Thursday, May 10, 2018

The REAL Cure To Depression

How Helping a Stranger With a Severed Finger Saved My Life
Story By Kim Porter 

I was suicidally depressed, until a bloody emergency reminded me what I'm capable of.
s soon as I sit down on the stoop in front of my friend’s house, my body sags. And not just because of the arduous climb up this ridiculously steep hill. And not just because halfway up the hill my four-year-old daughter Colette collapsed in mutiny, refusing to take another step and I had to lug her the rest of the way on my back. And not just because my friend is late and we’re stuck here waiting as the four p.m. San Francisco fog rolls in, kicking up gritty wind and making the temperature plummet. But because I’m depressed, and every time my body stops moving, melancholia drops anchor.

I try to put on a good face for my kid, but I’m failing. I’ve been this way for months now. When I talk, my voice sounds hollow and far off. When I walk, I drag my feet. When I wake up in the morning, I feel pummeled by the specter of yet another day. And I’ve developed an unsympathetic inner-monologist who narrates my activities, “You’re so depressed, even this donut can’t make you happy. You should probably just kill yourself; nobody would miss you.” It’s as if I’ve split into two people, a middle-aged-sad-sack and a middle-school-mean-girl, and I don’t want to be either of them.
My friend lives at the top of a street so traumatically narrow and steep, drivers, not knowing it’s a dead end, have to back down the hill – sobbing – because there’s no place to turn around. I know, because that happened to me once, which is why I walked here today.
This is Treat Street, a sturdy little avenue that runs across San Francisco, through the Mission District, and ends at Precita Park. But if you go around Precita Park, you’ll find this one last alpine block of Treat, at the top of which I now sit with my ‘C’-shaped spine, aching and navel-gazing. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a man approaching and I think, “Oh, great. Now what?”
“Por favor. Call 911,” the man says. “Finger. Cut.” He authenticates his succinct claim by holding up his blood-streaked fore-arm. With his left hand, he is clenching a wad of handkerchief around his right pinky.
“No. Have. Phone.” I say, as if English is also my second language.
“Have phone,” he says and dips his chin toward his front pants pocket.
I don’t want to stick my hand in there, but the blood does look real, so I gesture for my kid to stay on the stoop and I move toward him.   In his pocket, I find a flip-phone. I slip it out and step back out of arms’ reach, then call 911.
The operator answers and after I give her the address I say, “I’m here with this guy, and he says he cut his finger.”
“Is it bad?” the operator asks.
“Is it bad?” I ask him.
“It’s bad,” I tell her.
“Did he cut it off?”
Now there’s a question I hadn’t thought of. “Did you cut it off?”
“Si.” He sighs, relieved someone finally understands the gravity of his situation.
“Yes. He cut it off.”
“Where is it?” the operator asks.
“Where is it?” My voice goes so high and tight my throat burns.
“Upstairs,” he says and points with his elbow to the house next door.
“Go get it,” she instructs me.
Oh. “O.K.,” I say.
I admonish my kid, “Do not move a muscle,” and I leave her sitting on the stoop as I follow the man toward the house.
Inside, we are immediately greeted by a staircase, which is missing all of its treads. I follow the man up the stairs, balancing on narrow vertical strips of wood, narrating to the 911 operator, “We have entered the premises and are ascending the stairs.” We get to the kitchen and I see a table saw, a stack of lumber, and an arc of blood spatter across the ceiling, but I don’t see the finger.
“We are attempting to locate the finger,” I say, because even in an emergency, silence over a phone line is awkward.
I thought a severed finger would jump right out at me, but I cannot find it. I lift up each foot and look underneath to be sure I’ve not already stepped on it. I’m getting that jumpy, tight-shouldered feeling like when you’ve lost sight of a spider that was on your ceiling a moment ago.
“Do you see it?” I ask him.
He points. With his elbow. At his own finger.
The finger lies disenfranchised on the floor beside the table saw, drained of color, and curved slightly. It looks ashamed of itself, hunched over like a scolded dog. I have to pick it up but I don’t have any rubber gloves or tongs so I rip a paper towel from the roll and lay it over the finger, pinching delicately, the way you might pick up a harmless but terrifying bug, a bug you wouldn’t want to crush but you wouldn’t want to see escape and run up your arm either.
“We have secured the finger,” I tell the operator. 
“Hang tight. The ambulance is on its way.”
I cradle the swaddled finger back down the skeletal stairs, being careful not to squeeze too hard. I don’t want to collapse all the delicate little doo-dads at the business end because I’m assuming they’ll need those when they reattach it.
When we get outside I see that Colette is still sitting where I left her and it’s still daylight, which surprises me, because it felt like we’d been on our finger-recovery mission for hours.
