We all fall down…

Things have been a little rocky around here lately and I’ve had no time for blogging. But shrinking days and a cold snap have ushered in the fall season, and I’ve been stealing time to read spooky books in the evenings. (Not the best treatment for insomnia, probably, but I’m in a gothic mood, so there you go.) I’ll probably do a reading wrap-up at the end of the month, but so far my favorites have been GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss, THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moira Fowley-Doyle, and SAWKILL GIRLS by Claire Legrand.

GHOST WALL is a deceptively slim book that layers an entire story in the subtext and hides volumes between the lines. It’s about an experimental archaeology project designed to reveal the emotional experiences of Iron Age life in Northumberland. Teenage Sylvie would rather be anywhere else, but her controlling, abusive father insists she participate. Just as the bog slowly gives up its secrets, something dark emerges when the past and present violently collide. This is gorgeously written, but it will haunt you long after you close the book.

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THE ACCIDENT SEASON is a YA novel about two sisters, their ex-stepbrother, and their best friend trying to survive when yet another October brings a fresh round of injuries and bad luck. When they try to track down a missing classmate who mysteriously shows up in all their photos without leaving any trace of herself at school, they’re drawn into a sinister mystery where all is not as it seems. As October races to a close and the accident season threatens worse harm, a wild masquerade party reveals hidden truths and dark secrets. This is a story of discovery, grief, ghosts, forgiveness, and forbidden love wrapped in exquisite language and gorgeous imagery. It’s a very dark story, though, and may be triggering for sensitive readers.

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SAWKILL GIRLS is probably one of the most frightening books I’ve read in a long, long time, but I loved the beautiful prose and fiercely strong female relationships. It’s a YA novel about three girls thrown together in a quest to defeat an old evil on their island. With nods to A Wrinkle in Time and a few cameo appearances by Morgan horses, this is a delightfully creepy Halloween read I’ll visit again in years to come. It is brutal and gory and terrifying, though, so… I wouldn’t recommend it for every reader. If you like walking alone at night this will make you glance over your shoulder and wish you carried a bigger flashlight. 😉

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In other Halloween news, we took a haunted cave tour this past weekend because our daughter was one of the spooks. It was held in Onandaga Cave State Park and it was such a neat experience. The cave was dark and full of mist, and the volunteer spooks did a wonderful job. (The creepy little kid clown following the tour left me on the verge of panic, but otherwise it was marvelous! :)) Onandaga Cave is beautiful, with lovely formations and graceful lines that didn’t trigger my claustrophobia, so if you’re ever in southern Missouri it’s worth stopping, imo. (The cave is contaminated with white nose, however, and is working to stop the spread of the disease so if you plan on touring multiple caves in one trip do follow recommended precautions and be aware.)

Our lake is slowly filling and we had a bonfire to celebrate. (Well, the bonfire was for brush, but *I* celebrated!)

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I’ve been busy purging and organizing and cleaning all the dark closets and shadowed corners of my house – a job left too long at the bottom of my priority list, unfortunately – so I haven’t gotten a lot of other things done. But this is the perfect time of year to clear away old clutter and negative energy, so I’d best get back to it.

My reward will be a tub of Parker’s maple cotton candy and another book this evening. 🙂

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I hope you’re enjoying October and I’ll try to pop back on soon.

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Spooky September

It’s been a while since I last updated – things are busy around here, but the lake is finished (though it’s a long way from full) and harvest is proceeding mostly smoothly.

After my post on DRACUL, someone remarked that she missed my book reviews and asked what else I’ve been reading. I miss talking about books, too, so here are some brief mentions. 🙂

This month, in addition to several manuscripts for friends and some books for personal research, I’ve mostly focused on spooky stories. (Not the best choice before bedtime!) If you’re looking for some good autumn reads, these might do the trick.

