Do you make your bed every day?  If you don’t you have plenty of company.  According to a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch . com,  59 percent of people don’t make their bed; 27 percent do, while 17 percent pay a housekeeper to do the dreaded job.   Psychologists in that same survey found that 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy, while 62 percent of non-bed-makers say they’re unhappy.   Bed makers were more apt to like their jobs, own a home, exercise, and feel well rested.  Resolve to get happy this year.  If you don’t make your bed , start tomorrow.

it's not pointless to make your bed: studies show it makes you happy
Studies show that making your bed leads to happiness. Resolve to get happy this year.

As a kid going to girl scout camp, we were told to let our beds breathe before  we had breakfast, then make them after we got back from the cafeteria.  Some health advocates say that dust mites live in made beds, so they’re better left unmade.  Turns out, this advice only applies to people who live in damp climates.  The excuse does not apply to most of us in the USA.

Some people believe that making your bed every day is pointless.   But is it? Are you simply too busy to make your bed, or too lazy?  I don’t know about you, but crawling into an unmade bed seems unappealing.  Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night with their bedding all whopper-jawed?

Naval Admiral William Raven explained  in a commencement speech at the University of Texas, Austin,  that bed making makes you happy because it:

. Gives you an accomplished feeling 1st thing in the morning

. Helps with the clutter & visual appeal of your room

.Increases productivity and happiness

.Is manageable

Studies  prove that people who make their beds are happier, more productive, and successful.   And it takes less than 2 minutes!   So, here’s a good New Year’s resolution: whether it rains, sleets or snows–get up, make your bed, and face the day with a smile.😃


Christmas is over, but the holiday still hasn’t ended.  There are more parties and family gatherings ahead in the next few days.  Not to mention the stress of traveling back and forth to visit relatives in other cities.  By the time Christmas is over, you may be drained and exhausted from all the ways you deviated from your normal routines and eating patterns. Here are 10 ways to take a time out  tomorrow or the next day.

1. Sleep late.

2.  Don’t plan to shop. Eat a healthy breakfast of fruit and whole grain cereal.  Then go back to bed or find a comfortable chair, and simply relax with a cup of coffee or tea.

3. Hide the sweet  treats. All the candy, cookies, and desserts can give you a “sugar high.” But when it starts to wear off, you feel jittery and nervous, and maybe depressed. Too much sugar is bad for you.

4. Ditch the salty snacks, ham, & sausage.  When you take in more sodium than you need, your body starts to retain fluid.  This excess make you feel bloated and sluggish. A fresh fruit smoothie  for lunch will provide potassium to flush the salt from your system.

5. Eliminate alcohol.   While you wouldn’t ordinarily drink in the afternoon, it’s likely that you’ll be offered wine, beer, or another alcoholic beverage at holiday gatherings.   It makes the day more relaxing and festive. But it can also lead to lethargy the next day.  Instead of alcoholic drinks today, have a glass of ice water,  orange juice or a cup of hot tea.

A breath of fresh air will be invigorating
If you’re feeling sluggish, take a walk outside and fill your lungs with oxygen.

6. Go outside for a short walk, and fill your lungs with fresh air. Come back in and take a nap,  If you can’t sleep during the day, try meditation and deep breathing exercises.

7. Settle down with a magazine like the Smithsonian, or read Tolstoy.

8. Don’t fix a big evening meal. Skip the evening cocktail.  Make a bowl of fresh potato soup, minus the salt shaker.

9. Forget the evening news. Don’t leave the house to go anywhere.  Relax with a Hallmark movie on TV.

10.  Take a warm bath. Go to bed early.

Wake up the next day renewed and refreshed, ready for that big New Year’s Eve party.




Our house is an anomaly in the modern world. because we don’t have a visible television set in our living room.  Or anywhere else downstairs, except for a small set in my husband’s office.  So, when children and  grandchildren stop by during the holidays, they’re in for a culture shock. What to do without television? Has TV replaced the hearth?

In the olden days, people gathered in front of the hearth
When people gathered before the hearth in the olden days, they had no trouble making conversation.

I remember gathering around my Grandfather’s hearth on Christmas Eve in rural Indiana.  It was a magical time with oil lamps and the fire place our only illumination.  If there was a lull in the conversation, we listened to the crackling of flames and stared into the fire until someone spoke again.

They say the television screen has replaced the fireplace in our modern world. But it’s not the same.  Let’s say you’re gathered around the television.  Someone begins a conversation, another picks up a fragment and begins to respond.  But then, their eyes are drawn to the television screen where there’s a football game going on.  If not a game, some type of news story or beer commercial.  The thread of  conversation is cut short.  There’s a lack of intimacy and connection.  When the visit is over, you feel frustrated—as if the visitors had never been there at all. You don’t know these people any better than you did before they came.

And of course, there’s always a smart phone in the hands of someone or other.  While two or three people get involved in a discussion,  someone else advertises their complete boredom by checking their email.

What do we talk about at our house?  How in the world do we get through a couple of hours without television?.   Well, basically, we do what people did for thousands  of years  when they gathered near the hearth .  We talk about problems we’ve had, and ask for advice.   Then we share what we know of relatives and mutual friends, about what’s going on in their lives.  Looking out the window, we comment on the squirrels and birds.  We ask about their cats and dogs. Commiserate about medical conditions and doctor visits. Swap recipes.  After awhile, the ball gets rolling.  If there’s a toddler or two around, we enjoy their antics.  Politics may be discussed, but carefully.  We know everyone doesn’t agree,   but we do voice an opinion or two.

If we’ve had a meal, we sit around the dining room table and talk.  If someone has just stopped by, we arrange chairs in a circle and  provide a few snacks and something to drink.

After our visitors leave, we feel satisfied . We’ve shared some laughs, and feel closer after some quality time together.  How do you visit without television?  What do you talk about??   Has TV replaced the hearth?  Not in a million years.


Is there a mall in the USA that doesn’t have a Santa?  This weekend  was a big one for the jolly old elf.  Parents lined up so their kids could not only see Santa, but get a picture with Santa.  Funny thing is, Mom and Dad seem to be having more fun than the children.  As you pass through the crowd, you hear kids crying and frowning as their parents cajole them into posing for a picture. Who’s afraid of Santa Claus, anyway?

Some children are afraid of Santa Claus.
Parents feel obliged to take their children to see Santa, but the kids may find him scary.

I’m pretty sure I had mixed feelings before I even met him.  The lyrics from Here Comes Santa Claus had me worried: “he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”  And my older siblings got a kick out of teasing  that I might get a bundle of sticks under the Christmas tree if I didn’t behave.

When I was around five, someone decided it was time for me to meet the old guy.  What parent doesn’t take their child to see Santa Claus?  Even back in the early forties, parents felt obliged to arrange a meeting.  I remember being a bit nervous as my sister took me by the hand and led me to Santa’s chair.  But the first thing I noticed was his beard. It was hanging from his chin by a wire.  I guess it had gotten unglued or something. But it made me wary.  No real Santa would have a fake beard.

I didn’t say much until later that night at dinner time. I voiced my suspicion that this Santa guy was a fake.  My parents didn’t know what to say, but my older sister stepped in with damage control.

“It actually was one of Santa’s helpers,” she said.  “Santa’s way too busy at this time of year to be so many different places at the same time. So he sends out  helpers to fill in for him.”

Believe it or not, I fell for that explanation– hook, line and sinker.  And I was pleasantly surprised when Santa  showed up Christmas morning by leaving a magic skin doll that I had requested.  And yet….a seed of doubt had been planted.  Before the next Christmas rolled around, I had figured out where the gifts were hidden in the closet.

For the most part,  mall Santas are there more for the parents than the children.  They will have a forever picture to show the kid on their wedding day what a good Mom and Dad they were.  Even if the child was actually scared to death.

Who’s afraid of Santa Claus, anyway?


