Tag Archive | confusion

Across a closed border: part two…

You’d think I’d have less to go home with, but Rafi took me to my favourite store, Trader Joe’s.
JUST LOVE THESE TREES!

While being spoiled rotten by my kids and loving it, a neighbour from home emailed about a new form called ‘ArriveCAN’ I needed to complete.

Son Rafi photographed all my papers, completed it and printed an important-looking page for me to turn in at the border.

Simple right? Wrong! Officials didn’t care about it. I think they hadn’t a clue what it was. I was glad I had carried all my documents.

The stupidest part? Flying from anywhere in the US to the U.S., no tests are required. (Daughter Susan did just that to join us.) I, however, crossing the Canadian border, needed another COVID test. Cost: $301. U.S. Why the $1.?? It SEEMS ridiculous!

My direct flight home being cancelled, I had to fly from San Francisco to Seattle. The plane was full. Those debarking in Seattle had NOT been tested. They wore masks, removed while snacking and drinking, etc. How safe was that??? My second plane from Seattle to Canada had few passengers. (How many nuts like me are there?)

Arriving at my own airport, I made my way past one guy after another (All male. In uniform. More intimidating???) showing each ALL my documents.


WITH REMY, WHO CALLS ME HIS ‘CRAZY GRANDMA’. A TITLE I WEAR PROUDLY…


Finally one said: “You’re good to go,’ Yeah! I was tired.

$5,000 FINE IF I DON’T COMPLY


The next guy, however, decided I must take another COVID test ‘tomorrow’. Exhausted, I accepted the box, dragged myself home and crashed.


Next morning: I read the instructions and panicked. I was to make a video of myself taking the test??? Are they kidding? I don’t know how to do that! Plus, I’m to take another test in 6 days.


I immediately called the number given and while a machine kept telling me how important I was, held for about 2 hours, thinking about that $5,000 fine someone got for not following instructions upon return. Finally, someone answered and asked me to hold.

TIME WITH SON RAFI AT MY FAVOURITE PARK.


‘Please, don’t disconnect me…’


He came back. He’d be putting me on hold again for awhile. He needed to find out what I was to do. I waited nervously. Finally, he said to take the test and dial 1-888-744-7123 for Purolator to pick it up. This I did. Purolator came and — refused to take it.

I THINK I’M LOSING MY MIND.


‘But that’s what I was just told to do! Please, please call your supervisor,’ I begged. He reluctantly did. No dice. Why? Why?


’We didn’t get the contract. FedEx did. You have to call them.’


Time was passing. I was getting terrified. $5,000??? I called FedEx.

They WOULD pick it up — that day!!! And did! Whew!


I ate some cold beans right out of the can, (fridge was empty) took the phone off the hook so I wouldn’t be disturbed, and slept.

Next post: With my kids…

Kindness? Pass it on…

Weird things happen to me all the time, and yesterday was no exception. I had to register for my vaccine shot, but not until afternoon. I’d heard all the horror stories of those trying to book appointments and I was nervous. There had been mass confusion, so I put aside the whole afternoon for this task.

At 12:30 I dialed the number


At 12:30 p.m. I dialed the number I’d found online and, would you believe, Jennifer answered right away! I was so delighted, I told her so and we both happily completed the process. I carefully placed my identification card back into my wallet and pranced off (as much as I can prance) to treat myself to a well-earned ‘beauty’ nap. I’d been so nervous that morning, I hadn’t been able to sit still, so filled the time by taking a walk to renew my apartment insurance.

I tolled off for a second walk

When I awoke feeling and looking grand, (Ahem!) I toddled off for a second walk — to the fish store. I chose what I wanted, but when I looked for my wallet, realized I’d left the darn thing on my desk next to the phone.

I forgot my wallet


‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ I mumbled, ‘I forgot my wallet at home.’ I explained what had happened, that I’d been excited and — feeling like a fool, admitted I couldn’t buy the small amount of fish the salesclerk had already weighed.


‘You can come back later,’ she suggested. The lady waiting behind me, whom I didn’t know, spoke: ‘I’ll pay for her purchase.’ I turned to look at her, a big question mark on my face.


‘You can pass it on,’ she told me with a smile. It was a small purchase, but what a lovely thing for her to do. I accepted with my own smile, thanked her and promised that indeed, of course I WOULD pass it on.

I thanked her and promised I’d pass it on


So, keep your eyes open and if you see me out and about one of these days, remember that I need to pass on this kindness. It’ll be my treat with pleasure.

To Celine: You asked for a post. Here it is. It is for you and really did happen yesterday. Thank you for being my friend and putting up with me. Love, Muriel

My poor confused little lilac tree…

In the middle of this pandemic, our Strata decided to give our old building a face-lift. Our windows, glass doors, and balconies are included in the process. My cherished miniature lilac tree lives on the balcony. So do various other plants. They all had to be removed.


Some owners got their stuff down to the yard below, but I can’t do that on my own and how much can you ask others to do? (I’m on the 3rd floor.) I decided to ask dear Andrew to bring them all into my dining area instead. Maybe it was a mistake. This isn’t the first mistake I’ve made in my life.


My plants have mostly died. That’s okay. I can start over, except for my beloved lilac tree. I love lilacs. And Susan bought it for me just because I love them. Since it IS small, I can easily bury my face into the lovely blossoms. Inside, the tree began to look dead. Susan and I both began mourning. Still, I kept watering the poor thing — just in case.

My lovely miniature lilac tree, a gift from daughter Susan


This week, whaddaya know! It started sprouting leaves. Leaves? Now? It’s December. The beginning of winter. My little lilac tree is obviously confused. Living in my warm apartment, it thinks it’s spring!! Let’s face it, this is no time for a self-respecting lilac tree to start sprouting greenery. What to do??

Lilac tree and Jerry, the Inukshuk Susan made for me

I’ve started talking to the lilac tree as you would to a wayward child. ‘You can’t be doing that now, you silly thing. What will the neighbours say? They’ll accuse me of being a bad mother.’


Gosh, let’s face it, they’ll KNOW how crazy I am when they hear me talking to my confused miniature tree. Okay, okay. I know that you, dear reader, already know how nutty I am. No need to rub it in…

Elevator buttons — a conspiracy?

Can it be a conspiracy?

Can it be a conspiracy?

Sure, I may be older and wiser and all, but I’m still baffled by buttons in elevators. They’re beyond comprehension. I stand there staring at those little suckers confused — desperately trying to figure out which one to push. My relationship with them leaves much to be desired.

Admittedly, my sense of direction is non-exist but once I finally get to where I was supposed to be ten minutes ago, I pretty much know where I’m supposed to go. Now, if this sounds confusing, it is, so you can imagine how mixed up I feel because that last hurdle — the elevator — is the most confusing of all.

Elevators are where the real challenge begins. Does “G” mean ‘Garage’ or ‘Ground Floor’? Will “B” take me to the Basement or the B-level? Why do they use “P” for Penthouse as well as Parking, “M” for both Street Level and Mezzanine? Isn’t there anyone in charge of elevators clever enough to realize that I find all of this bewildering?

There ought to be a law making all elevator buttons standard

There ought to be a law making all elevator buttons standard

And, what about those additional buttons with pictures which are supposed to be helpful for confused, simple folk like me? They indicate either Open or Close and have something to do with the doors, but by the time I figure out which does which, the door has slammed shut in some poor soul’s face and I’m feeling guilty and apologizing to the air. I hate being rude to strangers. Whatever do they think of me?

Some people come up with brilliant ideas. For instance, don’t you agree a statue should be erected to honour the genius who first invented the potato peeler? You have to acknowledge that the potato peeler is absolutely fabulous — a genuine treasure. What would we do without them? Terrific, right?

There should be a statue in honour of the genius who first invented the noble potato peeler

There should be a statue in honour of the genius who first invented the noble potato peeler

But then, there are also people who lie awake all night dreaming up mysterious new secret codes for public elevator buttons, especially those I will be required to use. It has to be a plot! A plan purposely devised to keep me humble in these, my later years, which are supposed to

Elevator buttons are one way

Elevator buttons are one way “they” keep us feeling inadequate.

provide me with some wisdom.

If you are inclined to believe in conspiracy theories, you’d be well justified in concluding these elevator buttons are one way “they” keep all of us feeling inadequate. After all, if we consider ourselves unable to figure out something as ‘simple’ as elevator buttons, how
can we presume to question those in power? Right? Bingo!

People like me, who have vestibular disorders, don’t like large shopping centers. The lights and colours alone make us uncomfortable. Add to that my lack of any sense of direction which makes it even more difficult for me to find the stores I want in large shopping malls. Besides, I just hate shopping.

Occasionally one must work up the courage and go. Be advised, however, information in shopping centre elevators is reserved for big-time spenders only. Obviously, I don’t qualify. Pray tell, what in the world does “R” , “C” or “P” represent? Like an idiot, I recently stood in an unmoving elevator looking at those meaningless letters until I was rescued by a kind stranger.

“C is where you want to go,” she stated with assurance.
“I thought it meant “Close”, I muttered, “That’s what it means in my doctor’s building. What does it stand for anyway.”
“I have no idea, but that’s where the stores are.”

I’m intrigued by a puzzle, so on the way down I tried again. This time the man I cornered in the elevator suggested it might stand for Centre.

“But, isn’t the whole structure a centre?”

He couldn’t help and I am a curious sort. I had to find out, so I called and spoke to an expert in our city’s planning and building department. He thought the “C” button at the shopping centre probably stood for — Concourse.
Of course, everyone knows that!

This here is a rant — too many choices

This here is a rant!

This here is a rant!

Rebecca and Brian are gracious hosts. When I visit them, they have my favorite foods on hand and Rebecca prepares my breakfast every morning and serves it to me while I read the L.A. Times. (On this visit to me, Rebecca served me breakfast in my own home! Talk about spoiling someone.) Okay, they were coming here. I wanted to do as well for them as they do for me. I love them. They deserve it.
Rebecca just has coffee in the morning, but I know Brian has Cheerios, milk and bananas every day. How difficult can that be? I could do that. I know what Cheerios are. I used to buy them for my kids. Things may have changed some, so I asked my dear Brian which Cheerios he preferred.
“The plain original ones.” He responded.
No big deal. That should be easy. Full of confidence, off I went to my local supermarket, which I admit is not the biggest of supermarkets, and while looking for “plain original Cheerios” this is what I found:
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Whole Grain Honey Nut Cheerios, Whole Grain Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, and Regular Cheerios. (I dare you to go back and say all of these fast.) NACD-CheeriosBe aware we’re only talking about Cheerios, and not the myriads of other cold breakfast cereals shoppers have to dig through before they can find what they want. And, besides all these, there were large plastic packages of cereals that looked like Cheerios but may not have been.
cheerios honey nut To add confusion to the situation, Cheerios also come in different sizes like “regular”, “family” or “jumbo pack”. On that day not one “plain original” did they have in the “regular” size. I wanted the regular size! I love Brian but my cabinet would never accommodate the huge “double family” pack available, so I went home dejected, disappointed and empty-handed.
Okay, the guy is worth it, so I returned a few days later. No dice. This lady who doesn’t eat Cheerios at all was forced to purchase the “family” size or nothing at all. I hope Brian appreciates my Herculean efforts on his behalf. The guy really owes me….15454335-cow-milk
And, what kind of milk does Brian prefer? “Fat-free please.” Easy enough. I am not a milk drinker. I buy whatever milk is available in the small containers to use in my coffee when I occasionally use some at home. but I know milk. So, off I went again, this time absolutely full of confidence. After all, what can they do to milk? Did I say easy? That’s what you think. milk-glass-bottles
They have 3%, 2%, 1% and skim milk. There is cream, half & half, “coffee cream” (what’s that?), whipping cream, and can you believe, “fat free creamer”??? Just in case that doesn’t confuse the issue enough, besides Chocolate Milk and 2% Chocolate milk and buttermilk, you can also buy probiotic milk and no-lactose milk in regular, skim and 2%. If none of these suit you, you can choose from Almond milk or Soy milk, or Soy Coffee Whitener, (and pray tell what is that?) There is also a Soy “for coffee” (does that mean other soy milk isn’t good for coffee?) and Soy “light” and even Coconut milk. Whew!
silk almond, coconut, etc A friend of mine also likes to buy milk in a carton that doesn’t require refrigeration so she can have it on hand in her kitchen cabinet for when she doesn’t have any in her fridge. I didn’t look for that. However, while I was working on my extensive “milk” research project, there was another lady purchasing milk. She said they have milk with hormones and milk without hormones and they charge more for the milk without hormones.
I thought they didn’t allow hormones to be used on dairy cows in Canada, so I googled it and Google says that what I thought was true. Well, if they are selling milk with hormones here, either they are sneaking that milk in from over the border or the lady actually buying milk was wrong. I’ll never know because I never, ever want to go through checking out all the milk again. Once is enough! Did I say I know milk???????
There are just too darn many choices and it makes me crazy! Is this a rant?

P.S. Thank you Brian for the idea of writing this post. Love ya!