Sunday, May 30, 2021



Memorial Day commemorates those whose lives were taken in defense of each of us and the United States.  I especially remember those who fought in WWII though few of that generation are still living -- the veterans themselves, other contemporaries.  I have written posts devoted specifically to honoring all those serving our country you may access in this blog's archives numerous years on this date.


Others have commented here missing the "Time Goes By" community and reading Ronni Bennett's writing at her blog due to her death last year.  I was reminded last month we often celebrated her April 7th birthday with her.  I think we all knew what skills, experience and perspective with humor she brought to her blog were unique to her, not to be easily imitated or reproduced by another.  She expended considerable time and energy into promoting the goals she had for TGB's focus on aging and providing encouragement to elderbloggers.  

Like most who were influenced by or followed RB's blog we have looked forward to the blog continuing with a new writer.  We were delighted to read a close friend Ronni had encouraged decided to become TGB's blogger to be known as Autumn as she last told us in December  2020.

Since Autumn's December pronouncement TGB readers have awaited the next communique.  Some readers, including myself, wanted to support keeping the TGB community together.  We, independent of one another, tried to follow Ronni's dictum to "talk among yourselves" as she had encouraged on those few occasions in the past when she had little to write.  So, we generally referenced some topics about which she had previously written offering our new fresh commentary and encouraging others to add their thoughts, to select other of her blog post topics to comment on, or even introduce some new topics.  This was all done, hopefully to maintain interest, and TGB community followers until that unknown time when Autumn has been expected to begin writing there.

Whatever the plans for TGB they remain unknown.  In the past months comments have been closed on all of the TGB topics so keeping the blog active for reader community dialogue is obviously not part of the plan for the blog presently.  Or perhaps someone stopped the comments because too much moderating was needed for an increasing number of unacceptable comments, those seeking free advertising, trolls polluting the content.  Coincidentally, just before comments were closed, I had decided to discontinue commenting there further any way, on what I had come to see as a dormant TGB for new posts.

I don't presume to know what Ronni's thoughts were, but based on what I knew of her desire for her blog, I think she would be disappointed her blog has not been actively continued in some fashion with at least an occasional brief status update since that last December pronouncement. Possibly Autumn continues to be involved with resolving issues associated with RB's death, formulating her plans for TGB, securing her own continued anonymity if that is her preference, and many other explanations.   Everything is pure speculation so TGB followers apparently must be patient a while longer for the promised blog continuation.

I've looked forward to learning what the philosophy of TGB would be, the guidelines for posts and comments to be followed, if TGB will continue to be non-commercial as well as the blog's content focus.  I've looked forward to seeing if the blog will still be of interest to me as one of the older bloggers there.  RB was close to being a contemporary of mine though slightly younger, plus we had other shared interests.

Will matters pertaining to older bloggers be addressed as well as the focus wisely being primarily on Boomers and younger generations?  I realize as someone whose life as a child was during WWII that those of us still living are increasingly few in number, but I've appreciated encountering others like myself at TGB as well as reading of other generations experiences and point of view.  I don't know what sort of connection I may feel with another blogger or bloggers and the direction TGB may take if, in fact, TGB continues.  Unfortunately, many of the aging issues RB addressed continue to exist in our culture impacting all ages ultimately, so there are still many matters needing discussion for how to resolve.

Incidentally, quite by accident some months ago I came across an exchange of comments on another blog that has since become dormant, too.  That blogger expressed congratulations to her commenter for having decided to continue as TGB's blogger.   My clicking on that commenter's icon surprisingly to me linked to TGB though she was commenting from a different blog.  When queried about her relationship to TGB she responded such a link was an accident.  I did research that commenter's name who will remain unnamed in respect of her privacy.  I did not contact her and have no further information to share on this matter.

I don't know if or when TGB will resume with Autumn or someone else or others writing, or what is the intent for the blog's future focus and content. I'm as curious as you may be.  The December 2020 post Autumn wrote says she will be continuing with TGB, so only time will tell when a fresh post will be published, if ever.  Surely, if Autumn has since changed her mind, deciding to not assume blogging at TGB she or someone would say so.  Meanwhile, "Time Goes By".


Sunday, May 23, 2021


Another lesson learned ..... did I or didn't I take that daily antihistamine pill due in the regimen I started one recent weekend when the pollens worsened my reactions -- sneezing, sinus drainage, eyes watering, nasal stuffiness when I try to sleep, to name a few unpleasantries.  I recall noting directions said to allow 24 hours before taking the next pill as I was holding the pill bottle.

Suddenly, the phone had rung from a number I had, coincidentally, been thinking of calling myself, not some obvious unwelcome sales promotion.   S'pose that was ESP as I've experienced quite a few times before with phone calls through the years.  But, I digress -- that's quite another topic.  That catch-up phone conversation with my friend ended after a reasonable time with all pertinent topics covered, questions answered.   

A couple hours later, I happened to think -- "Did I take that antihistamine pill?"  I remembered holding the pill bottle, but did I take that pill just before answering that phone call?  I'm not sure, but I don't think so.  So I took a pill.   Then, I started to have second thoughts.  "What if I took a pill before?"  I reviewed the directions and read again what I remembered -- definite instructions "do not take another pill for 24 hours"!

Oh, my gosh!  What if I had taken a pill earlier and this one only 3 hours later -- is that an overdose -- and what could happen -- what should I do?  Obviously, this called for an Internet search which brought up -- "Call poison control!"

Referring to a more specific product link, I read the side effects I could experience -- "nausea, dizziness" and more unwelcome symptoms, plus "call your Doctor if you experience these".  Also, the description said if no complications I would just have to ride along with them 'til they were out of my system.  So, I settled back, to await my fate.

Fortunately, many hours passed without my having any of those side effects indicating I had not taken two pills as I had been concerned I might have done.  I've never had this kind of pill quandary previously and I don't want it again.  Another time, maybe I should make a little note on my calendar when I take that pill. 

I wonder if others ever find themselves in a dilemma over whether or not they took a pill they wouldn't want to overdose on? 

Sunday, May 16, 2021


All the senseless deadly discriminatory violence that is occurring across our country has reminded me of historical accounts revealing the many different groups singled out for rejection at one time or another.   

Discriminatory stories prevail about the Native American Indians, Chinese, Irish, Italians, Hawaiians, Japanese, Negroes/African-Americans/Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican, various religious groups, and many others.   Discrimination occurs from some on the basis of how others speech sounds, or other differences considered to be outside the so-called prevailing range of what they consider "normal", or acceptable, though we're all human beings.

Could it ever happen here?  For example, could discrimination occur based on even hair color?  Could redheads ever be discriminated against as a group?  Surely not!

But ... given so many of our fellow country-persons continuing to believe our former President's lies, his new ones, including conspiracy theories, the most despicable discriminatory words and behaviors with individuals being physically attacked have been more openly expressed.  There are those who believe that it's okay to treat some people as "less than," because they are different  from them in some respect -- by skin color, other physical body differences.

Perhaps redheads and some other groups, including religious, political, social, to which some of us belong shouldn't be so confident we'll never be discriminated against.  As for redheads, it's not as though those with red hair have never experienced discrimination before.  

A recent prime example of discrimination is a woman in India with natural red hair I recently discovered when researching whether or not there were no redheads in India as a Google search statement reported.  I thought, considering India was under the rule of Great Britain for so many years with many English persons and some other nationalities living there that possibly there might have been some genes mixing.

During my process of verifying the facts, I found this story written in 2017 with photos of a lovely young woman and her parents where you can see this, apparently, rare redhead in India.  She was thought to be diseased, her parents shunned because she looked different.  Perhaps there are other redheads in India hidden away for self-protection who simply have not been discovered.

Redheads have been revered by some and reviled by others through the ages.  Given the current obsession and susceptibility some people have for believing conspiracy theories perhaps we redheads should be concerned we could be placed on the list in the future to join those being discriminated against in our own U.S. country. 

For what, could others discriminate against you?   Those who discriminate against others should be aware that all groups of people are at risk of being discriminated against if some others decide, for whatever their reasons, to single them out for rejection because of their looks, beliefs, behaviors, or simply for political reasons as happens in some countries.

We see journalists as one group that are systematically under discriminatory attack by some nations leaders trying to exert excessive message control -- as did our previous President in his discriminatory press treatment.  Think also of Saudi Arabia's Jamal Khashoggi's assassination.  Other leaders stifle similar dissidents by imprisoning them as in China, Russia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Turkey, to name a few current ones, by censoring their nation's press.

Some physical appearance differences occur that are unnatural.   I had occasion to be in Quito, Ecuador in the 1950's for a visit with family.  All of us had natural red hair and drew much attention with many stares, especially from native Indians we happened to encounter when we walked about the downtown area.

The surrounding region was inhabited by Indigenous Tsachila (means "true people") also known as Colorados which means "the red-colored ones" whose men traditionally dyed their hair red with sap from the achiote tree as in this Science Source link to a photo of a boy and one also on that site of an adult man.  So, some cultures have found red hair, even if artificially colored, to not only be desirable but to signify honored exceptionality.  

Redheads reportedly are thought by some amid current senseless conspiracy theories to be the result of aliens breeding with humans, citing supporting evidence involving red-headed kings and queens as farfetched as this may seem to most of us.

Then, there is also the belief some have had that redheads become vampires when we die.  Long ago ashes of redheaded males burned alive are reported to have been used to fertilize fields.  Redheads were believed to have no souls.  All this and more with photos appear in brief accounts of 11 historical myths about redheads by clicking on this link.

Redheaded women were thought to be witches, have volatile tempers.  A recent blurb featured by Wisewebwoman on her blog:  "The Other Side of Sixty" gave me pause, seeming apropos here:  

"Who knows why we were taught to fear the witches, And not those who burned them alive?"

On the other hand, redheads have been said to bring good luck.  When all is said and done, I don't think we have any special powers simply because of the color of our hair.  

Red hair (or ginger hair) is present in people all over the world though we're considered to be only less than 1-2% of the population.  Scotland and Ireland have the most frequency of redheads. 

A number of years ago redheads were reported to be becoming extinct but this study was subsequently refuted when Proctor and Gamble was disclosed to have sponsored the research in relation to selling their hair dying products as noted in a Smithsonian article, "Requiem for the Redhead" available with a direct search using this title.

A Geneticist reports redheaded people and even those with blue eyes will decrease significantly in number to become more rare, but will not completely cease to exist though there may be some disagreement among geneticists on that matter.

Whatever our future holds I hope discriminatory words and actions cease.  How everyone talks everyday with loved ones, friends, and others -- beginning in the home with children, our grandchildren, nieces and nephews, strongly contributes to eliminating discrimination.  Communication demands civility, courtesy and respect to all -- those we know and those we don't.  There is no place for physical assaults.

Language, words and actions matter!  

Sunday, May 09, 2021


Best wishes to mothers the world over with this repeat post, some current editing, I wrote here years ago.

My mother enjoyed language, words, and the double-play of meanings.  Prominent in my mother's time was Dorothy Parker who was quite adept with word humor as a later quote will attest.  Ms. Parker is described in Wikipedia as "an American poet, writer, critic and satirist based in New York; she was best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles".

Phrases, Sayings, Idioms, and Ageing

Lying in bed one recent night thoughts of the world's financial precariousness caused me to wonder why so many corporate, financial and government leaders fail to accept and implement problem solving solutions provided them in ways to benefit their country's population multitudes and not primarily just the 1-2% obscenely wealthy as in the U.S.

Somehow, I evolved into thinking about how we receive information for ourselves or that we provide others and yet do not often apply what is in their as well as our own best self-interest in a balanced approach benefiting all.

I thought of my mother's youth occurring during horse and buggy days, the changes and necessary adaptations wrought in her world.  Autos, planes were invented.  Women's right to vote the year she became age 21 and cast her first ballot were some of the highlights in her time.

What else came to my mind was typical of what I've often experienced since my mother's death years ago.  The older I become, the more I think of her with increasing understanding, identification with some of her aging experiences.  One of her favored sayings will pop into my mind as did this one:

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." 

My curiosity led me to this information from  Interestingly, that Old English Homilie was recorded as early as 1175, the oldest English proverb that is still in regular use today.

"The proverb 'lead a horse to water' has been in continuous use since the 12th century.  John Heywood listed it in the influential glossary A Dialogue Conteinying the Nombr in Effect of all the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue:

'A man male well bring a horse to the water, But he can not make him drinke without he will.'

It also appeared in literature over the centuries in a variety of forms.  For example, in the play Narcissus, which was published in 1602, of unknown authorship, subtitled as A Twelfe Night merriment, played by youths of the parish at the College of Saint John the Baptist in Oxford:

Your parents have done what they coode, 

They can but bringe horse to the water brinke,

But horse may choose whether that horse will drinke.

It wasn't until the 20th century that 'lead a horse to water...' got a substantial rewrite, when Dorothy Parker reworked it from its proverbial form into the epigram 'you can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.'

I don't mean to offend the sensibilities of any reading this, but Parker has been considered to be quite a wit.

Noticing English wording and spelling in days of yore, I wonder how our language as we speak and write will evolve, perhaps looking antiquated to those encountering our current communications in future generations.

Aging observations Dorothy Parker is quoted as saying a few years before her death in an interview with Gloria Steinem with which my mother, I'm sure, and now I can agree.

"You know, the odd thing about being old is that you see something--something especially good or rotten or funny, and you think, 'Oh, I must show this to so-and-so, it's just his [or her] sort of thing.'  " She smiled, and walked slowly to the door.  "And what's odd--is there are so many gaps in the circle now--that so-and-so is gone."


Sunday, May 02, 2021


Have you noticed that household breakdowns, appliance malfunctions, even personal health problems for some unknown reason usually occur at the end of a week or on a weekend, challenging obtaining the service or care needed, or does that just happen to me?  What I recently experienced was no exception to this unwritten rule.

Perhaps I should forewarn you this topic focuses on bathroom issues in case any have sensitivities on such matters and want to skip reading further.  I figure there's little we can't talk about here though I suppose there still are some unpleasant, even taboo subjects.  

I encountered a serious household complication late one Thursday night, with a sudden stopped-up toilet.   I felt pretty lucky that the timing for service went well, even better than I expected, with no complications when the service people called first thing Friday in response to the recorded message I had left for them the night before.   The office person said the plumber was scheduled to come a couple hours later that morning.  Wonder of wonders the plumber called later that he was able to come an hour or so earlier than originally scheduled, " arrive in about twenty minutes, if that was convenient."   Convenient?  I was thrilled!

While awaiting repair service and during the time that service is being provided, I've found the logistics of timing when needing to use the bathroom can sometimes be tricky with that facility out of commission.  I don't recall this was ever a matter of as much concern when I was younger, or before this cursed pandemic, since going out somewhere to use other's facilities isn't as easy for me now -- and where to go?  Even that matter resolved without my having to leave the house.

The repairman arrived, ran his grinding rooter cable through the sewer line, discovered he had to further assess the problem which revealed a re-seal on some connections below the floor to the present commode would be needed.   Considering that cost, I determined I would be wiser to invest in a new environmentally sensitive low flow water commode, plus I could obtain that tall one I had long wanted that kept me from having to sit so low down.  Maybe I should have instead had that re-seal done, and purchased an elevated seat for the commode I had.  Too late now.   

Am I the only ageing person who finds standing up from a sitting position not as easy to do as it once was?  I was pleased with the prospect of getting this tall commode even more so when the service man checking his office learned he could pick up the unit and install for me that same day.  Could this be more perfect?

So, off he went for about an hour to pick up the new tall commode, leaving me with my now temporarily functioning old commode since he had previously cleaned out the line.  Even my body cooperated, and I was able to use the old commode as needed just before he returned.  An hour after his return I had my new tall functioning commode, one environmentally efficient with low flow water usage.

