HOW TO AVOID HOLIDAY REGRETS

Everyone looks forward to the holiday season.  But when it’s over we may feel a post season slump.  Things didn’t go as well as expected, and it’s partly our own fault.  Here’s how to avoid holiday regrets:

Do you control your appetite or does it control you?  The holidays start on Thanksgiving and don’t end until Jan 2.  Now is the time for some preventive maintenance.  Start downsizing your body before the holidays even begin. This gives you some leeway if you eat too much pecan pie and stuffing.

One way to control your weight is to ignore those first signs of hunger. Don’t head for the frig as soon as you feel your stomach gnawing or growling.  Drink a glass of water.   Do some exercises–anything to get your mind on something else. And on the big day, try to avoid second servings.

Here are five ways to avoid holiday regrets.
TOO MUCH ALCOHOL CAN TRIGGER FAMILY FEUDS AT HOLIDAY GATHERINGS.

Alcohol and  relatives don’t  always mix.  Not everyone likes their in laws.  If you’re a never Trumper, someone in the family probably likes him.  Family gatherings are fertile grounds for disagreements over just about anything. The choice of restaurant, a loan that wasn’t paid back, grandpa’s will.  The list goes on and on.  You try to bite your tongue most of the time, but an extra glass of wine or a double scotch is apt to loosen it. .  And before you know it, you’ve said something nasty  and you can’t take it back. Know your limits.  Don’t let too much alcohol ruin family harmony and leave you feeling ashamed of yourself.

It’s fine to give expensive presents if you can afford them.  But don’t overspend. Who wants to be paying off Christmas bills at Easter time?

Don’t feel you must go home for Christmas. Ice and snow usually create hazardous conditions at least once during the season.  No family wants to get a call that their loved ones have been in an accident. You can always celebrate a few days later when the roads have cleared.

Stay home if you’re sick.  Don’ t push yourself  to attend social gatherings or go to work.  If you feel  you’re coming down with something, you’re probably contagious.  A bad virus infection can turn into pneumonia if you don’t stay in bed until you’re well.    For your own sake, and the wellness of others,  take care of yourself until you’re feeling healthy again.

Here’s hoping your holidays are full of happy memories, and no regrets!

WHY DO WE SEND MILLIONS TO UKRAINE?

One good thing has come out of the impeachment hearings.   We’re now aware that our taxpayer dollars are being sent to support one of the most corrupt countries in the world. While the politicians fight it out in congress, we have to ask ourselves: Why do we send millions to Ukraine?

The cold war supposedly ended in 1991, when  U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced,  ” By the grace of God, America won the Cold War: ”  After that,  the average American stopped worrying about Russia .  Since Sept. 11, we’ve been preoccupied with ISIS, the Taliban  and terrorism.   So, why are we so invested in Ukraine?

Why send millions of dollars to corrupt Ukraine
Wikipedia quotes Ernest and Young as saying Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

It started in 2014, when Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and continued to occupy it. Many foreign policy experts believe that Ukraine,   caught in the middle between East and West., is the bulwark against Russian expansionism.  And so, through NATO,  we got sucked into sending aid to Ukraine.

 In 2015 The Guardian called Ukraine “the most corrupt nation in Europe”. According to a poll conducted by Ernst & Young (accounting firm) in 2017, experts considered Ukraine to be the ninth-most corrupt nation in the world.”

Marie Yovanovitch marching in gay parade in Ukriane
Marie Yovanovitch grew up speaking Russian.

So now, we’re in an impeachment inquiry about withholding money from  Ukraine.  At least two of the star witnesses have family ties to  either the Ukraine or Russia.   Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council. was born in the Ukraine.  Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’ s parents fled Russia before she was born in Canada.  She grew up speaking Russian.

So, what will happen if the president is impeached because he demanded an investigation into  Ukraine corruption?  Will we keep sending  more and more aid,  with no strings attached? ?    Maybe we’re spreading ourselves a bit thin, fighting battles all over the world and giving away money  without getting anything back in return.

Can the average American understand why we sent $400 million dollars in aid  to the Ukraine?  One of the most corrupt countries in the world?  Honestly, I don’t think so.

