EndNotes archive for Dec. 2013

TUESDAY, DEC. 31, 2013

Hot-air balloons lift off from Boise's Ann Morrison Park in 2011 (Betsy Russell)

Celebrating the years

How could a couple, 61-years married, celebrate their anniversary? They agree to a photo shoot with props inspired by the movie “Up,” a gift from their family. Donald and Dorothy Lutz have only one photograph from their wedding, but a scrapbook filled with great photos...

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MONDAY, DEC. 30, 2013

A couple walks along the beach on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Gulfport, Miss. Preparations are underway along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen moves through the Gulf of Mexico. (Amanda Mccoy / The Sun Herald)

To retire…or not?

As the year ends, many people are assessing their lives and planning for 2014. And for Boomers, retirement may be one possible option. Look at the history of retirement, trends and most of all, make plans before you write that farewell memo. (See Boomer U...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 29, 2013

Sunrise, Boise, Idaho, 10/28/11 (Betsy Russell)

Yesterday on ‘Today’ tomorrow 

Remember waking up to Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel? The team will join Matt Lauer on Today for a reunion on Monday’s show. Jane Pauley continues to grace the screen of Today each month with a segment on older Americans and their encore careers. Worth...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 28, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry rubs his eyes while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the hope of persuading Congress to not forge any new economic sanctions on Iran that could break the recent historic agreement that would end Iran�s progress toward weapons-grade uranium. The deal struck in Geneva prohibits the Obama administration from introducing new sanctions for six months. Iran's foreign minister has said any new package of commercial restrictions would break the agreement. (J. Applewhite / Associated Press)

When to say when 

Many times we have cleaned our glasses or contact lenses and our view of the world has not improved. Hazy skies? No, cataracts. And they are the leading cause of blindness, but also a normal process of aging. The surgery is the most common one...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 27, 2013

How many gifts to give? 

My cousin decided last year that this year her children would receive only three Christmas gifts citing that Jesus had three gifts – one from each wise man. She worried that they would feel short-changed. They did not. Instead, they were delighted and attentive. Do...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 24, 2013

Morning Moon taken by Tony Wadden for Becky Nappi blog

Christmas gift of love

Before she died, Brenda Schmitz wrote a letter asking that her three wishes be fulfilled – when the time was right. The time would be right when her husband found a new love. Two years later, the letter was sent – anonymously – to a...

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The sun and nearby clouds of smoke turn a brilliant red where a wildfire burns past the paved section of Number 1 Canyon Road Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, near Wenatchee, Wash. Crews in central Washington and Wyoming worked Monday to protect homes from two of the many wildfires burning throughout the West as a destructive fire season stretches into September with no relief expected from the weather anytime soon. The National Weather service issued red-flag warnings for wide swaths of eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and all of Wyoming, meaning conditions could exacerbate blazes. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Winter's nap?

Remember the thrill of being able – allowed - to stay up as late as you want? My, how age changes our desires. Sleep and its ability to restore and delight us seem more appealing as we age. Sweet dreams. (S-R archive photo)

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MONDAY, DEC. 23, 2013

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Pope Francis visits the Santa Marta dispensary at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. For more than 90 years, the dispensary on the Vatican grounds has been distributing milk, clothing, diapers, toys and even baby carriages to families in need. (L' Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis ~ this week

He is Time magazine’s "Person of the Year;" he is tweeted about and talked about and loved. He celebrated his birthday last week and invited in homeless neighbors. Later in the week when a woman’s baby was crying, he suggested the child needed to be...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 22, 2013

In this undated publicity still photo, James Stewart, as George Bailey, center, is reunited with his wife, played by Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” NBC will broadcast the film on Dec. 12 and 24 at 8 p.m.Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos)

It is a wonderful life

December 22: Soon the days will offer daylight noticeably longer. The shadows of 4:30 will disappear and sunshine will linger. Some believe that depression is greatest this time of year. Take George Bailey who tries to kill himself in “It’s a Wonderful Life” by jumping...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 21, 2013

Spectacular sunset: The sun sets on the horizon, as seen from the Otis Orchards post office last Saturday. (J. Bart Rayniak)

Home, at last

Clara Gantt waited 63 years for her beloved’s return. His body arrived at LAX on Friday and 95-year-old Clara was there to accept his remains. Clara’s husband, Sgt. First Class Joseph Gannt, had been presumed dead after being captured as a prisoner of war in...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 20, 2013

Small Miracles

In Balsas, Ecuador, an isolated community, many of its citizens have Laron syndrome, a genetic mutation that causes dwarfism – and may hold a key to preventing cancer as well as diabetes. If scientists can develop the pharmacological substance that would mimic Laron syndrome, it...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 19, 2013

 Pittsburgh was the first North American city to host The Rubber Duck Project (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

Quack, quack, quack

Lots of talk about Duck Dynasty’s character who recently said gay relationships are “sinful.” His detailed comments now have him suspended from the show. When does “free speech” cross the line? And why, oh why, do some who describe themselves as Christians make such hateful...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18, 2013

Traffic Hell

After spending 7 hours on the freeway, travelling 60 miles, I walked through our front door claiming I felt like Goldie Hawn’s character in “Overboard.” Hawn spends hours with a chain saw in hand and later sits in a semi-catatonic state muttering, “ba-ba-ba-ba-.” And I...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 17, 2013

Canine bliss

Our pets give us unconditional love and attention. As the prayer says, “Please God, help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” Well, something like that. Somehow the attention of one's dog (or, I admit for some, one’s cat) can...

