Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Dusting off the old blog to announce that my 13-year old daughter entered an art contest for the website Sock It To Me.  They sell fun and kooky socks (I own like 6 different pairs.)

They have a "Design a Sock" contest and Isabel entered.  This year, out of over 6,000 entries, she made their Top 30!!  (well, 33 - they added 3 more.)

The public gets to vote this week, Monday through Friday October 13.  The top 10 get to move on to the finals, which will be chosen by Sock It To Me Staff.

This is her submission, # 0005, the SandWitch:

 Please CLICK HERE TO VOTE.   Click "I like it."  On some browsers it looks like the check mark above, on other browsers, it just highlights the "I Like It" in a green box.

Once you've selected her entry, scroll down until you get here.

You have to click "I'm not a robot."  Some people then just click "Count My Vote," others get a Captcha window that pops up and asks you "How many cars do you see? Click the squares with the cars" (or street signs, etc.)  It is really annoying.  Sorry.  I also found that iPhone users, when you clock "I'm not a robot" it jumps you down to their orange-background terms and conditions.  Scroll back up.  Click "I am not a robot" again if needed, then click "Count my Vote"


Leave a comment so I can thank you too!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lens Crafters, You So Crazy!

My optometrist's office is located inside a Lens Crafters in the mall. They are not affiliated with each other, they just kinda help each other out.  Lens Crafters, I assume, hopes that the doctor's patients will just buy their glasses there after their appointments.

Yesterday, as we're waiting for my daughter's eyes to finish dilating, I decide to get some pricing. They are one of the approved eye wear companies on my insurance company's provider list.

After picking a pair and running the numbers, the LC sales person comes at me with $223.00.  This is MY cost AFTER INSURANCE.  I said "Are you kidding me?  That's crazy! $223 and I have insurance? I don't think so."  He then proceeded to "run numbers" by removing the fancy-schmancy lenses (who even told him I wanted that?) and brought me down to $163.  Again I said "No. I can do better somewhere else."  We got up and went back to the doctor's waiting area, waiting for her eyes to be checked after dilation.  The LC sales person comes back to me and says "My manager approved another discount. We can get it down to like $145."  I replied "Ok, thanks." and continued reading what I was reading.

Today, we headed to Sam's Club Optical.  We have gotten several glasses there when our insurance has reset (we only get frames every two years; lenses every year.)  When I don't have insurance coverage available for frames, I use Zenni Optical online.  When I do have insurance, I use it locally.)  I KNOW Sam's can do better, and get this;  Sam's is NOT an Approved Insurance Provider under my policy.

We walk in, Isabel tries one pair on, I show her an adorable second pair, she loves them, we sit down with the Sam's Club Optician, hand him our prescription, etc. etc.  Now, I have to pay this out of pocket and then submit and Out-of-Network claim, so I'll only get a portion of my allowance back, via a check in the mail.

Sam's Club total?  $118.00.

Lens Crafters wanted $223, then $163, then $145.  AFTER insurance.

Sam's wanted $118, and then I get to submit a claim and get back like $75 because they are out-of-network.  I will pay $43 out of pocket.

People, run your options.  Even out-of-network can be way better than an overpriced mall store.  Yes, Lens Crafters gets them to you that day.  We can wait 5-7 days for them to arrive back at Sam's.  It's totally worth the $180.00 difference!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

So I got this letter from the State of Florida..

About three weeks ago, I received this letter from the State of Florida.

And I said WHAT. EVER. My ever-skeptical and pessimistic side yelled "SCAM."

I almost threw it away.  I'm glad I did not.  My curious side decided NOT to go to the website listed.  I mean www.FLTreasureHunt.org?  Are you kidding me?  I went instead straight to the Florida Department of Financial Service's Site, and there on the front page was a section titled "Unclaimed Property"Division, which led to....www.FLTreasureHunt.org.

Ok then.  I entered the account number on the letter and there it was.  Florida Hospital got overpaid by me and my insurance back in 2004; my daughter's birth year!  It then asked me VERY DETAILED QUESTIONS.  They have to know you are YOU.  They ask for private information and that scared me a bit, but again, how can I prove I am me?  After entering some details, it gave me three questions with multiple choice answers. One of the answers is correct the others are not.  Like, who did I buy house # 1 from 17 years ago! Holy COW! Thank goodness I. keep. everything.  I found the sales documents and there was there seller's name on the screen.

There was an over-payment and the hospital only had my old address  and old phone number on file from 12 years ago, so they turned it over to the State of Florida for them to find me.

Anyway, after answering these detailed questions, they verified who I was, told me how much it was, and said I would be getting a check in 90 days.

Fifteen days later, 15, I have a check in my hands for overpaying on a medical bill!

The moral of the story is, if you get this letter, it is not a scam.  If you want to search to see if maybe there's an off chance that some hospital or bank that you thought you closed accounts with still has your money, you can do a search and see.

EDITED:  Debbie reminded me of something in the comments!!

A few days after claiming it for myself, I received a letter from some company/law firm saying they would help me claim this money! The money I claimed for FREE they would do it for me for just 11%.  HA HA HA! Do not fall for this!  You do it on your own and it does not cost you a dime!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

On Soul Mates and Best Friends

September is a big month for me.  For me, it starts down all the good stuff in the year.  It's my Anniversary, then my birthday, then we're almost to October and "Holidays, here I come!"

I wished my husband a Happy Anniversary and said on Facebook:

I can sit here and write a tome about soul mates, best friend, yada yada. But I won't bore all of our friends. The best decision we ever made was making the dedicated real effort to make God the 3rd person in our relationship, and giving up our "selves" for each other. Each year actually gets better and better. How crazy is that?

Happy 14th Anniversary David. I love the heck out of you, you goofy white man.

Honestly, I wouldn't write a tome about best friends and soul mates, because I don't believe in that.  I read an article a few years ago written by a Robin O'Bryant called "I'm Not Married To My Best Friend." and I said "THIS! YES!"

My husband is not my best friend. My best friends are Kelli, Anna, Barbara, Chrissy, Vicky, Heather M., etc. etc. These are my ladies.  My husband is my PARTNER. It's a higher calling.   We work hard to make it work. That part is relatively new.  We've been together 14 years married (17 together) & these past 2.5 years have been better than any other year. We had bad times.  We worked our asses through them.  It sucked. We almost gave up.  We dug deep, we let God lead (for real. But I'm not going to preach to you today) and we gave up the reigns to Him to make us work.  It works.  It's WORK. It's not easy, it's not free and there's no magic to it.

There are no soul-mates here either. I don't agree with that term.  I see people married 2, 3, 4+ times and I think "Wait, wasn't # 1 your soul mate? Wasn't # 2? Then # 3?"   They're your "soul mate" until you both stop WORKING at it, and then they're a mistake and your "real" soul mate is out there somewhere, waiting for you to find them.

Malarky.  You find someone you like and are sexually, emotionally & intellectually attracted to, someone you love and can see spending the rest of your life with, and then comes the work. Every day you remember that you chose them as your partner and you WORK.

You stop being selfish.

It's not about what they can do for you, it's about what you can do for them.  DO that for them, and pray you selected someone who will DO THAT for you too. This is key.  Make sure they work as hard as you do. Equal respect and work. BUT YOU PUT IN THE WORK. Don't let them all the work and you don't do all the work.  Don't be lazy. Don't let the other person make all the decisions and then resent them for it.  Don't be the person making all the choices and resent them for not making choices.  Respect them and their likes, even if it's not something you like as much.  Don't run them over with your likes & needs and ignore every single thing the other person wants to do.  (I just saw a dating relationship end over this last point.)

My husband is a nerd. He's goofy. He talks too much sometimes. He can sense when something is wrong with me the second he sees me and will pull it out of me in a minute flat.  He thinks I'm funny and intelligent.  He thinks I'm sexy. I think he's sexy, smart, a good father.  A good man.

We Work.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Universal Got Smart with their Refill Cups

We've been in Central Florida for YEARS and have had annual passes to either Disney or Universal over the years.

We really like the Universal ones mainly because they're more affordable.  The Disney annual passes are insanely expensive, especially if you're a family of 4.  Yes, the Florida Resident passes are excellent compared to what our visitors from out-of-state/out-of-country pay, but we just cannot swing $2,500+ for the same passes we paid $1,300 for about 8 years ago.

Anyway, Universal.  See this cup?

We've had this cup for about 6-7 years.  We pay $1.27 (it used to be $1.06 three years ago) for refills now.  They never say anything.  They never say "we can't fill these anymore."  I love Unuversal for that.

So when they began their Coca Cola Free-Style system, I thought "What?"  See, you buy a cup like this for $9.99

and for the rest of the day, you get free refills of your choice in selected areas that have the Coca Cola Freestyle Machines.  You can't just go to any food kiosk and ask for a refill. You have to go to set locations in both parks that have these.

All that I can think is, "How in the WORLD are they going to keep a handle on this?  How can they stop people from coming back tomorrow, the next day, next year?" 

I figured it out today AFTER I purchased one.  We got our cup, And went to go fill it.  I tried selecting something but got an error like this one:

It sensed a cup was not on the dispenser area.  I'm thinking "OK, it senses there's no weight there." We filled it, drank our drink and then went back 9 & 1/2 minutes later to refill it.  How do I know it was 9.5 minutes?  Because the screen then displayed "Your next refill is available in 33 seconds."  There's a 10 minute wait time in between refills.

"How does this know this," I think?

RFID Chip.  THIS is how Universal got smart with its refill cups.  After 24 hours, this cup is null  void, and you can no longer use the cups, unless you reactivate it for $6.99 or so (I'm finding this info on the internet from 2014, so that may have gone up/changed)!

I am so thankful that I still have two of the older refill cups.  $1.27 refills is much better to me than a $10.00 cup I can only use in certain areas.  Maybe for you, if you're ok waiting in lines to use the machines (I have to wait in kiosk lines anyway to get an employee to give me my refill too)  and you can get at least 10 refills in your day (dang, that's a LOT of soda!) then it may be worth it to you, but tomorrow, you have to pay like $7.00 and refill it at least 6 times ($1.27 refills for the other cup) to get your money's worth.  I'm not getting that much soda, so my old red cups are  going to be our go-to cups when heading to the parks.