Friday, September 9, 2016

Time to write...

Well, I see it's been a very long time since I sat down and wrote anything at all on this site.   This past year has been a trial, to say the least, but I'm not going to write about that at all. Enough has been said to the folks that needed to hear it, I don't need to tell the world.

It seems to me that so many of my contemporaries are afraid to speak up and ask questions about things they should know about.  I don't understand all the secrecy.  OK, some of the stuff is hard to talk about, but most of the things are universal difficulties we all have at one time or another.   I try to understand where they are coming from and it's all about that "NUMBER"....their age.  They don't want to think about aging and what age brings to most of us, so, if they ignore it until it can no longer be ignored they're thrilled. You know, out of sight out of mind?

I don't believe it that. I get more information (and some odd looks at times) when I blurt out questions.  I don't really care what others think, I want some answers.  You can only look at WEB MD so many times and then you find out you're old and it's part of aging or some other such rot.  I want true answers, not Internet answers, which may, or may not be correct.  Who knows? Certainly not me.

Oh well, I'll keep blurting out questions in the hopes that someone will shut me up with answers...maybe someday.....oh bother....

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alzheimer's- the Demon within.....

Another change in my life.  Things don't stay the same, I know that, but I don't have to like it...and I don't.

Lunch with Emily has always been fun, but now there's a new twist and some new activities.  She's now in an assisted living facility....and very nice one, but not her home....She lets me know that almost every minute.

Today was my first experience with her in the assisted facility.  The staff were all very gracious and helpful.  The lunch was very...institutional...but nutritious and plenty.  If you wanted more you could ask for more.  I should be the one staying there...You get enough and you don't get a chance to be greedy or glutinous.....I'd lose weight.   Emily should gain weight because she sure hasn't been gaining weight, nor for that matter, keeping weight on at all lately.

It's sad when you have a loved one in any kind of facility.  Intellectually I know it's the right place for her right now and probably forever, but emotionally I have a feeling of grief... It's as though I've lost part of me. It's not that I'm thinking about my own mortality per se, but  something I always thought of as never changing has indeed changed and can never be put back to rights...

My cousin has been a part of my life since the day I was born.  She is 7 years my elder.  I am an only child and she is as close to a sister to me as I will ever have.  

She is the only person who shared my childhood bedroom.  She lived with me, my Mom and Dad from age 19 until she married and moved out at age 24.  You may not think that's a long time, but it was intensive and felt as though she always lived in our house. 

Time went on and we went our separate ways. Me to college, then my own marriage, Emily to build her home not far from me, but still not in the bed next to mine...We had children...We lived our lives different from one another, but we were still connected by the thread of family connection.  We saw each other sporadically over the years but managed to meet monthly for lunch and catch up on the goings on of each family. 

Our kids knew each other a bit, but they too had their own friends and families.  Still the thread connected all of us like an invisible lasso.  We could pull it together at times, weddings, funerals, graduations, but usually it was loosely held around us.  I thought it was like a safety belt, "just in case" we needed it.

As we've aged things have changed.  We remember the past as though it was yesterday, but Emily doesn't remember yesterday and that is frustrating to her.   Her sentence structure is sometimes non-existent...but that's OK...I can keep track...Her information is scattered all over her brain and it sometime takes hours to get it into the right order for more than just her understanding of what she's trying to say.  I can deal with that as well. 

I can handle things as they are as long as I know there is a safe place for her to be.  The place is safe.  She tries to escape out of every EXIT but the staff is on to her now, so she keeps them hopping..

Alzheimer's disease is a bitch.  There's no other word for it...It's a bitch.  In the case of my cousin, it's the family disease.  Luckily we're pretty sure it's her Mom's family and that will exclude me and mine from that particular strain, but who knows what the future holds for any of us?

My studies had me research the Dementia's and none of them were pretty to see or read about, but the beginnings of Alzheimer's, is a tougher deal...It's an insidious disease, it sort of creeps up on you when you're not looking.  If you have no other people in your family who have preceded you with this disease, you can lose time in getting a good diagnosis, and medication to help slow the progression....There is no cure, but some medications may help slow the spiral down that slippery slope where there's no turning back.

I know I must accept the cruelties of the disease, but I sure as Hell don't have to like that acceptance and I don't .

I'll keep visiting Emily, giving her my love and company and hope she continues to remember me as I remember her and the fun we've had over the last 68 years....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

So all right already...

I've been getting grief from some folks because I am remiss in my blog writing.  So rather than continuing to listen to the queries as to why I've been so quiet, here I am...

Life is funny. I know you've heard and read that a hundred times or more but honest, it really is funny if you really observe your fellow man. 

1.  I watched a man come out of Stewart's convenience store today carrying more than any one person should try to carry at one time.  I watched him thinking, "this is going to end badly".  I was correct.   Every single item he was attempting to carry all at once hit the bricks; coffee, a bag with bread, butter, a jar of "something" and peanut butter hit the ground.  The jar broke and the "something" spilled over his cute little bare toes...He had sandals on but they were not substantial...just some straps of fake leather...The man tried to catch some of the stuff in mid fall, but ended up slamming into the car (I hope it was his) and kind of slid down the side in a heap....I know I shouldn't have laughed and to be honest I tried to hold it in, but I couldn't...

2.  A woman (who should have known better) was walking at a quick pace while looking down at her phone.  She was obviously oblivious to her surroundings as she walked off a curb and fell to her knees...Again, I knew I shouldn't laugh, and this time I didn't.  I ran over to help her and she sort of waved me away never once letting her eyes leave the screen of her phone...Now, come on...

3.  At the gas station, I observed a youngish man (again with the man...) as he filled up his vehicle.  He was paying no attention to anything at all.  I thought he was in some state of meditation or something.  I watched him as he filled the car and when the hose stopped filling (because the tank was filled...duh...) he proceeded to pull the hose out just a little to add more, then a little bit farther up to add more, then the hose was out of the filler and he sprayed the gasoline all over his feet.  First of all, I never thought that could happen with all those safety things on the hoses these days....wrong.  The guy was furious.  I watched and thought, "I hope he's  not a smoker".

So now I've started to blog again. I'm done for tonight....I'm tired......

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Land that time should forget....let them all stay as they are....

Been quite a while since I sat down to write a blog.  I've been doing a bunch of other things and haven't had the opportunity to sit a write for fun...However, tonight I'm sitting at the beach. I'm a bit tired from being in the sun most of the afternoon.  I am not sunburned, thanks be to sunscreen...

We are again in God's waiting room.  The last couple of years we were not quite in this area of Florida.  Last year we were in the middle of the state, near "Mouse Land"...We didn't like it there.  It was a bit fake...No, make that a lot fake.

This year we're back in the waiting room, where everyone here is older than we are, and that's not too bad. I try to find places that are off the beaten track and not so "where the cool kids are".  By that I mean, not in the middle of the hoity-toity groups that are all over the place down here. 

They make all sorts of "fun" things to do: Roaring 20's parties, 60's sock hops, Sci-fi weirdo things, and of course the ever popular, Elvis impersonator dances...  We've hit some of them over the years just to see what's what. 

This year we are in a 1930's Florida cottage (a..k.a. "camp") that has been totally rehabbed and has all the mod-cons that are necessary for life as we know it today.  We have two bedrooms and only one bath (I told you it's like a camp). It is very well appointed with all the stuff needed to do just about anything you may need to do. 

The area is very residential. Most of the other folks around here stay down here for half the year.  As I said before, most of the folks are older than us.  Many have residual effects of pretty devastating illnesses and the like.  It's kind of like looking in a mirror and maybe seeing your future...and I hope I'm wrong, but we all have to go sometime. 

 The air here is warm but the ocean is cold, not cold enough for me to fore go walking in it looking for shark's teeth along with hundreds of other old farts.

The conversations you hear are all the same. It doesn't matter where you hear them, a restaurant, museum, the beach, casually strolling down a street just about everywhere.  First comes the talk about meds., then Docs, on to pooping, either too much or too little.  Honest to God, I'm not kidding.  It seems that everyone is obsessed with their evacuation.  I guess it's because it's a commonality between people of a certain age.

The driving hasn't gotten better down here either.  We have seen some really bad driving and I shudder every time I see a Buick sedan in my rear view mirror. I'm never sure if I should keep my eyes on the front windshield or the rear.  I've gotten whiplash every time I've come down here to the country that waits for God's finger to crook their way.  

I'm not being "snotty" as my husband suggests, I'm only observing from my vantage point.  It's quite amazing to think that all these really old people down here were once young and vibrant.  Granted, some are still quite vibrant for about two hours (usually in the early morning hours-that's when all the garage sales take place) then it's nap time to get ready for "cocktail time"...Every after day...

Oh well, more later.....


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Always try new least twice...maybe

I'm all about trying out new and different restaurants or stores at least twice.  The first time isn't always the impression that should linger in your data banks....Give it another try, at a different time, or day...

That being said, today we had some errands to do,  We thought since we were out anyway we could go to lunch at the new Mediterranean Restaurant that's opened in Ballston Spa.  Now here's where it gets tricky. Ballston Spa is a village.  A village in Northern New York (not "upstate" like Westchester County in the Catskill are in the foothills of the Adirondack know Adirondack Chairs, bears, snow, cold weather, sort of rednecks....That Northern New York...closer to Montreal than New York City...Got it?).  We go for Pizza, wings, dough boys, and nachos (not because we're ethnically diverse...we just like grease).

Why these folks that run the new restaurant think it will make it here is beyond me.   I love Mediterranean foods but most of my friends look at it as though it's too foreign (like they USED to with Nachos by the way).  We're always looking for things that are new and different so we went there.

We should have known been on the ball as soon as we walked in...There was not a soul in the place. No one in the kitchen, no one in the bathrooms, no one at the counters...Nada...not one living soul ( unless you count the bee and the fly that was buzzing around).   I went through the kitchen to an open outside door...I have to tell you I was a bit apprehensive to go meandering through the door, but I'm brave I poked my head outside and saw three folks sitting at a plastic table drinking tea? Scotch? who knew?  I said, "Hello...? Is anyone working?  Are you open?" They all jumped up in startled amazement by my intrusion into their sun worshiping.  

Full of apologies they showed us to tables and gave us the menu.  The food listing was interesting, if not sparse.  Clearly the owners were trying to convert the masses (?) who came in to a Mediterranean diet with no possible chance of any other food choices....But what the heck, it all looked pretty good to me...Not so to the unadventurous one of this pairing....Larry looked lost...I interpreted the menu for him and he made a good choice of chicken kebabs (how wrong can you go with that?).  I decided on Calamari Salad.  I love calamari and if anyone can cook it right it's the folks who live  on the Mediterranean Sea.

The waiter was probably an out of work actor left over from the Saturday Night Fever movie...You know the type....tall slender, coiffed hair  with enough hair gel to use his head as a weapon of mass destruction. He had on Khaki's, a long sleeved deep purple shirt, black dress shoes...Honest, I kept thinking he was going to start singing Bee Gee's songs.  He took our order, sort of, turned to go to the kitchen, returned to our table to ask us again what we wanted. (OK it's a new place, he's probably never been a waiter before we'll give him the benefit of the doubt...this time).  He returns again with my water, Larry's soda...(wrong kind by the way).

It's hotter than Hell in this place so the owner (?), certainly not John Travolta's stunt double, opens up the door...There are flies...there are bees...there are little tiny flies...not pretty.  Another couple comes in and I'm hard pressed to continue to sit in my chair...I want to get up and tell them, "Run, run...go away while you have the chance".  But no, I sit there and mind my own business.  Another woman comes in to pick up an order for her office.    The stunt double gives her the bill.  It's over $50.00.  She looks at the bill. I'm watching her as I can see the machinations of her brain working overtime....She isn't expecting the bill to be this high. I didn't expect the bill to be that high. I was watching as they were gathering all the take-out stuff.  Poor woman, she gets out her phone to call the office and says (remember, I'm within ear shot) "What the F*** did you guys order?  It's over $50..." Her face is now bright red.  She hands stunt double her plastic.  Stunt double rings up the amount in the cash register, hands the customer the receipt to sign.  She looks at the receipt and says, "The bill was $52.00, this receipt says $520.00.  That's not right" (thank God she looked at it before she signed). Now stunt double is freaking out....I can see the rivulets of  sweat pouring down his face. Enter "THE OWNER", the one who so wisely opened the door to let all flying things into the restaurant...

Larry who is practically stone deaf can't hear any of the discussion but he knows things are escalating because he sees me squirming in my seat... He knows me well enough to understand I'm internally laughing so hard my guts are pushing my bladder...

I'm sitting very close to all this action. I'm trying not to laugh.  I'm afraid to get up to go to the bathroom that I so desperately need. The customer is standing by the register, stunt double and "The Owner" and all huddled together.  The owner grabs the check, shakes his head, looks at the stunt double and says, "What? you stupid? You charged for dinner menu, it's lunch you dope".  Stunt double says, "So confusing, the menu...The food is the same, lunch, dinner...just the prices are different. So confusing".  I'm nearly making a puddle now. I can't hold it much longer...I literally jump from my seat, making one step from my table into the ladies room.  In there I can still hear the discussion of stunt double and THE OWNER, and I know all the other patrons are well aware of the conversation as well.

The owner straightens out the customer's her some free dessert items (good move on his part) and she leaves...Now our food is on it's way...
The food is really good, no kidding but the entertainment is superb.  It's OK that this place is supposed to be a restaurant only....if you keep your eyes closed it's sort of like a Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi.

By the way, our bill was also wrong...but all is good... It was corrected.  Are we going to give it another try? I will, because it was one of the best laughing lunches I've had in years. Larry? I don't think he's as brave as I am...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another Day at the Office

This is day number two at the office that's usually peaceful, quiet, and generally a pleasure to work in.  However, as I said yesterday, the world is filled with crazy people, no longer are people rational, pleasant or courteous.  As a matter of fact, I think the word "courteous" has been removed from the dictionary.  It's probably been replaced by words like miserable, rotten, creepy, horrible and bitchy.

Today was slow. People came in and paid bills, bought insurance, asked about claims info.  They were all pretty nice.  I started to wonder if I had gone into a new dimension when I left for work this morning, because for sure I wasn't in the same place as yesterday.  I should have known it wouldn't last.

Customer 1:  Where's the agent?
Me: well the owner agent is not available but everyone in this office is an agent, how may we help you?
Customer: How long have YOU been here?
Me: This week?  about 24 hours but with the company 28 years. I work in all the agencies covering for folks who are out
Customer: So that means you're like a Kelly Girl?
Me: Ha ha, well perhaps a Kelly Girl with licences, certifications, and instructor licences...I usually call myself a "licence for hire"...ha ha.  Now what can I help you with today. 
Customer: How do I know that you won't get my information and sell it to another source?..... (who? Geico? AFLAC?)
Me:  I work for this company only and have done so since the eighties.
Customer: Prove it...
Me:  Well, I can show you all my licenses, and the certifications I carry, as well as my Notary Public license. 
Customer: let me see
Me: Here they all are
Customer: Well I guess I can talk to you
Me: sure I'll try to help as best I can
Customer: What do you mean you'll "try" to help? Does that mean you don't know how to do the job?
Me: considering I don't know what you need I have to assume that I will know what you need but there is a possibility that I will have to get additional information to complete your request
Customer: Well, I want to know that if I ask YOU the question I'll be able to get the answer I want.
Me: Well, I can't guarantee that, however I'm sure we'll be able to come to some mutual agreement of some kind.
Customer: I don't like you. I'm leaving
Me: Have a nice day......

Customer 2: Who are you?
Me: I'm Suz.  What can I help you with today?
Customer: I don't know you
Me: Probably not, but I'm here once in a while when people are out. I help in the agencies
Customer: Do you know your stuff?
Me: Depends on what you're alluding to
Customer: Oh shit, you're one of those college broads
Me: Yep, that would be me
Customer: Well I pay your salary, so don't you forget that..
Me: Technically you're probably correct
Customer: You bet your sweet bippy I'm correct.... 
Me: I there something I can help you with
Customer: I need to pay a bill. The bill that probably pays your salary
Me: I wish it did.
Customer: so where's my receipt?
Me: Who are you and what are you paying?
Customer: Don't get snippy with me? ...(Trust me he doesn't know "snippy" yet)
Me: I need your last name so I can get into your policy and transmit the payment.
Customer: Well, the other people don't need me to tell them who I am
Me: Well Sir, I don't know who you are, I'm not here all the time so I haven't learned all 2700 customers names....(now we are starting to get to the "snippy" from me [part)
Customer: Oh, there's that many here?
Me: Probably more than that
Customer: OK I'll play your way....  ( I now a freaking mind reader)
Me: That would be helpful.

Customer 3:    Telephone rings......Hello, I have insurance with you.
Me: how can I help
Customer: I want to know why my insurance is cancelled
Me: Can you give me your last name and I'll check your policies to see what's going on?
Customer: Can't you tell by my phone number?
Me: The number that comes up seems to be a business.  Is this a business account
Customer: No, my own personal account
Me: Is you name **** LLC?
Customer: No, that's who I work for
Me: What is your name Ma'am?
Customer: whispering.....Sally ***.
Me: and you  live at 12 ****?
Customer: still whispering....How did you know that?
Me: Your address is part of your policy
Customer: Who is this?
Me: My name is Suz
Customer: Who the Hell are you?
Me: (go through all the hoopla again)
Customer:  Oh yeah I remember you from before
Me: I thought your name was familiar
Customer: What's that supposed to mean?
Me: Nothing I just remember talking to you in the past
Customer: Because I was a bitch?
Me: Gees, I don't remember that at all.  You were very nice (my brain is now going through all the saved data to try to remember something about this lady at the same time I'm in her account reading notes from 3  [three!!] years ago....I find something)  I remember you called about your son and his grades and you wanted to know how to get credit for him for being a good student..(thank you God for the notes I put in and remembering some things)
Customer:  Oh yeah....and he is still doing wonderfully...He graduated and is now in Med school. I'm so proud of him 
Me: you should be....
Customer: Well, great talking to you
Me: called me about your cancellation.
Customer: I remembered, I forgot to pay the bill.....Bye
Me: grrrrrrrr  CLICK

and it's only 2:42 

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm imaginative, but even I couldn't make this stuff up!

So... today was a work day for me....I don't work everyday, but I do cover different places when they need someone to help out in emergencies, or for some training.  It's good for me and for them, so I continue to do it (when and if I want to).

I worked in an office that's very familiar to me, so I thought, no problem....a few hours...a few dollars...what's the rub?  Well...

I think the world is coming to an end and all that's left is crazy people...(I may be classifying myself in that category, but I like to think of myself is an observer only).

Call number one:
 Customer: Hi, my name is *****. I have policies with you folks and I was wondering if it would be cheaper if my room mates had insurance with you as well.  I thought we could all take advantage of multi-car discounts and the like........
Me: Maybe if would, but first I'd have to know some information about your room mates
Customer: OK...well, I live with the father of my two kids and his wife.
Me: Come again?
Customer:  I live with the Father of my kids and his wife...I'm away a lot on business so they watch all the kids when I'm not here...

Me:  OK...are you all going to be listed on the policies?
Customer: OMG no. His wife is a drunk, and has lost her license.  She's also on parole for arson.
Me: Is this a joke?
   ( and no it wasn't a joke)

Call number 2:
 Hello, my name is *****. I just need to know if you can give me insurance on my birds?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we don't insure animals.
Customer: What!?! that smacks of discrimination...You people will be hearing from my lawyers...
  (hmmm....OK)   CLICK!!

Call number 3:
 Customer: I need to buy insurance for flood
Me: Ok we'll need some information
Customer: no problem ask away
Me: We will need to know where the house is located, the community, and the map designation to determine the cost of the insurance.
Customer: What? Why do you need all that?  I"m just insuring it for about three days. There's a flood warning and I want to make sure I'm covered.
Me: I'm so sorry sir.  Flood Insurance is regulated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority) and there is always a waiting period  before the policy is effective, if we could write the policy, which unfortunately, since you are in imminent peril we can't even quote you at present.
Customer: Jesus H Christ, why bother with you insurance always find loopholes for us honest're all a bunch of leeches.....
Me: Well, sir...I'm sorry we can't help you, have a nice day.  CLICK!!

Call number 4:
Customer: My dog bit my cat.  The cat was running down the hall and the dog chased after the cat and bit the cat on the rear end.  The cat needs to go to the vet.  Can I give them my policy number and your telephone number so they can put the claim in for the damage the dog did to the cat?
Me: No.
Customer: What d'ya mean, no??? I've paid for this &*^%  home owners insurance for over 10 years and I've never put in a claim...Now when I need to you say "no".
Me: I'm sorry, but your dog biting your cat is not a covered loss.  A loss would have to be something like fire, lightning, trees crashing through the roof, electrical damage, and airplane crashing into the house, collapse...that sort of thing. There would be no coverage for your animals biting each other...or for that matter if your animals bit you or any other person who lives with you..
Customer: So....there's no coverage for my cat?
Me: No, I'm sorry
Customer: Well the cat will have to be put down then. I hope you can sleep tonight knowing you caused a cat to be killed.
Me: I'm so sorry.   CLICK!!

So that's been my about you?