Monday, March 29, 2010

The Saga Continues

Yesterday I returned from my second root canal on the same tooth. It turns out that the need for a specialist was due to calcium build up in the canal. Now why doesn't that happen in my bones? Like calcium build up on a leaky faucet, age has done its dirty work on me.

Woe is me! I am not through yet. I have to go back next week for the third procedure in the same tooth. The dentist cleaned out two canals but there is one more to go. After that I have to return to my regular dentist for a permanent filling. I am so sick of soup !!!

A friend sent me a link to the following poem. I do hope I am not infringing on copyrighted material because I could not find an e-mail for Pam Ayres to ask her for permission to print this copy. If you don't hear from me for a week, puhleeze come bail me out of the hoosegow.



by Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth,
And spotted the perils beneath,
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.

I wish I'd been that much more willin'
When I had more tooth there than fillin'
To pass up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers
And to buy something else with me shillin'.

When I think of the lollies I licked,
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My Mother, she told me no end,
"If you got a tooth, you got a friend"
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin'
And pokin' and fussin'
Didn't seem worth the time... I could bite!

If I'd known I was paving the way,
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fiIlin's
Injections and drillin's
I'd have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lay in the old dentist's chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine,
In these molars of mine,
"Two amalgum," he'll say, "for in there."

How I laughed at my Mother's false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath,
But now comes the reckonin'
It's me they are beckonin'
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.


If you would like to read more of Pam Ayres comic poetry please click on the link. She also has books for sale on Amazon.

Pam, if you see this please send me permission and don't prosecute me.

As if my dental problems weren't enough to deal with, insult was added to injury last week. I have had an appointment for my annual physical for months. I arranged for a ride to and from the appointment and was so ready to get it all over with. We walked into the doctor's office and there was no one in the waiting room. Red flags went up; something was wrong. You guessed it; the doctor was not in. My physician must not be good at healing himself because he was home sick.

A new girl behind the safety glass said they tried to reach me to tell me that I didn't need to come in. I told her I found that to be odd because I was home all morning. The most charitable thing I can say is that she didn't try very hard. The most uncharitable action I can take is complaining to my doctor. You can bet he is going to hear about it.

Well, we all have our bad days and if I can't rant about politics I need to rant about something. Now that it's out of my system, I feel better. I hope I haven't made you feel worse in the process.

I used to have a quick temper and after I blew up I was fine. I never could understand why everyone else was angry afterwards. ;-) One day my husband, who used to kid me out of my childish displays, was in no mood to tolerate my temper. He fired back, much to my surprise. I decided then and there that I needed to grow up and control my emotions better. I'm still trying.

To be continued:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Sweet Award and Spring

Joy, who writes the wonderful blog,
The Joy of Six , gave me this award. I am so honored by getting an award from Joy because she is the sweetest person. She writes about her wonderful family and often has funny jokes or photos to share. Even when Joy writes about sad times, her natural optimism shines through.

Joy's blog is always inspiring. Thank you so much for the award, Joy.

The simple rules that come with this award are:

  1. When you receive this award, you must thank the person that awarded you in a new post.

  1. Name 10 things that make you happy.

  1. Pass this award on to 10 other bloggers who make you happy.

So many things make me happy so I will just brainstorm and put some of them down as they come to mind.

  • Being alive.
  • Having good health for a woman my age.
  • Modern devices to aid me; a cochlear implant to help me hear and a steel hip to help me walk.
  • Watching a good movie.
  • Writing and reading blogs.
  • Curling up with a good book on a rainy day.
  • Going out to lunch with a friend.
  • Having a comfortable home that is paid for.
  • My family.
  • Holding a baby.
  • Visiting my daughter and granddaughters.
  • My good friends; both in person and in cyberspace.
Okay, that's twelve. I got carried away. So sue me.


As Joy said, here's the hard part. Choosing ten people to pass this award on to. I will have a difficult time with that because I want to send it to all of my blog friends. But here are the ones I have selected.

Evelyn of Cop Car's Beat

Suranga of Gappa

Rain of Rainy Day Thoughts

Mary Ellen of Xtreme English

Sylvia of Sylvia From Over the Hill

Beverly of Beverly, Use Your Words

Anne of 20th Century Woman

Kay of Kay's Thinking Cap

Betty of A Piece of My Mind

Millie of My Mom's Blog

Some of those I selected may not want to participate and that's okay. Just know that I enjoy your blogs and think they are worthy of being noticed.


The following photos are of the first sign of Spring in my yard. The vine is on the wall of my kitchen patio. These white flowers appear in the Spring but disappear when the weather turns hot. They don't come back until the next Spring. I don't have a clue as to what they are. Can anyone help me with this?
What am I?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Danger Ahead

Before I rant on the danger our country faces I will give you an update on my dental woes. I can't imagine why this would be of interest to anyone except my family, but I will furnish a quick report to all of those kind friends who sent good wishes. I did have a root canal and, after nearly two hours of working on me, my dentist told me it was not successful due to the shrunken canal. This, he informed me, was due to my advanced years. ( I'm old, is what I am.) Because he was unable to remove the infected tissue I will be seeing a specialist Monday who may do the whole procedure over. The good news is that my dentist did not charge me for his services. He is an angel.

Now on to my rant.

The crazies have been unleashed by the overblown rhetoric of the 'right'. Tucson was among the cities that had a brick thrown through the door of the headquarters of our Senator, Gabrielle Giffords, because she voted 'aye' for the health care reform bill.

The gun nuts are planning a gathering in D. C. next month and have been told to carry loaded pistols and unarmed rifles. Get that? LOADED pistols. The NRA must be so proud. The Militia are a scary bunch of neanderthals and, because they are cowards, they need to have weapons to feel important. All those loaded guns in the hands of the loonies in one place is a disaster waiting to happen.

If this dangerous situation is not defused we are in for a very horrifying and violent time in our country. Who needs foreign enemies when we have our own homegrown ones? The main target of these nut cases is, of course, the President. I hope the Secret Service does a better job of protecting him than they did with JFK and Bobby. I think he should stop going to public rallies until this insane time blows over. Maybe he should have a Pope Mobile to encase him when he is in public.

I just watched the movie Bobby and it was painful to relive that period in our history. I remember the grief when Bobby Kennedy was shot and when the Kent State students were killed. All the other horrors that occurred when the dogs of hate were released are fresh in my memory.

The lies and vicious name calling released the dogs of hate again when we elected a black president, The racism has bubbled up and has been building ever since. Words have consequences.

Sarah Palin was bad enough with her dishonest claim of death panels, but now she has shamefully exceeded herself by putting out a map with the cross hairs of a gun posted in states where the Democrats are up for re-election. If this isn't an invitation to some nut to shoot a Democrat I don't know what is.

The dishonorable taunt "You lie" yelled at the president during the State of the Union speech by South Carolina's, Joe Wilson, followed by the disreputable name 'Baby Killer' hurled at Bart Stupak by Texas Congressman, Randy Neugebaur in the Halls of Congress are all invitations to the insane that it's open season on Democrats and that civility is an anachronism.

After Wilson and Neugebaur disgraced themselves with an extreme lack of decorum, they compounded their crime by posting it on their web sites as a money raising ploy. To the shame of their followers, it is working.

Freedom of Speech allows me to write this rant, but it does not allow me to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. Nor should it allow politicians to make cheap political points that are incendiary.

Of course, we mustn't forget Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh (Is he still here? I thought he was moving to Costa Rica if the health care reform bill passed.) They are directly responsible for the hate filled words that have incited their listeners to hate and anger.

I just heard on TV that Democrat Congressmen and women are getting death threats. Are you proud of yourselves, you stupid people who swallowed whole all the garbage spewed by Michelle Bachmann, Srah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh? And in a lesser way by the Representatives in Congress.

