Keeping Track of Medications


Category_bug_interestingstuff Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” in the upper left corner of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I probably won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog if you have one.

I skipped watching the Tony Awards last Sunday and if the rest of the show was as much fun as this musical opener starring host Neil Patrick Harris, that was a mistake.

But thanks to the magic of the internet and a tip from Jan Adams, we can all enjoy. Trust me, it's a boatload of fun.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Arkansas wins the prize for the highest number of state legislators with the least education. Twenty-five percent have no college experience.

You know what? I didn't go to college either and aside from specialized fields such as law, science and medicine, I'm at least as knowledgeable as many college graduates and often more so. I'm tired of being maligned for lack of an often questionable piece of paper, but that's a rant for another day. Read more here.

On the same day I posted my Republican Agenda rant last week, Chris Matthews made some of the same points on his MSNBC Hardball program – and in less than two minutes. Take a look.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thanks to, we have this tidy, two minutes-plus explanation from economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich clearly laying out how the U.S. got into our epic mess and who caused it. (Hat tip to Kathleen Noble of The Dassler Diaries)

Without Darlene Costner, I would miss a lot of amazing things on the internet. Most recently, astonishing ocean images from photographer, Clark Little.


Here is another one:


You can see more of Mr. Little's ocean photographs and other subjects too at his website.

Medicaid is the only government program that pays for long-term, nursing home care. Its intricate rules and regulations to qualify are a nightmare to sort through – a jumble of federal complexities further modified by 50 differing sets of more regulations in the various states.

Elderlaw attorney, K. Gabriel Heiser, who specializes in elder care and estate planning, has spent more than 20 years guiding people through the Medicaid maze and his book, How to Protect Your Family's Assets From Devastating Nursing Home Costs, is densely packed with information for almost any contingency.

It's one of those books you will want at your fingertips when you or a family member needs a nursing home whether for rehab or permanent care. You can find out more about the book here and it is available at the usual book sources.

NOTE: Mr. Heiser is a relentless, online self-promoter which can be off-putting but I found his book to be a valuable resource.

I don't know who this guy is, but he and his marionette are amazing. Enjoy, with thanks to Darlene Costner.

After 2012, traditional incandescent light bulbs will go the way of the dodo. If you're like me, you're having a helluva time trying to figure out what size CFL bulb matches up with an old-fashioned 100-watt or 60-watt or 25-watt bulb.

Here's the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help. Their consumer instructional videos are always useful and this one clears up a lot of confusion.

There is more detailed information at the FTC website.

Even the fire department gave up on this little fellow who was stuck in a tree for eight days. Then a Channel 4 Action News reporter saved the day – and the cat.


Those videos (Matthews & Reich)should be shown on billboard videos all over the country & also sent to congress........Bravo!

Loved the puppet! Have a great w/end. Dee

I enjoyed the Tony Opening number. I missed it for the first time in years because my Grandson graduated from DePaul University that day, and we celebrated into the late evening.

About light bulbs. I heard recently that Sylvania had dismantled their light bulb plant in China and has reopened in Pennsylvania. I hope this is a trend. If you need light bulbs,folks, try to buy Sylvania.

I once had a cat who loved to sleep in the clothes basket on top of the clothes.He was chased up a huge tree and would not come down.

I called the Fire dept. and they came to help but their ladder was not long enough. They were just ready to leave when I thought of the clothes basket. I went into the house and got it and the fireman took it up the ladder and held it over his head. Oliver jumped about 10 feet down and landed on the soft clothes. Then he and the fireman came safely down the ladder.

Oliver, did you say, Nancy? Oliver? Like Oliver the cat in my house now?

Clever solution the cat in the tree problem.

Thanks Jan, thanks Ronni, we are still tapping our toes over the Tony number. We too missed the start of the show. Yes too, Darlene. Thanks for all the other info Ronni. We have switched most of our bulbs to halogen. CFL's leave me seeing double.

