What’s in a Name ?

Would you agree that we’ve all recently been instructed that some names are not politically correct, and that they can be offensive ?

Regarding old people, strictly taboo now are the words ‘geezer, coot, or little-old lady’.

‘Fuddy-duddy’ and ‘old fogie’ are also terms that should never be used.

I suggest that we also stop using the term ‘senior citizen’, since it is patronizing.

First used in the United States in the 1930s, senior citizen is a euphemism, for ‘old person’, and it tries to disguise Western Cuture’s fear of aging and death.

As a young person, I lived for a time, and conducted research, in an Ojibway Community in Western Canada. There, I learned how indigenous cultures show great respect to the old people in their communities, called, the ‘elders’.This trait is admirable, and worth emulating.

Worldwide, many other cultures, including those of Korea and India show the older members of society great respect for the wisdom that age and experience can bring.

Perhaps changing the term ‘senior citizen’ to ‘elder’ could be a first step in reducing ageist attitudes that are prevalent in North America.

I may ask our local drugstore to start offering ‘Elder Discounts’, rather than ‘Seniors’ Discounts’.

May God give us the grace to be respectful of everyone.

Photo courtesy of iStock

men dancers at a pow wow in michigan

Anxiety at the Clinic

The clinic was crowded that day, so I had to sit in the only available chair, the bariatric chair.

(This is an oversized chair).

I noticed that I was staring at a vending machine, selling an assortment of chocolates and sugary snacks.

To the right of this machine was another vending machine, selling soda.

To the right of this machine was a colourful wall display and pamphlets entitled : DIABETES CARE.

Several young children were crying loudly. They were not crying because they were ill, but because they wanted some candy from the machines, and their moms did not have any change.

The irony of sitting in the bariatric chair while gazing at the snacks was too much for me, and I started to laugh to myself.

This caught the attention of other patients, so I turned my gaze to the left. A television was turned on to the local cable station, and obituaries were being displayed.

By now my anxiety had reached a very high level. I told the receptionist I needed to reschedule my appointment, and I left the clinic. It was my first experience at the outport clinic.

As Christians, we should be role models for physical health and fitness.

Although our spiritual health, of course, needs to be considered first, Christ chose to live in a physical body for 33 years.

We also believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and our faith clearly teaches the resurrection of the body. Our physical selves are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Christ told us to love God, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. And, loving ourselves always involves nourishing ourselves, and our loved ones carefully and wisely.

As we age, our immune system weakens, and thus we need to pay extra attention to the wholesome food that we eat. As our metabolism slows, we generally require smaller portions to maintain our ideal weight. And, maintaining our weight helps us to age gracefully.

As the years passed, my husband and I were instrumental in bringing about some needed changes at the clinic.

May the Lord grant us the grace to love and cherish our physical selves, especially as we face the passage of years.

The photo, courtesy of iStock, shows snacks similar to the snacks in the clinic.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – February 14, 2019: Vending machine with all sorts of snacks, located at the station of Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena

One Small Step…

Great News !

I am delighted to learn that our government has taken definite action to improve the health of our residents !

For many years, according to Statistics Canada, Newfoundlanders have been Canada’s ‘plumpest’ Canadians, with the highest rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. ( We are also Canada’s friendliest folks).

To combat our soaring healthcare costs ( healthcare is free to everyone), residents must soon pay a tax of twenty cents per litre on sugary drinks, such as Coke and Pepsi.

This is a wonderful first step to help educate the public how harmful refined sugar can be to our health.

I had an early education on the damaging effects of sugar.

My loving father never ate refined sugar. No cookies, cakes, etc. He was fit and slim throughout his long life.

It was conflicting for me, as my mom was a fabulous baker, but looking back now, I can see the wisdom in my father’s decision.

Refined sugar causes inflammation in the body. As such, it has been shown to aggravate many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, which many older adults gradually develop.

We are wise to limit refined sugar in our diets.

I am proud of our government.

Christ followers, who are aware of the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit, should be most aware of lovingly nourishing our precious bodies.

May we choose carefully what we eat and drink.

Photo courtesy of CBC NL

EVOO ?

Have you ever researched something and ended up with more information than you wanted ?

I was browsing a recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of EVOO. I had not heard of this before, and thought it might be an oriental spice.

When I researched this, I realized that EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil, a staple in my kitchen.

Acronyms can be confusing sometimes (LOL).

As I researched further, I learned that for many years, EVOO has been subject to food fraud, since unscrupulous merchants have mixed less expensive oils such as corn oil together with olive oil, and have sold the oil as EVOO.

Italian crime organizations have been involved, and charged, in recent years, with marketing EVOO that has been tampered with.

As I read further, I learned that the European olive oil market has lost billions of dollars in recent years because olive trees have been killed due to a plant disease called Xylella fastitiosa.

This plant plague is also threatening olive trees in other European countries.

Olive oil is often mentioned in the Bible, and its health benefits are well-documented.

I had new respect for my bottle of olive oil after reading all this, and it helped me once again not to take any food for granted.

I may start using olive oil from California.

After all this research, knew I needed to relax.

I am going to make that recipe I was browsing, that calls for EVOO.

Photo by Sally

(EVOO should be stored away from sunlight)

P.A.P.A.

