Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If You Can't Stand the Heat

According to a time/temperature sign we saw a bit ago, the temperature is 86 degrees which is much cooler than it's been for weeks. According to MY heat index, it feels like 1-0-gosh.

Are We There Yet? Yes, Lucy, We Are There

Almost every day something happens to remind me that I am now in the ranks of seniorhood. I received my Medicare enrollment card a few weeks ago, and today we spoke with our insurance person about the additional coverage I will need. All of this becomes effective October 1.

There are several benefits to reaching the age requirement for Medicare. Mr. Fixit will be able to retire again since we no longer have to depend on regular insurance for my coverage. It has been eight years since he was eligible to retire, but he had to work for the little insurance offered by his employer. He hated every minute of it, and, of course, I felt guilty because I knew he hated it. He deserves retirement. Also Medicare and the additional coverage is much better than the coverage offered to part-time employees by his employer. The cost of my insulin is over $200.00 per month. With the Part D I will have to pay $39.00 a month.

The bad part is that when he retires again we will take a financial hit. I will have to pay for Medicare coverage, and we won’t have the extra income from his job. That means a few more sacrifices just to get by.

On the plus side, I have now lived long (almost) enough to collect Social Security and to have Medicare coverage. I am the only one in my immediate family to have reached this milestone. I am always surprised when I think about that; I didn’t think I would make it this long.

In the last few months, I have been trying to take advantage of the insurance coverage we have now. The dentist said I needed two fillings. One fell out and had to be replaced, and I had the other one done yesterday. The insurance didn’t cover replacing the one that fell out. Tomorrow we have appointments to have our vision checked; I think we both need to have our glasses replaced.

Mr. Fixit is counting the days until Oct. l.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Anyone who has read a few of my posts knows that I am cheap thrifty. I have had two eye-opening experiences in the last few days.

I recently sought a lavender handbag. I have a pair of lavender pants and found some shoes that were a few shades darker than the pants. I have no handbag that matches the shoes and pants. I looked in my usual stores--Walmart, Target, J. C. Penney, and Sears. I even tried K-Mart and several specialty stores in the mall. I couldn’t find one. They were either too pinkish, too purply, too small, too gaudy, or  too ugly. Mr. Fixit suggested that we go into one of the “better” stores (that means you have to pay double or even triple sometimes for similar items elsewhere). There right before my eyes was the bag of my dreams--just the right shade of lavender, the right size, and it was nice looking. My heart fluttered! Then I looked at the price tag--$238! I said to Mr. Fixit, “Even if you had won the lottery yesterday, I would not pay $238 for a purse. Who buys this stuff?” The cheapest one I saw was $99. Later we were having lunch at Chez Macdonald’s (see how thrifty I am?) and a lady came in with one of the purses I had seen that was over $200.00. She was also having lunch with Ronald. She probably could only afford a cheeseburger after paying so much for her accessory. I didn’t spend that much money; therefore, we were having Big Mac’s.

Incidentally, I did find a nice leather bag that was big enough to carry all my necessities and it is designed in a sort of patchwork pattern with different colored leather pieces, one of which is the perfect shade of lavender to match my pants. It was $50.

Earlier this week I was shopping for sheets for the double bed. I had decided to get  better ones than I usually buy at the discount store thinking that better quality sheets would last longer. I went into Penney’s and decided to get the 400 count sheets. They are plain white sheets with the flat, the fitted and two pillowcases in the package. I cringed when I saw the price was $44.99. I thought “What the heck? Maybe they’ll be the last sheets I ever have to buy.” I took the package which had Cindy Crawford’s picture on it to the service area to pay. While the lady was ringing up my purchase, I admit that I was thinking about something else. All I remember is swiping my debit card and leaving the store.

When I arrived home I put the package on the bed to wait until I washed the new sheets, the comforter, and the quilt on the bed. This afternoon I picked up the package and saw the price tag. At that point, I almost had a stroke. I know my blood pressure jumped several points. The price marked was $90.00! Did I actually pay $90 for two sheets and two pillow cases. Did I look at the wrong price? I started to hyperventilate. I frantically searched for the sales slip, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I rushed to the computer to pull up my checking account. Thank heaven for online banking. I breathed a sigh of relief when I found the debit entry for $48 to pay for the sheets.

I realize that lots of people pay even more for sheets and handbags, but it’s just not in my nature. If we were rich, I would probably buy very expensive shoes. If my feet hurt, I hurt all over. I think good shoes are worth every cent you pay for them. But paying over $200 for a handbag or $100 for sheets? Not in this lifetime, not even if we were stinkin’ rich.

Bye-bye Walmart (Maybe)

While other people make fun of Walmart and some are even hostile for a variety of reasons, I don’t find shopping there a problem except for the occasional surly sales associate or the associates that have the uncanny ability to become invisible when you have a question. And I do get a little peeved when they don’t restock their shelves as often as they should. I guess it comes down to the fact that they have the lowest prices on food, prescriptions, etc. Our local store is clean, the aisles are not blocked with merchandise, and most of the time there are enough check-out registers open.
I estimate that we spend quite a bit on a monthly basis since I buy most of my groceries (with the exception of meat and produce) there and all of our prescriptions are there. I think we probably spend close to $1,000.00 a month in the store. Groceries and meds amount to about $700.00 so maybe it’s a little less.

I have almost decided to take my business elsewhere for one reason--the crappy attitudes of the cashiers. I hate those plastic bags they use so sometime ago I started buying and using reuseable shopping bags. I bought several generic ones and a few from the stores I shop in the most. When I go into the stores, I use either the appropriate store bags or generic ones. It’s not like I use Bi-Lo bags in a Walmart store. The cashiers in Walmart are so snotty when I ask them to use my bags. I get eye-rolls, giggles and glances between them that seem to say, “Here she is again,” and one said to me, “I really hate these bags.” I said, “I really hate those plastic ones you use.” She said, “I try to work as fast as I can and they are hard to use. They are too floppy.” I was thinking, “You weren’t working that fast when you were discussing politics with the customer in front of me, and my bags are nowhere near as ‘floppy’ as your plastic bags.” Last week one lady was all smiles until I asked her to use my bags. As they say, if looks could kill, I’d be pushing up daisies right now. I'm also glad to didn't have anything breakable since she was throwing things into the bags with little regard for my purchases.

It seems to me that Walmart could be losing on two fronts. They sell the reuseable bags, and I am supposing that they must make a profit on them. I’m sure that saving the environment comes in second to making a little profit. I also wonder if I’m the only person who is so peeved that they would take their business elsewhere therefore depriving Walmart of our contribution to their profit.

I now have to decide whether it's worth spending considerably more money at other establishments that are located some distance away thereby using more gas and causing more pollution.  Does my puny contribution using resuseable bags really help the enviroment? Does Walmart care that I take my $1,000 a month elsewhere? I think I may know the answer to the last question.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In the Good Ole Summertime. . .I Sweat!

Cole’s travel baseball team had another tournament over the weekend. It was so hot, I don’t know how they played. Saturday was mostly overcast with high humidity. Sunday was worse; the sun shone the whole day. On the way home we saw a time/temperature sign that indicated the temp was 104 degrees. That was at 5:20 in the afternoon.

This kind of weather does weird things to me. I went to bed after fixing sandwiches for dinner and slept for an hour or so. I was so tired that I couldn’t do anything, not even read. I went to bed about 9:30 pm.

Today all I have done is the bare necessities and lolled around in bed or on the couch. I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Continuing Education

My continuing education by comic strip continues. Today in the 9 Chickweed Lane strip a character used the word "fardel." That sent me directly to the dictionary. Now I have to think of a clever way to work that into conversation or at least to use it playing Scrabble or Boggle. (For the last couple of months, this strip has been running a perfectly wonderful, touching, romantic story line about young love during World War II.)


Mr. Fixit is downstairs watching World Cup Soccer; I am upstairs but I can hear his television. That constant noise made by the fans that sounds like a gigantic swarm of bees is driving me bat stuff crazy!!! I never thought I would say this, but thank heaven for commercials, the only respite from the constant hum.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Goof Ball Politics

During a newcast this morning, the anchor reported that the rest of the nation be watching the results of a primary election here in South Carolina. There is a particularly disturbing race involving the “tea party” candidate and her private life. The anchor said that SC is a bellwether state. Heaven help us!

After all the scandals that have come to light lately, does anyone take SC politics seriously?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cole Yesterday and Today

You stayed with me while Mom and Dad worked. You liked tractors, Hot Wheels, and your rocking cow. We read books and watched "Blue's Clues" and "Little Bear" time and time again. We took walks--first with you riding in the stroller and later you were able to walk on your own two feet. You liked to swing in your airplane swing telling me, "Higher, Mimi, higher!" Almost every day we held our own parade, marching from the living room, through the dining room, and into the kitchen and then back again--several times. You danced with Boopah every afternoon to country music that I didn't like much, but you loved to dance!

You were a joy!

You are all about high school, girls, baseball, girls, texting, girls, loud music, girls, camping, friends, and you are looking forward to getting your driver's permit this summer. You are a terrific big brother to Bella and Levi and you help take care of them.

You ARE a joy!
(Click on pics for detail)