Category Archives: Venting

Self-explanatory

Walmart Soapbox

Walmart weLet's Dissect this quote: lfare bernie sandersI have not posted to Rural Mom of 3 in a while but I saw this quote and decided that I needed to explain it to people who may not understand what Bernie Sanders is saying – well, at least explain how I understand it anyway.  I rarely shop at Walmart.  The main reason is that I follow produce.  If the produce goes bad within a day or so and I’m not at a farmer’s market, I would prefer not to spend my money there.  I also don’t like Walmart because the more I read about the corporation, the more I find their business practices to be less than reputable.

Let’s dissect this quote

  “Not only is the Walton family the wealthiest family in America. . .”

Sam Walton and his relatives who are shareholders of the Walmart Corporation have the most money in all the family owned corporations in America.  This doesn’t mean that Sam is the wealthiest man in America.  There are individuals out there who may be richer.  But the Walton family, collectively, are richer than any other corporation family in the exact same business set-up.  Make sense?

“middle class Americans are subsidizing Walmart’s employees whose wages are so low that many of them need food stamps. . .  “

What this means is that customers who shop at Walmart are not actually getting the least expensive groceries in their town like they are told to believe.  “But my grocery receipt is less when I go there.”, says Julie Homemaker.  Let me explain:  If employees of Walmart do not get paid enough to take care of their basic necessities with their paycheck, they must go and ask for public assistance.  Where does the government get the money for public assistance??  They take it out of all of our paychecks, pool it together and hand it out in the form of food stamps and Medicaid!!  So, that $2 milk at Walmart is actually costing you more than $2- I would guess it is costing you similarly to the price of milk at your local mom and pop store that is locally owned,  who hires high school kids and retired folks along with that one full time employee who loves it there.  So you are paying less at the store but as the number of qualifiers of food stamps goes up your paycheck will go down to help foot the bill.

So, in my reality:  You pay the same for your milk at Walmart as you do anywhere else.  And while you’re there getting your milk, you pick up a new pair of jeans for you boy that are manufactured to a lower standard than the same brand of jeans you would spend a few dollars more for at a different store who has higher quality standards and then wonder why the knees wore out 2 weeks after you bought them.  (I’m sure that is probably a run-on sentence- my apologies!)

Please comment on this post!  I want to hear what you think!!

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Dumb and Dumber

Yesterday I took the kids and went to town to run errands.  It grew later than I had expected and so I decided to drop by one of the many fast food chains and get us all a snack to tide us over until we got home to the ribs I had on low in the oven. 

I pulled up to the drive through thingy and noticed that Icees were cheaper than soda- 1.29 vs 1.59!!  I also saw that fries and onion rings were a buck.  So I ordered, and I quote, “I need 2 small fries, 2 small onion rings, 2 small orange Icees, and 2 small Coke Icees.  Oh, and some ketchup packets.”  The voice on the other end said, “that will be 12.49” (it was something more than 12 anyway)

You all do the math here:

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.29

1.29

1.29

1.29

Should equal 9.16  plus tax. 

So, I say to the voice, “are you sure that’s right?” 

The voice repeats my order back to me just like I had given it to her. 

 I then say, “for 4 dollar items and 4 1.29 items?” 

The voice then says, “you ordered smalls not value menu” 

I say, “what’s the difference?”

The voice answers rather sarcastically as if I’m the idiot, “The size and price!”

You dork!  I know it’s the size and price but WHAT IS THE SIZE DIFFERENCE AND PRICE DIFFERENCE??????  (I said the capitalized stuff in my head, Really)

I then say to the voice, “I realize that.  What is the difference in price?”

She then rudely explains to me that smalls are actually larger than value sized items and I tell her to change the entire order to value size items. 

Lessons learned-

  1. Assume the entire world is stupid! (not really but come on!!!)
  2. Never assume that small might actually be the smallest size available. 
  3.  Apparently small is now the new medium.
  4. Ask LOTS and LOTS of questions before placing any order with anyone- you never know what you might get or how much it might cost you!!

