Maya Angelou & Her Powerful Words

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“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That in fact it may be necessary to encounter defeat, so we can know who the hell we are. What can we overcome? What makes us stumble and fall, and somehow miraculously rise and go on?”

I hope many of you were able to enjoy the PBS Special: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise this week. If not, go enjoy it now.

I loved every minute of it as a historian, a writer and an American. I learned so much about black history, struggling writers, and our own history as a horribly racist country. I had heard much of her poetry from her later years, but did not know her life’s story as a dancer, singer, civil rights leader, etc. I also had no idea she was six foot tall! I believe I first heard about her through watching Oprah. Talk about an intelligent woman with an AMAZING way with words! She truly understood the POWER OF WORDS.

how-important-you-areThe small piece I would like to focus on here was from an experience Ms. Angelou had with a few young men who were speaking threateningly to her once in her life. She turned to them and said: “When was the last time someone told you how important you are?” These words stopped the youngsters in their tracks, and made me sit up straight and ask myself the same question.

Ms. Angelou’s point was to educate these kids to their own family history. She said something like, “Do you ever think about what your ancestors had to go through to bring you to this place and time? How are you honoring their struggles?”

How rare is it that we honor our ancestors’ struggles? How often do we tell those who make our lives worthwhile exactly how important they are? The world is full of people who need to feel appreciated, and yes even important.

Tell them now.

Boomer Blogs: The Modern Version of a Friendly Fireside Chat

blog-pictureAfter contemplating this topic for a few weeks, I concluded that blogs, at least boomer blogs, have nothing to do with vanity. I see them now as a modern campfire where we gather together to share our own views on our present place in life.

We come here to share our life stories and what we are learning as we age. Here we bring like-minded folks together to validate each others’ experience of life itself, regardless of where we live or who shares our life with us.

Today I would like to share with you a few great ideas from my blogging friends on self soothing!

peony-prettyLet’s start out with a couple suggestions from writer Carol Cassara. Carol thinks flowers are a wonderful way to settle your soul. One of her favorites is peonies. Feasting your eyes on these beautiful peonies brings her peace.  But if flowers aren’t your thing, how about some cloud meditations? When something upsets you and your mind begins to spin out of control, why not try clouds!

A new expression I have learned from my blogging buddies is la pura vida. So what is that anyway? According to “Best Costa Rican Tours”, pura vida (pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah) and meaning “Pure Life” in English, actually means: no matter what your current circumstances, life for someone else is far less fortunate. So consider that perhaps your situation isn’t all that bad. No matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together and life is short. This way of seeing your life seems particularly appropriate to us Americans, who complain constantly while living lives most would define as living like kings and queens!

peaceful-waterfallsThis past week Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting took a vacation to Costa Rica. There she experienced la pura vida first hand as the calm lifestyle of Costa Rican natives, and loved it! No constant political stress, no cellphone ringing, touring at a leisurely pace, and no meetings or other commitments. She knows this feeling will not last, but while it does it provides one with some much needed nourishment to body and soul. Read about her slow-style adventure in Pursuing La Pura Vida in the Place of Turtles.

Another way to lower overall stress is communicating well with others. On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer specialist, writes this week about how being assertive can help you be happier. Learning how to positively tell people what you’re thinking and what you need improves communications, including when you have a consumer complaint.

Shoot, it seems like everyone is on vacation but me! In his constant search for the perfect retirement place, Tom Sightings is snowbirding in Charleston, SC, for the month of February. In City by the Bay Tom takes us on a tour of historical Fort Sumter, as well as some of the charms of modern-day Charleston.

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Since I’ve been far too ill in the past couple months to go on vacation, and our new solar home in southern Colorado still feels like a luxury vacation home to me, I decided to share with you a few activities that soothe my sometimes troubled mind, and help me stay in the present. Enjoy your life! None of us get out of this alive…

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and let me know if you would like to add your boomer blog to this carnival!

 

Ways to soothe your busy mind

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My winter worldview!

When I look out over this crazy world, something I try not to do very often anymore… I see a world full of “busy sickness.” Yes, I understand, the world is full of problems (Perhaps the understatement of the year!) It can be extremely demanding. That’s why it is even more important that you find ways to soothe your mind and soul as often as possible. I have taken it upon myself to find ways to soothe my mind for a number of reasons.

cool-brain-photoI had one of the busiest minds until a couple brain injuries helped to slow me down. Not to be recommended, but they definitely make you relax because you have to. My injuries also made me crave new ways to soothe my brain.

After our solar home was finally finished in 2015, I found more time to experiment with brain soothing methods. Finding the right music is the BEST! Staring out at the mountains while listening to soothing tunes is a great escape from too much busy mind. Try VeniceClassicRadio.eu sometime for hours of great classical music with Italiano mixed in occasionally!

