My friend in Santa Barbara does lots of errands for her next door neighbor who is older and has sight issues. My friend began to worry when she’d take her mail to the post office and realized she was mailing out dozens of letters each day addressed to sweepstakes. She discovered her elderly neighbor was mailing dollar bills to “win prizes.” She called the neighbor’s daughter who lives in another state and they finally put a stop to it. She would pick up the letters and pretend to mail them, but hold onto them, eventually returning the money.
Another scam I heard about happened during my daughter’s last year in college. One of her friends, who is book smart and was high school valedictorian, got a phone call from the “IRS.” He was instructed to buy Apple gift cards and mail them to an address that was supposedly the government agency.
He emptied out his college account, which had his last semester’s tuition of $1,200 and bought gift cards at the local grocery store. (Yes, he had several scholarships is why his tuition bill was so low.)
The cashier questioned him but he insisted on buying the cards. Then he mailed them.
You can only imagine the teasing he received from his college mates after that! Today this young man is a doctor. Yikes.
What scams do you see in your inbox? Have you heard of any other ones I didn’t mention? Are you worried AI will lead to more scams?
The early birds I’m talking about aren’t these gorgeous creatures in my backyard. I’m talking about me and my hubby.
We’ve become the couple we used to laugh at. You know, the ones who have dinner at 4:30 or 5 p.m. to save money. Now, when we go out, we go early to take advantage of early bird prices that end at 6 p.m. Only these days, it’s no longer called “early bird specials” but “happy hour.”
A neighborhood couple invited us to dinner for restaurant week that features three-course meals at reduced prices. We declined because their reservation was too late for us! It was at the wee hour at night of 6:30 p.m. To be fair, my husband works in the financial world and he’s on east coast time. His work day begins three hours earlier than most people out west.
This is the state bird of Arizona, the cactus wren.
It’s gotten hotter the past couple weeks. I began setting my alarm so that I’m up before sunrise. We’ve changed our walking schedule to avoid the heat. We are heading out the door before 6 a.m. — which also makes us early birds.
One of our neighbors told us her method for walking. (Who knew you needed a method?) She turns right out of her driveway and continues to walk on the right side of the road. By doing that, she said she hits every road and cul-de-sac in the neighborhood — and ends back at her front door. My husband and I have been random walkers, going whichever way our whims take us. But this week, we tried it and not only does it add a little distance to our walk, we’re seeing streets we were previously missing.
I wrote about successful people who are early birds HERE.
What are your thoughts about early bird specials and getting up early?
The time has come. I’m traveling to Washington state to be with family and celebrate my mom’s life. She passed away from asymptomatic COVID on New Year’s Day.
My brother and I were grieving badly along with our aunt, Mom’s little sister, and we decided to wait until her birthday to spread her ashes and to be together to celebrate her life. I thought a little time would help me face the loss. I don’t know if it made it better or worse.
The trip has been hanging over my head since the first week of January. Now that it’s here, I’m feeling waves of grief and untapped emotion.
The photos are from property that has been in the family for three generations. This is where we’ll say good-bye to mom.
I’m visiting my mom in the Pacific Northwest. This is what my phone blasted to me on my first morning when I woke up.
I’ve never seen a hydrologic outlook on my phone, nor an atmospheric river.
I’m staying with my BFF from college and I asked her what it meant.
She said, “Oh I hate this. It’s a huge amount of rain and flooding.”
I pictured the atmospheric river as a massive body of water running through the clouds above my head.
My friend also told me that she thinks the weather forecasters and meteorologists work too hard to find new terms for long-occurring events.
Here’s the rest of the alert I received:
I was pleasantly surprised to have cloudy skies with blue peeking through. It’s absolutely gorgeous here and such a contrast from the desert of Arizona. I love spending time with my mom, although she’s not doing as well as during my last visit. More on that after I have time to process my thoughts and emotions.
The drive to my mom’s assisted living.
I loved the light in the leaves of this tree at my mom’s assisted living.
What strange weather alerts have you seen? Have you heard of hydrologic events or atmospheric rivers before?
I like the concept of senior citizens living on campus with students. I learned about an apartment complex at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe in an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Who Let Retirees Move on Campus at Arizona State?” by James Fanelli.
It caught my eye since we live about 45 minutes from the campus.
From the article:
Senior citizens who moved into a pricey housing complex at ASU, once named America’s No. 1 party school, want more quiet, less loud music
Housing at Mirabella requires one-time fees that go from $440,000 to more than $1 million. Residents pay another $4,000 to $8,000 a month, which includes classes and meals.
Mirabella also is restricted to seniors. Residents must be 62 or older. It is one of the country’s few senior-living facilities set on a college campus, mixing older and younger generations by design. It hasn’t gone as well as hoped.
For the kind of money Mirabella’s 260 residents are paying, some are asking why they can’t get a little peace and quiet.
Some have complained about music that blasts late into the night. The vibration of bass notes has rattled the windows and walls of Sharon Murry’s apartment at all hours, the 72-year-old said. “That unrelenting bass thumping sound makes it difficult to concentrate or do anything else,” including sleep, she said in a court filing.
