Sunday, December 28, 2008

The End of the Snow and the Beginning of New Ideas

What an unbelievable week. From feet of snow and ice - burst pipes in homes and moorages [my moorage included ] to pot luck dinners with friends, from hard to navigate roads to: TA DA - a night of warm rain and now no snow in sight! It went away that fast....

Even the spring bulbs that had started growing in our warm Fall are perky and green - that after being covered with ice and snow for the week. Now we do the fixing up and I have figured out how to replumb the kitchen without pulling up a floor board or 2 or 3 which would have to await warm weather. Got the idea from a neighbor - the crawl space between roof and ceiling!

It's hard to think outside a box and in this case the box is that most have homes here have the plumbing under the floors and therefore close to the river. It took a mention of pipes in the "attic" to joggle my brain...and it's not age related at all....it's that we think first along lines similar to what we see on a daily basis or along familiar thought patterns.

The message is that we need to let the imagination run free and imagine what can be - not what is....it's something I think we all need more practice doing....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do You Know What Your Med Mixtures Do To You?

More about seniors and medications...
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Older adults in the United States are popping prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements in record numbers, and in combinations that could be deadly, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

They said more than half of U.S. adults aged 57 to 85 are using five or more prescription or non-prescription drugs, and one in 25 are taking them in combinations that could cause dangerous drug interactions.

"Older adults in the United States use medicine and they use a lot of it," said Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau of the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"While medications are often beneficial, they are not always safe," she said in a telephone interview.

She noted a recent report that estimated U.S. adults over 65 make up more than 175,000 emergency department visits a year for adverse drug reactions, and commonly prescribed drugs accounted for a third of these visits.
Full article

They did not ask the question about why these people were taking so many prescription drugs but that is one that needs to be asked in a study. Do these people go to several physicians to get the medications? Do they not tell each physician what they are already taking? Or worse - does their one primary care physician not realize the interactions of all the medications that are being prescribed?

These are important questions and need to be asked... and so maybe I should get back to doing research....

After the new year I will put forth a questionnaire here [and elsewhere] for readers to respond to.

Life During a Major Snow Storm on the River

Again - thankful for friends, neighbors and local pets.....

I am thankful I have great neighbors and that river living produces lasting friendships - when the possibility of serious weather related issues is high, like this week, everyone helps out - no one gets bent out of shape about anyones stress levels...and we all watch out for each other.

Yesterday I had to go on my roof to shovel off some snow and ice and did it only when I knew neighbors were on hand to pay attention. My roof is relatively flat so as long as I stayed in the middle where my vents are I was ok - and the snow shoveling crew just kept looking up to check. We all had work to do to keep our houses from tipping to one side ...an aspect of winter life on the river...photo below is my roof and the vents - I went back up later to do more.


Then we had a pot luck dinner at one friend's house and we all brought portions made with what we had in our own houses. Overall we had a great meal - and superb deserts.

Good friends, great neighbors and playing with all the dogs in the snow and watching the one cat that seems to be loving snow [not mine] makes life great in the midst of some pretty bad weather. My fearless cat has met her match - she does not like deep snow :D


But we will welcome the normal warmer rain days predicted for this weekend....no one will say UGH more rain this year....

PS Note our high tech snow removal equipment - brooms!
[and one shared moorage snow shovel]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Twitter?

No it may not be what you think :D Twitter is an online way to connect in real time with short thoughts. [One is only allowed 140 characters.]

I've come to really like Twitter and I recently started a group on healthy aging.

Join Twitter, follow me and join the group - we can communicate with each other on Twitter about this process others call "old age." :D

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Arctic Winds and Burst Pipes!

For the last few days I have had frozen pipes which of course burst yesterday. So no water and no fun. I realized how much we rely on running water for our comfort. Luckily I have good friends as neighbors and one left me keys so I could take a hot shower this morning.

I filled pots with water before we shut off my main water supply and had to heat it for washing dishes and my hands. I tried to reframe all this as being on a camping trip when ones turn to wash dishes was a real treat - hot water! wow!

But that did not work as my brain kept saying "this isn't a camping trip."

The outdoor temperature rose just enough for the broken pipes to be capped and the glue to hold [I hope]. Floating homes are plumbed with cut and glue plastic piping...not hard to fix but when your hands are an inch or so above a very cold river - no fun ... the person who did the fixing is a friend's son and works with the owner of our moorage .. He's also young and he was able to reframe this as a fun puzzle as he figured out how to do the fix [ah youth :D].

I'll have him do a permanent re-plumbing this summer. That is not a winter activity.

I now have water only in my bathroom but I have water and can take a hot shower..

Hope all of you are toasty warm with both hot and cold running water - and electricity.. We really are spoiled - we don't appreciate what we have until it stops working for us!

Monday, December 15, 2008

fat fat fat - lose that belly fat

A dorky little video I made.... but it's short so you can watch....




you can go here and order the product: lynn's "store"

look for OsoLean

Drugs and Ghost Writers

From the New York Times
Wyeth’s Use of Medical Ghostwriters Questioned
By DUFF WILSON

Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company, paid ghostwriters to produce medical journal articles favorable to its hormone replacement therapy Prempro, according to Congressional letters seeking more information about the company’s involvement in medical ghostwriting. At least one article was published even after a federal study found the drug raised the risk of breast cancer.
Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/business/13wyeth.html?ref=business&pagewanted=print

I won't belabor my anti-big pharma feelings but let's say I am not the least surprised by this. Pay someone to write nice stuff - hmmm...good idea - except this is not some Hollywood star using a ghost writer but a company whose products can [and do] KILL you...and in fact they used a ghost writer after knowing that an HRT drug increased the risk of breast cancer.

Nice people these suits at Wyeth - "profits above all" is the motto for most corporations..

Message to users of the products? "We don't care about you at all - except for - buy buy buy our stuff - we only like your wallet."

Oh Boy - Did I Forget An Important Winter Task

Totally forgot to leave water dripping last night and now have some frozen pipes. As tonight is to be much much much colder- there may be a major problem when the temps go back above freezing :-( [it's called burst pipes]

How I forgot is beyond me - I'm the one that lived in cold New England areas lots of my adult life and know to do this !

Not sure if they are frozen inside or near the river - but I suspect it's both - and they won't defrost until it warms up and then - pipe replacement time.

So - a word of advice if it's cold near you - and you have an arctic air mass over you - leave water dripping in sinks or showers all the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Snowy Day

Watching the dogs and cats in our moorage I came to a conclusion that dogs walk the middle while cats live on the edge.

The dogs here all walk up the ramp or on the decks staying pretty centered..except that when the ramp is slippery mine uses the footholds nearer an edge...

But the cats? They walk on the very edge of the decks, the ramp and the railings....some, including mine, walk on the tubing that carry the utility wires and water to the moorage. Cats are not supposed to like water so why do they tempt fate by staying so close to edges that any off balance move has a good chance of sending them into the Columbia River?

We know they can all swim as all have come home at times head-to-paws soaking wet - but they came home :D.

Is it the nine lives and curiosity thing? Or are cats just more willing to live lives on the edges?

Thoughts to contemplate while we get snowed and iced in this week...right now the snow is coming down sideways.....it's that windy....next comes the sub-freezing temps making the decks a tad bit tricky - especially when the ice forms on one side and it tips...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Self Promotion :D

If you like this blog and find it useful - consider voting for me for people's health blogger by clicking on the badge to the right...and thank you

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

oopsie - here we go -

Many of us said we'd pay for our warm dry Fall... And yup - the payment is coming due this weekend. Sub freezing temps and possible snow - we may not get above freezing for several days. It's nearing the 5th anniversary of my moving into this house and the weather is duplicating that which we had 5 years ago! So I can reframe this as a 5th house anniversary gift from the weather makers :D

Spent the day moving my plants nearer to the house and grouped so they are easier to put a tarp over - and the poor plants like my nasturtiums which grew back may not make it...unless I find room inside to bring them in.

The weather here is so temperate that many of my houseplants have gotten so huge living outside most of the year that moving them in and out during very cold spells is no longer possible - I just do not have the space for them anymore.

And of course the tasks that "should-have-been-done" when it was nice out are not done...but if they were - well then that would not be me.

