Random 5 for September 13, 2020 – Mom, retirement, clean-up, fall, ugliness

Happy birthday Mom! – Today is my mom’s birthday. She’s been gone since 1986 but I still miss her. There is always that hole in my heart.

I’m turning into her – After her retirement, my mom worried about money. She was on a fixed income that was small. Each week I would listen to the litany of what prices went up. I understand it better now. It gets scary when something doubles in price while there is no movement in your income.

Roses at the height of the season

The annual clean up starts – Some of the annuals have had it and I’ve started to pull them out. A month ago everything was lush and colorful but I can see the signs of fall and the changing light. I learned a long time ago that it was best to not wait until a severe frost in November to clean up. If I wait, the day I work on it is freezing cold.

Another sign of fall – We got the Medicare changes for 2021 in the mail. That is an exercise in futility. The cost of anything medical depends on how it’s coded. The beloved husband was hospitalized overnight earlier in the year and we thought for sure we would be responsible for a hospital stay co-pay but were instead charged for an emergency room co-pay. That worked to our advantage. It’s like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’ll get.

Is it over yet? – As the election heats up, I see people being mean. Having a different view is a right but being ugly about it isn’t. I am embarrassed by what I see people slap on their vehicles much of which makes no sense when you think about it.

So how was your week?

63 thoughts on “Random 5 for September 13, 2020 – Mom, retirement, clean-up, fall, ugliness

  1. Your roses look beautiful…..and I hear you about the prices going up, esp groceries. I guess they know everyone needs to eat….I never thought I ‘d be one of those people who goes around bargain shopping and stock piling sale stuff.

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  2. I am going to take in the yard things this weekend, as into the garage, and the rocking chair into the basement. I don’t like to wait til it is freezing either and that goes for the hose instead of wrangling it off the holder and into the tall tubs I keep it in. I had my original hose reel for 25 years and one day it broke apart. I ordered another one, not similar but supposed to be good, from Gardener’s Supply. It fell apart three years later so I just have the wall hanger now. My hose reel over-wintered at my neighbor Marge’s garage as she had the room – I do not not. My mother was not really old enough to remember the Depression but she heard her parents talk about it – she was not frivolous with money, but thought carefully about purchases. I hate that I am in the same boat, noting the costs of everything going up. And the lack of paper towels and TP once again – I won’t order them from Amazon as there is serious price gouging (despite them saying they don’t). Grrr.

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    • It seems every week we go to the grocery store there is a different shortage and it’s hard to figure out what it will be. We’ve been stocking more than we usually do which probably contributes to the problem. They don’t make anything like they used to. I had to replace a blender. My first one lasted 30 years. The second one didn’t make it’s 5 year birthday. I’ve bought what is considered a “good” one so I’m hoping it’s my last. I don’t use it all that often but I do use it.

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      • Yes, the shortages or also the limits of what you can get. I stock up on pantry items for the Winter and the other day, there were four of the large round boxes of Quaker Oats Slow Cooking Oatmeal. Usually there are at least 20 or more and there is always Meijer brand next to it – I buy either one, depends on if it’s on sale – no difference. None of the Meijer brand at all. It is like that all through the store, not just cleaning supplies, paper products – all paper products have a limit on them. It is exasperating.

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  3. The old you get, the more it seems mom is right at your shoulder? Her words creep out of your mouth before you know it. This past year seems to have really had a jump in prices – parents talked about it, but it’s real more than ever. A bit concerning.
    Also concerning is the anger and viciousness – and the violence people are so quick to resort to when they encounter differing ideas. Often bad before elections, but this is disturbing. It seems across the board from one end to the other. How difficult it must be to explain to young children in a household. (Molly feels everyone needs to get outside more and RC Cat just shrugs and says “take a nap”) I wish things would calm down after the election but some groups are already saying they won’t stop then.
    Floods, fires, plagues – if nature was trying to teach us a lesson that we’d better work together, it ain’t working…then there’s always the possibility she’s trying to make us the next dinosaurs. HAHA
    HAng in there – glad you can get out into the garden….I did too yesterday to trim hedge hoping to make it look more this fall…and encourage it back into shape. But darn it was hot! Cloudy with a north cooler wind today…bush is laughing about that

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    • Being outside definitely helps. Weather is great here. Cooled down like a switch was turned. Not complaining though. We’ll be dipping into the 50s overnight. So pleasant to get up to. People be nuts. Just no other words. We will be the next dinosaurs and the next iteration of life will wonder what happened to us.

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  4. Happy Birthday to your Mom, Kate. My Mom died in 1987, I think of her every day. Our week, starting with Friday has been all TS Sally. We have had wind, rain, flooding and today we are still in the grip of the feeder bands of Sally. Coastal Sarasota can’t get rid of Sally soon enough, But there is a bunch of tropical action behind her. Sad for Louisiana who will have her soon.

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  5. Happy Birthday to your Mom, and it is interesting to reach the same age and find you’re talking about the same things that use to drive you nuts. 🙂 I hate the run up to the medical coverage. Several times a week a new envelope arrives with new stuff in it to read and analyze. It’s overwhelming. Glad you got a different chocolate. 🙂 Yes, I’m cleaning up the outside too because fall is definitely here. I just wrote a comment on another blog post about ‘mean.’ I read comments on social media that just floor me, and, yes, why put ugly things on your car. Strange times right now, but it’s a new week so we’ll hope for the best.

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  6. It’s always sad when all the flowers start to die back, so I let cleaning them up until the last possible minute. But you’re right – better sooner than later, unless you like working outside in the freezing cold 🙂 You are right about this election. It can’t be over soon enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true. I’ve often thought I was more like my dad. I’m built like him and have many of his features but there are times when things come out of my mouth that are pure mom. As I’m getting older I can see her in my face too.


  7. We will start fall cleanup Sept.30. The weeds have literally taken over here and the pollen count is prompting warnings. I am looking forward to a neater landscape and slightly cooler weather. I lost my Mom in 1993 and still miss her. She also had to think about prices and on a low fixed income. But if you needed help she would give you her last dollar.

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  8. Happy birthday to your mother! We toasted my mother’s 100th (she died at age 83 in 2000) on a mountaintop in Mexico. It was perfect because she loved to travel and I was with one of my brothers, which would have warmed her heart. What would have distressed her is the current state of our country. I wish she had lived long enough to see Obama elected, but I’m glad she didn’t see the current WH occupant.

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  9. Mom anniversaries are tough. Mine was in ICU for her birthday and died a week after, pretty much making an entire month a memory of misery each year. Many hugs to you.

    Yes, you can debate most issues without resorting to nastiness. What’s currently making me nuts on FB is that conservatives jump right into a discussion about an issue or article and spout talking points or yell, “Shame on you!”Then you ask if they actually read the article or saw the source material, because their take makes no sense and they respond with, “I don’t need to read that to know it’s crap!”

    I’m getting a bump on my head from banging it on the desk.

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  10. It was a good week, quiet but quiet is ok. I think that the ugliness is getting more intense as election nears. But will we all go back to our corners when it is over? Oh, well, I will just take it day by day and be grateful. So many in California and Oregon are dealing with so much loss.

    Enjoy the early yard work!

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  11. Happy birthday to your mom. Mine has been gone since 2006 ~ I miss and think about her every day. Your roses are gorgeous! Great information in your response to another reader about Medicare Advantage, I will be making these decisions soon. I had to quit following (hopefully until after the election) some usually interesting folks because of the blatant hate and bitterness when their blog topic turned political. I had a great week last week ~ hope you have a wonderful week this week!

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  12. I wonder if people being ugly about things is something new, or if only now they feel emboldened enough to let their inner thinking becoming their outside voice. The optimist in me says the former, and the pessimist (realist?) in me says the latter. Whatever happened to “if you have nothing nice (or at least constructive) to say, keep quiet”?


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  13. Happy birthday to your Mom. My Mum would have been 98 this past May.
    Glad we have our NHS here in the UK at the moment in respect of Hubby’s forthcoming op. We don’t have medical insurance, and when we looked into it, premiums were beyond us anyway.

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  14. Do you have a Medicare Advantage or a MediGap plan or neither? BFF turns 65 next year so I’m trying to get educated on options. I know it varies by state, but if you have a pointer or two to share about choosing between them, please do!

    Happy Birthday to your mom. My mom would have been 91 at the end of September . . . which means it’s been 91 years since the start of the Great Depression ~ at least we’re better off now than then. But maybe the gap is closing! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • We went with the Advantage for this year. It costs us nothing (other than what they already take out of each social security check). For us it works better. Many medications are free (which were not under our drug plan) and our primary care physician is free. Where they get your money is with the higher priced stuff. For our plan a hospital stay of any length is a $750 co-pay. Since neither of us had been hospitalized in decades we took that chance. As it turns out being hospitalized for observation is coded as an Emergency Room co-pay. There is a charge for MRIs, CAT scans, etc. but it’s minimal and we don’t routinely get any of those either. You have to log what you spent in the past year along with what you’ve had done and compare the costs. For us Advantage was way ahead. I received reimbursements of over $800 for my glasses and dental which wasn’t covered at all under a sup plan. Also depends on how healthy you are. If you are hospitalized often with a lot of testing, you may be better under a sup plan.

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      • Very interesting, Kate. I help my Michigan sister in reviewing her plan every year, so this is a reminder for me to get around to doing that again. We switched her two years ago from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan that did offer more, including coverage for when she winters in Arizona (not all Advantage plans will cover you in another state). She also has remarkable coverage for vision. I keep reminding her that not every year is the same, and we have to go over it carefully on an annual basis. That part she doesn’t like so much. So your post is also a reminder for me to fasten my safety belt in speaking with her about it. 🙂 – Marty

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