Are there any professional mind readers out there?   If so, your services are desperately needed. Every impeachment is different, but this one is the weirdest of all.  The validity of the impeachment of  President Trump, and whether or not the FBI’s FISA Warrant was legal,  depends on what was on their minds at the time in question.  What were they thinking?


Only a mind reader could tell us what Comey and Trump were thinking.
It would take a true mind reader to know what Trump and Comey were thinking,

When the FBI used Christopher Steele’s dossier as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign, did James Comey  know it was a made up report? Did he  actually believe Carter Page was a Russian spy?.  If he was  truly  convinced  Page was a spy, then you can see he  felt justified in spying on the Trump campaign headquarters.

By the same token, did Donald Trump really believe that the Bidens were involved in a huge corruption /scandal in the Ukraine?  If that was his conviction, it would justify his demand for an investigation before we gave the Ukraine  $500 million dollars of  American taxpayer money.  The fact that Joe Biden was a potential running mate would have seemed irrelevant.  We just don’t know what was really on Trump’s mind, and neither does anyone else at this point.

So far, the FBI has gotten a free pass.  James Comey has not been indicted for committing a crime.  But Trump has been impeached by the Congress.

The similarities in the two circumstances are striking.

It’s kind of like someone who’s accused of  involuntary manslaughter. You’re driving in the dark and you see what you think  is a truck parked up ahead.  Not realizing that it’s actually a school bus, you keep going, and kill three school children crossing the highway.  This really happened in Indiana. Therefore, the driver of that car was convicted of murder  and sentenced to 4 years in prison.  The jury decided they knew what was on that woman’s mind.  They convicted her because they believed she knew it was a school bus and didn’t care.  Never mind that it was pitch black outside , she’d just crawled out of bed to take her nephew to a baby sitter, and might have been so sleep deprived that she honestly didn’t know she was bypassing a school bus.

What was really on James Comey’s mind when he used a fake report to get a FISA Warrant? What was President Trump thinking when he asked for the Ukraine/Biden investigation while 75 people listened in? And, incidentally, what was on Joe Biden’s mind when his son landed all those cushy jobs in the Ukraine and China?

All of us can guess, based on our political biases .  But we’ll never really know  what they were thinking.

Cell Phone Sales Reps Target Seniors

If you’re over 80 and walk into a cell phone service provider, you’re probably going to be seen as an easy mark. Like, what does this old lady know about technology, anyway? The sales rep will rattle off some hi tech gobbledygook when you ask for help. And then they will suggest an expensive solution. Let’s face it, phone company reps target seniors.

Replacing a cell phone battery is cheaper than buying a new phone
If your iphone battery is low, it’s cheaper to have it replaced than buying a new phone.

If you read my post , Recovering from Friday 13, you will see where my iphone 6  battery was low, and I couldn’t get it to recharge. The guy who waited on me seemed somewhat disdainful. He never really looked me in the eye. But I was happy when he initially diagnosed my problem as a defective charging cord.

As I waited for my phone to recharge, he looked out the window and said, “you know, your battery is shot. You’ll be lucky if this charge holds for an hour.”

“So,” I responded, “can you just sell me a new battery?.”

He looked at the floor. “We don’t sell Apple batteries here.”

“Well, where could I get one?”

“You can buy them at an Apple store,” he muttered, “but it would be a waste of time and money. ”

“So what are you saying?”

“You need a new phone.” He went on to explain that as an existing customer, I could upgrade to a newer iphone for a mere $500 if I would sign a 30 month contract, and make monthly payments of $17 a month, simply added to my current bill.

I thought for a few minutes. I didn’t mind the $500 so much as the 30 month commitment. Dare I say that at my age, it’s risky buying green bananas? I asked him why it would be a waste to simply replace the battery. He stared at the desk. “ Because It would cost you nearly as much to buy a new battery and have it replaced as a new phone would cost. And once you take a cell phone apart it’s never the same. It’s damaged.”

Okay, he had me convinced. I asked him to look up my account and arrange for a new phone and new contract. But when he tried to process my credit card, it wouldn’t work. Why? Because the existing contract is in my husband’s name. And my last name is hyphenated, a combination of my old and newer last name. The sales rep was disappointed, but I assured him I would be back with my husband ASAP..

That was on a late Friday afternoon. That night, my husband agreed we should get the new phone on Sat. But wait. That gave me a chance to check on the net.  . The website said I should replace the battery. Nothing to suggest I should buy a new phone. After that, I found an authorized Apple repair shop.  Better yet, it’s open on Sunday morning.

We stopped there on the way to brunch, The technician was pleasant, and actually looked at me. When I told him how the phone company rep had warned me against replacing the battery, he laughed and said, “that’s how they sell new phones.”

After a delicious Eggs Benedict brunch we picked up the phone which now had a new battery. The total bill for parts and labor : $60. If it hadn’t been for that glitch about a hyphenated last name, we would now be $440 poorer, and locked into another 30 month contract.  Saved by a hyphen!

Seniors, beware of phone company reps who want to sell you a new phone you don’t need.


Are you superstitious?  I used to be, until I finally stopped attending psychic fairs.  But last Friday,  I began to reconsider my feelings about the power of the supernatural.  After a really bad day, I’m still recovering from Friday the 13th.

It began at 5:30 a.m.  I ‘m awakened by severe leg cramps.  Tossing and turning, I try to make them stop. But when I jump out of bed, I feel dizzy.  Not sick, no fever, just that my head is spinning.

After calming  down, I  decide to go for a swim to clear my head. At 8:30 a.m. I pack up my gear and head for the local college pool.  It”s  cold, and I have to park a long way from the sports center.  Trudging  up the hill, I see that the lights are turned off, and the pool is closed.  Bummer.  Shrug, it’s just one of those things.

Return home and check my iphone.  Battery life down to 3%.  Plug the cable in; nothing happens.  This means I’ll have to drive to AT&T, which will probably mean a long wait. Then, I’ll have the hassle and expense of a new phone.

I go to check my rental property where I’m paying a painter by the hour.  But, he’s not there, the work isn’t finished, and I’ve already paid him 4 times as much as anyone else who’s done the work before.

Back home, I flip on the TV, and see that the President of the United States has been impeached.  No matter which political party you support, this is very bad for our country.  It’s going to be a gloomy Christmas holiday in Washington DC.
On Fri. 13, my computur was hit by a virus
A virus hit my computer on Friday the 13th.

Turn on my computer and find I’ve been hit by a virus.  Can’t access any of my apps like Google, or Word.   Do a system restore which takes over an hour.  Download and re install Chrome, but can’t activate Word.  Block my antivirus program, do another system restore.  Still no Word.  Can’t open any of my documents.  Call the web host for my blog, and talk to a service rep with an incomprehensible accent.  Looks like I’ll have to wait until next week, to call Geek Squad

Jump in the car and head to AT&T.  Service rep finds I have a broken cable. Whew, easy to fix.  He plugs it in, and while I wait for a recharge, he says I really need a new phone because my battery is old.  I take his word for it and reach for my credit card, but it turns out my husband has to be there because the contract is in his name. (More about this in next post)  I leave for Kroger Store, and can’t find my credit card.  Return to AT&T, root thru my purse, finally find the card.  In my confusion, I’ve stuck it in a hidden slot.

Now I’m driving home, and falling back on meditation techniques.  Breathe in, breathe out. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Stay calm. Nothing catastrophic has happened. Breathe in, breathe out. My house didn’t burn down. I haven’t wrecked my car. I don’t have a serious illness (that I know of).  Back home,  I’m outwardly calm.  I fix dinner as usual, and listen to the news.

When stressed out, meditation helps
When feeling stressed, it helps to stop and breathe slowly, in and out.

Good news:  Sat  morning,  I open my computer after  doing another system restore, and I have all my apps back. I can use Word to write this blog.  I can go through Google.  My head is clear.  My iphone works fine with a new cable.  A new Nafta trade agreement was signed by Congress.  Hooray!

And yet,  I’m still in recovery mode. And now I can’t open AOL.  How was your Friday the 13th?