Category Archives: Foibles

Thoughts on Sleep Deprivation

I thought about doing a post on sleep deprivation, seeing as I am. I had to drive my husband to the hospital ER Sunday night so he could have a cut stitched up. We were there all night. Got home around 5:30 am. I went to sleep at 9 am and then woke up three hours later. I thought I might manage to nap in the afternoon, but for the most part I’m not a napper. So Monday I was operating on three hours of sleep.

I did better last night, but I think I’m probably at about 60%  Or I was earlier. The later it gets the more compromised I get. I feel tired. My eyes don’t want to focus on the screen. My brain feels like mush.

But I read a post today about blogging and how important it is to be consistent. You may have noticed my consistency has been lacking for some time now.  Except perhaps in the area of failing to post. I’ve been more consistent in that than anything.

Still, here I am and I am writing something. Unfortunately the article also said one’s posts should be substantive, not just a rambling stream of consciousness thing about what one did today. I fear I am very close to rambling.

I’m starting, though, to get a feel for what I’m like when I’m deprived of sleep:

Calling anyone on the telephone seems a task beyond my capability.

I can’t get my brain to do anything remotely creative… can’t write on the book, or write a blog post or even make a card.

I get irritable. Pessimistic. Self-condemning.

Small problems inflate into monstrous challenges.

I can’t talk. The words, which I know are there, won’t come up (reminds me of my computer while I’m waiting for a website to come up. Or the mail).

I am easily distracted.

I forget things.

I can, though, get on a roll of activity and do chores if I have a list of relatively routine things to do. Anything complicated and forget it.

So I’m probably foolish to even attempt to do a blog post right, now, but I’m also stubborn and there was that warning about being consistent. Besides I read a post today about how to come up with ideas for a post.  The author had a formula:

“What does (EXAMPLE) teach us about (SUBJECT)”.

You’re supposed to fill in the blanks and start writing. Thus,

What does [comparing apples and oranges] teach us about [ … sleep deprivation]?

Um… I have no idea. (I also seem to want to overuse ellipses, tonight…)

I’m not sure I’d have an idea even if I wasn’t sleep deprived. In fact, sitting here, trying to make something out of that, is making me more aware of the fact that my brain seems to have turned into a sock.  And the clock is ticking, bringing me ever closer to bed time and reminding me that I should be preparing for bed, or I’ll get there late, and be even MORE sleep deprived tomorrow.

So there you have it. A sleep-deprived persons “thoughts” on sleep deprivation…

But at least I’m posting again… and yes, I’m off to bed now…

TAW – Artist Dates

TAW is short for The Artist’s Way, and the picture here is one I took on my artist date to Reid Park. I’ve been moving along through the course, and have now done four official artists dates with another mini date thrown in. I was planning on going to the zoo last week, but got derailed when I got sick.

The other dates? The first involved going to Target for stickers, crayons and other fun stuff in the arts and crafts area… Julia Cameron’s contention is the our artist is a child and we should attempt to do things that the child in us would like. She suggested the sticker outing. I also found some cool scallop edged chipboard books that I’m going to use for a project recording my different dates — for 99 cents!  What was fun was going to the store for silly things, not really knowing what I was after, just going and looking for fun stuff and then buying it.

That element of frivolity and no direct goals seems to be what’s most fun for me at this point. My second date was the one I already wrote about to Reid Park. The third was making shell cookies.  That one turned out to be a disaster.

Awhile back I came across a blog post of Lisa Spangler, one of the Hero Artists, about these cloud cookies she’d received from a friend — butter cookies cut in the shape of clouds with their bottom edges drizzled with chocolate.  She did a fun little video of eating them. I thought they were really cool and immediately wanted to make some. The cloud cookie cutters were sold at a website called Herriott Grace, where the man uses salvaged wood to make various objects for cooking, like spoons, bowls, plates, cake flags, etc. And also the handle for the cloud cookie cutter, the tin portion of which was made for him by a tinsmith. Anyway, they were all out of cloud cookie cutters when I looked, so I put in my email to be notified. The cutters were, ahem, $15 each. Pricey, but they were so fun and I was lusting.

