Friday, November 16, 2018

the cost of living

I try not to whine about finances a lot but the truth is for most retired folks it's like working a puzzle to figure out how to pay the bills.  The income is fixed and prices keep going up.  Even at that, I feel blessed to even have an income.  My money management skills are poor and always have been.  If I had contributed to the company sponsored 401K over the years I would kinda' sorta' have that, though their stock isn't worth much these days.  Last time I looked it was hovering around 4.50 from a high of 60 two years prior. A lot of people lost a lot of money. That is because the company took on WAY too much debt buying up every little thing they could find and merging with HMA.  There was much restructuring and selling off.  Dyersburg, Martin and Jackson were sold this year right after I was officially retired.  I visited my peeps up in there today and got lots of hugs.  They seem content with the status quo.  That was just a really crappy last year for me, if you know what I mean.  Water under the bridge.  

We used to have tons of primary care physicians around here.  Now there is a handful with FNPs doing the bulk of the work.  They usually know more anyway, just saying.  High five to Kelly, Leigh Ann,  Lisa, Brad and all you other troopers on the front lines.  Healthcare must return to rural roots mentality and move away from big pharm for the sake of patients.  Just because the good insurance is there, don't use it for diagnostics that are not necessary every three months.  Don't charge a stable, reliable and compliant patient for a visit every three months just to get refills.  Enough.

I have a big mouth which we all know.  Healthcare was and always will be my passion because I'm such a little nurturer.  If insurance companies and big pharm were throttled down, universal healthcare could be a reality.  I paid out the ass for 40 years to get company sponsored insurance and find myself in that gap between can't work that job and Medicare.  The marketplace has been good to me this year but my deductible goes up by a thousand bucks in 2019.  Do I wish I was 65 so I would qualify for Medicare?  No.  That would be stupid.  I just hope it's still there when I get there.  I paid for it.

I can hear metal being crunched down the road at the scrapyard where I take cans.  Unfortunately that is the only recycling available here.  I've got glass stacked up from here to next year waiting for Dyer County Recycles to get up and running.  It's a long uphill battle for them like with most non-profits.  Today has been glorious to say the least.  It was warm enough for me to clean the car up a bit and not wear a coat.  I'll take it any day over the snow. 

I hope Reaves remembers me.  It's been awhile, ya' know?  I think their tree is going up soon because Lauren will be having knee surgery right after Thanksgiving.  I'm sure there's a Norman Rockwell for that kind of Christmas!

Thankful ~

Thursday, November 15, 2018

dilemma of the day

I have to watch ATT  to make sure they draft my payment arrangements so as to not get cut off over and over.  I made one for internet on the 14th and noticed today that it did not go through.  Again.  I didn't have a bill available but I called customer service to make sure I was not going to be cut off.  I thought I knew the account number by heart but it was nowhere to be found in the "system"  by the rep that I spoke with.  I should seriously learn to use their app, and I will if I don't get cut off first.  The struggle is real with these folks.  

My friends gifted me with a cut and color at their salon just because they love me and know I'm broke.  How awesome is that?  My spirits certainly needed a lift and Marla did her magic as usual.  As if on cue, a new walk in customer appeared as I was leaving.  That's karma at work.  When you give from the heart with no expectations, you receive.  

The snow went as quick as it came with just a small amount on the ground and trees left.  I saw two kids building a mini-snowman in their yard as I passed by, bless their hearts.  I feel sure they'll get another chance later.  I mean it ain't even winter yet for another month.  My car door opened without deicer this morning, thank you Lord.  I went by the Damascus thrift store to add my name to their yearly letter for support to donors.  That ministry has a place in my heart for a lot of reasons.  

Ellie was quite curious about the snow because I suppose she's never seen it.  She ran around like the puppy that she is exploring the foreign white stuff.  I have ceased to try keeping her from following me down the lane because she has to learn where home is.  She was waiting in the yard when I got back today.  

No negative thoughts today.  I'm just going with the flow and happy to be alive.  The universe will take care of all the chaos and hatred.  Not my job.  All I can do is the next right thing.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

take a deep breath

One of the things I love most about yoga is the concentration on breathing.  So many times we take shallow breaths and practicing yoga helps to focus on taking deliberate breaths in and out during moves.  I had errands to get done before the "wintry mix" hit so I skipped the core and bought 50 lbs of dog food which I now cannot unload without help.  Then I met a couple of friends for lunch and the ice started falling pretty steady.  Snow, I can handle unless it's 8 inches.  Ice is a whole 'nother story.  That is how I tore my subscapularis tendon in half four years ago.  I heard it snap as i hit the icy parking lot.  

While we were having lunch I got to visit with a couple of other dear friends whom I have not seen in eons.  Jere T and Aleece and I chatted at length before I hit the road. School was let out early and I heard that the grocery stores were a madhouse.  Probably not a loaf of bread to be had anywhere.

A Christmas miracle has appeared and I will be getting a cut and color tomorrow compliments of Headlines.  Lord, I go all the way back with this bunch.  This came, as if by magic, when I was at my lowest point yesterday.  I love it when that happens.  

Plans are for me to go to Jackson on Saturday to see my girls.  This, without the driving glasses that Ellie ate.  At least the weather should be nice by then.  

Y'all all stay merry and bright.  And keep the faith ^j^


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

let it snow?

Honey, please.  Normally Thanksgiving time around these parts is warmish as in autumnal weather.  We have fast forwarded to a chance of snow tomorrow and Thursday.  WTF.  This is paranormal even by Tennessee standards.  There was a bit of sleet on the porch and car this morning but nothing big.  While I was at the 'gentral I picked up some deicer just in case.  Lord, I wish I had a garage.  There is nothing worse than trying to get an old car unfrozen.  That's how I lost both door handles.  

Holidays have turned into non events for me.  I suppose that working so many of them have numbed me to "the day."  I plan to eat with my brother on Thanksgiving and other than that who knows.  What used to be traditional annual family gatherings have gone by the wayside.  I know, that sounds really grinchy.  Being broke has a lot to do with it too.  I miss my girls.  A lot.  Maybe watching Christmas movies would help.  

Reaves is at the age where she'll probably either be scared to death of Santa or giggle like a maniac.  50/50.  If I know her she'll pull his beard and glasses.  She'll get lots of toys but not much from her broke old grandma.  That's okay because it's about joy not things.  Might as well learn that early!  

My mother gave me a book one year called A Stranger for Christmas which was about a family taking in an elderly person for the holiday to join their family.  It's in the stack of Christmas stuff and I will read it again, including my mother's hand written words.  She absolutely loved it....she and Daddy both.  

I know from experience that the firsts after the death of a loved one are the worst.  Christmas.  Birthday. Mother's Day. Etc.  I have albums on top of albums where my mom documented every occasion that we celebrated.  Once my brother Bubba was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia on his cold January birthday.  Things happen and we end up where we least expect to be.

After being pissed off yesterday, I'm kind of misty this morning.  If I'm lucky I have 20 years left to live and deal with declining health.  I try not to dwell on that and focus on today and the blessings I have.  The only good thing I can say about the cold weather is that the bugs are dying and the kudzu too.  

My biggest fear is drowning or burning alive.  My heart goes out to the folks in California for their devastating losses.  The deforestation is bound to make things so much worse in an already ravaged state.  I read that the Republican congressional candidate in Arizona has conceded before the recount is complete.  The ploy behind this is for her to replace John McCain in the Senate.  There's always an end game.  

I had forgotten what havoc cold weather plays on arthritis but have been reminded of late.  Thank you Ibuprofen.  


Monday, November 12, 2018

rainy days and mondays

I should know better than to read the news because it infuriates me.  In one morning, I've read two stories that makes it all seem ass backwards.  As troops are deployed to the border to put up barbed wire for the "invasion" the Department of Veteran's affairs is not paying vets for housing and education as agreed, so many of them are homeless.  Trump is running his mouth 24/7 doing everything he can to polarize the country.  I imagine he is scared of what's gonna' happen with the new Congress.  He has stretched his powers way beyond the limits of the Constitution on more than one issue including the dismissal of Sessions and Rosenstein.  And that's just ONE example.  It makes me literally sick.   I do not understand those who blindly follow him.  It's like a cult.

And the fires rage on in California.  Not climate change, of course.  Neither are the extreme deviations in weather patterns world wide.  Those who deny are a part of the cult because science ( remember that subject? ) has proven time and time again that global warming is real and causing climate change.  I remember hearing that 20 years ago and not really grasping the reality of it.  

These are dangerous times.  When white supremacy is accepted as the norm and embraced by so many, it pits us against each other.  There is no chance for peace or compromise with these people nor with Trump.  A friend sent me an article about a fundamentalist pastor who has proclaimed that yoga is "of the devil."  The poses are designed to open up to evil spirits, yada yada.  All I can do is shake my head.  

There's a dead skunk on Samaria Bend which I have carefully navigated twice this morning knowing from experience what happens when you run over one.  Ellie still has a faint odor of skunk stink.  I spoke with someone about a prospective client today and she was brutally honest about the job which I declined because of lifting.  I have to baby these shoulders, for real.  

Otherwise, it's all unicorns and rainbows.  Day by day I count my blessings as I see what people are suffering with.  I'm pretty much alone in this world family wise except for my brothers, two cousins, and Lauren and Reaves.  That is more than many have so I am blessed.  In addition I have a lot of friends looking out for me.  We do welfare checks and compare bank balances and whatnot.  It ain't pretty a lot of times, but it is what it is and we have to stick together.  It takes a village.

My daughter posted something about emotional sobriety which rang true with me.  All good points about self awareness and letting go of the past.  Owning your own emotional issues and not blaming are key.  There have been times in my life where I've played the victim with academy award winning angst.  I am not a victim at all, just a product of my own choices.  

I also read a piece about the emotional toll on the pathologists who do autopsies on mass shooting victims and the horror that they take home with them from the job.  These shooting VICTIMS are truly a sign of our times and they are becoming more and more commonplace.  Never forget.

Suppression of the MSM is dangerous to say the least.  Jim Acosta is a prime example.  The man asked straightforward honest questions and had his White House press credentials taken away.  Sounds like he was baited into it.  Just another way to get rid of somebody who doesn't idolize the POTUS.

I haven't been on a rant in a long while so this is my day to vent.  I still see lots of goodness in the world as we cling to each other through the hard times and I try to hold that thought but I know too much to play Pollyanna.  Sometimes I wish I was oblivious to it all.  

Peace and grace to you and yours ~

Sunday, November 11, 2018

heavy lifting

My friend Larry gave me some second hand wicker furniture that he picked up on the side of the road.  He graciously offered it to me so Bubba and Sally and I went to load it up and bring it to Casa Poops this afternoon.  It sounds like the cabin is months or years away from being finished so I brought it here.  Hell, I could die before that restoration is done.  He bitched at me about Ellie chasing vehicles which I can't stop.  She's still a puppy and loves to run.  

I didn't think Trump could outdo himself but he did with the tweet about the CA fires being due to poor forestry management.  Why send aid?  Puleeeeez.  This country is coming apart at the seams, literally, due to global warming which he firmly denies.  Enough about him.  I'm ready for Mueller to get it done.  There is too much to ignore here in addition to collusion.  Like money laundering and such.  Of course SNL had a cold open sketch featuring a Sessions goodbye.  

So, today's surprise is that I got two scam calls from MY OWN number today and customer service is closed.  I'm not sure what all that is about.  Has it happened to anybody else?  I answered the second one and picked up immediately that it was a scammer wanting my account info.  Damn these people!

I'm kind of giddy that they're recounting votes in Florida.  Never go down easy, ever.  Especially when Rick Scott is involved.  

My friend Teresa has turned the corner with her illness and is off the vent and doing much better.  I tore a chunk out of my hand while moving the wicker so there is a new wound to tend to.  My strength ain't what it used to be.  The chaise lounge is still sitting on the porch because I can't get it through the door without help.  

Y'all hang in there.  It will get better ^j^

Saturday, November 10, 2018

open house

I've never been one to go to Christmas open houses because I'm always broke and it hurts me to not be able to buy.  Today was different because I am totally committed to Downtown Dyersburg economic growth and development. South Mill Street is at the epicenter of this and a couple of friends, in particular, along with the Chamber are responsible for making this happen.  There is activity there now where formerly there was "not much."  Kudos to Chris and Mike and Charli for being a part of it.  

I can tell I worked out yesterday plus it's really like, uh cold.  Typical Tennessee.  Three weeks ago it was 90.  Now, it's 50 on a good day.  Meh.  What happened to autumn??

I was gonna' go see a movie today alone but decided to save the five bucks for something else.  Gotta' weigh your options, right?  Lauren is now on the phone again and we had a nice chat today.  How in the world did we ever manage without smart phones?  I'll admit, I'm chained to mine.  Not only are there calls to be taken but there are pictures to be taken.  

I am keenly aware of the value of community these days.  So much is so wrong that if we don't stick together we're screwed.  There is no room for negativity and back biting or blaming.  It was what it was so if you let the past hold your spirit back, it's on you. Look for a way to become free.  

I am thankful for you ^j^