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Photographs by Jennifer Denton, taken at Bohanan's, San Antonio.

Not long ago I watched the film Rumor Has It with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Aniston. Aniston’s character was lamenting the fact that her life was “a little nuts” to which Costner’s character said, “Life should be a little nuts. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together.” I love that line! If everything in life was accompanied by a smooth path, with no ups and downs, how would we know if we could survive when life hands us down days, months or even years? And on the flip side of the same coin, how could we fully appreciate the good days?

If a life without worry sounds perfect, might I suggest that after a while, even paradise might seem like a bunch of Thursdays, devoid of those moments that make us who we are?

While life is a series of imperfect moments strung together, they’re the only moments we have. Regardless of where we find ourselves at the beginning of this new year, what if we stop saying things like, “After things calm down, I’m going to… “ If we’re waiting for those calm perfect moments, more than likely, we’re going to be waiting a long time. Instead, what if we seize the moment—perfect or imperfect—and go for it like there’s no tomorrow?

Jack Simpson’s “Asymmetrical Dot” tie and Susan Shaw’s necklace

One of the reasons I like to do photo shoots, like this one of me wearing a tie, is because it shakes up my usual routine. I get to “go for it” in ways I don’t do in my everyday life. This photo shoot was inspired by my friend, Jack Simpson, of Jack Simpson Couture. It was Jack’s fabulous ‘Asymmetrical Dot’ tie and his Instagram stories about Charlotte Rampling and Nan Kempner and their Yves Saint Laurent “Le Smoking” tuxedos that gave me the idea.

One of Jack Simpson’s Instagram stories was about socialite, Nan Kempner, who in 1966, was turned away from NYC’s Le Cȏte Basque restaurant for wearing her YSL tuxedo pantsuit. No pantsuits allowed. So she removed her trousers and entered, wearing just Le Smoking jacket. Miniskirts were in fashion, so the restaurant let her inside. What a brilliant move! Don’t you love gutsy women?

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is the definition of style and grace, designing elegant clothes for both men and women. Esquire Gentleman named him one of the “Ten Best Dressed Men in Fashion,” and his made to measure suits rival the best of Savile Row, so if you know a man who’s looking for an impeccable wardrobe… or if you want a suit… perhaps à la Diane Keaton… Jack is your man!

Some of Jack’s Instagram posts are little films unto themselves, blending a history of clothes, cars, food, cocktail recipes, art, vintage furniture, women, relationships, lifestyle and color. Always lots of color, texture and patterns, sometimes together with a great soundtrack! Follow Jack on Instagram and engage with him, because he will write you back, and you will learn a lot about life and style. 

In many of Jack’s posts he profiles women we’ve all known and loved, and he gives us the back story and why we should care about her: Did you know Rene Russo was so humiliated by her classmates because of the full-torso brace she wore for her scoliosis that she dropped out of school in the 10th grade and sold refreshments at a movie theater? Thank you, Jack, for helping us see the human side of our cultural icons.

After I was finished with 10 breast cancer surgeries and eight rounds of chemo, my husband and I wanted to celebrate, but none of my clothes fit. Even though my hair was only an inch long and had grown back coal black and silver, I decided to bump things up a notch and not wait until they were perfect. That’s when I bought my velvet tuxedo jacket. Sixteen years ago!

My New Year’s wish is for all of us to welcome gratitude and generosity of spirit into our hearts and leave jealousy and anger outside the door; that we get in touch with our inner child and realize surviving life’s storms is more important than the storms themselves. And when they’re over, let’s get up and keep charging at life again and again. Today comes this way but once! Happy New Year, my friends! I love you all so much! Next time we meet I’ll give you a couple of paragraphs from the memoir I’m writing.

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Hi Girlfriends,

I’m proud to say that 1010ParkPlace™ has been voted one of the Top Ten Blogs for women over 50: the best-educated, wealthiest, most powerful demographic in history.

Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

Brenda’s Blog has between a 58.4% and a 68.7% click thru rate, which is unheard of. My readers tell me it’s because I’m sassy and transparent, they trust me and no topic is off limits.

Tell your girlfriends, sisters and coworkers about 1010ParkPlace. We have lots of exciting interviews planned and stay tuned for updates about my memoir! 

