Monthly Archives: March 2012

THINGS THAT DRIVE ME CRAZIER THAN USUAL

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When you are served by a child barely old enough to be on their own and they call everyone, “Dearie”.  Seriously….”Dearie”?  Do they think I am too old to remember my name?  Now, I don’t mind at all when an older woman who has been waitressing forever calls me ,”Hon”.  It is part of their charm…uh, perhaps “charm” isn’t the exact word, since they usually have an edge about them that you know they have been around the block more than once.  I respect these gals.  They know their jobs and they do it well.  But these children who are serving us today have not earned the right to call me, “Dearie”. And what has happened to the phrase, “You’re welcome”?  Nowadays it’s, “No problem”.  No it is not a problem since you are being paid to serve me.  “No problem” feels like they are doing me a favor.  I gotta come up with a catchy phrase to address that in a meaningful yet polite way.  Heaven forbid I should be thought of as a crabby old lady!

Having to swipe my own credit/debit card.  First of all, I can’t see *&^% without my reading glasses and by the time I hit the check out, I have taken them off so I can’t see what the heck I am doing.  And you’d think that all the machines would be the same but nooooo.  So there I stand, like some moron, asking the clerk what to do.  And then I get, “the look”.  Anyone over 35 knows “the look”.  It’s that expression on the clerk’s face that says, “Geez, if I have to tell one more old person how to use these things, I’m gonna really roll my eyes and make loud sighing noises”.  Well, excuse me for living you little twerp.  One of these days, I’m gonna flip out and let them have it.  Right there in the Walgreen’s  line (or where ever I am) I’m gonna let loose with a tirade that will have every adult in line clapping in support.  Don’t ever mess with a woman going thru mental-pause.

Not getting what I ordered when I go thru the drive-thru window.  How stinkin’ difficult can a regular burger, small fry and a drink be?  And when I specifically ask for ketchup, give me the dang ketchup.  There is a drive-thru that I regularly go to and I’d have to say that at least 50% of the time they forget to give me my ketchup even tho it is right there on the receipt.  Now I know what you’re thinking…big deal.  But it is a big deal to me.  I don’t like fries without ketchup.  Yes, I could park and haul my big arse into the joint and grab some ketchup but I went thru the drive-thru so I wouldn’t have to.  It represents (to me) the lack of good service that has become the norm in the past 10 or more years.  What has happened to taking pride in your work…yes, even as small a task as putting ketchup in a bag.  If you ask me, it is just the tip of the social decay iceberg….another topic for another day!

Places that don’t accept all forms of payment.  Or bills bigger than a $20.  Come on people.  I can’t leave the house anymore without a debit/credit card, a checkbook and small bills.  And what happens when you buy something and for whatever reason your stinkin’ debit card doesn’t work, you don’t have a credit card (I know..who doesn’t have at least one credit card…me), and they don’t accept checks and you don’t have anything smaller than a $50?  Do they call the cops?

Packaging.  Why is it that children’s toys are screwed, twist-tied, and in plastic that only a strong person can get into?  Is there some tiny tot mafia that I am not aware of that steals toys out of their packaging?  And it’s not just toys.  It’s almost everything.  I can’t tell you how many times I have hurt my hands trying to rip open an item in that indestructible plastic.  It is impossible to open without taking some heavy duty scissors and cutting the crap out of the package and hopefully not cutting up the item inside.  What do the elderly and the weak-handed do?

Thrift stores that charge more for used clothing than clothing on sale in a dept. store.  I was just at our local thrift stores this week and was SHOCKED at the prices.  SHOCKED  I tell you.  As much as $17.99 for a used summer tank dress.  (Not to worry..I wasn’t looking for any tank dresses for me, as I would never subject you to my full-figured figure!).  What happened to the 4.99 dress?  And the 2.99 shirt?  It’s not like the joint had to pay for any of the stuff so they can’t blame rising wholesale costs.  Come on….there are many families that have to shop used for their clothing and how in the world are they supposed to pay those kinds of outrageous prices?   GET REAL…. GOODWILL, SALVATION ARMY AND SAVERS.

DQ prices for their ice cream products.

Rude sales people.

Rude and arrogant doctors.  The older I get, the less rudeness I am willing to stand for even from doctors who think I don’t know jack*&^% about what I am taking about.  After 57 years of living in it, I KNOW my body and don’t you dare brush me off or talking down to me.  Shut up and LISTEN to what I am saying.  HEAR me out.  I AM PAYING YOU….you are not doing me a favor by seeing me.  DO NOT send me for stupid tests that take up my time and money and by doing them you are saving your butt in a malpractice suit.  Let’s start with the simple things and work our way up to the invasive, nasty, expensive tests instead of starting with them.

The cost of the above tests.  Whole nother blog…..

Ok, enough for today!  I would love for you to leave your comments on how you feel about these and any thing else that drives you crazy!   I wish I had the energy to start a nation wide campaign to address these and other issues!  I’d call it, “The WTHIWT movement”   (What The Heck Is With That?)   Where is it going to end????

Oh my goodness, I really do sound like a crotchety old person.  Huh, maybe all the old folks who used to complain really did have valid issues and we were just too young and self-centered to realize it??

THE FOUR SEASONS OF EMOTIONS

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SPRING:  It starts out ugly and depressing.  All the ugliness has been exposed.  There is massive clutter.  Things that you have forgotten about suddenly pop up out of nowhere adding to the ugliness. You feel, “Why bother”?  There is too much to go through, too much to get rid of, it seems overwhelming.  Then the rains come and it feels even worse.  Everything is gray and foggy.  There is no hope.   But one day the sun comes out and a warm wind dries up all the wet, soggy places.  You tackle one ugliness.  You can see a small light at the end of that long gray tunnel.  The next day is even better.  You see small bright green things popping up.  You are anxious now to get rid of all that clutter so the green sprouts have more room to grow.  You smile as you work.  “I think I might just make it”, you think happily.  Life is pretty good.

SUMMER:  Ahhhhh, the best time in our emotional seasons.  Life is really good.  No big problems.  Little things pop up like weeds, but we are on top of them , rooting them out right away.  We are happy.  Birds are singing to us like in the Disney movies.  We are married to a Prince.  We are “Kings of the World”.  Nothing can bring us down.  Sure there are the occasional cloudbursts and thunder storms but we weather thru them and emerge unscathed.  Everything is possible!

AUTUMN:  The days aren’t quite as bright as they were.  Problems aren’t being solved as readily as they had been.  There is a melancholy feel in the air.  Sometimes the rain makes you weep and you don’t know why.  A chill begins to grow deep in your heart.   An unnamed fear rears it’s ugly head, like a serpent.  One quick glance and then it’s gone for awhile.  Uneasiness fills your mind.  The happy days are getting fewer and fewer.

WINTER:  First comes the grayness.  Everything is devoid of color.  The sun no longer shines.  Just day after day of nothingness.  Darkness comes too early and lasts too long.  Time drags on.  You feel a great void enveloping you.  You fall into it like Alice through the looking glass.    You watch life passing you by.  You have no desire to join in.  You are nothing but a breathing mass of apathy.  Until that day the first snowflake falls.  And then another.  And another. The great grayness is covered in glittering diamonds.  Or mounds and mounds of white cotton candy.  Everything is covered in peace.  Sounds are muffled.  The air is clean. A calmness enters your being.  It seeps deep inside and covers the serpent and soothes the unrest.  You can breathe again.  Deeply.  Deeply.  You have made it through another emotional season.  It is enough.

NORTHFIELD 7 FARM

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I am sitting in my Lazy Arse chair, sippin’ coffee, looking out my sliding glass doors watching a herd of dear saunter by.  Dogs snoring away soaking up the sun.  Life is good.  Thought I’d tell you a few stories about living out on the farm.  So grab a cuppa Joe and walk along memory lane with me for a spell…..

