I’m Just Curious: A huge thank you

by Debbie Walker

This past week I had the experience of spending a few days at the Hotel Inland, on Kennedy Drive, in Waterville. What a wonderful vacation. I was so pampered and it was so appreciated. I kept a guest book on my bed and night stand for those pampering me to sign. I know I missed a few names and I am sorry. You know if we met that I appreciated everyone’s care of me.

I was waited on, hand and foot. I didn’t have to go out for decent food and I had choices of meals. Wow what a treat that was! My room was kept clean and that lady went way out of her way to even fix me a cup of tea. That was so thoughtful of her.

Amanda, Megan and Dr. Collett (orthopedic surgeon) did all the work to book this little vacation for me. They did a wonderful job preparing for my little trip. They had done all this for me last year and it went very well, so I decided to try it again.

Now let’s see, the list of newly-made friends looks something like this: Jennifer E., Janet P. The wonderful Kathy H is a diet aide, very helpful lady. Then there is Tina S. (we have met before!), Jenifer CNA, and there was Pilar who was there to help with the comfort of my vacation. Okay then there is Sarah RN and Rachel RN.

I’m Just Curious: More ideas to share

by Debbie Walker

Before I forget it, I have to tell you that my car was so icy this morning, every window, the mirrors and the windshield, covered with ice. Okay, so I had read about putting rubbing alcohol (91 percent) in a spray bottle and spraying the ice surfaces and you shouldn’t have to use your scraper at all, I didn’t need to. Alcohol worked great. And you can leave it in the car, it won’t freeze!

Oh, and if your home windows frost up, yes it happens, just spray the window and this may also do away with future frost. Just use the alcohol in a spray bottle.

Well, I found what follows when I was going through my notebook of good ideas. If you know these already, maybe it will just serve as a “reminder:”

You can use some buttons as a holder for pierced earrings, wires or posts.

Really handy for traveling.

Shower curtain holders work for hanging scarves.

A&D ointment (in the baby section for shopping) for cracked heels.

You know those little round paper reinforces? Cut some in half. Great for doing your own French manicure. (Used myself, works great!)

Key rings can be used as zipper pulls. You can get different sizes.

If you have trouble with your chains getting knotted at home or traveling, insert one end through a straw and hook it. No knots.

Mess from boots by the door? Get a shallow kitty litter box, possibly a cover from a storage crate, a few rocks to lift the boots to drain. Lost one of a pair of post earrings? Use it as a push pin.

Wicker spruce-up: Mix 3/4 cup of ammonia and one gallon of water, into a spray bottle then spritz. It gets into difficult spots.

Sparkle your diamond – soak in 1/2 cup of ammonia, 1/2 tsp. dish soap and one cup of warm water for 10 minutes then buff up with a cloth.

Smoke smell? Fill three bowls with ammonia and set them around anywhere you can smell it. It will neutralize the smoke.

Store cords in empty toilet paper rolls. Mark tube with info about cord.

Binder clips work to hold clothes on hangers.

On each end of a clothes hanger wrap a rubber band. It helps keep clothes from sliding off.

For whiter fingernails: Use a whitening toothpaste – scrub with tooth brush, let set five minutes and rinse.

Sticking a bag of charcoal in your basement should get rid of a musty smell.

A micro fiber cloth is more effective than a feather duster.

‘Til next week, I Am Just Curious, still. Find me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget, we are online too.

I’m Just Curious: Ticks and bumps

by Debbie Walker

Ever notice how sometimes things are easier when you put them in your own words rather than maybe the appropriate one? You know, bring them down to your terms.

I think I do it out of a healthy disrespect for the real terms, and sometimes because my words are just shorter. I’ve done some of that here.

I made a long put-off trip to the dermatologist to have a little mole thing on my forehead looked at. They told me just by looking at it that it was a basil cell carcinoma, lot of words for cancer. Instantly, that thing reminded me of being in Maine, come in from the woods with a tick on you and all you want to do is get it off you! And anyone else in the room starts checking for any ticks on themselves. Well my immediate reaction was: GET THAT THING OF ME, NOW! This little mole thing was now my “tick” and I wanted it gone, now!

Well, beside the little tick I had a bump on my upper left leg. It has never been discolored; it has never burned, itched, hurt, changed colors, nothing. However, it has started to grow and just a little bit ago it seemed to be forming groupies around it. So, hey, since I’m here I might as well ask him what kind of thing that was. Well you know how it goes, almost like with your car, it could be this or it could be that, usually it is the more expensive one but sometimes you get lucky. So the doc did his little biopsy of both tick and bump.

Tick test came back next day just what they said it was and it was going to have to come off. I’m ready, now. However we (they) were waiting on the bump’s biopsy that it turns out had to be sent away. Oh yeah, I’m a little nervous now, but better safe than sorry.

The “tick” was no big deal; they took that off in a matter of minutes and a few stitches. But it seems that the “bump” was going to send me to a specialist, seems it was a little on the rare side and had a name I think includes all the letters of the alphabet in it. So I was sent off to Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, Florida. Probably means nothing to you guys but in Florida this place is top of the line, all the way!

That little bump that never did anything but grow to about the size of a nickel was going to require an 8-inch by 6-inch cut down to the muscle to get rid of, I had one layer of stitches and one layer of staples. This particular cancer is rare and has a 95 percent success rate. AND, for it to be considered not successful only means it will grow back in the same spot. Now as cancers go I consider myself very lucky.

We all do it; we all put things off, “Ah, that isn’t anything.” I will admit that for while I had an idea what the tick was and even then put it off, lack of money, insurances, time from work, etc. As for the little bump, looked like the most harmless thing in the world and as I said, never gave a sign of it being anything other than a bump on the skin. But if you think about it, what was the bump doing there, I didn’t have one anywhere else?

Please take this seriously. My tick is long gone and my bump was removed December 23, 2008. Yup, I am making fun of them, that healthy disrespect I was talking about but this is serious. If you have ticks or bumps or whatever word you decide to call them, do yourself and your family a huge favor and go now. Don’t wait. If it turns out to be nothing, go celebrate, if it is something, deal with it. You wouldn’t leave a tick on there knowing it was there, would you?

This is one time when I wish my curiosity had won me over sooner!

Thanks for reading and if anything here rings a bell to you: Check it out!

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub line: Ticks and Bumps.

I’m Just Curious: Maybe you can use some of these

by Debbie Walker

I’ve been cruising magazines and websites looking for interesting pieces of information.

So……

Did you know that pencil erasers can come in handy?

Use it as a back for pierced earring (done that!)

Spruce up suede by gently running an eraser over suede to remove minor stains and marks.

Use it to remove sticker gunk. It will get residue off glass and metal surfaces.

We will move onto the use of dryer sheets:

Easily remove glitter nail polish. Dab nail polish remover on dryer sheet and scrub glitter off.

Dust proof electronic screens. The anti-static will cut down on static electricity causing dust to cling to screen.

Love this one…..

Shoes a bit loose? Cut a circular make up sponge and place it between heal and shoe.

Bobby pin:

Stash a bobby pin in your purse. You can use it to hold up a hem that lost its stitching.

Credit cards can be useful even when maxed out!

Use a credit card to remove a splinter. Drag the card over a splinter to lift and then remove the splinter. (I think duct tape might work too.)

Dollar bills are not just for spending.

Use a bill to measure. It is 6.1 inches long!

Penny:

Use a penny to tighten a loose screw.

Dental floss :

It will never be considered high fashion but in a pinch you can use dental floss to tie your sneaker, etc. It’s strong.

Crafters, painters, etc. I love this one! Haliegh and I will use this one! Rinse paint brushes in water? Slip a baggie into a mug and fill with water. No stain in mug, seal bag and throw away.

Streak-free mirrors:

Two cups club soda and one cup of water in a spray bottle. Clean mirror.

Vinegar and baking soda:

Put 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup white vinegar in the toilet, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. It works so you don’t have to.

