June 6, 2020

The downward slide......



My hollyhocks last year....this year they are twice as big!

Well, my Mom is back in the hospital.  She collapsed ~ on her first day back home from rehab ~ and broke her ankle.  Sadly my sister and I agree that was likely her last trip home.  After rehab this time, she will be going to assisted living.  It is a long and sad story that so many of us experience with our elderly parents that have so many health issues (Parkinson's, dementia, etc).  In the next month or two I will be driving to Texas to help my sister clear out Mom's house to put it up for sale.  It will be difficult.  Mom has lived in that house for over 50 years.  It is filled with memories, both good and bad.  Birthday's and estrangement, deployment and graduation.  I suppose those 5 years that I lived there shaped a good part of who I am.  It is where my babies went to be admired by their Grandmother.  Until I moved to New Mexico, I spent nearly every Christmas there, Thanksgiving, Easter......  Without those memories it is just a tired house, in need of some updating.

I don't know how Mom will feel about not going back.  It is where, up until the last four months, the place she felt most comfortable and in control.  Not long ago, she did tell my sister that maybe she should go to a nursing home ~ because she knew that her caregiver no longer has the strength to help if she falls, or has other trouble getting around the house.  Going in and out of the hospital has increased her dementia issues.  My sister visited her at rehab where Mom asked her where she was.  Still, even though we have some plans, everything is uncertain.  I'm not sure how long she will be in rehab this time. 

On the work front, our hygienist is still out.  The doctors she has seen seem unable to figure out what is going on with her.  I haven't heard about her COVID test, but I know I would have heard if it was positive.  She has debilitating headaches and very high blood pressure.  If I were her kid, I would encourage her to retire.  From what I've heard, she doesn't want to be home with her husband all day ๐Ÿ˜Š  Another uncertainty....all we can do is wait and see.

We are having a rare rainy morning her in Albuquerque.  Usually we have storms in the afternoon and evening following a hot day.  It is so nice to see it, the air smells so fresh and scented with pinon, sage and lavender.  I love the smell of the desert when it rains.

Tonight I am participating in a painting class via zoom.  The subject:

Normally (haha) we would be at a pub or a bar, and drinking wine or beer while we paint....still should be fun!  And I need to replace the winter scene I painted last time I participated in one of these.  And make a run to the store for a few beers......alcohol does improve the painting process for me!

Enjoy your Saturday!
Love, 365


May 31, 2020

Tribulation.........



I'm not even sure y'all can read this.  Every time I want to read one of your blogs, I get this stupid redirect notice.  Would I click on your blog if I didn't want to read it?  Common sense is dead and lying in the gutter, my friends. 

I have been tempted to text my co-worker that was sick but didn't get a test, but I figure I'll see her on Tuesday.  I haven't heard anything about the hygienist yet.  I sent her a text this morning, but I haven't heard anything yet.

And what the heck is up with people?  George Floyd killed by police.  Amy Cooper calling the cops on Franklin Templeton just because he asked her to leash her dog.  I am both saddened and disgusted. 

I also haven't heard anything about our church opening.  We've been "attending" via you tube since March 15th.  We missed Pascha (Orthodox Easter) and so much more during the lock down.  No telling how it will look when we return, with the limit to the number of people allowed in the building.  Today I decided not to watch ~ sort of like deciding not to go on a particular Sunday.....

It is enough to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head.  I already avoid most news!  Should I sell my house and live in a cave?  Hmmmmmm

Good news, Amazon has unlocked my account.  I saw the charges to my bank account this morning, and thought "eureka!".  I don't want to go through that again.  It took almost a week, approximately 30 emails, and creating a second account to finally solve a problem that could have been resolved in 10 minutes on the phone.  But I won't go into it all again, I think I covered it yesterday ๐Ÿ˜

Love to you all ~ 365




May 30, 2020

Well, isn't this nice...............



If it isn't stressful enough with all of the COVID crap, the work issues, reading the conspiracy theories on COVID, I have encountered a rather serious issue with my Amazon account. 

It all began with me putting in a different credit card as my primary payment, subsequently forgetting I had done that, and then disputing charges on the credit card as a knee jerk response to the charges I saw popping up on it.  After I freaked out, I realized those were our own charges and that I had completely forgotten that I had changed the preferred payment method. 

On Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Amazon that they've locked my account due to suspicious purchasing activity.  When they say they have locked your account, they mean we will prevent you, the account owner, access in every form.  You are left only with the ability to email them.  Over 10 emails later, with absolutely no response or change at all, my friend who has an account (who doesn't??) got on and initiated a chat where I was at least able to let a customer service person know what was going on.  They even called me!  But nothing changed.  24 hours later, I still can't get into my account. 

An indeterminate number of emails after that, still nothing.  Did you know that you cannot call Amazon?  And if your account is locked, you can't go through the chat help either.  It is like going to work and discovering they've changed the locks and the phone number and every time to go by, there is no one there. 

So yesterday I created a new account, for the sole purpose of being able to chat with customer service.  The person I spoke to said ~ after a 20 minute chat session ~ that the department that handles Amazon payments will send me yet another email, and to follow the instructions.  Which I've already done multiple times to no avail.  I did receive an email, and I replied, and then ended up receiving a "deceptive website warning".  So I had to go in to the new account again and chat with someone.  Again. 

I finally received the correct email, asking me to give them permission to pay for the orders involved in the ill fated dispute.  Which I have done. 

I would happily cancel it all, except that doing so would render my Kindle useless except for reading books I've already read.  I actually have a book sample that I want to buy, but I realized that I can't do that until my account is unlocked.  Yes, I could give up the streaming service and everything else but I don't want to lose my ability to read on my Kindle. 

It is my own fault, my own stupidity that created the problem, which should have taken a simple phone call to resolve. into a week long series of frustrations and anger.  For that, I say Amazon has to shoulder all the blame by removing themselves from contact with the exception of email. 

Love, 265

May 29, 2020

Update and other interesting news......



I should have anticipated this.....
but no.

Yesterday we were notified that our dental assistant tested negative for the virus.  I am not surprised, as I mentioned in my last post, she took a day and a half off because she felt dizzy ~ but a few of us in the office figured she was just jumping on the bandwagon of the other two that called in sick.  I also heard an unsubstantiated rumor that she had an interview, and apparently there are a lot of jobs being posted for dental offices.  There are a couple of us that would not be sorry to see her go, she is not really a good fit.  But time will tell. 

Our hygienist is having a test done, but she apparently has something serious as she has been out for 3 days in a row.  We're not sure what is going on, but I hope she's going to be ok.  She has been doing hygiene for a long time, and her patients really love her.  But you know, she may not be up to the restrictions and PPE mandates and might decide to retire.  It would not be the first time I've heard of experienced and long time hygienists deciding to quit, mostly due to arthritis and other physical ailments from leaning over patients for years.  It takes a toll.

My business staff co-worker was off for two days and came back today (it's my day off).  Although our office manager suggested they get tested, she said she wasn't inclined to do it ~ I'm not really sure why since she is the most paranoid of everyone.  Wouldn't you want to be reassured that you didn't have covid?  So, our office manager asked the docs if we would want any staff who has symptoms to have a negative test before they return to work, and he said no.  WTF??  I'm not sure of his thought processes on this decision.  I'm sure he has a logical reason, but the rest of us are now wary and concerned. 

On the patient front, even though we have asked patients to wear a mask (really, should we have to tell them????) occasionally someone comes in without one.  One lady forgot.  But a man and his son both came in without them.  So I have been handing out masks, both to those who don't have one and to those who ask me for them.  I asked the doc about it and discovered that we don't have enough spare masks to be handing them out.  From now on if someone comes in without a mask, or asks for one, we are to let them know there will be a charge for it.  One patient I had scheduled asked me if we were handing out masks to all patients, and I replied no.  She then said "I want you to give me one when I get there" ~ in a demanding voice, mind you.  After the discussion with the doc, one of us called that patient and told her how much the charge would be for the mask, and now all of a sudden she's going to wear a bandana instead, lol. 

My job is ever changing and challenging. 

Love, 365

May 27, 2020

Oh, the paranoia......




Oh, what a crazy day!  One of our hygienists called in sick for today ~ mostly she complained about a headache.  One of the symptoms of COVID.
Today, one of the four of us that works on the business side of the desk told us she was having stomach upset and diarrhea (cause you know, that's always something you want to share).  We told her to go home and rest.  Just found out that she is not coming in tomorrow either.
Around lunch time one of our dental assistants said she was feeling dizzy, and might have a migraine.  I gave her a couple of meclizine's and she went home. 

So, here it is, noon, and about a quarter of the staff is gone.  It was crazy busy, but we made it through.  Tomorrow another of the business staff is going to be late because she's also a property manager and is filing paper to evict a tenant.  She won't be long though, the last time she was in the office by 9am. 

For peace of mind, our office manager asked all 3 to get tested.  So, probably safe to assume that none of these people will be in until maybe Tuesday.  I just want to be transported to a warm sunny beach, where I could lay on the beach and drink cold beer for four days.

Now, I feel fairly confident that our hygienist is suffering from stress, and the fact that she became dehydrated....with all the personal protective equipment (ppe in case you didn't know the acronym) it is hard for them to drink enough ~ plus there's the consideration of having to go pee all the time.  She was tested before she came back to work (which was May 18th, so she's worked a total of 5 days over the last 8 days), and I thought the incubation period was at least a week, but apparently it's 2 to 14 days.  So, maybe?  My business desk co-worker is most definitely paranoid.  But when she gets sick she's nearly always out a week.  And as terrible as I feel about saying this, I think our dental assistant is making up her dizziness complaint and jumping on the bandwagon.  But, I could (and sincerely hope) that I'm just a mean bitch who isn't looking forward to the next few days.......

Hopefully all 3 will have negative results.  I also found out today that if you work in the health field that they can process your test and have a result in 24 hours...there's a bright patch on the horizon.

Oh, I wish I could retire now.......

Love, 365

May 24, 2020

Memorial Day is more than a day off from work......







Monday we celebrate Memorial Day.  We give thanks to all of those who have made great or ultimate sacrifices for all of us at home. 

Thank you for your service to us.........

Love, 365

May 23, 2020

We made it! (through the first "full" week back to work).......

I love Marigolds, they're just happy little flowers.....

We survived!  We went back to work this week, the only difference was we opened at 50% of our normal patient load.  Everyone must wear a mask ~ I was surprised that we had two patients that came in without one.  There's always two in a crowd?  I don't think that's right, lol.  We have also asked everyone to call when they are in the parking lot, but we had a bit of an issue with the patients that come at 8am.  We don't turn off our voice mail until after our morning meeting, and generally don't get the messages for 5 or even 10 minutes, because we have patients walking in.  One man became quite irritated with us because we weren't answering the phone at 7:50 when he arrived.  He didn't have a mask either.  He was a pill the whole time he was in the office, and we were super happy when he was done!  

Otherwise we adjusted to all this new stuff, and managed to get through the week.  The hygienists are adjusting to being without their beloved cavitron (the water jet that helps clean off tartar and stuff).  But they have to wear so much gear that the office feels like an ice box.  They are hot and uncomfortable.  I have to wear a mask (just one, where they are wearing two) and I chafe at that.  I don't know how they do it.  

Considering how many people have lost their jobs because the business shut down I am feeling blessed to have work.  Even though I sometimes complain about it....:-)


My hollyhocks continue to bloom....

As you can see, it is huge this year!  

Snapped a pic of some flowers while on my walk yesterday....lots of wild flowers blooming right now!
And with all those wild flowers and trees my allergies are in over-drive.  So I'm walking inside today.  I woke up this morning with itchy itchy eyes.   

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love, 365




May 18, 2020

Dream a little dream......


Last night was as any other night ~ same routine.  Lock up, brush teeth and face, apply copious amounts of moisturizer, turn on the humidifier, read a little then off to dreamland.  Only that's not what happened.

Something woke me (could have been the dog) and I went to use the restroom, drink a tiny bit of water...sometimes I make a mental guess at the time and check to see how far off I am.  It was 11:55 or so, just before midnight.  I quietly returned to bed, made myself comfortable, closed my eyes. 

Nope.

I was wide awake.  So I lay there for awhile, listening to the sound of the humidifier, the occasional sound of a motorcycle race down the road that was repaved this weekend.  I could tell I was wasting my time.  Sleep didn't just allude.  It went on vacation.

I quietly gathered my kindle and pillow and crept downstairs to the sofa, grabbed a blanket and then went around turning off the night lights and the porch light (which is brighter than the sun, I swear I hate that bulb ~ of course it is an LED so it will last forever.  I may have to replace it when Romeo is out and about).  Romeo is really a fan of night lights downstairs, which I admit makes it easy to navigate in the dark of night.  I believe I turned off 3, plus the porch light.  I settle in, adjusting the pillow, snuggling under the blanket, moving the hair away from my neck (which tickles and bugs). 

This is where having an e-book with a built-in light is so handy.  I was on the last book in a series, a really fun read by Shannon Mayer (who is a very prolific fantasy writer ~ the Elemental series), and on the last 1/3 of the final bit of the story.  It was a very satisfying read, although the end was a bit sad, since ~ well, I won't say although I doubt any of you are reading it.  A few tears rolled down my cheeks, I wiped them away and switched off the kindle and turned to close my eyes.  Determined to sleep now.  I didn't check, but it was probably 1:30 - 2:00 am by then. 

Finally fell asleep to the song of crickets.

Love, 365

May 16, 2020

3 days to go.........

Abรณ ruins in Mountanair, NM

Was planning on walking my 3-5 miles today, but after yesterday my eyes are so itchy I nixed that idea ~ I guess I'll put some more miles on my treadmill.  I really need to get those allergy eye drops this weekend.  Spring is now morphing into summer temps, and the garden is doing well, and my marble sized tomato is now doubled in size.  I have noticed the loss of a few of the flowers, probably due to chilly mornings.  I certainly hope I have a lot of fresh home grown tomatoes, but if I only get 10, I'll be happy!

A shout out and brag on Romeo's abilities...this is the desk he built me, probably 14 years ago....


 He also made the letter holder with the bear...there is a drawer just below the desktop too.
 The hutch........
I love these little drawers...

 Garden marigolds......
 I love the texture of the Hollyhock flower buds...
They are starting to bloom too!

Have you noticed that baking bread has become the thing to do during this quarantine?  I recently began following a facebook site "perfect sourdough" ~ there's just no end to the posts.  It has flooded my feed.  If you search for sourdough on you tube, there are tons of how-to videos!  Bread baking at home is suddenly popular.  I wonder how long that will last when everyone is back to work?  

Well, it's time to get to work, still working on completing a few goals before Tuesday rolls around...

Love, 365



May 15, 2020

Rant and roll..........

View from the tram ride on the Sandia Mountains.....

I am still working on finishing up projects here at home before we return to work full time in a week.  Today I took all of the winter clothes from my master bedroom closet and moved it to the walk in closet in one of the other bedrooms.  One disappointment in this house is that there is no walk in closet in the master, but both of the other bedrooms do.  It's a small project....one small step at a time!  

Bad news on the refrigerator cleaning, it really ought to be done once every 4 to 6 months.  Other than maintenance cleaning, I've never done it that often.  I did put a reminder in my calendar to do it anyway.  I'll try to snag Romeo's help for the next one.

I have taken everything off of my desk and cleaned it too.  That took longer than the 2 hours for the fridge, but I took lots of breaks.   I still have a bit of a stack of papers but it's really not that big a deal.
************************
We had our "training" session at work today.  Let me tell you, I would quit right now if I could, it started off rather overwhelming and just went down hill on an icy slope from there.  I left feeling totally stressed out.  The first week back ~ next week ~ will be the worst, because we'll be tweaking the system as we go.  I get why clinical staff should change clothes, but I think admin. staff shouldn't have to.  Oh, and one of the bosses suggested we bring our clothes in a pillow case.  I'll feel like a hobo :-)  It's true though, if I were in a position to retire right now, I would do it.  So, I had my little melt-down at home, and as usual, Romeo had no clue how to deal with it.  Men can be so useless......

Well, I'm not thinking about it for now (Hello, Scarlett O'Hara!) and plan to enjoy my weekend as best I can. 

Love, 365

May 10, 2020

May 9, 2020

Time to finish those projects.........

The Valles Caldera near Jemez Springs, New Mexico...

We have received our official notice that we will return to work in 9 days.  Well, for the doc I work for.  The other doc starts on 5/11.  It's just the luck of the draw.  And I think those docs are chomping at the bit to get back to earning money.  We have COVID training on Wednesday.  It starts at 8am, and who knows how long it will take ~ I anticipate 3 to 4 hours.

So, now that I know we are going back to 8 - 5, I really need to finish up those projects I had listed.  Not on paper, no that's not how I do things!  It's all in my head.  One of those projects was cleaning the fridge.  I don't know how long it's been since I've done the "take out everything" type of cleaning.  There's the maintenance type which is wiping up a spill, cleaning up a shelf when you notice there are a few crumbs or a ring from a bottle.  But the really BIG cleaning....a year?  Maybe closer to two.  Why have I waited so long?  It's a giant pain the patootie.  Right?  

Now, Romeo made mention of cleaning the fridge, but he throws out projects like that all the time.  It doesn't mean he's going to do it.  Sometimes it's likely a suggestion that is directed at me, but he doesn't say "Hey, is it time you clean the fridge?".  No, nothing that obvious ~ or helpful.  I could have replied, "Sure, and you can help me!".  Which is probably why he's not that obvious :-)  

At first all was going well.  Nothing I didn't expect.  But after removing the crisper drawers I saw it ~ Mt Vesuvius of a red chile spill.  Oh, My, God it was awful.

In New Mexico, red and green chile is part of the culture of some of the best food ever.  Green chile is a pain to peel and put in bags and freeze, because you're putting away at least a bushel.  Mostly it's two bushels.  Red chile is different, because you rehydrate the dried pods by simmering.  Once it's cooled, you put it in a blender until it's as smooth as it's going to get.  Then you strain that, so that at the end, you have a smooth red chile sauce that's fantastic in enchiladas, or tacos, or poured over eggs......there are endless possibilities.  And when you do this process, you wear your ugliest and oldest clothing and dish cloths, because you can't get that stain out.  It's kind of a red/orangey color.  Some folks I know have a tee shirt that they haul out every time they make the sauce....no use creating another ugly shirt.

So, back to the Mt Vesuvius thing.  Someone ~ it really doesn't matter who, but I can tell you it wasn't me, because I would have cleaned it immediately ~ spilled quite a bit of sauce in the back of the fridge.  They cleaned everything they could see.  Unfortunately there was a whole lot more they couldn't see.  It took forever, because it had dried, leaving puddles, and glued the glass to some of the shelves, so I had to soak them as best I could until I could get them off of the shelf supports.  

About 2 hours later, the fridge is white and sparkly again.  I guess I'll have to put a reminder in my calendar so I don't let it go so long again.  

I sure hope my other projects don't follow suit!  
*******************
My Mom is home from the hospital, and after a little temperature scare, is doing well.  I did not realize that your temperature can go up if you are dehydrated.  Interesting.

Love, 365

PS: I think I mentioned that my appeal to back date my unemployment was successful, but it's going to put a wrench in the upcoming weeks unemployment money.  I have regrets, but the machine is in motion now, and there's no stopping it.  Sigh.

May 7, 2020

Ready, set, go............






Yesterday we learned that we will start back full time on 5/18.  I am actually returning on 5/19 because we alternate Monday and Friday and that is not our scheduled Monday.  Sweet.  There's a big but there though.......because our hygienists will not be allowed to use the cavitron, which is a water tool they use to blast out all the tartar and plaque off your teeth.  Some people like it because they don't like the hand scaling procedure (you know, pick, pick, pick).  I have had both, and personally don't really care.  I think it depends on the skill of the hygienist.   The cavitron is a favorite of many hygienists, especially those that have been in the business for a long time and have arthritis in their hands and wrists.  In fact, one hygienist posted on FB that she has decided to retire, because she just can't hand scale anymore.  And we have two hygienists that have been doing this job for over 25 years.

The docs have decided to give them an extra 20 min for each patient (well they wanted 15, but our scheduling system works on 10 minute increments).   Which has made a scheduling nightmare for those of us who manage the it.  I'm just going to jump in and work one day at a time.  There's really not any other way to do it.  I'll take my chill pill, brace myself for angry and frustrated patients and move on.  Because there is one patient on each hygiene schedule a day that is going to be cancelled due to this scheduling snafu, unless someone cancels.  One of our docs said they were going to have the hygienists call their patients, but I knew almost immediately that he was giving me rainbows and unicorns.  We will be the ones that do it, they don't have time, we don't have enough phones, nor do we have any stations, unless they use their own cell phones.  Tell you what, no way would I call patients with my cell phone.  They would keep that number and then I would be stuck.

