The value of green

Green canopy of leavesHere’s a very quick blog entry that I’m providing to get you started on your long-weekend.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.  – Martin Luther

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceI can not tell a lie; today is my birthday, so I’m putting myself out there with some advancing age birthday humor that all of us can enjoy because all of us are advancing in our age:

You know you’re old when:

  • In a hostage situation, you are most likely to be released first
  • You and your teeth don’t sleep together
  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, “Did I wake you?”
  • You begin every other sentence with, “Nowadays …”
  • The clothes you’ve put away until they come back in style, come back in style
  • Things you buy now won’t ever wear out
  • There’s nothing left to learn the hard way
  • “Getting a little action” means you don’t need to take a laxative
  • When getting lucky means you find your car in the parking lot
  • When happy hour is a nap (actually, for me, it would be: when happy hour begins at 4)
  • When you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise

Birthday CakeNone of us should complain about getting older because it’s proof that we’ve done something right so far ’cause we’re still around!

 

Your positive imprint on mankind

Our perspective of the world and all its needs can be very humbling.  Many times we witness the need but can’t do much about it.

Earthquake devastationThe earthquakes in Nepal and the world-wide response to that tragedy is startling and heart-warming at the same time.  The massively horrible weather in parts of the United States with its past winter snow and torrential downpours – and the recent spring incursion of hurricanes and tornadoes – almost paralyzes the remainder of us because we have so little to offer in response, other than a monetary donation to a charitable response organization.

Is that really the case?  Do we feel that because we can’t offer hands-on assistance in extremely serious and urgent circumstances as outlined above, we have nothing at all to offer a very exigent world?

Continue reading

What Would Wilma Flintstone Do?

boomer98053:

Please, all my followers need to read this article from a very hilarious blogger – also a published author – whom I follow. You will not regret it.

Originally posted on notquiteold:

Two Sundays ago, as we lingered over a sixth cup of coffee, we happened to look out the window and realized that we had company.

bear 4-26-15

We were very excited to see our visitor.  Although we were glad that he didn’t knock on the door, and he may have lumbered around the patio just a bit too long.

It is terrific to live so close to nature. That being said, we vowed to take down all the bird feeders the next day.

We had a ton of yard work to do, so we spent the afternoon raking and cleaning up winter debris – and those of you who live in a more temperate climate may be in disbelief that winter clean-up is done in April in northwest Connecticut – but yeah, and in our winter coats too.

After the bear sighting, we had a plan to stick together that day. But…

View original 627 more words

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceHaving just moved into his new office in Whitehall, (United Kingdom) the pompous, newly promoted Lieutenant Commander Rodney Grant (Royal Navy) was sitting at his desk when Leading Seaman Jones knocked on his door.

Particularly aware of his new position, the new pompous commander quickly picked up the phone, told the seaman to enter, then said into the phone, “Yes, Admiral, I’ll be seeing him this afternoon and I’ll pass along your message.  In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir.”

Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young Jones, he asked, “What is it you want?”

“Nothing important, sir,” Jones replied, “I’m just here to connect up your new telephone.”

Why wrinkles are a very good thing

Here’s a direct quote from Dr. Bernie S. Siegel’s 365 Prescriptions for the Soul.  I’ll let his, and John Kenneth Galbraith’s words, say it all:

Older man happyIf wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old. – John Kenneth Galbraith

When you wash something, it can come out wrinkled. That’s life! Just remember, if God puts you through the wringer it’s because you’re worth laundering. If I were given the choice between dying young and developing wrinkles, the answer would be clear to me. I choose life, come what may, regardless of old age and wrinkles. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceA Polish immigrant went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license.

First, of course, he had to take an eye test.

The DMV employee showed him a card with letters. On the very bottom row were these letters:

C Z W I X N O S T A C Z

“Can you read those letters, sir?”

“Read it?” the Polish man replied, “I know the fellow!”

Decision making roadblocks

I like what I like.  How many times have you been asked to choose between one thing and another, you choose the thing, and then you’re asked, “What made you choose that?”  If you’re the mother of Not Quite the Plan‘s author, your answer is, “I like what I like.”

Person with question markI love the example of this mini-dilemma found in the attached article.  The blog author’s mother, I’ll call her Mrs. Mom, cuts to the chase; she doesn’t waste any time deliberating; she simply knows what she likes: she doesn’t like the cat that keeps jumping on her lap, but she does like fudge bars.  Mrs. Mom has dementia.  Perhaps because of her condition, the decisions she makes are far less complicated than they used to be.  Her measuring rod: I like what I like.

Weighing the pros and cons is a very important step in the decision making process, but oftentimes we get hung up on the P & C list and fall into the paralysis by analysis quagmire.  The list doesn’t have to be multiple pages long and it doesn’t have to be perfected before we take the first step.  What’s the worse that could happen? Let’s look at the possibilities. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceSome humorous anecdotes about women and men, and the balance of power:

Husband tries to make his wife feel better: Susan was having a tough day and after returning home she started complaining. She said to her husband, “Nobody loves me…nobody cares for me…the whole world hates me!”

Her husband, watching TV, said casually, “That’s not true dear. You are not famous enough that the whole world would hate you. Some people don’t even know you.”

The most evil thing: “Cash, check or charge?” I asked after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As the woman fumbled for her wallet I noticed a TV remote control in her purse. “Do you always carry your remote with you?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but my husband refused to come shopping with me so I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him.”

The power of women: There were 11 people – ten men and one woman – hanging onto a rope that came down from a helicopter. They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t, the rope would break and everyone would die.

No one could decide who should go so finally, the woman gave a really touching speech saying how she would give up her life to save the others because women were used to giving up things for their spouses and children, giving in to men’s wishes, and not receiving anything in return.

When she finished speaking, all the men started clapping.

Male assertiveness: A mild-mannered man was tired of being bossed around by his wife so he went to a psychiatrist for help.  The psychiatrist said he needed to build his self-esteem. He gave the man a book on assertiveness which the man read on the subway home.

The man stormed into the house and walked up to his wife. Pointing a finger at her he said, “From now on I want you to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating it, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then you’re going to draw me a bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”

“The funeral director?” responded his wife.

Sexual intimacy in memory care

boomer98053:

Today, 4/22/2015, Mr. Rayhons was found not guilty of third-degree sexual abuse of his wife. Please read a comment I posted on this article with an update that occurred during the trial process relating to the roommate’s depiction of the evening in question.

Originally posted on Baby Boomers and More:

Love birdsThe attached New York Times article by Pam Belluck addresses the ambiguous loss experienced by men and women whose spouses are still alive, but not fully there.  More specifically, it addresses the need for intimacy that still exists for the spouse without cognitive decline, and that can also exist for the spouse with the decline.

It is a well-known fact that advancing age doesn’t mean the end of desire for sexual intimacy.  Whether in the privacy of ones home or in a long-term care housing situation, sex is alive and well.  Even people with varying degrees of dementia maintain the desire for intimacy.  What the above NY Times article so carefully exposes, however, is that sometimes the act of consent for such intimacy can be a subjective one when viewed by a third party.

View original 757 more words

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceEarth Day is this week, April 22nd, 2015.  I’ve managed to find some some humor to spread in honor of our planet’s day:

Amusing Earth Anagrams:

  • Global Warming is an anagram of “Ball going warm”
  • The causes of global warming is an anagram of “Foul gases gleam with carbon”
  • Greenhouse Effect is an anagram of “Huge trees offense”

The day an environmentalist dies:

An environmentalist dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an environmentalist, you’re in the wrong place.” Thinking that heaven could never make an error, the environmentalist reports to the gates of hell and is granted entrance. Continue reading

Sexual intimacy in memory care

Love birdsThe attached New York Times article by Pam Belluck addresses the ambiguous loss experienced by men and women whose spouses are still alive, but not fully there.  More specifically, it addresses the need for intimacy that still exists for the spouse without cognitive decline, and that can also exist for the spouse with the decline.

It is a well-known fact that advancing age doesn’t mean the end of desire for sexual intimacy.  Whether in the privacy of ones home or in a long-term care housing situation, sex is alive and well.  Even people with varying degrees of dementia maintain the desire for intimacy.  What the above NY Times article so carefully exposes, however, is that sometimes the act of consent for such intimacy can be a subjective one when viewed by a third party. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceThe tax man cometh:

There are two things you need to know about taxes: the filing deadline is April 15th and when you write your check, just make it out to China. – David Letterman

Tax day is the day that ordinary Americans send their money to Washington, D.C. and wealthy Americans send their money to the Cayman Islands. – Jimmy Kimmel

The U. S. Senate is considering a bill that would tax Botox. When Botox users heard this they were horrified. Well, I think they were horrified, it’s difficult to tell. – Craig Ferguson

I’m not going to pay taxes. When they say I’m going to prison, I’ll say, no, prison costs taxpayers a lot of money. You keep what it would have cost to incarcerate me, and we’ll call it even. – Jimmy Kimmel

65% of people say that cheating on your taxes is worse than cheating on your spouse. The other 35% were women. – Jay Leno

When it comes to taxes, there are two types of people. There are those that get it done early, also called psychopaths, and then the rest of us. – Jimmy Kimmel

Guilty as charged.

 

Setting aside our perceived limitations

Movie director clapboardEarlier this year, Richard Glatzer, co-director of the award winning movie, Still Alice, died at the age of 63 after battling ALS for four years.  It would have been unfortunate if he had gone with his first reaction when approached to adapt Lisa Genova’s novel into a movie.  (Evidently, he almost turned down the project.)  Fortunately for us, he did not.  One article on this subject indicated that it was Glatzer’s personal connection to independence-robbing illness that gave Still Alice a greater authenticity.

From what I understand, Mr. Glatzer used one finger – using a text-to-speech app – to communicate every directive.  I don’t have to know anything about film directing to understand that doing so with his “limitations” would have been extraordinarily clumsy and time consuming.  I wonder if his decision to accept the project was made in part because he believed he was the best person for the job.  Did you see the movie?  Wouldn’t you agree?

Leaping over a hurdleYet all of us are faced with far less daunting struggles than those experienced by Mr. Glatzer and we cave in to our well-honed ability to find every reason not to pursue a task that requires exceptional action on our part.

I’m ashamed of all the excuses I’ve come up with to postpone – or to avoid entirely – new ventures that required more of me than I was willing to give.  Ugh – I grieve those lost opportunities when I think of the benefit to me and others such ventures would have provided.  But crying over spilled milk won’t undo the past.

Going forward I can commit to seizing new opportunities and disregarding the emotional and physical hurdles in my path.

I can, but will I?

Will you?

 

 

 

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceThis week marks the start of the Major League Baseball season so I’m throwing some sporty jokes your way:

On June 26th, 1985, at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida, organist Wilbur Snapp played Three Blind Mice following a call by umpire Keith O’Connor. The umpire was not amused and saw to it that Mr. Snapp was ejected from the game.

Here’s a quote attributed to the late, great Babe Ruth: “It took me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits in baseball.  I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”

One morning in elementary school, the students were in their geography class where the teacher wanted to test the students on their knowledge of U.S. cities and states.

The teacher asked the class, “Does anyone know where Pittsburgh is?”  Francis raised his hand and said, “Yeah, Pennysylvania.”  The teacher replied, “Very good Francis.  Now, can anyone tell me where Detroit is?”

Rachel raised her hand, “That’s in Michigan.”  The teacher again replied, “Very good.”

Trying to confuse the children the teacher asked, “Where’s Kansas City?”  Ross raised his hand and said, “Oh, oh, pick me.  I know!”

The teacher said, “OK, Ross.  Where is Kansas City?”

“Last place!”

App-licable to retirees

Person with cellphoneSome of us have owned smartphones for quite some time now.  Others have finally joined the 21st century, just recently retiring their Motorola flip phone. (Love you Honey!)

Sure, the latest and greatest phones are used to make calls – oddly enough not as frequently as we send texts – but they can also help us through our day-to-day schedules.  Jonah Bromwich, New York Times columnist, provides retirees with information on apps we might find quite useful. Continue reading

Rejection: part and parcel of the writing craft

Labyrinth redGetting Out of the Labyrinth: Part 6 – Submission. The attached article on the submission process of trying to secure a literary agent, was written – and experienced – by now successful author, Kate McIntyre.  This exceptional article is Part 6 of a series that so painstakingly and accurately describes the writing journey of a debut author.

God help my withering writer’s soul and those of other struggling writers that perish in publishing purgatory.

Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceIt’s the last Monday of March which means April is upon us, which means in the United States it’s income tax filing time.  Here are some one liners that might tickle your funny bone:

  • The U.S. Post Office just recalled their newest stamps; they had pictures of IRS agents on them and people couldn’t figure out which side to spit on.
  • If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the newspaper?
  • America is the land of opportunity; everybody can become a taxpayer.
  • Children are deductible but they’re still taxing.
  • Nothing has done more to stimulate the writing of fiction than the itemized deduction section of the income-tax forms.
  • Filling out your own income tax return is something like a do-it-yourself mugging.
  • A man admitted he lied on his income-tax return – he listed himself as the head of the household.
  • The best things in life are still free, but the tax experts are working overtime on the problem.

Dont panicAnd here’s an original from me:

I hope this first full month of Spring doesn’t tax you too heavily.

Whistleblower Speaks Out on Suspected Elder Abuse

Do not hesitate to do what is right for mankind. Please, get out your whistles.

If you have a brain, you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s

boomer98053:

If Alzheimer’s was any other disease, it would be considered an epidemic. Its prevalence is pervasive, its outcome, always fatal. Maybe if it qualified as an epidemic, people would stand up and take notice. Everyone has a brain. Everyone is at risk for Alzheimer’s.

Originally posted on ALZWA Blog:

In its new 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, the Alzheimer’s Association explored how healthcare providers disclose an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

45 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis. In contrast, more than 90 percent of people with the four most common cancers (breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer) or their caregivers say they were told their diagnosis.

facts2015_45_90

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older and the 3rd leading cause of death in Washington State. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. facts2015_prevented_cured_slowed_infographic

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. According to the Facts and Figures report, Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost the country $226 billion this year and are projected to…

View original 16 more words

Relationship between TBI and dementia

boomer98053:

How timely that this article on brain injuries coincides with my article titled “Neurological hell” that I posted just a few days ago.

Originally posted on ALZWA Blog:

 By Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD

Brain xrayTraumatic brain injury (TBI) has been one of the most common maladies in human history.1  Recent quantitative studies from burial sites of prehistoric modern humans2;3 indicate that approximately one-third of our ancestors experienced cranial trauma sufficient to result in a skull fracture.   This high rate of TBI in prehistoric humans makes it likely that genetic variants that confer resistance to brain trauma, or foster repair and plasticity of injured neural tissue, would have been selectively favored through evolution.  TBI remains a major problem in modern societies, primarily as a consequence of traffic accidents and falls.   In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually, of which 275,000 require hospitalization and 52,000 die.4  Rates are even higher in developing countries.5

TBI is perhaps the best established environmental risk factor for dementia.  Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies…

View original 1,061 more words

Renaissance – Baby Boomer style

Abby Ellin, New York Times, writes about the late-life renaissances that many Baby Boomers experience when they re-decide what they want to be when they grow up.

Path of lifeWhen we were younger, many of us drifted into college studies and post-college careers that may or may not have been our first choice but at least paid the bills.  As we near retirement, or even years before retirement, we wonder, “Is this all there is?”  And when we wonder like that, we get dissatisfied, and when we get dissatisfied – if we’re gutsy – we’ll do what it takes to become satisfied.  If we don’t attain our desired level of satisfaction, we’ll languish: lose vitality, grow weak, and become feeble.  My oh my, is that what you want? Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceI’m a writer so I am always intrigued with word arrangements and different takes on relatively normal phrases.  Here are several paraprosdokians: figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected. Credit for this entry goes to Larry Brooks of www.storyfix.com

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. In filling out an application, where it says, Emergency Contact I put ‘doctor.”
  4. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  5. You do not need a parachute to skydive unless you want to do it again.
  6. I used to be indecisive; now I’m not so sure.
  7. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  8. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  9. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  10. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they’re sexy.

 

Neurological hell

NFL players are choosing early retirement. Is the future of football under scrutiny?
http://wapo.st/1xvFq9p

I LOVE football. Actually, I love the Seattle Seahawks, but I cringe each time a player gets pummeled in the head.

Brain superimposed on treeThe above Washington Post article suggests American football may some day fall away as a sport, similar to what happened to boxing.  Many years ago, I remember boxing being the sport that people gathered around their televisions to watch, whether at home or in the bars.  I can understand why nowadays most of us would rather not watch two people bash each other in the head; a head with virtually no protection in the boxing ring.  But even with all the sophisticated helmet and body gear covering football players on the field, players are still sustaining concussions that could sooner or later place them in neurological hell. Continue reading

Rejection is a passing fantasy

Enevelope greenHave you ever been rejected? Read the attached NY Times article: Accepted? Rejected? Relax You’ll see that the article was retitled since it first appeared so when you click on the link, you’ll see the subject matter as being about college admissions.

Rejection affects all of us: it’s not just about college admission policies.

I’m a writer; I should know.

