Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Post-truth Era
To quote the Oxford Dictionaries, post-truth is a state “in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” That is certainly true of politics today when pure lies are seen as truth because some people believe whatever they see on social media.
            A Stanford University survey found that in this day and age most of the people who get their news from social media don’t know the difference between real and fake news. Truth is no longer as influential as it was when everyone read major newspapers and knew that opinions were based on facts, not emotions. They also knew that the news printed in newspapers and seen on major television networks had been confirmed by reliable sources. In our current post-truth era, whatever anyone posts online can be seen as being the truth, and the more followers the more believed the fake news is it seems.
            It is very sad to see so many people not taking the time to base their opinions on reliable sources, preferring instead to go the quick route of instant media. How does that affect the transmission of important and vital information so that the public will see and understand it as being the truth? I don’t have the answer, other than the fact that instant media is a reality which will not disappear tomorrow.
            Every age has its problems and concerns, of course. Reversing the post-truth era is certainly one we should all want in this day and age. How to do it is of course the question. Enticing people who use instant media to become more responsible could be an option, but I’m not holding my breath.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Positive View
As I was stepping out on a particularly cold morning a few days ago, so was my neighbor. I commented that that cold weather was far from over, however he had a more positive view. He pointed out that the days were already getting longer and that we would see the January thaw any day. And then, after a short February, March with its warming rays would appear. Interesting view given that we are all aware that time simply flies by after we reach a certain age.
            I thought that was a motivating way of looking at the two months of cold winter weather still in the offing in our part of the world. Rather than complaining about the less-than-welcome temperature, my neighbor is concentrating on the better days to come. And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Don’t let the bad of today get you down because the good of tomorrow is not far behind. It puts the This-Too-Shall-Pass adage into concrete action.
            Can this positive view be used in other aspects of our lives, I wondered. A gentleman who manages a small store in my neighborhood certainly thinks so. He broke his right arm when he fell on an icy patch a week of so ago. When I commented that he must feel frustrated at having to rely on others to do things he can’t manage with his arm in a sling, he replied that it had its benefits. He said that it gives him a chance to sit down more often, and that when he uses the computer he has to input with his left hand. “A little awkward at first, and slower, but I’m getting used to it. Besides, doing things using your non-dominant hand from time to time is good for the brain. So it’s not all bad.”
            He is right. Research is showing that making an effort to do some things with your left hand (if you are right handed – or vice versa) is proving to be helpful in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is something I try to do often.
            So that man is right. A positive view on whatever happens in life has its benefits. We only need to look for them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Another Year

As 2016 came to an end, surreal was designated by Merriam-Webster as the word of the year.  Surreal (meaning strange, abnormal) was chosen because it was looked up significantly more in 2016 than in previous years. No doubt because people wanted to make certain they understood what it meant since it was used extensively in the coverage of events that took place in the last twelve months. It was chosen to qualify important happenings from terrorist attacks to the U.S. election.

         It’s also a good word to qualify what I feel as I contemplate that I will soon be one year older. And it is certainly surreal that by adding enough years, the number could become very impressive! But to counteract this feeling my resolution this year is that I will not waste time bemoaning my age. After all, as the saying goes: Do not regret growing old. It’s a privilege denied to many. 

          It is indeed a privilege to be able to enjoy our families while many are only memories to those they loved. And I have been especially blessed. You see, I am the only survivor of my high school graduating class. Of course it was a small class at a small all-girl school. There were only eight of us, but seven were not blessed with growing older. They all passed away in their prime years in a variety of ways. And here I am, unable to relive my youthful years with those who knew me then, but then again I can laugh with my grandchildren.

           So what if wrinkles become deeper with each passing year and my pace a little slower, I’m still the same person I was twenty years ago. Of course, then I didn’t give much thought to the reality that would be mine further down the road. I see that as a good thing because each decade has its own demands and opportunities.

           As we get older we only need to look around and expand our horizons to see the many blessings we have been granted and how much we can still give and enjoy no matter our circumstances.

            I plan to make 2017 a year where I forget my age to focus on my wisdom.

            Happy New Year to all my readers.







Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A first-grade teacher gave each child in her class the first half of a saying and asked them to finish the sentence. This is the result.
 Strike while the ....... bug is close.
It's always darkest before ....... daylight savings time.
Never underestimate the power of ....... termites.
Don't bite the hand that ....... looks dirty.
No news is ....... impossible.
A miss is as good as a ....... Mr.
You can't teach an old dog new ....... math.
If you lie down with dogs, you'll ....... stink in the morning.
Love all, trust ....... me.
The pen is mightier than the ....... pigs.
An idle mind is ....... the best way to relax.
Where there's smoke, there's ....... pollution.
Happy the bride ....... who gets all the presents.
A penny saved is ....... not much.
Two's company, three's ....... the Musketeers.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry and have to blow your nose.
If at first you don't succeed ....... get new batteries.
You get out of something only what you ....... see in the picture on the box.
When the blind leadeth the blind ....... get out of the way.
Better late than ........ pregnant .

