Tuesday, October 2, 2018

If it's not karma, it must be something else

The only karma I know about is Putz's wife, Karmalee Barlow of Tooele, Utah.

I have had a terrible perplexing challenging few days.

Last Thursday our niece Rhonda in North Carolina was found unresponsive and without a pulse on the floor of her bedroom at 1:30 in the morning by her 83-year-old mother. The paramedics came and worked on her for 45 minutes, then transported her to the local hospital, where she died. She was 53. Yesterday would have been her 54th birthday. She was ten days younger than our oldest son. It has been a shock.

It was determined on Friday that our 12-year-old family car has a broken motor mount. I now have to decide between spending several hundred dollars to have it repaired or begin looking for another vehicle to replace it, not that I can afford one just now, but them's the breaks, I suppose. This news prevented us from being able to attend Rhonda's funeral.

Our little dog Abby lay down in the grass in our back yard yesterday afternoon and was promptly bitten by about 25 little black ants. I know the number because that's how many pinkish-red bites we counted on her abdomen. The vet, when called, said to give her half a Benadryl tablet every eight to 12 hours until she gets to feeling better.

They say good things come in threes. Maybe bad things do too. Or maybe it's just called "life".

Nevertheless, thanks to all of you for the happy blogaversary wishes on my last post.

I'll try to be cheerier henceforth.


  1. I sincerely hope that you have indeed used up your bad things. And send my condolences.

  2. Karma. Now there's a topic for discussion. It was Benedryl I tried to buy a year or two ago having used it in New Zealand to great effect on bites. It's no longer available in either NZ or the UK. (I'm pretty sure it's Benedryl I'm thinking of).

  3. Oh Dear. The car, well, you will sort somehow. Abby will be less abbynormal soon. But your niece. Oh gosh. 53 is too young. My heart goes out to her mother. And all who are sad.

  4. My condolences to your family about the death of your niece. It must have been a shock.

  5. So very sorry about your niece. Prayers for comfort for all.

  6. Thanks to all of you for commenting. Our doggie is feeling better. We have decided to repair, not replace, our car. And there is an empty place in our lives that Rhonda used to fill. And although all the experts nowadays advise against saying it, Mrs. RWP and I believe that she is in a better place.

  7. How awful for you all, it always feels too soon, but sometimes it clearly is just that and I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending love your way x I'm glad your doggie is on the up and hope that's it for dark days for a long time.

    1. Starshine, the sun is beginning to shine again. Did I mention earlier that we have added half a teaspoon of unsweetened pumpkin to Abby's morning meal and two tablespoons of unpasteurized goat's milk to her evening meal? You might try that with Rosie (in larger amounts because of her greater size) because except for the ants episode Abby has been doing great in the great digestive battle of our time.

  8. At least you dog is okay. The last time I was in the vet with one of our cats, a lady was there with her dog, and she said that something bitten it the day before, and that she had ended up taking it to the emergency vet clinic. I've only been there one, and the bill was $2,400, and that didn't include any surgeries. So, count your blessings, I guess.

    I've very sorry about your niece.

    1. Snowbrush, I didn't have to pay the vet anything this time but I did have to pay the auto mechanic $370 on Monday to repair a broken motor mount. No matter to whom it goes, having to pay unexpected money is never fun. Also see my reply above to Starshine (Michelle) on the doggie front.

    2. If it'll make you feel any better, yesterday, I paid $2,431 for the first two of four gum grafts, and there's no guarantee that they will even take. Last week, it was $750 for a crown, and the week before that $1,200 for a root canal. I asked my periodontist if it might not be time to consider false teeth, and he talked me out of it, but still I wonder if it makes sense to spend all this money.

    3. I forgot to add that the "Service Engine Soon" light ("Check engine" on some cars) had come on and the auto mechanic reported that the trouble was the catalytic converter in the emission control system. They gave me a very reasonable estimate of $1,013 (I checked online and learned that prices vary from $300 to $3000 depending on the make, year, etc., but the national average is $1,029). I just put four new tires on a few months back ($660) so my pocketbook commiserates with your pocketbook. About your teeth, I vote for false teeth as an economy measure even though every dentist I have ever known has thrown up his or her hands in horror at the idea. I had a crowned tooth break in half this past summer; I had nearly managed to put it out of my mind completely.

      Increasingly, when some unexpected new cost is inevitable, my watchword is that line from "Hello, Dolly":

      Money, you should pardon the expression, is like manure. It doesn't do any good unless you spread it around.

    4. Horace Vandergelder! That's my second favourite quote of his, this is the first - 'Eighty percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in danger of contamination.'

      I agree about false teeth. The cost and pain of those screwed in and the like is truly awful. But you can lose dentures, and have to have them taken out for operations, so look like Daffy Duck. So not all fun.

      Interesting about the pumpkin and goat's milk. Rosie seems allergic to dairy but the pumpkin we shall give a go. She loves sweet potatoes too and they help her digestion I've found.

  9. "I just put four new tires on a few months back ($660) so my pocketbook commiserates with your pocketbook. About your teeth, I vote for false teeth as an economy measure even though every dentist I have ever known has thrown up his or her hands in horror at the idea."

    Two thoughts: things could be much worse for both of us, and, I trust, we can at least afford it, although I do worry that, in my case, I might be throwing good money after bad. Aside from that, my face is swollen and bruised from the first two grafts; I'm on a liquid diet, and the pain is making sleep so difficult that I'm plowing through my Ambien way too fast (taking between two and three (10 mgs) pills a day because I can't get nearly enough oxycodone. I had a college friend visit me last summer, and he had become an evangelical Christian since I knew him. He spent his career making a big base salary plus working all the overtime he could get in a Houston refinery. He told me that he decided, years ago, that if he would stand upon God's promises by tithing, then God would see that he and his family never wanted for anything. I didn't ask him why, if he believed this, he spent all of those hours working overtime instead of raising his children, it being something that he now regrets since they're grown and gone, and he realizes how fast the years passed. Anyway, I can but assume that you wouldn't be feeling money woes so much now if you had been a tither. On the bright side, you're a Methodist instead of a member of Herbert Armstrong's outfit, so even if you had tithed, it would have only come to 10% instead of multiples of ten. I will grant one thing to my friend, there hasn't been a single moment of a single day in my entire life that I took the Bible seriously enough to tithe, my idea of a major financial contribution to any charity not exceeding around $80.

    By the way, your cracked tooth had a high risk of needing a root canal. According to what my endodontist told me, just getting a crown means a 9% risk of also needing a root canal.

    1. Snowbrush, if I were Little Red Riding Hood and you were The Big Bad Wolf I would say "My, what long comments you make, Grandma!" But I am not and you are not and it may just be the Ambien talking.

      You are assuming facts not in evidence. As a matter of fact, I have been tithing for a few years now. As another matter of fact, we have not been attending the Methodist Church since the beginning of this year, but I do not reveal my entire existence in this blog. As another matter of fact, or at least record, Malachi 3:10-11 does not say that if you tithe you will never want for anything (although Psalm 23:1 implies it), it says that if you bring all the tithes into the storehouse, God will rebuke the devourer for your sake. As another matter of fact, or at least record, God told Adam after the Fall that the result of his disobedience was that he would have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. The modern equivalent might be to work all the overtime you can get in a Houston refinery. I'm just saying.

    2. "'My, what long comments you make, Grandma!'"

      Thank you for thanking me. I'm honored that you're honored by the time and attention I bestow upon you, and I hope you will use the occasion of my comments to write equally long comments on my blog. Try thinking of it this way; our friendship is conducted 100% online, so even with long comments, the time we give to one another is minuscule.

      Did you send your response in triplicate (at least it arrived in triplicate) to tri-emphasize its importance, and who are you accusing of going down the same sad road as Roseanne anyway?

      "You are assuming facts not in evidence."

      If we were playing checkers, and I returned from using the bathroom to find some of your pieces moved around and some of my pieces missing, and I complained, would you say that I had been guilty of "assuming facts not in evidence" by expecting the board to remain as I left it? By the same logic, if I inquired about Mrs. Plague's health, might you say that she ran off with her hairdresser three years ago, that you and the dog had entered a monastery as a result, and that I had assumed facts not in evidence by failing to take into account the possibility that you might not see fit to tell me when your life undergoes one or more drastic changes? If this is true, I will preface my questions with, "Are you still ___?" as in "Are you still married to Mrs. Plague?" "Do you still live in Georgia?" "Were you still born in Delaware during the Roosevelt Administration?" Etc.

      I won't ask why you stopped attending the Methodist Church since it probably involves more trauma (though, I assume, not scandal) than you--private man that you are--would want to share. I will but say that they must miss you a whole lot for your musical contributions if not your personality, and I will inquire as to what church are you attending, or should I not assume that you're still a church-going Christian?

      "As a matter of fact, I have been tithing for a few years now."

      Then you surely have loads of money, and I'm greatly relieved on that score because it means that you will be offering money to me (and I would never want you to feel the least embarrassed by sending money to your impoverished infidel friend in faraway Oregon) instead of asking for money from me, but tell me this. When a person tithes, is anything he or she gives to other charities given in excess to the 10% that goes to the church, and if so, doesn't this mean that most Christians don't give to other charities, in affect putting all their eggs in one basket. I recall there being anger on the part of some when Mitt Romney said he tithed, because few people would consider the Mormon Church a worthwhile charity, and many wouldn't look upon tithing as a voluntary donation if one does it for fear of unpleasantess in the next world if one spent the money on trivia (car elevators in the floor of one's mansion, for example). Peggy's father has tithed since he was a young man. I knew this, but he still managed to surprise me one day when he said that he only tithes out of his after-tax income. Perhaps, this is Biblical for all I know because I wasn't raised in--nor have I belonged to--a church that emphasized tithing, but in any event, I obviously assumed facts not in evidence for assuming that tithing was done as a % of the whole.

    3. Snowbrush, aka IIFIFO (impoverished infidel friend in faraway Oregon), there too many things in your comment to try to respond to them all, so I will pick and choose a few.

      I didn't mean to send my response in triplicate, so I apologize, but I did "Delete forever" a couple of times to make minor corrections to my comment. Blogger just has it in for me.

      I am still married to Mrs. Plague, and I am still living in Georgia. I was not still born in Delaware, it was a live birth and it was in Rhode Island, but definitely during the Roosevelt Administration. Franklin, not Theodore.

      I am still a church-going Christian. Your inquiry as to what church I am attending was received and will or will not be answered in due time, as the Spirit moves, in the order in which it was received, or not.

      I don't know what other tithers do, but I tithe 10% to my church of "the increase" which to my mind means what I receive, not the imaginary amouont out of which the Federal Government pays themselves taxes. I also give offerings beyond that to various things, such as Mrs. RWP and I are supporting two little girls in a Christian school in Kenya, we give clothing to the Salvation Army, and so forth. Please do not feel obliged to comment on this in any way.

      There are people who tithe on the "gross amount" but they have not been enlightened by the greedy who pass for experts.

      In case you were wondering, some of the foregoing is meant to be humorous and some of it is not.

    4. "Your inquiry as to what church I am attending was received and will or will not be answered in due time"

      You have at least provided me with a hope to live for, so I thank you for that. I'm glad you told me about your change of churches, so I won't show up at your old church to surprise you by loudly proclaiming, "Hello, Plague [you really should choose a name for which the spelling isn't so close to plague], it's your old infidel friend, Snowbrush. How's your wife, dog, three girlfriends, and two boyfriends; and are you still drinking heavily?" If I were paranoid, I might think that such a scenario is the reason that you're keeping your new church a secret.

      Not growing up in a tithing church, I never understood why many churches are completely willing to discard the non-morally-oriented laws of the Hebrew Bible EXCEPT for the very one that benefits their clergy most. Why not also maintain the ones about women not going to services while on their periods, and punishing rapists by making them marry their victims, etc.?

      As for Delaware versus Rhode Island, I regret the error. When I moved to Oregon, I couldn't get three words out of my mouth before being asked, "Where are YOU from?" in a tone like that of asking, "Did you just step in dog poop?" I would answer Mississippi, and, more often than not, they would then ask, "So...what part of Missouri are you from?" To mistake the two states surely suggests abysmal ignorance, and perhaps my mistaking your place of birth does too, although I suppose those little northeastern states tend to run together in a lot of people's minds.

      "some of the foregoing is meant to be hummus..."

      I can't imagine what hummus has to do with anything, so I'll take the reference to indicate that your alcoholism continues unabated.

  10. "you really should choose a name for which the spelling isn't so close to plague."

    Perhaps I meant to write plaque, or perhaps you meant to write plaque--who's to say? I can but trust that the answer will appear "in due time."