HBO's "Alternate Endings" explores 6 the of the new ways to die in America.

This article/review is relatively short and quite interesting.
The documentary follows Dick Shannon, his wife and family, and 5 other families of people making preparations for their approaching deaths.

Do you know what you want your death to look like? Do you know what's possible? Care to?


"I'm Old Enough to Die"

This article is subtitled: "The Market for Wellness is more about Capitalism Than Prolonging Life"

The material comes from a book called Natural Causes, by Barbara Ehrenreich.  The article, itself, was written by Derek Beres. He's a fan of fat-shaming, though, so if you want to know more about him, you'll have to dig it out yourself. Won't be hard! :)

A summary of the book from her website says,

"Natural Causes examines the ways in which we obsess over death, our bodies, and our health. Both funny and caustic, Ehrenreich then tackles the seemingly unsolvable problem of how we might better prepare ourselves for the end—while still reveling in the lives that remain to us."

But the article is shorter! And makes some very valid points in my opinion.
Embedded in the article is an ad (or two) but further down is a video of an interview with Ehrenreich from the PBS News Hour. 
The video can also be found on YouTube here.  

Ehrenreich suggests the cultivation of an important quality to aid in this quest: humility.

"For all of our vaunted intelligence and 'complexity,' we are not the sole authors of our destinies or of anything else. You may exercise diligently, eat a medically fashionable diet, and still die of a sting from an irritated bee. You may be a slim, toned paragon of wellness, and still a macrophage within your body may decide to throw in its lot with an incipient tumor."

More from Derek:
"Ehrenreich does not criticize staying healthy. She discusses her own struggles and triumphs with gym culture; even still, she exercises regularly. Her problem is treating the human body as a clumsy burden to be overcome; equally, as an infinitely wise biological organism primed for optimization. Many of our cells — what "I" is composed of — have no interest in sustaining our lives. A number of them even bet on and actively instigate our destruction. "




The Lessons of Asymmetry

A TGB Reader Story.     (housekeeping note: this is 2 links; one to the TGB Home page, and
                                            one to the story specifically.)

Ronni Bennett's readers are invited to submit their own stories to her blog for publication.  This one is by Adele Frances.
This was the quote that began her story:

“There is little meaning in making a fuss. There is nothing else to do but say good-bye to the last body part and continue your life with what parts may be left.”

- Elderly Greenland native who lost two fingers to frostbite years ago. Smithsonian Magazine

You'll enjoy this a lot I think, for Adele's attitude as well as for her writing skill.
She's writing about losing a part of her body to surgery, and how that feels to her.  She is an inspiration to me.

And yes, you are invited to submit your own stories for this blog! Essays, poetry, blank verse, whatever...


Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

"Delivering cremated remains to the stratosphere joins a new list of ways to memorialize the dead."

This is a light, slightly humorous, article about the new options to have your (or "your loved ones") cremains blasted into space.
Well, not really space; just 100,000 ft. up into the stratosphere. Sooner or later, you'll fall back to earth. little rain drops or ice crystals according to the article.
Not much more than a Thousand Dollars.

It's also possible to go higher. A different company will take you higher, then blast your cremains (inside a capsule) up to 300,000ft. They don't tell you what THAT costs.
But, even that is not real space...even though Gene Roddenberry took that trip. He'll fall back in his capsule some day... I hope it's near a Space Port.

Some of this article is about trends in the funeral industry that are changing with our... what?  (our need to be "first on the block to.."?) ..aside is mine.

Elsewhere, you read this:
"People are becoming increasingly interested in how their physical remains, and the remains of their loved ones, will be handled.
They want something more personal and more personalized."

If you've not explored this subject, you might be surprised by some of the options available to you. Enjoy...

Write Your Way to Emotional Resilience

Want to Be Emotionally Resilient? Science says do this

From the article:
"Do you worry a lot? Sometimes over things you absolutely can't control, so that worrying about them serves no practical purpose?
Do you think you worry too much? Do you worry that all this worrying may not be good for you?"

This article is about writing your worries. Maybe not daily, with no real rules, and with no expectations... just write what is worrisome.
More from the article:
"That might seem absurdly simple, but it turns out to be extremely powerful as well. Keeping a "worry journal" is an element of cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, which has long been known to help with a great many emotional disorders. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University, in State College decided to see whether worry journaling alone could help subjects improve their emotional balance."

The article is short and sweet. It goes on to list 4 steps and explains each.
Read about how this theory was tested, and the interesting results.
Will it work for you? Let me know... 

September 13, 2019 ~ reading what we wrote - newbies

In old business we continued the discussion on how to assimilate new members. We do agree that we would like to grow a bit more, but we also have taken note of the increasing level of intimacy that exists in the group as it is now. We think that a social event outside of a Salon meeting might be a good way to accomplish this purpose, by letting newbies and members meet and engage without compromising the privacy and intimacy of an actual meeting.
I confess, this whole business feels very awkward to me. I realize I'm the one who wants to "grow" us the most. And this doesn't feel right, yet.
Part of the reason I hesitate here is this:
I fear that if we try to "control" too much the voices we invite, we also limit the variety of Points of View that we could hear.
And perhaps, we also limit our opportunities for learning how better to express disagreement.
As women, especially, we know how it feels to go unheard.
I know that other voices could be disruptive, and I know women, traditionally, have not been great at effective confrontation. Do we want to stay this way? Are we fragile?
I feel this discussion will be ongoing for a bit.   And it is possible we need to decide and state our primary strategies/purpose; or to explore why we are so strongly committed to our privacy here.

We talked about possibilities for a social event, possibly a Holiday Party. Will our Social Coordinator please get on that?!  :D
This might or might not be a function to which we could invite significant others and potential new members.

Someone mentioned that Ruidoso (or the Downs) has an Escape Room. I found two possibles.
Land of Entrapment appears to be at the racetrack, though that is difficult to prove.  Cost is $25/person. That's a tad steep for an hour's entertainment, for me... I have rarely seen a less informative website.
But for lack of information, this one wins! Escape With Billy the Kid.  I did find a button that said "Located at Fox Cave", but most of the links are broken. I think this one is priced at $15, but I couldn't find the link a second time. 
On escape rooms, that's it for me. Happy to go, if... but someone else will have to plan it.  (Yeah, just being ornery!)

Ruidoso's Adventure Mountain has a web presence on Facebook. (at least I could find this one). Their page shows a lot of what they have.
And they are happy to show you around in person if you want. This is the place that has the nerf ball battle thing, and also a batting cage, a ropes course, and several other things including glow-in-the-dark Mini golf.
Several restaurants in town have meeting rooms, and the 'cave' downstairs at Grill Caliente might be available for a party.

Then we moved on to talk about our writings; who did; how it felt, etc.
We also added two more methods or approaches to the subject: 'worries' writing, and 'special' prompts.
One was from another writing group, a prompt called Where I'm From. In the examples I saw, and in the one I wrote, there was/is no reference to a physical location.  This is the link to my friend's FB post.
The other was a Worry Journal that has proven to be helpful in relieving stress and general anxiety.

Four of the six present today read things they had written. Each reading gave us a little better sense of each other.
I'll probably publish mine one day when I'm just a tad farther past being so dang proud of it!   Haha, she said wryly. 
And I would love to put up Delphi and First Snake, if you'll let me.  Pretty please...  :)

In winding-down conversation we talked about taking and/or giving offense. (I think someone said, "I don't mean to offend anyone, but...", and we took off from there.)
This gave us a chance to talk about our growing relationships, our intimacy, expectations, etc. We agreed that we have come to know enough about each other that we are certain that no one would intend offense. And we agreed that if anyone is discomfited in any way by a comment or presentation or whatever, that we feel safe enough to address that in the present tense in the meeting. We seem to agree that clarifying conversation can be tricky but is often essential.   (paraphrasing - comment if you heard it differently)

I told you that I was having trouble prepping a presentation on Trust because the research was helping me see that I am not presently very trustworthy.
Coming to accept that fact has been both painful and more than a little educational, in ways that don't need elaboration on this blog.
I do still think it will be a good topic to explore; I'm just not the one the facilitate that conversation. 


Memoir ~ an article by Kate H.

Writing MEMOIR

I don’t want to write memoir to defend myself. After 25 years I shouldn’t need to.

Like the saying goes Don’t explain; your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it. 

But maybe I do need to. Not because I’m sorry or because I want to change minds or even because I need to convince myself.

I know to my core it was the most amazing life-giving “mistake” I ever made. 

But it did open Pandora’s box. And everybody knows that story. Or Eve and her apple, although what’s not good about curiosity and critical thinking? 

So maybe I don’t belong in those stories at all. Maybe what I need is to write a new story. No boxes or forbidden apples or Prince Charmings. 

Just my story. Actual mistakes and mixed motives and insensitivities and regrets that have nothing to do with boxes or mythical gardens. 

So give up thinking I have no bias. No mythology of my own. These are the only eyes I have to look back. I’ve no reason for second guessing.

But maybe for a second remembering. 

August 23, 2019 ~ Welcome Angie; Writing Memoirs; Other types of writing

We had 7 of us present for the meeting yesterday. 
We are happy to welcome Ang to the group; we spent a little time on introductions, and on covering a few of our 'rules' for her.
We also spent time on "Old" business, but I made no notes on that. Among things that came up, I remember suggesting that we have another social event; maybe the nerf ball battle opportunity at the new Mountain Adventure.  Got some smiles and nods; we'll see if we manifest that. :)

Kate H was our facilitator yesterday. The topic she presented was about Writing Our Memories/Memoirs. She recently attended a 3 session class on such writing through ENMU.
One of the first things she mentioned was an app called Audio Recorder. I may have written the title incorrectly, however, because I can't find the one that functions exactly as she described. What attracted me to the one she found is that it will produce a file on each recording that one can then manipulate. Cool!
I'll update this when I know the right app. But you will find TONS of them available if you look.  Let us know if you try one (or more) out.

Like others in the group yesterday, I was initially turned off when I read 'memoirs'. I couldn't be less interested in a chronological report of my life, and I could not write one, not remembering those years. But Kate shared a whole list of other approaches to writing of this kind. Some that I noted are these:
Chronological (of course)
Topical - as in vacations, or sports, etc.
Episodical - perhaps a memorable event such as a graduation or wedding or...
Focusing on an Object/Animal - choosing something important to us (individually) (as in Angela's bike)
Coming of Age/Coming Out stories - fairly obvious.
Spiritual Quests or Breakthroughs
Where/How I fit in my family - Frankly, I'm not sure if this was a method, or a subset of another category. Thought it was an interesting approach.

In the discussion around this, LB mentioned a book that she & her husband used some time ago, about Questions to Ask Yourself. I've capitalized that, but we don't know the real title yet. I've found some possibles, and if I can confirm any of them, I'll let you know.  And some of these books will end up in our Books list, because a couple of them are already interesting to me.  Might even be a way to start conversation in meetings!
And it seemed, to me at least, that the group in general was more positive about the possibilities of writing after we heard Kate's presentation of those different approaches or methods.

Days for Girls came up again (thanks NE). She has found/recruited a group of women in Carlsbad who are very interested in this volunteer opportunity. 
This page is all about the ways that people can help. This sounds to me like such a great project. I hope it will be one that we can embrace as a group. That will unfold as it does.

In closing business, NE had a great idea that some of us may implement before the next meeting. She suggests that we each write something (from any method or POV that draws you) to read to each other in the group next time (Sept. 13, 2019). Not everyone (mostly me) jumped on this idea, but we have agreed that most of us will attempt to comply.  :)
I will send out an extra reminder toward the end of next week to remind all of us of this idea.  Write or not as you are drawn.  Poetry, prose, songs, etc.  Enjoy!

If the writing/reading stuff does not fill the time, I will present the next topic. I have a couple in mind; one being Trust. 
See ya next time.


August 9, 2019 ~ Happy Healthy Dead

Short minutes for today!

NE facilitated the discussion on Happy Healthy Dead. Some of her information comes from a book called Goddesses Never Age, by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
I like this quote that appeared on her page when I found the link under her name:
"True health is only possible when we understand the unity of our minds, emotions, spirits, and physical bodies and stop striving for perfection.”

This theory also comes from the Law of Attraction and mostly from Esther and Jerry Hicks (when I first discovered it). I'm providing no links on this subject. There are literally thousands of them. There are now many many people who teach, discuss, critique, explain, channel, etc. this theory. If you're interested in going deeper, you'll have no trouble finding resources.

Our discussion was very interesting, though I took few notes. Some of us are believers in the theory; others were more skeptical.
We did tend to agree, though, that a more positive outlook about life and death and aging would likely make the procession through these years a little better.
You'll have to define 'better' for yourselves.

We talked a little while about the legal issues of dying - especially in NM where there are no laws that make assisted suicide an option.
We have a couple of books in our library (i use that term loosely!) that can help with some of the details of preparing to be dead.

I particularly enjoyed a distinction that NE made:
Gratitude - a feeling in response to something Given.
Appreciation - an understanding of the Value of what was given.

If someone volunteered to facilitate on the 23rd, I failed to note it. I'll ask that in the reminder email going out tomorrow.


July 26, 2019 ~ Discussing Newbies; Balance

In old business, we discussed Rules; whether & how to add more women; and confidentiality as it applies to the blog.  Each member of the group answered several questions (in an email) about these specific things. Each member let me know, as acting recording secretary, how they want to be mentioned in the blog.  All posts have been edited to accommodate these requests. We confirmed our Rules, and I have added a sidebar item that expresses those, right below the "Who We Are" sidebar item. 

We agreed that some growth is good, so that travel and travails, and life, in general, doesn't deplete our numbers so far that the group won't survive.
Personally, I hope we can increase the age range for this group, too, but that may be difficult while we meet during normal working hours.

