Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The tax man commeth

There are benefits to a small town and friendly people. I had a slip of paper in the mail box, addressed to me at the trailer, but delivered to my new street address. Bless their hearts. It was a notification of a certified letter at the post office. I thought about it all day yesterday, and the only folks I thought still might not know my new address were the owners of the trailer park itself, off in New Jersey. So, today I went to the post office and signed my name.

It was a letter from the Ohio Department of Taxation, informing me Everything Old is New Again had not filed for the last half of last year, and consequently owed six hundred odd dollars.  I remember little of what I did when I returned from rehab, but I was pretty sure I'd paid sales taxes collected last year. 

I signed on to the Department's new and improved (?) web site, and noodled until I found "History". There it was, the top entry. I'd paid the ninety odd dollars collected--on January 7th of this year. Seven days after I'd collected any money and eight days before it was due, and fresh off a broken femur (though they wouldn't care about that).

So, I wrote a letter, which I'll mail when I next go out. I probably could resolve it somewhere on the web site, but I'm still an analog mind in a digital world. I don't care how long it stretches out; I paid the money due.

I planted the mandevilla, as ever. The white, pink and salmon have been blooming profusely, but the red took its good time. It finally opened a flower yesterday, so on the way to the post office I took pictures. The red is the last picture. 

The red mandevilla. It looks more pink. Look to the far left of the white mandevilla and see the milkweed in bloom. We planted that from seed, and found a tiny praying mantis over the weekend. You can't have one without the other.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Analog mind in a digital world

When I bought the new car, the salesman set some of the "buttons" on the dash. Actually, there are no buttons, just screen after screen of digital information. I saw the clock go by. It was round. In a flash the young salesman had changed it to digital.

"Wait, wait! What did I just see. Is that an analog clock?" He flipped back; it was. I have an analog clock on my dash. You can have your fifteens! I understand quarters. 

This all came about because Beth and I were chatting at the show today. I asked her to look at my radio and see why it wouldn't stay on the hard to find NPR station. She said "What button do you want it on?" and went off to my car. I was ecstatic. NPR would have a button.

When she came back she said it was fixed; I had somehow set the radio to AM. When I came home, I looked at the dash. There are no buttons. The damn thing is digital as hell. However, when I turned on the radio, it was on NPR. Off. On. NPR. I won't ask.

The show today was not very successful; my sales were off by more than half. It was very hot; traffic was low. It seems the better part of discretion was staying home today, and so they did. Although it was mid nineties, and "feels like" probably exceeded that, we were comfortable in the back of the barn until half an hour before quitting time.

One other vendor stopped to chat the dismal sales today and said she has been concerned that inflation would impact sales. Food and gas are more and more expensive; money for non essentials will dry up. I'm not ready to admit that yet. I sold though the dot com period and Bush's bank and housing debacle, so I'll hold judgement for a bit.

As for that first of several tragedies about to emanate from the highest court of the land, I refuse to rant and rail. This is the culmination of the majority of voters who could go to the polls, over my life time, staying home.

The only way to regain liberty and the pursuit of happiness is to vote. I do advocate encouraging voters to vote. I hope they wake up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Another 'nothing to say' post

I suppose we all have something to say about the weather. The temperature will be in the low nineties for the show Saturday, according to my version of My daughter, who lives a mile from the cooling shore of Lake Erie, tells me it will be in the eighties. Either way, it will be hot.

It was hot for the last show, a month ago, for exhibitors set up out in the sun. We are in the barn, at the back of the barn. The sun cleared the roof and sent the sunshine creeping toward us about 3:30. The show ended at 4:00.

There is an upside to extreme heat at a show. There will be customers, and they will fill the barn, looking for shade.

I read a NYT article recently about the courts, and especially SCOTUS, poised to strip regulatory agencies of states, the E.P.A and other agencies of their ability to limit climate changing emissions. Read the reinstatement of coal fired electrical plants. The article outlines the placement of conservative judges to steer the subject into the conservative Supreme Court.

The argument is the Congress should be the source of these regulations. The reality is, Congress ceded regulation to the agencies that did the research and the math that no one in Congress has the expertise to engage in. Long story short, our bad air will become worse.

The title to my new car came in the mail this week. I took it and my old plates to the DMV last Monday, and saw that although our DMV's are independent of government, they observed the Juneteenth holiday. Good for them. I went back yesterday and transferred my old plates to my new car.

Jan and Tom are stopping by on Sunday. I already made sure Tom will bring some tool that makes noise to replace the temporary tags with my old faithful set.

I just went to the web for a picture of my plate type. Ohio issues too many kinds of plates, in my opinion. And I learned that the state is now recalling my old plate as being so old the printing is degenerating. Well, they haven't told me...yet.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Shoes and ships and sealing wax

Baby, it's cold outside! Today may have been seventy, overnight last night was forty something and the same is on tap for tonight. I just dumped my flannel nightgown and the extra cotton blanket on the bed, for tonight.

I went to the bed to change into my slippers. I have so little to write about tonight, I decided to include a picture of my new shoes.

And on the way back to the desk, I hit upon including shoes in the title of this blog.

Back to the weather: it has been roasting hot this past week, and after the brief respite, back to the nineties plus this week. There have been enough rain storms to keep the flowers wet, until a couple of days ago. I still did not go out to water until yesterday, and they were thirsty. So, I watered again this morning, in the cold.

The title arrived for the car, so among my Monday errands will be transferring my old plates to the new car. The fellow who sold me the car left the old plates in a fancy plastic envelope in the trunk, and said he even would put the new plates on for me. I will be taking him up on the offer.

The only other activities for today were weaving a couple of bobbins of a medium orange color, and packing the towels for this weekend's show. And now I'm out of anything to speak of.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Trail of breadcrumbs

Two pieces closer to solving the pain puzzle. At the beginning of this week the rheumatologist appointment finally came around. She was located in the next county north, and I did not enjoy the trip! It was the first available appointment, and she was most helpful. 

I learned there is no cure for osteoarthritis pain. There are therapies for relief, but no end to the pain except nsaids, steroids, narcotics and joint replacements. I will never be a candidate for a voluntary joint replacement, I no longer can take nsaids, and no rheumatic practice can prescribe any narcotic tier of drugs. I've known that last for years; it is why I have a pain management doctor.

This doctor wanted to sweep me into her practice, but I told her No. I have an endocrinologist who started me on the Reclast road, and I have a primary care doctor to steer me to other doctors. Once to Cuyahoga County to see a doctor was plenty for me.

So, that was rheumatology. Today I had an appointment for a massage with a highly recommended practitioner, for the IT band problem. I've had massages in my life, and this was unlike any previous. He explained his method is to retrain the brain from its paths of pain and back into its normal activities. I'll try anything once.

I can only compare his technique to Shake, Rattle and Roll. He shook and rattled most of my limbs to the point of feeling rubbery. Much more of me than I thought needed the shake down. The IT band loosened and eight hours later is still close to pain free. I'll see how it feel tomorrow.

That leaves me only my pain management part of the problem. My opiod prescriptions run for two months before renewal. Last month I asked the doctor to switch me from Belbuca, a tab that dissolves in my mouth, to Buprenorphine, a skin patch good for a week. The difference between them is financial. Belbuca costs me $300 per month; Bupren costs $100.  However, it is not nearly as effective as Belbuca. 

So, I will spend the money.

I am about three weeks out from my next pain management appointment, and I'll wait. Changing appointments, if even possible, only messes up the opioid powers that be, causing delays in receiving scripts. It makes me wonder why, if it is so difficult to be sold a prescription, why so many Ohioans are dying from opioid overdoses.

Red, if you are interested in the massage I had today, I'll ask the practitioner for the name of his method.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

It can only improve

I have barely blogged over the last six months. I think my output from flat on my back to rehab the broken fibula was higher than my current production. The truth is, it has little to do with producing towels and everything to do with pain.

My lower back has hurt for years, since I crushed T1 and 2, lifting a case of copy paper. I've come to terms with that; it slowed me way down, but never stopped me. I broke my tibia a few years ago. And both shoulders. And my fibula.  They merely added a cane to my repertoire.

What hurts now? This is such a cheap shot by my body that I am disgusted. The Iliotibial band in my right leg! Since I came back from rehab last December and started physical therapy, it hurts me so much I cannot swing my right leg. 

I've bounced from doctor to doctor like a pinball, trying to find answers and solutions. I've had three or four steroid injections. I've quit physical therapy; I'm only wasting their time and mine. At least I know the problem, thanks to the physical therapists. 

I have an appointment with a rheumatologist this week, because an orthopedic surgeon has pointed out a pocket of arthritis. And another appointment with a massage therapist, in hopes of freeing the ITB in my hip.

In the event you noticed the recurring theme of broken bones, yes, I have been diagnosed with brittle bone syndrome, probably inherited from my mother. Worse yet, it's been passed on to my oldest daughter, who, after several broken bones, was diagnosed with the same. 

I will ask for a new bone density test soon, after that horrid infusion of Reclast last March. Beth says if mine is improved, she'll take her doctor's advice to take Fosamax. So, end of the big whine. I want this to end and figure if I stand up and scream as my last resort, it will change.

In the meantime, I finally put my knitting ability back in gear and finished a pair of socks that have been languishing on the needle for two to three years. Actually, the first sock languished. I finished it last week, knit the second and immediately passed them along.

Why? Because my youngest granddaughter, Caroline, is going to college in the fall. In...Minnesota. I started a sweater for her, from a pattern I've used for ages.

It needs its sleeves begun much sooner, to eliminate so much underarm fabric, and probably made several inches shorter. Sweaters aren't that long these days.

Then I have these three skeins, looking like winter in Minnesota to me. This is a tossup. A nice rugby type, or a Nordic?

Sunday, June 5, 2022

A lovely weekend

Saturday was lovely, but cold. Well, cool to the younger generation, and by three in the afternoon, when the sun penetrated to the back of the barn, downright hot out in the sun. Beth had a decent day with the family's orphan heirlooms, and I had a very decent day with towels. Only one color is totally sold out, so I'm not behind the eight ball yet.

And then we had today. Caroline graduated high school. My last grandchild. Francis drove Ruth and me to Severance Hall so he could push me and the wheelchair into place. Ruth and I sat in the last row against the wall, Beth, France and Bill sat in the last row of seats.

The home of the Cleveland Orchestra is as magnificent as ever. And down on the orchestra's stage, the Hawkin class of 2022. You really can't tell from here, but the girls wore white and the boys blue. All the girls carried a rose, all the boys wore the rose in their lapel.  Here's a wonderful photo. It's so far away, my description is required.

The second row, forth from the left, is Caroline. I missed her coming in, and it took me a long time to pick her out. I was puzzled at the blue jacket, but when she walked across the stage her outfit was the blue jacket and blue short shorts. Terrific. I can't wait to hear her rationale. It will range from "I'll never wear the dress again" to "Sexist pigs!"

Small world. Caroline just phoned and I asked her to 'splain. And it is, "The girls were required to wear white, but there was no dress code for the boys." That's my girl. Also her mother's girl.

And to close, I've had a lovely bank holiday, celebrating the Queen's diamond jubilee with my friends across the pond, and my English sister-in-law. Hazel claims to be no royalist, but this celebration was no usual event. And let's hear it for Her Highness and Paddington.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Hello again

I feel it's been a month since I last posted, but it's only been three or four days. My brain and shoulders continue to sag under the sadness of killing of American school children. I am so helpless. I can only envoke my grandmother's call to action, "Pull up your corset strings girls, we have work to do". Vote. Get out the vote. It's become my mantra, my plea to the universe, Vote. Vote the principles of Lincoln, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. Persuade, Encourage, Influence. Liberty. Equality. Vote.

Something I have not done for months and months is binge watch television. I only have Netflix and several other channels, and for the last two weeks I have closed out Call the Midwife, Emily in Paris, and several other series. Flicking through the offerings, I came again on Downton Abbey, and started again with season one. I went along for several days, weaving a bit and the television.

Eventually I noticed a tiny disclaimer in the information lines that Downton Abbey was available to watch through May 31, at midnight. WTF. If I'd realized sooner, I would have prioritized my selections. I binged all day yesterday; I would watch until it went off the air at midnight last night! We got through World War I, and I glanced at the clock. It was 12:30 a.m. It was a gotcha moment; I'm locked on and will have this to watch to the end!

Then the realization, Netflix probably is a west coast company, and midnight still was three hours, as the world turned. I went to bed at once, so far beyond my bed time that two naps were required this morning.

Good news; I am totally packed for the show on Saturday. My last chore is to liberate some folding money tomorrow. The weather will be lovely. I reminded Beth of the list of what she must bring. She said the tablecloths were back from the laundry, and dazzling. 

I am weaving grass green, but it won't be ready for the show. K wandered by the loom last week and remarked on the color, agreeing it's name is spot on. K is from Texas, where grass is yellowish. She says her Ohio yard exceeds any Texas yard she had.

Sunday Caroline, my last grandchild graduates high school. The ceremony is at Severance Hall in Cleveland, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. It's a huge hall; I have not been there since I was an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve.

I was so happy to be invited, but had to confess, I could not walk from anywhere to my seat. I asked if someone would push my wheelchair. Beth called today with the plan. I will go to Ruth's house, with my wheel chair and France will drive my car, Ruth and me to Severance. Then, push the wheelchair to where Beth and Bill were saving seats. I neglected to ask if his new girlfriend would be with us. We'll see.