Free 2 Day Shipping With Amazon Prime

Monday, December 21, 2015

Decreasing Value

Decreasing Value

Another great title for this post could be Disappearing Middle Class.  For some of us that have had a wonderful run in the workforce, and are now retired.  If we prepared adequately (education or training) and either saved money or invested wisely, and had a big helping of good luck.  By good luck I mean not have 80 to 100% of your investments in the stock market around the time of the market collapsed.  For those of us; we are surviving with our heads above water where the finances are concerned.  We don’t even notice our declining finances because we have been adjusting our extracurricular activities.  Examples:  Stop taking the annual vacation to fancy resorts in or out of the country, dropped the Golf Membership at the Country Club, stopped driving the expensive SUV (gas guzzler) and moved into a more economical sedan, Cut down eating out from twice weekly to twice monthly (entertaining more at home), etc., etc.

When my wife and I first got married and even now we like to guess how much our groceries are going to cost while the cashier is processing our groceries.  We like to see how sharp we are at guessing and see who comes the closest to the total cost.  The only prize is the honor of guessing the closest and show off our mathematical genius.  It used to be that a rule of thumb was on average $10 per bag of groceries.

Like everything else the prices have gone up and the size of the bags have gotten smaller.  Coincidence, I don’t think so.  Just like the size of a candy bar got smaller and the price stayed the same for about a year and then they totally lost their shame and raised the prices anyway (have you noticed that the size of a case of pop is now 20 cans instead of 24, yet the price stayed the same or went up).  Earlier this week I was sent out on a grocery run and as often happens, I was in the mood for reflection.  As has been typical since the drought broke in the Northwest, it was a rainy evening.  

After rushing into my car to avoid getting soaked, I noticed that I only carried out two small bags of groceries, and a couple of lose items that were too heavy for the flimsy paper bags with handles that they now sell you for five cents each.  The paper handles on the bags break long before you get home.  Total paid for the few items I purchased was over $50.  That is an average of 25 dollars per bag.  The few items that I carried unbagged were a gallon of milk, ½ gallon of orange juice, and a two liter bottle of pop.

It wasn’t that long ago that I remember buying a five pound sleeve of ground beef for $4.39 today in some stores that’s the price per pound, even more if you buy the 93% fat free.  Today’s price of the cheapest cut of beef (Chuck Roast) is $6.99 per pound.  That used to be the price of Top Sirloin.  The saddest thing is that, the market place ratchets the screws on our budgets so much and so high that when they finally have a sale to draw you into the store, and we are so grateful and reward them with our budget dollars.

I remember that growing up my parents used to look at the weekly sales (printed on paper flyers) and would actually shop the different stores to buy the advertised sales leaders.  I do believe I see those day coming back.  The reason for the high prices is often blamed on the cost of oil (transportation), the drought (lack of irrigation water for agriculture), Global Warming (according to politicians, what happens in Timbuktu affects Cucamonga, California, etc., etc.). 

There will have to be at least two more posts on the subject of what’s making the Middle Class disappear.  I don’t care about all the excuses (reasons) I hear; the number one reason for the high prices is greed and crooked corporations (they raise prices because they can – 200% plus increase in CEO compensation over the last 2 or 3 years).  We can return our country (world) to greatness, but we need to get involved or at least be aware.  The best is yet to come…….

Friday, November 13, 2015

Live and Learn

Live and Learn

At my age I would think, that I would have mastered life’s basic fundamentals for survival.  I still, however, manage to surprise myself now and again.

I pride myself in doing what it takes for self-preservation.  I have an excellent health care team.  The latest computer technology is applied to make sure that my healthcare needs are tracked for best possible results.  I’ve actually had my personal physicians send me an email while vacationing in Florida, because she didn’t like a test result and wanted me to take immediate action to change the outcome.  From my perspective it was something minor:  ever so slight increase in my cholesterol reading.  She said to me in the email:  “Mister, I don’t know what you’ve done different in the last 6 months but I want you to reverse it and watch what you eat so you can reverse the last cholesterol report outcome.  I will have you run some lab work in 60 days to see where you are at.”

I can honestly say that my own mother never paid that much attention to my well-being. While I am extremely pleased with the personal service from my health care team, this post is not about that.

Among other things that I do for self-preservation I visit a chiropractor once or twice a month for the periodic body adjustment, almost always followed by a one hour therapeutic massage.  Please don’t imagine for a moment some shady massage office on the wrong side out of town.  This particular service that I avail myself to is located in my doctor’s office just down the hall.

I’ve been known to ask my doctor, how much would rent cost me to for two or three hours of very relaxing sleep in the massage room.  The ambiance is always perfect, soothing music, nice warm and toasty massage table mattress/pad.  I actually have to try extra hard to stay awake even beyond the punishing deep tissue massage.

Well the point to this lengthy lead up, is that my wife has been complaining lately of lower back pain (she doesn’t tolerate massage therapy).  So since I love her so much, I was trying to find a way to treat her to the relaxation that I experience during massage.  I talked to the masseuse, and she recommended that I go to a specific store, where for much less than $100, I could buy a mattress heated pad with dual controls.

Well, I immediately went shopping and surprised her with my purchase.  She didn’t resist the idea, and has been sleeping comfortably and waking up without the lower back problem.  For some reason, I am disappointed that I had not taken this step long before.  I have received the benefit of chiropractor and massage treatment for at least 25 years and I never thought to replicate the environment from the massage room to my very own home.

If you haven’t thought about it, I would highly recommend that you give it a try.  I know that many people will go out and spend $30 dollars or more for a heating pad or a hot water bottle.  Yet the cost for the mattress heating pad is only a few dollars more.  

This mattress heating pad should come with an extra cautionary warning that I didn’t see anywhere in the box or manual:  You will have the possible danger of wanting to stay in bed all day long, especially during the winter months.  The best is yet to come……..

To P or not to P

To P or not to P

I was on the freeway recently driving and listening to the news on the radio (which I almost never do anymore).  Ever since digital music came along and I can take a large playlist with me, the radio has become obsolete, for me anyway. 

Amongst many topics being discussed there was a discussion on the subject of aggressive panhandling by the homeless population of a city in the State of Washington.  I won’t mention the city but I will say that it wasn’t Seattle.  Don’t get me wrong, Seattle has many problems including a large population of homeless people.  The topic was news worthy because the administration of the particular city was taking steps to deal with the aggressive panhandlers that was driving customers away from the downtown area.

An audio clip of a public hearing was played and a (obvious) homeless activist raised his voice above all others to make the point that there was no restrooms available for the homeless to take care of business.  He pointed out that the merchants didn’t allow non-customers to use their facilities.

I could easily advocate for both sides of the argument.  I have seen the mess that can be left behind when a homeless person uses a merchant’s facility to give themselves a sponge bath and a shave.  I have also seen a merchant threaten to call the police when a couple of men or more locked themselves in a restaurant restroom and leave only after the police threat while leaving behind needles and other drug paraphernalia.

That short radio broadcast got me to thinking about a different scenario.  For those of us that can afford to take in the occasional sporting event costing $150 plus or perhaps a rock concert.  We are pretty confident and comfortable that we can take care of ourselves if Mother Nature should call unexpectedly while we are out and about.
What would be the outcome if we are in a large city (15k population or much larger) and our car gets stolen with our wallet and cell phone in it.  Perhaps we get mugged or pick pocketed and we find ourselves without our precious credit cards and identification.  If you are anything like me, I seldom carry paper money on me (mostly because I have children and grandchildren).

In the case of a scenario like the one described, we are not much better than a homeless person.  I am so dependent on my cellular telephone that I don’t know anyone’s phone number not even my wife or children’s numbers.  I’m not sure that I could tell you what my phone number is.  Even if we did have phone numbers, you can no longer go to the corner pay phone in most cities.