At least I have a week and a half before it begins.
******
My appeal to reverse the denial of backdating my unemployment claim was approved.  But I want you to take a good look at this:

Ineligible indefinitely not denied?????  What the heck?????
 If that's not a fine example of governmental gobbledygook, I don't know what is.  

Love, 365

May 6, 2020

More confusion, but good news!......

Took this while on a walk......

Hello everyone!  I have good news and very confusing news.  Apparently my Mom does not currently have COVID.  She has been tested twice while in the hospital, and the test results have come back negative both times.   So, what's up with the positive antibody test?  The nurse told me that there have been false positives.  However, she does have pneumonia.  So perhaps she was exposed minimally, and has developed antibodies. OR she never had COVID at all.  To say that we all aren't confused is rather an understatement.  However, regardless of what has happened, we are all extremely relieved and happy that she is in a stable condition, and with continued improvement she will likely be released before this weekend to go back home ~ unless her caregiver tests positive.  He had his test yesterday and we are waiting on the results.  I hope his test comes back negative, because otherwise Mom won't be able to go home, and will have to go to rehab for continued treatment while the caregiver recovers (if he does, but he isn't sick, so.......)  However, I know that there is a possibility that she might suddenly take a turn for the worse.  NO ONE KNOWS. 

What a relief.  My sister and I hope that *Jim has learned his lesson about being more careful at home, making sure to disinfect the groceries, and cancel the house cleaning services, and to tell his cousin not to come over.  You would think we wouldn't have to hope that he would "get it", right?  He's in his mid-70s.  Come on.....

In other news, it looks like we will be back to work full time by 5/18, unless our governor extends the stay at home order.  One of the docs is coming in this afternoon to put up the plexiglass barriers at the front desk area.  While he was there we asked what is the plan, and that's what he told us.  My co-worker and I are perfectly happy with 8 hours a week.......but when they start back, we go back.  It has been both great and annoying to be at home so much.  I've accomplished some projects I planned on, but I would like a little more time to complete some others.  Let's see what I can get done in the next week.  

Thank you for your well wishes and prayers for my Mom.  

Love, 365

May 4, 2020

It's happening..........

Mom at the top of the photo along with me and Son #1

I was watching our church live streaming service yesterday morning, when I received a call from my sister.  It seems Mom was at the ER with breathing problems, and was later admitted and confirmed that she has COVID-19.  Such a shock, and yet not.  Joe, Mom's caregiver, had not been practicing stringent measures.  She has been mostly home bound for years, has congestive heart failure, demetia, and end stage kidney disease.  They were still having the cleaning lady come on her regular schedule (once every 2 weeks), and didn't ask her to wear a mask ~ later I found out she travels, and probably cleans a lot of other homes.  Joe goes to a clinic for cancer treatments every couple of weeks, and has invited his cousin to come and visit too ~ again, probably not asking her to wear a mask.  I also believe that he felt all those measures were too much trouble, not that he wanted this to happen.

So far, she is stable and comfortable.  Mom has a DNR, so if the next step is a respirator, she won't get that.  This is her choice, and I respect her decision.  She is 86.  She wants what she wants.

To add to the stress, my sister was with Mom all day Friday while Joe was at the clinic.  So she is super pissed off that she has been exposed, and has also exposed her husband (remember the terrible leg break from the fall from a ladder? yep).  So, we are all very angry with Joe.  My main beef is that even though Mom didn't want to worry about it, it is up to all of the rest of us who care for her to make sure we are keeping her safe.  And sadly, that wasn't done.

I don't know what the next week or two will show.  Given my Mother's health issues, my sister and I feel it is unlikely she will survive the infection.  

All I want is to see my Mother again....to kiss her soft cheek.  To hold her hand and tell her I love her so very much.  

If you are a person who prays, please say one for my Mom, and all those who are infected.  Thank you.

Love, 365

April 30, 2020

Happy one minute, sad the next......






Today started out with such promise.  Everything was going good ~ we made it to Costco just as the special time period for seniors ended, which didn't matter since the store was very quiet.  We snagged toilet paper, paper towels, and almost everything I was looking for.  Except for unsalted butter.  What the heck?  Nothing but salted butter, not that there's anything wrong with it, but for my baking I prefer unsalted.  Meh.  I'll get it next time, or at my local grocery store. 

I planted my teeny tiny garden.  My hollyhocks have grown to the point that they take up about 1/4 of the space....but they are so beautiful, no way am I taking those out.  This is what they looked like last year...

Then I watered the heck out of it all because I haven't had anything planted in the garden space for two years, and it was dry as a ball of cotton.  And, later that afternoon, it was looking great.  Nothing was wilted.  And then the dog went out and jumped right on it.  She didn't really ruin anything, just trampled one of the marigold's.  I was mad.   Romeo then reminded me that I forgot to buy something to keep her out, said he would go to Lowe's tomorrow morning to buy something and grumbled that he was missing out on his workouts.  Then I said "ditto" and that was that.  He took out the dog, and I took that opportunity to retreat to my office.  Oh, neither of us was really that mad.  It's like the sticker you step on in your freshly vacuumed carpet.  It's annoying for a bit, then you get on with things.......