A few months later I got the alert that they had some cookie cutters so I hurried to the website, clicking on the “buy it now” button only to discover that for some reason I couldn’t. After awhile I noticed a message that the cookie cutter had been purchased by someone else and there weren’t any more. Bummer! 

Then I went back to the original page and the cutter was still for sale. So I clicked on “buy it” again and this time… I could. Hmm. So I went on through the process and finally we got to the point where they added the shipping and handling. $15!  So the cookie cutter cost $15 and the shipping and handling cost $15 (the store was in Canada) and that made something like $32 for a cookie cutter the size of one’s hand. Well, the cookies were cool, but not THAT cool. So I backed out… and suddenly realized that’s probably what happened to the person who’d come before me.

I decided to see if I could find some cloud cookie cutters locally and went to Ace Hardware where they have lots of tin cookie cutters. No cloud cutters. But they did have a shell. And really, I love clouds but shells are cool, too. So… I bought a shell cookie cutter. For 69 cents.  LOL

Anyway, after all that I decided that it would be fun to make an artist date out of making those cookies. Well, things happened that day and instead of being able to use the afternoon — as I’d expected when I took out the butter in the morning to soften it — I had to quickly mix the dough around 4pm. Then it didn’t work right — way too dry and crumbly, impossible to “pat into a disk” — and I discovered that I’d misread the recipe and instead of 3/4 cup I was supposed to have used 3/4 pound. So I took more butter out, softened it in the microwave, mixed it into the dough, but it was still weird. Hoping the next step of chilling it would do the trick, I patted (with the help of plastic wrap to keep it together)  it into a disk and went to walk Quigley and then do Bible class.

So it was sometime after seven when I got back to it. I couldn’t put it off because the next day I was going to have to get up at 5:30 to take my mother to the hospital to get her portacath.  So I just had to get it done. Well, chilling the dough did not help. When I tried rolling it out, it just crumbled, so I had to break it up and add milk, flour was everywhere, Quigley kept trying to eat the dough bits that had fallen on the floor. I was NOT having fun!  🙁  But I got them baked, and then it was time to do the chocolate. That went no better than the other part. I finished them at 10 pm, completely wiped out, so tired I wasn’t even interested in trying one of the cookies. They did turn out to be pretty good. 

So that date was a disaster. In retrospect I realized I should have just abandoned the whole idea of trying to get them baked that day when things first went off from my plan and instead, should’ve put The Scarlet Pimpernell into the DVD player and done the movie date instead.  It was a great learning experience, though, as to how one can make something that is supposed to be fun into not-fun. The time pressure I think, is the biggest thing. When you have to get it done, even though you’re tired and no longer want to do it, it is no longer fun. Funny because the whole point of the dates is NOT to be in that kind of situation.

Thus my next date, a week later, was to go to Starbucks with my journal, eat a pumpkin scone, drink a latte and write in my journal. Afterward I wandered over to Office Depot to use my rewards card, no special anything in mind, and yet I found all sorts of things I needed, or just wanted and used the whole amount on the card.  It was like discovering treasure while you’re out for a walk. That one was like the Reid Park date where I came home light hearted and happy. Excited that I’d used the reward for things I needed, and had such fun doing it. I even bought a pad of post it notes, which I do not need, with a picture of a yellow lab puppy sitting on a chair. I have tons of plain post-its in my office. I bought the puppy because he was cute and made me smile and felt like a “kind thing” to do for myself. Which is what The Artist’s Way encourages. Do you your morning pages and one kind thing for yourself a day.

 He still makes me smile.

