Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is There Affordable Health Insurance?

After being employed by companies that offer health benefits and by ones that don't, I have to say I miss my BCBS Blue Options. My income is minimal considering I am trying to raise two teens; sometimes it feels like you need to own a bank full of unlimited funds to accomplish such a feat. Regardless, one of the things I have not been able to afford for myself with my new job is some sort of NC health insurance. I knew when I took the job I have that I was not going to have any benefits. That said, one might ask, "What the heck were you thinking!?" I needed a job at the time and figured having one was better than not having one, and it's ofter easier to get a job when yo have a job. Anyway, I need to do something about my options for paying for my health care needs, and not having health insurance sucks!

Where do you find your best buys for school?

Tomorrow is our annual sales tax holiday in the great state of NC beginning at 12:01 a.m. and ending on 11:59 Sunday August 3rd. There are lots of things I am sure I'll need to pick up for both Ryan and Jenn for school this year and some of them deal with technology. They both need flash drives, backpacks, and of course the latest gadget's accessories. Thank goodness I have a smart boyfriend in my corner! He always know that I can find the best buy at anytime of the year. But if you live in NC, this weekend is a great time to get stocked up on those other items, you know, like the latest fad shoes, hoodies, and other outerwear. I need to get my list together ... FAST!

The Pharmacist Suggests Alternatives

Last night I spent seven and a half hours in the emergency room. I had initially gone in to have my ankle looked at since it was swollen and it hurt to move it to the right or left. It felt a lot like a sprain but I didn't remember hurting it. By the time I was seen by the doctor, I not only had an aching ankle, I had a full blown UTI. Apparently the eucalyptus bath to relieve the swelling in my ankle didn't agree with my body. Lovely. Anyway, once I arrived at the drugstore I asked for the generics for all three prescriptions. The pharmacist gave them quick glance and knew right away that the best alternative for one of the medicines was an over the counter remedy. His advice saved me $6.00 and when you are on a strict budget, every savings helps! See, not everyone is out to take advantage of you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Sweet Weekend!

On Saturday we met Lisa & Steve in Roanoke Rapids, NC for lunch and to send Ryan off for his summer visit with his sister. Jenn and I headed south for a visiting, relaxing, and some work to earn money for an FFA trip Jenn wants to attend next week. It has been a wonderful visit! We actually got to fix "Mr.D" a home cooked meal, and since it had been so hot, we tried to keep it cool! We enjoyed a delicious pasta salad and a stir-fried squash (yellow and zucchini) and onion dish. We had tried to get all of the work done and dinner on the table before he arrived home from work, but alas, he arrived while we were out getting groceries for our dinner meal. Oh well, perhaps I'll get another chance to surprise him with some scrumptious delight soon!


PS We are really proud of Jenn for sticking to her task! She earned $25 towards her trip and when I asked if she needed help, she insisted on doing it all by herself!

Friday, July 25, 2008

6:00 a.m. comes early!

Tomorrow morning we will rise up from a sweet nights sleep and set out on our adventure for the day. We will travel about three hours north to meet my oldest daughter and her husband. They will be taking Ryan for a two week visit, one of his adventures of his junior summer vacation. He is excited as his sister has given him a list of types of clothing to bring along for some kind of surprise. They will be making a trip to see his brother in the western part of Virginia, and may be doing some hiking, boating, or swimming. Neither one of us knows for sure since Lisa didn't tell me what she had planned for their trip.

Then Jenn and I will head southwest for a weekend of visiting with Mr.D, movies, PS2's DDR, and some odd jobs to earn her money for her next adventure with the FFA Chapter here in eastern NC. It will most likely be more visiting for her than work, but she is excited to be doing anything other than eight hours of color guard routines. Altogether, it sounds like our adventures are a recipe for summer fun! So, I will bid you goodnight, as six o'clock in the morning comes early indeed!

PS Speaking of recipes, I'm looking forward to discovering what someone's special secret is to his famous tuna melt! ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Apologies

The last ten days have found us doing lots of things to keep us busy; work, color guard, movies, friends sleeping over, and a trip to the grandparents house to celebrate a birthday and anniversary. On top of all that I was having a hard time with the carpal tunnel in my wrists; it was aggravating to say the least. When it came time to sit down again and dive into typing after a seven hour day at the computer; I found it just a bit difficult to move my fingers. I'll have more to write about later on, but for now I just wanted to say thank you for stopping in to read my ramblings. It really is appreciated!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We've Got Tomatoes!

Despite the efforts of the natural enemies of the tomato plant, Jenn's plants are now producing its fruit. Check out these babies! Sure they are green right now but in about a week they should be ripe for the picking. We can hardly wait!

With the salmonella scare of late, we've been very careful eat only home grown tomatoes or produce from farmers in our local area. Now we'll have a crop of our own. Mom says they look good, no sign of blossom rot, and they are coming in quite nicely in numbers.

So, it's time to get some whole wheat bread, mayo, salt and pepper ready for that famous tomato sandwich! Thank you Jenn, for deciding to grow something we can all enjoy!

When's the Party!?

Every summer a friend of ours and "Mr.D" write scripts for two murder mystery pool parties. So far we've had a prickly pineapple luau, an 80's rock star gathering, a fashion designer's show (models included), and a pirate's treasure hunt. We've yet to hear what the theme is for this summer's parties will be, but I hope it's not anything to cumbersome like renaissance costumes.

Let's face it, they are far to hot for the summer, and if you get thrown into the pool it could make it a bit harder to rise up from the drink! It would be ideal for a party thrown in the fall of the year. Hey, "Mr.D" do you know anyone with a birthday in October? We could forgo the pool as it might be a bit chilly?

Hmmm ... thinking ... oh, wait, that's not my job! LOL!

Summer vacations ... ahhhh the sound of silence!

My house has been silent for the past two days. No drama, well, not as much. Ryan and Jenn are both off at recreation camp this week with the FFA Chapter from their school. I said not much drama because last night around 11:00 p.m. Ryan called home to suggest that I come pick Jenn up. When I asked why, he said that Jenn (right) had claimed to be sick early in the day, and ended up hanging out with her friend Trish (left) all day. That Jenn had not participated in anything all day. He was worried about my $100 investment in the cost for the camp. I asked that he have Jenn give me a call in the morning so I could check on her health.

Not to sound sarcastic, but this sounds more like a big brother who would have preferred his younger sister had not come along on the trip. However they are both in the FFA and 1/2 of the trip was paid for by her fund raising efforts. So, he'll just have to get over it. I called him back this morning and reminded him that he needed to act maturely about this and enjoy his time at camp. As you see from their goofy picture below, Ryan and Jenn have their good moments!

As for Jenn, she called this morning and said she had "tossed her cookies" and did hang out with Trish for the day. I suggested she hang out some with the students from her school too, not necessarily her brother. This is to be a fun week with her classmates and others from around the state who share the same interests in agriculture, or at least in the FFA adventures. When I asked her why she got sick she said she was upset because her brother's girlfriend had said something to upset her. I suggested she talk to her and get it straightened out as promptly as possible. She is supposed to call me later to let me know how she is doing.

It was apparent she had an attitude, after all, who likes their older brother acting like a parent when you are on vacation?

I left a message on the teacher's cell phone to have her check on Jenn as I was concerned about her health and her participation with the group. I also mentioned why she said she had been sick. I thought I was going to get a break from the drama. So let's see if the night passes quietly.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where do you buy your books?

About seven years ago I began a collection of a series of books after watching Oprah one afternoon. She was talking about the book titled "Men Are From Mars / Women Are From Venus" authored by John Gray. Being on a limited budget I decided to check out Amazon books online. The prices were great as long as you weren't buying new books. However, I saved lots of money by purchasing nearly new books, or slightly used books. Most of the time the shipping was more expensive than the books themselves. As for this single mom, shopping around, finding good deals, and saving up to 80% off the purchase price of books, definitely works for me!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Additions

During our visit in Tennessee we had the pleasure of meeting the youngest addition to Mr.D's extended family, little Miss Madison. Here she is with her mother and grandmother enjoying some "me" time. She is nearly five months old now, and is a real cutie!

Madison's mother and father are planning on adding two more to their happy family of three to make it a full house. The proud parents don't want to wait too long between each addition, hoping that the closeness will allow them more time to enjoy their children. Our best wishes to all of them as they grow and learn together.

It's hard to believe this beautiful young lady is a grandparent!

Isn't it amazing how one so small can inspire such joy?

Madison, dressed in her patriotic outfit, is ready for the fireworks!

Here they are enjoying something interesting on the television for a brief moment in time. Hopefully, these two will enjoy countless more moments together as Madison grows up. It's so nice to have family nearby when you are raising your young family. It's also nice to visit with your grandchildren, shower them with love, and then kiss them goodnight as they return home with their parents.

It was a pleasure to meet you Miss Madison!
See you on our next trip to Tennessee Ü

Modern Technology; Love it or Leave it?

Though many people complain about the advances that modern technology has made in the last few decades, one thing is for certain, it has made many long distance trips more enjoyable for everyone in the vehicle. Just recently we made a trip to Tennessee by way of Georgia, and five of the seven passengers in my van were between the age of fifteen and twenty-three. Though they found things to chat about for a bit, it didn't take long before there was complete silence from the rear. As I turned to see if they had all fallen asleep I saw at least three of them hooked up to their ipods listening to their music, while the other two read books. Ahhh ... the sweet sound of silence truly is golden. ;)

Modern technology; I love it!

Philly or Jersey?

Over the past two months my daughter has changed jobs twice now. She was waiting tables in an Italian restaurant and had been for some time when she felt the need to make a change. She chose a job closer to home, in fact, two jobs which would not end up being as lucrative as the former as a waitress. So, she set out on a quest to make the change again to a better job by filling out both Philadelphia resumes and New Jersey resumes since her home is so close to both areas. I'm not sure where her new job is, but she is happy with it for the time being. One reason, she returned to the one she where she was making a good living. We are both hoping that she will be here for the winter holidays, and she has already put in her request for the time off. I'm really excited for her!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who Needs Memory Now?

Apparently, I do! After our trip to Tennessee this passed week, we headed home from Mr.D's place to finish out our camping adventure. We were about thirty minutes into the trip when I received a call from Mr.D who let me know I had left my modem to my computer. It's bad enough that I need a dell memory, but now it would seem that I need a new memory of my own. It wasn't bad enough that I forgot it, but my son saw it and thought it was a part of Mr.D's vehicle tracking equipment, and Mr.D thought it was a project he had been working on. So, I didn't feel so bad when they both told me they saw it sitting on the table and didn't think to ask about it.

Now who was it that needed more memory? ;)

PS Thank you "Mr.D" for mailing the modem, it arrived safely today as our USPS promised ... I only had to wait an hour after work for the mailman to arrive! LOL!