Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Beginning of the End

This is a post I wrote for a Blogger's Contest the year after the Twin Towers were savaged.  Now, I hear T.V. announcers talking about the chaos happening all over the World, as if it were something new.  The Muslim terrorists have not skipped one step in their march toward the Caliphate.  I cannot believe that one little old lady in Ohio has known what was going on and our fearless leaders in Washington ignore the evidence right before their eyes.  Wake up America!  Global warming is not the primary problem in the World.  We must be on our knees for every country that operates blindly.  Today, our prayers must be for France and the pain her citizens are suffering.  By the way, I did win that contest, but I would rather have been wrong.

It was shortly before nine, that Tuesday morning, when the phone began to jangle on my bedside table. Okay, so I was lolling about on my bed like Cleopatra on her barge. It was a time of life when there were no pressing reasons to leave the soft comfort of my quintessential retreat. I languidly answered and heard the excited voice of my youngest daughter. "A plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers in New York! Turn on your TV!" The horror unfolding before our eyes short-circuited the link between reality and belief. The child within wanted to deny that this could be happening even though our eyes watched the undeniable on the screen. How could such an accident happen? Stacey and I talked as we watched separately, yet bonded together in mutual sorrow for those who would never again talk with a loved one or cuddle deeply in their comfortable beds with a spouse, lover or child. People leapt from windows without hope of living, but in fear of dying from the flames left behind. American Airlines Flight 11 had ended at 8:46 am. As we watched and talked, we saw United Airlines Flight 175 hit the second tower at 9:03 --- the age of innocence ended as we realized there are people in the world who want us dead. American Flight 77 tore into the Pentagon Building at 9:37 and United Flight 93 plummeted into the ground in Pennsylvania at 10:06. This all occurred in one hour and twenty minutes, but would change the world as we know it forever. We cried together and finally hung up the phones, only to remain transfixed before the TVs. The words Muslim, elQuaida and terrorists began to filter into the reporters jargon and I searched my mind for what little knowledge I had of their activities. Americans have attended their churches faithfully for hundreds of years and have heard the Biblical stories of the ancestors of Jesus; not thinking of the ramifications of the Old Testament lineage of Abraham and Sarah. Many people know only of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection. You know --- Christmas and Easter people. The faith of Abraham filtered down from King David to God's only son, Jesus, through many generations of Hebrews. When Abraham was eighty-six years old, he took (at Sarah's behest) Sarah's handmaiden (slave), Hagar. She bore a son, Ishmael. They thought this would fulfill God's promise of a son for Abraham in his old age, but no! God had promised a son through Abraham's legal wife, Sarah. It was accomplished when Abraham was one hundred years old and the child was named Isaac. Isaac's descendants are the Jewish Nation, of whom Jesus is one descendant .... the "new covenant" with God, from which the Christians spring. Ishmael and Hagar were cast out into the desert to become the Arab Nation. God promised Hagar that her son, Ishmael, would head many nations. This, from The Living Bible; God appeared to Hagar in Genesis 17:10-12, saying , "This son of yours will be a wild one --- free and untamed as a wild ass! He will be against everyone, and everyone will feel the same towards him. But, he will live near the rest of his kin." So, we know that the Arabs and the Jews are half-brothers, but surely the Arab Nation resents the inheritance of slavery as opposed to legitimate offspring of their forefather. The stage set over two thousand years ago endures between the Jews, Christians and the Arabs in lands all over the world to this day. The Barbary Pirates of the seventeenth century were Muslims, determined to acquire enough money to spread the word of the Qur'an telling the World of Allah through his prophet, Muhammad. Their Allah is the same God worshipped by Jews and Christians and Muhammad is their prophet, whom they consider to be the equivalent of our Jesus. However, Jews await the coming Messiah and Christians believe in the Trinity of God. . Early century Muslims were just as dedicated to their mission as they are today. Muslims have never rested in their zeal to rid the world of infidels, because they truly feel it is ordained by Allah that the world be ruled by their God. We must never cease to be vigilant, because the world, as we have know it, will never be the same. Our lives are frail as breath ... we gasp at the prospect of future attacks. What does God think of mankind's perversion of His love in His name? God have mercy. Was 9/11 the end of innocence or the beginning of the end?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Barstool Economics

Suppose that every day, 10 men go out for beer and the bill for all 10 comes to $100.00.If they pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
• The first 4 men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
• The 5th would pay $1.00.
• The 6th would pay $3.00.
• The 7th would pay $7.00.
• The 8th would pay $12.00.
• The 9th would pay $18.00.
• The 10th man (the richest) would pay $59.00.

So, that's what they decided to do. The 10 men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve."Since you are all such good customers, he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.00."Drinks for the 10 now cost only $80.00.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first 4 men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.But, what about the other 6 men (the paying customers)?How could they divide the $20.00 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?They realized that $20.00 divided by 6 is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the 5th man and the 6th man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested... to be fair, to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:
• The 5th man, like the first 4, now paid nothing (100% savings).
• The 6th now paid $2.00 instead of $3.00 (33% savings).
• The 7th now paid $5.00 instead of $7.00 (28% savings).
• The 8th now paid $9.00 instead of $12.00 (25% savings).
• The 9th now paid $14.00 instead of $18.00 (22% savings).
• The 10th now paid $49.00 instead of $59.00 (16% savings).

Each of the 6 was better off than before. And the first 4 continued to drink for free. But once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20.00," declared the 6th man. He pointed to the 10th man, "But he got $10.00!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the 5th man. "I only saved a dollar too. It's unfair that he got 10 times more than I!"
"That's true!!" shouted the 7th man. "Why should he get $10.00 back, when I only got $2.00? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first 4 men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The 9 men surrounded the 10th and beat him up.

The next night, the 10th man didn't show up for drinks, so the 9 sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between them for even half of the bill! (The 10th man was originally paying $59.00 of $100.00, then $49.00 of $80.00).

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

• -David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
• Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Once Again

Mother's Day Once Again

Happy Mother's Day to Mom, the original seat belt!

Today is Mother's Day and this is the card I got from Numero Uno child in 2007. It really cracks me up, because I spent their formative years throwing my arms across the chest of the child sitting next to me on the front bench seat of the car to prevent their being thrown through the windshield. Lord knows how they managed to live through no car seats and certainly no seat belts. One absolute rule was that they couldn't sit too near any door, because who knew whether or not the lock would hold and one could possibly fall from the car during a turn and get run over by the back wheels. However did I manage to get them safely through infancy, school, college and to the altar without killing anyone?
I think motherhood started for me when I was about ten or eleven and our neighbor had a baby boy. I was allowed to play with him on a blanket in their backyard while my Mom chatted with the new mother.
I fell in love with the smell, feel, touch, the enchanting smiles and the cuddly little body of any baby. Little girls are programmed to desire babies in their lives. Shortly after marrying at seventeen, my mind turned to thoughts of having my very own baby to cuddle and smell and love. Luckily, God knew that we were not ready financially for parenthood. He made me wait until I was twenty-one, before He felt I could be trusted with an infant of my own. I couldn't believe it when after all those months and years of trying, I finally knew I was pregnant.
Every since that very first day, when I knew there was a baby coming to our home, I have been the most blessed of all creation --- a mother. If there is to be a special day --- it should be a day for rejoicing in the fact that God has seen fit to give us children to raise and love and then set free.
This is a picture of me with my first child when she was two years and six weeks old. My second child was only six weeks old and I was six weeks away from getting pregnant with my third. How ironic that after almost four years without children, we had three in less than three years. Motherhood has been a joy every step of the way and I am still thanking God for the children he sent my way almost fifty years ago. I love you Lesley, Matthew and Stacey and the ten children you have brought into my life in the last twenty-seven years. The pastor praised moms in church this morning, but it is we who should be thanking God for the privilege He has given to us. I cannot imagine a life without my children. To quote Ben Folds, " I Am the Luckiest!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

And Yet Another One!

Sometimes I doubt my sanity. There are 1560 little pieces (2"x 3 1/2") in this quilt top I just finished. Each piece is handled individually, so I know there are a bunch of them. I love the Batik colors and patterns and I collect them on a regular basis. This one is just for the fun of it, so I think I will take it to Florida and hand quilt it this coming Winter. My darling husband thinks we quilters are a bit unhinged. Who would take perfectly good fabric and chop it into pieces, only to sew them back together again? But, I think his golfing is a bit goofy. Why chase that little ball all over the course today and have nothing to show for it and then do it again in a day or two?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Grandson is Getting Married

We have been blessed with eight are boys. Now, they are of marrying age and I hope to see all of them married and settled into happy lives. The girls they have chosen have been wonderful and I am a happy Grandma. Since I am an avid quilter, I have been happily making and stashing away quilts to leave for them to remember me by. My first quilting teacher told us that "Quilts are meant to keep someone you love warm". You need to keep warm in Northwestern Ohio. There have been some new fads in quilting in the last few years and my new granddaughters-in-law have kept up with the trends. They are easier to make, ... the new fabrics are breath-taking and the geometric patterns are nice. So, now when a proposal is accepted and a date is set, I ask the bride to view my collection of quilts and tell me what they like in the way of color and type. This is good, because I am not ready to part with the quilts that I have made just to suit me. Number six grandson is getting married on Oct. 12th and I gave this quilt to his bride for her shower. She likes purple (it is in there) and he likes teal (it is in there, too). I hope they will be as happy as Grandpa and I have been for almost fifty-nine years. Stay warm Tyler and Courtney....we love you.
Okay, another guy is about to bit the dust...he has an intended, so I have another king sized quilt to make. At least, quilting keeps me from going berserk over the political crap for the next two months.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Too Soon Old

It's been a really long time since I felt that I could blog anything. My family is my life and they would resent it, if I were to tell all the things I think or feel. I know even in my everyday chit chat, I am often misunderstood. I am always motivated by love, but somewhere between my brain and my lips there comes a disconnect. I am left babbling and hoping to explain the errant comment. But today, I am thinking that perhaps I should move to an undisclosed location and write my heart out. My original intention was to leave a blog of my thoughts so my children would have an insight into the minds of their parents. That is just not happening, so I am moved talk about my feelings on being old...possibly even close to dying. As a born again Christian, I should be longing to be with The Lord in Heaven, but as a woman who was young just a few days ago....I want to stay and see my children and grands happily married and in family relationships before I go. I, also, have too many quilts cut up and piles of fabrics awaiting my sewing machine and my creative juices. My other half just had a really big birthday, which brought to mind the fact that life is short and like a roll of toilet tissue, goes faster the closer you get to the end.
The recent loss of one of my favorite bloggers reminds me that fleeting time will find me unaware and I might be caught in the despair of loss. I read Empress Bee's thoughts on the day Sarge Charlie was laid to rest and was amazed by how succinctly she expressed the unwillingness to acknowledge to yourself that your loved one is gone from this Earthly life. Allowing yourself to believe it would mean that it is true and that hurts too much to be conceived. My husband of fifty-eight years and I have nibbled around the edges of grief over our lack of future, but like Miss Bee, don't want to come to grips with deep thoughts.
It is so hard to get old, when your mind is still hanging around back in your thirties or fifties, but time marches on and eventually we get tired of marching and sprawl in front of the T.V. or sit lazily at the computer. Our church has decided that we are saved and no longer need to worship in ways that are meaningful and comforting to us. They have gone on to impress the youth with drums, guitars and stage productions to lure young people. Large churches have formulated worship programs to compete with a Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert. Our youngsters love it, but they go away to college and we are left in the pews awaiting the next ploy to attract another generation. Meanwhile, our pleas for a hymn here or there fall on deaf ears....perhaps they can't hear us over the sound system.
Restaurants that have been mainstays in our lives for years are suddenly ripping out their decor and trying to get a "modern update" to appeal to a younger group. I have news for them....if business is slow, it is because we are in a recession, not because their walls need to be painted mustard and puce. When the economy picks up, their business will pick up, but they will be out the money it took to update the place. This older generation has been patronizing them all along without the benefit of some up and coming dude deciding that a face lift is the answer. I mean, golly, have you noticed that McDonald's is even changing the fronts of their stores? Will the Golden Arches become fallen arches?
I think I am trying to say to the world....Please don't be so obvious in your desire to be done with us. President Obama's Health Care will not allow brain surgery to relieve a brain bleed if you are over seventy. Cancer will not be treated if you are over seventy, but will be given comfort measures. Yea, bring on the Morphine. Once we are in a drug induced haze, pull the plug, let us go and then hold a rousing church service with old hymns which have had their melodies changed.
Perhaps, we should start telling people how much we admire and love them, before they are gone and we are left without their presence in our lives. Ronald Reagan left the office of President of the United States in 1989. He was seventy-eight years old and one of our greatest presidents, Some people still have value in their golden years, but we won't necessarily know who they are until they have left the building.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It is finished!

My grandson and his wife are expecting this month. At Christmas, they told us that a boy was coming their way. By Spring, it mysteriously turned into a baby girl, so here are the baby boy quilt that just got added to my cupboard of coming attractions and the baby girl quilt for my very first great-grandchild. I love quilting, butmy fingers are full of tiny little holes from a couple of months of heavy duty quilting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life Changes

Many, many years ago, when I was twenty-four, my third child

entered the World and made our family complete. She was an

exceptionally good baby, which was a great thing for me, because her brother was twelve months old and her sister was just going on thirty-six months. Life was very different then. Husbands worked and mommies stayed home and took care of the home front. It was a wonderful, magical time....a time before color TV, cell phones, X-Boxes, microwaves or a myriad of other mechanical wonders. I didn't even have a dishwasher in our first home, but I did have children! Wonderful, healthy babies that reeked of Johnson's Baby Powder, who cuddled into our laps and filled our hearts and lives forever. We did have times with Little League Football, piano lessons, horn lessons and gymnastic lessons, but our world was never held hostage by the demands of soccer, play dates, Lacrosse, dance, child beauty contests, organized baseball or any of the activities that young parents are filling the lives of their families with, after both mom and dad have worked a forty hour week. Our children filled their own time with the things they discovered along the way. Luckily, my children were raised in a time when you didn't lock your doors all day and their baseball games were played in a field that was mowed by the kids themselves. Neighborhood guys came over and called out "Staaccceeeyyyy" and she would head out for a street game of pickup football. So, this is the life of our youngest in the 60's and 70's and the family as we knew it.

She grew up without getting arrested, tattooed or living with anyone other than our family. She graduated from nursing school, married our son's best friend and embarked on a family of her own. Unfortunately for all of us, I had taken a drug called diethylstilbesterol during my pregnancy with Stacey. Girls born to moms who took this drug are called DES Daughters and are subject to vaginal cancer and multiple miscarriages. Stacey and her wonderful husband have suffered through five miscarriages, two children with unbelievable handicaps (one died at birth and one died at nine and a half) and they are the proud parents of a son, who graduated from Nyack College in New York in movie and video production.

They have worked with the teenagers at our church for the last fifteen to twenty years, while she was working part-time as a nurse and her hubby was with the Highway Patrol. Now, we come to the life changes. They sold their four bedroom home last year (in a really depressed realty market) and bought a much smaller condo. Her husband retired from the Patrol and she finished working at the gastro clinic last week. They leave for Kardern, Germany next Thursday to be dorm parents at The Black Forest Academy for the next two years. This is a school for children of missionaries and will fulfill her need for children to love. I am torn between being very proud of them and wondering whether or not I will ever see them again. God promised threescore and ten years, but I blew past that a while ago, so if this is the biggest life change for me.....Stacey, you have been holding a big piece of my heart for fifty-one years.....handle with care. I love you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

We thank you, Lord, for the many blessings you have given us this year and pray that we would be thankful for anything that may come our way. We thank you for allowing us to live another year and for keeping our families safe and happy. We pray for all the people who are having troubled times and ask that You would take this cup from them.... that You would give us a heart that cares enough for our fellow man to do whatever is needed to make life more comfortable or even tolerable for all Your children . Help us to show the love of Christ through all our actions....that we would witness with our lives and not just with our mouths. And Lord, we truly give thanks that You have a sense of humor that allows us unfettered joy. Amen

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now, I'm really mad!

Now, I'm really mad!

Last night, I wrote about something that has bothered me for about a year and some of my dear blogger friends came over and read about "The Foundation for a Better Life", their spots on TV and their billboards about life values. The first link I put up was one I found last January about this organization. You can still investigate their crap stuff at, but amazingly enough, the link I had supplied disappeared by this morning. I swear to you that the stuff was there last evening, as I wrote the blog and had been there all year. The second link is still up and running with the propaganda they wish to spread all over the world. (It is available in ten languages) I really wanted y'all to read the stuff they have been bruiting about on the net, so being a true anal retentive type woman....I just happened to have copied a bit of their "stuff" last year and saved it in My Documents. The editors of this site are Arthur & Marilouise Kroker, who have published a ton of things concerning various nefarious doings on the net. If you Google them, you can see that some people are publishing things with a political agenda so advanced that we ordinary people are just not quite smart enough to understand how dangerous they are. Please read the following article that I was bright enough to save last year, before they wiped it out this morning. The very idea that it was removed scares me....and I hope it worries you, too.

(The misspellings and poor language usage are theirs, not mine)

The Foundation for a Better Life Website: A Critical Archeology
Patient Iteration of the Message
The Foundation's website ( contains several subpages linked off the home page. They are "Values," "Good News," "TV Spots," "Billboards" and "About FBL " (a generic mission statement). Clicking on "Values" brings up a page in which a facsimile of a continuous celluloid film strip (in frames) is exhibited; each miniature image frame (over a scroll bar) is captioned with a "value." (There are fifty-two "values," mirroring the number of cards in a typical deck). Typical value captions over the visuals are "Appreciation," "Class and Grace," "Compassion," "Cooperation," "Gratitude," "Hard Work," "Loyalty," "Right Choices," etc. When the web surfer clicks on a caption or its associated image, the graphic (Flash) opens into a new screen. The new screen displays a larger iconic image originally seen in the filmstrip frame. (Many of them are reminiscent of psychological projective test imagery). Then a short story on the selected "value" comes to the fore, such as the of the one below (graphically composed with an image of a son and father fishing on a small boat):
My fondest memory of my Dad occurred one summer day out in the middle of a mountain lake. "Don't jerk it. Just reel it in real slow," my father whispered. But it was so difficult. I hated to wait for anything. I usually took forever to decide what I really wanted, but once I decided, I wanted it right now. And right now I wanted to catch a fish.
My father seemed to sense my impatience. "The big ones didn't get that way by snapping the first thing to hit the water," he said quietly. "You'll soon find that anything big and worthwhile usually takes a lot of time." Then, with a smile that I will never forget, he added, "After all, I've already spent twelve years on you."
"The values we live by are worth more when we pass them on . . . [7]
The phrase, "pass it on" (as a linked icon) surrounds the story on three sides, as it does for almost all of the fifty-two parables of values on the site. This perpetually repeated suggestion to "pass it on" finds an echo in a famous 1928 essay on propaganda:
Winning people over to something that I have recognized as right, that is what we call propaganda. Propaganda stands between the idea and the worldview, between the worldview and the state . . . At the moment at which I recognize something is important and begin speaking about it . . . I begin making propaganda. At the same moment, I begin looking for other people to join me. Propaganda is nothing other than the forerunner to organization. Once it has done this, it is the forerunner to state control. It is always a means to an end.[8]
The narrative that surrounds this particular "virtue" of patience also unintentionally announces pieces of the methodology and tactics of the Foundation's campaign: These general tactics are patience, and repetition and iterative spread of the message ("pass it on"). This constant exhortation mirrors Goebbels' statement that such "clear" ideas "seek escape through the mouth." But the similarities between the FBL's campaign and Goebbels' ideas doesn't end with these general prescriptions:
Targeting the Message to Multiple Audiences
Propaganda adjusts itself to the prevailing conditions [and] is always flexible. That means that propaganda cannot be limited [because] it changes according to whom I am trying to reach. Propaganda should be popular, but not intellectually pleasing . . . The propagandist's speeches or posters that are aimed at farmers will be different than those aimed at employers, those aimed at doctors will be different than those aimed at patients. . The task of leaders and followers is to drive [our] knowledge ever deeper into the hearts of our shattered nation. [9]
This flexibility is mirrored by the diversity of deeply aestheticized and idealized racial, ethnic and class images, coupled to equally idealized narratives, targeted to different audiences on the Foundation's values sub page. As Guillermo Gomez-Pena notes, they clearly echo
a 'benevolent' form of multiculturalism [that] has been adopted by corporations and media conglomerates across borders, continents and virtual spaces. And our major cultural and educational institutions have followed suit. This global transculture artificially softens the otherwise sharp edges of cultural difference, fetishizing them in such a way as to render them desirable. [10]
And, as Gomez-Pena laments, the propagandists of this "new" capitalist multiculturalism have outsmarted "us" by so cleverly disguising the serious social contradictions and covert violence under the surfaces of these images and intended messages. It is equally obvious that the Foundation's hired and pro bono spin meisters have also learned from them. The Foundation appropriated, in the billboard portion of the campaign, some of the best recognized and diverse icons of 20th Century and contemporary millennial culture: Winston Churchill and Shaquille O'Neill; Mother Teresa and Whoopi Goldberg; Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali; the 1989 photo of an anonymous Chinese student trying to halt a line of tanks into Tiananmen Square and hockey great Wayne Gretzky. In some of these, historical images of defiance to a repressive state apparatus (Tinanamen Square, Ali's refusal of the Vietnam-era draft, for example) are recoded as embodying consensual, conventional and "prosocial" values. The recoding of icons (the reframing, and often the inversion, of denotative and connotative meanings) is a constant, even a defining feature of the Foundation's website. But beneath the inscription of structural-functionalist themes onto postmodern life lies a genealogy of money, and power.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Bury Your Head in the Sand!

Ten months ago, I wrote a piece
about something I had noted
about television "service spots" from "The Foundation for a Better Life". I couldn't figure out who or what would be paying for these innocuous, sweet little spots.....virtual pieces of fluff without any real need for their message. It really puzzled me and I wrote this:
"My husband was walking out the door today and the television was playing that public service announcement about the big, burly hockey player singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to his little girl on phone, as his teammates laughed along. My husband said, "I like this one." Then, I thought about the one I like.... the little boy playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with a concert pianist assisting in front of a large audience. There is also one about a Downs Syndrome teen being elected Home Coming Queen. A little voice niggled about in my pea sized brain....Who or what is "The Foundation for a Better Life"? I've been wondering who would want to pay for these lovely little blurbs every day and what would they expect to get out of it? What group could be financing this? So, I Googled it and found this:

Oh, holy cow! Here we go again! This is something everyone better try very hard to understand, because it is another threat to our way of life and it is being put to us in such a lovely way that we will be buried from within....without murmuring a peep. Imagine that I have only begun to wonder about this and it has been organized and orchestrated since 2002, at least. We are sheep being led to the slaughter. God help us!"

Well, that was last January and since then, I have packed up in Florida and unpacked in Ohio and both of us have had lots of medical and dental care from our home doctors. I haven't blogged or accomplished much of anything, but now we have packed up and driven back to Florida. I'm actually looking at the television again, instead of just listening to it. Those sweet little service announcements are continuing, but now, while they remain from "The Foundation for a Better Life", we are being directed to:

Please look at the differences between these two sites and tell me that there is not some hidden agenda to draw us into a sinister web that will change our entire way of life without our knowing what hit us. It is odd that fascism and radical change is no longer mentioned at the new site, just sweet, airy values. There are even spots for school faculties to go and find ways to subvert our kids! Help! I wish someone of importance would look into this campaign and do something more than one little old lady can accomplish with a few words.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FEMA Fails Again!

Two weeks ago tonight, we had a terrible night of tornadoes that hit on the western edge of Toledo, Ohio and then skipped to the eastern edge of town to a little farming community about four miles from where we live. Five people died, the police department was totally flattened, homes were reduced to rubble (see picture) and the high school was completely blown to pieces. (This was supposed to be the shelter for people without a "safe place") Luckily, it was a Saturday night and school was not in session. The next afternoon was supposed to be graduation, but it was postponed for a few days and held at a local Community College. Even the school busses were picked up and tossed about like Matchbox cars. When daylight came and the officials could survey the total damage, they found a terrible carnage of homes, public buildings, vehicles and even a turned over train. All the trees were denuded and the official damage report made it a Category F4 tornado. The amazing thing was the outpouring of local support for this small community. My daughter has a group of young adults from church that meets for food and fun every Tuesday evening. She called her people and said , " Bring sturdy shoes and work gloves....we're going to Millbury this week." They picked up debris for hours, working side by side with inmates from the Sandusky County Jail. Hundreds of people came from miles around, including a football team from a town south of Findlay, Ohio, to do anything they could for the people. National Guardsmen told my daughter on one of her trips, "Hey, don't do such a good job... it will affect the damage rating when FEMA gets here." Well, guess what? Yesterday, FEMA turned down the request for a Disaster Designation, because most of these hard working people had insurance and the citizens were cleaning up much of the mess by hand. Men were using chain saws to cut up fallen trees and women were dragging branches to the edges of roads for volunteer trucking to the dump. They had been burning large piles of wood, but the Environmental Agency told them they had to stop to protect the Earth from Global Warming. Duh! So, now Lake Township has no high school and no police department and no help from the government in this disaster. Why are the people of New Orleans still whining and not working on their city's five year old mess, but receiving aid from the government, when the Governor of Ohio has to beg for a little help for a town obliterated by a tornado. Funny, these folks did not have five days to get out of town....only about ten minutes warning that a severe storm was heading their way. Life is not fair, but neither is our Federal Government.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Students, veterans team up to place Memorial Day flags

My husband and I went to Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, Ohio to visit the final resting place of our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a niece, a nephew and one of our granddaughters. It is a beautiful cemetary....lush grass, beautiful trees and peaceful quiet. When I was young, the pond in the middle of the park had graceful swans swimming about through the warm summers. While we were there this Memorial Day Weekend, I was awed by the rows upon rows of American Flags throughout acres of gravestones and markers. I thought that VFW Posts had veterans placing the flags at the graves of the military, but then I saw this video from a local TV station. The students they talked about are from the high school that my husband, my children and I had attended many years ago. Whitmer High School is in Toledo, Ohio, not Sylvania. We are very proud of the social studies department and the students , who honored our military. They are wonderful representatives of the youngest generatiion. God Bless them.

Students, veterans team up to place Memorial Day flags: "Whitmer High School teamed up with the American Legion Post 587 to place American flags at Toledo Memorial Cemetary."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This is Alex ...Check Him Out

This is Alex...he was such a cutie... and still is! He is one of my seven grandsons. He is a bit older now, than he was in this picture, having graduated from Nyack College last year. He has been working in New York this year and recently started writing a blog about serious stuff. When he was little and adorable, I had no idea that he would grow up and have such deep thoughts about something so important to us all. I guess Nyack was actually worth all the money they charged for his education. If you have a few minutes, check out his fledgling efforts.... it made me think a bit about how I relate my personal life with my spiritual life. The address is on my Blogroll, so just click on" Sandwich Time with Jesus."

Friday, March 26, 2010

It is Finished!

Finally, I have finished my flip flop wall quilt. I removed the original fabric was bright and fun, but just wasn't the right fabric. Then I found this Batik fabric that looked like watery bubbles and knew it was the right one. Quilters are a funny breed of people. We love fabric, all fabric, but don't always make the right decision the first time in the store. We go back again and again and buy more and more, until finally the right thing falls into our outstretched arms. Actually, I never met a quilt store that I didn't like. I want it much to do and so little time!

So, I sandwiched the top piece, the batting and the backing and began to quilt around the flip flops in close lines to simulate the ripples you make as you step into the water. I thought the background fabric for the flip flops looked like sand on a beach somewhere. It was definitely not Florida white sand, but dirt somewhere.

What came next was a natural.
If I had beach, flip flops and an ocean...then I needed schools of fish in the water. Can you see the fish swimming along in the bubbles? They have tiny little glass bead eyes. It is finally done, because we have Net Flix and I can hand quilt while I watch chick flicks with "My Honey". When we get a guy "blood and guts" movie, I head for the sewing machine, since I have female sensitivities and can't watch tough stuff. I am so happy that "My Honey" loves Sandra Bullock movies!
P. S. I just discovered that you can left click on the pictures and actually biggify my quilty fishes enough to see their little beady eyes. Woo Hoo!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where Have I Been?

The months seem to fly by when we are in Florida and I have very little to show for time spent. I read, follow my friend's blogs, sleep and occasionally sew. January was spent making this queen sized quilt, two pillowcases and two pillow shams, but I am going to take them to Ohio for my favorite long arm quilter to finish. If you notice the color scheme, then you will know that I made this one with my number two grandson in mind. He is in his fifth year with the Air Force and this seems apropos.
This year, we were struck by the astounding bargains in the real estate market, so we started snooping around with an eye toward finding a bargain for our son-in-law (who is able to retire from law enforcement at a young age). Turns out our daughter is not ready to make a move to Florida, so we somehow got carried away and made an offer for a really neat four bedroom home in Punta Gorda. Our whole Winter has been lost in the scramble to fill out the proper papers, show the proper money and since the end of January, we have been at the mercy of that miserable bank known fondly as "Bank of America". They are loaded with "short sale" homes here in the land of distress and sunshine. Since the government had bailed them out of their misery last year, we thought they would be happy to find a couple with some cash in their hot little hands who would take one of their losers off their books. They have six more days on our contract (they asked for an extension) and have not been in touch with the good news. I have been to Home Depot and picked out new tile, crown mouldings, light fixtures, but still don't know if we own anything. It is a new home, but needs some upgrades to make me happy. If everything goes through, we will drive home to Ohio and sell our condo there and then move to Florida as residents instead of snowbirds. All this has taken two months of our pitifully short lives, so we are noticeably anxious to get the show on the road. We need to see about having a pool put in and all sorts of things done, but instead of living our lives, we are waiting on the bench like third stringers.
Here I am with no excuse for not blogging and not much production from my sewing machine. I did finish a cute wall hanging (hand quilting) for a good friend, but I have to take pictures of it and get them posted. Instead, I have been so frustrated by the government escapades that I cannot blog without ranting. Forgive me, friends. I need to get back to what is important.... I want my children and grandchildren to know what I was all about when I am long gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

With My Head in the Sand

Please, help me understand what is happening in the world. The husband and I have been stunned by the things we have seen coming to fruition recently. This last year has amazed us with the very swiftness of the Progressive Movement's grasp on our country's government. Having complacently sat back for
lo these many years and watched life breezing by in a most comfortable fashion, I am ashamed to say that we have been slowly awakened (the veritable sleeping giant) over the last twelve months by blatant and forceful programs coming out of Washington. The Stimulus Packages have cost billions. Have they actually produced any jobs or have they just spent our tax money to line politicians' re-election pockets? The Cap and Trade thing....will it completely kill our Capitalist form of society and tax us, our children and grandchildren beyond any imagined level? The push for a Green Initiative for the sake of "Global Warming"....has anyone noticed that we are having the worst cold weather on record? Does anyone know that GE is a big part of the current administration and that they own the patent for the nifty little mercury light bulbs which will become the bulb de rigueur next year, driving the little incandescent bulb makers out of business in the USA, thereby allowing GE to make the new bulbs in China?
These are just a few of the things we have watched coming down the Pike, since we were children, in little bits and pieces. The bits were such minor little things that we barely noticed as more bits were added and changed until we no longer recognized the danger to our way of life.
Today, the husband went off to play golf.... the first time in many days, as we have been freezing our behinds in southern Florida. Don't tell me that it is not fair for one man to play golf when the masses cannot play. He started working and paying Social Security Taxes at eleven years old, when he became a golf caddy for a dime a round. He worked and paid the upper amount of social security taxes for sixty-three years. I even heard Rush Limbaugh talk about senior citizens not paying for Medicare last week. Allow me to enlighten you about that. We paid health insurance our whole married life until he retired at seventy-four. In the beginning, Blue Cross paid only 80% for hospital visits and Blue Shield paid only 80% for surgical visits in the hospital. We paid for ordinary doctor's visits. Our children were paid for at $10.00 a month during prenatal visits. If you had paid the whole $90.00 by the birth, the price was $90.00 or $100.00 for a boy. (We all know why) Insurance didn't pay for birth or any other ordinary medical treatment. We have never had dental or prescription coverage, until Medicare came along. There still is no dental coverage and the Rx thing is a laugh. Between the two of us, Medicare takes $280.00 a month from our Social Security and our secondary insurance is $400.00 a month. Okay, $680.00 every month----does that sound like we are getting something for free? The husband is now seventy-eight and gets to play golf once or twice a week after being an upright citizen and raising three law abiding, tax paying children. Why would the government want to redistribute the little amount we have saved for our old age ?
Finally, I'm going to get to the problem today!!!! The husband was walking out the door and the TV was playing that Public Service Announcement about the big, burly hockey player singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to his little girl, while his teammates laughed along. The husband said , "I like this one." I thought about the one I like....the little boy playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with a concert pianist in front of a large audience. There is also one about a Down's Syndrome teen being elected Homecoming Queen. Then, I voiced something that had been niggling about in my pea sized brain....Who or What is "The Foundation for a Better Life"? I've been wondering who would want to pay for these lovely little blurbs every day and what do they expect to get out of it? So, I Goggled it and found this;

Oh, holy cow! Here we go again! This is something everyone better try very hard to understand, because it is another threat to our very way of life and it is being put to us in such a lovely way that we will be buried from within....without murmuring a peep. Imagine that I have only begun to wonder about this and it has been organized and orchestrated since 2002. We are sheep being led to the slaughter. God help us!   I found this 6/17/2016....  Something hinky is going on!

Monday, December 21, 2009

In the Dark of Night

What is done under the cover of darkness, cannot
withstand the scrutiny of daylight. It is a black day when our government conducts business in the middle of the night, behind closed doors. Senators, how can you hold up your heads and look your fellow Americans in the eyes? This is the change you promised? This is the transparency you spoke of during the election? How can we believe you know what you are doing when you vote without reading the bills? How can we trust you with the future of our children and grandchildren? I am ashamed of your lack of character and your petty concern to keep your jobs. To reverse something Michele Obama said, "For the first time, I am ashamed of The United States!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day at Applebees

Today was Veteran's Day. Applebee's Restaurants offered a free meal to all vets. We went to our local Applebee's in North Fort Myers around 2:30, thinking it would not be too busy and we could split the difference between lunch and dinner. You should have seen the crowd waiting inside, outside and everywhere we looked, but since we are old and don't have a heck of a lot of pressing engagements, we put our name on the list and waited in the car for twenty minutes or so while listening to talk radio. Then, we waited inside for another fifteen minutes and were about to be seated when a couple of young men (by young, I mean somewhere between 28 and 45 years old) asked how long to be seated. They were not together and were about to leave when my husband (U.S. Navy during the Korean War) asked them if they would like to sit with us, since we were about to be seated. Both Morgan with wife Lisa (Afghanistan) and Brian (twenty years with duty everywhere) jumped at the chance to join a couple of old fogies with immediate seating. We had a wonderful time eating with young vets and hearing about their lives now that they are out of service and into the world of work, families and life. The service had given them marvelous values ... I would have been proud to have them as my kids. When we had finished our late lunch, we exchanged names and phone numbers and I truly hope to see these vets again. Thank you Applebee's for a great meal and for the opportunity to renew my faith in a younger generation. Our service men and women are spectacular human beings. I wish our government respected them enough to get in or get out of Afghanistan before the death toll rises while in a holding pattern. To Morgan, Lisa and Brian.... thanks for a lovely afternoon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where did the Summer Go?

When you approach the end of life, time is a most precious commodity. Since we drive back and forth between Ohio and Florida, I waste entirely too much time in the comings and goings. We arrived back in Ohio in the middle of May and settled in for a summer of seeing all the assorted and sundry doctors who make it possible for us to stay alive through five or six months in Florida. Now it is time to reverse the process and the docs are getting serious about tests and prescriptions. I saw the ophthalmologist on Tuesday for a vision check. I only wear glasses for reading, but eventually you do need a checkup. So, I am scheduled for a cataract surgery with lens implant next Tuesday. It will only hold us up for about three weeks, but sheesh! You would think that they could give you appointments in June or July, so they can mess with whatever parts they are interested in messing with before Medicare stops paying them.
I digress. It was my intention to make eleven king sized quilts before I die, so my children and grandchildren will remember me when I am long gone. A super quilt teacher once told me, "Quilts are meant to keep people you love warm". Now, that is cool. I had four quilts pieced and ready to go to a professional quilter, when I came home and one huge quilt that had been hanging around for a long time. It originally was intended for my older brother and after it was pieced, sandwiched and mostly hand quilted (that makes it valuable)....he died! I put it away and it was hard to get it going again, plus the border was almost impossible to mark until someone told me to use masking tape for the cross hatching. By the time I finished it and attached the binding, my fingers were bloody. One of the biggest problems for quilters is the inability to say no when a particularly beautiful fabric calls your name like the Sirens who call the young sailors with their illusions. Well, the quilt at the top called to me this summer and I couldn't stop until I had gathered many half yards of Batiks, sliced them apart and then sewed them back together. I have enough for my children finally, but I also have fabric going to Florida for three or four more. I am hopeless!
Between the doctors, quilts and, I have not posted one word for many a day. I read my favorites and love the bloggers, so I think I will start working on my blog again. Here's hoping that you haven't forgotten me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shovel Ready?

I have spent the summer in a blue funk... watching T.V. and watching Congress pass legislation without reading the bills or knowing what a mess the outcome would be. I feel so helpless and unimportant. They are on vacation now, so the danger of America circling the drain is avoided for another month. I found this quote today....

"If you can't convince them, confuse them."
- President Harry S. Truman

Looks like old Harry knew the score way back then!
I don't know about you...but, I AM NOT SHOVEL READY, YET!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Where is Your Treasure?

Just had to tell you what I heard in church this morning.

A rich banker died and met St. Peter at The Pearly Gates, dragging a large, heavy suitcase behind him.
St. Peter says, "Go right on in, but you don't need the bag."
The banker says, "Oh, I have to bring the bag!"
St. Peter says, "What's in the bag that's so important?"
The banker opens the bag and it is full of gold bars!
St. Peter says, "You brought PAVEMENT?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Little Girl Talk

You just have to go see this short video. I'd put it up here, but I am technically challenged. Anyway, I loved it and I just love babies!

Okay, now that being said, I have another thought to share with y'all. "My Honey" and I went to the professional quilter to have a bunch of quilt tops quilted. I had been fairly prolific while in Florida during the winter and will never have enough time in this world to get them quilted, so over the river and through the woods to Lisa's house we went.
Along the winding Maumee River Road was a beautiful parcel of land that had been occupied as The Children's Services Board for many, many years. The social workers handled difficult family problems, orphans and housed children who were too physically handicapped to be cared for in their own homes. Our little granddaughter, Courtney, lived there for about a year while awaiting a bed in The Sunshine Home. She had been born missing most of her brain and was expected to live about two years. My daughter and son-in-law cared for her at home for five years through seizures, vomiting nightly while being fed by the machine, surgeries and hospitalizations. Friends and family learned to do infant CPR, handle Apnea machines, G-tube feedings and many other nursing procedures, so our daughter and her husband could both work to pay her medical bills. They lived with us for about eighteen months to save money for a house and gain another nurse to help with Courtney. We even learned to change her G-tube at home....I would pull out the old one, the baby would cry and hold her breath...then pass out and my daughter would pop in the new one. Life was not easy. To our knowledge, she could not see or hear, roll over or sit up. She had to be fed with an eye dropper until they put in the G-tube and then she was fed by a machine for the next nine years until God took her home. The people in this ICU took marvelous care of her in the old fashioned brick buildings. The acreage was a beautiful place to visit along the river. Then the city became typical hogs and decided that they needed that property to build condos and make money for their bloated coffers. So in a snap of their fingers, this beautiful setting for the handicapped children, the orphans and the parents of troubled teens... the city usurped the property and it was bulldozed for the almighty buck progress. To heck with the children!
Toledo is now in a downward spiral as an automotive adjunct to Detroit and that property along the river is sitting there with a few big, fat cat houses, but most is going begging for want of rich folks to purchase lots with a fantastic view. Somehow, it really bothers me when an institution that did so much good has been taken over and forgotten.... except for the occasional grandmother, who happens along the road and remembers how wonderful it was for her little granddaughter.

June 1, 2009---Addendum
Today, Courtney would have been twenty-five. We put a tiny pot of pink roses on her grave. No child ever lives in vain. We learned a great deal about love and the value of life from her.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Once Again

This is a rerun of my Mother's Day Post from 2007. I still feel exactly the same way about my children, so here we go again! We are packing to go home to Ohio and I have not been well, so even the blog gets short shrift. Sorry, but I love all my fellow bloggers.....

Happy Mother's Day to Mom, the original seat belt!

Today is Mother's Day and this is the card I got from Numero Uno child. It really cracks me up, because I spent their formative years throwing my arms across the chest of the child sitting next to me on the front bench seat of the car to prevent their being thrown through the windshield. Lord knows how they managed to live through no car seats and certainly no seat belts. One absolute rule was that they couldn't sit too near any door, because who knew whether or not the lock would hold and one could possibly fall from the car during a turn and get run over by the back wheels. However did I manage to get them safely through infancy, school, college and to the altar without killing anyone?
I think motherhood started for me when I was about ten or eleven and our neighbor had a baby boy. I was allowed to play with him on a blanket in their backyard while my Mom chatted with the new mother.
I fell in love with the smell, feel, touch, the enchanting smiles and the cuddly little body of any baby. Little girls are pre-programmed to desire babies in their lives. Shortly after marrying at seventeen, my mind turned to thoughts of having my very own baby to cuddle and smell and love. Luckily, God knew that we were not ready financially for parenthood. He made me wait until I was twenty-one, before He felt I could be trusted with an infant of my own. I couldn't believe it when after all those months and years of trying, I finally knew I was pregnant.
Every since that very first day, when I knew there was a baby coming to our home, I have been the most blessed of all creation --- a mother. If there is to be a special day --- it should be a day for rejoicing in the fact that God has seen fit to give us children to raise and love and then set free.

This is a picture of me with my first child when she was two years and six weeks old. My second child was only six weeks old and I was six weeks away from getting pregnant with my third. How ironic that after almost four years without children, we had three in less than three years. Motherhood has been a joy every step of the way and I am still thanking God for the children he sent my way almost fifty years ago. I love you Lesley, Matthew and Stacey and the ten children you have brought into my life in the last twenty-seven years. The pastor praised moms in church this morning, but it is we who should be thanking God for the privilege He has given to us. I cannot imagine a life without my children. To quote Ben Folds, " I Am the Luckiest!"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Big Bail Out!

"Bail Em Out!??? Heck, back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch Brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now, we are trusting the economy of our country, our banking system, our insurance companies, the automobile industry and whatever other thing they decide to grab to the same nit-wits, who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling whiskey! Wake up America....we are in terrible trouble and getting in deeper each day!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Word Definitions for Women

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying ---- YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Newfangled Stuff

I keep reading wonderful blogs and wondering why I never have anything to post here in my oven. Then I realized that

some people write about what is going on in their everyday lives. Most of my life is behind me and I am clutching the few remaining days in a bony hand while in the land of sunshine with several lifelong friends. Today, I was opening a can of Dole Crushed Pineapple and got to thinking about the newfangled pop tab openers on top. Sure, they are great for doing away with the can opener, but I approach each can with trepidation when I think of the tenacity with which that razor sharp edge hangs onto the can awaiting one last tug to either open the can or cut off my fingers. Uh.... "Honey, could you help me with this can?" He laughed at me, but I reminded him of a tuna can from 1959. The lid was opened with an old fashioned can opener, leaving about 1/4 inch attached to the can....then discarded into the trash basket.
I was pregnant with my second child and my firstborn (light of my life) was toddling about in the
kitchen when she decided to investigate the trash basket. That tuna can with it's razor sharp edge pushed down into the can was very tempting to a nosy little girl and before I could blink an eye, her tiny fingers were in the can and lacerated easily as she pulled them out. We made a mad dash to the doctor's office (it was in the evening and he met us there....times were different then)and he proceeded to stitch up tiny fingers while her Daddy held her down on the exam table. I wasn't allowed to do such difficult work, due to my delicate condition. If you ever doubted that your dad loves you, Lesley....remember this story. It wasn't very many minutes before he was sitting in my chair with his head between his knees and I was draped over my tiny daughter while the doctor finished the repair. This is the man who has delivered foals in our barn and assisted the vet with major surgeries, but could not stand to have his baby daughter cry her sweet baby breath into his face.
I don't know which is worse.... the old fashioned can with the temptation to leave the lid partially attached or the
newfangled lid with it's dangerously sharp edges in the hands of an old fashioned lady with her partially attached head?
That's it for today, but it was fun to remember with "My Honey" what it was like fifty years ago, before newfangled stuff.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar

Lately, I've been ruminating on some of the blogs I read that are written by medical people. There are nurses, doctors, pharmacists, EMT's, ER techs, secretaries and probably housekeeping, for all I know. For some reason, the majority of sites that I have visited have writers who are pretty snarky and sometimes amazingly clever in their turn of a phrase. One particular pharmacist has a palpable hate for "golden oldies", and he seems to have it in for anyone who receives Social Security. Do we all throw the switch on our intellect the day we turn in our key to the executive washroom? There could be reasons why his customers don't understand every ramification of Medicare Part D, since the whole thing was written to deliberately obfuscate the whole plan. Couldn't Congress have written the damn plan in language not requiring an Doctorate of Jurisprudence to decode it?

For the last two and a half months , I have been suddenly stricken with a confusing set of symptoms. It started in mid-December with GERD (gastric reflux). But, my mind told me that it was impossible, since I had been the recipient of an esophageal fundoplication about nine years ago. This is a nifty surgery where the doctor wraps the top of your stomach around the bottom of your esophagus to keep your stomach from sliding up into your thoracic cavity through a Paraesophageal Hernia. It worked great....for many years and then started feeling like I had slipped a cog somewhere in my middle. This was complicated by another miracle of modern medicine known as a stent in my celiac artery. This major artery goes from your aorta to your liver and provides your innards with oxygen to keep digestion going. So, "my Honey" and I headed up the road to Punta Gorda and The Peace River Hospital on Dec. 26th. Tests were run and medicine prescribed (Prevacid and Carafate), which I started taking faithfully right away. Within another week, I was miserable with horrendous indigestion and we rolled on up the road to the ER again. This time, another doctor took a look at my old EKG and my newly minted EKG and said, "I think it is your heart, not your esophagus!" He then threw me into a room and called a cardiologist who sent me by ambulance to a bigger hospital and did a cardiac cath with two stents. Being a very alert and GREAT cardiac doc, he used Cobalt Chromium stents, so gastro doctors could do whatever they needed, after I had taken Plavix and Aspirin for a month. So, Honey and I drove even further up the road to northwestern Ohio and I saw my family doc, my northern heart doc and a gastroenterologist. The Endo doctor did an EGD as soon as my month was up and I discontinued the drugs that could make me bleed. The results are in and I was right.... my fundoplication has loosened up and I had developed gastric erosion in my lower esophagus, but it was in the process of healing from the twice daily Prevacid. He also ordered Carafate Suspension and we immediately discovered that this medicine was the reason that the pain had been so bad in my esophagus...I am allergic to it!
Okay, I took a long time to explain what is eating at me....not my gut, my brain. We drove back to Florida and the Ohio doctor had ordered Prevacid (twice a day) at my Ohio pharmacy. I called them this morning. With my Part D coverage of Medicare, a one month supply of Prevacid, twice a day (60 pills), is $38.00 and change. Since that seemed reasonable, I asked them about my husband's Rx for Prevacid (it works great, but OTC Prilosec is cheaper) and a three month supply of Prevacid, once a day (90 pills), is $116.00! Something just is not right here! If I get a three month's supply (180 pills), it will cost me $114.00....isn't that $2.00 cheaper for twice as many pills? Now, Mr. Hot Dog Pharmacist....Explain to the Golden Oldies how the insurance companies do the math! We are talking belly pain here, not narcotic addiction. Someday very soon, you will be old and eating your words---- I wish I could be here to see what you have to say when you are the one being screwed.
Something very strange is happening in our country. The many bills being passed by congress are placing diametric opposition between the ages. A close friend's granddaughter married two years ago in her early twenties. She and her equally young husband built a four bedroom, three bathroom home with a huge walk through shower, swimming pool on a water site. This was at the top of the housing bubble. He recently applied to the government for mortgage relief, because the young wife had a temporary medical problem and was given a $100,000.00 break on the mortgage. He has told "Grampa" that the old folks are living too long and depleting "his" Social Security. Do you see a pattern here? Our young people are spouting the equivalent of hate speech toward senior citizens....could the government be fomenting this breech between the ages? Soon, Uncle Sam will be floating us out into the ocean on a burning canoe, while the twenty somethings wave gaily from shore and the angry pharmacist leads the choir. So long for a while, that's all the songs for a while!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all the folks in bloggityville! I have always let my darling husband off the hook for this holiday, because I feel that it is a plague on the backs of men everywhere. Why are they expected to spring for a "Pajama Gram", teddy bear or long stem roses? What makes this a special day for women only? The TV ads make me feel so sorry for the guys. I think all Valentine gifts should be something that can be enjoyed by, uh, perhaps a great dinner out, a fine bottle of wine or a great box of chocolates. I think my aversion to the gift part is because I have always mentally reserved the day for my memories of my Dad. When we were young, Dad would come home with a big box of Fanny Farmer Chocolates for my Mom and little boxes for his three girls. After we married, our boxes got bigger and our daughters were the recipients of the little red heart boxes. Each year he made the trip to the candy store and then drove about town passing out the boxes that said, "Dad loves me! " This was a man of unique intelligence, who was the epitome of the absent-minded professor. I don't think he actually knew when Christmas or Easter was due, but he knew about Valentine's Day and I would never give that memory away to any one else. I love my husband every day, so he doesn't have to shell out the big bucks for any card company holiday. Today, we met our kids at the local Panera's for lunch (something I really love...the kids, not Panera's...well, I do like it). My daughter-in -law told me about a little ritual that is carried out in their home. Many years ago, my son came home on Valentine's Day with a big bouquet of flowers for her, but as he walked into the house, their little girl said, "Oh, Daddy... you brought me flowers!" He bowed and presented them to her with a wink to his wife. Ever since that time, he has brought Lacey flowers on Valentine's Day. It is so like my Dad with his candy ritual, that I could cry. This is something that is beyond the commercial bit and gets right to the heart of things. But, then....who wouldn't adore this child? She was six when I took her to "Glamour Shots" and we had a wonderful day. She will be eighteen soon, but I'm not into publishing pictures that would identify her to the public at large. She is a beauty and is very well guarded by three older brothers.

If God were going to give me seven grandsons and only one granddaughter .... I got the right one!
Most of the people who are kind enough to visit my blog know that we spend the winter in Florida. As the years pile up around us like wrinkles under our chins and our health becomes more precarious, we seem to be unable to handle the six month stretch in paradise and we end up making a trip north to visit our doctors. So, we are home for a month (I hope is is only a month) and I will have a gastroscopy on Tuesday. Hopefully, we will head back to Ft. Myers by next week, since we are freezing our behinds off. This picture is what greeted us this morning for Valentine's Day. Believe it or not, this is a walk in the park compared to the two inches of ice we drove through in Kentucky and the eleven inches of snow that was on our deck when we arrived in Ohio. When the thaw started last week, 200 or so ice fishermen were caught out on the ice in Lake Erie near Toledo and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard as the eighteen inch ice developed a huge crack between them and the shore. They had fishing shacks, snowmobiles and all sorts of equipment out there when the ice decided to break away from shore. One man fell through the ice on his snow mobile and died of a heart attack. I don't think I could make it for two seconds in forty degree water. The snow had all melted by this week and we had over two inches of rain the middle of the week. Ohio is certainly not boring and I love the changes of season, but I hope the next season I see will be the flowering of the shrubs and trees in May!