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Carine’s Blog

  • Business People-Take Note

    Posted on Friday, September 18, 2015

    Before we became Arizonans-Steve and I were born and bred Californians and his occupation for almost 4 years was as a corporate trainer.  For 3 years, I taught learning disabled teens how to get and keep a job.  I’m mentioning this because of a few experiences I’ve run into here in our wonderful but remote community that a few more minutes of training would greatly enhance customers experiences in local businesses and the employees who may (or may not) do better at those said jobs.

     Just as a couple of examples:

     The other night, last moment, we went with our friends to a local well-known coffee house.  It was about 7:30 at night.  Steve was the only one of the 4 of us who actually had coffee.  Our friends ordered a fancy iced non-coffee “shake” type drink, Steve had an iced Caramel coffee and I decided to actually have tea.

     Not just any tea-but I wanted a brewed Chai, no milk and (here comes the point to this blog) I wanted the young man taking my order to check and make sure I could have a de-caf version.

     This actually happened:

     Me: Do you have a de-caf version of the chai?

     Him:  It doesn’t have coffee, it’s tea.

     Me:  Yes, I understand that Chai is tea, but do you have it in de-caf?

     Him:  It doesn’t have coffee in it.

     Me:  Okay, may I have the non-caffeine version of this tea?

     Him:  Uh, (looks at the manager, who was actually witnessing this exchange) what do I do?  The Chai doesn’t have coffee already?

     Manager:  Let me check, I’m not sure if we have the Chai in de-caf.  (several minutes later)  Yes, we do!  Good to know!!!  Would you like it in de-caf?

     Me:  Yes, very much.   Thank you.

     Obviously, neither the store manager or the employee understood the difference between de-caf and coffee.  The real question is WHY??????

     Another situation:

     Steve and I decided to go cruise a market that is going out of business and is currently selling stuff at 40-60% off to see if we could save some money.   We were surprised to see that most of the store was already pretty empty.  We weren’t surprised to see that all of the employees had that “beaten down” look.


     I went back to the store the next day for a few items and talked to one of the managers and one of the cashiers-they were NEVER trained by the new owners and their way of running a store was far different than how the original place ran things!

     Plus, they were all promised at least jobs for 2 years-instead they got 2 MONTHS and 2 months of closing up shop!

     What kind of business training/planning was this?

     In today’s world, customer service is a huge part of staying in business-so here’s a tip from both a consumer and a former trainer:  BUSINESSES, train your employees to reflect your wish to be successful in the marketplace that fits your store and make sure you at least care enough to know your product well enough so at least MOST of the questions coming from your consumers are answered intelligently.

    0 Replies
  • For the Love of Sunshine

    Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know just how much our fur babies mean to Steve and me.  My very, very first blog was all about giving Sunshine a shower on Independence Day.

    With that said, I have to tell you that this is a week filled with both happy memories and pain. 18 years ago were lucky enough to adopt Sunshine.  And Friday, the day I post this entry, we will mourn her loss for the 4th time.

    A friend from Jr/Sr high school (Shawn!) mentioned on FaceBook that she loved the way I remembered and loved all my pets.  She’s right, below is my answer to her kind words:

    I see Tippy’s eyes in my sister’s Beauty. Our tuxedo cat Samantha in our son and daughter’s own tuxedo cat Zoey, Felix (the cat) in their handsome Maine Coone Toby.  Our first Lucky, a Shepherd in Lucky the chi’s need to protect and both their love of hugs and kisses.  Snowy was a dear we will always treasure and the reason we adore Pepper so.  Both are fiercely loyal to us and their canine counterparts.    

    Sunshine couldn’t have been more perfectly named. She was the light and love of all of ours for the 14 years we were blessed to have her with us. I bet she would’ve loved Lucky and the way Pepper trained her to behave the way she taught him.

    Our dear Goldie/lab/border collie mix was a big love bug.  She was easily the sweetest and most patient pup around.  We adopted her from a rescue that found her wandering around the streets of Burbank.  Perfectly behaved and the best family and day care dog EVER.

    On her last day, she was still all Sunshine.  Still with her smile, still just happy to be with us until she wasn’t.

    Nothing says pain like losing someone you love-whether they walk on two or four feet.

    We love and miss you Sunshine!

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  • Do it Big or ??

    Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2015

    I was of the impression that August was in the roller coaster mode, but so far September is showing me that it was only a taste of  what was to come.

    Sarah and I went to our old stamping grounds to visit family, friends, celebrate my parents 59th anniversary and have a few life changing discussions.

    In short-it was the typical family vacation filled with the great, the good, the bad and even (at moments) the ugly.

    I wasn’t exactly in “good” shape when we left-as you may recall I had those two fairly serious falls which gave me an oozing elbow, black eye and a still healing gash.  Let’s not forget the concussion and the added pain from the twisted ankle and knee, the back and my neck.

