Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

Walking can provide relief for OA

Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

 

By Dani Davis

“Bone On Bone”

I am considered well-aged.  In other words, I qualify for all those senior citizen discounts. At 75 I have been dealing with increasingly debilitating Osteoarthritis (OA) of both knees for at least the last ten years. “Bone on bone” as the doctor keeps reminding me. I have been putting off knee replacement surgery due to both fear of the surgery and my ongoing hope for a better answer.

From Miles to Feet

I have always been active and ready to take on whatever the world has to offer, skiing, swimming, hiking, and walking. In fact, I walked four or five miles every day of my life since I was a high schooler. Walking has  always been the mainstay of my exercise routine. However, as my knee pain has worsened I have retreated from former activities and have been reduced to limping about my apartment or using the electric scooter at the local Walmart. The final blow to my exercise routine came, when my dog, my prime motivator for walking, died two years ago.

Dr. X

In December I met with Dr. X, the surgeon scheduled to do my right knee replacement. He told me I am  within a hair’s breadth of the top end of the weight limit; and suggested I lose a few pounds, strengthen my legs, and workout to build my upper body strength. I told him if I could do all those things I wouldn’t be knocking on his door. He laughed, and told me to, “Try. You have ten months.” “Ten months?” Yes, ten months, I was told. “Mostly due to COID-19 issues such as surgical back-log, shortage of nurses and support staff, plus endless employee sick calls.” The medical assistant came in, opened the computer and tentatively scheduled my surgery for November 16th, 2022.

Continue reading

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

Continue reading

Looking At Elder Care

Looking At Elder Care

Caring for an elder family member requires strength, patience, and support.

Looking At Elder Care

The Build Back Better legislation stuck in the Senate would provide relief for many American family members struggling to keep a family member living at home vs being placed in a nursing home.

By D. S. Mitchell

Caregiver Risks

Most of the people called on to help an ill or disabled family member have no training in being a caregiver. Not only that, but many spouses, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters have their own health problems and physical limitations. The risks of being a family caregiver is premature aging, sickness, death, depression, anger, resentment and potential financial loss. Aside from that, it can be rewarding and more worthwhile than anything you will ever do.

Financial Resources Make the Difference

Receiving affordable or free home care may be what makes the difference between a family member being able to stay in their home or being moved into an assisted living or nursing home. One in five Americans provide unpaid care to family members so they can continue to live in their home, according to a recent AARP report.

Continue reading

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

Family gatherings often result in anger and hurt feelings.

Minding the Gap

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

The pain of family dysfunction is frequently on display over the holidays

By Megan Wallin

Farewell Patience

Despite the cries of “holiday cheer,” the truth is holidays can drain you of every ounce of patience and good humor you possess. The dark underbelly of family gatherings is that they often culminate in contentious  counter viewpoints. These instances can be quite grating for all parties, especially where generational gaps are involved. While it’s easy to dismiss such disagreements as being a result of an ageist culture, one that neither admires nor protects its most experienced members, I sense there’s more to it than that.

Times Change

Often, the mindset that genuinely worked for one time in history does not work when applied to another. During times of war, hardship and economic depression, children grew up fast. They often skipped the phase that allowed them to develop as individuals and instead adopted a more collectivist perspective, with an absolute respect for authority. Case in point: The idea that children are to obey all adults—absolutely and without question—is a concept that has actually led to insanely corrupt and egregious cover ups of child predators.

A Shift in Parenting Priorities

Now, armed with this knowledge, parents no longer tell their children to trust all adults or do as they’re told without a prior relationship established. Perhaps as a result, we have more self-aware young people and more challenging behaviors at times as today’s kids test boundaries with their parents, teachers, and older family members. Gone are the days of “Because I told you so,” as we usher in the new era of, “I understand that you’re upset, but you cannot do that because . . . .” We are demanding accountability from parents as well as children, and while it may be an exhausting way to parent, it’s by far the preferred method for newer generations.

Continue reading

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

Continue reading

Michael Trimble Unlikely Candidate

Editor Comment: Normally CNP steers away from local political news and candidates (Oregon and SW Washington), concentrating primarily on national issues. However, Mike Trimble, a black horse in the race, is a fascinating fellow and deserves some national exposure. Thanks, Megan Wallin for sharing your great interview with Mr. Trimble.  Thank you, Mr. Trimble for sharing your thoughts and your pictures.

Michael Trimble:

Unlikely Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate

By Megan Wallin

Michael Trimble is a fresh face on the political fied

A Bit of Background

The first thing someone might notice about Michael Trimble, one of Oregon’s more unlikely gubernatorial candidates, is not the fact that he lacks arms—or the fact that he is usually wearing a bike helmet as he commutes almost exclusively via a modified bicycle—but his enthusiasm.

Trimble is the odd man out in the Oregon governor race, something he would be the first to own, calling himself a true “grassroots candidate.”

“I’ve always been an advocate, because I was born in an orphanage, and I never met my biological parents,” he began, before elaborating on how that impacted him. “So in an orphanage, you basically learn at a very young age that you have to fend for yourself, and since I had no arms, that just doubled down.”

“And then when I was adopted by Christian evangelical parents who were ‘told by God’ to adopt a boy without arms and a girl who had legs but could not walk, that became my next challenge.” Their religious beliefs led them to adopt the young Michael.

In his words, he “went from the frying pan of the orphanage system in Russia into the fires of Christian evangelicalism.”

Trimble spoke more about the uniqueness of his situation, explaining that while most people within the foster system have been taken out of their biological homes and are seeking adoption, he went to caseworkers seeking protection from abuse within his adopted home.

The abuse, he stated, was widely overlooked due to the family’s religious practices, which seemed to indeed cover a multitude of sins in the state of Pennsylvania.

“Technically, in Pennsylvania, they didn’t consider what was being done to me as child abuse even though all the social workers said, quite frankly, it was unforgivable.”

We didn’t really get along from day one,” he said of his adoptive parents in the states, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

“It was a very stormy relationship,” he concluded. “Some families are just never meant to be, and we were definitely an example. They adopted me with good spirits and good intentions, but the execution was really, really poor.”

While he acknowledged this answer may seem a bit “long winded,” his point was clear: He has been resourceful and independent from a young age.

“I would like to extend that fighting spirit…as governor and fight for those who don’t fight for themselves.”

Continue reading

25 Great Ways To Save Money

25 Great Ways To Save Money

25 Great Ways To Save Money

D. S. Mitchell

AARP Tips

For at least the last decade AARP Bulletin Magazine has been highlighting clever money saving ideas and sharing them with members once a year in their “99 Ways To Save” issue. Some of them are a bit over the top and others sensible and worth passing on. So here are a few tips they have offered over the last several years.

1.) Sell To Amazon: Amazon buys used items, including video games, books, Kindle e-readers for trade-in, in exchange for a gift card. Go to the Amazon Trade-in Store and if an item you have is listed there, print our a free shipping label and send it off.

2.) Pass On Dryer Sheets: Easy trick to save about $8 on 80 loads. Instead, cut a sponge in half and soak the pieces in a container with 1 cup fabric softener and two cups of water. Wring and toss one sponge into each dryer load. You will need to replace the liquid every 3 months.

3.) Get Free E-books: There are nearly 60,000 public domain e-books available on gutenberg.org. You will find favorites and classics and easily save $3 to $10.

4.) 401(k) Know How: Sadly 1/4 of American workers employed at companies offering 401 (k) plans fail to take advantage of the full company match, this means folks are missing out on an average of $1,336 in free money each year. Ok. Get out your calculator and multiply $1,336 times 30 years (your working years) and you will see that you could potentially lose out on over $40,080. Now, is the time to take advantage of this huge employer giveaway. It’s free money. Grab it.

5.) Free Streaming Movies: Check out kanopy.com. If you belong to one of the more than 4,000 participating public libraries or campus facilities, you can stream over 30,000 movies for free.

6.) Fancy Dancy Lunch: When you want to try out a glamorous restaurant, do it at lunch. The menu is usually similar to what you would have at dinner but is usually 25% cheaper and a more relaxed atmosphere.

7.) Individual Development Accounts: IDA’s are designed to help people of modest means buy a house or start a business. Go to ProsperityNow.org/map to find community organizations that administer the programs. There are some programs that provide up to $4 for every $1 you save.

8.) Car Rental Discounts: If you are an AARP member just show your card to lock in big savings. With Avis you could sew up a 30% savings. That would mean $90 off a $300 rental charge.

9.) Start Using Your Cruise Control: Studies confirm you can reduce fuel consumption by about 7% using your cruise control device. The average U.S. household spends about $2,000 annually on gasoline. I could suggest switching to an electric vehicle but, I will not. Use your cruise control and save about a $100 annually.

10.) Check Engine Belts: Broken belts are a major reason for automobile breakdowns. Be sure to have a tech check on yours before you head out on that next long trip. Avoiding a single breakdown could save you at least $100 in towing charges and keep your vacation frown free.

11.) Small Carts Win Out: When you go to the grocery store don’t grab the biggest cart, here’s where you are advised to go small. Research shows when the size of your grocery cart is doubled, you buy 40% more! Downsize your cart and save up to $230 per month for two people.

12.) Forget The Bark Dust: When you are ready to spread bark this spring call your local tree service and ask for a pile of their free wood chips. Depending on the size of your yard you could easily save several hundred dollars.

