Monday, December 4, 2017

THE NEWS FROM MY MICROCOSM

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have an update on the package-stealing thieves who were in our neighborhood on Thursday (click HERE to see my post about the incident). After a while, the police moved the thieves' truck closer to my house so I got a better look at the contents. The two pieces of furniture in the back provided camouflage for the children's bicycles that were also in the truck, along with large black garbage bags that probably held the stolen packages. The police took a number of photographs of the truck and its contents. They weren't fooling around.

Yesterday I went to see my newest neighbor, a very nice young lady, to alert her to what had happened because I knew she was at work when the police were here. I told her I had seen an officer go to her door. It turns out she is missing a package. She's going to call the city to find out if they're holding it.

I put up my Christmas tree and set out a few decorations. The items I like to put on the mantle and the tree skirt are wedged in the attic. I can't get them out and Favorite Young Man has gone away for a while. I can live without the stuff in the attic and take delight in what I do have.






Last weekend was beautiful and sunny. Penelope has never learned to walk well on a lead, so I took Franklin for a shorter walk than usual and returned to prepare Penelope for a walk of her own. She has to wear a harness because she slips out of her collar. We went out the door and  Penelope showed me that I had put the harness on wrong when she walked right out of it on the front steps. But did she take off and run? No, not my Penelope. Instead she turned to go back in the house, where I put on the harness correctly.

Who's a good Penelope?


I haven't heard anything about the job (I had trouble submitting the forms for the background check, but the company received them on Friday), so I signed up for a new year of Affordable Care Act insurance in case I don't have that beautiful benefits package. This year I had a gold plan with a low deductible. I found that the low deductible didn't do me much good because it was only at the end of November that I reached my maximum out-of-pocket expenses. For 2018, I have a bronze plan with a higher deductible but lower co-pays. And guess what my monthly premium is! Go ahead! Guess in your comment.

I think I'm done Christmas shopping. It's time to wrap and mail!

That's all the news that is news from my microcosm. See you soon.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

57 comments:

  1. Oh, the glitter! I wonder what the canines make of it. Hopefully they don't find it tasty.

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    1. Franklin and Penelope haven't paid any attention to the decorations. Other than a couple of minor indiscretions on Penelope's part, they only chew on their toys.

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  2. I hope your monthly premium is less than I pay for private health insurance.
    Love your decorations - and yay for Penelope.
    Still crossing everything for you on the jobs front.

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  3. Love the tree and decorations. I am still in scrooge mode here but am covered up with work until Tuesday. Maybe then?

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    1. It will happen. I didn't know if I'd decorate at all. Then the mood hit me.

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  4. Your house is looking very cheery. I haven't done any decorating at all yet. Maybe today...

    I have no idea what your new health insurance premiums are, but I hope they're delightfully low. Aren't you eligible foe Medicare yet? Thanks to Medicare, our costs went waaaaaaaay down.

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    1. I'm waaaaaay too young for Medicare. hahahahaha

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    2. I'll get Medicare in a few years. I'm not all that young.

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  5. I'm retiring at the end of this month so for the first time in my life, I've had to arrange for private benefits coverage to pay for prescriptions / dental / eyecare / travel insurance / extra medical stuff like chiropractors, physiotherapy, etc that's not covered by our universal health care system. My premiums for a top-shelf plan are going to be about $180 per month with a 30% co-pay on prescriptions. I can't imagine what the premiums would be if I had to pay for health care too instead of that coming out of our tax dollars.

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    1. Hint: my premium is less than 180, but it's healthcare and prescriptions only. I have a separate dental plan and no eye care.

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  6. Penelope is the absolute best. What a sweetie.

    Look at all that glitter! It's looking really festive over at your place.

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  7. Heath care premiums are notoriously expensive, as I'm now discovering since I've retired.

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  8. What a good girl, Penelope.
    I guess close to $500, and still more than last year's higher benefit plan.

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    1. My gold plan for 2017 cost a little more than 400 per month. With a bronze plan, I'm going way down, and even if I had chosen the same gold plan, the cost was about $30 less. I was shocked.

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  9. Always nice to wrap up presents and mail them. Shame about the thieves stealing packages. I hope you are well, greetings!

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  10. I’m glad you are done. I did a big amount yesterday buying presents at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto. I ordered something for my hubby and am waiting for the package. I find it disgusting that people steal these things. It is best if the post office just sends a letter stating they have to pick it up.

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    1. I might have to get a post office box and have things delivered to the post office, but of course, UPS won't deliver to a PO Box.

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  11. I'm going to guess $500 a month, because that's what they want to charge me for a bronze plan with an $8,000 deductible, which is essentially unusable garbage. Looks like 2018 will be much the same way 2016-2017 has been for me... no healthcare. Wait, does taking gummy vitamins count? Because I totally do that.

    Back to looking at that adorable picture of Penelope before I get depressed again.

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    1. I'm shocked that you have to pay so much. Mine is much less.

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  12. No clue on the cost. I hope it's not terrible!
    What a good girl Penelope was. Did she walk pretty well after the slipping out and redoing?
    The house looks wonderful!! I brought my tiny tree in on Thanksgiving and haven't even decorated it yet. Been working on Christmas cards, though. ;)

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    1. Penelope walks well once we get to the path in the park. On the way there, she doesn't want to stay on my left side so my left arm gets very tired. Franklin walks at heel perfectly.

