WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!

Well, not a chicken dinner but I’ve won lots of things playing sweepstakes in September!  It’s time consuming, but now that I’m home all the time, I have “extra time” to enter them.  In September alone, I won a Thermador sapphire dishwasher, a family entertainment pack consisting of a home popcorn machine and a Cuisinart soft-serve ice cream maker – with all the trimmings including popcorn, oil, little bags for the popcorn, Junket for the ice cream, bowls and spoons – an air purifier, a beautiful beach cruiser bike from Snapple, a case of Bay’s English Muffins, and so many little things (a book about cats, a money clip, an eyeliner pencil from Mary Kay, etc.) that there’s been something new in the mail nearly every day! The dogs have always looked forward to the arrival of the mailman but now I do too!   I can’t imagine that my “luck” will hold out, but it’s been great because I won lots of toys to give the grandkids at holiday time, especially welcome in a home with a very tight budget.

If you are interested in entering sweepstakes “for fun and profit,” I recommend the following websites to get started:  sweetiessweeps.com, sweepstakesadvantage.com, and giveawaysandsweepsakes.com.  Meredith Company publishes many magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens, Redbook, etc., and that’s a good source of sweeps.  Of course, you can google “sweepstakes” and “giveaways” and “contests” and “promotions” to find others in which you may be interested. Local sweepstakes can be found by googling local radio station websites.  I recently won tickets to the air show in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin and although I couldn’t use them, I was able to sell them for cash on craigslist.  I found that sweepstakes on a local station’s website.

I’d advise you set up a separate email to enter contests.  You will get lots of junk email and it’s very time-intensive to delete it.  Also, some hosts will require that you be “subscribed” to them in order to win, so you’ll want to be careful about who you delete and when.  I also have a separate facebook page just for sweepstakes and have hundreds of sweepstakes “friends,” people who I really don’t know at all but who have the same interest I do.  As I’m just finding out, there are networks of these people and even “conventions” where some of them meet each other!

Beware…if your prize is over a certain price point (I think it’s $500), you will be responsible to file an I9 and pay income tax on the value of the prize.  It could be substantial if you win something as valuable as a car!

Good luck to you!  Maybe next month I’ll win that chicken dinner!

 

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Published in: on October 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Strange Dreams: Spanx

I frequently dream about bathrooms; more specifically, having to go to the bathroom. This dream seems to come with REM sleep a couple of times every night and when I finally wake up, guess what? That’s right…I have to go to the bathroom! Last night I had a real doozy which you might enjoy.
The setting is a very old hospital, but well kept, where I was either working or visiting; my purpose was not exactly clear. The building was in nice condition, with original dark wooden doors and beautiful woodwork and the interior had been renovated to look like something out of the 1920s. It was beautiful. But, as with most reconfigurations, there were doors where they wouldn’t necessarily be expected and the design was not columnar, bathrooms on one floor were not necessarily above or below any others.
I really had to go and couldn’t find a restroom. I’d turn right and head into a ward (a real ward, like in the old days) where everyone was dressed in white – both the staff and the patients – and all the bedding was white, including the painted iron beds. Then I’d turn again and I’d be in a research lab. Many times, I stumbled into beautiful mahogany paneled offices of obviously important doctors and administrators.
Here’s the thing. I had my post-menopausal body and was wearing Spanx. Not just Spanx, but way-too-small Spanx. I thought you were supposed to purchase them based on the size you wanted to be, not the size you really are. So, my extra large body was in a pair of smalls. I really had to go.
My first stop was a very small room in what was obviously a closet in a prior life. It had a white painted wooden door with a frosted glass window. It took many minutes to get the Spanx off. If you’ve ever worn them, you know that it is a challenge to relieve yourself, even if you’ve planned in advance. I started to push them down with my thumbs but it was taking too long. Then I rolled them down as far as I could and pushed them down full-handed. They were down about mid-thigh but I couldn’t wait any longer. I sat down to realize that this toilet was out of order. I left them as is and pulled down my dress. I opened the door and started walking, completely stuck at the thighs and shuffling from the knees down only.
My next stop was an unmarked door that opened into a beautiful empty office with a private loo. I quickly went in but it didn’t lock. Predictably, the office occupant surfaced and opened the door while I was trying to pee with my knees still locked. I was asked to “get the hell out.” Again, pulled the skirt down and shuffled out.
Having exhausted my options on the current floor, I tried to find an elevator but with the building’s reconfiguration seemed to be stumbling through a maze. After many dead-end attempts I found myself awake and able to get up and pee in my own bathroom having removed my gym shorts. Bliss.

Published in: on October 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Just Exactly How Many Resumes Do I Have to Send Out Anyway?

Are you one of the myriad of people sending out a gazillion resumes trying to find a new job, or a job at all?  I personally know LOTS of people in this boat and they all have the same lament.  Here’s something that really crumbles my cork: The New “Human Resources.”

I am beginning to think that HR101 includes a class in rudeness.  By that, I mean forgetting the “human” in human resources.  Those of us who have been job hunting know the feeling well.   In this New Millennium, it would seem that being able to stay at home in one’s pajamas and peruse the internet looking for open positions and then applying online would be the ideal situation.  IT IS NOT.  It seems every company has their own HR department site with their own rules.  The passwords one has to remember are alone enough to fill up one’s brain.

I firmly believe that applying for a job is the last way to find one.  Most everyone I’ve spoken with has told me they found their job through a friend or a friend-of-a-friend.  Not a colleague or ex-colleague, but a friend.

If you are unfortunate enough to be applying for jobs online, you will find that it takes at least an hour to fill out each application, to which you will attach your resume and cover letter, which contains the EXACT SAME information.  Are they trying to catch you in a lie?  I don’t know.  The information required in the applications is extensive and really more than is necessary; however, you can’t go to the next field if you haven’t filled out the current one.   Who cares where you went to elementary school?

Once you’ve finished completing the required steps online and sending your personal information to God Knows Where, you will w-a-i-t to hear from them.  Mostly, you will w-a-i-t f-o-r-e-v-e-r because they have no intention of ever answering you.  Not an “okay we got it,” or a phone call, email, text, twitter, or carrier pigeon.  You just sit and wonder how many people know your most secret career intentions.

If, by some act of nature, you get a call from one of these places, you will spend half a day getting ready for the interview, spend all of your dwindling resources getting your best suit dry-cleaned, putting petrol into your auto so you can drive an hour (or more) to the interview, and waste at least an hour at the first interview.  Rarely, are they done with one anymore.  You will probably be asked to come back at least once more…maybe twice… so you can go through the first part of this paragraph all over again.  By this time, you’re back to eating the ramen noodles you were eating in college.  If you have not waited forever as previously noted, you will definitely wait forever now.  You will falsely be told that you will be contacted one way or the other in a reasonable period of time (the end of the week, next week, etc), but they will NEVER call you, or email, text, twitter, or carrier pigeon.

They are just downright rude.  I despise Human Resources people.  They are the new Mean People.

If, by any chance, any HR people read this (but I’m sure they don’t have time to read as they spend so much time ignoring people), here’s what you need to do:  PUT THE HUMAN BACK INTO IT.  You don’t have to look anyone in the face or speak with them if you send an email.  Email is probably the first contact you had with a candidate, so it’s acceptable.  Believe me, it would be welcome.  WE JUST WANT TO KNOW.  Have enough respect for candidates to at least let them know, even if it is not an affirmative note.

Furthermore, HR people:  I am so sick of this, I’ve just retired.  Personally, I don’t give a rodent’s bum if any of you are ever looking for a new job and don’t get that call back, but at least have the common courtesy to notify others of your decisions.  It’s just the right thing to do.

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Published in: on September 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Looking for FREE entertainment?

10517289_960748530608296_8452879042989574373_oHad a great time yesterday in the audience of WINDY CITY LIVE!   Although the topic (“Pillow Talk”) wasn’t on my list of favorites, it’s always fun to go downtown for an activity and FREE is the best kind of activity!

There are three shows that tape in Chicago and offer free tickets to audience members:  Windy City Live tapes at the WLS/ABC studios at 190 N State Street (across from the Chicago Theater and just down the street from the old Marshall Field’s store (now Macy’s, of course).   Here is the website to get tickets:  http://windycitylive.com/about/Join-the-Windy-City-LIVE-audience/8134297.

The Steve Harvey Show and Judge Mathis tape at NBC5 Chicago, 454 N Columbus Dr, Chicago.  I have been to The Steve Harvey Show several times and it is a hoot.  The website to score tickets for Steve Harvey is http://www.steveharveytv.com/get-tickets.  The website for Judge Mathis tickets is judgemathistv.com/tickets.

