Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What the Shore really needs

I have been thinking about this blog for sometime. I didn't want it to reflect my personal unhappiness at what is missing, I wanted it to reflect what the population thinks is missing.

Then to my wonder and amazement....an article appeared in our twice weekly newspaper 'Needed Businesses'. Wow, I was ready to be shocked, instead I was pleasantly surprised that the people who responded to this query actually came up with quite reasonable responses.

First and foremost the incident that brought this about was the initial groundbreaking of the one and only Walmart. This troubling event was ten years in the making, so you can see just how ornery these locals can be..well, the supervisors mainly. They have fought all building and commerce from the year one. It is truly a good old boy system that I'm shocked anything of this magnitude got accepted.

But back to my original subject...the people here want diversity in grocery shopping. And no bones about it the people want a gourmet variety deli, that includes imported cheeses, ready-made to go dinners, more than is currently offered like the over-spun rotisserie chickens.

They wanted movie theaters . A movie plex would be nice. We currently have two or three that are open for business at odd hours and don't advertise their showings and when they do....it has to be something that has been available on Netflix for ages.

How to attract tourists? How about a boat rental place? How about gambling ..as in a Mississippi River Boat? How about OTB...that might bring in people who might stay longer than a half hour.

We have oodles of land that is available along the one highway thru the penninsula. What about a shopping mall, Outlet Stores, a Lowes, a new car dealership.

The people that live here want to be able to chose a fast food place, they offered up Popeye,Arby's , Chili's. We currently have Mc D's, Wendy's and Bo Jangles.

The kids have always been a concern of mine. They have no outlets for sports, video, ping pong,big screen TV's, meeting places for events that could include families. We do have a YMCA. Not the same is it.

They asked for an Urgent Care facility. Not a bad idea. You either have the local hospital,ugh, or a hundred mile trip to Salisbury.

All of these businesses would offer the much needed jobs for this area. Right now you can work in a auto parts place which there are many of, or you can work in the chicken industry. That's about it.

My point in mentioning this at all is to let my readers know that there are places in the United States that are currently doing without the basics. Yes, you can be terribly disappointed in some of the results of progress, then change them.

But to hold on to a way of life that has long passed and is irritatingly insufferable for those of us that live here now is incompetent. I am personally indignant each time I must drive one hundred miles for the slightest thing. Don't these supervisors realize that we are forced to shop in another state, and they are losing revenue as well?

What are your thoughts? Go with the flow? or stay put in another century. Have a beautiful week, it looks to be a nice one here. RD

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All That's Old is New Again

I must say....that is a horrible thought. It screams ... no original thought is happening. To rework something that has come and gone should be left buried...we are literally exhuming stuff that was awful once, and now we are looking at those things with a different eye?

Think about it, they have chosen to revisit the 1980's. I don't know about you...but Joan Collins comes to mind. Lots of makeup, those wonderful smoky eyes, bright red lipstick, racing stripes for cheek color, and those shoulder pads!

I'm also recalling the movies and music of the time. Our favorite bands... really, I liked this stuff. The movie buff will do far better than I but all that comes to mind is "Big" with Tom Hanks. And who could forget the "Gremlins" movie? Kinda light and airy and pure entertainment for the prepubescent crowd. Simpler by a long shot.

I lived in Phoenix then. I liked the 1980's. Not a house on the block could be found without a Nagel predominantly displayed. All that lacquer furniture. White and black reigned at the top of the pile. And as I sit here I couldn't forget the many glass items, tables, lamps, whatever went with black and white and a touch of pink.

Talk about a love affair with pink! Wow, "Pretty in Pink", Barbie pink and neon pink dresses by designers like Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. This is not to say that I was or am a slave to trends..."NO"...it is far too expensive a hobby to embrace for myself. But remember I had two daughters...who wouldn't be caught dead without the proper accouterments to an evening out on the town or at a concert.

