If anyone wonders why we use the internet to take care of things then this will help you to understand.
Today I called a Dr’s office. The first thing I got was a voice telling me that I had reached the ”Surgery Center” and to listen carefully to the options offered. The first option told me that if I was a physician to press one. The second offered to take me to the physician’s office where I could make an appointment. Ok, I pressed 2. A voice told me that my call would be answered in the order that it arrived. Fine. So I waited. Voices assured me that my call was important and that someone would be with me soon. This repetition went on for 6 minutes. Finally the phone started ringing. It seemed that someone would actually answer my call. Well…..maybe. The phone rang and rang and rang…………. I watched the clock. It had actually been ringing for 2 minutes when someone picked up.
This was not my first rodeo. I once called where I was born to get a copy of my birth certificate. That was after I discovered that the original was no longer acceptable. I called the number listed and I was given the multiple choice quiz again. I punched the number for birth certificates and got a nice lady who assured me that I could get a copy. All I had to do was mail a check with the request. I asked her for the address and was told that she didn’t have it. She couldn’t transfer me to the other department instead I had to dial in again and listen to the choices. Fine. After getting the address I had to dial in again to find out how much money to send. Each time I needed something I had to start over. It was a matter of “you can’t get there from here.”
Whenever possible I avoid calling. I email, text, chat, whatever but I don’t call unless it’s 911 for an ambulance.
Life is never boring. I wondered why I was so warm and checked the thermostat and it is way warm in the house. Obviously the air conditioner is out again. Oh well, it will cool down to the 60’s tonight and we can get cool again. We have a friend who fixes air and he will come tomorrow and see what’s up. At least this time we don’t have company.
It seems like you can never get ahead. That is the negative side. The positive side is that I think we can manage to pay for a new one. The only problem is that we are retired and on fixed income. We have just finished repairing the bathroom and here we are again. We suspect that the air conditioner has died a natural death. It is, in fact, very old. There are two ways of looking at everything. Hopefully this will be something that my sense of humor can cover….in the future but not right now.
Naturally the upcoming week is showing highs in the 80’s instead of the slightly cool temps we had last week. Also it is so humid the air feels thick. Until Thursday it will not cool much at night so little chance to bring the inside temp down.
There! I have had my rant for the day. Life goes on and I am actually grateful for so many things that this is just a bump in the road. I will put my gratitude list on my mirror and read it every day.
Today is one of those days where you have to laugh at yourself or just sit down and cry. This morning I decided to make a summer soup I have been craving. It is a curried fresh spinach and green pea soup and is a chilled soup and easy to make. It is made on the stove and simmered for a short while. Making the soup was a breeze and the last step is to put the hot liquid in small quantities in the blender. I blended the first two batches and all was well. There was just a small amount to finish up. I put it in and turned the blender on. At that moment the bottom of the blender began to leak and then there was a cascade of soup all over the counter, the floor, my socks. the cabinets and, of course, the machine part of the blender.
Apparently I did not check to see that the bottom was screwed in tight and it undid itself. The next hour was spent in cleaning everything up. I used almost a whole roll of paper towels along with cloth towels. I had to put the blender mechanism on towels and run it to clear soup from the inside. I have left it to dry and still don’t know if it will work or if I have to get a new one. When I tried it after cleaning it started to smell burnt but I am not sure if that is leftover soup or if it is the machine burning. I will find that out later.
I have long decided that one of the most critical things in life is a sense of humor. Without that I would have been cursing and crying over the mess I created. My sense of humor kicked in and all I could do was laugh. This yucky event gave me my laugh for the day.
I hope that you are blessed with the ability to laugh at yourself. It saves a lot of anger and pain.
Technology is wonderful….until it isn’t. The more complex it gets the more can go wrong. I have spent three days trying to resolve a problem with my cable, phone, internet, provider. Their system has become so complex that even the people who work for them don’t know what is going on.
The first person I dealt with was in the store. A very nice person who admitted that so much had been changed with their offerings that he was unsure about what channels were available with each plan. My husband was adamant about having certain channels and we were assured that they would be there. You guessed it…they weren’t. I had a very unhappy husband when he turned the TV on.
Next I got on a chat session with another agent who assured me that adding one premium channel would fix the problem. Ha! Didn’t happen.
