Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ode to the Poinsettia – The Holiday Gift That Just Won’t Die

Posted in Humor, Life tagged , , , , , at 2:15 pm by Elaine Petrowski

HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Wishing peace and prosperity to you all.

Here’s a piece I wrote some time ago for a now-defunct magazine. (Wonder if things like the typo in the headline were a contributing factor?)  And while my opinion of the ubiquitous plant has not changed, it does seem I will make it through the holiday season WITHOUT one this year.


Anyone else share my view?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prescription Plan Insanity –What the Hell?

Posted in Life tagged at 7:34 pm by Elaine Petrowski

So… you think we don’t need some health care /prescription plan reforms?  Listen to this one.  Catch-22 at its best.

Not long ago, like the health care consumer I’m exhorted to be,  I  visited the dermatologist and received, among other things, a prescription to fill, if I cared to. Nothing major, nothing life-threatening, nothing serious — just a few small, occasionally itchy toes.

After hemming and hawing a bit about the necessity for all this ( I don’t like to take an aspirin!)  I decided, ‘what the hell’ and mailed in a prescription to our  “plan.”  And lo and behold, yesterday, like magic, I received, by mail,  a huge 90-gram tube of  ointment…. along with an invoice  for (drum roll, please)  SEVENTY DOLLARS — $70 to get rid of a teeny, tiny bit of sometimes, maybe, itchy skin?

This toothpaste-tube sized package, and more to the point, the  insane amount of money it cost, prompted me to  spend about forty-five minutes on the phone just now,  trying to find out why on earth the company sent me 90 grams, when, according to the pharmacist ( one of five… count ’em ..five… humans I was compelled to speak with, in addition to two (or was it three?) automatons to find out that said ointment is available in 15, 30 and 60 gram tubes. The good doctor apparently didn’t specify a size, according to the pharmacist.  “So,” I innocently inquired — “wouldn’t  one of those smaller amounts  have sufficed? Who was it then, that decided I needed 90 grams of this stuff?”

Oh …and wouldn’t it be  LOGICAL to assume that  30 grams would cost about one-third  of what 90 grams cost? Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who Has the Oldest Spices Out There?

Posted in Life, useful information tagged , , , , , , at 1:21 am by Elaine Petrowski

Baking up some gingerbread cookies? Mixing up some eggnog? Here’s some useful info to potentially improve the results.

A friend recently sent a link to McCormick spices,  where you can find out exactly when the spices in your cabinet were minted.  At the risk of having everyone I know afraid to eat at my house, I’ll  admit I possess – I kid you not – spices that  predate …  um … let’s see … the Millennium?  The Lewinsky Affair?  My  nephew Paul, who is currently in his second year of law school?

Before you get all smug on me, go find out how old the spices in your cabinet are (at least for McCormick spices) when you have an idle moment or two. Then post your oldest spice date in the comments section below.  Shortly after the  New Year, I’ll post my codes and the dates and we’ll see who wins. ( And no cheating. You may be asked to verify with the code.)

A treasure trove of antique spices. Are yours even older?

A treasure trove of antique spices. Are yours even older?

FYI: I’ve always  HATED  the taste of cloves. So could someone please explain why I am harboring , not one, but two, “tins” (hint)  that will soon qualify as archeological finds or at least tickets of entry to “Antiques Roadshow” ?

Oh, and happy holiday baking.  With all new spices, I hope.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are You Spending Less on the Holidays?

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 7:00 am by Elaine Petrowski