Did you watch the Democratic debates?  We watched the first hour, and then it was past our bedtime, so we didn’t make it all the way to the end.  It was interesting to listen to all the candidates who , before the debates, had merely been cardboard figures depicted by the media.  You have to be pretty sharp to get as far as they all did, but the most amazing candidate of all was Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend.   If anyone figured this hick from Indiana was going to make a fool of himself, they were sadly disappointed.  As Hoosiers, Mayor Pete made us proud.

Mayor Pete came into the debate as a lightweight underdog, but came across as a classy intellectual
Mayor Pete came into the debate as a lightweight underdog; he came out as a classy intellectual.

My husband and I do not agree with every thing Pete believes in.  As an example, we think there was a good reason our founding fathers established the electoral college.  Should big city apartment dwellers and intellectuals from coastal cities throw Midwestern values under the bus?  I won’t elaborate on that because it would take more space than a blog allows to say why we’re opposed to the popular vote.

But here’s the thing about Mayor Pete.  If I were in a position to tell him face to face why I disagree with him, I know he would listen.  He wouldn’t call me names, or put me down.  Why?  Because he’s a gentleman.  He has class.  And we really, really, need some class coming out of Washington DC.

I suppose  his homosexuality is going to rule him out as a  viable candidate. You might think that as an octogenarian,  his sexual orientation would be problematic for me.  But when I  busted out of a parochial girls school back in the 50’s, I met  a gay guy during my first semester of college.  He was funny, smart and the two of us could spend hours talking about anything and everything.  No one admitted to being gay in those days.  He even had a girlfriend.  But he was the one I could talk to when a boyfriend broke my heart. And so, I’ve had gay friends all of my life.

Mayor Pete went into the debates as an underdog and a lightweight.  But he didn’t falter when questioned.  He stood his ground and showed an intellect that equaled–and maybe surpassed –the other candidates.  If you were expecting  a word slurring hillbilly,  you were in for a surprise.

So here’s to you, Mayor Pete   You made us proud. As  a good old Hoosier redneck might say, “you did good.”



If you read the local obituaries, you know that more people are living longer than ever before. Modern health care and improved nutrition has extended the age that we die , far beyond  the normal age of death a century ago.  The question is, how much time, money,  and effort do you want to spend in order to extend your life.?   Do you  want to deprive yourself  of food and drink for decades,  with the hope of living longer than your ancestors.  How long do you want to live?


A strict vegetarian diet is supposed to add 6 years to your life.  It’s not clear how long you have to give up ice cream, meat , butter, fish,  honey and eggs in order  to reap the benefits.  If , at age 40, your meals consist of broccoli, carrots, beans, . and you continue to deprive yourself of yummy food for the next fifty years, will you look back and regret it? How many picnics and family dinners will have left you dreaming of a piece of fried chicken and a slice of chocolate cake?

Let’s say you decide to take the exercise and fitness route to longevity. How many hours will you sweat it out on a treadmill or weight lifting machine in a musty gym? How many months and years of time must you spend jogging through the park in summer heat and winter rain?  And then, around the age of 60, will you  need knee or hip replacement for those joints you wore out in decades of pounding the pavement and pumping  iron?

Some health researchers advise us to skip alcohol altogether.  Or, if you must imbibe, limit yourself to one glass of wine a week.  Doesn’t that make you wonder how Italians, and Germans with their beer, ever make it to 90?


No , I’m not recommending that we all become obese couch potatoes.  I simply think that moderation in all things leads to a happier life.   As a dietitian, I still believe the USDA food pyramid is the best guide to a healthy diet.  A 4 oz  strip steak  is a better choice than a 16 oz rib eye.    But you can limit your calories to around 2, 000 a day while still enjoying an occasional piece of cheesecake .

I believe that all of us should exercise at least 15 to 30 minutes a day as long as it’s possible.  Maybe a little bit more if you’ve not yet retired.

Moderation in all things might not get me past the century mark, but I’ll take eighty good years of enjoying life as I like it.


It’s hard to believe, but I’m now renting apartments to students who were born the year I retired! This means they’ve grown up on Facebook , Snap Chat, Instagram and other social media.  90% have at least one public account,   Sadly, many  young people  don’t realize that after they turn 16,  they’re in the real world.  And may not be aware  that Facebook can make  or break students.

Be careful how you appear on facebook.

Employers and landlords may look like ignorant old fuddy duddies, but they aren’t as dumb as you think. The first thing they do after receiving an application is look you up on Facebook.  Why not?  It’s cheap and  easy.  The first thing they will notice is what you are wearing.  Girls flaunting bikini bodies might appeal to a certain type of landlord or employer, but perhaps not for good reasons.  Casual clothes are expected, but a person can go too far.  Most of us don’t want to hire or rent property to exhibitionists.

