Last Week’s Links

On this, the last week’s links before the new year, please indulge my first two choices. When we retired from St. Louis to the Pacific Northwest, I undertook the project of acquainting myself with literature specific to this region. The first two entries here provide suggestions for doing just that.

The 2010s in books: 10 titles from Washington-state authors that defined the decade 

I’ve read three books on this list, have heard of a couple of other writers, and found out there are a lot more Pacific Northwest authors I need to acquaint myself with.

25 Books to Read Before You Die: Pacific Northwest Edition

I landed on this article through a link in the previous one. This list, prepared by the famous bookstore Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon, has a wider focus than the first one and features “what we consider a consummate selection of books written by Pacific Northwest authors.” Boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do! 

The Hidden Upsides of Growing Older

Well, some good news!

We often take for granted the advantages that coincide with years of experience when handling complex information or rebounding from setbacks. We’d like to focus here on the aspects of mental function that stay strong or even become better with age. We refer to these enhanced mental functions as “hidden upsides,” because we often don’t notice the many ways that our years of life have led to improved mental abilities.

This article apparently is a general introduction to an upcoming series from Psychology Today that promises to look at specific upsides and to explore “the types of situations in which the older adult mind surpasses its younger adult counterpart.” I’ll be looking for those future columns.

Baba Ram Dass, spiritual guru and LSD proponent, dies at 88

Many of us of a certain age remember Ram Dass—born Richard Alpert—who in the 1960s experimented with LSD and traveled to India in search of spiritual enlightenment. He “was best known for the 1971 book “Be Here Now,” written after his trip to India.” Later he wrote, “the baby boomers are getting old — and I’m learning how to get old for them. That’s my role.”

What you’re unwrapping when you get a DNA test for Christmas

“To what extent is giving a DNA test also a present for law enforcement?”

Many DNA databases were started to help people interested in genealogy connect with their extended family. DNA kits to help people find relatives are often touted as great gifts. “But is using one of these kits also opening the door to letting the police use your DNA to arrest your cousin?”

This article discusses several DNA testing companies and databases and explains how the results may be used.


© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

More Holiday Trees

Here are some more of the many holiday trees around the campus here at Franke Tobey Jones.

I find the angel tree particularly gorgeous:

Christmas decorated with angel ornaments

The sports tree stands in a corner of the Wellness Center and encourages us to remember the importance of exercise. Notice the angel holding a barbell at the very top:

Christmas tree decorated with sports-related ornaments

Here’s a closer look at a couple of the ornaments on the sports tree:

close-up of sports tree decorations: basketball and karate

The plaid tree stands welcomingly in the entry lobby of our brand new Health Care Center:

The plaid Christmas tree

A closer look reveals red cardinal birds and blue ornaments nestled in among the plaid frames:

close-up of the plaid tree: red cardinal bird & plaid ornaments

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

Oh Christmas Tree

We have about 20 holiday trees all around the campus here at Franke Tobey Jones retirement community. Our activities director and her staff have been busily and creatively decorating them all, and the are all different. Let me show you three of them.

Here’s the rose gold tree in the corner of the lobby in the main building:

Christmas tree decorated in rose gold

The snowman tree greets diners as they enter the dining room of the main building:

Christmas tree decorated with snowman ornaments

And in the corner of that dining room is the red tree:

Christmas decorated in red

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

Seahawks Holiday Tree

This tree inside the main building at Franke Tobey Jones Retirement Community features the Seahawks’ colors, blue and green. We take our football very seriously around here!

blue & green Seahawks holiday tree

Season’s Greetings!

Saint Nicholas stands just inside the entrance to the main building here at our retirement community, Franke Tobey Jones, to greet visitors.

St. Nicholas the Greeter