Tuesday, December 25, 2012


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Gaither's Christmas - A Time for Joy DVD, Holy Scripture (St. Luke's recanting of the event) and a lovely invite to Christmas with a huge and dear friends in our church family have enriched this Christmas day for us.

Broderbund ClickArt
And now at  8:45 p.m. it is snowing ... how perfect a day for us, both now past 75. Plus we have talked to many of our family members in Texas and North and South Carolina.

Prior to today we assisted our church effort in assuring 75 persons in area nursing home received at least one present at their Christmas party, assisted our small group worship in assuring one school family with 5 boys with food and gifts as well as ll children in a nearby school who would have had no Christmas otherwise. 
Broderbund ClickArt

So we are happy Christmas campers tonight and I played around with JibJab.com composing this movie for your amusement. Pictures used of myself and Luckie are somewhat current; husband's photo is quite a number of years ago. Anyway I think the movie is a hoot, but then I have always had a warped sense of humor!!!

I am embedding it in HTML, but if it does not show, go to my Facebook Page and you can view it there.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
Xmas Movie e-Card

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


After reading Arkansas Patti's Don't You Dare Sleep, I was reminded of our slave driving rescue dog, Luckie, and her demanding, punishing, breakfast routine.

Since I have had a surgical heart procedure and entered cardiac rehabilitation at an area hospital, I am a little fatigued at the end of a day. In fact, I have been sleeping like a baby (with night oxygen) and arising about an hour later than my previous routine.

At 76 I am not a hit-the-floor-running creature, as in my much younger years; I sort of wander around making two different pots of coffee, sometimes forgetting the coffee grinds and having to start over, etc. Nothing like a pot of hot water for husband when he awakens!

Abominable  Toy-no nose,arms, legs tail, ears.
However, when all goes according to Hoyle, I usually arise, possibly use the bathroom, weigh in my bunny suit, sometimes dress or wear a robe, make two different pots of coffee (one decaf, one regular), take my morning meds, and then feed Luckie while the coffee pots finish brewing.

Luckie has this routine timed to the second. She arises when I turn on the overhead light in the kitchen/den. She patiently plays with a toy which used to be a porcupine-her favorite toy, while I go through my routine. However, if I vary one iota she starts squeaking that horrid toy constantly until I get to her breakfast which consists of two meds wrapped in cheese, followed by kibbles and fresh water. She has no patience or sympathy for an old woman. Well, she is 12 years old (more or less) which is 69 in human years for a medium size dog.

That squeaker is the most nerve grating sound on a soul half-asleep. She squeaks it so fast, I don't think she takes a breath. She only stops when I have the cheese-wrapped meds ready for her. She brings the horrid toy and drops it at my feet; I swear she is sabotaging me, as I frequently trip over the toy and nearly fall--my punishment for being such a slothful servant to her needs.

She then eats her kibbles faster than I can fill her water pan. Then she goes back to bed with husband.....leaving me her toy to stumble over as I carry my coffee to my lift chair.

She has lots of toys but only plays with the squeaky ones. Maybe it reminds her of her younger chipmunk hunting days. The cute little chipmunks have moved out of our yard, because of the black monster that resides there.

It is amazing to me that this toy (she has two of same toy in deplorable condition) the squeaker even works. I have to do surgery on all her toys as she chews any extremities or decorations off--no tails, no feet, no noses, no eyes, no ears. BUT IT SQUEAKS. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....... But we love her...
Luckie in Her Lift Recliner
(Believe me, she does not use the chair's features!
It was a used chair that is not very useful for its
original intent.; plus Luckies hastily exits the chair if
we turn on the mechanisms. She is equal, more or
less, to 69 in human years.)

Friday, November 30, 2012


Just a short note to honor the beginning of a special month where two "M" words mark this month to me: MEMORIES, MIRACLES

It is the month that those of the Christian faith have designated the birth of Jesus Christ occurred.

It is the month to others that demostrating good will toward others is more evident and many memories are made--most are wonderful, lasting and warm, but sometimes otherwise. I have many wonderful Christmas memories, but in recent years at least one personal bitter memory that jaded my holiday spirit, but not my faith in my concept of the true spirit of Christmas. It is all about others, not me.

December is the birthday of my deceased Mother (24th) and my sister (31st).

For your enjoyment I have embedded an exceptional video. I would like to see this at WalMart. No doubt it was staged to look spontaneous, but never the less, it really changed the mood of the frenzied shoppers. I found this video posted by my great niece on her Facebook account.

If the embedded video does not work, here is the link . ENJOY!

Christmas shopper reminder of the reason for the season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Life takes many turns; as we age we are faced with many more it seems. We may welcome them, resent them or accept them. Some are challenges; some are not.

Right now the word in my life is 'rehabilitation.' It is time consuming in some ways, small life changes in others. Since my A-Fib heart procedure, [NOT nearly as life changing as more serious heart problems such as open heart surgery] Rehab, short for rehabilitation,includes  a 3 months supervised exercise program a the local hospital 16 mi. away, more careful dietary decisions, and patience while the healing process continues (3 months). The last mentioned, healing process appears to be ahead of estimate by a lot, which is good.

I had made some dietary changes and now others, but my main problem is sticking to them so the desired effect is evident such as weight loss and better blood pressure readings.

Not being a lover of exercise, (I'd rather read a book), the exercise regimen takes grit and determination. After 3 mo. I am allowed to continue at hospital, or enroll in a local gym. It will be difficult for me to decide as price of service is about the same, but gas cost to the hospital make it a more expensive choice.

The turn-key gym near my home is not supervised, although often there are other gymnasts, maybe an instructor now and then, etc. Right now my housekeeper and mother attend and I can go with them. But they might quit at some point.

However, this time in my life is filled with decisions and efforts to rejuvenate a physical body, mainly ignored most of its 76 yr.  old life. As the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, "for everything there is a season." This season has ended, but like the seasons change, it may return again, maybe as a photo blog only, who knows.

So I am suspended this blog until such time as I feel the need to resurrect it. Most who follow me have also slowed in their blogging and reading. Life changes for all of us--a journey with many turns, curves, hills and valleys.

It has been a wonderful time; I have made many blogland friends, met one, and would have liked to have met many more. My gmail address is associated with this blog should any of you care to contact me. It will be open as it is also associated with my facebook account which I am not closing, nor am I very active.  

In conclusion I ask you pray for our nation; I have avoided politics (and specific religions) purposely, but recent current events leave me fearful of our Union's future, especially for those who will be left, after I have departed this earth.

Luckie and I will be watching many more sunrises and sunsets. We hope the same for all of you.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


US Hwy 60 Missouri toward Poplar
Bluff MO
This is a self-help personal guide, written primarily based on trial and errors of previous vacations including some humorous, and some not at all humorous.

We have traveled for pleasure or daily need, primarily by our own wits in personal vehicles our 43+ years of marriage, and even as adult singles. We were neither married until the ages of 32 and 33.

US Hwy 60 in Missouri toward
Sikeston MO
Over those years we were relatively safe drivers with a few warning speed tickets and one ticket (Me) which we paid. My husband had one wreck which was not his fault, nearly totalling a little Subaru truck, after we moved to Arkansas. He was not at fault. 

Roadside Rest Stop I-57 in Illinois
Two Trees and Two Cabs
heading toward Effingham IL
Actually there were 3 cabs linked
together, but the 3rd one was
not visible from my stance.
I had a couple of fender benders mainly from backing up. Damages were slight.

To sum it up we agree he is the safer and better driver, but I am a fairly good navigator and enjoy the responsibility of routing, especially after the GPS became a viable vehicle accessory. I'm techie of the two of us.
From Arkansas to middle Ohio we drove
in rainy weather, off and on. Not stormy,
but often heavy, all the area we traveled
needed rain; evidence of drought
was everywhere.
AS we approached retirement, we mutually made our decisions to safely prolong our driving privileges without unduly endangering lives. This process primarily began at age 65,  more or less. Some evolved or morphed into different decisions as we become even older.

If I had my druthers, I would fly. My husband dislikes flying, and even more so because of safety rules after 9/11. 
My husband does most of the driving when we are together, unless he is ill.

Early on he and I discovered (1) I am too easily distracted by things I see  along the road, (2) too much conversation with passengers and my reaction time as well as sight began a slow decline earlier than his.

Related to the above paragraph, we have kept our eyes in the best condition possible. We both have had the usual cataract surgeries. However, I also have glaucoma. In our late 60s we both made the decision that driving after dark was only in extreme emergency, or only in our little town. This curtailed some of our social events--but better than endangering lives of others.
Cross entering Effingham, IL claims to the be t
 largest cross in the world at the Crossroads of U.S,
intersection of I57 and I70. [Terra Haute IN east of
Effingham, inside Indiana state line, on I70 also
claims to be the Crossroads of U.S.]
I do drive in daytime when I shop alone or have other commitments.
(1) No driving after dark, except emergencies; even then if a medical emergency the ambulance is called for the one with the medical problem. The other carefully drives to the medical facility.

(2) We have set slower top speed driving limits, but not so slow others are cursing us. We stay in slower lanes where available. I personally know my reflexes and reaction time are slower, and I have glaucoma which means peripheral vision also is becoming more narrow.

In the rain again, leaving Indianapolis IN
headed toward Columbus OH on I70
(3) After a near disastrous event in 2011, we have coordinated our duties as driver and navigator. His hearing is a determent to perfect communication, so if he misses a turn because he did not hear me OR the GPS 'voice,' which is feminine on both our GPS devices, he is NOT to have a panic attack, slam on the brakes on the Interstate or any other road, byway, etc., but to calmly proceed to the next legal place to exit, turn around, etc.  I am to calmly, not screchingly, say 'you missed the turn but go to the next exit, or light, or block where we can safely correct our miscue.'

In Ohio and also New York
there were stretches of Interstate
with walls of stone, brick or blocks
partitioning the divided Interstate
(this was a tad scary not knowing
what may crash through into your
lane). Other "walls" blocked views
of theimmediate landscape,
either blocking blight or perhaps
blunting traffic noise/fumes from a
residential neighborhood. I have
seen one such wall near Conway AR
where an effluent residential closed
community is being developed.
Reminds me of the old pop song
of my teen years (1956):
 Behind the Green Door.
The above procedure worked nicely on our 4000 mi. trip through 11 states. And I am sure we have eliminated most other drivers' cursing those 'old people should not even be driving' or other profanities and/or gestures. We also try to limit mileage to 500 mi. per day, only daylight hours.

Yes, this means more motel stays, which I either make in advance, or along the way as my navigator job.

We pack one suitcase with what we need for a one night stay. The other luggage contains the clothing and necessities for the destinations that are longer. No computers, just a cell phone and my Kindle are unloaded for one night stands along with an oxygenator (me) and a nebulizer device (husband). We both have respiratory problems.

Long Elegant Brick wall near
Cleveland OH [See comment on
White wall photo above.]
So having boarded Luckie at her favorite spa for three weeks, where she also would receive her annual shots and teeth cleaning, we set forth on our journey to Plattsburgh NY. Luckie would also ultimately need three teeth pulled as a result of her dental exam while she was boarding.

We traversed Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York enroute; after the reunion we also traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee before arriving home. We spent nights in Indianopolis IN, Erie PA, and Latham NY before arriving in Platsburgh, NY, Comfort Inn for U.S.S. Henley Reunion. Later we also spent nights in Harrisburg PA, Waynesboro VA, Shelly's sister's home, and near Nashville, TN.
PVC pipe load as we entered Erie PA.
I love the circular pattern repetition
of pipe and rear reflectors.
From Erie PA we took the I90 Toll road to Albany exiting at a suburb, Latham, to spend the night. Here we encountered a personal highway design nemesis I detest: a roundabout. These golden agers went round about in the roundabout three times until we were dizzy, before getting in the right lane to exit to our motel destination.

The toll road segment is void of photos as I was not feeling well. Also we got our first taste of NY sticker shock when we bought two vender-wrapped chicken salad sandwiches, (not fresh made) for $15!

Photos in this post were enroute. Some were snapped in moving pickup truck and little out of focus; some were at various rest stops. None outstanding, just things that caught our eyes. I have enlarged only one so I could get more in post. All can be enlarged by clicking on them [I hope].

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.


Friday, October 26, 2012


Since my last post, life has been a series of medical appointments which I facetiously call my 'social life.'

Not best shot, nor do I remem-
ber where,but taken between
Harrison and Little Rock
Two appointments have required trips to Little Rock and included the heart pulmonary vein procedure. Then three weeks later a return post-surgical checkup in Little Rock.

I also have seen my local cardiac physician and my ANP at least three times.

The procedure was successful far beyond my expectations, resulting in perfect heart rhythm and no breakthroughs so far of A-Fib. This in only one month in to the projected 3- month healing process.

The next positive event is I have been approved for supervised cardiac rehabilitation through our local hospital. Even though I am not a gym body-building, muscle bulging, aficionado, I periodically have been in reasonable exercise routines, but without medical supervision. My main concerns now are cardiac strengthening (the heart is a specialized muscle) and faster weight loss.

Along US 65 from Harrison to Little Rock
near Marshall AR
So my next few months are going to be busy as the cardiac rehab. unit is 15 mi. from our home, entailing a short drive 3 days a week for about 2.5 months, and of course more physician appointments.

The only downer is my shortness of breath  (SOB)has not improved. However, I cannot unreasonably expect this a I have asthma, COPD, and an increasing curvature of the spine from hereditary  osteoporosis which crowds the upper chest cavity space.

My somewhat upper is a recent visit to my ANP which serves as my primary care physician. She had an ANP intern Wednesday. I was complaining of the SOB. Finding no new explanations, verified by a blood panel workup,  she explained in the elderly SOB may have no explanations as well as fatigue which I added to my complaint, and added at 76, my mental acuity, appearance, interests and activities did NOT fit he usual 76 year old profile.

Along US HWY 65 Harrison to Little Rock
near Marshall, AR
I accepted the compliment, but chuckled to myself about the appearance. I never have been the normal female box full of cosmetics to keep me younger looking, not even as a teenager. My cosmetics consist of  several shades of lipstick, a blemish cover, and pressed face powder which I only use when leaving the house.

Yes, I am engaged in as many activities as I can physically handle, participated in local politics, read, and maintain a reasonable level of digital acuity. I have fascinations in computers and photography. But the aging needle on the clock of life continues to roll ever higher on its scale.

Since my recent activities have curtailed my photography, I have only some photos taken from vehicle, which are a tad blurred. I was trying to capture the autumn color  which was muted this year in Arkansas. The extremely dry and hot spring and summer took its toll on the sometimes flaming color we have in mid-to late October.

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed

Monday, October 08, 2012


Bagpiper, U.S.S. Henley Reunion
 Memorial Ceremony
Plattsburgh NY 09/2012
SOOC (Straight Out of Camera)
Since I last posted, August 22, most of you may have either quit passing by or may have quit blogging....I shall soon find out. Thus is the life of blogging as Facebook/Twitter/Google+/etc. have gained in popularity; the consensus  the digital age seem to prefer "microwave' zap-sizzle-pop media to longer, thoughtful sharing.

Bagpiper in 'Pipes & Drum band
1812 Land War Enactment
Plattsburgh, NY 09/2012
Thanks to Lorna of Lorna's Land of Wonder, for inquiring by e-mail of my whereabouts and health.

To refresh memories like mine, I last blogged about my husband's lack of a legal birth certificate for passport purposes as we wanted to view Niagara Falls at the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.

Drummer in 'Pipes & Drum band
1812 Land War Enactment
Plattsburgh, NY 09/2012
Drummer in 'Pipes & Drum
 band 1812 Land War Enact-
ment Plattsburgh, NY
Due to state government red tape  time ran out so Niagara Falls was chopped from the itinerary and 100+ mile Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park was substituted, followed by a brief visit in North and South Carolina with Husband's family, before returning home. A reunion of the U.S.S. Henley in Plattsburgh, NY was the beginning, and main attraction of the trip. The leaves were barely beginning to turn. I'd love the same drive this month.

This tour covered 11 states and over 4000 miles and was followed by a my long awaited heart procedure. Luckie is miffed at her long sabbatical at the local vet boarding spa, despite the entire staff spoiling her.

Bagpipe & Drum  Ensemble - 1812 Land War Enact-
ment Plattsburgh, NY 09/2012
Bagpipe and Fife Corp in Plattsburgh, NY
1812 War Parade. Sorry I Missed the
Fife row somehow.
Since the procedure has left this soon-to-be-next week 76-year-old lady in recovery at a slower rate than a much younger person. Some days I simply don't want to even dress; others I dress, to simply do a few chores, then I sleep.