I suppose that my uti isn't helping since the antibiotic makes me feel headachey and yucky.  I'm glad I only have a few more days to take it.   When I don't feel great, I am cranky.  I hadn't had one in a couple of years.  The doctor did call in the meds for me, but they wanted me to go to the lab to have it tested to make sure it's not resistant to the antibiotic, but I didn't .  I just don't want to go to a hospital, or lab, or any place like that right now.  So, if it doesn't clear it up I'll go, but I think it will do the job.  Funny, my bosses wife had one the week before ~ maybe it's all the sitting and not drinking enough water?   I suppose it's as good a reason as any. 

How tired we all are of being locked up at home.  Sure, we have projects, and laundry and dinner to fix.  But we are wishing we could go get our hair cut, or our toes painted, or have dinner out.  We are chomping at the bit to do something we used to do.  Knowing that it could happen soon, in a few weeks or maybe a month is making us antsy.  Ready to get out there!  For now, we still need to stay at home.  Maybe my Doc would be willing to prescribe me something that would make it more fun? 

Love, 365






April 29, 2020

Uncertainty......

Mt Fuji, Japan
Not my photo but it was too beautiful not to share......

So, here we are at week 6  of the shelter at home order.  My co-worker and I are adjusting ~ quite easily ~ to working 2 days a week.  Of course, the unemployment money makes that a lot easier to deal with.  My work pay has dropped to 26% of my usual paycheck.  *Jenny (coworker) said she is earning more money on unemployment than she was when working full time, but the majority of that UI money comes from the CARES act which adds $600 per week to our qualified UI.  My UI without the CARES act money is really not very much money.  So, even if I do win the hearing it will not be an earth shattering amount.  I really don't see how I could lose the appeal, but we'll see.

Jenny has also mentioned that she is considering not returning back to full time.  This experience has shown her that she can easily live on less money.  I doubt seriously that she will do it though.  She is used to spending quite a lot ~ especially for her grand-kids.  It will be interesting how that goes, because I think that if she asks, she may not hear what she wants to hear.  I already mentioned that I really don't want to work by myself on Monday or Friday ~ something she has said to me many times.  So, she thought taking off Wed/Thurs (or Tues/Wed depending on our weekly schedule) would work.  I don't think it will go over well, but it's not up to me so.......

I am planning on working at least 2 to 3 more years ~ I want to pay off my suv, and put a little more aside before I retire.  But we will see.  My boss half jokingly said "I'm never going to be able to retire!" this week.  He is referring to the state of the business right now, which is not good.  Their bank account is bleeding money, and not very much is coming in.  I understand their concerns.  In most ways I am ready for us to return to full time.  But there are still a few things I need to accomplish here at home before we do.  But when will that happen?  In dentistry they are talking about all kinds of crazy things, like making sure patients are tested before they have work done.  I don't see that working out, there aren't enough tests.  And because the tests take 4-6 days to get, just how accurate will they be?  And my boss asked me yesterday how I felt about wearing a face shield all day.....oh, I would not want to do that.  
I would rather they put up the plexiglass barrier than wear that awful thing all day.  Or wear a mask and a pair of safety glasses....

Neither option looks like fun though.  The docs haven't yet set an actual date to return.  First it's mid June, then it's the first of June, now it's May 11th?  The indecision is driving me crazy, even though I know that it's true ~ there's a lot of speculation.  But dentistry is a bit more essential than going to the department store, so I do anticipate that we'll be back at it soon. 

Take care of yourself, and check on your family, friends and neighbors!

Love, 365

April 28, 2020

Hurrah !! ........


Just a quick update........because I know you have been breathlessly waiting (not).....
I received 3 weeks worth of unemployment benefits this morning!!  Yay!

Romeo asked me if it was because of the letter I sent, but no.  They probably got that today.  And I'm sure it's in the round file.

:-)

Love, 365

April 24, 2020

Might as well be happy...........

My friend and I baking Lazarus bread last year....

I have given up the stressful, frustrating and depressing activity of trying to reach the unemployment office.  I've had more success sending them snail mail so I wrote a truthful letter that I mailed out today.  It may make no difference at all.  But it doesn't matter ~ I have a hearing in about 10 days.  I hope that all is resolved following the hearing.

And I've been thinking of happiness and how it's been missing from my life the past week.  Sure, I realize it was my reaction to it that was the problem.....But I challenge anyone to be cheerful when you've wasted hours and hours of your time with no result.  So, off to the next project!

Romeo and I slow cooked a roast, and I made a practice run at making prosforo (a type of bread used in my church for communion and for non-Orthodox to enjoy after the liturgy).  It turned out pretty, but the flavor was not there.  I'm going to try again with sourdough starter next week and see if that helps.

From inside the house it was a beautiful day ~ but we are now getting our spring winds, so not so great when you're outside.  I meant to walk on the treadmill today, but I never did.  A testament to the wasted money of home gym equipment, haha.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Love, 365

April 23, 2020

Teary, snotty, frustrated rant............

This is sadly so true that it pains me to even post it.....

In the past two days I have made over 200 calls to NM unemployment office.  I imagine that before I finally give up for the day, it will be around 400.  I never get to anyone.  After I call I hear the "greeting" in both English and Spanish, press 1 for English, press 1 to verify one thing,  then press 3 to verify another thing, then enter my SS# and wait for the system to repeat the number, then press 1 to agree I put in the right number and after that is the "all of our customer service agents are currently helping other customers...please try your call again later".  Going online doesn't help, I need a live, actual person.  

I spoke to someone on Tuesday, and she said she looked over my claim and didn't see any reason why I shouldn't be receiving my weekly payments.  "Why don't you wait until Thursday and if you don't get it?".  I asked her to transfer me to her supervisor so that I wouldn't have to call again, but eventually I was disconnected.   

I get that they are overwhelmed.  There were thousands of claims entered this week  across the U.S.  Even here in New Mexico, where the population is low (because there aren't many jobs here) there were probably a lot of new claims this week.  So I know, but it does not help when you are desperately trying to reach them to clear up whatever fracking  problem there is, it is demoralizing.  I feel like I don't matter.  Even though I realize there's no one sending me to the "try your call again later" message, that it is all the system trying to handle all the calls, I just want to scream and cry.  

I suspect the woman who answered my call on Tuesday didn't actually look at my claim.  Perhaps she was taking over for someone who needed to go to the restroom.  

Right now I can envision all of the workers gathered in the break room having a needed cup of coffee, and a stale donut because they probably didn't have lunch.  And despite the compassion I have for them in their current position, I certainly hope they act compassionately to those that are lucky enough to get through, who are probably yelling, screaming and probably crying as well, because this system is hopelessly broken.  

Love, 365

April 21, 2020

Noooooo............


Well, I discovered ~ shortly after I had written my post letting eveyone know that I finally received an unemployment check ~ that the money was from our state tax refund, not my unemployment $$.  My co-workers said that the check was deposited on Tuesday morning, so I thought I should just wait.  

Nothing.  

So, maybe they don't have the correct bank routing number?  Or the checking account number?  Although all that information is still the same from the last time I collected unemployment.   Or are they postponing my payments because of the appeal to back date my claim?  That appeal meeting is not until May 5th ~ arghhhhh.

So now I am forced to call.  I have been calling for the last half hour, and cannot get through.  It is either busy, or if I do get the recorded greeting, once I go through all the steps I get the message that they are busy and I should call back.  This could take all frickin day.  Seriously.  One of my co-workers that called spent hours trying to get through, and finally was able to leave a message.  Three hours later they called her back.  ๐Ÿ˜”

I also had to throw out the chuck roast that I accidentally left out all night while thawing it out.  

Who did I piss off?

Love, 365

April 20, 2020

Vacation ~ from work.......

And they always say: Allergies!!!

YES!!!

It's hard to believe, but it's been almost 5 weeks since I've worked a full week.  Because we have 4 front desk staff, we split it up, so 2 of us work Mon/Tues and then the other two work Wed/Thurs.  Although I would prefer life to go back to our regularly scheduled routines, I find myself enjoying some of this time off.  So far I've not used more than 2 days of paid time off, so I have plenty (for now) for visiting family later this year.  Well, of course that assumes that there is improvement and they lift the travel ban.  I wish I had a crystal ball, because I'm only allowed to keep 2 paid days off into the next year.  If I don't have the opportunity to go out of state, I will have to use it somehow or lose it.  And that's not happening.  

Good news though, I received my first two weeks of unemployment money this morning.  Unless something changes, I just certify each week.   On May 5th I have the hearing about back dating my claim, so if that goes through, I'll receive that as well.  So, I paid my utility bills and other essentials.  Luckily my bank will give me 2 months deferment on my car payment, and they've reduced our auto insurance too.  Apparently there has been a reduction in car accidents since we aren't on the road ~ much.  Our traffic remains steady, but not like it would be if school's were open and people that can work from home.  I wish I could work from home.  Every time I go to work, I become paranoid, and wash my hands so much that I quit wearing rings.

This morning on the news they were discussing whether or not we need to disinfect our groceries, implying we really don't need to.  I will probably continue doing it, although I find it a giant pain in the butt.  

Take care of yourselves, and check on your friends and neighbors!

Love, 365


April 19, 2020

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

It is traditional to have red eggs at Pascha (Orthodox Easter)
Red represents the blood of Christ
The shell represents the sealed tomb
Cracking the shell represents the shattering of the Gates of Hades
Christ is risen!  Truly He has risen!  
O, death where is your sting?  O, Hades, where is your victory?


The bread is called tsoureki, a sweet bread with unique spices that give it a wonderful flavor.  I intended to make it yesterday, but I discovered I didn't have enough yeast and there is no yeast to be had at the grocery store.  I ordered some from Amazon ~ what else to do?  It might be weeks before the grocery store restocks it.  So, my second batch of tsoureki will be baked next week....

Christos Anesti! to all of you.

Love, 365




April 17, 2020

I'm always up for a challenge..........

He is so adorable....

I had originally planned to travel to visit family and this cute little guy in March....but you all know what happened.  As my work hours were reduced from 34 to 8, I had to decide how much of my paid time off to take ~ or not to take.  One of my co-workers took all or most of her PTO and now is fully on unemployment.  Which I thought about doing.  I let my family know that I will likely use all my time off while waiting for the pandemic restrictions to ease or be lifted, and probably wouldn't be able to come this year.  

In the meantime, I finally had my unemployment claim filed successfully ~ oh my how difficult they make it to file online.  And forget calling......it is forever busy, and even if you finally get the answering system it will tell you at the end that you must call back.  I filed for a back-dated claim, and they're actually going to send it to a hearing on 5/5 at 2:15pm.  If I don't call then, the hearing will be cancelled.  Ah, well.  If they approve the back dated claim it will mean more unemployment money, and if they don't I will just move on.  I have only used two days of paid time off, and still have quite a bit I haven't used yet.  I will wait until next Tuesday to decide if I'm going to use some of it or not.  

So, maybe I will be able to go later this year, although I am not excited about flying these days.  

Take care, and check on your friends and neighbors, y'all!

Love, 365

April 16, 2020

Looking toward toward the future........



There's been a lot of discussion about "normal life" on social media, the radio, etc.  First of all, prior to the pandemic I'm not sure normal is a good descriptive word.  Chaotic.  Self centered.  Lacking in empathy.  Those are just a few that popped into my head.  When we are allowed ~ and there is some question about when this will happen ~ to resume our established routines, will we return to what we were before?  Will people be more appreciative?  Maybe.  For awhile.  All you have to do is look back in history to know that when disasters like this one happen, how long do the lessons last?  9/11. Katrina.  Ebola (which is still lingering on).  Aids.

Sure, we think of them now and again.  I don't know if it's just the USA that is guilty of this, but I've noticed that our memories are deficiently short.  Depending on the severity of the disaster, it might last a little longer.  Most of all I hope we all remember to be thankful for all the things that we are finding difficult right now.....attending church services, buying toilet paper at the store, being able to find anti-microbial wipes.  Gratefulness.  I certainly hope that will be a new "normal" when we aren't forced to be at home all the time.

Take care of yourselves and each other.....

Love, 365


April 11, 2020

It's a sun shiny day..........

Over the past couple of weeks, I've watched these trees in the park go from bare, to buds, and finally to flowers......

How is every one doing out there? We are healthy and well....going outside for walks and runs; practicing our social distancing.  Which is not always as easy as it should be, as some people just aren't paying attention.  I haven't really had any problems, but on the news last night they reported you shouldn't run or walk directly behind others.  Apparently if they cough or sneeze the droplets will drift on the air behind them and then you walk/run right into them.  This does not help my paranoia.

I generally try to always be positive ~ to look on the bright side of things.  But this morning I woke up and felt despair.  And realized that when I am not feeling positive and happy, I tend to draw inside myself.  I must present a positive attitude to my Mom, to Romeo.  There are very few people I can confide in when I'm not doing well.  It is a burden of many of us I suppose.  But wow, it's exhausting.  So, if you have a funny quote, a great joke, or something of that nature, please respond to my post with it.  I would really appreciate it, thanks.....

And now for more memes......









Stay safe and don't forget to check on your friends and neighbors!
Love, 365

April 7, 2020

Contemplating options and other random thoughts.....

There are times when you need a rainbow unicorn butterfly kitty....

I really thought I would be posting something every day.....but as it turns out I just don't have that much writing in me.  I read yours everyday though.  It helps me get through the day, your blogs and my coffee.  I am very appreciative of the snarky, creative stuff that I read.  One of you listed a pro and con on the viral apocalypse that I thought I would take a stab at.

Let's do cons first, because I'd prefer to end on a more positive note :-)

~Well, I'd say one of the biggest cons is the fact that none, or most ? are earning considerably less money, or perhaps no money at all.  Some of us have filed unemployment, which may help us get through this period except that by the time you've spent 2 hours on their website you realize a monkey on crack probably could have done a better job designing theirs.  But I do feel bad for those that are processing all of those claims.  Could you imagine??  Or, worse yet, answer the phones.  That's one job I wouldn't want to do.
~You are stuck in close quarters with your spouse/kids/mother/father ( & etc) for many more hours in the day than you're used to.  It's like walking through a pond with a thousand snapping turtles.
~You get a sudden craving for something you don't have in the pantry or fridge and are forced to find an equivalent.  So, you want ice cream but settle for frozen peaches you've blended into a smoothie type thing.  
~You have to eat your own cooking.  Really, you're going to eat frozen dinners for weeks on end?  No matter how skilled or unskilled you are, you're going to want something that doesn't have freezer burn.  I'm not really sure fast food should be named food....I will have to think about that one.
~There is nothing left to do except organize, or clean, or laundry because you already finished all the unfinished crafty projects you had lying around.  TV has lost it's appeal.  We become manic for something to do that will satisfy your need to accomplish something fun.  
~We can't buy more crafts or projects because we're cutting way back on expenditures. 

Pros

~You start thinking that this "preview" of retirement isn't as bad as you thought it might be.  I've become addicted to my morning walks!  It's a miracle.....
~You leave off cleaning your desk, because hey! there is always tomorrow....or next week.
~You don't feel the need to wear makeup or jewelry or nice clothes.  Who cares?  Today I ran into one of our hygienists at Costco, and I didn't care about no makeup because I had a face mask on.  Lol
~You discover that your spouse has an ironic sense of humor that you never appreciated before, and, oh by the way, he talks to the dog.  A lot.  Which takes some of the conversational pressure off of you.  
~Sleeping in.  This is not guaranteed though.  Most mornings I wake up at the same time I do when I work, but the difference is I can lay in bed and browse my phone.  For like, an hour.  Or until the smell of coffee drifts up to your nose, because your spouse has to get up and feed the dog and always starts the coffee.
~Nearly everyone you encounter on your walk smiles, says good morning or at least waves a friendly greeting.  
~And the memes......









 Be safe, and check on your family, friends & neighbors!
Love, 365

The downward slide......

My hollyhocks last year....this year they are twice as big! Well, my Mom is back in the hospital.  She collapsed ~ on her first day back hom...