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Carine’s Blog

  • More Reflecting

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011

    More Reflecting

    Have you noticed that when you have almost too much to do that your body revolts?

    Last week, I woke up and my head was so congested that it felt like a bowling ball.  I decided to blame it on my allergies and walking at the horse trails.  By Friday, I couldn't deny it any longer.

    I was sick.  Not just ANY sick, but the kind of sick that makes you wish for a drug induced coma sick.  We've all been there-you know of what I speak:

    Head so full that you swear you're drowning.  You've sneezed so much that your sciatic nerve is screaming and your teeth hurt from all the blowing.  That your face looks like you didn't use those wonderful lotion infused Kleenex, but sandpaper instead.  Oh, and your significant other is wondering "why did I stand in line and give my driver's license information to buy that now controlled substance if it's not helping in the least with this symptoms?"

    Your ribs hurt at just the mere effort of inhaling.  Coughing, which is constant, even after you've taken the latest and greatest of over the counter 12 hour cough syrup, is making you wear a perpetual wince from the expected pain.

    The thermometer says you have no "fever" yet you've got both a severe case of chills and you're clammy and sweaty-all at once.

    I swear my auto-immune disease decided-hmmmm, our hostess has several deadlines and a few important meetings plus she's got a party and a trip to Arizona to see her grandkids for their birthdays this week, why don't we make this interesting?

    And to add to her misery, let's make her throat so sore that even drinking hot tea and honey makes her shudder-and hey, don't forget the laryngitis.

    So yes, I've had an absolutely horrendous week.  I had to wear a mask while interviewing a young man and his surgeon prior to a corneal transplant so I wouldn't infect anyone at the facility.  I went to the party-with enough foundation on my face that it took me about 10 minutes of screaming to wash off after we got home.
    As for the weekend in Phoenix-I'm leaving in a few hours-of course by plane-I'll let you know how that goes.

    The last time I flew with sinuses ½ this bad I was airsick from take-off to about 30 minutes after landing.  Per our son Adam, who was sitting next to me-I scarred him for life.  To this day-he says if we have to go on a plane at the same time-he wants to sit at the opposite end.

    So honey-get ready.   Of course, I guess it doesn't matter as hubby woke up with the darned thing this morning

    As for the grandkids 3rd (Aidan) and 4th (Dylan) birthdays-I promise as much as I want to kiss them from head to toe, I'll restrain myself and make Uncle Adam and Auntie Sam give them twice as many.


    4 Replies
  • Woo Hoo-Good News

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Hi all,

    After all this time,  I'm happy to say I'm swamped!  I've been signed by Freedom Communications to do about 5 articles a week and I've also stepped up my regional magazine work.  Might as well share some good stuff!

    This first one is my column for the Saddleback News-nothing earth shattering, but fun!  A father/daughter Valentine's dinner/dance:

    [Link Removed]

    The second is about a young man from Fiji who was blind, but thanks to 2 local eye surgeons and one of their Mission Foundations-he has had life-altering surgery:

    Story and Photos:  [Link Removed]

    Video:  [Link Removed]

    Hope you enjoy it-if you do read either, please pass it on, click the recommend and let others know!

    Have a great weekend!

    Carine, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    14 Replies
  • Fijian Blind Teen Gets Help From Visiting Eye Surgeon

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    What started out to be a little story for my monthly column-quickly grew into a wonderful feature. I’ll have the link for it tomorrow, but it was so big, the OC Register let me have a videographer and he made a great little documentary about it!

    Here’s the link:

    [Link Removed]

    Carine, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

    1 Replies
  • I'm Thinking This Week

    Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011

    Have you ever wondered?

    Why when someone is having the worst possible day, one more thing happens? Such as in the washer breaks and then the car falls apart?

    What is in someone's mind when after they've made someone angry, they just have to add one more thing to the offensive remark to make whomever even angrier? Such as they insult someone's taste in clothes and then ask to borrow an item in their wardrobe.

    When a child sees that they've made steam come out of their parents' ears and nostrils, they will still push one more button?  No matter how old they are?

