Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Gadgets

For the past year or so, I have made walking a part of my daily routine. I try to walk every day, only missing when we have early morning appointments or I develop an ache or a pain that gives me a good excuse to skip it. I have adjusted for weather conditions. When it's hot, I try to get out before sunrise. When it's cold, I dress warmly. Unless it's absolutely pouring, rain doesn't stop me either.

Jason gave me a little gadget to motivate me. It a Fitbit Flex. You wear it like a bracelet, and it tracks the number of steps you take, the miles you cover, and the calories burned. It also monitors your sleep. Yesterday, I received a congratulatory email for taking 5,000 steps in one day.

I don't understand how the thing works. There was no calibration to gauge the length of my stride. It just so happens that I have a very short stride. If Mr. Fixit and I are walking and he takes the same number of steps that I do, he covers more ground because his stride is longer than mine.

The sleep monitor is also a puzzle. It knows how many hours I sleep and counts the "restless" times. Hmmm. . .

I wonder if Google has anything to do with this company. I think Google is trying for world domination, and this little piece of electronic wizardry could be Big Brother.

Even though my paranoia is running rampant, this is a fun little thing to have.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Wishes Do Come True

A few days before Christmas of 2013 a terrible experience began for Mr. Fixit and me—a malignant tumor was found in Mr. Fixit’s kidney. The cancer had spread to his lungs. It has been very difficult for both of us. He faced his mortality, and I faced the possibility of losing him. (Our 50th anniversary is very soon.) Yesterday almost exactly two years to the day we heard some very good news. The last scan showed that the last visible tumor in his lungs is now less that 1.5 centimeters and is now classed as stable. The doctor gave him the option of continuing or stopping the oral chemo medicine that he has been taking. The doctor said that Mr. Fixit has responded so well to the medication that he (the doctor) feels confident that discontinuing the medication won’t be harmful. Mr. Fixit jumped at the chance. He had very few side effects crop up caused by the medication. He developed a rash once, but we’re not sure that that caused by the meds. The dermatologist thought not. Mr. Fixit’s complaint was a digestive tract complication (to be blunt, diarrhea. TMI?) The problem became almost an obsession with him. He had to take medication that every day, and, even then, he suffered almost daily with the problem. It became his overriding topic of conversation. To be perfectly honest, and to my own discredit, I became very impatient with him. I know first hand the inconvenience and physical discomfort he was going through, and I tried to be sympathetic. Then I sort of snapped one day when he threatened to stop the medication on his own. I suggested, perhaps not as diplomatically as I should have been, that having diarrhea was a small price to pay for the life-saving medication. I’m not proud of myself for that conversation. To show the difference in our perspectives, Mr. Fixit became emotional (in a good way) that he could stop the medication because of his side effect; I am thankful that his battle with this scourge—cancer—has been successful. A very Merry Christmas for the Fixit family! ******************************************************* Note: One more Christmas wish. I may be pushing my luck here. Please, Blogger, please, show my paragraph breaks!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The description of a movie on the Gettv channel:

“Night of Terror” 1933

“A reporter, a detective, a scientist, and a guy in a turban revolve murders.”

I love it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ups and Downs

The weather has finally taken a turn for the better. The rain has stopped and the sun is shining with puffy clouds this morning. Luckily, we had no damage. The Low Country (Charleston area) and the Midlands suffered major problems—flooding, washed out roads, property destruction, dams breaking, etc. I hope things get back to normal soon for people those areas. We in the Upstate did have flooding, downed trees, and loss of life, but in our little corner, we did okay. Of course, there is still the danger of toppling trees because of the saturated ground.

Last night I had a little accident—I fell. I was carrying the cat down to put her in the garage for the night, and I thought was at the bottom of the steps. I wasn’t. I fell. I have abrasions, bruises, and cat scratches. I think I sprained every muscle in my body from the neck down. The worst is my toe. It is bruised and there is a little swelling. I didn’t realize how bad it hurt until I accidentally hit the riser walking up the steps a little while ago. It brought tears.  I haven’t called the doctor because I don’t think there is much they can do even if the toe is broken. I don’t think they put tiny little casts or Ace bandages on injured pedal digits. It hurts and walking is a bit uncomfortable, but I suspect the best thing to do is just to tough it out.

Mr. Fixit came down while I was still sprawled on the steps, moaning and groaning loudly, toe throbbing, muscles aching, and blood saturating the sleeve of my shirt from the cat scratches. He said, “Are you okay?” Being the tactful person I am even while in pain, I said, “No, I’m not okay. I just fell down the steps.” I explained how it happened while  waiting for the pain to subside so I could get up. His response: “So you didn’t fall from the top.” I got up found the cat and put her in the garage.

