Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When A Book Isn't A Book

I looked down at the book laying on my dining room table. Well, it really wasn't a book. It was what optimism would look like if it came in 3-D rectangle.

After all, I'm heading to be with the grandkids and every minute, I suppose, is planned.

"Grandma, let's go swimming (in 60+ degree weather!)."

"Let's play Candyland" one granddaughter suggests, which really means "I intend to beat you even if I have to cheat."

"I'm hungry," the little one insists at the most inopportune times. Then we frantically search the bare shelves of our vacation spot for something that is halfway healthy and will satisfy her momentarily. I hand her a candy.

"Grandma, let's go swimming." Did I mention that the temperature is 60 degrees and rapidly descending?

No, I shall bring the book but I suppose it is more likely to become a door stop so our bedroom is light enough to scare away any bogeymen lurking about.

Check out 50somethinginfo.com for suggestions on how to be a super grandparent (or in my case, a highly optimistic, exhausted one.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Managing Job Search Stress: Ways To Manage The Stress Of Finding a New Job

Author and psychotherapist Mary Jane Hurley Brant provides 6 suggestions on managing the stress of a job search:

1. Don't consider job loss as a personal failure. Many good, loyal, hard-working, intelligent people lost their jobs. Don't internalize it into your personal identity.

2. Concentrate on what you do well.

3. Properly grieve the lay-off as you would any loss.

4. Evaluate the old job--what you miss, what you don't want to undertake again.

5. Get through the anger and possible depression so it doesn't undermine for job search/interviews.

6. Stay healthy. Get some rest and relaxation.

Also, consider upgrading your skills and improving your resume.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oldsters, Don Your Walking Shoes to Improve Your Health

The oldest old (about 85 years+) can benefit from even a little physical activity, according to Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, a geriatric specialist at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

"As little as four hours a week was as beneficial as more vigorous or prolonged activity. "

It's never to late to start, either. Just walk in short intervals several times a day and you 'll increase your chances of seeing your granddaughter on her wedding day (and maybe you'll be first on the dance floor!).

A side benefit to all this--less depression, loneliness and a greater ability to perform daily tasks.

So get moving.

For more on walking to maintain your health, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Always Listen To Your Mama

"Susie, your blogs are good but not as good as your old ones," Mom told me recently.

"That's because I have less time to write them."

I continue, "Do you want the more personal ones again?"


Here goes:

It used to be that most families went through the process of marriage as follows:

Boy meets girl, boy woos girl, girl plays hard-to-get, boy wins girl, boy asks girl's father for girl's hand in marriage, girl's father says okay, boy proposes to girl, girl asks if boy asked father for her hand in marriage, boy says yes, girl says yes, and so on.

Not in my family with our younger child:

Boy and girl meet, they woo each other, neither plays hard-to-get, boy and girl make first purchase with comingled funds, a Roomba, girl suspects boy is going to ask father for girl's hand in marriage and alerts father, boy asks father for hand in marriage, father says okay even though he knows that they'll do as they d--n well please, girl says yes, boy and girl try to make second purchase together, a house.

"Susie, did lawgirl and soda man (not their real names) get the house?" Mom asks.

"No, Mom. I'll let you know when I hear from them."

Next day:

"Susie, did lawgirl and soda man get the house?"

"No, Mom. I will definitely let you know when I hear from them."

Next day:

"Susie, did lawgirl and soda man get the house?"

"No, Mom. I promise to let you know when I hear from them."


"Guess what, Susie," Mom said, "They got the house!!!"

"Oh. I didn't know that."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kiss Stress Goodbye: How You Can Reduce Your Stress

Remedy stress by looking at a landscape.

Researchers have shown that students facing an open window were less stressed than others facing a blank wall or even a nature scene on their computer screens.

Nothing beats the real deal.

Go outside over an inside gym. Exercising in a green environment puts you in a better frame of mind.

Fetch some live plants for your work area. Plants improve a room's air quality by increasing the oxygen and decreasing the pollutants.

Calm your nerves with herbal scents. Those sniffing lavender not only felt less stressed, they also enhanced the antioxidant activity in their bodies.

For more on stress and stress reduction, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beauty And Style Tips To Make Women Over 50 Fabulous: What To Do And Get To Look Great

Geri Brin, 62, took a survey of women over 50 to find out what they use to make them feel and look great. She shared some of her discoveries as the following:

1. Diamond studs to brighten you up.

2. A bra that actually fits!

3. A crisp white cotton shirt.

4. Your own lingering daily fragrance.

5. A great haircut.

6. A fashion tote large enough to hold all your stuff.

7. Moisturizer with SPF.

8.. Yummy body wash.

9. Dressy black pants.

10. A "signature" piece of jewelry that'll knock their socks off!

Check out women's wardrobe at this site.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Arthritis Gadgets: Make Your Life Easier At Home

I was looking at about.com on Arthritis and found a forum on Arthritis aids. I read the reader recommendations and this is what I found to be helpful to those plagued with this common problem:

1. One-Touch can opener

2. Heated mattress pad

3. Long reach curved back scrubber

4. Sports bras with zippered fronts

7. Heated socks

For more on Arthritis and Arthritis aids and what you can do to make life easier, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Gift Countdown: Find What To Buy And Reduce Your Stress

Most people worry about holiday gifts. Some fixate on how they are going to pay for them. Others don't know what to buy. Here are some suggestions:

1. Susan Boyle, the Brit singing sensation, has a new album that has gotten sensational reviews.

2. Video card games are sure to please.

3. Wii makes exercise fun for kids and adults.

4. I just got a crockpot for stews and soups on chilly days.

5. How about a chair massager for the home or office?

6. Car-man just bought me this camera to satisfy my photography obsession.

7. Wind chimes drive Car-man crazy but I love them.

And for those who are financially-strapped, try creative baskets:
For the garden
For arts & crafts
For the bath
For the kitchen

For more gift ideas, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Proton Therapy: Radiation As Cancer Treatment

Proton therapy targets radiation directly into cancerous cells. The proton beam is more precise than traditional radiation therapy and will not damage surrounding tissue, reported Gerry Smith (McClatchy News Service).

More long-term studies need to be conducted on this form of cancer treatment, however. The Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality questions whether the additional expense is cost-effective when many cancers can be treated effectively with other radiation therapies.

For more on cancer treatments, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Keepsakes and Memorabilia: Mementos From My Former Life

I always thought this would make for interesting and revealing conversation with friends: If you could sum up your childhood by compiling a few items, what would they be?

Going through Mom and Dad's "stuff," I've found bits and pieces of my childhood. A Hopalong Cassidy box of paper straws. Partially used ticketbooks from early 1960's Disneyland. I can still pan for gold or sample the Old Miner's Burro Ride (if it's still in existence) without a charge because I unearthed a Knott's Golden Nugget Adventures Fun Book.

Dad liked to enclose important items in frames like Mom's check from her first sale and Brent's first dollar earned.

Mom kept a sampling of our clay models (my piglike bear and a man's face created by my sister), even my pressed preschool handprint.

Most things, I know, landed into the great "trashcan in the sky." But it's amusing to find these kinds of keepsakes (maybe put them into a scrapbook). It makes me glad that mom wasn't absolutely fastidious about her home. And it's kind of a reminder that I had a life before I got married at 20.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beware Negative Option Programs: Scams That Target Seniors

Negative option programs puts the burden on you as a consumer to cancel an order because they are considered "legally accepted" if you don't respond! In other words, if you say nothing, you are buying something!!!

Sid Kircheimer in the September, 2009, AARP Bulletin warns us about this kind of scam often perpetrated by banks in the bank-branded offerings.

Make sure your bank doesn't charge you for bank-branded offerings (like car or life insurance) if you don't want them.

Here's what you can do:

1. Scrupulously review your bank statements upon receipt--you have only 60 days to dispute a charge.

2. Beware of tree trial offers where negative option programs are common.

3. Request a contract.

4. Send certified letters with return receipt requested asking companies not to send information about company-branded programs.

And when is doubt, contact your state attorney general or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

For more on consumer protection, visit 50somethinginfo.com.