It is very disturbing to me that the Republican party isn't denouncing the dangerous activities of the Tea Party thugs. For awhile it was funny looking at their misspelled signs. Now the yells and signs are no longer funny; they are dangerous. To date the Repubs. have put politics ahead of averting a tragedy.

It's getting very ugly and very very frightening.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Historic Moment

Whoo Hoo !!!! Yes we did !!! This vote was for you, Ted.

Health Care Reform just became a probability instead of the faint possibility of a few weeks ago. I never want to read that President Obama lacks leadership again.

Nancy Pelosi is as disliked by the 'right' as Dick Cheney is by the 'left'. The reason? Because she can deliver and much credit for tonight's historic vote has to go to her.

I will write more on this later, but for now I am going to celebrate all by myself and then hit the hay (also by myself) so I will be rested for my root canal tomorrow.


The morning after

This morning I received the following in my e-mail. I am sure many of you also got this form letter, but I am going to share it with those of you who did not. It is a copy of President Obama's speech after the vote.

Dear Darlene --

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Pain in the Jaw

I think I have gotten all the mileage I can out of St. Paddy's day. It occurred to me that it is time for a new post.

I have ideas that I want to explore on my blog, but right now I am not up to the task.
For over a week I have been suffering with an infection. The whole side of my head aches and thinking has not been an option.

After two trips to the dentist I was given the choice between a root canal or an extraction. I probably made a foolish decision when I decided on the root canal because that tooth is more filling than enamel. I suppose it will have to depart my jaw eventually, but if I can avoid that procedure for another year or two I may not even have to have it done. ;-(

Monday I will have, what I hope to be, my last dental visit and will get this over with. I have another tooth that should have a root canal and a crown, but the expense of the crown is daunting. i may, or may not, have that done next.

In between dental appointments I had an out-of-town visitor this week. She was a former neighbor when I lived in my previous house with a pool (as Hyacinth Bucket would say, although I did not have room for a pony. Ha! You do watch Keeping Up Appearances don't you?).

My former neighbor is a beautiful young woman with the most incredibly gorgeous changeable eyes that anyone would envy. (Well, maybe not Elizabeth Taylor). Although she and her family moved to Long Island, her oldest daughter is now in her last year of residency at the U of A. She is/will be a doctor and I am so impressed with her tenacity and ability. I have known her since she was a small girl and always knew that she was destined for great things. She was a brilliant child and now as an adult she is fulfilling her potential.

Whenever my friend comes to Tucson to see her daughter she always takes time to visit me and get caught up. She took me to lunch and I enjoyed eating something beside the soup and puddings that have been my staples for nearly two weeks.

For most of you a busy week is normal; for me it's a rarity. I have a luncheon date today with my friend who takes me shopping every week. I guess you could call this week one of ups and downs. Today is an 'up' day and I had better post this and go get ready.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day


In the event that you didn't know it, Barack Obama is Irish. Don't believe me? Click on the link and you will see for yourself. Sorry, but this You Tube video cannot be embedded.

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

If you're feeling Irish, hoist that Guiness and sit back and watch the River Dance.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blogging Brings Rewards

Nana Royer

I never dreamed when I started this blog that I would make such wonderful new friends. I encourage any elder who might be lonely or bored to start their own blog. The blessings are many and surprising.

One day I opened my e-mail to find a letter from the lovely lady in the photo above telling me that she would be in Tucson and wondering if she could visit me. I, of course, was delighted. Nana lives in Florida and has a son and a step-son living in Tucson. While visiting them she took the time Friday to come spend some time with me. I enjoyed meeting her and chatting over coffee.

Nana had many interesting things to impart and she graciously let me ramble on. It's always wonderful to find someone who is so easy to talk to; someone who is an excellent conversationalist and a good listener. Nana is both and it made for a very enjoyable morning.

Nana does not write a blog, but she has a web site and her last entry about planting trees in Cuba is fascinating. I'm sure she won't mind if I post the link.

