I’m Just Curious: Fern and the New Flower

I’m Just Curious

by Debbie Walker

I have had a few requests for another Fairy Story, so here it is. Enjoy!

Fern, the youngest of the Bailey fairy family spent most of her time with the wild flowers. Since Momma named her Fern and dressed her as a fern plant she blended in with the wild flowers quite well and loved her time with them.

She didn’t usually go near the house behind Apple Tree Notch, the one the people had bought recently. Her sister Daisy and brother Twig had already had some encounters with the people’s children. She had seen one, the girl, Tristin, but thankfully that day Tristin was only interested in Hoppy Toad and didn’t see her.

Fern just loved the flowers and she had a nose for finding them. There was a new flower smell that she kept sniffing and decided today was the day to check it out. It was in the direction of the house.

She slowly approached the house, hiding in the grass. Since she was the same color she blended in well. So she crept a little closer and there, right there, was where that beautiful smell was coming from. Up along the house someone had added a new flower. It was beautiful.

Fern tried to talk to the flower but she was not friendly. Fern finally asked her why she was so unfriendly. She told Fern that she was a special flower. “Well, of course,” Fern told her “I understand that because all flowers are special.” With that comment the new flower got all puffed up and threw out some more of her scent. She told Fern she was special because she was a Rose and needed a lot of special care. She was not a common wild flower. She even pointed out her thorns growing on her stalk explaining they were to protect her from animals or people who might harm her.

Fern just looked up at the rose and said “I’ll bet you’re lonely without friends.” Rose replied “I don’t need friends, I’m special.” So with that Fern walked away feeling sad for the Rose. Fern thought to herself, ‘everyone needs friends sometime.’

So Fern went back and visited her friends the wild flowers and Hoppy Toad even came by for a visit. That child, Tristin, was trying to find him again!

When Fern went home that afternoon she was still thinking about the Rose and started talking about the visit with her mother. Her mother knew what a Rose was, she had seen them before. Her mother told her not to hold it against the Rose because these were things she had been taught. She had never learned that we all are special in our own way. Momma said she might wait a few days and try again.

Fern went back to visiting the wild flowers and laughed because she saw Hoppy Toad just in time to get away from Tristin.

Fern was bothered because she smelled an odd odor and she knew it had something to do with the Rose. So she went to see. The smell was definitely from Rose and she was not happy.

When Fern asked her what the problem was the Rose told her that the people had sprayed her with something she didn’t like. They said she had some kind of bugs on her, trying to eat her leaves and it was painful.

Fern told Rose she could help her. Fern figured out how to use the thorns to help her climb up higher and she found the bugs and sprinkled them with fairy dust and they all flew away.

Rose was so grateful for Fern’s help. She said “how did you do that?” Fern just reminded her that everyone has something special about them and if we share all the special things it makes everyone happy.

From that day on Rose was never selfish with her beautiful smell. She was always pleased to see Fern and looked forward to meeting the others.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed. I love writing my Fairy stories and sharing with you and the kids. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

Old wives tales and motherhood

I’m Just Curious

by Debbie Walker

Spring is heading our way (despite our latest storm) and coats will be coming off. It isn’t unusual to see pregnant bellies spring forth! The old wives tales will once again come to life!

I took a trip back to the Almanac for some more inspiration. That magazine has so many interesting little tidbits if you like “old tales” and I do! I got caught up with Tales for Predicting a Baby’s Gender. It was written by Judy Kneiszel. She did all the work and I plan on having some fun with it.

Today we can know what the sex of a baby is with ultrasounds and sonograms. If the parents have chosen to they can know the sex of the child. Then some couples choose to share that information with others maybe by cutting the baby shower cake to see what color is inside, pink or blue.

There are some of us who over the years were subjected to some of the “Old Wives Tale Gender” theories. These have been passed down from generation to generation and I really hope they are always entertaining!

To continue:

Carrying the baby high or low: a high, big round belly is said to be a girl. A low smaller belly is supposed to be a boy. In the middle it must be a puppy!

The wedding ring or needle swing starts with tying a string to the mother’s wedding band or a needle: swaying back and forth is a boy and in a circular motion it’s a girl.

The baking soda test! Oh good Lord, they never would have talked me into that one. First thing in the morning the mother puts a spoonful of baking soda in a paper cup then adds some of her urine. If it fizzes it’s a boy. If it simply stays flat they say it’s a girl. This one is a two part test – if you don’t like the first version, try this one: if the pee is bright yellow it’s a boy. If it’s dull yellow it is a girl. (or she’s drinking too much water!)

Okay if that one didn’t gross you out completely we will go on.

Cravings: I wanted Italian sandwiches and bubble gum! According to those cravings I should have had twins! The sweet and/or citrus would mean a girl. Salty foods would indicate a boy. I had both cravings; no we did not have twins!

Morning sickness: I proved this one right. I swear I had morning sickness from the moment of conception! Supposedly morning sickness in the first 12 weeks and it’s a girl, otherwise it’s a boy. I had a girl.

Cold feet: Some people get cold feet before a wedding and others during pregnancy. Actual cold feet might be a sign of a boy. If Mom’s feet don’t feel any different then it’s probably a girl.

I had never heard this one: Some say if the father gains weight at the same rate as the mother it’s said to be a boy. Other thoughts are Dad’s weight gain indicates a girl. Really what it means is dad is really hungry!

As usual I am still just curious. Thank you so much for reading, hope it gave you some giggles! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I love hearing from you!

If you’re given lemons, make lemonade?

I’m Just Curious

by Debbie Walker

Okay, so some days it would seem unthinkable to do anything other than make lemonade with those pretty little yellow things. Imagine a really hot, sticky summer day and someone hands you a clear glass of lemonade on ice. So what are your thoughts as you take your first sip?

I’ll just bet the next words out of your mouth won’t be: “Oh here, let’s pour this on the floor and use it to get rid of roaches, ants or fleas! Let’s watch the fleas flee!” After all the stuff I have been reading today I am not sure what my reaction will be here on out! I had fun with all this stuff I was reading and decided to pass it on for you to hopefully enjoy and maybe find some of it helpful.

Michelle Nati had a page in our 2017 Farmers’ Almanac about “Lemonade & Other Delights,” that is what got me started. I read her words and then went cruising on the “web.” And the following is some of what I found:

  • Headache? Lemon juice and hot tea are said to do the trick.
  • First Aid lemonade: Minor cuts and scrapes, use the lemon juice; stops bleeding and clean the wounds.
  • Acne problems? A little lemon juice on a blackhead will draw it out overnight. To help keep yourself free of those things you could try washing with lemon juice. It’s a natural exfoliate.
  • Itching? (Poison Ivy, too) Lemons have anti-inflammatory properties that relieve itching. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge directly onto itching skin and allow to dry.
  • Hand cleaner, softener and odor remover: Cleanse and soften the hands after washing dishes or to remove veggie stains, rub hands well with lemon juice.
  • It will remove strong odors like onions and fish from hands, also.
  • Wood floors: A half cup of lemon juice in a pail of mopping water works well to sanitize wood floors.
  • Freshen your fridge with a few drops of lemon juice on a cotton ball left inside for a few hours.
  • Try lemon water for gargling to fight a throat infection.
  • Finger tips and nails: soak in juice of half a lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak for five minutes.
  • Remove warts (that’s what I read): apply lemon juice directly to the wart using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days. Lemon juice will dissolve the wart.
  • Metal Polish? Yup, slice lemon in half, dip it in salt and rub on metal surfaces.

So how many of you will look at a little lemon in the same way again. I’ll bet you’ll be making lemonade one day and you will remember these other uses. Will you try them? Bet you do! Lemons aren’t just for Lemonade anymore!

Note: The progress on my bionic knee has gone on smoothly. Doc Collett says we’re a bit ahead on the deal (thanks to him). My PT guy, Jason, is getting ready to cut me loose by the time you read this. (Still more therapy but I can leave home now). Kids at school are making the cutest cards!! Thank you all!

Yup! I’m still just curious! Thanks for your thoughts! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com!

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 dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

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 dwdaffy@yahoo.com 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 mstaples@penquis.org. 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 dwdaffy@yahoo.com. 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 dwdaffy@yahoo.com. 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 dwdaffy@yahoo.com . Sub line: Did You Know? Thanks for sharing your time!