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Carine’s Blog

  • I'm Proud to be "Old"

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014

    Proud to be "Old"
    Lately, I've been quite happy to be "old".   It's been saving me a lot of money.  That is a really good thing because our health insurance is costing us a bloody fortune-that's another rant for another day.

    If you've read me for any length of time, you know how much I hate all shopping except for produce.  Not my thing, hate trying stuff on, hate having to be depressed about shoe styles I'll never wear and clothes that are not compliant to my physical condition.

    However, there always comes a time where I really have NO choice in the matter.  And in the last few weeks I found myself in desperate need of foundation (thank goodness that was a 3 minute fix), under garments and new walking shoes.  

    Strange how I needed these things all at the same time.  But at 56 I don't want to leave the house without some make-up on, good undergarments are essential to my tee shirts looking good and without walking shoes in good condition-my RA ridden feet just plain hurt.  I'd rather avoid any added pain that can be avoided.

    What does this have to do with being old?  It appears that I went shopping for my items on the right day!  Yes, many venues out here have senior days.  And many of them start the senior advantages at 55!!!  We knew the markets did this, but had no idea this great idea spread throughout the other retail establishments!

    Steve had the day off last Tuesday so we started with going to the Denny's across the street for breakfast with a 20% off coupon.  Being Tuesday-they gave us an extra discount because we were over 55.
    Can I get a "Woot, Woot"?

    From there we took a drive to the closest mall to hit Macy's for my undergarments and foundation.  Signed up for a new card which gave us 20% off for 2 days.  Then as I was paying for my items-the saleswoman informed me that I got an extra 10% off for being a senior.


    Can I get a "Woot, Woot", again?

    From there we went back to the outlet mall across the street from our home-you probably guessed, senior day and we got 15% off of my shoes, which I was getting a BOGO on, so what do I want to hear from you all?


    We totaled up our savings on my shopping needs for the day:  $209.75.

    Yep, getting old does have some advantages.  And guess what?  The bill from the doctor that we thought we had paid in full but our PPO didn't feel like paying-It was $207.68.

    Go figure.  If I were paranoid, I'd swear there was a conspiracy thing going on here.  In the meantime I'll just bask in the glory of my shopping abilities AND my new items.
    Before I forget-here's wishing you all a very happy Valentine's Day.  May it be filled with love, romance and togetherness.

    0 Replies
  • Sometimes I Just Feel Like Sighing

    Posted on Friday, February 7, 2014

    Sometimes I Want to Sigh

    There's always something odd about intelligent people not having, how can I put this-organizational skills.  

    This week I went to a follow-up appointment with one of my pain management "team".  I really like my doctor and the physician's assistant but this exchange actually took place:
    PA: So how's the shoulder doing?

    ME:  It took 2 weeks but I finally stopped blacking out from the spasms every time I moved my arm.  Now the spasms are less, but they are of the "rolling" kind.  When I move in a certain way the familiar stab happens and then it continues to roll down my arm ending at my hand.  I have to use my Lamaze breathing techniques to get through it.  Plus the pain is still going up through my neck and up the back of my head.  No one has done anything about my left knee AND my lower back is starting to slip back into that horrible place of not being able to either sit or stand comfortably.

    PA:  Let's look at that MRI report.  Okay-have you seen the surgeon?

    ME: Yes he and Dr. Turley see no need for surgery.  I wasn't eligible for a study the surgeon was doing but no one has told me anything since my appointment a month ago.

    PA: (in exasperated shock) What do you mean no surgery?  You have a 12 mm area of fraying, edema and besides the obvious impingement-it's encapsulated!  You need that shoulder cleaned up and the scar tissue removed!  That should have been done after 6 months-not still living with this after 15 months!

    ME:  Listen, both doctors seem to agree that I didn't need surgery.  I'd love for something to be done so I could stop having spasms and chronic severe pain.

    PA:  I'll talk to Turley about this-you call the surgeon and have him send the report to us.  He should see you!
    I went home and did as told.  The surgeon's PA said, "Oh my, someone was supposed to call you-we dropped the ball here.  Come in tomorrow.  As for sending the report-here's our fax number, have the doctor send a requisition for release of the file."

    Called the Pain Management office and she had no idea why the report wasn't just sent since they were the referring physician.  "Since you're seeing him tomorrow-please sign a release form and then they'll send it and I'll make sure the doctor and the PA see the file.  I'm so sorry-this shouldn't have happened."

    It seems all I really got out of this week's appointment was half a day's worth of phone calls to make and the uneasy feeling that my shoulder is not going to be better anytime in the near future.

    My trip to the surgeon only secured that uneasy thought.

    2 Replies
  • Why is it?

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014

    Why is it?
    There are people who seem to go through life without many glitches.  Then others seem to live in a constant state of upheaval.  I try to at least keep it somewhere in-between.  I know from 56 years of experience that the more I try to keep things on an even keel-the more things pop-up to throw a wrench into the smooth sounding motor that is my life.

    Its things such as:
    Why is it doctors order expensive tests that need to be done when you're trying not to add anything more to your credit card's monthly bill?
    Why is it that while someone you know takes just as many prescriptions as you do, they seem to have hit the lottery of only needing "inexpensive" drugs-while you are sure that your list seems to have been formed by diseases that are only treatable with bottles costing over $50.

    Why is it some of us pet parents seem to be lucky enough to only need to go to our family vet once a year for a check-up and booster shots.  Others-well, they spend more on keeping their beloved fur babies healthy that they do for the human members of the family.

    Why is it many people amble along rarely even catching a cold while some people seem to have been born with immune systems that maybe should have seen fit to add a bubble home around them?  They've always got some ghastly thing going on in some part of their glands or have somehow hurt themselves in ways that make you wonder if they somehow missed the day of fetal formation that included strong bone structure.

    Why is it while every family has to have one person that should be registered as "trouble-causer" on their government ID cards-some families and their "trouble-causer" seem to have to constantly be both reprimanding them and working with them to get them out of their latest social disaster?  

    Why is it people are attracted to someone very unlike themselves?

    Now, I'm not saying all men do this, but why is it important to watch as many loud and awful movies, TV shows or TV movies as humanly possible?  Why is it that watching something good is a foreign concept?
    Why is it women-since I am an anomaly, love to go shopping?  I don't get it.  There is one thing I will never, ever need:  Retail Therapy.  Now, meet me at a really good coffee place or a produce market and then I understand.  I love checking out produce.  That I understand.  Coffee, I understand.

    Why is it a doctor's office reminds you of an appointment with a taped message that you cannot understand anything they're saying?

    And with that, I'm thinking it's time to close my rant on "Why is it?"

    8 Replies
  • How to have a Popular Blog

    Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014

    How to Make Sure You Have a Popular Blog

    Sometimes coming up with what to write about week after week gets a bit difficult.  I Googled it and Google told me I'm far from alone on this matter and gave me the following suggestions on how to make sure I write what people want to read about most:

    1. Lists

    Everyone, young and old, love to read a list.  According to Google just pick a subject and a number and write one.  Fine.  Here is my "list" of 5 things no one will ever see or hear of me doing:  smoking, taking illegal drugs, drinking alcohol, wearing stilettos and shopping for shoes with a smile on my face.  You heard it here first.

    2. How-to

    Everyone loves to have easy-peasy directions on a variety of things.  Here's mine on how to get help with household chores.  Not that I'm recommending it, because it's more of a "pain" than I can describe but my simplest directions on this subject:  Get hurt.  That's it.  Once hurt those around you have either got to pitch in or forget having clean clothes, dishes, meals (you are sensing a pattern here, right?), etc...

    3. Reviews

    Again, according to Google, reviews on just about anything will have people running to your blog for no particular reason.  Here are some of the suggestions that you could become a quasi-expert on:  Products, other people's websites, books, movies, music, anything to do with food and so on...The possibilities are truly endless.


    4. Photos

    I'm finding people love my photos on animals and grandkids the best.  But, believe it or not, the photo of a hot air balloon that had a "nail" in it was popular as well.  Really.

    5. Current Events

    What’s going on in the world? Before I was lucky enough to have paying assignments I wrote a lot of blogs that stemmed from current events.  They were very thought provoking-loved getting comments and e-mails about them.

    6. Tips

    We all have tips!  Whether it's your way of keeping your whites even whiter, curing a migraine without the use of Botox or getting your picky eater to try a "spoonful" of something other than sugar-spill the beans!

    Here's mine:  When making cupcakes for birthdays, bake sales or just because you feel like snacking on cake batter, rather than frosting them, get some sprinkles or metallic sugar crystals and put them on the batter before baking!  They come out looking quite special and there are no messy hands, faces, tables and chairs to clean up.

    8. Recommendations

    At times all of us need suggestions on what to wear, who to include/exclude to the next soiree, what new food find will help whatever ails you.  Not that anyone really cares what you say-but it could get you this this trustworthy recommendation:


    And with that last bit, I sure do hope this turns out to be a very popular blog!  After all, I've included quite a few brilliant points of interest in one compact post.

    0 Replies
  • Cold You Say?

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014

    Cold you say?

    I've never understood how folks in the "four seasons" areas of the country survive.  Especially when they declare their love of snow.  Maybe it's because I've never been fond of any temperature below 65.   But what exactly do those of you east of let's say, Arizona get out of below freezing  marks on your outdoor thermometers, blizzards, shoveling your cars out (okay, I'm sure the last mentioned gives you a great workout) and wearing outerwear that makes you look like Frosty getting ready to stand guard for the night?

    I both admire your stamina and feel amazed at it at the same time!

    Steve and I watched the news reports on Minnesota's population being able to throw water up in the air and having it come down in solid form-How no one could be outside and take a drink before the water froze in the bottle.

    While it may have looked "cool" (sorry about the groaner of a pun here) I cannot fathom why anyone would not be looking for ANY way out of the entire state!  I also saw the amount of people who did want to leave and couldn't because it was too dangerous to fly and too slippery to drive on the roads.

    This won't be a popular blog, I know.  Our daughter Sarah always loves to take the boys on a snow weekend during our brief winter weather.  Flagstaff is only a short drive and there's plenty of snow there and in nearby Williams.  The boys love sledding down a slope all bundled up to the point where they can barely roll off their make shift snow sleds.  

    A few years back we came out for a visit and went with them to do the Polar Express.  It was COLD.  I couldn't move any joint in my body.  It hurt.  And then we had to sit on a 100 year old train and visit "the North Pole". Felt exactly as I imagined it would, let me tell you.

    Thank goodness the delight on those two little munchkins faces almost made up for the fact that it took me two days to thaw out once we came back to Anthem!  

    This year, while we've had a few days of 32 degree nights and mornings-the rest of the time we've thankfully been in the mid 60's-70's.  Lots of sun, little rain and that's fine by me.

    In fact, today had me venturing out to our local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and I went into my car without my hoodie. I arrived at my destination to realize that the howling wind was swirling so hard that our trash cans had blown over and my car let me know that it was a mere 56 outside.  Checked my phone and it told me that the wind-chill factor was making the air feel like it was 42.  

    Brrrr.  It's supposed to warm up quite nicely later on, about 77.  Lucky's waiting for her walk.  She's been wearing her hoodie since Steve put her out potty at 7 this morning.

    Nope, I'm not a fan of cold.  Glad our so-called winter is coming to an end.  In fact, Steve was already thinking we should start using those coffee ground "logs" he bought for the fire pit next week.  If we wait too much longer we'll be back to having 112 during the day and skimming 100 at night.

    Good.  My 15 year old leather coat has been worn twice in the last 3 years and I don't want to have to find a specialty cleaner to correct its overuse.

    10 Replies
  • Computers

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014


    We all know that I have a love/hate relationship going on with computers.  This "thing" allows me to write/submit/get paid (no matter how little) and perform my personal form of art.  However, it also causes me great amounts of frustration!

    Okay, maybe it's the age of my current co-worker-I've been using it since 2008 and I think that unfortunately may be the answer for my problems.  What's been going on now you might be curious enough to ask?

    1-It has deemed as a possibly dangerous site.  (No, I'm not kidding)
    2-Some cyber friends and I, upon the magazine site we found each other on shutting down, formed our own private site and have continued to enjoy our relationship/friendships-until about a month ago. That's when my computer decided that it was "dangerous" and began bouncing me off and closing my internet use!
    3-As if that's not enough, it has declared that my own Word attachments and anyone else who sends them to me are "corrupt, dangerous and have been de-activated".
    Now as for what Steve has tried to do to correct these sudden anomalies: First off, he cleared my cookies out. He re-ran the security scans and defragmented the entire thing-despite it being done on its own at least once a week. He checked to be sure that a virus and any spyware didn't somehow get by that said security program and last (at least with Blogger) he followed the trail that they said might help.
    It didn't. In fact, none of it helped. And no, I did not have any nasty things latching on to anything in the entire universe of this computer!
    I had to send e-mails to my friends and let them know that I'm no longer allowed on our site. Darn, I'm missing all the good stuff and no longer am able to share my latest events either. Not the same when you send out a blanket e-mail.
    In desperation, I posted a thread on my FaceBook page hoping someone on my friends list might know of something I could do-I received sympathy, but little else.
    Personally, I think when you're a totally inept person in the world of technology that these items feel your fear and prey on them.
    Whatever it is, if anyone feels my pain and wants to commiserate OR better yet, have a suggestion or two as to how to correct what's been going on SPILL IT AND SHARE!

    3 Replies