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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Thursday Thoughts – Honey’s Advice to Readers, December 5

The Opera House in Ghent, Belgium

Hello Darlings,

Here is my next advice column for women, answering questions that were sent to me during the week.

It is early in Ghent, Belgium. I am sitting in our bed in a dark hotel room with the only light coming from my laptop. A soft, peaceful sounding melody is coming from the keys as I tap, tap, tap, on them. As you know, I do my best thinking in three places: my rainforest shower, surrounded by nature, or in the wee, still hours of the early morning! A woman’s emotions run from the intricate and complex to the determined Moxie in all of us. I acknowledge with certainty … “Women need women” works! Here’s my next advice column for women, answering questions that were sent to me during the week.

That is why I started this advice column for women, Ask Honey…

The story below has a wonderful surprise ending, or maybe I should say, beginning. It filled me up with joy and an even deeper respect for the tribe of womanhood.

It began with…

Dear Honey, 

I’m writing from Mesa, AZ, where we’ve lived since my husband was transferred here, 2.5 years ago. I am really struggling with making new friends.  I’ve reached out, made invitations, only to find them not reciprocated. I feel held at arm’s length. Any suggestions? This is lonely!

Dear Melody,

Moving to a new community is difficult. I moved to Honolulu with my late husband and two children. Please follow my thoughts. I would like you to think about the women in Mesa. They have long-time friends, many have extended families, they may still be in the workforce, which means they would have a ‘work life.’ They are not looking for new friends because their plate is full.

When I moved to Honolulu I joined a group of women who enjoyed what I enjoyed. I felt immediate camaraderie, friendship and support. I suggest you do the same. My thoughts are that you will be pleasantly surprised, and your loneliness will fall by the wayside. Keep in touch with me. I am anxious to hear what groups you’ve joined.



Dear Honey,

Question: What kinds of groups did you find in Honolulu? Before we moved here, I was a small farmer (grew our own meats, and I had a horse) but I don’t have that in Mesa. So, I volunteered at a local children’s home where there is a horse lesson program. I cleaned barns, fed horses, etc. The other ladies who were there were very clear that they had already formed groups and weren’t open to adding anyone.  (Booger.) So I changed departments. Having also taught, I volunteered to tutor kids. The other tutors were very focused on tutoring, and did not socialize much. So, there was that.

I also brought a sheepdog here, and am taking her for herding training. There are several people there to be friendly with, but, again, they don’t want to socialize much outside of competition days.

Even our church has been disappointing. We like the pastor, and are friendly with him and his family. But we live about 40 minutes away, on the other side of the Valley, and the rest of the congregation is not up for travel.  (We are, but that also doesn’t seem to work.)

So I could use some ideas for other groups.  (Sometimes I feel like it’s something in my personality; I admit, I’m different than most women. I am talking to a therapist about that.) Thanks for your time!


Dear Melody,

I envision you as a woman who loves nature and animals and children. You sound special to me. I would love to be your friend. These groups, not the people, have problems preventing you from bonding! One group lives 40 minutes away. Another group only socializes on competition days. The tutor group of women don’t like to socialize with each other so obviously they are not going to socialize with you, and cleaning barns and feeding horses is an alone activity! I suggest you join a group with a common cause that meets often and the group works together as a team in planning and doing. Please don’t give up trying. You will find your niche. This is not about the people. This is now about your choices of groups. Now we are getting somewhere! Moving forward…I will continue to help.

I joined a national charity group I had been committed to before I moved to Honolulu.

Here is a musing I wrote a while back that might help as well: Why You Don’t Have to Be Lonely




Dear Honey,

I enjoyed reading your wisdom, especially for Melody, as I also moved to Mesa, from Australia, 10 years ago. It took quite some time, but happily I now have a couple of lovely friends; one I met through work and the other through a grief support group. I’m not sure how to contact Melody, but I’m sure we could find out. Community singing or book club? There are groups on meetup.com. Perhaps we could try going to something together?




Dear Honey,

This is a question, since you offered Q and A:
My beautiful Mother passed away last year, and this is our first, real holiday season without her. I cannot seem to let go of my grief. Can you advise?

Dear Sandi,

I am sorry for your loss. Grieving is a healing process that takes a long time. There is nothing that you should do. You should continue to mourn the loss of your mother. You had a mother who must have been very special. Tears and grief over her loss is normal. It has only been a year. Over time you will accept her physical loss and find solace in how much of her is within you. I speak from my personal feelings. I lost a husband and my father. My father’s gift, his teaching, are in my head. He is with me. I also tell my grands and children stories about my late husband and my father. Do enjoy the holidays. Tell your mother how much you miss her and just let yourself…be.





Dear Honey,

My husband is estranged from his mother. It is very painful for the adult child as well. She left our family for another man. It broke my husband’s heart when she left his step dad for this man and 36 years earlier left his bio father when he was only 4 or 5 years old. We tried really hard to heal with her, but she kept lying about things. My husband couldn’t take the lies anymore. Whenever we heard from her it was the same thing and it was killing him. He was all broken up remembering when she left his bio father and now it was happening again to his step dad who raised him. Before the estrangement we were trying to heal our family and she came and visited us. It ended with her walking out on us in the middle of the night after my husband and she were talking about things. He confronted one of her lies and she left. They haven’t seen each other since that night. It’s been 2 years now. She last spoke with me on the phone for my birthday a year ago. I pleaded with her to talk to her son, but not to wait for his birthday and rehash on that day. She didn’t. She texted him the day before and he didn’t want to deal with all of it on his birthday. A few days later he learned from a family friend she had gotten married to the man she left his dad for 4 months earlier. He was devastated. We got a letter from her a month later telling us of her marriage. My husband couldn’t respond. He was devastated. Our daughter was due to get married a few months later and our family was in turmoil of her coming to the wedding and bringing her new husband. Because my daughter was so worried about everyone being upset, I had to write my mother-in-law a letter and ask her not to come. I didn’t want to do that, but I had to for my daughter, husband, and father-in-law’s sake. I feel so horrible and wish every day that things were not in this state. It’s true, I love my mother-in-law, and I miss her. But I am also so baffled by her behavior. She was never like this before. Always a loving, giving mother. Then one day she met another man and left her family. But from her perspective we were the ones who abandoned her. I am completely heartbroken by this situation. I write this to give another perspective about the parent-adult child estrangement thing. Whenever I search on the internet it’s the kids who leave the parent, but not in our situation. I’m so sorry for each broken family that I have read about on the internet. I pray God will bring healing and reconciliation in each family. I think about my mother-in-law all the time. My own mother died in 2012 and I miss her so much. I just can’t understand anyone throwing a family member away. My poor husband is so confused. He feels tremendous guilt and anger. He loves his mother deeply, but he doesn’t trust her. Also, he loves the LORD Jesus and desires to live as His follower. He forgives his mother, but doesn’t feel safe letting her in. I hope this reply will be helpful to someone out there. Actually, I truly hope it reaches my mother-in-law and softens her heart with understanding for her son. We love her so much and wish everyday that things were not as they are. May God bless each of you.

Dear Julie,

When there is a will…there is a way. Mother and son have to throw away the past and live in the present. This requires … total forgiveness between mother and son with no discussion of past hurts. Everyone is guilty. Moving forward into the present is the only chance of your family coming together. December is the month of love and family. You are in the position to bring the family together. Write each of them in a note or have a private conversation with each of them. Tell them that the greater gift they can give to one another and to the family over Christmas is to live in the moment and to let the past go, to accept and love one another with their frailties, and to let their love for one another win over this insidious situation that is destroying your family.





Dear Honey,

Is there a primer or concealer that will not melt off my face? I have dark circles, am 50, and Hispanic. I don’t look 50 because of great genes. Praise God I just can’t keep my concealer from melting off my face. Help please.

Dear Elizabeth.

I was in Saks last week and out of the blue the saleswoman looked up at me and said, “This primer is the best primer on the market.” I did not ask to see a primer!! I thought of your note to me and wrote the brand down for you. It is by Sisley Paris. instant éclat. base lumière. Hope this is your lucky charm.






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December 5, 2019


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  1. Margo says:

    Where to begin? First, I too have experienced the unfriendliness in a new community. I tried joining the book club at the local library, tried volunteering, all to no avail. People here are stuck back in the 50’s and it makes for a very lonely existence. I don’t work, we live quite far from any type of shopping. My husband and I are both retired and we thought retiring here on a lake would be great.

    Not so, our kids hate that we moved. We are an hour away, but you would think we lived across the country. We have accommodations for anyone who visits yet people insist we are too far. We too, begin to wonder if it’s us! All of that aside, nearly two years ago we had a large falling out with both of our sons and my daughter in law while on a family vacation. Last Christmas we spent the day alone just the two of us. It’s hard to get past a heartache like that but we started with meeting our oldest son for dinner. We agreed not to talk about that event, instead we focused on catching up and moving forward. Today, we are sitting here in Florida while staying with him. It’s as if none of that happened. As for my younger son and his wife, we joined them for thanksgiving dinner. Both instances were in a restaurant, neutral ground. It was awkward but they’re my kids and really, there is nothing to me that a mother cannot forgive. We plan to join them for Christmas as well.
    One thing that happened this year is that we lost my brother in law to pancreatic cancer. He retired in March and was diagnosed in May after spending two months in pain. It was a lesson we won’t soon forget. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Life is too short to hang on to hurt. We cannot know why people do what they do and it is not for us to judge. That right belongs to God. As a daughter in law, Julie can help her husband move past judging his mother and learn to accept who she is. Her husband may not have all the facts. His mother may have made a choice long ago that was in his best interest and maybe now this choice is in hers. If she misses her mother in law she should reach out to her and reestablish her relationship. It could go a long way in mending the family.
    If God can forgive all that we do, who are to not forgive one another?

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      I am in awe of some people’s actions that include the way members of a family treat one another. My philosophy is to try try try everything possible and if there is no response or reaction from others, I have no choice but to accept what I have no control over. If I hold on to a problem I cannot solve, I will lead a very unhappy life. I will not do that.As far as the daughter in law taking out the mother in law for lunch I like that idea very much as long as she tells her husband and he agrees. I wish for your happiness. Warmly, Honey

  2. Pamela Sherman says:

    Honey, I always love your candor and moved by the depth of your love for others. Just when I was thinking ” let that mother go” … you called forth the power of love. Thank you for the inspiration and the love. 😉

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