Observing the End of Life
ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2018

INTERESTING STUFF – 29 December 2018


Remember earlier this month when I told you about meeting the son, Tom Wark, I gave up for adoption when he was born?

Now Tom has written about our meeting in a story he calls A Tale of Mothers and Pinot Noir. You can read it here. It is beautiful.


Yes, Christmas has come and gone but I probably won't be here for it next year so let's enjoy this together now:


Thank reader John Starbuck for the laugh.


Winter is settling in and that means dangerous ice. Or sometimes it's just funny.

Mental Floss has some good advice about how to walk in icy places.


For the 17th year in a row, nurses come in first – rated the most ethical and honest profession by 84 percent of Americans polled in a survey by Gallup.


What group of people came in last? You can find out at the Gallup story.


Ruth-bader-ginsburg-9312041-1-402Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – the notorious RBG – is home from the hospital after successful surgery for lung cancer. It's her third bout with cancer and doctors are predicting a full recovery.

Read more here and here.


I first clicked on the link to this story because the headline, as above, is so deliciously incongruous. And guess what? It's not wrong. (Images from Tropical Herping.)



You can see more at Atlas Obscura.


Thank Hank Berez for this amazing magician's iPad fun.


As the husband of the woman in this video explains:

”It was while we were ashore in South Georgia on this huge gravel beach filled with King Penguins and elephant seals, that Jess laid down on the ground to get some cool low-angle shots of some passing King Penguins, when suddenly one of these huge baby elephant seals flopped over to investigate Jess, and was soon joined by another.

“Before she knew it, she was being squashed by several of these 100kg+ adorable animals, snuffling, burping and sniffing all over her.”

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog.


Such a nice column your son wrote about you--what a great gift for you both!

The i-pad magician is indeed amazing also.

I haven't yet read beyond your first note, above, at which point I had to follow the link to Tom's blog post about you. How lovely to read the story from his perspective, also. It seems to me that the two of you even write somewhat similarly. How bittersweet and yet how wonderful that you have made this connection while there is still some time to get to know each other! Ali

Just read your son's wonderful piece about the two of you reconnecting. Loved it. As I commented on his site regarding his post, I am so happy this event has been so positive for both of you. Life is full of surprises.

Happy New Year, Ronni. Thank you for everything you share with us.

Thank you, Ronnie, for your son's blogpost. It was amazing and beautiful! Feeling so blessed to know about this for both of you!

Your son's words, so full of insight and love. Then, lots of fun..........thanks.

Hello Ronni, Thank you for sharing so much with all of us, it is a gift. I recently retired and have found a several things here to help me think about this stage of life.
It is heartwarming that you got to spend time with your son. Life keeps on giving!
You may already be familiar with this website, if not it might give you some smiles as it does weekly for me. They are somewhat like your Interesting Stuff emails.

Fondly, JC

It was nice to hear about the visit with your son and his family from HIS perspective. And I learned about a new wine I want to try (Pinor Noir being my favorite "flavor").

You continue to amaze me and I am learning so much from you. We all have our challenges and you are teaching us how to navigate through the unknown.

Honored to be on your journey on This End Up.

Pinot (Ha!)

How lovely to hear this account from your son! He does share your gift for writing.

The magic act is amazing. I am in awe of people who can do this with such ease and gracefulness.

Thank you John Starbuck for sharing the " for lease Navidad" photo. It was a bit of Christmas fun, urban guerilla style.

Living in the Midwest at the top of a short street with a slight incline, I have, on more than one occasion, done a slide like the man in the black ice video. I generally try to drop to my butt and just ride down, but some times I employ more of the fire safety response -- stop, drop and roll. Either way, it's never much fun, but I've been fortunate over the years, never to have broken anything.

Thanks for another interesting Stuff Saturday, Ronni!

Nothing tops this glorious mother & child reunion as Story of the Year.

Beautiful story by your son. Thank you for being so open about your life.

You're a better writer than your son.

Thank you for posting the link.


Well, I've got 21 years on Tom and wasn't nearly as good a writer as I am now when I was his age. Give him time. Even so, he's a good writer...

Loved the seals. And wondering how she got out from under them

Thank you for sharing the post that your sone wrote. It was indeed beautifu and moving.

Wow!! Your son is a wonderful writer. Your blog is courageous. Thank you

I hadn't had a chance to look closely at the graph of highly respected professions. Now that I had a little more time this evening, I took a closer look and saw that funeral directors are number 7, which surprised me. My experience has been that funeral directors work hard at expressing compassion, but I don't think they're all that ethical, and I think that's one reason why the funeral profession has had to be scrutinized more in recent years. Funerals, like weddings and some other major life events can be far more artificial and expensive than they need to be. Like most things, I'm sure there are excellent, compassionate and highly ethical funeral directors around; but I also know that there are those who aren't.

Love reading about your son and feeling his excitement when he writes about you, Ronni. It's such a blessing for you two to have found each other at this time in your life. I am waiting for my DNA results. I'm pretty sure everyone I am related to is accounted for but who knows?

The man sliding down the driveway had me in stitches. I had to watch it 3 times just because it felt so good to laugh. Sad, isn't it, that we laugh when people fall or are in awkward situations?

Another interesting collection of “stuff”! Enjoyed reading your son’s account of these serendipitous events that have brought you together. Can only wish you all much more time with one another than might be thought.

Black ice reminds me of when I took my teen son on a lower mountain road above our house to introduce him to some safety issues. At a turn around when melting snow and depth ahead was such, I noted we shouldn’t drive further without chains, I also noticed a small strip of black ice next to an adjacent wide safe gravelly area. With our car barely moving I tapped the brake lightly causing the car to predictably slide briefly which we could feel and caused my son to gasp. Of course, the car stopped sliding within seconds, there where the road was clear, even of snow, no traffic, and there was the gravel berm. My cautions and the demonstration hopefully were remembered and he would caution and/or avoid riding with unsafe drivers or being one himself. He’s had years living in snow and ice country as I had so likely has honed his driving skills.

Encouraging to know health care providers are considered to have respected ethical and integrity standards, since most I encounter take such professional responsibilities seriously, including those engaged in providing rehabilitation services.

Just a beautiful and inspiring story from your son.

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