**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 ofย  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 aย 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…


Asshats are never in style…

That’s the latest search string that brought someone to the Blog….

Since it sounded like it would make a good title, I figured I would expand on that notion..

Asshats, A Quick Study

1. A person, of either gender, whose behavior displays such ignorance/obnoxiousness that you would like to make them wear their own ass as a hat.


So. You can see how this would never be a good look for anyone. Ever.

2. A close cousin of the Ass-clown, typically identified by a jovial expression and an outward misunderstanding of how he/she is perceived, combined with a generally misguided conception of what is sociably acceptable amongst his/her fellow peers.
Said persons’ frequent attempts at humor usually lead to he/she making an ass out of his/herself. Not to be confused with ass-hole.


My dogs being asshats.

Peanut’s sperm donor being an asshat.

Rich dude being an asshat.

Me being an asshat.

See? I’ve written extensively on the subject, reckon that makes me somewhat of an expert right?

Point being, don’t be one….walking around with your head up your butt won’t ever be cool, or trendy or stylish. Plus it smells bad in there…

Jus’ sayin’….


When bygones ain’t bygone…

What do you do when peeps just won’t let go of a grudge despite your best efforts to mend the fence?

I humbled myself and apologized for my transgression.ย  In lieu of a “Ah Girl, it’s all good and I’m sorryย  I hurt your feelings too, lets kiss and make up” (or even “I accept your apology, have a nice life”) I was patronized. I let it go after that and haven’t tried again. It’s been almost a year….

The Family is planning another reunion/get together for this fall and I’m respectfully declining to attend. I know I’d feel super uncomfortable and can’t help but think the other person would as well even though she’s way more proficient at graciously holding a fake smile than I am.ย  I know when I’m out matched….

It saddens me, I can’t lie. Once upon a time we were so close that she asked me to be her son’s guardian should anything ever happened to her. There are other family members that I would love to spend time catching up with and some I’d love the chance to get to know better. I’ll miss giving and receiving hugs from them all, but ya know how you can sense when there’s tension between people? I don’t want them to have to feel that awkwardness and risk ruining their trip…

Anybody have a suggestion? I’m open…like seriously open and asking for help here.

part of your life

Do I give up and make this my new motto?

What say you?



I’ve been mulling something over the last couple of months….

I’m seriously contemplating closing down Gram-cracker.com when my domain comes up for renewal in July.

There’s a couple of reasons for this; 1. I just don’t feel the passion for it that I used to, mostly because coming up with topics that interest me enough to write about them are becoming more and more rare; 2. I find myself feeling pressured to post something new every couple of days and I sometimes resent that; and 3. I feel like I’m becoming repetitive and y’all deserve better than that!

I haven’t made up my mind for sure. It just seems likes I’m in slump more and more often with nothing to say except for the occasional craftiness and Peanut. And while those are happy posts, I often wonder if they entertain anyone but me. Writing an online diary to myself wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I started this….

I promise, if I do throw in the towel I’ll post a final farewell and not just leave ya wondering where I went…