Whether the procedure is successful will not be known for about 3 months. I have had some minor A-Fib episodes, not nearly like I was having. Supposedly this is normal until the scarification has healed that is at the heart of the ablation. Rather than bore you with my impatient grumping, I chose to endure silently. The procedure has a 70/30 percent success rate.

We arrived home Sept. 19, my procedure at Baptist Health in Little Rock was Sept. 27. and YES, WE FINALLY RECEIVED HIS AMENDED LEGAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE, OCT. 4!

Yes, this severely cropped photo is my favorite. This unpretentious lovely little lady so wanted
the friendly dog of another person attending the Plattsburgh NY War of 1812 Parade. Why
wouldn't a dog lover like me love this shot, even though the best photograph so far is the
first one in the post. --NitWit1
However, from time to time I have 100s of shots--none spectacular--from our trip. I may post a few with less comment than usual. Obviouslyy I am enchanted with the bagpipes, because unlike those I've encountered in the South, I actually could NAME THAT TUNE!!!

I will begin visiting some on my bloglist as I regain my strength. I will also try to remember to post on my wall in Facebook.

PHOTOS: All photos by NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


SB-Title: The On-Going Saga of a Birth Certificate

Since mid-July we looked forward to a trip to my husband's (H) ship reunion at Plattsburgh, NY where the Navy ship USS Henley has a museum of its artifacts and will participate in the last week of a two-week festival, celebrating victory in the War of 1812.

Becoming a lover of history post-educational endeavors, I spent time learning more about a war I considered minor since it lasted months, not years, but some historians labeled 'the most successful land war' the USA ever fought.

After the convention we planned a trip to Niagara Falls. I had seen both sides many years ago, but being an avid camera bug, I wanted some digital photos; plus H had never seen it.

We planned a Maid of the Mist tour, plus I know how to protect my camera from water. It is cumbersome but requires using a plastic bag. I would be sure it was hanging around my neck, so I would not drop it. We even planned staying on the Canadian side.

A few days after making somewhat expensive reservations for tours and motels, I was perusing Niagara tours which mentioned the need for passports, pass cards or something called a Nexus card. All required evidence of being a permanent citizen of US--something not required of me some 25 years ago.

So we confidently made an appointment at an area post office for the pass card which is good for Canada and Mexico and certain cruises. We grabbed our driver's licenses, birth certificates and other ID and headed for our appointment.--which became about the shortest appointment I have ever had.

The nice man quickly took our birth certificates somewhere in the back of post office to verify their authenticity, coming back to inform us H's was not valid.

Imagine our shocked state: H had obtained his birth certificate in 1955 by carrying a witness to a courthouse. The witness attested to his testimony of his birth date and place; the county clerk affixed a seal of certification and signed his official signature. H enlisted in the Air Force once, Navy twice, and retired with self-same birth certificate, which was also used for obtaining our marriage license, a military passport (also called defense passport) and I suppose his driving license. Now it is invalid.

Hmm, guess he isn't even born yet.

We were told 9/11 changed everything, included birth certificates which must be obtained from the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS). We would have to expedite the process which we were willing to do.

However, when I called, SC's BVS more problems arose. The date of his birth shows his father's name where it should be, but also as his birth name. H does not have his father's name in his name at all.  The more I talked, his immediate family's birth records have major errors, including unnamed deceased children by H's parents, and his older brother's family.

I was amazed at such a maze of problems in one family. However, when we cooled down, we considered the era of his birth.

His family and many families nationwide, living in remote or rural areas, used midwives for birthing, or simply had them at home in the 1930s. Further it was the Great Depression when few had money. I've read of swapping of chickens and produce as payments for all kinds of services. And many a person was glad to take such in exchange for services.

Reporting by good midwives was to the physician under which they worked, or by the family's first trip to town, which might be several months after birth. The physician probably accumulated quite a number of births and made a report sporadically when he had time between HOUSE CALLS--what's that?

The sum total of this on-going saga is we still do not have a legitimate birth certificate. Further if we got it today it is too late to process a passport/pass card.

I researched other options and there is a short-term card to Canada called a NEXUS, but it also requires proof of permanent citizenship, i.e., birth certificate.

So any other alternative is risky, if not illegal, like a plunge over the Falls in a barrel, or walking a tight-wire (HA! I can't walk a straight line flat on the floor).  Neither of us are risk takers, past getting out of bed in the morning, and getting into a car.

Reluctantly we have canceled that portion of our trip; guess we saved several hundred bucks on a barrel, gas, room and board.

Instead, and SUBJECT TO CHANGE, we are going to return via Skyline Drive, a scenic 100 mi. drive through the upper Appalachian range of the Blue Ridge mountains in Shenandoah Park. We will probably get off at Rockfish Gap and catch the nearest Interstate or good US highway route to H's sister's home in Aberdeen, NC. Then we will try to connect with H's family in short time. Some are in SC.

We realize Skyline Drive may be closed if there is fog, etc. or other driving hazards. Thus we may not see that either.

Since I am scheduled for a heart procedure Sept. 27, we will just get home earlier for me to rest and prepare myself for this procedure, which is not open-heart surgery, but does have risks involved, as does anything surgical. When I had my knee surgery, I was informed I could have a stroke or heart attack; same with this one. Only difference is they will be working on my heart.

And poor Luckie has a lot of time scheduled at her favorite spa, the All Creatures Veterinary Hospital, where they all love her, for her charming want of attention, but she does not seem to like it when I drop her off. I guess she adjusts to her surroundings. After all she is a rescue, and at 14 is lucky to be alive since she was abused, had heartworms, and is epileptic.

I am sure when I get some photos, I'll have something to write about. Actually, I have a lot on my mind, but decided not to bore you with all my medical problems. That gets to be depressing. At my age, I am lucky to be typing this blog with more sanity, than senility.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Brown, Brown Grass of Home

The Green, Green Grass of Home
Tom Jones - YouTube

Obviously I have renamed a classic favorite of yore, The Green, Green Grass of Home , a country song, popularized by Tom Jones, into an easy listening song, and my favorite version.
Brown fields on HWY 235 between Yellville - Marshall, AR
I had an appointment with a cardiac electrophysiologist this week. The rural scenery starkly showed the effect of the severe drought Arkansas is enduring, and almost transformed me into thinking I was in Texas instead. Photos are from a moving car, and not very good, but look for the brown patches. These spots are as far as you can see as you travel to Little Rock are cleared land, usually pastures or hay fields. It seemed more severe north of Clinton AR  which includes where we live.

Man at Top of Verizon Cell
Tower on an 104 degree Day.
The tower picture I think has heat waves coming off it. It is a Verizon cell tower just built on land leased by our church. The man was putting the final touches before it was activated. The temperature that day was 104 degrees amd this was about noon.

After consultation with all my physicians I will be taking our trip. The A-Fib attacks will take place whether I am sitting home feeling sorry for myself, or if I am having a good time traveling. As long as I am on blood thinners, I have been assured I am fairly safe from the dangers of the arrhythmias. I do have emergency drugs which lower blood pressure and other means to break up the fibrillation.

A Scene North of Marshall, AR. This Barn Is Nearly Empty of Hay Bales and No Sign of a Second
Crop which Farmers in this Area Usually Are Able to Reap. Note Brown Hill in Distance, too.
We are trying to get Pass Cards so we can drive into Canada and see Niagara Falls on the Canadian side where the spectacular Horseshoe Falls is located. We will of course see both sides, and I hope to ride the Maid of the Mist!

I will try to later regale the trials of getting a Pass Port or Pass Card. It is unbelievable, and time is not on our side. So our trip may be shorter and my heart procedure scheduled earlier. The next two weeks will probably tell the tale1

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Being an aficionado of Broadway Musicals I thought I'd treat you to the song that inspired this post, only substitute 'I' for 'you.' Some of the words are ironically applicable, like "I have often walked this street before....", however, the main perception of which I write is less inspiring. [If video does not play or show, here a link to one version on You Tube: On the Street Where You Live .
On the Street Where You Live
[From My Fair Lady] - Vic Damone -YouTube
I served as alderman for 6 years (3 terms less 2 months) in our local government. From the beginning an abandoned house across from my property was in deplorable condition, both house and yard. I knew the owner personally. This is  area zoned for manufactured housing on residential lots, not so-called 'mobile home parks."

After his wife died the owner moved out-of-state in my first term. Already in deplorable condition, which was forgivable during his wife's long battle with cancer, the neglect accelerated with high weed/grass growth, and 1000-year ice storm wherein a tree fell thorough the roof, wildlife living under and in the house, and druggies apparently entering and having late niight parties at some intervals. All the rest of my term I tried to get the house condemned; but failed.
Condemned Manufactured Home
Across Street From My House
You have no idea what it takes to legally condemn someone's property and destroy it if the warning to the owner is unheeded.

First,the condemnation notice was finally issued during the first year I was out of office. The owner ignored it until I spent my own funds hunting him down, because, miraculously a man wanted to buy the land, move off or demolish the structure, and place a new structure on the property.

Unfortunately, the owner seemed delusional, as he perceived the worth a gold mine. After leaving, he never returned to retrieve personal items nor to witness the increasing delapidation of his property and rapidly declining worth. He seemingly walked away, food in the fridge and dirty dishes in the sink.

Negotiations fell through, but there was a glimmer of hope, as he owed property taxes. The prospective buyer hinted the owner owed back real estate  and personal property taxes. He mistakenly thought since he had an homestead exemption on it, even though he no longer lived there as his principal residence. He quickly found money (probably his son) to pay back taxes minutes before the auction on the court house steps.

So the city issued the condemnation notice which allegedly give the owner 30 days to rectify the situation. He ignored it. The City found out the federal and state governments had liens on the property for different reasons, so the City was going to be a loser if we placed a lien via his tax records, which is done in Arkansas. A water bill in his name had already been writen off by the City.

Finally a couple offered to tear it down to sell whatever materials had any value as junk or recyclable. The owner and the couple created this deal, so the City was not involved. The City would have been out considerable more money because of state regulations in condemnation, like fire inspections, hazardous materials, etc. Unfortunately, I knew the couple were not going to follow these rules, but the City was out of the loop, thus not responsible..
Condemned House Across Street From My House
[Normal Garbage Pick-up does not include building materials;
besides no monthly fee is being paid for this location]
Anyway, the two photos (straight out of the camera) are in this post. Why should I try to make them look better---it is horrible. Plus wild life has moved over to tearing up our expensive landscaping. We have live traps set. So far only a kitty has been captured. The digging is not a kitty, maybe a skunk, but I doubt both. We turned the kitty loose.

The saga of the couple who orginally started the demolition is too complicated to write. Let's say he is in jail and has charges in two counties. The girl friend has now taken up with another guy, both of which have continued the demolition. All of them have conections with the many druggies in our neighborhood.

One my one block there are only three of us that are not in drug trafficking or use, that I know for sure. One family and one bachelor, I am not sure, and two houses are vacant. On the block behind us is at least one other engaged in drug trafficking and one old woman alcoholic.

When we moved here it was a nice quite suburban area. However, we are too old to just pull up stakes and move. Further, we do not fear bodily harm, maybe some theft, but Luckie is a good alarm barker and is only friendly with one neighbor, who is NOT among the druggies. 

The heat and time are causing my A-Fib episodes to be more frequent, but short. I have an appointment for scheduling a heart procedure Aug. 3. As advised when I was first diagnosed, the medications 'fade' over time and I have been fortunate the time for me is longer than the one year expectation given.

I may be absent a lot for the next 3 months. I have been OK'd to take in September vacation, even though it may not be so pleasant for me or Husband, as the episodes will still occur. But so-far we are going. Walking upgrades are debilitating as I rapidly become short of breath which may create an episode, as can the heat and some bodily functions. At least New York in September should be cooler than Arkansas!!!

As I have already mentioned we are going to Plattsburgh NY for the reunion of the U.S.S. Henley, one of my husband's ships. The Plattsburgh area is the site of several War of 1812 battles. The reunion is same time asthe last weekend of a 2-week remembrance celebration of the War of 1812.

The Navy guys will be participating in a parade, and all of us will see two re-enactments, one on land, and one on Lake Champlain. The history freak in me will be soaking up facts as I always regarded this British skimish a mundane short event. However historians have described it as the USA's most successful ground war! I surely have missed something from the history books!!!

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Two days earlier this week, we heard a strangely familiar sound, like pitter-patter on the roof, on the porch, on the windows, everywhere. After a slight lapse in cognizance, we suddenly exclaimed, 'it's raining' and hurried to the front door to view the recently rare event; we have been in a severe drought both spring and summer with accompanying heat wave of several days strung together over 100 degrees.

Which brings to mind a song made famous by Mahalia Jackson, Didn't It Rain, performed here on You Tube by Vestal Goodman.

Raindrops on Window as Seen Through Solar Curtain
from inside Kitchen  Window Box
Some personal non-descript photos scattered in this post. The first day we got 0.03 inches and the second day 0.36 inches-a real downpour. So that is WHAT I heard...... WHAT did I READ?
Like a multitude of US senior citizens, I am a member of AARP and receive several publications as a part of my membership--actually am on my husband's membership but have my own card. One of these publications is a monthly magazine, with interesting, diverse subjects. This month one article really caught my eye on page 20, MIND YOUR MEDS, pointing out medication errors are rising, and gives patients/customers simple steps to help keep oneself safe.

Since I am a retired pharmacist, I have a little to add to that article. First of all, any dispenser of medication, be it pharmacist, doctor, nurse or aides that claim they never made a mistake is dillusional and flat-out liar. I made mistakes but was fortunate to never have injured anyone. [And I still make mistakes with my own medication!--Like taking at wrong time, or forgetting if I took it, etc.]

Raindrops Outside Window Box; Trees from across Street
Reflected Off the Solar Shade from Outside the House.
To err is human and to forgive is divine, but all of us are in this together by confluence of several circumstances; some as mundane as too many white capsules and tablets [colors are disappearing as persons are allergic to some dyes, resulting in lawsuits]. Yes, there is some near unreadable numbers on these pills, be they tablet or capsule, but what about liquids, injectables? The elderly are most susceptible as their medication usage increases with aging, and hospitalization is more frequent.

Raindrops on Water Hydrant
and Deck Rail
The article suggests you shop with the least busy pharmacy in your area. I disagree with this statement. The intent of this statement, and I agree, the pressure of business is oppressive and conducive to errors. However, why do they have the least business--prices too high, made too many mistakes, terrible personality, no credit or insurance accepted, no delivery, sparse service? I would avoid a sole proprietor who has NO help---no clerks, no techs--a one man store. Oh yes, delivery service is an added expense and getting scarce, or coverage is restricted, and, increasingly, a fee is additional.

Filling a prescriptions is a complex procedure of checking that minimum amount of information is supplied--personal information correct name of drug, and directions for use including any ancillary instructions the physician did not include. Saying 'take 1 tablet daily' may or may not be sufficient. Sometimes we find ourselves trying to read a physician's mind, but NO--we should pick up the phone and personally verify what we do not know with certainty. Cholesterol lowering drugs are more effective taken in the evening. A growing number of drugs cannot be taken together or with some foods like grapefruit including juice.

Heavy Rain on Street, Tuesday
Physicians rely on pharmacists to add these details. Both physician and pharmacist are pushed to output volume--for different reasons, but both involve professional liability insurance, profit, payroll, inventory.

A large pharmacy inventory may exceed one million dollars.

While all this being processed by the professional brain, the phone is ringing, patients/customers are impatiently drumming fingers and tapping toes while waiting in line, or a person is waiting for professional counseling in a new prescription (required by law). Do not wave off professional counseling; according to the AARP article 89% of mistakes are caught in the give-and-take between counselor and customer; thus no harm comes of the mistake. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK WHAT YOU MAY THINK IS A STUPID QUESTION! YOU JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Before completing this post I had appointment at gynecologist office; a told mine (a woman) this appointment ranked on the bottom rung of my favorite physician tied with the dentist or 'least favorite.'  I proved my point when I went into a small A-Fib attack, although the heat probably did not help.
Outside her office was a tree, the trunk of which had obviously been pruned multiple times, also may have been an original graft. It was an umbrella or weeping like tree-maybe a weeping elm or several japonica weeping trees that are grafted to a weeping Katsura. The trunk appeared to be grafted as well as pruned numerous times.
I took several photos. When I parked in front of it I thought some one had hung a carved wooden unpainted trout fish jumping out of  the White River into the tree. Maybe the gynecologist causes me t0 hallicinate. What shape do you think the 'deformity' looks like?
Do you see a fish in this tree???
[SOOC-Straight Out of Camera]

And Now I Am Cooling My Dudes for the Night
[SOOC - Straight Out of the Camera]
PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.