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FYI...My book, "PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman's Journey As The Wife of a Widower" is available for purchase at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and via the publisher, iUniverse.com.







Blessings...







Julie Donner Andersen



http://www.juliedonnerandersen.com



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Newsletter Dated: 12/24/2004 12:52:00 AM

Subject: Text Edition-WOW/GOW NEWSLETTER - December 2004 - Julie Donner Andersen

NOVEMBER 2004 WOW/GOW Newsletter –
Julie Donner Andersen




HAPPY HOLIDAYS, WOWs, GOWs, and Widowers!!!!!

Yesterday, I received a lovely letter from a widower who had purchased “PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense!” because he was dating again, and wanted to know what a possible future love interest might feel about his marital status (widowerhood), past life, and late wife. He mentioned that, after reading the book, he felt more “empowered” to be open and honest yet sensitive when dealing with a new mate.

I am always so impressed by men who care enough to want to understand their partner’s feelings! Ladies, I encourage you to share my book with your men! What a valuable tool for your intimate conversations, from which love can deepen, and yes – thrive!

On that note, I wanted to share with you a delightful lady with whom I have had the pleasure of being one of her newsletter subscribers.

Rachel Green is an award-winning communication specialist and Emotional Intelligence coach. She is entertaining, down-to-earth and inspiring, and is a truly professional speaker. Visit her website at http://www.rachelgreen.com. Her newsletter is uplifting and informative.

I found this nugget of wisdom in her current edition regarding tips to enjoying your holiday. I felt that it really spoke to the issues of holidays and grief:

From “Rachel’s Reflections” Newsletter:


“Tip E. Celebrate in a new place.

Christmas is not always an easy time for people. Painful memories from the past, the loss of family members, loneliness, financial problems, ill health and more can all make Christmas a very difficult time. If this applies to you try changing your environment. If you've always celebrated Christmas in the front room at home and you have bad memories there, then find another place to celebrate and make a new start to Christmas. One of the best Christmases I ever had in Australia was on the beach where we had strawberries and champagne for breakfast. Now that was different. Another time we went to the zoo! It was fabulous to be amongst the animals. You might go to a park, a restaurant, a new church, somewhere you can start creating new and happy memories.”


It’s that simple, ladies…..just DO it! DO something different. DO something special. DO something unique to just you and your spouse. Make those holidays memories special. Your efforts will be rewarded as you enjoy each other’s love at the most loving time of year.


Blessings…..Julie


(~~Julie Donner Andersen is the author of “PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense! Insights From One Woman’s Journey As The Wife of a Widower,” available at Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Julie’s illustrated humour book, “Parentally Insane: Insights From The Edge…of Midlife!” is now available at Amazon.com. Her personal website is http://www.authorsden.com/juliedonnerandersen. Julie can be reached via e-mail at juliedonnerandersen@mail.com)

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(Disclaimer: The opinions, feelings, and emotions displayed in the articles, stories, news articles, and poems in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the same as the newsletter owner and author Julie Donner Andersen, and should not be construed as her personal advice/opinion, nor should they be considered her personal endorsement. Thank you.)


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DECEMBER QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH- and your responses!

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1.) How do you and your widower celebrate New Year’s Eve?


~We go to an island and spend New Years on the beach. It’s been "our" place from the start, and he was never there with LW.

~This will be our first New Year's together, so we don't have any traditions yet. I know for Christmas Eve, my husband suggested we come up with new traditions. It's especially important for us since not only is this our first Christmas together, but we're also expecting a baby, and it will be nice to have traditions for our growing family. I'm assuming New Year's Eve will be the same way. I haven't asked if he and his late wife had any traditions. Frankly, I don't want to know. Sometimes I feel like if there's something that they did then it's off limits to me. I don't want my husband's my decisions to be influenced by his late wife or our life to be limited by her.

~My guy and I enjoy spending it at home alone. We have a great dinner, lots of champagne, the fireplace lit and use your imagination from there...LOL ! You have to understand he is in the military, so many New Years Eves he was not with his late wife. He has been on shore duty for the past 2 years so he has been able to celebrate New Years Eve with a loved one...ME !

~It depends. Sometimes, we celebrate with friends, just playing board games and eating great food. Sometimes we just stay home and watch the TV as the ball descends on Times Square. As I get older, I rather prefer the “alone time” compared to the company of others.


2.) What New Year resolutions have you decided to make regarding your relationship and your WOW/GOW feelings?


~I am putting our "toxic friends" behind us. These are couples who were friends with LW. They have been rude since we got married. I have finally reduced them to a Christmas card!

~My New Years resolution is to not constantly harp on the past (pertaining to his life) as I sometimes do (never out loud; always in my head). I realize it is unhealthy and almost ridiculous. It is now and the future that count. I just have to talk myself into it!

