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Bellelettres Profile
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Re: Quickies


OK, Robbie. You're right, of course. I get carried away. I'll control myself from now on.
9/5/2017, 9:33 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


Thank you.

---
Robbie
9/5/2017, 9:38 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Sawdust for brains


Eagle Creek Fire witness: 'I saw this boy lob a smoke bomb down into the ravine'

by Lincoln Graves, KATU News and KATU.com Staff | Wednesday, September 6th 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. — The investigation into who started the Eagle Creek Fire may not have resulted in authorities identifying a suspect so quickly if it hadn’t been for one woman who says she saw what happened the day the fire started.

Liz FitzGerald says she saw how the fire started after seeing a group of teenagers on the Eagle Creek Trail Saturday.
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“I saw this boy lob a smoke bomb down into the ravine,” she said via phone Tuesday night. “I saw his friend or a guy that was there with him videotaping it with his phone. I looked over, and I said, ‘Do you realize how dangerous that is?’”

FitzGerald kept hiking, thinking everything would be fine. She ran into a couple and told them what happened. They had a similar story.

Said FitzGerald: “They said, ‘Yeah, we saw some kids up at Punchbowl lighting firecrackers. We’re heading down to rat them out.’”

She turned back at that point and noticed more smoke. She raced to the trailhead, saw the same kids along the way, and screamed at them.

“’Do you realize you just started a forest fire?’” she said to them. “And the kid who had videotaped it said, ‘Well, what are we supposed to do about it now?’”

At the trailhead, FitzGerald found a Forest Service ranger and told him everything. Moments later, a van drove by and she just had a gut feeling.

“I said to him, ‘I think that’s them.’ And he said, ‘Are you comfortable getting in the car?’ And I said, yes, so we ran back to his car. I hopped in. He threw on the sirens. The kids blazed away.”

They eventually caught up with the teenagers and investigators interviewed them.

Police have identified a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver as the suspect in the fire. He hasn’t been publicly identified yet and no charges have been filed.

Police would like to hear from any other witnesses.

http://komonews.com/news/local/eagle-creek-fire-witness-i-saw-this-boy-lob-a-smoke-bomb-down-into-the-ravine

---
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9/6/2017, 9:40 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Lee and Jackson removed from National Cathedral


Washington National Cathedral to remove stained glass windows honoring Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson

By Michelle Boorstein September 6 at 12:39 PM

Leaders at Washington National Cathedral, the closest thing in the country’s capital to an official church, have decided after two years of study and debate to remove two stained-glass windows honoring Confederate figures Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Saying the stories told in the two 4-by-6-foot windows were painful, distracting and one-sided, a majority of the Cathedral’s governing body voted to remove the windows Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, stone masons were at work putting up scaffolding to begin taking out the art that was installed 64 years ago.

“This isn’t simply a conversation about the history of the windows, but a very real conversation in the wider culture about how the Confederate flag and the Old South narrative have been lively symbols today for white supremacists. We’d be made of stone ourselves if we weren’t paying attention to that,” said Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, which includes the cathedral.

http://tinyurl.com/y883lx7x
9/6/2017, 1:10 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Michelle Obama outshines all Democratic prospects for 2020.


quote:

It cannot be overstated how eagerly the Democrats want to take back the White House in 2020.

The Democrats face many obstacles in this effort, but the greatest threat is the fierce internal divisions within the party.

Two of the leading prospective presidential candidates, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have begun national fundraising operations. Former Vice President Joe Biden has been busy building a national email list to communicate directly with his supporters, and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has already announced his presidential candidacy.
 

The Democratic Party does not just need a new leader, but a new policy agenda that is aimed at growing our economy, promoting traditional party values and doing more than resisting President Trump at every step.

Major Democratic donor Marc Lasry told The New York Times, “‘It’s gotten ridiculous,” and the Democrats “need a clearer message about what they want to do, not just about opposing Trump.”

As I’ve said before, the Democrats need an alternative plan to rebuild and unite the party if they have any hope in winning back seats in Congress in the 2018 midterms, nonetheless the White House in 2020.

This alternative plan requires a new, united opposition, led by a political leader with widespread popularity.

The only person I can see accomplishing this would be none other than the party’s most popular political figure: Michelle Obama.

Let me be clear: this is not an endorsement. I have been, and still am, critical of Barack Obama’s presidency. Michelle Obama would not be my candidate, and I do not agree with many of the positions I believe she would advance. But as an analyst, Michelle Obama is clearly the Democrats’ best chance to reunite the party and win back the White House in 2020.

Michelle Obama is perceived as a strong, well-qualified leader with immense national popularity. Broadly, the polls show she is respected by the American people and by the near-entirety of the Democratic Party.

Although Michelle Obama has stated that she is not interested in a presidential bid, her appeal and support for her husband remain robust.



Read more here.

If I were the Obamas, I wouldn't want anything more to do with The White House. Somehow I just don't feel that she's interested. None of the other names mentioned move me. I think it will be interesting.
9/8/2017, 12:39 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Medicare bill holds key to delivering a bipartisan health care win


quote:

If the news stories are to be believed, Congress cannot agree on much of anything when it comes to health care. The botched effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act made for big headlines and appeared to leave lawmakers and the public with little hope for acts of bipartisanship anytime soon.

But that narrative tells half the story. In truth, Republicans and Democrats successfully worked together just last month, when Congress overwhelmingly passed sweeping, long-term legislation to reauthorize user fee agreements that account for much of the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) funding.

Congress would prove the naysayers wrong last year, too, when it passed the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation signed into law by then-President Obama streamlining drug approval processes and bolstering research for breakthrough treatments and therapies.
Democrats and Republicans alike know that Washington needs another bipartisan victory of this sort, and the answer is right under their nose.

Medication adherence – the practice of ensuring patients take their drugs as prescribed – isn’t exactly the hot topic du jour in today’s health care debate. You won’t hear it mentioned in campaign commercials, and it doesn’t make for the best fundraising pitch. After all, everyone agrees people should stick to their meds, right?

But it isn’t working out that way in practice. Suboptimal use of prescription medications is the $300 billion problem that few are talking about – and it’s claiming the lives of 125,000 Americans a year, leading the New York Times to deem this issue an “out-of-control epidemic … that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about.”

Recently, a bipartisan group of lawmakers – Republican Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Democrat Representatives Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) – decided to do something about it. Together, they introduced the Furthering Access to Coordinated Treatment for Seniors (FACTS) Act, legislation to break down silos in a patient’s continuum of care that allow medication mismanagement to fester unseen. To say this bill can save lives is not dramatic, it is a fact.



Read more here.

This is a good Bill, and I'm writing my congressional delegation asking them to support it.

I have a lot of dialogue with my pharmacists about what I'm taking and what it does. They are really good about watching for potential conflicts between medications. It would be really great to have the doctor's information for those who don't ask questions, especially.
9/8/2017, 1:21 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Michelle Obama outshines all Democratic prospects for 2020.


quote:

CooterBrown44 wrote:

quote:

It cannot be overstated how eagerly the Democrats want to take back the White House in 2020.

The Democrats face many obstacles in this effort, but the greatest threat is the fierce internal divisions within the party.

Two of the leading prospective presidential candidates, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have begun national fundraising operations. Former Vice President Joe Biden has been busy building a national email list to communicate directly with his supporters, and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has already announced his presidential candidacy.
 

The Democratic Party does not just need a new leader, but a new policy agenda that is aimed at growing our economy, promoting traditional party values and doing more than resisting President Trump at every step.

Major Democratic donor Marc Lasry told The New York Times, “‘It’s gotten ridiculous,” and the Democrats “need a clearer message about what they want to do, not just about opposing Trump.”

As I’ve said before, the Democrats need an alternative plan to rebuild and unite the party if they have any hope in winning back seats in Congress in the 2018 midterms, nonetheless the White House in 2020.

This alternative plan requires a new, united opposition, led by a political leader with widespread popularity.

The only person I can see accomplishing this would be none other than the party’s most popular political figure: Michelle Obama.

Let me be clear: this is not an endorsement. I have been, and still am, critical of Barack Obama’s presidency. Michelle Obama would not be my candidate, and I do not agree with many of the positions I believe she would advance. But as an analyst, Michelle Obama is clearly the Democrats’ best chance to reunite the party and win back the White House in 2020.

Michelle Obama is perceived as a strong, well-qualified leader with immense national popularity. Broadly, the polls show she is respected by the American people and by the near-entirety of the Democratic Party.

Although Michelle Obama has stated that she is not interested in a presidential bid, her appeal and support for her husband remain robust.



Read more here.

If I were the Obamas, I wouldn't want anything more to do with The White House. Somehow I just don't feel that she's interested. None of the other names mentioned move me. I think it will be interesting.



Cooter, I agree that Michelle Obama would not be interested in the presidency. She is a very intelligent, dedicated woman who continues to support her causes of healthy eating and exercise. But throughout her husband's entire career, she has acted as supporter-in-chief. I just haven't seen any political career ambitions from her, either.

As for the other names.... Not surprisingly, I am a HUGE fan of Elizabeth Warren. But I think she's more likely to alienate conservative Dems and even some moderate Dems, making a presidential run unlikely. Biden is a possibility; he has regretted his decision to not run last year.

I think it's too soon for Kamala Harris, though she's been building name recognition. John Delaney, eh. But there's time. I'm hearing rumblings about Deval Patrick and the Castro brothers. It's just so far ahead of 2020, and people are still so wounded and sick over 2016, that it's hard to look that far ahead yet.

---
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9/8/2017, 7:57 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Medicare bill holds key to delivering a bipartisan health care win


quote:

CooterBrown44 wrote:

quote:

If the news stories are to be believed, Congress cannot agree on much of anything when it comes to health care. The botched effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act made for big headlines and appeared to leave lawmakers and the public with little hope for acts of bipartisanship anytime soon.

But that narrative tells half the story. In truth, Republicans and Democrats successfully worked together just last month, when Congress overwhelmingly passed sweeping, long-term legislation to reauthorize user fee agreements that account for much of the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) funding.

Congress would prove the naysayers wrong last year, too, when it passed the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation signed into law by then-President Obama streamlining drug approval processes and bolstering research for breakthrough treatments and therapies.
Democrats and Republicans alike know that Washington needs another bipartisan victory of this sort, and the answer is right under their nose.

Medication adherence – the practice of ensuring patients take their drugs as prescribed – isn’t exactly the hot topic du jour in today’s health care debate. You won’t hear it mentioned in campaign commercials, and it doesn’t make for the best fundraising pitch. After all, everyone agrees people should stick to their meds, right?

But it isn’t working out that way in practice. Suboptimal use of prescription medications is the $300 billion problem that few are talking about – and it’s claiming the lives of 125,000 Americans a year, leading the New York Times to deem this issue an “out-of-control epidemic … that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about.”

Recently, a bipartisan group of lawmakers – Republican Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Democrat Representatives Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) – decided to do something about it. Together, they introduced the Furthering Access to Coordinated Treatment for Seniors (FACTS) Act, legislation to break down silos in a patient’s continuum of care that allow medication mismanagement to fester unseen. To say this bill can save lives is not dramatic, it is a fact.



Read more here.

This is a good Bill, and I'm writing my congressional delegation asking them to support it.

I have a lot of dialogue with my pharmacists about what I'm taking and what it does. They are really good about watching for potential conflicts between medications. It would be really great to have the doctor's information for those who don't ask questions, especially.



I'm not sure I understand exactly what this bill does. How does it open the lines of communication between the primary physician, pharmacy, and specialists? Is everything in some kind of computer database?

I am having a nightmare trying to get everyone on the same page with Mom's meds. When she went into the hospital, she was taking 29 meds. The admitting doctor and charge nurse were horrified and sent the list to the hospitalist, who reduced the list significantly. I sent the list to my cousin, who is a pharmacist, and she noted a number of serious interactions, most of them involving Celebrex and Warfarin. She has been to three of her own doctors who have made their own tweaks, and now she is down to 15 total meds. Try getting nurses to put the correct list into her files. I give the corrected list to them at the beginning of the appointment, and they sigh and huff and puff at having to make the changes. When we leave the appointment, we get a printout of what they now have as her current med list. And they're all wrong. And they're sending prescription orders to the pharmacy for the wrong meds in the wrong amounts. So I have to call them back and get them to straighten out their mess (with the constant sighs), and then call the pharmacy back to correct their prescription orders. I still have one more doctor's office to call because they fixed virtually nothing on her list, and I'm just too tired to keep fighting. I can't imagine seniors being willing and able to keep doing this with all of their doctors. When she walks into the doctor's office, they simply ask her if any of her meds have changed. She says no -- except it's a massive list of changes. All of her doctors have different lists, and each of her doctors makes changes, requiring her to call each of the other doctors to make those changes on THEIR lists -- except she doesn't do it. A single computerized list to be shared among all doctors and pharmacists would be a fantastic idea.

