When I was a wee freckle-faced lad fidgeting through Sunday morning church service, the droning minister and ensuing boredom often encouraged me to gaze around and check out everyone else. “Gee, I sure hope I don’t look like that when I get old! What a prune-neck,” I’d muse.
Now I’m a prune neck, too.
Occasionally the minister jolted us out of the pew bellowing, “Your body is a holy temple of God. Do not defile it!”
Back then I had difficulty accepting health tips from an overweight clergyman or doctor, so I ignored their warnings and ate and drank whatever I wanted, with no thought for tomorrow.
At fifteen, of course, we are immortal.
Hello ugly wake-up call.
Twenty–two years and one hundred pounds ago, I was on the verge of dying from viral heart disease.
I had to, or else, alter my lifestyle behavior so I evolved into a vegetarian. Not for everyone, but it worked for me. Subsequently, my health has never been better.
Like a game of Chicken, it’s human to gamble- wait until they smack the wall of the ICU- before cleaning up diet and lifestyle.
I’m proud I kicked death’s ugly butt by embracing plant food, a pure heart and positive attitude, but it was not easy.
Boomers take offense to elderly stereotypes and elect to age with style. Boomers prefer staying mentally and physically active, contributing to the greater good and learning till they draw their last breath. The adage “you can’t teach old dog new tricks” isn’t true even about dogs and it clearly isn’t true about people. We’re never too old to learn, grow and sustain our Holy Temple.
How we perceive aging usually depends on looking into a mirror. When we reach forty, we sometimes obsess on methods to speed-bump aging. Lots of folks go to the gym, opt for healthier foods, toss back handfuls of vitamins, and buy youthful clothing and expensive facial spackle creams.
While these steps are useful and have some desirable effects, they don’t provide a feasible long-term strategy.
According to the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada, “A well-planned, plant-based diet is a healthful alternative to expensive meat-based meals for all age groups, including older adults.”
Scientific research urges Americans to eat more variety of plant based, fibrous foods along with lean and clean protein.
Our Temple can undo and repair damage by consuming an eco-friendly, plant-based, living diet or part-time vegetarian diet.
Our Earth Suits were created by the universe with a prodigious gift to heal themselves if the damage is not too great. Our ripening on the vine creeps silently upon us. There’s no escaping. We’re all growing one year older each time we circle the sun. Science tells us to eat more fresh produce, lower carb intake, stay mentally, physically, and socially active, and keep hydrated.
Enlightened Americans are learning that a diet of real, living, locally sourced, plant-based food significantly reduces potential damage to their Holy Temple.
I’ve become so much a plant eater, I lean toward the sun! And I feel fresher than I did at 40.
I like to browse through and read old gardening books, the older the better. Sometimes author advice is quite outdated. For example, I might read recommendations about pesticides that have been off the market for decades, or plants with long-forgotten names are mentioned. So it takes a little detective work to figure out what names plants goes by today.
Sometimes authors provide gardening advice that is timeless. In The Flower Garden by Ida D. Bennett, published in 1910, Bennett, who lived and gardened in Coldwater, Michigan, included a very important section called “A Chapter of Don’ts”. Some of the “don’ts” still apply to gardeners today.
“Don’t try to follow all the advice that is offered you; make up your mind what you want to do and go steadily ahead. If you fail you will know how, and why, which is in itself a distinct gain… Don’t be too greatly cast down by failures; they have their uses. One failure, if it sets you to studying out the cause and remedy, is worth a dozen haphazard successes.”
Mid summer is the time when many gardeners look at their gardens and think about some of the early failures of the season. Why did a crop fail? How did the weeds get so tall? Why isn’t this plant flowering? Where are all the squash? Why did a plant die? On and on we go, seeing failures, asking questions about what went wrong.
In my own garden, my pea crop failed this spring. I am fairly certain it is because I sowed the seeds too late and then the hot days of early June came at just the wrong time for this cool season crop. I recognize this failure. It has happened before and I learned that the earlier I plant peas, the greater chance I have of actually having peas to pick.
As I pulled up dried vines and tossed them on the compost pile, I thought of Bennett’s timeless advice that failures in the garden have value, even if the failures teach us how to be successful next time. I made a mental a note that next spring, I’ll plant peas much earlier.
A friend recently was asked to be the executor of his father’s Will; he wanted to know the responsibilities involved and he had some questions about social security.
Q. What are an executor’s duties in probating an estate?
A. When your father passes and has any estate subject to probate, you will file a petition with the court where he lived to open his probate estate. Property subject to probate usually consists of solely owned assets, therefore assets co-owned by spouses, jointly owned with a survivor or with a “paid on death” designation, life insurance and retirement accounts will be transferred outside probate to the named beneficiaries.
If all the estate beneficiaries consent, you may use “unsupervised probate administration”, which means that the court does not supervise every asset sale, payment of a debt, or beneficiary distribution; otherwise the probate is fully supervised by the court.
Your duties as executor (also known as personal representative) include collecting all the decedent’s probate assets and providing an inventory of these to the probate court, opening a separate checking account for the estate, paying the decedent’s debts and taxes (income and inheritance), and making the distribution of the net assets according to the Will, or Indiana inheritance law. If there is no Will, you will likely need to hire a lawyer for the probate.
For complete personal representative instructions, go to the Johnson county court web site in.gov/judiciary/johnson/doc.
Q. Should I take social security retirement at age 62 or wait until my full retirement age of 66?
A. Taking social security retirement payments at your earliest age loses 25 percent of the payment you otherwise would receive at age 66. Every year you wait increases your payment. For example, if you would be entitled to $1,000 a month at age 66, but elect to receive early payments, you receive $750 at 62, $800 at 63, $866 at 64, and $933 at 65. Delaying payments until after 66 results in the amount increasing $80 a month for each subsequent year.
Also there is an earned income limitation for early retirement payments. If you earned more than $14,160 a year in 2011, you will have to return $1 for each $2 payment you receive over that amount ($1 of every $3 with an earning limit of $37,680 in the year when you reach full retirement). When you are 66, there is no earned income limitation.
Each retiree’s situation is different. If you come from a family where everyone lives into their 90’s (at age 65 one out of every 4 of us will live past age 90), then you may want to delay social security retirement payments until age 66 (or later). However, if you expect a relatively early demise, then consider early retirement. Using the earlier example, you would receive $750 for 48 months, or $36,000 by drawing payments at age 62.
The Social Security Administration has an informative web site: ssa.gov, including a helpful retirement calculator.
My Opinion: $164,500
Type of Home: This traditional style, two-story home has three bedrooms and two and a half baths.
Age: Built in 1974.
Location: Near the outskirts of Beech Grove, in a small, relatively unknown and somewhat isolated community development called Braemoor.
Square Footage: 1,976 SF.
Rooms: You will find a total of eight rooms inside this custom built home. All three bedrooms are upstairs, along with two full baths. A circular pattern makes the main level wonderful for entertaining, especially with the formal living room just off of the entry, then a spacious dining room, open to the living room and kitchen. From the kitchen, family and friends can stroll into the family room and rest in front of the gas log fireplace. An office downstairs could become a fourth bedroom if that better meets your family’s needs.
Strengths: In this small development, you will find only 42 homes and lots of quiet and seclusion. Each home sits on a large wooded lot with municipal services. This particular home has several updates and is beautifully landscaped.
10. “Do you promise to never surprise her by letting her find a transmission in the bathtub?”
9. “Do you solemnly swear to never point out that her other choice still has 12 more years at Pendleton?”
8. “Will you always keep a stash of spare bail money?”
7. “Do you promise to never lie about taking the last slice of meat loaf?”
6. “Do you promise to never point out your mother-in-law’s weight issue?”
5. “Will you solemnly swear not to ever mention that her Maid of Honor is smokin’ hot?”
4. “During your ‘cuddle time’ will you avoid discussing the funny noise the washing machine is making these days?”
3. “Do you promise to get off the couch and find her some watermelon at 11 p.m. when she starts having those cravings?”
2. “Do you promise to take turns faking you’re asleep when the baby cries at 2 a.m.?”
1. “Do you promise to love each other deeply and honestly no matter who forgot to flush?”
So there I was, pushing my cart past the Forbidden Foods (i.e. anything fun) aisle of the grocery store when I was stopped in my tracks by Cheesy Poofs.
(Actually, they weren’t really Cheesy Poofs. They were Chee-tohs. You’ll find them on the rack next to the Lie-Ohs and Steal-Ohs.)
Anyway, back to the package. “Limited Edition,” it said.
They meant the package, not the contents. On the outside, it was a reproduction of the Chee-tohs bag from the olden days. On the inside, I presume, it was the same neon orange junk as usual.
What a weird thing – a limited edition junk food package. Weird in my world, anyway, although I imagine there are lots of people out there who think this is a great idea.
Biff: Gosh, Judy! I sure do miss the old Chee-tohs package!
Judy: Me, too, Biff! Our nifty teen parties, weenie roasts and record hops just aren’t the same since they changed it!
Biff: If only they would come up with a limited edition package that looks just like the old one!
Judy: That would be keen!
Biff: Gosh, Judy! You’re such a swell girl! How about you and me heading up to the lake to watch the submarine races?
Judy: Keep your mind on the Chee-tohs, Biff.
Here’s a question: What do you do with the Limited Edition package once the Unlimited Edition contents is gone? It’s a limited edition, after all. Do you frame it? Tuck it away in a safe deposit box? Bequeath it to an heir?
Lawyer (reading will): To my daughter Ammonia, I leave the house, the cars and my ginormous personal fortune. To my son Mildew I leave my Limited Edition Chee-tohs bag.
Ammonia (sobbing, to Mildew): Daddy always loved you best!
Now I’m not saying I’m immune to junk food nostalgia. As soon as it came back on the market, I bought a bunch of Bonomo Turkish Taffy – at great peril to some rather extensive dentistry, I might add. I chuckled at the throwback cans of Mountain Dew (mostly because I think the best thing you can do when someone hands you a Dew is to throw it back). I can’t get enough Beeman’s gum, which comes out every once in a while along with Black Jack and Clove gums as well.
I miss Post Toasties, Mister Salty pretzels, Salerno butter cookies and Butternut candy bars. And if someone would start making Chesty Potato Chips and Pokagon soda again, I would think I had died and gone to heaven.
But I’m not a sucker.
Remember when TV Guide – I mean, remember TV Guide? Remember how they used to come out with collector editions with four different covers for the same week? What a ripoff. Gee, I wonder how many of those collector sets are sealed away, waiting to go into a museum?
Or, for a more recent example of goofballery, Hershey is producing a chocolate bar with bubbles in it. That’s a big innovation, all right. They’re selling chocolate air.
And now, Limited Edition Chee-tohs? Toward what end?
I think we know. It’s toward the end of selling a lot more Chee-tohs by preying on the goofballs who think it’s a big deal. As if. They’re just Chee-tohs, for crying out loud.
Now, Fritos … well, that would be a different story entirely.
The NFL lockout may have ended this week, but it could be a long time before NBA players go back to work.
I promise this isn’t an article about lockouts in professional sports but, in short, the differences between the wants of NBA players and team owners are so vast that the entire upcoming season could be in jeopardy. Some players, including Kobe Bryant and other superstars, are considering playing in Turkey and other countries just to keep themselves busy and in shape.
Forget Turkey. I have an opportunity for top-level players, especially Pacers, to get their shots in while staying close to home.
Well, it’s not so much a great opportunity for them as it is a need for me. You see, my recreational basketball team in Fishers isn’t too good. In fact, this squad topped its entire 2010 win total just after Week 1 of this season – when not even a single player from the other team showed up, resulting in a forfeit. Yes, this team – albeit with a largely different roster – didn’t win a game last year. After the shellacking we took on Sunday, I’m afraid forfeit may be the only notch on our belts this season.
What happened Sunday was a game, but it certainly wasn’t a contest. The other team treated it like an NBA All-Star game or, more accurately, a Harlem Globetrotters-Washington Generals exhibition.
Our opponents were much taller, more athletic and more skilled than us. They beat our best efforts by 33 points by merely screwing around. At one point, I chased one of the other team’s players who, instead of laying the ball on the glass for an easy layup or even dunking, literally bounced the ball off the court while running and swished it in. I reacted by saying, fairly loudly, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” maybe with another word in there that I cannot include in this column.
I know we won’t be playing the And1 Mixtape squad every week, but I’m also realistic and see that we might be the L.A. Clippers of this league. That comparison might be insulting to the lowly Clippers.
So, with a few team t-shirts still available, I believe it’s my job to make this team at least moderately competitive. In the few days after our blowout loss, I began calling some of my friends. I’m working like Tom Crean or Brad Stevens to recruit accomplished players who can help take our team from embarrassing to respectable.
One friend of mine, 6’8”, was looking at a potential NBA career until knee injuries made that impossible. My best man, who played college basketball as a starter, also might make a trip up from Vincennes to help bail us out one week. I’d even take his brother, too. He played at IUPUI.
There’s no reason why the guys I get to sport our cheap rec league t-shirts have to be my friends.
If the other teams in our league are made up of players playing in the Indy Pro-Am league and others as big as Andre the Giant, I don’t see why we can’t get Paul George or Danny Granger on our squad.
Not all NBA players will receive lucrative offers to play overseas. But some players, especially ones from our hometown NBA team, can keep in shape while remaining close to home – and still be head and shoulders above the competition at the same time.
So, to all Pacers who read The Southside Times, please respond to this article. Granger, Roy Hibbert, even assistant coach Walter McCarty – someone, please, respond to this S.O.S. and Save Our Season.
Well, the recent heat wave has shown me a few things about trying to move around comfortably in 127 degrees with a 51-year-old hot flashing body.
And I gotta tell you, there ain’t nothing pretty about it.
Since the sun has been beaming like nobody’s business, I have been doing a lot of unlady-like sweating. My sweat glands have turned into mini-fountains.
Yesterday I considered rolling my hair in a towel before leaving for work. I’m pretty sure it would be a more attractive look than the one I have going on right now. Before noon every day, my hair is plastered to my head. Every day, my face is so wet that my sunglasses fog.
Two days ago on, I stopped at a produce stand, hoping to buy a couple of tomatoes and a juicy watermelon. By the time I sorted through the choices, sweat dripped off my nose and chin and gushed down my back.
My blouse stuck to me. My skirt felt heavy with extra sweat. That’s also when I noticed that the produce lady staring at my chest- as in the vicinity of my left boob. Finally, I looked down too, praying that I had not somehow lost half my shirt between the car and the vegetable stand.
“Hmmm,” I saw that nasty blotch of wetness and felt red scream across my cheeks.
Tucking my gigantic water bottle under my arm so my hands were free to grab the watermelon led to the big pool of wet, which looked more like a target on the front of my shirt.
“Wow, I am reminded of my life a hundred years ago when I was nursing a baby,” I said nervously. “Of course, if I was nursing now- at this age- I wouldn’t be here with you, I’d be calling The National Enquirer.”
Old sour puss never said a word, she just stared at me with disgust on her face. And I reminded myself that what I really should do is shut my mouth.
“The water bottle sweated all over the front of my shirt,” I said with an extremely fake laugh. “Gotta love this Indiana sauna, right?”
“On second thought, I’m not in the mood to buy anything,” I said weakly. Then I placed the produce back in their bins, offered a lazy wave and sweatily squished all the way back to my car.
I’m not spending my money at a produce stand where the chick has no sense of humor about sweat troubles…. especially when the front of her shirt looked just as damp as mine.
On July 3, I set up an art project in my front yard. I had been working on it for weeks. It is a 16 foot tall and 12 foot wide Celtic cross with a light up Star of David in the center.
How many neighborhoods would you be able to do that in without anyone complaining? It’s now been 22 days and still no complaints. Beech Grove is one of those neighborhoods where no one complains about my Celtic cross and I am proud to be a resident.
I call this project The Road to Freedom. Imagine a giant Judeo-Christian symbol rising up from the middle of the road and Beech Grove is one stop along that road.
In a time when people are offended by saying Merry Christmas or nearly any reference to God, in my city, freedom of speech is still alive. I would like to thank the residents of Beech Grove for their tolerance with my expression. Thank you to all who stopped and said good job and to all those who just slowed down and looked confused. Thank you.
Douglas Shelton Esq.
Without the slightest pause, Greenwood resident John Cinnamon and Ann Craig-Cinnamon, his wife of 16 years, immediately recall one of their favorite moments. It was New Year’s Day 2008. They were buzzing along on a scooter, enjoying the countryside on Easter Island.
“It’s a tiny little island anyway,” John Cinnamon said with a smile. “It was like we were the only two people in the world.”
A love for adventure and an impressive list of travels led the Cinnamons to reinvent themselves in 2001, when their lives changed with no warning.
After more than 30 years in broadcasting, these longtime radio personalities found themselves unemployed.
Like it or not, it was time to move on from radio. And it was also time to change the vision of how they would spend remaining years in the workforce until retirement.
After buying then selling three different types of businesses- none of which proved to be their passion- the Cinnamons stumbled across a travel franchise opportunity, CruiseOne.
“They always say, ‘Do what you love.’ And travel is my major passion, other than him,” Ann said with a laugh as she nudged her husband.
Boasting the fact that they have visited every single state in America, 65 countries and six continents, this beginning-again couple knew the perfect fit for them was the travel industry.
Their home is decorated with pieces of the world – carpet from China, artwork from Australia and Cambodia and Murano glass from Italy. An entire wall in the family room is filled with John’s photography. Moments in the Sahara Desert, Kenya, Venice, the Egyptian pyramids- just to name a few- line their wall of memories.
“We have traveled so extensively that we can bring a lot of information to clients,” John said. “Last year we literally flew around the world, 14 airports in 14 days.”
Next February they will don parkas and head to Antarctica. Sure it’s cold there and it’s not a popular hot spot for most vacation planners. But a breathtakingly beautiful world of its own can be found in Antarctica, enriched by rare opportunities to watch penguins and seals scoot across the icy shores in their natural habitat.
Though the name of the business might lead travel lovers to assume CruiseOne is limited only to cruises, that’s not true, Ann said. She and John book all types of trips and add their own expertise too, since they personally know about motels and restaurants in a variety of cities. They are also willing to share off-the-beaten-path experiences available in lots of famous destinations. See more about their travels in the monthly column “Ann & john’s Adventures,” which prints on the third Thursday of each month in The Southside Times.