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Saturday
November 1, 2014
2:08am EDT


Rated: 13+ | Book | Cultural | #1437803
My blog. I'm opionated and I just want to sound off.
  It's a collection of editorials or even mini-sermons. I know it's wrong to give unwanted advice if you want to have a few friends. But I can't fight the urge that I know better than they what they should or shouldn't do. I have all this wisdom and experience and it's such a shame not to share it!
Our culture needs some sound advice and I'm just the one to give it.
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October 31, 2014 at 11:44pm
October 31, 2014 at 11:44pm
October Prep Ends With A Bang For Me
         For October 31, the assignment was to clean your work space and get supplies ready for the whole month of November. A piece of cake, I thought. I did the bonus assignment first.

         Then I set out to "neaten" up my piles of paper and make elbow room on the desk. It turned out to be harder than I thought. Going through all those little prescription tags I like to keep until tax time, making sure they were for this year, is time consuming, I put them in an envelope which I should have been doing all along. Then I gathered up all the pay stubs which I do from time to time, but this time I found a rubber band to keep them together and moved them to a new spot.

         I'll never finish this in time, I thought. But I kept at it. All the church papers (I'm secretary--can you believe it? Unorganized me.) went into a separate pile, which I have to punch holes in and file. My genealogy notes went into another pile until I can make sure they're in my database, then discard. Then I started going through bills.

         Well, I hardly need to keep dentist bills or insurance records once they're settled. Other medical and insurance records went into the proper file drawer, not sorted, just to stay together for a year. And this just kept up. I found some combs to toss out, some photos that no one in the family can identify. Out they went. Small knickknacks from the shelves went into the trash. Trashing things starting becoming fun.

         I'm amazed at the difference in appearance. There is plenty of elbow room. Some books are going to Good Will. I like what I see. This may not inspire my story or enhance my style, but maybe my mind won't be so cluttered either. So assignment 31 is done. And the WDC calendar is on the shelf above the monitor.
October 30, 2014 at 9:24pm
October 30, 2014 at 9:24pm
More scams
         Hey, I want to look younger like Ellen DeGeneres, too. But all those ads lead to some peculiar things. You don't always get the same product advertised, if you check it out more than once. It is the same with the products that seem to be endorsed by Dr. Oz. There's a whole slew of them. (But Ellen really does look good. What is she using?)

         Then you say, what the heck, I'll give it a try. The no known name product requires a debit or credit card, not a prepaid card. Alarms go off! Why do they need access to my credit or my bank account? If a prepaid charges more, then why not add the fee in up front? Because they're scammers! These things advertise on Yahoo and Google and Facebook and lots of other places.

         Facebook advertises, not a "friend" by the way posting on your wall, free products and place pictures of big brand names like Clinique or Clarins. Then, you answer a few questions about skin type, where you live, etc., and they only have "3" samples left of some weird brand you have never seen anywhere. The postage is only $3.95. Ok, it's a deal even on a cheap product, but the same deal is given on no prepaid card.

         If a non name company that approaches me on my computer wants only my credit card or debit card, I don't need their products.

         And what about all those ads for the belly fat loss that pictures half an avocado with an egg in the pit hole? You watch a whole spiel, and it's only another no name product for some pill. You put this unknown pill in your body, without any cautions or warnings about mixing with other drugs or supplements, or not using with certain health conditions. No, thanks. Another scam. And you never are told why the avocado or the egg were in the picture.
October 29, 2014 at 10:20pm
October 29, 2014 at 10:20pm
Charity Phone Calls
         Don't talk to anyone who calls, with an upbeat phony voice, and says "I'm from AC Corp, a professional fundraiser." It doesn't matter whether it's for a breast cancer research or the victims of cancer or for children with cancer. (I think the AC is supposed to make a mental connection with American Cancer Society, but there isn't.) These people are obnoxious and unrelenting.

         If you break down and think that it might be a reasonable charity, they want a credit or debit card. They get very upset if you say you have to mail money. I insist I am not giving my credit card number to anyone who has called me. So they get the supervisor on the phone, and they agree after 5 minutes of talking to mail you something.

         The same day it arrives in the mail, they call to remind you. I don't pay anything the same day it comes. Even the credit cards allow a week or two. I like to do a lot at once and balance my budget. About 3 days later, they're calling to tell you they haven't received it and their whole program is going to fall apart without your personal contribution. That ticked me off, so I held it a whole ten days before writing a check. I had two more phone calls before I put it in the mail. I told the woman on the phone, take me off your calling list. I put a note in the envelope to remove me from all future calls.

         I've had about 20 calls since I sent the note. About every 48 hours some woman calls. I've told them all off and have hung up repeatedly. No one is taking notes apparently. They'll never get another dime from me, I don't care how legitimate they are or how good the cause.

         Do not talk to these people. Do not give them money. Sure, give to charity. Give locally. Give to causes you believe in. Do not give to strangers who disturb your peace and quiet to beg.
October 28, 2014 at 10:46pm
October 28, 2014 at 10:46pm
Leaf Raking
         Don't you just love this time of year if you don't live in an apartment? Leaves everywhere. Rake all day long every day! If you don't get them up, the wind blows yours into the neighbor's clean driveway. Sounds like a plan, but the neighbors don't like the plan.

         Porches and sidewalks and patios, so nice, but so much sweeping or blowing. A toddler came to visit Sunday and was allowed to play in the leaves. Bits of leaves were tracked in the house. I swept every room they walked through. Then a diaper change was needed. Not only were small bits of leaves inside his shoes and socks and pants, they were inside his diaper. I had to vacuum the bedroom where he was changed, including the bed.

         My dad is an old man. He does the yard work, trims the hedges. He comes in covered from head to toe. I have to brush him off if I can catch him at the back door. If he comes through the front or the garage, it gets everywhere. I have to stop him, "Don't sit on the upholstery until you change your shirt." I take his hat and shake it over the trash can. I can sweep the kitchen more easily than cleaning under the sofa cushions.

         Yes, the leaves are lovely, changing colors. The mountains are like patchwork quilts. I live on a small mountain, and it is beautiful.On mountain or valley, country roads or city streets, these colors are a great reminder of the constancy of the seasons, of the eternal passing of time. This great burst of beauty is not without its labor. Did you wipe your feet before you came in?
October 27, 2014 at 10:23pm
October 27, 2014 at 10:23pm
Sickness Counseling
         I'm beginning to see a great need for counselors for people who are sick or dying. It doesn't need to be long term or indefinite. And it can be off and on as people go through different phases of an illness. Most people just aren't prepared to deal with their own incapacitating illness or death.

         Knowing that you are about to die, whether you're given 4 weeks or 4 years must be devastating. Getting your affairs in order comes easier to some than to others. Some are prepared for the prospect of death, but most are not. They can react with depression which won't help them recover from any surgeries or drug therapies. They can make erratic decisions that will be counterproductive in dealing with cancer or any degenerative disease.

         Some doctors recognize the need for such counseling. I know of one large practice that actually includes a psychiatrist who deals primarily with sick and dying people, not long term disorders. More doctors need to give lip service to such counseling and even recommend or refer patients to whom they give bad news. A non-family member/professional needs to listen to their concerns and guide them to make wise choices and to keep a positive attitude.

         We read so many stories of people who did their own research for themselves or their children, and refused to follow the doctor's prognosis. However, people can carry this too far; there is too much info out there that will steer someone wrong. A person can't keep switching doctors or refusing to keep appointments because he gets upset with the doctor. A counselor can help the patient defend himself and be involved with his healing without damaging it.

         Then there are the family members who fall apart or who aren't supportive. A counselor can help the parents of a child with leukemia; she can't make it go away, but can help the parent survive the stress and trauma. A counselor might help the spouse of a woman with breast cancer when he can't handle her sickness from chemo or possible death. Any illness or disability affects the way a couple or family function. It changes the responsibilities and expectations. If the medical community would acknowledge the importance of the mental and spiritual status of the patient, he could deal better with the medical aspects and get the patient's cooperation.
October 26, 2014 at 10:55pm
October 26, 2014 at 10:55pm
Trick or Treat
         We don't get many kids at the door. The kids in the neighborhood have grown up. And the houses are too far apart to attract kids from other streets. The driveways are long and scary. You sort of have to know the folks you're visiting or have parents who will get out of the car and walk up to the house with you.

         We decorate and get the candy just in case. So we try not to get the awful stuff that adults don't want to have the week after. I like Halloween. Not because I like scary stuff, or the occult, or blood and gore. That's too much for little kids anyway. But by dressing up like things that scare us, we're making them a little less scary. We can address our worst fears and realize that we can handle them. Then there's the creative side, like Smurfs, Red Skelton, Ollie & Stanley, soldiers, and fairy princesses, They're all fun and give flight to fancy. Our imaginations soar. Adults get more fun out of Halloween these days than the kids. We can pretend to be something we're not.

         I'm not a psychologist, so I can't put my finger on it. But it seems that maybe this holiday for disguises could be a healthy outlet for us.
October 25, 2014 at 11:40pm
October 25, 2014 at 11:40pm
Directions
         Granted the area where I live has changed a lot in the last twenty years. But every time I go somewhere, or if I go with my my father who has lived here continuously for over 80 years, I get lost. Now I lived away for 20 plus years, came back, and then didn't get out much while I was unemployed. I have an excuse when I go to parts of town I don't usually travel to find the whole area completely renovated and small roads are divided highways.

         For instance, I now park on a spacious road with bike lanes and walk six blocks to a bus stop to get to my job where there is no parking. This road used to be a narrow road in a seedy part of town. You didn't want to walk there alone. Now there are beautiful buildings, outdoor artwork, lots of lights, carefully planted trees, and thriving businesses.

         In August we went to a child's birthday party in a public park. I thought my dad knew his way around the county. We spent 45 minutes going down the wrong roads in the wrong direction and asking strangers how to get to this park.

         Today, we went to the renewal of someone's wedding vows (a wedding after 25 years of marriage) at a county church, with reception following at a summer camp. It was my dad's friend. He got directions which sounded simple. Then he whined about us being late. Well, it turned out, they were simple, but it was much further out of town than explained. It was in the next county. We did get there on time, but a lot of folks were later than us, so it started late. Then to go to the reception, we just asked a stranger in the parking lot, "Can we follow yo?" Good thing, because that was complicated, down windy roads, narrow passes between lakes and uphill curves. I drove out because I have better night vision; it was a little tense.

         But I'm learning. Never trust a man to get directions. They think they know. And get landmarks. If he had been told it's near the county high school, that would have helped allay our fears. From now on whether I go alone, or escort my father, I will check map quest in advance or make sure it's on GPS, which I do not leave in the car. I did make one practice run for a Saturday event in early October. That proved helpful. But I will not rely on anyone else for directions.

         And I've got to get out more, outside of my usual routine, and go places I don't usually go. If all I do is just locate area parks, big stores, and try roads I haven't been down in 5 years or more, that will be an improvement. I should know my own area.
October 24, 2014 at 11:41pm
October 24, 2014 at 11:41pm
Chickens Versus Deer
         I'm beginning to feel like animals are a big preoccupation for me. Not only do I have chickens messing up the yard, squirrels terrorizing me, but the deer destroy everything. The deer eat the vegetable gardens. They eat the flowers in the spring before they can bloom. They eat sea grass, so that I only have tall thin stalks. They eat the butterfly bush, reducing my butterfly bait. They eat the rhododendrons and the plants in my pots on the patio. And they clop on the wheel chair ramp outside my bedroom window in the middle of the night.

         The local county authorities are debating the fate of backyard chickens in residential areas of the county. Not that I mind my neighbor keeping his chickens penned in the last two days. But it's easy to pick on chicken owners since there aren't really that many. Yet the dear are overpopulated and destroy every subdivision and even the city properties. They don't do anything about deer because there are no owners, no one to fine. And the answer is to reduce the population.

         Now that's unpopular. If you relocate the deer, that's costly and inconvenient. And they would probably come back. If you make a longer hunting season, or increase the limit, that won't help populated areas where hunting isn't permitted. Nobody wants to capture or exterminate Bambi. But people and all animals weren't meant to live together without medical care for all. Control the animal population. I'm all for people population control, too. (No exterminations, just ... well, you know, not making more of them.)
October 23, 2014 at 11:06pm
October 23, 2014 at 11:06pm
Halloween A Week Away
         There's something about the holidays that just says life is normal and goes on. There's some comfort in traditions and in seasons. Even though there are no kids at my house, the little ones only visit occasionally, sometimes all at once, and sometimes spread out. The kids in our neighborhood have grown up, so we get few trick-or-treaters.

         Still there is a skeleton handing in the foyer, 2 scarecrows in the covered entrance with a black pumpkin on the lower step. Brown and yellow mums are in the ground out back. A pumpkin sits at the end of our walkway to guide people from the long driveway. A black crow looks down from the garage.

         We have baskets of artificial leaves, mini scarecrows, and gourds inside. A ceramic jack o'lantern, bats, and stuffed ghosts pose around the living room and dining room. "Cute scary" stuff is everywhere on kitchen towels and drinking cups. There's only two of us, but we do it for ourselves. Two generations, but apparently we are related because we both still want our holidays, just like always. We don't take the easy way out, and say it's too much trouble. I think we like the trouble.

         The day after Halloween the ghosts go away, the scarecrows and harvest things stay a little longer. The turkeys will come out to play and pose. The fall theme table cloth and kitchen towels will arrive. And autumnal wreaths take the place of skeletons. We will have a houseful on Turkey Day. The day after Thanksgiving, we start swapping out Christmas things.

         Give us our holidays. And all the memories and the passing of time.
October 22, 2014 at 11:04pm
October 22, 2014 at 11:04pm
Office Staff Missing
         On the one hand I'm excited. Everyone in the office will be off or out of town Friday except for me and two other people. It will be quiet, no meetings, less traffic. I will be able to get a lot done, listen to music while I work, etc.

         On the other hand, the office manager/receptionist will be out. I will have to work at her desk near the boss's office. He's one of the other two people working. What a pain! He's not a bad person. He's moody and nit-picky and sensitive. I'm usually shielded from him in my small corner office. That office by the way will be painted Friday. It's an outside wall, and the moisture comes through and peels the paint. I don't mind the painters. They will stay out of my way, as long as I stay out of theirs. The boss on the other hand will go out of his way to complain. The people who usually placate him will be out.

         I will have no one to relieve me during the day. The office manager can step out because she can retrieve the messages on her phone. No one else has access. So I can't miss any calls. If I want a break, I'll have to sneak out when the boss is out for a rendezvous with a bigwig or on his own lunch. He can be nice, but you can't rely on it.

         So I have to clean my office Thursday and get my papers and books ready to go to the front reception area, including my coffee cup. I'm going to try a nice non-business conversation Friday, to see if I can get him in a pleasant mood. It might end up a mellow, productive day.

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