Monthly Archives: September 2012

“We didn’t have that green thing, back then…”


When I was a young mother, we actually cooked food that did not come ready out of a plastic packet, from a can or plastic bag and we actually managed to wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad. BUT, that we when we did not have that green thing back then.

We took the tram or the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their  mothers into 24-hour-taxi services.

We had one electrical outlet in each room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances and we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from a satellite 2,000 miles away in outer space in order to find the nearest restaurant or coffee shop. We knew where they were situated.

Isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks are, just because we didn’t have that green thing back then.

While I was checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested that I bring my own shopping bags because plastic bags aren’t good for the environment. She knew that Iwas a senior citizen. I explained that our generation didn’t have that green thing back then. The cashier responded; “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save the environment for future generations.”

She was right. Our generation did not have to worry about that green thing then because we returned our milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store in turn sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled so that they could use the same bottles over and over again. In fact, what they were doing was recycling even way back then but we did not have a name for it. We refilled our pens with ink instead of buying new ones and we replaced our razor blades in the razor instead of throwing away the whole razor when the blade was no longer sharp. No, we didn’t need that green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed our baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line and not in energy-gobbling machine that burned up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes, in case you don’t know what I mean, natural wind and sun. Kids received hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not brand new clothing all the time.

But that young cashier was right.  We didn’t have that green thing back then.

Back then, we had one TV or radio in the house and not television in every room. The TV had a small screen, the size of a handkerchief: (handkerchiefs were used before tissues were invented) and not a screen the size of a room. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because there were no electreic machines to do it for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by mnail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it and not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. In those days, we did not fire up an engine and burn gas in order to cut the grass. We used a push  lawn  mower that ran on human power. We exercized by working so hard that we had no need to attend a health club to run on treadmills that are operated on electricity.

We drank water from a water fountain or a faucet when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another  country. We accepted the fact that some food was seasonal and did not expect that to be flown in from thousands of miles away.

And so, we had no need to worry about the enviornment as it took care of itself due to the way we behaved and treated it.

When life dishes out lemons, make grape juice then sit back and watch the expressions on peoples’ faces … as they wonder how you did it.

“Watch out,” her father said. “You nearly hit that car! Can’t you do anything right?” His words hurt worse than blows. She turned her head toward the elderly man in the seat beside her, daring her to challenge him. A lump rose in her throat as she averted her eyes. She simply was not prepared for another battle. “I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me while I’m driving.” Her voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than she felt.                  

Her father glared at her then turned away and seettled back in his seat. At home, she left him in front of the tv and went outside to collect her thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a prospect of rain.The rumble of thunder echoed her inner turmoil. What could she do about him?

Her father had been a lumberjack in his youth and had enjoyed the outdoors. He’d revelled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he was unable to lift a heavy log, he’d joked about it, but later that day, she’d seen him outside all alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable when he was unable to do something he’d done when he was younger. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday he’d suffered a heart attack, but survived though he obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Offers of help were turned down with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors stopped and he was left alone.

She and her husband asked him to live with them on their small farm, hoping that the fresh air and rustic surroundings would help him adjust. It took only one week for her to regret that invitation. Nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything she did. Soon, she was taking her pent-up anger out on her husband and they began to argue.

The months wore on and she had to do something. She called mental health clinics, explained her problem to empathetic voices, but not one had a suggestion. As she was giving up hope, one of the voices exclaimed: “I have just read something that  might help you: a study was done at a nursing home on all the patients suffering from chronic depression. Their attitudes improved dramatically when they were given the responsibility of a dog.”

She drove to the animal shelter and as she reached the last pen, a dog in the shadows struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this dog was a caricature of that breed. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles but it was his eyes caught and held her attention. They were calm and clear and beheld her unwaveringly. “Tell me about him,” she said to the keeper. “He appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in … that was two weeks ago but we’ve heard nothing and his time is up tomorrow.” “Do you mean you are going to put him down?” “Ma’am, we don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.” “Okay. I’ll take him,” she said, and drove home with the dog on the front seat beside her. When she reached home, she showed the dog to her dad saying: “Look what I have for you.” He wrinkled his nose in disgust and spat out: “If I wanted a dog I would have picked a better specimen than that. I don’t want that bag of bones,” and with that, he walked back to the house. She was furious as she shouted: “You’d better get used to him because he’s staying.” Her father ignored her so she screamed at him. He whirled angrily, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate as they stood glaring at one another. Suddenly, the dog pulled free from her grasp, wobbled toward her father and sat down in front of him. Slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Her father’s lower lip trembled as he stared at that uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then, her father was on his knees, hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship Together, the two of them explored the countryside.They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes, spent reflective moments on the banks of streams angling for tasty trout and even attended Sunday services together. Her father sat on a pew while the dog lay quietly at his feet. They were inseparable throughout the next three years. Her father’s bitterness faded and he and his dog made many friends. Late one night, she was startled to feel the dog’s cold nose burrowing under the bedcovers, something he had never done before, so she woke her husband , put on her robe and ran into her father’s bedroom, to find him lying on his bed, his face serene, but his spirit had left sometime during the night.