We also agreed that this group is for and about women, and we will stick to that policy as we continue and, hopefully, grow a bit over time.

We agreed that we trust each other to keep in mind that new members should 'fit' into the group... to feel 'simpatico', if you will. And of course, be interested in these subjects.
And we agreed that we will not invite males to be in this group, at least for the foreseeable future, and possibly forever.
We agreed that we will bring up the name of any potential new member we are considering asking to join us to the whole group. Not to critique them in any way, but only to give each of us sisters the chance to reject someone who is already some kind of problem for us.  
This phrasing feels awkward to me, but I think you know what I mean.  If you don't, ask questions.  (Yes, this came straight from the "questions" email; you didn't ask questions then, so...I'm assuming you have none.)

We agreed that this blog may be a way to introduce this group to a new prospect. That will be up to you as you talk to prospects, of course.
But all have agreed that you can give a link to this blog to new prospects.

To reiterate: the blog - This Blog, Itsa Village IS NOT PRIVATE.  It exists on the web like any other blog. However, I do not 'tag' it or list it on any drivers or such. I have done NO "optimization" techniques. We are unlikely to be found by a casual searcher.
We CAN be found, perhaps, by someone who searches using words like aging, death & dying, etc...but there is such a tiny bit of traffic to this blog that we will never get to the top 200 of any search.

New Business - at last! :)
Irma facilitated our discussion today on Balance.  An important point, to me, was one about noting a difference in what we Need, versus what we Want. This can apply to how we spend our time, as well as how we spend other resources, such as money and our energy.
A few suggestions that I noted were these:
Take Breaks - as in tackling chores.
Embrace a healthy (healthier) life style or eating habits.
Avoid negativity.
Learn to prioritize.
Pamper yourself!
ASK when you need help.

NE volunteered to facilitate the next meeting. Her topic will be Happy Healthy Dead.


The Marvelous Emily Levine

I found Emily on TED Talks. She is linked on our "Links.." page.

But this is a different different one and includes her voice reading a favorite poem called "You Can't Have It All...but There is This" by Barbara Ras.
I hope you enjoy it. The poem is embedded in the article which comes from a blog authored by one of Emily's friends and titled Brain Pickings.

Here's a direct link to the audio on SoundCloud, if you want to skip the article.

July 12, 2019 ~ The Dinner and a Show

What a fun event. I suspect we'll do this, and other social things more often.  One I've thought of is the Ropes Course in town!  Or an afternoon during which we explore our trust issues with a series of games...? 

We watched Antonia's Line together, then discussed our thoughts about it over dinner.  I thoroughly enjoyed both.
We agreed that Antonia exemplified some of our own ideas of what makes for strong women.
We talked about the strong women in our own lives and what we thought some of our own strengths are. Resilience was high in all of these categories.
The film and the discussion touched us in personal ways and increased our understanding about each other a bit.  Details will be held in our memories rather than on paper.

In business, before all the fun started, we mentioned a couple of things that have popped up lately that we felt the group might address.
They are related, but not the same. To my mind the first item is confidentiality. We've always expressed that we keep things said here private.
But, there is the second item, that of adding a couple more people...or not.
We have agreed that these two matters will be the top of the business agenda at the next meeting, July 26th.
How confidentiality comes into the latter issue is in how and when we talk to prospective new members.

Some points that we might consider as we approach the conversation are these:
    A. We are only 10 members at this time; and one of those has not yet attended a meeting...
    B. Six of these 9 are couples or parts of couples. Travel or family things can deplete our numbers and our energy very quickly and could last weeks. And even we singles will leave a hole. Sitting by a recovering friend/family or taking that cruise/road trip we've planned for ages will impact all of us over time.
    C. We've developed a degree of intimacy over these short months; how do we include a new person?
    D. Take a different sort of look at this blog. Could it be an avenue for telling "prospects" something about who we are? I've been careful to avoid last names (though I may have to    refer to Revin as R in the future! :)  )  The Minutes category would include the only posts (I think) where individuals are mentioned. 
Please point out to me ANY place where you feel I have not held to the strictest standard of confidentiality.

My own point of view is that we need to grow. 
And, as I stated during our preliminary discussion, any of you may use my name in connection with this group if/when you want to talk about the group at all. 
I'm confident that we all know that our members' identities are the first and last matters of confidentiality.  We'll figure out the other constraints together.

I found this video interesting and it relates to our confidentiality conversation. I suspect it will be old news to most, but ..
6 Types of People Who Do Not Deserve to Hear Your Shame Story 

Enough of that.... next group meeting is almost here!


Morning Routines; Do you have one?

I just came across this article from Insight Timer, an app I use and recommend. The app is available from both Google Play and in Apple's App Store.

We have mentioned ritual or Practice or routines a time or two. This article explains some of the reasons that Morning Routines might be very useful and what is going on in our bodies when we first wake. Think cortisol and Circadian Rhythms.

I tend to be very inconsistent about my mornings. I blame it on the cat or on laziness or on procrastination...
At the very bottom, I think all of these have a small part, but mostly, it may be residual old habit energy that I let take over.
So happy to be a work in progress! 

How are you doing?

Can Digital Games Enhance Mobility and Social Interaction?

So it would seem. Check out Sophia's story.  (reprinted here; the linked version includes photos and links to a few other stories you may find interesting.)

"Over the first weeks of July 2016, a strange phenomenon started to unfold in many parts of the world. A mobile game went viral. Streets in Barcelona, Melbourne, Singapore and New York began to fill with hordes digital wayfaring as part of the augmented reality (AR) game, Pokémon Go.

The game popularised the digital overlay technique of AR, in which real-time wayfaring could be converged with digital play.

In its hey-day, Pokémon Go searches surpassed porn on the internet. Then, it became mundane media – and this is when it became really interesting.

Meet the 67-year-old nurse Sofia, who lives in Badalona in Spain. After losing her husband to cancer a decade ago, Sofia initially found it hard to fight the grief and depression. Her daughters and grandchildren helped her in this transition.

Sofia is especially close to her seven-year-old grandson, Diego. They do many activities together, constantly sharing intergenerational skills. It was Diego who first introduced Sofia to Pokémon Go.

As they wandered the streets of Badalona together, Diego would show her the digital overlays of Pokémon Go that reinvented Sofia’s everyday experiences of mundane spaces.

Diego taught Sofia how to flick the touch screen to capture Pokemon. And he taught Sofia digital wayfaring – that is, how the digital is entangled with the body’s movement.

Pokémon Go allowed Sofia to learn some of the multiple ways her familiar city could be reinvented. Eventually, Sofia opened her own Pokémon Go account.

She would sometimes find herself briskly walking the streets in search of Pokémon. Mundane trips to the market or shops became Pokémon Go adventures in which she would reinvent the routes to capture more Pokémon.

The city became a complex overlay of digital, material, environmental and social cartographies.

