Friday, January 30, 2009

Adventures in Healthcare - episode XIIV

I promise this will not be a long, drawn out, frighteningly TMI post about universal healthcare. I know in the past I have ranted hysterically but I won't do that today. I won't do that because I have fantastic insurance now. I love my insurance so much I would marry it if I wasn't already married to Bob. However, I am married to Bob and some of you may remember that I almost lost him in September.

After his accident he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital ($798), then airlifted to the regional trauma center in Seattle ($14,000). I wasn't there, of course, and he wasn't conscious, so we didn't know that there was another ambulance at the end of the helicopter ride to transport him emergency room of the hospital. I never would have expected that. Since the landing pad is on top of the garage directly across from the hospital, and there are several walkways from the garage to the hospital, I just assumed that there was an elevator and hallway into the emergency room.

I was amazed to learn that they actually landed and then loaded his stretcher into an ambulance with an entirely different crew who then drove around the block and into the ambulance bay of the hospital. It doesn't even make sense but that's how they do it. I'm sure that there must be good reasons for this... far be it from me to question the gods of trauma medicine. (The same gods who missed not one, not two, but four additional injuries and discharged him after three days of observation with an undiagnosed BROKEN NECK.)

Whatever the reason.. the multiple ambulance procedure is how it's done. Apparently the final ambulance company didn't get our correct insurance information so a few weeks ago I received a bill from them ($859 for one block) which I forwarded to our new insurance company.

Yesterday I got a love note notice from the beloved insurance company. They have denied the claim for the final ambulance ride. When I called them, to inquire why they had withdrawn their loving support, I was told that there is a limit to how much emergency treatment you can receive in one day and we had one transport too many on that day. The customer service agent actually asked me, after I explained the whole thing, "Did you call for the ambulance to transport him to the trauma center?" I think he was a bit bothered by my maniacal laughter. He transferred me to a supervisor who has promised to have the claim reviewed.

Feel the love.

Monday, January 26, 2009

One World - One Heart: Two give-aways


And the Winners are...

(order assigned by RNG)

For the Green set:
Jamaise @ Wishing Penny

For the Blue:
Marie at My Little World

And for the one that I haven't made yet...
Coralie at The Charms of Ordinary Days


Thank you to everyone who entered. This has been a fun couple of weeks and it's been so nice "meeting" everyone and seeing all of your work.

Vallen at Queenly Things was the first person to tell me about the One World - One Heart give-away that Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian hosts every year. After browsing through the various items that people were offering I wanted to enter all 500+ drawings! There are some incredibly beautiful items being given away.

Now I truly believe that if you want something it is very good luck to give something of your own and, since one of my goals for this year is to complete a project every week, I actually have something of my own to give away!

The green necklace is glass and brass beads strung on cotton cord, the earrings are glass and brass on gold filled wires.

The blue necklace is a handmade heart pendant with glass and silver plated beads on cotton cord, the matching earrings are glass and silver on stainless wires.

My give-away is open to anyone, regardless of location. You don't have to have a blog or be participating in OWOH. Simply leave a comment on this post by February 11th and, on February 12th, I will place all the names in a hat and one of my kids loyal apprentices will draw the winners. After you have entered, click on the One World icon and it will take you to a magical place where you can find hundreds of other give-aways to enter.

Good luck!

Please make sure I have a way to contact you.. if you don't have a blog leave your email address.

1/29 amendment - We still have two weeks until the drawing so I've decided that I will add a third prize if I get more than 300 comments. It will be another set similar to the first two but either pink or yellow. gina

2/12/09 7am: Comments are now closed. I will be chosing three winners using a random number generator and will post them by 5pm today.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wandering in a Fog

Foggy Morning
It's a little foggy in Washington lately.

Every morning.
Every evening.
All week long.
Is it any wonder my brain is getting mushy?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Putting aside childish things...

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009

I was so proud of my country today and so proud of the man that we elected. President Obama gives me hope for the future. I am ready to follow his lead. Ready to make hard choices and help prepare our nation for a new age!

Right after I finish being childish one last time...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Design Dissatisfaction

Have you ever looked at your blog and felt like it just doesn't represent you well? That's how I'm feeling right now. I've played with different designs for two days now and I just don't like any of them. I'm not sure what I'll try next. However, in the depths of my ennui a ray of light brightened my day.

Bellezza, the most charming hostess of Dolce Bellezza, has honored me with the Premio Dardos award.

The Dardos Award is in appreciation of the merits - culturally, literary and individually- of every blogger who expresses him/herself on his/her blog. The conditions are to:

Be tickled pink,
Copy and paste the award picture to your blog,
Write down the regulations,
Link the blog who bestowed you the award,
and finally Nominate 15 blogs for the award.

And I am tickled pink.. I even tried on some pink blog designs but they didn't fit. Thank you so much Bellezza!

I am passing the award on to a wonderful group of writers. Some are friends but I seem to pass awards on to the same friends over and over and, while I love everyone's blogs, I am trying to highlight some new blogs today. Others are complete strangers who will wonder why in the world this person who they have never heard from is giving them awards. Their blogs are all wonderful in their own very unique ways. They are blogs I read for ideas and inspiration. Check them out, you might find something new to love.

I hope this Premio Dardos brightens your winter day as much as it did mine.

Lilly Rose @ Lilly Rose Chen
Debbie @ Etc.,Etc.,Etc.
Laura @ CenterDownHome
Kate @ Kate5kiwis
Tiffany @ But I Had A Tiara
Vallen @ Queenly Things
Elaine @ Quixotical
Ms Moon @ Bless Our Hearts
Pen @ Dogtales and Dreams
Michele @ Frugal Granola
Lisa @ The House of Payne
Kyddryn @ Shade and Sweetwater
Rowena @ Rubber Slippers in Italy
Susan @ Farmgirl Fare
Marc @ Mental Masala

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Goal setting, menu planning, house cleaning, I'm just a January Housewife Stereotype. It feels good though. The Christmas stuff has been boxed up and moved to the garage. I am drawing up a garage organization plan and will begin to implement it this week. Then I will move on to another room. This is what I was just starting on when Bob had his accident in September. I have been in a holding pattern long enough. It's time to get moving again.

Crow takes flight

Bob is still grounded, no travel or physical therapy for another month, but he has been allowed to remove his neck brace. That small change feels like victory. He is making progress. We are both anxiously looking forward to returning to normal life and, even though there is still a lot of work to be done, the removal of that brace is tangible evidence that this stage in our lives will not last forever.

Enough deep stuff.. on to the menu!

Monday - Chicken Sausage, Veggie dogs, Frittata, Biscuits
Tuesday - Lasagna, Bread, Green Beans
Wednesday - Salsa Chicken, Vegetarian Spanish Rice and Beans, Tortillas and Salad
Thursday - Chili stuffed baked potatoes, steamed Broccoli
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Make your own Pizza
Sunday - Tomato soup, Panini, and chips


This year one of our favorite Christmas presents is a quesadilla maker. It is magic! Leftovers become suddenly more desirable when covered with cheese and pressed between two tortillas in it's special heating chamber. Seriously, I haven't seen a kitchen appliance get this much action since the Magic Bullet came to live on my counter.

Last night we really put the little thing to the test. Zane had a group of friends over playing video games so we set up a nacho and quesadilla bar for them. Who knew that six 15 year old boys could consume two pounds of corn chips, a pound and a half of ground beef, six cups of refried beans, two pounds of cheese, two jars of queso dip, two jars of salsa, two avocados, and 30 flour tortillas in less than 20 minutes? And then top it all off with a gallon of ice cream an hour later.

It was glorious!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Setting Goals

Why is it that setting goals always feels to me like self-limitation? I guess it doesn't make much sense but deep down I feel that if I say "I'm going to do thus and such at this specific time" something else will present itself and I will be forced to let one go in order to accomplish the other. So I keep my options open.

keeping options open

But there's a problem with open options. If nothing occurs to fill the empty time then I accomplish nothing. Essentially I am allowing the universe to set goals for me and the universe is annoyingly fickle. Today it wants the laundry done but before the task is complete it will decide that the cat's claws need to be clipped or a dinner for seven must be assembled.

Of course, this is a reoccurring topic for me, because I don't learn from previous mistakes and therefore I must repeat them again and again and... again, but I'm getting too old for this.

Am I too old | Is it too late

At the rate I'm going I will be folding towels on my death bed while wondering if I will be able to work on a novel in heaven, or hell. So I resolve to set some goals, to make a schedule, to push myself into making a few decisions. Then I sit and stare at a blank piece of paper and try to figure out how I can possibly commit to steering my own life. It's much easier to deal with consequences when you let the universe decide your fate.

no sign

Making decisions means defending my choices and saying "No" to opportunities and, more agonizingly, to those I love who are accustomed to me being available when they might need me.

How do you choose?

Photos courtesty of Flickr and anatomist, 917press, and zen

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where's Gina?

Yesterday was Epiphany, the twelvth day of Christmas, and I ceremoniously kicked the Christmas tree to the curb. Actually I tossed it in the backyard with the intention of dragging it to the curb tomorrow morning before the garbage truck arrives. However, today, the first official post-Christmas day, it has been raining so hard that my back yard is now a couple of inches underwater and I'm not sure I want to slog around back there in the dog poop soup. Perhaps the tree, exposed to all that natural fertilizer and plenty of water will just sprout new roots? Nah, I didn't think so.

It's been strange to so quickly go from the sparkling white snowed-in holidays to this soggy new year. I'm not quite ready to let go of Christmas but it's gone, gone, gone. Today I went to Target and bought some fantastic Christmas decorations for 90% off! I was so excited but the bargain deco high didn't last long. Stuffing new stuff into the Christmas boxes and moving them out to the garage is actually a bit sad.

Time rolls on though. Tonight Taylor had her first Girl Scout cookie meeting. Presales start Friday. The good news is I can finish off the Christmas cookies while contemplating how many boxes of thin mints I need to get through the rest of the year.