Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Boo Pumpkin Pictures, Images and Photos

Click on the title of this post for a little "mood music" while you're reading.
The movie, Halloween, and its many sequels holds some vivid memories for me, but the most vivid is the very first one......Halloween. It was a whole new dimension of "scary" for me.

I had after getting out of work at 5, I threw on a wig to cover my deflated hair-do and hastily prepared myself so we could make the 6 pm showing. I took 3 young children (all under the age of 11) to see this at the theater, thinking it was a "kid's show"....tailored for the younger set. (first mistake of a frenzied working mom and wife) It was a weeknight so it wasn't crowded, in fact there was hardly anyone there at all. My kids and a friend of theirs wanted to sit in the front row....I sat in the middle about half way back in a nearly empty theater. The first scary thing happened within minutes and I had 3 terrified children screaming and frantically climbing over seats to get to me, throwing their arms around my neck and knocking my wig askew. They kept their choke-hold on me through-out the entire movie. I remember after about an hour of being terrified, I kept looking at the lighted clock on the sidewall and hoping the movie would end before I had a heart attack. It was relentless.....just one horrifying scary thing right after another. You just wanted to jump right out of your skin. I must have told my kids a hundred times "It's just a movie" and yet it was scaring me as much as it was them.....I just couldn't let them know it. And of course it had to end without a real ending.....and my 8 year old son kept asking all the way home...."so where did he go, Mom, huh?......where?......he's still out there!"

When we got out of the theater, it was dark and I actually looked under the car before we got in (sneakily of course so the kids wouldn't see me). When I got in the car, I anxiously looked in the rear view mirror and my wig was turned around sideways. Thank goodness my kids were too nervous to notice cause I certainly would have never lived that one down. At least it was a good thing that we had a station wagon at the time so I didn't have them (and me) thinking that someone was in the trunk. And of course it didn't help that our weather was exactly the same as the weather in the movie.....Fall, with lots and lots of crunchy leaves on the ground.....when darkness comes very early.

I'm sure I scarred them for life with that mistake.....not to mention aging myself about 20 years. So every time I hear this haunting theme song, this is the memory that comes to me. Now it brings a smile to my face, but back then, it was truly terrifying.

Heh heh heh.....Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shots....not the Jello kind either

Well, it's that time of year again. Last year I didn't get the Flu Shot because of all the controversy surrounding it. I made it through the year without getting sick at all and I know I'm lucky in that regard. However, I don't need to press that I decided I'd better get one this year. Last year was the first time I'd missed getting a flu shot in more than 30 years.

Last year I had also researched getting the Shingles vaccine but was told my insurance didn't cover it and it was just too expensive for me. So I didn't get it. Since that time I've heard of several friends and co-workers who have come down with Shingles and it's not pretty. Matter of fact, I'm hearing about a LOT of people who have gotten the Shingles lately. It can be triggered by stress and everyone is under a lot of stress these days. I looked into getting the vaccine again this year and discussed it with my doctor. He wrote out a prescription for me and told me what to do. I then called several pharmacies as well as the health department. The cost at the pharmacies.....those that even carried it....was in the neighborhood of $220 for the vaccine, including receiving the shot. The cost at the Health Department was about $156 and they would only accept CASH as payment, which tells me they must have had plenty of bad experiences with checks or credit cards.

Now I must say right here that my present pharmacy has been skating on thin ice with me. I've had numerous occasions in which I've been shorted pills, one time as many as thirty. They have a very bad record as far as making you wait.....and WAIT....for your prescriptions, even when they are called in ahead of time. What put the icing on the cake was that a friend of mine has a niece who worked for this particular chain and in her training she was advised to make the customers wait at least 30 minutes for their prescriptions so it would give them time to browse the store for additional purchases. I decided to switch over my prescriptions to another pharmacy that's been in business just as long and furthermore, it's a mile closer to me. I'm making the transition as each prescription comes up for refill.

So the pharmacy I'm using right now was the first one I called regarding the Shingles vaccine; they were rude (as usual) and the girl further said "we don't carry it because it has to be frozen and I don't know nothing about it". (bad grammar always makes my spine straighten). So I called a couple other pharmacies, the one I'm switching to included. This pharmacist at the one I'm switching to went that extra mile and actually questioned why my insurance company said they wouldn't cover it. They checked a little deeper and found out I have supplemental coverage which DOES cover it and so I was able to get this vaccine without having to pay $220 all because a pharmacist was exceptional at her job.

So, I've had my flu shot and the Shingles vaccine. I think I'm all set as far as that goes. As soon as I get the last mess straightened out that my present pharmacy has done, (only giving me a one month refill on a 3 month prescription and saying the insurance wouldn't cover it when it covered it the last time I got these refilled). I'm not looking forward to all the phone calls I will have to make and I'm not sure if I even can get it all straightened out. These prescriptions were supposed to carry me through to the end of February since they've done this, I'm not sure about anything. Why would an insurance company fill a script twice for 3 months supply and then the third refill say they won't do 3 month refills.....and it's the SAME prescription. This just shows you the difference in present one, they expect YOU to call your insurance company....the one I'm switching to....THEY call the insurance company on your behalf. See why I'm switching? The name? Why yes, I'll give it to you proudly......the name of the pharmacy I'm switching to is Rite-Aid.

We have enough stressful situations in life, we certainly don't need it from a place of business we utilize. So, til next time, keep smilin'. My next post is about a Halloween adventure I had many years ago that's still vivid in my memory.

Update: I've received some emails about Shingles since I posted this. From what my doctor explained to me is that if you've had the chicken pox, then you can get the Shingles. The pox virus lays dormant in your system forever once you've had it, just waiting for the right trigger. If you've never had the Chicken Pox....what you would get would be chicken pox instead of Shingles. (if you're going to get it at all) The vaccine is good for the rest of your life and may not totally prevent you from getting the Shingles, but you will only have an extremely mild case. Shingles are contagious as long as there are blisters; as soon as the blisters scab over, then you are no longer contagious. You are contagious this way: If you happen to touch the blistered area, then say pick up the phone for example....the germ would be on the phone and could be transferred to someone else. Some people may never get the chicken pox and those who have, may never get the Shingles. It is thought that the Shingles are brought on by stress. The most vulnerable are people over 60 who have had the chicken pox. As to your doctor about your own particular needs. Hope this has helped.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another adventure and 2 movies

Yes.....sigh......I sort of live under a rock. I no longer go many places that are out of a 10-mile radius. To work, which is 6 miles away; to the grocery store which is 2 miles away; drugstore, 1 mile....well, you get the idea. The last time I met my friend at the Cracker Barrel, I got lost. This restaurant is about 38 miles from me, one way. It's about 15 miles from my friend. So it is an adventure. Since I'd driven it before, I was fairly confident that I could do it this time and not get lost. We set a date to meet for lunch on Saturday.

Saturday was gorgeous; sunny skies, high of 58. I had previously checked out the online map to this place and memorized places of business along the way. So on Saturday I turned up the car radio that was tuned to the 'oldies' station and set out. I did fine until I came upon the spot where you either get on the expressway or not. I was in the wrong lane.

Now I need to tell you something about me and driving. I try to be a courteous driver. I try not to make problems for other drivers so I am always anticipating what they may expect of me. The thought of me tying up traffic because I'm in the wrong lane and need to get over is unthinkable. So......I had to go with the flow and found myself on the expressway, when I did not want to be there. I knew the direction in which I had to head and so continued that way. When I got to the town that The Cracker Barrel is located in, I chose an exit and got off. Again, I was at the mercy of having to follow the road ("right lane MUST turn right"). I followed it along and this is where memorizing the businesses came in handy. At one of the intersections I found businesses on two corners that I remembered from the map and so I made a left turn right there, which once again set me in the correct direction. I finally found the place and was only 20 minutes late this time as opposed to nearly 45 minutes last time.

We love to visit the Cracker Barrel. Not only is the food absolutely delicious, but they have so many unique things in their store. I stocked up on their Pumpkin Butter and Apple Butter, hopefully enough that will last through the winter. I doubt very much that I will make this drive in weather that could change quickly. That's half the enjoyment of going; experiencing the scenery along the way.

Expressway driving makes me nervous because of the speeds in which people travel. I was doing 70 and the majority of drivers were passing me like I was sitting still.