#WhereStyleIsAgeless   #MakeLifeCount   #WhatAreYouWaitingFor


  1. Happy New Year to you and best wishes for a bright, healthy and successful new decade!
    I love that jacket, gorgeous! Jack is handsome and so talented. Thank you for introducing him to us!

  2. Brenda,
    Such a wonderfully sweet NewYear’s gift to have you in my Saturday morning inbox! Cheering you on from the Northeast as you continue to put “pen to paper”. This eager reader awaits your next missive. Love, Joyce

  3. Wonderful to receive this in my inbox. I did not realize just how much I’ve missed your regular posts. Thank you Brenda for this New Year’s gift. You look absolutely gorgeous in these photos.

    • Thank you, Victoria! I’ve missed all of you as well. I didn’t know how much until I saw your comments! It feels strange not to be blogging every week, but I’ll be back, like I am today, so keep watching. xoxox, Brenda

  4. Happy 2020! Doesn’t that have a nice ring? You look fabulous and what a great place to enjoy a drink. Jack is gorgeous! I followed him on Instagram and have been going through his posts. Looking forward to a snippet of your memoirs. xoxo

    • Hi Donna, This was the first time I’ve been to Bohanan’s, and I love the atmosphere and have vowed to return for drinks and dinner. Thank you for the compliment. Happy New Year! xoxox, Brenda

  5. What a nice surprise to see a post from you today. Happy New Year to you and thank you so much for this post. With lots of turmoil (mostly with health issues of friends and family member) around me at the moment, I needed to read this and will read it again and again. Can’t wait to read a few paragraphs from your memoir.
    Take care

    • Thank you, Jeannette! I’m so happy to see you here! I’m sorry you’re standing with friends and family in the midst of their health issues. Hopefully you can find some time each day to do something just for you. To step outside of their problems and be good to yourself. And yes, if this post gives you inspiration, then read it again! xoxox, Brenda

  6. You’re here!!! Yay!!! I got so excited when I saw you in my inbox this morning! My weeks are not the same without you cheering us on. We’re doing the same while you write your memoir. I didn’t make any New Years resolutions but as always you’ve inspired me to be strong. I have marriage problems and finances but want to make them better.

    • Thank you, sweet friend. It works both ways because you inspire me as well. Perhaps you can find another way to approach your marriage and financial problems, especially if what you’ve already tried isn’t working. The fact that you “want” to make them better tells me you’re working at it. Sending you love and all good things. xoxox, Brenda

  7. Hi Joyce,
    You introduced your self to me in the House on the Hill Nextdoor app (thanks Katie Herrin for your curiosity!) and I was reeled in. What a fascinating adventure you weave. I often wonder what history has been lost, simply because no one thought to transcribe their memories. In my family, my younger sister is the family historian, charged with keeping all the old photographs, newspaper clippings, awards, medals, etc organized and safe. But, so much was lost as my parents, aunts, uncles and other relatives have passed. Lost forever, memories treasured by a few but compelling by more. Your writing compels me to reminisce, which inevitably leads me to digress from the intended subject.
    I am very recently retired, full of intention, optimism, curiosity and apprehension. I think perhaps my second life has just begun! Not that gender is of particular importance or concern relative to this comment, but nevertheless I happen to be of the male persuasion and the point I intended to make much earlier is that your inspiration reaches a broader audience. Not that you intended otherwise, and no offense meant.
    Thank you for sharing your self with us and I eagerly anticipate ‘Becoming Ramborella’.
    “ It’s also the story of my kidnapping in 1988 by the Guatemalan Military Commandos.”
    That’s just crazy!!

    • Hi Mark, I’m so happy you went from the Nextdoor App to finding my website and hope you will subscribe and continue to keep up with me! You’re very eloquent with your writing. I don’t know what you retired from, but something else is waiting for you out there, so I hope you go looking for it. Those of us who retire and do nothing are more prone to ill health and an early death than those of us who stay engaged, mentally and physically. You’d be surprised how many men subscribe to my blog. I hear from them all the time, and would love for you to join them! You’re so right about my life… “That’s just crazy!!” You have no idea, but I’m working on how to enlighten you! Hope to see you, again! Brenda

  8. A very Happy 2020 to you! I was so glad to see your post in my inbox and realized how much I miss your stories of encouragement and humor. So here we go on another year and decade … ready or not, here we go!

    • Hi Holly! I know! Here we go, ready or not! I’ve missed all of you as well, and thank you for telling me! It’s good to know I’m not the only one whose missed saying hello here. I’ll be back, so continue to look for me in your inbox! I told you I’d be back from time to time. xoxox, Brenda

  9. Happy New Year Brenda! Seeing your post in my email box was a kick start to my day!! Looking forward to the snippets of your memoirs.

    • Hi Deborah! Love seeing you here! It’s good to be back and reconnect. Next time I will include some of my memoir. It has totally consumed my days. Thanks for commenting! xoxox, Brenda

  10. Such a privilege to be a part of this post, especially so as articulated by a woman of style, intelligence, and an unfailingly captivating charm.

  11. Brenda, You are beautiful. I love the jacket and wish I’d kept mine. Good to see you back here and maybe we could actually get together sometime this year. That would be fun! Stay happy and healthy, my friend!

    • Thank you, sweet lady! Keep me posted on where you’re going this year, and I’ll do the same. I’ll be in NOLA and the San Francisco area in March. xoxox, Brenda

  12. Happy New Year, Brenda, and thank you for this post! You look fabulous in this, and I look forward to reading more about Jack! Have missed you so I especially loved getting this today. So looking forward to the upcoming snippets! Sending love and hugs, and looking forward to your next post. Thank you for all you’re putting into writing your memoir.

    • Hi Beckye, Some days are very productive with writing my memoir, while other days I achieve nothing but getting frustrated. The next day I start all over again, hoping to write something captivating. Take care! Happy New Year! Love, Brenda

    I will send this post to ARI SETH COHEN…………as you need to BE IN HIS NEXT BOOK!
    YOU and your four legged MATE who brings HER food bowl to YOU at the exact HOUR!
    Children can be SO MEAN!I too was made fun of for my HEIGHT in elementary school!
    JOY and FUN that’s what it is ALL ABOUT TODAY!!!!!!

    • Elizabeth, I would love it if you’d send this to Ari so he might consider me for his next book. Annie and I make quite the pair when it comes to meal times. She’s already eaten but thinks she needs to eat again when I do! She’s a pushy little broad, but I like women who’ve found their voice! Yes, I was taller than the rest of my class and wore glasses. Thank you, God, that we don’t stay that way, and thank you, Elizabeth for the compliment. xoxoxoxoxoxox, Brenda

    • Hi Friend!! I’m happy to see your face here! It’s only been two months, but I’ve missed you! Thank you for the sweet compliment, and yes… Isn’t Jack fetching? Is that a word we should use to describe a man? Hmm… xoxox, Brenda

  14. Happy 2020! Your posts have been missed. I think about you often and the image that comes to my mind is you, concentrated on writing your book. It will certainly be delightful to read, just like your inspirational posts! XOXO

    • Really? You think of me often? Thank you, sweet lady! It’s great to see you here, again! Yes, I’m usually here at my computer. My other job is doggie doorman, letting Annie in and outside and when it’s too cold outside, trying to keep her entertained. She just turned three, so in many ways, she’s still a puppy. Happy 2020 to you as well. XOXOX, Brenda

  15. So happy to read your post today. I appreciate being reminded that sometimes life gets a little nuts. I love the photos, of course. They are glamourous and elegant. They are just perfect! I have several Susan Shaw necklaces and get many complements when I wear them. Really love how you styled your necklace with the necktie. Jack Simpson is my kind of man. Miss you Brenda.

    • Hello Colleen!!! I miss you as well, but am excited to see you here today so thank you! Thank you for your sweet compliments. Jack is a sincerely great guy! You’re ahead of me in discovering Susan Shaw, and we live in the same town! Be safe. Be well. See you, again, sweet friend. xoxox, Brenda

    • Hi Rebecca! How are you? I’m so happy to see you here! Like you, I love velvet. You’re right: It’s chic and beautiful, and I’ve always had velvet jeans… Gloria Vanderbilt in the ’70s… or a couple of velvet jackets I sometimes wear with blue jeans. Used to wear them with high heels, but those days are over. xoxox, Brenda

    • Thank you, Catherine! What a nice compliment you’ve given me. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. I’m raising a glass to you, hoping we have the opportunity to meet one day! xoxox, Brenda

