Published May 9, 2021 by Nan Mykel

…..Harper’s Magazine for September 2020 with the cover reading, in 5 colors (is black a color?) gray is, anyway:

BIG TECH EXTORTION RACKET. No, it’s not about scammers. It’s about what it says it’s about… The internet sure has become a big chunk of our lives and communities, hasn’t it. Our local news, our local stores…More about this most likely in subsequent postings… Anyone want to add a thought or opinion, say it in the comments please?

The Long and Short of It–A reblog of Nan’s

Published May 5, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Life’s too short

Tooth’s too long

Horses snort

Answer’s wrong

Eyes too bright

Pool’s too deep

Bra’s too tight

He’s too cheap

Sky’s too high

Feet too smelly

Words can lie

Too tight belly

Stream beds trickle

Chewing gum sticks

I’m in a pickle

Up to old tricks

Lost my keys

This won’t do

Down on my knees

Should get two

Don’t say pome

Only a verse

Come on home–Could be worse

Nan year?

Those Were the Days, My Friend…

Published May 2, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Source: The X Family in X County, Virginia, with stories, mainly of the W B Branch compiled by X in 1976.  (Sorry, I don’t know how to protect privacy and credit at the same time).

                                           DAILY CHORES  

   Papa was always an early riser. Winter and summer he got up at 5 o’clock. Long before light we would hear him shaving off a few splinters of lightwood to kindle a fire in our bedroom heater.  From there he went to grandpa’s room, made a fire in the fireplace, then carried a shovel of coals to the old kitchen in the yard.  He brought two buckets of water from the spring, whistling as he went.  This was only the beginning of Papa’s morning chores.  He fed the horses and hogs and milked and fed the cows before returning to the house for breakfast.

     In the meantime, the women had their chores. Aunt Mattie cooked breakfast.  There were hot biscuits with bacon, sausage or other meat or eggs, fried apples, coffee and milk, the last brought to the dining room table in china pitchers, one for buttermilk and one for sweet milk.  In our childhood the coffee was roasted in our oven and ground fresh for each meal.

   Mothet made a fire in the dining room stove and set the table for breakfast, making sure that there was plenty of butter, honey, preserves and sorghum molasses in the center of the table. She also made the beds and helped us children get ready for school. Alice’s hair was sometimes short and had a little curl, but mine was very long and straight and had to be combed and braided by Mother.

   Aunt Manie helped prepare Grandma and Grandpa for breakfast. Grandma was an invalid and was served her meals in her room from the time she broke her hip when I was seven years old. Grandpa was very deaf, but usually had good health until the last year or two of his life.

   After breakfast everybody had other duties. Papa began whatever farm work was in season, overseeing hired help, caring for farm animals, tools, machinery, harness, etc. Mother raised chickens, cared for the milk and butter with help from Aunt Mattie, Alice and me, helped with the house work and with caring for Grandma and Grandpa, supervised the garden and did much of the tending and gathering of vegetables.  She sold surplus chickens, eggs, butter and milk and, occasionally vegetables to help with family expense and to put away savings to send her children to high school and college.

Aunt Manie took the responsibility of caring for Grandma and Grandpa, but was helped by Mother and other members of the family as needed. She also supervised the house-cleaning downstairs and raised beautiful flowers. I remember, especially, her violets, roses, August lilies and chrysanthemums.  Aunt Mattie did most of the cooking. This was done in the old kitchen in the back yard until 1918. Food was brought hot to the table for breakfast and dinner….Too dry cake was served with a sauce.  Many ways were found to use left-overs…..


Published April 24, 2021 by Nan Mykel

My daughter and I visited a family cemetery in Marietta, Georgia on January 21, 2002 and unexpectedly came across a tasteful arbor leading to a sheltering tree from which dangled fragile Christmas ornaments and wind chimes. Under it was a small flower garden and bench, and beside that a small grave with two stuffed animals and a few other childhood mementos. The gravestone bore the name “Jon Benet Patricia Ramsey.”


Published April 22, 2021 by Nan Mykel
.Print allIn new windowKeith Wilson The following post was written about nine years ago. Since that time, some of the changes noted below have taken shape, but the message remains important. Be your own health care advocate or take one with you.

A few years ago, two doctors looking to improve the quality of health care in the US, wrote a book called “Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America’s Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes.” Since Drs. Robert Wachter and Kaveh Shojania wrote their book, improvements have and continue to be made, but with the concern over the US’ 38th position in health care quality, while being the most expensive system in the world (according to the World Health Organization), I think it is appropriate to belabor a few of their key points, in particular, being your own health care advocate.

In today’s world, we must be the navigators of any customer service we receive whether it is at a bank, the driver’s license office or in a retail store. We must be diplomatically relentless in trying to gain the service we expect and need to resolve an issue. Service providers, in particular those in a Call Center, need to stay on script as much as possible. When your problems get them off script, then your navigation diplomacy skills are needed the most. I mention this as context for what we also must do in gleaning good health care service.

A few years back there was a study conducted by a combined group called the “Leapfrog Group” to improve the quality of health care in hospitals. Leapfrog came up with three major ideas – (1) Electronic orders were a must (poorly written prescription orders were killing people), (2) Intensive Care units need to always have a doctor on site and (3) Medical procedures of import need to be done in centers of excellence, not where a hospital may have done only a handful of surgeries in this area. “Internal Bleeding” echoes many of these same issues, especially the one on electronic order taking. Yet, they also go beyond these Leapfrog issues.

They noted that often times in hospitals, fewer critical questions are asked closer to the time of the procedure. Sometimes, the critical mistake may have occurred very early in the process. They used the analogy of all of the holes in Swiss cheese aligning to allow a mistake to pass all the way through. They used the example at Duke University where a famous heart transplant for a minor child occurred. The doctors at this very fine medical center, one of the best, were so excited when a heart of a young deceased donor became available, that they assumed others had checked that the type of blood of the donor matched the patient. It did not and the patient died. Similar examples occurred when doctors operated on the wrong leg, arm, kidney, lung, etc. The doctors failed to ask the very basic of questions and assumed these issues had been resolved.

In addition to the above and related to the Rx orders, the authors advocate the patient understand fully what is being done to them in the hospital or before they get there. They recommend you introduce yourself to every care giver who comes into the room, ask questions of them relative to medications you are being given and make them fully aware of other medications you are taking. They recommend if you cannot speak for yourself or are uncomfortable in so-doing, to delegate this important role to someone you trust. In other words, they are recommending being your own health care advocate. This will help minimize mistakes.

Health care is both a science and an art. It also is a trial and error business, so the doctors may not know for certain what is wrong with you and have to figure it out. They will do their best, but they do not know you very well or at all. So, you have to play the role of information provider and advocate. Using the authors’ recommendation supplemented by other sources of information and experience, you must be your own health care advocate and do the following to get the care you expect and need.

 Write as good a summary of your and your family medical history as possible. Make it available to others you trust who may need to speak on your behalf.

– Before you see the doctor, write down your symptoms and questions as you may get stage fright when you see the doctor’s white coat.

– Do not be scared to ask questions, especially if you do not understand the diagnosis or remedy – he or she is there to serve you. I tell my kids you show your intelligence by asking questions, not by failing to ask.

– Get a second opinion on major diagnoses. For example, it takes a lot of practice to read a mammogram correctly and a non-inconsequential percentage of misdiagnoses occur. Using this example, computers cannot take the place of human fingers in doing a self-test. If you feel a lump and the first mammogram shows negative, get a second opinion.

– Make sure you inform your doctors and pharmacists what drugs you are taking. There are a number of drugs that contraempt the drug you need (make its use less effective) and some which are toxic when taken together. I ask my pharmacist questions all the time about some over counter drugs that may be harmful when taken with the prescriptions my family is taking, including me.

– Take your medications as prescribed and through the dosage. Many people stop taking their meds when they start feeling better.