I could have literally been living with Madonna's twins at that time. Not all bad. I must say it really became a time of resourcefulness. They scoured the consignment stores, thrift shops, Goodwill and came up with some terrific costumes. (and that is what they were)

Well folks, this might be in your future. Leather, fur, gloves, (yes, gloves),strapless feminine dresses, ruffles, off shoulder dresses and tops, ( oh, how I despised those)how about the less irritating look of the mono-chromatic look. And most of all the bold placing of colors like red and orange together and having it look good?

This has been touched on in several blogs that I read. However, the real eye-opener came when my doc asked about my meds. Oh, I see you are on theophyllien back to the old meds I see. However he qualified his statement by saying "maybe they will get it right this time" "you know a lot of people died while trying to use this stuff back in the 60's. I too hope they have it right this time.

Having had my say on this subject I came to the conclusion that if you really are into being in style....once again....go to a thrift store, a consignment shop, or Good will...You'll be the bell of the ball.

Can it be? The weekend is upon us....Drive safely. RD

Friday, September 18, 2009

Senior Pets, Senior Owners.....A solution I am in favor of.

Programs support senior pets, senior clients Send us feedback about this article

September 16, 2009
By: Edie Lau
For The VIN News Service

After having to euthanize another elderly animal and hearing yet another owner say she was too old to get a new dog, Dr. Raymond J. Ramirez got to thinking.

How, he wondered, could he help good clients ease past their fears that their pets might outlive them and have no place to go?

From this question was born “Love and Life Goes On,” a new service at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in East Peoria, Ill., through which owners need not worry what will happen to their animal companions should they die or become too infirm to tend to their needs.

“What we say is that we’ll take care of your dog or cat for you if there comes a point where you can’t take care of them any more. No questions asked,” said Ramirez.

It’s a huge commitment, but Ramirez sees it as a way to help his elderly clients responsibly continue enjoying pet companionship. It is also smart business. The clinic he bought a year and a half ago is located in a region with an older population. “If my practice is to remain a good, viable practice,” he reasoned, “I need to figure out ways to keep my existing good clients or attract new ones.”

The question of how best to support senior pet owners and their pets is a familiar one for many practitioners and rife with ethical land mines. In an online discussion on the Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN), a division of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), technicians spoke of their clinics being asked to euthanize healthy pets when their owners were no longer able to care for them, or when the owner died. Some techs said their clinics’ policy was not to euthanize healthy animals; others felt an obligation to honor an owner’s wishes.

2nd Chance 4 Pets, a non-profit animal-care advocacy organization in California, estimates that half a million pets are euthanized in the United States each year because their owners neglected to plan properly for the animals’ ongoing care. The organization is dedicated to educating pet owners on how to provide for their pets during the animals’ lifetime.

Amy Shever, who founded the all-volunteer organization in 2004 and serves as its director, said she is against euthanizing healthy animals just because their owners have died or become disabled. “I think it’s unethical, and I think it’s ignorant,” she said, arguing that someone else out there could be an equally capable and loving owner.

The issue is relevant for all pet owners, not just seniors. Shever was motivated to establish 2nd Chance 4 Pets after the deadly World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Eight hundred animals in New York City were left behind,” Shever said. “The average age of the owners was in their 30s.

“This is something that every responsible pet owner needs to think about,” she realized. “We don’t know how our destiny will play out.”

2nd Chance 4 Pets urges pet owners to, at the very least, get an agreement from someone — be it a family member, a friend, a pet-sitter, or a fellow pet owner from the local dog park — to take care of their pet or pets if something should happen.

That agreement is something that should be discussed and renewed periodically, “because people’s lives change,” Shever said. Someone who agreed 10 years ago to take your pooch might be unable to honor that commitment today.

More formal arrangements are another option. According to 2nd Chance 4 Pets, a growing number of states permit residents, as part of their estate planning, to establish trust funds for pet care.

Shever noted that some veterinary schools also offer “perpetual pet care” programs that provide for the lifelong needs of pets whose owners have died or become disabled. These programs tend to be expensive, requiring payments by the owners on the order of $25,000 or $30,000.

At Lakeview Veterinary Clinic, the security owner Ramirez is offering his clients is, in some respects, institutionalizing what’s been a long-time practice at many veterinary hospitals.

Mary Jean Calvi, a licensed veterinary technician in upstate New York with 12 years in the profession, has acquired a menagerie through clients who couldn’t keep their pets any longer. Specifically: four dogs, six cats, eight birds, four rabbits and a tortoise.

The most recent acquisition is a ring-necked dove that belonged to an elderly client who needed medical treatment but delayed because of her many animal charges.

“(She) refused to enter the hospital because she was concerned for the future of her pets,” Calvi wrote on the VSPN discussion board. “She knew that many of them were difficult to place because of who they were: a pit bull, several older dogs, a diabetic, older cat, a crow, a dove .... The entire staff stepped in and we each took in one of them so the client would allow them to admit her to the hospital. She died a few days later and most of the animals are STILL with the people who offered to take them in. I got the dove.”

Added Calvi in an interview, “Anyone who’s ever worked in an animal hospital knows, you inevitably bring home an animal. It’s an unspoken law.”

Besides providing for the lifetime needs of pets, one aim of Ramirez’s plan is to provide his clients with continued animal companionship. Talking with directors of retirement housing in his community, Ramirez heard of instances in which pets apparently prolonged their owners’ lives.

“They saw that if someone came in with a pet, that it was pretty quickly after the pet passed away that the person (also) passed away,” Ramirez said. “They didn’t have anything to live for. You need something to look forward to every day.”

Jennifer Witzel, a licensed veterinary technician in Marshfield, Wisc., has witnessed the power of pet companionship in her own family. Her husband’s grandmother, at age 80, adopted a “poodley mix guy” from the local humane society. The grandmother is subject to bouts of depression and has told her family that needing to feed the dog and take him out gives her a reason to get up every day.

“She’s said many times that (without him), she would have thrown in the towel long before,” Witzel said. Her husband’s grandmother is now 97.

But some adoption agencies decline to work with elderly would-be pet owners, out of concern for the animals’ long-term welfare. In Washington state, Kelly Nelson, owner and founder of a pet-adoption and foster-care organization called Kindred Souls Foundation, remembers being contacted by a woman who was trying to find a pair of cats for her mother. “She was having trouble finding an organization to adopt to her because she’s 80,” Nelson said.

That got Nelson thinking about impediments to pet ownership for seniors and ways to overcome them. From that thinking arose Senior Companion Program, which matches people aged 62 and older with cats or dogs age 10 and older. Kindred Souls pays for the food, cat litter and medical services for each animal for the rest of the animal’s life. Each animal/caregiver pair is assigned a volunteer case manager who takes care of delivering food and litter to the home and can provide transportation to veterinary appointments.

The new program, initially supported by a budget of $10,000 for up to 10 animals, has so far matched a handful of senior cats with senior caregivers. Nelson said much of the work Kindred Souls does is possible because of its relationship with Chambers Creek Veterinary Hospital in Lakewood, Wash., which provides the foundation with free and discounted medical services.

“That’s our pro bono; that’s our cause,” said Dr. Ann Marie Thiessen, who serves as Kindred Souls Foundation’s medical director. “We feel so privileged to be able to help in whatever way we can.”

Noting that many adoptive owners continue to bring the animals to Chambers Creek for care at their regular prices, Thiessen said, “It’s a symbiotic relationship, as well.”

Back at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic, Ramirez said he doesn’t anticipate being overwhelmed with the pets of clients who turn them over to him. The program is so new that no client has yet taken up the offer.

The subject of death, whether a pet’s or a person’s, is obviously touchy. Ramirez has found that those clients whose pets have already died and who have decided that that pet will be the last are perhaps the least receptive to the invitation.

“If they’ve gone down the path and made the decision, I think us coming in with that suggestion is not likely to change their mind,” Ramirez said. “They’ve mentally made it so it’s not fun anymore, as a defense mechanism.”

But for clients whose pets are still doing well, the idea seems to be gaining traction. Ramirez said he will continue to tweak his approach until it works

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of my hip replacement. I cannot begin to tell you how very grateful I am.

To think....that I once gave the notion of continuing to suffer in endless pain rather than surgery. Upon reflection I see just how ludicrous that thought is.

Fearfulness is something that needs to be put to rest by each an every one of us in our own way. I chose something that was something like an out of body experience.

It wasn't until I had recently visited the hospital on my third trip that I realized that is where the surgery took place. I couldn't tell you anything about the experience. Which is probably a good thing. If you are a surgical nurse I'm sure you hear this often.

All I can say is that if this hip replacement is in your future go ahead. I've never felt better about a decision in my life. Don't wait, as I did, making one excuse after another, the result can be hazardous to your health.

It's raining, it's raining....fall is here. Play nice. RD

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fall is upon us......like it or not.

I'm not particularly a fan of fall, I'm a winter gal myself and do welcome the change in seasons. The cooler nights do help. This is a wonderful time to be out and about. I say this with tongue in cheek.

Why....? Fall allergies. Goodness, I have never in my life experienced these types of allergies. It is a cycle that I believe can only be broken with a frost. Sneezing, itching, runny eyes and nose and on and on. But of course, there are remedies....over the counter put you to sleep remedies. Then of course there is my dog Gemma, who is licking, itching and carrying on as I do. She too gets the over the counter remedies and she sleeps for an hour or so and is right back at it.

We both are awaiting a bit of cooling off. Whatever the culprit is is really in good form this year. I'm thinking mold. It is just everywhere. You breath it in day and nite. A dog is closer to the ground and they have their noses right in it.

Come to think of it....I spent Thursday eight hours of Thursday on the road and in Salisbury's Peninsula Regional Hospital getting tested. Oh yeah, the same old stuff, chest x-ray, spirometery, and finally a consult with a pulmonologist.

I have to say....this fellow was one wippy guy. The second that I have met in the ten years of living here. He was sassy, feisty,knowledgeable, not that difficult to look at either. Yup, I have allergies, yup, I have asthma. We already knew this, but it is getting worse. He suggested I move. MOVE....heck I've wanted to do that for the past ten years. He offered to write a note to Bob to stress the urgency of my getting out of this climate. He suggested Northern Arizona. Funny he should say that.

As anyone who knows me just a bit will tell you I have been looking in various places among them Texas. He nixed Texas. Too much of the same types of allergens that I'm sensitive to there. Why northern Arizona...I really don't know...but he mentioned that I clearly don't belong here or back in the 18Th century of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

I explained why we have no choice in the matter at this time because of the sorry state of real estate both on the Eastern Shore and many other places. He then suggested .. failing that we must modernize our home by installing central air, some kind of heating, not the oil we have now. Now come on....spend thousands to stay where it is unhealthy and dismal?

I am rather happy about the results.....it could have been so much worse. But he did mention that the dizziness is not lung related....it is in my head. Oh no, that means more tests.

I've got to tell you....I went on line, (when I could) and found some really nice digs in Prescott Arizona. I'm pumped up again and looking at the world a little differently.

My friend suggested I look into Environmental Diseases. I did so and I am suggesting that everyone take a look. It is amazing what this site can come up with so many symptoms that are environmentally induced. I've often complained about driving behind these huge live poultry trucks.....well there you go....so many viruses are dispersed into your space it is no wonder I walk into walls. But....the red herring is...just trying to find a doctor who agrees with these theories may take awhile. Enlightenment is not that easy to find.

I'm pleased to say Nicci's foot surgery went well and she is a hard one to keep down. Thankfully, the pain relief she was prescribed also knock her out for several hours. Yea!!!!

My journaling is going to be sporadic...we have a problem with our carrier, Vonage. It will be rectified on the 11th of September and we will be back with Verizon. Hopefully that will be the end of this fading in and out. Was it so unreasonable of me to think that it was the signal? Like a satelite shifting and we are losing power down here? Bob seems to think I've lost my mind. Well, just once he could be right.

This is a holiday weekend. Be Safe. See you soon. RD