The Steve Harvey Show, as well as Windy City Live frequently give surprises to the audience members and it is not only fun to attend the tapings, but it’s also fun to go home with something too!

I’ve attended these tapings for years and they are lots of fun.  Although you may not actually enjoy the topics presented, you will definitely enjoy the wonderful people you’ll meet and you’ll enjoy the experience of seeing how these shows are made.  Plan for a block of time to include the wait which can be quite some time.  You’ll have to arrive early to check in.  Be aware that the production often overbooks to make sure there’s a full audience. Sometimes additional segments are taped while you’re there in addition to the day’s agenda.   Wear colorful clothing for a couple of reasons:  It looks good on TV and it makes it easier for your family and friends to find you in the audience while they’re watching for you!

If you have a reduced fare ticket for seniors on the RTA, you will be able to have a nice day of entertainment for almost nothing!  Enjoy!

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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License Plate Discounts and RTA Discounts in Illinois

One benefit low income seniors in Illinois may not be aware of is the license plate discount!  There is also a benefit for RTA (Chicago area) reduced rides.  You may receive a $75 discount on ONE license plate registration in Illinois.  The information can be found here: http://www.illinois.gov/aging/BenefitsAccess/Pages/Eligibility%20and%20Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx.  An example of the reduced fare program is one I found yesterday: The regular fare on the Union Pacific from Wheaton to Chicago is $5.50 one way; with a reduced fare pass it’s only $2.50!

There is a simple online form to complete and return with a copy of your Illinois driver’s license and proof of income for the license plate discount.  At the same time, you can be approved for the reduced fare program.  However, you will have to complete another form for the RTA, and you will be issued a card to use for this purpose.  You will need to include a passport-sized photo with this application.  A free passport photo can be taken at their offices if you can get downtown to do it (the office is at 69 W Washington St, downtown Chicago).

These simple tasks can really save money on transportation costs for low income seniors during the year.

Published in: on September 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Living Simply

0124131228What do we really need?  Shelter, food, water, and air.  Everything else is superfluous, right?

Personally, the other things I really need are an excellent shower and an excellent bed.  The last bed I purchased was very expensive but worth every penny.  Ten years ago, I got a Simmons Columbia model and I’ve not regretted it.  I get a good night’s sleep every night.  It’s even a no-flip.  Every once in awhile, I change the way I sleep on it, but that’s it.  I’ve protected it with a pillow-slip type cover, topped with a cushy mattress pad.  Both of the additions are washable.  I buy the best sheets I can afford, high thread count Egyptian cotton, which I still think is the best.  It softens and silkens as it washes and wears, doesn’t pill, and is a delight to sleep on.  I finally ripped the last top sheet I had, so I’m saving up to buy a new one.  In the meantime, I’m summer sleeping under a light cotton quilted comforter only.  I think if you buy the best you can afford, it pays off in the long run.  I’ve had cheap sheets when I was a young bride, and they pilled.  I felt like the character in The Princess and the Pea.  I felt every single pea on those sheets and it drove me nuts.  Before I retired and got poor, I purchased a lightweight down blanket (also a Simmons product) and I’ve had it for over ten years.  It’s great in all seasons, though I store it for the summer.  Also years ago I bought a down pillow from Wyndham at Home after sleeping on one of these dreamy pillows while on a business trip.  I’ve had it a very long time too.  I take it to the dry cleaners and they add down to it every year for a very reasonable price when it’s on its cleaning hiatus from my bed.  It’s a Joseph Abboud, actually by Pacific Down.  For the cost-conscious, I understand that Pacific Down has an outlet store if you’re ever in Seattle!

The one bed accessory I cannot live without is my dog, Maddie.  She is the best bedwarmer – ever!  Her little black body keeps me warm on cold winter nights as she snuggles up to my back and butt-hugs me.  Her presence makes me feel safe.  She has an entire side of the queen-sized bed to herself, yet I feel sorry for her every night.  Maddie plops in her special spot and does not move all night long.  I, on the other hand, flip and thrash and get up several times to go to the bathroom.  She stays where she is and does not complain.  I wonder how she does it.  If I were her, I’d be complaining bitterly about my annoying bed partner, yet every morning she licks my face at daybreak with what I believe to be a little doggie smile, asking for a simple trip to the backdoor.

