Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mixed News & Joys, Including the Mighty Mites within a Determined Garden

Our summer produced terrible gardening weather. Watering grass and perennials not in budget, I lamented disappointing flower displays and a lackluster produce harvest. Invading species flourished, of course. Weeding became a regular source of cathartic exercise.

Oh, well. We can only hope next year is better. In addition, end of season surprises delighted me. First, a purple coneflower:

Normally over four feet tall, this stunted character shows off...
And here is another example. Short as I am, I have never seen such perseverance!
A Diminutive Black-Eyed Susan

Meanwhile, our dryer vent provided a good nesting spot for some rodent. So that issue is fixed. Though we could have saved money with a DIY investigation, my husband considers the professional cleaning a good investment. The heavy duty machines are worth preserving, for sure.

In an unrelated question, have you ever gotten collection agency notification on a medical bill you never received?


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Decking the Hall – Spin Cycle for the Win

The other day I discovered our clothes dryer working improperly. As some idiot home builder put the thing on an interior wall, the tubing connected to it runs up that wall, across the ceiling, then to the window vent. I figured lint had built up.

Taking inspiration from Strayer, I looked up on Youtube how one might go about finding and removing a potential clog. Well, my husband decided to go with professionals. We expect a technician to visit next Saturday morning.

My fingers are crossed that this old workhorse doesn’t require expensive repairs.

Meanwhile, I discovered something great. As long as its twin, our heavy duty washing machine continues operating well, I could live just fine without an electric dryer. In fact, I wanted to freshen my top sheet today and the spin cycle did such a good job it was ready for the bed within an hour and a half.

I just need a proper clothesline. See below... ~grin~ What can I say? Improvisation is my forte.

Have you ever seen an old fashioned wringer washer in use?


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Purple People Ear Protection

Hearing protection is very important to me. Loud rock concerts are just one source I’ve guarded against for decades. Since fearing reuse to be the source of an inner ear infection my husband suffered earlier this year, I stopped using our preferred foam plugs more than once.

In thoughtful response he ordered a bulk package of twenty five sets and opened the delivered package this afternoon. To our surprise they are not the typical orange. Dear Pam of Life Through My Eyes, I thought of your adoration of purple.

Do you have a use for ear plugs and recommend a type?


Monday, October 28, 2019

Recovering the L – Teamwork & How I Fixed My Keyboard

Concerned over the improper seated L key on my laptop, my husband consulted Uncertain replacement would fix the issue, I nonetheless helped make sure he selected the correct kit. Even identical makes and models with the precise same layout use different hinge configurations.

If you’re in need I recommend this website, not for personal gain, but because their service is consummate. Videos provide instruction, prices are reasonable, and the warehouse ships within twenty-four business hours. My key remained in the envelope for several days, in fact, as I feared attempting to repair a working keyboard would backfire. This morning I decided to take the plunge and remove my rocking L key.

DH offered to hold a flashlight for me but anyone standing over my shoulder wrecks my concentration. So I tackled this detailed handiwork without telling him. My composure held even during the intimidating task of ripping off the tiny rubber cup and scraping away all adhered remnants. I worried the new one, a literal key component, wouldn’t stay put.

It did!

A minute piece must have broken from my original hinge pieces, preventing the key from snapping into place. Anyway, I’m delighted with this minor success.

What do you hope to achieve today?


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday Silliness

A friend shared this on FB and I had to pass on the pun. Liz, you might want to skip. ~wry grin~ Happy Saturday!


Friday, October 25, 2019

A Bumpy, Lumpy Year & the Blessing of Excellent Healthcare

A month after my reaction to blood pressure medication, we received a bill for over $1,080 (US) from the emergency services billing company. I called to question and was told that the ER doctor was out of our provider network, we were responsible for payment, and I needed to file any appeal with my insurance company. If that organization refused further compensation I should call her again, she said, promising her employer would work with us (presumably an installment plan).

I spent a few hours calling back and forth between these corporate entities. Our insurance provider insisted we only owed $75.44 and the billing company had no right to demand payment of that declined balance. An opposing customer service rep insisted that was untrue, that the insurer had no right to limit the amount due as no contract existed between these two firms.

At last, a woman with our insurer told me she put in a dispute on our behalf with the billing company. What?!? Confused as I am, I don’t intend to drop the matter.

Fast forwarding to the afternoon, I told my primary care physician when he asked about my stress level. Steam practically pouring out his ears, he admitted a lack of expertise but expounded upon his opinion. He thinks our insurer knows full well their company is responsible for the $1,080.

My doctor believes both enterprises hope the patient pays without question, satisfying the greed of each. Lots of folks cave into pressure from this extortion, he explained. My husband would have been one of them, sad to say. In fact, Dr. S maintains utter disbelief in the ‘out of network’ explanation.

I guess my next step is a friendly call to the ER facility, or perhaps a personal visit. Then, in about a week, I intend to call the biller’s representative for information on the insurer’s alleged petition and proceed from there.


Meanwhile, a lingering lump on my scalp grew three times larger over the summer. My hairdresser classified it a harmless cyst (called a wen) and advised having a dermatologist remove the cumbersome bump. I mentioned this to a medical student during her initial consultation, she passed it on to Dr. S, and he (fulfilling his residency at this clinic) consulted a senior physician before she followed up on their examinations.

This attending physician assured me their procedural department could remove the cyst, which insurance would be much more likely to cover versus a dermatological procedure. In addition, she kindly spent valuable time accompanying me to the checkout desk so as to assure both ideal scheduling and proper insurance coding. For one $20 copay, I will undergo this little outpatient surgery and receive a surreptitious follow-up on my blood pressure. Nice, huh?

Whew! I’ve rambled enough. But how nice to find caring, competent professionals. Wish me luck on the other mess.

Have you heard of a wen before?


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Wabi Sabi – Revering Nature’s Unconventional Beauty

Wabi sabi is a Japanese world view emphasizing acceptance and reverence of the imperfect, incomplete, impermanent, even desolate. A comprehensive article on the website Tofugu addresses this complicated concept, exploring each of the two standalone words and their connection to Buddhism.

Societal shifts and mainland exchanges influenced approaches toward wabi sabi, and this perspective trickled throughout national consciousness over the ages. Contemporary groups, for example, honor this tradition with parties celebrating the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms. Wabi sabi’s traditional origin linked to tea ceremony, that history is considered an excellent study resource.

As for me, I am guilty of the common Western, rather exclusive focus upon imagery, sabi, the aesthetic. The philosophy of wabi permeates deeper within Japanese culture, and their very language. That said, I used my camera during a recent hike to literally focus upon what I considered visual portrayals, however inaccurate or pretentious.

I wish my Greek influenced opinions of beauty were kinder to the aging human body. ~sigh~ There is a reason I prefer being behind the camera lens.

Do you find the appearance of fading vegetation interesting?