Reminds me of what my son said once when visiting me here - "it's neater than I thought it would be." I replied that someday it will be neat and spotless and he'd be surprised...

"But," he laughed, "then you wouldn't be my mommy."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Seniors and Children - the targeted populations!

Yesterday I went to an advocacy planning meeting - for human services in the rough financial seas ahead.

We heard from groups concerned with or represent children, seniors, the environment, disabilities, the poor and others who rely on the vast social service networks. All these groups have clients who now need services and see their client list growing by the day! In the face of that growing need - we are facing a huge budget deficit here in Oregon and I presume in all 50 sates and the District of Columbia. It is not pretty - in fact it can be depressing ugly - but we know we need to keep looking ahead and being hopeful that a new administration in D.C. will offer some hope and help - but it will not be immediate.

In bad times more people need social services.
In bad times governments cut social service funds.

That's the ongoing quagmire faced across this country right now!

Food banks are empty as people who used to donate now need the food themselves.
Lost jobs means more need food stamps.
More kids meet the requirement for free school lunch programs and those programs are either even funded or get less money now.
More seniors need help with food, medicine, emergency money for taxes and utility bills and those funds are the same as in previous years or less - with more people meeting the criteria for those funds.

Ask your state why is that the most vulnerable among us are the ones who are made more vulnerable in bad financial times? Do we not value our seniors or children? Why are they rarely or never top priority budget items?

Find out what decisions are being made in your state that affect seniors and children and call your state and federal reps and senators to make your voice heard..

And get involved with your local advocacy groups...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Aging and Resveratrol

When I first read this New York Times article about resveratrol I was intrigued. Seems resveratrol is in red wine but I had just read about it elsewhere so I looked thru my computer and found it is in one of the products I take - the one that reduces post exercise aches and pains! So I am getting resveratrol in my body daily - which is good as I don't like red wine :- )
A new insight into the reason for aging has been gained by scientists trying to understand how resveratrol, a minor ingredient of red wine, improves the health and lifespan of laboratory mice. They believe that the integrity of chromosomes is compromised as people age, and that resveratrol works by activating a protein known as sirtuin that restores the chromosomes to health.

Full article HERE

Happy December

The calendar tells me today is December 1! The weather out there tells me is Spring...My bulbs are starting to grow and if the warm weather remains I will soon have narcissus, crocuses and hyacinths... It's happened before - even back in New England so it's not a big surprise. Bulbs survive the cold/warm weather oddities but I think this year I will dig out a few and bring them in the house and see what happens.

Just wish my dog's hair would stop adapting so well :-) He's a malamute and when it gets cold he gets a winer coat and when it warms up - he sheds the winter coat...So imagine my house - a layer of undercoat on the floor. I vacuum 2x a day when he's in but as I work at home and it's not raining he stays out a lot. He does not like rain - 25 below zero and/or snow is cool with him but rain? Nah! He becomes a couch potato. And he gets brushed daily as well...he's a full time job these days :-)

Here he is the other day - note tufts around neck.

As humans we can adapt too....layer your clothing and just enjoy whatever weather your part of the world is having...it will change - that's a given!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

A day of giving thanks for many things:

our country will have a new president come January 20th!

my son is happy

I have good friends offline and online

I am healthy

I live in Portland

I see ducks like this



Ah and that soon it’s time to go and eat with many of those friends mentioned above....yummmm

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving and food and photos?

In my local paper today there were two articles in two different sections that ought to have been on one page and loudly linked to each other.

One stated that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest in emergency rooms...

One explanation is that because most physicians are closed - people go to the emergency room. but why do they go? They feel awful, drink too much, eat too much and the body yells back! It's not used to this amount of food and alcohol and fat-laden drinks. It's also a day that visiting relatives can get on your nerves and you are stressed, and lots of people, when stressed - eat more!

The other article was about the new federal exercise guidelines....2.5 hours a week of moderate is good but 5 hours a week is better defense against many diseases...

The one last note I saw online was to take a good look at a photo of yourself when you were about 18...it suggested that the weight you were then - give or take a little - is a good one to be at now!

So - Happy Thanksgiving...cut back on the food, look at old photos of you and your family, and resolve to eat better and exercise more. Let's all look like we did at 18!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

About Wellsphere and Mavens

I am a health blogger and health maven on Wellsphere [see logos to the right]

Below is a press release about the mavens from the chief medical officer at Wellsphere.

Recession Special: Free answers from doctors and expert patients who truly care

Wellsphere’s Health Mavens provide free answers to millions of health seekers

In these difficult economic times, it’s comforting to know there are medical and patient experts out there who care enough to answer health questions online for free. Dr. Geoff Rutledge , MD PhD, Wellsphere’s Chief Medical Information Officer, told reporters today about the new Health Maven Program, which connects volunteer doctors, psychologists, nurses, personal trainers, expert-patients and other experts with health seekers who are looking for answers. Anyone with access to the Internet can get their health questions and concerns answered quickly and at no cost at www.wellsphere.com/healthMaven.s.

Health mavens are carefully selected, knowledgeable, health experts who are committed to helping others live healthier, happier lives. Hundreds of Health Mavens have volunteered to join the program and answer questions, with new Mavens signing up every day. “We’re witnessing an incredible growth in the number of people using the Internet to find health information” said Wellsphere’s CEO Ron Gutman . According to an iCrossing research repot, for the first time in history people with health questions are more likely to turn to the Web for answers than to their doctor. “Recognizing this trend among our users, we assembled the world’s leading network of over 1,800 medical and patient experts to share their experiences and expertise with Wellsphere.com’s almost 3 million monthly visitors. We are humbled by the experience, expertise and genuine care these wonderful individuals share every day with people who come to Wellsphere looking for answers” said Gutman.

In addition to providing a wonderful service to people seeking answers to their health questions, the Health Maven program allows participating medical professionals and patient experts to broaden their impact by sharing their experiences and expertise with a much wider audience, and to get the recognition they deserve. Here are a few of their comments:

"Being a Health Maven gives me the opportunity to interact directly with the Wellsphere community. It's been a lot of fun and professionally it's incredibly rewarding." - Melissa McCreery , PhD

"Wellsphere has taken caring to a new level and I'm glad to be a part of it," - Kathleen Blanchard , RN

"I enjoy being a maven - it seems that doling out advice and answering questions seems to be my calling in life." - Lynn Dorman , PhD

To find out more about the Health Maven program, please visit http://www.Wellsphere.com/HealthMaven.s
--
Geoffrey Rutledge, MD PhD
Chief Medical Information Officer
Wellsphere
Dr.Rutledge@wellsphere.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Medicare

One of today's headlines:

Private Medicare Plans Have Added Costs, for Little Gain
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/business/24medicare.html?ref=health

Why is this? Because all those companies now trying to get you to switch to them get a subsidy from the government and here is no incentive to cut costs...

...two analysts from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission...said that growth in private plans had driven up costs because the government pays them 13 percent more on average than what it would spend for the same beneficiaries in traditional Medicare.

And we wonder why we are among the least healthy societies on earth while our medical costs are among the highest - if not the highest.....

In short GREED is the name of our economic game and look where it got us...expensive everything, low wages, declining retirement funds, job loss and...and...and - the list goes on..

I'm glad I am older and am not starting out in college, starting a family or looking for a job...

Holidays

I love Thanksgiving now that I am an adult. As a child, I did not like it as we spent the day with relatives and I was usually bored - [it was the pre-TV days].

Most of those relatives were not child oriented and had nothing around for me to do. As I got older and said no to those family outings, my parents invited them to our house - and at least then I could disappear into my room and had "stuff" to amuse me - or I could skip out and go to some friend's house or they to mine.

After I moved to Boston, I started doing Thanksgiving with friends and those friends became family. My mother came up sometimes but then she moved to Florida and the visits were less frequent for Thanksgiving...

Now Thanksgiving is a neighborhood pot luck. It started several years ago - before my arrival - and is a fun filled afternoon - good food, good wine and beer and super company...Almost no one plans on going anywhere for Thanksgiving - we stay put and have a day of food and friends and these are things for which we are all thankful.

What are you thankful for this year? Health? wellness? friends? pets? There is a lot to be thankful for and Thursday is the main day for giving thanks -

but giving thanks is something we can do everyday - all year long!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just one of "those" days

A typical Pacific Northwest day - except that we got spoiled since we have not had too many of them this year.

It's a wet 54 degrees and every so often the sun shines brightly and the rain diminishes. Have not seen a rainbow yet but they are typical on days like this - we even get double rainbows.

But while we enjoyed our warm, and mostly dry, October and November - some parts of the USA needed rain desperately and I hope they are getting enough now.

What concerns me even more - nice as October was - it was the second warmest October in record keeping history. Oceans are warmer, land masses are warmer, air is dirtier and less able to do what cleaner air can do...etc. We need to act to save our planet.

I'd rather have the usual October and November rain knowing that future generations will have a planet to call home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's that time of the year - it's "open season"

Sometimes I think the postal service would be in more serious trouble if it were not for the election cycles and Medicare "open season."

During the primary I got lots of "vote for me" mail, then even more during the general election season and now that has been followed by the companies who want me to look at their medigap plans and switch.

Some have local meetings to answer questions, others have web sites to check them out and some ask me to call them to learn more. And most are from companies with names I never heard of :-0.

I'm happy with the plan I have - which is going down in cost come January! The facility I go to when necessary is also pretty close...so I have no incentive to change.

But if you are thinking of switching plans or if you are new to Medicare - be careful...over the last few years some companies have used pressure tactics to get people to sign up... Why? The person you talk to is on commission! And now some physicians are no longer accepting Medicare patients. So be sure you find out all you can before switching or joining.

And rule of thumb when speaking to any company is to say..."thank you - let me think about it" and compare all aspects of plans in which you have interest.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Belly Fat

From the news:
A European study suggests that people with belly fat -- even if they're at a healthy weight -- have a higher risk of dying during a 10-year period than their same-weight peers without a spare tire.
Full article:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/11/12/healthmag.waist.death.risk/

Yes a high BMI index is bad - that's oldish news...but this study looked at waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio and found that these were associated with a higher mortality risk as well.
A 2-inch increase in waist circumference raised the mortality risk by 17% in men and 13% in women, regardless of BMI. The link was strongest in those who were at a healthy weight, compared to their heavier peers.
That is scary. I knew belly fat was bad which is why I started taking the product I talk about. I know for me it was hard to lose belly inches by exercising alone. I needed something to target that fat in ways that my exercises did not. I found it! I'm down 3 belly and 3 hip inches and now that I see how bad this fat is, I am aiming to get back to the waist I had when I was in my 20's! I'll let you know when that happens.
This is what one pound of body fat looks like - imagine it multiplied by 10 or 15 or 20 or more IN your belly!

you can read about beING healthy

or you can order the product here: lynn's "store" [look for OsoLean]

503.208.5009

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Economy and Us - No Fear Necessary

The world economic picture is sort of grim right now.  Job losses are increasing.  Banks are closing.  Retirement accounts are getting slimmer and the Social Security increase is going to be approximately a whopping $46 per month per recipient!

Although newly elected President Obama wants to work on a new stimulus plan when Congress reconvenes...it's not a sure thing since this is a lame duck Congress and some politicians are, unfortunately, wedded to an obstructionist philosophy.  But it can a time for great opportunity and not a time to fear.  Many businesses do well in this downturn.

If I might make a suggestion - if you are interested in increasing your monthly income working from home - please look at network marketing companies. Many are great companies.  You must be careful when selecting the one you want to work with - and you must love the products - but if you do that - network marketing works well in a bad economy.

For example - my own business is taking off right now.  Why?  A fat loss product that is safe and the ability to make money by letting others know about it.  Most of us know people who want to lose weight and so friends and friends of friends are now part of my business.  To be honest I never really tried hard to do this as a serious business.  I've been with this company for over 10 years as a customer who loves the products and one who would tell others only when they asked.

That has now changed.  Maybe it's the economy and maybe it's my high energy even after the long campaign season - which I attribute to the new fat loss product.  I now feel comfortable telling others to try it - in a much more direct tone of voice :-)

And duh! I get new customers and business partners!

So look into network marketing for a possible way to not be affected by the economic downturn...You might be pleasantly surprised.

I am working on a website to talk more about the company with which I am associated.  But if you want info more quickly than I get that up and running...I am reachable by clicking on my complete profile and emailing me from that page.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wow

Last night was an emotional high. I'm active in my local county/state democratic organization and last night thousands of us filled part of the Oregon Convention Center and cried, cheered and hugged each other - friends and strangers alike...it did not matter if it was a person you just met or bumped into :-) you just hugged...

I still have a sore throat - but 3 1/2 hours of happy yelling will do that to you.

Many of us "older" citizens were there til way too late :-) along with month old infants and all ages in between..it was too historic a moment to worry about the lateness of the evening.

Today, no matter who you voted for here, we are all one world - and we need to get along with each other across countries, ages and political leanings....

Life is too important for grudges ... so let's all grow older better and be wiser....

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote

If you live in the USA - Tuesday November 4th is election day.  Unless one has been under the proverbial rock - it's hard to not know this :-0 - it's been a long grueling primary and general election season - literally years in the making this time.

I have been more active this year than in any election [except for when I was in my 20's.]  The volunteers and staff I meet range from their teens to their 80's and it's been marvelous getting to know them.

We are all planning on being at "the" big party tomorrow night because we want to be among those whom we now call friend...

Politics IS a great big tent - sometimes a big 3-ring-circus tent...and like the circus - it can be great fun!

So - wherever you are - if you have not yet voted - GO OUT AND VOTE

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween and make believe for adults

Ah - the day you can actually BE something or someone else....

Did you put on a costume and go to a party this weekend? Or did you do phone banking or canvassing for a candidate?

Here one could do both - there were groups of adults going around in costumers collecting ballots [we vote by mail in Oregon]

They then turn the ballots in to an official - and yes that's all legal here....but just make sure you get a receipt for your ballot

But back to the costume..I did not see adults in costume last night as I was busy at a campaign office...but I wondered it we post-boomer aged people do some anti-aging with a costume?

Do we see ourselves on this one day as that younger, more agile person? Next year I'll go to a few parties and check this out. I do recall from last year's party that some female friends came as: raggedy Ann, the good witch, the geisha, and the pirate's lady!
The guys were pirates [that's a big theme here all year], raggedy Andy, and sailors [ not much of a costume needed.]

Kids like to play make believe and they often make believe they are older - so it makes sense that we as adults can make believe too - and make believe we are younger!

But the day after Halloween - we are all the age we are :-0

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Anti-Aging a Realistic Possibility?

I've been giving a lot of thought to this because every time I turn on my computer or my TV, I see ads for anti-aging x, y, and z products.

Is anti aging possible? Is it a reality?

In short - I don't think so. I'll post more thoughts about this topic over time but wanted to get my starting thoughts written down here today.

Aging is a process that starts when we are born - we get older every day! It's that plain and simple.

Aging, as a process, has a beginning, a middle and an end. My focus in this blog is that giant middle - the part of life when we start to see and feel some of the inevitable declines that happen with age...but where we can still make choices about how well we will live in our own futures.

I don't think we can stop the process - except when we die - nor can we reverse the process and go backwards.

What we can do is slow down the process by making intelligent decisions. It's all about the choices we make!

Intelligent people can choose to be well informed and make choices to compensate for problems with our air and food and take a long hard look at these products being made available to us and then - with facts in hand - we can ask: Is it an intelligent choice for me to take these supplements?

That's very different than asking will this reverse or stop my aging process...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My mother's voice is in my head - "You know - you aren't 20 anymore."

I am heavily invested in politics and this is election season. So last week I had meetings and campaigning to do - and I did it..all week - day and night for 7 days!

The upshot was that Monday my body said "No way we are getting out of bed for the cycling class." I tried fighting back but my body won and so we slept in for a while longer.

When I got up I heard my mother's voice saying "You know - you aren't 20 anymore." And that's still in my head today. I'm sure there are other of her sayings that appear from time to time but the 20 anymore is the one that comes back with some regularity - especially when I am doing "things" that we ancient elders are not "supposed" to be doing :-).

