Sunday, September 24, 2017


DRAMA, Drama ... everywhere – just can’t seem to escape drama whether at international, national or local level.   Several weeks ago I unexpectedly received a phone call one weekend afternoon.   I was advised my next hair appointment would be at a different location even closer to my home.   I had learned on my previous appointment that some long simmering intrigue the beauty shop’s hair dressers had with their colleague who owned the shop was coming to a head.   I knew something was eminent but hadn’t expected that the whole staff, except the owner, would be relocating -- but that’s what was happening I was told.    These ladies have all worked together for decades – mostly just part time now -- and qualify age-wise to be elders.

Allegedly, instead of managing the business to benefit all as had been promised -- when the group had supported their co-hair dresser assuming ownership a couple decades ago from another member now deceased -- she had focused mostly on her own self-interest.  Apparently, failure to effectively manage shop financial obligations, absence of disclosure, lack of truthfulness, secretive maneuvering had resulted in the business collapse with their suddenly being told she was closing the business and they had two weeks to vacate. 
A week later the owner had reportedly engaged in a sudden loud and emotional verbal outburst -- totally unprofessional when some customers were present -- upon discovering the staff was departing a week early for their own best interests.   One customer almost a century old became very upset, so when her next appointment got cancelled because she was in the hospital, speculation was rampant that the explosive incident to which she had been subjected might have been the precipitating cause.   She’s since returned home and continues appointments at the new location.  

Just as I adjusted to the idea all was normal in this new setting, I was apprised this past week that the group sensed some sort of change was in the works at the new place, but they were unable to determine what it was yet.   Never ending drama everywhere.


I can’t help thinking how aspects of this hairdresser’s business drama situation mirror what may be occurring in our nation’s White House.   This is especially ironic that this group whose misplaced trust in the person they chose to manage their business operation may well be further disillusioned if our national leader they avidly support also betrays them.  Guess they'll learn the hard way since, evidently, our leader continues to be more interested in just getting his way -- as with demanding revocation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA – Obamacare) – without consideration for the quality of any replacement healthcare plan. 

The drama of our leader arrogantly ratcheting up the juvenile tit for tat name-calling inciting North Korea’s blustering leader creates a literal world-threatening situation.   I’d like to lock the two of them in a cage together and leave the rest of us out of it. 

Thinking of the circumstances that lead our nation into the Iraq War, and now viewing the current PBS-TV Vietnam War series should give us reason for serious concern.   The latter program in Episode 4 features Sam Wilson, U.S. Army who makes a statement worthy of consideration today by those leading our nation:

   “It’s very very difficult to dispel ignorance if you retain arrogance.”     


Reading about the importance of avoiding falls, especially for older people, that Ronni Bennett wrote about at “Time Goes By” recently, stimulated a number of my thoughts.   She described lots of effective measures and links to help us stay on our feet -- short of gluing them to the floor.     We do have to remember and then use those techniques for them to work which we may be careless about doing.   

I am reminded of an accidental fall I had 20 years ago – was in a cramped bedroom area, reaching up and twisting my body in some contorted way for an item on a shelf above the closet – I leaned slightly …but too far, I quickly realized.   I instantly knew I would be unable to regain my balance and instinctly determined to take a “stage fall”, which I did -- protecting my head and landed mostly on one side.  Coupled with the fact I fell on some objects I did end up for the first time ever with what I later figured must be deep tissue bruising.   Seemed to take weeks for that soreness and stiffness to go away.

I try to remember to use a “stage fall” if I’m going down – learned it in drama class in my young adult theatre “ham” years.   Basically, I just try complete body relaxation, allowing my knees and torso  to gradually fold down as my arms position to protect my head.   Keep in mind I am a lay person on this topic, so I’m not saying do as I do.   

For any oldsters -- with more brittle bones I don’t practice stage falls now as I did when young and certainly don’t recommend others do it either.    I simply try to remember those techniques I mentioned to use if and when I have a real accidental fall. 

I did find this wikiHow to Fall Safely link which does offer some good ideas about how to best try to position our bodies if we do accidentally fall.  You may find some good ideas to consider.   Discuss them with your doctor, a physical therapist if you have one, or other qualified orthopedic professionals. 