The game also made Sofia feel fit and socially engaged in her community. And she became an outstandingly super-cool grandmother in the eyes of her grandson, Diego.

The “old media” of Pokémon Go enriched Sofia’s life: it reinvented the city she has lived in for all her life; it allowed her playful ways to further develop her relationship with her grandson; and it afforded her new ways to connect with other generations.

But Sofia’s story is not an exception.

In fact, her story is one example of an increasingly common way “old” mundane technologies are being playfully deployed for digital health solutions, one that brings older generations closer to their urban communities.

Social workers recommend Pokémon Go in Badalona

Badalona is renowned for its innovative and integrated healthcare system, centralised through the city council.

There, social workers are recommending Pokémon Go to clients to boost two key dimensions of ageing well: exercise and social inclusion. Part of the game play involves cooperation, for example, to win in a raid, players need to organise to meet up and battle together.

Our yet-to-be-published research uses data from a meet-up bot we built on the messenger program Telegram, to help people organise Pokémon Go raid boss battles.

Over 6,000 battles were fought throughout 2018, with almost 29,000 individuals meeting and establishing social connections and relationships in Badalona.

What’s more, there is much to learn from the lived experiences of Sofia that requires us to change how we think about play and digital health. For instance, the haptic sensibility of the game (the perception of objects through the sense of touch) privileges motion awareness, so it’s more attuned to Sofia’s fading eye sight.

Badalona is a great example of how intergenerational play can redefine a city by allowing users to navigate through multiple senses – touch, sound and sight – that digital play stimulates.

Play can expose bias in a city

When we spoke to Sofia for our research, we were able to reflect on how games like Pokémon Go highlight the paradoxes of a city that’s datafied to an app.

While Pokémon Go encouraged physical exercise and social inclusion as part of its strategic game play, it also exposed how inherent social, cultural and economic biases in cities become embedded in every day movement.

For example, Pokémon Go’s game engine drew on algorithms of Badalona which had inherent biases in the form of redlining. In other words, peripheral neighbourhoods had fewer Poke stops.

This includes areas or zones of the city with a high concentration of socially excluded people, and the places that are physically further away from the centre of the city.

Play prioritises the human experience

There are many things we can learn from Badalona’s strategies for ageing well, which centres on lived experience. Rather than inventing new apps for the cartographies of the city, they playfully reinvent the mundane. We should look towards civic urban play for innovation.

Play is an interdisciplinary concept linking culturally specific ideas of creativity with expression. And it allows for different forms of social innovation across digital, material and social worlds.

Play can also teach us how to think about the intersection of technology and health in different ways that prioritise human experience.

And in terms of ageing societies, play might hold the key to developing human-centred approaches for the future."


June 28, 2019 ~ Antonia's Line; Sleep; & Euthanasia

We did not make quorum for this meeting, but since we never established any guidelines for such stuff, we just carried on.  Made decisions and everything!

The business part of the meeting included talking about the film Antonia's Line that we will watch at our next meeting on July 12, 2019.  As a group, we had not really thought through the idea of watching a film and trying to discuss it, when the film itself is about 1:45hr long. The current plan is now this:
We'll have dinner and a Show! The meeting will be back to the usual 3:00 pm time. We watch first, take a break for supper, then discuss what we saw; though supper and the discussion will probably overlap. Supper will be something casserole-ish that will cook itself, and a salad. At the moment I'm thinking of a big spinach pie ala Spanakopita, and yes, there will be a few things to munch on during the movie). Feel free to holler if you don't like this idea, but really...makes sense to we 5. 

Next, Angela shared a flyer from Rosemary's Herb Shop about a product she offers called Really Deep Sleep.  Angela has not used it for long, yet, but feels that is definitely helping her sleep.

Irma offered to facilitate our 4th Friday meeting and will let us know the topic when she chooses one.   

There are New links up on the Links page.                   end of business, on to topic.

As you could tell from my emails, I struggled a bit with choosing a topic.  And we may revisit at some point my first idea of Ritual or Capital P Practice.

But we went with Euthanasia, a rich and deep and compelling subject. Five of us were here; all of us approve of the idea and want legislation that would make it legal everywhere, even when we might not want to use it ourselves. 

We shared a bit first about what a Good Death for each of us might be. We all had similar ideas of how that might look:

  • Pain-free was a high priority!
  • With friends/family
  • By choice if at all possible
  • At home
  • Laughing
  • Conscious and aware

We had similar ideas about when the right time might be:

  • a terminal diagnosis
  • dementia or Alzheimer's
  • uncontrollable pain
  • when we can no longer do the things that 'feed' us, whether that is our shared life with a sp0use, hobbies, music or art, etc.

We heard about the Neptune Society from Angela. The Neptune Society is a national organization that sells cremation services in 45 locations, including Albuquerque.
There are other companies who offer similar services, and most local funeral homes will allow you to pre-pay for the services you want.

I may have Death Cafe linked elsewhere on this blog, but I'm putting it here, anyway; (two links).   This article is from NPR.

Exit International is a site I mentioned to you, having heard of it from someone who had first-hand knowledge of the successful use of it's non-medical information for ending one's life. From this link here, you can learn about the company, founders, mission, etc. I have linked to a specific article on Euthanasia on our Links page.  I have signed up to get their email newsletter and let you know what I think.

We felt also that this subject, Euthanasia, is one we may want to pursue in greater detail. Particularly information from sites like Exit International, because no form of assisted suicide is legal in New Mexico. Or at least, not now. The latest efforts to pass a bill were defeated in March of this year. Kate suggested that a small committee might want to take on further research. Mostly we agreed on that, but felt that a larger number of members could make a better call about that. It won't be a topic on the 12th, but it will come up again, I'm sure. If you are intrigued by this subject, as I am, share whatever you find, or post here in comments.


Disclaimer:  Links to businesses selling or offering anything, whether product or service or information, are there For Your Information Only.
Neither I, nor any member (or friend or associate of a member) is a substitute for your own good sense and/or your own research.  

NPR and Elderhood, a new book.

A Clearer Map For Aging: 'Elderhood' Shows How Geriatricians Help Seniors Thrive

Heard on Fresh Air (link to podcast of interview)
"Dr. Louise Aronson says the U.S. doesn't have nearly enough geriatricians — physicians devoted to the health and care of older people: "There may be maybe six or seven thousand geriatricians," she says. "Compare that to the membership of the pediatric society, which is about 70,000."

Aronson is a geriatrician and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She notes that older adults make up a much larger percentage of hospital stays than their pediatric counterparts. The result, she says, is that many geriatricians wind up focusing on "the oldest and the frailest" — rather than concentrating on healthy aging.

Aronson sees geriatrics as a specialty that should adapt and change with each patient. "My youngest patient has been 60 and my oldest 111, so we're really talking a half-century there," she says. "I need to be a different sort of doctor for people at different ages and phases of old age."

She writes about changing approaches to elder health care and end-of-life care in her new book, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life.