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MONDAY, DEC. 16, 2013

Peter O'Toole

…has died. O’Toole, a British actor of stage and screen, was a wildly handsome and just plain wild man who earned eight Academy Award nominations, but never won the award. He won hearts instead. He is best known for his role in “Lawrence of Arabia.”...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 15, 2013

“Traditions of Christmas” runs through Dec. 23 at CdA’s Kroc Center.

Holy-day traditions

As the ads for “stuff” continue to inundate us with shopping messages, it is easy to be consumed with consumerism. However, we can find our own ways to celebrate the holy holidays. Yesterday we celebrated “Friends-giving.” We gathered with our friends of 30 years (and...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 14, 2013

Soaring high: A bald eagle wheels patiently high above Lake Coeur d’Alene on Friday during the annual gathering of eagles in December to feast on spawned-out kokanee salmon. Though fewer in number than in other years, several birds were feeding Friday near Higgens Point on Wolf Lodge Bay with others stationed around Beauty Bay. (Jesse Tinsley)

Newtown ~ one year later

We remember the news of one year ago: 20 children, six staff members in an idyllic elementary school, killed. Our lives have gone on, but those families and their community continue to struggle with the loss of innocence and the loss of precious loved ones....

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013

For Tom Royce, SJ

When I heard the news that Tom Royce, SJ, had left his Earthly journey, now welcomed into heaven, I grabbed my GU-in-Florence sweatshirt and put it on. The logo rests over my heart. Seems perfect. Tom Royce, SJ, taught philosophy at GU my freshman year....

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In this Saturday, March 2, 2013 photo, a woman smokes a cigarette at her home in Hayneville, Ala. A new study released on Monday, March 4, 2013 offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling. A new study found that over 10 years, death rates for women under age 75 increased in nearly half of U.S. counties - many of them rural and in the South and West. There was no such trend among men. Some leading theories blame higher smoking rates and higher unemployment, but several experts said they simply don't know. (Dave Martin / Associated Press)

Where there's smoke

We have heard of the dangerous effects of drugs – including tobacco – on an unborn child. According to research funded by the National Institutes of Health, use of those substances during pregnancy can double or triple the chances of that child being “stillborn.” Health...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 10, 2013

In this photo provided by NASA, Comet ISON shines in this five-minute exposure taken at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Nov. 8. At the time of this picture, Comet ISON was 97 million miles from Earth, heading toward a close encounter with the sun on Nov. 28. (Associated Press)

Poetry, please

A colleague - L. Patrick Carroll - is home recovering from a hip replacement; he is a wonderful writer and shares the following poem. Enjoy his lovely words. The Christmas Feast I keep getting “fixed”; Stuff wears out or breaks. Hopes, dreams, ideals… Recently a...

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MONDAY, DEC. 9, 2013

Curing cancer 

Doctors are reporting stunning success in the ongoing fight against cancer. Gene therapy holds tremendous promise in fighting blood cancers such as leukemia. By changing a patient’s own cells into cells that attack the cancer, patients show no signs of cancer. Emily Whitehead, 8, of...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 8, 2013

Morning Moon taken by Tony Wadden for Becky Nappi blog

Night life

He was charming and fun and kind and smart. Oh, and I found him attractive – tall and confident, a bit reserved. A thinker. The party was filled with many interesting guests. But he and I continued to talk and talk only with each other;...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 7, 2013

Got a Second Wind?

She always wanted to wear a wedding dress. But Ruth Crawford, 70, was married after WWII in a time when money was tight and men were going off to or returning from war. She married the love of her life on a Friday night in...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 6, 2013

Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Papal visits

We have seen the guards and the pomp and ceremony that accompany popes as they travel. But Pope Francis I apparently manages to sidestep that protocol and slip out of his residence and into the community. He moves among the poor, those who move through...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 5, 2013

FILE - In this May 10, 1994 file photo, Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office in Pretoria, South Africa, to become the country's first black president. South Africa's president says, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, that Mandela has died. He was 95. (David Brauchli / Associated Press)

Nelson Mandela ~ Prophet, Politician, Peacemaker 

Nelson Mandela has died. His rich and dramatic life, from prisoner to president, seems as though it could have been lived by many people, seems impossible that one man lived, survived and transformed a nation as well as transformed hearts. One remarkable man did; an...

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.


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