Archive for April 29, 2023


Next week (May 1-7) is International Compost Week. Doesn’t sound exciting?  And way too much work?  Actually, it’s a fun, easy family activity.  Find at least a 3’ x 3’ sunny spot in your yard and start collecting coarse materials like pieces of bark, twigs, and prunings. These make a base that will allow for air-flow and access by those wriggly workers, worms (if you build it, they will come—or add your own). On top of that, put 2-4” of kitchen waste, animal manure, grass clipping (mix with dry leaves to avoid compacting), and other organic matter.  Lightly water the pile and build a similar pile on top of it.  Another light spray, then continue.  Every other week, add a handful of bone meal or a shovelful of manure and turn the pile with a pitchfork.  Soon you have a very rich substance to feed the flowers and vegetables.  Meanwhile, if the kids have learned a little something, who’ll complain?

Help with Pets

Many people who are elderly or have mobility issues keeping them home have pets. A beloved dog, cat, or bird has become their main company, the friend who drives away the loneliness. You may know such a person. They can take care of their pet’s daily needs but need other help that you can give. Offer to walk the dog sometimes, inviting them to come along if they can.  Help the person give the dog a bath.  Clean the kitty’s litterbox or the bird’s cage. Drive the person and pet to the vet for a check-up, yearly vaccinations, or to look at a cut or sore that might be concerning. Find out what brand and kind of food the pet eats, buy some, and drop it off, even if you have to manufacture an imaginary sale to smooth over the person’s pride. An occasional toy or treat is good, too. If you really want to brighten their day, spend some time with the person, letting them show off how sweet or talented their pet is.  Then enjoy the happy moments you and the pet created together.

Meet the Influencers

Each Wed., join me at to see a short description of a chapter of my book, The Women in Me: How they Helped Me Survive and Thrive. Get an idea of the book and how it can entertain and help you or someone you care about. Today is Ch. 1 – Meet the Influencers, which introduces the four women whose influence (good & bad) shaped the author’s life.

What About Earth?

Today is Earth Day. How much do you know about our Earth and what’s being done to save it? Take the short Climate Reality Quiz and find out.

Autism/”The Good Doctor”

We’re in the middle of World Autism Awareness Month. It’s a condition that affects not just the children but the adults they grow up to be. We can Google “what is autism,” and that will give us the symptoms, but they’re more varied than that. The main character of the TV program “The Good Doctor” exhibits some symptoms, including savantism, which not all people with autism have. In other words, there’s no single set of symptoms that all have, except for the greatly varying degree of the core symptoms of difficulty socializing and repetitive behaviors. Essentially, these are people, individuals who should be treated as such and not expected to live up to a somewhat nebulous label.

Like the Ocean

Since it’s Earth Week, today’s Thursday Thought quote seems appropriate. I never thought of the ocean as a role model.

Strong-Minded or Failure?

“You can do anything if you just put your mind to it.”  We hear this often after a severely injured person has pushed through pain to low-odds recovery. We celebrate their great achievement. As well we should. What we shouldn’t do, though, is to say he succeeded because he put his mind to it. The problem with that message is that it promotes the belief that it’s true for everyone. Think about it. Can being strong-minded cure cancer that has spread throughout your body? Be able to walk unaided after polio has destroyed muscles that can’t be regrown? Continue running marathons after contracting COPD? Do everything you used to do before you turned 80? The message says you can, if you only set your mind to it. It’s a cruel statement, because it tells many people they’re weak-minded in addition to being weak of body. Next time you’re tempted to say that, remember that we should show respect and consideration to all people, and such a statement can be hurtful and unkind.

Interesting Wedding Traditions

As mother of the groom, I wanted to be helpful. But there wasn’t much for me to do.  So I searched for wedding traditions that they might want to incorporate into their ceremony.  Oddly enough, my son and almost-daughter-in-law rejected all my suggestions.  See what you think.

Top Scams for 2023

We’re always being bombarded with criminals trying to trick us into giving them money or our private information. AARP has put together a list of the top 7 scams we should watch out for in 2023. I list them below and suggest you go to the AARP scam page for a description and, most importantly, how to safeguard against them.

The Scams:

1. Cryptocurrency-romance scam

2. Payday loan scam

3. One-time password (OTP) bot scam

4. Student loan forgiveness scam

5. Puppy purchase scam

6. Check washing scam 7. Free-gift QR code scam

Appreciation for that Clean Room

Imagine your upcoming summer vacation….A nice hotel room…time to relax.  No bed-making, dusting, or bathroom-cleaning….Ahhh.

Now…plan to ease the lives of the people who make your stay so pleasant, the hotel workers.  Their job-injuries occur twice as often as for others in the service industry and are far more serious.  They must meet a room quota, despite faulty equipment and under-stocked supplies.  Already understaffed, they don’t get more time to tend to luxuries like in-room exercise equipment or a pillowtop mattress (100+ pounds) and its linens (16 pounds).  Most injuries come from strong cleaning agents and repetitive motions.  Because these people need their jobs—and are very proud of their profession—the industry takes advantage.

Next vacation, keep their heavy workload in mind and don’t be a slob just because you can. Be patient about when your room is cleaned and get out of their way while they’re there.  When leaving, pile used towels in the shower and toss garbage items into the trash can rather than the tables and floors. These little things, which take no time or real effort from you, save the cleaning staff substantial time and work when spread over the large number of rooms they’re expected to clean in a shift.  And it’s only basic consideration for others.

Oh yes, one more thing:  when you see the person who cleaned your room, show your appreciation for making your vacation more pleasant by giving them a smile and a warm “thank you.”