This week’s vocabulary words are safety and flexibility.

Or at least on this ranch they have been. Flexibility, means the two men work out their carpooling that when one is working overtime the other one has something they can do while waiting. This week ds was working it, but dh wasn’t.
Flexibility means adjusting dinner plans to take advantage of a $70 free dinner for three and enough leftovers we ate for two more meals at home.
Flexibility means agreeing to do two big money bonus shops for a company in 10 days in at two locations I was already scheduled at for those days (for which I’m already being paid a big bonus) for 15 minutes of work—the bonus is for the driving time. It also means turning down lesser shops per our agreement.
Flexibility and safety are doing deep cleaning on the lower section of the house when my joints rebel and won’t let me climb the stairs to work on the office for an additional hour each day. (office is really starting to look good).
Flexibility is wanting certain items for organizing the office and making them out of free stuff instead of buying them—post to the Princess Plan blog will show up soon on this.

Safety is cleaning the fireplace/chimney thoroughly before we lit the first fire of the season. My joints wouldn’t take not having heat when the temps hit 29 outside.
Safety started as a concern and moved to being flexible where my critters are concerned. Here’s the story—one many of you can appreciate for one reason or another.
We have been putting our geese and ducks up every night in our smallest pen, although it’s not real secure—it really needs major repair to the roof and a new gate to keep the coyotes and cougar from wiping them out entirely. Even with the new goslings this season we are down to 18 geese, all of which are pets. We also want to remove the shanty and put one of the small coops in there. But there is one LARGE problem—a dead oak tree. A very leaning dead oak tree. A very leaning over the shanty—and where the little coop would go dead oak tree. Did I mention it was a double tree?

I read recently that

a person has to enroll in medicare within 3 months of their birthday or they will face penalities. I think it would only be part A to sign up for and the other parts would have to be taken care of within 8 months of acutally retiring from work when you choose to becuase work would be taking care of the other parts. I’d double check that, but I do remember reading it this last week. This articale might help.
I’m working on learning about it as much as I can. My mom is 60, working, and has no plans to retire. In addition to no plans to retire since she can’t, she’s also not one to look that stuff up and actually understand it, so I do my best to try to watch out for her when she lets me.

So we thought he’d be “eligible”

in Feb or March for Medicare so we haven’t done any research on it. Our mailbox has been filling up with various supplemental policy offers and such. We’ve been stalling on it. Since dh is not drawing ss at this point (we are actually repaying them and he won’t be drawing it again until he’s 66). We also thought there would be a problem because he’s working and has company supplied medical insurance.
So imagine our surprise this week when we received two letters from medicare that start out…

Welcome to medicare…as a new enrollee. The bigger of the two letters goes on to be worded like he’s already eligible.
So…have any of you already been down this path? Are there any pitfalls you can steer us around? Would his work policy be considered a supplemental? I know when I was handling dmils there was a penalty if I didn’t enroll her immediately in part D. Our company provided insurance has rx coverage on it—ie: possibly to cover the required part b? I’m particularly concerned because it is the open enrollment time and must be done by Dec 7, according to the commercials, but dh won’t be 65 until late Feb. I’m already confused.
We need to keep the company insurance because the pay part of my insurance and since I have pre-existing conditions (cancer in 1981 and no thyroid now—graves disease) we can’t afford to give up my insurance which I can’t have if he isn’t insured by the company. We also can’t afford to be paying double insurance, when we all know they won’t pay off double.

I did read the 48 Days book before.

It was good but I’m still working at my same job for now. I’ll use the tools in this book when I’m able to quit my job and do something that I love.
I read Boundaries a few years back. It was pretty good for those times you need to know where to draw the line with others in love.

Wild At Heart, great book for the female in the relationship on understand the men in your life. Smile
Making Love Last Forever, Gary Smalley, love everything by him. He’s awesome.

As a vegetarian

I occasionally buy products based on TVP. For the most part I don’t have that make up more than a tiny portion of my diet (leaning on beans and legumes lately)….one product I occasionally keep in the freezer is Quorn (google it…amazing stuff) and it is made in England using mushrooms. I wish I could know their process to do it myself…its seriously just like meat in their products. My husband was actually jealous of my meal it tasted more real than “real” chicken!

Over a month ago I posted a query about using tvp in ground beef

Since then I have used plain tvp in every ground beef dish other than hamburgers—where I’m afraid it would be spotted– I’ve cooked. Up until tonight neither man has made any comment about any change in texture, taste or anything. I personally have noticed none, so I wasn’t surprised.

Tonight I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. To the 1# of ground beef I added the usual ¼ c of tvp I’ve been using for about 6 weeks now. This ends up to being the equivalent of about 1.5# of “ground beef”.
I did something a little different tonight. I did a much shorter soak than I’ve been doing and I used beef broth instead of plain water. Both men ate until they nearly exploded, both asked if I’d done something different stating these were the best spaghetti meatballs I’d ever made. I simply replied “I mixed them up a little differently” and used olive oil in the pan when browning them. This was true, and neither asked what I did different in mixing, so my cover was not blown.
I have to agree with them, the meatballs were much better with the beef broth flavored tvp than when I made them with just plain ground beef. They cooked up a little crisper than normal and held their shape much better. There was enough leftover, due to the “additional” ½ pound of “meat” that both men will have spaghetti and meatballs for work lunches tomorrow.
I know eventually one of them is going to see the jar of tvp in the pantry and get around to asking me what it’s for and of course I’ll tell them the truth, but the longer we go and the more meals I use it for they rave about the better they’ll accept the concept.

Interests

I observe in particular context of USA that lower/middle income salaried class is struggling to survive and usually consume salaries much before the month end. In this situation, option to use credit card looks very attractive but people don’t realize that this ‘easy money’ has to be paid back at end of the day. What is happening that people under the pressing family needs or even prestige issues or whatever, spend a portion of their next month’s salary (which is meant for next month) and enter into vicious circle. The burden increases every month and there comes a point when they have to go for installments and thereby entering into interest cycle.

The unfortunate aspect is that the back bone of our economy, the youth, has been the prime victim of the consumer finance particularly credit cards. You must have noted that credit card, cash loans, Extloans installment loans with bad credit and even gracious lease finance facilities have been extended to people earning even USD $1,500 – 2,000. I understand the lenders too have burnt their feet but the youth, with whom our hope & dreams are connected, is entering into debt servicing quest rather focusing their energies to express their talent which in the past used to be fueled with poverty. I think preference must be given to live within available resources. Eating less is far better then incurring debt. I strongly recommend that people must use credit cards very very carefully as the last resort and that too to minimum possible extent so that they may sustain it. Please accept my apologies in advance if my words might hurt anyone. Best regards.

Actually on a recent trip to Branson

I told Gary I would like to try a zipline some time. And asked if he knew do they have various degrees of dangers for them. You know like bunny slopes vs back diamond slopes in skiing (something I have ZERO interest in doing). He told me that ziplining was something he would film from the safety of the ground.

So does anyone know if they have bunny slopes equivalents some where. Remember I am od, short and fat. Let’s not break me. LOL!

Mark, you asked for it so you are getting it

I’d love to see a photo of you zip lining! As we say in the south, I double dog dare you! Which means you must do it!

On the A/C front, I am so glad it was just a filter. My dfil and dsil who live together were having A/C troubles. It was just not cooling. Like yours, it’s up in age. They had someone clean the unit and it has begun cooling once again. They may have changed the filter too. I know the cleaning was long overdue and it helped tremendously.

This afternoon we have gotten quite a downpour. Dd and I were in Hobby Lobby when it started. We were not supposed to have rain at all so I never too the umbrella in the store. I made a mad dash to the car to pick up dd at the door. On the way home it was raining so hard and the wind blowing so hard that the rain was going sideways. Fortunately I was creeping along on a street that does not get much traffic. We were only about 1/2 mile from home so we went on toward the house. At least we had a garage to pull into and stay dry. At least the rain is cooling things off a little.

