Monday, August 31, 2009

How Was Your Weekend?

We were disappointed this weekend. There was to be a Native American Pow Wow to take place over at the airport. It was cancelled due to a lack of funds. No notice was even given in our local papers until a week before. Well, I guess it was just as well, given the fact that it would have been rained out anyway, at least in the morning. But we were really looking forward to it.

I was personally disappointed because my doctor finally admitted defeat and told me the Rx Insurance Company is definitely NOT going to grant the "exception" for my (or any other patient's) receiving the medication that he says we need. One more victory for the insurance industry over common sense.


Lots of tourists here were disappointed in the weather on the final weekend of August. Thunder storms and flooding were the general rule at the beginng. Did turn nice later for those who stuck it out.

At least some of the heat left us for a while.

Lots of changes starting on TV scheduling. It really messes up DVR recordings. I wonder if we can hope for better programming come fall?
(I can dream, can't I?)


Had a couple of big, fat crickets in the house in the past two days. I had some tiny ones earlier. I guess these must have been Mama and Papa. I capture them under a paper cup, and return them to the great outdoors.

If you happen to be talking to Lisa, the Villas Girl, you might want to ask her if she's seen Garfield the cat lately.

Obviously, the Garfield photo is not mine, but from the Garfield site.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #34

Mellow Yellow Monday, and Drowsey Monkey is hosting it for us again.

This week I have returned to more signs along our roads. I particularly like the Share the Road sign.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #67

Hi Tracy! I'm back for another Shadow Shot Sunday.

I decided to try taking pictures of the shadows of bubbles. Well, I found out that in order to do this, I really should have someone else blowing the bubble while I take pictures. But I didn't do that. I tried to handle both jobs myself.

I didn't get what I really wanted. And I did darken the pictures because most of the bubble shadows seemed a bit washed out by the sun. Here's what I got.
The first is me, of course, trying to create both bubbles and pictures.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Holly Near

Any of you interested in activist, folk singer, Holly Near? I love her music. I just learned she has a new album out called WE CAME TO SING. I've not heard it yet, but I've read the lyrics, and they look great.

I guess this is the album cover.

So, if anyone is interested:
- you can read the lyrics here.

Another of her songs - not from this new album - is posted on my Video Venue.
And there are just snatches of the new album songs at:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sky Watch #59

As always, I want to say thank you to the great team that brings us Sky Watch each Friday.

The weather we have had this year seems to have brought us a beautiful bumper crop of crepe myrtle this August. Here are a few that I have found in the neighborhood on a lovely, clear day with blue skies and sunshine.

Casualties of War

Each morning I check iCasualties and change the totals on my sidebar. The U.S. casualties in Iraq and slowing down of late. But those in Afghanistan are climbing every day. Nothing surprising. We are all aware of what is going on. But each time I have to change the numbers, it hurts. And each time I think of the other lives lost that we are totally unaware of - the children, the parents, the frightened people who live with this every day.

Please pray for peace. Please consider joining the Blogblast for Peace. You can learn about it, and get your own Peace Globe at:

Dona Nobis Pacem


Think Green Thursday

Time again for Think Green Thursday, thanks to Michelle.

I am wimping out this week. I was sick for several days, and still have not bounced back as I had hoped, so I guess I'm using that as my excuse. Instead of finding a single topic to concentrate on, I am going to refer you to a site that I have used a few times as an excellent source for environmental information.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's blog, Sea Notes, is not only such a source, it is also extremely entertaining, offering stories about many creatures such as sea turtles, otters, sea horses, sharks, dolphins, jellies - whatever you might imagine. It also describes the marvelous ways that the aquarium makes these creatures feel at home within displays for the public, and the staff's research activities.

I believe that by adding Sea Notes to your own reading list might give you a great deal of pleasure. If you choose to look it over, I would suggest, in the spirit of Think Green, that you check out the August 21st entry "Pick Your Poison", the August 22nd "The Hand of Man", and August 24th "Fishing for (Climate) Change. In between, and in earlier posts, you will find pure enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great Photos

I'm so glad to see that Villas Girl is posting her photos again. She hasn't been showing them to us for quite a while. They are always worth viewing. take a look.

Unearthing Old Treasures

Well, maybe "treasures" isn't quite the right word.

I suppose it's just proof of what a terrible housekeeper I am, and my mother must be spinning in her grave about now.

I went looking for something I had misplaced. Never did find it. But I did turn up some things that probably should have been disposed of years ago. I'm glad they weren't because they brought back memories of old friends.