  1. THE RETREAT by Mark Edwards: This is a super creepy psychological thriller about folktales and superstition and the stories we tell ourselves, about family bonds and the sacrifices some people will make for the ones they love. It’s set in Wales, where a woman named Julia has opened her home as a writer’s retreat after her husband drowned in the nearby river trying to save their daughter. The little girl’s body was never found, however, and Julia is convinced she’s still alive. One of the writers at the retreat is determined to solve the mystery, but his questions stir up fresh horrors. The writing is utilitarian rather than sophisticated or elegant and it didn’t always strike the right emotional notes for me, but the plot twists kept me hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed the portrayal of the different writers, with all their oddities and quirks and insecurities. A good read, even if it’s not a new favorite.the retreat
  2. THE APPEARANCE OF ANNIE VAN SINDEREN by Katherine Howe: This is a lovely blend of historical fiction and ghost tale, with alternating story lines from the 1820s and contemporary summer in New York. Told from different perspectives, the shifts are striking and effective and her descriptions are marvelous. It’s about a film student named Wes Auckerman who goes to a séance with a friend and fellow filmmaker, only to meet a mysterious girl searching for a cameo ring. The more time he spends with her, the more intriguing her past and her secrets become. I admit I had trouble connecting with Wes – he feels like the author’s stereotypical idea of a teenage boy rather than a convincing character in his own right – and the romantic elements struck me as slightly problematic. I also struggled with the logic of the plot, which involves changing memories as a way of altering the past and thus shifting the future, but if you don’t think about it too hard it’s a pleasantly atmospheric historic ghost story that examines issues of class, racism, cultural and religious prejudice, and the sweep of progress.annie van sinderen
  3. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, THE HOLLOW CITY, and LIBRARY OF LOST SOULS by Ransom Riggs: I am late to the party, I know, but other books demanded my attention and these kept getting shoved to the bottom of the TBR pile. And I just have to say, I have no idea why so many parents I know have given these to 8 and 9 year olds. Not that I advocate censoring books or limiting children’s imaginations, but… if you’re a parent of a young reader, you should probably read these first to see if they’re suitable for your kids because I know they would have FREAKED mine out. These are dark and gruesome stories with flimsy resolutions and a terrifying premise, so… be aware. While I loved the inclusion of creepy vintage photographs, they would have been more effective for me if the details were clearer. Also, though the first book was solidly plotted and strong in voice, I felt that the next two relied on the photographs as plot devices and lacked true character development. I was curious enough about how Riggs planned to tie everything up that I read all three books fairly quickly, but I wasn’t as emotionally engaged as so many other reviewers seem to have been. Still, these felt like original creepy monster stories with glimpses of history woven throughout, which I enjoyed. If you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, give these a try. (The photos really are fascinating, and worth a look.)peculiar children
  4. TALES OF THE PECULIAR by Ransom Riggs: This is a gorgeous collection of illustrated stories cleverly related to the Peculiar Children series. If you like original folktales, these are worth reading. Again, they are dark and twisted so maybe not the best choice for sensitive children, but I enjoyed them.tales of the peculiar
  5. SIX WOMEN OF SALEM by Marilynne K. Roach: This is narrative non-fiction about the Salem Witch Trials told from the perspective of six women – Ann Putnam, Bridget Bishop, Tituba, Mary Warren, Mary English, and Rebecca Nurse. Fictionalized scenes are interspersed with historical analysis about the accusations and trials, with allusions made to the political and cultural changes the Massachusetts Bay Colony was facing at the time. It is an interesting look at the sweeping hysteria and the spread of chaos, but I have to admit it’s not the best book I’ve read dealing with this subject. (Another review will follow soon.)six women
  6. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde: Most people I know read this in high school, but I never did and have always been curious. It’s a dark, disturbing look at vanity, moral decay, and social status. I liked the characters – even when they’re being horrible – because Wilde draws such complex motivations and offers such striking sardonic observations. A perfect fall classic.dorian gray image
  7. THE SILENT COMPANIONS by Laura Purcell: My favorite book of the month – this is a gorgeously written, darkly atmospheric historical fiction told in alternating timelines. It begins in 1865 with a pregnant woman newly widowed, going to live in her husband’s crumbling country estate. When she finds a locked room hiding a wooden figure painted to look just like her and a two-hundred-year-old diary, she discovers that the house – and her husband’s family – have a past more terrifying than she could have imagined. Scenes from 1635 slowly offer clues to the building threat. It’s a twisted, psychological, gothic thriller that literally gave me goosebumps, but the setting and characters are so rich and nuanced that I loved every shivery moment. Highly recommended.silent companions

I also want to mention IN ANOTHER TIME by Caroline Leech. It’s not spooky, but if you have teen readers looking for an original YA historical fiction I’d suggest this. It takes place in 1942 and follows a girl named Maisie McCall who has joined the Women’s Timber Corps in the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjill. The story follows her training, growing friendships with the other women, and budding romance with a troubled man named John Lindsay. The secrets he hides reveal the cost of war and the power of patient love. This book has been praised for its feminism and representation of trauma, and I enjoyed the fact that this is an aspect of that time period I’ve never read about before.in another time

DRACUL by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

I recently received a digital galley of DRACUL by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker from Penguin Random House through the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. I don’t review books as often as I used to, but this one interested me.

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First of all, I don’t often read horror or thrillers. I can’t handle gore or extreme violence, and I don’t like reading about the monstrous things people can do to one another. However, I do like traditional gothics, with darkly atmospheric settings and a slow build of suspense – especially in the fall. And since Bram Stoker’s DRACULA is one of my favorite books, I couldn’t resist the chance to get a sneak peek at this.

DRACUL is the prequel to DRACULA, inspired by notes, journals, and letters left behind by Bram Stoker. It introduces us to the Stoker family, living in Ireland during the potato famine and trying desperately to survive. Bram is a sickly child, often too weak to leave his bed, until the beautiful and mysterious Nanny Ellen miraculously heals him.

But why do Ellen’s eyes change color? Where does she occasionally disappear to? And why is it so hard to guess her true age?

When a series of grisly murders shocks their community, Bram and his sister Matilda find themselves in the middle of a dark mystery originating centuries earlier. From a mist-shrouded bog to an abandoned castle tower, they follow their strangely secretive nanny until she disappears and they convince themselves it all must have been a childhood fantasy. Perhaps Bram’s unusual strength and keen night vision, his rapid healing ability and stamina, are just coincidental anomalies.

Then, years later, Ellen suddenly appears again in Paris and this time Matilda and Bram won’t stop until they know the truth – or die seeking it.

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. It stays true to the tone and style of the original classic, with a rich atmosphere and historical background. Though the mystery unfolds slowly through the journal entries and letters of different characters, the authors use the novel’s structure to increase both tension and suspense so it feels like a much faster paced story. It opens with an utterly heart-pounding scene in the present before flashing back to the past, and these alternating sections work well to continually raise the stakes and maintain narrative impulsion.

I liked most of the characters and their interactions. Bram’s relationships with his siblings are complicated but caring in ways that feel totally genuine. His sister Matilda is an artist and an independent, strong-willed woman while his brother Thornley, a doctor at a mental hospital, has such a tragic story that he could justify his own book. I loved seeing them work together.

My only (minor) quibble was with the development of Ellen’s character. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just say there were elements in the middle of the book that felt too rushed or too vague, and I was mildly disappointed with some missed opportunities. But there is a mythic underpinning to a major plot point that absolutely delighted my passion for ancient history. (You all have to read this so we can talk, okay?)

But I thoroughly enjoyed this story – it reads like a classic, with moments of startling brilliance and striking imagery. It’s rich and deep and dark, with a sense of both timeless horror and hurtling suspense. It’s rare for me to find a prequel/sequel to a classic that does the original any justice, but this one succeeds marvelously. I read DRACULA every few years and will definitely add this one to my tradition.

DRACUL comes out October 2nd, so if you’re in the mood for a good gothic story before Halloween, I highly recommend it. (Also, you absolutely must read the Author’s Note at the end.)

 

Water Changes Everything

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This is only 1/10th the size of the lake once the dam is finished and it fills, but already you can get a sense of the scope of this project. (Finished size will be 35 acres, holding 24+ feet of water.)

It’s been a fascinating, stressful, emotional process. We’re changing the landscape of our farm in permanent, significant ways – but we’ve also been peeling back the layers of time as we dig beneath the surface of the soil. Discovering layers of marine sediment, glacial deposits, sand, and the occasional fossil is incredibly interesting. It’s a stark reminder that this planet has been changing for eons – and will continue to do so, whether we manage to survive here or not.

The biggest struggle, for me, was seeing so many of my beloved trees sacrificed. We did try to move some, and we hired a logger for the rest so that nothing would be wasted. But, still, I cried.