  16. Thank you. Important direction…You have given me the incentive, now I plan on following today with folks I need to repair relationships

    • I’m glad… grateful to hear that I’ve given you something to think about, Lynn. Regardless of whether we’re the instigator, or the victim, we’re all flawed people. Many of us have forgotten… or never knew… how to forgive and try again and role reverse. Sometimes that helps us see why people act the way they do. It doesn’t excuse it, but it may give us an insight on how to protect ourselves from being on the receiving end again. xoxox, Brenda

  17. Fabulous outfit, Brenda and you are in my favorite San Antonio restaurant! I love your positive, encouraging message to begin this exciting new year! Let’s get together….

    • Hi Pam, Thank you! How are you doing? Great to see you here! That was my first time at Bohanan’s, and I was drinking a fake martini for the photo. I’d love to go back and really have something to eat and drink. Unless it’s working out at the gym, church, or writing, things fall off my radar lately. I need to get out and get together!! Are you still working? xoxox, Brenda

    • PS: Laurie, I just checked about why I haven’t been reading your blogs. They come on Feed Burner and for some reason I’ve either never figured that out or don’t receive them because I don’t receive any of the blogs I’ve subscribed to on Feed Burner. What am I doing wrong?

  18. Thanks for the link to Jack. FYI that I also heard that Renee had “bad skin” as a teen too! I hear you about living life in spite of the ups and downs. It’s the continual downs that have gotten to me (lots of moving from place to place as a kid, divorce, death, illness, my child being chronically ill, and I could go on…). I think moving my body more will help with that. I need to get a real metamorphosis going though because ZERO of the adults and friends in my life growing up (and even as an adult) were/are active (not at all, not even any “walkers”). My husband has an active job, so he has little physical energy when he’s at home. Thank goodness my kids are active. So, I’ve got to get motivated and do it! Btw, “paradise” will have ups and downs, just not the evil, against-the-will-of-God “downs” that hurt so much in life (I listed some – illness, death, also, selfishness, hate, etc.)

    • Cat, I’m sorry to hear your were hit with so much as a kid. The best advice I can give you is don’t wait for your family and friends to motivate you or exercise with you. Perhaps your motivation could be to get out of this down mindset you’ve found yourself in for so long. That’s easier said than done, I know, but ask yourself this: Do you want to stay in this mindset for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, then find ways… outside of your family… that will help you turn the corner, and yes… Daily exercise is key!! It will change your mood, your body and your mental health. What if you join a yoga class and commit to going as if your life depended on it… because it may. I found a water aerobics class and unless I was sick, I went every morning at 8am, for 10 years. It made a huge difference in my bad back and my outlook, plus I met women my age who were there for the same reason. As we get older we need to be more determined not to let our aging bodies take us down. We can’t do nothing and expect to age without having health problems and being depressed. Once you’ve committed to being your own role model, you’ll feel better mentally and physically, and you won’t want to miss exercising. You can do this! It will change your life, Cat! Make life count! I watched my mother make excuses for why she wouldn’t go out and walk or join an exercise class. She was just checking off the days, waiting until the day she died, and she was miserable! Don’t be like my mother. Don’t wait until there’s a better time, because that’s not going to happen! This week!!! You can do this! xoxox, Brenda

    • Hi Hilda! How are you? You will enjoy Jack’s posts on Instagram. They’re often the highlight of my time on IG. I’m writing my book, and it’s more difficult than I imagined it would be because I need to use a different “writing voice” than I do when I blog, and I’ve been blogging for over 10 years. I will succeed, and I will continue to pop in here on my blog to say hello! xoxox, Brenda

  19. Happy New Year, Brenda!!!
    So good to hear from you!!! You made me chuckle again!! I’m going to follow Jack too!
    Looking forward to your memoir & next post! It will be worth waiting for!

