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Archive for November, 2007

Nov 27 2007

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Cat Rules

Filed under Cats, Sisters

We’re all up early this morning. In fact, MotherDear was up shortly after I put on the coffee – about 4:15ish. She will be napping today, no doubt about it.

Girls, today is that Glorious day – I awoke to discover that it’s the day after Mr. X’s birthday. Apparently, I have finally been divorced long enough that these milestones no longer register to me. I don’t know what they call that in psycho-babble, but I’m sure they have a name for it.

The decorations are down from the attic, a step in the right direction! Lots of the neighbors already have lights on. I feel like the grinch. The darkest house on the block.

This morning, as I opened my mouth to take my first sip of coffee, MotherDear, all in one breath, informed me that she is going to have to have Dad tie down her little tree because Grayson has already nearly knocked it over several times and it’s not even decorated yet and what do I think of taking some books to stack around it to block him…. Oh good, more stuff on the little table piled up for him to knock over… I didn’t say that out loud.

Speaking of pain-in-the-butt cute little cat ‘things’, we now have another mandatory precautionary measure that must be implemented prior to performing some mundane task. We now must do a ‘visual check to confirm that the cats are not up on the garage door rails, or door itself, before we can hit the button to open or close the garage door’. Call me crazy – but I prefer their fur, blood and guts to be on the inside. This new cat-ritual comes directly on the heels of the ‘we now have to lock the freezer door every time it is closed, after making sure the cats aren’t in it’ rule. The other night I had a dream that one of the cats was accidentally locked in. OMG.

The following day MotherDear locked Gandalf in her closet. Again. For hours. Poor kitty. Me-owie.

When did this get so complicated?

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Nov 22 2007

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Pecan Shower

Filed under Holidays, Sisters

Good Morning SisterDears, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your familys!!

We are all chopped, peeled and mixed here. Ready to cook & bake for the Thanksgiving Day meal. The first pie is in the oven and I thought I’d take a moment before I jump in the shower to tell you all about the strange phenomenon going on here in the deep south.

It’s raining… pecans. It’s like we’re having a meteor shower, only it’s pecans. Dad just went out to move the vehicles ’cause they’re being bombarded on the driveway! Since about 5AM we’ve had a very light, steady rain with strong breezes and now the pecans are dropping and the leaves are falling steadily. It’s about 64 degrees and with the cool breeze and leaves it actually looks and feels like fall here! Thunderstorms are supposed to behind this, so I don’t think we’ll be putting up the Christmas lights today after all.

Enjoy the day!

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Nov 20 2007

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Health Insurance Costs

Filed under Thought for the Day

Holy Crap!

I have to pay my quarterly Health Insurance premium this week. I keep picking up the envelope, looking at the bill, and each time all I can say is “Holy Crap”! This is the same policy which 5 years ago cost me $200.00 a quarter – It is now nearly $1,800.00 a quarter. I wish my Investment Portfolio was increasing like this. Of course, it probably could be, if I didn’t have to keep paying my health insurance premiums. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve toyed with the idea of dropping it… You know the dialogue, IF I’d just invested the premiums I’d have this much saved….

I was at a seminar last January and there happened to be a large group of Dentists, all in the Armed Services, who were attending a convention at the same hotel. During breaks throughout the week I had several conversations with these military dentists. The topic of Health Care costs came up and we were discussing the Pros and Cons of a universal, government, or socialized plan such as Medicare or the Canadian Health Care plan. In their daily practices these dentists see many patients, some of whom need tons of dental work. And guess what? They get it! It doesn’t matter whether they are a 1-striper or a 5-Star General. Cost is never a factor in their care. They need it, they get it. No pre-authorization, no claims to complete. They just do the work. Further, most of the Dentists I spoke with were of the opinion that a Universal Plan would be great for them, once they have completed their commitment with the service. As a Dentist in the military, their pay is based on their military rank. Most of them agreed that they would “LOVE to make ONLY $100,000.00 per year” in private practice.

I had a wonderful GYN for 25 years. In fact, I used him as my primary care physician. He loved practicing medicine and it showed. And then, it happened. HMO’s, PPO’s. Insurance companies dictating how he could, or could not, treat his patients. In private practice for so many years, he tried bringing in a partner to help with the rising costs until finally he could take no more. He retired. He was in his early 60’s. What a great loss to his patients. I still miss him. I have yet to find another doctor that comes close to him.

I have a customer who now owns a commercial print shop. He was a customer for several years before it came up in casual conversation that he once practiced Internal Medicine. He too got tired of insurance companies dictating how he could treat a patient. So now this doctor prints Newsletters, Letterhead, Business Cards and Envelopes. Years of studying medicine and he helps people decide between “flat or raised letter”.

I wasn’t always, but I am now Pro Universal Health Plan. Like many other Self-employed people, I find myself on the brink of being forced to drop my health insurance. I have 15 years before I can retire and apply for Social Security and Medicare, assuming they are solvent. I cannot imagine what the quarterly premiums will be on my policy over the next 15 years, but I do know that I probably will not be able to afford them by this time next year. It used to be that your Home was your single largest purchase. Not for me, not anymore. My single largest purchase is my Health Insurance. Holy Crap!

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Nov 18 2007

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Not Neutral on Neutering Pets

Filed under Cats, Neutering Pets

I will never understand why pet owners do not neuter their pets. Please, don’t say they can’t afford it. While I realize that deciding to have a pet is not the same as deciding to have children, I do think that you have to make a serious commitment for their safety, well being and happiness. If you can’t afford to meet all of their needs and a few of their wants, please, don’t take the animal home. If you don’t have the time to spend with the animal, much as you would any member of the family, please, leave them at the shelter for someone who can and will.

I have 2 cats; both male, both neutered. About a year and a half ago I moved from a large city to a much smaller city in another state. One of the prerequisites I gave to my Realtor was that I very much wanted a nice, quiet “tree-sy” neighborhood with a yard with at least half an acre so that I could let my cats out once in a while to enjoy the fresh air.

My cats just love the yard, but having been indoor cats for so long they are now ”scaredy-cats”, sticking to the perimeter of the house, venturing out only far enough to see if a squirrel may miraculously fall from the trees and land in front of them. They will lay under that tree, literally for hours, just waiting. However, all it takes is a single noise and they are through that cat flap before you have figured out what spooked them.

In the last week one of my cats has been attacked twice. Both instances happened in my yard. The attacker is an older, larger un-neutered male. My cat now has 2 puncture wounds, one of which my vet tells me may yet abscess. A visit to the vet, a shot of steroids and amoxicillan = $100. This is my third visit to the vet this year directly because of this “menace” cat. Let me be clear about this, while I call him “menace” cat I do not blame the cat. We do not know where this “menace” cat lives, but someone feeds him and he is wearing a red collar.

As of yesterday’s attack my cats are again indoor cats. Despite the fact that I have a lovely fenced yard for them, I will have to build them a screen porch. I have an obligation to keep them safe.

A neighbor has obtained a trap from Animal Control, but so far he has only been able to trap a sweet old kitty from next door (sweet old kitty is neutered). I have already told my vet – if we do ever catch that “menace” cat – I will pay to have him neutered. Neutering him will help to reduce his desire to be dominant-aggressive, but it will not “fix” him. He has learned behaviors that the surgery will not change.

Spaying or Neutering is good for you, good for your pet and good for your community.

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Nov 17 2007

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Ode to SisterDear

Filed under Autism, Bipolar, Sisters

Sisterdear3 is truly a most amazing woman. She is a wonderful sister, daughter, friend, wife and mother. Sisterdear3 has 4 children; a 19 year old daughter who has Bipolar Disorder, a 16 year old son with raging hormones and 8 year old twin boys. Did I mention that the twins are Austic, one more so than the other? Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, or PDD-NOS, for short. Sisterdear3’s husband is a cop. Her BFF and her pediatrician each have sons who are Autistic. In fact, Sisterdear3 and her pediatrician have long been on a first name basis, they meet for coffee as often as Sisterdear3’s schedule will allow.

This has been a very stressful week for Sisterdear3. We speak almost daily and this past week our conversations have been mostly about the rantings and disruptive actions of her daughter. After repeating her senior year of high school because she refused to go to school a month at a time, she is now in her first semester of college. I truly wish I could say that it has been going well. She took 5 courses. She immediately dropped one because she insisted that she’d already taken the same course in high school; “too bad if the college doesn’t accept the transcripts/grade”, or words to that effect. She flunked her Mid-terms on 2 of the other classes and it is my understanding that she is not doing well in the remaining classes. Now, the weekend before Thanksgiving Break, she has decided to skip this week’s classes and has come home to wreak havoc on her parents and siblings. Yes, we actually believe that is her plan.

Honestly, I don’t know how Sisterdear3 manages to get through a single day. Her daughter is adamantly opposed to taking her meds. Sisterdear2 (who is about to graduate with a BA in nursing, an RN, yeah!) tells us that is it very common for a Bipolar patient to refuse meds and/or deny that they need them. My brother-in-law has lost all patience with his daughter, and I can’t say that I blame him. She’s exhausting everyone around her.

We love her deeply, of course. When she’s not cycling she is a very intelligent, delightful girl to spend time with. However, when she is cycling, especially a manic cycle, it’s all about her. Me, me, me. Speed-talking, inflated self-esteem, poor-judgement, paranoia… She exhibits every symptom. There’s is no room for anyone else’s needs. To borrow a phrase from The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, she sucks all the air out of the room. She was briefly seeing a counselor at the college, very briefly. I wish we could find a way to convince her to go back to her doctor and get back on meds. We really miss that girl.

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Nov 15 2007

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It’s Wine-thirty


Industry: Business Services
Occupation: Self Employed
Location: The Deep South : GA : United States

About Me
The very best job I could ever imagine is one that would pay me to think… the currency would be wine, preferably big reds!

I am the oldest of eight (four of each) and the sisterdears are my very best friends. We all enjoy wine, music and family. We share many other common interests and have many more differences, but that is the Spice of Life.

I have been self-employed for a bit more than 20 years and have just started my second business. Yipes! It seemed easier and less scarier the first go-round.

I am divorced and I have two absolutely adorable gray cats. More than a fair trade, if you ask me :-)

Just after my divorce, while I was mid-panic attick prior to a flight to visit my family up north, my very nice, very smart old country doctor asked me how I had coped with panic attacks in the past. I told him “I clean everything in sight and have a glass or two of red wine”. He laughed and said to me “Well, you are an international traveler and it’s Cocktail Hour somewhere”. I have tailored his remark to suit me. “It’s Wine-thirty somewhere”.

sitting by the fire
Italian food
my job

Favorite Movies
On Golden Pond
The American President
Independence Day
Lord of the Rings
Murphy’s Romance

Favorite Music
James Taylor
Josh Groban
George Strait
way too much to list

Favorite Books
Lord of the Rings
The Hobbitt
Luanne Rice
John Grisham
tons more…

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Nov 14 2007

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