Under the Weather

Why do they call it feeling “under the weather” when someone is feeling sick? Well, let’s see. I can google that… hmm. Turns out the phrase originated in the 1870s and is believed to have been a seaman’s reference to the weather deck on a ship, the topmost deck most exposed to the weather. When they were sick they would rest below the weather deck in their quarters. So says idiomSite. I would add that in bad weather they might also rest there, and in really bad weather most of them would not be feeling well at all.

So. Glad I got that straightened out. It’s a good term then for my latest foible. Last Thursday at 2am I awoke suddenly feeling awful. Hurried to the bathroom, stayed there an hour, but nothing happened except I continued to feel sick. The next morning I still felt bad and figured I should take it easy, using the BRAT diet, but even that was difficult to eat more than a few bites of. At first I thought it might be a result of exposure to my son, who, as I mentioned in a previous post, had come down with a viral infection about ten days before.  Later, I recalled that the side effects of the new prescription for megadose Vitamin D I’d just started taking included nausea, sleepiness and headache. So which was it? Why would I care? Because tomorrow (Monday) I needed to be taking my mother to her second chemo treatment. If I’m sick, I can’t be around her. Well, I called the Nurseline today, and the nurse said that we have to assume I’m sick and someone else would have to take her. But not my husband, who might also be contagious,  just not showing any symptoms.

I called the Pharmacist about the side effects, and the weekend shift person was aghast to think I would be taking so many units and surely that would have more intense side effects. On the other hand, the pharmacist who went over it with me knew all about the recently changed Vitamin D levels and the new treatment for deficiency involving megadoses, and said the old 400IUs was obsolete.

So. Confusion reigns again. The only one who knows anything is the Lord. So after trying to figure out what to do with far too little information for more time than I should have, I finally gave it up and turned it all over to the Lord. My mother would have to find another ride and it turns out she has: the neighbor has agreed to take her. Hopefully she will arrange for the neighbor to bring her back as well, as I urged her to.

So that’s been the Distraction of the Week. But yesterday I decided to stop letting circumstances derail me as they have. In some of the Artist’s Way stuff I read about the notion of having a “studio hour”, wherein the person would go into her studio for an hour every day if only to dust and organize. So I decided to have an office hour. I just have to go in and be there. If only to dust and organize. I cannot however, read blogs.

Actually the blog reading has dropped way off thanks to the tool introduced by The Artist’s Way last week (Week 4): Reading/media deprivation. We were to attempt to refrain from reading for the entire week. I failed miserably — it was during the election after all and we had close races locally. But the exercise has shown me not only how much time it takes but how addictive and really waste-of-time it’s been. So for now I’m cutting back.

And, instead of telling myself I have nothing of interest or importance to write about in a blog post, I told myself to just do it and let it be whatever it is rather than trying to judge it’s worth. That’s Rules of the Road number 9:  “Remember that is it my job to DO the work, not judge the work!”

Thus you have a post to read today!

Time Warp

I feel like I’ve been caught in some sort of time warp. Two weeks seemed to have passed in a flash. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and also  those of you who commented on my last post with your words of encouragement. I greatly appreciate it.

The last ten days or so have been crazy. After the shock of finding out my mother’s cancer was back two weeks ago Monday and her new chemo treatment on Tuesday, we had to come in every day for the rest of the week for her to get shots to build up her white blood cells. Then there were blood pressure issues, which involved much phone tag with the doctor’s office and a new prescription called in to the pharmacy. I also had to set up an appointment for her to get a portacath, and that involved even more phone tag — I’m really starting to see where a cell phone or at least a cordless one would be beneficial. I would step outside to hang out clothes, or just turn off the water and the guy would call and leave a message. Then I’d call him back and leave a message… We did finally get it all settled and she went in Friday to have the portacath placed.

A portacath is a small reservoir and catheter inserted entirely under the skin. The reservoir has a special skin on the top of it that can be pierced by a special needle, which is what they use to draw blood or infuse medications. The catheter runs from the reservoir to a large vein in her neck.

On Friday at 6am we arrived at the hospital for the outpatient procedure. The nurse said I couldn’t come in with her and told me to go home and come back at 10:30am. So I left, went out to the car, parked in the hospital garage and discovered, all out of the blue, that it wouldn’t start. I had to walk almost a mile and a half to her house, to get her car which I then drove to my home. It was God’s provision that I had her purse with me, because that’s where she keeps her extra set of keys. Actually it turned out to be a nice walk, and I enjoyed it. The only downside was that lugging two purses and a bag of books and water did not make my back terribly happy. And when it’s unhappy, it tends to interrupt my sleep…

To further complicate matters, my hubby had left the day before to go hunting and was in the mountains, completely out of contact. He left without knowing when he’d be home… possibly not for several days. Meanwhile, our son and daughter-in-law were due to arrive that same day and wanted to spend time with us/me that night…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. At 10:30 I drove my mother’s car back to the hospital and picked her up. The procedure had gone without a hitch and she was doing well. I took her home, and since she still can’t drive (waiting now, for glasses to arrive) I took the car with me to my home.

I prayed that Stu would get a deer Friday morning and come back. That was unlikely, and even if he did, he’d really have to push it to get back in time to visit with the kids, so I wasn’t surprised when they arrived and he wasn’t there; nor was I when he wasn’t back by bedtime.

My twitching back woke me up Saturday morning about 4:30, a time I’ve come to call the carnal hour for the way things that normally wouldn’t bother me get all blown out of proportion. I thought about the car in the garage, and whether security would come and tow it, or vandals would scrawl graffiti over it. Finally I had to put the whole matter firmly in God’s hands. It’s His car, He would have to take care of it. I drifted back into sleep and about an hour and a half later, Stu came in the door — having gotten his deer late Friday afternoon, then working all night to get it out. (He’d hiked in and had to carry it out, all uphill. It took him five hours, in the dark).

On Saturday, after I had taken my mother to the grocery store (except for two small, sutured incisions she was almost entirely recovered from the portacath insertion) and Stu had slept a bit, he and I returned to my car still parked safely and without graffiti in the hospital parking garage — the battery was dead, he jumped it and we went to Autozone and the guy put in a new one. All better. I love the way God works.

Sunday we went to a party at the grand-inlaws’ house in honor of my DIL’s grandfather turning 80. Adam cooked the steaks — they were very good — and Kim made an amazing German Chocolate Cake from scratch. Yummm! We had a really nice time. The kids left to drive back home on Monday.

Meanwhile my mother and I returned Monday morning to the oncology center to try out the portacath for a blood draw. My mother was still losing weight, and the doctor kept suggesting things she “couldn’t” do — things like snack or eat more protein and fat — until he was banging his forehead with his hand. Finally he prescribed for her a medication that is supposed to increase appetite. She took it for about three days, then decided it was making her itch and quit. We had to go in Tuesday and Wednesday for more white blood cell stimulating shots. Wednesday I had a doctor’s appointment of my own as well, then returned home to find a message from Kim that after she and Adam had returned home on Monday night, Adam had gotten really sick and Tuesday night they took him to Urgent Care with a fever of 105. He was given fluids and Tylenol and was told there was some sort of problem with his liver… Liver?! By then the hits were coming so fast and furiously — and obviously — I was almost at the point of laughing. (But not quite)

Now, almost a week later, it turns out Adam had some sort of unidentified viral infection that must be allowed to run its course and from which he is steadily recovering. The liver problem readings were a result of the fact that he’d been vaccinated years ago for Hepatitis B.

Thankfully this week has been much calmer than the last two. Through it all, though I have gotten no writing done, I have continued with The Artist’s Way, with the Lord’s blessing it seems from the way He keeps working not only the daily Bible classes along with it, but other things as well. I even managed to finish reading a novel on Sunday that related in a very weird way. But this post is already too long, so those subjects will have to wait for another day.

123 Windows

Well, yesterday I woke up early all ready to write. Unfortunately Quigley had scraped my fingers in play the night before and I’d gotten out a sack of frozen peas to put on the scratches, then was distracted and left the bag on the plastic chair mat in my office. With all the humidity we’ve been having the peas had not only totally thawed out, they did so in a puddle of condensate both on top of the mat and under it.  

So that’s what awaited me when I went into the office to work. Thus, before I could get started I had to dry everything off, then prop up the mat against my office chair so the carpet would dry. I could still sit in the chair and work, but only on the side desk, not at the computer, which I’d already turned on first thing — before I’d seen the peas. Anyway, I went over a hard copy of the work I’d done the day before, seeing new places to add things, modify, delete, etc and scribbled my changes into the lines and margins and on the back.

By then it was time to do the morning chores, water the grass, do tricks with Quigley, eat breakfast and finally leave at 8:30 to take my mother to her doctor’s appointment at 9. I was back by 10, and went into the office to find the carpet dry and put everything back the way it was. Then I wiggled the mouse to wake up the computer only to discover that it (my computer) had gone insane. It had already opened 123 Internet Explorer windows, 5 Search Windows and was in the process of trying to open more of each. Clicking X’s with the mouse would close one of the search windows, but did nothing to the 123-and-counting IE windows. Escape didn’t work. Nor Control Alt Delete… and before long another Search window started opening as well.

So I just turned it off, thinking I must’ve done something with the chair while I was fooling with the mat so it had somehow pushed the keyboard. Though it was admittedly difficult to imagine how it could possibly have pushed both the start and the number 6 key to get the IE to open…

I waited a bit, then turned it back on only to get the BIOS screen telling me there were no drives except the CD/DVD drive and which, though it invited me to use various keys to move through the screen, was inoperative. I shut the thing down again and went to call my hubby.

Long story short, I spent the entire day messing with the computer, at long last reaching the conclusion that the problem was my keyboard. Everything worked fine as long as the keyboard wasn’t connected.  I did Bible class with only the mouse. But you can’t put in text changes with a mouse.  

Today I got up and connected a spare keyboard before turning everything  on. That seemed to work okay. Then I deleted the browsing history (which took a looong time) and did a full virus scan, which turned up nothing. The good news is, I’ve not had one instance of rampant IE Window opening for the whole day, so it really does seem to have been the keyboard. Unfortunately, the old one was a broken keyboard and my wrist is not happy about the new flat model. So in the next day or so I’ll probably be heading off to the store to get a new broken keyboard. (Talk about confusing… I’m going out to buy a new broken keyboard to replace my old broken keyboard which really is broken…)

But the cool news is… I have now reached page 9 of Ch 1, in spite of everything. I’m kind of amazed.

Complications

The day started well. After reading a novel (!) all afternoon yesterday, I awoke refreshed as I haven’t been in some time, and ready to go. I whizzed through my chores and got started on Sky about 10, ended up cutting and moving and cobbling the last ten or so pages. Then I printed them up. About midway through I noticed this piece of gray sponge sticking out through the rollers under the paper as it was fed out of the machine. Also there was smudging on the tops of some of the papers.

After my printing was finished, I pushed the piece of foam back through the rollers and then contemplated how in the world I would ever get it put back where it was supposed to go, given the slots cut into it and the fact that I can’t open my printer top more than at a 45 degree angle. Plus its place is behind a plastic wall that guards the print head…

On to Google… well, one guy says you can use the printer without the “ink absorption foam.” The Canon site says it you don’t have it, ink will drip out every time you turn the printer on and eventually damage it. I’ve had the thing for three years. I really like it. Except when gray sponges are emerging with the paper.

I’ve just been having conversations with people recently about not trying to make things last forever. For one thing, most things these days are designed to wear out within a few years so we’ll all be motivated to buy the new and improved version. And the versions usually are improved in my experience.

The Canon site also directed me to a local firm that will completely disassemble, clean, troubleshoot and repair my printer for $78 per man hour per computer. If it takes two hours I could buy a new one. In fact, even if it doesn’t take two hours, between the labor and the new part… I’d still probably be better off getting a new one.

Which means printer research lies ahead. NO! I don’t want to mess with printers. I want to write. But I can see that’s not to be.

Done with thinking about printers for the afternoon, I watched a cool video about using a new technique in making cards, and then went in and tried to reproduce it. Using different paper, different ink and a different stamp. So then it didn’t turn out as good as the one in the video.  🙁 

Right then my mother called to say the insurance had called her and told her she must “contact Dr. Schwartz regarding her pre-certification.” Neither of us had any idea what that was, so off I went to call doctor’s offices and await their return calls. I’ll not go into the details. It involved gaining approval for the Bone Scan she’s to undergo beginning at 8am tomorrow…

Then I walked Quigley and it was like Grand Central station during rush hour on the path around the park, with strollers and strollers and strollers, and walls of people, and rivers of people, and speeding bicycles and …a loose dog, running through all that, collarless, but apparently with a helpless owner in tow, (on an invisible line) barking ferociously at every leashed dog it encountered. Er… the dog was barking at the other dogs, not the owner.

This was a thing between me and God. Could He protect us from the loose dog? Gee… I don’t know… LOL!  Well, He did, in a very obvious way. So that was the fun part of it all.

Quigley is in here right now begging me for his bed I think. It’s hard to tell. He just stares at me. When he’s not sticking his nose under my arm and disrupting the typing. Or trying to climb into my lap… And signing. And moaning.

Anyway, all the above is why there is no continuation yet on my adventures with the Introvert books. Maybe tomorrow, though that is the day of the bone scan, which will take the entire morning (and that’s if we’re lucky). I’ll still have writing time, and chores and Bible Class so it’s probably unrealistic of me to expect that I’m going to also get a blog post of that sort (the sort that requires extended thinking to winnow it all down) done tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just put up a good quote. There are a lot of ’em. I’ve taken the plunge, committed sacrilege and have begun writing in my books!  Underlining, making notes.  Oh! The Horror!

LOL. It’s not like they’re library books. I wonder where that rule about never defacing a book came from…

But anyway, now I can find the “good” parts more easily.

So, now I’m off to check the water on the grass and get ready for bed. The Sun rises SOOOO early around here these days.  And I’m very light-sensitive. So I tend to wake up when it gets light regardless of when I go to bed. Thus, the earlier I do the latter, the better.

End of Cycle Six

Well, it turns out I did get home with a reasonable amount of time after my mother’s cancer treatments, but then I had to deal with… insurance issues. Like, “Once you’ve reached your out-of-pocket maximum, do you have to pay the copays for doctor’s visits?” I have called the health insurance company, pored over the insurance information and documentation, went online to look at evidence of coverage and am STILL not sure.

Originally the insurance agent told me that my mother would not have to pay anything, including copays once she reached the out-of-pocket limit. But then she got a bill for doctor’s visit copays after she’d reached her yearly cap (which happened after only one month of her chemotherapy regimen; it’s that expensive!). So I called the insurance company direct and was told that doctor’s copays are not applied toward the out-of-pocket limit and she would have to pay the bill and any subsequent copays. Okay.

So we went in today and told the receptionist that we were mistaken and my mother was supposed to pay the doctor visit copays even though she’d already reached the cap. The receptionist thought that was weird and suggested I talk to the Oncology center’s financial advisor. The financial advisor also thought that was weird; in fact she’d never heard of such a thing and asked me to bring in the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) for what she thought were the doctor visit copays my mother had been billed for. 

But the dates she gave us were after the ones on the bill…

I am utterly bemused by the lack of clarity in the language used in the Summary of Benefits. Under “Important information” it says:

$XYZ out-of-pocket limit.