Nowadays, many people don’t post much information about their education and work experience.  Actually, they should.  Someone who graduated from a good high school, or attends college should be proud to share that information.  It may  help with something as simple as landing a summer job.  Leaving that part blank raises questions.

On the other hand, most youngsters  aren’t shy about posting pictures of their friends.  Why? Because they see a large number of friends as a status symbol.  Some kids have over 1,000 so called friends. So this is the good thing for those sneaky folks who want to know more about you. There’s an old saying that you’re known by the company you keep.  Although you come across as fairly bland in your cover photo, you may have some really icky friends.– like people with a vocabulary consisting mostly of four letter words. Or  who brag about  their sex life, drinking habits, etc.   You get the picture.

Politics is another topic best left unsaid at this point in your life.  Many adults go on and on about their political beliefs on Facebook. .  But as a young person just starting out, it’s probably not a good idea to advertise your leanings  unless you’re involved in a political campaign.  A die hard conservative isn’t going to hire a flaming liberal, and vice versa.  So, unless you don’t want to work for or rent from a person whose political beliefs don’t align with yours,  you might not bring up the topic.

We’re in a pretty liberal society, and it’s no longer taboo to have babies with people you aren’t married to.  But if you’ve tried to pose as a single occupancy tenant, and your Facebook shows you holding your baby, it looks like you’re not being  truthful.  Another red flag.

Just remember, kids.  Facebook is just that:  the face you are presenting to the world. And if you aren’t comfortable with that idea, you might make it private, or delete it altogether.

9 Good Things About Gloomy Weather

As they used to say in the olden days, “it’s been raining cats and dogs”lately. in Indiana.  Other colloquialisms for rain , coming from my Nebraska husband are:  ” a frog strangler,” and my favorite  “it’s raining like piss from a boot,”   The  rain is going to stop soon,  I promise–and then we’ll start complaining about the heat.  If you feel your mood going downhill every time it starts to thunder, here are nine  good things to like about gloomy weather:


1. Your house is so cool that you can open the windows and enjoy fresh air.

2. If you have natural curls or waves, your hair will look great, even when you come in from the rain.

3. The moist air is good for your skin.

4. The smell of rain on damp earth is intoxicating. There’s even a name for it:

5. It’s a good time to catch up on your sleep.  You have a perfect excuse to stay in bed until noon.

` 6. Rain  slows down the traffic. .It’s  great to shop for groceries in uncrowded aisles.  The cashiers are actually glad to see you.

7. You can settle down and finish reading that that big, thick library book before it’s overdue.

8. Science has proven that people are more productive at the office on rainy days. It’s hard to concentrate when the sun is shining, and you long to be outside.

9. You don’t have to water the flowers.

There’s more rain in the forecast for Indiana next week.  Hope my fellow Hoosiers  will take the time to enjoy it!


Although veterans are entitled to free medical care, most don’t take advantage of it because they have private insurance. On the other hand,  many vets have no other choice.. My husband drives 2 hours to  the VA  only for hearing aids, which aren’t covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, the  Audiology department has gone from an A Plus to  a D Minus  duringthe past year, in terms of scheduling.  Their new policy dictates  that patients can’t make appointments at all.  Patients have to  walk in and sign onto a waiting list.  All patients, no matter how old or handicapped, must endure long waits in crowded hallways at the Indianapolis  Veterans  Administration Hospital    That’s after they’ve circled the parking garage about 10 times before finding a place to park.

VA patients in Indianapolis audiology department endure long waits

Wasn’t patient care supposed to get better under this administration?  And the last?  And the one before that?  It seems like every  presidential campaign includes a promise to straighten things out with the Veterans Administration.

I don’t blame the staff in this department for the terrible decision to stop scheduling appointments.  All of them are highly competent and caring individuals.  They have to know it isn’t working.  They see hundreds of elderly and disabled vets sitting on hard folding chairs in the hallways for hours on end.  But someone Upstairs must have decided to fix something that wasn’t broken.

Did I mention hard folding chairs?  I sat next to a 94 year old veteran who said he’d fought in the battle at Iwo Jima.  He hadn’t been able to find a chair at all because there weren’t enough to accommodate everyone.  Finally , a younger man offered him  his seat. Many old vets stood in the aisles on crutches until someone had the grace to give up their own chair.  I left my chair, thinking I could wait in the front lobby.  Alas, all couches and chairs were occupied. So, I wandered around for awhile to see how things were going in the other departments.  Most only had one or two patients seated comfortably while waiting.

Our doctor explained the situation would improve, once they replaced two staff members who had just quit.  If they are short staffed, why not send an automated call to  all of their patients, letting them know what’s going on?  Better yet, tell them to see a local doctor and the VA will pick up the bill.  I guess that just sounds too simple.  Anyway, the new policy started several months ago, before these recent vacancies–and it never worked. to begin with.

