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Donnie

MY SOAPBOX TIME

Punta Gorda, USA

Margaret, loving called Donnie by friends and family began telling stories at the age of 5. By the time she was 8, her mom complained that she found it difficult to tell the difference between Donnie's truth and her fabrications. Her mom encouraged Donnie to start putting her imagination on paper, including poetry since she seemed to have a talent for it.

Donnie, finally had her first story published. The title is Max and Donnie wrote under the Donnie Harucki. She's had many poems published in various anthologies.

Now being in the senior category of her life, she want to write more and see how far it takes her. That's why she became a member of Biopage. She's hoping you'll read her stories and leave a message.

Thanks for reading about her. She appreciates your attention. Have a great day.

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A New Day

Jul 13, 2023 4 months ago

Dawn The sun yawns as it stretches across the horizon and rises from its peaceful slumber. Midday The sun laughs as its brightness dissipates the feathery clouds and casts playful shadows on the ground beneath the swaying palms. Noon The sun dances with glee as it throws sparkles of twinkling lights on the gentle ripples of the water in the small canal. Mid-Afternoon The sun plays with the gentle breeze, like two children romping after a noonday nap, taking turns to warm and to cool and yet doing both together. Dusk The sun reaches across the horizon, yawns, and in quiet tranquility retires for the night. Evening The sun has gone to bed in preparation for another day and now it's time to rest. But wait! What's that? The Moon! Ah! The moon rises …

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What a Mess

Jul 13, 2023 4 months ago

What a mess! I can clearly remember uttering those very words many years ago. I'd look around the floor at the large mound of crumpled papers I would try to toss in the waste basket – but missed. Maybe I should have moved the waste basket closer to my desk but even then, I know for sure I'd be making too much of a mess on the floor. We all did it, so I was no exception to the rule. We'd type a page – ok, sometimes we wouldn't even get as far as a full page, make a mistake, and rip the paper out of the typewriter in complete frustration. All too often, we'd type a few paragraphs, and then, after reading them over, change our minds about a sentence, or an entire paragraph, and decide to begin again. I've just added another ball of paper to the collection on the floor. Back then, there weren't many residences that had computers. For that matter, not too many stores had them, either. Home computers, while still not terribly popular, finally saw the inside of private homes in the early 1970s. However, they weren't actually computers. They were computer KITS. For about $400.00, you could purchase a kit and assemble it on your own. There was no monitor, no keyboard. The user manipulated the device using toggle switches. Around 1975, Paul Allen and Bill Gates emerged as computer geniuses. They introduced their Apple computer and that began the Personal Computer revolution. These machines had memory, a cheaper processor, and a monitor! Yet, they only stored memory on an external hard drive. In 1977, the external hard drive was replaced by floppy discs which measured around 3-1/2 inches square. Eventually, these were replaced with smaller discs that were only about 3” square but the casing was hard molded plastic. In the 1980s, the first internal hard drive was sold in personal computers for the home, however, they were expensive and only the serious user dared spend the money to buy one. In the 1990s, the cost of the personal computers was beginning to lower, enabling more people to make the purchase. That small but very significant invention changed the way people write. No longer do you see crumpled paper on the floor. White out and typing erasers are no longer needed. Neither is that thin “onion skin” copy paper that was used with carbon paper. Yes, typing certainly has changed. Now, we ruin our eyes with so much time spent staring at the computer. But let's also backtrack a bit. Let's go back to the time of the typewriter. Oh, yes, that glorious little invention that spared us the necessity to constantly sharpen pencils or refill our ink pens. Ballpoint pens were invented around the late 1800s for the primary use of writing on things like wood, very coarse paper, etc. However, the little “ball” was entirely too big for it to be used in letter writing. Although the patent was granted, it was also allowed to lapse. If you had the desire to “pen” a letter, you used just that – a regular ink-holding pen! At least, we'd graduated from using the quill. Sometime around 1943, the ballpoints that we know today were patented and the rest is history. While typewriters were first invented around the late 1870s, it wasn't until the mid- 1880s that had become commercially used. Notice, I said “commercially”. A home typewriter was still in the future but the near future. The people who would mostly make use of a home typewriter (manual or the newer electric) were those who made their livings from the written word, namely authors. And that, dear friends, is how the mountain of crumpled paper began littering the floors. Enter the world of home computers! No more messy floors! No more piles of papers to clean. Hey, wait just a darn minute! I'm sitting at my computer and on my desk are several piles of papers. True, I know what's in each pile, but they are there, nonetheless: bills, appointment (yes, I also have a calendar), notes on scrap paper, mail to be answered, answered mail that needs to be posted, my list of things to do and places to do, another list of phone calls that need to be returned, and recipes I'd like to try that I've just printed from the internet – and that's just my stuff. I have a pile or two of items that belong to my husband. I'll get to them eventually. At least, now I have a shredder for those unwanted, useless, bits of paper that still contain personal information that I'd feel uncomfortable just tossing in the trash after picking them off the floor. But that's another story.

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Language Muddle

Jun 15, 2023 5 months ago

Ah! The English language! Makes you laugh, doesn't it? For those of us born anywhere where English is spoken, it's hard enough to muddle through. I can't even imagine what might go through the minds of those trying to learn it. It definitely is a muddled puzzlement. I've listed a few quandaries below for your amusement. I'm sure you can think of even more. You're getting dressed. You put on your SHIRT and a PAIR OF PANTS. They are both in themselves ONE item. A SHIRT has two sleeves, but it is still called a SHIRT, but while what goes over our legs is still ONE item, it's called A PAIR OF PANTS. Why? Let's jump to plurals, for a minute. If the plural of tooth is teeth, why then, is not the plural of booth, beeth? Why if the plural of foot is feet, you don't pluralize book as beek? Okay, let's talk about confusion. Here are some more plurals: The plural of box is boxes. The plural of fox is foxes. Yet, the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes. When there is more than one goose, you'll never hear anyone say gooses. Oh no! It's geese! And yet, there is NO plural for moose. You can see a herd of “cows” but only a herd of moose. Why is the plural of man, men but the plural of pen is pens? While I hope I have you questioning our wonderful language muddle, here are a few more weird things to ponder. Eggplant is a very popular and tasty fruit but there is NO egg in it. Neither is there PINE nor an apple is pineapple. A boxing ring is still square. A Guinea pig is definitely not from Guinea. We can all agree that painters paint and teachers teach. Why then don't grocers “groce”? If I've done ONE thing wrong, why am I making “amends” and not amend? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If peanut oil is made from peanuts, what is baby oil made from? How can a “slim chance” and a “fat chance” mean the same thing, and yet, a wise man and a wise guy are different? How about two words that sound the same, are spelled the same but have different meanings? For instance: I would the bandage around the wound? I decided to produce produce? He can't lead with lead feet. I decided to present the present at the present time. I didn't object to that object. Seeing a tear in the painting, brought a tear to my eye. I guess I could keep going, but you get the drift of this article and I'm sure it'll strike up a conversation or two. Yes, English is a crazy language, but more and more countries are trying to master it. It will soon be the “universal” language of the world but not yet the universe. So, while as I write this, my fingers still won't fing! And just a few more to drive you a little whacky today: We call UP our friends on the phone. We use a brook to sweep UP the room. A topic comes UP. We lock UP the house and fix UP our car. A secretary will write UP a report. When the dark clouds move in, we say, “it's clouding UP”. We dress UP to go out. We mess things UP. If it doesn't rain, things are drying UP. And, finally, I'm at the end, so it's time for me to SHUT UP!

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Don't Abuse Me

Jun 14, 2023 5 months ago

This is a wonderful country, a great place to live, and in order to live here with the freedom we enjoy, there are certain rules that need to be followed. Now, you'll ask, “How can you have freedom in you must follow certain rules?” The answer is simple. Here are a few examples of what freedom means to me. I can go to any religious service I care to attend – or not! There is no one forcing me to go or stay home. I can cook my own dinner or go out to a restaurant. I can watch on TV whatever show grabs my interest. There are more but you get the idea. It's like that old adage interrupted to read, if you don't want it done to you, don't do it to others. That's why stealing is a crime. I don't want you stealing from me, and I'm sure you don't want me stealing from you. So then, if you get caught stealing from anyone, you'd better be prepared to pay the cost – which is probably a stint in prison. Whoops! There goes your freedom. One of the freedoms many of us enjoy is having the freedom to display our American Flag. We have clothing designed to even look like our flag, let alone just using the colors. We have bikinis where the bra part of the bathing suit is blue with white stars and the bottom is red and white stripes. We have jackets that are decorated as the American flag. There are tags on our sneakers that say made in America using the symbol of our flag. We have people that use headbands and bandannas that look like the American flag. At one time, all of this was illegal but in 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that the government can't enforce the flag-protection laws regarding clothing. While it still seems disrespectful, you won't get arrested for wearing an American flag t-shirt. Besides wearing flag-covered clothing, there are a couple of other Flag Code violations that you can easily avoid. Most of these concern flag placement – a flag should never touch anything beneath it while it's flying. It should never be used as a covering for a ceiling or a table. You should never place anything on the flag (like a “mark insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature”). For whoever of you either don't know or don't remember: Red is for valor; white is for purity and innocence, and blue is for preservation and justice. There is NO white and black! NO White and blue stripes! NO red, white, and blue with a bright yellow square with a stupid snake coiling upwards! It is RED, WHITE, AND BLUE! Also, your flag should NEVER be flown at night unless you have it illuminated. Our Flag should NEVER be used as a spear, or sword (as it was on January, 2023). I just don't like to see our flag abused. I like to see it displayed proudly and often. After all, she waves for us all, tall and proud. She reminds us every day of the people who fought and died for us so we can have our freedom to be violent, mischievous, but most of all PEACEFUL. Our American flag symbolizes everything we stand for. Our American flag symbolizes how far this country has evolved. Our American flag symbolizes us. Our American flag is us!

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Drug Me

Jun 13, 2023 5 months ago

Okay, let's talk about drugs. I'm not talking about the drugs you might find on the street that are manufactured to make you high – that are also illegal. I'm talking about the drugs that are necessary to keep you healthy and perhaps, even alive. I'm also talking about the medications that are needed to help ease whatever pain affects your body. Many of these medications are so expensive that many people can't afford them. They find themselves in a difficult situation. Do you purchase your medication? Buy groceries? Pay your bills? What do you do? Last year, to control my diabetes, I was on three different diabetic medications: Metformin, Farxiga, and Janumet. While Metformin was reasonably priced, the total of all three medications cost $505.00 a month. That's right You read that correctly. FIVE-HUNDRED-FIVE dollars EACH month! Oh, and that is WITH my insurance. I can't even imagine what it would cost if my insurance hadn't paid the bulk of this astronomical cost. And yet, there are others that don't have the same insurance we have. Can you imagine trying to buy your meds and pay the rent? Especially if you're like me and your Social Security benefits are less than $1000.00 each month. Heck, with that little SS coming in, I couldn't even afford an apartment, let alone rent AND meds. The point I'm trying to make is the fact that most medications cost about 50 cents to manufacture. Of course, that doesn't figure in the cost of maintaining the equipment, the salaries for the line workers, or the scientists. What bothers me is the pay the corporate executives give themselves. Why are they making millions, if not billions of dollars every year. Most of the worker-bees might make approximately $1500 a week – if they're lucky, while the CEOs are making approximately $28MILLION each year. Doesn't seem fair, does it? At one time, I thought the CEOs of the big pharma companies made about $300-500K a year. Then, I decided to be a bit more accurate and look it up. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Not $2M a year but $28M a year! That's just not right! And to think they are walking home with a clear conscience knowing they aren't doing all that much to actually earn that kind of salary while their little peons are probably struggling to pay their bills. I sincerely doubt that they're even bothered by the fact that us little guys, especially the ones on Social Security are struggling even harder. I guess I just get frustrated when I see my medical bills constantly rising while my Medicare payments don't increase as rapidly. It's mind boggling to think they expect anyone to pay for the cost of these drugs and have a decent living. Maybe someday, someone might figure this out. But until then, the drug companies have us over a barrel and that barrel is wobbling, overflowing with water, and getting bigger by the day. There are also the age-related illnesses that require medical attention. Some are high blood pressure, stenosis, osteoarthritis, and a host of others that are just related to getting old. Hell, maybe the answer is Soilent Green. If you've never seen that movie, see if you can find it on HBO or maybe Netflix or perhaps one of your cable stations. I'm not saying I'm a fan of Soilent Greet but maybe when you think about the high cost of drugs, this is the direction the world is headed.

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