Thirty-five men attended the Lenten Breakfast at Harmony United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 14. Thanks to those who helped prepare, serve, and clean up after the meal. The breakfast this week will be at Bethel at 8 a.m.
Pastor Bob Kumpf, Conor McCoy, and Alicia May will be traveling with a group to Mexico on a mission trip this week. Pastor Myron James will be on call if needed. His number is 835-2049. David Brinson will prepare the message for next Sunday's Worship Service.
Lila Waugh of Memorial United Methodist Church will be the guest speaker at Harmony United Methodist Women on Monday, March 30. Mrs. Waugh is the Chairman of Education and Interpretation for the District. The meeting would regularly be scheduled for the March 23 but several folks will be gone for spring break. All ladies, other churches, too, are invited to attend at Harmony United Methodist Church. President Sheila Termeer will be the hostess. She has a good menu planned.
I was busy getting ready for company this week. Arline Meyers, Sharene Wallenbrock, and Carolyn Phillips joined me for lunch on St. Patrick's Day. We had such a good visit. Carolyn had just returned from Australia. Arline and Ward had taken a basket making class at Arrowmont and Sharene had been to visit family in Texas and New Mexico in recent months. There were many stories to hear, each of them very interesting.
Sharene has painted scenes in the bedrooms of her grandchildren in Texas and has been working on a small painting for Arline's grandchildren's bedroom. It was done on a flat piece of wood. The scene showed children playing in a woodland setting.
At the workshop, Arline had learned to make a basket starting with just a chunk of wood. She said if she sold it for $500, she wouldn't be able to get full value for the work she had put into making it. Arline and Ward already make beautiful baskets and continue to study and to learn both old and new ways to weave.
Carolyn talked about waking to the sound of Kookaburras while she was Down Under and seeing the American chain restaurants that are popular there. Carolyn's mother was visiting her family. She is originally from Australia. The family kidded Carolyn and her husband Steve about their pronunciation of the automobile. When she said "Nee'-san", they said "Nisssen".
Mrs. Phillips' former students would be happy to know that she is still doing her art and computer work. Her jewelry pieces are beautiful. She had designed a book on her computer and had it bound through IMac. It was a gorgeous hardbound volume that ended with a picture of her in her studio. Husband Steve continues to do his sculpture and they both travel to various juried art fairs to sell their pieces of art. Retirement agrees with them.
The Roach ladies of the family will be getting back to planning that wedding shower that will be coming up soon. Erin and Joey are coming home in May. We have debated back and forth on which community house to rent and which foods to have and how to arrange everything. None of us has given a bridal shower in decades and haven't even been to a couples' shower, although those are very popular now. We are out of touch. Other than knowing the bride's colors, we are starting from scratch. Help!
Thanks to sister-in-law Eva Trout-Roach and good Irish boy John Roach. They tromped through the woods, across the cemetery, and up Jackson Street to bring me a shamrock plant on St. Patrick's Day. After a quick round of hugs, they left to exercise off some of their winter indulgence. They are participating in the Daniel fast at their church, too. They will be so stream lined that we won't be able to recognize them. Keep up the good work. The plant was much appreciated.
Thanks to Penny Mathis McCormick for her nice words about memories of visiting Jackson Street with her father and her kind comments about Harmony Happenings.
Happy Birthday to Albert Killion (23rd), Cheryl Brinson (25th), Anna Killion (27th), Coleen Thompson (28th).
Soapbox: Medicines seem to be in a mess right now. If you take any, you may know what I mean. Some cost a fortune if you can't get a generic version for it. I know that I am very lucky to have good insurance. It has to be a nightmare for those who have Medicare or no help at all. I only take a couple of medicines but what I do take is getting aggravating to get.
Dr. Johnson prescribed an additional blood pressure pill to be taken in the evening. I asked him for one that had a generic. The pill worked fine until last month when the pharmacy could no longer get the generic and I had to pay five times as much for the same pill.
This month, I requested an alternative medicine, if available. Dr. Johnson wrote another prescription. Now I have to break the pill in half and use ½ in the morning and the other chunk at night. Because I only take the BP meds and occasional sinus pills, that isn't too big of a sacrifice of my time. The price was $7. I can live with that. What about people who take nine pills in the morning and another round at noon? Are they having the same difficulties?
When I asked to refill my sinus pill, it was no longer available. I only took it when my allergies flared up but it really helped. I can buy Musinex over the counter but it costs about $16-18 for something I was getting for $5-8. I know there are folks taking sinus meds/inhalers that cost over $500 a month that have to take them everyday. Maybe I should be content to pay the extra and not complain but what about the time when I get older and need more medicines and all of them cost five times more than they should?
The pharmacist explained that she had tried three other pharmacies trying to get medications that morning. It was not just her company. None of them could get the generic versions. She confided that she was guarding the remainder of a bottle of cough syrup at home that was prescribed for her child. They would use it only when the condition was really bad. Even the pharmacist has trouble getting cough syrup when needed.
I know the rules on some meds had to get stricter to stop meth production but what are sick people supposed to do? There has to be a way to keep it out of the wrong hands but available to people who need it and priced where they can afford it. Several inexpensive generic prescriptions seem to be out of stock.
There are empty spots on the shelves and she can't get the prescribed medicines or OTC's for her customers. The pharmacist said that these are not rare prescriptions. These are items that are often prescribed by the doctors. They sold them often. The bottles didn't just set there and go out of date. They were needed but now are unavailable everywhere. I want to know why they are unavailable.
When I went in for an eye exam, Dr. Boone had the assistant to put those dreaded drops in my eyes. Necessary but I hate it. The doctor said he didn't have the solution that helped clear the eyes after they are dilated. It wasn't an expensive eye drop but he just can't find it anywhere. The company isn't making it anymore. I had to endure the 2-3 hours of fuzzy vision. Good sister-in-law Karen drove me home. The drops would have cleared my eyes in about ½ an hour.
Doctors can't get medicines. Pharmacists can't get medicines. Patients can't get medicines. Are these just a few isolated incidents or is there something rotten in the industry somewhere? Is the problem just a side effect of the bad economy or something else? Is anyone else having this problem getting generic medications?
Some retired folks spend a great deal of their money on medicines. If more and more generics disappear that could further cripple the older patients financially. None of the Medicare Part Alphabets seem to pay well. They help but medicine is still expensive, too expensive for some people. In this economy we don't need the generics we can afford to be squeezed out of the market.
Harmony United Methodist Calendar
March 19 -- Board Meeting cancelled
March 22 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:45 a.m.
March 24 -- Bowling Leagues at Brazilian Lanes 6:30 p.m.
March 25 -- Women's Bible Study 9-10 a.m., Christian Quilters 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
March 30 -- HUM Women 7 p.m.