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Archive for September, 2010

new TV - early xmas

September 30th, 2010 at 07:57 pm

Yesterday was my parents anniversary. I found a really cute card. 2 little kids dressed up in wedding clothes. The little girl has her tounge sticking out and the little boy is shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes. The card says "Marriage takes Respect, Love and Commitment... Making faces behind the back of whoever's acting childish helps too." Smile

I gave them $30 in Red Lobster gift cards and $20 in Subway gift cards for their anniversary. I also gave them a $50 gift card to Shell in thanks for all the taxi services they've provided in the last couple of months.

Target had a 26" LCD/DVD combo HDTV on sale this week for $298 which is a very good price. I had planned to buy myself a new HDTV for xmas, but since this was such a deal I decided that Christmas was going to be early this year. So yesterday we took my parents car to town to pick it up. Before we went I went to King Soopers and bought $300 in Target gift cards using my credit card. I get $3 from the credit card at 1% back and I also get double gas points, so .60/gal in gas. If I get 20 gallons that will save me $12. By planning ahead I will save $15.

Besides the TV I got 2 free trial sizes of Tide for free and 3 Snickers candy bars.

We also went to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Hobby Lobby, and Home Goods. Mom bought lots of stuff, but I didn't get anything else.

We went to Red Lobster for lunch and I had my favorite popcorn shrimp. Their prices have gone up again to $8.25 for the lunch. I spent $9.69

This morning dad came over to setup the TV. Everything is working great. This is the first I've had local channels in over a year, since they switched everything to HD. My old TV didn't have that capability and the converter boxes didn't work with it. I can watch the Amazing Race now. That's one of my favorite shows.

I went to King Soopers and got a free 2 liter bottle of Sierra Mist today. I won it playing the King Soopers Cart Buster game. It will go the food pantry.

I finished reading my book Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb. Mystery - excellent.

feeling good

September 30th, 2010 at 01:06 am

My kidney stone procedure went very smoothly. They put me to sleep, crushed the stone and removed it and the stent. They woke me up and I was awake and aware in 10 minutes. No after effects from the anethesia at all. This is the way it should have been the first time around. And as a bonus the back pain I've had for the last couple of weeks is gone. I feel great. Just one more operation to go.

Thanks alot for all the well wishes during this time.

I finished reading my book The Shield between the Worlds by Kiana L. Paxson and Adrienne Martine-Barnes. Sci/Fi - ok

good weekend

September 27th, 2010 at 08:12 pm

I had a very good weekend. A friend of mine came over and we watched movies, talked and ate pizza. I got a large pizza from Papa Murphy's for $8 after a $3 coupon. I used 2 codes from the Redbox website to get 2 movies for free.

We watched Killers, which was cute and funny. We also watched Cop Out, which was funny in places, but was mostly stupid. Bruce Willis is such a good actor, that even when the movie is stupid, he shines.

I got a $50 GC to Shell using one of my credit cards. Both cards are giving 5% back on gas this quarter on up to $200 in purchases. I've spent a little over a hundred so I'm going to buy gift cards before the end of the month to make the savings strech to the months when I won't be getting 5% back.

My kidney stone removal is tomorrow and I need to have someone be with me for 24 hours afterwards so I'll be spending the night at my parents again. I'll be glad when it's done and one more step to putting this behind me.

I read several books this weekend

My book DragonSinger by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - very good

Library book By Schism Rent Asunder by David Weber. Sci/Fi - very good

Library book Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - very good.

grocery shopping

September 24th, 2010 at 06:39 pm

I'm still hit or miss on meals so not buying a lot of groceries right now. Living on simple stuff like peanut butter sandwichs, beans, eggs, baked potatoes and Boost.

Went to Safeway and got carrots, bananas, bread and a couple potatoes. Also got

4.00 - 4 cans Select Harvest chicken noodle soup
-4.00 - 4 $1 q's
-----
FREE - goes to the food pantry

8.00 - 4 18 oz jars of JIF peanut butter
-2.04 - SW q
-----
5.94 - 1.49/each - excellent price for JIF

I went to see my primary dr today about my blood pressure - it's still high. 142/92. She gave me a new drug to try. She got my reports from the hospital and she seemed amazed I made it through the experience. She mentioned that my kidney functions were excellent - better than hers. That's two dr's who've said that now.

I finished reading the library book Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - very good.

Super Rich

September 23rd, 2010 at 08:06 pm

This was an interesting blog from a guy who politicians call the 'Super Rich' - making more than $250,000 a year. Even more interesting is the comments section.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kpzaEp0...

It definitly shows the diversity of thinking about taxes and the rich.

Here's the WSJ's response to the post

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870412920457550...

I finished reading my book Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs. Paranormal - very good.

$130,000 hospital bill

September 21st, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I had my consultation with the surgery dr today and he is 95% sure he can just take the mass and a small slice of my kidney. He says kidney cancer is almost always curable. That is such good news. First I have to get the kidney stone and stent removed. That is scheduled for next Tuesday. I will be in and out of the hospital. I don't have to stay overnight.

Prior to getting the stone removed I had to get another blood test and an EKG today. When I was registering for that the lady told me she could see my bill and I asked her what the amount was - just under $130,000.00 for the total bill while I was in the hospital @$10,000/day. However because I was in network it was discount by almost half and $71,000 is the amount going to the insurance company. Of that I will pay my $2000 deductible. I expect the total for everything after all the surgeries will be close to $200,000. Thank God for insurance.

After I heal from the kidney stone removal I will schedule for the kidney mass surgery. This will probably just be an overnight stay in the hospital.

While we were in the hospital my mom went xmas shopping. They were selling books and knick-knacks in the lobby. Strange place to buy xmas gifts.

I got to hear more horror stories today. It turns out while I was in the hospital some neice of someone they know from church was in the hospital at the same time as me and while putting in her IV port they knicked her lung and it collapsed. Since I had an IV port that could have happened to me - according to my mom. Sigh!

I finished reding my book Sins and Shadows by Lyn Benedict. Paranormal - pretty good. This is a new author for me. I've put her other books in the series on hold at the library.

the glass is half empty and it's leaking

September 20th, 2010 at 09:12 pm

My mom must have hundreds of stories about horrible things that have happened to people in hospitals. She knows or has heard of people who have died from almost everything. And she feels like she has to tell me about all of them. I know she's scared, but I just don't see the point in always thinking about the worst thing that could happen. She is like that about everything, she thinks about the worst thing that will happen before she thinks about the positive. She says she's trying not to do that about the operations I need, but every conversation is What if _____? (fill in the blank with something bad).

She had company coming over and it was, "What if they see I have weeds in my yard?" "What if there's a speck of dust in the room?" What if there isn't enough food, or if there's too much food, or if the food doesn't taste right, or if the napkins don't match the tablecloth?" It's exhausting - no wonder she's so frantic and tired all the time. When she tells me these things I try to make a joke. Well if they see a weed in the yard, they'll condemn you and never come to your house again, and you won't have to worry about it anymore."

My viewpoint is so different. To me the glass is half full and I'm happy to have that half. You can't let your fears of what might happen paralyze you from moving forward and enjoying whatever bits of happiness you can. You need to grab onto those bits and then savor them. I can't waste my energy and depress myself by thinking of all the hundreds of things that could go wrong and I don't know why someone would want to. Even if I knew I was going to die in a month, I can't think of anything I would change in my current lifestyle. I love my life. I have exactly the kind of life I want for myself. I worked for years to get here and I enjoy every day.

I would like to help her with her fears but she is 70 and is not likely to change her thinking patterns now, I just wish she would keep some of these thoughts from leaking over onto me. I keep telling her, these people are experts at what they do. They've done hundred of the same types of surgeries, there is no reason to think that something will go wrong this time. I believe in being prepared for bad things - like having money saved and insurance and having a will etc, but I don't dwell on it. I wish she wouldn't either.

I finished reading the library book An Unforgettable Lady by Jessica Bird (aka J. R. Ward). Romance - pretty good. This is one of the her earlier books and she is a much better writer now. I love her Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

New Will

September 19th, 2010 at 08:04 pm

Since my experience in the hospital one of the things I wanted to do prior to having any more surgeries is get my will updated. I'm not sure if my neices were even born when I wrote the last one. I went to LegalZoom and got it done today. I was really impressed with their website. It was so easy to use. I completed it in less than a half hour and it cost less than half what I paid years ago. It cost $69 + 2.95 for the shipping. Before checking out I did a search on Legal Zoom promo code and found one to take another $5 off using code LZSAVE. So final cost $66.95 and I have a month to make updates to the will in case I see something I messed up or want changed.

I finished reading the library book Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. Paranormal - very good. This author is as good as Patricia Briggs or Laurel K. Hamilton.

Good News

September 18th, 2010 at 07:56 pm

My kidney dr called yesterday and he had been confering with the dr who will perform the surgery on my kidney. That dr thinks he can just shave the cancer off the kidney and I will get to keep my kidney. Woohoo!! I am supposed to meet with both of them next Tuesday to discuss it. I really hope that is the case. This will mean I need two procedures - one to deal with the kidney stone and stent and one to deal with the cancer.

