As stated in my rant on Saturday titled I AM NOT A HAPPY CAMPER, I'm trying to get to the bottom of what happened to one of my painting I shipped from the UPS store I always use to package and ship my paintings.  After talking to UPS twice I still haven't gotten any substantial information regarding what kind of damage occurred and what the "emergency" was as stated on their tracking site:

Brewer, ME, United States
03/07/2014 8:46 P.M. The package was damaged in transit. UPS will attempt to notify the sender with the details / All merchandise is being returned. UPS will notify the sender with details of the damage.
03/07/2014 5:09 P.M. An emergency situation or severe weather condition has delayed delivery.
03/07/2014 6:50 A.M. Destination Scan
03/07/2014 12:31 A.M. Arrival Scan
What I was told is that they have up to 8 business days to investigate the damage before it is returned to sender even though I requested that the packaged be delivered.  I even asked if the intended recipient of the package who lives only a few miles from where the damaged painting is could come pick the painting up.  I was told that  it couldn't be delivered nor could it be picked up.

The good news in all this is that a fellow blogger who just happens to work for UPS stepped up and offered to help find out what's going on.  The following is the email she sent me:

Hi Karen,
[Yes folks, my real name is Karen] 
Here’s what I can tell from my system on your shipment 1Z3988530386326130:
It left The UPS Store on 3/4/14, and physically checked in on 3/5/14 at Jax, FL, and on 3/6/14 at Chelmsford, MA. Then on 3/7/14 it physically checked in at 6:50 am in Bangor, ME, which is the last scan  we had on it before the ‘emergency’ scan at 3/7/14 at 5:09 pm.
At this point I have to apologize, because normally a reason for the emergency is keyed along with the scan – like a thunderstorm, tornado, plane crash, etc. – but this time, all it says in the remarks is ‘emergency’. The emergency exception scan is repeated again on 3/10/14, however, and that time the remarks say, ‘mud’.
So the emergency was mud.
[WTF??? It isn't even mud season yet in Maine.]
Your claim, (claim#: 04983859), is showing as denied yesterday afternoon due to inadequate packaging. The wording the inspection came back with was, ‘UPS has identified deficiencies in External Packaging, Internal Packaging, Product Placement for this package. UPS is not liable or responsible for damage to any package from improper packaging.’
[Claim???? What claim?  I didn't make a claim.  And how can the claim be rejected due to inadequate packaging when the UPS store did the packaging?]
What I recommend doing now is disputing this denied claim for the damages that UPS found. I would call the 800-742-5877 back and let them know you want to dispute the denied claim. They’re going to want to verify stuff with you but they should be able to dispute it, all they have to do is hit a ‘dispute’ button on the bottom of their screen and then select ‘overturned’ on the classification drop-down menu. If they sound like they don’t know how to do it or if they sound confused, ask to speak to a supervisor.
[I did call them back and was told that I would have to call the UPS store from which the package was sent.  So I called the UPS store and they are now in the process of "investigating" it and will call me back with the details.]
I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I wish I could fix this myself for you but I don’t work in that department anymore (I do international shipments now) so I no longer have access to any of those systems. But please let me know if you need anything else or if you have any questions.

What a wonderful person she is for trying to help me! Thank you so much, Michelle! I think Van Goggins (who can be found on Facebook if anyone is interested in viewing my artwork) needs to paint this lady a picture as a sign of my deep gratitude....and package the painting myself and mail it with the post office!  LOL  By the way, "Van Goggins" is the name my best friend gave me when I started painting.  She thought it was a close to van Gogh as you could get using my real name. Of course, I was flattered even though I'm not nearly as crazy as van Gogh was and I still have both my ears!


The rules of MUSICAL MONDAY are easy:
1. Post a song of your choice under the MUSICAL MONDAY title.
2. If the song you post is not an original song, make sure credit is given to the artist.
3. Write something about your song choice. It doesn't have to be long. Just a short written glimpse inside your head to accompany your musical one will suffice.
3. Post a link back to MILDRED RATCHED MEMOIRS somewhere in your post so others can find there way here.
4. Post a comment here indicating that you're participating so Mildred and others can visit you and listen to our selection.
5. Have fun and help make Monday a musical place to be!


