Friday, February 29, 2008

Prescription Saga

So....I've been taking medication for high blood pressure for about 30 years. Luckily for me, it's the cheapest medication in the world....about $12 for a 90 day supply. I'd been without insurance for quite a while, so the cheap price was a blessing. This January I went on my husband's health insurance and the first time I had the prescription filled I was surprised to find out that the insurance company would only pay for a 30 day supply and they charge you a $10 co-payment. Now let's do the math here....that makes it $30 for a 90 day supply. So I asked the pharmacy, which at the time was Brooks, to let me pay out of pocket and they were fine with that. Yesterday I went to have it filled again and I carefully reminded them not to put it through the insurance and when I went to pick it up the price was $25! I checked that they'd followed my instructions and they had. When I asked why the price was double the usual price, they said I should call 1-800-rite-aid. Uh Huh....Rite Aid bought out Brooks. I was not a happy camper so when I got home I called the Rite Aid number and the nice lady told me she'd forward my message on to a district manager. With very little faith that I'd get called back I called around and found out Walmart Pharmacy would fill it for the $12. Fine...Walmart would be getting my business the next time I needed the prescription filled. Then low and behold, 2 days later, I did get a call from Rite-Aid's district manager who was very sympathetic. When I told him I could get the same prescription at Walmart for $12, he said that he would credit my account at Rite-Aid for the $13 I was charged extra, and he would instruct the pharmacy to charge me $12 for my prescription from now on. Customer Service!! I thought it was a dying art in this country! Of course, it's going to be 90 days or so before I got back to refill the prescription and find out if this guy was for real. I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged by http:// THE RULES:--Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.-- Post THE RULES on your blog.-- Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.-- Tag 7 people and link to them.-- Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged. Seven weird or random facts about me: 1. I am a voracious reader. I read probably 3-4 novels per week. Of course it depends on what I'm doing....if I'm subbing for teachers I spend most of the day reading. If I'm subbing for secretaries I don't even bring a book. Once I get going on a book I am engrossed in, I cannot stop. I take the book everywhere (including the bathroom) and have been known to let dinner burn while I'm trying to finish a chapter. As a result of my love of books: 2. I am writing a novel. Unbelievably, I'm almost done! Well, done with the first draft anyway! I know I'll have to go back, re-read it, and fix all the inconsistencies. But I actually have 34 chapters and almost 500 pages! I have no idea what to do with it when I get thing at a time. 3. I want to be crafty, but I really have no talent. My husband is very artistic and I try to keep up with him, but I can't draw or paint and I have no musical talent. The few things I do well are sew (clothing...but I'm having a hard time with quilts) and cross-stitch. I've made some very detailed and complicated cross-stitches for my brother for his wedding, for my sister, for my baby grand-daughter and for myself. Strangely enough: 4. I am the Arts and Crafts Director at a summer camp. I know a lot about kids, which seems to trump knowing anything about arts and crafts. For the things I am dismal at...such as gimp...I know which other staff members or even older kids are good at it, so I just send the kids to them. The rest of the time I just wing it and I keep a record of what works and what doesn't. This is my fourth year coming up, so I'm getting pretty good at it. It's the best job I ever had....outside all day, lots of fun with the kids, very versatile and I get to swim, go boating, play field games, and do all kinds of fun and messy activities. The interesting thing is: 5. The summer camp I work at is a Jewish camp.....and I am not Jewish! It's very cool to be in a different environment than I'm used to. I've learned a lot about the Jewish culture (the camp teaches Jewish culture, not so much religion.). The people are a lot of fun and the kids are very well-behaved. I'm still the shiksa of the group.....but that's okay, they love me anyway! 6. I believe it's important for kids to stay home with their mothers, yet I was a daycare provider for 25 years. I got into daycare in an effort to stay home with my own kids, then just moved naturally into taking child care courses and becoming a daycare provider. My philosophy was...if they can't be home with their mother, they can at least be with me. I treated the kids like they were my own, gave them lots of love, lots of discipline, and prided myself in giving them an environment they could thrive in. 7. I am totally in love with my husband. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. In my vows at our wedding I actually said, "I promise to spoil you rotten." And I believe I'm living up to that promise. I take great pleasure in being a good wife - taking care of our house and him and all the little details that make our lives run smoothly. And in return, he treats me like a queen. I'm pretty sure that's how marriage is supposed to work! This is the place where I'm supposed to put links to other blogs and "tag" them....but since I don't know anyone else who writes a blog, feel free to forward this to some blogs that you like to read.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I finally decided to get on the bandwagon and refinance my condo. I should have done it a month ago, because interest rates have gone back up. But it's still going to be worth my while to do it. I started out by going online and doing a rate comparison and one of the online companies had the best rates, so I filled out the form online to have someone call me. He did, and we talked....his offer was 6.3%, no points but he didn't tell me on the phone that closing costs were 3K. We discussed a 30 year vs. 15 year mortgage and he said there was no difference in rates for how many years you take the mortgage out. When he emailed me the application form, I wasn't thrilled about the closing costs, so decided to shop around. (which is what you should do, but I never seem to do then I get screwed.) Yesterday I went across the street to Mortgage Specialists. He told me just about the same thing, closing costs were lower but the rate was about the same. Then he said, in the interest of being 'fair' to me, that I'd be better off going to a local bank because they do better on small (under 100k) mortgages. So I left that office and went to my local bank. Sure enough, they were great.....and I got the feel of being treated like a person, since I've done my banking there for 20 years and they know me. They offered me 5.8%, no points on a 15 year mortgage. Their rate was lower for a 15 year than a 30 year. So.....because I'm switching from a 30 year to a 15 year, my payments per month will be about the same, but we will finish the mortgage right about the time we retire and overall, we will save about 65K in interest over the years. I feel good.....feel like we are doing the right thing, and happy that I have the modicum of financial savvy to even think of doing this. The best thing is...I bought the condo almost six years ago, right after I got divorced. When I got remarried almost two years ago, we didn't change the title. My new hubby has never owned anything...he always when we do this refinance, he'll be putting his name on the mortgage and be an official owner with me of our condo. Up until now, it's still seemed like "mine" more than "ours". Now it will belong to both of us.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Walking in the Woods

