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Issue #38 - 2013

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Spider Repellent

I've never paid much attention to spiders.
Oh, I don't like them, I just don't think about them much.
This year, however, they are more prevalent then ever.
Enough so that I needed to find a repellant.

Did you know that pepperment oil - just a few drops -
in a spray bottle of water, is a natural remedy for this problem?
That's what I've been told from a normally reliable source.
And so, at some point, I'm off to a specialty store to find...
peppermint oil.
I'll report my findings later.

In the meantime, if you have a natural insect repellant "recipe",
please share.
After all, 'tis the season.

Monday, July 29th

There will never, ever again be a Monday, July 29th, 2013.
The events of today will never be exactly repeated.
The people who are in your life will never be exactly the same.
We all change every day, in small increments, depending on what happens.

So many of us like to think we are in control of our destiny.
And, to a certain extent, we are.
We choose to study or not study, to overeat or not overeat,
to exercise or not exercise, etc.
But we cannot control so many variables.

I am thinking of this because I notice how petty we have become
as a society.
We pick and notice the small, unimportant (in the scheme of things) matters.
We demand ostracization of those who make errors - or have in the past.
And yet we give others a pass because their errors were within the
realm of current political correctness.

Where is this going? I'm not sure.
I just know we all need to focus more on improving OURSELVES.
And that may begin with thinking for ourselves.
Tune out that media for today.
Decide what YOU think about issues, based on your life experience.

Perhaps we cannot control our own destiny totally,
but it's time to not allow others to control it, either.
Make today "think for yourself" day - tune out of the electronic God
we call the media.

Summer Walks

What could be better than a summer walk?
A walk with your grandson.
We put him in the stroller and go.

He's all of 2 and 1/2 years of age.
That means everything is new and fresh to him.
And you need very little money to entertain him.

Sometimes we fill his watering can and let him
sprinkle the street-side flowers along the way.
We always bring a frozen bottle of water, and
another cold one - our walks last up to three hours long.
Often we'll stop at a little sidewalk cafe to enjoy lunch.

Simple things in life mean a lot to grandparents - and babies.
Thank God we are still young enough to be able to give our
grandson a fun time with these simple - ane inexpensive - journeys.

We're Having A Heatwave

My dislike for cold weather and ice has grown with each birthday.
Considering the number of people who are Snowbirds,
I'm guessing this is a common phenomena.
And so, when the inevitable mid-July heatwave hits, I'm in my glory.

This year it started early - before the 4th of July.
I clearly remember finishing up my BoardCertifiedPlasticSurgeon.com
work at about 5pm on July 3rd and being drenched.
(You guessed it - no AC in our downstairs).
It was then time to clean for the company the next day.

By 3am, when the cleaning and baking and cooking was done,
I was finished, as well.

I know how hot it was on the 4th because of something I did.
I washed my hair and, within minutes, had it piled atop my head.
This is something I never do!
Oh, I'll pull it back the next day (my hair gets washed every two days).
But never, do I pull it back or up on the FIRST day!

Well, the hair on the neck feeling was unbearable.
And rules are made to be broken - so up it went.
And it hasn't been down for more than a few minutes since -
except, of course, immediately after washing it.

Yesterday was the apex of this heatwave - temps hit 97F.
Today it's cooler - 92 is the predicted high.
And it's downhill, so to speak, from here.
(If you detect a hint of sadness, you are correct.)
So, as I always say, "I'm not complaining."
I just keep in mind the ice, the heavy coats, boots, etc.
That keeps me from being ungrateful for July in the Northeast.

Summer: Slow Down

Will someone please put the brakes on?
We are already many days past the 4th of July.
Independence Day, as my beloved Mom used to say,
marks the beginning of the end of Summer.

How upset at her I used to get when she'd say that.
I loved Summer! How dare she announce it's impending demise.
But, looking back, I realize she was saying it in a wistful,
but accepting, manner.
As one grows older, one learns to accept some inevitable things.
Not everything, of course, just the truly inevitable.

Of course, looking older is often avoidable.
And, while some of us may accept it as inevitable,
others may choose to rail against the visible signs of time.
If that is your choice, I do hope my website helps.
In the meantime, enjoy June. It's not July 4th yet.

Happy Independence Day
Cleaning and cooking the day before, putting
the last minute touches on everything the day of.
Then we began our Independence Day celebration.
Nothing fancy: ziti, baked beans, my special beans,
cole slaw and some hot dogs and buns.
For dessert there were brownies, lemon bars,
and some lovely cream puffs, eclairs and cheese danish
brought by my son's in-laws.

Having given up air conditioning to save the budget
meant it was time to get outdoors where, believe
it or not, the 90 degree temperature felt cooler.
But I'm not complaining - it beats the ice and snow
of January in the Northeast.

