Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time and Perspective

A few years ago, Mr. Fixit and I were in the parking lot of a strip mall. One of the stores is a regional clothing chain that seems to draw older women. I think it’s because they actually have pants that reach your natural waist. They also have lots of bright colored fashion. I don’t shop there except to check out the shoes because most of the clothing is double knit. I realize that there are people who like double knit because it so easy to care for—wash, dry, put on hanger. I don’t really care for double knit. I’d rather iron a little or even go a little wrinkled if I’m in a rush.

I noticed something a little strange. Almost of the ladies going in the store had the same hairdo, most had  fanny packs, their sandals were all metallic colors,  wore more than several bangle bracelets on their wrists,and a large percentage of the ladies wore ankle bracelets.

There was a time when I was in seventh grade I wore ankle bracelets but not since then. I do have a sandals that that a little bronze color on them, and if I had some curl in my hair I guess I would have the hairdo. The fanny packs were just a bit too much for me. I told Mr. Fixit, “If you see me looking at fanny packs or if you think I am even thinking about fanny packs, go out and find a gun and put me out of my misery PDQ.” I don’t know why I had such a visceral reaction to fanny packs.

The other day as I preparing for my morning walk I saw that it was warm enough to go without a jacket or sweater. I grabbed my phone, keys,  a handkerchief since it’s allergy season my nose is always runny, my little counter to keep track of the laps, and  my mp3 player with my book queued up. I needed to get my sunglasses from the car and get a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes. (Bright sun causes a little discomfort for me. There is one lady in the neighborhood who seems really interested in my hats. I think she thinks I’m a little peculiar. She may be right.)

I then started to fill my pants pockets with my necessities. Horrors, no pockets in the pants I was wearing! Then this crazy thought struck me, “I need a fanny pack.” I was stunned. I was ready to join the legions of older women who don’t leave home without their fanny packs. No, no way! Mr. Fixit thinks it would be very handy, darn him.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The End?

Mary Daheim is the author of one of my favorite “cozy” mystery series—The Alpine series. Each title was alphabetized (The Alpine Advocate, The Alpine Betrayal, The Alpine Christmas, etc). This series is not as “cozy” as some are, relying on the mystery plot. Still it has the strong, female lead character (as in most, but not all, cozies), and  recurring rather eccentric characters to add a little humor.

I just finished The Alpine Zen. Now what? Is the series over? I hope not. Does she start a number series a la James Patterson? Or being the clever writer she is, will she come up with some other title gimmick to continue the series? It’s a cliffhanger for me.

Sue Grafton is also teetering on the brink. Her alphabet series is nearing an end also (A Is for Alibi, B Is for Burglar, C Is for Corpse, etc.)  Her “X” book is being released in August. Only two more to go. This another one of my favorite series and there’s nothing “cozy” about this one. Then again, it could be described as cozy noir because of the female lead, eccentric recurring characters, etc.  I hope she finds a way to continue the series.

Steven Havill writes a series, the Posadas County Mysteries set in New Mexico. His main character, Sheriff Gastner, is 74 years old now and retired, leaving the office in the capable hands of his staff. He is still involved in crime detection, of course, and from what I’ve read of the first pages of  his 2013 book, no one is opposed to using his expertise and experience solving crimes. I hope he has a few more years, he really is a likable character, but this series can continue with the new sheriff and his staff if and when Gastner goes to the great mesa in the sky.

Hmm. . . As I was proofing, it occurred to me that I may be just tad overly involved with my friends fictional characters. Nah, I can tell reality from fiction. . . most of the time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Going About Our Lives

Mother Nature has played another little trick in the weather department on South Carolinians. We’ve had our April showers—yep, we’ve had LOTS of showers. The azaleas are breathtaking this year though. Even the blah pink one (“blah” is my opinion) are outstanding. We turned off the heat, and the AC came on a few times. A cold front came through yesterday. This morning the temp was down in the 30’s. That nice for my morning walk, but it was a bit chilly at Levi’s game when the sun set.

Mr. Fixit is doing okay physically. He has an appointment Friday just for blood work and a chat with the oncologist. He seems to be a bit depressed and a little testy. I can’t say as I blame him much.

I have neglected my teeth for the last few years. It seemed there was always something more importatnt going on. I guess there is a major flaw in my philosophy of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” When I went for a checkup a few weeks ago, several cavities were found that need attention. The first filling was no problem. Monday the dentist filled two more. My face is swollen and the inside of my cheek is a mess. It’s very sore from the numbing injections I assume. There was a bruise on my face at the lip line. It should be better in a few days, I hope. I still have two more to go. Penny wise, pound foolish.

The doctor also changed my insulin at my request for a less expensive kind. The type I was taking before worked well and I was down from 50 units a day to 25 by staying a a very strict diet. It was so expensive that for the last two years I hit the Medicare gap several months before the end of year and had to pay 80% of the cash price of the drug. That was unacceptable for us.

I started the new stuff today. I have to have two injections a day because it is not as efficient as the other one. The first one was  worked for 24 hours; this new one has a shorter effective time     thereby necessitating two injections a day. That’s a little inconvenient for me, but it will keep me out of the gap unless something untoward happens.

And in the News:

Ted Cruz did not lie about “pressing” Sen. McCain to hold hearings concerning service members carrying concealed weapons on military bases, he “misspoke.” Hmmm…

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tech Savvy–Not!

This morning I woke early as usual. Getting out of bed before dawn just starts my day wrong. I picked up my tablet to read the news in bed. When reading the news, I always change the orientation of the tablet from “portrait” to “landscape.” It usually changes immediately. It didn’t change. I couldn’t think what the problem could be. I clicked on “Settings” but nothing there seemed to be relevant to my problem. I clicked on every icon in “Setting.” Then I clicked on “Help.” It didn’t—help, that is. There it was 5:30 am and I was already p.o.ed. Yeah, a great beginning to the day.

I gave up and finally got up. As soon as Mr. Fixit came down to breakfast, I asked him if I could use his tablet (they are identical) to check the settings on mine. The settings were exactly the same except for the eye thing. (The “eye thing” puts the tablet to sleep if it doesn’t detect your eyes. I turned that little gadget off on mine.) I was stumped.

I said, “I don’t know what to do. I’ll have to call Jason to ask him how to fix the problem, but I really don’t like asking for help with the computer stuff.” I think he has other things to do besides listening to me whine and bitch about my lack of tech skills.

I heard an notification alert, so I opened the alert and found the answer to my problem. I had never really looked at the tool bar on the notification screen. I assume I accidently hit the screen rotation icon and turned it off.

tablet image

(Click on photo for detail.)

I felt a little silly. I glad I didn’t have to ask for help on this one.

And speaking of my lack of technical expertise, it took me almost an hour to take the above picture and put in the arrow (which is still a misaligned a little). It involved my digital camera, the camera on my phone, removing  the case from the phone, removing the SD card from the phone, downloading the photo to the laptop*, sending the photo via email to my pc, and adding the arrow with Paint. The arrow alone took me about 20 minutes. It may have taken me a long time and a circuitous route to put that picture on this post, but, by golly, I DID IT! Whew!

Note:  Darn it! After all that the picture is blurry. The little icon below the arrow is “Screen Rotation.”

*The PC doesn’t have that little slot to use an SD card.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Can Openers

More than 20 years ago, Jason gave me for Mother’s Day an electric can opener that mounted under the cabinet. It has a bag slitter (is that a word?), a thing to open pull tabs on cans, and a lid remover that worked on even the smallest jars or bottles. I loved that little amenity. It was made by  Presto. I think he must have paid less that $20.00 for it because he was working at McDonald’s. That little handy-dandy appliance lasted until just a couple of weeks ago. I certainly received value for his dollars.

I began shopping at my usual stores. It’s very hard to find those under-the-counter models now. We even drove about 70 miles to look for the Black and Decker store to see if they carried them. The store is no longer there.

I then checked on line. Black and Decker does make the UTC model, but there is a little problem for me. I found one for $39.95 but it just opened cans. I really wanted that jar lid twister-offer. It did have a knife sharpener though. And it is black.

I checked a little further along. the prices ranged from $119.99 to $439.95. $439.95 for a can opener? Who pays $439.95 for a can opener? And it didn’t even have the twist off lid thing.

I was about to go back to the manual kind, but we found a free standing electric one that looked like it wouldn’t flip over. Of course, it is now taking up counter space that is already lacking. And it doesn’t have the lid twister-offer thing. Well, it has one, but it only works on jars the size of a mayo jar and you still have to use brute strength to remove the screw top.  But it does open cans, and it’s easier to clean than the old one. ( I had to get my screw driver out  and take the old one to pieces to clean it.) And it cost less than $20.00!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Not Much Happening (Thank Goodness!)

Baseball season is in full swing. We have one grandson who plays on the high school team, one who plays Rec League, and one who is playing soccer. The first few high school games were incredibly cold. Saturday there was a rec league game, and Mr. Fixit and I came home with sunburns.

The weather has warmed up a lot. I’ll have to start using the AC pretty soon. The daffodils are just about gone, but the forsythia is beautiful. We have a few little grape hyacinths. We haven’t planted anything for a number of years. The lilac bush is just beginning to leaf, and the Bradford pear trees are changing from white to green. Spring also brings yard cleanup. I’m not crazy about that job either. I do a little every day. I have cooking and laundry so I can seem to accomplish anything in the yard.

Mr. Fixit is doing well. He is still working for our older son almost every day.

I’m still walking and dieting. I can’t get past this plateau with my weight. It’s discouraging.

I recently cancelled our Netflix. They were doing things with our deliveries. I miss it though. Maybe I’ll try their streaming service for a while to see what’s available. Mr. Fixit likes old westerns, and I enjoy film noir of the 40’s and 50’s, BBC programming, and PBS Masterpiece. I was watching a lot of that programming on Youtube but the production companies are blocking a lot of the shows.

I’m still knitting. There is something calming doing the same repetitive stitches. While doing that I listen to audio books ffrom the library.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Case of the Missing Book

Last Tuesday when we went to Mr. Fixit’s appointment with the oncologist I took a hardcover library book with me. (I always have a book in some form or the other with me whether is is hardcover, paperback, or electronic.) I was at sixes and sevens because we were getting scan results. When we were called in I must have laid the book on the end table in the waiting room.

When I discovered the book missing, I called the office, but it had closed. The next morning I called and asked the receptionist if anyone had found it, and she said no. I was doing errands this morning and stopped by the office again to ask about it before going to the library to pay for it. I checked the little book corner at the doctor’s office, but it wasn’t there.

I was a angry with myself for losing it, and I was a little angry because it appears someone just walked off with it. (It is clearly marked the property of  Pickens County Library System.) I had only read a few pages; I had been on the “Hold” list for a long time.

As I was driving home, I was thinking how surprised I was that someone had taken it. After all, it was in a doctor’s office where people must come to terms with their very serious conditions. To put it bluntly, most are facing their own mortality. I  thought, “Whoever took that book could be facing St. Peter soon. Would they want to have to explain to St. Pete that they had swiped a book?” I wouldn’t, that’s for sure.

Then after reveling in my indignation, something else occurred to me. Perhaps the person who took the book took it to read while receiving their chemotherapy. I imagine the last thing on one’s mind in this circumstance would be returning a book. Then I felt mean and petty.

I went to the library, paid the $27.00 for the book. The library has the replacement cost of the book, and maybe someone had something to take their mind off the treatment. I prefer thinking that it helped pass the time for someone. I’m not p.o.ed any longer.

The librarian put me back on the “request and hold” list for the book.