Nov 22nd

The Obituary of Common Sense...

By Jackie H

You maybe already familiar with this but if not, this represents a view often taken by British people when looking at the society that they have helped create. It may also apply in other countries. Let us know.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since
his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn't always fair
  • and maybe it was my fault

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

  1. I Know My Rights
  2. I Want It Now
  3. Someone Else Is To Blame
  4. I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone...

 

Author Unknown...

Nov 22nd

The Important things in life....

By Jackie H

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that:

Whether we wear a $300 or $30 watch – – – they both tell the same time.

 Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag – – – the amount of money inside is the same.

Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $30 or $3 wine – – – the hangover is the same.

 Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 sq. ft. – – – the loneliness is the same.

And we realize our true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – – – we go down with it. Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane reaches its destination – – -everyone arrives at the same time.

Therefore . . . we should realize that when we have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, with whom we can chat, laugh, talk, sing, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth — that is true happiness!

Six Undeniable Facts of Life

1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.

2. Best wise words: “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”

3. The one who loves you will never leave you because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.

4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few folks really understand that.

5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage!

6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone; but, if you want to walk far, walk together!

 Six Best Doctors in the World

1. Sunlight

2. Rest

3. Exercise

4. Diet

5. Self Confidence

6. Friends

 And, finally: The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts...

Author Unknown...

Nov 21st

Getting Your Money's Worth

By Bill W

Now this is what I call 'Getting Your Money's Worth', and what a lovely couple.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-42043754

 

I wonder if anyone on DropBy has kept their appliances as long?

Nov 15th

Autumn/Winter Hedgehog Alert

By LJ E

 

Autumn/Winter Alert!!

decslider

Keep Hedgehogs Safe in Autumn and Winter alert

As the night time temperature decreases to below 5 degrees Celsius the wild hedgehog is likely to be preparing for hibernation. Hedgehogs hibernate because their natural food supply (beetles, earthworms and caterpillars) is in short supply. If they didn’t hibernate, then without food they would almost certainly die.
There are less than 1 million hedgehogs in the UK compared to over 36 million in the 1950s. There are lots of things we can do throughout the year to keep them safe, but during autumn and winter these simple things will help prevent the wild hedgehog becoming endangered and dying out completely. This may happen before the turn of the next century unless we all take action.

Create access between gardens - Throughout the year hedgehogs need to roam between 12 and 15 medium sized gardens at night searching for food and during the breeding season (June – September) for mates. Please make a gap in or under your fence or gravel board of about 5 inches square so the hedgehog can access neighbouring gardens and find enough food to survive. You can buy hedgehog friendly gravel boards to make access easier.

Provide food and water - During Autumn and winter they need extra food and water. If they a very low weight (below 500g 600g) when they go into hibernation they may not survive They like meat based cat or dog food in jelly, meat based cat biscuits and sunflower hearts. They also need water throughout the year. Please put a large bowl of fresh water (a saucer of water is not enough) out every night to avoid dehydration. Hedgehogs can drink up to 1/3rd of a litre of water each night and dehydrated hedgehogs die very quickly. Follow this link for details of how to make a feeding station to stop cats eating the food..Please do not feed hedgehogs bread or milk as they are lactose intolerant and will be ill.

Watch out for young underweight hedgehogs - These are known as Autumn Juveniles and tend to be born in late August/September. They are at great risk of dying over winter because they will not have gained enough weight to survive. If you see any young underweight hedgehogs (weighing less that 550g) in your garden at night please call your local hedgehog rescue for advice. Do not remove them from your garden and try and care for them yourself, as often they need specialist care and a health check to rule out other health problems such as internal parasites. These, if present, are life threatening.

Take action if you see a hedgehog out during the day - If you see any hedgehog out during the day looking ill, injured or lying around and not moving in a purposeful manner call your local hedgehog rescue for advice immediately, as time is of the essence. Sick or injured hedgehogs can die within a few hours and need specialist care. A hedgehog can look well but have internal parasites or injuries or be severely dehydrated and they can die very quickly.


 

Other things you can do include………

Check before gardening - Hedgehogs are nocturnal and sleep during the day in leaves, compost, and bushes. PLEASE BE EXTRA CAREFUL IF YOU ARE USING A STRIMMER OR DIGGING as many hedgehogs are injured or killed in this way.

Check before lighting bonfires – Hedgehogs love nesting in log piles and as bonfire night approaches it is crucial to check the wood pile before lighting the bonfire. Use the end of a broom to gently poke around at the base of the fire or if you can dismantle the fire and assemble it in another area of your garden on the day it is to be lit.

