Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I ordered eyeglasses online ... and I'm scared!

So I've recovered enough from Bell's Palsy to get back to my to-do list. You might remember that the dog chewed my glasses to dust not long ago. Those glasses were all of three months old. Today I headed over to the place where I bought them and had them crunch the numbers. Insurance won't help because it's been less than a year. The lenses, which were under warranty, can't be replaced because I have nothing to give them to return for replacement. But since they felt sorry for me, they offered to give me a 30% discount. That would make the total ... are you ready? .... $378. Uh, no thanks.

So I got a copy of my prescription and hit the road. I did a little searching online and settled on a site with reasonable reviews. 39dollarglasses. I found a coupon code and went to work. The final cost, including shipping, came to $23.95. So I hit the button.

And now I wait to find out if I've wasted my money or gotten a good deal. Anybody ever try this before? I sure am hoping this was a brilliant move on my part. I'll let you know.


Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm back and looking forward

So far, 2013 has not been all that it was cracked up to be! I'm still in the throes of Bell's Palsy, but at the two-week mark yesterday had the first twinge of movement on my affected side. And today I drank from a cup without a straw! It's the small things in life that can make my day. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes. This is certainly not a convenient illness, but I expect to eventually make a full recovery.

Meantime, DH moved from ankle problems to hernia issues. He's scheduled for surgery next month. We sure do seem to be falling apart around here!

Financially, we're plugging along. We survived a week without pay while DH was down and out and were able to stay up-to-date with our accounts. I'm currently battling a medical supply company that insisted I pay upfront for a piece of equipment and now has not properly filed a claim. I purposely ordered this piece in December, prior to the new year as our deductible had long been met. It is my fear that when this does show up on the insurance docket, that it will be counted toward this year and I won't see any of the money back. We'll see.

Did I mention that the dog ate my glasses? Really. Chewed right through the case and left the glasses in a pile of rubble. And did I mention that said glasses were all of three months old? It was not a happy time at our house the evening the crime occurred. I'm using my old, scratched up pair right now. The lenses had a 2-year warranty (supposedly for scratches etc.). I need to call and see if that extends to total obliteration. Then I'll have to figure out the frames problem. I'm afraid that if they do agree to replace the lenses for free, they will have to be exact replicas of the originals. Meaning I'll have to purchase the same frames. Without insurance (because no way will they replace them after three months), that could be cost prohibitive. Again, we'll see.

Maybe we're getting everything out of the way early and the rest of the year will be a breeze .... maybe!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sarah update and 'Malware Ahead!'

Thanks to all for your prayers and comments for Sarah! She's not noticing a huge improvement yet, but she did have a weekend of considerably more rest than usual. She has a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and she'll report again after that.

On another note, I tried to access our blog thru Chrome as usual yesterday to reply to some of the comments and was stunned to see a 'Danger: Malware Ahead!' warning with this message:

Google Chrome has blocked access to this page on gazelleintense.blogspot.com.

Content from www.frugalconfessions.com, a known malware distributor, has been inserted into this web page. Visiting this page now is very likely to infect your Mac with malware. 

Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss, and permanent file deletion.

I've never seen this and am NOT cyber-savvy - is this a legit warning or a ploy to get us to fork over a firstborn or two in exchange for 'protection?'

Access to the blog is fine thru Safari; I haven't checked it thru Firefox yet.

If anyone has any experience with this, please share! Thanks.

Meanwhile, my husband's suspicions that his 'interim-in-name-only' teaching/coaching position is truly an interim position for him were pretty much confirmed Friday afternoon with the principal's careful choice of wording in response to his questions. After pondering the piddly options in anticipation of his being booted to the curb, we decided that the smartest move is for him to initiate the retirement process. Today. It's a slightly scary thought to know that the 'teacher' check will be dramatically reduced just as we're getting back on track with the $$$ student loans, but with early social security and a willingness to think way outside the box for additional income, we WILL make this work.

And we're willing to bet he won't need blood pressure medication come June....


Friday, January 11, 2013

A '13' Jenny and Sarah report

Greetings to all! I hope 2013 has started out with a better bang for you than it has for Sarah's family and mine. Sheesh. We've never complained that life is dull for either of us, that's for sure.

