Tag Archives: Annoyance

Recipe Blog Pet Peeve

I have an issue with recipe blogs that make you read the entire blog post before giving you the recipe. I am not talking about blogs like The Pioneer Woman who usually has photos of how to make something, then a printable recipe at the end. I am talking about blogs that promise a recipe in the title and briefly mention it in the first paragraph but then post photo after photo of unrelated things before actually posting anything substantial about the recipe. Kind of like this:

Grandma’s Split Pea Soup Recipe

Grandma made a really wonderful split pea soup that we all loved. I asked her how to make it and she gave me the recipe!

The little girl and little boy and DH and I went to a store yesterday. We really had fun. Little Girl was so cute. She said something really cute. So did Little Boy. Then he sat on a chair with his cousin.

After that it was Christmas and here’s Little Girl in front of the tree. She is so cute with the bow in her hair.

Oh, then it snowed! What a snow it was. Little Girl and Little Boy had fun!

After the snow Little Boy played with his two sooty pets. Puff and Jacques.

Grandma’s Pea Soup*
2 1/4 cups dried split peas
2 quarts cold water
1 1/2 pounds ham bone
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch dried marjoram
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 potato, diced

In a large stock pot, cover peas with 2 quarts cold water and soak overnight. If you need a faster method, simmer the peas gently for 2 minutes, and then soak for l hour.
Once peas are soaked, add ham bone, onion, salt, pepper and marjoram. Cover, bring to boil and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove bone; cut off meat, dice and return meat to soup. Add celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook slowly, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

*not really Grandma’s Pea soup. I just stole this from the Internet

A lesson learned

The past few weeks have been full of family. I spent a week with my mom in Elgin then my mom and nephew visited us for a week (they drove back with me). Clare flew in from Olympia a couple days before my mom and nephew left, then Andrew, who is working in Boston this summer, visited a few days later. This story begins the afternoon after Andrew left.

Clare offered to drive Andrew back to Boston. They left Monday morning and got to Boston by 3:30 in the afternoon. At 3:45 I received a telephone call from Andrew asking me to check his old backpack for his keys. I found them and told him I’d send them right away.

I packed up the keys in a small Amazon box and drove to the post office. I hate going to the post office so I was grumpy about it. Plus Andrew interrupted me from working and I was grumpy about that — I’d hoped to put in lots of hours the first half of the week so I could spend time with Clare when she returned from the Northeast so I was grumpy about that too. Also I was just plain cranky for no real reason.

The post office we go to is about 20 minutes away and traffic was starting to build up. The parking lot was nearly full, so I expected a long line, but there were only a few customers in the building. Three or four workers were behind the counter and I was seen in about a minute by a woman who was sitting down and didn’t return my smile when I approached her. When I explained that I needed the package to be sent “next day postage she asked sullenly, you mean overnight? I said yes. She handed me a cardboard envelope and told me I needed to fill out a form. I took the envelope and form and walked back to the work station but could not find a pen. The woman behind the desk asked me what I was looking for and when I told her I needed a pen she said I could use hers but not to walk off with it. Because I was in a grumpy mood I said that she seemed to be in a bad mood.She said that any time she gave anyone a pen they walked off with it and postal workers had to buy their own. While I filled out the form she helped another customer, but that person had many packages so I went back in line (longer now) in hopes of getting someone else which I did and this person was not at all sullen. She was very nice in fact.

I felt bad for being unkind to the first woman and even thought about apologizing to her, but ended up just going home, feeling bad the whole way home and into the evening.

Fast forward to this afternoon around 1:30 when my phone rang again. This time it was Clare who I’d dropped off at Dulles Airport this morning to go back to Olympia.

“Mom! Guess what I forgot!” she said either cheerfully or nervously — it was hard to tell.

“I don’t know, what did you forget?” I asked.

“My keys!” she said.

“Oh no! Not you too!” I said. (secretly annoyed)

“Can you send them priority like you did for Andrew?” she asked.

