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!

Hugs

~Debbi

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.

Exercises: 

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.

Ice

  • 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. 

6-Walk

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.

Hugs

~Debbi

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. 

Acupuncture

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?

Consider: 

-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:

Questionnaire

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
3Frequently
4Most of the time
5Always

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?

1Never
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
4Sometimes
5Rarely or never

10. Knee stability

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

1Not at all
2Occasionally
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
4Sometimes
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
4Sometimes
5Rarely or never

Score

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

Results

  • 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.

Hugs

~Debbi

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

~Debbi

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. 

~Debbi

Not Your Mama’s Senior

BEWARE Seniors: SCAMS

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 

SCAM Text

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.

~Debbi

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.

Hugs

~Debbi

Creator of Not Your Mama’s Senior

5 Rules of the Kitchen

I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a cook.  I have a TON of interests but cooking is not one of them.  I have a kitchen because the builder said it came with the house.  I do like to bake – well, in reality, I like to decorate more than bake.  Since I don’t have an assistant though, I thought these tips would be useful:

  • Measure flour accurately

Use a “spoon and sweep” method which means to spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping your measuring cup into the flour. 

With the back of a knife, level the cup and “sweep” the excess back into the bag/container.  I use a container for mine because when I lived in the south, I had issues with it. 

Scooping the flour directly can pack the flour leading to dry, dense baked goods.

  • Warm eggs to room temperature

Get eggs out before you start to bake so they get to room temperature.  If you don’t have time to wait, put cold eggs into a bowl.  Cover with WARM water.  Let them set 5-7 minutes while you’re preparing other things.

Warm eggs blend more easily and whites whip up with a bigger volume.

  • Test your baking soda and baking powder

I need to do this!!!!  I’ve been burnt before but never learn.  Spoon baking soda and baking powder into separate small bowls.  Pour boiling water into baking powder.  Pour distilled white vinegar into baking soda.  If the fizz, they’re still good. 

If these ingredients aren’t good, your baked goods will not rise or be fluffy.

  • Measure liquid and dry ingredients separately

I’m bad about this one too.  Use clear measuring cups with pour spouts for liquids.  Use flat-bottomed cups for dry ingredients.  Again, use that spoon and sweep method. 

Too much or too little liquid can spoil the recipe.  The clear cups allow you to see exactly how much liquid you’re using and let you pour right up to the fill line without spilling. 

  • Prevent over baking

Use and oven thermometer to check your oven.  Sometimes they don’t heat accurately (above or below what the dial says)

Set your kitchen timer and check for doneness a few minutes early.  You might want to rotate your pan half way through for even baking. 

Watch how your baked goods are browning.  Some spots in your oven may be hotter than others. 

(Most of  this is from Oct 2019 free Giant flyer – you know where I bought my pre cooked chicken)  LOL

Sample cake.
One of my cakes.

Since I bake mostly for other people and on special occasions, I guess I won’t be doing much now that we are in quarantine.  However, the silver lining to having to stay in is that I used my GPS and the builder is right…..I found my kitchen. 

I always thought that eating prepared food or eating out was cheaper (less waste) since I was cooking for one.  I don’t know how to cook for one and I got tired of eating a dish after a couple times.  I know— freeze.  I am eating in more often now AND saving money!!!!!  Go figure.  I might have to keep up this trend!!

So either way, cooking or baking, I hope these tips help. 

Comments/Thoughts welcome and encouraged.

Hugs-

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior

10 Good Reads

As previously promised in my last blog   I’m providing some book suggestions.  I’ve always been an avid reader.  If you are too, let’s take a walk down memory lane:

-I had quite the collection of Golden Books that cost cents and are now up to $5.00!!

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Betsy and Eddie books by Carolyn Haywood (have handwritten letter from her)

-various Mystery books by Mary C Jane (have letter, postcard and signed photo from her)

Trixie Beldon books by Judy Campbell

Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene  ( Hardy Boys for boys)

Can you relate to any of these?  I was a library geek and wrote to some of my favorite authors AND their publishing company who sent me book jackets. lol They’re all scrapbooked. 

As an adult, I went through the Danielle Steele phase and still read some of Nora Roberts but both of these authors were sort of getting stale to me.  When I look back, I can see I was always drawn to mystery and got stuck reading a LOT of John Grisham, James Patterson and my all time favorite – David Baldacci.  I did stray somewhat and two books changed my life!

I joined 2 bookclubs to force me to read something different.  Many of those that I’m listing are from one of those bookclubs.  Note:  The italics are MY commentary.

Windows to the World

So, here’s my Top 10:

All time fav: Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill (classic!)

I read this book MANY moons ago and it was one of the two that changed my life.  It made me think different.  It’s truly motivational no matter what you do for a living!

The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.

In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.

Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, loving family relationships, understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one true peace of mind! All who read, understand, and apply this philosophy will be better prepared to attract and enjoy these spiritual values.

I have to say this one scared me for sure!!!!  It gave me a new perspective though. 

After the film in her camera is mysteriously destroyed at a small-town festival, reporter Bernice Kreuger knows she’s found something worth covering up. She brings the investigation to her boss, Marshall Hogan. Along with the local pastor of a struggling church, Hank Busch, they find something much bigger than they expected—a demonic plot to enslave their town and, eventually, the world.

The tiny college town of Ashton becomes the unlikely battleground in a cosmic clash between good and evil. Unseen by the human protagonists, armies of angels and demons wage war against one another in the spiritual realm for the souls of the people of Ashton. Up against supernatural forces, the future of the town seems bleak – but the power of prayer might be able to influence the outcome of the fight.

This fast-paced thriller birthed an entirely new genre, setting the standard for spiritual suspense. It has since sold over 2 million copies worldwide, sparking a renewed interest in the concept of spiritual warfare.

This is the sequelPiercing the Darkness and I started it several times but couldn’t finish. I got too scared.

The following are in no particular order.

Interesting historical fiction.  I did not know that such a thing existed.

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

I was able to meet this author.  Aside from being easy on the eyes (lol), he’s very entertaining. 

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel’s basement for the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

Another of his. It was good but not as good as the above Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Interesting but then I think the Appalachian Trail is too.

After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart–the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life–and can change yours as well.

In Hiking Through, you’ll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating and funny people, experience trail magic, and discover that every choice we make on the path has consequences for the journey. More than that, you’ll come away with a new understanding of God’s grace and guidance–even in the smallest things.

Another trail book is Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery This is ONE GUTSY woman for sure!!!! 

I read this MANY years ago while I was a young military wife actually living in Brooklyn (Fort Hamilton) and it’s still relevant.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry.

A Holocaust story auto biography.  Inspirational to say the least. 

At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.

Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she’d been unable to forgive—herself.

Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. 

I’ve come to really enjoy her writing.  This is another historical fiction.  I had seen Georgia Tann’s story on Investigation Discovery called “Evil Women”. This has a happy ending though.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

I’ve come to enjoy her works as well.  This is fiction but having lived in Alaska, I can tell you, Kristen hit life in the bush spot on!  Winters are TOUGH especially if you have emotional issues.

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

Last but not least-

This was a REAL eye opener.  Jessica is a journalist and I can tell you that you will never think about Amazon the same way.  All I can say is you have to love seniors!!!  We’re resilient!!

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s Camper Force program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

I hope these help get you started. I have a ton more. I’m ALWAYS reading something. If you have any suggestions for MY reading list, let me know.

Whatever you do, stay safe. Amazon delivers!!!!! Happy Reading!

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged!

Hugs–

~Debbi

Survive Social Distancing

Have you heard of the terms introvert and extrovert?  They are terms used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  This is based on C.G. Jung’s ideas about how different ways of perceiving and judging, in combination with different attitudes, describe different types of people. 

Two of the indicators are Introversion and Extroversion.  They merely indicate how you interact with the world and renew.

Introverts – focus on the inner world.  They can work with people but often need moments alone to renew their energy.

Extroverts – focus more on the outer world and gain energy by interacting with other people.

There is nothing right or wrong with either.  When I worked for the government, I administered this test to all employees.  It helped create a better work environment by helping coworkers understand each other better. 

As it turns out, studies show that the majority of people are extraverts.  Perhaps it’s because this style is encouraged by a society that values one’s ability to be sociable. 

So, in these trying times, it’s difficult for many extroverts who are asked to stay home and not be closer than 6 ft from another person or not to engage with more than 10 people.

However, these things are necessary to help prevent the spread of this Corona virus.  We, as seniors, are more vulnerable so we have to be really careful especially if we have:

  • -compromised immune systems
  • -chronic lung disease or asthma
  • -serious heart conditions
  • -other underlying medical conditions like diabetes or liver damage
  • I know they listed pregnancy as well, but I can only hope that no one our age is pregnant.  lol

My brother, who is older than me, is just one of those folks that’s really having a hard time not being able to interact with people on a regular basis.  This is causing him to be depressed.  So, I thought I’d share some of the things with you that I suggested to him. You can:    

Read.  That could be a physical book or one on your Kindle.  It could be a magazine or even something on the internet.  I’ll have another blog with some book suggestions. 

Learn a new skill.  It could be a new language, how to knit/crochet or even scrapbooking (https://scrapbookingforanyone.com/).  Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint or learn photography.  Start a garden.  You Tube is great and there’s a video showing you how to do anything you can think of.  The magic of technology!!!

Take Virtual Tours.  Again, technology rules.  This will eat up HOURS in day especially if you follow all the little side trails like I end up doing.  Here’s some links to start:

DC Capital:  https://scholasticatravel.com/2014/02/24/washington-dc-virtual-tour/

Smithsonian:https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-virtually-explore-smithsonian-your-living-room-180974436/

The World: https://www.techradar.com/best/virtual-tours-museums-national-parks-around-the-world

-Now that you’re back home from your tours, clean out the clutter that you’ve been meaning to do forever.  I bought this book by Marie Kondo

Her idea is to hold something in your hand and if doesn’t bring you joy, toss it.  I have to admit, I didn’t find joy in that book so I tossed IT!!!  Sorry, Marie.  You may find it helpful though.  Most likely there are things in your house that can be cleared out. Even I was able to do that.  Look under your bathroom sink.  That’s where I found most of my toss stuff.  So, keep it, gift it, recyle it or toss it!!!

Do a puzzle.  This can be a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle, sudokoo or any number of puzzles out now.  Anything that keeps your mind sharp. 

Play a game.  Ok, I know the whole purpose of hibernation is to stay away from people but there are plenty of online games that you can play alone or compete with others online.  My 92 year old mother in law plays on a site called Club Pogo https://earlyaccess.pogo.com/club-pogo  all the time.  There’s a fee but there are TONS of games.  It keeps your brain sharp – scam prevention brain I call it.  One of my favorites (and it’s an oldie) is Bejewled.  I love hearing those jewels explode.  Is that warped?????  LOL

Go for a walk.  The sun and the vitamin D it produces is good for your immune system. Exercise is good for the joints as well.  We have to keep moving if at all possible.  Just remember to stay away from others.

Start a journal.  Sometimes when you’re depressed, it’s helpful to write your thoughts in a journal. Just acknowledging how you feel sometimes helps.  I’ve had one for years and it’s fun to look back periodically to see how far I’ve come.

-Last but not least and one of my personal favorites that takes up most of my time is Wealthy Affiliate.  I joined in 2011 and will never leave.  I did a blog about working from home. I love writing blogs although I do get sidetracked when life calls but hey—I’m retired.  When I first joined, I had NO clue how to create a website but the training is fantastic and so is the helpful, diverse, fun community.  There are surprisingly MANY people our age that are now doing blogs.  Check it out

Above all, stay home, wash your hands a LOT, be safe and do NOT panic. While there IS a real danger, the media sometimes simply likes to keep us in a frenzy. It’s what makes money. Good news doesn’t. Sad.

I hope this helps. We’re all in this together but we’re not all alike. Don’t let this get you down. This too shall pass!!!!!!

Comments Please.

~Debbi