Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who Needs A Drug Program?

I turned sixty-five today. This has not been too much of a shock to my system -- I knew it would happen. But what is a shock is how much the Government wants to intrude in my life.

I appreciate having a Social Security account -- I don't see the money because the household budget takes it all. It's hard for a writer to know when she retires, anyway, but back a couple of years ago we were on vacation and the transmission went, so I "retired" so we could pay for it.

A month or so I went through the throes of finding a doctor and signing up for a "Health Plan." I haven't gotten around to see the doctor yet -- I've been too busy. And too healthy -- except I have a little cold, but that's nothing.

On NPR this morning they did a segment about the "Drug Plan" senior citizens are being lumbered with. It's already been declared a MESS! Too many plans, too many variables... Sheesh!

But this is where it stands for me. I haven't been to a physician since 1980, and that was because I have been in an accident and was in the hospital for three days. The only lasting effect was a hernia -- and I'm so lazy, the only way I would get a hernia is by accident. I had my last child in 1970.

I'm not on any drugs, so how would I have any idea what plan I need? I have an allergy to dogs, so I stay away from dogs, or take an over-the-counter allergy/sinus/cold pill. I buy a new box at the Dollar Store every year whether I need one of not. Some women take hormones -- I eat raw carrots once in a while.

I;m going to have to wait until I need drugs to sign up for a drug program -- and then probably have to pay a penalty -- for being too healthy!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Social Event -- Thursday

Today was our day to get groceries. We go to the Save-A-Lot, in addition to going to the "used bread store" (see Tuesday social schedule). We generally feed a family of three adults for about $60 a week. None of us are getting really plump, but we don't want to, so that works.

The Save-A-Lot has a good meat section, but in the rest of the store, most choices are simpler -- take it or leave it. They have a Mexican section I have yet to master. The frozen food cases break down often, but then, they were second-hand when the place opened nine years ago.

The benefits outweigh the liabilities. When you walk in the door, the checkout clerks yell "Hi," and ask how you are today. If the manager is around, he's friendly. The guys who stock the shelves will run and get something for you if it's back in the stock room and there isn't any on the floor.

Then there are the other regular customers. Today I saw a lady who is usually there with her three sisters, but one is shut in and the other had to take care of another family member today. Even though I have a cold, she had to give me a hug.

The checkout clerk went to another register to get me a bag of coughdrops when I asked her is they were carrying them yet this season. And on the way out, the fellow who stocks the frozen foods came running after us, saying that he has butter-pecan ice cream now -- he'd been out of it for a few weeks.

We'll have to go back Saturday to get ice cream. We can't disappoint loyalty like that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Old-time Movies

We were sitting around the table last night talking about movies. Our son had run across a new list of 100 best old movies, and we were skeptical.

About the only time I went to very many movies was when my husband and I were courting. The old Penn Theatre in Titusville, PA -- now a parking lot -- was a place to go for a cheap date, and particularly cheap for us.

The woman who ran the booth in front of the theatre knew my then-boyfriend slightly, and knew that he had a younger sister. And I looked much younger than I was. So she charged him the child's price for me -- all of 22 cents! He was in the service then, and didn't have much money, so he never told her any different.

I remember the night he got out of the service...we celebrated by going to the movie. It was Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor. We were early and were walking into the end of the movie just as Jerry Lewis opened his watch and it played The Marine Corps Hymn. We laughed so hard that we had to find seats quickly so people wouldn't notice us.

I haven't been to a movie in years...there are very few I wnat to see. The language is rough, the situations unwholesome, the prices too high. We wait a few years and see them on television or on DVD, make our own popcorn and rewind is we miss something. I guess the era has passed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Just When We Thought We Could Take A Nap...

I woke up from my afternoon nap to my wind chimes playing a Brandenberg Concerto. Suddenly there was no sunshine coming in through the window -- so I got up, thinking it was much later than it was. After I checked the clock, I decided to go outside and see what was happening. A writer always needs little bits of observation tucked away.

I didn't tarry when the wind freshened -- I retreated to the house. My son reminded me that I hadn't blogged yet, so I began the drill. Read email. Answer email. Go to the blog site. But the power was flickering. I heard a loud noise and went to check out what was happening. Th wind was blowing rain and leaves almost horizontally down the hill, but I didn't see anything wrong.

Then husband almost ran me down, fetching his jacket and ball cap. "Limb came down." Sure enough. The limb-shedding tree had dropped another one from way up at the top -- which meant it took more limbs down on its way to the ground. What a mess.

Mercifully, after I'd dragged about as many limbs as I could back to the burn pile. the chain gave way on husband's saw. I was out of breath. Good timing. At least the driveway is clear. He can go to Lowe's now.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What I Have To Look Forward To

This afternoon I had to take a quick trip to look in on a friend, a little younger than I am, who is in the first stages of Alzheimers. It has been difficult to find the right medication for her, but now it looks like she's on the right one.

I thought I had a hard time finding a doctor when I went on Medicare, etc., but finding a geratologist/psychiatrist (excuse creative spelling, please) must be a hurdle.

She lives in public housing -- a rather nice small apartment. It doesn't smell bad, the neighborhood is pleasant and I have met some of her neighbors who seem all right. But I wonder if I'll be able to cope if I ever have to live in a place like that.

In the Fifties, when my grandmother was living on her own and we visited almost ever week, I cringed at the types of apartments she lived in. I've rarely seen anything that bad since. But the way things are going for older people these days gives one pause. Things aren't getting any better.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

There's Always Something To Do

The color has come late to the trees this year. The weather has stayed warm and fairly dry, the the leaves are just withering on the trees and dropping. But the maples have started to come through with orange and red.

There's a lot of work to do in the fall garden. This spring I dug up a group of white daffodils that have been in the back yard for many years -- so many that they had about given up blooming. It a fit of energy one day -- maybe it took two days -- I dug up as many as I could find and put them aside to plant this fall, along with some other bulbs that were crying for a new place to grow. Last week I was reminded of them -- when I needed the pail they were in for something else.

We planted them yesterday in a place that gets too much summer shade for perennials, but will be great for spring bulbs. We covered them with some of the leaves that have fallen -- as if that is a precious commodity! I hope the white daffodils will like it there and bloom heartily. Of course, my dreams are always better than the eventual reality.

But what's a garden for!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The problem with babysitting school age kids is that it gets boring. Sure, you have to feed them, check their homework and settle their squabbles over who gets the computer, but other than that -- well -- they're in school! Sunday through Wednesday of this week we were in Asheville looking after our seventeen-year-old granddaughter and eight-year-old grandson while their folks were away. What to do for entertainment?

On the occasion of our fortieth anniversary some time ago, our son who also lives in Asheville gave us two of the comp tickets he'd earned at the Inn at Biltmore to tour the Biltmore House. What a great way to kill a morning! Not only that, but all those steps make it great cardiovascular exercise.

For a fiction writer, it is a treasure of ideas for everything from horror stories, mysteries, romances and humor. Well, I might have been the only one to see humor.

You have to admire the thought that went into building such a house on the cusp of the change from telegraph to telephone, horse and carriage to automobile. The treasures in the house are unbelievable, the conditions in which they are kept and displayed immaculate.

The tour is pricey, but could be well worth it for a writer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ah, Nuts!

At this time of year, I often reflect on -- well -- nuts! We have numerous black walnut trees, the fruit of which hard to crack and bitter, but I'm told makes good cookies. Our two major trees are very mature and produce on a good year -- okay, that's subject to ones' perspective -- upwards of 3,000 nuts. There are several other trees that are fairly young but are working toward the same production.

We also have squirrels. They are co-conspirators with the trees in filling our yard with those messy green nuts. And they are sometimes yucky. The hulls have a substance in them that, when starting to rot, will turn anything they contact black and smelly. There is only one way to get all those nuts to the place where we collect them and leave them for the squirrels. We have to bend over a picket them up. I try to push or kick them into piles so I only bend over about 250 times -- that's my share, figuring five nuts per bend.

We put our collection of nuts on what is left of the outhouse roof (conveniently on the ground under two youthful black walnut trees) so the squirrels can find them easily. They delight in planting them where they will spout and cause more consternation.

It seems to me that, through the ages, people have developed a lot of games in which one uses a ball very much the size of a black walnut still in its shell. Boccie and jai-alai use a ball about the size of a walnut with the hull still on it, while golf uses a ball a bit smaller. These games were undoubtedly invented by youngsters sent out to collect the nuts so their poor granny wouldn't break an ankle stepping on one and got distracted. Ah, nuts!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

How Did They Ever Find Us?

A family homeless from the hurricanes has come to live in our area, about two miles down the road. We haven't met them yet, and we might not meet them at all, but that's not remarkable.

They are living in a suburb of a suburb of a -- yeah -- suburb. A town that if you count the dogs chickens and cows probably comes to a hundred. They are living in a building that was once a branch bank. No surprise the bank didn't make it. There is a "general store" which opened in 1906 and may close any day, a farm implements place, very extensive junk yard (and several unofficial ones), an elementary school and a church.

Everyone in the several churches around here is trying to contribute something so these people can be here safe for a while. Our church is planning "an old-fashioned pounding" for these people Sunday. It's not as dangerous as it sounds. A pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of peanut butter -- you get the picture. We're hoping everyone doesn't bring the same thing.

I don't have anything against people who throw money at a problem; I just like to give something I know can be used with only reasonable fuss. Maybe something in the cupboard that I have more that in need.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hey! I Said Dibs on the Supreme Court Gig!

Well, I'm bummed! I was barely up and swigging my first cup of tea this morning when I heard on NPR that the Prez had named him nominee for the Surpeme Court vacancy. Well, dern, it wasn't me!

I had my heart set on that puppy! Granted, black isn't my first choice of wardrobe colors and those robes aren't exactly haut couture, but I'm flexible.

They say anybody can be a Supreme Court justice. It takes more common sense and social consciousness than anything else. I got that. So my highest degree is a B.S. in Teaching English -- but that's promarily what they speak, huh? After all, the gal Bush named has never been a judge of anything. I used to judge parades! (And to this day, I swear I was NOT dancing on the table when that beer got spilled on the master sheet! But do you think they believed me? No!)

Anyway, I'm glad Bush did pick a woman. That'll keep peace in his family.