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Has it been two months?

June 14th, 2009 at 09:24 pm

Wow, time flies even when you aren't having that much fun!

Finances have remained fairly stable, and I've only been to the grocery store once in two months. Instead it seems like it's been a month of doctors, and everything that comes with them.

Mom, well, she refused help from the senior care, and is driving my sister a bit nuts. Mom wants what she wants. So, I'm letting the fight go for now. If she can manage and my sister is willing to be there full time for the summer, it's between them. Cost is still a huge issue, but it's not MY issue right now.

The organic garden is going really well, the tomato plants are getting large already, and tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini, squash, onions, blueberries, fruit are all set on and starting to fill out. It always takes much more time than I anticipate, but it's good. Well, it would be better, and faster, if my body was back to where it was before the accident.

Spending hasn't been much, although my stockpile is running low on a few things now, so I'll need to check the ads and pull a few deals together.

That's about it.

Hope everyone else is doing great!

I spoke with Mom this weekend...

April 6th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

and all she could say was that she was a burden and wished she would die. Argh! My sister was sitting right there with her on the cell phone, on speakerphone, and didn't do anything to help.

I tried the "free services" logic, the "get help for these things and then there will be more time/money, etc., for other things", etc. Wow.

I couldn't sleep last night, woke up angry this morning, which rarely happens, and irritates me. I'm not typically an agry person. But I did feel like if my sister wanted the help, she should own up to it with Mom and not act like she is fine with the way things are and I'm somehow just causing problems. Sister asked for help, after all.

And it just made for a horrible morning. Plugged the toaster in, which promptly sparked, flamed, and burnt out in glory. We've had it 26 years, and we JUST gave our spare in it's unopened box, also 26 years old (wedding gifts), to a friend in need. The power had gone out overnight, and the timer for the coffee maker had reset and didn't come on, so no coffee. We missed an important phone call while walking the dog. Somewhere along the way I burst into tears, had a good cry, threw up, put my back out, and fell asleep on the couch.

Which gave DH some time to look at some financial improvements, and start on our taxes.

Some days just start out wrong! I'm digging in, remembering that I'm doing the right things for the right reasons. Stretching finances for everyone requires creative thinking, and doesn't always mean everyone gets everything they want. That's a struggle for me, I like to keep everyone happy, and sometimes ignore the financial costs that result. I can't do that right now. So, deep breath, a bit of tylenol, and charging on.

Thanks again everyone!

Trying to Play the Fiber One Fiber Friend Face-Off game...

April 4th, 2009 at 08:48 pm

General Mills has a promotion, play the fiber one fiber friend face off (try saying that fast!), and get a $1 /1 coupon for Fiber One Chewy Bars. You also get entered to win $50 every day. But...I can print the coupon, no problem, but I'm clueless on how to get to the game!

Anyone else get it to work?

The bars are very tasty, so the coupon will be used, but I'd love to win the $50!

Mom Fell again today - twice!

March 31st, 2009 at 08:23 pm

My Mom has steadfastly refused to accept in home care, a paid roommate, or (gasp) stay in a retirement home or facility. But since Dad past, she's really had a difficult time.

She fell two weeks ago, and laid outside on the grass, in the rain, for over an hour. She canceled the beeper system I ordered, and the one she replaced it with would not pick up outside the home.

I've begged my sister to sell my Mom's house (it's in my sister's name now) and get care for Mom. But my sister is banking on the house for her own retirement.

Mom fell twice today, and I have an upset email from my sister. Because the housing market is down, she is refusing to sell, or even do a reverse mortage of some sort, and expects me to cover the costs of care. The quotes she gave me are over $2000 - $10,000 a month! I can't do that.

I can't go out there, I'm still recovering from my own accident and can't really even travel, let alone care for another person. DH is furious, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I just don't have the money to cover that kind of expense. We are just redoing our budgets and trying to work out our expenses after a very long year of medical issues.

My heart is breaking.

Thank Goodness Blue Cross came through!

March 21st, 2009 at 05:57 pm

One of the problems we've had in sorting out last years expenses is sorting out my parents expenses, and estimating my mother's costs for the future,

Mom is 87. Her SSI is minimal, my Dad was a janitor, and she works hard to keep her costs down. She decided to find a cheaper health insurance plan last Spring. And, after almost 30 years being insured by Blue Cross, she changed to AARP.

Unfortunately, she didn't understand the fine print on the new insurance. My Dad died just over one month after she "made the switch". But, under the terms of the new policy, she had no major medical coverage for the first three months of the policy.

No coverage for the ambulance, or the ER, or the ICU where he stayed for almost one week. The hospital simply billed AARP. It was over a month before the bills trickled back to Mom as "denied". Then the trickle became a flood. And she didn't understand any of her paperwork, simply hid it away for the children to figure out later.

Sigh. Later was painful. Very painful.

AARP was of little help, as the terms of the policy were quite clear, at least to them.

Blue Cross terms were a bit fuzzier, and we weren't sure exactly when the "end date" of the policy was signed off on. When we called and explained the situation, very openly, they agreed that to extend the policy for the additional six weeks if the premium for that period was paid. We did, and we just received notice that they have paid the final bills.

Wow! My parents were with Blue Cross for over 30 years, and their premiums were fairly high. Still, a company that was will to extend a hand to a widow in a difficult situation gets a big thanks from me.

Olay Professional or Regenerist?

March 11th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

One of the first things I gave up along with the corporate income was shopping for skin and beauty products at department stores. Sigh. I really liked the products, well some of them, and the cute little freebies in cute little packages. Some not so much. But the price, well, I didn't really notice how high they were until I had to work out a detailed budget.

So, drug store products it is. But how do you choose? Seriously? Do any of them work for semi-aging skin Smile

The thing that is confusing me the most right now is the multitude of products that a single brand puts out. Olay Total Effects, Touch of Olay, regular Olay, Olay Regenerist, and now the Professional. The Olay website for receiving a "personal recommendation" doesn't include the new professional line. The commercials, well...there is the Olay Regenerist beats the $700 department store cream...and then there is the Olay Professional quality guaranteed results...but nothing about Regenerist beating the Olay Professional, or vice versa. Great marketing hype, but HUH?

Both have LOADS of coupons and offers. $5 off ProX, $10 off ProX, $25 rebate on $50 ProX purchase, and $5 off Olay Regenerist, $25 rebate on $50, the drugstore rebates...Regenerist is much cheaper and better than the others, but Olay still recommends the Professional line. Because it's more expensive, or is it better?

Has anyone tried anything that is great on 40-ish skin that's starting to sag, with a few wrinkles from squinting too much? Glasses are the next item for the budget Smile

Or from the other side...

May 13th, 2006 at 12:06 am

It's still a soccer field!

By Jove, it's a Soccer Field!

May 13th, 2006 at 12:02 am

I'm still trying to minimize these photos...but here's my soccer field!

Savings Tip of the Day from Max!

May 5th, 2006 at 09:04 pm

I woke up with a fever, 100F. Blech. Everything hurts.

Three things happen when I get sick:

1. I get emotional
2. I crave Taco Bell
3. I make bad decisions (see above).

All this great self-awareness, you think I would know better than to shop online. Any money matters are best made when I'm feeling, well, my best.

Silly me.

Those free business cards and stationery, well, they weren't free after they tacked on all the extras, like not putting their own advertisement on the back. That great deal on chocolate sounded SO good, but of course I shouldn't eat it, and I have plenty left from the December holidays! But something about spending seems right up there with cold medicine when I want to feel better.

Wrong decision.

Feeling blue, bad, under the weather, just not quite in a place to manage money?

Take a note of our pup, Max...and crawl under the covers!

$100 in Home Depot g/c's!

April 22nd, 2006 at 08:03 pm

Today's mail had my two MyPoints rewards gift cards, $50 each for Home Depot.

I'm actually surprised, I received them in less than a week after requesting them. More surprising, I accumulated all those points!

Almost everything I did was a sign up or trial offer. I mentioned before, I hadn't bought new makeup for years and sister had pink eye while she was here. So, rather than driving all the way to Nordstroms for MAC or some other expensive products, I did the "try" Lancome (3000 points), Avon, a few others. Mostly I purchased the packages of trial size items and super sales so I could try lots of things, test the smells (allergies), and generally see what I liked. I found some things I really liked, some not so well, but cheaper than what I used to buy, the benefit of trying lots on less, and the gift cards.

Quite a few bath gels, too, for a bit of pampering, which I seriously need after the events of the last few months. I'm not one to treat myself, but several BOGO with special prices of $1 or so.

on a lighter note...

April 18th, 2006 at 11:02 pm

If you want to know me, know my Mom:

She is recovering from surgery, clipping coupons to send, and negotiating for better everything (especially food and room!).

I HATE MEDICARE, and other news

April 18th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Maybe it's not Medicare's fault. But Mom broke her hip Sunday 11 am PDT, and they were still waiting to do surgery Monday at 5 pm PDT. No food, still NPO waiting for "the doctor they want to do it", i.e., who takes Medicare, to arrive to do the surgery. She's a diabetic, and they weren't even running a line.

Surgeon finally got there, and she was out around midnight. Unbelieveable. Who ever heard of surgery at midnight?

Excuses, waiting for an EKG, no, didn't need it, no waiting for more x-rays, no, but always came back to WAITING FOR THE RIGHT SURGEON.


My father found a ride to the hospital, but they couldn't stay FOREVER, so he finally went home in the evening, and waited for them to call.

I am LOL, though, Dad said she had NO TROUBLE telling them how she was feeling and how she felt! This is a woman even I wouldn't go up against on a bad day. So, I'm sure karma had it's revenge!

I do have many friends and the church looking out for Dad.

My ex-SIL, whom I treasure, is dropping by every night to check on Dad. An extra hour driving for her, but she really is that nice a person.

DH says we are ABSOLUTELY not going out right now.

1. He hasn't recovered from the last trip
2. We are on standby, so to speak, for when my Dad takes a turn for the worse.
3. The stress from the last trip has aggravated his radiation areas, and if he doesn't care for the ulcers, they will turn into cancer again (been through that once before).
4. He is still pretty angry at my entire family.

Me, I love them. I'm not responsible for their actions, only mine. And I choose to be loving, kind, and hopefully someone *I* can respect at the end of the day.

So, we keep the faith and hold down the fort here.

And save for the next trip! We have said we will be out there in June, so lots to do.

Waiting for Surgery

April 17th, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Life takes funny twists and turns somedays.

I've spent most of today waiting for word on Mom's surgery.

Since she refused the ambulance to the ER, they assumed she was ambulatory, and said they could take care of her at the local hospital (rural). They actually expected her to walk to a wheelchair! As soon as they had they x-rays back, they realized she had shattered her hip socket. So they transferred her to a larger hospital where they were going to do emergency surgery.

As of this morning, they still hadn't operated, and since she's diabetic and she was NPO awaiting surgery, well, not good. My DS left for her own home after she took Mom to the ER, so Mom is on her own. And for someone with such a high pain tolerance, it's hard to get medical attention!

DH and I are at odds; I want to go out there immediately and take care of my Dad. He is so close to passing himself, and if anything happens I don't believe he will be able to get help.

For today, I've been answering calls and contacting friends who all want to provide support out there. Waiting for news. And trying to stay busy!