There is no limit on cost sharing for the following services:

Medicare services:

  • Doctor office visits
  • Chiropractic Services
  • …etc…

So… From this I gather that “no limit on cost sharing” means that you must continue to share the cost without limits. Which means doctor visit copays do not apply to the oopl and you do indeed need to keep paying the doctor office copays…

Later on in the charts, they list items that are included in the out-of-pocket cap. “Doctor office visits” is not on the list but “physical exam” is. When you look at  “Physical exams” it says there is no copay for a routine exam, of which you may receive only one per year. Why list physical exams under what can be applied to the oopl if you don’t have to pay a copay for them? In “Physician Services,” they tell you all the rates of copays for various types of doctors.  But in many of the other categories, after they tell you the various copays they state, “you will pay these amounts until you reach your out-of-pocket limit.”

By which I deduce, again, that you must continue to pay doctor’s copays or they would have said “you will pay these amounts until you reach your out-of-pocket limit,” after the listings of the various doctor types of copays…

Are they being deliberately obtuse or is it just me?

On a brighter note, my mother is doing very well with her treatments. Today was the last full treatment and the end of the sixth cycle. She looks good, she’s feeling well, her pain is vastly reduced, and her appetite has returned. We now wait three weeks during which she’ll get a bone scan. Then we’ll go back for “maintenance” treatments with the chemo-lite drug that supposedly has no side effects… At least that’s his plan now. We won’t know for sure until the scan comes back and we see him again. But for now it looks like we might have a three-week break.

I say might because the one thing I’ve learned in all this is… you never know what a day might bring.

Hindrances

Apparently I’m not supposed to do the posts on The Black Swan that I’d been planning. Every time I come in to do them, something happens that takes up all my time.  Tonight it was the disk I was going to burn of a music CD that is no longer playing properly in my kitchen CD player. An easy task, which I’ve done before.

First I had to search for the blank CD’s. Couldn’t find the ones I was most familiar with but did find a large, mostly full pack of new ones I vaguely recall having bought. I put in the disk, Windows Media Player read it, I dragged the contents of my CD-to-copy over to the burnlist and clicked “Start Burn”.  After awhile I realized nothing was happening. Thus began the quest to accomplish the burn. I quickly discovered that for some reason the “Start Burn” button was greyed and didn’t respond to the cursor. I have no idea why. The program is recognizing there’s a disk in the drive and can read it, since it’s telling me what it is and how many minutes it has to save things to.

I’ve used these disks before, as I found a couple I did last year for Christmas. I tried formatting the disk, went to the help file with the program then to the online helpfile at Microsoft. Where, for some reason someone thought it would be a good idea to repeat all the non-help I’d already received before I went online. I could ask “why is my start burn button greyed” but then I’d have to search the whole web… so I complained to my husband. He managed to transfer the files by bypassing windows media, and they do play on his computer after a long wait time, but alas do not play on the CD player in the kitchen.

So maybe I should try the “Start Burn button greyed” search. Hmmm… BRB…

…Okay, turns out others have had the same problem. They too were directed, even in the forums, to the same repeated non help on the website. No, the problem is not that I don’t have any titles in my burn list, thank you very much. Nor that I don’t know how to burn CDs. Nor that I cannot read and comprehend the simple instructions. The problem is that having followed all the instructions, my Start Burn button remains gray.

Finally then someone at the bottom of the queue suggested the whole, close it all down, leave the disk in the tray, then open it up and try again solution and while that worked for one person, it didn’t work for me.

Other suggestions were to reinstall WMP 11, or to reinstall Vista. Or to back up everything and …  Arg.

I’ve spent about an hour and a half at this now and I still don’t have my disk. But, computers being what they are, maybe tomorrow, after I shut it all down and restart, maybe then I can get my disk burned. 

In any event, I did not get my post done.

Or at least, not the post I’d intended to write.