.....and other random stuff......

Friday, October 30, 2015

I Don’t Know About You……

But lately I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about my demise. I don’t mean that in a maudlin way. Not a ‘Woe is me….’ kind of thing.
I long ago made peace with the fact that no one gets out alive.  (Not even me, lol.)
But I find it kind of weird to think there is less time left in front of me than behind me. It’s a concept that never occurred to me before.
I guess you grow up thinking you have an infinite amount of time….maybe this is all normal age related stuff. I don’t know. I’ve never been this old before so I don’t have any comparisons.

It all came into crystal clear clarity the day my monthly financial statement arrived.
The recent downturn (cough cough, she says euphemistically) in the stock market took a big bite out of my investments. (Disclaimer here: I know I am very lucky to even have investments. And I do appreciate my good fortune. But when you see it in black and white on the printed page I find myself getting a bit more than pissed off that the ‘little guy’ {read: you and me} take the hits while the 1% keeps getting richer! But I digress……)

Anyway…….after taking several deep breaths and calming down, I crunched the numbers and calculated at the rate the market is going I have to die by age 85!

Well, at least now I have a finish date and can plan accordingly! lol 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday

My mother, Uncle Richie, BigBro and the infamous Aunt Eleanor. I assume my father is taking the picture but where am I, lol?

Our dining room wallpaper fascinated me as a child.
It was predominantly brown in color and those squares were drawings of early American scenes illustrating grammar rules. I guess my mother thought they might sink in through osmosis if we were exposed to them long enough…..I’m proof she was wrong…..

(I've done searches online to see if I could find it. Looking for close up's of the drawings or maybe reproductions of it, to no avail. I'm assuming it wasn't popular enough to reproduce like some of the other 1940's & 50's wallpapers, lol.) 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Speaking of Things Medical

I often wonder how many people just go ahead and pay whatever they're told they owe for a 'procedure' without looking into it (and how often the insurance companies just keep it!)

My mother got that way after a while.
At first she was diligent, but after years of my father's disability I think she got overwhelmed and worn down.
So she handed all the paperwork over to me to deal with.

At one point it was so convoluted and there was SO MUCH OF IT I took it to work and used the fifteen foot long conference table to try and bring it into some semblance of order.

I laid out all the bills from the hospitals grouped by procedure. Then I matched the Medicare statements to each pile and the supplemental insurance statements and then, last but not least, the corresponding doctors bills.


Then I organized each pile into chronological order hoping this would end up telling me what the balance was.

I found most of the time the doctors usually 'forgave' the balance owed if it was under a few hundred dollars.
I thought that was pretty nice of them considering the insurance company had paid them THOUSANDS (and sometimes HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, in the case of my father's brain surgery.)
I mean what’s $120 when you’ve already collected $158,000 right?

So I was shocked when, once all the dust had settled and things were organized, one doctor kept sending a bill for $0.56!

YUP, fifty six cents!

I waited a few months before I finally called the billing department. I assumed they would forgive this miniscule amount as the others had, but nooooooo.

I was flabbergasted! And just a little pissed off.
I couldn't bring myself to write a check. It was just too ridiculous! It was going to cost more to write a check and put a stamp on the envelope than the amount we owed (a point which fell on deaf ears in the billing department.)

So, just to make myself feel better (and because  I can be a bit of an ass sometimes,) I took two quarters, a nickel and a penny, glued them to the statement,  folded it very neatly, placed it carefully into the envelope addressed to the doctor, without a return address and mailed it-------sans stamp.

Vengeance can be very therapeutic! 

We never heard from him again.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Punny Monday

There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Banana or Berry?

“Which would you rather have, banana or berry?”
“I like bananas. Let’s not ruin bananas for me. Berry please.”
And so goes the conversation (for the third time) with the nurse prior to the The Test.

As far as medical procedures go I prefer this one to many of the others that are out there. But still, drinking (and I use that term VERY loosely) this sludge is not easy.  Having to do it at six AM is just adding insult to injury!

As I sat in the waiting room, still chugging the second bottle waiting for the technician, the receptionist calls to me. She says “The cost of the scan will go towards your deductible and there is $189 balance due. Will that be cash or credit?”
“I already had this conversation with the billing department last Thursday. It’s been straightened out. I have a $20 co-pay, that’s it.”
She blinks, and repeats “Its $189, payable now.”

We go back and forth a bit and I finally lose it.

“I’m not paying $189!”
“Okay,” I said, “This can go one of two ways. You can take my $20 co-pay and we can get on with the scan or, we can get on with the scan, you bill the insurance company and I’ll pay the balance later.”

“Oh wait, there IS a third alternative. I can stick my finger down my throat right now and give back this delicious 'berry smoothie', go home and we’ll call it a day!”

I didn’t really say that last one, but I got a great deal of pleasure fantasizing about it!

(And for the record, I only paid the $20! So there!)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday

My father, BigBro and our paternal grandfather.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

(Not my art, but a perfect image of my school days...)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Now I’ll Never Know…….

I saw a post on Facebook the other day showing the genetic possibilities of a couple conceiving a child together. Apparently I’m a hot mess of weak genes: left-handedness, straight blonde hair, fair skinned…... But what really struck me of all the visuals was this one:
Um, Mom? Is there something you forgot to tell me???
(Come to think of it there WAS that family joke about me being the milkman’s daughter…….lol)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Punny Monday

What did the grape say when it got stepped on? Nothing - but it let out a little whine.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Balls Deep

As I was sitting in the Dr’s office waiting room the other day this was what was showing on the wall mounted TV:
The waiting room was packed and I was seated next to two ‘older’ ladies. They were commenting on the TV program:
“I don’t like the cartoons they have today.”
“Not like the cartoons of our day.”
“Ours were funnier.”
“The kids toady like them because they use naughty words!”

Two things struck me about this whole scenario:
First, two little old ladies using the word ‘naughty’ just seemed so perfect! (I couldn’t have scripted it better if I had written the dialog myself!  When was the last time you heard or used that word?)
Secondly, it dawned on me I’m now more in their age group than the generation the TV show is aimed at…….


I wonder how long it will be before the men in the little white coats come along to take away this grey haired lady sitting in the corner of the waiting room giggling to herself…….

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday----Memories of Cape Cod

Every year for the first eight years of my life we vacationed on Cape Cod.
We rented the same cottage in the same small town.  I have sketchy memories of those vacations.
I remember the summer it rained so much it turned the basement into a swimming pool.
I remember my father digging a hole in the sand on the beach to make a bar-b-que pit to cook hamburgers.
I remember dancing around that fire pretending to be an Indian doing a war dance.
I remember the crunch of the sand in those burgers.

I remember running down the sandy road after the Good Humor man.
I remember my parents and their friends eating peanut butter and onion sandwiches and drinking martinis.
I remember the time we got locked out of the house and my parents shoved me through the bedroom window because I was the only one small enough to fit.
I remember my father’s ‘friend’ (wink wink, nudge nudge) who came to visit. How her car caught on fire in the parking lot of the fried clam restaurant and how her small yappy lap dog ran away from the confusion. (I give my mother much credit for how graciously she handled that situation and welcomed the woman. Of course I didn’t understand any of this until I was much older.)

I remember all of these things.

But I don’t have one clear memory of spending time on the beach (other than the 'hamburger' incident, lol) or playing in the water………. 
Me and BigBro in the cottage on the Cape.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Studio Visitor

Look who paid a visit outside my studio window............

We played a little game of 'Tilt Your Head'. I don't know if I was mimicking him or he was mimicking me! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Punny Monday

I relish the fact that you've mustard the strength to ketchup to me.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flash Fiction

Have you ever heard of Flash Fiction? Neither had I. But apparently it’s a thing. The definition is:

flash fic·tion
fiction that is extremely brief, typically only a few hundred words or fewer in its entirety.

