When Part D Matters

My mother-in-law shocked everyone this weekend when she announced that she’s going to retire. We honestly thought we would never see the day! She has a little store on a charming little town where she knows everybody and although she’ll never get rich, the store brings in enough money that she never goes wanting for anything. So for her to retire we were first shock and then immediately concerned that something is wrong. So the wife and I dropped everything drove down to see her, face to face and make that everything is OK.

Well, she was glad to see us and acted pretty normal, so that was good. But she says she’s tired, tired down to her bones, and she just doesn’t want to run the store anymore. She’s always had a problem finding good help and she’s never found an assistant manager that she could trust completely, so she’s decided to put the business up for sale and become retired.

Of course, that decision has opened a whole pandora’s box of questions and we have to tread lightly so we don’t offend her, but the wife went nuts with a hundred questions and we finally had to leave because I could tell the MIL was getting annoyed. We asked if there was anything she needed help with and surprisingly she asked if we would help her look into MediCare and the Medicare Part D coverage that I vaguely remember hearing about.

Now I’m not sure she really needs the help of if she just came up with this little task to shut up the wife and divert her attention to a little project, but the wife grabbed onto that request like a boll weevil grabs hold of a cotton ball. And off we went.


Tuna fish to me always meant a small round can of flaked, beige fish meat packed in oil or water that strongly resembles cat food. You used a can opener to go around the top edge and after the top clicked loose, you left it on the can so you have someplace to place your fingers and squeeze when you carry the can over to the sink and tilt it to drain off the liquid.

My mother made tuna by adding Kraft Mayonnaise, chopped white onion, chopped celery and bottled sweet pickle relish. Heap it on fresh white Wonder Bread and put a few leaf pieces from a head of iceburg lettuce. Serve with potato chips.

My stepmother had her own idea of tuna. She used Hellmans mayonnaise, if she used mayo at all. She preferred the sweet-sour taste of Miracle Whip. She chopped up one or two hard boiled eggs to add to the tuna, along with some chopped onion. I don’t recall any pickle relish or celery, but to be honest, I hated that tuna recipe and would do almost anything to avoid having to eat it, from I’m not hungry right now to I don’t want to spoil my supper when I get home (to my real mom after the Sunday child custody visitation was over).

Now I celebrate the diversity of tuna and enjoy it with a variety of add-ins, including sweet pickle salad cubes or chopped “bread and butter” pickles, a slice of American cheese of top or shredded any mix of cheeses stirred right into the tuna. Onions in or out. Add anything crunchy that you like. Put it on any kind of bread or roll you want, and put any kind of lettuce – or not – on it.

The only place I draw the line is that IF you include mayo, it MUST be Kraft real mayonnaise. Any other brand of mayo or “salad dressing” ruins it for me.

Day of Beauty

Every 3 or 4 months I schedule my dog for her “Day of Beauty” at the groomers. She has what they call “a rough coat” which means she is not s short hair, but she’s not a long hair, either. She gets enough hair on her legs and belly to need a trim once in a while. The groomer also brushes her teeth and cuts her toenails after her bath, with extra conditioner.

I drop her off in the morning and find something to do for a few hours before they call and tell me she’s ready. She comes bounding out of the groomers back room with bows on her ears and a happy tail wagging.

The best I get is a haircut for $12. Although, when I go to the dentist for my 6 month checkup I do get someone to brush my teeth. So I guess the only service I’m lacking is having my toenails cut?

Feeling Good

There must be hundreds of thousands of people who get up every morning and smile right away. They are embracing the new day and are looking forward to whatever treats the new day has in store for them.

Then there are the others who wake up dreading what troubles the day will bring. Some of them have good reason – they are facing a day in court or perhaps a job performance review, a dispatch to the front lines of a war, or a difficult medical procedure. But many people are just depressed from their normal quality of life and daily troubles.

I wish I had the solution to the people who drag themselves through the day feeling depressed and sad. That must be awful. I try to start my day with a smile and a good cup of coffee. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I do make the effort.