Archive for November, 2018


This diabetes is frustrating me. I don’t even have it and it’s frustrating me. My mom has to have blood sugar checked several times a day and I do it. First I used one meter, then, due to insurance, switched to another brand and now use that meter. I won’t say what meters because I’m not sure the issue are the meters or me.

One thing I would like to say is that those test strips one needs to use are expensive. I can’t believe the price.

Anyway, expensive test strip rant aside, I thought, hey, the meter will be right. I can test the blood and I will get a correct reading. Apparently it’s not that simple and for awhile I was thinking one meter is way off. But how to check?

I do some research which says the doctor’s office can help out. The doctor’s office says the pharmacy can test the meters. The pharmacy hasn’t a clue what I’m talking about. I call the company. They’re a bit helpful and send me this liquid to test the strips. When I get it and test the strip, I’m still confused. There’s a range you check for, like it should be between 70 and 110 or something like that. The test strip reads 92 so I guess that okays but it sure doesn’t tell me if the meter is working right or not.

So, I ask this one lady who’s had diabetes since she was 16. She’s about the best resource I have. She loans me her meter and I do a check. Three different meters. The numbers I get are 201, 221, 223 (I don’t know why the readings were high, it’s always a lot lower.) The meters Mom owns come with the last two numbers. So, I still don’t know.

But I think I’m getting to know when an off number hits, like it’s way too low or too high. Then I’ll check the blood with the other meter. It’s the only thing I know what to do now. I suppose it’ll get simpler as time goes on.


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Halloween Costumes

When I was young, I always had to be Puss In Boots. I had one of those cheap costumes that came in a flimsy box. Inside was a one piece cat suit with fake fur on the cuffs. One stepped in and the top was tied in the back with strings. The mask was plastic that got warm after one breathed in it awhile. It pinched too a bit. I think I supplied my own boots. My sister seemed to be always a gypsy.

Then, one year, I decided to be something different. Way different. I went as the Webster’s Dictionary. This was essentially a box colored to resemble a book. On top were the letters ABC that framed my face. It was a neat costume, but hard to maneuver up and down stairs. After one go around, I went home and changed back to Puss In Boots costume. I had a little high water in it, but other wise it still fit. The best part was that I got to the apartments I’d already been to with no one the wiser. More candy for me.

From then on, I never went back to a store bought costume. I was hobo and a drunken sailor complete with (empty) beer bottle. It fell out of my pocket in one of the stairwells and shattered. I was embarrassed about that and was going to clean it up, but this nice lady said she’d do it.

As years went by, I was a bag of garbage, an aviation mail carrier, and, more recently, a bar of chocolate and a garden gnome. The latter cost all of $1.89 for poster board and fake spider webbing that became my beard.

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Imagine living in a loving family of nine. Parents. Grandmother. Two sisters. Three brothers, the newest of them twins not even five months old.

Imagine leaving your home with only yourself and the two surviving members of that family. Little Susan and your father.

That is Tareq’s life. It is Syria, and the bombs are dropping. There’s nothing left but more bombs and Daesh (ISIS). Hope is hundreds of miles away, through Turkey and on, to Greece and a journey of losing more of oneself.

Ms. Abawi is herself a refugee, from Afghanistan, and is now a foreign correspondent who’s lived in the Middle East and Asia. This is a timely book that shows the horrors of war and illustrates what a war refugee yearns for, peace and to be with their family, what family they have left. It was heart wrenching to read of Tareq as he sees the dead bodies of his youngest brothers. Gone before they ever had a chance to live. It was with horror how I read how people you’d think were there to help, didn’t. But it was also heartwarming to discover those who did help and worried about the refugees. At the front of the book there is a quote from Fred Rogers and it’s repeated in the story ‘Look for the helpers.’

This book offers a look at how people lived in Ragga, an ISIS stronghold, and how refugees crossed into Greek via inflatable boats, trusting they may make it alive in flimsy inflatable boats using counterfeit life vests that could do more harm than good.

For teens and up, a definite read to help understand a culture in crisis.

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There’s always a problem when you assume something rather than making sure what you write it correct. You could think it’s true, but the truth may be very, very different. Like when I wrote in my Charleston story it’d be easy for former slaves to find family members after the Civil War. So wrong. So, so wrong. Thank goodness I found a book that set me straight.

I suppose that’s one reason why I like writing science fiction over historical fiction. I can make up all sorts of stuff and no one is the wiser. As long as it sounds plausible, it’ll pass muster. Not so, with history or contemporary fiction. Then I obsess over what I write. Is it true? Did it really happen? Is this place really where I said it was?

I read a book recently and the author had The Time Machine written by Jules Verne instead of H.G. Wells. I’m thinking, hah! That’s not true. And I wonder about the author. That’s so how not what I want to be perceived.

The problem is that sometimes I can’t find what I want to know. I need some information on funerals in the 1800’s, but it’s for a specific location and during a specific time. All the books I’ve looked at are too broad. Even trying to contact the Funeral Director’s Association didn’t help. They never got back with me. A pity. Now, I’ll need to be ‘broad’ with my funeral.


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Dear Hamish

Thank you for the post card from your trip to Glasgow. ‘Tis bonny you got to attend a class at university on veterinarian medicine. I was sorry to hear how you were ambushed on your way back home with a pretend case of the sheep pox the twins made up. I am hoping the dots they put on their skin will last a long long time. ‘Tis a pity their wool will grow over it.

Pawnee has gone on a writing kick and has moved from Haiku’s to ‘serious, sheep-related fiction with depth and feeling.’ If you can figure that out, let me know. So far it’s all about Ian Ian McSheepface going off to work. What work he does I dinna know because so far he dinna has made it.

I hope I’ve gotten her to stop, but with that silly kitty you never know. She’s probably cranking out Ian Ian McSheepface stories like she did her horrid haiku. Although some were actually nice except they were of cats. The haiku, not the stories.

Maybe I shall write a sheep story. Maybe I won’t. I am leaning toward the latter.

Must go, have a client for new croft for me to build.

Will speak later,

Yours, from the colonies

Angus. McSheep.

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