Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Updated Plan

We have a tornado watch until 8 P.M. tonight so I rescheduled the tb test and hospital volunteer orientation, trip to the post office, everything that requires me leaving.  The exterminator has been here and left.

Today's Plan

Today the exterminators are supposed to come to set off bombs to try to get rid my the wasps in my art room.  Even if they don't manage to eradicate them, they should suffer.
The second TB test is on my schedule.  I think the hospital people want to do something about orientation, too.  I got a phone message to that effect, but only managed to play phone tag with them.  I'm going to take my itinerary  for the cruise to see what I need in the way of immunizations.  I also need to get a picture taken for my passport renewal.
I made travel arrangements to meet up with Leigh and Jonathan for a cruise in the Greek islands.  That should be interesting and fun.
If I get a picture made, maybe I can submit my documentation for passport renewal when I go to the post office to mail a couple of packages.  I'm wondering if the hospital will take my picture for my id tag...maybe they'll make an extra one.
The weather is wretched for running errands.  The rain and wind are bad enough, but now it has started thundering, too.  Maybe some of it can wait.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I love flowers but I usually can't stand to cut any to bring into the house.  We finally have enough daffodils to bring some in and not be able to tell any have been cut.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Simplifying Life

Simplifying life sounds easy...simple, actually.  It isn't for me.  I do some things like put off season clothes somewhere else.  I toss some things that are so annoying that not only do I never want to deal with them again, I don't want to be responsible for anybody else screwing around with it.
I've donated car loads of books to the library.  I've given clothes to needy people.  I put catalogs in a recycle pile and actually recycle the pile...sometimes before Larry is finished with them.  Don't put it in my chair if you don't intend for me to trash it.  I really don't want to find something I want.
Here's the deal.  If I want something because I see it, that means I probably don't want it to fill a particular need. Seeing something that is perfect for a task is hardly ever cheaper than using what I already have.
I also think it is simpler to use the same size and shape dishes.  They fit into the dishwasher more efficiently.  However, I don't want to eat everything out of a bowl, so that doesn't exactly work...although soup, cereal, salads, casseroles, and desserts actually do just fine in bowls so I went out and bought twelve more bowls to match the four I already had.  I also bought 25 more small spoons and 25 additional large spoons.  It was annoying to have all my bowls and spoons in the dishwasher and the rest of the dishwasher was empty.  I already had a dozen small plates.
Today I took specialty kitchen utensils out of a cardboard box I've used for at least ten years and put them into a wooden storage box that slides perfectly into that space and looks much better.  Plus it got the wooden box out of my art room.  Yes, I tossed some stuff I found in there that I couldn't identify.
Life is certainly simpler if I don't have things I can't identify lurking about the kitchen. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stuff

On Sundays we have been throwing stuff away that we've had stored or about ten years.  We've been deciding if we were ever going to use the stuff and since it's out in the shed, not too much of it is useful to us now.  But it took a while for us to decide to let it go.  It's getting easier.
I also needed to water the things we planted yesterday.  It isn't difficult to water things once it has warmed up.  But it can still freeze so we haven't hooked up the hoses yet.  That's a lot of walking to water with a tea pitcher and walk back to refill it...repeatedly.
I also emptied out the compost bin.  I mixed some of the compost with the dirt for the roses.  I couldn't get the stuff out without tipping it over and digging it out.  Then I couldn't stand it back up.  So I got all the stuff out, then moved it to a new location.  I'm not sure where I'm going to put the compost.  I thought it would be looser, but it is clumped together into big wads.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Twenty-two planted

Today I had a couple of teenage boys plant ten knockout roses, ten lilacs, and two hybrid tea roses.  Larry looked at a tea rose and asked why it was crooked.  I shrugged.  He said that that is why I am supposed to stay out there with them.  I told him not only was I with them, I was the one holding the rose as Marvin put the dirt in the hole:)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hospital Volunteer

Today I went to have my tb test read.  I was pretty surprised to find out that they give two.  So Wednesday I have to get another one, not that anything was wrong with the first one.  And next Friday I have to have the second one read.  My lab work wasn't back yet but she said it wouldn't prevent me from volunteering.  I wonder why they waste the money if they don't need it.  My drug test was ok.  I don't know when I start volunteering, but I seem to be keeping the hospital workers busy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Low-Carb Seafood Bisque

I made the recipe I found online for low-carb seafood bisque this morning.  I used a pint of crab meat, a pint each of oysters and shrimp.  I used a little more chicken stock than it called for, a little more cooking wine (I couldn't find sherry so I got a dry white), and a little nutmeg.  It was good, but not good enough to make again considering how expensive it was.  I really like Cambell's New England Clam Chowder.  But it isn't low-carb.  I wanted to be able to get my fish in (I hardly ever eat fish three times in the same week) and hoped I would really like the bisque.  I think it would be way cheaper to make pasta tuna salad more often.  It is fairly inexpensive and I like it better.  Also, I don't have to drive to south Alabama to get the ingredients.  Anyway, it said it made 8 to 10 servings.  I ate a bowl for lunch and put 8 more containers in the refrigerator.  Maybe I can talk Larry into eating some of it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Volunteer Physical

Today I went for my physical to be a volunteer at the hospital.  It was from 12:30 until 4.  The two volunteers were in with four new hires.  I had to take a drug test among other things.  I've never had a drug test as far as I know.  I also don't remember being tested for color blindness.  I have to go back Friday for them to read my tb test and then they do another one after about a week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I am trying to eat more fiber because I didn't want to go on cholesterol medication to bring the ldl down.  The doctor said I wouldn't be able to make a dietary change that would help because my triglycerides and blood sugar were already good.  I said I was going to try anyway.  The next time I went, my ldl had gone down 20 points and my hdl hadn't dropped.
I had called my health coach associated with my insurance and asked how to bring down my ldl without bringing down my hdl.  She said to eat fiber.
Well.  It turns out there are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber cleans out the blood vessels and insoluble fiber cleans out the intestines.  I did not find that out immediately.  I asked the nutritionist associated with my insurance if it would help if I left the peelings on tomatoes.  I don't like them because it is like I imagine eating plastic wrap would be.  She clued me in that there are two types.  So tweaking that part of my diet has been a fairly recent change.  Some of the foods overlap for both kinds, but benefiber doesn't do what insoluble fiber does.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today I went to a funeral.  It just seems wrong that people younger than I am die. Actually, people my age shouldn't die, either.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Popcorn Snack

I tried a friend's snack idea.  I microwaved a bag of popcorn and sprinkled part of a package of ranch dressing on it.  It was good, to me.  Larry thinks the cheddar in the purchased tins is better, but I don't.  This had a little more zip to it.

Early Birthday Present

This is the sweater chest that Larry made for my birthday.  I'm wearing a sweater that Leigh sent me.  When Larry made the drawers, he made the back of each drawer from aromatic cedar so I shouldn't have to worry about moths getting into my knitted treasures:) I have a castle to put on top of it, but  it just now got finished so it isn't decorated yet.  It is mostly cherry that took him forever to plane down to a reasonable thickness.  The sides are birch plywood.  The colors blend nicely and are a warm color.  We got knobs to match the dresser.  It's a gorgeous, useful present!
OK.  Here it is with the castle or whatever it is supposed to be.  A candle goes in the bottom and oil in the chimney.  But when I light the candle, it's pretty, but the flame is too far below the oil for the fragrance to diffuse.  I put a linen and lace placemat we got in Bruges under it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Tails

Today we saw Red Tails.  I liked it.  One of the things I liked was that there was no discrimination when one of the main characters fell in love with a beautiful Italian woman.  Her mother sat between them not because he was black, but because he was a man.
I pretty much felt that way about Germany when we were there.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wow! You Make It Look So Difficult!

Nobody has actually said that out loud to me, but I think it's because they're not there when I'm working on things.  Today I managed to get the sewing machine to work.  The bobbin tension isn't perfect, but it isn't making big wads.  I had sewn two seams and was about to start on the third when I noticed I'd sewn the first seam on the inside and the second on the outside.  Fortunately, I'd found my seam ripper the day before.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lint Lizard

Most of the time when I get something I've seen advertised on television, I am more like the clumsy one they show doing whatever it is badly and the gadget doesn't help.
Today I finally found a Lint Lizard.  I've been watching for it because I've seen inside my dryer and who would believe so much lint is stuffed down in there.
Well, putting it together was easy.  But then it said to remove the lint trap.  Not the filter, but the trap.  So I got my handy dandy electric screwdriver with a million different little tips, found one that fit, and started trying to remove the lint trap.  I used the claw end of the hammer, a couple of knives, I could NOT remove the lint trap.  When Larry came in, he looked at it and said it meant to remove the filter not the trap itself.  So, thankfully, I put the screws back in.  I had pretty much resigned myself to buying a new dryer if I managed to remove the lint trap.
But I crammed the lint lizard tube down into the lint trap.  It went a long way and did manage to suck out a bunch of lint.  In fact, in clogged up the tube and I had to poke the hardened mass out with one of the table knives I'd used to try to pry the dryer apart.
Singer:  I bought a new friction ring and four more bobbins.  $3.07 and they didn't have to order anything to mail to me later:)  When I was in the third grade my mother had a Singer Sewing Center in Fairhope, Alabama.  It was in an old gas station that had the cover sticking out over the pumps.  The gas pumps were not there any more.  I remember them working to set up the display counters and my mother making me clothes as she demonstrated fancy stitches, etc.
The hospital called to make my appointment to come in for a physical so I can be a volunteer.  She also asked if she could put my name on the home help volunteer list.  She said I wouldn't have to go to anybody's home but could maybe address envelopes or something.  I told her I could see if it seemed to be something I can do.  One day I may need those services and hopefully people will donate their time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interesting Lazy Day

I thought we were going to town today.  I woke up late, drank my coffee, washed my hair, dressed, and waited.  I could hear Larry working in the shop, so I thought he just wanted to get something done before we left.  I hadn't eaten breakfast because I thought we were going to eat lunch in town for Larry's birthday.
I was starving so I went to the shop to find out when he planned to go.  He said he told me yesterday he didn't want to go today (even though he told me yesterday he did want to go).  He said he told me it was going to rain. I agree he said that.  But if I was supposed to infer we weren't going because of rain, he must think we're an Amish courting couple.
Anyway, I want to show the sweater combination I put on in expectation of birthday dinner:
 Aren't the colors gorgeous?
The next picture is an egg gourd.  I've ordered seeds for these, but a lady at the Center for Aging gave me a few of these.  Some of them didn't look so much like an egg, but a couple of them did.
Since I was warmly, nicely dressed, I decided not to do anything nasty, so I just planted more seeds (snapdragons and salvia, today), and tried to tidy up some stuff in my art room.  Actually doing art would mean I'd end up a mess and I just wasn't in the mood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Well, I still don't know how to adjust the tension on the sewing machine.  I got it threaded, the bobbin threaded (not easy as the friction ring had dry rotted), three of the pieces of material pinned together and started sewing...finally.  I absolutely don't remember anything about adjusting the tension.  There is a big, loopy mess underneath the material.  I have the manual and it looks as if I need a screwdriver.  I have one.  That can be tomorrow's challenge.  Or the next day's.
Larry wants to eat soup and salad at Olive Garden for his birthday.  I told him we could go to Red Lobster or wherever he wants, but he said he wants the bread sticks and soup at Olive Garden.  He wants to go tomorrow, so it will be an early birthday meal.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nit Picking

OK, not really.  I didn't even know the origin of that term until I started teaching.  But the common usage implies looking for small things wrong (hmm, making a mountain out of a mole hill?)
But I had been annoyed by a local medical clinic.  I didn't get a bill, but all of a sudden I'd have a notice from a collection agency.  I'm not the only one it happened to because I heard people complaining in the staff room at school.  I couldn't figure out how it was happening.
Then last week I actually read one of those insurance papers.  It denied coverage for something it would normally pay because the claim wasn't filed in a timely manner (nine months later, in fact).  So I went to the clinic and asked about it.  She said if it is their fault, they write it off.  I said that I thought they should but what they actually do is send it to a collection agency next.
She gave me a phone number and said to call the ones who do their billing.  So I did and have put a copy of the letter from the insurance company in the mail.  This would explain a lot.  The woman in billing said she had not gotten a copy of that and for me to send her one.
The medical care at that facility was fine, but the bookkeeping wasn't.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chili Day

Today I started trying to record our things for possible insurance purposes.  This is because every time I leave home I imagine people breaking in, not finding anything they want and destroying my stuff out of annoyance.  My sister in law suggested getting one of those home alarm systems that doesn't cost anything but there's a monthly charge for the service.  I don't worry when we're home.  I finally decided that if I can make a pretty complete list of what I worry about, I can put the list in various places, and stop worrying.  I don't know that I can replace some of the stuff, but I've got my pictures copied and saved.
So while I had the roomba going, I made lists and pictures.
The roomba wasn't finished, so I made chili.  Sometimes the roomba doesn't jam itself on something or under something, but sometimes it does so I like to stay close.
It's a great day for chili, cold!

Smoke Alarm

Our smoke alarm keeps chirping.  We replaced the batteries and hit the reset button.  It still chirps.  It is possible to sleep with it chirping, but I wish I could make it shut it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From High School

Yesterday I saw someone who was in my high school graduating class.  Once I graduated from high school I didn't see many of them any more unless they went to the college I attended because my parents moved when I was a freshman in college.  So really this is the first person I have seen since the sixties who was in my graduating class in high school.  It was really strange because he and his wife had attended a reunion and had seen a lot of those people whose names I hadn't even thought of since the last time I saw them!  Really odd.  It was also odd that he remembered things I didn't.  We never know what other people remember.  I wonder if I didn't see myself every day if I would recognize me after forty-five years.  I wouldn't have known him.  Then my husband and I started wondering if people at the restaurant where we were waiting for our order were people we'd known when we were in college.  Lots of old, gray-headed people were wandering around...we might have known some of them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's Plan

Today I plan to visit Mama and have carry out from Lloyd's Barbecue.  It's a good plan:)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nothing Annoying or Challenging

Today I thought the annoying thing would be getting my driver's license renewed.  I didn't have to wait long enough to turn my Kindle on.  Wow.  That wasn't annoying at all.
So I went to WalMart to try to find out why the nurse said I could get my prescription at WalMart for $4 but the guy on the phone from Social Security Medicare, said if I got the Humana WalMart part D prescription plan (the cheapest), my prescription would cost $5 and something.  I went to the consultation window in the pharmacy section.  I asked the lady about it and she said they have a list.  If my prescription is on the list I can get it for $4 per month or $10 for three months without any insurance at all.   So she gave me a copy of the list.  It is six pages and five of them (small font) list prescriptions that are available for their special price.  This price is lower than what I was paying at Fred's with insurance.  That wasn't annoying either.
I guess this is just going to have to be a good day.  Oh, yeah, and pizza for dinner:)

Sometimes People Lie

The reasons why people lie don't always have anything to do with us.  The insurance guy who gave me such fits was an example.  He said who he was, sent me a business card, described his office.  He said he owned his business, had 90 people working for him, and had an office on the waterfront.
When I looked for his office in the yellow pages and the white pages, it wasn't there.  When I googled the address of the business, it asked if I meant something else.  I wanted the product, but I couldn't verify his connection with the insurance company.  I went to the insurance company's website, typed in his name in the agent's box, got nothing.
However, if he was a guy working out of his basement, it didn't matter to me.  What mattered was if I could get the policy I wanted.
Finally, I was able to verify that.  But it bothers me that messing about with the truth made me doubt everything.  That caused me extra worry.  He could have left all that out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hawaii Toast

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 slice low-carb bread, spread with mayonnaise
1 slice of Starns smoked ham from Kroger, folded
2 slices of pineapple in its own juice, drained
1 slice of baby Swiss cheese, folded
Put this stacked open-faced sandwich in the oven for five minutes.
It's quick and easy.  It's reasonably low-carb.  I think it might be more "diet" if I only put one slice of pineapple, but I really like pineapple.

Insurance Confusion is Over

I finally decided on a Medicare Supplement.  I have the policy number.  I have the activation date meshed with the cutoff date of my other insurance.  I think I've picked a good one.  I won't know if it does what the representative says it will (and the information packet) until I use it.  I'll have to wait and see.  But the stress has gone away for now.
I've also signed up for a part D prescription coverage plan.  I picked the absolute cheapest one out there because I don't plan to need it.  But I made sure I have one so if I do, I'll have it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's a Moist County

Today I found the beverage aisle and looked for beer so I could make my slug trap using the directions from the Farmers' Almanac.  No beer.  I found a guy and asked where they'd hidden the beer.  He said, "It's a moist county.  The only place you can find beer is in a restaurant."
I guess they don't have slugs in that county.  Or they have lots and lots and don't care.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Art Class and Seeds

Today I went to my art class.  Since it is for old people, I asked for names of insurance agents they used.  I asked when class was over but I ended up with a number.  This way I won't think it is a shyster.
I planted basil seeds.  I bought a pro-seeder for the tiny seeds.  It is an interesting little gadget and it works.  I thought I was supposed to take the rubber plug out and put the seeds in.  Taking the plug out dropped little pieces at my feet. So I dug the directions out of the garbage, put them back together where I'd cut them up trying to get them out of the plastic container, and spent the next little while looking for the wire they said was for cleaning the tiny needles if they got plugged up.  I found all the pieces and played with it for a while.  I currently have planted 172 seeds.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Opportunity Knocks But Once

I think I have decided what is making me nuts about this whole turning 65/medicare issue.  I don't like the idea that there is one time to make an important decision.  When I don't like something, it doesn't make it untrue.  Being oppositional isn't a virtue, but it is a fact.  I have to fight my impulse to shoot myself in the foot when something isn't what I think it should be or what I want it to be.
It's hard to be me.  But at least I'm accustomed to it.

Problem with Slugs

Last year I had a problem with slugs.  They would eat the tender leaves of seeds that germinated in my greenhouse.  It took a while before I figured out why I had stems with no leaves on the tiny little sprouts.  But once I figured out what it was, I got diatomaceous earth.  It is made from crushed diatoms and is earth friendly. 
Then I started noticing that slugs were outside in varying sizes.  So I would have a problem keeping the slugs out of the greenhouse.   I even found one on the floor in the house this morning.  It either managed to get in the door or came in on shoes or leaf debris stuck to a shoe.
I found a box of bait that said to not put it on food areas.  Well, that's not so good because I have trouble knowing what I'm going to put where at some point in the future.  I think food is pretty and I'm very likely to put tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc., in a flower bed.  OK.  That bait can go in the rose strip because it is farther away from the door.  But the box said slugs love it.  So I laid a little strip of bait in front of a slug sliming its way along the floor of the greenhouse.  The slug promptly turned around and went the other way.  So that slug had obviously not read the description on the box.
Another solution Larry found in the Farmers' Almanac is beer in a plastic bottle.  The plastic bottle is cut and reassembled with tape to make a trap.  Beer is the bait to lure them in.  Extra yeast can be added to make the aroma even more enticing.  So now I have to go look for the cheapest beer out there.  I am not looking forward to lurking in the beer aisle.  But that sounds like the cure I'm going to try next.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I Don't Usually Dither

I am usually a very decisive person.  That isn't something I'm bragging about because I'm perfectly capable of making a bad decision very quickly.
Therefore having changed my mind in writing three times, just makes me feel as if I have somebody else inside my head and we aren't getting along very well.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Larry made that purse for me.  I found it Sunday:) I have to clean it up, but I was really happy to find it.

Plan D Continued

Today the guy who said he would investigate Plan D for me called back and said that the deductible amounts are pretty standard with about $320 a year being the minimum even if you don't take any prescriptions at all.  My thought is that insurance companies aren't non-profit organizations and we should all invest in pharmaceuticals.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Numbers Don't Match

I look at the stats for my little blog and can't figure them out.  When I look at page views for the day, it doesn't match posts looked at.  I decided that page views means how many people saw my blog for the day.  The posts would be if somebody who visited my blog clicked on a particular post.  But when I go to audience that number for the day doesn't match anything else.  I don't suppose it matters, but I'm curious.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I've been checking into Medicare part D prescription plans.  I haven't made a decision yet because I am so stunned at the deal.  Let's see.  I can pay $31 a month for the pleasure of having this plan.  The deductible is $300+.  My prescription costs $4 a month without insurance.  I will not exceed the deductible in the course of a year.  But if I wait to get part D until I actually need it, it will cost me an additional 1% per year for the premium.  Well, if it were 1% of the national debt, that would be prohibitive.  But $0.30  isn't a lot; it would take a long time to hit $360 which is the amount I'd be paying for part D premium(actually it is a little more). Now, the interesting thing would be if all of a sudden the doctor put me on a medication and it wasn't during an open season.  But still, if a generic form of it is out there, it would still be OK.
So would I pay $300 a month for peace of mind?  It's hard to tell because peace of mind on one side, sheer aggravation on the  Can I even have peace of mind when I am so annoyed?
My husband has a part d and he still paid over $800 out of pocket last month for his prescriptions.
Are we screwed or what?