Archive for January, 2008

Sweet success

About 17 and a half years ago, I sat on the love seat that’s now in our bedroom – it was in the living room of our first Birchwood house then – and held a little baby girl. She had just finished eating, and she had that sleepy, droopy look that satisfied babies have; complete with a tiny trickle of milk at the corner of her mouth. She was six weeks old and for some reason, it struck me just then that this was a special girl. That it would require something special and uncommon to raise her. At that moment, I knew we would homeschool this firstborn child.

We did.

Now we are at the end of that journey. A lot of water has gone under the Bull Creek bridge. A lot of algebra problems have been solved. A lot of biology definitions have been memorized. A lot of standardized tests have been taken, and a LOT of essays and history papers have been written.

A lot of prayers have been prayed. A lot of books have been bought. A lot of contest entries have been proofed, and a lot of award ceremonies have been attended.

But never have I been so proud, so fulfilled, and so affirmed as I was today when Katie showed me two pieces of paper. The first was a letter of acceptance from Hillsdale College, her third (I think) choice. While not overtly Christian, Hillsdale is known for its strong conservative political leanings, its rigorous academics, and its adamant refusal to accept any government funding. No Hillsdale student is allowed to receive any government funding, either.

The second piece of paper was a certificate saying that Hillsdale has granted Katie a half-tuition scholarship, renewable for four years, assuming a minimum B-average!

Of course I know that who Katie is is MUCH more important than which college she attends or who pays for it, but to have an outside source (especially one that I respect and that knows what it’s talking about) acknowledge this young lady’s achievements, abilities and potential is just about as satisfying as it gets. I am partying! Suddenly, all the stuff that needs to be done doesn’t matter. Who cares if the house is clean? Who cares if the computer locks up? I just got the biggest pat on the back I’ve ever received, and it came from someone I’ve never even met.

What a day! Go, Katie. Fly high.

See President laugh

I think the president laughed more during his State of the Union address tonight than he has in any other one-hour period in the past year.  I guess when you have absolutely nothing left to lose, you can say whatever you want and have fun while you say it.  The man was certainly relaxed, and Ms. Pelosi had some interesting facials, as well.

Now it remains to be seen who will be selected to lead our country next.  I am 97.43% sure I have decided how to cast my vote in our primary on “Super” Tuesday, although I don’t think my man will gain the nomination.  With my pen, I will vote my principles, and with all my heart, I will pray for our nation.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

The unimaginable has indeed happened.  We went out to eat last night (a Friday night) at Lambert’s, and they were “SEATING NOW.”  Can you believe it?!?!?  We could not.  NEVER in eleven years have we EVER gone to Lambert’s and not had to wait – often as long as an hour-and-a-half.  But at 7:00 PM on January 26, 2008, there was absolutely no wait.

Dessert Central

Our ministry banquet is tomorrow night.  We are ordering the salad, entree, and bread catered, but (as is our tradition), we are providing homemade desserts.   This is largely because I see no point in wasting one’s capacity on store-bought dessert.  Anyway, we have several people bringing desserts, and I was going to bring two.

You never know how many folks will actually show up for these events.  I am trying to remember, but it seems like most years we have about 75% of those who say they will come actually come.  If that holds true, we will be in fine shape on all the food; if they all come, we’ll be perfect; but if the few others who have casually mentioned that they might come truly do come, the dessert scene may get a little tight.

Hence I decided that in addition to the 10×15 Carrot Cake and the 9×13 Chips of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, I would also make some cookies that can be held in reserve, just in case.  Yesterday, I whipped up a nice batch of Cereal Cookies, and this morning I made the Carrot Cake.  In fact, I decided to make one to take and another one to freeze, but I actually split the one to freeze into two small, family-sized cakes.  Now there are three Carrot Cakes cooling in the kitchen and a big Tupperware of cookies – all strictly off limits to the family for the time being.

Tomorrow, Andrew and I will make the Chips of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, and then I will finally be done with all the bowl scraping and beater licking that I have been forced to do recently.  It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it, right?

Pharmacy funded

We picked up the long-awaited prescription this evening at the Walgreens drive-through window.  I think I can breathe easy for about two weeks now.

In other news, I memorized my first piano piece (of this season of my life), “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  I am doing well at theory, well on ear training, well on hymns, and terribly on memory.  I don’t know why it’s so hard for me.  Jessica can memorize like crazy – piano music, Bible passages, anything.  She has memorized the same piece.  Andrew has, too.  He also transposed the first page of it from C to G, but that is another story.  Anyway, I had a great piano lesson, and I have lots of fun stuff to work on over the next two weeks.

