Archive for November 30, 2022

A Winter To-Do List

Here’s a winter to-do list: 1) Check and turn on your heater & be sure your outside animals have warmth and protection from the cold.  2) Dig out heavy coats and sweaters for your family & set aside those in good condition that no longer fit or you don’t use and drop them off at a charity or shelter for the homeless.  3) Buy more groceries at one time so you don’t need to go out into the cold so often & donate some non-perishable food items to a local food bank to help hungry families. 4) Cook heartier meals for your family & dedicate some hours to a soup kitchen to help feed the hungry. 5) Lay in a supply of board games to play with your kids when it’s too cold to go out to play & call to chat with someone who is alone and not able to go out even when it’s warm. — This winter, think of both your immediate and your extended family.

Best Way to Cook a Turkey

On Saturdays, I offer a “Sensible Saturday” thought, one that’s related to our environment. Often it’s a tip to contribute to our planet’s health. Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I’ll post it today instead:

Cook that Thanksgiving turkey in a reusable roasting pan. If everyone in the U.S. did that, 46 million disposable foil pans would NOT be thrown out this year to harm our Earth.

[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).

Thanksgiving Thought

Thanksgiving Day—it wouldn’t have been the same without the Native Americans who joined with the Pilgrims in a feast of friendship.  Yet, to many Native Americans, that annual holiday is a day of disrespect.  Some schools have the kids draw themselves as “Indians.”  Some parents think it’s harmless fun to let their kids stick feathers in their hair and whoop around.  We read stories to them about the wonderful, loving first Thanksgiving, ignoring the truth about how the colonists would subjugate the Native Americans within 50 short years, forcing them into disease, genocide, theft of their lands, and loss of their culture–all while the newcomers prospered. Thanksgiving should be a time that we give thanks for all that we have.  It should also be a time to remember the native people who were here before us, to pray that what was done to the Native Americans (and other countries still do to other peoples) never happens again, and to celebrate their dignity as human beings. 

Knitting Saved My Marriage

It’s true.  I’d get so nervous and upset while riding that I’d become irritable, unreasonable, and, well, bitchy.  It’s all because my husband and I had great differences of opinion about such matters as how often to change lanes, how close to travel behind another vehicle, what to do when another driver makes a stupid mistake, and what sort of language (and level of sound) to bestow on other drivers.

Then I took up knitting.  I’m good enough at it that I don’t need to stare at the yarn and needles, which lets me look around.  But I found that knitting calmed me, diverted my attention just enough that I was less bothered by my surroundings.  I was more serene and far less bitchy.

No, it’s not my imagination.  Studies are showing that such crafts really are therapeutic. Occupational therapists use them to help reduce the symptoms of depression, among other things.

There is a neurological basis as well as well as a psychological basis for the stress-reduction and cognitive benefits.  If you’re interested in learning more, go to the Washington Post Health and Science article titled “Might Crafts such as knitting offer long-term health benefits?”

Matching Up

People’s words don’t always reflect their true thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Today’s Thursday Thought quote points out the danger in this.

Today’s Phrase: “Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off of a Brass Monkey”

Get your mind out of the gutter. It didn’t start out as an expression we use today. At the height of the sailing ship era, war ships and freighters brought along round iron cannon balls which they had to prevent from rolling around the deck. They did that by stacking them in pyramids, 30 stacked in rows of 16, topped by 9 topped by 4, then 1. Problem was, on a moving ship, the bottom row wanted to slide away. They stabilized the bottom of the pyramid with a Monkey, a brass plate with 16 slots for the balls.

Another problem: rust held the Money and cannon balls (both iron) together. So, they started making the Monkey out of brass. Great, except that when the temperature fell, the brass contracted quicker than the iron, meaning the shrinking indentions caused the balls to roll off. Because it was “Cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey.”

Be Careful what You Post

Some years ago, a friend blindly reposted on Facebook without realizing the harm.  The first thing the reader saw was “Jihad Watch” in a large red box (red provokes negative reactions in people’s minds).  That group was run by a strongly anti-Muslim man who claimed he’s an expert on jihadism despite his lack of credentials. Then the large bold print cited an attack by Muslims—not jihadist Muslims—thus linking jihadism with all Muslims.  And certain words were capitalized, which is done to rile us up.  The word “believers” was used, making us feel we need to defend of our faith and ignore the fact that the attackers, if they truly were jihadists, were themselves “believers,” but in a non-Muslim-mainstream religion of their own. Late in the article the group was identified as the Fuloni, a Muslim ethnic group.  By now we have been conditioned to think that they represent all Muslims.  In short, my non-thinking friend did something he wouldn’t do on purpose–spread a harmful, untrue stereotype that fans the flames of hate.  There’s a lesson here for all of us.

“Don’t Cry” Alternatives

What to do when someone is crying? Either a child or an adult? This little chart gives some healthy, helpful, comforting options to the common “Don’t cry.”

Improve Veterans’ Lives

Today is a special day to honor our veterans. They’ve done so much for us. They should be considered all other days of the year, as well. Telling them “Thank you for your service” gives them some recognition, but it doesn’t improve the situation affecting their mental and emotional health. In a study asking veterans how often they feel lonely, 44% said at least sometimes and 10.4% said often. It makes sense–they miss the of the community and comradeship they had in their military unit. So they withdraw.

We can easily do something about this. We can include vet-friends, family, or acquaintances in our lives more. At least, we can call them on a regular basis, visit with them often, invite them to join us for activities, meals, a spur-of-the moment coffee at a local coffee shop. Anything that includes the basic human contact we all need. Let’s get those percentages down to zero. It’s the least we can do for our veterans.

Give Me a Hand

Today’s Thursday Thought quote gives the request to “give me a hand” more meaning.