Monday, October 20, 2014

Computer Stuff

Sunday the children took us out to lunch to celebrate our birthdays. Mine was the 12th and Mr. Fixit’s was the 16th. They gave us some very nice gifts (even though I have told them repeatedly that gifts for me aren’t necessary.) Ben’s family gave us a year of Amazon Prime and Jason’s family gave us each a Samsung Galaxy tablet. It’s going to take a while for us to discover all the stuff they can do.

I have been having problems with my laptop. For some reason, Google is messed up. The error message is “Whoa, Google crashed!” I think the “Whoa” error must be worse that the “Snap!” errors. I took it to Jason’s last night, but he couldn’t fix it. He’ll have another go at it.

Somehow or the other a new search engine installed uninvited on the laptop and also installed a game. It took a bit of doing but he finally uninstalled it. This morning the darned thing popped up on my desk top. I can’t uninstall it because it doesn’t show on the programs list. I thought maybe the laptop was sharing files but I don’t think that’s the problem. They are two different operating systems and the laptop wasn't operational last night.

I had a bit of a problem connecting Mr. Fixit’s new tablet to our networks. Mr. Fixit said we might have to ask Levi (our youngest grandchild) to fix it. I finally was able to get him on line.

Also somehow a whole bunch of pictures showed up on my Galaxy. They aren’t even on either the laptop or the desk top. They are all transferred to CD’s and deleted from the hard drives. I wonder if Google is storing the pictures out there in the ether that I have used in my blog. That’s another reason why I get so aggravated at Google. They make me do things that I don’t want to do without even asking me. Some of the pictures though weren’t used on the blog. And how the heck did they get on the tablet? It’s a puzzle.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I am so glad last week is over. Maybe this week will be better. Last week I was in a continuous state of tenseness and anxiety.

The Friday before last I needed to renew my prescription for one of my bp medicines. During my last checkup, the dr.’s assistant told me that when I needed a new prescription I should call the office. I followed that instruction; however, the procedures at the office had changed. I was instructed by the computer to tell the pharmacy to request the new scrip. I did, they did, but the doctor didn’t. I ran out of the medication and the old bp starts to rise.

After allowing a couple of days, I called the office and once again I was instructed to leave a message with the dr.’s assistant (nurse in the old days) explaining the problem and to allow 24 to 48 hours for a response. I did that. After checking with the pharmacy again (the fourth time since Friday), they again said that the authorization had not been received.

I went to the office. I was nice even though it was Thursday. I explained that the authorization had to be called in because of the upcoming weekend. I was assured it would be taken care of. Late in the afternoon I called the pharmacy again—still no response.

Friday morning I called the dr.’s office again and discovered that the office is now closing on Fridays. I went into their urgent care unit and explained my predicament and report that my bp was up 100 points. I was a little testy but not rude. The nurse said she would call the dr. on his cell phone. She came back a few minutes later and said he was calling the pharmacy at that moment. I finally received the refill late Friday afternoon.

It took one week to get a simple authorization for a medicine I have been taking for years. It was for high blood pressure—not a level 2 narcotic, for gosh sakes. It was so worrying. I think if I follow their instructions they should follow the same rules THEY set forth.

To cap off a perfectly awful week, my birthday was yesterday. I was a bit depressed. I know 69 years of age is better than. . .  blah, blah, blah.

On a brighter note my glucose levels are quite low, but I haven’t lost much weight. Another depressing thing for today. My scrip for insulin must be filled, and it will be close to $300.00 because of that Gap.

AARGH!!! It seems that there is always some sort of health problem. Enough of this whining. There are bright spots. Mr. Fixit is still doing well. In fact, this morning he is working one of the trucks that belongs to our son. For that I am most grateful.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Not Much Happening

Our weather has changed. It’s been cold, and it’s only October. Saturday Owen had a soccer game at 8:45 am, and it was a little chilly. The soccer fields lie in a low area of the sports facility. Noah had a baseball game at the same facility, but the field is higher and completely open. The wind was a little strong, and it was cold!!!

For the last two nights I have been sleeping a little better since it’s in the low 60’s in the house.  I haven’t been using my MP3 player and audio books to sleep. Of course, Mr. Fixit claims to get frost bite if the temp falls below 75 degrees indoors.

Another climate note—the leaves on our trees have barely begun to turn. Usually the middle of October is the height of “leaf” season.

Speaking of Mr. Fixit, he has been feeling okay. I haven’t been updating the other blog because he’s doing so well. There is another scan scheduled for near the end of the month.

I have been reading quite a bit, and I’ve started knitting a sweater. Knitting is so boring, but I can’t find any plain cardigans so I guess I’ll make my own, bored or not.

I’m part of the television viewing public again in a small way. I bought a better set than the small one I had before, and Mr. Fixit bought yet another outdoor antenna. At least I can watch “CSI,” the “NCIS” franchise shows, and PBS, yea!!!

The reduced carb diet seems to be working better than the extreme low carb one. My glucose levels are low, and I lost a few pounds—not many but a a few. I wish I could start walking again, but my knees are a problem. I’m very happy though; perhaps I’ll be able to cut back on the insulin in a while whether I lose weight or not.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Gap and My Diet

This month I have fallen into the “Gap.” No, I didn’t trip in the clothing store. The Gap to which I am referring is the Medicare Gap {{shudder}}. For the rest of the year, I have to pay 70% of the total cost of my medicine. I have one prescription (insulin) that is more than our mortgage payment was. It’s going to be a tough few months financially. I don’t know why this happened because my total drug costs this year were less than last year.

I decided that I would try to cut back on my insulin so that I could stretch the monthly outlay. I tried the low carb diet (meaning less than 20 grams of carbs a day), but I had a problem. The first few days my glucose levels were in the 90’s which is very low for me. It usually in the 120’s to 140’s which is not that bad. It’s not good, but not that bad. A few days into the diet my blood sugar jumped up to 145 when I cut back 5 units on the insulin.

I decided to go back to my regular amount of insulin and just try a under 100 carbs a day. Yesterday was my first day. This morning my levels dropped back to 97.

That no-carb thing is so hard for me. That’s one piece of low carb bread with an egg for breakfast. That’s a no-no for me because of my LDL count. The other meals consisted of meat and a green salad.

Now that I am eating a few carbs I don’t feel so deprived. Maybe after a while I’ll be able to cut back back on the insulin and reduce my cost. We’ll see.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Recipe for a Nightmare

Begin with several dollops of news coverage of the atrocities that a few psychopaths are committing against non-combatants and our President’s solution to the problem. Add one Joyce Carol Oates very disturbing audio book featuring child abuse, and the results thereof. Go to sleep with the audio on and running. Stir in more than a few worries and a character actor who has been in every television drama since the 50’s.

The finished product is a very bad dream featuring a surgical airstrike, a very disturbed kid who flushes a puppy down the toilet, and an actor who just pops into the scene to make it interesting.

The worst part is that I would wake, go back to sleep, and the dream would continue where it has left off. This happened several times.

I think I have to rethink the mp3 player as a solution to my insomnia. I think the bad dream was worse that the sleeplessness.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Smart Stuff

There’s a lot of “smart” stuff out there—telephones, tv’s, etc. While my phone and my television aren’t smart, there is one smart product I do use—Smart Potatoes. Yep, that’s right, smart potatoes.

I was very surprised to find in the produce department of a local supermarket bagged Idaho potatoes labeled “Smart Potatoes.” I haven’t decided yet what “smart” means in this case. Does it mean intellectually gifted? Or perhaps stylishly chic?

Would a gifted potato peel itself and hop in the pan with little help from the end user? Would it have the ability to cook perfectly, no under-cooking or burning? Hmm—I don’t think so. I accidently scorched the ones I was cooking for lunch  just the other day.

I’ll admit they are rather good-looking, but I don’t think they would turn heads on any red carpet or runway. They are very clean compared to other potatoes.

To be honest, I don’t really care if my potatoes are smart or stupid, stylish or frumpy. I only care that they go well with  butter, sour cream, cheese, or any other add-on that makes the potato so versatile and tasty.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From Our Deck

A glorious morning in South Carolina—temperature 70 degrees, high wispy clouds, a slight breeze—very unusual for August.