This is the second time I met someone in person through my blog. Some of you may recall that Rain and her husband came to see me twice. I also got a telephone call from a fellow blogger, Ugich Konitari, when she was in the U. S. She lives in India. I missed a telephone call from another blogger who was in Tucson for a very short time. A personal contact is quite exciting.

In addition to meeting friends in person, I have made some wonderful friends via e-mail. I can't begin to stress how this has enriched my solitary life. One dear friend sent me a wonderful bottle of wine from a winery in Napa. How lucky can one person get? I will not name her unless she gives me her permission because I don't want to get her in trouble with other bloggers who might be jealous. She knows who she is and I thank her.

When I broke my hip I got a call from Ronni Bennett (as well as a beautiful fruit and flower arrangement) and cards from many blogging friends. Nothing did more to lift my spirits that hearing from all of those wonderful friends.

I am so grateful to all of you who visit my blog and for your comments. I just want you to know how much it means to me. This post will be my heartfelt thanks to you all. It will also serve as a welcome to any of you who find your way to my city. Please know that the welcome mat is always out and the coffee pot is always on.
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Myths on Health Care Reform

Paul Krugman has an editorial in this mornings New York Times that exposes the myths being told about reform. The Republicans have no conscience and are so intent on keeping Obama from having a victory that they will lie and distort the facts about reform. I have said it before and will keep on saying it with my last breath. We must have health care reform. Now please read excerpts from Krugman's Op-ed piece.


Reform still has to run a gantlet of misinformation and outright lies. So let me address three big myths about the proposed reform, myths that are believed by many people who consider themselves well-informed, but who have actually fallen for deceptive spin.

The first of these myths, which has been all over the airwaves lately, is the claim that President Obama is proposing a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy, the share of G.D.P. currently spent on health.

Well, if having the government regulate and subsidize health insurance is a “takeover,” that takeover happened long ago. Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs already pay for almost half of American health care, while private insurance pays for barely more than a third (the rest is mostly out-of-pocket expenses). And the great bulk of that private insurance is provided via employee plans, which are both subsidized with tax exemptions and tightly regulated.

The only part of health care in which there isn’t already a lot of federal intervention is the market in which individuals who can’t get employment-based coverage buy their own insurance. And that market, in case you hadn’t noticed, is a disaster — no coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions, coverage dropped when you get sick, and huge premium increases in the middle of an economic crisis. It’s this sector, plus the plight of Americans with no insurance at all, that reform aims to fix. What’s wrong with that?

The second myth is that the proposed reform does nothing to control costs. To support this claim, critics point to reports by the Medicare actuary, who predicts that total national health spending would be slightly higher in 2019 with reform than without it.

Even if this prediction were correct, it points to a pretty good bargain. The actuary’s assessment of the Senate bill, for example, finds that it would raise total health care spending by less than 1 percent, while extending coverage to 34 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured. That’s a large expansion in coverage at an essentially trivial cost.

And it gets better as we go further into the future: the Congressional Budget Office has just concluded, in a new report, that the arithmetic of reform will look better in its second decade than it did in its first.

Furthermore, there’s good reason to believe that all such estimates are too pessimistic. There are many cost-saving efforts in the proposed reform, but nobody knows how well any one of these efforts will work. And as a result, official estimates don’t give the plan much credit for any of them. What the actuary and the budget office do is a bit like looking at an oil company’s prospecting efforts, concluding that any individual test hole it drills will probably come up dry, and predicting as a consequence that the company won’t find any oil at all — when the odds are, in fact, that some of the test holes will pan out, and produce big payoffs. Realistically, health reform is likely to do much better at controlling costs than any of the official projections suggest.

Which brings me to the third myth: that health reform is fiscally irresponsible. How can people say this given Congressional Budget Office predictions — which, as I’ve already argued, are probably too pessimistic — that reform would actually reduce the deficit? Critics argue that we should ignore what’s actually in the legislation; when cost control actually starts to bite on Medicare, they insist, Congress will back down.