13.) Cross The Border For Gasoline: I live in Washington state, I buy my gas in Oregon. Two reasons; in Oregon they have attendants that pump the gas, which is great when I’m in my heels and mini, plus there is no sales tax in Oregon which means gas and other items are at least 6.5% cheaper. In Washington many localities add on their own tax, so you might save even more buying across the river.  You  can improve your chances of getting the best price on gas by using the GasGuru and GasBuddy apps which will show you prices at all area gas stations.

14.) Raising Your Deductible: Raising the deductible on a homeowner’s policy from $500 to $1000 will likely save you 25%, according to the Insurance Institute. That’s about a $300 savings on a $1200 policy.

15.) Fifteen Year Mortgage: In November 2021 the interest rate on a thirty year mortgage was 3.5%-3.7%. The rate on a 15 year mortgage was 2.6%-2.7%. On a $200,000 mortgage you will probably pay about $400 a month more for the fifteen year mortgage. Cutting that mortgage by fifteen years will save you over $100,000 in interest.

16.) Skip The Coffee Kiosk: Imagine you spend $4 at Starbucks on a couple tall coffees, that’s $1,000 a year, just on workdays. Most businesses have breakrooms with free coffee. A pound of $7.99 coffee from Kroger’s will make 25 (12 oz,) cups. Big savings.

17.) Donate Stock, Not Cash: You could save big by donating stock instead of cash. by donating the stock versus the cash you aren’t liable for capital gains tax. An example, say you give $5,000 worth shares of stock to your favorite charity. You originally paid $1,000 for the stock. If you sold the shares and then donated the cash you’d owe $1,000 in capital gains taxes if you’re in the 25% tax bracket. The choice is easy, give the charity the stock. They will be able to use their tax exempt status to sell the stock without tax consequences.

18.) Stop Smoking: There’s a million good reasons to quit smoking. One of them being non-smokers, exercisers and people who maintain a healthy weight can get as much as a 50 percent savings on life insurance.

19. Prescription Savings: You might find a prescription medicine is cheaper than one you commonly buy over the counter. The heartburn remedy Prilosec, as an example, costs about $10 for a dozen tabs. With a prescription for Omeprazole you can get 90 tabs with a $10 co-pay. That is about a $60 a month savings.

20.) Stop Rinsing The Dirty Dishes: It is no longer necessary to prewash dishes. Just scrape thoroughly and load. You can expect to save about 55,000 gallons of water over the lifetime of the dishwasher.  That is about a $280 in dollar savings, plus using less water is good for the environment, in addition you will spare yourself a lots of unnecessary work.

21.) Help For Veteran Caregivers: The Department of Veteran Affairs offers caregivers a temporary break by paying all or at least a large portion of  the costs of an in-home health aide or for the veteran to attend an adult day center. Find details about the program by going to caregiver.va.gov, or call 855-260-3274.

22.) Apply For Free Medicine: You may be able to find help to pay for your prescriptions from The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, pparx.org. If you qualify you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year on needed medications.

23.) Unclaimed Property: If you haven’t done it recently, go to unclaimed.org, find your state (or any other states you may have lived in) and enter your name. You may find the state is holding money from a savings account you forgot about, or an undelivered refund check.  I recently found $79 at the State of Oregon unclaimed property site. When I was there I also found $219 for my son and another $110 for my daughter. Yipee skipee! It took a total of 15 minutes and three Forever stamps to recover over $400 of the big green ones.

24.) Property Tax Breaks: States across the country offer property tax breaks for homeowners over 65 years of age. Since losing federal write offs on property taxes many homeowners on fixed budgets are endangered of being taxed out of their homes. States offer many types of tax programs, depending on the homeowner circumstances. I am not talking about tax deferments that defer taxes until the homeowner dies or sells the property, but are rather exemptions. That means it will not be collected later. Huge difference. Exemptions include caps on assessed value, tax rates and assessment freezes.  Each state, and many counties in those different states, have various programs and requirements. Programs like these can save senior homeowners thousands and thousands of dollars.

25.) Upgrade your refrigerator: A new model fridge may reduce your electric bill by about $350 over the first five years of use. Before buying go to your electric provider and check on rebate offers that are offered for buying an energy efficient appliance.

I decided I wanted to give readers a bonus, so here are two more great money saving tips.

26.) Reduce Your Lawn: The grass in your yard is one of the most expensive and labor intensive parts of your property maintenance. Statistics indicate Americans spend over $30 billion each year keeping up their lawns. Think arid. Think creative. Patios, decks, plant native species. Grass is not environmentally friendly nor is it pocketbook friendly, go natural.