I’ve noticed that when I go to the doctor for checkups, someone always asks me if I have fallen lately. Is this a question that is asked only of old  people? If I say yes, what happens?They cancel my Medicare or the rates go up on the supplemental? Do they send me to a specialist to see why I fell? Next time I go, I guess I’ll find out.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Even though we are located in the western section of South Carolina and Joaquin is still quite a distance away and the storm, as the forecasters are saying now, probably won’t make landfall on the coast, it is causing major problems here now. Heavy rains are predicted through Saturday with 6” to 8” expected from Friday evening through Saturday.

We have had rain for most the last week and a half. I’ve been able to walk outside only a couple of times. Yesterday we had a bit of sunshine for the first times in days.

It has been pouring this afternoon. Our yard is a lake. Our yard drains into the yard behind us. That yard is even worse than ours.

There has been one fatality in the Upstate and $2,000,000 worth of new cars and trucks were washed out of the dealer's lot into a nearby stream.

Right now, there is a lull. My one worry is all the big pines very near the house. When the ground is saturated, they have a tendency to topple because their root systems are shallow.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Moral Lapse

Yesterday I did a bad thing. If I were a person running for political office, I could say I “mispoke.” The truth is, I told a lie. I hate lies and liars. To me, lying is stealing--stealing the truth.

There are different kinds of lies—the really mean, hurtful ones and those that sometimes can fall in the white-lie category. White lies are lies you tell to keep from hurting someone’s feelings. People should never ask for opinions (“Does this outfit make my butt look big?” or, “Don’t you think my baby is beautiful?” If you don’t want to hear, “Yeah, it makes your butt look about two ax- handles across” or “My kid is lot more beautiful that yours,” don’t ask the question and practically force people to “mispeak.”) There are  lies of omission that are lies because you don’t state the facts when asked directly about something, and  lies that are simply exaggerations that take things out of context to make people look bad to others or to simply make the liar feel important. To me they are all wrong. True, some are worse than others, but a lie is a lie.

I told a lie yesterday to avoid an unpleasant conversation and to simply get a person to just leave me the hell alone. It was the young lady who tried to sell us a car a month or so ago. She keeps calling and I have lied by omission usually because I didn’t really want to say that I think her sales manager flat out lied to us about the deal he offered and we decided not to take a chance on a deal that was just too good to be true. I really liked the young lady; I want her to do well at her job. But I felt I really couldn’t tell her the truth.

I wish she would take the hint and stop calling. When I don’t get a response, I don’t call/ask again. I realize that she is in sales, but,  jeeze-louise, get a clue. If people keep putting you off, give up!

I feel guilty telling her a lie, but I have an excuse—actually, I have two excuses. First of all, I didn’t want to sound mean by telling her the truth, and, secondly, I have had enough stress the last year or so and lying seemed the easiest solution. At this stage, easy is best even if I have to tell a white lie. It was a white lie, I think. There really is no excuse, but I did it and I’m sorry. But not sorry enough to call her back and simply tell her the truth and  ask her not to call again. I’m also cowardly.

St. Peter probably has already recorded this in the sin column on my page in his Book.

Friday, August 28, 2015


A few months ago, we received word that the company that makes Mr. Fixit’s cancer medication was selling that particular division to another drug company. The transition should have been easy. He signed the forms to allow his information to go to the new drug company, and we returned it in a timely fashion. The transition was to take place August 15.

A set of circumstances cropped up that caused me so much stress I was about to lose my mind. It’s been very rough for the last couple of weeks.

Mr. Fixit’s prescription ran out and needed to be renewed before August 29. Since the 15th fell on Saturday, I called to request a new prescription from his oncologist Monday, the 17th. They faxed the new scrip  and received confirmation on the same day that the fax had been received. The nurse said I could call that same day to request the medication. His last dose is August 29. I decided to wait until Tuesday to give them time to get the fax into the system. I called. They told me that it takes 2 days for the fax to be sent to the pharmacy. I was told to call back Thursday. I said I would give them an extra day and call on Friday. I called Friday. I was told by the rep that it hadn’t been processed, but someone would call me back that afternoon or Monday, for sure, to make delivery arrangements. No one called. I was beginning to get upset. I called again Tuesday. Again I was told that someone would call me that afternoon or Wednesday. Every time I called I mentioned that his last day for the meds he had on hand was the 29th. No one called.

By Thursday I had given up. I decided that I was not going call again. Mr. Fixit had an appointment so see the doctor today (Fri.), and I was going to bring the problem to his attention hoping that his staff could accomplish more than I was. My stress level was out of sight. At that point, I didn’t know if an interruption in his meds schedule would be a problem. (I found out today that the medication stays in the system for 4 days.)

Finally at 3:30 pm Thursday someone called and said that the meds were scheduled for delivery Monday. I told her that wasn’t soon enough. We had to have it by Friday since UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturdays here. I explained to her the many phone calls I made and the fact that no one had the courtesy to call and explain what was happening. I also told her I had followed all their instructions to the letter. She said she would overnight it. She said that a signature was required on delivery. I said I would wait at home until the UPS guy knocked on the door.

Okay, great. I might mention here that from August 17 to August 27 I was practically tied to the house waiting for phone calls. It’s true that I have a cell phone, but I didn’t know what information would be needed, and I felt like I had to have all documentation close at hand.

Then I remembered after I hung up that Mr. Fixit had his doctor’s appointment Friday. I called our son to see if his son could come our house to sign for the package, but he had to work. I thought that Mr. Fixit could go to the doctor alone and I would wait at home. I realized that wasn’t such a good idea because Mr. Fixit has a problem with his hearing, and with English being his second language, he sometimes has trouble understanding what’s said to him. Again my stress shot up. Ben, our son, said he would take time from work to go with him. That worked out great.

The UPS guy did show up while they were gone. It’s a good thing I was there.

It seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was the perfect storm of circumstances.

Now that it’s over I feel like a wet dishrag, but at least he has what he needs. It ended okay. I hope I don’t have to go through that again. The responsibility is onerous.

One nice thing did happen. Yesterday afternoon, a large tree limb fell from the oak tree in the front hard. It didn’t hit the ground; it was hung on another branch. I decided while waiting for the UPS guy, I would get the handy-dandy branch-lopper tool thingy and try to get it down and clean up the mess. I snipped and pulled, snipped and pulled, but the darned thing wouldn’t drop. As it is my nature, I was worried that just as some little kid or small animal wandered into the yard, it would fall and we would be sued. I have such a pleasant outlook, don’t I?

Anyway, the UPS guy came and saw my problem. He pulled it down and even dragged it to the street. Wasn’t that nice of him? Now all I have to do is cut it up with the chain saw so the city will pick it up. I have to wait until someone is here with me in case I need a tourniquet. I remember too well what happened when I used the electric trimmer on the hedges.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Good at the Job

Car salespersons do not enjoy  reputations of trustworthiness. They rank usually right there with politicians. We recently had occasion to interact with a car salesperson. I won’t impugn his trustworthiness (although I do have my private opinion of him); I can only say that he was a heck of a salesman.

When we started car shopping, I knew how much money I had for a down payment, I knew the approximate book value of our car as a trade-in, and I had an idea of the monthly payment we could comfortably afford.  I had also done some on-line shopping and had my preference for the make and model of the car we needed. Mr. Fixit and I were on the same page. I felt prepared.

After speaking with the salesperson and explaining our wants and needs, he insisted that we test drive a vehicle. I didn’t want to do, but Mr. Fixit was ready to go. Of course, the vehicle he showed us was one with all the bells and whistles and way out of our price range. We went for the test drive. Mr. Fixit loved it; I loved it. I knew that would happen. He didn’t even show us the model we asked to see. He started talking money. Actually he started saying things like “What would I have to do to get you in that car today?” (It was the next to the last day of the month and they had quotas to meet.) I told him we had to think about it. He was persistent, very persistent. He offered to let us drive the car home. I demurred; Mr. Fixit wasn’t sure, but he knew our circumstances so he agreed with me. We left with the salesman’s sweetheart (seemingly) deal banging around in my head and wondering if everything he said was true and if we really wanted to sign up for such a big commitment.

It continued to occupy my thoughts all night. I came up with many questions about the deal he offered. I needed clarification. The next morning’s conversation with Mr. Fixit went like this: “Do you remember what he said about __________________?” He replied, “No, I don’t.” We had the same dialog on several items we had discussed the previous day.

We decided to go talk to him again with all our questions and reservations on the deal. On the way there, I said to Mr. Fixit, “I know you really want that car. We’ll do it if you want to. We’ll manage somehow.”

He said, “Let’s stop at the other dealer we spoke to yesterday (we had shopped around a bit.) and talk numbers to him first.”

We did. It was then the last day of the month. Time was short for the dealer to make his quota. We got the car we needed (not necessarily wanted) without all the bells and whistles. It looks nice, too. We signed on the dotted line, and I think we are pleased with it. The only drawback is that it doesn’t get the mpg that our little car did. It’s a small SUV. My knees no longer ache from sitting with my legs stretched out before me, and I don’t have to roll out of it. There is something about rolling out of a car that is very undignified for a lady of my body type and age. Mr. Fixit agreed that it is much easier to get in and out of for him, too.

I do have to say that the first salesman was terrific at his job. He almost talked us into buying something that we really didn’t need and really couldn’t afford. I’m still not sure of his trustworthiness, but he was a crackerjack salesman.

