Thursday, July 23, 2009

A visit to the doctor.....

I've been going to the same doctor for years and years. He's moved twice in that time. The first move was to a smaller office, which I absolutely LOVED. It was nestled in an area that was very wooded and it just gave the area a peaceful look. Inside his waiting room was the biggest fish tank I've ever seen, along with the TV up in the corner. His waiting room was quiet too. Everyone called you by your name and you felt comfortable....or as comfortable as you could be seeing as it was a visit to the dreaded doctor.

Well, he has moved again and this time into a 5 story medical building. Even though this building is only a mile from his old office, the difference is shocking. You feel like you're in the middle of a large city when you go into this 'complex'. Yes....yes...I know...progress and all that. But I miss his old office.

Yesterday was my first visit since he moved in about 2 months ago. Needless to say, they are still working on getting things streamlined but for the most part, everything is up and running. Gratefully, the parking was close to his office doors. I just hate to have to park and then travel by foot for half a mile before you finally reach your destination. The outside wall is all glass....and the fish tank is there but there were so many chairs. He's now in with 7 other doctors. Picture a huge square in your mind.

You walk in and through the waiting room to the south side of the 'square'. There is a huge counter with cubicles to the left and one open place to the extreme right. There, you write your name, date of birth, appointment time and the doctor your appointment is with. There is a stack of round miniature UFO looking discs on the counter. Each has a lighted number on it. You take one of those, writing the number of it next to your name. You take a seat and wait. I kept thinking about this pager thingie. I'm not so sure I like that idea. What if someone is sneezing and coughing all over it. I supposed they disinfect them at the end of the day.....hmmmm, something to think about. The pager suddenly vibrates and red lights go on and off all over it. I get up and walk to the counter. I hear someone calling my pager number. I walk to one of the cubicles and am told to have a seat. She's very nice and sits in front of a computer typing my personal info into it. She takes my insurance cards and my driver's license and scans them into the system. She says I will have to show ID each time I come in. I fill out paperwork on who to contact in an emergency and sign it. Then she hands me back the pager and tells me to have a seat and wait and when my pager goes off again, to go to the door at the far end. I return to the waiting room and wait. Soon my pager goes off and I respond to the appropriate door and a nurse takes my pager and tells me which room number to enter. I am now on the east side of the 'square'. A nurse comes in and takes my vitals, she draws blood because its time for me to have that done. Then my doctor comes in. Finally a familiar face! I can't read him and I don't know if he likes it there or not but he says everything is fine and yes, I will always get him....not to worry about being shoved off to a strange doctor.

After his exam, he writes me prescription changes and refills and then I'm told to go to another cubicle. I am now on the north side of the 'square'. Another person is sitting in front of a computer and takes my information. This is where I would make new appointments and/or pay. However, they are in the middle of changing computer software and she can't schedule me for an appointment six months away at this time....I'll have to call back in a couple months or so. That's ok with me. I'm then told to round the corner and take the hallway straight to the door at the end. I'm now on the west side of the square. I open the door and I'm out into the waiting room again, except out of a different door.

The office is beautiful. Its new and clean and streamlined. I felt like a car that was being built on the assembly line in Detroit....I'm sorry. I know that with the explosive population we have....this has to be done. Too many people....not enough time. But I really miss how it used to be done. You felt more like an individual....not an object. I love my doctor....he was the same friendly face as always, but I wonder how long he will stay that way in this type of environment. Sigh ~ progress, I know.....but it comes at a price.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oh oh.....

I think I've mentioned before that I live in a heavily wooded area. Today when I let my dog out, my neighbor was at the fence motioning at me. She told me she wanted to give me a heads up and proceeded to tell me that she had seen 3 hawks in my yard early this morning. She said she saw them circling the area above our houses the past few days.

Now there are three of us whose yards meet, separated by fences. We all have dogs.....small dogs. I have a rat terrier, she has a toy poodle and the other neighbor has a yorkie that's about as big as a minute. The neighbors on the other side of me have a really big dog, so they have nothing to worry about.

I've never seen these birds in this area before and I've lived here for 36 years. Maybe they've figured out that we have an abundance of squirrels here. As long as its squirrel on their menu and not dog, I won't worry.....but I am of the mind that a hungry hawk wouldn't stop to think about it, he'd just swoop, grab and fly. Like a fast-food drive-through. Makes me shutter to think of it......ewww

Does anyone know anything about hawks? My dog and her dog weigh about the same....16 lbs....but the yorkie is just a tiny little thing. I wonder if there is something I can put in my yard to frighten them? If anyone has any ideas, please share. Boy oh boy.....its always something, isn't it? As it is I have to make sure she's not outside for any length of time after dark because of the raccoons.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Here I sit.....

listening to fireworks from the festival that's going on at the lake about 3 blocks from me right now. The grand finale will be at 11 p.m. and its LOUD and constant for almost a full two minutes when it happens. It used to get my other dog so upset she was beside herself so I had to tranquilize her on the day of the festival.

Its been sprinkling for the last several hours but not enough to stop this celebration. Seems like every year they get bigger and louder. Sigh - I guess I'm showing my age. I don't bother fighting the crowd to go down there and see them any more. Actually I can see a lot of them from my deck. Some of them are so powerful that it vibrates the pictures on my walls. Personally I think its really over done....I say this silently every year and have sort of labeled myself a 'grumpy old woman'.....I don't voice this opinion to very many people because of that. I thought maybe this year it would be a bit more subdued because of the economy but the Association that puts it on are all members who live in lakefront homes and money is the least of their worries.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to seeing the fireworks because it was a rarity. They only had them one weekend, the one closest to the fourth as possible....and that was IT. You enjoy something so much more when you have to wait a whole year to see it again. I've been listening to fireworks since the last week of June and past experience tells me that I will continue to hear them up until the end of August. Some people just don't know when to stop.

My daughter is down there with my granddaughter who hasn't seen too many fireworks displays at her young age. To her, this is really special and I'm glad she's able to watch them.

I haven't had much to write about and I'm glad really. Its sort of nice to have life slow down for a while. My computer is running so s-l-o-w, it is maddening. I have purchased the things needed for my new one and my computer guy picked them up today. He will assemble it during this week and next weekend pick up this one and begin the transfer process. I am apprehensive....afraid I will have to do a lot of things over. You know, you have everything set up just like you like it and then if you have to reinstall, then you're back to square one again. I know my photos are safe as I have them backed up on an external hard drive. Well, actually my whole hard drive is backed up, but its no guarantee that the programs will work once the transfer is finished as I'm upgrading to XP. I'm using Win2000 right now. So, I'm kinda stressed out over that. I have paid all the bills that are due up to August hopefully I'll be back in business way before then.

One good thing did happen. My daughter received notice that she WON her disability case. I can't begin to tell you what a relief this is to us. Things have been so difficult since she lost her job because she was unable to do the work any longer. We've waited for 2 years and 5 months. All that time with no money coming in and fighting to get what she's entitled to. Now we wait another 30-60 days before she finds out the rest of the particulars from her local social security office.

Keep smilin'

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A relaxing day.....

This morning I awoke to the sound of thunder rumbling..... not crashing, just rumbling. It was such a peaceful feeling to lay there and listen to it and then hear the raindrops lightly tapping at the window. We've had so many bright sunny days in a row, this came as a very welcome respite. The flowers were spreading their petals and drinking in the life giving moisture. They seemed to double the intensity of their vibrant hues, everything has turned greener, more fragrant. How I love summer!!

When I opened up the door to the deck to let the dog out the temperature felt tropical....very warm and humid. It was a nice change. The kind of day that's perfect to sit out on a screened in porch with a favorite beverage and enjoy a book or just sit and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. My dog doesn't appreciate rain and I have to get her all excited to go outside by telling her to "watch those squirrels". She'll then charge out of the door and be halfway into the yard before she realizes that its her dismay. Since she's out there, she will do her business and then immediately demand re-entry into the house, giving me that look that says "yeah, you did it again...fooled won't get away with it next time". But I always do, unless its absolutely pouring....then she wants no part of it and will not go outside until it stops. At that point the squirrels could cart the house away and she could care less, as long as she stays dry. Dogs can be so funny. She's a constant source of amusement for me.

Nothing much new has happened in my little corner of the world and you know what.....that's good! It gives me a break from the drama and trauma that can sometimes knock on my door. My grandson has a girlfriend and it seems serious. We rarely see him anymore and my daughter is feeling the empty nest blues. I told her to remember back when she was his age; that he's happy and she's a nice girl and her family loves him and she should be proud that she's done such a good job with him that his girlfriend's parents even approve. All their lives we nurture and train our children to be independent and when they start to spread their wings, we feel like jerking them back because we don't think they're ready. I told her to be happy for him....better he be like this than an anti-social recluse with lots of issues. She felt better at the end of our conversation (that's what moms are for, you know). I'm not one to sugar coat things....I tell it like it is and it usually works. She has another one to raise....her little girl. I'm sure she will do just as good of a job raising her but it will be twice as hard to let go of a daughter so she can spread her wings and fly when it comes time. I know it was for me. I'm not gonna tell her that just yet.

