Raker Man

A lovely story of kindness and respect for a human being down on his luck.

Storyshucker

The tropical sun was intense but from the shade we sipped Pina Coladas and stared at the blue Caribbean. A vacation in the Dominican Republic! We staked claim to a favorite cabana and by afternoon were chatting with beachside neighbors. Diane in the next cabana knew a lot about the area and in the balmy breeze we compared notes on favorite restaurants as we enjoyed the beach.

The next hot day while eating lusciously ripe strawberries I caught sight of the trio working in the sun. We’d noticed the daily routine of these three whose job it was, apparently, to clear the beach each day of seaweed washed up during the night. They were a motley band in ragged clothes. Locals in need of work I supposed, and hard work it was. Each day they scoured the beach, raking and hauling debris. An older worker lagged behind. The effort it…

View original post 983 more words

Squirrel Gets Into The Halloween Spirit!

A special Halloween treat. Entertaining squirrel carves his own pumpkin.

kraftycatcreations

The is one talented squirrel! Perhaps his name is Claude Mornuts?

View original post

DEA Delays Kratom Ban, More Senators Object To Process And ‘Unintended Consequences’

This is an update to my first post about kratom, dated August 30, 2016.  A follow-up by David Kroll on Forbes, shows that the DEA is listening to some of our representatives in government who are listening to their constituents.

kratom plant

Mr. Kroll states:

I was on the phone today [September 30, 2016] with DEA spokesperson Russ Baer when the clock struck 5:00 pm on the East Coast without a final order from the agency making two chemicals from kratom Schedule I controlled substances. Baer said that the plan to place the plant alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, onto the most restrictive classification of drugs of abuse and public health risk is still in progress and “will come sooner rather than later.”

The alkaloids have been known for over a decade to possess some modest opioid actions but their potential benefit for patients with chronic pain and substance dependence was overlooked in the notice of intent to place the botanical chemicals in the same class as heroin, LSD and mescaline.

Meanwhile today, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a two-page letter to DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg calling for the agency to delay this scheduling order. The Senators objected to the emergency, temporary scheduling order that could be enacted within 30 days without “a robust process of stakeholder input and discussion of medical, public safety and scientific considerations.”

In the intervening 30 days, kratom advocates and researchers have voiced concern that the botanical dietary supplement does indeed have legitimate medical uses, although not as an FDA-approved botanical drug. Most vocal on the scientific side have been researchers at Columbia University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The teams have independently and collaboratively published two papers on kratom-derived chemicals and their potentially beneficial constellation of complex actions on human opioid receptors.

Columbia associate research scientist, Andrew Kruegel, PhD, was specifically cited in the Booker-Gillibrand-Wyden letter to DEA as he led an 11-scientist letter of objection to kratom scheduling that was submitted to congressional representatives on September 2. Kruegel is also first author on a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in May showing the alkaloids in kratom act on opioid receptor signal transmission entirely differently [from] strong opioids such as morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone, posing less risk of respiratory depression.

This is the first time that Congressional elected officials have come out of their respective “closets” and are taking a stand against the strong-arm DEA when they have proof that the “plant” does have medical properties which are not as risky as the opioids.  In doing so, these Senators, in taking this heroic, progressive stand, are, in essence, thumbing their noses at Big Pharma and the FDA; telling them there is scientific evidence proving the benefits of kratom, and there is another way other than opioids, to help patients who are suffering with pain.

There is a big “however,” because Russ Baer, spokesperson for the DEA, still believes kratom’s inclusion on Schedule I “will come sooner rather than later.”

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

Save

Save

Children Bring Happiness and Talent

A great start for a Sunday!  Listen, watch and be blown away!!!

Maati Baani brings 45 child artistes together in one song to pay tribute to Michael Jackson!

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

In The Company Of Lizards

I spend a lot of time in front of my computer; rather, in front of my Samsung display/TV screen.  My tower is off to the side and out of the way.  The display sits on my desk in front of the window in my office, so, with the verticals drawn away to the side in the morning, I can see all the happenings of bees, mosquitos, gnats, etc., on the screen and in front of it, flitting around.  What caught my eye, er, rather, the eye of the camera, were these two quite fat, healthy, cavorting lizards.

lizards

They are doing a great job in keeping the insects and bugs populations down.  All the lizards I see around the outside of my house all have fat bellies.  It’s a paradise down here in South Florida for all types of life:  humans included.

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

#MillionsMissing Protest Coverage

 

Sept. 27th was a day of national and international protesting and recognition of #millionsmissingME, myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a greatly disabling, debilitating disease.

ME has been pushed to the sidelines for several decades by the HHS, CDC, NIH and governments around the world, as a figment of the patients’ imaginations.  The patients have been insulted with taunts and accusations that they are not really sick. Far from the truth.

We, advocates and patients who are able, must continue to make our voices heard.  We need more research and granting of funds by National Institutes of Health to continue and advance the research that has already been started by non-profit organizations with private donations.

We have lots to do to catch up and make up for the time lost and the lives lost along the way.  Millions are counting on the world to wake up and recognize ME as a devastating disease to the patients and families.

Please take a look at the site below to familiarize yourself with ME and what is being done to bring it to the forefront in the eyes of the world.

Protest Coverage

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

 

I Was A Homeless Person

…for three days in 1990!

