December 26, 2015

Looking back at 2015....

Blue skies, tumbleweeds.....(Yahoo images)

I saw this photo and was reminded of the tumbleweed snowman that the city puts up in November for the upcoming holiday.  



I saw it while driving down I40, but it sure didn't look this big....this looks more like a tumbleweed gargantua.  Must be the angle or something...

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Well, we survived Christmas!  As this is the second year we essentially cancelled gift giving, I couldn't help but look back over the year.  In February I started a new job, and things seemed to be going so well.  We even started to discuss buying me a new car and keeping the current one for this and that.  Then in late October, Romeo gets laid off, and the same process we had at nearly the same time of year happens.  

I could get used to not exchanging gifts.  It certainly takes a lot of the pressure off!  However, I've noticed a few things (about me).
~I didn't do hardly any baking...no cookies, fudge, etc.  
~I cancelled the order of luminarias for this year.  It isn't expensive, I just didn't want to do it.  I think that I might look for some outside decor in an after Christmas sale.  Maybe.  
~I only put about half the decorations on the tree.  No one said anything, but I thought it looked a little bit pathetic, and regretted it.  *Although I must note, I never did anything about it even though the decorations were easy to pull out.  

I certainly hope that Christmas in 2016 is a little more festive than this year.  I will have to mark on my calendar a note about increasing my enthusiasm.  I gave a few gifts out, and received a few as well, but at home Romeo and I didn't do anything.  #2 son put a few gifts under the tree for us, which was a nice surprise.  Nothing expensive, just thoughtful.  And it looks like there might be a new romance going on, as he spent the evening with said girlfriend last night.  It is so good to see him going out. 

Plus, I spent more than one hour wishing that Romeo and I were more social.  He is a real homebody, and although I can appreciate the idea of hangin out at home, I sometimes wish we were going out.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  If I mentioned it, I'm sure he would encourage me to attend this party or that, but I'd rather be with him, so there you go.

Love, 365

December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas, everyone!



As the blogging slows to a crawl, I just wanted to post Christmas greetings to all of you!

I thought it was interesting that of all the images I cruised past, I didn't see one single Xmas!  Hurray!  I never like it, nor did I ever believe that it was PC, but just plain old stupid.  I suppose progress has been made.....although all the stores have Happy Holidays, but that doesn't really bother me.  

I went to our Christmas party for work on Friday, and took some photos, but was disappointed that they didn't really come out well ~ it was too dark in the room we were given.  The meal was wonderful (I was stuffed to the gills, lol), and it was fun.  Next week we only work 2 days and then we will be off for 5 blissful days.  I'm looking forward to that, and have some projects to work on.  I need to quick brine the turkey ~ Williams-Sonoma has a brine that is dry that you rub on the turkey.  I was missing the brine mix that I was used to getting from them, although I won't miss spilling it on the floor like I did a couple of years ago.  I will post my results & opinions for those of you that might want to try it.

Merry Christmas!!!

Love, 365

December 8, 2015

Who I am........

Back when I had more curl in my hair.....
And was cuter......
With no idea what the world was gonna throw my way.

My parents had some issues.  My Mom was desperate to get out of the rural Pennsylvania farm she grew up on.  My Dad was desperate to get out from under the thumb of his domineering, abusive father.  Oh, yeah, my Dad's Dad (good ol' Grandpa) was pretty awful.  I was scared of him when I was 9, when he dragged Grandma halfway around the country to see us, during which time she was on her way of dying of breast cancer, because she believed in faith healing instead of Dr's.  I was in my Grandfather's company only a few times, and even as a constantly optimistic kid that I was, I knew he was not a good guy.  He passed away a long time ago.  I hope the alligators ate him ~ he was living in Florida somewhere near the Everglades.  

My Dad never graduated from high school.  He enlisted with the Air Force, and they ended up in Bosier City Louisiana, where the base there is most likely the only thing that keeps the city going.  I've seen pictures of the base housing ~ yowza.  The house looked like a box, and probably had asbestos siding.  After my little sister was born, Dad was transferred to Okinawa Japan.  I guess the Air Force sent so many people to Okinawa that we lived off base, as there wasn't any housing available on it.  So, I played with the kids in the neighborhood, and quickly learned how to speak the language (which I promptly forgot when we came back to the states because my parents never learned more than a few words, and my sister forgot faster than I did).  We traveled and visited gardens and shrines, and it was really pretty charming to me.  I looked up some photos online, and realize that it was a very poor part of Japan for many.  Here's a few that show what I mean.



Of course, I don't remember it like this at all, and unfortunately I don't yet have the slides out of storage yet ~ my sister is supposed to get them to me soon, since she had to get the Christmas decorations out of their storage pod.  

When we moved back to the U.S., my parents purchased a new car and apparently it burned up in Colorado.  I bet my Mom totally freaked out.  Stuck in the backwoods of Colorado with two little kids and a burned out car?  Yeah.  

We did end up in San Antonio, Texas, where Dad was a drill sergeant (you have no idea how appropriate that job was), and Mom worked on base in the legal department.  I spent at least 3 days hiding out in houses that we under construction instead of going to school until a neighbor found me and ratted me out.  And so it begins...........

More later.  
Love, 365 

December 4, 2015

It's the silly season......

Mmmmm, cookies.  (Google images)

Before I write on my blog, I read all the unread posts of all the blogs I follow.  I suppose I just want to catch up with everyone else's news before I write my own, and sometimes I get ideas of what to write from them as well.  I like to start at the bottom of the list and go up.  I do this because the most prolific writer I read on a regular basis is at the top of an alphabetical list.  For those of you that have let 10 months go by without a post, I will probably take you off of my reading list just to avoid the disappointment.

This year, as Romeo is unemployed during the same time frame as I was last year, we have again cancelled Christmas.  Last year Romeo insisted I decorate anyway, which I did.  I've noticed that he isn't insisting this year.  I'm not saying anything, in hopes we can skip it.  In fact, I'm rather enjoying the freedom of not having to worry about gift buying (although I do need to buy something for the office party).  I just might have to make this a habit...although I suppose that we will continue to decorate.  Maybe.  

Me Mum is going home today.  Apparently there has been a mad rush to have a hospital bed set up and be there for the delivery of a lift chair.  My understanding is that since she was not making any progress, she might as well be at home.  The only thing I don't understand is why this decision was made near the last minute.  Perhaps because it is Friday.  I am clueless.  My sister and I had quite a talk about Mum yesterday, and it seems that we both believe that within 6 months (or less) she will probably have to go into a nursing home.  I understand that she is afraid of falling again, but I don't understand how someone would fail to put forth some effort to stay home.  I really hope I'm wrong.

I had a meeting with an adviser today at UNM, and after a discussion about a class that I really want to take, she suggested that I e-mail Prof. *** and ask if I could take one class and have it substitute for another.  Turns out there are TWO Prof. ***'s, so I had to e-mail her back and ask which one it is. Or, I might just e-mail both and ask the one it doesn't pertain to "please disregard if you are not in the anthropology department".  :-(  

Well, that's about all I have.  Nothing exciting.  Nothing earth-shattering, or otherwise interesting.  Just the usual day to day bullshit.  Yep.  It's my life:-)

Love, 365

November 27, 2015

It's fall, because the leaves are falling???

Scotland castle

Last weekend I went to visit me Mum in the rehab hospital.  She fell and broke her hip and ended up with a partial hip replacement.  She has been in the hospital or rehab since Sept. 23rd, or maybe the 27th.  She had to have 3 surgeries ~ the main partial hip replacement, the surgery to remove infection from her incision, and the surgery to remove the drain from the incision repair.  She moved to the facility she is in on the 20th, and was informed by the case manager at the new facility that she will be discharged on Dec 7th because the insurance (Medicare) simply won't pay anymore.  I have 2 thoughts on this: 1. It will motivate her to really work with the physical therapists to make the most of the time she has left there, and 2. because she still has a lot of mobility problems, it might be a really big mistake.  I suppose that there must be some limits, but I think discharging someone who might very well fall again because they simply aren't strong enough is asking for trouble.  Truthfully, I am very concerned at how she will handle being at home with just J*, her care giver.  There will be in home rehab until she is strong enough to actually go to the facility.  She is very lucky to have the money to pay for a nurse aide to come several times a day.  I suppose we will just have to see how it goes.  She may go home, but I have serious doubts that it will work.  I have a feeling that she will end up in a nursing home, and then discover that she wished she had worked harder to stay home.  I hope she proves me wrong.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving with Mom last Sunday.  I had called my sister about 3 months ago and suggested I come the weekend before Thanksgiving to have it with her a week early...all before she fell.  Since I really needed to go see her anyway, we stuck with this idea, and it went really well.  It is tough though, to see her so fragile.  I need to do some research on renting or buying a hospital bed and check into the home health care situation.  

This is the point where I feel overwhelmed with guilt that I live so far away and my Sis ends up with all the hard stuff.  Not that there is much I can do about it.

Our own Thanksgiving was delicious.  As son #2 usually gets a turkey from work at Thanksgiving, I opted to have ham, and save the turkey for Christmas.  I like turkey, but don't really want to roast 2 in 4 weeks, and what to do with all the leftovers?????  

I hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends!

Love, 365

November 17, 2015

Flying the "friendly" skies.........

 


In less than 48 hours I will attend the cattle call line for boarding my flight to San Antonio.  I thought I had scheduled the flight to take off at 8:20, but it's 7:20.  Oh, that's am, not pm.  Yesterday Romeo and I had a little pillow talk and discussed when I need to be at the airport.  And asked me if I wanted to be there 2 hours early.  I strongly stated one hour before is enough for me, thank you very much.  The sad part is he was serious.  Sheesh.
I may not have mentioned that I have suffered from motion sickness since......forever.  The first time I went to a dental convention with my previous employer, I became so sick I thought I might never recover.  It was truly horrible.  They even took me from the plane to our van in a wheelchair.  And yes, I still feel sorry for the person I was sitting next to when I had to use the barf bag (which I always check to make sure I have one when I fly....sad huh?).  I haven't done it since then, which was nearly 18 years ago.  I now take meclizine starting 24 hours prior to the flight, and make sure I drink some ginger ale (the only thing I drink on an airplane).  I don't anticipate getting sick.  But, what is interesting is that I now have injectible migrane medication, which would help me if I do get sick.  The tricky part is that it is injectable, and because I don't want to spend more time than necessary in the security check, it looks like I will put it in my checked baggage.  I tried calling the airline, then they directed me to the TSA...where I was left on hold for over 20 minutes and hung up in frustration.  The box doesn't have a printed Rx on it, and although I have the print out of the prescription, I worried that it would be confiscated, although it probably wouldn't....just the idea of losing $85 of medication makes me want to cry.  Although certain none of this worry is necessary, it just gives my life a sort of preverted meaning....lol.
Stupidly, I have to go to Phoenix from Albuquerque to get to San Antonio.  Once I had to fly to Las Vegas from San Antonio to get to Albuquerque.  And yet it sure beats 10 hours of driving.

Love, 365


November 12, 2015

I think it's only Thursday......

Yeah, all us dental receptionists look like this......not.   Sheesh.

After Ami invited her readers to list what they did on the average afternoon (go here), I wrote a rather long comment and she mentioned I should write more about work.  Which is rather a slippery slope in some ways.  If you've been reading my blog, you know that at my previous job a patient found my blog, by stalking me on the internet....then I received a scathing talk down from my boss asking me "Did you say this" ~ "yes", repeat 5 or 6 times, etc.  Surprisingly I didn't get fired.  Anyway, my current position is wonderful, so I suppose I won't exactly be the same.  Lol.  

