Monday, February 27, 2017

numbers

Good morning.
Not a whole lot going on. Weather has been pleasant. Been getting some nice long walks in and enjoying our patio.
Got another letter from Healthcare.gov. This one has my Michigan Blue Cross insurance ending last Oct. 31st. just like the first letter they sent out before they changed it for the entire year. So I now have a 3rd revised 1095. Glad I haven't done my taxes yet.  :-)
Also, I received a letter from Blue Cross of Michigan also stating my coverage ended last October. So....It appears I won't be stuck with the $505 bill for Nov and Dec. Keep your fingers crossed!
And since I don't have a lot to talk about, here's some numbers......
We've been retired now 6 months and 2 weeks. I did hair for 38 years 4 months.
We moved out here exactly 6 months ago.  Still loving it!
We've owned this house for 2 years 4 months. Our last house we owned for exactly 30 years.
Craig and I have been together 40 years 4 months.
And I've been blogging for 11 years 1 month. I've posted on my blog 1988 times.
My most viewed post was Hosta, June 13th 2010. That page has been viewed 90300 times according to Blogger.
I can't believe it either.
Anyway, that's all I've got for now.   :-)

Friday, February 24, 2017

a 2 day trip.

Good afternoon.
We've just returned from a 2 day trip down to Laughlin NV.
 It's about a 2 hour drive south of Vegas, right on the Colorado River across from Arizona. On the way down, Craig wanted to do a section of Route 66 So that took us first to Kingman Arizona, and then through Oatman AZ before we made it to Laughlin. Here's some of the scenery we saw between  Oatman and back to the highway...
It was a pretty drive. Below is a couple of pics of Oatman.....

It was an old mining town that now is a smelly tourist trap full of shops that sell jewelry, t-shirts, and other tourist stuff, thanks to being on Route 66 and wild burro's that roam the streets and crap everywhere.
They even did a lame wild west shoot-out for the tourists. And there were plenty of them there that day.
So with that behind us, we made it to Laughlin and the Aquarius Hotel/Casino.
We had driven to Laughlin for a day trip  back in the late summer after moving out here. We hit all 8 casinos and got their players cards. We were told by a neighbor we needed to get every players card in town so they'll mail us promotions. Well, Aquarius did just that. I got a flyer for $20 for the first night and the second night free. We thought that would be a nice little getaway for a couple of nights. So we did a little of route 66 the first day, and the second day drove another 1 1/2 hours south to see Lake Havasu Arizona. It's a nice little resort town on the Colorado river with an island. They even brought over the Original London Bridge and rebuilt it over to the island. Here's a pic....
It's a pretty cool bridge and they have a nice area along the water front with shops and restaurants.  Here's a fountain in front of the bridges information center.
It was another nice drive.
So we had a nice cheap room, even did a little gambling each evening after we got back to the hotel. As what seems to be our usual routine, one of us wins and the other loses. But we spent a couple hours each evening in the casino and ended up down only about $15. So quite a bit of fun but not a lot of cost.
Got up this morning and made it back home safe and sound. Another good trip.   :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

lovely day in the valley.

Good morning.
We've had some very nice weather. Been able to sit out on the patio. Here's a pic from one of my daily walks....
Some low clouds hanging over the sheep mountains.
Got together with a few neighbors yesterday over at the Salted Lime inside the Aliante Casino. They have Taco Tuesdays with $1.50 taco's and $4 Margaritas. Always nice to get together and chat. One neighbor is doing a redo on their landscaping. They are tearing out the concrete driveway and putting in pavers. Although pavers look very nice on some of the homes I've seen done, I just can't justify the expense to tear out a perfectly good driveway and redo it. But they obviously have a whole lot more available money than us.   :-)     I am anxious to see it when it's all done.
 I've gotten a few more updates on my hospital stay. Apparently all the x-rays, MRI's and eeg's are done in hospital by an outside company, so they are being billed separately by Desert Radiology. So my Blue Cross statement now has 5 more listings, and I'm still waiting for the doctor's bills.
I did get a little good news. I received a call from Health Partners. That's where I went to see a new doctor for a primary care provider and found out later that they weren't in my network. So I was looking at another $216 bill for that office visit. Well, Samantha, the office manager called to say they were erasing the bill. 4 different departments should have caught the fact that they didn't accept my insurance. So that's one less bill to pay.   :-)
And it's going to be another beautiful day with temps around 70 before a cold front goes through late today and takes us back into the low 60 for the rest of the week.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rainy days

