Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fall Prevention Month
November is fall prevention month, something that concerns people as they age. And that means a lot of people since Baby Boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 people per day. And that number can only continue to increase.
A misstep at home or a patch of ice can start a deadly chain reaction for seniors or the mobility impaired of any age. Since one in five falls results in a serious injury such as broken bones and head trauma, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer sound advice for preventing falls. Talk to your doctor if the medicines you take make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve balance, such as Tai Chi. Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and if you wear bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only distance prescription for outdoor activities such as walking. Poor footwear can cause falls, so make sure it is good.
There are many steps that can be taken to prevent falls in the home like getting rid of things you could trip over such as throw rugs, putting railings on both sides of stairs, and have grab bars in your tub or shower, as well as next to the toilet. Also make sure the lighting in your home is adequate.
Falls can have psychological consequences even when they don’t result in injury because it often leads to people being afraid of falling and thus limiting their activities and social life. Prevention is all important.
In November we begin to feel the cold winds of the season to come. In winter using a cane can prevent falls and their consequences. If you are a Canadian you may want to take advantage of a company’s Cane for Life initiative.
            “We have pledged to give away 1,000 canes for qualified seniors and mobility-impaired Canadians.” said Renato Cavaliere, CEO of Canadian Safe Step Walk-in Tub Co. The company is an advocate for safety and quality of life for seniors and the mobility-impaired.
            Canadians can apply for a free cane through

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Honor to our Veterans
The first time I went to Europe some years ago, I visited two military cemeteries honoring fallen soldiers. The white crosses all in a row as far as the eye could see brought tears to my eyes. A cross for every young man who gave his life for freedom in bloody wars. We don’t often think of how many soldiers perished to ensure the enemy was defeated, but we should. And we should also never forget the number of soldiers who came home after giving their all in battle. We owe them so much. What courage!
At the November ceremonies honoring veterans, we see a quickly diminishing number of older men who served in WWII proudly at attention, but there are also so many younger veterans these days. The ranks of young men and women who served their country in varied far-away places with honor keep growing. Let’s show them we appreciate their sacrifice. As someone put it: A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'citizens of my country' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'
That is honor. There are too many people who no longer understand what it means.
This November, let’s pay homage to all those who ensured our freedom. We owe them that much and so much more. And let’s make sure our children and grandchildren understand the sacrifices of our veterans.
Lest we forget, lest they forget.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I came across a text by the famous Author Unknown that I want to share with you. The title is Obituary for Mr. Common Sense.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense. He lived a long life but died at the beginning of the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was, but he selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense.
            He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn’t always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it is okay to come in second.
            In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well intentioned, but overbearing regulations. Common Sense watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies. Reports of a six-year-old charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parents when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion.
            Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband and criminals received better treatment than their victims. And when a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot and was awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel. He drifted in and out of logic when learning of questionable regulations such as those for rocking chairs and stepladders.
            Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Time for a Bit of Fun
People don’t stop laughing because they grow old, they grow old because they stop laughing. And besides, laughter is contagious. Share a joke with your spouse, your neighbor or your friend and the day is bound to be brighter.
            My grandchildren think I’m very funny. One of the reasons I can make them laugh is that I’m quite relaxed when I’m around them. They fill my life with love and it colors my world mirthful. Although I do not feel like it at all times, I do make an effort to look at the funny side of life.
            Nobody wants to be around people who are always complaining about something or the other, no matter their age – or perhaps especially when they’re on the downhill side of 50. The longer we live, the more physical problems we face, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bit of sunshine even in a long cloudy cycle.
            The cliché Laughter is the Best Medicine may be overused, but that does not make it less true. Medical research shows that laughter has an immediate positive effect on the main organs of the human body. In my experience those who have mastered the art of laughing at life and its foibles have an easier time than people who focus all their energy on the less-than-perfect moments we all experience. One of the reasons is certainly that laughter relaxes the whole being.
             I have always found it interesting that we are all inclined to compare ourselves to others, in one way or another which is not the way to be happy. The neighbor is prettier, richer, happier, and so on, we think. What we tend to forget is that we are all different, and that appearances can be quite deceiving.
             It seems to me that to be happy, we have to dwell on the good things in our lives at this moment in time. And laugh at the rest. An arthritic knee should not prevent us from enjoying life. And we can all use humor to diffuse the irritations of life.
             So I said to a friend, I have nothing to say. She replied: you should blog about that!
       Notice at entrance to park: Please pick up your dog’s alternative fact.
       I bought a packet of peanuts, and on the packet it says ''may contain nuts.'' I’d be annoyed if an apple fell out! 
        So the man said: My mother-in-law fell into the wishing well. Boy, was I surprised that it actually worked.
Notes on medical charts:
         The patient refused an autopsy.
         On the second day, the knee was better, and on the third day disappeared completely. 
         The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 2010.
And, finally:
         Two doctors are conferring. One of them says: She hasn’t been able to get pregnant, but with both of us on her case, that should change.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Some musings
When did color become so complicated? For example, what exactly is intense black, true black and midnight black? And what about extreme black? Do adjectives change the color black in any way? Is there a way to make black more black? I don’t see how it could. Black is black. However advertisers and writers of copy for the packaging of a variety of products with color choices are always trying new expression to enhance what they are selling. I suppose they believe that some adjectives add a bit of cachet, and no doubt why they are everywhere.
            And don’t get me started on white. Wanting to paint a room white should not be complicated as far as I am concerned. That is until the guy who will be painting your walls asks you what shade of white. What? I said, a bit taken by surprise. Of course, it had been a while since I had wanted to paint a wall white and I failed to realize that the world of color had become sophisticated. I mean, I had to choose what shade of white I wanted: almost white, chalk white, newest white, and so on. I told the man that I wanted the classic white, but he insisted that it would be too white for the size of the room. What? “I think white is the paint color with the most variations,” he informed me. I don’t know about that! I mean, as a woman who wears lipstick I can attest to the fact that red has so many shades that it can make your head spin.
            Anyhow, I let the man show me a whole range of whites. I felt somewhat silly because I could not detect much variation from one to the other. In the end I let him choose and I am very satisfied with the result of simply white. Who knew!
            I must be showing my age when I wonder when nouns became verbs. I certainly never learned in school that, for example, “he friended me” or “defriended me” would be a common term. The Oxford University Press talks about the “verbing” of English.
            In this day and age, we email, we text, we message, we google, and as you read this you know that I blog. In short, verbing is very much part of the digital world. “I facebooked you. Let’s coffee.”
Fooding is another example of verbing especially when people are asked: Do you salad or do you sandwich?
Where is it going to end?  Were I a noun, I would be inclined to revolt. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Gen Z
There is a moniker for every generation. Just as we were getting used to Generation Y, the millennials, here comes Generation Z. These are those born between 1995 and 2010 which means the oldest are now entering the workforce.
            They will certainly bring about even more change than we have seen in recent decades. For one thing, they were born in the digital age and so live, learn and work digitally. That’s all they know. One day when I picked up my granddaughter who had come to town by bus so we could spend time together she was sitting on a bench twiddling on her phone. As soon as she got in the car she asked me what we did in the “old days” when we didn’t have cell phones to let friends know about things like being late, etc. My reply was that we learned to accept whatever problems arose.
Those of Gen Z certainly do not understand that in a not-too-distant past people only had phones in their homes physically connected to a line. Gen Z also sees how difficult life was because people actually had to leave the house to go rent a movie and wonders how people could live without streaming movies directly into their television. Little do they know that for many of our grandparents, or even our parents for that matter, a television set was a luxury not everyone could afford.
How times have changed. Gen Z wonders how people lived without being able to order a taxi on their phone. In the not so distant history, a phone was just that, a phone to call people. As I was growing up we lived on a farm, and I remember my mother wishing she could have a private line instead of a party line, the only type available at the time. What would she have to say about today’s phones that do everything, except make dinner. Or so it seems.
And for Gen Z, everything is done on line from shopping to banking. Does it mean that actual stores will stop to exist? I hope not. I think a lot of people think like me that some things you simply have to see before you buy. Clothing certainly falls in that category. I mean you cannot buy a dress without actually touching the fabric and trying it on. At least I can’t.
Of course, the on-line world can be useful for many things, until what you bought does not exactly fit what you were expecting and you want to return it. It has been my experience that on-line sellers don’t like that at all and some make it quite difficult to get a refund. And they certainly will not pay for return shipping. For me, going back to an actual store to return something is so much simpler. And you get your money back right away.  
Some change may be good for society, but not all. How will Gen Z handle a world that is becoming quite different from that of their parents who are not old at all?


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I recently had to visit my dentist after an old filling fell out. I have been seeing the man for over 25 years, so I am very much at ease when I go. However, that was not always the case. When I first went to him, I was especially nervous due to past experiences with dentists. He saw the signs and quickly helped me to relax with his calming manner. Although I must say I still do not relax as much as a friend who takes full advantage of the comfortable chair to nap while her dentist goes to work. It’s something I simply don’t understand.
            In any event, on my recent visit I commented to my dentist that he certainly has no reason to be afraid of dentists. To my surprise he confessed that he is so nervous when he needs dental care that he delays visits to his own dentist as long as he can. I found that amazing, but not as amazing as the confession that followed.
            He told me that a few years back he removed two of his wisdom teeth himself so uncomfortable is he with his dentist. He detailed for me how he managed to freeze his gum and hang a mirror so he could pull out his own teeth. You have to be really scared of dentists, at least more than I am to go that route.
            That a dentist is afraid of dentists is not that surprising, it seems. It is somewhat akin to doctors and nurses being terrible patients. They only concentrate on the worst cases they have seen, forgetting all the positive elements of their professions.
            People in all walks of life do that, don’t they? I mean forget about the good things in their lives and concentrate on the negative. Somewhat like forgetting that the sun will rise again after a rainy day. It always does, no matter how dark the world.