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Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing Grays - Simply Amazing


We Have a Winner! 


Congratulations to Mountain Girl!

You've won a signed copy of "Amazing Grays" by Maggie Crane!
Send me an email with your address and I'll get this great book
out to you right away!  

I'm pretty darn lucky.  I love to read, and I get the most wonderful books as gifts in the mail from authors and publishers who know that I enjoy good books and will happily tell you, my readers and friends, all about it.  Nothing fills me up quite like a good book, a comfy chair, a favorite quilt in my lap, and a crackling fire.  Okay, I'm hoping we get our fireplace checked soon because I'm wantin' that crackling fire in a bad way, and I'm not interested in anymore attempts at burning down the house.  In the meantime, though, I've been reading the best book.  It is called "Amazing Grays - A Woman's Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50."  Sounds like my kind of book, if for no other reason than I just turned 50 and I am amazingly gray.  Need I say more?

Beautiful young people
are accidents of nature, but
beautiful old people are works of art
- Eleanor Roosevelt



So, I opened the big, padded envelope I received in the mail and I pulled out not one, but two "Amazing Grays" books by Maggie Crane.  One for me - and one for you.  Yes, you.  You - you there.  Yes - you.  And it's signed by the author, Maggie Crane too.  Are you lucky too, or what!  

Life is not a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty
and well preserved body;
but rather, to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out,
and loudly proclaiming --
WOW! What a Ride!
- Unknown



You really are lucky and I'm about to tell you why.  You see, I immediately sat down and started reading Maggie's book, and I couldn't put it down.  It is a real page turner and worth every minute you invest in her wisdom, her honesty, her humility, her humor, and her advice.  You'll be digging out your yellow marker after page 1 to highlight all the good stuff.  I know I did.  Oh, and don't forget the sticky notes either.  When you're done, your book will look like something Oprah holds in her hands when interviewing authors on her show.  

If it weren't for the fact that the TV set
and the refrigerator are so far apart,
some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all.
- Joey Adams



Maggie starts ... "I am a Boomer, Proud to be part of a movement of amazing women who are redefining what it means to age well ... The dirt really hit the fan when I decided to allow my hair to go silver.  Life without hair dye brought me face to face with many of my fears, anxieties, and limiting beliefs about entering my ... (gulp) senior years."  Ditto, Maggie.  At some point, I believe every woman must face their fears about aging, and either accept who they are - all the gray hair, wrinkles, and body parts heading south that God gave us - or else age begrudgingly.

If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to
change costume and come back as a new character ...
Would you slow down?  Or speed up?
- Chuck Palahniuk



With every chapter in her book, I felt like Maggie was reading my mind, or else opening my mind up to the possibility that my own fears and anxieties about aging are the same as other women my age.  I think we all go through stages as we age, I know I did when I hit 30, then 40, then 50!  Now 30 seems so young and I wish I had appreciated my youth for what it was when it was right in front of me.  

Your outer world is at every moment mirroring
back to you your deepest feelings about yourself.
If you don't like what you see "out there," the
only place you can change it is within you.
- Debbie Ford



Even 40 brings back memories.  I recall thinking that I was 20 just yesterday, that I still felt like a 20 year old woman, (not anymore!) but somehow I just hit 40 like a brick wall.  I remember thinking "I'm not young anymore and yet, I'm not old either.  This is horrible!"  And, yes, it seemed like no sooner did I get comfortable with my 40s then I turned 50 last April, and the cruel cycle of denial and asking myself where my life is going comes crashing in again.

The first step to wisdom is silence;
the second is listening.
- unknown



I need a bulldozer and an extreme home makeover - of the body and mind type.  Maggie took care of the mind, now if only I could find someone like Oprah to give me a body makeover I'd really be set.  Then again, what I really need is motivation to get moving and stop living such a sedentary life day in and day out.  I want to feel that youthful energy and enthusiasm again! 

While reading her book, I have had the distinct pleasure of communicating with Maggie via email.  I feel as though I have found a new friend in this middle age of life, and if her book and her words are any indication, a good friend, indeed, she will be.  When you read her book you'll know why.

I don't know how you feel about old age ...
but in my case I didn't even see it coming.
It hit me from the rear.
- Phyllis Diller



If you ever felt like you were facing the aging process alone, think again.  Whether it be gray hair, menopause, men, children, divorce, or life - you will feel as if Maggie is a friend who just gave you the best advice you could ask for, hit you right between the eyes with comic relief, and did it without skipping a beat.  Throughout her book, she offers up little anecdotes and quotes to stimulate your reflective mind ... like this one:

Memory is like an orgasm.
It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it.
- Seymore Cray

and this one:

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
- Marcus Aurelius

and all the others throughout this post.



I've learned a great deal about myself, aging, being a woman, marriage and men, and discovering what is most important and what is real from having read Maggie's book.  You will too.  To enter the contest for a signed copy of Maggie's wonderful book "Amazing Grays" just answer this question in the comments:

This is your life ... how do you want to live it?

Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.
- Mark Twain



Contest ends Tuesday, October 20th at 10pm EST.  Winner will be announced here on Wednesday afternoon.  Good Luck!  

If you would like to visit Maggie's website - click HERE.  Be sure and visit her gallery of Silver Sages too!


Note: All of the great contemporary, realist paintings throughout this post are by a favorite realist artist: Christopher Stott

Note again: Maggie Crane sponsored this giveaway.  She sent me her book and after reading it, I had to tell you about it.  She also sent me a signed copy as a giveaway on Raisin Toast.  Thank you Maggie!