Elizabeth Woodworth: Let's make our passing easier on our kids

The cold front due near the 15th often puts an abrupt end to chances for a January thaw. The 26th is the first day of the season of Late Winter. Its thaw accelerates the swelling of buds and the blooming of early bulbs. As the Supermoon weakens, weather should moderate, and seasonal stress abate considerably. Throughout the country, average temperatures climb 1 degree. (Countryside)

Jan. 28: Saline County Housing Authority established; 1946.

This letter appeared in the Dear Abby column some time ago. Lately I have been thinking about it, what it would mean to families, and questioning why I haven't done it. Probably because I don't know where half the stuff is myself. But I do think it is something I should do, because I can find the answers a lot easier than The Boy can.

"Years before my dad passed away he started keeping a notebook he called "Jack's Doomsday Book." In it he listed account numbers and balances, names of banks, passwords, location of documents and other detailed instructions on how to take over his responsibilities. Mom died first. When Dad became ill, he made sure I had the notebook. I can't tell you how much easier it made things. I didn't have to go searching through paperwork to figure out what was what. I knew the banks I had to go to and what to bring. It was all there, down to the changes he had made after Mom passed."

What would be a daunting task to our kids, shouldn't be that hard for us to compile. One other thing. Plan you funeral, make it easy for you child to know the service you want and where you plan to be buried. We are old enough now that the though of being prepared shouldn't scare us. Your children will thank you for making things easier for them.

You hear all the time that it's important to get in 10,000 steps a day. At one time my doctor told me that 5,000 was ample if I did it every day. Since I have not been walking, a bad knee has kept me from doing much exercising, not that I really care, it just is a better excuse than a tendency to be a sloth. I have started with a goal of 1,000 steps a day, when I feel comfortable with that, or the end of the month which ever comes first - and we all know which that will be - I will up it to 1,500. I know that I should go up by a thousand, but I know me, and 500 is a good jump. I figure it is not the number of steps but the daily exercise that is the important thing here.

Three things to give a bit of motivation. It helps with word recall: fitter older people experienced fewer of those frustrating tip-of-the tongue moments compared with less-fit people of the same age, a study in the journal "Scientific Reports" found. It supports your digestive tract: staying in shape ups your odds of having more of a type of "good" gut bacteria, a San Francisco State University study showed. A healthy gut also positively impacts mood and weight. It makes your blood healthy: After six weeks of exercise, obese people had fewer of the blood cells that trigger inflammation, according to a study in the "Journal of Physiology". And inflammation can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

Yes, I know it is winter with darkness, wind, rain and probably snow and cold. I am lucky that I can walk in my house, it circles around, 50 steps from kitchen sink to kitchen sink. I have friends who walk at Walmart, others go early morning to the McKinley Church, the Methodist Church has a gym that can be used for walking. If you really want to get healthy, you can find a place to walk, the only cost being getting there. Any exercise is better than none.

Question: Will storing opened bags of potato chips in the frig keep them fresher longer? The Cook's Country staff answered: "We ordered multiple bags of our favorite chips, Lay's Kettle Cooked original, and put this to the test. We removed half the chips from each bag, sealed securely with a bag clip and stored the bags in the frig and the pantry. After two weeks, tasters noted the refrigerated chips were crisp and fresh-tasting while the chips stored in the pantry were a bit stale. After a month is difference was more pronounced. After two months, longer than most of us can make a bag of chips last, tasters noted stale flavors in both but preferred the crunchy texture of the refrigerated chips to the softer texture of the pantry chips.

I haven't tried this, am trying with all my might to stay out of the chip aisle. It is a well-known fact that chips in my house don't last long enough to get stale. Just thought it was an interesting fact, one worth filing away for future reference.

Staying positive doesn't mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days, you know there are better ones coming. (Javed Akhtar)