Unique DIY Ornaments

Well, here in the states, the days are closing in.  Christmas is just around the corner.  To be honest, I’ve been busy since before Thanksgiving.  I don’t like crowds in a GOOD year.  So, I try to get a jump on Christmas before everyone panics and is out in droves. 

I did a lot of shopping online this year.  As it turns out, so did many others and thankfully having websites with Wealthy Affiliate allowed me to benefit from this. People bought from links on my website(s).  In any case, shopping online saved time and I was able to do a lot of DIY this year. 

I made all my Christmas cards and little gifts for my bookclub members.  This reminded me of making ornaments with my kids.  We had SO much fun and I wish I had taken more photos of the actual ornaments.  However, here are my 2 lefties making them SO many years ago.

Intense work – lol
So serious!

Salt Dough Ornaments:

  • 2 cu flour
  • 1 cu salt
  • 1 cu warm water

In large bowl, mix flour and salt.  Slowly add water while stirring until a ball forms.  Knead by hand on a floured surface. 

Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and use cookie cutters to make shapes OR use like clay and form objects.  I remember we made Eskimo people.  We used a garlic press to squeez some of the dough through for hair or fur around their parkas. 

Use a straw to make a hole in the top or break a paperclip apart and insert a piece in the top of your ornament.

Bake at 250 degrees F for 1-2 hrs until hardened.  Cool completely

Paint to decorate.  We used polyurethane to seal them.  Careful this should be used in a ventilated area.  String a ribbon through the hole to hang. 

These ornaments lasted MANY MANY years!!!!!


– a mask for 2020 or how about a roll of TP

– simply a plain round ornament and on one side write all the BAD that came out of 2020 and on the other side, all the GOOD. 

Cinnamon Ornaments:

  • ¾ cu applesauce
  • 2 bottles cinnamon (I always used McCormick)

Mix applesauce and cinnamon in bowl until a smooth ball forms.  Using about ¼ of the dough at a time, roll dough to ¼ inch thick.  Some suggest rolling between 2 sheets of plastic wrap but I never did. 

Cut dough into desired shape(s) with cookie cutters.  For some reason, I usually did hearts or stars. 

Use a straw to make a hole in the top.  Bake on 200 degrees F for about 2.5 hrs.  Cool on wire rack OR (my plan) dry ornaments at room temperature on wire rack for 1-2 days.  Turn occasionally.  It made the house smell SOOOO good.  Just like those pinecones you buy.

Paint if desired (but I never did).  Insert ribbon in holes to hang.

These are 2 DIY and easy ornaments that you can do with grandkids OR just by yourself. Give them to family and friends. People love handmade gifts.  They can be personalized with stamp sets or simply your own writing.  Think outside the box and most of all HAVE FUN! 

If we have to be in, let’s have FUN!!!!

Show me what you’ve created!!!!

Your thoughts and comments are important to me. Please share.



Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior and

Scrapbooking for Anyone

Friday 13th

Well, here we are on Friday the 13th in 2020.  Are you superstitious? Even if you’re not, perhaps you should be this year.  I’m not. I look for the silver lining and today the good news is that this is also KINDNESS DAY. 

I don’t know who makes these days up or how they come to be but this is the word on the street.  So, what does this mean?  With the year that many of us have had, we can take one day to focus on being kind. You never know what a simple smile or hello could mean to someone. 

I thought today would be a perfect day to share this as well.  A friend posted it on FB and I don’t know about you, but I needed it.   So without further ado:

I asked one of my friends who has crossed 70 & is heading to 80 what sort of changes he is feeling in himself?  He sent me the following very interesting lines, which I would like to share with you ….

#1 After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends, now I have started loving myself.

#2 I just realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.

#3 I now stopped bargaining with vegetables & fruits vendors. A few pennies more is not going to burn a hole in my pocket but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.

#4 I pay my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than me.

#5 I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already narrated that story many times. The story makes them walk down the memory lane & relive the past.

#6 I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.

#7 I give compliments freely & generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say “Thank You”

#8 I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.

#9 I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.

#10 I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat & neither am I in any race.

#11 I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.

#12 I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships I will never be alone.

#13 I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.

#14 I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!

I decided to send this to all my friends. Why do we have to wait to be 70 or 80, why can’t we practice this at any stage and age….

I stole this, I don’t know who to credit it to, but thank you!

Since this was on FB with a “share” button, I thought it would be safe to repost here. Let’s not only be kind to others but also kind to ourselves! Sometimes we’re harder on ourselves than we would be with a friend or even a stranger. Happy Friday 13th AND Kindness Day!!!!

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged!!!!

Until next time,



Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior and Scrapbooking for Anyone

Fun Activity for Family

Enough about knee replacements Let’s talk about a fun activity for adults.  I suppose every age category has it’s own fun activity.  I know my teen fun activities are NOT what I want to be doing today!!!!  Lol 

Today I want to talk about Geocaching.  This is actually something that the entire family can enjoy no matter what the age.  It’s fun to do with grandkids.  It also gets them away from the computer and out in nature.  It’s a good yet not strenuous exercise for us.

So, what is it?  Geocaching is basically an outoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices.  Yes, the treasure hunting (or hide and seek game) has become more upscale than when we were kids.  The idea is to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and find the geocache (container) hidden in that location. 

The first time I became aware of it, I was on a hike with friends and we were climbing one of the fire towers.  A family came along and I thought they lost something.  However, they explained geocaching to me and showed me the cache they found on one of the legs of the tower.  The kids were very excited.

What do I need?                                         

  • a GPS device or a fully charged GPS enabled mobile phone (I used my Android smart phone) so that you can navigate to the cache Please note: Some state parks have kits you can rent.  If you use your phone, use airplane mode to save battery life. 
  • Geocaching membership – Basic is free
  • “Handle” name
  • App – on phone, go to Playstore look for c:geo, download app (Android) or cachly (IPhone)

How do I play?                                 

  • Register for membership (see above)
  • Visit “Hide & See a Cache” page
  • Enter your postal code and click “search”
  • Choose any geocache from the list and click on the name
  • Enter the given coordinates into your GPS device
  • Use your GPS device to help you find the hidden cache
  • Sign the logbook inside and return cache exactly where you found it
  • You are also welcome to leave something of your own in the cache (something small)
  • You can write about your experience at the geocaching website. 

Where are caches?

Caches can be found all over the world!!!!  I had a friend who searched and found some when she visited Israel.  The locations can be quite diverse. They can be from on top of a mountain to a WalMart parking lot.  One of my obsessed friends made us search a parking garage one time and was NOT leaving until we found the cache.  We did but I can tell you, I was not excited about the area. 

This brings me to something else.  As with any outdoor activity, it’s best to go with another person.  You just never know these days. I mean you can stumble on a path or get yourself into a dangerous position.  Just be aware of your surroundings. 

What kind of containers am I looking for?

I’ve seen many different kinds of containers such as ammo cans, tupperware containers, big pill bottles, empty film canisters or anything that can sustain weather really.  Whatever they are, they will be big enough to contain a logbook.  I’ve seen little books or just a bunch of papers stapled together.  Larger containers may contain items for trade.  You take something out and put something back of equal or greater value.

Pin in cache

Regarding those items for trade caches – put something in that everyone can enjoy (ie no alcohol, dangerous objects).  Don’t use food either since animals can find and destroy cache.  I’ve seen people put lapel type pins in like this one that I have.

Of course, there’s a market and collectors of these. 

Different kinds of caches?

  • Traditional geocache (explained above)
  • Mystery or Puzzle caches – these involve logic, math, clues or signs to dertermine the correct coordinates
  • Multi-Cache – these involve 2 or more locations and the final destination is where the actual cache is located. 
  • Earth Cache – this is a special geological location where you can learn more about the earth and it actually has it’s own site http://www.earthcache.org/
  • Letterbox Hybrid – this uses clues instead of coordinates and the caches contain a stamp that remains in the box but is used to record visits
  • Event Cache – gathering of local geocachers.  A specific time is established and coordinates are provided
  • Cache In Trash Out – environmentally based and are normally larger gatherings of geocachers that focus on litter or vegetation clean up.  Many hiking clubs do this as well.

As you can see, Geocaching has become a big thing.  Now, I’m not good with directions on a good day.  I can get lost if you turn me around too many times.  However, I CAN use a GPS and am THANKFUL for GPS.  So, it’s not that hard to use if I can do it, anyone can. 

I have only done this a few times and it’s been fun.  However, I do have friends that are serious about this and some even plan their vacations based on caches they have not found even in other countries.  To me, that’s a little extreme but if that makes them happy, that’s all that counts.

So, if you’re looking for something to do while it’s still nice out, you might want to give this a try and take the kids!  It will let them burn energy because, if you’re like me, you can’t keep up with those grands.  It also might lead you to interesting places that you never thought about going to. 

If you go, let me know what you think and if you found and goodies! 

Comments and thoughts are welcome and encouraged!



Founder of Not Your Mamas Senior and Scrapbooking For Anyone

Knee Replacement – What to Expect

Last week I posted an article on how to decide if you were ready for Total Knee replacement.  This is a follow on to that. You and your doctor decide that it IS time for a total knee replacement.  Remember there are things you should try first AND don’t be afraid to check with more than one doctor. 

I had 2 very different experiences with 2 different doctors for the same knee!!! Their approach to the surgery was even very different.  Who knew??? 

Dr 1 procedure (traditional):

  • All the normal pre surgery tests need to be done to determine if you are healthy enough for the surgery.  For me – chest X-Rays, EKG and bloodwork
  • Get any prescriptions needed after surgery beforehand
  • Enter hospital
  • Determine anesthesia – general, spinal or regional nerve block. Any anesthesia has risk but PUT ME OUT!
  • Surgeon makes an incision (6-10 inches )over the front of the knee to expose the joint
  • Replace the damaged tissue with new components that mimics your original knee
  • After surgery you will have pain (that’s normal) but the dr may give you a nerve block during the surgery to help with immediate pain
  • Your knee might be placed in a continuous passive motion machine (CPM) that will extend and flex your leg while lying down. 
  • Recovery – most people will be up walking within 24 hrs with the aid of a walker.  They like to get you moving quickly.
  • You will be helped with learning to walk and how to navigate
  • Most people are discharged (pending no issues) 2-3 days after surgery
  • Physical Therapy continues for several weeks.  You really need someone to help you at home or do rehab in a nursing facility for a short time depending on how much you can do yourself. 
  • Sometimes you need a CPM machine to use at home to increase knee motion
  • Most people recover with 3 months although for some it may take 6 months.  I’ve seen both.

Dr 2 procedure (this is what I went with):

  • Counseling about the procedure. I was given a book that was required reading and given a CD where I could watch how the surgery was to be done (Ummmm, no NOT for ME – didn’t care)
  • Steps from pre surgery tests to surgery were the same but please note that much of the surgery done by this dr is done in a medical facility unless patient has potential complications that might require hospital involvement but due to COVID, the facility was not open so I did use the hospital.
  • BIG DIFFERENCE – Procedure is done as OUTPATIENT surgery!
  • Dr gave me a pain block during surgery so I didn’t feel pain for a while.
  • I also went home with a medicine ball that was attached to a tiny catheter in my thigh. I could turn the dial on the ball and get pain meds.  Theoretically you can take the catheter out yourself after 4 days but I had to call an EMT friend to do it while I was distracted.
Medicine Ball
  • No machines, I woke up from anesthesia and was on a walker immediately.
  • The book I was initially given had exercises in that I was required to do when I got home. NO PHYSICAL THERAPY.  I will list these exercises below.
  • This seems to be a fairly new procedure and it is called “SwiftPath
  • The BAD thing about this is that it is not done in very many places yet.  Not to sound cynical, but the other procedure, while it achieves the same results, costs quite a bit more for the Hospital stay plus Physical Therapy.

Having said that, you MUST be diciplined to DO THE exercises HOURLY!  My mother in law did not and she is still having issues.  These exercises are from Allina Health but I modified them to be he same as the ones I was given. I was given access to a video and website after surgery with all the information/exercises I needed.


For Swelling

Rest and elevate

  • Lie down with your surgical leg at or above the level of your heart for 20 minutes.
  • You may place two to three pillows lengthwise beneath your surgical leg if you have an increase in swelling. Call your surgeon if you are concerned about the amount of swelling you have or if your swelling does not improve.


  • While you are resting and elevating, place cold packs around your knee for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Place a clean, dry towel or pillowcase between your skin and the cold pack.

Do the following exercises each 10 times each hour.  Takes about 20 min.

1-Ankle pumps and circles

Pump your feet up and down by pulling your feet up toward you, then pushing your feet down away from you.

2-Knee straightening stretch (sitting knee extension)

Sit on a sturdy chair with your lower leg on an equal height chair or solid surface in front of you. Relax your muscles to let your knee straighten. You should feel a gentle stretch on the back of your knee.

3-Knee bending stretch (sitting knee flexion)

Step 1: Sit toward the front of a sturdy chair. Bend your knee by slowly sliding your foot back-and-forth, resting briefly as needed. Try to move your foot back farther each time as you are able. You can use your hands to help. Do this for a few minutes as a warm up. You may want to use a plastic bag under your foot to help it slide easier.

Step 2: Slowly bend your knee back until you feel a gentle stretch. Scoot your body forward on the chair to increase the stretch as you are able. Your heel may lift from the floor but do not lift your hip. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and relax. 

The stretching should be more slow and gentle than fast and forceful. Try to keep your muscle relaxed throughout the exercise.

4-Heel slides (hip and knee flexion)

Bend your surgical hip and knee by sliding your heel up toward your buttocks while keeping your heel on the bed. Slide your heel back down to the starting position and relax. Keep your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling during the exercise. You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.

5-Leg slides (abduction/adduction)

Slide your surgical leg out to the side, keeping your kneecap pointed up toward the ceiling. Slide your leg back to the starting position. You may want to use a plastic bag under your heel to help it slide easier.

If you’re like me, you look at this and say that’s 40 min out of EVERY HR of the day that I’m awake!!!!!  WOW.  That’s a LOT.  It is but it is SO worth it. Just think of all the time/money you save by NOT going to PT. 


You might have to use the walker, but make sure you walk around as much as possible.

PLEASE BEWARE.  There are a couple GRAPHIC photos here (at least to me).  Perhaps I’m just squimish.  I don’t even do blood very well. 

Bandage after surgery
Bandage Off

Meds/Supplements:  7 days before surgery I was asked to stop NSAIDs and my Vit E.  Of course, you’ll have to tell the dr all the meds/supplements you take and the dr can work out what’s best for you and your situation. 

The meds/supplements I had to take after were very minimal.  Tramadol for pain, Extra Strength Tylenol, Gabapentin (an anti-convulsant), Meloxicam (anti inflammatory) and Vit D. 

These are MY 2 experiences with 2 different doctors.  The first doctor I used for my hip replacement and it went very well. 

The second dr I found through a friend and I was VERY pleased.  I do understand not everyone can GET to a dr that uses the SwiftPath approach. It’s not a common procedure yet. Maybe you’re not even comfortable with this approach.  Everyone is different.  After talking to a friend of mine, she felt better using a doctor who used the traditional approach but she did the exercises that I did and that’s working really well for her.  You MUST be comfortable and confident with your doctor!

As I said last time, this is MY experience.  Many people have asked me about it so I wanted to share with all of you.  If I can give you some insight into all of this or some other options to think about — great, I’ve accomplished my purpose. 

How to prepare for home recovery:

-If you live in a multistory house, have a space on the ground floor when you first get home.  I went upstairs after the first week

-Free the space of any obstruction such as area rugs, furniture or clutter

-Make sure you have good handrails where needed

-Think about a grab bar in the shower

-Also think about a raised toilet seat if you’re really having issues

If you do the exercises and walk, you should be back to “normal” in no time.  They still suggest you don’t run or jog although that’s not an issue for me.  I’m only going to run if someone is chasing me with a knife!!!!!  It does feel weird, but I can even kneel on mine but I’m gentle. 

I understand that the quality of these replacement knees has improved and they should last for a number of years.  It feels SOOO good to be able to hike again without pain.  I’m so glad I did it.

PLEASE NOTE once again:  This is NOT medical advice, this is from MY experience.  Knee Replacement is an important decision and it should be made with your doctor!

I hope this helped you. PLEASE let me know if you have any questions. The whole purpose of my site is to exchange information and/or help.

Comments/Thoughts are welcomed and encouraged.



Ready for Knee Replacement?

I know this post is overdue but I was helping my elderly mother-in-law.  Why is it that the older I get, the older “OLD” is?

Anyway, I wanted to share some thoughts and my experience with total knee replacement.  Please NOTE:  This is by NO means a recomendation for you per se. It is MY PERSONAL experience with knee replacement and some information I found helpful.   I just share it because I did a lot of research and trial/error and I want to help others to possibly avoid that. 

This might take a few posts.  Knee replacement is not to be taken lightly and should not be the first option when you feel pain.  There are things you can do such as:

Lose weight and exercise if you’re overweight (I was)

I was told that for every 10 lbs I lost, that was 40 lbs less force pressing on my knee.  Losing weight helped a lot. Some of my activities were: 

          –walking with a knee brace or kinesiology tape (tape supports muscles to relieve pain and reduce inflammation – it comes in many pretty colors/patterns)

          –bike riding – again with a knee brace or kinesiology tape

          –strength training – be careful with the weight though

          –water aerobics – this felt about the best

          –yoga but then I can’t live without my yoga

          –tai chi was suggested but I’m not a fan although I know many are

Physical Therapy

They can help you with a plan to strengthen the muscles around your knee and be there to not only make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly but monitor your progress.

OTC Medications & Supplements

Options I tried:

          –Excedrin (acetaminopen and NSAID) but I took so much it made my stomach bleed

          –Advil (NSAID) again bleeding

          –Tylenol (acetaminopen) worked for a while

          –Topical creams that have capsaicin which also provide temporary relief

          –Osteo BiFlex  – no help

          –Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate  – no help

          –Revival Balm from Lemongrass Spa

          –Bio Freeze –  temporary relief

          –Deep Blue from DoTerra – temporary relief

          –Green Deva Massage Oil which was an essential oil blend  – temporary relief

There are many more options available and they MAY work well for you.

Corticosteriod Injection

This was an injection right into the knee.  It wasn’t painful to get.  It supposedly helped with inflammation and pain.  For many, this will work and relief will last for several weeks.  It’s a great option. 


This is an ancient Chinese technique that uses thin needles injected into your knee to change the flow of energy within your body.  While it sounds kind of creepy and painful to get needles put into your body, you really don’t feel them.  It can take several sessions for them to work and most insurance companies don’t cover the cost. 

I was offered Prolotherapy which is where the dr injects a solution into the ligament to increase blood flow and supply nutrients.  It takes several injections about 4 weeks apart and there is no guarantees.  I opted out of that AND an injection for a pain block.  I felt the pain block was just a bandaid cure. 

There are other options that I’ve read about but did not try such as:

Arthroscopic Surgery

This is where the surgeon uses a small incision to operate on the inside of the knee,  It can be used for a torn meniscus, damaged cartliage or repair ligaments. 

Stem Cell Treatment

I read where they use bone marrow stem cells to help regenerate cartilage. 

I’m sure there is or will be more options as us baby boomers continue to age and research continues.  Remember this is a big money maker for all those involved with treatment. 

I went to the doctor, he took X-rays.  When I saw the X-rays, I could see that my cartliage (the cushion between my knee bones) was pretty much gone.  I was bone on bone.   

With anything this important, always weigh your options before you opt for invasive surgery.  So, when IS the time?


-Knee pain can cause you to walk in such a way that it will affect other parts of your body because you will favor the knee.

-If you have difficulty in just accomplishing normal tasks due to pain – like walking to the mailbox

-Your overall health is getting bad  due to your increasing sedentary lifestyle

-Bottomline – is it affecting your quality of life????  

I found this Questionnaire online from Healthline: Osteoarthritis Newsletter  I thought it was really helpful:


For each question, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5. The total may help you and your doctor decide whether a knee replacement is a suitable option for you.

1. Overall level of pain

How would you describe your overall pain level?

1Slight pain and/or no trouble
2Slight pain and/or little trouble
3Moderate pain and/or moderate trouble
4Serious pain and/or extreme difficulty
5Severe pain and/or impossible

2. Pain and difficulty bathing

How difficult is it for you to bathe and dry yourself?

1Slight pain and/or no trouble
2Slight pain and/or little trouble
3Moderate pain and/or moderate trouble
4Serious pain and/or extreme difficulty
5Severe pain and/or impossible

3. Using transportation

How much pain and difficulty do you experience when getting in and out of a car, operating a vehicle, or using public transportation?

1Slight pain and/or no trouble
2Slight pain and/or little trouble
3Moderate pain and/or moderate trouble
4Serious pain and/or extreme difficulty
5Severe pain and/or impossible

4. Walking capacity

How long can you walk, with or without a cane, before experiencing severe knee pain?

1Longer than 30 minutes
216–30 minutes
35–15 minutes
4Less than 5 minutes
5Can’t walk without severe pain

5. Standing up

After sitting in a chair or at a table and then getting up to stand, what level of pain do you experience?

1Slight pain and/or no trouble
2Slight pain and/or little trouble
3Moderate pain and/or moderate trouble
4Serious pain and/or extreme difficulty
5Severe pain and/or impossible

6. Pain while walking

Does the pain in your knee cause you to limp while walking?

1Rarely or never
2Occasionally or only when first starting to walk
4Most of the time

7. Kneeling down

Are you able to kneel down and get back up easily afterward?

1Yes, without any problem
2Yes, with slight difficulty
3Yes, with moderate difficulty
4Yes, with extreme difficulty
5Not possible

8. Sleep

Does your knee pain interfere with sleep?

2Once in a while
3Some nights
4Most nights
5Every night

9. Work and housework

Are you able to work and do housework?

1Yes, with minimal or no problem
2Yes, most of the time
3Yes, fairly often
5Rarely or never

10. Knee stability

Does your knee ever feel as though it’s going to give way?

1Not at all
3Fairly often
4Most of the time
5All of the time

11. Household shopping

Are you able to do household shopping?

1Yes, with minimal or no problem
2Yes, most of the time
3Yes, fairly often
5Rarely or never

12. Managing stairs

Are you able to walk down a flight of stairs?

1Yes, with minimal or no problem
2Yes, most of the time
3Yes, fairly often
5Rarely or never


Final Score = ______________ (Add your score from above.)


  • 54 or higher: indicates that your condition is fairly severe
  • 43 to 53: indicates that you have a moderate problem
  • 30 to 42: indicates some problem or inhibited function
  • 18 to 29: indicates that your condition is relatively mild
  • 17 or lower: indicates that you have little to no knee problems

Only YOU and your doctor can determine when the right time is but DO NOT be pressured.  YOU will know more than anyone when the time is right!  It was 6 years from the time of my first X-ray and was told I needed Total Knee Replacement immediately to when I actually had it done. 

Was that good or bad?  I don’t know but it was right for me.  I chose to look at alternative solutions first knowing that a replacement is only good for a limited number of years.  Surgery for me is always a last resort. 

I’m going to end this here and will continue with what to do AFTER you make the decision. I promise I won’t take as long for the next part.

Questions/comments/or thoughts are welcome and encouraged.



Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior

and Scrapbooking For Anyone

Money From Home Without a JOB

Who knew when we were celebrating New Years 2020 that it would turn our whole life on it’s head?  Now, I can tell you I was DREADING the political stuff that we’re inintated with come Presidental election year but I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares),  saw 2020 to be this crazy.  I’ve lived a long time and seen many things but this takes the cake!!!  Can we do a reboot???

Our world will never be the same.  I see cars in the driveways now because people are working from home.  Many kids are home doing virtual learning.  This is a whole new way of living and I don’t see it changing any time soon.  The sad thing is that so many small businesses haven’t survived due to no traffic or all the destruction happening.  What do these people do?  I know back in the day when I was a single mother, I would have been hurting big time!!!

People are now looking for alternate ways to generate income.  Even as I was preparing for retirement, I knew that I would eventually need a part time job.  I have an expensive craft habit (scrapbooking is the main one but painting and sewing are a close second).  I also love to travel and experience new things.  So, I started looking online for something I could do from home.  While you’re criteria may be less restrictive, I could afford to have it my way (just like Burger King). 

My criteria:

  • I did NOT want a long commute anymore
  • Wanted to work part time
  • Wanted it to be flexible (work around MY time)
  • Something I could do from home (I was tired of suits)

Yeah, I know – that’s a lot but hey, shot for the moon right!

Surprisingly, there are many things that fit that order:  

  • Take surveys (tried – much time, little return)
  • Write e books (still a possibility)
  • Be a transcriptionist (they wanted typing of 60-70 wpm – oops)
  • Be an online customer service rep (didn’t want to hear complaints all day)
  • Teach students online mostly from other countries (didn’t think I’d be good)
  • Sell products on Etsy (still on table)
  • Be an Influencer (ummmmm, no)
  • Sell Products for a company as in Multi Level Marketing (MLM) ie Mary Kay, Avon, DoTerra, Young Living Oils, Damsel in Defense, Close to My Heart etc (doing)
  • Affiliate Marketing (doing)

I’ve worked for each of the MLM companies above and more.  In some, I did pretty well.  However, I don’t like to SELL NOR grow teams.  I got into these because I loved the product and received a discount on my purchases.  I still do Close to My Heart because I’m a scrapbooker and paper crafter. 

So, how does a MLM generally work? 

  • You sign on as a consultant
  • You sell products to your family, friends and referrals / You also try to grow a team of people under you
  • When you sell a product, part of the proceeds go to the person who recruited you and to the person who recruited them on up the line
  • If you recruit and have a team, you get proceeds from those who are on your team

Perhaps you’ve had family or friends that are involved in a MLM program and you feel obligated to help them.  They post frequently on FB (although sometimes the FB posts are helpful).  This CAN be a good way to earn extra money AND is legitimate.  Some people make really good money selling but more importantly growing a team.  If this is for you, that’s GREAT!  I love every one of the products I’ve listed above and will continue with Close to My Heart for a long time.  I’m just not good at selling but many are.  Thankfully we’re all different. 

The last option listed is Affiliate Marketing. 

How does Affiliate Marketing work?

  • You promote a companies products and/or services with a link on your website
  •  A customer clicks on the link and purchases
  • Company tracks purchases from a special ID given to you
  • You earn commission

When I first saw this, my thought was “Huh? I have NO idea how to do this”.  I stumbled onto a program called Wealthy Affiliate (WA).  I joined in 2011 but didn’t really get into it until 2013 when I retired.  I can tell you, without a doubt, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Why?

  • It fit every one of my hard to match criteria
  • Training is AWESOME.  It’s more relevant than all my years in college!
  • The community is fantastic, I’ve made friends all over the world
  • The founders (Kyle & Carson) are hands on
  • The support is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my years of employment
  • It keeps my brain active – we have MANY seniors are members

Honestly though, this is NOT for everyone.  It’s definitely not a get rich quick scam.  It takes work and dedication but it can be on YOUR time.  Someone is online 24/7.   Could I make more money than I do?  Yes, you get OUT what you put IN.  Your earning potential is limited only by your efforts.  The sky is the limit though! 

Ask yourself: 

          -Do I have knowledge/hobbies I’d love to share?

          -Would I like to work from anywhere? (Have laptop will travel!)

          -Do I enjoy meeting people all over the world?

          -Do I enjoy learning new things? (Keep your brain sharp)

Wealthy Affiliate opened my eyes to the idea of maybe doing an e book or give Etsy a shot.  I love that I’ve learned so much in a short period of time not only from the training but by interacting with other people from around the globe! 

We’re ALL in the 2020 quarantine situation and more people are coming online not only looking for income but to shop.  So, to me, this is an ideal situation.  It might be right for you too.  Surprisingly there are many seniors here.  Click HERE to check it out here for FREE!

NO CREDIT CARD is required and no one will bug you!

Full Disclosure: I WILL get a small commission if you decide to join us but I would NEVER lead you here simply for a commission.  However, I don’t like to be conned and I wouldn’t do that to anyone else! I’ve been here since 2011 and love it!

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Comments and Thoughts are welcomed and encouraged!!!

My next blog will talk about my knee replacement. Whooo Hoooo! How fun is that?!?! LOL

Until then………….Hugs


Founder of Scrapbooking For Anyone and Not Your Mamas Senior

Scam Protection

Scams and Identity Theft are on the rise and guess who they often target??  US!!!!!! Can I be Queen for a day and hurt some of these people??? If you missed the last blog, I listed some potential scams to be aware of. https://notyourmamassenior.com/beware-seniors-scams

So, once again, this maybe redundant to some of you yet enlightening to others.  Pick and choose what helps you. 

Safeguard Online

     – Passwords are the first line of defense.  Obviously do NOT use “password” for your real password.  Don’t laugh.  I know people that do.  Ideally, they should be long with a mix of UPPER/lower case, Numbers and Symbols.  So, how do you remember them?  I know I can forget where I parked my car within 30 minutes of entering a store.  Use a phrase such as:  “ILove2WalkmyDog!!”  To be honest though, I have a notebook that I use for my passwords. Just don’t leave it out for roaming eyes.

     – Unknown Email messages will frequently go to a spam file automatically where you can look review them as sometimes it’s a mistake.  If you see a message from someone you don’t recognize, hover your cursor over the from address.  If it’s a bunch of letters, it’s spam – DELETE immediately.

     – Links or Attachments should NOT be opened in and email or text message if you were not expecting them.

     – Generic Greetings such as “Dear Customer”, misspellings or poor grammar are also signs of scams

     – Protection is always recommended.  Check out this link from PC Magazine:  https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-security-suites    I see Norton has teamed with Lifelock which would give you computer AND ID Theft Protection which is another option.   Here’s the link to that information:   https://www.nortonsecurityonline.com/ 

Safeguard Offline

     – Unsecure Data found in cars, laptops, and bills.  Remove all papers from your car or glove compartment before you leave it at a garage or even in your driveway.  We’ve had a few issues where kids have gotten into our cars in the neighborhood.  Lock your car, shred your bills, blacken out your name/address on junk mail.   Shredders are fairly cheap these days. 

        Do not keep your Social Security card or Passport in your purse.  

    –  Protection from Identity Theft is a good idea.  Check out this link for options: https://www.identityprotectionreview.com/

If you think you’ve been a Victim

Check your bank account or credit card transactions

Report discrepancies to your bank or credit card company

Freeze you credit card.  I’ve done this when I thought I lost my card.  It’s easy to do/undo.

Contact one of the 3 credit bureaushttps://www.equifax.com/, https://www.experian.com/  or https://www.transunion.com/.  Fraud alerts are free and you only need to contact ONE of these – the bureau you choose will contact the other two.

I hope this helps someone. 

Comments/Thoughts welcomed and encouraged. 


Not Your Mama’s Senior


If there is anything that makes me mad, it’s people that try to take advantage of others simply because they feel like they CAN.  As seniors, we are most at risk. Senior Scams are the worst!

Back when we were growing up, we played outside and even created our own games.  As long as we were back before dark (or dinner) all was good.  Today, so many kids are addicted to the TV and if not that, then their laptops/IPads or other computer device.  In the majority of families, both parents work so the devices are babysitters of sorts.  The schools are getting kids started on computers earlier and earlier.  Schools expect them to know in Kindergarden the things we learned in 1st grade.  There’s pros and cons to that.

It blows my mind how much technical knowledge many kids have at a young age.  Scamming is not only easy money but it’s lucrative if they find the right people – elderly, retired people who aren’t as tech savy and supposedly have money to burn.  That’s not me but I can see how they might think that. 

Scammers capitalize on current events.  The timing now is RIPE.  We’re dealing with COVID-19, Census, Tax Season and the Election!!!! 

With COVID-19, a whole new set of scams has erupted.  Some of these you might have seen but just in case, these are the ones I’ve heard about.  BEWARE!!!!!!

COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 Text  You receive a text message like this 


You’re already in a state of fear and you want to know who it is and what you need to do – but DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!!!!  It is not a legitimate text, it’s a gateway into your information.  Police say it’s a phishing scam to get your personal information.

COVID-19 Test  You get a call, email or someone coming to your door offering DNA swab tests for the virus.  In order to get this though, you need to provide your Medicare numbers.  DO NOT give your Medicare number to anyone except a medical provider that you know and trust. 

COVID-19 Vaccine  You get an email or call offering a COVID-19 vaccine.  You are already living in fear and are anxious to finally get out so this may be your saving grace.  They might ask for your credit card information or even your Medicare card number.  As of yet, there IS no vaccine.  Keep checking legitimate government agencies for updates (websites that end in .gov)

COVID-19 Donations Requests for donations are common during a crisis, HOWEVER, check to make sure that the business is legitimate or they are not posing as a non profit that you’re familiar with.  Go to their website and donate. 

If COVID-19 isn’t bad enough, this is the year for the Census.  You should have received a survey in the mail that you could respond to.  If you have NOT responded to that, a census taker MAY come to your door.

Then there’s the Census

Census Survey  An impostor comes to your door or you get a call.  They might ask for your Social Security Number.  NEVER give that number to even a REAL census taker.  (As a side note, I don’t even give mine to the doctor’s office).   A legitimate census taker  will also immediately identify themselves with a GOVERNMENT ID.  They will ask you questions about people in your household NOT any of  your personal numbers/accounts.  When I first moved in, someone did come to my door.  They are very professional.   If you have any questions or concerns, visit https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html

Some of the other common scams: 

AETNA Insurance A friend just posted that if you have AETNA Insurance, you get a call asking you to call a given 800 number and enter the code that person gives you.  Then provide the additonal information that the “insurance company” needs “to better serve you”.   DO NOT fall for it!

Amazon/Companies If you’re like me, you order a lot from Amazon.  This one is a common one that has happened to people I know.  You might get an email that looks like it’s from Amazon.  It has a link for you to click on to “confirm your credit card number”  DO NOT CLICK on the link.  There is a very high risk that it will place malware on your computer. 

Actually, if you get an email from ANYONE requesting something as confidential as your credit card number and asking you to click a link, do not do it!  Go to the company site directly.  Some of these people are VERY good at graphics that look just like a legitimate company logo.

Jail/Overseas/Spoofing You get a call from someone that says he’s your grandson or she’s your grandaughter and they’re in jail or have an emergecy.  Of course, you’re in a panic.  They ask you to send them money.  This is what my mother did and I thought it was brilliant.  She asked how (made up name) was.  When they responded like they knew the made up person, she hung up.  Now granted, some of those calls are LEGIT but you need to check it out before sending anyone funds.  BEWARE: sometimes they will use a fake number that uses the same area code as you use so that you believe that it’s local. 

Wal Mart I noticed the other day that Wal Mart now has a sign in their customer service area warning people of scams where victims are solicited for gift cards, wire transfers, money orders or cashiers checks, VENMO, PayPal, etc to pay for fines, taxes, lottery winnings or whatever they can convince you of.  The form of payment is a RED FLAG itself.  Remember, you will get a letter from the IRS or court if you owe them money NOT a threatening phone call. 

As I said, you may have heard of some of these but I wanted to cover all I knew about. Better safe than sorry.  I despise scammers. 

Have you been scammed?  If so, how?  Is there something that you know about that wasn’t covered and can help the rest of us?

In my next blog, I post ways I know to PROTECT against scams. https://notyourmamassenior.com/scam-protection

Let’s help each other!! Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged.


Not Your Mama’s Senior

Favorite Comfort Food

So, we’re all stuck inside and what are we wanting to eat?  Lettuce?  Ummmm, NO!  WHO craves lettuce and really, if you think about it — have you ever seen a skinny rabbit?  Yeah, me neither. So, why do we eat lettuce to lose weight?  Go ahead…think….I’ll wait.  I have time!

This is going to be ME!!!!!

MY answer to the question….we want Comfort Food.  So, I saw this cute quiz titled Comfort Food IQ!  Who knew we had one of these but while we’re stuck inside, we might as well exercise our brains: 

1. Which of these comfort foods does not have an emoji?

  • A. Hot Dog
  • B. Burrito
  • C. Pancakes
  • D. Potato Chips

2. What’s another name for Chicken and Dumplings?

  • A. Parchment chicken
  • B. Chicken and slicks
  • C. Saucy chicken
  • D. Noodle bird

3. Why does lava cake have a gooey center?

  • A. Hot fudge is piped into it after baking
  • B. A center of chopped chocolate melts after baking
  • C. Cake is underbaked so the middle is still runny
  • D. Center is made of pudding

4. Which of these creamy pasta dishes does NOT typically have milk?

  • A. Carbonara
  • B. Alfredo
  • C. Penne alla vodka
  • D. Mac and cheese

5. What meats are in the “meatloaf mix” sold at supermarkets?

  • A. Beef and veal
  • B. Pork and veal
  • C. Beef (with herbs and spices)
  • D. Beef, pork and veal

6. Match the type of gravy to the food it’s commonly served with: Redeye, Sausage, Cream, Giblet

  • A. Ham
  • B. Chicken or turkey
  • C. Cream
  • D. Chicken-fried steak

7. Which combo of veggies are you most likely to find in chicken pot pie?

  • A. Peas, potatoes, broccoli
  • B. Peas, carrots, onions
  • C. Corn and peas
  • D. Corn, red and green peppers

8. Chicken-fried steak is typically made with what?

  • A. Chicken
  • B. Pork
  • C. Beef
  • D. Veal

9. Which of these ingredients is not found in a traditional Texas chili?

  • A. Beans
  • B. Tomatoes
  • C. Ground beef
  • D. A, B & C

10. Why are grilled cheese sandwiches often served with tomato soup?

  • A. Traditional pairing in England where both were invented
  • B. School kids loved the 2 served together
  • C. NYC Waldorf Astoria hotel offered the duo in the 1940s & it stuck
  • D. During WWII, soldiers cobbled the meal together from their ration kits

11. Which cut of beef is used to make pot roast?

  • A. Chuck
  • B. Sirloin
  • C. Tenderloin
  • D. Brisket

12. What is the name of the white sauce frequently used in mac & cheese?

  • A. Veloute
  • B. Hollandaise
  • C. Consomme
  • D. Bechamel

13. Which of these pies is made with chocolate?

  • A. Hoosier
  • B. French silk
  • C. Chess
  • D. Shoofly

14. Cincinnati chili is traditionally served over which starch?

  • A. Mashed potatoes
  • B. Spaghetti
  • C. Rice
  • D. Cornbread

15. Which of these dishes is a casserole?

  • A. Chicken tetrazzini
  • B. Beef stroganoff
  • C. Chicken Kiev
  • D. Steak Diane

16. T__F__ Grits and polenta are the same

17.  T__F__ When making biscuits, you should melt butter before adding into dough

18. T__F__  Spaghetti and meatballs originated in America

19. T__F__  Chowder is the same as bisque

20. T__F__  Traditional green bean casserole is made with cream of chicken soup

Answers:  (give yourself a point for each correct)

  1. D
  2. B
  3. C (yuk?)
  4. A (creaminess comes from eggs)
  5. D
  6. A Redeye, B Giblet, C Sausage, D Cream
  7. B
  8. C (breaded and fried like chicken)
  9. D
  10. B
  11. A (one of my FAVS with mashed potatoes!)
  12. D (equal parts butter and flour and whisk)
  13. B
  14. B (invented in 1920s at Empress Chili Parlor in Cincinnati)
  15. A
  16. F (different types of corn)
  17. F (work cold butter in until size of peas)
  18. T (really? how many Italians beg to differ on this?)
  19. F (bisque is smoother than chowder)
  20. F (estimated 40% of mushroom soup sold used for this dish)

So—-how’d you do?  I pretty much flunked but y’all expected that.   

0-7 points:  Total Discomfort.  You need a crash course in comfort food

8-17 points:  Getting Warmer.  You’re no stranger but you need more of it.

18 and above points:  Comfort Zone.  Celebrate but not a lot.  Comfort food has a LOT of calories unless you’re working them off. 

If any of you awesome cooks have an issue with an answer, please argue with the Food Network Magazine, March 2019 issue.  I have NO idea how I came to possess this magazine but I thought the quiz was fun. 

I could really go for some chicken and dumplings right now though ……………my crash course I guess. 

SO, what was YOUR score and what is YOUR favorite comfort food?

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged as always.



Creator of Not Your Mama’s Senior