Thank you, thank you!

I’m Just Curious

by Debbie Walker

This column is meant to thank the wonderful medical staff at Inland Hospital, in Waterville. I thank the staff that treated me but I also want the thank you to go to all medical staff that should get an acknowledgement for their services and may not get it. OOooops! I almost made a mistake. Yes, by all means I thank the medical staff but I also thank the food service people, the people who keep the hospitals clean and all the people who work at the hospital and contribute to its running.

I recently became a candidate for bionic woman by getting a new knee. It’s been a long time coming. I smashed my knee into a slippery concrete deck. Big ouch!

So anyway that is all in the past. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every person I came in contact with treated me really well. I knew for a long time that this surgery was coming my way. Knowing all that it was still hard on the nerves, the waiting is the pits. So, all the wonderful people you come in contact with at the hospital at least allows you to relax a little (that and the happy juice they give you).

I do have a list of some names: Tina, Yvette, Nichole, Amanda, Erika, another Amanda (I think, drugs ya know!!), Tina, Mandi, Alicia, Katina, Jen, Rachel, Tina, I think, was in there for three tours of duty! If I missed any of my nurses’ names or a tour of duty I am sooo sorry.

Another personality at the hospital, physical therapist, had a voice that came through loud and clear as she walked through the door! Oh yeah, if you have ever had Amy (Unity office and Inland) you know the voice I am talking about. She was there to lead me through my first physical therapy session with my new body part! Truthfully, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, she’s a doll.

Okay, I do enjoy writing but I think tonight I have about run out. I know that’s hard for those who know me to believe this but it’s true for tonight. So give your best thoughts to those who care for us when we are not at our best, Thank you for reading. Contact me at

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 off 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, 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. Probably means nothing to you guys but 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 eight-inch by six-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 awhile 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 over sooner!

Thanks for reading and if anything here rings a bell to you: CHECK IT OUT!

Contact me at sub line: Ticks and Bumps

(Note: I try to get this printed once a year because I believe it is important.)

I’m Just Curious: Teachers

by Debbie Walker

Some of you know that I have been volunteering in a first grade class of a bunch of mini humans who have no front teeth and will chew unbelievable things. The latest one was chewing on their own shoelace!

I think we all knew babies go through a teething stage. But, did you know kids have a second teething stage? Yes they do; first graders or more specific 5, 6 and 7 year olds. It seems like they all lost their front teeth at the same time.

They each come tromping into the classroom in the morning and upon seeing their teacher and me they break into these big toothless smiles. You just can’t beat the feeling, theirs or ours. Who couldn’t go on with the day after that experience?

I had a couple of reasons for writing a column for teachers. One thing I want to bring to bring out is what teachers of the younger ones go through in a day. Like I said, I can only talk about the little ones.

If you have had or have a child you know they can’t be trusted very long on their own and 16 of them really can’t be left alone.

The teachers are with these children for 7.5 hours a day. There are no coffee breaks or shopping on an hour long lunch. There are not even any potty breaks for teachers. A couple days a week the kids may go off for a half hour to a computer lab, gym or music. Those times can be filled with preparing for the rest of the day or maybe even a teachers meeting.

There is no way I can show you the pace of the days. The job doesn’t stop when they go home. Most nights teachers can count on having some form of school work to do. Weekends and those “wonderful vacations! Too funny. Go to the school and see who is vacationing. Oh, and some of the teachers will take a vacation with some other “fill in” employment.

One thing I would like is for anyone who thinks the teachers have it so easy please spend some time in your child’s or grandchild’s.

Oh yeah, one other thing is Maine has a Foster Grandparent Program. “Foster Grandparents share their experience and wisdom for at least 15 hours a week in public and non-public settings; schools, day care and Head Start Centers with children who need a little extra love and attention.” There are some direct benefits; some compensation for time and effort.

Any compensation you might receive will not affect your Social Security, MaineCare or any other helpful benefits. And you can do so much good with the students and be such a help to the teacher. If you are interested contact Maria Staples at Penquis 207-973-3611 or I believe this is a great program.

I am running out of my allotted words so I will finish this one. I’m just curious what you think about teacher’s jobs. Contact me at Thanks for reading.


