Saturday, January 24, 2015

Whine about Health care costs

OK, assuming I live till the end of the year, I'll have some savings.
For the beginning of the year, I will have to fork over lots to my health care providers.

Medicare is my primary insurance this year, since everything else required me to pay monthly premiums.  So when I went to the allergist earlier this month, they said they would bill Medicare and then what they don't pay I'll be paying.  I pay Medicare $104.70 a month as well as have a $147 deductible, so I expect that will be at least my share.  I dare say another $25 co pay will be on top of that.

I do hope each time I go get my allergy shots (twice a week for the next 6 months) I don't have any charges.  But since I'm feeling a lot better after the first 2, I'm going to go for it as long as I can.  Driving 15 miles each way isn't that bad with the cost of gas these long as the 18 year old Toy-Yoda keeps running.  (PS. I know I have to put a new clutch in the little guy soon, which may run $500).

Let's see, I already paid the $230 deductible fee before getting my first prescription from CVS.  They own the insurance co. which I decided on for my drugs (and now pay $26.70 a month, above the cost of Medicare.)  After the $230 fee, I actually got 3 months supply of my next 2 drugs free, (generic thank goodness). Whoopee!  I actually thought they were free after having paid $230!  Way to go Barb!  Gotcha!

I'm so cynical today.  I think I'll go eat worms.  Did you ever hear that phrase when you were in about 4th grade?  I guess someone told me that when I whined about something.

Later my friends offered me "Do you want some cheese and crackers with your whine?"

But remember, please, that I have a fixed income, which I put into Social Security when I was working..  And in March the car's biannual insurance, tags, tax (separate from tags in NC) and inspection are coming up.  So this is my January whine about costs of living as a 72 year old in 2015.

I'll probably rethink sharing this in public in a few days/hours and just delete the post.  But I'm also trying to be up front about financial situations...rather than whispering about them.  My finances are probably different from yours, but I think the more we talk about how we former middle class people are slipping into poverty, while the 1% will own 50% of all the world in 2016...I kid you not.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

61 degrees F on Jan 20th

Holy Cow.  What happened to winter?
OK, I keep posting this amazement that this winter is not behaving properly.

But having just tossed out a bunch of old pottery, and washed out a bunch of trashbaskets with the hose outside...I think my body, as well as the rest of the earth around me, is responding to spring.

This is it.  We'll look back in a few years and say, that was the beginning of the big changes of global warming.  Remember the last snow?  The LAST snow?  It might just have been that.

Well, no doomsayer me.  I just feel like time has run out for the life of our civilization.  And there's no turning back.  Guess that does sound a bit doomish, doesn't it?

So we'll slide slowly into decline.  Remember the "rise and fall of the Roman Empire?"  I don't really.  I think it was pretty military.  I wonder if our "rise and fall" will be considered ecologically.  Probably not.  History tends to be written around military feats.  Maybe not this time.

OK, prove me wrong, Gaia, oh goddess of the earth.  Or Atlas who might shrug us off his shoulders.  It's fine by me.  But I think cycles will continue, and probably humankind...and another civilization will probably stuggle and replace ours.  It's what history has shown many times.  If we have any chance because of all our huge errors of judgement, that is.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

From the mudane to spiritual

I get a thought for the day over in my email in box every day from Word for the Day. org.
Today's made me think of how I use spiritual to mean sublime, a word that isn't in use much these days.
But an author who is oft quoted (didn't you like that Old English useage?) said today...
To bring the sublime into the mundane is the greatest challenge there is.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Alchemical Wisdom

And I realized I do mundane tasks in order to have a spiritual experience.  Today I'll be running the sound system for a guest speaker at my church.

It takes a lot of effort of many members of the little community to bring us together each Sunday morning for that hour of inspiration/thoughtfulness/whatever.

But to turn the urge around and take the sublime out into the world with me, to live what I believe, is the challenge, as Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan wrote so many years ago.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Old Photos

Sepia Saturday
this week invites us to submit old photos of trials, lawyers, and/or writing on photos.

I don't have the first 2, but have the last in abundance.  And sometimes the writing was applied many years later than the event, so is sometimes wrong at to people's names, misleading, or dated incorrectly.  I'm glad when there's a question admitted.  Unfortunately sometimes the answers are still wrong.  But it does show the appreciation of having some names given to old pictures, which came about at the times they were passed from one hand to another, most often.

And that hand off is strangely never documented.

A batch of letters/ perhaps a box.  Another box of photos.  And later an album of photos. They would have been given to interested relatives usually at the death of the collector.  The interested relative might have been the one most friendly to the elder who died, or perhaps just the first one on the scene who wanted those documents.  Maybe several others were also interested, so it would be part of that conversation..of whom is this a photo?  Some of the owners would have no more interest than to be possessors of something that someone else might want.  Seldom were these memorabilia mentioned in a will.

Thus through the generations would old items be passed, until sometime they would go to an auction, a library, or a trash bin, or perhaps be scanned for adding to listings on the ancestry site.

My great great Uncle Chauncey Sweet's friend and benefactor, Henry Rosenberg of Galveston, was the subject of my blog a while ago.  Both of them are characters of high regard.  Look here if you have a chance.

This photo has a dedication from Mr. Rosenberg to Chauncey G. Sweet.

His wife, Mollie, also dedicated a photo to Chauncey, a bit more intimate I'd say...

Here's one where the surviving owner of the photo changed her mind about who this lovely lady might be.  She is Ada Pulsifer Phillips Sweet, Chauncey Sweet's wife.  She was called Auntie, and was also Chauncey's first cousin with whom he was raised after she had been orphaned following the Civil War.  She was the younger sister of my grandmother's mother, Zulieka Granger Phillips Swasey.

 A photo of (Mrs. Alexander John) Zulieka Swasey.  It's easy to see how my grandmother got confused in the photo of Ada Sweet in comparing it to this one of Ada's sister, Zulieka.

A 1917 postcard of Zulieka Phillips Swasey with her granddaughter Ada Mary Rogers (1917-1919)  As shown, she was known as Dear Nan by her daughter's (my grandmother's) family.

My grandmother's father, Alexander John Swasey.

I remember when I first got married in 1963 having long talks with my elder relatives about our family history, and my grandmother never mentioned these photos.  Did one of my older cousins, or one of my uncles (brothers of my father) have them? It is possible they were in the collection of her sister, Stella Zulieka Swasey Winslow, who died in 1960, (the same year as my grandfather, George Rogers). There are many possibilities. And at some time someone added these photos to our Ancestry DOT com pages, which is the first place I ever saw them.

I am so blessed to live in an age when digital means are available to share these old photos.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A professional woman

(Second edition with some typos corrected at 10 am)

Don't think the worst of her when you see the title...women who make their living on their own are all professionals, and what that profession might be is often not the oldest profession women are known for.  She made and sold hair tonic and dyes.

I just wrote my oldest sons that I'd found their grandmother's great grandmother.  First you might be interested to know that I'm looking among my ex-husband's ancestors.  And second, I remembered just a vague comment his mother made that her father had changed his name when he went on the stage, from Schultz to Hillyer.  It was legal, because his mother had that name until she married.

So I was glad to see that Ancestry already had a nice tree started for their family.  I mentioned a while back that they could trace their ancestors to those who stepped ashore from the Mayflower.  My exhusband's brother had written a couple of sentences also about the name changing grandfather, so that corroborated my memory.

But this chase was much more recent than Mayflower times, going back about to the mid nineteenth century.  People who were born around the time of the Civil War.

I only knew that the grandfather who changed his name was born in 1878 in KY, then tried Vaudeville for a while in NY, and finally married and settled into farming the rest of his life in Michigan.  Lewis (Louis) Selwyn Schultz Hillyer born in Oct 1878 in KY.

So I tried looking for any records of his 2 surnames, Schultz, and Hillyer.  The Selwyn might have been another addition, though some records do give him an initial S.  But it could have stood for Schultz as well.

And bingo bango...I got lucky.  I did find a few dead-end paths however along the way.  One woman might have been his mother, except she had another child the year he had been born, as well as others on both other years before and after.

After a few hours I got lucky and found his actual birth record in Bellevue, Campbell County, KY.  He's the 5th child listed below, born Dec 8.

And there were his mother and father's names, as well as where they had been born.  Here his mother's name had a given name for the first time - Maggie.  Her maiden name was mispelled Hillyser.  And she was born in Cincinnati, OH, right across the river from Bellvue KY.  Father was Louis Schultz Sr.

I won't go into the rest of the information I found about his early life, but it's now available for the family over on Ancestry.  I found he did live in New York in a census of 1905, and gave his name as Hillyer, as well as his occupation as Professional, while living as a lodger as most single persons did in NY.

Since I now had Louis' mother's name, I did a search and started finding more about her.  I did find she was probably born in Oct. 1852, lived most of her adult life in Bellevue, KY, and she died around age 51. And eventually I found her own mother Mrs. C. C. Hillyer.  Catharine C. Hillyer was probably born in 1830 in New York state.  There are at least 2 other Catharine C. Hillyers (Hiller) that aren't the same woman who lived in Cincinnati.

I believe that a woman who had one (or maybe 2) daughters to raise alone in the mid 1800s was quite clever to sell hair tonic. She is listed annually in the city directory from 1862-1875.  I couldn't find out more about Mrs. Hillyer at this time...though I think some of the census records for Cincinnati were not quite accurate...or perhaps they were given misinformation for some reason or another.  The census of 1860 is the earliest I could locate, and Cincinnati was immersed in the abolitionists movement.

I am glad to finally have the correct names and birth places for these ancestors of my children.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shhh, Introvert hibernating!

New picture in header (sorry it's so big)...from the year after I retired and moved from Tampa FL to Black Mountain NC.

So it's me a few pounds heavier, and about 8 years ago...never knowing what was in my future at that point.  At that time I was still just recuperating from thinking about how to please others all the time...which was my job.  An Activity Director for the last 7 years of my career, starting with Assisted Living facilities, then finally for an Independent Living Senior Apartment tower with over 200 units. 

I could do the job, and I loved some of it. 

But I'm naturally an introvert, and would spend most weekends in bed, as well as come home from work exhausted.  Someone hinted to me this last week that there's a need to train Activity Directors so all seniors receive good quality of life.  Not me, I'm not at all eager to return to work.  I'm having enough trouble just taking care of myself and the cats, and now my health, and sometimes making something or another in clay.  Right now that's on the back burner...waaay back.

I'm pretty sure people think of me as a self-centered somewhat bitchy person when I'm around a group of people.  Not true, but I just don't want to "put myself forward," as extroverts naturally do.

So even blogging is sometimes difficult, so please be patient with my need to hibernate these days!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Furry face

Oh could I find anyone in my photo files who links to this poor person?

Well, here's a nice photo of someone with a lot of hair on her face, sniffing a red flower...maybe a connection?

Inline image 1

Quite honestly, I've never noticed a scent from an Amaryllis... have you?
(NOTE: I can't locate the original of my son's cat sniffing the amaryllis...and several people have said the copied photo didn't make it.  Sorry about that, you'll have to imagine it, I guess)
Snow Leopard look for middle son.
My middle son with whiskers on his chin, and even mustache, but the fur is all synthetic as he plays with his daughter's sleeping bag.  I do usually see him on his vacations, during which times he likes to go he has a bit of furry face most of the times I see him.  When I mentioned this to him, he seemed a bit surprised.

All my sons now have whiskered looks (until middle one returns to work probably.)
The Viking look selfie on number one son.  He seems happy with the effect!
Youngest son, taken 7 years ago.  Not sure what his chin is sporting these days
And my favorite furry faced friends who live with me, must match this meme, of course.

Panther is pretty intelligent, and used to live outside before my friend befriended her and Panther moved in with her and eventually Panter moved in with me!.

Muffin has been steadily losing weight, at 17, but has a pretty good appetite these days.  

I hope you have seen some more interesting posts over at Sepia Saturday this week!