Imagine if you found yourself in downtown Seattle of San Francisco and you wanted to do #1 or worst yet #2, but you don’t have money to buy even a pop or a cup of tea.  You could end up under arrest for relieving yourself at some street corner or even alley.  I realize that I just created a problem out of the blue for me and you.  However, that is an everyday problem for the homeless population in larger cities.  I keep mentioning larger cities because the smaller towns don’t have the homeless population associated with the cities, and besides pretty much any merchant in a small town would offer you the use of their facility, or even offer you a free meal.

I’m sorry to say that I am not offering a solution, just a possible problem.  One solution might be to try to remember a handful of important telephone numbers.  As for Mother Nature calling, Depends (no pun intended).  The best is yet to come……

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Your Money’s Worth

Is it even copper anymore?

It used to be acceptable and almost a compliment to have someone say to you, “A penny for your thoughts?”  Of course that was back when you could buy something for a penny.  While it wasn’t much of a value, it was more value than it is today.  I used to frequently go to a store and if the total of my bill was say $9.56, I would regularly pay with a ten dollar bill and say keep the change and walk away.

That was my way of keeping change out of my pockets that were of questionable value and mostly served to wear out my pockets.  That was my habit, until one day when I ran into the cashier from hell that change me forever.  I was six cents short for the purchase I was making, and I wasn’t allowed to take the product.  Since that time, I must have filled about four - five gallon clear plastic refill drinking water bottles (the kind that you place inverted on your water cooler).  The copper coins go to good use, I allow my granddaughters to share my treasure.

The following is a little lesson about our U.S. Mint and the coins we mostly take for granted, especially with the use of the debit card.

·       The U.S. Mint cut the cost of making the penny by nearly a third over the past two years, but the little copper-coated coin still costs more than a cent to produce.  A new report shows the cost to produce a penny was 1.7 cents in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s down from 2.4 cents in 2011 but still more than face value.  “There are no alternative metal compositions that reduce the manufacturing unit cost of the penny below its face value,” the biennial report to Congress said.
·       The nickel, too, is dead weight for taxpayers. Production costs stood at 8 cents last year, down from 11 cents. The lower cost per coin is largely a result of rising production and reduced metal costs.
·       Other coins turn a profit. A dime costs 3.9 cents to make, and a quarter 9 cents. All together, the Mint made $289.1 million on seigniorage–the difference between the value of the coin and the cost to make it–despite a $90.5 million drag from the penny and nickel.
·       The Mint estimates that switching up the metallic content of coins could save taxpayers $5 million to $57 million a year, though vending, amusement, laundry and other groups with coin operated machines warn that it could cost them billions to reconfigure machinery and make other adjustments needed to accept altered specie, the Mint said. ~ Wall Street Journal – By JEFFREY SPARSHOTT

I realize that what I am about to relate will sound a bit like science fiction, but once upon a time not all that long ago, you could buy a gallon of gasoline by simply putting together 13 of those little copper coins.  You could also buy a McDonald’s Hamburger for 12 pennies, or a Taco Bell crunchy taco for 11 pennies even a 12 ounce pop for 5 pennies.  You could run up a hefty dental bill by over indulging on penny candy.  In the State of Texas you could buy a Texas famous sweet and juicy orange for a penny a piece.  That’s right one hundred for a dollar.  I could go on forever with the value that a penny could add to your life back then.  The best is yet to come…………..

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

To Be or Not to Be

Costume from Hamlet

I know that the title sounds like something out of Hamlet, but it perfectly describes my quandary.  The grandchildren have returned to school after spending the long summer vacation in my care for around 8 hours a day on average.  They are now in the wilds of new school year.

I must admit that I spoiled them as their grandfather is gives me great pleasure to make them the focus of my-everything.  I enjoyed treating them to something special almost every day.  We would go play mini golf, Chuck E. Cheese, Charlie Safari, the mall.  We would eat out at least 3 times in any given week on average.  I purchased games that we could play in the backyard, including a trampoline, and updated the swing set (with slide, and teeter totter) to be more adequate (keep up) with their age.  I even purchased a minivan so that they could ride around in safety and comfort (and they love it, they call it their school bus).

