Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Hodgepodge and more.

Hello blogging friends!  Writers and readers alike!   Here is this week's Hodgepodge questions with my answers.  I have several things on my mind so I may just add on my thoughts in the random section at the end.

Read on...

1. American Idol is back on for a 14th season.  Are you watching?  Have you ever watched?  If you were to audition for the show (or made to audition), what song would you sing? 

Yes, I am watching the show again.  American Idol is the one show that I have stayed with from Day One and still enjoy.  Why?  Well for several reasons.  It has discovered/produced some major musical talent.  It has especially found amazing country music artists, and that it a music genre I particularly like.

The judges have changed over the years but I have found them all interesting in one way or another.  I particularly like Keith Urban now - I am a fan of his talent!  And his personality "baby"...    

I love the cattle calls and funny singers - and I suppose I can relate to those "wannabes" because I am one of them.  I have always wished that I had a better voice. I wish I had a "talent of singing." I do not.  I do okay. I can carry a tune and I think I sing on key...but I am not a strong singer, and I can not sing well without having some sort of music accompaniment.  

If I had to sing to audition, I would most likely pick a country song. Something in my "range" which isn't very wide.  I would pick a song that has meaning because I love when a singer sings with conviction - that the words speaks to them.   So...  what song?  Maybe "Jesus Take the Wheel" or "Live Like You were Dying."   I'm going on a cruise in a few days - and there will be a kareoke bar on board.  Will I give it a try?   Guess it depends on how many wines I have had - and if others are getting up to sing.   Although,  does anybody else remember the scene in "My Best Friend's Wedding" where Kimmi (played by Cameron Diaz) sings badly out of tune at the restaurant??  I am afraid that might be me!!

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying "If it's your job to eat a frog,  it's best to do it first thing in the morning.  And, if's it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."   So, when did you last have to eat a frog?  How did that work out?

I interpret Mr. Twain's saying as this:   it is best to get the bad thing you have to do, or the bad job, over with first - or early in the day to make the rest of the day better.     When did I last eat a frog - or get something bad done early?   I think I live my life that way.  I'm not a procrastinator in general - but instead prefer to "get 'er done" early.  I can then feel accomplished, and get to relax later in the day.   I do not like to postpone work and worry about it.   Plus, my energy level is higher early in the day.  So, I do housework early. I do computer work early. I make a list for the day (early) and try to accomplish items on the list early.  

3. If you are going on a safari, what is the number one animal you'd like to see?

#1 animal is the elephant in it's natural environment.  I think it would be amazing to see these huge beasts, walking in groups, and living off the land.  Magnificent but gentle at the the same time.  My #2 animal is the giraffe for the same reasons as the elephants.

4.  January 21st is National Granola Bar Day.  I know! Who knew?   Do you like granola bars?  Chewy or crunchy?  Your favorite flavor?  How about regular granola? 

I do like granola bars!  But, I don't know if they need their own special day to be honored! lol   I eat granola bars on the run sometimes.  They are easy to throw in a purse, or stash in the car.   My favorite flavor?  Or type?  I like the Kind brand - my hubby buys them often.  Some have chocolate and taste like a dessert! They are crunchy and so much so I worry about cracking a tooth!    I also love plain granola mixed in with yogurt.

5.  If only _______________. 

Since yesterday was MLK Jr. day, I will say "If only the words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech were a reality."       Some day - one day.  

6.  You can add one thing to your bedroom.  What will it be?  Keep it family friendly please. 

One thing?    I can't think of a thing to add.   Unless.... I can add a maid to come change the sheets, make the bed, clean the joining bathroom.  LOL   

7.  What is one thing you have enjoyed about winter so far? 

This winter?  I suppose it's been mild here so far....and that's good. We have had a few nights that have dipped down to freezing and a few of my plants got zapped.   I'm not happy about that.  But all in all, so far it's been okay.  I had on flip-flops yesterday and today is supposed to be another nice day with highs in the afternoon near 70.   Then back to chilly.  But, it never gets and stays frigid here - and snow is very rare.    i like it that way!

8.  My random thought. 

As I said earlier,  this may be a few random thoughts.  So, your choice: tune it out now - or read on.

I am wondering about your feelings about "needing to know" the news of the world.  I have recently chatted with friends who have decided to be cable-free in their homes.   They can pull up shows and some sports on their computers. They choose not to watch news coverage - but can check headlines on line.  They can watch footage there too if they want.    I get it.   The news is always so bad and frightening.  It's always about terrorists, and crazy people, and shootings, and life's worst moments. 

But, a part of me says we can not stick our heads in the ground and avoid it.   I personally don't want to watch videos of bad things - but I don't want to be "ignorant" to them also.  I guess there is a middle ground.  And, yes, I try to live my life watching what I need to know, but not getting sucked into the hours of sadness, and the disagreements politically, and such.  

Where do you stand on this?   And, will the next generation rely soley on getting news from the computer?

In a related topic...   how can we all stop on MLK Jr. Day and hear his moving words, and praise his actions back in the 60's.... and then not take them to heart??  I wonder what bigots today think about MLK Jr. Day.     

Have you seen the movie "Selma" yet?  If not - go see it!  What a wonderful representation of that time, and the civil rights movement.   Young people shoudl be required to see it - because they didn't live through the 60's.  

Speaking of movies....   "American Sniper" is getting lots of talk.  I have seen the ads on TV for it, and have seen previews in the theater.   But, I am questioning if I can sit through it.   The emotion seems incredibly difficult.  Is it a redeeming movie in any way?  I do not believe in war, but I know if countries have to fight then snipers can take out the incredibly horrible leaders, without killing the innocent.  

One last thing....  the Patriots vs The Seahawks.  Got a favorite?   Going to watch and root on a team?    Football season has just one more game left.  Who do you want to see as the Super Bowl winner??

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Hodgepodge of 2015

I'm happy to report the hodgepodge questions are back, and that our leader Joyce's daughter's wedding in early January was a smashing success and a beautiful day!  Joyce has posted some pictures and stories about the big day that I have been enjoying very much.  Especially, since you know "our" wedding (really my daughter's but I'm pretty immersed in it) is only a few months away.

I will have separate posts soon about our wedding preparation.  But, in the meantime, here are the Hodgepodge questions and my answers.

1.  What's the best advice for a newly married couple?  I'm asking for a friend. 

I think my best advice is to be realistic.  After the exciting, fairy-tale wedding day it's important to realize that real life together is a day to day "challenge" and that there will be wonderful times together but also times when you may question this new union.  Hopefully a couple won't question it too much - because then perhaps the marriage should not have happened.  And, really, when the down days come along the two should be their first advocate for each other. It is them against the world.

Saying that, I want to add that including God in marriage is important too.  Vows said in front of God, and with God's help, will bond a couple.   I believe there is a deeper connection, and hopefully a stronger love when God is in the marriage too.

2.  What were you doing on December 31st, 1999?  And, did you or your family make preparations for Y2K?

I remember that New Year's Eve very well.  We were here at the beach - but not living here full-time yet. We had come down for Christmas and New Year's to spend it with hubby's mother.  We stayed in New Year's Eve  and went to bed early because hubby, our two daughter's, and I, set the alarm... and got up before sunrise.  We threw on jackets and went out on to the sandy beach to watch the very first sunrise of the new millineum come over the Atlantic Ocean.  We made mimosas and toasted to the new year!  

I took pictures that morning and made a collage that hangs in our hallway today. 

Did we make preparations for Y2K?    No.  I think we felt pretty confident that the world was not going to come unglued because the numbers changed on the computers!    But, boy, what a big deal some people made of it!

3.  According to Global Language Monitor, the most used word of 2014 isn't a word. It's the heart emoji.  Huh?  What do you think was the most used word? 

First, let me say that I think it's pretty nice that the most used "thing" was a heart, a representation of love!  I'm a big emoji user when texting... I tend to use a smiley face a lot.  Followed by the thumbs-up symbol/emoji.

The most used word?   Well, on TV it was probably "terrorist" and isn't that sad?     But, in every day language I think the word "awesome" is used too much, and I am including myself in over-using it.   Instead of the word being used for absolutely amazing things or experiences, it is now used for saying "yes, I like that!"

4.  Speaking of words, it's that time again. Time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2015.  This year's top vote getters are - 

bae (before everyone else), polar vortex, hack, skill set, swag, curate/curated, friend-raising, enhanced interrogation, cra-cra (as in crazy), takeaway, and -nation (a suffering sports suffix.) 

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?  Is there a word not on the list you would like to add?

Where have I been? I've never heard of bae.   The other words and phrases don't upset me EXCEPT "enhanced interrogation"....  which really is a "nicer" way of saying torturing.  I'm not for it.  I think our country should be above those tactics.   Many of use claim to be moral, and that we live as a follower of Jesus (who was totally non-violent and against abuse)  but yet think "enhanced interogation" is okay.   I do not.

5.  January is National Tea Month.  Are you a fan?  Do you like flavored teas?  How do you take your tea? Have a favorite cup or teapot? 

When it comes to hot beverages I am a coffee drinker all the way!  I do not drink hot tea.

But, I drink sweet tea when I want something cool and refreshing!

6.  Whatever happened to ________________?

the band Devo?   to neru jackets?  to Ben Murphy (actor on "Alias Smith & Jones")?  I thought he was adorable.  

Sorry, that's all I can come up with for this question.

7.  What is one book on your must-read list this winter. 

 I have just started "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.  I am going on a cruise later next week for 5 days and plan to take it along and read it then - sitting on a chaise-lounge, in the Caribbean, in the warmth...      are you jealous??   ( :

8.  My random thought. 

Yesterday I had "one of those days" and I wrote about it in the post right before this.  It has to do with doctor's office visits, and with prescription refills.   If you have a moment, read it. I'd like to hear your thoughts on being a "client" at a doctor's office.  How do you feel?  How are you treated?

Have a safe, healthy week ahead bloggers!  See you back here next week. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rainy days, Mondays, and the doctor's office. A trifeca!

Today is Monday and it's raining...     just like the song.    It's hard to be excited about rainy days even though I know our earth needs the water.  It's essential for everything.  But, still it makes the outdoors wet and a bit of a challenge for getting around.

I don't like to complain on my blog.  But, sometimes, days like today, and events like what happened today just annoy me.  I think it will help to write about it and perhaps "get it off my chest."

But, first...    I need to go back to a few weeks ago, back before Christmas.    And, I need to tell you that I am fortunate to be a very healthy person for my age (for any age) and I am blessed with only little problems.  But, yes, I take 2 meds on a regular basis.  The one I take every day - and the other just once a month. 

Before Christmas I realized that my "Automatic fill" on my every day medicine was done.  I mentioned it at my pharmacy (CVS) and they offered to fax the doctor's office to tell them.  So, I said great!  I waited a few days and went back to my pharmacy.  There had been no response from the doctor's office - so they sent another fax.   I waited.   Nothing.   Finally, it was December 24th, and I realized I would not have enough pills to make it through the holiday weekend.  I went back to my pharmacy....  they still had not heard from my doctor's office.

So, I got in my car and drove directly to my doctor's office, and yes, thankfully, it's not very far away.  I arrived at 11:45am on Christmas Eve day and went and pulled the door to go in, but it was locked.  A sign taped to the door said "Holiday hours:   Christmas Eve 8am to 12:00noon."  But the door was locked!   I started to panic and called the phone number on the door - and a woman picked up. Phew!  But as I explained I was outside she told me she is in another town, and takes calls for making appointments.    I then called again...went through the list of "if you need to reach so and so, dial 1, for so-and-so dial 2...etc.".   I left a pretty irate message about arriving before the posted closing time and that I was in need of my drugs.

I felt like I was some druggie looking for a fix!  I wondered if they thought that when they finally heard the message (whenever that was.)      Anyway, I stood there for a good ten minutes making phone calls and just being "in a pickle" on what to do...when a woman came out the side door. I bolted over to her - and told her my story (did she think I was a druggie too??)  But, she let me in the back way and she called the pharmacy and ordered just enough for me to get throughthe holidays... and then said to come in for an appointment with the doctor.

Christmas and New year came and went.  I immediately called and made an appointment with the Physican's assistant...thinking it was just for refills, and that would be fine.   3 days before my appointment was to happen, the office called me and said she would not be in the office that day (this was 3 days before - so it wasn't sickness.)  I had to reschedule.  Okay.  I did.... for the following week. My appointment was today.

My appointment was at 2:30pm so I arrived at 2:15pm knowing I had a new insurance card and it would take a few minutes to enter the new info into the computer. I like to be ready and on time.

Right at 2:30 or so I got called back to an exam room!  Yeah!!!   

The nurse came in and asked why I was there...you know typical questions; I just need 2 precrips refilled.  Everything else with me was fine. No other issues.  No questions.   Nothing.   She took my blood pressure - routine I realize.   Then she left.

And I waited.... and waited.... and waited.     And waited - and waited.

Finally after being in the room for 30 minutes (and listening to talking in the hallway), I popped my head out - thinking gee, maybe they forgot I was in there.    Wouldn't it be common courtesy to have someone come in and say they were running behind??    The physican's assistant who I was scheduled to see was directly across the hall in another exam room,  with the door open. She looked at me and said "I'll be there in just a few minutes.".

15 more minutes went by.

Yes....  finally, she walked in.  And I admit it - by that time I was "chippy" and annoyed and didn't want to spend anymore time in that exam room.  I had already sat there 45 or 50 minutes - and I wondered just how many other SICK people had been treated in there before me.   Germs were probably everywhere!  I had been breathing them, touching them on the table, etc.   It was hot in there.

So, I was short in my tone, and more than a bit put out.  I was not my cheerful self.  I felt I had been held captured by the system and there was nothing I could do but be quiet and just be happy I was finally being seen.

Does the story end there?    Of course not.  In the past I had gotten 12 months automatic renewal on the daily med.   But, oh - the physician's assistant said the prescription had already been printed out and it was for 6 months!  What?  I have to come in in 6 months from now again??     I asked....annoyed.   Oh no she said,  just call her!   Oh sure.  

As I said earlier I am a healthy person and I got very turned off by the lack of compassion, and just no courtesy for me having to wait long.  Maybe if I'd been sick and feeling rotten I would have not cared and really just been thankful someone would eventually help me. 

In general, in life  don't want to "settle" for this behavoir - and I feel as a patient/client I should be respected.  

Already, I left a practice in town before this one because the doctor was very into himself, and talked about himself every visit I went to, instead of being concerned about me - and the reason I came in.   He was that way every time I went,  and finally I had enough.   So, I switched.  Now, I'm thinking of switching again.

But - will I find a medical office where the front office and the back work together?  I mean - what's hard about this:  don't put a person into an exam room until they are NEXT.   And, will I find a place that can figure out the prescription system better?  (The faxes don't go through??   Get a NEW fax machine!)   I think it's silly to be in an exam room where sick people are treated before you, and to have to wait for a prescription renewed.     And, who do I write to with "constructive criticism" about the place?   Just who is in change? 

Okay. Rant done.   Frustration still abounds tough.  I already dread the next time I need a new medicine, or an actual examination and treatment.   

.....     is it wine time???     

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bachelorette party thoughts....

I think I am sitting here at the kitchen table this morning delaying all the stuff I need to get up and start doing.   The holidays are over and I need to get the house back to ordinary life.  I need to put away Christmas decorations, and clean, do laundry, and in general - put life back into a routine.

I'm looking forward to a few days of "normal" again.   BUT...  it was a wonderful end of the year 2014, and a beginning of a new one. 

It was an especially fun weekend that just ended because I got to spend it with my daughters and some of their girlfriends during my Lauren's bachelorette Party weekend in Charleston.   I want to thank them all for allowing me to be a part of it!  I'm not really sure if a mom usually takes part in bachelorette gatherings, but I appreciate that I was made to feel a part of it, and to celebrate with the  bride-to-be and her friends.  

And, let me say, what wonderful friends they are!   Caring and fun - and girls with their heads in the right place!  I really enjoy being around them.  All are different, yes, but all are thoughtful, and kind.  All can laugh at a good joke.  All care for my daughter and have been a big part of her life so far.  They traveled by car and plane to spend time together.  These are friends that will be life-long buddies and I think my daughter is very lucky to have such a great core group. 

I look forward to seeing them all at the wedding in a few months.  I can't wait to see them all dressed up for it!  They will be so pretty!   More fun times ahead!   

Ok now... I need to step away from the computer.  It's time for me to get back to real life here at home.

 But, girls, thanks for the weekend!!