And yet, last night as I stood on the edge of our still-growing lake, I watched the sun set to the west and the moon rise to the east and I listened to frogs singing in their new habitat. Bats darted overhead and a blue heron skimmed low to investigate as he made his way to his own pond for the night. An owl called questions from the woods, and my heart answered.

There is quiet beauty in change, sometimes, and water brings renewal.

Things no one tells you about housecats…

  1. They defy all laws of gravity. Sometimes you will hear their little paws thumping across the floor from the other side of the house and you will think an intruder is stomping around. Other times, they will be so silent you will assume they are sleeping until you turn a corner and suddenly there’s a cat where you least expected one.
  2. They also defy the laws of physics. Cats can spread themselves like butter across any comfortable surface, slip between cracks, and tuck themselves into small spaces. Honestly, they’re more like a liquid than an animal, sometimes.
  3. They have a wicked sense of humor and are eerily clever. (Or maybe it’s just that they’re furry little jerks?) How else can you explain the fact that they learn how to play tricks on their humans? For example, my cats like to move my things. They’ll take my cell phone and cram it in the couch cushions (I never sit on the couch – I have a rocking chair I love) or they’ll shove my purse under the bench in the hallway so I can’t find it.
  4. They see ghosts. Either that, or they just like staring into space and hissing in the middle of the night to scare the shit out of their people.

Of course, they’re also great company. I’ve only had housecats for the last few months and I can’t imagine living without them now. A soft, rumbling purr is good magic, and when a friendly cat jumps in your lap to rub his head beneath your hand the world feels okay. I’m currently raising two litters of kittens to be barn cats, but I love watching them tumble around my house, too.

Now that my daughter is away to college, I seem to be on the fast track to becoming a crazy old cat lady and I have no regrets. 🙂

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(He’s helping me put up some fall decorations. :D)

Stories to hang on to…

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been going through my bookshelves and winnowing out the titles I don’t feel compelled to keep. But I want to mention the stories I *will* be hanging on to, and one of those is BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE by Ruth Emmie Lang.

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This book is utterly beautiful, and definitely one I will visit again and again.

It’s the story of Weylyn Grey, an orphan with uncanny abilities. He seems to communicate with animals and control the weather, to understand the nuances of nature in a way most humans can’t. But the one thing he can’t control is his heart.

At its core, this is a love story: one man’s love for nature, for wild animals, for rain and wind and woods, for a woman he met as a lonely boy years ago. But it’s also about family and community and pack – about the bonds we build when we reach for the possible.

It’s told in an unusual structure: most of the story is woven from the perspective of the people who happen to meet Weylyn at one time or another, so his character is revealed to us entirely through other people’s eyes. We only hear from him directly at the very end of the book. I wasn’t certain this format would work for me – how can you connect with a character when you only catch glimpses of him from other viewpoints? – but Lang manages it brilliantly.

I fell in love with everyone I met in these pages, despite their flaws and foibles. Everyone felt so real and authentic and original.

Though the story begins with a heartbreaking death and deals with issues of divorce and abandonment, there is such a strong current of hope running underneath every moment that I found myself feeling deeply comforted. This book is ultimately about believing in the best possibilities, trusting in love, and keeping your eyes open. It’s poignant and bittersweet at times, but so, so gorgeous. This is the best sort of magical realism and I adored it.

I *highly* recommend it.

 

Letting Go

A year ago tonight my father-in-law passed away. The official time of death was listed as tomorrow morning, but my husband and I know – we all know – that he left in the middle of the night.

I still think, sometimes, that I’ll step into the office and see him sitting in his chair with his twinkling smile and a package of Skittles in his pocket.

It’s been a brutally difficult year in a lot of ways, but one of the most unexpected challenges has been letting go. Letting go of our ideas about what the future should have looked like, of what we assumed would happen, of what we planned and hoped and took for granted.

In two days, we take our daughter to college and that means letting go, too. We’ve been busy shopping, packing, organizing, arranging, and cleaning all week, but it’s still hard for me to accept the fact that she’s almost ready to leave the house, to strike out on her own and start building her future. I wish I could make everything easy and smooth for her, but part of exploring an independent path means navigating the bumps and detours in that path as well.

It’s hard to let go.

My insomnia has been wicked these past few weeks so I’ve had plenty of time to read, despite the hectic pace of our days. I used to think I needed to hold on to every book I ever bought so my shelves have gotten crammed. Though I do re-read titles and often refer to things for research, I admit I was starting to get overwhelmed by both a massive TBR list and stacks of books I knew I wouldn’t read again.

So I’ve been letting go of them, too.

And I’ve gotten ruthless – even books I nominally enjoyed are getting cut from my collection for all sorts of reasons – but it does feel good to clear space for new books I might love even more. I’ve gotten far more selective in what I’ll purchase, and much better at recognizing that just because “everyone” is reading something or “everyone” thinks *I* need to read something doesn’t mean I actually have to.

Sometimes you have to let go so you can reach for what’s next.

 

Newsday Tuesday

Random wrap-up edition:

My kittens are six weeks old today. Most of them are mostly good at using the litterbox. (One or two persist in peeing on any soft surface, so they’re confined to tile floors until they get things figured out.) They eat kibble and drink water and purr and pounce and act like proper mini-cats, but I’m letting Taiga decide how and when to completely wean them.

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Our lake project is going swimmingly. (HA.) After LIDAR surveys and meetings with the engineer, it appears the final size will be somewhere right around 30 acres. We should have enough water capacity to easily irrigate 400 acres for at least three months, if that becomes necessary. Shifting the dam and reshaping the lake’s footprint gained us quite a bit more acre-feet of water while lowering the expected cost, so we’re pleased. (I hadn’t expected to lose quite so many trees, but I’ve seen the official proposal and I really, really like it. I’ll be able to see waves outside my office windows!) So, I’ve casually started researching kayaks and will be purchasing one before next spring. 🙂

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The horses have not been particularly thrilled with the heavy equipment rumbling right past their fences, but it’s great for desensitization and they’re getting used to it. Cricket has become a bit of a sass – expected, considering she’s two – but she likes knowing when she’s gotten the right answer and training her is such fun. Trinity is her regal, bossy, wonderful self, of course.

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In other news, I’m nearly done with this revision pass on THREE FEATHERS, my middle-grade-with-magic-horses story, and have started drafting THE SWAN QUEEN, the project I’ve been wanting to write for years. There are a couple of other things in the works, as well, but they’ll have to wait until we get our daughter moved into college and our son into his senior year of high school.

I’ll be posting a review of some fountain pens and inks as soon as I have time, and I’ll probably do a brief reading round-up at some point. My August classic book is NIGHT AND DAY by Virginia Woolf, if anyone cares to join me, and I’ve got a stack of books my daughter wants me to read so we can discuss them together. 🙂

What books are you looking forward to reading in August? What have been the best reads of your summer?

Climate Change and Environmental Engineering, Farm Style

Six years ago, we experienced the worst crop failure ever recorded in our area. Gripped in an unprecedented drought, we received less than an inch of precipitation from the second week of October 2011 through the beginning of September 2012 – when the average is actually 33 inches a year. Lack of rain was only one factor, however. We also suffered record high temperatures and a scorching wind that literally killed crops in the field, bleaching them white.

It was heartbreaking, and horrifying, and left us with a keen sense of our own helplessness in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath.

Fortunately, we’ve had better years since – but the trend toward hotter, dryer summers is irrefutable.

Confronted with climate change, you can either waste time in denial and/or blame, or you can start figuring out how you’re going to adapt to meet the new challenges.

Here on the farm, we’ve been working hard to adapt. We’ve selected new crop genetics with drought resistance, changed the schedule of our planting, adjusted our tillage depths and fertilizer applications – everything we can do to maximize production in an environmentally responsible way.

But it’s not enough.

This summer, we’ve seen storms blow up and follow the river – leaving us high and dry while neighboring farms get several inches of rain at a time. We’ve received just enough rain to keep our crops alive, but not enough to sustain healthy, viable growth.

It’s incredibly frustrating – especially because this spring was so wet we were slightly delayed in fieldwork, and last spring our area saw localized flooding.

So: we are making our biggest adjustment. We are building an irrigation lake that will enable us to irrigate our best ground using rainwater runoff. It won’t cover all our acres, of course, but it will give us a fighting chance.