Everytime I read "Interesting Stuff" I want to share it with EVERYONE! The column usually stirrs my heart in one way or another. 'Think I will send it to my daughter to share with the grandchildren (even the opening Tony number). Thanks Ronni.

I missed the Tony number and am so glad you posted it. It reminded me of a time when Broadway shows were really entertaining.

Yes, Oliver was that kittie's name,Ronni.

One day a little gray cat came down our road and we could see that she was not only very thin and hungry we thought she might be pregnant.

We immediately gave her some milk and luckily we had some tuna fish which we gave her. We did not have a cat at that time because we were moving shortly to another state.

Two days later she started having the kittens. Our Chris laid on a blanket on the lawn and the cat went behind the base of our chimney and when she had the first kitten she brought it out and dropped it on the blanket next to Chris.

She had 2 more kittens which she also brought to Chris and then she went with all her babies into the nice "Bed in a box" we had made for her. We had already named her Olivia.

We were moving to Virginia and begged a neighbor to take Olivia and two kittens and we took Oliver to Virginia with us.

And that's where we were at the time of the tree caper. We had Oliver for many years and he never went near a tree again.

Lots of great stuff! And, I do so like Robert Reich. So lucid, so right, and on the side of the people. What a great man.

Noted that the cat treats that got the kitty out of the tree look very much like the "Temptations" cat treats that my own cat loves. My cat is mostly an inside cat--but, he begs to go out and sometimes very early morning or late evening I let him. Oddly, enough he is always happy to come back inside. Maybe because he gets a few cat treats when he does.

Eight days--that's a long time for a kitty to be up a tree. I'm so glad that TV reporter decided to DO something. Another possibility (although it's not inexpensive) is a professional arborist. Most will rescue treed cats for a fee.

Hooray for Robert Reich. I agree that his 2-minute explanation of the economy should be posted EVERYWHERE!

you're awfully good at coming up with interesting stuff! I watched them all. Excellent! (Loved the Tony number best!)

While I do miss Saul's writings, I always enjoy this feature and all the items on it. Had been tempted to start a similar one when you stopped doing it. Still could, I guess, as doubt there would be much overlap in items.

Darlene has really become the resident "Elder" with all the great items she comes up with.

Yeah, I enjoyed the Tony Awards show -- the best of all the awards shows, but then that's because I want to be entertained with dancing and music. Can do without comic book acrobatic tech extravaganzas masquerading as musicals even if the talented Bono is involved. Yes, I know, trying to be different -- "push the envelope."

Had heard Reich and he hit it right, indeed.

Yes, those new light bulbs -- yuk -- though I have a never-ending supply from when they were on special. BUT didn't I read recently there's a new bulb, more expensive, but purported to be all around better that we're encouraged to use now? I can't keep up. I have a couple 3 way floor lamps but have given up on finding mogul (I think they're called) replacement bulbs. I can't even find regular 3 way bulbs for some favorite table lamps, but I haven't checked the Internet for either -- probably cost an arm and a leg.

As for Medicaid and long term care (LTC) -- sad to say, but some of the better skilled nursing facilities many people would prefer won't accept Medicaid patients, and certainly not for LTC. (Certain places can legally, under certain circumstances, not accept people with Medicare-Medicaid.) Also, don't know how current book's info is as I haven't read it, but I understand there's an intent to make some changes, making it much more difficult for people transferring assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. If individual has Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) investigate ver-r-r-y carefully any nursing home being considered for LTC.

BTW I've read some banks are no longer offering Reverse Mtgs -- fear that home values may drop more. Probably good you got yours when you did if Oregon housing market affected.

Thanks for the fun stuff, Ronni. I am disappointed that the book 'How to Protect Your Family's Assets From Devastating Nursing Home Costs' is so expensive. $47.00 is steep. I will wait until the price comes down a bit or find a used copy because it sounds like a resource I would want to have.

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