This song is by one of my all time favorite groups.  Their harmonies are perfect and their music brings me to a sweet spot where life is simple, meaningful and resonates from the very harmony their voices and lyrics showcases. After listening to CS&N, please hop over to HANDPRINTS IN THE ATTIC to hear Mary Jane's melodic trip down memory lane and then to UNDER THE PORCH LIGHT to hear some Monday mellowness from Delores.  Until next Monday, may peace and love fill your heart and guide you through the week. 


Sunday Selections is a weekly meme hosted by River at Drifting through life. My selections this week are from a trip to Ireland in September. 

After leaving Waterford (where Waterford crystal is made), we spent the remainder of the day and night in a delightful, small Irish city named Kilkenny on our way to Dublin. Like everywhere we went, Kilkenny was filled with typical Irish charm, but my favorite places in Ireland are the beautiful countryside and seaside villages along Ireland's rocky west coast.



My Saturday Facebook rant complete with comments:

I'm so mad at UPS! I mailed two paintings out on the 4th. It's not cheap to have them packaged for shipping and then on top of that the postage isn't cheap either. I got a notice on the UPS tracking site last night that one of them was damaged and they're returning it to me. It just makes me sick!

Debbie: That stinks!
Karen : yes, it does.
Linda: So sorry :(
Karen: Hopefully the damage isn't too bad and I'll be able to fix it.
Jo: That's so sad..especially when you took the time/expense to avoid that...
Karen: Tell me about it! Each time I mail out a painting it costs between 30 and 40 dollars depending on its size and weight.
Debbie: Wow!
Karen: They package them and that always costs a little over $20 and then the rest is postage.
Debbie: Holy cow!
Karen: Anyway...there's not much I can do about it right now. I'll just have to see how bad it is when it gets back to me.
Karen: I guess if I ship any other paintings, I'll have to heavily insure them.
Lisa: They can't blame it on the weather because it has been pretty good the last couple of days
Karen: But did you read it on there that it had something about severe weather....I wonder what that was about?????
Lisa: We didn't have severe weather. I don't know what they were talking about
Debbie: In other states...Washington, DC and around there.
Karen: it said "03/07/2014 5:09 P.M. An emergency situation or severe weather condition has delayed delivery. "
Karen: I wonder what the emergency situation was????
Lisa: That was yesterday!!!!
Karen: Sounds to me like they just wanted to cover they own butts! It makes me so mad!
Karen: Even if it was damaged, I don't understand why they just didn't deliver it anyway.
Karen: I guess I'll have to start packaging them myself and sending them through the post office instead of using UPS.
Lisa: I don't know why either. It was right here in town. A lot closer that Pensacola, Florida
Linda: Services are getting worse and worse and yet we pay more and does suck. I hope the damage is minimal!
Karen: So I guess it made it all the way to Brewer and then something happened to it according to the messages on the tracking UPS site: 

Brewer, ME, United States
03/07/2014 8:46 P.M. The package was damaged in transit. UPS will attempt to notify the sender with the details / All merchandise is being returned. UPS will notify the sender with details of the damage.
03/07/2014 5:09 P.M. An emergency situation or severe weather condition has delayed delivery.
03/07/2014 6:50 A.M. Destination Scan
03/07/2014 12:31 A.M. Arrival Scan

Wells, ME, United States
03/06/2014 9:24 P.M. Departure Scan
03/06/2014 8:47 P.M. Arrival Scan

Chelmsford, MA, United States
03/06/2014 7:11 P.M. Departure Scan

Edison, NJ, United States
03/06/2014 4:50 A.M. Departure Scan
03/06/2014 3:02 A.M. Arrival Scan

Baltimore, MD, United States
03/06/2014 12:11 A.M. Departure Scan
Baltimore, MD, United States
03/05/2014 11:49 P.M. Arrival Scan

Florence, SC, United States
03/05/2014 3:58 P.M. Departure Scan
03/05/2014 3:40 P.M. Arrival Scan

Jacksonville, FL, United States
03/05/2014 8:57 A.M. Departure Scan
03/05/2014 5:34 A.M. Arrival Scan

Tallahassee, FL, United States
03/05/2014 3:07 A.M. Departure Scan
03/05/2014 2:02 A.M. Arrival Scan

Pensacola, FL, United States
03/04/2014 9:18 P.M. Departure Scan
03/04/2014 8:16 P.M. Origin Scan
03/04/2014 7:36 P.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

Karen: and no attempt to notify me was made...go figure!
Karen: I would have just told them to deliver it damaged.
Linda: There was absolutely no bad weather in Maine this week
Karen: it said "an emergency situation or severe weather condition"....I guess aliens tried to abduct it or something.
Karen: Lisa, said she was going to call them tomorrow and try to find out what happened. I'll be curious to find out what lies they come up with.
Karen: I even sent them a message last night on their website and I've gotten no response from that.
Karen: The plot thickens! It must have been those damn aliens!
Linda: Aha.......aliens....that must be it!
Karen: I hope Lisa jerks a knot in someone's head over this!
Linda: They never come take me.....I'm due for an abduction!
Linda: I bet she will!!! And SHOULD!
Karen: and a good probing!
Karen: You know how bitchy those Maine women can get...
Karen: I think the UPS here is going to find out how bitchy this Maine woman can be!
Karen: I'll send Mildred after them.
Karen: That'll teach them!
Rita: Oh no that's terrible
Karen: After a horrible winter, a Maine woman is worse than a bear coming out of hibernation.
Janice: I surely hope you had them insured!
Karen: I just had the minimum insurance on them.
Janice: The emergency situation could have been that the driver was so confused by the 'severe weather' that was supposed to happen that he couldn't think straight enough to get out of his truck, off his behind and get to the destination?!? If he had to cover the cost of the damages himself, then he'd get the next one delivered on time. Pull that head out of your @zz, Mister!
Karen: Janice, it's okay to write ASS especially when it's in reference to my painting being damaged!



I've drifted throughout life in search of a certain touch, an unmistakable look of acceptance and an intuitive knowing of what comes next. The only thing I've heard as I’ve waited for my inner voice to tell me my search is over are the repetitious sounds of silence.  My search has taken me far off course and into unchartered waters more times than I care to admit.  Many times, it was a sink or swim situation and although I always managed to stay afloat, in the absence of never quite finding the love I wanted or needed, what I discovered was equally as valuable as love itself...I found what love isn’t. 

Love is not a chemical reaction…an explosion of hormones. It’s not a crush, infatuation, lust or anything superficial and temporary. Love is a state of being when two minds join and co-exist as one, yet are miraculously totally independent of each other at the same time. It has a quiet confidence and a reassuring, unmistakable strength. Love is not forced… it just is. It happens when and if the time is right and only then. Love isn’t something you ever have to question because if you have to question it, it isn’t love. When love happens, it’s there whether you’re both in the same room or thousands of miles apart. Love endures mistakes, pain and flaws both physical and emotional. Love transcends distance and time. Love perpetually strives to create a better place, a more perfect "us", an eternal flame that will flicker even in the wildest of storms to guide you home where your heart belongs. 

These words may echo from a empty sadness, yet I do not feel empty or sad.  Yes, I am alone, but I do not fear the path I walk alone.  I walk with hope as my companion .  I choose to believe I will finally feel the love I know I deserve before I die.  Until then I walk alone and will continue to love myself until someone else shares that love with me.


This week's prompts from Under The Porch Light are highlighted in the short poem below:

Kissing a frog hoping to find a prince
Is like trying to describe a rainbow to a blind person

It’s like rolling the dice, it can be such a cinch
But what you get is a just a fragmented version.

Not quite feeling love found before it’s lost
Not quite seeing colors boxed within a darkened tomb
Grand results have flagged such an extravagant cost
Of being amazed of the beauty in this unfurnished room.


Once again, the refrigerator at work smelled like something had died in it and had started to decompose. This time I completely disassembled the inside carefully scrubbing each drawer and shelf with industrial strength disinfectant cleaner followed by throwing out almost all the "must goes". When I had finished and let the inside completely air out, I decided this was my last time being the office chump. My job description as a Medicare Billing Specialist definitely did not include doing housework especially when none of the contents of the refrigerator were ever mine.  From this time forth, let the guilty parties do the dirty work!

I found the unwelcomed culprit had been some shrimp gumbo that had been spilled and had started to mutate at the bottom of the refrigerator under the vegetable crisper. The remnants were dark, sticky and rudely pungent. Everyone who walked by commented on how disgusting the refrigerator smelled, but no one offered to get their hands dirty by helping me clean it out. All I got were "better you than me" looks!

I grumbled silently promising myself this would be the last time I would clean up after a bunch of ungrateful slobs as I filled two trashcans with the contents of the refrigerator. Nothing pissed me off more than people bringing their lunches to work and letting the food sit there for months until it was unrecognizable. The only thing that came close to that kind of disgust was each time a drug rep (no, not the local neighborhood drug pusher, but someone who more resembled the main character on the TV show Weeds) would order lunch for the office as a courtesy while they tried to dazzle the doctors with some new wonder drug. The remaining food would always sit on the conference room table waiting for some dumbass to clean it up. Everyone, meet the dumbass who always went in after everyone was finished eating to put the leftovers away, to wash what utensils that were used and to make sure the conference room looked decent again. Being anal is a hard job and someone has to do it!

This time was different. This time after scrubbing out the inside of the refrigerator and then putting it all back together after discarding over 20 bottles of salad dressing with expiration dates from two years earlier and an assortment of bulging yogurt containers, I noticed that the aroma was still alive and well inside the refrigerator.  WTF? How could that be?

This time I turned off the refrigerator, pulled it out away from the wall, took apart the freezer, and cleaned inside where the fan was housed and where the tubing acted as a drain to a pan underneath the refrigerator. I forced hot water laced with the strongest smelling cleaner I could find through the tubing until it ran clear into the pan. Since I had no baking soda or charcoals at work, I put a cup of fresh unused coffee grounds in both the freeze and in the refrigerator. Finally, the smell was gone! SUCCESS! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

A few weeks later I had brought a 12-pack of Minute Maid lemonade (Lite of course…my diabetes has been a real bitch lately) to have at work. Since becoming diabetic, I have discovered that the world caters to healthy people and most drink machines don’t have a wide selection of sugar free drinks. When I opened the refrigerator to put my drinks inside, I was actually surprised to discover that it didn’t smell raunchy and it actually was still fairly neat as
well.  I smiled like a proud parent discovering that their child is not brain dead after all and as I bent over to put my drinks on the bottom shelf, I cut the cheese.  Uh oh! Now this cheese was a rare blend of aged Limburger meant to take a person’s breath away and bring tears to their eyes. Yep, it was a truly special cheese and because it was delivered silently this meant I could walk away and be fast at work as the stench dissipated. I wouldn’t have to die a thousand deaths from being embarrassed for being a company "crop duster."
Nope, I wasn’t that lucky…I’m sure this situation falls under one of Murphy’s Laws, but I’m not sure which one it is…perhaps "Mother Nature is a bitch"??? Just as I started to walk away, the office manager approached the refrigerator. She opened the door before the lingering stench invaded her nasal passages. Just as her facial expression started to change, I spoke up and sternly said, "that damn smell is back again and I’m not cleaning out the refrigerator again." She quickly called her assistant to do a sniff test. Then several others were asked to sniff around and to see what they thought. It was confirmed…the smell was back. What does one do in that situation? Like any smart person, they pass it off as residual refrigerator stench and tell the truth about it months later at the appropriate time to get people to laugh so hard they almost wet themselves!


WORDS FOR WEDNESDAY on Under The Porch Light and SUNDAY SELECTIONS on Drifting through life has inspired me to start my own weekly meme called MUSICAL MONDAY. Music is as diverse as each of us and can give all of us an opportunity to share who we are through its magical experience. Since Monday is touted as being the worst day of the week, perhaps a little music will help change its bad reputation and spread a little joy on such a horrific day. So let the love ripple forth!

The rules of MUSICAL MONDAY are easy:
1. Post a song of your choice under the MUSICAL MONDAY title.
2. If the song you post is not an original song, make sure credit is given to the artist.
3. Write something about your song choice. It doesn't have to be long. Just a short written glimpse inside your head to accompany your musical one will suffice.
3. Post a link back to MILDRED RATCHED MEMOIRS somewhere in your post so others can find there way here.
4. Post a comment here indicating that you're participating so Mildred and others can visit you and listen to our selection.
5. Have fun and help make Monday a musical place to be!


