Monday, August 29, 2011

It's not all about the money ...

It's been awhile since I posted. I still check in on all of you when I can - don't give up on me!

Summer around here ended with a bang. I was sitting at the kitchen table last week when the Earth moved. Truly. My very first earthquake. Most of us around here didn't even know what it was when it happened. I found my neighbor outside looking at her roof. When I asked what she was doing, she said "It sounded like someone was walking on my house!"

We followed that excitement with Hurricane Irene roaring through a few days later. And just now, there are reports of a funnel cloud a few miles away. I have to wonder if God is trying to tell us something.

Later on this week, my DS is scheduled for a pretty scary surgery. I've been cleaning and cooking in anticipation of not having much time for either one for awhile. Also, it has kept my mind off what's to come.

I don't know if we've made progress on the debt this month or not. I haven't run the numbers and I'm not going to do it until sometime in September. The progress has been slow this summer and if I dwell too much on that fact, I might lose any momentum I've got going. So I'm not. I'm going to dwell on the recent reminders that there are more important things to focus on than money.

Hope everyone is off to a great week and looking forward to a new month!



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sometimes, the little guy prevails

Way back in April, I wrote about my not-so-fun trip to buy DS some eyeglasses. Those glasses that I had to pay $400 out of pocket for? What I haven't written about is all the fun I've had since with those glasses.

Within days after bringing them home, they were slipping off DS's nose. And given that he is physically unable to push them back up on his own, this was just as annoying to me as it was to him. So we headed back to the office to have them fitted. And we went back a week later. And another time after that.

I took him back four times to have those frames adjusted so they would stay on his face. And four times the fitting failed. Earlier this month, I had reached my limit and I remembered that when I bought the frames I was told they come with a one-year warranty. So I went back yet again with the intention of using that warranty and trading the frames for ones that properly fit.

I can be so naive.

The very nice woman said that the warranty doesn't apply because the problem is DS's nose. Now, DS has a whole lot of things wrong with him, but his nose is perfectly normal, thank you very much. When I pushed the issue, she says "he has oily skin." Uh, do you know a teenager without oily skin? She then looks at DS and says "Your mom seems frustrated." You think??

Having gotten nowhere, I went home and started researching. I came up with the address for the manufacturer, whom I contacted. It's the provider's problem, I was told. So I searched for the address of the corporate headquarters for the provider. Found a name and wrote a letter. A long one.

Four days later my phone rings. It's the provider saying they would be more than happy to replace DS's glasses at no cost. Imagine that. So we've chosen a few styles from the book and they are being ordered so DS can see them in person before we decide. Cost is not factoring into this decision. We are to pick any frames we want.

The lesson here is to speak up for what you know is right. Don't quit with the first refusal and insist the companies stand behind their products. We, the consumers, deserve to be satisfied.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Time out to give thanks

Like many of you, my days can pass by in a blur. I'm a wife, mother, 24/7 caregiver and, oh, about a thousand other hats I wear. And the debt is a noose around my neck that never lets me forget is there. So I think it's important to stop once in awhile, take a deep breath, thank God for His blessings and be thankful for all that is right in my life.

So today I start with thanks to you, my PF friends, for all your freezer meal ideas and for your continued support. You are all the best!

I am thankful for my family. They are demanding, exhausting and can suck the life right out of me ... but their laughter, friendship and love keep me going.

I am thankful that DH's raise kicked in today. It's not enough to change our lives, but at a time when our friends are taking pay cuts, we are so very appreciative.

I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on the table. Recent reports from Somalia remind me that not everyone is so fortunate.

I am thankful that today we are experiencing a "cold snap" and the temperature will stay in the 80s for the first time in weeks.

I am thankful I have nowhere to go today - I love at-home Fridays.

And, finally, I am especially thankfully that one day I will be out of debt and free to give back to my heart's desire.

May each of you have a blessed day!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Need freezer meal ideas!

Now that I've come to terms with DS's upcoming surgery, I need to start getting my ducks in a row. First up is my thoughts about meals in the days after we come home from the hospital. I anticipate little time to grocery shop and sleepless nights and harried days. So I need to stock up on some easy freezer meals. Because DS will be on a liquid diet for at least two weeks, I just need something for DH and myself that won't keep me in the kitchen during the intense caregiving post-op phase. Oh, yeah, the meals also need to be cheap. But you probably already knew that :)

Anyone have any great ideas or favorite go-to meals that freeze well? I sure could use the help!



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm worn down

It could be the weather ... day after day of 100+ degrees with no relief in sight. But that's probably just an added thorn. I had such high hopes for August. A new month, turning over a new leaf and all that.

My optimism didn't even last 24 hours.

On Monday, the first day of the month, DS had a doctor's appointment which I presumed would be fairly routine. A new doc, but that's nothing unusual in his world. I expected a meet-and-greet and the once-over for DS and we would be on our way. Instead, we left with a date in place for a somewhat complicated and extremely painful surgery. After dealing with DS's health issues for so long, I thought I was prepared for all that is thrown our way. I was wrong. And since we're guaranteed a night or two in ICU, the possibilities of more medical bills loom.

It might be my mood, but the regular bills seem even more menacing and impossible this week. I dreamed last night that someone handed me a check that would clear all of our debt in one swoop. I hated to wake up from that one.

They say this too shall pass. Now to convince myself ...