Archive for the ‘daily grind’ Category

I’m taking a break from posting about Australia today.  Instead you get a list of some of the most annoying and in some cases rude things I have run into while out and about over the last couple of days.

1.  Can we please not blast Christmas carols over the store’s stereo? Can we wait a couple of weeks until after Thanksgiving?  Please?  This has been a problem while out shopping at Old Navy, The Gap, and at a local outlet store mall.  And the music is LOUD.

2.  It seems as though people were either raised in a barn or they have forgotten their manners.  How about a simple “thank you” once in a while?  Today, as I was entering The Gap, I saw a woman pushing a stroller.  I was already two steps in the store with the door closed behind me.  I saw her with the stroller and a little one in her arms.  I went back outside, opened the door and held it open for her until she and her two children (one in arms) and the stroller (the older child was walking) got clear of the door.  I was rewarded with nothing.  Not a thank you.  The woman didn’t even make eye contact with me.  Unfortunately, she’s teaching her children to be just like her.  And my daughter, who is five months pregnant (and yes, she’s showing quite a bit), has had numerous instances of having the door close in her face at stores and at her apartment building when there were people around that could have held the door for an obviously pregnant woman carrying packages and a dripping umbrella.  Where are our manners?

3.  And how much sense does it take to know that when you are shopping with a group of people, you shouldn’t all congregate in one place to discuss the next store you’re going to.  People, you are blocking the aisle, or in some cases the entrance/exit to the store and no one can get around you!  (Think a group of 6 adults standing right inside the door to a store.)

4.  Now this one is just unbelievable to me, especially in this season of H1N1.  Today I visited a number of restrooms (okay we were out about 7 hours and I my bladder doesn’t work so well at my age) and was pretty shocked to see (and in some instances hear) no fewer than 8 people go into a restroom, use it, flush, and then leave the restroom without washing their hands!  I actually got into the habit of looking at their shoes and then avoiding going near them when I was out in the store!

Okay, no more ranting.  Tomorrow more Australia stuff!

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I tend to think that sometimes life gives us signs.  If we listen to them, we might get a warning of some kind.  If we don’t listen, then we miss the warning that Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has chosen to impart on us.

One of these signs that I get repeatedly every so often, has to do with motion.  Either I will go through periods where I get a flat tire on my car every week for a month or so, or I will go through a period where I am injured enough to get me to slow down.

If I listen to the signs, I often realize that Mother Nature is simply trying to get me to slow down.  These things happen to me when I am running fast and wild with so much on my mind that I don’t stop to catch my breath, or to take care of myself.  That’s when She steps in to slow me down.

I’ve had some foot injuries that have slowed me enough to make me get in bed for a few days and stay there.  (more…)

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I have been dutifully enjoying reading blogs and commenting on them for the past hour.  I became so engrossed in the task at hand that it was nine minutes into the most horrible  and degrading TV show around (The Bachelor) before I realized that it was even on and then it took me another six minutes to find the remote to change the channel.  I know, you’re thinking “forget the remote and get off your butt and change the channel, or better yet turn it off” but I have one of those “new style” TVs that you cannot change the channel on except with the remote control.  And to shut if off without the remote, I have to turn the TV around on its swivel base and reach behind it to the Power Off switch.  I hate when they do that … the manufacturers, that is.  I recently had to replace a DVD player that was perfectly fine but the remote control went out and there is no way to do anything on the DVD player except power it on and off, which is okay for the DVDs that just start playing on their own but most of them have a Menu that you have to navigate through before you can start the movie (sometimes it only says “Play Movie” but won’t start until you hit Enter or Play) and with no remote, you can’t do it!  I actually looked into getting a replacement remote control for it instead of buying a new DVD player.  I could get one if I send them $20 for the remote, $10 for shipping, and a required $3 for insuring the package, then I have to wait eight to twelve weeks to get it.  The DVD player only cost me $30 on Overstock. com.   So I got a new one.  This one has buttons that I can actually push to do stuff without the remote!  Yay!  I learned my lesson.  Now to do something about that TV with no buttons!

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Many years ago, when I was married to a man that lived at the office and was rarely home, I learned to do things for myself.  Things like shopping for and buying appliances and carpets and household furnishings.  Things like taking our children to the hospital for their tonsil and ear surgeries all by myself.  Things like making minor repairs and installing appliances.  When my ex left, we didn’t have a computer (1992) because he said it was a fad that wouldn’t catch on.  Then he left and the following week I went out and bought a home computer and a “Dummies” book for Windows 3.0.  I read scanned through it and when the kids went to bed, I opened the box and set it all up by myself.  Then I booted it up and introduced myself to computers.  I had never used one before.  I got an account with compu serve (there was no AOL at that time, or any other ISPs).  I used to set up our TVs and VCRs and telephones and anything that needed to be done.

Then my son reached his latter teens and started doing things for me.  Lots of things.  Everything.  And then I aged.  And was in an accident that left me unable to bend or kneel or stretch.  So I let others do things for me.  Lots of things.  Setting up computers and wireless networks and DVD players and cable boxes.  I hate to read directions.  So I let others do things for me.

But that won’t last for long.  My son lives two hours away and we only get to see him about three or four times a year.  Actually, I go see him a few times in between his visits here but he only comes here three or four times a year.  Some things won’t wait til he comes.  Next year I will be all alone.  My last “child” will be gone.  I will live alone.  I will have to begin to do things for myself again.

My DVD player stopped working a month ago.  The one in my bedroom.  Because of my back injuries, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom, in bed.  I leave the DVD player on so I can sleep.  But when it broke, I couldn’t do that any longer.  For the past month I have been watching movies in the extra room on the DVD player there.  I watch late at night, when I can’t sleep.  I’m hard of hearing so I have to put the volume all the way up.  The extra room where I watch is next to the neighbor’s bedroom window.  She can hear everything.  Or so she says.  So sometimes I sit in there with no volume and watch with no sound.

I needed a new DVD player.  I decided that I would get a DVD-R instead of just a player because I found one for $99 last weekend.  I waited til my check came yesterday.  I went and got it today.  I thought one of my girls would set it up for me.  My younger daughter is out of town.  My older daughter went to SF after work to a concert then she’ll spend the night with friends and go straight to work tomorrow.  I wanted to record my shows tomorrow night because I will be at the airport to pick up my younger daughter during the season premiere of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters.  So I decided to set it all up myself and record the shows I will be missing.

I did it.   I took out the old DVD player and set up the new one.  It works.  That means I did it right.  Now in the morning I will test programming it to record a show then if all is okay, I will program to record from 9 to 11 PM.

I’m  excited about it.   Not because I will get to watch my shows.  I’m excited because I proved to myself that I can do it.  I can do things for myself, like I used to.  Yes, I’m older and more feeble now but I can still do a lot of things for myself.  I can do this.  I can live alone.  I can.

I did it myself.

I will be okay by myself.

I will.

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Or give up.

This morning, I was rudely awakened by the phone ringing loudly.  I jumped up, found my glasses (I’m totally blind without them) and ran to the desk, two rooms away.  By the time I got there, it had stopped. Now, that wouldn’t be too bad except that I have the phone set for ringing 4 times then it goes to my cell phone.  The cell phone was in my bed, next to my pillow, two rooms away.  I ran back to get it and by the time I got to it, it had gone to voicemail.  Great!  I waited for the cell to do its thing and let me know there was a voicemail and then called.  It was a hang up.  Wonderful!

By this time, I had looked at the clock and realized it was 9:15 so I decided to stay up.  I had gone to bed late, about 4:30 AM.  I was working on a translation (from English to Spanish) for the organization for which I do volunteer work.  I figured I would do some more work on it and I have to clean up the house because a friend is coming at the end of the week and it is a total mess! 

Staying up meant making coffee. I wasn’t feeling too great so I figured I should take my blood sugar reading (I’m a diabetic).  I knew my sugar was either too low or too high and, depending on which, I would either have oatmeal for breakfast or my scrambled egg whites.  I set the coffee maker to make me a pot of coffee and pricked my finger for the blood reading.  I got the drop of blood on the strip and realized the meter’s battery was dead.  Great!  Next to the meter was a brand new meter I got in the mail about two weeks ago but hadn’t tried because it only comes with 5 test strips and they’re very expensive so I wanted to wait til I was out of test strips for the old meter.  I figured I really needed to take a reading so I proceeded to take a reading with the new meter.  Now I didn’t read the directions.  You know, one meter is the same as another.  Not!  I put the blood on the strip (yeah, I had to prick it again) and it just sat there.  The meter didn’t do anything.  No countdown.  No beep.  Nothing.  Just a pitiful – – – in the window.  Crap!  Now what?  I really wanted to get a reading this morning.  I got out the instructions…the fast start version because I was not going to read a 70 page instruction booklet.  It seemed that I forgot that you had to code the meter first.  That means you have to tell the meter the number on the vial of test strips before taking a reading.  Okay.  Fine.  I could do that.  I thought I could do that.  I began to code the meter but it wouldn’t do anything.  It would turn on but I couldn’t get it to display the coding routine or the date routing.  I realized I needed to reset it by taking the battery out and reinserting it.  I opened it up and took the battery out (I had to use a butter knife because it wouldn’t come out) and put it back in.  I turned it on. Nothing.  It would not turn on.  Wonderful.  Coffee.  I needed coffee.  I figured I would pour a cup and try the battery thing again.

No coffee.  All I had was a carafe of very hot water.  I had forgotten to put the coffee in the basket!  Great.  I guess I really did need coffee!  I reached into the fridge and got out the coffee and put it in the coffee maker.  Just as I finished putting it in, I realized that I had put it in where the water goes, not where the coffee goes!  Now what?  I can’t reach to see in the top of the coffee maker so what do I do now?  I figured, unwisely, that I would just run it through and let it wash out all the coffee.  Well, three washing later, there is still coffee in my water reservoir.  I think I ruined the coffee maker.  It is now 11 AM, I have been up for almost two hours, trying to take a blood sugar reading and make coffee.  Still no luck in either category.   

I came to the computer to write my frustrations away and the darn thing was SOOOOO SLOOOOWWWWW.  I think I should have put the coffee into the computer to get IT going this morning!

Yeah, I should go back to bed!

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