Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If you autopay your bills, use your own checking account

Don't let the credit card company take a draft automatically. Occasionally, these will occur too frequently, or there will be other difficulties. Instead, use your own checking account's bill-paying function, so you always have control over which bills are about to be deducted from your account.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cut People Some Slack

Having a bad day? Getting grief from everyone around you? Maybe it's time to back off and realize that maybe THEY'RE having a bad day, too. We all know the stereotype of the crabby old person -- probably they have fingers and backs that ache, and their crabbiness may be rooted in pain. When I was grieving for the death of a friend, I found myself being rude and nasty to all sorts of people -- and tried to lighten up, to apologize and say straight out, I'm sorry, a friend died recently and I'm having a hard time coping -- and people usually forgave me.

If you realize that YOU'RE the problem, own up, apologize, and try not to take out your unhappiness on innocent parties. You may not create World Peace and Joy, but at least you won't be increasing everyone's misery level.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't Visit without an Invitation

I have a cell phone, a land line, two postal addresses (street and box), and email. So when a friend I hadn't seen in a year, showed up a *1 am* recently, without any prior contact via ANY of these channels, it was unsettling. And the place was a mess, which was embarrassing.

Don't impose on people you like by visiting unannounced.

-- crabby Aunt Rachel

In subsequent weeks, this person came by twice on work nights and left a note, complaining I wasn't home. He had still never called or used email to contact me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Watch Yo' Mouth (II)

Thumper says, in BAMBI, "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." I took that advice to heart recently at a memorial. My relationship with the dead man had been VERY complex, and sometimes all I can remember is the negative. So I refrained from making an public comments at all. (And mind you, I had cried when I heard that he had died. I had always told friends, "I love him, I just don't LIKE him.")

In my now rather long life, it's suprising how the cutting word, the negative attitude expressed in public, will come back to haunt you years later. I have more than one friend whose careers were damaged by forceful outbursts on public occasions.

Take ex-candidate McCain's graceful resignation speech in Nov. 2008 as your model. THERE was someone with true class. -- Rachel Holmen

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Watch Yo' Mouth (I)

Profanity seems to be everywhere. Even George Carlin's famous seven words (or was it five?) seem common on television and in speech I hear in public places. But it *really* offends some people, people whose respect you might want, so tone it down when possible. -- Aunt Rachel

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not too much makeup

Women and girls, don't wear so much makeup that your skin and eyes are lost under gunk. I read ads about "natural makeup" with minerals -- really, do you want to put DIRT on your face? A light coating of makeup can make your skin seem smoother, and blush is nice for contouring your face. But keep makeup to a minimum, and your skin will be much happier. -- Rachel Holmen

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Read a book

I love libraries. As I child, my parents kept moving to different houses (often in the same town); they kept their friends, we kids lost ours. By the time I was ten, I was a confirmed recluse, but I could always feel at home in a library. I read about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Jim Bridger, Geronimo, Queen Elizabeth, the civil war, outer space, fairy tales, romances, sumi-e painting, embroidery, puppetry, flowers birds trees tidepooling mammals reptiles amphibians, dip candlemaking, dressing a 4-harness loom, American ballads, Akhenaton, Iroquois beading and quillwork, Mayans in feathered capes, Richard Coeur de Leon, basketmaking.

I guess I didn't own a lot of books, but I always had something to read, something to learn, some new idea to consider.

-- Rachel Holmen

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't stay too late at work

You know, nobody ever said on their deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office." Instead, it's "I wish I had travelled with my wife when we were both younger." "I wish I'd played more with my teenagers." "I wish I'd learned to play music."

Follow your passions now, while you can.

-- Rachel

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Buy at least 2 identical pairs of socks at the same time. That way, even if you lose ONE, you can still wear a pair.

Fabulously warm and cozy wool socks, sold as men's work socks but they fit my women's-size-8-shoe foot just fine (and only $6 a pair): the shoe store in Oakland, Calif., at Jefferson and 7th, near the Hall of Justice and next door to the wonderful Mexican deli, La Borinquena.

The Shoe Spot

La Borinquena (yes it's actually La Borinqueña).


Keep track of when you take pills

I've been feverish recently, so I took Tylenol as often as I felt was safe. To keep myself from taking the next pills too soon, I kept a small post-it pad and a pen next to my bed, and when I took pills, I'd jot crypticly, "2 Tyl 7:30 pm Mon" or something similar.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fear Makes You Stupid

So try not to be too afraid of anything; if that's not possible, try extra-hard to think clearly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ICE your phone

Put a listing into your cell phone's dialing directory that begins with three capital letters: I C E. This stands for "In Case of Emergency". Let's say you are found unconscious on the street with a broken arm and a bump on the head. Rescuers will look at your phone for the ICE directory, and might be able to notify a family member, coworker, or friend. See snopes.com for more information.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

If you can't fall asleep

Warm up your feet. Stand in the bathtub, use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, or put on thick socks, prewarmed if possible.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Don't Skip Breakfast

You'll just be crabby all day.

The RDA for Avocado is One Half

My sister and I joke that the MDA (minimum daily allotment) of avocado is one quarter of a ripe avocado (about 3 tablespoons). The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is HALF an avocado.

Vote. Exercise. Get Enough Sleep.

See? You're getting advice already.