Medicare Madness

medicareI believe I have found the explanation for forgetfulness in our aging population.


Like most people, I didn’t give a flip about understanding Medicare and thought old people were just being senile by not understanding it. After all, it’s just insurance. How difficult can it be?

Now I’m suffering from Medicare induced dementia myself.

I had occasion to try and bone up and get an idea of what is going on with Medicare — not that I will ever turn 65 myself, of course. I have never seen such a confusing way to get insurance in my entire life.

First of all, I was under the impression that Medicare and Social Security sort of came together since both are administered by Social Security. Wrong! We are talking about the government here. Everything must be as confusing as possible.

You reach Medicare age at 65. You reach full retirement age for Social Security at various ages, depending on when you were born. It becomes a bit older for each  generation.

Of course, you can retire as early as 62, with reduced Social Security benefits, but the amount you can earn by working after retirement is limited. At full retirement age, you can receive Social Security and also earn as much as you want, presuming you want to work instead of rock.

Before we become totally confused, lets talk about Medicare benefits.

Medicare has many parts and each part covers something different. The parts are creatively named A, B, C, and D. A is hospitalization, B is medical and doctors, D is drug coverage. C once was Medicare Choice (C, get it?), but is now called Medicare Advantage (still C, or MA) C is optional private insurance instead of the original government Medicare plan.

Simple? Good, lets move on. If you have A and B, there are large deductibles, and you need yet another plan to fill these gaps. This is imaginatively called a “Medigap” plan or “Medicare Supplement” (not part G). Actually, these plans might as well be called Greek since nobody is exactly sure what they cover.

Part C sometimes includes D and Medigap but not always. Plans vary greatly, so you have to be sure to find a plan that covers your needs. If you are not retiring when you reach 65, you need A but not B until you stop working, provided you have employee insurance. If you have either A or B, D is optional. A is free for most people, but the rest of the alphabet has a premium attached.

Seniors age 65 are informed that they must decide NOW as the premiums will increase if they wait. They are bombarded with information, mail falling out of the box, and a phone ringing off the hook. Various insurance companies, including AARP, all claim to have the best plan, most popular plan, or a number of different plans to fit your budget. No wonder people are confused!

One insurance plan runs commercials on TV showing seniors dancing and claims to have everything covered, even extras that are not covered under other plans, such as eyeglasses. Maybe extras should be called part E? Soon we will have so many parts we will run out of alphabet and need to use the Greek letters. It is like naming hurricanes.

We have merely scratched the surface of an explanation here. Suffice it to say that if you do not have to figure this mess out for your job, aging parents, or yourself — enjoy your liberty. One of these days, time will catch up with all of us. Of course, there is probably no need to worry about it now as it will be completely different by the time you reach retirement age anyhow.

As I said before, it isn’t dementia that is driving seniors over the edge — it’s Medicare.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mentioning the Unmentionable


One of life’s most useful but least discussed items is toilet paper. We take the existence of toilet paper for granted and have pretty much forgotten about the days of catalogs, newspapers, shucks, leaves, corncobs and other alternatives used by our ancestors.

Who had the idea of making this product and how did it come to be one of the items we consider as a necessity?

I found out that the story of toilet paper is 2000 years old and related to the story of the invention of paper itself. Toilet paper has been around a long time and was used by the emperor in ancient China. And I thought the Chinese only used paper for lanterns and tiny paper umbrellas.

In the olden days paper was made from old rags, which were shredded, beaten into a pulp, boiled and then rolled into paper. In early America cloth was very scarce and it had to be imported, which made paper very expensive. I suppose Colonial ladies saved their rags to make patchwork quilts.

Americans found ways to recycle paper so that it could be used more than once. The Farmers’ Almanac and Sears Roebuck Catalogs, as well as newsprint, were commonly used in outhouses as an alternative toilet paper. When Sears started printing their catalog on slick paper, customers actually complained.

The first toilet paper in America was sold in pharmacies as a therapeutic product and was saturated with aloe. Some of the of the products being sold nowadays with lotion or aloe sounds like pretty much the same thing to me. Maybe we are not as advanced as we like to think.

The first paper company to produce toilet paper on rolls was the Scott Paper Company. It was such an unmentionable product at the time that they refused to put their name on it and packaged it under the name of the buyers, such as the Waldorf Hotel. Eventually, Scott purchased the name and Waldorf became the most popular brand name sold.

As other companies got into the business of making paper products,
manufacturers began to look for more economical ways to produce paper. Since trees were plentiful, they discovered that chipping up wood, boiling it into a pulp, bleaching, drying and rolling it, could make a satisfactory paper. Northern tissue became successful by advertising its product as “splinter free”.

Other companies also became successful through advertising, such as Charmin’, whose advertising campaign featuring Mr. Whipple and “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin'” as its slogan. In his time, the name of Mr. Whipple was almost as widely known as Richard Nixon or Billy Graham.

Tissue paper is made soft by a process called “creping”, which scrapes paper off large rollers and leaves small wrinkles, which make it flexible while lowering density. At first all tissue was one-ply or one layer thick. Then it was found that two thinner layers of tissue were softer and two-ply tissue became standard.

There are different types of toilet paper, but all are made to dissolve in water to keep from stopping up pipes and plumbing. The invention of modern plumbing had made outside privies very unpopular by then.

In 1973 there was a consumer-created shortage of toilet paper when comedian Johnny Carson made a joke about the U.S. running out of toilet paper. People panicked and rushed to the stores, buying out supplies to hoard. Even though Carson later apologized and said there was no shortage, it took about three weeks to replenish supplies.

Toilet paper now comes in a variety of textures, colors, and scents. It is sometimes used for handkerchiefs, napkins, cleaning glasses, blotting lipstick and many other things besides the use for which it is intended.

Whether you call it toilet paper, toilet tissue, bathroom tissue, TP, or something else, it is one of our most necessary household products – unmentionable or not.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Amused by Amusement Park

I was certain that I was too old for amusement parks.

My honey loves amusement parks. He is a big, overgrown kid who still wants to ride on the rides. I tolerate them.

We heard about an amusement park in Chattanooga. It is not too far away and it seemed like a good weekend adventure. We took my grandson along for an excuse, though my honey really didn’t need an excuse.

This place turned out to be a kiddy park, which was okay since my grandson is a kiddy and so is honey. They had a few adult-type rides, but for the most part it seemed to be more like the place where old amusement park rides go before they die.

I agreed to go on a ride called the Tilt-A-Whirl. Silly me.

“Isn’t this fun?” yelled honey, as it slung us around in circles.

“I feel sick! I think I may throw up.” I groaned, as I staggered away, feeling like I’d been inside a blender.

While I recovered, honey went on another whirly ride. I don’t know what it did as I was too nauseated to watch. My grandson was also chicken at first, though he recovered and rode it later – no hands.

“Let’s ride the paddle boats!” exclaimed honey.

“My knees! My knees!” I was finding body parts that I had long ago forgotten about.

“How about the Scrambler then?” asked honey?

“How about the swings?” I replied in desperation, immediately sorry I had mentioned it.

As I flew round and round, I was certain my shoes would go flying off my feet and end up somewhere in the lake. My eyebrows twitched as I tried to figure out how close to death I was.

“Baby stuff,” grumbled honey.

I knew we were headed towards the roller coaster as we worked our way to the back, and sure enough, there it was. I used to love roller coasters, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

We inched up the first hill and I held on with white knuckles. “Weeeee!” yelled honey as we hit the first dip.

“Help! Let me offffff!” I screamed as my internal organs turned inside out and my backbone crackled. I couldn’t remember what it was that I used to like about a roller coaster as I staggered away holding my back.

“Does this place have first aid? Call the paramedics!”

After that, it didn’t really matter, as everything that could be broken was already broken and my brain was jelled.

I got on their newest ride, fool that I am. I forget what it was called. Actually, I’m trying to forget the whole day.

“You know what happens, don’t you?” asked my honey, seeing my pale face and clenched teeth.

There was a kid about 5 years old sitting next to me. How bad could it be? As we reached the top and plunged back 14 stories to earth, I found out. My hair stood straight up, my glasses nearly jumped off my face and my stomach is still up there somewhere.

The little kid next to me was crying and so was I as I unbuckled my seat and honey helped me wobble to the exit.

“I’m going to kill you for that!” I mumbled to my former honey…

After two hours, I was ready to go home. It took another 6 hours before my grandson was convinced.

I crawled to the closest picnic table, wishing I could take a nap.

I stared at the carousel, “See the pretty horses go round and round, up and down,” I gurgled.

By the end of the day, I was sunburned and brain-dead but managed to make it home without losing my glasses, my teeth, my camera, my shoes or my lunch.

But, I am absolutely certain now that I am too old for amusement parks.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss


Posted in Entertainment, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Night at the Opry

matthew-kalapuch-sqJ4tLBiurw-unsplashThe other night I went to the Grand Ole Opry and took my grandson. I feel that children need to be exposed to performing arts in real life, not just on television. Of course, the first thing he did when found out the Opry was live on television was to call his dad and tell him to look for him in the audience. So much for the importance of reality to an eight-year-old.

What made me think about going to the Opry was an email I received from an elderly gentleman who was mad because he read a magazine article that said management of the Opry didn’t want any gray hair in the show. The gentleman, whom I presume has gray hair, declared he is going to tell all his friends and they will never come to the Opry again.

I suppose that if you only see the Grand Ole Opry on TV, you might get the impression that all the older stars are gone. They are not. Most of the show is still made up of the same guitar-twanging folks that make it as much a historical event as an entertainment spectacular — at least the older stars that are still alive.

Don’t worry, there is plenty of gray hair at the Opry along with the rhinestones and sequins. Much of the show is still centered on stars that have been at the Opry for a lifetime. However, when the TV cameras are on, the newer entertainers are in front of them, as they are the ones with the big hit records. Pretty young blondes who are as talented as they are pretty can quickly steal the show.

Personally, I like both the old timers and the young’uns. If you don’t bring in new talent, the show will eventually die. But, I can see where it would be hard to step back and watch others receive all the adoration and airtime after spending an entire lifetime helping to make the show a success.

Don’t raise your hand now, but I wonder how many people are like me and don’t go to the Opry very much, if at all. We really should go more. It is the best professional entertainment value around. With two and a half hours of continuous entertainment, you certainly get your money’s worth. People come from all over the country to see the Opry, but because we live close and can go anytime we want, we never do.

Some people say that they grew up on a steady diet of the Grand Ole Opry and love country music. Others claim they hate it. I think it sort of grows on you after you listen to it for a while. When you go to see the Opry, you have to get into the spirit of the music and tap your toe or clap your hands. In other words, give it a chance. Remember, it’s folk music, the music of common folks.

We might as well face it. The newer stars will probably continue to steal the show. Now while their careers are burning bright, they are awed by success and glamour. Some day, however, their limelight too will fade. We hope they will receive the respect they deserve and not feel they have to resort to lawsuits and negative publicity to have an opportunity to continue to perform.

My grandson had a really good time. I don’t know if it was the fiddle playing and singing, seeing a live broadcast, or if he thought going to the Opry was a cool thing to do. Of course, it might simply be that a child likes going almost any place as long as it involves eating popcorn or hotdogs or both.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor | Leave a comment

The Caveman

geico-caveman1One day I was down at the local Wal-Mart, rushing around on my normal Saturday grocery trip and trying to avoid bumping into the other shoppers with my cart. As I turned a corner on two wheels, I looked up and what do I see but a guy that looks just like Caveman.

Now, I’m sure you remember who Caveman is. In fact, is there a person alive that does not remember who the Caveman is? Yes, I’m speaking about the one in the TV insurance commercials. He’s became almost as famous as Mr. Whipple was back in the 60’s — for a different product, of course.

