El Mocaljetes

Dimitris and I love Mexican food. Our favorite Mexican restaurant in St. Petersburg is Carmelita’s which, by the way, gives patrons a free meal on his/her birthday. Our second favorite Mexican restaurant in our city is Taco Bell. Our favorite food there are Mexican pizzas, spicey tostados ($1.19), shredded chicken burritos, and quesadillas. Had we not visited friends in Palmetto who took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant, El Mocaljetes, we would never have learned of this restaurant. The first time we were taken there, we were impressed both with the food and the atmosphere and vowed to return. The second time we went, we purchased salsa and chips to take home. We also learned on that visit that this restaurant serves tacos (soft and hard shell), enchiladas, and tostados (chicken or beef) for $1.00 each on Mondays. What a bargain and what good food. The last time we availed ourselves of this inexpensive meal, I had one tostado and one enchilada; Dimitris had three enchiladas. Our bill was $5.51. I left what would usually be considered an extravagant tip on that amount as I don’t want the place to close down with this Monday night special

[Readers, I will be away from the computer from the 19th until the 26th. I will publish again on the 27th.]


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Contacting the Tampa Bay Times

I have been a subscriber for years to the St. Pete Times which became the Tampa Bay Times. When I first signed up, I subscribed to receive the paper every day. Later, I decided that it was not the best way to start the day with bad news every morning so I changed my subscription to Thursday through Sunday. In the past year, I have shortened my request to Sundays only. My problem with the paper is too frequent non-delivery (several times this past month), and the difficulty in contacting the paper to suspend deliveries during vacation time. It seems that every time I have reason to contact the Times about a problem that it is a greater problem getting a person or a robot to take care of my request. I still thoroughly enjoy the physical paper in my hand once a week, but the frustration it causes seems to be unnecessary and unexplainable in this day of diminishing subscriptions to the paper copy of the newspaper. I’m usually not a complainer, but I don’t find it unreasonable to expect the paper on my doorstep every Sunday morning before 8:00 AM.

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Pain serves a purpose. For one thing, it shows us what it feels like when we don’t have any pain. It also lets us know that something is causing us to experience pain. I have been told by doctors that I have a high pain tolerance. That proved to be true in 1980 when I had pain in my side which resulted in my appendix bursting. My latest run-in with pain occurred the last time I went to the Pain Management office to have epidural shot #3 to ease the pain I experience when I am standing. In the office, I always fill out a form indicating where the pain is, how bad it is, and what eases it. As always, I wrote down that I was not in pain but that the pain occurs in my back when I am having pain and that the epidural shots appear to be helping. When I was called into the office to have my shot, I was told that I was there only for a conference and would not be getting a shot. During the conference, I explained to the nurse my problem with indicating pain. She listened and told me that I could not have a 3rd shot until September 26th. I made the appointment and was upset when I had a call from the office two days later informing me that my appointment had been canceled because I had written on the form that I was not in pain. I was told to indicate pain the next time I come in.

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Rainy Days and Weekends

One of the items I most enjoy and depend on is my Oregon Scientific weather station, which measures the outdoor temperature and the amount of rainfall. It even keeps a tally of all the rain we have had since the last reset. Two days ago, it stopped working. Knowing that heavy rain was forecast, I went into stressed mode. I have a phone number for the company but, since it was Friday evening when the stoppage occurred, I knew that I could not call until Monday at noon (as they are on Pacific time). Of course the deluge arrived on time, and I watched as uncounted drops of rain made puddles in the yard. It is now Monday at noon, and I just called Oregon Scientific and talked with a technician. Because I’m heading out to lunch, I cannot try his suggested method until later, but he assured me that it will work. If not, I am to call the company again. How nice to have a company who has technicians who are available to talk with customers. I am most grateful, especially if my weather station is working again later this afternoon….and it was.

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My Perfect Health

My Perfect Health

I have Humana Gold Plus health insurance, and I have been totally satisfied with my plan. Because it is an HMO, I was unable to choose my primary care physician, but Dr. Bonnie Lloyd came with the packet. I lucked out. She is terrific, and I count on her to keep me in good health. I have regular blood work and physical checkups every three months. She has seen me through knee surgeries and a heart attack. Her office is connected to the JHA medical group. Evidently,  JHA supervises several medical facilities. They certainly supervise me as each Monday about 12:30 PM, the phone rings and my caller ID shows that it is a call from JHA Medical. If I’m busy, I don’t answer it as I know they will return the call in the evening. Although these calls are robo calls, I talk to Robo as though I had a dear friend on the line. “How is your breathing?” says Robo. “I have very nice breath today,” I reply. “How is your swelling?” says Robo. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I answer. “How is your sleep?” says Robo. “I had a wonderful night’s sleep,” dear Robo. “How is your weight?” “Aren’t you getting a little personal?” I respond. If no one else calls, I can always count on chatting with JHA Robo once a week.

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Dance of the Bed Sheets

On this, Dimitris’ and my first anniversary, I am remembering when I was living alone in my home and washed the bed sheets occasionally. Since my partner took over the housekeeping, he washes those sheets every Friday. For a while, he took care of the entire process, undressing the bed, putting the sheets in the washing machine, moving them into the dryer and checking on their progress until they were dry. Then he would fold them neatly. At some point, he decided to involve me. I wish I could say I accepted his invitation willingly, but I did not. However, he had a plan as to how to make me a willing participant. Folding the regular sheet was simple enough but he added at the end a little of tug-of-war. It took me a while to learn to stand my ground as we pulled out some of the wrinkles from the sheet. As we met to put the two ends together, we kissed. With the fitted sheets, I was more reluctant as it meant learning a process. Teaching me to point my finger at the corners and fold them into each other was tough, but we did it and sealed the effort again with a kiss. What had seemed like such a chore has become a delight.

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Brother to Brother

My brother and I are 3 1/2 years apart in age, my being the elder. One of the aspects of our relationship that I have enjoyed has been arguing politics over the phone. My brother is a registered Republican whereas I am a Democrat. I have bragged many times about shouting at each other in disagreement regarding politics but always ending the phone calls with “I love you.” For various reasons, my brother opted to stop those phone calls and to deal with our disagreements via e-mail. Lately, those e-mails have resulted in each of us insulting the opinion of the other. It’s sad that partisan politics has come between us. Fortunately, we have both agreed that we should communicate for a while only about mutual interests, family, and entertainment (he is a movie/book reviewer). Regardless of who is elected president this fall, I hope that our different points of view will not interfere with our relationship as family. I compliment him for being the first to suggest we avoid political opinions until after this election is over. I love my brother. He is the only person who still calls me Tommy.

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