Gadgets

Cell Phone

My iPhone is seldom beyond my reach and I’m pretty sure you can say the same about your cell. It is like a personal secretary in your pocket. I’m not sure which feature I appreciate more, but I do know it’s not the phone part. Phone calls are necessary, but I can’t say I really enjoy them most of the time. FaceTime with my granddaughters, one away at college and the other in another country, is an exception to that, of course. 

Features

I love being able to take a high-quality photo with my phone. I like that I can carry important documents and notes. That I can enjoy my favorite music is a favorite, too. When in an unfamiliar location I love the GPS function. My car doesn’t have the fancy one built in (it’s six years old), but all I have to do is tell Siri the address and he (yes, my Siri is male and has an British accent) gets me there. Then, I say “home” and he gets back on familiar streets.

GPS

Years ago I had one of those clunky GPS gadgets where you had to manually enter each address. It worked and I depended upon it back then. One night it was stolen from my car. I found the experience not only upsetting but insulting. The thief had riffled through all my CDs and left them strewn about the car. Yes, LEFT THEM! It was during my Gosh Groben phase. 

What do you like best about your phone?

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” My cell phone is my best friend. It’s my lifeline to the outside world.”                Carrie Underwood

 

Photos by Pixabay

Merry Xmas

Origin of Merry Xmas 

There was a time when I thought writing, “Merry Xmas” was just lazy. Some folks feel it is worse than lazy because to them it leaves Christ out of Christmas. Actually nothing could be further from the truth. 

The New Testament was written in Greek and the Greek word for Christ is Χριστος. Today we can cut and paste and print and therefore we don’t think much about what it must have like centuries ago when texts were being written and copied by hand.

According to Greg Carey, Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary: “Early manuscripts of the Greek New Testament dating to the third and fourth centuries used “X” as an abbreviation for Christ…The abbreviation helped manuscript writers fit more words on a page, reducing the time and cost of producing the texts…” 

So, Merry Xmas is nothing new. It wasn’t started by non-believers. It is not a war on Christmas. Seminary students have been using the abbreviation “Xian” for “Christian” forever. 

See more at: http://www.patheos.com/…/formerlyfu…/keeping-the-x-in-xmas/…

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Needlework by my friend, Pat Weaver, many years ago.

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

Thanksgiving

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is an American holiday and while it has historical beginnings it really has become a feast day. For those who do not live here let me say it’s about turkey & dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pies. Of course, we are thankful, too, for family, health, friends and all those things that we are grateful for every day of our lives.

 It goes without saying that I am thankful for these things and especially my wonderful family. But, I would like to share with you some other things I’m thankful for every day. It is not an exhaustive list, just things that come to mind at the moment. 

  • Spiders don’t fly
  • Presidents have term limits
  • I don’t have to get to know the turkey personally before Thanksgiving
  • Rock and Roll never goes out of style
  • I don’t have to be young to think young
  • Our Earth has oceans
  • AARP membership is not a requirement
  • I am not forced to eat ground meat
  • That Santa Claus is old and forgetful 
  • My granddaughters shared their friends with me
  • Spiders don’t swim

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How about you? 

Let’s Talk Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Readers!

And, Thank You to my son-in-law, Floyd, for this turkey which I enjoy each year! 

 

 

“We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he pleases.” Harry S. Truman

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

Rocks

Rock & Roll       

Hard as a Rock

Rock On!

Dumb as a Rock

Rock, Paper, Scissors

As you can tell I have rocks on my mind. I’m sure some who know me might say I also have “rocks for brains.” And, today that might be appropriate.

When I went to Great Britain recently, I was so grateful and amazed to see Stonehenge for the first time.  https://crookedcreek.live/2018/10/10/stonehenge/

For good reason visitors are not able to touch the huge rocks that make up this wonder. I was very fortunate that our hosts on this trip knew where there were similar stones nearby that could be seen up close and that could be touched at will. 

Kevin and Helen Elliott took our party to Avebury where the rocks in the slideshow below were personally accessible. I loved seeing all the random rocks, so similar to those with which Stonehenge was built but not arranged in the same pattern. I felt a strange reverence when I touched these stones from so long ago. 

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Around these huge rocks were grazing sheep, burial mounds like those surrounding Stonehenge and in a few places even roads that traversed the mounds.

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On this same trip while in the home of friends in Wales, I became aware of a different type of stone called crystal. While there I was given a rose quartz crystal that I now treasure. I am not yet knowledgeable enough to say much about crystals and their possible powers, but I am beginning the process of learning. I wanted to share this with you while we are on the subject of rocks, which are not technically the same thing, but they are both contained within the earth and no doubt carry many secrets of the past. What powers they may hold, I hope to learn. 

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“In my work, and my life, I feel a desire to merge. Not in terms of losing my own identity… but there’s a feeling that life is interconnected, that there’s life in stones and rocks and trees and dirt, like there is in us.”  Bill Viola

Sisters

My Sister

Really, I never had a sister in the biological sense, but I came close. My cousin Pat was born six weeks before me and I never let her forget that she was the older. Her Mom, Lucy, was my Mom’s sister and they were very close. Pat and I were sisters in every sense of the word. 

Pat, beat breast cancer and then succumbed to leukemia a few years later. I was unable to go to the hospital to visit her due to my immunodeficiency, but I talked to her on the phone most days. Recently while cleaning up files on my computer, I ran across letters that I wrote to Pat during her last weeks on this earth. I am always more able to express myself in writing. Some letters were snail mailed, but most my husband delivered to her daily. I even wrote her obituary, per her request, and sent it to the hospice facility via that route. 

Reading the letters again has made me smile and cry and I’ve selected one, shortened, but not edited (sorry about some of the language) to share with you today. 


March 5, 2013 (a.k.a. first night of chemo)

Hi Pat,

Thought of you as soon as I opened my eyes this morning, knowing that you would be waiting for the THE CALL to come to the hospital and begin your clinical trial.  I don’t know how you feel.  I can only imagine and w/o prior experience such as yours the imagination can’t come up with anything close, I’m sure.  

I thought about our long past together and not together.  There are unanswered questions, like who broke who’s pot and did someone really drop a puppy and make a crack in his nose?   We went from innocent little girls to not so innocent middle sized girls.  We laughed and giggled all night.  It was especially hazardous at your house, because we knew your Dad had to get up hours before daylight to deliver bread.  It was for Bond, right?  He’d yell at us.  Your Mom would shame us, but we just could not contain the fun we were having.  I can’t remember our doing this at my house, but surely we did?

Then there was the teen stage when we worried about boys, hair, our weight and pimples.  I married and got pregnant, in that order and you got a job and became a business person.  How in hell did we both end up being nurses?  I cannot believe that I had the nerve to do that LPN thing and then it all came so naturally.  I decided there was no “practical” reason to be a practical nurse, so kept working at the RN and then we were both hot stuff; starched white uniforms, caps and feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves. 

Well, then as I told you on the phone today, I broke my pretty china nurse which you gave me when I graduated (the first time or second?).  Her arm is broken – osteoporosis?  But, it will be glued and good as new.  

I hope that your treatment will result in the same, or at least, comparable healing.  I used to pray for things I wanted badly.  I don’t do that anymore, but I keep you in my thoughts and send warm positive thoughts which I hope will somehow bring you peace and comfort. 

Oh yeah, our current stage of life is getting a little like Minnie’s and Lucy’s relationship in their later years.  I’m really ticked off at you for getting cancer a second time.  You had the good boob job and have the good hair and then you go and mess up both.  OK, I know it’s not your fault, but really, after beating the big “C” once, here you go getting it again.  I’m counting on you getting older (and me, too, of course) so that we can explore all the things that old women love.  

No, not knitting or any of that sort of bullshit.  We’ll go on long drives and wonder how we got there.  We’ll be gorgeous like Betty White and we’ll gossip about all our relatives (but mostly our in-laws).  We’ll wear polyester pants w/ elastic waistbands and go to all-you-can-eat buffets.  Then we’ll burp and complain about the food and have some more.  We’ll talk about what smart RNs we were and how arrogant and pushy the docs were and how things would be different in healthcare today if we were still there.

So, please try your best to get well, OK?  I need you.  I only have one sister and you have that honor.  

Love, Sue


 

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“Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister.” Alice Walker

Silent Ailment

Hearing Loss

When a person has problems seeing or walking it is obvious and most people make allowances for the person who has such disabilities. When a person is hearing impaired it is less obvious. Often the person with a hearing deficit seems to not be paying attention or to be ignoring the conversation.

Prevalence

Hearing loss is common for people over the age of sixty-four (64) and often progresses for a decade or more. In America, it affects more than 48 million people and is more common than either diabetes or cancer.

Causes

Hearing loss can be acute from head trauma and illnesses such as infection. More likely, however, the cause is exposure to prolonged loud noises, an illness such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. Genetics can play a factor and some medications can contribute to hearing loss. 

Treatment 

Treatment may include surgery, medication or cochlear implants (for younger patients) but is more likely to require hearing aids. Hearing aids come in various styles and the cost may range from around two to seven thousand dollars. This is a good reason to shop around and do serious research before investing in aids. It also helps to have realistic expectations for hearing aids. They amplify sounds. They do not restore normal hearing. Hearing aids take time and patience to learn how best to use them.

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It also helps if family and friends understand that they can assist the hearing impaired by 1. Getting their attention prior to speaking, 2. Making sure they are positioned so that their lips can be seen and 3. Speaking clearly, but not shouting. Most people with hearing loss are particularly impaired when there is more than one person speaking at once. 

Decibels

Sounds and therefore hearing are measured in decibels. A hearing loss of thirty decibels or more is considered significant. The sounds in our environment can be measured in decibels. 

You can measure decibels easily by using a smartphone app. Restaurants are notoriously noisy and knowing the decibel level can be helpful in choosing which to patronize. I use VenueDB on my iPhone, but there are several for both Android and IOS phones. https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/47805-The-best-phone-apps-to-measure-noise-levels I recently measured one of my favorite restaurants at eighty-two (82) decibels. That can be appreciated by knowing that a lawn mower registers around 90. 

NOTE: some information contained herein obtained from WebMD. 

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

Photo & graphic by Pixabay

Cat Cafes

Have You Heard?

One of the brightest ideas for a new business has to be the “cat cafes” that have sprung up in many cities. Some are coffee joints. Others serve light food menus. The thing they all have in common is cats! These businesses are in partnership with feline adoption agencies. Cats and kittens are available for petting and holding and bonding, which is really the idea. 

Since I already own two cats I’m almost afraid to walk into one of these establishments. How about you? Have any of you readers had any experiences with cat cafes? If so, I’d love to hear about it. 

Thanks!

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ELLIOTT ~ 11 Y/O
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ZOE ~ 14 Y/O

 

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.”

                Jules Renard

 

 

 

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Ode to Time Change

Guest Poet 

“Ode to Time Change” by Pat Bush, November 4, 2018

My body says, “Wake up! You’re late”!
The lids get heavy, the clock says wait!
It’s not 9:30 but half past eight!
Am I early or am I late?
Sleep deprived or do I feel great?
Oh, how I hate this dance we do,
Is it one or is it two?
Twice a year, I adjust the time.
My body says, “This is a crime”.
Let me be, leave me alone.
Am I eastern or central time zone?
Early to bed, early to rise?
I’m not healthy, wealthy, or wise.
Just trying to adjust my eyes,
To whatever they are supposed to do.
Is it one or is it two?

The paper’s read, the puzzles done.
Hey, I even see the sun!
Full of energy until six or seven, but the body  feels, it’s really eleven.
Then darkness whispers, “Goodnight, friend.
“The day is finished, it is the end”.
The clock reveals a different truth.
It’s still quite early. I cry,” Forsooth”!
The head bows down, then, snaps to attention.
I think I’m in another dimension.
Good night earth, goodnight moon.
What the hell, it’s only noon!

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The Last Rose

The Last Rose of Summer

In 2013 my husband planted a rosebush that he knew I’d like. Yellow is my favorite color and these beautiful yellow roses are a reminder of his love. With each one that has bloomed over the past month, I’ve wondered if it’s the last for the season, but they just keep blooming. 

I wanted to share this one with you, just in case it is the last rose of summer. 

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“The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.” Saadi

November

Elections

Elections are a big deal. Much can change due to voting and every citizen of a democracy should utilize this right at each opportunity. But, no matter how an election turns out, whether your party comes out ahead or loses, our responsibility does not end with a vote.

So, do not be discouraged after Tuesday’s election here in the U.S. Instead act. Act out of the goodness of your heart, out of your desire to make this a better place. There is no room for apathy or inertia if we want change. 

John Pavlovitz says it better than I ever could. Here are a few words from his blog today:

“The really critical act, is remembering that leveraging your life on behalf of others isn’t an event, it’s your ever-present calling. It’s about you and your daily ability to make this place more compassionate and generous and kind than when you found it. You get to be helper and healer and listener; to be an ally and an advocate and an activist. There will be no way you can lose that.”