We sit on the stoop, and wait for the ambulance, which we can hear approaching in the distance. We listen to the siren growing louder and louder as the ambulance approaches, and just when we’re expecting to see the flashing lights at the bottom of Treat Street, the siren begins to grow quieter and quieter, as if the ambulance has turned around and is driving away. The man looks at me with the whites of his eyes showing all the way around.
“Sounds like they’re going the wrong way. Are they leaving?” I ask the operator.
After a brief silence she returns with, “They couldn’t find you. The address does not exist.”
I sit up straight. “No! Tell them to come back and drive around the park! We’re on the other side of the park. Drive around the park!”
“It’s O.K.,” I tell the man. “They’ll be here soon.”
I can see all the fear he’s been staving off overtake him. A tear appears on the rim of his eye where it balances for a second before it spills out and runs down his cheek. I don’t know what he’s thinking, but I’m thinking, What if he has a wife and kids depending on him and he can’t go back to work? What if he doesn’t have insurance? Or isn’t in the country legally?
“You’re going to be O.K.,” I say.
He looks dubious.
“You are very strong,” I tell him, and I put my free hand on his saw-dust covered back.
“Gracias,” he says.
“De nada. Esta no problemo,” I say, emboldened enough to risk mangling a little bit of my middle-school Spanish. I rub my free hand in a circle on his back.
The ambulance arrives. They hustle him into the back and they’re off.
Colette and I are watching the ambulance backing down the hill when I realize I’m still holding the finger. I run after them, waving my arm and screaming, “The finger! Stop! The finger!” I hand off the finger to the paramedic and watch as they drive away.
* * *
hroughout the evening, I find I can’t stop worrying about the man. I feel invested, but I don’t even know his name. I decide to call the hospital.
“Hi,” I say, trying to sound humble, “I helped a guy who cut off his finger, and I don’t even know his name, but I’m wondering if he came to your hospital.”
The nurse says, “Kim?”
“Ye-ees?” I say, feeling mystified.
“It’s me. Katanya.”
Katanya is the mother of one of my daughter’s classmates. We barely know each other.  I find it miraculous that she recognizes my voice.
She says, “His name is Jose Ramos, and he’s waiting for surgery. Would you like to leave a message?”
“No. I don’t want to bug him. I just wanted to be sure he was O.K.”
The next morning, I wake up into the lull that follows a meaningful day. I feel restless and let down. I don’t know what to do with myself. I decide to call the hospital again.
This time I’m put through to Jose’s room. “How was the surgery?”
“No surgery,” he says. “No enough blood.”
Whatever that means.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I say, picturing his little guilty bloodless finger. “Do you need anything?”
Jose says, “No, gracias,” and then launches into Spanish. I can’t understand what he’s saying, but I can hear in the tone of his voice the same letting-your-guard-down feeling I feel. Which makes sense. It’s impossible to carry around a person’s chopped-off body part and not feel a little camaraderie. I presume that’s true for the carry-ee as well.
Later that day, as I am pushing Colette on the tire swing at the park I remember that old – allegedly Chinese – proverb about how if you save someone’s life you are responsible for them for the rest of their life. Which never made sense to me before. Shouldn’t the person who got saved owe a perpetual debt and not the other way around? But, today, I get it. It’s a great honor to help someone in need, even if all you did was push three buttons on a phone and carry a couple ounces of former human for fifteen minutes. I want to keep doing it. 
I find I can’t get back to normal, no matter how hard I try – and, frankly, I’m not trying very hard because my old normal was awful, all that sitting sadly in one room or another, staring into space, imagining how much better off the world would be without me—why would I want to go back to that? 
I start keeping a lookout for other people in need of rescuing. I push a stalled car out of the road, I aid a disoriented cyclist when her bike gets clipped by a car, I flag down a security guard in a lobby when I see an elderly man stumbling and clutching his chest, I adopt a dog, 
Then one day, a month or two after the finger incident, I realize I have completely forgotten to be depressed. I’ve been so busy playing the role of local hero that I’ve neglected to drag my feet and stare into space and fantasize about the world without me. I notice that donuts taste good, and my voice sounds normal, and when my body stops moving, melancholia no longer drops anchor.
More than a decade has passed since Jose’s accident. Periodically I put the search terms “Jose” plus “Ramos” plus “finger” into Google on the off-chance that he’s looking for me. I wish I could see him again, to see how he’s getting on without his finger. But more importantly, to thank him, because when he lost his finger, he saved my life.
This story appeared in the May 2018 Reader's Digest

Another story -

A very long time ago I heard this wonderful story about a family that was very concerned about their daughter.  She was depressed and everything they did to help her - was not helping.  Finally they asked a psychology friend what they might do to help their daughter.

His answer?  Buy 100 plants and have her care for them as she finds someone to give them them away to - one by one.  This they did!

About a year later the parents the ran into this psychology friend.  They had a great time catching up!  Then he asked, "What happened with your daughters problem"?

They replied "What problem"?

Service is everything!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Knee Exercise for Seniors

In recent years arthritis has caused my knees to stiffen up. To loosen them, every morning for about 4 minutes I do this exercise. It really works! You should try it.
Check it out.

The Dancing Traffic Light

Colorized - PHOTOCHROMES From Early American Photos

This is an incredible collection of tinted photochromes from the dawn of the 19th century hiding away in the Beinecke Rare Books And Manuscript Library

Published by the Detroit Photographic (which no longer exists), the firm’s photographers traveled the country snapping the sights of North America to be printed on postcards and sold to the public.

 Ocklawaha River, Florida, 1902

 Gold’s Curio Store, Santa Fe, New Mexico, circa 1897

 Pulpit Terraces from Yellowstone National Park circa 1898. 
They may have changed names to the Travertine terraces.

 Glacier Point and South Dome, Yosemite Valley, 1898

 The Lobby, Old Faithful Inn, 
Yellowstone Park, ca 1897, still open.

 Navaho Woman Weaving a Blanket, 1902

 Interior of Corridors, Mission San Juan Capistrano,1906  
(I have been there many many times..evie)

 Old Caretaker at Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1897

California grapefruit, 1902

 The Arcade, Cleveland, 1901

 Glen Afton Spring, near Pen Mar Park, 1903

The Old South Church, Boston, 1900.
The second oldest church building in Boston, built in 1729

St. Charles Street, New Orleans, 1900

 Old French Courtyard, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903

 Circular Bridge, Mt. Lowe Railway 1897-1924. 
It was “the grandest scenic trip on earth - 
champagne and caviar served."

 Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, c. 1902

 The Giant’s Club and Kettle, Green River, Utah, 1898

 Crevasse Formation in Illecillewaet Glacier, 
Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia, circa 1902

 Pack Trail Ready for Mines, Colorado, 1904

 Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, from the Ruins, 1904. 
The structure built by the Ancestral Puebloans 
is located in Mesa Verde

 Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, 1901

 The Glory of Azaleas, Magnolia-on-the-Ashley, 
South Carolina, 1901

 Temple Square, Salt Lake, 1898. 
Built as a Mormon temple in 1847, 
the Temple is owned by 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Salt Air Pavilion, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1901. 
Burned down in 1925

 Box Canyon, Ouray, Colorado, 1904.

 Sutro Baths, San Francisco, 1900. Built in 1896. 
The facility burned down in June 1966.

 Carmel Bay near Monterey, California, 1900

 South View, Hotel del Coronado, California, 1899. 
Still open for business by the sea

 Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, California, 1902. 
The world’s first permanently occupied 
mountain-top observatory

 The Cliff House, San Francisco, California. 1899. 
Boasting the best views in San Francisco.

The Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 1900

 Home of Rip Van Winkle in Sleepy Hollow, 
Catskill Mountains, 1902

A Monday washing, New York City, 1900

Super Bowl 39 - That's the way it WAS!

This short video at the start of Super Bowl 39.
Oh how things have changed! GOD Bless America. 

And THIS, my friends, is the way it was. That's a lot to give up in 13 short years.

No pop stars, no vocal show offs, 
just the Star Spangled Banner, the cadets, 
and the US Army Herald Trumpet Corps.

Quips of Wisdom

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)


I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt


Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen.
I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
- Mark Twain


The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending;
and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns


Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge


Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain


By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one,
you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates


I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx


My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe
- Jimmy Durante


I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor


Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups:
alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
- Alex Levine


My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield


Money can't buy you happiness .... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan


Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
- Joe Namath


I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope


I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields


We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress
- Will Rogers


Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill


Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out,
fall out, or spread out.
- Phyllis Diller


By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal

And the cardiologist's diet: if it tastes good, spit it out.


Gotta Love The Seniors!!!

Read all the way to the end it's worth it
Who says senior citizens don't wear stylish clothes. Hah!

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, 
"How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?"
"Well," he said, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub."
"Oh, I understand," I said. "A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup.."
"No" he said. "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"


A short neurological test

1- Find the C below.. Please do not use any cursor help.


2- If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.


3 - Now find the N below. It's a little more difficult.


This is NOT a joke. If you were able to pass these 3 tests, you can cancel your annual visit to your neurologist.  Your brain is great and you're far from having a close relationship with Alzheimer.


Oh. One more test....
Find the 44th USA President.

Well, congratulations, you're not colour blind either!










Not forgetting HIV (Hair is Vanishing)
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.

I'm only sending this to my 'old' friends.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Test your - American - St. Paddy’s Day IQ Quiz

See original HERE

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) has become a favorite day of celebration for millions of Americans, both Irish-Americans and the non-Irish alike. Sure and begorrah. There are parades and parties, displays of shamrocks and green everywhere, meals of corned beef and cabbage and, of course, ample spirits.

Perhaps that’s because there were many waves of immigration to the United States from Ireland and now approximately 32 million — or 10 percent of the U.S. population — claim Irish ancestry, according to the Census Bureau’s most recent statistics. An estimated 3 million more identify as Scots-Irish.

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of immigration broadly, the migration of the Irish to America and the impact they have had on U.S. history and culture.

1. An early wave of Irish immigrants came to the United States in the 1820s for what purpose?
A. Escape famine in Ireland
B. Build the Erie Canal
C. Flee religious persecution
D. Pursue educational opportunities

2. Who was the first U.S. president of documented Irish ancestry?
A. Andrew Jackson
B. John F. Kennedy
C. James Buchanan
D. William McKinley

3. How many signatories of the Declaration of Independence were of Irish descent?
A. Three
B. Twenty-three
C. Eight
D. Eighteen

4. The American Party rose to prominence in the 1850s based on a growing anti-immigrant sentiment, especially toward the Irish and Germans. The party also was known by what name?

A. Know-nothings
B. Order of the Star-Spangled Banner
C. Whigs
D. Democrats

5. Because of the Great Hunger in Ireland, when blight destroyed the country’s potato crop, more than 1.5 million Irish immigrated to the United States. When did this mass migration occur?