---
Lis

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9/8/2017, 8:15 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Medicare bill holds key to delivering a bipartisan health care win


quote:

JustLis wrote:


Try getting nurses to put the correct list into her files. I give the corrected list to them at the beginning of the appointment, and they sigh and huff and puff at having to make the changes. When we leave the appointment, we get a printout of what they now have as her current med list. And they're all wrong.



Man, I hear THAT. Eighteen months ago I took 12 pills prescribed by my doctor and do you think I can get anyone to remove that from the list of medications I currently take? Hah! I tell each doctor's nurse it needs to be removed, they say they've removed it, and there it is again. Your mother has my sympathies.

---
Robbie
9/8/2017, 8:37 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Quickies


I made a list of all my medications and print copies. When a medication is added or subtracted, I revise the list. I take a copy to every appointment with every doctor. I have this wonderful primary physician who feels the same way I do about medication -- less is more.
9/9/2017, 6:28 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


I've done that with mine, Belle. The nurses always want to know at the beginning about your medications. Most offices ask you to bring them all with you, but that's because a lot of folks can't do what we do, and keep it current.
9/9/2017, 7:00 am Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Update on removal of windows from National Cathedral


Here's an update on removal of Lee and Jackson windows from the National Cathedral.

I had forgotten about Reagan's tribute to Nazi soldiers at Bitburg.

The ritual for the removal of the two stained-glass windows at the Washington National Cathedral honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was performed during a Wednesday evening service with a solemnity reserved for the final closing of a church. It was an occasion to render a verdict and a moment for deep reflection. Not a time for celebration.

The Cathedral Chapter, the cathedral’s governing board, had little choice but to vote Tuesday evening to remove the 4-by-6-foot windows immediately. Those windows, installed 64 years ago, served as silent symbols of a bloody war fought to uphold a traitorous Confederacy rooted in slavery….

Thursday’s deconsecration ceremony was performed quickly and quietly in a manner prescribed by church liturgy. Music was limited to a rendition of the Negro spiritual “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,” which preceded the procession of clergy into the sanctuary, and a closing hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West” with piano accompaniment only. No choirs. No organ. Everyone stood throughout the event.

Left unaddressed during the brief service was whether those Rebel army leaders should ever have been placed on hallowed church property in the first place.

But the cathedral’s dean, the Rev. Randolph Hollerith, explained the context in which the windows were dedicated in 1953 with money raised by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and a private donor.

“We remember,” said Hollerith, “that [the windows] were received as a gift to this Cathedral memorializing the leaders of the Confederacy in a time when segregation was still the law of the land, when racial division in all aspects of life was social practice and when the most segregated time of Christian America was on Sunday morning.”

The solemn truth was inescapable: The windows honored a system that rested upon black subjugation and white supremacy. They were a stain on the cathedral and were, as the chapter’s removal resolution stated, “inconsistent with [the church’s] current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people.” They had no place in the cathedral’s sacred fabric. They had to go. Along with the myth under which they were created.

To contend, as do some defenders of Old Dixie, that those who went to war under the Confederate battle flag did so in valorous defense of their homes and families miscasts history. Just as it was wrong for President Ronald Reagan in 1985 to mourn the 2,000 soldiers of Nazi Germany buried at Bitburg cemetery as innocent human beings “crushed by a vicious ideology.” The German war dead, like soldiers of the Old Confederacy, fought and died on behalf of a wicked cause that started a war.

The cathedral’s decision to remove and store the windows in a secular space until such time as decisions about their fate are reached was right and overdue.

http://tinyurl.com/y89clwk9
9/9/2017, 9:04 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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What the smoky skies looked like


Here's a very good description of what our Pacific Northwest skies have looked like in the days before the rain.

Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

By JASON MARKSEPT. 8, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. — This was the summer that the forests turned red. From the fir and hemlock stands of Puget Sound to the oak and pine groves of California, the light in the woods has gone all kinds of wrong. The greens have been replaced by oranges, the normal hues vaporized in the smoke that has choked so much of the West in this season of wildfire….

What has made this fire season so terrifying isn’t the size or intensity of the fires, awful as they were, but the enormous clouds of smoke that have come with them. In many places, for days on end the sky has been enveloped in haze, the sun reduced to a hot, distant penny….

The smoke makes the very air we breathe toxic. At one point last month, the air quality in the Seattle region was likened to that of Beijing at its worst, a threat to the old and the young, and those with respiratory problems. Also terrifying is how the smoke has twisted the light. …

In the Pacific Northwest during the zenith of the British Columbia fires, it was as if a cinematographer had put a red lens on the camera. The evergreens went matte, while the rust-colored trunks of madrone trees were poppingly visible from hundreds of yards away. The cedar trunks were nearly pulsating with color.

