Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Day, Another Year

As humans, we aren't ever satisfied.  We always are looking to 'change' and 'do better.'  Tomorrow is a new year and many people will make resolutions.  And most of those will be broken before the month is done.  I don't make resolutions--I can't deal with the guilt of broken ones.  ;)

I don't know if it is because I'm getting older, but holidays and 'special occasions' don't hold the same fascination for me that they did when I was younger.  I don't know if there is one holiday that we celebrate that isn't man-made, so why is it that they are so special?  If one doesn't have family or friends to celebrate with, the day is the same as any other--there is nothing to make one day different from another.  Anniversaries, of one form or another, are different--THOSE are days when we commemorate something and aren't arbitrary in any way.  But, the specialness of those days even begins to weaken when you've celebrated the same day for decades--after a while, the only ones that are special are the 'biggies.'

Years ago, I used to come close to having a panic attack on New Year's Eve--I always worried about 'what the new year would bring.'  Everything was an unknown and frightening.  I would wonder what the year would bring to me:  Death?  Birth?  Health?  Illness?  Financial gain or financial ruin?  The good/bad things that could happen were endless and I worried.  These days, I know there is very little I can do about what will take place--and why worry about something you may not be able to change?  Of course, I know I can do SOME things to steer my future in one direction or other, but for the most part, what happens will happen.  So, why worry?  And so New Year's Day becomes just another day to me.

To all I wish a happy, prosperous, healthy, and blessed new year.  I can only pray this comes to be.

Friday, December 30, 2011


For the time being, at least, I'm sticking with Facebook.  It certainly doesn't seem as if Google+ has gone anywhere and I don't know anyone who hangs out there anymore.  (Actually, I forget that I even have an account.)  I really don't know why I'm staying with Facebook--most of the people I have 'friended' are terribly annoying and not anyone I'd be around in real life for any length of time.  But I stay, mainly because I find things out I wouldn't any other way.  (AND for the people who are dear to me.  :))  So, here are some of the whack-a-doodles I am friends with:

One of K's nephew's daughters has friended me.  I don't ever remember seeing this girl in person--ever.  She is about the age of The Oldest and lives in California.  With the amount of things she says she has done, she should be about 64 years old.  I can't believe anyone can be quite as accomplished as she claims to be and not be older--or rich, or a celebrity.  If you can do all she supposedly has done at such a young age, you have to have a lot of money--something I am sure she doesn't have.  For several months, she posted every single tornado watch/warning that was issued in the US.  I don't know why, I don't ask.  (If you don't think this cluttered up my timeline...)  She says she auditioned for one of those singing contest shows--while she didn't win, she got praised up the wazoo and encouraged to try again.  She knows three languages, other than English.  She acts, sings, and goes to school--with a double major--all while raising a few children (not sure how many) as a single mother.  (I'm not sure if she works--doesn't seem like it.)  And these past few months she has been deathly ill and the doctors can't find out what's wrong with her.  (I don't believe it is a recurrence of the cancer she has had twice.)  So, is this girl interesting and accomplished, or just a complete and total whack-a-doodle?  I would like to ask my sister-in-law, but how do you ask someone if their grandchild is a head case?  If I'm wrong about the girl, I'm sorry, but I kind of have a feeling she is 'not all there.'

Now, my family is more than well represented on Facebook--and most of THEM are people no one wants to know.  My cousin's daughters, for example.

The youngest of the two girls hasn't been on Facebook as much these days--she now lives with her two boys and no computer, since the divorce.  (I can't understand how her ex actually kept her around as long as he did.)    While she was married, all of her time was spent on Facebook, complaining and belly aching over EVERYTHING.  She hated her life and her step children.  And it didn't seem as if she actually did anything around her house--and yet, she complained about the way things were done.  (It sounded like her ex did most/all of the cleaning and cooking.  She only looked after the boys--the kids she gave birth to.)  Even though she is a presence, once again, the fact that she only can post via cellphone has kept her off of Facebook as much as she used to be.

The oldest of the girls is the biggest drama queen in the world.  And she airs the family laundry every chance that she gets.  These days she has been bad-mouthing her in-laws and her husband's best friend so badly that I'm surprised anyone is still talking to her.  (Not too long ago she berated her father's family, so she is an equal opportunity lambaster.)  She just gave birth to her sixth child and we had to 'listen' to all of her health issues daily--and this is because the doctors told her to never get pregnant again.  She decided to ignore the medical profession.  I believe my Oldest must have the patience of a saint, because she is quite close to this girl--and I can't understand how.

One of my non-relative friends is very dear to me, but he is living vicariously through his kids these days.  He keeps posting about his sons' band and the gigs they play.  I couldn't get through one of the videos he posted, so I'm not too sure how good the kids are, but they really seem like brats to me.  (I've never met them, but some of the things he writes...)  Anyway, I'm just happy that they live far away because I'm not sure I could figure out how to say "No, thank you." to going to watch the kids perform.

Of course, one of the things that gets me the most are the conversations some people have to post--these are conversations with their very young children that THEY find hysterical and interesting.  (NO ONE who reads this blog is implicated here!!!)  Many times I have read one of these and wound up shaking my head, asking myself "WTF????"  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Not EVERYONE thinks your kids are cute/amusing/geniuses.  I'm happy YOU think they are, but just keep it to yourself, please.

I got on Facebook because of my girls--I figured it would be a good way of keeping in touch with what is going on in their lives.  Come to find out, The Youngest doesn't post often to Facebook--I believe she does most of HER communicating through instant message and texts.  Now, The Oldest shares quite a bit--and a lot of the time she shares too much.  Today, she commented on someone else's status update and I found out something I wish I didn't:  It looks as if she is planning on getting pregnant again next year.  There are no words...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Time


It is 3:00 AM on Christmas morning.  The Youngest and her husband and K are sleeping.  The cat is curled up next to the heat run, sleeping.  I have the crock pot cooking our Christmas brunch and I am just enjoying the quiet, by myself.  This is my time.

For the last 48 hours I have been running myself ragged.  I did laundry, last minute cleaning, shopped, cooked, wrapped presents, and about a dozen other things.  I didn't, however, relax or do much sleeping, but I knew my time would come.  And it has.

On Christmas Eve evening, we went to celebrate the season with dear friends, something that has become a tradition in the last ten or so years.  We ate, drank, made merry, and exchanged gifts.  Afterwards, we drove through the silent streets of our town and looked at Christmas lights.  While most were pretty to look at, sadly, there were far more disastrous attempts than beautiful displays.  But, that's the way it is every year.  Too many people begin decorating with a very good idea and then wander off into some surrealistic, modern art sort of thing that makes absolutely no sense--I think they suffer from adult attention deficit disorder.  That is my only explanation for some of what we saw.

When we got home, the four of us opened the gifts we had for each other.  I was pleased to see how more than a few of the gifts we gave turned into some of the favorites of all time.  Gift giving can be such a hit-or-miss affair, that it is great to hit a home run--and I believe I/we hit several.  K and I got a couple more things for the hockey cave as gifts and I got another Nativity--this time, an all-animal-shaped-like-bathtub-rubber-duckies one.  I will have to post a picture of it before I put the decorations away.  And once again, K outdid himself in the jewelry department and gave me a pair of gorgeous diamond stud earrings.  Yeah, I think I'll keep him.

