If I would have known…

Why reinvent the wheel? I want to share the "lessons", shortcuts and knowledge I have acquired over the past 63 years!


Hello, Everyone!

Boy, did Tracy Lawrence get it right in his song “Time Marches On” when he sings “the only thing that remains the same is every thing changes”?

I remember one afternoon a year or two after my Mom died (1990), I was sitting on the patio with my Dad. We were discussing life, past and present, when I made the remark, “I wish everything would get back to normal”. At that time, my Dad said something to me that, until that moment, had never occurred to me…..”There is no normal. Every day is different.”


It was like a brick wall falling on my head! He was right and so wise! How can today be the same as yesterday? I am a day older, the grass has grown, the sun does not rise and set in the exact same places, scientists are closer to discovering cures for diseases, and Apple is about ready to release another version of their iPhone! Now, don’t get me wrong, I still maintain a routine, though it is often a moving “target”. Before my day starts. I like coffee, news and checking my email, but, after that, I just roll with the flow, or fight the under toe! That is another story.

img_0705Anyway, back to changing times, yesterday, my husband’s cell phone had an operating system glitch and he had to take it to the Apple Store for repair. He was without his iPhone for almost three hours and we both went through a slight panic. He suddenly realized he could not contact me or our daughter……..what if we had an emergency and could not contact him? How different it is now than it was for us even as recent as the 1990s.

I remember in April of 1996, Mike, my husband, and I got caught in a freak snow storm on our way to see family.  Our family knew we were on the highway and they were worried sick about our safety. However, none of us had cell phones then, and we could not let our family know we were ok until we reached a place that had a landline! At that time, we had no idea that very soon there would be technology that would allow us to be in contact 24 hours a day! And that there would be panic when contact is interrupted even for a couple of hours!

I am sure if you think back just a week, month or year ago, you will be surprised, maybe shocked, at the changes that have occurred in your life. I am looking forward to see what this afternoon has to hold!! I am sure it will not be the same as yesterday………

What a journey and adventure this life is!


Featured post

YEA! ROAD TRIP! What do I need to take???

how exciting, we are going Las Vegas!  Yea!  But, on the way, we are going to a different state to buy a new car!  Oh, then we have a wedding to attend in another state!  Yea!  but, what, how do I pack?

I believe I mentioned in a previous post that I DO NOT LIKE TO PACK…..  I usually end up with my entire closet laying on my bed trying to decide if I can wear that pair of pants with that blouse?  Can I wear those pants two days?  Should I take an extra pair in case I spill something?  How many dressy events should I be prepared for?

Oh, yeah, don’t forget meds, toiletries, jewelry, shoes….which shoes?  Will I need my swim suit?  Did I mention I started packing a week in advance?

Lucky for us, there is PINTEREST, where you can find ideas and blogs for everything, including packing tips!  Check out this one  Thank you, Seasoned Travelers, for sharing your packing ideas!

Happy travels, everyone!

MARRIAGE is FOREVER, and forever is a long time!

A dear friend is getting married tonight and I am looking forward to witnessing the beginning of their life journey! The months of planning all culminate in a wonderful night of ceremony, celebration, dancing, food and drink with friends and family. Tomorrow they leave for their Mexican honeymoon where they will spend a week laying on the beach while the maid cleans your room and makes their bed, sipping wine poured with flourish by a waiter, and eating glorious meals prepared for them by renowned chefs. THEN, the flight home and marriage begins!

My husband and I have been married for 42 years, so I consider myself an expert, or at least slightly knowledgable. It has not always been easy, it is life after all. Every day is different and as we get older, we change; our attitudes, dreams and our feelings change. What has kept my husband and me together through the days of transitions is COMMITTMENT, or, if you prefer to call it: dedication, devotion, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity.

Through times of living paycheck to paycheck, sorrow and loss, those days when we just did not like each other, and, yes, temptation to stray, I am proud to say our COMMITTMENT to each other has remained strong and prevailed.  I look back right now and can not believe how fast the years have past, and how lucky we are today!  Sometimes a memory will come rushing into my mind and my heart again swells with love and passion for this man with whom I have spent the majority of my life.

I saw a post on Facebook this morning that says “Marriage is not 50/50. Divorce is 50/50. Marriage HAS to be 100/100.  It isn’t dividing everything in half but giving everything you’ve got!”. This is golden. It takes both people being 100% committed and willing to put another persons needs and wants before their own.

This is not always easy!  And FOREVER is a long time!

A Letter I Wrote To Myself About Getting Fat

I love this post from Put On Your Happy Face! It is so important to understand and accept the fact that “life” is “fattening”, especially if you are enjoying it. And, to love and be proud your body as life makes its “mark”. That is NOT TO SAY to just let yourself go. Exercise and moderation are still important, and is YOUR contribution to YOURSELF!

Put On Your Happy Face

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 16

Shall we talk about your body?

Your body, which used to be thinner. Which you took for granted, because it fitted into cheap, tight dresses. Your body, which took you up and down Brixton Hill, every day, twice a day, never unheralded by catcalls, the stream of men and their “Oh baby hey baby nice tits nice ass hey WHERE YOU GOING?”

Your body was a girl’s body, made from dancing and late nights and skipped dinners, of hopefulness and sleeplessness and sadness. It took care of itself, or rather, you didn’t care that it couldn’t. It wasn’t for you, and so you didn’t mind that you couldn’t always afford to feed and nurture it. The admiration of others was nourishment enough. You often went to bed feeling empty. You thought it was heartbreak. It was probably hunger.

Then your body became plump with love.

Late dinners and later breakfasts…

View original post 402 more words


imageHave you ever tried to tell your child how to do something or how to avoid something, and be met with that, “Whatever…” look like they think you are an idiot. Or, “I know!”, even though you see they obviously don’t “know”! I don’t understand this reluctance of the younger people in our lives to acknowledge the fact that maybe, just maybe, they could benefit from our experiences.

Ok, I remember thinking the same about my folks, like they were dinosaurs and had no idea what it was like to be young and current. However, as I have said before, my parents were from a generation that did not talk about a lot of things or share their experiences when they were young. I know they loved me, but, they did not participate and socialize with me and my friends outside the home, or take much interest in what I was doing. At least until I got into trouble! Were all families of my generation like this, or is this a cop out on my part?

Do all young folks feel this way?  Could this “division” between generations be nature’s way of making sure lessons are securely embedded in the their brains?

I definitely learned a lot of “lessons” growing up that I wish I could have avoided if my parents, or other adult, had shared their knowledge, the way they felt when they were young, or even discussed  potential “hazards” along life’s path.


Children, Young Adults, New Mothers and Fathers, listen to your Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and other people that have lived longer, experienced more life, and already made the mistakes you are about to encounter!



By Addie image

When I moved to Austin, TX eleven years ago, I was so excited to explore this city and all that it has to offer. Little did I know that Austin is notorious for its year round allergy issues! After many bouts with sinus infections, bronchitis, throat infections, many doctor visits and, finally, allergy testing, I hope to be on the road to handling these allergies, and feeling good!

At my Mother’s insistence (Thanks, Mom!) I am now seeing an allergy specialist. After undergoing allergy tests (Nobody told me how “uncomfortable” that was going to be! Thanks, Mom!) it has been determined that I will benefit from weekly allergy shots. I just had my first injection, and I have to say, it was NOTHING! Barely even a mosquito bite!

No matter where you live, if you are getting frequent sinus, throat or bronchial infections, I definitely recommend seeing an allergy specialist. And, if the doctor suggests allergy testing, do it! I believe the discomfort is worth knowing what your sensitivities are so a plan of action can be determined between you and your doctor.

One day soon I will be able to enjoy the outdoors of this great city!



Hello, world! Nice to meet you!

I am, Rita, a retired, 63 year old woman, baby boomer, living with my husband and cat in a suburb of Austin, TX.  I am here because I, with the assistance of my daughter, Addie, who was born in the 1970’s, want to share ideas and lessons I have learned through the years.


Who hasn’t said at one time or another, “If I had known then what I know now….!” I was born in the 50’s and grew into puberty in the 60’s, when certain subjects, such as sex, dating, education for women, etc., were rarely discussed at home. The 60’s through the 80’s was a transitional time of extreme social change with philosophical and moral shifts in Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, America’s involvement in Vietnam, economic changes and Conservatism.


And what a time to make mistakes and learn lessons that were not as apparent then as they are now. Thus, “If I would have known…”. I want to share some of the ideas and lessons that I have learned over the years in an informative, entertaining and useful way that will make you want to come back often.

I look forward to reading your comments and any learning lessons you would like to share.

We will talk again soon!


How to Paint an Old Barn: Steps 1 – 4

Yeshua's Child Art

I decided to paint another old barn for my “Barns of Michigan” series of oil paintings. And also decided to photograph the process for readers, to show the steps in creating a realistic old barn in oils.

Step 1: Block in the sky and ground areas

blocking in sky and ground in an old barn painting lesson Old Barn Painting Step 1

In any landscape painting, it is critical to decide how much sky you will have, and also determine the main colors. I usually block in the sky first, using a mix of cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and titanium white, with a hint of burnt umber for cloud shadows, and also do a warm underpainting (yellow ochre, burnt sienna, cad. yellow light) for my ground.

Step 2: Sketch in the barn

Old Barn oil painting lesson: step 2 sketching in the barn Old Barn Painting: Step 2

This next step is critical: getting the perspective and shape right. I try to do the best possible sketch at this point, using…

View original post 222 more words


imageHello, Everyone!

If I would have known about health issues as you age, I would have been more aware of what I put in my mouth when I was young. And, I would have made more effort to learn about cooking healthy. I’m not just talking heart healthy, I am also talking weight healthy.

When I was growing up, every Sunday, my Mom would fry chicken in a combination of lard and butter. YUM! However, we have learned the cholesterol, triglycerides and pound problems with cooking that way. New products and methods of cooking are available to improve the old recipes that have been handed down from generations.

Instead of deep frying chicken in lard and butter, pan frying in vegetable oil reduces saturated fat by a whopping 90%. Also, baking your “fried” chicken is another tasty way to reduce cholesterol and calories. Following is a link to one of my favorite recipes.


Here are a couple of links to some of my other favorite recipe resources:

Now, I have to tell you, I personally do not like some fat free products, such as, cream cheese, mayonnaise or sour cream. But the reduced versions are quite satisfying, and help to improve your calorie and cholesterol intake.

A couple of apps I use to modify old recipes is Weight Watchers Mobile App and My Fitness Pal. You can import recipes and replace ingredients with healthier choices, or enter ingredients individually, and the app will calculate the nutritional values for you. And, these apps sync with my Fitbit to show my activity. I love it!

There are many more apps out there that can help you maintain your health! Search the Internet and find the one that fits your lifestyle and needs.

Stay healthy and come back here often for more If I Would Have Known thoughts!

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: