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Monday, April 25, 2016

Insurance Woes

This has been an extremely frustrating and stressful week.  We are having almost daily weather threats.  So far we have been very lucky that none of the tornadoes have hit our town, but our sympathies go out to friends and family in the way of the storms around us, who are having damage.  We desperately need rain for the crops and our flower and vegetable gardens here, to fill our ponds and lakes, and replenish our river.

Dennis has been frustrated by delays in getting his shoulder replaced.  He has fought his severe pain for many years, and now that it is within "view", the tiniest of delays have become almost insurmountable in his mind.  We are hoping that at the latest, his surgery will take place in early June.

I have been enjoying my job with the local library.  I am working independently under the supervision of the head librarian and the library board.  I know that sounds confusing.  I took a few days of training, mostly in the computer program and the process for interlibrary loans and processing new materials.  I am in charge of ordering and maintaining the children's library section.  I read to the pre-school and kindergarten age kids on Friday mornings.  That is fun, most of the time.

My major problem right now is that I am without health insurance at the moment. We had shopped around before Dennis retired, and signed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield with a reasonable policy.  I told them I wanted it set up on an automatic debit card payment plan every month.  I thought everything was set.  The insurance company had my information and were actually paying claims.  Suddenly, everything went south.  My first indication came when my pharmacy said my insurance claim for my much needed diabetic meds was being declined by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  They said I was not covered.  What?  My blood pressure rose about 50 points.

After calling the company, it seems that the automated payments were not going through.  I remembered that the bank had changed our debit cards recently and there were new expiration dates on them. Why we hadn't heard from the insurance company about this, I have no idea.  But they cancelled my insurance plan.  Now, to get my medications, I have to pay full price. OUCH!

I will be calling again tomorrow to see if I can get that decision reversed.  In the meantime, please keep us both in your prayers.  Dennis, for a successful surgery, and me, that I can get insured.  The Good Lord has always answered my prayers for most important things.  I know he will help me now.

Thank you for reading my rant. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kansas City Royals 2015 World Champions!

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals Team and fans! I watched the team win the World Series back in 1985, and it was a sight to behold!  But I had even more appreciation for it this year.  I didn't get to watch all the games, due to some technical problems with my internet and tv, but I did get to stay up to watch the last game from beginning to end. It was awesome!

On the other hand, I was very disappointed in the way the newspapers flailed the Mets for losing the series. The headlines were horribly insulting and sounded very "sour grapes". Royals fans have had their ups and downs, with many seasons being more losing than winning, but I've not seen the bitterness and just plain meanness displayed by the Eastern papers.

Teams need their fan support.  The Royals, the Chiefs, and our Kansas collegiate football and basketball teams, as well as teams in other sports will have our support, always. Win or lose. Because it's the way we believe. 

Retiring From Nursing: But Not From Life

As of midnight, Halloween night, I am no longer a registered nurse. I enjoyed my 24 year nursing career. It gave me a feeling of identity. I loved helping others. I miss that feeling of being knowledgeable and being the "go to" person in our family for health care advice. My daughter, Becky, has taken over that role, and she is even better at it than I ever dreamed I would become.

But, even though I am no longer able to practice nursing, that doesn't mean my life is over. Not by a long shot! I am now volunteering for church activities, school promotions, and civic affairs. I have, per hubby's request, discontinued my sales of costume jewelry, home scents, and other direct marketing products. He believed all that lifting during setting up for parties and events and taking it all back down to be hard on my already damaged back, and I agree.  Online sales have not been sufficient to keep me busy, so I am retiring from all of that business.

What I am focusing on now, is my art and my writing.  I remain President of the Clifton Art Buffs, a post I have held for over 12 years.  I am excited about the possibility of getting back into my oil painting and watercolors, which I have neglected for many years. My difficulty is in finding a place to do my painting where I can leave my work set up. My kitchen table offers a central place to work, but requires taking everything down and putting it away at mealtime.  My basement is too dark.  But I plan on fighting these obstacles and doing the work I love regardless of the inconvenience.

My writing is much easier to manage, because all I need is my laptop and a good supply of paper and ink for my printer. I have a young adult novel that is close to completion of the first draft, at any rate. I want to finish it before the end of the year. That will be my focus, to finish that first draft by the end of this year. So, if you don't see me on Facebook as much as I was, that is why. I still check Facebook almost daily, but I wait until after my other chores and duties are done. 

My dogs are very supportive. They are content to lie on the floor at my feet or on the loveseat beside me while I write. They guard the door and let me know if anyone is at the door, or if a cat or squirrel is outside in the yard. They are very good at their jobs. 

