Pandemic Panic

Gone shopping in the last few days?  Fun, wasn’t it?

Here in Western New York, we know to keep our pantries well stocked in the event of winter storms and power outages.

But I have never seen panic shopping like I’ve seen recently.  Store shelves are wiped out of pretty much EVERYTHING.  I saw this posted on Facebook:

“I swear I was not panicking before today. But I ventured into the world today to pick up a few groceries to make dinner. There was absolute mass chaos, people buying 15-20 gallons of milk at a time!!! The milk ran completely out, people were getting mad. There is no milk, no bottled water, no butter, no bread, the canned good and pasta aisles were COMPLETELY sold out, the toilet paper and paper towels were completely wiped out too. It wasn’t until I fully looked around me, saw people with MULTIPLE carts filled to the brim frantically piling the last of the food left in the entire store in their cart. It was then I realized I couldn’t buy the basic foods I was planning to get for dinner. So I’m ashamed to say, my heart started racing realizing this ENTIRE store was being ransacked and shelfs were going completely bare and I think it’s safe to say I’m starting to panic a bit. What about the elderly that can only go out once a week? What about the people that don’t have vehicles to run out before everything’s gone? What about the people that live pay check to pay check that don’t have enough money to stock up months in advance?? Its not the Corona Virus that’s making me panic, its watching people lose their damn minds that’s making me panic!!!”

The poster added:

“Like what are you gonna do with 20 milks??? they will probably expire by the time they’d get used…and then the milk ran out by the time a family of 8 came in and could have really used a few gallons.”

And that pretty much says it all.  It’s not so much that people are afraid of Covid-19 or quarantine – after, most people manage to keep a couple of weeks worth of supplies in their houses.  I think people are more afraid that when they need something from the store, there won’t be anything left – so let’s stock up now!

I admit that I also felt some panic and stocked up on certain items (like toilet paper – hey, I have colitis!), but I didn’t hoard.  Between hubby and me we have plenty to get us through whatever is likely to happen in the next couple of months.  However, we have a small house and there’s limited storage area so we couldn’t go totally nuts.

Although I did have to laugh when hubby called me from the store to say he had a nice supply of flour and other baking items.  Those of you who bake will appreciate my amusement when he said he had FOUR cans of baking powder.  (I told him to put three of them back.)

While  he was shopping, it occurred to me that I’ve always wanted a small freezer, so I went online to check out prices.  Everywhere I looked, the smaller chest freezers were sold out.  Guess lots of people had the same idea.  That was confirmed when I next stopped in a store and discovered that the ENTIRE MEAT AISLE had been wiped out, as well as the ENTIRE FROZEN VEGETABLES AISLE.

Today, at least one store is limiting purchases – one family pack of toilet paper, two cans of a particular fruit or veggie, two dozen eggs, etc.

I’d like to think the stores will all restock in the next week or so, but then I remember that this particular panic is nationwide.  I’ve heard from friends all across the country who are facing the same empty-store situation.

Is it time to start worrying?  Probably not, but just in case, I’ll be fattening up Puppy Cody – I’ve heard dog meat can be quite tasty if prepared properly:

Nooooo – not Puppy Cody!

On second thought, I may need Puppy Cody to guard the house against ransackers.  You’re safe for now, Puppy Cody.

Meanwhile, I did stock up on the most important item:

Stay safe and healthy, everyone.  This, too, shall pass.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images of empty store shelves by Tia; other images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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When a Good Student becomes a Bad Student

How many of you remember your high school algebra class?

Yep, quite a show of hands there.

Now, how many of you enjoyed that class?

Where did everyone go?  Oh, wait, I see someone way in the back of the room with a hand up.  You must be the guy who became a number-cruncher for the Federal Government.

As for me, I had always been a straight-A student; in fact, I nearly finished high school in the top 10 (I was #11, grr).  Never did I have a problem with any math class, not even in elementary school when, for whatever reason, my teacher enrolled me in an experimental class for the “new (Base 10)” math.

