It’s the end of a not so merry week in this murky month of May.  The weather Gods have not been kind to many people in the United States. I guess we should be happy not to have volcanoes, flowing lava, tsunamis, mud slides, blizzards or raging forest fires.

Think positive, always think positive, a political pal (currently in jail), once preached to me.

I found the shipping place!
In, get receipt and off I go!

The early wake-up had me in a sullen mood from the start. First stop, drop off a package going back to Amazon. We don’t put collars on our dogs when there are no ingredients listed for the product.

Next, the audiologist for a checkup of my hearing aids and a peek inside my ears. We’re already in the consult stage for cochlear implant surgery that may restore my hearing for the first time in my life. The hearing aids are clean, if not pristine, but one of my ears was in trouble.

Park here!
See audiologist here

I already knew the answer without asking.  I’ve done it again!  Over zealous use of Q-Tips with a piece of cotton firmly wedged deep inside my left ear.  My “good” ear.

I could see Marilyn giving me “the look.”It will be her “You’ve done it again” look.  I will have to schlep to the PC for help. If I could my punch myself in the face, I would. My excuse?  My ears were itchy and moist, so I’d probed deeper than I should with the Q-Tip the previous evening. Karma is my  frequent guest.


Not done yet, it’s off to the pharmacy at Walmart. Neither of the pharmacies we normally use had the script, so I had to go to Walmart. But, the staff was friendly and accommodating.  They laughed when I asked if someone could probe my ear for the delinquent piece of cotton.

My self-anger grew darker. I really know better. This is not the first or second time. Me and Q-Tips have a long and complex relationship.

Suspiciously empty parking lot

The parking lot at my PC’s office was unusually empty. Voila!  In and out for me,  I thought.  Wrong, Beano breath.  It was lunch hour. The offices were closed.  I sat for half an hour,  tapping my skull in sync with the “Beavis and Butthead” theme. Agony flipped to ecstasy when my PC showed up, smiled compassionately and quickly flushed out that devious cotton shred. Joy couldn’t mute the stupidity I felt.

The mower guy

Suddenly, I realized I was hungry. Starving. I’d been rushing since I awakened to complete all my errands. I hadn’t even drunk a cup of morning Joe.

Later, I passed some time with a fellow manicuring the lawn across from the medical complex. He burped, recounting his recently finished jumbo sandwich. My stomach repeatedly growled as I watched the landscape-whisperer.

I was drooling when I hit our local Deli.  Naturally,  there was a long line in front of me.  People slowly selecting lottery tickets.  My stomach sounded like an inferno.  Mother of Mercy.  It was longer than any Mickey Spillane-Mike Hammer wait.

Finally,  journey’s end. Back home to Kachingerosa.  The furry kids were full of energy, no doubt anticipating a blue plate luncheon.  They’d wait this day.  The odor of the dog’s playground did little to placate my hunger.

It was hard to face myself today where I was the perp on everything that went sour.

Adios,  Bad hombre!


What constitutes a complication?

When does the complexity exceed the nature of the problem to the point where someone would really rather die than have to deal with all that “stuff”?

For example — it’s dinnertime but the shrimp isn’t defrosted and you can’t cook the potatoes because you ran out of onions. Home fries without onions? Are you mad? Or, it’s Thanksgiving and the oven won’t turn on. How are you going to make that big bird? Turkey stew? Seriously?

But those things are simple when compared to medicine, doctors, hospitals, and tests.

The Front Door at UMass Memorial where they said I didn’t have an appointment

Life is a mess of complications and complexities and misunderstandings. I told you that, but you heard something else. You told me everything, but I forgot what you said — or even that you said it.

The older I get, the more simple I want life to be. I want appointments at a time when I can reasonably get to them, not at 7:30 in the morning following an hour and a half drive. There are some tests they insist on medically that are so complicated, I think I’d rather just die.

My favorite was the one where they wanted to examine my brain. It had taken weeks to even get the appointment. I got there, they’d lost the appointment. They made me a new one, but this one was so complicated, I was grateful when it came around and I had the flu and couldn’t go. Be there — in Worcester — at 6 in the morning. Get tested. Wait two hours for another part of the test. Wait until a doctor is available.

More of UMass Memorial

I said “Why can’t I just talk to a doctor and explain what happened? Maybe none of these tests are necessary?”

“The doctor insists,” she said.

Au contraire,” I murmured because I was the patient and I insisted I be allowed to talk to the doctor before testing starts. In the end, I didn’t take any tests. I was sure I didn’t need them. They were procedural rather than diagnostic. Expensive, time-consuming, unpleasant — and more than likely — useless.

Whatever is wrong with my brain, so shall it remain. I really would rather die. Sad, but true.

Too complicated. Call me crazy, but I think we should be able to talk to the doctor before they order a lot of complicated tests. Sometimes, you don’t need the tests. If no one talks to you, how do they know what you need?

The world is complicated, at least half the time because everyone is doing what someone else told them to do … and no one is listening to anyone at all.

No one is listening.
No one.

BEYOND A CENTURY … Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Over 100 Years Old

The Blackstone Canal was dug between 1824 and 1834. It was up and running almost immediately. In fewer than 50 years, the railroad took over and the canal became redundant — just another waterway in a valley full of rivers.

In many areas, the canal and river are one unit and in others, they separate and flow side by side. Where such separation wasn’t possible, locks were added to level the water for barges. You can see tiny canals and huge canals, designed for every kind of barge. The walkways we use were where the horses pulled the barges.

Sometimes, you don’t realize it’s a canal until you realize that it is sided with hewn rocks.

Birds feed there. Kayaks travel along the flat parts of the canal. Fish and turtles live along and in it. It has become another part of the river.