About the writer

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.

be thankful

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It is that thankful time of year. Only I keep seeing people that are NOT particularly thankful and are just plain cranky.

I went to the Giant to pick up a couple things, and stopped by the customer service desk to see if I had enough points for my turkey. While I was there, a woman came up to the desk holding a newspaper. A Philadelphia Inquirer. She asked if she could just leave the money on the counter or if it had to be scanned. The older lady behind the customer service desk running the lottery machine said “We have to scan it.”

This woman with the paper basically went off about having to wait essentially another 60 seconds so her newspaper could be scanned. I and another person were somewhat incredulous watching this.

Yelling at people about scanning an item that they have no control over is just such a waste of energy. And it’s not their fault that they have to scan the newspapers.

The holidays are hard for a lot of people. But we should try to be nice, shouldn’t we?

I went from that odd scenario to learning that my friends Samantha and Gregory just had their second baby. He is a beautifully perfect little boy and I’m so happy for them! What an awesome Thanksgiving present!

I am really thankful that I am in the safe happy and loved place that I am today. A few short years ago my life could’ve turned out quite differently.

I remember Thanksgiving meals past where I was with a group of people who weren’t tremendously happy people. You actually feel quite sad for people like that during the holidays . It used to be fascinating to watch this bunch of people on the day of the year when we’re all supposed to be thankful and grateful and about family, and perhaps their greatest familial tradition was ripping into people who were not present to defend themselves and sometimes even ripping into people who were present.

None of us lead a perfect existence. I do not pretend that I do. But I am very grateful for what I have. And I am very grateful for the love that surrounds me. I guess it’s about deciding whether you’re going to look at life as a glass half-full , or a glass half-empty.

So I hope people hang onto the feeling of thankful as the holiday crazies literally begin to swirl all around us. And I really wish that people would be kinder to those who work in the stores. Whether it’s a small retail shop, or a grocery store, it doesn’t matter.

We all have bad days, but at this time of year especially we should be more mindful of how we treat others.

Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

that racket called health insurance

DSC_5328Usually a post like this would end up on my breast cancer blog. But health insurance in the USA is a somewhat universal affliction.

I am one of those people who am not thrilled with Obamacare. I have always had health insurance and I still do not see the long term efficacy of the Affordable Care Act….unless of course everyone in Washington DC stops playing politics and things like reforming the actual insurance companies occurs. (A gal can dream, right?)

Thus far it has been more aggravation, increased costs, and abject confusion. And I am one of those people who has always had health insurance. So why do I feel punished by the Affordable Care Act more than helped?

Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes, says the government. But that isn’t saying they can’t charge the unreasonable rate hikes does it? And it “keeps young adults covered”, and well while swell back in the insurance dark ages as a young working adult….I had and kept health insurance.

It ends denial and such on pre-existing conditions. Well o.k. if Obama says so…I still think the insurance companies have trap doors and escape hatches yet to be discovered.

The Affordable Care Act is a long and convoluted document which makes the Dodd-Frank Act (Wall Street reform in layman’s terms) seem like a light beach read(well maybe it is because how is that “reform” working out, anyway? )

This time last year (2013) my insurer (Aetna) said come this time this year (2014) all of their prior plans were going bye-bye, and we would have to choose one which was ACA (Affordable Care Act) compliant. Well my holiday is over and my day of Obamariffic reckoning is here.

First I got the letter that I knew was coming but still left a pit in the bottom of my stomach: my current health insurance plan was being canceled. I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor, so anything which messes with coverage at all makes me very nervous.

So after a few conversations with Aetna, I chose my plan today. I had to make sure all of my doctors and hospital system were in the plans I was looking at. Once again I had to apply. (You would think if you were an existing subscriber some basic data would automatically populate but no it doesn’t). So I got my little letter of acceptance. I stuck it with my certificate of prior coverage also issued by Aetna.

Now comes the kicker.

What kicker? Pay now, pay more now.

So my new insurance is considerably higher. It has no more dental, and won’t cover the basic annual eye exam and an annual pair of glasses. There is also a deductible hump to be covered. My shiny “gold” plan isn’t all bad, but I am not all comfortable, either.

What else? Oh super fun: I get to pay my current premium December 1st and my new plan premium December 15th. I guess it will be a Merry Christmas indeed….for the insurance company.

Grrr.

I get that I have to pay for the new plan premium, but couldn’t they do that on say December 31st? As it stands right now it’s like “honey guess what you are getting for Christmas? Double December insurance payments!!”

So exciting said NO one. EVER.

I keep waiting for health insurance to get less complicated and even out in price.  All it does is get more confusing, more layered, more expensive.

Health insurance is another thing ruined by politics.

Sorry for the rant.  I just think we deserve a level playing field and the Affordable Care Act without truly reforming insurance companies misses the mark somewhat, doesn’t it?

dolittleAnd  for more interesting reading check out the article in The Atlantic dated today November 20th. (CNBC too) Also an interesting read? The Forbes eBook on Obamacare, and a CNN online article from yesterday. The video is fascinating.

At the end of the day, do we next as Americans have to worry what impact the recent national elections will have on all of this hot mess called Obamacare??? And then where will we be? The ordinary human equivalent of a push me-pull you? What happens if the darn thing gets repealed? Somehow, I think that would create an even larger mess.

Who’s on first? Who the heck knows……

 

 

 

 

chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey chim chim cher-ee!

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Very true and we have an awesome gentleman who took tremendous care of us so I thought I would recommend him —- John Wisnewski of Let There Be Light Chimney Sweep. I am posting his card.

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I will note that I am not being compensated for this review. We are happy customers. If he checks your chimney flue, have him check the one for your heating system as well.

Thanks to him and his honesty, we avoided a potential issue with not much fuss. You see, we learned the hard way that heating companies might do a great job cleaning and servicing the heater, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they get into the flue for the heating system and really check. We haven’t been in this current house for that many years yet, and well, when he removed the pipe to the flue in the basement there were years and years worth of debris in the base of the flue…very much preceding our tenure in the house and the two heating companies that we knew of who had serviced the heater had not cleaned this out either.

Let Their Be Light Chimney Sweep is also Angie’s List rated. Now he is also Chester County Ramblings Rated :)