Algebra was a whole ‘nother story.

A little background:  Back then, grades were A to F, with F meaning failed.  The quarterly tests were based on a 100-point scale, with 65 meaning passed (but just barely), and 64 meaning failed.

The lowest grade I had ever received in any academic class was a B+, and I beat myself up over that one.  (Note, I said “academic” – we also got graded for gym, and I’ll never admit what my sorry grade was for that.)

There were two math teachers, and the one I was assigned to for algebra could not teach.  She was very smart and knew her subject, but at least in my case, she could not relay it in any manner I could understand.  Despite that, I got the basics well enough to squeak by with an 85 on the first quarterly test.


The second quarter, it became apparent to me that I didn’t have a clue what was going on in that class.  No matter how  hard I tried, I could not understand what the teacher was saying.  Perhaps she wasn’t really speaking English?  No, she was born and raised in the good old USA, same as me.  And what were all those chicken scratches up there on the blackboard?

It didn’t help that this particular teacher had absolutely no patience for stupid students  (’nuff said).

My test score for the second quarter was 64.

This was a Regents course – the final grade at the end of the year would count toward my ability to qualify for college.  Did I mention that I had never, ever failed a test in my life?

My mother looked at the report card and asked what happened.  I told her I couldn’t understand the work but would try harder.  She let it slide because she knew I was a good student – and she knew I wasn’t being distracted by outside stuff like boyfriends (there were none, they weren’t interested in “good” girls), drugs (I didn’t even smoke cigarettes), or too much socializing (I had one friend, and she went to a different school).

In the Fog

By the time the third quarter testing rolled around, I was scared – and desperate.  Never in my life had I cheated on an exam, but I did this time.  The desks were close enough that I could see the answers being written by the boy sitting next to me – and I copied those answers.  Apparently, he was as clueless as I was.  I got a 63 on that test.

My mom was such a good woman, and had such faith in her children.  When I admitted my failure and asked for help, she drove me to the nearest bookstore to buy a Regents Algebra review book.  For the next few weeks, I immersed myself in that book – and I taught myself the entire course.  OMG, now it actually made sense!

For the final exam – the actual Regents exam, the one which counted toward college – I scored a 98!

The teacher was flabbergasted.  How could I go from a 63 to a 98 in just a few short weeks?  She accused me of cheating on the final exam.

Fortunately, when all was said and done, the school authorities accepted my tale of woe and how I had to teach algebra to myself because the teacher was incompetent.  They let the 98 stand.  For all I know, maybe I wasn’t the only good kid who failed with that teacher.

The next year was Trigonometry and Statistics, both of which I passed but neither of which I enjoyed – although the Statistics teacher did try to make Probabilities fun.

My final high school year, I had had enough.  I switched to business classes instead of college-entrance courses.  I did so well with the bookkeeping course that I went home and took over some of the bookkeeping for my father’s small home business.  As a plus, I discovered that the students in the business classes were so much more fun to be around than the brainiacs in the college courses.

The decision served me well.  I would have hated college even more than I hated high school, and the business courses got me a good start in life.

Math is a fact of life.  Perhaps whoever did this parking lot should have paid a little more attention in school (or had one less beer before drawing the lines):

Happy Friday, everyone.  Don’t let the numbers get you down.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio


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Sunday in the [Frozen] Park

How could I resist?

The temperature was in the 40s (F), and I was at the library anyway.  I figured the park pathways would be mostly clear, and heck, I don’t have a lot of “frozen” photos.  So, once again I strolled into Walton Woods Park.

There was some ice on the paths, but not enough to prevent people from walking.  And there were a lot of people – and dogs galore.  Despite the distractions, I managed to take a few photos.

No one was using any of the park benches.  I can’t imagine why:

There were footprints on the frozen pond, but no way was I venturing out there to photograph them.  I figured photos from shore would be sufficient, even without showing any footprints:

Even the streams were still frozen:

But not frozen enough to keep the deer from coming out:


“Who Dat?”

Aren’t they precious?  After awhile, they got tired of posing, and the smaller one thought it would be delightful to  moon the human:

“Mooning the Human”

That’s probably the most pornographic photo you’ll ever find on this site.  Silly critter.

Hope your  Sunday was fun, too – and I sincerely hope our weather continues to warm so I can get out there and enjoy my hobby!


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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Pay Through the Nose? Or Let the Damn Dog Die?

Our Riggsie died from bloat in 2013.  A year later, we lost our Morgan to canine lymphoma.

(Read about it – and see pictures, here.)

In both cases, I suffered the guilt of wondering if I could have saved either dog by spending more money – which I didn’t have.  Would pet insurance have helped me keep them alive a little longer?

In both cases, the dog’s time had come, no matter how much money there was, whether from my own funds or from insurance.  Riggsie was too old to undergo the required surgery, and Morgan would have had only a few more months even with expensive (and stressful) chemotherapy.  I comforted myself that we had done the best we could for our pets.

Still, pet insurance was always in the back of my mind, so when Puppy Cody came along, I immediately signed up with Nationwide Insurance for their top-of-the-line plan, which plan would include not only reimbursement for things like accidents and regular canine illness, but would also cover any genetically-related diseases.  Not knowing exactly what mix Cody was, I felt it was a good idea.

At the beginning, the premium was $45 a month – a bit of a stretch for the family budget, but well worth it, I thought.  I knew we would likely (hopefully) not have any claims for awhile, but believed that when Cody got older and suffered something like Morgan’s cancer, we would be grateful for that insurance.

The $45/month became $48/month, then $50/month, then $56/month, at which point I began to doubt the wisdom of paying so much for insurance we might not ever need.  This month, I got a notice from Nationwide that the premium would jump to $78/month!

There’s never been a claim against the policy, Cody is healthy, has a fenced-in yard, is not around other dogs, etc. – so how could Nationwide justify such a jump?

Meanwhile, we learned that my husband’s employer offers a group pet insurance plan through Nationwide.  Perhaps we could get a discount?

I called Nationwide.  Yes, the group plan would be a little lower, with the added benefit that the premiums would not increase every year simply based on the dog’s age.  Even so, we were looking at $56/month.  I weighed the options and decided to go ahead with the group plan.  Veterinary records were obtained – and Nationwide rejected Cody.

Why?  Because Cody is on a prescription diet.  She has been on that diet since she was a pup, and it’s keeping her from having any health problems, and will continue to prevent any health problems.  Again, let me point out that there have never been any claims made to Nationwide on Cody’s behalf.

If we wanted to stay with Nationwide, we were stuck with a premium of $78/month, which premium was likely to increase every year based on Cody’s age.

The Nationwide sales rep commiserated with me, and suggested that we could add “riders” to the current policy (presumably to cover Cody’s “food allergy”, although that wasn’t specified) – and the cost of those riders would, of course, be added to the already high monthly premium.

At this point the phrase “money grab” came to mind.

I researched other pet insurance  companies (including the company that carries our homeowner and automobile insurance), and the rates weren’t much different than Nationwide’s.  In addition, the initial on-line quote would probably go up as soon as they heard about the so-called food allergies.

Hubby and I discussed the situation and decided we would be better off simply putting the money in the bank every month, and hopefully by the time Cody does need medical care, we’ll have a nice little nest egg.  Should have been doing that all along – approximately $3800 was already paid to Nationwide, and Nationwide never, ever had reimburse us for a claim.

This morning, I called Nationwide and cancelled Cody’s pet insurance.

The way things are going in this country, we may soon face a similar situation with our people insurance.  Pay up? Or just die already?

It’s a sad, sad choice to have to make, whether it be for a pet or for a person.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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