I’m taking a break from my blog for a few weeks; back
in January.  
Merry Christmas to all of you who follow my blog.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Size   is just a number

I don’t know about you, but in the past when I heard someone wore a size 0, I assumed it was a newborn. Not so today. Sizing has rebelled and the whole concept of numbers has been revamped.

          A woman no longer wears an average size 12. Today, the average size is more 8 it seems. And the “skinny bitches,” as Joy Behar calls models and Hollywood starlet types, now wear size 2 or size 0 depending on whether or not they’ve eaten in the last week.  This begs the question: Where are we headed? Will we soon find ourselves having to deal with minus sizes?

          Just like age is just a number, a dress size is after all just a number. Manufacturers have introduced what I consider ridiculous smaller sizes over the last couple of decades no doubt in an effort to make women believe they were slimmer than they really were so they would buy more outfits. A woman feels oh so good in a size 6 as opposed to a two-digit size, but it is after all just an illusion, isn’t it?

I’ve also noticed another sizing problem, somewhat the reverse. Looking for a new winter jacket, I visited several stores and tried on countless styles. Although I was trying on only those marked size large to make sure to have room for a bulky sweater. I found that many restricted the movement of my shoulders. When I pointed that out to a sales person, she simply said that the jacket I was trying on came from China. “Asian sizing” she called it.

Asian large is definitely not the large we’re used to. Many garments made in China come on the market with a smaller sizing (no matter what the label says) no doubt because manufacturers look at petite Chinese women for guidance.

 I ended up buying a jacket made in Italy where sizes appear to be more in line with what I consider normal.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

  People don’t always say or write what they really mean or hear what is really being said.
            Here are a few examples I’ve come across.
<           - Special cocktails for ladies with nuts.
<           - Your cat fell in the mud so I took it to the cleaners. (Hope she doesn’t wear it on her head!)
<           - The bride and broom left in the snow. (And they’ll be able to clear it!)
<           - Open 24/7. Hours of operation 7 am to midnight.
<           - Do you want a copy? Thanks. I don’t drink coffee.
<           - I think it’s important to have a pocket list. (Especially when you’re using a bucket.)
<           - Open seven days a week and on weekends.
<           - The doctor specializes in women and other diseases.
<           - People of different sex, for example, men and women. (???)
<           - Are you an adult who can’t read? Bring this coupon with you.
<           - People are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.
<           - Remark: Sir, your escalator is out of order. Reply: Madam, we only have stairs.
<           - Approval for a third breast implant has been granted.
<           - Our wines will leave you. (???)
<           - So, you were gone until you returned?
<           - If you don’t find your size, we’ll give it to you for free. (?)
<           - Did he kill you?
<           - A new carwash is going up on the next street. Good, I’ll be able to walk to it.
<           - Potluck dinner Saturday night. Prayer and medication to follow.
<           - Reservations required on arrival.
<           - Families welcomed. Children under 12 not admitted.
And so it goes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Keeping the Brain Healthy
We all want to age with a healthy brain and sharp memory, and while we’re pretty sure we know how to reach that objective, it’s nice to be reminded from time to time.
Experts agree that the road to follow to reap benefits includes keeping mentally active, meditating, avoiding stress, being positive and being social. But research also shows that good nutrition and exercise can outweigh less-than-perfect genetics when it comes to avoiding cognitive impairment as we age.
          The latest research shows that keeping the brain healthy starts with a proper weight. We should aim to have a BMI between 18.5 and 25. Those with a BMI over 25 are overweight. BMI charts are available on line so you can easily see where you stand.
          Proper nutrition has been shown to have a positive effect on the brain. Here are some suggestions.
<               - Avoid saturated fat and aim for 25% of your total calories from good fat such as olive oil, avocados, some nuts and fatty fish.
<               - Omega-3 fatty acids, such as in cold water fish, are essential for memory function and brain health. 
<               - Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, should be about 40% of daily food intake.
<               - Avoiding high glycemic carbs such as sugars, processed cereals and salty snacks should be a priority.
<              - Eat whole foods (those with one ingredient), but if you eat convenience foods from time to time, choose items with the least ingredients.
<              - Get to know which foods are antioxydants (such as berries, onions, beans, to name but a few) because they have been proven great for mental function. 
<              - Everyone should stay away from processed foods.
Brain health should be a priority for boomers especially since age-related memory impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease are increasing at an alarming rate. Now 1 in 8 seniors are affected while the disease’s early onset, i.e. before the age of 65, is appearing more frequently.