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Bats in our Belfry

I hate bats!  I just want you all to know!  I love having them around to eat mosquitoes, don’t get me wrong!  I just hate it when they decide to check out other parts of the house instead of staying in our attic where they are welcome!!  When we brought down our Christmas decorations last week, we found a bat with a broken wing hopping around the hallway, bouncing between bedrooms.   No DH home to save me and the thing was so scared he wouldn’t sit still for a minute so the boys and I captured him and fed him to the cats (no PETA comments please- he was injured, could not fly.  It was more ethical to put him down with one chomp from a cat than it was to put him back in the attic to slowly die because he couldn’t go get food.  AND I was not going to feed him!  Where am I going to find bugs this time of year!) 

Then yesterday morning, I was running late and I sent my oldest to go wake his siblings for school.  He went upstairs  and sure enough, 2 of them start yelling, “there’s a bat up here!”  DH was home and awake this time so I sent him to save me.  He couldn’t find the bat!  Apparently it went back into the unfinished part of our son’s closet (open in the back where the duct work divides up into each bedroom)  He had a deadline to meet so he left and I told the boys to keep the closet door closed. 

All was well, for a while. . . .  I put the boys to bed at 8 and my youngest was not feeling well so he and I lay down together in my room.  A little before 9, I hear this blood curdling scream, “the bat is in my room again!”  My middle son was reading when he realized he had company once again (he had opened his closet door, darn him).  I sleepily told him to come into my room and he could lay with us.  I thought my oldest was asleep and then all the sudden I heard him up walking around.  He found the bat hanging under the smoke detector in the hallway!  We all went to bed in my room with the door closed and I called my husband, interrupted the meeting he was in, to tell him, “we’re all hold up in the bedroom because there is a bat hanging in the hallway”.  He says, “do you need help right now?  I’m in a meeting?”  I say, “we’re just going to all sleep together with the door closed.  please get the bat when you get home”.  Needless to say, I slept horrible!

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11. Keep tabs on your health insurance claims/ don’t be afraid to ask for a discount

I learned something the other day.  My son had a bad ear infection that did not want to heal and so we ended up going to a specialist.  (Only to discover that his ear had healed from the time he saw his regular dr. until we saw the specialist 2 weeks later!!! GRRR!!!). 

Because of our high deductible, my husband and I have gotten into the habit of asking doctors offices and hospitals for discounts if we pay our bill at the time of service or as soon as the bill is totalled.  We had no maternity insurance for one baby and received a 20% discount for the hospital stay.  We agreed to pay in full within 7 days of the phone conversation in order to get that big of a break.  Our family practitioner gives us a 20% discount on office visits if we pay at the time of service.  In exchange, I keep track or our family’s claims from his office and his staff does not have to mail those in on our behalf. 

Anyway, back to the specialist appt.  When the appt was over, I asked the office gal if there were any discounts available for patients who paid at the time of service.  Yes, a 25% discount and you could use a credit card!  So, I happily handed over my Mastercard and got my 25% off.

A couple weeks later, I received a letter from my insurance company that said I may have overpaid the doctor’s office and that I should pay close attention to my explanation of benefits (EOB) when it arrives.  If I had overpaid, I was entitled to a refund!  Sure enough, my EOB arrived on Friday and I had paid over $100 more than the re-negotiated fee through the insurance company!  I will not get on my soap box of how ridiculous this is but I will tell you that I called the specialist’s accounting dept. this morning!!!  They have not received their EOB yet but will be within the week (I checked with my insurance co. to be sure!).  I will be calling them again next week to be sure I get my refund!!!

Anyway, my point being. . . . . pay close attention to those EOB’s!!!  If they show a different total than what your checkbook shows you paid- make a few phone calls and see if you can get your money back!!!  AND don’t be afraid to ask for discounts from medical agencies!!!  There is so much out right non-payment in their field that most are ready and willing to give you a break by helping them out!!  Just keep your end of the agreement or they will string you up for sure!!!

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Flooded bathroom

Well, I just got done cleaning up a pond in my bathroom and hallway.  Our bathroom is approximately 5 x6, including the bathtub.  My 5 year old just emptied half of the bathtub onto the floor!  I was talking to my mother on the phone when I went to check on him (for the 520th time since he got in the tub) and her first question was, “How do you put half of a bathtub on the floor?!”  Now there was like 6 -9 inches of water in the tub and I am really trying to figure this grand question out myself!  I heard splashing but that is a lot of water to get out of the tub in a very short amount of time!!!  We live in an old house and so the water ran for the valley- out in the hall and down the heat register.  Just lovely!!  I sopped up the water, threw away the newspaper/magazine collection that was now ruined (that’s one way to get rid of that stuff w/out much complaint from my husband! lol), and took the antique cabinet that holds the bath towels  out to the porch to dry out.  Well, this is one way to clean the bathroom!!!  Later!

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God is a verb.

What is it with people these days!??  What is more important- the structure and rules of a program or entity or showing our kids and peers that Jesus love us- each and every one of us!!  God is love!  God is not regulated by structure or rules of engagement!!! 

Some churches and christian entities these days (and I do mean SOME, not all- most churches and christian agencies are full of the love of Jesus- I am venting today!!!!) have forgotten what God has called us to do as Christians.  Proverbs 10:12 says that love covers all sins.  It does not say that love covers only certain sins that are considered acceptable by the general population.   Leviticus 19:18 says that you shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The Lord commands this.  He does not speak lightly!!  John 15:12 says that we are to love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you.  It says this is a commandment!!  It doesn’t say that love is necessary only if someone deserves it or when a person has done something that we agree with.  It says that we are to love as Christ loved.  Christ loved so much that he died for us.  Now that is a lot of love!! Romans 13:10 says that love does no harm.  NO HARM!!  Have you ever heard of people who get their feelings hurt by someone in Christian leadership who then leave the church and never return.  These people were harmed!!!  They were harmed by either harsh words, condemnation, lies, or misinterpretations!!  It doesn’t matter what the harm was really, it only matters that the person doing the harm doesn’t realize that they are harming until it’s all done and over with.  The person doing the harming may even think that they are doing God’s work by telling a fellow Christian something that they are doing wrong or inappropriate.  It is true that we are to go to people when there is a wrong but we are to do this OUT OF LOVE and not condemnation. 

Nothing sickens me more than when I hear of people representing themselves as one of God’s people or a Christian who then go and knowingly condemn, ridicule, or otherwise cause harm to someone else.  Or people who are asked to be in Christian leadership who then let their position turn others into their slaves to do exactly as they are told, lest they be condemned or ridiculed publically or in private later.  God is the judge.  We are His servants.  Sharing the love of Christ is about the love not the program.  It’s okay to have people with less ability than yourself in leadership positions-  God uses all walks of life to promote his kingdom!  It’s okay if little Johnny is too shy to go to his own class and needs to go to Sunday School with his big brother. It’s okay if little Shakira dirties her diaper every Sunday and mom forgets the diaper!  It’s okay if little Suzie insists on getting a drink as soon as church starts.  It’s okay if the teenagers are in the back pew whispering and having a good time.  It’s okay if the newborn baby cries during worship and the new mom is not ready to send the child to the nursery just yet.  It’s okay of little Joey insists on playing with the microphone instead of listening to the children’s sermon.  It’s okay if little Sarah is technically too young but comes anyway to the current program that her siblings attend.  It’s okay if young Bobbie has behavior problems and squeels insessantly right during prayer time.  It’s okay if the old lady in the back pew insists on using real plates and not styrofoam at church dinners.  It’s okay if there are typo’s in the church meeting minutes.  It’s okay if the chairman of that committee can’t come to every board meeting or comes without his report ready.  It’s okay if JimBob has to smoke one last cigarrette at the entrance of the church right before coming in.  It’s okay if the local Harley Davidson bikers club shows up in the church parking lot and disrupts the offering as they walk in the door.  It’s okay that the local drunk is at the church again begging for money.  It’s okay that George, who has a wonderful voice, can no longer sing in church since his dad died.  It’s okay if the only person to accept the position of song leader sings so quietly that you can’t hear them.  It’s okay that the pianist plays too  slow or too fast.  It’s okay that technically, you don’t agree with the theology of the pastor.  It’s okay if the Jones’s  show up 10 min late every Sunday and march to the front of the church.  It’s okay if the “tweenager” brings his gameboy to church.  It’s okay if the cleaning lady forgot to swish one of the toilets.  It’s okay if the local mice population decided to move into the fellowship hall.  It’s all okay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Each of these people needs the love of Jesus not the judgement of man!!!!  God is good.  It’s all good.  Love is a verb!!!!  God is a verb.  He only asks that we remember that love is a verb too.  What would Jesus do if one of the above people showed up at his house?  WWJD????  He would welcome them in!!  And He would love them!!!!

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