Thursday Thoughts ~ 7/29/21

I took off a day last week, in part because I needed a break but also to catch up on things. The proverbial ‘to-do’ list was burgeoning. I still have a lot going on but I’m better y’all. And, I plan to stay that way.

Besides dropping off my vehicle for repairs (at a new place) sorry old place, I reconciled all the bills from my recent medical services. I tried to be mellow but oy vey. What a freaking racket.

I needed anesthesia. There was a doctor for that purpose who flew into the room all clipboard in hand, asked questions but appeared not to care enough to wait for answers. I don’t think he did anything but he still had to be paid. His nurse was the one that watched me as she was planning her wedding. No I didn’t dream it, this conversation went on before I went under. She too sent a bill. Here’s the rundown of both:

His charge was $1360 with insurance paying most of the member rate at $223. Yep without insurance that mofo could have claimed and received $1360 for a 3 minute conversation to ask me some questions. $223 is bad enough.

Her charge was $1040 with insurance paying most of the member rate at another $223. Funny how the member rate was exactly the same despite her original bill being less and her doing more work (if watching me for 20 minutes as I sleep is considered more). Well of course it is.

The leftover for me after insurance paid was $25 to each person. That means I paid $50 out of pocket. When you count the insurance payments of $446, $496 was paid in total. Why? Because I have insurance. Without insurance, we’re talking $2400. More than quadruple. Something is greatly wrong with that picture. I mean seriously!!!! Rotten.

I’d love to know the true cost. The medicine, the equipment, a fair fee for the provider. The insurance company contribution makes this feel like a pyramid scheme. I’m glad I am only out of pocket $50 bucks but I feel for anyone else without the same means.

Alright, I’m worn out. Until next time, be safe. Peace.

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week in Review ~ 7/25/21

I had a day off last week. Yay me! Though I paid for it working a couple of 12 hour days to catch up. Which means I really didn’t get a day off by working 40 plus hours in 4 days. I’ll let you in on a little secret. That sH!t is about to stop. I’m taking off a full week in August come hell or high water. And when I get back, I am stopping at a reasonable hour even if things get behind.

It was a really nice day off though because I didn’t peek at anything work related despite the proximity to my work email on my phone. B had the day off too. We got some things taken care of and we are zeroing in on hiring someone to install our new roof. That has been fun not fun and makes for a post of its own.

Okay, enough prattling about. On with the reverse roll call.

  1. Saturday 7/24/21 – My Ear Bud dilemma and #SoCS Color
  2. Friday 7/23/21 – Book Club
  3. Thursday 7/22/21 – Thoughts about our definition of beauty
  4. Wednesday 7/21/21 – More from our guy Al
  5. Tuesday 7/20/21 – Share Your World
  6. Monday 7/19/21 – Reflections/Memories of Jim and Haiku
  7. Sunday 7/18/21 – Mr. Brightside

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.

Off Cycle Thoughts/Here Is Why You Can’t Have Nice Things ~ 7/24/21

Sometimes I dip my toe into the deep end. Splash! Eventually I catch up with the techie techs of the world. On a lark, in prep for my RTO = return to office, I sprung for some wireless ear buds. Not the nice ones mind you. Lulu has her fancy dancy Apple Air pods and Pony has his Samsung equivalent but this other ‘f’ word stands for frugal gal isn’t going to spend that kind of cash.

I got Onn knock offs, compatible with iPhone. For the low, low price of $19.88 + tax. Easy enough set up for this luddite though I did have issues going between my phone and my iPad. The sound was great. The charge lasted all day. I took them to work and thank goodness I had them because my first day back, I forget my headset at home.

I swear dollars to donuts that I brought my ear buds home and even used them here at this very spot where I am sitting right now. But, nope. They are nowhere to be found here at the house. I had the collective family unit turn things upside down. Somewhere between the office and back home, poof gone. The last time for sure I remember using them was at the Tech Spot in the office as I waited for my new laptop, which is a story I may not have written about here in bloglandia but I almost blew up y’all. Seriously Meredith Grey.

“See that is why you can’t have nice things!” said me to the kids once upon at time. Or I am misremembering because that doesn’t sound like me at all. LOL. Now they can tell me the same thing. Glad I went with the cheapo because I am on the hunt for a replacement. And I definitely don’t want to lose them again.