My mom started on that mantra when I was in my 40's and began playing competitive slow pitch softball, touch football and learned to play squash. All of these sports came with the possibility of injuries and I was not immune. Broken finger, twisted ankles, sore quads, and when I pitched - hit by line drives! Ouch...but I did not stop - my mantra was to continue playing when injured....finished a double header with the broken finger and only stopped after the orthopod asked if we were in contention to win the division - when I said no - he suggested I stop for the season as another break would result in my not being able to easily type at my computer...and we know that would not be a good idea. [If we were in contention he would have figured a way to protect that finger but with no promises. ]

Through all this - when I would tell my mother of my latest games - injuries or not - she would repeat her mantra. It became a regular laughing point of our conversations...and she admitted she wished she still could do what I was doing! Her mantra continued until she died when I was in my early 60's - still playing softball and still skiing.

So when I had my exhausting week - her words rang in my head.....and I wondered if she was still somewhere shaking her head thinking "that daughter of mine" and saying "You know - you aren't 20 anymore."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's October Again

Last year I wrote about the sort-of-meaning of Octobers in my life.

I still have not come up with a good reason for my mental affair with this month :-) but it's happening again.

It's been a pleasant month here [not much rain], the temperatures are mild and I am loving this October....

We in the United States are also into the last weeks of what has been a very long election season [season equaling years it seems] and I have been busy doing lots of campaign activities.

For whatever the reasons - be they real, imagined, political, friends, or family, my optimism about life is quite high and so is my energy. I am feeling great and I want to keep feeling this way forever...[well - I'd go along with an increase in this great feeling...]

Just as I said last year about that being my best October - I'm now betting that this is my best October - and November and December and on into 2009!

Isn't it a great internal smile when you know that life is just going to keep getting better and better? Maybe that's why I called this blog grow older better. Names or titles just pop into my head from my unconscious - and over the decades I've learned to trust my unconscious [After all - I am an Aquarian :-)]. So even when some said but grow older better is not grammatical - I liked it... And now it seems even more appropriate as I age and grow older better - and better, etc.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is funny

This is funny - and even funnier is that the person who sent it to me probably has zero idea of the cable words used :-) - and he is younger than I.....

I'm not making fun of "older" people - but I think each of us knows someone who will have this very reaction :-)




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good News! Search the Internet!

For those of us who are on the Internet - we are boosting our brain power!

[See full article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7667610.stm]

It seems that searching the web searching the web "stimulates ceneres in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning." This finding, though, seems to work better if one is more experienced at searching the Internet...

Wow... What does this mean that those of us who blog and those of us who regularly look for information on blogs and other web sites ? Interesting to contemplate...

You are never too old to learn new technology and use it! And now we see it helps with healthy aging...
[and to think some have said it's a waste of time :-(]


Friday, October 10, 2008

Fending Off Fall

Not sure how many people play this game ... My friends here do not play this game - so it’s not that universal.

What game? Each Fall I play “How late into Fall I can go without turning on the heat.”

I think it’s more of a North East “thing” because having lived a large chunk of my adult life in New England – you learn very quickly that once that once you turn on the heat – it’s on seemingly forever ☺ - and in Vermont “forever” often extended into the following May or June!

While in the Boston area my friends and I sometimes made it into September before turning on the furnace. And even then we made it well into later Fall before leaving the heat on all day. We did this by turning up the heat in the AM to take the chill off the house and then turning the thermostat way back down. In Vermont the furnace usually had to get cranked up in September - sometimes before the official start of Fall and the taking the chill off began then as well.

In D.C. it was never a game I played, as it would stay warm well into November [even into December] and that took the fun out of it....

In Portland I have gas heat - and in the past when I have had gas heat I turn the pilot light off in the summer...never could see the point of paying the local gas company for something I was not using ☺.

So here the game is when do I turn the pilot back on...In the days of cable TV – I watch the weather channel and if it looks like the week ahead is dipping into the mid to low 40’s at night – I turn the pilot light on. Sometimes that alone is enough to warm up the house...but it’s also then ready if I need to turn on the heat for the morning warm up....

The odd bit about living in a floating home is that the river is part of the “game.” If the river stays warm for a period of time, I can keep the heat totally off or just live with the pilot......

I turned on the pilot light last week and so far have had to do the warm up on two mornings. But it is October and officially Fall...and as we warm up this week I won’t need to do the AM heat for a while.

Game on? Does it change as we get older?

Let me know if you play this game or some others that help you fend off Fall.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Wow - even more energy!

I, a sometimes cynic, am totally impressed with the energy I have of late.

In my cycling class, for the first time since I started over 2 years ago, I kept up with most of what the instructor was doing - I usually can not. [And she was into standing runs and sprints which I do not like and they generally wear me out quickly.]

But not now....I have been running - I am waking up very early which is an odd Fall pattern for me as I generally only wake up this early in the summer...

Where is all this energy coming from? The only change I have made in my life was to start taking a new fat loss product. It spares lean muscle as it targets fat. I can only guess that in losing fat [another inch in the waist and hips] I am changing something in my body balance and that is producing the energy....and I am exercising more strenuously because I have that energy...so I am burning more calories and ... and ... and .... Some of the ability to maintain the higher level of exercise may be the few accumulated months of taking another product that helps reduce soreness and stiffness due to physical activity or overexertion. It just may be that from now on it WILL take longer for me to wear out when I bike...We'll see - and I'll keep you posted.

I also tried an experiment for a few days last week. After exercising in the AM - I kept my heart rate monitor on for several hours. It's true - exercising does keep you burning calories for hours afterwards - 200 calories an hour for me - up to 5 hours later [when I took off the monitor as the chest strap gets annoying.] I put the monitor on one day when I did not exercise in the AM.. I burned substantially fewer calories that day when all else was the same except for not exercising.

My body is functioning much better these days and I ain't getting younger :-) so it's got to be something else. I'll keep taking the products because I assume it is they that are doing the good things for me as they are creating my personal version of healthy aging.

And I really have to add this - it's making me money ! I am an associate for the company that markets the fat loss product. Neighbors are joining my business and/or just buying the product. They are impressed with my noticeable increase in energy and the lost inches! And in this economy - they love the idea that they too can make money...so it's a win win win. Why ? This business model works well in a recession... right now who can't use extra money every month?

[You can learn more about the product and the potential income by clicking on the link at the top right on this page.]

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Watch Out! Take Care! It's Your Money They Want!

I know my readers are an intelligent group of people but I still feel obligated to mention the rash of new scams and potential new scams that are going on or likely to go on.

The USA is in a financial mess and it is affecting most all of us here and around the world. I won't go into my take on this in this blog - that I'll save it for another blog...

But the scammers are out in full force trying to take your money away form you in the form of "helping" you.

I have gotten calls on my business line about accounts I do not have, I get emails about helping me sell my house, and I see signs all over my neighborhood along the lines of: "Need Cash? We will sell your house in x days!"

There are more emails about "my" bank accounts needing to be reconciled.......

These are all scams and are designed to have you turn your bank accounts and houses over to a scammer!.

Please ride out the ups and downs of this financial mess....Do not make impulsive decisions about your property or your money.

Do not be embarrassed if you start to fall for one of these scams - people do it all the time....Don't let embarrassment stop you from asking or calling for help!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Energy Anyone?

This country is having an energy crisis but that's not the one I am speaking of right now...I tend to do that elsewhere : -)

Do you have as much energy as you did say 10 or 20 years ago? I have been thinking about this as a few friends [some older, some younger] have said how tired they are feeling lately. It has nothing to do with exercising as they all exercise to some extent.

It may have to do with the declining daylight but I'm not sure of that as it was not mentioned in years past.

I find that my energy varies widely depending on what I am doing and I'm not so sure it's always age related...I recall when I was a New Yorker who lived a 24-hour-day most of the week. My friends and I lived on little sleep when we were in college...NY never sleeps and neither did we...at least for stretches of time...but I was in my late teens and early 20's....I then moved to sleepier cities and my habits changed...or was it the fact that I was getting older? Hard to separate the factors.

But back to 2008. I seem to have more energy than others younger than I...I just had a busy week [which helps account for the lack of posts here - it's election season.] Here it's been election season for a long time as our primary was in later May - but right now it's getting very busy and I am politically active..So I've been to meetings and fund raisers - which are actually fun parties - but don't tell anyone.. Most think of politics as dreary. It energizes me!