Create garden pond access - If you have a garden pond please make a sloped ramp or provide stepping stones for the hedgehog to climb out if it were to fall in, otherwise it will drown. A plank of wood covered in chicken wire is ideal

Raise garden netting above ground level – A hedgehog can lose a leg and die if it gets caught in garden or sports netting. Please put garden netting above ground level and remove sports netting at night

Cover drains and deep holes – Please make sure drains are covered as curious hedgehogs can fall in and injure themselves or die if they are unable to get out

Supervise your dog in the garden – Follow this link for tips on how to keep hedgehogs safe from dog attacks

 

Nov 6th

Stay Well this Winter

By Mary B

We’re here to help you stay well this winter

Some important information from the NHS to help you stay well this winter

 

Stay well this winter

 

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease. 

Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses. But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist

At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Act quickly. 

The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action. 

This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.

If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.

Make sure you get your flu jab

The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly. That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. 

If you have young children or grandchildren they may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination. And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may also be eligible for the free flu jab. Just speak to your GP or pharmacist.

You can also find more information at www.nhs.uk/getflujab 

Also, don’t forget that if you’re aged 65 or over, you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia. 

Ask your GP.

 

Keep warm 

 

It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

 

Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). 

You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. 

Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections. 

Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.

Wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.

Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and keep up with your energy bills at www.gov.uk/phe/keep-warm

And check your heating and cooking appliances are safe. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly. 

Visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk

 

Check your medicine cabinet

 

Ask your pharmacist what medicines should be in your cabinet to help get you and your family through the winter season. 

Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments, such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).

So talk to your pharmacist for advice on getting the relief you need. 

To manage winter illness symptoms at home:

• Rest• Drink plenty of fluids• Have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up• Use over-the-counter medications to help give relief. 

 

Prescriptions

 

Make sure you get your prescription medicines before your pharmacy or 

GP practice closes for Christmas. You can also order your repeat prescriptions online. To sign up to GP online services ask at your practice or to find out more 

visit nhs.uk/GPonlineservicesAnd, if you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed.

 

Look out for other people 

 

Remember that other people, such as older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There’s a lot you can do to help people who are more frail than you.

Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery and cold weather can stop people from getting out and about. Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.

Make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out. If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.

And make sure they get any prescription medicines before the Christmas holidays start and if bad weather is forecast.

If they need help over the holiday period when the GP practice or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 and speak to a call adviser who will be able to direct you to a local service that is open. You can also find information at www.nhs.uk 

 

Five things we recommend you do:

Make sure you get your flu jab.

Keep your home at 18°C (65°F) or higher if you can.

Take advantage of financial schemes and discounts to help you pay for heating.

Visit your local pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell with the symptoms of a respiratory winter illness.

Look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over the winter.

 

Where to go for the right medical care

For more information and advice visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

 

For life threatening emergencies

If you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111 for clinical advice, assessment and for direction to the most appropriate services for treatment.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist. You can also access NHS advice at www.nhs.uk 

 

© Crown copyright 20173220113-17 2p 2m Aug 2017 (PAR)

This publication is available in alternative formats from the website or 

by emailing Public Health England at enquiries@phe.gov.uk

 

 www.nhs.uk

Oct 24th

The Frog

By brenda r

This is one of my favorites 
A frog goes into a bank, and hops up on the desk of the loan officer. ''Hi,'' he croaks.''What's your name?''
The loan officer says, ''My name is John Paddywack. May I help you?''
''Yeah,'' says the frog. ''I'd like to borrow some money.''
The loan officer finds this a little odd, but gets out a form. ''Okay,what's your name?''
The frog replies, ''Kermit Jagger.''
''Really?'' says the loan officer. ''Any relation to Mick Jagger?''
''Yeah, he's my dad.''
''Hmmm,'' says the loan officer. ''Do you have any collateral?''
The frog hands over a pink ceramic elephant and asks, ''Will this do?''
The loan officer says, ''Um, I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager.''
''Oh, tell him I said hi,'' adds the frog. ''He knows me.''
The loan officer goes back to the manager and says, ''Excuse me, sir, but there's a frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing; I'm not even sure what it is.''
The manager says: ''It's a knick-knack, Paddywack, give the frog a loan; his old man's a Rolling Stone !

