*Sigh*

**Disclaimer! If you’re looking for sunshine and puppies, go away. It ain’t happening here today**

Y’all….I’m in a funk.

My health insurance has put me there. OK, to be fair, it wasn’t alone but it was kinda the last straw…

When I chose early retirement last June to give my herniated disk(s) a chance to heal, I gave up 100% employer paid health insurance along with my paycheck. Before leaving my job I did an exhaustive search for private health coverage, finding out there are only 3 carriers in my region; BCBS, DakotaCare, and United Health. I’d had BCBS for over 5 years through employers, and had purchased an individual policy for Hubs with them. They turned me down flat. United Health was ridiculously expensive, giving COBRA coverage stiff competition in the “Make ’em choose between groceries and insurance” category. DakotaCare gladly insured me, but put a rider on the policy excluding coverage for anything spinal related. Not just my pre existing disk issues…so if I fall off the roof and break my back they’re not paying a dime, even though it was completely unrelated to my current issue. Which is a crock of crap. BUT, I took it as it was my only option. I’ve paid $232 a month for it since July of  last year…

I got a reminder call from my Dr. last week about my upcoming yearly physical. I pulled out my insurance policy to see what the coverage for a “well woman” exam is….nada, that’s what. I’ll pay 50% co-insurance for the exam itself, 100% of any diagnostic tests required, including the mammogram, until my $5000 deductible is met. I haven’t used this insurance during the entire time I’ve had it. Not one claim. I would have liked to have continued treatment for my back, but since it’s not covered that ain’t an option…

Coincidentally, the renewal notice for my insurance arrived at about the same time as my appointment reminder and OH JOY, my premium is going up $24 a month, bringing the total cost of insurance that I’ve yet to use, that doesn’t cover the one thing I need coverage for, and that won’t even pay for a once a year wellness exam, to $256 a month…$3072 dollars a year.

Someone explain to me again the “horrors” of a Universal Healthcare system cuz it’s looking pretty good from where I’m standing…

Every month after the mortgage and utilities are paid, I look at the balance in our account and think “I can put a hefty chunk towards the credit card balance, or make a nice deposit into our IRA account” (both things I haven’t been able to do since leaving my job)….and then the automatic debit for the insurance goes through and that surplus of funds is gone, leaving me…well……pissed…and depressed. Enough to make me seriously consider going back to work regardless of the pain of sitting/standing…

I’m dropping my coverage. It’s a gamble I know, it’s a huge risk. But I’m doing it anyway because the stress of worrying about money is gonna kill me anyway so it’s pretty much a Catch-22 …I reckon if something catastrophic happens to me I’ll become one of those drains on the taxpayers everyone’s always bitching about…

I recently checked into filing for SS disability, found out I need to have been unable to work for 12 months prior to filing (almost there) and that I have to have been seen by my Dr. relating to my medical condition in the 6 months prior to filing…well that’s a problem now isn’t it? Thank you worthless health insurance…

I’m gonna dig my way out of this funk, I promise…but it may take me a while as right now I’m inclined to just wallow in it.

Send happy juju…

And cupcakes, with buttercream.

Also, some mint and limes so I can make me a mojito would be nice…

Golden Retriever puppy

In the meantime, this is me, icing my aching brain. Only I’m a lot less adorable…

😦

A matter of opinion and a gorgeous girl…

Yesterday I took Senior pictures of my Kia, cuz her Mommy (Bambi-Lou) asked me to. And cuz I heart them both…

It’s hard to get a bad picture of a girl who’s gorgeous and fun and up for anything, but the WIND yesterday was NOT our friend and ruined some pretty shots for us. Stooopid wind…

Out of 149 shots, I edited down to about 25. Because I tend to hold the shutter down and just go “click click click” ending up with 15 shots that look exactly the same I had a lot of duplicates that got deleted, also a few that in my head the pose/location was great but in reality looked awkward (hate that)…and then the ones kiboshed by the wind which were still fun but not suitable for framing!

In spite of it all, I did get some good ones:

This one is my fav, I love the light!

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This one is Kia’s fav, she loved the red doors! I want to go back and redo this one, I could have framed it better….

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This is her Mommy’s fav, she likes the big smiles!

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Britt loved this one, I think because she loves that crazy tree at the park!

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This one’s just gorgeous to me…

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This one’s just FUN!

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You know it’s windy when it messes up SHORT hair!

We’re going for round 2 in a few days when Kia’s work schedule and THE WIND coincide, new locations, new giggles and a new day spent with a delightful girl. Yay for me!

🙂

A letter to my Granddaughter…

Dear Peanut/Peanut Butter Baby/Nutter Butter/Nutters/Knot Head,

I heart you…

No really, I do. A whole big bunch. Like to the moon and back. Like to infinity X infinity….

I want to thank you for being so good on our road trip. Cuz you were very, VERY, wonderfully, outstandingly, tremendously GOOD. Like, so good I couldn’t believe it. Everyone said so, it’s not just Gram being all biased and stuff…

Take for instance, the Graduation ceremony…in the High School gym, the one with no air conditioning. The one with no AC on a evening it was 90 degrees with 99% humidity outside. The one who was jam packed with sweaty folks who’s deodorant was failing in the sweltering heat…You just took turns sitting on my lap or Poppa’s, calmly taking in all the Pomp and Circumstance and smell of B.O…Not a whimper or a whine came from you (as opposed to myself) even though you’d woken up that morning with a fever and were all congested and had a nasty cough. We all knew you didn’t feel good, but you came through like a CHAMP….for that alone you deserve a pony…

When you fell asleep halfway between the School and the following party for your graduating cousin, Poppa and I knew that waking you up to be passed around amongst all the family who would be attending the party was not an option and so we skipped it, carried you carefully into the hotel room and let you sleep, cuz you deserved it….

You made it up to the family the next day by giggling that deep, husky giggle of yours when you played and giving everyone lots of smiles and a few hugs…In short, you charmed the pants off them and now they all know why we’re so crazy about you…They get it.

Little Charmer…

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🙂

On the road again….

4 A.M. Thursday morning saw Hubs, Peanut & I packed up and hitting the road to my childhood home of NW Arkansas….my gorgeous Great Niece is graduating from high school as the valedictorian. We’re so incredibly proud of her!

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This is how Peanut looked 5 minutes into the trip…

Somewhere around 75 miles into the 950 we had to go, a freaking pheasant flew across the highway & smacked into our windshield causing me to need a clean set of underwear….Peanut slept through it…

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She’s now a huge fan of McDonald’s playland…

Can I just say it’s a loooong boring drive across the Plains? Seriously….

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Our Baby has a gypsy spirit apparently. Natural born traveller…

I haven’t traveled with a toddler in about 26 years, but I recall a lot more whining & fussing than we got from Peanut….what a trouper!

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One of our stops, I love how her hair shines like a new penny in the sun…

We played with the 345,765,298 new toys I bought for the trip…she’s now addicted to sticker books…

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Stickers….not JUST for paper anymore

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Ok. I may or may not have instigated the stickers on the face biz….

I’m pretty sure I complained about wanting out of the truck more than she did….

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She commandeered my Kindle tablet…

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Napped a little…

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Played a lot…

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And yes, had a couple of meltdowns after about 12 hours in her car seat…

In all, the 15 hour trip was better than anticipated….

Today our mission is to chill & catch up with the Fam, I can’t wait!

We’ll head home at O-dark thirty Sunday morning…wish us luck!

🙂