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First, let’s start off by celebrating the cooler weather.  Woo-hoo!!!  We are finally in the low 80s/low 60s here.  Go ahead, my friends up north, laugh- -here those temperatures are actually cool, lol!  I don’t know if we’ll make a freeze by Halloween like we’ve done many times in the past, but at least the temperatures are sliding.

The spring/summer garden is officially over.  We had a tremendous harvest, with totals slightly over the ones I posted earlier for the year.  The horrendous temperatures held off until the latter part of summer, so we got a few extra weeks of production.  How hot did it eventually get here?  Hot enough to kill off my mint in the garden.  For those of you who have grown mint before, and watched it take over your property, you know exactly how hard it is to kill.  Mine went to herb heaven about seven weeks ago.

Despite my resolution to NOT plant a fall garden, to let the boxes/garden rows go fallow, I’ve decided to use one of the garden boxes while supplementing all the other spots with cow poo and letting them rest.  I’ve started from seed in cups cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, Swiss chard and bok choy.  Bok choy is AWESOME.  It’s kind of like celery, but very tender and very nutritious, and works great in stir fry, stews, soups, gumbo, etc.  Not to mention, all the veggies I listed above will tolerate below-freezing temperatures.  On the extremely rare occasion it got down to 17 degrees here, my cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and parsley all survived without being covered.  Of course, it had rained prior to freezing, so they had a good covering of ice–maybe that helped insulate them?  Regardless, I feel confident enough in those choices to go ahead and get a garden box ready for them.

This past weekend we all had some time off together, and we went to St. Sophia’s Greek Funstival.  This was their 54th year, and our second year of going.  We always have a great time, and absolutely love the feeling of community and camaraderie.  It’s kind of funny/strange–when one thinks about our city, we might think of the Hispanic culture, India, Asia, but for some reason Greek is not one that automatically comes to mind, but there is a STRONG Greek community with St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church.  This year the weather was perfect (last year when we went it ended up raining) and there were a LOT of people there.  We enjoyed live Greek music and traditional dancing as well as gyros (beef and lamb mix with special seasoning, tomatoes, onions and topped with tzatziki sauce, which is a blend of cucumber, sour cream, yogurt and garlic), chicken souvlaki, dolmades (ground beef, rice and herbs wrapped in tender grape leaves) and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pitas, as well as loukoumathes (Greek deep-fried pastry puffs laced with honey).  The one thing we were looking forward to from last year?  Baklava.  Unfortunately, on the third day when we went, they were OUT.  In fact, they were out of the baklava, finiki (butter cookie dipped in honey and topped with nuts), and kourabie (almond cookie covered with powdered sugar).  ARGH!!!  That’s like going to a major league baseball game and finding out they’re out of peanuts and hot dogs!  Sorry, that’s not acceptable.  So, I did the only thing I could do–when we eventually left the festival, we stopped by the grocery store and I picked up the ingredients to make homemade baklava.  Easy ingredients, tedious assembly, but OH SO GOOD.

As far as today, if your state has early voting, today was the first day to vote!  We went first thing this morning and let our (little) voice be heard.  I think we’ve seen enough to know who should be in office and who shouldn’t.  The only way to make a difference is if you get out and vote, and besides, you can’t legitimately gripe about what’s going on in politics unless you voted.

Lastly, my thoughts on Obama appointing Ron Klain as Ebola ‘czar’.  He was a lawyer, court clerk, former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and also to then-Vice President Al Gore.  No healthcare experience.  No infectious disease/epidemiology experience.  Kind of like taking your car to a florist to have the transmission worked on, ya know what I mean?

People, get out and VOTE.  It’s the most important thing you can do.

Obama echoed Frieden on Tuesday, saying that America’s sophisticated public health system and robust medical research abilities made it a long shot that Ebola could establish a foothold in the U.S.”

Hmmm.  My personal opinion is neither of these guys could find their a$$ with both hands and a map, but maybe that’s just me.  The “sophisticated” public health system?  That’s turning into a joke.  Regarding the hospital in Dallas, the idiots in charge knew the second time Duncan came in on the 28th that Ebola was in the differential diagnoses list, but they waited two days until the Ebola test came back positive before they started wearing hazmat suits.  Regular gowns/masks aren’t enough protection when dealing with highly infectious explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting, but that’s what the nurses were provided with until the 30th.  Those were supposedly the CDC “guidelines”, yet Frieden had the balls to blame the first nurse for ‘obviously breaking protocol’.  Yeah, bullshit.

In case you’re wondering about Frieden, here’s what was reported in the Dailymail:  “Frieden, said one (individual) on condition of anonymity, ‘is a fat-taxing, anti-tobacco Michael Bloomberg-type guy. I once heard him say trans fats were more dangerous than AIDS because millions of children eat Oreos. Seriously.’

‘This is the guy who’s supposed to be the voice of reason? Give me a break. The CDC is not performing well if you judge it from Frieden’s speeches.’

Frieden came to the CDC from his leadership post at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he implemented the Big Apple’s smoking ban in restaurants and bars, and fiercely advocated for trans-fat bans wherever food was served.

He also came within a whisker of forcing New York City restaurants to remove salt shakers from tables in the interest of heart health, drawing a chorus of jeers from people who saw him as an over-reaching government nanny”.

An article in our local paper showed researchers in our city who have been studying Ebola for 10 years in a biosafety level-4 laboratory.  They have full hazmat suits on when interacting with the Ebola samples, and there is a decontamination room where they go through full decontamination before they come out and take off their hazmat suits.  Have any of you seen medical personnel wearing such suits and going through a decontamination room before removing said suits?  No?  Then why in the hell is the CDC wondering why the nurses became infected when they didn’t have those kinds of protections available to them?

In other “you’ve got to be shitting me” news, a comment on an international site today contained the following:  “Some real info for you folks. My friend is a nurse at a top hospital in TN. They just sent her an e-mail that her ICU floor is the floor that will be used to hold up any suspected of/ebola patients. The e-mail said that A) they have to be fitted for a mask B) No hazmat/positive air pressure suits will be used. Just face shields, fitted mask and gloves. C) That they are to self check themselves for any symptoms. EVEN THOUGH it says that they can still visit friends and family and go about their normal lives.”

Are ALL the officials f’ing idiots???  They showed pictures of nurses in the gowns, masks, face shields and gloves.  Their necks were completely exposed, not to mention those gowns aren’t waterproof.  Any fluid on it for any given time will soak through.  On top of that, some sites are reporting that in lab tests, Ebola has been able to survive on surfaces for up to six DAYS, not exactly the “several hours” they’ve been vaguely tossing out.

I worked in the medical field for 30 years.  Even though I had no direct daily patient contact, a couple of decades ago they trained ALL employees, regardless of their role, in matters of infectious/communicable diseases, how to handle situations regarding patients and bodily fluids, how to report exposures, etc.  You had to pass a test to make sure you understood the training.  Now it seems like they just pass out a memo, you can attend optional training if you want, and the instructions are basically to go to the CDC website for information.

Fools are running the show, and it doesn’t bode well for the public in general.

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