Did you remember to set your clock back? This time of year an extra hour of sleep is welcome. Of course, we don't need the extra reminder that we're headed into the deep freeze of winter. Right?

It's been a rough couple weeks for our neighbors in the North East. We pray for their speedy return to normal.

On the home front, I'm halfway in the process of regaining my eyesight. The first cataract operation was a massive success. I can actually see details again.If you have any fears or concerns about cataract surgery, I'm here to tell you that I am glad I've taken the plunge. I forgot how clear everything can be and how glorious colors are when the curtain is drawn back.

I'm not a winter person. Chicago's cold saps my energy but I can't wait to see the pure white of winter's first snow – even here in Chicago. I'm settling into a season of crafts and reading, pastimes that I've put off this past year while those horrible cataracts were ripening.

There's still time for you to create a hand-made gift for your loved ones. Have you forgotten how much fun it is? If you're already retired, you have lots of time to perfect that gift. Start small if you're out of practice. Make a card, a scarf, potholders, a finger painting. Remember, it's the thought — not the money — that makes a great gift. Don't let your limitations hold you back.

One of the best gifts you can give is yourself. A lazy afternoon or evening spent with a loved one is a gift that will last a lifetime. No need for batteries. 

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