Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Day of Contrasts

After a day of holding my feverish youngest who wouldn't let me put him down to get any housework done, my house is cleaner than it has been for a while.


Former trip to the doctor:
Call doctor with feverish toddler yanking on ears.
Get appt. for the next afternoon with a PA (if you're lucky)
30 minute drive to clinic.
Arrive at clinic.
Sit in waiting room for 30 minutes.
Summoned by nurse.
Cursory check by nurse.
Wait for PA approx 15 minutes up to 45 minutes.
Cursory check, write scrip.
Stop to pay. Argue about submitting to insurance. Leave without paying.
Drop scrip. Go home. Make dinner.
Go back for scrip.Wait for ten more minutes. Told they only have enough for two days.
Two days later, go back. Wait for 30 minutes.
Six months later, receive bill from doctor's office for $120.

OR: Drive to Walk-in clinic, wait 45 minutes. See a nurse practitioner. Get scrip. Pay her $62. Have it filled at clinic. Wait 45 minutes. Pay $30.

Call clinic at 4PM. Told to come in. Now.
Drive 1.5 minutes to clinic.
Five minute wait while filling out paperwork.
Nurse. Cursory check. Leaves.
Enter doctor.
Checks ears. Writes scrip.
Check out. $55.
Drop scrip at pharmacy next door.
Five minute wait. $5.


Recycling before the move:
Pay company $5 every other month.
Throw recycling into provided container and place at curbside every Monday.

Recycling now:
First, list of recyclables is so ridiculously confusing I'm flummoxed as to how anyone knows what can and can not be recycled.
Separate recyclables.
Drive to recycling center.
Which is only open twice a week.
Two hours at a time.
get out of nice warm car.
Place separated recyclables into individual containers which are only labeled slightly better than if they were in Chinese. (For instance, if we are supposed to separate green and clear soda bottles, why is there no demarcation on the containers of which goes where? And why are the #2 milk containers across the lot from the other #2 plastics.)

Get back in car.
Restore warmth to fingers.
Cost: numb fingers and bruised thumb.

Apparently I'm only as green as curbside pickup.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Martin Luther King Jr

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

"have a dream that one day...little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blog Fodder

Blog Fodder.

This is what my mental state says to me when I'm thinking about being irritated. Blog Fodder. Sometimes it works. Today, for example. When I'm thinking there could be an entire blog called Only in (or Near) the 'Boro. And may yet be. Should I grow some motivation.

So, my driver's license was stolen/lost/misplaced last Monday in the Worst City (that I have to visit occasionally) On The Planet. I am also attempting to have a moment of selfishness in my week and attempting to put my youngest in preschool JUST so that I can have two days a week with my TV and a Yoga video. In order to do this I must vaccinate my youngest who, some of you might remember, had a NASTY reaction to vaccination last year. And, since I've moved, I really need to go into the DMV and change my address and get new stickers for my tags.

Hmmmm...this is sounding boring. Hope to fix that.

I now live in a place where the driver's license place and the public health department and the DMV are not open every day. I also live in a place where the building labeled the DMV is not actually the DMV, it is the snowplow place. Story number one.

I look up the address for the DMV (county courthouse suite 105), the driver's license place (county courthouse suite 102) and the public health department (main street) and find the only day they are all open as I must drive TEN MILES to get to them. (This is a big deal. Never mind that I'm used to driving 20 minutes to get anywhere (except Target)). Why drive the ten miles three times when you can do it once? It is, after all, in our rival town where you just don't go (unless you would rather have Gambino's pizza instead of the Hut).

This is mostly tongue in cheek, I must admit.

So, after false starting at the DMV/Snowplow place (as there is no address anywhere on this building, how am I to know it isn't the right DMV?), I find the courthouse where there is all angle parking and all on the other side of the street and off of one way streets and seriously confusing me, but not quite stopping me from making a J turn and hoping against hope that no police will see me do this illegal manuver as I have no license.

I enter said building where none, I repeat NONE, of the offices have numbers anywhere on the doors. I do finally find one labeled <--vehicles where I enter and tell the woman at the desk my story. Long and complicated as it is. I've moved, I've lost my license, I need to change my address and get a new license.

I am not in the right place. I know you are shocked.

She is kind enough to explain the procedure which is to wait until the door (down the hall) opens, and when that guy comes out, I am next.

What? I have to wait? (She says, tongue in cheek again, as she is used to standing in line for a minimum of 45 minutes to get a driver's license).

But while I have to wait, she does change my address on my vehicles so that I can get new stickers for my tags and I can (thankfully!) get my tax bill. (eyeroll) She prints out the forms with my change of address (that she doesn't require ID or proof of change for) on them and hands them to me.

I go down the hall where I wait patiently for the guy to open the door and come out, which he almost immediately does. I go in where the woman tells me "You can't come in here!"

My bad.

The guy isn't done. He just needs to go get some cash. (CASH! Can you believe it? I have brought cash, but only because I can't find a checkbook and though I was sure they took credit, I feared they did not. It appears I am correct. HA! OK, moving on.) I crawl back into my hole, or the bench outside of The Door, whatever the case may be, to wait my turn. The guy leaves the building.

I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

At which point I try to text my husband that only in (or near) the 'boro, does a driver's license place wait for someone to visit the ATM before taking the next person in line. As I am textually challenged, I give up on that and put my phone away. Eventually, the woman across the hall from me (who is in line behind me) asks, "Where do you think he needed to go for his cash?" and I replied, "Apparently an ATM in the 'Boro." (Ten miles away, might I remind you, as he has been gone approximately ten minutes). We laugh.

We wait some more. At which point the lady across from me says, "I should know you." And I told her, "Probably not."

I was wrong, by the way. We eventually decided she knew me because I was a cheerleader 17 years ago and was very visible at that time. As cheerleaders cheer towards 300 people, the 300 people have the advantage of knowing the five of us while we see a sea of faces. And our boyfriend. And probably his parents. And maybe ours. She said I looked exactly the same to which I replied, "Which just means I still have, Hello, I Graduated in 1994 Hair." She laughed. And then I said, "(her last name), I knew a (her last name).......Judy." And she said, "My mother." Ah. Contact established.

I'm not even safe leaving the house ten miles away. I saw as many people there that I knew as I see at Alco. And here I thought I'd get the afternoon off of the "How do I know you" game.

Anyway, the guy comes back with his cash. The lady takes his picture. He leaves. My turn. I explain my dilemma. She looks sad and asks if I have ID. Which I do. Since I intended to travel to Israel last year, I had a passport which SHOULD be better ID than a driver's license. But do I have proof of address? Why no, no I don't. Except for this DMV thing that she just printed next door. That'll work.

Seriously? That woman asked for NO proof, no ID, no nothin' to change my address (though I could give her my name and the county the cars were registered in and my former address, so I guess a total freak would probably not have all that info?) and THIS is all the proof of address I need?

Anyway. Get my driver's license. Head to the public health department which has its own issues, not the least of which is that I know yet another person. However, in this small town they actually TURN ME AWAY for reasons that I won't go into now and which don't really apply to Only in (or near) the 'Boro. The fact that they exercised caution and sent my son away without vaccinations is something that would never have happened in the city where they treat me like an imbecile every time I darken the door of the PHD. For this I am grateful.


I think I can get used to small town living.

Aside from the fact that Target is 55 minutes from my front door and they won't let me open a bank account because I have no driver's license even though they know my parents, in-laws, grandparents in law, aunts, uncles, and watched me cheer for three years, living in the 'Boro is growing on me.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I'm Confused...

I recently moved to a place where I live among a sect of Mennonites (locally?) known as Holdemann. Holderman? Something. I think they are the "Mennonites" (no specific distinction) referred to in Beverly Lewis books. They aren't "Old" Mennonites who wear white caps, but drive cars, and aren't Amish Mennonites who wear white caps and drive buggies. They aren't what we refer to as General Conference Mennonites who, in my personal opinion, could very well be Methodists just as well, and they aren't Mennonite Brethren (which I will soon be again once I can acclimate myself to not dancing in church) who could be described as basically a Baptist without a weekly alter call. They are the Holdemann (whom I can't even spell....) who, when we moved to town in 1990 were known for their cotton shirtwaist dresses and Keds and could drive cars, but they couldn't have chrome on them or radios in them.

Fast forward 22 years. I've left, gone to college, married, had children, lived in the city and returned, the prodigal child. Back to the Mennonites. And what do I find?

*A Mennonite lady who is STUNNING, by the way, without makeup and I still question whether she had some on (not that YOU can't be stunning without makeup, but I sure can't), dressed in her sensible baby blue cotton shirt with DC plaid skate shoes and an Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie.

* A Mennonite lady in a red floral sensible skirt with a SLAMMIN' rhinestone studded, bedazzled AERO(postale) hoodie.

*A group of Mennonite teens at PF Changs. (Not that they aren't allowed to eat out, but I never used to see them in any restaurants where the plates are more than $5 a piece unless it was a Mennonite run establishment). I asked hubs if he thought they were on rumpspringe and he correctly notified me that they would have left their caps home should that have been the case. On the other hand, they weren't texting each other around the table like the group of men behind us. And they had chaperons. And who doesn't like a little Chinese food every now and then? I was there... 

* A Mennonite teen wearing a bubble vest over a tight black long sleeve tee (over her sensible skirt).

* A Mennonite teen in an Underarmour shirt.

*A Mennonite teen with fringe bangs hanging sideways out of her cap. (If it looks like they could have accidentally slipped out, that makes it OK.)

I'm sure this type of thing will cease to amuse me, but for now, I'm going to take all the laughter I can find. Tell me, how does a people group who is not allowed to have chrome on their cars, justify rhinestones on their clothing? And if they are supposed to be in and not of the world (as we all are) how does holding on the the sensible skirt designate them as very much different when mostly what a person sees is the top?

And, OK, I'm not a "rules" girl when it comes to faith, but when you are a "rules" based sect of Mennonite, where does it stop?

Hubs said, not entirely teasing, "They're losing them."

Rules are made to be broken. That is demonstrated all through the Bible. If you have a rule, people will find a way around it. The result can often look silly. Obeying the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

And I'm sure there is something I could say at this point to wrap this up all nice and tidy, but I've got nothin'. I'm just thankful for the freedom found in Jesus. And though I may look silly to the world at large because they don't understand....I guess I don't really care. So why should I care what the Mennonite's are wearing as if I know their rules better than they do? I guess I don't. But I shall find amusement in it for the time being, nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

After a move across the state, I petitioned the Lord last night for my children. That in their new school they would find favor. Would exhibit wisdom. Would make appropriate friends. Etc. etc. And I finished the prayer with my desire that I would use my free time in the day to build my relationship with Charming, reading to him, playing with him on his terms, rather than using the electronic babysitter so that I could "get something done" while the older kids were away.

Charming started this morning at 4:30. So while I'm frustrated and sleep deprived and trying to get my older kids off to school in a pleasant manner for their first day in a new school, Charming wants to be held, and cuddled, and held, and rocked, and held. Which is all well and good AFTER the kids are off to school and not so much fun when I need two hands.

In my exasperation, I complained to Hubs, "I KNEW better than to pray! You ask God for something and He answers in the most annoying way POSSIBLE! (complain, complain complain....rant for a few minutes....complain, explain what happened).

Tired of my rant, Charming, who is in my arms at this point (surprise, surprise), grabs my face and turns me to look at him and says, "Mommy, God is good, not bad."