While walking  around the hospital, I noticed a bulletin board in the lobby where you could post suggestions and complaints.  I was pretty mad by this time, so I scribbled the note you see and tacked it up on the board.  By the time we left,   someone had removed it.  Also, I took pictures of people waiting in the hallways, but  a staff member  sternly warned  me that this is not allowed in the hospital. I figured I’d better not mess with the feds, so I deleted those photos.   I hope freedom of speech is still legal there,  but maybe not.


When we describe a man or woman as “sweet,” it means different things to different people. Conventional wisdom says that a kind, gentle, considerate person is sweet.  Others believe it has a negative connotation. implying weakness and a lack of character.     Remember Melanie in “Gone With the Wind?”  Scarlet O’Hara called her a “mealy mouth.” even though everyone else thought she was a saint. Obviously, Scarlet wasn’t sweet, although she could pretend she was when the situation called for it.  As my  mother used to say, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”  Sweet people are considered more trustworthy,  But does a sweet person ever lie?


Most little children are sweet, because they’re naïve and trusting. But by the time they’re teens, they’ve maybe been bullied,  had an unhappy childhood, or found out the world expects more from them than their parents did. Then, they get a bit snarly and snotty.  But sooner or later, they discover that  doesn’t work so well, and they decide to smile and get along with others and at least come across as “sweet.”  Thus, a veneer of sweetness may be manipulative. Conversely, some of the kindest most generous people I know  have a cool, gruff , exterior.

It’s easier for some of us to come off as sweet than it is for others.  If you have dimples, a soft voice, even features and pretty hair, it doesn’t take much effort ,  But what if you’re born with close set eyes,  a perpetual frown, gravelly voice or down turned mouth?   You may be a kind , good person, but you won’t come across as “sweet” upon first impression.

Grumpy people are not regarded as trustworth

Most of us are suckers for sweet people, especially when they’re trying to sell us something. Or get out of something.  As a landlord, I’ve encountered many a sweet talking renter who lies about their background, doesn’t pay their rent, and burns cigarette holes in the carpet.  Then there are the “sweet” co workers who leak your confidences and get you in trouble.  The “sweet” service people  who think they can sugar coat their way around shoddy work.  The social climbing backstabber who is only sweet to people on the way up.  Sometimes, you have to bite your tongue when you hear a person you know only too well described as “sweet.”

The elderly are especially susceptible to sweetness.  Maybe that’s because ageism is rampant in our society, and seniors are often ignored or treated with disdain.  But just remember folks, sweet people sometimes do lie.


How is it that I receive all these “sponsored”  posts on Facebook ?   Before  the 2016 election, I was getting posts about Trump almost every single day.  Maybe they were part of the Russian attempt to influence the election.   I always ignored them, because I considered them nothing but spam. But now,  the Trump posts have  disappeared, only to be replaced by posts favoring Biden.  I don’t understand who is behind these posts, and why  are they allowed to do this.  Is Facebook invading my privacy?


OMG.  Just got a post from Cory Booker, asking me to send $1 to secure his spot on the debate stage. I don’t know Cory at all; never met him, probably never will.  I thought people couldn’t post on my page unless they were my friend.  Cory isn’t my friend.

Here’s another one from the Democratic Governors Association asking if I approve of President Trump.  If I respond Yes , will I be back on the Republican’s hit list?   And if I say No, will that be a green  light for all 20 Democratic candidate to start sending me requests for money?  Does this mean that anyone can buy their way into my Facebook account?  I’ve purposely limited my friends to a handful, because I don’t want to spend all day reading posts from a thousand  so called “friends.”

Apparently, Facebook lines me up with strange people they think I would agree with.  How they make this decision is a total mystery.  In the last election, something made them believe I wanted to hear about Trump.  It may have been the Russians, or just plain old American Republicans.  I will never know.  But now, the Democrats have decided I’m fair game.  Overall, I would guess that someone at Facebook has decided I’ve switched parties.

I haven’t switched parties because I never belonged to one.  If you read my blog,  you will know that I feel free to criticize politicians from either party.  My mother used to have an expression around election time:  “I vote for a new set of crooks every four years.”  She would be 114 years old if still alive—but her comments seem pretty up to date.

But wait.  This morning, my Facebook had “sponsored” posts from Costco and Magic Chef, neither of whom  have stores in my area.  It looks like Facebook is so desperate for income that they’re promoting more commercials.  We’re tired of seeing commercials on television, but we know that’s the price we have to pay to watch.  Is  it the same now on Facebook?  If so, a lot of us may be deleting our accounts altogether.