Sunday, September 27, 2020

Crop Dusting

 Urban Dictionary: v. the act of starting at one end of a room, ripping a nasty one and dusting the room with the stench, thus staying ahead of your own flatulency.

GUILTY as charged.

Peter picked up the foulest bug a few weeks ago.  The poor old man is around 14 years old.  It kicked his butt.  

The first night, I thought it was indigestion (he has a penchant for acorns and horse nuggets).  Next night, he leapt out of bed 5 times and burst out the doggie door into the dark.  Peter doesn't ordinarily move at Mach 1, so this was serious. Dr. Brown prescribed supportive antibiotics and he continued to redecorate the house in the worst diarrhea I've ever seen.  Think pumpkin puree with swirls of ketchup in it and the stench of Muenster cheese.  

Three bottles of Clorox cleanup, mounds of latex gloves and 3 laundry loads a day...

Days of this culminating in the most atrocious act committed upon my leather couch: a blow out.  Peter dismounted from the leather couch, slowly, front feet first with a downward dog stretch that provoked an explosion out the rear. 

He was ashamed of having his bum washed 5 times a day and I was tired of my nostrils being assaulted every time I stepped foot in the house with the mixed smell of an overchlorinated pool and an outhouse in Summer.

But Peter was turning the corner when two others started to defile the house. Baby Jesus save me.  

The cholera has departed our lives now, all the walls at anus height have been washed, curtains too (don't ask, I have no idea how they soiled so many things while I was at work).  

And check out who's feeling froggy again?

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Selling Your Soul

 Ten years ago, a friend of mine sold his business and accepted a job at Auburn University.  Not by choice, by necessity to provide health insurance coverage for his family.  Selling his soul, as he called it.  Never would I sell mine and be desked.

Now, I'm starting to understand.  My entire American life has been spent paying for my own insurance.  Not bad when you're in your 20's.  But, in my late 40's, the cheapest insurance I can get is $620 per month with an $8000 yearly deductible.  With my medical history, that translates to an average of $26,000 per year of out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Years of surgeries and dealing with my insurance company's reluctance to cover services, has left me with the uncanny ability to foresee where they might try to maneuver around me.  I  paid $9000 out of pocket for a knee surgery that should've been covered, but since then, I document every step of pre and post surgery.  I've been known to spend $550 on lawyer fees to coerce them to pay a $380 doctor bill.  It's the principle of it.

Now being a full time student at Columbus State University allows me to join the university's health coverage plan.

A fraction of what I pay.  Come to mama!

A yearly saving of $4600 on my premiums alone and a mere $500 deductible.  I have remained on my current plan for 2020 because in the Winter, my cardiology tests and procedure forced me to cough over $8000, so why jump ships midstream.  But, January 2021, I am emancipated.

I had been waiting to see if scholarships I've applied for would come through, instead, I received word that based on my taxable income, I'm fully eligible for 100% tuition and living expenses coverage via federal student loan program.  All my medical bills are finally helping me out.

I have found a way to afford to grow old:  become a perpetual student.  I think I'd like an English major next, followed by French literature.

Might just go for that Master's degree in Kinesiology, that could get me beyond my 71st birthday.  I'm onto something!!!

Jamie, Financial Planner Extraordinaire 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Son From Another Mother

 Not all of my family live in Canada.  I have a sister in Oklahoma and a sister in Texas. We're not blood, we're stronger than that.

Gina from Oklahoma is of Italian descent.  It shows.  She's all about her familia and you don't mess with the boss' family, or she'll go all mafia on you.

 Over 40 horses are her family, and I'm under the same umbrella!

Gayla is originally from Maine.  How she ended up in Texas, I'll never understand. Years ago when I worked on her genealogy, I realized we were related after all, through common ancestors who colonized Quebec. Her mother, in fact is from Montreal.  

I met Gayla by virtue of  her son, Sebastian.  For a few years, I had the pleasure of being his stepmom. 

Gayla and I clicked from the start.  She is the Saint of East Texas cats.  I can't keep up with how many she has at home or the feral colonies she tends.  

And thus is the trifecta sisterhood.  I claim to be Protector of any living creature within my farm's 1200 acre borders.  Don't mess with our horses, dogs, fish, gopher tortoises, raptors, luna moths, foxes, Hercules beetles, wild Louisiana irises...the list goes on.

 Cut from the same cloth we three are.

Perhaps that is why it never struck me as odd to love my ex's ex as my true sister.  

So, when my son from another mother, Sebastian, called to say he was taking his first long distance road trip and could he come see me... I flipped.  YES!  

Years it had been since I'd last been able to stay with them in Texas.  Not a teenager, but a 6' tall, college grad pulled up to my house.  Pictures are grand, but hugging the snot out of someone you love is a million times better.

A few days together is what we had and we maximized.  

Damn my sister did a fantastic job raising him.  If I do say so myself, he's perfect:  funny, yet very serious, empathetic, caring, meticulous... his prized Thunderbird's engine looks like he cleaned it with Q-tips, knowledgeable and interesting (ask him anything about vintage watches and how they're made).

We stayed up until all hours of the night talking and studying.

Yes, how the tables have turned.  It was my Business degree kiddo sitting with me for hours to help me with my homework.  Life is strange, life is beautiful, and family is forever.