So is my energy coming from the politics or did the new fat loss supplement give me an energy edge? The two happened simultaneously and when I was a researcher - I tended to look at correlations between factors - and I still do. I have also lost more waist inches and a few more pounds. Is it the body change that is energizing me? [or all of the above?]

Not knowing the specific answer - my thinking is to not change any of what I am doing...Because? I prefer being energized to not being energized - it's part of my healthy aging "program."

And - If nothing else I sure feel good - in fact I feel great and I love that feeling!

New mantras for us? Feeling great at 68 ! [and soonish] Feeling fine at 69!

And there is a link at the top right of the page or HERE so you can find out more about this product I am taking.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baseball memories

My son asked today what my feelings were about the end of Yankee Stadium...

To be honest, I knew it was ending, but did not pay attention to the fact that today was the last game to be played there.

As a kid, I was a Yankee fan. Why? My father had grown up near Yankee Stadium and was a Yankee fan so we listened to Yankee games on the radio. The same way my son grew up to be a Red Sox fan - he heard and saw Red Sox games all his life.

The difference being that at some point in my late teens I tuned out baseball and only go back into it when living in Boston - but that team "took" and I am still a Red Sox fan.

Back to Yankee Stadium... It was the place I saw my first live baseball game at some point in the 50's. It was an old timers day and so the day started with a game featuring famous players... it was exciting and I loved being there....but never went back as I left NYC.

Since then I have been to many stadiums that have come and gone. Seems to be the nature of what we call progress. I had been to the old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Had also been to the old Madison Square Garden and the old Boston Garden and I think the old St. Louis park.

My son has seen the Bullets at the old US Air Arena in the burbs and the new Wizards at the Verizon arena in downtown DC. [Had to look up the name to see if it was still MCI - it isn't.]

Buildings come and go - even those with historical significance - money speaks and it speaks loudly. If players make millions a year, stadiums must have more seats for corporations so the team owners make a profit...and as corporations come and go so does the name of the building...yikes!

[Sigh] By the time my son has kids, no one will be able to afford to take a family to ball park and the parks and arenas will continue to be demolished and bigger ones built...

But Fenway Park and Wrigley Field will always be here....Some cities respect their baseball history and their baseball fans.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Those pesky inches [the waist ones]

When in Chicago I bought and immediately started using a new fat loss product. It had great research findings behind it and some awesome testimonials as to it's ability to knock off that fat :-)

It was the evening of September 5th when I first started using it. On September 7, 8, and 9 I walked all over Chicago - miles and miles a day. I had energy to spare even tho I was waking up at 5ish [AM]. I did not change my eating habits - nor did I skip the occasional beer or glass of wine.

Arrived back in Portland on September 10th - 5 pounds lighter and two inches less in the waist. I know that's not typical and it has a lot to do with my body - which has always gained and lost with it's own odd patterns.

I'm soon going into week 3 of the product and the pounds and inches are still missing and as I am back home, I also started back to my health club [just once - yesterday - but it is a start :-)]

I'll keep reporting now on the results with exercise back on track...Decided that if I want to live long and well being lean is healthier. And I do write about healthy aging....so I'll be my own role model!

Here's me at the start of this product - the "before" photo.





I'll take one every so often with the same "outfit" on for comparisons.

If this product is one you might like to know more about go here to lynn's "store"

and look for OsoLean

I won't pressure you into buying it - that's not my style....





And here's a shot of Chicago - one the many I
took on my walks. I am intrigued by reflections -
no matter where thy occur - my river or Chicago
skyscrapers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm back to blogging

Don't usually have jet lag flying West but this time I did...so it must be "a factor of old age " :-)

Made me think about just how much normal stuff we assign to "old age" when it happens to older people...like my jet lag..

But I had no lag flying East - so does that mean that as we age the direction of the jet lag changes?

When you ask it that way the whole concept sounds silly. There are many reasons I was thrown off a West Coast schedule after getting home - such as getting busier with my business...

Why are we as a culture so much more apt to throw negative connotations out about older persons when the same behavior is acceptable or ignored for one who is younger?

More on the fat loss product tomorrow - but in short - it works! In one week I lost 2 waist inches....YEA

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Still Learning

I'm in Chicago at a meeting - where I have learned a lot more about nutrition and it's effects on the process known as aging. There was a discussion of obesity and a new product which I am trying. It targets fat loss and I will post pre and post photos in a few weeks - but for now I can say that the people I talked to who were on the trials of this product lost fat and inches and looked great!

I'm not overweight but I have those mid body inches I would like to get rid of. I'll keep you all posted:-)

As I am not on my own computer it's hard to post. Am using my son's lap top and I have to share it...so posting will be sporadic until I am back home....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Moving – as a Liberating Experience

I just spoke with a friend of mine who recently left a house and city she had been in for over 45 years!

Last year when we spoke of her moving she was not sure she could leave the house where she had lived with her husband [who had since died] and her son [who left for college and moved on.] And, of course, all the “stuff” she had accumulated in that time ☺

She had asked me how I did it – I told her I sold, tossed, shredded and burned and it was liberating to literally dump the past. For me that was 5 years ago and yes I sometimes miss some of the “stuff” I sold but those are momentary musings. But I had moved fairly frequently so I did not have decades of pack rat boxes around....she did.

When she finally made the decision to move – she moved quickly! Sold her house, decided what to take, what to toss, etc. Now she is 1000’s of miles away from her old house - but near her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

She’s been there about a month and said she knows this was the right move and that it was liberating! We laughed about her going from a life in big cities [like me she is a native Nyer] to the Midwest.....She’s excited and that’s good.

After that call I reflected on my own move. I went to a city where I knew no one - but it is a city. Unlike my friend, I had decided I needed to live in a city....but then I had my non-city years during which I learned I am a genetic city person.

My friend, having learned something from me, has her vacation already scheduled –[NY and Boston for a month.]

I did not feel liberated after my other moves so it may be the aging factor. Is it the shedding of accumulated “stuff” – and the experience of starting over? Is it the distance moved? Is the actual tossing and burning of papers once considered important? Does the shredding and burning represent a real liberation? A psychological breakthrough?

No matter – now almost 5 years after my departure from New England, I am still feeling liberated. Have I accumulated more “stuff?” Yeah – but as I have a very small house the amount is almost determined for me ☺

So – moving can be a liberating experience. It need not be traumatic or sad or anything else. Maybe it’s when we can make the decision ourselves instead of it being made for us. If you are happy, healthy and able to look ahead and not dwell on the past - Liberation – here we come!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Seniors and Bankruptcy

I'm sorry - but in the USA when an 80-year old has no option but to file bankruptcy - I get royally pissed!

This 80-year-old woman was still working to supplement her social security income but she needed surgery and like too many other Americans - she used credit cards for food...and now she is filing for bankruptcy.

Unfortunately she is not alone!
In 1991, the 55-plus age group accounted for about 8 percent of bankruptcy filers, according to the study, which looked at more than 6,000 cases filed in 1991, 2001 or 2007. By last year, filers 55 and over accounted for 22 percent.

Each age group under 55 saw double-digit percentage drops in their bankruptcy filing rates over the survey period, older Americans saw remarkable increases. The filing rate per thousand people ages 55-64 was up 40 percent; among 65- to 74-year-olds it increased 125 percent; and among the 75-to-84-year-old set, it was up 433 percent.
[emphasis added by Lynn]

Full article HERE

My mother used to worry about outliving her money - so should the rest of us as it is more of a reality.

Again I ask - why do we treat our elders this way? Why do we allow medical establishments to force us into bankruptcy? With the big pharmas helping push all along on this same path? [often with meds we do not need]

We need a sane medical policy like universal coverage - which would help alleviate a lot of the sky rocketing costs.

The USA has among the highest medical costs in the world - but not even the best care anymore...that is sad too.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Youth Obsession

In this and other countries we tend to have an obsession with "youth" - especially for females.

Older men are seen as sexy, vibrant, etc. Older women are fired from jobs, traded in for trophy wives, etc. and so have become the targets of all the "get younger" sales pitches.

The companies selling the look young and get young products are preying on the fears of women. Yes there are hair dyes for men saying look younger, but I do not see the plethora of ads I see pitched to women.

Maybe it will take a few more generations of older women for the media to catch on that you can't go backwards no matter how much you might want to. And maybe that same media will lose it's nonsensical idea that only young women can be seen on major TV shows and the alleged "news." [I call it the alleged news now as it's all infotainment.]

Today I was reading about products for sale that make you "lose years," "stop aging," "reverse your aging, " etc. as if all we needed to do was pop a pill or wipe on some magic lotion and we'd be 21 again:-)

Sorry to say but the only way I know we can stop aging is to die...the rest is about taking care of the body you live in so you get older and stay in good shape...

There is no magic cure for turning back the clock - but there are products that can keep us looking good and feeling good at the age we are! I jokingly say I am over 65 going on 45....but that's because I am so active and believe I am in good shape. But everyone knows it's a joke.

I am over 65 and a lot closer to 70 now than to 65...I don't always like that fact, as you know, but that's tough :-) I am the age I am...no matter what I put on my skin it can only look better - it does not not get younger...no matter what vitamins and supplements I take, they only keep me feeling good...they can not make me 45 again!

And yes I color my hair, and have done so for decades, since I am vain enough to not like the washed out look of gray at my temples..but that only helps me psychologically - it does not make me "young."

We can't grow younger better - we can only grow older better...so take care of your body no matter what age you are now - so it can be in the best shape it can be as you age....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obesity

If you have been reading this blog you know I harp on obesity - it's bad and getting worse - for adults and for kids..

A new report came out this week which indicates that obesity rates have increased in 37 states! And in more than half of the states - more than 25% of the adults are now obese...

The worst state? Mississippi - where 31.7% are obese. The best is Colorado where only 18.4 % are obese. But to my way of thinking - even 18% is bad; there is nothing good about being obese.

Full article here so you can see where your state falls on the scale: http://www.rwjf.org/newsroom/product.jsp?id=33833

And the problem is increasing every year. We have not been able to convince people that super sizing and lack of activity are bad for them.

A good sized meal is one that is about the size of your fist! That's sufficient fuel for your body - unless you are Michael Phelps and swimming in the Olympics! But it isn't just how much you eat - it's what.

I've never seen the research on this but I am a firm believer that the obesity problem parallels the low fat no fat "matters" that went on sale. The more we eat of those chemical laden "matters" the fatter we are getting and the more health problems we are having. I have a rule of thumb when reading ingredients - if it sounds like a chemical or I can't even pronounce it - I don't buy it.. All those "matters" [I can't honestly call them food] need chemicals to give them some taste so you'll keep buying them.

Think about it - we have diseases and health problems that are either new or on the increase. Fybromyalgia, asthma, obesity, varieties of diabetes, auto immune system problems, etc. And in my head - the increase in these parallels the loss of food in our food.

I don't want to eat a tomato or peach that ripened in a truck nor do I want food that is grown large to look good for sales but has no nutrition left.

This is a very alarming trend and one that is increasing - that in spite of ads and articles about exercising and eating well.. How will this affect the aging process. We already know how obesity affect our children ? and our own bodies? ...

It's scary as no one seems to really be paying attention....



Monday, August 18, 2008

Mothers and Flashbacks


My mother was born in August and died in August - so maybe that's why I have been having random flashbacks about her of late.

We used to speak on the phone most every Sunday and yesterday I had the urge to call her. I know she is dead - but wow was that a strong feeling...even after 7 years.

It was like after my father died, I'd be visiting my mother and I'd say something like - aren't we going to wait til dad comes home before we eat?

Maybe I'm odd - after all I was the one stepping over a space on the floor after my old cat died..I was sure she was there and underfoot. It was even weirder though when my dog also stepped over that same spot....

Or maybe we are wired to still see, hear and feel those people and pets who were once close to us...

Friday, August 15, 2008

HOT!

100 yesterday and it will go over 100 today...and tomorrow!

I was never tolerant of heat and any day over 80 is too hot for me....When the hot days come in a row - I am not a happy camper. I know "older" people are more prone to problems with heat - so if I am already intolerant of heat- what on earth will happen when I am "old?" [snark snark]

Anyway - this afternoon I dealt with it by doing my best Michael Phelps imitation and am sitting around in a wet bathing suit ready to go back in. One aspect of living here that I am still getting used to is that the hottest part of the day is from 3- 6 PM - [and not 12- 3 PM] So until 6 or 7 wet bathing suit it is!

Another thing is that although the river seems calm, when trying to swim upstream - it was obvious there was a strong current...

Here's the "big pool" - the open, current laden,
part of my "backyard"

And here is my "lap pool" - the space between mine and my neighbor's house where the current is reduced.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beware the newest spam - "news alert"

My spam box has been filled lately with subject lines like breaking news from CNN or MSNBC.

My filters all alert me that these are not from who they say...they are part of a vicious program to trick you into opening and/or downloading programs that will take over your computer.

You can tell who email is from by clicking on the tab [for your particular email program] that says something like more information - when the mail is spam - the return address is usually very odd as it is most always not a US configuration.

But if you are not sure - be safe and just delete any email that is a news alert. You can read news alerts by going directly to the CNN or MSNBC sites...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top 100 list - and this blog is on it!

I got an email today from a group, Nursing School Search, that listed the top 100 women's health blogs and said this one was on the list!

It's down there at #78 - in the category called Fit and Healthy over 40....

Here's the link: top 100 womens health blogs

Thank you...

And PS - I did go for a mile run/walk this morning...it was such fun that I'll do it again and at some point it will be more run than walk :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Maybe It's Time to Start Running Again

I used to run - not far and not consistently. When I lived in Boston the Boston Marathon always was an incentive to start running but...that fizzled in the heat of a Boston summer or cold of a Boston winter...

Then in DC I lived near a track and ran on that with some neighbors and trained a bit with a friend who was into marathons. Back in New England I ran again but since arriving in Portland - I have not run at all - oops.. but I walk a lot :-)

So when read this today - I thought - hmmm - maybe it is time to start running again..
Regular running slows the effects of aging, according to a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging non runners to die early deaths, the research found.
"The study has a very pro-exercise message," said James Fries, MD, an emeritus professor of medicine at the medical school and the study's senior author. "If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise." The new findings will appear in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Full article here

Tomorrow morning - I'm going out for a run!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yoga and pets

Many yoga poses are named after cats and dogs....so it's not a surprise that my dog thinks some poses are an invite for him to play with me. But he weighs almost as much as I do and he's a leaner - so I have worked hard to teach him to be quiet and watch as I do yoga...

This "training" usually works in the summer as outside is much more entertaining than watching me - he has the neighbors convinced he lacks for food and attention :- ). But sometimes he just needs to be right at the edge of my mat watching....especially if I lie still on the mat [it's called corpse pose for a reason]

I've tried telling him that yoga will keep me around longer so he need not worry that I am actually going to expire - but he doesn't always listen - and when he worries himself enough - he lies on top of me or hits me with his paw.....The cat also sometimes decides that we can "share " the mat...and when she tries that - the dog also wants to "share." And - as It's a normal sized yoga mat - guess who loses her space and can't continue doing her yoga?

It's fun to do yoga with pets around - it teaches lessons that I'm guessing the yogis probably never intended :-) or maybe they did?

When not on my yoga mat this is where they are:-)

Sam in his usual summer spot

And Sheba in hers:




Sunday, August 03, 2008

Take meds? Then read this!

If you have been a reader of this blog, you know I do not take kindly to what are called the Big Pharmas...

Yet even I can be disgusted more than I already was as I just finished reading this book by Melody Petersen:
Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs
She was the drug industry reporter for the New York Times from 1999 to 2003 and boy did she do some research!

The disgusting thesis of the book is that the big pharmas "create" diseases and ailments in order to sell a pill that they are designing or have already made! It's that simple. Are they trying to cure anything? Not really - just pushing pills - especially onto older Americans!

From what I gather, they tried to push the pills in Europe - but Europeans are a bit more sophisticated as are their governments and so did not allow some sales.. Here? Big pharmas run the government and no one says NO to them, their money or their pills.

Got a problem? Take a pill! Pill cause a problem? Take another! That pill create a problem? Here is yet another pill.

Do we care if you are over-pilled and the pills can - and do - kill you? Not at all - we make money and that's all that matters!

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that an estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs which, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects. [emphasis added]

Reference: Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN: "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients." JAMA 1998;279:1200

Adverse drug reactions from prescribed drugs - not street drugs - is the 4th leading killer in the USA and these adverse reactions have been on the increase since 1998.

