Friday, January 15, 2021

THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!

 

Picture taken before Pandemic
I feel like that little boy standing next to me is saying to all of us, please read what Renee is saying here. Do it for me, for my mother, my neighbor, my grandfather....for all  human beings.

In light of the raging Pandemic AND the Crisis in our country, I am asking everyone to put on their thinking caps! I AM REACHING OUT AND ASKING YOU TO REALLY PAUSE AND TO LISTEN. I have figured out a way we can more forward….

 

The Media always wants to give us something to be afraid about!!! Yes, things are horrible, and truly out of control.

Yet, the Media doesn’t help matters at all…they only become (or have become) part of the problem at this point.

What are we to do?!

If there is no good scary "developing" story they are out of jobs or people change the station. We are all to blame, Yet, where is the solution and how do we get there?

In my wildest imagination, and I do have a wild imagination, I couldn’t have ever imagined all this, that we as Americans, and people of this world, are all dealing with.

 I am also deeply and profoundly saddened that so many people just don’t take the pandemic seriously enough and quite frankly are selfish. They think the rules don’t apply to them, or that their rights are being taken away.

This is the most unsettling reality. I mean, people are selfish. There are many making sacrifices, but unless or until EVERYONE gets on the same team here the Virus will keep winning.

Please let your younger children know this too. EVERYONE’S ACTIONS affect everyone else when there is a raging pandemic period, even if you try to rationalize your behavior. Deep down most humans  know the right thing to do. I can not think of a better time to start doing it.

 And even now, with this riot on our sacred capitol all over the big lie (which we know by now our 2020 election was the most accurate and fair election in history. This has been verified three times!). Yet, even with death and destruction there are people who still voted against confirming the election results!  How sad is all this? Well, obviously very. Yet, as the eternal optimist, even in this darkest hour I do believe things will get better. But how….

 To answer my own question I will tell you what I am going to do. I AM GOING TO WATCH MUCH LESS NEWS PERIOD. I will consciously choose fair, accurate and HONEST sources to get my news and LIMIT IT!  I will spend that time that I would have normally spent watching the news on reading up on American History, Writing my own book (s), learning an instrument, talking to friends and staying connected, taking walks, and paying attention to the world around me WITH A BIG OPEN HEART AND A GOOD EAR. I will respect my fellow humans and my fellow Americans. It does start with us even if we don’t want to face that fact.

 One way we can make things better is by better listening. JUST SAY FOR ONE MOMENT, ONE TIME, MAYBE THAT OTHER PERSON HAS A POINT TO MAKE, and then REALLY LISTEN. TALK IT OUT…Respect, remember that word!

There are ways we can slowly improve. WE are human beings with enormous capacity for soaring and evolving…..above and beyond anything! And keep in mind there can be no healing or moving forward without the truth. That is a rule of life…None of us can escape that no matter how hard we try. We all have to see the truth even if it hurts.

 And as for the pandemic, I will continue to social distance, wash hands, always wear a mask, and even if I upset or annoy people I am going to state facts that I know undoubtedly to be true…and I hope and pray that more and more people (even or especially those who like to fight or always be contrary) will eventually come to see the TRUTH!  And get vaccinated as well. WE ALL NEED TO GET VACCINATED. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT THIS PANDEMIC. AND WHAT PRAY TELL IS POLITCAL ABOUT THAT? I WILL TELL YOU, ZIP, ZERO, NOTHING. IT’S called doing the right thing and not being selfish anymore. I am sure most people don’t want a needle placed into their arm (even for a moment or two) BUT, if it will save lives including our own, or our family, or that older woman in another state (the one with five children, eight grandchildren, and is a retired school teacher)! Not to mention the little boy above in the picture with me. 

 THE TIME HAS TRULY COME TO START CARING ACTUALLY CARING ABOUT OTHERS AND NOW with THIS PANDEMIC AND THE STATE OF OUR COUNTRY WE HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO…IT’S CLEAR.  Let’s teach our children and our grandchildren this too. 

ONLY WE CAN MAKE THE FUTURE BRIGHTER IF WE START RIGHT NOW IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT. OUR power is in this moment and how we decide to carry on. Will you do the right and fair thing for your fellow man? At this moment in history, our actions can actually help doctors and nurses and hospitals from being overwhelmed, and good hard working people from dying alone! 

