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Good News for Once

February 16th, 2008 at 12:15 am

I called and talked to the car repair shop today and my part is in and it IS the correct one this time. The claims adjustor from our car insurance company also came out and looked at the damaged parts today and they will cover both struts and the bent strut plate. Yippee!!! That's over a $500 savings for us! A huge relief.

Car Repairs

February 14th, 2008 at 01:59 pm

I have had my Equinox to the shop at least 5 times over the past 3 weeks. It has a bad strut that they believe is a result of my accident several months ago. Well, each time I've taken it up and left it, the strut that they are going to put on it hasn't fit. After trying to force 2 of them to fit and ruining them in the process, they finally contacted the manufacturer. They had tried to make them universal so that they would fit either side. Someone wasn't thinking too clearly because the place where they fasten on is on the wrong side if you are trying to do the driver's side. So now they have recalled ALL of those struts!

The shop found one factory strut in a dealership near us, but the cost is over twice as much as after-market struts. They are trying to turn this into my car insurance and get it covered since they also found that the strut plate was bent and it's on the side that ended up in the ditch. So we are waiting to hear whether it will be covered or not. If not, it's going to cost us over $500 if they have to put the factory strut on! That's about what I have in the car repair budget, but that was being saved to get DH's paint job done on his truck that keeps getting put off.

Reapplied for Term Life Insurance

February 1st, 2008 at 12:53 am

I decided to reapply for term life insurance again. You may remember that I was rejected last year because of my blood pressure and the cyst they found in my brain. Since my health has totally turned around since then I figured I'd give it another try.

The neurologist says the cyst is no problem at all, that lots of people have them and don't even know it. The blood pressure is now running 110/70 with the new medicine and I've lost 32 pounds so far with
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Weight Watchers.

I am back to a size 10, which is still overweight for my height and frame, but I'm still working on it. I have another 24 pounds left to get to my goal weight. The Flex plan is really working well for me. I've been walking with
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Leslie Sansone and doing yoga 2-3 times a week. I decided this time that the only exercise I was going to do was what I could continue doing the rest of my life. No more half killing myself to burn calories. I'm too old for that now. LOL!

So hopefully in a couple of months I'll know if they approved me and if so, I can cancel the whole life insurance and cash it in. We plan to use it to buy another coal stove for the main part of the house or to replace the roof.

For Me, Weight Watchers is Worth the Cost

November 4th, 2007 at 12:59 am

I signed up for the monthly pass for Weight Watchers ($39.95) the middle of July. At first I thought it was really silly to pay someone to weigh me each week, but I have to say that it is really working. So far I have lost 20 pounds. I enjoy the meetings and am meeting new friends. I find encouragement and support at the meetings. Knowing that someone is going to weigh me in each Monday night keeps me honest with counting points.

The main thing I like about Weight Watchers is that they have a maintenance program. You gradually add in points until you find the amount you can have each day that maintains your weight.

As soon as I get within a healthy weight range for me I'm going to apply for a term life insurance policy.

Talk About Sky-Rocketing Health Care Costs!

November 3rd, 2007 at 01:42 am

We received notice in our office this week that our medical insurance premiums are going up over 48% next year!!! We have a very small group and, because of the health problems I've had in the past year (which simply turned out to be an allergic reaction to blood pressure medicine!) they are increasing our payments. That amount just seems outrageous to me. It's not like my medical bills amounted to even $20,000! They were far below that.

So, we are now forced to shop for a different company or take a high deductible policy. Our budget for next year is already set and we only alloted for a 10% increase since the research we did indicated that was the average amount that PPOs would go up. So much for planning ahead!

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Term Life Insurance

May 26th, 2007 at 01:57 am

#10: You have a stay-at-home spouse that relies on your income and would not be able to support themselves if something happened to you

#9: You're a stay-at-home spouse that performs duties that a full-time working spouse would find impossible to duplicate

#8: You do not have enough other assets built up that would provide support for your dependents

#7: To protect your minor children until they reach maturity and can fend for themselves

#6: Life insurance is not meant to be an investment (like whole-life is), it's protection

#5: You can choose a policy length that suits your needs

#4: Compared to whole life, term insurance is very low cost for the coverage you get

#3: You can lock in a fixed premium that is guaranteed renewable

#2: It will give you peace of mind

#1: It's the responsible (and smart!) thing to do

Money in the Mail!

April 7th, 2007 at 04:28 pm

We hit the jackpot today when we got our mail! Our long-awaited state tax refund was there AND DH's check from Prudential for the cash value on his whole life insurance! So totally we had $6252.09 in our mailbox! A nice little sum, indeed.

I got right to work and started assigning each dollar a job. It really wasn't that hard though. The $901 from the state is being held to pay for DS#2's replacement car this week. He'll reimburse us when the check for his totalled car comes in the mail. The rest of the money went to pay the Discover Card almost off. There is $208.85 left to pay on that and then that debt can be retired. Woo hoo!!!

A very good mail day.

Another Car Accident

April 6th, 2007 at 05:55 pm

...and this time it was me with my beloved Equinox.

I decided to head into work early today to get in some extra hours and maybe come home a bit earlier since everyone else has Good Friday off.

Winter had returned to our area and the plows had not been out on the roads yet this morning. I came around a bend, only going 35 mph because the roads were so bad, when I hit a patch of ice and just totally lost control. By the time I landed in a deep ditch I was facing the opposite way of the direction I had been going.

The car was almost totally on the driver side. I had to be helped out of the passenger door by one of the people that were following me. The first thing they asked was if my neck hurt because the impact was so hard.

It's amazing that the car really doesn't look bad at all. The most damage is up front, but it's not crumpled at all like you would expect. The driver's side that it landed on is not messed up at all that we could see.

I am sure I'll have some bruising. I can already feel some aches and pains.

So my car is now keeping DS's car company at the body shop. This will hit our Emergency Fund with a solid $500 punch.

Good news on his though...they did total it but the bus' insurance has decided to give him over $1900 for it. We have no idea why they went from $800 to $1900, but they did!

Tax Withholding

March 31st, 2007 at 07:24 pm

We have to decide if we want tax withheld from DH's cashout payment from his whole life insurance. My thinking right now is not to have the tax withheld because I think that we will have more than enough in our normal withholding to cover it.

We got a much larger refund this year than we expected because of the 2 college kids so I think that that money will more than offset the taxes owed on this amount.

Surrender Papers

March 30th, 2007 at 11:09 am

DH called Prudential last night to have them send him the surrender papers for his whole life insurance. Of course, they were not happy and gave him a hard time about it. He finally told them that they might as well not waste their time going through all the numbers, just to send the papers. So I should be getting a fax at the library today and hopefully we'll be able to fax them back tomorrow. Hopefully the cash value check will arrive within the next month. Soon the Discover card will be paid off!

Received Confirmation Letter

March 24th, 2007 at 12:32 am

We received a letter today confirming that Zander received our payment for DH's term insurance, that it is now in effect, and that we can now begin the process of cashing in his whole life policy. Yeah! The cash value on his policy is over $4600. That will take a big chunk out of what we owe on the Discover card!

When is it Safe to Cancel Life Insurance?

March 13th, 2007 at 10:54 am

We received DH's term insurance policy in the mail yesterday. We have to send in 2 month's payment and the signed amendement.

Does anyone know if we're safe to cancel the whole life policy we have now or do we need to wait for something else? As long as this whole thing has taken I hate to think how long it will take until we get our money from the cash value of the whole life. Hopefully not nearly as long.


February 24th, 2007 at 12:48 am

I got a call from our Zander insurance case worker yesterday that my approval for the term life insurance has been postponed due to my recent medical problems. I sort of figured that was coming.

She said that in 6 months I am free to apply again. I told her that I didn't know if I wanted to go through this whole thing again in 6 months. I never dreamed that it would take this many months for them to come to a decision.

No word yet on DH's application.

Shocking EOB

January 11th, 2007 at 02:48 am

Yesterday we received an EOB (explanation of benefits) from our insurance in the mail. I always file these by date with the medical bill attached.

Well, I looked at this one and saw how much the insurance had paid and about died. They paid $18,634 to Corporate Care Management, whom I've never even heard of. This was paid on behalf of our son for services rendered from 11/1-11/30 of 2006. Now I know that with DS#2's migraines that he has a lot of bills, but he hasn't run one up for over $18,000!!!

DH took the EOB into work today and asked about it. They tried to contact the insurance, but to no avail. They have stopped payment on the check until they can figure out who's bill this actually is.

She told DH that she has only ever had one other person bring anything in to question. She said that most people don't even keep them, just look to see if they're paid and toss them out.

So if DH hadn't taken it in they would have paid this money that they might not really owe. Who knows how many $$$ have been wasted?

It would be interesting to know how it got charged to our account. Probably a simple transposing of numbers.

Our Christmas Traditions

December 5th, 2006 at 11:32 am

I decided to add my list of family Christmas traditions since it's been fun to read the others.

1. Christmas Breakfast: This is the most important tradition that we have because it started our very first Christmas together back in 1985. We were very poor and I wanted to do something special for breakfast but had very little in the cupboards. I found that I did have the ingredients for homemade cinnamon rolls and Swedish Tea Ring. So that has been our traditional Christmas breakfast ever since. It just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

2. Christmas Eve morning at my parents': We always go to my parents' house on Christmas Eve morning and have presents with them and one of my brothers family. Then we have lunch together and just hang out most of the day.

3. Stockings: These seem to be the most important presents for some silly reason. They are usually filled with things from the dollar store, yet the kids seem to enjoy them more than the real gifts. The kids get their stocking Christmas Eve night.

4. Make Mom cry: Ever since the Christmas that my husband bought me my heart-shaped garnet ring and I cried when I opened it, it's been his mission to make me cry each year. LOL! One year he bought me a topaz necklace and had it around the neck of a stuffed dog that looked just like the dog we had at the time. Sentimental things that pull at the heartstrings.

5. Yumasetta: I know....yuma what??? It's a Pennsylvania Dutch dish that I learned to make several years ago and "tweaked" a bit so that it is my family's favorite meal. Just last year we decided that instead of the huge Christmas meal we were going to have this instead since it's fast, easy, and after eating all the sweet rolls and tea ring we're not that hungry for a huge meal.

6. The countdown: We have a little wooden snowman that does the countdown for Christmas. The youngest likes to be in charge of changing the number of days left til Christmas.

7. The snowman collection: I have tons of snowmen that I use to decorate the kitchen each year. I put them out when we decorate for Christmas and leave them up until the end of winter.

My Extremely-Hard-to-Come-Up-With List

November 17th, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Finally came up with a list after looking through others' lists and getting ideas:

1. Appeared in a fitness infomercial that aired a few times in 2004.

2. Had 5 kids in 7.5 years

3. Attended college for 1 month then quit and got married

4. Was married at 17 (missed being 18 by 6 days!)

5. Our honeymoon was 2 days at my parents' house while they stayed with my grandparents.

6. 8 days after the wedding my husband went to sea for 6 months (He had just come out of bootcamp in the Navy)

7. Our first home was a pop out camper on the banks of the York River in Virginia

8. Favorite candy: peanut M&Ms!

9. Favorite beverage: Dr. Pepper

10. I like to work Sudoku puzzles and keep a book in the car for times of waiting

11. Odd family fact: one year I turned 10 on the 10th and my brothers were 6 on the 6th and 3 on the 3rd

12. I still have all of my wisdom teeth

13. Have lived in the same town that I grew up in all my life except the 5 years in Virginia while husband was in the Navy

14. Husband and I have known each other since kindergarten.

15. Only time I got in trouble in school was when my husband passed me a note in 3rd grade and the teacher hung it on the bulletin board.

16. Husband used to chase me on the play ground in 4th grade and I would come home and tell my mother that I wished he would leave me alone because I hated him. :-)

17. Husband chipped my tooth in 5th grade.

18. Husband and I started dating in 10th grade because he asked me to the Christmas Ball

19. Never went to the Christmas Ball

20. Can't believe I made it to 20!