I had my thyroid gland nuked 20 years ago and so must take that one med.. I have steadfastly refused to add pills for "hormone replacement, "stave off osteoporosis", "protect your heart" and other such maladies.

I am not suggesting you stop taking meds, but I do suggest you sit down with your physician and talk about the list of meds you take and if yo really need all those newly made up ones that docs are paid to prescribe.

That's my soap box for another day - [and I've said that before] - but yes - most docs are paid well by the big pharmas to get you to take and keep taking your daily doses of pills!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The "fat and uglies"

I had a good friend, one of those who died last year, who would say she was having "one of those fat and ugly" days. She was neither fat nor ugly but I knew what she meant - [after all :-) we were both psychologists.]

Thought of her the other day - probably as I have an old medicine bottle she once gave me and I was dusting it...

I passed the 1/2 year mark recently and I've begun to think I have had some of "those unfit and old" days. I'm not unfit but I might be "old." How do I or we define old? I'm teaching a lifespan class this summer and it's been fun to hear what students label "old" - but even their definitions have changed as they have read thru the text.

Are you only as old as you feel? or act? And if so, that can change every day or even a few times a day. Or do we take the average or the median as a measure? I don't know - but I sure know we don't take the "real number" - just as in the good old days - we never were really fat and ugly.....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My take on healthy 90-year-olds

People in their 90's were obviously born in the 1910's and on. They survived the flu epidemic of 1917 and the various childhood diseases that killed many. My mom was such a 95-er who died in 2001.

The food they ate, and the food I ate, was nutritious. They got exercise as they went about their daily lives. They walked to school, lived without central heat and AC...and drank clean water. They breathed cleaner air as kids - depending on where they lived - and did without radios and TVs for most of their lives.

What has changed? Even when I was a kid, a lot of what I listed above was still true. Good food, cleaner air [and I lived in NYC] no TV til I was about 10 - and clean water. But then we hit the 1950's post WWII boom and paved the country, built communities that necessitated driving and encouraged a TV for every house - then every room in every house :-).

We've killed the soil as the major corporations took over "farming," using chemicals to make food bigger with longer shelf lives - or truck lives now...Food is not ripened in the fields - it ripens in the truck or in your home - that's not nutrition - it's "filler."

I went shopping today and wanted some avocados - they were all like rocks. I won't buy them like that. By the time they ripen in my home, they are usually yukky. And that was from the "better" stores......

So how do we get healthy 90-year-olds in the future? We need to encourage healthy nutrition and life styles in women before they get pregnant and the same for children from the time they are born. To do that we need to turn around the unhealthy lifestyles we are now encouraging - lowering the obesity rate for children and adults - and going back to sustainable farming practices....plus taking food-based supplements - because most of our food, sadly, is lacking nutrition....

We can do it...

Friday, July 25, 2008

What do we know about active 90-year-olds?

Almost nothing!

This news clip is amazing!

Knowledge about human health outgrew the size of a single textbook long ago. Today our understanding of prenatal health alone could fill a small library, from fetal wound healing to the effects of air pollution, X-rays, even methamphetamines on fetal growth.

But if you are over the age of 90, the answers are few and far between.
Ann Johansson/for The Star-LedgerHal Peoples, 94, lawn bowls at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Laguna Woods, Calif.

The efficacy of dialysis for chronic kidney disease? Unknown.

Heart surgery outcomes? Unknown.

Risks from colonoscopy, high cholesterol or chemotherapy?

No one really knows, even though nonagenarians are the fastest-growing age group around the world.
Full article:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/07/knowledge_about_human_health_o.html

Why don't we know? Because no one knows where to find healthy active 90-year-olds....it seems we only know where to find the sicker ones!

In the USA, we have generally ignored the "real" aging population - focusing instead on our bias that all "old people" are frail, needing help and afraid of doing anything that may lead to getting hurt. So we only look at the frail, weak and less active among the older generations.

We need to put a major focus on healthy aging and prevention..we are a country obsessed with disease and "cures" but the old saying about that "ounce of prevention" works for all ages. We say we have a health care system but we have a disease care sytem. We need to stop spending all the time and money on cures and start spending on prevention of the problems as well.

As the article concludes:
All the cures in the world...will mean little until we understand how and why we age:

"Let's say you cure a 70-year-old woman of breast cancer, but she's frail, she's in a nursing home and she has Alzheimer's. Have you really done anything to increase her quality of life?"


Monday, July 21, 2008

An open letter to AARP's Bill Novelli

Dear Mr. Novelli

I have emailed you many times about my displeasure at your support of Medicare Part D and a request for an apology. I have sometimes been emailed back that my mail was forwarded to the appropriate department - or some such message [I think of that department as the "round file cabinet" of old – or today's trash button.]

I have not mailed you as I assume I'd also just be wasting my time as well trying that method – but after yet another letter from you filled with petitions and the ever present request to send money - I am posting this as an open letter on my blog. You may never see it - but others will.

Back when you supported Medicare Part D and I call it part D[umb] many of us predicted that costs for medications would sky rocket as would all health/medical costs. You dismissed our concerns and put the full power and credibility of AARP behind YOUR support of Medicare Part D[umb]. And guess what? We, the concerned non-supporters of that measure, were correct.

In my emails to you since that time I have asked for an apology. None came - I have not even seen you discuss your role in this – but then I don’t read every page of the AARP materials. I've also wondered what, if any, were the financial gains to you personally and to AARP - as it sells it's "name" to some of the very “health care” companies that are constantly raising their rates.

You keep sending out letters telling me that medical costs are increasing. Duh! I think we all know this. But it’s when you say that health care must be more affordable that you really anger me. See I blame you for a large part of the increased costs of much of this due to your support of Medicare Part D[umb].

Your recent scare letter with it’s underlined, bolded, and large letters is yet another in the long line of mail that I get from you – all seemingly calculated into scarring us into sending you more money. This is obviously my personal perspective but one that is shared by many I know. And the petition part, along with the request for money comes filled out with my name and/or my name and address.

What this means to me is that I need to waste more of my time shredding these forms. And while I am on this train of thought – I need to carefully go through your magazines to pull out and shred all the advertising in it, which also has my name and address pre-printed! I mentioned this a friend and she said she just tosses the magazine without reading - so now she too will have to go through and pull out the ads for shredding.

Add to this the endless junk mail from your advertisers and alleged “health care” partner – also all filled out for me.... and I wonder why you tell us to be careful about identity theft when you seemingly add to the potential for that problem!

For all these reasons I am no longer an AARP member. I renewed a while ago as I had signed up for your alleged “heath care” partner’s insurance which required that I be a member. That “partner” misrepresented its monthly costs and got downright nasty when I cancelled. But that’s another issue which I’m sure you will ignore.

Yours truly,

Lynn Dorman

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today my son turns 30!

If you are a parent - you are likely familiar with one of the following phrases:
How can my kid be 30? I remember his birth with vivid detail - it couldn't have been that long ago!
or
How can my kid be 30? I haven't aged 30 years since he was born!


Him then:




Him more recently - but he has added a beard since this photo



Friday, July 11, 2008

More about finances and aging

Read this today and got mad [at the politicians in charge] and sad [as it will get worse when winter arrives.]

These are tough economic times for people of all ages, but few are affected more than senior citizens living on pensions and Social Security, and juggling medical bills, credit card payments and mortgages along with soaring food and gas costs.

Americans age 55 or older experienced the sharpest rise in bankruptcy filings during the 16-year period between 1991 and 2007, according to a report released by AARP, "Generations of Struggle." The rate of personal bankruptcy filings among those ages 65 or older grew by 125 percent, while the bankruptcy rate of seniors ages 75 to 84 jumped a stunning 433.3 percent.

"It's frightening. It's a horror story in the making. It will not get better. It will continue to get worse," said Thomas Mackell., chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and author of "When the Good Pensions Go Away." "We are facing a generation of boomers where 55 percent of them are ill-prepared economically to retire."

Full article: http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/34659

Home values are down, hard now to get refinancing, the company you worked for forever decides to stop paying pensions and heath care, etc. Your IRA is worthless with the market downturn and gas costs over $4 a gallon.

I don't usually post a personal business plan here - but now I am going to do just that - so if you don't want to read a "commercial" stop now : -)

If you do want to learn how to have at least an extra 3 to 6 thousand dollars in income 12 months from now, please get in touch with me: 503-477-5550. I'm part of a business group that has a structured, supportive team work approach to the business. I won't go into details here as that's not the gist of this blog - but for those who want or need that extra money - which will keep coming in even if you stop working this program - please contact me. If you have friends you'd like to partner with and all make this money - it's a great program for sharing - as we say in psychology - it's a win-win. Oh - you need only work between 6 to 10 hours a week...


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Aging and Finances

Every time I open the paper or log onto my computer I see articles about prices. Gas will never go low again, home heating oil will go up lots this winter, food costs more due to gas prices and will cost even more due to the Mid West floods. My local paper says we should prepare for higher electric costs - why? Utilities use oil too!

Those on fixed or semi-fixed incomes will not have an easy time this winter - especially those living in the North East. Home heating oil is the same as diesel and that's more costly than gas for your car - unless of course if you already have a diesel engine.

Will Social Security payments go up? Yea - the usual minuscule amount which is never enough to cover the REAL increased costs of living - and you know Medicare Part A will increase - hence I worry because the real cost of living this winter will be so very much higher than any increases in SSI.

Politicians in New England are already thinking how to deal with this potential looming disaster where people may have to make choices between heating homes or buying food. Add in medical costs and we have all the makings for a major disaster in the East and in other parts of the country.

We need to make serious changes in our country - and I hope they start getting made now so we are ready for next Fall and Winter BEFORE we get to those seasons.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Silent Strokes

This news is a bit scary if you are over 65.
Routine brain scans in a group of middle-aged people showed that 10 percent of them had suffered a stroke without knowing it, raising their risk for further strokes and memory loss, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

People with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heart beat in people over 65, had more than twice the rate of these silent strokes, they said.

Silent cerebral infarctions or SCIs are brain injuries caused by a blood clot that interrupts blood flow to the brain....

The researchers based their findings on routine magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans from about 2,000 people with an average age of 62.

Full news article HERE

This is yet another finding coming from the Framingham study - a very long study that now includes the children of the original particpants. This finding is from those offspring and the researchers found that 10% had a stroke but HAD NO STROKE SYMPTOMS.

So how do you protect yourself? The study suggests "the need for early detection and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in midlife."

There are many factors over which we have control in our lives and which can help us avoid or lessen the impact of those risk factors. The report does not go into this - but it is fairly well established that healthy eating and exercise are among those factors.

This is one good reason I tend to post about obesity, healthy eating, exercise and taking nutritional supplements.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More on exercising

Last week after I wrote what I did - my son suggested that maybe it was a need for a different assortment of exercises.

I went "duh!" of course....bodies, mine, adapt to doing the same exercise on a regular basis...and I was doing the cycling twice a week for more than two years....and even tho the instructor varies the workout each class, I think I was having sameness burnout....but maybe that's also a part of aging. The instructors and many of the users of the club do the same classes over and over and seem not to burn out.

The Silver Sneaker classes are too "tame" for me right now but several people I have come to know go to them daily and do not talk of workout burnout - but most of them were never into sports or strenuous exercise when they were younger. So maybe it's just me or maybe it's something to do with one category of "people-who-are-aging." Who knows? - it's something that I will continue to think about.

But for now - I have not been to the club to do cycling...instead I have been doing an hour of yoga a day at home [with videos] and taking my dog for long walks. And for the yoga [it's Iyengar], I am doing a different set of poses each day and spreading them out throughout the day so this too does not fall into a pattern.

No surprise - I feel more energized and less wrung out by the exercise. Next week I will return to one cycling class for the cardio workout it provides...and I'll see if I have the same recovery issues...and maybe I'll take my squash racket and get back to practicing that sport.

Stay tuned..as I said - we are all learning about aging....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Exercise and Age

I've had the same conversation with several friends of late - about age and exercise. It seems we all have the same ideas.

Not sure why each of us is thinking of this now as we are slightly different ages [but over 60], live in different parts of the country and some do not know each other - and I did not start all the conversations. It must be zeitgeist or "something in the air."

Each of us had been thinking that as we are aging, we feel the need to not do such strenuous activities as we had been doing, or doing them fewer days per week, or taking time off from exercising and just not doing anything strenuous. It's not that we can't do the strenuous activities - we can. We also know they are probably very good for our health. But most of us still work and find that after the strenuous workouts, we can't just go to work but instead need a recovery period that is longer than we used to need.

Most of us said that this made us sad and a bit angry - we still like to think we can keep on going like we did in our 20's or 30's - but our bodies say NO! There is no way to turn back the clock - we are aging.....but we are trying to figure this out as we go.

When I was in graduate school, or soon after, a psychologist I knew said that psychology would not get into really studying aging until we psychologists ourselves got older - and that is what seems to have happened.

I am wondering if the interplay of aging and exercise is also something that we aging used-to-be-more-strenuous-athletic types are/will be the models for?

In chatting with my son about this - he suggested a few things - really vary what I am doing for exercise and starting a "club" for those of us who are older - can't keep up with the "kids" but are able to do lots more than the programs for "older" people.

Any thoughts?



Wednesday, June 04, 2008

They get "points" for creativity : - )

This came today...and I am still laughing....but I hope no one is taken in by this scam.

For one, if the FBI were really interested in me and what I am doing vis-a-vis some banking - don't you think they would send someone to my door or send me a letter? With all the listening in to phone calls and monitorin interent useage - I think the FBI already has access to ALL our info....

Please beware...some people might be concerned getting an email from the FBI or the IRS - but these are agencies that do not email you - so be careful....Laugh but then delete!

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 17:10:39 +0200
From: "FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION"
Subject: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI Honolulu)
Federal Bureau of Investigation
ROOM 4-230, KALANIANAOLE FOB
300 ALA MOANA BOULEVARD HONOLULU, HAWAII 96850-0053
EMAIL federalbureauinvestigation93@yahoo.com
http://www.fbi.gov


Attn: Honorable Beneficiary.

We the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI Honolulu) United States Of America have discovered through our intelligent monitoring network that you have a transaction going on as either inheritance payment,Lottery or contract payment of $1.5 Millions of United States Dollars which have been approved but have not been settled.

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract / inheritance file ater close monitoring and found out why you have not received your payment,both on your part and on the part of your debtors.

Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the non officials in the bank who are attempting to secure the release of your fund to you. We wish to advise you that this is illegal and you should stop further communication with them forthwith because such an illegal act like this can lead to cancellation of your fund.

We have been having so many complains from people who have been scammed arround the world hence,after concluding in a meeting with members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we came to a conclusion that every payment will be made through the Oceanic Bank in the Republic Of Benin . We also concluded on the use of ELECTRONIC ATM PAYMENT SYSTEM as the only direct means to pay all beneficiaries.

By this method,your funds will be loaded in two batches into an ATM card, and sent to you, from this card you can withdraw a maximum of us$15,000 per day from any ATM machine worldwide,BUT from the financial houses there is no limit.

So if you would like to receive your funds in this way please send your following information to the paying bank.

1. Full name..........................
2. Full address ..........................(P.O box not acceptable)
3. Phone and fax #...................................
4.Your balance payment............................
4. Your age, sex and current occupation..................

Below are the contact details of the PAYING BANK(Oceanic Bank) in the Republic Of Benin to whom you will send your information for the processing of the ATM card as soon as possible:

CONTACT PERSON REV DR MATHEW OBI
HEAD OF OPERATIONS,ATM CARD PAYMENT SYSTEM
DEBT SETTLEMENT COMMISSION,WEST AFRICAN OCEANIC BANK
370 CHURCH STREET,PRETORIA,
E144QJ REPUBLIC OF BENIN
EMAIL: atm_payment_department101@yahoo.fr,
DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER: +22993565633 .

The DEBT SETTLEMENT COMMISSION has been mandated to issue out your payments for this fiscal year 2008. Also for your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) who claim that to be established agents using it to defraud innocent people worldwide.This is to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment.

THANKS FOR LISTENING TO OUR ADVISE

Faithfully Yours,
MR .ROBERT S. MUELLER, III
FOR COROPORATE AFFAIRS
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI Honolulu))
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA