WE ARE THE WORDS ~ AND YOU’RE INVITED ( No pink slime or hunger games involved)


Remember Eats, Shoots & Leaves? Lynne Truss drew me in with her winking charm and the promise of a new experience.  Here’s her enticing lure ~

Either this will ring bells for you or it won’t.  A printed banner has appeared on the concourse of a pertrol station near to where I live.  “Come inside,” it says, ” for CD’s, VIDEO’s, DVD’s, and BOOK’s.”  If this satanic sprinkling of redundant apostrophes causes no little gasp of horror or quickening of the pulse, you should probably put down this book at once.

Isn’t she clever? At age 48, Truss wrote a book about punctuation.  The genius of her book is the title and that one elaborate panda joke.  I see plenty of bloggers who follow her lead.  So, I say, let’s dip a toe in her water.  Here’s my pitch ~ A Greater-than-Amazing Invite that will ring your bell….or not.




I invite you to be a Guest Blogger here at Words We Women Write.

It’s a Joyful Thing.

And seriously, what’s more satisfying than a chimingly great conversation?




Mark Twain’s journal/diary is a blog without a web. His entries are short, witty, observational, explanatory, and fanciful. He busied himself with a heap of sharing, wrote about what pleased him and persuaded us to experience it too.

Grief can take care of itself;

but to get the full value of joy

                           you must have somebody to divide it with.”    

~Mark Twain



So, here’s how to divide your Joy ~

  • Choose your own adventure.  Be honest, simple and short.  6 words, 6 sentences, 66 characters. Be Pythonesque, Tiggerish, or Thoreauvian. Dickensian, Byronic or Confucianist. Maybe you’ve just got an itch to scratch. Be the grizzly among the teddy bears. Be edgy, fringy or gonzo. Or earnestly engaging with truffles-and-caviar prose.
  • Want to include a photo? jpeg is best.
  • Add a link to your site, Twitter or Facebook page.
  • We’ll eyeball your post, edit ( Truss says a little mark can make a big difference ~ Call me, Ishmael ) and add a short intro.
  • Send your submission to jtgiarnese (at) sbcglobal.net in the body of the email.

We are the words that tell who we are.

~poet Eduaro Galleano.


Toni 3/24/12


“Nobody grows old merely by living

a number of years.

We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin,

but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

  ~Samuel Ullman


Think anything longer than 140 characters is a homework assignment? Sometimes I do.  In fact, there’s a good chance your eyes glazed over around the enthusiasm/wrinkle line. (Except for you, Devoted Readers, that is.)


I do like lists.  Think:  Ellen, Oprah and Cosmo. The specific promise of the headline. The simple outline format that’s easy to skim. Social media is about generating conversations and a list fascinates everyone I know.

I like to see what’s on it and whether it affirms what I think or is completely wrong.  Like the 7 accessories that will change your life, 10 ways to beat the high cost of living, or the 12 secrets of better lawn care. (Lots of sprinklers.)



I try to take a list for what it’s worth – not much.  But if you’ve gotten this far, the choice is yours.  Here’s  my ‘list’ in 62 tweet-able characters …..

Identify what’s most important 2 U;

eliminate everything else.



…….. or 62 linkable lines.


62 life lessons learned in 62 years of life


  1. Be the change you want to see in the world.  Ok, let’s get this one out of the way.  Yeah, it sounds a little frou-frou. But it’s powerful. Inspire others with actions, not pamphlets.
  2. Spend your money with awareness.   It’s the experiences that make you rich, not the stuff.  Unless we’re talking iAnything, that is.  No kidding, Apple rocks.
  3. Speaking of money, it doesn’t buy happiness.  Just everything else…like a secure life and resources to share with others.
  4. But really, the best things in life are free.  Take a hike.
  5. Show some love.  Go out of your way to thank people. Pick someone up on their way down.
  6. Be a problem solver.
  7. Seek out the company of inspiring people.
  8. Focus on your strengths.  Do what you love.
  9. If you want something, ask for it.  The answer isn’t always no.
  10. Say no when you mean no, don’t say maybe.  Just be nice about it.
  11. Embrace play.  Skip the sitcom rerun.  Join a community project.
  12. Recognize how fortunate you are. 
  13. Keep learning new things.  Exit the comfort zone.
  14. Cherish your old friends and introduce them to your new ones.  The last word in ‘lonesome’ is me.
  15. Run towards adventure.  Transform yourself.
  16. Look inward.
  17. Be brave.  Play on a swing set at least once a year.
  18. Face your fears.  Don’t waste your energy on worry. Lose the guilt.
  19. Think for yourself. 
  20. Grow your own food.  It’s judderingly awesome.
  21. Go places.  Anywhere will do. Ask Dr. Suess.
  22. Be persistent.  Inch your way there.
  23. Just be.  Sit, listen, let your mind wander, feel the peace.  Breathe.
  24. Create...music, words, art…and share it with the world.
  25. Enjoy a simple pleasure every day.  The slow sunrise, a long shower, berries on your Kashi.
  26. Go on picnics.  Preferably, on the beach.
  27. Journal.  Blog. Get it down ~ on paper or in pixels.
  28. Watch movies in your bathrobe.
  29. Nap in the afternoon.
  30. Bake.  Anything with chocolate.
  31. Tell jokes.  Write the punchlines on your hand, if you need to.
  32. De-clutter ~ in short time chunks or long ones.  Be merciless.
  33. Back up your computer.  Better yet, spend some of that money for a Time Machine and go do #23.
  34. Google it.  What do you want to know?  It’s all there.  Shocker.
  35. Use your best stuff every day.
  36. Cook dinner.  It’s a ritual worth celebrating.
  37. Avoid roundabouts.
  38. You can have carbs at night.  Eat protein all day.
  39. Spend part of every day outside.  Yes, even in winter.
  40. Get up in the middle of the night and eat peanut butter with a spoon.
  41. Pump iron.  It beats dieting.
  42. Street performers beget joy.  Add something to the tip jar.
  43. It’s OK to be different.  Note: you’re not as different as you think.
  44. Try everything.  Even stuff that scares you.
  45. Read books.
  46. Take care of the earth.  And it might take care of you.
  47. Learn the rules.  Then it’s OK to break them.
  48. Sing.  If you can’t sing, sing anyway.  Especially at karaoke.  Or belt out Amazing Grace at church.
  49. Give away something you love. 
  50. Make life simpler.  Embrace technology.
  51. Marry your best friend.  Hold hands.
  52. Believe in miracles.
  53. Tell the truth.
  54. Learn from your mistakes.  To err is human, to share is divine.
  55. Don’t settle.
  56. Focus on what you have.  Be grateful for the goodness.
  57. Smile. See #4.
  58. Be honest. 
  59. Keep a ‘To-Don’t “ list.  You know what goes there, don’t you?
  60. Find a mentor. Or five.
  61. Family is everything.
  62. Take a walk with a camera.  This little film tells me that a more creative life ~ in whatever way you break from routine and for as much time you can spare ~ is one worth living.


Toni 3/13/12


Here they are, Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, founders of www.Immaculateinfatuation.com  ~ and my new BFFs.………

The Immaculate Infatuation boys write reviews of restaurants across NYC.  On a Blackberry on the way to work. Unpretentious. Unapologetic. Honest.

Blogger Spotlight: Immaculate Infatuation

College buddies, they now have full-time jobs and a very social lifestyle.

I love The Big Apple ~  it’s a space-warpingly vast city with lots of choices. And ATMs.

These guys are here to help you and me steer clear of mediocre (and insanely overpriced) food from the West Village to the Upper East Side. Think ~ be glad they ate there so you don’t have to.  Unless the big wigs are buying, of course.

And here’s Andrew’s Grandma and Aunt Rita.


They’re devoted to Immaculate Infatuation.  They’re also regular reviewers ~ Grandmas on the Town. The guys check in with them to see what’s hot with the 80-and-over crowd. These Grandmas get around.



Here’s Episode #1.  Stay tuned.  This is just the beginning.


The guys take note of a restaurant’s vibe (feels like you’re eating ravioli in John Tesh’s living room) and music  (impressive playlist) as well as the wine list (incomprehensible) and wait staff (top notch). They even comment on ingredients. Like the olive oil, for instance.



I know that all olive oils are not alike ~ or even deserve to be called “extra virgin.”  What I didn’t know is sound-the-alarm unreal.

Tom Muller is an olive oil expert and writes in his book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, about olive oil fraud and deception within the food industry. He found that not only did some oils fail to meet the extra virgin standard but, in many cases, weren’t made from olives at all. Rogue chemists have learned to disguise low-grade soybean oil (even lamp fuel ! ) so that it can pass for the highest grade of olive oil.


Extra Virginity Book Cover - P 2011


So, now what?  Muller says go to a store that has a good range of oils. (This means never, never, never buy your oil off the shelf of a chain store grocer.) Taste the oil before you buy it. Get it fresh. Eat it within the same 12-month period that it was picked and pressed. Find the harvest date on the bottle to know when that is.


Without a doubt, Tom Muller is right.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil ~ natural, pure and fresh ~ is unbelievable. High fives all around ~ but you’d better hit the ATM.

BTW,Speaking of Extra Virgin ~ the reviews are in.  Chris and Andrew say the eatery at 259 W. 4th Street kills. Dessert cart? Get some.  http://www.extravirginrestaurant.com/#/home


The Guys, the Grandmas, the Extra Virgin ( book, oil and eatery) ~

Exquisite. Case Closed.


Toni  12/8/11