I went to Safeway and got some groceries

1.98 - 2 bags Mahatma yellow saffron rice
-1.98 - 2 .50 cent q's doubled
-----
FREE - these go to the food pantry

3.75 - 3 Yakisoba noodles
-3.00 - 3 .50 cent q's doubled
-----
.75 - food pantry

10.00 - 8 cans Campbells chunky soup
-8.00 - 8 .50 q's doubled
-----
2.00 - food pantry

2.00 - 2 cans Rosarita refried beans
.00 - 1 10 ct Mission tortialls free wyb 2 Rosarita
- .99 - 1.00 Mission q price adjusted
------
1.01 - the 2 beans are for the food pantry and I kept the tortillas

2.97 - 3 packages Bumble Bee tuna
-2.97 - 3 .55 cent q's doubled
-----
FREE

2.59 - 1 doz Egglands eggs
-1.00 - q
-----
1.59

1.08 - 5 bananas

The food pantry gets the following items

2 packages rice
3 Yakisoba noodles
8 cans soup
2 cans refried beans

I finished reading the library book Nowhere to Run by Suzanne Brockmann - Mystery/romance - ok. These were some of her earlier works. She writes much better now. The stories were very cliched.

I finished reading my book Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - good.

I am not in control

September 17th, 2010 at 06:30 pm

Thanks for the well wishes everyone.

My mom called last night and asked if I was ok. I was a little surprised and said "yes, why wouldn't I be?" She said sometimes bad news hits people hard later. I will admit I had a few catch your breath moments when I went to bed, but they were short. I guess I come accross as very calm and accepting and I am - mostly. I've had almost a month to think about the fact that I might have cancer and while I hoped the whole time it wasn't so, I knew it probably was.

I could react in several ways to the news. I could just ignore it and hope the cancer goes away on it's own. But most likely it will just get worse and probably spread to other organs.

I could fret and worry over the situation. What if they take the wrong kidney in the operation? What if something else goes wrong in the operation, like the last time? What if I have kidney problems in the future? This is one of my biggest worries. Since I have diabetes. Right now the dr said my kidney function is perfect, better than his. So if I control my diabetes I shouldn't have to worry. However, if I have another kidney stone, I have to get to a hospital immediately since I will be in kidney failure.

I could become depressed and cry about it. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? This isn't fair.

Instead I realize that this is something where I have no control. And since I have no control, then I am going to do what the dr's suggest and assume everything will turn out fine. I just have to get through the process and then I'll be healthy again and can get on with my life. I'll try not to worry about it and have a positive attitude - like going to the dentist - I don't like it, I wish it was different but I have to do it. I'm not going to drive myself nuts with worrying and fretting. I'm grateful it's not worse.

I got my townhome insurance bill yesterday. It went up $22+ over 16%. That's a big increase. I don't know how the government justifies there inflation numbers. They say there is virtually no inflation or only 2 - 3% and yet most of my bills go up 5 - 15%. Plus the cost of food, gas and other items goes up regularly also.

I finished reading my book Lion's Heat by Lora Leigh. Paranormal - very good.

I do have kidney cancer

September 16th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I saw the kidney dr and I do have kidney cancer. They are going to remove the right kidney sometime in Oct. It is only in stage 1 still but close to going to stage 2. It's 7 centimeters and according to the dr, they usually grow about 1/2 centimeter a year, so I could have started this 14 years ago. The cancer hasn't spread to any other part of my body.

The surgery will be done with telescopes so only a small incision and 1 - 2 days in the hospital and approximately a week to recuperate. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was what I expected.

Since I was in town I ran some errands. I got 2 books at Border's using 40% off coupons and free gift cards from Discover.

I went to Target and got 12 cans of Spaghetti-O's for .50 each. I had 4 .50/2 coupons and 2 .40/2 coupons so final cost was $3.20 or .27/each. They will all go to the food pantry.

I also got gas while in town at 2.69/gal. It is .10 cheaper than my little town and I had .30 cents off from King Soopers gas points and I will get 5% back from Discover saving another .12/gal. Total saved per gal is .52. I filled up my 2 5-gal gas cans and spent $50.62. The first time I've ever spent more than $50 on gas.

I went to the used book store and traded in some more books. I have more than $500 in credit now. I'll never use it all, since I get most of my books free w/gift cards or from the library now. Occassionally I take my nieces there and tell them to pick out whatever they want and use my credit for that.

I finished reading the library book The Overton Window by Glenn Beck. Thriller - ok

Thrifty - book review

September 15th, 2010 at 06:52 pm

I finished reading a library book called Thrify Living the Frugal Life With Style by Marjorie Harris. A huge yawn, boring, nothing new, plain vanilla ideas. However, I did really like one quote from the first page.

"Money is partly the subject of this book. But it's more about what smart people do with it: how they use it wisely and make very little go a long way. It's about finding pleasure in small economies and the large ideas that can come to fruition with attention to details."

Even though I continue to read new financial books as I hear about them, I haven't read a really good one in a long time. In my opinion the best book on saving money for actual ideas and philosophy of saving money is The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. The best book on thinking about money and work is Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robins. And the best book about early retirement is Stop Working, Start Living by Diane Nahirny.

I finished reading my book Master of Earth and Water by Diana L. Paxson and Adrienne Martine-Barnes. Sci/Fi - Ok.

misc errands

September 14th, 2010 at 09:26 pm

I went to Walmart and got 3 6 packs of Ensure today.

20.91
-9.00 - 3 $3 coupons
-----
11.91 or $3.97 each

I also picked up the rest of my prescriptions at King Soopers. 3 prescriptions for 30 days each and I only spent $7.05.

I finished reading the library book Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance. Paranormal - pretty good.

CT scan

September 14th, 2010 at 01:41 am

I had my CT scan today. It took more than twice as long as they told me it would. There was no one else waiting to be scanned so don't know why it was so long. I rescheduled my appt with the kidney dr for this Thursday. No reason to wait till next week since I got the scan today. I have no new information about what they saw though.

The pills I took to make me sleepy (prednisone and benedryl) actually reved me up so I didn't sleep at all last night and didn't really need a driver today. I didn't have any problems drinking the barium drink. I thought I might have trouble keeping it down. I'm supposed to drink a ton of water in the next day to flush all the barium out of my kidneys.

While at the CT place they asked for the other hospital I was to send them all the previous scans they took while I was in the coma. They sent 13 pages. I've been getting more radiology bills from my insurance company. It's up to almost $200 I owe now. I haven't recieved any real bills yet.

Mom and I walked our entire route today and we were only slower by 5 or 10 minutes so that was good progress.

I finished reading the library book Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones. Paranormal - very good.

aliens built the pyramids?

September 12th, 2010 at 07:44 pm

My niece had a cupcake cake made of white cake. I made a comment about being surprised it wasn't chocolate which has always been her favorite. She said she decided not to like chocolate. I didn't know you could decide something like that Smile

After the party I took her to her Powder Puff practice and she told me some stuff about her school. Since she went to Honduras on her mission trip she said she thinks school is a priviledge. After seeing how most of the people she met had only a 3rd grade education, if that, she realizes that their lack of education keeps them poor and she's lucky to have the opportunity to learn. It's a very good thing that she is thinking that way.

However, I wonder about some of the stuff she tells me she is learning. She says they learned how aliens helped build the pyramids. She also doesn't believe that man made it to the moon - that is was a hoax. Next thing I know she will tell me the holocaust didn't happen.

I think there is a pattern in our culture anymore that puts down man's achievments. We are portrayed as greedy, war-mongoring, environment destroying, and brutal as a species. We are rarely given credit for the amazing accomplishments mankind has made over the centuries. For example with the pyramids, the story of aliens helping build them is put out there because man couldn't have possibly done something so amazing by himself, he had to have had help. Like back in the 1800's when explorers found fantastic ruins in Africa, they never gave local people credit for building them, it always had to be some lost white tribe who must have done these marvelous things.

When they teach about the founding founders they seem to emphasize their personal flaws rather than emphasizing the truly revolutionary things they accomplished. They created an entirely new country with a system to make men free to grow, to be rich, to worship and to be free from government abuses. Most of the countries in the world still don't have these privileges. In America we have the right and opportunity to develop from having nothing to being multi-millionaires just through our own efforts. The founders gave us the system for doing that. Yet we are told they were slave owners and philanderers etc. They were, but this wasn't immoral by the standard of their times. And I think the things they accomplished should be emphasized more than the other parts.

We don't seem to want to give credit to man for being great. We always try to find the flaw in a person, and everyone has flaws, and emphasize that to demphasize the great things people do. For example, my sister loved Rock Hudson movies, until she found out he was gay, then she hated them. The movies didn't change, the acting didn't change, just her perception of the actor. What a stupid reason to decide not to like something. But we seem to do it all the time with great historical figures.

Christopher Columbus was a hero when I was growing up. Now he's portrayed as a genocidal conqueror. What he did was heroic. He set out across an ocean in flimsy boats to find a new path to China. He didn't set out to bring disease to a group of people, he didn't set out to conquer a land, he set out to discover something new. That was very brave considering the conditions of the time. But we can't give him credit for that, because of the results.

I don't mind the kids learning both sides, but put the emphasize on the achievements, on the ideas, on the mores of the time in which the people lived. Judging someone from hundreds of years ago based on modern values is wrong. And dismissing their accomplishments based on modern values of their personalities is also wrong.

We should celebrate the greatest of human beings instead of constantly looking to tear them down. I don't know what schools expect to achieve by demphasizing man's greatness.

I finished reading the library book Silent Truth by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love. Mystery/Romance - pretty good. Not as good as her Dark Hunter series.

b-day party

September 11th, 2010 at 08:17 pm

I went to my sister's this morning to celebrate my youngest neice's 16th bday which is tomorrow. We did it this morning because my older neice drove down from college last night after her last class and she has to be back to go to work at 3:45 this afternoon. It's a 2 hour drive. But it was the only time she could work it in. I can't believe the youngest is 16 already she was just 3 not very long ago - how did this happen? She is so beautiful - tall and lean and tanned and fit. I didn't have energy to shop for her this time so I just gave her $100 to spend as she wants.

We had pizza and my neice had a cake made out of cupcakes. That's the richest food I've eaten since the hospital and it gave me a huge stomach ache. I only had 2 small pieces of pizza and the one cupcake with most of the frosting off.

I got the medicine for my CT this morning - prednisone combined with benedryl. I already had the benedryl. The prednisone cost $1.51 for 6 tablets. I get 50 fuel points with each prescription so I could get over 200 this month with just prescriptions, that gives me .20 cents off each gallon of gas. Plus if I buy groceries I may get as much as .40/gal this month.

I finished reading my book With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland. Romance - very good.

I'm rich

September 10th, 2010 at 08:47 pm

I was watching a financial program the other day and they were talking about what does it mean to be rich. According to politicians you are rich if you make over $250,000. But one commentator defined rich as "being able to live comfortable without having to work". That's me. I don't have anywhere close to a million dollars and I live on less than $20,000 a year, but I live comfortable and have everything I want without having to work - therefore I am rich Smile

I went to Safeway today and picked up a few groceries.

5.94 - 6 cans Del Monte green beans
-2.40 - SW q
-----
2.54 - these go to the food pantry

2.00 - 2 cans Old El Paso refried beans
-2.00 - 2 .55 q's doubled
- .60 - ecoupon
-----
.60 moneymaker - these go to the food pantry

4.58 - 2 bags Mission tortilla chips
-2.00 - SW q
-2.00 - 2 .50 q's doubled
-1.10 - 2 .55 ecoupons
-----
.52 moneymaker - 1 bag goes to my niece

3.00 - Welchs grape juice
-1.01 - SW q
-1.50 - q
-----
.49 - my ecoupon didn't come off or it would have been a moneymaker

3.98 - 2 fried chicken breasts
2.17 - 2 potatoes

I also went to Walgreens and got 2 6 packs of Boost buy 1 get 1 at 50% off. I had 2 $1.50 coupons and spent $7.93. I've been drinking a lot of this since I got out of the hospital. Still not very hungry. I have a lot more energy though and mom and I are walking about 80% of what we used to do although slower. Should be up to 100% in a few days but probably still slower for a while. I drove for the first time today and it was fine. I couldn't trust my reaction time before now.

I have my cat scan set up for Monday. Hopefully it will show all is well. Thanks for all the good thoughts.

I finished reading the library book From Hell with Love by Simon Green. Sci/Fi - very good.

Rewards

September 9th, 2010 at 08:23 pm

I have gotten or will get several rewards from various programs this month. I just received 3 books from Amazon that I got free from swagbucks. I wait till I get $30 in Amazon gift cards and then order $25+ in books to get free shipping.

I ordered a $25 Borders gift card from Discover card since I had $20 in points.

I'm about 7 points away from getting a $25 Walmart gift card from my Mastercard. I will order it later this month.

I'm about 100 points away from getting a $25 Walmart gift card from My Points. I get enough points to get a card about every 8 months. I do this by clicking emails - 5 points each, 2 a day = 300 points a month. Doing 31 searchs on My points per month for 75 points and printing and redeeming coupons - almost 200 points a month. I should have enough to order this next week.

All these are rewards are for doing things I would do anyways except for clicking no the emails and that takes just a couple minutes a day.

I saw my kidney dr yesterday and I'm supposed to get a CT scan to see if I have cancer or not. He seems to think I do - we'll see.

I started getting bills from my hospital stay. So far I got 5 bills and only owe about $100. I'm sure it will get much worse.

I finished reading the library book The Search by Nora Roberts. Romance - excellent. Love her dialog.