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.