I was thinking today about how much I enjoy my "new" job - I guess it's still kinda new, since I've been there 9 months.  Because I don't have any sick leave or vacation time.  Or pension options.  =sigh=  

Any who, I still am amazed that most ~ probably over 85% of patients just don't have a clue about thier insurance.  And that's sad, because dental insurance is a lot easier to understand than medical (still mulling over the Cobra option myself, lol).  So, when you have that third dental cleaning, please don't call the office and yell at someone because you have to pay it yourself.  Here's just a little dental insurance primer:

PPO ~ preferred provider organization: you have a lower copay for stuff IF your dentist participates.  If your Dr doesn't participate, you would have a higher copay.  For example when you have a filling done, it could cost a little more (like $10), or a lot more (like $100).

Maximum ~ represents the total amount of $ they will pay out for your dental care in a 12 month period.  Which could be a calendar year or a benefit year (like 7/1 to 6/30).  Sometimes your exams and cleanings aren't part of the maximum, but most times everything is is paid out from your maximum.  If you don't know what your maximum benefit is, you might want to pull out the paperwork and actually look at it.  
~Sorry, but it does get old when I ask if you have insurance, you say "yes" but then have no idea what company it is.  Most people don't get cards for dental like you do with medical.

Deductible ~ This is an amount that insurance will subtract from the first claim submitted when you have some kind of treatment, like periodontal or filling or extraction.  It could be $25 or $50, all the way up to $250.  95% of the time it is $50.  

There is a lot more....but please!  Don't yell at me because your company opted for a crummy insurance plan.  Or, worse, because you had three different levels of coverage and chose the cheap one that doesn't cover root canals or crowns.  I suppose it's the ol' "don't shoot the messenger" issue.  

Well, gotta run.  I hope I enlightened you a little bit.  Next time you're at the dentist, remember that we truly want to help.

Love, 365


November 7, 2015

Of prescriptions, Cobra coverage and living without insurance......

I you want to know more, go here.


     This Friday I had an appointment with our new family physician.....I had waited 3 months for it, and of course as you may already be aware, Romeo was laid off 2 weeks ago and our insurance expired at midnight of his last day of work.  I discovered that his employer did not take the insurance premiums out at the front end but the back end.  I suspect it is to prevent a flurry of Dr's appointments and lab work ~ exactly what I did, assuming we had coverage until the end of the week.  
     I still had not heard anything about the Cobra plan, and armed with the knowledge that I would pay $95 for the visit, headed off to discuss a more direct treatment for the occassional debilitating migraines I get.  You know, the kind where I have to call Romero or our son to come get me because I can't drive...I also was so out of it I couldn't even explain where I was on the UNM campus.  
     The Dr. is a very nice man, and quite understanding.  The nurse asked me a bunch of questions about my health, then announced she was putting in lab orders for blood work, which I promptly explained I would not get because I currently don't have any insurance.  She looked at me with disdain.  I should have said that I would be happy to get the recommended tests if she wanted to pay for it.  Ha ha.
     Together we decided on an injectible treatment, which he said might be rather expensive, but he looked online and said he saw an option for $65, which I agreed I could manage.  However, when the pharmacy called to tell me it was ready and I asked how much it was, they said it was $175.00, and after some rather boring back and forth discussions with someone at the Dr's office, they finally offered that I could print up a coupon from Good Rx that would discount the medication to $85.  To say that I was skeptical is an understatement.  But, I took the coupon I printed and did get it for $85, which really beats the pants off of $175.  I hope that Good Rx can keep up the good work, because otherwise I could not (or would not) pay that much more two doses of migraine medication.
     The Cobra info came in on Friday afternoon, and it looks like it would cost $850 for 3 months, and apparently is not quite the same as the previous coverage.  I need to find out more about what is covered, and also check with the folks who did my mammogram and ultrasound for the total cost.  I doubt seriously that the vision coverage would be included as part of the medical, but I need to ask that too.  
     My Mom is doing better, and sounds much more her normal self on the phone.  While enjoying happy hour with a friend, I mentioned the Sundowner syndrome Mom experienced following her pain medication treatment and anesthesia, and she immediately said "Oh, she has dementia"...which I had not recalled being part of her diagnosis.   I have read that experiencing the symptoms following surgery is generally a temporary affair.  Truthfully I was quite taken aback with her quick diagnosis....but to be fair, her husband has early onset alzheimer's, and she knows a lot more about tha than I do (and ever hope to).   Still, given my experience with Mom ~ albeit from a distance ~ I would say she is not suffering from dementia ~ at least not now, which I am thankful.

     Now I want you to ask me if I've been working on my research paper.  My answer: not at all.  :-)

Love, 365



November 1, 2015

Sleepin' in.....

Google images.......

If you'd like to read a funny and well written article on the "fall back" time change, go here....plus it includes bacon, and who doesn't like bacon????

I am sitting in the living room watching Bill Maher being interviewed on Sunday Morning ~ one of my favorite shows, although Romeo isn't much of a fan.  

Daylight savings time is very controversial in some circles.  Some discuss the waste of time (ha ha, bad pun), but I would say that the  majority opinion of my friends is that we should keep DST all of the time.  Then there's Arizona, that collectively opposes DST, and does not participate along with the rest of us.  So, when you're flying in, it can take a minute or two to figure out what time it will be when you arrive in Phoenix.  

For myself, I enjoy DST.  I like having more light in the evening for walking the dog, or doing a few chores in the yard.  I don't enjoy losing that precious hour of sleep though.  It must take me a week to feel my normal self after the "spring forward" time change....so when the "fall back" comes around, I'm enjoying retrieving that hour.....no matter that I waste it sleeping.  Of course, I won't enjoy coming home Monday night and have the sun setting as I drive home.  But as I have so recently re-experienced, along with the sweet must come the bitter. 

Love, 365

October 31, 2015

Okey dokey.....screwed again.

Polariod transfer....

In my last post, I had listed the Dr appointments I rushed to, in hopes of getting things done before the insurance expired.  Turns out I was incorrectly informed.  Apparently the coverage ends on midnight on the date of termination.  So, all I accomplished was increasing the $$ I will owe for the tests and contacts (the only thing that ended up covered was the flu shot and shingles vaccine since I did those on Monday).  One of my coworkers asked about cobra coverage, and I asked Romeo about it ~ and then we promptly got into a fight about it.  I told him that we might at least get it for a month to cover the tests I had done, not to mention coverage for the upcoming visit for my migraines.  

Truthfully, I am a bit upset with Romeo.  He didn't ask any questions about stuff like insurance.  And I'm totally incensed with his employer for not providing him with the cobra information, which they are supposed to do, by law.  Or, they did and he was so freaked out that he didn't pay any attention to it ~ which I understand.  He does not react well to stress.  

And I think they should have told him that the insurance (and any other benefits that qualify) would end on Monday, so that we could make informed choices.  Plus, it just makes sense to me that he had paid for the benefits through the end of the month.....so they should have kept them active at LEAST until the 31st.  

One of my coworkers was trying to make me feel better by pointing out that there are many people in worse shape.  And of course I realize this already.  However, I was not comforted by the thought that there are many other families that are worse off.  Is it just me?

Love, 365

October 29, 2015

As the world turns....

Prickly times......

Because our lives were apparently becoming too comfortably consistent, the powers that be decided that we needed something new to stress out over.  So, after 15 years, Romeo's company decided to lay him off.  This happened Monday, as I was coming downstairs for the morning, he walks in and tells me what happened.  So, ratchet up the stress, and freak out.  With not much of a "severence package" that consists of 6 weeks of pay, and the loss of our medical insurance by the end of the week.  ~sigh~

Luckily, Romeo had recently had his physical and stuff, so he was all caught up on medical stuff, whereas I had kept putting it off and putting it off....& so on.  
Monday ~ flu shot and shingles vaccine.
Tuesday ~ visit the optometrist and order new contacts..refill Romeo's Rx.
Wednesday ~ have the lovely (& really painful this time) mammogram and ultrasound.
Thursday ~ gather up all receipts for expenses and fax to the company that processes the FSA stuff.  And hope that there aren't any problems that they will then use to deny paying out on.  

I wish I could have made it to our new family physician's office to discuss my migraines, but that's not until next Friday, which is November something, so probably won't have any coverage then.  Romeo wants me to keep the appointment, but if the out of pocket costs are over $100, I'm not going to do it.  I can't even imagine how much the Rx would be for the shots/nasal spray I was hoping to get.  I also have an appointment for my pap smear & gyn exam, but that's just going to have to wait until such time as I have insurance again.  Romeo is old enough to qualify for Medicare, but I'm not.  So, depending on what goes on, I might have to go to the "market place" and look for a plan.  Problem is, I have had breast cancer, and to get that covered, I'd probably have to pay a fortune, or agree to do without cancer coverage so I could actually afford to have coverage.  Seems pretty sucky.

Well, I feel all stressed out just writing about it.  Gonna go meditate or something.

Love, 365

October 25, 2015

Let's study the plague ~ just for fun....

Map of the spread of the plague, Google.

I have always been fascinated by the plague, it's spread, and the economic changes in the aftermath of a devastating wave of death.  David Herlihy's book "The Black Death" explores this subject in terrifying detail, and even compares it to the AIDS epidemic, although I'm a bit surprised he did not mention Ebola or Lassa fever.   If you are morbidly interested as well, you might want to check it out from the library, although I purchased a copy for a pittance (less than $5) from Amazon.

In other, less terrifying news, I was saddened (but not surprised) that my anthropology professor announced that he intends to retire at the end of next year.  I really don't have a fixed age for him, but I do know that he is less than 80, but by how much I've no idea.  He is truly a dedicated educator.   His wife is termially ill with stage 4 cancer, and has been going through chemo every 2 (or 3?) months, and he mentioned that she is one of the longest survivors of this particular form of treatment.  They want some time to do some traveling and other things "before something happens".  Which I find very interesting, since many of the people I know ~ that are near my age ~ worked only until they figured they could retire, apparently because they disliked what they were doing.  This man loves what he does.  I plan to take classes with him as long as I can.  I think he feels a bit out of the loop with his contemporaries, thinking that his ideas are passé, but as a fan, I must say I think his ideas are refreshing and down to earth, logical.  

Me Mum, who recently had a partitial hip replacement, had to go back for more surgery, as her incision became infected and opened up (all the way to the bone, shudder).  So, now we are waiting to see how well the healing progresses.  If all goes well, she'll be discharged for further physical therapy in a week to 10 days.  ****I love her, she is quite unique, but like so many of her generation, excersize is not a high priority.  Her situation would not exist if she had stuck to a routine of some sort.....such as the original excersize, walking.  She had lost so much of her strength, the fall was catostrophic.  

Well, that is all for now....enjoy your week!
Love, 365


October 17, 2015

**Just let it go......**

(see the full cartoon here)

Road rage strikes again.

This week, I decided to take a different path home, hoping to shave a bit of time off of my commute.  So, instead of going right, I went left, as I have done other times, but usually only if I need to stop at Target, or some other retail establishment.  

Instead of going my merry way (la la de da), I had unintentionally become part of a huge backup.  I didn't really know what was going on, but had no choice but to move with it.  

Traffic was moving very slowly.  It's boring, right?  So, what do we do when we are bored?  We check e-mail, or texts, or something like that.  I was doing the same....and when I looked up, I noticed that a woman in a Hyundai mini van had nudged her left bumper between me and the car in front of me.  Seriously, there was probably only a foot between us, and now this woman's bumper.  

She is forcing her way in.  She didn't have on a turn signal, or indicated in any way that she was hoping to move into my lane.  For me to move forward, I would have to hit her vehicle.  My only choice was to let her in.  I have seen this happen before in a traffic jam, and it never fails to make me incredulous at the brazen audacity of idiots.  Of course, I laid on my horn.  She turned towards me and gestured she wanted to move forward ~ duh.  Then, when she had managed to pull in front of me she waved ~ I assume a "thank you!".  I resisted the urge to flip her the bird, since she had kids in her vehicle.  

I found this little article on driving etiquette......

Should you ever insist on the right of way?