But now enters the Shakespearean title:  after just one day of school, they came home more rambunctious than ever.  I have to keep repeating myself and raising my voice to get their attention.  I want to keep being as they often called me “the greatest grandpa in the world.”  However, I want to get back a semblance of control back.  Even as I write this post, I know that my preference is to maintain the wonderful atmosphere that we developed during the summer vacation.  So my considerations are simple “to be” more strict “or not to be” more strict.  I’ve pretty much decided that the one thing I don’t want to be is like my strict grandmother (maternal side).

For now, I am thinking that I will allow them all the time they need to get used to their new school year, and renewed and new friendships.  Once the newness of the new school year wears out they should return to our special relationship.  If they don’t return, oh well, I guess that’s similar to the progression I experienced with their parents many years ago.  It’s just that so much time has gone by, that I almost forgot.

I share this with you just in case some of you are having the same experiences.  Be patient and know that the bottom line is, they are your grandchildren and they love you with all their little hearts, and you love them more than anything.  This experience is all new to them.  I am pleased that they went back to school and took to the new school year like fish to water.  In the meantime I am trying to renew projects that were laid aside during the long (what now looks like short) months of summer vacation.  The best is yet to come………….

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Reflection Time

Reflection Time
As we are about to change seasons once again this time from Summer to Autumn (Fall) perhaps it would be a good time for reflection.  Summer is the fast paced season of the year.  The time to enjoy the full throttle pace going from winter and spring weather into hot summer weather.  The warm sunrays give the human body energy and a good all-around feeling, especially to those of us over 50 years of age. The summer also gives us the fast pace of having the children and grandchildren around us to provide the extra energy of always doing something or going somewhere.

The arrival of autumn on the other hand coincides with the return of the school year, and after school activities such as sports, music and dance lessons.  So for us, the demand on the responsible adults, diminishes rather drastically.  For those of us that enjoy having the children around the change is difficult, and will require about a week or two before we can adjust to the routine change.
While many changes are taking place, it’s not something new, it happens every year at the same time.  Someday soon the children will outgrow the need for the additional school vacation attention, and I know that I for one, will miss having them in my life demanding my time.  The high degree of interaction is still needed but in different areas.  We need to always be on the lookout for those subtle changes that will allow us to stay close to our beloved little ones.

This slowing down of demand on our personal time will allow us to get on with the continued responsibility to our friendships that may have taken a back seat to the needs of the young ones in our families.  I’ve always been responsible to follow up and otherwise maintain those friendships that have endured and carried me throughout life.  The feeling of responsibility was instilled in me since I first read an obscured poem that I read back in the mid 1970’s:                  

Around The Corner by Charles Hanson Towne
Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him",
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Don’t forget or ignore your friends, they are a precious part of your life, and like all things valuable, they don’t last forever.  The best is yet to come………..

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back in Time

Back in Time

Have you ever felt like re-living a particular event in your life because looking back it was exciting, fun, special or otherwise a pivotal event in your life?  We all have a very special tool in our utility belt best known as our ability of recall through the use of memory.  Some of us are able to glean positive recollection while others opt to recall a mix that includes depressing moments in time.  It takes a special talent to stay upbeat, and always look for the positive.

You could say that I am the person you always hear about that sees the glass half full instead of half empty.  I personally know individuals that refuse to move forward until an issue of many years past is settled.  I on the other hand believe in cutting my losses in order to continually move forward.
I recently (just this past week) purchased an expensive piece of exercise equipment for one tenth of its original value (still in like new condition).  I had to travel over 60 miles to pick it up, and am grateful for my son in-law’s assistance because the equipment weighed right around 200 pounds.  I will take this opportunity to brag up my son in-law of 10 years.  He is a return Marine, making his way in private sector advancing by leaps and bounds.  He and my daughter met while attending college, and they have built together an enviable life for themselves and their two children.  What I like the most about this young man is that like me, he is always Johnny on the spot ready to serve others.