Dennis is gone most of the week in the truck. When he is home, if we aren't gallivanting around doing shopping or errands, he is glued to the tv, while I am on my computer. It all works out very well.

Anyway, I need to get back to my story, A Door In Time. Hopefully, you will get to read it on your Kindle or in paperback form soon. That is my goal.  I might even create a series of Door in Time novels. That would be fun. Catch you later!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Memory Lane has changed for this Living Fossil!

Tonight I tried taking a trip down memory lane. But my memories are a lot different from present day reality.  I went to bingo.

Back in the early 1970s, my mother in law loved going to bingo, and to keep her company, I usually went along.  She  usually drove her car.  I drove by myself tonight, but I thought of her as I drove. It felt a little strange.

First I stopped at Walmart to pick up a couple of things I forgot on my last trip to town. As I was leaving, my daughter in law stood just outside the door visiting with a mutual friend. We talked for a few seconds and she complimented me on my outfit. I thanked her and told her I was going to bingo. Then I asked her to come with me.  She seemed happy to be invited.  She had a little shopping to do, so I told her I'd go on ahead and she could meet me at the Legion hall.

I drove to the Legion and parked in front. I was surprised to be able to park so closely, because years ago, when I went with Georgia, my mother in law, we sometimes had to park in the next block and walk, it was so crowded.

I walked in the door to the hall, and immediately noticed a big difference.  Before, the sturdy cardboard cards, with little red plastic windows over the numberswere all piled on top of a few long tables, which overflowed onto the floor.  Women and some men, sorted through the pile, searching for those favorite cards.  My mother in law, usually watched for certain numbers or sets of numbers in the corners of the cards. For instance, the card with all fives in the corners, 5, 15, 65, and 75, would be a huge favorite of hers. All threes, fours, twos and ones were also favorites. Next she would make sure she had at least one of every number from 1 to 75. She played between 8 and 12 cards every game. The cards cost $1 for the first card, and 50 cents for each additional card.  The games paid around $10 to $25 per game. 

Now, there were no tables in the hallway, and the cards were now paper, three cards to a sheet or more, some in pads of several thicknesses, some were single sheets of various sizes.  The sheets were $1 for the small single sheets, and $13 (gasp) for the larger sheet pads.  There was also a white sheet with all the games for the evening listed, like a program. I bought at least one of each, and found a place to sit, where I could spread out a bit, with room for Jackie to sit when she arrived. 

I also bought a purple ink dauber bottle for a dollar.  Gee, this is costing a lot more than I had expected. But looking at the program, I see the games pay out $30 to $50 for the regular games, and the jackpots were $950, $450, and $300.  Definitely better payouts..if you win.

I read for a while, checked my cell phone for messages, made a to do list for tomorrow, and then started reading in my paperback novel again. Jackie arrived about 15 minutes before bingo was due to start.

It was a little confusing at first, trying to figure out which cards are to be used for which games, what the special games actually were, and learning how to daub the numbers without soaking the page below the top level..but we soon were comfortable with it. We had some great help from a friend of Jackie's. Several people from our hometowns were there, so we did have some support of sorts.

We didn't win anything tonight, even though I just knew I was going to win that $950...NOT!  LOL!

We did get invited to come back by  our friends and even asked to ride with one of them, so will think about that prospect. Since I have retired, I'm becoming quite the hermit, and I start thinking of my two shih tzus as human.  So it is time to get out a little more.

I may start going to the convent to go swimming too.  Haven't decided about that yet.  

Anyway, the culture shock is starting to wear off, and I'm already thinking of how to make my next bingo experience more comfortable and more profitable.  Here's to Memory Lane!  Even with the changes, it was good to revisit.  Night all!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Writing is My Passion

Having just finished another session of F2K3 in WVU, I am currently enrolled in another class at WVU (Writers Village University) entitled  F300 Crafting Stories for Children.

Wait? What is F2K3?  I'm sorry. That is a free fictionwriting class sponsored by WVU four times a year.  I have been an intern and a mentor in F2K3 off and on for several years now. I took the class myself many times over the years since my first time back in 1998.

I retook the class this last session as a refresher get back to the basics.  My writing has been on the shelf for quite a while, due to moving, surgeries, illnesses, new grandchildren, my pets, and the demands of a career heading south.

I had to retire from my nursing career, due to my  health and physical impairments, but am not disabled to the point of qualifying for a disability.  So, a friend and I decided to join forces and we opened Eagles Nest Boutique, a little shop on the main street of Clyde, Kansas.  We sell Paparazzi Jewelry & Accessories, Pink Zebra home fashion scents, purses, wallets, scarves, knick knacks, my paintings and drawings, crafts, and home decor items.

I can't say it's been easy.  We almost closed the doors last month, but were granted a reprieve by the landlord, who agreed to work with us on the rent.  So we're staying open for a while longer, and praying that business picks up, so we won't have to close later down the road.

In the meantime, I hope to spend some of my quiet time at the shop on those "slow" days, doing more art and writing. One of my new year's resolutions was to do the things I like to do more often. Enjoy life.

My husband is out working himself half to death just to keep my health insurance paid until I turn 65 in 2016.  I'm already on early Social Security benefits, which aren't making me rich by any means, but it does pay a bill or two. 

I'm praying that our government doesn't steal what little retirement money I have left.  I've had to cash in several retirement funds just to keep the bills paid during our medical catastrophies. I have one left, and I'm hanging on to it with every bit of strength I have left.

Ok, so I'm done whining.

My next post will be a story I wrote a while back.  It's a kind of thriller story I wrote for a flash fiction class.  I hope you get a little chill from it. ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas Day, 2014.  The sun is shining, with a stout wind howling around our house.  We were up early this morning to attend Mass at the church we attended for over 40 years, in Clifton, Ks. 

Memories of Christmases Past came flooding through our minds.  A look around revealed many of the same people we remembered from years ago, but they are now older, with similar lines on their faces and hair turning gray, like ours.  A new crop of babies and small children were making their presence known in happy nonsensical syllables and thumping the backs of the pews with their feet.

The service was the same, with much the same music. I was disappointed, though.  The prayer I sent to God as we said our private prayers at the beginning of the service for a clear voice to sing God's praises was not granted. I started to sing the beautiful Christmas carols, and was rewarded with squeaks and croaks, not the clear voice I hoped for.  Much of the time, I could not get any sound out at all, as a result of a lingering respiratory illness, getting its last licks in my body.  But the service was still beautiful, Father Larry's message was somehow written just for me, as usual, and before we knew it, we were on our way back home.

We came home for a few brief moments, then headed for our daughter's home for an early Christmas lunch, with spaghetti, cheesy garlic biscuits, relish plate, and leftover desserts and goodies from our Christmas Eve celebration.  The grandkids were playing with their Christmas gifts, and everyone was in a good humor.  The oldest grandkids were already napping.

After lunch we returned home, and took a long nap, which was very enjoyable.  We will return to Becky's house again for supper. I hope to hold my new great-granddaughter, Maliyah Marie Clemens for a while, and have a good visit with family who live close by. It has been a great Christmas.

I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, to our Jewish friends, a Happy Hannukah, and everyone else, have an awesome week.

I pray for peace in our country, unity in our government with Christ at the helm, and an end to the fighting and wars.  I pray for our military, that they might have a measure of peace in their section of the world.  For the sick and dying, a return to good health, for the bereaved, peace and acceptance in their loss. For the traveling on this holiday, safe arrival at their destination, and good weather. 

Merry Christmas to All!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Catching up--again.I I

A lot has happened since my last post.  The trip to Colorado, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, The Arches and returning home was very challenging to me, but I did enjoy all the photos and scenery. 

The high point for me was attending my granddaughter's wedding on July 15, 2014.  My mother and my sister, Linda, were also present.  We visited the Shrine Mountain Zoo and the Will Rogers Shrine.  The views were awesome and we took tons of photos. 

The birthday celebration with my Aunt Lucille was very enjoyable for me. The expressions on my mom's and aunt's faces as they kissed hello and good bye were priceless. I met cousins, aunts and uncles I never knew existed. I saw a painting I had done and given to my aunt as a past birthday gift. It was like visiting a long lost relative.

Returning home was a happy day.  During the trip, my left hip and my sciatica made riding in a vehicle torture.  I was taking Lortab like candy and still having pain of a high level. I could not get comfortable except at night when I was lying down.  I was very glad to get home.

The next week, after our return from Arizona, was spent in doctor's offices, Dennis' cancer surgery was scheduled for August 5.  I postponed my much needed surgery until Sept. 23.  I was glad I did, though, because I couldn't imagine being crippled up and having to walk up and down those hospital halls, nor the thought of poor Becky having to take care of two of us following our surgeries.

We both recovered from our surgeries, Dennis is back to work after a long time being laid up. The community, headed by the local Sons of the American Legion, hosted a benefit for us to help with medical bills.  It is so awesome to live in a small town, where our neighbors actually care about us.

My store, which I co-own with Carol Chavey, is still doing business and we are expanding our inventory line.  This weekend, we will be setting up at a local craft fair.  This will be the start of a busy holiday shopping season. 

I have re-enrolled in Writer's Village University, and am taking a class in writing fiction for children.  I'm excited to get started with my writing again.

Life is returning to something resembling "Normal" again.  I can't wait to see what life throws at me next.