Saturday, February 28, 2015

How to Hang a Door ........ Maybe Not

I refilled my prescription. Maybe my body has become accustomed to the drug ..... but I suddenly have so much energy! So much so that I have pulled everything out of my kitchen cabinets and cleaned like a mad woman. My pantry is organized and one can simply open the doors and see what is available without moving things around.

My pots and pans sit ready to serve with the lids stacked neatly in this found object. Really don't know what it was meant to be, but it is stainless steel and has sections that are just the right size to hold the lids. Could be something that is meant for the tools and gadgets of He Who tinkers with tools. Whatever it is it is now MINE and I defy anyone who would attempt to take it!

We have been here nearly 11 years. I think back to my very first thought when I saw my new living accommodations. "No way am I living in this." So many things to consider. I decided our 40' motor home was fine. We could build a house to my liking. Problem solved.

We took possession of the park mid-season. This meant that all our time, energy, and money went to the business. We stayed in the RV for about 10 days. I would get up and ready myself for the day, walk my 4 dogs, then check on all the bathrooms. Open the office at 9 am and there I was trapped until 9 pm.

All of our boxed belongings were in the living quarters. One bedroom had boxes stacked floor to ceiling. Our king size bed was set up in the other bedroom with some of the furniture and there was a path through the living room to the front door and from there, through the kitchen to the office. My sofa and love seat was in the living room and this is where my Saint Bernard spent the days, sprawled on the sofa. She would only allow our tiny Emmy to share with her, leaving the other doxie, Oscar and Sarge, our Collie, to make do on the love seat. This meant that Sarge was on the floor and Oscar had the loveseat to himself.

I would lock the store and take them out every two hours or so, and I did have a bathroom close at hand. The kitchen had a stove and sink, very little counter space and few cabinets. My RV had more space to cook. I tried to use the stove for meals and found that I had two working eyes and an oven that burned everything.

Being open 12 hours a day was tiring, not to mention confining. I wasn't busy the entire time, but someone had to be there. To save my sanity we moved into the living quarters to be able to have some semblance of a life.

I made do with the kitchen that first year, stacking most of my kitchen boxes to be opened when I discovered a place to put things. The second year we opened a wall between the "house" and the personal laundry room, which measured 11 X 11. I needed a kitchen and there was another space that would accommodate a washer and dryer.

Part of this newly gained space had the furnace in it. My handy man, He Who tinkers with tools, framed a wall around it and closed it into it's very own space. It had need of a door and we found one at a salvage store. 

He Who tinkers with tools will often stop mid-job to ponder things. This was a solid door, not hollow core. It was heavy. When I saw the tiny hinges he meant to employ, I did question the advisability of using them. This is when he made his ever popular declaration that he knew what he was doing. I walked away, secure in the knowledge that his plan would either work, or he would be re-hanging a door.

He had a set of three hinges. He played with the hanging of the door for an entire day. He put the door up with only two hinges. After a day of measuring and re-measuring and lots of mumbling, the door was installed with an upper hinge and a  ....... I know you must be thinking "lower", right? No, you are wrong. It was middle. Nine years ago.

I stopped asking about that third hinge after the first few years. The door was a treat to open and closed, but I got used to it. Life went on. Until today. he has been keeping this door ajar to loop the straps of his coveralls over the top of the door. Despite the fact that I had a hook available just for that purpose right next to the back door.

He wants them close to the wood stove. He acted like I put that hook by the back door in order to freeze his coveralls on purpose. So now that the door is in use he has noticed that it doesn't "hang right". So, today, after nine years, he finally admits that the hinges are too small. Before he can escape and run to the hardware store to purchase more, his thrifty wife hands him a container of used hinges and pins.

He sets out early in the afternoon to re-hang the door using the correct sized hinges. But, much to his dismay he finds that the door is now warped. And after only nine years of hanging by two small hinges not placed to equally divide the weight of the door. Now he thinks we need to get another door. And they say women like to shop.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Clouds and Silver Linings

Still waiting for a solution for the health insurance. In the meantime, life does go on.

The well situation has been resolved. But do not assume that my water issues are over! You will recall that broken pipe allowed the well to suck in clay and roots. All this went through the pipes and came out in the sinks and tubs .......

I was taking a much deserved steaming hot shower, relishing the good water pressure pounding on my back. I was in no hurry, since all is well with the well (snicker). So, I was just lathering my hair with shampoo, letting the water massage my back when all of a sudden the shower head flew off!

If I thought I had good water pressure before ...... I was being power washed!! Now I am in a hurry! I have never been so clean! I am making a list that will include new shower heads for all the bathrooms in the park ....... seven, in case you are wondering.

That is not the end of water issues, though. The weather is bitterly cold and that always means pipes will burst. Every effort is made to prevent this. Space heaters are turned on in the bathrooms and the laundry room at night. So the pipes won't burst.

Since we have no guests in the park, one would assume that the laundry room would not be in use, right? I was chopping vegetables, preparing dinner, four dogs at my feet. I turned to the stove to check the oven, then stepped back to the counter, when I noticed I was stepping in a puddle. 

I felt the difference as I stepped down. Yes, I had shoes on, I rarely go barefoot, even in warm weather ....... which is odd, since I hated shoes as a child. I can feel things underfoot, unlike He Who notice nothing and tracks everything through the house. My first thought went to a puddle of pee, and I immediately asked who did it, before I even looked down. The puddle was huge and growing, coming from under the cabinets. I yelled for He Who fixes pipes. My kitchen is on the other side of the laundry room.

Did I say that He Who is not detail oriented? He turns the water off before launching his investigation. He finds the laundry room door wide open. There are others who live out here in the country. I have already forbidden the use of my dumpster. They were amazed to know that I have to pay for the removal of refuse ...... that is your first clue.

He Who is not very observant recalls those same people had been in the laundry room the previous day. He thinks they may have left the door open. It did not occur to him to check that door before retiring for the night, he just assumed they would close it. Well, you know what happens when you assume? You end up with broken pipes to fix.

Any coins they fed the washers and dryers yesterday did not benefit me at all, since now we have a broken pipe. I mopped up four gallons of water. Yes, I measured it. I could hardly pick the bucket up to empty it. I confess that I added a little floor cleaner to the water and swished it all over the kitchen and dining room and back hallway before I mopped it up. This is the difference between me and my mate. He sees clouds and I see silver linings. Opposites do attract.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Not only is the internet and Blogger conspiring to try the patience of a lady in pain, but my new insurance card arrived last week. This will be the third business day I have been dealing with issues. I had the weekend to stew.

Did you know that PCP is an acronym for primary care physician? I didn't, but I do now. I had no idea what it was boldly printed on my ID card. Perhaps I would have figured it out had the name of the person behind it was followed by an "MD" or some other clue as to what they were.

I promptly called the office of the gastroenterologist I was referred to and gave them the information on the card. The man was very nice and assured me that my insurance was acceptable. He was all set to schedule my appointment when he asked for the PCP listed on my card (lightbulb moment for me). I gave him the name and he told me that the referral had to come via that physician ........ but, not to worry, since United Health Care was pretty common, I should just call the number on the back of the card and have them change the PCP in the computer and he would go from there.

Since it was nearly 5:00, I had to wait until the next day, because I wanted to call my clinic and make sure they took the insurance before I called that number. See, I can still think logically. Called my clinic and they assured me they did.

Feeling quite confidant, I called the member number on the back of my card. Not sure where the person who answered my call was, but English was not his first language. Add to that, I could hear the voices of other people answering calls just such as mine. I would, no doubt, have had no problem understanding this man in person, but on the phone it took all my powers of intuition to figure out what he was saying.

He tells me that my clinic does not accept the plan I have. He is very courteous and apologetic, eager to help me come up with a solution. He tells me I can call my clinic and have them update their participation ...... or I will just have to go with the PCP assigned me. And start all over with all the tests and trial runs of drugs before I get another referral. Crap.

I was told to come to the clinic today with my card in tow. Crappy road conditions and the fact that I was going to skip the pain meds today, so that I could drive without endangering my life and the lives of others, but found that I couldn't when I woke with so much pain, are keeping me home. I finally got the person at the main branch of my clinic in charge of insurance billing and gave her the information.

Now, I wait. My clinic is doing a major update and she will call me back when she has an answer. The insurance won't actually be live until March 1st, but I was hoping to get the appointment set up and be all set come the first of the month. What is it they say about good intentions?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Smoke Gets In My Eyes

I have been told that I am more pleasant when medicated. Probably true, since pain makes one irritated.

My magic capsules are time released and I can feel the results of that release periodically. During those times, I tend not to care about life's little irritations. Those episodes are not long lasting.

Things still annoy me. Things like the fact that the well experts have still not completed this job. The elusive gasket was reported to have been ordered twice last week. Last report said the part was to arrive Friday morning at 9 am and they would be right out to finish the installation of that part and the rest of the job. They were a no-show Friday and have not called this week.

I really did not expect them to come out yesterday or today with the snow and the bitter cold temperatures. Tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day of the winter and I don't expect them to brave the weather. I do have water, after all and I have been enjoying some nice hot showers. But, you would think they would have at least called.

I now you are all wondering why I haven't called them. This is the deal of He Who is in charge of the water works here. He says he will handle it, they are calling is cell when they do communicate. I don't have to field calls or anything .......

The fence is still down and the ground thingies they drove on are still in the yard and covered with snow. The temporary fence is still up for the dogs and everything is in limbo as I wait to be able to put my laundry room back to normal. Just annoying.

Pain meds or not, I am still me. The lid off the tooth paste still annoying, the puddles of melting snow on the floor, the wind blowing the smoke back down the chimney stack and burning my eyes ........... must be time for another dose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

As Prescribed

Remember the story about the little boy hitting himself in the head with the hammer? When asked why he was hitting himself, he replied that it felt so good when he stopped.

I think, maybe, that chronic pain is like that. You become accustomed to the pain. So much so that you don't realize you are hurting until you take a pain reliever.

While I wait for my new insurance policy to kick in, I have been carefully hoarding the prescription I have for pain. Well, I was, until I actually read the bottle and discovered the refill. So, for the past week I have been taking the medication as prescribed. I am much nicer to be around, although, not very productive. I seem to have developed a great capacity to stare mindlessly at the TV and do absolutely nothing.

In my drug-free state I would have guilt feelings for doing nothing, but in this new pain-free universe, guilt does not factor in. I do manage a few tasks, such as cooking and laundry, then feel insanely proud of myself.

Last night, for instance, I pulled all the left-overs out of the fridge and prepared a meal of sorts. In doing so, I got a little carried away and cleaned out a lot of stuff, like expired pickles and such ...... then felt so accomplished. A good nap makes me feel so righteous!

My only concern is ....... what happens when I stop taking these capsules of magic?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Texting and Driving

As I sit here sipping my coffee, waiting for the wood stove to crank out some heat and listening mindlessly to the news (local), I hear again how there is a proposal to make it illegal to text and drive for those over 21.

I confess that I was unaware that it was legal to text and drive, no matter your age. In this state, the great state of Missouri, it is legal. Only for those over 21. Because we all know that upon turning 21 you are an adult and can do adult things. Suddenly you are a multi-tasking wizard. Not to mention the fact that adults in my age range are so very adept at technology.

 Why would it be a good idea to text and drive at any age? Legal or not. Make sure you have air bags and your seat belt is buckled. Have to be safety conscious, you know. Then, text while you hurtle down the interstate at 80 MPH, no make that 79 MPH. Cause, we all know the troopers won't bother to pull you over unless you exceed the speed limit by 10 MPH. Speaking of legal .....