I’m looking for something with a strap. Still not wired but wireless. I am in Amazon hell. Prime free one day and Amazon Choice offers. Too many to choose from. I have put in search criteria to slowly reduce my options but still have 294 to look through. Maybe I need to close my eyes, point to the screen, and pin the tail on the bud. Ugh! Shoot me now.

Humor me fine folks. Toss me a comment or two about your bud of choice. The ear variety. Wink wink. As if the teetotaler even remotely has any idea what she is talking about.

As always. more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 7/22/21

Where does this story start? Maybe with a very early memory of my mom telling me a lady always leaves a little bit of food on her plate. Which was counter to the “if you take it, you have to eat it” philosophy of my dad. To be fair, both were waste not, want not folks having lived through the Great Depression. But as they became more affluent, mom wanted to look a certain way. She smoked her ass off in small part to stay skinny. Well that plus the addiction to nicotine.

Little Jilly was always well … little. Toothpick thin. And I remember liking that. I felt special. Having people comment on my diminutive size pleased me.

With the exception of my mom and her sister, I was surrounded by big women who I loved fiercely. My Mamaw, Aunt Carol, Aunt Jo, Aunt Marie. I never saw them as too heavy. Quite the opposite. They were just my role models. Larger than life is an ethereal way. I felt their love, kindness, and genuine goodness.

Later in life, I put on quite a few pounds due to the antidepressant I took for a brief stint. But after I weaned off that, the weight came off. I’ve more or less maintained within a ‘normal’ weight range (whatever the fuck that is). Overweightness never impacted me until my own baby girl began to struggle with her weight towards the end of high school.

The specific details of what started her spiral will be left out. Only to say she had issues; she still does; we all do … even you judgy preachy. After Good Friday of her senior year, Lulu slowly but steadily ate herself into an oblivion, each year bigger than the year before. This went on for all four years that she was in college away at school.

I claimed her blossoming size didn’t bother me but it did. And somehow her size bothered the outside world too. I was concerned. I vehemently didn’t want her size to matter. I read every body shaming article I could. Justifying what should never need justification. Blamed the gain on her meds like me, etc… wanting desperately to know the reason … so that her being plus size would somehow be tolerable to others.

Like the elephant in the room, the subject of her weight was avoided. When we were together, anywhere, walking or whatever she stopped being able to keep up with me. What she termed the chafe sidelined her. She could no longer buy her clothes in store. I was scared and would talk to B who would say, “what do you want me to do? It’s hereditary”.

In March of 2020, the Rona ended everything. Being back home limited her ability to binge. Certain things like no pop in the house (yea sometimes I think I’m a midwesterner), slowly started to change things.

We still never talked about the elephant in the room. She is like her daddy. Stoic. Few words. In fact, talking is torture to her except to her person.

In May of 2020, when her graduation gown came in and it didn’t fit, we could tell she was devastated. She still wouldn’t admit she was hurting. Instead she found a weight loss app and began meal planning. Measured every morsel.

Again, I was worried. I hovered and watched silently. Ready to pounce if she went to the other extreme and quit eating. The weight slow dropped off, a pound or two each week. She adjusted her calorie count down never going below 1500 calories. She also never banned any specific food. If we ordered from Dairy Queen, she did too, just allotting for yummy ice cream. After a while, she started weighing herself multiple times daily. If the number of the scale didn’t move or heaven forbid, went up, she’d be upset. That’s when B stepped in and told her to stop. If she wanted to keep meal planning, she could but no more scale.

Before he took the scale away, she marked the loss of 100 pounds. Dropped from a size 26 to a size 16. People started commenting. Not realizing their praise stung. My quiet girl, began talking. Wondering out loud “mom what do you think they used to think about me?” “Do they think I lost enough already or should I keep going?” Easy for me to say “fuck em”; what they think doesn’t matter. Because it mattered … to her.

She recently told me she was finally proud of herself. And asked me if I was proud of her too. Because I never said anything. I remained zipped lips. Until I broke. I didn’t want to call attention to her weight loss because pride is a venial sin. And because I didn’t want her to think we hadn’t loved her all along exactly as she was even when she was heavy.

My relief over her transformation has nothing to do with her weight loss and everything to do with her loving herself. Maybe even for the first time. I’m proud that she took control all on her own for something she believed in. That she put in the work and even had she not lost a single pound, I’d still feel the same way.

