FOWC with Fandango — Kudos

I got a note today telling me that our appointment with the pre-op people on July 9 didn’t appear to exist. UMass has communication problems. No one seems to talk to anyone else around there.

For an entire year, I tried to get an appointment with a medical oncologist for a checkup on my (at that point) relatively recent bout with two different forms of cancer. It never happened.

Every time I got close to the appointment, the doctor’s office called to tell me he had a meeting and I had to reschedule. It happened six times, after which I changed medical plans and went back to a facility that always took care of me.

I never saw the neurologist either. When I got there, they told me I didn’t have an appointment. When I got home, they called me to ask me how come I missed my appointment.

I managed to survive those two experiences, but this is a pre-op for Garry’s cochlear implant. I have no more patience to deal with this nonsense. I don’t know what their issue is, but they need to fix it.

I called everyone and got disconnected. Finally, I called the hospital’s general directory and got someone who connected me to the actual doctor’s office and she said she was sure we had an appointment and connected me with the secretary in the office and she said she was also sure we had an appointment. Which means that there’s nothing more I can do.


I have no doubt about the skill of the surgeons or the medical abilities of the team, but I am deeply dubious about the hospital’s ability to manage simple communications with each other.

So kudos to me for spending my entire morning calling a hospital, getting disconnected, and continuing to try until I finally got answers which I hope turn out to be the RIGHT answers.

Grant me a small indulgence as I struggle to get what’s left of my temper back under control because this drives me nuts. I figure when you make an appointment and you show up for that appointment, the next thing to follow will be seeing the doctor (or whoever you are supposed to be seeing). Eventually, someone will tell you what — if anything — they have found.

This has not been the case with UMass Memorial and I don’t understand it. I’m still breathing heavily.

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen. Up in the air, upside-down.


Denial: When refusing reality is as good as it gets.

From dumbest to smartest, no one is exempt from it. In fact, I think that the smartest of us are the most clever at making denial seem perfectly rational. We combine denial with massive rationalizations to create an alternate reality that others may actually believe. If you write it down, it’s called “a novel.”

I went through that with each dog, each cat, my need for (and months of) rejected heart surgery. I went through denial when my brother, mother, and first husband each were dying.  Ultimately, with each person, I took a mental cold shower and did what needed doing.

There are times when denial is your only defense against an intolerable reality, between life and death. But it needs to be temporary. Reality has a nasty habit of intruding on even the finest construction of denial. Reality has an attitude while denial is thin and translucent.

In small doses, a little denial can go a long way to soothe a frantic soul — as long as you have a fundamental understanding you’ll have to face reality soon enough.

None of this applies if you are extremely wealthy and can comfortably retire to a distant, yet somehow perfect island in a faraway sea. In fact, I think a lot of our top one percenters live fully in denial.

Problems? What problems?


Flowers of My Day – The Big Basket of Begonias

Lacking fuchsias, this summer’s deck flowers are a ruffled hanging geranium and its elegant companion, a rich pink begonia.

Not quite a real macro, though using a macro lens

Both plants would probably be happier — or perhaps more enthusiastic — if they had more direct sun. Nonetheless, they seem to have settled for dappled sun and a hefty dose of water.

More macros

Unlike my indoor plants which have to beg me for a drink, the outdoor hanging plants get watered daily when the weather is warm and sunny. They are watered every second day if it’s cool and cloudy and of course not at all when it is raining.

The hardest part of shooting these was getting an angle where the sun wasn’t burning out the color on half the plant. It would be easier if I had a longer reach and could shoot downward.

Both of the hanging plants are doing surprisingly well. Lots of deadheads to clear away. Those are difficult for me to reach. It isn’t arthritis. I’m just so awfully short.

We are having a heat spell right now and the intensity of the sun makes the flowers appear to glow from within.

JUNE IS SQUARE – ROOF 27 – Garry Armstrong

It’s that time of year again and squares are back! 

How many roofs do you see? I haven’t counted them all yet.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer). Your roof can be;

A – Any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – It could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – You might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.

See you tomorrow!