  It was a promo for Talk Fusion which is a video program designed to help people promote their business or to communicate with family and friends.  It really is a great program that everyone should take advantage of.  But I am an introvert and being interviewed on live radio was unbelievably stressful.


My daughter Circe, was part of the show and asked me questions about how I got started, how I used it, and so forth.  She had prepared the questions in advance so I was supposed to be ready.  Even so, I was nervous.  I am not good at public speaking, and to top it off there was some static on the phone line and there was a chance that the whole program would be cancelled.  But it went on.


They said I did good.  That was nice of them.  I highly recommend Talk Fusion,  and think that anyone who has a business should check it out.  It is a very personal way to contact customers, thank them for their business, converse with family and friends and much, much more.  It is very easy to set up and if an 84 year old introvert can do it, so can you.  If you would like to see my video send me an email at mdenyer@dslextreme.com and I will show you how great it is.  You even get a picture of me.

If you want to listen to that radio show click here.


Andy Rooney

Commentator Andy Rooney died last Friday night at the age of 92.   I watched his retirement appearance a few weeks ago and was saddened by the fact that he would not be on “60 minutes” any more.   I thought that was  the best part of the show many times and looked forward to it.   He often commented on things I agreed with.   His opinions were right more often than not, but he was always interesting and made me think.

He was one of the lucky ones in life having done what he wanted to do and did it well.  He was able to reach out to try to change the wrongs that he saw.  He had an adventuresome life, a long, 62 year marriage and a satisfying career.  I will miss him.  No one can replace him.

Google has a long obituary today on his life and accomplishments as well as comments from his friends and associates.  I recommend reading it.

Is Age only a Number?

Are you elderly because you dress the part or because your age says you are?

According to the US Government people in the United States who are more than sixty years of age are commonly referred to as senior citizens or seniors. These terms refer to people whose stage in life is generally called old age. People are said to be senior citizens when they reach the age of sixty or sixty-five because those are the ages at which most people retire from the workforce.


I was shocked a few years ago when I discovered that one store I frequented set their senior discount at the age of 35!


In my case, as an elderly senior citizen, I dress the part because it is comfortable and say I am elderly because my age says I must be. My grandkids don’t treat me like they think I am elderly, so maybe I am not. I have trouble hearing so I am elderly. That is a physical condition anyone of any age can have and can be adjusted with a mechanical device, so maybe I am not.  When I have to walk slowly, I feel elderly. When I can walk at a good pace, I am young at heart and not elderly.  I tell myself that age is just a number, but my body says differently.  My hair is falling out, a sign of old age.  I have had both knees replaced, another sign.  My back hurts all the time for which I have been told there is no cure.  My eyesight is not as clear as I would like.   I think I am elderly.


My neighbor is 9 years older than I.  She lives alone, has no husband, no children, no siblings, no relatives, but several friends.  She has glaucoma, but no other medical ailments.  She has all her teeth, doesn’t wear glasses, but does have a hearing loss, she drives, although not at night, she does all her own housework, shopping, attends church and goes to a yoga class once a week.  She even takes care of bill paying and other business matters for a younger woman and takes her to the doctor on a regular basis.  My neighbor is 91 years old.  Because of that number she must be elderly, but I would describe her as spry.  She will probably outlive me.


Many people, men as well as women, attempt to stave off the dreaded appearance of old age with plastic surgery.  These procedures are very costly and often do not have the desired effect.  Wrinkles are everywhere on the body.  It’s not possible to tighten up every inch of skin.


I tell my friends that I read the obituary column every morning to make sure that my name isn’t there, but actually I do it to check on people I have lost contact with.  It seems that many of the deceased are younger than I am.  So if I am elderly I am still fortunate.