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tryin' to get it all done...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
...even though it is not possible to do the laundry and water the plants in advance. Doing my best to get everything organized in preparation to leave town for several days. Remembering how years ago, I thought I had to clean house before I left... and now it's all I can do to be relatively sure I am not packing dirty clothes. Thinking of how people thought if you were going to be away from home for an extended period you need to have everything perfectly in order: floors mopped, bathrooms spotless, laundry baskets completely empty before you walk out the door.

Not a dirty dish left anywhere. In the event you returned to an emergency, or worse: did not return at all. You did not want other people to walk into your house and see dirt or dust or less than sparkling bathroom sinks. Perish the thought that something untoward might occur. That you or a family member not actually return, but if this unimaginable situation occurred, your mother and grandmother insisted that the house be immaculate, ready to receive guests.

Well, sadly, those days are over. I am leaving dust, dirty showers and some questionable miscellanea in the fridge. Hoping that the guy who will be left here (unsupervised) might be motivated to heat and eat the leftovers. Though it is  more likely he will get in the car and drive five miles to BK than take something from the fridge and put in in the micro., for consumption. And I will find it right where I left it, to go in the trash when I return. And a big pile of laundry generated while I am away.

yard workin'...

Monday, July 27, 2015
...confessing about how I invited the English ivy to come to my house, and have been spraying it for about ten years with brush killer. This comes under the heading of: 'Things my mom warned me about'. Though it is definitely not one of the usual items you would expect to see on that list. She said you think you want it, and hope it will grow, but when it does, you will wish you had not given it a toe-hold. Right again, Mom.

I think the most annoying part is how stuff grows up in it, and so many undesirables will 'volunteer', get out of control. Perhaps the actual ivy is not all that difficult to manage, but all those other things, little oak and pine trees, various and sundry, dozens of small trees hoping to be ignored. Things that will make you grind your teeth in the never-ending battle of keeping them pulled up and the ivy bed pristine. There are probably people who love it, and have big beds of it growing in places where nothing else will in dense shade, no other ground cover does well, and it is a boon to preventing erosion. But it is almost certain that those same people go out in the ivy bed, fearing creepy crawlies, cursing and swearing the whole time, pulling up all that unwanted stuff.

I've been out spraying trying to kill it. Except for that place near the drive way where I had an encounter with Mr. No Shoulders several weeks ago. I am very wary of that area, though I know the belly crawler could be miles away by now. And admit to actually casting a side-ways glance over into the ivy bed every time I drive in and out.  But don't want to spray the industrial strength brush killer there, as that is the only place where the late blooming yellow daisies live. I would love for the ivy to be history, but not at the expense of the wild-flowers.

When I see people buying hanging baskets or little potted plants, talking about how much they love ivy and hope it will do well at their homes - I tell them my story: it turns into kudzu when you aren't looking.

do not like sprinklers...

...or the idea of wasting water on lawns. But sadly, have bought two sprinklers for keeping the grass green in recent weeks.  The guy who lives here decided he would pay to get a small area in front of the house sodded. So we have been diligent about keeping that sufficiently wet when it has not rained in a timely manner. I am not sure why he decided to wait until it got blistering  hot to talk to the lawn guy about putting down sod, but it's been a challenge to keep it well-watered over recent weeks.

Plus the doofus who was sent to cut it last week decided it was too long/tall and cut it so short it looked scalped. Which means, that though those grass blades are pretty narrow and not what you might consider 'shade', there is even less now that the grass is so short, requiring even more water to keep it alive. I'm so totally opposed to watering to keep lawns green. More of the 'just let it go' persuasion.

That same doofus is the reason I had to go back to K-mart last week and buy another sprinkler. He moved the one that has been out on the little patch of new sod, left it lying in the middle of the drive way when he 'scalped' the new grass.   I totally forgot about that, until I heard the little plastic connection where you attach the hose go 'crunch', when I ran over it with my car. And said: well, $#@&!  It's my fault, so I did not hesitate to pay for another one, but called the guy who runs the lawn service and blistered his ears.

I've been running sprinklers all morning. And for hours overnight. To try to save it, since it was so expensive and really does look so nice, out there being lush and healthy. I drag the hoses around all the time, aiming for specific things, trying to keep stuff I have planted alive when it is so blistering hot and unbelievably dry. But as far as having a nice green 'carpet' to look at for eye-appeal: I really don't care.

the impatient patient...

Thursday, July 23, 2015
...seems to be doing fairly well. He made me look at the bandage on his chest last night. I'm not sure if it looks like it is supposed to. There has been some leakage, but I am guessing that a bit is not abnormal. He says he feels 'washed out', which is to be expected from the stress of the surgery. I know the doctor probably thinks this procedure so routine, she would not even call it 'surgery'. But I am pretty sure anytime you get sliced open it counts as something more than 'routine'. Certainly not part of my daily/run-of-the-mill activities!

I had to work yesterday, so not sure if he was 100% compliant with the instructions to stay at home, keep quiet and don't do anything more strenuous than an occasional trip to the bathroom. I'd like to believe he will do as told, and think that just the process has made him lethargic enough that he has no interest in much activity. But also know how prone he is to not abide by advice that he pays medical personnel a pile of money to give.

So, we will see how this goes...

dull, only marginally interesting...

...will be what you will find here. If you continue, and see that you are reading about my aggravating annoying trials in the world of Rx drugs. I have spent hours and hours on the phone with customer service people, many of whom speak English as a second language. So you can imagine how frustrating it is to have to ask people to repeat things or explain it in a different way, over and over and over. The people at the other end of my quandary often have such heavy accents I can't even understand what they tell me their anglicized names are, so they have to spell that, just for us to start the conversation.

I wish I had started keeping tabs on the amount of time I have spent on the phone, just in the past month, talking to CSR people in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As well as the fulfillment people with CVS/Caremark that sadly cannot do anything without approval of the Wellcare group. Just trying to get the prescription drugs I have been taking for years, now that my provider has changed, due to age-ing out of the program I was enrolled in.

But the other side of this irritating experience, is that I probably don't want to know how much of my life I have invested to this highly frustrating endeavor. The interesting, or possibly not, part of all this is that most of the Rx are actually free, according to the way the ACA has decided to 'tier' the meds. Based, I assume, on cost, and the exorbitant prices the pharmaceutical industry changes for name-brand, patented meds. But the one I have been struggling with, devoting 'way too much time talking to people in the Philipines, will cost me $455 for ninety days. Yes, I am sure we all agree, that sounds a little steep.

They have suggested to me, so I am certain it is written into their 'script': ask for assistance. Which I have not seriously considered, due to the other meds. being provided at nearly no cost. Other than the monthly fee I pay for prescription service. But I am taking my library book and going, prepared to sit and wait it out, to have a turn talking to the people who might (not likely) be willing to consider my plight. And provide some financial support for a prescription that, if filled as written, would cost over Five Freakin' Dollars a Day.

pierogies...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
...are in the latest recipe from Aprons. I think it was pretty good, but I did not eat it, because it also involves sausage. Which I do not want to put in my mouth. Even though it is made from chicken instead of pork. It's just the flavor, and the idea of 'sausage' (remembering that old bad joke about how you really don't want to know the particulars of how they make sausage or laws). And that thin, membrane casing the ground up meat is forced into. The last time we made a  recipe that had some form of sausage in it, we had to take the casing off, using just the meat, loose. I won't even say what that casing looked like when I peeled it off the meat before putting in the pan to brown. Ick.

This one had onions and bell pepper, sautéed in the pan with the sausage. When this gets done, (you should be sure meat is thoroughly cooked, check that internal temp is 165), take it out of the pan. Wipe the pan, and put in a bit more oil, then add the package of frozen pierogies. Cook about five min on each side, then add the sliced sausage and vegetables back in, along with a tasty sauce consisting of spicy brown mustard and vinegar.

People would come by and peer into the skillet and say: 'what is that?' And I would say: 'sausage, peppers and onions with ravioli-type pasta filled with cheese.' How would you describe a pierogie?

The recipe was actually designed to be cooked on a grill. Which, of course, did not happen in the store. The tasters said it was really good. I did not try it, due to the fact that it was much too reminiscent of sausage. Even though it was chicken and not pork. As a result of my superb, outstanding skills,  lots of people left the store with sausage and pierogies, planning to cook the recipe for their family tonight. I wish I was making a commission.

a man who is...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
...hard to buy gifts for. When he wants something, he will in all likelihood buy it for himself. I am probably the same way, meaning if there is something I think I really want, I am not likely to say: 'you can put this on that list of things you want to remember when gift-giving time comes around, and instead of asking me or wondering, you will know I'm wishing I had a _ _ _ _.' I am pretty good at making mental notes about other people, and remembering their wishes, when they are thinking out loud or mumbling about something they don't think they deserve.

I was doing the laundry today, for the guy who apparently continues to believe in the Clean Underwear Fairy. Doing the basket of white things that did not get taken care of on Monday. And found some handkerchiefs. You don't often see men who put one in their pocket every morning when they get dressed. Just not in common usage these days. But this guy always tucks one in his back pocket. The ones I was folding after they came out of the dryer have something stitched on a corner. Some have a little blue heart. Some have his initials, some just say 'Dad'.

Every time I fold a clean one to put back in the drawer, I think of the daughter who took the time to stitch on the corner of each white square of fabric. Who took the time with a needle and thread to personalize a whole box of hankies before she gave them to him as a Christmas gift. I doubt he gives it a thought when it tucks it in his hip pocket, but I always think of her when I am folding them into tidy little squares.

My granddad died in 1981, living in a nursing  home in south GA. He had dementia and was not aware of his circumstances, his family or much of anything about life. When I asked my grandmother, who devotedly went to see him each day to help him with lunch, she suggested he could use some new handkerchiefs for a Christmas gift.

The staff at the nursing  home would dress their residents in an assortment of clothing, whatever was at hand, whether it belonged to that particular patient or not. Though she would write his last name in each article of clothing,  my grandmother could expect to find her husband of sixty-plus years dressed in anyone's pants and shirt. Though she never knew whose clothing he might be wearing, he would always have a hanky in his pocket that has his last name neatly stitched on a corner in bright red thread.