Friday, May 30, 2014
I woke up this morning feeling great and almost my first thought was, This Is The Day! I almost did a Snoopy dance, I was so happy. Did I make my ultimate goal today, not yet, that's going to take awhile yet, but one thing I am doing to reach my goal is to do the daily food tracker. I have, until now, hated that thing, I could give you a book of excuses not to use it.
Today, I woke up with the attitude of doing the food tracker if I didn't do anything else. Since I am an extremist and always have been, I decided to put my all into it. I'm making a game of it, in that I mean, every thing I eat is with the idea of being HEALTHY, cuz I don't want any unhealthy thing on that tracker.
I blew my breakfast - my worst meal of the day, but I ate it! I did not make a HEALTHY decision before I mindlessly ate it, so I accounted for it and went for a walk that took a shove from God to get me out there. But I did my 20 minute mile with the joy that it wasn't so hot yet that I couldn't breath and there was a light breeze that cooled me off a little. I felt like I walked a lot faster and as I neared the end, I was glad to see my house again. I literally counted the houses between where I was and where I was going. I made it.
I have been examining my actions and I need more exercise so I plan on doing some more (inside) Qi Dong (Spelling is probably wrong) but I've got the video on my computer and I will get it done. Then I'm going to do some more exercise after lunch and again after dinner. I've planned my meals for today and tomorrow and have planned my dinners for next week and I'm working on the rest of the meals and snacks for next week. It feels wonderful to have it all planned out, including the shopping trip to get the fresh veggies. I can now go on a daily basis to get fresh veggies not that far from home and not that expensive at the local farm store.
I look forward to making each day a challenge to get me to my goals that will include, the food tracker and more exercise to make it all worth it.
I wish all of you a great day.
Friday, May 09, 2014
I wanted to let everyone know, not only were we foolish, uneducated, or misinformed, we were billed exorbitantly.
My DH just had a stint put into a vein that leads to the back of his heart. Everything went well. I was there the entire time and spoke to the doctor asking all the questions I could think of, but bottom line was; All is Well.
Now comes the bill. $2500.00! We are on Medicare so why didn't they pay. Oh! You didn't know? Patient was admitted for OBSERVATION not as an overnight patient. There's the rub. We went through all the same procedures, documents, life giveaway requirements that a patient being admitted overnight goes through. He got all the same treatment that overnight patients go through. Same nurses, same everything. (Had we know we were going to have to pay for all of it, we would have demanded royal service.) But whop knows, maybe that would cost more.
I was in the hospital for 7 days and paid a fraction of that much. So we called the doctor's office to ask questions. No they can't change the criteria the hospital uses to determine if a patient is in for observation or is, in fact, more deserving and therefore rated differently so the insurance pays for it.
Apparently doctor's do not have control over there patients as much as they lead us to believe. Hospitals have more control than doctors and insurance companies have the most control.
Here is a short history, as told to me by a billing person in the field for 20 years. It used to be that a doctor would place a patient in the hospital and had total control over everything on the patient. How much treatment, procedures, meds, etc. It all determined the price of everything. Along come insurance companies that are in business to make money, not disburse it in claims as they lead you and all others to believe. Somewhere along the line, not long ago, insurance companies refused to pay the high bills they received for two reasons, only one of which was given to the hospitals and passed onto everyone else. 1. The patient had to fall into a certain criteria for admission or observation. Since most patients are admitted for observation, based on their risk assessments (and as we all know are grossly out of line), they would only pay for the ones that were withing those certain criteria. The patient had to pay the bills for any admittance that did not fall into that criteria. This left the hospitals with huge unpaid bills through no fault of theirs and they had to recoup it somehow so; answer: Bill the patient!
So now we have Heart Institutes billing their heart patients thousands of dollars that they had no idea was coming. Heart attack region as far as I can see. That makes the Heart Institute the Heart Crusher!
So - for anyone that is in the situation of being admitted to the hospital for any reason - beware. Apparently even doctor's have no control over the criteria as set down by the insurance companies with employees that have no idea of what is good or bad in judgement because they are not doctors.
When I worked for an (undisclosed) insurance company, I was told a woman that had just given birth to a baby with all kinds of health problems was being denied any compensation for baby. Never mind she was looking at way over $50,000.00 yearly (many years ago) and this would continue for as long as baby lived and didn't even cover other expenses related to issues.
My first question surprised the big bosses - "Did we have a doctor on staff that would determine if baby would receive or be denied benefits?" Answer: "No! What do you think we are? We can't afford to put a doctor on staff to answer questions like these. Any moron would see this baby is a huge risk to a company like ours!"
"Who makes the determinations?: I asked. "Risk Assessors in underwriting!"
Who pays those Risk Assessors in Underwriting? The Insurance company out of your paid premiums. Now are they going to assess anything that would cause the insurance company (their personal money suppliers) to have to pay out money? I wouldn't think so based on the fact that I was basically called a moron for asking my first question.