I was in the mood for a movie that would make me laugh that night after I was safely back home. I went through my movie collection and found one that is maybe 15 years old or more, Made in America with Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson. I'd seen it before but it had been many years so I decided to watch it again. OMG, I had forgotten just how funny it is. I laughed and giggled through most of it. Will Smith is in it too.....he looks like he's about 16! LOL. Anyway, it's a cute bad language that I can remember, no nudity.....there are sexual innuendos but I don't think a kid would pick up on them. So if you want some giggles, check out this movie.

Last week I looked at Bridesmaids. It's a movie that has a little bit of most everything in it. Kind of high up on the "ewwww" factor and lots of bad language, a lot of sexual situations and simulated sex, although I don't think there is any nudity. It's a comedy and I did laugh. But over-all, it's more than just a comedy. As it covers love, friendship, jealousy, envy, depression, forgiveness and many more emotions, it's a good movie with some lessons for us all. Yes, it's definitely a 'chick flick' and I'll wager to say that most all of us women have experienced a lot of the things that went on in this movie.....that's what makes it so funny. If you get a chance, grab a fun girlfriend or two and check it out. Definitely NOT for the younger set or anyone easily offended. This is a movie for open-minded people who can laugh at situations that are off-color and in bad taste....for lack of better wording.

Til next time, when I cover news about the Shingles Vaccine, drugstores and prescriptions.
Keep smilin'!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I got pranked.....

with the old "ring the doorbell and run" scenario. I was not amused.

It was Friday night and I was watching TV in my jammies. I was kicked back and relaxed after a hard day at work - the only light on in my house was light from the TV. It was late but not too late.....maybe 9:30 or so.

Suddenly my evening was disrupted by the ringing of my door bell....4 times rapidly....making it hard to distinguish whether it came from the front door or the back door. I checked the front door one. Then checked the back one. Sliding glass door and the one. one.

Now, I've lived here for almost 40 years. Neighbors have come and gone but a lot of us have lived here for that long or longer. I have no teenagers that live close to me any more. This is a safe neighborhood and I've never been afraid. I have never been pranked before. But neighborhoods change over the years......sometimes not for the better.

I will admit that there have been times I have forgotten to lock my doors over night and have even left for the day and forgotten to lock them. My neighbors have done the same. But things change when different people move close by. I made a promise to myself that I will be more diligent about locking up.

After discovering "no one" at any of my doors and turning on porch lights and flood lights......I did become a bit concerned. I figured it was a prank, but there is always a little doubt in your mind that maybe something more sinister is at work. I called my grandson. I asked him if he had been here, by any chance....just clowning around. He said no, why? I told him. He became concerned. Within minutes he and his friends were here checking out my yard and then they retreated to an area where they could watch and sat there for about a half hour, just watching. Nothing was amiss and they didn't even see any gangs of kids. My grandson is grown and his friends are BIG. I was glad they had my back.

Now, although it did cause me some inconvenience and a little concern, I'm not really complaining. It was one of those "innocent" pranks.....nothing was taken, nothing was damaged. I didn't have the "bag of dog poo on fire" on my front porch. They just got a kick out of seeing the lights go on at each door I guess. I'm glad it took so little to amuse them. But my grandson and his friends will be watching from now to Halloween......and if the pranks get frequent or damaging, I would not want to be the prankster in this case.

On Halloween, our neighborhood is one of those that doesn't give out candy anymore.....the kids around here all go to church, school or private parties so they are not out on the streets after dark. I used to get a kick out of seeing all the costumes, but it really is much safer for them to just have a supervised party. Besides that, the last few years that kids were coming around, I was only getting bigger high school kids, not even in costume.....the little ones were celebrating in a safer environment.

I have been seriously thinking of getting another dog and so has my daughter. In the spring, maybe.....when housebreaking will be easier. We want bigger dogs, that will double as watch dogs, taken seriously. Her number one choice is a Rottweiler/English Lab mix.....that's what she had before and that dog was absolutely the best. Hopefully we can get two puppies.....sisters.

Of course I have not cleared it with Queen Abby rat terrier who basically dictates the goings on around here. She does not think she is a dog. She hates squirrels. She thinks cats are just squirrels without fuzzy tails. She does not like other it could be interesting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This sounds like me.....

....some of it.....sometimes.

You Are Highly Authentic

You're as real as they come... and quite modest too.

You are very self-assured, and you have a healthy amount of self-esteem.

You feel confident that you can take on the world.

You have a great sense of humor, especially when it comes to laughing at yourself.