In Northern California during the Labor Day heat wave..., the patches of sun on a trail at midmorning had the pastel cast of evening. The natural detritus of the California woods…looked ominous in the orange light.

Friends in Montana report that the haze and the smoke remind them of the recent solar eclipse. Shadows go fuzzy, similar to how it was when the sun was at 25 percent of normal.

Everyone seems to agree that the sunsets have been epic, but that the moons are spooky: heavy peach globes, weirdly portentous. One summer night in Washington, I saw a waxing crescent moon stained a red darker than blood.

It’s hard not to think that these alterations are just a glimpse of things to come. Perhaps this is the new normal of climate change. With all the dust and smoke in the air, the world will begin to look different. The sky will be milkier, less often intensely blue. Every sunset will be hot pink and hallucinogenic. The green trees of the forest will be cast under a rose lamp….

In 1893, the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch completed his most famous painting, “The Scream,” with its haunting vibe of existential dread. The nightmare image, with its swirls of deep reds and blues, was inspired by Munch’s experience, a decade earlier, of witnessing an unearthly sunset, created in part by airborne particulates emitted by the eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatau, on the other side of the planet. All of the ash from the volcano scattered the blue-violet wavelengths of light, just as the smoke blanketing the West is doing now. At the sight of ruptured sky, Munch said he felt “a great, unending scream piercing through nature.”

That’s a pretty good description of what these smoke storms have felt like.

http://tinyurl.com/y8g8akqn
9/9/2017, 9:24 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


quote:

Bellelettres wrote:

I made a list of all my medications and print copies. When a medication is added or subtracted, I revise the list. I take a copy to every appointment with every doctor. I have this wonderful primary physician who feels the same way I do about medication -- less is more.



That is exactly what I'm doing, Belle. I have a printout of the complete current list, and then at the bottom of the page I put a list of the specific changes that need to be made to that doctor's current list. That way, they have a complete list AND they can see specifically what changes they need to make today to make their list BECOME the correct current list. (And I even let them keep that list!) They still manage to screw it up. EVERY time, with MULTIPLE meds. It's infuriating.

---
Lis

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9/9/2017, 11:56 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Quickies


I can imagine how infuriating that is, Lis.
9/9/2017, 1:08 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


Right now, I'm putting together a binder with all of the information Mom needs. Doctors with addresses and phone numbers. Med lists and how they changed over and over throughout this process. Coumadin check numbers and how the prescriptions changed each week. A timeline of what happened before, during, and after the hospital. A list of tests and results. Doctor appointments and their recommendations and changes. Physical therapy appointments. Everything she is going to need, somewhat organized.

She doesn't remember what led up to the hospitalization, or the first several days she was in the hospital, so it's explaining as much to her as it is to doctors. It is so disheartening to have her going through all of this, but I cannot imagine seniors who are trying to do this by themselves. There MUST be a better way to do this -- and single payer, with EVERYTHING on a single charting system -- would be a huge step in that direction.

---
Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
9/9/2017, 3:27 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Quickies


You're wonderfully well organized, Lis. I keep journals and charts, but I've never done a timeline with changes in medicine as complicated as the one you are doing.
9/9/2017, 3:40 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


Thanks, Belle. Finally just finished it. I've been working on it for a month, in between everything else that needed to happen around here.

Mom is very concerned about her meds -- who prescribed it, what it's for, what it interacts with.... And this virtually complete change in meds, on top of everything else she has been going through, would be confusing for everyone. It's just one thing I can do to help.

I still have to get back to one doctor who still has virtually her entire med list wrong. Luckily, she only prescribes three of Mom's pain meds, and only one of them is new. Her other doctors who prescribe most of the meds should have it right now.

Until someone screws with her meds again.

---
Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
9/9/2017, 6:29 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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WaPo weekly quiz 9/10


I got only 5 right this week.

http://tinyurl.com/y7qtjuq6
9/10/2017, 4:54 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Quickies


My WaPo score is an absolute embarrassment. I guess I need to start reading more than the bo ifs, the sports section and working the crossword puzzle. lol



---
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Long live the Free Territory of Trieste (1947 - 1954)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cb6X97qXOdE
9/10/2017, 9:21 am Link to this post PM GoHawk
 


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