First there were cards I had received when I moved into this house. Then more cards and notes from friends and relatives, sent to me after my cancer surgery. I wonder if I fully appreciated them at the time, when I was under stress and not necessarily thinking of other people so much as I was of myself. One of those was in handwriting I recognized immediately. It was from Jack, my childhood friend who died a year ago. He had suffered a long time with Parkinson's Disease, and had not been able to write letters himself for so long. Seeing that handwriting brought back a rush of feeling. There were some photographs too. I don't know why they had been left among the papers.

Next came a copy of an email I had received from Trudy, who was my youngest daughter's maid of honor. It concerned the rehersal dinner, and was written in Trudy's own humorous style. I haven't seen her in about eight years. I even found the store receipt for the outfit I wore to that wedding. I was really pleased with my outfit that day - even the big hat I wore because my hair had not yet fully grown back eight months after the chemo. I was looking good!

Oddly enough, a couple of bank statements and cancelled checks were among these keepsakes. How could I have managed to leave them with such papers?

I also found a map of Mexico, a catalog from a native plant nursery, stubs from airline tickets - Philadelphia to Los Angeles to Monterey, and a notebook in which I'd kept a record of everything I ate day to day, right after I'd been diagnosed with diabetes and the dietician had asked me to record everything for a while, counting carbs.

Do you ever run across something from years ago that you never expected to see again? Or is it just me and my careless clutter? Well, there are advantages to leaving things around to be discovered years later. I did enjoy the walk down Memory Lane. And I will make use of the native plant catalog . Don't think I'll be running off to Mexico any time soon though.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thank You, Walgreen's

In the past several months I was forced to look for a new prescription coverage insurance company. I had coverage for my medications from my former employer who suddenly gave up offering such insurance for its employees and ex-employees. I was now faced with the task of finding someone new who would cover all my medications under the Medicare system. I first called the insurance agent who had helped me a few years earlier to find someone to give me secondary coverage for Medicare. He had been very helpful at that time. This time he let me down. I guess there was no profit in it for him, and he seemed disinterested. He did half-heartedly supply a company name for me.

I then went on line myself, checking out the name he had given me, and others. The number of companies out there was mind-boggling. Their web sites were very confusing to me. I have used computers for several years now, but for mostly recreational purposes. Even while I was still working, my computer use was restricted pretty much to certain programs used by our department. I am far from computer literate in other areas. I can't help but think of the thousands of people my age who have had no experience at all on a computer. As we grow older, our minds are not as sharp as they once were, despite our attempts to keep them active. And for many of us physical problems add to this.

The insurance company I chose has turned out to be completely unsatisfactory, and pretty darned expensive. Having no previous experience with such coverage, I really didn't know what questions to ask, and they didn't give me much detailed information up front. I've learned the hard way. So at this point I need to find another company, and prepare to make the change in November, when such a change is permitted.

I am fortunate in that we have a Walgreen's Pharmacy nearby now. That is where I turned for help this time. They took a list of all my current medications and supplied me with a print-out of all the companies available to me - ALL 64 OF THEM - and listed the first five they consider as offering the best plans for me. They gave me the estimated costs and showed me which medications on my list were covered, as well as other pertinent information.

I can't tell you how much this is helping me! For other seniors out there, I strongly recommend visiting Walgreen's, or some other pharmacy if you can find one offering this kind of help. It is a daunting task without their help. When the Medicare Rx plan was proposed, I wanted no part of it, and was disgusted with AARP's backing of it. They got it through, and now we're stuck with it. 64 different companies? Gee, thanks. And every one of them (including AARP of course) out to profit from it to the max. They tell us that AARP is non-profit. I'm afraid I would take some convincing on that one. They seem to me to work against the people they claim to be working for. I suppose I could be wrong - God knows, that's happened before - but I certainly don't champion some of their causes. And any time I have had occasion to telephone them, I find them extremely unhelpful, whatever my question or problem.

At any rate, come November I hope to find myself happier with my insurance and just a little better off financially. Ya gotta have hope.

What makes the choice so difficult is that there is no such thing as the perfect plan for all. What would be ideal for one, is disaster for another, based on which particular medications the individual must take. Some medications cost at least a couple of hundred dollars a month, and so co-pays are astronomical, and vary company to company.

I do appreciate some of the comments I have received, but if I can't figure it out in my own case, how could I hope to make sense of it for other people? Common sense is one thing. Sorting through economics and life situations for a stranger is something else entirely.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #33

Time again for Drowsey Monkey to host Mellow Yellow Monday - a meme I enjoy very much.

Continuing my trip up the Garden State Parkway (which I started with Shadow Shot Sunday yesterday), I spotted a few yellow images on the way home.

I saw this at the Great Egg Harbor toll booth.

And a couple of these along the way - but I didn't see any deer this trip. I actually took this picture a while back, but I always pay attention when I see these signs. You never know what will happen.

And as I got closer to home, I glanced into the rear view mirror and saw this truck looming up behind me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Our friend, Tracy, of Hey Harriet is hosting Shadow Shot Sunday for us once again. Thanks, Tracy!

I recently drove up the Garden State Parkway - a trip I must have taken 500 times or so in the past nine years. It was early morning this time, and I thought the shadows across the Parkway were very pretty.

On the way, I looked over and saw the shadow of my own car on the road as well. Not all that pretty, but interesting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I Need Health Care

Click to enlarge.


I am so weary of hearing ignorant people, distorting facts and misinterpreting words - trying to stir up hatred against someone who is just trying to do the right thing.

My thought - How come the richest country in the world, so far advanced in technology and medical knowledge, is such a miserable failure in providing good care for its sick and elderly, compared to many other countries with far less?

Answer - We are morally bankrupt.

As I see it, there is just one way to turn this around - And, no, I don't imagine it will ever happen. That would be for new legislation to be passed stating that every member of Congress shall be covered by exactly the same rules that apply to everyone in the U.S. - no better, no worse. If they and their families were not safe and secure with their own comprehensive health care coverage, they would see to it very quickly that it was available for all.

Not a startlingly new idea Just a simple and rather obvious truth. Of course, the catch is, the people who would have to pass such legislation are the people who would be on the losing end of it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sky Watch #58

Thanks to the Sky Watch team for their work in coordinating our photos from all over the world each Friday.

Mine today is a very simple one. I have been preoccupied with the garden this month.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Think Green Thursday

Thank you, Michelle, for hosting this meme for us. Think Green Thursday has become one of my favorites.

I am returning once again to the Monterey Bay Aquarium blog, Sea Notes for information for my post. I really think it should be titled: Plastics Are Forever.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean is an area twice the size of Texas, commonly known now as "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch". It's correct name is the North Pacific Gyre. This huge area of the Pacific is where the motion of the water manages to collect all of the trash we discard on the beaches and from boats into the water. This continues to move the trash, especially plastics, around and around, endlessly.

Our sea birds and animals often eat this trash, either accidentally or mistaking it for an edible morsel. Sadly, more and more are being discovered after they die, with stomachs full of such trash.

There is now a project called Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastics Expedition (SEAPLEX), attempting to address this problem. But wouldn't it be a great idea for anyone living on or near any of our shorelines to volunteer to pick up trash on our beaches? If there is no organized group to do this in your area - how about just walking a beach every so often with a trash bag. Or maybe we could talk to someone in our local government, or with some service group, and suggest an organized effort.

Logo and photo courtest of MBA Sea Notes

Quick Up-Date - or - More Useless Information

Remember the scrawny Dr.Seuss plant over-wintering - as of last January.

Would you have believed it could turn into anything worthwhile?

Well, it's growing and here's the bottom of it.

And then the top, climbing toward the hummingbird feeder twisting itself around the pole.

But not a single bloom or bud.

Oh well, guess you can't have everything.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This is as much as I can manage this morning. My favorite cartoonist.

Thank you, Doug Savage.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

Thank you, Drowsey Monkey for bringing us Mellow Yellow Monday each week. It's a bright, happy way to start the week.

August is easy. Lots of yellow flowers in the gardens.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Small Break

Good morning folks.

I think I am about to take a small break from my computer. I hope it won't be a long one. I do love my computer. But I am feeling the heat and just not feeling too well these days. Please forgive me if I do not post nor comment very much for a little while. I do have one or two small posts scheduled, but don't really feel up to much more just now.

Hope to be back with you very soon.
Love, Bobbie

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow Shot Sunday is brought to us each week by Tracy, of Hey Harriet. Thanks Tracy! It's always fun to look for shadows and to see what others have found.

I haven't been very far afield recently. But I did notice that as the sun reaches the west side of the house, it creates lines of shadows on my living room ceiling and wall.

There is also a shadow cast from the parrot wind chime.