Catching Mental Illness by Proxy

Excerpt from my journal

By Annette Rey

To say they drive me crazy is not an untruth. Every member in my family has qualified as crazy at one time or another, temporarily or long term. What is the culprit? Putting genes and environment aside (that is fodder for a separate article), is it brain-killing-foods full of chemicals promised to “make a brighter future through poison”? Or perhaps it’s the newest street drug to avoid a brighter future. “Shoot this in your veins, you won’t need veins afterwards.” What about legal alcohol? “Forget the liver, remap your brain and forget how to function or be happy. We keep our promises!”

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A Personal Message

Hiatus Explanation

By Annette Rey

I have not been writing for a number of weeks because I have been grieving the loss of my brother. Clichés come to mind like: the event has taken the wind from my sails, down and out, and better to have loved and lost… We are warned as writers to avoid clichés, but sometimes they fill the bill; they have given me the opening I needed to begin writing again.

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Meeting Interesting People

Dare to Encounter

By Annette Rey

We meet people everyday and usually take little notice, and we certainly don’t engage in extended conversation with strangers. That’s too bad because we miss good opportunities to study the differences between people, and to discover things about them we can’t read from the surface.

Because I stepped over into another person’s world, today a stranger broadened my life experience.

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Seeing Really is Believing

Escapades with Your Camera

By Annette Rey

Would you like to own a picture collection of doorknobs, doorknockers, benches, signs, museum articles, plastic toys, display-case jewelry, natural outdoor scenes, animals, twisted tree trunks? What turns you on? The world is alive around you, and you really are too busy to notice the individual beauty of everyday things as you rush to here and go to there. You don’t stop and just look.

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Winter Flower Greetings

 

Flowers Without the Fragrance 

By Annette Rey

Winter is cold in Midwest America, and February is the month noted for hothouse flower deliveries, tokens of love for a favorite valentine.

In honor of my readers, I would like to send virtual flower greetings. So calm your spirit, and hope you enjoy the photos.

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A Trip to the Telephone Museum

 

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A Fun Time Looking Backward

By Annette Rey

Can you imagine this little side trip to be interesting to anyone, adult or child? Yet, it was just that. And more. The Telephone Museum is the type of place that appeals to many types of minds; those who are mechanically inclined, history buffs, the technologically curious, the aged for a reminiscent look back, the uninformed child, the writer (see my other site, https://writersblocknomore.com/2017/01/29/writers-seek/).

One of the first telephones that amazed me was an 1876 unit (on right in photo). It held a container of acid in its casing. The chemical 100_7549reaction in the container generated electricity that enabled voice to travel over wires. As the chemical reaction weakened, the voices faded out. I can’t invent a better hairpin, so I am in awe of even this dated technology.

A later model used batteries instead of an acid container (on left in photo). Notice the three large batteries wired to the cabinet below the mouthpiece.

As early as 1878, pay telephone stations were available at places like hotels. I found it humorous that the attendant locked the caller in a booth until he received payment for the call. All the bulging eyes and foot-kicking from the inside of the booth did not deter the attendant. It was a no tolerance policy and, with such a new technology, people had to be made to understand they were buying a service and payment was due.

Service in rural areas was non-existent unless an 100_7530entrepreneurial spirit took the reins. Generally, a farmer connected his house with his nearby family. A whole two houses would be on that circuit. Another farmer made a side-business out of the new technology. He bought three switchboard units and installed them in each of his daughters’ bedrooms. Twenty-five households were on that rural circuit. One of the units is pictured here.

At first glance, the museum is just a place of glass cases full of pieces of equipment staring blankly back into the room. But the guided tour makes the displays come to life. That’s interesting in itself, isn’t it? Inanimate objects can be given life by language. In addition to years, words make them antiques, pieces of history. As if by osmosis, in the presence of an object that came from another period, I feel a connection to that eventful time and place. I am transported, and my imagination pictures the scene; the lonely country road with the first telephone poles, the farmhouse wall holding the new crank unit, the candlestick model on the harried newsman’s desk. How many fancy flappers, G-men and gangsters, doctors and dockworkers, came to depend on this miracle invention?

100_7528I saw the large switchboard that was wheeled out of storage for each of four presidential visits to my city, from Johnson to Carter (pictured at the left).

A U.S. Army, olive-drab, World War II, field telephone sits behind the glass and I wonder, what soil did it lay in? Normandy? The Battle of the Bulge? What young soldier depended on it, turned its trusty crank, and urgently called for heavy artillery support?

As time marched on, telephones became lighter in 100_7514weight, and changed in color, shape, and size. In the 1960s the car phone hit the scene, but was not commonly used by the everyday telephone customer. They depended on home, business, and pay phones in telephone booths.

The 1990s saw novelty telephones on the market, but again, these did not replace the preferred home and business models.

Today a telephone is loosely referred to as a cell. It can be flat, just a few square inches in size, and weigh only ounces. Verbal communication reaches from the earth to space stations and back. The people of the eras behind us could not imagine such things, and millions of people who live today cannot imagine what life was like for people who had to travel hours and miles just to see a heavy, new-fangled, communication gadget adhered to a wall.

A look at history is intriguing and fun. Education is not boring. Take your kids to these out-of-the-way places and show them another way to look at commonplace items that are in their lives today.

Perspective is everything.

 

 

 

Your Local Public Library

By Annette Rey

Did You Know…?

Your public library is a great information resource.

The library is not just about books anymore.

Your library is equipped with a check-out system you can access from your home computer. Isn’t that great when you are snowed in? That feature is a real plus for parents and students who don’t want to leave their lair. And what about the money you save when you don’t have to purchase a necessary product?

Let’s crack the surface and see all the things your library has to offer.

For some years now, the library has been the portal to the internet for many people who don’t yet own a computer. Several rows of computer keyboards and screens sit on long tables and are available for visitors’ use. The staff is trained to assist the uninformed, so don’t be shy. No question is too simple to ask.

Many of you know you can walk in and check out audio books, most of which are on CD. DVDs are available in kids’ movies and in adult movies rated PG13 to R. The clarification I received is these are not pornographic movies, those are rated M for mature. The library does not carry them. For the more serious viewer, adult non-fiction DVDs can be found among books of similar title and/or subject.

There is so much to tell you about public libraries that I must resort to a numbered list to give a brief overview of their offerings. It is up to you to get the details by visiting your 100_7347library. You need a library card to check out any item, physical or virtual.

1) Download an app titled Overdrive (no cost) to transfer eAudiobooks to your device.

2) Download Adobe Digital Editions software (no cost) to use eBooks you want to read.

3) To borrow Kindle books you need an Amazon account.

4) Besides an entire section of magazines in the library, you can view magazines from your home.

The library provides detailed pamphlets with straight-forward, step-by-step instructions for the all of above. The staff is well-versed to help you with each step if you need assistance.

All virtual items borrowed have a usual return date. The system de-activates the item by that date, but there is a procedure you can follow to return it earlier if you have finished using it.

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The library supplies pamphlets of staggering variety to expand your resources. I have one titled: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Inside is a list of specialized books I would not have known exist. Following are a few of the entries (don’t miss the whole list under the category Books on WritersBlockNoMore.com):

FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics

Forensic Science (3 volume reference set)

The CSI Effect by Katherine Ramsland

The Real World of a Forensic Scientist by Henry Lee

The pamphlet also includes a list of forensic books for kids!

Another pamphlet is titled: Local True Crime Titles.

Yet another pamphlet is titled: Sources to Obtain a Death Certificate or Death Date. Inside are impressive listings. A few examples are:

International Vital Records Handbook by Thomas J. Kemp

Vital Records information on the internet, www.vitalrec.com

Social Security Death Index, www.familysearch.org

Online searchable death indexes for the USA, www.deathindexes.com

There are more searchable entries for death records listed by state. Also listed in the pamphlet are websites for obituaries, a newspaper index, and early birth and death records (pre-1910).

The library also provides information on finding grants and general assistance funds.

Libraries also offer adult yoga classes, Facebook training, introduction to Word, and adult coloring – all for free. Not to mention all the children’s offerings: storybook time, poetry contests, movie events, even Lego playtime. These activities give you and your kids a place to go and have fun at no cost. 

So, you thought your library is a boring place. Everything you want is on the internet, right? Well, think again. Your public library is an adjunct to any family.

A wealth of information is available to you.

Go check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Me Back!

By Annette Rey

Just a short note by way of update – I will be adding entries to this site once again. My goal is to supply uplifting and informative posts for my readers.

Please visit my other site WritersBlockNoMore.com for all things writing. It is a website designed with creative views and versatile articles for writers who want to improve their writing skills.

Let’s add some fun and get reading!

PLEASE GO TO NEW SITE ADDRESS

 

PLEASE START USING NEW SITE ADDRESS:     http://www.AnnetteRey.com

Fall Pics

Life Nuggets is all about stimulating interest in the common and curious, ordinary and singular  people, places and events in rural Missouri. Today I planned to inform you of a unique and interesting professional woman in our midst, Jo Schaper. Circumstances have intervened and I must postpone regaling you with her story until Monday.

Short on time, I will provide a feast for your eyes, instead.

Have a Blessed Fall Weekend.

Enjoy the scenery!

 

Feast For The Eyes!

 

Monarch Butterfly

 

 

Always Look Up!

 

Summer Moon

 

 

Golden Goldenrod

   

Impressive Contrast

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