– Be truthful with the doctor about your drinking and extra-curricular drug use. Doctors tend to believe patients understate their drinking, so help them out and tell them the truth. You drink more than you say you do.

– Make sure you get treatment for a major problem at a place that does a lot of what you need – a center of excellence. This is especially true with back or spinal surgeries and surgeries on any major organs. If you are having heart surgery, do you want it done where they have done 25 in the past year or 250, e.g? I have two friends who are having major back complications after spinal surgeries were done poorly.

– Get all the information you can around procedures to make informed decisions. In some cases, living with a mild discomfort with medication may be better than invasive surgery. Ask the doctor what are the options, what are the chances for success and what are the risks. If he/ she doesn’t know, ask him/ her with whom you can speak.

– Be diplomatically relentless with Call Center personnel at insurance companies. Mistakes do occur and sometimes you may be allergic to a substituted generic prescription. So, you can appeal a claim if you feel under-served.

– This one comes courtesy of Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist, biologist and cancer survivor. Family history needs to recognize your environment as well. She was adopted, but her bladder cancer at the age of 21, also occurred in other family members who lived nearby (as well as other cancers). Bladder cancer is a bell-weather cancer. It is largely caused by environmental toxins. If your family, neighbors or community has some longevity in an area and more than one or two bladder cancers have occurred, start doing some fact-finding. It may be more than a coincidence. Since people move around, showing environmental causes is difficult as the exposure may have occurred years before.

– Finally, take care of yourself in a sustainable way. Walk more. Reduce portions. Eat more slowly and ingest more calories earlier in the day. These measures can be sustained whereas diets cannot.

These are just a few ideas, but the key message is be your own health care advocate as you are the only constant in any equation about your health. If you feel you cannot serve this role well, please take a trusted friend or family member with you. Doctors and nurses are marvelous care givers, but they are not perfect. You have to improve their service by being present in the conversations. It is only your or your children’s lives.

DUMB IDEA, but what else would you suggest?

Published April 17, 2021 by Nan Mykel
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is graveyard-e1602621052213.jpg

Grim and unacceptable. The gun and death situation, Im speaking of. The only possible action I can think of is to have a nationwide swap of non-lethal weapons for guns immediately, like right now. They’d go quicker for cash, but I don’t want to enrich gun sellers.

And we shouldn’t swap guns for tasers. We know they can be lethal. There are decent non-lethal weapons available to trade for guns, and I’m not talking knives or machetes or baseball bats, but available gadgets (I have one) that can protect your person without killing the attacker. Remember many of our citizens are afraid to be without protection. Hurry. This remedy or another. No time to waste. Life is getting too cheap. To the families, condolences.

The Situation


Published April 12, 2021 by Nan Mykel



Maybe. But…

86% of all billionaires are richer than a year ago. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person for the fourth year running, worth $177 billion, up $64 billion from a year ago as a result of surging Amazon shares.

How much money are we talking about, anyway?
A million is 1000 thousands, a billion is 1000 millions


Is something wrong with these pictures? More wrong than sour grapes, I mean.

Ever Wondered What “Disambiguation” Means?

Published April 12, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Maybe not. I sure have. Stumbled across it tonight looking on Google for things like the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Future of Life Institute, Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence and Accidental Nuclear War: A Timeline of Close Calls. It appears to simply mean to remove the ambiguity from. Its daily use has increased greatly, thanks apparently to the artificial intelligence movement. BUT WAIT — It has an entirely different meaning in Urdu!

Disambiguate Meaning In Urdu | Saaf Karna صاف کرنا …www.urdupoint.com › … › English To Urdu Dictionary
Confuse, Contradict, Deny, Destroy, Disallow, Discredit, Disestablish, Disprove, Fail, Invalidate, Miss, Refuse, Reject, Renounce, Ruin, Stop, Unsettle, Veto, …Wazeh Karna: واضح کرناIbham Daur Karna: ابہام دور کرنا

Incidentally, its meaning in urdu is : ناکارہ ہونا

For a good cause idea take a look at the Future of Life Institute.com.

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