Saturday, March 29, 2014


I was told that a friend of mine fell for one of those phony phone calls pretending to be from one of her grandchildren....asking, of course, for money.

Now, she is $6,000 poorer.


We are particular vulnerable because of WHEN and HOW we were raised.  We are not programed to be suspicious of our fellow humans.  It's not natural for us.

As I look back on it, I think one of the shortcomings of our upbringing was......

not that we spent too much time in Sunday School.......BUT.....we should have spent a little more time in  DEVIL SCHOOL...learning a little about the "Flip" side of humanity.

However, maybe just about everybody but me instinctively picked this up on their own.

I recently retired. I thought it might take some getting used know...sitting around doing nothing.

Nope, I'm sure I will eventually take  to it like a duck to water, a pig to mud.......whatever. I was born for this kind of life!

However, that hasn't happened yet. I think I already have a new career;  one that I don't want: WORKING FOR THE

Since I no longer had health insurance from my employer, I signed up for Medicare.
Most of you probably went through that exercise a number of years ago.  I was told how simple it is
to sign up via the Internet...."Just takes 5 minutes," they told me,.

I knew that was too good to be true.

I sat down at my computer....signed on.....and the first question I was asked was, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

I typed in my name...and the website replied,


...and told me to visit my Social Security office on the other side of Alexandria, VA and wait 6 hours to speak to a Medicare specialist in person.

Well, it got worse from there.

But to make a long story short, I finally got signed up and received my Medicare Card and promptly
took it to Kinkos and got it laminated, so it wouldn't get shredded  from taking it out and in of my wallet hundred of times over the coming years.

All was well, until last week...when all of the bills that I had charged on my pretty red, white and blue Medicare card began bouncing back to me..............saying Medicare refused to pay....

I started back through the Government minefield and was eventually told,

"Yes, you signed up.....and we sent you the card....BUT we DIDN'T know you wanted to use it!

You mean, you want us to be your insurance provider!"

Now, they phrased that in their unique bureaucratic lingo, but that was the message.

It's like if you were to buy a new car........and the dealer shows up at your house a week later...and takes it back, saying, "Well, you didn't tell us you wanted to DRIVE it!"

Your Government at work.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Turn

For years now, every two weeks some group in this country is OFFENDED by something or other that we ordinary Americans have been doing as part of our normal lives that suddenly OFFEND them.

One of these days, we're going to snap back and tell these bullies to 'Go to Hell."

But, until then, it appears that we're just going to continue to "roll over."

But meanwhile, let's have a little fun and "take our turn" at being offended.

Read on:

A friend of mine was telling me about the night he thought he was having a heart attack...and his wife called for an ambulance.

By the time the medics arrived, the pain had stopped and he felt totally normal.

He informed the responders of this, but they insisted he be taken to the hospital anyway. They said it was a county rule.

He complained bitterly, because he felt that it was a false alarm.

Long story short, by the time he got back home, two new stents had been planted in his heart.

He probably needed them, but he'll never be convinced of that. He's still angry about it.

But according to him....the hospital added insult to injury when he read the official record of that evening's event; it stated that...."On the evening of...such and such....the ambulance brought in an ELDERLY man suffering chest pains..."

"Imagine that," he told me........(he was 78 at the time) "calling me ELDERLY!"

Yeah. I'm with him!  I don't want anyone calling me ELDERLY...although that's what I am.

I don't want anyone calling me a SENIOR CITIZEN either, unless they're going to give me a discount.

I did a little research on the subject and discovered that a lot of people are undecided about how to refer to us:

Harry Moody, 67, director of academic affairs for AARP, says 

"What’s going on is we have a problem with the subject itself. Everyone wants to live longer, but no one wants to be old.
Personally, I tend to use the term “older people” because it’s the least problematic. Everyone is older than someone else."

Jane Glen Haas, 74, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist:
Don’t call anyone “elderly.” I associate that with people with physical disabilities who need constant care.
“Senior citizens” is a term coined in the late 1930s for people who needed a place to go, senior centers, to have a good lunch. To me, it implies somewhat impoverished older people, not the way people want to think of themselves.
“Aging” — to me that sounds like I’m declining.
I guess “older people” is best. I suppose if you had to call me something, I’d prefer that it be “writer” or “an older writer.”

Judith Graham, writing for Time Magazine says,

"Now the Aging Services of California, has put together a stylebook to guide media professionals through the minefield of politically correct and politically incorrect ways of identifying and portraying the elderly.
Lesson one. “Elderly” is a word the two organizations would prefer we eliminate. In the glossary of the new stylebook, “Media Takes: On Aging,’’ the authors state their case against “elderly” as follows.
Use this word carefully and sparingly. The term is appropriate only in generic phrases that do not refer to specific individuals, such as concern for the elderly, a home for the elderly, etc. In other words, describing a person as elderly is bad form, although the generalized category “elderly” might not be offensive. (Suggested substitutions include “older adult” or simply “man’’ or “woman” with the age inserted, if relevant.)
Also to be avoided are “senior citizen” (we don’t refer to people under age 50 as “junior citizens,” the guide notes) and “golden years” (euphemisms are probably not the best way to go, we learn). “Feisty,” “spry,” “feeble,” “eccentric,” “senile” and “grandmotherly” are also unwelcome terms, patronizing and demeaning, as is calling someone “80 years young.”

The guide is ambivalent on use of the word “home” as a replacement for “skilled nursing facility.” On the one hand, it can be both anachronistic and condescending to harken back to “old folks’ homes,” which is one of the reasons Aging Services of California changed its name from the California Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. But elsewhere the guide notes (see paragraph four above) that “these facilities are indeed people’s homes,” often permanently. Thus, the people who live there should be called “residents” rather than “patients.

 She goes on to mention other words that the guide  says should be avoided are:

 “biddy,” “codger,” “coot,” “crone,” “fogy,” “fossil,” “geezer,” “hag,” “old fart,” “old goat,” “prune,” “senile old fool” and “vegetable.”

Who would have thought.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Critter Nurse

Look,'s time ALL of you stopped being so modest. To quote the great Jewish scholar Rabbi Hillel, "... if not now, when?

I know that a lot is going on in your fascinating lives that your handsome, intelligent, and modest webmaster would love to write about, but first, you have to let him know about it!

Carolyn (Taylor) Powell 


 Take Carolyn (Taylor) Powell for example.  I didn't even know that she had moved from Charlotte, and that was two years ago!  And if I hadn't stumbled across an cute old picture of her holding a possum, and started asking questions...I would never have known of the lifeshe's living down in the Sunshine State!


Here's what she wrote:

" After retiring from nursing I became a licensed rehabilitator of orphaned and injured wild life. I am licensed to rehab baby squirrels, bunnies, opossums, chip monks, flying squirrels,turtles and about any other little critter you find without a Mom needing help. You must have a federal permit to rehab raptors which I do not have. That in itself is a full time job of different skills. In N.C. we could not rehab any rabies vector species ie: bats, coons, foxes etc. but the S.C. girls could.

 We were all members of the same organization called ARC, stands for Animal Rehabilitators of the Carolinas. We had to take classes on rehabbing and attend many workshops and seminars etc. with other rehabbers including Vets, Vet techs,  Zoo people and many more. It was a full time job all volunteer. You got paid in seeing the wee ones get well. The little opossum improved with a good diet just for opossums and became the mascot for a Rehab center many months later. Part of our mission was education of the public to not capture wild life unless they knew it was abandoned or unless it was injured. Most of the time even if a baby squirrel falls from the nest the Mother will retrieve it if given a chance. You would not believe the calls we get all day on our hot line in Charlotte about found little animals or ones hit by cars etc. We take them all. Cats are a serious  problem for wildlife. They kill more baby birds just learning to fly and baby bunnies they take from the nest and I wish people would keep their cats inside at all times. They really are denting our wildlife. We also encourage people not to make pets out of wildlife. They are so cute and loving when babies, but they grow up to be wild and need to be wild. It is a big task to convince people the animal should be wild and free.