Lemon juice:

Put a cup of lemon juice in a baggie, put up to shower head, seal it and leave it for 20 minutes. Remove the baggy and turn the shower on, clean and easy.

Alka-Seltzer:

Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets down a slow moving drain, pour one cup distilled vinegar. After 10 minutes pour in one cup of just boiled water. OK, I haven’t tried that one yet, I used baking soda and white vinegar, it worked.

Okay, I read one the other day about a lady who had a dry skin problem, she had a hard time putting on her make-up because her face was flaky. Another lady wrote the answer might be using scotch tape, roll around the hand with the sticky side out and pat her face and off go the flakes.

Well, that reminded me of how badly my legs are flaking with this winter weather! Wrapping tape around my hand enough to do any good would just not happen. So I figured I could use my roller sticky lint remover, run it up and down my legs, done in a jiffy!

So that’s that. Thanks for reading. Contact me with questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I’m just curious how you might add to this.

I’m Just Curious: It’s that time again

by Debbie Walker

Happy New Year! Oh yeah, it is that time again. The time of year when we once again are reminded we are not perfect! The magazines developed for women are going to give us the answers to improve us, yet again!

The magazines I am looking at now do not have very much information geared towards men; in all fairness I don’t remember seeing any magazines for men. I’ll have to pay closer attention next week and really look over the magazine rack.

I have three magazines in front of me now. The covers are always a hoot to read as long as you have the right attitude; the one where you don’t take any of it seriously.

One magazine cover has you “Drop 10 pounds in seven days,” and that is shown just below the picture of “Cranberry mmmm.” Another magazine: “Food Lovers Secret to Suddenly Slim! Hint: You can find it at Dunkin’ Donuts!” (Something slimming at Dunkin’ Donuts, not the first place I would look). There are also several pictures of food, goodies, and calories galore! Then, of course, there is “Forever Young!”, and “Stress Enders!” Stress, why would any woman feel stress?

While yet another magazine we can lose 10 pounds in 48 hours, that magazine cover is promoting champagne cupcakes. On the same cover they tell you a tea that will reduce worrying, placed just above a Happy New Year and a bottle of champagne! Maybe that champagne might reduce the worrying better! And each magazine is full of recipes.

Although I dislike the magazine covers and the message of “you need to improve ….” There is usually some information I find useful.

For the time being none of us are ever going to be perfect, sorry, but true. If I actually got my weight where it “should” be I still have big feet with problems and I’d just have more flopping skin! We don’t all do well with champagne and wine. I think the magazines I have been looking at are sort of like “… in a perfect world….”

Truthfully, I think we look at certain magazines for information we need, such as the ones that give me useful tips. I pick up the magazines, go through them for the ideas I like and then I pass the magazines on to Mom or Patsy. Patsy says she is always curious about what I pulled out before she got it.

Well, we will have to put up with the information we don’t care about to get the info we do care about. As for improving me, I pick and choose.

I’m just curious what you will find useful from my rambling or some of the magazines this month. Let me know. I am at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading and don’t forget, we are online! Bye!

I’m Just Curious: The way we learn

by Debbie Walker

Yes, I have been into my books again. Okay, now give me a chance, quit rolling your eyes. It might be interesting. (I can hope!) Make a cup of coffee or tea and sit for a spell.

This morning I found a book that I hadn’t seen for a while. The title is The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. It has to do with how we all learn in different ways. I wish our schools were able to teach to the individual style needed for each person. How incredible that would be.

The portion I really liked was in the chapter, “How Do We Understand.” The man ‘speaking’ was a police officer who helped investigate auto accidents. One thing he discovered was that three people could be looking at the same scene yet they will see different pieces of the same scene.

One witness gives an accurate description of the cars involved, the year, make, and models (Ken). Another witness could tell nothing about the vehicles yet could give an accurate description of each driver (me, of course, I am going to talk about the emotions involved, too!). The third witness would tell all about the accident and how it appeared to happen (also Ken, but he wouldn’t talk about how it “appeared,” it would be a “fact”).

Okay look at it this way: we are all looking through different windows (our mental view). My window is a mess; I even have “clings” on it. Ken’s windows are crystal clear because he needs to be able to “see” clearly. I can see past the “clings” easily.

Ken would look through my window and be extremely frustrated. Ken is a retired truck driver and mechanic. The mechanic part is amazing. He’d take those motors all apart and put them together again. I might be able to get the thing apart but I believe in trying to put it together again I would have parts left over.

It becomes obvious we would need different styles of teaching to learn the same information. Think about all the frustrations you may have felt in teaching your child, a sibling or a co-worker, or sharing with your partner, does it make more sense to you now? I don’t think many of us are thinking about “the different window theory” when we are feeling frustrated and can’t get a point across or can’t understand something being explained. Try to remember there are different windows.

The person you thought of as “impossible” to teach or the person you want to understand you or… Remember about the windows.

I’m just curious if you will understand ‘the way they learn’ and be able to use the information in this New Year. Contact me with questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Check us out on line. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Christmas memory

by Debbie Walker

I had it all figured out, what I would do for my column this week. In fact it is about half typed and waiting its turn, but it won’t be this week.

I don’t even remember what was said that sent me back in time for a blast of the past, but I’m happy it did.

Great Grammie Smith lived across the road from us in a little bitty trailer, probably 30 feet of snug. I loved that tiny little home.

I absolutely adored that woman. I sat by her poor arthritic feet with her running her crippled hands through my hair. She had the softest touch. I know how lucky I was to have her in my life, in fact until I was 18 and I know how unusual that is.

All of that to tell you about a Christmas we had one year. I had found a teal colored (unusual color for back then) pants suit in the Sears catalog. I was in love and immediately started my campaign for it. I tormented Mom and she finally told me it wasn’t happening that year. Well, look out Gram, here I come.

And I did torment Grammie. Well, I knew Mom didn’t order that suit but there was a chance Gram might. Every day when I went over to Gram’s I’d go wake her up and I would start searching that little trailer until she came out of the bedroom. I would be sitting in her rocking chair that she always used. I hunted every nook and corner and NOTHING!

Christmas came and Dad went over and brought Grammie back to see us kids open our presents. We did, we opened our gifts and of course I was getting worried that my begging had not worked. Well, Dad pulled out a package from under the tree and it was a gift from Grammie to me. I opened it and oh my goodness, my SUIT!! As soon as I realized what it was, Grammie laughed right out loud. She had put one over on me and she was still chuckling when she told me she knew I searched that trailer. She was so proud as she told me I had sat on my wonderful suit for weeks, it was under Grams cushion.

She was never to let me forget my ordeal. She always chuckled when she thought of it.

I’m just curious if any of this reminded you of any of your family’s experiences. I would love to hear the stories. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading and please check out the changes to the website.

I’m Just Curious: Words

by Debbie Walker

This afternoon has been just wonderful with our first and second graders. I’m not exaggerating. When you introduce words to a child (18 of them) and they get excited about what they can do with these words, their teacher and I couldn’t help but get excited. You see we are word lovers as well.

The activity started out as a project to write Christmas cards (yes, I did say Christmas). Their first task was to come up with words they might want to use for their cards.

I pointed out that sometimes when I write, if I have trouble coming up with the subject for a column, I will start thumbing through magazines and books for ideas. So….

I dug out all of our Christmas story books for them to go through on their word hunt. Their teacher took them through a process where they all had a chance to look over the books for “their” words. The process I believe was called a “Book Pass.”

I was pleased to see them with their answer, for each of them to have used all the books, not just the one given to them. We also have special dictionaries for the class. Sometimes in a free time the kids will choose a dictionary to look at. Word, word, words!

I’m Just Curious: “Nana Daffy”

by Debbie Walker

Recently, I referred to myself as “Nana Daffy.” I commented that I would tell that story at another time. TIME is here.

Have you ever been in a conversation about names with a little one?

It goes something like this: “Momma’s name is ….?., Daddy’s name is ….?” It was one of those discussions when I added “Nana’s name is …?”

Tristin reached that age first. When asked “what’s my name?” She answered “Nana Deffy.” I looked at my daughter and we both giggled. I remember quietly telling Deana that I thought I liked Deffy better than Debbie anyway. However, Tristin, it seems, heard us and that little rug rat called me Nana Deffy after that.

Then along comes Blake and when he hit “the” age he had other ideas about my name. I then became Nana Daffy and it has stuck for 23 years!

When my grandkids were in Day Care I would often pick them up. It wasn’t long before every little one there noticed when I came in. Just picture about 30 of these little cookie crunchers charging towards the door yelling, “Nana Daffy!!!”. It was a great way to start or end a day.

Christmas at School

This is my second school year as a foster grandparent. I just love it! I am working with a classroom of first and second graders. Last year we only had two weeks of Christmas. (I only volunteer two days a week) My teacher, Kathy, had me wait until mid-December to get into anything Christmas. Well, that’s not happening this year! I have warned/told her that Christmas starts Dec. 1! That’s the Friday before you get/got The Town Line paper.

I am wearing one of my wild Christmas sweaters, headband of antlers with flickering lights, Christmas jewelry and my story time that morning will be a Christmas story! Humpfree will have lights on his antlers until Christmas is over. And… my craft/art class time will certainly be another bit of annoyance to Kathy because it is bound to be more Christmas!

I have been rather chatty tonight; hope you don’t mind all this information.

Important Studies?

Just when you have pretty much heard about all you want to about wasting of money, along comes a humdinger! The only saving grace for this one is it has been done in another country. But wait – if it is being done in another country, you don’t suppose this country would waste money like that, too, do you?

Dogs sleeping skills are being recorded. It seems they (whoever that country was) are studying sleeping dogs. Isn’t there some kind of saying about “let sleeping dogs lie”? I only remember them saying dogs could learn in their sleep!!! Maybe I’ll try that myself, hopefully I will learn something interesting.

Okay, I know, enough of that stuff! As usual you can find me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I’m just curious if you have nights like this when several things jump you in one day and you just have to have an opinion? I hope I helped you smile.

I’m Just Curious: The story of Humpfree

by Debbie Walker

I apologize, I goofed last week. I thought I had sent in my column. OOOppps, in checking my computer for “last sent to Townline,” a big OOPS, I had not sent one after the “Mother’s Sayings”.

It’s not something I really want to think much about. Today is the day after Thanksgiving and I believe in years past it has been the biggest shopping day of the year. All I really want to say about the whole subject is: CHRISTMAS IS COMING! No, I am NOT ready!

I have to tell you a little story about my pocketbook. His name is Humpfree and he is a Maine moose. Patsy found my moose at our favorite thrift store, the little one in Unity village. In our classroom we have a theme of Maine animals so I was thrilled with what I thought was a stuffed moose. Guess what! The moose was a bag; it was possibly just a kid’s overnight bag. It is now my pocketbook. He is rather large (so am I!), and he is quite noticeable. The kids at school just love Humpfree and so does my niece, Haliegh. Well, you know we have a hunting season here in Maine, we had to protect Humpfree from the hunters. He had to wear some orange, so we put a pair of orange gloves on his antlers! He was safe. I say “was” because today we removed the “orange” and put little LED blue lights on his antlers. The lights are beautiful! So if we wind up in Waterville shopping and you see us be sure to stop us and say “Hi”.

I have to tell you the neatest thing about carrying Humpfree, it’s people’s reaction to him. Some people will smile, some will laugh out loud and others will stop to laugh and chat. Carrying Humpfree has been a wonderful experience.

Coming soon will be a Santa pocketbook and after that I think it will be the pig, for a pocketbook! Santa and the pig both had to be adapted. I told you before that I have just too much fun. Oh, I have to tell you what Mom said. I think she was embarrassed about some of my actions, but then said that her saving grace was she was able to tell people that I work with first and second grade kids (like that makes it ok).

As usual I am just curious what makes you smile. Please, any questions, comments, or thoughts, send to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to check us out online!! Thanks for reading!