Last Saturday, Tag and I went to the Salem Town Forest because the weather was so nice. We'd just had snow the night before, so it was clean and white and pristine. The Town Forest is a little bit of land set aside in North Salem for conservation. The Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts have gone in and marked trails, built a bridge and created a map board. It's a nice quiet place. There's a tiny brook called "HittyTitty Brook"....honest! We walked for about an hour and a half, and during that time only saw one cross-country skiier and a family with a huge (165 lbs.!) dog! It was so nice and quiet....a beautiful way to relax after a hard week of work.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Across The Universe

My brother John and I are very close....I was the best "man" at his wedding! For the past four or five years, we've gotten together during football season to root for our beloved Patriots. Now that football season is over, John wanted to keep getting together, so he and his wife, Ruth, invited us over for a "movie night". Last night was our first one, and we had a great time. Since all gatherings for our family involve food, we ordered out pizza and talked and visited for a bit, then settled in to watch our movie. I had given Tag "Across the Universe" for Valentine's Day and we hadn't had time to watch it, so we brought it over. Since John and Ruth are huge Beatles fans as well, they were happy with our choice. The movie turned out to be fantastic. Within two or three songs, John and I decided we wanted the sound track. Ruth hopped right online and checked it out....sure enough it's available on We also decided it would make a fantastic stage if anyone out there ever hears of it coming to the stage....let us know! We sang along with some of the songs....the people in the movie who sang the Beatles covers did a great job. I'm not always a fan of people singing covers....sometimes they change them so much the song is unrecognizable. But in this case, they did a phenomenal job. It was a good night, and we plan to do more. There's nothing I love more than getting together with family!

Friday, February 22, 2008

St. Pat's Day Help

I have a friend by the name of McCarthy who is as Irish as they come. Sounds like the beginning of an Irish joke, right? Well, that leads me to my dilemna. Years ago, I started a tradition of sending my friend an Irish joke every day in the days leading up to St. Paddy's Day. Being a long-standing Irishman, he had already heard all the jokes. It's become an obsession now to find a joke he hasn't heard. So.....if anyone has a very ORIGINAL Irish joke, please send it to me. I need help!


I have a group of friends I met when we were all doing Girl Scouts.

In photo at left it's Sylvie, Sue T., Carol, Gail, Sue F., and me. Debbie wasn't there when the picture was taken. The seven of us all have daughters who were involved in Girl Scouts, but who now have graduated from high school, some have graduated from college, and they no longer need us to be their leaders. Because our friendship was so centered around Girl Scouts, we were afraid to lose touch and decided we should get together once a month and go out to eat, just to have a night to chat and catch up on each others' lives. That started something like 5 years ago, and we still go out faithfully every month. Some months all of us are there, some months there might be as few as three, but we go with whoever can make it. Last night, we all met at Ruby Tuesday's. Only Carol was missing since she is a "snow bird" and is in Florida until the end of the month. It's always a nice conversation centered around the mainstay of our We don't talk about Politics, or religion....not because we're afraid to, but because that's not what really interests us. Last night, we talked about:

Weddings.....Debbie, Sylvie and Carol all have daughters getting married this year and we discussed wedding plans, bridesmaids dresses, showers, wedding dresses....etc.

Our Kids.....who is doing what in college, who got a new girlfriend/boyfriend, who is looking for a new job....and grandkids, cause a couple of us already have grandchildren!

Our Jobs....I'm always looking for something new, Sylvie just started a new job, will Debbie retire this year? The stupid people at our jobs, the interesting situations, the craziness....

Our Parents....Sylvie's mother-in-law had a heart attack, her mother and father are still going strong, my parents are just emerging from a nightmare year of illness, Sue's mother-in-law lives next door.....

We touched upon the Super Bowl, the Red Sox chances this year, the snow, our summer plans......

At the end of the night we all whip out our little pocket calendars and pick a date and location for next time. We all look forward to it....most of the time, our interaction between the dinners is via email, with an occasional shopping trip thrown in. It's great to have friends to discuss the minutae of life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why Are People So Weird?

I work as a subtitute teacher, and it provides me with an endless supply of laughs. You have to have a sense of humor to be a sub, otherwise you rip your hair out. I'll talk about the demise of the American student in another post. Today I want to talk about parents. A lot of times, I sub for the secretaries in the schools, and I have a lot of contact with the parents. Some sample conversations: ME: Mr. So and So, your son is not in school today. Is he home sick? MR S&S: No, he's supposed to be in school. ME: Well, he's not here. MR S&S: Oh......well can you tell me who his friends are so I can call around and find him? Mr. S&S walks into the middle school office. MR S&S: I'd like to register my son for school. ME: Okay, are you just moving into town? MR S&S: No, we've lived here all our lives. ME: Where has your son been going to school up until now? MR S&S: He hasn't been. He's only five. ME: Well, sir, this is a middle school. MR S&S: He can't go here? MR S&S walks into the middle school office (it's just a coincidence these are all dads....moms are just as goofy) MR S&S: I'd like to talk to my son. ME: He's in class right now, can we give him a message? MR S&S: I need to give him his cell phone he left at home cause I want him to call me after school. ME: Okay, I'll take it and give it to him and give him the message. I tape the message to the cell's given to him at lunchtime. Later in the day, on the phone: MR S&S: Did you give my son his cell phone? ME: Yes I did. MR S&S: Well, he didn't call me. MY THOUGHTS: What the hell do you want me to do? ME: I'm sorry sir, but he got the phone. I can't guarantee he read the message though. MR S&S (panicking) What should I do? ME: Have YOU tried calling HIM on that cell phone? MR S&S: oh..... I could tell you a million more stories..........but I don't have enough room on this post!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A "Happiness" Party

Last night was one of the most supremely satisfying times of my life. My mother had her last radiation treatment, after six weeks of daily radiation and four months of chemo. My sister came up with the idea of making her a cake and surprising her with a visit to celebrate this unbelievable achievement. It was everything I expected it to be and more. We hadn't really decided how we'd all enter the house, just that my sister and her husband would "drop by" (which they do often) and we would all show up 15 minutes later. As it so happens, my brother and his wife and their daughter, and two of my kids met up in the driveway. They called me and Tag on my cellphone and stealthily whispered "where are you"? When I said we were on my parents' road, they decided to wait for us. We all went quietly up onto the porch, then my brother John, who was carrying a huge bouquet of flowers, walked into the house with us all following behind. He passed my Dad, who was sitting at the kitchen table, and waved at him. My Dad, looking confused as we all traipsed by him, said, "Are we having a party?" My mom had her back to us as we came into the living room, so she was surprised over and over again as each of us stepped in front of her and gave her a big kiss and a "Congratulations!" By the time the last person kissed her, she was crying. The air of excitement was intense. My sister had made a cake with a pink ribbon on it that said, "We are so proud of you!" We only stayed an hour, but the whole hour was filled laughter and stories and such JOY! I haven't felt such intense joy as that in a long time, probably since my granddaughter was born in August. Our family has so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Old Friends are the Best Friends

I hope you realize when I say "Old Friends" I don't mean OLD friends....I just means friends you've had for a long time. Joan and I met probably 25 years ago through our kids. Most of the friends I have today I met through my kids....from Girl Scouts and PTA. I'm not sure I remember exactly how we met, but at the time I was doing home daycare, and I began babysitting Joan's two kids, JJ and Mary. JJ was right in the middle of my two boys, Doug and Nick, agewise.....and Mary was the same age as my daughter Jamie. The kids all got along famously, and I found myself becoming great friends with their mother (which didn't always happen, believe me!) Joan and I had the same type of personality, the same sense of humor, the same ideas regarding life and kids, etc. We spent lots of time together besides the time I spent caring for her kids....we went to her house and hung out at her pool, we had coffee together and talked, talked, talked. Perhaps five years after we met, Joan's husband Jeff got transferred to Ohio, and sadly, I no longer had Joan right here in town to visit with. We stayed in touch for a long time....the summer after she left we piled the kids in the car and drove them out to Ohio to visit for a week. It was the first real vacation we'd ever taken, and we had a blast. Years of Christmas cards and notes followed. With the advent of email, we got in touch again, but really only talked sporadically. Recently, we started corresponding again and through the magic of emails and blogs, we've caught up on each other's lives. Our children are all grown, but as we all know, that doesnt' mean we arent' still parents and it's nice to have someone again to talk with, console with and give and take advice with. We even both have a grandchild now! Joan has become quite a quilter, and I was stunned this week to get a package in the mail from her containing a beautiful Care Bear quilt she'd made and sent for my baby grand-daughter! It's absolutely wonderful to have her back in my life again. She's been talking about visiting NH again.....I hope she does so we can see each other face to face and reminisce about all the great times we've had. Thank you so much, Joan for your wonderful gift! It's a gift we'll treasure always!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I am a Piano Groupie

I'm a piano groupie....not just piano actually, but guitar and banjo and now ukulele as well! My husband Tag is a musician, and there's nothing I enjoy more than going along with him to his gigs and listening to him play. Last night was Valentine's Day, and he was asked to play piano at a local coffee shop called the Java Room. They have a beautiful grand piano so it's not hard for him to say yes! The people who own the Java Room love his mellow, tinkling style of background music. They put on a big spread, lowered the lights, and made some nice romantic Valentine memories for some happy couples. I go along, sit at the table nearest the piano, bring a great book and just enjoy myself for three hours, reading, listening to great music, and people watching. Since I met my husband, my horizons have broadened, musically. We spend many nights going to open mics at coffee shops (where sometimes he's actually gotten me up to sing!) or to outdoor concerts or whatever. Most of the stuff we find to go see is usually free.....and there's a core of musicians who know each other and show up at these functions, so it's become a social outlet as well. It's been a wonderful learning experience for me. And there's nothing like having a musician in the house...many nights I read in my recliner with the relaxing background music of my husband strumming his guitar or diddling around on the banjo. There's no better way to spend an evening.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I've read two or three articles in the last week about how Valentine's Day is useless, and worse, detrimental to people who are not in an intimate relationship. Well now, no matter if you have a "significant other" or not, you love SOMEONE, don't you? I don't think Valentine's day has to be just for lovers, I think it can be for anyone to tell anyone else they love them. Everyone can use a holiday, especially in the middle of winter. What else do we have to do in February? Celebrate Groundhog Day? A good reason to celebrate is always nice to have. Even in caveman times, they had celebrations for the arrival of spring, the fall harvest, etc. (didn't anyone read Clan of the Cavebear?) It's just something to do to help take the boredom out of life. After all, some of the other holidays we celebrate are fairly useless. How many of us have a BBQ on Labor Day, but do we even know why we're celebrating it? Of course not! It's just a good excuse to throw steaks on the grill one last time before the end of summer. So.....embrace Valentine's Day even if you have no spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, lover, etc......and tell all the people in your life how much you love them! PS....I love you guys!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yucky weather much yuckier could this weather be? Snow, rain, think we'd be so used to it in New Hampshire, but it still gets you down after a while. We've had a snowy winter, although not as bad as when I was a kid. Then we got FEET of snow..not just inches. But this year has been worse than the past few.....more snow but also more rain. And thunderstorms! Weird in the winter. Today it's just been pouring and pouring after it snowed last night. The puddle on the road in front of the condo is literally deep enough to swim in. It was a snow day of course, so I didn't get called in to sub, but I didn't feel like doing anything constructive either. So I read, and I did write a chapter of my book......and watched TV. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ what a boring kind of day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

David Cassedy.....Heart-throb?

