I’M JUST CURIOUS: The $100 race

by Debbie Walker

My son-in-law shared a four-minute video with me this past week. The title of it is Life of Privilege Explained in a $100.00 Race. In fact, if you would like to view it on computer just type in the title in your search bar.

The premise behind this race appears to be someone invites (?) these college students to run a race for $100. There is a coach/facilitator who first has a few questions about their background. Before the actual race begins, he has them take a step or two forward depending on the answer about their backgrounds.

There are some who appear to get quite far ahead by stepping to: Take two steps forward if you grew up with both parents in the home. Take two steps if you didn’t get help getting financing school on a sport scholarship. As more questions are asked some stay where they are, and some get quite a head start. At the end of his questions he had the front runner participants turn around to view where the others are behind them. I quote the facilitator here: “We don’t want to recognize that we have….It’s only because you have this big of a head start that you’re possibly going to win this race called ‘Life’.”

As I am watching the video, I am thinking about my first impressions. The facilitator is asking question after question, the people who had what could also be called “advantages” are taking all the steps.

When he had the ‘forward’ steppers turn to look behind them, he also pointed out that the results at this point are only due to what their parents have been able to accomplish, nothing due to themselves.

He also made the comment that if this was a real foot race he believed,”some of those black guys in the back line could have still smoked you.” Also, the reference to a sports scholarship, I wasn’t crazy about either comment. I am not convinced it was necessary.

Giving credit to a past instructor I had in what was a class on critical thinking, there are a few questions I would have to ask. I would want to know who sponsored the race? How were the participants chosen? What were the ages and health of those that were chosen? I am not sure what was the reason for the ‘race’. I’m not nosey. I am just curious.

The short little video’s meaning can be just to point out the differences in students in a college program, to help them understand they are not there due to their own work of bringing in the grades needed to progress or to support some of the contestants in discovering their lack of parental support. I really don’t know for sure, but I know it certainly gave me things to think about and more questions.

Just because I like to point out that not all students are going to benefit in a college degree, I am adding this info that follows: Many people have begun to realize college isn’t for everyone. There are many careers that don’t require college but vocational school certificate. I believe there are still some careers that require apprenticeship training. Just saying….

I am just curious what your opinion of the video would be. Let me know. Contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org with your comments. Thanks for reading.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The silent abuser

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever been surprised when someone you know ends a relationship because of abuse and you had no idea? It’s hard to believe there was anything wrong because you ‘didn’t see or hear it’. This is the role of the silent abuser.

The silent abuser has had years to wear down the confidence of the abused. When we are told abusive, down grading, negative, and belittling words long enough it becomes real to the abused. That makes the abused weaker and easier to control.

After the surprise you begin to question a few things? Those questions are answered now. Now you know why she never questioned what he said. You understand her lack of confidence, why she had to miss group or couples activities. Many things become clear now.

The definition of ABUSE I chose for this column is: language that condemns unjustly or angrily.

The quiet abuser is always right. The partner’s opinions have no value. They may even be told repeatedly how stupid they are. Even though on the one hand, the abused know these things aren’t true but over time this eats away at their confidence.

I want to add here that his abuse also pertains to our children, maybe even our parents or co-workers. Quiet abuse is possibly in all their communications.

Sometimes this abuse is generations deep. A person may be verbally abused or physically abused as a child. When given the opportunity to get out of the home they jump at the chance. They may be making the next generation of quiet abuser.

One woman says a few people who witnessed the final couple of years of her life asked, “How much longer can you put up with this behavior?” Her answer was “for the duration, she owed him.” As his abusive behavior intensified beyond anything, she could foresee there came a day… The day came when she had to finalize their relationship. It had become a risk for her own health, bordering on breakdown. She found her voice and left.

Because it was a situation of ‘silent abuse’ some family and friends may not understand their separation. They hadn’t witnessed the behavior. Their disbelief may even cause the abused to wonder, “Was it really so bad?” Hell, yes it was!

I spoke to a few people about this and we came up with some of the categories for a quiet abuser: Yelling (is that ever necessary?), silent treatment, isolation (running your family and friends away), roller coaster of emotions (I promise I’ll never do it again) not being allowed to get medical assistance, destroying personal belongings, insults … Sadly, there are still more categories, but I am running out of space to continue.