We drove in one of my sons’ cargo vans to pick up the equipment purchase.  Removing the equipment from the private residence’s basement and loading it into the cargo van was an extreme workout in itself.  Once loaded into the van, I took a long hard look at the situation before me, and even talked about it.  I remember telling my son in-law, what do you think, the equipment is so heavy I doubt it will slide of shift.  We agreed, said our goodbyes and drove into the stormy night for the return home.

Not more than 15 miles into the return trip, there was an accident on the freeway with about 6 emergency vehicles lights lighting up the scene, and creating a bottle neck in traffic.  Traffic went from 65 to 70 miles per hour to a standstill.  My son in-law from the passenger seat exclaimed “oh s**t!” as he placed his hands on the dash and I applied the brakes evermore firmly.  I managed a gradual but steady stop missing the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of us by about 10 inches.  The last thing I heard as I stopped was the slide and crash of the exercise equipment against the divider that separates the cargo area from the cab.

Talk about a mixed feelings of relief from stopping in time and avoiding a collision to knowing that the equipment I had just purchase must be damaged. A negative person would have been upset at the damage to the equipment.  I on the other hand (Mr. Glass is half full) said a silent prayer because easily things could have been much worst.  If the cargo van had not had a partition between the cargo area and the cab, we might have become part of the headlines of a fatal freeway accident.

The electronic console of the exercise equipment was damaged but miraculously still works.  Even in its present condition it’s still worth more than what I paid for it.  Important lesson, always buy at the right price, in case something goes wrong. On a foot note: the cost to replace the damaged electronic console is 5 times what I paid for the whole unit.  

The “Back in Time” title to this post is where I’ve actually lost sleep trying to re-live the moment when I made the decision not to tie down the equipment (we actually had the material needed in the van for the job).  For me to voice my thoughts at the time is a sign that a sixth sense was telling me to do otherwise. I will definitely err on the side of caution next time and every time.  If only I could go back in time or take it back.  Simply trying to figure a way to go back and change it, but I don’t really waste my time with regret.  What’s done is done, cut your losses and move on.  The best is yet to come…..

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Crime or Stupidity

1953 Corvette 

Before I even get into the body of this post, let me clarify that I am not looking for absolution especially because the statute of limitations is long past.  Back in the early high school years when I purchased my first car (used1956 Ford Victoria) in the early 60’s, I was the man (at least one of three).  The best 3 cars at my high school (in order of bragging rights) were a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster (Ron’s family owned and operated the local Funeral Home) (side note:  I hated wrestling against him during team practice because whenever he applied or attempted to apply a half-nelson his hands would be near my face and they smelled of formaldehyde), the second car was a 1956 Ford Thunderbird (Dave’s parents owned a couple of used car lots), the third car was my car 1956 Ford Victoria with a moon roof.  I worked hard for my car.

One of my best friends (also Hispanic) at the time liked my car so much that he bought a car just like mine but a year older (1955) and the same color.  Well, the stage is set for the question of Crime or Stupidity.

One fine weekend I was driving in a neighboring small town, and had the opportunity to show off in front if some young men from a rival high school, and I did.  I floored the gas pedal as I took off from an intersection (with some gravel at the stop sign).  As I took off, making lots of noise with my Cherry Bomb Glasspack dual exhaust mufflers, the car fishtailed and I know the guys were impressed.  Unfortunately two blocks later a local police officer pulled me over sirens blasting and all.

I must admit my legs felt weak, but I was able to control all my other bodily functions (James Dean or Marlon Brando I wasn’t).  Actually whenever I drove my car, I felt more like Robert Mitchum (the character from Thunder Road).  I had a split second to decide what I was going to do or say and that is where Stupidity comes in.  When the office approached my window he noticed I was very young and he decided to pile it on.  His first question was; “Was that you making all that racket I heard?”
I was trying to be firm but polite and didn’t want to further aggravate him.  I said, I don’t know what you heard, but I did spin my tires taking off from a stop sign a couple of blocks back due to some gravel at the intersection.

He said you weren’t taking off, you mean blasting off.  He next asked me for my driver’s license, and this is where I decided to lie.  I said I didn’t have my wallet with me.  I had left it at home when I changed pants.  He asked me for my name, and I gave him the name of my best friend (the one that owned a car like mine).  When he asked for an address, I gave him my friends address.
He said since I didn’t see you making all that noise and driving recklessly, I’m going to let you get off with a warning, but I will keep your name on the dash of my patrol car, and if I ever stop you again, I will throw the book at you. 

I’ve never told this to anyone, because I wasn’t proud of myself, but at this point I really didn’t want to take it to my grave.  As guilty as I feel I still wouldn’t dare confess to my friend.  Life has been great, now that the slate is clean, I can consider myself an honorable man again.  The best is yet to come……….. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back to School

It's Baaaaack!

Parting is such sweet sorrow.  Many emotions including memories come to mind this time of year.  I remember that I hated leaving the comfort of my home and the side of my mother to go to school for the whole day.  My parents were decently well of financially and so it is that I was enrolled in private school at the tender age of four.

A few days into the school year I finally became comfortable around my school mates and teachers.  So much so that by the end of the day, I almost hated to leave their company.  There again the minute I see my mother, I would forget the school friendships and teachers, and so went the early grades.  Having experienced parenthood since then, I now understand that this coming and going activity actually was for my own good, and actually pained my mother much more than it did me.
As the grades progressed you actually became not only smarter but prouder about all the things you were learning, and being able to understand so much about the world we lived in.  In short order we advanced into sports and other competitions such as Spelling Bees, and School Debates.  Accumulating Blue Ribbons, and certificates of accomplishment, and general recognition including lettering in sports.

The last half of junior high, or middle school as it is now known, you develop and interest in the opposite sex.  For sure this made summer break that much more difficult.  Not being able to see your special person of interest every day for the duration of summer.  However, because you did have a telephone number or email (now) your summer was bearable.  Besides you’ve heard the old saying about how “absence makes the heart grow.)  Unfortunately, education (classes) takes a backseat to the relationship that has grown during the summer with minimal distractions from school mates or classes.

End of summer and back to school, as the weeks and days grow closer you actually begin to feel a nervous stomach, but like everything else you get over it.  Your parents without letting you know, are actually happy that you will be going back to school and kept busy and supervised by someone other than them. This routine goes on year after year, and for some of us school becomes more fun than challenge. We begin to plan for college, and the possibility that our person of interest will attend the same college or maybe not.

Fast forward many years later:  we have gone past the stage of being the parent and raising our children through the same educational process.  Now we help do it all over again, only now as grandparents.  I have had grandchildren graduate from the university but the early preschool and kindergarten never gets old.  It continuous to be a challenge both physical and emotional.

When the school year was ending last spring, I remember dreading having to adjust my schedule from dropping them off at school and picking them after school intermittently (because their parents also took turns) to being Grandpa full time Activity Director for the summer. Now, however, I am only days away from having the majority of the days to myself once again until summer break.  I must confess, it’s not a great feeling.  I will miss all the company that I’ve had for almost 3 months.  The development of the little minds that I experienced firsthand answering their barrage of question about anything and everything.  The requests for a special meal for lunch, or a special trip to buy yogurt or ice cream at some drive-up window, even though the freezer is well supplied.  Maybe a couple of hours at the local park or an hour going for a bike ride, something is always happening.  As the saying goes never a dull moment.

I know that I am blessed, but I can only hope that the blessing will include watching them celebrate their university graduation, and even seeing them get married.  For now I’m not sure that I am ready for a world that has only adults for most of the day.  I am ready for missing the running around the house, and the questions about what are we having for lunch?  The beauty of the whole experience among other highlights is when my 5 year old granddaughter tells me that I am “the greatest cooker in the world.” She adds that I should go on television on the Chef Shows because I would win for sure.  When I ask her what my TV name should be, she quickly responds, “Chef Grandpa.”  I’m sure that I am not the only one that goes through these emotions, but I do know that the best is yet to come…….

