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Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

final

Insurance is an interesting commodity. A business where you purchase something you’re not supposed to use. In particular, car insurance irritates the life out of me. You might go along for years with no accidents or dings on your record, then someone slams into you. Once the damage is reported and repaired you are rewarded by an increase in your monthly premium or could lose your insurance entirely. The same is true of homeowner’s insurance. It’s nice to know you have it but you really don’t want to put a claim in unless you want to pay more for the privilege of doing so. What a convoluted business practice. Yes?

Another thing that I find a bit confusing are time shares. You pay to own something technically you own but can only use for two weeks out of the year. Hmmmm. These are things on ponder on lazy days like today when the only thing moving are the white puffy clouds passing by the window.

I enjoy these marketing strategies. Perhaps I’ll open a car lot. You pick out a car you like. In turn, I will sell to you with the stipulation you can only drive it two weeks out of any given year. The rest of the time the other “shareholders” will be using it. Naturally, I will receive a nice commission for setting you up with such a juicy deal.

While on the griping dais, I’m incredibly tired of getting all these robo calls. Kudos for the woman who actually sued and was awarded $1,500 per call for each annoying interruption in her life. Taking all the right steps initially she first asked not to be called again, then reported them, even filed suit, and yet the calls continued to roll in. Ours come in at the same time every day, usually as we take our seats for dinner. Blocking doesn’t work because they switch numbers and the game is on again. There should be better regulation, and hopefully will be, now that someone has slammed her foot down and said “NO MORE”. One voice really does make a difference. My mother gets a ridiculous volume of these calls asking for money. She called the other day to tell me a man she could barely understand called to tell her she’d won two and a half million dollars. That is good news. Now my deck can get done and I can sit on the beach sucking on straws. Fortunately, she’s savvy enough to know these are not real. They prey on the elderly or vulnerable people among us like sharks in a heavy swimming area. Actually the sharks are doing what’s expected of sharks, it’s the people I find disgusting.

To add to the mix of my busy week my computer seems to be feeling the tension as well. Several times I’ve had to reinstall programs to get them to kick back into action. Apparently I’m in good company as I heard both the stock exchange and United Airlines suffered computer incidents resulting in complete shutdown of their functionality and angry customers asking what the hell happened. It is scary to realize how dependent we are on our computer systems to keep us moving forward. Our Achilles heel, if you will, in a way. Such a vulnerable spot for people intent on causing mischief or worse.

Another interesting piece of news surfaced this morning. An airline seat manufacturer has actually come up with a way to cram more passengers in coach, or steerage as I’ve come to affectionately think of it. Amazing. Already you’re practically perched in your neighbor’s lap! The new suggestion verges on disturbing. The drawing shows a seat facing forward with a seat directly next to it facing backward. This would mean sitting facing a stranger possibly for five hours or much longer. How uncomfortable. Why not just stack us like plastic lawn chairs on the patio? It’s not like we needs our hands free to eat.  Also it’s come to light the airlines are in collusion with one another to keep the price for a seat on the rise. For all the extra cost to fly there is no money left over apparently to pay anyone to guard our luggage. They’ve laid off luggage “guards” to save money so they can add to that huge profit margin they keep racking up. Crooks are now waiting at the baggage kiosks to help themselves to whatever unchaperoned bags happen to rotate by. Suggestions from the airlines regarding this are that passengers not stop to use the restroom on the way to their way to the baggage area. This also may not be a viable plan. Somewhere I read they’re thinking of downsizing the restrooms on planes as well. Should this be the case since you cannot turn around in the ones in use presently, using the downsized restrooms may well only be an option for anyone under eighty pounds. I swear I’m taking the train from now on.

I’ve got the vacation blues. Really want to head out to a warm beach and a couple of days of floating in the ocean followed by margaritas at a busy beach bistro. Instead, we’re having our deck refinished. Sigh. It’s good, but not nearly as good as feeling the sand squishing through my toes, not nearly as good. Making the deck decision really wasn’t ours, nature had taken its toll and either we refurbished our deck or walked of our front door into thin air. As we basically live on the second story of our house the thought of either repelling to the driveway or installing a zip line didn’t seem doable.

So, having relieved myself of my frustrations I know feel light and refreshed while you probably are wondering why you read this darn blog.

I do a lot of spinach variations but this is my favorite. My family loves the fried cake on the side. I use this fried cake idea for dessert with berries and ice cream or any fresh fruit and whipped cream. Yum, and yum.

Fruit and Spinach Salad with Fried Cake

Fruit and Spinach Salad

l 5 oz. pkg. baby spinach
10 ripe strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1 6 oz. pkg. fresh raspberries
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin

Honey Dressing

5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. beef boullion granules
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad.

Fried Cake

6 pieces golden loaf cake (purchased or homemade)
2 Tbsp. butter

In large skillet melt butter over med.-high heat. Add cake to pan and brown on both sides.

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A friend of mine is dealing with some serious dental issues. On a fixed income and no dental insurance in place, this presents her with a huge financial burden. Even with dental insurance the out-of-pocket cost can be prohibitive. The estimate she was given to get the work necessary came to just under $8,000. Suffering from severe periodontal disease even with the work they could offer no guarantee her teeth could be saved.

I understand the pain involved with dental problems. My ancestors passed on a lot of positive things along the way but strong teeth certainly wouldn’t be included on the list. Most of my life I have fought the good fight to keep my teeth under control, because when they go out of whack the pain can be unbearable.

When speaking to me about the situation she mentioned the sense of shame she felt when in the dental office. The dentist saying she had to do something about her teeth with no empathy for the situation she was in. Unwilling to allow her to make payments for the work as it went along, she was left with no choice but to take out a personal loan at a high interest rate to get the job done.

There isn’t much personalization in health care any more. I see it all the time. Last week I had an appointment scheduled three months ago. At the time of the initial visit I was handed a return appointment card and instructed to come back at the allotted time to be rechecked. Fine. I showed up and signing in sat down in the typically packed waiting room. Three magazines and a Highlights (I like the Hidden Picture Puzzles) later my name was called.

In the examination room my vital signs were checked. The nurse asked the nature of my visit and what my symptoms were. Just out of curiosity shouldn’t they know why I’m there? They asked me to come. It feels to me like inviting someone for dinner. When they arrive at the front door you answer in your pajamas and ask them why they’re there.

Once the information was entered in the computer, I was told to wait for the doctor who was running behind. Since I have been going to this physician that particular statement has never varied. Apparently when you get a 3:15 appointment, it is only a place holder. Four or five other people probably hold the same card.

After 45 minutes the doctor knocked on the door and came in. Shaking my hand she said, “How have the antibiotics been working for you, Emily?” I replied, “Fine, Dr. Hill.” She looked at me and said, “I’m Dr. Mitchell.”. I said, “Oh, I’m Susie and I’m not taking antibiotics, nice to meet you.” After that she just looked annoyed. Ah well.

Again I was asked why I was there. I was beginning to wonder myself. I wanted to say, “Emily’s here because you asked her to the party”, but I didn’t feel like looking around for another doctor. They are few and far between up here and a lot of them aren’t taking new patients. Some of them even interview their patients before accepting them. I’m sure I wouldn’t get the job.

I was discussing this situation with a retired dentist who’s an old family friend. He said when he was in practice they never turned away a patient in pain, but things have changed. Perhaps they need to reread the Hippocratic Oath which reads in part, “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

From what I hear there is an alarming shortage of medical personnel coming out of our colleges these days. With the increases in malpractice insurance the physicians that are graduating are opting to work for large medical conglomerates who absorb these costs on their behalf.

I don’t know what the answer to the problem is but I certainly clearly see the problem. When you consider an eight mile drive to the hospital in an ambulance was billed out at $2,200.00, it would seem things are out of control.

Anyhow, my rant for the day. Some things just urge me to get out my soap box and climb up on top.

We are smack dab in the middle of the purple circle on the weather map delineating the worst smoke in the area emanating from the King Fire. Yesterday it was nearly impossible to breathe outside. I am ready for a good rain so may begin my yearly rain dance as soon as the smoke dissipates a bit.

These little guys come out so tender and the gravy is out of this world.

Crockpot Orange Rosemary Game Hens For Two

Hens

2 Game hens, washed and dried
2 oranges, sliced
1 onion sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsps. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable broth

Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place sliced onion on bottom. Top with sliced oranges. Make a paste of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, flour and garlic. Rub on hens. Place hens on top of onion and oranges.

Sprinkle hens with dried rosemary, lemon pepper and salt and pepper as desired.

Mix together orange juice and vegetable broth. Add to slow cooker.

Cook on low for 9 hrs. If desired remove from slow cooker and brown under broiler.

Gravy

Pour pan dripping into a medium saucepan through a fine sieve. Keep solids for garnish. Mix together 3 Tbsp. of flour with 3 Tbsp. milk to make paste. Heat drippings over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk/flour mixture. Whisking constantly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking over med. low heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

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