One thing I did want to mention is the abused will often defend the abuser. Fear of the unknown is often stronger than fear of the known.

I’m just curious if anyone realizes this is the adult version of “Bully.” Please remember this is not a medical report, it is only my opinion. It is also not a reflection on this paper. If you would like to leave a comment or ask a question please contact me at my new email address: DebbieWalker@townline.org.

Thank you for reading. Have a great week.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: And now, equal time for cat information

by Debbie Walker

I promised information about Cats this week. The article I read in Reader’s Digest was just a reminder that I had never done a column on our pets. Okay, I did Dogs last week, cats this week and I’m done. There are so many pets to have in your home now I would never get all the pets included. I am sorry if you feel slighted, that is truly not intended.

I never realized that cats treat humans about the same way they do each other. If you have had cats you may have noticed it, I never noticed. Dogs do treat us differently than each other. One thing I noticed over the years was dogs seem to want to entertain you whereas cats seem like they ignore us much of the time.

The article titled What Pets Want You to Know… by Krista Carothers and Jen McCaffery, tells me Cats like spending time with us. It is said cats would rather spend time with us than other cats or with their toys. I have had one or two over the years that would make you question that comment.

My granddaughter’s cat is letting her know these days that he does not want to be ignored; he wants attention and has developed a special cry to let her know this. I can’t help but wonder if he knows something about her pregnancy that we don’t know. We laughed yesterday and said the cat and baby will know each other by the time ‘Addie’ is born with as much time as Mr. Kitty has been laying on the momma’s belly.

I was interested to read a small paragraph that stated feral cats rarely meow. We had barn cats that pretty much stayed clear of my family. We were just providing their “housing.”

I was interested to know that cats are not always purring to say, “I am happy and contented.” It may mean they are sick or injured. It may be healing for them. It’s no secret that for years we have known their purring can have a healing affect for us.

They say cats can recognize their name. Does she sometimes not come when called. Suck it up, Buttercup, your kitty is probably just ignoring you!

Cats can hold a grudge. They may know you feed them, so be nice to the human. However, they also will remember who sprayed them with the water! Cats can be very unforgiving.

They learn for life. If they have hunted their food as a kitten, they can remember regardless of having spent years inside the home and being supplied with their food.

Kitties can be like humans in the idea of seeking attention. Your kitty can learn “I have been cute and am not getting the attention I seek, here let me do …… I will get her attention one way or another.”

A cat will likely feel less stress if they have their cozy, small places in the home.

It happened again. I ran out of writing space. I hope you are curious enough to pay close attention to your kitty to see what you might learn from them. Enjoy your pets whatever your choice might be. Contact me with questions or comments at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Doggy information

by Debbie Walker

I don’t know how many columns I have written, and I just recently realized I have never written anything about our pets. So… here goes:

I came across the most recent Reader’s Digest and it has a great article about dogs and cats titled What Pets Want You to Know.

A professor from British Columbia stated that our average dogs have the mind equivalent to our 2 – 2-1/2 years old child. The average dog can understand about 165 words. They are better with words about things (ex: a favorite toy) as opposed to ‘emotion’ words (good dog).

Before your pup is six months old, they should have met 150 people and they suggest 50 different places (I don’t go to that many!). They should try out different environments, be familiar with different sounds and sights. Dogs that don’t, can grow up fearful and aggressive.

We all know our dogs have different barks. Our dog, in the middle of the night, alerts us to her concerns with the bark. There is no question that she is alerting us. There are also barks that tell you the dog is lonely. The barks may be a single string of barks with pauses.

Dogs also have their own version of body language; they provide you with clues as to what they want. (Ex: pawing at bottom of sofa to alert you there is something under the sofa that they want.)

Dogs are very aware of your stress or tension. Many dogs will feel that tension and can in fact react with aggression. Our energies affect the people around us, don’t think for a minute it doesn’t affect your pet.

Have you ever wondered why dogs chase their own tails? It can be itchy; they can be reverting to their predatory nature or they are just bored. It can also be a compulsive disorder.

