Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to tell things are bad in the economy

Here in our little village, things are bad with the economy.

On the main drag through town there is a restaurant that a couple of years ago was so busy it had expanded twice. When we drove past it yesterday, we discovered it was all boarded up and out of business.

And another example this morning.

Ever since we moved here eight years ago I've done business with the same tire shop. The guys in there actually recognize me when I walk in.

This morning I went over to have them check out the tires, etc., before I head off to California this weekend.

In times past he would have cheerfully done what I asked and we'd have made an appointment for the fall to have a new pair of tires installed ---- the tires on the back of the van are a 40,000 mile tire that have about 25,000 miles on them, and come fall I plan to replace them.

Not this morning. Today his whole push was to sell me a new pair of tires now --- giving me a 33% discount for the tread left on the tires that are on it.


If there is still 33% of the tread on the tire, exactly why would I buy brand new ones today??

like I said, the economy is bad here in our little village

Friday, June 12, 2009

and good news again

As I've been saying, one of the things that was almost as scary as the possiblity of bad lab results was the fear of the hospital bill and the whole "how will I ever pay that" issue.

Yesterday I had a meeting with the young man at the hospital that is in charge of "Patient Benefit Access".

Last week, when I was still in a dither about just getting through the procedure, he had given me a list of documents I needed to bring with me: birth certificate, social security card, bank statement, proof of income, mortgage statement, auto registration. Seems they want you to prove who you are and how much income you have and the value of your property. Just like any government program.

Unlike any other time I've applied for any help, however, this time I was told that I can get assistance.

That little procedure they did last week ---- the hospital billing would have been almost $4800.00. With the assistance, the most the billing will be is about $600.00.

And it will also cover part of the cost of the surgery I'll be having in July.

Will wonders never cease?!

I'm glad that a big chunk of it will be taken care of --- I'll still have to figure out how to get the $600.00 paid, but it will be easier than it would have been.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wherein we discuss why it's good to have your doctor's office on your side

Ok, so last week I went and had the procedure done --- the biopsy and all that, which included an outpatient surgery --- for which my pathetic little "health" insurance will pay 80% of the doctor, 25% of the anestheisiologist, but 0% of the hospital

Yesterday, I had my appointment with the doctor. The test results were wonderful --- there is no cancer, just the fibroids (one the size of a lemon) -- oh yes, and the continued (STILL!) unexplained bleeding.

While I was there she told me about a phone call her office got from the hospital billing folks wanting to know why she had scheduled the procedure when the insurance was not going to cover it. The doctor's office informed them in no uncertain terms that this was NOT an elective surgery.

WHAT? Like I did this FOR FUN!!??

So, I still have to have the hysterectomy (and at my age they'll just remove everything), which I will be doing mid-July.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with a fellow at the hospital that specializes in getting financial assistance for bills in cases like mine.

I'm not hopeful that I will qualify for anything, but I'm willing to try anything that might help.

Meantime, I'm trying not to have absolute panic attacks over just how big that hospital bill is going to be.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The mighty hunter?

Last week when we trimmed the pine tree at the back of the yard we heard the fussing and carrying on of the robins in the higher reaches of the tree.

Seems we have a pair of robins that have appropriated some real estate up there and had some baby robins.

Yesterday morning, the DH let the dog out.

She went tearing across the yard and literally swatted one of the baby robins out of the air as it took a test flight.

He called her in, and the mama robin was right there on the spot.

But later in the afternoon, as we prepared to mow the lawn, we found the little body.

The dog kept going back to the spot, trying to find it again after I picked it up.

At least I didn't have to do what my son-in-law has had to do several times with squirells and their dog. It seems their dog will catch and maim a squirell, then he has to go out and finish it off. They keep a crochet mallet at the ready for this activity. The whole idea gives me the whillies.

Ok, so the house wrens are starting to take exploratory flights --- I think I'll keep the dog in the house --- she just doesn't understand how strong she is.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Waiting to Exhale

What a weird week this has been

Let me begin by saying that I still don't have any results from the biopsy yet ---

should I think that no news is good news?

or should I think that the doctor doesn't want to tell me bad news on the phone?

or is it just that the lab hasn't gotten back to her yet?

And there is this strangeness of good news heaped over the possibility of bad news that has me walking into walls

Yesterday I was notified that both of the beaded pieces I entered in a big contest made the first cut from my photographs and the pieces themselves now go off for the second part of the competition.

