Let’s talk medical care

19 May

Before I go into what is happening now, I’m going to preface it something else I have going on.

When someone would mention their dislike of ObamaCare, I would always say “Whoa, I have insurance because of ObamaCare”.  Even if I would have been able to have insurance because of pre existing circumstances, my insurance would have been high with a high deductible.  Just wanted to get that out of the way.

When my friend Judy was here helping us get the books and sales part of the business organized, I decided to add up my medical bills that I had paid out of pocket last year. I was SHOCKED  at the amount. I pay my bills every month, so there is a $400 bill here, a $1200 bill there. I did have insurance last year but nothing I had done in the La Veta area was never covered because I was out of network so I would do major procedures in Topeka. I had to have 2 endoscopies to clear up my esophagus and the 2nd one because I had some irregular cells due to Barrets esophagus.  I also had to have 2 Cat scans and 1 MRI because of back issues. In the late summer I had a “huge arthritic episode of my right hip” and had to have an injection in my hip plus numerous doctor appts so I could have tests set up and for medication. Okay, enough background.  My totally out of pocket was over $13,000!!!!!!!!! Plus my $450.00 premium.  Whoa Nelly, (isn’t that nicer than my usual “what the fuck!!”) I still have one more $500 bill to finish out my 2015 medical bills. The billing system in our area is horrific and when you receive your bill you have absolutely what it was for.(Supposedly they are once again getting a new billing system).

In April I went in for my physical with my little list of issues. Another endoscopy is needed along with the rest of my stomach problems. As I thought about my out of pocket last year I decided to get really aggressive regarding my stomach. I have been seriously addressing the fiber and probiotic and drinking more fiber remedy. Tummy is better. So….I’m eliminating the tummy doctor for now. I now have a physical bill, a doctor bill plus 2 injections bill from today. Speaking of today, it was horrific. Everything was going really nice. Little chores done, washed the kitchen window over the kitchen sink, laundry, town hall to see about having our road graded before Memorial Day. Then I took my 2 morning pills and choked on the water which made me cough which made my back go into such a spasm that I fell to my knees. I had to crawl through the living room and out the front door to get Denny. After calling my massage therapist to come by, and taking some meds and calming down, I was luckily able to get into the doctor. Before the doctor I could barely lift my legs or my arms or move or get out of the chair. After a toradol and steroid injection, more meds and resting, I feel better. I can’t believe how much I cried from the pain.  I’ve already heard lots of “backs going out” stories.  Wish mine was more exciting but I was surprised how common it is from a cough or a sneeze.

A financial lesson learned, another weird injury for my body. I still somewhat heal up but I have a few friends with MS and Parkinson’s. Also have 2 friends going through very serious cancer procedures.  Blessings for them.. aaaaaaaaaaj



Still rambling

14 May

I’ve been blogging in my head all day.  I’ll think about something and then I think I have to write about that, etc. etc.

First off, we just returned home from Colorado Springs. We attended the Pikes Peaks Art Council Art Show. This is where my peacock painting is hanging. It was packed, wonderful food, beautiful art works and Mike and Julie met up with us there. After the show we saw Mike and Julie’s new home and loved it. While we drove there we followed the highway that is next to the Garden of the Gods.  I have not seen them for years, like I was 10. I forgot how stunning that area is and the surrounding mountains. May have to do a day trip there. Photo is of Jan, Carol-my art instructor and friend, and I.

art show

This morning I was fussing with this hairdo and I had a funny thought. If this hair thing is driving me crazy why do I even bother wearing a wig??? Because I don’t want to run around with no hair. I do read articles of people with alopecia who go au natural, but I just don’t go there. Maybe I could have my head tattooed or something. I don’t want to look like I am sick or going through chemo and for it to be the topic of conversation.  When I was growing up, I think I was described as “that bald headed girl” and I don’t want to be described as “that bald headed ol’ lady”. Soooo, I’m going to fuss with this hairpiece that has hair that moves and I’m actually thinking of going longer so I can do a ponytail or braid. I love the older lady look of a braid.  We’ll see!!

I’m really being patient about planting flowers. It was beautiful and warm today, but it is still pretty chilly at night and Denny really thinks we will get one more snow. Have lots of fun ideas for flowers and herbs and veggies.

