Saturday, May 28, 2016

Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt Germany

Our clean, beautiful room

 Maritim Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in Frankfurt. We spent the last 2 nights of our stay in Germany here.  We were so tired by this point that neither hubby nor I minded the twin beds. Quiet rooms. Clean.  Comfortable. Warm blankets.  Beautiful views, good/safe location, and bargain-priced.  Nearby is the Festhalle  arena.

Highly recommend. Hearty thumbs-up all the way!

Marriott Hotel across the street
Daytime view from our hotel room window

Nighttime view from our hotel room 

via Maritim

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Flying high with B & B

My flight-attendant cousin recently met former astronaut,  BUZZ ALDRIN --- second man to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong was the first) -- on her flight to Orlando.  

This brought to mind another possibly even more famous airline passenger: Target Stores' Bull Terrier mascot, BULLSEYE , rode First Class on Delta Airlines on his way to a store promo.

Bullseye on Delta Airlines

Former astronaut, Buzz Aldrin on a flight to Florida

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Complete me, you delicious love of my life

I am consumed by you.
I am consumed by your boldness; your crisp way of putting things into motion. You are a doer. I am a dreamer. You help me on my feet when I'm too hazy to be coherent. You exude clarity.
Somehow I find that I think better, I feel better, every time you're near. I even remember things more when you're a part of my day.
My heart can't help but race around you.... sometimes I can even feel it pounding in my chest, because I know you're knocking on the door of my heart.
You make my cheeks blush pinker than the blossoms on a mimosa tree. I look ridiculous and it's all your fault. But I love that about you.
You have such an infectious energy. I jump. I skip. I run. I leap. I dash. I carouse. And it's all because of you.
You inspire me. I write so much more and think much more clearly when you're with me.
You make my pupils dilate with elation. You make my blood run hot in my veins.
I am taken by your touch. You rattle my bones. I can only sense you so much before I shiver and shake. Sometimes, you even render me dizzy. But I'm hooked on the feeling.
You never fail to keep me up at night.
I am intoxicated by your sweet, spicy aroma. I get high on it.
I love the easy way you glide over my anxious lips, your warmth washing over me and lifting my spirits.
You're bittersweet. Sometimes you bite. Sometimes you're sharp as a tack. Yet there are days where I see the more dulcet side of you. You're smooth and mellow. You always keep things interesting.
You've taught me about taking risks. You've taught me about courage. You, always living life on the edge.
You've given me enthusiasm and bright smiles. Everything is exciting, everything is beautiful, when you share my world.
With all the stress I go through, most of the time, it's you who gets me through the day. I can always depend on you. Thanks for that.
You make me feel alive like nothing else can.
I consume you.
My delicious love.

My morning coffee.
(I go to Kaldi's and order you Tall, Dark, and... handsome :D)

Poem:  Erin Copyright 2016 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Unexpected Sights in Paris

Cemetery cats who looked sleek and content.  They hid in the  closest open (hopefully empty) grave  or hole whenever we approached. Eeeeeek!

Riding in an empty 1st-class car on  the  TGV .  Only one other person showed up -- and this was well into our 4 hour trip! Visual proof of Europe's lower birthrate among non-Muslims (2.2 versus 1.6 children per family)??

Too. Much. Ugly. Graffiti.

Beggars, sometimes whole families of them, on the most well-known  and supposedly most beautiful boulevard in the world,  Avenue des Champs-Élysées

 Cemetery built below street level (Montmartre Cemetery)

The overcrowding of said cemetery 
(20,000 burial plots over 27 acres)

At Père Lachaise Cemetery:  Fernand Arbelot,  musician and actor who died in 1990, 
wanted to gaze at his wife for eternity.  Oh, really?!! 

Delicious macarons at McDonald's.  Why not here in the USA?

