Archive for June 29, 2015

It Only Takes a Second

Plan today what to do with the extra time Science and Nature are giving you tomorrow.  On June 30, the atomic clocks we’ve used since 1967 will adjust to the slowing earth’s rotation, giving us 61 seconds in one of our hours.

Doesn’t sound like much time, but think what you could do with that second to improve someone’s life.  Smile at a stranger.  Hold that hug a little longer.  Say “I love you” to a family member or friend who seldom hears that.  Add one more zero to the check you’re writing to a charity.  Pick up your dirty socks so your spouse doesn’t have to.  Open a door for a person in a wheelchair. Throw away your cigarette butt or garbage instead of dropping it on the ground for someone else to pick up.  Say “thank you” to someone who has been of service to you (server, crossing guard, letter carrier, trash collector, etc.).  Give a friendly wave and “Hello” to a homeless person or the neighbor everyone ignores or dislikes.

It only takes a second to make another person’s life brighter.  And tomorrow you have an extra second to spare.

 

Love your AC

The hot weather is upon us.  Now’s the time to show your AC (plus the earth and your budget) a little love.  Clean or change the filter, saving as much as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide and $150 per year. Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-book seller.]

A Dog-Gone Silly “Day”

Take Your Dog to Work Day (today–created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International) is downright silly.  Mine is at work with me every day.  Of course, I work from a home-office….

Anyway, here’s my helper, Riley Casey O’Donnell. The after-surgery cone and lighting make her look either like an angel (HA!) or, if you’re old enough to recall, the RCA Victor dog.

Cone-Head Riley 2

 

 

Taming My Battle Demons

This is a Thursday Thought I MUST start keeping in mind when those angry feelings start boiling up inside of me.

 

 

POD People

POD People (those with obvious disabilities) are often “helped” into a worse situation, causing lost dignity that can be humiliating.  You just want to help.  But how? Here are some suggestions.

If a non-sighted woman needs guiding, let her take your arm.  Allow the stutterer to finish his own word or sentence.  A lip-reader needs you to face him and speak normally (don’t exaggerate your lip movements).  Someone who has fallen or is having trouble getting up a hill or curb in a wheelchair is in danger if you just grab hold without asking what he needs you to do.

The disabled woman in the bathroom has only one stall she can use, so invite her to go ahead as soon as it’s open.  And don’t tie up that stall for changing clothes or potty-training your three kids. The bathroom may be empty when you go in, but a disabled person may come in right after you.

Avoid parking in the handicap space, even “for just a minute,” and stay out of that cross-hatch zone next to it, which is there so people can get their wheelchairs in and out of their vehicles.  Don’t stick your emptied shopping cart there, either, to block the needed space.

Deciding what to do is actually easy: when in doubt, just treat people as you’d want them to treat you.

 

 

 

Charlston: Peaceful Closure

It’s amazing: families of the people shot to death in a Charlston, SC church, during Bible study, are saying they forgive Dylynn Roof, the killer.  They refuse to let hatred breed more hatred.

Hearing their response to cold tragedy brought me to a realization–that forgiveness is the only way to reach the elusive “closure” that everybody talks about.  Execution and life-imprisonment punish the perpetrator but are forms of vengeance.  Anyone who has ever kept a grudge for awhile knows that “getting even” doesn’t make us feel a lot better. In fact, it gives more power to the person receiving our retribution, because of time and psychic energy we wasted on thinking about him and because now we, too, have done something negative.  Besides, his wrong act and our reaction will haunt us forever as we call up memories about how he got his comeuppance.  It’s a far cry from closure, which, by definition, brings an end, a conclusion to a situation.  It’s even farther from what people expect closure to bring them, which is peace.

Forgiveness closes off the gut-churning blame process and it doesn’t involve a soul-shattering battle of negatives.  Most importantly, it brings peace.

Forgiveness–what a concept.

 

 

This One’s for the Birds

If you have a birdbath in your yard, clean it often by scrubbing it out with non-toxic white vinegar.  It’s healthy for the visiting birds and for the earth as a whole.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-book seller.]

I’ll DO it Before I Lose Everything I’ve Worked For!

We KNOW we need to protect our credit, and we MEAN to do something about it.  I admit that I haven’t yet done all I can do, and I’m too old to rebuild my finances if I’m hit. I know, too, that the prime target is not the rich but regular folks like us and older or otherwise vulnerable people.   That’s why I’m putting California’s U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s reminders (with handy links) on my “must-do” list for the next few days–for myself and for some people I know and care for.

If you’ve been procrastinating and are getting worried enough to act, here are her reminders:

  1. Monitor your credit regularly and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution. You can request a free credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
  2. If you are worried your account has been compromised, you can set up a fraud alert on your credit profile by calling TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. This requires creditors to contact you before opening any new lines of credit under your name.
  3. Protect yourself from common attempts to steal your information. Be cautious of unsolicited emails asking for sensitive information like your Social Security Number or banking information. If an email looks suspicious, do not click any of the links or download the attachments. Also remember that federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never request your personal or financial information via email.
  4. Ensure that your computer has the latest software updates and anti-virus protection.

You can find additional tips and other helpful materials on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

 

 

Teaching and Acting

St. Anthony of Padua has some sage advice in today’s Thursday Thought

25% of Retirement Savings Being Stolen

You can lose up to 25% of your retirement savings because of a loophole in the law.  Go to the AARP calculator to find out more about it and see how much you can lose:

https://action.aarp.org/site/SPageNavigator/CloseTheLoophole_Calculator_Test.html?autologin=true&CMP=EMC-SNG-ADV-CON-061515.