Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just a spoonful of sugar

My dad and I had spent the last few hours discussing insulin and blood sugar levels with his doctor at the Veteran's Administration.
We'd been summoned because my 90-year-old father has been coming up short with his insulin syringes.
His nurse will leave seven for a week and come back to find he's run out — two days early.
She's reported him to his doctor, suspecting that he's taking double doses a couple of times a week.
He is arguing that someone has been taking the missing syringes and he's just fine, thank you very much. No one needs to worry or tell him what to do.
While we waited for the doctor, he told me how well he's eating and how he watches his diet and is careful to be careful.
He said he is fairly insulted to be told that if he doesn't start taking his medications correctly he will be moved to the assisted living wing of the care center.
He told the doctor she doesn't need to be concerned.
So we left, after thoroughly reviewing the past few weeks and deciding we would have my brother create a timed lockbox for his insulin.
I had orders to get him some glucose tablets to keep on hand if his sugar levels drop and he is supposed to redouble his efforts to keep track of himself.
It was well after noon when we finished so we stopped at an I-Hop for lunch.
I know my father likes the Talapia there. (Me, not so much).
We went in and got seated.
I ordered a BLT, my fallback for times when I'm too hungry to make a new decision at a place I rarely go.
"I'll have that!" my father said, pointing to the front of the menu.
I was taken aback.
He was pointing to the picture of the Strawberry short stack of pancakes complete with fluffy whipped cream and powdered sugar.
"But, dad," I protested. "That can't be good for diabetics."
"That's what I want!" he said, "And I'm buying."
I was too surprised to fight very much more other than to weakly suggest the Talapia.
"Isn't that your favorite here?" I said.
"Not today!" he said and proceeded to shoo away the waitress who dutifully returned with his pancakes with the whipped cream on the side.
"Umm. This is really good," my father said, scooping the cream onto the pancakes.
"They don't have anything like this at the Legacy Center."
I can't imagine why not...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who do I know in Granada?

I'm pretty careful when our cell phone bill comes.
I always look it over to make sure Marc hasn't gone over our minutes or our gigabytes for data or done anything expensive.
So when we got a bill awhile ago that included $8 and something cents for call to Canada, I quizzed him immediately.
Unfortunately for me, fortunately for Marc, the call turned out to be from my phone and ultimately it was my fault for calling to interview a guy whose business is in Canada.
I remember being a bit irate that I had no way of knowing I was calling a foreign country and thus no way of seeing the bill coming my way.
This time, the funny charge was for $1.69 for an international mobile call — again on my phone, not Marc's.
I racked my brain and couldn't come up with any story or interview I had done that would put me in another country.
Marc looked it up for me and found it was for a call to Granada on New Year's Day.
Now why I would be calling anyone on New Year's Day I couldn't imagine.
Sometimes I call my brothers who both travel all over the world for their work but usually there are no odd and expensive charges that come with those calls.
I looked hard at the number.
It seemed vaguely familiar....
I thought back to New Year's and I remembered getting a call that sounded like a 2-year-old in distress trying to talk to me.
Now, as a grandma of several dozen grandchildren, those kinds of calls aren't really unusual. Sometimes they're just calling to tell me about a potty training success. Sometimes they just want to come to grandma's.
But this one, I couldn't get anybody to respond and so after I tried for a minute and failed, I hung up.
Later I saw a news story about a cell phone scam going around where somebody would call and if you picked up, it sounded like a child in distress on the line. They would then hit you with a $25 charge.
I checked the number I had in my cell phone memory. It was the same as the one in the scam.
"Yes, there it is," Marc exclaimed after he pulled it up. "Is this the number?"
Verizon was very nice about it. They're taking off the charge and they said they appreciated the notice. The FBI is also interested in my experience. Thousands of people were as foolish as me.
They did recommend I not answer any phone calls in the future from numbers I don't recognize.
So if you call and I don't pick up, leave a voice mail. If you are not calling from Granada, I'll call you back.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dining with the stars

I think I wrote about this a year or so ago...about getting an invitation to the old folks dinner in our ward and not understanding what was going on until we got to the church?
This year we recognized the event when we were invited.
There was no question.
We are among the "old folks" in our neighborhood and once a year, the young men and young women in our LDS ward treat us to a dinner.
It's really quite nice and we appreciate the effort.
They make the meal, serve the meal, sit with us and tell jokes and sing songs while we eat.
It's a gift from them to us, a chance to bridge generations, make new friends.
The problem is Marc and I don't generally think of ourselves as old folks.
We look around the pews at church and see a lot of young families and people with fewer wrinkles and not as much gray hair but we stay firmly in denial.
We can still walk around pretty much without help and one of us can even still ski. We both still work and contribute to society.
When someone mentions "old folks" I think of my father who is in his 90s and pretty much losing touch with reality.
I went to lunch with him last week at the real "old folks" home.
Everyone around us was toddling and parking walkers.
The lunchroom featured lots of sugar-free menu items and easy-to-chew foods.
There was plenty of air freshener flowing in to mask the smell of medicine and age.
To me, that was an old folks dinner.
And I was just yet.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Come in, get out

I understand the stresses on libraries these days.
The budgets are tight. The needs are great.
But after my daughter (who currently has one hand in a cast) told me about getting all the kids ready for Storytime and then being turned away, I can't keep quiet.
She lives in Lehi and the kids love Storytime. They try to go every Thursday.
They enjoys the books, the DVDs, the activities and the library overall.
However, apparently everybody does so the library has instituted a policy requiring pre-registration.
One day a month, patrons in good standing can sign up online for the day and hour they plan to attend Storytime. They are asked to print out a ticket and bring it with them.
I'm assuming they're getting slammed so this is a way to control the numbers and make it possible to manage the crowds.
The problem is, nobody told my daughter until they arrived, full of eager anticipation, anxious to get in out of the cold.
Then a young guard stopped them at the door and said they couldn't go in without a printed ticket.
My daughter was surprised and dismayed.
The kids cried.
Even after my daughter explained her situation and pleaded for a little mercy "this first time" there was no wiggle room, no changing of the minds.
She was told to go home and come back with a ticket which is only a problem if she can't figure out how to predict when the baby might still be napping or one of her girls will be sick.
She needs to read the future with pretty good accuracy because the library also doesn't want anyone signing up and then not showing up.
The new policy seems unreasonable to me especially when their mission statement says “The Lehi Library will promote life-long learning for all patrons by creating a welcoming atmosphere where learning is encouraged.”
The new policy and the rigid enforcement feels like a contradiction to "welcoming."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gymnastics time warp

It was obvious after a while that the floor judge at the gymnastics meet we were attending was going to take his time.
Everybody was finished with the other events and piled up to do floor while he figured, erased and figured some more.
He was a trial.
Now I know it's important to be careful.
One shouldn't rush.
I know it can't be easy to judge any gymnastics competition.
There are SO many things to look at from the ways the toes point to the complexity of the tricks involved.
My daughter, who is a gymnastics coach and often a judge, has sometimes tried to point out to me the difference between so-so and really well done and all I can really understand is that a flawless routine takes years of hard work, a bit of luck and serious focus.
So nobody wants a judge to hurry and make a mistake.
But this guy was meticulous to a fault.
He really thought things through, at a snail's pace.
He didn't seem to notice that there were 30 or so kids waiting to do their routines, peaking and cooling off while they waited.
He didn't pay any mind to the events co-ordinator standing and waiting next to his table, obviously itching to move things along.
He didn't let anybody push him and I suppose that's a good thing.
It was just really hard to wait and watch everybody else wait too.
He can be forgiven though because he gave my grandsons the good scores they so richly deserved and you knew it wasn't a casual decision.
Both boys placed in the top three of Levels 8 and 9!
Maybe the turtle judge is the one to send to the Olympics.