Falling To Pieces With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

As if you couldn’t tell by today’s title, I’m having another bad week.  Thank goodness for this little mid-week distraction called The Hodgepodge, and a big thank you to our hostess, Joyce, for providing it!  Let’s get right to the questions, shall we?

1. What’s surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

I’m surprised by how quickly time is passing, and how quickly Ed and I have gotten old.  Years ago, I knew this day would eventually come, but I wasn’t expecting it to come this quickly!

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year…awesomesauce, beer o’clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? 

I think, by adding such ridiculous words, the Oxford English Dictionary has become a bit ridiculous, but to each his own!

  In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous?  beer o’clock

Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? buttdial

Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?  Cat cafe, because we actually have a wooden structure, built by Ed, where most of our outside cats go to eat their meals each day.  At the time it was built, we needed a high, covered area away from our five dogs, where the cats could dine in peace.  As a joke, we named it the Cat Cafe.

3. Do you like gravy? Yes

Is there a food you’d rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Yes, mashed potatoes!

Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety?  I make my own.

Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy…which one on the list is your favorite? Pot roast and gravy is my favorite.  Yum!

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

Yes, I have some sort of a plan because I need a plan to have peace of mind.  And, yes, we’ve had many plans fall into a trillion pieces, but never more than this year!  In fact, our plans are still falling to pieces, as I write!   2015 has been the most trying year of my life!

Plans that fell into a trillion pieces?  Let’s see:  How about 1998, when our daughter’s fiance’ bailed out on her in the midst of their wedding planning?  How about the year 2001, when our oldest son (and honor graduate) dropped out of college after winning The Presidential Scholarship (all tuition paid) the year before?  Or how about this year when Ed lost his job on January 16th, disrupting our well-laid plans for retirement in 2016?

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game?  Yes, we own a [very old] original Monopoly game.

Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? I like playing Monopoly, but it takes too long to play.

How likely is it you’ll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Not very likely.

Ever been to Atlantic City? No.

Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Only at the Jacksonville Zoo

Is parking in your town free? Yes

Last thing you took a chance on? Can’t remember.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?  The theme from the television show “The Golden Girls”.

7. In keeping with this month’s theme of gratitude….what is something you’re taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you’re grateful for?

Freedom.

Random:

Most of you know what a trying year 2015 has been for Ed and me.  It looks like it’s going to be ‘trying’ right up until the end!

I had to undergo a [freezing] treatment for a “pre-cancerous” lesion on the bridge of my nose, last Thursday.  I had two other ‘suspicious’ places biopsied, as well, and am waiting for those results to come back.

Our daughter also had some biopsies done, about a month ago, and discovered she has basal cell carcinoma on her nose.  She’ll be having Mohl surgery performed, along with plastic reconstructive surgery, on December 1.  When it rains it pours.

Because Ed lost his job (and our health care benefits), this year, and we are now retired and on a fixed income, I am forced to shop for health insurance in “the market place” (at Healthcare.gov). I have not been able to find a healthcare plan, for next year, that lists all three of my doctors as providers and pays for all four of the prescription drugs I have to take.  I’m about to lose my mind…

 

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Published in: on November 18, 2015 at 8:21 am  Comments (8)  
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Some Soggy Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I almost hate to post anything today, since I’m still in the midst of a case of ‘cabin fever’. However, in reading everyone’s blogs and Facebook posts, I can see that I’m not alone in this!    Some folks are dealing with ice and snow, others with cold and rain, but everyone seems to be dealing with something!  We’ll get through this winter of 2015, I know we all will!

Ed and I planted the first of our garden, on Monday, in between showers of rain.  It’s rained every day since!  If the potatoes, onions, carrots, and garden peas don’t rot, it will be a miracle because we’ve gotten 3 1/2 inches of rain in just two days… The fact that we plant our garden on raised beds of dirt [because of the way our tractor works] could be a saving factor, but it’s too early to tell.  Meanwhile, we have tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers growing in cups in our laundry room!  What a pain it is to wash clothes, these days 🙂  Thankfully, these seedlings will be soon be spending warmer days on the back porch, until it’s time to transplant them!

Everything is soggy outside, and our chickens appear to be bored.  Apparently, chickens must lay more eggs when they’re bored!  I picked up seven eggs, yesterday.  Seven eggs from ten chickens is pretty good, especially when three of the ten are older hens.  Our egg count is almost up to 100, in less than six weeks time!

