Years ago, my mother-in-law decided to teach me crochet. My first reaction was to protest. With a full-time career and an overwhelming schedule as a lab manager, I hardly had time to cook for the family, let alone sit on a chair for hours and crochet, but she insisted I would learn without effort. With incredible patience and perseverance, she managed to teach me the basic stitches. Her compliments encouraged me to crochet a blanket.

My first afghan is 30y old: Unfortunately, I forgot how to stitch this pattern.

Things didn’t go easy as she chose a complicated pattern where I had to continuously concentrate on the task and count stitches. My first blanket took forever. I had to undo and repeat every time she detected a mistake, which often revolted me, but when it was eventually finished I was quite proud of myself.  We started a smaller afghan with a much easier stitch, one that repeated itself. I got the hang of it. Over the next five years I crocheted afghans for every relative in the family, baby blankets for every young friend expecting a baby, and a mix of these that were auctioned at the church festival, for a total of almost thirty pieces.

After I took an early retirement to pursue my dream of writing novels, I didn’t have time to crochet. Fifteen years later, I realized I completely forgot how to crochet. When I found a note in the church bulletin announcing a crochet hour every Thursday morning, I showed up with my old crochet bag. I explained that I was ready to learn again. The group of ladies reassured me they would teach me in no time. “It’s like riding a bicycle. It’ll come back right away.” Surprisingly it did. They taught me an easy stitch lemonade, and a few others.

One of the old ladies reminded me of my mother-in-law with her short white hair and her way of saying, “Doesn’t look right. You better undo it, dear, and repeat.” At Christmas time, more than two-hundred afghans and blankets are exhibited in the church hall and then shipped to the veterans and to the hospice.

The afghans ready to be shipped to the veterans or the hospice at Christmas time.

Now that I finally mastered a couple of stitches, I find crocheting immensely relaxing, and an excellent therapy for my hands, especially after a whole day at the computer.

My work in progress.

10 benefits of crocheting you won’t want to overlook

  • It’s a stress buster. …
  • It helps with depression. …
  • It’s good for your body. …
  • It keeps your mind active. …
  • It’s creative. …
  • It contributes to mindfulness and relaxation. …
  • It increases self-esteem. …
  • It helps others.

Can I teach you to crochet?

Of course during the day I write, and publish. Here are two books newly released during this month.

#NewRelease SAILING AWAY PLANS (Love Plans Series, book 1) A romantic comedy, realistic, sexy and emotional: Dr. Winston quits work to start a new life in the Caribbean, on his new boat, in a new clinic, but love strikes at the wrong time.

#NewRelease DATING PLAN (Love Plans Series, book 2)  Happiness finally seems within grasp for Matt and Brenda until the bullies in her daughter’s class pull her into their web again.

Indiana Jones in Petra

I visited Petra almost ten years ago as part of a cruise that took us from Italy all the way to Singapore, sailing the Mediterranean, crossing the Suez Canal, and continuing through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The blockbuster film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade was partly filmed in the ancient city of Petra, a place unknown to much of the world before 1989. Indiana Jones was reviewed as “One of the best action-adventure films of all time,” and “One of the all-time greats. Harrison Ford is perfection-plus as Indiana Jones, so iconic a character that the AFI cited him as the second greatest movie hero of all time.”

“Archeology has never been so cool.”

Located between rugged desert canyons and mountains– in what is now the southwestern corner of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan– Petra was once a thriving trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries. In the early 1800s, a European traveler disguised himself in Bedouin costume and infiltrated the mysterious site. In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Bab Al Siq’ is Arabic for gateway to the ‘siq’. Here we discovered squared monuments, the massive Djinn blocks, and the Obelisk Tomb, carved in the 1st century AD. Above the tomb are four pyramids as well as a niche with a statue in bas-relief that is a symbolic representation of the five people buried there. An inscription indicated that the tomb was used for Abdomanchos and his family, probably in 40- 70 AD.

The Siq, the main road that leads to the city, is a rock canal that measures 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest was carved by the Nabataeans.

The siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade; the Treasury, or Al Khazna (in Arabic). It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters, and comprises three chambers. The most recent excavation has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury. 

Almost three decades ago, George Lucas decided to use the monumental Treasury, the centerpiece of Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, as the exterior of The Temple of the Sun in his movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Cast and crew had to travel all the way to Jordan for just one day of shooting, because that’s all it took to make those scenes work.

The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh’s treasure. Although the original function is still a mystery, The Treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC. However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty.

While the filmmakers were allowed to have free access to the main entrance chamber, access is prohibited to most mortal visitors. The good news is that the most spectacular part of the location is its exterior – as well as the path you need to take to get there in the first place.

The 1.2 kilometer-long walk through a cleft called The Siq is the only way to access the Treasury and come back to the entrance.

Carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra was “lost” to the Western world for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately with the pandemic going on for almost two years, I have stopped traveling. Instead I write non-stop and have finished writing a series of eight romance novels, LOVE PLANS. The five first books are on pre-order, and SAILING AWAY PLANS will be released tomorrow.

Love Plans Series:

Sailing Away Plans: The successful surgeon quits work to start a new life in the Caribbean, on his new boat and in a new clinic, but love strikes at the wrong time. [RELEASE DAY 9/2]

Dating Plans: Attraction sizzles between a divorced surgeon and a psychologist with a challenging daughter. Things get more difficult when the teenager’s father returns.

Rescue Plans: Arianna fought hard to escape the slums and become a flight nurse. Captain Lopez taught her to conquer fear. Can he help her forget the scum from the past and win her trust?

Wedding Plans: Will the doctor make the right decision between an angry fiancée and a medical emergency?

Baby Plans: They meet at the artificial insemination clinic. Zach is doing research for an article. Audrey is secretly getting a baby. But artificial insemination works in many ways…

5 Discounts for Seniors by @Donna_Fasano

Discounts for SeniorsThere are many discounts for seniors and they are pretty easy to find. Restaurants, retailers, streaming services, gyms, hotels, and more offer discounts to retirees. Many people are unaware or too shy to ask, “Do you offer a senior discount?” Taking advantage of these offers will cause a significant dip in spending. Everyone loves to save money.

Supermarkets Savings

Here’s a list of just a few of the grocery stores that offer senior discounts.

  • Albertson’s – 10% off the first Wednesday of each month (55+)
  • Bi-Lo – 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
  • Fry’s Food Stores – 10% off the first Wednesday of each month (55+)
  • Great Valu Food Stores – 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • Harris Teeter – 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • Publix (select locations) – 5% off every Wednesday (60+)

Car Insurance

Having a clear driving record always helps, of course. But many insurance companies offer discounts for seniors. You can find the best deals here.

TV Streaming Services

If you have a smart TV, you can download apps that offer free movies, TV, documentaries, and more.

Tubi is the leading free, premium, on demand video streaming app. The app offers the largest library of content with over 20,000 movies, television shows, and more.

Pluto TV is a free live-stream television service that offers 250 unique channels—with commercial breaks—that cost the consumer nothing.


Eating out is probably the best deal a senior can find. Check out these restaurants:

  • Applebee’s – 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
  • Arby’s – 10% off (55+)
  • Boston Market – 10% off (65+)
  • Burger King – 10% off (60+)
  • Chili’s – 10% off (55+)
  • Denny’s – 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – 10% off or free coffee (55+)
  • Golden Corral – 10% off (60+)
  • IHOP – 10% off (55+)
  • Waffle House – 10% off every Monday (60+)
  • Wendy’s – 10% off (55+)
  • White Castle – 10% off (62+)

E-Book Bundles

The Authors’ Billboard offers loads of Boxed Sets. If you love to read and you own a Kindle, click here to check out our 99¢ deals. Of course, you don’t have to be a senior to get these awesome deals!

If you go into a grocery store, a retail store, or a restaurant, never be afraid to ask if they offer senior discounts. Your piggybank will thank you!

The Mini-Trampoline – A Healthy Alternative To Walking by @_NancyRadke

Walking on pavement is hard on the joints, you breathe in exhaust fumes, and you can’t stop if you get hurt some distance from where you are going. But you need to exercise so is there anything better? Well, have you ever used a mini-trampoline for exercise?

Mini-Trampoline About fifty years ago, my friend sold me a Rebounder, also called a mini-trampoline. It was developed by a trampoline coach who noticed how healthy his children were while using a regular-sized trampoline. I have used mine for over fifty years as the only exercise equipment I ever needed. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate it more and more, since other types of exercise equipment simply do not do as complete a job in such a short time (usually under 30 minutes).

The mini-trampoline uses GRAVITY as a form of LOW IMPACT resistance, working every muscle in your body, even the muscles in the eyes. It has been “prescribed” by surgeons after knee surgery, to speed up healing in the knees without doing any damage. Because the trampoline surface flexes up and down, there is no impact to harm the joints, while gravity moves the fluid in the joints to help heal.


MUSCLES: It strengthens every muscle in your body, including the muscles that support your abdominal area. A week or two using the Rebounder will stop those embarrassing leaks most ladies get after childbirth. Rebounder exercise keeps older ladies from having to buy adult diapers. It strengthens your tummy muscles and tightens your rear.

A paralyzed person can sit on the Rebounder while someone stands on it with him and bounces. Remember that the resistance used is gravity, so the paralyzed person doesn’t have to do anything. As long as he is being moved up and down, he’ll benefit. Try holding your babies in your arms for short periods of time while bouncing gently on it.

CIRCULATION (BLOOD AND LYMPH): Bouncing against gravity acts like a pump, assisting in both blood and lymph circulation. My brother, who sat too much and suffered with swollen legs, told me he was going to go buy some support socks. I asked him if he still had his Rebounder. He did. It was in his garage. As soon as he put it back in his house and used it for around a week, his legs and ankles returned to normal size. Now it sits in front of his TV and he bounces and runs in place while viewing.

BREATHING: Practice deep breathing while bouncing and it becomes an aerobic form of exercise. The longer you bounce, the harder you’ll breathe.

BALANCE: One fellow I know bought a Rebounder and told me that he noticed his balance was better after his first use. I told him that basketball coaches used it right before games to improve the jumping ability of their teams. Rebounders come with an attached bar which is especially useful for the elderly. The bar is convenient to grasp while bouncing and improving balance.

FUN: You’ll use this because it is fun to use. Put it in your house and enjoy it, bouncing and dancing to music. Kids will use it and be exercising without knowing it. It really helps wiggly kids learn, and you can have them memorize math and other facts while bouncing. If you live in an apartment and there is a blizzard outside, you can still get your daily exercise. Stay safe and stay off the hard sidewalks that damage your feet and knee joints.

Mini-Trampoline 2

Go online and look at the different mini-trams available. They even have some that fold flat. They last a long time for their price. When you first get it, you may only be able to move slightly up and down, and for a short period of time…maybe less than 5 minutes. By the end of a week, you will notice that your time has lengthened and you can already feel body changes. I usually try to do twenty to thirty minutes, with high bounces for short periods of time.

No worries. I don’t own any stock in a mini-tram company or know anyone connected to one. I just happen to be an over-the-top Rebounder enthusiast. If you already own one and can think of other ways it helps, or just want to add your praise, comment below.

Remember to check the ABB monthly board for great books and prizes. Oh, and check out this week’s ABB newsletter where you’ll find lots of free and bargain ebooks.