Movie Review: Land Ho!

url Movie Review: 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 Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging, 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.   Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging51J7G1h6yyL. SL110  Top 5 Books On Healthy AgingAcclaimed 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 Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging. 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)

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2.  Aging Wisely: Strategies for Baby Boomers and Seniors Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging 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)

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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 Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging.  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)

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4.  The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging 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)

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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 Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging 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

SavannahGA Best Places To Retire For Less

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)

us flag small Happy Independence Day 2014Here’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

fathers day1 Happy Fathers Day 2014Wishing 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 Happy Fathers Day 2014

Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

4 folks on the beach Top 10 Quotes About Growing OldFound a great quote about growing old this morning so I decided to scour the interwebs for a top 10 list.  Add your favorites to the list below!

Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

  1. “Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.” John Glenn
  2. “I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” Albert Einstein
  3. “Do not try to live forever, you will not succeed.” George Bernard Shaw
  4. “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” Henry David Thoreau
  5. “Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” Bill Vaughan
  6. “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Muhammad Ali
  7. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain
  8. “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” Author Unknown
  9. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” Satchel Paige
  10. “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard

There are so many more out there that should be on the list of top 10 quotes about growing old!  What’s your favorite?  My mother always used to say “Growing old is just a state of mind…” and it’s so true!  (Not sure where that one originated but I certainly like it.)

Photo: Natasha Hirtzel via Flicker

wrinkles Mark Twain Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

What Boomers Look For In A Retirement Community

Courtesy of SalFalko 300x234 What Boomers Look For In A Retirement CommunityMedia Post’s Engage Boomers Blog wrote a nice piece on the 5 things boomers are looking for in a retirement community and we thought we’d pass a few of these tidbits along.  There are a few obvious features, and a couple not-so-obvious.

Today’s baby boomers are looking for pet friendliness, spacious living quarters and sustainability (environmentally functional) just to name a few.  Boomers today live active lifestyles, and their not looking to get bogged down!  Lot’s of activities are a must in any modern day retirement community, and a quality food menu is an absolute essential!!!!

The article doesn’t mention it, but it goes without question – staff friendliness, attentiveness and professionalism rank extremely high among the attributes of top retirement communities.  People really do make the difference.  What are you looking for in a top rated retirement community?

Asimbonanga Flash Mob – Touching Tribute to Nelson Mandela

If you haven’t seen the Asimbonanga Flash Mob (Nelson Mandela tribute) yet, it’s worth a look.  A local supermarket collaborated with the Soweto Gospel Choir to organize a flash mob at a Parkview store in Johannesburg.  The Asimbonanga flash mob (posing as workers and shoppers) spontaneously join together and sing the lyrics of “Asimbonanga” (We have not seen him).  This powerful song was written as a call for Nelson Mandela’s freedom during his 27 year imprisonment.  We hope you enjoy it!

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.  Then he becomes your partner - Nelson Mandela

Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front – Nelson Mandela

“Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release. He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa’s first black president.” (Wikipedia on Nelson Mandela)

Postcards From The Edge: January 7 1915

This post presents the third in a series we’re publishing called “Postcards From The Edge”. These 100 year old postcards are a from a collection which has been cared for by my in-laws up in Western Montana. Rather than keep these hidden away in a box, we thought it would be fun to share some of these with our community members here on The Senior List. The postcards are circa early 1900′s and are written (mainly) by Francis Clark (1857-1950), my husband’s great grandfather. Frank was a railroad conductor and traveled around the country manning routes for The Northern Pacific Railroad.

Postcards were Frank’s primary means of communication back to his family back in Tekoa Washington, Kellogg Idaho, and Spokane Washington. They are addressed to his wife Clara, but also to other members of his immediate (and extended) family including his children. There are also several postcards in the collection from other members of the extended family to one another. The postcards a turn-of-the-century “time machine”, and take us back to a time time in history when our country was changing ever so rapidly.

Keep in mind back then there were few telephones and very limited communication methods other than by post. I hope you enjoy the series. These postcards are very personal, and we’re happy to share them with you. **Note the 1 cent stamps… The actual postmark/stamp… The addresses on the cards (just a name and city in some cases)… And of course the story that each postcard reveals.

Postmark January 7, 1915 (Adrian Michigan)

1915 DC Steamer postcard front Postcards From The Edge: January 7 1915

1915 DC Steamer postcard back Postcards From The Edge: January 7 1915

This vintage postcard features a photo of the new D & C Steamer “City of Detroit” The Largest Side Wheel Steamer in the World (Detroit, MI). It’s postmarked January 7 1915 and is written by Goldie (sister living in Adrian Michigan) to Frank (in Kellogg Idaho) with news of their mother who is gravely ill.  It reads:

“Dear Brother: Awfully lonesome since you left.  We were up with mother most of the night and the doctor came early and gave her hypodermic injection.  She suffers so and is getting so disconnected.  Love to all from all. Goldie”

Other Stories from the Series: “Postcards from the Edge”:

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