If you would have told me I would spend my life living in the country, I would have asked you what you had been smokin’ since you were clearly stoned out of your mind!  I was the kid who never went outside cause I was afraid of every bug known to man.  Even ants and flies.  My mother had instilled an insane degree of fear of woodticks in us since my sister actually had one attach it’s self to her eardrum as a toddler.  Even as an adult I spent many a spring and summer sleeping with cotton balls stuffed into my and my daughter’s ears so nothing would crawl into them while we were sleeping. So moving to the country was never even considered in jest.  Funny how life turns out.  Suddenly living “off the land” sounded good.  Couldn’t get enough of “Little House on the Prairie” books.  Started saying workds like, “I reckon” and droppin’ the “g’s” off my words.  We yearned for “the good ole days”.  Didn’t matter that neither one of us knew squat about raising animals or gardening.  We was just a’hankerin fer 40 acres and a mule.  In July of ’89, we found our piece of heaven.  40 acres, a huge barn, an ice house, an old garage, a big misc. building, a cute little bunkhouse and oh my gosh, it even had an outhouse.  We were as happy in pigs in slop. And did I mention it had an old windmill?  Our homestead was picture perfect.  On the outside.  Inside?  Well let’s just say we wouldn’t let our parents see the place until the day we moved in.  My dad gave us 6 months before we gave up and moved back to the city.  The house had been empty for months and the mice had moved in.  It was as they call it, “a real fixer-upper”!  Ah, the innocents of youth.  Didn’t matter to us that there were no real locks on the doors.  That there was one bedroom.  That the ceiling and two walls in the kitchen we made of oil cloth and the other walls had barn board on them.  And that you could see down into the basement thru the cracks in the kitchen flooring.  No tub, but a plastic shower.  No  furnace, just a big ole oil burner stove and a wood stove down in basement.  The chimney ran up thru a hole in the floor in the dining room.  Looking back as a mother now, I have to commend my mom for not breaking down when she saw the place. We saw the dream, they saw the reality.   TO BE CONTINUED….

ONCE UPON A RANT…

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Don’t have much to say tonight so I thought I’d share a little rant or two.  I like to call them “rantettes”.  Just bits and pieces of all the brain clutter that floats around in my head that needs to get culled every so often. Like the junk that accumulates in the bottom of our purses.

WHY is it that so many men lean so far over to their left sides while driving?  I don’t get it?  Is it too much work to sit up vertical.  Do they have an eye problem that makes them have to lean way over to see out of it?Did that long chain thingy hanging out of their pants get caught on the lever that moves the seat .  Is their seatbelt too short?  They certainly  can’t think it looks cool!  Ain’t no body that dumb.  So if there is a dude out there who is willing to reveal this mystery to us chicks, please post.  We just gotta knowl

WHAT’S with these tip jars all over?  I have worked as a waitress and bartender so I know how tips help  but do I really need to tip the person who makes my cup of coffee?  Isn’t that their job?  The guy who gives me a rag to wipe the inside of my car..isn’t that part of his job?  The maid, the bellhop, the doorman, the valet, the lady in the bathroom who hands me a towel.  IS THIS NOT YOUR JOB TO SERVE ME?   When did it become my job to supplement your income?  You don’t make minimum wage?  Then quit the job and find one that does.  I have a job that pays just over minimum wage and I can’t ask my clients to tip me every time I do my job.  We are getting like sheep here in American.  One person starts something and pretty soon everyone is doing it and if you say anything, you are accused of being intolerant or hateful or any number of ugly labels.  When are we going to say ENOUGH OF THIS ? Or where will it end?

Well I know where it is ending tonight, faithful reader, I am off to bed  to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Big Lake and a lone loon (and a siren or two, I’m sure).  Good night, sleep tight, and if you have any bedbugs, for Gosh’s sake, stay away from me!

OH DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING?

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It’s a beautiful Sunday morning.  I have the privilege of being in a home overlooking Lake Superior.  It has been a blessing to me to see the Lake in all her glory thru every season.  She can change in an instant.  Alot like life.  The reason I get to view the Lake is that I am a caregiver to an amazing woman.  Imagine you are in the prime of your life.  You own a business that you love.  You are healthy and active.  You are in love.  You have a home to die for.  Your children are all doing well.  Suddenly, you start forgetting things.  Little things at first.  Just like all of us.  Then you start to forget bigger things.  Things that affect your business.  Things that affect your life.  Doctor after doctor you see.  No one can find out what is wrong.  You are sent down to the famous hospital.  The news is horrid.  You have been given a death sentence.  No, not a brain tumor.  A rare form of dementia is your diagnosis.  Isn’t that just for old folks?  They must have gotten you mixed up with another patient.  No. It’s you.  They tell you to get your affairs in order that you are slowly going to lose every ability you have ever learned.  Eventually you will forget how to swallow. You will most likely choke to death on your own spittle.   There is nothing they can do for you.  You have nothing but agony to look forward to.  How do wrap your mind around that? Everything you had ever dreamed of is suddenly slipping thru your fingers.  You lose your business.  You lose your home.  You lose the love of your life.  Your children are states away and not in a position to help. Your friends start avoiding you because they don’t know what to say.  You begin to lose your ability to use sentences. You no longer can drive.  You need a legal guardian.  You need a caregiver.  You can no longer read more than a few words.  You can no longer write .  You have lost that which most of us treasure beyond measure…independence.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would not take it well.  I am fiercely independent.  Don’t want no stinkin’ help.  I can do it all.

So now comes the amazing part.  This woman has endured all of this with a spirit of grace and acceptance.  I have seen few tears.  I  have seen NO bitterness or anger.  I have seen no depression.  What I have seen is love, peace, joy, humility, kindness, laughter and most of all, a great faith in her God to work good in all things.  Is she a saint.  No.  Was she a saint before this?  No.  If someone would have asked her if she could travel down this road before her, she would have said no way.  But we are never asked, are we?  For we do not know what great strengths we possess until they are needed.  I have seen this in a few great women I have had the honor of being with during their journeys to their eternal homes.  Not one of them started out a saint.  But I can tell you this, they all ended up being a blessing to everyone they met on their way home.   I can only pray that I, too, shall be a blessing if my journey takes me down a road I never wanted to go.  And if, dear reader, your journey is hard remember you never walk it alone.

MINNESOTA DREAMIN’ ON SUCH A WINTER’S DAY

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Don’t you just love a snowy day?  As I sit in my Lazy Arse chair, i    can see huge snowflakes a’fallin.  If I were outside (not gonna happen today), I’m sure I could actually hear them fall.  Do they have a life inside of them?  Do they fell pain upon hitting the earth?  Do they suffer as they melt?  Why has no one spent billions of tax payer money on a study of the life of a snowflake?  Is it because they are white?  If they were a more colorful flake would they be discriminated against?  I know that I don’t eat the yellow snow.  Am I a snow racist?  I know that if I were outside making a snow person (gender neutral, of course), I wouldn’t use the brown snow.  I have nothing against brown except that I know how it became brown (see yellow snow comment).  I would be the happiest person on the earth if snow fell from the sky in a multitude of colors.  I would use them all including the white.  Can you imagine what a gorgeous snow person I could make with a rainbow of snow colors?   Now why didn’t God (my choice of creator) think to make snow in color?  Perhaps it would have been just too beautiful to behold.  All those brilliant colors melding together.  A LSD trip without end.  And not one color better than the others.  Hmmmm, perhaps we as humans should remember that.   No color is better OR worse than the other.  And together we make the most gorgeous picture possible.  Remember that, gentle reader.  Oh and don’t eat yellow or brown snow…..at least not at my house!

WHEN DEATH COMES A’CALLIN

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Why is it that even tho we all know we are going to die someday, it always strikes us as a shock when someone dies?  Even when someone is terminally ill (aren’t we all “terminal”?), we are surprised when they finally do die.  And when someone dies unexpectedly, don’t we always say, “Oh, they went too soon”.  Don’t most of us feel that no matter when we die, it’s gonna be TOO SOON?   I don’t fear death, I fear dying by choking on some kind of food like Mama Cass.  No matter you do in this world, if you die a freakish death, that is what folks are gonna remember you by.  I swear I can’t eat a ham sandwich without breaking out in the sweats.  Another fear is to die in the shower/tub.  Dear Lord, please let me have clothes on when I die. My neighbor is a first responder and I don’t want good ol Carl to see me in my birthday suit.  I don’t even look at me in my birthday suit.  And my bathroom is super tiny (the handicapped stall in our church bathroom is bigger than my whole bathroom).  How on earth are two men gonna haul my big ol slippery butt out of that tub?  Will it be on YouTube?   Will some one add that song about liking big butts and they’ll make me go in and out of the tub?  I worry about these things.  Global warming?  Iran nuking us?  Gas prices up to heaven only knows what?  These things don’t cause me a moment of worry.  Ham sandwiches and tubs keep me awake all night…..