Thursday, August 3, 2017

Six memorable summer moments I didn't blog about

It's been a rough summer for me. Recouping from my surgery is harder than I thought, then (and I haven't told you this yet) I had a coughing fit about 10 days after the surgery, and fractured a vertebrae in my lumbar spine. That post is forthcoming, but the point is...rough summer.

(And now, a picture of summer 2015 when we went to San Diego. Just 'cause.)

This is the opposite of a rough summer.

But I always manage to laugh stuff off best I can, because what else are you gonna do? So I'm linking up to Mama Kat's Writer Workshop this week for the prompt: List your top six favorite summer moments so far. Only, these are more just memorable moments from this summer, that I meant to blog about, but didn't.

1.  Memories

My uncle texted me a picture of myself when I was around 12 or 13, that I hadn't seen in a long time.

This was my attempt at Farrah Fawcett hair
My sister said I looked like a member of the Manson family. Thanks, sis. Also, she's kind of right.

Lordy, I remember those glasses. They were photo-something lenses that darkened in the sun and lightened indoors. They seemed like a brilliant idea when I got them, but in P.E. class, when I was outside for a long time, they turned really dark and I always looked like a fly face. Ah, the memories.

2.  Aliens

In May (that's summer, right? sort of?), my brother and I drove to Roswell, New Mexico, for my niece's graduation. Everything about that place is quirky. Of course, we had to visit the alien museum. The highlight of which, was this:

3.  Incidents and Accidents

On the last day of May, I had my surgery, and although surgery is...well, it's surgery... there were some funny moments (I wrote about some of them here). It just so happens that my son broke his hand a few days before my surgery, so here's what it looked like when he came to visit me in the hospital:

We're pretty smiley, for a couple of injured folks.

We look like an ad for an injury attorney.

4. Annie Aged-ly 

A few weeks after my surgery, my sister and I drove to my mom's for a visit. Mom and her husband are always at war with the squirrels in their garden. I went in the kitchen one morning for coffee, and saw this:

Mom doesn't care for varmints.
It kind of shakes you up when you always thought of your mom as an animal lover, then you see a sight like that. I stay out of her garden now, though.

5.  Sibling Love

Both my girls are world travelers these days, so when they are back home at the same time, it warms my heart. I thought I would capture a tender moment of them taking a nap together, but apparently, only one was actually asleep. Just as I snapped the picture, this happened:

6.  It's my birthday and I'll wear a brace if I want to 

So, my birthday was in July and despite the neck brace and back fracture, it wasn't too bad. First, I got some free makeup from Ulta:

Then I treated my Flintstone feet to a pedicure:

My dog is ecstatic, as you can see.
And finally, dinner with the fam at the place that makes my favorite cocktail:

Italian margarita at Olive Garden - yummm! Also, their alfredo sauce is the bomb!
So there you have it - six memorable moments of my summer. Riveting, I know.

How about you? Any memorable moments this summer to share?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Almost Rescued a Bird

When I last left you, I had fishing line sticking out of my neck and a $109,000 surgery bill. Well, not really a bill because insurance....but still.

You'll be happy (or maybe just grossed out) to know that after tugging on the fishing line a little bit each day over the course of a few days, the thread finally just slipped out. I guess it wasn't attached to anything, but it was about two inches long.

When I pulled it all the way, I half expected to involuntarily shout my innermost secrets.


But nothing so exciting happened. I was just glad to not be walking around with a string sticking out of me. I was glad when menopause hit for the same reason. (Think about it for a'll get it.)

As for the surgery bill, I'll spare you the details, but the hospital accepted whatever the insurance company paid them, which was NOT $109,000. They figured it out amongst themselves.


(I made the gif from the Citi commercials with the two neighbors. Have you seen it? It's pretty funny.)

As incensed as I was about the high cost of healthcare, all I really cared about was that we didn't have to pay any more than we already had. Gee, I wonder why that career in activism hasn't taken off yet for me?

I would like to mention though, that the piece of metal and screws in my neck cost $56,000. I'm thinking I could have picked up something from Home Depot for a helluva' lot less. But what do I know?

Anyhoo... didn't mean to go off on that tangent. I really just wanted to tell you what happened to me today.

I almost rescued a bird.

Yesterday, I took two of my dogs for a walk on our usual route and I saw a baby dove sitting in the rocks in a common area in our development. (If you don't live in an HOA in the suburbs, common areas are landscaped areas that aren't someone's yard. It's where I prefer my dogs to poo.)

It had feathers and was walking around (the bird, not the poo), so I thought maybe its mama was giving it a flying lesson and he was being stubborn and lazy and his mom was all, "Fine. Sit there then. When yo' scraggly-ass is hungry, you know the way to the crib."

So me and the doggies and our bag of poo finished our walk and I dropped them at my house and picked up my other two dogs (cause that's the official dog-walking procedures around here) and we walked the same route and I checked on the birdie again. He was still sitting there.

I thought about rescuing him, but other than a cockatiel I raised for about five years, I don't have the best track record of keeping birds alive.

When I was about 10, we acquired a baby chick (I don't remember how) which I kept in a cardboard box in the bedroom I shared with my sister. I was really excited about it because the next day was Show-and-Tell at school and I was going to bring Chickie and be the envy of my friends. But I was scared of the dark and for that reason, didn't close our bedroom door that night.

Did I mention we had two cats? I woke up to find the box toppled over and Chickie's feet and beak laying in the hallway. How we slept through the massacre, I don't know. Chickie didn't even last 24 hours under my care.

Then years later, when my kids were young, my first husband bought us a parakeet. I thought it would be fine because we didn't have cats. We had a very gentle border collie. I took the cage down and set it on the kitchen table, and put the bird on the top of the cage to perch while I cleaned the cage.

The events following happened very fast, but I think the bird tried to fly off the cage and that triggered the border collie to try to bite it and yadda, yadda....another dead bird. That one lasted less than a week.

Then some years later, when Sissa was a teenager, I was picking her up from school and her and her friends had found an injured pigeon. I didn't want to just leave the thing in the street to die and my daughter was pleading with me, so I took the pigeon to the nearest vet (who looked at me like I was crazy, by the way), and he said it would heal on its own and we could try to care for it until it could fly away.

So we got it home and while Sissa was carrying it inside, it escaped, crawled under the house, and probably died. Can't blame him for trying to escape -no doubt he'd heard of us. The place where birds check in and never leave.

Fast forward to the present day and you can understand why I was hesitant to attempt a bird death sentence rescue.

There was shade and water from the plant bubblers, so I left the little guy there, but kept thinking about him all night.

I took my dogs for a walk today and when we passed by the spot where I'd seen him, I looked for him.

He was still sitting there. He wasn't all half-passed-out or anything. He looked like he was just chillin'. He cocked his head and looked at me all, " 'Sup?"

Actually, it was more like, "Back off, lady!"

But I couldn't just let this baby dove die from starvation and the elements because his mama abandoned him. As opposed to you know, dying from exposure to me. My husband has a friend he's known since high school who has successfully rescued several birds so I  planned to pawn the thing off on him ask him for advice.

So I rushed the doggies through the rest of their walk and we high-tailed it home.

When we got home, I dug a cat carrier out of the garage (ironic, I know), hopped in my truck and headed back over to my prey the little guy.

I don't know what the neighbors thought about the crazy lady with the cat carrier, tramping through the bushes calling, "Come here, baby! Come here, baby! Where's your mama? Where's your mama?" In the rain, no less.

The little guy's mom was probably watching from a tree, going, "Bitch, back off! Git the hell out with yo' mama shamin' self. This here is how we roll in bird world!"

It was apparent I wasn't going to catch him without a second person, so I gave up for the moment, got back in my truck and Googled "abandoned baby dove," so I would know what to feed the thing if I ever could capture it.

I'm glad I had the sense to Google it, because I found out that it's common for young mourning doves to be found walking around on the ground. They fly out of their nest then don't know how to fly back, so they stay put and their moms feed them and look out for them until they can fly. A little like human kids when they first move out of the house.

So I decided to leave the little guy be and hope for the best. Apparently, mourning doves are one of the most prolific birds in the U.S. They're like the rabbits of the bird world. Their parents can always make more, hence their lackluster parenting methods.

Incidentally, they get their name because the cooing sound they make sounds like lamenting (I got that from here), which is appropriate because if he gets stuck with me taking care of him, he will be lamenting all right.

For now, the birds are safe from me. I'll be checking on the little guy tomorrow, so updates will follow as they become available. Hopefully, I'll find time in my busy unemployed day to blog about it.

Bird Hitler

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Surgery is Expensive. Also, I didn't Win the Lottery.

We didn't win the lottery. I say "we" because my brother, sister, myself, my mom and stepdad have an agreement that if any of us wins, we will all split the money. So when my sister and I drove out to California to visit my mom this past weekend, we bought tickets.

And now, here I lay in my bed with my little laptop tray, surrounded by sleeping dogs in my mess of a bedroom, checking lottery ticket numbers. In my pajamas. Could I BE more pathetic?

I was beginning to feel better from my surgery, but then I got this dry cough that may or may not be turning into a cold, and I feel kind of crappy.

So it's back to bed I go for a day or two. Maybe I was trying to do too much with my dog walks and road trips two weeks after my neck was sliced open.

Speaking of which, my scar is looking pretty good, except there's this little piece of suture sticking out and I have to tell you - I want to pull it so dang bad. It's all I can do to resist it. The sutures are supposed to just disintegrate on their own and they all have, except for this one little piece. It's like fishing line and I really just want to pull on it, but am afraid what I might dredge up. I mean, what's the other end attached to?

So for now, I'm resisting. Updates as they become available.

Aside from checking lottery numbers and refraining from unraveling myself, I managed to get a little paperwork done today. I went to my insurance company's website to check the status on my hospital claim. Do you want to know how much it was?

A hundred and nine thousand dollars.

Yes, I'm serious.

Do you want to know how much the hospital estimated it would be and what my copayment (which they made me pay the day before the surgery) was based upon?

Eighteen thousand dollars.

So here's a question - WTF???

Did they find six other people on which to perform the surgery and slap them all on my bill?

And guess what else? They don't automatically send you the itemized bill of all the charges. Oh no. You have to call and ask for it. So you can bet your patootie I did. Sure, the insurance company is paying for it, but damn. I'm insanely curious how they can justify that kind of cost AND how they can be THAT way off in their "estimate".

I'll be watching the mailbox for that puppy. Because apparently, I've got nothing better to do.

Speaking of doing things, I've suddenly begun getting "looking for sex" emails.  Like five a day. I didn't really get them before, so I'm not sure what's changed. I suspect nefarious activities on the part of the hospital. Based on your answers to their very personal pre-surgery questions, I bet they sell your email address to spammers.

Recouping from surgery gives one loads of time to concoct conspiracy theories, by the way.'ll be happy to know, that's all I got today.

Losing it,

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