It is the most dangerous activity that many of us do on a regular basis.

Controlling a piece of complex machinery weighing over a ton is an awesome responsibility !

As a newly-licensed teenager, I had a car accident. I was innocently driving through a green light at an intersection, when a driver ran a red light and smashed into my car.

I was unhurt, but it was an early lesson teaching me that drivers do not always do what they are supposed to do ! The rule ‘never assume’ certainly applies to the skill of driving.

Over the years, I’ve created the P. A.P. A. guidelines for defensive driving.

P – I pray before driving. Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing. (John15:5). I always ask for the Lord to guide me as I drive. I bless myself with the sign of the cross before I start my car.

A – Anticipate areas where extra alertness and caution is required. Insurance studies show that intersections are risky areas. ( As I found out.) As well, increased risk occurs while making left-hand turns. I try to plan my route to avoid making this type of turn. Companies such as UPS and FedEx caution their drivers to avoid making left-hand turns whenever possible.

P- Prepare carefully to avoid distractions. I caution my passengers not to try to converse with me while I’m driving. I love conversations, but not when I’m behind the wheel ! I am notoriously bad at multitasking, and I suspect that many people are. I concentrate best in silence.

A- Always be receptive to new technology. I confess that I was apprehensive about the new vehicle we bought because it has many new features and gadgets that I’ve never used before, but as I gradually adjusted to them I see that these new features can increase driving safety.

Vehicles are constantly being upgraded, and it is likely that within our children’s lifetimes , self-driving cars may become the norm.

As we age, our brains lose neurons, and this can slow our reaction times. However, there is much we can do to maintain good reaction times. I play a variety of online brain-training games. Lumosity is the program I first used, but there are several other programs available. Being physically fit helps to maintain our reaction times as well.

So often we are told to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. This advice is worth repeating. As we age, our sense of thirst declines. Lack of proper hydration results in increased skin wrinkling, moodiness, and slower reaction times.

No one wants to be wrinkled and moody.

I wear driving gloves to remind me to pay close attention to my surroundings when I drive. When cars were first invented, all drivers wore gloves. That is why cars still have ‘glove compartments’.

Let us continue to pray for everyone entrusted with the responsibility of driving.

Photo by Sally

A Mystery

Is there something that you have been curious about for a long time ?

I’ve been researching why, and when women stopped wearing hats to church.

I thought it might have to do with Vatican II, which ended it 1965, but my research tells me that hats were not discussed there. Perhaps, with the ‘ Women’s Liberation Movement’ of the 1960s, women were glad to stop wearing hats to church. This matter remains a mystery.

God looks at the hearts, and not at the heads.

Nevertheless, I still enjoy wearing hats, because I was raised with them.

One of my fondest memories is when my mom and I would go shopping for new hats to match our Easter outfits for church on Easter Morning. It was fun to look at everyone’s new hats. We all wore dresses and gloves at that time too.

Frivolous? Perhaps, but enjoyable anyway.

One of the joys of being a septuagenarian like me is the feeling of being free to wear whatever we want.

Around Eastertime, people become increasingly sentimental, as they think of past Easter celebrations.

I will wear a new hat this Easter, and I will remember my mom, our hat shopping, and how special she made this celebration for our family.

Photo of Sally by Sally

Jumping to Conclusions

Have you ever felt that you had nothing to write about ?

This happened to me recently . I jumped to the conclusion that I must be experiencing cognitive decline !

So, I hastily signed up for an on-line ‘Brain Training’ program called ‘Brain HQ’.

It is a fun program, which I believe is effective.

The program assured me that cognitive decline is not my problem.

Instead, I had been experiencing ‘writer’s block’, a common phenomenon.

Perhaps you have experienced this too.

In Psychology, there is a phenomenon called ‘Jumping to Conclusions’.

This is a thinking pattern characterized by making hasty decisions without gathering all the necessary evidence. Conclusion jumping can cause stress for us, and can hinder our relationships as well.

It is a normal to feel apprehensive about cognitive changes as we age.

My husband reminded me that moderate exercise and a healthy diet are important to our over-all health, including our cognitive function.

He also reminded me of the importance of keeping our weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure readings within normal limits, as these factors are also important in maintaining healthy brain function.

May God give us the grace, and the wisdom to consider all possible options before reaching hasty, and inaccurate conclusions.

Pictured are ‘Scott’ and ‘Sarah’, in our backyard. We are having a mild winter on our friendly island.

Compliments ?

Do you enjoy receiving compliments ?

Both receiving, and giving genuine compliments are pleasurable. And yes, most people, especially children, can tell whether or not compliments are genuine.

We should all be careful not not accidently give ‘uncompliments’. Let me give you two examples of such unfortunate comments.

Never say :’You look good, for your age’. Just say : ‘You look good’, but do not mention age, as this can be interpreted as being patronizing. ( What is someone my age supposed to look like ?)

Another uncompliment that makes me wince is : ‘You must have been attractive once.’ Yikes !

As we age, our souls tend to show on our faces. No amount of potions, lotions, make-up or surgery can disguise a bitter spirit. And, the greatest beauty booster is being in tune with the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Let us pray for the grace to live in obedience to God’s will, and to follow his commandments, for this is the best healthy aging strategy of all.

Pictured is an outport home after the recent storm of the Century.