When you come home and find your dog has made a mess and she tucks her tail and looks ashamed. She’s just afraid of your anger, guilt is not part of her makeup.

Dogs don’t feel guilt, but they do get jealous. If you have a dog, you know this.

If your dog has light colored or white fur, they have a higher chance of being deaf in at least one ear. The gene that causes the white coat is associated with deafness, just as is blue eyes.

Little dogs have shorter, more frequent dreams than the bigger breeds. This is proven by brain scanning just like with us.

There are studies that have shown some dogs can detect cancer just as there are some who know when a diabetic is going to have a problem.

For those who don’t know there are some wonderful websites of dogs and their antics as well as other animals. They can be very entertaining on these cold snow and ice filled days and evenings.

We have a dog in our house. She is a Walker Hound and Boxer mix. She has been a wonderful friend. She talks. If she wants something, she will carry on quite the conversation. I love it.

I’m just curious about your pal. I would love to hear your stories. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. Thank you for reading. Have a great, healthy, and happy week!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: For my garden

by Debbie Walker

(Something a little different)

In the garden of my life there are many colored plants. I choose mine because of my attraction to their colors or combination of colors. I plant mostly perennials because they are always there, even when they are resting and waiting for the next blossoming period. Sometimes friendships are like that. You get to communicate regularly and then you don’t get to for a while but you still know your friend is there when you bloom again or when they do. Life gets in the way sometimes and we don’t always get to tend them as we should but when we can they will be right there where you knew they would be.

To grow a full and beautiful garden it takes a little gentle care, patience, love, attention and some understanding. You have to understand that things will happen and they will have to do their own thing from time to time. Sometimes no matter how closely you tend them a plant might look a little pale or tired no matter what you do to keep them tended and you may never really know why. But with patience they will usually return no worse for the wear and maybe sporting just a little different hue of color that will just add to the garden.

The perennial garden is the best because you don’t have to hover over the plants. You don’t have to worry about the weather affecting them, if it is rainy or dry they will still be there. Sometimes they fade off for a while but they will be back in full bloom when their sun shines and they are watered again. Sometimes you might get a little busy and you over look the garden for a little while but at soon as you check in on it and give a little care it will be back in full bloom.

Some friends are more like annuals, they seem to have a season and then they are gone. You plant them with the same care and you tend them the same as the perennials but for whatever reason in nature they only stay in your garden for a period of time. I guess with friends it is whatever time either you or they may have the need, sometimes you don’t even know whose need it really was. They come in beautiful colors but then after a while they just seem to slowly disappear, one by one. Sometimes maybe it is because we needed them in our life or they needed us in their life but either way it can be a beautiful thing if only for a season. Annuals have their purpose in the garden of life as well. And sometimes maybe it’s so you will know to appreciate your perennials more.

I’m just curious if you are tending the flowers in your garden. This was just to thank you for keeping me in your garden no matter what the weather or the season.

Questions or comments, just catch me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Simple home remedies

by Debbie Walker

I’ve been told before to “question what you read. Don’t just accept it as fact.” This column today would be one to question.

The information contained here was sent to me as an e-mail quite a while ago. I don’t remember who sent it to me nor do I have any idea where it originated. I got a kick out of it, and I thought maybe you might too. I’ve added a few comments of my own.

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop. (Unless you suffer from high blood pressure, then See #3.)

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat and not putting it back by using the sink. (Is this not a problem in most every home? Ladies I would use a strong cleaner in your sinks daily after this info passes to all male readers!)

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to set the timer. (As far as I’m concerned this beats the days of the leaches, that person who used to bleed people with leaches years ago. I’m sure it was easy to get leaches in the summer. Just stand in the lake or river. When you come out just remove them all from your body, do this as many times as needed – be careful of their own blood pressure. But I am curious what they did for leaches in the winter.)

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you’ll be afraid to cough. (Just to be on the safe side if you choose to use this remedy I’d suggest some adult diapers. But, just today, I read to put Vicks on the sole of your feet, not on your chest to get rid of a bad cough).

