Mar 31, 2008

In the Blink of an Eye

John's oldest sister and her husband lost everything they owned today when their house burnt to an empty shell, including their two beagles who were in the house.

Just something to contemplate when we are frustrated about the setbacks life hands us - most of which don't involve being left without even a change of underwear.

A good lesson for me, certainly.

Any prayers you can spare for them would be appreciated.

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Mar 24, 2008

Happy Easter From Us to You!


It was a good Easter, albeit one with an early start. John got home from DC at about 3 am and we were both up by 6:15 am. I had rehearsal at just after 7 for the 8 am Mass and John loyally decided to haul himself and Katiekins out of bed for the occasion.

The music was modern - Charles Callahan Alleluia and Nancy Hill Cobb Gloria - but went well. (Good Friday's music was spectacular though - Faure and Mozart - sigh!) And I cannot believe how packed the 8 am Mass was. Go figure.

At any rate, I hope you all had a nice Easter!

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Mar 15, 2008

It Was a Crappy Day But Then...

I got a chance to make a pair of earrings from a tutorial I bought on Etsy last night. I sent a picture of the earrings to the writer of the tutorial and she asked if she could post it on her blog!! Whee!!

Check out my newest creation at http://decorshandmades.blogspot.com/. They look a little gold in the picture but they're sterling with amethysts.

Pretty well made up for feeling like sh*t warmed over with a goodly side of sn*t (bad chest cold - they assure me it's not possible to cough myself into labor - I sure hope they're right), having a cantankerous toddler, and Mr. PPG being a typical male(read, "royal pain in the *ss") for much of the day.

But I'm not going to think about that. I'm going to drink another cup of hot fluids, fill up my humidifier, and go to bed. And think about the lovely earrings and the flattering response from the teacher. Beats the heck out of dwelling on potty training.

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Mar 7, 2008

MS Word SUCKS!

In oh-so-many ways, of course, but I just need to vent about one in particular.
  • "Its" is a possessive, meaning that the object being discussed belongs to the subject It.
  • "It's" is a contraction for "it is".
Why, then, does Word always do that little green grammatical underline when I use "It's"?? As in, "I've attached blah-blah-blah. It's labeled Chapter 12." Right-clicking on the underline produces the demand that I change "It's" to "Its" which is simply, damn it, WRONG! Not that this is the only grammar error contained in that most rancor-raising of software programs, but it is (IT'S!!) the one that's irking me most at the moment.

Whose bright idea was it to let computer programmers be the arbiters of grammar??

Ok, I feel better now. Mostly, at least.

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Mar 6, 2008

There's Always Someone Who Has It Worse Off

I discovered a website yesterday that really made me appreciate all I have. If you have the time and inclination, please visit www.modestneeds.org (there's also a button link in my sidebar).

The nice thing about it is that you have the option of directing where you'd like any donation to go - and, no, I don't mean just general categories. Like Kiva, you can direct your contribution to a particular application for help. (FYI, unlike Kiva, this is a charity and not a lending type of situation.)

Times are hard for so many of us but this site allows us to donate so little but, combined with other's donations, it can make such a difference to someone who has it even worse. Even if it's only $5... heck, even $1... please consider making a donation. You could make a true difference in someone's life.

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Mar 4, 2008

On Being Screwed and The Symbols of Screwing

Let's take the second one first...

Ok, I did better at the show this weekend than I'd initially thought. I only lost 88 cents so I essentially broke even - as long as I get paid nothing for the hours and hours of prep, set up, attendance, driving, etc. Still, as (initially) I thought I'd lost $300, it could be worse.

I am absolutely exhausted. It was good to see my sister and our display looked very nice.





But, honestly? The real show didn't feature the vendors... it featured the attendees. Who sported (*don't click the links if you are easily offended*) deelyboppers, carrying around large quantities of booze which they drank through straws ... including in rainbow colors, and, lest you jewelry wearers feel ignored, many (many) also adorned themselves with blinking pins and stickers that said "I love orgasms... don't you?" I never made it to the main ballroom but I'm told it held loud music, a lot of beer, and male strippers.

One of the women on the jewelry making forum I belong to said I should probably be grateful that my jewelry didn't sell better - any woman prone to wearing deelyboppers shaped like male genitalia probably wouldn't exactly be a good representative for my "art". I'd like to think that the weekend was an aberration for these women. There can't really be *that* many crass women around, can there?

This is not to say that there weren't classy women there too - there were and some of them were really very nice... They were definitely outnumbered though.

Alrighty, on to the second point... being screwed. Or, rather, on having Screw You Health Insurance...

For those who have been wondering, nope, we still have no resolution.

I spoke with "member services" on the 25th. At that point, Member Services had heard nothing about it. The woman's supervisor said if it's that close to when I'm supposed to have the baby, it's usually treated as still being in-network but can't say specifically because they have no word that HCC will be OON.

Ok, then the 29th, I heard from our state legislator. Her contact in the industry had come back saying that talks hadn't broken down, that they expected to reach a deal, and that I would likely be covered under a transitional care plan even if they didn't.

On the 1st (while I was gone), we received a letter from Oxford Health that the hospital would be OON as of April 1 and that "women in their second trimester of pregnancy may be eligible for transitional care and should call member services to discuss it." Note that it does not say "second trimester or later" and also does say "may be eligible" not "will be eligible"...)

So, on Monday (3/3), I called Member Services. After being on hold from 3:45 - 3:59 p.m., I learned that Member Services just got word of the hospital termination that morning. She transferred me to the medical management department who can handle the transitional care issues.

I held on the line from 3:59 - 4:19, when medical management finally picked up and thought I was a provider, then when I told her I was a member asked (with annoyance) "were you transferred up here?!" She advised that the hospital wasn't showing as terminated in her system but that she would submit the request for the transitional care for me "for the hospital only". (quoted language made me nervous - what about the OB, etc.?) I asked if there was anything else I needed to do or if I was all set for the pregnancy and she said there was nothing else I needed to do - that someone would be getting in touch with me. They have to review it and one of the coordinators will be getting in contact with me. She did not seem terribly confident and seemed to be brushing me off. I got off the phone at 5:35 p.m.

It gets worse. The medical management coordinator woman called me this morning (3/4/08). She said, flatly, "we don't do transitional care for facilities". I told her that wasn't what the letter I received said and read her the language. She asked me to fax the letter and said she'd get back to me "in a couple of days". I faxed the letter to her and tried to call to confirm her receipt (I got a confirmation but I figured better safe than sorry). Unfortunately, the number she called in from was a general number for the entire Northeast Region of United Healthcare and I don't have her last name. I guess I'll just have to pray that she actually will call back.

I have an appointment with my OB on Thursday and I will definitely be talking to him then about what he sees my options as. I'm also going to have John ask the insurance agent again about switching insurance. I've also emailed my state legislator with an update. I think it's time to get the Office of Health Care Advocate involved.

One thing I have been very surprised by in all of this is how very high a percentage of the general population loathes health insurance companies. And even more surprising? The loathing transcends political and ideological viewpoints. Liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats - everyone hates insurance companies.

And my daughter (who's stayed dry the last two days for the most part) just wet her pants. Gotta go.

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