But this isn’t an argument against Obamacare, it’s a declaration that we can’t control Medicare costs no matter what. And it also flies in the face of history: contrary to legend, past efforts to limit Medicare spending have in fact “stuck,” rather than being withdrawn in the face of political pressure.

So what’s the reality of the proposed reform? Compared with the Platonic ideal of reform, Obamacare comes up short. If the votes were there, I would much prefer to see Medicare for all.

For a real piece of passable legislation, however, it looks very good. It wouldn’t transform our health care system; in fact, Americans whose jobs come with health coverage would see little effect. But it would make a huge difference to the less fortunate among us, even as it would do more to control costs than anything we’ve done before.

This is a reasonable, responsible plan. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Click on the link to see a protest for health care reform.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Writing Your Representatives

I am always recommending that you write your representatives. It is very important that they hear from you now during this final push for passage of the health care reform bill.

No, this bill isn't what most of us want, but it has enough good things in it to make it worthwhile. It can be the first step in reform and sometimes we have to crawl before we can walk.

Here is a video on how to make your letter stand out, so before you write your representative please watch it. I hope you will then be motivated to write your rep. one last time. (Or more, if you are a passionate about this issue as I am.)

We should stress that this should be enacted speedily so the president can get on to the vital issue of creating jobs.

If any of you are looking for a job, and are low income, you might check with your local employment office to see if your area is beginning to put together the new job assistance program that Obama has initiated. I understand that the government will pay the employer part of the wages of every new person he/she hires. Apparently, they will match the applicant and the employer.

My daughter, who has been hunting for a job for over two years, told me about it. She was quite excited and has hopes that she will find work through this program. The minute she heard about it she rushed right down with an application and a resume. It is just getting underway in her county.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Crunch Time for Health Care Reform

Today I had planned on writing what I hoped would be my last post on the health care reform bill. Instead I am going to link to the great blog "Birds On A Wire" because Paula, who writes this blog, said everything I had intended to say; and she says it more eloquently. I will just make a few additional comments to her post.

The Republicans are furiously trying to stop this bill by any means available to them. They demagogue the bill with lies and distortions and are very successful in spreading their misinformation. People don't like the bill now because the party of NO has convinced them that it will increase the deficit astronomically, is too big and complicated, the government will be taking over your health care, and it has death panels. All of which are blatant lies. Oh yes, don't forget abortion. The Republicans have also misstated the claim that the government will pay for abortions if this bill is enacted. No matter how many times it is refuted many people only hear the negative drum beat.

In spite of polls showing that the Republicans have succeeded in getting people to turn away from supporting the bill, when those same people are asked if they support the things in the bill (like insuring everyone, reducing costs, providing preventative health care, and reigning in the insurance companies) they are overwhelmingly for it.

I don't know how much good it will do, but it can't hurt to start putting the pressure on your representatives to vote for the bill. This is especially important if your representative is a Blue Dog Democrat. So keep on making those telephone calls and writing those letters to them. It's crunch time.

Now please click on the link and get the facts on this piece of legislation.

A caveat: The bill is large and complicated, but if you read the bill you find that the number of pages are due to the legal explanations ad infinitum. And the complicated issues can be reduced to nine pages.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Busy and Weary

Please bear with me for awhile. I have had many things to do and will continue to be busy for a few days.

I had another computer crash and had to do a reinstall again. For those of you who have endured this frustrating experience you are aware that this means reinstalling all of your programs. It is time consuming and maddening. I have lost track of the number of times this has happened to me. I am grateful that I recently bought the laptop as it had enabled me to keep up with e-mail, but blogging has suffered.

Other things have interfered also, including my not feeling up to par. The need to do many things and not being chipper at the same time
is not the best combination.

I will try to get back to a normal routine as soon as possible. Your patience will be appreciated. Meanwhile, shutterbugs, be very careful what your picture will look like before pressing the shutter. Click to enlarge to see the funny results of poor composition.