The driver should never assume that other drivers will start or complete any maneuver and should never insist on the right of way nor attempt to force their way into traffic. Drivers should try to anticipate other driver’s actions as well as yielding whenever needed or required by law. Giving up the right of way to other drivers also helps to avoid crashes, as does gaining eye contact with all operators of motor vehicles that come directly into conflict with you. Drivers should attempt to be both courteous and conscientious toward other drivers.
If she had put on her turn signal and waited, I would have let her in....but I wasn't given that opportunity. 
I was totally enraged, and trying desperately to "let it go".  I did manage a lively little dialogue, that fortunately, she didn't have to hear.  
Worst of all, I had to listen to Romeo (who's inability in the past to "let it go" is legendary) lecture me on "letting it go".  
From here on out, I'm turning right.
Love, 365


October 11, 2015

Of Balloons & Resubmittion Fees, wha????

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2015 

We did manage to go to the balloon fiesta last Saturday!  Got up at 4am, and arrived at the park and ride around 4:45....to discover that since the last time we attended, the park and ride has become very popular!  Instead of city busses, they are now using school buses to haul us out to the balloon field.  Seriously, there were easily 400+ people out there.  
Of course, this was the first day of the fiesta, and I knew it would be crowded, and to their credit, it was well organized.  We arrived in well ahead of the mass assention at 6am.  The only negative I experienced was burning my tongue on the coffee!  









It was really fun.....and it wiped us out for the rest of the day!  I swear, we can home and napped for a couple of hours.  

******************************
On the BYU course.....the day after I submitted my quiz, I received an e-mail letting me know that I might be able to take it again ~ for a fee.  Interesting, huh?  I suppose this is how they keep the tuition fee low for the course, by offering you opportunities to retake the quiz by paying for the privilege.  I don't know what the cost is, because I am not able to retake the above mentioned quiz.  Higher learning ~ so much of it is all about the money.  Sigh.

Love, 365

October 9, 2015

I must be a survival master.......

Just chilling........

Just finished taking my lesson 1 quiz.....made a 75.  

Considering I spent an hour reviewing the material (which was considerable) and hurriedly read an intro chapter for answers, I didn't feel too bad about it.  

The bad news: I need to take another quiz on Monday.

More bad news: I still need to work on re-writing my research paper.  And although I think of it often, I really haven't written anything new.  Oops.

I suppose it's a good thing that I see "bad news" to be defined as: Lets see if I can ace it.  Or, at least make a good show of it.  

I suppose that in many ways, I can be a risk taker.  Well, except for tight ropes, sky diving, roller blades (oh, god, I remember that phase, which was very short lived), snow boarding (which was fun until I got going too fast and nearly broke my neck), etc, etc.  

My anthropology professor is supposed to e-mail me on class dates, and I'm sort of excited about the fact that he seems to have forgotten all about me.  Tee hee.  I know it won't last, but I will wait until I hear from him.  Apparently they have company from out of town/state that are here for the balloon fiesta.

Speaking of which, I do have some awsome photos to show you, which I will do soon.  Plate rather full at the moment.

Love, 365

October 6, 2015

OMG, OMG, OMG............

I can't believe that I.......(Google images)

Crap!  

If you've ever read my blog, you might recall how excited I was to discover that I could take a class online with BYU to satisfy my history requirements.  I may not have mentioned that I would have a year to complete the class.  

Well.

I haven't been online for the class in a little over a month.  Life just happens, ya know?  I was working on my other class, and trying to handle all of the emotional ups and downs of my Mom's physical issues (it's a really long story that I don't want to go into right now).  I just so happened to check online to refresh what I need to do and discovered that there are some timelines I need to meet, and I've missed the first one.   THE FIRST ONE.  To say that I'm freaking out is a major understatement.

I truly thought that I would have a year, and I could just mosey (?) along and do the class on my own time.  I really believed that there wasn't any time frame.  

OMG.....I couldn't have been more wrong.  I had a quiz I was to complete.....ON SEPT. 9th!  OH SHIT!!!!!!!

I will do it (& the quiz that is due for the second section) this weekend.  One will be on time, one will be late.  Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

In this instance, assume makes an ass out of me and me.  

Love, 365

September 27, 2015

Mismash.....

Radwanska played brilliant tennis....(ESPN photo)

Well, yesterday evening I watched Radwanska win over Cibulkova, which she did rather easily....but it was her game that was amazing.  I was a little dismayed that I now know that she won the Championship over Bencic ~ I still haven't watched the game!  So, I will watch already knowing that she will win.  It's just a little bit of a letdown.

On Thursday I attended a lecture at UNM.  It is the first one I've gone to, mostly because the idea of going and sitting for a couple of hours isn't thrilling after spending too much time sitting at work.  I arrived a bit early and was sitting in my vehicle when a car entered the space next to me.  I look over at an elderly gentleman was opening his door, slowly pushing it until "thunk" it hits mine.  Really?  I roll my window down "Excuse me, but you just hit my car with your door" ~ "I did?  Oh."  Steely gaze (from me).  "Sorry"  After he and his wife exit their car and begin to walk to the building, I open my door and say "See?  I'm being very careful so that I don't damage your beautiful car....all I ask is that you afford me the same courtesy next time".  And, of course, we all ramble down to the same lecture, because many of these things attract the grey haired crowd.  And the lecture hall was big enough that I didn't have to sit anywhere near them.  Sheesh.

At work, we have a new front desk person who started a few weeks ago.  She was previously the office manger at another office (as was I but I didn't list "office manager" on my resume, as I was concerned that it would knock me out of the running).  Our OM asked her about it, as the pay and duties were not going to be the same, and she said she was relieved (or happy?) not to take on that role.  But it's kinda funny because she really gets going sometimes on how we need to do this and that.  She's really familiar with the software we use, so I've found myself asking her questions on how to do certain things.  Which my other co-workers seem to sometimes have problems figuring out.  Over the last 3 weeks she seems to have settled in well.  But I miss Pat* whom I had so much in common with ~ love of tennis, dogs, etc.  But because I only worked with her for 7 months, I don't know if she would be interested in getting together.  Guess I'll have to call and ask, eh?

Next weekend we'll be attending the first day of Balloon Fiesta!  So I'm hoping I'll have lots of cool photos for ya.  

Have a great week....Love, 365

September 20, 2015

Quickly, quickly......

