Musings From the Bench

musings from the bench-2Do you know the Muffin….Woman?


Every day hubby goes to the corner store for the local paper, a pack of generic cigarettes and gets me a muffin — a Rachel’s Gourmet Raisin Bran Muffin, it seems to be the only thing that helps keep me regular — if you know what I mean. But now after two years the store no longer carries it. They say they’ve ordered it from the distributor but they never bring it. Blueberry, corn, even chocolate chip but no raisin bran.

So I took matters into my own hands and Googled the company. Seems Rachel’s Gourmet is affiliated with the distribution company so it looks official — no more RGGRB muffins will ever be made again. No explanation, no reason — just gone.muffin_raisinbran

So while I was at Google I looked for raisin bran muffin recipes. There are more recipes for raisin bran muffins than Carter has little liver pills but the main ingredient is raisin bran cereal. That’s right — cereal. “Two scoops of raisins in Kellogg;s raisin Bran.” Well the Googled recipe wasn’t needed as there’s a recipe right on the box! It yielded 12 muffins, not as large as Rachel’s but just as good.

I’m happy, hubby’s happy and my digestive system is happy.



alzheimer's blood testResearchers have developed a blood test to determine who has the markers for developing Alzheimer’s. My question is if you take this blood test and the results are positive for developing Alzheimer’s somewhere down the line, what’s to stop the insurance companies from cancelling your policy or not insuring you all together?

Alzheimer’s has no cure and treatment is very expensive. From medication to around-the-clock nursing care and constant supervision it can be a very bleak existence for Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to know.forgetfulness

Anybody home?

On March 10th Decatur, Alabama police were asked to do a welfare check on Mr. and Mrs. Kirby. Seems no one remembers seeing Mr. Kirby for a month or Mrs. Kirby for two weeks since she went to the mailbox.

Police made their welfare check and when the door remained unanswered, they looked in the windows. They saw Mrs. Kirby sitting on the sofa in the living room but when they looked in the bedroom window they saw Mr. Kirby dead on the bed. After gaining entry to the house they found Mrs. Kirby, an Alzheimer’s sufferer, in poor health along with two malnourished Chihuahuas. Opening the bedroom door they discovered Mr. Kirby dead on the bed along with two more chihuahuas that had starved to death. The coroner determined Mr. Kirby died in his sleep of natural causes one month prior to the welfare check. Mrs. Kirby had no idea her husband wasn’t around. After the news broke about the Kirbys, current and former neighbors along with fellow members of their church told reporters how nice the couple was and that although Mr Kirby had health issues and was practically blind, he took care of his wife by himself.

The obituary stated he was survived by two sons, perhaps by his first wife, one brother and five sisters. The Kirbys also attended Chapel Baptist Church which was two doors away from their home.

All those people and not one of them thought to look in a window when no one answered the door or when all they got was a busy signal every time they called the house? Even though an earlier intervention wouldn’t have helped Mr. Kirby, his wife and the Chihuahuas sure could have benefited from one.


Dont-PanicWhen I’m on the computer and the dinner bell rings I leave the computer as it is and enjoy a meal and a movie or a TV show with hubby then return to the computer when the 10pm news comes on. This past Thursday was no exception.

During a page refresh at Facebook something happened and it took forever for the page to reload, so long in fact that I stopped it and tried to load a different page with no success. The only thing I could think to do was to run some security scans and try again. Both scans turned up negative but pages just wouldn’t load. The internet light on the router was green, the weather/temp in the upper right corner in the screen saver was there and the computer had to be connected to the internet in order to update the security software. Then I got the idea to see if I could stream Netflix. Got to the site through the DVD/BluRay player, it connected to the internet and it got the titles. The only thing I couldn’t get was anything to stream. Seems my computer was connected to the internet yet not quite connected enough. Hubby said he thought the router had to be reset and he’d take care of it as soon as he found the instruction manual.  In the meantime while waiting for the second set of scans I surfed the channels on our over-the-air-only set up and found a PBS documentary of the day JFK was shot.

It had footage of the visit to a rainy Fort Worth and the landing of Air Force One on a beautifully sunny day in Dallas. It was decided that since the day was so sunny after the rain in Fort Worth the roof would be removed from the President’s vehicle in the motorcade. As they drove through Dealy Plaza, three shots rang out. Mrs. Kennedy climbed on the trunk of the vehicle with her arm out stretched for the Secret Service agent who was climbing onto the car trunk to help the President.

During this video they had interviews with the reporters who had been on the scene back then along with those who’d been back at the studio talking about what they saw, how they felt, what they did and how they gathered their information and got it to Walter Cronkite who kept the viewing and listening public glued to the CBS News Bulletin informed.

I was in the 8th grade — Junior High school back then and didn’t see much of the live coverage, but I remember Walter Cronkite making the announcement and then seeing the televised funeral. CronkteFlashWhat the news people went through to get the correct information in all the chaos, false information and outright rumors was tremendous.As one newsman put it, the information didn’t get on the air unless they had two independent sources unlike today’s news outlets that don’t check their facts before making announcements they must later retract.factsBy this time it was 3am Friday and I was in full panic mode. Without being able to fully connect with the internet how will the utility bills get paid? We don’t get paper bills any more. How will I post Musings From the Bench or notify the folks about what’s happened? How did my life become so dependent on this technology? I shut down the computer and went to bed. Later that morning, well maybe more like noon, I got up and asked hubby if he had found the instruction manual but he hadn’t. I figured what the hell, give it one more try before just pulling the damn plug and BAM! the internet was all the way back and I was able to get out of panic mode.

I have no idea what caused the glitch, but I hope it never happens again.


I found this next entry under Latest Headlines under the url address bar on my computer and decided to share. It’s just a copy/paste but I’m not posting the picture that goes with it since it’s really disgusting.



Climbing inside the carcass of a whale was once thought to bring relief to rheumatism sufferers, an Australian National Maritime Museum exhibit shows.

Staying inside the whale for about 30 hours was believed to bring relief from aches and pains for up to 12 months, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

It was thought to have started in the whaling town of Eden on Australia’s southern coast.

The practice is documented as part of the museum’s special whales season.

‘Tempting morsel of flesh’

A rheumatic patient would be lowered inside the carcass of a recently-slaughtered whale “leaving just his or her head poking out,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

One claim for the origins of the practice, which dates back to the late 19th Century, is that a drunk man plunged into the carcass of a whale and emerged hours later apparently free of his rheumatism.

A story on the incident was published by the Pall Mall Gazette (later absorbed by the Evening Standard) entitled “a new cure for rheumatism” on 7 March 1896.

It said “a gentleman of convivial habits but grievously afflicted with rheumatism” had been walking along the beach with friends when he spotted the whale, which was already cut open, and “appeared to our hilarious friend a tempting morsel of flesh”.

His friends, horrified by the heat and smell, left him inside for several hours, until he emerged sober and devoid of his rheumatism.

The paper says the incident, which occurred a few years prior, gave birth to the bizarre practice.

“The whalers dig a sort of narrow grave in the body and in this the patient lies for two hours, as in a Turkish bath, the decomposing blubber of the whale closing round his body, and acting as a huge poultice,” it says.

The curator of the Australian National Maritime Museum exhibit, Michelle Linder, told the Sydney Morning Herald, it was unlikely to have been “a really popular thing to do”.

”I don’t know (if) there was scientific evidence per se (to support the practice) but there was hearsay at the time that they felt better after being in the whale”, she adds.

Rheumatism is a condition causing pain and swelling in the joints, commonly affecting the hands, feet and wrists.


Nowadays doctors treat Rheumatism and Rheumatoid Arthritis with corticosteroids but the long term use has side effects including increased susceptibility to infection, increased blood sugar (diabetes) or bone thinning.

Even with the threat of potential side effects, corticosteroids seem to be a whole lot better than sitting in a decomposing whale carcass for up to 30 hours with your head sticking out the blowhole.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.




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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. This blog was supposed to post this morning at 7am. I don’t know why it didn’t but I’m glad it’s here now and I didn’t have to retype it. Sure glad I saved the draft and was able to figure out how to get it to publish. Sorry it was late to the site.

  2. Regarding that blood test and insurance comapanies refusing to issue, or maybe cancel, insurance to someone if they test positive for developing Alzheimer’s somewhere down the line… they can’t.
    Because, as I interperet the Affordable Care Act that would be a violation of law.

  3. The article I read didn’t say anything about the mailman checking on them, either. I mean, everyone gets flyers and unsolicited catalogs, stuff we refer to as junk mail. Didn’t the mailman notice the mail was piling up? If we didn’t check our mailbox for 2 weeks the junk mail would be spilling out of it. Sad commentary on our times.

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