Making The Best Of A Delayed Flight

A delayed flight with the Port City SoundYou know the drill… You hop on your flight and get buckled in when the captain comes on the intercom with this announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen we’ve been placed on a weather hold because of storms rolling across the greater Chicago area.  The tower has asked us to hang tight here in the gate area while this weather moves through.  Current estimates put our hold at around 30 minutes or so.”

Naturally, a delayed flight is anxiety inducing and uncomfortable for all.  This is usually the case, but on a recent US Airways flight to New Orleans a flight delay got you a free ticket to hear the Port City Sound, an award winning barbershop quartet!  Kari Mann a flight attendant for US Airways captured the moment and the smiles that went with it.  Hats off to these guys for making this a flight to remember.  They’re incredibly talented and get 2 thumbs up from The Senior List!  Watch the video below.

How Much Time Do We Have?

How much time do we have?

What are you doing with all of your time?

How much time is left?

Your Life in JellybeansThese are tough questions to answer, but the video below puts them in perspective using 28,835 jellybeans of all things!  Why the number 28,835? Because this is the average number of days we have to live our lives.  Some have more days, and some have less… But on average, this is what we get.  In the video below by Zefrank1 on YouTube, each day is represented by a single jellybean.

What if I told you that it would take 5,474 days to turn 15 years old (ya I know that’s easy math).  At 15 years old we’re on the precipice of adulthood, and we have our whole life in front of us.  Now for some interesting statistics from the American Time Use Survey (creatively illustrated by Zefrank1).  After turning 15, you’ll spend 8,477 days sleeping, 1,635 days eating, drinking and preparing food, and 3,202 days at work (ugh).  Additionally (with special thanks to Lakers fans) you can plan on wasting 1,099 days in the car commuting to wherever it is you’re going.

Just how much time to we have left?  What else are we spending our time on? How bout watching TV, doing chores, caring for friends and family, bathroom activities, and community services.  After all that… What’s left over?  And more importantly, what does it all mean?  Watch the video to find out.

28,835 days

2015 Senior Discounts: Restaurants

Restaurant Discounts for SeniorsOne of our most popular posts last year (in 2014) was our big list of senior discounts.  This discount list included everything from food and entertainment, to apparel and cell phone discounts.  To make our growing senior discount posts easier to process, we’re going to break them down into categories so they’re easier to navigate, and so we can interact more specifically with our readers.

Let us know what senior discounts are working (and what discounts aren’t working out) in the comments section. Also, add any (confirmed) discounts that are missing so we can build this valuable resource together.

There was an interesting article published recently by the BBC’s Business News Section (published yesterday) which discussed the rude awakening waiting for pensioners when they retire.  They simply won’t have enough money to live comfortably.  With that said, there are discounts to be had just by asking for them.  If you saved a dollar a day by asking for your 50+ benefit, you’d have over $300 at the end of the year.  That’s not small change!

Asking For Your Senior Discounts

One of the pieces of advice we give to everyone concerning senior discounts is to simply ask your server before you order.  Ask them, “Do you have any senior discounts?”  If you do this ahead of time, you’ll know if there is a special menu that might be available.  It may have additional offerings, smaller portions, and/or better value for your money.  The worst that can happen is they say “No”.  Here is our 2015 List of Senior Discounts for Restaurants.

The Senior List Check Mark

Best Senior Discounts For Dining Out

Applebee’s: 10-15% off senior discounts (varies by location) MAY require Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
A&W All American Food: 10% Senior discount varies by location
Backyard Burger: free drink with purchase
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off for seniors (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+) plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: 10% off for AARP Members
Captain D’s Seafood: “Happy Wednesday Offer” choice of 8 meals + drink for $4.99 or less- varies by loc. (62+)
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: 20% off on Wednesdays to AARP Members
Carrows Restaurants: Golden 55 Menu offers discounted bfast, lunch & dinner (55+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Country Kitchen: Great Senior Menu (55+)
Culvers: 10% off senior discount (60+)
Dairy Queen: 10% off for seniors (15% for coaches) varies by location (free small drink at some locations)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
Dunkin’ Donuts:  AARP members receive a free donut with the purchase of a large hot coffee (at participating restaurants)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
El Pollo Loco: 10% off senior discounts varies by location (55+)
Friendly’s Restaurants: Breakfast discount varies by location (60+) Senior List readers to confirm
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: Great discounts on senior menu items (55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
Kagle’s Barbecue: 10% off (50+)
KFC: Free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver’s: Various discounts at locations (55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Outback Steakhouse: 15% off AARP members for meals Monday through Thursday (alcohol excluded)
Old Country Buffet: Daily discounts for seniors (55+)
Papa John’s: 25% off (55+) for online orders. Enter the code “AARP25″ when placing your order
Ponderosa Steak Houses: Senior Discounts Vary- Senior menu available (60+)
Shoney’s: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+) varies by location
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (60+)
Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off for seniors (50+)
Traditions Restaurant (East TX): Senior platter meal for $4.71 (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
Whataburger: Free drink w/ purchase of a meal- varies by loc. (55+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+)

