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Happenings at the Ranch

February 7, 2010

Snow, Ice, Snow, Ice, Rain…….and that spells? M U D – MUD and lot’s of it! Too bad we couldn’t bottle it for facials or offer organic mud baths! We would be rich! We are supposed to be getting another front late tonight (WOO HOO!) of snow through Tuesday. I’m not complaining – at least we aren’t in DC – can you imagine? 24 – 30 inches at one time! If that doesn’t make you want to be prepared I don’t know what does!

Yesterday we went to pick up a load of hay – it is a nice feeling to see our area in the barn full or almost full again! We left a section open since we have PUPPIES! Raisin, Margie’s Aussie, had her puppies and they are gorgeous – there are a couple of blue merles. I’ll post some pics when I remember my camera! If you want a really nice Australian Shepherd pup please contact me as these puppies are for sale and I’ll put you in touch with Margie. Duke is their cousin – Raisin is Duke’s mother’s sister. They are sweet and very smart and they won’t last long, everyone wants one – remember these are working dogs so you have to give them a job – it can be as simple as obedience training or complex as Duke’s training for Human Remains Detection. When Raisin see’s me going into the barn to mix feed she comes over and sits patiently for her squirt of oil. I give my horses Soy oil high in fat as a supplement and Raisin absolutely loves it (so much she will eat the horse feed if I’m not careful). So, as I’m giving the buckets their squirt, I give her a squirt too – it’s good for her and her puppies!

Good news, I want to jump up and do the big shoe dance (remember tequila and Pee Wee Herman – before his scandal)! I got on the internet (I believe the Lord had a hand in this one) last week and swaggled Flat Roof Roofers in STL – I even won 3 Swagbucks for the search so that was a good sign. I read about this company – The Flat Roof Company. It explained about a rubberized roof and how in the midwest with the fluctuation in temperatures this roof will not crack or split. Well, I took a chance and sent in a request for an estimate. Anthony from the company called me almost instantly and set up a time to go and look at my roof. He called me on Monday with the estimate. He was just over 1/2 of the lowest estimate I had and they don’t have to tear down my roof they can work with the existing roof – Happy dance! My prayer was answered and I believe that I was guided to make that search on the computer. Anyway – I believe that my new roof – 1st section will be done by the end of March and the 2nd section I will be able to afford late spring. The company is also rated A+ with the BBB and when he called with the estimate there was no pushy selling, which I like. He e-mailed me the estimates in two parts so that I could see what was involved on each section and how much I had to put down and what would be due at the end of the job. So nice………and we will have a 10 year leak proof guarantee! LEAK PROOF – I’ll say it again – LEAK PROOF – 10 year GUARANTEE – they have my business.

Bear and I are getting excited about planning our garden. I found an interesting post about growing companion vegetables when you are limited in space – which we are – you can read my post here. I just got my recent copy of Mother Earth News and It has what tomatos will grow in our area the best and other vegetables that will fare better in our climate. We are currently discussing what we will be planting. I know tomatos, peppers, corn, squash and cucumbers but I’m also considering potatos too.

I am considering a horse camp this summer – I think it will be fun – not to mention help with our barn expenses. I’m thinking mid-June – so it is not to hot nor too cold! We shall see if we can pull it off or not.

I am trying to get all of our medicine supplies and such organized so I know what we have and what we don’t have and need to get. I like things a certain way and when they get out of place it makes me anxious and I panic.

Talk about panic – how about looking at your Checking account Balance and seeing a $-1.00! Okay, panic would be an understatement – I almost stroked out! Seems that good ole Chase Bank decided to take a double payment out this month – Okay Nancy, be calm, it’s all over now – okay breathing back to normal. I about had a coronary when I looked up my account to check my balance. It overdrew my account (of course it did) and we have overdraft protection so the money was moved from Savings to checking but it still was a huge mess. It was easy to pull the money out but when I contacted Chase they wanted me to pretend to be a trained seal and jump through hoops to get my money back. They wanted an actual Bank Statement (okay, that won’t happen until first week in March) showing where the money was taken out and that I had the money to cover both checks and one was not an NSF. I had to fax that to them and they would research and if it indeed was a withdrawal duplicate they would refund it back but it could take a week. By this time, I had steam coming out of my ears and nose and I was as red as a tomato! I called my bank and they said they would just do an unauthorized transaction. They faxed me the paper to sign and I faxed it back. Money back in account on Thursday. But it did cause some issues with my savings so now I’m working that out too. I love our Credit Union – they are small enough to still care and greet you by name but large enough to be online and have bill pay.

Now, while that panic attack was going on, I had to deal with a medical billing issue. Seems DJO doesn’t know how to bill out a 40% discount correctly. I spoke to 6 different people on 5 different days and it took 7 days to get the statement revised to correctly reflect my discount and my payment. I charged the compression stockings (ins. will not pay for these) on my flexible spending card ($24.00). Now some charges you must send a receipt into the company (IRS rules) to back up your purchase. Well, I received the statement in the mail and it showed in the column Patient receipts – $23.38 and adjustments $16.62. I called and tried explaining to 5 different “Customer Service” reps the issue. None of them, let me repeat that, None of them, understood the issue. I explained to them that 40% of $40.00 was $16.00 not $16.62 and that the patient receipt should be $24.00 (what I was charged) not $23.38. None of them got it!!! I called the rep back that sold me the stockings and she called the company and had a Payment resolution specialist call me back. I explained to her that I needed a corrected statement showing the Patient receipt = $24.00 and not $23.38. I also explained to her that I did not need any information regarding the Knee immobilizer which was going through my insurance. I wasn’t getting a warm fuzzy in the stomach if you know what I mean that she understood what I was asking for – I was correct, she did not! I received a fax the next day with a statement for only the knee immobilizer!!! Oh My, this company will not get anymore of my business ever! I called again and asked that she call me to discuss the issue at hand and that I needed resolution to this issue no later than Friday by noon or I would be disputing this charge to my charge card company! Man, I got a response QUICK as a flash! I got my revised statment showing the correct information! I will be sending a letter to the company asking them why it took that long to resolve an issue that could have been handled very quickly. I have an issue when people over talk me on a customer service call and don’t listen, or they don’t listen and they can’t even repeat back what my true issue is – this is the root of a good customer service rep and some are truly lacking in those skills. In addition, critical thinking skills have gone out the door – if that first representative had listened to what I was saying and even if he couldn’t resolve the issue he could get it to the person who could they would have had a happy customer. As it stands right now, the effort is now too late to repair my opinion of this company.

Gearing up for the knee surgery – not looking forward to it but am looking forward to re-habbing and getting back in shape. Our company is sponsoring a “Biggest Loser” contest and I intend to win it! I sign up for the contest on February 13th and my surgery is February 16th! Ezra, you all remember Ezra right? The trainer that is a hottie! Well he will be the trainer for this contest – Woo Hoo! I told him that I would be ready for whatever was thrown at me on one condition – no lunges! I bet I have to do lunges! We will work through them and I do want to win but I’m ready for a change in my life – I want to get healthy so I can do more with the horses and keep up with the punks!

Bear and I have decided that we will get a WII system with WII fit for us as something fun at night that will help get us in shape! I can’t wait and it will be in March.

Foxy is looking good and getting bigger by the day – it will soon be time to bring her in to foal! Remember Foxy? Although we lost poor Dino (he never had a chance) his Mom has made remarkable progress. She was pregnant when we got her to a stallion who is out producing himself. Our hope is to sell the baby to a good show home and recoup what I paid for her and our out of pocket expenses – we shall see. I’m slippin’ her some Senior when I can get to her without the other girls seein’ her. Margie has the girls separated in the nice girls pen and the bad girls pen and Foxy is in the nice girls pen. These girls are worse than the movie mean girls sometimes and form cliques quick. Foxy is by Margie’s stallion Pi who passed away in October. I cried for Margie and Pi that day – I knew what she was feeling after putting Charlie down and losing Dino, only to lose Wyatt 2 months later.

Okay, I digress, we are now on our way soon to Eckert’s to pick up our free bag of chips with the purchase of salsa or for me guacamole! Their guacamole is so good and you know we need the guac for the superbowl tonight! I’m rootin’ Colts all the way – Go Peyton, Go Saturday, Go Colts, As long as I win the football ($1.00) pool I’ll be happy happy happy – I’ll still be happy if I don’t and the Colts still win!

Take care!


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