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Posts Tagged ‘stuff’

Well, I’ve been missing. It seems that every time I think things will get better, I am wrong. My life these days seems to belong to someone else. I am not able to plan or to relax or think. Instead, I seem to be alive solely to babysit and make things easier for others.

I know that sounds pretty negative, which is unlike me, but it’s true.

And it’s December already.

One thing… one tiny glimmer of light…one rain to smile. She (who shall not be named) says she is taking the kids to a sitter three days a week so that I will only have to watch them two days a week, plus some weekend time. Soon. But soon enough but soon. Now that’s my reason to smile because I know it’s actually happening. In fact, this coming week I’ll only watch them three days.

What has made you smile?

Check out Trent’s blog for #theweeklysmile.

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Whew!

Well, it was an interesting month with the A to Z Challenge. This was my third year participating and it was a tough go. I didn’t start on schedule and I didn’t get caught up until the very end and that’s because I doubled up on a couple of the posts, posting two letters in one post. But hey! I finished on time!

It has  been a tough couple of months, actually, a tough three months. I have felt like I am sinking and there’s no way out. Sinking health-wise and emotionally. I did finally get the doctors to listen to me so I am now on a new medication that I inject once a week (along with my five injections of insulin each day and oral medication for diabetes) and that’s supposed to stop the weight gain which is the reason I am sinking. I think I have posted previously that the insulin processes sugar differently so a lot of people end up gaining weight. I have gained a full one hundred pounds since last August. That is a lot of excess weight. It effects everything I do. I have a lot more trouble walking, sleeping, sitting, moving around, and just plain being. Day to day activities are either impossible or take me so much longer to do that I end up giving up. As you can well imagine, this has taken a huge toll on me emotionally. I’ve asked the doctors to give me  an anti depressant but they didn’t listen until a couple of weeks ago when one of the nursed became concerned about my mental/emotional state and talked to the doctor. I got my prescription and started it right away. I’m not sure I feel much difference yet but I have been told that it can take up to a month to see/feel some difference. I’m crossing my fingers.

I’m hoping to get back to more regular blogging. I think it’s one way that I keep sane and I haven’t had that for awhile. April was more regular but that was a set topic/theme so not my normal blogging. However, I did come up with a few characters that I might explore with a longer piece of writing. Did you have a favorite this month? Let me know and maybe I can try to develop that soon.

My eyesight is not great these days. It’s a direct result of the diabetes. I have a lot of  trouble, especially with “screen time.” I end up not being able to spend too much time reading online. I’m working on a few things that might help, one being those glasses that help with the glare of back lit screens. I’ve used them before but I need to get some more. I think I gifted mine to my mom when she was here in July so I need to see if I can find an economically feasible pair.

Speaking of economics, my Social Security finally came through so at least I don’t have to worry about paying rent. I do have to come up with an additional two hundred dollars a month so I can pay my electric bill and afford gas in my cars and some of the other things that my check doesn’t cover. It basically covers rent and my internet connection ($40/month). So I will be looking for some babysitting and anything else I can come up with to make a few extra bucks! It’s doable, though. I am hanging on to that thought!

I’m actually looking forward to today. My daughter and I will be joining a group of about fourteen people on a trip up to Seattle. We were lucky enough to get admission to the fifth anniversary celebration for Lularoe clothing. A friend is a consultant and she and her husband rented a big van to take us all up there and were nice enough to pay the fifteen dollar fee for each of us to attend. It should be fun, or at least an experience! And later this month I will be driving up to Seattle to see my grandson who will be turning two years old on the eighteenth! I don’t get to see him often enough so I am really looking forward to that.

Anyway, that’s it. That’s my update. I’ll be reading y’all soon!

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Whine: I got a new phone last week and spent hours finally getting it all set up on Monday then on Monday I tried to use the camera and it wouldn’t work. It took the picture but when I went to the gallery to view, there was nothing there but a grey frame. No picture. So off I went to the T-Mobile store where they couldn’t figure it out either. They did a factory reset for me and it started taking pictures fine. Whew! But then on Tuesday and Wednesday, it kept doing the same grey frame again so I spent three hours at the T-Mobile store on Wednesday afternoon getting a new phone. First they tried to do a warranty return but the phone is so new and selling like hotcakes so didn’t have any to to send to me from the factory and I was not willing to wait two weeks so they got creative and I finally walked out of the store with a new phone and the old/glitchy one wrapped up and ready to go to the UPS store to ship back to them. Yay. So last night I spent hours again setting up the new one. But that’s okay because this one is working fine and I love my new phone! Yay again.

Wine: Well, after spending all that time setting up the latest new phone last night, I was ready for some wine but it was about three this morning and I was not going to drink wine at that time so no wine. Maybe another night. No rush.

More: Well, there’s lots more but I will be brief. First, a note about April. I will once again be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. For those not familiar with it, bloggers set out to write a blog post for every letter of the alphabet during the month of April, posting each day Monday through Saturday with a day off on Sunday. This year April first is one Sunday so we will be posting on Sunday of the first week only. My them this year is What’s In A Name? I will try to write about a different character (fictional) each day. The posts will be in order with the name of the character beginning with A on the first and ending with Z on the thirtieth. Wish me luck! I think it’s going to be more of a challenge than I expect. So you might see some badges or headers with A to Z on them if I can figure out how to add them to the blog before the end of April! Ha!

And hurray for baseball! Today is opening day and I am looking forward to watching the game. I think I might be able to. I signed up for a free season of MLB TV through my phone carrier who offered it as a perk this week so if i can figure out how to log in, I will be watching the Dodgers play the Giants. That will be interesting because I grew up in San Jose which is major Giants territory but I root for the Dodgers because I lived in Los Angeles from 1978 to 2004 so I bleed Dodger blue! Let’s hear it for the Dodgers! Go team go!

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And even more: After asking her several times, my primary care physician finally referred me to an endocrinologist for my diabetes. I saw him this week. I really liked him and he listened to me. I walked out of there with very thorough instructions on how to use the insulin as I had never been told how to use it. I was just told to use it and given a range of 10 to 17 cc with no word on when to take the 10 and when to take more. He ironed all of that out for me and told me how many cc to take for each gram of carb and also how to adjust the insulin if my blood sugar is high before I eat. Yay! It has only been one day but I am very happy with how it all worked out yesterday. He also doubled the amount of one of the medications I was taking and added another which is a once a week injection. So far I am beyond happy with this doctor. And the bonus: he wore a yellow shirt when I met him on Tuesday! (Yellow is my favorite color.)

I have so much to write that I haven’t been able to get to because there is always someone else needing my attention and/or I am not near my laptop. I have too much trouble typing on my phone to do an entire blog post beyond a picture post or just a paragraph or two so I don’t usually post by phone. Hopefully I will be able to put up a couple more posts before the April madness begins. Believe me, it will be tough!

So go out and enjoy baseball. Root for your team but don’t forget mine!

 

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Years ago, in what seems like previous lifte time, I was a member of one of the first social media attempts, Gather. It was promoted to me as a place where writers could post their work and get feedback and develop collegial relationships. I was really into developing my writing so I joined. I enjoyed it but there were so many people there for many reasons other than for writing. There were photographers sharing their work; foodies sharing their insights; technical types imparting their knowledge; and so many people just there for the points and money. Yes, it was a site where members could earn points for the content they posted and the comments and views their content garnered. Points could be turned in for cash (via PayPal) or gift cards. So, as you can imagine, there was a lot of junk there, too. I did develop some wonderful relationships which are still some of my closest friends although I have never met most of them. And I am happy to say that a few are still my most loyal blog readers. At one time, there was a group of us that met through Gather that all started or revived blogs. Most are no longer blogging but we are still in touch via Facebook.

Facebook brings me to another point about Gather, which is actually what inspired this post. Recently, one member has started a Facebook group devoted to finding old Gather members so everyone can get in touch with old friends. It’s a great idea for a lot of the old Gather members. The site, you see, disintegrated rather suddenly. The whole thing was sold to a Japanese company that promised they would maintain the site and develop it further. They didn’t. And then there was a lot of fighting and “ganging up” on some members and then it was suddenly shut down with no notice. I stopped “gathering” quite awhile before that happened. Someone emailed me and said it might happen so I went in and cashed in all of my points and never looked back. Unfortunately, I was naive enough to think that the content would remain online so I didn’t back up any of my stuff. I lost a lot of my writing and a lot of pictures that I no longer have anywhere. I still have my friends. There was a group of maybe fifty or so of my closest “gatherites” (Spell Check is going crazy on this post) that remained in touch. One member, Lydia, who some of you might remember died a couple of years ago, bought membership on another site where she started a group for us to keep in touch and post our stuff or just “talk to each other.” I no longer remember the name of that site or if it is even around anymore. And if it is still around, without Lydia, I’m sure our slot was not paid for so isn’t there anymore. More of my stuff lost! I don’t care so much about that as much as I care about losing the conversations and the memories we shared, especially with the members that have passes as there have been five or six that I can recall that have passed.

In any case, I know I’m rambling, Gather brought back a lot of memories for a lot of us, not all of them are good memories. A lot of the Gather members no longer want to have anything to do with any of it so it has been interesting to see the efforts of this guy (his name is Thomas) as he attempts to revive the old relationships. I’ve been sort of helping as a Moderator for the group. Mostly, Thomas wants me to help him navigate through some of the stuff he didn’t expect to encounter, such as people who are adamantly against him renewing anything related to Gather. A lot of the problems have revolved around privacy issues that he didn’t anticipate or understand so I’m sort of there to tell him when I think he might encounter some resistance. He kind of runs things by me. I don’t mind doing it. I am sort of in a middle point. I don’t necessarily want to get in touch with any of the members that I’m not now in touch with but I have enjoyed one member in particular who has posted a few of his new writings. I used to really enjoy his stuff so I am glad that I’m reading his work again. And if anyone has saved some of my stuff, it would be good to have that. Yes, we are finding that some people printed out a lot of the stuff and have reams upon reams of Gather content saved.

Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about today. I’m thinking about a lot of things actually. I’ve sort of been quiet here but that’s because of my glasses. I still don’t have the new ones. They came in but when I went to pick them up they had not made them right so they had to go back so another two weeks of being semi blind is keeping me from a lot of reading and writing, especially online where I have the back lighting to contend with.

That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to post again later today or tomorrow. And I will be coming around to read blogs, too. I’ve caught up a tiny bit but but there’s still so many I need to read.

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Saturday

I feel like a lost the week! We had snow off and on all week. Just as it began to melt, it would come down in buckets! It looks like we will have a couple more days of this during the week next week but mostly rain for the weekend. Yay! It’s nice to be out of the freezing zone, too. Although we didn’t get a lot, this area (Portland Oregon) is not prepared for snow because we don’t get it very often. Usually (before global warming caused all of the recent changes in our weather patterns) we would get one day of light snow per yer, if that. Now we get several days of heavy snow each year. Last year we  were basically snowed in for six consecutive days then again a couple more times for just a couple of days. That’s what happens when your area is not equipped with snow plows or other snow clearing equipment and you get dumped on. That’s also what happens when people don’t have snow tires because “it never snows enough” to justify the high cost. So instead, most people either stay in and complain about it or they get in their cars and end up causing collisions because of their inexperience and lack of preparation. Some end up causing an emergency when they become stranded in their cars without supplies. Some park their cars and walk away from them, causing a huge problem because traffic gets blocked by the parked cars! Me? I stay home. Nice and warm. I am only concerned about the traffic conditions out there as it relates to my daughters who have to drive in it for work, usually. So that was the week here.

There are some cute Spencer stories to share but I will save those for other posts. I just now got called to babysit! She gave me a whole hour’s notice! That’s because I told her I won’t babysit without advance notice anymore. So I got an hour notice! And I haven’t seen the kids today so it’s okay.

I’ll leave you with this neat picture I took of some tulips I bought for myself last week. I never buy flowers for myself but I was tempted and I went ahead! I posted this picture on Instagram this past week but last night I put it through the Prisma App filters and got this really vibrant picture which I think I am going to have printed as blank cards to use for stationery! What do you think?

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It has been one of those days where by this time I want to sit with a glass of wine but it’s only 5:30 here in Oregon and, while many do drink that early, I don’t drink until the end of the day when I know I am not going any place, unless it’s a special occasion and or I’m out for a special dinner. Besides, it has been a day that would make me have more than just one glass of wine and I only really have one glass when I do have some.

So if I can’t share some wine with you, I’ll share some whine! 🙂  Today it’s about driving and drivers who shouldn’t. In the past couple of days I’ve come across so many “iffy” drivers that it has just about driven me to have a lot more than one glass of that wine I spoke about! First, it’s raining every day here and it rains at least nine months out of the year here so why can’t people put their lights on when they are driving and it’s raining and they have to have their wipers on? I think it is state law in almost every one of the fifty states in the U.S. that you must drive with your headlights on when weather conditions require you to use your windshield wipers. That means that if it is drizzly enough to need your wipers, even on the intermittent setting, you must turn on your headlights! And if it is full on raining, as in buckets of cats and dogs, you definitely need to driving with your headlights on. I know it’s daylight but it is not so that the driver can see the road better. It’s so that OTHER drivers can see YOU! So they don’t hit you with their car! So you don’t die in a car crash! So you are not responsible for causing any wrecks!  Come on, it is not that difficult to remember! Ugh! At least three times in the last two days I have not seen a car coming until the last possible moment before pulling out in front of them because it has been pouring and they are speeding along without their headlights on. Well, I have more whining to do about “iffy” drivers but I’ll save it for a non rainy day!

What more can I tell you? Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram might remember that Maya is turning one in a couple of weeks and we are having her first birthday party decorated with pink flamingos! It’s difficult to find anything with flamingos on it in the Pacific Northwest in January. I don’t know why; I think flamingos are apropos anytime of year! 😉  Luckily, my daughter mentioned in one of her Facebook groups that she was searching for flamingo décor and a friend of a friend put her in touch with a woman who owns a business that “flocks flamingos” and she had everything we needed for the party, except the pinata. And this said lady used to have a birthday party business but no longer does so she let us have everything for about twenty-five percent of cost so we got a bargain! For a kind of not so great day, this was the saving grace of the day!

That brings me to “flocking flamingos.” Have you heard of it? It’s a thing. The idea is that people pay to gift a flock of flamingos to a person. Sort of like the idea of sending a singing telegram. You pay someone to do it and they go to the house, preferably when the recipient is at work or school or otherwise engaged away from home, and they set up a flock of pink plastic flamingos in the yard. A flock, in most cases, being at least a couple of dozen. They are set up and remain for a specified period of time (usually two or three days) then they are picked up and the yard is once again flamingo-less. Now if there is a  special occasion or holiday coming up, you can have the flamingos “dressed” with ties for Father’s Day, roses for Mother’s Day, Santa hats for Christmas, etc. They do all sorts of costumes for the flamingos to go along with weddings, baby showers, birthdays, retirements, etc. It’s a neat idea and the lady that owns this business actually needs people do it out in my area so my daughter and I are thinking we might want to do it together. It might be fun!

So that’s my whine, wine, and more for today. What do you have to w(h)ine about? Please do tell! I think I might make this one of the things I do regularly on this blog. I kind of like it!

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The other day, on Facebook, in one of the “Buy Nothing” type of groups, which I have mentioned previously, I shared a short story as a preface to an offer I was posting. For those that don’t know about Buy Nothing groups on Facebook, the idea is that people post their no longer needed items (some are brand new but never opened) and gift them for free to other members who reply and members can also post things that they are needing/wanting to get for free. I’m amazed at how well it works. I’ve gotten an awful lot of things totally free and I have gifted many things. However, sometimes things fall apart when members are a little less than careful. That’s what happened to me recently and I posted about it in the group as a funny thing that can happen. Then I offered the item I had accidentally ended up with. Here’s the post:

“Long post. Bear with me. This is an offer but more importantly, a gentle note about pictures posted with offers. When you take a picture to post with an item you are offering, please take an extra look at it to make sure it is representative of the item. You know what it is but will others? In December I responded to an offer for an item I thought was a bench. I thought it was perfect for my grandsons to sit on. The listing didn’t say what the item was. It just asked if anyone wanted “this” and was accompanied by a picture which I now know was not a full picture of the front of the item. She didn’t mean to fool anyone and I should have asked for specifics. She delivered and left it where I asked her to but I didn’t see this bench! It’s not a child size bench. It’s a desk! Because I have no room for it, the desk sits outside my front door, blocking the passage. I literally have no room in or outside my house. It’s my fault. But it would have helped if the picture had been a little better. So if anyone needs a DESK, I have this one. I’ll try to get better pictures in daylight.”

I figured it was funny and a “teachable moment” but one woman wasted no time in letting me know that I could have listed the desk as an offer and skipped the story. And she was rather rude about how she worded her comment. When I read her comment I was upset. She was pretty rude. My first instinct was to fire back an equally rude comment. However, that’s not really like me and I didn’t recognize her name so I figured she was a newer member (it turns out she has only been in the group for a week). I decided that I would leave it alone and if others agreed that it was unnecessary, I would delete it but I figured what was most likely to happen is that people would see her meanness and comment on that. So I bit my lip; sat on my hands; and pretty much moved away and closed Facebook entirely so I wouldn’t be tempted to respond to her comment. An hour later, I got notifications about activity on that post. I went to look. What I found was that I was right. People saw her comment as mean and snooty and let her have it. No fewer than nine people came to my defense and said the post was valuable for the lesson/reminder about both the photos that accompany items and about being more specific when we list items and when we reply to them. Yay! I didn’t have to say one word.

I learned that I should not be too thin skinned and that mean people should be left alone because no one wants to play with a mean person. In fact, several people that commented on her comment specifically said they would be reluctant to gift to her because of her attitude.

So I am trying to come around and read blogs and check in on some of my old readers that I seem to have lost track of but I also have several things I want to post. So, I will be back.

Have a great day!

Note: Today is National Word Nerd Day! Go learn a new word, play a word game, or write some of your own words!

 

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