Monday, 14 January 2013

10:21 – The good news is that Barbara’s dad is doing pretty well, better than anyone expected. He still can’t walk very far and is pretty much limited to their apartment, but he’s doing better both physically and mentally. The bad news is that Barbara’s mom is very fragile mentally. She’s getting very little sleep, because she’s terrified that Dutch will die. She’s also hovering over Dutch constantly, pestering him, which upsets him. And, to top it off, she’s afraid to be alone in the apartment at any time, and she’s afraid to be in the apartment at night, even with Dutch there. Or perhaps especially with Dutch there. What she really wants is for Barbara or Frances to be there 24X7, which obviously isn’t going to happen. Barbara and Frances both have lives, jobs, and families.

Frances called us this morning just before 0700, while Barbara was in the shower. She and her husband, Al, were over at Dutch and Sankie’s apartment because Sankie had panicked. Barbara thought about heading over there this morning, but decided to wait and go over this afternoon. This simply can’t go on. The stress on Barbara and Frances is incredible. About the only good thing about the situation is that they got their parents moved to the retirement village. If they were still in their house the whole situation would be completely unmanageable. Even so, Barbara’s mom is under such severe stress that I’m afraid she’s not far from a complete breakdown. That would be disastrous.


16:20 – I’ve been busy today. Among other things, like cutting POs, I shipped three BK01 biology kits, two SK01 slide sets, and one FK01 forensic science kit. We also received a check from a university for four FK01 forensic science kits, so I got those ready to ship out tomorrow. That takes our inventory down to a handful of biology and chemistry kits, and zero forensic science kits, so I know what I’ll be working on the rest of this week.

Shipping the forensic science kit today was a bit strange. For US shipments, I print a postage label on a half-sheet (8.5×5.5″) sticky label. For Canadian shipments and in the past for APO/FPO shipments, I’ve had to fill out several screens on the USPS shipping web site. Then, instead of a half-sheet postage label, I get four half sheets. The first one is the actual postage label, and the others are various customs declarations. I print those on ordinary paper and then insert them into a plastic sleeve with a sticky back. Presumably, various people along the way pull out and keep one or another of the half sheets. But for the APO/FPO shipment today, I got a single screen that I’d never seen before. When I printed the postage label, it was just one half sheet, but it looked completely different than the US half-sheets. I commented on it to the mailman, who said he’d seen those before. I told him as long as it’d be delivered I didn’t care what it looked like, and he just commented that it looked easier for me.