We are working with an excellent team, including an environmental engineer, our conservation agent, an experienced contractor, and an irrigation system engineer to make sure we do this with “net positive environmental results.” The lake will qualify as “seasonal wetlands” and will provide habitat for native wetland species, and the land we’re using for it is currently unproductive clay ground with “neutral environmental status.” Basically, we can take marginal land and turn it into something beneficial for us and the environment.

But the shape of the land I’ve lived on for twenty years – the hill behind the sheds, the copse of trees, the gentle slope along my horse pasture, the little bridge I cross every morning on my walk – all these will be underwater sometime in the next two years. (As long as all goes according to plan – *knock wood*)

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(This is going to be the edge of a lake…)

We’re going to save as many trees as we can by relocating them, but some will have to be logged. I’ve been planting new trees in other areas around the farm so it’s not considered environmentally damaging, but it’s still a serious loss. I love trees so every fallen log is a blow to my heart.

On the other hand, the lake will be large enough to have waves and whitecaps when the wind blows – something that gives our engineer fits, because he has to make sure the berms can withstand the water pressure, but I am secretly thrilled. I miss the ocean something fierce, and this will be the next best thing.

One of these days, I’ll be able to look out on our own miniature inland sea.

Change is hard. (And also crazy expensive.)

But sometimes it’s necessary for survival, and sometimes it means the chance to experience new joys.

So, here’s hoping construction goes safely and smoothly. And here’s hoping next spring brings us enough rain to fill the lake.

I’ll be drooling over kayaks in the meantime – something I’ve wanted for ages. 🙂

Monday Rant: Rural Healthcare

Here’s how my week has started:

NCAA: Your daughter needs to send a copy of her sickle cell blood test results by August 1st.

Me: She doesn’t have sickle cell anemia.

NCAA: Doesn’t matter. We need the lab report. Contact your pediatrician and send us a copy.

Me: We changed doctors when she was 3, but okay. I’ll call the office.

Office: We don’t keep those records. Oh, but also, your daughter is 18 so she needs to call us to authorize us to have this conversation with you.

Me: …Okay, but do you have the records or not?

Her: Have your daughter call us. But also, probably no. Call the hospital where she was born.

Me: *calls hospital medical records office*

Hospital medical records: We don’t keep records that long.

Me: But she was born at your hospital, and you authorized the test, and the pediatrician said you probably had the records. So, who do I need to talk to in order to figure out where the lab report might be?

Her: Try our lab. I’ll transfer you.

Lab: We don’t keep records! Talk to medical records.

Me: I DID. They’re the ones that transferred me!

Her: Sorry. *click*

Me: *stares at phone*

Me: *calls local clinic where daughter has been a patient for the last 15 years to see about repeating the flipping test even though it’s not medically necessary AT ALL*

Local clinic: -after I explain situation- Well, that’s odd. Hospitals or pediatricians usually keep those records.

Me: I KNOW. But apparently, no. *mentions name of hospital*

Her: Ohhhhhh. Yeah. Well, that explains it.

Me: …

Her: Well, it’s no problem. We can schedule the test, but your daughter has to see a physician to order the test, so you have to pay for an office visit even though you don’t really need it. And then you have to pay for the lab test. And we send it out to a third party, so you’ll get another bill from them. And your insurance won’t cover it because it’s not medically necessary.

Me: Okay, but she’s been a patient there for most of her life. Can’t you all just call in the lab authorization or something?

Her: No. Sorry.

Me: *grumbles* Fine. (Because it’s not like I don’t have a thousand other things I’d rather spend that money on, but whatever. It’s my daughter, and she’s excited about running Division II cross country and track, so it’s all worth it. Right?) How soon can we schedule it? Because she needs to turn in the results by August 1st.

Her: *brightly* Oh, that’s no problem! It takes two to five business days.

Me: Okay. So, when can we –

Her: *interrupting* But there’s another snag. We lost power over the weekend so our computers are down. I can’t actually put you on the schedule.

Me: …

Her: …

Me: So…

Her: Well, you could just show up after 1!

Me: …

Her: Hopefully by then the computers will be working, otherwise we can’t actually authorize the lab test.

Me: …

Her: So maybe you should call first. Like, around noon?

Me: *sigh* Thank you. I’ll do that.

BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH MY TIME AND MONEY THAN CHASE DOWN A LAB TEST SHE DOESN’T EVEN NEED.

Argh.

Yay Monday?