Monday, August 27, 2012

Social Isolation

In the September/October 2012 issue of Psychology Today, there is a quote on page 61 that says, "low levels of social interaction have the same effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day--and worse effects than being obese or not exercising." This is important so I'm going to talk about it again. Young people don't talk anymore. They text. They e-mail. They twitter. Does social interaction mean talking face to face? Does texting and e-mail count as social interaction? I don't find it enough. I think there needs to be more face to face contact.

In the time of Facebook and texting, conversation is rare but so desperately needed. There needs to be more opportunities for social interaction where there is conversation, debate, socializing, talking, etc. There needs to be gathering centers in every neighborhood. There isn't a Senior Center in Northgate. There needs to be one. Most gyms don't have smoothie bars with lots of tables that encourage people to gather and talk. There needs to be opportunities to mingle to get to know your neighbors and learn about them and talk within a safe area.

As babyboomers grow older, this will be even more important to have ways to connect and gather.

I've been very deliberate in my attempt to find what I want in Seattle. I go out almost every day to do something. I try to exercise every day at the gym. Sometimes I go mall walking. I enjoy walking around Green Lake but don't do it as often as I should. I enjoy Hydrofit at the Helen Madison pool. I love to play mah jongg but often find a conflict with the times for mah jongg and my first priority that is exercise/health. I want to learn bridge but haven't found a beginning bridge group to play with. I read lots of books. Sometimes I go to a movie. I guess I am kind of boring but I have a good time.

Do I have close friends yet? No, but I figure that if I keep doing what I am doing, I am going to find good friends.

My Notebook

I created a notebook when I moved to Seattle of all the things I wanted to find here and learn about. I have tabs for Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Science Center, Woodland Park Zoo, Aquarium, mah jongg, roller skating, quilting, Toastmasters, the Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Broadway plays, knitting, bridge, tennis, 24 Hour Fitness, Hydrofit, Seattle Metro bus system, Weight Watchers, dancing, New Horizons Band. I stuffed the pages with information I found on Google. I couldn't find a New Horizons Band close so that has to be forgotten. I have everything I could want here.

The best part is that when I have been a resident for a year, I can go to the University of Washington and take classes for only $5. I can take two classes a term. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow and I'm looking forward to winter term. I can also take classes at North Seattle Community College--two classes a term. Such a deal. I wish all who wanted to attend could take classes at this price.

I am grateful to live in Seattle. It is the gathering place of the most intelligent people in the United States. They do everything well and I have a lot to learn from the people here. I am excited to be here. I'm grateful. I look forward to living here. Seattle has lots of festivals. Next year I want to watch the pirate ship and the pirates land on Alki Beach. I didn't find out in time which bus would take me there. Parking is at a premium in Seattle so it is much better to go places on the bus. There is also a yearly Norwegian Festival in Ballard. There is so many great events. I'm lucky and blessed to live here.

Social Isolation

I got my copy of Psychology Today in the mail. There is an interesting cover article, "Life Lessons: 5 Truths People Learn Too late." What really caught my eye was the quote on page 61 from the research from Utah. "Low levels of social interaction have the same effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day--and worse effects than being obese or not exercising." I thought it interesting that two universities from Utah [University of Utah and Brigham Young University] were sited in this article about the dangers of social isolation since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are big ones for shunning. The psychological damage and abuse of shunning is tremendous. Many churches use shunning as a way of getting their members into line. The Amish are another religion that does this. If I were in the Senate, I'd write a bill to prevent churches from allowing such a practice that is such a danger to public health. It is cruel. It is interesting that Christian churches often use shunning because Jesus said to love all your neighbors as yourself. This doesn't mean that you judge. This means that you love even those people who are hard to love. God judges.

When I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 to 2001 or 2002, my husband and I were shunned. It wasn't any fun and I couldn't understand why. We were serving as church service missionaries at the time to help people find employment in an 8 stake area. I quit after 6 months after the shunning. I objected to many things about this church which you don't learn until you get deeper into it. My husband and I wrote letters to Salt Lake City objecting to things that shouldn't happen. My husband told me that in Elders Quorum, there were times when an order to shun an individual was announced.

It has been coming out in the newspapers in Oregon and Washington how the Boy Scouts of America has been protecting child abusers who have served as leaders. The general public doesn't realize how linked Boy Scouts is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A leader in Boy Scouts is a calling in the church. Boy Scouts is basically a Mormon organization!