A. Between 1845 and 1855
B. Between 1825 and 1835
C. Between 1910 and 1920
D. Between 1890 and 1900

6. Immigrants comprise what percentage of the current U.S. population?
A. 20 percent
B. 7.5 percent
C. 33 percent
D. 13.5 percent

7. Five Civil War regiments made up what was known as the Union Army’s Irish Brigade. Who was the brigade’s leader?
A. Brig. Gen. James Shields
B. Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne
C. Brig. Gen. Thomas Meagher
D. Brig. Gen. Michael Corcoran

8. The first federal immigration law was passed in 1790. What was it called?
A. Naturalization Act
B. Chinese Exclusion Act
C. McCarran-Walter Act
D. Immigration Reform Act

9. What famous businessman was the son of an Irish father who came to the United States during the Great Hunger?
A. Marshall Field
B. Henry Ford
C. John Jacob Astor
D. Andrew Carnegie

10. Irish-born architect James Hoban designed what famous U.S. building?

A. U.S. Capitol
B. Empire State Building
C. The White House
D. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-C, 4-A, 5-A, 6-D, 7-C, 8-A, 9-B, 10-C

Patrick Maloney is chief operating officer of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. He wrote this for Inside Sources

Be Kind - The Little Old Lady In The Bookstore

I work in a decent sized, local, indie bookstore. It’s a great job 99% of the time and a lot of our customers are pretty neat people. Any who, middle of the day this little old lady comes up. She’s lovably kooky. She effuses how much she loves the store and how she wishes she could spend more time in it but her husband is waiting in the car ‘OH! I BETTER BUY HIM SOME CHOCOLATE!’ She piles a bunch of art supplies on the counter and then stops and tells me how my bangs are beautiful and remind her of the ocean (‘Wooooosh’ she says, making a wave gesture with her hand.

Ok, I think to myself. Awesomely happy, weird little old ladies are my favorite kind of customer. They’re thrilled about everything and they’re comfortably bananas. I can have a good time with this one. So we chat and it’s nice.

Then this kid, who’s been up my counter a few times to gather his school textbooks, comes up in line behind her (we’re connected to a major university in the city so we have a lot of harried students pass through). She turns around to him and, out of nowhere, demands that he put his textbooks on the counter. He’s confused but she explains that she’s going to buy his textbooks.
He goes sheetrock white. He refuses and adamantly insists that she can’t do that. It’s like, $400 worth of textbooks. She, this tiny old woman, boldly takes them out of his hands, throws them on the counter and turns to me with an intense stare and tells me to put them on her bill. The kid at this point is practically in tears. He’s confused and shocked and grateful. Then she turns to him and says ‘you need chocolate.’ She starts grabbing handfuls of chocolates and putting them in her pile.

He keeps asking her ‘why are you doing this?’ She responds ‘Do you like Harry Potter?’ and throws a copy of the new Cursed Child on the pile too.

Finally she’s done and I ring her up for a crazy amount of money. She pays and asks me to please give the kid a few bags for his stuff. While I’m bagging up her merchandise the kid hugs her. We’re both telling her how amazing she is and what an awesome thing she’s done. She turns to both of us and says probably one of the most profound, unscripted things I’ve ever had someone say:
‘It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind. Be kind.’

The kid thanks her again and leaves. I tell her again how awesome she is. She’s staring out the door after him and says to me: ‘My son is a homeless meth addict. I don’t know what I did. I see that boy and I see the man my son could have been if someone had chosen to be kind to him at just the right time.’

I’ve bagged up all her stuff and at this point am super awkward and feel like I should say something but I don’t know what. Then she turns to me and says: ‘I wish I could have bangs like that but my darn hair is just too curly.’ And leaves. And that is the story of the best customer I’ve ever had. Be kind to somebody today.

You never know how your actions may effect others around you, so you might as well be kind to all.

By Christine Turel