 Good morning.
It's been a cool wet couple of days as rain moved through the valley. We had nearly an inch over the 2 days. That's a lot for Vegas. This is one of many concrete culverts that snake through the valley to funnel the rain out of the neighborhoods and toward Lake Mead.
This one way on the northern part of the valley had quite a bit of water flowing through it. I can't imagine how full they were in the southern part of the valley as all the rain that comes down heads toward the southeast valley to Lake Mead.
So we spent most of it inside as I cleaned the house, and repaired the kitchen faucet.
As you can see, we have a one handle faucet. When I turned the water on or off, the entire unit wobbled. Obviously, something was loose. I crawled under the sink and couldn't see any bracket to tighten. So, I went online to see if I could find what kind of faucet it was. I found a real good match at Home Depot. And better yet, it had installation instructions online! From those I found that a small nut that I thought was tight, wasn't tight enough and after adjusting it the faucet didn't wobble any more.   :-)
Also on Friday, we picked up the Jeep. It ended up being a bigger job than expected as they had to replace the door. But fortunately, the insurance covered everything.   :-)
And here's a pic of the massive meat counter at one of our Smith's Grocery stores....
It seems to go on forever! And they have about every cut of meat you can think of including numerous pre seasoned / marinated meat. I guess people out here don't know how to season they're own.   :-)
Now the weather should be better today as the rain has moved out and sun returns.
And that's it for today.

Friday, February 17, 2017

spring

Good morning.
We've had some very nice weather, and spring has arrived here in Vegas....

These pics were taken in the shopping center across the highway from our home. I believe they are called Flowering Pear. The little spreading shrubs we have along our sidewalk Weeping Rosemary have had little blue flowers all winter. Attracts bees and hummingbirds which appear to have stayed all winter. Also, our frost free date was the 16th. I like short mild winters.  :-)
Wed. we joined a few neighbors for lunch at the Rampart Casino Buffet. Had a coupon from our book for buy one get one, so it only cost us $5 apiece. It was a very nice buffet with good selections. The main problem with buffets is I tend to eat to much.  :-)
Yesterday Craig had an appointment with an Orthopedic surgeon to see what was recommended for his finger that has slowly but steadily been bending in. The fancy name for this condition is Dupuytren’s contracture. His is quite severe with his finger now bent 50%. So surgery is recommended. It will be outpatient, and he'll need physical therapy after that. You can read more about the condition here...
I also got a call from the body shop and the Jeep should be ready to pick up this afternoon.
I've also been dealing with insurance. OMG! What a hassle!
First......
I got a statement from my insurance company declining coverage for my new family doctor. They say he's out of network. So I called the doctors office to find, no, they don't accept my insurance. I complained that I asked that when I made my appointment and when I gave them my insurance card, why didn't they say something. Long story short, I'm waiting for the manager to call me back. The office visit was $261 and I paid a $50 office co-pay. So I may be stuck with $211.
Then.....
I keep getting bills from Blue Cross of Michigan for insurance that I changed when we moved out here. I went online to Healthcare.gov and got new insurance for Nov and Dec. But Blue Cross of Michigan is also billing me for Nov and Dec. So I called them and since I bought it through the market place we had to do a conference call to them. There I found out that I was suppose to call and cancel my Michigan coverage when I got Nevada coverage. I said why would the market place allow me to have 2 insurance policies and get 2 tax credits? I just assumed when I got Nevada insurance, they would automatically cancel my Michigan coverage. Apparently I was wrong. So that has been escalated to a case worker and I'm waiting for their response.  That might end up biting me for another $505.
Some apparently good news.....
I got a statement from my insurance company for my overnight stay in the hospital The hospital submitted a bill of $40,700.00. Can you believe it? no surgery, just a bed for one night with a bunch of tests. And the food wasn't that good! But, thanks to the hospital being in network, they accepted a bill of just $3,120.00. So I'll end up paying that since I have a $5000.00 deductible, but that's better than I thought. Now that's just the hospital bill. I was told the doctors bill separately. I saw 3 doctors while I was there. Why 3 I have no idea. But one doctor had me admitted, then another doctor saw me before I went to my room, and the third doctor gave me the test results the next morning and released me. So I wait for those bills.
But I've rambled on long enough for now.

