Mar 062012

Traveling today has become a bit trickier than in years past. 

There are travel warnings and travel restrictions not to mention all the “fees” airlines now impose on the traveler.  Oh for the days when one could check two bags for free.

Restaurant, Bar and Pool

The pool, restaurant and bar at Torres Mazatlan


Having vacationed for over 22 years in Mexico, it is disheartening to see the travel warning out for Mexico.  We were there just a year ago and felt super safe where we stayed.  Do we dare chance it again in 2014 when we plan to celebrate our 50th anniversary somewhere warm during the winter?  Should we stay in the US?  I’m not altogether sure it is much safer here.  One can encounter danger anywhere and it is usually unexpected.  How do you structure your travel so you are safe?


I can’t speak for everyone but it just seems some common sense is in order.  For instance – be aware of your limitations.  As we age we are less agile and therefore not as able to respond to things as quickly as we used to.  So – while someone young might think it to be a great adventure to go off exploring in offbeat areas, others may recognize the dangers of that and go elsewhere.  When we are in Mexico we seldom go outside of our resort area after dark unless we are in a licensed taxi.

Torres Mazatlan at Night

Torres Mazatlan at Night


When we want to try a new restaurant, we go for a late breakfast or midafternoon lunch.  Shopping is always in a tourist area in broad daylight and sometimes in an organized group.  We do not interact with those asking for money or trying to sell us something on the street.  We seldom carry large amounts of cash and usually take only one credit card along, which is usually kept in the safe deposit box in our unit.  We do not have flashy jewelry – anything like that gets left at home.


Hotel Safe Deposit Box

Hotel Safe Deposit Box

Unfortunately it now appears those who would attack tourists are getting braver and actually hijacking a bus and demanding money etc.  I’m sure you can probably add some more ideas here.






On to the Airlines.

Fees are almost synonymous with Airlines now.  There is a “fee” for everything:  luggage, seat assignment, pillow, blanket, headsets, meals etc.  I suppose one can argue the airlines have to make up for the increase of gas and oil etc.  The only bone I have to pick with that argument – when the prices of gas, oil, coffee, sugar etc. go down, the “fees” do not.  So – what is next?  Maybe pay toilets?  Would that shorten the lines at the toilets in the back of the plane any?  Anytime you push the “help” button above your seat, you pay?  You pay for using the overhead light? If you want the bulkhead seat, you pay more?  For those who are frequent fliers, perhaps you could get a discount if you volunteer to do the “speech” for the stewards while the plan is leaving the gate and heading toward the runway (you must know it by heart if you fly frequently)?

Enjoy this rather long video on the airlines as only Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway could do it.  Prepare to tickle your funny bone with this one.

What are your thoughts on the airlines and on travel today?  Share with us please?

Mar 032012

Years ago

one had to send letters and go to the Library to get information.



The Library


With the advent of the internet that all changed. 

Now one only has to log in and search.  For many of us born prior to 1984, the computer is an enigma.  The internet is a wonder to behold and the cell phone is a wonder you hold.  Pats on the back to those who have learned how to use these tools.

Learning the Computer

Well - I think that's what you are supposed to do!




Why 1984 –

well 1984 seems to be the benchmark for this proliferation of electronic miracles and those born after that date are sometimes referred to as digital natives and the rest of us are digital natives. 


When it comes to retirement, there is a plethora of information on the net and it is sometimes time consuming and boring to be checking out everything you find.

Here are some selected sites that you might find interesting –

sites containing information about retirement.

  • First on the list are two government sites

    Retire when?

    Retirement Planning Gone Awry  information on retirement planning

www.ssa,gov/retire/2/  Social Security retirement and planner

  • These next three are relative to employment issues in retirement

    Hire Me

    I'm Availablt jobs, finances, health and senior living information  jobs for people over 50 how to live better in retirement


  • These two links have resources that are broader in scope relative to Senior Living

    A Retirement Home

    A Retirement Home a gateway to resources for senior living an online magazine for people who used to work for a living

  • One devoted to places to live search for retirement communities

  • One unexpected site that showed up in my searching the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation – yup – information on retirement for race horses.  You might find it interesting to see what they do with old race horses (not the glue factory).  Enjoy this short video about a place like this.

One site that really stood out though was on where to retire.  Click here to access that information.

The only thing that is certain as we age is that there will be a lot of change.  It seems the only permanent thing we have now is change.  Enjoy checking out the links and that you find the information useful.

Please share your thoughts – would love to hear from you.

Feb 262012

How’s your relationship with your spouse or significant other? 

Whether it is someone new you just met or your lifelong partner, do you know how to keep the relationship going?  Here are three strategies you can use to keep a relationship going or to rekindle a relationship you already have.


Expectations - What's Next?


Establish Expectations

Why is this important?  When you met “the one” – and talk of marriage begins, find out whether or not the other person wants to have children.  This could be the deal breaker for one or the other.  Find out what the other person wants in a relationship.  This needs to be repeated throughout a marriage so both of you are on the same page.  Having clear expectations helps to avoid those unpleasant times that occur when there is a vast difference in expectations.




Looking at Communication


When you talk to anyone about buying a house you will be told there are three things to be concerned about:  Location, Location, Location.  In any kind of relationship there are three things to be concerned about:  communication, communication, communication.  I’m not a mind reader.  How can you find out what the other person is thinking:  Ask, of course.  And you can’t expect someone to know what you’re thinking if you don’t tell them. Nobody likes an over-communicator.  There are so many ways one can communicate with words and without words.  Body language, facial language, tone of voice and volume are just a few.  Establishing the frequency and types of communication might also be a good idea.  For a new relationship, you want the other person to know you are interested and want to continue.




A Clock for Telling Time


Timing is everything.  In communication it is important to know when to say something and when to zip it.  You may want to discuss something and your partner is just not in a good place to discuss anything.  If you proceed – and many of us have done that – you learn quickly that the timing was all wrong.  Just like the timing in a car – if it is off you know right away.  Timing is the key to building any relationship.




Knowing expectations, using communication, and watching the timing for your communication are all vital to a successful relationship.  Using these basic principles you will be on your way to build fulfilling, mutually beneficial relationships.  Here are some more tips – enjoy this short video.

What are you doing to improve or keep your

relationship going with your partner?

Feb 252012

A Young Beethoven

The following information is from Gabe Mirkin, M.D. 

It is not earth shattering but mildly interesting – to some.  Enjoy

More than 150 years after the death of arguably the world’s greatest composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory are finally able to explain what made him sick and how he died. Beethoven was healthy through his early life and studied with Mozart and Hayden.

When he was 17, he started a life-long practice of visiting spas and drinking the mineral water. In his early 20s, he developed belly pain for the first time, and these terrible pains tormented him throughout the rest of his life. At age 31, while being acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest composers, he started to lose his hearing and became totally deaf at 42. Then he started manic-depressive rages. His friends described Beethoven as very gruff with a good sense of humor. Those who visited him didn’t know whether to expect him to be just charming or to go into irrational rage.

At age 57, he died of pneumonia, and a young Jewish musician named Ferdinand Hiller, snipped some hair from the head of Ludwig Van Beethoven and for a century, the hair was kept by descendants of the Hiller family. During the Holocaust, a Danish doctor named Kay Alexander Fremming helped rescue Jews by helping them reach Sweden by boat. The Hiller family gave the hair to Dr Fremming in gratitude for her heroic help. After Dr. Fremming died, her daughter consigned the hair for auction to Sotheby’s in London and 582 strands of hair, 3 to 6 inches long were sold for $7,300 to Ira Brilliant, Alfredo Guevera and other members of the Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at California’s San Jose State University.
This week the results of special tests at the Argonne National Laboratory reported that Beethoven suffered from lead poisoning as his hair contained lead at more than 100 times the highest level of normal. Lead poisoning probably came from the mineral spas that he attended. Lead poisoning causes nerve damage and that could explain his deafness, brain damage and that explains his manic depression, horrible intestinal cramps to explain his terrible belly pain, and death.

Enjoy this short video of Beethoven – in the most unusual setting and for the most unusual purpose.

These elephants are all injured or disabled in some way.  Beethoven’s music was thought to be somewhat healing for them.

Do you find Beethoven’s music to be soothing music that relieves stress and anxiety- much like the elephants in this video? 

What’s your favorite piece from Beethoven?  Share please? 

Feb 192012

President Lincoln

The Third Monday in February We Honor Our Past Presidents. 


President Washington


The two that come to mind are Washington and Lincoln.

That’s because prior to 1971 we actually had two Presidential Holidays – one for Lincoln on his birthday, which is February 12th and one for Washington, whose birthday is February 22nd.  President Nixon changed this in 1971 when he and the congress named the third Monday in February as President’s Day – a federal holiday.


Washington is the first President of our country.

He was the Commander of the American Army during the Revolutionary War.  Although many of us think of those times occurring in 1775, not many realize that our first President did not take office until 1789, some 14 years after this all started.  Washington governed only 13 states.  He was an experienced surveyor and a planter.  Prior to becoming a delegate to the Continental Congress, he served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

The Virginia House of Burgesses

The Virginia House of Burgesses


Lincoln was born about 10 years after Washington passed away. 

He came from a poor family and was mostly self-educated.  He had a string of failures in business and politics but was elected President in 1861.  He guided our country through the Civil War.  He was assassinated on April 15, 1865, a few days after Lee and his army surrendered.  His speeches were known to be simple and one in particular, the shortest speech ever made by a President and one of the greatest ever made by a President.

Mt. Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore

 National Park Service

Today there are many places one can go to celebrate President’s Day.  Just about every president has a monument or park or library in their honor.  Many of these are under the care of the National Park Service.  Any one of these places will have something going on for President’s Day.



Enjoy listening to Lincoln and his famous speech at Gettysburg.

What are your memories of President’s Day Celebrations, or, if you are old enough – Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday?