March 29, 2010

short weekend, short week!

  • My school had its annual benefit auction on Saturday night; as a result, I worked for seven hours Saturday afternoon and evening! (Fortunately, my job was fun, fairly stress-free, and with great people, so it didn't actually feel like seven hours.) That left me with a shorter weekend than usual ... however, one of the benefits of working at a Christian school is that we take time off for Easter, so I have a four-day weekend coming up!
  • Once again, I seem to be in the business of killing plants. Stacey gave me an aloe vera plant around Christmas. It looked great for a long time, but recently it's been looking a little peaked. It's probably because it hasn't gotten much light ...
  • I finally got some data pulled off the hard drive of my fried computer. I bought this external hard drive enclosure from, and it works really well. I was concerned it might not be compatible with Windows 7, but I had no problems at all ... even though the installation instructions were quite obviously not written by a native English speaker and I had to fill in the blanks! (Example: After plug the external box into, the system will remind you there is a new hardware of USB Storage Adapter adds into. After for a while, click "My Computer", USB HDD will appear the relativity on the PC.) I pulled off the things I needed (my 2008 tax return) or wanted (my iTunes download of Dr. Horrible) and left everything else alone--it seems to be working well, so why fill the hard drive of my laptop if I don't need to?
  • Blendy and I cleaned my apartment because one of my students will be staying with me over Easter. She then actually updated her blog, so you can read about our weekend here!
  • I am totally caught up on my reading! I have two reviews due the week of April 5 and another due the next week--and I've read all the books and written one of the reviews already! So what am I doing with my spare time? Reading! I just got the newest Karen Kingsbury book, Take Three, and I had a really difficult time putting it down last night.
  • Speaking of my book review books, I have a whole bunch of giveaways coming up, so keep checking the blog! 
  • I got my free copy of Emma today. Perfect timing, as the last movie I reviewed on my other blog was the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma. If you click over there, you'll notice the blog has a new look ... one that's much more "me"!
  • Spring has finally come to central Nebraska! As I dove home from work today, I noticed the other drivers; nearly every one had the driver's window open. I immediately opened the windows in my apartment once I got home, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the warm breeze.
  • The weddings are coming up! I bought my dress for Jen's wedding last Sunday, and Melissa's aunt is altering my dress for Melissa's wedding ... which is now less than two weeks away!
  • Right now, I'm watching the new season of Dancing with the Stars. Missed it last week because of a work thing, so I'm seeing the changes--the new opening, new co-host, new dancers--for the first time. So far, I don't have a favorite ... but I do have someone I'm hoping gets kicked off first: Jake Pavelka, the Bachelor himself. Does ABC really think America still loves him? And if Vienna's sitting in the audience looking all googly-eyed, I may just have to hurl.

March 28, 2010

need a boost?

Dunkin' Donuts is giving away samples of their new coffee. Thanks to Jen for alerting me!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

March 23, 2010


I've had a really crummy attitude about health care lately. Not because of the health care legislation--I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know too much about it. No, my attitude has stemmed from my ER visit in January. The visit itself was fine (aside from the nurse who couldn't get the IV in and had to try repeatedly ... that part wasn't pleasant!), or at least as fine as an ER visit can be. I really didn't want to go in the first place because I knew it would cost me a lot of money ... I just didn't have any idea how much!

Three weeks after my visit, I got notification from my insurance company that they weren't covering any of the bill--which totaled nearly $4000! My first reaction was anger--what good was my insurance if it wasn't going to help me out? My next reaction was panic--how would I pay for everything? My medical issue didn't end with the ER visit--I still had to see my doctor a couple times and undergo more tests. The bills kept coming--a $90 doctor visit here, a $400 hospital bill there. Most bills were partially covered by insurance, but at the beginning of March, it looked like I'd still have to pay between $5500 and $6000. I know that many people are struggling to pay bills so much higher than mine, but to me, these bills looked nearly insurmountable.

Early in January, before I knew what was wrong with me and that it was, at least for now, manageable by diet and exercise, I came across these verses in my daily Bible reading:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34
When the bills began rolling in, I clung to those verses, as well as this one:  And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 Sometimes, I didn't do a very good job of trusting, but it seemed like every time I reached full freak-out mode, one of those verses would pop back into my head.

Through it all, God took care of me--sometimes in large ways, and other times in small ways. One person God used to bless me was Gary. I've mentioned him in the past--he runs Gary's Body Shop here in town. My driver's window broke in January (the pic to the left is me driving home from Grand Island right after it broke. Blendy gave me her hood to wear with my coat because I was so cold!), and when my dad took my car in to Gary's, Gary said he thought the broken part was still under warranty from when he fixed it last summer. It was, and on top of that, he refused payment for labor, saying that when you go to Gary's, you expect to have the job done right!

Then there was the speech judging job where I got paid double for one round because it was longer than a normal round, plus they gave me mileage even though I carpooled with another judge!

And then there's Tom. He's the business manager where I work. About two weeks ago, he got on the phone with the insurance company (I get my health insurance through my employer). I was so grateful that he offered to call because I wouldn't have had a clue what to say! He put the lady on speaker phone, and pretty much everything either of them said was Greek to me! I learned that I definitely didn't follow procedure when I went to the ER without calling the insurance company first, though I didn't realize at the time that I was supposed to do that. (Perhaps I should have read the massive booklet I got when I first signed up for the insurance five years ago?) The good news is that had I called, they would have sent me to the hospital I went to, and they agreed to review the charges. Anyway, long story short, today I learned that insurance would cover over half of the ER charges!

I still have a large bill to pay. I'll have to be careful about my spending. I won't be using my tax refund to buy a Wii like I'd been planning for the last six months. But I also won't be in financial trouble. I don't deserve this. I don't know why God has chosen to work out my finances. But I am grateful!

I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6

March 5, 2010

single shopper on aisle one

I went to Walmart last night to pick up a few things ... which turned into a cart full! As I was walking down the dairy aisle, I glanced down at my cart and realized that anyone who looked at my shopping cart--without seeing me--would be able to ascertain that the cart's owner was a single woman on a diet! The items in my cart:
  • nail polish
  • feminine products
  • concealer & foundation
  • diet soda
  • skim milk
  • yogurt
  • a greeting card
  • baking soda
  • pretzels
  • powdered sugar
  • hair dye
  • Peeps
Then I looked at the carts around me and began to do a little guessing. The man pushing the cart containing beer and frozen pizza? Single. The elderly woman pushing the cart full of cookies, pop, fruit, and toys? Shopping for the grandkids. The man looking back and forth between the creamer case and his list before finally selecting a bottle of CoffeeMate? Married and doing his wife's shopping. (Okay, so that wasn't his cart--I didn't even notice what was in his cart because I was so amused by his befuddled countenance!)

I decided you can surmise a lot about a person based on his or her shopping cart. Not only does mine say I'm single, but it also says I neglect one or two of the major food groups and I don't cook a lot.

So, what does your shopping cart say about you?


I never win anything. Maybe that's not technically true, but the last thing I remember winning was a McGee & Me video from our local Christian radio station when I was in elementary school. Wait, I guess I did win a $5 Pampered Chef gift certificate at the Kansas State Fair a few years ago, but $5 doesn't go very far when you're talking Pampered Chef, and I never got around to redeeming it.

This afternoon, I received an email from an employee at WGBH, the Boston PBS affiliate. I won a free copy of the new Masterpiece Classic production of Emma!

I watched Emma when it aired in January, and I desperately wanted to buy it, but I've been saving my money to pay off those pesky medical bills. I added it to my Amazon wish list in hopes that my mom would buy it for my birthday ... which isn't until August. Earlier, I was watching the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow version for my movie rewatch project, and I found myself wishing I could follow it up with the Masterpiece version, which I believe is far superior. And now I can! (Well, I can after I've allowed 3-4 weeks for delivery ... )

Here's the funny thing: I don't even remember entering the drawing! Guess I can't say I never win anything anymore!

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