Saturday, January 20, 2018

I am very sad.

I am very sad. We, finally, saw The Last Jedi tonight. I will not spill any spoilers. But...

Clearly the plan for this trilogy was to have Han center the first movie, Luke the second, and Leia the third. And, clearly, that now cannot happen. And that makes me sad. 

I love Star Wars. I love the movies and the universe they created. I love the link with my son that these movies have given us. I love the message of hope that they always give. I love Star Wars. 

I especially always loved Leia. Her’s was an action hero story and a love story. She was a leader.

I would have loved to have seen a Leia centered movie. I would have loved that hers was the final story of this part of Star Wars. I would have loved that she, ultimately, saved the galaxy. 

I was more saddened by Carrie Fisher’s death last year than I ever would have expected. It really hit me in a way that celebrity deaths never do. Before I saw this movie I was sad knowing that she wouldn’t be there to make the last movie. Tonight it has hit me, hard, again. 

Farewell, Princess, we miss you.


Friday, January 5, 2018

What I’m working on, crafty wise

So, I am totally frustrated and aggravated. Blogger/Google won’t let me put pictures into my posts. The Help site is equally totally useless- it doesn’t even offer my problem as a choice. So, I can’t, for now, share all my crafty projects other than verbally. 😡

I have been doing nothing but crochet, and a little loom knitting, since the spring. Crochet was my first textile craft- my Gran taught me the summer I was 10. That was a couple years after my first scrapbook, which I made at 8- so, this crafty thing is not new to me. I decided that I was going to do cross stitching and applique after the first of the year. Then, suddenly and shockingly, my old friend of many years, Martina Rosenberg, died.

 Martina was a member of an “elite” group- a small bunch of crazy ladies who “met” every night in the early days of the Internet in a chat room called #Stitch. We were drawn together by cross stitch and many other types of textile art, and shared not only our stitching, but everything. Today, 20+ years later, we are all still special to one another. 

Martina took the plunge into becoming a Needlework designer. If I showed someone today the cute little penguins that started her career, they’d have a hard time believing that they were the product of the internationally known and loved designer “Chatelaine”. Martina grew into one of the most admired designers in the industry, producing charts that create absolute masterpieces of art in thread. You can see her work at www.chatelaine.de

 So, I will be starting my first large Chatelaine. I’ve been collecting them for years,  ut never got around to actually stitching one. I am starting with her magnificent Hawaii Garden, which is a monster- 26 x 26 inches, with several hundred dollars worth of silks and beads. It will probably take me years, but I am starting now, in memory of Martina. Many of us from Martina’s Facebook Page are doing that, so we will all be sharing our progress.

I also joined a sub-group on one of my Facebook stitching groups, to commit to completing some old WIPs (stitch speak for works in progress). I can’t say here what I’ll be working on, but I am anxious to get these 2projects done. It will be nice to have encouragement and accountability. 

I do have one crochet project to complete before I put the yarn away. My niece is expecting her first child, who will also be the first child in my family for that generation. So, I’m working on a baby Afghan, a 10 point star using a really pretty Caron cake. 

When I finally solve this new picture issue, I’ll share pictures of what I’m working on. Until then, we’ll, you just have to use your imagination. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New year, new start, all that stuff.

So, I am participating in the mental games of New Year’s this year. It seems that a combination of things, like John’s long recovery, my health issues, and the currently out of control house because of the previous two items, has led me to set my goals for 2018 rather high.

I am going to do better, and hopefully *much* better with FlyLady, my house chart, my Bullet Journal, and my exercise regimen this year. I also need to continue to improve the way I eat, and what I eat. The holidays and my own weak will, have totally destroyed any sense of eating as I should.

I’ve also set a goal of writing here more regularly, like very regularly. So, I’m adding this blog to my habit tracker page in my bullet Journal.

Below is a picture (a bad one, admittedly) of my house chart, aka in FlyLady terms, a routine schedule for my Control Journal. I keep this on the fridge, in a plastic page protector, and use a dry erase marker to check off things as I do them. This was I always have in front of me what I’ve gotten done and what I still need to do. It’s a really big help for me.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful 2018!!!
Teresa

Blogger/Google is making me crazy- I can NOT get the picture to load. Will try again later.


