Sunday, July 27, 2008

The EYES Have It!

We have a busy week ahead of us. L goes in for his first cataract surgery on Tuesday morning. Tuesday is also Z's 16th birthday, so this will be a FULL day for us!

My Dad will be driving L to and from his surgery and his follow-up appointment Wednesday morning. We can't afford for me to take any more time off right now. I had to take Thursday off to drive L the 100 miles to his surgeon's office to get his eyes measured for the new lenses that will be inserted into his eyes. Thursday's jaunt cost me a day's wages, plus about $100 in tips, and $45 for gas. Fortunately, we were able to get L home in time for him to go to work.

Now, we're worrying about L's ability to work over the next month. L has strange vision problems and the surgeon doesn't think that his eyes will balance until he gets the cataracts removed from his 2nd eye. The surgeon only comes up here every 4 weeks, but she said she can do the 2nd surgery sooner if we drive the 100 miles to her location. This would involve me taking 2 more days off work plus gas, motel, and meals. However, this would mean that L would only be off work for the 1-2 weeks between surgeries, instead of waiting 4 weeks for the surgeon to come up here. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when L has his follow-up appointment on Wednesday.

Then we have the problem of not being able to get a new prescription for glasses until, at least, 4 weeks after the 2nd surgery. Now add in another 1-2 weeks for the new glasses to arrive, plus the 2-4 weeks between surgeries, and we have a grand total of, at least, 8 weeks that L won't be able to drive. L runs a lot of our errands in the mornings while I'm at work, so those chores will now fall to me. We're hoping that after the 2nd surgery we'll be able to get L a pair of reading glasses from K-Mart that will enable him to read and cook at work until his new glasses arrive.

On Friday we had another monetary low blow. The surgeon gave L a prescription for antibiotic eye drops that he needs to start taking on Monday. When we took the prescription to our pharmacy, the pharmacist told us that it wasn't covered by our insurance, AND the drops are $76.50. HUH? The pharmacist said that very few insurance plans cover the cost of the eye drops. OK...a necessary, sight restoring surgery is covered, BUT a mandatory part of the surgery, the eye drops, AREN'T COVERED?! And WHY does 5ml of eye drops cost almost $80?! Just another fine example of our screwed up health system! Now we can't wait to see what our co-pay will be on the surgery. Plus, if L's total medical bills go over $10,000 for the year, we have to pay the difference. He already has $2,500 on his account for new hearing aids, so things don't look too good in this department. Seeing and hearing are mandatory for L's employment, so I guess we don't have a choice. He has to keep working, so we can keep paying our health insurance premiums. Kind of a vicious cycle, isn't it?

The other bad news is they discovered that L has macular degeneration. 40 years ago, L developed a blind spot dead center in his field of vision in both eyes. At the time they didn't know what to call his condition, so they labeled it "macleopia". L was legally blind until he took classes at the Mpls. School For The Blind, which taught him to use his peripheral vision to see around the blind spots. This therapy enabled L to live a normal life, including reading and driving. The good news is that L's eyes haven't deteriorated any further since his first bout with macular degeneration 40 years ago. We pray that this trend continues!

The next 8 weeks will be trying ones for us. We just pray that the cataract surgery will correct the double vision and zero night vision that L has been experiencing. Time will tell...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Project du Jour

This week our contractor finally showed up to take measurements for our roof replacement! This means we'd better get crackin' on trimming our maple tree where it hangs over our roof.

We planted this maple as a 5 ft sapling, 17 years ago. At the time, we didn't know if the tree would survive. It was the last tree left at K-Mart and looked rather bedraggled. However, we couldn't resist the 75% off price tag on this tree. A little TLC and look at it now!

The weather continues to be bi-polar: 90F one day, 60F the next. It also continues to rain at least 4 days out of 7. The only thing this weather has been good for is mosquitoes and grass. Our lawn looks like a patchwork quilt most days. We mow different areas as they dry out. Z and I finally got the lawn mowed to one length last night. A couple of areas were a foot high!

This is what we've been doing when it rains. 2 weeks ago, L and I built the CD/DVD shelf unit for our living room. Now, I just need to sand, stain, and poly the unit. After we built the unit, I discovered that my electric sander won't fit between the CD shelves, so it looks like I'll be doing a bit of hand sanding. Have I ever told you how much I HATE hand sanding? *sigh*

This is the first of 2-12ft shelves that Z and I are installing on the side walls of the garage. This will be where we store the heavy stuff that we don't need to access all the time.

The picture is of the shelf brackets my Dad welded out of re-rod for us. The bracket is 18 inches deep, super heavy duty, and inexpensive to make. You can't buy brackets like that! Now everyone knows where I get my inventiveness and frugal ways. Thanks Dad!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pilfered from Dirtcrashr

Only ONE word can be used in your answer and it can NOT be used twice.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? husband
3. Your hair? thick
4. Your mother? unforgiving
5. Your father? inventive
6. Your favorite time of day? dawn
7. Your dream last night? dunno
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream goal? clutterless
10. The room you're in? bedroom
11. Your ex? nonexistent
12. Your fear? unemployment
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14. What you are not? quiet
15. Your Favorite meal? dinner
16. One of your wish list items? camera
17. The last thing you did? talked
18. Where you grew up? didn't
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV is? off
21. Your pets? Hairry
22. Your computer? Alienware
23. Your life? simple
24. Your mood? thoughtful
25. Missing someone? SME
26. Your car? TRUCK
27. Something you're not wearing? glasses
28. Favorite store? Menards
29. Your summer? wet
30. Your favorite color? Green
31. When is the last time you laughed? noon
32. When is the last time you cried? June
33. Your health? fine
34. Your children? two
35. Your future? bleak
36. Your beliefs? different
37. Young or old? both
38. Your image? competent
39. Your appearance? casual
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? mostly

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

MUST Have!

Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry, was on Oprah yesterday. This lady has 3 kids, a job, and a husband who is part of the Hollywood "elite", yet SHE cooks healthy meals for her family. I'm impressed!

Jessica tired of trying to get her kids to eat vegetables at every meal, so she developed low-fat recipes for all their favorite foods using pureed vegetables. She even puts veggies into all of her baked goods. BRILLIANT!

As the mother of a son with an overactive gag reflex, I've come up with a few things that are similar to her ideas. Homemade spinach or carrot pasta is always a hit here. Plus, I've been putting ground zucchini in my cakes for years. Lately, I've been adding flax seed to most of my baked goods. Jessica expands on my piddly recipes to the nth degree.

Z has always been receptive to trying different vegetables, but most of them don't make it down his throat. Lately, he's expressed the desire to find new ways for him to eat veggies. Voila, along comes Deceptively Delicious! You can bet that this book will be in my next Amazon order! Thanks Jessica!

Friday, July 04, 2008

My Candidate

On this July 4th, I feel it's my duty to share MY candidate for president with you.

In my opinion, NEITHER of our candidates will work with "we the people" to institute the changes we want. The parties have spent two years, and billions of dollars, on this interminable process and THESE candidates are the hope for our future?! Both McCain and Obama are already too entrenched in the corrupt 2 party system of our government. They care more about their party, and corporate donations, than they care about their constituents.

I want a candidate who will respect the Constitution of the United States! I want a candidate who will enforce our immigration laws out of respect for our ancestors who jumped through all the hoops to become LEGAL citizens! I want a candidate who will put the needs of "we the people" before the wants of our mega-corporations! I want a candidate who will build a platform and STICK to it, not waver with every new public opinion poll. Do our candidates really BELIEVE in the words they're spewing? NO, they're only reading words, written by a legion of speech-writers, trying to grab votes from target demographics.

This November, I will be writing in the candidate of MY choice! I don't know who that will be. If all else fails, I'll vote for "None of the Above". Will my candidate win? Of course not. But, if enough of us vote our conscience and refuse to vote for "the lesser of 2 evils", maybe the 2 party system will wake up and realize that "we the people" are sick of their corrupt manipulations.

Don't bother telling me that my vote will be wasted. The media keeps talking about "voter apathy". We're not apathetic, we're sick and tired of not having a decent candidate to vote for. SO....GET OUT THERE AND VOTE! If you truly believe in McCain or Obama, VOTE for them; you have my blessing. If, like me, you're sick of the feeble excuses for candidates we've been given lately....VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE!

Happy INDEPENDENCE Day everyone!
Please take some time today to read our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
232 years later, this is still relevant reading material!