Sunday, November 24, 2013

Black Friday, The New Family Value

For the past week or more, I've been listening to the complaint that the holidays are no longer enjoyable due to how commercial the stores are making it. I've listened to so much whining about stores opening on Thanksgiving that I'm almost more annoyed at the whiners than I am at the fact that both my DIL and granddaughter will be working on Thanksgiving. They are working because people feel the need to shop for all the deals on Black Friday. How else can you give your kids or your spouse more than you can afford to give at Christmas? After all, aren't computers, TVs, Ipads, X-box cell phones and other electronic toys all your kids need in life?

These stores could offer the same deals during regular hours. This wouldn't stop the habit of having some employees working in the stores while they're closed because all these stores must have crews to re-price the items going on sale. Yeah, those 15-20-30% off items you're standing in the cold waiting to buy? They were cheaper before the sale.

Back when Walmart used to open at Midnight on Black Friday there were crews in each of the stores on Thanksgiving raising the prices of the big ticket sale items. Then they'd lower them to the sale price. And then you would pay a price slightly lower than the regular price rather than 30% lower. It's how retail operates. With stores now opening at 6, both my granddaughter and my daughter-in-law will now be working Thanksgiving Day beginning at noon to start pricing changes for the big sale in their regular departments.

It isn't the stores that drive the commercialism of our holidays, it's the people that shop there. It's the people that choose to buy things rather than share themselves with others. It's commercial because a large segment of society wants to have something for nothing. And they aren't really getting anything that much cheaper than they would have paid during any other sale.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Cat's Feet Stink And Other Observations

I was going to fire up the scented wax melting pot I received from my cousin and his wife last year for Christmas. I have some cinnamon/spice scented wax cubes and I thought this time of year they'd smell nice. I washed the wax container of the pot out this morning before leaving for work and I got out the little plastic box of wax cubes. Those were sitting on the end table I planned to set the pot up on when I got home.

Demon Kitteh had other ideas. I guess he got bored and was playing with the box. Somehow it opened and he had all these cute little scented cubes to play with. Apparently cats have a warm enough body heat to partially melt the cubes. He had scented wax between his toes and all over the floor. Fortunately he didn't ingest enough to make him sick and it did wash out fairly easily once I figured out how to keep him still and he stopped scratching me. Needless to say, the aroma of scented wax will have to wait until I replenish my cube supply. Maybe tomorrow.

While wandering around the great wasteland called WalMart this past Sunday, I encountered slippers that look exactly like the pair in this image. Behold Si Robertson Character Slippers. Now, I can laugh at the redneck antics of the "Duck Dynasty" boys as well as anyone else can. I am, however, getting a little overwhelmed at the amount of Duck Dynasty "swag" WalMart seems to think we need in our lives.

You can't walk down the street or through any parking lot in the city here without encountering some wannabe with long pony tailed hair and a scruffy long beard. All wearing Duck Dynasty T-shirts, jackets and headbands. In WalMart you can even buy dolls, posters, calendars and (gulp) character slippers. There really, really ought to be a law, or at least some intelligence here? Less is more guys, you really, really don't need truck balls hanging from your hitch. Although when I feel like kicking something in the nuts, they might have a use.

And this observation is the root of what's wrong in our world.  The quote "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on it's shoes" is attributed to Mark Twain. I don't know who actually said it but that seems to be what happens every time a lie gets told. Even once the lie is proven as such people still continue to believe it. They see that it is spread until I almost think we're brainwashed into believing the first thing we hear rather than anything we hear after that.  Basic common sense and critical thinking have become extinct like the dodo bird. It's the one thing I truly dislike about the internet, it makes it possible to see to it that lies are spread with the speed of light. I keep feeling the need to scream "stop and THINK!" Doing that would be tantamount to pissing in the wind and you know what happens then. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Not Going To Sweat The Petty Stuff When It's All Petty Stuff

I've been up since 5 am and I don't know why. Well, yes I do, really. The cats woke me and I couldn't get back to sleep. I was lying there listening to the rain on the roof and something that normally soothes me back to sleep kept me awake and wanting coffee. The longer I laid there trying to return to slumber, the stronger the desire for coffee became so I got out of bed.