I was smiling in my head and thinking that probably I was the only person in the entire world that would think that poor, harried guy looked just like Caveman. I really need to stop watching so much television, I thought.

However, about that time, I heard a tiny voice behind me coming from another cart being pushed by another shopper.

“Daddy, daddy,” the voice squealed, “I saw Caveman!” Yes, he looked so much like Caveman that even a child could see it.

Now, had I been the ambitious sort of columnist that I should be, I would have made an immediate U-turn with my shopping cart and chased down the Caveman look-alike for an interview.

“Do people ever tell you that you look just like Caveman?” I could have asked.

“How does it make you feel to know that if it’s easy enough, even a caveman can do it?”

“Do you enjoy being a caveman type?”

“By the way, what kind of car insurance do you have?”

However, in my wild pursuit for my favorite chocolate flavored yogurt from the refrigerated section, I blew it entirely and missed opportunity of a lifetime. It’s probably just as well, though. What if he had hit me over the head with his club?

Had I approached him, would he have been flattered? Would he have been annoyed? Would a Mrs. Caveman have told me to mind my own beeswax? I guess I’ll never know.

The “real” Caveman, the one in commercials is thought by some ladies to be handsome. I can’t see it myself, but maybe I just don’t like caveman-types.

Probably it is his sweet and sensitive disposition which women find attractive instead of his hairy looks. It probably also helps that he doesn’t go around in animal skins, and that he walks upright instead of on all fours.

Cavemen have done a lot for the world, you know. They discovered fire, invented the wheel, wrote the first language on the walls of their caves, and were the inspiration for Flintstones cartoons. The TV caveman is insulted by comments that suggest he is somehow less than intelligent because of the way he looks.

Obviously, there is a message here about something more than insurance. Caveman represents a group of people that other people do not understand and treat in an insensitive, cruel or uncaring way. It makes you wonder who is really primitive and who has actually evolved to a higher intellectual level.

But, anyhow, I finished my grocery shopping and waited in line to checkout. I never did see the caveman again. Probably he went out through the self-checkout lane. I really hate those self-checkout lanes and have never quite been able to figure them out.

Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking — so easy a caveman can do it.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Take me out to the Little League ballgame

ben-hershey-53TmDnb-jtM-unsplashSaturday morning broke bright and early as we dragged our folding lawn chairs and ourselves to the chain link fence near third base where my grandson was playing in a Little League baseball game. If only Little League baseball was not so early, I thought, as I swigged coffee and tried to wake up.

Some of the parents had been at the ball field for hours already as the players in the first game of the day wound up their game. Those were the youngest kids in the league; some of them still having trouble trying to avoid striking out even in tee-ball, their little legs barely long enough to run the bases.

What in the world could possess this many people to sit on hard bleachers on a dusty field when they could be at home mowing the lawn or doing laundry? On second thought, who wants to do chores and housework when you have kids as a perfect excuse to avoid work? As Yogi Berra said: “Little League baseball is a good thing ’cause it keeps the parents off the streets and it keeps the kids out of the house.”

Little League Baseball is the world’s largest youth sports organization with approximately 2.8 million players worldwide. The purpose of the adults is to teach kids sportsmanship, teamwork, and fair play. The purpose of the kids is to play with their friends, avoid doing anything embarrassing, and drink Gatorade. They also learn to study ants crawling across their shoes while playing outfield, as well as how to chase the hits that get by them during ant study.

At least some of the kids look like ball players in their new baseball uniforms as they kick dirt with rubber-spiked shoes, and remove caps to wipe sweat from their foreheads. We try not to notice when they stare upward and watch the birds flying over the field instead of paying attention to the game.

The opposing team stretches a single into a home run when the shortstop misses the ball and the outfielders all run into each other while trying to figure out who should field the ball. Fortunately, in this league teams are only allowed to score a limited number of runs during one inning.

The baseball glove, which is so big that we wondered how my grandson would keep it on his hand, suddenly shrinks to the size of a postage stamp when a fly ball comes in his direction. We do not understand how this can happen as the gloves of the opposing team always double or triple in size and snag fly balls in midair that should go over the fence.

In sports kids learn to model the behavior of adults, so it is important that parents and coaches show good sportsmanship, regardless of how bad the call is that the umpire makes or how obvious it is that he is blind. We want to teach the kids sportsmanship and that good clean competition means something entirely different than not getting your uniform dirty while sliding into home plate.

Except for learning how to avoid tripping over their shoelaces or being binged by a fly ball, the baseball skills are really secondary for most kids who will never play profession ball. The important part is learning social skills and values that will teach them to participate in community activities as adults. In Little League kids learn how to be good losers and graceful winners. Adults learn how to bite their tongues and set a good example.

It was a great day at the ballpark when the teams lined up to congratulate each other. My grandson’s team somehow managed to win in spite of the strikeouts, balls that were thrown away, gnats that were swatted, grass that grew on home plate, and the players’ interest in unusual cloud formations.

There’s nothing like the great American pastime, even for kids.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamster Goes from Buddy to Third Wheel


If you’ve never had a hamster for a pet, you just don’t know what you are missing. I thought I had graduated from befriending rodents when my children grew up and left home. At last, I thought, no more hamsters.

Wrong! I forgot about grandchildren. On a trip to the pet store, my grandson discovered the hamster cage. I don’t know what it is about hamsters that appeals so much to kids. They look like mice without tails to me. But something about their beady little eyes and their playful antics appeals to kids.

After several trips that involved prying my grandson off the hamster cage and dragging him out of the store, I finally relented in a moment of grandmotherly weakness and agreed that he really needed a hamster and that it could live at my house.

He was ecstatic, of course, and named the hamster Buddy. One of the reasons he picked Buddy out from the other hamsters was that he was so active. However, when Buddy moved to his new digs, he had a drastic change of personality.

Buddy spent most of his time trying to crack out of his cage and became very adept at it, which resulted in several horrible episodes of nights spent in the furnace vent. Finally, we learned to keep paper clips on the cage door and that put an end to his jail breaks.

Buddy then turned his attention to homebuilding. He moved nearly every bit of the litter in his cage into his exercise ball, which became his new bachelor pad. If we emptied the ball, he simply spent the next night moving back in. Finally, we gave up.

We decided that what he needed was an exercise wheel to keep him occupied since his exercise ball was now his penthouse. We made a special trip to the pet store to purchase a hamster wheel for the cage and waited for him to discover it. We waited, waited, and waited some more.

Buddy ignored the wheel entirely. His favorite pastimes were eating and sleeping. Except for the times when my grandson took him out of the cage to play, he was totally inactive. He soon grew fat and lazy. I thought all hamsters liked wheels. Who ever heard of a hamster being a couch potato?

Then one night I heard a noise that I thought was rain — but next morning I found that it had not rained. The following night, I again heard a strange noise and wondered if there was something wrong with the furnace. I got up to investigate and found the strange noise was Buddy gleefully running his wheel – at last!

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. “Active” hardly describes Buddy anymore. He runs his wheel all night like a long-distance trucker. Night after night he runs for hundreds of miles, the wheel rolling and squeaking every inch of the way.

My grandson sleeps through it all and the noise doesn’t bother him a bit. In fact, he wants us to wake him up so he can watch Buddy truckin’. My grandson and Buddy have bonded, and his Buddy is really his “good buddy” now.

Buddy has trimmed down and lost some of the excess weight since he went on the road. Night after night, Buddy wheels into oblivion. If he was running his wheel in a straight line instead of round and round, he would probably have made several cross-country runs to the West Coast by now.

I can’t help thinking that I should have left well enough alone. Maybe a hamster that is a couch potato is not such a bad thing after all. Next thing you know he will want a CB radio.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Creatures, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Personal Shopper


I was going out of town on a trip. Like most women, I had nothing to wear, or at least nothing that seemed good enough to wear. All my clothes were a bit on the shabby side with those little pills that appear on garments or hemlines that fashion has
left behind.

This meant one thing — time to go shopping.

I used to love shopping for clothes. I could spend hours at the mall just looking and trying things on. However, the older I get — and the fatter — the less appealing shopping for clothes has become. I hate trying things on only to find that they are too small, make me look even fatter, or are just not my style.

Nevertheless, I dragged myself to the mall determined that I would find some new clothes to wear even if it killed me. After all, I didn’t want to go out of town looking like last year’s closet.

At the department store, I selected what I thought was a nice outfit, held it up in front of me and looked in the mirror. Another shopper was watching. “No, that doesn’t look good,” she said. “You need more color.”

I was a bit surprised, but she was right. “Here try this one,” she suggested, handing me a turquoise top and skirt. I had to admit that it did do more for me than what I had picked.

She selected another skirt. “I know where I can get a top to go with this,” she said, disappearing across the store. I continued to shop thinking she was gone.

“No brown,” she said, appearing behind me, “Something brighter.” I put back the dress I was looking at.

“I never match print tops and bottoms; it makes you look 70 years old,” she said. I put back the print skirt and top, feeling very old.

The next thing I knew, she was following me around picking out other outfits for me to try on. What’s with this lady? Is she a sales clerk? No, she was a customer too.

“I love to shop!” she told me. Apparently, her fashion sense extended to other shoppers as well. “What occasion are you shopping for?” she asked. I told her what I had in mind. Soon I had an armload of clothes to try on.

I escaped to the dressing room and tried everything on. Almost everything worked. When I came out, she asked how they looked, and I admitted that I was buying several of the outfits.

“You should be a personal shopper,” I said.

I hid behind the dress racks so I could pick out my own clothes. But everything I picked was navy. In fact, nearly everything in my closet is navy. I had noticed that before I came shopping.

Guess I am in a fashion rut and needed someone to help me out. I was going to give the lady my business card in case she showed up in one of my blogs, but when I came out of the dressing room for the last time, she was gone.

I don’t know what ever happened to her. Maybe she was a guardian fashion angel, or something. Whatever it was, it worked out okay.

While I was out of town, I did some shopping on my own. There was a Goodwill store right next to the hotel. They had some great bargains. Now that I am in the mood, I am finding all kinds of things.

There is a yard sell in my neighborhood next weekend, and I might even go shopping again. I love bargains! Could that be part of my problem?

If my guardian fashion angel is watching, I hope I don’t pick out anything that will embarrass her.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Posted in Fashion, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee


How do you know when it’s going to be a bad day? For starters, it might be a bad day if you wake up to the sound of the smoke alarm going off at 5 AM in the morning like I did the other day.

With the alarm screaming, I hit the floor and ran down the hall to see what was going on. I couldn’t see anything because in the excitement I forgot all about putting on my glasses.


Yes, it was the smoke alarm. I didn’t need glasses to confirm that.

I ran to the kitchen to see if I could find a source for the smoke, falling over the dog like a keystone cop.

In the kitchen, I found that honey had put the pot from the coffeemaker on the stove to warm up cold coffee. He forgot that it had a plastic handle. The pot was black and the handle gone, burned into a pile of ashes.

The situation was under control by then — if that sort of situation can be under control.

“I just can’t deal with this at this hour of the morning,” I thought, still wondering why I couldn’t see.

Honey was fanning the smoke alarm to get it to shut up.

“Open the doors and get rid of the smoke,” I yelled, as he tried to take the smoke alarm apart to remove the battery.

I still couldn’t see.

The cover was stuck on the alarm and we couldn’t get it off. I took over the fanning of the smoke alarm, which came back on at full blast every time I quit fanning.

“Turn off the furnace, it’s pulling the smoke back through the house!”

“How do you turn it off?”

“Put it on O-F-F,” I screamed.

The cat was terrorized by all the noise and bolted out the open door to escape from the maniac people. We wouldn’t see her again until hours later.

After the smoke finally cleared, and the alarm quit alarming, I found my glasses and restarted my heart. There was no point in trying to go back to sleep, of course.