I could have argued that Andrew’s situation was different — he was new to Boston and lived in a boarding house whereas Clare lived with a roommate and friend who had a set of keys — but I told her that I would send the keys today.

That’s how I found myself at the post office again on a Monday afternoon. This time, however, I knew better. I picked up a mailing envelope and form and filled the form out as I stood in line. I’d not pre-wrapped the package — but did put it in a bundled up pair of socks so the keys would not rattle around in the envelope. I secretly prayed that the woman that I was rude to (because she was rude to me is not an excuse) had the day off, but no, there she was, sitting in the same spot she sat in a week ago. And as luck would have it, she was the one open when it was my turn.

This time I didn’t try to smile, but was courteous. She started out sullen, but became almost warm by the time I was finished. The fact that I’d already filled out the form was good, the fact that I was not as grumpy as the last time was probably a positive as well. The socks (heavy SmartWool(TM) hiking socks) were too big for the envelope and I explained that I was only using them so the keys would not rattle. She wouldn’t touch the socks but explained that I should take them apart, place the keys in one sock and fold it over and place it in the envelope along with the other sock. They fit, I thanked her and left. This time I didn’t feel bad and was secretly happy Clare left her keys behind.

I think I will save this in my list of life lessons. Just because someone is rude — appearing to be having a bad day — you don’t need to be rude back even though you may want to be.


Is it over?

Yesterday I received a phone call that I’d been waiting for for weeks. It should never have taken as long as it did, but it did, and at least that part is over.

The phone call was from the nursing home where my dad was a resident the last month of his life. They called to say that they’d take care of the pharmacy bill. The pharmacy bill that never should have been. The pharmacy bill that my mom worried over for months. The pharmacy bill that kept rising because the pharmacy considered it delinquent.

When we (why do I want to say “interred”?) admitted my father into the nursing home one of the points that came up was his medications. Dad took several medications, some very expensive, and my mom generally bought them from the VA. Medications that were not covered under the VA plan were bought full price. Because my parents qualified for the Illinois Circuit Breaker plan I was able to change my father’s Medicare Part D supplement to a different insurer and his medications would be much cheaper. The trouble was — that plan didn’t kick in until October 1st so my mom said she’d bring my father’s medicine to the nursing home, which she did. The woman admitting Dad said that was fine and that she’d let Mom know when he needed refills.

Something went wrong, though, and my mom got a bill for $400 from the pharmacy. She knew it was a mistake and may or may not have contacted the nursing home about it. Then, of course, my father died.

When I returned to Maryland I contacted the nursing home about the bill and was told to call the pharmacy. I did and they said to talk to the nursing home because they were the ones who ordered the medication. I called the nursing home again and they said they’d get back to me. I waited for a phone call. None came. I called back, was told they’d look into and get back to me. I again waited for a phone call. None came. This happened several more times. I finally talked to the administrator who said she’d heard about the issue, but had not looked into it. She said she would and would get back to me. Finally yesterday morning the admissions person called, admitted it was her mistake and that they were going to take care of the bill.

Thank goodness. That was the last of the paperwork and now it is finished.  I hope.

If only the funeral home would apologize.

Waiting for the phone to ring and more

There are few things I hate worse than waiting for a phone call. Lately I’ve been doing that a lot.

Some of it is because a couple of people emailed me that they needed help doing something computer related. A couple of weeks ago a woman didn’t know how to sign up for an email list and I offered to help her if she called me. She emailed back, “Thank you very much!” but never called. I could have called her back, but she’s the one who needs something, I shouldn’t be begging for the opportunity to help her. The same kind of thing happened nearly a year ago — someone wanted help, said they’d call but never did. It happened again last week. A friend is directing a play and asked for help getting publicity. I offered to help set up a blog and he wrote back he’d love that and that he’d get in touch. I gave him my cell number and have not heard back — although I saw him on Sunday and he thought we could talk Sunday but we didn’t get a chance. He said he’d call, but didn’t call today. The thing is — I’d be glad to help these people, but waiting for the phone to ring is a pain in the ass.

Another call I’m waiting for is from the plumber. Actually from two plumbers. I called my regular plumber on Thursday evening about a clogged up kitchen sink, but I think he’s broken-up with us because Dean thought he caused a problem with the bathroom sink and when he came back wanted us to pay for a second call. I thought Dean was being unreasonable. Dean thought Mr. Monk was. When our regular plumber didn’t call back by Friday afternoon, I called a plumber recommended by a neighbor. This plumber should have called this morning, but didn’t. I’ve had to take my cell phone into the bathroom with me when I shower, just in case it rings. Tomorrow I’m calling Roto-rooter. Forget these personable plumbers recommended by friends and neighbors. They obviously have enough to do and don’t need my money.

We’re also waiting to hear from a tutor. Andrew finally agreed to getting some help with parts of the SAT. Dean talked to a tutor (recommended by a friend) who suggested he start on Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) and we’ve not heard anything back.

On top of waiting for the phone to ring, we’ve had problems with the land-line phones. If you talk on them for more than a few minutes the line gets crackly. Verizon says we need to troubleshoot so we’ve unplugged all but one phone — to see if we hear crackly sounds on it. We don’t get enough calls to figure out if it is crackly or not. (And if you’re thinking we’ve not heard from people because of the phone problems — we’ve given out our cell number, not the land-line).

In addition to a clogged up kitchen sink, crackly phone lines, and people not getting back to us we’ve got ants. Not just one kind of ant, but at least two different kinds of ants crawling around our kitchen. We tried baiting them, but the seem to not be the kind of ant that likes the sweet bait.

Oh, and we also have grain eating moths that have an uncanny ability to get into bags of rice that have been put into a second bag of rice. I guess they have sharp teeth.

I wish we could just knock down he house and start fresh.

I have issues: Part 4 — Fear of Annoying People

I hate to be a bother. I hate to annoy people. I get worked up about possibly saying the wrong thing to someone at a party and worry about it the next day, and beyond. I don’t know how normal this is. I don’t normally talk about it, but I know it is the root of a few of my character flaws, like why I usually wait for people to call me, rarely initiate things with friends and why I dislike asking for help of any kind. I don’t want to bother them if they are in the middle of something. I don’t want to annoy them with my request. I don’t run my air conditioner if I don’t absolutely have to because a neighbor complained that it was loud — I wouldn’t want to bother her in her quietly air conditioned house. I just want to live my life and not be a bother to anyone.

Until the past couple of years this issue only manifested itself in real life, but lately I’ve been more conscious of feeling this way about my online interactions. For instance, when I first became active in Facebook I had all sorts of things streaming on my “wall”. I had my twitter feed and my friendfeed sent to my Facebook wall. I also allowed whatever app I was using on Facebook to be sent to my wall. These notices were then sent to my Facebook friends’ newsfeeds and I annoyed at least one person enough that he deleted me from his friends. When I asked him about it he suggested I join twitter if I wanted to update my status as often as I seemed to be updating it. I explained that it was twitter that was doing it.

Anyway, after that I tried to limit what was posted to my wall. I made a few mistakes, but seemed to be doing fine. Lately, however, a number of people are posting status reports that they are annoyed by other people’s wall posts. Of course (another of my issues is thinking that I’m to blame for everything) I assumed they were talking about my wall posts. Was my app/external site usage being seen by my followers and I didn’t know it? I searched the settings and double checked that what I was doing on Facebook was not annoying anyone. Not bothering them.

And then there is this blog. The theme or the plugins or the widgets is causing problems with commenting and viewing. I’ve spent entire days troubleshooting and have not found an answer.

This is one issue that is not going to be fixed by writing a post about it. I expect that I’ll have this issue until the day I die. I imagine it is part of a larger issue.

So if I annoy you in real life or on Facebook or on Twitter or on my blog, please accept my apologies. I really don’t do it on purpose.

