Friday Facts About Living to Be 100

As far as I know, no one is getting younger.

With every birthday, I think about the people I've known who enjoyed a healthy old age and those who were beset with a myriad of medical  issues.


This advice is based on my observation of my maternal grandfather who made it to 100 and had no health issues until age 98.

I think it's no surprise that his lifestyle was exactly what medical authorities now recommend for good health.

When my Papa began to have health problems, he'd been living in a nursing home for a few years. I truly believe the change in his diet to the "Standard American Diet" was responsible for the gradual downturn in his health that eventually led to arthritis pain which decreased his ability to walk, weight gain due to lack of the exercise he'd had all of his life, and the developtment of heart problems.

Prior to the nursing home, this is how he lived.

1. Diet.

He ate mostly vegetables grown in his own garden, whole grains, and legumes. He ate fruit that was in season. 

Breakfast was usually hot cooked cereal, homemade biscuits, and occasionally scrambled eggs and maybe a slice of ham or bacon. 

Lunch, which he called dinner, was vegetables and cornbread. 

Supper—the evening meal most people now call dinner—was a lighter version of the noonday meal. 

2. Diet Don'ts.

He did not butter biscuits, cornbread, etc.—only a small amount on toast. He did not snack between meals. He did not eat chips or other salty items. He did not eat dessert or sweets on a regular basis. Sweets like cake or pie was a holiday exception. He didn't eat fast food. He didn't drink juice. He drank water, iced tea in hot weather, and a cup of coffee with his breakfast.

3. Exercise

He walked every day of his life. If the weather was bad, he lessened the distance he walked, but he still walked. As he walked, he would "whistle a happy tune" as the old folk song says.

4. Sun Exposure.

He never had a skin cancer or pre-cancer. He was born long before sunscreen was invented. Like most people of his generation, he wore his sun screen in the form of a hat, long sleeve shirts, and long pants.

When he dressed up, he had a beautiful fedora and looked like a handsome actor in an old black and white movie. 

When he worked out in the sun, he never wore a cap, but a "work" hat which shaded his face and the back of his neck.

5. Vitamins and supplements.

He never took any. He ate whole, unprocessed foods. Apparently, that gave him the best nutrition.

6. Stress management.

He would take his pocket knife out, sit under a shade tree, pick up a stick or broken twig, and whittle, paring the piece of wood down to satiny smoothness. That was Zen meditation for him.

7. Emotional attitude.

He was optimistic and happy. He hummed songs as he worked or whistled. I never heard him speak ill of anyone. 

He didn't worry or obsess over politics or old age or ill health or anything we all feel anxiety about. 

He lived through WWI, the Great Depression, WW2, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and all the other traumas of the 19th and most of the 20th century without falling into hopelessness and despair.

He loved God, family, and country and believed in the inherent goodness of humanity.

8. Mental faculties.

He read every day: newspapers, Readers Digest, and books. He worked crossword puzzles and tried to learn something new every day—something he taught me to do. When he was past 80, he bought a typewriter and taught himself to write. He was mentally as sharp on the day he passed as he'd been throughout his life.

9. Relationships.

He was friendly and outgoing and immediately made friends when he moved into the nursing home. He outlived my grandmother by nearly 20 years and all of his contemporaries yet he didn't mope and give in to depression. 

He managed to move on and make new friends and relationships. He always had a smile for those who needed it and a sympathetic ear to listen to others. He enjoyed a good conversation and had a ready laugh.

All of the above enabled my grandfather to live a healthy old age. I highly recommend his lifestyle to you.


How are you living your life as the years pass? Do you need to make changes? Start now.

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Monday Magic - Free App to Convert .MOV to MP4

Have you ever shot a video on your phone and had difficulty sending it to your email or sharing with someone else?

On an iPhone, even if you change the camera settings to compress the video thus reducing the file size, it's usually still too large to easily share.

The answer is to download the video which on an iPhone is a .MOV file and convert it to the more common MP4 file which uploads easily to YouTube and other online video apps.

This problem was how I learned about Free Convert, a dot com free app that works like a charm.


Why do I like FreeConvert so much? 

(1) No need to register and set up an account.

(2) Supports more than 1500 file conversions for videos, images, audio files, etc.

(3) Since it's an online file converter, it works on Windows, Mac, Linux, or any mobile device, and all major browsers are supported.

(4) User-friendly—just upload a file and select a target format. Then wait while it converts.

(5) They use 256-bit SSL encryption when transferring files, and the files are automatically deleted after a few hours in case you forget to click the X to delete immediately.

(6) If you want something more sophisticated, they offer Advanced Options on a subscription tier basis.


I have FreeConvert bookmarked on my computer because it's easy to use, works well, and, of course, it's free since I have no need of Advanced Options. If you try it, leave a comment and let me know if you also found it easy.

September 99¢ Sale - Still The One

I think I forgot to post about my September sale book.

STILL THE ONE is on sale until September 28 for only 99¢.

Burke Winslow needed a wife, but he didn't have his ex-wife in mind for the position.

He stands at the altar, ready to marry his business partner in a marriage of convenience. The minister solemnly asks: "If anyone here knows why this man and this woman shouldn't be joined in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

A rain-soaked, bedraggled Ally Fletcher, Burk's ex-wife, limps down the aisle and shouts, "Stop the wedding!"

What follows is a romantic comedy more than 1 reviewer described as "laugh out loud" from the get-go.

Add some love and laughter to your life with this Romantic Comedy.


Grab your copy of STILL THE ONE today while the offer lasts.

The next edition of my free newsletter goes out Sept. 29. 

Saturday Share: Fix Doors That Won't Stay Open

There's a bedroom door in our house that simply won't stay open. You can open it all the way and unless you put a book or other weight against it then it will gradually close.

I was told it would have to be removed from the hinges and replaned in some way to make it hang better on the hinges.

Who wants to tackle that? Not me. So I did a little research and asked the all-knowing Mr. Google how to fix a door that won't stay open.

Surprise! The answer was simple—an amazing door stop that looks like a normal door stop but uses magnets to hold the errant door open.

Introducing the Wedama Stainless Steel Magnetic Door Stop

This amazing little invention is only $7.99, and it's a Prime item meaning free delivery for subscribers. Even better you can get this in a variety of finishes. I got the brushed stainless to match the metal in the room.

You mount one part on the baseboard or wall like a conventional door stop and mount the other piece on the edge of the door. It looks great and works beautifully.

Use the included Adhesive Tapes to installl it or use the included  Screws for Stronger Mount, i.e., if the door is really heavy.

I was simply amazed at how an inexpensive solution worked so well and looked so good. I wish I'd taken action earlier instead of feeling constantly frustrated by this door that simply wouldn't stay open.


The little annoyances in life eat away at your sense of tranquility. Don't allow that to happen. There's a solution for just about every problem. Find it today. 

Thursday3Some: 3 Amazing Free Websites

I'm always looking for free services and tools that might help readers.

Today I have 3 websites that may offer a service you need.

This website offers free webpage creation. You can create your own webpage using their templates. You'll be amazed how easy it is especially if you want a mobile-first approach to website design. They also offer a hosting service for a minimum fee.

Looking for free video footage for a project? This website offers stock footage for personal and commercial projects. Amazing, right? It's true. Sign up for an account and get started.

This website lets you edit photos or videos without setting up an account or downloading software or jumping through any hoops.


I hope one or all of these websites will prove useful to you. Have a great day!

10 Gardening Tips for Fall

Fall is coming. This is a great time to get your garden ready for fall and winter.

Presently, it's 6-8 weeks before the first frost date in most parts of the country.

This gives you plenty of time to plant cold weather crops if your climate supports that, or time to put your garden to bed for winter. 

10 Gardening Tips for Fall

1. Analyze what's going on in your garden. Does it need to be cleaned up with spent flowers and dead vegetable plants removed? Is the soil in good condition? If not, add compost and/or a good organice fertilizer. Does it have any kind of infestation of vegetable-damaging insects or slugs? If so, clean up the site and take care of the creepy crawlers.

2. If you use some kind of edging around your garden, check to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced. If you don't use garden edging, maybe this is a good time to add a stone border or something else durable and attractive that suits your yard decor.

3. Till the soil well. Pull oout those pesky weeds by the roots.

4. Water the garden well to let the soil settle.

5. If you have perennials in your garden that need dividing and/or transplanting, this is a good time to do that.

6. Personally, I love a mix of flowers and vegetables. Plant some cold-weather veggies like kale, mustard, spinach, carrots, and turnip greens along with some blooming flowers that love the cold like pansies and mums.

7. Now is the time to design a watering system for your garden. Cool weather is a good time to lay water lines for drip irrigation so that next summer watering isn't such a chore.

8. Prune shrubbery and trees. If you have fruit trees, pruning in the winter means vigorous growth in the spring.

9. Now is also a good time for you to tend to your gardening tools. Clean them well and dry them. Sharpen the edge of anything that cuts with a file. Sand off any rust spots. When they're all clean, fill a bucket with sand and a bit of oil and mix well. Insert the business end of the implement in this bucket of oily sand to protect them from rust. By the way, this is something you should do each time you use them.

10. Last, layer mulch over the entire garden. That's like laying a blanket over a bed to stay warm in cold winter nights.


If you're looking for a good vegetable gardening book, you can't go wrong with Vegetable Gardening from the Ground Up by Master Gardener Stephanie Suesan Smith.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. She may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

Review: Fubar on Netflix

I finally decided to review Fubar, a Netflix original series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If you're looking for something reminiscent of one of his biggest hit movies, True Lies, you'll find this series somewhat entertaining.

It mines the generation gap for comic relief and is one of the many movies and series featuring the "old guy" who still has his/her skills and smarts. Dare I say this has become a genre of its own?

As an author of a certain age, I'll confess to finding these movies that pit the old woman/man against the young whippersnappers who think they know everything rather delightful. 


In case you don't know, FUBAR is an acronymn for F**ked Up Beyond All Recognition.

This American action-comedy TV series was created by Nick Santora for Netflix and is Schwarzenegger's first leading role in a scripted live-action TV series.

Produced by Skydance Television and Blackjack Films, it debuted May 25, 2023. After only a month, it was renewed for a second season because it had an 87% audience approval rating even though it had a 50% Rotten Tomatoes rating.


Luke Brunner (Schwarzenegger) and his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro) have lied to each other for years, with neither of them knowing that the other is a CIA operative.

When they both learn the truth, they realize they don't know anything about each other.

When their CIA handlers demand they work together on dangerous operations, Luke treats Emma like a child and wants to protect her from danger and questionable relationships.


Obviously, the above mentioned cast is experienced. Just as obviously, they need some fresh and original material to sink their teeth into. 

The supporting cast includes Travis Van Winkle who was excellent in The Last Ship, Fabiano Udenio as Tally, Luke's ex and the mother of Emma, Jay Baruchel as weird boyfriend Carter Perlmutter, Fortune Feimster as foul-mouthed Roo, and Tom Arnold as Norm Carlson.

MY 2¢

I didn't watch the entire series. After the first couple of episodes, I watched bits and pieces of other episodes including the last one. I found the situations and conflicts repetitive and clichéed. I also thought  Perlmutter as the boyfriend was an odd choice for  Emma's alpha female character. 

If you don't have anything else to watch, try this. It's pleasant with a few good lines of dialogue tossed in.


One can only hope Season 2 will be more original and compelling because it's a shame to waste such a talented cast.

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Didn't Read Terms of Service? CYA App for You

Mondays are too manic to worry about Terms of Service and the guilt created by not reading them before checking the I AGREE box so you can use the app. Right?

You know you should read them, but do you? If you don't, you may be signing on for something you never wanted.

Today, I'm sharing Terms of Service, Didn't Read, an app that interprets Terms of Service in easy to read and understand language. (It's free, but they take donations.)

As it says on the TOSDR website, "I have read and agree to the Terms is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that."

When you visit the login page, you can see examples from many popular websites like Facebook that shows what you sign up for when you agree to their TofS.

This app is easy to use. Simply type in the website you're thinking of using. If it's in their inventory of websites, TOSDR will show you their grade and what the Terms of Service really mean.

If they haven't logged a particular website, no data will display.

This was a bit scary when I checked the websites to which I belong and realized the extent of the tracking and privacy invasion a user authorizes by joining.


Gary Kovacs, former CEO of Mozilla, said, "Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet."  Be forewarned. Check this app before you sign up for a website.

Sunday Thoughts About Rain

Why am I thinking about Rain? Because we finally got some on Friday which was the first time since May!

Yikes. Yes, no rain in June, July, August, and the first 2 weeks of September. The subject of Rain became of great interest to us.

Lack of rain combined with triple digit days for 106 days straight took a toll of our yard even though we watered every day until water restrictions started in August.

Our area is allowed to water our yards only 2 days a week. Our days are Thursday and Sundays, and watering is allowed only between 9:00PM to 5:00AM. Even with limited watering, our water bill soared to over $250.00, and our St. Augustine lawn has patches of dead grass now.

I wondered how long we could go without rain so I did a little research and discovered some fascinating...


1. The driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert in northern Chile and southern Peru, averaging only .019 inches (half a millimeter) of rainfall each year. According to NASA, it's the driest non-polar desert in the world.

2. The rainiest place on earth is Mawsynram, in India’s Maghalaya state. It averages 467.4 inches of rain a year.

3. Virga is the name for raindrops that fall but never reach the ground. This happens because rain falls from clouds, but if the air is very dry, raindrops can evaporate during their fall to the ground.

4. Petrichor is the word coined by Australian scientists in 1964 for the distinctive smell of rain.

5. Raindrops are not really tear-shaped. They're round.

6. The height of clouds from which raindrops fall may vary, but raindrops fall at an average speed of 14 mph. Large raindrops fall faster at an average speed of 20 mph.

7. The record for the longest rainfall in history was recoreded at Manuawili Ranch, Maui, in 1939-40. Yes, over a two year span, it rained 331 consecutive days of measurable rainfall.

If you include just a trace of rain, that was also set in Hawaii at Honomu Maki, Oahu. From 1913 to 1916, it rained 881 consecutive days.

When it rained Friday, I felt like dancing in the raindrops, and I called everyone to report that it was raining at my house. Saturday, it rained again—a double blessing. If you're in a drought, I wish you rain!


Nature possesses the power to heal. I'm happy to report the dead spots in our lawn look not so dead today.

Second Chance Reads from Summer 2023

If you're like me and you're constantly bookmarking posts you want to read but find you never go back and click those links, this post makes it easier.

Here are some great posts from around the internet collected this scorching hot summer.




11 Tips on How to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2023 from Neal Schaffer

Why Countries Are Trying to Ban TikTok from NY Times (several hoops to jump through but good article)



Leave a comment if you find any of these links especially useful.

Review - Slow Horses on Apple TV+

If you haven't seen Slow Horses, an amazing series from Apple TV+ based on the Slough House series by Mick Herron, you're in for a treat.

One of my readers told me about the series, and it's everything he told me he would be.

Naturally, when we found Slow Horses on Apple TV+, we were interested and hoping it would be as good as the books. With Gary Oldman headlining the cast, that was a good bet. We binge-watched the first 2 seasons a month ago. Now, we're eagerly waiting for season 3.

(Promo image for series Slow Horses, Author or copyright owner Unknown. Source is  (WP:NFCC#4

The title of the TV series comes from the first book of the series, Slow Horses, which is a play on the name Slough House. Their department and the spies who screw up and end up there are called Slow Horses. They're denigrated by one and all in the British intelligence community.

Slow Horses, a television spy thriller, premiered on Apple TV+ April 1, 2022. Season 2 was Dead Lions on December 2, 2022. The series was immediately renewed for a third and fourth seasons.


Slough House is where MI5 screw-ups go to live out the rest of their careers. In return they don't get fired, they just end up in purgatory and are ridiculed as slow horses.

They get the boring paper-pushing jobs with a hefty serviing of insults from their peers and vocal abuse from Jackson Lamb, their equally miserable boss.

Lamb, compellingly portrayed by Gary Oldman, expects them to quit because boredom and frustration are daily reminders of their dead end careers. However, somehow the agents of  Slough House get involved investigating plots that endanger the UK.

These dysfunctional MI5 agents and Lamb, their boss who was once among the best, manage to survive the crosses, doublecrosses, and subterfuge of the espionage world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface and still ably defend their country from those who would destroy it.


In addition to Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb, the other cast members are spot on in their portrayals of slow horses.

River Cartwright is played by Jack Lowden.
Diana Taverner is played by Kristin Scott Thomas.
Catherine Standish is played by Saskia Reeves.
David Cartwright is played by Jonathan Pryce.
Roddy Ho is played by Christopher Chung.
Louisa Guy is played by Rosalind Eleazar.
Shirley Dander is played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards.
Marcus Longridge is played by Kadiff Kirwan.
Peter Judd MP is played by Samuel West.

With plenty of twists, turns, and surprises, Slow Horses is intelligent, moody, and occasionally shocking in its portrayal of the intelligence community. Truth or total fabrication? I've been told by someone "in the know" that its too close to the truth for comfort. 


Read the books, watch the series, and judge for yourself. 

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, affiliate advertising designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. She may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you.

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Happy Labor Day: The Value of Hard Work

Yes, today is the day in the U.S. of A. where workers are honored.


Here are half a dozen great quotes about the value of hard work. I hope they inspire you to work hard and enjoy it—because you spend more time each day working than playing.

At least you do if you want to be successful in your endeavors.

"The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work." – Harry Golden

"A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things." – Ralph Lauren

"You can’t just will your dreams to come true. You have to work hard. You have to give ’em wings, arms, legs—whatever it takes to make your dreams come true." – Dolly Parton

"Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen." – Conan O’Brien

"Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted." – David Bly

"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work." – Vince Lombardi


Enjoy your holiday and get ready to grab success by the horns when you show up at work tomorrow.

Image, Labor Day USA by Tumisu, Courtesy of PixabayImage, Labor Day Holiday by Tumisu, Courtesy of Pixabay.


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Saturday Share Recipe - Marry Me Chicken

I haven't shared a recipe in a while because I've not cooked a lot this summer. I think you'll like today's recipe called Marry Me Chicken.

Yes, it's supposed to be so good that it may wring a proposal from your significant other. It truly is delicious, but even better, it's easy to make.

You can serve it over your favorite style of pasta or rice. Add a salad and a crusty bread, and you have a hearty delicious dinner that family and friends will rave about.

This dish is rustic but serve it on fancy china and it's elegant enough to serve to the most persnickety guests. 

Marry Me Chicken


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced lengthways so they're all the same thickness and then cut into 2-3 cutlets from each breast

1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and 6 tablespoons AP flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1-2 cloves finely minced garlic

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of heavy cream (don't use milk or light cream because the sauce won't thicken)

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (you can use the stuff in the green can but grated fresh from a wedge is so much better)

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, garnish


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess.

2. In a large skillet or heavy pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat then add the butter. Make sure the mixture evenly coats the pan.

3. Brown the chicken a few pieces at a time. Don't add all of it at once to the pan because it will steam instead of browning the pieces. Takes about 3 to 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness to get golden brown and cooked through. 

4. Transfer pieces to a plate and cover to stay warm.

5. Saute the garlic about a minute, being careful not to brown or burn it. Add the chicken stock to the pan, scraping all of the flavor bits from the pan.

6. Turn heat to medium low, add the cream and the parmesan.

7. Let the sauce simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the oregano and thyme.

8. Adjust the seasoning as needed then add the tomatoes and return the chicken cutlets to the pan.

9. Simmer a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened.

10. Garnish with the fresh basil if desired.

11. Serve warm over rice or a pasta of choice.

Takeaway Truth

If this gets you a proposal, be sure and let me know in Comments. Good luck and happy eating.


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5 Fun Friday Facts About Pencils

When I was writing a back to school post a couple of weeks ago, I came across some fun facts about pencils.

You'll like these because we all started school with pencils—or at least I think we did.

1. The modern pencil was invented in 1795 by Nicholas-Jacques Conte, a scientist serving in Napoleon's army.

2. The average pencil can write about 45,000 words or draw a line 35 miles long before it’s down to a nub.

3. Low-tech pencils can be used in zero gravity and even underwater. They can also be used to write upside down. Isn't that cool?

4. Before pencil erasers were invented, a piece of white bread was a popular way to get rid of pencil markings.

5. After the invention of pencil erasers, teachers resisted the use of them because they thought erasers would encourage kids to make mistakes.

Takeaway Truth

I'll end with a fun fact about pencils from the movies. In the first John Wick movie, the villain said John was so lethal he used a pencil to kill a man. In John Wick 4, a character in the movie also used a pencil to kill a man.


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