Today (September 28th, 2016) is the 26th anniversary of my official residency as a Floridian.  Three days before, on September 25th, 1990, I gave up my citizenship as a legal resident of the State of New York, as I signed on the dotted line to sell my house.

It was a big, new adventure; one which held an unknown future for my then husband, Dan, myself and his Mom.  That’s what I called it, as we drove into Delaware on US I-95.  “A new adventure,” I announced to Mom.  I felt excited and positive.  Little did I know, as we settled into our first motel stay and I got my first mosquito bites which were of major proportions, what was in store for our future.

We were a caravan of two cars and were “attached” by a CB system that Dan rigged up.  It was very basic, but served the purpose in notifying when we intended to stop at a service area.  Dan led the way in his car.

I followed, with Mom in my back seat.  She was 86, full of trepidation; full of trepidation, because we couldn’t leave her in Long Beach.  She had no one there on whom she could depend if she needed help.  Friends had moved away to be near their kids, or died.  Nothing was left there for her.  She really didn’t want to leave, but there was no other choice.

Mom was very comfortable what with pillows and blanket to insure her comfort. She was of small stature and she fit right in on the bench seat of my 1986 Ford Granada – turbo engine, of course.  Ha ha.

We were making very good time.  I had arranged for motel stops and the next one was located in Georgia.  When we got there, it was only  3:00pm, and we decided that it was too early and had the manager call ahead to another one in St. Augustine, Florida.

We lost all the time we made before that motel stop in Georgia.  We got caught up in the Jacksonville rush hour traffic.  What a bummer!

Mom was very tired after the two days’ travel, so she just wanted to rest when we arrived in St. Augustine.  We decided that we would bring her back some food, which we did after enjoying our supper in a casual restaurant.

st-aug-1st-aug-2st-aug-3

We had visited that city previously, some years before, and found ourselves wandering about, and visited some of our favorite places.  It is such a quaint, old city, and it was a pleasure to stretch our legs and feet over cobble stones!

After an exhausted sleep in St. Augustine, and after five more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first destination at Forest Trace in Broward county.  It had opened only a year before; it was beautiful (we had visited it a couple of months earlier).  Mom was settled in at her apartment:  she was warmly welcomed by the staff, and made to feel at ease.  Her rented furniture was in place, so she was able to rest after the long trip.

forest-2

At the same time we had made arrangements for Mom’s apartment, we made arrangements for an apartment in a nearby apartment complex for ourselves.  Our rented furniture had been delivered in our apartment, overseen by the complex office manager.

All our furniture and Mom’s were sold in New York.  This was really a new start for us all!

It was an odd feeling I had, knowing I didn’t have a place where I could call “home.”  I had a destination, but those three days had me feeling “displaced.”  And, in another way, it was a free feeling because during those days, I had no responsibilities.  No tethers.  It was peculiar, but, yes, exciting.

Everything went smoothly.  That was a good feeling.  The next day, we went to the court house, and signed a “Declaration of Domicile.”  We were no longer HOMELESS!

[Images from bingdotcom]

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

Save

Who Has A Lock On Patriotism?

I may not personally use some language used in his post, but Chuq makes strong points about Patriotism with which I fully agree.

In Saner Thought

My Sunday begins……I would like to post on a subject that is all the rage right now.

Like so many elections before….we have a wealth of nose pickers that think that unless you support their candidate then you are not patriotic.  These people always describe themselves as “true American patriots”.  Apparently if you are a “true American patriot” then you must hate brown skin people, believe that you have a lock on religion and must support a bigoted asshole like Trump.  And that if you are a Left leaning individual then you cannot be called a patriot…..and are a sub-par intellect.

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”

“Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism”…..George Washington  1796

Ever noticed that the “true American patriot” never served in the military or served but not in a…

View original post 363 more words

Severe ME: ‘Took nearly 40 years to be diagnosed’

The story about an anonymous Australian person who has suffered with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) since childhood, is an example of how other patients around the world try to cope with this debilitating and misunderstood disease.

Featured Image -- 5293

ME Australia

by Sasha Nimmo

Between 24,000 – 60,000 Australians have severe ME.  This is the first in a series telling the stories of Australians with severe ME.

Given the wrong medical treatment and intervention harmed this patient’s health to the point of no return. Disbelief by medical professionals and community care workers made life even more difficult. This patient fears further mistreatment so asked to maintain anonymity.

Above is a picture of Basil, an affectionate miniature fox terrier and company during difficult times.

Even after so many decades of illness, this patient still holds hope in medical research and participates in studies at Griffith University’s National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, one of the few places studying severe ME.

This patient shares their story with us.

What was your life like before you became ill?
For me, it is not a straight forward answer as I have had mild ME since I was…

View original post 1,333 more words

The Screeching Wetlands Bird: Limpkin

 

No, it doesn’t limp.  I don’t know who might have named this bird; however, it’s in my handbook of favorite Florida birds, so I guess that is its official name.

All my neighbors, including myself, call it the “screecher.”  That’s what it does:  screech.  It’s not a pleasant sound to wake up to in the early morning.  What really scares the daylights out of you is when you’re outside and one of these 2-feet-tall birds flies over your head and screeches at you and nearly gives you a heart attack!  That isn’t a far-fetched notion:  most of my neighbors are “way up there” senior citizens.

limpkin-3

limpkin-2

limpkin

 

[  Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.cvom ]