I did this full time before having to move here.  Sun City Center is a retirement community and I
am on the golf course. I have a golf cart but it is for riding my dog to the dog park daily. Everybody has a dog, we have a private park divided into two sections, one for the big dogs and one for the little ones. We have everything you could possibly ever want or need, look us up on the web, Sun City Center Florida and take a look. There are several people here from North Carolina as well. (I do not play golf)

While taking care of baby animals,( you might find 15 baby squirrels on heating pads on my kitchen table in little nursery boxes), I also was showing my Bearded Collie Dog, I started showing dogs while in high school and my Mom always said I would make better grades if I studied as hard and long as I spent grooming and showing dogs. I did not make great grades, Bs and Cs were good enough for me, made the honor roll one time and Mrs. Bridges thought it was the other Carolyn W. Taylor's grade and not mine. Once in a while her grades got mixed in mine and I loved that, she made straight As.  She died years back, she was also a nurse and worked at Charlotte Memorial Hospital as it was called then. "

-Carolyn Powell

View from Carolyn's porch

Wow!  Nurturing the spark of life in God's small creatures. It takes a very special person to do that!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

18 Again

George Burns (1896-1996)
George Burns died 18  years ago this month. He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television.

Pretty soon, he will just be someone else that the American public will have never heard of.

Meanwhile, I thought your might enjoy this short video clip  from YOUTUBE:

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old."  -George Burns

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Meet You at Jimmies on Tuesday!

The Daffodil is the official flower of March

The first of March is the astronomical  beginning of Spring.

But in the terms of "weather"we don't call it Spring until the arrival of the Vernal Equinox which occurs around March 21st.

But what the heck, let's call this Tuesday's luncheon at Jimmies in Mint Hill our SPRING LDL! 

 I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.  '

- William Wordsworth 

Jerry Gaudet has the details:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
Please join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, bring someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

The group will help send out Registration information for our upcoming 60th Anniversary Reunion to the entire class.  Be nice to your mail carrier. '

PS...Bring your camera and take some snapshots that your handsome and debonaire webmaster can share with our classmates who couldn't make it to Jimmies!




More than you want to know about the daffodil....compliments of that miracle called the internet:

Some regard the Daffodil as the symbol of regard. This flower is a Narcissus; however, all Narcissi are not Daffodils. The Greek Myth of Narcissus and Echo explain why this flower holds its drooping form. Narcissus was in love with Echo who, in the end did not return his love. He hid in a cave to escape his sorrow. Often, he would come out of the cave to check his reflection in the lake. Out of vanity, he desired a closer look at himself so he leaned in closer at the lake's edge, falling in. After he drowned, a Narcissus bloomed in his place. The flower's drooping head leaning over to stare at its reflection in the lake's water portrayed the vanity of Narcissus.
The Romans brought the Daffodil, also known as the Jonquil, back to Britain because it was thought that the flower's sap would heal wounds. Unfortunately, the sap of the Daffodil did little to heal wounds. In fact, it actually worsened wounds by irritating them further. The sap contained sharp crystals known as calcium oxalate, which protected these flowers against animals from eating them. This calcium oxalate is also the reason why Daffodils do not hold up well in flower arrangements. They cause other flowers in the arrangement to wilt. Although these flowers were not put to use as healing flowers, Daffodil roots proved useful during Greek times of famine. Their roots are edible (although the bulbs are toxic). Signified by a large trumpet nose surrounded by bright yellow, sunshine petals, the Jonquil is said to bring good fortune to those who do not step on them. As an enduring symbol of rebirth, Daffodils are often the first flowers to bloom during Spring.