Interview highlights

On how people's health needs become more complicated as they age

While old age itself is not a disease, it does increase vulnerability to disease. So it's the very rare person over age 60 ... and certainly over age 80, that doesn't tend to have several health conditions already. So when something new comes up, it's not only the new symptoms of potentially a new disease, but it's in the context of an older body of the other diseases, of the treatments for the other diseases.

If somebody comes in with symptoms and they're an older person, we do sometimes find that single unifying diagnosis, but that's actually the exception. If we're being careful, we more likely find something new and maybe a few other things. We add to a list [and], we end up with a larger list, not a smaller one, if we're really paying attention to everything going on in that person's life and with their health.

On how the immune system changes with age

Our immune system has multiple different layers of protection for us. And there are biological changes in all of those layers, and sometimes it's about the number of cells that are able to come to our defense, if we have an infection of some kind. Sometimes it's about literally the immune reaction. So we know, for example, that responses to vaccines tend to decline with age, and sometimes the immunity that people mount is less. It also tends to last less long. And that's just about the strength of the immune response, which changes in a variety of ways. But our immune system is part and parcel of every other organ system in our body, and so it increases our vulnerability as we get older across body systems.

On the importance of vaccines for older people

Older people ... are among the populations (also very young children) to be hospitalized or to die as a result of the flu. The flu vaccine, particularly in a good year, but even when the match isn't perfect in a given year, [protects] older people from getting that sick and from ending up in the hospital and from dying. ... That said, we have not optimized vaccines for older adults the way we have for other age groups. So if you look, for example, at the Centers for Disease Control's recommendations about vaccinations, you will see that there are, I believe, it's 17 categories for children, different substages of childhood for which they have different recommendations, and five stages for adulthood. But the people over age 65 are lumped in a single category. ... We're all different throughout our life spans, and we need to target our interventions to all of us, not just to certain segments of the population, namely children and adults, leaving elders out.

On how medications can change in how they affect the patient over time

Researchers have traditionally said, "Well, we're not going to include older people in our studies because their bodies are different and/or because they have other ailments that might interfere with their reaction to this medicine." But then they give the medicine to those same older people ... and so very frequently with a new medicine we will see all sorts of drug reactions that are not listed on the warnings. So message number one is just because it's not listed doesn't mean it's not the culprit. Another key point is really any medicine can do this. And it can do it even if the person has been on it a long time. ... We think of medicines as sort of fixed entities, but in fact what really matters is the interaction between the medication and the person. So even if the medication stays the same, the person may be changing.

On the importance of doing house calls in her work

What got me into medicine and what keeps me there is the people. And when you do a house call, you see the person in their environment, so they get to be a person first and a patient second, which I love. I also can see their living conditions, and more and more we're realizing and paying attention to how much these social factors really influence people's health and risk for good or bad outcomes.

Roberta Shorrock and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Deborah Franklin adapted it for Shots.

This story was submitted to Itsa Village by Irma.
Coincidentally (if you believe in that stuff), Dr. Louise Aronson is mentioned in other links on this blog, in an article she wrote called Ageism in Medicine.

"The Pinnacle of Adaptation"


"Keeping a human body upright and moving is a spectacular feat of coordination
and reaction under any circumstances. Doing so in the ninth decade of life
magnifies rather than diminishes the beauty of this achievement."    

"It is true that the second half of life includes experiences related to loss,
but it is also true that elderhood is not limited to these things. As we age,
we encounter an unexpected and highly significant rise in the power of adaptation.
The emergence of adaptability is perhaps the most important
and least acknowledged of the virtues of aging."

Dr. Bill Thomas is/was writing regular health columns for TGB. You can find out more about him here or here.

I think the full article is wonderful. It was his first post for TGB and certainly presents a (to me) delightful approach to aging.
He starts off by saying he thinks we're the healthiest group of people on the planet!  His explanation of how that could be makes complete sense to me.

I think you'll enjoy the article.

One more I can't resist - 90 year old Swing Dancer!

90 year old Hollywood Swing Dance legend Jean Veloz dancing with Lindy/ Swing dance instructor Steve Conrad of the Arizona LIndy Hop Society at FatCat Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ Music by Solomon Douglas.

Full disclosure: Ms. Veloz danced all her life, much of it professionally.  I found this link to notice of her 95th birthday, which includes links to some of her much older material.


We're Never TOO Old!!!

From a famous Older, here's Willie Nelson's latest effort, published on Youtube only a month ago. He's 86 years old now.
Some horse lovers and maybe some old women will appreciate this particular song.

Ride Me Back Home:

And check out this one, published just Last Week. Hear an Older sing about the passage of time in Come On Time:


Great Depression Cooking from Clara Cannucciari

Clara is dead now. But she was a cool old woman who started posting videos to Youtube 12 years ago.
She's funny, and tells stories throughout the cooking process.

Clara Cannucciari:
98 year old cook, author and great grandmother, Clara, recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Great Depression. Clara passed away in 2013. She left us with her recipes and stories and hoped that they would continue to entertain and teach you and your future generations.

a video chosen at random...

June 14, 2019 ~ Sleep

Another great meeting. I just LOVE this little sisterhood we're building!!

In new business this week, we shared a little energy with LB who was absent with an illness. We celebrated NE's absence because she's hosting grandchildren! And we missed NW and Jessica. NW is also hosting grandchildren. What a great way to spend time.  I'll just say, "Let us know if we should ship you some extra energy!!"  We miss Jessica most of the time; she's still a working woman, and one of us even in absentia.

(and in related news (that has nothing directly to do with us), I have a brand spanking new step-grand-nephew-in-law (?) as of 2:10 this morning June 15!!
His name is Jackson Beecher Fromhold; a name just a tiny bit bigger than he is. He lives in Georgia with his mom & dad.)

I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying this blog. I'm adding a new category for just fun stuff and will be posting videos (mostly) of fun and/or cool things other Olders do, or things WE could do... or whatever.  If you come across something you'd like to see here, just let me know; send a link...  

I shared some now-relieved anxiety over a doctor visit I had yesterday with a GI doc in Alamogordo. No need for details here, but the appointment was mostly very good news and quite encouraging.  
What I most came to see (AGAIN) is that worry and fear are usually needless activities that steal energy and waste time.  I think I get this lesson a little more clearly this time.   You All have permission to call me on it, if I slip in the future. :)

Kate H. facilitated our topic this week. She chose Sleep: lack of, too much, naps, medication, tips that help, dreams, anything remotely related. 
She began by reviewing our rules for sharing. I was glad about that....
and then later in the meeting I managed to break at least two of them: interrupting and advising!  Women, you can call me out on this stuff!! Really. And in the meantime, I apologize.