Put up my hummingbird feeder and actually will feed the birds this summer. Last year the hummingbirds went to everyone’s feeders except mine. We have a wonderful variety of colorful birds.

We do have a trap out to try and catch a skunk. He is hanging around our courtyard and causing some stinky problems.

I have written about this before. I have this friend who doesn’t talk to me any more. I really, really don’t know why and I have fretted about it for years. In the last 2 weeks I have heard his name and I can’t believe how my heart and stomach reacts. I will be digging into my “Untethered Soul” to once again get this nagging pain out of me. Why does this person matter to me? Why am I sad that we are not friends? It’s like that day when everyone compliments you on something and then you hear 1 negative comment and that becomes your new truth. Maybe it’s the not knowing what happened. How come I don’t get to apologize if I did something wrong?  How come I can just not care at this point in my life?  I don’t have the answer and maybe I never will.

Speaking of the Untethered Soul. I had to buy a new book today because I can’t find my other one. I am confessing something that my niece may see. I am missing a tub or box full of fabric, an iron, my book. We have looked everywhere around here. I have called my friend Kathy in Texas to check out our place in Brownsville. No fabric. Tomorrow, our winter neighbor is going to cut the lock off the shed we used and look for the missing tub. If it is found, he will drive it up in another friends’ fifth wheel and then my friend will mail me the fabric. Let’s hope this will all happen because the fabric involved is for my niece’s daughters tee shirt quilt. I’m so missing my cordless iron too. I’ll let you know how this plays out.

Still in a doomsday mode somewhat. 2 friends with scary cancers. So hope for the best for them. Did catch on Parker Loves Life which is about a little girl with DIPG cancer which is incurable at this point. She has made one visit to Germany for immunatherapy. Tonight she was actually performig in a dance show!! She is returning to Germany this month for another treatment. Wow. Wouldn’t this be wonderful if this would be a cure?  It’s a dreadful childhood cancer.

Looking forward to Sunday. Carol is coming down to teach 2 days of painting. I hope to paint all day on Sunday. Have pinned 2 quilts and will quilt them myself this weekend. Nice little quilts, 1 for Yuki, 1 for cabin bed.

Dale and Denny have been so busy sprucing up picnic tables, planting grass in a few sites, mowing, painting. Still have a lot of work on our green house.

Black eye is almost gone. I think I have discovered the original injury and I do believe it is a bite. I have a really tender spot on the soft part of my eyelid. Tummy issues a little better. Have cut way back on sugar and having cramps all over the place. Very weird.Water, water, water.

Actually felt like an rv park today. 3 drop ins plus several reservations including the cabin. Happy to have some weeklies and a full Memorial weekend. I wish you could feel the energy of the area. It’s wonderful and positive.

Played bridge last night with Ginny, Sandy and Tracy. We have had so much fun this month playing. We are kind of a teaching group and we can’t seem to remember what we have learned when we meet again. Thank goodness Tracy is patient with us. Also, big news, I have heard about Mahjong players in Cuchara. Hope to contact them this weekend. I really miss playing.

Okay, I think that is it.

Peace everyone.



Monday, Monday, so bad to me

9 May

black eye
It’s been a very strange day. Yesterday morning I felt like my left eye was getting a hive on it. So..I took a benedryl. A couple of hours later I look in the mirror and see the beginning of a black eye!! Have no idea how. I don’t remember bumping it or Denny hitting me, or my dogs hitting me. I didn’t think about it too much yesterday. Actually had a nice day. My friend Linda came by and we discussed quilt ideas. She has a brain like me and tries to make projects harder than they really need to be. We are both very busy and have busy minds and talk too fast. She owns a toxic free company that sells toxic free products all over. Plus she has many employees, etc. We both decided to calm the hell down and do what we can. If you would like to check out her products search Linda Chae and you’ll see her name and Beyond Natural with it. I use some of her facial products and will carry their bug spray this year. It’s never too late to be as organic and pure as we can. (Yes I know Pepsi isn’t organic or pure!!)
Speaking of Pepsi. I have totally screwed my stomach inside out trying various fiber drinks, probiotic, prebiotics, and the ever popular Squatty Potty. Tummy feels a little better but have quite a way to go. For a month starting today-no sugar.
Doesn’t mean for the rest of my life but for 30 days to see what happens. On top of the stomach I have itchy foot, the black eye, back on estrogen, and new glasses. I wear the trifocals and now that I have smaller lenses, my focals will take me awhile to adjust. Right now when I walk outside, the ground comes up and I feel like a little person. Eye doctor thought my black eye looked okay on the inside but it isn’t focusing correctly. Maybe tomorrow it will be less fuzzy for heaven’s sake.
We have had our front yard and then today our driveway back hoed to fix some water lines. It’s a mess but we won’t have to worry about that issue again. Thankfully there wasn’t a leak in the park. I can’t imagine what it would be like to dig up the whole place. Yikes.
I’m kind of in a doomsday mode. Just read where some islands have disappeared due to climate change. A few days ago there was an article about part of the ocean suffocating. The ever present San Andreas fault was in the news. Back in the day my therapist told me I had “existential anxiety”. I kind of feel that way right now. It’s weird but it will pass. I feel rather secure in our little town of La Veta. No impending doom seems to be lurking around us. Maybe a chance meeting with a bear or mountain lion?? I feel for the Midwest tonight with all the horrible tornadoes. Haven’t read the news tonight to read about damage.
Business will begin picking up in about another week. My friend Carol is doing a Watercolor Batik class this weekend so painting will be a good outlet for a couple of days. I also have 1 tee shirt quilt to sew together for a graduate, 1 twin bed quilt to back and bind for a bed in the cabin, another throw to back and bind to use in one of the campers. Robin and Dean left Saturday after spending a week with us. Dean was a great help to Denny and Robin embroidered all of my in stock sweatshirts. First time in 4 years that I actually have inventory.
Finally it is just about time to start planting flowers, herbs and some veggies. Since part of our front yard is dug up, it will be easy to start a new flower bed. No snow is predicted but it can still get pretty chilly at night. I had pretty good luck last year with deer proof flowers. A big problem that is getting bigger are the bunnies. There are many hopping around.
Jumper and Meeko are in full “mommy’s assistants mode” in the office. They come a running when the entry bell goes off. This morning a customer gave Jumper 2 treats and they were too big for his mouth and she had to dig them out of his mouth! I’ll do a video of them at work one of these days.
That’s it for now from the rambling Jbird.
Peace everybody.

Open for Season 4

25 Apr

We officially opened on Saturday, April 23.  I thought I was ready for the campers to start checking in, but….I was totally not ready. Sometimes I really do worry about my brain.  I didn’t have info packets ready, registration cards, hadn’t hooked up my new chip square, had updated my prices in the computer or Ipad. Seriously I was not ready.  It was  a good kick in the butt to get ready and now I feel very efficient.  Our friend Ramona is here helping Denny with mowing, raking branches, painting, and some woodworking projects. She is a wonderful friend and we are so glad she is here. I really like women who are able to run chainsaws, regular saws, fix anything. It’s not that I am afraid of doing those because they may be too hard, but I would definitely have missing fingers and would surely cut off one of my legs. So while they are doing the manual labor I am manning the phones. It is going to be a fun, crazy summer.

Denny is bringing home our new picture window for the cabin.  It will be nice to get that in and the cabin cleaned up. Luckily the plastic has held up during the latest storms. Meeko and Jumper are already being my assistants and are pouting because we don’t have the treats out yet, so they are working for free at the moment.

Robin and Dean are coming in tomorrow. Robin will help get many sweatshirts embroidered and Dean will help Denny. (Does it seem like if you come visit us that all you do is work????)  Dale and Buddy, our faithful work campers will be here next weekend. Very thankful for all of our buddies.

Had my physical last week and I think I freaked out my doctor. Why do I have to have so many weirdo issues? Anyway we start with first issue this week and then go down the list with the others. I am getting new glasses. Appointment tomorrow and I think I back away from the big thick frames. I have a new hairdo which I don’t think the bigger glasses look as nice.  Speaking of hairdo.  Most of my hairpieces I don’t need to style. I just put them on in the morning and go.  This hair is more natural and moves around like real hair. You wouldn’t believe how crazy I look at times. I also don’t know how to style hair which this one needs, so that is frustrating  for me. How do women mess with their hair everyday. It’s exhausting!!!

jay new hair

That’s it for now.  Making hamburger/mashed potato casserole for dinner. Printing notecards, finishing an applique project and……try to find the curtains I purchased last week for the living.






12 Apr


Elliott bed

mom train

Finishing up my quick trip to Topeka, Holiday Island and Topeka. It has been a really good little trip. Billie and the kids are doing well. My Mom was great and even managed a quick game of Mexican train. It was a hectic game since the kids were playing, but she hung in there.
It was fun because the kids cousins, Mallory, Cooper and Sutton were with my sister, so there was a lot of swimming and card playing happening.
The car trip went well until a few too many curves for Elliott on the way home. After we were out of the curves, everyone was better. I even struggle with that 86 highway. My Mom told a story about me when I was about 5. We were on a car trip and I had been very car sick most of the way. One time when we got out so I could be sick, she said I just waved at all of them and didn’t want to get back in the car.
It was a beautiful time to be in Arkansas. The dogwoods were blooming along with the redbuds. Lots of motorcycles riding around. There was a UFO convention in town too. Didn’t see anything strange but that would have been interesting.
Feeling happy. KC is doing well with his concrete business and it is wonderful to see how far Billie and the kids have come this last year and a half. They have a good routine. It was very exciting to watch Cade play in his tennis match for Jardine against Chase. I remember watching Billie play there at his age and I probably played there when I was in 7th grade. He and his partner won their doubles match and were the only ones to win for Jardine. I so hope this may be a good sport for Cade. He was a very good sport and I was very proud of him. Kyler is doing well in school and has taken up eating healthy. He was also doing front flips on the trampoline this afternoon. That would be cool if he did gymnastics but I don’t even if they have that anymore. Elliott and I had lots of special times together. She is crazy like her Mom and I. Very clever and funny. Bottom line it feels good for our families stars to be in alignment.
Denny drove in from La Veta today. He has a doctor appt in the morning and then we’ll stop by our friends Lawrence and Cinda in Manhattan.
Could have a big snow this weekend at home. We’ll see. Of course we always need the moisture. Mike and Steph will be in town. Also having dinner with several friends one evening.
Getting reservations like crazy. The phone rings many times a day.
I had a rough tummy day today but did manage to get everyone called back.
Looking forward to getting home and really get many projects done. Luckily a few friends will be helping me out. Feeling excited about the upcoming summer. We really have a lot of nice people that come through and many of them return so it feels like family when they all get settled in.
That’s it for now.


3 Apr

It’s that time of year when I have a really hard getting organized for the upcoming season. I get ADDish and start one project and end up making too much of a big deal over it. Example: I must get several items sewn and embroidered this week because I hope to start getting items posted on my online store. So……instead of just clearing off a table and cutting some fabric and starting up the embroidery machine, I move shelves around, paper the shelves, start folding fabric and trying to figure out where to put it, etc. Now it’s 1 am and I still have much to do tomorrow before I can start sewing.

This is my favorite time of year regarding fabric. I’m able to buy a bunch to use for the bowl holders, casserole carriers, pillow cases, a new item: a water proof baby changing pad and pillow case that it goes inside of. There is so much fun fabric with themes and colors and animals.

Denny is just about finished with the recarpeting of the game room. We have discovered quite a bit of wind damage around the park. The worse damage was to the cabin where the picture window blew in and shattered glass all over the living room. It also blew over one of the metal tables in the courtyard which had a glass table top and it shattered all over the gravel. Hundreds of tree branches all over the park. We always make Memorial Day our goal to have everything fixed and spruced up so we don’t have to panic yet.

I am excited about my online store. We purchased a digital scale because I have to weigh everything for shipping purposes. I’m taking the train to Topeka Thursday night. Billie, KC and the kids and and I are driving to Arkansas to see Mom. Then on Monday I have a meeting with Simply Solutions to get everything ready in Quickbooks and the website for the season.

Going to try and really make the office and shop look a little different this year.  Sometimes it all feels really small. Have several new things to sell this year. Twirly items, a few metal items, going to display the sweatshirts on a real clothing rack instead of hanging off a curtain rod.

We attended Mary Ks memorial today. It was very nice. Catered italian and Indian food. A great slide show and tons of people. She would have loved it. It was held on the Riverwalk in Pueblo which we had never been around. It is really beautiful and there is even a boat that will take you down the Arkansas river. I’m going to really promote it this year for a day trip. Monday I have Lori coming by to discuss her fishing trips. She’s an excellent instructor in fly fishing and I”m sure other types of fishing. I’m going to have my grandson Kyler go out with her when he comes to visit.

Speaking of gkids-things seem to be going pretty well. Very excited that Cade is playing tennis at Jardine. I really really hope this will be a sport that he will really like. That’s the age I started playing. Looking forward to seeing them all next week.

I think that is it for now. Really need to go to bed but think I’ll eat some chocolate ice cream and maybe a bag of popcorn first.





Finishing up in Brownsville

24 Mar

We are heading home Saturday after a 2 day stop in LLano and another night in Amarillo. Should be home Tuesday.
Denny has been busy putting the last coat on the little house this afternoon. We definitely went all out on the color choices and it feels very happy to be there. I made several valances and also was able to do many sewing projects since I had my sewing machines over there. Hasn’t felt like we’ve been on vacation the last few weeks. We did take some time and go on a little fishing trip on Monday. The morning was beautiful, on the cool side and no fish to brag about, but it was nice to out in the bay at S Padre Island.
Last night was our last outing for 50 cent chicken wings. It’s called the Flying Pig. Several people from the park were there so it was a lot of fun and laughter.
One of my new friends here is Cathy. She is an experienced Swedish Weaver. I did Swedish Weaving way back in Home Ec in the 7th grade. I can still remember the colors and the white fabric. Anyway, she gave me some yellow Monks Cloth and I’m going to attempt a design on the way home. NO… I am not taking up a new hobby!!!!! (well maybe, we’ll see how my first piece goes) It’s a nice technique for table runners, dishtowels, blankets, etc..
Will miss playing my 2 new games I have learned. Euchre and Mahjong. I’m hoping some people in La Veta might know how to play these. I played Mahjong yesterday and didn’t win at all and had to pay out a lot of quarters.
We both are trying to get set up with the golf course here and get our handicaps re-established. It’s been a few years but I really like the course and look forward to playing it more than I was able to this year.
One thing that happened here is to make a hard decision to NOT rescue a miniature yorkie. Oh my goodness. I saw it today and was a little jealous of the lady who is getting it, but..we decided it would be too traumatic for Meeko. He seems to be getting some form of dementia. Back in the day his big treat was to ride in the golf cart. Now he cries and shakes and barks, so it isn’t any fun to take him on it anymore.
Big things happening in the Brownsville area with the Space X coming. You will be able to go up in space on the Boca Chica beach in a few years. Many jobs opening up.
I am officially the head of Bingo next year. They play every Thursday night and it takes 3 or 4 volunteers a night to do. So far there have been good responses for offers of help. They have a real bingo machine that pops up balls and then you poke it in a hole to light up the numbers. Pretty exciting.
GO KU tonight.
The following photos are of the new place. Bedroom, kitchen and living room in the park model and then the Texas Room. It’s hard to leave and not have it all in place but it will give us time to think about what we can bring down, etc. The pinata is when we were over in Mexico. We will have anothe giant pinata party for adults at the park again this summer.
My foot is out of the boot, had a cortisone shot under my toes, (ouch) and so far so good. Hopefully when the cortisone is all worn off it will still be okay. I will probably be dealing with Morton’s neuroma forever now. Silly feet.
Silly moment. The other day Robin and I were going over to Harligen, about a 30 minute drive. I picked her up in the golf cart and then we stopped by the rv to get something. She said “Do you want me to drive the truck?” I was like Oh no!! We’ll drive the jeep but I was actually driving the golf cart there!!”” Hellooooo Jbird.
Trying to get my mind around that we could be possible going back to snow and chilly weather. It has felt like summer here most of the time. The wind really blows a lot. Not sure if that is a seasonal thing or the El Nino affect.
That’s it for now.


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