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  13. Beautiful decorations they make me happy !

    cheers, parsnip

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  14. Good girl, Penelope! (Here's a joke between Penelope and me. When I was little, I had never heard that name pronounced. And I thought it rhymed with "cantelope" . . . when I found out differently, I was so relieved. It's a beautiful name with the correct pronunciation.)

    Your decorations are lovely - I like the sweet little trees especially. And it was thoughtful of you to let your new neighbour know what was going on. I always appreciated it when our neighbours told us anything that we might have missed being away from the house.

    I'm with EC, crossing my digits for that job to pan out. And I have no idea what your premiums might be. I hear it's pretty expensive for health care in the U.S. That has to be extremely hard for people with low incomes or with large families or with complex or frequent illnesses. It must be such a worry.

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    1. My biggest worry about the Affordable Care Act is that Trump will eventually manage to push Republicans into getting rid of it. It's a godsend for me. I couldn't get health insurance before because of the high cost and/or being refused because of pre-existing conditions. Who doesn't have pre-existing conditions? Because of my fear that the act will be taken away from us, I want the benefits package with the job, but yes, insurance is still expensive for people who have multiple family members and high deductibles.

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    2. Penelope wants me to say that it still pisses her off when Franklin calls her Penlapee. She understands your childhood confusion about the pronunciation of her name. When the Harry Potter books became popular, I think millions of American children were mystified by Hermione's name.

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  15. P.S. I forgot to say that my $180 is, of course, in Canadian dollars. Apparently in US dollars, it would be $140 after conversion.

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  16. Your trees look lovely, Janie. ♥ It takes a special kind of lowlife to steal packages at this time of year. I'm glad you weren't affected, but too bad about the neighbour. What a good girl, Penelope! So many other dogs would have bolted down the street. Extra cookies for you! ☺ The U.S. healthcare system sure is expensive and convoluted. Hope you get the job with the great benefits. I'm so grateful to be living in Canada, where healthcare is universal and considered a right, not a privilege. Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie the Doglady! Our healthcare system is a mess. If we could improve the Affordable Care Act each year, it would get better. Instead, we have a president who insists on messing with it to try to make it worse.

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  17. I did some Christmas shopping yesterday now to sort things out and see what I really have and don't have, Penelope is such a good dog not running off

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    1. I was so proud of Penelope. One time she slipped out the door when Favorite Young Man opened it. He had to chase her all over the neighborhood, but for Mom, she stayed put. I guess we know who her favorite human is.

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  18. I have a small container of Christmas ornaments which I haven't used in several years. I had a four foot high aluminum tree that I finally sold at the flea market a couple of weeks ago.

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    1. We had a little aluminum tree when I was a kid. It was an ugly thing that my mother relegated to the basement as my "special" tree.

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    2. The very first artificial tree I ever saw was at my grandparents' home. I was about seven or eight. It was a six-footer, aluminum, with the "color wheel" near its base, changing the highlights on the bare, silver branches to green, then red, then blue... Anyway, I was horrified, thinking "Christmas trees are supposed to be green." Many years later, I bought the tree that I recently sold as kind of a "retro" thing.

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    3. I remember when some people had those trees with the color wheel because, of course, you can't put lights on an aluminum tree.

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    4. And according to Roger Miller, you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, either.

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  19. Everyone I have talked to who has AHC has found it affordable. I hope we all keep it ... my poor daughter Gumby really needs her Medicaid.

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    1. My healthcare if definitely affordable. I'm grateful to have it.

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  20. I can't get over people going Grinch at Christmas. Stealing packages--that is just wrong.
    Toes crossed, fingers firmly on the keyboard for the job.
    Have a pleasant evening.

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  21. The only issue we've had in our 34 years was a Christmas. Someone broke into our house and stole the Christmas presents we'd bought.
    We got an alarm after that. I hope they catch the thieves. Maybe they'll be singing the song, Christmas in Prison by John Prine :)

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    1. They caught the thieves when they stopped their truck.

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  22. Hi Janie - glad Penelope behaved herself ... good news. Thieves stealing packages ... sadly it seems to be something we're getting more of - people in need, or people who are greedy and unfair ...

    Enjoy Christmas and all you can do - cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm glad I adopted Penelope. She's sweet and good.

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  23. I'm hoping like heck that you get that job. I know the waiting can be excruciatingly painful. Both my husband and daughter waited a long time to hear about the jobs they recently got. Wheels move slowly in some parts. Fingers crossed.

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  24. I'm holding my fingers crossed so you can get the job with the good benefits. Medical costs are high these days. Franklin and Penelope are the best dogs ever;) Sending you hugs, Janie.

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  25. People really stink sometimes. It doesn't surprise me though, that people would go so low as to steal people's packages. Hope that nonsense in your neighborhood stops!

    I haven't done one bit of decorating. This house is a mess with all of the construction. I hope it gets done enough so I can put up a tree for Christmas!

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    1. It must be very difficult to carry on with Christmas traditions during the construction phase.

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  26. I'm also hoping you get the job. I like all your Christmas decorations. I wish I'd done all my Christmas shopping!

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