Weekly Chat (Non-Osprey), 24 February 2019

  • Good Morning. Glad your check finally arrived, DIANE.

    AQ. - Amber is the same, she loves to re-read her books. I bought her a new one, about cat pirates, as she loves any pirate references, and that was a hit. Both my OH and I had to re read it several times :-)


    Just watching Trump squirm as he tries to explain why he was unable to Save the World.......

  • LINDA - "Just watching Trump squirm as he tries to explain why he was unable to Save the World......." - Love it!

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    LINDA – pleased to see your Friend is in hospital which will take some of the strain off her OH, but it doesn’t sound good at this stage. 

    AQ – pleased it was an easy nanny-day – sounds as if they are growing up a bit now.  Sorry about continuing hot temps.

    ANNETTE and OTHERS – I wouldn’t be able to sit through all that legal and political TV, although I agree there will be ongoing rumblings for weeks/months to come!

    DIANE – so so glad the cheque arrived!  Are there any “proper” paid editing jobs around?

    JANE – pleased to see that your injuries are healing; do take care.  Good that the wee cat has come through the winter – how long before she turns up with kittens?  That happened to us with one we fed soon after we married – she had relocated from the farm to have her babies, and once she had them weaned, she went home and left us with three kittens!

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    Another stage into old age: got onto Council's Telecare service yesterday - long assessment, and then the job was done.  I am now wearing  a call pendant - but had a choice and got a smart black one rather than the big red blob in the middle of a cream pendant (that made me look nearer 90 than 70!) and part of the package was a smoke alarm (so now we have a row of three down the corridor) and a CO detector (now we have two of those)!

    OH finished cutting back perennials and hoed the bed yesterday morning, so that completes the deck area - apart from my plan to change the planting in the troughs along the edge.  Today the cleaner is here now, and in the afternoon I have my rheumatology check-up at the hospital in Dumfries.  should stay dry here today, and even tomorrow, but definitely cooler with white cloud all over.

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    Received this from GD-in-Law yesterday:

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  • LINDY - if there is no hope for G, my wish for her is that she will be kept comfortable and slip away quietly. Sending hugs to you.
    OG - good idea to have the help call thingy. Sheana next door had one, I was the first person they called. The Dane's father had one. In his case it went straight through to the nearby council run home. A lady on a bicycle used to arrive very quickly!
    The gulls and odd corvid are still banging away on the dormer roof. There has to be a hefty sized carcass up there. I'll ask the window cleaner to investigate - he is due any day now. The man with long ladders!
    My Welsh friend is still in hospital and can't get home because she lives alone and can only use one leg to hop with, using a frame.
  • Heather: That's awful about your Welsh friend. Is her family involved at all, at least in making arrangements? Had to smile at the Dane's ER-on-a-bicycle program; it sounds so.....Danish.  I wonder if the lady doesn't come with a bag of (what we call) Danish pastries.

    OG: Kiddie photo is a treasure! What a smile on that little cutie - and the baby too! (Sorry, have completely blanked on names.) Didn't realize they were making "smart" call pendants but good for you - definitely a smart decision. Re your question to Diane about editorial jobs. Just from my own experience, jobs in the print field are increasingly rare with most of them on the East Coast around NY, with much smaller pockets on the West Coast. Even big-city newspaper have cut back so much over the last decade or so that those staffs are stretched thin. We have a couple of local magazines here, but they're advertising-driven and very life-style-y. I worked for two nonprofit "association" magazines published by large organizations whose main business wasn't publishing, but which had the money to publish magazines that pushed their agendas and/or services. In my last job, the association was legally required to communicate monthly with each member (regardless of how many individual members lived under one roof!) and also had good employee benefits (a real rarity these days). That's the group I still produce frivolous blather for every month or so. So I was lucky. So much is done online these days and I doubt there's much in the way of job security there. I was recently offered a chance to freelance for a San Francisco lifestyle start up but don't fancy taking on more work for not much money. Diane is in a specialized area however, so have no idea what her options might be - and shouldn't be speaking for her!! :-)

    I swear we could be in England for all the gray and wet! :-)

  • In reply to Original Goldfinch and Eagle-eye:

    OG-Iowa has a TNR program (trap, neuter and release program) as many other states have, When a cat has been trapped, taken to a Vet and neutered, one ear is clipped as a visual alert, the cat is then released at the place of capture. This cat has a clipped ear so I can feed and help it survive without worrying about unwanted kittens,
    Your G-Granddaughter is beautiful!!
    I am impressed with your National Health System, something we lack. I have had ramps built. bought wheelchairs. hearing aids. crutches. etc. etc....all out of our own pockets. My daughter was 12 before the Disabilities Act was put into law. She had to go to a school for the disabled for which we paid tuition and we could not insure her (preexisting conditions) until then. I could go on and on......and this is just her, I won't even start on what the cost was for my OH.....sorry for the rant!
  • bjane: That's distressing to read about the money you've spent for various items. We have a Loan Closet here, which is run by the Visiting Nurses Association, where you can borrow -indefinitely - items such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc., which helps just a little bit. Still, it leaves families paying for all the other stuff (don't get me started on drug costs, which are in the headlines right now). You have to spend down any assets to a pathetic level to qualify for federal/state aid. I don't see the new Medicare-for-all platform going far but do hope the Dems can get in in 2020 and make some meaningful changes. Nice that you can feed that cat without worrying about waking up to a kitty litter! California just passed a law saying that pet shops (not reputable breeders) can sell only dogs, cats and rabbits that come from local shelters/rescue groups as a way to get rid of puppy mills, etc. They're currently watching for loopholes and potential offenders...

  • Annette- yes, we have Lending Closets here. After my OH died, I donated many items to one of them. The Lending Closets are wonderful for people who have a somewhat temporary need for them, even years. People with major disabilities usually need equipment that is measured for them. My daughter needs a wheelchair that has specific pads and leg rests that help keep her sitting up and her legs on the footrests. Fortunately, I no longer have to pay for these, as she has Medicare and Medicaid for the disabled. Before the disabilities act there was nothing except institutional care for the severely disabled. My daughter's problems have progressively gotten worse as the years go by. but she is insistent on trying to live independently (with aides that come in to bathe and dress her). I am only a substitute aide for her now and I also manage her medications and her transportation to medical appointments. 

  • Lots for me to reply to......

    We are very grateful for the various kinds of help we get from the NHS. Everyone has paid into it, however, so we feel it's an entitlement, usually. Now and then there are complaints about what is not available - for instance, at this very moment there are several cases which are in the news because people have been refused medications which are extremely expensive. Sadly, if they say Yes to someone who is a special case with a rare condition, then it can divert money from other needy departments and in the present climate of being short of money in the NHS, it's understandable. The NHS has been a successful organisation until recent years, when it all got too large and was in danger of having too many managers and accountants rather than nursing staff at the point of contact.

    Now they have to try and modernise it without dismantling it. It's been sad to see it change but the nursing staff and most of the medical people within it are real heroes, working hard to do their best in difficult circumstances and often understaffed. Occasionally it's frustrating: we had our tiny local hospital closed much against the wishes of the local population. Several years later, it was announced that what was needed was a way of releasing people from "blocking" hospital beds as they were not sick, but on the other hand, they weren't strong enough to go home yet. It was almost laughable, as that was exactly what the function of our local hospital had been....

    Sorry, that turned into a rant. But the hospital I'm speaking of was used by both my mother and other people I knew, as a stop gap between hospital and their release home. And it's within walking distance of here, and - -- its still empty. So sad.

  • We were intrigued to see that many of the cats in The Canary Islands had a nick in their ears, or else the tip of the ear missing. Later, we found out that a charity was neutering as many strays as possible. It's turned out to be a very successful idea, as there are now nothing like as many strays everywhere. We also found out that quite a lot of the cats get adopted by holidaymakers, and are flown off with their new owners to various parts of Europe.
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    My Friend has had scans, and her cancers have not grown in the last six weeks. The doctors are at a loss as to why she feels so ill. They're putting her on drips and trying to find out what ails. Her OH is of course keen that she gets as much help as possible and that she gains strength before being sent home again. Sorry, I didn't mean to go into such detail as it's boring to those not involved.
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    I got my hair cut and the hairdresser knocked my glasses onto the floor. I tried not to panic as although I have old ones I wanted to wear the newer ones on holiday. Thankfully they're OK. And my hair feels much better now!

  • OG - Beautiful photo of your Little People.

    I won’t be on computer for long today. Already 33 C by 10 am, expecting 40, extreme heat warnings as hot north winds. OH is saying he is catching bus to city for lunch. I mutter “Mad dogs and . . .” I have cabin fever, but no use going anywhere until cool change next Monday.

    Previous state govt built a new whizz bang OTT expensive main public hospital in our city with less beds AND closed the old one. Surprise, now not enough beds. For months ambulances have been “ramping”. That is, the poor patient remains in the ambulance in the receiving bay for hours. Thus holding up ambulances from going out to other patients. Last week a 90-year-old woman was ramped for 8 hours before admission. Already there is talk of some patients’ health being compromised. At $2.3 billion the hospital has the dubious claim to be the third most expensive building in the world. How many beds? 800.