I just saw David Cassedy on the Oprah show and it was ......... quite disturbing. Yes, I was a big fan of his in the early 70's, and yes, I watched the Partridge Family every Friday night. I was one of those excited girls jumping up and down when I saw him on TV. But somehow, watching middle-aged women jumping up and down and screaming while he sings "I Think I Love You" is not quite the same. He's still kind of a handsome man in a "I had Botox and hair implants" kind of way. The back view of his head with the circle of baldness was not something I really needed to see. And the way he sang and reached out to touch the women in the audience and then went and put his arm around some of them and sang to them was just plain creepy. I guess his admitting in the interview with Oprah that he stayed holed up in his hotel room with some of his fans cause "those were different times" didn't help matters either. I kind of wished I hadn't watched the show. I would have liked to have kept my illusions!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lunch with Mom and Dad

Yesterday afternoon we went to lunch with Mom and Dad. Such a nice visit! Things have been rough for the two of them the past year or so. Mom has breast cancer and had chemo and is now in her final week of radiation. Dad had a triple by-pass surgery two weeks ago. They'll both be 70 this year, and I am amazed at their stamina, determination, and ability to take each day as it comes. They've always been very self-sufficient, so it's very hard for them to ask for anything, especially for Dad, who's never had any kind of surgery before and never had the experience of not being able to do things for himself. They invited us over for lunch, and Mom made her very famous beef stew. She makes it like no one else can. I've just doesn't come out the same. We had a nice shrimp cocktail first, then the stew with bread and some homemade apple pie and ice cream for dessert. Who could ask for anything more? We stayed and enoyed visiting with them for most of the afternoon. They're just such nice people!

The picture is of them at their 50th Wedding Anniversary party.....they were high school sweethearts.......and they still act like sweethearts!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Empty Nest Syndrome

It's a funny thing about "empty nest syndrome". You spend your whole young adult years taking care of babies and children and teenagers, and you really get to the point where you can't wait for them all to leave the house! C'mon, admit've all felt that way! But then they do, and it's just amazing how much you miss them. For years you wanted nothing but some "peace and quiet", and when you finally get's too MUCH peace and quiet! Tag's two kids, Kenny and Wendy, and Wendy's boyfriend Allen came over for dinner last night, and it was so nice to have some noise and chatter and laughter ringing through the place. It was fun to make a big dinner....turkey and all the fixings....and sit around the table talking and reminiscing. Tag has been converting his VHS tapes to DVD's, so he pulled out the latest one and we all sat around and laughed our heads off at the antics of Kenny and Wendy as children. It was a nice night. It's comforting to know that, although we get the peace and quiet we wanted, the noise and confusion is still available to us for the price of a turkey dinner.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Picture of Emily

Now that wasn't so hard to do! This is Emily Deacy. She just turned six months old. She looks exactly like my son Doug did when he was a baby. She's just gorgeous, yes?

Being a Grandma

There's absolutely nothing like being a grandmother. My beautiful grand-daughter Emily was born in August. That makes her 6 months old now! Hard to believe she's been around that long, but also hard to believe there was ever a time we didn't have her. She's been such a wonderful addition to our lives. My husband Tag and I are "Memere and Pepere", the old French names for grandparents. I get to babysit twice a week, which has been such a blessing! The best part about being the grandmother instead of the mother is that you get to spend every minute with the child while you're with her. The typical mother is happy if the child is content, and runs around doing housework while she has the opportunity. As the grandmother, I get to just sit and play with her and watch every little bit of development. Last Saturday, Tag and I babysat, and he had so much fun with her. He brought his guitar and she was just mesmerized! She was listening, but also watching his fingers as they moved up and down the frets. Tag thinks she's going to be a musician, and wanted to buy her a guitar later in the day when we went to the store! If I can figure out how to post a picture, I'll add one to this post, or put one in a future post. You have to see her to know how beautiful she is!

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Very First Blog

This is a new sensation for me....writing down stuff that other people MIGHT want to read! I've always wanted to be a writer, but thought maybe blogs were stupid. After all, who wants to read someone else's daily thoughts? But I've been inspired by a friend who I'd met 20 or more years ago and had lost touch with. She has a blog, and I thoroughly enjoy reading it every day. If she can do it, why can't I? And if no one reads it, I still have the fun of writing and the fanstasy of thinking someone might actually read it and care about what I think. What am I going to write about? Who knows? My everyday life, my joys, my sorrows, my pet peeves maybe? Whatever comes to mind.....and some days, I have a lot more on my mind than others!