Paranoia For Sale

Just be careful . . .

I don’t like being around paranoid people, but recent TV discussions are  honing in on my thoughts and, dang it,  I think it’d be easy to get there.   Paranoid, that is.

Three  separate TV panels have told us what an impact cleanliness has on our health.  Well, that’s old stuff:  wash our hands, as well as vegetables and fruit before we use them because we can’t know who had handled them before they get into our homes.

But, they stressed the hundreds of things we bring home, and as we put it all in their proper places, and handle each one, at the same time we scratch our faces, touch our eyes, nose head, arms, visit the bathroom,  etc. all using our hands.

However, the TV discussion also told us how many other people, coming before us, have done the same unthinking actions, beginning with the field and orchard workers, others putting the products in boxes, onto trucks, into stores, on the shelves or display racks, and then, the number of customers who pick them up to decide if they are what they want to buy, replace them if not wanted, and leave them for another to pick up and handle. 

And then, in Carts where ‘messy’ children, still babies, have been carried, we put our food choices, and it all touches every thing else.  All sides.  Finally we go to the Check-out stand where, piece by piece, it’s handled again by others and finally another person, with their hands, puts into in sacks.

We were firmly told that before ANY food, in whatever form,  reaches our tables, it’s been handled by hundreds of hands.  Shee-e-e-e-sh.

Then they went to our daily newspaper.  I thank whoever does it for me, for it’s always left  within easy reach from my door, but, they told us, we pick it up by the same spot, the open, loose end of the yellow sack,  that the Carriers used, when, in the middle of the night, they hurried  to  fold the papers,  and stuff  them into the sack.  And, if they had a cold or felt ‘lousy’ and  scratched their nose, eyes, coughed or sneezed, who was to know?   We all do these things without even thinking.

I  didn’t like  where their words took me, for  next were all the spots we touch while going in or out of  Public Rest Rooms.  Yes, we wash our hands,  but how are we to know how careful and thoughtful the people before us were as they moved in, out and around??

Once they got me going on this kind of thinking there was no end.   See, they told of the Mail Man,  God bless his soul.  The envelope started by someone who used their own hands, perhaps coughed, sneezed, sniffed, and then it went to people and machines to sort it all, toss it in boxes or whatever, and on and on and on.    Thousands of  ‘close encounters’ come  between the time the envelope left Point One and its final destination.

It scared me, for everything we pick up has a trail of hands, hands, hands from all around the world, and they pointed out how some illness in Timbucktoo can quickly become an epidemic. 

They stressed that it doesn’t matter how clean  it LOOKS, because germs cannot be seen and aren’t  noted on the Label.  Dang it,  TV’s words sent me out  to get me  a can of  germ-killing wipes, and, double-dang,  before two days had passed, (and hating myself with every step), I’d gone over every door handle, light switch, the entire bathroom (well not the walls or ceiling) refrigerator handles,  phones, and vases and any such thing that attracts the hands of both adults and children.

I didn’t like it at all, but the TV advised us to look around at people we meet, and I had to add my name to the list,  and see  if they sneeze, sniffle or whatever, for they, like it or not,  ‘picked it up’ from someone else.

The TV spokesman even advised us, when traveling, to take our own food  in freezers, and, if we need ice to cool our drinks,  to also remember that whisky or rum, etc, kills germs, but to remember, that the Ice Cubes you might order, are made from their local water.

Egad.  Don’t go as far as I did, or you won’t like yourself, either.  I  finally remembered that all that scare stuff is their job.  It’s what they’re paid to do.

I’m going to cross my fingers, wash MY hands,  put myself in GOD’S hands, and turn OFF all TV’s fear programs.  You with me?  We’ve lived this long, and might just as well go on as usual.  Careful but not paranoid.

Diet and Drugs

You can be addicted, and not know it!  In the first place, I’m not a Doctor or even close to being one, but . . .

I just spent a month beginning to control an addiction.  I’m far from the first one to do such a thing, but I betcha I’m one of the few who didn’t even know they were addicted, and what’s more thought all I’d have to do is just stop taking the dang pill and that would be that.

How foolish, but this all began quite a while ago, when we weren’t very aware of side-effects and I wasn’t computer savvy enough to know how much info Google can offer and reveal.  But I sure do now, and today as soon as I’m given a new prescription, I go to my ‘trusted friend’ and find what the  good and bad effects will be.  Maybe I wasn’t listening way back then, but I don’t think I was ever told that Valium, now known as Diazepam, is addictive. Or what ‘addiction’ really means.

And anyway, I was only taking One-Fourth of a pill each day, and that dose is about the size of two pin-heads, so what was the big deal?

Well. I’ll tell you, it is a big deal.  I was having a few problems I didn’t like, thought I was into Depression, and that small pill, plus a caution to ‘watch my diet’ seemed to take care of the matter.  Now, if I’d ‘googled’ it, and found the ‘bad’ side of that Pill, I’d have been not so heedless.

An awfully lot can be learned from the computer, and in that manner, slowly began to sense that maybe my problems were the result of a blood imbalance and its many unwanted side effects.  Well, yes, I’d been told to ‘watch my diet’, but was never told what ‘watching my diet’ meant.

So, I blundered along with what I thought was border-line Depression until one day I told my friend Rita about it and she, who is a 39 year, healthy, survivor of Hyperglycemia (too little insulin), and who has learned an awful lot about blood imbalance, while coping with her own body.  She told me my words sounded as if I had Hypoglycemia, (too much Insulin), and she gave me a few instructions on what to and what not to eat, and see what happened.  Simple things that, if she were right or wrong, could do no harm. 

Now, remember I’m no medical specialist, but with talking to Rita, I found that  Hyperglycemia is the fancy name for Diabetes, and Hypoglycemia is the opposite.  Simply put, the first has too little  Insulin and the other more than enough.

It changed my world, for within two or three days I was a new woman and now, if I’m careless and forget what the good-and-bad foods are for me, my body tells me. 

Again I go back to Google, and if you’re just not feeling ‘up to par’, not much energy, a bit woozy, think you might need new glasses, look up Hypoglycemia and a new world might open up for you, as it did for me. There’s plenty of expert help on too little insulin, but never once was I told about too much insulin until Rita, from her own long-time experience with Diabetes, showed me how a ‘simple’ blood imbalance can cause havoc to the body.

Anyway, anyway, I now keep track of what I do/don’t eat but getting off the Diazepam, even slowly, as I am doing, is not fun, and the first month when I cut my dosage down a bit, I wondered if I would die.  Sound extreme? 

Well, hope you don’t ever have to find out.  It isn’t a pill, such as aspirin, that can be casually tossed into your body, and my doctor of quite a few years ago (who knows where he/she now is) might not have known either.  Oh well, now I just consult either Dr. Rita, Dr. Ethel, or Google. Joke, joke, joke.  But it is no joke for me, so with the help of a licensed doctor, I’m coming to terms with starting to get off my addiction.

Don’t try it.  Or better yet, don’t get addicted in the first place.  I’m about half off and am crossing my fingers about the other half.  Wish me luck.

A Pristine World . . .

Pure fallen snow as a canvas for the artists in my yard

It’s seldom we can look upon a pristine world.  Our grandparents spoke or wrote of an ‘untouched’ field or pasture, but with people,  and cars, where ever we look, that untouched world has become naught but an almost Biblical memory for us.

But, wonder of wonders, in the last two weeks, I’ve wakened to two such days, and have been held a most happy captive to my windows looking out over lawn, hill and fields (now Mick Riley Golf Course) to glory in the untouched view, and wondering who or what would make the first step to break that ‘just finished’ view.  To find out ‘who comes to visit me’  when I’m not looking.

There never was or will be an untouched moment at the  front side of my home, for there are always moving cars, and at the first sign of a snow ‘storm’, the plows begin making their rounds.  And it is good.

My first ‘untouched’ view began one afternoon about ten days ago, and by morning I saw there had already been a visitor. I saw the hoof prints of two deer.  I knew they came to my son Bill’s back yard to find his tomatoes and the tender new tree shoots, for he installed a motion camera and discovered who was raiding the garden.

But this time, with the snow leaving marks of their hooves, I see that they cross the lots and also come to my back door. It surprised me for the only food left there is Cat Food, but who knows what a hungry deer will eat?

Then quickly I saw Raccoon prints, and dang it, they’re welcome, too, just so they keep out of my chimney which  they found and went up and down one year.  There were cat’s pathways, going right to left and crosswise,  but all ended up right at my back door, where food is left at night.

As the days went on, I saw that the smaller animals had found and were using the deer’s pathway, which got larger and deeper, while the others were left unused. Who says animals don’t have, and use, their brains?

Then one day, straight across my lawn, there was a dark line.  So straight it looked either like a shadow of some upper electric wire, or that something had fallen there. But no, it was neither, and then my son, Bill came to see, and found it had been made by quail.  Small, small  ‘claw’ prints right on top of each other, making a pathway as straight as if an architect, had drawn that line, with not a waver in it.

I could only see the Results of a lot of activity in my back yard, and made me want to sit up all night, with all lights off, and watch for the Cause.  The hustle and bustle that goes on ‘right under my nose’, when I’m not looking, and I wish I could tell them how welcome they really are.

And now, today, the 11th, I wakened again to a pristine world and as the day passes, not a single track has been made there.  The road side is as usual, busy, busy, busy, yet so close, so very close, lies my untouched lawn and the Golf Course beyond with not one blemish  on either, to mar the perfection.

Unconsciously I found  myself glancing out the windows over and over, hoping to see who and what would be the first to break the untouched panorama.  It won’t be me, for I wait for Ron Bateman who has kept my pathways clean of snow for many years past to come and do his ‘duty’.

Yesterday, between storms, the sun was warm, the temperature rose, and the snow, that had covered all, was gone before dusk, and with its retreat, hundreds, and I’m not exaggerating, of Starlings came.  In swarms.  First I saw then on the Golf Course, pecking, pecking, pecking.  Then suddenly swooping up in a black cloud, whirling in high circles before again landing to eat, eat, eat.

Then, this time, they came down on the hillside nearer  my home and with a blink of an eye, my entire back lawn was a moving mass of black.  It looked almost like dark, moving water, but it was Starlings, caught up in an orgy of eating, and when I stepped closer to the window, I alarmed them (and myself) as they rose at once, flew off, but I had time to see that they were right up to the outside walls of my basement.  Could there be a bit of warmth  there?

And I wondered, what were they finding to eat? Surely there were no bugs, but I read somewhere, that birds eat the roots that are close to the surface of the lawn.  And with that, I  recalled one year when I had fed Mallards on my back lawn, and found that my lawn was dying.  They were not eating my lawn, but ‘digging’ up the soil and finding, and eating, the soft tender roots which are full of nutrients they need.

It must be the same with the Starlings. Not only my yard, but the Putting Greens of the golf course were black with their constant pecking, and eating. But they were avarice, and I thought that ‘tomorrow’ I’d go out and see  if they left marks of any sort of their orgy.

But today, my world is again  under inches of snow, and I hope they ate well, for it will be a week or two before the snow will be gone and the new tender roots there for them again to gorge upon.

It’s been a wonderful two weeks for anyone who has the time, and open fields to see such wonders.  I do,  and thank The Source often for my bounty.

Remembering When . . .

The Holidays stay with me.  And perhaps in a deeper and different way than when they were occurring, so stay with me, it’s safe.

     What’s happening, is that so many of the year-end TV programs were centered on people who died, moved on to the Next Room, but left a legacy for us, and I found myself doing the same, personally, only I went farther back than just 2012.  So will yours.

     The first to come to mind is LaRee Pehrson, who wrote news from the Magna area for the Green Sheet newspapers, and how I came to know her.  We became friends and I don’t mean just acquaintances, but friends.  In some ways we were as different as daylight and dark, but deep down we were Soul Sisters, learning, traveling, laughing and teaching with each other and I miss her.

     Then there was John Nuslien and some of you might have known John as the Bass player in local nightclub bands.  Good stuff, and while we were on different paths, our goals were the same and many a cafe table was occupied for long hours as we talked, as well as late night hours over the Land Line. They were good times, as always when Friends meet and share. 

     I think of my siblings, Amber, Spencer and Fern, and how Bernice and I, the only ones left of that family, talk, laugh and reminisce over those long ago days that belong to a different life-time.

     And Brad, yes, Brad, my husband.  I know we had our rough times, but then, who doesn’t?  However, the results have been great and as I saw ‘family’ coming and going these past two weeks, I grinned to myself, knowing  how amazed he would be to see how many  name him an ancestor.  He has been gone since 1969, and to them, is nothing but a long-gone name on a genealogical chart, but I’m here, and without Brad, they would not be who they are. Yes, I smile over such things, and Brad, it was good to know you.

     People who are gone?  Who affected my life?   Way high on the list would be ‘Gram’.  No, not my grandmother, but actually my mother-in-law, and as my real mother and I, with our different opinions,  sadly never could bond,  Gram took-me-in and,  called me her daughter.  I was at her death-bed, and we loved each other.

     So, remembering those who changed my life, I must include Pearl Buck the author of so many books that became known world-wide.  No, we never met, but she wrote from a deep mind, and her characters told me much of how to make a good life out of what you chose to live.  Her book “Her Son’s Wife”, opened my eyes to what a woman should know and do, (the man, she stressed, will be of little help) to make it a good marriage.  I can’t be the only one who let her words be a Teacher.

     And then I remember Bob Prince.  He was Shop Foreman at the Green Sheet and I knew we were friends when, at a rather ‘touchy’ office-staff  meeting, our eyes met and I knew we were seeing and hearing the occasion with the same minds.  From then on, we were Friends, and I miss him and his wry humor.

     I think of the lovely Bette Cornwell, who along with her husband Jim, were my Bosses down at 155 East.  I learned a lot from her and,  entirely unplanned, and quite unexpectedly,  we slowly  became friends, and I am happy  that her last sad years with Dementia are over and  I hope she did not know what was happening.

     My sister-in-law Margaret.  I had ‘known’ her all my life, but were only nodding neighbors, for after all, we were of different Teachings.  But later on we both became part of the Bradford family and as I had left the predominant Teaching of our locale, she opened my frozen, latent, hibernating mind to know that God loved me no matter what path I trod in trying to reach Him. Thanks, Margaret.

     And then there’s John Miller.  He died when we were both no more than seven year olds, but he sat near me in the school room and was the first to leave an empty space in my life by way of death, and that event was the beginning, at least consciously, of my  pondering and inner search of  the What? Why? How? and all else of Life. 

     My brother-in-law ‘Jake’, spent a seemingly lonely life, unmarried, no children, but when a sane mind was needed (like the day my six or seven year old son Bill, with his pal Steve were throwing water filled balloons at passing cars, almost caused a wreck, and brought the police.) Jake was there,  calmly, carefully apologizing, promising proper punishment and a good talking-to for the kids, and leaving the driver and police satisfied. Jake was a good one to have around in emergencies.

     And so I send my thanks and love to them all,  where ever they are, ‘knowing’ that in some way, in some place, we will meet and know that the long, strong threads of friendship never die but reach on, and on and on.  TYG.