Angry Neighbors

Or, something like that…

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It’s been a little over a month, and I’m still trying to figure out my next door neighbors.  You know, the strange man who was so obsessed with my “Fire Hazard” grass that he offered to pay someone to do my yard.

No.

Hell no.

Since then, we’ve continued to be cordial, but he is weirder than weird.  I’ve yet to see his wife, who suffers from MS, and he has nothing nice to say about anyone when we talk in passing.

The latest challenge is the fact that he cannot do ANYTHING quietly.

Going to the store?  Slam the door.

Going to empty the trash?  Slam the trash bins around, and slam the door leaving the house as well as when he’s going back into the house.

As the month of November has progressed (was Halloween just yesterday or last week???), his door slamming has gotten worse.  And, his hours of door slamming have gotten longer.

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Last night, I was popping up like a gopher to check both doors to see if I could figure out who was slamming the damned door at 1am (no, I don’t move that fast), and he caught me this morning, after I popped up from a nap on the couch to finally catch him slamming the door no less than 5+ times (possibly trying to get it to lock properly).  I thought it was him, but every time I chased the sound to the window, the yards on both sides of me were empty.

As long as my first worry has been resolved (he doesn’t appear to be having a fight with his wife, or slamming the door in anger), then I just have to adjust to this nasty and noisy habit along with the:

– excessively loud bass on his TV sound system (which I can feel vibrating my bones)

– plus the decelerating airplanes making their way to the San Jose airport

– plus the freight trains, which seem to send their biggest loads at 3am

– plus the car racing teens (since the high school is just on the other side of our property)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a place to live that I can afford.  But, it really chaps my hide to know that this is the cost of cheaper rent / mortgage costs.  Noisy people that I just can’t get way from, and whom I hesitate to rebuke as we’re stuck with each other, whether or not we can get along.

Hopefully, today’s gopher pop got his attention to get him to rethink the necessity of slamming the danged door.  Over and over and over.

Until I get to find a way to ask him to fix the door or try simply pulling it closed vs. slamming it (because my door has a similar problem, that doesn’t force me to slam it), I think I’ll have fantasies such as this…

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Counting Pennies

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Not a happy camper, trying to manage the budget that’s tighter than tight, as I try and get my home in shape.  (The wall over my shoulder is partially painted, as I’ve run out of cash in the short term, so the ceiling has to wait to be finished as I’m just not seeing my vision coming to life).  But, the couch is set up and I’m busy repairing the breakfast bar (replacing the missing formica with slender wood strips, stapling them in place, then spackling to fill in the holes, and then painting.  Luckily, that can of Rustoleum only costs $11 with tax, vs. the $65 gallon of paint that I need for painting the ceiling the right color.

I think I’m going to manage to squeak by this month (Nov into Dec), for necessary expenses as I have a $274 mileage rebate coming from Kia for my Soul, but it’s going to be close.

Hopefully, our craft show on December 10th will give me a few bucks, as every penny counts right now.

Today’s good news, though, was that my anticipated $75 in medical costs for my breathing and high blood pressure meds as well as my flu shot were all free.  Surprise, surprise, surprise – I hit the co-pay deductible ceiling in November so this month and next month shouldn’t cost me anything.  Phew !

My cupboard is full.  Neither Katie nor I will starve.  Unfortunately, the budget will not allow me to keep any kind of household help, so the cleaner’s last fixed appointment will be December 7th ($100) and then I’ll be back to keeping it together on my own.  I’m feeling well enough to do so, which means that it’s not a hardship, but if my health takes a turn, it’s going to be hard to come up with that extra $100 moving forward.  But, that’s a worry for another day.

My car has had its oil changed and the tires rotated, so I’m hopeful that my budget will be stable for at least this little bit while my appeal is pending with my employer’s insurance company.

According to my lawyer, the delay in firing me (now that I’m on full time disability through the Feds) is because they were waiting until my appeal was filed.  Now that the filing has happened, they are back to being free to terminate me at any time (but why they aren’t doing that, when the threat is hanging constantly over my head, is a whole other question that stronger brains than mine will untangle at some point).

The next update on termination status will be December 5th, for finding out whether or not the SSDI folks sent over the complete medical / decision / award criteria file they have requested now that I’ve been approved for long-term disability.

What’s crazy, though, is that the Insurance Company for my employer already have everything in that file as I provided it to them as part of my overall disability case (since the lawyer taking on my employer would not take on the Feds, so I had to file myself).  But – whatever – governmental and insurance company wheels will progress as fast or as slowly as each choses.

If nothing else, the Insurance Company has advised my lawyer that I should have a decision on my appeal by January 17th.  So, we’ll wait to see what happens from here.

For now, I’m out of discretionary funds / savings to pay for the therapist ($125), to pay for any luxury items like getting my hair done properly ($75) vs. Supercuts ($25), and I’m scrambling to keep the Cat’s grooming appointment on schedule ($50), as well as my pedicure appointment ($50).  If I could get access to my 401K, though, I could at least lie to myself with a little more funds to live on while the overall case continues to go at a snail’s pace through the bureaucratic labyrinth that is the benefits game in this country.

I’m going to really miss my salt spa treatments for staying healthy this Winter, however $150 for 12 visits over a quarter is now out of the budget until I have access to either my benefits or my 401K.

Hopefully, I’ll get my W2’s in a timely manner and can get my taxes filed a.s.a.p. in 2017 (and how I’ll pay the tax guys bill ($300) is a whole other challenge, especially as I’ll be back to out of pocket $75 for my meds each month), but I’ll find a way to make it work.

Swimming has been cancelled ($85 per month) until further notice, and I’ll cut back on my socializing / movies / meals out as much as possible to keep my incidental expenses as low as they can go until somebody blinks, or I win the lottery.

It may be foolish to continue to demand that I’m paid for my RSU’s and profit sharing as promised in the benefits handbook, never mind my matching salary benefits, but we’ll see what happens as things proceed as I’m not quitting without a fight.

For now, I’m taking every paid survey and swagbucks opportunity I can find, and also following up on some potential “paid” writing opportunities.  I got an extra $100 last month (rec’d this month) for taking a survey, so if I can continue to qualify for those revenue leads, things will look better than my actual budget can currently promise.  For now, we’ll see what’s possible and what’s a scam.  If I’m going to be housebound through the Winter, though, I have nothing to lose as I keep on trying to reduce the number of meals I have each day, and stay indoors and out of the damp weather so that I remain healthy.

Better weather comes back around February or March, so I only have another 3-4 months to get through before I can get out and do more physical activities to keep wellness front and center.

As long as I’m not dealing with an exacerbation, everything is manageable.  Fingers are crossed that things will remain that way.

Still Absent

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Things are getting better, however, I’m still in a very tired place emotionally.  A friend’s Mom died about 2 weeks ago, and she should have been under hospice care, however, denial is strong within that friend about the “survivability” of her Mom’s Stage IV Cancer.

I’ll be back when I’m in a better place.

Right now, I’m focused on self-care and getting work done on my house.

Absenteeism and Awards

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While I was away contemplating my navel, I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by SparksFromACombustibleMind

Being recognized while absent is wonderful, especially as one isn’t supposed to be rewarded for absenteeism in general.  (In my case, I have a good excuse, COPD, but you’ve heard it all before so I won’t repeated it here).

I want to thank my nominator, Embeecee or Sparks, a lovely woman with an honesty that amazes me as she writes about her hopes, things that aggravate the you-know-what out of her, and composes wonderful poems and stories to share her view of the world.   I won’t nominate another for this award, as so many others don’t wish to participate, but, I will recommend others I follow as great blogs to check out if you have time and are interested:

Billy Durstens, the author of “Wheezing Away”

Gina Apple, the author of “COPD – My Journey and Your Info Hub”

Russ Wingate, the author of “COPD Athlete”

There are other wonderful writers, Police Commander, Drug Opinions, etc., but each of us comes to this site with our own agenda, so we’ll find our own place to hang out.  If you have time, I recommend checking any of the above plus any other author that appeals to you as you never know what you’ll find until you look around.

Now, some background on the nomination process:

“Mystery Blogger Award” was created by: http://okotoenigma.wordpress.com

Rules For The Nominees:

• Display the award logo on your blog. √

• List the Rules. √

• Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. √

• Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. √

• Tell your readers three things about yourself. √

• Answer five questions from the nominee. √

• Nominate anywhere from ten to twenty bloggers. √

• Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog. √

• Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question. √

• Share the link to your best post – skipped (I don’t follow rules very well)

******** *********** ************

Tell your readers three (3) things about yourself:

  1. I’m opinionated
  2. I’m short, round and brunette (who believes that I’m tall, blonde, and stacked).
  3. I’m adaptable.  I may moan and complain, but if it’s clear that the issue is unfixable, I’ll suck it up and move on.

Answer five (5) questions from the nominee:

  1. What is your biggest regret?  My dysfunctional relationship with my sister.
  2.  What is your favorite time of day/night?   Sunrise / Sunset.  Glorious colors.
  3.  Your favorite beverage (alcoholic or non..)?  Jamoca milk shake, icy cold.
  4. Do you enjoy the fall back or spring ahead time change more? Spring.  Fall = death.
  5. If you could have one wish (and you can’t say “more wishes”) what would it be?  Financial security.
  6. The Weird Question:  If you saw someone you didn’t know (a stranger) who was having a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ (i.e. their dress was stuck in their pantyhose or their trousers were unzipped; and stuff was showing) would you tell them or just look away and hope someone else spoke up)?  That’s easy – I have.  I may hesitate with a friend, but if I don’t know you I have nothing to lose.  

Ask your nominees any five (5) questions of your choice,

including a bonus weird or funny question.  

  1. Do you practice acts of kindness by giving cash or services to others?
  2. What is your guilty pleasure?
  3. What brings you the most simple joy each day?
  4. How many people have you cut out of your life for interactions?
  5. Was it worth it to cut ties with those people you cut out of your life?
  6. Do real world people suck the life out of you, or do they energize you?