The next morning I again chatted with an agent. In the meantime I had spent time on the web site searching for quite a while to access the channel line up so that I knew what had to be done. I told the agent what was necessary to fix the issue. He agreed but then wanted me to sign up for home security. The total would be less that I am paying now. Because of that I agreed. He made the changes and guess what? Still no channels!
This morning I again tackled the problem with another agent on chat and wrote out step by step what I wanted done. I didn’t give him a chance to decide. By this time I could work for the company. Finally what I needed was taken care of and we are all set.
It is amazing that things have become so complicated that even the people who work with them don’t know what is going on or how to fix things. I am reasonably tech savvy and wanted to just do the fixing for them.
My level of frustration was high after all of this and I took to gardening to reach a level of calm. Potting plants can sure remove tension!
It is sad to watch people whose hearing in declining and who won’t do anything about it. When with friends you can see them sitting without joining in on the conversation. They can’t hear others but they are unwilling to get hearing aids. Unfortunately, I can see this in my group of friends. I am not sure why hearing aids are an anathema to them. They don’t realize that not hearing well isolates them from others.
I know that the cost of hearing aids has been a factor but recently tech companies have realized that the cost was being controlled by those in the business. Technology has grown to the point that it is possible to create decent hearing aids that work for most people. Before the cost was exorbitant but now it is possible to get help for a reasonable price.
The most recent studies have shown that not hearing well leads to a decline in mental acuity, withdrawal from social activities, and a decline in overall health. I still don’t understand why some seem to find using this simple tool as unimaginable. I don’t know what would be the trigger to undo this thinking but I wish I knew what it is. Discussing the impact with them (as a nurse) doesn’t seem to get through.
Why this kind of thinking?
What can be done?
While riding the car I listen to 50″s on Five on Sirius Radio. I know, I know….so old. But something struck me. So many of the songs talk about a lifestyle no longer around. In many ways it is sad. I don’t know if people have real fun anymore.
Things were so much simpler. We had sock hops in the gym and had fun dancing without drugs and flashing lights. We had costume dances around Halloween and prizes for the best costumes…..designed and created by us! NOT bought or rented. Half the fun was thinking up a costume and doing it yourself.
We had hay rides in the fall behind horses on a farm that did that and sleigh rides. We met at the drive-in restaurant and hopped from car to car seeing all our friends. We got together and played games. We had pajama parties and we didn’t look like the girls in Grease.
We communicated by phone with most of us having only one in the house. Some of us had cars…usually old rattle traps that didn’t run well. Alcohol was king but not overdone where I grew up. Sure, girls got pregnant and had to quite school but again not many.
We had to go to the library for information and my friends and I loved reading books. TV was watched but the shows were limited so we didn’t spend lots of time watching. We loved to go to the movies with out friends.
There seemed to be less stress on us than on teens today. There was little bullying, no school shootings, little drug use. In some ways I think things were almost black and white like the movie Pleasantville. There weren’t so many grey areas and so many bad things for us to see and hear. In spite of the fact that we may not have been as “free” as today our lives were easier over all.
So what changed? Women’s lib, birth control pills opened up a sexual revolution, the internet, cell phones, media of all kinds, parents both working. Kids today have so much in front of them. So many ways to head down the wrong path. It almost seems that with so much on offer the simple pleasures are lost. I don’t envy them.
Caveat: this was the life of a girl from a middle class family living outside of Washington, DC.
Today we are back from the Mayo Clinic with a successful surgery done. Thanks be to God!
On the car trip for some reason I noticed the number of storage facilities we passed. It made me thing about what a wasteful society we are. We have so many things that we have to rent storage containers to store the excess. Think of what good that excess could do.
When I was young in the 50’s and 60’s people didn’t buy things they couldn’t pay for. In the 50’s the only credit card I remember was American Express that was used by people when they traveled. Now there are so many that I doubt we could name them all in several days.
While watching the news it was said that 11% of people would be willing to go into debt to get the new Iphone. I think they said it is $1600. Amazing!
We are so terribly terribly wasteful. We throw away perfectly good food. Buy new versions of electronic equipment frequently trashing the perfectly good ones we have. We can’t continue this way. The glut of things that we have flows over into storage areas that we pay money to rent.
What is wrong with us?
Today at lunch with friends we were told about a family who lost a 10 year old son to suicide. He shot himself in the head. Later the family lost another son to drugs. This is a loving family and their relatives say there was nothing wrong with their childhood. The younger child was bullied and I don’t think the other son ever got over his brother’s death.
It scares me that suicides are occurring in such young children. It’s hard to know why. I know that our exposure to so much data may be part of the answer. A child growing up when there was no media would probably never know anyone who committed suicide and certainly would not be bullied on line. There was some bullying in school when I was a child but it was nipped in the bud by the teachers. This was also the era when parents believed the teacher and usually there was some sort of punishment to follow for the child. Things have really changed.
Now we are so exposed to all the terrible events around the world that to take a gun and shoot oneself or someone else is not unusual. Exposure desensitizes us.
There is so much anxiety and depression in children. I have mentioned that I see it as being related to parenting in such a way that children do not have a safe base….a place where there are rules and secure love. Children need limits. No limits is a scary thing. It means that no one cares what you do. No one loves you enough to set limits for you.
I can see some changes in parenting recently and I hope that the changes are for the better. I so want to see children grow up loved and secure.
Today is my husband’s birthday. He turned 80 years old. He can hardly believe it and neither can I. Time flies. It is hard to believe that in June we will have been married 55 years. It is so funny to think back to the 1960’s and it seems like yesterday.
Things were so different then. We did have color TV but no cell phones. Some people who were rich had car phones but they were bulky and the signal was erratic. We drove a 1962 Pontiac convertible. The windows rolled up with handles. The top did go up and down automatically. It did not have air conditioning. We lived in Army housing and sat out on the stoop at night to have fun with our neighbors. We had little extra money and our favorite thing to do was to play games or cards with friends. We only had one car.
We went to parties at the officer’s club and the dress code was strict. Men were not admitted at night without a tie and women always wore dresses. We did wear shorts and trousers at home or with friends. Bikinis were not seen at local swimming pools. People would have been shocked. Men never used “bad” language in front of women and no one ever used the “F” word.
Long distance calls cost money per minuet so the calls were short. Our communication was primarily face to face. We knew our neighbors and had volley ball games in the courtyard in front of our quarters.
Birth control pills were a new thing and there were questions about their safety since they were much stronger than the new ones. We could talk to our next door neighbors through the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. and my husband and the guy nest door had fun conversations while shaving in the morning.
Life seemed simpler then. We talked a lot with friends. We shared meals that we made ourselves and played games rather than watch TV. We spent more time with friends than we do now. These memories are fun to recall.
However, everything was not perfect. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Blacks were suffering major discrimination. LSD was one of the drugs of choice. Everything was not idyllic. It was time moving away from the simpler 1950’s into the chaotic 60’s. My husband was later to spend two years in Viet Nam.
When we deal with memories we can choose which ones we want and disregard the others.
My mind wanders. When I was in third grade I remember spending time in (what was called ) the coat closet. Not an actual closet but an area in back of the classroom where we hung our coats. This was because I was never paying attention. We would be reading a story and I would finish it in a few minutes and then my mind would wander.
My mind still wanders. I have to catch myself during a sermon unless it is riveting. I was bored sitting in on a mediation the other day and I started to wander off. For most of my life I felt that was one of my flaws.
Now there is a study that says that people whose minds wander score higher on intellectual ability. I really hope that is true. When aging you start to wonder if you are losing your mental acuity. My daughter who works for a big software company says that our RAM memory is full. That makes perfect sense to me. We receive so much input on a daily basis that it is no wonder we can’t keep up.
I keep worrying about the next generations and the input of electronic data. More and more children are being home schooled with computer classes. I understand why parents are taking this option but I do worry so much about socialization.
As a society, we are more lonely than we have ever been. We are lonely in spite of all the input because it can’t take the place of human interaction. I believe that we are hard wired to need others and not just on electronics. We need touch and face to face communication. We have long known that infants who receive little touch early in their lives are more likely to end up with anti social disorder. Touch is crucial to our well being.
I have always been a hugger. I plan to continue that. I don’t hug people if they seem uncomfortable but I will use touch as a means of communication. When I visited the sick for the church touch was a major part of what I did.
I know we do have to keep touch appropriate but to stop the healing touch would be a terrible loss. Touch heals.