Fast forward to late Sunday night.  After multiple flushings since installation the preceding Friday, there was suddenly now trouble.  I had flushed the commode but did a double-take when the bowl didn't empty.  Fortunately, the strong force of minimal water that flows during flushing was limited so the bowl didn't fill up to overflow -- the bowl had just unacceptably not emptied.  I was afraid to flush it a second time lest the bowl fill up further with more water, then overflow.  I had to recognize that should an overflow occur I would be more than hard-pressed to try to clean the floor as I have always before been capable of doing, plus I have no one coming in to help me if needed.

A call from my plumber's office the next morning in response to the message I left the night before told me a serviceman would be available a few hours later.  Once he arrived his quick use of his hand-held device made my new commode operational within minutes.  He explained that California's new environmental water conservation commode requirements have resulted in less and less water being used for flushing purposes.  New housing constructions sewage lines and bathroom installations were designed to be more compatible, but all of us with older homes and sewage lines could have difficulties, he noted.  Wonderful!  Just what I needed to hear.

My other tall commode in the master bathroom hooked up to the same sewer system has been flushing just fine.  That unit met environmental conservation requirements in effect when it was installed, but during the ensuing years the commode water flushing amount has been reduced even more the repair man said.  Commode manufacturers keep having to redesign their product accordingly.

The serviceman explained in the future I might try flushing in the midst of using the commode for some functions, and then again when I finished.   So, this is the procedure I have adopted -- only I am concerned that flushing only once in the midst of use can sometimes not be enough.  I sometimes also flush one additional time after my final flush just to be sure the lines are as cleared as they can be.  I don't want to have to keep calling a plumber, though there was no charge for this last service.  Note: minimal amounts of toilet paper have always been used so that's not an issue.

I might add here that some time ago an ancient person I know (that means older than me), told me that in order to avoid having to call plumbers for her commode, an expense she couldn't afford, she had placed a box by her commode and a sign telling everyone to deposit all toilet paper in the box -- "Do not flush TP in commode".   At the time, I must confess to thinking to myself this must be an eccentricity and surely the odds of her frequently needing a plumber were slim.  It never occurred to me at the time as it does now, to ask if she had a new environmentally conservative low flow commode, but now I wonder if maybe she does.  The next time we talk, I'll ask her.

I do have to wonder with extra flushing needed, when before it was usually just once, are we ultimately going to be using the same amount of water as before, or maybe even more?   I'm trying to be as environmentally sensitive by preserving resources as much as possible, but some adjustments such as this leave me wondering how well-researched they all are.   Maybe we need to install old-fashioned outhouses in our backyards.

I wonder when I have guests who need to use my bathroom, if I may need to educate them about how to use my commode?  I must formulate the dialogue:   "Hi, welcome to my home!  By the way, if you need to use my bathroom, depending on what you have to do, we need to discuss the procedure you'll need to follow."

I don't want to wait until they've been here a while, then suddenly ask, "May I use your bathroom?"  They may not be able to wait for my instructions.  Or, maybe I need to post a sign for them to read.  I haven't yet composed the wording -- maybe something with humor?  I'm not real keen on the box for TP idea for several reasons.  Besides, there are landfill issues for trash, presenting more environmental issues.

Has anyone else encountered low flow water issues with commodes or other devices?

Oh, well!  This is the world in which we live today.  I'm sure I'll figure something out as I observe my water usage in the months ahead.

I should add, some consider California "the canary in the coal mine" predictive of what more U.S. areas and some in the rest of the world experience in water availability and conservation needs.  We've been told here in SoCal we're in a drought now with lakes and reservoirs way below normal though we're not at the severe level yet.    Reportedly, we have an ample amount of water for this year, but next year will be considerably less then, after that, what to expect?   Water rationing may well be in our not-too-distant future.  The last recorded drought here we're told lasted three decades, but now a major back up source, the Colorado River may no longer have as much water for our use  as once was available.