Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Now it's the Watercress Syndrome

If any of you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you may remember The Raspberry Syndrome. It is the notion that a person (i.e. me) leaves something beautiful/precious/delicious until later because this person (i.e. me) wants to save it for a really special time. By which time it has rotted.

Now let’s add Watercress. Watercress is not terrible common in Michigan. At least, it may be common, but expensive. Last week when I was in the grocery store there were lashings of watercress at $1.50 a bunch. So I bought some, added a little to the salad we were having for dinner and put the rest in a glass of water in the refrigerator. As I was poking around at lunchtime, what did I find but a glass of shriveled, dried out watercress? I chewed a few of the fresher leaves and they were so good, but the rest was a victim of the Watercress Syndrome. I’m not quite sure if I was saving it or if I had forgotten it. Either way, it was my loss.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It Happened Again, Sort of.

I have already written about the painful condition from which I suffer. If I mention it again, it is not because I want sympathy, but, I repeat, in case someone you know ever gets the symptoms and  has trouble getting a diagnosis. It happens,

Shortly before the wedding I got some pain, and since I was at my family doctor, he simply upped my dose of Tegretol, even though I was pretty sure it was not the electric pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia. I sailed through the wedding and the last couple of months. I had a routine visit with the neurologist, told her about it and said it seemed to be getting better. She handed me off to the dentist, who could see no problem. Now I do have a problem which involves eating and talking. If I do not open my mouth, I am fine. I sat by the fire all weekend. Great unless my meals consisted of things I could drink. Occasional comments were fine, but for the most part it hurt it hurt too much.

When I wrote about the kind of blog that repels me, I forgot to mention anything which mentions “rant.” I feel myself launching into one. My neurologist (I ditched Boris and got a highly recommended doctor, remember him?) has a large sign just inside the door which proclaims that the purpose of the practice is to deal with pain. But a phone call to the office never connects with a human being. My husband called to make an appointment with the neurologist and was told the first opening is in May! And when I do go, I will probably meet with a Physician’s Assistant. Nice women but as Ernie says, “Dr. V*** is not unlike the Wizard of Oz.” Without meeting with me he prescribed a painkiller, but the insurance won’t pay without the right paperwork, which the office failed to supply. If they are so concerned with pain, they must prescribe it all the time. I finally fought my way through their switchboard and my pharmacy is also trying to sort this one out, but —O.K. rant ended.

As I was in the middle of this, I got a call from a friend. His father-in-law has developed this condition and he needs advice. So it isn’t rare. Be on the look-out for it.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Hitting a Man when he is Down.

I started this post yesterday. I came up with a title, tracked down an illustration or two, then had to decide whether to look up a few basic economic facts, or watch the end of March Madness. Had I got around to posting, you would all be amazed today by my prescience. Maybe you would have given me my own hedge fund. Maybe not.

My post concerns J.C. Penney and pajamas. I needed pajamas, and still do. I looked for replicas of the Karen Neuburger garments I have, and started off at Macy’s. My have they gone down hill, and in all honesty, I poked around the internet and don’t think the pajamas are still being made. I may be able to score on ebay, but I don’t have the patience.

Here’s the economics bit. Ron Johnson was wooed away from Apple to be the CEO of Penney’s and he was following the Apple mantra of “Keep it Simple, Stupid”, at the same time introducing new brands. I even wrote him a note shortly after he took over praising some of his new policies. Then things broke down and shares dropped in value, sales dropped as much as 75%.

Back to pajamas. I was offered pages and pages of “garments” like this

I could have had a lace-trimmed sleep short or a stretch lace chemise. The words Flirtitude, Donatella and Jezebel kept cropping up and when I closed the windows in disgust, I was asked to rate my shopping experience. After rows of “On a score of one to ten, did you enjoy shopping at J.C. Penney today?”, I was given the opportunity to write some comments. And I most certainly did. I remember starting off, “I am a 73 year old grandmother and I am looking for appropriate night wear. I have been a customer of your store for almost 50 years and your records will show the amount of money I have spent . . .” I went on to express what I thought of this junk.

This morning I came downstairs to find that Mr. Johnson had been fired. Do you think it was my fault?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Today's History Lesson

Barnes and Noble puts out a nice series of biography/history books for children.  We first found some in the store several months ago and tried to order some of the missing volumes. They are not all available, but we were able to purchase enough to augment the grandchildren's Easter candy and we spent an enjoyable time trying to figure out which books were the perfect match for each grandchild. PelĂ© would have been perfect for Manny, but it was not to be had, nor was Eleanor Roosevelt, who would have been a great example for one of the girls.

One of my granddaughters received the biography of Abigail Adams (and these books are no means as dull as they look. They are nicely illustrated, with ingenious side bars, interesting timelines and fashion facts) and I swear I did not ask for an essay before they left. When I went down to tidy up the basement, I found this: Abigail and John Adams died on July 4, 1826 (er, no.) They had a life before they died though. They didn't watch TV.

 I am rather partial to the blog Confessions of a Ci-Devant which I  list in my right hand margin. But you must admit I am beginning to give him a run for his money.