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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Reading Program

I love to read - everyone that knows me, knows that. But I really love to read in the summer. I know a lot of that is due to the summer reading program my mother signed me up for every year at the library - and all of my friends were in it too. That really heralded the start of summer, it was different from school reading - you still had to read so many books but you could read what ever you wanted to. There was an official sheet for you to keep track, I can't remember if you had to read one book a week or a total before the end of the summer. You got a prize of course, a book mark or something and of course stickers to keep you going. So here I am, fifty years later with my nose still stuck in a book all the time!

I have an ereader now so instead of stacks of books for David to grumble about -  he now just has credit card charges to grumble about  - but he is relieved not to have a room full anymore. It does fascinate me though that if you took all my ebooks you could easily fill a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves and still not have enough room. My summer reading is fairly eclectic - ghosts, witches,murder mysteries, Debbie Macomber - a little (she's usually reserved for winter, curled up on the couch reading though). All of my books are usually adventuresome, some are re-reads (I will never stop reading A Wrinkle In Time -ever!), I just love to read. I have to say one of the biggest things I'll miss about our property is all of my reading spots. I have old wooden chairs throughout our woods to sit and read. It is wonderful - the dogs snort and snuffle in the underbrush, I can sit and read. I have some spots in the sun for the chillier days, others are under a thick,green canopy of leaves to keep me cool. 

There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting under a tree during the summer and reading the afternoon away. And I do spend a lot of time outside reading - I figure I might as well, the dogs get their exercise and I get to relax, what more can you want? I already have a spot picked out on our new property but it will take some doing I think. The dogs will not be familiar with it and I don't know where the neighbor's property line is - where we are now the dogs have a general idea of how far they can go before I call them back. But we'll also have a big back porch to sit on so that will be my back up. And we are hopefully going to be at the new house in a couple of weeks - I can't wait for our new adventure to begin! Have reader, will travel!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It Does Not Pay To Get Sick

All this talk of eliminating Obama care, stripping Medicare, etc... arrgh! What they really need to do is just cancel ALL the insurance and have a do - over. Obama care, expanding medicaid, etc.. had good intentions, to cover the working poor and those that can't afford it - having been poor and uninsured I completely get it. Nothing more fun than having a suspicious lump and no insurance. Or a baby that might have hip problems and you make too much for Medicaid - and too little to buy insurance. And yes, that WAS us, so many years ago and I fully remember the sleepless nights and the absolute terror at times.  I remember working in the ER and a resident showing a woman a scan of her pneumonia racked lungs, she was crying and sobbing because being admitted most likely meant having no home to go back to. She had worked until she could not stand or breath hoping against hope that it would somehow, magically disappear (spoiler alert - it never does)           

So we did get insurance when I became a nurse's aide and it was novel that when you got sick you just ....went. you did not wait to see what happened, you saw the doctor and so did your kids. I always regret that I was not able to get my older son braces because we were too poor - we could barely afford the dentist back then.. So, we had quite a few good years with insurance but the past couple of years? Not so much. David carries his own insurance and it's a Blue Cross policy - when he first got it years ago it had a co-pay of about $30 bucks - not bad. He recently went for a cortisone shot with a co-pay of 40 0r $50 - but now they've added something else. They calculate your deductible in and you have to pay "your portion" - his portion was to the tune of $220, plus the co-pay so the insurance actually paid about 50 dollars - maybe. This on a policy that runs over $500 a month for a man that never gets sick. My dental insurance just paid - and I kid you not - FIVE DOLLARS on a filling after my "adjusted" amount (I paid the other half of $45) 

My previous glaucoma appointment I paid about $300 "towards" the elusive deductible , I'm not sure how much more preventative care I can afford. The problem is I have to keep going to prevent being blind, I can't see that there's much choice in it. But we get hit all over- a friend told me she had her "free" mammogram - most insurances include a yearly well visit. The tech thought she saw something so they did a follow up sonogram- which made the mammogram a diagnostic test (as per our insurance) and it was instantly not covered to the tune of over 600 dollars. So now do I get one? If they find something do I just tell them to stop to see if I can afford it or not? Our insurance just gets suckier every year and I know it's not just me - it's everyone. Obama made a mess, Trump has turned it into a free for all and here I am, wondering whether I really want to schedule a well physical or not.  I'm not in bad shape, I could stand to lose about 20 (5) pounds or so but my blood pressure is great, my glaucoma is well under control, I have no cardiac, respiratory or diabetic issues. I take 4 pills a day, a vitamin, calcium because the doctor thought it was good idea, a B12 because  a motivational speaker said we should (this is true!!) and an 81 mg aspirin for my genetic clotting disorder. B 12 is also supposed to have very magical powers.I exercise, don't eat meat, very little dairy and sugar, no bread - and I'm still afraid of seeing the doctor. I think after Trump is out of office (or someone gets lucky and wings him, just enough to retire him back to TV) we just need to cancel all the policies and look to the countries that have health care models that work- for EVERYONE.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Packing It In.

I continue to with my packing - I'm concentrating on the kitchen as that will be one of the first rooms finished and we'll be able to ferry everything over and just put it away. We are about 3 and a half weeks until we close if everything continues to go well so I am packing but trying not to pack what we're actually using. I've already  unpacked one box looking for a specific baking dish (found it) and was scouring the kitchen this morning looking for containers (didn't find it). On Sundays I make things ahead of time that take awhile to make - anything boiled, baked, etc... that way during the week we always have time for a decent dinner. I ended up doing a lot of shuffling!! and getting the fridge cleaned out in the process. I'm also going through the root cellar which we use as an attic in the basement - that is a chore and a half.

I keep running across old pictures, which I of course have to look at - and my year books. I had previously found my 10th grade year book  a couple of years ago and  and spent days happily posting pictures of my former classmates. Due to Facebook I can share them, I still in contact with quite a few people I went to school with. I grew up in a fairly small town where the locals (back then) didn't move so the people  I started kindergarten with I graduated with. Most of our parents had also gone to school together so you knew each other one way or another. This time around  I found my 11th grade book and some old wedding pictures - and posted away. I've never had anyone take it down or get upset - I think we like to see pictures of high school - when we're not in it! I found people's senior quotes and pictures, friends together, fun stuff. Everyone had a lot of fun with it and I'm sure a lot of kids are interested to see what their parents looked like back then.  But I digress. 
I am still sorting, trying not to throw out things that are important to my boys,but wow, there is a lot of stuff. But I'll get through it - and then onto to the second half - the UNpacking!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shameful

Someone recently posted an article about a woman in an Asian country that had 18 abortions in order to give her husband a son - it was supposed to be anti-abortion propaganda. I immediately unfriended this person - and I remain beyond disgusted as this party touts themselves as deeply religious and humanitarian. I did not unfriend because of the anti-abortion stance - every one's entitled to their opinion. I did because I do not need to see such a hateful, misogynist person - someone who hides behind "god's word" to justify  their finger pointing at someone, who obviously does not need one more finger pointed at them. If you really understood this article you would understand this woman is living in a culture where the female population is not valued - her husband was obviously in support of her killing the unwanted female fetuses and most likely is the one that pressured her into it. 

In the documentary "It's a Girl" they interview a woman from India who is not only hiding from her husband - but her mother in law as well.  When they discovered she was pregnant with twin girls both demanded she abort - when she refused they attacked her, actually pushing her down the stairs and her ending up hospitalized. She and both of her daughters survived, but she was divorced and still hiding - where is your outrage at that?? Or the fact that most of these abortions are female - that woman are pushed and bullied into aborting their daughters - does your "religious values" not cover this? Female genital mutilation, that ISIS regularly kidnaps and rapes women with the intention of impregnating them, all crimes against women and ALL you're concerned about is no one has an abortion?? Seriously?

There are now reports that the abortion rates are starting to rise and it's a direct result of the religious right that is fighting to close Planned Parenthood. So....to keep people from having abortions we take away their birth control and then we - guess what! - punish women for getting pregnant. Because that seems to be the real agenda here, for all their yammering about no more free birth control and no more abortions you sure don't hear too much about the men that made them pregnant, do you? Not a peep! When Brock Turner raped that poor young woman you certainly didn't see anything posted by Miss Morals, when ISIS kidnapped and raped all of those school girls, not a peep - nothing. You should be ashamed of yourself, truly. As I've said before and I'll say it again, people like this are one more reason to not believe in a god. And I'll say this again - if you're really pro-life - support legislature that jails and punishes dead beat dads, adopt a child, support Planned Parenthood, teach your daughters and sons about being responsible and using birth control, push for better laws to incarcerate rapists and other sex offenders. If you wish to be just "pro-birth", well, you can just go to hell. And I'll be more than happy to give you a push in the right direction. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

More Or Less

I've been buying clothes for my granddaughters since they've been born- I probably send a box every 6 weeks or so. Shoes, pants, socks - you name it. One of the reasons I do it is clothing here is weirdly inexpensive so the $20 dollar Carters pjs are only $5 - or less - here. I like to feel like I'm helping since I can't be there physically, I feel a little bit more involved. But the other part of it - is the thrill of the chase. I LOVE a good bargain and will brag on it endlessly. I bought two pairs of toddler boots originally priced at $28 a pair - I got both for $13. Pants? Three bucks a piece, 7 onsies for 6 dollars....winter coats, 6.99 apiece.


Part of this is just me, I've always shopped the outlets and sales, I know where all the bargin bins are. When I first started with Bayada as a clincial manager back in the Poconos I didn't have any office wear - not a  problem. My friend Liz came up and we hit the Cold Water Creek outlet's clearance rack - I got my first wardrobe for under $30. I tried on everything that even looked remotedly ok, Liz turned it all inside out to make sure the irregulars were fixable.  And most things ARE fixable or actually not a problem. Our current dining room set was originally $700, we got it for $75 because of a "missing part". We discovered the missing part was a seat from one of the 8 chairs, whatever! We have happily lived without the 8th chair for a few years now.