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cause for Concern

Wes Craven 1939-2015

I don’t necessarily feel that this is a trend that we should worry about, but we should certainly at least stop and see what’s going on.  During the last week of August (August 29th and 30th to be exact) two very popular and loved icons died in what I consider to be, way too young.

·       Wes Craven (8/02/1939 to 8/30/2015), the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream Franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer.  He was 76. 
·       Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced.  Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iva Labunka.

Wayne Walter Dyer 1940-2015

  • Wayne Walter Dyer (5/10/1940 to 8/29/2015) was an American self-help author and motivational speaker. His first book Your Erroneous Zones is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 35 million copies sold. ~ Wikipedia
  • Dyer was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2009 but claimed to have treated it with positive thinking, daily exercise and "psychic surgery" performed remotely by the Brazilian medium João Teixeira de Faria, better known as "John of God." He detailed the controversial treatment in an interview with Oprah Winfrey — for whom he was a friend and frequent guest for more than 30 years — in 2012.
We can hopefully take this as a sign that we need to stay current on our personal and loved one’s health.  Some illnesses are avoidable and/or treatable others that are terminal may allow us additional time with loved ones if we become aware early enough.

I’ve said it before there are two professionals in our lives that we would do well to communicate with, our health care providers and the Internal Revenue Service.  In these two instances no surprises is good policy.  Rest In Peace to the two fine gentlemen that we just lost.  The best is yet to come……

Friday, August 7, 2015

Senior Moments

Senior Moments

·       Creeping into our everyday vocabulary over the past few years, the term "senior moment" is now the chief lament of midlife adults who fear they are losing their memory. You've probably used this term yourself on at least one occasion. Perhaps you forgot where you put your keys, blanked on the name of an acquaintance or couldn't recall whether you turned off the oven after you left the house. "I'm having a senior moment!" you mutter to yourself or complain to your friends. Although you're probably half kidding, that other half secretly fears that you're showing the early signs of serious memory loss.
·       Fear of developing memory loss is a common concern of people 55 and older. In research I conducted a number of years ago on people's concerns about aging, I found that the number one age-related change that people feared the most was changes in their memory.~ Susan Krauss Whitbourne Professor of Psychology

While we May all chuckle or laugh out loud about “senior moment’ situations, we need to realize that the problem can be very serious or not, depending on the causes for the lapse in memory.

The most serious could be the advent of Alzheimer’s which according to news articles is neither preventable nor treatable.  However, there are other forms of Dementia that are treatable.  There are also other competing causes of memory loss other than dementia. Here is a partial list: preventable and treatable memory loss and should be addressed as quickly as convenient.  Some causes of memory loss other than dementia can be: stress, lack of sleep, depression, and side effects from medications.

In my own personal experience I find that my thinking process is foggy at best when I haven’t had a good night’s sleep.  I can still think things out but the process is slower and I actually know that I am working harder at it.  As an example, if I want to think of the title of a song, but it doesn’t come to me easily (we’ve all heard someone say, it’s on the tip of my tongue but I can’t come up with it) that’s when I ask my wife for a clue after telling her the artist name, if she can’t help I google the artist and his song list will come up.

Whenever I am stressed over a deadline I also don’t have as clear thinking as I normally do.  For now I relay on associations to come up with the information before I ask for help.  I prefer not to let many people into the fact that I am struggling at the moment.  I actually do mental exercises and play board games with the family that give my mind a workout.

It seems that only last month if I was extremely tired I would slow down in every aspect of activity, now more and more I am finding that when I reach the wall I need to be aware cause it’s like running out of batteries.  I don’t want people to see me dosing off, so I need to be aware of my low battery gauge.  I use my last bit of mental ability to make myself aware that I am 5 minutes from hitting the proverbial wall, and thus make a proper (acceptable) quick exit. Just like older computers have to be maintained and periodically defragmented, so do our minds so we can keep it in service much longer.

Here are some foods that will help to strengthen your brain in the memory department according to Carol Sorgen Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD  (  Blueberries, Wild Salmon, nuts and seeds, and avocados.
We need to do all we can to keep our mind active and not give in if at all possible to declining memory.  The best is yet to come…………..