I’m Just Curious: “911” called

by Debbie Walker

I love it when things happen in daily life and it turns out to give me the next week’s column. That’s what happened on Thursday, April 27.

Ken and I were coming back to Burnham from Waterville; there was nothing unusual about that. I heard my cell phone making a noise, usually that wouldn’t be unusual but it wasn’t ringing and I heard someone talking. I picked it up and spoke into it. There was a voice saying it was the 911 operator.

My phone had called 911 all by itself. Oh, I felt so bad because I know how busy these people are with real emergencies; I didn’t want to waste their time.

I was ready to end the call so the woman could go on to help a real emergency. What I didn’t think of was this woman needed to make sure I wasn’t her next emergency. We verified where I was at the time, my name, my address and was anyone telling me to say I was “okay?” I was able to assure her that we were fine and I apologized again for my phone’s bad behavior.

We rode the rest of the way home without any more incidents. Things were normal for the rest of the afternoon and evening until… There was a knock on the door. It was after dark and neither of us had any idea who it might be. So Ken went to the door and opened it. He was quite surprised to see the smiling face of a Waldo county sheriff’s deputy looking back at him.

This was a follow-up visit to the afternoon’s phone call with the 911 operator. I was so surprised; I didn’t expect a follow-up visit. But I did understand the concern for safety.

Today this was a funny situation but I am sure that is not what these people deal with daily. Their caller could actually be in a life or death situation and desperately need help.

I was told that cell phones often call 911. From what I was told people usually just hang up without talking to the operator. When an operator calls back (part of the job) that number people very often will not answer the call. I don’t know if that is because of embarrassment or bother.

The job these operators have is very serious and I would imagine rather stressful. I certainly didn’t want to add to anyone’s stress. I know this would not be a job for me; I admire them.

I’m just curious if you ever had this experience? Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: 911

Thanks for reading.

I’m Just Curious: How about if… (part 2)

by Debbie Walker

Recently we printed “How About If”…. I didn’t realize it was going to be renamed “Part 1”. Dr. Suske (33 years Waterville Osteopathic/Inland Hospital) from China sent me an email with more “How About If…” and he gave me permission to share them with you. (ta da – part 2)

How About If…. we are a one language country. We have folks from all over the world. Why do we have to deal with the Spanish language? First I thought okay, our country does butt up to Mexico, Spanish speaking country; however we also butt up to French speaking Canada. Let’s not forget the people here who are Italian, German, etc. and let’s really not forget Native Americans. Again “How About If” we have two languages, English and Sign Language.

How About If…. we welcome and support “legal” immigrants. The people who can and want to work and they will become a strong part of our economy by also paying taxes to support their new home.

How About If….we review our priorities. Our educational system is always being hit to save tax monies. Where are the people we have to rely on for these decisions? We still need to cut down on their spending! (We have governors, senators, Congress and all in between and higher offices that I would like to get a look at their expense accounts).

How About If….. the health care system when presented to us already has from the president on down the government pay scales enrolled in such. The “power” people would then have a vested interest in having a system that may work for us all.

How About If….. all the people who have no problem with the “Pledge” and prayer in our schools spoke up and said, “What the heck,” who did that really hurt? Add a patriotic song and I believe you will be surprised to see the power rise. By using these simple tools we could bring back pride in our country from the little guys up to our elders, those who risked their lives to give us those rights.

Okay now this one is a really big one; How About If…. we start using Common Sense! Of all the “senses” known to man Common Sense is the least used! Encourage those you have influence with to rely and work on their common senses.

I admit that I am naïve about a lot of things; I write simply and often just leave a comment for you to think about. These things are my opinion that I share. With the responses I have received (especially Dr. Suske) I see that I am not alone.

I’m just curious what your thoughts are on some of these things. Thank you for reading and sharing your insights. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, sub: How about if….

Note: Thank you for sharing Doctor! Have a safe trip home.

I’m Just Curious: Remember to RELAX

by Debbie Walker

Do you know how to relax? Do you give yourself permission to relax? If you read the dictionary you will see definitions like: make less strict, or severe; to release from intense concentration; give rest to; to rest from effort, etc. and it continues. So did you relax this weekend? Can you do it? My Mom rags on me a bit because I am not very good at it. I do explain that I think when my mind goes into high gear there is no relaxing. Seems like if I even get close to relaxing that is what happens.

For some years I had trouble even going to sleep at night. Just as soon as my body started to kick back my mind would go into high gear. When some people were counting sheep to go to sleep I was writing more stories, designing clothes in my mind, coming up with different craft projects to work on, etc. On those nights I learned to get up and write till…….

When my grandson, Mark, was giving his mother and father fits about going to sleep at night I was able to help a little. Mark, since he could hold a pencil, has been an artist. He would explain to them he needed to get up and draw something before he forgot it. He really wasn’t trying to put one over on them; he needed to put it on paper while it was so strongly on his mind. So they started to let him, and it worked out fine. He was able to relax.

I found a little inspiration piece, I believe it had been in a Woman’s World magazine some years back. It is about relaxing:

“It’s okay to relax! Admit it: you work too hard, or worry too much, or both! Plus you tend to put yourself last. So taking it easy is probably not on your to-do list. But it should be! You’re long overdue for a break. So give yourself permission to spend time on you. You’ll feel so much better once you do!”

We all go through times where we are stressing about things in our life that we can’t fix right now. We really need to come up with something for each of us that works to help us relax. For some people that may be their faith. It may be music for you. Whatever works for you.

There is one thing about “taking care of yourself” that is very important. If you really want to be able to function and be at your best you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise there is nothing to help others with. I hope you have this all under control already; maybe this is just a little reminder.

Okay, I’m just curious as usual! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: How about if ..…

by Debbie Walker

I don’t usually spout off about the following things but every once in a while…

How about if ..… taxpayers’ money are no longer used to fund world catastrophes. If people in this country want to donate to those causes let them write out their own personal checks. If taxpayers’ money are going to be used for any catastrophes let it be the ones right here in the states like the recent tornados. There would be more money to help these people or more money for our kid’s schooling and elders’ medications.

How about if….. we stop putting out money for stupidity? As far as I know there is no way to predict a line of tornados hitting anywhere. However, when we have hurricanes come into the same areas time after time creating the same devastation why do insurance companies even consider paying for people to rebuild on the same land. New Orleans is a great example of that one. Most of New Orleans is below sea level. Does it make any sense whatsoever to rebuild on those properties “hoping” the new sea walls won’t weaken in another storm in years to come? Wanna bet on that one happening?

How about if….. we stop all the fuss and ta-do about “illegal” immigrants? The primary word, illegal, says it all. If they don’t come here legally, they get sent back to wherever they came from instead of taking them under a wing already over-burdened. I totally admire a man in Ohio, Sheriff Rick, of Hamilton, Ohio, Google him on the internet, it’s entertaining. Sheriff Rick is a fair man but if you’re illegal in his county you’ll be treated as such. He sends you back home.

How about if….. we stand up and say enough is enough. Who are we trying to make happy? We’ve taken God out of school and multiple facilities. Why? Who did it really hurt? So if there was a prayer time, pray to whoever is your higher power, if you’re atheist, read a book! If you are in our schools and don’t speak English go back to your home learn English and then come back. Our school budgets are being cut everyday. I heard there is a need for Spanish speaking teachers. In previous generations did we provide French, German, Italian, etc., speaking teachers. I don’t think so. Come on, some common sense.

I’m not a harsh person, but things are completely out of hand here. I may appear to have over simplified in this but I only am allowed so many words. Have you ever heard it said, “Some things are as clear as the nose on your face.” Sometimes the simplest things get over complicated. How about if…. We quit wasting money on things that just don’t make sense!

I’m just curious when the powers that be are going to start using common sense, at this point I am hoping President Trump will maybe shake things up for the better before he is done. I am willing to give him time.

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, subject line: How About. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: What a week! (Scams)

I’m Just Curious

by Debbie Walker

Now I don’t want you to be jealous of my luck this week but I do want to share this information with you. I didn’t realize at the first of the week how my week would be so blessed.

I got an email letter from the U.S. Department of State. At the very top it said Green Card Lottery Winning letter. Can you believe it, I won something! My family and friends will be so happy knowing that I may be able to stay here.

They tell me this green card is proof that I am officially granted immigration benefits (?) and includes permission to reside and work in the U.S. Imagine that, I can work!

The first step to getting my green card is applying for some immigrant visa. With that I’ll be able to travel to the U.S. (?) Oh yeah, and my family will be allowed to come too. I’ll bet mom will be relieved! All I have to do is fill out some form DS-230, not to worry; it is included as a download attached to the special letter.

There is a little “Ooops” involved here, having to do with an “Affidavit of Support” fee of $420. (It’s not free?)

Oh wow, I just realized the deadline for all this is April 3, 2017. Guess I need to get on the ball here! Oh and as a “Winner” I will get a free airline ticket to the USA. Hey, where do they think I live anyway?

Nuts! Wouldn’t you know I would win something I can’t qualify for! However, they have my information in their data base. Maybe there will be another contest.

Okay, so having been offered my green card the next experience this week was a call from Jennie Wilson, of the Internal Revenue. She was a recording and wanted a call back at 305-407-3323. Imagine the dilemma that Ken and I had on our hands since she didn’t say who the call was for. She warned us that an arrest warrant was being processed but we don’t know who for! At this printing we are still waiting to see who is going to prison, me or Ken.

You know I like to talk foolishness and these were funny to us. However, I read a list of 10 scams taking place in Maine now and my two were not on the list, so the count is at least 12 now.

Beware of answering your phone and answering even the question “are you so and so?” Don’t answer because some of these scammers are recording your voice answering “yes.” They can use that one word as proof that you okayed a charge. I know it shouldn’t be possible but it is. If you have a phone with caller ID, look, if you don’t recognize the area code or the number, don’t answer. Let them leave a message. If it is anything serious you can tell by the message they might leave. I got one yesterday that was supposedly an answer to a call I made checking into a back brace. Didn’t happen folks.

I will always be “just curious” and more and more lately, “careful.” Thanks for reading! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

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.)