This morning in my in box of emails were two other interesting things: an invitation from a Colorado art work agency to submit some of my work for inclusion in their online gallery and a request from a web gallery on art to be interviewed and included in their site.

I'm a little freaked out by the whole timing thing

The sceptical side of me instantly thinks of a lyric from the Tim Rice/Elton John version of Aida --
Is it written in the stars
Are we paying for some crime
Is that all that we are good for
Just a stretch of mortal time
Is this God's experiment
In which we have no say
In which we're given paradise
But only for a day

I'm trying to tell myself that these are the rewards for hard work and consistently trying to put my work out there to get recognized (and hopefully be able to reach a bigger audience)

And I'll also say I'm a little freaked out by the idea of actually succeeding

ok, I think the timing is strange

I'm still a little afraid

and grateful

Friday, June 05, 2009

Thoughts on Blogging

Over at Travelin Oma Marty's been talking about her recurrent bouts of paranoid soul-searching.

Frankly, I'm happy to hear that someone besides me has those!!

So, Marty posted a list of questions about blogging, which I thought was pretty interesting, here are my answers:

What kind of blogs do you like to read? (Infomercial, daily diary, advice, photography, pour-your-heart-out, sarcastic, rants, upbeat . . .) all of those plus any art projects, quilt projects, politics --- basically I'm an eclectic reader

Do you go back and read comments on somebody's post after you've already commented? yes, because I like to see what other people think of what the blogger said and maybe what I've commented

If someone asks a question in a comment, how do you answer them? (In a follow-up comment on your blog, in a follow-up post, in an email . . .) either in a follow up comment or another entire post, only rarely on email

When you link to another blog, do you email that blogger to let them know? usually I post a comment on the post that prompted the link (I'll be commenting on Marty's as soon as I finish this)

If you comment on a blog, and you get no response, do you stop reading that blog? No, but I may wonder why

How do you think of blogging? (Hobby, addiction, learning experience, waste of time . . .) everything but a waste of time, one of my main ways to reach out to the world beyond the little "village" I live in, a way that I record what I'm doing and thinking a sort of electronic diary

Do you feel funny talking about your posts in real life to a reader? No -- doesn't everyone do this?

Do you feel embarrassed or complimented if someone refers to what you've said? complimented, it sort of validates what I've said

If you could read your great-grandmother's experiences on a blog, would you? would that she had even left anything written for me to see!

How do you think reading blogs has helped you? allowing me to see that the more we learn about each other the more we have in common across all of our differences

Do you spend more time reading blogs or writing posts? about the same, my posts are sort of "stream of thought"

Do you comment on blogs you read? Why, or why not?
Absolutely, and I always hope that someone will comment on mine, otherwise how do I know anyone is reading?

Thanks Marty, for giving me something to think about today.

To my other readers: want to play along? What do you think about those questions?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wherein I remember why I was happy to go through "the change"

Ok, so today is the day when I'm going in to have the biopsy done to see what's really going on.

Now days you don't go into the hospital the night before so the nurses (who know what to expect from the various procedures) help you though the whole "getting ready" thing.

Nope, they give you a couple of little plastic baggies at your "pre-op" appointment and you're on your own. (Which makes me wonder how someone that has difficulties with reading and following instructions ever gets through this.)

So, last night I started with the first little baggie which involved taking not one shower, but two. One last night with this "soap"(?) --- and I'll get to do that step again this morning --- as soon as I finish with my morning computer time.

And then at bedtime, baggie number 2, inserting 4 little tablets. See when you go through menopause, the cervix closes up really, really tight, and to do the biopsy, it needs to relax, so these little tablets are supposed to take care of that.

Oh yeah, they neglicted to tell me that it would be like having a full blown period again, complete with cramps. And it pretty much freaked me out when I got up in the middle of the night and there was a lot more blood than I expected.

I can't tell you how glad I'll be to get this procedure over today so I can (maybe) not think about the whole thing for a couple of days ---

or not


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Garden's all in

now that the last of the garden is in (we planted corn in that corner yesterday), we've installed a little fencing

our labrador likes to go and lay on the soft cool dirt after we water, which is not a good thing for the little plants

and I'm really afraid she will do the same thing my daughter's dogs are doing to her corn plants --- eat them as they come up because they taste so good to doggies

it was warm and humid (a rare thing here) as we planted the corn yesterday afternoon

this morning its cold, windy and rainy (wind chill was around 32 degrees this morning --- on the first of JUNE!)

the moisture should be good for the seeds tho', and we're supposed to be back up in the 80's by the weekend