Saturday, January 30, 2010

trying to change history

I bought this book for my son in law this week

the last few times we've been up to visit he has been working on some very cool charcoal drawings

and my daughter is a smart girl

she is encouraging his artistic side

and so am I

I didn't learn until I was much older than he is that it is not a good idea to suppress the inner artist

go for it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

one more example of why health insurance is so expensive

last year we got a notice from my husband's insurance company that they would no longer pay for the particular brand of the glucose test strips that he had been using for years

you know, the brand that fit in the testing meter he ALREADY HAS

no, now the insurance company is in cahoots with Walmart

we had to decide: he could continue to use what he has been using and have to pay more for the test strips; or we could ask his doctor to write a new prescription for a new test meter and the new strips (which, by the way, are available to us only by either mail ordering them or buying them at Walmart)

so, because in the end it is the test strips that add up in price, we had the doctor write the script and I sent it off for him

the package arrived yesterday

and for the first time in the 15+ years that he has been dealing with this condition, we have been billed for part of the price of the meter

a meter that we didn't even want to get

because you know he has that perfectly good meter

but of course if he kept using the original meter, we would very quickly spend a whole lot more than what we've been billed

but the wastefulness of the whole thing just bugs me

and the collusion

I'm thinking of calling and pitching a fit about it

just because I'll feel better getting it off my chest

Friday, January 22, 2010

the end of life as we knew it

in all the howling this week about how the election of a Republican to the Senate in Massachusetts was going to kill the hope of a real health care reform bill, we almost missed the even more ominous event yesterday

the Supreme Court -- the one that Bush loaded up with conservative idealogs -- decided that we no longer need to be governed by a democracy

nope, the corporations can now spend as much money as they like to elect the candidates they like

if you've ever worked for a bad boss, you've had a small taste of what this will be like

forget about affordable health care -- and if you think the scare tactics of the summer's discussions of "death panels" were bad, just wait -- the health insurance companies will decide who gets health care -- because they will own the representatives in congress

forget about being able to get a loan if you have a small business -- the bank will decide who gets their money -- because they will own the representatives in congress

get used to $4 a gallon gas -- or $5, or $10 -- the oil companies will decide what the price will be -- because they will own the representatives in congress

you want to put solar panels on your roof to cut your power bill and help clean the air -- forget about it -- that's going to cost you big time to the power company -- because they will own the representatives in congress

you think taxation on the middle class is bad now -- just wait -- the middle class will soon cease to exist under the new taxation while the rich will get the tax breaks -- because they will own the representatives in congress

perhaps we'll just avoid the whole voting thing --- we won't need to have Senators from Arkansas and Washington and Texas and Minnesota -- instead we'll have Senators from Walmart and MicroSoft and Halliburton and United Health Care

if you want to read (or listen to) Keith Olbermann's Special Comment about this issue, use this LINK

if you want to read about Alan Grayson's petition, use this LINK

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Show stewing

I know, it sounds like a new weird food, like maybe I've posted this on the wrong blog and it really belongs over there in Hattie's Kitchen


what I'm talking about is the unresolved "what do I do with these" thing that happened after I decided that I'm basically "Done" doing bears

I mean I have tubs and tubs of these critters still

and I can't donate them anywhere that they might end up in a kid's hands because they ARE NOT TOYS -- being that they have glass eyes and all

so I'm thinking that after we get done with all the "de-Christmasing" I may start putting them out on eBay at VERY reasonable prices and see if I can find them new homes

and there is still that lingering "why couldn't I ever get the selling of these right?" thing, but I'm trying to forget about that

so, now I'm thinking about shows with the newer stuff that we're doing

I'm thinking "in State" this year --- by the time I get all the "must be paid" things done every month there just isn't much to send off as a show fee (and then of course one must be able to actually get TO the show, and sleep and eat someplace en route and during, and all without being able to count on selling even one. little. tiny. item.)

ok --- 'nuf said

is the stewing done yet?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

wherein the winged monkeys stay caged

I can not wait for all of the almost $4K of doctor/hospital/lab bills to be paid off -- which of course at the agreed to payment amounts will be sometime in 2012 (barring any more incoming bills, any other major illnesses, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah)

on Saturday I got the monthly statement on one of the bills and it had two lines on it showing reduction of the bill but with the words "Bad Debt Adj"


so of course I got to fret and stew about it until yesterday morning when I could actually call and find out just exactly what was going on --- especially since the statement also recorded each and every one of my payments!

this was the bill that when I called about making a payment arrangement back in September they told me they had several matching programs that I might qualify for and had me do a boatload of paperwork and then I never heard anything back except the phone call in December where they told me they would no longer accept what I had been paying but needed a larger amount starting in January

first thing yesterday morning I called -- and while I was ready to be reasonable, I figured they better have a fast explanation or I was going to loose the winged monkeys

turns out that I did indeed qualify for the matching program -- in fact, for every $50 I pay they are going to write off $50

unfortunately, they program will note it with the obnoxious "bad debt adj" thing -- but they are not reporting me to credit agencies for it (which was my fear), and it means I will actually get this one paid off in half the time I thought it would take

ok, I can live with that

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First "Pet Peeve" of 2010

let me say first that I have been a knitter for about 50 years, since the very first time I was introduced to it by my grandmother

my grandfather worked for the post office back in the 1950s -- in the days when packages and bundles of mail were tied together with white string (remember the line in the song "brown paper packages tied up with string" -- like that!)

anyway, he would bring chunks of that string home in his uniform pants pockets

I can remember helping tie the string together and rolling it into big balls

so, my grandmother taught me to knit with that stuff --- simple things first --- like dish rags made up of rows and rows of just plain knit stitch, the more knots the better because they added to the scrubbing power of the thing

after that I knit for my dolls, and graduated to sweaters and other "big" projects

like I said, I've been doing this a while

so of course, as I've been involved in the blog world, I've read the blogs of fellow knitters and LOVED them --- savoring their pictures, sympathizing with their solving of knitting problems, joining their knitting causes (knitting mittens that go to an Indian reservation for instance)

lately though my ability to "join the group" has been stymied by the fact that I'm not a member of "the group"

a while back someone came up with "Ravelry" and now those folks that are "in" belong to it and post their pictures there

ok, they want to be "exclusive" I guess, but it annoys me mightily that now instead of posting a link from their blogs to someplace that I can see their pictures, they are posting a link to Ravelry

folks, either you want to share with the rest of us or you want to share only with your little "in" group

I wish you wouldn't tease the rest of us lowly mortals

Monday, January 04, 2010

Be afraid

or not

in the last couple of days I've been catching up on reading of blogs of folks that I used to read every day

I haven't been doing that quite so much lately as I've been busy with my own "stuff" and instead of making myself and the DH quite so crazy have decided to get to those when I can and not stress about it

funny how we can create our own stress

what I've noticed, being not so much right on top of the daily postings, is a common thread that ties us --- change

one writer's husband had a major heart issue during the year; one went through radiation therapy for cancer; one had major surgery of her own; one has had some major issues that she has not revealed, but that have changed her life; one lost her husband

there have been changes in my life too, and changes to come

just because you decide to make that change does not necessarily make it easy

or keep you from feeling overwhelmed

I've been receiving applications to do art shows (both in the mail and by email) and I'm wondering how that will all work this year -- basically last year we did no shows -- mostly because of my medical issues -- and this year the financial commitment of them frightens me -- so who knows

meantime, I'm trying to not be afraid

change will come rather I'm ready or not, so I might as well try to embrace it and make it a friend instead of creating an enemy