Monthly Archives: May 2007

Spider bites and other things

The weekend started out fairly slow but gradually snowballed into one packed Monday.

We started out the weekend by going to the gym bright and early on Saturday morning.   After that, we packed up the car and headed out to the church retreat.  We got there just before lunch.  We spend the first part of the afternoon in the pool.  After that, we headed up to Tiger Rocks.  This is an extremely difficult climb once you reach the trail head.  It is extremely steep and wouldn’t surprise me if it was at a 45 degree angle or steeper near the end of the hike.  Eduardo thought it was a bit challenging whereas I was basically tortured and sweat just dripped off of me.   It was worth the pain to see the view from the top.  You can see the entire valley!!!  Eduardo asked me why I did it when it was obviously a very tough hike for me.  I replied, “To prove I can.”  We stayed up there for 30 minutes before coming back down.  We got back just in time for supper!

The evening was rather lazy.  He got a bit upset about something so I left him in the room ignoring me and went to see some of the variety show that they put on during the retreat.  When I got back to the room, he was back to his happy self so we decided to head back to the fireplace so I could show him how to roast marshmallows.  Both of us love to eat raw marshmallows so I figured he would love roasted marshmallows just as much as I did.  *sigh* I roasted the perfect marshmallow for him – golden brown all over – and he pronounced it, “Yucky!”  I couldn’t agree with him, I absolutely love gooey, golden brown marshmallows.  After that, we swung on the swings for a bit then headed to bed.  

The next morning, I helped with breakfast then it was the church service, a shower, a walk then lunch.  After lunch, we packed up, paid our bill and went to the pool.  Unfortunately, after about 20 minutes they kicked us out because they heard thunder.  We hopped in the car and headed home.

Sunday evening was a quiet evening.  I think we were pooped.  We went to the pool in our condo, did our dirty laundry and lazed around.   On Sunday evening, I discovered that my little bug bite was turning into a big bug bite.  It was turning into a two toned red circle with the inner circle being bright red and the outer circle being pale pink.  A little concerning.

Monday was BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.  We started out the day by going grocery shopping.  We had absolutely nothing in the house.  We followed that up by working out then going grocery shopping at a different store.  We had two full trunk loads of groceries.  YIKES!!!!  After the groceries were put away, I decided to work on putting up shelves in the kitchen.  A friend of mine asked me what I needed as she wanted to give me a wedding present.  I told her I needed shelves for the kitchen.  We headed to IKEA a couple of weekends ago and she bought me what I needed.  I installed the shelves with Eduardo helping.  We now have two shelves above the fridge to hold some large pots/appliances and decorative metal tins that I use to give away Christmas cookies and other things.   This freed up two different shelves in our pantry so all of our pots and pans are stored away and not on top of the fridge and stove.  It has also allowed us to get the food that we stored between the wall and fridge into the pantry.   Now all that is stored next to the fridge is a case of beer and a case of soda.  After almost 18 months of empty space above the fridge, it is a little weird to see the shelves there.  We ended the day with cooking his lunch, our suppers and our breakfasts.  This probably took us an hour or so in total.   By the end of the day, I can say that we were pooped.

I also noticed that the bug bite was continuing to grow.  It was now 1 ½”  by 1 ¼” in size.  Tuesday morning, it was 1 ½” by 1 ¾” in size.  It was also ugly looking.  I had a brown circle in the center followed by a narrow white ring then a big red ring and a pale pink ring.  It hurt to touch the center and you could feel a big bump.  I decided to head to the doctor on Tuesday.  I went to the doctor and they were certain it was a spider bite.  Because I didn’t see the spider that bit me (I assume it was when I was sleeping) and the reaction was unlike anything the doctor had ever seen, they decided to treat it like it was a brown recluse spider bite.  Brown recluse spider bites can be pretty dangerous if left untreated so I don’t think they wanted to take any chances.  They gave me antibiotics to take.  Today, the pale pink outer ring is gone so I only have the inner rings.  It is down to ¾” by ½” in size.   

And that is all for now!

New bedroom.

Last weekend, we decided to rearrange the bedroom.  Or rather I told him I was thinking about it but wasn’t sure if the furniture would fit in a different configuration.  For some time, it has been bothering Eduardo that the bed was placed right in front of the window.  He felt that the bed would get cold in the winter (windows are drafty) and it was bad for your health.  I didn’t really care one way or another so if he wanted it some other way…. what did it matter?
 
So I told him I had done some measuring and the furniture didn’t look like it would fit conveniently any other way.  So we measured some more together, did some discussing and decided to try to just move a couple of pieces of furniture and see what it looked like.  We ended up moving ALL the furniture and even swapping a piece between the living room and bedroom.  The end result appears to give us more room.  I don’t think it actually gives us more room… I think it just looks like it.  Because the bed no longer dominates the view from the doorway, I think it lets your eye travel further into the bedroom and gives the impression that the other end of the room is further away.
 
I think eventually the next step is to repaint it.  We can be a little lazy on the weekends so I expect that eventually is some time away. 
 
This weekend…. we are heading out to the church retreat!!!  We are heading out Saturday morning and coming back Sunday afternoon.  Sometimes I will stay until Sunday night or Monday morning but I think this is sufficient.  It will give Eduardo a chance to experience what it is like to go camping (ok… not totally roughing it) by sitting around the fire and roasting marshmellows and doing some hiking and all those kinds of things along with interacting some of my friends.  I also wanted to keep the time a little bit short because I didn’t want to totally overwhelm him either.  I am looking forward to going.  This is likely going to be my last year.  Both of us have agreed that the new pastor is not for us.  He is a nice guy but his sermons are away too long and they are a torture for both of us.   They are a little hard to understand and lots of times I don’t feel like I even understood the point because he jumped off on a side path or two.  Imagine what it must be like for Eduardo if I can’t understand it.  Starting after Memorial Day, we will be looking for a new English church.  I found a Church of the Brethern fairly close by so I am going to try that.   It is also Anabapist so I hope that its traditions/beliefs/etc are somewhat similar to what I am used to.

Dear Senator,

 I noticed that you voted to consider the Immigration Bill that is before the Senate.  I wanted to voice my opinion, as your constituent, about how I feel about immigration.

It seems that many feel that if you don’t support the blanket legalization of all illegal immigrations you must be xenophobic and obviously racist.  Perhaps this might be true for a small minority of the opposition but not the case for all.  I am neither racist nor xenophobic.  I am an immigrant and new American citizen.  I fully support LEGAL immigration.  How can I not?  This is how I came to the US in a move that I felt would improve my life.  I have married a Latino man from Peru.  I understand why he and so many others came to the US because I came here for exactly the same reasons.  I have understanding for their reasons but not for their means.

The people who have come here or stayed here illegally have broken the law in multiple ways.  Some broke the law the second they entered the United States because they did not have permission to enter.  If they didn’t break the law as soon as they entered they certainly broke it shortly afterwards by working illegally.  Many illegals might say it is not illegal to work but to work without permission is illegal by the laws of this country.  Even worse… many of them use false Social Security numbers to obtain work.  This is identity fraud.  Identity fraud destroys the lives of the innocents who just happened to ‘own’ the Social Security number that an illegal decided to borrow.  This is certainly illegal and would put any American citizen in jail if they were to do it.  How can it be that an illegal has the right to be forgiven for breaking the law but I won’t be forgiven without an arrest record? Is it any wonder that American citizens are upset with this bill?  It gives more rights to criminals than it does to us – those who are here legally and those who were born here. 

In my opinion, this bill is a slap in the face to those of us who have and currently are following the law.  I sympathize strongly with those children who are separated from their parents because they are in the middle of deportation proceedings.  It is unfair that their parents’ sins are being visited upon them.  But their parents knew what they were doing and they knew the risks.  They knew that this was a possibility.  Where is the indignation and concern over those children who are separated from the parents that came here legally?  I know a permanent resident who has been separated from his wife and small child for years as he worked to get permanent residency for them.   Are you going to tell him that he should have simply smuggled his family over the border?  They would have gotten here much quicker and he could have just waited for this bill to legalize them.  Is this the message we want to send to immigrants?  Surely we don’t want to encourage illegal immigration – do we?

I believe that illegal immigrants should receive no more rights than those that are already granted to workers who are here legally.  Should they receive less?  I have no idea but they certainly shouldn’t be granted more rights.  Citizenship or permanent residency is not guaranteed to those who have work permits therefore there should be no ‘path to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants.  I am not saying they should be given no method of obtaining residency but it should have no more guarantees than other types of work visas.  Why do we want to reward those who have deliberately broke the law?  Why aren’t we rewarding those who have not?

And for those who say that paying a fine is their punishment for being illegal and allows them to be put on their path to citizenship, think of those who are here legally.  Believe me, if all I had to do was pay $5,000 to guarantee that I could convert my H1B into residency (assuming background check and everything turned out fine), I would have paid that fee.  I am sure there are many other people here on work visas that would gladly pay a fee to guarantee residency rather than go through the uncertainly and possible rejection of the current process. 

Worry is a misuse of the imagination

I love this quote.  I have no idea who it belongs to but it has been sitting on the sign outside of the baptist church that we drive by everyday.
 
It is so true.  I worry a lot.  When my worry is cranked up, I can imagine things that are so much worse than reality.  If I really get my teeth into a problem, the next thing I know, I have managed to create a chain of events that have predicted the end of the world.  Ok… so maybe not that bad but I can think up some pretty creative bad things that can happen out of whatever bad turn of events that I am worrying about.
 
Luckily for me, I have never married a man that is a worrier.  I seem to attract men that are relatively laid back and worry very little.  Occasionally, this trait drives me absolutely bonkers but I think things would be worse than a worrier.  I can only imagine what kind of stuff we could imagine together when we started feeding off of each other’s worries.  That proverbial mole hill would turn into Mount Everest in just a few minutes.
 
Over the years, I have tried very hard to get a grip on my imagination and worry less.  There is only so much you can do about life’s events.  All you can really do is attempt to manage what is managable and hope that if something goes wrong… you can deal with it.  There is no point in looking for trouble by thinking up possibilities.  Trouble will drop by easily enough without your help.  Sometimes, I have my worry under control and other times?  Other times… I could afford to put my imagination to better use.
 
PS. It seems that this outbreak of poison ivy was very light.  Its been a week and I have only ended up with a few spots on my legs and a few on my back.  It seems avoidance of the honey managed to keep the worst of the attack away.

Cell phone lost its memory

The SIM card on my cell phone went.  I guess it was just its time.  I made a call right after work.  30-40 minutes later, I went to call Eduardo to tell him I was there to pick him up and it said "Check SIM".  I thought to myself, "Hmmm… this can’t be good…."  And it wasn’t.  We went immediately to a TMobile store.  The SIM card was toast and there was no way to get any information from it.  I lost my entire phone book.  This is a little distressing because most of the numbers in that phone book are not in my head and not written down anywhere.   Some I can get from other places but most are simply going to have to wait until the person calls me. 
 
Occasionally, it occurred to me that not having these phone numbers in a different place was likely a bad thing.  But you know how it goes with life…. you just put these little things off because in the back of your mind you have this little thought that NOTHING is going to happen to your <insert item here>… so a few more days, weeks, months is hardly going to make a difference.   Right?  Wrong…..
 
Anyways… not a catastrophe…. just an annoyance.  

Update

A simple call resolved the whole health insurance thing.  I find it a little frustrating that I had to call at all.  If you aren’t going to believe the information that I put on the enrollment sheet… then don’t ask me the questions.

Health Insurance

The health insurance system drives me nuts at times here.  Sometimes I do not understand how these companies work and why they like to inflict angst on their customers. 
 
When we got married, I filled out the little form that the insurance company provides to add Eduardo to my insurance.   This was a no brainer because I don’t have to pay for health insurance – not even for family health insurance.   I realize how incredibly lucky I am and thank my lucky stars that I was grandfathered into the old way.  New hires in my company do pay for a chunk of the cost of their healthcare and it is not cheap.
 
So… I fill out this little form.  On this form, they give you a chance to declare other health insurance coverage for the new dependent.  Eduardo had no other health insurance so naturally I put none.  Makes sense doesn’t it?  And you would think that means that he doesn’t have other health insurance right?  Apparently not.  The insurance company has just sent us notice that they have denied his first two claims (for an annual exam and resulting blood work) because either
a) They need to know if he has other health insurance benefits and won’t process his claim until they find out (hello??@?@!! didn’t I tell you on that form?
 or
b) They have co-ordinated the benefits coverage with the other insurance company and they haven’t paid any of the claim because the other company has.  What other company??!?@?  I told them he had no other *&%^%*() health insurance.
 
I kid you not!  This is what the comments area said for the reason for rejection.  Those two items are mutually exclusive!!! You can’t possibly do both so they could only have denied it for one reason… not both.  So we get to call the insurance company and figure out what the heck is going on.