Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Birthday Blog

It was one of those birthdays, you know the kind. The ones that mark a decade or a half-decade or, in my case, the arrival of a new status at a half-decade. I'm now officially a senior and will look forward to whatever perks go with the title. But, it's a weird feeling. On Tuesday, I was officially young, or at least not classed as old; now I'm in a new category. Perhaps the fact that my youngest grandson's voice dropped overnight and he now sounds like a man should have given me a clue, but it didn't.

When a male friend who is three months younger than me called to wish me a happy birthday and ask me how it felt to be officially old (he enjoyed saying that), I said, I didn't know yet. And that's still true today.

I spent the day itself doing whatever came to mind and ignoring my chores. I had a healthy breakfast, chocolate mousse cake for brunch and potato chips for supper. Because, well, because I felt like it. Maybe I needed a small rebellious moment. I also finished reading a mystery and fooled around on the internet.

There's birthday loot of course. I have a brand new pair of walking shoes thanks to the marvellous Viking and a framed photograph of the Port Elgin lighthouse from my daughter. Today is just a regular day so I suppose I shall have to return to the land of responsibiities. Maybe I'll do that after lunch.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Madness in the Marketplace

My brain may only be firing on one cylinder at the moment. Perhaps that's why I fail to understand the cost of things.

My friend, the Bear, had a wheelchair that was chosen for him by the occupational therapist in Toronto. The chair also had a separate air cushion that fit on the seat. The wheelchair is a piece of crap but the cushion can protect my friend's bony rear end when he sits in the dining room. Because he is not using the wheelchair (and because it is a piece of crap) I called the company that had sent it and asked them to take it back. They suggested I rent it for $200 a month and I said no. However, the cushion has a mark on it and could not be returned. So, I asked the price - $541 dollars and that, my friends, is the Adaptive Devices Program price. A special deal indeed! I sent the company a cheque, but I also told them I hoped never to buy anything else from them, ever.

Not everything is as ridiculously expensive as that cushion. I cracked my small Melita coffee pot; the kind that can sit on a stove burner and has a removable cone on top. It's a simple thing. I boiled water and poured the water over the coffee filter and waited for the elixir. When the Viking was here on the weekend he noticed the cracked pot and said he would replace it. He tried, but they don't make basic things anymore. Instead, the inveterate shopper purchased a Black & Decker 12 cup automatic coffee-maker for me. When he delivered it, I wondered where I would put it, since I have so little counter space - but I was also concerned about the price. It cost $15.00. I'm afraid to ask how they do that.

I'm also afraid to look at current gas prices, though I don't drive. The Viking's old van, affectionately known as the green pig, is a very thirsty critter and so, we are unlikely to get out of town much this summer. All energy costs are bound to go up, but we have wise advisers to help us out. David Suzuki suggests we hang our clothes out to dry the old fashioned way. Well, yes, I would love to have a clothes line in the condo's back yard, but I fear the board will not agree.

Happily, sometimes people benefit from expensive purchases made by others. The Bear had an almost new $1800 double bed with an air bladder mattress in his apartment. It was totally unsuitable for his new abode. I didn't want it and it couldn't transport it. Fortunately, the bear's neighbour who assisted me during the final pitch-out day, knew of an older lady on the same floor who needed a bed. She's delighted to have it since she was sleeping on a very old futon, on the floor. And I'm glad to end this on a up-beat note.