Why? Just because this was the first song that popped into my head. It's sassy and has just right amount of attitude for Monday. Perhaps, it's the song I might play if anyone actually had the cohones to hit on this over fifty and fabulous red hot momma! Or perhaps I'm just delusional! LOL


While surfing through the blogosphere, I came across another excellent way to let all Mildred's Misfits have a glimpse into her world. On Drifting through life I discovered Sunday Selections in which the rules are quite simple:
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title

2. link back to Drifting through life somewhere in your post

3. leave Drifting through life a comment so that she knows you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.

Like some others who participate in Sunday Selections, I've decided to go with a theme. Kicking off my first Sunday Selections I'm going with clouds. Every time I fly (some claim I do it on a broom), I always take photos of clouds. I do this not only because I think they're beautiful and unique, more importantly, I do this to share with my best friend who claims she hates clouds. I think she'd tell you that there's nothing more vile than a flying troglodyte with a camera!


When I first started Mildred Ratched Memoirs, it was as an assignment from my therapist who I always lovingly referred to as a "yoyo inspector". She wanted me to keep a daily journal and the only stipulation she made was that each journal entry had to end with a gratitude statement. The topics could be of my own choosing. Instead of doing a conventional hand written journal, I decided to do mine in blog form since I had been blogging since 2004.

Although I've kept Mildred Ratched Memoirs alive long after stopping my visits to the yoyo inspector, somewhere along the way I stopped doing my gratitude statements. I have to be honest and admit that I miss them. They made me end each blog post on a positive note. When a person is struggling with an emotional upheaval or maybe just tying up some loose ends that have been dangling for far too long having to find things to be grateful about isn't always an easy task. I remember I ended one post with a gratitude statement about being grateful I didn't have hemorrhoids. That one made my therapist laugh.

Reposted and edited from CAVE LIFE 101 (February 22, 2010)

People with alternative lifestyles or who have a different sexual orientation than the rest of mainstream America may reside in a closet until they decide to emerge, but depressed people dwell in a dark, dingy cave many times filled with items of convenience so they won't have to ever emerge. A few years ago, I purchased a small refrigerator and a microwave to put in my bedroom, so I wouldn't have to leave it. That was around the same time as I bought a 52-inch HDTV for my bedroom. I should have seen the writing on the wall, but like most things, I ignored the warning signs until the damage had been done. I simply didn't care that I was a cave dweller.

Hey, people I live in Florida and in an area where the beaches don't suck. As described in the following quote: "The gentle breeze is still soothing just as the crystal-clear waves roll in from the emerald sea. The flawless white sand is just as soft as before, and the sea oats still dance for a glowing sun". Pensacola boasts to have the whitest beaches in Florida. So why does a person who once was a sun worshipper no longer even venture out into the light of day? No, I haven't joined the ranks of the undead! Not yet, at least!

I think it has to do with having an addictive personality and being self-destructive. I always loved to binge and then I'd grow bored with the object of my addiction. This behavior held true in every aspect of my life even the small ones. For example, I loved to read, but unlike a normal person who would read a book and then go onto the next or perhaps take a break between books, I would read 10 books in 2 weeks and then be done for 6 months or more. I buy books now and never read them. I sit and look at the cover or maybe read the first page a few hundred times, but I never finish reading the book. I guess the same holds true with the beach. I burnt myself out on being sun burned beach bunny. Actually, that's probably a good thing!

Tomorrow, I have my next yoyo appointment. I know she wants me to start dealing with issues I'd rather just leave in the cave. I'd rather discuss how I've spent the last 2 days cleaning and rearranging my cave and how good that made me feel...physically drained, but mentally better. I'd rather talk about why I feel the need to throw something away if I haven't used it in 6 months and why I have so little in which I assign sentimental value. Material objects have never meant very much to me...easy come, easy go! I'd rather discuss anything other than sexual abuse and being self-destructive. I think I may be in a horribly foul mood tomorrow!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful it's today and not tomorrow.

I read my words now and ask myself, "What’s changed?" and I have to admit that I'm still a troglodyte and the rut I was in has widened over time. I really don't know where or how to begin to stop this abyss.

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful for the self awareness I possess and hope that it eventually kick starts some motivation to change my life while I still can.