I didn't want to wake Hubby so I poured myself a cup and turned on the laptop, checked my email, answered a comment on my last post and began to mindlessly play solitaire. I do my best thinking while mindlessly doing something else.

I didn't go to work on Thursday because I'd picked up a stomach bug. Once the bulk of the action had settled down I logged into Twitter and found 2 fake tweets presented as if they were from me repeating tweets that originated from someone else plus added comments supposedly written by me. They were attack tweets designed to embarrass another twitter user.

Like any social media platform these days there's always drama. Since my early days online I've learned a thing or two and have managed to stay out of that sort of thing. In Twitter it's easier because you don't have to see those tweets if you don't follow the people involved. To the best of my knowledge I don't follow anyone involved on either side so I have no idea who has the right of it and I like it that way. However, there they were in my mentions, using quotation marks to falsify my involvement. Posted by someone I've never heard of because I don't follow them.

I objected to being dragged in, blocked the originator of the fake tweets and went on my merry way. I received a couple of tweets from the person they were designed to attack asking me to report the tweets which I did only because they were fake and used my name. I didn't write them so of course I'm going to report them as fake. I also posted a public tweet explaining they were fake. End of it right? WRONG!

The person being attacked is a retired journalist who has written a couple of books. She uses her own name on her Twitter account. She's very easily found online by Googling her name. She isn't someone I follow so I can't say whether or not she's a nice person. I do know that since she does use a real identity there, she's got skin in the game so to speak. Her reputation could be harmed by all this. On the other hand, almost all of the attackers don't use their real name although they've been exposed during this months long drama.

I don't know who's at fault. I don't care who's at fault. Twitter rules suggest that when dealing with this kind of thing you block the person and ignore them. Which is a lot harder than you'd think since most of the people involved will create new accounts and come after you again. Since being dragged into this mess I do now have some insight as to why. In my case I don't understand why I was included, nor do I understand why I'm not being listened to about being dragged into this mess unwillingly. My frustration at not understanding has made me want to argue with those who are doing this. I can argue until I'm blue in the face and it isn't going to matter one iota to them.

I'm a hypocrite since I only report matters that deal with me directly. I have spent days frustrated with that because others choose to bother me further with their nonsense and seem to feel that by not reporting things I don't understand, I'm condoning the behavior of their victim.

This morning while mindlessly playing solitaire, I realized they're victimizing themselves by their own behavior. They can feel free to do so without my help. I'm just going to continue to block those who try to involve me further and report anything that is attributed to me that I didn't say. Life's too short and I have better things to attend to.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sometimes Getting Old Gets Ugly

The hardest part of my job, for me anyways, is dealing with the clients who think I'm a paid housekeeper to order around at their whim. That's not what my job is all about. It does include housekeeping tasks, however the main issues I am there to attend to are personal care, ambulation, nutrition, safety and if there's time left, housekeeping. I'm there for two hours and personal care and meal preparation, depending on how much assistance is needed, can take more than half that time. Laundry is another time suck since most of the clients live in apartments and laundry rooms are usually on a different floor.

I have a client in her 90s who wants housekeeping only. Her care plan, provided by the Office of the Aging who pays for half of her care is very clearly marked as needing a certified Level 2 PERSONAL care aide. Housekeeping cases are marked Level 1. I don't do housekeeping cases because I'm a level 2. All my cases are personal care level 2 clients who understand that if they ask me to do an additional task it means something else doesn't get done. I am limited to time. I don't get paid for extra time at a clients.

Cleaning the kitchen for a Level 2 client means wiping counter tops, spills off the front of cabinets. Removal of science projects from the fridge, disposing of said projects, washing the containers, wiping down the shelves and the door and door handles. Stove tops are wiped down, cannisters are wiped down and floors are swept and mopped. It does not include emptying the cannisters, washing them, drying them, refilling them. It does not include cleaning the oven, pulling out the burners on electric stoves, pulling up the catch pans and using a hammer and chisel to remove years of accumulated spills. It does not include defrosting of the refrigerator either.

We vacuum traffic areas only. We do not move furniture nor do we spend time pulling cushions off furniture to vacuum under them. We don't wash walls, although if provided with something effective we will swipe around ceiling edges and corners to remove spider webs. We don't stand on step stools to do this.

I can't dust in that house without knocking things off the shelves and table tops. In a case where so much is on these pieces of furniture, client is supposed to remove these things. She said it didn't matter, there was nothing important so I took the feather duster and tried it. I knocked things down that suddenly became antiques. Fortunately nothing broke.

I did the cannisters for her. I vacuumed the furniture for her. These things took time so I didn't get the shelves in the bathroom cleaned out nor did I do the bathtub since there was an issue with the faucets. Water was leaking so steadily from the back of the spigot I was afraid to turn the water on in order to rinse the tub down. Had it broken off we might have had a serious issue. I also didn't dust that week

I arrived yesterday to hear how sick of cleaning her house after I clean her house she is. Apparently her bathroom sink and toilet got really dirty the day before I was to arrive and she was expecting company. The tub issue was being worked on by maintenance and he wasn't too careful where the dirt went, but this was all my fault. The faucet handle in the tub is absolutely black. In her world, this did not occur because the maintenance person made a mess, it occurred because I didn't clean it a week ago.

We have a tremendous turn over in help and I've begun to wonder if maybe that isn't occurring because of the way these clients treat the girls sometimes. If you talk to the coordinator or the supervisor they do nothing except to tell us we don't do something, but we can tell the client they can call the office with any questions. In other words we are on our own but can't be rude to the client.

Life isn't always fair, I don't expect it to be but I am damned sure I won't stand still for being treated disrespectfully no matter how much older than me a person is. I like my job and most of the time I not only like my clients, I care about their well being. I do have to say, this woman is making it very, very hard. I'm beginning to run out of excuses to make for her behavior and I'd really hate to go through life thinking she's a bitch.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm Not 10 Foot Tall And Bulletproof Any More

The joy of trying to meet my nutritional needs and the totally opposite needs of my husband have defeated me. I require high fiber, complex carbohydrates, he requires low fiber, low residue carbs. Since I work and have other responsibilities I'm usually too tired at the end of the day to cook meals for both of us and I tend to eat what he's eating. Also, it takes more money than I can muster to buy what we both need. I try, but I'm doing it in a way that forces me sometimes to make a choice between what I need to eat and what I need to take for medications.

If I buy every one of the nutritional supplements plus my blood pressure medications I don't have enough for all the high fiber products like quinoa that I really need. I tend to stretch the supplements by not taking them as often as I should. I know better than to skip the beta blocker or the Lisinopril that I need to control hypertension. I don't take, as often as I should, the supplement that acts like a diuretic nor the one designed to keep the arteries and veins flexible.

The weight loss has come to a standstill because I'm not eating the higher fiber, and my smaller size clothing has become snug because I'm not taking the diuretic supplement. I know it's water gain since my right foot and ankle blew up last night. Potato chips. I'm thinking it's the potato chips and the failure to take the diuretic for a week.

Since August of 2012 when Hubby wound up in the hospital I haven't been taking very good care of me. I've been buying only the veggies he can eat, and eating applesauce along with him instead of the apples. I stopped buying quinoa since it's $6 for a small amount at the health food store. I've been eating white potatoes, white bread and pasta instead of the whole grains and brown rice. This has to stop. I'm not sure I know how. I'm also pretty sure I need to learn how.

Fortunately I have enough of the diuretic supplement to tide me over for awhile. Picked up the large bottle at the doctor's office last week. I took a dose last night when I found my foot and ankle swollen up like that and another one this morning after breakfast. The first dose took more than half the swelling down.  It's supposed to be taken twice a day. I think if I get my food intake where it needs to be, once a day will be enough, but for right now, I'll do the twice a day the way the doctor ordered.

I'm on a 4 day work week. I may need to switch grocery shopping day to Saturday instead of Monday. That will give me Sunday and Monday to prep what I need to eat and store it in single portion size with my vacuum sealer. Then all I'll have to do is take out of the freezer what I need to add to whatever I'm making for Hubby's supper.

Today I'll crunch the numbers and see if I can't find enough to stop at the health food store. If Brenda is there, I'm sure she can help me with some ideas. If I could pick up 4 more hours at work, I'd be pretty well set and could shop there every week for what I need. We'll see how things go.