As Time Goes By

I have been interviewed on radio several times on behalf of www.tos50.com, however, this past week I was interviewed on local television in New York for the very first time.  I spoke with Bonnie D. Graham and her mom, Ruth Dolgow, on their “Senior Moments:  The Happy Ones” program.  Jenine called into the show and we had an enjoyable conversation, which you can see for yourself at:  http://tos50.com/video/tos50-interviewed-bonnie-d-graham,  Of course, the one thing that always surprises me when I see myself in photos or videos is what I look like.  Somehow, I always expect that the person I was, probably 30 years ago, to appear, but not surprisingly, that doesn’t happen and I am disappointed.  However, time marches on and so must we all.

Can you believe this weather?  Not even November yet and we have snow.  This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the winter (ugh).

We posted two separate interviews with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch on the website this past week.  In the first interview the Mayor speaks with David Schwartz about President Obama and Israel, http://tos50.com/video/what-does-ed-koch-really-think-about-president-obama-and-israel; in the second interview he talks about his accomplishments and his legacy, http://tos50.com/video/mayor-ed-koch-his-legacy-mayor-new-york-city.  I think he’s definitely more relaxed in the second interview, but let me know what you think.

The holidays are approaching and we will soon be posting some new merchandise in our e-store; I am searching for great holiday gifts.   However, I just want to mention that our lite-up reading glasses and our sterling silver Mother-Earth Charm Bracelet make wonderful presents — along with our Mrs. Pinkelmyer doll, who is loved by children and grandmothers alike.  Shop now at http://tos50.myshopify.com/.

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder

www.tos50.com

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Upon Reflection

When I was a child I used to wonder where I was headed in life – would I please my parents and become a teacher,  or would I become a pianist, which I believed at one point in my young life was my goal — or a writer, which became my dream as a teenager, or perhaps something else?  Well, perhaps the answer is all of the above. 

I was a foreign language teacher for 11 years.  While a freshman at the High School of Music and Art in New York City I realized almost immediately that while my musical talent might have seemed great in my local community, in the midst of really talented artists at a high school filled with incredibly accomplished musicians, being a professional pianist was definitely not realistic on my part.  However, I still love music and enjoy playing the piano, albeit not as often or as well as I played way back when I was practicing several hours a day. 

“Something else”?   For the most part, my life has been filled with “something else.”  I was President of a successful court reporting business for 28 years and now I’m running a website (www.TOS50.com), where I have ample opportunity to fulfill my desire to write.  As a child, the notion of a website was not anywhere within my vocabulary or imagination, how could it be?

Perhaps, in looking back,  the best advice I can pass on to my children and now my grandchildren is to always be prepared for “something else.”  Be flexible and open to new ideas.   The only thing we can count on is the here and now — that’s tangible.  We learn from the past and make plans for the future.  Don’t be afraid to shake things up, to change.  Change can be a bit daunting, but it’s good, it brings excitement into our lives.

I’ve changed many things on the website since launching www.TOS50.com two-and-a-half years ago.  I’ve added a retail store to try and cover expenses.  I’ve learned what people were really interested in, which was quite different from what I thought viewers would be interested in at inception.  For example, the book club which I thought would be an adjunct to other things, actually gets more hits than any of the other sections — including healthcare, food and nutrition, art and entertainment, etc.  our “Senior Book Club” is Number  One on Google (http://tos50.com/sections/book-club-0).  Life is filled with surprises.    

The TOS50 E-Store is filled with new items at great prices.  I hope you’ll have an opportunity to browse through the store and check out our new handbags, scarves, jewelry and other items that are being offered:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/.

I’m not certain what the future holds for me, but hopefully I will be ready to accept whatever change life brings my way.

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Mother’s Day is Almost Here

I have been so busy running the TOS50 website that I have sadly neglected this blog.  However, with Mother’s Day upon us, I wanted to give a shout out to my own mother and thank her once again for imbuing me with her personal spirit and idealism that has allowed me to continue to follow my own dreams.

My mom passed away on January 8, 1991, a long time ago, but she’s never left me.  Somehow, as time goes on, I think of her more, not less.  I was fortunate to have a mother who was ambitious for me and who had a vision of what I could and should do with my life that was well beyond other women of her generation.  Her own enthusiasm and personal drive, her optimism and vision is what has inspired me to continue to challenge myself. 

As mothers, we love our children and we try to do our best for them.  Time passes by too quickly and eventually we’re able to look back, see the people they have become and wonder if we should have done some things differently.  However, without a crystal ball none of us know what the future will bring.  My own children have grown into sensitive, caring people and if only for that reason, I know that my own mother is somewhere smiling down on them, proud, as she should be, of her own legacy. 

I wish all the mothers I know a very Happy Mothers’ Day — and even if it is a made-up holiday to allow retailers to earn some bucks, that’s OK, it’s still nice to be recognized for our efforts.

The TOS50 E-store has some wonderful Mother’s Day gifts available at great prices.  Visit  us, see what we’re offering and be sure to wish your own Mom a Happy Mother’s Day:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/types?q=Mother%27s+Day+Gifts

Sandy Tankoos

www.TOS50.com

 

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Miracles

Last week I had a wonderful experience — I joined with 6700 other Reform Jews and attended the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial which was held in the Washington DC area.  The various activities at the biennial were incredibly inspirational; however, that’s not what I am going to write about.  Since we were in the center of the political universe, so to speak, we were addressed by various politicians and international figures, among them, Ehud Barak, Natan Sharansky, Eric Cantor, and the most amazing of all, PRESIDENT OBAMA.  His speech is available on U-Tube and also on the http://www.urj.org website.

The http://www.TOS50.com website attracts primarily the baby-boomer generation and older seniors who are not intimidated by the Internet. Having a front-row seat, so to speak, to look at and listen to the President of the United States addressing a very large crowd of liberal Jews was an incredible experience for me.  I couldn’t help but think back to how short a time had passed since the President of the United States thought it was not in his best interests to rescue a ship load of Jewish people trying to escape certain death at the hands of Hitler.  When I graduated high school, years later, attending an Ivy League college was not an option.  The quota system prevalent in colleges and universities across the country was designed to keep most Jews out.  A few of the elite among us were able to crack that barrier, but most of my Jewish contemporaries attended local schools or state schools where we were more accepted.  Queens College is my alma mater — and, on the positive side, it was FREE. My uncle graduated at the top of his class from Cooper Union and was unable to find a job as an engineer because, at that time, no one hired Jewish engineers.  He instead worked in the New York City Civil Service System as a City Inspector.

So here we are, within our own lifetime, having lived through overt anti-Semitism, to now seeing that the President of the United States believes we are important enough to warrant an in-person visit.  That’s amazing!  How fortunate we all are to be living in this great country, which has allowed us to achieve our dreams and fulfill our potential.  How far have we come?  This is the time of year when we Jews remember the Miracle of Chanukah, and it’s important for us to do that; but for our generation there is another miracle:  for us the miracle is the number of Jewish students currently attending Ivy League Colleges.

It is time for us to give thanks to the generations that came before us and in the spirit of their memory to help those who have yet to achieve their own miracle.

Featured on http://www.tos50.com this week is an “End of the Year Lament” by former Mayor Ed Koch:  http://tos50.com/news.  Mayor Koch, as always, speaks his mind. Also of interest, Green Jenine interviews Fran Metzger, the Recycling Coordinator for New Jersey’s Monmouth County – learn how to shop environmentally so you can make a difference in 2012:  http://tos50.com/video/environmental-shopping.

We still have some great buys in our TOS50 E-Store.  A new, very attractive item, is our beaded Autism Bracelet.  For only $13.50 you have an opportunity to support families of autistic children, while wearing a colorful and attractive bracelet:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/autism-bracelet.

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder

http://www.tos50.com

 

 

 

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Great Things Are Happening!

I went with David Schwartz to interview Ed Koch on Friday — he is as candid as ever.  I hope to have the first part of the interview up on www.tos50.com before the end of the week.

When I was in my early 50′s someone very close to me and not much older than I was had a stroke.  I watched he and his wife go through their savings while he was recovering, and for me that was very frightening.  Strokes run in my family.  My mom died of a stroke; her father had a stroke; her sister had a stroke, et cetera.  At the time I don’t know what scared me more, having a stroke or having to use all of our savings while recovering.  At that point I sort of had an epiphany:  I could better my eating habits and begin exercising more (which I did), but my genes still left me with a high risk of having a stroke; however, I could do something about paying for a long recovery.  That was when I convinced my husband that we both needed to buy long-term care health insurance.

Early 50′s is young to be searching for a long-term care health insurance policy, but we did just that.  I called an insurance broker who brought us various plans to look at and we did decide to buy one.  It wasn’t cheap, but peace of mind is worth a lot.  That was one of the smarter things that I have done in my life.  A year after taking out the policy I developed an aggressive form of breast cancer.  With the help of God, friends and family I managed to survive that experience, without using my long-term care policy, but buying such a policy after a recovery from cancer would have been very difficult, if not impossible, and/or very costly.  Insurance companies like to insure people who they consider a low risk.  When they have to leave their comfort zone, we wind up paying for it!   I mention this because we have information about long term care insurance on the website this week, and I hope you will take the time to read about it:  http://tos50.com/news/who-needs-long-term-care-insurance.

Also current on www.tos50.com is a video about a visit I made to the Mohican Trading Post, a fabulous, store in Leeds, New York, about ten minutes from Catskill.  You MUST look at all of the unusual and amazing products they are selling.  Just one, for example, if you want to go down Memory Lane, is a Davey Crockett hat.  Don’t we all remember The Ballad of Davey Crockett?  Also, make sure to look at all of the Indian artifacts, fabulous dolls, crafts, animal figurines, music boxes, et cetera — and above all, be sure to ask for an egg cream from their old-fashioned fountain.   http://tos50.com/sections/profiles-0.

Please continue to see what new items we will be adding very shortly to our E-store.  Our lite-up reading glasses continue to be very popular.  You can read with ease on airplanes, dark rooms, in bed while your partner sleeps, et cetera — and in public, they are very stylish:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/lite-up-readers-1

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder

TOS50.com

 

 

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The New Reality

In our day, many of us who consider ourselves the Baby-Boomer generation and older, as a group, didn’t hesitate to grab a picket and be hauled off to jail standing up for what we believed in – but we had opportunity laid out in front of us and I think that we all understood that once we won our battles, we could walk back into reality and our lives could and would continue  – but because we knew that opportunity in America wasn’t equal for all people, some of us also marched in Selma or marched in Washington, and worked toward a goal of having the United States really become a land of opportunity for all Americans.

Today, much of what we fought for has  become reality.  Our universities no longer have quotas (or at least they say they don’t), African Americans and Hispanics are our neighbors and hopefully our friends — and most certainly they are our colleagues in the working world; nevertheless, many people believe it is necessary to fight for equality once again — equality between the working class (when they’re fortunate enough to have a job) and those who have much more than they need. 

I certainly don’t mean to sound like a socialist, although I admit to coming from socialist roots on my dad’s side of the family; however, I am definitely a capitalist.  I believe that if someone is smart enough to move ahead in business or build their own business that earns them a great deal of money, those people are entitled to that money and all of the luxuries that come with it — but it’s not fair that those who earn a lot of money pay a considerably lower tax rate than citizens who are not at that same income level.  Consequently, I fail to understand why they can’t agree on that in Congress or why it’s even necessary for people to be picketing on Wall Street for equality at this point – albeit the equality they are fighting for is of a different nature, and it’s a sad situation.

I understand the argument that it’s the rich and successful who create jobs and therefore should be given these tax “breaks” as an incentive for them to keep investing in America’s future, but apparently it’s not working and they are not investing.  The banks were bailed out and now are sitting on their money while the average working person is paying the bill for the bailout.  Somehow that doesn’t seem fair.  Before President Clinton left office those now getting these tax breaks were paying their fair share and they were investing in America’s future as well.  Why are they now considered an entitled class?  We are sending jobs overseas because big business has learned that it’s financially advantageous for them to do that — but would we really want our working class American citizens to be living in hovels or working 15 hours a day under the same conditions that we are supporting in the third-world countries that we’re sending our jobs to?  In some cases we are sending jobs to countries that use and abuse children in factories to do this work.  Yes, it costs more at times to manufacture products here at home, but don’t we all have an obligation to respect our own citizens and allow them to earn a livable wage so they can support their families, continue to build America and live the American dream?  I believe that if you are earning money in America, it’s your duty to support other Americans who live here and use your products.

Those picketing on Wall Street and other places around the country have my sympathy.  I’m past the point in life of wanting to get arrested to make a point, but I understand what they are doing and where they are coming from.  Let’s hope that those who are in a position to make a difference are also listening.

We have some exciting videos and articles coming up on the www.tos50.com website — more about our shelter dogs, we’ll be hearing from Jenine in our Green section, and most notably, we will be interviewing former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch and looking forward to putting up that video for our viewers.

Be sure to visit our E-store and check out all of our great products.  Our beautiful Mother Earth silver bracelet makes a wonderful gift, or you can buy yourself a special treat:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/sterling-silver-bracelet; and Mrs. Pinkelmeyer is enjoyed by grandmothers and children alike:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/mrs-pinkelmeyer-and-moopus-mcglinden-custom-plush-doll.  Visit Mrs. Pinkelmeyer and the products associated with her.

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder

www.tos50.com

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It was Great Seeing So Many Friends at the Fair

I was riding really high yesterday.  It was terrific to meet so many members of  www.TOS50.com at the over 50 Fair in Melville, Long Island and to hear the nice things that you all had to say about the website.  Hopefully, we also made some new friends while we were there.

Wednesday evening is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  I want to wish a Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all of our Jewish friends.  In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, we will be featuring an interview with Cantor Gabi Arad of Temple Sinai in Roslyn beginning tomorrow.  Be sure to go to www.tos50.com to see her interview and to hear her beautiful rendition of Alvinu Malkeinu .  We did interview Rabbi Michael White last year about the meaning of the High Holiday Season for Jewish people.  You can see what he had to say at:  http://tos50.com/search/node/Michael%20White%20type%3Anews%2Cstory%2Cvideo.

Please visit our E-store and check out some of the great things we have to sell.  The autism insulated lunch bags were a big hit at the Fair yesterday.  The price is right and your purchase will help GASAK, a charity that supports families living with autism.  Lunch bags are available at:  http://tos50.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/lunch-bags-insulated-1

Have a great week.

Sandy Tankoos, President and Founder

www.tos50.com

 

 

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