Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Don't like change and don't wait well

Disclaimer - this is a rant!!  Be forewarned.

I am sure this happens to others with regularity, but when it happens to me, I don't like it.  My Texas Teacher Retirement System changed the drug coverage carrier for this year.  This is the third carrier we have had in three years.  I am most unhappy with this change.

Since we had a completely new provider, that meant all new prescriptions.  So I got them on a Monday.  I sent them off on the Tuesday we left for the SSB fully expecting them to be in the mailbox on our return.  This was especially important because I was running out of two of the meds.

We got home - no meds.  I waited.  I waited more, and on Friday of the next week,  we got a "toll free call" that I don't answer.  I don't talk to anyone who doesn't tell me who they are when they call.  I am very tired of "we can lower your credit card interest rate ..." especially since I pay my cards off each month, AND I think that is such a big scam.  So a message was left.  They said that they had tried to contact my doctor with no success, and the prescriptions would not be filled until they spoke with that office.

So I called the office to give them the information.  They never got a call from Podunk Pharmaceutics.  But she would be more than happy to return that call to them.  Settled, right?

Wrong.  I got a call last Monday telling me that they got the information, and they would be mailing the drugs about the 31st.  What??!!  Just how long am I expected to wait?  So I called the local Wa**eens to have one that I had been without the longest refilled.  The first time, since I put two medications on the same phone call, I only got the drops for the glucoma. I called again, and got an email that I had requested the refill too early.  I could try again March 26, 2013.  So they put a hold on any refills.  I still had no drugs,

Today I did have a package in the mail - with half of the requested pills.  One I won't need for two months.  The other two are the ones I have been out of for a week or more.  Tomorrow I run out of another one.  I just wonder if I will be graced with another package tomorrow.

Apparently my medical insurance also has changed.  They notified me that it had changed, and it would be better.  When I get my eye injections, they are usually in the $85 range.  The one in January was $150.  I remarked about how I surely didn't see that this was a better coverage.  (and I was nice - I "joked" about it).  The girl laughed and told me that from here on they would be $10.

That was great news.  Yesterday I opened a letter from their office telling me I owed another $96.  I wasn't about to pay that until I got my EOB.  That also came today.  Yes, I do.  This office is out of network, therefore I owe them more money.  I just wonder what clinic of retinal specialists is in network.

I am beginning to feel like they want me to either die/and or go blind!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cyclical or just the weather

I can't sleep these days.  Last night I tossed and turned until about 3 A.M.   I go through this several times a month, but mostly when the weather begins to turn warmer.  Yes, I'm sorry, but here in Texas we will be 80 tomorrow.  If I could I would send you some of that warmth, but I can't.,

Anyway, when the weather changes like this, I cannot get our heat/ac set properly.  SO that means that I am either too hot or too cold when I try to go to sleep.  That means no easy sleep.

Saturday night I couldn't sleep for a good reason - my back decided to seize.  I do have sciatica, degenerative disks and stenosis in the spine.  For some reason, one or more of those decided that it would be fun to just freeze to see me try to move.  So no sleep.

So I figure there will be one more night of restless sleep.  Tomorrow, winter will return to these parts.  Of course that means the low will be in the 30's with rain.


Other things going on around here include my making three meals at dinner time.  I am making chicken, rice and vegetables for Simone - both dinner and breakfast.  I just about have the routine down.  She knows what is going on.  She smells the boiling chicken, and gets very excited.  If I don't make her breakfast right away, she thinks she is going to get another helping of dinner.

And that isn't going to happen. I took her to the vet just to get a weight.  She has gained two pounds since she had been on this diet.   I know the vet is going to tell me to cut her back.  She just hasn't seen Simone eating.  She inhales the food.  You would think she hadn't eaten in weeks!

One last thing.  I am an old stick in the mud.  I have decided.  The way a young couple ought to move on is to get married, then in any order buy a house and have children.  My step-granddaughter has decided that even though she has an eight month old baby, she wants a big wedding.

A guest list of about 300.  She looked into one venue that runs $6000.  And that's just the venue.  No flowers, no food, nothing.  Daughter and SIL plan to give them about $2000.  To me - that's more than sufficient.  The whole idea is stupid.

They were gong to the JP until she discovered they need a marriage license.  She didn't know that last Monday was a holiday, and the courts were closed.  Then they mentioned this to his mother.  His mother tearfully told M she was so hoping for a big wedding  What a load of BS.  Sorry.  That's a bit strong, but that's where I am right now.

I know her grandparents and aunt there  in SA are all for this too.  I know they want to see this little girl in a beautiful white dress walking down a aisle, carrying a bouquet of roses and orchids - or something even more exotic.  Yea, and they are on food stamps, welfare. But "Pops" would probably write another hot check to help out.

 And dear Auntie had found herself in a situation like this.  Only she never did have the wedding.  There was always an excuse, and now she is alone with the girl.  It amazes me how they can plan to spend other people's money.  When they get a drift of the fact that Daughter and SIL aren't going to go all out, they will once again bad mouth them calling them pretentious or worse,

As I said - I am an old stick in the mud.  I like the "traditional" ways.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home again and

I am sitting here unable to get motivated to do much of anything - just attached to this computer.

I have to break this habit - obsession.  It seems that I just want to be on the computer.  Part of the reason is I have become addicted, absolutely addicted, to Farm Ville 2.

At one time, I stayed away from computer games like the plague.  I would not allow myself to look at any of them.  Then I found a Goggle game - another form of farming game.  I was hooked.  The problem was when I would be away from internet for a week, my crops withered and the animals left.  What a bummer.

Then I found the Facebook game.  The crops may wither, but not rapidly.  The animals never left.  AND I got internet service.  So I told myself that I would never buy the money that would help me.  Guess what.  I am buying the money.

I am weak.  I am addicted.  I keep promising myself that I will cut this one out when I spend all the monies that I have invested.  But I doubt it.  I play the stupid game three or four times a day.  That means there are more quests I have to meet.  It is a real obsession.  And they know it!  The more you play, the more they send you.

Then, of course, is my obsession with scoring free embroidery machine designs.  So  my morning computer time usually goes to noon - then I will be back several times a day!

Blast you computer.  You are as bad as crack!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

OK, I was TRYING to be adult - perhaps I was wrong.

Going back to the last post about selling fund raiser items in church - I decided I would take the adult way to deal with this.  I decided I would email the parents.  I explained that we were a church full of school aged children who all  have fund raisers.  If one can bring the items, then all could.  I thought I was appealing to common sense.  Hello??  Wake up!  Beside that - why involve Pastor and all if I could just go to the point of the problem.  

The mother send a terse email back to me saying that her daughter had permission to sell, and that I was in no way was expected to buy (in this case) the Girl Scout cookies.  OK - that would be an acceptable answer, but she also sent the email to Pastor.  That gives me the impression that since she fancies herself to be a princess, she wanted to "get me in trouble" like a 12 year old girl would react.

Pastor then responded saying that since we had no policy, the Board would have to look into this issue.  In his previous churches, the selling simply wasn't allowed or it was only to be in the narthex with the order form just placed there.  Hmmm - seems there was no mention of there being permission given in this case.  Surpise.

Then husband decided that things were definitely turning against them and quickly said that there shouldn't be anything more to come of this.  He didn't realize (??) there would be a problem.  His daughter was just a zealous Girl Scout who was proud of her Girl Scoutness (I know - not a word).

It would have really been interesting if another woman who has a troop had been in church that Sunday.  With that one - another princes by the way - fur would have been flying.  I know she would have had a complete fit!

It has taken me a while to write about this.  First - we have been busy here in the old SSB.  Second, I was angry about this whole thing.  I had gotten the email from Pastor on the way here on my phone.  I stewed quite a while, until I re-read it - several times.  I began to see that this is something that will have to be addressed.  It isn't so much zealous kiddos - it is like sports, dance and other extra-curricular things - it is the over zealous parents.

Will I be adult again?  Will I go to the source.  I don't know. Is it worth it?  Don't know that either.  At least I possibly won't have to turn a bunch of kids down when approached with fund raiser materials.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just curious

I am wondering if I have just become an old crone (well - I think I have, but ...) about something.  I am going to put it out here!

How do you feel about children who have fund raiser items to sell?  Around these parts, they sell for school - sometimes twice a year, they sell for Girl Scouts (those expensive cookies - I KNOW they are good, but geesh), Boy Scouts, Little League, Swim Team, and on and on and on and on.

Further than the fund raisers themselves, where do you feel it is appropriate to sell them?  To neighbors - even though the fund raiser people tell them to not go door to door, they know the kids will.  At the parents work?  At church?

It is the latter one that is going all over me.  I guess more so because I no longer work.  But in churches there are scads of kids.  Should we be hit up by all these kids hawking their wares so to speak?

We have one woman, and I will be brutally honest here, that I do not like.  Her daughter is now selling item number two this year at church - Girl Scout Cookies.  I think I have separated by intense dislike for her mother from this selling thing, but I don't think this should be happening.

Another member runs a troop.  If she gets wind of the selling, I can see her trying to sell to raise the money for her troop.  I just see this as getting out of hand in a heart beat.

I know.  I am an old stick in the mud.  These kids are barraged with fund raisers.  I have heard the line of crap they get to motivate them when the time comes.  I feel like going to Oriental Trading to buy the same junk they win if they sell their first million dollars in the junk that is in the fund raiser to give to them.  Just say - here, here is your wonderful prize.

Anyway, I just see every kid in the church bringing all that stuff with the idea that "X" did it,  why can't I?  And if this becomes the case, I guess we could just have a "Fund Raising Sunday" where they all bring their little brochures to hawk the junk!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Some sad and some strange happenings around here

I have very mixed emotions about what is happening as I write.  Son and DIL are going through a spontaneous abortion.  This is her second, and it is happening about the same point of the pregnancy.  I would be less than honest if I said that I was completely decimated by this news.  You know that I was a little upset by the news of baby #4 so soon.

In the long run, this really isn't terrible.   While it is sad that a baby is lost, they really didn't need another at this point in things.  Son is taking the news well.  He wasn't really thrilled about #4 to begin with.  Last night he said that the first time was really devastating.  And it was.  It was the first.  There were so many questions with that loss.  Then he found that his cousin has this happening.  DIL's aunt has had this happen.  Even her OB at the time told him it happened to his wife.  He realizes that there was something just not right with this pregnancy.  He said that at least there wasn't some lethal problem with the baby that would allow it to be born full term only to die quickly.

So for now, there is no baby.  I wonder if her present OB will tell her to wait a while.  I wonder if she hasn't had them far too close together - especially since they have been C-sections.  But life goes on for all of us.

Strange things.  The house across the street and down two is for sale.  The woman who presently lives there is the daughter of the neighbors we had across the street.  When we moved in 35 years ago, they were already in their 60's for sure.

Mary Anne was Fritz's second wife.  He had previously been married to her sister.  The sister died, and he brought Mary Anne over from Germany.  Listening to her tales of surviving World War II in Nazi Germany were fascinating.  Anyway, Marie - in the house two down - was Fritz's daughter by the first wife.  Fritz and Mary Ann went on to have two more children.

The strangest thing that has happened is that my present neighbor who is living in Fritz's house has his brother buying Marie's house.  Now how many times do two houses stay in a family for two owners.  To me that is strange!!!

It always reminds me of how small the world is.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Of all the people in the world, the ones who most waste their abilities are the hackers.  To spend their days looking for ways to make people miserable is such a waste of what appears to me, at least, such a waste of a great talent.

I belong to several  Yahoo groups.  In my never ending quest to find free machine embroidery designs, I have joined way too many of those groups.  To keep my inbox over there down to a manageable size, I am on daily digest for these groups.  I still have at least 50 messages that often have 20 messages included.  I have learned to scan.  Here I go again, TMI and off the subject - an old age thing I guess.

What I have seen over there recently is that so many folks have had their account hacked.  One person has been hacked three times now.  There is a thought that somehow the combination Facebook and Yahoo accounts is making it easier for these hackers to hit.

This is something that seems to come in cycles.  I wonder if it takes those hackers a certain period of time to get into accounts - if they have to find a new "key" for lack of a better term to get into these accounts.  I really believe that Yahoo must have some kind of break in their security.  It wouldn't be impossible I guess since they are so large.

I just think if these people would put that energy into something that would benefit people.  What joy is there in getting into an email account that then sends this spam to others who open it then it is sent to others and so on.  (Wow - I would have failed an English course with that run-on sentence!)  Anyway, I just don't get it.

In other things.  On the news last night, they reported that about 300 teachers just quit their jobs in the urban school district.  Well, really?  I was at that point 12 years ago.  That's the reason I quit at 29 years rather than stay for that golden 30.  I know usually teachers will wait until the end of the year.  I did.  But I really understand them getting so completely fed up that they leave at semester.  One of the ones interviewed said he would rather re-enlist for active military duty to have the possibility of being shot at everyday than go back into the classroom.  Says it all.

I know the idea still exists that teachers have it so easy.  They only work from 8-3, nine months a year.  All those holidays too!!  Well, that doesn't exist.  I am not going to get my soap box out of the closet and hit all the misconceptions that are out there.  I just know where those teachers that walked are coming from.

Today's big adventure is getting my teeth cleaned during the flooding rains!  Catch ya' later.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Ouch and other things

Today was the monthly injection in the eyeball.  I had the only guy in the place doing the prep.  He is good.  One of the parts that I really hate is the cotton swabs with the anesthetic on them.  Put cotton in your eye anytime.  It hurts!  The other part that I really don't like is the speculum (spell check tells me that is wrong, but doesn't give me a good alternative) that holds my eye open.  I know intellectually it is only in place for about a minute, but it feels like an hour.  Then the eyelid continues to hurt for quite a while.  Yes, the needle hurts, but so very briefly.

Finally we are getting a good rain.  It was something like July 13 since we have had a significant rain.  It was forecast for later this afternoon going into tomorrow.  Someone forgot to tell the storms.  Normally I wouldn't worry about the rain.  I can just stay in (except the eye appointment and tomorrow a dental cleaning).  What I worry about is Daughter and crew are in San Antonio today with SIL coming back today with the kids.  He drives so fast that it scares me especially in bad weather.  He is a bit of an agressive driver as well.  (He just came over to pick up a package - yea, they are home).

Daughter stays until tomorrow because her company is having a unit meeting or something like that.  When the make-up of the company was mostly male, I really believe these three day meetings were for the "good ole' boys" to get away from families and party.  The employee make-up company is changing, and more and more of them don't want to attend these meeting.  Interesting.  But my point here is that she will be riding back in this weather (heavy rains that way) with someone else.

I just worry.  Can't help it.

I think I am heading to the bed to "rest my eye" after its trauma.  That and the fact that I couldn't sleep last night.  Catch ya' later.

Monday, January 07, 2013

New week

Well, this one should be interesting!!  Son's youngest child has a birthday on the 12.  Daughter's oldest has a birthday on the 16th.  Should be no problem - right??  Wrong!  What is smack dab between those dates?  Sunday, Jan 13.  Why is this a problem?  It is the weekend.  They BOTH want to celebrate the kids birthdays on that day.  Where does that put Pa and Grandma?  RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE!!!

I think it will all work out, but both of the "in-laws" really don't care that much for each other.  Daughter and crew were in Austin for a swim meet, so they didn't make family dinner last night.  Son and crew were here.  DIL reminded us of the party this weekend.  G told her about SIL's plans for Lady Bug.  

DIL's face became stony.  I know she was really upset because she sent out invitations right around the 1st.  I am pretty sure because ours was in the mail when we got home on the 2nd.  Ouch!!  Great for family relations.

We assured we would be at the party they are having.  I really believe we can make both.  Hers is at 4:30, and Lady Bug's is a family deal which I am sure will be more like 6 or so.

Families!!!  I love them, but oh the problems.

I grew up as an only child.  An only child with what was really two complete sets of parents.  My aunt and uncle (one of them) had no children.  They lived about a mile from us.  They considered me theirs also.  So problems like this never existed.  Well - with the exception of when I grew up and married we often had to make several celebrations in one day especially at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

There is much about a larger extended family I just don't have an internal data base for!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Yesterday's post

I still feel really rather foolish about my "rant" yesterday.  I considered taking it down.

I know a child is a blessing.  I am aware of that.  I guess part of my mind hearkens back to my early days of study as an ecologist.  The phrase "Zero population grown" still rings loudly in my ears.  I look around at the young people I know.  Most of them have 3+ kids.

It most assuredly is personal choice.  I just worry about my own kid who is going to have 4.  I think back on how relatively easy it was to haul two around.  At least in a sedan, and they were big back then.  The only problem was Daughter deciding that her "half" of the backseat was really 2/3 and my son having to lean against the door.

That got me remembering those car trips.  Now perhaps I know a little more about how he got even with her.  It is gross, but it happened.  He would let out the silent, deadly farts.  We all paid!

Anyway, I look now, and there is no way these families could get into a small sedan.  Daughter's crew tries to get in SIL's (previous since he just quit that job) mid-sized sedan.  Not a pretty sight.  About the only way they are comfortable is in a large SUV.

I still don't know how Son is going to manage 4 car seats.  They bought a new crew cab that gets the best mileage on the road today.  But it is the F/X model which means the front seats are bucket with a console in the middle.  It is a five passenger at best.  Years ago they bought an Expedition, but it is really getting old now, and it is a real gas hog.  Plus they are going to get to put a car seat in the very back seat - and that means no room for luggage, etc.

If things had gone the way they should have, their oldest would have been 8.  It and Monkey Boy would have been born just about the same time.  DIL suffered a miscarriage.  Many of the women in her mother's family had problems conceiving.  She felt that was her problem.  She really felt she wouldn't have children at all.  Thus her feeling about any chemical birth control ideas.

When they started trying in earnest five years ago, Son had been going to a real quack doctor around here.  Everyone I have ever heard that went to him because they felt tired, run down, etc was immediately put on sex hormones and thyroid medication.  My son has always been a bean pole!  He didn't need that stuff.  Plus he was on a killer regime of testosterone.  I just pray he will not develop testicular cancer from it later.

Anyway, they went to a fertility specialist who nearly jumped out of his chair when he learned about the quack.  And he called that person a quack saying he should have his medical license revoked.  He has had other patients from that guy,  He wasn't sure the effects could be reversed.  Well, it is obvious he is ok with the sperm production!

So - I won't take that post down.  I still worry about them.  I am still so ambivalent.  It is my feelings, and that is what this place is for.  That is why the family doesn't know about this place.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The good, the bad, and the plain stupid!

The good and bad part are one in the same.  I have railed and hoped and blabbed on and on with the hope that Son and DIL would have decided that three is enough.  Son wasn't sure that three children put the period to the end of the sentence, but he didn't want to think of another for at least two or so years.

When we were at DIL's mother's house (lots of possessives there!) for Christmas, he brought his phone over saying that that picture was a Christmas present for the family he supposed.  With my screwy eyes, I wasn't sure what I was looking at.  Beside that, phone pictures are not really good ones to me.  As Daughter reacted, I then realized what I was looking at.  It was a picture of - you guessed it - a positive pregnancy test.  So in about August, there will be number 4.   That means at that point there will be a 4 year old, an almost 3 year old, a year old and a newborn.

To say he is not pleased is an understatement.  I think he is beginning to realize just how expensive children are.  He is the only one working.  He has good jobs.  Notice I said JOBS.  Yes - he works for ATT, he is the Worship leader at a church and has a band.  But all these could end tomorrow.  ATT can be rather capricious when it comes to lay-offs.  Even though he has been with them for over 12 years, one never knows.

I don't know where they are going to put all the car seats, her plan to move the girl to the back of the house because they don't trust the teens that come to the boy's house across the street (can we say guns are involved) are shelved.  This is because DIL doesn't believe in birth control.  She is afraid it will effect her fertility.  Really???  I think we have seen there is no problem there.

Am I bitter about this, well yes.  I don't mean to insult anyone who has or wants a large family.   If you are, and you can afford them, great.  They can't. I will not say anything to them.  They are managing, but I can't help but be really worried about them.  They aren't the best money managers to begin with.  She still believes that she can spend money like she did when her mom and dad were married (or even when they divorced and she got the child support money) and dad is wealthy.

But enough of that.  Please don't be put off by my words here.  Next year, I will have 7 grandchildren.  I am blessed.  And unless the idea of adoption arises once again with them, this is the end.  Her OB will not do more than 4 sections.  So her tubes will be tied.  Son said regardless, he will be "fixed."

Now for the stupid.  The steaks I was missing at the SSB - they weren't missing.  The receipt showed I paid for them.  We thought we looked everywhere.  And I did.  They were just in a very thin package, and that package firmly attached itself to the ham steak I bought for New Year's Eve.  All I can say is STUPID!!!

So the lost was found.  I am just glad I didn't call the store, as I thought of doing, to ask if they had found a stray package of meat!  I would have really felt dumb.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Home again - yea! For two weeks - boo!

We came home yesterday.  Well, that was a redundant sentence wasn't it?  That's the kind of day this one is.  We are dreary and cool, which in Swampland translates to Jeez, it's frigid!

Simone, ah Simone, is seemingly better.  I am beginning to believe that I have sabotaged her with of all things dark meat chicken.  What a food snob!  I guess there is that much fat in the dark meat that it upsets her delicate tummy.  Anyway, it has been 24 + whole hours since we have slipped a nausea pill or tranquilizer into her food.  I know, dirty trick, but I didn't want to push it down her seemingly irritated throat.

But she seems somewhat better.  I bought the frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts today.  We will see. That means I don't have to do the whole chicken, and I can make 2-3 meals at a time so it is fresh.  Spoiled dog?  I would say so.

The grocery store stop was on the way back from the sewing machine place.  We had club today, but it was a quilt project.  I. Don't. Quilt.  I really don't have time, and it gets expensive when you want to back it and then have the long arm quilt the whole thing.  I'll stick to the sewing and embroidery, thank you.

My machine was very sick before Christmas when I was working like fiend to finish Christmas Presents.  It absolutely quit.  I was watching the bobbin case spin in the bottom of the machine.  Not a good thing.  So since the store is at the mall, and I don't go anywhere near the mall at Christmas - at least from the 18th or so   - I was dead in the water.  We left the day after Christmas, so there sat my machine - broken for all this time.

That meant not only did littlest baby not get his Christmas present, he wasn't going to get his birthday present since they are basically the same things.  The little bean bags.  So off I went today with a dual mission.  Have the machine repaired and at least try to look partially interested in the quilt squares they were making.  The greatest news is that he fixed my machine while I was there.  It wasn't as bad as I expected!!!  Yea for me.

So after I  finish unpacking (what a waste of time) I will head back upstairs and begin making bean bags again!