Monday, July 27, 2015


This morning after Mr. Fixit went to paint at the trailer park, I decided to trim the short length of hedge at the end of the driveway. It was becoming difficult to see traffic coming around the corner. It was a good time to do it, because the temperature was only about 90 degrees.

I found the hedge trimmer and the extension cords and began the trimming. It’s a little bit hard for me because it’s a tall hedge and I have to hold the trimmer above shoulder height. In fact, on the low side (the ground slants) I have to hold it about head height. That trimmer gets a bit heavy.

As I was doing the sides, somehow or the other I cut the electric extension cord. Yep, lopped that sucker right off—with sparks, of course. What to do, what to do!? I changed my clothes, put on make-up, and headed for Lowe’s. I thought if I could find a new cord just like the old one perhaps I could neglect to mention the little mishap. The only orange one like the decapitated one was only 20 feet, and that wouldn’t do. I needed a 50 footer.
Dang! The only one I could find was red with a black strip. I think he will notice it’s not his extension cord.

I can just picture it now. He will come home notice the the injured orange one. His first question will be, “What happened to my extension cord?” The first question won’t be “Did you trim the hedge?” or “Did you get electrocuted?” I can see his upper lip get thinner and almost disappear as it does when he is p.o.ed. He will then tell me I bought the wrong replacement. I sure he wanted the heavy duty model, but they only had the medium one.

So here I sit near that road paved with good intentions, waiting the for the bus to take me to hell. But at least I will be able to see it coming around our corner. The hedge is now a couple of feet shorter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Public Service Announcement

During my dental appointment in May I had a small problem that was so small I didn’t even mention it to the dentist.

After I was given the local anesthesia, the doctor went out of the room waiting for the numbing to take place. I was sitting in the chair reading when suddenly my left hand started to shake. The right hand was fine. It was so bad that I almost dropped the reader. It had almost passed completely before the doctor began his drilling, filling, etc. so I didn’t mention it to him. I think it was that same day when we sat down for lunch, the tremors hit again. This time it lasted only a minute or so. After that I didn’t have a problem until today. I assumed that maybe the stress of going to have dental work done was the cause. I have no problem having work done. My dentist is very good and there is very little discomfort.

Today, I had another appointment for another filling. As usual he administered the local and left the room. I was reading when my hand started to shake again. It wasn’t as bad this time. I could stop it by making a fist. It passed while he was working on me.

Before I left asked him if there is anything in the anesthetic that would cause tremors in my left hand only. He said that it could have very well caused it. He said that he used one containing epinephrine (synthetic adrenalin) to prolong the numbing effect of the drug.  He said he  was glad I mentioned it to him. He marked my chart, “No epi.” He said he would just have to work a little faster next time.

I don’t know why this happened. I have had lots of work done and never had a problem. I had no inkling the first time that it was a problem with the anesthesia. I only realized it today.

This morning  as I was sitting in the waiting room, I was thinking what a relaxing place it was. The television was muted, the lighting was low, the music, though vapid, was almost like white noise, and there were very few distractions. I wished that it would take a while before they called me. It’s not often that I have a chance to sit in a comfortable chair with soft music and comforting lighting and  read. I bet not many people have that reaction when waiting to be drilled and filled.

My PSA is that if you get the shakes in the dentist’s chair, it may not be nerves; it would be epinephrine. Be sure to mention it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Mr. Fixit and I have very different tastes in food. He would eat rice three times a day if he could. I would eat potatoes four times a day if I could. I like most vegetables if they’re cooked the way my grandmother cooked them. It took him several years to eat green stuff. He loves fruit; I could do without it completely. He eats bananas like I would eat chocolate. The smell of ripe bananas makes me gag. I don’t like watermelon; he loves it.

The other day he bought a small seedless one and cubed it. He brought it out to have a little snack and asked me if I wanted some. I replied with a quick, but firm, “No thanks.”

I decided when I was a little girl I didn’t like it. It’s not the flavor so much as it is a couple of other little things. For instance, I can remember going on Sunday picnics with Nanny and Granddaddy in the park. Of course, Nanny didn’t use paper plates and cups like everyone else. No, she packed her second best china, flatware, and glassware. No hamburgers or hot dogs either. The menu consisted of fried chicken, potato salad, bean salad, sliced tomatoes, sometimes macaroni salad,  (That’s macaroni, not pasta. If it had been called pasta, it probably would have been considered a foreign food.) Sometimes she brought along mac and cheese. There was always watermelon in a big tub of ice.

I learned very quickly that it wasn’t for me. We didn’t eat with a fork: it was sliced and held in the hands. The seeds weren’t picked out; you spit them out. I hated the juice running down my face and neck. I hated the juice running down my hands to my elbows. I hated that stickiness on a hot day. The worst part was getting those slimy black seeds in my mouth! Ugh! Disgusting I thought!  And spitting? Under normal circumstances, “little ladies” didn’t  spit. And I was a “little lady” with a lot of tomboy thrown in.

Then I finally reached the age of four or five when I learned I didn’t have to eat everything on my plate to save the poor, starving children somewhere in the world (I never have figured that one out yet. How could my eating turnip greens help the starving masses?) and I also realized that it wasn’t being disrespectful to say, “No thank you, Nanny, I don’t care for any.” That's when I ate my last watermelon slice. And I don’t think I have  missed it at all.

However, I wonder now if I had eaten watermelon and turnip greens, would world hunger have been alleviated?

Note 1: My younger brother didn’t like it either. He said the seeds looked like bugs.

Note 2: I do like cantaloupe. Nanny served it in bite size pieces  we ate with forks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Good Morning!

While my morning walk is not my favorite thing to do, I have come to terms with the fact that it must be done. It’s not only for the physical benefits, but I reduced my monthly outlay for insulin.

This is one thing that makes getting up and out by 6 am a little easier.


This was the view this morning before actual sunrise. Beautiful!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baseball Weekend

Noah had a four game series this weekend. The weather cooled off a lot so I went to all the games.

In the first game, they played to a 0-0 score in the bottom of the seventh inning. The bases were loaded. Noah came up to bat. (For some strange reason, it seems he ends up in some sort of high pressure situation every game. It makes me crazy.) I bet he was sweating bullets. I think it was on the second pitch he hit a beautiful line drive and drove in the winning run. Yea, Noah! He saved the game!!!

They won both games Saturday.

Sunday the weather was still holding. It was very, very hot in the sun, but bearable if you could find shade. They won the first game Sunday. The park is nice because they bleachers are covered, and there was a nice breeze blowing.

The second game was scheduled for 4:30 pm. It was still sunny and breezy, but storm clouds could be seen in the distance. Since the game was being played at the big stadium in the park, the only shade was the inadequate covers above the seating. Jason decided to put up the canopy because the sun was lowering in the sky and the shades didn’t help much. There was a nice breeze up that high. The breeze became slightly under gale force. The canopy was anchored in the front with tie-downs, but the back was untethered. There was nothing to tie the cords to in the back. I was sitting close to the back leg of the canopy and would grab it and hold it when it threatened to flip. Jason said we need some way to hold it down. I jokingly suggested my purse. He teases me about how heavy my purse is. This is his solution to the problem. He’s a funny guy.


From the left: Jason, Mr. Fixit, and Alisa

(Click to enlarge for detail.)

Then, the sky darkened, the temp dropped about 20 degrees, and the wind picked up considerably.What started as a gentle sprinkle became a deluge. The game was called. We finally got everything together and went to the cars. My pants were so wet that there was a puddle in front of my seat.

The rain only lasted a few minutes and the sun shone again. The park didn’t provide a field crew and the pitcher’s mound was too muddy to continue. The game was called. We were ahead 1-0 but it was only the third inning so it couldn’t be called a win. Too bad they didn’t get the sweep.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Red Sky at morning. . .


You can’t see in this photo the bright, bright neon orange of the sun this morning an hour or so after sunrise. It was a sight to behold, as they say. It’s portent isn’t pleasant though. We’ve been having damaging thunderstorms every afternoon. If the saying is true, we will have more today.

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Summer Complaint

It’s hot! I just looked at the outdoor thermometer, and it reads 100 degrees in the shade. Oh, it’s also almost 5:30 pm. Now that’s hot.

In fact, it’s so hot that I have had to alter my lifestyle a bit. I am not a morning person. I usually wake very early, but I stay in bed reading or on the computer until 7 or 7:30 am. It just takes me a while to get moving. These days I have to hit the pavement for my daily (well, almost daily) walk by 6:00 a.m., the coolest part of the day. I have to admit that it’s quite pleasant to be out before sunrise and not having to deal with the sun in my eyes. (Bright light bothers me a bit now.) No one else is out except the people who leave for work early, but the birds are very chirpy early in the morning. So it’s me, the birds, and an audio book. Not bad.

Mr. Fixit had a scan this morning. We’ll get the results this coming Friday.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I Love YouTube!

I’m still on my “cozy” mystery kick. Yesterday’s selection featured a yarn shop setting. I found a knitting term that I had never seen before. At 3:00 am I was researching “umbrella swifts.” After a short time I realized that I recognized the item, but I hadn’t known the name. It a mechanical yarn winder. I had seen them somewhere but didn’t know how they worked.

Next stop—YouTube. There are several videos instructing us  of limited  knowledge the proper use of umbrella swifts and yarn winders. There are even instructions for constructing one. I made sure to show Mr. Fixit that one. I hope he got the hint.

YouTube is one of the wonders of the internet. I don’t care what you need to learn how to do, someone has done it before and made a video.

Our older son works in the R & D in computer stuff (that’s a technical term), but he has several rental properties and has flipped a few houses. He does most of the never-ending repairs and remodeling. I asked him once, “How do you know how to do all this electrical and plumbing work, laying floors, car repair, etc., etc?

His reply, “YouTube.”

It’s an absolute wonder!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Odds and Ends from My Camera

Occasionally I’ll see something and think, “I could use that as blog material.” I grab my camera and take a photo. Nine times out of ten I’ll delete the pics without using them. Today I was checking to see if there was anything worth saving on the camera—there wasn’t much. But there two that I decided to use.

My printer and I had a run-in the other day. For several days I had been receiving alerts saying that any ink spraying from the cartridge could be cleaned up with a wet cloth. I couldn’t understand why I should be getting that particular alert. I had no ink spray. I checked the inside and saw nothing. It’s pretty dark in there. After a few days I grabbed my handy-dandy purse flashlight and took a better look. Yes, indeedy, there was black ink. Following the instructions, I got a wet paper towel and proceeded to put my had inside the printer. I was working blind. When I pulled my hand out, it was covered with black ink. “No sweat,” I thought. “They said it would clean up with water.” I immediately washed my hands, transferring some of the ink from my left hand to my right.

Guess what. It’s can only be cleaned up to a certain point. This is the way my hand looked for a couple of days. I looked like a mechanic who had just finished removing the head gasket for a car. It took a couple of days  to disappear completely. I walked around for those few days  with my hands fisted.squirrel 001

The printer is now awaiting a trip to the electronics bin at our recycling center.

A couple of months ago while I was having breakfast on the deck, I saw a squirrel with a white tail running down the street. It was unusual. I saw one more time another day, but then it disappeared. I didn’t have my camera with me either time. My phone doesn’t zoom enough to have used it.

This morning as I was walking, I saw it again. I managed to get into the house, get the camera, and get back outside before he disappeared again.

squirrel 003 

Click on the photo to enlarge it enough to see my little furry friend. I should have cropped the dead peonies at the bottom of the picture. Oh well.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Media Priorities

Today in our little town, Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his plans to run for President. It was quite a big deal in here in Central, SC. Our local media provided coverage of the event.

While I am not a supporter of Sen. Graham, I was a little surprised by our local NBC affiliate’s web page just after the announcement was made. The first story listed was not about a South Carolinian running for the office of President, but it was an article about Caitlin Jenner (once known as Bruce Jenner) and his reassignment surgery. As a matter of fact, Sen. Graham was the third story.

While I am not a supporter of Sen. Graham, I do believe that his announcement was a bit more newsworthy than that of the personal life of a former world class athlete.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Adventures in Dentistry

Yesterday I went to the dentist for two more fillings. This visit went better than the first.—no facial bruising, no abrasions on the inside of my cheek, and no soreness in my jaw. Other than the fact it cost almost $400, it went quite well.

One more filling and I’ll be done. I’m skipping June (Mr. Fixit has scans scheduled); my next appointment is in July.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Word of the Day

Per Dictionary. Com



1. ragged, unkempt or dilapidated


1. A person in  tattered clothing; a shabby person


1. “He seemed to fit the tatterdemalion apartment perfectly: his dark clothes threadbare, his beard unkempt, his shoes cracked . . .”

2, “To my ear, though, the prose has the tatterdemalion feel of something hooked together by commas, tacked together by periods.”

I love this word, but I don’t believe I will ever be able to fit it into a conversation. If anyone else uses it, I’ll know the definition and feel smug.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Jason found a great app for me to use on the tablet. It’s “” I love it! One of its feature is “The Word of the Day.” It  has added points when I play word games on-line.

This morning the word is “bafflegab.” While I guessed the meaning (confusing or generally unintelligible jargon), I have never heard it used or seen it in print. I don’t think it will come up in a word game either, but it’s a fun word to know.

I noticed something this morning that I’d never noticed before. There is the little speaker indicating audio. It pronounces the word, too!

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Great Sports Weekend

Some people watched the Kentucky Derby; some watched two adult males trying to injure one another. I watched  sports that put these spectacles to shame.

Levi, our youngest grandson, has been having problems with his bat this season. He was really bummed about it, I think. He is really a natural athlete, and he has big brother, Cole, to give him pointers on playing the game. He is a good, alert defensive player. He came up to bat and hit a home run!!! You should have seen his face and the way he ran those bases. I knew he could do it, but I think he needed that hit to give him back his confidence.

