Watching Repeats Still Bring Tears

Tis the season to be jolly… or at least those are the words of a popular Christmas carol. It’s also the season of TV repeats before the Winter “premieres” fire up hollywood’s continued series. One of my favorite shows is 60 Minutes on CBS and has been since it’s inception in 1968, some 50 years ago. The creators seem to have a remarkable ability to constantly touch a nerve with its audience. Whether you’re a news watcher or an ostrich with his head in the sand the world continues on, needing someone to champion just causes and expose corrupt wrongdoers. That’s what 60 Minutes is all about.

This week, between Christmas and New Year’s day, 60 Minutes pulled out a couple of rerun stories they’d aired as far back as 2014. They continue to touch my heart as stories of Make A Wish Foundation reminded us that we have a lot to be grateful for in our lives. We don’t know how good we have it until we witness those helpless individuals that are simply struggling to survive until their next birthday.

I have personally known families dealing with childhood illnesses that claim their young victims after years of fighting for their lives. The emotional toll can be heart rending when the battle is finally lost. Regular readers of my blog know who I’m writing about and continue giving their love and support to the affected families. Still, seeing this episode again on 60 minutes brings back the same tears I shed years ago when it first aired. The need still remains, cures still need to be found.

Other repeat stories on today’s 60 Minutes episode dealt with the residents of rural Virginia in the heart of Appalachia.  I’ve known folks from this poor area of America personally and been there in their homes. They’ve fallen through the government cracks with regard to universal medical coverage or Obama Care. They can’t afford the premiums and they have no money for life saving treatment or medications. Some are dying from lung cancers brought on by work in coal mines. Others have treatable illnesses like hypertension or diabetes but can’t afford the insulin or high blood pressure medications to improve their health. I can personally relate to their plight as I had no health care for two years after losing my job with Intel Corp. until I was deemed poor enough to qualify for my Veterans health benefits under a hardship case. Our politicians took those benefits away from Veterans in 2005 with the stroke of a pen. Few Americans are even aware of that. I am.

Now I’m blessed to get complete medical care and all prescription medications at no cost to me. Different government programs have picked up the costs and provided the care. The one glaring exception is zero dental care.

Think what you will about the news media and shows like 60 Minutes but know that they are our watchdogs righting wrongs and exposing illegal activity in the government and private sectors. Long live 60 Minutes!


When Will It End

Ok, I’m ready for Spring already. This long stretch of super cold has me catching cabin fever. It’s 10 this morning, warmer than the past 7 days but tonight we’re headed for -5. That’s a 15 degree drop from an already cold start to my morning. It hurts to breathe when you’re outside in such frigid temperatures. Our high today will only make it to 12 so don’t expect our dusting of snow from yesterday to be melting anytime soon. I’m still considering whether I want to get dressed and head out to breakfast and then continue on to church this morning. I’m starting to wake up this morning to the odds of doing all that along with stopping at my grocery store after church is getting by the minute.

I’m really up early this morning, 4:10 a.m.. I’m thinking about crawling back in under the covers for another 90 minutes before heading out for breakfast in Whitinsville at Jube’s Restaurant. My normal breakfast of two over easy with a toasted English muffin & bacon awaits me. I gave up the home fried potatoes that are so good as part of my attempt to lose weight and carbs. My waistline is shrinking but my blood sugar is at 162 this morning, about 40 points higher than what I’d like to see to start my day. I’ve already taken two different shots of insulin along with a fistfull of pill medication. My dietician mut me back on a reduced dosage of long last Metformin two days ago so we’ll just have to give it time to take effect before the numbers head down. Life as a type 2 diabetic can be a bitch.

The New England Patriots play the Jets today to finish off the regular season. They’ve won their division again but with this win would clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Jets play in a cold environment so no advantage to playing in the freezer today. Both teams will be very cold. Maybe the heat will be turned on at the Patriot benches. Tee Hee!


New Year’s Resolution

I’m back on the dietary wagon again. I’ve got to get my A1C blood sugar levels under control again. 10.5 is NOT acceptable anymore. No more goodie tray treats at the Senior Center. No more visits to Jumbo Donuts or Dunkin Donuts. I’m again checking my blood sugar twice a day, taking my medications and eating a proper diabetic diet. Exercise will need to wait as we’re locked in a wintery deep freeze right now and my feet won’t allow for long or even short walks.

I’m working with a new pharmacy dietician to get everything under control again. I’d gotten so far off track that she threw away my outdated test strips from 2015 yesterday. I can only imagine what was going through her mind when she saw that date. 🙂 DOOM!!!

So, with a concerted effort on my part maybe I can reverse the damage I’ve imparted on myself these past 2-3 years. I take full responsibility and will take the direction of my medical staff to make the necessary changes. More to follow….

Holy Cow It’s Cold

The report from Uxbridge is cold, cold, and more cold! It’s 3 degrees outside right now heading for -1 before this night is over. It’s been well below freezing for weeks now, setting record low high temperatures as we go forward through this frigid entrance into Winter.

I had my car’s heater blower fan replaced yesterday as it would shut itself off if I hit a pothole or manhole cover. Trust me when I tell you it’s like a minefield on Massachusetts roads. The back roads in little towns like Uxbridge are is very poor condition. The excuse I hear is the brutal Winters tear them up. I don’t buy that reasoning because the major two lane roads and interstates don’t have that issue and are way more travelled. It’s all about money. In one of the most heavily taxed states in the United States infrastructure is always put last. Anyway, that blower motor was $210 and $60 for labor. I caught a break there as they only charged me 1/2 hour labor. Removal and replacement of the one piece assembly requires no tools and only takes about one minute to take the old one out and put the new one back. No tools are necessary.

Goodness that fan is important in the scheme of things. No fan, no heater, or defroster, or air conditioner in the Summer. It’s a crucial component that I didn’t hesitate to replace. Next it will be my battery as I’ve still got the original one in my 2009 Smart-For-Two-Pure model. It has 39,000 miles on the car and that original battery. At least now I have a good local repair shop I can trust.

Today I get to check out that battery and heater fan as I have an appointment at my VA Clinic in Worcester, MA at 11:00. A diabetic dietician gets to try and help me straighten out my eating habits to bring down my 10.5 A1C lab results. In case you’re not familiar with blood sugar numbers my good doctor is looking for results closer to 6.5 instead of 10.5. This will be a one hour drive round trip on continuous open highway so that battery I mentioned will at least get a full charge once again. This cold way isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Bundling up to the max for the trip today. I’ve even donned my old insulated ski gloves from my motorcycle days. Stay warm everyone! 🙂


Share Your World – December 25

Share Your World – December 25, 2017

What caring thing are you going to do for yourself today?

I’m going to try to find a decent mechanic to repair my SmartCar. After telling a mechanic exactly what the problem was he spent 2 minutes verifying what I had told him before telling me I had to bring the car back to do more troubleshooting. He charged me $60 for tgat 2 minutes of work. 😦

List at least five of your favorite spices? (excluding salt and pepper)

Sage,basil, curry, cinnamon, thyme

What can you always be found with?

An opinion!

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

I was inspired by the power of determination. It took me two years to free myself of a neighbor who insisted on smoking up my apartment. I went through the complex manager, the housing authority director, a state senator and the department of health before the guilty party was finally evicted for breaking her lease laws repeatedly. Justice did prevail. Don’t mess with Bob!


The Missing Guest Formation

Just like the Air Forces “missing man formation” the picture sent to me of my best friend enjoying his Christmas meal with his parents reminds me how much I miss the three of them. I would have been between my best friend, Warren and his father, Richard in that picture. Still, I must remember that I was blessed this holiday to be with a huge family of friends and relatives at the dinner table here in Massachusetts. For that invitation and kindness I am eternally grateful. I was made to feel very welcome in that home as we prayed for the grace of God’s presence and generosity in providing all that we had. It was a good holiday whether it was three joining hands or twenty.

Missing Guest Formation

A Quiet Christmas

This was a most unusual holiday for me this year. I enjoyed a Christmas dinner at the home of one of my church’s families. They are from Brazil and had an additional dozen friends and relatives over for the same celebration. Everyone was speaking Portuguese except me of course. My Portuguese is a tad bit rusty. Still, I enjoyed myself and did manage a few interesting conversations with those who spoke some English. A senior lady was sweet and simply pointed to things. 🙂

I managed to chat with my brother in Illinois as he surprised me with a text message wishing me a Merry Christmas. I recognized the 618 area code and called him back for a good 45 minute chat. I was really surprised by his thoughts of me during the holidays. We’re both retired seniors at this juncture of our lives so we compared stories of our kids, grandkids and great great grandkids. Time flies as we tend to lose touch for long periods of time. It was good to chat and laugh with Ed.

I spent an hour cleaning fresh snow off my car and two others. I moved my clean car out for ten minutes giving the plow a chance to clean my spot in the order of things. We’re headed for the deep freeze the next couple of days reaching 7 by Thursday morning.We had our first Christmas snow in many years, about 2″ in my case.

My best friend, Warren, surprised me with a generous Amazon gift card which I spent in 10 minutes flat. I always seem to have a wish list to choose from. Supplies like Splenda sweetener, cleaning cartridges for my Braun electric razor or laser printer paper made it off my wish list. It’s all good and so appreciated.

Now on with this week’s chores. There’s a car repair scheduled for Tuesday morning getting ready for a VA medical appointment Dec 29, just a few days from now. That should set me up for a clean slate before the new year. It’s been a good year.

Answered Prayer

I did everything I knew what to do. I spent two years fighting for the right to breathe in my own apartment to no avail. I scheduled a one on one meeting with the housing director to discuss the chain smoker living next door to me to no avail. Finally the board overseeing my government housing community voted to include a ban on any smoking on our housing community’s grounds was passed and included in all our lease renewals. The deadline was August 1st, 2017. Still, the 92 year old lady living next to me insisted on smoking, choking me out night after night.

I wrote a formal complaint with the housing authority telling them I could smell the cigarette smoke through my bathroom medicine cabinet. It fell on deaf ears. I contacted Senator Fatman from Massachusetts. His office replied that they would look into it. After a meeting between the senator’s representative and my housing authority’s director nothing changed. The senator’s representative contacted me concerning the response from my director. I refuted the excuses given by him. The representative contacted the board of health and was supposed to contact me. No call was forthcoming.

Finally today, while cleaning a sheet of ice off my SmartCar, the daughter of that 92 year old neighbor confronted me in the parking lot. She wanted to know if I had lodged a written, formal complaint with the housing authority. I said that I had. She claims her mother will now be evicted from her home of 10 years or more. She claims I should be ashamed of myself for putting her old mother out on the street.

Funny, I thought I had the right to breathe, to live in a smoke free environment. Her mother broke the new lease and continued to do so after a warning and a written complaint. Someone, probably that daughter, continued supplying that 92 year old senior, with a steady supply of cigarettes.

I don’t regret my actions. There were 3 smokers in our 4 unit building. Only the 92 year old failed to comply. If I make an exception for one they will all demand the right to smoke. It’s not about the age, ours is a senior housing community. It’s about the dangers of 2nd hand smoke to someone with congestive heart disease, me. I don’t know what finally forced the hand of the housing authority but I’m gratefully looking forward to breathing again.

Amendment – I woke up this morning for the first time in two years to a smoke free apartment. It almost shocked me as it was so blatantly obvious. I didn’t have to hold my breath as I took my middle of the night pee. 🙂 Life is good this Christmas Eve. They’ve predicted a White Christmas for Boston this year, a rare occurrence. I’m going out to dinner tonight but should make it home safely before the snow starts to fall. Merry Christmas to all!

Senior Center Christmas Party

Yesterday we celebrated another Senior Center Christmas luncheon & party. We maxed out the place with 53 diners yacking as they had a great meal and gift exchange. Everyone received a Christmas card with a lottery ticket in it. Mine managed to win me $10 so I wound up ahead for the day. Lunch is $3.

We had a lady singer with a beautiful voice singing Christmas carols with us as well as a visit from Santa Claus getting his picture taken with anyone who wanted a selfie.

Door prizes were awarded to a few lucky winners as this year’s party wound down yet again. Our Ham meal was very good as usual. Everyone departed with a smile on their face.

Site Crashed – Recovered

I had a hacker compromise my WordPress site yesterday and with technical help from WordPress I’m back up and running. I’ve got a brand new password which is “UpYou Nose007$” so I’m now secure.

No, I didn’t just handout my new password but I had you wondering didn’t I? I hate when hackers mess with our lives. May they burn in a particularly hot part of hell.