Behind the 8 Ball

free-magic-8-ball-vectorIf you live here in the states and have had to rely on the  Affordable Care Act (ACA) I would truly like to know how you are managing, or if not, how you are faring.  If you wanted it, then are you getting what you thought you were getting?  I’m not trying to be flip, I just really am interested to know if you are getting the help you need through this program.


When Bob’s previous job realized that they were going to have to give up their current coverage due to the insurance changes, they began paying him a bit extra to help defray the cost.  It wasn’t enough.

When he was then a victim of downsizing, he was out of work for months.  We had to change our ACA coverage to reflect that he had no income other than unemployment wages.  This still cost us about $400 a month and incurred a mammoth deductible for each of us. (About $5,400 total).

We got sick.  Very sick.  Both of us.  The bills piled up, we became overwhelmed and had to take money from our retirement savings to help cover costs.  Irritatingly, I had a TSA that had matured and was worth almost $25,000.00 at the end of the year, but we had to wait to cash it out because we didn’t want to end up owing back all the subsidy money for the ACA coverage we relied on…  By the time I cashed it out in January, it had dropped in value to $18,000.00 due to the stock market crash.

Bob finished the taxes today.

Bob:  You don’t want to know how much I am hating Obama care right now.

Me:  What?  We don’t get anything back?

Bob:  I really don’t want to tell you.

Me:  We owe some?

Bob:  Sigh… We have to pay all of the subsidy back and we don’t get anything from the Federal at all!

Me:  How much?!

Bob:  $8,000.00!

He explained that in the midst of trying to make ends meet and paying the regular bills and necessities, plus the ACA payments, plus the deductibles, plus the co-pays, plus being out of work and being sick, we managed to make about $1,500.00 too much (remember that was the money we socked away for retirement!)  and now they want all the subsidy monies back.

In the past week we have sprung a leak in the roof and need a new roof.  The roofer has patched us up and it stopped the rain from running down the stove-pipe, into my cupboards and out onto my stove and counter tops, but the roof needs replacing.  $8,600.00.  He found hail damage and we are waiting to see if the insurance company will cover the new roof…

Are you keeping count?  We need $16,600.00 to pay for it all.  There goes the left over from my TSA monies and Bob’s IRA ++++++

After our talk, I felt awful.  I wanted to cry, but couldn’t.  I felt sick to my stomach and just wanted to crawl into bed and pull the covers up.  I wouldn’t.  After I calmed down some and began to feel better I suddenly flashed on a scene from my favorite movie of all time:

My Man Godfry

It is one of those madcap BW comedies from 1936, staring William Powel and Carole Lombard.  If you haven’t seen it you must, and if you do want to see it , well look up the copy from the Criterion Collection (<— link to synopsis, etc) because it has a missing scene that makes the whole thing make sense!!!

Here is the scene I remembered and which gave me a chuckle in spite of it all!

In the meantime I am grateful to God that we are once again in better health.  Feeling better makes it easier to take things in stride, although it doesn’t preclude the changes we will need to make over the next year.  We are talking it out, and thinking about our options, but we don’t have a definite plan as yet.

I’ll tell more when we figure it all out.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings

And I don’t feel like singing.

This year has been tough for many reasons, health, health insurance changes, lack of time to work on our Mountain Farmlet and lack of money for same.   The other day I said in passing that it couldn’t get any worse and the lady I was speaking to looked at me and said:  “Never say that!  It can get worse…”

Well, I’m not one to think that way, but sure enough it is worse.

Bob came home recently and told me he had been let go at his work.  Made redundant as some would say.  He looked stunned and sad.  I didn’t look in the mirror, but I’m certain that I did too.  The letter of termination said “… terminated, effective immediately due to lack of work for his skill set.”  Strangely, it was dated from January of this year.  I guess the owner was hoping for things to gain speed.  Under the circumstances it was a delay that certainly benefited us over these past months.

We are not yet certain about what we will do.  We have been discouraged about how things have been going, and see this as a possible opportunity to really dig in and get some work done on the mountain and here in town.  We have recently offered to sell a bit off the top (so to speak) of our land to the neighbor that lives above us.  The land is on the other side of the access road, adjacent to his property and would give him some road frontage.  He was interested!  He has offered to help us with repairs in exchange for the property.  If done this is a win/win for all of us.  It also means that the section on his side will be properly maintained and make a better view for all.

In the meantime, we are getting rid of anything we don’t want or need.  If it is superfluous it is out’a here!

TranslationYARD SALE, Ebay, and Etsy.

We remain optimistic and look forward to reducing, repairing, and relocating to the Mountain Farmlet.

Here for your viewing is some of what we discovered after the big windstorm, but first some fun stuff.  😀


At the moment, we are very grateful that the little house was not damaged and that the new roof did not blow away!