WHY POLL TAKING IS OBSOLETE

The only people who believe in the benefit of taking polls are the organizations that take them. It has  been proven time and again, especially in the last presidential election, that polls aren’t reliable.  I’m sure some polls are accurate if they show a huge majority in favor of a certain  political candidate. But in a close election?  Not so much.  There are reasons why poll taking is obsolete:

 

Polls aren't nearly as accurate as they were 20 years ago.
90% of people don’t answer their phones.

90% of people don’t answer their phones  Remember when it was exciting to hear the telephone ring?  Unless it happened to be a wrong number, it was always from someone you knew.  Now, no one in their right mind automatically picks up their  phone when it rings. Most of us receive six or eight spam calls a day on both our landline and our cellphones.  To answer is a big mistake.  So, if someone does decide to speak with a stranger, there’s something a little bit unusual about that person.  Maybe they’re incredibly lonely. Or just not playing with a full deck.  Whatever the reason, I wouldn’t trust the validity of their answers to a poll.

Only about 35 to 40 percent  of registered voters in the United States actually vote.  And so, if you’re polling that group, you have approximately a one out of three chance that the person you’re talking to is actually  going to vote at all.

Why don’t people in the USA turn out for the vote?  It’s hard to say.  Maybe it’s because too many people believe the polls.  Voting is easier in some states than it is in others.  In states like Indiana, where we have early voting, it’s not nearly as difficult as in states that  only allow same day voting. And so, if the polls say  your favorite candidate is going to win, you might think there’s no point in going to the trouble of voting.

Often, I’m asked to participate in online polls.  That’s the last thing I  would ever do.   Why not advertise your political leanings over the internet?  It could be downright dangerous.  At the very least, you will be bombarded with requests for money to support your candidate of choice.  Don’t you get enough e mails already?

If you really want to know who is going to win the election, your best source is probably with the bookmakers.

HELP! ADS ARE HIJACKING MY FACEBOOK

 It took me awhile to sign up for my own Facebook account, because it seemed so intimidating.   But I finally got up the courage since I owned a small apartment building, and rented to students.  The quickest way to check out a potential tenant was Facebook.  Every kid was on Facebook, and what they posted spoke volumes.  I needed my own account to search, so that’s when I finally bit the bullet. Then,  I loved posting photos of vacations and children, and seeing what others were up to.  But now, social media is losing its luster. Help! Ads are hijacking my Facebook.

Sponsored Facebook Ad are annoying.
Why is Facebook suddenly sending me all these advertisements?

I’m not sure when it started, but it’s been a few months, now.  I check  my phone each morning and go right to Facebook.  Usually, there are about four or five “sponsored” ads which I must quickly hide by hitting some buttons.  I have to give a reason, then click again saying I never want to hear from that sponsor again.  If I don’t go through this  time consuming process, the ads  may go out to my  friends, cluttering up their Facebook timelines, too.  I’m seeing ads for razor blades, nursing homes, face cream, roofers, and just about every business or product you can imagine. And I’m  getting fed up with the hassle it takes  to get rid of them.

Here’s what they say online  about getting rid of Facebook ads:

“To opt out of being included in Facebook social advertisements, log on to your Facebook account, and click on Accounts at the upper right-hand corner of your home page. Select “Account settings” and then “Facebook ads.” Select the “no one” option under “Ads shown by third-party applications.”

Okay , I did all that, several times.  But I’m still getting four or five ads a day, often from the same places.    Supposedly, I have a shadow profile”  on Facebook that  collects data about my internet browsing  habits, then sends me ads they think would interest me.  Considering the fact that I receive ads about everything under the sun, I can’t imagine what my profile looks like up there in Facebook heaven.

Help! Ads are hijacking my Facebook.

WOW ‘EM WITH MEXICAN LASAGNA

If you have company coming for Thanksgiving, it’s going to be a long holiday.  You can’t eat turkey all weekend.  After the leftovers have been exhausted,  serve this festive  make-ahead recipe on Friday or Saturday night.  Wow ’em with Mexican Lasagna!

It’s going to be a long holiday weekend with company coming. Serve Mexican Lasagna on Saturday after Thanksgiving.

MEXICAN LASAGNA

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (15 oz) can enchilada sauce

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

1  (2 ½ oz) can sliced ripe olives, drained

½ teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely chopped or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

1 egg

½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, thin sliced

8 (8 inch) , corn tortillas, halved

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown beef and onion in a large skillet. Drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, olives, tomatoes, salt, garlic and pepper. Simmer, uncovered,  for 20 minutes. Combine cottage cheese and egg in a small bowl; set aside. Spread one third of the meat sauce in a greased 13 in X 9 in X 2 in baking dish. Top with half the Monterey Jack cheese, half the cottage cheese mixture and half the tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with meat sauce. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake ten more minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

This dish is much easier to prepare than Italian Lasagna.  Because you’re using tortillas, there are no noodles to boil and drain separately.  It really cuts down on a lot of time and messy pans.

You might offer to make this dish at home and bring it to an overworked relative or friend who is hosting the big Thanksgiving meal.   It will surely be appreciated!

WAKE ME WHEN IT’S OVER

Public hearings  in the U. S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump will begin next week. But I won’t  be tuning in.  I know it’s going to be upsetting and revealing and all that awful stuff, and I’m just not up for it.  We’re the greatest country in the world, and we should be proud of our politicians.  Instead, we’ve been subjected to three years of nasty, vicious politics and infighting.  I’m glad it’s finally coming to a head, but I don’t want to see or hear the gory details.  Wake me when it’s over, please.

Public impeachment hearings are an embarrassment to our natiion
Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of Trump begin next week.

Maybe the British have it right, after all.  I’ve always wondered why they support the monarchy, but I’m beginning to understand.  The monarchy doesn’t change.  The royals  represent everything that’s good about England:  Dignity, Class, Courage, and Grace under Pressure.  They may have a Donald Trump clone for a prime minister, but it doesn’t matter.  No one outside England pays him much attention.

When we think of England, we visualize the magnificent Queen Elizabeth.  She’s always the same.  Regal, restrained, and strong.  Charles blew it with Diana, but the queen got everything back in control.  And now we have the future king and queen,  Kate & Will,  who  always do their duty and look glamorous while they’re  at it.  Poor Meghan  doesn’t understand the importance of a stiff upper lip, but perhaps she’ll come around.

Once upon a time, people felt passionate about the candidates they voted for.  Presidents like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, stirred our souls and warmed our hearts.  But now, most of us vote for the candidate whom we dislike the least.

Whatever happens, Congress needs to act swiftly. As a nation, we’re anxious, depressed and tired of it all.  Worse yet, we’re ashamed of our country.

Wake me up when the national nightmare is over.

DEADLY DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Last night, we turned back the clocks, and everything is back to normal.  Don’t you wish we could get rid of daylight savings time?  People wouldn’t have to spend the late spring and early fall driving to work or school in the dark.  It’s time to abolish deadly daylight savings time once and for all.

Daylight savings time can be hazardous to your health
Children shouldn’t have to walk to school or wait for the bus in the dark.

Yanking little children out of bed  for school when it’s pitch black outside is borderline  child abuse.  It’s not natural at all.  In fact, some school districts have decided to reschedule class times to start at 9 a.m. Recently, in Indiana, three children in the same family were killed as they ran for the school bus.  It was so dark that the oncoming driver didn’t realize she was passing a school bus.  Unfortunately, she was convicted of murder  and now sits in prison.  All of which could have been avoided if it hadn’t been for daylight savings time .

Yes, it will get dark earlier in the afternoon, now. But by that time, we’ve been awake for hours and can easily handle the darkness.  A groggy person stumbling out of bed isn’t in shape to drive or walk to school or work when they can’t see where they’re going.

Worse yet, changing the time disrupts our body clocks, and can have more serious consequences.  The first week after we change the clocks in the spring results in more car accidents, workplace injuries,  and suicides.

According to a study at the University of Colorado, the risk of heart attack increases by 25% when we lose an hour of sleep.   Another study by the American Academy of Neurology suggested that turning the clock behind or ahead an hour increases the risk of stroke.

Who likes daylight savings time the most?  Small  business owners and retailers.    The Chamber of Commerce has been the biggest supporter of daylight savings time in the USA.  The Chamber realizes that if you give people more sunlight at the end of the day, they’ll stop and shop on their way home.  Golfers also love daylight savings time—but how many people play golf?

The truth is, the public is being hoodwinked by those who want to make more money and play more golf.  It’s time to do away with deadly daylight savings time.