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First Father's Day in Arizona & My Annual Heat Rant
This is also the first Father's Day that I won't be able to spend it with my dad. Our daughters and I will be out at the end of the month for Sam's baby shower, but it isn't the same as being there on the day itself.
When we get there-we'll be leaving just prior to my mom's birthday as well.
It's hard not being there. Not that we did heaven knows what, but it's the fact that I'm there that strikes a chord. Dad's 84 now and mom's about to turn 83. When we all somehow carve out a weekend to see each other there's only so much we're able to do.
Dad's memory is getting worse and with mom's hip surgery it's not as if we're all going out for anything more than breakfast at the local and favorite bagel place. The owner's great and so is the staff and going there is a bit like eating in one of our kitchens-homey and comforting.
This time Sam and I decided to take a couple of extra days rather than drive in Friday afternoon and leave after the shower on Sunday. Sarah will be flying in from Colorado, where she's been working hard at training a lot of new employees. Sam and I know that with her being 6 weeks away from delivery and with my back issues we will need even more stops than we did last time. We're hoping to leave Thursday morning before it hits 113 on the car thermometer and arrive by dinner time.
Friday we'll go get Sarah from the airport. I've got to squeeze in a haircut on Saturday. No, I still haven't found a person who can cut my cowlick-laden fine and wavy hair and I'm looking pretty shaggy.
Back to Father's Day. I'm hoping that we'll be able to spend some quality time together. Same with my mom.
By the way, this woman is remarkable-according to her physical therapist she's about a month ahead in the progress of moving from walker to cane-a mere 3 weeks after having 3 screws put into her hip!
I come from a very strong bunch. Thank goodness, I'm sure I'll be grateful for the stubborn strength the older I get.
And now for the annual rant about heat:
I've got none, really. I don't know why-but 80 degrees here feels almost chilly! My thoughts on that are this: When its 113 outdoors by 10 a.m. and the thermometer doesn't dip below a 100 at midnight, 80 really is "chilly".
Good thing too. When Steve saw our electric bill in May it was only $136, but this latest one was double that. He moved up that dial from 78 to 80 in moments. Plus, he's no longer letting us open the blinds before 4 in the afternoon.
I did put the kibosh on his latest "plan" to lower the bill when he told me he was going out to buy sheets to adorn the various sliders and windowed doors, above and beyond the blinds that were there to give us more "insulation".
Really? Did he actually think I'd go along with that plan?????
While I'm feeling blue about not being with my dad on Sunday, I also need to remember that my own husband will be working all day. Our son-in-law deserves a good celebration-without his ability to be a good dad our daughter could not have accepted the opportunity to train the new Wells Fargo recruits, Cheers to you Alex! And we'll do something for dinner!
And one last mention to Adam, I know you'll be working too, but get ready because next year you'll be chasing around Jackson Dale. He'll be about 10 months old by then and crawling into trouble wherever he can find it!
Happy Father's Day to all.
The Three "R's"
Our oldest grandson Dyl has been learning to read. How shall I say this? He can to it just fine-but he doesn't want too. I love to read. Our "inherited" son and daughter and love to read. Most often, we have a book that we are in the midst of devouring.
Now our "birth" children and Steve-they could care less, unless it's something that they need to know. My best example? I have never in 33 years of knowing him have seen my husband sit down with a book of any size. One year when we were pretty "strapped", I heard him mention that Howard Stern had written a book and he like to read it. Whoa! Thinking he actually meant it (I think I was still naïve only having been married about a dozen years at that point); I decided to buy him the book for our anniversary. Till this day, over 2 DECADES later-I've never seen that book in his hand past the moment he unwrapped it.
Dyl seems to be taking that lead.
Since I'm watching this smart but uninspired reader on Wednesdays, I informed him that while grandma did some work he was going to look in our vast "library" and read. The first experience had him: trying to convince me that he finished a book in less than 5 minutes. Trouble was I knew from years of reading to toddlers that each book in this series takes about 15. Then I caught him showing the pages to Lucky. After that, he found my "brag book" of photos and said he'd "read" that book. After nixing the idea "until he actually read a book with words", he decided to explain about his need to get a pet snake and keep bugs.
As you can see the first two "R's" were not going so well. I was NOT getting my article on the need for those of us over 50 to get an exercise plan that is customized for our individual physical frailties (WRITING) and Dyl was not getting any further in enjoying any of the 3 very kid-friendly book lined shelves. (READING)
Shall I move on to the third "R"?
I am a writer. My vocabulary is quite decent. There are times where my husband will kid me about my use of "$5" words. He will always consult with me on spelling and use me as a thesaurus when he needs to send out a business e-mail. But show me a set of numbers or ask me to add anything and I swear my eyes glaze over. Plus, never ask me to do any adding/subtracting that may be of a critical nature with money. I'm awful.
My sister (6 years younger) was a whiz with numbers and always seemed to get the best of me with money our parents told us was for sharing. I would always think she knew about monetary splitting and honestly, I was so disinterested that I'd just let her handle it. Now Dyl does better with numbers. But I'm not going there.
At the end of our first try, I'm trying to figure out if the two of us had any success. I finally gave up on the paid article and wrote this entry and Dylan fell asleep on the couch with Lucky lying on top of him with her head in his neck.
There's always next week.
Hip, Hip-forget the Hooray
Last Friday was yet another medical emergency in this family. Have you been counting?
I, well, have my chronic problems and being rammed by a Silverado truck did nothing to help on that plane of thought.
At the same time, my sister and parents were rear-ended. Thank goodness my parents were shaken but okay. My sister had a concussion and the pain resulting from that.
My sister-in-law found out she had breast cancer and had a successful surgery-but before the poor woman could breathe, we found out that our nephew, her son and only 27, was diagnosed with a rare cancer that is growing around his heart.
He's just completed round 2 of chemotherapy.
Our younger nephew followed his aunt and mom and a car hit him. The driver wasn't much older than him and was obviously higher than a kite. He has whiplash and a minor concussion. Poor guy-his first new car and it's still under debate whether or not to claim it a total.
And now for the explanation of the title of this week's blog-my mom (who's more blind than sighted) was walking her dog and didn't see a tree route, tripped and fell-resulting in a broken hip.
Now my sister and I have been on her to use a cane for years and even after several falls and broken fingers and torn up knees-she has repeatedly refused to even try one.
Well, now she doesn't have a choice. Thankfully, if one is going to break a hip, this was the way to do it. Mom did have to have 3 pins put in, but it was done through her skin with dissolvable stitches inside and a couple of "glue" tapes on the outside. Within 3 days our almost 83 year old mom was walking with a walker. We suggested a part time aide, but like the cane-she's refusing any help.
I won't get into the facts-enough to mention that if she had been using a cane she wouldn't have fallen and broken any limb or bruised anything. This was also quite a horrible experience for our father has only had maybe a week in his married life total where he and my mom weren't sleeping in the same bed. It left him understandably very scared.
For our mom, her stubbornness is both her salvation and her downfall. My guess is that we all have that trait. Me, not so much. I've got enough going on where if someone in the medical profession said, "You know Carine it might be best if you used a cane for stability." I'd do it.
That's just me; my vanity is not that strong anymore. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
It is with great trepidation that I allowed my husband to drag me into our cell phone provider and make me choose a "smart phone". By now you have all realized that I make no effort to hide the fact that I am a complete technophobe.
So there I was in the store and the very nice salesman was trying to explain the differences between the Samsung, the LG and the IPhone.
I tried really hard to not zone out and look glazed over. My husband just kept uttering his mantra of "this way you can learn to text and you can check your e-mails, FaceBook and even the news."
Now, it was well air-conditioned in this store, but I felt clammy and my stomach hurt. Our son said "that's anxiety".
Don't really care what it was-my head also hurt and it was about to explode! The salesman just kept right on telling me about the camera's megapixels, the Pandora capabilities and so much more. Ack and double ACK!
I finally chose the "purple" one. I did have another reason-my husband has the same one in white and my ulterior motive was "If I run into trouble, he could help me." Then I realized something after the 3 hour long purchase-I did NOT have a clue how to dial the phone or retrieve messages.
By the time you read this I will have had the phone for almost 5 days. I set a goal for myself-learn something new about my device every day. It's a good goal really.
Texting is something I'm still not so sure about. I'm using the audio program to form the messages. That's good for quite a few laughs. My first one was to our daughter. She never got it-or so she said.
Then I tried one to our son. He told me to edit things before hitting send. I reminded him that I had already learned my "1" thing by finding the little microphone symbol and getting out the actual text. Editing would have to follow at a later date.
So I gave up my simple phone that I could find my contacts, make calls and retrieve messages as well as take pictures. I never did learn how to zoom in and out on the darned thing.
Sigh, I had just learned how to put it in music mode.
Challenges are good. I think I'll make that my own mantra until I figure out all the things this smart phone is capable of, for that matter, it might prove interesting to see just how capable I'll be able to prove myself to be!
How Much was That?
Does it irritate you when your medical insurance drug plan is nice and gouging you at the same time?
I'm pretty darned irritated. As a person with a chronic "issue" (or several) I have numerous meds that keep me somewhat glued together. It was with annoying interest when I realized, "Wait a minute here-why is our son getting a 90-day supply and my husband (who has the "3" biggies of middle-aged men: high cholesterol, high blood pressure and thyroid) getting a 90 day supply, but I'm only getting a month?"
With my medical cards in hand, I called up our health insurance member phone number and asked, "Hey, what gives here?"
The lady on the phone (there's another really sore point that needs a rant because this company has the most aggravating answering robot ever) nicely said she understood my plight. She looked up the names and dosages and said that I, indeed, was eligible but that they'd have to go through the "specialty mail order" and gave me their number. Before hanging up she informed me that putting myself on the mail list would probably NOT save me more than a couple of dollars.
Great-took me 20 minutes of repeating "representative" to reach her. Anyway, let's just say it was a repeat performance until another nice woman who would understand my frustration answered the phone.
I gave her the list of drugs and politely asked for the pricing difference before I'd trust the U.S. Post Office to get them to me in safe condition.
Please, postal personnel, don't take offense-I'm sorry for that remark but I sent a check to my sister and a week later I received an envelope with no explanation or apology with what were the remains of both it and the envelope I mailed it in, only our address hadn't been shredded.
Now it's true, one person's trash is another's treasure-but the first woman who claimed it wouldn't really save me any money, just time was just plain WRONG!
It turns out that once the doctors all fax the prescriptions back to them and I officially get the 90 day supplies, we will be saving 50%!!! And the 4 mile round trip several times of the month.
What also peeves me is that if my husband hadn't encouraged me to call and find out what the reasoning behind not "allowing maintenance drugs to get a 90 re-fill", I would never have known that you had to call the specialty number and request this little money saver.
We didn't read every word in our welcome material, but we scanned it and we don't recall there being any info on this fact.
Here's just one of the savings so you can judge for yourselves if I'm good and miffed for a reason:
Leucovorin calcium-1 pill a week. One month supply in store is $20.00. Mail order for 90 days (12 pills)?
Hold on-it's $11.83.
Really? Now I'm no math whiz, but that's a savings of $48.17!
Does this get you thinking? Let me know, I'm curious!
And my "Need a Ride" blog-my husband read it and informed me that my "S" stands for "SPORT".
Such a Deal
A long time ago I shared the fact that I am not the typical woman-I hate shopping. Unless it's in a produce department. I can spend hours browsing in one of those. Just love my fruits and veggies.
I'm also one of those annoying people who coupons and takes the flyers to stores so they can price match. Frankly, I'm almost ready for "extreme couponing". Of course I'd do better if I'd stop needing fresh produce.
But now, I found out about a great thing here in the "country". A lady I met in Wal-Mart told me about it. (I'm becoming one of those people who look at those around me and think, "Hmmm, they look my age, I'm going to strike up a conversation and see if they're in need of friends too." This is fodder for another blog.) You should Google this: market on the move and see if it's in your area. Or at least something similar in practice.
Market on the Move literally moves to different locations across Phoenix. Usually they set up in a church parking lot on the weekends. It starts at the awful hour of 7 a.m. and goes to 11 a.m... Of course, just like an organic farmers market the earlier you get there, the better the product you get to look over.
For $10 you can pick out 60 pounds of vegetables. Yes, 60. I know what you're thinking. "How in the world can you eat that many veggies without them spoiling?"
Well, our kids are in this $10 with us. 8 of us sharing that amount isn't hard to imagine now, is it?
Sam was working, but Sarah and I left her home at 6:45, stopped to get coffee and break a $20 and scooted over to one last weekend.
This particular Saturday we had these vegetables to choose from: cucumbers, yellow squash, yellow and orange peppers, green beans, cherry and Roma tomatoes.
All of us divvied up the haul. We all made turkey stuffed bell peppers and sweet cucumber pickles. We trimmed, blanched and froze the green beans. I have a good amount of yellow squash and tomatoes, both do not freeze well-so I'm going to grill some of the squash and I'll stuff the rest for a couple of dinners. The tomatoes won't be around long. We eat a lot of salad after all.
Plus, if you ask my husband about tomatoes, he will regale you with how important eating tomatoes is to men and their prostate. I don't ask why anymore, after 32 years of marriage I've learned to just nod and let him know when we've really "heard enough honey".
The woman who told me about Market on the Move told me that one of the times she went that she got a lot of onions and eggplant. She used the squash, peppers and tomatoes with it to create her own version of ratatouille. Her family loves it over pasta, rice, polenta, etc...She grates some parmesan or Romano over it.
This isn't my only "deal" this week! Nope. Steve's two work belts finally fell apart and so did my 7 year old purse. So we moseyed up to that outlet mall up the street to replace these items. Steve found 2 leather reversible belts at Calvin Klein that were on sale for 50% off. And me, who has never paid more than $20 for a purse-well, my husband decided it was time for me to get a "nice" handbag.
At first, I wasn't sure if I should be thrilled or slightly insulted. After all, my $8 clearance bag at a Fossil outlet had lasted me all this time!
Back to my deal.
We went into Coach (I'm already re-living the case of the sweats). They were having a 65% off sale of all clearance bags. Plus, 10% more for Anthem residents! Woo Hoo! My $300 wound up coming down to $85!
Still way more than I've ever spent on almost anything in my wardrobe, but not many people are able to do this kind of remarkable shopping!
And now, I'm going to go look through my Wednesday ads-I might want to take the one from Basha's saying they're selling strawberries for $.88 a pound and take it to Wal-Mart and ask them to price match it for me. Yum.