A mousetrap, placed on top of your alarm clock. This tip will prevent you from rolling over and going to sleep after you hit the snooze button. (You’ll have to get up and go ice your fingers. Not a great way to start your day. Might be a great way to get a teenager to get out of bed in the mornings. Child abuse, maybe?)

You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and Duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape. (Last summer my leg brace had a real squeak to it. Steve, our contractor, told me if I didn’t have WD-40 I could always use Pam cooking spray! He said it might dry out quicker but it would smell better!)

If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem (or maybe plumbing problem. Speaking of plumbing, did you know if you put the handle of a plunger in the ground and the plunger part is up you now have a drink holder? Oh and to decorate the handle, use cammy duct tape!).

Remember: everyone seems normal until you get to know him or her.

Okay those are a few simple (useless) solutions. But I have a couple of questions. Who and how did someone figure out to use Preparation H for puffy eyes in the morning? Who and how did someone discover you could clean your toilet with denture tablets or alka-seltzers? Those are only a couple of my questions. And people wonder why “I’m just curious!” There may be some things I’m just better off not knowing.

I’m just curious if you know there is more where all this stuff has come from!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The Good Wife’s Guide

by Debbie Walker

This was copied from Good Housekeeping magazine May 13, 1955.

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. (a ribbon, oh, please!)
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. (duty! Not because you care.)
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. (Oh, please!)
  • Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. (Yeah, right, little angels.)
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You my have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. (Cough, Cough, with eyes rolled.)
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
  • Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. (all night, that’s some job!) Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or a warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. (Time to leave!)
  • A good wife always knows her place.

I’m just curious what your thoughts are on this subject. I can tell you I would not have been a good wife! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks again for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Just have fun!

by Debbie Walker

Just for fun seemed like a nice change for a New Year, I hope you agree. This is going to be multiple choice commercial jingle trivia test: (underline or circle)

“Double your ________, double your fun!”
Leisure – pleasure – treasure

“Juicy Fruit is gonna move ya! It’s got a taste that _______ right through ya!”
Gets – moves – hits

“Kiss a little longer, stay close a little longer,________ a little longer, longer with Big Red!”
hold hands – make out – hold tight

“If I were an ________, everyone would be in love with me!”
Oscar Mayer hot dog – Oscar Meyer Wiener – Oscar Meyer Sausage

“The best part of _______is Folgers in you cup.”
Waking up – getting up – perking up

“I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it ________.”
Nice & clean – company – in harmony

“Be a _______, drink Dr Pepper.”
little better – winner – Pepper

“Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a ______”
Help it is – joy it is – relief it is

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, ________, cheese, ________onions on a sesame seed bun.”
Lettuce, pickles – lettuce, tomato – pickles, lettuce

“Have it your way, have it your way at ________.”
Taco Bell – Burger King – Wendy’s

“Ace is the place with the ________.”
Helpful hardware man – handy hardware man – helping hardware man

“See the U.S.A. in your _______.”
Buick – Ford – Chevrolet

“Put a tiger in your tank.”
Frosted flakes – ESSO – Little Debbie Snack Cakes

“Silly rabbit, ________ are for kids.”
Oreo’s – Cheerios – Trix

“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a ____ ___ _____ kid.”
Sears – Walmart – Toy’s R Us

“American Express: Don’t leave _______ without it.”
Home – New York – Work

The answers will be as follows. See how you do:

“Double your”- pleasure

“Juicy Fruit”- gets

“Kiss a little”- hold tight

“Big Red”- hold tight

“Oscar Mayer” – Wiener

“Folger’s” – waking up

“Coke”- company

“Dr Pepper”- pepper

“Alka seltzer”- relief it is

Two all beef – lettuce – pickles

“Your way” – Burger King

ACE – helpful

U.S.A. – Chevrolet

Tiger – ESSO

Rabbit – Trix

“grow up”__ Toy’s R Us

“American Express’ – home

As usual I AM JUST CURIOUS how you did with our little test. Contact me with questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: January thoughts

by Debbie Walker

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, at the new year said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let each new year find you a better man.” That was his thought.

My thought of the new year is a fresh start. It reminds me of the term “clean slate.” The saying comes from the slate boards used in schools years ago. Each day the “slate” started out clean. These days it usually means a fresh start; another chance to wipe out old offenses.

I would like to remind us all that each and every day is a new start, a new slate. So if you feel you fell short on your resolutions, just remember, the next new day is coming.

For some of us the new year begins on January 1 with the resolutions and in Maine it falls in cold, winter weather. There are others of us whose new year doesn’t start until the winter is gone and the sun shines warm and summer is beginning to bloom with greens and colors.

I found the following poem in the Farmer’s Almanac’s 200 Anniversary Collection. It is from 1871:

Farewell and Welcome

Go, winter, go!
The frozen locks and tresses white
And looks that kindle not delight
and breaths that chill the young heart’s glow
And frowns that make the tear drop start
No bliss, no pleasure can impart
Go, winter. Go!

Come, summer, come!
With genial skies and budding flowers
and balmy gales and fragrant showers
and smiles that clothe the earth in flowers
Come with thy bright and fairy band
and scatter gladness o’er the land!
Come, summer, come!

Freezing Help

Okay, well, winter is happening no matter what our personal thoughts. I found these tips in a magazine for helping you with icy walkways:

Baking Soda: Sprinkle over icy walks and stairs. It will speed up the melting.

Vinegar: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water for a de-icer to melt surfaces including your windshield.

DIY Ice Melt: 2 qts warm water, 6 drops dish liquid, 2 oz. rubbing alcohol. Spray over walkways for easier shoveling.

90 Percent Rubbing alcohol: I used this on my windshield in Maine. Put it in spray bottle and I sprayed my windshield, walked around the car, sprayed the windows. The windshield was clear. You can leave the spray bottle in your vehicle. It won’t freeze.

Tarp: cover the area, car or walkway. You can shovel off or shake off depending on the snow or ice that you get.

Extra traction: Use clean kitty litter, wood ash from stove or fireplace, or even bird seed (the birds will love you!).

Frost-free mirrors: Cover side mirrors with plastic bags. To attach just use clothes pins.

I am finishing this with these words:

Just for today, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fill with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine. (by Dear Abby)

I’m just curious what unique thoughts you have for 2020. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments. Thank you for reading!!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: From the Book of Answers & Others

by Debbie Walker

Yes, I found another book and read some things I wanted to share. The name of the book is The Book of Answers by Barbara Berliner and another. I got a kick out of the title so of course I had to have it.

Now you may very well know what the answers to some of these are and the worst to happen will be you’ll know how naive I am.

SO…

How accurate are groundhogs at predicting weather? Sixty years of recording of groundhogs have only been 28 percent accurate. Possibly you or your grandfather did a better job of predicting!

Did you know James Bond (1908-1964) was an agent himself during World War II ?

Do you remember the lucky charm, the rabbit’s foot? (Wasn’t too lucky for him.)

The rabbit is born with eyes open, suggesting wisdom. It spends most of it’s life underground, suggesting a connection to a mysterious underground, and it is prolific (did you ever raise rabbits?) suggesting wealth and prosperity.

Yes, there really was a Mother Goose, a New England widow who married Isaac Goose, adopting a family of 10 and later she had six children. In 1719 she wrote Mother Goose’s Melodies for children.

Okay, now since we are days away from Christmas and the New Year, I have a few questions and answers about traditions for the holidays. (When I was a kid my mom got really frustrated with me and said, “Do you always have to ask so many questions?”) The answer ‘til this very day is “Yes, Mom.”

Traditions create a bond in families, a connection to other family members, the people participating in the present and members who long since passed. You very likely have not actually met some of the creators of your own family traditions.

All this year as we explored the ‘crazy holidays,’ we would have to include these as different families ‘traditions,’ in fact you may have adopted some of those holidays for your friends and families.

And we start the Christmas traditions:

December 24 was observed as Adam and Eve Day. We are talking about 1561 and the forerunner of the forbidden fruit tree was replaced by the modern Christmas tree.

The “12 Days of Christmas” would net you 364 gifts.

The best one to me was: Did you know Santa has a brother? His name is Bells Nichols and he visits homes on New Year’s Eve after the children are asleep and will fill empty plates set out for him with cookies and cakes.

Have a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas!