Friday, May 27, 2016
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update
The above is the first Johnny Jump Ups to appear this year and they grew right through a crack in the concrete. Good life lesson there. If you have enough will, skill and faith, you can find ways through things people never thought possible.
This week has been busy, we got news and it's all across the board on good and bad.
The worst news is that I got a phone call from the Health Insurance Marketplace earlier in the week informing me that my daughter was still on Medicaid so I had to drop her off of her current insurance since she can't be on both at once. News to me that she still had Medicaid, so I ended up having to drop her off of our insurance when we got officially approved for Medicaid (we were in a "wait to be approved or not" holding pattern until someone would look at the application and after a few phone calls and jumping down people's throats we got it done as I wanted her dropped or approved pronto so I knew she had insurance one way or the other). Now being on Medicaid was okay I figured as at least more was covered on it than on our insurance. Au contraire mon fraire!
Nope, Alaska decided, in all of its infinite wisdom to use people as political pawns to get the multitudes of taxes passed and to grab our PFD...their way. They made an announcement yesterday morning that Alaska State Medicaid was "broke" and would no longer be paying providers any money until further notice due to the "financial crisis" in Alaska. So, this announcement doesn't just mean that my son's therapists aren't being paid by my son's insurance (since TEFRA runs through the state first) and are going to have a hard time making it, but this also means my children's pediatrician won't be paid by our insurance, our pediatric dentist won't be paid by our insurance, our pharmacy won't be paid...the list goes on. Our local hospitals are panicking as their NICU units are pretty much funded by Medicaid and they don't know how to keep them open. I am FURIOUS about this. I spent the entire day pretty much e-mailing and calling every state rep I could get my fingers on to tell them what I thought of them. I would have dealt with them doing co-pays for therapy or other medical services. I would have dealt with them not covering certain prescriptions. But, nope, they do this instead. Right after they force me to drop my other insurance for Medicaid for my daughter on top of everything else.
This is just plain USING people's need and desperation to get things passed that people didn't want (citizens wanted the government to cut spending across the board, or cut out wasteful spending of which we have TONS, but they stop paying this instead). I notice that the state reps are still being paid and their benefits are still rolling just fine. Primal scream therapy isn't even enough right now. Just....grrrrrrrr!!!!!
Anyway, let's work out of the dark abyss. My son's eye appointment went okay and he was REALLY good waiting, which I was impressed by. The eye doctor said he's progressed into actually being near sighted now, but still isn't so bad that we have to force glasses on him yet, so we'll wait another year and see. I am not looking forward to that fight when we get there, let me tell you.
My husband was feeling funny again earlier in the week, so I got him into see the doctor. Turns out the doctor said basically he's getting older and just needs to eat on a more regular schedule from what he could see, but he also is like 99.9% sure my husband has sleep apnea and they want to do a sleep study on him. I have no idea what our insurance will cover when it comes to all of that, but if it helps my husband sleep better (he's always slept rotten) I'm for it. Our new doctor is going to see what they can get insurance to cover, so we'll see what they find out. At least with insurance our doctor visit only cost 80.00 compared to the near 300.00 it would have cost without it, so yay for that.
And yeah...I think that brings us pretty much up to speed for the week so far. Let's get onto frugal things for this week (I need the upper *laugh*).
1. My son's OT asked if I'd like a baby rhubarb plant she had sitting outside. I said "Me want!!!" (picture waving arms and everything...yes...this is actually how it happened *laugh*). I talked to my husband as my one friend is going to give me her rhubarb plants later in the year and we're working on where to put a nice rhubarb patch. I'm so excited! I love rhubarb and am really looking forward to having a bunch of it :). And I might very well be the only Alaskan to ever say that *laugh*.
2. I canned Taco Sauce this week using materials I already had on hand.
3. While rearranging/organizing my pantry I pulled every single jar that I could find that was empty/not being used and washed them in the dishwasher. I'll wash them again really well before I can in them, but I like to be careful. I found quite a few though, which I was really thrilled with as those will definitely come in handy later.
4. We took advantage of the nice weather the last couple of days to do something fun with the kids. We ate out on our back deck last night. My husband wanted to make sure we didn't have to worry about my son running up and down the stairs (the deck is on the second floor) so he screwed one of the free pallets he had to the opening at the top of the stairs on the deck. It was the perfect "boy barrier" and allowed us all to sit and eat without worrying about a kid running loose, it can easily be taken down and it was easily made with materials we already had around the house.
5. I spent a lot of time the last week watching things on You Tube (I started "Tudor Monastery Farm and then went back and started watching "Victorian Farm" again before I finished it. Oops *laugh*).
6. I have been searching a lot online and for a change actually had decent luck with Swagbucks as I searched, so I actually made some goals the last week on them. Yay!!!
7. Other than necessary appointments, we stayed home this week. This conserved gas and stopped us from spending money we don't have.
8. I took help that was offered this week. It wasn't easy to do it, but sometimes you need to admit that you can't do it all by yourself. I'm still learning that valuable life lesson.
9. I woke up every morning this week and made a point to thank God that I had woken up that morning, that I have a roof over my head and that I had my husband and kids. It really does help to root you down when you start out the day being thankful.
10. I've been saving my coffee grounds and used them to compost the garden a bit earlier in the week.
11. I thinned my pea plants today and used the sprouts I had pulled to make myself a salad for lunch. They were really tasty!
And here's an update on the garden, while I'm on the subject!
The first bunch of lettuce is starting to really take off as well, so I was happy to see that growing as our salads this summer are dependent on that and the spinach growing as well.
I fear that this is the last year for these good old wooden planters. They have served me well and faithfully for eleven years now (and I inherited them, well used, when we moved into our last house so I have NO IDEA how old they actually are), but I noticed that not only have some carpenter ants started eating on the bottom of them, but once you move them you can see all the rotten wood come off the bottom of the planters. They are just finally dying on me, but they have done their job many times over and so I will send them off with a grateful heart when they go.
I didn't take pictures of the front bed, because the petunias are coated in cottonwood pollen right now and look like snow balls and past the chives growing well there's not a lot to report yet (the chocolate mint is still popping up here and there).
I have a couple of planters on my deck that I forgot to take pictures of. One is a hanging basket that I planted more spinach and some basil in and the other is a old tree sized planter that I planted a couple of types of potatoes in and a couple of pea plants (I'm just going to let those trellis on my deck railing). I'm hoping between the planters and the garden I can get a decent amount of potatoes and salad fixings.
So, there you are folks. My frugal adventures and gardening adventures for the week. How did you do?