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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Snohomish County, WA
Member since: Wed May 18, 2011, 02:12 AM
Number of posts: 2,552

About Me

Retired corporate paralegal.

Journal Archives

Had a rather unusual confrontation on the train

I was traveling Amtrak from Seattle to Sacramento. My annual trip. This time, I needed to save some money so I decided to go coach instead of a sleeper. I boarded, sat down, pulled out my book, started to read. Somewhere south of Olympia, a family (two adults, two teen girls, speaking Spanish) boarded and sat behind me. I barely noticed them. There was a woman sitting across the aisle from me. When the train stops in Portland, there is about a half-hour layover. The family left the train. Now here's where it got weird: the woman across from me said (out loud!) You know they're illegals. I was shocked and said, what did you say? She repeated it. I asked her why she made that assumption. She said, "well, you saw them." Loudly and in my most condemning tone of voice, I said "You're just RUDE!" She never spoke to me again, and fortunately, when the family re-boarded the train, she said nothing to them, either.

I remain puzzled. I had exchanged a couple of pleasantries with her when I first sat down (hello, nice day), but nothing else, making no indication that I was interested in chatting. I can't imagine what made her believe a racist remark would be ok with me. Does she talk like that with everyone, everywhere? What the hell?
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Sun May 13, 2018, 02:46 AM (1 replies)

Patronyms are confusing

I have ancestors from 1800's in Sweden. You are right, sons surnames are the father's first name and the suffix "son". Likewise, daughters names are her father's first name and "dotter" suffix. Generally, while in Sweden, women didn't change their names with marriage. That helps when there have been multiple marriages.

In the records I examined, it was helpful to look at a family as a group rather than just singling out one of them. The parish records I looked at had a column indicating when the family came to the parish, what parish they came from, and dates they left and where they went to. Deaths were also indicated with a cross and the death date. You can cross-identify by matching names, birth dates and birth places. That should help determining if you are on the trail of only one person of a similar name.

When the families came to the US, they "Americanized" their names in many cases. That meant that a single surname was selected for all family members and sometimes, even that was "Americanized". Case in point: Gustav Bengtsson had a son who changed his name to Henry Benson. Also, spelling became a fluid thing, depending on who heard it and who wrote it down. My Bengtsson was also Bentzine. Women began to assume husbands' names upon marriage, which was customary in the US.

Here's a website that may be useful for you, if you haven't already used it. https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Sweden_Genealogy

I think it requires a sign-in, but there is no cost.

My turning point came when I asked my 96-year old grandmother if she knew the name of the town in Sweden where her parents came from. She Did!!! The genealogy library in Salt Lake City had the parish records from that town on microfilm. In one day, I traced by line back to 1730 in the same town.

Good Luck!
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Thu Apr 5, 2018, 12:52 AM (1 replies)

The problem from a Senior's point of view

Real Estate taxes are based on assessed value (relating to market value somewhat). The higher the prices go, the higher the RE taxes go. Now for those of us who are on Social Security, our checks don't increase but a few dollars every couple of years while the RE taxes go up by hundreds every year. There gets to be a point where food and taxes are mutually exclusive. Can't do both. The taxes force seniors out of their homes and into whatever they can buy with the proceeds of the sale -- and the excessive taxes on the new property. Or they become renters and their capital is eaten away by rent payments until the capital runs out.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say it is part of the war on the elderly -- deprive them of social security payments, medicare, medicaid, and load them up with excessive payments, pushing them into bankruptcy, homelessness, poor health and ultimately, death, which is what I truly believe they wish upon us seniors. There was a statement attributed to a prior governor of Colorado in the 70's that said the old and disabled have a duty to die and get out of the way. I guess we haven't done it fast enough so they are going to help us out.

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Thu Mar 8, 2018, 01:25 AM (0 replies)

Bypass surgery two years ago

The worst pain I have ever suffered -- drugless childbirth was easier. In hospital and in cardiac rehab, pain meds were regularly given. I had a prescription for more at home. The only problem I had was that a four-hour drug wore off in three and I needed it more often but other help was offered (lidocain patches). At home, I took it less and less often as I continued to recover.