    Who started the whole process of making sure a particularly difficult family member is still included in an invitation-even though it's been agreed on by all that we'd all be happier without them in attendance?  Especially the crabapple themselves, since nothing and no one person ever brings a smile to their sourpuss?

    Why a big corporation feels that no matter what, they have more of a right to maintaining their budget than individuals who may just be working hard to not sink in the course of recent financial events?

    Where the world will be in 5 years?  10?

    Will those of us in our 50's and older ever get to retire?

    How will our grandchildren ever afford a place of their own to live in?

    Just thought I'd keep it short this week and give some suggestions to ponder.  Not that most of us haven't thought of any of the above, but looking to hear from others out there!

    17 Replies
  • Appliances Be Damned

    Posted on Friday, January 14, 2011

    I'm warning you now-this is a rant about appliances.  

    We bought a Whirlpool Duet washing machine less than 4 years ago-because our 7 year-old Maytag died. Don't ask-we didn't know that Maytag and Whirlpool merged until after the $1,000 machine broke down less than a month after purchase.

    Lucky for us, we bought the 4 year extended warranty. Even if we hadn't, obviously we still would've been covered. The trouble? Except for the "Heavy" cycle, all the other speeds started, filled with water and then after 8 minutes-QUIT!

    Whirlpool came out and fixed it-only to have it happen 3 months later. They came back and did an encore performance. A year later, we started the process all over again and 4 months later-a fourth trip was made.

    We were doing okay until the beginning of November. Woo hoo, 8 months without a visit from my favorite appliance repair company.

    I noticed that sometimes after I could have sworn I started it and would go check to see how long I had left it had stopped, but I just pretended it was my menopausal brain and kept re-starting it and stood there hands-on –hips and daring it not to keep going.

    Well, on my birthday-we couldn't deny the old problem had re-surfaced. I broke down and called the extended warranty company for the 3rd time in a year. At that point, the woman said, "You know, I think this qualifies you for the lemon clause and we might just issue you an RGA (returned goods authorization) for you to pick out a new washer."

    They sent a new company out-one who had "good behavior" issues, who told me they'd be back in about 5 days with the new part.  

    This was actually December 3rd. I told them we were leaving town on the 23rd and didn't want to have them come while our house-sitter (aka our 19-year-old nephew) was there, but we did want it fixed long before this date.

    They grunted and left. 10 days went by (so much for their promise), so I tried to contact them-they wouldn't pick up the phone or return any of my messages!

    I called Lowe's and talked to Manager Molly-who said to give her an hour and she'd see if she could find out what was going on. After the hour (gotta hand kudos to Molly), she called back and said she couldn't get them to answer either and that she called to let their customer service people know what was happening.

    Still nothing. We left and, of course, our nephew got a phone call from the repair service-he said to call on my husband's cell phone.  

    They didn't.

    When my husband got back, he had the same luck I did calling them directly. He then talked to Lowe's.  

    Upon my return on January 3rd-we still didn't have a working washing machine. But now, I was-how shall I put this tactfully? PISSED.

    I called Molly and said-I want proceeding started on the lemon law clause. She directed me to the 888 number. I called. Explained for the umpteenth time that this was ludicrous that anyone should wait over a month to get their less than 4 year old washer repaired for the 5th time.

    The supervisor said she'd send in the complaint about the service company and that it would take 3-5 days to get an answer about the RGA. I then said "Tell you what, you get the approval or the blasted machine gets repaired once and for all in 3 days-the one who makes me happy is the one I won't sue."

    Now my patient hubby told me I went a tad nuts, but I didn't think so.

    Honestly-if anyone had just called me and explained what and why I had been waiting so long, I would have been fine-but it was the blatant rude and non-responding behavior that was getting me more ticked off than the broken washer.

    Either way-at 8 a.m. on the 3rd day-Lowe's Extended Warranty called to let me know I was getting a full refund plus tax and delivery due to everything that had gone on.

    This time, my husband spent a few hours reading the customer reviews and consumer reports for which washing machine had the best ratings and least repairs.

    We've got it on hold and yes, we've also purchased an extended warranty-no sense leaving it to chance in today's appliance world of chance that this "winner of customer satisfaction for 3 years and running" will work any better than the rest.

    11 Replies
  • Wow, 2011 is Already a Week Old

    Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011

    Happy New Year to everyone-I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and had a great start to 2011.

    My husband and I left on the 23rd of December for our trip to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons in Anthem, AZ. We arrived in time to surprise the boys at their pre-school. Our older grandson, Dylan nearly bowled me over running to give me a hug and kiss. Amazing the strength a 3-3/4 year old boy has when happy! Aidan, our 2-3/4 year old love bug, started showing off his shoe flinging skills.

    Once to our daughter's new home, I was given the grand tour! Steve had been there a couple of weeks before-so he knew the lay out. Very nice and thankfully one story. It was a beautiful 65 degrees too. That night we went to a local hamburger place that resides in a 1950's gas station-Big Earl's Greasy Burgers. Thankfully-it was fun and not a bit of grease in my veggie burger or the onion rings I shared with my better half.

    Friday-we got to watch the boys. It was a pretty nice day so we took them to breakfast and then to the nearby outlet mall-which was boasting to be the home of the "nation's largest Christmas tree". It was pretty darn tall.

    We took turns watching the boys play at the park area and shopping, brought them home for 3 chapters of one of the Junie B. Jones books they asked me to bring and a nap. When they got up, our daughter walked in and we all went to the Super Wal-Mart to get a few things for dinner and the last pieces of clothing for our trip to the Grand Canyon, Polar Express and Deer Farm experiences.

    Christmas Day was warm-so we walked up to the park and let the boys ride their new truck/bike and play the afternoon away. While my daughter and I prepared Christmas dinner-our son-in-law went with my husband to see True Grit.

    We left at day break Sunday, had breakfast in Flagstaff (don't ask-not much in Flagstaff on a holiday) and continued on to the Grand Canyon.  

    This is where things started to get FREEZING cold. We had rain and light snow. The canyon was gorgeous-our first time. But I hate the cold (you try being arthritic in snow and wind)-so we want to go back during the warmer parts of the year. At the hotel-they thankfully had an indoor (and very toasty) pool area. The boys swam and I used the hot tub. Later we took a ride through Williams to the train station.

    At 6:30, we were all sitting in our train car at the Polar Express-yes, just like the book and movie. The one hour trip to the North Pole was worth every penny when we saw Dyl and Aidan's face light up as Santa walked in and gave them a fairly large jingle bell.

    Dinner was at a cute and decent pizza parlor. Next morning we ate at a very nice restaurant, the Pine Country Inn. Named appropriately, I must say. Floors, chairs, tables, ceilings-all Pine. Food was good too.  

    On to the Deer Farm. Now the original plan was that my best friend from middle/high school and his wife were going to join us for this part and we would try to have some coffee or lunch with them before going home-however, my son-in-law's boss had other ideas-so my being able to see him and introduce him to our daughter and grandkids never happened.

    Bummer-he did get to meet our son and daughter-in-law when we came last February for the boys' birthday.

    The next morning, our son-in-law went to work again. Our daughter still had the day off. My husband had to get on the road-I was staying behind to take care of the boys for the rest of the week.

    Wednesday through Friday proved interesting-seems the bad weather came down from the mountains! In one day we had extreme winds, heavy rains, both light and hard hail and topped it off with SNOW! Yes, snow in Anthem.


    New Year's Eve-I watched the boys and missed my husband. On Sunday-still freezing, we bundled up the boys and took them to the park after breakfast out. It was my husband's birthday-54. This was the first time I missed being with him for both events since we met in 1980-so I was both happy to be with our daughter and family and very blue about not being at home with my one-and-only.

    Monday night our daughter and grandsons dropped me off at Sky Harbor Airport-only to find out that my flight first had been delayed by an hour and 15 minutes, then cancelled. I was put on another flight and finally made it home by 10.  

    Nothing says love like a warm set of arms and a hot whirlpool in your own bathroom waiting for you.

    The rest I leave to your imagination and again wish you all a very happy, healthy and hopefully prosperous 2011.

    2 Replies