Oct 21st

Don't Quit, by Harvey Conroy

By Mary B

 

When things go wrong as they sometimes will

when the road you're trudging

seems all uphill,

 

When money is low

and the debts are high

and you want to smile

but you have to sigh

 

When care is pressing you down a bit,

rest if you must, but don't you quit.

 

Success is failure turned inside out,

the silver lining of the clouds of doubt.

You can never tell,

how close you are,

it may be near,

when it seems so far,

so stick to the fight

when your hardest hit

 

IT'S WHEN THINGS SEEM WORST

THAT YOU MUST NOT QUIT

 

Oct 20th

Calling all DropBy Members - Research Help Required for UCL

By Mary B

We have been asked to help University College London with some of their research.....by completing a short online survey. We are delighted to be able to help.....

 

Are you aged 60 years and over?

Are you currently experiencing difficulties with generalised anxiety disorder or long-term worrying?

If the answer is yes then we would like to hear from you.

We have developed a short survey that will ask you about what types of treatment you have been offered for generalised anxiety disorder or long-term worrying and how well this has worked for you.

This should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

If you are interested in taking part then please go to:

https://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=49948

Oct 19th

In times of trouble..put the kettle on!

By jackie v

 

 I have just received a text from Donald Much-Humper. He and his wife, Sherry, have said goodbye to a Russian boy and his Mama after 3 weeks. It has gone well. Donald did the activities and Sherry did the teaching. All seemed very satisfied with this solution.

 

At Heathrow, Donald noticed that he could hardly lift the suitcases. He wondered what the Russian Mama had bought that would weigh the case down so much. He knows better than to question a Russian Mama whose husband had links to the ex KGB. Keep walking! No talking!

 

Sergei is 13 but going on 65 with regards to interests. He accompanied Donald most afternoons to the Allotment and helped him paint the shed and cultivate the potatoes and tomatoes. The strawberries it would appear, were not ripe yet. He had been studying with Donald on a Hometuition Course where he lives with his Tutor in a full Immersion Course with Lessons. Previously, he had done this in New Zealand, but the Russian Mama had declared Auckland to be devoid of culture and fashion!

 

“There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow, dont ya know!Moscow! “

 

Mama meanwhile went out with Sherry and trolled around the shops in Brighton; Chichester and Guildford.

 . Sherry declared one night over dinner, “there appears to be a lot of flexing of American Express” . Platinum, of course!

 

 

 

Anyway back to Check in.    Donald couldn’t lift the suitcase, without the assistance of a rather nice boy from the Aeroflot Counter!  The pair of them lifted it and both grew rather red in the face.  It was, as you can imagine, well over the limit and then some!    Did she want to empty some of the content out or pay the extra.  The Platinum card was produced with a flourish.   They paid the extra!

 

Back home over Horlicks and Rich tea biscuits, Donald and Sherry wondered what was in the case to make it so heavy.  “ Did they ask her to open it?” asked Sherry.

 

“ Not a bit of it, “ said Donald, as he purposefully dunked his Rich tea into the Horlicks

 

“ I shall write to her then” declared Sherry “ its all rather odd and added to that she has left all of her clothes behind in the spare bedroom!”

 

Fast forward to a week later

 

“ I have a reply from Olga” ( Russian mama of Sergei) ) and you wont believe it “

 

Sherry was almost beside herself with excitement

 

“ Well come on, Old Girl, spill the beans!” ( this is English slang for tell me all your news, at once!)

 

Well, the reason why the suitcase was so heavy is because she filled it with jars of Marmite

 

“ Marmite?” repeated Donald. “Did you said, Marmite?”

 

“Indeed, I did, Donald. Apparently she can go home and sell it there. There is a huge Black Market for Marmite right in the centre of Moscow! So that explains why she left all of her clothes behind. She completely filled her suitcase with Marmite. All sizes as well”

 

Donald and Sherry looked at each other. “ There is nowt so queer as folk” and Donald scratched his head. “ Fancy a cuppa, Old Girl?”

 

“ Indeed I do, “ said Sherry. “… and don’t worry, our next student is from China, so it will be a walk in the park” and with that she went and put the kettle on, as all British do in times of worry

 

 

 

Oct 17th

1000 Marbles

By brenda r

 

1,000 MARBLES

 

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.  Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net.  Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice.  You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to  listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued.  "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."  
 
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of  Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.  

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a  thousand of them left to enjoy.  So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.  I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.  There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."


"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your  family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.  This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." " What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles... 

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend. 

And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you."
- Winnie the Pooh.

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