I remember the woman at the North Hollywood library pointing to her daughter who was sitting near me and telling my mom her daughter had the mumps. I remember having the mumps and thinking it was the worst sore throat I’d ever had. I remember my dad calling me chipmunk for days. I remember living on big stick popsicles because it was the only thing that soothed my throat and lying on a hot water bottle to sooth my ears.
I remember the pain of the doctor taking off the bandages on my eyes after my eye surgery when he shown a bright light in my eyes to see if they would react. I remember seven years of seeing nothing out of my left eye and having limited sight in my right. I remember my first word according to my parents was “LIGHT” because light is important to a kid with limited sight. I remember my mom telling me I had had a twin. I remember mom telling me I couldn’t see because someone had given her the measles when she was pregnant with me. I remember getting my first pair of glasses when I was two and a half and my mom told me later I shouted, “I can See!” but I really couldn’t I could just see better than I had. I remember the kids who called me 4 eyes in school and the one who shoved me down and broke my glasses because I was the only one in the entire school in 1959 who had glasses in first grade.
I remember going to school with deaf kids whose moms taped the hearing aid batteries to the top of their heads. I remember Steve and his Braille type writer and guiding him around Grad Night at Disneyland with my friends because no one else would help him. I remember kids with CP and the ones who couldn’t walk at all, all of them because their mom’s like mine,had had German Measles.
I remember my mom’s friend Mrs. H who gave rides in her chariot (wheelchair) to all the kids to make sure no one was scared of people in wheelchairs or who couldn’t walk. I remember riding in her lap and her telling me about having polio. I remember getting the first polio vaccine in a sugar cube after standing in a long line at school with my class mates and having to get another one a year later because it didn’t work.
I remember having the chicken pox and thinking I wanted to scratch my skin off my body and my mom telling me if I scratched I’d have a scar so I picked a spot on the back of my knee to scratch because I HAD to scratch something or I would go insane and the scar on my left arm where I scratched without thinking. I remember baths in huge tubs of oatmeal because the doctor said it would help and it did, for about an hour. I remember the blisters and wondering where the next one would appear. I remember two weeks later my little brother getting the chicken pox so bad on his eyes they had to bandage them. I was 6, he was 4..
I remember him getting the measles and being so sick but he never got the mumps but I would get the measles 12 years later my Senior year in high school and giving it to my class mates. I remember the school nurse not letting me go home even though I had a high fever because my mom was at work. I remember walking home carrying my guitar in the pouring rain and thinking how good it felt. I remember the next morning when all hell broke loose. I remember fainting at the top of the stairs after telling my parents I didn’t feel well and I was thirsty. When I fainted I missed the wrought iron at the top of the stairs by less than an inch and my sister told me I looked like the Statue of Liberty because I went down holding a cup of water high in the air and going straight back. My last thought was “Don’t spill the water.” Dad said I was dead weight and impossible to move until he got my brother and I only weighed about a hundred pounds. I remember all the red spots. I remember the nurse being furious at me for exposing the school and her face when I told her it was her fault when she was the one who hadn’t let me go home. I was off school for two and a half weeks.
I remember it was the first day of the Sapporo Olympics and my mom gave play by play yelling up the stairs of the Opening Ceremonies because I had to sit in the dark and wasn’t allowed to read or watch tv because it would damage my eyes.
I remember getting the Hong Kong flu in high school after the rest of the family had gotten it and stayed home together and had what I thought was fun and I was home alone and miserable in 1968. I always get the flu vaccine.
I remember my dad telling me about losing his mom after his little brother was born in the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1919.
I remember the doctor trying about once a year to give me the smallpox vaccine and it never would take but they kept trying for years. I’d get the scratching on the skin and nothing and mom telling the doctor that my not reacting scared her. So I have no small pox scar that was such a badge of courage that every kid had one on their arm.
I remember when the only vaccines were DPT and mom and dad telling me how horrible Whooping Cough was.
I remember pain and sickness and trips to the doctor and I know that now that is totally unnecessary and that today’s parents never had to have any of that and they don’t remember how scary it was for us and for our parents when we caught diseases that there was no vaccine or cure for except time and hope.
I have yet to meet a witch without a sense of humor. So on this day of tricksters, feel free to play a few harmless pranks on your friends, family, and coven mates. Here are thirteen ideas to get you thinking about how to pull one over on the magical and Pagan people in your life!
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Reports are pouring in from around the world of senior citizens leaving their homes and care facilities to join terrorism groups.
Over 145, 000 aging Baby Boomers, fed up with living in poverty and feeling like they’re a burden on their families have left for war-torn countries in the Middle East.
“I spoke to a nice young man at ISAS, he reminded me a lot of my grandson,” a senior, calling herself ‘Hilda’ told Senior Today News. “Next thing I know, I was up to my support hose in sand, cooking over an empty steel fuel can, darning socks, and knitting flags,” she said, smiling. “Mind you, the air raids interrupt my programs and the cries of ‘Death to America’ disturb my sleep, but at least here I feel needed.”
Authorities are bewildered and at a loss of what to do to stop the radicalization…
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Disclaimer #1: This is not a food-related post
Disclaimer #2: I am taking my gloves off
Few things upset me more than the disturbing movement to stop vaccinating babies and kids. For a while now I’ve been debating whether I should write about it. Having watched an episode of Frontline the other day that dealt with the subject, and almost succumbing to cardiac arrest while screaming at the screen, I decided I cannot stay silent any longer. First of all, let me get this straight out up front: I have a doctoral degree in Biochemistry, three years post-doctoral experience in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford, and I taught Microbiology to Medical students in Brazil at Universidade de Sao Paulo. I also worked for about 10 years on basic research into the biotechnology of vaccines. I’m not bragging, but I am stating my experience, that hopefully will convince…
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Aisling couldn’t sleep. She was really tired but she just couldn’t fall asleep. She tried counting sheep but even in her imagination they seemed to mill around and then the shepherd’s dogs arrived and then drove them away. She thought she’d be better off mentally counting Druids but they didn’t stay still in her mind’s eye either.
She listened to the drowsy tokking and muttering of the Raven who had now built her nest up in the thatch of the cottage. The other druid students in her cottage snored or muttered in their sleep as much as the Raven did. It wouldn’t have been bad if she could have understood what all the muttering was about but it was just an annoying mumble.
She could hear an owl from time to time out in the woods and finally she decided to get up and see what the owl was up to out there. She decided she might as well go outside and take a walk.
The village was quiet with just a few torches left burning so people could see their way to the latrines at night and not fall in although sometimes on festival nights people celebrated too much and fell in any way. Aisling decided to go sit out at the edge of the village and the beginning of the forest.
It was a perfect night at the beginning of summer, not too cold and not too warm. Aisling sat and enjoyed the light breezes hitting her face. She closed her eyes and could smell the woods and the scent of lilacs in the air so faint you could almost miss the sweetness. She listened to the leaves move and could hear the owl hooting from close by. You could never hear owls fly. Some people didn’t like that the owls flew so silently and found it scary. Aisling thought it was one of the things that made owls so special. She kept an owl feather in her ciorbolg that she had found in the woods. She took to pull it out of the bag at her waist and stroked its softness.
The bench she was sitting on dipped and she opened her eyes. There was an old woman with long white hair and a grey cloak. Her hair looked oddly feathery.
“You like my feathers?” The woman asked and smiled.
“Huh…Your feathers?” Aisling said rather surprised.
The woman smiled, “Yes, my feathers. Why do you think they call us old women of the night?” (An owl is called cailleach oiche in Gaelic.) The woman laughed softly. “There is nothing more beautiful than an early summer night.” The woman looked around her. There were some mushrooms softly glowing below the trees. She could see some moss glowing lightly too. The sky was a deep, deep purply blue with thousands of stars twinkling over head. She could hear the drowsy sheep over in the fields.
“So are you learning to be a good guardian of the woods like the Green One asked?” The woman said. Ailsing started so that was why owl woman was here?
“I guess so.” Replied Aisling. “I have so much to learn but Raven is helping me.”
“Well, it seems like you are having trouble sleeping?” The woman lifted an eyebrow. “How about some night help?”
“Okay…” Aisling was wondering if she was going to get in trouble if she went tromping in the woods at night with someone who said she was an owl.
“Come along.” The woman got up and started walking along. They walked into the dark woods and Aisling was very glad there was at least some moon visible.
“You have to use all your senses at night like you were doing on the bench. You have to listen for the movement of animals. I can hear a mouse family over there.” And she pointed over ahead. “But don’t worry I’m not going hunting with you…tonight.” The woman laughed to herself.
Then she continued. “You have to use your sense of smell. You have to use the eyesight you do have and you can use your sense of touch. Guardians are Guardians at night as well as day. Some day the Green One will want you to know the forest at night as well as during the day.”
Aisling was starting to stumble because she was finally getting sleepy. She wondered about all the life around her that was drowsy and sleepy too. “How will I know when he wants me?” she asked the woman.
“You’ll know. Trust yourself.” The woman turned and was gone. Aisling looked down and there was a flight feather on the ground. Aisling picked it up and wondered how many other strange people she was going to meet and why no one else seemed to have these experiences. Although for some reason she thought the Chief Druid might know.