[Not] Fanning the Flames

My inbox is nearly on fire this morning. Two email lists are very active with heated discussions. One centers on a proposed cell phone tower at the local high school and the other discussion is about accessible PDFs. While I have opinions about both issues I’m not going to participate in either discussion because I really don’t think that the folks with one view are really listening to the folks with an opposing view so participating in either discussion would be a waste of time, energy and emotions.

Passionate discussions on email lists and bulletin boards all seem to follow the same pattern. Someone posts a topic — sometimes it might be a little inflammatory, but many times it is simply an innocent question — which is true of both of the cases that are being discussed on the email lists today. Then someone answers the question or statement with one point of view and someone else responds to the person with another point of view. Then the really passionate folks start chiming in and often someone makes fun of someone on the other side and then someone from the other side defends their position using stronger words and before you know it, unless the moderator (or a seasoned list user) steps in and tells the folks to calm down or take it off-list or cease and desist, someone is being referred to as a Nazi. I’ve seen it so many times that it is actually sometimes fun to watch.

Favor requested

If you visit my blog and it acts weird when you load it or try to comment, please email me at waxwing@gmail.com and let me know. If you get an error, send that too. I’ve heard from two people that commenting seems to be broken for them sometimes and that the blog just acts strangely. I need to troubleshoot it and any help I get is good. (also tell me what OS you are using — mac / linux / windows).

Thank you!

I have issus: Part 3 — Lint Filters

This is a silly one.

Do you clean your lint filter after each dryer load? I don’t, even though my dad was an appliance repairman and warned me against dire consequences if I didn’t. And even though good friends of ours had a fire in their dryer because of dryer lint, I don’t clean it every load. I clean it every so often — about every 3rd to 6th load unless I wash towels or blankets which give off more lint.

Anyway, a friend of mine told me that when he and his wife moved into their new house the dryer lint filter was packed solid — that the people who owned the house before them had never heard that they should clean the filter after each load. That irked me and now when I don’t clean my filter after each load I feel as if I’m doing something wrong.

There. Said and done.

Begone lint filter issue! (it worked with potato peels and towels)

I Have Issues: Part 2 — Folding Towels

Actually I’m pretty much over this issue, but since I had it for so many years, I’ll post about it.

My mom had/has a specific way of folding towels. I’m still not sure if I know how she folds them, but it is something like fold them in half (making sure the tag is inside), then fold them in thirds then in half again. When I’d help her fold laundry when I was a kid and teenager I’d never do it correctly. I tried, I really tried, but never once got it right. Once I came close — and was proud of my accomplishment, but I’d done it backwards and the tag was on the outside. My mom always got upset with me and at least once said she thought I was doing it wrong on purpose.

stackTowelsWhen I moved out of my parents’ house and was able to fold towels however I wanted to fold them, I still had my mom’s frustration in my head as I’d fold towels. At first I folded them the way I wanted to fold them, ignoring my mom’s voice in my head. Then I tried to fold them like she did. Then I wondered why she folded them the ways she did — after all she’d then have to unfold them in order to hang them on the towel rack. I then came up with my own method: Fold long ways in thirds, then in half or thirds, depending on the size of the towel. There — all I had to do was undo the last fold or two to neatly hang it on the towel rack.

But still, when the time came to fold towels, I got that familiar tight feeling in my stomach — feeling that even though I knew it was silly, there was only one way to fold towels — my mom’s way. And if I didn’t fold my towels that way I was somehow inadequate.

Once, during a parent-teacher conference a teenager’s mother complained that her daughter refused to fold towels the way she folded them and suspected the daughter did it because she was passive aggressive. I sure don’t think I was passive aggressive about the towel folding — I just think it was too complicated for me to remember — and it didn’t make a lot of sense.

My mom and I have since talked about towel folding, and she agrees that my method made more sense. I think she still folds towels her way — and that is fine. I rarely fold my towels the same way twice anymore — now that I use hooks instead of towel racks. In half, in half, in half is fine with me. I think it depends on where I’m storing the towels. I no longer get the tight feeling in my stomach that I did, even a few years ago. Not sure why it went away — perhaps I just figured out how silly it was to still be upset about such a minor thing.