27.) Buy Wine By The Case: Check with the retailer, but stores usually discount cases of by anywhere from 10% to 25%. Watch for sales and pick up a case of (12) bottles of wine for a great price and you’ll always have a handy house warming gift right at your finger tips.

Again I want to thank several issues of the AARP Bulletin magazine for the various money saving tips. Hurry out there and start saving.

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

OPINION:
Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma

OPINION:

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Are There Moles Within The Democratic Party?

By William Jones

A Minority of Two

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as one of the two biggest roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  She left D. C.  recently for a fundraising trip to Europe. Sinema’s trip came amid ongoing negotiations over the bill and was a slap in the face to Democrats. Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, are the lone Democratic senate holdouts blocking the President’s proposal. These two holding out against the majority of their party, is a big deal.

Just Tell Us What You Want

Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, recently criticized Sinema. Sanders just wants to know what she would support. Other senators have similarly accused Sinema of stonewalling her own party, refusing to define a position. President Biden is said to be “exasperated” after hours of talks with her. He and others have complained that Sinema doesn’t “move” from her position in negotiations and show so little respect, she often fails to  “return calls from the White House.”

Looking Across The Pond

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources. However,  members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad. Those overseas donors tend to be affluent and well-connected. Ms. Sinema’s office declined to tell reporters how long she would be abroad. They also declined to disclose what countries she was visiting, or how the trip was being paid for. No further information was provided regarding additional fund-raising for her campaign.

Big Pharma

Aside from looking for off shore money the Arizona senator has been soaking up donations from the pharmaceutical industry and other corporate groups who want to kill key parts of the bill. I am here to report she has continued to make time to meet with those donors.

$5,800 Per Seat

Last month, Sinema held a fundraiser with five business groups that oppose President Biden’s bill, charging attendees up to $5,800 to attend a 45-minute event. Earlier this month, Sinema left Washington to go to Arizona, where she attended a ritzy donor “retreat” at a high-end resort and spa, with no small donors in sight.

Refuses to Meet Constituents

Sinema’s refusal to engage elected members of her own party has extended to her constituents. Numerous constituents have complained that Sinema will not meet with them, either in her office or at a town hall. She has steadfastly refused to hold a single town hall since her election. Multiple groups within the sate of Arizona have already launched efforts to raise money in support of a Democratic primary challenger in 2024.

Hecklers Chase Sinema

Tensions have continued to rise between Sinema and her own constituents.  Arizona protesters repeatedly confronted the senator at several locations this month. Some even heckled her during a class presentation at Arizona State University and  then followed  her into a campus restroom. The Intercept reported that Sinema teaches an ASU class on fundraising, including topics like “how to cultivate large individual donors,” “opportunistic fundraising” and “corporate giving.” The topics alone leave little doubt as to her priorities.

Mounting Pressure Campaign

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the ‘moderate’ Arizona Democrat who has objected to the size and scope of President Biden’s sweeping legislative agenda, has been trailed all over the country by progressive activists in an effort to intensify public pressure on her.  Besides the bathroom incident, activists have followed her onto an airplane and even to the Boston Marathon.

Deeply Disappointing

The United States Senate is split 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. V.P. Harris is then available to provide the tie breaking vote. Democrats need every Democrat to stand united to pass any bill. These facts have greatly empowered both Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema as the party’s vocal holdouts. Ms. Sinema has pushed for the House to adopt a separate, bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill while the larger budget package is being negotiated. She called the delay in voting on the infrastructure package “inexcusable” and “deeply disappointing” in early October.

Conclusion

Kyrsten Sinema is on rocky ground with her electorate. Angry constituents are confronting her, she is pissing off the crowd in the White House, and she has angered nearly all of her fellow senate Democrats. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to save your reputation.  Sinema was sent to the Senate to work for her constituents not the drug companies. Wake up Senator Sinema. The country is begging for what is in this bill, do your part to make it happen.

 References

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/us/politics/kyrsten-sinema-fundraising-europe.html

https://www.salon.com/2021/10/14/kyrsten-sinema-ditches-senate-negotiations-for-fundraising-trip-to-europe/

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Stay active as you age for a longer, happier life

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Twenty-Three Tips for the Silver Sneakers Crew

By D. S. Mitchell

A friend of mine since high school sent me the following advice on aging.  I looked on the internet to find the source of the article and I was directed to a cemetery/mortuary site in California as the origin of the text.  For some reason I found that extremely funny. Post-Internment is not the time to worry about such things, I said to myself. Despite those feelings I did feel that there was some good information and thought it was worth passing on.  Although the following is not in quotes it has been authored by some unknown person other than me and I would gladly credit their work if I knew their name.

Twenty-Three Tips for the Over 65 Crowd

Continue reading