So had I been sitting in the right desk, I could have been the one to deny the benefits to this baby, had I been also of a lot more negative attitude and hate and anger in my heart than I already have. I, unfortunately, love people, especially children, and animals. Therefore, I am never going to be at a underwriter's desk. And you guessed it, I would never be able to push the button on a weapon of md or anything on that line. I'm a peace lover, but more than that, I am a survivalist.
I love watching disaster movies - really don't know why, but I analyze every part of it. "If I were in that situation, how would I get out of it?" I guess it's what makes me strong, mentally and emotionally. I never breakdown until after the thing is over so at that point, I would be either dead or standing on the edge of the disaster crying my eyes out in shock.
So be aware, ask the question: IS THIS AN ADMITTANCE FOR OBSERVATION OR FOR IN PATIENT CARE?
At least you'll be able to utilize that insurance agent that came along with your premiums a few questions and get some information to help defray the heart attack that may come later.
Yes! Right now I hate Insurance Companies, the medical profession in part, and the fact that we have all been apathetic and uneducated on what has happened to our medical industry. Is Obama Care better? I believe it is in the fact that preexisting issues cannot be denied, there is some kind of standard being set up to resolve a lot of these issues, and everyone has a right to medical help. Without Obama Care, we will continue to fee the insurance companies unleashed greed and domination of a once good profession, but one we all still need. I also believe there is a lot of fixing to do with rules coming from the law of Obama Care, but anything is better than nothing and I believe it is up to us to communicate with those that are making the rules and sorting out the problems of Obama Care in order to make it better for all of us.
As I used to say about the banking system and their huge overhead of empty houses being vandalized and taken over by squatters; rent them out, make a deal with the people who are losing them due to inability to pay the mortgage (that the banks knew would happen in the first place), because something coming in is better than nothing.
I don't know about any other area than the one I am living in, but the housing market is building again like crazy. They are currently putting in over 6000 houses (no mistake on those zeros) across the street from where I live. I didn't know there was enough land over there to put that many house on. There are other developments going in, too. Unfortunately, the roads already in place can't handle all the extra cars and our commutes, even without the retirees getting into it for no reason at all, is obnoxious. I'm all for flex time, but here, flex time would just make the commute an all-day affair.
Okay! I releasing the soapbox for the next person! Have a great day!
Thursday, April 03, 2014
If anyone has an answer to this, I sure would like to get it. My emails from SparkPeople (not the SparkMail but the emails - as in gmail) have stopped as of 4/1/14. If anyone else is experiencing the void of mail from SP, please let me know. I tried to send an SparkMail to one of the coaches but they are not accepting mail, according to SparkMail system. I am not sure what that means.
Please - feel free to give me suggestions. I have checked my Email preferences and everything is as it has been for the last several years and I added a couple of news letters just to see what would happen, but so far, nothing.
I am not having any other problems with SP so can't blame a server.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Saturday is my birthday. I don't usually celebrate my birthdays because it's just another day on the calendar and an arrow to older aged things that I don't feel like looking at or dealing with.
Arthritis is rearing it's ugliness in various places, like both hands, hips, etc., but on the whole, I'm pretty healthy and that is mostly due to finding SparkPeople and reading, reading, reading, then working various angles to lose 46 pounds. My doctor was impressed. I want to lose another 30 pounds but can't seem to get back out of maintenance that I somehow put myself into. I've tried everything, but I think my problem is, I haven't tried as hard as I tried when I first got started and looking back, it wasn't that hard, but because I was a junk fooddie, if there is such a thing, it was a big help to stop eating and drinking the sugar/salt/fat that I was so used to and loved. Now it makes me sick to think about the garbage I thought was great!
So Saturday is my birthday and we are going to Orlando to the Swan & Dolphin hotel for two nights. I am really looking forward to it. It's right on Walt Disney World property and I can't wait to get there.
But my husband had a cold last week and decided to give it to me this week. I knew yesterday it wasn't just allergies or hay fever from all the plants that are hopelessly struggling between fall and spring feelings. Some of them are budding new growth that is literally pushing the fall colors right out of the plant. Our weather has been crazy and while we were not buried under a pile of snow as those in the north have been several times this year, anything lower than 55 is freezing to us and our plants, used to much higher heat levels are just as shocked as we are.
So now, I'm dripping, sweating, sneezing, coughing, and feeling that overly stuffed in the head that nothing seems to help. I have not tried dynamite or fire crackers yet. I think I'll save that as a last resort - literally a last resort!
I am open to suggestions on how to feel much better while dealing with a cold. I slept well last night, which in itself is a miracle. But I took some nightime cold med before I went to sleep and being so clogged up I was exhausted from working all day and dealing with a nasty cold. So that helped and I think I'll take the counter=part Daytime cold med to see if that helps, too.
Anyway, can't wait for tomorrow cuz I'm going to Disney World!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flew by. The decorations for Thanksgiving turned into Christmas without much help from me. The tree was decorated over the two stones as ordered, the landscapers put two men on cutting the grass back and scrubbing the stones and I set three huge poinsettias around the base of the tree. It was hard to get them in place because one planter insisted it sit almost on top of the newly uncovered stone.
Since I knew Bridgett's husband wanted his stone showing like hers, I was fighting with the plant for a couple of mornings only to have to fight with it each morning. Finally, the landscaper tied all three up to the tree itself, about a foot off the ground. When he left, I asked if it was alright that way, making sure the stone was visible. I looked up and saw the lantern go one and off.
I had my dress, Caleb had the flowers, white roses for me and a million huge poinsettias all over the place. The banister was festooned with white lights, white roses, red poinsettia blossoms and evergreen boughs all in silk. Each of the tables was done in bright white tablecloths with tapered red or green candles and red poinsettia blossoms. It sparkled and it was stunning when the candles were lit.
We stood under the tree with the minister's back to the truck and said our vows. Everyone in the restaurant had come out to see us get married and the kitchen staff stood at the back so they could rush back in and keep up with orders. But the best part I could remember was seeing the lantern come on and stay on before the sun's rays left it and over in the corner I could see Bridgett and her husband standing there, holding hands, and smiling at us.
I have learned many things since that day. Getting married is now probably the least of the things I remember about that day, even though it is still a big part of that day and the key to remembering that day, but it was the last time Caleb and I saw Bridgett and her husband. It's also the first day of a long line of days that spelled a lot of money and work because the landscaping crew had managed to hack their way through the rotting-cloying jungle over and through the last of the slavery quarters way in the back of the property.
There were three of them, nearly built on top of each other. There was nothing inside except three small stones, some small bones, and a couple of feathers. Before anyone would touch them, they insisted I get a voodoo expert in to analyze it and ensure it wasn't a curse.
Of course he said it was, but my contention, after a great deal of thought was, how could he know. When I asked him over the phone, he said it was because of the way it was laying on the floor.
"But what if a rodent or two had wandered through it all and moved some of the pieces?" I asked.
"Doesn't matter. It's thrown out of a bag, box, or jar, and it's what was there, the bones, the stones, the feathers."
It was all too late, I had scooped the stuff up and dumped it in the trash. I had spent hours, days, a month praying that God would forgive me for my misunderstanding of something like voodoo and anything I had to do with it, but I wanted the stuff out and I had torn the buildings down.
I prayed the people who had been forced to live there would forgive me, too. I think they did as we were never plagued by anything or anyone. In fact, life seemed to get better and easier for us. Our kitchen staff won some cook-off award that was apparently, prized by those that work in kitchens. We had an inspector in the kitchen and through the dining room every year and never failed a thing including a thermometer pushed into a small bowl of whipped butter on a dinner's table. The bowl of butter was immediately replaced for the customer and apologies and a credit given to appease the rudeness of the inspector to our guests, but we still passed because the butter he tested was still cold enough to pass the test.
Caleb was a fanatic on the clean kitchen and all the dishes and flatware. He would, at various times, drop everything and wander over to the room where the dishwasher worked and ensure that the inside of the washer was clean and free of particles, the glasses had no lipstick on the rims, the silverware was being dried so no water spots were left on them and the plates glowed, top and bottom. He insisted that the dishwasher use a green scrubber, called a ceramic sander on the bottoms of the cups, saucers, and plates to ensure they remained spot free. He insisted the dishes and flatware was dried with white towels in order to ensure no water spots and it forced people to look at the silverware to ensure it was sparkling clean without particles glued to it.
The floors were scrubbed nightly, the bins were emptied and scrubbed weekly, the windows were kitchen windows were washed daily and the dining room windows were washed weekly, sooner if needed and I'll never understand why people allow their young children to stand on the seats and put their filthy-grubby hands all over the window so the next person doesn't even want to sit there. So the wait staff was trained to clear the tables and wash off the windows of all prints and goo. But I always wonder if it's what their windows at home look like.
Caleb and I have our own little ones running around, but they are restricted to upstairs with the nanny when it's dinner time from 4pm on. As they get older, we'll have to consider something else, but for now, it works.
Every year our sou chef makes us a cake for our anniversary and every year, it's bigger so that the family can enjoy it, too. She also makes a cake for the children's birthday appropriately on their birthday and never misses.
Caleb always take the night of our anniversary off so we can be together, with children and no nanny, for the night. It has become a favorite family night for us and it's looked forward to as Christmas Eve in our house. As it turns out, we've been closing the restaurant on Christmas eve with the excuse that we get a big crowd on Christmas day. We do and no one seems to mind that we are closed on Christmas eve.
Our lives have become grand, thinner, thanks to SparkPeople, who have a free and un-solicited poster on my wall by the cash register. I've had many that ask and ask and then sign up and most of them have managed to stick with it and thanks to Caleb and his staff, have eaten healthy in my restaurant at Bridgett's Plantation. It's so fun to have someone walk in and say, "I know you - you're from SparkPeople. I'm (whatever their SP name is) and we're on a team together."
I think some make a point of coming to the restaurant because I blog about it a lot. But mostly, I thank God for bringing it altogether.
Author's note: this is a work of fiction and none of it is about any particular place or person. All events are as fictitious as the rest of the story.
Hope you enjoyed my little love story. You may pass it on as it is my novel.
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