In a nutshell, my family is going thru job turmoil in all branches. With retirement looming in possibly just two years, my husband has reason to suspect that he's about to be in search of another job in order to free up space for someone else. It's a familiar tune, along with the one of being booted out because he just tries to do his job right, refusing to fall in with the good ol' boys. My father had the same 'problem.'

Meanwhile, our smart, conscientious son feels like he's stuck in a dead-end position with an insane amount of questionable paperwork and a boss too inexperienced to be effective and is pondering a switch to a completely different field. He's been in his current field three years.

Meanwhile, Part 2, our exceptionally creative son-in-law is in the middle of his first year in his career, and he's already wondering if he wants to do this any more. The stress level is horrendous, as is his exhaustion, thanks to frequent 12-hour days and work that continues when he drags home.

All three are in education: hubby in high school, son in middle school special ed, and son-in-law at an award-winning elementary school. My father was a career educator - elementary teacher and principal. My own teaching stint in a self-contained school for special needs students lasted just six years; I stopped only because we moved away. Since I was convinced I could never find a school setting so perfect, I chose to be a stay-at-home parent and volunteer in our kids' schools while hubby taught and coached.

I could easily get started on a rant about education, but I won't. The financial aspect of all this is obvious (who wants to hire someone so close to escaping retiring), especially since we've replaced staggering monthly credit card payments with those for student loans. Some day I'll tally them all up and post a progress indicator when Sarah can show me how.

Speaking of Sarah, her new year was bumped to the next level when she awakened earlier in the week with Bell's Palsy. She was able to get started later that day on the standard regimen of steroids and antiviral medication, but if anyone has helpful experience with this, please share!!! Her eye is patched to provide minimal comfort (as if there's such a thing in Bell's Palsy) and hopefully reduce the severity of the headaches, and she tries to avoid loud noises as much as possible because they're painful. Unfortunately, that includes barking dogs. They have two of 'em.

Her trooper self is still transporting her son to college, grateful that the schedule is a tiny bit easier this semester than last... in some aspects, anyway. This is when living halfway across the state is a bummer.

Prayers for Sarah would be greatly appreciated!!! I don't know when she'll be able to return to the computer long enough to post herself, but I'll pass on any news.

Happy weekend to all -


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A new year, new numbers

Over the past year, I have not often looked at the goals I set 12 months ago. I hit some of them and failed miserably at others. But, as often happens, there were some exciting peaks and some dark valleys - I think that's called life. Overall, I'm OK with how I managed. Here's the lowdown:

2012 Goals
1. Smile more. B- ... I tried. I could have tried harder.

2. Count my blessings. Every. Day. A ... I know that no matter how hard things are, it could be worse.

3. Pay for our part of daughter's wedding. In cash. A ... And it was worth every penny!

4. Make way too complicated cross-stitch Christmas stockings for same daughter and her groom as a wedding gift. Hmm, B+? I made one for my son-in-law, but it took so long I didn't have time to make a second, so I gave DD her childhood stocking which thrilled her.

5. Follow Eboo's Dollar a Week Saving Plan in order to have a fully funded Christmas account come next buying season. I actually started this in November, since that's when I'll need it next. Total so far: $171.19. F ... I started it with good intentions, but ...

6. Catch up on scrapbooking. That should keep me busy. C ... I didn't catch up, but I did make a wedding album for DD for Christmas.

7. Lose 25 pounds. I made this #7 so it wouldn't be so scary. F ... Enough said.

8. Exercise. Some. Anything at all will be an improvement. F ... See above.

9. Continue to work on the grocery budget while eating healthier. See #7. C+ ... Definitely spent less weekly than years past, but there's much room for improvement.

10. Be more positive about anything and everything. See #1. C ... Some days are better than others.

11. End 2012 having shaved a minimum of $15,000 off our debt. A+++!

12. Keep praying. It's the only way to survive this life journey. B ... I can never pray enough.

In 2012, we reduced our debt by $19,249.32! That is nearly twice as well as we did the year before and gives me hope that we can do even better in 2013.

Update on DH: His ankle woes turned out to be tendonitis. The bad news is that he missed four days of work, which will really hurt come payday. I've crunched the numbers and I think we'll be able to squeak by without resorting to drastic measures. Rice and beans for dinner, anyone?

So long, 2012. Here's to 2013 - the year we all beat down a whole lot of debt!