Monday, January 30, 2012

Remember Doogie Howser?

Recently I was talking to an old friend (old in both senses: duration and age) who was bemoaning—as oft we ‘old folk’ do—about the relative youth and inexperience of many of his healthcare providers.
As a case in point, he told me about a recent incident in which he needed to be seen at his clinic after he fell. He made a same-day appointment with a Physician Assistant.

He swears this story is true:

"When the Physician Assistant came in to examine me, she spied the large birthmark on my shin."

 Physician Assistant:    "Oo-o-oh, what’s that?"

 Old Friend:                 "It’s a birthmark."

 Physician Assistant:   "Hm-m. How long have you had it?"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh, Canada . . .

As of today, I am the proud parent of a naturalized Canadian son! Although promising allegiance to the Queen of England felt a bit odd to him (his words), he now stands in solidairity with his wife and child. How nice that Canada is receptive to the idea of a citizen of the USA wanting to salute the same flag as his Canadian spouse.
Granted, my son needed to live as a permanent resident (green card equivilent) for a specified number of years before applying for naturalization. And he had to wait a while to be scheduled for the citizenship exam . . . but all the requirements were reasonable and did not break the bank of his family, as he waited for the correct time lapses.

Don't get me started on how different the USA's naturalization process is . . . how expensive and unreasonable and ultimately futile for some applicants to prove to Immigration they're worthy of citizenship, despite being married to US citizens and/or parents of US citizens. Don't get me started, either, on the undocumented workers in our country who perform work citizens won't stoop to do, but who are given no reasonable way to become contributing citizens.
I am sure my son will do his new country proud--even though he probably isn't going to take up hockey any time soon. That mountain biking and cyclo-cross is plenty enough Canadian fun, eh?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sorry you can't see them, but . . .

two river otters swam by this morning, among the few inhabitants of our neighborhood who appear to be  enjoying the icy rain that is currently coating the snow cover. Seattle has made the national news with an atypical winter storm that's messing up traffic, business, and attitude. I feel so lucky to be retired and relatively unfazed by this weather-event, but I do remember vividly the amount of angst a storm like this one caused me in my working days. Work can be hard enough; getting to and fro shouldn't make it twice as difficult.

On the plus side is the amount of attention we've received from far-away offspring and relatives. "Are you OK?"  "Warm enough?"  "Keeping dry?"

Yes, we're fine. The snow even gave us an excuse to dip into the hot chocolate mix, a holiday gift from my niece, Kate. Oh, and yesterday it gave us an excuse to whip up a batch of chocolate scones that our friends, Kay and Sandy, gave us for Christmas. So when the storm disappears . . . and the sun comes out, the temperature warms up, the ice melts, the snow turns into water whooshing down the storm sewers . . . Hubby and I will still be fat and happy, like our friends, the river otters.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bloggin' and sloggin' into the new year

The year 2012 marks the third calendar year of this blog. Although I’ve slowed down in terms of postings, I’m enjoying it far too much to let it disappear. My goal is to add something approximately once a week . . . let’s hope I can stick to my intentions.

From the beginning, I’ve carried links on my blog to blogs written by friends and relatives. I’ve done this because it’s friendly, fun, and a professional courtesy to my fellow bloggers. Some of the blogs, however, have gone dormant, prompting me to remove links. I hope a short sabbatical will refresh those who are sagging from the responsibility of  researching and/or writing informative, entertaining, and amusing blogs. But those blogs that remain--I salute!

I’m guessing very few blogs in the world are updated daily, as my cousin Margie’s is with MargsPets. Her diligence in animal rescue efforts has triggered hundreds of fans and followers. Her prolific postings and often humorous pictures elicit daily comments in the dozens from people all over the country.

BigMatty is written by a former boss who was a particularly knowledgeable and competent superior (I didn’t have a lot of that kind, believe me). Now I’m finding him to be an exceptionally gifted blog host. His writing and photography talents focus on travel, food, and drink, which make delightful vicarious enjoyment for stay-at-home readers.  

Forty-Mama's author is connected to me in a deep and dear way, but to say more, would be to reveal her identity, which she chooses to keep private. Her blog was the inspiration for my blog, because I thought, “If someone, who is as busy as she, can do it, so can I!” Lately she’s slowed down the posts—not surprising, given the age of her children and her busy professional life.

The newest blog linked to mine, Around Puget Sound & Beyond, deserves the attention of all residents of the Puget Sound area. Originally, I added the link because was a start-up by a former neighbor and one-time house sitter of ours. But it’s so fresh and fun, it seems destined to become a local treasure. I hope you’ll check it out and talk it up. This is a blog that deserves regional attention.  I—who have lived in this area 80 percent of my life—am astonished at how many places nearby that I’ve never even heard about.

Last year I coined the term, “blogged down,” which is self-explanatory. I recently read that of the millions of blogs currently written in the U.S., about half of them fold within six months.

Hats off to those who persevere.   

Friday, January 6, 2012

Personal Masquerade

Meet Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, one of our family's favorite Beatrix Potter characters. Here she is, masquerading at a family function half-a-year ago. See those little "hair-pins" sticking out of her cap? Perhaps its her prickly side that makes her so lovable.

There's something about masks that appeals to people--to some of us, anyway. Can we become someone else if we look different? Masks appeal to me, especially, at this time of year. You see, I don't make resolutions. Instead, I put on a mask of "Neat and Tidy, Organized and In Control." It's fun . . . for about a week.

I pretend for a week, or so, that I'm going to spend this year completely on top of the litter of a household. I make promises . . .

This year I will NOT let myself get snowed in by a paper blizzard. Today I will look through all the stacks of paper I've set aside since summer, then file, respond, shred, or recycle . . . whatever is appropriate. And I'll keep it that way all year. (Ha!)

This year I will NOT let myself get swept away by the flood of clutter in drawers and cupboards. Today I will empty drawers and clean high shelves. I will re-compartmentalize contents, fill a thrift-store bag with unnecessary accumulated 'stuff.' And I'll keep it that way all year. (Ha! Ha!)

So it goes . . . my mask will soon be off. One thing I won't do--and I am certain of it. Unlike Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, I will try very hard NOT iron anything but table linens.

Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's mask and my mask of organization have one thing in common--prickles. It's amazing how ornery I get when I'm organizing 'things.' And that might be just the reason to quickly get over my "try-to-get-on-top-of-it" attitude. Yet, I have to boast just a little: the surfaces of my office, including its drawers and shelves, are exceptionally tidy today.