Reflection and advice offered

I have a book called “Age Happens.” with the best quotes and cartoons about growing older, as selected by Bruce Lansky.

Here are some examples of the messages on growing older and not taking kindly to the condition:

— A man has reached middle age when he is warned to slow down by his doctor instead of the police.

— Middle age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home at the earliest hour.

— Middle age is when your wife tells you to pull in your stomach and you already have.

— Middle age is when a narrow waist and a broad mind begin to change places.

— Middle age is when anything new you feel is most likely to be an illness symptom.

— Middle age is when we can do just as much as ever but would rather not.

— Middle age is when the best exercise is discretion.

— Middle age is when you still believe you will feel better in the morning … but don’t.

— The best thing that can happen to a couple married for 50 years or more is that they both grow nearsighted together.

— A diplomat is a man who always remembers his wife’s birthday but never remembers her age.

— Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.

— And one from Phyllis Diller: Be nice to your children, for they will choose your rest home.


Speaking of Phyllis Diller, my once Smithfield friend John Borkowski sent me some quotes from the comedian with the wacky hair dos and dress styles.

Some are practical, and every one shoots straight from the hip.

— Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?

— Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

— The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

— Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.

— Most children threaten to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.

— You know you are old if your walker has an attached airbag.

— My photographs don’t do me justice – they just look like me.

— The reason the pro tells you to keep your head down in golf is so you can’t see him laughing.


On to another little book that has been resting on my desk for some time.

It was a present from the Howard family and has the principles, maxims and instructions that define your life on the job. It is by Paul Dickson.

— Work is all right for killing time, but it’s no way to make a living.

— Long-range planning works best in the short term.

— It’s lonely at the bottom, too. It’s just more crowded.

— A leader should not get too far in front of his troops or he will get shot in the back.

— If things are military and make sense, coincidence has entered the picture.

— A consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is, then walks away with the watch.

— Automatic is something you can’t repair yourself.


I don’t know where I got this sage advice called “Old Farmers Advice” from a Charles Smith of Blacksburg, Va., in 1925. Much of it still pertains today.

— Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

— A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

— Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

— Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

— It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

— You cannot unsay a cruel word.

— The best sermons are lived, not preached.

— Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

— Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

— Don’t interfere with something that ain’t bothering you none.

— Always drink upstream from the herd.

— Letting the cat outta’ the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.

— If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.

— Live simple. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

I think that old farmer knew what he was talking about. He could have been the first Ann Landers.


Joyce Hatfield sent me an e-mail concerning my Pittsburgh Steelers Christmas ornament, laughing at Lamont going to buy it while wearing his Cleveland Browns baseball cap and sweatshirt. She also sent me a picture of her Steelers ornament purchased by her daughter-in-law at a craft sale. It uses a light bulb, with the smaller top portion of the bulb as the cheery face with apple cheeks and wearing an adorable fuzzy, gold toboggan.

Does anybody else have a homemade Steeler ornaments that they’d like to show me?


We all have indulged in foods during the holiday season that would never appear on the most healthy list. This includes sugar cookies; chocolate cupcakes with white, fluffy frosting; peanut butter fudge; and rich dips and potato chips.

Now do you want to hear about some of the foods that the Good Housekeeping magazine has deemed to be good for you and are all tasty to boot?

Apple cider contains phytonutrients that can help preserve memory and prevent cognitive decline. At 110 calories per 8-ounce serving, it won’t break your calorie bank.

Nuts have healthy fats and fiber to make them super satisfying. A small handful of any type goes a long way in nutrition and crunchy satisfaction.

Cranberry sauce, especially that made with fresh cranberries, which is lower in sugar, helps to prevent urinary tract infections. They contain compounds that might help fight cancer.

Chestnuts are somewhat high in calories, with half a cup containing 175, but one serving has just 1.5 grams fat and packs 4 grams of fiber.

Sweet potato casserole, if not swimming in butter and sugar, can be on the healthy side. If it is the butter and sugar kind, limit yourself to about 1/2 cup, the size of a baseball. Sweet potaotes contain iron, vitamins A and C and almost all the B vitamins.


John Borkowski was busy with e-mails recently. He sent me one concerning the need to check the expiration dates on pancake, cake, brownie, cookie and biscuit mixes. The mixes contain yeast which over time develops spores. Apparently, the mold that forms in old mixes can be very toxic. Make sure to throw away all outdated mixes for this reason.


Barbara Cunningham called me from Grove, Okla., to ask about a recipe for green tomato jam or jelly that includes strawberry gelatin in the mix. She had the recipe from a Weirton Daily Times paper nearly 40 years ago and has now lost it.

I wasn’t around the newsroom then but will check with Ruth Plunkett if I don’t get any response from readers.

Barbara tells me that it is quite delicious, and many have asked her for the recipe as they took a great liking to it.


You can tell that I have not been out and about getting news and photos this wintry week.

Ozzie and I spent time roaming the area in snow that came up to his tummy. He didn’t seem to mind as long as he was on the scent of deer tracks in the snow. If we encountered one of the animals, I am sure he would have turned tail and ran, with me dragging along behind.

Anytime that Arlene MacQuown sends me a card, she always wants me to tell Ozzie hello. Her doggie, Ruby, even sends a big hello his way.

The weather will be better next week, I am told. I do like the snow, although it sometimes keeps me housebound. It makes the entire countryside look so white and pure, though.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted a