Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

A Day at the Fair

Recently a group of us from Franke Tobey Jones spent the day at the Washington State Fair. There’s so much to see there that it’s hard to decide what to feature, but here are three things that amused me (click on any photo to see a larger version):

Where do brown eggs come from?
Where do brown eggs come from?

 

magic hands
magic hands

 

bovine wisdom
bovine wisdom

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

Older Entrepreneurs Take On the ‘Concrete Ceiling’

Many older Americans want to start a business but find they lack certain skills, and sometimes also the confidence to try something new. In response, more organizations focused on training entrepreneurs are targeting baby boomers.

A look at programs across the U.S. that help older adults start their own businesses.

‘Elder Orphans’ Have a Harder Time Aging in Place

I had never heard the term elder orphan before I came across this article and had no idea what it might mean.

An elder orphan has no adult children, spouse or companion to rely on for company, assistance or input. About 29 percent (13.3 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons live alone. The majority of those are women (9.2 million, vs. 4.1 million men).

Carol Marak, who describes herself as an elder orphan, writes about why we need more services for people like herself who have no family to help them make crucial life decisions as they age. Marak started the Elder Orphan Facebook Page “designed for individuals over the age of 55 who live without a spouse and adult children to look after us as we grow older.”

Vitamin B12 as Protection for the Aging Brain

Jane Brody, age 75, writes that even though she eats a balanced diet, she’s considering taking a vitamin B12 supplement. As people age, she says, their ability to absorb B12 from dietary sources may diminish:

“Depression, dementia and mental impairment are often associated with” a deficiency of B12 and its companion B vitamin folate, “especially in the elderly,” Dr. Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, a psychiatrist at Wayne State University School of Medicine, has written.

Others besides people over age 50 who may have a B12 deficiency include vegetarians and vegans who eat little or no animal protein, people with stomach or small-intestine disorders like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, people whose digestive systems have been surgically altered for medical reasons, and chronic uses of proton-pump inhibitors to control acid reflux. A blood test can measure one’s level of B12.

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

9/15

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

The Seattle Seahawks opened the 2016 season last Sunday with a heart-stopping come-from-behind victory in the final 44 seconds of the game. Seahawks fans used to call themselves The 12th Man, but a college in Texas apparently has trademark rights on that phrase. Therefore, the correct nomenclature is now The 12. There are big flags sporting a giant 12 on a blue background just about everywhere you look.

People here take their football very seriously, as these photos demonstrate.

Seahawks' fan's car
Seahawks’ fan’s car
Seahawks Hot Sauce
Seahawks Hot Sauce
Kayaks in Seahawks team colors
Kayaks in Seahawks team colors

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

People Are Happiest At This Unexpected Time of Life

old-people

New research suggests that people get happier with age. Earlier research has suggested that peoples’ mental health improves as they age, and this study of 1,546 randomly selected adults in San Diego County suggests a correlation with happiness.

Have a Story to Tell? Your Personal Memoirist Is Here

Even in an era when it seems every life is displayed on social media for the world to see, a whole generation is getting older, and its stories, if not written or otherwise recorded, will be lost. Serving that market is becoming a small-business enterprise.

This article describes how personal historians work with clients to write the individual’s life history.

Is This Sustainable Village The Future Of Retirement?

An account of Serenbe, a multigenerational community in Chattahoochee Hills, outside Atlanta,GA. The community clusters homes and commercial buildings together so that a large portion of wooded land can be left undeveloped.

Nygren’s vision for Serenbe was modeled on the English countryside, where high-density villages are surrounded by expansive rural spaces.

Writing a ‘Last Letter’ When You’re Healthy

Dr. VJ Periyakoil, director of the Stanford Palliative Care Education & Training Program, describes the Stanford Letter Project, which encourages older adults to write letters to their loved ones expressing sentiments they might not have been able to say face-to-face. The article contains a link to the Stanford Letter Project, which offers free letter templates.

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

Last week we took a trip to Victoria, BC, with a group from our retirement community. There’s so much to see and do there, but today I’ll focus on three things that amused me.

(1) I love puns

Boat: Prince of Whales

I make no apology for this personality quirk.

(2) Mountie Moose

Moose Mountie

Royal Canadian Mounted Moose

(3) Piano Alfresco

outdoor piano

On our bus ride along the scenic route, we noticed a couple of pianos in plastic covers along the sidewalk. When we stopped along the way at a photo opportunity, a young man walked over to the nearby piano, unzipped the plastic cover, and sat down and played for a few minutes. Then he rezipped the cover and walked on his way.

Apparently these pianos are set out just so anyone who wants to can stop and play for a while. I’ve never seen anything like this before. What a great idea!

Until next time, I hope everyone has a great week.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

LA art exhibition look at dying through words, photos

Four years ago photographer Andrew George approached the medical director of a Los Angeles hospital with an unusual request: He wanted to meet and take photographs of people about to die.

There was nothing macabre about the request, George says. He simply wanted to learn of and reflect the wisdom these people had gained in the hope that others could discover how to lead better, more fulfilling lives.

Read what George learned about the hopes, dreams, happy memories, and regrets of his participants.

Relationships with family members, but not friends, decrease likelihood of death

For older adults, having more or closer family members in one’s social network decreases his or her likelihood of death, but having a larger or closer group of friends does not, finds a new study that will be presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Will Your Prescription Meds Be Covered Next Year? Better Check!

The battle continues to rage between drug companies that are trying to make as much money as possible and insurers trying to drive down drug prices. And consumers are squarely in the middle.

This article from National Public Radio (NPR) suggests checking with your insurer to see if your prescriptions will be covered next year. If your insurance company drops coverage of one or more of your medications, you may have to consult your doctor about replacements.

New Clues in the Mystery of Women’s Lagging Life Expectancy

While the life expectancy of American women has remained stagnant, the cause or causes of this stagnation has eluded researchers. But new research has “found that many common demographic traits — whether a woman is rich, poor, unemployed, working, single or married — might not be as important as the state in which she lives.”

The finding that the social and economic environment of states affects women’s life expectancy but not men’s surprised researchers: “Women have consistently had longer life expectancy than men, and still do, though less so than 30 years ago.” Another surprising conclusion from the research is that people’s environment can be just as important to their health as their individual behaviors (such as exercise and healthy eating).

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

I have missed several weeks of Three Things Thursday because of a couple of family situations that required drop-everything-and-go travel. I’m glad to be back.

Memories from New England

My husband and I grew up in Connecticut, lived most of our adult lives (42 years) in St. Louis, then retired to Tacoma, WA. The first of our unexpected trips required a return to Connecticut, where I waxed nostalgic over several things emblematic of the region.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) White Birch Trees

white birch trees
white birch trees

These beautiful trees (Betula papyrifera) are all over the wooded areas of New England. I didn’t realize how much I love them until we moved to the midwest, where these trees don’t grow. Their white bark with narrow, horizontal black lines peels off in sheets. The bark is water repellant, and Native Americans used birch bark to build canoes.

I was glad to be reunited with birch trees when we moved to Washington State. Many of the trees here are not as white as those in New England. White barks signifies older trees;  younger trees have light brown bark. Birch is a short-lived species that doesn’t do well in humidity, which may account for the color difference between New England and Pacific Northwest trees. The birch trees here are definitely recognizable, though, and are one of the first natural phenomena I noticed when I moved here.

Also known as paper birch, these trees are among the first to grow after forest fires. They provide winter forage for moose.

(2) Buildings with Several Numbers

Elton Tavern, Burlington, CT, USA; built in 1810
Elton Tavern, Burlington, CT, USA

These plaques are on the Elton Tavern in my hometown of Burlington, CT (shown in the feature image at the top of this post). When I was a kid, the building was a private house. The local lore was that the building was originally an inn where George Washington stopped for the night on his travels. In more recent years the town historical society has bought and refurbished the building, but I haven’t been in town to attend the now annual Tavern Day that features colonial crafts and history. The road on which the building sits has always been called George Washington Turnpike.

Plaques such as these mark buildings all over New England. In many town centers you’ll see houses with a street number on the left of the front door and the date the house was built on the right. New Englanders take their early history quite seriously.

(3) White Clapboard Churches

Burlington Congregational Church, Burlington, CT
Burlington Congregational Church, Burlington, CT

This is the Congregational Church in Burlington, CT, which was founded in 1774. You’ll find a church that looks almost exactly like this one in most New England towns. This is not surprising, since the right to worship as they chose was what brought most early settlers to the area.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown