Agatha

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you. ~ Agatha Christie

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School 2014: Photo Day | Target Commercial




I love the faces this young girl makes.  I remember getting the same looks when I photographed my kids.  When you get to be a grandparent, like me, you look back on times like these and they become the sweetest moments of your life. Your children in all of their stages of awkwardness are the most meaningful memories you possess.  Sometimes you remember what else was happening that day, like you were running late or they refused your help with their hair or the outfit they were wearing was their favorite.  I can look at photographs and relive so much of my life - the good, the bad and the ugly.

It made me wonder how my children will remember their lives with their children. They probably won't have photographs to review.  No picture of the first lost tooth, except on their cell phone.  How long will these digital pictures survive.  Will they be saved to a computer or uploaded to that unfathomable cloud.  Will they be able to have a visual reminders of their life as a family to look at, like I do, from time to time.  Maybe they won't miss it.  Or maybe they just won't know what they are missing.



Granddaughter #1 getting on the school bus the first day of school.  I will keep this picture and remember it all my life.  I will also print it and keep it so she and I can remember it as she goes from grade to grade, and, if I'm lucky, when she graduates from high school.

9 Things You Should Never Say to a Depressed Friend




Robin Williams’s untimely death has more people thinking about depression and wanting to lift up a suffering friend. And you probably have one, since about 10% of American adults report being depressed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Everyone is blue sometimes,” says Debra Kissen, PhD, the clinical director of Light on Anxiety Treatment Center in Chicago. “But depression involves a prolonged period of hopelessness, a feeling of helplessness and a lack of interest in activities or things that a person used to enjoy.”
While you want to offer support, some well-meaning remarks are hurtful. Here’s what not to say (and what you should say or do instead) to help a loved one.
1. “I know how you feel.”
You may be trying to empathize, but “when someone is in such exquisite pain and can’t make sense of it, such a comment does not validate her feelings,” says Dr. Kissen. “Even if you’ve been through a bout of clinical depression yourself, everyone experiences depression differently.” Instead, say something like, “I can’t feel what you’re feeling, but I’m here for you.” This shows your willingness to share her pain and not run from it.
2. “Everybody has bad days.”
“It’s not just about having a bad day,” says Chris Kilmartin, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. “It’s about having more bad days than not for a few weeks or more. It starts to impair a person’s job, schooling, or personal relationships.” Focus on the fact that you’re ready to listen by saying something such as, “Help me understand how you feel.” Then hear her out without dismissing the intensity of her emotions.
3. “What do you have to be depressed about?”
You may think you’re helping by pointing out what someone has to be grateful for, such as healthy kids or a beautiful home. “But your friend already may be thinking, ‘I should be more appreciative, and I feel guilty that I can’t pull myself out of this,’” says Dr. Kissen. Instead of telling her why she should be happy, do something together (even if she claims she won’t like it). Go for a walk or try a new restaurant. “Keep her connected with activities she enjoyed before depression set in,” explains Dr. Kissen. Activities don’t cure depression, but they may prevent a person from shutting down socially, which can make things worse.
4. “Other people have it harder than you.” 
Your loved one may already think this, and it may make her think she has no right to feel awful. “These kinds of comments discount her situation and seem to say, ‘No, you don’t feel that way,’” says Helen Friedman, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in St. Louis. Plus, it’s not about other people: It’s about whatyour friend is going through. A better approach: Ask, “How can I help you?” or say, “If you want to talk, let me know.”
5. “Why don’t you find a hobby/take a yoga class/drink chamomile tea?”
“The voice of depression tells a person to pull inward. You’re suggesting that they do the opposite thing by being engaged,” says Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland in Towson, and co-author of What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders. But those offers may be useful when you encourage your friend to participate with you. Try rephrasing: “While you’re feeling terrible, why don’t we do this together?” Being with a loved one in pain reassures her she’s not a burden to you, which is a fear of many depressed people.
6. “It’s all in your head.” 
You might not mean to sound harsh, but this remark comes off as dismissive. “Educate yourself about depression,” says Dr. Friedman. “It’s a real medical condition. You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer that it’s in her head.” Instead of downplaying what your friend is feeling, say something like, “I’m glad you told me” or say nothing at all and just listen. “Sometimes there’s nothing more powerful than one person being absolutely present with another,” says Dr. Friedman.
7. “Why can’t you snap out of it?” 
Perhaps you’re frustrated by what you perceive is your friend’s unwillingness to feel better or seek help. But no one chooses to be depressed. “Depression distorts a person’s perspective so that she feels nothing will ever change and that nothing can ever make things better,” says Dr. Winston. “The voice of depression is a constant barrage of hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness, so reassure your friend that these are feelings, not facts.” Stay involved to help your friend feel less alone.
8. “Can’t you just get on some anti-depressant drugs?” 
There’s not one solution for everyone, and drugs aren’t necessarily the answer. It’s also not useful to compare situations, such as, “My cousin took an anti-depressant and it worked for him.” Your loved one is an individual, and treatments must be individualized. “It’s more reasonable to ask, ‘What have you tried so far?’” says Dr. Winston. It’s OK to suggest therapy too in a nonjudgmental way. Say something like, “I’m worried about you. I wonder if there’s a way to get some help,” or log on to these resources: Anxiety and Depression Association of America or National Alliance on Mental Illness.
9. “Please don’t hurt yourself.” 
It’s better to ask, “Have you thought about hurting yourself?” says Dr. Kilmartin. If your friend or family member says yes (or if they describe a time, place, or way they’d do it), take immediate action: Call your loved one’s primary care doctor or therapist, or dial 911. Get her to safety immediately so she can get the help she needs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I love to share jokes with the Grandkids


Q: Why are teddy bears never hungry?

A: Because they’re always stuffed.

Granddaughter #1 started pre-K this week.  I'm sure it won't be long at all before I am besieged with Knock-Knock jokes.  Truth be told, I don't really like jokes but the excitement on their little faces, just waiting to tell you the punch line, is priceless.  

Heaven is for Real Music CD



I have listed a new music CD for sale on Amazon.  This new, unopened CD contains music from the movie Heaven is for Real.  I have not gotten to see the movie yet so I can't give a complete review of the music.  I did listen to the snippets on Amazon and it sounds quite good.  If you are interested, please click the link above to take you to my account on Amazon.  Please remember this is the music CD only, not the movie.  Thanks.


1.Lifesong-Casting Crowns 2.Where I Belong-Building 429 3.Born Again-Third Day 4. Healing Begins-Tenth Avenue North 5. Heaven-Darlene Zsech 6. Lord I Need You-Matt Maher 7. SEE You In A Little While- SCC 8. It Is Well-Brandon Heath 9.Never Once-OSS 10. Heaven Read You and Me feat. Colton Burpo

Friday, August 15, 2014

Did you play Twister?


My sister is going through some papers and photographs from my Mother's house and found this picture of us playing Twister at our camp.  For the life of me, I don't know which behind belongs to me.  Ha.

Books I sell on Amazon



I've been selling books and other items on Amazon for a while now.  Believe me you don't make much money doing this no matter what the infomercials say but it gives me something to do and helps me keep the unwanted items that collect around my house recycled.  Today I figured out how to link the items I sell so I thought I would share it.  

Before I retired I ordered a lot of books off Amazon, especially if the library didn't carry it.  This meant an over abundance of books on the bookshelf that had to be recycled.  For a long time I donated my books to a charity thrift near my house.  Then I realized the books I was buying off Amazon were, many times, being recycled by others.  I take good care of my books so I thought... why not.  I cleaned out the bookshelf and started listing.  Now, I am down to only buying what I love, entering a book contest or recycling books given to me by friends.  I do have a lot of book loving friends that don't want to go to the aggravation of reselling or even donating books so here I am with a little side business.

If you are interested in any of the books I list, I'd love to have your business.  No pressure, no fault.  There are plenty of readers out there so someone somewhere will want it.  By the way, if you see some strange items for sale - don't judge me to harshly, I'm sure it was given to me and was not from my forever bookshelf.


Soft Dolls



I love soft dolls.  My daughter received one as a baptism gift in 1975 and loved it so much.  As a grown up she still remembers it and every once in a while a reference is made to it with fond memories.  I've wanted to make one for each of my granddaughters but I haven't pulled out my sewing machine in so long.  The other reason is that neither of my beautiful granddaughters are the doll stroller, tea party, dress up in my high heels kind of girls.  Maybe that mind set went out with the 1970s when my daughter was small.  Maybe I will have two champion soccer players instead of little princesses.  Its not so bad and I wouldn't want them to be anyone but who they are.  Who knows, maybe the great-granddaughters.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

26 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places You Need To Visit In America



These are some of the most beautiful pictures of our country I have ever seen.  Some of these places we all know about but I had not heard of about half of them.  Beautiful.  Just Beautiful. If anyone is looking for a place to go this summer here are a few choices. 
1. Garden Of The Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2. Palouse Falls, Washington
3. Grand Tetons, Wyoming
4. Fly Geyser, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
5. Sedona, Arizona
6. Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada
7. Painted Hills, Oregon
8. Oneonta Gorge, Oregon
9. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
10. Dixie National Forest, Utah
11. Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Maine
12. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
13. Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
14. Thor’s Well, Oregon
15. Coyote Gulch, Utah
16. Lake McDonald, Montana
17. Watkins Glen State Park, New York
18. Denali National Park, Alaska
19. Anza-Borrego Badlands, California
20. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington
21. Hamilton Pool, Texas
22. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee
23. Haiku Stairs, Oahu
24. Devils Tower, Wyoming
25. The Subway, Utah
26. The Wave, Arizona

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Least Expensive Places to Live



If you are living on a fixed income such as retirement, does it make sense to move where your money goes further?  Technically, yes.  I think I'm pretty brave living a single life and taking care of myself but moving to a different state without friends and family .... I'm not sure.  However, I chose Arkansas since I've been there and know how beautiful the state is.  What about you?