Archive for January, 2017

PostHeaderIcon LOVE AT ANY AGE – 60 AND OVER

By Vernalee
We hear the axiom frequently, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” True that! That statement applies to dating and finding romance in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond. Unless you’re strange or a bonafide loner, everyone needs someone! People love being loved and feeling loved; no matter what age. Romance is in the air. Just look around! Beyonce’s Mother, Tina recently found love and married at 61. Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mother, Adrienne was recently a bride. Love and happiness know no age!
Having said that, older women don’t necessarily find comfort in dating. Our skills have become rusty. However, if it is companionship that we want, we often have to try new things to accomplish our goals.
Dating coaches take a more positive stance on dating after 60. They explain that a change in mindset is essential for women over 60 who want to find romance. So ladies, get out there and start making connections that can hopefully turn into dating opportunities. Here again, I turned to the experts and here is the advice that they offer.
“There are three simple ideas for creating dating opportunities which include smiling genuinely, approaching men first, and learning the art of flirting.
1. STOP feeling invisible and START attracting quality men is the advice of the day.
So what’s a midlife woman who was raised in a world where men were “supposed” to make the first move do? Here are a few ideas to help you get the hang of dating after 60.
2. Practice a Virtual Flirt with Men from Your Past
Social media has opened wonderful doors of connection, so, don’t be afraid to casually see who’s available. You will find out soon enough if they are married or committed, so be friendly and see what happens.
Discreetly, let selected friends know that you are actively looking for a relationship – maybe they might know someone who is perfect for you!
3. “Are the Chocolate Muffins Good Here?” – Strike up a Conversation!
Another place to meet interesting men is the good old standby, the coffee shop. Starbucks or Panera Bread, anyone? Many men come in every day to get their cup of Joe. Pay attention and you may just find a new friend. Start a casual conversation with the man standing in line and smile!
Sometimes just asking whether the chocolate muffins are any good is enough to start a great conversation. Just remember to be genuine. You’re not looking for the love of your life (although it would be nice to find him). At this point, you’re just looking to make a friendly connection.
4. Play with Pets and Grandkids – They are Great Smile Magnets
When you are out with a dog or young child, there is a natural and comfortable energy. Take your dog for a walk. A local park will do. If you have a grandchild, take them for a cruise around town, perhaps an ice-cream or local cafe. They are magnets. You will be smiling and that’s a good start!
5. Go Cultural – Explore Museums, Bookstores and Theaters
The most important dating guideline is to simply do things you love. If you love museums, look for special events that will draw a crowd. If you have a passion for books, go and browse the magazines and chat with the man next to you. He may say “my wife and I…” and that’s totally fine. There should be no expectations when meeting new people. If you love sports, buy a ticket to an event that you love. Who knows who will be sitting next to you?
6. Attend a Meetup and Share Your Passions
You can join groups for everything you can possibly imagine including hiking, art, photography, travel or dining out. These events can be a great opportunity to meet new people, whether you are looking for love or not. In fact, I know a guy who attends a seminar nearly every week and belong to more groups than the average person. You never know who’s out there.
7. Get Two Birds with One Stone – Let’s Get Physical
Many men love to work out, so, a great place to meet them is at the gym. Meeting people at the gym has a few build in advantages. First, any single man that you do meet at the gym is more interested than the average person in staying in shape. Second, even if you don’t meet anyone, working out is important for every aspect of your health after 60 – mental, physical, and emotional. Getting in shape will improve your confidence and improve every aspect of dating after 60.
8. Dive Into the World of Online Dating, but, Wear Your Armbands
Online dating fills a gap for women who are more uncomfortable meeting new people in person. There are lots of choices, like, where you can freely browse hundreds of profiles. Other paid sites, like, and, ask you to take a personality test before they look for “matches” for you. Black people is another option.
There are also faith-based sites like where members can write and respond to anyone. There really are so many ways to meet men even after 60 – it simply takes a shift in mindset.”
Explore and find! You’ll never know what’s out there, if you don’t look! Be a respectful lady in your search! Find your man; a companion that you can happily grow old with; a man who will be your mate forever and a day! Nothing has changed; you’re just older! Do I hear wedding bells?
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
To be loved is a desired emotion for most.
For sure, “It’s never too late to find love!”
Play it again Sam!
Though love is a sought after emotion, finding it may be difficult as we cannot read other people’s hearts. Then we have the other issues. Complacency can be substituted for the phrase contributory negligence. It, alongside the fear of rejection, can become front and center in our lives and even convince us that we are happy when we are walking in a stream of loneliness and unhappiness.
Our older ears though filled with wax become fearful of hearing unpleasant words.
It’s easy to settle. It’s just as easy to find comfort in discomfort; to give up without really trying; to convince yourself that you are happy when you know that you are not.
Everybody needs somebody!
The older you become, your desire to take risk lessen. Lest not forget the prospects of being hurt! Age does not remove the prospects and exposure to being hurt. So now what?
Do you do nothing and let the unhappy days become unhappy years? Do you distant yourself from selfish people whose selfishness places you leap years behind your desires? Or do you seek, search, and find love?
What steps should you take as you look for love gingerly in the right places? How discreet should you be? It is not realistic for you to expect to open your front door and find your Prince Charming standing there. It is highly unlikely that a scenario like that will play out.
Looking for love and dating can be intimidating processes at any age. For certain, they are labors of work.
Another job, you don’t need! But get ready to rumble! Looking for love can be tantamount to punching a time clock of sorts.
The older you are and the longer that you have been out of the dating game, the lesser your dating skill set has become. Needless to say, your skills may be rusty. It can create anxiety and cultivate doubt. Just ask Tina Knowles!
Beautiful, successful, and in the spotlight was Tina Knowles, the Mother of superstar Beyonce. Then, after 33 years of marriage, she found herself divorced and all alone.
“Where am I gonna find somebody at 59 years old? Where do you meet men? Where do you get them? They’re all gone.” If Tina asked those questions, multiply mine and those from other middle aged women by 10.
But then something magical happened. She took the initiative to find love and happiness. She was reunited with a man that she had known for over three decades. Actor Richard Lawson entered the picture and the rest is history. By her wedding day, Tina’s tone had changed.
“To walk down the aisle and see all my friends and family and to see my handsome man standin’ there, and to know that at 61 you can still find love and have a magical day like that … it was really beautiful,” says the bride as she walked down the aisle to India Arie’s “Ready for Love.”
Yes, it takes courage.
It takes tenacity.
It takes getting out there and making yourself available.
It takes no settling for someone who doesn’t make you happy
Though you don’t won’t to necessarily wear your singleness on your sleeves, it is necessary to declare your availability. We sometimes tuck our single status in our back pockets. Revelation is part of the process. Rejection may be encountered, but determination will ultimately bring positive results.
Sharing your life with the man that you love is a beautiful thing. Companionship is great!
God knew that it was not good for man to be alone, thus he created woman. Love, companionship, eternal bliss of marriage will never grow old. Yes, read my lips. I can’t speak for you, but I declare – loneliness is for the lonely; it is no fun! I have seen the effects of it and how it torches your spirit and torments your soul.
Get up, go, and find your soulmate. He’s out there.
Sure, you can ignore your bed of unhappiness, loneliness, and unfulfilment. You can fool yourself and others, but eventually the truth raises its head.
You can even become a serial busy body. Filling your day with work, tasks, and activities are not cure-alls. They are merely timekeepers to pass the day.
I say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Don’t be left out in the cold alone (Brrr!) lonely, and without the love of your life. Besides, 60 is the new 40.
Get your groove on!
Photo credit: (Richard and Tina).


By Vernalee
Love is in the air …. everywhere!
It has made its appearance all week.
LOVE – a four letter word with a meaning that is higher than high; deeper than deep. The definition of love is provided in I Corinthian 13: 4-8.
4 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.”
It ventures to say that we have to daily and continually work at loving people – God’s way!
To love in this manner is challenging and will take all that we have to stay true to its meaning. For example, you cannot love someone and hold in your heart “a wrong suffered;” an injury from the past! You cannot be a part time or fair weathered lover and be in compliance with this biblical definition. Stop using the word – love – loosely.
The 64 words in this scriptural definition are simple and not complicated.
Yet, to love God’s way is a tall order.
Examine the text; continually work on compliance; keep the instructions penned in your heart, mind, and soul!
For most of us, it is work in progress.
Yes, 1 Corinthian 13: verses 4-8 are four powerful verses that describe love from the biblical definition!
How do you fare?
Before you speak, don’t give lip service without providing evidence.
You know the answer to the question … and so does God!
There is always an opportunity to love and show love; to give and to receive love!
So gratifying is the feeling!
Happy Sunday!
Photo credit”


By Vernalee
grits and
There has always been a tradition in our family of passing down possessions. It is funny how the little things in life mean so much!
Allow me to share a cooking story. Lemon juice can be used to jazz up many dishes. Its tartness enhances the flavor. Squeezing those tiny lemons can be a chore. Not anymore!
I inherited the perfect kitchen utensil that makes the job spontaneously effortless. Yesterday, using my Mother’s recipe, I made a delectable cherry cheese cake utilizing an old fashioned lemon squeezer. The squeezer belonged to my Grandmother Eleonora. It worked perfectly!
I never knew my Granny. She died when I was two years old. I have always heard family recant stories about how she had me “spoiled rotten” by holding me continuously, picking me up when I fell, and gingerly wiping every tear away from my crying eyes!
Go Granny! I love it! Emotionally, my Granny and I cooked together yesterday when I used her vintage appliance.
It was as if she left Mississippi and was in Ohio standing in my kitchen looking over my shoulders!
Imaginatively, I could hear her say, “Dash a pinch of vanilla flavor to liven up the taste. Grating a tad bit of the lemon peel won’t hurt!”
Those Southern cooks who knew how to put a meal on the table from scanty ingredients are something else! Aren’t they?
Perhaps, you could say that my Grandma’s hands guided mine. Alright, the judgment is still out. The proof is the pudding! Let’s see if I passed the taste test. I cut a slice for my Mother, Mrs. Phoebe! Understand this! Mrs. Phoebe, a master chef, can detect a 1/2 teaspoon of salt missing from a three layer German Chocolate cake.
Drum roll, please!
Momma loved it and said, “Job well done!” Of course, I couldn’t “leave well enough alone.” I kept going! So, I made lemonade. Upon taking a swallow, Momma said, “Girl, this lemonade is entirely too sweet. Cut back on your sugar! In fact, put a little warm water in first to crystallize the sugar and then add the remaining lemon juice, rinds, and sugar from there!” I did and it salivated off my tongue as I drank it!
Thanks Momma! Thanks Granny!
Some folks say “too many cooks in the kitchen” will never work. Well I beg to differ.
Yesterday, I had it just right – the number of cooks, ingredients, and all!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Remember the Big Cheese?
He has been featured before.
Many of you have met him or experienced the ramifications of his actions.
Although he is graphically pictured as a male, the Big Cheese can also be a female. Equal rights; remember!
He/she is that person who gives orders, takes names, shifts their weight, frightens you with the tactics used, provides threatening remarks, talks negatively to you and about you, and is chummy with the boss. On occasion, he can even order the boss around or tell the boss what he will or will not do. Whose subservient to who? Go figure!
If the Big Cheese does wrong, punishment does not come his way. Perhaps, he/she is exempted from harassing employees and retaliatory actions.
Everyone defers to him/her; some even are fearful. Yes, the Big Cheese can make some rock in their boots and he knows it!
Remember, he is the boss’ unofficial chief of staff; has a job title but does no substantial work; and has unbelievable influence and power.
Some have tried to determine if he is Swiss, Provolone, or American cheese.
It really doesn’t matter! The boss lets his flavor run rampant as the workplace bully.
I am lactose intolerant so cheese is not on my menu.


By Vernalee
Experience is the greatest teacher.
We encounter successes and failures. While doing so, we make mistakes along the way. Yes,
mistakes are inevitable. They are a part of life and they are bound to happen because of our imperfections.
Actually, many of our mistakes hurt. Ouch!
So what do we do when the inevitable occurs?
Recognition is a big step; regretting them is another; learning from them shows wisdom.
Learning from mistakes requires:
1. Stop denying and blaming others for what you did.
2. Take responsibility for your missteps. Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.
3. Have the self-confidence to admit to them.
4. Be courageous about making changes and adjustments. Don’t let your mistakes define who you are.
5. An apology where appropriate never hurts. Saying “I’m sorry” goes a long way.
6. Try not to make the mistake twice. The second same mistake may be construed as a choice.
7. Re-evaluate your planning, preparation and execution; focus on the variables that you can control.
8. Learn from the mistakes of others. By others faults, the wise correct their own. Learning is a gift even when pain is your teacher.
9. Stop fearing failure.
When we fail, it’s the first attempt in learning.
10. Implement the Vernalized Triple A Process, namely – Admit, Address, Act.
It’s a better price to pay than continued failures and repetitive mistakes.
So, where does it end or begin?
There are many quotable quotes.
Take a look.
“Forgiving ourselves transforms failure from a stumbling block into a stepping stone.” Robert Frost
“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
― Rick Warren
“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgment.” Anonymous
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
“I missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. 26 times I was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life. That is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
We know that challenges build character.
We also know that when we learn – what not to do – we grow from our mistakes.
The secret is to put down potent fertilizer that will allow us to discontinue what got us in trouble the first time.
We can best learn from our mistakes when we stop denying them. Otherwise, we are bound to keep repeating the same old stuff over and over. Mistakes are proof that we are trying. Sure, mistakes and failure suck, but they instruct.
Finally, I leave you with a proven mathematical equation. It always add up.
Here you go.
Mistakes + Correction = Learning.
Photo credit:; Source:;;


By Vernalee
Frequently, I read articles about good parenting, which brings me to this point. I asked myself what I regarded as the best lessons that I have given to my children. Here’s what I think I brought to the table of rearing them.
1. Greetings/Speaking – to those that you meet. Though a small gesture, speaking and saying hello are critically important. To not speak to someone was a cardinal sin in my hometown of Glen Allan, Mississippi. In fact, there is a saying that resonants in my ears today that my Mother taught me probably before I could utter a sound, “It doesn’t cost anything to speak.” By golly, it doesn’t! Oh, I forgot to mention that mandatory salutations (Mr., Miss, Mrs.) and Ma’am or Sir were required for all adults. It was “Miss Collins; Thank you Ma’am.” Anything less than that sent you to the woodshed for punishment. It worked for me so I passed it along to my kiddies.
2. Getting up and going to school – I never realized how that small trait would mean so much. Little did I know that going to school everyday transcended into going to work everyday. That behaviorism embodied a value system; a sense of responsibility. Not that I am a proponent of passing along infectious bacteria, I didn’t let my children stay home for a minor belly ache. They occasionally beat the system, particularly my daughter by getting the school’s nurse to excuse her. Oh well, no one or no system is perfect! Barring them being very ill, they were required to go to school.
3. Manners & Etiquette – Courtesy overtures such as opening the doors for females were and are prerequisites. You know the drill for the rest of the gentlemanly and lady like behaviors that young lads and girls should follow. I tried to lay down a foundation that was ageless, classic, and transferable. Respecting adults and authority were the lay of the land in my house. Monkeyshine at school with the teachers just didn’t work. Education was king. As my Mother always told us kids, “The Teachers got what they are trying to teach you. So you have to go to college and get yours!” That mandate didn’t change from my school days to my children’s. So here again, the advice was passed down.
4. There are a few How To’s that I felt were important to hand down to my crew. How to pray; how to cook; how to clean (their bodies and their room); how to wash clothes, how to read, write, and do arithmetic; how to mind their own business; how to stay out of grown folk’s business … were the top ones. From time to time, I have to give reinforcement reminders. Some things never grow old.
5. Love and honor God and be respectful to your parents. Stay together as siblings and love each other all the days of your life.
Now, there are many other lessons that accompany these; too many to elaborate. Sometimes as parents, we never know what sticks and what doesn’t. We can only do our best; and hope and pray that our children land in a good space.
To my son and daughter, I hope that you read this. Maybe, you’ll give me an “A,” but if not, I passed anyway. You guys turned out to be great adults so much so that I occasionally pat myself on the back. No brags; just facts! In fact, I never wanted my children to be what I wanted them to be, but to become everything that God created them to be. I’m still teaching; they are still my students; and they are still willing to learn and grow. Now, the table has turned. There are many things that they have taught me. We are growing together; we are family! I rest my case!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

mid adult couple holding hands and praying

adult couple holding hands and praying

Now that you have defined yourself as a couple, what’s next.
Your couple closeness should begin with spiritual intimacy.
Worshiping together is a great beginning step. It is also a reminder and an invitation to make God the center of your relationship; the stronghold within your storms.
It’s further recognition of the fact that God will help us through anything and everything.
Keep God first!
Take a moment when you get into your church service to quiet yourself in God’s presence. Take a deep breath.
Then when it is time to worship, hold hands. Let each other know that you are there to support the other. Show and enjoy closeness while worshipping and learning about our amazing God!
Coming together in prayer, reading the Bible together, and worshipping together are key components of a couple’s spiritual intimacy.
Let’s see how we can get even closer.
1. Have a prayer to invite God’s presence before the Bible is opened for worship.
2. Read through a devotional book together.
3. Start worship by telling each other the good things that happened to you during the day or what your blessings were.
4. Set a specific time for worship.
5. Write appreciation notes to each other. Read what the Bible says on the topic of “love”.
6. Invite another couple to have worship with you.
7. Thank God for answered prayer before the prayer is answered.
8. Pray out loud for each other after each identifies his/her needs.
9. Prepare a “Thankful List.”
10. Hold hands and face each other when you pray.
11. Ask for forgiveness for specific mistakes.
12. Have a telephone worship when apart from each other.
13. Have your favorite scripture; memorize it; encourage one another with words from God.
14. Have your favorite hymn. Sing it; play it; let the sounds uplift you.
15. Discuss how to improve certain character traits. Read what the Scriptures say about them.
There are so many varied forms of spiritual intimacy; too many to elaborate.
Do what works for you as a couple to stay grounded in the Word. There is strength in numbers. Sharing in worship helps you to tackle and solve your problems. It brings you closer to each other and closer to God.
Your foundational anchor in our merciful God will always be your saving grace.
Happy Sunday!
Photo credit: Source:;;


By Vernalee
As a little boy, my son loved the video shorts that aired on Saturday Mornings called School House Rock. One of his favorite shows and songs was called “Conjunction Function.” It went like this:
“Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.
Conjunction Junction, what’s their function?
I got “and”, “but”, and “or”,
They’ll get you pretty far.”

He loved that song. I did too!
Yes, conjunctions are amazing connectors. We used them regularly and judiciously.
Switching gears from then to now and from adolescence to adulthood, allow me to show you the relevant impact of conjunctions. Ready, set, go!
First though, I’ve got a question for you.
How is your relationship these days?
“It is alright, BUT …”
That response brings to the forefront the realization that “the difference between a healthy romantic relationship and one that most likely won’t work out is the word “BUT.” That elementary three letter word (BUT) is indeed simple BUT has a powerful complex connotation. It is normally used to indicate an impossibility or express an objection.
One expert provides us with helpful common sense advice. When in a relationship, “LISTEN to yourself when you are talking to your friends about the person that you purportedly love. Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. They reveal everything about whether or not the relationship is making you happy.
When a relationship is good (healthy) there are no “BUTS.” That is not to say that a healthy relationship is perfect. It isn’t. But rather that when someone is truly making you happy, you are only sharing good news about that person and your relationship. In fact, you may catch yourself incessantly, favorably, and unconsciously talking about the pleasantries that he brings.
Listen up. If a friend asks you, “How is your guy?” and you answer in one of these ways, the man is a keeper.
My guy is:
1. The best.
2. A total sweetheart.
3. Great, he surprised me yesterday and showed up at my house with lunch.
4. We are having so much fun!
5. I just love him.
6. Kind, caring, and giving.
7. I’m just really happy.
8. I’ve been waiting for him all my life.”
9. I definitely feel as if I am an integral part of his life/plans and not merely an after thought. He includes me in it all; everything.
10. I enjoy our time together. He maximizes every moment and is not sporadic with his time and resources. He is always around and I want him to be. I love his presence.
Relationships develop “a theme” very early on. In other words, the stage is set almost from the start, and whatever the issues are, they will usually be there for the entire relationship. So if you hear yourself saying, “I love him “BUT” ….” something is wrong; drastically wrong!” The question should become, “Can it be fixed?”
Often times, we hide behind excuses rather than deal with the heart of the issue. We don’t like to impose injuries and certainly don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s funny when it’s not reciprocal. His feelings and interactions with you may not reflect the same sentiments. We can routinely hide behind the truth. Here again, we would tell him BUT …
We have to kiss the word “BUT” goodbye if we want our relationship to flourish and survive. Removing it from our vocabulary is a start; from our relationship is a plus. “BUT” is that one word that stands tall between you and success.
There you have it, “BUT” I can’t make you do it!
Photo credit:; Source: Polpssoph


By Vernalee

IMG_0234Do I tell my friend that her man is cheating?
This letter from one of my followers raised my eyebrows. It’s simple, but complicated. See for yourself.
Dear SWTA Staff,
I am having sleepless nights. The problem has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with my best friend. Here’s what happened. My husband and I were having dinner. We noticed this couple kissing and cuddling. When he raised his head, I was startled. It was my best friend’s man! How disgusting! He didn’t see me, but I saw the white of his eyes. Do I tell her or do I keep my mouth closed?
“Don’t know what to do friend”

Dear “Don’t know what to do friend,”
Your letter poses a question that is difficult to answer. I know better than most because the same thing happened to me about twenty years ago. Only the setting was different. My cheating friend’s episode unfolded in the mall.
Needless to say, I was torn between loyalty and minding my own business. My decision then was to stay out of it, but it tormented me for months whether I had made the right decision. You have to do what is right; what your gut tells you. However, that could land you in several spots and tie you up like a knot. Their problem could easily become yours. Because of the difficulties on what steps to take, here’s a simple guide from the experts.
1. Make sure that you are right.
2. Record or take a snapshot of the action.
3. Talk to your friend’s partner.
4. Give some hints to your friend.
5. Invite your friend somewhere to have the final talk.
6. Come straight to the point.
7. Present your evidence.
8. Encourage your friend to go home and discuss it.
9. Do what you feel is right.
10. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes. What would you want or expect?
Is the answer easier? Probably not!
It’s a tough decision. I know not the answer. Here’s what I suggest.
Be strategic. Be thoughtful. Consult confidentially with a trusted friend or expert. Let your conscious and your heart be your guide. What are the consequences? Where do you draw the line? Regardless of your answer, the fact remains that you have to live with your decision. Think and think hard! Pray for wisdom to make the right choice and to do the right thing!
Note: This column is for entertainment purposes. Please consult a trained professional as necessary.
Photo credit:; Source:

Receive our Blog in your Inbox

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Stuff We Talk About on Twitter