I still can’t get the hang of Thursdays.

It all started when I came home from the pharmacy on Wednesday with all of Chuck’s refills but without the Claritin that helps him prevent migraines.

Thursday after school I went to Walgreen’s. I noticed several shelves full of Mucinex, our medication of choice when the flu-like viruses hit the O.K. Chorale. Yea, I thought, they have every variation imaginable. Chuck can pick out the best kind next time he’s here.

Unfortunately, there were as many or more Claritin variations, some of which required identification and promises of spinning straw into gold before actually buying the drug. I looked them all over, and I panicked. I grabbed the store brand in a small box (in case I bought the wrong dosage or type) and rushed away to check out and save my sanity.

My next stop was a local family restaurant to buy soup for supper. I pulled a quart out of the cooler, then thought, “I should get two.” But the cooler wouldn’t open again, so I gave in and checked out. Well, I waited to check out. There were three of us in line when someone finally came out to take our money. I used a gift card – used it up, in fact. I had to pull a few bucks in cash out of my wallet, too.

Soup in hand, I went out to the van and put on my gloves. Er, glove. One was missing. I dug around the minivan, looked outside under it, and hoped like crazy that I hadn’t left it at the drugstore. When I went back into the restaurant, there were two workers at the cash register. What? At least my glove was there – on the floor next to the counter.

As I left the parking lot, my hearing aid battery on the right went dead. Beep-beep-beep-beep! And of course, I can’t dig in my purse for a new battery and replace it. I drove home on one ear, so to speak.

All this – at least I did one thing right. I got a drugstore rewards card for our family. Now we can actually get the bargain prices posted on the shelves when I bring Chuck back to pick out his favorite Mucinex and Claritin.

The Year Without a Canning Season

It started with kitchen construction. It ended with a brain aneurysm treatment. It makes sense; I didn’t can very much last summer. I’m still a little bummed.

With a major kitchen remodel in progress, I got up by 7:00 every morning even after school let out in June. I moved both vehicles out of the driveway so the carpenters could pull in. Then I would start my coffee, watch the morning news, and all the rest. I didn’t make jams or jellies because I didn’t have a stove in June and July. One result: rhubarb takes up much too much space in the freezer this year. I must find a way to use it up. Maybe in May. But anyway, no stove? No canning in early summer.

Later on I went under – not under the knife, but under a catheter. Part I: cerebral angiogram to determine the size of the aneurysm. The nurse wore Crocs with the Swedish Chef on them. How awesome is that? But I digress.

You can guess what followed – an overnight in the hospital after a three hour surgery to line the aneurysm so it will not get bigger. I had this done on a Thursday, and then headed off to school meetings the following Monday. And yes, I was tired.

But back to canning. In between the two events, I managed to can a batch of sweet bread and butter pickles and a batch of kinda-meh dill pickles. I put up one batch of tomato sauce – only one batch, and it shows. We opened a jar of store-bought tomato sauce last night. I used commercially canned tomatoes last time I made chili. All the homemade ketchup, the last jar of enchilada sauce – it’s all gone.

I’m a little sad looking at all the empty spots on the shelves that usually overflow with the goodies from the garden and the farmers’ market. Next June, I’m going to start canning like crazy. Canning like crazy and loving it, too!

A New Year, and New Advice

Dear Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez; Hire a researcher. Consult this researcher before you make a public statement. No matter how sincere, if your announcement makes you seem uninformed, you will take unnecessary heat for it. -From one on your side, Daisy Democrat.

Dear Hillary; You remain my idol. Your interview with Christiane Amanpour once again reinforced your intelligence and grace. Those who follow may or may not recognize your contributions, but I know you blazed trails and opened doors for many. Thank you for your dedication to our country. -Democrat Daisy

Dear Green Bay Packers Administration (Mark Murphy et al); Please choose wisely. That’s all. –Another shareholder

Dear Pharmacy that Shall not be Named; You really turned around. The customer service and accuracy have come miles in a few years. Just in time for the higher-ups to sell you out to Kroger, too. Sigh. Thanks for the assistance, the flu shots, and the attention to details. –Always pursuing wellness, Daisy

Dear Governor-elect Evers; we’ve got your back. Do what you need to do. Sincerely, the state’s teachers.

Dear Dr. Footwork; Thanks for the help. And thanks for the laser treatment. And please keep on pushing the insurance companies to cover laser treatment, too. Sincerely, Hopalong Daisy.