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Another great pastime is coloring. I got lost in coloring my first winter here. It almost became obsessive before I injured my right arm, so I had to cut way back. And what did I color? Mandalas of course!

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Recently Mike showed me a new way to enjoy the wonder of mandalas. Did you know that they represent the universe in the Hindu and Buddhist worldview? How cool is that? In psychoanalysis they have become a symbol of the universal search for completeness and self-unity. Such amazing meditation focal points!

I love watching this video when I first wake up, and wonder if it wouldn’t be the perfect solution to our busy minds as we age. I can see it being quite popular in hospitals and nursing homes!

I’m a newcomer to this part of Colorado, so after two years I wrote a book about the ups and downs of moving here to build a passive solar home in the foothills. Please share this info. with your friends if they are considering similar challenges! 

A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado

Please feel free to contact me directly for your own signed copy: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com

The Lives of Frontier Women (and me)

I’ve been thinking about a number of things lately. Confrontations with your own mortality can do that to a person. Questions arise like how proud am I of myself and my life thus far, regardless of what anyone else thinks? Yes, I know, I can be a bit cerebral at times.

Then I heard a truly thought-provoking quote that made me laugh out loud the other night. The story was about how so many Americans came out to the western frontier in the late 1800s either because they were “trying to lose themselves,” as in avoiding Civil War conscription, “or to find themselves.” This cracked me up! It hit the nail on the head in terms of why I moved out of the city and chose to retire in rural southern Colorado.

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I should probably preface this with my eternal fascination with frontier life. For as far back as I can remember I played “pioneer woman” on the playgrounds of my elementary schools in Kansas. I loved watching TV shows like Rawhide, and any movie about frontier life. I grew up on the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and when I got older I loved reading the journals of women who came out west in covered wagons.

When I started my writing career, I published a few magazine articles about how many came out West simply to escape tuberculosis in the cities back East. Most don’t know that TB was the leading cause of death in the world in the late 1800s and early 1900s, before penicillin was discovered in the late 1920s. Many came in hopes of a change in fortunes too, like discovering silver or gold and getting rich quick.

I realized just this morning I came to rural Colorado to both lose my old Self or identity, and find out all the other people I might be. I know now how influenced we are by others as children and young adults. It’s almost impossible not to be. But the re-birth which often happens later in life is the shedding of old personas, the letting go of all those voices inside that want to tell you who you really are.

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I’m the youngest one here!

This is the process of getting back to that vulnerable child you were when you were young and impressionable. It feels sometimes like getting back to your original soul and appreciating it for the first time, a spiritual downsizing from the burdens of our past…

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What a glorious discovery this can be!

I’m a newcomer to this part of Colorado, so after two years I wrote a book about the ups and downs of moving here to build a passive solar home in the foothills. Please share this info. with your friends if they are considering similar challenges! 

A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado

Please feel free to contact me directly for your own signed copy: MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com

Boomers, Mortality & Lung Cancer

OK, for all of you young oldsters out there who have decided you will be living forever, this is fair warning.

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I was recently diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), probably the result of living in dirty city air too many years, and having what seemed like constant bronchitis since age 25. I also just moved to a home at 7,000 feet elevation. All of these factors caused shortness of breath and a request for a chest x-ray. Possible lung nodules were found leading to a cat scan this past Monday. As a non-smoking 61 year-old, I did not expect any problem. Instead my cat scan found a number of “nodules” in my lungs.

Overall, the likelihood that a lung nodule is cancer is 40 percent, but the risk of a lung nodule being cancerous varies considerably depending on several things like the size of them, whether you smoke, your occupation, shape of nodules and their rate of growth.

Think it can’t happen to you? 

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with 1.8 million new cases diagnosed yearly. In the United States, lung cancer is the most fatal cancer in women, surpassing breast cancer in 1987 as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It is also the most fatal cancer in men, killing more men than prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer combined. Lung cancer in never-smokers is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Overall, 27 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. are due to lung cancer.

Who Gets Lung Cancer?

lung-cancerThe average age for lung cancer is 70, and 80 percent of people who develop lung cancer have smoked, but lung cancer occurs in women and lung cancer occurs in non-smokers. While lung cancer in men who have smoked is decreasing, lung cancer in non-smokers is increasing.

It’s estimated that 20 percent of women who develop lung cancer in the U.S. have never smoked, and that number increases to 50 percent worldwide. Lung cancer also occurs in young adults – It’s estimated that 13.4 percent of lung cancers occur in adults under the age of 40. While this number may seem small, when compared to the incidence of lung cancer overall, it is not.

In summary, if you haven’t had a lung x-ray in years, get one. My nodules are small and so we have decided to go with a wait and see plan, with cat scans every few months. It’s only a problem if they start to grow.

