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.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Parroting one of my favorite poems, The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll, this post is a medley of subjects, primarily photos, I have grouped together  to share without much comment.

Baby Girl Shower Setup-1
I volunteer to 'man' our church office for 4 hours one day a week; we have no paid personnel, a church membership policy. However, phone calls to an unattended phone often lose opportunities to serve. Recently volunteers were solicited primarily for this purpose. Some days there are NO calls, and other days I am busy with various calls and needs.

However, July 5 was a very slow day. So I wandered with portable phone in tow, around our church complex. In the fellowship hall, a stunning baby shower party was set up for this coming Sunday afternoon. I immediately went to my vehicle for my Point & Shoot Canon which is always in my car for unexpected photo ops...and a nice little camera it is, as I have said before. Ironically, I had just recharged its batteries earlier this week.

Baby Girl Shower Setup
Wall Decorations
Chairs for Mom & Dad
& Table
Several photos of the baby girl shower setup are scattered throughout this post.

Then, on the way home I stopped to take a shot of a blue motor bike and white fence I had been eyeing for a week or more. I pulled very much off the road with no tire on the pavement, parked with emergency lights flashing. In Arkansas state highway easements are scarce to very narrow. My vehicle was partly in dead weeds, but not the drainage ditch--maybe slightly on the slope.

Baby Girl Shower Setup
Table Setups
[Straight Out of Camera}
I disembarked to see a SUV sheriff's vehicle with blue lights flashing, pulling in behind me. With panic running through my mind, I quickly replayed my driving and parking: did I not signal? Was I speeding? ETC! ETC! ETC!

My panic was quickly put to rest; a very courteous female sheriff's deputy inquired if I had vehicle problems or was I feeling OK.  I assured her I was after a photo across the highway. Temperatures here have been in triple digits for over a week; vehicles and people may have serious problems quickly with little notice. How reassuring it was when I calmed myself down, and thought about it. How unnecessary was it for me to work myself into a tizzy, which probably did not help, I took a deep breath, made 2 shots and hurried back to my vehicle. The distraction, however, seemed to deter my getting exactly the shot I wanted. But a lesson learned, anyway.

Motorcycle for Sale
[The White Fence Leading My Eye IN and OUT of the Photo
Is What First Caught my Eye] Oh Yeah! The DRIED UP
Pasture & Roadside Remind Me of Texas
In January I had occasion to have Luckie at the her un-favorite veterinary clinic. I left her, ran some errands, and returned a bit early. While waiting in my car I spotted an empty back-lit large bird nest with strands of hair streaming in a slight breeze. I wondered what smart bird built their nest in the front landscape bed of a veterinary clinic, where there had to be plenty of hair to line the nest, but medical care just a doorway a few feet away! I quickly snapped this largely unedited photo.

Luckie Sightseeing
And speaking of Luckie, we carried her shopping (HA!), maybe Christmas shopping, Dec. 17 and I caught her watching the sights out the side window. Sometimes she sleeps the whole trip, but she occasionally  watches the sights, too. She is the best car-riding dog we've ever owned...just don't ask her to get in our boat.

I would love for her to travel  with us, but our trips are extended, and she is nearing 13-14 years old (estimate as she is a rescue dog) with controlled health problems. We board her at the veterinary clinic which claims boarding under medical supervision. She is a favorite with all the kennel persons and vets.

If my heart health holds status quo, we have a month's vacation planned, which means she gets a month with The gals and guys at the kennel. I know she is well treated, as she comes home several pounds heavier which mean ole me has to try to get her to shed.

Abandoned Bird Nest in Bush at Veterinary Clinic
[The Amount of Hair Strands back lit Caught My Eye I Expect Dog, Cat and Horse Hairs
Were Abundant Near a Veterinary Clinic Which Also Boards a Variety of Animals)

PHOTOS: NitWit1, unless otherwise attributed

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Broderbund ClickArt
For 76 years I have had the incredible experience of having been blessed to be born in the land of freedom, which is not free but for those 76 years has continued to be paid voluntarily by blood of untold numbers of patriots, most of whom I have never known.

I have walked among the many names of graves in Arlington cemetery and many private cemeteries. I know only a few with whom I may have actually had some knowledge of. Some graves bear marks of a preferred religion, but I have never seen a military marker with a political party designation. The military protect all of us, even those of us who are unappreciative, disobedient, or anarchist, all races, political and religious persuasions--everyone.

Flag in Snow Storm- Our Front Yard

When I consider the writers of our Declaration of Independence, I don't see all these divisionary political and religious terms thrown about today. From history I know they were of different persuasions politically, socially, religiously. Yet they were able to reach a consensus of wording, not only for the Declaration of Independence, but also a Constitution that has been minimally amended for over 200 years.
By the way, the four Presidents chosen for Mount Rushmore, were not of same political persuasion, from conservative to progressive, yet at the time of its inception those four Presidents were considered the outstanding presidents from the birth of a nation.

What happened? I lament.  I can only speculate.

The direct purely democratic process evolved into largely a representative  democracy for a rapidly growing nation. In fact the Constitution created this type of government. The town hall where citizens met to directly address issues among themselves became a relic with the ever enlarging nation of states and peoples..

With this evolution, and the right of petition, the democratic process became somewhat polluted by special interests with finances to influence, and even promise financial backing in  re-election to our representatives from President, Senators, Representatives, even down to the larger city officials.

US Flag & Dallas Cowboys Flag
Yes, I Can Fly Another Flag As
Long As the US Flag Is Higher
Than Any Other Flag. Oh! Yeah!
I Think The Cowboys Claimed
the Name of America's Team,
a Disputable Fact, I Know!
But I still can choose to celebrate our Nation's birthday anyway, I choose. If  I don't go for hot dogs and hamburgers, watermelon and ice cream, there is not a food police coming by with a baton to enforce a tradition. I can choose to fly a flag, or not. [At our house it flies 24 hours on a permanent pole, and yes, there is a yard light on it, too.]

I can travel within the nation across state lines without being stopped and asked to show some national ID card, because I am a naturally born citizen.

No place on earth has ever been enticing enough for me to entertain the thought of permanently living somewhere else. Visit- yes, Live, no.

Even though I personally feel some facets of the Bill Of Rights, the first amendments to the Constitution, are being eroded, I still believe at 76 the first unique experiment in government is still  man's best achievement in this world!

PHOTOS: NitWit1, unless otherwise attributed.

So Happy Birthday! United States of America!