Monday, February 13, 2017

turkey day

Good morning.
Yesterday we cooked turkey number 3.
Craig stuffed it with oranges and pineapple. Gave the meat a nice sweet taste.
Glad we got that small chest freezer. Still have turkey #4 to eat, probably in March. It's nice to be able to stock up on meat during sales.
Got our walk in even though it was cloudy, breezy and only 65.   :-)
I've been getting texts from the repair shop on the Jeeps status every day. Kinda funny. It's currently in the body shop and expected to be ready on Friday.
That's all for now.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

our home value has risen

Good morning.
It's mostly been very nice outside. Low 70's and sunny. We're running about 10 degrees above normal. Liking that!
Our neighbor across the street had her first patio party Thursday afternoon. They live on the golf course. Very nice views from their patio. I'll try to remember to take a pic next time.  :-)
Yesterday was cold and rainy. High of only 65. But the rest of the week should be sunny and 70 again.
We have new neighbors 2 doors down. It was a rental house that was put on the market about 2 months ago. Met the new neighbors as they were attempting to unload a heavy couch. I helped them get it in to the house. It was just the husband and wife doing all this. I later helped them with a large dresser.  They bought the 'Primrose' floor plan. It has a side entrance and 3 bedrooms.

 Craig and I don't care for that one as the bedrooms are quite small. An I think a side entrance is stupid for a home.
Our model is the 'Heather'. It's a 2 bedroom plan with larger bedrooms and a wider living room. The 'Primrose' looks like a tunnel being narrower and longer due to the dining area at the one end where our dining is in the kitchen. They said they wanted our floor plan but they were selling as fast as they went on the market. They said they put in 2 offers and both were already sold by the time they were presented. I checked later online and it's true, the only 'Heather' models for sale right now are 2 that are on the golf course and listed for $215,000 and $244,000. Off the golf course they are listing for $188,00 to $192,000. That's still quite a jump from what we paid for ours 2 1/2 years ago. So that's good!
Also trimmed the bushes in the back yard. Plan on trimming the tree in the front yard tomorrow. Tuesday is bulk pick-up day, so that will be good timing.
Cooking out third turkey today. Craig stuffs this one with oranges and pineapple. Gives the meat a nice slight citrus flavor.
And with that, I'm off to eat a little breakfast.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I'm okay

Good morning.
I've just spent the last day and a half in the hospital.
On Sunday, I had 3 'episodes' of getting very light headed. To the point I had to hold on to what ever was near by as I felt I might fall. They passed quickly, lasting at most maybe 10-20 sec. But I've had a couple of those over the last couple of months, so I got concerned. Was I having mini strokes? I called my doctor on Monday morning to see if he could order some tests to check me out. He said the best place to go was the emergency room. Even though I was feeling fine Monday morning, he said they were best equipped to give me a thorough check-up. I didn't like the idea of spending the money for the emergency room, but I had decided I needed some answers. So off I went to the Centennial Hills Hospital.  It's in my insurance network and actually the closest hospital to our community. They did a cat scan, chest x-ray, blood tests and a few other things. Everything at that point looked good. The doctor said the other tests to completely determine if I had indeed  had a stroke was an MRI. I should also have an ECG, an MRA and a Carotid artery ultra sound. They could only give me those if I was admitted to the hospital. I could have them all out patient, but by the time my primary care physician ordered them and got them scheduled at other facilities, it could take over a month, and if they were mini strokes, time and treatment is of utmost importance. So, I talked it over with Craig, and we decided I'd be admitted.  I didn't realize what was in store for me. I thought I'd spend the night, they'd do the tests, and I'd go home. I haven't been in the hospital as a patient for years, so I was naive. They put a heart monitor on me which means I had 5 wires hooked to my chest. Then I got an IV put in. They took an additional 5 vials of blood after already taking 5 earlier. They woke me up 3 time during the night to do vitals and take more blood. Trying to sleep all wired was uncomfortable. I at least had a private room.
Anyway, all the tests were preformed and all the results were negative for any past strokes or any blood vessel issues. Everything looked good. They even sent in a Physical therapist to test me for inner ear problems. The doctor said I was smart to come in as although there are many possible reasons for my symptoms, you don't want to mess around with a possible stroke. Better to be safe than sorry. Of course, he's not going to get the thousands of dollars in bills. I have like $7000 in deductibles and co-pays. But I am still glad to rule out anything serious. The best they could tell me is the symptoms I had could be caused from dozens of non life threatening issues. Most likely either dehydration, or temporary low sugar. I never eat breakfast, and don't drink a lot of water. So I'll work on that.
In other news.....
We dropped off Craig's car  Monday morning to be repaired from the accident a month ago. We've also sat out on the patio as our temps have been in the low 70's this week. Nearly 10 degrees above normal.
So that's it for now...

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Hawaii 3.0

Good morning.
 One of the highlights of our trip to Hawaii, was taking a submarine out deep in the bay.
Here's a stock pic of what it looked like....
 The one we were on seats 64. Two rows of seats, each row facing windows on one side or the other.
You take a boat from the dock out to the sub. It pulls up along side and everyone climbs aboard and goes down the hatch. Once all aboard, the boat pulls away, they close and seal the hatch and down we go.
We went down between 50 and 100 ft deep. Beautiful clear water, though my camera didn't take the best pics through the windows.
This first pic is a man made reef for the smaller fish to hide in. There really isn't much of anything else on the sea floor.
There's a reef shark laying on the ocean floor under the wing of a plane wreck. We saw 4 man made reefs, 2 planes, and 2 ships on the ocean floor teaming with fish.


It was really neat to see that. Back on the ship we got a good view of Waikiki on our trip back to the pier.
There were 2 subs operating and this is the second one coming up.
The people running the sub and ships were all very helpful and knowledgeable.  We were glad we spent the money to go. The company even had shuttles that picked you up at your hotel.
It was  a whirlwind 8 days, and we enjoyed every minute of it. If it wasn't for the long flights and expensive hotel rooms, we'd go back every year.
So, that's it on our little trip to Hawaii.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Hawaii 2.0

Good morning.
I'm much more rested and can post a few more pics.
One of our neighbors brought over some tasty muffins as a welcome back gift.
We ate 2 before I thought of taking the pic.   :-)
We've got some very nice neighbors.
One day we took a trolley ride around part of the island.
This would be along the east shore of Oahu.
At one point the driver stopped and gave a little ukulele performance.
He was a pretty good singer!
We didn't stop here but this is a pic of the Iolani Palace.
And another pic with Diamond head in the background.
I think we spent more time at beach bars then anything else.  :-)
Love those Mai Tai drinks! The weather was perfect. Around 80 everyday, and we love to people watch on the beach.
And a couple of pics of garden areas near the Royal Hawaiian or (Pink Palace)

And Craig had to get a pic of this....
It's a Camaro Limousine. I googled it and  it has a gull wing door. look closely where the guy in black is standing. It was parked outside of the Moana Surfrider. It's the other oldest hotel right next to the Royal Hawaiian.
Craig was pretty impressed.
Well, I've got one more post to do about our trip. I'll get to that hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Hawaii

Good afternoon.
We've just returned from an 8 day trip to Hawaii. Had to get away from the cold weather here in Las Vegas.   :-)
It was only around 60 in Vegas, but 80 in Hawaii.We had non-stop from Las Vegas on Allegiant Air. Still. it was a 6 hour flight there, and 5 back. That's a l-o-n-g flight. I don't know how people fly to Australia or Europe.
They had live entertainment at the airport to welcome us!
Here's a couple of views from our room....
Toward the mountains, and toward the ocean. We were on the 23rd floor of the Holiday Inn Beachcomber Resort. Not on the beach, but a very close walk.
Another view from our balcony.
The  pink building is the Royal Hawaiian. it's one of the oldest hotels on Waikiki.
It's been 32 years since we've been to Hawaii. Of course, a lot has changed, but it was still as beautiful as we remembered it. Here's Craig at a beach side patio with Diamond Head Crater in the background.
A turtle swimming along with the other swimmers.
On the building next door, was a revolving restaurant with an outdoor patio below. We'd sit on our balcony every afternoon watching them set up and then get very busy.
And in one of the parks along the ocean, a giant Banyan Tree.

And another beach pic.
We did a number of sightseeing trips while we were there. I'll post more later this week, but this is it for now.
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