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Picture Perfect.....

May 21st, 2008 at 12:22 pm

DD went to her medical team for her increasing migraines and stiff neck muscles. They've been trying to get these under control. Now, they decided to send her for a CAT scan. Pictures of her brain. She called me after the scan and told me the cost which included her deductible. I was proud of her for being brave enough to tackle this stuff on her own. After I hung up, I went through the "worries" that I get but try to keep from the kids. I'll have a little of them until the report from the scan. Then, I realized that I needed to revamp our Funds Budget to include all those deductibles. I had enough for one person's deductible a year, but we've gone through two people already and probably will add a third when I catch up on mammograms and such. So, I put the whole shebang in there. Deductibles for everybody. That is an amount we KNOW we will have to pay. And an amount that we can plan for.

The air conditioning guy came for the Spring checkup and pronounced the unit still chugging along. He learned a trick on our unit that he now checks on everybody's. Ours gave him a tough time for awhile. He told me that the equipment fazes out in 2010 and I will need a new unit before then or I'll have to replace the evaporator coil in the attic also. BIG bucks there. So, he told me approximate cost of a unit outside so I can save up for one in the next year. Made myself a major note to check on this. He's never pushed anything on me, but kept my stuff going and going, so I trust his words. Especially since he told me not to try to get a bigger unit unless my coil or ducts could take it. I'll remember that if I get a different set of people for a sales team. That info was very helpful. I had thought I needed a bigger one since the people who had the house before us added an addition but didn't upgrade the system. It gets hot in here, and the unit can't keep up. I have to monitor it so that it won't destroy itself trying to cool off something it can't cool when it is a thousand degrees heat index outside. I am going to try to implement something really soon for this. Glad he gave me a heads up. I often find out the hard way.

Been rather quiet around here with the dogs penned in the laundry room. A crew has been concreting just about the whole yard next door, and I didn't want constant barking. Neighbor lady on the left has Parkinson's and the additional parking spaces and sidewalks and patios will really help her out. I am jealous. They found an awesome crew who has done three homes in our vicinity. I got a card, but the cost is too prohibiting for us right now. But, our driveway really needs to be redone. The way they are doing it will last and last and last. I am impressed. Something else to put on the Wish List for the house...sheesh.....

Going Down?....Not Just In The Movies

May 18th, 2008 at 05:49 pm

Hubby and I had an experience that you think will never happen to you. One of my big fears. We were leaving the doc in the Big City and were getting on the elevator on the second floor going down. The door did this funky open--close--open thing, and like goofballs, we got on the elevator when it opened again. And we got stuck in the elevator. With the door closed. Going nowhere. I couldn't believe it. We stood there for a bit, and when nothing happened, we rang the little bell. Not knowing if anyone heard it. No one answered us from the outside. So, we waited awhile longer and did it again. And wondered if we should use our cells and call the doc's office. Or what do we do? Fortunately, it wasn't moving. I would have been really freaking out if we were going up and down without stopping. And the elevator is kinda big because the surgery and hospital floors are in the same building. So, the elevator has to accommodate beds. But, there we were. Stuck in an elevator. And not knowing what was going on. Rang the bell a third time because no one ever responded. Finally, a tool was heard, and a guy pried open the doors and let us out. He was working on the elevator on the next floor. I don't know if it got away from him or he was working on the control buttons up there or what. All I know is that I don't want to do that again. After all that, Hubby said that we were only trapped maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Boy, it sure seemed like a lifetime. That alone made it kinda funny. Someone else in the building told us that they had been stuck in another hospital with 27 or so floors going up and down. THAT would have scared me silly. As it is, I feel pretty silly getting so upset over ten minutes in an elevator. At least I can now laugh at this....

The Eyes Have It.......

May 17th, 2008 at 02:06 pm

I can't believe that I haven't been on the blogs for so long. I haven't even read anything lately. Had a few medical positives and misadventures. A couple of weeks ago, I mistakenly put contact cleaner in my eyes instead of my eye drops. No, the bottles are totally different, but the same size and in the same spot. That smarts. Big time. I ended up in the emergency room (was a Sunday) so they could completely flush the remaining crud out of my eyes. I think they said something like chemical burn. Next day, I went in the pouring rain to the eye doc/surgeon guy who is really awesome and he pronounced me fine. I used the opportunity to upgrade my glasses (since I obviously need them for stupid times like these). I had enough in my eye fund to buy them, but I am still awaiting the emergency room fees. Ouch again.

At the end of that week, Hubby went to the doc in the Big City and was pronounced free from restrictions. Now, he can drive and mow and all that fun stuff. He just has to be careful lifting much and things like that. They are going to continue to monitor him every six months which relieves my mind on the future. During this doc visit, we met up with DD and went to a major league baseball game for Hubby's part of the Father's Day/Mother's Day weekend jaunt. I haven't been to a major league game since I was oh...about twelve. Of course, this was the only game they lost in about seven or so in a row. Oh well, the whole experience was pretty neat. At least, the other team did so much that we had plenty to watch. DD gave us gift baskets she'd made and then announced that DD, DD's BF, and Hubby had gone together and ordered me a laptop. I think my brain fritzed when I heard that. I have received it, but I need to get those kids to put all the rest of the programs that I need on it, including the security software. They have some fancy stuff they get from college. I will be getting that done in a week or so. So, for now, I don't connect up to anything, and I'm just playing around learning it. First time I haven't had the last hand-me-down. This is going to be SO FUN. DS and DIL sent me an Edible Arrangement for Mother's Day which is composed of fruit that looks like flowers and bushes. Included some chocolate covered strawberries. Yummy present! And SO cool looking.

After DD left to return to her town to meet up with BF to go camping with his parents, he called and asked our permission to ask her to marry him. We had to sit on the information for several days and it about killed us. He's a great kid that we all wanted to contrive to introduce to DD. Awesome that it took so well!

DD was also tested and found to be ADD. So, the docs and stuff wanted to see if I was too. It sure would explain stuff. So, off to my med team to find out. And I am. Piggybacks onto bipolar. So, I've been trying new meds for the last couple of days. So far, so good. Among us all, we've been to all kinds of docs. So glad most of it has been for good stuff.

I learned several things from the eye episode:

1. Keep eye wash around. Tap water HURTS. I didn't know eye wash existed. It is in the hurricane supplies now.
2. I like the new hospital. They were really fast. Nice to know in an emergency.
3. I love my insurance.
4. Keep my bottles in separate places.
5. The doc's office told me to take the antibiotics I got from the hospital that I didn't need after all and keep them for awhile for a future mishap. I think I must have a "K" for Klutz stamped on my forehead....

Lovebugs....

April 23rd, 2008 at 03:14 pm

While I was growing up, a wonderful fixture of evening was fireflies or as in the South--lightning bugs. Moving further south to the more tropical zones, I missed the little bugs. Then, we encountered a new little evening bug. The Lovebug. Harmless little creatures "floating" in the air joined at the hip (so to speak) in pairs. Then, I found out the hazards. Don't talk too much outside because you can breathe in or swallow bugs. And, the little buggers take the paint off your car. It is especially bad if you drive for some reason out in the countryside. Your car gets plastered by hundred of bugs, and if you don't wash them off timely, they will remove the paint. I didn't know if it was an old wives' tale because Hubby kept the cars washed. I found that it was true when I had to stash my car inside the garage during Hurricane Rita evacuation without washing off the cloud of bugs I'd been through. Several weeks later, I returned and washed off the car and the paint came off the front with the bugs.

I mowed the grass last night toward the evening hours to catch the coolness and because we finally figured out what was wrong with the lawnmower. I was mowing through the grass with the little critters floating around me about knee high at that time of day. They look so peaceful floating along. (Although they are really flapping their little wings like crazy.) We like to tease that the female is the one dragging the males along. The female is having to do most of the work it seems. At least, I've been told the big ones are female. With Hubby still not being able to wash vehicles for awhile because of surgery, I know that, economically, twice a year in spring and fall, I need to make sure that I keep all little buggies off the car. Or anything else. Or I'll eventually have to repaint the thing....