We had a lively discussion. Most of us, as most Olders, have noticed sleep patterns have changed over the years, and most feel that our sleep is inadequate or interrupted. Some of us nap; some of us don't. Irma is in the midst of getting treatment for Apnea. That will be useful knowledge since she is so willing to share.  When we talked about what we do when we wake or can't get to sleep, we found many similarities.  Several of us read, but agree that it needs to be boring material, not our favorite author or genre.  Some practice relaxation techniques of various kinds. One uses Melatonin now & then. Most, if not all of us, have one or more medications that we may use when all else fails or when the need to sleep is extra important...such as before a trip, or a worrisome activity. 
We talked a little about 'routine' in one's life. Most of us don't have one beyond keeping up with commitments to social, practical, or medical issues.
I'm including mention of Trazodone because it sounds quite effective (2-week period of adjustment to the drug), without any long term side-effects such as have been found with Ambien and its ilk. There is a ton of info on the web if you're curious.

When we felt we had exhausted the Sleep conversation, we switched to more fun things and planned a social outing or two.

First, the movie, Antonia's Line, has been shifted to be the feature of our July 12th meeting.

Second, our June 28th meeting has been shifted to run from 2:00-3:30 pm, in order to make it possible for some of us to hear The Secret Circus at the Hubbard Museum of the American West.  The door opens at 7:00 PM; show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 at the door and are for the show and the Museum. There will be a cash bar hosted by Lost Hiker Brewery. Ticket price benefits the Friends of the Museum and goes toward their educational goals.  Frankly, I'm not one of the 'rockers' in our group, so someone can just tell me about it.  :)

On July 4th, several of us will be going to The Women's Club in Carrizozo for music and food and to hear a band called Paul Pino and the Tone Daddies. Music starts at 5:00, BBQ brisket is on the menu.  Dinner starts at 4:00, music starts at 5:00. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

In closing chat, our resident technology maven told us about a program called Boot and Nuke for cleaning/removing data from computers or devices. It will Erase All Data. One should pay attention.  I'm checking with Revin that this link goes to the right product, and I will confirm that here when I know.

NOTE: Revin confirmed that the Boot & Nuke link is correct. I'll use it on Joel's computer one of these days and report.  Thanks, Revin.

That's it. See you next time


Time Goes By and Ronni Bennett

Time Goes By and Ronni Bennett   

For so many of the reasons that we started our Salon, you might want to consider reading this blog.
Time Goes By is subtitled "What it's really like to get old", and Ronni tells it like it is.

 I went there today because I wanted to let you know about her. What I found there caught me up short.
Ronnie is going thru her 2nd (and last) experience with cancer. She is terminal now and has been given "months or weeks".

I can't say enough good things about this blog, and by extension, its author. Her posts are pithy, well researched, honest, liberal, engaging, thoughtful.....
and comments left by her loyal readers are often as good as the posts.
Do yourself a favor...explore this site.

Death Cafe - a resource

Death Cafe is an organization started in England by Jon Underwood, a thoughtful man who has died.
They have a strong presence on Facebook, but I don't spend much time there anymore, so I am linking it here.

The website is designed to introduce you to Death Cafe, to teach one how to hold such meetings in their local areas, and to present articles and resources on this subject.

There are Many good articles linked on the site. Be sure to tell us of your favorites!

May 24, 2019 ~ Hope as Present Tense

We are having such interesting conversations around our Topics of the Day, that our recording secretary (namely, me!) is becoming quite lax about taking notes!

Today's topic was facilitated by NE who asked us to consider Hope. I've extracted this from the email she sent before the meeting:

The topic is "Hope as Present Tense."  As food for thought, here is a quote from Desmond Tutu that I find profound.  It sums up my approach to hope.
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."
And here are two other jewels about hope:
"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."  Michelle Obama

"Hope is that thing with feathers 
 That perches in the soul
 And sings the tune without the words
 And never stops at all."  Emily Dickinson
We all enjoyed a lively discussion in which we agreed to disagree, though we, each, came to understand our two main Points of
View (POV).
The first, Hope as Present Tense, was fairly clear. If one is feeling 'hopeful', she is certainly feeling that now.  "I hope my children grow up to be happy" or "I hope the cake doesn't fall".
Most consensus about this POV centered around Desmond Tutu's quote about being able to see the light in spite of darkness. Some of us would have called this more an attitude toward life, than about hope, itself. But his meaning seemed clear, and this was a statement on which we could agree.

The other side of this discussion is one that posits that the "Hope" is hopeful feelings that are future-based, as in "I hope this cold doesn't get worse", or "I hope my kid will go to college". The feelings may be present tense, but we considered feelings to be emotions in the present, and that the Hope itself was an attitude or POV, and remained, future-based.
In other business, Kate H. volunteered to facilitate the next meeting on June 14th.
And we have planned a movie meeting for the 28th to watch Antonia's Line, a movie about strong women. Mel and NE will facilitate that meeting. This synopsis was posted on IMDb:
"A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive."
See ya next time...
PS: I added the topic Sleep to our list... with questions :)

Lines on the Face: an Essay


Lines on the face, tattoos of aging
Life is proved upon the body
Like needle-jabs from a blind machine

The older one gets, the more one is conscious of aging. We can barely remember childhood innocence and exuberance. We are surprised by the youthful vitality and unmarked face when we see earlier photos of ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we reluctantly acknowledge the aging mask. It seems that there is no escaping the marks of life.

Every experience that we have, everything that we do and think is registered upon us as surely as the steady embroidery of a tattoo artist. But to a large degree the pattern and picture that will emerge is up to us. If we go to a tattoo artist, it is we who select the picture. In life, it is we who select what we will become by the actions we perform. There is no reason to go through life thoughtlessly, to let accident shape us. That is like allowing oneself to be tattooed by a blind man. How can you help but turn out old and ugly?

Whether we emerge beautiful or ugly is our sole responsibility.

From 365 Tao, Daily Meditations by Deng Ming Dao

disclaimer: If you purchase anything through my Amazon links, you will be making a small donation to The Nest, our local DV Shelter.

February 22, 2019 ~ First Meeting! Rules

Our First Meeting
They will be held on 2nd and 4th Fridays at my house, from 3:00 to 4:30. We set a timer.

We spent this meeting speaking about why I called for it. And why each answered the call.
We're all interested in aging until we die, and we recognize that this is often tricky.

We spent some time introducing ourselves to each other.

We talked about possible Topics (a list has evolved; find it in the sidebar)

And we clarified a very few RULES:
    Avoid giving advice; listen for words like "you should", etc.
    Don't interrupt each other
    Speak as much as possible in the 1st person; we're interested you & each other, not some anecdotal someone
    Stay on topic.

March 8, 2019 ~ Still very new; Pain mgmt

Our second meeting....still feeling our way

NWH had attended a presentation on Opioid Addiction and shared some of what she learned.
Several shared experiences they had had. Our group seems fairly well committed to avoiding those drugs already.

Kate H. had attended a presentation on Pain Management and shared some of that talk with us.
A couple of suggestions that we liked were journalling to track pain and identify patterns in it; to ask for PT rather than drugs when possible;
and to ask for what we need from each other, such as help with heavy chores or transportation.
We all agreed that asking for help is NOT fun. Agreed to practice it more.
And we talked about things we NEED help with. Varies for each.