Fireworks? You bet. But we didn't spend a penny.
North, South, East and West was a display of
every explosive color and arrangement.
It pays to live atop a hill in a valley.

Flat Screens

I can't believe the number of old televisions. being thrown out.
I'm talking about the old-style TV.
The new style television is the flat screen, as you know.

We have a flat screen. My husband insisted on it.
Our second flat screen will be coming into our home soon.
I feel very spoiled.

Americans are consumers extraordinaire.
Out with the old, in with the new - even if the old is not broken.
Why is that?

740 Park Avenue, New York City

We are all the same. Or are we?

Last night, after all the work was done, I watched a documentary. It is called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream The story focuses on the wealthiest of the wealthy 1% in America. The documentary fascinated me, and affirmed what I already knew. Most, not all, extremely wealthy people (the 1%) don't understand how difficult it is for the rest of us - especially for the very poor - to just make enough money to get by.

What most people really don't understand is that the way money flows does not happen by accident. The President of the United States does not control the economy to any real degree. The money people, the 1%, by employing lobbyists who pay U.S. Representatives and Senators to pass bills into law which were written to specifically favor them, are the real puppetmasters.It is men such as David H. Koch and his brother, Charles Koch, and Stephen A. Schwarsman - all multi-billionairs (and two of them live at 740 Park Ave) who really run this country. If you've never heard of Koch Industries, look it up. Schwarzman runs The Blackstone Group.

If you don't understand what I mean, watch the documentary, free & online:

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream

Or write to me and I'll send you the link. I may not live on Park Avenue, but I know one thing. Dickens was right when he described all human beings as "fellow passengers to the grave." I try to treat people accordingly.

Charles Dickens said it best in A Christmas Carol: "I have always thought of Christmas time...as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on their journeys."
July 2, 2013

Thank You, God or It's All Relative

Last week I had occasion to be at Mt. Airy Casino and Resort for a show - Mr. Nippies is an entertainer. The audience was, in my estimation, 99% elderly. This was a group who had purchased package show / gambling / bus tickets.

At the end of the show, I had to wait for my husband and stood right outside the theater (Gypsie's) door...and watched and listened. Mostly in twos, this primarily white-haired group slowly made their way out on walkers, canes, or on the arm of their more ambulatory partner or companion. Many wore thick glasses. All seemed delighted with the show, with one woman saying, "I haven't moved around that much since the arthritis set in." I think she was referring to waving her arms in the air and clapping.

Flash forward to yesterday. My husband and I took our 2 year old son on a 4 hour walk. He was in a stroller. I said to my husband more than once, referring to the theater exodus scene of last week, "Thank God we are still able to walk like this." And I meant it.

But, after writing this, I'm editing because I thought of something else - what we are thankful to God can change in the blink of an eye. It's all relative. There are many who can't walk unaided who are grateful that they are still in good enough condition to just get out and about - even if it's on someone's arm, a cane, a walker or even in a wheel chair. Sometimes you take so much for granted. Walk while you can, enjoy life while you can, as those "golden years" are always looming on the horizon.


There are many nights when I can't sleep.
The concerns of the day, for myself and others,
continue to run through my mind long after I command them to stop.
Some nights I can read myself to sleep.
On other nights I realize, after an hour or two,
that sleep is likely not coming anytime soon.

A syndicated radio show host was addressing this problem one night.
He said, "when you can't sleep, get up and work."
Wonderful advice to those who need it.
As for me, that's what I've always done.
You get a lot done when everyone else is asleep.

The computer seems faster in the middle of the night.
Your thoughts are much clearer when there are no distractions.
The only sound is that of the other nocturnal animals who reside in our home.
Try working the next time you can't sleep.
You'll be amazed at how tired you become...
about an hour before the alarm is set to go off.


I am happy to say I wasted no time today.
It was spent on making one small child very content and happy.
Did you know you can take a 2 year old to Chuck E. Cheese's
and spend less than $1?
You put a toddler on a ride, a car for instance, shake it a bit,
and watch him or her laugh and have the time of their young life.

Spend the dollar, instead, on capturing their happy face,
along with yours,
on a Chuck E. Cheese portrait.

Time waits for no one.
You can't harness it, and it keeps galloping away.
The older we get, the more aware we become of just how
fast our life is racing by.

Try to make time a pleasant thing for yourself and your loved ones.
Don't waste it trying to make things go your way.
Spend it being friendly to everyone you can.
That doesn't mean trusting strangers.
It doesn't mean being foolishly naive.
It only means say hello back, or, even first.
Hold that door. Offer a kind word or a compliment.

At the end of the day, being kind won't cost you a dime.
And it may even make a difference that will,
somehow, find its way back to you or one of your loved ones.

Taxing Time
~ Mid-April 2013 ~

We've all heard that old saying:
Better late than never...
but better never late.

And so the taxes are done, and life can go on.

Self-employed? Here are some interesting facts.
The amount of money you pay for your health insurance,
which costs, on the average, over $20,000.00 per year for a family of four,
is NOT deductible off your Schedule C.
(Schedule C is the form where you itemize your business expenses).
That means you could owe 13.3% self-employment tax on that $20,000.00

Self-employed and you didn't pay enough in estimated tax in a tax year?
IRS slapped you with penalties and interest on top of the unpaid tax?

Sorry to say, THAT money, is not deductible at ALL.
So, the IRS is collecting TAX on the money you are paying in BACK TAXES.
And they are taxing the money you are paying them in penalties and interest.
How's THAT for a nightmare?

Obamacare it is NOT

Obamacare was NOT written by President Obama.
Nor is it, by any stretch of the imagination,
the "universal health care" tooted about by Obamain his 2007 campaign,
Universal health care means, basically, free health care for all
without worry of how to pay for it.
Taxes levied on luxuries and other goods pay for the health care of all.

With our Obamacare, we are now ALL required by law to purchase health insurance.
This is a bonanza for the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry.
European and Canadian citizens don't buy health insurance,
and they pay NOTHING for health care.

Obamacare's basic tenets were authored primarily
by a woman who left government service afterward
and went to work for...JOHNSON AND JOHNSON.

Carnival Cruise lines, Facebook, GE - all companies who
made billions in the U.S and YET paid ZERO in taxes.

The lobbyists of big business have been very successful
in tempting the greedy and corrupt politicians and legislators.

We've all heard that old saying:
Better late than never...
but better never late.

And so the taxes are done, and life can go on.

Self-employed? Here are some interesting facts.
The amount of money you pay for your health insurance,
which costs, on the average, over $20,000.00 per year for a family of four,
is NOT deductible off your Schedule C.
(Schedule C is the form where you itemize your business expenses).
That means you could owe 13.3% self-employment tax on that $20,000.00

Self-employed and you didn't pay enough in estimated tax in a tax year?
IRS slapped you with penalties and interest on top of the unpaid tax?

Sorry to say, THAT money, is not deductible at ALL.
So, the IRS is collecting TAX on the money you are paying in BACK TAXES.
And they are taxing the money you are paying them in penalties and interest.
How's THAT for a nightmare?

Visiting NYC Just In Time
Photo of gated Catholic Church, possibly St. Cyril's? (6th or 7th Avenue) taken October 13, 2012 by Marion Weiscarger Roughsedge. Copyright 2012 - 2022 All Rights Reserved. We were supposed to use the rented car for a trip to Philadelphia's Temple University Open House. That's the college of choice for our eightteen-year-old daughter. Our old van, about the same age as our future scholar, would not, we feared, make the two hour trip to Philly unscathed. Thus, we opted to leave the old, but beloved, jalopy home and hit the NE Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in a sparkling new SUV.

The night before the trip our daughter's boyfriend decided he was definitely coming home to visit for the weekend - from Temple. And, as teens often do, Therese changed her - and our - plans. She informed us she no longer wanted to attend the Open House, and would we mind?

The trip to Philly could be cancelled without repercussion. The car rental could not: a twenty-four notice is required to cancel a rental. We decided to keep the car and take advantage of being in possession of a car that got more than six to ten miles per gallon on the highway. We decided on we would get up the next day and do something we never do - we'd would just get in the car and go...on a randon trip.

And that is what we did.

Mr. Nippies and I don't get away together very often these days. Our days are filled with obligations and duties - both family and work. But today we decided to throw caution to the wind - sort of.

"Where do you wnat to go?" Mr. Nippies asked. Originally our planned direction was South, and so I said, "Let's just head South." Somewhere on Wyoming Avenue my mind, and the direction, changed. New York City became our destination.

Did I mention we were also basically broke? Yes, and it was cold. So we did the smart thing. We drove up and down the length of downtown Manhattan. We passed tens of thousands of tourists, drove through Times Square, gaped at the Broadway marquees, and enjoyed every minute of the approximately 90 minutes we spend cruising through Manhattan.

Eleven o'clock loomed near and we knew it was time to head towards home. And so we did. The ride back was spent discussing what we'd seen and calling our children to share the experience. Knowing us, they weren't surprised that we'd just "taken a ride to New York City." And they knew it was their mother's idea.

Life is short. Sometimes it really is fun just to get in a car and just drive.

Read what NIPPIES had to say on: August 12. 2004

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