At Owen’s soccer game, he broke his “sort of” dry spell. He has scored several times this season, but it had been a few games since he had a goal. He made one and that made him feel good. He was playing great defense, too. His team has really improved. The final score was 11 to 2 in our favor.

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.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Eastern Bluebird PhotoYellow-bellied Sapsucker PhotoAmerican Robin PhotoImage result for cardinal bird

Even though our weather forecasters are predicting 4 to 6 inches of snow this evening, I spotted these kinds of birds while I was walking this morning in 35 degree temperature. Of course, robins and cardinals stay here through the winter. The bluebirds disappear in winter but I don’t know that they migrate. The yellow bellied sapsucker is a welcome sight. They have been scarce in our yard since the maple tree was cut down.

They are a nice reminder that spring is near.

(Bluebirds are my favorites.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015



Today’s World

Are we seeing a return for ethical behavior in our world? It seems no one lies anymore, they simply “misstate*.” It lays my fears to rest because I had come to the conclusion that politicians and bureaucrats were all liars. Maybe the world isn’t going to hell in a hand basket after all if no one lies.

*VA Secretary Robert MacDonald is to “misstate.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quirks or OCD

When do quirks become OCD behavior?

For the last couple of years I find myself counting. No, I don’t count the lines on the sidewalk, but I realize I’m counting the pieces as I slice celery or carrots.

When I’m knitting I count stitches. I will be in the middle of a run of stitches which I wouldn’t normally have to count. When knitting you will often have sections that are measured by the inch, not the stitch. Sometimes I find that I start counting from the number one in the middle of a row or a round. Oddly, I also notice I sometimes count by 2’s—not every two stitches but for each stitch.

In the morning I divide my egg into eight pieces, the bacon into eight bites, and the toast into four pieces. I take four bites from each little section of toast to cover the taste and texture of the egg and bacon. I take a bite  of egg, bacon, and two little bites of toast and then take a slurp of tea to wash it down. (I really dislike eggs.)I eat breakfast with the efficiency of a robotic assembly line. The remaining two pieces of toast are eaten as I finish my tea.

I don’t want to get into the teeth brushing counting ritual. It’s quite involved and weird. Today I realized I was counting the flatware as I emptied the dishwasher.

Sometimes all that counting makes me nuts. Is this a result of aging or am I losing my mind? Hmmm. . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Part II


Bush in corner of yard – A tad droopy


Trees in back


ice storm 2-15 001

The deck from the back door

ice storm 2-15 002

Ice coating on pines

ice storm 2-15 003

Oak tree in front yard. The limbs on the ground happened a few days ago during a very windy day.

Everything is shut down, and the newscasts report multiple vehicle accidents and 59,000 in South Carolina without power. Ours is on, thank goodness.

The temperature is rising above freezing now, so melting should begin soon. It will freeze again tonight which could cause a problem for me tomorrow morning. I’m schedule for fasting blood work in the morning for an upcoming checkup. Rescheduling appointments can be a problem sometimes.

(Click on photos for more detail.)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weather Report

There is an ice storm in progress outside my window. The grass is covered with ice pellets. We have milk, bread, soda, bathroom tissue, and kerosene. We are charging our electronics, but I don’t have a battery in my laptop. If the power goes out, I will rely on the tablet. The charge on the tablet only lasts a few hours. We’re all set if the power goes off.

We seldom lose power because the lines in our neighborhood are underground. Unless a something big goes, we should be okay.

So here I sit, watching YouTube and knitting. I’m toasty and fed. No problem—unless the pine trees around the house start to topple.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This and That

It’s that time of year again! Noah has a baseball scrimmage game this afternoon. He’s a freshman this year, but the coach gave him a locker, a varsity cap, and a position on the varsity team. He still isn’t sure if he will continue to play on the A team or will play on the B team. His dad is thrilled. (Me, too.)

The really thrilling thing for me is for the last grading period he is ranked No. 1 in his class! That’s NO. 1!!! That really makes me proud. That kid is so smart!

He also has his driver’s learning permit now. I’m not too thrilled about that. It worries me. I remember when our sons started driving. I was scared spitless every time they left in the car. Noah is a strong young man with a good judgment though. I’m sure he will do fine and drive safely.

Mr. Fixit is feeling well enough to be working at the trailer park. He just goes nuts without some place to go and something to do. There is lots of stuff to do around the house, but it isn’t the same for him. It’s okay with me. In fact, sometimes I want to say “Here’s your hat and there’s the door” when he gets so bored and grumpy just sitting around.

He has some scan’s coming up at the end of this month. He has a little cough that is a bit worrying.

I have been knitting. I’m not really crazy about knitting, but there is something comforting and relaxing about doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes after spending what seems to be hours on the phone with drug companies, foundations, and insurance companies, I need that sort of mindless activity. We now have lots of hats and mittens, and I’m working on a sweater now. I like the knitting part okay, but I hate putting all the pieces together when making clothing.

I have been watching my diet and  I continue to walk at least six days a week. My blood sugar is okay, but I seem to have reached a plateau with my weight loss. It’s discouraging to say the least.

A few days I made a pot roast and ate half of a potato. That was the best potato I have ever tasted. I haven’t had a real potato (or pasta) since September.

I have cut my insulin intake in half. Yea! for me and our finances.

I have also been reading a lot. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of cozy mysteries with craft themes. I really enjoy those. Of course, the occasional macabre thriller is necessary. I have also found Louise Penny whose books feature an inspector  with the Canadian Surete. The plots aren’t that exciting, but I do like the characters and the ambience. Also, she has no qualms about letting the continuing, rather likable, characters show their flaws, including petty or even felonious behavior. I’ve almost finished the whole series.

It’s a little cold here today. The hats and mittens will come in handy at the game tonight. There’s no place colder than a baseball field in the winter. On the other hand, there is no hotter place in the summer.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cat Ladies

Back in October a cat started hanging around our house. Half of it’s tail was missing, and it was skinny, so skinny. It sneezed constantly; I thought it was sick. We decided that since we don’t have the wherewithal to properly care for another cat, we would put it in a “No-Kill” shelter. Those shelters won’t accept cats without a feline leukemia test. I made an appointment with out vet and waited for the cat to come to breakfast. It didn’t come. We thought maybe it hadn’t withstood the extremely cold weather we were having. We didn’t see the cat again.

Our neighborhood has about 30 houses, and among those 30 houses are three of us “cat ladies.” That is, on my end of the circle, I feed strays. The other end of the circle is home to two more cat ladies. The strays in our neighborhood was actually lucky, I suppose.

One morning as I was walking one the ladies stopped and asked me about a cat with a short tail that she had been caring for. I told her our story of the cat. She said the sweet little cat came to her house and it was now a member of her household. She had taken it to the vet to have it checked and discovered that the cat had no diseases, but required facial surgery to correct the sneezing problem. The face had been injured and pieces of bone were lodged in its nose.

This morning as I was walking I saw a gray and white cat. It was fat and sassy looking. Then I noticed a marking that I recognized; it was the cat that we almost adopted. The change in the cat is absolutely remarkable! Even it’s face has been repaired. (It had a dent between its eyes from its injury.)

Mrs. Cat Lady No. 1 has my thanks and admiration for being a generous, loving “Cat Lady.”

Cat Lady No 2. is great, too. Every morning the cats gather for breakfast at her house.

Monday, February 2, 2015

ScI-Fi Becoming a Reality?

Today when the pharmacy called to tell me my prescription was ready for pickup, they also told me the price. It was more than double of what I usually pay. Mr. Fixit has had one regular prescription filled since the beginning of the year and it was more expensive that it normally was also. No one mentioned at the pharmacy why it was more and we didn’t question.

When our old insurance company that administered our Part D discontinued the plan, we had to find another insurance provider. We chose one of the largest and best known in the country. The agent who sold us the coverage said that there was no deductible. I was a little doubtful on that one.

When I heard the price I call the insurance company, and the rep on the phone said that the prescription should have been priced at $3.00 a month. The doctor had ordered a 90 day supply. She said that I should ask the pharmacy about the price.

As soon as I requested the prescription, the pharmacy tech said that the insurance would not cover the medication and suggested that I talk to another person who handled insurance questions.

When that person brought up my record on the computer, it indicated that the insurance company (at least, I think it is the insurance company and not the pharmacy) required prior authorization to cover part of the cost  because. . . Ready? Because I am over 64 years old. I said, “Are they going to let me die because I’m 64?”  I am 69 and I have never had that problem with this, or any, medication before. The med is widely used to control blood sugar levels. I take the generic form, and the cost without insurance is $20.00. We are not talking about a very expensive product.

I can’t explain how it felt to be told I am too old for medication. I feel like a character in the movie, “Logan’s Run.” In that movie everyone over the age of 30 were sacrificed to preserve the delicate balance of population and resources. I haven’t even used my 3 score and 10 yet. I have never felt so useless. Are those of us over the age of 64 simply a burden on the rest of society? Am I not worth the medication I must have to complete my life in some physical comfort?

I wonder what the reaction of Ronni Bennett (“Time Goes By”) would be if this happened to her. I am simply at a loss.

Clarification: I was told that in order to get a refill on this medication, there had to be "prior authorization." I don't know why the prescription itself was not "prior authorization." Also, the pharmacy did an override (whatever that is) and I did receive the medicine. The pharmacy faxed my doctor to get the "authorization." Knowing my doctor, that should happen about two weeks after I need a refill in three months.

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.