Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Computer Paranoia

One of my rituals for starting the day is to solve the Washington Post crossword puzzle. Last week when I clicked on “Daily Puzzle,” it wouldn’t load. Hmm. I tried several times during the day. My day just wasn’t the same without the WP puzzle. Strangely, the Sunday puzzle and the weekly Puzzler (a more difficult puzzle) loaded with no problem.

I tried several things to correct the problem, but I couldn’t get the darned thing to work. It became a niggling mini-obsession. A few days later I tried one more thing.

For years I used Internet Explorer as my browser, but when Google took over Blogger, I found it was easier to use Google. (One reason why I’m sure Google is trying to take over the world beginning with my computer. They are always making changes without telling me.) For some odd reason, I decided to try the IE browser, and lo and behold! the puzzle loaded with no problem.

Is there a IE conspiracy to get back a little at Google (beginning with my computer)? Is Google punishing me for being a little less than thrilled with their knowing-what’s-best-for-everyone attitude by making decisions concerning my computer without getting my input? Am I being a little too paranoid? Nah, you know what they say about paranoia, “It’s not paranoia if someone is actually out to get you.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Nuts, Loony, Bonkers, etc. That’s Me!

I have been staying at home since this re-qualification for Mr. Fixit’s medication began. I haven’t even been taking my daily walk outside fearing that I would miss a phone call. I’ve been using the hated treadmill. This morning I couldn’t stand the thought of one more step on that machine. I loaded up my coat pockets with everything I might need in case they called. Of course, the first thing was my telephone (turned on, of course). Then I had to include a copy of his insurance card, our credit card, a small writing pad, and a pencil. My desk in my pocket, so to speak.

I did my mile and returned home. I had a cup of tea and then the phone rang. The Wal-Green rep gave me a number to call to get the ball rolling. After several transfers I finally talked to someone who knew what was going on, and now all I have to do is wait for a return call about shipping information.

After I hung up, I thought about what a good day it was turning out to be. I took my walk, I didn’t miss the phone call, and I was told everything is in place for the shipments to continue. I was pleased. Suddenly, I started to cry. It seems I cry more when any crisis is over than I do as it’s happening. Sometimes I don’t realize how stressed I am until the crisis has passed. You’ve heard of  “Tears of Joy?” I have tears of relief. Or I’m simply going bonkers.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Good Thing

Late this afternoon Mr. Fixit and I took a little drive to find kerosene. Have I mentioned that it’s very cold here? I guess everyone is augmenting their heat source (just like we are) with kerosene heaters. As a result, Mr. Fixit couldn’t find any in three nearby towns.  We had to go a little farther (further?) afield. We finally found a supply at a gas station that is near the entrance ramp to a four-lane highway.

While Mr. Fixit was inside paying, I saw about a half dozen cats come running out of a brushy area between the station and the highway. I then saw a lady get out of her car with a bucket in her hand. The cats ran to meet her. She proceeded to feed  them. Then she sat on the emptied bucket and spread a little love around to each cat. They were so loving toward her.

All the cats were fat and sassy-looking. None of them had that lean, hungry look of feral cats. She must feed them every day. What a good person! It just made my day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Is It February Yet?

January is shaping up to be a very difficult month. Not only are our property taxes due, the medical deductibles have to be paid, and the medical bills from last February and March are still coming in, but we have to re-qualify for the grant that we get for Mr. Fixit’s cancer medication. That’s harrowing to say the least. I started the process two days ago. The pharmacy tried to get us a new grant. There was money available yesterday, but not today when the rep filed the new application. This medication  is so expensive that the only way we could afford it is if we sold or mortgaged the house and then that would only pay the co-pay for a few months. But this medication is literally life sustaining.  According to the last phone call just a few minutes ago, arrangements are being made so that it will be taken care of until March before we have to request a new grant. So I’m feeling a little more hopeful.

You cannot imagine what it feels like to hear that there is a possibility that the medication may be out of reach. It took my breath away.

Mr. Fixit and I have our 49th anniversary coming in February. I know that 49 years is a long time, but I’m selfish—it’s not enough.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mitigating Meanness

Today I read a post written by one of my favorite bloggers. She’s a talented writer, a tad irreverent, and she’s funny. I must say, though, she does rather intimidate me a bit. She’s a hiker, a birder, and she’s very conscious of environmental matters. I bet she never opts for plastic in Wal-mart. Heck, I bet she never goes to Wal-mart.

Today her topic today was the way some of us use the anonymity of the internet to say “mean” things about people. She right, I suppose. I myself have been known to get a little snarky and self-righteous.  But she made me think.

Is it okay if I write that someone should disable the word processing program of  Arthur Wright , well-known author, so that he never writes another stinko novel? Is that mean? If I say, “In my opinion, Mr. Arthur Wright is a hack,” does the “imo” mitigate my mean remark . If I rant about really bad drivers, salesclerks who are just plain nasty, and office staffs what don’t seem to know their butts from their elbows, is that mean? Does “In my opinion shave a little of the meanness away?

In the South, ladies (they do this more than men) can say the most terrible things about people. For instance, “She’s as ugly as a mud fence.” Or there is also the double barrel shot,—“She’s as ugly as a mud fence. She looks just like her mama.”  Two mean things for the price of one. You can get away with saying mean things about people without looking like a bad person. All you have to do is add one simple phrase to mitigate the insult. “She’s as ugly as a mud fence, bless her heart (sigh)”.  See? You’re a loving, caring, compassionate person.

I think “In my opinion” falls into that same category. I’m going to use it more often. Bless my heart (sigh).

Note: I made up the name “Arthur Wright” as a play on words. I don’t want any real Arthur Wrights to think I’m being mean.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Phew! (A Sigh of Relief)

Like all families we Fixits have developed over the years our own Christmas tradition. Instead of singing Christmas carols around the gaily lit tree or having a Christmas goose, our tradition falls in the “uh-oh” category. Every year something happens to put a damper on the Christmas spirit  or to cause Mom (me) to have a breakdown. It’s usually major car trouble. In the last few years, it seems to be health problems. This year it was health again, but it turned out not to be as bad as it first appeared. It merely caused worry and the complete demise of my Christmas spirit.

Mr. Fixit’s oral chemo meds are ordered from a specialty pharmacy in Pennsylvania. Usually, I call for the refills a week before he’s scheduled for the last dose. The pharmacy then sends the refill  by FedEx, and it always is delivered on the day promised. They send it for overnight delivery.

In November when I ordered his December refill, I asked the rep if I should call a few days early for his January refill because of the holidays. She said there was really no need, and she said they can’t refill it if I call more than ten days ahead. Mr. Fixit’s last dose is December 28. I called for the refill in the ten day window on December 19. The rep said the shipment would be scheduled for December 24. I asked her if perhaps it would be better to schedule it a day or so early because of the holiday. She said, “It will be fine on the 24th.” I accepted her word that it would be delivered on the 24th.

We were going to Ben’s house for our Christmas get-together on the 24th. We were supposed to be there at 5:00 p.m. I had warned them we might be a few minutes late because it was raining and the delivery instructions are to leave the package under all circumstances. We needed to be present to receive the medicine instead of leaving it out in the rain. I requested those delivery instructions so I wouldn’t have to chase down a delivery if we missed one.

We waited until 6:30, but no meds. Did I mention that we saw a FedEx truck in our neighborhood very early in the afternoon? Well, we did. That was when I began to worry.

We waited until 6:30 to leave. I was so upset. That medicine is keeping Mr. Fixit well, and I don’t want an error in taking it to mess things up. I spent most of the evening doing what I usually do in times of trouble. I think about all the problems that can arise and the actions to take to ameliorate what could be dire results. After the children opened presents Ben and Jason tried to trace the delivery, but we had no tracking number. I was about to lose it completely by that time.

We came home. It was still raining. Instead of coming the the garage door, I walked around to the front of the house even though I had little faith that the package would be there. Lo and behold, there it was! I have never been as relieved in my whole life. Mr. Fixit has his meds and all’s right in my world (maybe). So far the car is still operational.

I woke this morning with thanks that the holiday is over, and we made it through without plague, pestilence, famine, or flood.

(I do feel sorry for that poor FedEx driver who was working so late on a dark, rainy Christmas Eve. He has my gratitude.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's Been a Year