Friday, December 13, 2013

The $60,000.00 Cuppa Coffee

We have some friends who are going through a very difficult time in their lives right now.  They’re a young couple with two small children, and E  has cancer. Unfortunately neither of their families has been terribly supportive; the good news is that they have lots of friends who love them and are willing to do anything necessary to help them out.  We consider ourselves fortunate to be among those friends.

E  has had a difficult time with the chemotherapy drugs.  His body has had some odd (skin blistering and falling off) and violent (excessive vomiting) reactions and the medication has been changed several time.  M has been struggling trying to get everything done.  She’s a full-time teacher, mom and wife, while honing her skills as a part-time researcher (trying to glean as much helpful information about the cancer) and taxi driver trying to get her hubby back and forth to chemo treatments.  We have another friend who recently retired and has been happy to transport E back and forth to appointments and such.

The other day M came flying into the office with a strangely irritated look on her face.  She told me that they’d received their bill in the mail for the first two months of E ‘s chemo; $120,000.00!  She said she nearly passed when she opened the envelope.  Thankfully they have insurance, so they don’t have to pay this amount but … WOW.  She was very animated as she told me about the bill and added a good dose of humor along the way.  She mentioned that they’d included a tear-off section on the bill where you could enter your credit card information and send it back.  Yeah, right!  I told her it was too bad she couldn’t send it back with an audible laugh track.  Then she said she knew how she’d get back at them.  She said that she noticed that they offer free coffee in the waiting room while you’re waiting for your patient to finish their treatment.  With a twinkle in her eye she said that she was going to tell our friend N to drink as much coffee as she possibly could each time she took E in for a treatment.

Yep.  That’ll do it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Little Christmas Mistletoe

A friend of mine came to work the other day with his pinkie finger all bandaged up.  Seriously - from knuckle to tip, it was all cozy and snug inside an enormous wad of bandages.  I asked him what happened and he said that he nearly cut his finger off Sunday cutting mistletoe for his son's Boy Scout fundraiser.  OUCH!

He went to the ER right away - where he promptly waited 5 hours to be seen.  Shortly before the doctor came in, he went out and asked someone if they thought his finger was still viable for a repair; they looked at, said 'Yes, there's still a little bit of pink left'.  A few minutes later the doctor came in and stitched it back together.  He didn't know how many stitches they'd given him, but he said it circles the entire pinkie in something that looks like a blanket stitch.  Again I say OUCH!

He brought the mistletoe in to work to sell.  A dollar a bunch.  Boy, that seems like a mere pittance compared to what I'm sure his doctor bill will be!

Anyway, here's our Christmas photo … oddly enough, with mistletoe!  (**Disclaimer:  No fingers were harmed in the photographing of this mistletoe.  Pinkie swear!)

The Great Pumpkin … Mystery

(I have no idea why part of this post, and all of the last post is in black…talk about your mysteries!) 

So I’m doing a little advanced planning.  I’m planning on making those adorable plush velvet pumpkins that are so popular in the fall (see, told ya I was planning in advance!).  One of the things I love about the pumpkins is that their stems are real pumpkin stems - which is what brings me to the advanced planning bit…

This year we had 4 pumpkins of various sizes and shapes on our front porch.  They will meet their demise this weekend to make way for something a little more holiday appropriate, but before they do, Kevin is going to carve off the pumpkin stems for me.  Four.  Only four.  Now, of course, I wish I’d planned even further in advance and picked up a few more pumpkins before they were all gone.  But alas, I did not.

However.  An interesting thing happened over the weekend.  Kevin and I were driving along one of our favorite routes and we passed a house that had bunches and bunches of pumpkins lining the wall, driveway and front porch.  The pumpkins were all shapes, sizes and varieties.  Sooo cool!  We passed in on Saturday.  Then again on Sunday.  I drive home from work that way, so Monday and Tuesday I spied the pumpkins again.  Finally on Wednesday, I decided to go up to the house and ask if, before they tossed them out, I could have a couple for my craft project.  I wrote out a slip of paper with my name and phone number and the word ‘Pumpkins’ on it to hand to the homeowner should they agree with my request.  So.  I ring the doorbell and a very nice lady answered the door.  I told her that I had a strange request.  She immediately told me that she was not the homeowner, but she asked if the request was about the pumpkins.  I said it was and asked if the homeowner was around, and sure enough, she was.  She joined the other lady at the front door and when I mentioned the pumpkins, they both giggled.  They said that the pumpkins really weren’t theirs.  The homeowner said that she woke up one morning and went out the front door, and there they all were...dozens of pumpkins!  Seventy in all.  She still has no idea who put them there or why.  It’s the Great Pumpkin...mystery!  She invited me to take as many as I wanted, wished me a Merry Christmas and that, my friends, was that!  I am now the proud owner of six more pumpkins with fun and unique stems for my craft project.  Yahoo!  

PS - She did mention that the pumpkins had been disappearing over the last several days and that I was the first one to actually ask if I could have one.  I’m glad I did the right thing and asked -- it was completely worth it to hear the story of how she acquired all of those pumpkins!

I Like Pie

At our school, we do our morning announcements on closed-circuit television.  Which is fabulous!  The kids love love it and it gives them a chance to have a live, in-studio, on-air performance.  ...the only caveat is that sometimes, 7th and 8th graders don’t necessarily possess the best on-air presence.  Often, the word ‘photograph’ comes out pho-TO-graph.  And though they’re learning, their inflections aren’t exactly, well, accurate.  For instance, years ago our Home Economics teacher had planned a food sale for after school.  It was around the holidays, and her students made various kinds of pie; the sale was a slice of pie for $1.00.  To promote the pie sale, she asked to have a blurb put in the student bulletin to be announced over the air the day of the sale.  The two student announcers that morning were supposed to have a  witty repartee about the pie sale; the final line was to be an enthusiastic ‘I like pie!’  However, the young announcer who delivered the line did so with a very somber - almost sad - face and a downcast ‘I like pie’.

Bless her heart.  She has no idea how many hours of entertainment she has provided our family over the years.  Every time, and I do mean every time, we talk about pie, invariably we all put on the most somber face we can muster and solemnly state ‘I like pie’.  Then we giggle and guffaw until the next time we say it --- no doubt an hour or so later.

Thanksgiving is a big pie holiday.  You guessed it … we like pie.  

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!