Doing the To-Dos

It’s amazing how light one feels when everything is wiped off the to-do list, at least temporarily. Yesterday I finally published my new website with no problems — yeah! (You can check it out here: I decided to stick with my current car insurance because of lower deductibles and accident forgiveness, so I paid that bill as well as several others. I cleaned out the file of old bills. I’m sure there were several other small chores done, too. What a great feeling!

I carried that feeling over into this day until I was scared half out of my mind by a loud screeching noise. It turns out my phone was screaming at me about a dangerous dust storm in the area. As if I didn’t know. All I had to do was look out the window. Or, if I didn’t look out the window, all I had to do was open the door, see all the blowing dust, and quickly shut the door on the outside world.

I hadn’t been able to locate the permissions for that alert app so I could turn off the notifications. If an alert goes off in the night, it would probably scare me into a heart attack. Luckily, I finally managed to turn off all notifications. If I ever feel the need, I can always turn them on again, but for now, it’s more of an annoyance than a lifesaver. When I go out, I check the weather anyway, otherwise, it doesn’t matter. Besides, I can’t do anything about the weather, war, riots, whatever, so it’s better if I slept through it.

Because of my finally finding that permission setting, I hunted once more for the photo editor permissions. I have no idea why the default setting was “no permissions” because with no permissions, the app wouldn’t work. I’d never been able to find the permissions before, and even though I didn’t find them today, I did something in the search for that setting that turned on the photo editor.

Now I just have to figure out how to turn off the “Find my phone” app. It keeps telling me . . . something. Maybe that I need to sign up for it. Apparently, I can’t turn off the notifications they keep sending me to sign up for the app unless I sign up for app, which makes no sense to me, but that’s a conundrum for a different day. (And I wondered why I was so hesitant to fiddle with my website!)

Speaking of conundrums: for some reason, WordPress held the comments of some long-time commenters for moderation. If this happened to you, or happens sometime in the future, please do not take it personally. It’s merely a blip in the program. I would never require moderation for those of you who come here frequently.

So, that’s my day. How is yours?


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Taking a Rest From Thinking

I’ve been procrastinating about writing anything today, hoping for inspiration, but deep thoughts or any thoughts, actually, seem to be absent. I suppose that’s a good thing — it means I’m not obsessing over anything.

At least not today. I have been overthinking my insurance, trying to figure out if I want to stay with my same agent for automobile insurance or bundle the car insurance with my house insurance. It doesn’t save me anything. Even though the house insurance will go down (after it goes up because of the new garage), parts of the auto insurance will go way up. Other parts will go down, but mainly because the deductibles will go up. And then, because of the high comprehensive deductible, I’d have to get full glass coverage so there would be no deductible for replacing a windshield. And that cost alone is more than the comprehensive cost.

What a racket!

The one good thing about changing insurance companies would be that I’d get to set a value on my car rather than rely on the vagaries of the first insurance company. The first insurance people do know I restored the car, and they have a photo of the car as it looked a couple of years ago, so it might work out. Of course, the best thing to do is simply not get in an accident!

There are other differences to consider when switching insurance companies. For example, if I am in a chargeable accident (I presume that means the accident was my fault), and if I have been with the first company for nine years (which I have been), and haven’t had an accident in those years, my insurance won’t go up because of it.

I certainly don’t plan on getting in an accident, but such things to happen — it’s why they are called accidents. I do make sure I don’t drive at night, in bad weather, in heavy traffic, when I’m distracted, or any other unsafe condition, but still, accidents happen.

All these things have to be taken into consideration, so is it any wonder that today I am not thinking about anything and giving my poor brain a rest?


“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

More Concrete

I recently got a bill for my car insurance along with a letter. The company was all puffed up with their magnanimity because — as they said in the letter — people were driving less, saving them billions of dollars, so were giving the money back to their customers via discounts. Sounds great, right? And sure enough, the bill did show a discount of $30. But a quick perusal of my previous bill showed that they had raised my rates by $40 for a net increase of $10. If rates are based on the company’s costs and payouts, and if people were in fact driving less and hence getting in fewer accidents and costing the company less, how could my base insurance have gone up? Sounds arbitrary to me, and just another of the many ways big companies look out for us and thank us for our patronage.

On a less cynical note, the workers finally were able to get the jackhammer to tear up my old sidewalk in preparation for building a new one without bumps and cracks for me to trip over. (Now these people really do look out for me, paying attention to things that might be hazardous around here for me as I get older, and they don’t brag about their magnanimity, either.)

They’re planning on coming back this afternoon to remove the concrete so that tomorrow they will be able to start building the framework for the new sidewalk and stoop, which brings me closer to being able to use the back door. I am so looking forward to not tracking mud into the house! I’d be tracking in some anyway, but I have an area set up in the enclosed porch by the back door for a mud “room” to help keep from tracking the dirt into the rest of the house. (I remove my shoes when I come inside no matter what door I use, but the bigger mats in the back collect more dirt than the smaller ones in front.)

The guys were worried about me inadvertently walking out the back door and damaging myself on the river of broken concrete, but I assured them I am long out of the habit of using that door. (The step is way too steep for my still-healing knee.) Too bad the broken concrete is so dangerous and impractical, because it has a rather appealing artistry to it.

Still, practicality is more important than artistry, and a new sidewalk will be wonderful. It will certainly be more of a boon than any fake discount, and more concrete.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator