Extra Time

Many of us have extra time on our hands these days, especially if you’re currently in lock-down and no longer have that daily commute to work – extra time to read, start a hobby, or attack that long list of things you always wanted to do. For some people staying home more has been a difficult adjustment, for others it’s a prelude to what retirement might be like someday and an opportunity to think about how you might like to spend your golden years.

This month’s Literary Salon pick, is Extra Time – Ten Lessons for An Aging World, a non-fiction book by Camilla Cavendish.

Publishers Blurb: (from Goodreads)

“From award-winning British journalist, Camilla Cavendish, comes a profound analysis of one of the biggest challenges facing the human population today.

The world is undergoing a dramatic demographic shift. By 2020, for the first time in history, the number of people aged 65 and over will outnumber children aged five and under. But our systems are lagging woefully behind this new reality. In Extra Time, Camilla Cavendish embarks on a journey to understand how different countries are responding to these unprecedented challenges.

Travelling across the world in a carefully researched and deeply human investigation, Cavendish contests many of the taboos around ageing. Interviewing leading scientists about breakthroughs that could soon transform the quality and extent of life, she sparks a debate about how governments, businesses, doctors, the media and each one of us should handle the second half of life. She argues that if we take a more positive approach, we should be able to reap the benefits of a prolonged life. But that will mean changing our attitudes and using technology, community, even anti-ageing pills, to bring about a revolution.”

Discussion:

With average life expectancy reaching into the mid-80’s now and people retiring early, we may have another 20 or 30 years of extra time. This thought-provoking book takes a look at the culture surrounding ageing in our society, and changes to the way we view ageing now. While not everyone agrees that 60 is the new 40, it’s true that many more of the “young-old” are enjoying active healthy lifestyles much longer than before. I remember thinking my parents were middle-aged at 40, and now people that age are going back to school, having babies, taking up sky-diving.

It’s no secret I like a good non-fiction book, especially one with a well-researched basis. This book delves into how different countries are handling the ageing epidemic without producing a strain on their economies or health-care systems, by exploring different ways of caring for the elderly or “very old.” Certainly the number of COVID deaths in nursing and retirement homes is telling us our current system is not working, and calls for government reform are ineffective if standards are never enforced. Many homes are understaffed and underfunded, as we have found out during the pandemic. Here in Canada they had to call in the military reserves to help feed and care for patients in particularly hard hit homes in Quebec and Ontario, a national disgrace, especially as many of them were privately-owned-for-profit places. I wonder how much cognitive decline ensues when residents are locked in their rooms every day without the stimulation of activities or even company at mealtimes.

There is a chapter on research into anti-aging strategies and one on implementing programs to give seniors a purpose in life and a meaningful way to give back. Think of how many healthy seniors there are whose talents are wasted as they are considered too old to work or contribute. Certainly it helps to have a purpose in life or a passionate pursuit of some kind, like my mother with her art – taking up painting at the age of 87 when she stopped driving. Of course my mother is fortunate to have her health and with all her relatives living well into their 90’s, a good dose of genetic luck. In a recent interview about her late-in-life art career, the radio host remarked, in her introductory comments, “Many people have second acts in their lives, but few well into their 90’s…..”

What would you like your second act to be? For those who dread old age, I found this book to be a positive, hopeful and uplifting read.

PS. Of course, the most tragic disease of old-age is Alzheimer’s. Just as I was posting this, I received an email about a new book by neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta. As I find his COVID advice to be both realistic and scientific, I’ll add this one to my future-to-read list. Keep Sharp – Build a Better Brain at any Age – by Sanjay Gupta.

(762 words)

63 thoughts on “Extra Time

  1. brilliantviewpoint says:

    More and more people are living to 99. It’s true, God willing, if we try to stay in good health, we do have a 2nd or 3rd act in life. I so love your Mom’s paintings. Wonderful and great inspiration to all of us to pursue creative avenues that keep us young at heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think the key is not to think of yourself as old, keep doing the things you love to do, and to be interested in life. And try to keep healthy, which is not always possible. I’m interested in reading what Dr. Gupta says about brain health. Two years ago my mother was in hospital for a minor problem and the discharge coordinator suggested that perhaps at 93 she should check out some retirement homes just for the future. (She wouldn’t qualify for a nursing home. She didn’t even qualify for any home care services as she is still able to do all her activities of daily living, except house cleaning which I do.) So we went and checked out one, the top-rated one in the area, but it was basically just a small room, with no room at all for her art stuff, and I remember the director who showed us around making a comment not to go into one of those places too early, as you would soon become like the people you’re with. She glanced towards a group of elderly ladies sitting in the dining room – well to say they were socializing would have been a stretch, as they were just sitting there at the table, coffee cups in front of them, not talking. And this was on the more active retirement side, not the nursing home side. Point taken. The following March Covid swept through that nursing home with a vengeance, killing ten patients, so I was glad she was still in her own house and I intend to keep her there as long as I can. And now they’re having a second outbreak – it seems like once COVID gets in it’s hard to get it under control, so I wonder about the ventilation systems in some of these older style buildings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • brilliantviewpoint says:

        So, did your mother end up staying in her own home? Yes, I agree, going into a retirement type home for many spells the end, because many have heavy health problems and not a happy disposition on life. This is tough… at least for now, let’s enjoy life and as you say, stay as healthy as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes she is still in her own (one level) home and coping well. We only visited the one place and the small rooms turned her off, but maybe some have more space and/or an apartment like feel. The pandemic hit so we didn’t look at any more options and now she wouldn’t even consider it unless she has to. She wouldn’t qualify for a nursing home and didn’t even qualify for any home care after her hospital stay, but a retirement home is voluntary. I find people who go into retirement homes are people don’t like being alone, or maybe their spouse has died and their children are far away or busy, don’t drive anymore and want more social activities or don’t like to cook, or as you said have health problems that need supervising. Otherwise I think it’s best to stay home and stay healthy!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Anne says:

    I must look out for this book – thank you for your recommendation – and fully agree with your point, “I think the key is not to think of yourself as old, keep doing the things you love to do, and to be interested in life.” I find I am so busy that I often wonder how I managed to hold down a full-time job and raise three children! I do not have the means (pandemic restrictions aside) to do the travelling I once envisaged doing when I retired, but have turned to photography, writing, gardening, and knitting. I keep in close contact with my children and grandchildren and so generally end the day feeling fulfilled. If not, there is always tomorrow 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dave says:

    They say 30% of seniors who live past the age of 85 experience some level of dementia, as my mother did in the final years of her life. I’m glad to know (assume?) your mother has not experienced dementia herself. Also, thank you for the Gupta book rec at the very end of the post. I’ve listened to him on several occasions and find him to be credible. I’ll be interested to read his thoughts on brain health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      She’s still okay mentally….a bit more forgetful perhaps, but then the pandemic hasn’t been good for anyone stuck at home….one day blends into the next. She is still able to manage in her own home, with some (cleaning) help from me, and still likes to cook. She has spent quite a bit of time lately watching the US election stuff as she was always interested in politics. I have several friends whose husbands developed Alzheimers in their early 70’s and are now in nursing homes, as well as a couple of the nurses I worked with, one at 70 and one mid 60’s who was still working. I read an article about a high school classmate of mine a few years ago who developed it around 50, his mother had it too at an early age, and these early onset cases tend to have some degree of genetic risk. It’s a sad thing all around as I’m sure you know and unfortunately not very treatable with drugs. I think Gupta is a neurosurgeon so I’m sure his book will be interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. avwalters says:

    I suppose I’m in that second phase, not that I’m seeing a lot of extra time. Things are a little slower in the winter, but even then, we each put in about a four hour “work day.” There’s always something that needs to be done. I’m not sure that everyone would enjoy undertaiking building a new home/barn, orchard and garden in retirement, but we like it. And we’ve found that (perhaps because we do it, we can) we are far more active and fit than some of my siblings who are, essentially, the same age. Busy and engaged are their own reward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      It sounds ideal to me…..a new adventure in your life! I have been retired 5 years now and wonder how I fit work in? Plus I find the days and weeks just fly by – there’s always something to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Schaub says:

    Dr. Gupta was on my radio station a day or two before his book was set to publish. I liked his ideas too. I play solitaire on the computer if I get stressed out at work. My mom did word search puzzles and I know there are some puzzle books she never go to. Our brains need more RAM memory – there is way too much to absorb these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That is true – I sometimes wonder if that is a problem for kids in school these days – there’s just so much more information about everything out there, where as we just learned the basic school stuff. I’ve been enjoying jigsaw puzzles lately, as someone gave one to mom for Christmas, a photo of one of her paintings, and I found it quite addicting but challenging too….it was a water scene so there were a lot of blue pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, there is a ton of information for kids to digest, whether in school, hearing their parents talking about it or what they may follow on social media.

        That was thoughtful to make a puzzle made from one of your mom’s paintings – how nice! I think I mentioned before that my mom loved jigsaw puzzles – I have saved all the puzzles she did not get to (under her bed as it is quite high and some under my bed too) and there are puzzles that she did already and I liked the picture so saved them and they are in two tubs downstairs. I am telling you that I could occupy myself for many years without spending a penny on entertainment. I have all the books (paperbacks we bought), the ones I bought last year and the “Reader’s Digests” (five years worth at least) and the “AARP” monthly magazines (for the last five years at least). Just pay for internet (and Amazon prime). I could conceivably never see the light of day!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You’re right Joni – and I forgot about the sketch books, pencils and some how-to books I bought last year for the Winter of 2019-2020 that I never used. My mom used to call the bins with books and puzzles in them, items to occupy my mind during the retirement years. That’s good as you can’t be online unlimited hours – you need to shift your attention to something else sometimes, not to mention your eyes. My mom would sit for hours with her puzzles and sometimes just get a few pieces. Do you leave them on a table while working the puzzle? My mom had two pieces of soft Styrofoam – one for 500-piece puzzles, one for 1,000-piece puzzles and she would work them on the boards which she laid on the kitchen table during the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I find if I’m on the computer too much my eyes are sore and dry, but only some days, so a different activity is good. I drafted two blogs today, about 4hrs (or 2 hrs each) so I’m kind of ahead again, but they need editing though, and a few but not many pictures. I don’t take many photos in the winter. My mom has 16X20 flat canvas boards for painting and they fit the smaller puzzles nicely. She used to do 1000 ones and put them on a big sheet of white bristol board so they can be moved off the table when she needs it, but I think a 1000 piece might be too difficult for her as her eyesight isn’t as good. I’ll have to buy another one somewhere when I next go out. Our stats are coming down some thank god. I see 25 million Americans have now had COVId – so that’s 1 in 13 people they said. Stay safe Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Oh, that would be a good idea, using the canvas boards. My mom’s Styrofoam boards could be moved as well and when I got home from work every night I carried it down the hall to put on bed or the couch in the TV room, out of the way until after dinner. My mom used a cane and needed to move the 1,000-piece puzzle using both hands; the smaller one she could do and walk with the cane, so I did that one. What my mom did as to needing to move the puzzle around was we bought Scotch brand two-faced tape and she taped down the perimeter under the pieces, to the Styrofoam, once she got the outside done and that way it did not slip off the board when having to carry it around. My friend Ann Marie and her husband do puzzles too – they do the puzzles on the kitchen table and they have a roll-up felt “puzzle keeper” that they just roll it up when done working the puzzle and put it away. I saw those in the puzzle books but my mom was afraid pieces would get lost. The 1,000-piece puzzles are difficult. I saved the fun ones as my mom had some that were very difficult to do. Our stats are down too Joni which is good and restaurants can open again on February 1st … BUT, I did hear that about the 25 million Americans have now had COVID and was shocked at that stat. Also, what is very scary Joni is that we have 5 people in Michigan with the COVID variant virus and on the news all day they asked if anyone had been to the Meijer in Ann Arbor or Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor last Sunday and if so go get tested immediately for COVID. This is an hour away from me – still scary as it was early in the morning … if I went to the store, I’d do it early in the morning to avoid other shoppers. They said by March the new virus will be running rampant in the U.S.. Today Dr. Birx was on a national program and said she gave the President and/or members of his administration graphs and information and they were altered to use in the press conferences. This minimized the stats to make it seem COVID was not that bad. She said “I knew they weren’t my charts and COVID should not have been politicized.” Well it was and would we have 417,000 deaths and 25 million cases if she had stepped up and said something? That’s nice to hear. No, she wanted to keep her job. I hope she can’t sleep at night. Thank you Joni – I have not ventured out in public to mingle at the grocery store, to buy gas, nor the allergist’s office for shots since November 23rd. I am not counting the Park as I stay away from people, talking only to Arnie and Carol far enough away and for a few minutes and the squirrels. Michigan did not get the expected surge in stats after Christmas Now off to watch “ACG&S”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s a good idea re using the double-sided tape around the perimeter. Doug Ford extended our lock down for another month, even though the stats are trending downward they are still too high in many parts of the province. I did see Dr. Birx on CNN this afternoon talking about the phony graphs/charts and wondered why she didn’t speak up them. I have a visual of her face when Trump started talking about injecting bleach iv and her looking down at the floor from embarrassment, but she said nothing then either. That comment was made too about how many more deaths could have been prevented if she had spoken up. ACG&S was a bit better tonight, at least there was a better storyline, if sad, but I still think the acting is not the best.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, try that Joni, especially if you have to move it around. When you’re done, just peel the tape off the the canvas – it easily peels off. Her face was priceless, like it was gut wrenching to hear him describe the bleach iv and light process. And one time Dr. Fauci also visibly cringed when Trump said something and Dr. Fauci held his hand up to his face like he had an instant headache listening to him. Dr. Birx should have said something then – now she talks about people politicizing the virus. Every time I listen to the news it is something else that leaves me shaking my head. Yes ACG&S had a sad plot last night – I think Tristan is rather useless in the story don’t you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I don’t like Tristan at all….but then I didn’t like him when he was on the Durells (a Masterpiece series set in Greece)….nothing appealing about him…..or really any of them…..the actors don’t seem believable. By far last night’s best acting went to the horse….animals rule again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Ha ha – we agree on Tristan and yes the actors are not that great at all. The animals and the countryside are the best part. At the end of the show online, they give highlights for the following week and looks like it will be about Tricky Poo the pudgy Pekinese and its mistress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thank you Joni – why did I never think of that? I did get two how-to books, but they aren’t big: “Drawing for the Absolute Beginner” and “Woodland Animals” – I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to retirement. The last three weeks have been rough … I am glad for the escape to the Park and have been pretty lucky with the weather so far. Like you I went yesterday – it was very cold. Went to my Park, then to Heritage Park and out for four hours and felt like a popsicle. Went this morning, just before the snow started. I likely won’t get back until Thursday from the sound of it. I am glad I have re-discovered TV. Just finished the show … it was good tonight, though I miss a lot of what they’re saying. It needs subtitles. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Is there any sign of your boss retiring soon? My friend started painting about 3 years ago, (I think she was inspired my mom), but she’s only in her 60’s, and she’s really improved a lot. I think it would be easier to learn out of a book though then out of a youtube tutorial, but maybe you can do both?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well he took out a lease for this year, so it expires the end of 2021 now. He told me several years ago that he hoped to work to 2022 to get 50 years in the legal business like his father had. He has not mentioned that again though, but, I guess he could just go to January 2022. He actually started working right after Labor Day of 1972 as a labor lawyer at the NLRB, so technically he would have to wait til September. I was on the phone for almost two hours tonight for my initial Medicare consult … we did not finalize it because I have to apply and get my card first, then finalize it later. My mind feels like jelly with all the options to pick from. I am glad he is helping me out on it … it is his specialty and I don’t pay anything for it – same insurance company as I went through for my Obamacare. I took at quick look through the two how-to books when I got them – they looked easy in that it seems it is almost like drawing circles and ovals at the beginning. Then you fill in textures, like fur or feathers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes Linda, you have a special birthday coming up! Were you the Michigan resident who won the big Lottery jackpot? Then you could really take early retirement…..a billion is way too much money.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, boy I know it … I spent almost two hours last night after work discussing Medicare with the Medicare insurance broker and over an hour tonight trying to register myself just for a Medicare card. At the end, since I had to put my citizenship and alien card number, there was a postscript that said I may have to provide a certified birth certificate or an original – not a certified copy. This is not something I want to be running around for now … I hope that is just for applying for Social Security not just the card. I have to get the card number, then we can apply, so another session on the phone to do that. Whew. I wish I would have won just a small portion of that big jackpot and I would retire in a heartbeat! The Medicare consultant said wait until you are 66 and 4 months old for full Social Security benefits – that is Social Security’s advice too. As of tonight, at the last newscast at 9:00 p.m., no one has come forward yet. There was a rumor it was a group of teachers out of Novi, Michigan but I’ve not heard anymore about that. One person should not win all that money. I agree.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        If you’re still working it might be better to wait until you’re 66. We get Old Age pension automatically at 65, but can delay CPP if we want and get more later…..I’m mulling that over. Haven’t talked to financial guy yet, but my birthday is in the summer so have some time to decide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        [Sorry about the “I” in the last post.} My financial guy had said to wait until 67 … don’t know if Robb will wait another two years to retire. We have gotten really busy since the Fall after being slow earlier in the pandemic. I think it would be worth it to wait if possible. It’s exciting for me to think about – wait until it’s just a matter of months. I have no plans at all, just to have my own time to myself. I do not get vacation as I agreed to that as I’m considered part-time (and why I did that is beyond me). On the weekends I don’t wear a watch when I go out – a great feeling to have that be every day!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am sorry, I pushed “send” to early. I am thinking it would be good to try the videos too – I like watching videos as it makes it easier. My weather radio went wacky, buttons flashing and peeping. Rather than use the book, I’m going to go back and watch the video again. I don’t know why that happened. In troubleshooting nothing came up for what it’s doing … I looked on Amazon and someone suggested if they don’t do the weekly “test” that it sets the weather radio off. They didn’t do the test last Wednesday so maybe that’s why?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We did get some – a wintry precip and it was heavy this morning … a combo of freezing rain/snow. I shoveled and got rid of it and the driveway was clear by this afternoon as the sun came out. But we are getting it again tonight – hope they are wrong!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It was nice to see the sun again. I did walk, but walked in the street. I shoveled yesterday and my driveway and walk was clear to the cement but no one else on my block shoveled and very few along the route I take to the Park. I figured I’d walk to the cross-street and if no ice, I would go. It was okay from then on, but at the Park I only walked on the grass. I would not have gone if it was icy. I saw some driveways along the way that were treacherous. It was only 17 or 18 degrees this morning so I was bundled up. We have some snow coming in on Sunday night, but clear up until then. Winter can leave any time – curious to see what the Groundhog says Tuesday.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. annieasksyou says:

    I will definitely get this book and look into Gupta’s as well. This is a very thoughtful and relevant post, Joni, and I’m grateful to you for it.
    I, too, find there’s never enough time. As for fresh starts, my blog has expanded my world and is a source of continuing stimulation.
    But I’d love to have the energy and expertise to build a barn!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    Extra time – what a concept! I don’t understand how anyone with all their mental faculties could be bored. I reinvent about once every decade or two. There will never be enough time to tackle all my interests and goals. I do feel bad for those who get dementia (like my mom) or Alzheimer’s. Horrid situation and one that certainly tend to lead to nursing home care. But it was worse for my grandma who got ALS and still had all her mind – trapped in a non-functioning body. That would be my nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    This looks like a fascinating book. I’ve seen the Gupta book around, but not this one. I guess I need to get real about how I’m going to live the rest of my days. I am one to go with the flow, but I’d better start reading about where the flow is taking me. 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      We’re all getting older……I’ve seen a few previous co-workers and friends husbands develop early Alzheimers way too young so am quite interested in reading what Dr. Gupta has to say re preventative measures.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesleykluchin says:

    Oh my! What a treat your post was! Your photos are wonderful! And the homes and structures just mesmerizing! I wish I were seeing them in person. I’m ready to live in a few of those cozy rooms. Gorgeous! And the furnishings and quilts! OMG. Beautiful!

    It’s Interesting to get a take on retirement in a pandemic. In fact, I am a retired teacher who was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer and went through surgery and intensive chemotherapy all during this crazy pandemic. So I spent the majority of it alone, physically. However, thank goodness for technology and my family. I can’t say I was ever bored. My grandchildren and I FaceTimed frequently, my local son (the one with the kids) was a life saver. He drove me to and from my doctors appointments and my chemotherapy treatments. I was too sick to do any of that. My other son who is an assistant director in film and Tv would fly down on weekends to help me until March of last year when he wasn’t allowed to be around me or fly. That was difficult but we FaceTimed when he was off work and last Thanksgiving he drove down and we spent time together masked..I haven’t received a physical hug in forever, but the love has been monumental. And after month and months of extreme treatments I’m currently doing very well. There’s no remission with my disease but my cancer numbers are currently normal and my hair is growing back! So I’m feeling great! Wahoo!

    I read a lot when I wasn’t on chemo, I watched a hell of a lot of tv during treatments and I started a Facebook blog because friends were worried about me. And I survived. I didn’t get cabin fever because I was too busy trying to live. And on good days I was just so grateful I wasn’t feeling sick that I had no time to feel sorry for myself. I documented my cancer journey in words and in photos. And now I think I might put it all together in book form to help others going through this disease. I started back on a novel I’m writing and try to take each day as it comes. My immune system is still fragile so I’m isolated a lot of the time, but I figure if you have to get cancer during a pandemic what a great time it is for that to happen. Technology is the best! I have prime, Netflix, Britbox etc. and can FaceTime using my iPad or iPhone. And best of all, I’m still alive and now I have hair again! I figure I’m doing great! Sure I planned to travel during my retirement. Now I’d just like to live and enjoy each moment. Pandemic shandemic! No matter how we survive as long as we do then we are lucky! Peace, love, Rock n roll! ❤️✌️🎸

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      Thank your for your comments Lesley. I have just followed your blog. I read LA daily and have seen you comment there before there, but found your genealogy story about your Paris cousins very interesting. My, you have had a lot to cope with during the pandemic…..sending you positive thoughts. I think the key is to keep busy and it sounds like you have a lot of interests to explore and lots of things to do. While I wish we could get out more, I’m content to be inside in this wintry weather and I’m sure better days are ahead. I live in Canada, but vaccination has been very slow to roll out here and this week we are not getting any vaccine at all…as a retired health care professional I find that very frustrating, esp with so many deaths here in nursing homes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lesleykluchin says:

        Hi Joni. I’m lucky I live in South Florida. So the weather down here is balmy and beautiful. I have already received my first vaccine and was sick for several days with breathing problems and hives. I’d take liquid Benadryl before getting the shot if you have any allergies. I’m a bit worried about getting my second dose as reactions get worse with that one. I live in an over 55 community so we were offered on a first come first serve basis. Most people I know did very well with the vaccine so far. I had Pfizer.
        As a retired health care professional I thank you for your service. Health care workers don’t get enough credit for all the work they do.
        I haven’t written much lately on WP. I do write often on FB but love checking out other blogs with my morning coffee on WP.
        Be safe. Stay in from the cold!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I have heard that a few people have had allergic reactions. Make sure you tell them when you go for your second dose, so they can monitor you more closely. I’m glad I’m retired now, and have been for five years, but worry for my colleagues who must be exhausted. I envy you your warmth and sunshine…..as I sit here in the below freezing temps! Enjoy it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lesleykluchin says:

        Yes, I’m glad I’m retired now too. There is no way I could be teaching now. Florida’s unfortunate governor required teachers to go back to the classrooms or they’d be fired. Not smart. A lot of my friends retired early because they were afraid to go back while covid numbers continue to rise. My grandkids now are back in school and wear masks every day. But I still worry about them. More and more children are getting sick.
        The temp was in the 80’s today. Just beautiful. i tried to take a walk outside today , wore double masks as recommended by the CDC, but there people sitting outside unmasked everywhere and I went back inside. Several buildings in my condo community have been infected with covid and still there are so many resid

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s unfortunate. Canadians tend to be more obedient, less about individual rights here. Although we have a few anti-maskers, they are a small minority. Here in Ontario we are in lockdown again and most kids are back to remote learning from home again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lesleykluchin says:

        Yes, I envy the obedience in your neighbors. There seems to have been an increase in ignorance in the last four years due to the previous President. I will never understand it. I’ve always been a rebel. I danced to the beat of my own drummer. But science is science. And I would never put my fellow citizens in danger. It’s not individual rights they are fighting. It’s pure selfishness. They care about themselves only, not their fellow man. I find it inconsiderate and ignorant. But you and I were in professions where we cared for and about others. Some people will never understand that.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Schaub says:

    I am feeling hopelessly behind here … I was late leaving work and this morning I got a call from the local Social Security office and I do have to get a certified copy of my birth certificate. This is annoying to me. I have all my info on file for the green card. I have a laminated card with my birth certificate info but don’t know if that counts … I will have to look at it tomorrow morning when my head is clearer. Plus I have to have to provide a copy of my alien card – that I have as I had to send it to the insurance company doing my Obamacare for them to file on the Obamacare government website (I’ve lived here since 1966 – really? I’ve paid taxes on my wages since 1973, my first job – really?). And, if it is not processed to begin Medicare by April 1st, I will get a penalty for it. I’m mad about the entire thing. I never thought to tell the guy when he reached out last October and send me a postcard that said “Happy 64 1/2th birthday – I’ll be contacting you in January about applying for Medicare.” … I never thought about it as I’ve lived here so long. Of course the Canadian government site to order it online says they are backed up – online it takes 3 weeks. Expedited is five days … I think I will do it expedited if the plastic card does not say certified … not a good day and I’m three or four days behind in WP which does not make me happy either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      If you have to get a copy get it expedited as most government agencies are way behind due to COVID with people not working or working remotely. I got caught up on Reader today finally….and went for a short walk to take some snowmen pictures, but it was too cold to walk long. Get some sleep!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I looked at my laminated, wallet-sized birth certificate this morning. I keep it in the car with my driver’s license, car insurance, alien card as I don’t want anything with my address on it in case I’d get robbed while walking and they steal my keys. So last night I did not know if it would suffice. I didn’t want to go out in the dark – they called me after I got to work yesterday. At the very bottom is said “certified copy” and I forget the rest of the language, but there are multiple numbers on it, I’m guessing where the official record of my birth is kept. Great! I was excited because my look-see at the site last night meant I had to opt for expedited (5 business days) – the range of prices for any certified copies range from $25.00 to $75.00. I do have to get a passport before I renew my green card and have to see what documentation is needed for that … I have had this birth certificate for decades. I’m only getting the passport to make it easier to renew my green card and had a passport in the past – I wonder if that helps? I was so relieved. I never thought to tell him I was Canadian, and my records at their office would reflect that I was no a U.S. citizen, but he works off site. He said he made home visits to explain Medicare before COVID and enjoyed doing that as he is a retired teacher. I personally feel that if I have had taxes taken from my paycheck since 1973, there should have been no issue with my being provided Medicare coverage. I’d rather stay on Obamacareas it is cheaper.

        When I didn’t have to complete the online registration for the birth certificate, I ran in the house and got some peanuts and went to the Park. Today is the last day for the bitter cold weather thankfully. It was very icy down at the Park. I walked on the grass – everywhere else in the neighborhood was fine because I walked in the street. Storm Saturday into Sunday. I am behind in Reader, need to catch up from the 26th! I am thinking of just watching two episodes and then catching up and writing my Monday post tomorrow. Sunday I have a ton of photos to go thru for my my posts on 02/08 and 02/14 for Valentine’s Day. That’s going to take a while to go through them. I have to get to bed earlier tonight. I nodded off today a few times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Sounds like you need the weekend off! I’m impressed that the Medicare guy used to make house calls? It seems very complicated, but then I haven’t checked into CPP yet. I think they just send the Old Age pension automatically to your bank account the same as they do with Income Tax refunds, there’s no applying process. I walked a bit today…..your seagulls inspired me to take some photos but I haven’t gone through them yet. Hope you get some sleep.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I really did not do a lot today to be honest Joni. I did a little laundry but while I was doing other things this morning before I went out. I’m impressed he made house calls too. He told me that he has visual aids to demonstrate the various Medicare parts you can choose and makes it simpler. that way as he said it is hard to understand. This plan does this, another does that and the difference in price for one month, which is billed quarterly is $148.50 versus $278.00 for two different types of plans. How they do it in Canada is how they should do it here – like a refund or the stimulus check – either electronically or a paper check. Over here, as to the stimulus check, some people who had not electronically filed their income taxes, were getting a paper check or a pre-loaded Visa card. Some people thought the Visa card was just being sent to them unsolicited and threw it away. Now they have lots of public service announcement. I am glad my seagulls inspired you – I enjoy taking pictures of them down along the Riverfront. I have Part 2 of that walk along the River which post I did earlier this evening. There were more seagulls, plus a little seagull drama which I’ll save for Wednesday. It seems that every time I encounter seagulls there is something going on with them. Their antics are funny to watch and the looks on their face when one seagull does something idiotic. An almost deadpan expression. I have a ton of photos in my camera to go through tomorrow since it’s going to snow. I’ll use in my upcoming blogiversary post and for Valentine’s Day. I did watch two hours of the show last night – I was only here to write you and a couple of comments and I had 94 SPAM messages … incredible and that was not accumulated, it was just Friday alone! It was a bad week – I could hardly wait for Friday to arrive. I got a long walk in today, mostly in the street, but tomorrow will be another story with this snow storm of 2-4 inches, maybe 5 inches on the way. It just cleared up and only at the Park as they salted. I walked on the grass there to not take any chances. I am aiming for bed at 10:00 every night … I slipped off that goal a lot, but going to reinforce it again. I’ve broken every NY’s resolution except only blogging twice a week and stepping away from the blog more … at least I did something right!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        So Medicare when you turn 65 is not really free health coverage, just cheaper than what you pay now with Obamacare? We have OHIP here which is no charge for health care, (Drs/hospitals/tests) for any age and then at age 65, drugs cost $6.11 per prescription with an annual fee of $100 if you make over $16,000 a year. The CPP Canada Pension Plan is different as you have to apply for it. It would be comparable to your Social Security. You can take it as early as 60 (with a 40% reduction) or as late as 70 (with 40% increase) or anywhere in between. I just checked – I have 200 spam comments, whereas yesterday I had 137. Been getting some likes on comments I left on other bloggers sites weeks ago, from people I’m sure are spammers, which seems bizarre. Spammers always find a way in. I’m finding WP quieter lately, not as many people posting, or commenting. Some of my regulars don’t seem to be on much. Snowing, but maybe an inch today, but roads covered so not likely I’ll walk. Enjoy your day Linda! Don’t forget ACG&S tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Here I am two days later Joni. I did today’s post on Saturday and haven’t done Wednesday’s WW yet. I wish I was ahead like you were – I was ahead in the Summer, but not now. Last night I went right to Reader and bypassed Comments to try and make some headway there. I found a lot of people weren’t posting the week of the inauguration – maybe watching the entire day of activities, but are back to posting all the time again. Even with only posting 2X a week and the second one just a compilation of photos for WW, I still can’t keep up. But I do read the news before I come here at night an also catch up a little on social media where I follow some nature sites and the news/crime sites for our City and the local area. That chews up a lot of time. Of course Canada has such a better plan than here – I was better off on Obamacare than I will be here unless I want to pay the huge fee of $278.00/month. He suggested the $148.50 since I’m not on meds of any kind, but it won’t pay the entire allergist visit. It was suggested by my financial guy to wait until age 67 to take Social Security … it will depend on what happens after this year with Robb. It would be nice if he could be in business through some of 2022 … would be nicer for me in the long run. The SPAM here has no rhyme nor reason – 94 the other day and 4 tonight (for the entire day). Are you getting rid of it by going to Administration, then Comments – I only found that out by chance as before I had to go in and delete each one … surely there was a better way so glad to find it. I did watch ACG&S last night … I knew it was going to be about Tricky Woo (sp?) as they gave the preview the week before … didn’t you figure someone was going to leave the hamper on the floor where that dog could access it? I have to say I don’t remember any of the stories about Tristan from the books, but it has been quite a while since I read them. I did walk today but not yesterday. I shoveled yesterday and no more snow fell, so I got out. I was happy for that – the end of this week will be wintry precip and then an Arctic blast – likely the same for you. Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. fgsjr2015 says:

    What I greatly admire about some non-Western cultures is their general belief in and practice of not placing their aged family members in seniors care homes.

    As a result, family caregivers don’t have to worry over those loved-ones being left vulnerable by cost-cutting measures taken by some care-home business owners to maximise profits.

    Care home neglect was present in Canada before Covid-19; however, we didn’t fully comprehend the degree until the pandemic really hit, as we horrifically discovered in a Dorval, Quebec care-home’s neglect-nightmare 10 months ago.

    Western business culture and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments mostly dared not intervene, perhaps because they feared being labelled as anti-business in our avidly capitalist culture.

    Morally and ethically, the profit buck has to stop with the health and lives of human beings, especially those who have little or no voice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      So true. Non-western societies/cultures tend to respect and value their elders more. What I find astonishing is how little has been learned or changed since the first wave of the pandemic, with the second wave sweeping through nursing homes just as badly or even worse, despite the obligatory Ont. government report/investigation in the summer.

      Like

  12. J P says:

    There is a lot to this topic. Everyone (including the author you read) assumes that they want to live an extremely long life. However I don’t think this has been encouraged by any elderly person I’ve ever known. We all assume life at age 99 would be like life now, but it rarely is. Diminishing sight, hearing and self care abilities changes many minds.

    I wonder if the fixation on long life goes in tandem with diminishing Religious beliefs. I kind of look forward to the next gig.

    The demographic cliff that is approaching is going to take a lot of people by surprise. We have been hearing about “the population explosion ” for so long we have not thought much about standards of living when the population actually starts shrinking, as it will in places like Japan and China where birthrates have been low for decades.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I take your point JP as we all want to live a long life but only if we can maintain our health both physically and mentally, which is not the reality for many older people. My mother is an exception, and she is still enjoying her life. But as a medical person I also see where people are staying healthier longer, so that the mid-80’s is the age at which health issues are a problem, versus the 60’s for previous generations. But then I would see 50 year olds whose bodies were more like 80 sometimes, from unhealthy habits and sometimes just bad luck. The old age security pension was implemented at 65, because the government actuaries expected you to only live seven more years, and now it might be 20. And yes, we will be in trouble with shrinking population rates, as fewer young people working supporting a whole bunch of us old folks! That’s why Quebec, home to the big Catholic families of years ago, is now letting more immigrants in, as well as Canada in general. Most people I know are only having one or two kids. I’m not sure about the next gig, but I’d like to hang around here as long as possible, before I become a star in the universe.

      Liked by 2 people

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