Archive for August 31, 2021

Is Grandma Being Abused?

Those of us with elderly loved ones should be aware of the people around them.  Think about the kindly older lady who drops by Aunt Arora’s house for a weekly visit, the frail man who smiles when he passes you and Dad talking in the apartment house recreation room, Mom’s cheery roommate in the nursing home.  Often, through no fault of their own, they may not be what they seem. Older people can be bullies, too.  Some become loud and argumentative when alone with another person.  Some resort to hurtful name-calling and bossiness, while others become physically abusive.  The AARP cites mistreatment by peers in 10%-20% of U.S. seniors in care homes—hundreds of thousands of our older loved ones.  We must report any suspected abuse to the facility’s administration.  Also, we must visit often, never on a predictable schedule, and listen not just to what Uncle Max is saying about his daily life but how he is saying it.  Through awareness and action, we can protect our elders and ensure their safety.

Are You Giving Me the Third Degree??!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve offered you background on a phrase we hear and use often. Try working this information into the conversation next time you feel somebody is giving you “the third degree.”

We’ve all been subjected to the “third degree,” even if only as a child caught doing something we denied doing. It means being questioned—interrogated, really—for a hard, drawn-out period of time.  Where did this term come from?

Could be from an 1800s police officer’s methods of grilling people.  He called that method “Third Degree Byrnes,” after himself, Thomas Byrnes.  Or maybe it’s from the fact that the criminal code contained three levels of murder.  Both have been proposed derivations.  Probably, though, it grew out of the Freemasons’ strenuous questioning when considering someone for becoming a Master Mason, which is their third degree.

No matter where the term came from, it is definitely NOT a pleasant experience to go through.

Help those Nearby

We see so many people in need. But we can’t budget enough to give to all the things that pull at our hearts. Plus, we want to be sure our monetary gift will actually be used for people needing it, not CEO salaries. It would be nice, too, if we could be of help to people nearby.

We can. Think about doing something for people living in your own vicinity.  Try  As little as $5 will help a suddenly jobless single mom in Santa Cruz pay her rent, or a young couple in San Jose pay for the wife’s much-needed 17th surgery (actual applicants).  Search for a recipient in a category—single parent, child, family, someone needing medical or educational help, a local nonprofit.  Or help a person or foundation in a near-by state.  All recipients are prescreened, so you know they have a legitimate need.  Once you’ve made your donation, follow your recipient’s progress on the GiveLocally website, seeing exactly what impact you’ve made on that person’s life. In fact, why not do this with your child?  What a great way for him to learn how a little charity can help a person help himself.

“Going to the Dogs” Not Such a Bad Idea

To observe National Dog Day, I thought this would be an appropriate Thursday Thought quote.

And, when you think of it, maybe the meaning of the expression “going to the dogs” (to ruin something or make things worse) is just the opposite.

Popular Animal Attractions to Avoid

As we plan our vacations, especially if we have kids, we often work animal attractions into our plans. They’re fun for us, but they’ve often cruel for the animals. Think about these:

So, what’s wrong with these attractions? Go to 10 Tourist Attractions That Are Cruel for Animals. This article is an eye-opener.

Use that Blog of Yours

Do you have a business, family, or other blog? Use it periodically to build a better world. Maybe once a month, write something personal about what you see and feel. For example, tell how encouraged you were when you overheard a parent talking to his son about not acting like a bully. Or when you drove by a homeless mother and child and felt helpless to improve the bad economy causing the situation. Or when you visited your parent in a nursing home and saw the lonely faces of residents who never have a visitor. Or, in Sept., declare that you’ll observe the UN International Day of Peace on the 21st by not cursing at other drivers or yelling at your teenager, and you’ll email your senator to ask for legislation promoting peace in a hot-spot of the world. A monthly blog entry isn’t much, but letting others know you believe in working toward a more just world for all may just start people thinking—and doing.

Silliness to Start Your Week

This bit of silliness is for anyone who has been troubled by ants and other pests.

I Don’t use much Water–Do I?

Part of learning how to cut back on our water usage is thinking about how much we use for various functions in our homes. Go to to help determine how water-efficient your household is.

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[For more easy, money-saving, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. For a description of the book go to My Free Books).

Bribe Your Kids?

That’s what some food companies are trying to get us to do. One tells us, if the kids won’t eat the family dinner, make them mac and cheese, presumably every night if necessary. Another says to bribe kids with French fries–give them three if they’ll eat one bite of vegetables. And, again presumably, three more for the next bite from their plate, then three more…. Who cares about nutrition as long as the companies sell their product? And they know that the kids are watching those ads and preparing themselves to be bribed.

Is anyone bothered by this but me? All parents know that kids will eat if they’re really hungry, and if we’re steadfast about their developing healthy eating habits. We also know that little battles like those over food disappear once kids realize we won’t give in and bribe them, because we love them to much.

As for me, I’m boycotting those two companies.

If You Think About Criticizing…

Today’s Thursday Thought quote/picture addresses all of us, because part of our human nature is to disagree with others and point out to them exactly how and why they’re wrong. We could walk away, but since we usually don’t, here’s something to consider: