Monday, February 12, 2018

One of the Perks of Living Where I Live.....

is getting to see a free movie every Saturday afternoon. Not all of them appeal to us, but there are enough that I have seen more movies in the last two years than in the previous ten. The movie this past week was "Me Before You", about a paraplegic guy and the young woman who becomes his aide. It seems sad, at first glance, but it was not a tearjerker. I really enjoyed it and the women around me did too. 

Another perk is the documentary or foreign movie that is shown about once per month. This past Sunday, we saw "The Women on the 6th Floor"  (check it out here). I loved this one and I recommend you see if you can find it on DVD. Delightfully acted, with some nice scenery and amusing dialog - it is a lovely way to spend a few hours. 

I have been able to see two different "old folks" homes in the last month; once to visit a former resident here who has moved to as assisted living and once to re-connect with a former friend whom I had not seen in almost 20 years. They are both nice places to live, and the one thing I like about them rather than where we live is that you can get meals there. My friends eat breakfast and lunch in their own apartments and take the evening meal in the restaurant.  There are many restaurants within 5 miles of my home, but it would be great to be able to go to the clubhouse and have a meal, especially for lunch (which I hate to eat at home.) I guess it was all the years I was working, and being used to getting lunch out somewhere (even in my car.) Oh well, perhaps when we need  to be in an assisted living, we can go to a place that serves food. I DO hope that is a long time away. We are blessed at the moment with good - or tolerable - health.  I wish the same for you!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Thirteen Years in Blogland!!

Today is my 13th anniversary of writing this blog. I did stop this one and write under the name of Imagine (what I'm leaving out) for a few years, but after that one got zapped by a virus, I came back here.

It seems unbelievable that I have had enough to write about for that many years, but since I've been told I talk too much ever since I went to kindergarden, maybe it isn't all that odd.  Of course, I don't write nearly as often as I used to. 

I'm on my fortieth Keurig coffee pot  (or so it seems). Last March we got a new pot, one with a touch pad for instructions. The touch pad began to malfunction and finally it got to the point that it wouldn't turn on, so we returned it and got a new one. Care to take bets on how long this one will last?  My daughter has the first one she ever bought, probably 10+ years ago. It still works fine. The family says I drink too much coffee and the pot is reacting to that overuse. I doubt that.

Book club in the old neighborhood is tonight. We read a good book titled "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", which sounds silly, but turned out to be meatier than one would imagine. I recommend it. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Insurance Issues Are the Pits! (edited)

Edited to add info....I received a letter from Aetna this week, telling me to review my prescription drug coverage and if any of it is wrong, I had to report it to Medicare Benefits Coordination and Recovery Center. 

Side Note:  until January 1st we were insured by another firm, but now we have Aetna.

I read what was listed and it was incorrect, so I called the number for the above Medicare section. I was told that the incorrect listing was for an accident I was involved in in April of 2013, while I had Kemper Auto Insurance (which I no longer have.) I was rear-ended while stopped for a light and the person who hit me had Progressive Insurance.

Somehow, the Kemper adjuster to whom I reported the accident filed a report as if I (and Kemper) were responsible. That means that Kemper would be paying a settlement and paying for any medical expenses, including prescription drugs. Except he was wrong and Progressive is the insurance company which covered my expenses, fixed my car and paid a settlement. But Medicare doesn't know that because the Kemper guy filed the report in an incorrect fashion.  

All that took me 7 phone calls to ascertain and it still isn't settled yet.  Medicare tells me I have to get Kemper to send info by fax, on letterhead, indicating that the case is closed and settled.  Otherwise, I may not get medicare benefits to pay for my prescription drugs this year.   The Kemper guy told me that he would not send them any information unless they personally requested it of him. And, of course, Medicare isn't going to do that.  

The Progressive guy would be happy to fax them the settlement info - but since Medicare doesn't have Progressive listed as the insurance of record - it would fall on deaf ears. 

Meanwhile I am playing phone tag with Aetna, Medicare, Kemper and Progressive......all of whom have hellish voice mail chaos.  

What do do???

EDIT:   I got the Kemper guy to send Medicare a letter saying that the account was closed, but the response was that Medicare had to hear it from the doctor's office. Now I have to contact a doctor I have not seen in nearly 5 years and hope he still has the records!!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Family Christmas and a Crisis Averted!

Since our grand-twins cooked all of Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, and one person got stuck for most of the cost of it, we decided to have our family Christmas dinner here at our house. I decided on a menu of spaghetti, meatballs, Caesar salad and bread.  I bought a large pack of meatballs, but baby daughter decided that she and my grandson would fix home-made meatballs, and I could cook them and add them to my sauce.  

It was set for yesterday, and in the morning, she brought me 2 pans of meatballs (ground beef and sausage) ready to be baked. One pan was a regular sheet pan and the other was a flat cookie sheet with no sides, but as it was lined with cupped aluminum foil, I didn't notice it had no sides. They were put in the oven at 350* to cook for 25-30 minutes.

We were all chatting in the den when Jim suddenly said  "I smell something."  I went to check the oven, just as the bell rang, and smoke issued in copious amounts when I opened the door.  I turned on the fan; we opened doors and a window and started the ceiling fans, but it took about 5 minutes for all the smoke to dissipate. At no time did any of our smoke alarms go off - which is another problem - and we will have to check them.  The meatballs were perfect, but the oils and juices had run off the flat pan into the floor of the gas oven, baked on and made a general mess of everything. 

I added the meatballs to my sauce and cleaned the oven as best I could. My son-in-law arrived soon after with cleaning solution and he got on his knees and cleaned it some more - so that I would be able to bake the Italian bread loaves without smoking us out again.

By the time we were ready to eat, all the grandkids had arrived, except the youngest and the oldest - who were both scheduled to work on Saturday.  We were doing our dinner Saturday because baby daughter, her husband and 2 sons were supposed to go to South Carolina today for his family celebration. However, baby daughter has been sick for 3-4 days and has not gotten much better. She is the 4th family member to have it now - and we hope it stops with her. She decided she has to stay home, especially since her mother-in-law just had pneumonia. We sure wouldn't want to get her sick again, or give it to the rest of them.  Sorry about that, Linda. Another thing I am sorry about is that I didn't take any photos. 

After a very good dinner and a suitable rest period, we had pineapple-upside-down cake and later, fruit pies.  Suffice it to say we were all stuffed.  Another good Christmas celebration has come and gone. We are grateful that we could be a part of it; grateful to be alive and in reasonably good health. I can only wish the same for all of you!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Go See Wonder!!

The new movie Wonder, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay as Augie.  It is a WONDERFUL movie and will make you feel good!

You may tear up a bit, but it is not a tear-jerker.  I went with 3 other women, and we all loved it!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Trump Started it All (ME TOO!)

Trump's admission of guilt and the video that prompted it - which he now is trying to rescind - started women thinking about the times they were harassed in a sexual manner by what appears to be mostly rich, old, white men - although I suspect that men of color have been guilty too (other than Bill Cosby.) Said women, I imagine,  decided that telling about the harassment would now be the right thing to do, even though they didn't report it to authorities when it happened. There is safety in numbers, after all.

Have you been sexually harassed?  Did you tell anyone when it happened?  NO?  I didn't either, for fear that I would be held responsible somehow, by my actions, or the way I dress or something I said. That these things happened when I was a teenager/young woman is beside the point. Of course, the men who harassed me were not famous, so reporting it now would have no consequences for them. Several of them may be deceased anyway.

Three times before I turned 24, men exposed themselves in my presence. Each time, I was alone and had no way to report them. I was scared to scream, for fear of what might happen. Afterward, I could not describe any of them, so reporting them didn't matter.

While a student in high school, I was sent to a teacher's office with a message during class. He chased me around his desk twice before I escaped. I can't remember his name now, but his father was well-known in Methodist circles and the teacher also had a Sunday school  class at my church. I never reported that to the principal or dean of women, for fear I'd be adjudged the cause of it, or had welcomed it - which was certainly not the case.

It would not do any good to report these incidents now, since the first 3 men are unknown and the 4th is most probably deceased by now.

The 5th incident happened on a first date. The guy was determined to get me in a position to be attacked, and had it not been for my ability to pray and curse at the same time, I might have been raped. He started laughing and that, of course, meant he "lost the mood". He took me home, unharmed.  Reporting him now would be useless, as he may be deceased too, and nothing really happened - although at the time I was convinced it would have, had I not fought back, both physically and verbally.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Happy Thanksgiving!

For many years, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. Of course, everyone brought something too, but the main work was on me - and I was happy to do it. Three years ago, in early November, I had open heart surgery (as many of you know.) That year, my son-in-law and daughter hosted our whole family - plus his parents and sister and her family too. It was a huge undertaking, even though we all brought something. Somehow, the job got handed to them again and again, and this year, son-in-law went on strike. I didn't blame him one bit for that.

We discussed what to do; such as going to a fancy restaurant (which for some people is a big financial undertaking), or going out of town (again, financially restrictive for some) or splitting up into our own family units and eating separately. None of those were good alternatives......and then......our twin grandchildren (age 21) decided to cook for all of us.  They have had some experience with cooking, but certainly not that amount of food, nor for that many people. So we were understandably concerned that it may not turn out well.

Well, we need not have been concerned. They started cooking this morning, and didn't finish until 5 pm. It was worth waiting for!  We had turkey, tenderloin, ham, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, mac & cheese, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, glazed carrots and to honor my husband's request:  creamed onions, which he had not had since before his mom died. 

As if all that was not enough, we had 3 pumpkin pies, and apple pie, and an apple/cranberry pie that our granddaughter baked from scratch!

We all ate as if our lives depended on it  (and I know they do, but not all at once.)  We are so thankful for our family; our three children, eight grandchildren, son-in-law and assorted friends. Our son-in-law's parents didn't make it here this year, but we hope to see them soon.

We hope that you and your family is blessed and grateful for it. Happy Thanksgiving and many blessed years to come.