I'm constantly sifting through the clearance racks, whether it's in Home Depot or Old Navy - why pay $1300 for a perfect vanity when you can pay $300 for one with a little ding in the corner? I guess part of what makes me sucessful is I'm willing to put up with a little imperfection - I don't have  to have the perfect stove  - a little ding in the back isn't going to hurt anyone. We stock pile too - I've been buying winter  and fall clothes for the girls, it will fit them in the fall. We just bought a sink and vanity from Lowes this morning, originally $200, we paid $25. Granted, the top may not be fixable, but the rest of it is fine -we can get a sink that fits for about $35 which pushes us up to what, $60? Still $140 less than we would have paid for a perfect one. So, I guess my advice to those who want to save money - you need to look, you can buy ahead and stop being so picky! Perfect only lasts about a week if you think about it, the day you wear, plug in, use, etc... you make it imperfect. But if you got at 80% off, you'll feel like it's not such a big deal, after all you didn't pay that much for it, did you?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Final Resting Place

So, the question I've been asked the most since we bought this house in Mather is......
Are you going to stay there?

We have moved quite a few time since we left Long Island so many years ago, this present house is the longest stretch so far - a little over 6 years. In that time we have lost 4 cats and 1 dog.We've gained another cat and another dog. I've changed jobs three times including the year long stint as a visit nurse to satisfy my noncompete clause. David has renovated about 7 houses or more- we always forget one. My older son has left the navy, moved home and then out again, moved, and moved again. My younger son has been deployed, returned, married, has two daughters and currently parks his shoes all the way across the country. I entered my50s.

We've made friends and lost friends, I've knitted countless items. I got a car. Time just keeps rolling and rolling, doesn't it? We're currently packing and sorting, the potential buyers asked if they could show the house to their parents on Sunday night so we had to vamoose for a couple of hours. We hung out in the Mather house, David has penned in the back yard so the Terrible Two were out exploring the yard, I sat on the backporch on the cement steps and read the end of my book. The deer came up to the pen and started snorting and stomping in challenge to Boobins. Apparently ownership of the crabapples trees is being established (they're right outside of the ence line)and it not Boobins job to own them.Rueben gave them What For right back by pointing at them ALOT and giving them his best hairy eyeball. Right now the house does not seem real, the walls are torn out, the kitchen cabinets are piled in the middle of the floor, it's hot and sweaty and damp. But I look at the picture that was left of the house and her owner - it will be that soon. With updates and our touches of course, but it is already coming alive and the neighborhood is waiting 

So, will this be our final resting place? I think so - but I thought that about this place. In the end it doesn't matter - because it will be restored. Just like all the other homes we've touched. Neighborhoods love to see David coming because that eyesore on the corner, that dilapidated house that's fallen into disgrace - it comes back. The house we sold recently that had been neglected and falling apart is now a home to someone. And when people buy our houses they get excited, you can see when they look they don't see a renovated house, they see thier home. They walk through and see a couch, curtains, cooking dinner with the patio doors wide open. So in answer to your question - maybe we will stay - or maybe not. But it doesn't matter because if we don't, someone else will get to come home - and we will get to come home again too. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Go.

So, we have started packing - who saw that coming? Not me, not by a long shot. And some days I actually think about it and think I'm a little crazy. I'll be moving out of my two story, air conditioned landscaped home to.... a gutted disaster with a fan and waist high weeds. There's water in the basement and deer in the barn, scary wiring and hornet nests. And yet - I'm excited. There are a lot of issues of course, we'll need french drains and the kitchen is not going in as smoothly as David had hoped, but this house has so many possibilities. Going there is exploration at best, I have not gotten through the horse pen yet, but I have made it to the back of property. David has already gotten the kitchen Sheetrock and the addition started, we should be glamping by July

I had worked last weekend so I took Friday off - David was at the house so I started sorting and packing. As I've said in the past if you know you're moving and you have time to sort through things that's both good and bad. Good because you can get rid of things you don't use, bad because you can get so overwhelmed you just start getting rid of things that your really shouldn't, I have a lot of knitting books and yarn that I've collected over the years so I had gone through it once, then again and it's actually down to sort of reasonable.  Since we still have at least a month here I'm trying to get carried away, I packed half the kitchen. The other thing is we can start moving things over there and bringing back the bins to reuse. David already has the dog pen up and both Molly and Reuben have been to the new digs. Bob will have to stay in for at least a month or so til she's acclimated to her new home, but I don't see an issue. She's been very clingy with Vincent gone lately - it's so sad. I can see she's upset and looking for him a bit - it will take time because I catch myself looking for him too.

I don't know if we'll get another cat or not - but usually what happens is one eventually shows up so I'll just let the fates decide. We are slowing down buying things for the new house, we are in a holding pattern at this point as we have more money out than in, but hopefully in 7 weeks that will change. The buyers are coming to the house tomorrow early evening to show it to their parents with Thieu agent so we  will have to vamoose for an hour or so. But we have the dog pen up and the water turned on so it won't be that bad. Hopefully this doesn't get too interesting!!