    • Kathy!!! So happy to see you and to be back, communicating with my tribe. In so many ways we’re family! I’m glad I make you laugh and give you something to think about. Thanks for telling me! Until next time… xoxox, Brenda

    • Kathy, Thank you!! I love pantyhose. Always have. Always will. It makes our legs look better and as my friend, makeup artist, Sandy Linter, says, “It takes the age off of our legs” and she’s right. The younger women and the fashion industry have bullied women over 50 into not wearing pantyhose. They told us it makes us look older. Actually we were doing pretty well before we started wearing skin tight leggings, cropped pants and raggedy torn jeans. xoxo, Brenda

  20. Hello sweet friend, what a joy it was to find you in my inbox ( you fit nicely in there). Happy New Year, I pray it brings only good things your way. I will be first in line to read, promote and love your memoir. I’ve missed your posts and look forward to catchiung up soon. xo

    • Thank you so much!! I’ve missed everyone here as well. We’re like a family, and it’s not the same when we don’t “get together.” How are you? What’s happening in your world? xoxox, Brenda

  21. Brenda – Classiness is spelled “Brenda.” I miss your insightful blog and look forward to whatever you will be sending us, whenever. It was a nice surprise and a treat to find you in my inbox. Happy Healthy New Year!

    • Margie!! How sweet! Thank you! You’ve made my day! I will continue to pop in and out as I write my book, but I wish you a wonderful New Year as well. You’ve nailed one of the most important ingredients… Health! xoxox, Brenda

    • Wow! I love that! Thank you, Margie! I couldn’t let the beginning of the New Year pass without saying hello and sending lots of love to everyone. I miss all of you as well. Blessings and great health to you this year. xoxox, Brenda

    • Hi Shaban, Aren’t they great? Jennifer Denton in San Antonio is a fabulous photographer. She continuously studies portraiture with masters around the world. I’m blessed to call her my friend. I’ll tell her you like her photographs. Thank you, Brenda

  22. What a wonderful reminder to ‘seize the day’ in this new year. And with such beautiful photographs! Happy New Year!

    • Thank you, Laura! Yes, we sometimes get bogged down by our day to day and need a little wake up to remember to step outside our “to do” list and do something extraordinary. xoxo, Brenda

  23. Well, I can’t believe it. I didn’t leave a comment. I know I went to Jack’s web site and Followed him. But I didn’t come back to you. Maybe it was because I had may grandkids here over the holidays. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
    You are one hot chick. I love the photos. You belong in some showcase. I’m right with you about just doing it and not waiting for the right time. That’s why I keep my hand outstretched so I can grab what ever is out there. Also saying YES! I’ll do it. So this is a great way to start the New Year. I love all the stories about those icons. Right now I am obsessed with Harry and Meghan.

    • Thank you, Sandy! I appreciate your sweet compliments. Wouldn’t you like to have been the proverbial fly on the wall in the Queen’s “family summit?” I’ve been binge-watching “The Crown.” If it’s at all accurate, her number one goal is to preserve the monarchy, even if it causes heartbreak and devastation in her family. Interesting that it’s always “the outsiders” who marry in that cause the problems. I can see both sides and feel the monarchy should do a better job of helping… particularly the younger generations… fit in and find a way to utilize their talents and skills and tutor them on how to be a royal. The need to be able to keep the monarchy relevant and this might be a good way to do that. I imagine those who marry in “think” they know what life will be like, but the reality is very different. Happy New Year my sweet friend. xoxox, Brenda

  24. Hi Brenda ! Happy New Year! You look fabulous. What a joy to read you this morning. I am going through some very difficult times and your post was like a healing balm. Everybody should have a friend ( someone) like you in their life. I particularly like your response to CAT. I read it many times. I eargerly waiting for your memoir. All the best to you!

    • Yvonne, It sounds like you have a lot going on in your life. Sometimes when we find ourselves in an overwhelming point in our lives, things can become even more depressing and overwhelming because we don’t know where to start to fix it or how to find relief. Without knowing what you’re dealing with, I know the one thing they all have in common is you. To successfully get through them all, you have to take good care of yourself… Yes… my words to Cat, and be consistent about your sleep, exercise, healthy food, water, not much alcohol. Is there a way you can check off at least one of the things on your list in the near future? Perhaps you prioritize. Any emergency items go to the top of the list. If you don’t have anything crucial you need to take care of now, perhaps you can address one thing at a time. Each thing you accomplish gives you some breathing room and makes it easier to do the others. Trying to do several big things at the same time can be overwhelming. I hope something here speaks to you and is helpful. Sending love and strength to you. Xoxox, Brenda

  25. Oops! I somehow overlookedns this one! My loss. You are always my inspiration dear friend so only a one word comment…..BRAVO!!

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