That would be during the two weeks that I am NOT working on getting prescriptions refilled!

Fern forgiven, frustration forgotten

The prescription arrived via US mail at the pharmacy today.  There was an ice storm last night and many roads in our part of the state are slippery, with many cars in ditches.  I could understand mail being delayed in light of these conditions, but this piece of mail took a week to travel through three counties – while the roads were dry and clear!

Fun with Fern

So I called the doc’s office and spoke with his nurse, Fern. She said she mailed the prescription last Tuesday (January 15).  She confirmed that she mailed it to Walgreens in Ozark.  Fine and good. The pharmacy still doesn’t have it. There is no mail delivery today (January 21) and we run out of meds on Wednesday (January 23). If any readers have lived with a bipolar ADHDer who has no meds, they will be able to relate to my rising panic. So, tell me, Fern, what should I do?

Fern: “Well, the doctor will be in tomorrow from 1:00 PM to 3:00 or 4:00 PM, and I’ll ask him if he will re-write this prescription. If he will, you can come pick it up.”

Me: “Your office is an-hour-and-a-half away from my home, which is why I called ten days in advance, so it could be mailed to the pharmacy.”

Fern: “Well, if he is willing to write it, I’ll call you.”

Me: “Okay, and if he is not willing to write it, what should I do?”

Fern: “Wait for it to come (to the pharmacy) in the mail.”

Me: (trying HARD to control my exasperation) “I’ve BEEN waiting almost a week! How on earth long can it take for a prescription to be mailed from Mountain Grove to Ozark?!?!?” (The distance between the two is about 65 miles.) “It should only take a day or two!”

Fern: “Oh, it often takes up to ten days. It can take ten days for mail to get from here to West Plains.” (That distance is 45 miles. I could get mail to West Africa faster than this. Go figure.) “That’s why we don’t normally mail prescriptions and sometimes we refuse to, but we do in special situations.”

Me: (dumbfounded) “So, are you telling me that every month I am going to need to drive to Mountain Grove to get this prescription?!?!”

Fern: “Well, you have to bring your son in for an eval anyway, don’t you?”

Me: “He only comes in every three months, and the doctor said he might stretch that out because we live so far away.”

Fern: “Well, if the doctor is willing to re-write this prescription, I’ll call you.”

Me: “And if he’s not?”

Fern: “I told you; you’ll have to wait till it comes in the mail. That’s all I can do.”

So I thanked her – not sure for what – and hung up.

I am wondering what will happen if the script never arrives at the pharmacy and the doc refuses to write another one, but I will choose not to dwell on that. As to my assumed three-hour jaunt to Mountain Grove Tuesday afternoon. . . (sigh) it’s only time and money, right? And the drive is peaceful. It’s all freeway. And I can listen to a book on tape.

Scott says I need to learn how to deal with unchangeable circumstances, so I guess this is my lesson.

Chinese medicine?

One of Josiah’s meds is a controlled substance. Therefore, each month, a paper prescription must get from the doctor’s pen (in Mountain Grove) to the pharmacy (in Ozark) a few days before the current supply runs out. None of that convenient phone-in-your-refill-and-pick-it-up-tomorrow stuff.

The pharmacy is 22 minutes from home. Unlike Walgreens in Branson, where the employees were very friendly, professional, helpful, and fast, the employees at Walgreens in Ozark are stoic, unprofessional, seemingly inconvenienced by customers, and slower than molasses in January. So why do we use Ozark rather than Branson? Because we drive past the Ozark Walgreens four times a week without fail, and we never drive past its Branson counterpart.

Blue Cross (another story for another day) insurance will not allow the prescription to be filled less than 25 days after it was last filled.

The doctor (who must write the prescription) is only in on Tuesdays.

I have been told to call the doctor’s office “a few days before Josiah runs out” and request a new prescription. Then, the next Tuesday that the doctor is in, he will write it. The office will then mail the prescription to the pharmacy. No, they can’t fax it to the pharmacy. No, they can’t mail it to my house. No, they can’t set up a system where the doctor automatically writes it each month and his office mails it to the pharmacy. I must make the call every month. No, they won’t keep the mailing address of the pharmacy in Josiah’s chart, so yes, I have to read them the complete pharmacy’s mailing address each time I call. And no, the doctor won’t even write the prescription less than three-and-a-half weeks after he wrote the last one.

