Last weekend I got a message from one of my cousins that a tragedy had struck – he had water damage that ruined many of his family photos.  So if you want to keep throwing back on Thursdays, it may be a good idea to do something to protect your family photos.

For those of us too old to have always had a digital camera at their disposal, chances are you have boxes of photos and negatives somewhere around your house.  If they aren’t organized, put it on your to-do list to go through them and decide what you wouldn’t want to lose and what you don’t care about.  I’m always shocked when I get the boxes out – I don’t even remember some of the people in the old pictures any more!

Once you sort out the pictures you don’t want to lose – digitize.  Most home printers are also scanners so if you don’t know how to use it, get someone to show you.  There are also services that can scan your old photos for you like ScanCafe or GoPhoto – but brace yourself for the cost.  Having a service scan your photos runs about 3 scans for $24 – and can take up to 3 weeks!  You can also take pictures of your old paper photos using the camera on your phone or tablet – but the quality of your copies will suffer.

Next, label the pictures you’re saving with date, names and places if you can.  Makes it much easier for you when the old memory gets hazy!

Then save your digital photos to the cloud.  If you’re an Apple user, check your settings – you can default anything you save in photos to go to your iCloud account.  And if you’re not an Apple user, I can recommend Google Photos.  If you have a Gmail account you can also upload photos, create albums and share photos from Google Photos.

Want to know how to use iCloud or Google to store your photos?  Check out these resources:

Now here’s my throwback photo from digging in my pictures – that’s me on the left circa 1987 with the world’s worst perm!



I recently read an article in Real Simple Magazine about the 7 habits of people who age well.  I thought they made some excellent points.  Want to know the 7 habits?

  1. the-great-thing-about-getting-older-is-that-you-dont-lose-all-the-other-ages-yo-403x403-nkazyiMaintain a positive attitude.  I think this one is important no matter what your age is – if you’re negative all the time, you’re not going to feel well and people won’t want to be around you!  When things get bad for me, my mantra is always “it could be worse!”
  2. Watch what you eat.  Could NOT agree more – see my post a few weeks ago about my weight gain!
  3. Watch how much you eat.  In a world of super-sized food choices, be smart about what you consume.  This article will give you some great info about serving sizes and portioning.
  4. Exercise regularly.  Even if it’s just a nightly walk, MOVE!  Yes you might have sore muscles in the beginning of any exercise regime, but it doesn’t take long before the benefits outweigh (pun intended) the soreness.  I kickbox twice a week and walk 2-3 miles 2 or 3 times a week.  I hate it when I miss the gym now!  Exercise not only helps with the weight that seems to come with aging – it also helps stave off dementia, diabetes and a whole host of other conditions that can come in old age.
  5. Stay social.  It’s important to have a network of friends and relatives to rely on.  They’ll help you keep the issues in your own life in perspective!
  6. Protect your skin from the sun.  I’m so fair skinned, I live for shade and sun screen in the summer or I burst into flame!  But the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise – so make sure you’re taking care of your skin too.
  7. Get plenty of sleep.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  And their studies have shown a correlation between lack of sleep and heart disease, obesity, diabetes and memory loss.  So take a nap and try not to be such a night owl.

I’m already in the habit of most of these points – sleep is always my challenge….  But I think I’m aging well so far and I want that to continue.  How about you?

Hand Foot and Mouth

My gym has sent out notices several times this summer that the childcare center will be closed for a certain period of time to allow disinfecting for Hand Foot and Mouth disease.  I don’t use the childcare center so I mostly disregard the notices, but since I have no clue what this is about, today let’s find out.

According to, it is defined as:

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children — is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.

Symptoms include fever, sore throat, blisters in the mouth and a red rash on the palms of the hands/soles of the feet which is generally not itchy.  In infants, it can also include a rash on the buttocks that mimics diaper rash.  And along with all these unpleasant items you generally feel unwell and may not have an appetite.  Doesn’t sound delightful does it?

The infection is very common in childcare settings because the root virus is associated with not washing hands well after using the bathroom.  Given the amount of diaper changes and the number of small kids in daycare settings once the infection gets going it’s hard to stop.  A child can be infected and not show symptoms for several days – and it takes several days for it to get out of a child’s system.  It can also be spread via a sneeze, saliva or contact with the fluid from the blisters of an infected child.  So the potential for passing the infection is certainly high.

The good news is that the infection is fairly mild and can easily be treated with about a week of rest at home and OTC medications like Tylenol or Advil.  And as a child’s immune system matures, it recognizes the virus and generally keeps subsequent infections more mild or non-existent.

Want to know more?  Check out these articles:

Hand Foot and Mouth is on the rise so make sure your kids are practicing good hygiene to help avoid it!




Energy Saving

peak time savingsI just got an alert that today is a ComEd Peak Time Savings day – that means that since it’s supposed to be in the upper 90s and VERY humid today, ComEd would like us to conserve on electric today to prevent strain on the grid during peak hours.

The first peak alert day this summer, I didn’t really do anything and got a notice that because my electric usage was lower than my neighbors, I’d get a $1.30 back on my next bill for my “savings” during the peak time.  So the next time I got a peak alert, I thought I’d experiment and turn off everything in the house that was’t really necessary and see how much more I could save.  That day I earned a $6.30 credit.  I really didn’t do too much to earn that either – I just pulled all the wall wart plugs and turned the temp on the AC up to 78.  Which has me thinking about what I can do today to save electric again – and how easy it is to trim electric usage and be more environmentally friendly in my own habits.   The $6.30 was a pretty substantial savings for a 1 day change in behavior given that my electric bill was a just little over $60 last month!