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sleep Interrupted

The well is still not completely fixed. It was all going so well until they encountered a gasket that had to be special ordered.

In spite of that fact I was still determined to have a relatively good day. I made some delicious soup, using some of that smoked turkey from my freezer, five kinds of beans and some chorizo sausage. I called my dad and chatted with him. He continues to get stronger and was happy to talk to me.

Went to bed, watched Jon Stewart, laughed, then totally relaxed, I was drifting into sweet slumber.
You know what I mean. You can still hear the TV and the dog snoring, but it doesn't matter. I was aware of the TV going off and I was snuggling in when the ring of the phone shattered the air.

He Who would normally pretend to be deaf to the sound took pity on me and got up to see who  might be disturbing our night. I was still in that hazy state, still able to fall back to sleep as soon as he got back into bed.

But, no, he turned on the light and told me to look at the caller ID, that he thought it was my dad's number. I looked and saw that it was and my heart jumped into my throat and I had that painful surge of adrenaline. I immediately hit redial. It rang and rang and finally the answering machine picked up. I did not leave a message. I was completely awake at this point, and contemplating calling my step-sister.

But, I decided to check the caller ID myself. Glad I did. He Who, has been shown at least three times how to scroll back to see who called, once again hit the "last number called" function instead. That was the last number I called ...... my dad.

I am thankful that I did not leave a frantic message. I am thankful that Mama and Daddy are both hard of hearing. Turned out to be a would be camper wanting a price. He did not indicate that he needed a site for the night, he just inquired about the pricing and hung up.

So, you know that I am wide awake at this point and it took awhile to get back to sleep. Must have been an hour, since that is when the phone rang and woke me yet again. Same caller, announcing that he was at the office. Had to bite my tongue and simply instruct him to use the night registration. "Simply follow the instructions posted on the door."

Don't know who deserves more credit for my crummy night ...... the camper or my husband.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Water Problem Solution ....... Happenng Today

The long awaited big day is here!! The well is being pulled!!

I have to admit that the term "well pulling" still makes me nervous. The term would imply that the well will no longer be there, since they are "pulling" it. I mean, when the dentist "pulls" your tooth ...... it is no longer there.

The weather this past weekend was wonderful, downright balmy. I was up in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday to fling Martha, the annoying boy cat, out the back door. I walked out in my nightgown and the warm breeze wafted round me. I was tempted to open all the windows when I went back inside.

Martha, the boy cat, has been sleeping in at night this winter. I felt cruel making him go out when the temperature was so low. He sleeps all day, after gobbling up all the dog food he can steal before the canine contingent take him down and they roll on the floor play fighting. From there he saunters over to the office door to gain access to his cat food. Once there he gorges on his Meow Mix, then comes back into the house and my empty bed to snooze the day away. He arises in the evening to torment the dogs until bedtime, then goes back to sleep with the rest of us until he decides he wants to roam.

To awaken me, he insinuates himself between the shade and the window and starts tapping the shade against the window, knowing this will annoy me awake. That fat cat is smart. One cold night at 2:30, I scooped him up and tossed him in the office. He came back an hour later and got under the shade and scaled the window to the top and mewled loudly. See what I mean?

But this was supposed to be a post about my first thought of the morning. The weather has changed. It is cold today. So, I wondered upon wakening ..... is it as cold as a well diggers a$$??

Should I go ask?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Affordable Health Care .... Promises, Promises

I read an article last week about the benefits of affordable care for those over the age of 60. Did you know that you are entitled to an annual "well" exam free, with no cost to you at all. No co-pay. Also preventative care is offered "at NO COST" for screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies and pneumonia shots, as well as flu shots.

I feel enlightened, since I had to pay for my annual exam last year. Not just the co-pay, but the balance of the cost of the office visit, since I had not yet met my deductible. Seems they did not honor that part of the "contract". For years we had no insurance. Not able to afford $1200 a month, since our health history factored in.

Last year we signed up for the mandatory insurance. I say mandatory, since there would be a fine for not doing so. The plan we chose was not all that good. A very high deductible to meet and, like I said, the co-pay, pus the balance of the office visit until the deductible was met. The premiums were low, but we still had to pay out of pocket for our prescriptions. So, really, this "affordable" health care cost us more that not having insurance at all.

Like I said the premiums were low, only $27 a month. But that $27 provided nothing, other than the assurance that should hospitalization be required for a major illness, it would not bankrupt us. I have been waiting patiently for a new year to start so that all the referrals to specialists and tests would apply to my annual deductible .......... then we got our new policy and the premiums had jumped to $328 a month. No, the coverage did not change at all, it was still pretty crummy with a high deductible to meet before it paid for anything.

So, we dropped the policy, went back to the "market place" and found another plan through another carrier for $44 a month. Not any better than the other policy, but "affordable". Now I have to wait until March 1st. Almost here and I am nothing, if not patient.

So, imagine out surprise to find out that we have been charged $352 on our income tax for the amount that was paid for our affordable health care. Add insult to injury. I am so confused.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Totino's Pizza Rolls

Back to the Super Bowl ........ He Who only occasionally watches sports on TV and knows the plot line of the Young and Restless, decided to watch the Super Bowl yesterday. He enjoys the commercials, after all.

He had seen a spoof on Saturday Night Live about Totino's Pizza Rolls. I am not a big fan of those. They taste like cardboard with pizza flavoring to me. I am a flavor snob. I like for my food to taste good.

I bought a smoked turkey on sale last week and decided that turkey sandwiches would do fine along with some salads. That way he could fix his own food at will all day long. We needed bread if we were to have sandwiches and I made a list with a few items we needed and sent him to the grocery. On the list I included the ingredients to make a chocolate lava cake in the crock pot. I am nothing if not a good cook and wife .... since I don't even like chocolate.

You would have thought that all the food I prepared would have been enough. There are only two of us and the turkey weighed 15 lbs. So, I was sitting there pondering things I ponder and playing spider solitaire while the football game dragged on and on, when He Who barely knows his way around a kitchen other than to create peanut butter atrocities, hands me a small plate with Totino's Pizza rolls.

That was not on my list. I don't know why, but I ate some. They tasted just the same as I remembered with their tiny little cubes of fake pepperoni and sausage and the chewy cardboard outer covering. It was one of those mindless things one does. It was there, so I ate it. As I write this, I still have indigestion.

I saw in the freezer that he has more of these pizza rolls left, since he bought the giant "family sized" bag. He always does that, he buys like he is still buying for our family of 20, instead just 2.

Now, before you point out that I cooked a 15 lb. turkey ...... let me remind you that 15 lbs. is small for a turkey and I have other plans for that bird. Not to mention the fact that it was already smoked and only a buck a pound. I also gave some to our friends, with some cake for their Super Bowl eating pleasure. He Who loves Totino's Pizza Rolls commented that we sure weren't going to eat all that turkey as he left to deliver the goods.

Oh, little does he know that he will be eating lots of fowl in the weeks to come, in some forms recognizable and in some not.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Mind Wanders

Super Bowl is on and I have grown tired of pretending to watch. Too many time outs. I find them annoying. Most of the game I had a book on my ear bud, but I finished it and now here I sit, my mind wondering aimlessly.

I keep going back to that dried cat urine being used for yellow pigment in paint. I wonder who came up with that idea. Dog poop. There must be something dog poop could be useful for. I have plenty and it would be way easier to harvest than cat pee. Can't smell any worse that cat urine.

 Really, have you ever been house hunting and entered a home in which the carpet has been saturated with cat urine? You can yank that carpet out, but the smell will linger forever. Maybe the color lingers too and that makes it perfect for paint pigment ...... who knows?

So while there is only a minute left on the clock, I am trying to imagine what one could create out of dog poop. I am a frustrated inventor.