Rolling In The Dough....

April 19th, 2008 at 07:50 am

I've had a craving for pizza for a month or so. With a coupon, Hubby and I can get a pizza fairly cheap and eat on it for three days or so. But, I had a couple of veggies hanging around to use up and a bread machine....

I surprised myself. I made pizza dough. Used on sale veggies, sauce and cheese. Dusted off the ole pizza stone--literally. I was trying to remember WHY I even had one. I think the kids used to bake frozen mini pizzas on it or something. I screwed up the timer and almost burnt it, but saved it and the end effect was pretty yummy. It smelled so good cooking that we had a hard time waiting on it to cool down enough to eat.

We probably don't save that much over the way we usually eat pizza. But, this one was WAY less greasy. More veggies on it. Probably healthier. At any rate, it wasn't as hard to do as I thought it would be to make. And, we love pizza. We could add Pizza Night to our Fridays or something. This could be the start of something yummy....

Monday Again....?

April 15th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Today is Tuesday, but to me it is Monday. I've been confused all day. Hubby wasn't feeling well yesterday and worked from home, so with his normal alternate Friday off, we had a four-day weekend. So, today is Monday...sort of.

Also, I totally forgot today was April 15. I'm so glad it has been mentioned because I was headed to the post office to mail a couple of packages. Forget it. Our little post office has about ten parking spaces and usually a line. Today, it will be a zoo.

We did much better on our budget and challenge this month. If you don't count the Easter/birthday celebration trip. I included it in the Other Holiday/Birthday funds, but those funds have been decimated and need to be revived a bit. Actually, the Birthday Fund is limping along, but the Other Holiday Fund is so far gone that it needs a transfusion.

We've gotten refunds from the oral surgeon for most of the amount of DD's wisdom tooth surgery. I get to put the Dental Fund back on its feet. The dental insurance for the surgery was so much better than regular tooth stuff. Go figure...but I'm not complaining...I'm tickled!

I haven't made much headway on that credit card, have I? Focus, Jan, focus....

He LIKES It...

April 14th, 2008 at 02:41 pm

Remember Mikey and the Life commercial? I've been playing with several varieties of bread in the bread machine. I've never really liked the taste of store bread and don't eat it very much. So, at least a half of a loaf of bread at a time went to waste unless I froze it for something else. I really do like homemade bread, though, but the trick was to see if Hubby would eat it. He doesn't like trying too many new things, and his likes and dislikes are pretty much set in stone. His likes are limited. In the last few years, we've all gotten him to try some new things, and he's found out that he likes more than he thought. So, I've been encouraging him to try the homemade bread, mostly by not buying any other. He's kinda stuck. He's actually admitting to liking the bread...as long as it doesn't have apples or raisins. I love both, so I am making some plainer varieties, too. I held my breath after I finally switched to a more whole wheat variety for him. He LIKED it! He's eaten almost the whole loaf. And no complaining. I am shocked. I am now redoing a whole section of cabinets to hold the flours and such for making the bread in the machine. I don't think I'll be looking back. Now, if I could only get him to like peas....

Every Little Bit....

April 9th, 2008 at 09:41 am

helps the bottom line! I got a weird medical bill in the bunch for Hubby's surgery. Three x-rays that were billed to us, but no insurance payments. Instead, it said something about maxed benefits. I checked it out online with the insurance site and couldn't find this bill anywhere. I looked at the other bill from this place and nothing on it resembled these charges. I called the insurance company to see if they could find it. The bill wasn't really huge--150.00 dollars--but that is a chunk of a credit card payment that I could make. The insurance people were really cool. I told them all the particulars including the codes on there. They said I didn't have any maxed benefits on x-rays so it didn't make sense to them either. They called the company, then told me that it was a bill already on their list at another amount and the company has left off some codes so the whole thing will go back through the system. I just might have saved us over 100 dollars. Right now, trying to pay off debt with costs rising, that 100 or so dollars looks really good. I'm glad the folks here and on the forums have talked about questioning things we don't understand. I am trying to become more aware of everything.

We are trying to combat the higher cost of food by eating less. We've been stretching our meals. They aren't fancy, but they fill us up. Hopefully, it will also translate into losing that 10 pounds apiece that we need to lose. I'm trying to do this and eat healthy food at the same time. I about fell over when eggs reached 2.00 here. We feel like we were back in college and had to really limit the amount of groceries bought in a week. At least we have experience in this. Who knew that being broke when newly married would come in handy one day.

I would really like to try my hand at raising some kind of vegetable. I used to help my Dad in the gardens all the time. But, this is a different kind of soil and climate. And, he has a green thumb and I don't. I think I will try one kind at a time so I don't break the bank killing so many plants. Something that will grow in spite of me.....

Seeing the Light.....

April 7th, 2008 at 11:34 am

I leave most lights off during the day since we have large windows. And, this time of year, it is quite bright out there in this part of the world. I never wore sunglasses until I moved here. Now, I can't leave the house without them. So, I do most things without any lights on. Hubby is the opposite. I can come in during the weekend and find him asleep on the couch with all the lights on. Of course, he often gets up around 5 or 6 am, and I guess he might need the lights then. And, then he falls asleep without realizing that he's burning electricity. And, it gets hot in there with them on.

We have a bathroom in the middle of the house that has no windows. But, the bathroom at the back has one with blinds. I've turned the blinds downward so that a little of the light comes in, and that way, I don't have to turn on lights. I didn't realize something until last week...you don't need the lights to take a shower in there either. Well, duh.... The only time I really need to turn them on is makeup time. Changing these habits is not that bad...if you just realize what the habit is....

Hubby finally caught me emptying my bucket of water onto the porch plants this weekend. So, I explained my plan of using the water from the shower warmup to avoid wasting it and saving some money. As expected, the look was priceless. I also explained that I don't have to get the hose out, and I don't have to work so hard with the little watering can. I can use this water every day on plants and such and no waste. He'll get used to the idea. But, I do think he thinks it is one of my weirder saving ones. He's probably not going to do this one himself, but he's not going to rain on my parade....

RIP.....

April 2nd, 2008 at 01:47 pm

My 27 year old dryer just died. No warning whatsoever. Just a large bang, and it was gone. Probably a belt or something. I think I'll just replace it since it is so very old. And inefficient, I'm sure. I've got some money I can use. The problem is the ability to get it done. Hubby can't help me get one into the house right now, so I will have to have one delivered. That way they can remove the old one, too. But, until I can get that done, I am without a dryer. And, boy, do we need it for the sheets and work clothes that I need to dry. Otherwise, I'll be ironing till the cows come home. Right now, I have socks laying everywhere. I'm going to get a drying rack tonight. I usually hang my stuff to dry anyway, but the dogs' bedding and our king-sized bedding will be a pain. Oh well, it's not that I didn't expect it sometime. Just wish it had waited until the summer. I sure hope this has a silver lining.....

The Low Down.....

March 29th, 2008 at 05:46 pm

Today was almost a no spend day. I blew it when I suggested we get a treat at the bakery across the street from our walk. Hubby has used this weekend to crash, and his neck has been hurting. I thought we needed to get out of the house for a short while, but the walk around the same area sometimes makes me feel a little like a hamster on a wheel. I had this intense craving for a sweet treat, and the atmosphere at the bakery is conducive to chilling and talking. So, I decided that we should count LOW spend days. Any day that we spend less than 20 dollars. And, count LOW LOW spend days. Any day that we spend less than 10 dollars. Today was a 4 dollar day.

I finished up mowing the yard and mulching and collecting the leaves. Our front trees drop their leaves in the spring. When I first moved here, I had a hard time with washing the pollen off my car and raking the leaves in the same season. Weird.

I think that tomorrow I'll get Hubby out of the house by getting him to grill some steaks. Steaks will bite into the budget a bit; but the weather is so nice, and Hubby could use the change of scenery. And, we could admire the yardwork....