    Traveling 525 miles with a Chihuahua on my lap did not help.

    Once home I was given a last minute writing assignment where all my subjects were either in school or out of town.  By the time you read this, the story should be over and done with and reading for the layout team.

    If that wasn’t enough-I had the older boys after school for 1/2 the week and we even watched Jackson for a while.  Then came my minor surgery!

    A very pesky and constantly returning cyst was in need of removal.  So it was removed and stitched up-the doctor’s last sentence until next week was ‘this time it won’t come back‘.  We shall wait and see.  I really hope she’s right because this is excision #7.  I was also bandaged up from mid-chin to just below the crease in my neck.  Not allowed to get this thing wet for 7 days.  Should be very interesting to see just how this is going to work.

    That same night I had to have my very painful shot of Humira for my RA and the next morning I was supposed to have the fun of my yearly infusion of Reclast.  However, after driving the 25 miles and even having to get on the dreaded scale-I was told that since I was on an antibiotic I would have to re-schedule for two weeks after I finished the meds.  

    Got back in the car and drove home-in a last ditch effort of monsoon season to give us some rain.  Sigh.

    Not much else to put out there.  Here’s hoping everyone else had a RESTFUL Labor Day weekend and are enjoying the slightly cooler weather.

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  • The Fun Just Keeps Coming

    Posted on Friday, August 28, 2015

    Yes, more of the same this week.

    Woke up on Monday with a “dizzy” head from the concussion and sore EVERYWHERE.  And if that wasn’t enough, I had to at least TRY to go to physical therapy.

     Oh boy!  Got there and my PT took one look at me and said I could either go to the doctor or he could force the issue.

     He checked me out and thought I might have actually given my knee a stress fracture on a non-weight bearing bone.  That scared me.

     So I went to Urgent Care and they took about 20 x-rays of all the “damaged” areas, made sure that my elbow was actually healing and confirmed my own diagnosis of a concussion.

     Thankfully nothing’s broken but it is all bruised and sprained.  My “black” eye is still at this point purple, but the green is taking over.  I guess it’s a good thing that I couldn’t afford to go to my 40th high school reunion or I would’ve gone looking like a victim of war.

     The doctor did say I should continue “sitting out” the physical activity, try to just rest and realize that “at our age, we need to realize how much longer healing takes“.

     And he had to add, “And you’ll take longer with your auto-immune disorder and other limitations.”

     Just couldn’t leave that out, evidently.

     This has been some August.  

     Next week we’ll be celebrating my parents 59th wedding anniversary.  Quite a fete!  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a post from me.  To finish out the month, I’m going to get to next month’s Senior Reporter profile, give Lucky a bath and just continue to recover from my own stupidity.

     Until the next post:  Take care and don’t try improving your balance outdoors.

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  • I Fell

    Posted on Friday, August 21, 2015


    Since I’m writing this after not one but two falls-forgive my rather concussed train of thought.

    It was Sunday.  The day had been typically heat-breakingly hot.  We hit 117 at 4 p.m..  I took Lucky out back to potty.  I had the most stupid idea EVER!  I had done all my PT exercises-except the ones practicing on balance.

    I was standing there waiting for my 5 pound wonder to find her “perfect” spot and decided to practice my exercise.  I have no idea why-it was truly the most asinine choice I’ve made in a very, very long while.  

    Inside I stand between two kitchen chairs, so that if I can’t stop the inevitable I can at least grab a back and plop down.  For some reason I decided to consider the stucco post of the overhang patio as my “chair back“.  

    Before I knew it, I missed the darned post and wound up hitting the stucco with the back of my forearm on the left side.

    Not being one to use curse words-I was doing a pretty excellent job.  I also twisted my left ankle as I went from patio to rocks.  I kept muttering, “don’t be broken!”  After all, a person with severe osteoporosis should pray for those types of things.

    It puffed up, it was bleeding and stinging.  My arm looked like it went through the proverbial meat grinder.

    I managed to get Lucky in, rinsed it under rather warm water (no, the intent was cool water but remember that we live on the face of the sun), gently put a couple of paper towels on it and grabbed my post-surgical hand ice pack.  

    About 20 minutes later I managed to put the ice back in the freezer, somehow open my bottle of Naprosyn and tramadol, eat a couple of crackers and take full doses.  Not it was almost 5 p.m.

    Next, I somehow texted Steve and told him I fell and was he on the way?

    He asked why I did that?  Sigh.  Aren’t I allowed to make stupid decisions like everyone else?

    When he got home, he found me sitting without electricity.  Yes, one of our fun outages was happening.  But he came home and parked the car when the “long” one took affect.  He grilled the entire dinner I had prepared.  Still no power.  Adam and Sam told us to come over.  Poor Pepper would be left behind in the heat and dark while we’d go with Lucky until power was restored.

    Steve un-did the garage, pulled out the car and told me to just SIT while he got the dog.  

    That sounded easy enough, no?  NO.  Remember I took that tramadol.  I was a tad wobbly.  I honestly don’t remember what or how I did it, but I missed the door handle twisted my right ankle and fell, again.

    This time though it was really bad.  I hit the right side of my head on either the driveway or the rocks, sent my glasses flying (thank goodness they were okay), hit my bad shoulder (scraping it) and twisted my right knee bad enough that the rest of this week has been pretty ugly.

    I sat up and the blood was gushing from a gash on the side of my eye.  My eye was turning purple.  I don’t know how or why-but I got up, turned off the car and went in the house.

    The rest of the night is a blur.  The kids kept saying I needed stitches.  I looked like I had been attacked and felt horrible.  Little Jackson kept looking at me, “grandma boo-boo”

    Sleep didn’t come that night as everything was throbbing.  Steve had bandaged me up to mummy-like proportions and made me sleep on a towel.  No sense possibly ruining new sheets.

    Next morning I slowly got up.  My head hurt, my eye looked like I went overboard with the purple shadow, it was swollen and the gash dressing needed to be changed.  So did the one on my arm.

    Then came the real “fun“.  I saw spots,  the room started spinning and I said, “I’m going to throw up“.

    Dry heaves with head injuries SUCK!  Obviously along with the obvious physical hurting I had given myself a concussion.

    This scared Steve enough that he called and told his manager what happened and that he was taking a personal day off.  

    I had to cancel my PT for the week-no way was I driving or exercising.  

    As of now (5 days later if you‘re counting)-1/2 of the wound on my left arm has finally scabbed over, the gash on my eye probably should’ve had a couple of stitches, I’m still looking like someone punched my eye and my head is throbbing.  But on the uptick-I haven’t thrown up again and no more passing out.

    This week has NOT been what I thought it would be-here’s hoping next week will at least see me being able to go out in public without someone asking me if I need the local phone number for domestic violence shelters.

    2 Replies
  • Windows 10

    Posted on Friday, August 14, 2015

    Week 2 of Windows 10.    Thank goodness Steve has so far only put it on my “old” computer.

    He also installed it on his laptop and after 10 hours on the phone with Microsoft and another couple  with HP-he’s still working on getting it to co-operate.  He only went from 8.1 to 10, while I made a leap of going from 7 to the wrongly rated 10.

    This week I’m trying to get this blog written by just plain old typing it into the program here on blogger.  I guess will both know if this is any better when I press “Publish“.

    Other things I’ve noticed about 10:

    It took out my automatic sign-ins.  Now I know this isn’t recommended and that people will say that it’s a safer way to go, but let me tell you something:   I can’t remember all of my passwords.  And some of the sites, well, even the ones I wrote down are telling me that my password is incorrect.

    One site, from one of my doctors, actually had questions for me to answer before sending me the password.  Well I answered them and it told me I was wrong!  Really?  Like I don’t know my favorite pets name (they are all my favorites and I resented that question.) and then it asked where I met my husband.  Funny, I tried all kinds of ways to say “my front door” and they told me all of them were wrong.

    So I called the doctor’s office and explained the problem.  The nice woman on the phone gave me a new password to try-didn’t work.  Then she went to someone else, got another password and had me try it.  Did NOT work.  Then she apologized and said she’d tell someone in IT and have them call me.

    I then asked if there was someway that she could tell me what the message was from my doctor.  No, no there was not because the information was private.  Could the PA call me?  No, she wasn’t in.

    Striking out everywhere computer-wise.  Let’s face it, this is not news.

    Also this week:  (This is graphic, so I apologize)  DO NOT USE FLYPAPER TRAPS!!!!

    Earlier this week I was in the yard waiting for Lucky to finish her potty break when I heard the faintest of peeps.  With my neck looking up isn’t exactly an easy task so I just kept moving around until I could see what was overhead.

    EEK!!!  A poor bird was stuck to the trap that was just supposed to claim flys, wasps and insects.

    I cried, I freaked, I texted Steve (he was working late and somehow didn’t enjoy my incoherent hysteria via text).  He called and through my tears and hysteria I told him about the bird.

    He had to get a ladder and take it away.  I’m still having nightmares.  Lucky just isn’t sure about going out in the yard.  She actually preferred walking in the heat across the street to use the park and grassy area.

    While I’m ranting-I want to know this:  why do theaters put in uncomfortable backbreaking seats when they know the audience has to sit for two or more hours?????  We sure pay enough for the privilege of watching the concert, show or movie-would it kill them to make sure we‘re somewhat comfortable?????

    And that is all.

    0 Replies