Readers, providers and publishers: Feel free to share our list with attribution, and a link to this updated post. OK- Your turn to add to the list!  Shout Out in the comments below :)

Old Paintbrushes Become Works Of Art

When speaking about Paintbrushes the Encyclopedia Brittanica (2008) notes that paintbrushes are a “device composed of natural or synthetic fibres set into a handle that is used for cleaning, grooming, polishing, writing, or painting. Brushes were used by man as early as the Paleolithic Period (began about 2,500,000 years ago) to apply pigment, as shown by the cave paintings of Altamira in Spain and the Perigord in France. In historical times the early Egyptians used brushes to create their elaborate tomb paintings, while the ancient Chinese employed the tip of a long-haired brush to make the many intricate characters of their writing, a practice continued in the Orient today.”

The Paint Brush Series - Works of Art

So what does one do with an old and discarded paleolithic pigment propagator?  Well if you’re Rebecca Szeto, you turn it into an exquisite piece of art!  That’s right, old and discarded paintbrushes can be turned into works of art IF you have an eye for the creative… and a desire to find “the poetic intersection of the material and the immaterial”.  If that sounds a little odd or even ironic, this is exactly what happens when San Francisco artist Rebecca Szeto gets her hand on old paint brushes.  What began as an afterthought, Ms. Szeto was looking for something to do with discarded paintbrushes left over from her faux finishing jobs.  What she came up with is truly inspiring!

The Paint Brush Series - Works of Art

“These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value. I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, with its own tool.” –Rebecca Szeto

The Paint Brush Series - works of art

Old Paint Brushes Are Works of Art

(Click to View)

Top 10 Inspirational Photos From Last Week

We searched the web high and low to come up with the top 10 inspirational photos from the web last week.  Origins are unknown, but we thought sharing these would put a smile on your face and bring inspiration to your day!

We routinely post inspiring images and thoughts-of-the-day on our Facebook page, along with articles that are pertinent to the lives of boomers and seniors everywhere.  Be sure and join our robust community on Facebook so we can share with one another on a personal level.  If you’re on twitter, you can follow us there too at @SeniorList.  Enjoy!

Top 10 Inspirational Photos

Top 10 Inspirational Photos

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Top 10 Inspirational Photos

Top 10 Inspiring Photos

Top 10 Inspirational photos

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Top 10 inspirational photos

Top 10 inspirational photos

Top 10 Inspirational Images

top 10 inspirational images

If you have words of wisdom, or sources of inspiration to share with The Senior List community we invite you to do so in the comments section below.  We love hearing from you!

Movie Review: Land Ho!

Independent Film Land Ho!I’m jaded when it comes to movies.  Throughout an entire show, I’m waiting for something to go wrong, or a twist in the plot I never saw coming.  A movie can be rolling right along with a feel-good story line, everything is hunky-dory and then- BAM!  Someone cheats, dies suddenly or the aliens descend to take over the planet.  So, I don’t watch many movies, except for the 8-10 year old boy genre that my kids like.

So, I take great pleasure in sharing the movie review for “Land Ho!”, directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens.  It is one of the best “grown-up” movies I have seen in quite a while.  Set in picturesque Iceland, former 60 year old brothers-in-law Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) set off on a journey to explore new frontiers and reconnect to their youth (and each other).  Mitch is a loud and unabashedly female-approving older man.  Colin is a reserved and soft spoken Australian gentleman who is more interested in a person’s intelligence than her assets.  The audience is privy to intimate conversations about aging, marriage, divorce, kids, and of course, women.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfathers, getting a fly-on-the-wall view of things they would say if I were not around.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but I’ll let you in on a secret, I was smiling the whole time. And giggling and laughing out loud. And sometimes embarrassed to be hearing such intimate thoughts from two older men I had come to love in a grand-daughterly sort of way.

The Icelandic setting is gorgeous- filled with ocean cliffs, geysers, and natural hot springs, I’m ready to purchase a plane ticket.  The film is able to relate to audiences from mid-20’s to the golden years with its honest insight and celebration of the two.  There is even a dance club scene with glow sticks for the truly young at heart.  The film is set to be released August 1, 2014 in major cities and I give it two “Senior List Thumbs” up.

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

Since the snake-oil days of  the wild wild west, self-proclaimed health experts have been hawking advice and “products” on an unsuspecting and somewhat gullible public.  The difference between then and now (besides the coon-skin hats) is that today we have the tools and resources to help snuff these folks out.  There still any number of snake-oil salesmen around but they’re pretty well disguised these days.  You’ll know one if they’re touting the latest “fad” diet like The Sleeping Beauty Diet, the Grape Fruit Diet, or the Baby Food Diet (yes this is a real diet).  You’ll also know one if their approach is extreme and/or one dimensional.  We believe healthy aging isn’t just about one thing… It’s about taking care of, and being aware of our physical AND our mental being.

Besides wacky diets and bad advice online, there are some great resources out there to help us age-with-grace and in good health (both mentally and physically). We’ll pass along a few ideas in the coming weeks, but this week we’re focused on our favorite books about healthy aging. If you’ve read any of these, be sure and give us a review or an opinion in the comments section.  In addition, if you have any recommendations on books our readers should be aware of, please let us know!

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

1.  Acclaimed best seller Dr. Andrew Weil provides sensible advice to aging adults in an oldie-but-a-goodie titled; Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being. In the 2007 version (a good one), Dr. Weil’s advice combines traditional and non-traditional medical advice to help us age in good health.  Highlights include advice on eating right, nutrition and the anti-inflammatory diet, exercising right, and a solid background on the aging process in general terms.  “Weil wants us to be sensible about growing old… He argues that we should not fight aging.  There’s no winning that war.  Instead, we should concentrate on aging well.”   (The Washington Post)


2.  Aging Wisely: Strategies for Baby Boomers and Seniors is Dr. Robert Levine’s book about aging that includes both mind and body in it’s approach.  Dr. Levine is the former chief of neurology at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and a retired clinical professor at Yale University.  Dr. Levine believes that we are responsible and need to be in control of our own lives.  Interwoven is the element that maintaining a positive attitude allows us to age well.  Dr. Levine reminds his readers that aside from illnesses and random events, healthy aging is up to us.  “Dr. Robert Levine’s book provides a prescription for aging wisely and with dignity. Brimming with anecdotes, and written in an interesting and clear manner, it’s good medicine for those of us who want to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.”  (Jan Cullinane, best-selling author of The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement)


3.  Although the title says otherwise, there are many things in this top book on healthy aging that applies to both sexes.  A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active.  Authors Edward Thompson Jr. and Lenard Kaye examine “what’s next” after middle age, and offer a man’s perspective on healthy aging.  In this book the authors focus on mind and body approaches to healthy again, with a strong bend toward mental health and the role it plays in men as they grow older.  “Covers almost everything you need to know, but might be afraid to ask, about keeping fit mentally, physically, socially, intellectually and sexually through the decades.”  (Wall Street Journal)


4.  The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully is a book about embracing the aging process and taking it in.  Author Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA and has written over 50 books (many of them receiving accolades and awards).  Chittister herself on writing The Gift of Years; “The thing most wrong about this book is that I may be too young to write it.  I am, after all, only seventy.”  This quote alone offers the self awareness and perspective worthy of consideration for our top 5 books on healthy aging.  Among other things the book contains 40 or so essays on subjects like adjustment, sadness, regret and success.  The author also offers advice on allowing yourself to become active in ones golden years and using that time to connect with yourself and with others.  “Perhaps you have to be in the second half of life to know how truthfully and helpfully Joan Chittister speaks.  We live in a first-half-of-life culture, which makes this wisdom all the more necessary—and all the more wonderful.”  (Richard Rohr, author, The Naked Now)


5.  New York Times best selling author Michael Gurian (author of The Wonder Boys) takes us on a journey along newly defined dimensions for our second half of life.  The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty divides our second act into 3 stages;  The Age of Transformation (from our late forties to around sixty), The Age of Distinction (from sixty to seventy-five), and The Age of Completion (the final stage of our journey).  His philosophy is to emphatically embrace life after 50 and he inspires his readers to go out and get it (what ever their “it” is).   Author Michael Gurian is described as a philosopher, a family therapist, a corporate consultant, and a bestselling author of over twenty books. “The Wonder of Aging is a very important book.  It is filled with practical tips, solid science and stories that will inspire and motivate you.  With 11,000 people turning 60 every day, we can no longer avoid talking about aging… So we might as well embrace it with wonder.”  (Daniel G. Amen, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age)

Affiliate links provided by Amazon

Best Places To Retire For Less

Best places to retire for less: Savannah GA

Best places to retire for less

If you’ve been following our posts recently you know we published a list of best beach towns to retire in America.  This list is admittedly biased to towns out west (hey we spend a lot of time out there), but each of these beach communities is wonderful in it’s own right.  The Motley Fool recently published a short-list of friendly boomer cities where retirees can live it up for less.  In their best places to retire for less, the Motley Fool included 3 sleepers… Savannah Georgia (love it), Tulsa Oklahoma (interesting choice), and Omaha Nebraska (this works).  I wouldn’t have thought about the latter 2, if not for some of the context provided.  In addition, I like the criteria used to make the recommendations.  Here’s what these fools (it’s Motley Fool for heavens sake) took into consideration when looking a the best places to retire for less.  We also threw in a few suggestions of our own.  If you’re looking for the best places to retire for less, you should consider the following criteria as you map out your own retirement plans.

When thinking about retirement cities, consider the following criteria

  • Cost of Living (including state income tax rate, sales tax rate, and cost of living compared to the average COL)
  • Cultural Amenities and Offerings (like museums, parks, theater, and public squares)
  • The Employment Rate (a nice barometer of economic stability)
  • Is there a University/College near by?
  • Are there senior care facilities, and/or home health agencies adequately serving the area?
  • Is it close enough to your kids, your grand kids, and/or your close friends?

For another great list of affordable retirement cities, check out the folks at Grandparents.com.  They also published a list of the “6 Most Affordable Places to Retire“.  Another nice resource to check out is Sperlings Best Places.  They provide demographic info for cities that you may be considering as a retirement destination.  If you have other criteria used in making a retirement living choice, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

Photo: Wikipedia/Spyder_Monkey

Happy Independence Day 2014

What Is Independence Day?

“Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.” (source wikipedia.org)

Independence Day definedHere’s hoping you have a great 4th of July weekend, and you enjoy your Independence Day with friends and family.  Around these parts, we’re celebrating with a morning 5K run, later a community parade, and even later socializing with friends.  Rounding out the night is a big community firework show that is sure to encourage the dogs to pee on the carpet, and shake and shiver all night from the exploding madness.  Keeping this theme in mind, I thought we’d pass along a top 10 safety list for your pets on this especially LOUD holiday.  Brought to you by our friends at petMD, here are the “Top 10 4th of July Pet Safety Tips” for your reading pleasure.

If you’re up for inspiration, here’s a link to a poem that my husbands great grandmother wrote upon setting foot in America (via Ellis Island).  The poem is entitled “Momoire” by Kate M. Gehrke.  It includes this wonderful passage about her coming to America:

“But most of all I think about the crossing of the ocean. To a new world – I had always known -But only by its name.  A world so different from the old, And still so much the same.  For here I met the people from Russia And the Baltic Sea, From Bohemia, the Rheinland And from Saxony.” – A passage from Kate Gehrke’s “Memoire”

Happy Fathers Day 2014

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” ~Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi” Atlantic Monthly, 1874

father's day Wishing all of the dad’s out there very special wishes on this fathers day!  Here’s hoping you have a great day surrounded by family, or hearing from those most special to you.  This isn’t the only day I think about my own father, but it does force me to reflect more than I normally do.  More than anything, I think about all of the lessons I learned from my dad without knowing they were lessons.  Maybe that’s the magic of fatherhood.

A Successful Man (author unknown)

That man is a success – who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of
children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

Have a special memory of your father or father figure? Share it below!

 “He didn’t tell me how to live; He lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland

Best Dad image