Move slowly -- don't turn too fast -- look where you're going -- stay on your feet -- and don't fall!

Sunday, September 17, 2017



Hurricanes have never really been on my radar much, but they have certainly made their presence known in recent years.    My familiarity had been pretty much limited to news reports.

My only and closest hurricane encounter was in the late 1950’s when I had occasion to be in Miami -- staying overnight in a motel near the airport awaiting a next day’s flight to Ecuador.    Early evening I recall leaving my room for dinner at the restaurant, then for nearby clothing store shopping.  When I stepped out of my room, I was confronted with an oppressive wall of humid heat unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.  Thinking this was just more of the dense hot humid weather I associated with Florida, I gave little more thought to the matter. 

Even more of the intense heavy moist air greeting me the next morning gave me reason to be glad we were flying out.   Only on my arrival at my destination did I learn a hurricane had assaulted Miami the day after I left causing me to be glad I wasn’t there.  

Now I see as the most recent Harvey and Irma hurricanes have wrought their damage that we have three more raging in the Atlantic ocean: Maria possibly threatening to follow Irma’s path – Jose, though offshore, is spinning with potential impacts further up the U.S. east coast – Tropical Storm Lee is expected to spin itself out with no land warnings issued presently.

Storm language has its own terminology:  systems over the Atlantic or the eastern Pacific Oceans are named “hurricanes”.    Western North Pacific and Philippines systems are called “typhoons”.  Indian and South Pacific Ocean systems are called “cyclones”.   Strong destructive winds and flooding rains whatever we call them.


Hurricanes in the U.S. are apropos for the chaotic world our leader and his cohort, Mr. Bannon have been dedicated to creating in their efforts for “deconstruction of the administrative state” with “a new political order being formed.”   Continued orchestrated chaos is the order of the day.

Thinking citizens might want to closely examine what that language really means -- not just what some want to believe -- or they may awaken one morning to learn they got more than they expected and not what they wanted at all – but could be too late to preserve the constitutional democratic republic our forefathers created and some of my ancestors fought to establish.   
Is the Washington swamp that was to be cleaned out by this Administration increasingly appearing to have been replaced by a cesspool?


Redheads, or “Gingers” as we’re known in some other countries, have a number of distinct features from those with different hair color.    Recently my attention has had to be focused on my teeth.   A root canal, followed by a crown that came without a kingdom, then my routine cleaning has meant I have had to focus on the condition of those chompers. 

I was reminded of what had periodically crossed my mind much of my adult life.  Toothpaste commercials, dental caps, implants all touted the bright white teeth they offered.   I often wondered why I didn’t seem to have those eye-blinding “pearly white” teeth so highly desired.   I had carefully brushed my teeth as recommended.  

If I ever mentioned the topic to a dentist, I basically was told just that tooth coloring varied for individuals which seemed sufficient and acceptable to me. This time when I thought about it, I spontaneously decided to see what might be said on the Internet which seems to have an answer for everything.  This is what I learned. 

One site states there is a scientific reason for why a redhead’s teeth can have a slightly yellowish cast that’s attributed to “a Dental Hygenist” on Yahoo Answers.  

The scientific reason given is:

“Embryonically, there are 3 germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm.  The tooth enamel (the outermost part) and the skin both derive from the ectoderm.

….redheads usually have a very fair, translucent skin…in general, their skin is thinner than that of people with other hair colors…having been derived from the ectoderm, their tooth enamel is thinner, as well

…the effect you see, due to the thinner enamel, is more of the underlying tooth surface (dentin) showing through the enamel…dentin is normally a yellowish or grayish color. 

 As a result, the redhead’s teeth will appear to be less white, because more dentin is apparent.”

There is a web site for a purported dentist promoting teeth whitening that says hair color has nothing to do with tooth color.  Yellow teeth indicate lack of proper dental care.  Well, I know my teeth have had and still do have appropriate care.