Maybe it was the nature of the surgery, maybe they figured a 70-year old grandmother was an unlikely drug addict or it could be true that my county drs reputedly prescribe more liberally, but I didn't have a problem getting what I needed.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Feb 23, 2018, 11:17 PM (0 replies)

Are you suggesting

that the involuntary incarceration, loss of homes, jobs/income, property and businesses was the same as "protective custody". How about no persecution or tolerance of directed hate instead?
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 10:33 PM (0 replies)

The US was half way there

when Japanese people were rounded up and put in concentration camps in WWII. I have always wondered what would have happened to those people if the war in the Pacific had gone badly. Would they have been blamed -- accused of sabotage? Hatred of Japanese was already at a high pitch. How much more fanning the fires of hatred would it have taken to incite violence?
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 10:13 PM (1 replies)

Instead of the job changing Trump,

Trump has changed the job. As near as I can tell, it is about five hours a day, four days a week. And vacations. Maybe that is OK. Considering the damage he does in that time, it could be worse if he spent more time on it.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 08:11 PM (0 replies)

I'm heartbroken (UPDATE-1)

I took her to an oncology vet. She has a sinus tumor that is pressing on her eye, increasing the pressure in her eye and ultimately pressure on her brain.

I have had to do the one thing I didn't want to have to do. I had to make a decision for my kitty based on finances. The vet was very explicit about the various treatments available. I then asked her for the cost of each treatment type. Radiation - about $8,000 and would extend her life by maybe a year or so. There is a new type of radiation treatment that is only available in a clinic on the opposite side of the state which would be about $10,000 plus travel and lodging expenses. Chemotherapy would be $450 A WEEK! for eight weeks. Again, only extending her life by a year or so. And there is no way to know if she would even tolerate the treatments. It just isn't possible to come up with that much money for so little outcome. The plan now is to give her steroids to reduce the pressure of the tumor and a glaucoma eye drop to reduce the pressure in her eye. There are two different cell types for sinus tumors. It would cost another $200 to take a test to determine which one. If she has one type, the steroid/eyedrop treatment could work for one to two months; if she has the other type, it could work for up to six months. I opted to forego the test because it doesn't make a difference in the long run.

So far, she has come out from under the bed and is engaging with us as before, she is eating and drinking just fine. Her eye looks odd but I was told that the eyedrop would raise the third eyelid and contract the iris. We'll just watch her for signs that she is getting worse or suffering. Vet said she would eventually lose the sight in that one eye (not so far!) and that when the pressure is on her brain, she will have a seizure. We won't let her suffer.

Probably more detail than most of you want to know, but I give it for anyone who is going through the same thing.


Vet says tests show that my lovely black long-hair kitty has lymphoma. She is only eight. From what I've found on the internet, prognosis is 4 to 6 weeks without treatment and maybe six months with treatment. Perhaps a little longer, if lucky. Vet has referred us to an oncologist vet.

Realistically, it will be a process of deciding when, not if, to let her go.

We have two other eight-year old cats and a five-year old dog but as pet-lovers know, they are each distinctive individuals, loved for who they are.

Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Wed Jan 10, 2018, 05:41 AM (15 replies)

A cousin of mine

was approached by Oprah's show to appear to discuss how she placed consequences on a disruptive pre teen. When she was there, the topic was irresponsible parents with her as the example. I know this family very well and it was bullshit. She was humiliated.

Years later, an attorney I was working for was approached regarding a self help grief group he started for young people who had a spouse who died. There are lots of grief groups for seniors who have lost a spouse but none for young people. His wife died at about 30, I think. I told him of my cousin's experience with Oprah's show and told him that I believed that no matter what was told to him to get him to go on the show, there was a good chance that it would be something else when he got there. He knew when the show was supposed to air. He decided not to do it and after he watched the show, he thanked me for the warning. Turned out the show was about getting dates and setting the guests up with dates and nothing about dealing with grief at a young age.

After knowing two examples, I pretty much have the opinion that she is a manipulative, dishonest, self-promoter and it makes me sick to think that Democrats would fall for a cult of personality.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Wed Jan 10, 2018, 05:08 AM (1 replies)

I'm going to throw cold water on this

Yes, Oprah gave a good speech. Why not, she is, after all, a performer. We don't need another TV personality blinding us with a good performance but lacking any governmental knowledge or experience. Hell, that's what we have now.

Any attempt by her to enter national politics will bring out of the woodwork every person she lied to and tricked to get a good show and increase her ratings. And yes, I believe she did that because I know two people it happened to.

We, Democrats, have to carefully vet any candidate we put up for the Presidency. Failure will give us another four years of Republican rule.
Posted by HeiressofBickworth | Mon Jan 8, 2018, 03:12 PM (2 replies)
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