Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Move This Here and Put That There And Cozy Afghans Too

This weekend we had a tease of cooler weather.   I am happy to be living in a locale where there are definite season changes.   It's perfect for someone like me.  I tend to get get fidgety when things stay the same for too long.  I suppose it's the reason I frequently re-arrange my furniture.

I reflectively and mindfully understand that re-arranging things is a way for me to have control over something, while at the same time distracting myself from worrying about things that I have no control over.

An important factor that usually preempts a re-arranging episode is the acquisition of a new piece of something that I have to find a place for.    In a way, I suppose the acquiring of things is another example of a benign way to rearrange my "life".

I would describe the moods of acquisition and re-arranging to be obsessive and compulsive, respectively.

Ross will testify, in awe, of the many times he has left the house, only to come back to find a huge armoire moved from one room to another or the bedroom flipped all around.

The most recent rearrangement happened yesterday at 6:00 a.m.

There was a course of events precipitating this one, which I will attempt to describe.  It may seem rambling and have no context, but at the end it will all make sense.

I am an enthusiastically compulsive knitter and crocheter.  In conjunction with my hobby, I have joyfully acquired and accumulated massive quantities of gorgeous yarn.  In knititng/crochet lingo these yarn quantities are referred to as stash.

Most crafty people are constantly either oohing and ahhing over their stash or they are having extreme feelings of guilt.  It's a back and forth kind of experience.

For the past month or so I have been in the guilt stage of my stash.

I thought the best way to accomplish an effective de-stash was to knit and crochet blankets or afghans.   Blankets and afghans use up a lot of yarn.

So in two months I completed one afghan and am halfway through another.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that over many years I have knit or crocheted over 50 blankets and afghans.  Most of those have been given away as gifts.

I also have quite a collection myself.  Some are slung over the backs of sofas and chairs. Others are folded at the foot of beds.

I have come to understand that these creations, which have become a welcome part of our home,  provide comfort and warmth for not only us, but for many of our guests.
They are within easy reach and are often the first object the kids grab when they settle in to spend the weekend.

They trigger memories of my mom's last days when she stayed with us.  She loved our bright sunroom and would often nap on the sofa, covered up with an afghan that she herself had crotched.  That afghan, now lovingly draped over "her" sunroom sofa is a bitter sweet reminder of my mom.

As I worked on my recent afghan project,  I stopped now and then to admire the design of the stitch and the color choices I made.

When I looked at the individual blankets here and there around the room, I began to see them not only as comfort pieces, but as works of art.   It was then that I decided they should be displayed that way.  At that moment,  the compulsion to find a blanket rack kicked into high gear.

I began the search with our local second hand shop.  It was my lucky day because I immediately found a rack in very good condition.  I think I paid five or ten bucks for it.

But, I could only fit three blankets on it and I definitely have more than three.   It took me a couple of days to find another one.  Which I did at Goodwill.

Now I had two blanket racks displaying three blankets on each one.  But I had no place for them.
They needed a special place.

On a sleepless Monday, at 3:00 a.m. I began planning my furniture re-arrangement.  By the time I got up out of bed at 5:30, I knew exactly what was going to be moved and where it was going to be moved.

When I am in my re-arrangement mania, the adrenaline is pumping.   I can lift, haul, carry and push if necessary, heavy and awkward pieces of anything. By the time Ross got up that morning, I had moved around and or swapped two chairs, a lavender wicker desk with matching chair, a table, a foot stool and a storage chest.   I'm not quite sure I like the wicker desk in that spot.  I think it needs a piece of art on the wall above the desk.
I do like the blanket racks and the way they show off my creations.

I am content...for now.

 Are you a "re-arranger" or are you one who "likes things just the way they are?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The What and The Why of It All

It's here I come when I am troubled. 

I often find that when I sit in front of my computer to write a post, I start with two intentional W's.
The "What" I am going to write about and the "Why" I am writing about the "What".

The What is normally straightforward.  It's usually an easy task to simply lay out the facts.
The Why, though, the Why takes more thought.   The "Why" may require more delicate handling.  I may have to prick my finger on a thorn or two before I am able to express the pain of the wound and ultimately be able to show you the beauty of the rose.

But today, the What and the Why seem to have switched roles.

Today the "feels" of the Why are eager to escape. They are wild, but hardly carefree. 

Today, the What cowers, hiding, in the depths of the thicket.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

There Is A Code For That... Or Is There?

A week ago Ross experienced  an unusual medical episode.  It happened mid afternoon on a Friday.
We weren't sure if was an anomaly or something that may reoccur.  I suggested we call Ross' primary care physician.

The call was picked up by the answering machine with the following information and instructions:
      "The Doctor's office is closed right now.  If this is an emergency please call 911."

I suggested Ross call one of the specialists he sees.   That office did pick up the phone.  We explained what Ross had experienced.   The receptionist determined that since Ross wasn't having difficulty with that doctor's particular proficiency, we should call his primary care physician.
We told the receptionist that the primary care physician was not in the office.  She suggested that if we felt we couldn't wait until Monday, we should go to the hospital emergency room.

We tried another one of  Ross' speciality doctors and we were told the same thing.

Our health insurance has a service called "Nurseline".   The nurse would be able to give advice about who you should call if you are unsure about which type of physician you should contact based on the symptoms you are having.
We told our "story" to the first "nurse".  She listened to the whole thing and then explained that she wasn't a nurse.  "I only handle insurance claims," she said.   I can transfer you to the Nurseline.
A pleasant woman answered the phone.  I asked if she was a nurse.  She said yes.
I told our "story".  She said, "Would you like me to set up in-home nurse care?"
I was confused because what we were describing would not have required in-home nursing care.   I told her that we thought we were talking to someone who could direct us to the type of physician we should be contacting.   She said, "Oh you want the Nurseline."  I'll transfer you.

We finally did speak to the nurse from the "Nurseline".  She told us to contact our primary care physician.

And around and around we go.

I called our Primary Care doctor first thing on Monday morning.   I asked if Ross could come in that day to see the doctor.  The receptionist asked why he wanted to be seen.   I admit I was being a little vague, on purpose.  I thought Ross would feel more comfortable speaking confidentially with the doctor.
"He's just not feeling right," I said.   She pressed for more details.  I finally told her that it was a follow up visit to a recent emergency room visit.  Which it kind of was.
She told us that the earliest Ross could be seen was Friday.
"If you feel he needs to be seen before then, I suggest you go to the emergency room."

I suspect the receptionist was pressing for us to state a more specific reason that Ross wanted to be seen was so that she could find the proper code to check off on the insurance forms.

Of course if we thought what Ross experienced was an emergency, we would have sought immediate care.

I remember, not that long ago, if the doctor was not available in the office, the patient would be able to leave their phone number and the doctor would return the call.

I also remember, maybe a little longer ago, when the doctor would agree to meet you in the office, during off hours.

I understand and appreciate the fact that there have been incredible advances in the science of medicine.

What I don't understand and do not appreciate is the fact health care seems to be driven by whether or not you are in or out of "network", whether or not your insurance is accepted and whether or not "there is a code for that".

By the way we did see the doctor on Friday.  He is a good doctor.  We like him.  He was reassuring and we felt much better after he spent time with us.