The shower is a little easier to obtain as there are many reasonably priced shower heads available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s.  I like the ones that spit out the water like rain, but I’m sure this is a matter of personal preference.  Nobody wants to fight with a bad showerhead.  Even in a rental, you can change the shower head yourself and replace it with the bad one when/if you move.   Nice towels are another investment that pays off.  I’d rather have one really nice towel than five cheap ones that pill and shed all the softness in the first wash!  Again, Egyptian cotton is my choice.  Those really big ones are useless unless you plan to wrap up in a wet towel.  Otherwise, the standard size are perfect for drying and hanging.  My splurge occasionally is nice French milled soap, but that’s a real luxury and not a necessity.  My shower head is connected to a hose and attaches to the wall above my head.  The hose allows me to use the shower to give the dog a bath and saves money on a groomer.  Speaking of the groomer, I just can’t afford to go there.   I purchased a mid-priced clipper and shave her down twice a year.  Okay, I admit, for the first week she definitely looks like “her mother cut her hair,” but it grows fast and looks fine after that!  Maddie is a shih-tsu/poodle mix (yes, that’s a shihts-pu) and she has this weird coat that is neither of her ancestors.  It’s very long and massively curly, but not tight curls.  The hair mats very easily after about the first inch and I just cannot comb the mats out after awhile, necessitating this shave-down.  Learning to do this was not difficult and the savings are worth learning.

My mom used to tell me that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”  That, and she’d tell me that poor as we might be, we could always afford soap.  I enjoy that daily shower, mom, and I really enjoy sleeping in now that I’m retired!

Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Be a Star!

Tomorrow I’m going to be working on Starz’s “Shameless.”  Nope, I’m not a big star.  I’m an extra.  Or “background” as it’s called in the biz.  It’s one way I make a couple extra bucks when I can. Here’s the thing, though:  I have spent my life feeling I’m rather < (less than or equal to) ordinary.  I don’t like having my picture taken, nor do I think I look that good.  Being even background is really out of my personal box, but now that I’m older, I’m trying to do as many things as I can that are out of my comfort zone.

Being Background can be a lot of fun.  There’s the opportunity to gawk at the real stars, if that’s your thing (it’s not mine; I’ve never been “star struck” at all).  Better yet is the opportunity to meet new friends, spend some time learning how TV and movies are made, and seeing how many gazillion different job descriptions it takes to make the thirty seconds that actually gets shown.  It is, however, a LOT of  waiting around.  Reading or chatting with your peers in the holding area or off-camera on set can pass the time easily.

Several background casting agencies are here in Chicago and they are always looking for “new faces.”  To register, go to the various websites and enter your information.  “Casting calls” are posted on Facebook, so if you don’t have a Facebook account, you should definitely get one and “like” the casting agency pages. They look for people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, etc.  Don’t hesitate to register because you think you can’t be Background; you definitely can.    Because I’m older, gray, and overweight, I might not get as many calls as some others, but I get enough!  When you answer a call (via an email address given in the post), you will usually include at least your name and phone number and some personal statistics.  If you fit the character they’re looking for, you’ll receive a return email (or a phone call, confirmed with a follow-up email), informing you that you have been scheduled and asking you to confirm.  Do this ASAP.  Just prior to the workday, you will receive information with the who/what/where/why/how.  You will need to respond to this email as well to confirm.  You will be required, in most cases, to provide your own wardrobe and will be asked to bring several changes for the costume department to approve.  Hair and make-up are usually on your own as well, though I’ve had the luxury of having both done for me — what a treat!  I’ve also been re-costumed so to speak and that’s been fun too.

In alphabetical order, here are the background casting agencies I’ve worked with in Chicago:  4 Star Casting, Atmosphere Casting, Darling Series (aka Joan Philo Casting and Chicago Fire background casting), and Tail Sticks Casting.  With these companies, I’ve worked on NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, Starz’s Shameless and Boss, and Sense8 (a new sci fi show that hasn’t premiered yet), and the Onion.  Others background actors I know have done movies and commercials.  My eleven-year-old granddaughter has worked on Chicago Fire.  There is one other agency, with whom I haven’t yet worked, and that’s Extraordinary Casting.  The companies with whom I have worked are upstanding, ethical, honest, and fun.  I’ve never had a problem with any of them and, of course, do not hesitate to continue to answer calls.

It is important to remember when you sign up, that it is a JOB.  If you commit, you must show up.  The production is counting on you.  You will be paid in a week or two by check from a payroll company, not from the casting company.  When you arrive to a work day on the set, it’s important to bring a driver’s license or ID and know your social security number.  You will be required to complete your “voucher,” your payroll paperwork, including an I9.  It’s simple:  If you don’t complete the paperwork, you won’t get paid — well, actually they’ll send you home; you won’t work.  You’ll spend a great part of the day in the “holding area” w-a-i-t-i-n-g.  This is where you’ll meditate, practice patience, and meet some great new friends if you want to.  When and if you’re called to the set, you will do the “take” over and over again until the director is satisfied.  This is not a bad thing.  When you watch yourself back on TV, you will see why.  Sometimes you’ll even wish they’d done it again, just one more time!  If you’re working around mealtime, you will generally be rewarded as well.  The food I’ve had has been excellent!  We’ve had beautiful dishes created by excellent chefs.  Think prime rib and crabcakes on occasion.  Cheesecake.  Smoothies.  Background eats LAST.  This is probably the only time you’ll feel like a second-class citizen, but I’ve heard that it’s in the union contracts of the cast and crew that they eat first.  This is also common sense since these hard-working folks work longer, much harder days than we do and, even if it weren’t in the contract, it would simply be courteous to them to wait.

Children have a different set of rules.  If under 16, they MUST have a work permit, and the permit must have the name of the casting agency (or the kid’s agent if applicable).  To obtain a work permit, you will get the “Letter of Intent to Hire” from the casting agency’s website.  Here in Wheaton, Illinois here’s how I did it, and I imagine it’s pretty much the same anywhere else:  You will need a doctor’s okay.  I used the recently completed school physical.  Take the Letter of Intent and the doctor’s okay to the local high school where you will complete yet another form. That has to be taken to the principal in the child’s school for approval.   I then had to take the completed paperwork to the School District Office where the actual permit was issued.  In our case, we had to get two different permits as we registered with two casting agencies.  Sounds like a lot of running around and it did take up half a day, but I thought the experience for my child was invaluable.  She learned, in particular, about many of the jobs that people have in film (or television) and how difficult it is to get a show to air.  Children do not work a full eight hour day.  There is a maximum amount of time they can be on set.  There is a “teacher” available to them on set.  I haven’t really seen one “teach” anything, but they cater to the kids, making sure they get to the bathroom, have plenty of water and snacks, and have things to do during the downtime (games, art projects, etc).  I enjoy watching a bunch of kids huddled together on set playing together.  They are for the most part unusually well-behaved children.

Do not become an extra to become friends with celebrities.  Do not become an extra hoping to be discovered by Spielberg.  It isn’t going to happen.  Background is like wallpaper.  That’s all.  It’s against the laws of this game to chat up the actors or ask for autographs, photos, or in any other way act like a jerk.  This is a work environment and everyone is expected to behave professionally, including the wallpaper.  It is expensive wallpaper from a production standpoint.  Anyone who doesn’t follow the rules risks being at the least admonished in front of EVERYONE, to being sent home, to being blacklisted.  (I would, however, LOVE to be Blacklisted as regards being able to work on that show.)  Respect for one another should be inherent in this context, not learned.  For me, this has never been a problem as I could care less if I had my picture taken by myself, much less with a more attractive human being.  I have, however, seen major actors run across the street to take photos with fans or take a few minutes to speak with them.  I do remember each and every actor who has done this and count these among the times in my life that I have enjoyed watching the delight of others.

The photo accompanying this post was taken by the Production Assistant on NBC’s Chicago Fire.  My dog, Madeleine, was also on the show and enjoyed the prime rib gifted to her by the stand-ins.  It was, indeed, a great day for us both.  I did my own hair and make-up here, but can thank the costume department for the duster and sweat pants.  Thanks to Joan Philo for the work and for allowing me to have fun!

 

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Welcome to Beans from a Tin Can!

Welcome to the first edition of Beans from a Tin Can.  Little bits of good stuff from an ol’ tin can of a personality.  Here you will find updates on religion, politics, my opinions, and my etsy shop.  I will gladly welcome and answer life questions from the perspective of one who has lived life to the fullest and is working on completing a personal bucket list.  You are welcome to comment.  Have fun!  Agree, disagree, or agree to disagree.

Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Retiring Poor

 It’s not easy to retire without money.  I’ve figured out a few ways to help survive that might help readers too!  One of the things I learned is that if a senior is low income, that senior can apply for Medicaid as a supplement to Medicare.  Many seniors are retiring without the insurance safety net previously provided by former employers.  Here is a link to the guidelines for Medicaid in Illinois: http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-State/illinois.html for 2014.  See also http://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/get-help-paying-costs.html for help paying Medicare costs. Roughly, the top income approximates the social security benefit received ($1100-$1300 for an individual).  Most seniors in this “income” bracket certainly cannot afford a Medicare supplement, so I’d encourage anyone to apply for Medicaid.  If you qualify for Medicaid, you will be able to choose a prescription assistance program  (Medicare Part D) as well; the one I was assigned and with which (so far) I am satisfied is the one with United Healthcare through AARP.  I had Medicaid prior to retiring and find it interesting that I paid zero for prescription coverage through Medicaid, but now I pay a small copayment through my Medicare supplement plan.  Get poorer…get poorer.  Go figure.  

Once someone who applies for social security starts receiving Medicare, $100 will be deducted each month from social security payments; there is help available for this in the form of a QMB (Qualified Medical Beneficiary program).  I applied for this program in April and am still waiting to be approved.  I’ve been told at the local DHS office that I qualify but that with the new Obamacare, the offices are overloaded and it will take up to six months to see the money back in my social security.  Considering that’s just a little less than ten percent of my benefit, it’s really quite a hit!  When I’m approved, I’ll update as to whether or not I received any funds retroactively.

Another program to assist low-income seniors is the Illlinois Tollway’s I-Pass assistance program.  There are a few places to apply and obtain this, but none of them is very convenient and it is necessary to go in person and bring along the necessary documentation.  The website for information about this program is http://www.illinoistollway.com/tolls-and-i-pass/about-i-pass/i-pass-assist.  If you quality for Medicaid, you qualify for iPass assist.  I-PASS Assist is $20, which includes a $10 deposit and $10 in prepaid tolls, compared to the regular price of $50 payment for automatic balance replenishment accounts or $60 payment. ($20 refundable deposit/$40 prepaid tolls) for manual replenish accounts.  It is only necessary to replenish this account in increments of $20 which is also nice as many seniors don’t use the tollways as often as the still-working do.

A couple of weeks ago, while visiting grandchildren in Colorado, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado, one of my favorite places in the entire world!  I was able to purchase an America the Beautiful pass for the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands for a one-time lifetime fee of $10!  This is also good for discounts on many things such as camping, boat launch, etc. (like a whopping 50%!).  The pass will admit the pass-holder and the others in the car!  The pass can only be purchased in person at the park and is worth every penny!  

I will share whatever secrets I uncover with other seniors of low income.  Try to live a full, rewarding life on the basics, my friend!IMG_0133IMG_0130

 

Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Color Psychology – Very Interesting!

Color Psychology Do different colors affect your mood? by David Johnson Related Links •Color Psychology Quiz •Color: Psychology, Symbolism, and Interesting Facts •What is Color? •What Colors Mean – from FactMonster.com •Color Blindness •Academic Colors •Kandinsky, Wassily •Color Printing •Astronomical Color Like death and taxes, there is no escaping color. It is ubiquitous. Yet what does it all mean? Why are people more relaxed in green rooms? Why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms? Colors often have different meanings in various cultures. And even in Western societies, the meanings of various colors have changed over the years. But today in the U.S., researchers have generally found the following to be accurate. Black Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black. White Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. However, white shows dirt and is therefore more difficult to keep clean than other colors. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility. Red The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention. The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy. Blue The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms. Green Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in “green rooms” to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck. Yellow Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism. Purple The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial. Brown Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors. Colors of the Flag In the U.S. flag, white stands for purity and innocence. Red represents valor and hardiness, while blue signifies justice, perseverance, and vigilance. The stars represent the heavens and all the good that people strive for, while the stripes emulate the sun’s rays. Food for Thought While blue is one of the most popular colors it is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite. Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colors. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant

Published in: on June 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment