Dishes With Attitude

Depression Glass

Depression glass sounds, well, depressing. It is far from it as can be seen in the photos below. Depression glass was made from 1929 to 1939 in the United States during the, you guessed it, Depression. Such pieces in beautiful colors of pink, yellow and green, are collectors pieces today and I have about two dozen dishes passed down by my maternal grandmother who I called Mammy. I love them because they were hers and then my Mom’s. I wonder where they will end up, because my heirs are not likely to really care for them. They are not that practical to use, since they are rather fancy in design. I’m guessing that they brightened the daily life of many homemakers during the depression when money and everything else was scarce.

One of the best things about these fancy dishes is that they could often be obtained for free in products such as Quaker Oats or at very low prices, making it possible for most homes to have at least a few pieces during that era. My depression glass makes me happy because of the memories it evokes.

Carnival Glass

Carnival glass is harder to describe so I’m going to rely on the three photos below and Wikipedia: “Carnival glass gets its iridescent sheen from the application of metallic salts while the glass is still hot from the pressing. A final firing of the glass brings out the iridescent properties of the salts, giving carnival glass the distinct shine it is known for.”

Carnival glass was first made in the US, but later was produced in almost every country. It was particularly popular in Australia. Huge production took place in the 1920s, again when housewives were looking to brighten up drab lifestyles and homes. The name comes from the fact that such pieces were often given as prizes at carnivals and fairgrounds. Much of it was sold, however, and some pieces today are collector’s items which can be worth considerable amounts of money, particularly the scarce colors. Carnival glass is fun because it is so different from what we commonly see today.

I have a few pieces of Carnaval glass passed down by each of my Grandmothers.

Fiesta

Fiesta dish ware speaks for itself! It is made in a fiesta of colors and it has brightened my home for over 60 years. It comes in open stock and I chose it for my dishes rather than a china pattern when I wed back in 1960. China came later, but Fiesta dishes served our family growing up and still decks my table today, everyday.

Fiesta is a line of ceramic glazed dishes introduced by the Home Laughlin Company of West Virginia in 1936. The art deco style dinnerware was not manufactured from 1973 to 1985 but is produced today in the colors in the photos below and many others. Over the years colors are introduced and then retired. A few of those pieces I have from Mammy’s kitchen, gray, rose and a very dark green.

Fun fact, at one point some Fiesta colors were found to be slightly radioactive, due to uranium compounds being used in the ceramic glaze. I have one such piece, a bright coral salad plate. I will keep it forever. I think my Fiesta dishes will find happy homes after I die, because my daughters and at least one granddaughter enjoy pieces already.

Cut Glass

Cut Glass dishes are not as prevalent as the other fun kinds described above. I have one cut glass bowl seen below. Cut glass is not the same as glass etching. Rather it feels slightly sharp to the touch at each of the cut surfaces. Pressed glass looks similar but is smoother and less valuable. I wish I knew the history of this cut glass bowl, but all I know is that it was my Mother’s and she loved and valued it, so I do as well.

The Fire Eater

I had barely started dating my future husband when he invited me to attend the Kentucky State Fair with him. I didn’t know him well, but I definitely wanted to make a good impression on him as we walked around all the exhibits. I liked looking at the arts and crafts. He wanted to see the livestock. After we had been quietly walking around enjoying these displays it was time to go to the Midway where all the rides, food and carnival entertainment was.

We rode a couple of attractions and then walked about holding hands. The music was loud and cheerful and everyone around us appeared to be having a good time. All was fine until we stopped to see a woman who was being hawked as a “fire eater.”

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The next thing I knew I was awakening with a circle of people around my date and me. I was lying down in the dirt and had a crowd bigger than did the fire eater! This was not right! Apparently seeing a woman put a blazing stick down her throat was not my idea of entertainment and I fainted. So much for first impressions!

 

“The great day of the Fire-eater – or, should I say, the day of the great Fire-eater – has passed.” Harry Houdini

 

Photos by Pixabay

Violins of Hope

Violins of Hope

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a concert by the Louisville Orchestra led by conductor Terry Abrams. That is always a delightful experience but last night’s performance was extra special in that it caused one to reflect on a dreadful past and to hope for a future that is free for all people. The program was entitled Violins of Hope.

Violins have long been a favorite instrument of the Jewish people and they were present during the holocaust. Many of these violins belonging to Jewish prisoners have been saved even when their owners were not. Over the past fifty years, these instruments have been reclaimed from that horror and repaired by Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshalom, who spoke last evening.

Several of these consecrated violins that brought the hope of music to prisoners of war were on display and some were even played by members of the Louisville Orchestra.

The program honored the Jewish people and their struggle for survival. The orchestra performed the music of Klezmer Rondos, the ballet Judith, three pieces from Schindler’s List and a narration from the Diary of Anne Frank. It was an extremely moving performance.

We were fortunate indeed to have these violins and their message of hope in Louisville for a short while. Below are photos of a few taken from a Louisville Orchestra program.

“Wherever there were violins, there was hope.” Amnon Weinstein

 

Crooked Creek Rd.

Recently my youngest daughter and I took a drive down Crooked Creek Rd. The road winds along sticking pretty close to the creek by the same name. I’m sure I bored Allison silly with all my stories about things that had taken place here or there along the way back when this was a gravel road. It’s funny how things change in reality versus in our memories. I was shocked to see the small wood and iron bridge pictured here.

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Photo by Allison Puckett

In my mind this bridge was huge, its sides were at least three stories high and the length over the creek surely could hold as many as four cars. Crossing this bridge and hearing the rumble of the wooden planks was the thing I looked forward to as a child when we’d make the trip from Gee to Mt. Eden. The trip seemed long. It wasn’t. The bridge seemed gigantic. It isn’t.

I wonder about another memory I have. Once a bakery truck wrecked on this bridge and strew doughnuts all over the road! It was an amazing sight. Such a tragic waste. Did it really happen? Now I wonder, but I can see it all in my mind.

“I believe that without memories there is no life and that our memories should be of happy times.” Lee Radziwill

Gender Equality

In 1997 after much thought and anguish I officially left the church I was raised in, the church I had served for my entire adult life. At times I have struggled to explain my reasons to those who didn’t understand. I should have let President Carter explain for me. He does so perfectly. I am a recovering Southern Baptist and here’s why.

Losing My Religion for Equality

by Jimmy Carter, July 15, 2009

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

SOURCE: OBSERVER

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

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“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.” Kofi Annan

White Sands, NM

New Mexico, one of the “Four Corners” states, is a great place to visit. The climate varies from alpine mountains in the north to arid desert in the south. Santa Fe, the capital is full of history, like stepping back in time, while Albuquerque the largest city is very metropolitan.

When we traveled the state a few years back my favorite location was White Sands. It had special meaning for my husband who had been stationed at the White Sands Missle Base there many years before. The attraction for me was the white sand the area was named for. It was beautiful with sand as white and powdery as snow. We played in it like kids. 

“The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.” Clarence Day

 

Title photo by Pixabay

Kids 2

Kids and Grandmothers and Flowers

The other flower that I distinctly remember from time spent with Mammy  https://crookedcreek.live/2019/05/12/kids/   was the peony. The peony is a large bush with lush blossoms in shades of red or pink or pure white. They bloom in May and were always ready for Memorial Day, known as “Decoration Day” out in the country many years ago. It is also worth mentioning that peonies were incorrectly pronounced pee-ON-nies as opposed to PEE-on-nies back in the day. 

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I would help Mammy cut all the peonies off the bushes and then we would assemble them in bouquets to take to the cemetery at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. While we walked among the graves of my grandmother’s parents, brothers and friends she would tell me about each one. Often the details included the way they had died as well as the way they lived. We would lay a bouquet of peonies on each grave. My favorite bouquets for Decoration Day were made up of the snow white flowers.

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It never occurred to me that one day I’d walk in that same cemetery with my own granddaughter. See Kids 3 coming up.

“Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.” Thomas Tusser

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NOTE: A reader sent this photo to me via email and I wanted to share it with you. It is regarding the last post about hollyhock flower “girls” and the ones in this photo are very similar to the ones I made with my Grandmother. The main difference is that ours wore bonnets. Thank you, Gerri, for the photo that demonstrates what I was trying to convey.

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Photos by Pixabay

Spring

Today I look at the flowering trees and think of you.

When we enjoyed them last spring we had no reason to think it would be our last dogwood season together. 

Now you lie in the cold ground with woods of redbud all around, but cannot see, or smell, or move to raise your eyes skyward. 

But, then I see an unexpected crane, a cardinal or a deer and I wonder if that is so. 

Sue Baugh Mattingly – April 15, 2015

 

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Depression III

Depression

Alone
even with others,
Lonely
without a reason,
Tears
to be withheld,
Fears of nothing and everything,
Imagination
of things untold,
Predictions
that may come true.
Color?
Every shade of blue.

by Sue Baugh Mattingly 

 

Graphic by Pixabay

Depression II

Phillip

When I was in the first grade my little brother, a toddler, died on the way to the hospital. He had been ill his entire little life.    https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/27/little-blue-bird/

Daddy

That loss brought about many changes in our family. The most profound change was in my father. Fortunately, perhaps, I do not remember details about the absences, but my father was often missing from our family after Phillip died. I learned many years later that he was hospitalized for a mental illness. In those days depression was called “involutional melancholia” and if the condition was severe the patient spent time in a mental hospital. 

In researching my father’s condition and medical records (this was before HIPAA) and eventually meeting with his psychiatrist many years later I learned that he underwent two types of shock treatments. In the late forties and early fifties, he was repeatedly given massive doses of insulin which caused a coma. The coma was then treated with glucose to save the patient from death. When insulin coma/shock therapy fell into disfavor as dangerous electroshock (electroconvulsive) therapy became the treatment of choice for depression and some other mental illnesses. EST (also called ECT) is initiated by applying an electrical current to the anesthetized patient causing a grand mal seizure (convulsion). The intended result of these repeated treatments was the improvement of depression.

Both of these methods of treatment seem cruel and bizarre and although insulin shock was discontinued many decades ago, EST remains an accepted, although infrequent, mode of treatment for depression. The side effects include loss of memory, learning problems, muscle aches, and upset stomach. In my father’s case, I believe a loss of his personality (or at least a significant change) was also an effect of the numerous treatments he underwent. 

He was a good man. He was intelligent and managed to work again, but was never quite the same person. He had to fight hard to participate in life, but he did so for many years. He died of a heart attack at age sixty-nine. 

Today

Major depression, also known as unipolar or major depressive disorder, is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in outside stimuli. It is generally treated today by medications and talk therapy. 

 

Graphic by Pixabay

 

 

 

Depression

Impact

Depression affects about 121 million people worldwide (World Health Organization) and 14.8 million in the U.S. making it the leading cause of disability (National Institutes of Mental Health). According to the WHO, depression ranks number four on the list of diseases and is predicted to be number two by next year. 

There has been much in the news lately about the role that vitamin D plays in depression. There have been numerous studies, large and small, that indicate adequate vitamin D could be a simple way to combat this growing disease. Unfortunately proof of this benefit remains unsettled at present.

The Sunshine Vitamin

A deficiency of vitamin D is implicated in many diseases (diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiac to mention a few). According to the CDC in 2006 at least 25% of the US population was deficient. Why would this be? It isn’t hard to imagine that people today are not outside as much as in past generations. And, when we do go outside most of us use sunscreen as advised by dermatologists. Sunscreen of any strength blocks UVB rays which produce vitamin D. These rays do not penetrate glass so time spent by a window or in the car does not help. Many people experience added depression during dark, cloudy months, a condition known as Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD).

The Quandary 

We can benefit from knowing more about vitamin D and its benefits. For instance, calcium for strong bones cannot be absorbed without adequate vitamin D. With each source of this important vitamin there are drawbacks. Too much sun can lead to skin cancer. Excessive use of over-the-counter supplements of vitamin D can lead to toxicity.

The answer to this quandary is to do research and become better informed if you suffer from depression or think you might not be getting enough vitamin D. And, the bottom line is always to consult your physician and discuss a lab test for your vitamin D level. 

 

 

Graphic by Pixabay

 

 

 

Update

Another Year – Post #216

Just to catch up from last year’s post https://crookedcreek.live/2018/02/08/thanks/  Crooked Creek now has 263 followers. One year ago it was only 120. We welcome each and every new follower and say, “Thanks” once again to all readers. 

It is also significant (to me at least) that I am preparing infusion number 302 for administration tonight. I want once again to express my sincere gratitude to all those who donate plasma that makes this treatment possible.  https://crookedcreek.live/2018/02/08/thanks/

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When Did We get in Such a Hurry?

When I was a small child we had no telephone. Later, after moving from rural Crooked Creek, we did have a rotary dial phone. It was a party line with seven other families, which could be interesting at times. My Grandfather was Post Master of Gee, KY and letters were the way that most people communicated in those days. I don’t recall how long it took for a letter to go several miles to another community, but of course, it was a few days. We managed. 

Today we are all connected magically by cell phones and computers. No waiting, just Instant Messaging, SnapChat or Tweet! FaceTime and Skype are great for seeing my Granddaughter, Kate, who now lives in England.

Until it fails and it will from time to time. Cell phones get bugs and do crazy things sometimes, like eavesdropping prior to FaceTime connection. Computers contract viruses or get hacked. Yesterday my computer told me that I had no connection to WiFI and I panicked. Seriously I panicked. How could I exist? What would I do?

Years ago, I remember George Carlin remarking that everyone was carrying a water bottle. He asked, “When did we all become so thirsty?” My question today is “When did we all get in such a hurry?”  With our modern conveniences and gadgets, we have lost the patience to wait. Or, perhaps I should just charge myself. I know I am guilty and I believe that I have plenty of company.

Day One

I called the provider who instructed me in the reboot process. No luck so an appointment was set up for about 28 hours later . . . tomorrow late afternoon! How could they do this to me? I was griping to my younger granddaughter, Elizabeth, who nonchalantly said, “Just go to Starbucks, Grandmother!” What part of seven-degree temperature and icy roads did she not understand?

Day Two

After spending the night without internet I checked the temperature this morning and it had warmed up (now 10*) so I took off for Starbucks where I drank expensive coffee and was repaid by internet services. I’m a big fan. So, now I have to wait for the repair person to arrive. While I wait, I think I’ll listen to some nice soothing music, but guess what, no Pandora without internet! So, I dragged out some old CDs and got the ancient player blasting Boy Dylan. Forget soothing, but Dylan did help a bit.

Guy #1 makes it about 5 p.m. and after tinkering with the equipment for a while he says, “I have good news and bad news. I can’t fix it, but someone will be here first thing tomorrow morning.”

Day Three

I got up at 7:30 a.m. and got ready for Guy or Gal #2. It is now 11 a.m. and not a word. Finally, he showed up and identified himself as the “outside” guy since the “inside” guy couldn’t find the problem in my equipment yesterday. He was clearly an outside guy because he walked all about the neighborhood with an electronic device in hand and then informed me that all my neighbors had service but for some reason, I did not. So, now it’s sounding like it’s my fault. Guy #2 a.k.a. Outside Guy left assuring me that Guy #3 would be here to get my service squared away.

Guy #3 (“outside guy” #2) came a few hours later and here I am blogging! Guy #3 briefly became my fav. With service back on I reviewed thirty-something emails that had arrived since my Starbucks trip yesterday. I had to smile at myself for being so impatient as I deleted about one-half of the emails which were not important. Then I checked the blog stats and was not too impressed. I read the news, answered the important emails and wondered what all the anxiety had been about.

Just as I thought I could breathe easily with my Internet intact, I discovered that I had no service in three out of four of my TVs! Guy #3 fixed one problem and created another. Sometimes I wish I was one of those seniors who completely eschewed technology!

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

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? 

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

Great Britain

The Unexpected

Before my trip to the UK last week I was cautioned to take an umbrella, raincoat and boots. I took the umbrella, but it was not needed. What a delightful week of sunny blue skies and cool breezes. 

I’ll write more later, but just had to say now what a great time I had touring London and the countryside of Gloucestershire and Wales. It was a week of planes, trains and automobiles, castles, pubs and charming villages. 

 

CPR in the Field

CPR

Everyone knows what CPR means. It means saving a life with certain breathing techniques and chest compressions when one’s heart has stopped beating. Right?

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation literally means heart lung revival. That puts it in a slightly different light but still sounds promising.

We’ve all seen it work over and over again on television, but is that a reflection of real life CPR? I can tell you that it is not whether in the hospital or on the street. Fewer than 20% of in-hospital recipients of CPR live to be discharged. And, this is with a team of highly skilled professionals, IV medications, and defibrillators to shock the heart.

Expectations

Many people today are trained in CPR, and that is a good thing. I’m sure that most take the training with the expectation of being able to save lives. It does happen, but the chances of being unsuccessful are high and this is often an extremely hard outcome to accept. If occurring in the clinical area there are several people involved, but if you are performing CPR as a layperson or even a professional in the field you are often alone and it is a formidable responsibility. It can be extremely difficult to overcome emotionally when one is unsuccessful.

My Experience

Many years ago I was an Emergency Department (ED) Registered Nurse (RN). I was used to “codes” which was the word we used when a patient went into cardiopulmonary arrest. Everyone worked together as a team. We started IVs,  did chest compressions, charged and used a defibrillator and we continued until the patient was either revived or pronounced dead. Needless to say with all the needed supplies and professionals working together we often were able to revive the patient and send them on to the Intensive Care Department. From there we lost track of their progress or lack thereof. We went on to the next emergency. I was used to “saves” in that environment.

When my own sixty-nine year-old father had a cardiac arrest at home it was a totally different world. My Mom wept nearby. A neighbor wrung her hands. There was no one to help as I did CPR alone for over twenty minutes while we awaited the ambulance and EMTs to arrive. I felt his sternum crack. Was I compressing his chest too hard? I became short of breath. Was I breathing the right ratio for him? My mouth bled. My father turned blue, first his ears and then his lips.

My father died that day and I have never stopped blaming myself. How could an ED RN not save her own father? My brain itemizes many factors to answer that question, but my heart keeps saying, “I’m so sorry Daddy, I’m so sorry.”

I’ve shared this to warn those of you who are so altruistically prepared to perform CPR that it might not work. It might not be possible. 

Please do be trained. Please do try if you are given the opportunity. But, please also know that it is not always in your power and be prepared to live with that possibility.

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Graphics by Pixabay

Facebook

Goodbye Facebook

Several friends have asked me why I deleted my Facebook account a few months ago. They miss my comments and photos. They miss me. I do not doubt this because I miss them also. I miss their updates and photos and I miss being in contact. But we see Facebook through the lens of their own relationships. Friends, grandchildren, lovers, church members, baby photos, kitten videos, all good I thought.

I was one of over 2 billion users, showing off with little to no thought of how my personal information was being used. I didn’t read the terms of the agreement or try to understand the privacy settings. I was having fun and for free!

Giving up Facebook was not something I did lightly. After being a member for so many years it was a sacrifice. One thing I’ve learned though and not unexpectedly is that while being a member I was sacrificing time. The time that I could be doing more productive things but this is not why I left Facebook.

My last comment on Facebook before I departed was this:

“I have been betrayed. Facebook used me and used my friends and our data. More importantly, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have endangered the democracy of the US and the safety of democracy globally. After 10 years of FB membership, I am hurt and disillusioned. I will never be back and will encourage others to take the same step.”

Full Stop

That is the reason and it is not hyperbole. Facebook sold our information to a foreign government through Cambridge Analytica and by other means. Cambridge Analytica alone obtained information from 50 million Facebook user profiles without permission from members.

Experts believe that Facebook, more than any other social media platform, has facilitated the spread of fraudulent news because of its vast number of users and the many mechanisms it offers for sharing information quickly.*

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Billions $

Facebook lost over $120 billion in stock on July 26, the largest one-day stock loss in history when investors dumped over 20%. One might say it serves them right, but how many millions did they make off us over the past three years or so? Also, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t miss his $16 billion loss any more than I’d miss one hundred. He is a multibillionaire, down from third richest person to the sixth. I do not begrudge him his wealth, but I vehemently resent how he earned it off of unsuspecting members, like me, like my friends and family.

Those fun Facebook quizzes were designed to learn our preferences and our weaknesses which were played upon in advertising and bogus news. I didn’t do many quizzes but learned that when my friends did so it opened up my data. This devious plan duped the highly educated professional just as it did the uninformed.

Zuckerberg has a history of saying “I’m sorry” but that is not enough when things stay the same. Facebook VP Carolyn Everson recently made the following statement:  “The entire company is focused. We’re adding over 10,000 people, we’re using technology to help us find bad actors and bad behavior.” It doesn’t take that many people nor technology to figure out that the bad actor is the company founder and CEO.

No Return

I’m enjoying the extra hour or so I used to spend on Facebook each day even though I do miss folks I care about. True friends will stay in touch, the other few hundred not so much.

I hope that others have reached a similar decision, but I am only responsible for my own and I refuse to be used to weaken the democracy of the country I love.

Sources: CBS This Morning and *Alicia Shepard of USA Today and NPR.

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice speak out because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”                Thurgood Marshall

 

Graphics by Pixabay

Wedding Dresses

Wedding 1927

In 1927 Samuel Baugh (1899-1982), my Uncle Sam married Thelma Kissel (1913-1975). They were married for forty-eight years and had no children. In 2009 I obtained Aunt Thelma’s wedding gown and kept it hanging in a closet with her rosary. I didn’t know what I would eventually do with the gown but knew it was too precious to not protect. 

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Katie

My granddaughter, Katherine Rae Puckett, graduated from IU Bloomington with a degree in Theater Arts. Her grandfather and I worried a little that she might have trouble finding work in her field. We should not have been concerned. After working at various costuming jobs, including with The Louisville Ballet, Shakespeare in the Park and Butler University she began to plan her wedding at age twenty-six. 

Imagine my surprise when she asked if she could use Aunt Thelma’s wedding dress in making her own! I knew intuitively that Aunt Thelma would approve and I gave the dress to Kate. After soaking and cutting and adding fabric Kate’s dress was ready for her big day at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY. https://crookedcreek.live/2018/04/19/soul-7/

 

The Process 

Wedding May 18, 2018

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

Mr. and Ms. Tom Elliott, Stroud, England

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman – it must reflect the personality and style of the bride.” Caroline Herrera

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

Looking Back Again

Maybe it’s my recent milestone birthday, but I keep looking back. Please walk with me as I recall some things of years past. 

Do You Remember When?

  • Gas stations were Service Stations? The attendant checked your oil and cleaned your windshield as well as pumping your gas. I remember my Dad driving into the station and requesting “A dollar’s worth please!” That was approximately three gallons back then. 
  • There was one vehicle per family rather than per driver?
  • Funeral homes provided ambulance service?
  • Doctors made routine house calls?
  • Horses were used to farm?
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  • Babies were born at home?
  • The deceased were “laid out” at home? That was before the parlor became a “living” room. 
  • Farm homes had smokehouses? They were not for smokers of cigarettes and cigars. They were for preserving (smoking) and then storing meat for the table.
  • You didn’t own a computer? 
  • You learned to used email?
  • Your phone wasn’t in your pocket?
  • You didn’t know who was calling until they spoke? 

 

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey

Birthdays

Birthdays

Today’s approaching birthday has been causing me much consternation. To my dismay, this day points out that I have been present on this planet for three-quarters of a century. On my thirtieth I cried all day, on my fiftieth I laughed a  lot at all the teasing I received from co-workers, friends, and family. On my seventieth, I enjoyed a nice weekend at French Lick, IN with my daughters. But, this one is different, in fact, I was thinking it might be lethal, until I learned something significant in USA Today on June 24th.

Superman is 80 this month! 

This news helped so much. If he can keep on flying faster than the speed of bullets surely I can continue to walk, blog and enjoy each day for a while longer. So, my daughters and I are going to have a slumber party to celebrate my big 75 and I look forward to adding to this three-quarters of a century! 

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“You are as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears;                                                      as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” Unknown

 

Theme photo in title and graphic by Pixabay

Looking Back

Do You Remember?

  • Sprinkling laundry and refrigerating it in a plastic bag before ironing? Do you even remember ironing?
  • Cars not having air-conditioning, turn signals, seat belts nor heaven help us, cup holders?
  • Dialing a telephone, i.e., spinning that dial with one finger?
  • Car hops who delivered your food order which you then ate in the car?
  • Visiting folks without calling before dropping in?
  • When you kept up with relatives and friends by writing letters, known today as snail mail? 

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  • Blue Laws which required businesses to stay closed on Sunday? And, then later when they were allowed to open only after church “let out” at noon?
  • Women not wearing pants to church or much of anywhere else? I remember the first nurse who wore a pants uniform in our city. There was an article and photo in the local newspaper!
  •  When cameras had both film and flashbulbs? 

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  • When schools had recess?
  • Books were not audible?
  • When passengers smoked on airplanes during flight?
  • Farmers (usually the wife) killing their chickens for food? 
  • When unwanted pets were “dropped”?  Sadly, it still happens today. Here’s one named Jackson that was fortunate enough to be found and adopted.IMG_6272

I Remember

And the list could go on and on.  I make no judgment. For the most part, I like the ways things are today and I love technology. That does not mean I don’t grow nostalgic at times thinking about how some things were in the past.