Like I said, I think the concept of living on campus and being able to take whatever classes you want would be an amazing experience as a senior citizen. But the noise of a dive bar across the street blasting EDM until the wee hours of the morning would be too much.
I should know. Our old house was across from what used to be a health retreat for middle-aged women (once called a fat farm). It sold to a hotelier who wanted to turn it into a resort with live outdoor concerts. Our windows shook. My kids would lose sleep on school nights. It was a nightmare. We went to the county courthouse because I found a law that said we were entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of our home. The liquor license got restricted and if we could hear the music in our house, they would get fined. So many fines and their license would get revoked.
However, this case is different than the hotel across the street from our old home. The senior citizens of Mirabella knowingly moved on to the kids’ territory. The judge is trying to work out a compromise.
What are your thoughts? Should the old folks have a right to demand peace and quiet on a college campus?
Have you noticed yourself forgetting things lately? I have. I can walk into a room for something and forget why I am there. Also, I can’t go the grocery store without forgetting items on my list — or things I forgot to add to my list. I also am forgetting names and words. I notice my husband is in the same boat.
I found an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Why We’re All Forgetting Things Right Now: Short, temporary moments of forgetfulness are happening to more of us more often these days, memory experts say” by Elizabeth Bernstein. She writes for WSJ’s Life and Work section.
Here’s an excerpt:
Short, temporary instances of forgetfulness—those ‘senior moments’—are happening to more of us more often these days, memory experts say. We’re finding it difficult to recall simple things: names of friends and co-workers we haven’t seen in a while, words that should come easily, even how to perform routine acts that once seemed like second nature.
We’re living in yet another moment of big change as we return to offices, create new routines and find our footing in yet another new normal. (And don’t forget a scary war in Europe on top of that.) All this change consumes cognitive energy, often much more than we think, neuroscientists say. It’s no wonder we can’t remember what we had for breakfast. Our minds are struggling with transition moments.
“Our brains are like computers with so many tabs open right now,” says Sara C. Mednick, a neuroscientist and professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. “This slows down our processing power, and memory is one of the areas that falters.”
The chronic and cumulative stress of the past two years has taken its toll, too. Research led by Dr. Shields shows that people who have experienced recent life stressors have impaired memory. Stress negatively affects our attention span and sleep, which also impact memory. And chronic stress can damage the brain, causing further memory problems, says Dr. Shields, an assistant professor in the department of psychological science at the University of Arkansas.
The article also said we are bombarded with too much information and scanning through info on our phones isn’t helpful. Another thing that an expert pointed out was the sameness of every day during the shut down. Apparently we need novelty to help our memories.
They offered suggestions on how to deal with memory loss. If other people are noticing it, you should probably see a doctor. Also, don’t try to force it if you forget something because that’s counter productive. Stay calm and turn off the TV and phones to be present in the moment.
Have you noticed a lag in your memory or a spouse or friends since COVID hit? What types of things do you forget?
I saw a headline in the Wall Street Journal: “Six Exercises to Help Seniors Build Strength, Improve Balance and Prevent Falls” by Jen Murphy. My first thought was my 89-year-old dad. He’s active and does physical therapy to improve balance and strength. He’s always working on getting stronger — especially post shoulder and ankle surgery. He’s worked hard to be where he is today, golfing several days a week, remote yacht racing, and taking ukulele lessons.
I clicked on the headline with the plan to forward him the article, without reading it myself. The photo of a fit woman who was approaching middle age stopped me. Wait a minute! I might benefit from this, too! In fact, maybe I’m considered a senior now? Maybe I’m the intended audience. YIKES. Hold that thought.
It turns out the photo of the woman was of the fitness instructor who works with seniors, not a “senior” herself. Here’s the opening of the article:
Exercises that help us perform everyday activities become increasingly important as we get older.
Our balance declines and we lose muscle, making ordinary activities like climbing stairs more difficult, and increasing the risk of injury and falls, says Rachael Holden, a fitness educator who specializes in older people. She recommends “functional exercises,” which replicate the movements people make in daily activities.
I read the article and realized I can incorporate these six exercises into my daily routine. The first one was “Sit to Stand.”
Why: As we age, weak legs, poor balance and stiffness in the back and ankles can make sitting down into a chair and standing up again challenging, says Ms. Holden. The sit-to-stand exercise is a beginner-friendly alternative to a squat and will build lower-body strength and stability.
How: Sit in a chair or on a couch. Keep your spine tall and arms long by your sides. Push down through your feet to stand tall. Slowly lower back down to a seated position. Perform 10 repetitions. “You can do these during commercial breaks when you watch TV,” says Ms. Holden.
Okay. I can do that. Another exercise was “Step Ups.” That was something I did in PT after my knee surgery. The six exercises were simple but should help with functionality. I am not as fit as I was pre ski accident. My balance isn’t great and I could benefit from these “senior” exercises. I’ll admit it. I was believing that because I walk at least 10,000 steps a day, hike on weekends, do my stretches and crunches that I didn’t need “senior” exercises. But they sure can’t hurt. After I’m done, I’ll forward the article to my dad.
What do you do for your balance and strength? Or is it something you’re concerned with? What age do you think is considered a senior?