Oh how I wish I could go back to my teachers/college professors and show them I was right all along! I had endless arguments with them using the reasoning ‘you use only as many words as necessary to convey the story.’
They were always trying to get me to S-T-R-E-T-C-H my stories. ‘Flesh them out’. Make them fit into some sort of conventional formula dictated by the ‘powers that be’.

I thought they were just right as they were. Of course, we see how well THAT worked out for my writing career…snort.
But I continue to jot down my little missives, if only for my own amusement.
I thought I’d share one with you……

The Letter

The letter came in the mail. It was addressed to HER.  It always saddened him to see that. But it was becoming less frequent as time went on.
He debated with himself whether or not to open it. It was obviously a personal letter. Hand written.
He laid it on the table just inside the front door, not where he usually placed the mail.
For days he walked past the letter contemplating what to do about it.

He finally broke down and opened it.
It was from HIM.
He had known about her infidelity since it had happened. They never spoke of it.
As he read, waves of emotion washed over him. It was a touching letter, and yet full of selfishness.
Although the anger and pain of betrayal had long ago left him he wasn’t sure if he should reply.
The time for recrimination was past.
But still…..

He told his therapist about the letter. The therapist said he was angry his wife had left him. He insisted he wasn’t. Denial the therapist called it. After some time he grew tired of the argument and let it go.

He sat down with pen and paper and started to write, “I’m sorry to say your letter arrived too late, she passed away seven months ago….”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday

BigBro and BFF at summer camp. (I was jealous that he got to go to sleep away camp and I didn't!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


My work work-desk is the coffee table lately...still working on journals. I think I'll be working on them for weeks...and weeks....and weeks....I have 50 of them in different states of completion. Getting ready for 'season'. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

File This Under……

Things about Growing Old Nobody Ever Tells You (AKA you’ve become the targeted demographic for totally different reasons.)

Cyberspace is full of advertisements….but lately they’ve been a bit……..disturbing.
Not only ads on my computer but phone solicitors are calling AND I’m getting snail mail too!

And they ALL have one thing in common.
They’re telling me my demise is imminent and I’d better prepare for it.
Or else.

Or else what?????
I’ll be DEAD!
What worries will I have after that? 

Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in preparing for the inevitable. And I have. I’ve told all relevant people involved to put me in a cardboard box (don’t you DARE buy {or rent} an expensive coffin or I’ll come back and haunt you!)  Incinerate me and toss my ashes off a tall building on a windy day. (I’ve always wanted to travel!)

But I find it in extremely poor taste to be inundated with reminders that my time is limited on a daily basis!
Of course showing an (altered) photo of Son2 grinning as he supposedly dumps my ashes off a friend's balcony is the epitome of GOOD taste! lol

Monday, October 5, 2015

Punny Monday

When William joined the army he disliked the phrase 'fire at will'.

Friday, October 2, 2015

He Had the Best Intentions

My father was an avid photographer. He loved to make people pose in all sorts of ridiculous and contrived settings (as well as click that stealthy photo of my mother from behind!)
He also had grandiose ideas of chronicling them into photo albums with written narration so you’d know dates and places and people and what the occasion was.
He bought several of these albums, all with the best of intentions I’m sure…..he got four pages into the first book. 
Those photos are neatly pasted onto the pages and his beautiful crisp printing describes each scene. 
After the forth page the pictures are wedged in between the pages in clusters with no rhyme or reason.
Some of them seem to be of the same time and place; others span decades and have no connection to one another whatsoever.
I’m left guessing what any group of photos is about. A vacation….a business trip……family…….friends…..before kids…..after children…..? I’ll never know.
I can only identify the ones I have memories of. Houses I remember, rooms I know…..relatives…. 
As for dating them, unless the date is printed on the edge of the picture I can only ‘guesimate’.
I suppose most family’s pictures are like this.
It’s unfortunate he didn’t do a better job of recording them, on the other hand, I find it more interesting to be able to spin my own tales around them.
Like the picture of my father and Robert Goulet………?
I can weave a pretty noteworthy whopper around them and have the photos to prove it!

So maybe my father did me a favor. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015