Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NMCP Offers 'Mammograms While You Wait'

I was walking at the Naval Hospital the other day.  Do you think that walking in a hospital is odd?  Consider this:  I am safe, guarded by servicemen, in a facility open 24 hours a day which is climate controlled and cold drinks and clean bathrooms available throughout.  

The Hospital has been there since the War of 1812.  I walk among buildings one, two, and three. 

The wards are on higher floors, so I walk past food courts, various clinics which are usually closed when I'm there, a credit union, a chapel, and a sort of 7-11.  Basically it is mall walking with no Kirklands, Payless Shoes or Dillards.

As I walk up a steep incline to the command space, the harbor is spread out before me.  Ocean tankers and sailboats float by.  In other areas without windows, beautiful outdoor photographs from around the world brighten up the way.

While walking from the food court area to another building, I saw an informational poster board:

"Mammograms While You Wait"

Check out the link to a story right here:

Stop the presses Naval Medical Center!  

What is the alternative to having a mammogram while you wait? Don't you always have to go to a medical care facility, wait, and then have the mammogram? What other way would one have one of those big ole boob sandwiches?  What innovation comes next? Pap smears in stirrups or dental exams in a reclining chair?

How else would I get a mammogram but while I wait?

Could I have my mammogram during a commute through the Downtown Tunnel?  While cooking dinner?  During a walk or a bike ride?  How about while coloring my hair, that's about 25 minutes of down time?  I could have my mammogram while eating Thanksgiving dinner or at Starbucks, but it might make others uncomfortable.

I have no doubt that this poster went through many edits among the Health Promotion command, but it cracked me up.

So kudos to the Naval Hospital for relaxing its rules and being creative in helping women protect their health with this important screening.  However, I think that they actually meant to say that "Walk In Mammogram appointments" are now available.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rainy Day Bouquet

This May day feels a bit more like March than nearly summer, with a cold rain.  I pulled out my trusty waterproof hooded winter coat, mistakenly put away for next November.  I kind of felt like Lulu, with her eyes squinting in the rain, and wished I could shake myself dry every so often.  I minced along, leash in hand, in expensive sneakers, trying sensibly to avoid puddles.  

Were I a sensible person, I would have continued to avoid puddles  I'm not so sensible.  Some people are in touch with their inner child.  I AM my inner child.  This child decided to embrace the rain. I jumped on every big puddle I could find delighting in the great splash as I squelched along in those wet sneakers, wishing they were red Keds.

Scotts Creek doesn't look like any creek I knew from my elementary school days in Connecticut. This "creek" is actually a tidal estuary, like the East River in New York City or the Hudson in its extreme southerly merge into Long Island Sound. The Creek empties into the Elizabeth River and into the Chesapeake Bay. 

This morning it was pearly in the mist and drizzle.
A heron sat patiently on a rock, looking more like a colonial silhouette than a living creature.  Right after I took this shot, he pounced on a tasty fish.
I trudge along and Brenda in the next neighborhood shouts out, "Girl, you are soaked.  C'mon in and have some hot coffee!  

A stately goose family floated by.
I squished on home, dog leash in one hand and a growing wet bouquet in the other,,,lagustrum, purple weeds, a glorious pinky maroon stalk of some sort, deliciously sharp and astringent-smelling rosemary growing over a fence, white blooms from an unidentified tree, and a yellow African daisy from my front yard.

Lagustrum, (also called "privet") when flowering has a faint sweet smell which reminds me of warm milk.  That smell also reminds me of my dear friend Deb, who was terribly allergic to lagustrum. Nonetheless, the lovely smell reminds me of her:  a charming Southern belle, a romantic, an avid reader and writer who suddenly went blind, who faced death with acceptance and gratitude for those who loved her.  You'd be honored to learn about her from my old blog here:  Debbie's Story

So I breathe in the rosemary and lagustrum, blink back tears for Deb and remember...


                               Abandoned horse stable  Isle of Wight County, Virginia          


an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? 
Well, my Bruce, that's who.
My writer's group sponsored a seminar this Saturday.  They're a wonderful brunch with a leader who has a heart and a passion for writers and writing.  I hadn't been to a meeting in quite some time.  Bruce and I headed out early Saturday to the beautiful campus of a local community college.
My word!  (No pun intended.)  If nothing else, it was an object lesson in how NOT to do a professional presentation.  The presenter arrived more than a half hour late, and was unapologetic at that.  I will not belabor the point, but those running the seminar were squirming, as were we participants.

The seminar was scheduled to teach us how to use social media in its myriad intricacies to promote our writing.  The presenter was someone with great credentials who was too disorganized and too incoherent to teach others.

Here's what I learned:  I didn't need a seemingly credentialed expert to tell me how to do something best learned through trial and error, so I went home to create a new blog.  When I set out with sincere efforts and a deep desire, add patience and my husband's expertise, the proverbial mountain moves.

Later, after grocery shopping and other errands, Bruce drove 31 miles from home into another century.  This was the serendipity. We walked in the dusk in a charming town with a country weekly newspaper, a bandstand for outdoor summer musical events, an ice cream shop, antique stores, and homes from the Revolutionary era to Victorian painted ladies.

The weather has been murky and drizzly for weeks, but on this Saturday walk, only a fine mist hung in the air.  We wandered away from the downtown on Grace Street. Really though, if you think about it, shouldn't we always be walking on Grace Street?

Suddenly, the town ran out.  We were back in the agricultural past.
Nature does abhor a vacuum.  Ivy had permeated and then subsumed an entire two story wood frame house.  At home, I started with the 1940 census to learn about the family who lived and prospered here, once, and an old lady named Mary who was the last of them.  Time marched on, slaves and free men lived and died.  Things changed, but the marsh grasses, the ivy, the sky and the soil remain, unchanged and unimpressed for hundreds of years.