More topics were added to the list. Find the list in the sidebar of this blog.

Kate H. volunteered to facilitate the next discussion.

A good quote: "If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them!"
  (I wanted to give credit for this quote, but when I came across the 3rd person claiming it in under 3 minutes on Google, I decided that none of them will be mentioned.  Arbitrary, I know...  )



March 22, 2019 ~ What Matters Most

Early days; still. Not many notes.

Kate facilitated our topic today, asking us What Matters Most, and What no longer Matters.
NWH could not attend, but she texted her comments on the subject and I read that text at the meeting.
Her comments struck most of us so I repeat them here:

    "...what matters to me is to have meditative/contemplative conversations with my body, spirit and soul
    to create a graceful energy leading to the day when all 3 decide to remain pure energy."

We spent some time on introductions with our new members: Revin, Angela and NE.

Someone suggested adding Sleep as a topic. We've done that, but I don't know who said it.


April 12, 2019 ~ Loss; housekeeping

Six of us were here today.  We have an ongoing discussion regarding how big this group 'should' be.
And we discovered that I had inadvertently left Kate off our email list! oops!  Fixed! 

Some of us agreed that we would like to know the topic for discussion before we meet and some want a reminder
of the meeting itself, since we meet on 2nd and 4th Fridays, instead of every week ...
For now, I will send those out: the reminder to be the day or two before a meeting, and the announced topic will be sent to the list by the facilitator, or
that person will email me, and I'll announce it.

Revin facilitated our discussion today on the subject of Loss. Things we loose as we age can fall into these categories:
Identity, Health, Money, Visibility. etc.  Several of us shared our experiences with these losses or similar ones.

Irma volunteered to Host while I am in Texas on May 10th.
NWH volunteered to facilitate the discussion at the next meeting, April 26th.


April 26, 2019 ~ Looking Back - or not...

Kate H added 3 topics to our list.  They are already in the Topics post of this blog, so I will not repeat them here.

Jessica provided a link to Care Bearers, a transportation service organized by Creative Aging. To access this service, call 575-258-1730.
I can't find a link to this service...     Creative Aging was founded and is run by Clara Farah.

NWH facilitated our topic this week, choosing Looking Back...or Not, a discussion having to do with Regrets, among other things.
She shared with us this poem, Regrets in Growing Old, and had printed out separate verses and related questions that we read and discussed.
In general, we agreed that regrets were somewhat of a waste of time,
and that we might reframe thoughts about things we may regret by expanding our POV (point of view) and noticing
how the consequences of those very things  have added value to our lives.

Revin was not present, but we drafted her as the next facilitator on May 10th. Angela will back her up, if she rejects the draft! 

We will meet at Irma's house for the next meeting on May 10th.  Until I'm certain that this blog is private I won't post her address.

It was at this meeting, and after a short discussion about privacy issues, that I have added this blog called Itsa Village to our resources.

Links to articles, videos, and anything else you can get to online

Articles: (note: some articles come from publications that may require a subscription; not all will remain available)

Finding Hope in Hopelessness

Can Exercise Reverse the Aging Process

What Doctors Don't Learn about Death and Dying

When You Eat Can Be as Important as What You Eat

The Invisibility of Older Women

Will a US Adaptation Ruin Sebastian Lelio's Gloria? an article about invisibility of older women and Cultural Differences

A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech 

Stop Telling Me That I Look Younger than My Age

Why Some People Don't Die in Peace

I Am (an Older) Woman. Hear Me Roar

Elders and Cannabis Use, another posting from TGB

Assisted Death in the United States - a Wikipedia article on this subject.

Dying a Good Death: what we need from the drugs meant to end life - This is an article from a site called The Conversation, another site I think will be very valuable to anyone interested in deep-diving into various subjects.  It's useful to note that you can choose other perspectives from which to read by clicking the little drop-down arrow in the box called "Edition" at the very top left of the page. Scroll to the bottom from any 'home' page and see who funds them, who founded them, who supports them. This article comes from the UK.

Playing Games: It's a Serious Way to Win Community Backing for Change

Building an Age-Friendly City - a Summary of the approach to transforming Badalona, Spain; now being studied for implementation in many EU locations.

Prevent Unnecessary Medical Treatment by Asking These Four Questions

M*A*S*H in Old Age (includes a short video not linked elsewhere)

Memento Mori: Life and Death in Western Art from Skulls to Still Life

The Heroism of Elders  a post by Ronni Bennett on the Real Heroes.... 

What Happens to Your Stuff When You Die? I Take Care of That.   An article from an estate appraiser and auctioneer.

In the Face of Death, the Party of a Lifetime   

San Francisco Zen Center announces "Zen inspired" Retirement community    

Living Large in Old Age - another Ronni Bennett post...  she is always a good read.

Children Process Grief Differently...  an article from the Washington Post

"We Need Each Other':Seniors Are Drawn to New Housing Arrangements - an article from the New York Times

TGB and Betty White!
OK, yes...I'm a little stuck on the Time Goes By blog... but look what I found!!
She has a whole category called TGB Interviews, here.
Here's a direct link to one with Betty White from 2011, when she was only 88!

Female Orgasm - an evolutionary basis. Both an article and a video.

The First Ever Human Composting Site Opens in Seattle
In April 2019, Washington became the first US state to legalize the composting of human bodies. As a result of this new legislation, the world’s first-ever composting site, Recompose, will open its doors in spring 2021 in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood.

"If 'Pain is an Opinion', There Are Ways to Change Your Mind" an article from The New York Times with many links to related material. This makes sense to me and is supported by my personal experience.

Ageism - A Beginner's Guide an article by Michelle Wright and published in Linkedin.

Disparagement Humor Isn't Funny  - an article from Big Think, written by Thomas E. Ford, Professor of Social Psychology at Western Carolina University.

Writing Your Own Obituary - an article and a video

Why You Can't Help But Act Your Age - an article from Nautilus, written by Anil Ananthaswamy.

The Movement to Bring Death Closer - an article from NYT, written by Maggie Jones. 

Want to Give a Gift That Helps? Buy & forgive medical debt  An article about RIP Medical Debt, a charity & website.

"Little Prince" Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Love, Mortality, and Night as an Existential Clarifying Force for the Deepest Truths of the Heart.  an article from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova.

The Real Trick to Staying Young Forever   Mentioned in an Itsa Village post here.

"Every Act a Ceremony" an article by Charles Eisenstein   

TGB shares commentary on her experience in this post When Breath Becomes Air.   

What Happens When You Tell Me Your Story and I Tell You Mine?  
an article from Greater Good Magazine, a publication of UC Berkeley.

How to Be a Better Web Searcher an article from Scientific American (by way of Pocket).

Why It's So Tempting to Build Walls & Shut People Out, an article from

I'm Going to Die. I May as Well Be Cheerful About It.  Opinion from Dr. Mary Pipher in the NYT. Notes: the NYT has a paywall.
Loved this article!!

A Zen Master's tips for Staying Sane in Challenging Times  fro the members at Plum Village, France.

An Anarchist Quaker's Prayer to Soothe Anxiety  -Anonymous

Women Leaders Are Doing a Disproportionately Great Job at Handling the Pandemic:... from CNN



Videos and Movies:

Let's End Ageism a TED video by Ashton Applewhite

How I Made Friends with Reality, a TED video by Emily Levine

Medical Devices, a John Oliver video

6 Types of People Who Do Not Deserve to Hear Your Shame Story

Why Your Doctor Needs Your Help to Battle Over-Treatment

Grief Isn't a Pathology; It's an Altered State of Mind

Why Times Seems to Fly As You Get Older a video from BBC and a Neuroscientist

Hannah Gadsby: Three Ideas. Three Contradictions. Or Not.   a TED video from Hannah who talks about her Autism diagnosis, among other things. Fascinating Woman!!

Brene Brown - Braving  This is the video I mentioned about Trust

Why Do We Treat Old People Like Babies? That's Ageism.  3 minutes with Ashton Applewhite

God vs No God - And the Winner is...  a video of Dr. David Eagleman, an American neuroscientist and writer at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is also the writer and presenter of the six-hour television series, The Brain with David Eagleman on PBS.

Female Orgasm - an evolutionary basis. Both an article and a video.

Cohousing Communities Help... a video from PBS Newshour.

Writing Your Own Obituary - an article and a video

The Lost Words Blessing   - a music video

Elder Perfect Tiny House  -specially designed

Terra Nova Films    This link goes to a site reviewing films for and about Elders, with further links to the actual reviews.


Regain Your Brain - an interview with Dr. Daniel Amen  (a YouTube link to an audio-only version is here.) See also the Minutes of that meeting here.


Blogs & Other Websites:

This Chair Rocks, by guess who! (Ashton Applewhite) NOTE: Her website is here.

Itsa Village a blog by Us!

Death Cafe

Time Goes By - a blog by Ronni Bennett. I've linked to the About page... Bennett is widely respected and held to be a leading expert in Elder Blogging.
I've just learned that Ronni is living with a terminal cancer diagnosis and still writing and videoing marvelous material. May we all be so motivated.
Bennett's blog has a TON of resources you may enjoy including ones she calls Geezer Flicks - presents many sides of controversial issues – not just two. This link should take you to the Euthanasia page where you will see two brief paragraphs. But scroll down the page just a little and you will see dozens of links to the same general subject by categories such as Definitions, Euthanasia in Practice, Legal Right and End of Life Documents, plus many others.  The right sidebar also includes links, including one to readers' comments. 
To see other subjects they cover in this way, just click on MORE Issues in their banner.  I'm liking this site as a treasure trove of information.
Also, I've very lightly researched a couple of board members, and I tend to believe their claims of non-partisan commentary. They seem to be mostly a huge database of research on controversial topics.

World Population Review - shows a map of the US states where Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide is legal.

Exit International - I've linked to the "About Us" page and submit this excerpt from there:

"Exit is unique in the right to die movement globally in that Exit represents a human rights (non-medical)
approach to a person’s right to determine the time and manner of their death."

Wait until you see the Sarco!!! - your own vehicle into the Beyond...whatever that is.

Refuge in Grief .. from their home page: 

“It's OK to not be OK
If your life has exploded into a million little bits, you don’t need platitudes.
You don’t need cheerleading. You don’t need to be told this all happened for a reason.
Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” 

What I Saw On Rounds Made Me Sick:  Zdogg is internest Zubin Damania M.D. Who explains on his website:

”As a way to address my own 'burnout' and find a voice, I started producing videos and live shows under the pseudonym 'ZDoggMD' that have since gone epidemically viral. This launched a grassroots movement — nearly a billion views and a passionate tribe dedicated to improving healthcare for everyone.”

I've signed up for his newsletter; will share stuff if others sound as good as this one. :)
            Update of 11-30-19: less excited; no longer following.

Brene Brown Braving This is the video I mentioned; braving is her acronym for Trust. She is all over the internet. For videos, go to Youtube and/or just search her name; tons will come up.  TED Talks, interviews, videos, graduation speeches, everywhere...  Enjoy her.

Days For Girls  this is the site supporting women with information and products for their menstrual cycles, and possibly an opportunity for some of us to volunteer.

A Very Cool Way to Help Folks... RIP Medical Debt 

Everything Else:

Journalling Apps:   

 * Top apps for iPhone - a list
 * a list from Lifehacker - a broader scope; includes android
 * the #1 on most lists - One Day
 * Lifewire's list - only one so far who ranked One Day lower: #4, because it does not interface with PC's.

I will add to this list at another time.
Anyone who comes across a journaling app or conducts a search, feel free to send me links! :)  




Books we've read or are considering..also an incomplete list

Being Mortal. A book and/or a video by Atul Gawande

This Chair Rocks, a Manifesto on Ageism Book by Ashton Applewhite.

Kicking the Bucket List by Gail Rubin

Checklist for My Family by Sally Balch Hurme (an AARP title)

Pussy: a Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer
        One of our members, Kate H., made this comment as she passed her copy on to the next reader:

    "The section “Sisterhood as Salvation” in the last chapter is interesting and relevant I think. I may not become an evangelist but our         group would enjoy/benefit I think when we get around to it.--" Kate H.

Elderhood: Redefining aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson

When Breath Becomes Air  -Paul Kalanithi   There are many links to info about PK online, but being dead, he has no active website.



DISCLAIMER: If you use these links to purchase products, You will be adding a donation to The Nest, our local Women's Shelter for victims of domestic abuse. 
I get no financial kick-back from any sale.


Topics: an unfinished list

Also refer to the lists of articles, videos, podcasts, and more, here for more topic ideas.
Users may add to this list at any time through comments on this post or by emailing me.

  • Boundaries
  • Ageism
  • Pain management
  • Depression management
  • End of life decisions
  • Financial challenges
  • Hearing aids
  • Euthanasia: an option?
  • Assisted Living?
  • Docs and meds: the good the bad and the ugly
  • Regrets resolved?
  • What matters now? What does not matter... topic of Last Meeting
  • Sleep: do you get enough? tired? are naps ok? how much it too much?

    Adding new Topics July 1, 2019    ...feel free to suggest others

  • Death & Dying

    Will continue to add topics as they occur to us..

  • Identity Politics 
  • Co-Housing
  • Medical Mess-ups & unnecessary tests, drugs, etc.


  • Reiki/Energy Work
  • Losses as a result of Aging
  • Our Make-A-Wish Lists (improbable, but potentially doable day dreams - like skydiving, for example!)
  • Trust
  • Trust Games/Exercises

  • Our Biases and Prejudices and How We Came to Hold Them.