I had a revelation today, (well, really 2 or 3) this morning I got up & since it’s not supposed to get much over 30 degrees here I went to fill my heater, oops, some back story, we heat with kerosene & our pump broke earlier this week so on the way home from work I went to a big chain hardware store to get one because I know they sell these pumps for $1.99 & I didn’t want to pay an exorbitant price closer to home. The new pump didn’t work well at all. you had to set it to off to get it to pump at all & even then it took forever. This morning I tried to get the pump working, tried part of the old pump with the new one & a few other things, none of which worked, after about a half an hour I determined that it wasn’t happening & since there was nearly no kerosene in the heater I couldn’t wait until this afternoon when I was planning to go out anyway & get tires & an inspection sticker. I decided I should go mail a book which was requested of me anyway & that we needed kerosene anyway (I keep 2 rotating bottles so ideally, when one is empty I take it & fill it while the other has kerosene in it thus ensuring we don’t run out) So off I went, mailed the book, picked up my bills at the po box, filled the kerosene bottle, & bought a kerosene hand pump, total price: $2.79 & it works correctly. so for .80 Cents more than I paid the chain store I could have had a pump that worked right on Monday night if I’d gone to the local store! Lesson learned. What really hit me though as I was watching the kerosene gage crawl up was that a few years ago I would have had to make the non-working pump work, wether with tape, glue, whatever I would have had to put up with it until next week when I get paid again. I wouldn’t have had the money to go get a working one, or I’d have had to roll pennies to do so (especially on the Friday between paychecks) I just hope I am able to hold on to my money & have it available from now on, it’s only the last 2-3 years I’ve done better this way & I know a lot of that is getting paid more than $10. an hour (way more now) Still though, as H&R Block was so pleased to remind me I’m still below poverty level for a family of 4. Still not doing all that well compared to the haves in this nation. I am doing better than many others though, I have a computer which seems to be a big line in the dirt between the haves & the have nots. But I don’t have a nest egg, a savings account or health insurance, which brings me to the other thing on my mind.
My company announced this week that they’re changing the health insurance plan & it’s going to cost people a lot more. I thought it cost too much anyway, I never signed up because to cover the kids & myself was going to be more than $135 a pay period before the increase, now it’s going to be more like $180 per pay period. Many of my co-workers were very displeased & some were going to drop the insurance as soon as possible. Some can’t do so because they need it for their kids. Luckily my kids are covered by the state & so I go on without it. I don’t actually owe the doctor anything any longer, but I did for a few years. Due to a glitch from when I last had insurance she got stuck with a bill that the insurance co had already paid & then took back (I Had insurance through my ex & so when we were divorcing they dropped me & backstepped on a few visits which had been covered) It took me 3 years to pay all that off but I did it & last year I even sprung for a general health check up at tax time which I paid cash for. That didn’t happen this year though, I had too much else to worry about! Combined with the news of more lawsuits which we’re not allowed to comment on (I wouldn’t want to anyway) & the allegations floating around on my level about being sold &/or our jobs going overseas (You read that: India) I’m not feeling a whole lot of job security this week.
The kids are doing ok, miss 16 is building up towards tommorows lip piercing I should say building up to a fever pitch, she’s about to drive me crazy! – should be an entertaining sight, I’ll have the younger ones with me too & I haven’t decided wether we’ll walk around outside after I sign the paper that says I’m ok with her having this done or if we’ll stay to witness the whole thing, the little ones may enjoy seeing their ‘mean’ big sister in pain! Theres also the question of wether I want them to see this as a matter of fact, normal thing to have done. At least I know the ex can’t complain about this one, he has his tounge pierced (she’s bringing a friend to ‘hold her hand’ so does not need me for that.)
Miss 10 is getting ready to have a mentor at her school to help her be more organized, focused & attentive (I hope) The school refered us to some organization that does this for our county & others around us, the really interesting thing about it is that the woman who called me about it mentioned that there will be 4 kids, mine included, in the same 4th grade class with this mentor/counselor & she said that I had made nearly the same statement as all the other parents with kids in this class, that it seems like she’s getting a ton more homework than in third grade & not handling it well, I had expected that she’d have progressively more but not the load she’s had. She went from having maybe 2 papers & 10 pages to read a night plus her extra help with reading. To 4 or 5 papers to complete & 2 or 3 chapters to read, theres homework in every single subject every night now. (well, the school has a rule where there’s homework Monday thru Thursday, none on the weekend in the elementarys which still go to 7th grade here-no middle schools in the county at all) I’m just really glad that it’s not me. That other parents of kids in her class are feeling the same way. Miss 16 had the same teacher but in 5th grade & says she was very hard.
Mr 7 actually requested his jacket be laundered last night, (this from the guy who still asks at least every other time if he has to use soap in the tub) You could have knocked me over with a feather. It turned out he had gotten mustard all over the jacket & it was a total mess! How he does these things I’ll never know. He didn’t mention this until after 10pm when he popped out of his room where he was supposed to be sleeping & handed me the jacket as if I was looking for laundry to do, which I never am. I had to sponge it off & let him wear it because I wasn’t staying up late enough to get it washed & dried for school this morning. I’m washing his old jacket now so he can wear the old one tommorow & I can wash the mustardy one tommorow.