Funny how one never really sees what is standing right in front of them. When I stop to look at her and really see her, she’s my baby at age 2 or 3, giggling. Then I flash to grade school, on a field trip to the zoo. She is polite and behaving. Then she’s older still and somehow I always remember her smiling with a willingness to help. I pass her office and hear the smile in her voice “yes, you’ve got it, I’ll help you with that”. She got my call center gene just like her brother. I love her wit, her sass, her easy spirit. Like my role models before her, I feel her love, kindness, and genuine goodness.

Alrighty, time to wrap this up. Before I go, a gentle suggestion if I may. Don’t tell someone they look good because they’ve lost weight. Don’t mention when someone puts on a few pounds. Trust me, they already know. Keep your opinions about appearance to yourselves. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Shakespeare expressed a similar sentiment:

Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues

Love’s Labours Lost, 1588

And another good one: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid blind.” from A Midsummer Nights Dream.

As always, more to come.

Monday Reflections ~ 7/19/21

My turn.  A turn no one wants to take.  Actually my turn came first, seven years before B lost Danny.  Twenty two years ago, on July 19, 1999, my brother Jim was found deceased.

Jimbo Pete.  Willie to my Peaches.  He was troubled yet in many ways his passing wasn’t a surprise.  His lifestyle took him to the edge, homeless, living on the fringe.  Earlier that year as we laid to rest a school friend, he kept telling me how he wished he could trade places.  She had so much more to live for than him (his words).  He said he was going to change, this was his wakeup call, like he was getting a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th chance.

Try as he might, fate intervened.  I got the call that day from the owners of Craft Country. Someone from the clinic across the street found him as they were opening up. All appearances looked like he had a seizure and hit his head on the A/C unit. Though I believe what happened was much worse and I was told what I was told to spare me. They said someone needed to go identify the body. If we didn’t go within 72 hours, he’d be a John Doe since he was found with no ID.

They had tried to get my other brother (who was on vacation at the coast) after multiple attempts to reach my dad (who was road tripping it on his honeymoon). This was a time before cell phones kept people connected 24/7. Much of the remainder of the day was a blur. I got ahold of my sister at work. Ever so slowly information was passed along while in utter disbelief.

After the shock wore off, there came relief.  Few knew the depths of his sufferings, outside our small core. Heaven help me, I was glad he no longer had to bear his mortal coil.  I do still wonder though. What if? Could things have ever turned a corner for him? 

This is my attempt to write something new this year.  Something to release the pain but I couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t feel like overstepping.  Maybe I’ve already said too much.  Yet something about the pandemic makes me realize nothing good ever comes from hiding things.  If just one person sees themselves in his sad tale and reaches out for help with alcohol abuse, blabbing would have been worth it.

Written in 2017, Because we had a charmed life.  Remembering The Dash – My Brother Jimbo Pete 

And now, a fitting musical tribute to all who are gone but not forgotten.  ❤

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week In Review ~ 7/18/21

Ribbit, Ribbit. Cute little frog for my feature image. In the book I’m currently reading, Peggy collects frog figurines and Martha thinks that’s gauche. How rude! said in my Michelle Tanner voice over voice. Let’s get on with it shall we …

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 7/15/21

I started writing blogging ideas down when I woke and couldn’t go back to sleep. Now I pulled them out trying to spark a post but I’m flummoxed. What the heck? Ugh. Well, at least the notes served their purpose of getting me back to sleep but not much here to use. Guess I’m back to MSU = making stuff up.

Funny how life imitates art some times. At work, we have challenges to earn healthy points which can then be converted into % discount off our health insurance premium. I’m a carrot and stick kinda gal who always plays. If you get 2k points, that’s 5% off the annual premium. For 3k points, you get a bonus prize. For 2021, that prize is a hoodie. Well you have me at bonus points. The what I win is of little concern.

Back to life imitating art. I watched a resiliency video for 15 more points toward the prize. Our calm spokesperson talked about how two very well known people still got nervous before an engagement. To deal with that energy, one would go into a bathroom stall and scream. Then she’d go on to give the speech of her life. Another would run up and done a flight of stairs three or four times with the same result. Taylor Swift was on to something with her song Shake It Off.

A true tip for getting the butterflies under control. The resilience video went on to discuss fight or flight and how movement, even the small act of standing up, or moving positions, changed everything. Like a steam valve was released.

Right after I watched that healthy points video at work, I was clearing out our DVR which records PrimeTime Anytime. I watched the season finale of Rebel which is loosely based on Erin Brockovich. As one of the lawyers waited in the hallway before the big court case, she was pacing and shaking her arms. Flapping like she was about to take flight. Yep, even in fictional setting, ways to demo resilience are displayed.

So, if anyone in my real life sees me in the bathroom at work, taking longer than expected, I’m likely in the stall shaking or screaming. Maybe a little of both. Gearing up to go back to the “area”. And if people don’t like it, they can send me back home. Where my ❤ is …

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week in Review ~ 7/11/21

Before the recap, today is 7/11 otherwise known as free Slurpee day. This tradition of ours to partake in the festivities was cancelled last year, just not safe with the Rona pre-vaccine. We’re not sure the freebies will be back this year but later on today we’ll check it out.

I changed my feature image with a plan to use different pictures each week based on my mood. This kitty quinceanera cracked me up so much and we all need a little levity, especially me after the week I created for myself.

Yeah, I own it. Much of my angst was self imposed. I kinda went cuckoo for Coco Puffs because I was repressing more than I cared to admit. But in the spirit of better out than in, I spoke to someone who talked me off the proverbial ledge. Friends are great aren’t they? Some of you here helped too. More than you know folks. Sometimes being acknowledged with a kind empathy is all one needs.

Okay, enough prattling about. Time for the reverse roll call. Woo to the Hoo!!!!!

  • Saturday 7/10/21 – #SoCS – Hope has been renamed but this won’t last. I’m telling ya what. LOL. And Tidbits.
  • Friday 7/9/21 – Book Club A free Prime Kindle. These monthly stories are often fillers for the library gems.
  • Thursday 7/8/21 – Thursday Thoughts and Expletive Rant without any context but I’m muchos mas bueno now.
  • Wednesday 7/7/21 – #1linerWeds. – MoMo’s b-day and more from our guy Al.
  • Tuesday 7/6/21 – Share Your World I do enjoy answering questions. And seeing how others do the same.
  • Monday 7/5/21 – Haiku – No work, much needed break. But laugh and we tells of pending emotions.
  • Sunday 7/4/21 – Cell phone gripe and #SLS American music.

Whew! I’m exhausted. But the good kind of regenerated tired. Nonsense you say? Well have you met me yet? LOL.

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 7/8/21

If you’re reading this, it means I survived. Survived what? That’d be Return to Office or RTO for short. Or I really wrote this in advance so I wouldn’t break my streak. Yep I’m a sneaky Pete. 😂

On this Thursday, I’m thinking. It’s the only day of the week that I ponder. Oh who am I kidding? I overthink everything every day. But today, I’m feeling some levity.

I sprung for the mat and pie shield 🛡 but pastry cutter be damned.

In the 70s, there was a CB craze. CB = Citizens Band radio. We had an in car version that was portable and an at home version. I vaguely remember what the setups looked like … lots of wires and antenna. Anyway, because we had CBs we also had handles. If you know, you know what I’m talking about and many of you youngsters don’t. Sorry that you missed out on such a wonderful slice of life from the olden days. 😂

Jilly’s handle was 👩‍🍳 🐻 aka Baker Bear. Because I was my mom’s and mamaw’s lil helper in the kitchen. The bear was for Henrietta my teddy bear 🧸 and/or the smoky bears. Bear = rookie police officer in CB code.

I’ve known some most excellent police officers in my day. Family roles models. Salt of the earth. Good guys. Much love and admiration. They might not even realize what a wonderful influence they had on me. I hit the lottery folks, fer sure.

Alrighty. I’ve got to get crack-a-lackin as ‘they’ whoever ‘they’ are say. 10/4 good buddy. Breaker breaker one nine.

As always more to come.

Sunday Reflections: A Week in Review ~ 7/4/21

Happy Birthday America! A year ago we were mask wearing, un-vaccinated, and under restrictions. I think? I’m sure about the un-vaccinated part and the mask wearing for sure but I don’t recall if the restrictions were of our own device. Hamilton was released on Disney + and I watched it on a loop. We also got two dollar Margaritas at Taco Cabana to celebrate the 4th. Yep, drive through drinking. There are rules, it’s not all willy nilly but it is something Texas kept. Open container laws still apply which meant the tequila came in a cute lil airline sized bottle. Yeah buddy!

Ok this is a week in review not an anniversary so let’s go onward through the fog to reminisce about last week. Reverse roll call, keeping it short and saweeeet!

Hmmm. I was chattier that I remembered with three days of twofers. Oh well.

Peace y’all. Until next time. Stay safe.

As always, more to come.