Now I live in a rural Colorado county with nice clean air, but all those years of living in cities must be catching up with me… How about you?

Best of Boomer Blogs #480

It’s time to hear from a few of my favorite bloggers of a certain age… What have they been doing or thinking about this week?

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Carol Cassara has a very funny one for you today. Here she shares the many misheard song lyrics that Boomers (and others) have been massacring for years, if not decades. And also some pretty things to make your day cheerier. Enjoy the beauty.

Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the Sightings Over 60 blog knows that Tom Sightings is thinking a lot about downsizing, primarily because he’s in the middle of the process himself. But rather than offer his own advice about this complex and emotionally trying operation, he turns to a professional in his latest post The Costs and Benefits of Downsizing.

imgp5711It’s been quite a week for Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide. Two giant corporations pled guilty to criminal charges related to fraudulent schemes, with some of their executives being charged, too. In addition, they’ll pay huge fines, Volkswagen $2.8 billion for cheating on emission tests and Takata $1 billion for falsified test data related to the safety of its air bags.

2017-color-of-the-yearA new year offers many new opportunities. Did you know each year one company designates a color corporate soothsayers believe not only expresses the nation’s mood, but also becomes a major color for retail merchandise like clothing, accessories, home appliances, decor, and even furniture?

Find out what the latest ‘in’ color is over at Meryl Baer‘s post about the 2017 Color of the Year.

very-cute-puppyAnd now for my favorite photo from all of these marvelous boomer blogs! He’s awfully cute! Who doesn’t love a puppy? But perhaps he isn’t quite as cute as my Rasta the day we got him. He was only 3 pounds and unbelievably CUTE!

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Unfortunately, I have been hit with a number of bits of bad news about my health lately. This is especially hard to take since I have generally been healthy most of my life. I am having quite a reality check at 61!

cbd-oil-what-is-itWhen you hear there might be something wrong with your brain and your lungs on the same day, it does make you wonder what’s up. Perhaps that explains my post this week about Cannabinoid (CBD) Oil. It’s a none-THC oil derived from hemp plants. Go learn more here.

 

My insights into Cannabinoid (CBD) Oil

cbd-oil-what-is-itCannabinoid (CBD) Oil is new to me. I talked to a few people in the past few months who thought that it helped them immensely with pain from sciatica, sleep issues, etc. It took me a lot of online research and thought to decide to buy some, partially because it is quite expensive and I wondered about issues of purity also.

For those of you new to this product, this oil is made from hemp with no THC in it. It is usually taken by a few drops under your tongue, and has no psychoactive ingredients. That is why it is legal in all states. The FDA has ruled it to be a dietary supplement. I didn’t buy it at a marijuana dispensary, just a natural foods store.

I bought a small bottle of That’s Natural CBD Oil with the ingredients of Hemp Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Peppermint Oil and 250mg Hemp CBD Oil. This stuff is guaranteed not to contain marijuana or to have psychoactive effects.

google-cbdI started out with just a few drops under my tongue once or twice a day. At first the only real effect it had on me was I didn’t wake up as often at night. I took it for a few weeks and then stopped for a few days to see if I felt any different. I was surprised to learn how much those few drops were helping with both my mood and my ability to sleep more deeply. I can’t say it helped at all with my arthritis pain. Still stuck with Aleve there.

But I can recommend that the rest of you check this out. Here’s a few articles I found interesting:

https://healthyhempoil.com/what-is-cbd-in-weed/

http://herb.co/2016/09/18/menopause-symptoms/

Some history:

“Cannabis plants are exceptionally versatile. Both the seeds and cannabis oil were used for food in China as early as 6,000 BCE. Two thousand years later, in 4,000 BCE, there is evidence of textiles made from hemp in both China and Turkestan. The influence of the plant seems to have been global. In 850, the Vikings transported hemp rope and seeds to Iceland, and by the year 900, Arabs were learning techniques for making paper from hemp. By the year 1000 Italians were using ropes made of hemp on their sailing ships.

In contrast to today’s modern restrictions of growing cannabis, England’s King Henry VIII actually fined farmers if they do not raise hemp for industrial use. Less than one hundred years later, settlers in Jamestown, Virginia began growing hemp plants for hemp’s unusually strong fibers. Once the plant demonstrated its usefulness, it became illegal to NOT grow hemp in Virginia.

By 1850, cannabis was added to The U.S.Pharmacopeia, a respected compendium of Medicines and Dietary Supplements. At that time cannabis was used throughout United States as a medicine, easily purchased in pharmacies and general stores. This lasted until about 1915…

(https://discovercbd.com/blogs/cbd-news/88739206-the-history-of-cbd-10-000-years-and-counting)