It was not until much later that I found out what really happened. Apparently, there were actually flames shooting from the pot. Honey threw water on it – water on an electric stove.

I can’t stand it.

Somehow he miraculously managed to survive without getting electrocuted or burning down the entire house.

I couldn’t believe he actually had the nerve to pour me a cup of that burnt up coffee to drink. I decided I could wait until I got to work for my coffee.

On the way home from work that night, honey mentioned that he needed to go buy a new coffeepot, knowing he was in trouble.

“May I ask why you threw water on an electric stove?” I asked, almost able to control my aggravation by then.

“What should I have done? Roast marshmallows?”

“Use baking soda! Smother it with flour! Use the fire extinguisher. Smother it out with a towel. Google it on the net. Call information. Write your Congressman. Anything but throwing water on an electrical fire!”

“Well, I turned off the stove first,” he replied. “Besides, I didn’t know where the baking soda was.” That’s male logic.

I can’t stand it.

There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. Probably you can figure it out for yourself so I won’t belabor the point. Actually, I always figured it would be one of my own cooking disasters that would turn the kitchen into ground zero – not a pot of coffee.

If there is one good thing about all of this, at least we know the smoke alarm works.

If you see a fire engine parked in front of my house tomorrow morning, do not panic. It is just my honey making coffee.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

Posted in Food, Home, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shopping Fever


It’s hard for me to admit, but I’m addicted, a habitual offender, hooked. No, NO, not on drugs – on clothes. I’m a shopaholic.

I never thought it would come to this. I seldom went shopping at all. In fact, I despised malls, only went when I was threadbare. It took too much time to shop and everything seemed so expensive.

My downfall started a month ago when I was on vacation; there was a thrift shop right next door to the motel. Hard to believe, but I’d never been inside a Goodwill store before. So, I decided to go over and check it out.

It was downhill from there. When I first walked in I thought, “I don’t like this stuff. It’s old and used.” But I decided to look around — just to try it to see what it was like.

Then I found something I really liked.

I found a skirt that looked like new and the already low cost was discounted to a mere $2. The next thing you know I had a whole shopping basket of stuff to try on. All was nearly new and all cost nearly nothing. I found a black leather jacket for $8. Can you believe it?

I didn’t know it, but I had thrift-store fever.

I made several more trips back to the store before we left, and when we came home, I found that I could not kick the thrift store habit. I located a local Goodwill store and continued to shop. I couldn’t help myself. Everything was so cheap, a dress for $3.50 — if you were there on the right day.

I began to run out of clothes hangers at home. Soon I had shopped the thrift store so often that I had bought all the good stuff. Of course, they put out new merchandise all the time, but it was hard to wait.

Then I realized that Goodwill has other stores too.

Guess what?

The deals are just as good. I’ve just come home from one of my little bargain-shopping sprees. I shopped for three hours and blew an entire $24. There is one thing good about being addicted to thrift shopping; it’s hard to shop long enough to spend very much money.

My closet doesn’t know what hit it. It’s stuffed. I have nowhere else to put anything. Next thing you know, I’ll be donating the leftovers to Goodwill and buying back my own stuff.

The deals, the sales, the bargains! It’s more than I can stand!

You can always find a bargain at Goodwill if you are willing to dig for it. It isn’t their fault that I can’t resist a bargain. Not only that, but the money spent all goes for a worthwhile cause, helping people with disabilities to have jobs. It’s pretty hard to work up much guilt about spending.

I’ve decided to try to kick the thrift-store habit, though. I’ll wait until I actually need something. No matter how many half-price sales they have, I am not going to shop for a while.

I will have to pass up a few of those bargains and let someone else have them. I know it won’t be easy.

Regardless, I’ll be the best-dressed person in the office for a month or so. I’ll be in a different outfit every day. I wonder if I should confess that my red blouse was a bargain and that I got it for 99 cents, or if I should just keep that to myself?

The word to use, should I decide to reveal my secret, is “vintage” clothing, not “used.”

Just do me one small favor. Please don’t buy up all the good vintage stuff before I’ve recovered enough to trust myself again.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

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