those new eyeglasses

You may recall that I was looking forward to picking up my new eyeglasses. I had ordered two pair, progressive and single-focus for the computer. The verdict after a couple of weeks: I am delighted.

new glassesFor the progressive lenses I ordered a slightly larger frame than what I had before, so when I’m driving I sometimes need to move my eye to a little different spot on the lens, but that’s fine. In church I realized that I can hold the hymnal or the Book of Common Prayer out in front of me rather than trying to peer out from under my glasses. And it’s more pleasant watching television.

My new computer glasses make sitting at my desktop PC very pleasant. It’s now most enjoyable to work on my blog there. Using my iPad with my lap desk while sitting on the bed in the evening is also much more comfortable.

I made sure the frames were different enough to easily distinguish between the two. My computer frames have a somewhat rounder shape than the progressive ones and they also have an additional bridge piece across the nose that is not on the progressives. If I have taken both pair off I immediately know which one I am looking at. (And in any case, if I get up and walk around using my computer glasses I definitely know that I am wearing them. With the previous pair I could get up and take Tasha for a walk and be halfway up the block before I realized I had my computer glasses on.)

I’m pleased.


anticipation

I was way past due in getting my eye exam. The coating was peeling off my progressive glasses and my computer glasses weren’t doing the job. I needed new glasses, but I was watching the dollars and cents.

eyeglassesAfter Social Security kicked in, which happened in September, I decided to move forward. I wanted to get my glasses locally, rather than driving to Kaiser in Moreno Valley, about 45 minutes away. With the AARP/EyeMed discount I thought I could get a good price at our Hemet LensCrafters. But Kaiser provides a no-copay eye exam, so I made the schlep to Moreno Valley for that. While I was there I got a quote on both progressive and computer glasses. I didn’t realize how good the price was.

The next day I went to the LensCrafters here and was in for an unpleasant surprise. Their price was $400 more than Kaiser. Yikes! I thought about checking out Walmart, but the Yelp and Google reviews about the local Walmart were quite negative: both with respect to the staff and the quality of the eyewear.

So back to Kaiser, 45 minutes notwithstanding, on Monday, a week ago today. Fortunately Kaiser was open, even though it was Veterans Day. (Yes, I checked first.) The optician was great. She helped me find a pair of frames that I liked for my progressives, and went out of her way to help me find a pair of frames for my computer glasses that I could quickly and easily distinguish from my progressives. (I need that. I will get up from the computer and go off an do something, only to realize that I’m still wearing my computer glasses.)

The optician said it would take two weeks for the two pair to arrive, but I had a call this morning saying that they were in. I’m looking forward to picking them up.


Tasha: still surprising

Today is November 1st, and for me there are always two things of note on this day. It is All Saints’ Day on the Episcopal calendar, and it is the day in 2005 on which we brought Tasha home from the shelter.

When we first brought Tasha home she had a lot of puppy in her, and when we were away she would go through the trash cans in the house. We bought multiple covered trash cans to deal with that. It eventually became something that we didn’t worry about too much.

TashaWhen we moved south in 2015, without even thinking too much about it, we put an uncovered trash basket in the laundry room. That wasn’t an issue until a couple of months ago, when, on two instances, Tasha tore into that trash basket. She still has the puppy in her when the urge arises. I went to Target and bought a covered trash can for the laundry room.

At her age, however, she is still adaptable. Her afternoon walk has always been mid-afternoon, around 2:00 p.m. or so. But this summer it was just too hot, so we shifted her walk to early evening, around six-ish. She was happy with that. She seemed to agree about the heat.

Tasha is our amazing child who still keeps us surprised after all these years,


losing our go-to propane supplier

When we left Gilroy in 2015 our outdoor gas grill was one of the things that didn’t make the cut. We were here in Hemet for two years before we bought a new gas grill. When we did my brother asked me whether we were going to own our own propane tank or use the swap-out system. As I wrote back then, I didn’t know we had a choice. For us and our neighbors on Arbor St. in Gilroy, all we knew was that you picked up a full tank at Orchard Supply or Home Depot and swapped it out when it was empty. I quickly discovered that it was much less expensive to buy your own tank and refill it as needed.

Trailer SupplySince we have been doing that here in Hemet there has only been one place that we have gotten our refills: Trailer Supply. It was a mom and pop shop where it was easy to get the task done. And I mean literally “mom and pop.” A husband and wife ran it without any additional help that I ever saw. The husband filled my tank and wrote down on a post-it the amount of propane he had dispensed. I went inside and paid the wife. Simple and easy.

And now they are gone. Closed. Just like that. The store is on my route home from church so the closure caught my eye. I realize that we did not use our grill once this year, as I wrote. But we expect to be back in the grilling business next spring. We’ll have to find another source for our propane. A couple of the big gas stations in town sell propane, but that I would expect to be a hassle. With customers coming and going, filling up their vehicles and paying at the counter, getting someone to leave their post behind said counter to refill your propane could be difficult. There is a farm supply store in the tiny town of Winchester, just a few miles from us, which has a sign saying that they sell propane. I think we’ll give them a try.

But we won’t have to worry about that until next spring.


sacrificing quality for price

old razorIt was a year ago at this time that we were getting ready for Terry’s Knee surgery. At the same time I needed to get a new set of blades for my Norelco electric razor. When I checked the prices on Amazon I was taken aback by cost of replacement blades. I could buy a new razor for that price, I thought. So I did. I bought a low-end model.new razor

Big mistake. I never liked the feel of the razor in my hand and the shaves I got were not all that great.

Now here it is a year later. I went to Amazon to buy replacement blades. No Norelco blades came up for that razor. What did come up was a third-party set of blades with really poor ratings. So I checked the Norelco web site. No blades for that razor on the Norelco web site either. Really? Really.

So I took the opposite approach. I ordered a mid-range Norelco razor. Not the cheapest, but not the most expensive. Something right in the middle. I’m quite happy with it. It gives me a close, smooth save.

Sometimes it’s not a good idea to sacrifice quality for price.


our lonely grill

gas grillAutumn began a week ago today. Summer came and went quickly. In fact, I don’t know where it went. And not once this summer did we use our outdoor gas grill.

The reasons are many. The summer started off mild and we didn’t feel the need to grill outside. We had a new stove with a grill burner and I loved using it with our grill pan. I enjoyed the fact that I had much more precise temperature control than on the outdoor grill. Then there was the fact that I was not allowed red meat until the third week of August on account of my surgery . No grilling hamburgers. By the time it started getting hotter and we thought about maybe grilling Terry was not up to the task of cleaning the thing. And any attempt I might have made at cleaning it would have been woefully inadequate.

So it’s autumn and our grill sat covered all summer. We’ll think about this again in the spring.


it was inevitable

store closing signOn Monday I tossed a whole stack of Bed Bath & Beyond coupons into the recycle basket in my office. It reduced the size of my coupon folder by half. Why would I do that?

On Sunday Terry and I made a routine trip to Bed Bath & Beyond (BBY as we call it), a couple of “20% off one item” coupons in hand, to get ice cube trays. (Sometimes we use more ice than the ice maker can keep up with and one of our trays had a crack in it.) There were big signs saying Clearance — Store Closing — All Sales Final. We weren’t surprised.

I wrote back in June about how the chain was struggling and how I couldn’t find what I was looking for on one particular trip. I wondered how long our local store would last. We have that answer now.

I like BBY, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get there. The two closest stores will now each be about thirty minutes away and it’s just not worth it. Hence my tossing that stack of coupons. Between Target and Amazon we’ll be just fine.

Still, it’s a convenience we’re losing and local jobs that will be lost. The latter, especially, is not a good thing.

Bed Bath & Beyond coupons