Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Hero, Mr. Manly Man...part 2

Yesterday you will remember the dental ordeal I was going through and how Jace is super efficient at fixing that stuff. I kid you not, here's how it went down:

Jace calls the place and the person we need to talk to just happened to be walking by the phone and answered it...I couldn't even get past the girl at the front desk yesterday. He says "I'm Jace Felton" and they tell him, "oh yes, let me find out if they reversed that charge. No, but I'll do it right now. There, it's all fixed." He spends about a minute explaining the insurance we now have, because we have our cards, and this is how we will be billed. Lady says "no problem, of course sir." End of conversation. Took maybe 5 minutes. It would have taken me months of arguing and maybe a lawyer to get that fixed. But luckily I have Jace.

Jace, who tells me, "I better get a mention in that blog of yours." I say, "you want free promotional space?!" Apparently it's called bragging rights. So there you go folks. Jace Felton is my super hero manly man for saving me once again from a possible police involvement altercation. Thank You Thank You Thank You!

To celebrate my escape from going to the slammer we decided to spend the day outdoors in the garden. The first pic is Mr. Manly Man working on a birdhouse while listening to Metallica on the Disney Princess CD/microphone/MP3 player thing. The irony was just interesting. The second is me doing yard work. Why yes, I always wear earrings to do manual labor. The third is our dog Onslo getting busted eating my spinach down to a nub. Do dogs like spinach? It was bizarre.
This is a humming bird feeder that Jace made from an old olive oil bottle. I don't know if it will work. Looks like it should.

This is a the functional sense. This house looks more like a winter lodge. Kind of quirky and peculiar but fits right in.

They stenciled some butterflies, bees, frogs, and dragon flies. Jace put it up in a tree and hopefully it will not fall and kill me. This house weighs around 30-40 pounds. I call it the Iron Maiden bird house because of all the nails, etc. But I can't wait to see what kind of bird will live in it.

And finally, here's Rowan, my rock and roll daughter. She's wearing her winter hat with a pompom on top and playing her electric guitar. teaching her all the 80's big hair rock bands way to stand and stick out her tongue. Charming...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dental PTSD

I will open by saying that for many...many...many...m a n y...years I have suffered from what I call dental PTSD. This has resulted in many a chuckle and "oh you silly girl" attitudes and comments. Most people have no problems going to a dentist and it's just a fact of life. Just not my life.

From the age of...the first I can remember, I have never had a good dental visit. Actually, I think I may have had one good my entire life. And since I am around 40 years old that's a lot of years of not good news. If you are a lucky soul who has bribed the tooth fairy to see things your way, then you don't understand. You picked up your toy at the end of your visit and went on with your life. My visits consisted of stern looks with follow up appointments to fix that cavity I had purposely given myself. Those said appointments involved 12 foot long needles that looked more like jousting poles rather than needles...ramming into my mouth. I've been sent to an oral surgeon because one dentist couldn't get the right place numb. I've also had an oral surgeon ignore that I had an abscess and pull a tooth basically with no pain killer. I'm surprised I could drive home I was in such shock.

Fast forward to age 32. I'm in Colorado working a contract job. Nice job. Have probably worked my way through 10 dentists because of moves and job changes. I have now replaced getting fillings with crowns. Why waste time? My new dentist says "we have long term work to do." Insert anxiety here. But I have to say this dentist was the best dentist I ever went to. He fixed the problem! My successive dentists have had a hard time even detecting what is real and what is his work. I say successive because we moved back to Texas. So no more going to Mr. Wonderful.

Now at present day. I'm seeing what I think is a great dentist. He has big windows, flat screen t.v.'s and massage chairs. And yet the "problem" persists. Some would say the problem is concentrating my stress in my mouth, like some say a person concentrates their stress in their back muscles or through getting headaches. I recently had a consultation from a periodontist that said I had an overreactive immune system that was causing problems with my gums. That sounds great but it's a little like hearing, "it's not your fault that you gained 500 pounds." It's nice to hear but you know it's not quite the truth. His fee for fixing the problem is $5000. So off I go to...

"Maybe the worst mistake of my life" periodontist. This is really what this post is all about. I just like giving some history. So I see this periodontist and I don't like things from the start. Waiting room is not as nice and HIPPA is pretty much out the window as you can hear everyone talking about other patient cases. 1st red flag. This office is really busy. 2nd red flag.
Get my exam and the dentist concurs with the first dentist, (good sign) but asks me to look at a binder full of press releases about him while I wait to talk to the finance lady. 3rd red flag. I talk to the finance lady (a.k.a. used car saleswoman). The bill is less than half of Mr. $5000. I explain my insurance situation (we're in open enrollment and my husband's job just switched insurances) and we don't know exactly what is covered. We go ahead and apply for and receive Care Credit. I've worked long and hard paying our bills off so this not a surprise.

Now your inner common sense is telling you that you don't have to worry about a bill because everything will be run through insurance first before it's run through Care Credit, like it's supposed to be done. But no no no...silly go get the mail and there's a bill from Care Credit for $1188. Before the work has even been done. That's right, the procedure is not even scheduled until January 12th. Thank You Dr. Kent Hamilton, DDS in New Braunfels, Tx

So tomorrow I have to take Jace to the dentist's office with me to try to straighten this mess out. It looks like I will have to completely cancel the procedure and see someone else, yet again, to avoid getting billed overly early before insurance pays. It's a big issue because with insurance we're looking at paying between $0-$500. I have to take Jace because he has a certain...diplomacy...which I cannot possess, no matter how hard I try, and gets people to do the right thing. I simply lose my cool... Jace is up for hire if you have any delicate issues you need solved. (he'll be so happy to read that)

I will update you accordingly...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shopping Nirvana..or how I got Jace to the outlet mall

Yesterday I was this person. No more needs to be said.

Today I said something that I say every once in awhile. I know the reaction I will get. "I'm going to the outlet mall and I'm spending all our money. Does anyone want to go?" I now have 2 very eager people ready to go shopping. We went by Lowe's to look at French (we pronounce it fronsh with a french accent) doors. And then we saw this baker's rack or kitchen rack thing. It's huge. Like 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

I was commenting to Jace, "hey look, each shelf can hold up to 300 pounds. We could all sleep on this thing." "Yeah, like a hotel in Japan." It was just a joke but we turned back to our task and saw that someone took our comments seriously. I'm taking a shelf above her. Don't want anything...dripping onto me.

Here's the real result. We were able to get everything out of the kitchen island. Jace is now on board with replacing the old island with something more functional and still an island. I would like to get a stainless steel type island with wheels so I can move it to where I'm working or move it completely out of the way.
You'll also notice there is an empty spot on the lower right shelf. This is for the KitchenAid mixer that I'll be day. (right Jace :D) For now I forbid anything to go in that spot.

Some other things we found at the outlet mall: 1 pair of Old Navy jeans in size 6!!!, 1 button down cotton shirt, buy one get one free kitchen tools, 1 whiskie (egg whisker).

It was a good day...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A casual day

I have today off and we are spending it here at home doing a bunch of nothing. Rowan pretty much thinks this is the end of life as her parents are so old and boring. I think a nursing home is probably more exciting today than here.

I have spent today laying on the couch. Drinking coffee, eating cinnamon rolls, painting my fingernails and toenails, and watching foreign films.

Why are we so boring today? Because I have yet another illness. This time it's just a cold. Just a cold. Thinking back I believe someone in this house has been sick every single week since October. We've scrubbed and cleaned and scoured and bleached. All to no avail.

I'm blaming Rowan's petri dish of a school she attends. Here's the routine: Go to school on Tuesday. Start coughing on Thursday. Full sickness Friday morning or evening. Sick all weekend. Miss school Monday. Well by Monday evening. Repeat.

You would think there would be a limit to the number of diseases she could bring home. This does not bode well for her career in public school. I have serious doubts that she will make it through the school year. I'm just waiting for the letter from school,"Dear Mr. & Mrs. Negligent Parent. Since your kid, (insert name here), is in such a sickly state and misses sooo much school, we are not getting all our big fat tax dollars. Frankly we are tired of trying to keep up with all that accounting so we are kicking him/her out. Might we suggest the alternative education program down the road, you know the one for other dropouts, gangstas, and other no-goods. Sincerely, Pre-K3 class, We Care About Our Kids."

Maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion but I really think I'm going to have a preschool dropout. Maybe that's why homeschooling is looking more attractive. I have to say that I tried some Kindergarten math with Rowan and she did it no problem. But that's another post.

For now I'm going to get under my covers with a good book and sink into the fog of my cold medicine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

coupon shopping

Today I went to the grocery store to do some innocent grocery shopping. Came home with 8 packages of chicken, 8 bags of pasta, 8 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, 10 boxes of hot chocolate, and 18 Glade candles. Some other odds and ends but ended up saving $52 in coupons. Yippee!!

No, it's not an addiction...

Monday, December 21, 2009

I was a teacher today!...for a little while

Today I thought I would do nothing. I was starting the prep work for a soup I was planning on making when I noticed Rowan had been playing "school" with her friends. It was all imagination but it was fun listening to her talk to her friends. Then the lightbulb went off in my head. She's got 2 weeks off from school but is playing school right now. We should be doing school work. And of course she was delighted to jump in the car to drive to the school store. This is where they sell teacher/homeschool supplies. On the way there she did this...
Fell asleep. This is because we were behind the slowest driver on earth. No, not my dad, but close. Once at the store I was overwhelmed with the warehouse sized store. What to get? We've been tossing this homeschool idea around since she was born. Mostly it's our fears of not being good enough. But now that she's in preschool it's definitely reinforcing the idea that we should homeschool. Let's just say that I'm not liking the idea of someone not agreeing with how my kid should be raised and does what they want anyway because they think they know better.
Eventually we settled on getting a puzzle of the world, a poster on sign language, a poster of Books of the Bible, 1 workbook on letters and 1 on numbers, a bingo game of letters and numbers, a box set of Kindergarten math and some stickers. When we got home we put together her puzzle, played bingo, worked on tracing numbers, tried matching our hands to the sign language letters, and cooked. It wasn't until later this evening that I thought about what school subjects all that covered. I didn't think we had really done much but now thinking back I realised we covered: World Geography, Language Arts, Math, Foreign Language, Science/home economics. Not bad for an impromptu school session.
This is what we cooked. It's a tomato soup with carrots, celery, and pasta shells. Also some spices. Turned out really yummy. Rowan also had to make corn bread. She's very good at cracking an egg without getting it all over the counter.
We'll see how tomorrow's lesson goes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Short garden post

Today I have allergies. This means that I sit around and whine and moan and feel generally awful and diseased. I can't help it. It is what it is. Jace and I will get an RV one day and find a place...more inhabitable than this...disease infesting allergy producing hole we live in now. Can you tell allergies make me cranky? Anyway...we spent a little time outside and I thought I would show you a couple of pictures. We like little decorations in our garden, like this frog, a lot. We also have a little turtle statue and a small girl with a basket of flowers. I looked up in the trees and counted 9 things hanging out of trees. Things like wind chimes, swirly metal and crystal dangly things, and sparkly strings of flowers. It makes the garden area kind of magical and peaceful for us. We love walking around and finding a little knick knack surprise hidden behind the leaves. Charming.
So while we are stuck here I am constantly bugging Jace to help me with projects that we enjoy and will also always improve on the value of the house. Today's project is all his fault. He bought me a 1/2 cubic yard of tumbled glass. Rowan calls it "jewels." Jace says, "Why, you can hardly even see where it says Rolling Rock or Budweiser on it." Grrr. I think it's beautiful. When you first get it, it is covered with sand and not so shiny. Once it's rinsed and the sun is shining it sparkles. This pic is the little pathway I'm experimenting with. I laid out old cardboard boxes, placed larger river rocks and dumped the "jewels" around.

This is what the path looks like so far. Still covered with a sandy coating. We're only doing a small spot because I don't really know how it will settle once the sand has dissipated and run off.
Afterwards I sprayed lightly with the hose and this is the result. Gorgeous. If there's any significant changes I'll be back with more pictures and what I did. Some other things I like about this stuff is it won't cut you, it's cheap, and it's recycled. That makes me green! (besides the allergies)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paco, torture, and medicine

Last night Rowan brought me a new bed mate. (?) I'm not sure that is the right word. Apparently she thinks I need company while writing in my journal. She says it's name is Paco...It's a poor creature that belongs to a family of several unfortunate and disfigured dolls.

This particular doll has had her "makeup" redone. At least that is what I'm guessing has happened to her. Luckily her lack of hair is in her favor, unlike the other members of her family who all have one of a kind "designer" haircuts. Awhile back Rowan even gave herself one of these designer haircuts, much to her mother's chagrin. It was a really bad mullet until it was fixed by someone with a LICENSE to cut hair. Anyway, I'm sleeping around with Paco now.

Today I took Rowan to see an ENT for her allergies. I view going to the doctor or dentist as more of a journey of torture where they use instruments like these before giving you a prescription for leeches.
Rowan views going to the doctor like this... I'm telling you she loves it. She will push you down the stairs and run to the car if she finds out she's going to the doctor. And she's really brave once she's there. You can stick stethoscopes, probes in ears and nose and she will happily follow all instructions. A future doctor or hypochondriac? But today we did something new...
She had to get her blood drawn. I was smart (because I'm a mom) and didn't tell her we were going to the lab to get this done. I just told her (lied) that we were getting a cough and sneeze test done. She was...sort of. They drew blood to do an allergy test. She didn't have a clue what was going on until the needle was already in her arm! I was so proud of her (myself) that I didn't have to hold her down while she screamed she was being killed. As a badge of honor she got this swanky lime green bandage wrap. And then we went to...
The McPlayground. Where I always go to "regroup" (caffeine). She ran around for awhile but then her coughing started up again. She figured out she could still sort of walk and play but it's not nearly as much fun as running around full speed.
Before I took her to school we made one last stop to get her medicine. I took a pic because it was such a massive amount of medicine. I guess I should have put something to scale the picture. It's a full size brown paper grocery bag. There's 9, nine, 09 boxes of medicine in there. Holy cow! I even told the clerk, "Are you kidding me? No really.."
So now we are at home and she has taken her medicine (because she likes to take medicine too). I'm working tomorrow so there will probably not be a post. If you need to find me, I'll be, you know, hanging out with Paco.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pointing out a few little changes

Taking a break from Tastebook to read some other blogs and make a couple of tiny changes on my own. This is a great way to improve your own blog. Read someone else's and duplicate (steal) their ideas.

I read Damned Near Perfect Couple yesterday and decided to add a visitor counter. It's a little bit off since I have around 43 posts yet only 3 visitors and 7 followers. Doesn't add up but I didn't want to fudge the beginning visitor number to something that wasn't quite true either (like 10,000,000).

From Shiny Red Houses I started my blog in the color green and today I added my twitter name and email address.

Craftiness taught me about the Amazon store. Caffeine Is Life gave me ideas about picture placement. Carrot Speak lured me to try different templates which all ended in disaster and crying, but I did try.

I'm guessing this is how a blog grows. Slowly and not perfect right out of the gate.

Speaking of progress, I'm paying more of my bills online. Is this because I'm moving along with the pace of technology or trying to be green? No. It's stamps. Those little bits of sticky paper are starting to cost a lot. If I wrote checks for 10 bills, then I'm paying $4.40 just to send them. If you are working on a debt snowball, like us, then this is very important money. We are now paying on bill #10 of 18 bills. Super fantastic! And we have paid off over $4000. All I can say is thank you Dave Ramsey and thank you Lanora for letting me borrow the books!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brazos Bill Davis

I wanted to put in one of the stories from my ancestor's book. His name is Brazos Bill Davis. I'm writing it just as he did.

Well as there was not any church to go to of a Sunday i have saw Pa and Ma walk off hog hunting or walk down on the shoals and look at the different kind of rocks and watch the water run over them all day long. i well remember on one occasion a Negro boy by the name of tom was going to learn me how to swim the comeing Sunday. he said Bill you hide them two one gallon jugs out that your pa has got and i will learn you how to swim next Sunday over yonder in that old slew. Well i taken them jugs and hid them down on the river bank in some high blood weeds untill the comeing Sunday morning. So i got up earley and eat breakfast whitch was corn bread and old blue milk from an old texas long horn cow and then wint to the negro quarter to see tom. So tom told me to go and get the jugs and go around the other side of the boardark hedge so no body wont see you and come to the wash hole by that big old cotton wood tree on the slew. Well i made the round just like tom told me and got to the wash hole before tom did and had my old cotton sack shirt off and was ready. I could just see my self through amagination swimming all over that place. Well tom did finially come and ask me where was the strings. I ask him what strings and he said i will have to have something to ty them jugs on to you with. Well it was not mutch over a mile back to the house so i put that old cotton sack shirt on and made the round just for strings. When i give tom the strings he said stick your toes out here. I ask him what was he going to do. And he was just dying off laughing and said I am going to ty these jugs on to your toes to ceep your feet on top of the water and any fool can ceep his head up pulling with his hands. So i stuck my toes out and tom tied a jug to each big toe and said now come right a round here and jump off of this bank where the water is deep and just as soon as you strike the water you must commence to pull with your hands so you can ceep your head above the water. So i wint on around there walking spraddle leged with a jug to each big toe and tom was lying down just dying laughing. I did not know what he was laughing at but i soon found out. I wint to the edge of the bank whitch was about 5 ft above the water and said one for the money and two for the show and three makes ready and four for the go. And i lit in and the water was about four ft deep and them jugs held my feet on top just like tom said they would and my head was down and i was makeing the mud fly. I couldent get my head up for them jugs. I was drowning then tom held my head above the water just a second and then he fell down to laugh some more and i had to scratch mud a gain. Well when that negro did get me out he sure did laugh and ask me why i did not pull with my hands. I was lying there on the bank more dead than alive and the water was flowing from my mouth like the niagra falls and my eyes were as red as a railroad danger light and tom said i never would learn to swim unless i wint by his instructions but said i might make a good soldier for the war as you all ways wanting to fight something. I was mad at tom as he like to cause me to domino.

Hope you liked this story.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Goodness Me...the time does fly

I hadn't realised how much time had gone by since my last post. One of you really should have told me, "you're slacking." I guess in a way Jace did. He's been noticeably mentioning my blog and questioning me if there was anything new. (I think he's a fan...maybe even stalker)

We did have a conversation about technology in general. I was telling him how technology was supposed to make life easier and more fun. Instead I find it to be more draining and a hassle lately. There's so many sites to belong to just to keep up with everyone else. There's email, or emails, Twitter, Blogspot, Couponmom, Ebay, Etsy, Facebook, MySpace, and myriads of others. It really is a second job just to keep up with all these relaxing and entertaining venues.

And then there's the journal. While I can write most things on this blog there are still some thoughts that are just my own. These things are meant to be read, someday. After I'm gone. I have my mother's diary. I have a published work of another relative's stories. I love reading these and having insight into their lives. One day a descendant of mine will read my stories and say, "she was one crazy lady."

So if you don't see a post for awhile it's because I don't want this blog to become a second job. I want it to be entertaining and fun. I will do another post this week because I do have a few things to write about.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Global Warming

Just wanted to mention the weather forecast. I've heard we are getting between 1 and 4 inches of snow... In central Texas. Home of eternal summer, it's only 100 degrees? Brrr. This does not go well with being told my carbon footprint is dooming the earth.

I will keep you posted. If it does snow you're darn right I'll have pics!