Two days later her grief deepened when she discovered the dog lying dead beside her father’s bed. Silently she thanked the dog for the help he had given her in restoring her father’s peace of mind. On the day of her father’s funeral, she was surprised to see how many friends he and his dog had made … all filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy, a tribute to both her father and the dog who had changed his life.

This story entitled; Father, daughter and a dog, was written by Catherine Moore.

Ten signs of a troubled teen.

If a parent  notices one or more of the listed points, chances are that their child is a troubled teen.

  • Tends to be a loner.
  • No longer engages in activities that were previously enjoyable.
  • Argues a lot and exhibits verbal disrespect.
  • Displays signs of anxiety.
  • Cuts classes on a regular basis.
  • No longer completes school assignments with care, if at all.
  • Has frequent fights with family and friends.
  • Expresses a negative attitude towards family and friends.
  • Becomes paranoid and believes that others are trying to harm him even when no threat is evident.
  • Exhibits a wide range of emotions that change frequently which could be a sign of bi-polar disorder.

If your child displays any of these symptoms in a way that causes concern, counseling might be necessary.

For seniors with a sense of humor – THE WORLD IS THEIR URINAL


This is for seniors, both women and men, with a sense of humor.


Men do not have to change their last names when they get married.

Wedding plans seem to take care of themselves.

Men do not have to worry about becoming pregnant.

They can wear a white shirt to a water park or to a beach or … no shirt at all.

Car mechanics tell them the truth.

They do the same work as women for higher wages.

Wrinkles add character to a man’s face.

Rental price for a tuxedo is about $100 as opposed to rental for a wedding dress that is much more costly.

I doubt whether anyone stares at a man’s chest while they are having a conversation, now do they?

New shoes don’t cut, mangle nor blister their feet.

Most of their telephonic conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

A five day vacation for a man requires one small suitcase.

Men’s underwear costs roughly $9.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes in their closet will do them fine.

The same hairstyle can last for years.

Men only have to shave their faces and … maybe a bit of their necks.

They can wear shorts no matter how their legs look.

They can probably do their gift shopping when about to return home from an overseas trip in under 25  minutes.

It has been said that a woman has the last word in any argument and anything that a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument …

A woman worries about the future until she finds a husband while a man never worries about the future until he acquires a wife.

A woman marries a man expecting that he will change, but he doesn’t, while a man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

Women dress up even to do their supermarket shopping or to collect the mail, while a man will only dress up for a wedding or a funeral.

Men are lucky. They wake up as good looking as when they went to bed while women seem to deteriorate during the night.

So – the world is their urinal.

ADVICE TO MARRIED MEN:  Forget your mistakes. There’s no sense in two people remembering the same thing, now is there?

“Teacher, do you know why I never drink water?” asked the six-year-old.

Today my blog is not about any of my regular subjects. It came to mind while I was reading a blog called: ‘Exceedingly Senior,” on 9/27/12, entitled TRY THE RETIREMENT HOME DIET.  It reminded me of the following story: On his first day of school, the grade 1 teacher asked whether any of the first graders had anything to tell the class.

Peter stood up and asked: “Teacher, do you know why I never drink water?”

“It is very important to drink water,” she said, “but tell us why you do not drink water.”

“Well, it’s because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.”

This reminded me of swimming pools.  BEWARE SENIORS! Someone in the pool next to you might be urinating! If you are taking a refreshing dip in a pool with four other people, odds are that one of you is urinating. My suggestion to all the people in the retirement home: Don’t swim near to anyone who looks too relieved. This is no longer a myth but a cold, depressing fact taken from a recent survey conducted by the Water Quality Health Council, a scientific research group sponsored by the American Chemistry Council. 

In the survey, nearly 1,000 adults were  asked whether they urinate in pools and one in five bravely admitted the truth. We may act like potty-trained adults on land, but something about a body of water, even a small one, opens our natural floodgates and according to doctors, puts us all at risk. Even some Olympic Swimmers admitted to being guilty of peeing in the pool sometimes.

As a child, I was told that chlorine counteracts risks. If pool operators maintain proper chlorine and PH levels, most waterborne germs are killed on contact. But, small, private pools as well as large public ones  can be potential health hazards, depending on how they are maintained. There has been a rise in gastro-intestinal illnesse borne from dirty swimming pools.

How to check whether the pool is safe:-

  • Check whether you can see the bottom.
  • It’s time to get out of the pool if your eyes start burning or stinging.
  • If you find yourself squinting after a dive, ask yourself why that person doing backstroke in the next lane looks so very relaxed. It’s not that nice a day!


Today has been cancelled. Return to your bed…


Stigma is dangerous as, while it is gathering support, it interferes with understanding. It is responsible for the delay in seeking medical intervention. Add this to the initial denial that a relative is suffering from a mental illness, as well as the failure to recognize it in others.

Stigma is usually the reason that families resort to secrecy instead of talking about their relative’s mental illness the way they would talk about a physical illness.

Stigma is often the reason why co-workers keep aloof from someone in their office or other place of work suffering from a mental illness.

Stigma is often the reason that a high school student does not study as well as previously … stigma brings about isolation.

Stigma causes family relationships to break down when one of the the parents has been known to flee due to his/her inability to deal with mental illness in that family. Siblings have left home prematurely due to their inability to handle the very difficult situation at home.

Maybe Health Services across our world can be persuaded to run anti-stigma programs. I wonder why the level of prejudice and discrimination toward people suffering from a mental illness has not changed much during the last ten years. Does that mean that all the anti-stigma campaigns have failed

Maybe efforts to reduce stigma should focus on the person and not on the illness? Maybe we should emphasize the many positive assets that each person with a mental illness posssesses?


For all the people who have been through a hard time or are going through a rough period now, STAY POSITIVE. REMEMBER THAT WORRYING WILL NOT CHANGE THE OUTCOME.


Can three cups of coffee a day stave off Alzheimer’s Disease?

  New research shows that people with mild cognitive impairment or memory loss, who had high levels of caffeine in their blood, did not go on to develop dementia.

These findings indicate that caffeine, the source of which is mainly coffee, might offer some protection against the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Scientists at the University of Florida and the University of Miami, monitored 124 people aged between 65 and 88, testing their blood caffeine levels and their cognitive ability, for a period of four years.

Caffeine levels among those who developed dementia, were 51% lower than those who did not. Coffee would appear to be the major, or perhaps the only source of caffeine for such stable mild cognitive impairment patients.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until this theory has been tested on a larger scale. Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the to drink the three cups of coffee per day that I have always enjoyed.

Couple with Down’s Syndrome Chosen to be Prom Queen and King

From NBC New York by Pei-Sze Cheng:-

Meghan Latini’s parents have always hoped other children would accept their daughter but they never dreamed that she would be prom queen. A few weeks ago, Latini received the honor at Huntington High School and her boyfriend, Brendan Higgins, who was also born with Down’s Syndrome, was voted king. “She’s always reached heights we never dreamed she’d attain,” said Marianne Latini, her mother. “We are so lucky.”

“I felt like a queen,” said Meghan. “I felt special,” she said as she described prom night as a dream come true. “A lot of people were cheering for me so I was pretty happy,” said the 17-year-old. Both Latini and Higgins graduated from Huntingdon High School this year and have been dating for four years although they’ve known each other since they were in pre-school. While most schools are judged by their test scores or athletics, Latini’s parents say the generous act of the student body really shows the character of the students and the school  community.’

Meghan is special to us but to get that kind of redognition from your peers, well, that is really something and it felt great,” said Joe Latini, the teen’s father.

Recent graduate Samantha Palmer ws also nominated for prom queen but she says she voted for Latini. “They won because they were the cutest couple in our grade and everyone loves them,” said Palmer.

Next year Latini and Higgins are going to attend the same tech school, but both of them have their sights set on college.

After reading this report, I was so moved, that I wanted to share it with the people who read my blogs.

The difference between winning and losing, is most often ‘not quitting.’


The word ADVANTAGE seems inappropriate so allow me to explain. IF someone walks with a cane, that individual no longer suffers from an invisible illness. People are kinder, get up to give that person a seat on a bus or in a doctor’s clinic. Someone might even offer to carry his/her shopping bags to the car … and we have patience of he/she walks slowly in a supermarket, even if we want to pass with our large, wide trolley. But, if that same individual ventures out without his/her cane, that act has changed the problem into an invisible one. SO, what we can’t see, might be hurting someone else … only due to the fact that we no longer see outward signs.

What about the people suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, a psychiatric disorder, cancer or an autoimmune illess? Add to this list C.F.S. (chronic fatigue syndrome) rheumatoid arthritis and Gaucher’s disease;  a rare genetic disorder that causes bone pain and fractures, an enlarged spleen and liver, severe swelling, fatigue, and a lot more. Because so much of their time is spent visiting doctors and undergoing various tests, these patients are forced to take too much time off work thus often losing their jobs. In short, living with chronic pain impacts one bodies, thoughts and general behavior.

Due to the fact that I know a few people who suffer from invisible illnesses, I am trying to be far more empathetic and patient.


Of all the things I’ve lost during my lifetime, I miss the loss of my mind the most ….,

‘Of all the things I’ve lost during my life-time, I miss the loss of my mind the most.’  – said by a patient suffering from chronic schizophrenia.

When over 500 adults were surveyed, one quarter felt that people suffering from a mental illness was less intelligent than the rest of us. This is incorrect.

Forty-two percent felt that being treated for a mental illness was a sign of failure. This is incorrect too.

Even doctors are reluctant to receive psychiatric help for fear of losing patients as this means failure.  This reminds me of a quote by Oscar Wilde:- Give man a mask and he will tell you the truth.”

Contentment is our greatest wealth, faithfulness is the best relationship we can have  but HEALTH IS OUR GREATEST GIFT.