Friday, September 22, 2017

I don't want a best friend anymore

I've had "best" friends. I don't have them anymore, and I don't want one ever again.

When I was a young adult- say from 17 to 45- I had a really close friend. We talked every day. We were raising our kids, working our careers, and surviving our husbands. We shared everything. Then I got sick. Didn't work. Spent a couple years mostly in bed, in pain, exhausted. Fibromyalgia. It totally changed my life. Somewhere during about 5 really difficult years, so did that friendship. I didn't have a friend anymore. I don't know what I did, other than getting sick. I just know she has not spoken to me in years, even when I have tried. I still miss her.

In later years, I had a friend. She was high maintenance, but I stuck with her. I introduced her to new activities, new interests. We traveled together, always with me making the plans and arrangements. I helped her start a new business. I helped her start her life over when her husband died. I helped her move nearby as she had no family, and we were happy to be that for her. Once she moved here she quickly found a new man, a creep who made us all very uncomfortable. Then my aunt died. That week, for a combination of reasons, was the most painful and traumatic time of my life. My "friend" was too busy partying and drinking with her live-in boyfriend to have any time for me, or for the funeral. No cards, no flowers, no nothing. In the following weeks, she lied to me, repeatedly. So, I cut her off for a while. My husband, and mutual friends, kept encouraging me to try to work it out. So, I went to visit her, expecting a groveling apology. Instead, she attacked me- because I had, at some time in the past year, referred to her cat as "stupid". She followed that by calling my husband when she knew I was not home, and asking him to meet her, regularly, because she expected him to remain her friend, even if I was "being unreasonable". The final straw was the juvenile activity of sending my husband mail- with no return address and disguised handwriting on the envelopes. I resent like hell that she lives too close, and I cannot always avoid seeing her, and blame myself for that. I do NOT miss her at all. My fondest wish is that she would move away or disappear so that I would never have to see her again.

My last friend, my latest friend to abandon me, had been my friend for life. Everything important in our lives was shared. From first grade until last month, I always considered her the closest friend I ever had, or ever would have. We saw less of her when she moved to the affluent suburbs while we remained in our row house in the city. We differed in how we saw our children- I saw them as moving on to lives of their own, and she saw hers as part of everyday life no matter that they married, had children, etc. I remember one time when I knew there was something fundamentally different. I invited her to an amazing event, something with her academic background she should have thrown herself at. Instead she chose to stay home and babysit a grandchild- the same grandchild she saw every week at Sunday dinner. Every invitation began to be turned down for family reasons. So, I took the hint and stopped inviting her. But we stayed in touch, and I loved her as much as ever. During the last year,she had taken to putting nasty, pompous, critical and self righteous posts on my Threads on Facebook- like many who live and work in their safe suburbs, she has no contact with or concept of inner city life in the 21st century, but maintains a severely left wing liberal attitude about how those of us who do live IN the city and who, like I did, work in the inner city should think. I am pragmatic, I am a realist. She decided she didn't like my politics, and while I have been adamant about NOT allowing politics to have any effect on my relationships, she is among those who has let them color her opinion of people, and color also the way she treats them. In May we decided to have a party in July for a group of friends who were all turning 65 this year. I, of course, invited her. I got back a curt, bordering on rude, response that she was unavailable that date. As it turned out, we were forced to cancel the party due to my mother's death. When my mother died, and for weeks afterward, I heard nothing from my friend. Her family sent condolences but nothing from her. I was crushed- to some extent I still am. No card, no Mass card, no letter, no phone call, no email, no text, nothing. When we rescheduled the party for late August, I decided to make another effort. (When will I learn that these extra efforts, one more try, only hurt me even more?) so, I sent her a note, different from everyone else's, giving her the benefit of the doubt. It said "due to my mother's death, the party has been rescheduled- hope you can come". I got no response. And, she did not come. A few days after the party, at a time when I was really very sick and very depressed, I sent her a note telling her how hurt and devastated I was at being ignored like this, that I couldn't believe she would ignore my mother's death, and that I didn't want to continue to expose myself to the pain. The answer I got back was just as curt, and bordering on rude, as the one from the month before, that she didn't know my mother died, and she would "respect my desire" to end our friendship.
Now, I know I am "deplorable" because I hate and despise the liberal lunatic left, but I never, ever let that interfere in any way with my friendships. However, the nastiness of the things she has posted on my threads in the last year leaves me with the conclusion that she is glad to be rid of someone as "deplorable" as me. So, I get hurt when she posts the nasty, I get hurt when she ignores a death in my family, then I get hurt again because I really wanted her to come to that party, and I finally get hurt, AGAIN, because I told her I was hurt. I will miss her most of all, when I have time to get past the pain.

So, at 65 I am still learning lessons. I have a few good friends here, women I share activities and interests with, whom I like enough to have dinner with regularly, go to shows with, take classes with, etc. I have friends nearby, friends since I was a kid, who are a treasure to me. But, I am DONE with best friends. I don't need them and I don't want them. In every previous case, clearly I valued them more than they valued me, and I invested more emotion and dedication to them than I received back.

It sucks to be still learning the hard lessons at my age.


Teresa

Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to Reality



We had a lovely week at Disney World. We had dinner with Cel and Andy for her birthday, and spent an afternoon visiting various resorts and kind of dining-around-the-hotels. It was a lot of fun. Sunday we had dinner with Fred and Marianne and it was, as always with them, totally enjoyable and just good for my soul. 


We saw the new Pandora World. Liked it fine, but I wasn't impressed. I didn't get the "other worldly" feeling it was supposed to invoke. Maybe I'm just an old grouch? We did the Navi river cruise ride, and while it is visually beautiful, there is nothing to it- just riding, sedately, through pretty backgrounds. There was some pretty neat new versions of audio-animatronics but nothing to wow with. I'll re-evaluate when we get a chance to do the Flight ride. 

We did very much enjoy going on our favorite rides in each park. We always enjoy just being there. 

It rained, a lot, while we were there. We've never had that much rain at WDW before. So, we found a new activity that was rain proof- checking out some of the lounges in the hotels. Our first visit was to the Territory Lounge in the Wilderness Lodge. We had cheese fondue and it was wonderful. The Mizner's Lounge at the Grand Floridian is a small room behind the Orchestra, on the second floor, overlooking the lobby. We spent a delightful evening feasting on their cheese plate and creme brûlée all while listening to the orchestra do Glenn Miller sets mixed among the Disney Music. It was terrific!

Now we are home and back to "normal"- doctors visits, cleaning house, catching up on laundry. I have to hurry because in only 9 days we leave for first, Asheville, NC and The Biltmore, then Ocean Gate!! Life is very good!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES!!!

The level to which I HATE insurance companies cannot be described at this moment.

United Health Care's Medicare Part D prescription plan is as big a scam as their HMO healthcare coverage. I almost died many years ago from a United Healthcare HMO doctor refusing me access to specialists. We dumped their coverage immediately after that, and paid for the good coverage ever since.

Now, UHC Medicare Plan D is trying to force John off a needed medication and onto a MUCH cheaper one. Only problem??? The NUMBER ONE (#1) CONTRA-INDICATION FOR THIS MEDICATION?????? CANCER!!!!!

They have resorted to an entire collection of lies to make this happen. We did not know until dinner time on Monday that this drug requires prior authorization. The NICE lady at the UHC phone line told me that, told me how to begin the prior authorization request, and WARNED me that they would probably try to force John onto the cheaper pills.
H
Tuesday at 2 o'clock I called the number for John's doctor, but I called the wrong office- he sees patients at Moffitt, but also sees non-cancer patients across the street at the USF medical center. The nurse manager at USF made notes for the doctor about my call, then called the nurse manager at Moffitt to bring her up to speed.

Yesterday, Wednesday, John got a call from UHC that his medication was being denied and he would have to switch to the cheap one. He called originally, but they got him both confused and upset because they "didn't know anything" about my phone call Monday. So he put me on the phone.

