Karen or Ken

Why have we become such an entitled society that such terms exist? I would hate to have the name or have named one of my children one of those names. I think it is unconscionable that names have been used to define those that feel entitled. Posts on social media are rife with stories of those that feel so entitled to cause physical or emotional pain or inconvenience to others.

Recently a social media friend made an offer to make a purchase for me from a craftsman that lives thousands of miles from me and whose shop I could not possible visit. She reached out to several other friends to purchase for them as well. My new fiber tool arrived yesterday and it is gorgeous, but I kept it to myself, only letting the friend know it arrived. This particular craftsman does a few events on the West Coast near their home, does online updates of their products where dozens of folks vie to make a purchase when the update goes live, and often offers their products as prizes for challenges for an online group of their followers. Additionally, they provide some of their tools to a couple of their grandchildren for them to sell and learn economics and earn money for big events. The friend that made the purchases and another friend who benefited from her visit posted their new tools online, so I did also. The friend then received a not nice message from someone who felt that it was unfair that they didn’t have the opportunity as well. As a result, we took our shares down from the site. To me, this is just another example of feeling entitled and it was a very petty expression of the message sender as my friend had been invited to the craftsman’s house to make the purchases.

Folks, life isn’t always about you. It isn’t always “fair.” Practice restraint and kindness, it goes a long way to making this a better world.

The Wind, Oh the Wind

Lately, it has been plentiful. Today is very mild, almost spring like, dry, and calm, but that has been the exception not the rule.

Yesterday when I went out to deal with the hens, something looked “off.” It took me a minute to realize that my little greenhouse was gone, the poly cord that had secured it over the ridgepole in several places was snapped. It used to reside in the NW bed of the garden and extended the growing season by a little on each end, but it was missing.

Today after our walk and errands, the little Honda was driven around the perimeter of the upper fields and there it’s mangled body was wedged, on the south side of a brush covered rock pile. It appears that most of the plastic connectors are snapped, though the metal poles seem ok. The cover is ripped along a seam, but that can be restitched. Perhaps there is a solution for reassembling the poles with something other than the plastic sockets, or perhaps maybe just purchasing some flexible plex pipe, anchored in the ground on rebar pieces or even the vertical poles from the frame. The whole pile is in the garage until a solution is developed. Fortunately, nothing was growing in it right now and won’t be for at least another 8 or 10 weeks, so plenty of time to solve the problem. It wasn’t expensive and has provided two years of service, but a couple more would be great.

We have one more mild day, though a high chance of rain, then the storm fronts return with wind and winter temperatures, maybe even a chance of snow. My photo memory from a year ago had me out playing/sledding in the snow. So far this year there have only been a couple of light dustings that didn’t even coat the grass.

What is wrong with Healthcare in the US?

With recent health issues in our household, there have been a couple of hospitalizations and a whole new pharmacy on the dresser top. We are senior citizens and have Medicare plus a supplemental health plan and an Rx plan that is supposed to reduce the cost of prescription medications. The Medicare and supplemental plan have prevented any out of pocket expenses so far, though one of the doctor’s from the first hospitalization has billed Medicare for something for which they have already paid and Medicare declined to pay it a second time obviously. It still shows up on our summaries with a zero balance, but shows a declined expense. The pharmacy side is another story. We pay a significant monthly fee to have the medications at least partially paid for by the insurance plan, a three tier system that lets us know what our co-pay is for each med in the tier, but if we ask the pharmacy what the cash price is, it is often half what the co-pay would be. If we use the insurance, we are paying not only the monthly payment for the plan, but double the cost of paying cash on top of it. This just doesn’t make any sense to us. Fortunately, we know to ask what the difference would be and have paid cash for several of the scripts that have been called in.

Also, scripts never have a refill number on them anymore and most, except antibiotics, come in 90 supplies so a large bill every three months instead of spreading it out. To get a refill, you must contact the pharmacy who then contacts the physician for authorization on a medication that you know you will be required to take long term (not pain meds, but maintenance meds to prevent the condition from worsening). If you call the physician’s office, the robot voice tells you to contact the pharmacy.

The surgeon tells you to call and schedule a follow up in 4 weeks and the soonest they can see you is 5 weeks or more.

Our system is broken and we are among the lucky ones to be able to have and afford insurance to cover our issues. I don’t know what the solution is, but certainly not the way it is being done now.