Contributed by Susan Good
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happy life

I call my mom at least once a day. Today we talked about buying a scrabble app for her computer. Ninety- two years old and my mother is going to play scrabble on her Mac! How fabulous is this mother of mine!

I would normally go on to my next activity, but with a broken ankle I have time to reflect about this mother of mine; her sage advice dripping with wisdom and values for women of all ages. Grammas, moms and daughters will gain from reading this.

10 tips & observations on how to live a happy life:

1. My mother: “If people talk about you …you know you are not boring!”

2. My mother on fashion: “Never worry about what others think. Revel in how you feel.”

3. My mother on secrets: “A secret is a secret until you tell someone.”

4. My mother on children: “Remember my darling daughter one mother can take care of ten children; ten children cannot take care of one mother.”

5. My mother on girlfriends: “If you have a few, consider yourself lucky.”

6. My mother on skin care: “Use olive oil on your skin at night.”

7. My mother on the key to aging beautifully: “Exercise your face and your mind.”

8. My mother’s favorite book: Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham

9. My mother on marriage: “A woman makes a marriage.”

10. My mother on life: “Live in the moment. It is a gift.”

My mother is a gift. Your mother is a gift. There is no stronger love than that of a mother’s love.

Do Something GOOD Today: Appreciate the lessons your mother taught you.

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A Personal Interview With Gramma Good’s Husband for Spouse’s Day

Written by Susan Good of

gramma good and sheldon good

Today is Spouse’s Day, so I thought it would be fun to introduce my husband Shelly, my best friend, a father and grandfather of a now blended family. We have been married 23 years.

We were both widowed. In this interview, I will ask him questions about his experience searching for a second wife and his role in our blended family.  

Gramma Good: How did you decide the qualities you needed in a second wife?

Shelly: I made a list of what I needed in a wife! At age 50, after a marriage of 31 years, I found myself in a strange new single’s world. I thought I would be married sooner than later as I had been happily married. It took six years to meet the next Mrs. Good, Gramma Good. I knew the most important decision I would make was my choice of a new wife. I knew I wanted to remarry and share my life. I decided to make a list of what I thought I needed in a wife. Seven qualities, all very logical and attainable and yet it took me six years to find her!

The List

1. There had to be a physical and mental attraction. That was number one on my list. I needed an attractive woman on my arm and a woman who would provide a loving home and lifestyle.

2. I preferred marrying a widow. I knew marriage demanded a lot of give and take. Sticking with a partner through ups and downs was very important to me.

3. Age difference: Not more than 10 years. I wanted to be able to talk to my new wife. A very young woman could not share history or stimulate me mentally.

4. An educated woman: I liked travel, opera, golf, politics, theatre and someone who could handle herself in my social- business situations.

5. I preferred a woman from out of town. I didn’t want to know about her relationships.

6. I didn’t want to marry a woman with young children. The obligations and responsibilities of raising another young family was not attractive to me. I wanted to share the remainder of my life with my wife.

7. Her family background played an important part in the formula. The further you go from marrying your sister the less chance you have of the marriage working.

Six years later, on a first date, I met Gramma Good and over a very long lunch I told her I was going to marry her!!

Gramma Good: How did you handle the blended family?

Shelly: Not easily. My two sons considered my new wife an interloper trying to take the place of their mother and worrying about my assets. They wanted it all. My wife’s children felt I was stealing their mother and that I was trying to replace their father. I was a stranger in their lives and they didn’t like it and resented me. After twenty-three years, our children and grandchildren get along very well. I generally feel tolerated. I feel that I try. I don’t know any blended family that really blends. I think ours does better than most. There is no perfection. Look at the problems that go on in families that are first marriages. The most important part in our blended family is that my wife and I found each other. Our strongest asset is our love for each other in spite of our children! We both let our children know that we put one another first.

Gramma Good: Thank you, Shelly for your time and honesty. This has been my first experience as an interviewer and I am so glad it was with you.

Do something GOOD today…ask a loved one something you’ve always wanted to know!

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Read More Gramma Wisdom Written by Susan Good @ Gramma Good

I want all of us grammas and our families to have an upbeat year that is family and goal-oriented. As we all know, that requires sticking with our efforts. I guarantee you

Dos and Donts for a New Yearhappiness. I am not saying it is not hard work, but as my husband tells this gramma, our children and our grandchildren, “Nothing good happens by accident.”

Here are a few of my do’s and don’ts for the new year. They aren’t hard to do … once you have made up your mind.

DO BE DISCIPLINED. That is the #1 key ingredient for a successful, exciting, loving and interesting upbeat 2014.

DON’T HAVE UNREALISTIC GOALS. You will put yourself into an emotional funk.

DO BE OPEN-MINDED. Choose an interest for yourself that you have been putting off and tackle it in the new year.


DO SHARE INSIGHTS. Sharing your thoughts with others you admire. That will expand your horizons.

DON’T LIVE INSIDE THE BOX.  Boring. Boring. Boring.

DO KEEP YOUR LOVING RELATIONSHIP ALIVE. Relationships are like gardens. They need to be watered.  Take the time to nurture your relationship with your husband or significant other.

DON’T FORGET YOUR PARTNER. That is your best friend.

DO FOCUS ON YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Sunday night dinners! E-mails, texts, phone calls!  Send keepsake gifts from gramma or mom through the mail.


DO FOCUS ON YOUR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH. It takes real discipline but this is another #1 key to happiness in the new year.

DON’T SAY “I WILL START TOMORROW.” Procrastinating won’t get you anywhere! “I will start tomorrow” is the hardest part for all of us. This is what I have found. Once I force myself into the groove for a week, I get stimulated which creates discipline and happiness.

DO Something GOOD Today: Stick with the do’s and stay away from the don’ts!

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Read More Gramma Wisdom by Susan Good @ Gramma Good

I know the world would be a far better place if the population would practice the Golden Rule. Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, born 500 years before Christ, based his philosophy on the importance of moral values. His Golden Rule philosophy: ‘Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you’ is his best known. In twelve words he created a message that could stop wars between countries, families and friends and the list goes on.

A wonderful lesson you could teach your children and grandchildren is to practice the Golden Rule, which in essence means, before you create pain in another imagine how your would feel if that pain was inflicted upon you.

Look into your own heart and ask yourself if you practice the Golden Rule. Some of you with empathy and goodness always do; some of you do your best and then there are those that will never ‘get it.’

I know all types of people because my life is a huge circle. Most of the people I know I give the benefit of the doubt that they do their best and then there a few that really do practice the Golden Rule. Those are the people that stand out in my mind today as I write this blog. Those are the people I want in my close circle.

Look into your friendship chest, clean house and be selective. You will be much happier. Teach this to your grandchildren at a young age because at that stage of their lives it is ‘monkey see…monkey do’.

Do something GOOD today: Teach your grandchildren a life lesson!

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