When a successful person like Megyn Kelly suffers a setback,  people are apt to quote the biblical proverb, “Pride Goeth Before A Fall.”   The same thing could be said of someone who is too proud to  use a cane when they need one.

After reaching a certain age, an epidemic of falls begin to occur among  elderly friends, family, and acquaintances.  Just this week, I heard of four people  who were hospitalized with broken bones and/or  a concussion, due to a fall.  Only one of these four is known to use a cane. 

Unfortunately, once you’ve fallen, you’re more apt to fall again.  That’s because you lose your confidence, for fear that you will have another bad fall.  You feel unsure of yourself, maybe a little shaky, but you’re determined not to be seen in public with a cane.  I’ve been going through this cycle lately, and finally made the decision that I’d rather use a cane than suffer another fall.  It was a little embarrassing, especially when old friends  asked, “why are you using a cane?”  May I offer a piece of advice?  Don’t ask anyone that question.  I can assure you they wouldn’t be on a cane just for the fun of it.

Now, I’ve started physical therapy with the hope I can walk like I did just a few years ago.   But when I told my therapist my goal of caneless walking, she said that I might always need one when walking through the woods, or on uneven terrain.  It’s all part of aging gracefully, (but not willfully).

Sometimes, even a cane won’t do the job.  My husband is diabetic, has no cartilage in his knees, and little sensation in his feet. He must use a walker if he’s going to walk for any length of time.   Many people might find this humiliating, but I think just the opposite is true.  I’m immensely happy  that he’s facing facts, and cares more about his health than his appearance.

A friend of ours who has experienced at least two bad falls in the past few years, proudly stated, ‘I will never be seen on a walker.” If this scenario hits home, ask yourself these questions. Do you really  want to end up in the hospital or a nursing home, upsetting your family, and no longer seeing your friends?  All because you were too proud to use a walker?

And if you have a grandmother, mother, or aunt who could use a cane, there are lots of pretty canes that would make a great Christmas gift.


Fall came late to Indiana this year, but at last we can enjoy the glorious blue skies and sun shining across  trees bursting with  brilliant colors of red, orange, and gold . Excitement is in the air, and our mouths water in anticipation of  pumpkin pie, persimmon pudding, and last but not least,  southern fried apples.

fried apples

Now that apples are in season,  you have many varieties to choose from.  Some recipes call for  slices of peeled Granny Smiths.  But I prefer tart, spicy McIntosh or Jonathans,  unpeeled, because the red skins brighten up the plate.

Fried apples are super easy to make. Basically,  all you need is butter in the skillet, some sugar and cinnamon. Many recipes call for removing the skins, but  I prefer leaving them on.   It’s a matter of individual choice, but the red brightens up the plate.    Then, there’s the matter of how much sugar and butter to use.  You can  cut the sugar down to half in any recipe, and the apples will still taste sweet.  If there’s a diabetic in the house, another option is to use no sugar at all, then flavor with sugar free maple syrup right before serving. . 

Fried apples can be spooned over ice cream, served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They are a tangy, spicy side dish for any meat, and a  perfect accompaniment to pork chops.

Here’s a basic recipe for two that you can modify to suit your individual taste.  And above all, don’t overcook the apples!  You want them firm, not mushy.



1/4 cup butter

3 unpeeled red apples, sliced

¼ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter in skillet; add apples and sugar.  Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes or until tender, stirring often.  Add cinnamon; cook and stir a few more minutes before serving.

About 200 calories per serving, or less, depending on how much butter and sugar you use.


Whether you’re eight, eighteen, or eighty, getting to sleep can be a problem.  By the time you’re my age, you’ve probably tried everything imaginable to deal with occasional bouts of insomnia.

