Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Monday Musings-day late-Coffee Anyone?

 A day late with Monday's Musings this week. I expect it will happen again before the end of the year. Even more than once! The last six weeks of the year are usually full of so many things we feel we 'have' to do that routine 'things' get pushed aside. One would think that being retired would eliminate that aspect of 'the holidays.' But unless we choose to sit by the fireside, rising only to do those normal chores necessary to everyday living, the 'need to's' continue if we keep up any activities. Actually I'm just thankful I'm still strong and healthy enough to be able to do a few 'need to's'. And, hopefully such will be the case as long as God gives me on this earth. The below column, written several years ago, harks back to the beginning of my love of that nectar of the coffee beans!
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      I love the smell of freshly made coffee in the morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. I can drink it anytime and used to have a cup of java in my hand many times a day. That in spite of dire warnings that coffee, and the caffeine it contained, was really bad for us. So be it, I loved it and not the decaffeinated stuff, after it hit the market in my teens. Since I have now sojourned on this earth longer than either of my parents, and also my older sister, I'm not too concerned.
     My love affair with coffee began at a very early age. My parents were fond of it and saw no reason to deny coffee to their children if said children wanted it. I did. I don't remember that my siblings especially cared for it then though as adults they do.
     But in the last decade or so I've shifted to having coffee mostly in the morning and imbibing only water the rest of the day. I didn't decrease my caffeine intake due to those dire warnings, but because I came to the conclusion that water was a much more desirable beverage for the human body.
     What sparked this rumination on the end result of harvesting and roasting the fruit of the coffee bean plant? It was a recent report published in the American Journal of Medicine by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, second largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. These scientists followed 65,000 women for eighteen years and the results seem to indicate that those who drank more coffee had fewer cases of tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
     Okay, I've had a touch of that, maybe more since I decreased my coffee intake? Hmmm. Never mind, anyway. Probably next month or next year another group of researchers will release their study showing the Harvard bunch is totally wrong and coffee and all caffeinated beverages should be banned from human consumption.
     Now I'd better go set up the coffee pot so I can just flick the switch when I get up in the morning.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Musings-AdSpeculations

Since I no longer subscribe to a paper-and-ink newspaper I have little chance to peruse the ads as described below. Classified ads do still exist, in print and on line in the newspaper cyber editions. Maybe I'll start to look for them again as an alternative to the so-called news the mainstream media throws at us daily. That's another story I may tackle one day. Right now I'm trying to stay warm and listen to my golden oldies country songs as I type. I hope the fast-moving arctic front passing through our area is even faster moving than predicted. Very cold weather is not my favorite thing.
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    When someone temporarily runs out of reading material that appeals, a sure cure for boredom is to read the classified ads. The sheer variety of things people want to rid themselves of, preferably for money, is amazing.
    One ad lists juicers and balance balls, reasonably priced, according to the text. Apparently a resolution for exercise and healthier drinking gone by the wayside. Maybe the seller is getting a head start on breaking a New Year's resolution.
    Another person thought scuba-diving was their dream exercise. The offer is for two scuba regulator sets with pressure and depth gauges. Only used on six dives. Maybe the charm of deep immersion in cold water became less appealing after our recent exposure to yet another 'polar vortex.'
    Someone who aspires to a career in country music could find all they need to become the next 'rhinestone cowboy' in the classifieds. If they take the two racks of stage lights and pair of Justin boots off the hands of two other ad posters. In the same paper can be found a like-new banjo, a keyboard with stand and a piano. Many veteran members of the Grand Ol' Opry started with less.
    The early snow might also explain the hoped for sale of the outdoor chaise lounge and the outdoor loveseat with thick cushion. These items would have been very nice to lounge around on the patio while reading the inspirational romance books offered a little further down the page. Love may yet win because in the next column is a flowered-cover indoor loveseat. One could suppose that love stories can be just as inspirational when read indoors. I wonder, though, about the ad by someone wanting a fainting couch.
    A sadder story may lie behind the ad listing a high-quality diamond engagement ring, new, never used, for half its value.
    Don't like the often violent news? Happy, sad, poignant stories can also be found right in the newspaper.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Jottings-Decisions

At the time I wrote the below column I gave it a different name. Men and Obsessions. But I think just the word Decisions is more apt since that's the main point of the piece. As I mention down in the article I learned many years ago that almost always simply making one decision or the other is preferable to endless stewing without a decision. Often if you stew too  long a decision is made for you by circumstances that is worse than any of the alternatives you were considering. By necessity the only times I spend much time on deciding something is if a large sum of money (to me) is involved. I try to take time to consider all alternatives to obtaining the money at least cost to my pocketbook.
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     I believe men have fewer problems making decisions than women, as a rule. And don't obsess over a decision once they’ve made it. They don’t torture themselves with, ‘Maybe I should have said ‘yes, I’ll do the report, even though it’s your job.’ Or ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have refused to bake ten dozen cookies for the bake sale. I'd find the time, somewhere.’
    Why is this? Are males raised to be more decisive? Is the male psyche just natually more assertive? Do parents/society expect  female children to be ‘pleasers’ more than male children?
    I'm certainly no professional with answers. But I've lived a few years and observed a lot of people. And I've noticed that even if someone was exposed to bad examples of decision-making while growing up nature and nurture can be overcome to some extent as we mature.
    I’m convinced there is in most cases a difference in the male and female psyche. I observed it when raising my daughter, helping to raise my grandson and being around my two-year-old great-grandson. When Tyler wants something and it’s within his reach and ability, he takes it. I'm pretty sure he wil continue this, within appropriate limits hopefully, into adulthood. Girls, at least in my generation, nearly always gravitated toward asking permission or debating pros and cons, internally or with friends.
    Family dynamics affect decision-making, too. If one had a one or two parent family. Who was most influential in family decisions. Were there siblings. Were the children involved in decision making. And sometimes outside influences at some point affect the eventual development of adult decision-making style. 
    I worked for a while in what was once considered a job for only men. I think I’m much more decisive than I would have been because of that opportunity. Even before that experience though I had become convinced that, almost always, any decision is better than no decision when one must be made.
    The inability to make decisions, or trust the decision made, brings a feeling of helplessness that can be paralyzing.  Since many, many women live longer than their spouses these days, as I have, the ability to make decisions is more important than ever for them.