Archive for September, 2009










I’m afraid my memory has a harder time summoning an acronym than the whole darn phrase or list. I’m sitting here trying to remember the simple one for feeding an upset tummy. So far, I’ve come up with Banana, Rice, Applesauce, but there is one more word that makes gentle eating *easy to remember*. I get NOTHING. Okay, I get BAR, and that’s probably as good advice as any.

I was educated in an age where abbreviations were tantamount to heresy. I’m making progress and can abbreviate Rd. in my address. I’m so proud. Still and all, this early training, I’m afraid programmed my mind to deflect these “shortcuts.” It’s no small matter, you know. Say I’m walking all alone on a riverbank with cool, spring water (but have a medical kit) and twist my ankle. It’s screaming pain at me and swelling like a balloon and I lay there moaning, trying to remember what RICE stands for. Who in the H-E-double hockey-sticks thinks this stuff up?

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Spaceship Earth - EPCOT

I am often asked, “Don’t you get burned out on Disney World living so close?” Never! I feel privileged. Monday was even more special. My granddaughter got in free because it was her birthday and was pinned with a badge marking the event. All through the park, people would say, “Happy Birthday, H.” At first she said it felt funny to be at Disney where she had been so many times on her birthday, but I think by the time the day was over, I think she felt very differently.

Bathroom tile in Animal Kingdom

Bathroom tile in Animal Kingdom

We covered three parks in twelve hours. The only casualty was my feet. Blisters rubbed on the balls of both feet in sandals. I’ll never again laugh at tourists with socks and sandals. I think they are on to something.

My girls and their mother are dare devils. Space Mountain was closed for repairs (what a shame), but we went on Test Ride and later Thunder Mountain in the dark, a different experience. My only disappointment was not seeing Meerkats at Animal Kingdom. I was told they were underground during the day in the heat. What about the Kalahari? I think it gets hot there. Maybe they don’t have to forage for food here and have turned soft. But we saw gorillas and lions and tigers, oh my. Also lots of giraffes and hippos. The shade at that park is amazing on a hot day.

There is another level of excitement surrounding the park adventure. Last visit in July the monorails were out of service because of a fatal accident the night before on one. Just last week all buses were taken out of service when a bomb-like device was discovered under one bus. Yeserday we had to apply hand sanitizer repeatedly because of the Swine Flu threat. But other than that, it was a day at the park, and a very special one at that.

Son & Granddaughters

Son & Granddaughters

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Amurin over at Stop & Wander tagged me with an Honest Scrap award. I am honored. Of course, maybe I fooled her. Maybe I am really a deranged young man living in a cabin in the north woods, accumulating fertilizer and poetry, and bumping into Bigfoot every once in a while. Ah well. Here goes.honest_scrap_award

When you get the Honest Scrap award for your honest crap, you are meant to grace your readers with 10 honest things about yourself, and then pass on the award to other blog friends who write honestly and truly about themselves and events in their life.

At this point the blank white screen is imprinting itself on my brain, but I’ll try.

  1. In my family honesty was the Holy Grail. Lies were not permitted and the word “liar” hurled at anyone or even spoken quietly evoked a stern look or smack. There was nothing worse you could say of a person.
  2. It is unbelievably freeing to no longer be a sex symbol.  Just a hint to the C.I.A.: In my invisible woman phase I could be unfailingly helpful to you. Just sayin.
  3. I’m not a one-friend person, always ran in groups (not cliques, we weren’t that important) in school.
  4. When a child, I hoarded all my nickels and pennies and counted them over and over, loving the sound of them flowing back and forth from one hand to the other. I still try to keep most in my hands.
  5. In school avoided reading and science. As an adult read constantly and am fascinated by science. What happened to “as the twig is bent, so grows the tree?”
  6. My grands are the most amazing four people on the planet, followed closely by their parents plus two, my daughter and her husband.
  7. I can live without a lot of things, but not cats. (Well maybe this one blocking the computer screen.)
  8. I love, love, love guns. So shoot me.
  9. My motto is: Old is not a four-letter word. Senior is what I was in high school.
  10. But I refuse to wear “granny panties.” If bikinis were good enough for my pregnant body, they are good enough now.

Now watch out! I’m getting ready to tag someone, and it’s: Corina @Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, C\hele, OmbudsBen, & anyone else who would like to join in.

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September 11, 2001 Attack Images & Timelines - Images of the 9-11-2001 attack on New York's World Trade Center & the Pentagon in Washington. Plus timelines and hijackers photographs of the Sept. 11th flights. The September 11th 2001 terror attack on America news archive images, pictures, graphs, and photos are copyrighted.I woke a few minutes after 8:45 on 9-11-01, unusually early for me, but I was wide awake. Remembering that the night before sound had gone out on my favorite news channel, I picked up the remote beside my bed and turned the TV on.

Why were they showing  “King Kong” first thing in the morning? The sound was still out. On the screen was a tall building with smoke rising from it, then a plane crashing into the damaged building. I waited for the ape to appear on top of the building. When he didn’t, I sat up and flipped to a channel with sound. Regular programming was running, so I was relieved what I was seeing was probably not live. Still I couldn’t go back to sleep. Something didn’t feel right. I surfed channels until I found one describing what I had seen, the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Of course, following that came news of the Pentagon attack and later crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

I am a late sleeper and still wonder why I woke early that day and why on a day the sound was out on the only channel running the attack live. Coincidence? Probably, but it made a very unsettling day even more surreal. It still seems surreal.

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Rescuing the Indigo Snake

Indigo Snake(Photo courtesy The Nature Converancy)

Really good news this morning from The Nature Conservancy. They are working to restore indigo snakes to North Florida. If you have never seen one of these inky blue reptiles you have missed one of natures great beauties. Our property had a few when we moved here 33 years ago, but haven’t seen one in years. Go to The Nature Conversancy site here and see what it’s all about. http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/florida/science/art29518.html

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Clark Howard made his “address to Congress” today on his proposed health plan. Devotees of his wise money program will find much to like. Let’s use this with a few tweeks and forget the 1,000 page debacle.


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Beda-Work-570026Can it be I have been writing this blog since September 3, 2006? Doesn’t seem like it, but the evidence is there. I started not know where or when it would end and I still don’t. It would be hard to pull away from the wonderful, eclectic group of blogger buddies I’ve met through this post, Amuirin, Corina, Ben, Chris, Robin, Lea, Tabbie, Carson, and on an on. I hesitated to begin naming because I know I will delete some of my favorites, but you know who you are. If only my brain were as sharp as it had to be in the picture above from 1957 — not 2006. Don’t want anyone to  think I descended the mountain in Shangri La sometime in the last three years.  By the way, that’s a Burroughs bookkeeping machine. Thank God for tiny computers with electric keyboards.

What I am really trying to say (badly) is thank all of you who read, encourage and challenge me for sticking around. You make it all worthwhile.

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Our senior year 1955 Byron Bradfute and his long time neighbor sat in the locker room before first football practice. The coach had a special talk for the team that year. Beeville, Texas had closed black Lott Canada H.S. and folded the students into A.C. Jones H.S. The guys all listened and probably heard the waa waa waa of Charlie Brown’s teacher until Coach said players were to make the new classmates feel welcome and that there was to be no fighting. Byron looked at his black childhood friend and said, “Coach, we’ve been fighting all our lives. You mean we can’t fight anymore?”  For the racially deaf among you; it was playful fighting.

I can’t help but think of this story when I look around and see what is happening to race relations since Obama was elected. I don’t vote Democrat, so he wasn’t my choice, but I was soothed by the thought that race relations would get even better, that we had crossed the bar. How very, very naive I was. Only eight months have passed since inauguration, and I cannot remember this much acrimony in a long time.

Our family is at a place where dear friends are black or bi-racial, we have nieces who are bi-racial, my son finally found a church he feels at home in, and it is an African American church. We saw him baptized there last year and can see how the pastors and congregation have embraced him. When my husband passed and there was a delay in the memorial, it was my son’s deacons who piled out of a van and conducted a small prayer service for us one evening in our living room when we needed it most, complete with jubilee music.

Was this all for nothing? There seem to be factions, both black and white, which would tear apart all that has begun to be repaired – and I don’t like it. Not one bit. I pray cooler heads will prevail.

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Suddenly Senior (http://www.suddenlysenior.com) e-mailed an article by Tom Braun, RPh. Titled Health Care Ping Pong. He subtitles it Who is in Charge of My Health? Profiteers, God, or Me? May I suggest for most of Americans it isn’t “Me,” and therein lies the problem. Braun says:

“—little is done to provide health education and foster healthy (sic) eating habits for the American consumer via the educational system—“

Really? I haven’t been in school in a long time, but we had health classes back then which were reinforced by healthful meals in the cafeteria. There was no catering to a “children’s McMenu” of chicken fingers, French fries, hamburgers and pizza. You ate what was served or went hungry. Kinda the way I served meals when my children were growing up and my parents before me. And if perchance you missed the memo on proper food for health, open any magazine or newspaper or view a newscast. There is no lack of information. I can’t swing a cat without hitting something on the subject of proper eating. So who is dropping the ball? I vote “parents.” Things changed around the dinner table for a lot of reasons, like two working parents and a culture that caters more to kids than the one a generation or so ago. So yeah, education is key, but let’s start it at home, reinforce it in schools. Then we’ll see a healthier community down the road.

Braun goes on to say:

“Recently in Chicago, it was announced that two daughters of an elderly mother who did not want hospitalization were found guilty of neglect in the care of the mother. This could have been avoided if they were aware of Hospice which fitted their mother’s wishes.”

He points out that Hospice is less costly to Medicare than hospitalization. “So what’s the problem?” he asks.

The problem is an electorate so uneducated as to not have heard of Hospice, for God’s sake! What is AARP, Suddenly Senior, senior centers and even churches everywhere doing to educate elders on this issue? I’ll bet the majority of them could be snared and receive good advice about Hospice if all of those made an effort.

Braun says “Every senior should have a living will that expresses his or her view on how he or she wants to exit life. That’s why they are modestly suggesting a discussion between doctor and patient which Medicare would pay for every five years.”

Good idea. So is a durable power of attorney. In fact I refuse to die without either. My husband had these in place when he died and I am updating mine at this time. How did I manage to do such a thing without my doctor’s input? I picked up a durable power of attorney form at an office supply store years ago (today I download from the web). For the living will, we used one of the many copies slid in front of our face by a nurse on a visit to the hospital. (It’s the law in Florida at least that the hospital must offer the form to you.) So where did the doctor come in? No where. A little self education is all it took and that doesn’t require a PhD. A high school education and reading comprehension will suffice. It does require being able to admit you are going to die.

He ends with the question, “Does medical science have the right to play God?”

Only if you are so accustomed to handing your decisions over to someone else throughout your life it never occurs to you to make them for yourself in advance, or appoint someone you trust to do so in concert with medical information received on the spot as you enter an end of life scenario.

I think we should not forget the circumstances where neither patient, family. nor doctor is certain this time the patient will not survive. That’s a big if that can only be planned for with a durable power of attorney.

Braun went on to discuss profiteering in the form of lobbyists. That requires another fix and groups like Publix Citizen have been pressing for election reform for a long time.

So the solutions to disparate issues within healthcare crisis are best solved in targeted ways. Of course, these are only the few issues Dr. Braun discussed. A huge advantage to the insureds would be to uncouple health insurance and employment. There are ways to do that short of government going into universal healthcare.

There are a lot of shortcomings with health insurance in America and we should be addressing those. Despite the way it has been presented, healthcare is not one single issue. Let’s address each separately, but simultaneously. I suggest we put one solution in front of all the others: cleaning up fraud and waste in Medicare. President Obama says we will save billions doing this, enough to pay for much of a universal plan. I would challenge him to start there. We can do that today, right now with full approval of the American people. And when those billions in savings are in the bank, I’ll bet all sides would be willing to work out the rest. Everyday we don’t start, more money is down a rat hole. What is the hold up? Show us the money.

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