FOR YOUR HEALTH: How To Never Miss A Day Of Your Medication

(NAPSI) — Most people can’t go a day without a cup of coffee or checking their e-mail. But with the demands of everyday life it’s not surprising that about 50 percent of patients sometimes fail to take their daily medications as prescribed.

According to a new survey by WebMD, over the past six months one-third of respondents either sometimes or most of the time missed taking their medication as prescribed even though 76 percent know it can cause their condition to worsen or symptoms to return.

When asked why they’d missed a dose, 66 percent of survey respondents said that they forgot, 38 percent said they experienced side effects, and 26 percent weren’t able to get to the pharmacy to refill their prescription on time.

“Not following a prescription correctly can seriously impact your health,” said Jamal Downer, a Walgreens pharmacist. “Your local pharmacist is an expert who can help you understand your medications and provide tips on how to use tools like smartphone apps that make it easier and more convenient to stay on track.”

Steps to help you take your medications include services online, through apps and in store:

  • Getting help whenever you need it: A pharmacist is an integral part of your support team, and now they are available anytime via phone. Walgreens Pharmacy Chat service provides 24/7 access to pharmacists who can answer questions to help you better understand your medications, including side effects and how the other medicines you take and food you eat may interact with another drug.
  • Setting reminders: Whether you need a quick prompt to take your pill or a text alert that your refill is available, calendar notifications and free tools like a pill reminder can help ensure you always have your medication on hand.
  • Simplifying your refills: Pharmacists can also coordinate your prescription refills to a single pickup date with the Save a Trip Refills® program for free. Refilling your prescription can be made more convenient by switching to a 90-day supply or setting up automatic refills.
  • Making refills convenient: Just like you can order purchases online from your phone, you can have refills shipped directly to your home. With Walgreens Express™, patients can prepay and pick up prescriptions in a dedicated line or get their eligible medications delivered.

From pill reminders to tools for conveniently managing your condition, the answer to improved health and saving money could be in the palm of your hand. Download the Walgreens app or ask your local pharmacist how they can help you stay on track with your medications.

For more information, go to

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Did you know…

by Debbie Walker

Did you know that our appliances have secrets? Yes, they do. I am sharing the information from Reader’s Digest, by Marissa Laliberte (July/August ’19).

MICROWAVE: (my favorite) I did not know the shape of the dish you use in reheating or cooking, makes all the difference in a microwave. A rectangular container attracts more energy and the corners may be over cooked, not heated as much in center. A round container allows more uniformed heating. Did you know? Here is a tip Nana Dee gave me: A whole cauliflower, remove the core. Wrap the entire head with a wet paper towel and microwave until done enough for your taste. I haven’t tried it yet but I will.

The same article tells me not to season my food until it’s done. Microwave energy is drawn to salt. The seasoned top leaves a dryness you don’t want. Did you know?

OVEN BROILER: Have you ever heard of leaving the oven door open a bit when broiling? Marissa wrote that the closed oven door is likened to baking. Venting the oven lets the steam out; the steam prevents the crustiness you hope for in broiling. Check your ovens manual first, you wouldn’t want to melt knobs. Did you know?

SLOW COOKER: Trapped heat is what does the cooking in a slow cooker. Unless, you keep lifting the lid, then the cooking takes longer. Wait until there is about an hour left of cooking before you lift the lid. Slow cookers are wonderful to make the most of your time. Did you know? You can dye yarn in it. Not something I will try but I am wondering what else I could do, maybe a T-shirt for one of the kids. You know I must try that one day.

DISHWASHER: Obviously, the area above the rotating arms gets the strongest spray. I learned that’s what starch foods need to eliminate their mess. It needs the force of the spray rather than the chemical clean.

The other side of the coin is dishes holding protein leftovers need the chemical clean, so the lower rack is better. It allows the soap to stay on longer for its cleaning. Did you know? Wash the baseball type hat in dishwasher. You just want to be sure to turn it off before it starts the heat and dry process.

BLENDER: If your blender stalls every few seconds, it is the layering of your ingredients that’s probably the cause. Start with a soft base ingredient (ex: yogurt) Then layer smallest to largest, ice and tough stuff on top. They will get “blended” in. Did you know? Bisquick Coconut Pie can be mixed in a blender, if you need directions, I can get them and pass on in email. Can also blend butter and graham crackers for a crust right in a blender.

STAND MIXER: Blades sometimes need to be aligned. You want them adjusted so blades can reach ingredients but not hit or scratch the bottom or sides. Find your adjusting screw by referring to your owner’s manual. Did you know?

Since I have devoted most of my life to avoiding kitchens whenever possible I did not know most of this information. The microwave information was the most important tidbit for me, and I am very well acquainted with the dishwasher as well.

I am just curious how many of these you know and how many you may have questions about. Contact me at I’ll be waiting. Have a great weekend.


Giuseppe Verdi

Peter Catesby Peter Cates



Fritz Reiner conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and the Society of the Friends of Music Chorus with soprano Leontyne Price, mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, tenor Jussi Bjoerling and baritone Giorgio Tozzi; RCA Victor LD-6091, 2 LPs, recorded 1960.

Composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was an unwavering supporter of the Italian Risorgimento, the unification of the Italian states lasting from 1815-1871 and becoming the country now known as Modern Italy.

A central figure for whom Verdi felt admiration was the Italian statesman, Cavour (1810-1861), himself worthy of a future column. Another was the Italian novelist, Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873). Verdi was not only drawn to the writer’s literary gifts, but also to his integrity as a human being and the ideals that sustained it. The composer stated, “I venerated him like a saint.”

The 1874 Requiem Mass was Verdi’s memorial service for Manzoni. It was finished and ready for rehearsal well in advance of the world premiere date, May 22, exactly one year after Manzoni died.

The work was an instant success and has been performed and recorded infinite numbers of times since then.

RCA Victor assembled one extraordinary group for the above set in Vienna 60 years ago when recording technology was already at a high level. Conductor Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), then still music director of the Chicago Symphony for another two to three years, brought a most brilliant merging of clarity, powerful surges of the Vienna Philharmonic’s playing, solo and choral singing, exacting dynamics, flexibility of phrasing and pacing.

Examples are the very low piannissimi of the lower strings and voices in the opening Requiem and Kyrie; the explosive, Damocles-sword wrath of the Dies Irae; the Agnes Dei with its opening a capella soprano/mezzo duet and their back and forths with the chorus and orchestra; and the concluding Libera Me with the return of the opening Requiem and Kyrie: and the soprano’s intoning in prayer form :

Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda; Deliver me, Lord, from eternal death, on the dread day of judgment.

The set is still in print and available on CD.

AARP OUTREACH: AARP Maine introduces debut column and outreach director Japhet Els

by Japhet Els

On behalf of AARP Maine, I am thrilled to be highlighting some of the important community and advocacy work AARP is doing here in Greater Skowhegan! Through this column, we hope to address interesting and helpful topics for our neighbors 50+ and their families.

We’re working to build community and get folks organized in Somerset County. Why? Because we believe Somerset is primed for progress at the local, grassroots level. To spur that energy, we began hosting a community coffee event at The Miller’s Table at Maine Grains the last Wednesday of each month. Led by local volunteers, these monthly gatherings are for you – the Greater Skowhegan community – to hear about what’s happening, and not happening, in central Maine. The coffees are a great way to meet new people and find out what we’re doing in your community. We serve free coffee and goodies. Bring a friend – all are welcome!

Secondly, I want to introduce myself. My name is Japhet (or Jay) Els and I am the AARP Maine Community Outreach Director. Part of my job is to organize the 50+ communities throughout mid-Northern Maine. It’s always a pleasure to meet our members, their friends and their families where they are, in their own hometown. If you come to the coffee, you’ll hear more about our work, but I will also be there to hear from you. What issues are of concern to you? What do you enjoy about Skowhegan? How can we collaborate?

You may know some things about AARP, but one thing you may not know is that our organization was founded 60 years ago by a retired school teacher, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. In addition to being a school teacher, Dr. Andrus was the first female high school principal in the state of California. Quite a pioneer! It all started when Dr. Andrus, began a campaign to provide affordable medical insurance for retired educators. Several years later, the first-ever group health insurance coverage was offered to retired teachers nationwide.

Dr. Andrus referred to AARP as “an army of useful citizens” who had the ability, the experience and the desire to promote and enhance the public good. She gave us the motto that still guides us today: “To serve, not to be served.” From this one person deciding to make a difference in the lives of others, we have grown to become a national organization with 38 million members!

Here in Maine, when the state legislature is in session, AARP staff and volunteers are at the State House, in Augusta, almost every day working to represent our 230,000 Maine members. Our goal is to be that “army of useful citizens” right where legislators are writing the laws that impact all of us. We also work with communities around Maine to enhance the lives of Mainers 50+ and their families through age-friendly initiatives, volunteerism and service.

We’re also working at the national level, fighting to lower the cost of prescription drugs through our Stop Rx Greed campaign, and to protect our retirement and health security. As a non-partisan organization we don’t get involved in party politics or campaign fundraising. Instead, you’ll see us work with policy makers on both sides of the political aisle to reach common sense consensus on crucial issues like healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, and the rising cost of prescription drugs. Please follow our work on social media (Facebook and Twitter use @aarpmaine) and send any questions you may have to me We would love to hear from you!

In one of AARP’s earliest publications, Dr. Andrus wrote ‘Our community is the place where we as individuals can be the most effective.’ This is part of her extraordinary legacy and she was right. One person, no matter their age, really can make a difference! Please come to our next free coffee at the Miller’s Table at 42 Court Street. We look forward to seeing you there!

Japhet Els is AARP Maine Community Outreach Director.

SOLON & BEYOND: On the road, again!

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Friday, September 13, Lorna and Carlton Russell, from Stockton Springs, will perform an organ concert at 6 p.m., at the Solon Congregational Church. The organ is believed to be the oldest pipe organ of its kind in New England, There will be light refreshments served at intermission. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Received the following e-mail from Carol Dolan: Come join us at the New Portland Library for a free class on Aging Well with Technology, on September 5, 1:30 – 3 p.m. For more information or to register, please call 628-6561 and e-mail us at Learn to connect through basic technology, protect your digital presence, use technology for better health and get what you need on line! These classes are offered by Americorps Digital Literacy Initiative.

Take a chance on our raffle baskets. Two for the price of one! One for males and one for females. Check out the picture of the baskets on our Facebook page: New Portland Community Library. $1 per chance or six chances for $5. Drawing to be on September 14, at the library. Don’t have to be present to win.

We have a gig router for $5 if you have a need. We also have an Epsom printer that needs a little work. (There is something wrong with the black cartridge being recognized. Make an offer!

Our board room is available again for small groups. The room holds about 10 people and is available for free use for non-profit groups. Stop in today to fill out an application. We also have a small office that can be used for individual use or for two people.

Also, I believe we are having a star gazing party on August 29 (Thursday), weather permitting. Times to be announced.

That is all I have for news that has been sent to me from others, and as always it it very much appreciated!

This morning I am a little bit weary as I sit down in front of this contrary computer to share news with you! We just got home yesterday afternoon after the third weekend in a row going to events from one end of the state to the other! We had spent this last weekend up in the northern most county in Maine , up in the ‘County,’ where Lief grew up. It was the 39th annual Washburn August Festival; the Theme: Welcome Home to our Vietnam Heroes! Grand marshals in the parade were local Vietnam heroes.

We had driven up on Friday in pouring rain all the way, and when we got to the interstate, I was not happy, we were going 75 miles an hour and cars were passing us as if we were sitting still! But…. it was all worth it, the people up there in Washburn really know how to put on a wonderful party!!

We attended the banquet Friday night and went and watched the long parade held on Saturday (All Vietnam and other veterans were invited to march at the head of the parade). The people of Washburn have erected a very impressive wall and there was a Wall Ceremony for the this wall honoring veterans.

The next day Lief walked all along the wall to read all the names and history of those who had served, I hate to admit that I didn’t have the energy to do so, but everyone was saying it is very impressive, and well worth seeing.

I got up Saturday morning feeling awful but tried not to hinder his good time up where many of his family and friends still live. But…. I am thankful that was the last weekend for awhile that we will be traveling!

We drove home through the Patten Woods, and that brought back many memories of the first time I had been on that road, (before the interstate was built) It was when Frank and I took our first born (Mark) up to go to college at Fort Kent. It seemed like the end of the world.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Rest is not quitting the busy career; Rest is the fitting of self to one’s sphere. “Tis the brook’s motion clear without strife, Fleeting to ocean, After this life. “Tis loving and serving, The highest and best; “Tis onward, unswerving, And this is true rest. (words by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.) – People keep telling me I should slow down, and some day I will!

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Determination yet to be made on status of Monarch butterflies

Monarch caterpillar.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Has anyone seen a monarch butterfly this summer? I certainly haven’t.

It wasn’t so long ago that I would see them everywhere; at home and at camp. They are a magnificent-looking butterfly, all dressed in the bright orange and black colors.

However, their numbers have come under a lot of stress in the last couple of decades.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on information in the petition, they determined that federally protecting the monarch may be warranted and a 90-day substantial finding was published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2014. They determined that they would conduct an assessment to determine if the monarch butterfly needs Endangered Species Act protection.

Many are taking action to conserve monarch butterflies.

The Center for Biological Diversity released a report of the yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, on March 5, 2018. In the report, it showed a decrease from the count in 2017, and confirms the iconic orange and black butterfly is still very much at risk. The count in March 2018 showed 2.48 hectares of occupied winter habitat as being down from 2.91 hectares in 2017. (A hectare is a metric unit of square measure, equal to 100 acres (2.471 acres or 10,000 square meters).

The Center for Biological Diversity estimates a decline of 80 percent over the last 20 years. NatureServe estimates the decline at 90 percent in that same period. Whichever you take into account, it is still a significant loss of monarchs.

According to Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, and co-author of the 2014 petition to protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act, “we could lose the monarch butterfly if we don’t take immediate action to rein in pesticide use and curb global climate change.”

Monarch butterfly.

Roughly 99 percent of all North American monarchs migrate each winter to fir forests on 12 mountain tops in central Mexico. Scientists estimate the population size by measuring the area of trees turned orange by the clustering monarchs. That population has been dangerously low since 2008. In the mid-1990s, there was an estimated population of nearly one billion butterflies. But the population in 2018 had dropped to approximately 93 million butterflies.

In 2018, the drop was attributed to unseasonal weather, including late spring freezes that killed milkweed (the chief diet staple of the monarch butterfly caterpillar) and caterpillars, coupled with an unseasonably warm fall that kept late-season monarchs from migrating.

George Kimbrell, legal director at the Center for Food Safety, said, “Another year, another reminder: Our government must do what the law and science demands, and protect monarchs under the ESA, before it’s too late.”

In the petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was noted that the monarch butterflies are threatened by a host of sources, destroying their habitat and food, but studies have shown that a main source of their catastrophic demise decline has been genetically-engineered crops, engineered with resistance to Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, which has dramatically increased the pesticide use on their habitat.

A final decision was to be made by June of this year, on whether to list the monarch butterfly as endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delayed its decision until December 2020 — 18 months later than the original deadline of June 2019. Because the original deadline resulted from a litigation settlement, this extension had to be approved by federal courts and the other parties to the litigation.

Monarchs have lost an estimated 165 million acres of breeding habitat in the United States to herbicides, and development.The caterpillars only eat milkweed, but the plant has been devastated by increased herbicide spraying in conjunction with corn and soybean crops that have been genetically engineered to tolerate direct spraying with herbicides.

Again, the main factors are loss of milkweed, the development of genetically modified herbicide-resistant cropland, land conversion, logging at overwintering sites in Mexico, and climate change and extreme weather.

NatureServe has reported that the species is threatened, and the recent, rapid decline and widespread threats qualify the species to being “critically imperiled.” They are essentially being threatened with extinction.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

NatureService with Jepsen S., D. F. Schweitzer, B. Young, N. Sears, M. Ormes and S. H. Black, are part of the Conservation Status and Ecology of Monarchs in the United States, based in Arlington, Virginia.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

In the comic strip Peanuts, who was Charlie Brown’s favorite baseball player?

Answer can be found here.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: What’s your trademark? What will people remember about your service?

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

What makes people remember you?

What are you known for? One of the great marketing and branding moves you can do to make yourself noticed and remembered is to have something that people remember you for. Something about you and your company that makes you distinctive. A symbol, or a service, that is distinctly yours.

It might be your truck. Old trucks are very popular right now. Imagine what kind of impression you’d make driving to your work sites in a perfectly restored cream-colored 1949 Ford F-1 pickup with your logo on the side. People would remember that. You’d be a riding billboard for your company.

There is a very popular exterminator company in other parts of the country by the name of Truly Nolan. And yes, there was a real Truly Nolan at one time. This company refurbishes old cars, puts the company name on the side of these cars, and parks them all over the area they serve. Everybody knows who they are, and what they do, and they are by far, the most successful exterminators in any market they serve. And its all about those beautiful old cars.

But your trademarking doesn’t just have to be about cars. It can be about your uniforms. It can be about your logo or your logo on your uniforms. It could be all about what you do that is special. Right now, in the very competitive hair cutting business, there is one company that has become famous by finishing each haircut off with a nice hot towel rub to the neck. It doesn’t cost much but its unforgettable to the point that their numbers are constantly rising because of those hot towels.

Years ago, when I lived in Milwaukee, there was a fabulous airline called Midwest Express. They were known for their great service, the fact that there were no middle seats, and best of all they served hot and gooey chocolate chip cookies! People loved them, both the airline and the cookies were known as the airline that served chocolate chip cookies. People would go out of their way to fly Midwest Express.

One of the local landscapers in our area gave out beautiful freshly-made Christmas wreaths every year, that was one of the things he was known for, besides the fact that he was a great landscaper, we miss you Ken.

So, what it’s going to be for your business? What are you going to do to make sure you are remembered? To help you out, here are a few ideas that you should find useful:

  • If you have a landscaping company, leave a single rose when the job is done. Or maybe an instruction booklet on how to take care of the plants you just planted.
  • If you’re a plumber, leave a unique calendar, or a booklet on water conservation. Make sure it has your name on it, and if you are into that make it your cause.
  • If you’re an electrician leave them with a flashlight or other such device with your name on it, of course.
  • If you’re a house painter and wallpaper hanger, arrange a small guide informing the customer of exactly the paint and paper you used so they can get more if needed.

Look, we could go on all night here, but you get it. Be unique and be outstanding and people will remember you. Try different things out, not all of them will go over big but keep trying until you find something that represents your company well and also is delightfully memorable. This in the end will help you be remembered and most importantly, help you grow your business.

Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of August 22, 2019

To submit a photo for this section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

SLURP – AHHH!: Betty Dunton, of Gardiner, photographed this ruby throated hummingbird enjoying some summer nectar.

COZY: Emily T. Poulin, of South China, snapped this woodcock staying warm last winter.

YUMMY!: Joan Chaffee, of Clinton, caught this downy woodpecker enjoying a snack at a suet feeder.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Healthful School Lunches: What Parents Need To Know

(NAPSI)—The healthfulness of school lunches is one of the top three parental concerns of this school season, according to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll.

The survey covered a number of parental worries for their school-aged kids, including their safety, whether they’ll make new friends, quality of education, and homework load. However, 44 percent of respondents prioritized healthful school lunches after the quality of their children’s teachers, and ahead of the cost of school supplies.

Taking a deeper look into school lunches, the survey also found that the average child buys lunch about three times a week and, while healthful eating is a top concern for parents, 36 percent admitted they don’t typically know what their child eats at school.

Making Good Nutrition A Part of Kids’ Everyday Life

What with pizza, mystery meat, and the variety of fried options offered at school, most parents say their child eats healthiest when at home or when they pack their kids’ lunches themselves. Unfortunately, the survey also found that 45 percent of parents admit that they don’t always have time or have forgotten to prepare a sack lunch for their kids to take to school.

“Parents have enough to worry about and what their kids are eating in school should be the last thing they have to think about. Yet, unfortunately, parents have deep fears about what their kids are eating in lunchrooms across the country,” says Dr. John Agwunobi, pediatrician, co-president and Chief Health and Nutrition Officer at Herbalife Nutrition. “We all have a responsibility to ensure our kids are getting the most nutritious meals possible, and I applaud school districts around the country that are working with parents to improve both the nutrition levels and taste of school meals.”

According to the survey, only about a quarter of parents know both the nutrient and calorie value of the foods their children eat for lunch, whether homemade or purchased.

The Importance of Knowing Nutritional Value of Food

Building a balanced meal—including dairy, vegetables, fruits, grains and protein—doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. What is most important is making sure that the calories your children consume are jam-packed with the nutrients they need for energy and growth—a concept known as “nutrient density.” Emphasizing nutrient-dense foods is a great way to rethink how you pack your kids’ lunches—and how you plan meals at home, too.

Simply put, nutrient-dense foods are those that pack a lot of nutrients relative to their calorie cost. When choosing between two food items with the same calorie amount, one food choice could provide your body with the protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins or minerals it needs every day, while another choice may provide empty calories from sugar and saturated fat with no other significant nutrients.

Ideally, a meal should be made up of mostly nutrient-dense foods, with fewer “calorie-dense” foods—such as fats and sugars—which are high in calories relative to the nutrients they contain.

When parents do pack a lunch, the survey reported, tasty food is their top priority (64 percent), as well as foods that parents know their child will eat (64 percent), followed by healthy options (62 percent). Some ideas for nutrient-packed, healthful foods that most kids will enjoy include omega-3-rich tuna fish, sweet and crunchy carrots, strawberries packed with potassium and vitamin C, and nuts, which can replace chips to satisfy cravings for salty, crunchy items. However, the survey also found that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich continues to be the staple menu item most parents pack for their children. To make it more nutrient dense, parents can simply replace the white bread with whole grain bread and use a low- or no-sugar-added peanut butter and jelly, to make the sandwich more healthful, with better nutritional value.

Learn More

For more facts and tips on healthful and tasty options for yo`ur kids’ lunches, visit

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! Well my immediate reaction was: GET THAT THING OFF ME NOW! This little mole thing was my “tick” and I wanted it gone now!

Well, beside the little tick I had a bump on my upper left leg. It had never been discolored; it had never burned, itched, hurt, changed colors, nothing. However, it had started to grow, and it seemed to be forming groupies around it. So, hey, I’m here, I might as well ask him what kind of thing it was. Well you know how it goes, almost like with your car, it could be this or it could be this, 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, 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 quarter was going to require an eighth-inch by six-inch cut down to the muscle to get rid of, I’d have one layer of stitches and one layer of staples. This cancer is rare and has a 95 percent success rate. AND, for it to be considered not successful only means it would 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 nothing.” I will admit that for a 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, it looked like the most harmless thing in the world and as I said, never gave a sign 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 this rings a bell to you: CHECK IT OUT!

Contact me at We’ll just call this my public service announcement!