HEALTH

STAYING FOCUSED

About a month ago I took a significant tumble.  I was feeling good, walking well, but wasn’t paying too much attention where I was walking.  Thus the tumble.

As one gets older we don’t have the quick reflexes we did during our younger days.  Our balance is off also.  So when I tripped I went down face first.   Luckily my eyeglasses actually offered some protection as I didn’t break my nose or take a hard bump to my head.  However, I was bleeding profusely from my nose.  Any head injury does cause considerable bleeding, which is disconcerting to those who are witness.  Although the couple who aided me will unlikely read this blog, I do want to thank them for their help.

I do want to pass on a few recommendations to those who fall and those who assist them. First of all do not be in a hurry to get up, sometimes an injury could be more involved and you need to assess yourself.  Did you lose consciousness, even momentarily?  Do you have any sharp pain, can you move all your extremities?  Is there immediate deep bruising, especially in your abdomen, this can signal internal bleeding.  Any deep gash or laceration causing profuse bleeding.  These are all signs of more severe injury and in need of medical intervention.

Now in my case none of the above applied except for copious bleeding from my nose.  If you get hit in the nose, there will be lots of bleeding.  Not necessary to make an immediate trip to the ER unless you happen to be on blood thinner medication.  When a person’s nose is bleeding, do not tilt the head back, this does not stop the bleeding but only redirects it down one’s throat.  Hold head straight and pinch just below bridge of nose, bleeding will slow and eventually stop.  At that time one can gently blow their nose as clots may have formed.

I was sore for at least two weeks.  Healing takes time, be good to yourself and don’t rush it.   Lesson  learned; I will stay focused on my surroundings and slow down.

Good Health

 

FIFTY LIFE QUESTIONS

HOW WERE HOLIDAYS CELEBRATED IN YOUR FAMILY

As I am preparing for the Christmas holidays I always remember Christmas as the Four F’s; Family, Friends, Food and Festivity.  This was true of all the holidays we used to celebrate.  However, of all the holidays Christmas was by far the most elaborate.

We always had a fresh pine Christmas tree which was put up the week before Christmas.  There we no mini lights then so we had strings of the larger lights and very traditional ornaments, red rope and tinsel finished off the decorations.  My mother always bought five ropes of red cinnamon candy which was wrapped around the tree, sometimes popcorn balls and candy canes.  We would get these treats when the tree came down.  Something we kids looked forward to.

My sisters and I used to play games involving the Christmas tree, such as trying to guess which ornament we were looking at, sometimes when pointing out the ornament it would fall and break which brought a loud TSK from mom.  We all bought gifts for each other, they were wrapped and placed under the tree which always added to the excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning.

I remember Christmas Eve dinner as mom preparing all kinds of fish, we followed the Catholic tradition of no meat on the eve.  In later years meat was allowed on Christmas Eve and our menu changed with it.  Lasagne, chicken, ham, sausage, salads, cookies and chocolate pie.

Mom kept up the tradition of the Four F’s for decades ending when she announced she was not physically able to continue.  Then my siblings and myself picked up the celebration.  Today I prepare Christmas Eve celebration with my children and grandchildren with a modified menu my mother set and I hope my family will have the fond memories of Christmas that I still remember.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year.

THEN AND NOW

GOOD ADVICE

As I have this ongoing project of decluttering my closets and drawers I came across a paper of MURPHY’S LAW.  During this season of bussiness and haste I want to share some of the Murphy’s Law quotes.

Murphy was an optimist.

“There’s never time to do it right, but there’s time to do it over.”                                         “The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train.”                       “If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don’t know what the hell is going on.”                                                                                                                                          “Never argue with a fool, people might not know the difference.”                                       “A short cut is the longest distance between two points.”                                                     “Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit.”                                                   “If you’re feeling good, don’t worry, you’ll get over it'”                                                          “In case of doubt make it sound convincing.”                                                                           “Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.”                                                                   Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”                                                                           “If more “one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no one will be at fault.”         And my favorite, “Everyone should believe in something–I believe I’ll have another drink.”

Take the time  to enjoy this beautiful Christmas season and slow down.

 

THEN AND NOW

MEMORIES

I have been de-cluttering  my closets for the last several months.  Not having a great deal of progress.  For example, I put a turkey platter aside to get rid of, (it was an inexpensive platter, white with a raised turkey design in the center), but then I started to remember when my mother gave it to me.  It was the first year of my marriage and I used that platter for years.  It wasn’t just that memory but brought to the surface all the memories of parents sharing Thanksgiving dinner, a time when my children were little and my husband and I had our hopes and dreams for the future.  The platter is still with me.

It is true that one still has the memories, but the memories are numerous and the catalyst is the item.  Another example is decorating the Christmas tree.  Last year I gave members of my family some of my ornaments that I thought would have special meaning to them.  However, I kept the ones that brought to my mind the most treasured memories as each one has a story.   Sometimes placing these ornaments on the tree make me smile as I remember not only the giver but the happiness when I received them.  Other times it brings tears to my eyes as the giver is no longer here.  Regardless, I cherish all the memories happy or sad and will carefully keep them for the next year.

I will continue to purge my closets, though the process is slow.  Each item I get rid of deserves to be remembered though maybe not kept.

I found the following in my desk drawer, good thoughts to live by.

The Secret To Happiness Is Such

Erase past failures                                                                                                                           Find a goal                                                                                                                                      Practice patience                                                                                                                            Never give up                                                                                                                                  Have many friends                                                                                                                        Overwhelm enemies with kindness                                                                                           Jest ewwhen depressed                                                                                                                Win and lose fairly                                                                                                                        Marvel at the wonders of nature                                                                                                Yearn for peace of mind                                                           Author unknown

 

COOKING

THANKSGIVING DINNER

I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for more than fifty years.  My menu is basically the same menu I grew up with, some things left out and over the years I have taken some short cuts.  The most important part of this wonderful dinner is family and friends, not how much work you put into preparation.

My dinner menu starts with Italian Wedding Soup, The star of the event, the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, green salad, dinner rolls and of course pumpkin pie.  This is served with beverage of wine and sparkling juice.

Yeah, a lot of food.  When I was first married I followed my mother’s way of doing things with her help.  Of course at that time there were few choices except to cook from scratch.  Today grocery stores will deliver your complete thanksgiving dinner, restaurants are opened for turkey dinner, and there is a wide variety of prepared food that only needs to be warmed.

Today I take advantage of a few prepared items for my dinner, such as buying Bob Evans or Costco mashed potatoes, already baked dinner rolls, prepared pie crusts.  I still prepare my soup, the dressing and the turkey.   I gave up on candied sweet potatoes and just bake them along with the turkey.  I buy the prepared pie crusts and finish pie with Libby’s pumpkin pie filling, just adding milk and eggs.  I prepare as much as I can the day before.  If I have a large group, I buy two smaller turkeys, stuff them and cook one the day before, then there’s enough dark meat plus leftovers for family.  Although it still takes a lot of work, it is lightened considerably with taking short cuts.

The Italian Wedding Soup, we always called it green soup because of the spinach in it, is probably the most time-saving short cut I use today.  I don’t make my own soup stock, but use the packaged chicken broth, I use cooked chicken from the rotisserie chickens, shredded and frozen ahead of time.  The taste is the same, but a lot less work.  Recipe for soup follows.

I enjoy Thanksgiving and all the fixings, and am very thankful for my wonderful children and their spouses, my beautiful grandchildren, friends and the most wonderful country we live in.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Green Soup Recipe:  32 oz. of chicken broth, 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken, 10 oz. of frozen chopped spinach, (I also make very small meatballs to add to the soup, but this is not required), 2 eggs beaten and 1/3 to 3/4 cuo of grated parmesan cheese.          Heat broth, chicken and spinach to boiling point.  Beat eggs and add cheese to eggs mixing well, then add to hot soup, stir well, turn off heat and let set for 5 minutes.  Serves 4.

HEALTH

EXERCISE THROUGH HOUSEWORK

Exercise is not about losing weight, but rather keeping fit.  You probably heard the saying “use it or lose it”, well that is very true.

When we are young we can”t help but exercise by running, skipping, jumping, being involved with all kinds of sports and dancing.  As we get older we are not as nimble or flexible.  Our bodies protest by causing aches and pains, and calling to mind body parts we no longer take for granted.

When I was younger, I could clean my house from top to bottom in one day and still had energy in reserve for more interesting activities.  As the years crept up it began to take me two days to clean and then my more interesting activity was sitting in front of the T.V. rewarding myself with a good snack.

Yes, we all slow down as we age, but one must keep on moving.   One can get a lot of exercise just by doing household chores, exercise and a clean house.  For example, weight lifting, picking up a full hamper of dirty clothes and again lifting a laundry basket of clean clothes.  When folding your laundry try standing and bending down for each item to fold, (our mothers and grandmothers used to hang clothes out to dry using this same technique.   Emptying the dishwasher, stacking plates and moving them to cupboard.  I find putting my dishes where I have to reach up, lifting several plates at a time is not only lifting some weight but stretching at the same time.  Try placing some items you use everyday a little higher so you stretch to reach them.

Grocery shopping incorporates walking, reaching and lifting items onto belt, loading bags into car, unloading bags into car then unloading again at home.  Think of it as exercise.

Vacuuming, the push and pull of maneuvering he vacuum throughout the house, try changing hands every so often.  Sweeping, can be done with waist twists.

To spice it up a bit, put some lively music on so you keep beat with the music.

Think of your routine activities and how you might use your different muscles.  Remember as you get older you may slow down a bit but pace yourself and keep moving.  Every movement means something.

Good Health.

THEN AND NOW

HALLOWEEN

I have just bought my Halloween candy for the trick or treaters and it got me reflecting on changes throughout the years.

When I was a youngster my mother had a trunk in the attic with various Halloween costumes; a clown, gypsy, witch and other odds and ends.  A few days before halloween my sisters and I would sort through the trunk for our costumes.  I remember on the day of halloween carrying a bag to school with my costume for our school party which was held in the afternoon.  While we were at school my mother would prepare the treats she would be passing out that evening.  She would fix packages of loose candy wrapped in a napkin and tied with larger packages going to our friends and immediate neighbors.  There were no miniature candy bars sold then.  Most of the treats we collected were candy corn wrapped in packages, peanut butter kisses, suckers, apples, pennies and chocolate bars.  Also when going house to house we called in unison,  “Help the poor.”  We would start begging  when it got dark outside coverd a five block area, teturning home around nine P.M. We were a large group of kids (no parents going out with us) and we and our parents felt safe.

When my children were little one parent always walked with their children and their friends with their parent.  By then candy manufacturers got wiser and sold all kinds of candy individually wrapped and miniature size candy bars.  Convenience and necessity brought some of these changes around following a darker side of Halloween.  In the 60″s kids celebrated Devil’s night pranks.  This included ringing doorbells, soaping windows both house and car, and egging houses.  It had gotten so bad that some irate recipients of these pranks started giving nasty things inside the children’s bags.  Some even put razor blades inside apples causing serious injury.  In Detroit houses were set afire, one year 800 were burned.  This was indeed a very dark side of Halloween and we never let our children participate in  any type of prank.  Parents checked over all candies collected looking for any tampering of treats.  Any open wrapper or suspicious treat got thrown out.

Today Halloween is the second largest holiday, after Christmas.   Houses are elaborately decorated, parents either walk with their children or drive them to neighborhoods.  Kids still eagerly pick out their costumes, and I must say there are some very creative ones.  I for one love seeing children dressed up and trick or treating, leaving out the tricks.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN