Monday Miscellany: Special Olympics, Passover And More

Special Olympics, love the support and encouragement!!!

Want an uplifting way to spend a few hours? Check out a Special Olympics event. The overwhelming amount of encouragement, support and celebration for special needs people at all levels of ability is just amazing. And not only from the volunteers but also from the spectators who cheer enthusiastically for every participant. You can see so much pride and sense of accomplishment on the faces of the athletes. This is such a fabulous program for everyone involved!

Jeune Homme began participating in Special Olympics last fall, and this spring he’s doing Track & Field because he likes running. With his mild CP he’s not fast, and his cognitive disabilities cause him to get distracted at times, but we were able to watch him run and finish both a 50-meter and 100-meter dash (the second with a bit of help). This is quite an achievement for him, and we were so thrilled to see him enjoying himself so much. Above, JH crosses the finish line in the 100-meter dash. Look at all of the volunteers cheering and urging him on.

Lots on my plate this week, including a visit to the dentist. Saturday night as I was flossing, I popped the crown off one of my molars. It doesn’t look cracked or damaged, so I think they should just be able to glue it back on (fingers crossed…don’t need the additional expense of a new crown at this time!).

A new Pilates studio just opened in my neighborhood (the kind with Reformer machines) so I’m taking a free introductory class this morning and may sign up for a couple of classes per week. One of my lovely readers who is a Pilates instructor treated me to a free session last year, and I could definitely tell that it would be a good workout for me to improve my core strength and overall mobility. The proximity (the studio’s a 10 minute walk from my house) makes it more likely that I’ll actually go regularly. Fingers crossed, again.

Tonight’s the first night of Passover, so Happy Passover to those who are celebrating! We’re going to our Aunt’s house for Seder; she always has such a lovely one. If you’ve been invited to a Seder and aren’t sure what to bring (or are just looking for another kosher-for-Passover dish), here’s a recipe for Matzoh Apple Kugel that’s super easy and only takes about 90 minutes or so to make, including baking time.

I’m hitting the wall with my hair again, and am seriously considering going back to a pixie cut. (Similar to the one in my profile photo.)

We’re still hip-deep in our Italy travel planning, working on the Venice portion now. Thanks very much to all of you who have offered suggestions! They’ve been very helpful. I’ll be finalizing and posting my travel wardrobe in a couple of weeks. You can see all of my prior travel wardrobes and recaps HERE.

travel wardrobe starter kit ideas

And if you’re building or updating your own travel wardrobe, you can see some of my seasonal picks here: TRAVEL WARDROBE STARTER KIT.

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Hilary
    April 10, 2017 / 4:49 am

    Three cheers for Pilates. I absolutely love it. I hope once you get going regularly you will, like me, hate to miss a class. I do two-three mat classes a week and two classes a month on the equipment. I am almost 69 and it is the best exercise routine I have ever had!! Not only is it good for your core and your spine, I find it lubricates all my joints relieving osteoarthritis.

  2. April 10, 2017 / 5:04 am

    I love your hair in a pixie cut! Very flattering, and easy to deal with. Who wants to fuss with “hair-dos” at our age? My hat is off to you, perpetually, for the grace and style with which you manage your many responsibilities and projects. Kudos to your son for his S.O. accomplishments. And to his parents for such obvious support and love… 🙂

  3. April 10, 2017 / 5:05 am

    What is with the hair problem at our age – I am in the same boat! It’s so frustrating. I keep trying to grow it out a little…works for a while then frustration sets in…right back to short and easy. I have fairly thick hair but it’s not coarse so it gets weighted down with almost any product on it. Then I want to wash it daily but my hair stylist says not to…she says after 50 we need to cut back on the washes. Geez!!!

  4. Laurel
    April 10, 2017 / 5:09 am

    Must be a common problem. I start to let my hair grow a while, get fed up and cut it back to a pixie. So easy and cute on you!

  5. April 10, 2017 / 5:42 am

    Congratulations to your son ~ must have been so wonderful to see him finishing the races. The Special Olympics are an incredible organization. Happy Passover, we’re not having our Seder until Saturday because all the kids work.

  6. Christina Verrastro
    April 10, 2017 / 6:01 am

    YES! I fully support revisiting your shorter cut. Back when you said you were growing it into the Meg Ryan look, I wrote – seemed it was my singular opinion — that the short cut you had was so chic, fabulous, cool that I could not imagine abandoning it (well, not those exact words but the gist.) I loved your Paris shoot (hair, makeup, wardrobe, style) but understand the continual search to find something even better. You are an inspiration and your blog is highest rated for me along with That’s Not My Age. How about a book publishing deal for you, too. Thank you, Susan.

  7. Sally
    April 10, 2017 / 6:54 am

    How wonderful to see JH at the finish line doing something he loves! Can’t wait to see what you pack for Italy and where you go, your pictures, what you eat and what you see. Italy is so fabulous! We didn’t have seder but we did get an impromptu visit from J’s cousin and her husband. They decided on a spontaneous trip to California and Yosemite. They hit bad weather with flight delays (like we did going to Washington DC a couple of weeks ago) and ended up without luggage somewhere in Sonoma. We had NO idea they were here until R text’d us last night as we were starting to prepare dinner! Susan I LOVE my short hair. I get compliments on it ALL the time, from complete strangers. It’s just so easy to have short hair. That said, I know you’ll choose what’s actually best for you. You always look beautiful and chic.

  8. Lily
    April 10, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Hi Susan, my name is Lily and I’m from Israel. I follow you for a long time and I enjoy reading your posts and photos. I was very happy to find out that you are Jewish, and I wish you a happy Passover (I apologize about my English)

  9. April 10, 2017 / 7:11 am

    I love that shot of your son at the finish line!
    I think you’ll love Pilates — I did a Reformer class twice weekly for about eight years, only switching to yoga because I got tired of having to drive off my commuting path for the latter. If I had one ten minutes’ away and the class times were convenient, I’d be there again in a heartbeat. Besides the strength and flexibility, the core and spine stuff (I always felt an inch taller after class!), it’s so good for balance, and I think we sometimes underestimate how big a role that plays in overall mobility.

  10. April 10, 2017 / 7:40 am

    Selfishly weighing in on the hair issue. Your previous post inspired me to grow out my own fine, thinn-ish hair. Keep on keepin’ on–this too shall pass! That said, of course do whatever makes you happiest. You are lovely inside and out, no matter what.

    Love getting a glimpse of JH, too.

  11. Debra
    April 10, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Congratulations to your son! I love the photo. My brother-in-law has been involved with Special Olympics – our contribution is limited to making a donation each year – and I am a huge fan. It is nice to see how someone I “know” is positively affected by the organization.

    I loved your hair in a pixie cut and am jealous that you can wear your hair that way as it is my dream cut – sadly, I don’t have the face for it. I do understand your desire to go shorter, though! I have a bob (which is MY cut) and have been taking it higher and higher each visit to my stylist. Next time I’m going for chin length which is the shortest I think I can go and still have a bob!

    Thank you again for sharing your life with us. I really like that you communicate your thinking behind the beauty and fashion decisions that you make. It’s also nice to know that someone who seems to have it all together still goes through the “I’m so fed up with my…” periods, as I do. Change is good!

  12. Kelly Hale
    April 10, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Love your haircut in the profile picture, it is very flattering and youthful looking.

  13. April 10, 2017 / 8:19 am

    Aw, Jh brought tears to my eyes. Very heart warming to see. I think you look great in your pixie cut. Jealous you can walk to Pilates. That’s what I will do after completeing my physical therapy. Love your blog. Beautiful and so helpful. Thanks.

  14. Cathy D.
    April 10, 2017 / 8:55 am

    Susan, I feel I must weigh in on your hair issues. You look wonderful in a pixie cut! You are fortunate to have the kind of face that looks great in this style, so just go for it! Life is too short and too busy to waste worrying about your hair.

    I say this having been through exactly the same thing myself. I have fine hair with almost no body. I spent years… way too many years… trying to wear my hair slightly below my chin. The only time it looked good was right after I combed it. Finally I found a hairdresser who had the nerve and the professional ethics to tell me what she really thought. We gradually took my hair slightly shorter with each haircut until we found the perfect length for me. It’s a pixie. It was a shock and took some time to adjust to, but I’m a convert. A few days ago I went outside into wind and a light rain. After walking about 10 blocks, I came back inside and looked in the mirror. My hair looked great. It didn’t even need combing. I only wish I had found this style a little earlier in life.

    Thanks for sharing your life and your wonderful fashion sense!

  15. kim clendenin
    April 10, 2017 / 10:06 am

    How wonderful! Special Olympics and their volunteers are amazing. Congrats to him!

  16. Ainsivalavie
    April 10, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Félicitations à votre fils pour son grand effort! Super! Wow, you and Dad must be so proud…for these kids the effort to train and participate is a lot of hard work, having support from Mom and Dad is HUGE.
    Your hair is yours to do with as you like but… are one lady who rocks the pixie! Talk to your stylist about revisiting the look but changing it up! You may have to live with growing it out a wee bit to restyle the short cut. You are very lucky short hair looks so youthful on you…I am the reverse..I had short hair for years and finally grew it into a long bob and at 62 I look younger than I did at 50 especially when my 20 yr old asked if a photo of me at 42 taken with him was he and his grandmother!! Not funny bébé…
    The downside is it is $$$ to keep! I do colour every 8 weeks and twice a year highlights..and I use Kérastase product…ouf, $$$$$!
    May God bless you and guard you and your family this solemn season.

  17. Alison M.
    April 10, 2017 / 11:12 am

    So much to smile about in this post. Let us know how Pilates goes. Proximity is vitally important for sticking with a wellness routine! My advice for all “women of a certain age” is to steer clear of aggressive, souped-up Pilates reformer classes (generally these use a so-called “Megaformer,” or oversized equipment) in favor of “classical” Pilates or mat classes. A little gentler on the body and the ego. Would love to see your round-up of exercise wear sources in the near future (Lucy, Lululemon, Athleta, Lorna Jane and Alo all have shops in West LA.). Bonne chance!

  18. Nicole K
    April 10, 2017 / 11:22 am

    I think I’m voting with the majority here in saying you always look wonderful in the various iterations of your short dos, but I also loved the chicness of the pixie. It was a fabulous cut with a smidgen of edginess to be youthful. You are lucky to be able to rock the look. I feel I will be a perennial bob person. Had one most of my life with the exception of one year of obligatory long hair parted in the middle forced on us in the 70’s.

    Congrats to JH, he looks in fine form and you must be so proud.

  19. Pink Azalea
    April 10, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Loved seeing your son finish the race! Exercise is great for all of us. Good luck with your hair. I really think all women have “hair issues”. I like my natural color, but I’m thinking of cutting it shorter – from shoulder length to a shorter bob. Can’t do pixie, doesn’t look good on me, but I like it on others. It will be fun to see what you do.

  20. Deede
    April 10, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    So happy your son has found something that brings smiles and cheers…We all need that kind of praise regardless of our situations, right?…KUGW Special Olympics is wonderful…
    While I was reading the post today, my eyes strayed to a post from November 18, 2016…on cholesterol…I read your blog daily but had missed this one..I read all of it today and learned a bunch…Please highlight this one…So much good information…I am glad i found it…

  21. Donna
    April 10, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Congratulations to your son on his participation in Special Olympics! We have a grandson with Joubert Syndrome, and he has always found such joy in this kind of event. I think the idea of going back to the chic pixie cut you had is wonderful. It gave you such a casual elegant look and a youthful lift (just like a great pair of cat eye frames). I’m a big fan of your look and the blog!

  22. SoSuSam
    April 10, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Ah, the eternal hair question: to cut or not to cut. I snipped mine into a pixie around the time you did…and began growing it out around the time you did…and two weeks ago cut it back into a pixie and LOVE IT. So of course I totally want to encourage you to do the same. 😉 You have great style and I think you make your hair work well however it’s cut. That said, the blonde pixie is particularly charming on you. (Mine is gray and VERY short–but as I told my mother recently, apparently less is more when it comes to my hair.)

    As others have said, thanks for sharing the photo of JH and the details about his experience at the Special Olympics. It really made me tear up. You and he and your husband seem quite special indeed. All the best to you and your family during Passover. And may your crown be salvageable!

  23. Angela
    April 10, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I’m going against the majority regarding hair length. Looking back at my own photos only yesterday I think short hair on older women is very aging. The most recent picture of you with the hooded cardigan looked soft and feminine.

  24. Bobbie
    April 10, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Congrats to JH on his races! Track is not an easy sport.
    You look great in short hair, but I was just noting how much I liked your longer hair in your last post. Good luck with your decision!

  25. April 10, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    That was a super cool photo of your son running… I think it’s wonderful. What an achievement for him- he must feel so good that he’s doing this. BTW, I hope you like pilates, it’s my go-to workout and has enabled me to lengthen and strengthen my little bod, for 10 years, this year! Good for you Susan– always gotta be moving forward my friend.

  26. April 10, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Great to see JH enjoying his running.

  27. Ellen
    April 10, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Years ago, when the National Special Olympics was held here, my daughter and I volunteered. It was so much fun. Ted Kennedy was here representing his family, and the next night we were at a tiny neighborhood Italian restaurant, and almost lost our table because so was Ted (we offered to sit 8 people at a table for 6 to allow them to free up another table of Teddy and his guests, so we were able to stay). The next morning, we found ourselves sharing our plane to Boston (of course we were in coach and he was not). He shook hands throughout the flight, and dinner as well. It was a memorable weekend on several counts. How proud you must be of your son for putting his all into two races!

    About the hair. I used to have fine thick hair, straight as a stick. I got many compliments on my hair, often from strangers, and i got quite spoiled about it, so as i got older and it became fine and much thinner, it was a hard blow. It did not help that at about the sme point, I develped eczema and an allergy to almost all styling products. At some point I realized that the problem with my hair was that i was not facing facts, and I had it cut quite short, and then shorter, and now shorter yet. It is now quite short on the sides and the back…shorter than yours has ever been, and longish on the top so i have some styling options. I used to say i could not wear my hair that short, but I have found that as I get shorter, I have begun to get compliments again, and it seems i was wrong. Life is too short now to be unhappy and fussing with my hair all the time, and i have always said that when I “grow up”, I want to be Judi Dench; I am nearly there.

    And for those of you afflicted with scalp allergies: the most hypo-allergenic hair products on the market are a line developed by Mayo clinic dermatologists and pharmacologists, called Free and Clear. Available at Walgreens, although you may have to ask that they be ordered for you. They are quite bare bones: but when you are desperate for a hairstyle, this was a life saver!

  28. April 10, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    Congrats to your son!! That photo just makes me so happy!!! You must be a proud mom!!
    As for the hair–I’m going against the grain here. I LOVE your hair a bit longer–it looks more casual and laid back. You’ve gotten so far in the hair growth, just hold on for a bit more. You can wear a bandana around your head like a headband or use some clips to put the back up. Or…you can be like me, Susan, and wear a wig!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  29. Jill Ann
    April 10, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Congrats to jeune homme! My brother-in-law participated in Special Olympics when he was younger….such a good program.

    Re Pilates: I am a huge fan, have been paying a small fortune for the past 3-4 years to a trainer. I go twice a week, and justify the expense because my tricky neck (bone spurs, bulgy discs, etc) is much better, plus I have actual core strength and pretty good flexibility (for me). I would probably actually have ab definition if I didn’t have the layer of middle aged flub on top! Another plus is that after I broke my wrist last fall, I didn’t have to miss any Pilates; we just adjusted my workout to sidestep arm work & focused on other body parts. I find it encouraging that at my studio, there are young, extremely buff and flexible types, as well as 80 year olds who are coming in order to maintain their mobility.

  30. Susan
    April 11, 2017 / 1:04 am

    I was diagnosed with osteoporosis earlier this year, so I signed up for a physiotherapist based Pilates class. I went off and bought all the kit needed, attended one class, but could not for the life of me, get into it. I find my swimming and walking 12kms 4/7 a week more enjoyable. As for haircuts when turning 60 what a conundrum.

  31. Chris
    April 11, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Kudos to Jeune Homme for his victories!

    Hair issues can make you crazy. My already fine, thin but wavy, grey hair has become straight and lifeless in the past few months.While I was trying to figure out if the products I have used for a while or letting it grow a bit longer were the cause, I realized that over the last two + years I have been under a great deal of stress, not eating well, and, at times, getting insufficient sleep due to job stress and unemployment in alternating stretches. No wonder my hair is different.My solution to this and a lot of other aspects of life has been to retire and leave most of the stress behind. I am still working on eating better and realize that it will be quite some time to see improvement in my hair.

    Have a good Passover.

  32. Susan Bowdler
    April 11, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Great to see your happy son, congratulations.
    Go with the pixie – so much more flattering and fun. My hair is fine too and I often long for longer locks but the only time I get compliments is when it’s really short! Life’s too short for faffing about with your hair for hours…

  33. April 11, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Congratulations to your son you must be very proud. I am a great fan of pilates and have been going to classes or over 10 years now. Would highly recommend. As for your hair I can recommend a great stylist for short hair cuts in St. Tropez. Come visit.

  34. Patricis
    April 11, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    You look so fab with short hair. Go back and don’t think about it one more minute.

  35. April 12, 2017 / 10:57 am

    It is wonderful that the Special Olympics, and the Paralympics, are now getting far more attention, and good that they really attempt to include people at all levels, not only the exceptionally talented in their class (who make it to the finals). They have changed attitudes about developmentally and physically disabled people in many places where they are held.

    Bonne fête de Pessah, joyeux seder !

    As for hair, you are one of the few women I’ve seen who looks good with a pixie cut (it requires delicate features) but it is your hair, and I also like it a bit longer.

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