You see a lot of  over the counter sleep aids at the drugstore,  but most of them don’t help  me. Awhile back, someone tweeted about an amazing sleep aid  that worked wonders for her.   I rushed out to buy the product, but alas,  it kept me awake all night.   What a bummer!   Finding an OTC drug  to help you   sleep is a matter of trial and error..  What works for one person, doesn’t work for the other.   Prescription drugs can pose a worse problem.  Once, after my husband took a sleeping pill his doctor prescribed, I found him doing laundry at 2 a.m.  The next morning, he couldn’t remember anything about it.


Of course, there’s no way you’re going to sleep well if something traumatic  has happened in your life.  Those are the times you just have to endure until you make it through the storm.  But even minor upsets can increase anxiety and keep you awake.

Here are five things that help me through the night.

1. . No caffeine after noon.  For years, I had to have coffee with lunch.  I’ve heard many people say they can drink coffee after dinner, and it doesn’t bother their sleep.  Well, good for them.  When I lowered my caffeine intake, I began sleeping better.  A great alternative for an afternoon beverage is green tea.  It’s contains an amino acid called theanine, which is supposed to be soothing.

2.   A  warm foot bath in the evening  while  watching television  or reading a book relieves stress and anxiety.   Pamper yourself with a foot bath if you’ve had a really bad day.

3. A walk in the park during the day.   One half hour of fresh air, sunshine and exercise makes a big difference. Once, when I was going through a tough time,  I walked my way out of my anxiety.  There was even a tree that marked the spot where I could feel the tension leave my body.  Swimming is another great exercise, if you have access to a pool.  And even if you can’t swim, water walking or an aquatic exercise class clears your mind and strengthens your body.

4.  No depressing movies  or TV shows about war, abuse,, murder, etc. etc.  Those shows always give me nightmares.   I don’t need to be reminded that the world can be a miserable place.  Give me Dancing With The Stars (especially the one with little kids)  for sweet dreams.

5.  Cover the digital clock on my dresser and the one in the cable box under the TV.  There’s nothing worse than waking up at 2:00 a.m., rolling over, and  checking  every few minutes to see if you’ve gotten any more sleep, and how much.  Don’t worry, you will wake up when the sun rises.

There are numerous habits, foods, and troubles that can keep you awake.   But  remember, you are not alone!   At any given time,  people all over  the world  are struggling with insomnia.


Remember when your grandmother made old fashioned pear salad?

Once upon a time,  It was quite popular.  In those days (circa 1940) canned pears were the base of the salad.  Canned, not meaning in a can, but packed in a ball jar after picking a bushel or so of pears from the tree in your yard, and  pressure cooking them.  Most housewives prided themselves on shelves full of beautiful canned pears, peaches, tomatoes and green beans to get them through the  months ahead.

On a cold winter night, our mothers used to place a canned  pear on a lettuce leaf,  fill the center with mayonnaise, sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese, and serve.   Easy, and delicious!

People don’t bother with home canning much anymore, and canned pears were kind of bland, anyway.  But now, fall is the season to revive pear salad with a new twist

 Fresh pears slices arranged on a lettuce leaf are a spicy, juicy fall treat.   Both Anjou and Bartlett pears come with red or green skins. The reds   make a beautiful plate.  But there are many  varieties available to brighten up your menu with something a little out of the ordinary and truly delicious.

You could make it simple, arranging the fresh pear slices on lettuce, with grated cheese and a dab of mayonnaise, or go all out with a fancy pear salad with walnuts and blue cheese.   The internet is loaded with fresh pear salad recipes, so you might want to check them out!




Since I’ve reached the limit on the number of blogs I can post on EightyGo, I’ve started a new blog called LIVING WELL AFTER 80  @

It’s been a wild ride, trying to learn how to do all this at my age.  I’m grateful to techies at the Vigo County Public Library, and Ivy Tech Community college for generously helping me get started on building my own blog. Love you guys!

I learned so much from Blogger.  They did everything for me.  Now, I’ve had to find out about widgets, plugins, dashboards, web hosts, Word Press and it just goes on forever.  In my defense, even the young people who helped me through the process were puzzled at times.  They make WordPress sound easy, but these folks had a tough time with it, too.

They say that the best way to keep your mind sharp at this age is to learn a new language.  I haven’t mastered Spanish or German, but I feel that I’ve learned a new language.

Last, I will be forever grateful to my supportive husband who has seen me disappear  into my computer for hours and days at a time. I hope you will continue to follow me on Living Well After80 @ .


A visit to a  doctor can be a dehumanizing experience, which is why I usually try to avoid them. But lately, I had an issue with vertigo, and called for an appointment with a specialist affiliated with a teaching hospital.

Upon making my first appointment, I was coldly informed I would  have to wait three months before I could be worked into his busy schedule.  That should have told me something, but I thought it best to wait, rather than going to one of those walk in clinics where a twenty something, just out of med school, would misdiagnose my problem.

The doctor introduced himself, and asked about my symptoms.  I began to describe them in detail,  but after about 15 seconds he seemed to lose interest.  When I stopped talking, he ordered some  tests.  After they were done, I waited about half an hour before my doctor returned, accompanied by a young intern.  That was when I began feeling like a guinea pig, as he calmly informed me I should probably have an MRI of my head just to rule out something very ominous. Being somewhat claustrophobic & loud noise averse, I didn’t like that idea, so he prescribed some OTC meds and said to come back next month..
The medication was helpful, but I was still having some symptoms .  On the second visit,  I waited a full hour in a freezing cold room until he showed up. This time, he had another intern who stood mutely at attention as the doctor tried to find me on the computer and determine  just exactly why I was there.  I wondered if my case would be interesting enough for a case study—probably not.  But I definitely felt less like a human being than a “patient,”  He asked how I’d been getting along, but when I tried to ask him some questions and carry on a conversation about my symptoms, he lost interest.  The poker faced intern stared at me as if I were a specimen under a microscope.  There was no mention of an MRI, so perhaps the doctor decided not to waste  any more time  with a person who balked at having an expensive, unpleasant test.  Okay, I get it. He doesn’t do simple.  At any rate, he told me to continue with the meds, and suggested I come back in six months.


Finally,  I got on the internet and found some simple ways to alleviate my problem.  The internet cares about you! Key in a word or a question, and you’ll get a whole list of links that tell you everything you want to know and answers all your questions.  

In defense of physicians, and especially surgeons: psychologists say that doctors gradually become less empathetic as a defense mechanism against the painful procedures they must perform.  And, too much empathy could make a doctor less objective when making a diagnosis.   Last but not least, if they got too emotionally involved with each and every patient, they’d be worn out. And so, at the end of the day, patients are seen not as persons, but as part of an overall system.



Have you seen the size of green peppers this season?  This hot, humid summer has produced the largest, shiniest peppers we’ve seen for a long time.  And their superabundance this time of year means they are bargain priced.  So what are you waiting for?  This is one of the most people pleasing entrees you can imagine.  Yes, it’s going to take some extra pans and a little more time than usual, so pick an afternoon when you’ve plenty of  time to spend in the kitchen.  And if you know someone who’s having a tough time, you  might make an extra batch and bring them this farm fresh comfort food.

Most recipes don’t itemize the pans and dishes you’ll use, but you will need:
One or two large pans for steaming the peppers.
A smaller sauce pan to cook the rice.
A 10 inch skillet.
An 8X8X2 in. baking dish  
This is going to take up a lot of room in your kitchen, but it’s a labor of love, so clear the counters, and go for it!
6 large green peppers
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup cooked rice (see package directions)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt (cut this in half if you watch  your sodium intake)
Cut a slice from the stem end of each pepper. Remove seeds and membrane. Cook peppers in enough boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain.
Cook and stir the crumbled ground beef, onion and garlic in skillet until beef is light brown. Stir in rice, salt,  ½  the tomato sauce and grated cheese. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover dish and bake in 350 oven 45 minutes. 
Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  6 servings: 290 calories per serving.