Increasingly common: camouflaged soldiers, 3 at a time,
with their weapons  ready

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


We were in  Paris for 5 days and 4 nights.  For the sake of saving money and of our safety as tourists, here is the small apartment  that we rented through AIRBNB

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile 

PRO: Located in a safe arrondissement (8th district) -- and we were, thank God.  Bright, skylit; complete with small kitchen with fridge and microwave;  heater, washer, wifi, cable.  Only a short walk to Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Avenue Montaigne.  Within walking distance, if you choose, to Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile,  Eiffel Tower, and other museums.  Not far from Metro, Taxis, bus service. Small grocery store across the street. Friendly owner.

CON:  5 tall floors UP via a winding, narrow (one person at a time) staircase. Hubby had to haul 50+ pounds of luggage all by his lonesome self. I trudged up slowly behind him with the rest of our stuff. Did not locate the staircase light switch till the second day of our stay. Thank God for my smart hubby who carried a strong, little flashlight. Our view out the windows was only of neighboring apartments with their roofs. Owner said he just got out of the hospital. Is that why there was only one roll of toilet paper and no paper towels for our stay?!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Johns Hopkins: Medical Errors are third-leading cause of death in U.S.

Recently, in my email INBOX:
Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in TheBMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's third leading cause of death-respiratory disease, which kills close to 150,000 people per year.
The Johns Hopkins team says the CDC's way of collecting national health statistics fails to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate. The researchers are advocating for updated criteria for classifying deaths on death certificates.
"Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven't been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics," says Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an authority on health reform. "The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used."
In 1949, Makary says, the U.S. adopted an international form that used International Classification of Diseases billing codes to tally causes of death.
"At that time, it was under-recognized that diagnostic errors, medical mistakes, and the absence of safety nets could result in someone's death," says Makary, "and because of that, medical errors were unintentionally excluded from national health statistics."
In their study, the researchers examined four separate studies that analyzed medical death rate data from 2000 to 2008. Then, using hospital admission rates from 2013, they extrapolated that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, 251,454 deaths stemmed from a medical error, which the researchers say now translates to 9.5 percent of all deaths each year in the U.S.
According to the CDC, in 2013, 611,105 people died of heart disease, 584,881 died of cancer, and 149,205 died of chronic respiratory disease-the top three causes of death in the U.S. The newly calculated figure for medical errors puts this cause of death behind cancer but ahead of respiratory disease.
"Top-ranked causes of death as reported by the CDC inform our country's research funding and public health priorities," Makary says. "Right now, cancer and heart disease get a ton of attention, but since medical errors don't appear on the list, the problem doesn't get the funding and attention it deserves."
The researchers caution that most medical errors aren't due to inherently bad doctors, and that reporting these errors shouldn't be addressed by punishment or legal action. Rather, they say, most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.
"Unwarranted variation is endemic in health care," Makary says. "Developing consensus protocols that streamline the delivery of medicine and reduce variability can improve quality and lower costs in health care. More research on preventing medical errors from occurring is needed to address the problem."

I notion of mistakes are an unfortunate part of human nature.  The only way to avoid them is not allowing oneself to be put in that situation.  Until we resolve the issues of modern medicines over usage of testing, surgery,  procedures and pharmaceuticals, these "mistakes" will continue.   This is an issue Dr. Eisenstein and his mentor Dr. Mendelsohn elaborated on for years.
"My feeling is that somewhere around 90% of surgery is a waste of time, money, and life."[1991] Confessions of a Medical Heretic, ISBN 0809277263  p. 49
-Dr Robert S Mendelsohn

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wedding Day in Darmstadt, Germany

 Our son's wedding to his beautiful bride.  Weddings are declared and considered legal only through and by the Town Registrar.  Church weddings occur afterwards -- to let the members officially know that the couple is now to live together as husband and wife.  

Getting ready for the reception given by their church

Bride's bouquet

BFFs and Bride & Groom before the Registrar

Legally wed!

Let's party in the town square, yay!