~None really. There aren't any issues. It's kinda funny, but my hubby and I were discussing this the other day. We spent the weekend visiting his in-laws (from his first marriage), and one of the cousins commented privately to my husband that he was surprised I was willing to visit since usually the relationship between the widower and LW's family gets severed. He asked how we dealt with any issues and was surprised when my husband said there really weren't any. My hubby said he didn't know what it's like to be the spouse of a widow/er, but we just talk very openly when something does arise. I am very blessed that his in-laws (who I consider my in-laws now) are very accepting of me (one of the grannies is making a quilt for our expected baby and one of the grandpa's said he can't wait to see his new great-grandchild). I'm also blessed that my hubby is very perceptive on how I might feel about WOW issues and makes sure he's doing what's best for him and I, not him and his late wife.


3.) What is/was the very BEST Chirstmas gift your widower has given you?


~Hmmm... Not yet I don't think. I'll see what I get this Christmas!

~Don't know yet, it's our first Christmas together :)

~Our baby, due Dec. 26th.

~My boyfriend has given me a special Christmas card every year (we’ve been together 4 years). It always says something mushy and intimate, and I have saved and plan to save them all. I like to re-read them from time to time to remind myself that I am special to him, especially during those GOW times of insecurity and sadness.


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JANUARY QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH

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1.) If your widower had a child/ren with his late wife, do you feel that having a child of your own together will help or hinder your WOW/GOW anxiety and/or your relationship? Explain?

2.) If your widower did have a child/ren with his late wife/girlfriend, do you feel a pressing urgency to have one of your own together? Why or why not?

3.) If your widower had children with his late wife, how do they treat you on “those” occasions – i.e., holidays, death anniversaries, etc. Are you included or do you feel ike the :outsider”? Explain.



~~Send in your responses via e-mail to juliedonnerandersen@mail.com. Results to be posted in the January 2005 edition of the newsletter. Please do not use Julie’s messaging system through her website at Authors Den to submit responses, please. Thank you!


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DEAR JULIE

************************************************

Dear Julie,

I have a question... This is only the 2nd Christmas my widower will be missing his wife. Everyone we meet or cards he receives comments on his wife and how wonderful she was. I know he is trying to move on with his life, however it is really a difficult time for him and for me. I am trying to be understanding; however, my feelings are getting hurt. Plus his children miss his mother. I am trying to be supportive.

Any tips on how to deal with this time of year when you are dating a widower?

Signed,

Hanging By A Thread


JULIE RESPONDS:

Dear Hanging,

HUGS to you, luv. I know that familiar pang of pain of which you wrote. It's soooo hard to be a part of his life while dating, and yet not be acknowledged by others. I do believe, however, that the card senders are not trying to exclude you, and their messages to your widower about his late wife are meant in kindness. Forgive them, and remember that as time passes, they will no longer feel the need to pen such sympathies, especially as you and he become more of a committed couple.

Holidays are very difficult for a widower, esp. a man who has children by his late wife. I'm sure their memories of Christmases Past must be filled with warmth and joy that she helped to bring to her family, and they are not only missing her, but also all of the familiar traditions and rituals of their past holidays. It is wise to be compassionate about their grief feelings as they endure this time of year.

You can help by allowing his children their traditions as well as their memories. Kids need a "safe place" to be able to discuss their mother fondly. You can facilitate this by allowing them to speak of their late mother, asking them to relate stories of former holidays, perhaps by admiring their Christmas tree and asking about the ornaments. When you show the children that you are compassionate about their grief, you arte, in effect, strengthening the friendship bond that you have already established. It is hard to resent the new woman in Dad's life when she is so willing to embrace their mother!

Christmas can be a very intimate time of year for any couple, esp. a widower and his new love. Use this opportunity to draw conversation out of him. He needs to be able to express his feelings, past and present, being ever mindful to communicate your needs as well. Do you long for new traditions that you and he can share that are autonomous from the late wife's and his? Then DO share this desire with him! I'd be willing to bet that even though his grief, he is still holding you foremost in his mind, and out of his love for you, wishes to make YOUR holiday a happy one, too.

Blessings for a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Julie :)


~~Do you agree? Disagree? Have some advice to help this reader? Got a question for me? Let me hear it! juliedonnerandersen@mail.com


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Annoying Author Stuff

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Barnes & Noble stores have optioned “PAST: Perfect! PRESENT: Tense!” for their stores! Yahoooo! So ladies, a review of my book on their online website (http://www.barnesandnoble.com) would really be appreciated! Thanks so much!

Any of you who posted a review of my book on Amazon.com but erroneously posted it to the WHITE cover instead of the BLUE cover, you are able to post the same review under the correct book. The BLUE cover is the same book as the white cover, only with 5 more chapters. The WHITE cover edition is no longer in print. Thank you to those who were thoughtful enough to post a review. I hope you will find it in your heart to make the correction. Bless you!


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JUST FOR FUN…

*******************************

Midlife Angst

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.

I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose. Some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.

The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our chests. The bad news is they have to squat down first.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."
I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age, but they haven't made one called "Buns of Putty."

Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches.

Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up.

THE SENILITY PRAYER: God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you get older. You grow old because you stop laughing.

(~author unknown)


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ENCOURAGEMENT

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THE TABLECLOTH

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20
feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were.
These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and
her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was
the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered
why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived
in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

~True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid

(Who says God does not work in mysterious ways?)


***************************************

WIDOWER INFO IN THE NEWS

***************************************

“Baby Boomer widows and widowers face new challenges”
By LISA SINGHANIA - AP Business Writer
http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/business.pat,business/3accbf1a.613,.html


“Widowers and Remarriage: WHY MANY SAY "I DO' AGAIN
by Dr. Eleanor Hamilton”
http://www.grandtimes.com/widowers.html


********************************

NEWS WOMEN CAN USE

********************************

Allergic to the Holidays?

From http://www.4woman.gov/news/english/522506.htm

MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDayNews) -- 'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, but allergy sufferers will most likely sniffle and sneeze their way through the holidays.

Seasonal triggers, including that beautiful seven-foot Christmas tree, can bring on allergies or allergy-like symptoms. But everyone can minimize exposure to holiday allergens without missing out on the merriment, experts say.

If you are allergy-prone, be aware of three problem areas around the holidays, said Dr. Gailen Marshall, an allergist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and Dr. Marianne Frieri, director of allergy and immunology at the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y.

The main culprits, they agreed, are the tree, strong odors (think holiday potpourri) and foods with hidden ingredients.

If you react with sniffles or congestion to a fresh tree, it is probably your reaction to microscopic mold spores that reproduce on evergreen even when brought indoors, according to Marshall, a spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

The expert advice has always been to let your tree dry out on an enclosed porch or the garage before bringing it indoors. Shaking it can help, too, Marshall added.
If your tree lot doesn't have a shaking machine, you can do it yourself by tapping the trunk against the pavement. That's also a good way to find a fresh tree, Marshall said. "If it's dry, needles will fall off," he added.

The ride home can help reduce allergens, too. "Most people don't stick it in the back [of their vehicle] but on top," Marshall said. During the drive home, the breeze should rid the branches of more allergens.
If you put your tree in a container of water to keep it fresh, as advised, and then forget to change the water often, there may be more mold, Marshall said. "Change the water regularly, and only put the tree skirt over the bucket [which provides a dark environment and encourages mold growth] when company is coming," he said.

Have as much ventilation as possible once the tree is inside, he added.

Holiday odors, such as scented candles and potpourri, present more of an irritant problem than a true allergy, Frieri said. But the odors can trigger reactions in those with sensitive airways.
If you're the allergic type, the drier the potpourri the better, Marshall tells patients. Choose hanging potpourri rather than the type in the bowl, he advised.
Also watch out for foods, such as those served at holiday buffets and potlucks, that may have "hidden" ingredients, advised Frieri, who is also a spokeswoman for AAAAI.

Shellfish often show up in appetizers that don't look like they contain fish. And casseroles can hide many ingredients. "When in doubt, pass it by" remains the best advice.

Among the most common food allergies, according to the AAAAI, are wheat, eggs, milk, soy, fish or shellfish, legumes (especially peanuts), and nuts from trees such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts.


More information:
To learn more about holiday-related allergies, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

SOURCES: Gailen Marshall, M.D., allergist, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; Marianne Frieri, M.D., Ph.D., allergist and immunologist, Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, N.Y., and professor, medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Copyright © 2004 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved.
This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.


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BOOK REVIEWS

*******************************

(All of the following book information has been gathered through the Amazon.com website)

FOR HIM:

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
by Martha W. Hickman

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380773384/qid=1103876086/sr=1-12/ref=sr_1_12/103-3682574-9110210?v=glance&s=books


~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

FOR YOU:

Encouraging Words for New Stepmothers
by Jean A. McBride

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0970772912/ref=pd_sim_b_6/103-3682574-9110210?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

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Legal mumbo jumbo:

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You are receiving this newsletter because you have joined through AuthorsDen.com or someone has sent your e-mail address to the service. This newsletter is not meant as spam. To unsubscribe, please send a message to the address below.

Note from Julie: As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you feel it may help, or share it with your widower.

I’m just an e-mail away! :)

J.D.A.






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