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can't have a different opinion and you can't challenge a leader or question them. You must always fall into line. After my letter to Salt Lake City, Bishop Haslam told my husband to shut me up and control me. Not long after he was promoted to Stake President. No matter what a leader does, it is right in this church. Members can become gods. I think this is what attracted my husband. And it is funny but even if the leader is wrong, it is still the will of God because it was meant to happen. Will I vote for Romney? Not in a million years!!!!!

So what did I object to in this church that brought the big sanction?  I disagree with polygamy. This church keeps printing quads that says it is God's will. One of my letters was about this. I disagree with protecting child abusers and not reporting crimes to the police. When you go to the temple, you have to promise not to laugh loud. I knew this wasn't going to work out when I heard this. Happiness is bad. One doctor bragged to my husband that Utah was an enlightened state because it uses the most psychotropic drugs. That's necessary to keep their members following the leaders and not objecting to anything they do. You can't have a temple recommend, if you disagree with the leadership of the church. Bah humbug. In other words, you can't have an opinion that is different. I was told I couldn't read National Geographic and should only read church literature. This was from a visit from my visiting teachers from the Relief Society when I lived in Alsea.
There is more that I object to.  What did I enjoy about the church? I loved singing in the Stake choir. I loved writing plays and planning for Primary as Primary President. I loved visiting sisters. I loved having parties in my home in Salem at the 4 Corners Ward in East Salem when I lived on Burlwood Loop. I miss this. Do I have friends now? No. Were these people my friends? No. They weren't there when I needed someone when my husband died and when I needed help.

Seattle Weather

I love Seattle. I haven't enjoyed the hot weather but I haven't anything to complain about because it isn't going to last long. The weather forecast for today is a high of 72 with a low of 54. It would be great if the weather dial would stay between 45 and 68 but living in Seattle is about as good as it gets and I'm lucky to live where there is mild, temperate weather. I don't mind the rain at all. It's refreshing and clears the air. I enjoy the wind because it clears out any polluted air from the freeway. I stay out of the hot sun. I know I need a daily dose of Vitamin D but I figure short walks gets it in. You will never see me sitting out in the hot sun with the intention of getting a tan.

Hood to Coast

My daughter, Gretchen Bennett and her husband, Chris and my son, Benjamin Haber and his wife, Amanda ran Hood to Coast in Oregon this weekend. Their team name is Running in Harmony. It would be great if my sons, Joe and Daniel were also running next year with their wives.

Big Brother

I am a big fan of Big Brother. I love this show. I'm a closet anthropologist and I think that this is a great study of human behavior. I'm sad that Mike Boogie got voted off. He's a good person and the best player in Big Brother history plus he's fun and livens things up. I really like Frank too. Frank is now my favorite. You know how he feels. He's honest, trustworthy, and a good person. Why he is unemployed, I have no idea because anyone would be lucky to have him be part of their corporate team. He's smart, athletic, quick, honest, and has integrity. I would apply for Big Brother, if I was younger and thinner.

It was so funny on Big Brother when Brittany commented about Frank winning all the competitions. She said, "Who is he competing with? People in hospice?" It's true. Frank's very competitive and athletic. He's really great at everything. He's alone and has to win everything in order to stay in the house because everyone wants him out. He deserves to win it all. He's smart enough and athletic enough to win all the competitions and deserves to win the $500,000 at the end.

Monday, August 13, 2012


This is the exercise that I have done for the week.

August 8 on Wednesday

  • 45 minute training session with trainer
August 9 on Thursday
  • 30 minutes elliptical
  • 50 minutes body pump
  • 60 minutes hydrofit
August 10 on Friday
  • 60 minutes elliptical--level 10, resistance 10
  • 55 minutes hydrofit
August 11 on Saturday
  • 50 minutes body pump
August 12 on Sunday
  • 55 min. elliptical--level 10, resistance 10
August 13 on Monday
  • 45 minute training session with trainer
I bought three training sessions with a trainer because the manager was nice to video tape me so I could send it in to Biggest Loser. I figured that at age 64, unless I could prove I could move, I wouldn't have a chance. Everyone at Weight Watchers dreams of having a trainer. I can't afford a trainer and to be honest, I would rather have fun taking Zumba and body pump classes. I get more out of it and it is free with my gym membership.

Gyms for Seniors

There needs to be gyms for senior or gyms need to do a better job of providing more exercise choices for members. Most of the time when you walk into a gym, it is one program for everyone, no matter what the demographics. Usually all you get is a sitting in a chair exercise program for old folks. I think there should be a wide variety of choices. You can't train everyone the same.

