Monday, December 26, 2011

Who Needs Snow?

What a wonderful Christmas! We headed to Murfreesboro to spend Christmas Eve and Day with Libby, Led and Savannah and Led's mom, Marilyn. This precious angel was singing the blessing at 20 months old for our Christmas Eve dinner...and then we wished the Baby Jesus a Happy Birthday! There is nothing as angelic as a baby...unless they've had too much sugar which happened on Christmas day!

Don't I look lovely? This was around 7A on Christmas morning...thank heavens the hair wasn't too horrid, but of course you don't tell a baby to wait while you put on all natural! We had the best time with know you've overwhelmed her with presents when you ask her if she wants to open another present and she says "no please"! After a wonderful Christmas day brunch, we headed home to nap!!

Today the tree came down and we started the preparations for the Notre Dame/Florida State Bowl Party at our house and the arrival of Woody's brother and his family for the Mississippi State versus Wake Forest Bowl Game here in Nashville on the 30th! This was supposed to be my year to go to a Bowl Game, but with MSU playing here in Nashville it was silly not to stay ND get back to a bowl next year!! Tomorrow is house cleaning and Wednesday is cooking! This holiday season has been fabulous...we usually head to Florida for the winter but it's so much fun with Savannah that we probably won't head down til February. January is cold in Destin anyway! Estelle and David suggested we go in they're having canasta withdrawal like we are!

I think my tip for you is to enjoy your friends and family, not just at Christmas, but all through the year! As we get older, we will begin to lose loved ones or may suffer poor health and not have the freedom to run and's important to embrace every minute to the fullest. Run and play and hug and love! Hope you've had a blessed holiday season and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Doomsday Prophecy and Dementia!

The History Channel is running Armageddon Week including a series of shows on the Apocalypse 2012 predictions of the Maya Long Calendar...the last baktun of the calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Soooo.....if the world is ending in a year, does that mean I don't need to diet? If the Mayans were so smart...where are they now? Did they leave with the aliens that helped them build their civilization? The problem with all this is that so many of the wars, disasters and conflicts happened as predicted in the katuns that make up the baktuns. December 21, 2012 is also the date of an unusual cosmic alignment where the earth completes a wobble that occurs only every 26,000 years. How did they know? Is this a cataclysmic event? How does this correlate with Nostradamus?

Now you know what I watch when there is absolutely nothing on television!

When I struggle to find something on all these high definition channels, I generally settle on something that is whether the Mayans were really that smart or how sharks hunt or how to remodel my bathroom on $ costs more than $2.98. At first I felt guilty about not using every minute of every day in a productive manner, but then I remembered that I'm retired. Life is getting shorter and I should have time to consume vast quantities of knowledge...hopefully in this case, inconsequential knowledge! It's also much cheaper than going back to school unless you find a college that lets you audit or sit in a class free...however...tip for the day...It's never too late to learn can go back to school, watch the History Channel or HGTV, tutor your grandchildren, teach literacy in your community, or just read.

If we quit learning, our brains weaken and life becomes really boring. Not using your brain has also been linked to dementia...I would rather watch the History Channel than lose brain cells! I know people who can only talk about the past and have no clue about anything going on in the world or even in their own community. Our world is challenging us is important to be engaged and learning and contributing right up to either the end of the world or the end of our lives...whenever they occur!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Downfall of Rome!

For those of you who know me well, you know I'm addicted to gossip sites and blogs. While I temper it with the NY Times and the Washington Post and post under the nom de plume Healthcare for All, I also love to read about the Kardashian's and Elin Nordegrin and lots of other people who's lives seem unbelievably fascinating to boring old me! One of the things that I've learned is that there is so much negativity in responding to entertainment posts and political posts that I may have to give up this guilty pleasure. I don't really understand why people read things and then say how horrid the people or actions are...if you don't like someone or something, don't read it and then say such incredibly angry things. Civil discourse seems to be missing in the world today. Profanity and tirades are not constructive. If you read something and disagree, state your case. If you're smart enough to use a computer and can read, then one would expect that you could link words together to agree, disagree or make recommendations without resorting to boorish language that would embarrass your mother!

Perhaps my tip for the day is to remind everyone that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all...or to paraphrase a bit...if you can't add to the educated discourse, then perhaps you shouldn't show your ignorance by posting!

I've found as I get older, I'm becoming more sensitive to how our country seems to be spiraling downward in civility. Kindness seems to be missing in our day to day interactions with others. When there is no concern for others, aren't we heading down the same road that led to the downfall of Rome? Someone posted today that charity should not be forced. I don't know that I agree with that...perhaps we should educate others as to why charity is important because our country seems to be a bit too self-centered lately. We are only concerned about ourselves and what we can get out of life in our personal greed. How can we ignore the children in our country who are hungry? How can we ignore that greed on Wall Street has destroyed so many lives? How can we ignore that so many people have no access to healthcare? Why are racism, sexism and lots of other "ism"s still condoned?

I think perhaps I need to go to bed now...maybe I'll feel better in the morning but right now I'm bummed. Please let's be nice for a least through the holidays! Try to say one nice thing a day...or more please!! And if you post in response to an online story....think before you hit enter!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cookies and Retirement

Well, I'm officially re-retired again! One of the nice things about consulting is that eventually you are through and can be home and making Christmas cookies with your granddaughter! Now if Marsha will give me a break for a while before finding me another job!

We've had a wonderful few weeks...we combined a trip to my favorite casino...Harrah's Cherokee....a trip to Chapel Hill to see our beautiful 7 year old granddaughter...and a trip to Greenville, SC to finish my consulting engagement there. Since Chris and Jen moved to Chapel Hill, I just can't ask Woody to drive 540 miles in one day...we are too old! So Cherokee is halfway. One of the perks of Harrah's is how generous they are with incentives to come and play including free rooms! Of course, usually I pay more than a Ritz Carlton with my losses.  This time came home about $50 to the good!

Riley is almost as tall as I am and I am so hopeful that she will be tall, thin and blonde...which was always my personal goal.  The closest I ever got is one summer I decided to be a blonde which is not a good thing for a swim instructor/lifeguard and chlorine is not a good hair color shade! We had a wonderful time eating and shopping in Chapel the thin thing is not likely either. Nantucket's had a wonderful lobster roll and incredible desserts! It was fun to see Bella the great dane and her new brother Charlie the bulldog. Chris and Jen's house is in an incredible wooded and hilly setting which I love but only because I don't have to do the yard. Chris and I agreed it reminded us of the Knollwood house except our lot there was flat. The trees make it so established even though it's a newer area.

Woody and I both love Greenville...we hit our favorite TJMaxx and our favorite restaurant, Takosushi...and yes, it's southwest/far east so you can have enchiladas or sushi (or bait as we call it in the south). Woody got to go to The Lazy Goat and High Cotton, two of my favorites. Isn't it funny that I seem to blog about casinos and restaurants? And now you know why I still consult on occasion to be able to afford my preferred lifestyle. So my tip for this blog...If you want a really fun retirement, consider a part time job since the market hasn't been kind to any of us!

My consulting work allows me to remain professionally engaged and still feel that I am helping cancer patients...this time a physician practice. I met some of the most dedicated staff I've had the pleasure to work with in a while! There have been lots of challenges, but they've never lost sight of why they do what they do. So keep all cancer care providers in your prayers...and pray you never have to meet any of the wonderful people that spend their entire careers caring for patients and families with this dread disease. I've spent almost 40 years in cancer is the most rewarding thing I could ever imagine...from nursing to education to administration to consulting, I've always loved it.  I guess that this is the passion that everyone tells you to find and is the reason I've not been able to quit working completely.

As we enter this Christmas season, don't forget to put Christ in Christmas. It's not things; it's so much more. Making cookies with your granddaughter, watching your granddaughter climb a tree, missing the grandson you don't see as often, seeing how a kind word and and coffee can help a patient and family deal with a new diagnosis, leaving a little extra tip for the frazzled waitress who may be trying to get through school or care for her family...well you get the idea! I'll let you decide how to put Christ in your Christmas. You'll feel great! Merry Christmas!!