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta ~ Oct 3 through Oct 11 


The Balloon Fiesta is coming soon!  We already bought tickets through the park and ride, so on opening day we will be there (no doubt with thousands of others!).  Set your alarm clocks for 4am, folks, to be on the field by 6am.  Of course, there are evening events, but they don't include an assencion....meaning the balloons will fly.....they tether and light up, which looks pretty cool.  I guess I will have to go to one of those sometime.

Still looking for a dog to adopt.....am a little frustrated right now because I'd sent an e-mail to Desert Paws (a dog rescue, adoption organization) regarding a 3 year old corgi....they said they didn't think it would be a good match due to temperament (Sioux is "alpha" and she said corgi's are assertive).  We didn't even get a chance to introduce them to each other to see if it would work.  I think I will take the bookmark off my list.  I've had corgi's  before, and didn't find them to be aggressive.   Because I'm stupid, I mentioned that in the past we were interested in a dog that was being fostered, but the foster family never got back to me and I didn't want to go through that again, and it seems I put her on the defensive....so there's not much point in contacting them again, don't you think?

Well, I need to get going!  Hence the quickly, quickly.
Love, 365


September 13, 2015

Dog days.....

(Google images)

Exactly.  Right now, Romeo and I are "dog grandparents".  We have really enjoyed having #2 son live with us, along with his dog, Sioux.  

This is not to say she isn't quite the clown.....she sleeps/naps like this often.  

I think I'm ready to get another dog, but this time I want to adopt a shelter dog.  So, I keep tabs on the shelter weekly.  What we need is:
~a young dog, but not a puppy.  It would be nice to skip the teething/agressive chewing phase.
~a male.  This was recommended to me by a patient in our office who has lots of experience adopting from shelters, based on the alpha personality of Sioux.
~a smaller size than Sioux, because she becomes a bit aggresive if the dog is close to her size. 

Which makes the search a little complicated.  But not impossible.  Luckily, one of my co-workers daughter facilitates adoptions from "high kill" shelters, and she now has a list of what we are looking for.

There was an adoption event that unfortunately occured at the same time as my Aztec, NM trip.  But there are sure to be more.

Well, wish us luck....I'm sure the four legged friend/family member we are looking for is out there!

Love, 365

August 30, 2015

It's a dog's life.......

Corgi puppy, google images

There is nothing cuter than a corgi puppy.....nothing.  I would love to have another corgi, but they are too expensive, and don't fit into my austerity plan for retirement...ha ha ha.


This semester I signed up for 3 classes ~ pilates, individual studies (a continuing class on my Chaco studies), and an archaeology class.
~I dropped the archaeology class because of the comments of my individual studies professor.  He did not recommend that I take the honors class because the Prof. is overshadowed by his wife's accomplishments & bitter about it......and the reviews on ratemyprofessor.com.  One student actually stated "obviously mentally ill", and another said he took an interesting subject and made is incredibly boring.  Not to mention that his lectures ramble, and rarely follow the reading material, which is what you're actually tested on.
~I dropped the pilates class last week because I developed a severe migrane about 3/4 of the way through the class.  I had to have Romeo come and get me, and one of the gym employees called an ambulance ~ they checked me out, said I was OK (as far as my heart and blood pressure) and then gave me a gurney ride to the car because I said I didn't know how I was going to walk all that way, because if I stand up, I was going to vomit.  It was embarrassing.
**So now I only have the individual studies and the history class I'm taking at BYU.  I looked for another phys ed class, but I couldn't find one that was on the weekend or evening.  Sound familiar?  My ongoing issue.  If you're tired of hearing about it, truthfully, I'm tired of bitching about it.
**I was basically accepted into the honors program, but the MANDATORY class is on Tuesday from 1pm to 2:50pm.  Again, I can't take it.  Once I recall my current anthropology professor asked me if I would be able to quit work soon........yeah, right.

Why do I continue, you ask?  Well, I'm a senior now.  I'm getting close to the goal.  Quit now?  No.  I'm a stubborn bitch, you see.

Enjoy your weekend...spend time with your family.  Be thankful for your blessings.
Love, 365

August 16, 2015

Gettin' around to it.....

I forgot to show the before and after photos of the stair remodel.  I don't really have a before photo, because Romeo had removed all of the carpeting on his first day of vacation, and didn't think about it.  I would have mentioned it, but I was out of the loop for his plans.....I simply came home and the carpeting was gone and he was pulling tack strips, nails and staples out.

Our stairs, sans carpeting, because some people are impatient and impulsive.

Here is a little bit of the carpeting that used to be on the stairs.  Here, I took the photo while looking down at the stairs from the second story.  

Going up, anyone?  I think the risers look lighter than the wall on the left because the sunlight is more direct....but they are painted the same color as the wall on the right.

Another photo of the lower set of stairs.  

No, it's not done yet.  We still need to patch and paint the nail holes on the risers, and caulk the small spaces between the wall and the stairs (& paint that too).  We haven't yet started the flooring for the landing either, but the plan it to finish it before cold weather, because we will need to polyeurethane it after installation, which smells awful.  Romeo thinks we can stain it before fitting it in, although I wonder if that is doable.

****************

When I turned on the computer this morning, I discovered my wireless mouse would not connect.  I've had this issue a few times before....
      I spent 45 minutes restarting, turning the blue tooth off and on, replacing batteries in the mouse......over and over with no results, until finally it connected.  I find this so frustrating and irritating.  Why does this always seem to happen when I am trying to get things done in a limited time frame?  ARGH!  Get me a hammer, I'll fix it good!!!

Love, 365

August 15, 2015

Stuff that bugs......

Silverfish ~ Google images

Stuff that bugs me.....

Mean people.  You know, the ones that cut in front of you, give you a dirty look (who knows why???), are nasty to their kids in front of you (which makes you wonder what they do when no one is watching).  There's a huge list here, but you get the idea.

Daddy long legs spider

People that wear the most hideous outfits in public.  Have you ever seen the photo extravaganza from Walmart shoppers?  Yeah, like that.  Too tight, too skimpy, too dirty, too much cleavage.....again the list goes on and on.  It makes you want to run the other way screaming "my eyes!  my eyes!".

Cat flea

Public phone conversations.  Really people, if you want to have a fight with your mother-in-law, please keep it to yourself.  If I can hear it, I feel like I'm included.  And I don't want to be.......

Red flour beetle

Rudeness....in general.  Please treat your fellow humans in the manner in which you wish to be treated.  This means you don't cut in line, you don't make huffing noises when the person in front of you is taking a little longer than you wanted, when traffic is down to one lane you don't speed all the way down to the merge and force your way in.  Didn't your Mom teach you anything?  Did you ever listen?  Pretend she is watching everything you do, and act accordingly.

Bed bug

Facebook posts that show a photo of some pitiful thing, then declare that if you don't repost, you're an asshole.  Or someting incredibly religious with the same repost idea....which doesn't seem very Christian.  Or whatever.

***************************************

Classes start on Monday.  I guess I'm ready......there is one class I'm not sure I'm going to commit to, because my current anthropology professor thinks he is not a great instructor (because the wife is much more accomplished and he's not enjoying being second fiddle, apparently).  His "rate my professor" ratings aren't that good either.  I figure I'm going to one class, and then decide.  Although Romeo thinks I should just drop it now.  He's probably right, but please don't tell him that.

Enjoy your weekend!
Love, 365

August 9, 2015

I blame Pintrest........

*Google images

Well, today is the day!  About six weeks ago, Romeo was talking about some of the things he planned to do over his 2 week vacation...and one was about shampooing the carpet on the stairs.  I just happened to be on pintrest (I only recently found that it's not just manicure designs and make up tips) and viewed a before and after of a couple that removed their carpeting and replaced it with wood.  They did theirs in a weekend ~ well, that's what they said anyway ~ so we talked about it, and decided to go for it.  We talked about how easy it will be to clean them, and how noisy they might be too.  But in the end, we decided to do it.  
That was on the Sunday before his vacation started.
On Monday when I arrived home after work, he had removed all of the carpeting and was prying the staples and strips.  I was a little surprised, because I thought we were going to plan it more in advance.  
The following weekend we took a trip to Lowes and Home Depot for stair treads and that sort of thing.  We found them, and chose the pine treads (to keep the cost down) and discussed what to do with the raisers (which we decided to paint the same color as the walls), and finally found a stain that matches our laminate flooring.  
2 weeks ago: measure, cut and try in each an every stair step, because all are slightly different.  There are 14.  Stack in the house, clean garage, and collapse in the living room for some boob tube time.  Fall asleep.
1 weeks ago: Haul the treads out to the garage, belt sand, find sand, stain, and put on 3 coats of polyurethane ~ although that 3rd one was the next day.  Unfortunately, the stain was not water based as we assumed, and by the time I was done wiping the excess stain off, I was feeling pretty sick.  So I took a nap while Romeo did the coats of polyurethane, because he thought I would get sick from the smell of that too, which I didn't disagree with.  Repeat the collapse/boob tube/fall asleep scenario from the week before.
Today: Yesterday we cut, primed and painted the raisers (I'm not sure I'm spelling that right).  Again, we tried in each one, because again, all slightly different.  It was not as tedious because the wood is thin and flexible, so it was easier to "make it fit"....with enough force behind it that is.  
Romeo thought out loud that we could probably get it installed and finished yesterday, but I suggested we shower and have dinner, to start the installation today...hopefully with enthusiasm and patience.  Something Romeo lacks when finishing up a project, lol.
I will post photos (mayber later today).  Unfortunately I don't have the before photos, because of said carpet removal on his first day of vacation. 
Hopefully I won't bang my toe again, which really did revert to it's normal color/appearance within 3 days.

Hope you have a great week!
Love, 365


July 28, 2015

Measuring time & distance....

What the hell is that thing?  (Google maps)

I pulled this photo from Google map photos....very odd.  I suppose it could be the top of a building, but considering how small the rest of the buildings are, it could be a parking lot.  Although I've never seen a triangular parking lot.  I think it might be aliens.

This morning when I left my house to go to work, I decided to see if I could really make it to work in the 13 minutes Google maps predicted.  Before I began working at this new office, I searched the well known site so that I could get to work on time, but not arrive too early.  The estimated time was 13 minutes.  I hadn't ever tested it out, so figured I would do it this morning.  Now, I have a "highway" that I live right next to.  I put quotation marks around it, because for years we just thought of it as a road in Albuquerque like all the others.  But since assholes have illegal contests of speed (racing) on it like clockwork on Friday and Saturday nights, and we used to call the police to complain, we were told that city cops don't patrol that particular street because "it's highway #(whatever)" and under the jurisdiction of the state highway patrol.  How typical to pass the buck.

I left my house at 7:27am, and arrived at work at 7:40.  13 minutes, right?  However, in order to get there that quickly, I realized I was speeding.  Even so, I was riding along with the traffic.  Everyone was going 5 to 10 mph over the posted speed limit.  I was a bit freaked out at first, but then I remembered the city cops telling me they don't patrol that particular stretch of road.  So, I guess it is a 13 minute ride.  

Love, 365

July 26, 2015

Is it just me, or did the summer zing by?........

I can't believe that summer is nearly over, and soon kids and teachers will be back at school.  Guess I'll have to leave a little earlier for work, to make way for all the extra traffic in the mornings.  Boo.

I have been at my new work place for about 5 months now.  My previous experience is that you discover the not so great parts beginning in the first week or so.  To their credit, it has taken me this long to discover that it's not perfect by any means.....although it seems that this place is as perfect as it gets in many respects.  Everyone gets along pretty well.  Which means that all of us are fairly logical and reasonable, with no real desire to dominate, manipulate, control or create chaos just for the fun of it.  At the same time, it is not perfect, because there is no such thing as a perfect workplace.  There are some resentments of others because they always seem to get what they want.  Here, I am talking about vacation time at Christmas.  Funny.  But, I detest taking time off at Christmas, because for 14 years I worked for a dentist that took one week at Christmas and 2 weeks the first part of June, and that was that.  If you wanted a week off at some other time, tough.  So, as a result of that (which was 20 years ago, lol) I really prefer not to take vacation time at Christmas.  Which means that I don't care, and sometimes find it strange that others find it such a great time to take off.  Unless you have young kids.  Besides, Christmas isn't my favorite time of the year.  It's tedious to put up decorations and a tree and move around furniture for a few weeks of the year.  I'd just as soon forget it.  I cam very close to skipping it last year, but Romeo wanted it, so I acquiesed.

~ Another issue I recently discovered was that we don't do yearly reviews.  Now, in my experience, an employer that doesn't review your performance, at least with you present during the review, is avoiding the expectation that a good review will result in an increase in pay.  In fact, one of my co-workers admitted that it is not unusual to go 2 to 3 years without a raise.  I admitted that at my one year anniversary of employment, I'm marching my ass (ok, I didn't say ass) right into the practice manager's office with a list of accomplishments/suggestions (that worked, of course) and so on that I feel I've contributed that increased the bottom line.  Then, I will ask for a small bit of it.  She looked up with an interested expression and told me good luck with that.  And then she told me a story (which I'm not convinced is completely accurate).  Basically she said she turned down a substantial raise and suggested that everyone should get one at Christmas (yeah, this is the part I find difficult, but maybe I'm to cynical) similar to the one they did a few years ago, but it didn't happen.  I'm really not too bothered about it.  Enjoying your work place is worth a lot more than earning more money.  But I won't sit by and let years go by.  Been there, done that, have the tee shirt.

So, I am still quite happy with working there.  I feel like I'm making a difference, and everyone is reasonable and easy to get along with.

Ouch......but notice my pedicure still looks fab!

Romeo and I have a history of DIY projects.  We've totally redone the landscape, which still gets a tweak here and there.  We replaced the carpeting downstairs to laminate flooring.  We remodeled the kitchen (although we had the cabinets and countertop contracted out), and did all of the tear-out, moving the gas line for the new oven, etc.  Recently I saw a DIY project on pintrest showing a remodel of the stair case from carpeted to wood.  Which we decided to tackle.  So, yesterday while we were measuring and cutting the stair treads (which required more than 30 trips up and down) I stubbed my toe....OUCH!  I am now calling it my little eggplant.  

Well, I need to get busy with the cake I'm making for work tomorrow.  Have a great week every one!
Love, 365

July 18, 2015

The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Sun Dagger, Chaco Canyon ~ New Mexico
Courtesy Bing Images

Hello!  It's been awhile....and my excuses are the usual....busy, enjoying the summer, not much desire to write.  My summer class is going along, and sadly I've not really put forth as much effort as I should be.  I'm torn between taking another single credit class with my current professor mostly because I think the university might ask him to retire soon.  He mentioned that he feels that his ideas have become outdated and other newer theories overshadow those that he has held so dear, and worked so hard to promote.  I like him, and find his theories plausible.  We will never know all the details of the Chaco phenomena.  Not only is there no written language, the native Americans are very tight lipped about their history and origin stories.  

Otherwise, life keeps moving along.  I have procrastinated again about what to do for fall semester.  I need to go to the Univ. of Texas at Austin to check out their history classes, and go on to the Univ. of NM, and cancel the class I was thinking of taking.  I'm not going to take it because I would have to ask to leave work early one to two days a week, and although I don't think it would be a problem, I really don't want to ask until I've been there a bit longer.  

My Mom has not been doing well.  She has, over the years, lost much of her muscle mass ~ because she doesn't exersize, not even walking.  She has a wheel chair and a walker.  It's not because she has an underlying medical condition, it's just that she doesn't want to do stuff that hurts or is uncomfortable.  Which I get, but is unrealistic.  My sister and I have been encouraging, but as my sis says, it's really up to her.  And she just doesn't want to.  The depression is probably a direct result of her isolation, which is self imposed....mostly because she won't work on getting her strength back.  It's not a fun circle to be in.

A few days ago, I finally broke down and realized that there is no financial way for me to go and visit my Mom (& sis, son, nephew, etc).  I had been fooling myself figuring I could work it out, but with no vacation time until February, and having taken a pay cut (although I really enjoy my new workplace), I just can't swing it.  Sometimes being terminally optimistic is not a good thing, eh?

Before I go, I wanted to share this recipe (I apologize for the stupid pop up ads & other crap, which really drives me crazy).  Very refreshing during the hot summer months!



Well, gotta go and run a bunch of errands, finish laundry, and figure out what we're having for dinner.  

Love, 365


June 19, 2015

Summer busyness....

Hollyhock in bloom...

It has been a very busy time, taking class (still doing research, and it has become very fascinating looking into nutritional resources of the Anasazi).  I'm trying to increase my visits to the gym, with some strength training.  Plus, it just seems like there is so much to do during the summer....watering plants, dusting inside (OMG the dust), and all the usual stuff.

Plus, I seem to write more when I'm stressed out and frustrated, and less so when I'm happy and busy.  So, there ya go.

Not to say that everything is coming up roses or anything.  My Mom had fallen twice in the same day, and ended up in a rehab hospital.  It's tragic but predictable, because basically she sits 99% of the time and has lost much of her muscle mass (not to hard to figure out why I want to spend more time at the gym....).  She is improving, but my sister and I are a bit concerned if she'll keep up the workouts when she gets home.

Seems like I worked out the problem at UNM...the counselor I met with today said that if I do take the history classes at another college, it won't pose a problem with accruing the hours I need to graduate from there.  It annoyed me though, that she stated "we aren't an online college".  I responded (I was a bitch if you want to know) "well, perhaps there should be some thought about that, since I noted that UNM enrollment has been steadily declining".  There.  That should really change things, huh?  Right.

Well, gotta review the schedule for fall classes and work on my research.  It is so effing hot today.  I'm glad to be sitting inside in the air conditioning.

Love, 365

Home...

Old Albuqeurque Airport, home to the TSA Romeo and I took a quick trip to the old Albuquerque airport building, which I understood ha...