Since the weather has been wet and cold, this week, I’ve been watching a lot of television.  I’ve watched several movies, some recorded weekly shows, and even caught the rerun of the 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live.  Watching the original cast members of SNL brought back some very old memories!  I was only 21 when the show debuted–and that seems like almost a lifetime ago. (It was!)  Chevy Chase has gotten old…

It’s been a l-o-n-g week for Ed.  He doesn’t do well when he’s cooped up in the house!  He tried to go outside, in between rain showers, but he wasn’t able to stay outside long.  He’s been restless, and has been in and out a lot this week. (which drives me crazy)  Some retirement days can be challenging.

Speaking of Ed, he’s started a new hobby.  He’s been trying to learn how to play the guitar.  Ed already knows how to play the piano, but it’s been years since he’s played.  Ed says playing the guitar is more difficult than playing the piano because (a) his fingers are short, and (b) the tips of his fingers are soft and tender!  Time will tell if he rises to the challenge.

I’m thankful the end of the month is finally here!  February has been our first month of living on our new budget.  Even though Ed’s still getting paid every two weeks, from his previous job, we went ahead and put ourselves on a ‘paid once a month’ budget, in preparation for the days ahead.  Let me just say, this has taken some getting used to!  I bought one of those coupon organizers and separated our monthly money into categories.  Now that the end of the month is here, we have $9.00 left in the ‘extras category’, and $26.00 left in the gas/oil category.  All other categories are empty!  I couldn’t help but wonder what the cashiers thought when I pulled out my handy coupon organizer to pay 🙂

That’s it for this edition of Friday Fragments.  As usual, I’m linking up with Mrs. Fours, @ Half-Past Kissin’ Time.  If you haven’t already done so, why not hop  on over and join her party!  Enjoy your weekend.

 

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 8:38 am  Comments (7)  
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Friday Fragments…

Today marks the end of week #3 since Ed lost his job  and went into retirement.  It’s been the most difficult week, so far, at least for me.  I chalk this up to the fact that I haven’t been feeling well all week.  Nothing else has really changed.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I had a temporary crown put on a tooth, on Monday.  I’ve had a lot of discomfort, since then, and will be returning to the dentist again, today.  The problem is not the dentist, it’s my teeth and how they fit together, which isn’t normal.  Hopefully, “the third time will be the charm”, and the dentist can get my crown down a little lower today.  My gums are already feeling much better.

This week also marks the second week I’ve been reducing my HRT (hormone replacement therapy).  I’ve been gradually working toward stopping HRT, for over a year, by going down to a lower dosage, last January.  I recently began the process of skipping one capsule every third day, another step in weaning off hormone therapy slowly. No hot flashes, so far, but I can tell a change in my mood.  I’m hoping my mood will change, for the better, once my mouth doesn’t hurt anymore!

It rained again this week, and we discovered Ed wasn’t successful in fixing the leak in our roof.  He got on top of the house again, yesterday, and added more silicone.  I’m hoping “the third time will be the charm” for the roof, as well as my tooth. When Ed built our house, several years ago, he put a tin roof on it.  It’s been nothing but a problem for the past two years!  If money wasn’t an object, I’d have that tin replaced with shingles, in a heartbeat.

Ed and I are still working on getting our business affairs transitioned, in the wake of his involuntary retirement.  He was finally able to get the final date that our insurance coverage will end, so we can move forward with shopping for new insurance coverage.  For the first time in our lives, we’ll have separate health insurance policies, because Ed’s on Medicare.

Ed and I took a trip to town, yesterday, to have our prescriptions filled and to stop by the grocery store.  We ran into a former co-worker of Ed’s, and he told us that three people, at the hospital, had gotten their jobs back, this week. The management company discovered they’d “cut too deep”, so they had to back-track and re-hire some personnel. Hearing this has me wondering about this management company…

The big project for this week, for Ed, turned out to be re-doing our grapevines.  We have several vines, and Ed hasn’t had much time to properly take care of any of them.  He started with the two vines closest to our house, this week.  He took down the old strands of wire the vines were running on, and replaced that with new fence wire.  It will take a year or two for the vines to recover, and get properly trained, but the vines should grow much better and yield more grapes, in the end.

My projects for the week consisted of starting a new book and painting some Valentine’s Day sun catchers.  I wasn’t thrilled with the way the sun catchers turned out, but, at least, the book is good.  I’m reading American Sniper.  I wanted to see the movie, but figured the book would be much better.

That’s about it for this edition of Friday Fragments, and I’ll be linking up with Mrs. Fours @ Half-Past Kissin’ Time. Enjoy your weekend!

 

Published in: on February 6, 2015 at 9:38 am  Comments (11)  
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Six Word Saturday– or Kathy & Ed’s Excellent Retirement Adventures…

Enjoying week two of Ed’s retirement!

It’s kind of hard to believe, but Ed and I have made it through his second week of retirement, already.  Time is passing quickly.  Ed has also discovered that time is irrelevant when you’re retired.  Most days are pretty much the same, and only the growling of our stomachs keep us in touch with what time it is.  No more clock watching for Ed!

Although we attempted to plow through some of our forms and paperwork, this week, we didn’t get very far.  We need a final date of Ed’s benefits from the hospital, and, apparently, these days, nobody there seems to know what’s going on or when that day will be!  When ten percent of a hospital staff is suddenly terminated, it leaves things in a bit of disarray, to put it mildly.  (This thought really makes me hope I don’t get sick!) Did I mention we’re also waiting for Ed’s paycheck to arrive in the mail?  I do hope someone there has mind enough to mail the paychecks of those who were terminated!  In the meantime, we’re living off of our ’emergency fund’.

Ed was able to sign up for his Social Security payments on-line, this week, but, for some reason, they needed a copy of our marriage license.  We decided to take this document to our nearby Social Security office instead of mailing it. The Social Security Administration office is where our latest ‘excellent retirement adventure’ began.

Since neither of us had ever been to this Social Security office, we had no idea where it was located.  The nearest SS office is located in a town 30 miles away from us.  Thanks to ‘Google’, we were able to get directions and drove to the office with little difficulty.  Did I mention that the office happened to be located near one of my favorite stores, known as ‘Hobby Lobby’?  (Yay for making side trips on our ‘excellent adventures!)

Upon walking in the entryway of the SS building, we proceeded to try to open the double glass doors, but were quickly stopped by a female security officer!  She quickly pointed out that we needed to ‘register’ the reason for our visit, on a huge computer screen, located in the left of the entryway.  So Ed registered (with the security officer trying to help, for some reason),  Ed took the slip of paper, containing the number the machine spit out at him, and, only then, were we allowed to come inside and take a seat!  The registration process took almost as long as our wait to be served, so we were in and out of the SS office quickly.  I’m still trying to figure out why they have a security officer at the SS office!  Perhaps the old folks get rowdy, at times?!

After a quick stop by Hobby Lobby, our adventure continued when we visited the new ‘Wal-mart Neighborhood Market’ for the first time.  Apparently,  Wal-mart is starting to build these huge grocery store/pharmacy combinations, for those who want to take advantage of Wal-mart’s low prices, but want to skip the hustle-bustle of a regular Wal-mart.  Believe me, Ed and I are all for skipping the hustle-bustle of Wal-mart, anytime we can!

Ed and I happened to be traveling in his mama’s 1997 Lincoln Towncar because Ed enjoys driving it.  So we pulled up to the Wal-mart Neighborhood Market, in what I commonly refer to as our ‘old folks’ car.  As we were getting out of the car, I noticed two young men gathering up shopping carts in the parking lot.  One of them was about to ride a parked shopping scooter back into the store, when he quickly turned to us and asked, “Do y’all need this?” ( Oh, my!)  I quickly replied, “No, not yet!”  I remember thinking, it must have been the ‘old folks car’…or, perhaps, Ed’s snow-white hair that made him ask such a thing!  Surely, it isn’t me!  Although, come to think of it, I’ve been off of my arthritis meds for over a week, and I am moving kind of slow and stiff…and I’m letting my hair color grow out, which now means random spots of gray for me, as well!  

And while I’m on this subject of being treated like ‘old folks’, let me mention  how we’re now being called ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ at certain places–like the restaurant where we go for ‘senior citizen’s’ buffet on Monday nights!  This is a totally new experience for me, and I can’t decide if I like it or not!

Anyway, Ed and I managed to pick up the items we needed, without the use of a shopping scooter, I might add!  We also managed to make it home with a few dollars left in our pockets, something that will continue to be a challenge, no doubt!

For the rest of the weekend, we’re planning to stay home, relax, and attend our daughter’s Super Bowl festivities. Who knows what adventures we’ll find to do on Monday?!  We might even make another trip to the ‘senior citizen’s buffet’…  I might even decide I like being called ‘sweetie’!

*** It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this meme, but today I’ve joined Kate and many others @ Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.  To find out more about this fun meme, click Kate’s button at the top of this post.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 31, 2015 at 11:01 am  Comments (10)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Reflecting On The Past Week…

Tomorrow will make one week since Ed lost his job–and what a week it’s been!  As you can imagine, we’ve experienced all kinds of emotions this week–shock, anger, disbelief, fear, sadness, and relief, all rolled into one week!  I’m happy to say, as the week has worn on, relief has become the most prevalent emotion in our household.

Seven years ago, Ed was happily working at another hospital.   One day, EMH contacted him and asked if he might be interested in coming to work for their hospital.  Although Ed was happy with his current job, the hospital where he was working was 55 miles from home, which meant a two-hour commute every day.  EMH was located just 7 miles from us, and offered a higher salary.  It wasn’t an easy decision for Ed to make, but, ultimately, he chose to take the job at EMH.  It didn’t take long to figure out that he might have made a mistake.  While the commute was much shorter, and the pay much better, the working conditions were much more stressful, and, over time, they just got worse.  It was the worst working environment Ed has ever experienced, in his forty-three years of employment!  Some of the problems included poor hospital management, lots of back-biting and back stabbing among the staff, not to mention poor morale among ALL employees.

Due to the government’s involvement in healthcare, times are tough for small rural hospitals, with most of them really struggling, these days.  Not long after Ed took the job at EMH, it became apparent that this hospital was struggling, as well.  Years ago, Ed had worked [for twenty years] at a hospital that ended up having to close its doors, so he knew all of the warning signs.  The same scenario was beginning to play out at EMH.

At the beginning of last year, it became apparent the hospital wasn’t going to survive, unless some drastic changes were made.  By the end of the year, a management firm had been hired to take over running the hospital, on a trial basis, for one year.  We had a pretty good idea of how the next scenario would go. Employees were warned that ” some cuts would be made” when this company took control.

Since Ed was a department director, making a higher salary, he stood a greater chance of being targeted.  Some employees sought other employment, but Ed chose to ride out the storm.  He turned 65, in November, and knew retirement would be in the not-too-distant future, anyway.  We hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst.  The worst happened last Friday, when Ed was “let go.”

In hindsight, we’re now beginning to view what we considered “the worst” as a blessing. Living and working in stressful conditions can eventually take a toll on one’s health, and Ed was no exception.  In the wake of this particularly stressful past year, minor health issues had begun to plague Ed.  I feared for his over-all health, and joked with him, at one point, that he was going to stay at that hospital until they carried him out on a stretcher.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen!

As each day passes, Ed looks better and better.  He says he even feels better.  He looks like a man who has had the weight of the world lifted off of his shoulders, and, perhaps, he has.  Perhaps a better analogy would be this:  After years of riding on a sinking ship, Ed finally got tossed a life-preserver.  May he happily find his way to the shore of retirement bliss, and live happily ever after!

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (7)  
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Celebrating 100 Editions of Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Congratulations to Joyce for providing us with 100 great editions of Wednesday Hodgepodge–even through the hectic preparations and impending arrival of a giant storm!  Wow, Joyce, my hat is off to you–and I hope and pray that you and yours are doing well in the aftermath of “Sandy”.

If you haven’t joined us for The Hodgepodge, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.  Speaking of fun, here is our 100th set of questions:

1. What creeps you out?

Here are just a few things – rats or mice, snakes, roaches, maggots, the sight and smell of vomit,  diapers filled with runny “poo”, compound fractures, and severed body parts.  That’s quite a varied list, huh?

2. What’s your least favorite candy?

Twizzlers.  I’ve tried to like them, but I just can’t.

3. Are you a fan of scary movies? What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

I used to like scary movies, but most of them became so weird and gory, I stopped watching years ago.  I don’t actually remember what the scariest movie I’ve ever seen was, but Stephen King movies always made my hair stand on end!

4. What part of life confuses you the most?

The difficult times we are now living in–and wondering what the future holds.

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy…what’s your favorite seed?

I’m not a big “seed” person, but I like sesame seeds on top of my buns or bread.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today…what’s changed?

Things will have changed a lot–and most of it will probably not for the better.  Ed will be retired, and I’ll finally be drawing a small retirement check from my former job, but our standard of living will certainly have to change from what it is today.

Hopefully, we’ll both be on Social Security and Medicare–assuming either of these programs are still in existence.

We’ll both have aged ten more years, which is never a good thing, health-wise, but hopefully we’ll both be living.

7. What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge?

(A) I love all of the wonderful people that I have met through participating in the Hodgepodge.  I also love how some of the questions make me examine my inner-self, and give me a place to record my thoughts.

(B) I sometimes get frustrated while trying to figure out my thoughts and how to put those thoughts into words.

Random:

Ed and I participated in early voting yesterday.  It felt good to cast our ballots and let our voices be heard.  There was no line, and the process went quickly.  We’re continuing to pray for our nation’s future.

I’m also continuing to pray for all of those affected by the recent storm.  There’s so much damage and devastation!  My heart goes out to all, especially those who lost everything.

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 9:38 am  Comments (7)  
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