October 31, 2010

Creatures Of The Night

We have so much fun dressing up for this night. Now that the kids are older and trick-or-treat by themselves (yes, they still do this), Danny and I dress up to hand out candy.

At first, Danny and I were considering Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth, but I don't have fake fingernails (truth be told, I chickened out!). So, I did my old stand-by...The Witch!

And here's Bud, the Cowboy. If we still lived in Texas, T would make a good cowboy.

Best of all! This photo! Danny dressed up as The Undead Wizard.
Marisa, well, Marisa is Marisa.
Happy Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) to all!

Happy 'All Hallow's Eve'!

Good Morning! It's Halloween!
Loved the view from my kid's bathroom window early this morning.

The leaves are so pretty right now.
This tree will be bare by tonight.

Candy is in the caulderon, ready for the first trick-or-treater!
(We'll dress up to hand out the candy, so Garza Ghoul photos will post later.)

October 28, 2010

The Insurance Game

Let's see, anyone ever have issue with insurance companies? Oh, I'm sure you have. They try to bulldoze people! Here's the deal. We used a local, in network provider last year. The provider billed the insurance for XX amount. According to our plan, we are responsible for the deductible plus 20%. Sounds easy and straight forward. But, here's the twist...

The insurance company uses a third party to manage the claims. This third party added an administrative fee OVER AND BEYOND the patient liability covered by the insurance. This means that when the insurance company cut the check to the third party, this third party then took their administrative fee out and sent the provider less money. As a result, the provider is billing us to recover the administrative fee.

We have appealed to the insurance board! In our appeal we stated that any further action for the provider to recover the amount that the third party stripped from their payment is between them and should be reconciled as such. The patient liability amount has been paid in full. We expect full support in reconciling this administration fee without any further billing from the provider.

What do you think? Is it worth the aggravation?

October 25, 2010

Hello, Miss Jeep...Meet Mr. Fence Post

Our first mishap!

Marisa doesn't remember how this happened, but showed me a fence post by where she parks at a friend's house that COULD be a possibility.

October 24, 2010

Never Fails

Every year about this time, I get sick. This season is no different! I love the Fall season, but with it comes respiratory problems for me. Asthma is something I've dealt with since I was a small child and adulthood has been no different. I've been able to manage my asthma quite well for the past few years. Working in the school setting and also with geriatric populations in skilled nursing settings has presented constant challenges.

This year I have an additional challenge...Psoriasis. I've also battled psoriasis my entire life. With every ear infection or strep throat infection came an outbreak. Most the time the psoriasis has been managable. This year has been the worst! I had a case of strep in September that was so bad, I went to the ER. That caused a psoriasis outbreak over 80% of my body. The doctor put me on the Enbrel injections twice a week for the next 3 months. Side effects of this drug are a suppressed autoimmune system and respiratory distress, not to mention liver damage, cancer, or death.

I'm 4 weeks into the Enbrel injections and I get an upper respiratory tract infection. Dangerous for my medical history. I have to stop the Enbrel and take Prednisone, also with it's side effects. So do I want spotty skin or the ability to breathe? I want to breathe! I hate having to struggle for a deep breathe. I hate being short of breath when I walk up the stairs or unload the dishwasher or get dressed in the mornings. It's miserable and scary!

Everyone...take a deep breath from me!

October 22, 2010

Good Luck, Rangers!

"Our Rangers, who art in Texas, Winners be thy name.
The Yanks will come, they will be done, in New York as they'll be in Texas.
Give us today, a series win, and forgive us our bullpen losses.
Lead us not into the off season after this series, but deliver us a Championship to Texas.
For the Rangers shall be 2010 ALDS, ALCS, and World Series champs forever & ever."

(courtesy Travis & Sara)

October 16, 2010


Here's our cropping crew: Lori, Louise, Meg, Peggy, Me, and Cindy. We have so much fun each and every time we go to the mountains. This is Louise's first time to crop with us as she is visiting Meg from Maine. We are so glad she could come with us, an instant friend. Next trip my SIL Eileen and her/our friend Ginger are coming!

We are always well fed! Tonight menu was salmon, chicken, roasted veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, and the fixin's.

Dessert is always a treat! A serious treat!
These chocolate volcano cream puffs were dessert from earlier today.

For tonight's dessert, we had pumpkin spice cake in honor of Cindy's and my birthdays. So very, very good. We walk in on Thursdays and roll out on Sundays....every time!

October 15, 2010

M & M

One of the reasons I love going to the scrapbook retreats is that I get a chance to reflect on when the kids were little. Marisa thought her cousin Michael hung the moon (and still does!).
Michael got a drum set one year for Christmas. Marisa has wanted one ever since.

The beach is always a fun time with your cousins.

No explanation needed here. Marisa loves Michael!

October 12, 2010

Crazy Cousins

I really enjoyed my 'birthday weekend' back home in Texas.
What I enjoy the absolute most is when the cousins can get together.
As the years pass by, the hugs, the antics, the goofball games never change.

The kids just get bigger. Hugs!

They pulled out the airsoft guns this time.
Watch out tin cans and plastic soda bottles, you're in danger!

Pool was on the agenda this time.

Parker beat the pants of Tony!

Parker's first car is also a Jeep.
Jase helps Parker take the top off as Dad watches.

Don't worry! The boys were allowed to SIT in the car.
We didn't want them riding around together just yet.
This driving thing is too new for us parents!

October 10, 2010

It's Time

It's time for our Texas Rangers to win the World Series!
I don't know if they will, but it's fun to wish, hope, pray, and cheer them on!

Since it's my 'birthday weekend', my dad treated me, Jase, and Tony to one of the Rangers playoff games.

And as an added bonus, Charlie Pride sung the National Anthem.
Now, Dad didn't have anything to do with that, but it was a treat nonetheless.

Record number of fans came out to the Ranger Ballpark...over 51,000 people!

Always patriotic!


Too bad our Rangers lost today.
Perhaps we could go to a Dallas Cowboy game next time!
Jase and Tony were thinking about it.

October 6, 2010

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

One more day and Tony and I will be home! Marisa is staying in Colorado because she is finding it difficult to leave her new car. She is also waiting to hear back from the job interview she had earlier this week. Can't wait to see you!

I love you,

P.S. Tell Jase to pick us up from the airport at 11:00pm!

October 4, 2010

Fall In Bloom

Made it to Michael's yesterday and put together a few Autumn-flavored planters.
I think I'm getting pretty good with Marisa's little 'point and shoot' camera.
I'm proud of this outside view!

The photography class I went to said: 1) turn off the flash; and, 2) get closer.
My sister-in-law taught me how to crop and frame.
I'm proud of this inside view, too!

October 3, 2010

Permission Granted

Have you ever had great plans, but just couldn't get going? Yesterday, I was planning on putting up the Halloween/Fall decorations, but just didn't. I had every intention of redecorating for the Fall season, but it was a cool, crispy, sunny morning. I made a pot of coffee, then decided to bake a breakfast casserole.

But not just any casserole, it was one with all the 'goodies', like bacon, sauteed onions, two kinds of grated cheese, and tomatoes from our garden. Tasted great! Family loved it!

Then, instead of going to the garage and pulling out the Fall decoration box or going to the basement and finding the Fall decoration tub, I changed focus. I pulled out the flannel sheets and blankets from the storage closet. They were washed, fluffed, and put on the beds (remember the mornings are now cool, crisp, and sunny).

I couldn't resist! I put my pajamas back on, crawled back into my nice flannel-hugged bed and READ all day. I granted myself permission to BE, to relax, to do nothing, and to let the world (my household) fin for themselves.

Sunday is another day! I have great plans to go shopping at Kohls, then maybe head over to Michael's to check out new Fall/Halloween decorations. Perhaps something new will help me get the job done, or not, we'll see. Que sera...

October 1, 2010


This is my favorite month for many reasons. First, it's my birthday month! Can't beat that with a stick! Second, it's the time when the Texas State Fair is in full swing. I have fond memories of hanging out at the State Fair over the years. Third, Texas - OU weekend...enough said! Next, it's Halloween! Love, love, love Halloween!! And, lastly, as a new October tradition, the scrapbook retreat with my girlfriends.

For my birthday this year, I'm flying to Texas with my son to hang out with my dad, brother, and nephews! I'm looking forward to being 'home' and thinking of all the dishes my mom used to make for us. I want to be able to make those dishes for my dad. It's a great feeling to think fondly of those memories and be able to carry on the traditions.