I don’t know if the purported scientific explanation is reliable and authentic or not as I couldn’t locate a credible science link.    I’ll ask my dentist when I see him next year – if I remember.

Sunday, September 10, 2017



Life continues to test our mettle as humans are subjected to nature’s power.  Hurricane Harvey’s victims in the U. S. are busy reassessing their lives in the Gulf States of Texas, Louisiana.  Other affected areas include Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Yucatan Peninsula, Windward Islands. 

South of our border Mexico experienced the most powerful earthquake in a century registering 8.1 off their southern coast with many deaths and much destruction. Another hurricane, Katia, created more damage there but has been downgraded now to a tropical storm once it moved ashore. 
A third hurricane, Jose, remains a potent force, but the hurricane of most concern presently churning ocean waters is Irma with wind speeds in triple digits.  Caribbean islands have been decimated as Irma demolished Barbuda made her way through Cuba, the Florida Keyes, to make landfall on the, U. S. mainland in Florida. 
Hurricane Irma is over 400 miles wide – wider than the state of Florida.  Moving up the Gulf Coast into Tampa Bay -- the Tampa, St. Petersburg area is now expected to take the direct hit -- over 700 miles of coastline that is especially vulnerable to flooding given the low sea level.   Unfortunately, failure to take measures in years earlier to prepare for predicted rising sea levels due to climate change reportedly will be even more challenging after this hurricane.   

Storm surges to 15 feet are possible reaching the roofs of single story homes.   South Floridians have had mandatory evacuations with more than 6 million seeking safety elsewhere.  Many storm shelters are full.    Even as I write this more last minute evacuations are occurring.  Power outages are present.  Tornadoes are reported in southeast Florida.   Irma took an unexpected turn to southwest Florida shores where the storm surges could reach second story level of many beachside occupied homes.

The U. S. Coast Guard is prepared to assist.  The Florida National Guard has been mobilized ready for deployment when appropriate.  FEMA has been marshaled in preparation.   Support personnel have been arriving in Florida for several days from across the United States.   For example, one news report filmed trucks on freeways with First Responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department including a Swift Water Team with their dog for rescue and recovery 
Hurricane Irma is expected to travel the full length of Florida into the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina where preparations for safety continue. 


Our President has been behaving and speaking with the dignity that his office warrants in these days when so many of our nation’s people are experiencing hurricanes devastation in their lives.


Last week with the extremely hot temperatures we were experiencing curtailing my activities, I wrote about some thoughts that crossed my mind regarding feelings and attitudes engendered when I might need to ask for help.  Also, I was reminded recognizing any limitations I might have was important for my own well-being.   

I considered the significance for all of being cooperative and expressing appreciation for assistance provided by others.   I noted a tendency toward grouchiness or being out-of-sorts could sometimes surface if a person didn’t feel well or was experiencing pain, but how, ideally, we minimize subjecting others to such. 

Now that our Southern California weather has sufficiently lowered into double digit figures, actually mild levels for this time of year where I live, I’m prompted to think of another helping aspect.   There are situations where we must provide assistance for the safety or best interests of another that is not wanted, even rejected. 

We might need to re-examine the manner or language we use, then adjust our tone and/or phrasing.   This can make a difference under ordinary circumstances, but anyone caring for a loved one experiencing dementia has or will find doing so to be especially important.  

In times of stress we are especially vulnerable to losing patience with others when calming may be needed but not always easy to provide.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs reports there are 5.2 million seniors there.  I think of them -- hope they're coping as well as possible through these difficult times.   

Sunday, September 03, 2017



Hurricane Harvey wrecking havoc in Gulf Coast lives with parts of U.S. cities under water – tragic deaths -- thousands of people in shelters.  Another part of the world revealing South Asia experiencing monsoon rains causing many deaths due to flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.   Buildings collapsed in Mumbai, India.   Traumatic experiences for so many whose lives have been altered in many ways. 

Disasters began to strike closer to home with wildfires in Southern California erupting in the midst of our record-setting three digit teen figure temperatures as the work week ended.  The heat has been made even more miserable given the humidity we’re experiencing from unusual monsoon moisture to which we’re unaccustomed. These fires are far enough away to pose no danger to my community.  

Toward the Pacific Coast, west of where I live, the largest wildfire ever within Los Angeles city limits, La Tuna, continues to threaten several communities including Burbank.  Fickle winds fan scorching fires racing over San Fernando Valley hillsides burning almost 6000 acres.  A hundred or so So Cal firefighters are in Texas necessitating a call here for more help, reportedly.  

So far only a few So Cal houses have been lost though thousands of residents have had to vacate their homes.  A few have been allowed to return home as I write this – others wait breathlessly watching from afar one large condominium complex as the fire creeps slowly down the hillside toward their development.   Thousands of other homes are without power.  

Now, miles east of here, the Palmer Fire in Riverside County has an out of control fire raging over 3000 acres endangering homes there.   Officials report this firestorm was unintentionally started by individuals playing with fireworks. 
Planes dropping fire-retardant Foscheck -- water-dropping helicopters flying day and night -- aid the firefighters on the ground in containing these wildfires.   Fleeing wild animals including antlered deer are seen as are other creatures running for their lives.   Smoke-filled darkening skies with winds spewing ashes into the air fill our TV news coverage.

Owners are shown corralling frantic horses with young sons riding some out of danger while others are loaded for transporting to safety.   Domestic pets, including dogs, cats, even chickens, are caged and crated to join other personal possessions with which their owners must quickly depart.

Many of these flood and fire residents displaced permanently or temporarily, believed that this would never happen to them.   But, between the water and fire we are reminded that we may not be as immune to human mistakes as well as nature’s environmental catastrophes as we might like to believe. 


Coincidentally, explosions -- a hydrogen bomb -- detected in North Korea has been determined to be the country’s sixth nuclear test.  They say the warhead is for its intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the U.S.   Our Pentagon says we are protected by missile interceptors though some say not 100%. 

I wish I could have more confidence our nation’s leader was capable of making rational decisions on how to best govern under these circumstances for the best interest of U.S. citizens and the world.  I can only hope the judgment of knowledgeable sane heads surrounding him prevails.


This past week has brought us a humdinger of a heat wave with temperatures soaring into three digits.   I keep my appointments though the close humid atmosphere in one new-to-me small compact area business, though air conditioned, caused me to experience what were slight dehydration feelings after I’d been there about an hour, so I sat a bit and drank ice water before I left.  I always carry water in my car, too.

After about three hours of in and out of A/C from my auto in the parking lot to one place or another, I concluded my errands with shopping at my grocery.   By then, my body was telling me to acquiesce to having help with carry-out to my car -- that my energy had become sapped by even those brief times in that 111 degree moist heat.   I was more than pleased to arrive home where I’ve remained indoors since I replenished my supplies. 

Accepting help from others in an appreciative and gracious manner makes the whole experience so much more pleasant for the helper and the recipient.  I think we accept assistance in some situations more readily than in others as I did with carry-out at the grocery store.    I’m reminded that when I worked I observed with adults of all ages, but often with some of those who were older, a reluctance to allow, much less ask for help in other settings and situations. 

I suppose there can be different reasons why this is so – a person wants to “do it myself” which can be desirable, even appropriate.   The person is determined to be independent when they really aren’t able to safely be so, may talk in a grumpy grouchy manner, and be uncooperative.     

Sometimes that person unrealistically believes they are more capable than they are, so may undertake unsafe activities despite cautions, even instructions, to do otherwise.  
One major example might be insisting on walking without using a prescribed walker.  Another could be not waiting for a caregiver’s assistance to aid their getting up from bed or a chair to safely walk to another room.  

Those are simplistic instances of when two people can have an unpleasant experience – the person and the caregiver, often a spouse.  I think when we experience pain and discomfort we may be more prone to be unpleasant, too – reflecting how we feel to others, however unintentional that might be.

I hope I’ll always be able to recognize any of my limitations, accept or ask for assistance when appropriate, and express my appreciation to those who provide me the support I might need. 

Every small positive effort or gesture we make toward deserving others can help create an atmosphere to make life more pleasant -- whatever the world situation that exists around us.