I’ve only been looking for an agent for 30 days, therefore the 15 rejections – or what I like to call not interesteds – I’ve received out of 60 submissions sent is only 25% of the total so far.  Wow, 75% of the agents haven’t turned me down yet! Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

ShamrockHappy day before St. Patrick’s Day!  I’m half Irish so I want to celebrate by providing a couple Irish-themed jokes to start off your week with a laugh or two:

A Spanish singer chatting on television used the word manana.  When asked what that meant, he said, “It means, maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that, next week, next month or next year.  It’s like, who cares?”

Shay Brennan, an Irishman in the conversation, was asked if there’s an Irish equivalent.  “No, in Ireland we don’t have a word to describe that level of urgency.”

There was a Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman all taking a tea break at a building site.  The Englishman pipes up, “If my wife puts cheese on my sandwich again, I am going to kill myself.”  The Scotsman says, “If my wife puts egg on my sandwich again, I will kill myself.”  The Irishman says, “If I find ham on my sandwich again, I will kill myself.”

Sure enough, the next day all three men open their lunch boxes and find the sandwiches are all full of cheese, egg, and ham so they all go off to different parts of the construction site and kill themselves.

Later in the week, all three men are being buried and the Englishman’s wife says, “If he didn’t want cheese on his sandwich he should have told me.”  The Scotsman’s wife says the same concerning the egg sandwich.  Then the Irishman’s wife pipes up, “I can’t understand this, Paddy makes his own sandwich.”

I write because I have to

On my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, I said it didn’t bother me that I had sent out a handful of queries in my effort to secure an agent and had received one or two not interesteds.

Please read my manuscript!

Please read my manuscript!

As of today, I’ve queried 50 agents, received 11 not interesteds, which leaves 39 agents unaccounted for, from whom I may not receive a response because although agencies usually indicate their expected response time, oftentimes they only respond when they’re interested.  That leaves this Land of Limbo for agents on my spreadsheet who may have exceeded their indicated response time.  Do I delete them from my spreadsheet?  Do I give them another week/month before writing them off?

You see, searching for an agent is like looking for a job.  The writer’s query letter is like the cover letter to ones resume.  The resume is the writer’s manuscript.  If the agent likes what they read in the query/if the employer likes what they read in the cover letter, they want to look further. Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceWith winter still having a strangle hold on the East Coast and spring tempting us elsewhere, here are some weather jokes to get you through your day:

Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change so much, most of us wouldn’t know how to start a conversation.

It’s been raining so much in Seattle, the Chia pet I threw in my garbage is now blocking my entire driveway.

According to a news story, if global warming continues, the only chance we’ll have to see a polar bear is in the zoo … so in other words, nothing is going to change.

If I’m on the golf course and lightning starts, I get inside fast. If God wants to play through, let him. – Bob Hope said that one

Query Letter: Your Book’s Audition

boomer98053:

As a writer who is in the process of querying agents (27 queries sent thus far with MANY more to send, still waiting for 21 responses) this advice is very timely.

Originally posted on Laura Lee Anderson:

Most actors hate auditions. I don’t know why. I love them.

An audition is your chance to show yourself at your best. You’ve spent years honing your craft. You’ve spent days polishing each detail. You’ve spent hours preparing the material. Now all of those years of work are focused into three perfect minutes. It is not a necessary evil. It’s the culmination of everything you’ve worked for and the gateway to the thing you want most.

Now go back to the first paragraph and replace the word “audition” with “query letter.” Do it. It will be eye-opening, I promise.

Most actors think that their job is acting in plays. Wrong! Their job is auditioning. The fruit of their labor is a part in a play. It’s the same with authors. Your job is not writing a book. Yes, in order to query a book you need to have written one, and a good one at that. But…

View original 421 more words

My Heroines: International Women’s Day

Three WomenInternational Women’s Day: My Heroines. My heroines may look different from those posted in the attached article, and they certainly will look different from those you may consider as your heroines.  That’s a very good thing because we all have different takes on the subject but the outcome is the same: heroines we admire that made a difference in their world, and in ours.

My mother with my daughter, circa 1976.

My mother with my daughter, circa 1976.

My mother: Patricia Constance Conroy Desonier was born in 1917 and died in 1994.  Mom was a fair disciplinarian to us three kids and a fabulous confidant as an adult.  To lose her when I was forty years old was a devastating loss for me.  My biggest disappointment is that she didn’t live long enough to meet my current husband, an extraordinary man whom I met – almost  exactly to the date – two years after mom died.  Words to describe my mother (in addition to the above): talented musician, seamstress, faithful and supportive wife, involved parent, community activist, volunteer extraordinaire. Continue reading