So, Josiah’s going to run out of his med on Wednesday, January 23. I, being a diligent mom, called the doctor’s office on Monday morning, January 14. I gave the nurse the med, the dosage, and the name and address of the pharmacy. Yes, she would see that the doctor got it tomorrow. I explained that my son would run out of this med in about a week and that it was important to get the new prescription to the pharmacy as soon as possible. She said (helpfully – NOT) that the doctor would be in and see her note tomorrow. That would have been Tuesday, January 15.

So I, ignorant and trusting mom that I am, ASSUMED that not only would the doctor see the note and write the prescription the next day (Tuesday, January 15), but that his office would also MAIL the holy slip of paper to the pharmacy on Tuesday or Wednesday (January 15 or 16). After which the prescription would arrive at the pharmacy on Wednesday January, 16; Thursday, January 17; or at the VERY latest, Friday, January 18. Giving the pharmacy (which is open 7 days a week) a minimum of two days to fill the prescription before I pulled up at the drive through on the way home from church on Sunday, January 20 (that would have been today) to pick it up.

But no.

Not only is there no prescription ready for Josiah; the pharmacy has not received anything from the doctor’s office.

Am I steamed? You bet.

Do I want to call the doctor’s office Monday morning and give them a piece of my mind? Yes, indeed. Although if I keep giving away pieces I may soon have none left.

If I learn tomorrow morning (January 21) that the doctor’s office hasn’t yet mailed the script to the pharmacy, and if I again request that they do so, it cannot possibly go into the mail until Tuesday, January 22, because Monday, January 21 happens to be a national holiday with no mail service.

If the doctor hasn’t even written the prescription yet, will he write it when he comes in to the office this Tuesday (January 22)? Who knows?

If he does write it on Tuesday, January 22, how, pray tell, will said piece of paper get from his office in Mountain Grove (an hour and 15 minutes past the pharmacy) to the pharmacy in time for it to be filled (if Walgreens has the med in stock; sometimes they don’t) in time for me to pick it up after church Wednesday night (AFTER Josiah has taken his final dose from the current bottle)? Yes, you guessed it. Yours Truly will have to do the three-hour round trip drive to Mountain Grove to pick up the piece of paper. And she truly does NOT want to do it on Wednesday, when she is SUPPOSED to be doing the weekly grocery shopping and enjoying a piano lesson!

Is she happy about this possibility? No way!

And why is it that when other people don’t do their jobs right, *I* get to endure the frustration and inconvenience? Why don’t THEY have to deal with it?

Maybe the Chinese have this one right. They don’t have pharmacies like we do. They have medicine stores. Just like we go buy a bottle of Tylenol for a headache, they can walk into a medicine store and buy whatever other medicine they might need. No prescription is required. When Scott needed some Zithromax (available in the US only by prescription) for some infection he had over there (maybe pneumonia; I can’t remember), his friend just went to the med store and bought a box of Zithromax. No prescription and no big deal. Infection gone quickly.

I am so fed up with the whole pharmacy mess that I could spit, but instead, I will go do the laundry.

VFW, here we come

Katie entered an essay contest.  Wait!  That’s not news.  Katie won the first and second levels of this essay contest.  Oh.  That’s not news, either.  Well, tonight our family went to the local VFW post in Forsyth where we were treated like royalty.  We were served a complimentary dinner of corned beef, fried potatoes and broccoli with mushrooms – all very tasty – and various desserts.

Katie read her essay and received a standing ovation.  Many pictures were taken.  She was given a check, some cash, a framed certificate, a vase of roses, and a genuine Navy ball cap.  Our hostess for the evening, Mrs. C., was just as nice as she could be, and she wants to get us some more information on other ways to help our kids – contests, grants, books, etc.  Wow!  I have to say that I was relaly overwhelmed with how much these vets think of Katie and our family.  It was humbling. Scott will take Katie to Jeff City in a couple weeks for the state competition.

Traveling light

Andrew’s best friend, John, had permission to come over and play this afternoon. His dad takes their only car to work, so Andrew and I went to pick him up.

Now, John lives 3.5 miles away and it takes exactly six minutes to drive to his house. Here’s what Andrew had collected to take with him in the car to keep himself occupied during that long car trip. (Obviously, John would occupy him on the way home.)

* A CD

* Two library books

* His journal

* A set of 12 mini gel pens

* His sunglasses

* A water bottle

The man is like his dad: always prepared for every eventuality and never traveling light!

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