Review Category : Contributors

Another survey!

By Lee Scott

How many times have you gone into the grocery store, or your bank or your local department store and the clerk says “Please complete the survey which you will find at the end of your receipt. You may win a prize.” Then she adds, “Please say good things about me, because we are rated on how many people send in positive reviews.”

Now the pressure is on because you really like the clerk and she is always very pleasant and efficient.  So you go home and decide before you throw that receipt away, “Why not? I can plug in my “enter code here” on their website.” What harm?

First you have to agree to “our terms” and by the way, “have you read our Privacy Policy?” It is a hyper-link so realistically most people who have gotten this far do not bother to read it. Basically what it is saying is that they are probably not going to sell any of the information you provide except to their affiliates one of which happens to be a large Tele-marketing Firm.

After agreeing to all the rules, you proceed to the questions which need to be answered before you are “Entered into the sweepstakes”. Here are some of the questions on the latest survey.

How old are you? How much is your family income? What are your shopping habits? I feel all of this information going into some large data base that already knows most of my buying habits. Yes, I use those 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond that already have a code on them. Yes, I run over to Talbots for their 60% off sales and to Belk’s for their Senior Days. (Over 55) I know that I am getting tracked anyway, but I am not comfortable answering all these personal questions on a survey to win some small prize. All I want to do is provide my name and phone number to qualify for the sweepstakes and hopefully win a prize.  And of course, I want to say good things about the clerk.

There is another real problem I discovered after filling out one of these surveys. The SPAM filter on my AOL account goes on hyper-drive for three days or so. Incredible amount of e-mails and they all want to sell me something based on my buying habits. So the next time you get the “You could win” receipt or notices. Go ahead and do what you normally do, just throw it away. I understand. Because the truth be told, the less people that enter the sweepstakes, helps to increase my odds for winning.

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February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month

By Mark S. Siegel

AMD or Age-Related Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss affecting over 15 million adults over the age of 50. To understand how AMD affects your vision, place your left hand over your left eye. Now make a fist with your right hand. Take your right fist and place it directly in front of your right eye. The only thing you should see is images in your periphery or side vision. Now imagine that this is how you are to function within the world.

AMD

Age-Related Macular degeneration can develop so slowly that it’s not until the vision is severely affected that the patient will notice. Age-Related Macular Degeneration primarily destroys the sharp central vision controlled by a spot at the back of the retina called the macula. Sharp central vision is needed to read, drive, identify faces, watch television and perform daily tasks that require straight ahead vision.

Risk Factors

The exact cause of AMD is not known. There are a number of risk factors that may play a role, some you can help control, and some you cannot. The same risks factors for heart disease and stroke also increase your risk for AMD. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Risks you cannot control include age, family history, gender and race.

Symptoms

AMD symptoms include blurriness, wavy lines, or a blind spot. You may also notice visual distortions such as:

  • Straight lines or faces appearing wavy
  • Doorways seeming crooked
  • Objects appearing smaller or farther away

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is important to see a Retina Specialist for the most appropriate care.

Living with AMD

Make the most of your Vision. Millions of people have macular degeneration and millions of them continue to do everything they always did. Because you never become completely blind with AMD, there is always sight available if you know how to use it.

The peripheral vision you have helps you to get around the house and outside. There are devices and techniques for everything from reading to cooking to watching sports on TV. You may have to stop driving at some point, but for everything else, there is a solution.

If you are losing sight, there are some simple things you can do on your own to improve your ability to see. Don’t become discouraged! You will probably need to try out multiple devices before you find one that works for you. These range from magnifiers that are held in the hand or suspended on a stand to devices that attach to your glasses or computers that help you to read.

Things you can do on your own:

  • Improve the lighting in your home and office. This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.
  • Use a high contrast for reading and writing. Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.
  • Use large print books, I-pads or tablets to increase the font size and contrast or try other media, like audio books. Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.
  • Use a hand held magnifier. In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very poor.

So see your eye doctor regularly for early detection of AMD!

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Don’t believe everything you think

By Susan Stone

We only think what we think until a better thought comes along, so why are we so sure we’re right?

Age can be a great teacher. If we are lucky enough to live a long life, we can accumulate a great deal of knowledge and wisdom…if we can just get our ego out of the way. We tend to lean toward the majority as if that undefined enigma has special power to discern truth. If the majority believes it, it’s probably true. The older I get, the more I realize how little I really understand about how the world works, the actual history of our planet or even the origins of Man. I only have my opinions about how things work or why I’m here, but my own experience has shown me that if I withhold my own opinion long enough I might just learn something.

Last week I had a strange conversation with a woman who was very articulate and obviously educated. I said something that challenged her belief in our health care system. For thirty minutes she went on to quote this media “expert” and that government official…but not one thing she said made a lick of sense. She obviously felt very strongly about this subject and continued to try to convince me that I was wrong. But nothing she said came from her own experience or from her heart. She believed it because they said it. Instead of a resolution, each year I choose a subject to study. I will spend an entire year observing and researching a single subject in order to understand it more fully. What I have discovered is that history is written by the “winners”. So the whole story of any culture or text is suspect. One of the most common stories we tell our school children is that Christopher Columbus discovered America. We now know that isn’t true, several cultures were here long before he even thought about crossing the Atlantic…but we continue to tell the story.

Recently a debate about removing all references to civil disobedience from our school history books took place in Colorado. I didn’t follow the story to see who won, but really? What story would we tell our future generations about Martin Luther King Jr. or even women winning the right to vote, without mentioning their civil disobedience? Are we seriously entertaining the idea of changing the facts for generations too young to remember? How will we explain becoming a Nation…independent from England? If we are having this debate now, isn’t it reasonable to think we have done so in the past?

If we look at cultures collectively, we can begin to understand how stories begin. For example, every ancient culture has either a written, oral or pictorial records of a great flood.  I grew up with the story of Noah, as many of us did. Geology and archeology has shown us that this global event really did happen. But do we get stuck believing in our version of the story? Was God really so angry with the world that he destroyed it? Can it be no other way?  Or can we take a broader look at the facts? Ancient cultures blamed a lot of natural disasters on God. They didn’t completely understand the world around them either.

There is still so much mystery left in the world. Every day, discoveries are made which change previous facts we thought we knew. We don’t have this thing called “life” figured out…not by a long shot! And that’s okay. There is some comfort I find in living in the “void”…in the “I don’t know”. When I was younger, that thought made me feel inferior. Not any more, now it makes me feel humble. I can confidently and without hesitation say, I think what I think for now, all of which is subject to change.

You can find Susan Stone at Beaufort Chiropractic. She is an Intuitive healer, Reiki Master, minister and counselor. Author of “We Heard You,” available on Amazon.com You may contact Susan at theriverangel.ss@gmail.com.

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The party

By Lee Scott

There is a party going on at my house and I was not invited. Somewhere, in one of the rooms in our home, my reading glasses have all gathered and they are having a great time without me. I know this because I cannot find one pair. Of course, there is the occasional time when I am looking for my reading glasses and my husband will say, “They are on your head.” Or I discover after looking everywhere that they are attached to a strap around my neck, but most of the times, the glasses are just partying together somewhere.

My love/hate relationship with reading glasses coincided with my 40th birthday. The print on the newspaper was just not big enough. So like many people, I went to the drug store to one of those displays that carries a hundred pair of glasses with power levels ranging from +1.00 to +4. I was very disappointed when I realized right away that I was going to need the +1.25 power level. This is when my annual trips for more reading glasses began. I bought the polarized ones during the summer and assorted styles that ranged from white framed to rimless glasses. It also seemed that whenever I was traveling I had to buy a pair in one of those little airport shops. Then the inevitable happened; I needed a stronger power +1.50 then +2.0. However, I don’t think I have ever thrown any of them away regardless of their strength, unless you count the pair that was held together with a band aid.

Ultimately, I had to go to an Eye Doctor. There I was presented with my prescription for progressive lenses because the road signs were getting as hard to read as the newspaper print. But these are my good glasses that go in my designated eyeglass case. They are not allowed to play with all those drug store glasses. The drug store glasses are used for things around the house, like reading a recipe from a cookbook. (Is that one half cup or one quarter cup?) Or, reading the name of the caller on the phone’s caller I.D. They do come in handy. But wouldn’t you think they would all like to party together in the kitchen junk drawer with all the pens, pencils, paperclips and assorted other items. No, not my glasses.

I do find them eventually. Three of them spent last night partying in the night stand next to my bed. There were two pair located in the little compartment between the front car seats and my husband found a couple lying on the shelf in the laundry room. I just wish next time they would invite me to their party.

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What is dog food?

The Yuck Factor, Part Three

By Tracie Korol

When things go awry in the pet food industry, meaning that pets become seriously ill, if not drop over dead from eating the food, the manufacturing company usually will work with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to coordinate a recall of the affected products.

The largest recall in pet food history occurred in March 2007. Menu Foods recalled more than 100 brands including Science Diet, Eukanuba, Mighty Dog and many brands featured at Wal-Mart.  The FDA received over 17,000 reports that pets were sickened and an estimated 20% died from acute renal failure. In April, high levels of melamine, a chemical used in fertilizer and plastics (you know, as in unbreakable melamine dishes) was found in wheat and rice gluten protein concentrate imported from China. The melamine had been purposely added to falsely boost the protein content.  By early May scientists identified the cause of rapid onset kidney disease to be the result of the reaction between melamine and cyanuric acid, another pet food additive.

In 1999, Doane Pet Care recalled more than a million bags of kibble (Ol’ Roy) contaminated with a nasty fungal product called aflatoxin. The toxin killed 25 dogs. In 2006, more than 5 million cans of Ol’ Roy, American Fare, and other dog foods distributed in the Southeast were recalled by the manufacturer, Simmons Pet Food, because the cans’ enamel lining was flaking into the food. In the most deadly recall of 2006, Royal Canine recalled four prescription canned dog and cat foods. The culprit was a serious overdose of Vitamin D that caused calcium deficiency and kidney disease.  While the Chinese melamine scare was dreadful, it wasn’t an oddity. It happens more often than we’d like to think.

The “good” news about the melamine recall was that it brought to light one of the pet food industry’s dark secrets, co-packing. One company makes the food, but puts someone else’s label on it. This is a very common arrangement. For instance, Iams/Eukanuba canned foods are not made by The Iams Company at all. In fact, in 2003 Iams signed an exclusive 10-year contract with Menu for the production of 100% of its canned foods.

In co-packing agreements prices of raw ingredients are lower because they can be bought in huge quantity, making the profits larger and the process cheaper. The big question raised by this arrangement is whether or not there is any real difference between the expensive premium brands and the lowliest generics as it all comes out of the same nozzle, so to speak. The melamine-tainted recalled products all contained the suspect ingredient, wheat gluten, but they also contained specific ingredients designated by the folks who were paying for the use of the machinery at the time.

The recalled premium brands claim that Menu made their foods “according to proprietary recipes using specified ingredients,” and that “contract manufacturers must follow strict quality standards.” Indeed, the contracts undoubtedly included those points. But out in the real world, things may not go according to plan. How well are machines cleaned between batches, how carefully are ingredients mixed, and just how particular are minimum-wage workers in a dirty smelly job going to be about getting everything just perfect?

The practice of co-packing demonstrates that the price of the pet food does not always determine whether it is good or bad or even safe. However, you can be sure that the very cheapest foods can be counted on to have the very cheapest ingredients. For example, Ol’ Roy has now been involved in 7 serious recalls.

As consumers, what can we do? Read labels. Granted, it’s a nuisance to heave a big bag over and look at the tiny type, but do it.  Make sure the name on the front of the bag matches the name of the manufacturer, for starters.  Read the list of ingredients, too. The first six ingredients should be foods you recognize and might eat. Or try this, if the area of space on the bag allotted to the ingredient list is over four inches deep, don’t buy it. Commercially prepared pet food is not necessarily bad. But it’s up to you (because your dog can’t read) to make sure that you’re purchasing the very best product for your very Best Friend.

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Plug in to joy

By Martha O’Regan

Have you truly wrapped your brain around the fact that we are electromagnetic beings?  We are both electric (energy) and magnetic, yet we are humans, not robots or computers. Our left brain wants to know what it sees and see what it knows so we want to see ourselves as physical structures, we want to keep it simple because it’s what we know. While keeping it simple, let’s have a little fun with the electric aspect.

What are you plugged in to? Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery that, provided you got a good nights’ sleep, is fully charged to begin each day with. Imagine that you have wires that come off of you that are either sending or receiving energy, depending on what you are plugged into. Think about the people in your life that are ‘sucking the life out of you’ as well as the ones that are ‘charging you up’. Tune into how you regularly react—is frustration often draining you dry or do you get a boost from finding the good in most situations?  What about the fuel you put into your body?  Is your body using too much energy to digest large lunches or process multiple cups of coffee or are you nourishing it with healthy choices that are actually replenishing your resources?  Who are you choosing to listen to on a regular basis—are they feeding your soul or just filling your head with nonsensical data?  What about your thoughts—are they full of self-doubt, judgment, or worry? Or, are they thoughts of joy and gratitude for even the little things in life?

So, what circuits are you choosing?  Are any in ‘overload’ or just plain ‘blown’?  Do you hear yourself say ‘I am so tired’, ‘I am totally drained’ or ‘I just don’t have any energy’?  If so, tune into what you are plugged into and decide to ‘unplug’ from the non-essential circuits. Instead of allowing someone or something to pull energy from you, just visualize yourself pulling the plug and thinking ‘nope, I’m not going to plug into that today’. Then, stay grounded (pun intended)—don’t plug it back in. Instead, take a breath and think about plugging into something that cranks up your spirit or brings you joy.

As electromagnetic beings, we are designed to recharge from the earth’s electromagnetic fields. Science now tells us that due to ‘advancements’ of shoes, roads, cars, floors and second story bedrooms, we are not as ‘plugged in’ to the earth as the countless generations before us. We aren’t receiving the earth’s energy as efficiently as those who walked the planet in bare feet or slept on the ground for thousands of years. Additionally, we as a society have been made to fear the sun and dirt, taking us further away from natural resources that our body thrives on. With this knowledge, we are now being encouraged to ‘earth’, to take our shoes off and walk in the grass, dirt, sand or surf, or even hug a tree for 15-30 minutes a day to ‘re-charge’ our battery. Who would have thought the word earth would become a verb?   Through personal experience, I will say that it works. So, if you hear yourself say “I am so tired’ and it’s only 2 o’clock in the afternoon, take your shoes off and head outside. Walk or stand for as long your break will allow you, focusing on your breath and visualizing all of those little circuits disconnecting from the stressors or the day and connecting to the earth—try for at least 10 minutes, then resume your day. You may just be surprised—I know I was. Live Awake in JOY!

Martha O’Regan, is Your ‘B.E.S.T. Life’ Coach, supporting you in accessing your magic with the work of Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique and Vibrational Coaching. Contact 843-812-1328 or yourbestlifecoach28@gmail.com to discover just how easy it can be to create change in your life.  www.yourbestlifecoach.net.

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Patience Grasshopper…

By Susan Stone

This is the time of year that tests our patience as gardeners. The frost and freezing temperatures have turned our perennials and delicate foliage to limp dish rags hanging on the stalk and vine. Wait…be patient. Don’t do anything you’ll regret later like going out there in the sunshine to pruning everything till it looks neat and tidy again. Just wait…it’s almost time.

If we cut our “dishrags” back, whether it be a giant leopard plant or our beloved bananas, we will expose the plant to more severe damage during the next cold snap. The damaged leaves are now protecting the new growth that is tempted by the fleeting warm temperatures. The rule of thumb I have always used is the last frost. After that you can prune away, but when is the last frost? According to the 2015 Farmer’s Almanac, our last frost will fall between March 1st and 9th.

There are exceptions. You can prune most deciduous shrubs as well as cane berries, deciduous fruit trees, grapes, roses, and wisteria before mid-February. You will want to cut away any diseased branches and cross branching that will damage the plants later in the growing season. Many on-line guides are available to instruct you if you’re not sure where to cut or how to shape. Wait to prune spring-flowering ornamentals like forsythia and quince, and spring-flowering shrubs like azalea and camellia until after they flower.

The first of February is a good time to fertilize spring-blooming flowers and fall-planted annuals and perennials. Wait to feed azaleas, camellias until after they finish blooming; use an acid based fertilizer. Fertilize deciduous fruit trees two to three weeks before they flower. Feed other mature trees and shrubs as new growth starts.

With days getting longer and warmer, many of us are anxious to plant SOMETHING! Fortunately, there are many choices. February is a great month to get started. Set out summer flowering bulbs like amaryllis, calla, canna, dahlia, gladiolus, lily, tuberose, tuberous begonia, and tiger flower. Bare-root vegetables such as artichoke, asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb can be planted now as well. You could plant spring flowering perennials, like bleeding heart, coral bells, campanula and perennial dianthus. This is also a good time to plant bare-root ornamentals such as roses, shade trees and vines.

Continue covering frost-sensitive outdoor plants. Don’t let the covering touch the leaves, and remove it in the morning. Don’t forget to water! High winds and long periods between rains leave your garden vulnerable to cold damage.

Watch for signs of growth in early spring bulbs. When foliage is 1 inch high, gradually start removing mulch. Cloudy days are best for the initial exposure of the leaves to strong sunlight which can burn tender foliage…even at these cool temperatures.

Pest control doesn’t seem very important at this time of year, but it really is the best time to get ahead of the game. Apply dormant oil or spray neem oil on evergreens and deciduous plants whose buds are still closed to control white fly and scale. Cloudy days are the best conditions for application. The sun is still intense here, even in winter. I learned this lesson the hard way when I applied neem oil to more than 200 camellias on a sunny day. Trust me…not a good idea.

The year ahead looks pretty normal for temperatures and rainfall, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. We’ll be a bit dry for February and wet for March. It looks very dry for June & Sept. Other months look pretty moderate…a little above normal and a little below.

Happy Gardening!

You may send Susan your questions and garden wisdom to theriverangel.ss@gmail.com.

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Look it up

By Lee Scott

“Look it up.” How many times did I hear that line?  Anytime I asked my mother for the spelling of a word she would use that phrase. Of course, my frustrated response to her came in the order of another question: “How can I look it up when I do not know how to spell it?” She would then tell me to get the dictionary, sound out the word and if I still could not find the spelling, she would help. We went through this dialogue countless number of times.

The old “Look it up” line was also used when I needed information about a place or a historical figure. She would point to the bookcase in the living room. There it was the entire set of encyclopedias. Off I would go to find the correct book. The books were in alphabetical order so you had to first determine which one you needed and then proceed. I used them all the time for research on school papers. Many of us remember having to learn about the indigenous plants of some South American country or learn the background on explorers like Ponce de Leon and Ferdinand Magellan. The facts were all there. I just had to look them up. It was really frustrating when you just wanted get an answer to a simple question. Was Madame Curie a chemist, an astronomer or an actress? It was a multiple choice question on a homework assignment. Again, there it was… “Look it up.”

It took a few years of training before I embraced the whole “Look it up” concept. But my wading through Webster’s dictionaries, Roget’s Thesaurus and the Encyclopedia Britannica got easier as I grew older; and the training was helpful for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Naturally, I used it on my own children who also complained about my “Look it up” response.

What a different world we live in now! I can find out just about everything I want to know without piling through reference books. Just by typing on my computer I can find the local movies playing and what people think of them. I can find out the menu on local restaurants, the hours and whether the food is any good based on how it is rated.

I do thank my Mother for showing me how to do the research. It has been invaluable throughout my life. However, I am not sure how she would react to my new habit. All I have to do is turn on my new Smart Phone and ask Suri. Life just got easier.

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What is dog food?

The Yuck Factor, Part Two

By Tracie Korol

Into the vats of mystery meat meal, rendered bits of what’s left over and grain fillers, dog food manufacturers also stir in additives and chemicals to improve taste, stability and appearance.  Additives include emulsifiers to prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants to prevent the fat from becoming rancid and artificial colors to make the chow more visually appealing to humans and hopefully, more palatable to their dogs.

A wide variety of additives are permitted in pet food, not counting vitamins and minerals.  Additives can be specifically approved, or they can fall into the category of “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS).  These additives can include anti-caking agents, coloring dyes, antimicrobial agents, curing and drying agents, petroleum derivatives, preservatives, texturizers and thickeners, to list just a few.

Dogs generally will not eat tainted food unless starving. Consequently, all pet foods must be preserved so they stay fresh and appealing. Some preservatives are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others by the manufacturers.  Key among the preservatives added by manufacturers specifically to ensure that dry foods have a 12-month shelf life, are synthetic preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. Read the ingredient list on the back of your dog food bag; these are usually listed near the bottom.  For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, interactions, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal. Propylene glycol was banned in cat food because it causes anemia, but it is still allowed in dog food. Potentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels.

Years ago, I was told by an animal nutritionist that BHA and BHT are also used to preserve carpet. I began reading ingredient labels religiously after that nugget of information was dropped in my path.

Some manufacturers have responded to consumer concern, and are now using “natural” preservatives such as Vitamin C, (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices to preserve fats in their products. The shelf life on these products is shorter, only about six months. Again, read the label to check the foods’ viability especially if you’re using a better brand of kibble.

Unfortunately, even with all these products added to prevent this and that, there still remain a slew of potential dangers. We humans are now  routinely to the threat of E. coli bacteria on our factory-farmed produce. This bacterium also lurks in more than 50% of meat meals used in dog foods.

One of my personal concerns now living in a more humid climate is the growth of mycotoxins (toxins from mold or fungi) on dry dog foods. Modern farming practices, adverse weather conditions, and improper drying and storage of crops can contribute to mold growth on an industrial level.  At home, these toxins can form in our kibble containers if we do not close the lids tightly. Pet food ingredients that are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins are grains– wheat and corn, and fish meal. While it is more cost effective to buy the big bag of chow, I advocate for smaller bags simply because anything can grow a layer of green fuzz here in the summer months.  Always check the last third of the chow in the bin. If it smells at all funny or your dog balks at eating it, it has probably gone furry. Dump it and scrub out your container with bleach.

Yet to come: recalls, nutrition-related diseases and the secrets of the pet food industry as if the truth wasn’t scary enough.

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Why does it always happen?

By Lee Scott

Why does it always happen?  I try to look nice when I leave the house…hair brushed, clean slacks, nice shirt. But there are those days, when we have been working on the house and my husband will say, “Can you run to Grayco for me?  I leave the house wearing stained khakis, an old shirt covered with paint and my hair tied back, and then I pray that no one I know sees me. Of course, I see five people from my neighborhood…men looking like they stepped out of a GQ magazine and women with their hair done and manicured nails. “Not fair” my brain screams. “You are at a hardware store!”

But it always seems to happen, doesn’t it. I call them “Gotcha moments,” those times when you are just not prepared to see people you know when you are a mess or the house is a mess. My husband and I had one morning when we had been lying around just taking it easy. There were newspapers spread all over the floor, the kitchen sink filled with breakfast dishes;  the dogs old chewed up toys spread all over the house, and the doorbell rang. It was a neighbor who had been out of town and I had collected their mail. Why can’t people ever show up at my house when it is spotless and I am wearing a nice outfit?  Then there was the day when I was trying to get ready for a club meeting. There were boxes of trash placed on the front porch; old broken Christmas ornaments, packing boxes and burned out Christmas lights that my husband was going to take to the convenience center. As I greeted people at the door and saw the trash still on the porch he said, “You do realize it is Wednesday, right?”  The Convenience Center is closed.

Now there is a new “gotcha moment.”  Facetime and Skype! Video calls. I discovered it the other morning after my husband said. “Good morning Phyllis Diller!” My hair was sticking up like the old comedian with her wild hair. I had on an old bathrobe and the phone rang. It was my seven year old granddaughter calling on Facetime. Video Calls. Now one would think that looking as bad as I did that I would not have picked up that phone. But any Grandmother will tell you that one must pick up the phone when a grandchild calls, regardless if it is a video call and you look like Phyllis Diller. It got better on the call when I apologized for looking such a mess. She said, “Don’t worry Nina, you still look like you.”

So, if you stop by the house and Phyllis Diller answers the door, the house is  a mess and there are boxes on the front porch. Come on in. You got me. The coffee pot is on. It is still me.

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