The first LIE was that he was being denied because of the doctor's failure to respond in a timely manner. She then stated that it had been more than 72 hours since they had submitted a request to our doctor and he had ignored it. Well, this was me going nuclear time #1. Oh, they submitted a request more than 72 hours ago?? How did they do that when the request process had only been initiated 48 hours ago, and oh, btw, did they really submit claims over the weekend? Because that was when more than 72 hours was. Then she claimed that their rules were "72 hours or LESS"!!!! That one really got me going. 72 HOURS OR LESS???? Could that mean they could make it , say, TWO HOURS IF THEY LIKED?????

So, my loud and sarcastic and "that voice" (my kids call it the "stupid salesperson voice") resulted in a complete change of course.

Now, John's Doctor HAD called in. And.... he had refused/been unable to answer any of their questions!!!! He had said "I DONT KNOW", or "I DONT HAVE THAT INFORMATION" TO EVERY QUESTION THEY ASKED ABOUT JOHN!!!! So, NOW the reason for the denial was the doctor's refusal to cooperate, or his incompetence. As you can imagine....AT THAT POINT I STARTED YELLING!!!

I demanded to speak to a supervisor, and the young chit refused saying "THEY WILL ONLY TELL YOU THE SAME THING"!!!!! She finally caved after one of the better dressing downs of my life.

At first the supervisor tried the same thing, and I proceeded to explain that she was slandering the head of a major research team at one of the leading hospitals in the country and I would be notifying him and the hospital of that fact. She suddenly thought that it was unlikely that he had really said those things, but mysteriously, the person who had (supposedly) entered that information had neglected to sign off, so there was "no way" she could determine who had made such a mistake. Yeah, "mistake"- keep calling it that.

She went all nice and helpful then. Told me she was going to send another fax request for the authorization form. Told me she was going to send it keyed as urgent. I asked what that meant- and forced her to admit that "urgent" meant that IF THE DOCTOR DIDNT COMPLETE AND RETURN THE FORM IN 22 HOURS- YES, THAT IS TWENTY TWO HOURS!!!!!!- they would AUTOMATICALLY reject it!!! I explained, as if I was talking to a VERY stupid 4yo, that his doctor saw patients in 3 separate offices and John's records were only at one of those offices, and that I had no idea which day the doctor was at which office, until she finally agreed to send it keyed "standard" which gave the doctor 14 days. Then I checked on where she was sending it, and she was, of course, sending it to the wrong office. She "didn't know" that Tampa General in South Tampa was "different" from the Moffitt Cancer Center. Yeah, right!!!!!

So we got off the phone, after almost an hour, with her promising total cooperation.

Today I called the nurse manager at the Moffitt office. Did she get a fax or email request for a prior authorization for John's medication?

I shall leave you to guess the answer while I begin to work my way up the chain on the phone with UHC. Oh, and while I find the correct person to read the above. Do you think they will be happy to hear from me?


Teresa

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!!

It has been a lovely Mother's Day. We went to Roy's Tampa for Brunch and it was delightful. Roy's may be my favorite restaurant ever. We've been to Roy's Waikiki each time we've been to Honolulu and enjoyed it immensely. 

Today we had a tasty treat that i can't remember the name of, but its kind of like a sweet hush puppy, and comes with 3 dipping sauces, one chocolate, one like the cream in an eclair, and one strawberry. For appetizers we both chose the lobster bisque, which is savory rather than sweet like usual, and really good. We both also ordered almost the same entrees- he had Roy's Benedict with filet mignon and I had the crab cakes version. Both were terrific, although we neither of us loved the cheddar-bacon biscuits. John finished all of his- I only managed one of the two crab cakes, so we know what John will have for lunch tomorrow, if it lasts that long.

We took the very long way home, all streets and back roads, no highway, and enjoyed seeing parts of Hillsborough and Pacso counties we had never seen before. Fortunately, John really enjoys driving and I love riding and looking around, so just one more way we are a good match.

All in all, a lovely day!