So I am enjoying this peaceful day while it lasts. Tonight the rain is supposed to move on and we will back to hot and sunny for a few more days....and that's all right too. Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm baaack.....

My computer guy showed up tonight and fixed my computer. He said it had 'lost its network settings'...which means nothing to me other than it no longer worked! He did his magic and got me up and running but I told him to start building me another one. He's the one who built this one for me almost seven years ago and its been a good system....but two power outages a day apart was a little much. Its been running pretty slow and my hard drive is nearly full. So....its time. I remember when I first got this one....I thought my hard drive was so big that I'd never fill it up.

Anyway, maybe within a couple weeks or so I will have an upgraded system but I'm NOT getting Vista ....too many problems with it he says. So I will gladly take XP.

I sure did miss not having a computer. I was without it since July 3. I did realize something though. I certainly did get a lot done around here since I didn't have a computer up and running. I guess that sort of tells me that perhaps I may be spending just a wee too much time on think? Nahhhh.

I have a lot of blogs to visit and a lot of posts to catch up on. See you all soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sometimes you just step in it.....

I wanted to get my grandson a little surprise something for a graduation gift. I knew that he had been talking about wanting a bigger hard drive for his Xbox. So I decided to check out ebay. Oh yes....I found them on there all right....LOTS of them. Well, first of all I had to decide how big I wanted to go...I figure, the bigger the better. So I go with 120gb. Then I have to read all the fine print. Some are coming from overseas. Nope, can't have that. Seems as though there is supposed to be a data transfer kit that comes in the package. Hmmm....some sellers have taken that out and you're only getting the hard drive. So you have to be alert...on your toes. Its a jungle out there in auction land.

I find one that looks acceptable. I make my bid and go about my business. I come back a couple days later to find out that I have been outbid. Not only outbid but sniped! Not nice. That person placed their bid only 9 seconds before the end of the auction. Good thing I didn't want to go any higher on that item.....I would have never had the time. So I found another one. There are lots of them. I place my bid on that one. This time I'm outbid...not sniped but just plain outbid. So I lose that one too. The third and final try was quite hilarious.

You see when I bid on things I just put in what I want to pay and then forget about it. More inexperienced bidders just bid $5 at a time or so. Makes no sense to me....but I'm thinking they are confusing this with a live auction in which whatever you bid is what you pay if no one outbids you. Anyway, the item has a couple days before close and as I'm checking other things I happen to notice that the bid has changed. Its still mine, but now its for more. As I'm watching it, a bidder is having a nervous breakdown over taking the bid away from me....$5 at a time. I keep watching and laughing. It takes this person 10 bids to finally outbid me and by this time I'm sure that he has bid more than he ever really intended to pay. I've lost the item but do not want to pay more for it than what I originally bid, so I decide heck with it and start looking for it at retail stores. I find it for only $8 more than what I had bid....of course I have to pay $7 for shipping but all in all....its worth it. The item was ordered and shipped and it sits on my daughter's kitchen table right now awaiting my grandson's delightful possession. The auction, by the way, still hasn't closed. It will be over in a couple hours or so.

Speaking of shopping, the last couple times I've ordered from a particular store this has happened to me....and if it happens ONE more time, I'm never shopping there again. I will get an email, advising me of a nice sale going on at such and such store. I go there and find some things I need at a pretty good price. I usually don't shop online unless I can take advantage of free shipping but they don't have any promo codes for free shipping this time. The sale is worth it, so I break down and pay the $7 or so for shipping. As soon as my order has been processed....maybe an hour or so later....I will receive an email from THIS SAME COMPANY advising that they have this sale going on and because I'm such a good customer, I can guessed it.....FREE SHIPPING. So I don't know what their deal is....but if it happens again....I'm history as far as they are concerned.

Also, along this same line of thinking.....some of the purchases I make for stuff that I need on a regular basis seem to go on sale right after I buy them. Now....I seem to remember that if you take the sales slip back to the store and complain about that, they will give you the difference in price back. Does anyone know if stores are still doing this? Even though it ticks me off at the time, somehow it just doesn't seem worth it to use extra gas to drive back to the store, wait in line at the customer service desk and complain about 75 cents. Now if it was for $5 that would be different. I was thinking......wouldn't it really be a nice customer service for a business to have their computer system set up so when you purchase something it would note that its going on sale within 24 hours and you're getting the sale price. How happy that would make customers! Talk about incentive to come back! Personally I think it would be a great idea and it would make us think that somebody out there cared about us consumers in this age of banks raising interest rates purely for greed and a noticeable price increase on groceries from one week to the next.....not to mention gasoline going up and down on a whim.