I’m Just Curious: One memory leads to another

by Debbie Walker

One of my favorite magazines, Good Old Days, arrived today. This issue is full of “Friends for Life” and other old memories. So I did some of my own walking down memory lane.

I believe I am very lucky. My friend for life is Mim. Our parents witnessed each other’s weddings. Mim and I were both born in 1953. We played together as toddlers, went to elementary school together. We actually followed in our mother’s footsteps; we witnessed each other’s weddings. We have one of those friendships that you might not see each other for a year or two, but once together you’d never know we didn’t see each other every day. We both know we are there in the wings, if needed.

“Friends for Life” can also be friends you meet at different times of your life, and you just fit in each other’s lives. I have to add a little note here: It is fun when you all know each other. You can’t beat that kind of support system!

Well, one memory leads to another, even if they are not related! Somehow this walk down memory lane brought up a memory of Dad. That poor man spoiled me and he worked hard for doing so! We had a dug well for household uses but got our drinking water from the woman “up the road.” I have a picture showing Dad and I on a water run (definitely walking!). It shows me in the stroller, Dad pushing stroller with one hand and carrying a bucket of drinking water in the other hand. Because his spoiled daughter had to go he made two trips instead of one. The funny part is I doubt they ever expected people in our area one day would be buying water!

OK, I am going down another memory lane with Great Grammie Smith, Dad’s grandmother, oh how I loved that woman! I could have spent forever sitting on the floor at her feet with her telling me of days gone by while running her poor rheumatoid arthritic fingers through my hair. One story Grammie liked telling me was about the day I was born. Gram said Mom went into labor and being her first child she was a bit afraid. Gram told mom she was to bring home a blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl. She’d accept nothing but! Mom brought me home and gave me to Grammie, just what she asked for. History repeated itself because when my child was born I was able to take her to the nursing home and give Gram another blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl. I always thought there was a bond between Deana and Gram because of that visit.

Sometime I will tell you about a program I used to do called “Journaling for the Generations.” It was just fun passing on all different ideas to encourage people to document some of their moments thru time!!

I’m just curious what memories this brought to your mind!! Contact Debbie at Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Did you know?

by Debbie Walker

I know I am not the only person who has never read a Farmer’s Almanac. I was talking with my friend Donna; she said she never had either. We did not know what we were missing. Did you know?

Did you know that every month has certain days better for function than others? Examples: Baking days are only the 1, 7, 8, 27 and 28 of February. So if someone in the family has a birthday February 10 you will need to bake that cake on the 8th unless you want it to sink in the middle or something.

I am messing up because I have an appointment for a haircut on February 4. Ooops, not the right date. According to the almanac I should have picked 2, 3, 7, 8 or 20th. Oh well, I don’t think there are any superstitions tied to any of this.

Picking apples and pears on February 10 and 18 -20 something is certainly off with that one. The cover says “Solutions for Living a More Natural Lifestyle.” How does picking apples in February fit into a natural lifestyle? Beats me!!

If you were planning on buying a house in February and you didn’t do it on February 2 you are out of luck. Even so that is better than January, there were NO days.

This magazine also says good days to get married in February 2017 are the 2nd, 3rd, 7th to 9th, 25 or 26th. If that was the same in 1970 it would have not been good. I got married on February 7, and I wound up divorced!

In the Health and Beauty column I was a little surprised to see dates to “Start a Diet to Lose Weight,” there were eight days. There were also dates to “Start a Diet to Gain Weight!” There are only three days, February 7, 8 and 26. That one has certainly never been my problem but I imagine it is as, or more, difficult as losing pounds.

There are so many more tidbits of information like on August 21, 2017, we will all be looking at the sky. There is going to be a total eclipse of the sun. This one we should be able to see in our own yard.

There are some Almanac Throwbacks from their 1877 Farmer’s Almanac. One such is “What a Western Woman Did in a Day.” Her day started at 4:30 a.m. You know it doesn’t get better. Just the work she did after dinner would have worn out most of us these days. They were tough women.

There are rules for making wives and husbands happy in this almanac I have. I certainly hope you don’t mind all this babble but I felt like I needed to pass all this info along. I’m Just Curious, “Did you know?”

I am Debbie Walker and you can contact me at . Sub line: Did You Know? Thanks for sharing your time!