If I had a gym or managed a gym, it would have to be a spacious gym with lots of choices. There would need to be three huge exercise classrooms the size of a basket ball court with no pillars in the center of the room to obscure vision. There should be classes running from early morning until evening in each classroom running every hour with lots of variety and choices. There should be Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, pilates, yoga, hatha yoga, standing abs, body pump, body pump for seniors, line dancing, ballroom dancing, and on and on. One of these classrooms would allow roller skating at different times of the day, every day. The more choices the better.

If I have to sit in a chair and exercise just because I am 64, I might as well give it up. I refuse! I have a lot more active years ahead of me. I feel like I have just begun living and I am determined to run and dance and play well into my 90's!

Since I don't have health care, I try to exercise more and longer at a slower rate. Often trainers tell you to go faster to bring up your heart rate and then injury often occurs with older people. I think it is important to listen to your body and exercise slower and exercise longer. I think you have to build up endurance and strength but you must do it safely.

Health Care

I keep hearing from different people about how awful the health care in Canada is. "#%^&@," I say. The people in Canada receive health care and they don't have to pay. Maybe sometimes they have to wait in lines but at least they get care. I haven't had a complete physical in years and years. I don't remember when the last time was because if I do see a doctor and pay through the nose, it is for a specific symptom. Last time was to clean the wax out of my ears. Yes, for the most part I am very healthy. That's because I am putting my money into a gym membership and healthy eating. I won't receive care until 2014 when President Obama's health care kicks in. Then I still won't get the care that I would get in Sweden or in countries where prevention comes first. Prevention doesn't come first in this country. There has to be a major overhaul in the health care system.

In the United States, there is a different kind of health care when you are rich and have lots of medical insurance compared to the health care you get when you don't have insurance or lots of money. I know because I saw what happened to my husband in Oregon. Let me give you just one example. He was being seen by an oncologist at OHSU, the best care in Oregon. She said he needed a blood transfusion so I said why can't he have it right now. She said he has to come back for an outpatient treatment. That meant that I had to drive him back to Alsea, three hours away and then come back two days later, three hours back. It was hard for him to sit in the car because he had a feeding tube and he was in pain. I brought him back to get the blood transfusion and he ended up in the ER and admitted to the hospital. Am I impressed with health care in this country. NO!

To even think that Romney could get elected makes me shudder because he wants to take everything back to the Bush disaster where this country was verging on a major depression. Romney doesn't think the rich should have to pay 60% in taxes. He doesn't think many programs that help people should continue.

I hope and pray that President Obama gets reelected and that the Democrats work together for better health care.

Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont should run for President after President Obama has finished his last 4 years, then maybe health care would really get good and people would be valued in this country.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ann Rule and Leslie Rule

I had the best time today at 1 p.m. Ann Rule and her daughter, Leslie Rule came to Barnes and Noble at the Northgate Mall in Seattle to sign books. It was an honor to meet them both. Ann Rule lives in the Seattle area and Leslie Rule lives in Seattle. The ladies ahead of me had several books to have signed and had read every one of Ann Rules books so I was blessed with the opportunity to listen. They are both so nice.

Ann Rule was a former Seattle police officer and has written 31 New York Times best selling true crime novels. She's a great writer and brings true crime to life on the pages of each of her books. She graduated from the University of Washington and has a Ph.D. from Willamette University. She is "a certified instructor for police training seminars and lectures to law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and forensic organizations, including the FBI and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences." She is so nice to talk to. It would be wonderful if I could listen to her more about her writing, the process of her writing, investigating, etc. She wrote about the Green River killer in GREEN RIVER, RUNNING RED. She wrote about Diane Downs, a case familiar to anyone who lives in Oregon in SMALL SACRIFICES. Her latest book is IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and her mother's unceasing quest for the truth.  If you aren't already a fan, you will be when you start reading her books.

Leslie Rule is the daughter of Ann Rule. It was a pleasure to meet her. She is every bit as nice as her mother. Her book, WHERE ANGELS TREAD: Real Stories of Miracles and Angelic Intervention is one of five books on the paranormal that she has published. I look forward to reading it. At the back of her book, it says that she grew up in a haunted house so that sounds intriguing and makes me want to read all her books. Her other books are COAST TO COAST GHOSTS: True Stories of Hauntings Across America; GHOSTS AMONG US: True Stories of Spirit Encounters; WHEN THE GHOST SCREAMS: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt; and GHOST IN THE MIRROR: Real Cases of Spirit Encounters. Leslie is a professional photographer and author of seven books.