Women Who Have Shaped Me

Tomorrow is Mothers Day.  I’ve been thinking about my mom and how she has helped shape my life.  A mother is a powerful influence on her daughter in many far reaching ways.  Some positive, some maybe not so positive, but a mothers influence is very powerful never the less.

I’ve also realized there have been many other women who have had an influence on my life.  For a bit of fun I thought I create a list.

In order of when I was influenced by them, the following women made my list. Who is on yours?

My mom ~ She has taught me so much that I don’t even know where to start…so I won’t.  (I just saw a mothers day card that cracked me up.  It had a little girl sitting on a pottie on the cover, the inside said something like “thank you for teaching me so much, especially how to use the pottie – that one comes in handy every single day.”  Ha! )

My grandmother ~ She taught me how to find fun in the little things.  My grandmother was also a bit subservient to my grandfather and watching that made me determined not to follow in those footsteps when I grew up.

Lucille Ball ~ Watching the Lucille Ball show as a little kid I remember thinking how funny she was in her ridiculousness and how sweet it was that her husband always forgave her in the end.  I wanted to find a husband who could forgive me my silly mistakes too.

Cinderella ~ I cheered for her resilience.  She kept a good attitude even when people were being really mean to her.  I admired that all of her perseverance and hard work paid off in the end…which was really the beginning but I didn’t know that then.

Barbie ~ I imagined I would look like her one day, and that my future husband would look like Ken too.  I could hardly wait for the camper we would buy one day! (OMG, I just realized we have one that looks almost identical to the photo!)

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) ~ She was a pretty single woman living alone in the city and working at a really cool job! Wow! Who knew!

Nancy Drew ~ This was one smart girl.  She could solve any mystery thrown her way.  I loved her!

Laura Ingalls ~ She was ferociously loyal to her family and adventurous.  I loved her spirit!

Kathryn Hepburn ~ She wore pants when other women didn’t. She was athletic.  I always admired her unconventional, straightforward attitude.

Tracy Westerholm ~ Tracy is someone I have admired and loved for over 30 years.  She has shaped my life in innumerable ways. It’s what happens when you are close to another woman since your teens.  We have shared all of the important milestones in each others lives and there is no doubt she will always be a big part of my life. Plus she makes me laugh… a lot!

Mother Teresa ~ For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.  I watched her in awe my whole life.  If I could be just a fraction of what she was…

Princess Di ~ To me, she was the real-life Cinderella.  An ordinary girl becomes a princess…it could have been me!  My wedding dress was similar and so was my bouquet. Yikes! In the end I admired her for breaking tradition to find her happiness (and her charity work of course).

Madonna ~ She taught me you don’t need to be able to sing that well to become a famous singer.  Ha ha! She did get much better over the years (and after singing lessons). She was the first woman I ever saw re-invent herself again, and again, and again…
She was/is pure determination.

Oprah ~ I watched Oprah way back in the very early days.  There were some years when I tired of her shows, but then she started to change.  When I began watching again, I discovered that I was learning something new almost every time I tuned in.  Cool! There are not too many women who haven’t been able to relate to her at one time or another.

All my girlfriends ~ I know that every girlfriend that I have had over the years has taught me something.  I love how we support and learn from each other.  Thank you all past, present and future girlfriends!


A Famous Influential Woman I’d like to meet

Bonnie’s Take…

Here is my list of choices (in no particular order):  Ellen DeGeneres,  Helen Keller,  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,  Eleanor Roosevelt,  Katherine Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Mother Teresa.

Ideally I would love to have all of them in one room at the same time and just sit back and listen to the conversation flow.  Wow! That would be incredible.

Bonnie and Oprah

My face morphed onto Jen Aniston's body. Something I've always wanted!

If I had to choose only one though I would have to go with Oprah.

I would choose her because I can imagine having an effortless conversation with her.  I wouldn’t have to prepare for weeks ahead of time to come up with a bunch of deep philosophical questions.  I imagine she would be easy to relate to.  I could ask her zillions of questions about the multitude of celebrity’s she’s interviewed over the years, we could talk about books we’ve read, our dogs, our views on spirituality, health and fitness, whatever is in the news that week, or anything that comes up.  I know I’m not alone in this but yep, I’d like to meet Oprah.   And not just for a meet and greet after one of her shows but a real sit down and visit, get to know you kind of meetings.

How about you girls?


Tracy’s 2 cent’s…

Great topic Bonnie!!  This is a hard one.  There are so many great influential women in this world to admire.  I have to say that a woman who I admired for so many different reasons in my lifetime would be Princess Diana. Princess Dianna

I watched the courtship of her and Prince Charles like everyone.  Again I get drawn in with romance!

She didn’t have the conditioning of a Princess which is what I loved about her.  She was real, genuine and true to her voice, which she used for the benefit of others.  So many women could relate to her.  She was so beautiful and real to me.  She gave us all a look into the Royal Family that I think if not for her we might not have had the interest.  I was glued to the television during the wedding like  millions of others.  I remember exactly where I was  the day she died.   There are not many days in our lives that we can all remember exactly what we were doing with, perhaps, the exception of September 11th  2001!  (I was in Osoyoos with friends and we found out in the morning before heading out for our motorcycle ride).

I cried for her because she had so much more living to do and people to help.  I don’t think we got to actually see her live her authentic life!  She had just started in my eyes.  I would love to know what really happened to her~ and Marilyn Monroe!  Princess Diana’s death to me was a true tragedy!


Jacquie weighs in…

Without a doubt, if I had to pick just one, it would have to be Jane Austen (1775-1817)

janepictI’ve been a ‘Janeite’ ( something akin to a ‘Trekkie’) since the age of 15 when my sister and I literally fought over who got to read the lone copy of Pride and Prejudice brought on a summer trip.  I had to read it again in high school and one more time in college, and with each experience as I matured, I uncovered new layers of meaning and significance.  Her novels are chock full of witty sarcasm and irony, and are considered social comedies by some literary authorities.

So many stories swirl around about the life of the real Jane Austen that she remains an enigma to this day.   I can only guess at what went on in her head by what she chose to write about~ the upper levels of the 18th century social scene. (To protect her privacy, her sister and BFF Cassandra burned most of  her personal papers when she died).  I’ve often imagined what it would’ve been like to have been her girlfriend.  I don’t think she was the stuffy spinster at all, in fact, in one letter from an acquaintance in Bath (English playground to the rich at one point) Jane is described as “the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly ever”!   Cool!  Brainy and she knew how to party! But seriously, I think the author of this quote was a woman intimidated by Jane’s intellect, as were many men at that time.

I’d ask her why she never allowed her heroines to kiss, always fading to black before the big smoocheroni.  Who was James LeFroy really?  The man that got away and whom she pined for all her life?  What was it like being an unmarried female writer in England at that time?  Could she set me up with someone rich like she tried to do for Fanny in Emma?

Jane Austen’s social commentary is unparalleled but she wasn’t fully appreciated until many years after her death.   I LOVE a line from one of her last surviving letters to an Aunt that she wrote at age 37;

“By the Bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many Douceurs in being a sort of chaperon (at dances), for I am put on the Sofa near the Fire and I can drink as much wine as I like”.

Lace me into a corset and I’d be on that sofa with her in a heartbeat, getting the scoop while sipping our goblets of Merlot.  (I thought ‘douceurs’ might mean pleasures but I looked it up and it can also mean a bribe.  Too funny!)  What a fascinating, independent woman!

By the Bye, Bonnie, I have a little pic to share with you.  This was taken 2 years ago and was an incredible moment.  Oprah’s aura is so strong, just being next to her you can feel the electricity.  I had a cold that day so I didn’t want to shake her hand in case I gave it to her.  Tracy said I should’ve taken her hand anyway, and when she sneezed on TV I could’ve take the credit!  LOL  We had a nice, short chat.  She’s wonderful.


Cheryl, Gloria, OPRAH! Susan and me!