Monthly Archives: July 2015

Roadside Memorials – Legal or Illegal?

untitled (90)          Roadside Memorials – Distractions or Remembrances?
 
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We’ve all seen them; crafted hand-made memorials to mark the spot on the highway or road where a loved one died. Some have a cross and flowers or a stuffed animal – others are more elaborate with life-size posters and entrenched like a shrine. State officials worry that they are distractions and hazardous to drivers and may cause more accidents. They are not without controversy: some feel restrictions should be placed on them; others feel that survivors of loved ones who die on the roadways psychologically need to memoralize them at the place of death and will continue to do so, regardless of legislation and other attempts at control.

Not long ago,  South Carolina, in an attempt to curb (no pun intended) numerous memorials or grave markers along our roads and highways, offered new state-provided signs to put in places where loved ones met their deaths in accidents.

Some other states have already done this; West Virginia began offering signs two years ago.  Florida actually instituted a ban on roadside memorials. Florida, in 1997, provided free generic signs. You can see thousands of these signs on Florida’s roads dedicated to remembrances of place of death. West Virginia’s signs cost $200 and are in place for three years and then returned to the family.

Although there are no statistics to support states’ claim that home-made memorials are distractions and cause accidents, states also claim the markers are hazardous to lawn maintenance on public property for private reasons.

To remedy this, South Carolina is also offering signs like Florida did to replace the markers, but they are offering them at $250 each. They are printed “Drive Safely” or “In Memory of” with the deceased person’s name. They remain for two years and then the plaque is returned to the family.

North Carolina also has roadside sign plantings for $250. Normally, they replace ‘hazardous’ markers but leave other ‘non-hazardous’ markers for 60 days and then give it back to the family.
Marie Coppola  Revised July 2015

 

A Life-saving part-time job

Part-Time Position Open for Anyone Interested

  • Wanted:  Anyone who wants to increase their productivity.
  • Skills needed:  Discipline, dependability, and reliability.
  • Responsibilities:  Ability to work alone and produce lasting results.
  • Working hours:  30 minutes to one hour daily.
  • Dress Code:  Casual.        **Bonus:  Life-Saving

In these technological times, many workdays are spent sitting in front of a computer.   Whether you are an information system analyst  or work at home, many hours are spent sitting at your desk answering emails, creating spreadsheets, preparing PowerPoint presentations or attaching business documents in Microsoft Works or Word.  We even ‘do’ our social life online – shopping online,  on medias like Facebook to connect with old friends, reminisce and get reacquainted, make new ‘friends’, and post pictures of our mates and kids.   People complain that Facebook has taken over their lives but  considering how popular it is, it is a choice they choose.  And we all  sit and sit.

If, after hours of sitting in front of a computer screen, the worker may opt for relaxing after dinner to watch TV or spend more time sitting  catch up on personal emails or other PC-related video games.   These folks lives are called ‘sedentary lifestyles’.

Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with a lack of physical exercise.  We have morphed into a society that spends many hours sitting down.   Being sedentary makes you more susceptible to diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and other health conditions.   Surprisingly, it also makes you tired, sluggish, and mentally inactive.   You need to move around, get your circulation going and rev up your metabolism.

How much time do you spend living your life sitting down ?

Do you exercise regularly?   The part-time job listed above is a mandatory part-time position for all of us who spend a large part of the day  sitting down & working at a desk or on a computer.   The part-time job is important to be performed the same as you perform your full-time one.   You must report to it every day and mentally hit the time clock reporting in and out.  No personal days or sick time.

It is habit forming and more effective if you ‘report’ to your secondary ‘job’ the same time everyday.   If you work at home, tell friends and family that you took on a part-time job every day from 11:00 pm to noon or whenever is convenient to ‘do the job’.   It may be that there is an exercise program on TV that you can work out with; if not, put on your sneakers and go for a walk or dance to your favorite music.

During the day, it’s important to get up from your chair, stretch and walk around for a few minutes – even if it is to get a glass of water.   Don’t leave water by your desk; get up and get a drink.   Exercise your eyes by rolling them from side to side and look out the window at a distance since you have been working close up and in a glare.  You’ll feel better and can continue to work in a few minutes.

You can still have your part-time job at the office – it may have to be on your lunch hour, but it will be more beneficial to you than if you go to the lunch room and just sit again.   If your company has walking trails or an exercise room, discover them on your designated half-hour.  If not, use  your time to walk the halls and if there are stairs, use them.  Don’t stop and talk and chat — look like you are busy and going somewhere in a hurry.  You are.  You are in a hurry to improve your health.   Afterwards, you can always have a yogurt or power bar.

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Forget the cup of coffee or candy bar to keep you going.   After the initial ‘high’, you get the physical and mental let-down and feel even sleepier.    Get up and shake your booty.

Marie Coppola  July 2015

Symptoms & Treatment for a Diabetic Cat

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In these economy-strained times, the last thing folks want to do is add pet medical expenses to their already crunched budget.

Since there are over 90 million pet cats in the United States, at some point in time, your cat may need medical attention either at a veterinarian’s office or at an animal hospital.  In addition , since the average life expectancy for indoor cats is 14 years  {although the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, lived to age 38 and some cats live to 18, or 20}  the costs for their care is increasing along with their age.

Statistically, cats are prone to diabetes at age 9, and our cat was no exception. Since we had suspected, diagnosed and now corrected his affliction, this diary might be helpful for those of you who will experience a similar situation.

According to the National Pet Pharmacy, 40 percent of cats are considered to be obese! Only 5 to 10 percent of all cats can be classified as only slightly overweight. In recent years Feline Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) has become almost a daily diagnosis in animal hospitals all across America. Our cats are at risk for a number of obesity related disorders. Documented research indicates obese cats are far more prone than cats of normal body weight to Diabetes, arthritis and a very serious disorder called Hepatic Lipidosis.  And the 40 percent obesity figure seems to be growing.

Along with the above, a cat’s history may have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, along with a sedentary life style.  Our cat, who used to be an active, outdoor cat and became an indoor cat, LOVES to be sedentary; he was also overweight.

Like humans, who take in more calories than they burn, Goombah, our cat, had the luxury of a feeding contraption where he could graze from during the day. He was a nibbler and visited the feeding station more than he should have and was approaching about 15 pounds when he first showed signs of diabetes.

Coupled with his obesity  (the vet’s word, not mine, I love him round) and his lack of exercise, his disease became apparent while we were on vacation. We have left him before and at the vet’s suggestion — at home —  since he is familiar with his surroundings and not farmed out where he may become disoriented and/or feel abandoned. We always left someone in charge to cat-sit, to feed and pet him. This time was no exception.

An ‘exception’ occurred the day after we departed. Our area had a forest wildfire, a devastating forest fire that destroyed 70 homes nearby and continued to char 31 square miles near our home.  Damage estimates rose to $16 million for the three-day blaze. The fire came within 3 miles of our development and neighbors tell us that ash and smoke were heavy on our street.

I’m mentioning this because the caretakers for our cat also live in our development and were anxious and preparing to evacuate if necessary. Although Goombah was being taken care of, we’re assuming that anxiety was high for both humans and animals. Goombah, just adjusting from his ‘parents’ not being there, aware of surrounding smoke, unstable feeding times and anxiety were factors, we feel, in contributing to his onset of diabetes.  Our vet concurs.

When we returned some weeks later, Gombah greeted us – he was three pounds lighter –  a lot of weight for a cat to lose in a few weeks’ time.   He was thin and his gait was different, his legs were wobbly.

He was constantly hungry and thirsty and we thought as long as he was eating, he would be OK.  But, his routine had changed, too.  He no longer slept curled up with us; he would find a corner in the house to sleep curled up in a fetal position. Something definitely was not right.  He wasn’t gaining weight and he was eating and thirsty all the time.  He didn’t play much anymore and was lethargic.

When we brought him to the vet, he was checked and his sugar count was very high and after two overnight  stays, he was diagnosed as diabetic and would need insulin twice a day.  He was given a high protein diet  (40%) and no wet food as it contained too many carbs.  No more food grazing all day; he is allowed one cup of dry food a day.

The cost for blood work every 6 months – about $75; insulin for month – about $30 – needles for a month about $15.

Goombah has stabilized and now weighs 14 pounds. The hardest thing was not giving him needles, as we thought.  The vet trained us how to do that and it is not hard to do.   Goombah purrs while he is being injected.    The hardest part was rationing his food. The vet told us he wouldn’t be happy with his lowered amount and he’s not. He meowed more and sat over his bowl and stared at it.   Eventually, he got use to the routine and is not as adamant about eating constantly.

The best part is he is healthy again – we have him checked every six months.  He no longer sleeps in corners; he snuggles with us and is his affectionate and playful self again.  He is 15 years old and we hope to enjoy his company for many more.

Marie Coppola July 2015