 And the good news is, when you do the right thing that karma and good energy comes back to you!  So, please stay home, wear a mask if you must go out, wash your hands, get vaccinated as soon as you can and limit your news to HONEST and ACCURATE NEWS. NO more conspiracy theories. AS YOU CAN CLEARY SEE NOW, NO one wins with those. NO one! At this point I don't think we need more proof on that.

I wholeheartedly believe that if most of us follow what I am saying here (and try with patience and love to help bring the light to those still refusing to see the truth and actual facts) THINGS WILL GET BETTER. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

 Thanks so much for listening. I feel very strongly about what I say here and I truly appreciate your time and interest to start making things better in our country…and ultimately the world since we are all connected!

Amen….

 


Monday, December 7, 2020

DON'T EVER LOSE YOUR SENSE OF WONDER!

 

Can you meet a person for a fleeting moment and fall in love with them?

I believe the answer is YES!!! Absolutely. It happened to me last night.

 I have some dear dear friends who love to celebrate Christmas with me. We have traditions and holiday rituals that mean a great deal to me.

Last night we went to the Festival of Trees at Elm Bank Reservation. It is an annual gift from one of my friends.

This wonderful event is so cozy that I just swoon when I think of it. Once on the reservation you have to drive up a long and windy road aligned with woodlands and trees. With some snow still on the ground it was heavenly and truly serene simply driving to get there. And since I was playing Christmas Carols in the car I was in the mood for a little celebration. I parked and met my friends.

From Elm Bank Website

Once you give your ticket they give you some hot chocolate and you wait for the rest of your small group to gather. Given the cold air and all the colored Christmas lights in the gardens, I was already enjoying myself before we even entered the gates.

The event is inside and out, and with masks and very small groups it was safe and a lot of fun.

 There were two large rooms filled with adorned Christmas trees This alone is exciting for those of us who can’t get enough Christmas.  (my last blog post was about my family’s love for Christmas and Christmas trees) www.reneegold.com

They are all extremely well decorated with themes from money on trees, cook books on trees, teddy bears, and even a Charlie Brown Tree! You can even enter the raffle (which we did) to win one of them.

The following is from their website: Tree sizes vary from one foot to nine feet in height and some have gifts in addition to the decorations.

Another and totally different experience is provided by Snow Village, an indoor exhibit occupying a whole room.  This large display features model trains wending their way through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the City (Boston of course!), Fenway Park, a Dickensian village, the North Pole and hundreds of decorated houses and lights.  There are too many Santa’s to count as well as skaters galore.  This is a visual treat for young and old alike and each year it is a little different.

Visitors can keep warm and cozy melting S’mores at the fire pit. This is all so Christmassy.

Yet as wonderful as this all is, and was, turns out for me this is not the most magical part. The reason I am writing this post is what happened when we were leaving.

Of course I was feeling immersed with Christmas Magic and in the best mood. I was surrounded by holiday merriment, Christmas trees, and close friends. …

So as we were walking out of the gardens, as I passed the exit gate, I could see in the near distance the happiest little girl in the whole wide world! Really and truly. I am not exaggerating at all.

She was bundled up with a snow suit. She had a round face with dark brown hair and all she did was beam with joy!  Truth be told, there really are no words to describe her but I am trying. She was calling me and looking directly at me. I almost fainted because…..it was me!

She looked EXACTLY like I did as a child that age. And she wanted to talk to me. I honestly thought I was dreaming. I grabbed my friends arm. I took a deep breath and spoke to her. I was so overcome with emotion I can’t remember her name. But, I just gushed over her innocence, her beauty, her profound joy, and her purity. She couldn’t stop smiling and she was apparently so utterly delighted to be going into the Festival of Trees! I must repeat, she looked exactly like me when I was four years old! It was an incredible and indescribable experience. In this moment I realize she is my Christmas Angel.

Angel Aunty as a little girl

I got in my car and started crying. I was just so overcome by this experience. As I was driving away, again through the gardens and woodlands and surrounded by the feeling of the season, including angels, I got the message. I feel like the universe was saying to me DON’T EVER LOSE YOUR SENSE OF WONDER.  I almost did this past year. It’s been excruciatingly painful at times to live alone during a pandemic.

But, NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE AWAY THAT JOY DEEP INSIDE YOUR HEART. NOTHING SO REAL CAN EVER BE THRATENED! This is good news!

 So my message to my Facebook friends and longtime fans of my blog Ageless with Aunty… Keep that child inside alive. Go back somehow and find and feel that sense of wonder. Do whatever it takes. It’s miraculous and worth the effort.

And that child inside of you will get you through tough times. The lights on your tree will be brighter and your troubles a bit lighter. You may find you appreciate even the littlest things much more. And when you keep a heart of gratitude, God will give you even more to be grateful for.

 Merry Everything. And thank you TLC and Mara for being by my side….

 

 


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS LIES IN YOUR HEART!

 

It's that time of year...

HO HO HO…..

I L-O-V-E CHRISTMAS TIME!

We may be in a pandemic but one can still find ways to celebrate the season...

An average day in December is….Fuel up with the BEST CHRISTMAS COFFEE under the sun…HO HO Joe’s!

I put it in a paper cup from Starbucks (you know the really pretty festive ones) and I stroll outdoors to get some fresh Christmas time air.

Of course this year is a little different with the pandemic and we simply can’t be too careful. But, if you are creative you can find ways to still get out and a little about, from a distance with your mask.

I get in my car and blast every Christmas song known to man. And I collect Christmas songs so I have a pretty ginormous selection!  See if you can find “I’m gonna tell Santa Claus on you!” or Christmas in Boston.

Or how about Merry Christmas All.  And another hidden classic is…Reindeer Boogie! Then again, has anyone had the pleasure of listening to James Brown’s Christmas CD? It’s super festive and funky!

After I deck the halls, I usually deck myself with holiday earrings with reindeer or wreaths or my snowman pins…I am also known to wear a Christmas bell around my neck or on my finger! And of Couse my seasonal hats.

Keeping up a strolling tradition in Newburyport

And I simply saturate myself with holiday joy!!!! I am told it’s contagious. And I do love spreading joy…..

 

Run run Rudolph!

I had traditions with Ming and Aunty about selecting our tree. There is a farm in Wellesley Mass that is awesome and even though I get my tree there every year I don’t even know the name. I would always cry tears of joy when bringing it home and staring at it after it was all decorated. Ming even got teary eyed too.

Same sign every year...

 I might venture out to get one by myself this year. Once I set it up it brings me enormous comfort and joy! Don’t you just LOVE your Christmas tree?! Some of you may recall that Ming and I called ours Puffy Green!

Ming assisting with Puffy Green

And our Aunty loved Christmas trees so much she would always gaze adoringly at ours and you could see how much she appreciated the season and the truest meaning behind it all. She passed this love for Christmas down to her daughter, granddaughter, grandsons and myself. And now we see this affinity for the season in the great grandchildren and so on….I call it the magical Christmas legacy.  

Pure Magic

And my sweet mother has always been doing the same (her mother was Aunty’s sister)! We have Christmas in our blood. My mom tells me that her dad LOVED Christmas too! He and my late Uncle D would always sing through the season. I really wish I had a photograph of that!

Even my friends are festive!

 One very early memory was one Christmas eve I had to be no more than seven and I stood on Aunty and Uncle D’s stoop and we sang It came upon a midnight clear before heading next door the annual Christmas eve bash of another Aunt and Uncle’s home. Grand times for sure.

Christmas Prelude ~Sleigh ride w Aunty

Do you have any Christmas Traditions that you can share?
Will someone please pass the Gambino Prosecco

This year I can’t fulfill all of mine since they involve being extra cozy with friends and family…but, I have managed to make a few safe plans for the season.
With my precious Sisters at Christmas

And remember even when it gets tough at times (I can assure you I am not pinging off the walls with glee every moment) I just remember one of my favorite sayings;

THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS LIES IN YOUR HEART!!!! It’s true. Just take a moment to recall the wonderful and precious Christmas’s past….the magic is in our hearts and our sacred memories. I also love making new memories each year!

I praise God that I have a healthy family to celebrate with (even if I can’t hug and kiss them this year). My entire family (extended as well) excels at making Christmas memories! I think most of us do.

 And of course for all of those Christians…we know the real reason for the season!  Can you give me one ginormous Alleluia!

 

WITH LOVE, PEACE, AND JOY…

RENEE AND HER CHRISTMAS ANGELS….


Friday, November 27, 2020

RENEE'S FAVORITE THINGS....AKA MY CHRISTMAS WISH LIST!


 Every year around this time Oprah publishes her Favorite Things list, and, so do I! The only thing different between her list and mine is….mine is two-fold. My list serves as great gift ideas and my own Christmas Wish List! So, if there is a Santa out there, please listen up! I am sure Oprah has stocked up mile high with all her favorite things, but I am simply dreaming, wishing, and drooling for mine.

Yet, even if I don’t receive any of these wonderful items (it’s fun sometimes to wish and dream) I will be happy for anyone who does….the following make great gifts for all those who have been really good this year.

And of course, there is no greater gift then L-O-V-E, and it truly is better to give then to receive, But, in the meantime…

Renee’s Christmas Wish list and Gift Suggestions in no special order….

Slip on Uggs/Ugg Boots in any color or style!  They are just so comfortable I have worn the two pairs I have had (both gifts) completely out.  I just love them and they are one of the coziest products on the market. Make someone blissful. I hear Santa wears these in his sleigh!


How about 100 per cent cotton pj’s? These are pure comfort and joy! I have been sleeping in Ming’s and Auntie’s pajamas for years now.  How about Geisha Flannel Pajama’s from Cat’s Pj’s…but anything pure cotton makes me smile, even long johns would be nice.

 And I-pad/tablet. I may be the only one on planet earth in a developed country without a lap top and microwave but I don’t think I can go without a tablet much longer. I dream of searching the internet and listening to podcasts on one. I can only imagine it must be a great way to get through the pandemic.

The Power of Now CD/Book. I follow Ekhart Tolle (ET) and am currently on full scholarship floating through his Being the Light Course. Anyone on the path who wants to deepen their spirituality ET is a must! Oprah and I agree…ET is the man! Truly one of my top five books of all time! I’ve taken it out of the library ten times. Buy it for yourself! Buy it for everyone.

I have been savoring and relishing green and white teas since 1997…it’s my favorite drink, with select coffee as a close second. And like high-quality tea, high-quality coffee is expensive these days, especially the coffee I would like to enjoy more often. I might add that since I research things for my blog Ageless with Aunty, I can say for certain I have not found a better coffee anywhere on earth then these two:  HO HO Joe’s. This top-notch coffee is utterly sublime. The smell alone is worth the price. It’s a coffee from Cape Cod (a company called Beanstock) and the Ho HO Joe’s features hints of chestnut, a subtle touch of vanilla, with a cinnamon background. Aunty loved it. My coffee connoisseur mother loves it, and so will you!  There is also a super fabulous coffee called Ming Tsai’s Mushroom Coffee in regular or decafe. Both of these blends are outstanding and would make a great gift.  I know it’s just coffee but try these and your spoon will swoon.


One hard to reach item is this Japanese incense that I adore. Since it’s only available in Japan maybe Santa will grab me a batch while he’s on that side of the world.  Its’ called Lisn by Shyoeido and this particular one is Sound on Wave!!! It’s alluring and sensuous and simply sublime. It carries me away….a great stocking stuffer too (if you can find it).

And speaking of carried away someone recently told me that you haven’t lived until you taste a 20 year old Borolo Wine. I think they might be right. I have to say just hanging out with my foodie and wine loving family (aside from Jules, my sister’s own personal prosecco rose) I have fallen head over heels for Borolo, Burgundy and Bordeaux (Red) wines.  I only recently realized how amazing these top quality wines actually are. And now I dream of them.  I hope Santa will stop by with a bottle of one of these gems for me. I have been exceptionally good this year! And, if you don’t believe me as to the quality of these vintages hear what Wine experts say…

Traditionally crafted, this opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of leather, tilled earth, dried rose petal, ripe berry and grilled herb. The ripe palate delivers mature black cherry, crushed raspberry, black pepper and baking spices alongside firm but refined tannins." - Wine Enthuiast

The finish goes on forever….

Spanx jeans or leather leggings. I had no idea this company made pants! My sisters wear them and they look great! Santa you might want to get a pair for Mrs. Claus.

Books Books and Never Ever enough books…. Santa, you are smart so you know how important reading is. Help me complete my library with… The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wholleben, (the whole planet should read this gem), How I Built This by Guy Roz, and the 100th Annual Edition of the 2021 Writer’s Market!!!! By now the entire world knows my dream is to get my writing published. This book will help me make it happen real soon!

And speaking of writing…Well, for over ten years now I have been coveting stand up desks!! I know Santa wants me to be healthy and sitting at your desk all day certainly is not.  I hear that UPlift desks are the best!  They even have a hammock so you can relax and chill in between all your standing and editing. This would be a divine gift for the hardworking writer or computer geek in your life. My hands get tired too from all the typing. So, Santa, I’ll gladly take a roller ball pen if the desk can’t fit into your sleigh.


How about a Fit Bit!  Now this is a gift that WILL make you feel like you can live forever. Santa I’ve got to find a way to get one of these. Do you have one? You should definitely get one for yourself. WE need you to be around for a long time.

And since I do plan a socially distanced visit with you Santa one has to be extra warm and comfy when visiting the North Pole, and given this pandemic I am not planning to be indoors very much this winter (except my own home) so, how about a Canadian goose down coat. I hear they are the warmest EVER!!!!  Someday my coat will come.

How about giving someone a personal organizer!  I save a lot of things. I still have some of Aunty’s clothes, Ming’s things, and the tags from my mother’s Christmas gifts, and so much more. An experienced professional organizer would literally help me clear my path to success.  REALLY! Sometimes I think it would save my life! If you know someone who doesn’t like to throw things away, now this is a great idea.


And if Santa wants to be extravagant this year… I could surely use a new car. I love Honda’s. Ming had one, I had one, and well, they are simply awesome.  I can only imagine the feeling of owning a new car since I have not ever had one. I drive a great deal to see my family and I could get there much more safely in a new vehicle. My old clunker is ready to retire….so before you retire Santa, consider granting me this wish. You don’t even have to leave your home. I hear they ship cars right to your doors these days. I’ll take a Honda Accord in any color. Heck, to show you I am not greedy at all, I’ll take four new tires for my 15 year old Ford or another year of Triple A! 

Last but certainly not least, since it’s been a tough year for all of us….How about a real magic wand?! I know of only one in existence with only a few available. And who couldn’t use a golden Magical Wand about now?! I happen to know a funky fairy God-mother who has a few for sale, so just ask me for the info.

And, if you don’t want to get me that real magic wand I have no problem with a Wine Wand which pairs perfectly with that fine wine you will be bringing me. (I have allergies and placing a wine wand in my glass of red makes the sulfites magically go away and I am a really happy sipper). I can tell you exactly where to get one…you take that third right on Mains Street across from Rudolph’s Pub and next to Herbie the Dentist, and there you will find the Total Wine store on the North Pole! Cheers.

Santa you don’t have to spend a lot…I will still be very happy with a few stacks of yellow lined paper, postage stamps, Elta MD body lotion, any faux candles (I love the ones that flicker and look real and even tiny ones too), or any socks, undergarments, long sleeve tee’s that are 100 per cent cotton. It’s all about comfort.

Thanks Santa! I will keep up all my favorite holiday traditions this year even if I have to do them from a distance and with a mask on. Nothing will ever stop me from celebrating.  I love the holidays and I love you!  And I particularly enjoy giving and receiving gifts…..we are all kids at the holidays… and about now we ALL DESERVE some joy!

Truth be told…it was really fun to put this list together BUT the greatest gifts are those you cannot buy, like A phone call or visit from a loved one, time with friends and family, getting to spend time with the little ones that I love. Nothing can top that feeling of love and time with family and close friends. Merry Merry and happy giving and receiving and memory making! Please wear your mask, that is the BEST gift you can give the world this year and it cost you nothing.

Added note: Once again my friends and I are giving to the less fortunate. I may not have a new car or a really warm coat, but, I have food and a roof over my head and in tough times, my sister’s hand me downs. Let’s be extra grateful this year that we have each other and we made it this far…..With health, family/friends, and faith, we have it all…..please share what you have now more than ever!

 

In deep humble gratitude,

Renee Faith

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

GIVING THANKS IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

 


There IS always something to be grateful for.

 

The more you count your blessings the more blessings God gives you to count.

 

Being grateful is the main ingredient to being happier.


Every day is Thanksgiving really.

 

Happy Thanksgiving and I am grateful that you are (still) reading Ageless with Aunty!

 

Angel Aunty thanks you too….


I am so thankful that Aunty's spirit is alive and well and watching over me always and forever....

She has so much love she's watching over all of us! So don't worry...something beautiful is on our horizon.

And, I am deeply grateful that my precious mother is still alive and I will see her (from a distance) on Thanksgiving! Like Aunty, she's a holiday!