A little bit of time was spent admiring/studying/playing with the gifts we received, but in due time each one of us began to lose our zip.  Conversation grew scarcer and yawns became more plentiful.  I put the crock pot going and the rest of the family settled for some much needed sleep.  And I came to the computer room to be alone.  I have always loved the time when everything is done and I can sit by myself and relax.  It is such a peaceful time and a relief when I get to this stage.  Having grown children allows me to 'be done' so much sooner than when the girls were at home.

In the next week or two, I will put the Christmas decorations away and begin my time of being content.  Winter will bring that out in me, as I stay in more often and don't feel any pressure to leave the house--after all, NO ONE would go out in the snow if they didn't need to.  Sitting in the corner of the couch, drinking a hot mug of tea and watching a hockey game or old movie or reading a book will become my activities.  I will attempt to do all of the 'after Christmas' things that I vowed to do only a week ago, but will probably only accomplish one or two of the tasks.  And I will ignore any guilt feelings I may get--until next year at this same time.

For now, my short term plans are to get through the last of the holiday duties:  the Christmas meal.  The evening will be spent visiting with The Youngest and her husband and then they will leave on Monday for home.  K will go back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and then on his week off we will take a day trip to do some after-Christmas shopping.  Finally, I will be able to put all of this holiday stuff to rest for another year.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, food, and festivities.  And I wish a blessed, healthy, and happy New Year to each and every one of you.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's Talk Meds

We are told that generic drugs are no different from the brand name ones.  I guess this is true, but in at least one instance, this is not--and doctors and pharmacists agree.  When someone has hypothyroidism, the drug of choice--or the name brand drug of choice--is Synthroid.  Over the years, the patent on Synthroid has expired and we now have quite a few different meds to take care of this condition/disease.  After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was put on one of the meds to control my condition and over the course of time, things got better.  I was relieved when we got to the dose I needed and everything was stabilized--and it all came to pass with the drug Levoxyl, a generic thyroid supplement.  All was going along fine until the day I went in to pick up a refill of my meds and the pills looked MUCH different from what I was used to.  Levoxyl looks like this:

And I was given pills that looked like this:

Same color, VERY different shape.  But, I was told both pills/meds are equivalent.  And I was okay with that until I had my next blood work done--and my blood levels were unstable, again.  It took me another round of blood work a few months later before I realized that my new problem was tied to the change in my meds--and I was correct.  After discussing this with my MD, he prescribed Levoxyl, no substitutions, and my levels have been stable ever since.  Another lesson learned.


A few months back, K saw his doctor and pointed out a bit of a rash/dry skin that he had behind his knees. It was diagnosed as a kind of dermatitis and a prescription for a lotion was written.  K filled the prescription and his rash was taken care of in good time.  The other day, he brought the bottle to me and asked if I would order a refill for him.  The name of the medication--mometasone--seemed familiar to me, so I had to look it up.  As it turned out, K's lotion for his rash is the same medication that I use as a nasal spray for my sinuses, Nasonex.  Same drug, different forms, for two quite different problems.  Interesting.


A while back, I wrote about a friend of mine who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.  He ultimately decided to have a bone marrow transplant and has had some set-backs and side-effects from it.  He wasn't tolerating a medication called tacrolimus--which is given as an immunosuppresant agent for those having transplants--very well and the doctors were needing to do some adjustments.  The name of the drug sounded very familiar to me, but I put the thought out of my mind.  After all, I knew of no one else that had received a transplant of any kind, so I shouldn't be familiar with the drug.  And then one day, I reached for one of my many lotions/potions/ointments that I use for the psoriasis I still have and there was a tube of Protopic, which is the ointment form of tacrolimus!  I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, as psoriasis is an auto-immune disease and the immune system needs suppressing in order for the skin to heal, but it stunned me, nevertheless.  It's hard to wrap your mind around two such different uses for the same drug. 

With these three examples alone, I can't imagine what it takes for doctors to 'get things right.'  And 'get things right' is what they do more times than not.  While their mistakes can, and often do, have life-ending consequences, it still is a wonder that more mistakes aren't made.  Whenever I think about it, I have a new respect for doctors and all that they know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Make Up For The Last Post...

As I surf the interwebs, there ARE times when I actually will read the comment sections of certain stories.  I don't know WHY I do this, as I usually just get frustrated and angry by the idiots who comment.  Yet, I read.  (I'm afraid I might have masochistic tendencies.  ;))  One thing that you find out very quickly is that there are only a few comments that get recycled over and over again.  And Linda Holmes over at NPR noticed this same thing when it comes to the inevitable 'year-end' lists we'll be inundated with shortly and wrote an article about it:  'The 20 Unhappiest People You Meet In The Comments Sections Of Year-End Lists.'

Here are a few of my 'favorite' commentators:
 7. The Self-Punisher. "I always hate your tastes, so I knew this would be a miserable and useless list before I decided to click on it and read the whole thing, and now I know I was right."
 11. The Person Who Thinks You Were So Close. "I like all these picks, but you ranked The Descendants as your #4 and Martha Marcy May Marlene as your #5, and they should be the other way around. FAIL."
 14. The Minimalist. "These blow."

Too funny!  For the rest of the list, go here.

The Gifts of the Season: Depression and Guilt

The concept of loving the Christmas/holiday season is so foreign to me, it may as well come from another planet.  I don't understand people who really love the holidays.  As far back as I can remember, this time of year has always left me depressed for one reason or another.  Since being a little girl, nothing about the season has ever met my expectations--I've always felt as if 'something' was missing.  Even though I have never experienced the perfect Christmas, I'm at a loss to explain what the perfect Christmas is like.  I guess the Rockwell painting images are what I expect, but not consciously.  If I could KNOW what I want, it would be so much easier to try and replicate it.  Alas, I haven't found the answer to what a perfect Christmas is.

Becoming an adult just made me more determined to make things perfect for myself and those around me.  I did my best to give/make the perfect gifts and decorate my house perfectly.  I baked and cooked and crafted until I couldn't see straight.  I never wanted my kids to know how I felt about the season--and I think they didn't until they grew up.  Still, each January left me more depressed than the year before, as I couldn't come close to what I wanted--even though I didn't know what I wanted.  On top of not getting what I 'wanted,' I also felt like a failure because 'something' was always missing.

For years we went 'back home' for the holidays--and we brought all of the gifts for the kids and everything else we needed for 'the day,' to The Parent's house.  We spent part of Christmas Eve with the in-laws, went to Christmas Eve church services, had gift opening at The Parent's, and completed everything with the kids getting their Santa gifts on Christmas morning.  And throughout the time I spent there, I had to try and make everyone happy.  We didn't spend nearly enough time with the in-laws as we should, because The Mother didn't want us to enjoy ourselves away from her.  I felt disloyal if I had a good time with the in-laws, so I suppressed any happiness there and limited my time with them.  Of course, spending most of my time with The Mother didn't help me, as she has ALWAYS been depressed during the holidays.  Not only couldn't I make everything good for myself, I couldn't even do for others.  Just another example of me not being good enough.

I finally decided that it was too stressful for me to keep going home for Christmas, so we started to build our own traditions in our own home.  This should have been a good thing, but I was then placed under so much guilt for not spending time with family, that I couldn't get out from under it.  I not only was dealing with The Mother about this issue, but the in-laws, as well.  And the beauty part of all this was that K was the one who would always tell me in November that we were staying home, and so that is what I told everyone.  Of course, as the middle of December rolled around, he would always bend to his mother's will and change his mind.  He didn't tell her this, usually, but it was made very clear that we COULD go there if only I would agree.  Of course, by that late in the season, it was too much MORE work to change all of the plans, so we stayed here and I piled a bit more guilt onto myself.

Things might have been less depressing for me if the rest of the family would have come to US every few years.  But we were the ones who had to haul our two kids, luggage, gifts, etc, etc, etc, 100 miles when it would have been so much easier for The Parents--for example--to come here for a few days.  After all, there was just the two of them.  But no, they wouldn't do it.  And so I took us out of the family circle and made us outsiders.  MORE guilt.

Throughout all of the preparations and celebrations, I was a complete and total bitch--especially to K.  I worked myself to death and was so sleep deprived that I probably was a danger to myself and others.  Of course, I couldn't take out my frustrations on The Mother--heaven forbid--or any other family members, so K got it full-force.  And I KNEW what I was doing as I did it--and couldn't stop myself.  I had such inner turmoil that it was a wonder I didn't sprout a dozen bleeding ulcers every year.  The wicked witch of the west was a pussy cat compared to me.  I don't think I can EVER properly do enough for him to make up for how I was--and I still feel guilty.

Many years have now passed and I'm not dealing with the same things as I once did.  I see how circumstances shaped my perspective on the season and I know what I did right and what I did wrong.  And I still can't shake the hatred and depression.  Oh, I put on a good enough act--even though most people KNOW how I truly feel--but if I'm smiling at this time of year, rest assured it IS all an act.  I'll play along just so others won't be brought down to my level, but I am never truly comfortable around people who are having a good time--it just seems foreign to me.  And as soon as it is all over, I will face my disappointment once again, because this year won't be any more perfect than any other.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Great Idea

I finally finished my Christmas decorating.  I have to take that back--I'm ALMOST done with my Christmas decorating.  However, I have so few things left to do, that, in essence, I AM done.  I kept everything much more simple than I usually do--much less decorating happened this year than in the past.  I just don't have the energy to go all-out these days.  Maybe next year...

Anyway, I did one thing that I haven't done before--simply because I never thought of it.  One day while surfing Pinterest, I came across the following picture:

I LOVE this idea!  Simple, yet fitting in a bibliophile's home.  And I KNEW I had to make my own book tree. My biggest problem is lack of floor space, so I knew I wasn't going to make the tree as tall as I would like, but I did my best.  And this is what I came up with:

Not too bad, hey?  The tree topper was given to me for my birthday by my very best friend--adorable!  Next year I will figure out a way to make the tree at least five feet tall--and maybe even taller!  I just have to figure out where I can put it.  And with the amount of books I own, I could do an entire FOREST of book trees.  Now, that is something I would like to see.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cue the Pity Party (Updated)

Every year around this time, I have to have myself a pity party.  I never know what exactly will trigger it, but I watch and wait to see what sets me off.  Today, I got my cue for my pity party.

My husband is generous to a fault--and that is one of the reasons why I fell in love with him.  Sometimes, though, I wish he were a bit more selfish.  And he is what caused me to feel sad tonight. 

Way back when, K scheduled vacation time for Christmas.  The Youngest and her husband have been coming home and spending Christmas with us for several years and had/have every intention of doing so this year as well.  But, good intentions don't always turn into good things--or don't in a timely manner.  The S-I-L is one of the 'low man on the totem pole' employees where he works, so he isn't in a great position to dictate when he will take time off.  For the last few years, he has used his lack of asking for off-days during the year as leverage to get holiday time, but he doesn't feel as if he should push it this year.  So, here we are, a week before Christmas and we STILL don't know if the kids will be with us for 'THE day.'  As nerve wracking as this is, I can live with not knowing until the last minute.  I'm not going to do much more if they show up, than what I would do, anyway.  I will find out in due time if we will have company, or not.

Now, back to K.  He is one of the top 10(?) in seniority where he works.  (He may be even higher on the list due to retirements, but whatever.  He is HIGH on the list.)  He can pretty much dictate when he wants to take time off and get it--which is a perk for having been there as long as he has.  My husband certainly doesn't abuse his position, however.  For example, he makes sure (as much as possible) that he doesn't ask for time off during hunting season, so that the ones who DO hunt can have THEIR time.  He also is very good about giving up holidays to people with young families.  We don't do big 'family' visits for Easter or the Fourth of July, etc, so he will gladly work and let someone else have the time.  And this year he has made it known that he will give up his Christmas vacation if we don't get The Youngest here.

Every few days, K has been asking me if I have heard whether the kids are coming, or not.  Tonight I told him that I STILL don't know what the plan is and he told me that he will be canceling his vacation when he goes back to work--that the time is winding down and a decision has to be made.  He is doing this so that one of his co-workers--a guy who is at the plant as a bit of a second-career sort of thing (basically NO seniority, whatsoever), with grown children (that he sees often during the year), and no grandchildren--can have the time off to be with one of his kids, who will be here.  So, if our daughter doesn't come home, I will be here, home alone, for Christmas.  And that has caused me to have a pity party for myself.

I know that this isn't the end of the world and that I probably will be relieved to have time for myself, but right now it doesn't feel very good.  This very possibly will be as low-key of a Christmas as we have had in quite some time.  And so, I will wallow in pity for a time and then pull myself up, slap myself upside the head, and say "What the F*** is your problem, woman?"  And I know that all will be right with the world.

UPDATE:  Just spoke with The Youngest and they WILL be here for a couple of days next weekend.  They won't get here until Christmas Eve and have to leave the day after Christmas, but they will be here.  What a difference 24 hours makes!  :)  (And K's vacation will stay in place--thank goodness he wasn't at work today to change things.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

War Between The States

We don't often see wars between two states, but for some reason or other, Michigan seems to be a participant (possibly) more than other states.  The most famous war is the one with Ohio, but these days, we are fighting with Wisconsin.  And Wisconsin fired the first shot.  Here is the story...

First, this is what Michigan looks like:

Of course, the thing that everyone thinks of most when they think of Michigan, is the shape of the Lower Peninsula:

The shape makes one think of a mitten--plain and simple.  And we who live here will use our hands to point out different places in the state, just as if we were holding maps--even using two hands so that we can show places in the Upper Peninsula, too, like this:

This concept is so famous and common, that no one could possibly think that any other state would take and run with it for THEIR state.  But we underestimated Wisconsin.

Here is Wisconsin:

Here is Wisconsin next to Michigan:

So, which state looks like a mitten?  Well, Wisconsin thinks THEY do and have a tourism ad campaign going on in which they use a mitten-shaped Wisconsin:

To say that some Michiganders are not pleased, is putting it mildly.  There are YouTube protest songs and there are 'explanations' as to how Wisconsin CAN be seen as having a mitten shape:

Anyway, there are some people who actually have their panties in a bunch over this and then there are the rest of us who are using this as an opportunity to make fun of the 'cheese-heads.'  Bring it on, Wisconsin, we're ready for you!  ;D

Being Green?

Most of my Christmas shopping consists of sitting in front of the computer and letting my fingers do the walking.  It makes my life so much easier to do it this way and I'm much less apt to get cranky if I don't have to deal with people.  With seven grandchildren to buy for, I don't have the energy to figure out what each one would want as a gift.  My solution to the grandchildren gift dilemma is this:  I have them write a list of all of the books they want and then I buy them.  They are happy and my shopping takes very little time.

Some of the books that the kids ask for are out of print, so I do business with the used book stores online.  But, the majority of what is wanted are new books, so Barnes & Noble gets a good chunk of money out of us every year.  And because I had a number of per cent off coupons to use, I wound up placing three separate orders to finish up my B&N shopping.  Yesterday I got a little more than 1/3 of the books I ordered.

These books were sent in three separate boxes--but they were NOT from three separate orders:

Now, to fully appreciate how absolutely ridiculous the difference in the packaging and the contents is, here is a picture of the two side-by-side:

First of all, I have a problem with the amount of packaging, because it is completely wasteful.  As you can see, all of the books could have fit in one box, instead of being shipped in three. This makes little sense to me, as all of these books are sent to the same address, paid for from the same credit card, and the same membership number is used to make the purchases.  Sending so many boxes couldn't possibly be profitable for B&N, as I get free shipping for EVERYTHING because I'm a member.  Ridiculous.

Until these companies can figure out a way to use less shipping material, I don't want to hear another word about how we should do everything to be 'green.'  MY little amount of wastefulness is a drop in the bucket compared to what I'm seeing from the companies I deal with on a regular basis.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Write and Run

It has been a few days, so I thought it was time to do an update.  NOT that my life is exciting or anything.  :)

We'll start back at Black Friday.  I didn't go out--of course--so I didn't know about the excitement until The Oldest called me.  (From 100 miles away.)  Shortly after 3:00 PM that day, several--8+--businesses had bomb threats called in to them.  Walmart, Target, the mall, and several other stores and a hotel, were the targets of the threats.  Everyone had to be evacuated from the businesses and the places were searched.  Nothing out of the ordinary was found, so everything was up and running and back to normal a couple of hours later.  As of today, no one has come forward--or, at least, been given the reward--and we are no closer to knowing who did this than we were two weeks ago.

Some people seem to think that the threats were made by someone attached to the 'occupy' movement.  Now, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but I STILL think it was a bunch of kids at home, unsupervised, with nothing better to do.  It will be interesting to see of the people responsible will ever be caught.  (And I'm not holding my breath that local law enforcement WILL 'get their 'man.'')


We finally have snow.  Over the weekend a storm front moved in and dumped many inches of snow on the area--just not here in town.  We only got enough snow to blanket everything, but that is the way it is so close to the Lake.  Still, I do believe winter is finally here.


Last week Thursday, we did our monthly road trip.  Normally we go on the road on Friday or Saturday, but this month was different.  Our friends were having house guests this past weekend, so we moved our trip up a few days so that we could get together.  I truly am happy that things worked out the way they did--we didn't have to fight quite as horrendous crowds on a Thursday as we would have on Friday, so that was a very nice thing.


I am trying to get myself motivated enough to begin the Christmas decorating.  And I am not succeeding.  But that isn't the worst of it:  I still have to make an effort to get GIFTS bought.  But I have to actually write out a list, first.  To say I'm behind in Christmas preparations, is putting it mildly.


Our truck has finally gotten the 'once over' from the shop and everything that needed to be, is now repaired.  We are giving the truck to The Youngest and her husband just as soon as we can make arrangements to transfer possession.  K decided to pass the truck on, as it isn't worth a bag of rocks if we used it for a trade-in--it IS over ten years old--and our daughter and husband can use a second vehicle.  K was all set to buy a new truck and then he decided against it.  He wants to see how we get along with only one vehicle, so that is what is going to happen.  I understand his thinking:  There are times--most of the time, actually--that the Envoy just sits for days without being moved.  However, I dread the thought of not having a vehicle at my disposal at all times.  I love the feeling of freedom that I get when I know I can leave the house any time, day or night, that I want.  This is going to be very interesting...

And finally, I will close out with another Christmas reference.  

There are some people who don't do the whole 'Santa' thing with their kids.  Some feel as if it is against their belief system, others feel as if it is teaching their children to mistrust the parents because of the lying.  The Oldest and her husband never have done 'Santa' with their kids.  I have no idea why and I don't ask.

Growing up, I was taught to believe in Santa Claus.  And I pretty much believed until I was in 4th or 5th grade.  (EDIT:  Upon further review and thought--and a couple of hours later--I think I found out about 'no Santa' when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade--NOT as late as this.  I know I was a late bloomer in far too many areas, but NOT quite THIS far behind.  ;D)  Then, one Christmas Eve, I stayed awake and heard The Parents putting out the gifts and I finally knew the truth.  But, for a few years before this, I questioned whether the guy was real or not--and I would ask The Mother if he was.  She NEVER lied to me, but told me this, instead:
"You will never get any presents from Santa Claus again if you stop believing in him."

Quite a good way to get around the 'lying' issue, yet a nice way to keep your child young for a while longer.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Going To The Movies

I really enjoyed reading the 'Girl With a Dragon Tattoo' trilogy.  I find that books have so much more to offer than their movie counterparts, but was quite intrigued when I found out that there had been a Swedish version of the book/s made.  Even though I could only find the (first) movie in Swedish with English subtitles, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It was very true to the book and well done.  The US trailer:

After hearing about the Swedish movie, I found out that Hollywood decided to do a US version.  And I cringed.  I was extremely afraid that the actors in the US version would be 'pretty'--not what the characters in the book were described like, at all.  And I had no better feel about the new version when I saw who they cast as Lisbeth:

Rooney Mara
photo by Eric Roffman

Look at that sweet face!  How could she POSSIBLY be the troubled soul that is Lisbeth Salander?  I KNEW this would be a disaster.  And then I saw this:

via W magazine

It looks like they did a good job transforming her into the character--hopefully the girl can act.  We'll have to see just how close to the book the movie stays--THAT will determine whether it is as good/better than the original.  I am very much looking forward to this--so much, that I just may go to the theater and see it there.  I don't do this often, at all, so it better be worth it.  The trailer is very interesting:

So, are there any movies you are looking forward to seeing this winter?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


(This one's for you, Leazwell.  ;))

Friday, November 25, 2011

On Being Related To Santa Claus

For someone who hates Christmas as much as I do, having Santa Claus in my family tree is a real burden.  I am just about the Scrinchiest (combo of Scrooge and Grinch) person to ever walk this earth, so Santa is probably very disappointed in me.

How am I related to Santa?  Let me explain.  It all begins in Scandinavia...

The Sami (Lapps) are the indigenous people of the northern part of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia (Sapmi or Lapland)--basically, north of the Arctic Circle. Traditionally, the Sami have been the people who are reindeer herders, and in some countries, they are the ONLY people who can raise reindeer.  At least one branch of my family is Sami.

Santa Claus is from the North Pole, north of the Arctic Circle.  He also owns and raises reindeer.  So, if Sami live north of the Arctic Circle and are the only people who own reindeer, then it stands to reason that Santa Claus is Sami.  One of the most famous Santa Claus villages is in Rovaniemi, Finland--which happens to be where some of my 'people' come from.  (It stands to reason that he is from someplace in Sapmi--the North Pole doesn't have reindeer.)

Now, let's put this all together.  We see that Santa Claus is Sami.  I definitely have Sami blood.  Santa very possibly comes from Rovaniemi--my people come from there, too.  The only conclusion I can come up with is that Santa and I are related.  He probably is one of my great-great-great-etc-uncles.  Cool.

How can someone who is related to Santa Claus hate Christmas as much as I do?  I guess the answer to that would include enough hours in a psychiatrist's office that s/he could build a summer home, so we won't exactly go there.  And even though I barely can make it through the season, I am proud to claim Santa as a relative.  Jealous, aren't ya?  ;)

***I did almost this exact same post a few years ago, but for the one or two new people to this blog, I thought I would do it again.  Sorry to bore the ones who have read this before.  :)***

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I will begin my Thanksgiving meal tonight--K is working the night shift--and be more than halfway done with cooking for tomorrow.  The turkey will be cooked and I will get my gravy, potatoes, and rutabaga done--all of the most time consuming items on the menu.  It is so much nicer to do it this way, instead of trying to get everything done in one day.

I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I hope you will have a good day with friends and loved ones.  Let me know if you serve THIS for your meal:


However, I'm not too sure I want to know if you serve this:


Bambi Killer

 Our second granddaughter got her buck yesterday.  This is her first year hunting, so she was pretty pumped about it.  She had to call and tell me all about it--AND let me know that she even helped field dress it.  She said it was "GROSS!"  :)  Her older sister got HER first buck the first year she hunted, too.  I guess it is a case of beginner's luck.

I have no problem with people who hunt.  The Husband used to hunt and trap when we were in high school, but has done neither since we got married.  If he had had friends that were into hunting big-time, I'm sure he would have been, too.  But, he just doesn't have anyone that he would go out with.  And I REFUSE to eat wild game, so he would be left with trying to find someone to take the meat if he actually managed to get something. (However, the local food banks accept donations of wild game, so none of the meat has to be wasted.)  The Oldest's family pretty much depends on the meat they get from hunting.  She is hoping that her oldest daughter AND her husband will be successful this year--it will keep them going for quite a long time.  They still have a few days to try.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Can Lead To Obsession

Several weeks ago, I got an invitation.  It was from The Oldest and it was for me to become a member of Pintarest.  If you have never heard of this website, here is what Pinterest has to say about itself:
What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social catalog service. Think of it as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
How do I add a pin? You can upload a file using the Add a Pin button in the menu bar. We recommend installing the pinterest bookmarklet (in the yellow bar above). It's a special button that lets you pin images from any website. 

Okay, that doesn't REALLY tell you what the site is.  It is quite interesting and a real time-sucker, if you allow it to be.  I joined after getting my invite, but didn't really do much there for about a month.  I now try to go there for a few minutes every day.  Why?  Let me try to explain a little more.

First of all, in my humble opinion, 50% of the people that are there are getting married or WANT to get married, as a lot of the stuff is wedding-related.  Another 50% are homemakers that are trying to save money by doing-it-themselves.  THIS is different than the 50% who do crafts just to do crafts.  And then we have the 50% who love food--quite a few of the 'pins' are recipes.  (Okay, so that adds up to more than 50%, but you'd understand if you spent time on Pinterest.  ;))

From my short time on Pinterest, it is obvious that you can find just about anything you want here.  Just some of the categories people 'pin' to are:  Architecture, Art, Education, Gardening, Humor, Outdoors, Photography, and Others.  Members are able to make their own labels for the things they 'pin,' so the categories are unlimited.  For the most part, I go on this site and look at recipes and crafts.  However, I have found a lot of other interesting stuff as well. I know I'm not explaining this well, but only because this site is not easy to explain.

When you go to the home page of Pinterest, you will find something that looks like this:

 Each of those pictures is something that has been 'pinned.'  Many times, you can click on the picture--maybe click twice--and be brought someplace for more information, or the instructions to make, buy, create, whatever is in the picture.  I have found more craft projects and recipes than I ever will have time to do.  And yet, I continue going there for more.

If anyone wants to get an invite to Pintarest, let me know.  Contact me at outofmymind (dot) cmk (at) gmail (dot) com and I will send one to you.  You just might become an addict--or find you have more will power than you ever thought you had.  :D  Then, get back to me and tell me how you feel about Pintarest.  I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this.  Oh, and be sure to follow me if you become a member!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Many Truths

(Sorry this is so small--hope you can read it!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today: Animals

We have far too many chipmunks that make our yard their home.  And it isn't easy getting rid of them.  We can't shoot them, because you can't use firearms of ANY kind in the city limits--and that includes BB guns--and our neighbors actually feed the little rodents, so we have to be careful that they don't find out we ARE trying to eliminate them.  K doesn't want to use poison, because we still have neighbors who allow their cats to roam and he is afraid we might kill THEM inadvertently, so we try and deal the best we can.  While observing the chipmunks, it has come to my attention that one branch of their family tree has short tails.  I'm not sure if it is a genetic mutation or if one of the adults chews the tails off of the babies, but they do have short tails.*  This doesn't even make me give a second glance to the tailless ones any longer, as I have gotten used to seeing them regularly.  However, I DID do a second, third, and even FOURTH glance at this the other day:

Yes, we now have a tailless grey squirrel in our yard.  I am assuming he found himself caught in a trap or got taken down by a cat and was left without his tail.  Either way, he doesn't seem any worse off without it than any of the other squirrels WITH tails are.  The only problem is that I think he may be considered undesirable by the rest of the squirrel clan:  I watched one of our other guys chasing him out of the yard the other day.  It will be interesting to see if he is with us all winter.


I have always loved dogs with loose skin.  Bloodhounds, basset hounds, shar peis, all at the top of my 'would love to have' list.  However, since working in vet clinics, The Youngest has curbed my desire for loose-skin dogs.  She said that they have the tendency to smell bad--the skin folds hold moisture and bacteria and give off an odor--and are very prone to getting bad skin infections.  That kind off turned off my wanting one of these dogs in my home.  However, I can't help but think they are the cutest things ever.  And then I saw this picture:

This little pup is a shar pei/basset hound mix and about the most adorable thing I have ever seen!  He doesn't seem to have quite as many wrinkles as either breed does on its own, but it isn't fully grown yet.  It would be interesting to see how well his skin fits when he is an adult.  Still, I could hug that face for DAYS and not get enough of this little guy!

*The reason I consider the 'chewing off of the tails' scenario is the female cat The Mother had when I was in high school.  For some reason, the cat would chew off all of the whiskers of her babies--and she KEPT them chewed off as long as they were with her.  Weird.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The announcement that many stores will be opening at midnight on Black Friday has caused a shit-storm of controversy.  Many, many people are putting up blog posts and status updates about this.  And then you have the comments.  Seeing as I am usually behind times, I thought I would jump on THIS bandwagon early.  Unfortunately, as I have gotten older, I usually can see BOTH sides of an issue and have no clear-cut opinion either way about this.

First, for the one or two people on earth who don't know:  I REALLY hate the holiday season.  I would be so grateful if I could go to sleep on Black Friday and not wake up until the 3rd of January, just so I could miss most of the hype.  And, as usual, I blame The Mother for my hatred of the season--but what else is new?  ;)  So, with that out of the way, here we go.

Quite a few workers are lamenting the fact that they will not be able to have more time with their families before they have to head for work on Black Friday.  Well, boo-ficking-hoo!  Even today--30+ years with the same company--The Husband is not guaranteed every holiday off.  He works rotating shifts and many years in a row will work on Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's, the Fourth of July--you name it, he works it.  These days, it doesn't matter as much to me as it did when the girls were young, but it can get a bit lonely when you're by yourself 'celebrating' a holiday while everyone else is celebrating with loved ones and/or family.  But, it is something that I have had to live with.  The Husband has a good job and this comes with the territory.  And please, DON'T tell me that, just because you are working at Walmart, you didn't know you would have to work on holidays.  Since almost every store in the known universe is open 24 hours a day, SOMEONE has to work, and you just might be the one holding the short straw.  A lot of people feel that the workers have nothing to complain about, as they at least HAVE jobs--no matter how crappy--they need to suck it up.  And in this economy, that is a valid point.

Of course, the other side has a good argument going for it, as well.  A lot of people wonder why the workers can't have even one day free to spend with their families.  Why are these stores so worried about a couple of hours, that they have to open at midnight?  Don't the workers deserve a little time off?  There really is no sane reason to push the season even earlier than it already is.  This, too, is a valid point.

As old as I am, I remember a time when stores were closed on EVERY holiday AND every Sunday, as well.  (Hell, I remember having only two TV stations and THEY only broadcast for several hours each day.)  If you didn't remember to get bread and milk on Saturday, there was very little you could do on Sunday if you ran out.  Sure, we had a few 'party' or convenience stores, but the choices were extremely limited.  I don't even know if the one store in my hometown had more than a half-dozen quarts of milk delivered at any one time, so you had to get there early if you needed some.  (This same store NEVER was out of hard liquor, beer, or wine, however.  ;))  The ONLY people who worked on holidays or Sunday were nurses and cops and firefighters and any other 'essential' personnel.  (The Husband would have been an essential person, even back then:  He works in an electrical power plant.)  But, we now demand 24 hour shopping and we are having to deal with needing people to work, even on 'traditional' off-days.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if there was a law stating that Christmas shopping/advertising/etc couldn't last more than the two weeks leading up to the actual day.  (I am a big advocate for this same law being applied to elections, but I digress.)  It seems as if people are actually SURPRISED that Christmas falls on December 25th and have to be reminded of it every single year, with all of the ads and hoopla.  Really!?!?!?  These days, you can buy ANYTHING at any time of the year--and often for less than you pay around the holidays.  If you want to buy for Christmas, then do it all year round.  (Good advice--if only I could follow it.  :D)  I honestly see no need for the 'big push' that begins on Black Friday.

And talking about the Black Friday 'sales'...   Has anyone noticed how things are almost beginning to feel like bait-and-switch tactics?  Every year I peruse the ads--as most people do--and am amazed at what are being considered the 'big buys.'  For example, I can assure you that this year one of the big electronic 'must haves' is going to be e-readers/tablets.  With both Amazon and B&N coming out with their latest and greatest, many people are going to be wanting to buy one of these gadgets.  The problem is, you will find Walmart, K-Mart, Target, etc, selling devices such as this for great prices--much, much cheaper than Amazon or B&N sell them for--but the devices themselves will be very inferior to the higher priced 'brand name' ones.  People will be happy to buy one of these devices for less than half the cost of a Kindle or NOOK, but they will be very underwhelmed and disappointed by the lack of features--and they will wonder what the hype about these gadgets is all about.  Without a great deal of research, many people will waste money on under-powered, little-featured items.  And this goes on all of the time on Black Friday.  I've seen this same type of selling of computers and cellphones and music players, etc.  So, I have found that--at least the past several years--there is absolutely no reason for me to shop on Black Friday.  At least NOT in the early morning hours, as many of the deals are still in place in the afternoon and evening.

As one of a very small minority--and despite the inconvenience factor--I don't think I would be all that sad if we went back to the days where stores were closed on Sundays and holidays.  I don't know of many things that I need to get on Sunday that, with a little planning, I couldn't take care of on one of the other six days of the week.  Granted, this would change how we do our road trips, but it wouldn't be that bad.  And to think,

 "In 1965, a Senate subcommittee predicted that by 2000, Americans would be working 20 hours a week with 7+ weeks vacation. (via @JohndeGraaf)"  

 NOT quite what was predicted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking A Side

I don't read any celebrity magazines and I really don't know who happens to be 'in' these days, but I kind of know who Justin Bieber is.  (Unfortunately.)  He sings, I guess, and has a big following among tweens.  I have never heard anything he has sung, as far as I know, and I don't particularly want to.  And I don't think I EVER would have been thrilled with him, even when I was a tween.  But, to each his own.

From what I understand, Justin has been accused of being a very naughty boy.  A woman has accused him of being the father of her child and there probably will be a paternity test involved, as he has denied this.  I have to side with him:  He isn't the father of her baby.  How do I know?  Look at that picture and tell me he knows WHY females are on this earth, or what he is supposed to do with one?  Case closed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


The human body doesn't digest whole green peas well at all.

Monday, November 07, 2011

An Open Letter

Dear Sam's Club Shoppers,

I have to apologize to all of you.  I am sorry that I went into the store with a purpose--and that purpose was to SHOP!  I didn't have my cellphone attached to my ear and I actually paid attention to what was going on around me, so I didn't bash into your leg with my cart.  I didn't go to the store in order to eat my Sunday lunch--and completely block the entrance to the aisle with my cart and fat ass as I stood there scarfing as many samples down as the demo lady allowed.  I didn't go into the store after taking whatever drug that causes total spaciness and stand in the middle of the aisle trying to figure out just where I was--while keeping everyone from being able to move through the aisle where you happened to be meditating.  I TRIED to hear if someone said 'excuse me' and 'pardon me' if they thought they were inconveniencing me (or if I was inconveniencing them)--something far too many of you don't understand.  It seems as if most of you shoppers lose every bit of hearing and considerateness you may have as soon as you hit those sliding doors.  I apologize if that makes me irritable--even though I TRY to not show my irritation.  I'm sorry if my FINALLY getting your attention is looked on as rude, but it DOES take my husband and me almost four hours to get home from the store, so we really want to get done with our shopping in a timely manner.  I realize my home's distance from the store is not your problem, but I don't have the convenience of stopping in after church 'just to pick up a few things,' so I need to 'move it along.'  I don't want any special considerations--I just want aisles I can walk through freely and quickly.  Is that too much to ask?

Again, I apologize if I have crossed over a line with my 'wants' and 'needs.'  I realize my life isn't nearly as important as you seem to think yours is.

Thank you for your time--and I completely understand that you will ignore this.  But I felt I had to try.


A 'Checking In' Post

I couldn't believe it had been almost a week since I actually responded to the comments, but I took care of that tonight.  Part of my problem has been my utter despair/depression with how the Wings have been doing, but it's a little better now.

The team started out the season with 5 wins in a row--and then they followed with 6 losses!  My happiness is WAY too connected with how the Wings are doing, but that's just the way I am.  Thankfully, they won Saturday's game--BIG time--and my world is a happier place.  We'll see how long THIS lasts.  ;)

We did our monthly road trip this weekend and it turned out quite nicely.  I had a good amount of luck in the shopping department--although, I couldn't find a pair of shoes to fit me in the ENTIRE store...GRRR.  (It REALLY sucks to have such a high instep like I do.)  I am very much NOT happy with having to listen to piped-in Christmas music this early in the year, however.  And it is in EVERY. SINGLE. STORE!!!!  We barely are done with Halloween and we have to think about Christmas already.  I think it is a conspiracy to send me to a psychiatrist or something.  I hate the 'holiday' season.

We are experiencing what I feel is an ideal fall season.  Our temps are in the 50s during the day and the 30s-40s overnight.  I could live with this year-round.  And yes, I realize I'm one of an extremely small minority.

K is on his week off, so that should give us some time to do running around locally.  I need to get to the supply-place and buy my carton of paper towels, so that is one thing we can do.  And he has to go back on the roof to do some repairs, so we're hoping the weather holds up and he can do it.  We have to have the roof replaced next year, but these repairs can't be put off til then--the joys of living in an old house.

I don't know if I mentioned it to many of my readers, but we got the word a couple of weeks ago that the power plant where K works will more likely than not be closing by the year 2017.  This SHOULDN'T affect K in any way, as long as the time table is what they announced, but if things go the way they have in the past, the closing could come several years earlier.  This MIGHT affect K's plans to retire.  The big thing that this changes is our plans to build a new home--NOT going to happen now.  So, we are looking at taking care of an old home.  But, at least we have a roof over our heads--not what far too many people can say these days.  Everything will work out as it should, so I won't worry needlessly--maybe.  :D

And finally...

On Saturday night we went with our friends to one of the local Mexican restaurants--a favorite of ours--for dinner.  I SWEAR we didn't have too much to drink--we actually were only just getting into our martinis--and we laughed over the description of "Chimichanga de Queso" in the menu:

We had quit reading before we got to the word "cheese."  :D

Friday, November 04, 2011

Changing For The Better?

Hi there.  Yes, you have gotten to my blog and I have changed things up, again.  Well, actually, Blogger has made it easy for me to change things, so I did.  They have come up with something called Dynamic Views for blogs and I decided to try it out.  So, what do you think?  I like it--kind of a cool, new look.

While it seems to be much easier to navigate through this blog, the reader can change up how s/he explores.  Look up ^ and to the left< and you will see several terms like Classic, Flipcard, Magazine, etc.  You can click on any one of them and give this blog a new look--one which you might feel more comfortable using.  It's kind of fun.  Go on, play around with the different views, I'll wait.

Now I have to ask:  What do you think?  Is this as much fun and as cool as I think it is?  Leave a comment.  (You have to open a post to get to the comment section--might wind up being a pain in the ass.  Hmmm.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Possible Obsession?

A few years ago, while doing some research on the Sami people, I came across a website that sold handmade bracelets.  They are made in Sweden by Sami artisans and use reindeer leather and antlers, along with pewter coils--which the Sami developed hundreds of years ago.  The bracelets are of both traditional and modern design--some of the modern ones use Swarovski crystals, among other elements.  I tend to be more enamored of the traditional styles.  And I knew, very early on, that I wanted several of the bracelets.

The first bracelet that I got is probably the closest to traditional design that the website carries:

The second one I got still has a lot of traditional elements, but has a little bit of a modern feel:

The third one has more of a traditional look, but has an added color:

I was satisfied with having the three bracelets until I saw my fourth on the site a week or so ago:

This one has a silver cross medallion and a silver button, instead of antler.  It is quite plain and the leather is EXTREMELY soft.

All of the bracelets can be worn separately, but they also work very well together.

This picture helps show some of the details better.  They really are beautiful.

I'm not completely done buying bracelets.  I still have one more in mind and it will be much different from the rest.  It will have to be custom made for me and it will be two strips of leather--one red and one white--braided together with a pewter coil.  And of course, it will be the bracelet I will wear with my Red Wings jersey.  I'll post a picture when I get it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hopefully This Is New

I was so sure I posted about this, but I can't find it anywhere in this blog.  But, after putting up the post about dying, I had to add a couple of 'inappropriate things' that I have heard at wakes/funerals.

K had an identical twin brother who died less than a year after we married, as the result of a motorcycle accident.  (He was hit by a guy driving without a license or registration.)  We were in South Carolina and had to rush home for the funeral.  With the sadness of someone so young losing his life, much too much managed to be said in an inappropriate manner.  And before I start to bash anyone else, I will start with what *I* said!

K's boat was getting ready to set sail to the Mediterranean for a several month cruise, when we got the word of his brother's accident.  While he was on the cruise, I was going 'back home' to live so that I didn't have to be by myself in a place where I knew practically no one.  His brother did hang on for a few days before he died, and when we got the call, we decided that I would just move back home (early) when we went for the funeral.  He came home in the middle of the afternoon, after he was told of his brother's death, and we began the task of packing up the apartment.  After breaking our lease and getting packing boxes and tearing down the place, we got a few hours of sleep and were on the road around 4:00 AM.  And then we drove for 22 hours until we were in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, when we finally stopped and checked into a hotel for a few hours.  We got 'home' late that afternoon and K went for a nap, as he had done all of the driving.  He was supposed to go to the funeral home with the rest of the family, to make decisions, but he needed the sleep more.  And this is where I 'stepped in it.'  I made the phone call to K's mother to let her know that he wouldn't be able to meet them at the funeral home. And the words I used were this:  "K can't make it to the funeral home because HE IS SO DEAD!"  Yes, I said it.  If a hole would have opened up and swallowed me, I couldn't have been happier.  More than 20 years later, I mentioned this to K's oldest sister and she said nothing had ever been said about all this.  Whether she was trying to make me feel better or K's mom had been so distraught to have noticed, I'll never know.  So, I can't really blame anyone else for being inappropriate, because I've done my share, as well.

As I said in the 'dying' post, people say wrong things at very inappropriate times.  I understand that it has a lot to do with being nervous and not knowing the RIGHT thing to say, but some people need to keep talking, no matter WHAT they are saying.  And here we have remark number1:
Woman to K:  Wow!  I looked in that casket and it's just like seeing YOU in there!

And for remark number 2:
Woman to K:  I never could tell the two of you apart.  One of you was taller than the other, right?  I guess if he were standing here next to you, I'd be able to tell which is which, right?

Oh. Boy.  But, as I said, people get nervous and talk just to talk--and don't filter anything.   Maybe this is a lesson we all can learn from.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Buying Locally

With the economy the way it is, we are constantly being asked to support our local businesses.  As far as I can, I try to do this, but there are times that it really isn't possible or feasible.  Getting medications from a local pharmacy is something that we are--pretty much--banned from doing.  We CAN use a local pharmacy if we want to, but our insurance company won't pay its part beyond three months, and I have to pay my deductible every month instead of every three months like with the mail order pharmacy.  Going with the mail order pharmacy that the insurance company 'forces' us to use, is really a no brainer on our part--if we want to use our benefits to the fullest and spend less money, we go along with what is dictated.  And this has ALWAYS been a sore spot with me.

When I first began getting my medications by mail, I questioned the safety of the meds.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I was worried about whether I was getting the correct meds, just that I questioned the way they were stored and transported.  My meds (except for Enbrel) come by US Postal Service, so they are put on trucks--NOT refrigerated--and transported from great distances before they reach my mailbox.  It seems as if every place my meds come from are in the south--and I get meds all year long, from the coldest days in winter to the extremely hot days in summer.  In my mind, I can't feel that this is, in any way, good for the medications. While my local pharmacy may be getting medications by truck, they, at least, are getting MEDS and not all forms of junk mail at the same time.  I would think (hope) there are safeguards in place.

I also like the personal touch of shopping locally.  Not only do the people know you, but they quite possibly are your neighbors.  When I was getting my meds from our closest pharmacy, I would be greeted by name, asked how I was doing, and told everything I needed to know about what I was taking.  They were always willing to help before I even asked--and a lot of times problems were detected and solved before I was even aware of them.  Somehow, this just made me feel a bit safer than when I talk to a faceless voice over the phone.

Today, I got another dose of why I hate doing business the way I am forced to.  After nine weeks of not being on Enbrel, I have gotten the go-ahead to begin again.  Last night was my first injection and I only have one dose left, so I needed to call and schedule a shipment, which I did today.  While I probably should have done this last week, other times when I've tried to get more Enbrel when I had two or more doses on hand didn't go so smoothly, so I waited until I was down to my last dose.  First, I was told that they would have to call my doctor to get permission to restart my shipments, as they had been halted.  When I said that *I* was the one that halted them and explained my reason, the woman did agree it was a valid reason to not have to call my doctor.  But then, she said that my prescription had expired and they needed to call the doctor after all.  Now, I'm not sure if I made a mistake, if the pharmacy made a mistake, or if the doctor did, but I began using Enbrel in the month of May and if the doctor writes my prescription every April/May, then I should still have a couple of refills left.  I don't understand what happened, but you can be sure that if I was dealing locally, we could have figured it out.  To say I'm a bit upset is putting it mildly.

So, the pharmacy has to get in touch with the doctor to get a new prescription.  The doctor has to get back to the pharmacy and begin a new, valid prescription.  The pharmacy has to get back to me to schedule a shipment.  THEN, I have to wait for the delivery company to get my meds to me.  When I asked how long this will take, the woman said it will be a week to get the prescription validated, if the doctor gets back to them right away.  Excuse me?!?!?!?!?!?!  Telling her that I only had one dose of medication made her 'assure' me that they will put a 'rush' on this and, hopefully, get it all straightened out in less time.  I can pretty much guarantee that my local pharmacy would have had this straightened out in one day's time.  I'm REALLY not a happy camper tonight.

It's Inevitable For Everyone

Today's topic du jour?  Death.  But really, not in a morbid way.  And why has this topic been on my mind?  Well, The Mother called the other day to get my 'info' as they are updating their wills, etc.  Of course, this made me think about how my feelings about my own death have changed as I've gotten older.

First of all, I don't fear death.  This doesn't mean I WELCOME death or can't wait to die, I just don't fear dying like I did when I was younger.  If I was to die tomorrow, that would be fine with me.  The only thing I fear in terms of dying is to die a slow, painful death--THAT I fear.  But as for death itself, I am not afraid of the unknown because I am sure there is a better place for me when I'm done with this world.

Up until a few years ago, the thoughts of being an organ donor left me cold.  I have always admired anyone who would make the ultimate decision to leave their organs to people who could use them, but the thoughts of my body being hacked up and sent to the four corners of the earth wasn't appealing.  Now that I'm older, I am 100% committed to being an organ donor--provided there is anything on my sad-sack body that is still viable.  After I'm 'gone,' I will have no use for my body or any parts of it, so whoever can use them is welcome to have whatever.

I think one of the reasons why I'm not worried about what happens to my body when I die is the fact that I have decided to be cremated instead of buried.  This, also, was a decision that took some time for me to come to.  I just didn't like the thoughts of my body being burned up.  After thinking about where I would like to be planted for eternity--and not having an answer to that question--I decided to be cremated and have my ashes scattered, somewhere.  We have never been a family that goes to the cemetery to visit on a regular basis, so having a place where my family could go and 'talk' to me just isn't very important.  Besides, I just don't feel as if I need to have my own little piece of real estate for all time.

As for my funeral, I haven't changed my thoughts on that.  I want my closest family members to be able to say their good byes to me while I'm in my casket, but then I want the casket closed for the wake.  It has always bothered me to no end to hear what people say when they look at a body in a casket.

  • "S/he looks so peaceful."  Yes, people look peaceful in their caskets because they are fricking DEAD--and have no worries anymore!
  • "S/he looks like s/he's sleeping."  NO!  The person is DEAD and looks DEAD!!!
  • "S/he looks so good."  Again, NO!  S/he is FRICKING DEAD!!!! Dead is dead and it doesn't look good.

Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stupid things people say.  BUT, I would sit straight up in my coffin and deck someone if I had to 'hear' those sorts of things at my wake.  And I KNOW I would haunt the person who was less than kind to me in life, yet cried hysterically at my wake because 'it is so sad.'  HEY!  If you like/love me NOW and will be sad when I'm gone, let me know NOW and don't cause a scene at my wake/funeral!  If you haven't realized by now, I have very serious issues with funerals and mourners.  I have attended far too many funerals/wakes in my time and I have seen it all, so I have very strong opinions about what I do and don't want to happen at my funeral.

Coming to some decisions has really given me a sense of peace--just as we all should have when it comes to our final wishes.  And this, despite the uneasiness it causes to most people.