So I’m going to pull the plug on on the wall warts again – you know them.  They’re the chargers for our phones, tablets and TVs.  They’re drawing power even if you don’t have something plugged into them.  I’ve made it easy for myself since most of mine are plugged into power strips so with the flick of a couple switches I can turn most of them off.  And the last time we had the alert, I reprogrammed my thermostat to stay at 78 during the day – so that’s taken care of.

Can you help me think of any other ways to conserve power?  Let me know in the comments!

Want to know more about the ComEd program?  Click this link  – and if you don’t have ComEd as your electric provider, check to see if there’s a similar program in your area.

First signs of Fall?

NO!  It’s supposed to be almost 90 degrees today so can I really be seeing signs of fall?  I’m not ready!  But I’ve been hearing that Pumpkin Spice Lattes are coming early this year and then there’s the situation in my driveway:


That’s right.  The leaves are already falling.  And the birch trees in my back yard are dropping their leaves too.   I’m not ready yet!  So what does oracle of seasons (The Weather Channel) have to say?

Well, they say you generally do start to see the first signs of fall in late August.  Check out these not so optimistic fall indicators:

  • It was 33 degrees this morning in Gunnison, Colorado.
  • We’re now losing about 2 1/2 minutes of daylight every day.
  • The cicadas are buzzing all day now – not just in the evening.
  • The stores are starting to put out Halloween costumes and candy – although I have not seen a pop-up Halloween store yet so that’s something!
  • Pre-season football is in full swing.  And the pee-wee team in my neighborhood is looking good!

The falling leaves are pretty and I love warm days and cool nights – but I never look forward to watching everything die off in preparation for winter.  I’m definitely a fan of spring when everything bursts back into life – but the change of seasons is inevitable and each season has its strong points.  Tell me about your favorite season in the comments!

Going to the Pool…

wapak pool
This is how I remember the pool from sometime in the mid 1970s.  The building in the back on the far left was the all important snack bar!

By the time I was maybe 11 or 12 years old, most summer afternoons I went to the pool.  At the end of the school year, Mom would buy me a season pool pass and then almost every day after lunch, I’d hop on my bike and ride the mile or so to the Wapakoneta Pool.  If I close my eyes, I can still smell the chlorine in the locker room of the pool house and hear the squish of my friends’ feet as we filed through the gate into the pool area.

I always laid my towel down on the east side of the pool – about in the middle.   It was a strategic place – close to the snack bar.  If I’d been good, Mom gave me quarters – and that meant frozen Zero bars, Charleston Chews or a popsicle.  Those were the days….  I never worried about sun burns, the radio was welded to the pop rock sounds of CKLW and the summer passed by playing tag or doing flips in the water with other kids I’d known pretty much since birth.  Makes me smile to think about it….

What’s your favorite summer memory?  Let me know in the comments!




I can hear you all right now – burpees?  Yes.  I love burpees – which makes me REALLY unpopular in my kickboxing class sometimes.  If you’re thinking it’s some weird sort of gas problem – you’re wrong.  It’s a killer total body exercise.  Check out this video of how to correctly execute a burpee:

You can also modify the burpee by stepping back rather that popping both legs back to make it even easier to start.  But any way you look at it, the burpee works almost every muscle – and gets your heart rate revving!  There are lots of variations that can make it more challenging and keep you from being bored – I’m a fan of the 30 Day Burpee Challenge from Shape Magazine.  Want to join me on the challenge?  Click the link and follow the instructions on the video and in the graphic!


InterviewOn this to-do Tuesday, the only thing on my list for today is a job interview.  I have a 3 hour time-slot with 5 different people interviewing me today.   So here is my process for getting ready for the interview:

  • First – I do my homework on the company.  The best resource I’ve found for any company is there SEC filings which are usually available in the investor relations section of the company’s website.  You can find a LOT of information about the strategy the company is following and who they consider their biggest competitors as well as the financial health of the company.  All good things to know.
  • Second – I check the LinkedIn profiles of each of the people I’m interviewing with.  You never know what you might have in common – and if their profiles are really good, you may get a sense of what kind of boss/co-worker they would be.
  • Third – I review the job description and make notes of items from my past that line up well with the needs of the role.  And I practice how I would frame up answers using facts, figures and stories of similar past projects.  While I’m doing this, I put the all the job related info (job description, correspondence, etc.) into a folder to take to the interview with me.  That makes it easy to refer to anything during the interview itself.  And hint – always tuck a couple extra copies of your resume into the folder too!
  • Fourth – I pick out my outfit.  This is trickier than it seems these days.  You can be really out of place wearing a suit in a casual workplace so I’ve started asking the HR person about appropriate attire.
  • Fifth – I try to get a good night’s sleep, get up early and have a good breakfast.  Taking care of myself means I can easily get into the right frame of mind — and avoid my stomach growling in the middle of the interview!
  • Last but not least, allow enough time to drive there – take traffic and propensity to get lost into consideration!  Blast the confidence inspiring music and knock them out!

Wish me luck – I’d really love to get an offer!