Good day one and all

My first post from my new laptop 🙂 I can definitely get use to this living like no one else. Like Jeff we are starting to spend more money than we have in over 6 years.
So far all of our expenditures have been to steer us toward retiring. First, and most obvious is the new to us camper. Now this laptop. While we went the budget friendly route with both, they are both purchases we would not have made in the past. Instead of a brand new camper we went with a pre-owned as you already know.
Based on what I wanted to use it for I went with a less expensive computer instead of the top of the line like I would have purchased in the past. Let’s be blunt, I don’t need all those extra whistles and bells with the plans I have for the future. Now dh will get a little higher up the food chain on the computers when he buys his for on the road, but he will be probably doing a lot of photo editing. My dh is seriously doing a series of youtube videos on our travels. That will require a better computer than this one, as well as a good camera or two. Stay tuned for that adventure. Your thoughts on what you would like to see in those videos?
We are still plugging along on the second mortgage. Hopefully Jhon is going to back off for awhile. I am really getting tired of having to put on my big girl panties and fight that monster.
Our brief brush with him this week had the house slowly getting warmer and warmer. Something wasn’t right with the air conditioner. Considering it is nearly 30 years old you can imagine the panic we had setting in. Finally I suggested dh check the filter. It had only been a few months since he changed it, but he checked anyway.
Imagine his surprise to find the cooling unit in the closet completely iced over when he opened the closet door. Pulling the filter he saw why immediately. It was completely blocked. In less than six months no air was getting through the filter. He turned off the unit and let it thaw out while we went to purchase a new filter. In 117 heat index temps by the time we got back home large ice chunks were falling off the unit. We let it thaw a short while more. Then he installed the new filter and we held our breath as he turned the unit back on. Praise the Lord that was the problem. Cold air bellowed out of all the vents, the house temperature dropped quickly and more importantly the unit started cycling again. A $10 filter saved a massive repair/replace bill. YES! Dh says he is going to start checking the filter every 3 months in the future instead of every six now. When was the last time you checked your air conditioning filter?
Also on the good news front, ds’ total brake job on the front end of his Colorado came in $100 less than estimated. Sweet.
We worked more and more on the camper organizing it, culling items we no longer feel we need for the camper and made a run to Goodwill to drop off some electronics that still work, but we no long use.
Be warned I have been working on a blog post today about our organizational plans for retirement. How we plan to travel and what all we need to do to prepare for retirement, which is getting closer and closer.
Still haven’t got our refund check on the extended warranty, but I have traced it through the food chain and know the permission to issue it has been given and it is now in the bookkeepers office to be issued. They have two more days then it will be desk time. I have a mortgage I want to put that $714 on!

My exact knee jerk reaction

Plus I would have the squatters in the house he owns evicted immediately! M has had the utilities cut off, but what’s to keep them from turning them back on? She is planning on seeing a lawyer this next week.
I told her I would go after M and C for fraud as well. They essentially stole the gravesite. I have a feeling the family reunion in October is going to be interesting to say the least. Jan who says L better be glad M couldn’t get hold of her for S’s funeral when this happened or she’d had two cousins after her ever loving hide. Hurt my uncle T and disrespect Aunt F that way indeed.

I happened across my cousin M at Wal-Mart

last night and was flabbergasted with the story she told me that had been going on in one of our branches of the family. She asked me what I thought she should do. I know what my knee jerk reaction was, but thought I would consult more level heads than mine.
Background: Aunt F was one of my mother’s sisters. She married J and they had one child JL. J was killed in a horrific car wreck when JL was young and several years later F married T. T is Uncle T to all of the cousins and we all love him dearly, some never even met Uncle J, so T is the only uncle on that branch we know. He raised JL like he was his own.
As a teen JL was a bit wild, When he married L she was one of 3 girls that claimed to be pregnant with his child at the time. Yes 3. He denied the other 2 but said it was very possible with L. S was born a healthy baby girl and 2 years later her sister C was born. Those are your players in this scenario.
JL and L divorced after several years of marriage and at his death he was engaged to another woman, but she doesn’t play into this story at all.
Aunt F. died in 2013 and per her wish she was cremated and her ashes were buried next to J and JL remains (neither of them was cremated). At her death and for several years earlier she had been on the outs with L and her girls. S had offered to rent to own a house owned by F and T, but in several years she lived there she never made a single payment on it.
After F death S started coming around to see T, the only grandfather she had ever known since J had died before her birth. Each time she left from seeing T she left with something of value, be it an item or a large check. It became clear to my cousin M who is the poa and rep payee for 90 year old T that S wanted him for only one thing. Yet it made T happy to see her so she let the visits continue.
Earlier this year S came to see T promising him she’d be back the following weekend to see him again. Sadly it was not to be. Like her father and grandfather before her she was killed instantly in a car wreck 2 day later.
Here is where it gets really complicated. No one called T or the cousin M that is handling his affairs for him (her father was my mother’s brother and therefore she is not related to T, but hr loves her as if she was his blood kin and she him) and informed them S had died. T heard about it third hand through the grapevine and the news upset him beyond belief. M tried to get more info and no one had any for her.
Finally L called M and asked what F had been buried in. M told her she had been cremated, and L hatefully said “I knew that,what did you bury her ashes in” M told her a small marble box “(F was a tiny person). Then M tried to ask about the services for S and L basically hung up on her.
M does some more checking around and finds out when the service is and she and her husband take Uncle T to his “grand-daughter’s” funeral. There were a few of our side of the family members there, but strictly the ones M had notified. To say this was strange is an understatement. We are a big family. There were 10 siblings in my mother’s family and let’s just say they went forth and multiplied. When my grandfather died when I was 11 there were 113 of us grandkids. So a small turnout for a family funeral is very strange.
Even stranger, was none of that branch was in the family room. M took T back to speak to L and C and they were very cold to him. To the extent it made all concerned very uncomfortable, so T set with M and our family branch in the main room.
After the funeral they went through the reception line only to have L turn her back on T and M when it was their turn to offer their condolences. M blew it off as the uncomfortableness about the divorce and the years of outs with F. She and her husband took T over to the cemetery ahead of everyone else for the graveside service. They got there and discovered there was no new grave dug.
Here is the really bad part, hang on…After a bit M realized that F’s grave had been dug up! She went to the grave diggers and asked what was going on, they informed her that S was being buried in F’s grave. 90 year old Uncle T dissolved right on the spot demanding to know where his wife’s ashes were. He was casually told that they were on the flat bed truck nearby. He rushed to the truck looking for them and finally discovered them buried under a pile of dirt, digging the tiny pink marble box out with his bare hands.
M did her best Jan stand on a desk routine ever demanding to know what gave them the right to dig up F ashes, that exhumation required permission from the next of kin or a court order. Seems L didn’t want to pay for a plot to bury her own child in and had C, as F grand daughter okay the exhumation. Only C was not F next of kin legally and in fact she had not seen F in over 10 years despite living less than 100 miles from her. T is F’s next of kin and M has his poa. Neither T or M had been consulted at all.
The funeral home director said that she had been told that T had given his permission and so had M on the day they called about how F was buried. Neither was true. All this time my poor uncle T is clutching F’s remains and sobbing.
From what I gathered, the funeral home director went ahead, despite T and M’s protests and put S’s body in F’s grave and kind of tucked F’s ashes in a corner of the grave site. Uncle T is still upset about it all nearly a month later.
The thing is, none of them hold title to that gravesite. M and I do, our parents bought a large lot of those gravesites when M and I were very small. I have the original paperwork on it. Over the years they had either given or sold at the original costs to various family members the plots as they were needed. F had purchased 3 of the plots for herself, J and JL. She had chosen to be cremated and her ashes buried there next to her first husband and son, with the plan that when T. passed his ashes would be put in her grave with her. Now with S there it can’t be done. T can’t be next to the wife he adored for eternity.
M is extremely upset. The funeral director saying that if F had been buried in a plastic bag they couldn’t have placed S there, but since she was in a tiny sealed vault they could legally do what they did.
As if that wasn’t bad enough M’s husband took T to the house S had been living in rent free to retrieve some things that belonged to he and F and to mow, winterize etc to find that the locks had been changed and strangers were living in the house. The house he owned, and had lived in for many years with F.
Needless to say M is seeing a lawyer and I am digging out the paperwork on the titles to the gravesites. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to should handle this, poor uncle T is 90 and he is so angry and sad all at once it is affecting his health.